Can you sell a dream?

chakky's picture

Arsenal had played terrible. Whatever could go wrong was going wrong at San Siro. AC Milan were having the laugh of their life. The final score AC MIlan 4- Arsenal 0.

In a two legged quarter finals, a match with the away team not scoring even a single goal and then giving the oponents a 4 goal lead is a defeat that has never been over come by playing in the second match. Champions League has never seen such a goal deficit broken.

It followed Arsenal, losing out on the FA Cup match against Sunderland. Being the worst year of Arsene Wenger's reign at Arsenal, the knives were out. Arsenal's present team was declared by pundits and experts and ex-Arsenal players as being the worst Arsenal team ever. Even die hard fans started questioning the quality of our team and wanted our stingy professor replaced. Everywhere there was just negativity promoted by the news and freely available medium of Internet and Social networking.

Through it all Arsene Wenger kept his calm. He just said he believes in his players. Come the game against, Totenham Hotspurs, our fiercest rivals and the verdict was out, we would be thrashed and would not stand against the likes of Modric, Bale and Van Der Vart. The game started and in 20 minutes,through bad fortune, Spurs scored two goals and we looked in line for another humiliation.

I am not sure what clicked then, but from somewhere deep within our players, the fire got ignited. Rest as they say is history. Arsenal won the thriller 5-2. It shocked many and pleased so many of us die hard fans!

But you cannot stop the negativity. The pundits and experts, changed their stance, complimented the performance and then went on to say, its a one off performance. Next week we beat Liverpool, 2-1 coming from a goal down. Then the so called experts said it was only luck and only because of RVP. Through all this, Arsene just kept saying one thing, he believed in his players and he did not thinking spending big makes big clubs. I think this belief is what got them going.

Out came the second leg of the AC Milan match. Experts were calling Arsene mad to play his first team saying injury to key players would cause Arsenal's 4th place chance in the Premier League to flounder and that would mean a loss of Champions' league qualification next year. It would result in 58 million pounds loss in revenue and the exodus of players who feel unworthy to play in a team that does not play champion's league.

But what Arsene did was magical. He sold a dream... A dream so wild, that his players believed. Fans came to watch mystified by the recent victories and the new found belief. Then came the news interview, where AC MIlan coach made fun of Arsene's youth policy, Ibrahmovich laughed saying why he did not join Arsenal and Robinho's impossible dialogs.

Arsene's words were incredible. I was so mesmerized by it and I just had to put it here. I was sold. From fear of losing, what I felt was a new found energy to support my team even if they lose. His words were...

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“I have a gut feeling the players can do it,” said Arsène Wenger ahead of the visit of AC Milan, and their 4-0 first-leg lead, to Emirates Stadium. “My job, until 7.45pm on Tuesday night, is to convince them that they can.

“I don’t live in a dream world,” he went on. “I know we have not created an easy situation. We have a five per cent chance - because if you look at the history of results that have been changed at that level, it would be around that.

“But what is important is that we believe that we can be in this five per cent. That’s what is at stake for us – to show that we have the quality to believe we can do it. Even if it is only five per cent.

“Let’s make sure that we don’t miss our chance because we did not believe in it.”
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The performance that Arsenal put out that day was incredible. It is what legends are made out of. We did not manage to score the 4 goals required for a tie, but we won 3-0. It kept our heads held high and AC Milan had a shocker. All three goals were scored in the first half and it had Milan all scared and worried. Our players showed their ability and we played our hearts out.

I am not sad we lost going to the next round, I am not sad that we will end another year without trophies. But winning games with this spirit is what make great players and great teams. And there is only one Arsene Wenger who people lovingly called "The Professor" who can sell Dreams to make even the unbelievable sound possible.

Excellent Game guys and I hope you keep this form going!

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