20 minutes that will change history
February 28, 2010
The outlandish, spooky, surreal, bizarre, unbelievable similarities of Birmingham 2008 and Stoke 2010!
The day before the 2008 Carling Cup final, a future great Arsenal team died in Birmingham following one of the worst injuries to a player to have been witnessed on a football pitch.
The game ended in a 2-2 draw after a terrible refereeing decision to award a 90th minute penalty to Birmingham, which they duly converted.
We led the league by 5 points before the game… the rest is history, as they say.
The team that day included Senderos, Flamini, Hleb and Adebayor… who all have subsequently taken backward steps in their careers.
The day before the 2010 Carling Cup final, a future great Arsenal team were truly born in Stoke following a very serious injury to our young star, Aaron Ramsey.
The game ended 3-1 to the Arsenal, following a 90th minute penalty, correctly awarded to the us… which was then converted with aplomb by our wonderous young Spanish captain, Cesc Fabregras.
I asked yesterday whether or not this team had reached a level of maturity in order to seriously push for the title… we got our answer in no uncertain terms.
Plenty has been written viz-a-vis our decline following the Eduardo injury in 2008, let sleeping dogs lie.
I want to talk about the here and the now.
The next great Arsenal team was born amidst a harrowing double leg break suffered by Ramsey, the team then sought to pull together, fight like warriors, and finally win the game in the closing minutes of the match.
On a day when Chelski were soundly beaten by Manchester City, the 3 fabulous points gained in Stoke were a god send to our title aspirations.
Those last 20 minutes of football, after Ramsey was stretchered off, will go down in the annals of history as the minutes that saw the launch of Arsenal the Super Club.
The financials that were published by the club on Friday clearly highlight the incredibly stable and prosperous nature of our club today and going forward for decades to come.
We needed an event, we needed some sort of comeback, some kind of spirited team effort, some kind of rip-roaring victory in the face of yet more adversity to really show the footballing world, and some of our very own Nuevo goons, that we were the real deal.
The celebrations following the winning goals displayed more than 100,000 words could ever describe the feeling the players felt… they knew, they now truly believe.
Stand up and hold your head up high… the future is no longer something to await.
We are there.
This team will now be Champions. This team has finally made that final step towards greatness.
Aaron Ramsey will recover, Aaron Ramsey will captain Arsenal, Aaron Ramsey will go down as a legendary Arsenal player.
I have no doubts about those statements becoming fact.