Firsts and Rarities
Tuesday 7th March 2017 Part 2
A couple of things tonight I haven’t done or experienced before. Firstly I don’t remember ever writing two blogs in one day. Secondly and more importantly of course I have never seen us lose a cup tie by 8 goals.
But, from the moment Laurent was sent from the field there was always a chance that could happen.
That doesn’t mean I am going home without a sense of pride.
Being proud to be a Gooner and support my club is part of what I love for. And that hasn’t changed one bit as a result of tonight.
Me leaving a game early is rare. And very early I can only remember 2 other occasions in 40 odd years. The first was the Charity Shield back in August 1979. I was a young boy so didn’t get a choice but when my dad and his mate decided to leave early I do remember we were getting well and truly spanked.
The second happened on my birthday and it was the day we got beaten 6-1 at Old Trafford. After 5 I’d had enough and so headed home to watch us fight another day.
Tonight was the 3rd occasion. For all our effort and good play on the night it was painful once Bayern equalised and we were reduced to 10 men. So once the 4th went in I headed for the tube station and the start of my journey south.
I don’t feel gutted or numb or hard done by or shocked etc. My hope for progression from tonight was only just above non existent. So to feel any of those emotions would be hypocritical.
For the best part of an hour the game was very very similar to when we so nearly turned round an almost impossible situation against AC Milan a few years back. But although the first half of that game gave me hope, the way our initial play was followed by grit and determination despite being absolutely cream crackered told me if we were to have any chance tonight I was convinced we would need to be 4 up inside an hour.
And do you know what? We had a go. In fact I’m not sure we could have done an awful lot more than we did on the night.
We could have scored 5 or 6 in that first hour. Genuinely. Our intensity was spot on and we created many chances. But on a night like that you need them all to go in and the refereeing decisions to go your way to give you hope.
What happened after the penalty is a bit irrelevant for me. It extinguished that little tiny candle of hope once and for all. And the referee might as well have called a halt to proceedings at that moment. The tie was lost in Munich, it’s as simple as that.
So I am happy to leave it there.
We need to pick ourselves up and move on. If we win on Saturday we are going to Wembley. Not a bad incentive that.
Proud to be a Gooner until the day I die.