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Anorak | All Gunners Blazing

All Gunners Blazing

by | 11th, March 2004

‘IT is easy to go overboard when looking at Arsenal’s performances in recent days.

A one-man Spanish lesson

First the demolition of Portsmouth and now the defeat of Celta Vigo – and with that passage into the last eight of the Champions’ League – have marked the Gunners out for special attention.

And where there is hyperbole, there is ever the Sun, which leads with a shot of Arsenal’s Thierry Henry, who scored a brace in his team’s 2-0 victory over the Spaniards, and news that the Gunners can go all the way.

The Sun lets it be known that bookies have installed Arsenal as their favourites to win the Champions’ League, offering them at 5-2.

This is nonsense, given that the Gunners have never progressed past the quarter-finals and are in an octet with such luminaries of the European scene as AC Milan and Real Madrid.

Arsenal might well be, as the Telegraph’s Paul Hayward puts it, “becoming unplayable, unanswerable”, but fortunes in sport can change in an instant.

Just listen to Gary Neville, speaking in the Mirror. “A few weeks ago we were top of the Premiership, four points clear, with the best defensive record,” says he.

“Now, all of a sudden, we’re a shambles everywhere, nine points behind Arsenal and out of the Champions’ League. We’re devastated.”

But what to do? Well, buying back David Beckham is an option, just as getting rid of some of the current Old Trafford crop offers another.

As the Telegraph’s Henry Winter says, “no real glamour pervades Old Trafford now, no box-office darling parades up and down the pitch in the magical manner of an Eric Cantona or David Beckham”.

There is Phil Neville and his even more intelligent brother Gary. And there is Alex Ferguson.

The question is: which one will leave first?’



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