By K’Onyango Ochieng Dennis
Arsenal and Man U fans had a great weekend. I had a bad weekend. In fact, an Arsenal fan taunted me and even suggested that he was happier because of Chelsea’s loss to Newcastle United than he was about Arsenal’s triumph over Liverpool. That is the utter lack of magnanimity that typifies the usaual Arsenal fan, whether he is patronising Tacos or is it Taco bell bar and Restaurant or walking the streets of London.
The few Arsenal fans I know love Taco Bell or Tacos. Forgive me, I cannot seem to be able to distinguish between the two because I don’t ever go there. I however happen to know that those joints play very loud noise! not music. The marriage between Arsenal and noise is one that must have been consumated in heaven; they are tight buddies! In fact, someone should dedicate the Newcastle victory to Arsenal and cheering will be louder.
Everyday we grow older and certain truisms that weren’t obvious to us when we were younger, become even more apparent. Some of these truisms are:
1. Kutangulia sio kufika. Arsenal may be on top of the log, 5 points clear of Chelsea in second place. However that by no means suggests that they will be crowned champions at the end of the season. I will give an analogy that should resonate with us all. Assume you have registered to participate in the Standard Marathon. In the first 30 minutes, K’onyango Ochieng Dennis surges ahead of the leading pack with Paul Tergat some 50 metres behind him. Can you say with certainty that K’onyango will win that marathon?
2. Kuteleza sio kuanguka. Chelsea may have stumbled away at Newcastle. However, it does not mean that their title ambitions are dead. Using my analogy above, the fact that K’onyango Ochieng Dennis is ahead of Paul Tergat in the Standard Chartered Marathon, with only 30 minutes gone, does not mean that Tergat can stop dreaming about winning the Marathon.
Arsenal came into the Saturday match up against Liverpool after subsequent thrashings at their backyard, at the hands of Dortmund and then Chelsea. It was vital that they beat Liverpool to regain their confidence and stabilise their balance. Anyone will tell you that a team which has suffered a defeat usually comes back fighting hard and it becomes difficult to beat them. It is why a team that is fighting relegation will be a banana skin. That was Arsenal over the weekend. The same can be said of Man U which had not fared well so far, even losing to teams like Westbrom and Southampton. Newcastle came into the game against Chelsea on the back of a defeat to Sunderland and a draw with Liverpool. These teams were always going to fight and Chelsea found itself exhausted and vulnerable having had some two tough matches against City and Arsenal. We can all understand why Chelsea lost the match.
All said and done, it is another truism that the winner of the league title, just like the Marathon, is the one who is most consistent, not necessarily the team which remains unbeaten. Indeed if that were so, then none of the leading teams would win the league because they have all been beaten at one time or another. In fact, to illustrate this point, I draw a distinction with the Capital one cup where you are tossed out when you are beaten. So Chelsea is still very much in the running for the league title in spite of losing at Newcastle while Arsenal are out of the Capital one cup having been clobbered in their backyard by you know who.
This week presents another series of interesting matches when Arsenal has to make an away trip to Naples. There is yet another trip in due course to Dortmund that will surely scuttle any hopes they might have in Europe. For that reason, I urge them to continue rejoicing in Chelsea’s loss to Newcastle when it lasts because soon, we will ask them to show us their European trophy. We’ve got the last word!