All Guns Blazing: Karma points to an Arsenal victory against Bayern Munich
- Credit: PA WIRE
In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti looks at how the Gunners should prepare ahead of tonight’s Champions League clash.
Being the petty vintage of football fan I am, over the last few years I’ve grown to dislike Bayern Munich based simply on the games they’ve won and lost.
Take, for instance, their largely consistent habit of finishing as runners-up in the Champions League, which culminated in a totally inept defeat to Chelsea in 2012. When they finally broke their jinx, it was by spoiling the underdog story of Dortmund and since then they’ve gone on to monopolise the German league with a predictability that really is the antithesis of football romanticism.
As ‘superclubs’ go, Munich have to be one of the most gutless. You can’t argue with their success, but with great power comes great responsibility, and if karma had anything to do with football, their recent Champions League history would leave them deep in the red zone.
Consequently, it would be nice if fate started to even things out tonight. After two embarrassing defeats in Europe, most Gooners have accepted that Arsenal’s chances of progression are about as likely as Brendan Rodgers taking down the massive portrait of himself in his house. Nonetheless, as the Manchester United result showed, if there’s one team who can consistently confound expectations – for better or worse – it’s Arsenal.
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While we have routinely caved in at home against Munich, once the pressure is off, we’ve actually performed better at the Allianz Arena, winning 2-0 in 2013 before drawing 1-1 the following year.
The psychological lesson is clear: Arsenal only perform in Europe when all hope looks lost. It’s an utterly pathetic truth, but perhaps by fully embracing it we could finally overcome our hoodoo against the Champions League juggernauts.
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“So Theo, how do you rate your diabolical chances ahead of this tie?” Geoff Shreeves will ask with his trademark tact.
“Well Geoff, I just want it to be over,” the English striker should reply. “Frankly, I’ve been here 10 years and I still have no idea what to expect – we’re the footballing equivalent of a bag of Revels. Our defence sometimes looks ok, but did you see Lewandowski score those five goals in nine minutes? Per’s locked himself in the toilet at the thought – Arteta’s having to coax him out by telling him he can just have the captaincy already.”
Ninety minutes later, Arsenal win by five goals scored in eight minutes by a hysterical Olivier Giroud. Karma restored.
Follow me @alexbellotti