I’d got the days mixed up, as often happens when you’re in a country half a day ahead of your football team, and didn’t realise until I got up this morning that the game was on right now. I could only really keep half an eye on it as I got the girls ready for their day.
It didn’t really matter. It’s Barca, after all – the best we could hope for was not humiliating ourselves, and getting out of the Champions League nice and early so we could concentrate on that other trophy, the one that maybe, MAYBE this year, we might have a chance at.
I found a feed briefly and saw a rather dull ten minutes of the game before it crapped out on me, so I didn’t bother. Twitter kept me informed. Like when they got their first goal…
And then, just as I was leaving for the school run, we got a goal, and a second, in quick succession. Twitter again kept me informed. By the time Raeli was at school, I knew we’d won! It didn’t properly sink in until tonight, when I got to watch the whole game, and saw how utterly splendid it all was. The fast footwork, the great hair, the happy hugging boys, the sheer joy of the crowd. The goals. I enjoyed watching it so much. And hooray, we’re officially at the point where SBS thinks it’s worthwhile to show Arsenal Champions League games live… the second leg will be screened as it’s played. Might have to arrange not to be doing the school run that day…
It’s the first leg. Chances are very likely that we’ll be thoroughly spanked at Camp Nou. But I think we can all live with that. This game was still glorious. I’m so happy for Arshavin, proving himself after a patchy season. I’m a little stunned at how great it is to have a really really good goalkeeper (I had such a soft spot for Almunia but… yeah, time to go, mate). I’m bouncing at getting to see Van Persie, Walcott, Wilshere and Cesc in such great form. And – not going to lie – I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief that no one got broken.
Seriously. Our boys are made of glass. Last time we played this leg against Barca, Cesc accidentally fractured his leg while shooting a penalty. These things happen to us all the time.
This afternoon, Raeli informed me over icecream at the pancake train (on an actual train) that she was thinking of switching allegiance to Chelsea. This is something she regularly says, knowing it will drive me INSANE. She only knows Chelsea exists because it’s Daddy’s team – a team he chose to follow on the grounds that this would drive me INSANE.
I smiled beatifically at my dearest darling and told her that it was her choice, but I wasn’t buying her a Chelsea shirt.
She then suggested she might switch back to being a Gooner Girl when she was seven. I was very restrained in not telling her that until she did, Jem was officially my favourite child.
My Dad (who reads this blog and likes to drop anecdotes from it into conversation when I least expect it, Hi Dad!) tried to get her to change to Manchester United on the grounds that this is the team that everyone should follow. I challenged this assertion by proving he didn’t know the names of any of the current players. Even the really famous ones.
Even godiyeva does better than that, and she only follows Manchester United in order to drive me INSANE! Should it worry me how many of my nearest and dearest deliberately take (or pretend) an interest in football teams other than mine in order to freak me out?
Still, at least it keeps them off the streets.