Was yesterday the best day in Arsenal club history? Surely it was the best non-trophy / title winning day in club history. It’s tough (and probably unfair for comparison and debate) to include silverware wins because they’re so special and rare. But in terms of regular-season days, Arsenal men beating Tottenham 3-1 with that first half followed by Arsenal women smashing Manchester City 5-0 has to be way, way up there.
Those are the kind of wins that validate our seemingly insane decision to be diehard football fans. Not just Arsenal fans, but football fans — we’re all borderline certifiable for how passionately we follow our clubs.
I woke up this morning still absolutely buzzing from both wins, and I expect they’ll carry me through most of the week. The wins are especially sweet, each in their own way — the women because (early days) it seems like Jonas Eidevall is taking the team to another level. Beating the top sides was somewhat of a bugaboo for Joe Montemurro and Eidevall has registered wins over the top two finishers in the WSL last season — Chelsea and Manchester City — to open the year.
For the men, after how poorly Arsenal started the season, against the arch-rival, and with how completely and totally dominant the opening 35 minutes were, it feels like maybe, just maybe, the side has started to turn a page. The win felt different.
It’s as if Mikel Arteta and the club have been working on a painting in segments and up until yesterday, we’d only seen the discrete elements of the piece but not the whole canvas at once. We’d seen the defensive improvements, the transfer strategy, pressing a bit higher, and so on, but only in isolation and fleetingly. Yesterday felt like the big reveal, the sheet covering the whole canvas was pulled away for the first time. The painting still isn’t finished. There is still work to be done. But we’ve finally seen all the pieces put together and have an idea of what the finished product might look like. And I really like what I saw.
What a great day.