Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Rising to the occasion

We haven't had a Biggest Match of the Season for days now. Must be due another one.

And oh yes, look, here come Milan. Pronounced Meelan, with emphasis on the 'Mee'. By twats.

Remember how we jumped around when Crouchy scored? Remember how we celebrated like lunatics at the final whistle? Remember how pissed I got? Oh God, how could we have been so foolish.

It's cold bloody comfort now, isn't it, as the team that people call the Rossoneri (people who are even bigger twats than the ones who over-pronounce Meelan) come swaggering into town.

Presumably, though, we're going to, in the words of our glorious leader, 'give it a right good go'. We'll have to, the idea of trying to defend for 90 minutes against AC Milan is patently absurd. We couldn't defend for 10 minutes against Wolves.

Gomes is back in leper mode (flaky as fuck), Dawson's not the rock he was, Hutton's an accident waiting to happen (a really impatient accident often waiting hardly any time at all to happen) and BAE has tonsillitis or something.

The midfield, however, should be pretty much full strength, with Lennon, Bale and the Little Genius all surely starting, plus one from Jenas, Sandros or Palacios. I'd be happy with any of them, but I think JJ might be considered a slightly too adventurous selection. Then VdV and Big Peter up front.

No matter what the formation or tactics tomorrow, at some stage it will be 1-1 and we'll be playing next goal wins. It will be a question of holding our nerve. I will struggle to hold my bladder.

One thing I find strange is that the club has asked everyone to turn up wearing white. Isn't there a danger that it'll look like a Bros concert? Or that the entire stadium has surrendered en masse? Specialist subject for the Italians, surrendering - they're not likely to miss the hint.

The win over there was so glorious, so unexpected and so damn impressive that it felt like an achievement. And in a way, yes it was. But we didn't actually achieve anything, did we? Not a tangible end result.

If we were 1-0 up against Milan at half time (which we are), you'd be pleased and surprised, but not massively confident, right? And if you were Milan and you were going into this 0-1 down, you'd still fancy your chances, right?

There's a myopic misconception that only English teams can rally in the face of adversity, or play with passion, give it some grrrrr. Milan, though, have plenty pride and plenty to be proud of. They will find some fire, and tomorrow night will be an ordeal.

So let's fight fire with fire and get at them. Not in an ugly 'get in their faces' sense (what a shit, over-used expression that's becoming amongst dumb arse media pundits), but in a rampaging, swashbuckling, all-out attacking sense. On Harry's signal, unleash Lennon and Bale.

We've set up an opportunity to get ourselves into a Champions League game that was the word 'final' in its title. That's pretty fucking exciting.

Let's not blow it. Let's rise to the occasion, because if we don't, Pancake Tuesday will be followed by Flat as a Pancake Wednesday.

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