Arsenal’s defeat no laughing matter

As Arsenal stumbled at stuttered to their worst ever Champions League defeat last week, the medium of choice for the clinically insane, Twitter, light up like a flare launched from the bowels of the San Siro.  Spurs fan Peter South analyses the effect.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic completed Arsenal’s humiliation by claiming the fourth goal of the night, a penalty after Johan Djourou had invited the former Barcelona forward to tumble to the ground, but by then the Gunners had already been embarrassed on the grandest possible stage. Even casinos mobile pundits were watching.

“It was a shocking result and a shocking performance. It was of those nights you never forget,” said Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as he examined the ashes of another failed Champions League campaign.

“There was not one moment in the 90 minutes we were really in the game, and it was always the same problem, balls over the top and we were well beaten.”

The Frenchman added of his side’s chances of progressing to the quarter finals: “We don’t play in dream world. There is maybe a 2% or 5% (chance) statistically.”

What struck most however was not the obvious pain of a man who is desperately trying to prop up the house he has spent 16 years building, but the enjoyment some took in his humiliation.

Is there any point in wasting energy at another club’s expense so vigorously that some supporters seem to enjoy it more than a victory for their own team? Is there much enjoyment to be taken from seeing an English side fail so dramatically on the European stage, in front of millions of watching spectators?

Wojciech Szczesny  was open to the most amount of criticism having claimed before the match, in reference to rivals Tottenham’s victory over Milan at the same stage of the competition last year, that if they could do it, so could Arsenal. Cue much mirth from the white half of north London at the Polish shot-stoppers expense.

As ever, Szczesny fronted up after the game, coming out to do a post-match interview as he so often seems to do, and was, as ever, honest and fair in his assessment of the game. For that alone, after a game such as last night’s, surely some credit is due.

There was nothing satisfying about watching a once great side humiliated. There was also nothing to fawn over as one of the greatest men to ever pull on an Arsenal shirt, Thierry Henry, was forced to bawl and scream at his lost team-mates on quite probably his last ever game for the club while Milan run riot, seemingly able to score at will.

Social networks were set ablaze with the cruel tone of mocking and satisfaction in their failings, but I see no reason to celebrate and laugh at their shortcomings, if only such energy was put to positive use. I’m a Tottenham fan, and took no joy whatsoever in Arsenal’s public capitulation.

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