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We are by far the greatest team, the world has ever seen

By Walter Broeckx

20.45 (our local time) I sit in front of my TV with my sons full of anticipation for this game. When the players come out I can hear the Emirates full of noise. I see a lightshow in the stadium. I see thousand Arsenal flags. I send my telepathic thoughts to those 57.000 Arsenal fans in the Emirates. And I ask the 11 players on the pitch not just to be Gunners today. No I ask them to be Gooners. I ask them to be supporters of our great club. Play like the fans, play for the fans.

Sitting on the edge of my seat.  Cesc to Van Persie….. ooooohhhhh the keeper saves.  Okay this is a much better start than last year.  My nerves are beginning to calm edown.  Messi on goal no please don’t and he didn’t. I think Szczesny spread himself well there.

I can hear the Emirates buzzing and shouting and singing. Great work you Gooners over there.  I here you shouting loud and clear. You are doing your part. Messi with a ball to Villa and he scores. Oh, no…  Some swearing, some grumbling.  Well you could expect a goal from Barcelona. But the players are playing their heart out.  They chase, they run, they work. This is what we want to see. But we struggle against Barcelona that is playing keep the ball. A familiar game but most of the time it us doing it.  We try but Barcelona are always threatening on the counter. Szczesny is doing a great job.

But when the first half last year was a bit embarrassing, this time the game is more even. Barcelona have most of the possession but we had our chances to score. Let us keep the faith.

Second half and Arsenal looks ready to battle all the way.  The players are giving it all. And I don’t know how it sounded in the Emirates but in my house it was a great atmosphere. The fans were singing and supporting the players.  Library??? My ass!  I don’t want to read a book in this library.

But still 0-1 behind but you could see that we were getting the upper hand. You could feel that the support lifted our players. They didn’t want to let themselves and you Gooners out there down.  On came Bendtner and Arshavin. Wise move to take Song off to prevent him getting a second yellow card and Walcott couldn’t get through the Barcelona  defenders.  And the Emirates kept on singing. And the Emirates kept on supporting.  And the players kept on fighting.

And then Clichy with a very nice lofted ball to Van Persie. Only Bendtner in the box coming to goal. The keeper anticipated the cross and made a fatal error and moved away from his first post. And Robin took his chance and went for the small gap between post and a completely surprised goal keeper: GGGOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  There he is just when you need him! ROOOOBBBIIIIINN VAN PERSIE!!!!!!!!!  When Belgium beat Argentina the world champions in NOu Camp in the first game of the world cup in Spain a long time ago a famous Flemish match commentator shouted a few times when Erwin Vandenbergh scored the only goal of the game: “Daar is em’ which translated in English means: “There he is, there he is!  and he did it”! It felt just the same.

Delirium in our living room. Me jumping  up and down. My sons jumping up and down. We shout as hard as we can. My wife knew we had scored. I could feel the Emirates vibrating from over here some 300 km away from you Gooners over there. And the songs were sung louder. My match reporter talked about the great atmosphere in the Emirates. This is thanks to you over there! You made us proud.

You could feel that Barcelona started doubting. What to do? Try to win? Try to keep it like that? They tried to go forward but our defenders stood their ground.  It wasn’t always great vintage but it was enough to keep Barcelona away.

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And then a great pass from our captain to Nasri who was supposed to play a more holding role but who had seen the gap. He wasn’t at his sharpest yet so the defenders could close him down. But then the class of a super player showed. He waited and looked at the players coming near. Van Persie… no to much defenders. Arshavin? Yeah, let’s give the ball to the little Russian magician.  And when the going gets tough, the tough get going and our little Russian who should have been sold by some in January just turned the ball in the net. 

GOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL ANDREY ARSHAVIN!!!!!! The scenes at my home were incredible.  But it was nothing compared to what I saw in the Emirates.   The director made some great shots of the joy from you Gooners. I’m sure you must have felt the Emirates shaking.  It was great to see so much joy on your faces.

I heard you singing: “we’ve got Cesc Fabregas”  that should teach them. I heard you singing about Arshavin and to f*ck that money grabbing idiot that once played for us.  I heard you shouting Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal….

And most of all I heard you signing: AND IT’S ARSENAL, ARSENAL FC, We ARE BY FAR THE GREATEST TEAM THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN. And maybe never ever has this been more true than today. When you beat what is supposed to be the best team in the world, then you can sing this. 

Tonight was a night they can never take away from us. I know the job is only half done.  I know we still await a difficult game in Barcelona. But this could be a very big win. This should make the players realise that they can beat any team in the world. Even Barcelona.

Thanks to you Gooners out there in the Emirates for making it a hell for Barcelona and for lifting our players. And thank to you Gunners who made this possible.  Thank you Szczesny for a great performance. Thank you Eboue for working as hard as you can and for giving it all. Thank to that great friendly giant Djourou who stood his ground. Thank you Koscielny for showing that you really belong to Arsenal and those who still doubt him after this performance can go away and support another club.  Thank you Clichy for that great pass to Van Persie and for defending like a mad dog at times.

Thank you Song and we know this early booking hampered you in your play. Thanks to Cesc for another great pass for our second goal and for working hard. Thanks to Walcott because maybe it didn’t show in the Emirates but you worked very hard to support the midfield and Eboue. Thank you Nasri for being such a great player and for coming back so soon and for your vision with the second goal. Thank you Arshavin for your cool taken goal. Thank you Super Nick for working your socks off.

And thank you Robin for your class and genius with that goal. And most of all: thank you Little Jack. Oh my God how he rattled and battled and I saw some impressing things for a 19 year old player against the best team in the world.  Can you believe that he can only get better? Now that is a mouth watering thought.

I really cannot remember having been so proud of our boys and for the way they worked and turned the game in our favour. I really cannot remember having been so proud of the Gooners in the Emirates. Thank you Arsenal! Thank you for a great night!

60 comments to We are by far the greatest team, the world has ever seen

  • gooner80

    AND they about arsenals character to be 1-0 down at half time to barca was impressive.

    Barca have no stamina and when we got at their back four they looked vulnerable if you think about the previous games barca had to hit us early and try and contain us second half


  • gooner80

    how many gooners have lost their voice

    great write up WALTER

  • Jerom J.

    Cant agree more Walter, that was an awesome performance both by our players and the fans! I was in my room all alone watching the match and throwing my arms out and jumping about like an idiot had someone else saw me without a clue on whats happening.. hahah!

  • Hamad

    We have Fabregas, Van Persie, Arshavin, Nasri,Walcott, Song and WENGERRRRR.
    A night to remember.

    Thanks for this great article too.

  • IndianGooner

    Wonderfully put Walter.. Couldn’t have put it better… Thank you to Arsene, Arsenal, the players, and mostly to the Gooners who were indeed the 12th man tonight..

    Having said that, F*ck you to the Farca players for going down like flies and for play-acting and to the ref who I left wasn’t the unbiased one I thought we would get.

    Walter, I’m waiting for your ref review for tonight’s game..

  • thaiDeviant

    I watched this at 2.45 a.m. here in Thailand – what a game! First half was nearly all Barca but I thought we defended very well. Once we got the first goal, Barca seemed at a loss as to what happened; they certainly weren’t expecting it. Guess they thought taking a 1-0 lead back to Spain was OK. The second goal capped a perfect evening for the team and supporters. Jack W was immense as was Laurent K. In fact, the whole team played well. Soooooooooooooooooooooo happy!

  • burtsagooner

    Summed up brilliantly, best night at the emirates by far anyone reading this who was there give yourselfs a pat on the back, never has the term ‘the 12th player’ been more apt, tonight you were awesome, more of the same please! What a game my throats in bits as is my girlfriends ears,and probably the neighbours. Think they better get used to it! :):):):)

  • meaner

    Nice piece of article. Koscielny is my MOTM.

  • Bongo

    Videos of the goals 🙂 So happy right now, I watched this match in a pub full of Barcelona supporters.

  • ak47

    nice1waltz, indeed thank the lads, they give us moments like newcastle, but more than balance it out with nights like this!

    jack is surreal.

  • ps

    barca was always going to dominate the game. our game plan was to focus, defend, press, grab the goals and run.

    those barca guys cldnt keep up the pressing and the high line for 90 min against an arsenal who was equally fit, if not fitter. our top 2 speedsters, walcott and nasri, are gg to continue to terrorise them, bleah

    and i realised today that barca looks only like an above average team without messi. they lack the attacking instinct which ALL our 10 outfield players possess. now it was fab who put that pass through for iniesta in the world cup.

    who said arsenal was barcalona-lite? they are so wrong. i dun want arsenal to be like barca, honestly. we dun want to be like barca, we are not barca and we do not intend to be barca. another 90min at nou camp is what separates this arsenal team from greatness. what better way to herald our arrival than to get a win at nou camp?

    they can have the possession and we will have the goals, thank you.

  • Cayne

    Thankyou to all the incredible Gooners at Emirates tonight, your support picked up the boys and led them home. From my living room this morning (local time) in Australia I could feel the energy and passion. What a way to start the day!

  • MalaysianGooner

    Yeah!! Great comeback from the Gunners… Agreed to IndianGooner, can’t wait for the referee report!

  • Airport


    Having been concentrating on the performance of referees over the past few weeks, don’t you think although the man i charge was a little niggly, he was at least consistent. Also although the linesman got one decision incorrect and incorrect to the fortune of Arsenal, the other decisions were spot on. In a match of such tempo and defenders playing such a high line, would that be the case in the premiership? I doubt it. Finally two halves, zero injury time in the first, two minutes in the second, that is how it should be, no pandering to time wasters, no Fergie time, spot on.

  • Ingo Marchand

    i am also very excited but feel we gave the ball away too easily few times and stil played bit scared. room to improve. jack is the lad, and more young english coming through. england saved by arsene wenger lmao
    nice article walter

  • MalaysianGooner

    Kyle Bartley could be as good as than Song or maybe better. At least that what I’ve heard from Rangers’ fans. Nonetheless, there are lot to come from Arsenal’s Academy, world-class players in the making!!!


    NICE POST! I was at the pub with six of my friends, me and my gooner pal + 5 BARCA fans. hahah their faces after AA goal and our celebration! That was fucking best moment of the year so far.
    One proud gooner right now!

    damn that second goal was nice, fabre’s touch was so soft before the breaking pass to samir.



  • I was at work and couldn’t see it. Had to follow it on Arsenal Mania. For once, the 5-hour time difference benefits me, because I’ll need it to get to sleep tonight.

    I think a lot of people have learned how to pronounce Shuh-CHEZ-nee and Koh-ZHEL-nee tonight. And now, as someone on Arsenal Mania said, even Mario Balotelli knows who Jack Wilshere is!

  • villa scored and i thought here we go again… playing catch up … rvp’s misses.. i knew i was in for a long night.. 2 goals in the matter of 8 mins.. and boy was i screaming my lungs out.. i washugging people i did not know!!! great result.. character and heart.. boys did great! and its my birthday today! could not have asked for a better present.. KEEPING THE FAITH!! UP THE GUNNERS!!!

  • D-Gooner

    As TheGoonerholic on Twitter said it; “Laurent Koscielny just went to throw his shorts in the laundry hamper and Messi was still in his pocket.” What a game it was by our boys…. this now is what I call mental strength, great togetherness and very spirited! Watched the game at the pub and screamed as loud as I ever did when we scored the goals. Oh my God… what a game now, let’s go and show them what we are all about at Nou Camp.

  • xD

    LK6 LK6 LK6!!!!!!

  • Bongo

    Did anyone else notice that Arshavin had a t-shirt with a picture of himself doing his ‘Shhhh’ celebration on it? hahaha legend!

  • slim

    Best night of my life- woke up at 3am, watched the game in my room with 5 of my friends, and when Shava scored we just went absolutely crazy! And has anyone noticed that we scored in the 78th and 83rd minute, exactly when Barca scored in Paris so long ago to break our hearts? Talk about poetic justice

  • Paddy

    Big props to the fans at the Emirates. I’m almost speechless at the moment, I roared so loud, as Nasri made that pass…and saw Arshavin run on to it, …time stopped…and it goes, definately in need of a lozenge or 10. I know the jobs only half done, but I think tonight anyone associated with Arsenal, fans, players, management, etc should be immensely proud. In Arsene we Trust.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Brilliant !Fantabulous performance !Only RVP would have the audacity to score from such an almost impossible angle !Well done all !

  • Gooneraside

    I sit here in the US, on holiday. Yes, I know, February is not the best time to go away from watching The Arsenal, but still I did – and still I watch. Unlike 7amkickoff, I’m on the east coast, so it’s 10am kickoff, and, what’s more, they show many games (Fox football and ESPN).
    I had to watch and hang my head after a 4-4 draw, but a 2-0 win soon restored my faith.
    And, being married to a Barca fan, I have to keep quiet when I hear how they are the best team on the planet, we have no chance, why bother?

    We go 1 nil down and I keep quiet, van P scores and I shout and then I keep quiet, Arschavin scores and I shout louder and then keep quiet, the game ends and I keep quiet but my face reveals my real thoughts.

    I then hear “It’s only the away game – we will still win.” and I keep quiet.

    But I know in my heart that Barca now fear us. We are still in with a chance – not just of the CL, but of the quadrupal.

    O.K., so I am, have always been, and always will be a Gooner (aside or not), and it won’t break my heart if we don’t go on to win the CL or even if we win nothing, after 50+ years of being a Gooner, tonight was one more night of pride.

    They fear us as a footballing side.

    What more could we want?

    Just enjoy it, you real fans, let those plastic fans complain because, well, that’s what they do.

  • Dark Prince

    In Arsene we believe!!!!
    Barca had all the possession and passes to their side…but we had something that they didn’t have – The Fighting Spirit!!!! Gunners for life

  • Gf60

    Well summed up Walter. Think I’m still pissed so can’t say too much.

  • Chowdhury

    @Jerom J –> I promise you that you were not the only one jumping up and down alone in the middle of the night. 🙂

    Oh what a feeling to be a Gooner. Anyone wondering about the meaning of “Euphoria” please contact me.

    This result goes to show what we are really capable of doing when we play a fair game. I am sure you all catch the drift, but I am not going to waste my time on negativity today. I didn’t stay up till 4 AM for this. Leave that to the “Le Pretender”s. I simply am going to enjoy every iota of this “history”. Like Walter said, you can never take this away from us. NEVER.

    Thank God for In Arsene We Believe.


  • Alok Thapliyal

    If Chelsea win turned our season..just imagine what a boost this win would prove to be n at what a crucial time..Quadruple?? hell yeah!! Go Gunners!!

  • Udobia Udobia

    Good work Walter. It was another nyt 4 me in paradise. Up GUNNERS.

  • ozziearsenal

    Walter absult great write up that feeling went all around the world I am in Australia it been a long wait to do a bit off fist pumping and payback for the final we lost in the CL a few years ago BRAVO to the players thank you.

  • Bexxy

    My head hurts, but what a night! Wilshire was unbelievable! Despite being 2nd best, nobody can deny we deserve our half time lead

  • Chowdhury

    Sell Arshavin, he is no good.
    Sell RVP. He is always injured.
    Sell Song, he is no good.
    Sell Clichy, he doesn’t know how to defend.
    Sell Sagna, he can’t cross. Oh he didn’t play? fine, then sell whoever replaced him cause he ain’t good either.
    Sell Cesc.

    Send Wishere back to Bolton, We got enough kids in the team.
    Who the f#@$ is Koscielny? He is french. Get rid of him.

    Buy Carlton Cole/Darren Bent to replace RVP.
    Buy Scott Parker to replace Song.
    Buy Phil Jagielka to replace JD.
    Buy some English thug like Shawcross to “add some steele” to the team.
    Buy anyone to replace our keepers. And I mean ANYONE.

    To top it all, Wenger OUT.

    Change our team with Chel$ki or Manures. What do you mean you can’t do that? Why not? I do that all the time on my PS3 and I NEVER EVER loose a single game or have a bad game or an injured player or a bad call by the ref and ALWAYS win all the games and tournaments. If Arsene can’t do better than me, he should go.

    By the way, I have a blog where I tell you who should play and who we should buy/sell and for how much. Do visit it.

    Break over folks, I gotta go back to flipping burgers. Ciao.

  • siphesihle

    By far the best birthday present i could have ever asked for!!!

  • ugandan goon

    i have never seen gooners celebrate so completely!
    the last time i saw people loose it like that was tottenham on the night now notoriously immortalised in a DVD!
    lif is beautiful again.
    @ walter,
    i thought the ref and his assistants were a bit tough on us and i remember asking whether the way to swing a game would be to nullify a defence by booking defenders early?
    can we expect a ref watch?- we need you walter, come out and play!

  • ugandan goon

    oi! chowdury,
    Arsenal for everyone!- even fast food technicians.

  • critic

    nobody pointed to the obvious. Rubin kazan has also beat brothelona. Does that make them best team?
    Important thing is we beat them without changing our philosophy. We beat them in their own game.


  • walter

    Yes a ref watch is what you will get later today if all goes well.

  • Jonny

    Bloomin’ eck critic – way to go on the buzz kill man!

  • imagooner

    Great article Walter ! It echo’s every Gooners thought around the world. I didnt get to sleep yesterday and have watched the game thrice until now. The amound of confidence that the team would get from this win is huge and makes Arsene’s job a bit easier in the matches to come 🙂

  • walter

    I also noticed the fact that at the end of the game the stadium still was full. I think nobody left early this time.

  • Terence McGovern

    What an atmosphere in the stadium last night.
    The singing never stopped and the “we have Cesc fabregas” at the end was classic.

    Jack Wilshere announced himself to the football world last night.

    I particularly enjoyed that our second goal resulted from Messi losing the ball carelessly. Perhaps Xavi should have a word.

    Enjoy the feeling everybody. It has been a long time coming.

  • goonerbangladesh

    watched the game till 4 am here in Dhaka,Bangladesh. When Arshavin’s strike got in, it got me literally screaming and was scared I woke up people…What a night..

  • Denilson

    What happened last night?

  • swikrath

    ^^ LOL, you were on the bench weren’t you?

  • swikrath

    OOoooh to be a goooner!!

  • zayyaf90

    great article . great game . great goals . great jack !

  • Francis

    Amazing. My mouth was wide open. A match that you will never forget as a true Arsenal fan.

  • Padar

    Great Article…
    So proud to be an Arsenal fan!!
    Every player was brilliant & every fan magnificent…
    Thank You Arsenal FC!!

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Great article. I see you thanked everyone: all the players and the fans too. But you left out two important personalities. So, I help you to complete the vote of thanks:
    Thank you Wenger for picking the boys youngn for training them to play the game the Arsenal wayn for keeping the faith with them, for encouraging them to believe and therefore for seeing this end product well ahead of anyone of us and for the knowledge that with you, there is still miles of improvement ahead.
    Thank you GOD for yesternight, you had you gooners shirt on. It was so beautiful on you, you don’t need to change shirts except during our away games when that very beautiful gooners away shirt will do just fine too.
    At a time like this, I wish the more pessimistic fans will store this game in their most accessible memory bank let it temper their despondence when, once in a while, we play well below our potential.

  • Sammy The Snake

    So happy to see Gooners enjoying the victory.
    Go Gunners, Go!

  • FinnGooner

    Great article again Walter. I too am keen to read ref review.
    I actually missed some parts of the match because I did try to sleep (on couch with TV on mute and Arsenal TV Online playing on my laptop). After I heard there was only 16 minutes left and I was still awake I decided to watch the rest of the match 20 minutes less sleep is nothing. I had hard time not to scream and shout and jump with goals by RvP and AA23 (it was past 11 pm and this woman living in below me is annoying and complains everything). Needless to say after sleeping 4 hours and few minutes (had to wake up 5 am, and with Finland being 2 hours ahead of London that was too soon) I was tired I was drinking energy drinks just to stay up at work.
    I will be watching whole match now when I’m not so tired anymore. I too want to thank all the Gooners and Gunners at Emirates last night.

  • Chrissie

    Thank you Arsenal for an unforgettable night and thank you all you gooners there at the Emirates. Thank you ITV for bringing this to my home, thank you for Vieira being there and no doubt sending positive vibes to the team and thank you Walter for a brilliant write-up of the game. Pictures that will be forever in my mind is Van Persie’s celebration of his goal and his hug for Wenger and Szczesny going wild.
    What a night!

  • Andy Mack

    Singing ‘Hands off cesc fabregas’.

  • Zulu Gooner

    excellent article , thanks. Onward and upward. praise be to Wenger

  • The Blaze

    At this rate, Wilshere will become a legend. I have never seen a 19-year old play like that.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    My sister said: ‘You know, this is one of those rare nights when we will be able to say, in years to come, that WE WERE THERE!’

    It was by far the best atmosphere, sustained over 90 minutes, that the Emirates has hosted to date. Or Arsenal Stadium, as we are obliged to refer to on UEFA Champions League nights….

    It was the best football match, namely a match between two excellent sides who didn’t give an inch and didn’t expect to receive on either, that I’ve seen live.

    And it had more people than I’ve ever seen packed into the stadium before, which made the announcement that the crowd was less than 60,000 rather mystifying. Who cares about that, though?

    Club deck was loud. People had drunk wine, not eaten prawn sandwiches. ‘And who are you when you are at home?’ was roared rather more simply and gutterally than the translation here….Real Madrid was considered a suitable home for former mercenaries……my neighbour but one risked visiting A+E by smashing his fist into the roof above when Arshavin scored. I sympathised, having done likewise in years past. Luckily I was too useless at standing high jump to risk hitting my skull up there……

    Pique is out for the return, so perhaps Puyol and Abidal will form another new central pairing. It will hopefully keep the Burnley-esque Maxwell at left back……

    Arsenal have plenty of videos of their forebears to look at between now and then. Real 0 TH14 1; Inter 1 Arsenal 5; Juventus 0 Arsenal 0; Roma 1 Arsenal 1, including penalties; lessons in all of them, advancement in all of them.

    But for now: remember THAT flick from Wilshere to Fabregas…..

  • zubeir


  • GoonerTerry

    Nerves of steel this team. There is no team fitter too. Barca the myth can beat you before the game even starts. But our team realized in the second half that Barca was actually scared of them! Yes their players were nervous once we started to get after them. My commentator at one stage said: ” Barcelona is on the rack..let me say that again, Barcelons is on the rack!” and then we scored the winner! Magic..