In the wake of Arsenal's 2-1 win over Liverpool on Saturday, I can't help but think that we're starting to peak at absolutely the right time. Sure, the blue cunts have the Premiership wrapped up, and it's also true that neither the FA Cup nor the League Cup will grace the marble halls of Highbury before our final move to Ashburton Grove. However, arguably the biggest one of all is still out there to be had...and, over and over to myself, I keep asking one question:

"Why not us?"

Sure, the negative shitheads among us will run down quite the laundry list of reasons...we're too young, we're too old, there's no such thing as Juve or Milan or Barca having a bad night, we can't score, Henry is definitely leaving, etc etc etc. Seriously, I don't know how you live like that. Stifling realism has its place in the "real world"...relationships probably will fail, friends will inevitably disppoint you at some point, your job will eventually become unfulfilling, you name it. However, what's supposed to be the great thing about sports is that in most cases, there is always some ray of hope. Sure, if you're a Sunderland supporter, there's not much I can tell you (other than you have a good chance to come right back up and maybe re-tool for the Premiership a little better next time). In our case, though, why not us?

I couldn't help but laugh at Derek Rae's Soccernet piece in which he admits that he expected Real Madrid to roll all over us. Of course, he's seen Madrid a bunch of times this season, and probably hasn't seen all that much of us - you know how it is with those ESPN dilettantes. Unless you're Madrid or Manchester, they couldn't give a fuck. Sure, if you landed from the planet Zarg and someone explained to you that we had most of our back four out injured, then yeah, you'd be inclined to think that the Madrid of old would roll right over us. Oh...wait...that would mean they were the Madrid of old. Ronaldo is more likely to win a hot dog-eating contest at this rate than he is to win another European title. Zidane is a ghost of his former self. Their back line is largely a joke, held together with duct tape and the tireless work of the awesome Gravesen in front of them. They have no plan, no consistency, and not much to really offer anymore (seriously, if I'm Iker Casillas, I'm bailing to somewhere in Italy or England at the earliest possiblity). Meanwhile, Senderos is mostly solid despite the occasional mistake, Eboue has really come into his own at right back, and Flamini has gone way above the call filling in at left back. Toure, of course, has been his usual massive self. If anyone actually WATCHED this back four for a few weeks, they'd see that they are quite underrated.

In midfield, the rapidly-blossoming brilliance of Fabregas has more than made up for the shortcomings of Gilberto, Reyes and Pires (as well as Diaby's recent inability to break into the side). On the wings, Freddie and Hleb haven't set the world on fire, but they've been full of running, tireless in tracking back, and have mostly done OK in linking defense to attack. Speaking of attack, you can't ever write us off as long as we have Thierry Henry (Oh we have Thierry Henry...Thierry Henry...Thierry Henry). It doesn't help that Adebayor is cup-tied, but here's hoping that van Persie is back soon and ready to go. if we can get him healthy and scoring goals, we're going to be a handful for even the best defenses in Europe.

That's the thing, also. I don't see how people can think that we will struggle against sides that will let us play our game. If someone in Europe figures out that all they have to do is incessantly foul and kick us off the park, we'll have a much more difficult time (of course, Vieira's presence on Juventus makes this a worrying possibility). But, our form is turning...that Liverpool game is one we would have found a way to lose earlier in the season, gift from Gerrard or not. Fulham away was a potentially-tricky match, and we mauled them. The lads are playing with spirit and tenacity, so why not us?

No, seriously...if someone can convince me why not us, leave a comment down yonder. You'd be wrong, but I'd be interested to hear it regardless.


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