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Euro Notes


A moment of inspiration can change games, be it in football, basketball or any other sport. However, when you write, moments as such tend to be Eureka moments, BOOM as Piers Morgan would call it. This moment defines your entire personality and encapsulates you as a person.

180minutes after free-flowing tiki-takas, total annihilations (dodges bullets from Arsenal fans), and hard-earned victories, I felt compelled to write about the new things I learnt; the new ideas and discoveries in football. I didn’t want to get beat up so, I wrote…

The unmatched enthusiasm of Gunner fans before this 2nd leg was quite fascinating. A well worked, hard-earned 1st leg win was a sign (as they called it) but then again, when a Guardiola-led team are your opponents, you need a re-think. Arsenal fans seemed to forget that they only scored after Alonso and Vidal were substituted at the Emirates. The message was clear when the change was made: “you can have this,” Pep said, “but then, there is a second leg where we’d teach you proper football, how to translate possession into goals and how to ‘PLAY FOOTBALL’” as Arsenal claimed they played in the first leg. The breaking point on Wednesday, was when Arsenal fans bemoaned, ‘make we tie possession’. They had forgotten that in the first leg, they willingly surrendered that ‘possession’ and gave no two ‘fucks’ (if I’m permitted to use that word) when they got in among the goals.

The farce that Arsene Wenger had learnt new tricks and now knew how to win big games was beginning to become a huge headline after wins against Man. United & Bayern. However, Wednesday was a reality check, a sad and obvious reminder that the Gunners are way off from being shoulder-to-shoulder with Europe’s elite, given the conditions in which they find themselves at the moment, which includes having to win their last two games and relying on Bayern to do same.

Arsenal or ‘the Gunners’ and their fans need to learn that

i.) Form is temporal
ii.) They need to work their way up to become an independent team (a team that determines other teams’ Champions League fate) and not the other way round.

The Santiago Bernabeu is a fortress, a place where teams dread to go. However, Paris Saint Germain didn’t deserve the result they got in Madrid; their style of play and the mode was way better than the first leg. Better movement, better skill and of course, Angel Di Maria! The Argentine epitomized everything that PSG were on Tuesday: organized, adventurous  determined and a level of play that threatens the trident of Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern. They definitely would need an ounce of luck just like their opponents at some point. If there is anytime le Parisian could win the Champions League, it is with this squad, and a few other touches added and they would be good to go.

Totally different games, these two had. While one was busy putting a master-class show on display, the other was trying not to be so bad. Wayne Rooney may have yet shut the critics up, albeit temporarily, he hasn’t done so permanently. The England international has become a burden of some sorts not only to his team-mates but to the entire Man. United franchise as a whole. It is true, form is temporal and that class is permanent, however, it should be noted that a man beyond redemption is a waste of time, no matter how classy and assured he once was. No matter how beautiful a lady was in her prime, once it fades, it becomes a thing of the past. Yaya Toure, on the other hand, has come to define ‘the Redeemed’, after a rough patch where his football was questioned towards the end of last season. Yaya has played his finest football often times this season, epitomizing Manchester City’s new found zeal at reclaiming their Premier League crown by adapting his football to his club’s way and not the other way round. This is the part where I remember: No player is bigger than the club, no matter the pay.

Rotimi "Papi" Daramola
Rotimi Daramola aka Papi is the owner of ForTheGoal. A freelance sports writer who focuses on football, Rotimi is also a freelance writer, a copywriter and a football analyst who regularly appears on radio to talk football. You can follow him on twitter @rotdav to keep up with his writings and also find out about how you can secure his writing services.

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