For the past few weeks (some would say months) it has been difficult being an Arsenal fan. Particularly as I have mentioned before, having Chelsea and Tottenham fans as members of senior management. Well last night was the return of the good old Arsenal. Even I thought we would be lucky at most to get away with a draw from the Bernabeu. Usually when there is a big game on in the evening, my mind wonders during the course of the day. Today I didn’t have a chance, it was just so busy and I was running on pure adrenaline at times to get all the things done. Normally I would have time to read up on all the stats before the game, find out what the Madrid had been saying to the papers and get ready with some minor build up, just before I left work. I left much later than usual, not getting into my car until well past 6.30pm, but it just meant by the time I got home, changed, the kick off was minutes away. Before I mention the game itself, I must announce to the world this slight discretion. Now Chris Williams, my colleague (incidentally has started his own blog over at MSN Spaces ) in the mid afternoon quiet period admitted that he was rooting for the Spanish giants. Fair enough. But when a colleague inquired for reasons for this decision, he came out with a response that even my 12 year old sister, with very little knowledge of soccer would be ashamed of. David Beckham. “He’s hasn’t won anything since his move in 2003, and I feel he should..” My colleague and I looked at each other in disbelief and didn’t know whether to fall to the fall in a hysterical fit of laughter or burst out crying. Now, please please do not get me wrong. I think DB7 is an excellent player and one of the best (but not complete) midfielder’s this country has ever produced. He gets a lot of bad press, but people forgot how many holes he has dug England out of, over his decade at the top of the game. However, he has already won the European Cup with Manchester United and the fact that you feel pity on the poor East London lad for not picking up any winners medals in his relatively short time on the continent is just ludicrous. For someone who appreciates (and when not injured plays) the game, at a amateur level, this opinion was not just unfounded but a complete joke. Next you will be saying you like to watch Woodgate in La Liga, just because he is English.
We needed a big game from our senior players and for the younger, rather inexperienced players to put on the shirt and fight with no fear. Henry was going to be crucial and I knew before the game that he would have to have great day at the office, if were to be even half as effective as required. My original apprehensions were put to rest within minutes of the kick off, Reyes was clean through and had a decent shot on goal saved. This was going to be a great game. The news reports tell the tale. It was a night that we broke the record, by being the first English, correction British side to beat Real Madrid in their own back yard. More importantly we looked like the unbeatable team from two years ago, quick interplay, sharp passing and constantly looking for the killer counter attack. I have to admit that it was the best overall team performance all season long. I think this is just what the doctor ordered, a good confidence boost, particularly to the younger members of the squad, to tell them, “Yes we can beat the unbeatable…yes we are Arsenal…one of the greatest teams in Europe”.
During the course of the second half, I was speaking to Daniel over in Singapore. It was a crazy hour in the morning and he had got up to watch, ‘his team from Spain’ live on television. Shame he got up to late and missed out on a first half which saw his team look like the away side. For once, his prediction (like much of the football press, was inaccurate and he was forced to eat some humble pie. Victory is so sweet. Though I must not get carried away, for it is only half time and there is still another ninety minutes to be played at Highbury. I wonder how we will fair with our first choice eleven back? March 8th, pencil that date in your diary, football fans.
In other news away from the most popular game on the planet (and the universe!). A few things to mention, but I will keep my ramblings brief. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Kanye West, whom I mentioned in my update last Friday, has been hand picked by Tom to record the theme for the upcoming (May 5th, or rather more fashionably, 05.05.06) Mission: Impossible 3 soundtrack. Now, if you consider, the Brits performance alone, West will, I am sure come up with something truly amazing and deliver the goods for the soundtrack, that will be the blockbuster of the summer, if not the year. Us fans have been waiting eagerly for the third and final (?) installment in the espionage trilogy. Yet, you have to see the ingenuity of Cruise with the franchise. Each has it’s own director and therefore it’s own style, but also it’s own genre of sound. Hip hop, will go well with the movie, having already seen the trailer. If you want a laugh, just go and read this review and then begin to picture Tom telling Kanye that he just ‘killed it man!’. Classic.
I am now officially addicted to FlickR constantly searching for tagged images of various subjects. I have become fascinated with the idea of creating photo mosaics, to the point I have downloaded software to create my own. The idea is simple, you select a source image, which will then be used as the base for the new photo mosaic. Then you click a button, and enter in the tags you want downloaded. The program then downloads hundreds and hundreds of small thumbnail images to be used. A little tweaking, involves changing the size of the clip art titles and there you go, you have a photo mosaic, that from a distance will look just the same as the source image, but only when you zoom in can you see it is in fact made up of tiny photographs. I will not mention my first attempt, the image was too rich in colour and the final result does not reflect the source image. However my second and third attempt, I am proud of and, in a strange way they reflect the topics discussed in this entry.
Rather feeble attempts, I agree, but I’m getting better and will continue to be as creative as I can. You can view the original images over on my FlickR account. My plan would be get a picture of Theirry Henry and then create a mosaic using only 201 of goals for Arsenal. That would be amazing and something I would get printed professional and framed. For the time being I experiment and learn. The second image, is Aeon Flux, the movie I was hoping to see last weekend (as it opened on 17th February) but I have already booked tickets for the Sunday at my favourite local cinema, the Vue at the Oracle, Reading. I can’t wait, there is just something about watching a new superhero for the first time that brings me out in a hot sweat.
Everyone has a mate called, Dave and mine sent me this exclusive picture of the new Punto Grande Abarth to be released in the summer. However, if you want to raise the temperature to sizzling hot you will have to wait until another year, for the 2.0 litre 240bhp edition to be released. When I was considering the purchase of the Stilo Abarth in the middle of last year, the specs (which I think remain unchanged) are 2.4 litre and only 170bhp. Maybe good things do come to those that wait. Having said that, originally when I first saw the pictures of the Grande, I was not impressed. Even now, it looks slightly like a Ford Fiesta. Although over time and having seen the advert several times on television, I think it does look quite striking for a small car.