August 28th, 2011.
It’s a warm summer Sunday in Croatia.
My boyfriend of a year and a half and I are sitting in his living room, drinking beer, eating crisps and watching football on a poor stream.
It seems like a very nice setting.
His Manchester United were beating my Arsenal 8-2 in quite possibly the worst Arsenal match I had experienced.
You might say that it was the first proper test we had in our relationship, and how did it go?
He was hugging me at full-time and only started joking few hours later, when I stopped being speechless.
I don’t remember what happened on Twitter then, but I’m sure he was more considerate than any Gooner would have been.
I get asked from time to time how is our relationship going, and how can we co-exist.
It is much more interesting when we have different opinions about certain topics
A few weeks ago we spent whole afternoon discussing transfer policies and how his club is everything that’s wrong in modern football. He got a little bit mad, just like I get mad at some of his comments about my club, but that’s understandable.
We tease each other a lot, with me doing it much more than him.
I am more into all of this football craziness than he is, and I’m the one who tends to over-do it and over-react with stuff.
Just like in any relationship, mutual understanding and tolerance is the most important thing. At least when one team loses and other wins, there’s always one to cheer up the other.
This Monday it will be our 11th match between the two sides, with Arsenal winning only ONE.
In five years.
I always thought Sir Alex Ferguson was the biggest threat in the Manchester United team, no matter how great their players were, so, naturally, both last and this season I expected us to win all three matches against.
I was very confident in the build up to the match days, claiming easy wins, our stars beating their average-without-SAF players.
Well, we all know what happened.
We haven’t watched all of the games together, but we will this one.
I dare say this is the biggest one yet.
League matches are very important and tensions are also high, but this is a cup match, you’re in or you’re out.
In last league match earlier this season we were arguing most of the time. He was the quiet one and I was moaning and complaining, for obvious reasons.
Hey, I’d be quiet too if my team was winning without any problems!
Is it my time to shine?
I would love to be confident again.
Honestly, there is no obvious reason I shouldn’t be.
I’ve watched majority of Man United’s matches this season, and they are not playing very well, conceding goals from counter attacks when they’re attacking most of the time (familiar?)
Arsenal, on the other hand, have a good away record, plus there’s that amazing away win at City, Mesut Özil being up for it more than he was last season, and we’re focused on defending the FA Cup.
It is still Manchester United, and we still have that mental block in our heads.
You could see it in the league match at the Emirates.
No matter how good we are or how bad they are, we will let them have the leverage because they are who they are.
There are new players in our team, and in theirs, so maybe that mental leverage will be smaller this time.
We did have an issue with big matches lately, but we’ve won one big away match already this season, maybe we can repeat that on Monday.
“I don’t think so,” he says.
“We are playing better and better, and I’m not sure your team can play against our 4-5-1.“
Ugh, I hate to agree with him when it comes to this.
I am not confident at all this time.
Yes, sure, we could have “our day“ and win it, as we can win against every other team if everything goes well but I’m not sure it will happen on Monday.
It is their biggest match of the season, too.
They are looking more like a team, and Di Maria is due a good performance.
We all know how “lucky“ we are compared to them. The ball is round, anything can happen, but I’m expecting a loss this time.
That won’t stop me from being cocky on Monday, though.
I will still tease my United fan to the maximum and act like we are Champions of the Universe if we score first, and then get angry at him for doing the same when they turn it around.
Hopefully this time they won’t be able to.