By Myles Palmer
I think Bayern Munich is a door.
It’s a door that Arsenal have to go through. It’s a door that they have to go through to make up for all the other doors that they didn’t go through.
Dynamo Kiev at Wembley was a door. But Arsenal were outplayed and lucky to draw 1-1.
Barcelona was a door but they were unlucky at the start and lost 4-2.
Fiorentina was a door but Batistuta slammed it in their faces with a late wondergoal.
Bayern at Highbury was a door they opened with two goals,but blew it and drew 2-2.
So tonight’s game against the cheating, moaning, diving Germans and Germanised Brazilians, is a door.
So far Arsenal have had three years of not going through the door. Knocking on the door. Looking through the letterbox. Trying the handle. Peeping through the keyhole. Posting a letter promising to come back and try the door later. They have done everything except go through the door.
If Arsenal can go through this door it will take all meaning out of the past. They can enter another room.
They can join the top eight clubs.They can join the top eight clubs in Europe by beating one of the top eight.
They can finally go through the door and arrive in the magic room they should have entered three years ago.
After that anything is possible. Anything is possible in football.
Well, almost anything. The Germans will never stop diving -we know that is not possible.
Did you see Bierhoff’s dive over the Deportivo keeper last night? Pathetic. Embarrassing.Desperate cheating.
But Hugh Dallas fell for it and gave a penalty and Shevchencko scored and Milan drew 1-1 . And they still went out ! YES! Proof that diving is bad karma !
Conclusion? Germans will always dive. But it won’t always work.
13th March 2001.