Chas Newkey-Burden, football writer
Over the last three mortifying years, Spurs have swapped places with us in Europe. They’ve basked in the prestige of the Champions League while we’ve been consigned to the naughty-seat Thursdays we once mocked them for. As if this wasn’t hellish enough, they’ve only gone and reached the Champions League final.
But it would be a final indignity if Arsenal supporters developed the same obsessive inferiority complex that Spurs fans had when we ruled the roost. Back in those glory days, they basked in our defeats more than they celebrated their victories. They fixated on our fortunes like envious, Lilywhite-clad bunny boilers.
As Arsenal fans we should be bigger than that. I don’t want us to obsess over Spurs how they once obsessed over us. We should focus on what’s good for us. Winning our first European trophy since 1994 and returning to the Champions League would be very, very good for us.
Beating Chelsea and laughing at Liverpool are always good fun. As for the pain of Spurs winning the big one – well, you’d be surprised by the power of denial once you put your heart into it.
Tim Stillman, Arsenal blogger
I love my team dearly. I am one of the few flying to Baku for the Europa League Final. But, honestly, if you told me now that an Arsenal defeat would guarantee a Spurs defeat in Madrid, I would sign on the dotted line without a moment’s thought.
I don’t like that I feel that way, that I am allowing dislike to colour my choices to this extent. I think football and football fans are taking themselves far too seriously nowadays. I dislike VAR because I think it exposes a sickness at the heart of the game, that football is just too serious now to accept mistakes. But give me a Liverpool win on 1 June. Please.
If this was the Premier League I would give Spurs a pass and enjoy Arsenal winning the Europa League. I have witnessed Arsenal winning the league at White Hart Lane. I could cope. But not the Champions League, they can’t do it before us. No way. This is the worst-case scenario.
I know how I feel is wrong, irrational, illogical and a concession to negativity. But I can’t fight it.
Clive Palmer, contributor to the Arsenal Vision podcast
I want Arsenal to win in Baku even if that means the unthinkable – Spurs winning the Champions League and forever having unwritten permission to place a star over that chicken.
All I care about is Arsenal getting back into the Champions League and returning to the top table of the game. Unai Emery has two years to achieve this – can he do it in one?
If he fails, I fear the recent years of division – ‘Arsène knows best’ and ‘Arsène Out’ – will reappear in the click of a tweet, which is not the best way to turn a page in Arsenal’s history, which absolutely must happen following an era of a generational manager epitomising a time when one man alone could run the club.
A Spurs win in Madrid would hurt but the perception of continued drift at Arsenal would hurt more. No doubt – it is time for us to make a small but important mark in Europe.
Paul Chronnell, Guardian Sport journalist
The curious thing is that most Arsenal fans seem to like Mauricio Pochettino. I haven’t liked a Spurs manager so much since they had George Graham. You can’t logically deny what he has achieved, so he probably does deserve a trophy. But not this one. Please God, not this one.
When Pochettino disparaged the domestic cups earlier this season he sounded like Arsène Wenger about 10 years ago. Back then Spurs were not in the same conversation; it was always about trying to beat Arsenal and hoping we didn’t win too much. How it must have felt for them for all those years. How it feels for us now.
Arsenal fans are in a new reality – a third successive finish outside the top four, shunted aside by Spurs and Liverpool. The one saving grace has been that neither of them have actually won anything. On 1 June that must change.
The Europa League has been fun and winning it would be nice. A European trophy; it’s been a while. And we get to play in the Champions League again. But then Spurs come back with the big one three days later? The one Wenger could never win, the one we may never win? Seriously Liverpool and Chelsea, it’s all yours.
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