We must learn to do own dirty work

AND the moral of the story is; never let anyone fight your battles for you — especially when they can’t even beat you.

I’m sure there will be overdoses of smug Mancunian smirking, and the “Dirk won us 19” lie will be filed alongside that other tripe about Fergie’s perch.

But seriously; short of Reina throwing the ball into his own net (which would be regarded as carelessness, Oscar) how many advantages did this Arsenal side want? Aurelio, Carragher and Carroll off. Gerrard, Agger and Johnson still recuperating. Three teens and one munchkin barely out of them, a penalty deep into lengthy injury time.

All that was missing was the strip-o-gram and a cake.

In fairness, we’d shown no inclination to merely hand over the points. “This time”, he muttered under his breath.

I still haven’t figured out how we escaped national flagellation after last year’s surrender to Chelsea, but at least they seized their opportunity. Arsenal are like watching someone yawn and then feeling sleepy yourself.

Their neat little passing pentangles make everyone drowsy. Thankfully we don’t get these devil/deep blue sea matches very often. As with Blackburn in 1995 we began to feel they weren’t worthy of the prize we especially wanted them to have and went about them accordingly.

Despite Carragher’s prolonged treatment we kept to the task and Suarez had a few opportunities to make Arsenal regret their self-satisfied slapdashery further.

The young full-backs acquitted themselves remarkably well. One presumably spurious piece of media mischief has Dalglish making one major purchase in the summer and putting his faith in the academy to plug the other gaps.

Hogwash, obviously, but a glance at the 6-0 mauling of United’s U18s on Saturday morning suggested it wasn’t that fantastical a notion.

Any player scoring in 13 consecutive games is worthy of recognition, whatever the level, yet Adam Morgan hasn’t even been touted as one of the ‘certs’ in that team.

John Flanagan’s impeccable debut against an admittedly toothless City has whetted the appetite for more cherubic inclusions in the coming weeks. He and Robinson naturally began to wilt around 6pm on Sunday, when but for Carra they’d have already been on their way to McDonald’s for a celebratory treat from Uncle Ken.

That was of course when injury time, and the fun, began. We expected a late winner as that’s the sort of season we’re having on our travels. We didn’t expect an equaliser, nor the time required to score one.

Theatrics are the elephant in football’s spacious, elegantly furnished room. We are now so oblivious to the filth we wallow in that we can no longer smell it for the s**t it is.

The touch/down culture is so endemic that the only response to the likes of Spearing and Eboue is to thrash them soundly for their naivety. If only there was a child around to point at the emperor’s private parts. We had the next best thing in Arsene Wenger. It saved him having to explain why United will soon have six more home wins than Arsenal, and six more titles.

It takes a lot for Scousers not to sympathise with a man trying to delay our worst nightmare. He not only pulled that off but got us revelling in his — and thus our — discomfort.

Dalglish seemed especially piqued: 19-18 means little to him, as he knows the real work begins next year.

We must pray that the era of hoping the likes of Wenger do the business WE were born to do is coming to an end. Schadenfreude has a limited appeal, entertaining in small doses. City’s win was enjoyable, augmented by Scholes’ lunacy (why don’t commentators chuckle when the card is red?) and Rio’s lectures on celebrating with your own.

As if the one face wasn’t bad enough. Poor old Gary Neville; gone but already forgotten… Barcelona may supply an uproarious post script but ultimately it will be a hollow, shallow feeling.

For nearly 20 years, we have put the unpleasant job of pest control out to tender. It’s about time we did our own dirty work.

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