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A Tale of Two Hearts

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.

Reading this you would have thought Dickens was an Arsenal supporter at full time yesterday. I can only speak for myself but I believe you'll find we have a lot in common when I tell you that all those emotions were felt by me yesterday during the match. I've heard the phrase "the agony of defeat" but if ever a win caused agony it was our win yesterday. I had predicted an easy win (Nostradamus I clearly am not). What we got was 90 minutes (plus stoppage time) of sheer terror and finally elation followed by exquisite relief.

After living through that match I am honestly not sure which waiting list will be longer tomorrow, the one for Arsenal season tickets or the one for Arsenal supporters to fill their prescription of high blood pressure medication. Honestly, did any of you not feel your heart about to explode out of your chest until full time? I was literally shaking. I could actually hear my heart beat. Let me tell you, it sounded closer to a military drumroll than a normal cardiac rhythm. I'm not sure my heart has slowed down yet a day later. But, the boys did it! Arsenal are Champion's League bound and we all get to celebrate another glorious St. Totteringham's Day. I have a really good friend who watches the matches with me (sort of). In truth we both watch the match at our homes and iMessage each other during. The last ten minutes of the match you could have heard a cyber pin drop because our conversation went so quiet. But, at full time, we both told each other that we were weeping tears for our beloved Arsenal. Neither of us cared that 4th isn't a trophy. THIS year it sure as hell felt like one.

In time we will appreciate the magnitude of what this team accomplished to get back to 4th place. The heart they showed to the finish despite almost insurmountable odds deserves our praise. We all thought, even if we didn't say it out loud, that after the Spurs loss, finishing top 4 was out of our reach. I am so glad that the squad never gave up. What did they do from there? Only go 10 matches unbeaten to finish out the season. They got 26 out of 30 available points. Their points per game were among the best in Europe in the last 11 matches at 2.4ppg. All credit to Spurs, we needed every last one of those points to finish a mere point in front of them. But, finish in front of them we did and it is all down to the team's and especially our wonderful Arsène Wenger's heart. I said after the match that this may be his finest work as our manager. I tweeted that he deserved sainthood. I had my moments of doubt this season as many of you did as well but I will NEVER be that foolish again. No one can ever question his love for this club. His heart is Arsenal DNA.

So now that we have Champion's League next year we can eventually kick on and do the business of strengthening the squad that has been promised by Ivan and Arsene. I for one need a break or I will be as dead as spuds hopes of keeping Gareth Bale. So as far as I'm concerned... is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.

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