There’s little like it. Grown men in absolute joy after winning a title. Jumping up and down like ten year olds. It forces a smile; the happiness is contagious.
But there is sadness in the Arsenal celebrations. Disproportionate, it borders on obscene. This is not the first time Arsenal have reacted to a victory as if they’ve been crowned kings of Europe. Or the Premier League. What is worrying is that they seem to mistake these victories as more sufficient than they are. Worse still, as if they indicate some achievement greater than they do. Some profound step on the road to some more meaningful place. But this has not been true, and no less so here. Arsenal beat a team that did not show up. A team they were supposed to dispatch with ease anyway, if Arsenal themselves just showed up.
And there are Arsenal’s problems in a nutshell: they relish in a glory unbefitting the occasion, and they are as likely to not show up, as do, particularly in important contests against big teams. Take the last four games of the season when they led Man City for second place with a game in hand. Arsenal then managed to lose one against a team much further down the league table and tie one (0-0) against another fending off regulation. We can almost count on Arsenal not to show up, I’m afraid. There is something deep, fundamental, crucial missing from the team. A big hole in its center where it’s heart should be. And these contortive celebrations after vanquishing sub-par opponents causes wonder whether Arsenal are aware of this at all.