Sunday 17 April 2011

RIP Danny - let's win this for him

There are certain times when one sees sport put firmly into perspective and Danny Fiszman's sad death this week was one of those moments. Many glowing tributes have since emerged and I feel it appropriate to repeat a small piece of them here:

"Danny did an enormous amount for this Club. He came on the Board in 1992 and he was a visionary Director. He and I became very close friends, we travelled to all the away matches together and in the year 1999 we first embarked upon the new stadium project. He and I were delegated by the Board to lead that and I really could not have had a better person to work with. He was highly intelligent, he was good at everything he did and I was very fond of him. He was a very special man."

These are Ken Friar's words and he is a man I have a lot of respect for. Although my insider knowledge is limited, on the few moments when I have written to the club, they have always responded with politeness and though, Ken Friar is clearly a key part of the class act that is Arsenal Football Club.

Some people keep criticising the club for a certain lack of communication and they have a point to a degree. Still one must always understand that part of the club's tradition is the stiff upper lip and a dignified silence on occasions when it would be much easier to come out with a poorly thought out and reactionary response.

Fiszman seemed to personify the understated dignity of the club and he did so much excellent work in a similarly understated manner. He sold on his shares to Stan Kroenke and I see this as his final sensible act, although some doubt the American's intentions, I reckon Danny was a pretty fine judge of character and I hope this will be proven by Kroenke over time. The fact that Usmanov cannot take control of our club is also a massive massive bonus, the malignant vulture will have to get used to this fact.

Anyway attention today turns to the visit of the scousers, Liverpool FC, and this is yet another last chance saloon for the players to keep the fire burning this season. We will be boosted by the return of Szczesny and Djourou, important given the physical power of Andy Carroll, while it looks likely that Sagna will miss out, whether Song will return to the eleven is another matter.

Three points today are vital, with Manchester United showing their complete lack of class in losing their FA Cup semifinal yesterday, it is key that we capitalise on any potential loss of confidence by keeping tight at their heels. Either way, whether we win anything or not, I would hope in the future that we can lose with more dignity than Manchester United and Rio Ferdinand did yesterday. I hope Danny's legacy can be one that sees our club continue it's classy and respectful traditions, rather than morph into a money grabbing whore of a club like Manchester United.

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