Perhaps all but the most ardent of optimists (and I count myself among them) have given up on progression in this seasons' Champion's League. And perhaps many foresee a score-line resembling that of the home leg being served up at the Allianz. But, if Arsenal start bright then anything's possible.
Of course I try not to get my hopes up, but in this curious and curiouser season at what cost comes a little bit of support for a group of players needing - at the least - a solid performance? At what cost comes a bit of reckless abandon in thinking that if we sneak an early goal, if we “have a go” as Mr Wenger suggests we might, (and admittedly if Munich find themselves rattled) then this Arsenal team could pull off something special.
Naturally it may depend upon whether our midfield trio click, whether our captain provides a kind of drive-from-the-back display to quell the doubters, and if one Theo Walcott recaptures the form that saw him earn a, well, not insubstantial contract. Yet occasionally results go against the predictors. Bradford and Blackburn fans know this, and unfortunately we Gooners know this too.
That's not to say the team should simply hope to roll a hard six, and depend on the (un)luck that a dodgy decision or dramatic, last minute selection problem might suddenly deliver. But if the players, the professionals out there on the pitch, the only people whose mental strength ultimately matters, can rouse themselves to realise that nothing is yet decided. Well, if they do that and actually believe, there is at least a chance.
Feeling sorry helps very little. This is why managers always 'focus on the next game' after all. And a potential win over the two legs is certainly possible. It really is. If you don't think so you may as well not even bother tuning in. Perhaps you should shelve your Arsenal interest until the Swansea game and then, focusing on the negative, relive the poor result the home fixture yielded. After all, why waste energy on being hopeful?
Positivity. Let's not over do it. But let us look to the almost overturned Arsenal vs Milan fixture, or the competition's final which saw another English team better that self-same club in 45 minutes. We shouldn't invest too much in Franck Ribery injury news. Nor should we read too much into the soundbites which, of course, the club have been dishing out this week. You can be positive, hope for the best, without lapping up every little potential ray of light.
We should be sensible, lightly optimistic, but sheathing our thoughts in reality. Three goals away against one of the best teams in Europe is no mean feat. To do so without reply would be quite astounding. It's not likely, yet it can be done. The players will know this, though it may prove to be beyond them on the night.
If that's the case then it's next year's competition we need focus on gaining entry too. This tie can still be won. But if we don't then I'll take what I can; a sense of pride and some fight for upcoming domestic fixtures if need be. For now though, those ties can wait. A response will be welcome; anything greater, truly tremendous.