Well and Truly Geordied
Sunday 22nd March 2015
Newcastle has to be a top contender for best away game destination. I love the place and it never fails to deliver. Writing these notes at Newcastle Airport whilst supping on a fine pint of ‘Bitter & Twisted’ the feelings all over my body confirm once again it has been a top top trip. Wack those massively important 3 points into the equation and we are approaching perfection!
The whole experience started in the usual manner in recent times, an early flight from Southampton on Saturday morning and an on time arrival and comfortably locating our hotel meant pre-match refreshment and banter was enjoyed with the usual gusto.
The hotel was ok. Nothing special. But we were made to feel very welcome, located near the city centre and the stadium and the view from my room was stunning (if you like blocks of flats).
The away end at St James Park is a long way from Terra Firma. Approximately 7 floors away in fact. That means a lot of stairs. Ok if you are fit. Not if, like me, it is not an adjective you would use to describe yourself! So to be puffing a bit on reaching our section was no surprise. I’m not sure what it says about us football fans but I was definitely in the majority believe me!
No game is a ‘gimme’ and for me anyone who believes any different is naive. There are so many factors that can influence any game’s outcome. One of those is fatigue and given our current run of form that was the only aspect that concerned me about our latest encounter with Newcastle.
Without being at our best we could and quite probably should have been 4 or 5 up at half time. Little did we know however, that those missed opportunities might come back to haunt us as the game progressed. 2 more Olly goals had us jostling up in the clouds and less than emphasized our overall dominance. A cracking half time score nonetheless and it looked like being another mighty fine away win.
If we had kept it at two nil for the first 15 minutes of the second half I am convinced we would have won comfortably. Our hosts were much faster out of the blocks however and very much found themselves back.in it.
The impetus and drive the goal created, coupled with the fact we certainly began to tire meant we seriously had to dig in to get that all important victory. We all love ‘pretty’ football of course but the fact we saw the game through and achieved our goal felt equally as satisfying. Three more away points, that will do very nicely.
The night out in our host city was always going to be there. That however, is always influenced by the result, despite some not agreeing. A win and it’s party time. A defeat on the other hand (or letting slip a four goal half time lead) and the whole trying to enjoy yourself thing doesn’t feel the same.
We won though. So we partied. Well into the wee small hours in a variety of locations and establishments. ‘Geordied’ is the word I think!
Unlike the cold and windy matchday we faced, today it is gloriously sunny t-shirt weather. Spring is definitely upon us and things are looking extremely positive.
We have the momentum going into the latest international break and it feels good.
See you in a couple of weeks when we welcome the red side of Liverpool to the Home of Football.
Enjoy the break Gooners.