A Happy Happy Easter
Sunday 5th April 2015
Gardening isn’t an activity I would necessarily say I love or I’m any good at but I don’t mind having a go. Likewise, diy or painting and decorating are not favourites but strangely I find it quite therapeutic when I get involved with such activities. Undertaking them with a stinking hangover however, is downright nauseating and painful!
I make no apology for feeling this way today. After a performance and result like that an unplanned celebration felt totally the right think to do.
You can keep your chocolate eggs and bunnies this time of year. I’ll take a thumping 4-1 win over Liverpool any day.
Other than Saturday’s game I had planned to use this extended weekend to undertake a number of those essential chores in and around my house. Life has been pretty full on in recent weeks (mainly following our great club of course) and the coming weeks and months look no different. Totally my choice but it is a situation that dictates finding the time to do the former is proving very difficult. As a result Good Friday was spent painting and putting together furniture. I’m ‘Rock & Roll’ me.
We all go through these International ‘breaks’ with a large degree of fear. Most of our squad are always involved and with so much still to play for we all hope more than anything else that they all return injury free.
On this occasion and extremely rare it seems, we looked forward to Saturday not only with all of our squad coming through unscathed but a number of our injured players back in full training and taking part in a ‘behind closed doors’ friendly.
The lunchtime kick-off meant an early start but travel and pre-match activities going smoothly and successfully, the atmosphere heading to the ground certainly had a real air of anticipation and optimism.
Result wise I really felt that a draw would not have been a complete disaster. Liverpool desperately needed a win to stay in the race for Champions League football and a point would have kept our visitors 6 points behind as we look to achieve the same target.
That however, was not me being negative. I was extremely confident if we performed well we could come away with all 3 points.
In the first 15 or 20 minutes we were magnificent. We totally battered Liverpool, the only thing missing from a great start the all important goal. Very nearly and arguably the most crucial moment in the first half, if not the whole game, not taking the lead came back to bite us. A terrible miss from what looked like a certain goal it might have been, but going behind would have been completely undeserved. There is no doubt however, had our visitors taken the lead, the whole game could have been different.
And how we made them pay!
Last season’s heavy defeat at Anfield was very painful. I don’t remember attending another game where I’ve felt so shell shocked at half time.
Well, our friends from the red side of Liverpool, I genuinely hope Saturday you felt exactly the same at the break. Have some of that!
All 3 goals were things of absolute beauty yet again, Hector’s fine run and finish, Mesut’s magnificent free kick and Alexis’ crashing thumping finish, all in less than 10 minutes seeing us positively dancing in our seats. Get in! Magnificent.
Being in a winning position, the second period was all about being solid and professional and that is exactly what we did. And on the break we looked extremely dangerous too. Liverpool’s pen had us twitching a little but Olly’s superb late strike settled those nerves and put the icing on a very huge and tasty cake. Arsenal 4 Liverpool 1. A beautiful scoreline.
We all celebrate our victories in different ways. Drink options have always been similar for train journeys home. Food on the other hand has changed down the years. In the past a greasy burger, something with chips or at best a sarnie were all you could hope for.
On this occasion, the drink remained the same (although I’m not convinced the ‘perfect accompaniment to chicken, fish or mussels’ was an accurate statement on the side of my ‘Belgian Lager’!) but a packet of beetroot crisps, a salad with some ingredients I’ve never heard of and fellow Gooner Ian munching on a tray of sushi are all examples of just how things have changed!
And that pretty much brings me up to date. A fine fine day ended in my local pub. I remember smiling a lot and feeling chilled and full of satisfaction. As well as beer of course!
The long trip to Turf Moor comes next to play a team fighting for their Premier League lives. Positive results against teams around us are enough to prevent any complacency on our part you would hope but it promises to be a tough game.
For now however, I’m going to continue the household stuff with a smile on my face.
Happy Easter Gooners! A very happy one.