All You Need is Love
Monday 27th July 2015
Although we all share the same passion for our club and hope that everyone within from the staff to the players want exactly the same with equal desire, there is always going to be a certain degree of distance and separation between us fans and what goes on within the ‘four walls’. And I am fine with that. We have always been pretty good at keeping things on the ‘inside’ and by and large I am a great fan of not ‘airing your dirty washing’ publicly. Even though of course, we all would love to know every minor detail!
That ‘separation’ inevitably means the players and staff have no idea what we have to go through just to follow our team. (Being slightly tongue in cheek there believe me as below will demonstrate!)
Tickets bought and plans made for this weekend’s Emirates Cup, we never consider what might go wrong in the build up or during the whole event. We just look forward to enjoying ourselves and sub consciously at least, expect everything to run like clockwork.
For example, I like the Summer months in particular and during that period the shoes and socks come off, the shorts come out of the cupboard and any other Winter attire remains hidden away until at least when Autumn kicks in. Not everyone wants or indeed can do things like that but that is the way I roll.
Earlier this week I walked into my kitchen and went to the fridge. In bare feet. Something I and every single one of us has done on many many hundreds of occasions. I wasn’t prepared however, for a bottle of wine to fall out and land smack bang on my middle toe! Cue total agony, blood pissing everywhere and a digit that now resembled one of those little fat characters off the Ribena advert!
Once the pain subsided and after 24 hours or more the blood finally stopped flowing it dawned on me going to football for all us able bodied people involves considerable amounts of walking. The whole idea of getting a shoe on wasn’t even a possibility so flip flops and careful avoidance of all people, something so easy at a football match (!), was the only way to get through it. I wouldn’t have minded but I only went in the fridge to get some milk! Although I am pleased to say the wine bottle didn’t break. 🙂
Saturday evening was another example.
Walking back to my hotel in Kings Cross, my mobile phone screen goes blank followed by a message along the lines of ‘fatal system error’. I’m no expert but that didn’t look promising! I tried the usual stuff of changing the battery etc but it was no good. Computer says’ no’. It’s times like that when you realise just how reliant we have become on these things. Could I remember anyone’s number? No….why would I? They are in my phone. Did I still have some arrangements to make regarding ticket distribution on Sunday? Of course I did!
Things continued on that vein too. I couldn’t find my hotel. No prob, I’ll use the map on my phone……doh! As frustration kicked in more and more I eventually found it…..and reception advised I couldn’t check in because I didn’t have my passport. I am a very calm person generally…..but it was at that moment that I nearly turned her table upside down!
All this of course makes up the only reason I was in London. To see the mighty Arsenal. The things we go through just for that!
The Emirates Cup is relaxing. I can’t really use another adjective. It also gives us an opportunity to witness home games from a different vantage point. And on this occasion it was arguably the best viewing point of any stadium in the world. Half Way line Club Level. Simply awesome.
The sunshine meant my flip flops and short sleeves very much fitted in and with plenty of pre-match refreshment and my toe so far unscathed I settled down to watch our first game unfold. And a thumping 6 nil victory can be nothing but entertaining on an attacking front although deep down we probably needed something a little bit more ‘competitive’.
Six good goals, some great football, some pleasing performances both from our more established players and in particular one or two of our young up and coming talent all made for entertaining fare on the pitch. Great company and refreshment both before and after made sure it was an equally enjoyable day off it.
Sunday morning’s slightly sore head was also met by the sight of my mobile phone in various pieces on my hotel bedroom floor and the realisation of just how much ‘hassle’ a mobile phone breakdown can cause. And it wasn’t helped when I stepped outside, in my flip flops and it was absolutely pelting it down! The pavement felt like an ice rink and I was hardly dressed for the occasion! Time for a good old English stiff upper lip and I limped and slid my way, toe still surviving, in the direction of Kings Cross station for a bit of a brekkie and another day at the footy.
Among the many, another aspect of this particular competition is the number of families that get to come along. The colours, the smiles and the quite obvious excitement amongst all of our younger followers is hugely apparent and fantastic to see. Many will be attending a game for the first time of course and this was the case with Gemma and Kirsty, twin daughters of good friends and fellow season ticket holders. Their excitement throughout their first day was extremely obvious and along with their older brother Danny, a sheer veteran at 7, they joined in with all the singing throughout. I’ve always said football brings people together, of all ages and there can be no finer example than this weekend.
The previous day’s result against Lyon was inevitably going to see many thinking yesterday could produce something similar. With our starting eleven virtually completely different to 24 hours earlier however, the Wolfsburg game was always going to be totally different. And so it proved. Much more of a test in all areas of the pitch we can still be pleased with a clean sheet, another win and of course the second piece of pre-season silverware on the shelf. Winning is a fine habit, whatever the competition.
Looking forward to our latest trip to Wembley on Sunday, my journey home is pretty much where I will leave it for now. Oh….and with my toe. Avoiding all accidents my aim was very much nearly achieved. Until on the tube, half way back to Waterloo, a man with a child in a pushchair decided to run the front wheels straight over it. It was an awkward but genuine howl I let out….
As I said earlier…..if only the club knew what we go through :-))
See you at Wembley.