Monday 26th September 2016
There was something very beautiful about Saturday. Something rather special. And it certainly wasn’t just that people got to see me attend a home game wearing something a little bit more normal than a flashing fluffy ‘gilet’!
Beating that lot from the Russian end of Fulham has proved rather difficult in recent times you see. In fact it has proved frustratingly impossible at times, even on days where we’ve arguably been the better side.
But for a couple of quite awesome hours at the weekend, we not only beat them, we took them apart. And it was extremely enjoyable.
We went into the game in good form of course, every result and performance being thoroughly decent since our opening day disappointment. And with our visitors losing a couple of games in recent weeks it was an overall package that had many Gooners pretty confident it could be our day on this occasion. But, we’ve been there before. On many occasions in recent times. And we came out the other side with nothing.
So, although I am extremely positive and was confident we were very capable of winning, I also approached the game with understandable trepidation.
From minute one we certainly looked up for it but the mistake that led to Alexis’ superb finish was crucial. That lift a goal gives to everyone was never more evident but if the noise levels were high they were nothing compared to the ecstasy that followed when Theo finished off a simply stunning passing move to double our lead. Get in.
Three nil at half time did not flatter us one bit after Mesut and Alexis bamboozled the Chelsea defence once again to complete a near on perfect first half display.
An early goal for our visitors in the second period would have meant game on of course so it was all about being switched on from minute one and being thoroughly professional. And we added both those attributes to our sharpness and desire to see the game out. A fantastic performance, there’s no other way to describe it.
5.30pm kick-offs are quite enjoyable to be honest. But that extra couple of hours does tend to mean things can get a little bit messy. Personally I had one of those tricky situations to overcome on Saturday where I fully intended to thoroughly enjoy the build up in the traditional fashion but needed to remain aware that I was supposed to be attending a birthday meal afterwards!
Not something that is too difficult to achieve I’m sure you are thinking but it was good day. One of those. One where we spanked Chelsea 3 nought. One where the train journey home was that cosily satisfying that actually remaining awake was undeniably difficult.
But I did. Just. A sudden jolt woke me up, the train doors were open and it was my stop. Job done.
Fortunately those attending the meal were expecting me to have ‘enjoyed my day’ so it was no shock when a forty something idiot grinning like a Cheshire cat strolled into the restaurant looking for the table with a spare seat! Never in doubt. Happy days.
FC Basel come to London N5 on Wednesday night and will be very much aware they will need to be totally on their game. Given our recent run of form, this alone means we have to do everything to concentrate on not being complacent.
Having fought hard for an excellent point in Paris last time out we need to back that up with a win this week. And if we perform to the level we are proving we can there is every chance that will happen.
Come on you mighty reds!