Thursday 3rd August 2017
Most of pre-season I seriously enjoy and that has been the same for many years now. The chance to attend games with no stress, the chance to travel to some incredible destinations, the whole ‘circus’ that surrounds each tour and meeting up with fellow Gooner friends old and new making up an extremely enjoyable package.
But I genuinely dislike the world of transfers. Although it makes no odds to me who walks out wearing the cannon on their chest as I will be there supporting anyway, the constant never ending speculation surrounding who might be leaving and who might be joining drives me nuts. Those who have followed my thoughts are well aware I am not one for newspapers and that hasn’t changed now they are all available electronically. I’m not on Facebook and although I do quite like Twitter that is more for the occasional amusing tweet it throws up rather than some of the constant other rubbish it throws up. On the odd occasion I have been somewhere with Talksport on I have more than disliked the vast majority of its content and as a result my thoughts are not ‘influenced’ by anything on there and likewise there are no TV football debate shows I tune into.
Despite all that however, I do need to turn my computer on every morning. And with the BBC website being my homepage I do get to witness some of the daily barrage of speculative crap. And although much of the above makes me look an unsociable so and so I do like to go to events where there are other people present with views and opinions and questions regarding our great football club. If I hear the line, “I’ve heard from someone within the club……” one more time I will scream! Looking at some of the information this ‘someone’ has provided down the years I assume he is the programme or peanut seller.
The Emirates Cup was an enjoyable if altogether ‘tough’ weekend for me personally, in particular Sunday. Not for any other reason than my mum’s 70th birthday party and my gorgeous sister’s hospitality meant Saturday was an extremely ‘messy’ night!
Despite rail works meaning my journey up took considerably longer than usual, Saturday on the other hand was relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable. Pre-match refreshment was consumed as usual, a small sampler of the home game routine before the real stuff starts in a couple of weeks.
As always the whole weekend could not possibly be any more family orientated, group ticket discounts and a good atmosphere all contributing to this fact. And to see numerous generations of Arsenal fans all sat together is a massive positive.
Our game against Benfica was thoroughly entertaining too. Defensively mistake ridden if we are going to be over critical but with some fine goals at the other end too. And it was a result that although ultimately it was to be enough to see us win the overall competition, that fact doesn’t really sit comfortably with me!
Although the rules are admittedly clear, if one team wins both their matches I don’t believe a team that doesn’t should be able to win the trophy. And I’m sure our friends from Seville think exactly the same.
Sunday was one of those days where the journey up from Kent was more than painful. Packed trains, thousands of people, overheating and nausea are not aspects that make up an ideal package. And although I completely accept ‘hair of the dog’ is not necessarily big or clever it was definitely going to be the only ‘medicine’ that would sort me out on this occasion!
In a fairly even contest we conceded a couple of goals once again and on this occasion we were unable to overcome that deficit at the other end of the field.
So our second defeat in 6 pre-season matches but once again I emphasize over analysis is unnecessary I feel. I can think of more than one occasion in the past where we have won every pre-season encounter but got beat on the opening day. And on that basis in my opinion the results mean nothing.
Sunday and we head to Wembley for the Community Shield, just 2 months or so since we overcome the same opponents on that heady May evening. And incredibly this is our 9th trip to our national stadium in just 4 years. We have won the previous 8 so it is not only a place we have become used to but one we have thoroughly enjoyed.
Although win, lose or draw it is not the end of the world, come Sunday evening I do of course hope we have made it 9 out of 9.
And I also hope we are not wearing pink or that dreadful sky blue thing.
Come on you mighty reds!