London N5 Calling... It's Been A While

Sorry first of all for going AWOL, after the international break (which as expected was trouble for us with RVP’s injury) things always seemed to get in the way of writing a quality entry for the blog. Nevermind, none the less and all that jazz since I last blogged there have been a few firsts:

Away v Sunderland – Premier League (21st Nov ’09)

This is going to be a S**rs at home type of confession again...I didn’t go but had the chance. Sunderland is closer to Glasgow than London so you can see why this didn’t appeal. However I did already have tickets to another sporting event that was England v New Zealand at Twickenham, that’s’s like NFL but it doesn’t stop every 10 seconds, the players don’t wear pads and it’s played by real men (here comes the abuse)

[Editor's note: Tough talk from a man who pees sitting down]

I did have really good seats anyway though as you can see! We lost, it happens and this is one of those games that thankfully passes you by. Avoiding the highlights was pretty easy as after a day on the beer at the rugby: my friends and I moved on to the pub where we drank till 1.30am, even though it closed at 11pm. Sometimes you win, sometimes you loose..all levels out in the end.

Home v Standard Liege – Champs League (24th Nov ’09)

So this was a strange first of a game, one of those times you don’t expect to happen to you....

I nearly got thrown out of our own stadium lol!

Let me paint a picture by showing you a picture. The picture below shows my seat for Liege, south end of stadium in the lower tier about 20 rows back where I normally end up. The white rails are the dividing line between home fans and the away fans. The people on the other side of the white rails are the away fans...I think you see where this is going now.

So, there I am with my mate Charlie to my right and Simon to my left. The Liege fans are pretty boisterous as the game starts and we’re told to sit down by the overzealous stewards the moment our arses leave our seats. I won’t give you some of the stupid excuses we had for why the Liege fans could stand and we had to sit, in short the away end seems to be a principality with it’s own law making body so they could basically do what they damn well liked.

This didn’t go down well with those around us, especially the scary looking shaven head bloke next to Simon who like me was shouting at the away fans then getting looks from stewards. We whistled a few shots past the Liege goal 1st half, the standard ‘oooooos’ came out until the away fans started doing it back....then I snapped. One girl and her bloke had been turning straight at us to send over their ‘banter’ so I stood up and lets just say shouted directly at them while leaning on the barrier.

The shortest, fattest little female steward waddles over and asks ‘what did you just say?’... How I managed to respond so quickly and clearly (and without swearing at her too) I don’t know but i managed to stay in the ground after pointing out i didn’t use abusive or racist language (I’m a football fan, not a bigot). Anyway, after calming a little, Charlie and I agreed that ‘when we score we have to go f***ing mental at this mob’... Super Sammy Nasri happily obliged. We turned to the away fans and did the necessary fist pumping with requisite smug looks on faces.

Then it happened...the 25 yard swerver left Denilson's boot and all I remember was the aforementioned girl looking at me directly with hands on mouth in despair as I nearly jumped over that white rail in utter delight. I was going to ask if any of the away fans saw us demolish them 7-0 back in the 93-94 Cup Winners Cup run...but I didn’t want to try and get thrown out again.

Home v Chelsea – Premier League (29th Nov ’09)

For this one just see last seasons 4-1 game....I know I’m lucky to see any games live, not just big ones like this, but when your team doesn’t even turn up at home and you’re in the stadium, it really hurts. You have to sit though it all and remember the bad to make the good times even sweeter. Let’s leave this one well alone...

Away v Liverpool – Premier League (13th Dec ’09)

I’m pretty lucky not only to be able to get to home games when I want, but also the odd away game (just got my West Ham away in the FA Cup tickets through the post!) but also to have a group of mates from school, university and work who share my love of The Arsenal too. This time Jon is going to take centre stage for a blog mention.

Jon has his moments of joy and moments of despair when it comes to game days, to be honest he has these on non game days too with football. Debate leading up to the Liverpool away game had not been should we watch it but where were we going to watch it. Jon will argue we didn’t go to the pub because he had been out the night before but when the mood is ‘glass half empty’ he likes to retreat to the sanctuary of my flat and satellite TV there lol. There is no other person who loves the club more that I know but sometimes everyone needs a safe place to watch the game...but he the pessimist in the world sometimes!

As for what happened...he happened...

Any Liverpool fan I know now open admits to hating the sight of him lol...

I was in the away end at West Ham for the FA Cup so next blog will be a proper account of that along with home game v Hull dressed as Santa Claus. Oh yes, Santa Claus.

I'd have been at the home game v Bolton as well as I finish this if it wasn't for the country falling apart due to five flakes of snow. Makes me proud to be English...

Keep the faith gooners, Arsene always knows - GB