Match of the Day
On Saturday Leo’s father in law ,Gareth was off to the England game. He let me have his tickets for the Chelsea-Arsenal match. No ordinary game. Two of London’s football colossi clashing is never without a meaning. But with Chelsea steaming to the Premiership and Arsenal still a contender ,this match could have had a major bearing. A really good seat did not make the result easier. Chelsea ripped my team apart so many times that by the end the guts of their season lay all over the pitch.
But fan is short for fanatic, that is someone who is unreasonably passionate and optimistic and so how’s this? 3-1. Chelsea pulled off the save of the game 3-2. Arsenal hit the post 3-3. Arsenal’s goalie threw the ball to a Chelsea player who said thank you and scored. 2-3. You see its easy. We could/should have won. We are still in the Cup and Europe. Actually its goodbye and thank you to twenty year manager Arsene Wenger. Goodbye you good , faithful and well paid servant.
So Saturday was not up there with being at Tottenham (0-1 Kennedy)when we won the League part of the double in 1971 or being at the Kop end when we beat Liverpool 2-0(Radford and Ball) in 1968. More in the bottom draw with the 1969 Swindon League Cup Final loss. But for those Chelsea readers(I know who you are and where you live) smirk not. I was at Stamford Bridge when you lost to Blackpool(!) and went down. Went down, we Arsenal fans ask, whats that?
Unlike girlfriends football clubs never leave you. They offer pleasure and misery like any emotional partner but one of the few signs of “growing up” is that it doesn’t quite mean so much. Actually the disappointments of supporting Arsenal are so commonplace that I have conditioned myself to being cheered by good results and not caring when the other happens. But it goes on. There is a little lad in my street who supports Arsenal, he wears the immortal red and white in kickabouts with his dad in the park by the river. I gave him Saturday’s programme. His dad told me he slept with it under his pillow. A life time of passion and misery awaits.