Monday, September 29, 2008

A New York Yankee In King Arsene's Court

It's Monday morning and Bigus is still sleepy from a lazy weekend of watching footy, playing with Bigus Jr, napping and enjoying Smuttynose IPA a little too much (I have been re-born). I am certainly in no shape to offer you anything interesting today . That is why when my mate Scotty Olivenbaum told me he was stopping off in Laaaandan to watch the Gooners play Hull last Saturday, on his way to Switzerland (Go Rangers), I whiffed an opportunity. I aksed Scotty if he wouldn't mind taking a few notes between bevvies and writing up a report. This was Scotty O's first Arsenal game EVER and he should be held completely responsible for Geovanni's thunderbolt. Join Scotty after the jump for a virgin's report of the unexpected!

Let me first introduce myself to you fine soccer football
folks: I'm Scotty Hockey. I like hockey. A lot. But, I have always
held a passion for footy that usually concentrated itself upon the
almighty World Cups. After '94 I became a Dennis Bergkamp fan and a
year later, I visited London about the same time he signed with
Arsenal, so I became an Arsenal fan.

I always watched the Gunners from afar but I'll be honest, I am too
obsessed with hockey to call myself a Gooner. When the Rangers (the
New York ones) announced they would play in Switzerland, I figured it
would be a prime opportunity to stop in London and finally see an
Arsenal match in person. So I signed up for the membership, got myself
a ticket and went to Emirates on Saturday. Before you jump, yes, I am
apparently a jinx. My bad. But it was soooo good, let me tell you.
Instead of boring you with a blow-by-blow narrative, I will break it
down into bullet notes, since you don't know how I speak (rant) and
bullet points are just so much easier to read:

*See? You read this and it's a bullet point. Proving my point already ...

Ok, now, seriously, some observations and experiences:

*Before the match I heard a Hull fan say, in regards to being at
Emirates, "It beats going to Macclesfield, that's for sure." Let's
face it, these fans were just happy to be in London and their team had
nothing to lose, that should have been warning number one.

*Emirates, by the way, is just stunning. Granted, this is someone
coming off of seeing Barcelona lower themselves to play on the "pitch"
at Giants Stadium a few weeks ago, but it is a beautiful building with
gleaming green grass that would be perfect on a PGA Tour green.

*Somehow, though, the place had no pretzels. What the hell?? How can
you properly enjoy a pint (or three) without a pretzel???? Is it
because pretzels were German creations and, if not for us Yanks, you
would be German citizens? I didn't drink; I couldn't (but certainly
should have). And to top it off, instead of pretzels they served
doughnuts and Pringles!?!? I just don't get it.

*I also don't understand why, for all of the history of the club, the
most used chants by the fans were made up of repeating the word
"Arsenal" again and again and aaaaa-aaaaaa-gggaaaaaiiiinnnn.

*But at least there was some chanting, after hearing about the
Highbury Library, I expected a mausoleum but after some prodding by
the passionate away fans, the Gooners picked it up.

*It appears that hockey fans picked up an unfortunate trend from their
elder footy relatives - yelling "SHHHHHOOOOOOOOT!!!!!" anytime anyone
gets anywhere near the box, no matter which direction they are facing
or who is near.

*I mentioned 'elders' ... but there didn't appear to be many old
Arsenal fans. For a franchise that is over a hundred years old, the
stands were packed with legions of fans donning brand new kits. I
counted to JVC jerseys and a handful more O2s. That's it. Either
everyone has the money to buy new kits constantly, or they jumped on
the bandwagon with the undefeated season. Either way it isn't a good
thing. ('Throw back' is not something English people get. In fact wearing old jerseys
renders you open to utterings of 'gypo' as you pass your fellow fans in Tesco's. I have every Norwich home and away shirt since 1988. I could have bought something useful..I know-Bigus)

*That's another thing: the team should offer up some older kits - and
not just the 1989 redux. It's bad enough that I - a nonpracticing Jew
- picked the Gunners instead of the Yid Army, but I refuse to buy
something that outright supports hebe-hating Arabs. Call me racist -
I've been called worse by Islander fans - but I found their
announcement wishing Jewish supporters a Happy New Year amusing. Maybe
it was just because they asked the Jews who were going to celebrate
the holdday to give their tickets up to charity for free ...

( Here you go...Gypos!-Bigus.)

*Ok, back to football for a few. Oh Dennis, where have you gone?
Arsenal's set pieces sucked and they surrendered most of their corner
kicks by just tapping a short pass and dribbling in from the wing. How
dreadfully dull and ineffective, especially against a squad that
overloaded the box with smart defenders.

*Arsenal kept giving up space and field position and Geovanni
capitalized with an astounding shot (game highlights here).

*And thanks to the reaction of folks around me to the Hull goals, I
have successfully added the words "git", "slag" and "wanker" to my
vocabulary. Thanks guys.

Now don't think I have jumped ship, I haven't, but I'll end this
chanting along with the victorious fans: woa-oh, woa-o-a-oh, this was
the best trip I have ever been on.



The Fan's Attic said...

wow...that geovanni shot was superb.

nice write up.

james said...

hockalees said...

Congrats on the Emirates trip and thanks for the report -- I am jealous. I wouldn't worry about a jinx, unless you had something to do with our summer transfer dealings, you are absolved.

Dropping six points to Fulham and Hull... FFS!

Can we just take a knee and run out the rest of the season? It would save me $120 in Setanta. I know Arsene will tell us that the "belief in this team is strong in the room" but can any Gunners out there really agree with him?

I would like to have faith in the teens on the squad, but how about a freaking DM and some CBs that can defend a cross?!? I don't care how old they are.

He's never replaced the roles that Vieira and Pires had from the Untouchables era; I guess we can add Flamini's role to this list, too.

The NY Kid said...

You all laughed at me when I talked about the N'Zogbia-to-Arsenal rumours when I said that I would take him in a heartbeat.

You're not laughing now, are you?

/I'm not laughing either. Crying, maybe, after Hull.

Goat said...

I'd take Senderos back in a heartbeat too. Gallas pisses the shit out of me. He wouldn't need to try so hard to score late equalizers if he wouldn't fuck up in the first place.