Writing a post about all of the good moments that Arsenal have given us is far easier than the negatives (which I gave you yesterday). I can literally rattle them off the top of my head and still never even get close to a complete list! Let’s see what I can come up with in stream of consciousness mode for the next 40 minutes.
Winning the league at old trafford, Kanu jumping over Wiltord. I bought that shirt that day and had it delivered via DHL.
Winning the FA Cup, Freddie’s red mowhawk, John Terry eating grass.
Speaking of Terry: Diaby kicking John Terry in the head. He was only trying to kick racism out of football.
Arshavin’s 4 goals.
The Beast’s hat-trick against Liverpool, which I mostly remember because my friend and owner of Doyle’s pub in Tacoma drove with me up to Seattle to watch the game because he wasn’t allowed to play it on his TVs dues to licensing or something.
My first ever Arsenal match, 2006, Charlton at Highbury. The old stadium was lustrous that cold spring morning. I’ve never felt anything like it before or after. Completely and utterly fell in love. Hleb scored.
My first away game, Liverpool – surprised about how quiet the crowd were in Anfield, they sing at the start and then sit on their hands for the remainder of the game. Szczesny saved a penalty (which Suarez won by diving) and Henderson sent Arteta to the hospital with a vicious elbow to the face. Van Persie scored the late winner right in front of us. Incredible scenes.
Away to Swansea – one of the most beautiful stadiums I’ve ever seen. Nacho Monreal scored. Probably the most sketchball day I’ve ever had though because the guy I got the tickets from was basically a coke fiend at this point and owed pretty much everyone money. I never should have been at that game but I didn’t know any better because I was incredibly naive about how football ticketing really worked. The short answer is that if you’re an American, going to see the Arsenal at an away game, you really need to be best friends with the person getting you those tickets because you’re taking tickets away from local supporters who would love to have that experience and cannot get it – legally.
We won the League at White Hart Lane! Patrick Vieira’s insane goal. To this day that’s one of my favorite ever Arsenal goals.
FA Cup, 2014. The last time I went to see Arsenal in England. Had a great day out with my friend, Adrian. Watched the match against Everton which Ozil scored in – that goal was right in front of us. Arsenal would go on to lift the FA Cup, Wenger’s first trophy in almost a decade. Ramsey scored the winner and lay on the ground his arms out by his side. I admit that I welled up a bit that day.
Speaking of Ramsey – the winner against Chelsea in the 2017 FA Cup final.
Beating AC Milan 3-0 – the most elated I’ve ever felt at half time. I had bought the tickets well in advance of matchday and so when we lost the first leg 4-0 I thought about just giving my seat up. But then I realized that if we did win, it would be a historic moment so I went through with the whole trip. I was so buzzing that I got up at half time to have a beer only to be reminded that they only sell NA beers. Van Persie would miss a chance to go 4-0 up in the second half, and then the game petered out.
Speaking of four nils… beating Porto 4-0 at home was a crazy game that I was also privileged to go to. The Porto fans were right next to me and I’ve literally never heard anything like it. They sang the full 90 despite losing and cheered for hours before and after the game. In fact, walking up to the stadium was surreal because we could hear them cheering and singing before the match.
Beating Barcelona! Another of these games where whenever I’m asked what it’s like or to try to make sense of it all, I’m just at a loss for words. But that last goal, man, that was astonishing from Nasri and Arshavin. We probably would have won that tie, had it not been for the infamous van Persie red card.
Well that was 40 minutes. Almost no editing. There are a ton more happy memories in this old head of mine but that’s all I could spill in 40 minutes.