Jump to content

  • Augustine Worth
     Share

    We won the league at Old Trafford

    IMG_20220904_173554.thumb.jpg.fa8287c0b42bd855eefd16d2e01b7706.jpg

    Arsenal on the break

    Ah, Manchester, the fixture I have been at the most. It is like being in Ireland with all the Irish voices I hear and everyone offering an opinion on everything, especially the football. I travelled with my brother, Joe, a diehard Utd fan. We had 2 tickets in the Alex Ferguson Stand so I had to be on my best behaviour. One doesn’t want a United fan sniffing you out and exposing you. As it happened the woman beside me kept watching my phone as all the Arsenal messages from the fanclub keep popping up. I was going to do a live feed but I was nervous she would suss me out so I declined, plus the fact that the light was bad where I was and the pictures weren’t coming out well.

    But let’s take a step backwards, to what it is like going there for the big game. It has a real football atmosphere, despite all the corporate changes. Strangely there is no big screen (perhaps an indication of the Glazer’s stinginess?). We are flying high on top and they have had, improbably, 3 wins on the bounce, one against Liverpool, but still I could sense the fans nervousness. They don’t want to be beaten by a bunch of Arsenal kids.

    A good spy is never caught

    As always, though, the first port of call is the Matchstick Man, across the canal from Old Trafford, this huge pub, packed to the rafters, doesn’t allow enemy spies such as myself. They even check what you are wearing underneath if they are suspicious. Only Utd colours are permitted. As usual, though, I get by unnoticed as I slip in beside my brother, well dressed in his Red Devils t-shirt. However, there is always a superb atmosphere and big queues at the bar as drink gets downed unmercifully. There is fear in the air as the 3 wins were nervous ones, with Utd rarely looking all that good. Liverpool are going through their own difficulties so even that win wasn’t enough to give them confidence against the young gun tyros. Lots of talk of a draw being a good result. Ah, how they have fallen from their glory days when teams would be summarily dismissed, and even ourselves in the Wenger days, sometimes.

    IMG_20220904_173557.thumb.jpg.f9e12e5e93a0aa3dce0a86507dc63e5f.jpg

    Getting closer

    Of course, they know and they remember, that we won the league here. An indignity that shall never be forgotten. We will always be a big game, Roy Keane and Gary Neville on Sky retain their hatred to this day. We were the two giants, banging our heads against each other, with mind games, ferocious tackles, and bulging eyes head to head’s between Wenger and Ferguson. Ah, the great days of the biggest match in football.

    VAR likes interfering

    Of course, you know what happened , the first few minutes, Utd were holding the ball, passing it around and a bit of a miss from Eriksen. Then we took over, gaining possession and chances as they defended like mad, unable to hold the ball in midfield. Then we scored, a Martinelli wonder and all looked right with the world from my side. As the VAR sign went up, my brother looked at me and said nonsense, Erikson was dispossessed, nothing in that. I wasn’t so sure. Erikson has always been good at going to ground, like his buddies Son and Kane. Of course, VAR should not have interfered, the referee was in position, he saw it and didn’t give it. There was no clear and obvious error. But the referee bottled it and took the easy way out by blaming VAR. It was the start of a bad day for the Arsenal.

    IMG_20220904_173623.thumb.jpg.c789ece5a3d8250fba840f14c2b713b3.jpg

    Plenty of Antony jerseys about

    We allowed them to pick our pockets three times, particularly the final 2 goals as we pushed forward for the win. You cannot leave a gap between the lines for Rashford and his ilk to run into. Bravery should never be stupidity. Yes, we had more chances. Yes, some of them could have been goals. And yes, the better football was played by us, but we have to stop giving away easy goals, a rot that started, unfortunately with my hero, Wenger, and has never been properly addressed.

    This will be our best loss of the season

    This could turn out to be a great loss, at this time of the season. Why so? Because it was at Old Trafford, a big team with big players, in a intimidating stadium, and a manager who indisputably knows what he is doing. He identified that Arsenal played very high, and a Sam Allardyce long ball through the middle could cause havoc. And it was a strategy that paid off very handsomely. But we played well, we pressed, held the ball much better than they did and two goal hero Rashford, at the end said it was an even game. A draw, at least, would have been a fairer outcome. The players will know that. Mistakes cost us.

    IMG_20220904_173633.thumb.jpg.ec0d3dcd8b05e8752fba31f5377972bd.jpg
     

    The teams only played in one half of the pitch

    So, if we learn from this, cut out this weakness, then we can start again, with the loss out of the way early as all teams lose in the Premiership, except one ;) and get back with a stronger mentality this can be the catalyst to pushing City all the way. Now, I have to say that the Arsenal fans were superb, singing and truly supporting our boys all the way. This is a strength that has been lacking in recent years, and they must keep doing this. We must ensure that we have every little advantage possible. We now have good players in every position and there is a togetherness that Man Utd and Chelsea, for example, will take time to replicate. Liverpool may finally be showing cracks in an aging team and the Spuds are the Spuds.

    IMG_20220904_175417.thumb.jpg.7164572303ef710e4c74a6583b993bdb.jpg

    See? I told you

    But, can I say, at least once in your lifetime, get to Old Trafford for the Arsenal. You won’t regret being swept along in the atmosphere, and make sure to get your pints in the Matchstick Man as an Arsenal spy, listening to the worried fears of the Mancs, and smiling to yourself that our kids have got these boys worried. We will rise again, we will overcome the big teams and VAR and show that team spirit, combined with fan spirit, is the key to Arsenal’s success. And at least my brother Joe was happy.

    ps. Apologies for the pictures - it was dark, grey clouds had gathered as if a portent for that Prince of Darkness, Mr VAR!

     

     

     

     Share


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Mr. Worth, thank you for sharing your journey with us.

    One of our fellow members said that there is a big difference between playing well and winning games and I can't agree more with that. Even though we've played well, we lost. After the final whistle, I was angry and confused at the same time. I kept asking myself what happened, where we lost the game. I came to the conclusion that we lost it in the middle of the pitch. The lack of a link between defense and offense costs us a lot. Young Sambi, wasn't on the level needed for a big game like this. It might be a lack of experience, it might be a fear... I don't know but he simply wasn’t good enough. I hope he will get better in the near future. And with the Europe league matches to come, he will get more chances to prove his potential.  

    Quote

    But, can I say, at least once in your lifetime, get to Old Trafford for the Arsenal

     

    I was there...back in 2011...august 2011....28.08.2011 

    That day was one of the happiest and the saddest at the same time days of my life....I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember how after the final whistle I cried from anger...Oh, that emotion...

    After that game, I stop talking for like 2 days... 
     

    • Like 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Wow, that was certainly some match to witness live. In fairness to us, we never stopped pushing forward, but we just kept opening up for them by doing so. I have been lucky for this fixture, most times we have won or drawn. My brother regards me as an unlucky charm for him, but still we go along.  

    And please call me Gus. Mr Worth is too formal.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Следваща среща

  • Класиране

  • Latest Forum Posts

×
×
  • Create New...