Monday 17th October 2011
Going to football is all about routine for most of us and consequently for those who have been going for many years, matchday flows without even needing to think about it, especially for home games of course.
My plans very much fall into this category so when you approach a game that’s a little bit different, it can make it all the more memorable.
Our great sport has made me lucky enough to have met many, many other Gooners down the years, some who have become good friends. Consequently, the chance to spend some time with some Arsenal fanatics from Norway was one too good to turn down.
Come late Saturday morning I found myself in west London - Earls Court to be exact - with a day and night ahead that was always gong to be entertaining, especially in our capital city's great autumn sunshine.
Shopping and touristy stuff found us in Piccadilly Circus briefly and I couldn't help but take a picture of a sign by the steps into the underground station (see below). Kind of apt I feel for our captain enjoying the form of his life and of course exactly how events would unfold come Sunday!
The rest of the day involved one or two of London's refreshment stops and a night at the O2 to see Katy Perry (don't ask!)
The 'quality' of my hotel accommodation back in west London meant the bed, the heater that was on full blast and the general discomfort didn't help the way I felt come matchday but all in all a good day.
Arriving in N5 that pre-match buzz hit in as always as we looked forward to a game where three points once again felt paramount to our progress this season.
Overall I felt we played pretty well, exceptionally in patches but one of the three quite excellent goals on the day arguably made the game tighter than it should have been. Indeed with the quality of the goals so high it seems strange that the most memorable incident in the whole match didn't actually lead to the ball hitting the back of the net.
It so, so nearly did however, with RVP's turn and chip probably less than an inch from earning him a potential goal of the season award. Almost even more crucially of course, the fact that effort did not double our lead saw us pressing hard for that all-important winner late on.
Fortunately on this occasion our captain topped another superb individual performance with a free-kick to match our visitors’ equaliser back in the first half.
I haven't watched 'Match of the Day' once this season for various reasons, but I did last night and more importantly I enjoyed it too. The league tables at the end of the show revealing we are back in that top half - a nice feeling to take to my bed.
Thoughts now turn to the south of France and a trip to a city I have never visited before. The weather forecast is quite promising, the food and drink will I'm sure be gratefully received. A positive result will also be a massive step towards qualification from the group.
Come on you Gooners!
FrankCopyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 17 Oct 2011