Tuesday 22nd December 2009
Just how cold was it in London N5 on Saturday?! In fact how cold has it been over the last week or so?! Nothing of course that a fiesty game and a hard-earned three points doesn't warm up!
Much of the country has seen some snow it seems and the majority of Maidstone's portion fell on Thursday night. It left a scene where I live that was all very pretty but living at the bottom of a considerable slope, grossly inconvenient when it comes to trying to actually get anywhere.
Plans were in place to head to London on Friday, enjoy the party that is Madness in concert in the evening, Saturday's football and some Christmas shopping on Sunday but, digging my car out of the snow come Friday morning, the whole situation was looking increasingly unlikely.
All trains were cancelled but my only hope it seemed was if I could reach my local M20 motorway. Local radio suggested that despite most of Kent experiencing total gridlock, the motorway westbound was running OK and London had received not much more than a sprinkling of snow.
It seemed I was pretty much the first to attempt getting out of my road and fortunately it proved just about successful. This despite many interested onlookers, some inevitably shaking their heads at my wheels spinning like mad as I battled to the top!
A risky decision admittedly but as I supped on a cool beer at the O2 Arena come late afternoon, it was definitely one I was happy with!
Matchday arrived with a pretty severe headache. Madness had proved highly entertaining and consequently the late morning full English breakfast in Islington's Upper Street did the job as only that kind of tucker can it seems. It started the build up to what has strangely become a fixture with an edge to it.
The first half hour or so of the game kind of matched the bitterly cold weather, not what we all needed as we desperately tried to get warm. With a few tackles flying in however, that spark was definitely on its way, huge evidence being in the altercation in the build up to our opening goal.
It's a long old time since we've scored direct from a free kick and I cannot claim to having been hugely confident before Saturday's. To be fair my Dad called it right. Not the most optimistic Gooner at the best of times he turned to me and said, "Top left hand corner, you watch..."
Ok, so it was the bottom left hand corner but that would be just 'picky'! A fine strike whatever way you look at it and gave us that crucial half-time lead.
Like at Anfield we started the second half looking far sharper than the first and it looked only a matter of time before we doubled our lead. As football can however, a ridiculously soft penalty was given against us and we could have been back to level pegging.
In my opinion Manuel's save definitely saw some justice and with Eddy nudging home our second moments later after the best move of the match it had proved a hugely important couple of minutes.
Another run for Abou, smashing home our third in his man of the match performance, added to that warm glow only a good three points can give you, even on the coldest of days. Job done.
With the busy schedule over the festive period for us all to look forward to our thoughts for now turn to Christmas. Being a typical bloke I still have most of my shopping to do, Sunday in Camden proving totally fruitless, almost impossible when you consider the range on offer at this location!
Hopefully the next couple of days will prove more successful on that front before we take on in-form Aston Villa in our next crucial fixture.
Merry Christmas Gooners, wherever you are around the globe!
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 22 Dec 2009