Friday, September 28, 2012
The League Cup, in its numerous 'sponsor' formats, has always held a special place in my heart as a Gooner.
My supporting years mean I do remember the second half of the seventies and as a result our FA Cup victory over Man United in 1979 is my earliest recollection of trophy-winning success.
By the time April 1987 came around however, I was very much in my complex emotional and over-excitable teenage years! The League Cup semi-final victory over Spurs always makes me smile of course but the victory over Liverpool at Wembley, especially as massive underdogs, feels like the beginning of a marvellously successful Gooner journey for me personally.
I still own the same flat cap Kenny Sansom wore as he lifted the trophy that day but those memories were very much put to the back of my mind as I headed to London N5 for the latest chapter in our League Cup history on Wednesday night.
There is certainly a different kind of buzz around the streets on these particular occasions, a combination I feel of a 'cup night', definitely a degree of the unexpected and a large away following.
I also choose these games to try alternative locations to my season ticket and on this occasion my seat was up behind the home dug-out, a completely different view to my usual vantage point in the north-east corner of the stadium.
Coventry certainly didn't come to make up the numbers on the night and certainly held their own for much of the first half but with the number of attacking options we had on the pitch I couldn't help but feel extremely confident we would prove too strong in the end.
Olivier took his goal extremely well. Other than progressing to the next round that was arguably the most important aspect to come out of the night, subconsciously at least!
Once the Ox smashed in his goal and our second the game reached a stage where it was definitely a case of how many rather than if.
There is a phrase 'every goal is a good goal' and I do understand and believe that. We were fortunate on Wednesday to witness six (in fact seven if you take Coventry's consolation!) quite superb examples of the beautiful game at its best.
There is definitely a unity in our squad right now and we have made an extremely solid start. We all have to remember it is only a start however, and a week is an awful long time in football.
Chelsea come to the home of football next for what we all know is an extremely big test.
As always, off the pitch we can play our part.
Come on you mighty reds!
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