It’s been a month since we last spoke as I’ve been on holiday, visiting family and friends in London and enjoying the never sleeping city that is New York. A lot has happened so here’s an attempt at a quick summary:
EVERTON 3 ARSENAL 0
On a personal level, our trip to Goodison Park was a bitter sweet one. The ‘sweet’ came in the shape of attending my first Arsenal game in over 18 months and the fact that I was joined by my Dad, something that was rare even in my last few years in London due to him being unable to attend games regularly. The ‘bitter’ was pretty much everything else on the day; the long drive, the miserable weather, the abject performance, and the awful result! The less said about the ‘bitter’ the better, but in terms of the ‘sweet’ it felt great to be back, watching football alongside my old man, rediscovering what it’s like to lose your voice cheering on The Arsenal.
ARSENAL 1 WIGAN 1 (ARSENAL WIN 4-2 ON PENALTIES)
An absolute rollercoaster of an afternoon! On this occasion I was joined by my sister, and we sat alongside some of my very good Arsenal friends. We didn’t play particularly well, but equally we didn’t play as badly as many claimed or reported. Low on confidence after previous results, we made hard work of Championship opposition, but we dominated possession and opportunities. But when The BFG uncharacteristically gave away a penalty it was time to fear the worst. Thankfully he redeemed himself with the equaliser and was backed up by a couple of Fabianski saves and four perfect penalties to ensure we’ll be returning to Wembley again on Saturday 17th May. What did she wear? She wore, she wore, she wore a yellow ribbon…
ARSENAL 3 WEST HAM 1
My final game of my trip home to London, and this time I was with my fiancée (more on that later) and two good mates, Tone and Jody. I have to say the performance and result were both pleasantly surprising. I thought we’d be dead on our feet after the Wigan game, but I was happily proved wrong. Giroud showed his best and worst qualities with a poor miss in the first half but an excellent goal in the second, and Podolski proved once again how clinical he is. After an away game and a trip to Wembley it felt amazing to be back at The New Home of Football, seeing the statue of God for the first time, and being in The Tollington pre-match to talk all things Arsenal with all my good friends; an excellent end to the Arsenal segment of my London return – even if I hadn’t got to see Özil! (Hopefully next time).
HULL CITY 0 ARSENAL 3
By this point I was in New York. I managed to watch the first half on TV and the second on Arsenal Player. For the first time in a while it was a rather relaxed and straightforward victory. Another brace from Podolski and one for Ramsey (making his first league start since returning from injury) secured the points. We’ve now beaten Hull home and away in the league, with clean-sheets in both, so here’s hoping for more of the same at Wembley on 17th May.
ARSENAL 3 NEWCASTLE 0
And now back in Sydney! The Monday night kick-off meant 5am Tuesday morning for me, which thanks to jetlag wasn’t an issue in the slightest. I watched the full game live and it was an absolute walk in the park. Newcastle were a lazy and disinterested embarrassment. I don’t think I’ve ever felt sorry for Newcastle fans, but I certainly did on this occasion; any team’s fans deserve at least 100% effort and they never got it. Which was great news for us as goals from Koscielny, Özil, and Giroud secured three points that give us a really strong hold on fourth spot and also saw in St.Totteringham’s Day 2014 – perfect. One more win will secure Champions League football for the 17th year running. Hopefully we can do the job at home to West Brom this weekend; it would be the perfect end to our home fixtures this season and would allow the fans to show their appreciation and give the team a good send-off ahead of the FA Cup Final.
FINAL HOLIDAY ROUND-UP
It was fantastic to see all my friends and family again, and to visit New York too, but the biggest news of the trip is that I got engaged! I proposed to my beautiful fiancée in Kensington Gardens on Sunday 13th April, which following victory over Wigan the day before, made for the most awesome of weekends. It was fabulous to be able to pop the question in my home city and to be able to celebrate with family and friends, and now we can start to plan the big day which will take place in the amazing city that I now call home, Sydney.
Also for my final holiday thoughts, I’d like to say a massive thank you to @WestStandTone who helped to organise my match tickets for the games against Everton, Wigan, and West Ham. It was incredible to be back at The Arsenal, to be able to experience the games with my Dad, sister, and fiancée respectively, and to catch-up with so many friends that I used to see on a weekly basis. It made the trip even more special, so thank you Tone.
Right, that’s enough for one edition. Normal format and service will be resumed the next time we speak. Let’s hope we’re discussing victory over West Brom and another year of Champions League football. Up The Arsenal.