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Camaraderie and thanks. Memories that will live on

By Arvind

I watched the dressing room celebrations on Arsenal Player today and it was wonderful to watch the camaraderie among everyone there.

Probably most winning dressing rooms are that way, but there’s only one that I care about. Arsenal. The end.

And I loved it. For those who know me well, I’m not the most emotional guy around. I don’t like to shout at people, run around after we’ve scored or whine after a loss. I prefer to enjoy the game alone.. in my living room or laptop most of the time, quietly drawing my own conclusions. Of course, inwardly I’m deliriously happy when we’ve won and very sad when we lose…but it rarely comes out.

Except at times. Like today…

As I checked score updates nervously on my phone as I walked and saw we were 2-2..and saw that Gibbs blazed over late in the game, I worried yet again… that someone would metamorphize into Obafemi Martins yet again.

Then my phone network died. And when it came back we were deep into ET and leading 3-2 and somehow Aluko had apparently missed after rounding Fabianski (who I think probably was right to come off his line.. one on one most times the attacker scores). And finally we’d won. We HAD WON.

The overwhelming emotion was one of relief. Not joy, that would come later. But one of relief. That finally, it was one less stick that everyone could beat us with. And I was hugely happy for Arsene Wenger.

No one deserved a trophy more than him. In football anyway.

Then I came home and watched every bit of Arsenal news I could..and I watched the dressing room … and watched Aaron Ramsey speak… and was amazed at how how calm and down to earth he was, after scoring in a big final. And he, doubtlessly along with many of this wonderful Arsenal team was..kind of epitomized the type of team we were.

And as the interview finished…surprisingly I had a couple of tears running down my face. Tears of joy, relief…I don’t know. But this trophy meant a lot. Why? I don’t know honestly. But it did.

I’ve hardly watched a single live game in the last year and a half… and while I don’t get badly depressed as I did 10 years or so ago when I started watching Arsenal and they lost…and I’m much much more balanced, Arsenal somehow has woven itself into me. And they are without a doubt my biggest source of external joy…derived from something I have absolutely no control on.

I won’t ramble on… this is a very very different little piece from what I normally write. But I’d just like to end by saying:

Thank You Arsene Wenger. Please stay and continue to give me as much joy as you do. Thank You Arsenal. For being a bit of a beacon in these crazy times and trying to do things the right way.

And lastly….Thank You Santi, Laurent and Aaron. You have no idea what you have done today. Maybe you do… but mostly you dont πŸ™‚

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27 comments to Camaraderie and thanks. Memories that will live on

  • WalterBroeckx

    Lovely article Arvind.
    I have just seen a picture on facebook from our travelling group after the match. And when I look at that picture I see 8 faces with the most happy expression I have ever seen.
    Emotions…

  • WalterBroeckx

    off topic but interesting ‘facts’

    1966:
    Austria wins Eurovision song contest
    Atletico Madrid wins Spanish league
    Everton wins the FA cup 3-2 after being 0-2 down
    Real Madrid wins Europacup I

    2014:
    Austria wins Eurovision song contest
    Atletico Madrid wins Spanish league
    Arsenal wins the FA cup 3-2 after being 0-2 down
    Will Real Madrid win the CL?

    If Hull had known this, they surely wouldn’t have scored those two goals πŸ˜‰

  • leany

    Calm and down to earth! This team really is. Like Rosi in his post match interview with Arsenal Player. You can see and tell how big his joy was in the pitch-side celebration, but in that interview: very little, except his words. That can apply to Arsene and other members of this team as well. They don’t say about their emotions really big but with enough meaningfull words and genuineness to make us feel, if we really care.

  • nicky

    Arvind,
    “Gibbs blazed over late in the game” you reported.
    In case you are wondering why, I will explain. The ball rather unkindly finished on his right side (the side which has no connection with football). He then had to pause, transfer it on to his left boot, by which time he was forced to rush things a bit.
    Just in case Arsene decides to ask me for advice, I will tell him to banish Gibbs to a beach in
    Tenerife for two months with a football and only his right boot.
    I guarantee he will return the finished article and the best
    Two-footed full back in the EPL.

  • nicky,

    Gibbs’ inability to use his right leg for anything other than movement is his biggest flaw. Attack wise, he is our best wing back but his strange unwillingness to even try to use his right leg has cost him many goals. I agree with your rationale for why he missed a sure goal and the glory that would have come with it.

  • bjtgooner

    Nice article Arvind, I think we can all empathize with the emotions you describe and the relief which turned to joy and happiness, all of which later had to be vented by celebration.

    It was very important for this group of players to collectively win silverware, to get the over used monkey off their back and show the footballing world including the ghastly and manipulative media that Arsenal can succeed – despite some of the most biased refereeing the PGMOL has displayed on a big stage – hence the range of emotion we all went through.

  • bjtgooner,

    Talking about that Probert performance on Saturday, my wife, a great fan of Arsenal (probably because of me) but not a great follower of football, was exasperated about the kicking and the uncalled penalties. But mostly the kicking – and believe me, our boys were viciously kicked in an evilly choreographed rotational kicking routine.

    Mrs Bootoomee asked the question that I have seen many ask here in the past: why do we keep following this travesty as passionately as we do? Why do we (me and my AKB friends watching together) keep having our passion rubbished by this sort of unfairness. Neither me nor any of my friends have anything to reply with.

    When I mumbled that we are used to it because this happens to us all the time, she came back with: “Never complain about my shopping habits ever again because at least, I come home with what I bought after shopping.”

    I don’t agree with her but what could I say? I seldom look that silly but there are moments during that game when I just wondered what the hell I was doing. Anyone who think that I am being hyperbolic needs to watch the full match again. Probert was so atrocious, he made me question why I follow football. That PGMOL rat bastard!

  • Gooner S

    @Walter

    You forgot.

    1966 – England win World cup!……2014….England…. no cant see it happening πŸ™‚

  • WalterBroeckx

    A lovely video with the players singing songs at the Emirates.

    http://vimeo.com/95816232

    And I have never seen Wenger behaving so ‘un-Wenger-like’ as he did after our win last Saturday. You could see that big weight literally falling off his shoulders.

  • menace

    @Gooner S – LOL !!!! could happen. worth a punt.

    @Bootoome – we watch because we love the club, the team and the manager. We see the pain but thank God we aren’t the ones getting kicked.

    I dreamt that someone had kidnapped top PGMOL rat Riley and showed him a match. Kicked him each time a player got kicked……. After the match asked him if he wanted a replay.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice one ,Arvind . Like you I watch it at home ,usually alone ,and have a glass of wine to keep me company .
    This year’s viewing has generally been easy ,what with us finally winning something !
    Those heavy losses while not at all being pleasant ,did not get me down too low or too long.The same too with all those wins.
    It was just ‘Que sera sera ‘ moments .And the attention is soon diverted and focused to the next match .
    While waiting for next season to start , I very sure there will be many bottles of wine to be enjoyed . Especially we are going to be faced with an empty nest syndrome as my youngest leaves home to study for his pre-university course.
    I will be having more time on the home computer and to post on here .Ahhh ! Swatting the AAAA is a real pleasure!

  • JohnW

    Was I the only one to see Hull doing their bit in time wasting from around the 5th minute? I thought it was risky on their part, most times I’ve seen Arsenal play a time-wasting team, they have gone on to win or get a result. I don’t know, may be i’m growing old but I’ve watched the final two times now, and each time it was more beautiful!

  • menace

    When we measure all the incidents and results against each other, I would rather 5 games lost 6 – 0 than any of our players with a broken leg. Problem is that the fouls that damage our players are ignored and lead up to the defeats.

    Can we have a better set of officials if we hound the FA?

  • colario

    We watch because we can’t help ourselves.

    I sat glued to the TV with a down load on the comp. After 8 mins my heart was in my boots which were in the hall cupboard.

    At half time not knowing the atmosphere in the stadium I went and cleaned the toilet bowl such was my despair.

    That shiny white I returned to my sofa seat to continue the agony and the torture. The horror of it all and then the goal. All that did was add to the tension in my stomach which was by this time as hard as granite.

    Then came the change Ozil and Cazorla off and Wilshire and Rosicky on. I felt my stomach loosen just a fraction but the rest of me was taut like the strings on a tennis racket.

    Then the goal and the longest moment of the match ‘Probart’ would he disallow it?

    My eyes rolled with the ball as it rolled its way goal ward. ‘Gibbs no I shouted’ so thankful that he heard me and my eyes rolled on past the goal.

    For the next what I have no idea until the sudden realisation that the no penalty ref had blown his whistle for the last time at the match.

    Three days later my body and brain are just about back to normal and I have got new glasses.

    Would I go through that agony again, the horror of those opening minutes, the fear of it going wrong in the last few?

    I’d do it tomorrow given the chance.

    I am a Gooner, its what Gooners do.

  • jambug

    Bootoomee/bjtgooner

    I’ve lost count of the times my wife has said ‘That’s it, I’m never watching football ever again’ Following yet another travesty of a refereeing performance.

    But of course her love for Arsenal, as is mine, is just too much to stay away.

    For me, yes the refs are a nightmare, but those of you that know me will know that what really really gets me is the media shit afterwards.

    In the face of the most clear cut evidence you are ever likely to see they just deny that anything is actually wrong.

    For people to deny that they where penalties is THE most blatant example of media bias I have ever seen.

    I know I’m a fool for letting it get to me but this post match tirade of blatant lies and bias has actually spoilt the joy for me.

    What it has done has rammed home to me the true scale of hate and anti Arsenal venom there is in the media.

    Obviously I knew it was bad but even I didn’t expect it to be THIS bad.

    I honestly believe with this level of Media and PGMOL bias we haven’t got a chance of progressing.

  • Shard

    One of the most touching moments captured in the aftermath of the FA CUp win, was Wenger kissing Sagna’s forehead as he was on his knees praying. Sagna reportedly broke down while talking about Wenger to Le Equipe.

    But anyway thanks for the article Arvind. This team certainly does seem to have a close bond. They really worked hard for each other, believed in each other, and now, with a win, have some success to give them even more belief. That together they can achieve success.

    Also loved how they quite clearly made a show of getting Wenger involved in everything. Hugging him at the final whistle, the beer and the bumps, handing him the FA Cup before passing it on to the other players. Everyone of them realises how much Wenger has done for them.

    And it was great fun to see them and the manager just be able to throw off that weight from their shoulders and just have a good time for once. No one can take this away from them. Not Durham, not Mourinho, not Warnock..whoever. Like Wenger said, they have to be more creative now. This is the team that was destined to end our ‘trophy drought’. Onwards and upwards. Or better yet.. ‘Forward’.

  • bob

    “One of the most touching moments captured in the aftermath of the FA CUp win, was Wenger kissing Sagna’s forehead as he was on his knees praying. Sagna reportedly broke down while talking about Wenger to Le Equipe.”
    Shard,
    Many Thanks for noting this! If you (or anyone) can link to that image, I’d be forever grateful. Oh that there’s divine intervention that he stays. Loyalty deserves loyalty.

  • bjtgooner

    @Brickfields

    Nice one, no one could see that one coming!

  • menace @1.32pm,

    I hope that your dream come true. No ransom just the kicking for every unpunished foul. And then release him and let’s see what he thinks of the terrible job that his ward are doing.

  • bob

    Rantetta,
    Cheers! What a Magnificent photo! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • paul "the Gooner"

    A very nice article.I admit that I missed extra time.I could not stand the pressure.This was a very,very big match.I drove to a quiet spot and read a book,nobody was around.I turned on the radio at 7.32 and heard the right noise.A wonderful feeling.I had taped the match so did not miss anything.We had booked to go to a quiz night on Saturday evening at a club i go to.Most of the punters were pleased for me, however you always get the idios..(Chgelsea or spuds.) What a feeling it is now.We can all relax for a few months, knowing the wait is over.I have never seen AW like that after a match.Had we lost, what would he had done! We will never know. I am so very pleased it spoilt all the editors,journos and TV and radio reporters evenings,days,weeks and months.

  • Steve Vallins

    Off subject and one for you Walter if Kos does not score do we get a penalty as the goalkeeper went straight through Kos with no chance of getting the ball . I know Probert would not give it as he does not do penalties but by the laws should he ?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Steve,
    yes should and would not πŸ˜‰ Probert would never give it. Dean would give it against us πŸ™‚

  • Damilare

    Nice Article Arvind.

    @Walter 8:15, great stat…@Gonner S 10:48, never say never. @Rantetta 2:34, that photo says a thousand words. For me the most resounding word from the pics is:
    Sagna- ‘Thank you daddy’
    AW- ‘I love you son’

    COYG.

  • Pat

    Just catching up with Untold!

    Lovely photo of Arsene and Bacary – many thanks for the link!

    I was at the Emirates for the cup final but after we were denied the first obvious penalty I couldn’t stand it any more. I just thought we were going to be robbed again. So I had to go out and walk around. My son kept me updated by text and then I was passing a pub when a huge cheer went up for Ramsey’s goal. So I got to celebrate with some fans after all! And then on Sunday I went to the parade and that was absolutely great. Since then I’ve just been looking at every video and every photo on the Arsenal web site.

    Arsenal for ever!