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It’s almost Christmas time….

By Walter Broeckx

There is something in the air. Don’t you smell it? Well I do. All the way from where I sit writing this article. I sure smell it. It is the smell of anticipation in the air. The smell of: finally! Yes! It is the smell of the green, green grass of home. Also known as the Emirates.

And as I have been on the pitch once myself as the picture in the header shows I do know how the pitch in the Emirates smells. A heavenly smell. Well it does in my imagination probably because if I would take away the bias it will probably smell like all grass fields I find myself running on every weekend.

But yes this weekend I am coming over to London for the first time this season. At last. We will come over this weekend with a group of supporters from the Arsenal Belgium supporters club. And for some it will be the first time in the Emirates. And as we have to young children in the group together with their fathers who (the kids at least) will have their first match at the Emirates I can imagine how excited they will be by now.

And in a way for us who don’t have the opportunity to come to a match each time this feeling remains even when you are like me a grown up adult who have seen more than 50 years passing by. But here I am on a Thursday evening counting how many times I have to sleep before I can go to London. Just like those young kids in our group probably are doing.

Being a football supporter keeps you young in a strange way. Being a football supporter from afar keeps you even younger I think. My brother who is older than me and who will be there also was in fact the first to openly admit that excitement earlier this week.

And when you look at it you might find it silly. Or stupid. Or strange. Or you might say: grow up. But to be honest I don’t want to grow up when it comes to Arsenal. I want to enjoy it like I do and did all the time. I want to keep feeling that excitement about going to London (my second city after Antwerp) even if it is for the umpteenth time that I am coming over. Because the day I lose that it will probably the day that I stop supporting Arsenal. Can’t see that day happening as long as I ‘m alive to be honest.

The fact that it will be a long day doesn’t take away the fun at all. No because it gives me the chance to be in the company of my brother with whom I have supported Arsenal since 1979, for the whole day. To be with other friends I have learned to know thanks to our supporters club. Being in their company is great. It gives you a special feeling of togetherness. A feeling of belonging somewhere. Even if that somewhere is a few hundred kilometres from where I was born and from where I my family home.

And of course it is a day of meeting people again. As things stand now it will almost as if the whole regular Untold writing team will come together next Saturday. Meeting Tony again (we haven’t met since the semi final), seeing Drew again (first time since Sunderland at home) and coming from south London, Greenwich (I know I pronounce it wrong but hey my tongue can say things you can’t say) in the good company of Andrew (also since Sunderland) to the place we all want to be is something I am also very excited about.

Being an Arsenal supporter has been for a very long time a lonely business out here in Belgium. I thought Eric and I were probably the only ones who supported Arsenal. But gradually we found out we were more. And now we have an amazing number of members in the supporters club that has chosen me to be their chairman. Something I still am amazed about, but I like to think that what I have been doing on Untold does play a part in it.

But now apart from having so many friends at home I also have found a few friends in London. And when I look back at being a supporter since 1979 this is really something amazing. I never could have imagined anything like that in those days.

And that is all adding to the feelings of excitement. Because going to London is not just to see my favourite team play on that amazing pitch in that amazing stadium. But it is about being with friends who share the same passion. It is about meeting people from other countries who share that same vision on Arsenal and football.

So yes I am looking forward to next Saturday like a kid on Christmas eve. Looking forward to seeing you all again. And let us shout out loud for our Gunners on the field. I will do it anyway. Never mind the soar throat the day after. Can’t wait to be there.

PS: There is one minor, slight problem with me going to the Emirates and meeting Tony there. There will be no real match report coming on line shortly after the match has finished. So my gain of being there is your loss this time. But I’m sure you will forgive me for this once.

32 comments to It’s almost Christmas time….

  • Drew and I have changed our regular departure time from Northampton, Walter. We should be at the rendezvous in time for lunch.

  • apo Armani

    Good one Walter!! Not many ‘sleeps’ to go 🙂

  • bob mac

    Excellent article……………..excitement at being at the Emirates again……..me too!!!!

  • toitean

    It’s one sixth of the year away.

  • none

    For Walter and Tony.
    I apologise if someone else has posted this. But I saw this on the BBC Gossip seciton…

    “Referee chiefs Mike Riley and Howard Webb will travel to the Netherlands next month to see if video replays could work in the Premier League.”
    Apparently its in the Sun, which requires a subscription to Murdoch’s E*** Empire.

  • Will

    Slightly off topic so I am sorry for this but, just listened to talksport and they are now going after refs. what’s this, Chelsea get a couple of duff decisions and that pile of crap decide that ref’s aren’t up to teh task? Wow. That is all I can say, WOW.

  • Will

    And I am doing the reverse trip in December Walter, Love Brussels and try to get there at least 3 times a year.

  • jambug

    Will

    Wow you say.

    I can think of a few other more appropriate expletives.

  • Will

    Tell me about it Jambug. How many years have we been assaulted on the pitch with the media saying we are soft southern fairies who don’t like the rough stuff?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Great Tony, Andrew and Drew looking forward to meeting you again. And all together this time

  • Nicky

    Walter,
    Your mention of the header, gives me the opportunity to plead that you try to persuade Tony to abandon the silly saying attributed to Arsene Wenger, which is beneath each publication.
    To broadly describe ANY activity to be performed so well to be an art, is plainly ridiculous.
    It’s a bête noir of mine and I make no excuse to raise it once again.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Please don’t mention that “C” word!

  • Vintage Gooner

    A great post Walter and may your enthusiasm last life-long as you expect. When you had the difficulties with the Anderlecht tickets I said that Arsenal should give your Belgian Supporters the opportunity to have tickets out of Anderlecht’s normal allocation (together with coaches laid on for travel) but I suspect this would fall foul of UEFA regulations. Is the Burnley opportunity Arsenal making things up to you in the only way they can or was it all arranged long before?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Vintage Gooner,
    It was arranged before so I hope they still make up for it later in the season

  • Nicky,

    I don’t understand why Tony should remove the quote in question from his blogsite’s banner.

    1. It isn’t an offensive quote by any definition. I would be on your side if it were an offensive statement.

    2. This is Tony’s personal site. I think he has absolute right to put any quote he likes on its welcome banner, especially as it not offending to any group of people.

    3. While it may offend you as an individual (although its baffling why it does), you need to understand that there are several other readers of Untold Arsenal who either love the quote (e.g. myself) or are totally unbothered by it.

    My unsolicited advice is that you should let it go. Ignore it or just scroll past it as quickly as possible each time you visit the site to limit the offense or inconvenience it causes you.

  • Ayotunde

    I don’t know when I will get an opportunity to get to the emirates from Nigeria. I’m still 18 though so I haave many yeaars ahead

  • Gunnerjoe

    So this years media darlings Chelsea dropped points because a ref didn’t give them a penalty.
    Mark my words this is the start of a campaign to make sure that this years chosen ones actualy win the PL.
    Look at the sh*t storm that was caused when last years darlings Liverpool wasn’t given a penalty by Howard Webb in our FA cup match last season.

  • GunnerMacedonia

    I’m an Arsenal fan since 98′ (the moment a started watching football) and I follow this site for about 6 months ( I love it cuzz it’s the opposite of all those arsenal-hating Arsenal blogs, why do they even exist?? ) I’ve been wanting to comment on many things about the club here, good or bad but didn’t, but this article was too much to take and miss commenting on…. Here goes:

    Walter,you lucky b@#$*d, and all of you who can enjoy the Emirates and the team we all love!!! 😀

    I envy you guys, I would give my all to be there at least once. So when you shout on Saturday, remember to shout loud for all those Gunners who want, but can’t be there!!! Rest assured, I will be shouting my throat out in front of the TV as well. 😀 COYG
    Love this type of positive football articles

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Walter , am hoping that we score 3 but keep a clean sheet . Have a great time .
    Do put up some photos /selfies when you can . Cheers !
    Up the Gunners !

  • para

    @Gunnerjoe
    “Mark my words this is the start of a campaign to make sure that this years chosen ones actualy win the PL.”

    By chosen ones i hope you mean ManU.

    I know every one thinks Chelsea in this year’s “chosen”, but i know ManU has always been and always be UK chosen ones, alone how the media still pamper them shows it. Chelsea are being set up for the fall i think.

    I guess we are going to hear the Mou complain much this season.

  • Chapman's Ghost

    I imagine it’s just as much what happened in the Swansea game and their manager’s anger at the ref that has caused a ref inquest than anything Chelsea may moan about.

    If you believe that the league champions are “chosen” I suggest you give up football and go and watch darts or tennis.

    @Nicky, I agree that quote is absurd, I mean when I visit the toilet I don’t bag up the results and it claim it to be art although perhaps I should as I might win the Turner prize. That strapline doesn’t offend me though, it just reminds me that we’re all capable of talking nonsense.

    @Walter, enjoy your day out. I think you usually bring us luck when you attend home games so I’m expecting a win over Burnley.

  • Gunnerjoe

    I only go by what I see, read or hear and I will stand by my statement that Chelsea are this seasons chosen team.
    All the pundits have all decided that Chelsea are favorites to win the PL this season which is not unreasonable.
    But after a large percentage got it wrong with liverpool last season they won’t take any chances this season they will put even more pressure on refs so that Chelsea.

  • Mandy Dodd

    very very correct Goonerjoe, expect to see Atkinson officiating at a lot of Chelsea games this season.
    Even the AAA seem to be firmly behind Chelsea….having seen some of their forums, think a few of them need to go over and start supporting Chelsea

  • SpursFanView

    It’s counts for any team tony. I moved to the West Yorkshire regions a teenager years ago and followed Halifax Town, going to majority of games. So the aticipation of going to WHL was massive as they were rare occasion.

    I live in another country now and actually miss going to FC Halifax Town. There is nothing better than being at the actual ground than watching it on TV no matter what level of football it is.

  • Blaisehayest

    @ Chapman’s Ghost

    I shit you not I once was at an art exhibition and there was a photographer who took a picture of every bowl movement he had for an entire year. So even though to my untrained eyes it looked like anything butt, it was in an art gallery so must have been art. I guess it’s all a matter of perception.

  • ClockEndRider

    Walter,
    Enjoy your trip over, sir. Hope you and all the Belgian Gunners have a great day.

  • blacksheep63

    Walter you are going to LOVE the burgers 🙂

  • Blaiseheyest,

    The bottom line is that Tony has an absolute right to put any quote he wants on his blog. Unless it is an unambiguously offensive comment I see no reason why anybody should be moaning about it or demanding that it be removed.

    I understand the statement in context and I totally get and agree with it. If I did not get it or object to it, that wouldn’t be enough ground for me agitate for its removal.

    Ironically though, the thought police agitating on this none issue will be the first to start screaming freedom of speech when called out on their bullshit.

  • Chapman's Ghost

    @Gunnerjoe, usually the best teams win the league. Chelsea have the best squad and a pretty decent manager, much as it pains me to say it. The pundits nearly always choose the safe option. We’re not a safe option and I think we’re still a few players away from being the finished article. If you want to believe someone chooses who wins the league it’s best to give up football, it’ll only make you fed up. And if you do believe that then doesn’t that rather cheapen our premier league titles?

    @Blaisehayest, I can believe it. I think a sculpture made from elephant dung won the Turner Prize some years back. I guess it’s not the material you use but what you do with it.

  • apo Armani

    @Brickfields Gunners
    October 31, 2014 at 4:23 am

    Please…pretty please the LOTTO numbers mate 😉

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @Apo- Here goes 7 12 25 33 42 49

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Thanks Walter ! I knew that we’d score 3 goals whenever you are there, but a clean sheet reflects the overall improvement of this team. WOO HOO,HOO ! Up the Gunners!