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Arsenal v the Arsenalistas of Arsenal do Minho (aka Braga) (and a car park)

By Billy the Dog McGraw.  Our man in the car park.

Thus it was.

I know the Guardian said it was 25 passes, but that’s tripe.  They were quite clearly drunk at the time.  I could see them in their little press boxy type thing, below us executive types in club level with me old mates from 02.  35?  45?  It was certainly “lots” as we mathematicians say.

Now as we approach the next game, in an exclusive interview for Untold the Lord Wenger said, “I believe our group stage is a good test because I think this group is much stronger than it looks. I am keen to start with Braga because they look a handful. They are a fantastic counter-attacking team.”

(Actually two words in the previous paragraph were just a teenzy weenzy bit of an exaggeration).

And now we are preparing to do it again – yes again – only this time with 55 passes and an overhead backwards somersault, as we line up to play Braga, Sporting Clube de Braga, or Arsenal do Minho as they were called from 1920 when they copied our kit.  (Braga also renamed their youth team Arsenal do Braga which is not bad going for adulation).

The fans of Braga are known as Arsenalistas due to their kit being our kit (as it were).  Actually they even have their own Arsenal/Tiny Totts match against  Vitória de Guimarães from which children under 13 are restricted from entering unless an adult is with them.   What the Tinies would give to have enough support to be able to restrict entry!

Braga’s recent run in Europe started in 2004–05 (UEFA Cup).  In 2006–07, they lost to the alphabetists (AZ) again in the UEFA Cup having beaten  Slovan Liberec 4–0.   Next season things really went downhill when they lost to the Tiny Totts 6–4 on aggregate in the last 16.

In 2007–08 Braga qualified again for the group stages of the UEFA Cup, when they entered a jousting competition with Notlob Wanderers and drew one death each and after other games which actually included some football (since Samantha Allerdyce was not managing one of the teams) they got out of the group stages.  They lost to Werder Bremen.

In the following year they played Appy Arry at Portsmouth and quite naturally beat them 3-0.  Brown envelopes were seen floating in the wind but no one offered anything and I make no allegation or comment.  Arry came down to breakfast the next morning, lifted up one of the man silver dishes that the cooking staff had laid out for his delectation, looked down, muttered “Eggs!  Eggs!  Eggs!  Eggs!” and immediately resigned and went all Tiny.

This year Braga Arsenal made their Champs League debut and beat Celtic to get through from the third qualifier, before beating Sevilla in the fourth.  (Of course they could have done it the other way around, but that would have been perverse.)

Arsenal’s team will be…

Almunia

Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny, Cliche (Djourou, Eboue, Gibbs)

Song (Denilson, Henderson)

Fabregas, Nasri (Wilshere, Lansbury, JET)

Arshavin, Chamakh, Vela, (Rosicky, Sunu, Afobe)

Arsenal will win 5-1 and we will all go home very jolly and rather happy.  Our injury list is extensive of course, but we cope well with some space to spare, and in due course the dying and wounded will eventually return.

The Car Park

But now having dealt with the heavy stuff, here’s a thought.  Did you know that long after the game is over and even the crowd outside Arsenal station has diminished to a police constable and a passing stray dog looking for the leftovers of a hotdog served by Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler (you know him?), a group gathers to the left of the steps leading up to Entrance S, and leans over the wall.

The centre of their attention is the exit from the underground car park, and the group (numbered in their hundreds) crane forward eagerly looking to grab a glimpse of the top of a player’s 4 by 4 with tinted windows.

Oh joy! Oh fun!

But there is a lot of hanging around thus, and therefore I propose that 02, friends of members everywhere and operators of the jolly competitions and free pints (although not on European nights) should sponsor the car park exit, and put up a big screen so that the car-hunting fans can see the goings and comings INSIDE the car park.  Won’t that be jolly?

I have to admit Jane and I did peer over the side just to see what all the fuss was about.  And do you know, this isn’t just a kids game!  We actually weren’t the youngest people there!

Thus is the definition of fame: when the crowds line up to get a look at the top of your car.

Eggs!  Don’t talk to me about eggs.

————————–

Have we really improved? An early comparison between seasons

Liverpool: the endgame

The injury index: how Arsenal’s injuries compare with the other senior clubs.

Arsenal v Bolton: the referee’s analysis Referee Walter Broeckx considers how the man in the middle got on.

Arsenal in History: the keeper plays at full back after 10 players are out injured.

6 comments to Arsenal v the Arsenalistas of Arsenal do Minho (aka Braga) (and a car park)

  • Paul C.

    Tony – I think that could quite possibly be the best definition of fame I have ever seen.

  • dats

    O.K I wont talk to you about eggs. Oh b*gger I’ve just done it!

  • walter

    I must say that on a day that we had lots of time we had seen the exit of the players and well it was amazing to see what cars they drive or been driven in.
    And the signature hunters knew what to do to get a signature.
    It was impressing to see all those BMWs, Aston Martins, Jaguars, Mercedes, and god knows what other cars not for the ordinary people coming out.

    The funniest thing was that between those big cars suddenly came a Hyunday Getz out of that same exclusive car park. Nobody ran after that car for a signature so if you want to come out as a player incognito you must buy such a car. 🙂

  • Dark Prince

    I wont say they copied our kit. I’d rather say that they got inspired by Arsenal while they were designing their kit. Maybe they thought they can emulate us. 🙂

  • Red-Man

    Hotdog? Do you mean Sausage Inna Bun?

    🙂

  • Ronnie Brown

    Looking foward to the game today, hoping for a victory to get started well, I think we will have an interesting year in the champions league this season, I think Chamkah will be important, I think he will score a lot of goals and important ones in the champions league, I think one of the reason Wenger bought Chamakh was his desire to win the champions league.