Hello hello, that was fun.
Walter and co from Benelux Supporters Club found their way to the Auld Triangle and I took Walter in to show him what a north London pub looks like before it gets crowded (I mean there were only 200 people inside the public bar, and it only took half an hour to fight our way to the bar. Peanuts).
And then Ian turned up and I was able to say, in a much rehearsed manner, “Ian Brookes, this is Walter Broeckx” although that joke only works if you know that Broeckx, the Flemish name, is pronounced Brookes, and that Roger Brookes to whom Making the Arsenal (the greatest book ever written in the universe) is dedicated was Ian’s dad. And Roger’s grandson was there too.
But eventually we had to break off the hospitalities and watch the game And would you believe, the whole team came out in Ramsey shirts with his name and number on. Now I refer you back to my prediction for the team which had Ramsey playing in six different positions. Bit of foreknowledge on my part, what?
Anyway, moving on….
First half: awful bent ref, Arsenal 1-0 up, dead easy. Second half, Burnley score, game gets lively. Third half, we do them, all done. Arshavin actually squeezed the ball through a space smaller than the ball itself in a total re-writing of physics, and that will give them something to talk about on Star Trek, just mark my words.
And I don’t know if you saw it but after the final bell, Eboue went over to the crowd on the far side and thanked them for their support and gave away his shirt. Also when we were all singing for Bendtner after his fifth miss, he stood there and applauded us back. Now that is the way you do it. That is supporting your club. That is football.
But I have left the best until last.
For with about 20 minutes or so left Bikey came on.
Now you may not know Bikey, so let me tell you of this wonderful man. He has been the subject of debate here before, and for my pains I was called a racist for commenting on his humorous style, but then people do say the silliest things.
Bikey weight about 25 stone and waddles around a bit. His shorts go down to his ankles and he sort of lumbers, rather than runs.
His height of fame came in the Africa Nation Cup just over two years ago when while playing for his country one of his compatriots got injured. It was a serious injury and the stretcher team had to come on. Bikey, however, did not approve of the way the medics were attacking his compadre. So to express these deep and innermost thoughts he attacked the stretcher team as they were carrying his friend off, knocking one of them over, and causing further injury to the injured party who fell to the ground.
He was then sent off.
Thus it was a great honour to see the wonderful Bikey again. They will have to repair the pitch where ever he trod, but I think it worth sacrifice. And yes, he is a little slower these days, which is why I think Wheelbarrow is a better name.
But back to the main theme. I have to say, I am in awe of the Broeckx family – their day out involved the car drive into Antwerp, the train to Brussels, the Euro Star to St Panc, and the underground to Arsenal, before being dragged into the Auld Triangle by me.
Most important of all though, we all went hope happy to give eternal thanks once more to our almighty Lord Wenger.
This is football. And you can’t tell me otherwise.
You might also enjoy
- As the industrial sludge dwellers of the north pick up their knuckles and prepare their black puddings: The match preview
- Arsenal Burley: a delightful and insightful fistful of pratfalls
- “Making the Arsenal” – the novel. The most extraordinary book about Arsenal ever. And that’s unofficial. Available from Amazon.co.uk and from the publishers direct.
Extra large shirts for the gent who thinks everyone else is too small. 3XL to 6XL football fans t shirts.
The sound of 60,000 fans saying “Ohhhhh” as Arshavin defies the laws of physics is copyright © Untold Arsenal 2010.
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