Arsenal – WBA, the after match fun

By Walter Broeckx

Over the last seasons I have always tried to be at the Emirates in our final home match. As the way things went this time I once again had the luck to be there. People who have been there at such occasion know that after the match the players do a lap of appreciation for the supporters.

And it usually is good fun. Certainly when you have won and the sun is shining. And you have a cup final to look forward too. And so compared with other seasons the crowd stayed in the stadium in really big numbers. The usual suspects that had to get their train left as usual. But I think the stadium was still filled in the range of more than half up to 2/3rd. As I was at the clock end I stayed till the last players went in.

So immediately after the final whistle the players and the ones that didn’t play or couldn’t play today gathered at the players tunnel. The lap started with one of Jack’s kids deciding to show who would or should run the show in the middle of the field. It took Jack some running to get his kid in to control again. He looks as lively as his father.

The supporters sing a lot of songs on such occasion of course. But the most heard song this time was aimed at Bacary Sagna. Who remembers that only 12 months ago a lot of idiots screamed at him and said he had to be sold? I remember. But now the stadium sang and kept on singing: We want you to stay, we want you to stay, Bacary Sagna, we want you to stay. I sang along.

And I hope that both parties can find an agreement in the next days. This old warrior that has given his broken bones to Arsenal deserves to be around for a few years. FFS find an  agreement somewhere in between what you both wish.  This is the supporter speaking of course. As I know there are other things in place with a 32 year old player. Like how long can he keep this up? But looking at the way he played this season he sure isn’t finished yet.  I admit I want him to stay for at least another year or two and then Bellerin can step in to his place. I also admit I am a big fan of Bellerin and have high hopes for him.

But also other players name were sang when they were shown on the big screens. And the ooh and the aaahs from mostly female spectators when they showed the little ones were touching. It is in a way touching to see those ‘hard professionals’ showing their soft spot with their children. Koscielny was very slow in doing his lap. But that was more down to one of his children who wanted to take her time to do the lap. She enjoyed it rather.  As he was the only one still doing his lap Kosciely got a little song himself.

Theo showing his 2-0 signal was reason for some fun of course.  And when the players slowly gathered back at the players tunnel someone got a ball out. And this was the signal for a remarkable few moments.  Two of the bigger kids ran after the ball and started exchanging passes. I know one of them was a kid from Arteta and the other was from Sagna.

What followed was a nice Arsenal move with one touch passing between the two kids. They broke down the midfield and started heading for the clock end goal but at the penalty area they suddenly changed direction and moved back to the centre circle. The crowd urged them on and they again broke loose but again stopped at the penalty area. Typical Arsenal someone said, they refuse to shoot at goal.

After some moments to take a breather they went the other way. And again a fine passing move was shown on the pitch.  I was hoping for the crowd to start singing to sign them up but that didn’t happen. But the two kids made their passing way to the North bank goal and when one of the kids finally put the ball in the net a big cheer came from the crowd.

Seeing those little legs running on the big pitch that has won another award by the way, was touching. They  went on to score in the second half also after that in the Clock End goal. Again followed with a big response from the crowd.  So I think it was 3 or 4-0 in the end for the Arsenal kids against whoever they were playing in their heads.

A smiling Wenger saw that his troops enjoyed themselves and the players seemed to have a good bond with each other.  Always good to see. And important.

But star of the parade was as said Bacary Sagna. We don’t care if he’s got bad hair, we just love him. And it would be a bit a sad moment if he really would go. And if you really go Bac,  I can only ask you to do the honourable thing and move to PSG, Monaco or whoever to get that final pay check. Not that I would mind you for wanting that big final pay check.  But as you are out of contract there is nothing we can do except to sing your name and try to persuade you with our love.

We done our bit last Sunday, the answer is yours.  Just sign da thing, Bac. Let us try to sing next season at the end: We’re glad that he stayed, we’re glad that he stayed, Bacary Sagna, we’re glad that he stayed.

Hope to see al our players back at the start of next season. And who knows with a bit more luck on the injury front we might be able to carry a trophy with us on that occasion….

The books


27 Replies to “Arsenal – WBA, the after match fun”

  1. I have written this when I was still very tired. I reread it and I noticed I put myself in the clock end and I was in the North Bank…. But other than that it should be accurate…

  2. Walter
    I too was there for a humour laced final home game. One small piece you missed at the Clock End was that when Archie Wilshere headed for the centre circle, the North Bank fans immediately launched into the “Oh Santi Cazorla” song. More a reference to Archie’s stature than his ball control I think.

  3. Walter,
    Thank you for three great articles regarding this game and for your flattering compliments to me. I have learned so much from you over the past three years that buying a “Dennis Bergkamp” for you and Marcel was the least I could do to show my appreciation. It made my season to finally be able to meet you in the flesh.
    I’m sure that we will be able to find a way to keep up the pressure on the referees next season, although for now I’m not sure how. I’ve one or two ideas which I will check out over the next few weeks and then run them past you for a reality check.

  4. Walter,
    I take exception to the comment about Bac’s hair.
    IMVHO, he has great hair, the best in the team.

  5. Completely disagree on this Ray 😉 Arteta is the best hair man in the team 🙂

  6. Ben, will try to write about that but it is more Tony his cup of tea so I could go completely wrong on this…

  7. @Ben
    Who/what is the lucky recipient of the £50 million smackeroos. Does it all go into UEFA coffers, I suppose it does but to be used for what, or will FIFA got their greedy hands on some of it. I wonder if Platini is on a bonus? Imagine the size of the bribes they will be able to pay now!

  8. I don’t know about you guys but I am kinda satisfied with the punishment being imposed, assuming it is done as prescribed. I was never under any kind of illusion that ANY club would be banned from the Champions’ league. Come on people, let’s be realistic. Any club that is rich enough to violate FFP will also be big enough to be difficult to exclude from the elite competition. And naturally, they’ll be rich enough to out-spend UEFA in the courts. And I mean ALL the courts because they will fight to the death on the matter. There is also the problem of the competition lacking some excitement and the winners’ credibility being eroded because some strong teams have been banned.

    While I acknowledge that it is not fair, life has taught me that it is difficult to hold the rich and powerful to account. Except in very rare instances, they have the resources and connections to get away with their crimes. In the case of the banks, they have the whole world economy by the balls (whether we agree or not) and in order to not cause even bigger problems, they usually get away with just paying fines rather than having their chief officers sent to jail.

    If indeed violators of the FFP are punished as described by Skysports (big emphasis on IF here), then we, at least, now have precedent that offenders will be punished and those who might have similar intentions now know that there will be repercussions.

    I think the £50 million fine is laughable when we consider the financial might of these clubs but the limitation of their CL squads to 21 is great. It is the real punishment in my opinion and the one that I think the clubs will fight most vigorously. If UEFA is able to impose this, then it will be a great deterrent to clubs about over-spending. Why waste money on players that you will not be allowed to play?

    I don’t care about the fine one way or another but if UEFA should shift their position on player limitation, then FFP is dead.

  9. Player limitation is probably the only way to hit the really rich teams aside from exclusion. 50 million is peanuts to PSG and ManCity. I wonder, though does the fine affect their balance sheet for next year?

  10. Seems quite a big fine to me. Rich as they are £50 millions has to come out of one of their budgets. If that had happened to Liverpool who were close to overspending it could have caused massive financial problems. I understand that PSG are getting a worse punishment.

  11. How about no one signed during the period under review can play or be part of the 21 squad?

  12. I see that it’s diluted by being able to be paid over 3 years. Still at least it might shut up their smug, self righteous supporters.

  13. Jax,

    They are allowed to spread it over 3 years which lessens the effect. While I agree that £50 million is a lot of money, we are talking about teams that are being punished for far, far and unfairly outspending their opponents. I don’t think that money is a problem to them but teams like Liverpool are the ones that are going to suffer the most.

    Let’s just hope that UEFA will have the gut to carry out the proposed punishment.

  14. Still early days on this. Several more stages before FFP is proved to have teeth including the challenge in the European courts the outcome of which will be known in the summer.

    However what is being said is its 20 million euros a year over 3 years.

    Man City fans are suggesting that any fine would excluded from financial calculations in the same way as monies spent on youth development. I had a very very quick look and cant see where it says that although as I have said before you think you have a handle on certain things within FFP but then you read something else that contradicts.

    To my way of thinking if they can exclude its sort of defeats UEFAs whole way of thinking. If they cant it adds to their problems in years to come which I guess some would say is only right.

  15. Which raises the question, how on earth did Chelsea avoid FFP punishment?

  16. Quincy

    Because the people at Chelsea understand the rules, made sure that they increased revenue from traceable sources, and kept within the limits. No one ever thought Chelsea would get through by millions more that they would be close but would be compliant
    People keep talking about spending over the past but in FFP terms it matters not. Simply Chelsea got there before UEFA tried to pull up the drawbridge

  17. This justifies Arsene’s financial doping rant, and although Sheik Mansour seems a decent enough bloke, his company has been caught cheating and he will lose face. Maybe he’ll sell up & find another hobby. I expect this will drag on for some time now though. There’s options for City and the most likely would be to appeal and take a chance on enhanced punishments.

  18. Gotta agree with Mike T on this (even if grudgingly 🙂 )

    Chelsea have cleaned up in time to avoid the sanctions. Also, UEFA is only using the last 2-3 years and not the last decade. There is no way Chelsea could have escaped had it been over 10 years. The revenues that Mike T referred to work over a couple of years but not over 10.

    I kind of wonder if Roman has inside track of UEFA inner caucus because his timing is impeccable on this matter.

  19. Nice to some effective punishment for FFP. Wouldn’t it be nice to see some realistic punishment for racism?

    I would also like to see sin bins introduced and referee radios broadcast (as in Rugby) to make the game more open and fairer.

  20. “We don’t care if he’s got bad hair, we just love him.”
    Yo Walter,
    He’s had Great hair… and, of course, great game, and great loyalty. What with two leg breaks and all, can AFC be so loyal back to Bac?: I so wish we’d make a last big step toward what he wants. If it’s down to a third well-paid year, he’d be well worth it for rotation, as an ambassador, and the nous to pass on to our juniors like Jenko. Plus he’s played two positions (and this very season) successfully. It’s all value added. Whatever happens, Bac is well loved. (And surely his missus loves his hair, and she knows better! 🙂

  21. It is a bit ironic that Chelsea, having led or instigated market distortion, have escaped FFP sanctions.

  22. Media watch – Daily Telegraph yesterday reported our lap of ‘appreciation’ – their inverted commas – with the sarcastic comment, why not a lap of honour?

    Today’s Daily Telegraph reported Chelsea’s lap of appreciation without the inverted commas.

    Just one more example of how Arsenal gets sarky remarks for absolutely nothing.

    Anyway, nothing can spoil how great it was being there for the after match fun, exactly as Walter described it. It was great to see how much better the atmosphere was than the last time I was at the parade, a couple of years ago.

  23. @Bootoomee

    With the huge increase in TV monies alone, Chelsea’s will rise from £55 million in season 2012/13 to in excess of £97 million this, and even the club finishing bottom will get more than Man Utd got last season when they won the league, what on earth are the clubs going to do with all this extra money?

    Will they save for a rainy day? Possibly but that’s not what has has happened in the past .

    I think you will find either huge transfer fees will be paid or money will flow out of football by way of dividends. The EPL version of FFP will possibly, to a degree, inhibit wage growth but irrespective the landscape is going to change.

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