My big fat pre Sunday nerves – AFC

It’s nearly here, just one more day to kick off and the conclusion of either third place, the uncertainty of fourth place or the embarrassment of fifth.

This almost mirrors the feeling leading up to a wedding. As the big day looms the tension inside starts to build, your realisation that everything might not go perfectly to plan no matter how prepared you are.

The day going perfectly and as planned is equivalent to us taking third

The wedding going well but the camera with the risqué stag pictures going missing the night before could be equivalent to finishing fourth

The realisation that the big fat gypsy wedding folk are filming your big day (men, always be involved in at least some of the wedding decisions) could be equivalent to finishing fifth.

One thing we have to bear in mind is West Brom will not lie down and give us an easy game. It will be Roy Hodgson’s final game in charge before taking up England manager duty, final home game for the baggies too. Every team sets out to finish the season well in their final home game, after all you will be doing your lap of appreciation and as we learned not winning that game takes away from that moment.

I was watching the game between Bolton and West Brom last week and couldn’t help but notice the determination in the West Brom players; even after being 2-0 down they weren’t going to lie down.

They took advantage of the obvious fragile mindsets of the Bolton players and took the game to them. There’s nothing more dangerous than a team with nothing to play for.

They will want to win the game for Roy but not to the extent that they we be distraught if they lose. The gunners on the other hand will be distraught. The football gods blessed us last week with the results of Spurs and Newcastle. They won’t keep handing us gifts if we are not willing to take them. We have to win, end of.

We will be nervous throughout the game, no matter how much you prepare nerves have a way of jumping out on you at the worst possible time. Even at 2-0 up there will be doubt in the back of the mind. They pull a goal back and watch how the dynamics will change completely.

Bolton fell apart at 2-1 and I remember noticing how much the West Brom players celebrated when they got the equalizer. They had nothing to play for yet celebrated like they won the champions league with a last-minute winner. These teams with nothing to play for can be ruthless.

Norwich was the wake up call, hopefully we will have learned from that and will be on it from the get go and try to be as ruthless as possible.

There were some rumours that Chezzer was carrying an injury yesterday and could miss the game but I think that has now been dismissed.

Theo has apparently trained and could be included into the squad. With Sagna out it could mean an opportunity for Coquelin or Jenkinson. I’m sure Jenkinson isn’t injured and if so as a natural right back he may get the nod however according to the Arsenal site Wenger is quoted as saying Coquelin will deputize.

Personally I would like Coquelin as an option in midfield; we don’t seem to have a plan B at the moment as we are down to bare bones in central midfield. Whoever gets the nod at right back we will get behind them, heck we will get behind every player on that field tomorrow.

Come on you gunners!!

Enjoy your day people

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Norwich game

So thought I would share with you my experience of the Norwich game.

It was a very surreal experience for me in particular. I mean I’ve been to the majority of home games this season but this experience struck a cord as I was positioned in the stadium somewhere I had not experienced before

My favourite position at games is behind the goal, you can’t beat seeing the ball hit the back of the net whilst in the north bank (when scored by arsenal) however the last few games I attended was whilst in the clock end. Maybe a bit of a jinx since our last few results haven’t swung our way.

I hate upper tier seats, love the view but prefer to be closer to action (don’t get me started on price); anyway on this occasion for the Norwich game I had purchased a ticket in the clock lower. What I didn’t notice when I bought ticket was my position near the away fans

As I walked in to find my seat I noticed how close in proximity the Norwich fans were, as I searched for my seat number they became closer and closer. Too bloody close! My seat was directly next to the buggers. Separated on my right by a set of stairs and a steward. “This will be interesting” It’s always nice to give it to any away fans that visit the emirates but to experience it when fans are in earshot is a completely different kettle of fish. I could actually put a face to the voices; I was in eyeshot, earshot close enough to lash a programme in their face.

Seriously anyone who has a season ticket positioned this close either has amazing restraint or loves a good ol’ slanging match and probably a fight too.

Of course we don’t lose very often at emirates so we would normally get one over the away fans more often than not. However, when you do lose or a result is against the arsenal the last thing you need is an away fan bellowing into your ear. There’s nowhere to turn your face.Normally when I’ve been in the stadium my block would pick out from afar a fan in the away section that stood out to berate and wind up. 9 times out of 10 it would be the fat bastard fan. They always seem to be most animated and easiest target.

The game had a lot of ups and downs we scored in the first minute, I was happy, I cheered, I sang while the Norwich fans were silent and wondering if this will be a mauling.

Apparently not, as Norwich proceeded to take the game to us. We took our foot off the pedal and were punished for it. First they equalised and all of a sudden those Norwich fans voices were getting picked up on my radar. Then they went 2-1 up and boy could I hear them. Every snide comment, every song, every chant. We looked like conceding every time they attacked and its then it was hard to make any noise. I admit I went silent, followed type as I was trying to get my head around what was going on.A few comments of being the library came up.

Another thing that didn’t help situation was the constant reminders to sit down. I wasn’t too fussed about sitting down but when you see that they don’t apply the same rule to the away fans it kind of feels like they have one up on us.

There was a funny interaction between an arsenal fan sat next to me and a steward. Went a little like this:

Steward: “can you sit down please” Fan: “I stand when the F**k I want”

Steward: “excuse me?” Fan “fuck off c*nt” Steward: “swear at me one more time and you are out of here”  The fan continued to ramble on but didn’t swear. Then he sat down. The steward went back to his position then the fan muttered “F**king steward was bang out of order”  all this went on to the amusement of the Norwich fans nearby.

Anyway back to the game and the second half was interesting. The half started with a one on one between Simeon Jackson and the keeper. Luckily Simeon Jackson is Simeon Jackson and so the chance was wasted. After that we picked up our game and got our equalizer

I cheered but it was half-hearted. A draw wasn’t enough and I wanted to really give it to those Norwich fans who were constantly chanting ‘Thursday nights Channel 5”

All the comments had got to me but I didn’t want to give it to them until we were actually ahead. We were on top now and a next goal was coming.

Oh how I couldn’t wait to give back. Then the moment came RVP slipped the ball into the back of the net. 3-2 up I went MENTAL! I mean I turned to those fans and gave ‘em a right rollicking. There was some serious tension built up and I let it out.

The look on their faces, “wooo” that felt good. The whole of the clock was so vocal now; I guess I wasn’t the only one that held it in.

What happened next wasn’t part of the plan. There’s a break, from where I’m sitting it seemed best option for Chezzer to come out and close the angle, he half thought and then retreated. Morison lets fly and the ball is in the back of the net.

How the Norwich fans let rip, how the Norwich fans let us know how the last laugh is the best. How I didn’t stage dive into the Norwich fans and take out as many as I could I don’t know. There was no place to hide, stunned but unable to digest what had happened. I got it full barrel from those fans. I’ve never heard so many voices that sound like farmers at the same time. The channel 5 song was back. Also an interesting one about they’d rather have Holt than RVP (ok).  Arsenal then proceeded to test my heart to full capacity. We had about 4 clear-cut chances to score but the ball would not go in.

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Full time came and I was just sat there in silence, contemplating all the possible scenarios. 3rd place was out of our hands. The farmer voices had won this battle of banter but the war will go on. I’ll be seeing you next season boys.

Not sure if I could sit in that position on a regular basis. And I don’t know how my restraint would be if it was against the likes of Spurs and Chelsea.

I will however make sure I can get in that seat for next season’s encounter with Norwich. I need revenge; I’ll give those buggers channel 5…

Enjoy rest of your day people

The Bet

Every now and then football fans place themselves into a situation they may rather regret. You know, that situation born out of their blinkered love for their club; which disregards all logic and common sense. When you have in attendance that one person that gets up your back; usually pretty much immediately after your team has lost.

There is window of opportunity to exploit any fan at their most vulnerable. Seriously I’m surprised people do not try this regularly as you could make a mint from it.

Football fans make ridiculous bets immediately after their team has lost.

As certain as the sun rises in the sky you can be sure that if you catch a fan after his team has lost and wind him up the right way he will bet his house that his team will batter your team.

Keeping within the realms of reality I’m not talking about a Wolves fan giving it large to Manchester united fan. This more relates to your local rivals or teams of similar stature. I’m talking your Arsenal/Spurs, Liverpool/Everton, Man utd/Man city type of rivalry.

Now I have found myself in a situation. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am not a gambling man. I tend to think before I throw a load of cash at something. I normally avoid the window of opportunity to make a ridiculous bet because I usually turn my phone off after a defeat. I don’t want to talk football and Match of the Day gets avoided.

On this occasion it was a Spurs supporting friend of mine who made the proposal. This was at a time when Spurs were starting to wobble and just had a bad result. The Arsenal momentum was up as it was during our winning streak which included the 5-2 win over Spurs.

I was offered the bet of who will finish above who come end of season Arsenal or Spurs?

I don’t think we had overtaken Spurs at that time but we were riding the crest of a wave and it was only a matter of time. I’d take that bet.

My Spurs supporting friend was in that window of opportunity though at the same time it was not definite Arsenal had it sewn up.

What was at stake in this bet? Well a figure was thrown out there. I think around £100  “Get the hell out of here! I got bills to pay” (in this current climate that will only get me to 2 arsenal games)

Ok, compromise, loser has to put on the shirt of the winners team and be snapped in it. “OK, I’ll take that”

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At the time it seemed a harmless bet. After all we weren’t going to throw this away. Spurs were imploding. I took the bet. How smug I was

Fast forward to last Saturday. Me sitting/standing in the clock end witnessing sub standard players like Simeon Jackson tearing us a new one. It was not a pleasant experience (will give you more about my Norwich experience in a future blog).

What a sinking feeling I felt at the final whistle. The actual realisation sunk in that I could lose this bet. I would have to put on a spurs shirt.Thank the lord for Aston Villa but at the same time we are not home and dry.Any possible St Totteringham day will be on the final day of the season.

All is at stake and I am nervous as F**k

It should never be that I have doubts of my team beating West Brom but it is.The bet I have on is worth far more than £100. This is my pride and dignity on the line.

Pray for me people, Pray for Arsenal. Non-believers…wish me luck!

On Arsenal news front Twitter was awash with claims that Arsenal have tied up the transfer of Yann M’villa. Let’s hope it’s true. Definitely the kind of player we need at our club.

Enjoy your day people