Did Wednesday night’s game at the Emirates mark a watershed for the Arsenal? All the reports I have read about the Emirates have decried the lack of atmosphere and compared it to a library.
Now, never having been there, I am these days the archetypal armchair fan subscribing to every TV and Computer feed that will bring me the games as they happen and have therefore got used to the sound or lack off it, in many cases, coming through my speakers.
Last night, however, was somehow different, even before the kick off there seemed a buzz, I had not heard before. Was this I wondered ITV playing games or had the sleeping giant wakened?
All week long the blogs had been alive with passionate plea’s for people to sing and shout to give the place and the team a lift. I had seen songs old and new proposed to sing for our individual heroes.
Now as a veteran of countless epic Highbury nights, both European and Domestic, I have long been amazed that the crowd even needed to be lifted. Although I do appreciate just how that vast central corporate swathe running round the stadium, undermines the faithful and their singing, as does of course the lack of a standing area.
Highbury had its own memories I suppose of massive games, nights of triumphs and tragedies, strange how all the great memories seem to be lit by floodlights.
The Emirates is of course, by and large bereft of such memories and triumphs, although one or two games have laid claim to greatness in gooner eyes, nothing in my opinion has got anywhere near last nights game. Here at last rolling round my lounge was the noise and passion I associated with the lovely Highbury of my dreams. Nor did it die down when we went behind the din was continuous.
Just before we scored, reacting to the urgings of Cesc for even more noise, the volume was noticeably turned up and when RVP arrowed home the first goal all hell broke loose, and minutes later when AA slotted home that beautiful sidefooted curler the lid came off.
This at last was it, no library this, not even Highbury reborn, but the Emirates, the Grove whatever you choose to call it. A coming of age. A finding of its voice, its pride, its identity, our new stadium claiming its rightful place in Gooner folklore on a night none of us fans will ever forget. Whether we were there or not.
Written by dandan
Be a Gooner, Be a Giver
One of our young gooners has signed up to do the Fun Run for Arsenal’s chosen charity Centrepoint and it would be fantastic if any of you felt you wanted to support her and the charity by donating on her giving page.
The Fun Run will take place at the Emirates stadium on the 19th March 2011. Centrepoint do such good work for homeless young people in London and Arsenal are hoping to raise £500,000 this season to help fund the refurbishment of a facility in Soho.