A fairly easy win against Watford really and a win that was rightly expected; if it had gone the other way though the knives, as we all know, would have been out and sharp, very sharp. This possibility was obviously anticipated by Arsene who wisely held conformation of our two new signings back until after the game. It never hurts to add good news to a good win but it would have been a life saver for him had we gone and done something as stupid like lose.
I was fortunate enough to get a ticket, although, it was amongst the home supporters. All my in laws are Watford season ticket holders; they usually make themselves scarce when this game comes around and I come begging for a ticket but this time I got lucky, someone they knew was on holiday and so I got the nod.
Watford supporters are a bit like Scots, when they find out that you have one in the family they immediately warm to you. I know this because my girlfriend’s mother was a Scot and I saw this happen on a few occasions, as soon as my girlfriend mentioned that her mother was Scottish they were offering to buy her a drink in preparation for a long chat about the auld country. At the same time they were never quite sure what to make of me or what I was thinking which was just as well as most of the time I was considering what a wise decision it was to have built a wall between our two countries.
The same is true when I meet Watford supporters; they are a bit shy and hesitant in letting on which team they support especially after I have mentioned that I support Arsenal but as soon as I say that all my in laws are Watford season ticket holders I am immediately accepted. This doesn’t stop me thinking though that a wall could have been built a lot further south.
I am of an age that going to games at a few remaining clubs and sitting in the away end still holds a certain amount of concern for me all due to a history that is probably well out of date. For example, as much as Tottenham – Arsenal is my favourite game of the season and I love going there I find the idea of sitting amongst them uncomfortable to put it mildly. Not so with Watford though, I always got the feeling that they are victims of supply and demand; that’s to say, if there had been more season tickets available at Arsenal they would all be turning up to the Emirates week in and week out.
I didn’t know where I would be sitting but in the event that the seat was behind their goal which could have been a tad tricky should they score I wore my yellow top to blend in a bit. However, as it turned out there was no need for concern as I was in the family enclosure and that couldn’t have been more civilised if they had brought their nans along with them and actually thinking about it some of them did. It was refreshing to be around people who just wanted to get behind their team: one nil down, no despair around me, no calling for the manager’s head, two nil down, no screaming for the club to spend some money, three nil down and not one “c” word, not even an utterance under the breath, just love, support and encouragement.
Interesting comparison with the Arsenal fans who until Watford scored were in fine voice and so they should being three nil up but when the home side got one back you could have heard a pin drop in the away end; the concern was tangible even from where I was sitting.
I have to say that it was easier getting up to applaud the Watford goal being three up than had we been three down, although, I was bit late in getting to my feet, I forgot for a split second where I was and what I was supposed to do, I got a couple of unusual looks for the moment I was still in my seat longer than anyone else but this was rectified after I was up and clapping.
It crossed my mind that they might be able to smell that I was an Arsenal supporter; do we smell differently? I never anticipated that I might be in danger if they found out but it would have been a bit embarrassing. Anyway the game went on, we survived the mini Watford come back and with five minutes left, when it became apparent that we were not going to mess this one up, the Arsenal fans found their voices again.
I made my way to the Red Lion which is the only pub opposite the ground, flashed my Watford season ticket which allowed me to get in, gave it back to a couple of family members and made my way back home, a happy bunny having had a very enjoyable afternoon.