Super Sagna sinks the Spuds
On Sunday our lads will get their inoculations, pray for the protections of whichever gods they believe in and cross over from the world of the righteous to the Valley of the Damned, otherwise known as N17.
We’ll arrive at the Armitage Shanks Bowl flushed with the success of a recent solid run of form and ready to get another three points in the can.
In advance of the match, you are invited to submit your favourite moment from the long and storied history of North London Derbies.
The key word is ‘moment’: I’m not looking for your favourite game (from which there are so many to choose, including twice winning the league at the sh*thole).
My favourite moment was in February 2012, when we entertained the miscreants at The Emirates.
The enemy had been ahead of us for most of the season and the guttural howls of “mind the gap” had been heard across the swamplands.
I turned up at the Emirates not expecting much. We were having a faltering season and I feared our North London dominance was truly at risk. We had recently been thrashed 4-0 in the San Siro and dumped out of the FA Cup by Sunderland. The omens were all bad.
My pessimism seemed well-founded when, after 34 minutes, we were 0-2 down. Think about that – we were losing two nil, at home, to THEM! Saha had got the first, before Adebayor (boo!) scored from the penalty spot following a blatant dive by Gareth Bale (thanks, Mike Dean).
The sound of grumbling could occasionally be heard rumbling round the stadium as if a tube train was passing by deep underground. But, given the nature of the opposition, our supporters quickly got back to getting behind our boys and rubbishing the Spuds. It seemed to work, as we went hard at the Totts despite our deficit.
And that’s when my moment happened. We had just come within a millimeter of scoring (Van Perise hit the post) and the ball cannoned out towards the left corner flag. Kieran Gibbs thought about crossing but rolled it back to Mikel Arteta, who dinked a perfectly weighted cross into the Totts’ box.
And there was Bacary Sagna, charging at the ball, reaching it ahead of the defenders and powering a header into the net.
The icing on the cake was the way that Sagna did not celebrate for a single second. He just grabbed the ball and started running back towards the centre circle with an intent that said: “This is our turf. We’re coming for you.”
The rest is history. We went on to win the game 5-2, with goals from Van Persie, Rosicky and a brace from Walcott.
The result spawned weeks of fun in which Arsenal fans all over the land would wait until five minutes to the hour before asking Spuds-supporting work colleagues what time it was. Without thinking, the poor Spudders would look at their watch and say “five-to”, at which point the Arsenal supporters would break into a chant of “5-2, 5-2, 5-2, 5-2”).
Even after the game we remained seven points behind our enemies in the league table, but we relentlessly closed the gap and finished above them. “Mind the Gap” was sent back to N17, with interest.
That’s my moment. Over to you.
Fascinating, Rocky !¡!
You brought back to mind some of the wonderful days at Highbury and the Ems. You are a wizard!
The only thing I can say about my magic moment is ™#¢∞§¶•ªªºœ∑´´®®†¥¨^øπåß∂ƒ©˙˙∆∆˚¬¬¬…æ«`Ω≈ç√∫~ç√∫~~µ≤.
But back to football — and that 5 : 2 would be about right for me too. 😜
Thanks for playing along Redders 😀
A close second for me would be Fabregas’s goal straight from the restart after we’d just gone 1-0 up in 2011.
Van Persie scored a great goal at the near post to put us ahead at the Emirates.
The Spuds kicked off and lost possession. Fabregas got the ball in our centre circle and went straight for goal, dribbling past three of their players and calmly slotting it in the corner of the net.
Simple ( apart from THE goal from Liam!), six years ago 2014, Thomas Rosicky, the little Mozart hits a shot….. and we were walking in an Arsenal Wonderland!
There will always be one special moment above all for me and that is from my early youth……… Ray Kennedy scoring the only goal of the evening on the 3rd May 1971 to win the league.
The question is who crossed the ball from the left, I aways thought it was Armstrong but I am not so sure now, I remember running onto the pitch at the final whistle, an odd feeling I had never been on a pitch before or since for that matter. Happy days.
Thanks for the post Rocky.
I had a little google, LB, and ‘Just Arsenal’ the website – confirmed, on the 20th May 2020 that you were correct, the ball was crossed by George Armstrong to Ray who put it away. 😜 Yaaay.
You’re a fortunate man to have been there on that great occasion.
I was lucky enough to be at Old Trafford when we clinched the league title there in 2002, and that was some night.
@LB it must have been great to be there in ’71. I know a few who were locked out that evening..
I posted earlier, but seems to have disappeared into the Covidsphere..
1999 at WHL Kanu flicking the ball over Luck Young’s head, spinning round him then hammering the ball home past Walker. We hammered them that evening and should have won the league.
The last time I went to that hole due to all the fighting on the way back down the High Road afterwards. Complete chaos.
That was fun Pete: I just Googled that Kanu goal (haven’t seen it for years).
The two that went before it in the same game (by Petit and Anelka) were pretty sweet too – both from brilliant Bergkamp passes.
Pete the Thirst.
We were locked out as a family in 71. The only professional game in my life that I have got home BEFORE the game started. Paced around the garden listening to the commentary.
Sad to see the passing of Jack Charlton.
One of the last surviving Boys of ’66.
And all those great years managing Ireland.
There’s a great story about him from his Ireland days. After bringing success to the Irish side (mainly by finding distant Irish connections for some promising English and Scottish players) he was a legend in the Republic and would spend a lot of time in the West of Ireland following his biggest passion – fishing.
At the end of a day’s angling he would head off with his buddies to the nearest pub where he would be treated as a hero.
At some point in the evening, Big Jack would say “the drinks are on me” and buy drinks for everyone, further adding to his legend as not just an inspirational manager but also a great bloke.
But… Jack was famous for his stinginess.
So, when it came to settling the bill Jack would always pay with a cheque.
The trick was, he knew that there was not a publican in Ireland who, on receipt of a signed cheque from Jack Charlton, would not have it framed and put it on the wall. Those cheques were never cashed.
It’s said that there are dozens of pubs around the West of Ireland with those framed, signed cheques on the wall.
Well said, Rocky,
RIP Big Jack.
Mind you, If I was a publican in those circumstances, I would cash the cheque, and request it be returned by the bank to me, as the banks digitise the cheque originals, and dispose of them afterwards anyway.
I would therefore have the money for the round, and the cheque for framing — or selling it on.
Stingy is what stingy does. 😉
Spoken like an accountant Redders.
I can’t believe we would let a North London Derby happen without an AA pre-match.
So… there’s a NEW POST