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Rubbish Arsenal Fans

Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
This is the uncut version of a column for tomorrow's Irish Examiner. I have to strip out 125 words before I can file, but I wanted the full version to get read before I took the knife to it. These people, they really, really grind my balls. The Arsenal fans. Not the Irish. They're lovely.





Picture the scene. You’re at The Emirates, it’s the 85th minute and you’re struggling to overcome a ten-man Wolverhampton Wanderers. “Scuse me mate, coming through.” Ahem. Yes, you have to win because…“Sorry mate, can me and my boy just get past you?” Right, where was I? Oh yeah, you have to win, you must win and you’re pushed so far to the edge of your seat with nerves that only a thin strip of your buttocks clings to the plastic, defying gravity in its…. “Coming through, coming through.”

What on earth is wrong with Arsenal fans? Is life not exciting enough for you with your fleet-footed team of home-grown wonderkids, your Champions League heroics and your three-way title race? Is this still not enough to keep you in a seat that you must have paid a fortune for? Is it possible that we are keeping you from the new series of Doctor Who?

I’m no angel. I’ve left Southend games a couple of minutes early to get a clear run at the bar, but that’s when we’ve been outclassed, are more than two goals down and it’s raining and I’m sad. If, and this is a theoretical leap that could take you to the fringes of our galaxy, we were in a title race with Manchester United and Chelsea, I’d be glued to the seat until the end.

I report from Arsenal regularly and I know how much this exodus upsets the old guard of Gooners, but it happens so often. I even caught people leaving early during the epic 2-2 draw with Barcelona and that was the most exciting game I’ve ever covered, and arguably that I’ve ever watched. But to do it at the business end of the season, when your team needs you to drive them on for a vital winner, I mean, you could get shot for that kind of treachery in some countries.

I know the traffic is bad and the tube is rotten, but make allowances. Leave time for a pint after the game, or a bag of chips, or a trip round the Megastore or, and this is going out a limb, sticking around to clap the exhausted players off the pitch maybe. If it annoys you as much as it annoys me, worry not. I have a solution.

Meet me outside The Emirates on April 24 with a large butterfly net and a stun-gun. We’ll catch as many early-leavers as we can, stick them in a double-decker bus and whisk them down to Southend. These people have got money to burn and my football club can offer a car-park with dramatically reduced queuing times. They obviously don’t care about the football and, you know, that’s a good thing given the way we're playing right now. It’s a match made in heaven and the best thing is that it frees up some seats in The Emirates for the thousands of Arsenal fans who actually want to be there.
 
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