Electric Watt switches Arsenal on

Arsenal 2-0 WBA

Strictly speaking, this is no match review. I couldn’t listen to the game, I didn’t hunt around for a stream in a haystack and I’ve not got time to watch the re-run on Arsenal.com. So seeing as, at the time of writing, all I’ve done is flitted in and out of Twitter, I’ve not got a lot of insight into the game itself.

I will however say three things:

1) Six of the starting eleven were born in the 1990s. This, speaking as a man who cried after Graham Rix missed his penalty against Valencia in the 1980 Cup Winners’ Cup final, a mere four days after we’d also lost the FA Cup final, makes me feel exceptionally old. It is however testament to the extraordinary talent bubbling underneath the surface at Arsenal these days.

Incidentally, another two players were born in 1989, and one in 1987, leaving Senderos (1985) and Silvestre (1977) as the two oldies. To most of the starting eleven, Silvestre must be so ancient as to be from another planet (no jokes please).

2) 56,592 is an amazing turnout, it really is, even with tickets at a bargain £10. It proves that the ticket pricing is spot on, and as ever it lets people who cannot otherwise get hold of tickets come to the game. Credit where it is due to Arsenal – though how nice would it be if they dropped season ticket prices too?

I don’t want to bang on excessively about the past (well OK – I do), but I never saw a crowd that big at Arsenal until we moved to the Grove. I remember going to the opening game of the season in ’87 when it was a lockout an hour before the game, and that was just shy of 55,000, some of whom were sitting on the roof of the north bank. But crowds that big were rare.

My point is, throughout most of the 80s we probably averaged between 25,000 and 35,000, so let’s not take the huge crowds of the Grove era for granted. It’s a fantastic turnout.

3) Sanchez Watt has a fantastic name.

So – a win against the Championship leaders, a goal for new boy Watt and the returning Mexican Vela (another to strike off my Injurywatch column – fingers crossed).

A good night’s work, overall.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.