Worth waiting for

Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal

Worth Waiting For

We’ve waited a long, long time for that. To my mind, we’ve not had a result as fine, and as cathartic, since sinking Barcelona in February. (We did beat Utd 1-0 at home, but that was sandwiched between a thoroughly miserable run of form so I’m not going to include that). The warm afterglow is in evidence. It’s a lovely feeling.

I wouldn’t recommend following a game the way I did yesterday, though. I’ve been away up north for a week and as fate would have it, I set off for the long journey south just after midday. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised to discover that Man Utd was taking prime billing on 5 live, but it did leave me in something of a pickle.

The match was live on 5 live Sports Extra but my car radio is rooted firmly in the AM / FM era, so that put the kibosh on that.

So I fired up TuneIn Radio on my iPhone and set the wheels in motion for a hassle-free 3G super-experience. I am with, I should add, O2. I think you can guess what’s coming next.

As I traversed the county of Lincolnshire – 70 miles of it – I never once had a 3G signal. Not once. O2, hang thy data-less heads in shame. Truly pathetic. Instead, I had to rely on the white dot of doom (somewhere between no G and one G, I would guess), which meant three minutes of buffering, followed by four seconds of commentary, followed by another three minutes of buffering.

It meant I had to guess, in that brief snapshot of service, what was happening based on the noise of the crowd. One particularly lengthy session of buffering, when we were 1-0 down, ended with just nine words from David Pleat before it died again:

“Superb ability to place balls in the onion bag…”

What did this mean? The crowd sounded agitated, or at least that was my guess, but who had placed a ball in the onion bag (which I took to mean goal, David), or was there some hypothesis going on and in fact, the onion bag was intact? I NEED TO KNOW. DAMN YOU O2. SPEAK ENGLISH DAVID.

In the end, I reached a north-south arterial road and O2 awoke from its dismal slumber to inform me that John Terry had scored a second Chelsea goal and that from an Arsenal perspective, it was entirely preventable. I put on my driving gloves, put my foot down and grimaced.

And then Arsenal exploded. Santos slotted the equaliser, then Walcott squirmed through to thump in a third and I lost the plot. GET IN THEO. There was some fist pumping (Mrs Lower wisely took control of the wheel).

Then a little voice piped up from the back seat.

“I LOVE Walcott. I’m going to kiss him when I see him”.

Mata scored an equaliser but it didn’t mata much, for John Terry toppled over and van Persie made it 4-3. YEEEES (fist pumps once again in evidence – Mrs Lower takes control of the wheel again).

A little voice pipes up from the rear seat again.

“Right – I’m going to kiss Walcott AND van Persie now”.

I made it home just in time to actually see the curving, delicious fifth on Sky, making it a trains, planes and automobiles kind of a day. Radio. Smartphone. Radio. Telly. Worth the hassle though.

You see, Arsenal – this is what you have the power to do. You can make or break a weekend. I am still grinning at the vision of van Persie, arms aloft, in front of the visiting gooners. A man who ought to know better is still in seventh heaven. Two little boys are once again hooked on Arsenal.

Worth waiting for.


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

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jeff

    I’m right there with you.

  2. Anonymous

    In 30+ years of watching Arsenal (& indeed football in general) I don’t think I have ever seen a more loathsome individual that John Terry. I really don’t.
    Which is why I don’t think I’ve ever watched more replays of a single goal (Mickey T at Anfield aside obviously) as much as our 4th yesterday. Simply wonderful stuff. The way he just falls over…..ah the bliss.

    We have a cracking run of games coming up in the league.We simply have to push on from yesterday & take advantage of it

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