This article was originally published in The Gooner, the best selling Arsenal fanzine. Now the home season has finished, I am allowed to post it on here, enlightening even *more* readers. So for those of you who missed it - I hope you enjoy!
Well, prior to this game it had been a while since we last had a comfortable 3-0 away victory. Our defeat of Wolves mathematically confirms that we will be in the top 6 come the end of the season. We'll definitely be in Europe, it's just a question of whether we will be playing Lech Poznan or Real Madrid! Or maybe we could combine both, and do the Poznan celebration whilst beating Real in the Champions League final! We can dream, eh?!
Anyway, this post won't be a match report, but rather a witty and colourful account of my 10th away trip of the season. I hope.
I met the others, including a drunken Swede (@superswe) who, on numerous occasions throughout the day, we tried to disassociate ourselves from. About an hour into the train journey, I finally succumbed to the demands of the same drunken Swede and consumed some Jack Daniels and Coke (Coca Cola, that is - just to avoid any ambiguity). I mean, the words 'drunken Swede', 'demanding' a 16 year old to have 'coke' could land him in
We arrived in Wolves very excited, slightly tipsy and with 4 hours on our hands. En route to our pub, we passed The Billy Wright - a pub in the name of the ex-Arsenal manager and Wolves player. And that was about as interesting as Wolverhampton got.
We reached the WalkAbout, and around 2 hours later, the pub was full of Gooners singing and drinking. An hour before kick off, a group of around 50 Arsenal fans departed in one unit, chanting their way to Molineux. A few mischievous looks from the locals ensued, but we didn't care. Halfway through our walk, "Sit down, if you hate Tottenham!" was instigated, and suddenly the mob of Gooners were sitting down on a Midlands pavement! The locals didn't know whether to laugh or cry!
Here's a short clip I took:
The excited group of Gooners made it to Molineux, amidst renditions of 'Red Army!' etc etc. The sun was shining, and there was a real buzz of anticipation in the air, with the prospect of going 5 points clear of the Spuds at the forefront of our minds!
After a brief security check, we entered the ground, dispersing into our various seating areas. At Molineux, the big clubs get the whole lower tier of the stand on the side, whereas in most stadiums the away fans are placed behind the goal. The view was OK, although we seemed further from the pitch than I expected.
Before I knew it, the game had started, and we were two up with a man advantage. It seemed a bit surreal - although this feeling was probably exacerbated by my relative state of inebriation. Couldn't remember the last away game I'd been to where it was this comfortable. Anyway, despite the surprising lack of fight and passion from the Wolves players, the home crowd delivered - at times - it must be said.
At 2-0, the home crowd chanted, 'How shit must you be, it's only 2-0!' - the travelling Gooners showed their appreciation with some gentle applause. Then mockingly, Arsenal fans sung, 'Terry (Connor) for England!' and 'There's only one Mick McCarthy!' The Wolves faithful actually seemed to agree!
The sending off essentially ruined the game as a spectacle, but at 2-0 to The Arsenal, I wasn't complaining! Wolves weren't doing anything really; I mean you'd at least have expected them to get in our faces. The home crowd showed their discontent with the charming chant: 'Get in to 'em! Fuck 'em up!' however all that resulted in was ironic claps and cheers from the away end.
The second half was pretty uneventful, and if anything Yossi's goal was against the run of play. However this did not quench our joy, and ecstatic renditions of 'Tottenham, mind the gap!' reverberated around Molineux. As much as I enjoyed taking the mick out of Spurs, we were technically doing exactly what they did; gloating about being ahead in the League before the season had even ended. Hopefully this cautionary note won't have any substance, but I wouldn't count your chickens just yet. I mean, we are The Arsenal - we are masterful at fuck ups, but thankfully for us, Tottenham excel even better in this area.
Full time went and party mode ensued as Gooners spilled out into the concourse, singing in praise of the mighty Arsenal. 9 wins out of our last 10 games which makes us the Premiership's form side. It's just a shame we left it so late as this spell really is the form of Champions. Nonetheless, it is a testament to Arsene's character and incomparable footballing intelligence that this team, ridiculed and belittled from the start, have turn things around so emphatically.
Anyway, the train home was virtually 100% Arsenal. Drunken banter between the Arsenal
grandpas veterans at one end of the carriage - and my end - consisting of the younger generation of Gooners, meant time went by rather quickly. One of the Golden Oldies shouted: 'School in the morning, you've got school in the morning!' of which I replied: "NO WE HAVEN'T! WE'RE ON EASTER HOLIDAYS!" which was greeted with gales of laughter.
What can I say, guess I'm just an all-round, funny guy. Well my mum thinks so anyway.
Thanks for reading and remember to follow me on Twitter @rlewisafc!
Up The Arsenal!