Monday, 21 November 2011

Cutting The Mustard

Saturday morning used to be such a simple affair. Up late, stroll to town, bacon roll, record shopping (vinyl of course.) Meet dad, claim I hadn't eaten and accept his kind offer of a bacon sandwich. Lunch. Off to the game. No more. Children now need to be in a variety of places at various times. No more record shopping. No more record shops. Sky now dictate our lives rather than the latest Cold Chillin' or Def Jam 12". 3pm on a Saturday is a rare treat. A proper slice of wax more so.

12.45 isn't a real kick off time. It's a financial fiction dreamed up to complicate matters. I'll be at the Arsenal soccer(!) school waiting for my son to finish the latest coaching session. Sky+ it? Watch it delayed? Catch up at half time? It never works. Hold on I've watched football on a ferry on my phone. A park in north London should be able to deliver such a service. First bit on sky go. Next bit on radio 5 on drive home. Final bit on big telly. A plan.

My son gets to the car at 0-0, grabs the phone & rightly points out I can't watch it while I'm driving but he can. I'd already seen the 2mm high Gunners miss chance after chance including an extraordinary,off the line, lucky clearance from an unlucky Theo shot. There will be a goal soon I assured the hot & thirsty son.

"STOP THE CAR DAD. OH YOU NEED TO SEE THIS!" I pulled into a resident's bay. The 3mm Mertesacker looked in control in the replay. What could possibly go wrong? OH NO!! Our brick shit house looked less brick and too much shit as he was brushed aside for a worm's eye view of Norwich's opener as it sped past our glamour model professional in goal. It was poor. Very poor from a man of such experience. Had Squillaci done that the groan would've woken the Norfolk Broads. We drove on in silence.

And yet there didn't seem to be the customary panic within the team. We were playing well, cocked up, gone a goal down. All too familiar but we carried on from where we were rudely disturbed. A couple of chances later and we were level. It didn't even seem too much of a shock. In fact 1-1 at half time made Norwich look good.

The second half continued the fine work. At no point did we feel in trouble. The goals will come. Gervinho went clear, rounded the keeper & yet still allowed Ruddy to save it! Frustrating. Minutes later Song looked up and had a choice between our number 27 or our captain. Song chose correctly as a lovely pass was iced by RVP with a delicious chip.

It was a good performance. It made me confident that they have started to sort themselves out. The error by Per was awful. These things happen but the way we responded was heartening. In the past that mistake would wind us. We would sulk. Struggle. Yesterday they pulled themselves together and got the job done as did the technology. We were out & about yet didn't miss a minute. 2.23am kick off on a Thursday? Bring it on.

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