Graham Taylor (possibly following his 2006 meeting with Mel)
On the Friday afternoon before the CL final last month, I happened to be at Stanstead airport and whilst waiting for the wife and kids to buy bottles of lukewarm water at treble the normal price and comics/magazines they wouldn’t be reading I noticed the waves of happy excited German fans swarming the airport having arrived for the game.
It briefly took me back to Paris 06, I remember how excited I felt at London City airport and arriving in Paris for what was to be the biggest game in our European history and ultimately our bravest defeat.
I had travelled with 3 other fellas, none of us had tickets(me being a silver member didn’t entitle me to one) but if we were gonna win ‘old big-ears’ I had to at least be in the vicinity.The 1000 euros I had put by for a ticket proved not to be enough for whatever touts I could find on the day of the game.Even a surreal drunken conversation just before kick-off with ex-England manager Graham Taylor (I liked him- he wasn’t sure about me though) was not enough to get me in.
Watching the people-carriers full of UEFA suits and hangers-on roll into the stadium made my heart sink .Some things are not to be ,although I often wonder if I’d have made it in that night whether one more screaming Gooner would have got the boys over the line?…… sorry about that! Anyway back to the airport,those lovely Germans and in particular those lovely Dortmund fans,how good are they?
I,like most of you wanted them to win,Iin many ways they remind me of Arsenal.
A club operating within its means, trying to achieve success and not buy it, having to sell players to buy players(not any more hopefully!)
Klopp has a touch of a young Arsene about him,no? They, like us are fighting the good fight, the difference is they (the fans,club,players & manager) appear to be sticking together.
The following evening I was sat in a Spanish bar ignoring another Neil Diamond tribute act watching the game, my IPhone switched onto twitter which was full of its usual experts,’lets get Klopp’ ‘let’s get this Player’ ‘lets get that player’, the game itself was great and as we know the bad guys won.
Once again my lasting memory is of those Dortmund fans after the game-just fantastic. I’d seen them at our place and they were amazing but they’d grown even better, an example to all of us.
I suspect there isn’t a media whore amongst them who piggy-backs their club for their own agenda or a blogger who dedicates his site to slagging of the manager and players or bitter ex-players that get work from gullible media outlets by abusing their former employers or worst of all impostors that want the team to fail so there is a change of manager. To quote my good friend Graham Taylor “Do I not like that“.
For the record in Paris on our CL final night I watched the game in a bar close to the stadium and our fans both inside(Iwas close enough to hear them)and outside the stadium were fantastic.Since then things have changed. Personally if I could I wouldn’t ‘get Klopp’ or ‘that Dortmund player’ I’d take their fans.
The moaning,bitching,snideness,booing and stupid banners hasn’t worked has it?
I honestly think if we took a leaf out of Dortmund’s book and started sticking together we’d be unstoppable, as our amazing away support and the good folks on Positively Arsenal have proved,its possible, it really is