Matchday in Chesterfield and Chennai

A guest post by Georgaki and Sensational Arsenal.Thanks boys.

In Chesterfield (GP):

When I was at university I enjoyed switching the radio on at midnight after a period of study to listen to the jingle for a Greek station. Barely discernable above the crackle of the interference I would hear the gentle, distant sound of goat bells followed by the smooth sound of a shepherd’s flute. I found that tune particularly intriguing. I was transported to another world, a distant place, somewhere in the ether yet I was still in my room. In my mind’s eye I could not discern the face of the shepherd although I knew he had a sheepskin capote draped over his shoulders. He was standing on a rocky outcrop on a mountain somewhere in Hellas as he was rounding up his flock. I found that to be a particularly beautiful image.

Then a voice would announce the name of the station, the time and the reach of the radio service. I was excited at the thought that folk in ‘Panama’ might well be listening and having similar thoughts to mine. To be somehow in contact, at that instant, with people on the other side of the earth was such an exciting concept. I had not yet heard the term ‘global village’, this was afterall the early eighties; the age of the World Wide Web was a least and decade and some, years away.

So, it was entirely understandable that my sense of excitement was rekindled when Sensational Arsenal decided to encourage and develop my idea of a ‘virtual Emirates’. This idea, in turn, was stimulated by Arsenal Andrew’s inspiring post about the beauty of Arsenal’s global fan base. For me that was a seminal post which underlined the global appeal of Arsenal which, in my opinion, is overwhelmingly due to the wonderful football played and therefore ultimately because of Arsene Wenger.

So we decided to install the google hangouts app, exchange gmail addresses and watch a game together. That first game we watched was the first leg against Fenerbahce. It was a very exciting event. I placed my iPad on a stand and set it up on a coffee table facing me as I sat on my sofa to watch the game on the TV. The idea was that SA could see me as I watched the game and hopefully see me scream with joy when we scored. And that is how it happened. The handset icon appeared on my iPad monitor as SA was dialling in. I accepted the call and after a second or two, there he was, SA smiling at me whilst sitting in his home in Chennai, India. The marvels of technology indeed!

We had a brief chat, I introduced my wife, son and one of my daughters and we sat down for the game. It was a great game too. We played well and SA had to contend with a 10 second delay on his TV. I made all sorts of noise in response to incidents in the game that he would see 10 seconds later. At least he would be relieved that the biggest noise was because we scored.

We managed to persuade Pedantic George to join us for a game, I believe it was the away game at Fulham. PG’s computer must be a relic because he could see us but we couldn’t see him, only hear him. Maybe we should have a wip round and get him an iPad!

Watching games in our ‘virtual Ashburton Grove’ is a wonderful experience. Others have expressed an interest to join us. We hope they do soon. Come on you Gunners!

In Chennai (SA):

One of the first things I think about after waking up in the morning is, “Match day!” There is a small nice feeling associated with that thought.

Then, as I have my breakfast, I read the comments posted overnight on Positively Arsenal. Then it is down to doing my day, doing things I should do and doing things I shouldnt do.

Sometimes when I go out to do some chores on a matchday, I see some football shirts. The common ones here are Manure’s picnic blankets with Rooney, Barcelona’s with Song (hehe. Just kidding) and some Chelsea shirts with Hazard. Occasionally I see our shirt. Surprisingly, the most popular one is Arshavin, followed by Wilshere. Yet to see a Rosicky shirt. Idiots.

Since this is India, you see all sorts of fakes that are dirt cheap. Artistic license is also freely used. I have seen our club crest on all sorts of colourful designs. Did you know that we have a red shirt with two white and purple diagonal stripes?

Personally, I dont like wearing our club shirt because I dont want to go around advertising “Fly Emirates”. So hopefully, one day when I attend my first game at the Arsene Wenger Stadium/Ashburton Grove, I will be wearing that 1970’s red and white shirt (cotton please, no synthetic shit)  with just a cannon above my heart.

If the match is at 3 PM, it is at 8.30 PM my time. Then I time my chores such that I am sitting on my sofa comfortably at 8.30. I consciously avoid being early to avoid the bullshit spouted in the match preview on TV. Of course the best laid plans have a way of blowing up in your face. Right at 8.30, someone in the family will decide that they want something from the shop round the corner.

On champions league nights, the match starts at 1.15 AM my time and ends at 3.15 AM. If I stay up, I start getting sleepy right before kickoff. So I go to bed at 11 and set the alarm for 1.05 AM. I freshen up and sit in front of the TV at 1.15AM. Usually Georgaki joins me on Google Hangouts. We discuss recent Arsenal results and then it is onto the match. It is great watching the match with a fellow supporter who is of a similar mindset. Sharing the oohs and the aahhs makes the game all the more enjoyable.

There is an unique aspect to our online video call. My TV has a 10+ second delay over Georgaki’s TV because he is in the UK. So initially, when we started this, there were moments Arsenal were defending and Georgaki would be shouting and celebrating our goal. Nowadays, I am happy to hear his shouting. Then, I mentally block everything from his side (sorry mate) and focus on our play. 10 seconds later, we are celebrating together, high-fiving the air and saying a lot of “YEAH!!!” and “YESSSS!!!”.

A goal conceded sees our spirits dampened. A loss sees the both of us flopped on our sofas with folded arms. Victory sees us with permanent fixed smiles.

After the final whistle, we discuss the game a little and then I go and resume my sleep.

I understand how you would want to watch each second of the game as it happens. I like that too. However, do join us on times when you are in the mood to watch a game with us for company

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72 comments on “Matchday in Chesterfield and Chennai

  1. The dipsticks dominated the post match phone in on the Clock End. We had “Ozil is not worth the money”, “Cazorla is better than Ozil”, “Wenger should pack his bags”.

    I need to find a way of finding these comments entertaining….but I can’t…..they are numbskulls…


  2. Passenal

    Are you home yet?


  3. Just home now Georgaki – anyway, my post match thoughts for what they’re worth.

    I pretty much saw the game as you guys based on your comments above. Mike Dean is either the worst or most corrupt referee I have seen in a long while. The amount of abuse I was yelling at him during the game, shocked even me! He was so hopeless he almost lost complete control of the game at one point and how two of our players ended up with yellow cards while chelski fouled with impunity and Mikel got away with just a yellow (and even that was given reluctantly) is beyond me. All the play acting and rolling around at the slightest touch was also pathetic beyond belief.

    It looked like the long break instead of helping our players, meant that they just did not seem match sharp – they were very tentative at times. Ramsey giving the ball away, passes going astray from the usually reliable Arteta and even Ozil seemed subdued. I was gutted when OG missed that chance because I was so convinced it was a goal, I was up and shouting “in your face” (that is the sanitised version of what I actually yelled!) to those scummy chelski fans to my left, but it wasn’t to be. I’m just glad that we came out with a point, which given the atrocious playing conditions, will have to do for now.

    Have to say my hatred for chelski just moved up a couple more notches, arrogant nasty manager, players and fans – I despise them and so wanted us to shove their arrogance back down their throats or up somewhere where the sun don’t shine!

    Good points – Vermaelen played well apart from one rush of blood to the head moment that put Szczesny under pressure, but for once good fortune smiled on us as we usually pay for every lapse. Oh, and I didn’t even realise Torres was on the pitch until he got substituted, so we must have done something right!


  4. Oh dear oh dear oh dear/

    Where is Frank when you need him?


  5. Thanks Passenal.

    I’m thinking there will be a little bit of rotation for West Ham and then more or less a similar starting eleven against Newcastle. Following the kicks on Rozza and Arteta they may need to be rested anyway in the next game.


  6. I thought we were neither subdued nor playing with the hand break on. We simply came up against a Mourinho who played a defensive minded 4-1-4-1 in order to avoid losing.

    I’m not even worried about Chelsea and Mourinho at this point. We’re getting much better, thanks to our injured players getting back, and that pony team is going nowhere. Our main rivals are City and no one else.

    Mourinho should be banned from European football. What a way to kill a spectacle. No wonder he had to leave Madrid at the stroke of midnight.


  7. Passenal
    Thanks for the post match comments. Mostly spot on but I tend to agree with Gains that we had to unlock their defense which was set up not to lose and nick a goal on the counter. I think we should have won. There should have been at least two of their players sent out. High kick and the penalty foul. So ballsey to think they can come to our house to dish out that much pain nut that useless dean gave them the go ahead and emotions spilled over when we tried retaliatory tactics. That idiot isn’t fit to referee an under 15 let alone the EPL big boys. We should file this like last weeks game and so many others away and come out fighting in the next few games to go back up top.


  8. By the way you are one brave woman to go watch a game in those conditions. That must have been super tough on the players to keep playing in that weather. Only thing missing was thunder, lighting and hail.


  9. Mike Dean’s officiating lighting up twitter, great to see. I would challenge any objective individual to watch the last 25 games he’s done with us not to have huge concerns about this mans descision making. I wonder if his appointments to our games are now actually changing our odds.


  10. Don’t worry about it mate. I’m told by some very knowledgeable folks that it all f•••••• evens out at some f••••••• point in time. we are waiting…….


  11. Dumbest thing I have heard. As long as I can remember we have always gotten dubious treatment as far back as 2006. And always at worst possible times and games. I sure hope AW has come up with a strategy to negate their influence at sensitive time this season and next. I sure as heck can’t think of anything that can be done to cancel out these clowns.
    How do you go up against the governing body of the sport and their referee stooges. Even more so when your own fan base hasn’t come to the realization yet and love to label those who warned them about this unfair formula they have concocted conspire theorists. There now. More proof for your inoperative eyes and even more defective gray matter. More positive proof that you have turned your back on the team in their toughest hour of need and you are no support. Shame on yous.


  12. There. I can’t get any sleep. How does AW do it. ? in the face of all this disrespect, CLASS. ARTICULATE. ELEGANT & patiance. So much patiance and perseverance. Amazing will and loyalty.
    Thank you. Thank you .thank you. and again TY


  13. I wish I had money or power and I would deal with the PGMOL. Just because they’re so annoying. What makes referees above the laws of god and men?


  14. And here come the media . BBC for most. Post game summary Phil macnumpty. He isn’t even trying to hide it. What an ass. What a boob.

    Lol.. Sherwood FFS. we won’t have to worry about the spudniks this year. Nor next year, for that matter. On the job training. What a circus over there. This males eleven or twelve .
    Morning SAV. q passa.??


  15. SAV
    mate, they obay the laws of psychology and sociology. And if that fails, the law of the almighty dollar( or pound sterling ).
    Its not just the branches of the tree. The core has been compromised.


  16. http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/dec/24/jose-mourinho-arsenal-chelsea-arsene-wenger

    What a nasty cunt and disgrace to football that Mourinho is. Not a manager out there I’d want to fail more than him. I am not even sure what’s more infuriating: him going down on our players after his thugs tried to kick them out of the game for good or him claiming that he “tried to win” when he was more than happy with taking a draw.


    a very happy new year to you and yours.
    And to all comrades here at POSITIVELY ARSENAL. here to hopes and dreams in 2014 and a good sprinkling of luck of everyone.


  18. That goes double for you MASTER GEORGE.


  19. Merry xmas everyone!! Fuck you dean. Fuck you jose. Health to our players and the title in ’14 for pat!


  20. amazingly some gooners trying to suggest dean made no difference yesterday how blind do you have to be to think that.
    just been told Ashley young looking for a loan move in January back south, moyes unpopular with many of the utd players


  21. How fickle are certain football fans. How pathetic are certain football fans.

    Some of the Arsenal blogs are calling for Wenger’s head, calling for Ramsey, Ozil and Walcott to be dropped and yet we are second only on gol difference!!!


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