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The FA Cup Final – A Desi Gooner’s Take

The Official Arsenal Supporters Club – Arsenal Mumbai SC (www.arsenalmumbai.com/) has organized a massive screening for the FA Cup Final at Zouk, Andheri. Over 350 Goonerettes and Gooners have registered already for the event – including me – and from past experiences, it is a foregone conclusion that the screening will be a raucous, passionate affair!

One of the best aspects of being a Gooner in India (also called “Desi” Gooners) is that we enjoy the unique distinction of being branded neither glory hunters, nor plastics, nor history aficionados.

Most of us have been hooked on “The Arsenal Way” since the days of Robert Pires (almost unanimously everyone’s favourite Gunner) Henry, Viera, Bergkamp, Laurent, Laurent et all strutting at their peak, with that unmistakable swagger that no other team possesses.. Arsene Wenger’s highly cerebral and pragmatic approach to football – and life on the whole – found many takers as Le Professeur waltzed his way in our hearts with his imminently profound, intellectual, quote worthy quips (“Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home..”)

Now we enjoy the attractive football put on display by the likes of Rambo, The Ox, Jack, Theo, Rosicky, Podolski, Kos the Boss, our very own BFG and lastly – Mesut Ozil!!

It’s been an undoubtedly hard journey to see fans of all the other clubs enjoying success after success as time passed by. I reckon it is doubly hard to stay loyal to your club when one is an overseas fan, what with the constant goading by others and the incessant taunts and reminders aimed at our lack of trophies.

Some of us have been lucky enough to make trips abroad to multiple football stadiums, and swear that The Emirates is one of best modern football stadiums, while Highbury was truly the Home Of Football.

We’ve all had frequent debates and discussions defending our move to the Emirates, all the hardships that followed thereafter, the financial restrictions we have had to live with, the heartbreak we’ve suffered as we’ve seen our beloved players like Henry, Cesc move on to greener pastures, the anguish as we’ve seen some of the mercenaries jump ship to our enemies, the constant humblings at the hand of our direct rivals and the helplessness as we’ve suffered because of our never ending injury woes.

Hopefully, all the prayers, tears, hopes and dreams will be rewarded this Saturday as we will once again witness our beloved Monseigneur Wenger lift the FA Cup Trophy at the Wembley.

The screening will witness all the Goonerettes & Gooners sing our hearts out, with songs old and new. “She Wore…”, “We’re The Arsenal..” will surely kick off the evening’s proceedings, followed by latest crowd favourites “NaNaNa Giroud”, “We’ve got a Big F*cking German..”, the many Santi Cazorla songs and also feature some of our unique desi/Hinglish songs about our dearest Arsenal!

Like every other Gooner across the world – i can’t wait for Saturday to arrive!!

 

#GunningForTheCup #DesiGooner

 

– Sudhir Ramakrishnan (https://twitter.com/DesiEPLFManager)

 

P.S. – It’s no surprise that the Mumbai chapter has been featured in Bleacher Report Best Overseas Locations to watch an Arsenal Match (http://tinyurl.com/BR-BOPTWArsenal)

 

You can find Sudhir on twitter  @DesiEPLFManager

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91 comments on “The FA Cup Final – A Desi Gooner’s Take

  1. Hi guys! nerves are definitely simmering, which is probably why I’ve been keeping a low profile this week, as well as being mad busy with work! I’m going to the screening at Emirates on Saturday as it beats hiding behind my sofa! Whether I’ll be brave enough to do the meet up, I’ll have to decide on the day. But hopefully we won’t see another Birmingham or Arsene’s 1000 debacle – my heart just could not take it!

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  2. All this worry is for not. But I’m anxious nonetheless. The team will be up for it. It should be a grand day and a grand game. Bring it home lads. Bring it home.
    Very happy for Reyes. The bad luck continues for benifica.

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  3. Greetings one and all. Me, nerves? Hell yes. Still I trust Mr. W to steer the lads away from loitering too much around their own heads, just let the game do the talking, and the ball.

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  4. Fear? None. Nerves? Yes, A bit. You’d have to be daft not to have some nervous feelings going into a knockout game of any sort, how much more when the stakes are high as in a final? Excitement? much! Arsenal are in a cup final tomorrow!

    I’m taking Limestonegunnerinho into Toronto. We’ll watch the final at noon in an Arsenal supporting pub/sports bar. Then later that afternoon we go to see Thierry Henry and the Red Bulls play Toronto FC! Limestonegunnerinho plans to wear his Henry 12 125th Anniversary shirt. Hopefully we’ll be celebrating Arsenal’s first trophy since Henry wore the red and white number 14 with Thierry. He’ll know the result I’m sure. It’s going to be a great day!

    Speaking of overseas fans and their passionate enthusiasm, the July 21st Arsenal-Red Bulls friendly sold out in 2 or 3 days in early April–I had no chance to get tickets and would have made the 7 hr drive to see Arsenal in NY. So would thousands of other Arsrnal supporters evidently! They could hold this match in the NY Giants NFL stadium (capacity 82566) near the Red Bulls and, I am positive, it would sell out as well. It has been so long since Arsenal have come to North America. That game is going to be crazy, especially if Arsenal win the FA cup and have a good summer heading into the season.

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  5. The Americas are gunner territory. All others can go f••• themselves.
    I would feel so much better going into the cup final if STEWW & FRANK. were here too. come on men. Its kick ass time.
    And ANDREW. show thyself.

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  6. You’d have to be daft not to have some nervous feelings going into a knockout game of any sort

    like daft punk ? ahahah …i know what you mean..but i wont let the media and occasion put me under pressure …was reading tony woodcock in the evening standard riding home from work and in his 8 paragraphs 7 of them were about the unthinkable…..that is not the right psychology…….. if it were the champions league though….id probably call my mom to change my nappies every 10mins…make it 5… last time in paris i nearly died …and when babel cheated kolo i couldnt sleep, when bridge kicked the invincibles out of the champions league i wouldnt speak to anyone for a week…walked into work with dark glasses…funeral

    i noticed somthgn similar in the home bayern game…i could not sit down..trembling..shaking ..tapping my feet like a maniac…scratching my face… and everyone around me was actually pretty cool. when ozil missed the penalty i sat down and cried a little bit and the guy next to me said “its not too bad” ….i told him “its over”..he laughed thinking “aaa young kid doesnt know shit”…i thought “this fool aint got a clue about sports and momentum”

    whiskey and vodka …not cool…suffering at work…torture….a big mistake..the world sucks…underground rush hour with hangover….fucking hell….especially when you want to walk out fast and there is the typical inconciderate idiot or bitch who are reading papers/books/mobile phones while walking like snails! just get out of the way……..please…..

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  7. you going to the game george?

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  8. I shall be having a productive day in the garden, followed by a leisurely stroll to the TV accompanied by son about 4.30. Thereafter I shall quaff fine ale and nibble exquisite snacks while I enjoy the slaughter of the tiger, torn to shreds by the pack of midfield dogs.

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  9. At the rate Anicoll is waxing lyrically and footballistically he should be working hard on a preview of the big game. Of course no private pressure tactics at work.

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  10. A generally poignant weekend Shotta so I am in a lyrical mood. Clearly edgy, excited, fidgety about our game tomorrow. As edgy in fact as I can remember ever being.

    It is the Cup Final on Saturday as a point in my history/our history that is catching my attention too.

    I can actually remember watching and taking in the full West Ham v Preston Cup final in 64, Howard Kendall and Johnny Sissons as the two youngest players ever to play at Wembley in the Final, Kendall 17, Sissons a few months older. Moore, Hurst, last minute winner from Ronnie Boyce………………out in the garden replaying the Final as soon as the lap of honour was finished – 50 years on eh ….!

    And Sunday marks what is the centenary of the birth, and would therefore have been the 100th birthday, of my Dad. Clearly his death 16 years ago has put something of a damper on celebrations nevertheless I feel I shall mark the day.

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  11. Anicoll, wax lyrical and Email it to me ?

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  12. hunter13 at 10:57 am

    That was a brilliant exposition of the psychological dissonance of being an Arsenal supporter…..really, very enjoyable piece…

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  13. I’ll going to the screening at the Emirates. Hoping to meet Arse_Brain at the George on Eden Grove at around 15:30 before kick off. I would love to meet Passenal there too or at the Tollington after the game where I’m hoping to meet up with Calamity Jane. So come on Passenal make an effort…I’ll have “GP” on my forehead or lapel…..

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  14. GP
    on your forehead? They might mistake you for a General Practitioner doctor.

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  15. I can do that G but it will be in the morning

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  16. goonerkam at 2:00 pm

    Yeah, Calamity Jane already thinks I’m a gynaecologist…….

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  17. Thanks Andrew. I’ll be ready and waiting

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  18. Me, I’ll be at Harare Sports Club cricket ground, with about 200 gazillion Arsenal t-shirts crowding in, a roar as the teams walk onto the ground, or just a polite clapping of hands. They have a couple of big screens. Lot’s of talk about who’s in, who’s not. It’s my preferred Arsenal watching zone. I’ll be surprised if Ish isn’t there, so I’ll sit next to him. I need to get there early to get a seat (and a beer or two). My nerves will be on edge, like everyone and everyone else, so we’ll probably shout louder. I keep imagining if it was to me on the field. Every bar in town with a screen will be packed. Cup Final.

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  19. It might be silly but I have been having trouble sleeping. Had Thursday and Friday off – not in preparation for the final but rather for studies – instead, I cannot but keep thinking of that guilty pleasure of watching The Arsenal one last time this season.

    It really is such a joy to watch Wenger’s Arsenal play. I consider myself privileged. Its like watching those old painting geniuses paint – oi Picasso, I’m bored, lets go get some beers mate. Can we win? Of course, we are the better team by such a huge distance.

    Will Probert let us win? Well Untold reckons he’s a home referee so the best way to keep him honest is for the Arsenal supporters at Wembley to shout and shout and make sure he knows that we are the home team. I wish I was there. I’d fucking shout, shout and let it all out, shhhmoan!

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  20. GP, after intense negotiations with several people unfortunately I not going to make the George, to be honest I wasn’t happy anyway im hopefully still on for the toll if your still going

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  21. Well this thread of posts reminds me of Henry V doing the rounds before Agincourt, or the various letters written the night before The Somme in Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong. A sense of quiet reflection and reasonable optimism tempered by fear of a stray arrow, bullet or dodgy penalty decision. I have got loads of work to do later tonight and first thing in the morning, and then the middle of the day taken up with other things before I finally get a chance to watch the game. But I feel as if I am about to play myself, such is the heightened state of everything. I have been on tenterhooks for about three days now: real excitement and terror building.

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  22. A_B

    The toll it is then. Apparently all the others will be there around 15:00 at least. I’ll be outside with a ‘GP’ somewhere on my upper body. Can’t wait….

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  23. Very familiar thought from Foreverheady……

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  24. You won’t miss me I’ll be wearing red!

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  25. Up and attem PA.
    Its a grand day. CUP FINAL DAY .& the excitement is keeping all and sundry from getting shut eye. No matter. The long wait is over and I could not be happier for THE ARSENAL, AW & all the lads. All you long suffering always fully backing the cause and the project, take a bow. Enjoy the day and have yourselves a blast all you true diehard supporters. Cherish every moment . May the crew be ready and alert. Sharp and concise. Classy and ruthless. And may lady luck be on our side and always smiling.
    Bring it home baby!!!!!
    UP THE GUNNERS OF ARSENAL!!!!!
    UP With THE RED & WHITES!!!!!

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  26. Happy cup final day everyone!

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  27. Excellent piece Desi G – I’ve always admired our overseas army and it’s a real pleasure to meet some at the stadium from time to time.

    I feel a bit sorry for you Hunter – you sound emotionally disconnected from the FA Cup as well as physically separated from any means of watching the game.

    I think one reason the competition resonates so powerfully with those of a certain age is that pre-Sky, pre-EPL, the FA Cup final, alongside England internationals, was one of the very few football matches the non-stadium fan could see live each season. It was thus a VERY important occasion, regardless of who was actually playing. The League Cup was similarly elevated. As a result, on those all-too-rare occasions your team won (or at least made) the final, the memories of the game, where you were – who you were, even – tended to stay with you a lifetime.

    Interestingly, under Arsene, winning the FA Cup felt almost routine, at one point. So, er, Wenger out?

    Enjoy the game, whichever continent you are on.

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  28. Less than 5 hours to go! Its a 2am kick-off in Sydney – how about the rest of you overseas Gooners? Have pre-match drinks commenced in England?

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  29. I empathise with your 2 am kick-offs Sav. For champions league, my kick-offs are at 1.15 am. Today, it is a very nice 9.30 pm kick off. Bet you are not sleepy at all!

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  30. Ahaha Sens, I am so pumped.
    Pre-match drinks have officially started in Sydney!

    We have the quality. We have big game players. They should play that scene from Troy where Brad Pitt takes the beach almost by himself for the lads, and he’s psyching up his troops and says: “Immortality! Take it! Its yours!”

    That’s your cup boys! Take it!

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  31. a good scene to motivate the players.

    pre-match drinks already? There are still 3 hours left!

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  32. On BBC: FA – Cup live textArsenal vs Hull. I see that and click on it with excitement, looking forward to a cup final build up and pride at our name being one of the two teams in the final. Instead, what do I get? 8 years, 11 months….. even upto the seconds of time since Arsenal last won a trophy being repeatedly said. They have also included nice tid-bits of how many things have happened in this word since we won a trophy. Well, I can even say that the prime minister of my country changed since Man city last won a trophy. You can skew anything for your agenda. Especially if it is to mock someone or something. Fucking BBC.

    They are not going to ruin my day. No-one is going to ruin this day. Not going to let myself see any fucking build ups. Just 90 mins of Arsenal playing.

    Come on guys.

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  33. 10 minutes…Arsenal!! Come on!

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  34. What the fuck!!

    Its a fucken dogfight no doubt.

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  35. Wow so tense….so proud of our boys whatever the result….

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  36. Oh goodness!!!!!!!!!!

    Aaron fucken Ramsey that boy is The Man!

    I love you Arsenal I do I do I do!!!!

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  37. And the era of the ARSENAL JUGGERNAUT BEGINS………….

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  38. If I was a cat I would purr
    If I was a dog I would wag my tail

    But I’m human

    And substantially drunk

    And that was a fine, exceptional contest

    A great result – worthy of history

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  39. (0(
    COLL is plastered..
    We were too damn good and determined to get robbed this time.
    Riley and probert , go ••••••• yourselves…. 😛

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  40. Pers I’m ARSENAL till I die and Jacks what dyou think of Tottenham brilliant

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