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!!
– 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