73 Comments

Gf60 + The Arsenal : “My most exciting game (outside of Championship deciders and Cup finals)”.

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Ian posted this in the Summer of 2017, the football match he remembered so well from almost 60 years before. 

Isn’t it strange that when you cast your mind back over literally hundreds of games that really got you going, drenched with sweat, hoarse, really exhausted as though you’d covered every blade of grass on the pitch yourself, that a lost game is the most memorable?

After all there are 1-0 wins that were so against the run of play but so exciting (as we, the fans, literally tried to blow the ball away from our danger area) that they live in the mind far longer than eminently satisfactory but easy 6-2 wins. Even some 1-1 draws have done that.

So why choose a loss? Simple. It was a game that not only lives; it also showed what Gooners could do when they believed in themselves (something that our recent sides have done so well) and it also had me crying but a few days later.

There was a day in 1958 when League Champions “Manchester United” was simply that…..not MFU or any other other acronym for cheatin’, lucky, dirty bastards.

They were footballing Gods, blessed with skills so far from the norm that they resembled our Invincibles. (Even so they never managed a season unbeaten which goes to show just how good we were.)

We all knew that our side was just there to act as the sacrificial lamb, but in those days watching football played at such a level was no hardship. So they’ve put 14 goals past us in the last 3 games? And, they’ll put 3 or 4 past us again today, so what? Miss this game and you miss out on seeing real skill….and football as it can be played.

Whatever time the kick off, probably 1pm in those archaic days of no floodlights and no substitutes, you got to the ground a good 3 hours before hand for a game like this. Establish your viewing position, programme and a paper to read, big bag of peanuts to hand and then start the ‘how big a crowd?’ game; do the raffle for first person to score….”please let me pull Tommy Taylor!” No, get Denis Evans instead but at least that left you with a chance of just maybe the Arse will get a penalty….if of course we ever get into their area!

At last the game starts. Look at them strut. Colman, Edwards, Byrne…Bobby Charlton , a mere 3 years older than me and playing in this side. And the lucky raffle winner is….Duncan Edwards. They tore us apart, Charlton getting a goal of such frightening power that “maybe”, we thought, “he hits a ball as hard as big Cliff”, and, as we expected they were 3-0 up at half time. We started wondering what was the worst ever Arsenal defeat at Highbury. Horrible as the score was, we were watching a truly great side and there was a sigh almost of contentment as they trooped off. We were lucky enough to have seen greatness in action.

What may have gone into the Gooners tea at half time is a matter of conjecture….within about 10 minutes the crowd was ecstatic. Not only had we scored against these non- mortals, we’d equalised and had them on the run. David Herd and Jimmy Bloomfield (twice) had done the, what seemed, impossible. Our side was level.

 

Even a crowd as passionate as that can only keep up such a noise level for so long. An injury, treated as usual with a sponge loaded with iced water, two wild clearances into the stands and a bit of other time wasting, left all of us, players and supporters, shorn of adrenaline and realising that there wasn’t much left in the tank.

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Had we shot our collective bolts? It would seem so. Another 10 minutes and we were 2 goals behind again. Violett and Taylor for the second time doing the damage. But the lads had realised by now that they could also play. Up went the sleeves, up again went the tempo and Derek Tapscott got our fourth. We were all berserk as the equaliser refused to come, but we were watching a game where the Arse was taking a better side almost to the cleaners. Almost but not quite and, as usual, the clock decided enough is enough.

 

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We had lost but lost gloriously. Any fan having a voice left, even those up in the directors’ box, might be assumed to be sub normal. Mine for sure was some 3 days getting back to normal…..in time to wail “Oh shit” as I saw the headline of the first newspaper I was supposed to deliver on my 6a.m. morning paper delivery round.

It was the first and only time I ever cried for Manchester United.

 

 

 

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 60, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

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73 comments on “Gf60 + The Arsenal : “My most exciting game (outside of Championship deciders and Cup finals)”.

  1. Looks like Bendtner has got himself into serious trouble this time. Allegedly broken a taxi driver’s jaw after a night out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although at the moment he hasn’t been charged

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The likes are appreciated.

    Like

  4. If these allegations are true, Bendtner + taxis is a very bad combination
    A shame, have always thought he had the potential to be rather brilliant

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think it would be in Nicklas’s best interest one evening to run into the wrong taxi driver who delivers a savage beating to our former Danish striker – nothing too serious obviously but it might get it out of his system.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Denmark has had some mad dog players in recent years , Gravesen , Stig ToftIng, seems Nick B is heir apparent
    Apologies to any Danes on this site, on second thoughts, I know the UK teams and others have had players that could give a few of them a run for their money

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As promised, fellow Positives, my new blog was launched today and i look forward to your Comments at http://uniteforvar.com/?p=1222
    VAR: Supported by 75% of English Fans. Foot Dragging by the Premier League?

    Liked by 3 people

  8. George beat me to it. Truly my old mucker.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. After the recent troubles of a couple of ex players- Hinds and Bendtner- more upbeat news on another former player, Semi Ajayi.

    Made his Nigeria debut in a friendly yesterday.

    I had disproportionately (he’s tall and initial signs were very good in air) high hopes for him, but after getting in match day squad a couple of times his career seemed to be in freefall (unsuccessful loan, didn’t play at new club after leaving).

    It happens. More than a few promising youngsters of ours have dropped out of league football or even stopped playing. Bunjaku; guy Wilshere talked up and who made Rwanda full debut at 17 (with a bad knee, which may have been terrible mistake); kid signed from Luton, Dawkins, who disappeared after leaving us.

    Anyway, his name cropped up again and evidently he found a home at Rotherham and must be doing quite well.

    Good for him. My hankering for the one- a good, tall centre back- ,meanwhile, will continue a while longer. Hopefully see Mavropanos get a few opportunities soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Some further unpublished stuff from Sid Lowe’s Santi interview;

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1039136455656910848.html

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Rich did Nwalki get any game time for Nigeria at the weekend

    Liked by 1 person

  12. AFCPressWatch
    ‏ @AFCPressWatch2
    2h2 hours ago

    Newcastle United v Arsenal

    Referee: Lee Probert

    Assistants: Simon Beck, Adrian Holmes

    Fourth official: David Coote.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ed

    Just checked lineup and it’s a no. Not in match day squad.

    Thought it was a friendly but it was a Cup of Nations qualifier. That might be chance gone now of work permit for next year, as he’d prob need to play virtually all their games to be in with much of a chance.

    Still annoys me Iheanacho was granted special talent permit when his main credential was star player of u17 world cup winning team, and Nwakali was the exact same.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. we’ve been done that way a few times rich

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Last time Lee Probert had the whistle we won 1-0 at Newcastle. Co-incidence eh ?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I see there is what seems to be a blog dedicated to attacking Ozil,- Pain in the Arsenal – as it almost has daily articles attacking Ozil, and in fact it had two the one day last week slagging him off,
    its unreal how moronic some Arsenal bloggers and fan are. As the saying goes, “its why we can’t have nice things”

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Think we had four- Okonkwo, Saka, Balogun, John-Jules- playing for Eng u18’s (+ three recent call ups- Amaechi, Daley-campbell, Coyle) this week and another three with u17’s

    Both teams won 3 out of 3 against some high quality opposition.

    Bodes well and hopefully means we can have decent crack at Chelsea in u18’s and cup this year.

    On that note, the 3-1 loss to them last game for u18’s (sounded like could have gone the other way) and the 10-1 defeat for u16’s were a bit of a downer after a very positive start to the season.

    Maybe we had a weird squad for the 10-1 game, hope so.

    Anyway, seem to be brimming with talent at the moment, though still that oddity that we never seem to get centre backs into the England youth teams.

    Our u21’s have a game tomorrow in checkatrade against Coventry. Not on tv but on talksport 2 apparently (so could be my first ever listen, far as i know, to a talksport channel).

    No idea how heavily impacted lineup will be by all those who’ve been away this week. Step into unknown but fingers crossed side is strong enough to compete in what could be a rude awakening if very young team.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ed. I’ve skipped over any Ozil stuff without registering it this week but picked up on an increase in articles on ‘Arsenal fans slam x after international game’

    The format is a headline like that, then a waste of words, built around the most negative tweets they can find from supposed Arsenal fans about our players during an international game.

    Ramsey had one, Xhaka,too. Think there was another, all from some hitherto unknown site. I can’t imagine there being any real money in any of it, pennies for advertising, maybe.

    My loathing extends way beyond football for that article format- find a few tweets, from anyone, with any strength of association to some person or large group, and try make a story from it, in politics sometimes a big story.

    More fool me for regularly checking NewsNow I guess. Pathetic is a pretty big understate for that kind of ‘article’

    Liked by 3 people

  19. eg

    https://www.footballfancast.com/premier-league/arsenal/aaron-ramsey-performance-slammed-following-wales-defeat-to-denmark

    I really don’t get what these sites are for, nor who they are by.

    Is it amateurs indulging a hobby or people with writing dreams trying to get anything published anywhere?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. rich we even have big twitter accounts like that DarrenArsenal tweeting shit blaming the Arsenal medical team for Santi Cazorla’s post op problems/infection, as if it was the AFC medics who carried out the surgery,
    it seems anything to have a dig at AFC is they only thing these muppets know, but when you have a whole host of ex players at this sort of thing, such as Kevin Campbell this week, why should we expect some fans to be any different

    Liked by 2 people

  21. so Uefa are going back to 3 club competitions by 2021/22 season, meaning 96 clubs will be playing in their competitions then.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. New post up

    Like

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