This post isn’t by one but 3 diehard gooners I know, yours sincerely included. Do read on. Well worth it.
I have never written a post-title winning piece. Today, that has changed.
I was too ill to see the game. Had to rely on the internet and @hrhlordsleek for updates. Did this take the tension away, no? When I heard it was 2-0, thought to myself, can’t we just do things the easy way. 2-2 and then Aaron Ramsey. The tears. The relief. With my back resting on the wall, phone in hand, I raised my fist to the air and the tears dropped. You see, to we the initiates, football is more than just a game, it is a source of livelihood, it is passion-inspiring, it is life and alive.
On My 17, 2014, for a day, all was well with the world; even the trophyless jokes sounded funny.
See the picture at the top. Yes, Tomas. My Czech Mozart, game accelerator extraordinaire. Do you know what that shout is. That’s vindication of belief, payment for loyalty, victory assured.
We’re winners again. Victoria Concordia Crescit.
After the madness that ensued on Saturday night, the shouting and the dancing, the seemingly endless celebrations that went on into the small hours of the morning, I pretended to go to sleep, and let what just happened sink in.
Some people think this was just a trophy. It wasn’t. It’s so much more than that. It took 120 mins of nerve wracking football to transcend back in time from specialists in failure, to absolute relevance. No, this was no trophy. It was like drinking ice-cold cocacola after walking 10km in scorching desert sun. It’s like the relief asthma patients get when their inhaler repels an attack. But no, it was more than that. It was the right to take selfies unquestioned, the right to call Tottenham shit on live TV, the right to celebrate something that could actually be hoisted. It was the right to close down Islington in a bus parade, it was the right to pop celebatory champagne, it was the right to see absolute unbridled joy. Wenger was tossed in the air, Arsenal fans tweeted about trophies for the very first time, Gunnesaurus was no longer just a mascot with no recent klout. It was the right to add the FA Cup logo and the year 2014 to the middle tier of the Emirates, it was the right to win conversations that’ll have ended with ‘What do you know about trophies’. This was Wenger remembering how it feels to be a Champions again. It was the right to feel what most people will never feel. The say you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is the light. This is us holding the halogen lamp.
This isn’t the zenith by any means. But it’s a massive leap in the right direction. You can’t claim to have a winning mentality till you’ve won something. You can’t be addicted to cocaine if you’ve never taken a hit. You could see the nervousness in the first 15mins of the game. That’s what nine years of failure does to you. Now that they know they can do it, they’ll want to do it again. We’ve developed team spirit that’s been forged from anguish, despair, and now happiness. My favorite moment of the lot was when Kos called Per and they hoisted the trophy together. If you cannot understand how important that is, I fear you’ve chosen the wrong hobby.
In three years of blogging, this is my first positive post. That’s what Ramsey and the squad gave me on Satuday.
Shout about it, gloat about it. You have nine years catching up on to do. We are the Arsenal, and we are the 2014 FA Cup Champions.
Not sure anymore when I exactly began to follow The Arsenal, but I’m sure twas Kanu playing for the team that lured me. Time frame puts that circa 1999-2000. Well, the positive-side-of-a-decade-year-old me followed the team when I could. Snippets of headlines from newspaper stands, highlights of games on sports shows, etc (yal young’uns know the EPL hadn’t caught on as much as nowadays, right? -__-
Anyway, I was fortunate to have been a supporter when we won the League in 02 and 04 + the FA wins in 02, 03 and 05. Even with the league win in 04 and the FA Cup in 05, I think I was too young to fully grasp the essence of winning a trophy. From thence, my people, were the nearly-theres. The 06 UCL final was the most painful of them all.
Playing beautiful footie, gathering momentum, stalling when it mattered, picking self up but it being too late. That was the story of the Arsenal. My Arsenal. 4th place became our birthright, our trophy. The adage that says when a big illness brings one down, smaller ones will be able to dance alanta on one’s destiny. For want of the use of a more civilised word, scum like the chavs began to talk trash and give us grief about being trophyless, a team with a 10year-old history talking trash about The Arsenal. A Gooner’d no sooner have joined a discussion and he’d have been reminded/asked when last he won a trophy. Even when their trophy cabinet could sit IBB’s hilltop mansion comfortably. It, indeed, was a sad period.
As we conceded the first goal on Saturday even, someone beside me (a Barça fan who I’m sure never knew Ronaldo de Lima played for them) began berating us for supporting an ‘unreliable, useless team like Arsenal’. My phone began to ring by the 2nd Hull goal. I never picked. I believed the time was now. Best of all, the players knew this too. Nothing showed that more than how players like Santi were mis-controlling passes and how many chances we had to put the game to bed but didn’t take.
Mehn, I’ve never believed in the team like I did that day. I didn’t celebrate Santi’s free kick with more than an applause (and the wonder why he doesn’t take them often). I was happy, but I knew we weren’t there yet. We continued knocking and Kos got the second. That was when I got up, pumped the air and lost my voice. Then came the hope and the prayers. I wasn’t even berating Rambo for taking those shots that kept going over. We had to shoot to score, didn’t we?
When Rambo scored the third, I didn’t know what to do. Now, I’m not the most passionate of fans. I try to be civil. You know, not punch a neighbour’s tooth off or step on someone while celebrating. But it wasn’t even that. Twas a conflict of emotions. Relief and excitement washed over me at the same time. I wanted to jump and run and dance at the same damn time, but I also just wanted to slump in a corner and give thanks. I can remember standing up and pumping my fists and getting lost in the moment staring at the screen that people had to shout that I should sit. Ever heard of fresh air? Twas that moment. The Aluko speculative shot notwithstanding, I knew we’d see the game out. There was too much at stake not to have seen it out.
My BBM PM still reads ‘Enemies, you can brew fresh taunts now’. Monkey off our backs, winning mentality in our minds, wise and active transfer window, we can face the future now.
By the way Sone Aluko needs a better team to sign him mehn
Yaya Sanogo needs more game time. That dude is gonna be explosive. You heard it here first. No? Okay, you sha heard it here
Shout out to Yosay MaureenOe.
ThaTeaser, I hail you too.
Oooooooh to be a Gooner…
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