Thursday, April 19, 2007
Arsenal Singapore, represent yo!
It was a good day out to Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal. The sun was out, there was a cool breeze. I'd set off early from the hotel, in order to take in the sights and sounds of the ground around the Stadium.
Stalls were open selling all kinds of Arsenal memorabilia from vintage past to present day. The fragrant smells of oily burgers and frankfurters filled the crisp air. The tills rang loud at the pubs, and boisterous cheers were heard from fans of both sides. Police presence was high, as it should. Almost everyone whipped out a mobile phone or a digital camera to preserve the majestic image permanently.
I wore the Arsenal Singapore polo proudly, with a scarf around me neck.
A great day to win.
And how we won it! Granted, there were a some suspect defending and the crowd were getting tired of Eboue's antics. And whenever Baptista had the ball there were snigger's around the stand. Then, they struck! Rosicky pounced onto the 1st goal, Cesc volleyed in a beautiful 2nd, and Baptista (surprise, surprise) tapped one in for a 3rd.
I was seated in the upper tier, and there was a lack of vocal support here. Perhaps it has to do with the much higher price that the season ticket holders had to pay, thus consisting of a crowd who were more matured, and the cheers were less colourful than those at the lower podiums. Still, it was a fantastic view from up here. I was hoarse from all the shouting, bringing some local flavour to the match with my KNN's, NB's, WLE's...
Towards the end, with 10min left on the clock and the game in the bag, people started streaming out of the stadium to beat the snarling traffic. It does seem quite rude to the players sweating it out on the pitch to be doing that. However, it was a weekday evening match and Emirates Stadium had in attendance 55913 fans. Surely even getting out of the stadium would take half an hour!
I lingered a bit longer in the stands, taking a few snapshots and being a guest scorer for SGGooner. So far Arsenal have not lost the 2 times I watched them in London, the first being the draw against Spuds at Highbury. A nice record, if I do say so myself.
After the match I went the longer way to escape the long line at Arsenal tube station. Came across this burger stand and settled my dinner with a bacon burger. Across the road, The Auld Triangle still had a huge after match crowd discussing the match just ended. I suppose they lived in the neighbourhood, lucky fellas...
I had to go back the next day to shop for merchandise. Racked up quite a bill on my plastic, as usual...And I'm sure you know now that Arsenal Singapore got mentioned in the match day programme. I've bought extras if anyone would like the hard copy as a memento.
I'm flying back in time for the clash againt Spuds on Saturday at Liz Pub. Will we be celebrating St. Totteringham's Day at White Shite Lane?
Photos here on my Flickr.