A letter to the Arsenal fans… from the Emirates Stadium (age 14 3/4)

A letter to the Arsenal fans… from the Emirates Stadium

When I came into this world, I could not open my eyes for a long time. I remember that it was 2006 when I first opened my nimble eyes. It was so bright that I could hardly see anything.

After a few months I witnessed something inside of me which I found really beautiful. I saw two teams come out from a tunnel and play with a ball, which I later came to know was called “football.”

Since then, I have witnessed many matches inside of me. My favorite colour is red because everybody is dressed in red during matchdays, and I think it is an alluring spectacle.

I also started supporting the team in red, because I felt a strong connection, which is pretty hard to explain.

It has been 15 amazing years and it still feels like I was born yesterday. How time flies! But the last year was pretty difficult and confusing for me. People usually come inside of me from August to May. After that I take a long nap for 3 months before waking up for a new season in August.

Nevertheless, the last year was strange. I had to forcibly shut down or let’s say sleep in March for the reasons I still don’t really understand.

They say “home is where the heart is,” but the home has not felt like home for over a year now.

It was March the 7th, 2020, when you all went berserk inside me after Alexander Lacazette scored from a Mesut Ozil assist in the 78th minute against our London rivals West Ham.

Although I hate when people leave me after the match ends, I know that they will return in a few days, which makes me feel good.

But it was different this time last year. Nobody came after the match against West Ham. I waited and waited. March went by. April, too, went by without anyone attending the matches of Our beloved Team. I asked myself many questions. Have they stopped enjoying football? Do the people don’t love Our Club anymore?

I never found an answer to those questions, nor did someone tell me.

May came by and still there was no sign of My People. I was very confused for those three months. It was the first time since my birth in 2004 that people disappeared in a flash and did not return for a long time.

Those were the toughest periods of my life, as days felt like years.

Emirates, too, wants this whole ‘virus thing’ to end soon

I spent three lonely months on my own, expecting to see people coming through the main gates of Me. But no one came. I was certain that it was not the summer break as I saw people in jackets and coats when We enjoyed Our fabulous win against West Ham.

But I do remember that my keeper, the groundsman, started wearing a cloth, which covered his nose and mouth. I had no clue why the keeper was wearing a thing which looked so incongruous.

I heard bits about people talking about some ‘virus’ inside the halls of me. I did not understand what that word meant, but it sounded pretty serious with the way people spoke about it.

I also learned the reason why people were not attending the matches of our team. It was ‘lockdown.’

I didn’t really understand the term initially, but later came to know that when it is imposed, people are forced to sit inside their homes.

It sounds frightening.

Although My Players returned in June, the most spectacular thing about football was missing. It was obviously the Fans. Without the fans, the wins were less enjoyable and the defeats harder to take in.

Without that “human presence” during the games, football loses it’s essence. It is called “The Beautiful Game” worldwide. And fans play a major role in it.

Calling the referee “twat.” The pre-match congregation in pubs and restaurants. Parents picking up their kids when Our Team scores. People shaking their head and screaming at the referee (which I found amusing) when we concede a goal. There are so many things I miss.

All that has been replaced by nothingness. All I can hear is the player and the staff shouting. It’s just a football match now. Nothing more than that.

But there is hope. Hope that You all will be welcomed for the last two matchdays of the Premier League season.

But hope can sometimes be a bad thing, especially in the current climate.

Until then, take care.

In the end, nothing can separate fans from football. And I think that’s beautiful.

With Love,

Emirates

 

 

by Yash Bisht

Connect with the writer via Twitter/Instagram: @yarsenal09

24 Comments

  1. Wyoming says:

    I remember about 40 years ago watching a game of local league football with barely any one else watching. I said to my friend that if Liverpool were playing Man United here with no crowd the game would look no different than amateur league. So when covid struck and games had to be played in empty stadiums my prediction came true. With out the crowds Premier League games look like Sunday league even with the piped in sound and commentators shouting about how incredible the 0-0 draw Wolves are having with Villa is.
    In fact without the crowds the rivalry the colour the stories the banter football can be the most boring game on earth not beautiful at all because most games have only one,two or three goals and most goals are deflections, scuffed mis hits own goals. or dubious penalties very rarely spectacular goals we see in highlight reels or match build ups. With out the crowds football as a spectacle is actually horrible not beautiful. So yes we need the crowds back. OT Swiss ramble reports a 50 mill loss for Arsenal to March this year and predicting a 100 mill loss for the next financial year because of Covid.
    The crowds can not return quick enough.

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      That’s a good one, Wyoming.

  2. gotanidea says:

    Too poetic for a stadium called the Emirates

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Not the most beautifully named stadium, is it?

  3. jon fox says:

    Applause for this innovative, amusing and very interesting article Yash, AKA Mr. Emirates! I hope you get many replies, as you fully deserve to!

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Thanks, Jon Fox. Means a lot!!

      1. jon fox says:

        Sincerely meant, young sir! I WAS IMPRESSED, SO SAID SO, SIMPLE AS THAT!

        1. Yash Bisht says:

          Extremely pleased that you liked it, sir!

  4. Wyoming says:

    Not really original as Sports columnists often write articles in a story telling way. One such gem of a book I found 20 years ago with loads of such football stories is “Footbal in Sun And Shadow” by Eduardo Galeano” published by Fourth Estate a division of Harper Collins. 1997 and 2003 translation by Mark Fried. I got a 2nd hand copy for 5 quid off of Amazon sent out to me last year. Read this book and many others and you will see where Yash gets his ideas from.

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      I didn’t get any idea from “those” type of books @Wyoming I am afraid. Rather, it is the tids and tads that people talk about on the social media.
      I just throwed everything in the article.
      Cheers!

    2. jon fox says:

      Wyoming,it is often said, albeit in mealy mouthed manner, that there is nothing new under the sun. I do NOT subscribe to that false theory and an element of plagiarism is in so many things written, in verse, in music, in fashion, design, TV progs and much else besides .

      BUT it is how you sprinkle your own take on it that makes it original and THAT is precisely what Yash has done.

      I see no other Gooner before him having done likewise on JA. So his is an original on here and a damned good one too IMO.

      1. Yash Bisht says:

        I am flattered, Jon.

  5. guy says:

    Good job Yash (;-)) And well done for staying in character for the whole article – something I couldn’t have done.
    Ignore Wyoming. Note there was no thanks there from him for the work you put in to make us all smile. instead he prefers to imply some kind of plagiarism.
    Keep it going Yash!

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Thanks, Guy!. You made me smile with that comment 😉

  6. Hardika Gupta says:

    Beautifully written YB! v impressive, great work!

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Thanks, Hardika!

  7. Declan says:

    Very nice Yash, rather moving actually, and true, without fans the stadiums are soulless.

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Yep. I would love to visit Emirates one day.

  8. Sue says:

    Great article, Yash! I’ve really missed that place…

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      I hope fans are brought back soon.

  9. Ishola says:

    It makes me smile as I hope Emirate will embrace the crowds again. We all smile at last

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      A good ending. First day is going to be emotional

  10. Vinod says:

    Beautifully written . . .

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Thanks, Vinod! Hope you are doing well!

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs