The Arsenal fans singing the Champions League anthem was a joy to behold once again

Fans singing in harmony at Arsenal v PSV  by Dan Smith

On Wednesday night the air felt like it hadn’t felt in a while.

A unique taste to what you were consuming.

A smell hard to describe.

Not different …. I can’t use that word. Because in reality what thousands were about to experience used to be the normality at the Emirates.

Highbury had hosted these occasions annually in its final years.

Arsenal once had the record for the consecutive years where midweek was our normality.

As Gooners chatted to themselves, applauded the players onto the pitch…. there it was …. that familiar tune.

To many, a song that was the soundtrack of your childhood, to others an anthem taken for granted, equally some would be too young to recall this music ever being played watching the Gunners.

Aware of the song of course, maybe at other English grounds but the closest to your hero’s being on your PlayStation.

Tom Brittons iconic masterpiece had never been sung like it was in North London in midweek.

In the past, perhaps opinions on UEFA meant supporters didn’t feel the need to be vocal.

Others arrogantly didn’t feel the need to see the significance of the words, naively thinking it was a noise that would never fade. After all Mr Wenger had ensured for over two decades that the Gunners would be greeted by these lyrics.

He was mocked for ‘only’ consistently making sure we were associated with a masterpiece originally intended for George Friedric Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’.

Some still (and might never) see the irony that the very same fans who sang with pride pre-PSV, forced out the greatest manager in our history for the exact same landmark that Mikel Arteta is celebrated for.

Yet that’s what was beautiful about the other evening.

A fanbase so often divided singing in harmony.

All personal opinions were put to one side to reflect.

To truly appreciate the magnitude of the occasion, you need to analyse how far we had fallen.

We thought rock bottom was the Europa League song on Thursdays.

In reality it was zero European football at all, to the point that 5th was called progress.

We actually gone full cycle. Sacked Mr Wenger for only finishing in the top 4 to years later only finishing in the top 4.

In reality we reached a level were

The last 6 years hasn’t always been a fun journey, and to make sure we never take that trip again we should never take European nights for granted.

For a few seconds we were united, proud of the badge again.

When Thierry Henry was unhappy at Barcelona, he was asked would he like a return to Arsenal?

He smiled and said: ‘In life, you always go back to where you belong.’

On Wednesday, Arsenal went back to where we belong.

Back to the summit of the sport.

Back at the head of the table dining with Europe’s finest.

Back as a serious superpower.

Just how it should be.


JustArsenal Show NEO discusses Arsenal’s excellent win over PSV and the goalkeeper conundrum….

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  1. ” A heart never forget where it best felt love” But back then both legendary Frenchmen makes champion league football felt like a given right to Arsenal.

  2. Dan
    You almost brought a tear to my eye
    I am old enough to be for the first time and Wednesday night was just like the first time
    The anticipation of what lie ahead in the coming months
    The excitement of of Tuesday or Wednesday night football rather then a Thursday night
    The whole crowd were just fantastic. I was very fortunate to be part of a great night
    I have to also mention the psv supporters .. they were just as good
    Down side
    Final whistle
    Went outside and felt i had walked under a waterfall
    But you know what
    Didn’t care less . Felt i Was walking on water after the final whistle

  3. It was an inspiring performance from the Gunners

    If we don’t meet Man City and Man United in UCL knockout stage, I think we’ll reach semifinal or more. Non-EPL teams aren’t familiar with Arteta’s tactics yet

    1. This is an interesting way to look at it, but your point is valid, that may help explain the heavy defeat inflicted upon a team that haven’t lost for 26 games.

      I honestly seing Arsenal doing a lot of damage to the opposition in the early stages of the champions league.

      Tierney almost single handedly ran Inter Milan ragged last week in the champions league to the point fans were calling him Roberto Carlos, and to think he couldn’t get a sniff here.

      1. I’m glad to hear Tierney doing well for a team suited to his playing style. Luckily, we won’t play against him in UCL

  4. Dan, once again I applaud you for pointing out the craziness of the situation – both the positive and the negative.

    We are back where we belong, but it took six long years to realize how privileged we were to have been at the top table for so long.
    I happen to believe that MA will keep us there in the future, but this is where the hard work begins – four competitions to win!!!!

    Great article, great fans, great squad, great manager – we can all boast about our club once again!

  5. Could have been a good article. Once again the author can’t help but bring Wenger into the discussion in an attempt to diminish the progress made over a number of years.
    The reference to Wenger is problematic as we were already out of the CL for two years running by the time he left and the quality of football had declined. We were beaten badly in our last CL games under Wenger and some of us still remember these and other batterings.
    The Arsenal team has been steadily rebuilt over a number of years in a way most reasonable fans can see has been quite remarkable. A transformation based on the vision of a brilliant young manager.

    1. Because we went backwards since Wenger left
      Hence why we only just got back to the CL after how many years since we left ?

  6. I’m with David – as some on JA would expect. I am FAR from being anti Wenger but he wasn’t let go for finishing 4th.

    The club had been on the decline for various reasons. The management at the very top only really came under scrutiny once the perennial top4 still eluded us, and Emery failed to regain 4th after an end of season collapse and the Baku nightmare. Sanhelli was canoodling with the top agents and since then Arteta who has really grown into the role got the support from new and improved higher management . Not plain sailing by any means but worth the wait as the old guard were purged and what a blessing that has been.

    I am as delighted as we all are to be back and the time away only goes to show how much it was missed. The best European club competition should never be taken for granted and Liverpool and Chelsea must be licking their wounds and watching us enviously this season. It’s now time for Arteta to take the next step and turn the team into winners

    1. But Sue there were dissenting voices when we finished 4th
      Go back season we finished 2nd to Leicester and compare reaction
      Look how Giroud , Walcott , BFG were treated
      Players who were just as / more successful then current crop

      1. Hi Dan
        I’m sure there were dissenting voices. I’ve read enough on JA to know that one or two bad results and Arteta needs to be looking over his shoulder.
        I always maintained that top4 which was AW’s mantra and one I went along with as I believed him to be right. What became more difficult to stomach was the poorer showing in the league regardless of where we finished in the top4 as better funded teams hired better players and very good managers from across Europe. We didn’t seem able to push on.

        I’ll wait to see if the current crop are to be less successful than your examples.

            1. 3 FA Cup medals
              Over 100 goals for Arsenal
              Including scoring in 2 Cup Finals
              Majority of career for us was playing in CL , played in title races
              Always played european football with us
              Never played for a arsenal team who finished 8th
              Played in an era where standards were high
              So he be slated if we finished third
              Today thats celebrated

                1. Wasn’t the question
                  Question was what did walcott achieve
                  We cant say is that all but then celebrate less achievements

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