What was the last Arsenal match you saw live in a stadium?

What’s Your Last Arsenal Match Experience? By Dan Smith

As long-term readers will know, during the international break I like to find creative content. The BBC gave me an idea by asking people to share their memories of their last visit to a stadium.

Whenever it was or whoever it was against, I’m sure when you woke up that morning you didn’t think that potentially it be your last Arsenal match day experience for over a year?

Football was originally cancelled in March. The government have stressed it won’t be till May next year before they even discuss when or how many people are allowed back into venues. Even once this virus is under control, there will be caution before 60,000 fans are allowed back into grounds.

The fear is by then we will be conditioned into this ‘new normal.’ Over 12 months of fake noises being played into our TV screens, an over indulgence of games on the television, etc.

It would be great to share our memories of our last Arsenal match in the comments…

Even now, asking myself to recount my last visit to the Emirates it feels like a life time ago. It was in fact only February this year.

Despite being a red member, due to various reasons I hadn’t attended many games live in the last campaign. As a birthday gift my housemate got me tickets for the Olympiakos Europa League second-leg.

We gooners kind of look down on the Europa League and in some ways are arrogant, like we are too big for the competition. I now feel silly for watching the first leg and being happy when Lacazette missed a sitter to make it 2-0.

Our theory was it would be a shame to go to London with nothing at stake.

A narrow win in Greece was perfect. It put us on track for the next round but still allowed my first match in a while to have consequences.

I’ll be honest though I underestimated the opposition. The Greek side have a well-known poor record on their travels in Europe.

During the journey from Wales we spoke about a lot of things, but strangely not the event we were about to see. I had zero nerves or trepidation. I was looking forward to everything you do on match day, but it never entered my head that there was the possibility that I was about to watch my team get knocked out.

Until kick off…

You know when you watched The Arsenal long enough you can just sense something in the air. It’s like reading the same book or watching the same movie.

From the very first whistle it never felt secure.

Don’t get me wrong the team didn’t play well but us fans didn’t help. We were not helping the teams confidence by how nervous we were. Between us and the players, our game management of defending an away goal was horrendous.

That’s due to experience.

At half time at Anfield or Old Trafford, no one would be panicking over drawing 0-0 because they would have history to draw upon.

At the break, going off the atmosphere you would have thought Arsenal were losing, not 45 minutes from going through. And boy did the away fans sense our nerves. I sat just above them and their excitement to be fair was the only memorable part of the evening.

When we went 1-0 down my attitude was let’s get to extra time and we would be okay.

There isn’t really a bad seat at our ground, but anyone who’s sat behind the goal, upper tier, will know that what is happening at the other end can be deceiving.

Replays confirmed how brilliant Aubameyang’s goal was.

Imagine the pain of having an up-close look of Olympiakos celebrating their second goal. All their staff running off the bench to the away end. The way they celebrated in hindsight would have made Auba’s a sitter great if it had gone in. Imagine their faces?

Instead, thinking the time was up, I have a long-distance blur of the ball ricocheting towards goal and momentarily thinking we had rescued the night. A stranger next to me said ‘it’s okay, he was offside’ (he wasn’t).

Seconds later the final whistle and for the first time I listened to the theme tune of UEFA’s secondary competition and it hurt. Like an ex-girlfriend, I only appreciated the Europa League now it was out of my life.

Then I had to walk down the steps and see flares being lit and the away players throwing their shirts to the crowd. I didn’t understand what was being chanted at us as we walked away, heads down, but I sensed it wasn’t nice.

Then there’s that long queue to Arsenal’s tube. This is where I don’t rant but more reflect. Usually along the lines of,… ‘we travelled 4 hours for that?’ … Am I a mug?… You know the drill.

Normally we get a late coach from Victoria. I can’t remember why but we had a later bus at Heathrow so stayed on the Piccadilly line. I’m proud to say we made so many friends for the entire journey. Olympiakos’ fans were brilliant and cheered me up with their humbleness.

My parents live in Corfu so I can say they were your stereotypical Greek’s, hugging me, kissing me on the cheek, saying Arsenal are their fave English team, etc.

I got back into Cardiff at 4.30 am. We sat in McDonald’s for an hour waiting for the first train service to get me home.

It was a very long day just to see your team lose in the Europa League. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!

I would love to hear your memories of your last Arsenal match…

Be Kind In The Comments.

Dan

Tags Emirates Olympiakos

30 Comments

  1. Le Coq Monster says:

    Last game John Fox saw live was…………………………..

    11 December 1886 Eastern Wanderers 0–6 Dial Square

    😆

    1. Admin Pat says:

      Were you standing beside him! lol?

      1. Le Coq Monster says:

        Yes!……….he was very opinionated throughout the game and eventually ejected from the ground by some Peelers!
        😆

        1. Sue says:

          Well you make me laugh, Le Coq 👍👍😂

          1. Le Coq Monster says:

            Hi Sue baby! 😀

    2. jon fox says:

      Le Coq, What a coincidence that you were there in Victorian times with someone with a name slightly similar to mine!

      Of course, as you choose to HIDE you own real name and use an alias as your profile, we will never know if anyone with a simiar name to your REAL name was also there.

      To make a serious point, I do criticise and praise posts on here but I have the courage to use my own given name and never hide behind an alias as you choose to do. I wonder why you choose to do so! Something to hide, perhaps?

      EASY TO COME ON HERE VERY OCCASIONALLY TO WRITE A TYPICAL CHEAP WITTICISM TO ATTRACT A CHEAP LAUGH. Not so easy or courageous to state your own true and fearless opinion, using your own REAL name. Is it!

      BTW, my own paternal grandfather – then first in a family line of now five generation Gooners- used to regularly attend Royal Woolwich Arsenal and Woolwich Arsenal matches and used to tell me tales of both the Manor and Invicta grounds.
      So in a way, I WAS there!

      1. Le Coq Monster says:

        How dare you John!!………………this is my real name!…………….changed it by deed poll!……………it`s even my own photograph! 😆 ……………………..by the way, great story of your Gooner DNA family life line, it would make a great post to write some more about it!
        🙂

        1. Le Coq Monster says:

          Oops sorry jon…………………………I haven`t been commenting for a while as I spend most time down the gym, sorry to call you John!, jon.
          I look good for an 134 year old!……………………..I swear by the eternal youth looks from exercise!

    3. Dan says:

      And still complained lol

      1. Le Coq Monster says:

        😆

    4. Steven Wilson says:

      Arsenal v Eintracht Frankfurt
      Emery’s final game in charge.

  2. Abdul iliyasu salifu says:

    I edge fans to consider many situations when talking about Arteta.

    Even Ancheloti an experience coach,has won league tittles in different clubs,a 3 times CL league winner is not taking it easy with Everton job.

    Arteta came in as inexperienced manager and yet has:
    1.Solve the problem of fanbase division

    2.The defensive issues are better now.

    3.We can also beat the big clubs and feel comfortable meeting them unlike few seasons back.

    4.He already has FA cup medal.Ask Sari how many times he tried before winning a trophy.
    Even Poch who many consider to be a big manager can’t boast of a trophy.

    If Arteta leaves Arsenal today he won’t stay home for a long time.We may not appreciate him now but will appreciate him soon.

    Arteta himself knows he is building his own reputation and there will be no other opportunity than this

    Gradually Arteta will build something formidable for US.He needs patience and support.

    So far I will rate him at 7/10.

    1. Declan says:

      Er, you seem to have gone slightly(🤔) off topic or posted on the wrong article.

      1. jon fox says:

        What a crime! Surely it cannot have EVER happened before!

        1. Declan says:

          And there was me trying to be nice and helpful….🙄

          1. jon fox says:

            Seldom works on here Declan! Too many miserable old gits like me around to thwart helpful folk!

            Actually, my post was only meant to be tongue in chek but its not easy to put that over sometimes. I am probably among the very worst for changing the topic with my own posts! Guilty as charged, so off with my miserable old decrepit head!

          2. Declan says:

            👍👍👍

  3. Sue says:

    The last game back in March against the hammers. No better feeling than catching the train with my son, or daughter if she decides to come, to Paddington. Tube to Arsenal… straight in the Little Wonder cafe for food and drink – lush!! A good look/spend in the Armoury… then to find our seats and watch the players warm up!
    What a day…. and the journey home is even better after a win!! Love it… and can’t wait to do it again 😍

    1. Dan says:

      Sue who assisted the winner that day again ?
      That will start an argument

      1. Sue says:

        😂😂😂 the one and only!!

        What a game for you, Dan…. it was bad enough watching at home… gutted!! Next time, hey?!!

      2. jon fox says:

        Oh no it won’t!

  4. Olushorlar says:

    Well, I’m still here in Nigeria and hoping one day I will watch my love, Arsenal play at the Emirates.#mydream

    1. Declan says:

      I hope you do too Olushorlar as it will be day to remember. The first timeous indeed a memory to cherish.

  5. jon fox says:

    DAN AN INTERESTING READ AS EVER . I will choose not to bore people with my personal last game but do want to disagre with your contention that no fans will be in stadiums til next MAY.
    Like most goponers, I am up to date with latest government announcements edicts but have learend that this pandemic is a moving feast and thing change weekly.

    I very much doubt that there will not be at least SOME fans back in stadiums by MARCH at the latest. I predict, rightly or wrongly, January at the earliest for us and all PREM clubs, with some social distancing.
    THINGS ARE MOVING FAST AND NEXT MAY is a full six months away. You heard it here first! Whether that is morally acceptable or not is a very different matter!

  6. Shakir says:

    I can only watch Arsenal play via TV on HD but its one of my big dreams to walk into the emirates one day🙄✌

    But i do enjoy watching them behind a screen after midnight(as i dont live in europe)with some friends.Then sleeping in the classroom next day during lecture hours.And then the lecturer start giving a big lecture on how i could mess my grades and the degree.What a life!😂😉

    1. Sue says:

      😄 Good for you, Shakir… When you do make it to the Emirates, I hope to read all about it 😉🙂

      1. Shakir says:

        Sure👍🙄
        And i hope its on the NLD…
        They say to dream big😅😉

  7. Olushorlar says:

    Yeah! Thanks Declan!

  8. Dan says:

    Anyone abroad with that dream of seeing Arsenal
    If your ever in England I have spare membership so we can sort something

  9. Jax says:

    Mid March 2009 with a 4-0 over Blackburn and Arshavin scoring his first goal for us. And that was my retirement from Arsenal match going, although I’ve tried Bristol City a few times but can’t get a buzz from them (good as they are).

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