Come On Arsenal – I Have £10 At Stake!

Come On Arsenal – I Have £10 At Stake!

Why The Image At The Bottom Of This Page?

Oh here we go again!!

The premiership football season began this weekend, and it didn't start well for me. 

If you are football, baseball, netball anywhateverball fan you will be right into what your club is up to.   

Football has a special place in the hearts of many people. It is an iconic sport that has been around for decades. From the elation of victory, to the frustration of defeat, football fans have felt it all.   

Being a fan can be a very painful experience as I can reveal in this story. 

Why a Gunners Fan?

Why am I an Arsenal ('Gunners') fan.   

Well my son Tom is behind that...  as I was originally a Middlesbrough supporter.

My father was from Middlesbrough in Yorkshire but I was brought up in the south of the country.  

The only football matches I saw in my youth, were the occassional opportunities when Middlesbrough came to play a southern club.

I was basically a  Middlesbrough  fan, and I followed what they got up to and so on. 

On the other hand.

Tom my son, for some unknown reason, I really don't know why, Is a Manchester United fan - let's just call them a top club.

Now neither myself or Tom are into betting so I was surprised whenTom suggested this. "Let's have a small bet each season:  First bet would be which of our teams came highest in the Premiership and another about who would go furthest in the FA Cup".

Hang on!!   Man United versus MIddlesbrough.  Not a goer.   However. I liked the idea.  So I needed to get a top team to  become an adopted fan

I had to pick a team that would stand a chance against Man Utd

Well I had lived in North London, and I had always liked the way that Arsenal played when they were managed by Arsene Wenger.  

So that was that an adopted fan.

Back in 2008 Tom and I started our yearly bet at the start of the new season the amazingly small bet of just £10 

BUT small as the bet is it adds a funny but competitive edge to the season.

Some years Tom would win the Premiership and I would win the FA Cup.  Sometimes me, sometime him but for the last couple of years he has won both bets.

First Match Of The Season Against Promoted Brentford!

Arsenal has not settled down with a new manager since Arsene Wenger left in 2018

The latest manager is Mikel Arteta who played under Arsene Wenger.  Wenger had an attacking approach and changed attitudes towards nutrition, fitness and coaching methods.   

Last season Arsenal only finished at position 8.  Not at all accceptable BUT it was manager Arteta's first season in charge.

Arteta has just started his second season as the manager so I was really hoping that the first match of the season would get us going.  

My Gunners season ticket holder friend Derek, had his doubts.  Here was his WhatApp message to me just before the match "What are your thoughts on tonights game?  I am worried we will be embarrassed"

So why the concern?

Arsenal was playing Brentford who won promotion last season and this was their first premiership game.  They had not been in the top level of football since May 1947.

Now as I have revealed above I am merely in the adopted fan league.  If you want too see fans and born and bred loyalty fans check out Brendford.

Fans have been known to go through the emotional rollercoaster with their favorite teams. 

Football fans are passionate about this sport and will not let anything get in their way when it comes to supporting their teams no matter what happens.

The atmosphere at the Brentford home ground with the fans allowed in for the first time after the pandemic lockdown was electric.

The crowd was cheering, singing, clapping,waving and one old man was on the TV with tears running down his face.

The Brentford team was up for it and it pains me to tell you any more.  Arsenal were playing in a cauldron.

Final Score:  Brentford 2 - Arsenal 0

Derek sent a WhatsApp after the match...


What about my Tom's team? 

You've probably guessed it: Man United 5 - Leeds 1

Great start - however there are another 37 games this season - so get them going Arteta.

Match Day Nerves Or Are They Something Worse!

Being a long standing Arsenal supporter I tend to get a bit twitchy come match days but hey so do thousands of other football fans, so what’s to worry about, certainly not a crisis you would think. But could those nerves be just the tip of an iceberg when it comes to what is really going on when watching our favorite teams when match day comes around?

“It’s only a game”, “It’s only a game” I kept repeating it with a smile on my face as I watched the scrambled goal from Man City go into the back of the net yesterday afternoon against my Arsenal. I was trying to bring a semblance of calmness to the way I watch matches now – and there are a couple of reasons.

Since I had a heart incident recently I have a heightened awareness of the tunings of my body and am more sensitive now to the level of exertion and pressure that my body is capable of. I can read the warning signs early.

Add to that the story I relate below you will understand why I am being more laid back about the outcome of a mere football match.

Let’s get this in perspective.

This is apparently what happened to a Manchester United fan (no, I’m not smirking!) when she sits in the stands at her beloved Old Trafford. The thing is she is not alone and this is probably very common.

Whenever Man U are playing their big rivals such as Arsenal, Chelsea or Man City she would begin to feel so ill that she wanted to leave her seat and get away from the ground. Although she also suffered from other symptoms such as chest pains, fatigue and sleepless nights on non match days they escalated when the referees whistle blew. Writing in the BMJ doctors from Trafford General Hospital stated that:

“The patient would experience episodes of anxiety, palpitations, panic, light-headedness and a sense of impending doom towards the end of high-profile matches.” and “We believe that our patient was having difficulty mounting an appropriate physiological cortisol response during the big games – we present this as the first description of Manchester United-induced Addisonian crisis.”

Apparently ‘Addison’s Disease’ can occur when there are problems with the adrenal gland, which in turn can interrupt the supply of hormones such as cortisol, normally released when the body is under stress and if left untreated it can prove to be fatal, but fortunately it can be successfully controlled.

There is a serious message here and although I am making it sound quite flippant if you do experience symptoms as described when watching your teams in whatever sport then do something about it.

Remember – “It is only a game”

Ian Wright Leaves BBC – What A Good Fing

Here’s a domestic UK Football / Media story.  Ex Arsenal/England player Ian Wright who retired from football in 2001 has been working as a pundit for England matches for the BBC.  He’s gone – was he pushed (I hope) or did he jump

Here’s a summary of the story of them parting ways from the Press Association:  (more…)

The Emotional Roller Coaster Of Watching Arsenal

What an evening – all agree that the quarter final of the UEFA Cup match between Arsenal and Liverpool was a humdinger.  There is an added level of interest in our family as we all support different teams.  And so it was that I sat watching the match with my son supporting Liverpool and me Arsenal.

The first leg held at Arsenals ground was a 1-1 draw and the second leg last night in Liverpool in front of their intimidating fanatical supporters.

The match had everything fantastic play at breathtaking speed, brilliant individual skills, end to end action, the lead changing hands, drama and a biased ref.  Well ok my side lost and I am bound to seek solace.  I was emotionally drained at the end.  Arsenal were actually ahead and going through with only 7 minutes to play – so what went wrong.  (more…)