Sorry regular readers, I was kind of held up with work. But I do have some interesting stories to tell you all.
First up is my trip to Thailand. Well I got my Arsenal Home Jersey finally from Bangkok. In Malaysia all the Gooners have lapped up everything that was on sale in the Nike shop. So now I wear my sexy red and white home jersey to watch every match. Also got a nice Arsenal tee which has also been sold out in Malaysia. This is also where I realised how big the Liverpool and Man U fan base is compared to Arsenal. We do have a long way to go.
So in Bangkok I went to the Night bazaar (market) in Lumpini, where they show the weekend matches in giant screens. Its a nice place with some 300 odd tables full of football fans choking on beer and meat from the stall around it. There are two giant screens and when a goal is scored they have this live commentary in Thai. The matches are not shown in ESPN/Star Sports and hence very few ads and the discussion etc is in Thai (I mean ya I am ok with it,after all they are catering to those viewers primarily). So it was the weekend Arsenal played West Ham away and at the same time the Liverpool match was going on and they were screening the Liverpool match. I managed to find out who was controlling the LCD projectors and asked them if they can show the Arsenal match in one screen and the Liverpool match in the other. I should admit that it was a very very difficult job making them understand in the first place. So they asked me to check with the owner of that place. I went to see him and guess what the dude is a fan of Liverpool, dressed in the Reds jersey. He told me there is no chance that he can heed my request, all the people there come to see the Liverpool match and he was right. There were hundreds of fans.
Next incident was inside the Siam Paragon, the biggest mall in Bangkok. I had gone there to buy my Arsenal jerseys and in the department store inside that mall where the sports section is located, near the Nike section, there is a separate section which sells Man U merchandise. Its a few square feet area dedicated to the red devils stuff…Well that is seriously something. I am sure the way the Gunners have started the season, a lot more fans would have been added to the existing base and it can only get better with trophies and fan base and the money 🙂 And to make it worse, the hotel in which I was staying was not showing the channel it which the Arsenal match was coming, so missed the West ham match as well as the Steau Bucharest match. But in the end these 2 matches were not completely entertaining affairs so I did not miss much.
Saw the Sunderland match with the Arsenal Supporters in Rick’s cafe in KL( Whenever I am in KL and there is a match, I try to be there). Oh and did we have fun that nite. It was a close match but if the Diaby goal was given it would have been a different match altogether. Credit should be given to Keane and his team for fighting for every ball and attack from the word go. This probably was the toughest match Arsenal faced all season. With Man U winning in style, this win was quite an important one. I think the pressure will start from the next week and how we deal Liverpool at Anfield will make or break our season. Or maybe I am dealing with that topic sooner than later. But couple of points from the Sunderland match
- Walcott made a lovely pass for the last goal and he was really running around the defence and wings of Sunderland
- But he also messed up an easy chance by getting all tangled up when a clear cut pass came his way
- And why was Jones winning all the headers coming from the Sunderland midfield. He beat Senderos, Clichy and I dont remember who else. But something needs to be done to address this
- And it was great to see Persie have his day under the sun
In other news, it was nice to see Henry praise the Gunners and expect them to do the Double. Not easy but realistically possible on current form. It needs to be seen how long the team can maintain this tempo.
Also a nice article from Guardian which says Rafa’s tinkering is not the problem, but Gerrard in the centre is the problem, worth a read.
Also saw a news clip where Arsenal reserves won against Chelsea reserves and the guy who scored the all important goal was Kieran Gibbs. Trust me, you will hear more of this dude if what I saw in the pre-season match is anything to go by.