By Tony Attwood
Last weekend Ian, his sons and I went to watch Corby Town play Leamington in the FA Cup. Corby play in the Bet Square North (or some such name) – effectively the sixth division of English football. Tickets for the ground were £10 for adults, somewhat similar to Arsenal’s last night.
Of course that won’t stop people writing stuff about Arsenal being the most expensive ground in the country. Indeed we had a hilarious piece here the other day where someone was shouting away about this supposed fact, and when I said no it isn’t, the writer sent in a link.
Dutifully I read the piece – which is probably more than he had ever done – for I found that within the article he had linked me to was the comment that as I had thought, Tottenham is the most expensive ground in the country.
But I digress – the prices were great, and as always a lot of people at the game were those who do not normally attend. (I don’t know if they still do it, but Man U used to insist that season ticket holders pay for league cup matches on top of their season ticket fee, whether they want to attend or not. As a season ticket holder at Arsenal I get the choice to buy my seat for a 6th division type cost, or allowing someone else to have it.)
As for the game, quite amazingly it seems we only had 56% of possession, but we won the shots on target bit 14 to 2, which seems about right. Six of the 14 went in. Not a bad ratio.
All the goals were fun, but could I take you back to the Oxlade Chamberlain affair. There seemed to be no run up, no back lift; he just stood there and kicked the ball into the net from about six miles out. Amazing stuff – as indeed were Theo’s goals. Maybe he is right. Maybe he is a centre forward who like Henry plays on the wings.
The other great thing was the team – just look at it…
- Damián Martinez,
- Martin Angha,
- Johan Djourou,
- André Santos,
- Ignasi Miquel,
- Nicholas Yennaris,
- Andrey Arshavin,
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Serge Gnabry, 72),
- Theo Walcott,
- Francis Coquelin (Emmanuel Frimpong, 72),
- Olivier Giroud (Marouane Chamakh, 72)
The brand new (Martinez, Angha) the up and coming (Miquel, Yennaris), the returnee (Frimpong), the new sensation (Gnabry), the the old timers (Arshavin, Chamakh). And at last a goal for Giroud.
Really, what more do you want from life? A couple of streakers – well yes, we had them too.
Coventry brought their new manager, Mark Robins, and 8,000 fans – good on them. By half time they probably thought they might even manage to get a win – especially after the penalty save.
Does it mark turning points for Arshavin and Giroud? Who knows. Somehow some of these league cup games look to be the making or re-making of players, but then it never happens – but let us hope it does help both players. The depth of the squad is something to behold at the moment and a return to form of Arshavin could give us even more depth.
Next up, we play the Spectacles* away. Let’s hope for more fun.
* Spectacles, glasses, next round – geddit?