Saturday, September 24, 2011

A taste of the Premier League

When Shrewsbury got drawn away to Arsenal in the Carling Cup I knew I had to go. A good deal on the train tickets (£23 return to Llundain) made up for not getting home til 2.30am with work the next day.

What an event. The history books will show that we lost 3-1, even though we took a 1-0 lead. That moment - when James Collins headed home after quarter of an hour - was immense. For a brief moment I thought an almighty upset was on the cards. (Truthfully they could have been 2-0 up after five mninutes, though - only 2 magnificent reflex saves from Town goalie Ben Smith kept them out.)

But even though this was the Arsenal C team comprised mainly of kids I'd never heard of, they were a class apart. Superhumanly fast, supremely confident on the ball. It was obvious they'd had a bollocking at half time because they came out and really played in the second half.

Still, it was a great occasion. The Emirates is easily the best football ground I have ever been to - better than the new Wembley or the Millennium Stadium. However, the new meadow has one thing the Emirates doesn't have - in Shrewsbury you can look out through the corner gaps and count the cows on the hillside. Halftime entertainment doesn't come much better than that!

Some  photos:

Outside the Stadium. I got there early and the only people milling around were Town fans.

Inside and everything is branded Arsenal - even the cups of tea. (I was also surprised that the seats were padded!)

Town warm up!

Uncomfortable moments for the Arsenal faithful. (It didn't last long!)

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