It is the 25th year anniversary of that famous night at Anfield in 1989. Blogs have been written, Arsenal have sent out 'as live' tweets on the game which was actually quite cool. Bringing the past to the current world of social media. Conversations have been going on all night about that evening. I hope they do that for other big games in the past. Sites such as football ticket trade.com would be on the rise with Gooners excitedly buying new tickets in order to scracth their footballing itch.
I was going to write something earlier about this famous day but thought against it. I have already told the story of standing on my friends doorstep chatting about subjects that I'm sure would seem rather pointless today. His dad ran down the stairs screaming his head off and going absolutely mental. I had no idea what was going on until Steven (my friend) explained that Arsenal must have won the league.
You see, I 'supported' Arsenal at the time because my friends did but this 11 year old boy was yet to be addicted to what could be amongst the most potent drugs in the world, being a real football supporter. I wasn't familiar with the players names or their on-field personalities. I knew Arsenal in name and name only. It would be a few years before I first set foot into Highbury to see us crush Crystal Palace on a sunny afternoon. In those days I was not able to buy football tickets online it was done the old fashioned way. The good old box office.
Since then I have felt the adrenaline rush when Bergkamp fired a long range strike to send us into the UEFA cup in 95 or 96, I must have fell down four rows in the northbank and injured myself in the process but not feeling a thing until afterwards. I enjoyed watching Alan Smith flick the ball onto the racing Ian Wright to dink past Chris Woods in the FA cup final on my first visit to Wembley. In the replay I got told off for making too much noise when Andy Linighan powered in the winning header late in the game. A more recent memory that seems to stand out for me was Robert Pires' goal at Aston Villa when he lobbed Peter Schmeichel. It stands out for me because I leapt up in a pub in Walthamstow and knocked over a table which had a number of pints on from people I didn't know yet I continued to run around the pub with my hands on my head screaming 'oh my god' such was the admiration I had for that goal. What a goal
There have been hundreds of games, perhaps even thousands that I have watched either on television/streams or at the stadium whether that be Highbury or the Emirates. Many different emotions. Some horrible lows but plenty and plenty of fantastic highs but today I feel tinged with a little bit of sadness.
Sadness because it is highly unlikely that I will ever get the chance to celebrate a moment like that with the club I love so much. Sadness because that 11 year old boy was not ready to appreciate that moment. A few years later and I would have been sitting in Steven's living room trembling like crazy instead of talking on his doorstep about computer games or deluxe paint animations on the Amiga 500 (yup, I was that sad kid)
When I look back on the footage on that Michael Thomas goal, I look at the Arsenal fans going crazy in the away end and I wish I was that guy, hugging complete strangers and roaring in their ears. I wish I was the one who had tears rolling down my face as I witnessed the impossible become possible at a team who were dominating the English division one. But it was just not my time.
While I can't shake that feeling off I can always look back on Arsène Wenger's teams of the past and comfort myself. Heck, I watched an Arsenal team go the league season unbeaten. I watched Dennis Bergkamp partner Thierry Henry and I recently watched Aaron Ramsey shake off the trophy hoodoo by slicing a shot into the near post to win the FA cup.
Ahhh I feel better now, what was I moaning about?