30 November 2005

Arsenal 3 - 0 Reading

Reading are the tea bag of football teams - we're never in the Cup for very long. I really enjoyed the match last night despite the result. Having been to see Reading lose to the likes of Plymouth, Coventry and Norwich, it was actually quite a privilege to see Reading lose to a team like Arsenal and to do it at a place as famous as Highbury.

Al and I got to the ground at 6.30 where we were supposed to meet Has and his mates but they didn't turn up til 7.30 (15 mins before kick-off. Thanks). There was a fun atmosphere outside the ground and we mingled a bit where the Reading fans were. The Reading team bus came on the road where we were and everyone started cheering, clapping and singing at it only to realise when it got closer that it was empty and the players had already gone in to the stadium.

The first sight of Highbury.

Football fans are funny man. Al and I were arguing about whether we'd rather have Ronaldinho or Wayne Rooney in our team and this Arsenal fan butts in to tell us how crap he thought Gilberto was. He then told us that Arsenal have always lost in the Carling Cup when he's come to a match so he was going to change his routine. Instead of sitting in the North Stand, he got a ticket for the East and, most bizzarely, instead of buying his habitual quarter pounder with cheese from the dodgy football ground burger van, he was going to get a hot dog instead. He said with full sincerity that it would help the team win. I chuckled to myself inside...but I guess it did sort of work in the end.

A great view from the East Stand Lower.

Even funnier were the fans inside. As we were sitting with the Arsenal fans I had to keep quiet while Reading were doing well (yes, for the whole 15 minutes that we remained at 0-0). I managed to get up and sing some Arsenal songs but kept quiet during the anti-Reading ones.

The Royals in our traditional huddle. I had to be careful taking this pic because it would have been obvious to the Arsenal fans around me who I was actually there to support.

Having said that, I did find their bating of Reading's big ginger striker Dave Kitson quite amusing. Whenever he touched the ball everyone around us got up and yelled "Ginger! Freeeeeeeeakkkkkk!". The most excited I got was when Wenger put Cygan on as a sub for Arsenal and I thought Reading now had a chance. The Reading fans were giving him stick and the guy behind me shouted "He might be bald but he's not gingerrrrrrrrrrrr!" I still don't understand why it's so bad to be ginger.

Reading fans in fine voice.

In the Arsenal stand showing exactly where I actually belong (ie. with the Reading fans behind me).


Al and I wanted pics of us at this famous stadium. Has didn't want one. He said taking photos is "gay". Got a pic of him reading his programme. He has red-eye as punishment for his comments:

The game itself was enjoyable. Arsenal were a class apart, espescially van Persie and Reyes, and 3-0 was probably a fair reflection of their dominance.

van Persie, team-mates and Arsenal fans celebrate his goal putting Arsenal 2-0 up.

I got so excited whenever Reading even got in the Arsenal box and took a photo pretty much everytime it happened (don't worry, there are more photos than just this).

This header by ginger Kitson forced a damn good save out of the Arsenal keeper.

Oh well...

After this slap up supper, a return to the bread and butter. Reading have a home league game against Brighton in two weeks. Anyone who wants to go see the mighty Royals, give me a call.

If everything goes well in that game and the rest of the league season, we'll be back playing Arsenal again next year. Come on you Royals!


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