Bluenosed Andy Munro gets that Lou Reed feeling.
I suppose it could have started off a bit more promisingly when I turned up at Snow Hill station. I was expecting to stroll onto the train at around 10am to be whisked down to the Smoke for a pre-lager lining fry up. Directed by staff to Moor St (Chiltern never told me beforehand) I was then greeted by a queue of Wembley ticket securing proportions. After waiting in the pouring rain for an hour, my son and myself reached the Mecca that was the platform, then endured a two and a half hour standing room only journey that would have made the Calcutta Express look positively spacious.
All this was forgotten when Wembley appeared on the horizon… and on arrival we opted for a number 18 bus which took us a few stops to a bar at the Bridge Hotel. More of a B&B/hostel than a hotel, the food and beer were excellent, staff were friendly but everything else was slightly bizarre. Apart from a couple of groups of bluenoses, the clientèle consisted of old Irish blokes in trilbies with not one decent tooth between them…all of them listening to the Clash and the Undertones at mega-decibel level. The only break in this excellent segue was Perfect Day and a sudden and unexpected rendition of Charlie Drake’s My Boomerang Won’t Come Back’
Anyway it was a great craic and before we left well fortified by ale, I bumped into a bluenose called Neil Grant… a wonderful Jewellery Quarter craftsman who’s made a whole host of top footballing trophies… could this be an omen, I thought.
Arriving back at the stadium ,it was time to start soaking up the atmosphere and whilst it might be a rip off pricewise it certainly doesn’t disappoint ambience wise and the view from our £70 seats was superb (although I suppose it should have been at that price).
The match itself was fast and furious and the much maligned Zigic won more than his fair share of balls in the air but too often the supporting players were a little too deep. Mind you on the one occasion Lee Bowyer burst through, we were denied a blatant penalty by a poor decision from would you believe it, a MALE linesman. Still, Blues weren’t to be denied and it was Zigic who rose highest to guide his header into the net. Shortly afterwards he should have had a second but normal service was resumed. Unfortunately this came back to haunt us when Arsenal scored the equaliser before half time.
There was nothing really in it when the second half resumed and while Ben Foster made some breathtaking saves, Keith Fahy nearly capped a sterling performance but saw his shot unluckily hit the post. Barry F continued to calmly keep the blue midfield machine ticking over amongst the mayhem whilst Seb worked like a Trojan and still found time to put in a string of dangerous crosses. Sub Beausjour also played very well when he came on, running at their back four with unexpected aplomb but once Wenger brought on Bendtner to go two up front Alex followed suit by bringing on Martins.
If you had asked any Bluenose at that point, the perfect end it would have been to score the winner at the death and so it came to pass with Obafemi Martins taking advantage of a couple of hapless Gooners…. blue heaven.
The rest is history and many tears of joy were shed as the magnificent Stephen Carr stepped up to lift the Trophy. Bring on Riga Rovers or Dynamo Chicken Kiev… the Bluenoses are about to write their own Rough Guide to Europe.
Discuss this on the ReStirred Forum
[ad#Google Adsense – sq box]