As a Newcastle fan – Intriguing watching their Liverpool match with my family members who are Arsenal fans
This Easter Sunday, I find myself with all the family here in London, and after enjoying the traditional Sunday meal and the children’s Easter egg hunt, I settle down to watch Liverpool v Arsenal.
Setting the scene there is me, my son and his two uncles (who are hardcore Arsenal fans) sat on the sofas.
Grandmother is there as well, sitting in judgement as the old Arsenal Grandee.
It is strange watching a game with supporters and team you have no allegiance to. Who in fact you dislike immensely, like all the London clubs.
Hey though, London has been my home for the last thirty plus years and long-term having family who are Arsenal fans.
For the record, I thoroughly dislike Liverpool, in the same category as Man U.
In the preamble to the game, I tell the lads (and mum with respect) about an Arsenal lad I lived with in Nottingham. I tell the story of when Arsenal won the league at Anfield on a Friday night with a Michael Thomas winner in the last minutes, which meant winning the league on goal difference. This was also the year of the Hillsborough disaster.
The game on Sunday at Anfield nowhere near that, but a really enjoyable game (it ended Liverpool 2 Arsenal 2 just in case you didn’t know, with the Gunners having gone 2-0 up early on) for the neutral, but for my son’s two uncles it was a moment in time.
Shouts of what!
And then the writhing of emotional agony when Liverpool equalise (How do you think it feels when they score the winner in the 98th minute after Isak has had a perfect goal chalked off, I think to myself).
Try being a Newcastle supporter living in purgatory, as I have done all my life.
Today I smile to myself, knowing the emotional agony that I and countless thousands of other Geordies, have been through following our club.
The scene took me back to that evening at Anfield where we lost, Keegan was slumped over the hoardings and the first signs of our failed title attempt began to unfold. I wasn’t there but I know people who were.
I watched the Arsenal game today and I have no idea where the Premier league will end up this year, I just know after today, the once confident and vocal uncles, are less confident.
They are looking over their shoulders, just as we were back when the horrible Mancs under Ferguson chipped away at us and used the media to full effect.
Something I am massively confident Eddie Howe will not fall into.
So next Easter I do not expect to be having fun with my nephews and nieces on an egg hunt, but sitting back, revelling in our first trophy hunt in my lifetime.
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