Arsenal Glory In the Eye of the Beholder–The Journey is as Important as the Destination. (Video)

(Editor’s note: This is a fun one. Long time Gooner and BKesque stalwart, Retsub1, is at it again and shows that–even if you miss a few of Arsenal’s greatest triumphs–there is much to be appreciated about our club and its football.  Here he shares some of the finest footballing moments–and a couple he “almost” got to see–he has witnessed over the years.  Enjoy.)

A few years back I wrote a post on how I had never physically seen Arsenal win anything.  This was due to school journeys, being shut out at packed stadiums and picking the wrong cup finals to attend.   I decided a few years back that I was obviously jinxed and no longer attempted to get final tickets, etc.  So, having supported this great team for 50 years, I decided to remember a few of the great–and not so great moments–when I did attend.  In this modern era, one can share the majority of these through internet videos, which are presented here.  Hopefully, they will stimulate some magic memories others have experienced, maybe even including ones seen by our overseas friends on TV.  Of course, there’s nothing like being present for true moments of glory, and I would gladly swap them all to have been at Anfield in May 1989.

OK, here we go…

1999, 2-nil down at Stamford Bridge and feeling pretty glum.  This was the Kanu hat-trick match and the third one is a piece of real beauty (and rubbish goalkeeping).  Arsenal went on to win 3-2.

The 2003 FA cup semi-final versus Sheffield United at Old Trafford.  My Daughter and I witnessed a a fairly dull match versus Sheffield United.  Arsenal went on to win 1-nil, but David Seaman pulled off a fantastic save from a close range header.  It looked good from the other end of the stadium, but, having seen the highlights later, I realised just how good it really was.

My Daughter attends very few games with me, but she was also there when Thierry Henry came on as a sub and scored the only goal in an FA cup third round replay against Leeds in 2012.  Henry was on loan from his US side at the time.  The king had indeed returned.

In the double year, 1970/1971, Arsenal played Stoke twice in the cup semi-final and the semi-final replay.  The first game is famous for two goals by Peter Storey, including a last minute penalty against no less than Gordon Banks.  I had tickets for neither game.  The following season the same thing happened.  Stoke in the semi and a replay at Goodison Park.   I was at that one, and, having been 1-nil down, Arsenal came from behind to win 2-1.  When John Radford scored the winning goal I threw myself forward in celebration and head-butted the crash barrier.  I remember very little after that.

Some time in the early 70’s, Arsenal were playing Coventry at Highbury.  Coventry had a throw in and Willie Carr, a very short Coventry player, came over to take it.  Charlie George, who was about two feet taller than Carr, stood about six inches in front of him to stop him taking the throw.  I think someone was injured, so play was held up.  During the injury time, Carr turned around to avoid Charlie’s larger than life presence and started talking to a few of us in the stands about a fantastic goal scored by Ernie Hunt in which he had played an essential part.  The technique was subsequently banned because it was deemed that the first movement of the ball by Carr was illegal.  So, I wasn’t there when the goal was scored, but it was fun talking about it.

My Dad and I attended the 1969 League cup final against 3rd division Swindon Town.  The only problem was that we had Swindon tickets.  I have to say, however, that the Swindon supporters were fantastic to us, even singing, “It’s all gone quiet over there,” and pointing at me.  This one is worth a look just to see the state of the Wembley pitch.

Jon Sammels scored some good goals during his time at the club, including an absolute cracker of a goal against a star studded Manchester United (2nd goal on the video) that I witnessed.  The third goal in the clip is from the EUFA Cup final against Anderlecht.  Like so many others that I missed, I had a ticket but was in Derbyshire on a school journey.

My friend’s mum worked in the Charlton box office, so I attended many Charlton vs Arsenal games.  As much as it pains me to say so, my favourite ever goal was scored by a certain Robin van Persie–a truly  spectacular volley.

So, there you go, some of my favourite memories. I would love to hear–and see–others.   Please share yours.

As 17HT might say… Go on then…

by retsub1

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29 Responses to Arsenal Glory In the Eye of the Beholder–The Journey is as Important as the Destination. (Video)

  1. retsub1 says:

    Thanks 17HT great editing as usual. Didn’t notice first time around in the Chelsea game but take a look at the tackle at around 5.10 by an Arsenal player, who I think is Nelson Vivas. If you made a tackle like that today they would probably demand a red card. In those days it wasn’t even worthy of a free kick .

  2. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey Retsub… I really enjoyed your videos and the descriptions of what you saw…Very nice…

    I wish I had as many great memories but I’ve only seen the team live twice. One of them was this crazy match that ended in an American football score… The highlight package doesn’t even include Theo’s first goal, though it does show the shot off the bar that prevented Giroud from getting a hat-trick of his own in less than 20 mins… That seemed like just about the only shot that didn’t find the net…

  3. retsub1 says:

    Wow 17HT I must have watched Arsenal hundreds of times and I don’t think I ever saw a 10 goal match, you were honoured. Didn’t you also see an abysmal game at Hillsborough though. I guess that was pay back time.

  4. Goonereris says:

    Retsub1, thanks for the stories and videos. Great to share the memories. My favourites have to be that hat-trick by Kanu and Henry’s goal as a loanee at the club where he “made his bones”. Both games still give me goosebumps.

    Amazing (though understandable) how you still have clear memories of what you were doing or where you were at, etc.

  5. Pony Eye says:

    retsub, nothing prettier than down the memory lane. Thanks.

  6. 17highburyterrace says:

    Well, I was hoping that this thread would get a bit more traffic–and shared memories–as I really enjoyed putting it together, watching the vids, etc… Maybe it’s because it’s the early part of the week and the working folks need to buckle down… TA, I’m talking to you… 😉

    My bigger fear is that people have lost (or are losing…) the ability to appreciate and enjoy things as they really are or were. It’s notable that traffic tends to increase at Arsenal blogs in the summer–but only if you’re talking about transfers, i.e., the promise of glory to come. My take is that people seem to live (mostly) in sugar-plum visions of the future and the obverse–perpetual dissatisfaction with the present. Rose–coloring a grandiose past (i.e., “Make America Great Again…”) seems another element, whereas, in truth, it’s probably about smaller moments hard won over a lifetime of trudging down to the stadium–or waking up early to watch another match on the television. My point: thanks again for the post, Retsub…

    To answer your question–yes, the other Arsenal match I saw live in the stadium was the miserable loss to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough in the League Cup. The game featured a lot of pointless trotting around by Giroud who got zero service from his team of youngsters. The Ox hurt himself in the warm-up and had to go out almost immediately, then his sub, Theo, hurt HIMSELF and also went out. Only a handful of folks in the away end (same stand where so many died back in 1989) could identify HIS sub, Ishmael Bennacer… Still, it was a fine night as I met TA and there were good elements with the history lesson re: the Leppings Lane end as well as the joy of the Owl supporters and their (much) smaller club taking down a bigger one… A half hour of “We Love You Arsenal, We Do” with the game already out of reach, was also pretty cool…

    Speaking of smaller clubs… I too have a Charlton connection as the first match I ever saw (live) in England was at the Valley. My wife’s exchange teaching program got tickets for the students to a Charlton-Man City match (in 2006 before Charlton went down, probably the same season as that RvP goal…) and before it was Abu Dhaby City. It was a very desultory match, won 1-nil (by the home team) on a Darren Bent header. A memorable feature was a Charlton fan urging late sub Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink forward with shouts of, “Go on Fat-Boy…”

    So, plenty of little memories in my short time as a Gooner. Here’s a television moment (actually I watched it on a computer stream…) that stands out for me. Winning over two legs at the San Siro and having the knowledgeable fans there clapping off our club seemed a portent of better things to come but was probably about as good as it got in the past decade of CL efforts. 😦

  7. 17highburyterrace says:

    Watching a little friendly football between France and England…Anybody else? Lotsa talent on display, plenty who play in England and some who might, if you believe all the transfer talk…

    That’s probably what we need to get back to talking about… Unfortunately, this thread isn’t getting the participation it deserves…

    Here’s a clip from a recent match I saw that impressed me quite a bit… Better than any Lacazette (or Ox) dribbling but I guess the goal would be called back for the obvious use of the hand(s)… Pardon the ad at the front end…

  8. retsub1 says:

    Thanks for your support, 17HT. I guess that explains why I was sacked as Theresa Mays publicity officer lol. I could never really get into basketball. They are obviously hugely talented, I guess they just score to many times for me.

  9. Frozen says:

    Surprised not to see any highlights of the man himself… Just goes to show the quality of player we’ve had through the years. That Van Persie goal really was something else though.

    I had similar thoughts re the international game, 17. Was considering doing a little write up if you didn’t plan on beating me to it?

  10. That a great walk down memory lane again Retsub.
    My Dad took me the Swindon mud bath, got tickets from a tout outside the ground and guess what end we was at….? We were right next to the tunnel and I clearly remember the Arsenal players coming in at half-time, caked in mud and looking exhausted…

  11. allezkev says:

    I was there with my son, at Stamford Bridge when we beat them 3-2.
    The following season it almost happened again, I was there again when Silvinho ( I really liked him) smashed one it to make it 2-2 after trailing 2-0.

    I was there when Thierry scored against Leeds, Arsenal had been pants that season, but it was worth it for that moment, I was close to tears…

  12. allezkev says:

    I didn’t make the replay vs Stoke in 1972 at Goodison I think, but I saw the first game at Villa Park when Wilson went off injured.
    I was also at Hillsborough the following season, in the Leppings Lane end when we lost 2-1 to Sunderland. It was a frightening experience being squeezed into that, as it turned out, death trap.
    They didn’t have the railings up in 1973, but it was terrible, as was the game, Jeff Blockley and all. 😩

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Passionate post, Retsubster. There are so many brilliant moments and they often come down to personal experiences, as is obvious from your examples. Good job. 😛

  14. allezkev says:

    Yeah, the Sheffield United semi-final, mate we had a season ticket for Old Trafford.
    Beating Spurs was fun, Sol Campbell limped off and from then on Arsenal toyed with Tottenham like a cat toys with a mouse.
    Sheffield Utd and Middlesbrough were the other semi finals, mate I loved those cup final trips down to Cardiff. Saw the Southampton final with the roof closed, the only ‘indoor’ FACup final to date.
    Losing to the Mancs in 2004 wasn’t so cool, Reyes was rotationally fouled and the ref did nothing.
    The same ref who runs the PGMOL now!

  15. allezkev says:

    Hey 17tino I remember that Newcastle game, I also recall Arsenal putting 7 past Leeds in a League Cup side, when Leeds had a good team.
    I think I recall us getting 7 against Hereford in a cup game.
    Maybe the stats cats can help me with that, the old memory bank isn’t what it was…

  16. allezkev says:

    Hiya TA…

    My fondest memory, or one of them, was at Anfield 1973.

    Arsenal and Liverpool were neck and neck and the Gunners went up to Anfield, on a mud heap of a pitch and won 2-0.

    Alan Ball scored a penalty in front of the Kop, he loved that, but our second goal was John Radford spinning past Larry Lloyd and running from our half, skipping over a Ray Clemence attempted foul and steering the ball into an empty net whilst Alan Ball blew kisses to the Kop…

    Retsub, that was one hell of a happy football special home to Euston mate… 😀

  17. retsub1 says:

    Kev

    You just boosted my ratings, thanks. It was such a long time ago, but I am pretty sure I was at that Sunderland semi final as well. I certainly saw Arsenal lose to Sunderland in a semi final, so assume that was it. I remember Sunderland had a really busy midfielder call Mick Horsewill ( or something like that). I seem to remember Blockley having a bad game as well, but he never lived up to his transfer fee.

  18. retsub1 says:

    Kev

    I wasn’t at the match ( was on a golf course ) but I remember Nigel Winterburn scoring a great goal against Chelsea in a 3 – 2 win

  19. retsub1 says:

    Thanks TA. As you say it’s all very personal. A friend of mine had two club level tickets and I used to go with him 4 or 5 times a season. He went on a long holiday and I bought 4 matches off him. 3 were awful, so bad I can’t even remember who we were playing, Fulham was one I seem to remember. At Club level you get free beer and wine at half time. Given the tickets are around £100 each I could never understand why so many people stayed in the bar and miss the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half. Then they insist in shuffling across in front of you very slowly and stopping if any goal mouth action takes place… really annoying. When Thierry scored that goal against Leeds as Kev said it was very emotional. It felt like we had won the cup. I was jumping up and down going crazy. The guy behind me told me to sit down because he couldn’t see. Now I am not a violent person, but I could have cheerfully punched his lights out.

  20. retsub1 says:

    Kev
    I never had the pleasure of travelling on a football special. I did travel to a number of games on supporters club coaches though…. that was fun. The 1972 replay was against Stoke at Goodison and the coaches were attacked by Liverpool fans. Several coaches got bricks through the windows including ours, which was pretty scary.

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, much better… Just needed Kev to check in… Am I correct in guessing that between A-Kev and Retsub we have over a century of Goonership?… The “modern” game, esp. in England (still) gets quite a bit of its “edge” from what came before (and some of the customs that carry on)… As such, it’s always interesting to hear (and see) what stands out for different people…

    When you have a minute, TA, I’d love to hear about your favorite moments… The folks who are “remote” supporters shouldn’t be afraid either…

    Re: Posts… I should be getting Kev’s out tomorrow in my morning and Frozen you should feel welcome to send something in… 1000 words or less makes it not so daunting to look over and publish. As the weather warms up around here my mornings are only getting shorter…

  22. retsub1 says:

    I have no idea why, but I went with a friend to a Manchester United v Everton game on a United supporters club coach from London. It was the day Gary Birtles made his debut for United. Arsenal were away to Leeds that day and we came into contact with a number of Arsenal coaches on the motorway. As the coaches slowly cruised past each other, supporters on both coaches were shouting obsenities at each other and threatening violence. I remember trying to mouth to the Arsenal fans that I was a Gooner, but they would have happily killed me given a chance. We were down the Stratford end and United won 2 – 0. But I would rather have watched paint dry?

  23. retsub1 says:

    17HT. I am a 1955 model and grew up in an Arsenal household. I am going to guess my first game st Highbury would have been about 1965/1966 and Arsenal were pretty grim then. I am pretty sure Kev and I can put on a century stand for the first wicket (cricket don’t you know)

  24. allezkev says:

    That was my year as well Retsub, it was a classic… 😀

  25. allezkev says:

    25/08/17: Group stage draw
    14/09/17: Group stage, matchday one
    28/09/17: Group stage, matchday two
    19/10/17: Group stage, matchday three
    02/11/17: Group stage, matchday four
    23/11/17: Group stage, matchday five
    07/12/17: Group stage, matchday six

    11/12/17: Round of 32 draw
    15/02/18: Round of 32, first leg
    22/02/18: Round of 32, second leg

    23/02/18: Round of 16 draw
    08/03/18: Round of 16, first leg
    15/03/18: Round of 16, second leg

    16/03/18: Quarter-final draw
    05/04/18: Quarter-finals, first leg
    12/04/18: Quarter-finals, second leg

    13/04/18: Semi-final and final draw
    26/04/18: Semi-finals, first leg
    03/05/18: Semi-finals, second leg

    16/05/18: Final (Stade de Lyon, Lyon)

  26. Goonereris says:

    Getting ready for Europa fixtures, I see.

    From the EPL fixture list released, it would seem our post-euro group stage fixtures are all fixtures from hell, especially as we have 5 of 6 Away; 3 away against rivals. It’s causing some uproar in some circles but, for me, it is nothing unusual since we’ve always seemed to get away games after most group stage CL games. Coincidence? I don’t know anymore. There was a season where all 6 group stage games were followed by a tough Away PL fixture. Recall the game where we played Away to Udinese on Wednesday, returned to London on Thursday only to be away at Manchester city by 12:45 for an early Saturday fixture. Hardly fair and what a “coincidence”. Of course, we lost 3-6.

  27. Goonereris says:

    Arsenal’s EPL fixtures, as released for the 2017/18 campaign.

    August 2017
    The FA Community Shield – Arsenal v Chelsea- Sun 6 Aug – 16:00
    Arsenal v Leicester City – Sat 12 Aug – 15:00
    Stoke City v Arsenal – Sat 19 Aug – 15:00
    Liverpool v Arsenal – Sat 26 Aug – 15:00

    September 2017
    Arsenal v Bournemouth – Sat 9 Sep – 15:00
    Chelsea v Arsenal – Sat 16 Sep – 15:00
    Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion – Sat 23 Sep – 15:00
    Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion – Sat 30 Sep – 15:00

    October 2017
    Watford v Arsenal – Sat 14 Oct – 15:00
    Everton v Arsenal – Sat 21 Oct – 15:00
    Arsenal v Swansea City – Sat 28 Oct – 15:00

    November 2017
    Manchester City v Arsenal – Sat 4 Nov – 15:00
    Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur – Sat 18 Nov – 15:00
    Burnley v Arsenal – Sat 25 Nov – 15:00
    Arsenal v Huddersfield Town – Tue 28 Nov – 19:45

    December 2017
    Arsenal v Manchester United – Sat 2 Dec – 15:00
    Southampton v Arsenal – Sat 9 Dec – 15:00
    West Ham United v Arsenal – Tue 12 Dec – 19:45
    Arsenal v Newcastle United – Sat 16 Dec – 15:00
    Arsenal v Liverpool – Sat 23 Dec – 15:00
    Crystal Palace v Arsenal – Tue 26 Dec – 15:00
    West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal – Sat 30 Dec – 15:00

    January 2018
    Arsenal v Chelsea – Mon 1 Jan – 15:00
    Bournemouth v Arsenal – Sat 13 Jan – 15:00
    Arsenal v Crystal Palace – Sat 20 Jan – 15:00
    Swansea City v Arsenal – Tue 30 Jan – 19:45

    February 2018
    Arsenal v Everton – Sat 3 Feb – 15:00
    Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal – Sat 10 Feb – 15:00
    Arsenal v Manchester City – Sat 24 Feb – 15:00

    March 2018
    Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal – Sat 3 Mar – 15:00
    Arsenal v Watford – Sat 10 Mar – 15:00
    Leicester City v Arsenal – Sat 17 Mar – 15:00
    Arsenal v Stoke City – Sat 31 Mar – 15:00

    April 2018
    Arsenal v Southampton – Sat 7 Apr – 15:00
    Newcastle United v Arsenal – Sat 14 Apr – 15:00
    Arsenal v West Ham United – Sat 21 Apr – 15:00
    Manchester United v Arsenal – Sat 28 Apr – 15:00

    May 2018
    Arsenal v Burnley – Sat 5 May – 15:00
    Huddersfield Town v Arsenal – Sun 13 May – 15:00

  28. Goonereris says:

    I would expect the Chelsea Away fixture (as with other post-Euro ga,es scheduled for Saturdays) to be re-arranged for Sunday. It’s a hope though.

  29. 17highburyterrace says:

    New Post…

    Allezkev details the breakthrough of Arsenal’s young player of the past season while naming some picks for others who might make it with the senior squad this next year…

    Akev/Goonereris… Maybe you guys should copy and paste the Europa and Premier League fixtures over to the new thread… Cheers…

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