Testing…testing…1, 2, 3 & Au revoir Paris 18 May, 2006Posted by lasagnechef in Champions League.
Hello there this is the official 1st post of my new arsenal blog called The Cannon. I have just come back from gay Paris this afternoon and was inspired to start an Arsenal blog due to meeting loads of arsenal bloggers in the irish bar Kitty O’Shea’s yesterday; Names include gilbertosilver, Gael Clichy (est tres rapide), elstreegooner, Dublin Gooner and the 1 and only arseblogger amongst others.
So as I say I arrived home after what seemed a very long journey this afternoon, to be honest it was quite a good trip bearing in mind the score. The atmosphere was great and just had a good time really. Below I’ve done a timeline of my 17th May 2006, as I think thats the easiest way to do it…
4.15am: Woken up by my alarm after only 2 hours sleep but got up easier than I ever have knowing what a day I had ahead of me. At this time it still hadn’t sunk in that my Arsenal we’re in the biggest game in club football.
5.00am: Me, my dad (http://elstreegooner.wordpress.com) and my brother set off to paris in the car which I decorated in flags, scarfs, shirts and banners the previous night exited and not able so wait to get to gay paris.
5.15am: We stop of nearby in Borehamwood to pick up my cousin (www.gunnerblog.com) and his mate (Gael Clichy (est tres rapide)) and then we were set and on our way down to the eurotunnel. Talk at this time was very limited due to nobody getting over 3 hours of sleep.
5.30am: By now we have only just hit the motorway and decided immediately to remove the scarfs from the windows as they make the most irritating banging…
6.45am: Arrive at the eurotunnel in Folkestone. We get a quick bite to eat before getting our Euros and then we were off to ‘check-in’. Next followed a very thorough passport inpection where the French officer waved us through with not the slightest interest of whether we even had passports never mind if they were actually ours/fake…
(GMT +1)8.35am: The train terminates in Calais which meant we were now officially in France; even though we were a mear 20 miles from England, I felt like the final was just around the corner. We now hit the French motorway and it was non-stop to Paris. (Oh apart from we had to stop soon after as my brother had to be sick…lovely)
12.30pm: We finally enter the outskirts of Paris and we were all looking out the window in anticipation as we knew the Stade De France was just around the corner. And when we saw the magnificent arena in a moat of footballing fans it really hit home that here we were, in paris, for the champions league final.
1.00pm: After driving through the streets of Paris pointing at typically French people that were holding baguettes, in bérets and with silly mustaches we went up to the Eiffel Tower which was supposed to be holding some sort of ‘Festival of Champions’ event. It was somewhat disappointing due to it just being a bit shit really but that didn’t bother me, it was the number of Barca followers and them in full voice underneath the tower. My cousin, his mate and I stood around trying to look comfortable walking around trying to find some singing Gooners, but none were to be found. Was really embarrassing actually, well there were some people scattered around in redcurrent but nobody even thinking about challenging the Catalans’ chant. In the end we decided to leave but on the way out the 3 of us started to sing “Arsenalll…Arsenallll…Arsenalll” but the only reply we got was a few joining mutters from some of the few Gooners and an ‘un-welcoming’ reply from some Barca fans.
4.00pm: Between then and now we went up the Champs-Elysees and into niketown where we bumped into the one and only Peter Beardsly which was one of the highlights of my life. We grabbed a bit of Lunch and then marched on our way to an irish bar called Kitty O’Shea’s which we were tipped off to be where all the Gooners had disappeared off to which was on a street called: Rue Des Capucines. And finally we found the road and there, in the distance was the loyal Gooners.
6.00pm: Up until now we got a few beers in a chatted to some other bloggers who had arranged to meet here. Also 1 thing I will never forget from this trip was the game of street football which emerged from a little game of keepy-uppys. A goal was formed from 2 cages and we had ourselves a game of footie. We used the cars on the street as defenders and we had crossed supplied in from the far side, it was truly a magical moment. If you were there and recall the ball being kicked over into the building site, I was the one who jumped the fence to retrieve it, only to be greeted by a gang of puzzled French builders, My French isn’t very good but I’m sure they were saying something along the lines of: “What the fuck are you doing here?”. Around at this time about 6-ish people started to leave for the stadium and was quite depressing knowing I would never get a ticket no matter how much I convinced myself I just might as I knew there was no way I could afford them as they were being flogged for about €1500 on average, and there was many fake tickets in circulation.
8.00pm: Everyone was settling down now to watch the big game and nerves kicked in but the chanting gained confidence in all of us and everyone was in good spirts, apart from when some French wankers came in shouting ‘Barceloooooona’, ‘Guuuuuily’, and ‘Ronaldinho’ were pushing there way right to the front. They were replied with: ‘Whooo the fucking hell are you? who the fucking…’ They soon left.
9.00pm: The game had a promising start with some early chances and everyone was believing we can do it but then, Jens made a clumsy error and was shown the red. But soon enough, O’Shea’s was back in voice cheering on the boys (even though they were some miles from us and there was on way they could hear us).
8.30pm: Eboue is fallen somewhat speculatively and we are given a free kick in a promising position with Henry to take and some threats in the middle. When Sol scored the bar erupted like I have never experience before, I mean I have been to Cardiff, Highbury, Wembley, Stamford Bridge and more but I have never been so jubilant in my life EVER. It was a mixture of extreme excitement and relief in a way. We were 1-0 up, against Barcelona, in the Champions League Final and with 10 men. I have never cried in happiness before, but there was a tear in my eye then.
8.50pm: Half-Time finally and everyone is in extremely pleased and in high hopes. I had to go out for some air because the atmosphere in the pub was excellent and it was all getting a bit too much so a breather was the best plan.
9.30pm: Barca have drawn level with a lucky goal and before I can come to terms that its no longer 1 nil to the Arsenal, its 2-1 to the Barcelona. From now on until the end of the match it was fairly quiet with only a hand-full of people trying to start some chanting but I think we all knew it was over.
9.55pm: Full-Time everyone was silent apart from the one Barca fan in there who was to be fair, quite alright and didn’t go over the top, fair play to him. Some people left now but I wanted to stay because particularly to see Titi’s interview at the end and that cheered me up slightly because all I took for that was he hates Barca and is staying.
11.45pm: Finally Got back to the Hotel after walking along the Champs-Elysees amoungst shouting Catalans and beeping cars. Check in seemed to take forever, the hotel was basic but all I wanted was that bed and when I saw it, I was out for the night.
To be fair it was a good trip to be honest, it’s just a shame about the referee and the result, However all I could think about was how easily and dramatically my mood could be right now and just simply what COULD have been.
Until next time. Thanks for reading.