So the Olympics came and went far too quickly but I think I speak for most people when I say it far superseded expectations. The City of London basked in the warm glow of unexpected delight at not only the success of the British athletes but also the goodwill and friendliness of Londoners in general. Something most of us are not hugely accustomed to.
Fear not however, as the post Olympic hangover sets in and the football season begins, the chivalrous, selfless, care-free sports consumer will be replaced by the snarling, sweaty, aggressive and intensely loyal football fan, and in many ways, thank God for that.
I suppose the most enjoyable thing about the Olympics, as well as the fact it’s a one-off, is it’s inclusivity and accessibility. Ironically, because no-one is really a fan of any of the sports, they can be enjoyed by young and old, male and female, safe in the knowledge that two weeks of passionate support is all that is expected of you.
Like many football fans I thoroughly enjoyed this fresh approach to consuming sport, especially when combined with an enormous sense of pride as it was all on my doorstep. Nevertheless, the season’s opener on Saturday against Sunderland, even the last pre-season game against Cologne, bring with them a completely different and unique range of emotions.
The chance to see the new boys make their competitive debuts, the chance to make a day of catching up with the Arsenal family and walking to the ground whilst re-living last seasons successes and failures. Imagining what might be this time around. The pre-match nerves and the inevitable post match despair. The question of ‘why do I put myself through this?’ when you’re one-nil up on 80 minutes. The comforting sense that there’s another game the following week.
The point I think I’m trying to make is that that feeling of unparalleled sickening, nervous anxiety, at least for me, cannot be found anywhere other than at the Arsenal, and I know Mo Farah would agree with me. I can’t bloody wait. Nick