As some of my readers (and all my friends) may know, I am a huge fan of Arsenal Football Club, the greatest club in North London and possibly the world. We “Gooners” (as we call ourselves, after “Gunners” – who are members of the actual team) are, like most football fans, deeply devoted to our team. For some reason, other fans like to laugh at us, because we are so passionate. Supporting Arsenal has been a bit of a roller coaster ride at times – since our wonderful season (2003/4) as the “Invincibles,” with the magical combination of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, Jens Lehmann, Patrick Vieira, Ashley Cole and others. But we love our team nonetheless. We did end up second in the English Premier League last season, however, and hope to end up top, or close to the top, this year.
Well, I could go on for many more paragraphs about the wonderful exploits of our Gunners. However, this week’s photo challenge reminded me of names on plaques, memorials, and so on. And I thought of the hundreds of tiles outside the Emirates Stadium, where fans pay to have their own, or others’ names inscribed – sometimes in memory of a fan, or just as an expression of their own fandom. On a chilly visit to the Stadium a few years back with my son, I spent a little while browsing through them.
Then of course there are the names (and numbers) on the backs of the jerseys. Last time I sneaked into the Emirates store – a wonderland with many very expensive but coveted items on display – I saw a few names hanging. Several of these team members have since left – but Olivier Giroud is still happily scoring goals, and Laurent Koscielny is still a defender to be reckoned with.
#COYG (Come On You Gunners!!)