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Gooner Make You A Star

It was either that title or “Up the Arse”.

So, as SW19 predicted after Tuesday night at Northampton, we really did get the best draw going.

Admit it – your mouth dropped when you found out we were going to be playing at the Emirates.

No doubt you’re checking the time and date (Wednesday 22nd September, at 8pm apparently).

You’re also probably cancelling plans that day, and deciding that going by public transport is safe after all.

A few of you will still be wearing masks. Not for long, though 😉

I wonder what Northampton fans were feeling like when that draw was made?

I would imagine it’s like if your car gets stolen, and then it’s found with the thief getting noshed off in the front seat by your missus.

Or as said after the Curzon Ashton game, we fell into a barrel of thumbs and ended up sucking a tit.

But apart from it being at Plough Lane, you’re not going to get many better ties at this stage.

True, the Arse won 6-0 at West Brom, but that was against a much-changed Baggies side.

I fully expect everyone in the squad to be fit for this one, and also that our strongest possible starting XI will feature.

Will we get gubbed ourselves? Possibly, if not probably. If we’re not on it, and they are, it may get ugly.

My feeling is that it will ultimately turn out like the other West Ham cup game of 2018/19, the one nobody barely remembers.

Regardless of result, I would fully expect – not hope – that whatever allocation we get we’ll sell out.

This is where having a bigger ground to play in these days will help.

There will be some who have visited SW17 for the first time, along with those who haven’t been since 1991** who will now have STs and are eagerly awaiting ticket sales.

** – leaving aside little inconveniences like dying, how many are in that category? I get the impression it’s more than you think.

And they’ll be wanting to bring their mates too, so even if we’ve sold just another 500 STs to those who weren’t at KM, that’s a potential for perhaps the biggest away following in the AFCW era.

How many did we have for Spurz at Wembley? 7000?

You can’t deny that this has generated a massive buzz around the club, and for many of us – it’s the kind of fixture we used to have on a regular basis.

Admittedly, that novelty was wearing off long before 1999/2000, and WFC wouldn’t have survived many more years in the Premier League, without significant re-invention.

But in the AFCW era, it’s a welcome shot in the arm all round.

Of course, the game is about three weeks away, and it’s easy to forget we have the small matter of Ipswich away tomorrow.

After Sunderland, and certainly after Tuesday, we need a good performance again.

A win will be a bonus, but I think most of us would take the draw if offered right now.

They’re certainly not unbeatable, a glance at their recent form will suggest that, but it’s the sort of game where they end up kickstarting their season.

Funny how teams often seems to do that against us.

Tomorrow also sees the return of Piggy, albeit in the blue of Ipswich, and I hope he gets a good reception.

I also hope that he has a stinker. That won’t happen, and he’ll inevitably score, so I hope he doesn’t ruin a few good memories by doing the willycopter in front of our supporters.

At least, in front of the fans who manage to get their tickets in time.

There’s plenty of anecdotes this morning of people awaiting their stubs for tomorrow, and if they don’t arrive there’ll be fun at the turnstiles.

As poor as our ticketing arrangements are right now, it seems to be happening at a lot of clubs.

True, we should strive to be much, much better than we are, but it’s reminding your editor of an observation made when the Super League collapsed.

For all the glitz and glamour, you’d be surprised how badly organised football is. Even at the very highest level.

You would think that after eighteen months sans supporteurs, clubs would be ready and fully up to speed.

But then, I expect they’ve all furloughed their staff, believed they can restart life again with the bare minimum, and suddenly realised they can’t.

It’s not unique to football – customer service has nosedived due to the Rona.

In our case, I’m led to believe we’ve got minimal infrastructure because we were in “test” status when moving to Plough Lane.

Constant stories of people not being able to phone the club up simply makes us look bad and unprofessional.

While the Ipswich ticket distribution is pretty much out of our hands, it does add to an already bad impression.

If it’s a staffing issue, then we need to move quicker now. Although we should be thankful somebody has some organisational skills at the club.

Although methinks when Mandy from the office gets her thank-you, she’ll probably want it as wages for an assistant…

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