AKA somebody’s evening on Wednesday went different to what they expected.
As we lick our wounds from our trip to deepest North London, and reality resumes tomorrow, just a few brief(ish) thoughts.
The main takeaway was that we didn’t disgrace ourselves. No sign of a 7-0 gubbing that other lower league sides have endured this season.
We continued to play our game, and the only real negatives were our left hand side, and our feebleness up top.
Two issues we’ve faced all season, the latter thankfully not crippling us as of yet. Though the former suggests NGW isn’t the answer, regardless of the question.
Them getting a penalty early on could have made it a very long evening, but thankfully that didn’t happen.
And the stats will show that they put on two very good subsitutes to finally kill us off.
Indeed, it might be a good thing that I’m still a little bit disappointed by Wednesday.
Don’t get me wrong, I expected a gubbing, but I just wished we’d shown more up front. Which is something MR focused on too.
While it doesn’t quite matter so much this season in L1, if we find ourselves higher up in the divisions we’ll need to properly secure what decent strikers we have.
Joe Piggot was there on Wednesday, by the way. I wonder what he was thinking?
Your editor has been to the Emirates quite a few times over the years – a couple of times for media, a few games a decade ago when a family member had a season ticket and couldn’t make evening games.
No, I never missed an AFCW game for an AFC one.
I was even once a paying punter, though to be fair it had just opened and it was £3 to get in.
It took fourteen years for AFCW playing Arsenal to be a competitive fixture, but even just briefly looking through what I wrote, the bit about AFC losing something they’ll never get back stands out.
That’s something which has grabbed me every time I’ve gone there, and it’s a weird feeling.
While I think the whole “Against Modern Football” thing is overblown, if ever a club has changed because of it – it’s Arsenal.
And not in a good way either.
The old style Gooner was at least a bit more clued up, which is why Arsenal Fan TV is hated by a lot of their support.
Then again, AFTV is very representative of a significant part of their current fanbase. The truth can hurt.
A lot of big club support is rubbish though, and it was a bit pathetic to see a couple of sad old men thinking they were facing Spurs fans.
Ditto the bottle throwers (especially from the hospitality section above us), although the idiot in block 20 at half time in full Arse gear was amusing.
Maybe they were all limbering up for their game on Sunday? On second thoughts, they’d all shit themselves…
Ashburton Grove is a nice enough stadium, though I was surprised how small the away fan concourses were.
The atmosphere mostly came from us, and the amount of daytrippers in the home areas were obvious.
Then again, it sums up the area surrounding it. True, Finsbury Park has some of the “old” North London that John Lydon described in his first autobiography.
But Angel/Highbury and Islington is like walking through a Guardian theme park…
I’d love AFCW to be playing Premier League football, but I can see why some would hate to go to fixtures regularly.
Some of that is simply because too many people go in the first place, and you don’t always see your mates.
We had over 7000 on Wednesday, and there were a lot of people I’ve never seen before.
The vast majority of them won’t be heading up to Shrewsbury tomorrow (your editor is at Reading), in the fixture this week that actually matters.
It might be after our cup final, or it could be the jab up the proverbial we need.
If you do the ten-game marker point thing, tomorrow is our ninth league game of the season.
Another loss (and another failure to score) and people will start getting a tad edgy again.
We’ve had a decent start, and the scars of fading away badly in previous years are definitely still there.
This isn’t a must-win by any means, but we could do ourselves a few favours with even a draw.
Fatigue from Wednesday is a very real prospect, though I hope we’ve got enough in us to put it out of our system.
We do have the character these days to pull ourselves out of ruts quicker than in the past, and we might need to see that again.
Then again, we could have had a better venue to visit than the one we’re at tomorrow.
I think there’s only ever been one win at Shrewsbury full stop, that was in the mid 1980s.
The AFCW era seems to be one littered with poor games and late winners against us. Not to mention the usual antipathy about out-of-town stadia.
Then again, those of a certain vintage still have cold sweats about the FA Cup tie at Gay Meadow…