to take this week’s blog to talk about international Gooners and the friendship
among them. As German Gooner on the road, I mentioned in several Tweets that I
spent last weekend in wonderful Ireland/Northern Ireland. What a lovely place
to visit, and how many lovely people to chat about Arsenal and footy in
I started my trip in Dublin
on Saturday. I had some time to kill until kick off so I took a guided tour
through town with a nice fella (and 30 other people). After getting some
insight into Irish history I got the impression the luck of the Irish wasn’t a
good thing as everything they ever did or planned turned out kind of wrong. At
least they could laugh about it which is always a good thing.
So what did that mean for our
match against Sunderland? Normally nothing at all but as kick off edged closer
and the Irish luck stories were not helping at all I got kind of nervous. So
what’s better to do in Dublin than calm your nervousness with a good pint of
Magners. After I finished the tour I was guided to one of the several pubs in
town (one on Dames street?) and it turned out to be the official Dublin Gooners
pub, at least that’s what I’ve been told; What a coincidence. There’s nothing quite
like a good plan when it comes to watching the Arsenal.
The following 90 minutes were
pure pleasure. Sometimes watching the Arsenal on TV is much more fun than in
the stadium. The Irish Gooners were top and gave me a good reception after
totally flipping out when Mesut Ozil put the ball through to Olivier Giroud for
the opener. I had hoped for free pints but that didn’t happen. It was all about
Arsenal that afternoon and we had never met before so we had something in
common which was just a great feeling. I experienced that in many countries all
over the world and when people talk about a big club which is loved all over
the world, Arsenal is without a doubt one of them.
After my Temple Bar experience,
hours later I made my way up to Belfast with a rental car on the wrong side of
the road. What a strange feeling that was. But I made it and found myself right
in the middle of Northern Irish history with the Murals and the Peace wall in
front of me. Is there a better place to get a pint than there? Many would say
yes and honestly I was sceptical at first.
But my Arsenal love paved the
way once again. A rough-looking guide having a smoke outside a nice-looking pub
invited me in to join some other Gooners. And he was right. Four guys were sat in
front of the TV watching some horse race wearing their Arsenal kit. Great! I
made my way the bar, ordered and said ‘We’re top of the league’. What an ice
breaker that was. The next pint was on them and we chatted for about an hour.
Arsenal, the German national team, Özil, Poldi, Merte and so on. I said goodbye
and was cheered with a “BFG” chant. I made my way back to city centre
to check out the rest of the city.
All in all a great trip where
I met a lot of nice Gooners. That’s what Arsenal is all about right?! And being
a German Gooner didn’t seem so strange as it sometimes does when at home. No
asking why just being one. Thanks for that. I will be back.