European Tour Resumes

A rare blank weekend for us given our early (for us) elimination from the FA Cup saw a lot of draws in the tournament. Unfortunately the Trotters didn’t have enough to overcome the Spuds, nor could Cardiff City cause an upset at Stamford Bridge. I don’t really mind who wins the Cup now, just so as it’s not Spurs or Chelsea. It was nice to see Pompey fans get some relief from their horrible plight with a thumping win away to their bitterest local rivals Southampton.
A few thousand lucky Gooners will be moving off to Oporto in the next couple of games for our Wednesday night encounter against Porto in the Champions League. Those NICE people at the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) have a guide to the ground and city up on their website.
I’m so skint these days that away games, either domestic or European, are a rare treat for me now. I enjoyed my last trip to Oporto though. Nice place and nice people. As you might imagine the port is excellent! Let’s hope we come away with the result we want and need to keep a season that’s had its disappointments – to say the least – on track.
For those Gooners based in or near London those good people at REDaction have organised a showing of the game at the Islington Academy on Wednesday night.
The Islington Academy is a couple of minutes walk from Angel Tube station on the Northern line City branch. Buses 4,19,30,43,56,73,153,341,394 and 476 all stop nearby. There is free street parking nearby after 6.30pm and the area is JUST outside the Central London Congestion Charge Zone (don’t go over the junction of Pentonville Road, City Road and Islington High Street onto St John’s Street before 6.30pm or you’ll be liable for the charge). If you’re a drinker, I’d leave the motor at home though and enjoy a few pints.
It’s free to get in and a pint of lager will set you back a very reasonable £2.15. A very big “well played!” to the REDaction boys and girls for sorting this out.
On a different subject you’ll have seen here on that the speculation is already starting as to what home colours we’ll be wearing for our 125th anniversary season. The club was formed in 1886 at Dial Square FC so the anniversary will be celebrated in 2010/11. The club would be foolish not to make as much as it can of this opportunity in terms of marketing and income-generation. Let’s hope that whatever is done is done with the style of The Arsenal and is as much about celebrating our history, traditions and achievements, as much as about making a few bob. The closing season at Highbury was handled quite well, as was the final match itself. Giving special scarves to the visiting Wigan Athletic fans in their club’s blue and white colours was an especially nice and classy touch. The post-match parade went perilously close to naff at times though, although it never got completely toe-curling.
Let’s hope our new chief executive Ivan Gazidis maintains his good record so far of fan consultation and works closely with all the supporter organisations to make this occasion something special for all of us.

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