Perhaps it was the two pints of Carlsberg in the middle of the afternoon or more likely a New York bar full of Gooners on a dreary Wednesday....Whatever it was, it proved to be the best use of my "underemployed " time for quite a while. Networking, job searching, trying to get your own business going....blah, blah, blah...enough. It was time to watch Arsenal surrounded by other like minded fans that have the time to watch a match in the middle of the day.
I invited a friend in a similar situation to join me. Being a fellow sports fan, I thought that he might find watching a match where patrons chant, sing and high five each other something he'd be in to. It's worked for other American friends that don't care about "soccer" or find the game boring. The atmosphere allows non believers to experience the passion and excitement for the game and can often create new fans.
Being that most people have actual full time jobs, The Blind Pig was not packed. However, there was a pretty healthy turnout of folks in their Arsenal gear surrounding the TV's and screens throughout the bar.
Heading in to the 86th minute it seemed to be the typical Arsenal story....total domination in the stats, but nothing to show for it. While Michael Vorm was outstanding in the Swansea goal, it seemed as if there was an invisible wall in front of the net. Shot upon shot was saved or deflected but nothing was going in. I will admit now that I remained confident, but having gotten used to regular disappointment I was worried that Swansea would nick one and all the domination would be for naught.
If that had happened it would have been a kick in the gut as the final statistics were quite dramatic:
- Shots on goal: Arsenal 26 Swansea 6
- Shots on target: Arsenal 16 Swansea 1
- Corners Arsenal 13 Swansea 3
Thankfully on this day justice prevailed. Jack Wilshere received a short pass from Olivier Giroud and sent a strong shot straight towards the middle of the net. Vorm barely had time to react and it was 1-0 to the Arsenal.
Wilshere's celebration was awesome and showed his true love of the club as he ran towards the fans. His dominant performance on the pitch showed he is the future captain of Arsenal. It was a well deserved great moment for Wilshere.
I'm not sure if my friend is destined to become a Gooner, but he seemed to enjoy the match and the football atmosphere created on East 14th Street.
One additional highlight of the day came from Wayne Rooney. Despite Manchester United defeating West Ham 1-0 on Rooney's goal...he still managed to embarrass himself with one of the worst penalty shots ever taken. Even my grandmother could have done better.
Rooney penalty miss vs West Ham by UCL2410