The first premier league match I watched was between Arsenal and Manchester United. At that time, I did not know much about football. Actually, I watched this match by chance. One of my friends, who knew quite a lot of football at that time, invited me to his parent’s house and found him watching the game. On that day, he wore a Manchester United jersey. Since I was not a football fan at that time, I did not support any of the teams or even wear a jersey for purposes of pretence. Actually, I had no idea on where I could buy a football jersey.
Once the match started, I really enjoyed myself because it was on a big screen unlike the norm at home where we watched TV on a small TV. Moreover, the TV at my friend’s house was a flat screen. It was a new world to me.
As the game progressed, I started to dislike Manchester United’s style of play. The players seemed very rough and I was a very reserved high school student. Among the Arsenal players I noticed being roughed up were Vieira, Reyes and Henry. I remember Manchester United won the game, which made my friend very happy. For me, the win just compounded my hatred to Manchester and planted a seed of love for Arsenal.
A couple of years later, I joined the university. This is where I learnt everything I know about football. The seed that was planted during the game I watched at my friend’s place grew to its maturity during this time.
I also learnt that the first game I watched was the one that ended Arsenal’s unbeaten run of 49 games. Moreover, this history was made in the 2004/05 season when Arsenal won the premier league. Sadly, the last one they won up to today. Since then, they have won two FA cups in 2005 and 2014, and a community shield in 2014. Despite the inconsistent performance or the constant underperformance, I still love this team.
My love can be attributed to the team’s style of play. The passing of the ball just impresses me. However, the scores do not always impress me. For instance, the 8-2 thumping by Manchester United, the 6-3 humiliation by Manchester City, the 5-0 outclassing by Liverpool and the 6-0 destruction by Chelsea.
Despite these low moments, Arsenal football club has its high moments. For instance, beating of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan with relatively young players as opposed to their opponents.
As Arsene Wenger nears the end of his managerial career at Arsenal, we hope that the incoming manager will bring something new unlike Moyes did at Manchester United.