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Like Taking A Drug


I live in India, in the homely town of Kolkata, and when I was young I developed a love of Arsenal. I didn’t know much about them, aside from they were a club in England and the only team I used to play as on Fifa 99, despite Manchester United being more popular.

I knew the manager was called Arsene Wenger, and figured his name had something to do with why he was hired. I also knew all about Thierry Henry after watching him win the World Cup with France in 1998.

It took time, but gradually I imbibed an interest in the club through watching matches more regularly. It was then that I began to truly admire what it was the club stood for – playing really ‘good’ football.

One moment which for some reason stands out in my mind is the first Arsenal game against Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium and the feelings I felt when Titi scored the last minute winner. I screamed so badly as he celebrated that I lost my voice for quite some time. The joy lasted for about two minutes as Martin Tyler’s commentary sunk in. 

“With a minute to go. The great man produces a great moment for Arsenal at the expense of Manchester United. What a turnaround at the Emirates!”

The feelings I felt in that moment I’d never felt before and I confess from that moment on, football became a real part of my life. In a crude way it was like taking a drug.

I now consider myself a typical Gooner. Yes, I get pissed off with Wenger when we lose. And yes, when we win I feel happy and praise the team. Overall of course, I’m a great admirer of Wenger no matter what – after all, he’s the only manager I’ve known.

His vision for the club is what I like about him most, not to mention the fact he’s made the club financially stable and self-sufficient when others have relied on handouts. So thank you Arsene. I really hope you taste more success at Arsenal, you deserve something special before you leave us.

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