Darren Berry’s Season Diary for 2014/15 nears it’s conclusion:
As another long Premier League season comes to an end, I think most of us would agree this week it’s time to focus on just one thing this week – the FA Cup Final.
I was wondering recently whether it would almost be an anti-climax this year, what with the nerve-wrecking, emotionally draining, liver-wrecking, cloth-touching way we won the final last year, and the fact that the trophy winning feeling had been a long time coming.
But now it’s upon us, and I’m lucky enough to be attending the game with great friends and plans for Cup Final day are being finalised, that’s not the case at all.
If anything in fact, last season’s experience has built up the anticipation even more.
Although, let’s face it, you don’t often enjoy a cup final do you?
You only enjoy it once you’ve won it; last season is obviously the perfect example of that!
Now, as much as I wouldn’t have last year any other way, I’m not sure I can take that again this season, and I’m sure I’m not alone.
The experience from last season brings with it feelings of both excitement and dread in equal measure, and one thing’s for sure, it’s gonna be a loooooooong week, my friends.
You can try and take your mind off of it as much as you like, but it won’t go away. You’ll find that you’ll be in the middle of something, not thinking about it at all and then BANG!
It hits you and you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach, that blend of excitement and nervous energy that only comes from being a football fan.
And you wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m not helping your nerves here am I?
Ok, here’s something to help get you in the mood for the final and take your mind off of it at the same time, if that’s possible….
Good Old Arsenal
I grew up with cup final day, and to an extent cup final week, being the biggest event of the season, or at least that’s how I remember it.
We often hear about the “magic of the FA Cup” disappearing, but last year proved to me that it’s still there, and I know a few of my generation and beyond that got that old FA Cup magic feeling again, even for a good while after the streets outside Islington Town Hall had been cleared of beer cans.
Maybe it’s the fact that none of us are getting any younger, and we’re clinging onto our youth, and memories of what the game used to be like. Who knows, or cares for that matter, as magic by its very definition doesn’t require an explanation.
Anyway, it gives a lot of us the excuse to act like big kids and recapture our youth, which is magic in itself!
In fact, that’s exactly what a bunch of us did recently.
Another thing this particular bunch of us grew up with was the FA Cup Final song.
Unfortunately for me due to my Dad’s …..ahem…….. “Football” leanings, part of that growing up was done listening to the horrendous tones of Chas n Dave rattling on about Ossie’s knees going all trembly, a traumatic part of my childhood that still gives me nightmares now.
“Spurs are on their way to …….”
“It’s OK, Dal, it’s just that dream again. Breath, count to ten and remember the only thing they’ve won lately is an arch…..”
Every team used to do these songs, and there have been some great ones over the years.
There was also the Anfield Rap.
It doesn’t seem to be a thing anymore.
I’m writing this the day after a few of this bunch of us got together to talk to Ben from the Islington Gazette at Piebury Corner, and the subject of why this tradition has died off came up.
I’m not sure if we came up with a definitive answer, to be honest.
Anyway, it’s probably an idea to tell you why we were talking to Ben in the first place….
A short while before the semi-final a few of us got talking “behind the scenes” on Twitter, and one of us, whom you may or may not know as @ccooperuk, suggested we record our own FA Cup song, should we reach the final.
In the back of my mind, this was a suggestion that would guarantee a Reading win in the semi-final, so I was pretty tentative about it to say the least!
Anyway, contact was made with a band made up of legendary Gooners, The Riders of the Night (@TheRidersOTN) and the unanimous decision was to record a new, up-to-date, chart-busting version of Good Old Arsenal.
Once the semi-final that we almost jinxed was won things progressed and Bona Fide Studio (@BonaFideStudios) in Muswell Hill was booked.
The great thing about this is that some of us had never met before, just a bunch of Arsenal supporters, with often differing views and opinions, coming together for a common cause – Good Old Arsenal.
We met up in O’Neills, just a short walk from the studio for a beer or two, just to lubricate the vocal chords. The night itself was an absolute blast, with Paul from @PieburyCorner,@AFC_GLEN, @Gooner_AK, @RoyalArsenalMRA, @SheWore, @BlackScarfAFC and myself joining the Riders in the studio.
Also massively involved in the all of this, but sadly unable to make the night were the aforementioned @ccooperuk, @HarlowGooner, @OpArsenalArt and @AFCArsenalHorse.
The Riders are absolute legends and had the patience of saints bearing with us as cues were missed all over the shop, mostly by me I think.
Speaking of common causes, it’s only fitting that the charity of choice to which a share of the proceeds from sales of the song will go to is the Willow Foundation (@Willow_Fdn). I can’t think of a better cause at all, particularly for Arsenal fans.
So, if you haven’t already, get downloading Good Old Arsenal here;
And use the hashtag #GoodOldArsenal; let’s see if we can get that trending.
I’m not going to give too much away, and it’s not like Simon Cowell’s going to be knocking on our door any time soon, but the end result is better than anything you’ll hear on Eurovision.
If anything, the fact that it features Scottish Paul from Piebury Corner singing in a cockney accent for the first time ever is worth the price of the download alone.
Let’s see if we can get this to number one, stranger things have happened.
I mean, Chas n Dave are still going, right?
All of us would like to say a massive thank you to the Riders of the Night, a great set of lads and I highly recommend you check them out.
Not forgetting Bona Fide Studios for putting up with our racket.
As for the rest of us, you’re probably going to hear a lot about this song from all of us this week, so apologies in advance for that!
The thing is none of us have done this for any kind of social media “fame” at all. It’s just a bunch of Gooners that got together for a few beers, a sing song and a laugh, and for what I’m sure nobody that supports The Arsenal can deny is a fantastic cause.
And trust me, this bunch of us has had many a difference of opinion on football matters, but that’s what it’s all about ain’t it?
And once that whistle goes at 5.30pm on Saturday, we’ll all want the same thing.
Right, that’s you lot, try not to worry too much this week, get yourself in the mood for the final with a bit of #GoodOldArsenal
Let’s hope this time next week the streets of Islington will be strewn with beer cans again….
Up The Arsenal
Passionate fifty-something Arsenal supporter who has been making the journey to N5 regularly since the early 1980s – although his first game was in 1976. Always passionate when talking about The Arsenal, Dave decided to send a guest blog to Gunnersphere in the summer of 2011 and has not stopped writing about the Gunners since.
He set up his own site – 1 Nil Down 2 One Up – in February 2012, which he moved on in 2016 to concentrate on freelance writing and building Gunners Town, which he launched with Paul in 2014.
The objective of GT was to be new and fresh and to give a platform for likeminded passionate Arsenal fans wishing to write about their team. Dave still of course, writes for the site himself and advises the ever-changing writing crew.