I am delighted to introduce the third summer of ‘Global Gooner Passion’ with storoes from Arsenal fanatics the world over. First up we have Amanda Mumba who supports our great club from Zambia. GD66
Zambia is pretty big on football. If you even have the chance to be here it’s very easy to get a conversation going just by mentioning the weekend’s game or wearing your favorite team’s football jersey (that and an ice-cold bottle of Mosi. You can thank me later). So it will probably come as a shock to the many people who know me that, for a very long time my favorite sport was basketball. That all changed, however when I was introduced to the dazzle of an Arsene Wenger driven Arsenal FC.
You can thanks me later! I admit I was a little late to the party, but I am pleased to let you all know that I caught it just in time to see the ‘Invincibles’ do what no team had ever done before and after them. Going through a grueling season without a single game lost. Who were these guys? Why didn’t I know about them before? Why oh why was I a basketball enthusiast with no ability to follow the sport because games would air live at 2am local time? If you have answers for me I’d be glad to have ‘em over a beer.
That said that was not actually the time I realized I loved Arsenal. Gasp!!! Before you chew my head off let me elaborate: it was actually when they lost their first game after that ridiculous 49 game run that it was clear to me all my future relationships will suffer because of the red and white. The immense pain I had in my heart for absolute strangers did it’s very best to sour the rest of my high school experience (I’m fairly certain I havel ost a few friends because I love Arsenal more). I was a grumpy kid and I’m honestly not much different now, but even for my standards I was all sorts of disappointed by that result against Man Utd. Pain like that can only be associated with love of some form. And it was all I needed to tell me that I was officially an Arsenal supporter.
Eager historians will be quick to point out that was the most rubbish time for me to start what can only be described as an abusive relationship with the team. Since that day we won one more trophy and apparently (I am yet to confirm this rumor as I am in denial) it was going to be 9 years before we would win another. The predators of Zambia were all very happy to pounce on this fact when year after year we failed to deliver a trophy. Recycled jokes made the rounds and each time a few of us would look for a new way to cushion the blow of their pitiful yet admittedly stinging taunts.
It’s quite the experience to support a team in Zambia. It doesn’t really matter who (Arsenal’s best… Obviously), but just be prepared to find the very gory of opposition fans breathing down your neck and reminding you just how sucky it is to not win anything for a long time. It’s 2014 and since I started supporting the Arsenal we lost so many great players that went on to win medals while we wallowed in our “what-ifs” and “almosts”. It’s 2014 and by now you would imagine I would have long left the football scene in the hopes of better luck as a street flamingo dancer; I didn’t and I don’t even know what a flamingo dance is or if it exists. It’s 2014 and we are still talking about Cesc Fabregas (come on you guys we seriously need to get it together). It’s 2014 and best of all is we won a trophy. After seasons of torture we won a trophy. I for one was especially chuffed by that and hope it was a sign of great things for the future. Ten years on from the moment I fell in love and seeing that FA Cup illuminated by the red and white of Arsenal made it that much clearer to me that it was worth the wait. More please.
And how about that Thierry Henry? Not that it’s related to anything. I’m just saying.
Thanks to Amanda for kicking of the third series of Global Gooner Passion on 1ND2OU. You can follow Amanda at @Arsenalpanda11 and here’s a bit more about her:
“I’m banker by day (i know!) Amateur guitarist by night Gunner all year around. I’m 25 years old and single. Got a pic for you just attached it. Arsenal’s really all i know and the odd trivia but thats kind of redundant. I come from the capital Lusaka. Big fan of sport in general. The ultimate tomboy”
Agree/disagree? Leave a comment below or follow me or comment on this blog on Twitter – http://twitter.com/goonerdave66 Please also check out the website for the new tribute book to Geordie Armstrong available to pre-order now