The Loneliness of the Long Distance Gooner.



My Gooner brother and I talk on the phone after most games and this post is also inspired by all the fans who do not live in the UK and for whatever reason, cannot get to see matches live. I read their posts and comments all the time on different blogs. Reading an Americans  experience of being an Arsenal supporter in the States made me think about my current position, unable to just go to the Emirates to see a match, or meet up with fellow gooners in a pub, but having to rely on the internet, television and bars to view a match. It’s also why I blog quite a lot, it’s an opportunity to discuss our team on a regular basis. Reading other posters on blogs has made me more aware of how isolated some Gooners can be. Some may never get to see the Gunners play live, but their support is 100%. Long distance Gooners.

These days I watch most games in a French bar where the patron is very sympathetic and the only time I’m unable to see a Gunners game there is when it coincides with Marseille playing, or the patrons beloved Toulouse Rugby team are playing. I have a very good friendship with him and often, when there is a Sunday game at 4pm, when he generally goes home for a siesta and closes the bar for a few hours, he leaves me alone and just says, help yourself to drinks, just tell me how many when I get back. He must think I have an honest face!

So living so far from the Emirates presents quite a challenge to die-hard fans. Some Gooners from afar fortunately have a good fan-base and can watch games with many other like-minded fans in bars. Unfortunately, in France and where I live there isn’t such a thing, so consequently I generally watch a match alone in a bar full of Frenchmen who couldn’t give a toss. The one exception is a mate who is a West Ham supporter and he often joins me to watch a match and the only time we fall out is if it’s a game against the Hammers, then it can get nasty! But the barman Ali, can now say, “For Fuck sake”, in a perfect cockney accent.

Fortunately for me, the last couple of seasons I’ve been lucky to see the boys play in European away games at Montpellier and Marseille, the first ever European away games I have ever attended Recently, many American East Coast Gooners were able to go to the game against the New York Red Bulls, and see the great legend Titi at the same time. It just highlights the variety of places which we Gooners are based, over the last couple of years, Gooners in Malaysia have also been blessed with Arsenal playing in their country.

I get views on this blog from Brasil, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Russia, Sweden, India, the Philippines, Singapore, Japan and many other places worldwide…. it’s quite an eye opener.

So, despite having been a regular visitor to Highbury and away games, I now find myself in the position of a lonely long distance gooner, and consequently, my sympathy with other Gooners worldwide has increased. Now days I’m restricted to having internet conversations with supporters and telephone conversations with my big brother. The last game I saw at Highbury was in 1998. A year before Henry came to the Arsenal, but a team with Bergkamp, Petit, Vieira, Seaman, Overmars, Llungberg and Anelka.

I moved to France in 1999 and henceforth, all Arsenal games have been watched on TV or on the internet, apart from the games at Montpellier and Marsielle. So this is for all those Lonely Long Distance Gooners, who don’t get a chance to see the Arsenal play live but continue to give 100% support. I now understand the frustration of supporting from afar, of relying on the internet and blogs to enable debate and chat with other Gooners.




90 thoughts on “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Gooner.

  1. Good morning smeg suckers

    It seems that there was an exciting match at Anfield last night, it was on French TV and I didn’t fucking watch it…. bugger. Anyway, who knows what will happen if Pool win the Europa league and City win the CL? How does that leave the CL places in the PL?

  2. It’s the CL and Europa league semi final draws today….. wouldn’t it be interesting if Pellegrini and Pep have to play each other, with the fact that Pep is taking over at City next season!

  3. Bonjour Soixante-Neuf, ah! You poor lonely old sod. 😀

    I live only about a hundred miles from The Emirates, but have only been there once for a game, ticket availability, travel costs etc and creeping old age are a big discouragement for me so I watch from the comfort of my armchair usually in solitary splendour.

    Recently I had company for one game, my one year old grandson sat with me, he looked at his musical picture books and laughed when I cheered and looked puzzled at my frequent groans as things on the pitch went not to plan.

    I,’ll be in my armchair on Sunday, a beer and some roast, salted cashews to hand watching the game in the knowledge that there are a lot of long-distance Gooners doing something similar around the world.

  4. Morning all, Nice one long distance Gunner.
    It often makes me smile when i read about long distance supporters, I get the impression that they feel they are missing out on the atmosphere of the great New Highbury. Believe me if you watch it on the tele or on a shit stream its not that much different from watching in the ground, only more comfortable.

    I live about 15 miles from the home of football but would rather watch it at home on the tele, I sit on a big settee got me fags and me beer and i have no fucker jumping and shouting down my fucking ear. I havent got to drive and i dont have a fucking long walk, all those fucking stairs and hardly hearing an English voice. I have popped into the Pins for a pre match beer or walked down to the supporters club to have a tipple before the match but half the time half my beer is on the floor.

    The Ems is a magnificent stadium but its not Highbury, and may never have the same feeling, but its our home and personally going there over the years and sampling both, i still feel happier watching from home. Maybe i am a poor supporter but i haven’t missed a game for i dont know how long, and i still get the fucking hump when we lose. The thought of coming out the Ems after a loss and then having to walk all the way to the station , which is al right when your on drugs, but at my age is like a marathon just doesnt inspire me.

    I have supported all my life done my bit at both grounds and i have to speak the truth i would rather watch it at home. When attending and watching live with 60;000 around me i notice that when a goal has been scored everybody looks up at the big screen as most of those 60,000 never saw it properly, fuck that long walk, dear beer and stuck in one place that you can’t see all the match, people standing at the first attack and missing half the match because i am pissing myself and cant be bothered to walk a mile for a piss, No give me my armchair at home anyday.

    Miserable fucker arnt i, you lot, fucking thousands of miles away and me almost on the doorstep and i wont pay the extortionate prices they charge, and you wouldnt give a fuck if it was double. I suppose we all support in our own way, but where we are the same is we dont like to miss a game, and we even talk to one another while the game is playing, Thank God for the internet.

    Its my opinion that we are all the same, we all care the same and it effects us all, only we may show it differently, I am a fucking bad loser i get the fucking hump after a loss i start to look for someone to blame and most of the time it falls to our long suffering Manager. He doesn’t buy the players i want, he doesnt play the systems that i want him to play, and he seems to me that he doesnt care, and thats what gets up my nose. I, whether i am at home or in the stand am still fucking angry and i believe i am better at home, but for you poor fuckers you dont have the choice. COYRRG’s

  5. It’s all bollocks Dweeb….. but they make money and become famous, why I’ve got no idea, probably because the establishment want to find something different.

  6. Of course Im having a lark. Manet is superb.Nobody has been able to put the stuff on like that since. Strange thing is theres no Trauffaut type critic to fraz the Emin gang. I dont know anyone who likes that crepe, and yet the crits.wont touch them.
    Its like the creamed off all the hard work of painters since the cave days and proclaimed themselves all knowing. Mind you what followed the Emin gang was even worse.
    Do you know the blog spot Art Contrarian? (no its not me) but he likes to root around in much you might like.

  7. I like Lanyon but not the early stuff, more Freuds mid stuff,Frank I like,and Neo, but its a bit heavy but if you know that area he captured the atmosphere.I prefer his more cartoon/painting combination no the stuff that leans to his idea of classical. And of course Manet etc. Emins stuff doesnt get me too much, but time will put it in context rather than the hype.
    I like a few comic artists too (being Dweeb!). Hope your doing well with you work.

  8. History will eventually show what bollocks was produced by the English artists of the 80’s and 90’s, including Damon Hirst. All wankers. I prefer the Impressionists

  9. Man City have got Real Madrid in the CL semis…. could set up a final between Pellegrini and Guadiola, wouldn’t that be a good final, the old City manager against the new City manager…. fuck I hope that happens

  10. Yes nearly forty years an Arsenal Dweeb, related to the founders if Dial SQ/early AFC( Im English) also used to go all the time etc.
    Got to do some Dweeb stuff will be back later!
    ps Sisleys painting of gardens in spring, beautiful works.

  11. Talking of “art” what about that heap of scrap metal oop nooorth, Anthony Gormless’s Angel of the North? And the helter skelter at the Olympic Park? load of rubbish and the mugs fall for it.

  12. Question on the BBC just now: Is it right that if Liverpool win the Europa League then only the top three league places get Champions League?

    Answer: That would only be the scenario if Manchester City win the Champions League and get fifth outside the top four in the Premier League.

  13. I agree Norfolk…. much of it these days is a load of crap…. and the mugs do fall for it and the so called Artists win the Turner Prize…. Turner would turner in his grave ha ha

  14. Art is in the eye of the beholder, A stunning nude will in most cases catch the eye, a bit of steel appeals more to hands on person’s, where pictures of Baby’s probably catch more Women’s eye. The London Eye catches my eye on New years eve, other than that couldn’t give a shit. A crafted Ale with a distinctive tast would benefit a drinker but a teetotaller wouldn’t give it a second look. Usually if you have to pay to look at it, it is called art.

  15. Enjoy, 69er. It’s pissing down here. No walk today, no pub lunch, cheese on toast in front of the living room fire while watching the tennis from Monte Carlo.

  16. Did Anthony Gormley build the Angel of the North? Or did he give the design to the local blacksmith and let him make it?

    Have a look at Michelangelo’s statue of David, he chiseled that out of a block of marble, it took him two years.

    It’s now six hundred years old, will Gormley’s monstrosity last that long?

  17. That’s an extremely appropriate post NB as in effect we are all Long Distance supporters.
    It’s also good to see a new blogger – Hi Dweeb.

    Mathematically we have an outside chance of winning the league, but it would take a monumental collapse by both Spurs and Leicester – which is most unlikely.

    I’m very naive when it comes to art but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating the work of masters and viewing their work. I would love to go back to the Hermitage once more but unfortunately I cannot see that happening.

    I recorded the Liverpool game and when they were down 0-2 I was on the verge on pressing the erase button but the commentator said they need another miracle like their CL win – so I kept watching – and I glad that I did.

    One just has to love Jurgen Klopp he brings a contagious excitement to the game and fuels up both his teams and supporters in a way that few other managers can.

  18. Not a lot of Arsenal news today, Wenger has said that we’ll have the same squad as last week he doesn’t know if Merts will play nor who will be in goal. Neither Cazorla or Wheelchair are fit enough to make the squad yet.

    It looks as though Walcott is set to miss out on selection for the Euros due to losing his starting place in the Arsenal squad.

    Apparently we’ve been scouting a nineteen year old midfielder from Ajax, there’s a bit of competition for his signature, Barca, the Spuds and the Chavs are also interested. So that’s another one that will get away.

  19. Thanks GN5.
    NG- Gormely doesnt make too much himself from what I recall( I knew a dweeb that worked for him),its the case for most sculptors,they themselves cant make too much but get others to do it,but for some reason its not seen as design. And the actual artisans that make it for the artists are seen by the systems as lesser beings while the artist gets all the aclaim.Yet as you say,its the very fact that Michelangelo sculpted the David that blows our minds,or that he painted the Sistine chapel and we can still get excited after 600 yrs.No matter how much we try we cant put it in our pocket and forget it, as we can with the bed or tent.
    Steves right, our reaction and appreciation art can only ever be in the eye of the beholder (thats my reasoning for Stoke fans)yet still people try to deny it and anyone who says it tends to be dismissed or looked down upon.
    I think a lot(though not all) of contemporary art alienates the view and they feel kind of patronized,and who can blame them considering the jobs they do/skills they have and then they spy a banana shoved in a dog turd in a white room being honored and tip-toed around and some how the blurb on the wall gives some quasi-philosophical crépe pertaining to it being higher than us all. Trouble is its whether you judge art from cave painting onwards or from 1968.

    Anyway on to the Smeagles! I hope we have the Mert back, Gabs is still struggling a bit with Kos.I reckon that partnership will grow better as things go along. Jack had a good game for the U21 v Newcastle, did and no idea how he was v the Swans was he any good? I read the Gnabry goal was good but didnt see it.Could have done with Jack this season-he must be kacking it that he doesnt get another long termer and starts to look at the exit sign. Hoping the Spuds start messing up soon.Wont be quite the same without St.Totteringham.And the Spuds will be going on about it forever.

    Do you guys often or have posted in the past at PA?Seem to recall you might have done in the past.

  20. Good to see that the blog didn’t totally shut down whilst I was at the bar…. bit of an afternoon session 🙂

    GN5, good to see you popping in mate.

    Dweeb…. I comment on PA occasionally, I like George the blog administrator but I keep my comments fairly brief.

  21. Evening Arsagheddon Sufferers.

    I cant stand all that Arty Nonsense Bollocks stuff !……fcuk all that paint, brushes,canvas and easel shit !….my hands are made for wanking and once wanked over a canvas and exhibited it to see what sort of review I would get at the local WI garden party art collection !…………….I was listening too a couple of poncey local “experts”.

    “His work explores the relationship between Critical theory and multimedia experiences.
    With influences as diverse as Machiavelli and Frida Kahlo, new combinations are generated from both traditional and modern layers.
    The work seems fascinated by the ephemeral nature of the moment. What starts out as hope soon becomes corroded into a carnival of defeat, leaving only a sense of what could have been and the prospect of a new order.
    I look on as intermittent forms become transformed through diligent and personal practice and I`m left with an epitaph for the inaccuracies of our world”

    I interupted them and said…..” Fuck off you poncey cunts, it`s obvious to me that the artist is a wanker and one that through desperation of being an Arsenal supporter with no hope of ever winning the EPL under Kuntus Kroenke is delusionally seeing shimmering replicas become distorted through diligent and critical practice, the artist is left with a hymn to the edges of our future……………………basically living miles away from The Arse , he has become a long distance wanker !”

  22. Norfolk
    It’s another Arsenal Blog… Positively Arsenal, it was a break away group from ACLF, the problem is on their site is that you can’t say even a tiny criticism of Wenger… if you do you get jumped on, so I wouldn’t recommend you being a doomer going on there ha ha ha

  23. The good thing about GunnersoreArse is that all views can be expressed, debate is encouraged and all it needs is people to be able to handle and deal with contrasting views about the manager, the players and Kroenke ha ha ha

  24. Its Joseph Smith Im related to.My Mum met him.My Aunts still alive,but his son (Uncle Frank) died a few years back who would have know a thing or two. Its pretty scant on the forefathers,nobody seemed to talk too much.
    If I can grab a bit more information,I’ll certainly write something.

  25. Fuck !…………..all this poncey artist stuff is going to my head and in reading I agree with some of the things that have just been said, but the subaqueous qualities of the spatial relationships contextualize the exploration of montage elements.
    I was about to knock one out on some free porn site, but thought It’s difficult to enter into this wank because of how the optical suggestions of the negative space visually and conceptually activates the essentially transitional quality……………….shit !……..all this has made me hungry and fancy a burger !……………As an advocate of the Big Mac Aesthetic, I feel that the reductive quality of the gesture endangers the devious simplicity of the larger carcass.
    Let`s try and talk footie………..I think Elneny looks a good buy………..With regard to the issue of content, the mechanical man-marking of the Egyptian midfielder endangers the devious simplicity of the eloquence of the set pieces. !…………………………………help me you piss artist cunt !.

  26. Brilliant Le cock! ive been entertaining my mates for years with that horrible art speak.

    “but the subaqueous qualities of the spatial relationships contextualize the exploration of montage elements.”—-classic!

  27. of how the optical suggestions of the negative space visually and conceptually activates the essentially transitional quality……………….fucking classic from Coq monster

  28. Hahaha “69er and Dweeb…..and by trhe way welcome to the land of Arsenal Bollox and any other bollox, I suppose it all stems from missing Michael Thomas`s last minute winner at Anfield in `89 where I was too scared to wank on my own behind the Kop, but with the help of some scousers who helped me overcome my loneliness with some group therapy as they sang….” You`ll never wank alone!”
    As previously stated about my experiences in wood work art and my love of landscaping, through my work I attempt to examine the phenomenon of Felching as a methaphorical interpretation of both Picasso and Quantum Cunilingusism.
    What began as a personal journey of cuntism has translated into images of pasties and cock that resonate with Cornish people to question their own inbredness.
    My mixed media masturbations embody an idiosyncratic view of Jesus, yet the familiar imagery allows for a connection between Bin Laden, Zombies and beef curtains.
    My work is also inspired from Einstein who once said …………..’I`ve eaten her vertical bacon sandwhich, that’s some real knob rot Art.’
    I am also a recipient of a grant from Brixton Prison where I served time for stealing mugs and tie clips from the gift shop at The Emirates. I have exhibited in group shows at McCuntheads and The Tate, though not at the same time. I currently spend my time between my Toilet and Berlin.

  29. This blog is realy going up market, 🙂
    I can remember a kid in my infant school we were about seven or eight and we were being taught how to draw, i was doing matchstick men, and a kid i sat next to, was drawing a horse, I realised then that Artists are born with a photographic memory, as this kids horse had all the muscles and the sinews all in the right place, i sat in astonishment while he drew that horse, and although i was very young, it could have been a photo.

    Whether that is a gift i dont know, as this kid couldn’t kick a ball and i could, it seems that we all have a gift of some sort, but its shared out, Maybe thats why they are bundling everybody together and in the end we will all be Einsteins..

  30. Good morning you lonely bastards

    ha ha ha there won’t be a Pre Match this morning because we don’t play until 4pm tomorrow, I was sure our game was this afternoon…. oh well

  31. Arsene Wenger has said that our spending will be light this summer, He said that we need players to strengthen the squad but that we have to rely on some of our youngsters. He stated that they will be working hard to find players but they are not easy to find. He also said that our youngsters have shown this season that they are good enough and that they will be stronger next season.

    He also stated that it doesn’t matter if Tottenham finish above us this season as we have finished above them for the last 18 years. He said that Leicester have had a magnificent season, and deserve their position. He stated that Leicester have only lost 3 times this season and 2 of those losses was against us, and should they go on to the end of the season unbeaten they will deserve it..

    Reading what he had to say, has made me think that top 4 is his only goal. and at the end of the day it is an acheivement to keep on finishing high up the league, but for a supporter who follows his side hoping for a title spot , it does sound as if not a lot of effort will be given to put better players in positions.

    Arsenal will lose a few players at the end of the season, The 3 definite players may not be so definite after reading Wenger’s thoughts. as if he does not intend to enter the market surely he must either promote players from the under 21’s or take back loaner’s or actually extend players contracts..

    Arsenal don’t seem to mind when players have long term injuries, they have shown that they will make do with what they have rather than buy replacements. Now that is quite understandable if you have no intentions of winning leagues, as the most important thing is to receive Champions League money.. Champions league money signals a successful season, spend less than you make and the football side of the business is holding its own.

    As Champions league qualification is not something that you can depend on, i would imagine that should that money be won, it would not go down as money expected , so would ultimately be used for small player signings. Where the big spenders will find players at high prices we will be looking to improve our squad from promising youngsters for the future and using improved players from our existing resources.

    Next season we will have Cazorla Wilshere Gnabry Jenkinson and Czezesney back plus a few others, our natural wastage will leave or be allowed to look for new clubs, which may bring in some small amounts, Of course there are some who may want to look for greener grass, so that would also bring a bit to add to the funds.

    Arsenal over the last few years have not had to ask for any money from the club, as we have been operating on solely the money the footballing side of the business have made, so this season we may just see a continuation of what has gone before. If this is the case, then the football side of the business is self supporting and doing a magnificent job.

    Arsenal may never win the Premier league or Champions League but they will continue to be a Premier league team who look likely to finish fairly high every season. !8 years in a row is testament that the system works, or it does while Arsene Wenger is Managing, things could possibly change should he retire but not necessarily for the better’

    Today’s game is important, as the success of other clubs in Europe could have a detrimental effect on Qualifying for Cl, so second place may just have to be fought for ,a little bit harder than first thought.. .

  32. Morning Steve

    If City beat the Chavs today they will go one point above us, our game against Palace will be made harder because they still need a coupleof points to avoid the relegation zone.

  33. Steve

    If Wengers Project Youth does the business next season in the PL I will be the first to congratulate him, but we’ve seen this before and it hasn’t worked out.

  34. I wrote that comment a bit tongue in cheek NB. Arsenal football club are a fucking tight outfit. In my mind the supporter is charged high prices and are coining in fortunes but are not giving the supporter what they are paying for.

    While top four finishes is bloody good , its not the holy grail, We are supposedly bidding 25 million for this guy Granite but a few clubs have their eye on him, why the fuck are we bidding for a midfielder for when we have a fucking load of them. We know that should he spend that kind of money then we will only get another Giroud

    Our priorities should be for a 30 goal a season striker or back up CD what the fuck do we want with another Midfielder

  35. For sure, I thought he liked attacking play, but our guys run out of steam when they reach the edge of the box.

    Now as you know NB, i can moan for England , but fuck me mate, we need to sort our defence out, and our forwards. Surly it is easier than he makes it seem.

  36. He needs a replacement for Arteta or Rosicky….. but a new CB would be nice, BFG won’t get many games next season. Perhaps he thinks Chambers can do the job, who knows? As for Strikers, they are going to be hard to find with everyone and their dog looking to buy the best.

  37. Why not NB, if the weather is still good there nothing better than a sherbet when you have nothing better to do. Windy and cold here bit of Arctic conditions at the mo, was going fishing as i have some new gear, but fuck sitting freezing my nuts off, leave that for when the sun comes out. Must be a game i can catch later. :).

  38. Bonjour Soixante-Neuf, just a quickie, Palace got knocked out of the cup ages ago, but Watford are still in, now who did they knock out in the last round? 😀

  39. Mea culpa, 69er.

    Have a great day, I’ll be cheering on my local side when they play Sunderland at lunch time. That’s if Carrow Road hasn’t sunk. It’s hardly stopped raining here for the last 24 hours.

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