Sports Equipment and Football’s souls survival


We didn’t hear the roar of the crowd at first, we felt it. It was a heavy vibration on the ribcage, the shockwave of a distant explosion. We saw Cheick Tiote’s boot flash, like the muzzle of a rifle. We saw the ball whipping through the air, always curling away from poor Wojciech Szczesny, divine retribution for having a name that no-one can spell. Then nothing. An eternity of silence, the contradiction of what our eyes were reporting and what our brains were insisting couldn’t have happened. It was Schrodinger’s Goal. It existed and yet it didn’t exist. It couldn’t. And then the roof of St James Park exploded into the sky like the end of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ (trailer here).

In the press box, chins fell to the floor. A few souls, more professional than I could ever hope to be, diligently continued to type as the celebrations erupted around them. Newcastle’s head of PR sat agape, hands pressed to the side of her face, wondering what on earth this week could throw at her next. In the rafters, the Arsenal fans were like a Lowry, distant stick figures frozen in time. In front of us, Joey Barton charged at coach John Carver and leapt into his arms, the pair of them tumbling to the floor at the feet of a distinctly unamused Arsene Wenger. We suggest you to see these list of best football gloves.

It should have ruined my day. For a journalist, 4-0 leads are, to all intents and purposes, an afternoon off. I’d finished my match report after 49 minutes. Thanks to Abou Diaby, lines like, “Andy Carroll has left town. And hope has left with him,” will never see the light of day. Hope, of course, hadn’t left at all. She’d just nipped out to the shops for women’s golf clubs or something like that. I didn’t get any lines like that in the new version, frantically slapped out in the space of two minutes and filed on the full time whistle. In fact, thinking back, I’m fairly sure that some of the words I used weren’t even real. And yet I’m still not annoyed.

Because for all the greed, treachery and corruption, for all the nastiness of the modern game, it’s clear that something of football’s soul remains intact. It still has the power to incapacitate us with shock. It may take a little recovery time, but even Arsenal fans will have to acknowledge that something special happened at St James Park this weekend.

QUOTE – “We went out there and played like lions.” Alan Pardew on the definitive game of two halves.