The Madjeski stadium is an intimate old-fashioned friendly stadium and one in which I saw the Arsenal notch up a well deserved 2-5 victory. Regardless of the fact that Reading gave Carzola, Wilshere and Arteta lashings of time on the ball the performance and indeed the team selection was effective and invigorating.
En route I saw the number plate CG11 AFC and was pleased as punch to see Charlie George behind the wheel on his way to the ebulient away section. I was also pleasantly surprised when stumbling upon the ‘Jazz Café’ that is part of the Mad Stad. It looked like a fine example of old school club aesthetics with its proud display of previous acts including Alexander O’Neill, Shakatak, Average White Band and The Stylistics. If only the Emirates had an eighties style Jazz Funk nightclub attached to the Clock End, happy days would ensue of that I am sure.
This was the first away game that I had travelled to in a while and I was nestled among the home support with my cousins who are life long Reading supporters. Where I sat enjoying the five-goal haul was adjacent to the tremendous Arsenal away support. The banter between the opposing supporters was both good-natured and at times extremely funny.
Such was the inevitability of victory at 0-4 that gallows humour came into play. Each Arsenal chant was met with a witty rejoinder from the Royals faithful.
Some examples being
“F*cked on the telly, you’re getting f*cked on the telly”- Arsenal
“F*cked on the telly, we’re getting f*cked on the telly”-Reading
“4-0 and you f*cked I up, 4-0 and you f*cked it up”-Arsenal
“Bradford and you f*cked it up”-Reading
And the best exchange
“Chamakh scored 2, Chamakh scored 2, how shit must you be? Chamakh scored 2”-Arsenal
“Brian, Brian, sign him up, Brian, Sign him up”-Reading
To watch an Arsenal team that looked balanced and reflected the best players available was pleasing and I hope that this performance makes it tough to tinker with the starting eleven. The result was much needed and in a Premier League where you have to face the good the bad and the ugly, three points are three points.
My only regret from a thoroughly enjoyable away day was that I wasn't able to visit the Jazz Cafe: now that would have rounded things off perfectly.