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I Watched Arsenal Blow A 4-0 Lead Sat In The Newcastle End

I Watched Arsenal Blow A 4-0 Lead Sat In The Newcastle End

"Feels like a bit of an anticlimax lads," I say with a punch-me-in-the-face grin. "All the way up here and it's 4-0 at half-time."

"Aye," my mate replies, looking at his beer, wondering whether to throw it over me or drink it. I sip mine. It's delicious.

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A pint of urine would have tasted sweet at this point. Arsenal are four goals to the good at St James' Park and I have the pleasure of sitting in the Gallowgate End among the Newcastle United fans to witness their misery.

This win will put us two points behind Manchester United with 13 games to go in the Premier League.

Then, three minutes into the second half, Abou Diaby gets sent off for grabbing Joey Barton by the scruff of the neck, after the little warmonger lunged dangerously into a tackle.

No problem, we're 4-0 up, this is Newcastle. No need to worry. It's aaaalll ggoooddddd. Oh, 4-1, Barton penalty. Nothing more than a consolation goal. Wait a minute, my other Arsenal supporting mate stands up and claps the Newcastle goal.

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"What the f**k are you doing?" I politely ask. "Fitting in," he replies. Now the mob around me have heard my TOWIE-laced accent. They know an imposter is behind enemy lines.

Oh christ, 4-2. Leon Best. It's happening isn't it? This is actually f**king happening? The Newcastle fans are full of beer and high on hope. Arsenal are crumbling, the players are shrinking, the inevitable tsunami of pain is hurtling towards me.

4-3. F**k off. Barton from the spot again. I stay seated as the Toon Army break into a performance of West End show Stomp. My Newcastle supporting mate, shakes my arm, laughing with mischievous expectation. He knows what's coming.

"If you score again," I say. "You had better stay away from me."

And they score again. Powered by the momentum and emotion swirling around the stadium Cheik Tiote sends a headed clearance back into the bottom left-hand corner of the net with a swing of his left boot. 4-4.

My mate steers clear, but two women sitting behind me go full Martin Keown Battle of Old Trafford and jump on my back like I'm a cowering Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Tiote runs towards the fans. Alan Pardew pumps his fists. The ground literally convulses. It's the kind of reverberation that shakes the TV camera as it tries to keep pace with the delirious goalscorer.

My Gooner mate is up clapping again. WHAT THE F**K ARE YOU DOING!?!

Inject it into my veins - and when I say it, I mean the substance they use for lethal injections.


Newcastle nearly take all three points, but thankfully I'm spared that final kick in the balls. The lads force me to go out, despite my unfiltered agony.

Later that evening I see some of the Newcastle players (details of this night are hazy... I was trying to drink myself into oblivion) at a bar. They strut into their own private room, which soon attracts a queue of would-be guests. And yes that queue is populated with attractive women. I take another gulp of beer.

Had Arsenal won, we would have been right behind Manchester United in the title race. Instead, we ended the game with 10 men and two points dropped. F**k you football.

Topics: Football, Premier League, Arsenal, Newcastle United

Ben Welch

Ben is the senior brand marketing manager for SPORTbible. In a former life he was a journalist, writing for the likes of FourFourTwo, Men's Health, The Daily Mirror, Eurosport, Sky Sports, Eurosport and World Soccer. He once played in a pre-season friendly for League Two Swindon Town, having previously played at Sunday League level. It didn't go well.

 

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