Category Archives: Photos

Arsenal v. Wigan Photoblog: singing in the rain

Quick note, Ras said that the rain was pouring buckets in his section and he didn’t want to get his camera soaked. As a result he was only able to get a few snaps before the match. Still, they are pretty neat and feature a famous shop called Piebury Corner and their amazing pies plus a few shots of the Arsenal fans trudging in to the stadium in the rain.

That’s also part of being a fan, though. It’s not all away days drenched in sun sailing lazily down the Thames to Craven Cottage. Sometimes its just pies with friends and soggy walks up the match.

A match Arsenal won 4-1!

Piebury Corner

Pre-funking at Piebury Corner.Pie and a pint, it’s traditional, though these are made with quality ingredients and named after famous Arsenal players. If you ever get to London, stop there and get a pie.

Rocky

Or a premier sausage roll! Like the Rocky Rocastle.

friends

Always go with friends, it’s more fun!

pie

That’s the works right there folks. Making me hungry.

early

Early crowd… sparse.

guns

People always mass around the cannons.

crowd

Pouring down rain, people still smiling!

bumbershoot

Crowds are getting thicker.

Henry

The King watches over his people.

Right, that’s it for today. Tonight (tomorrow in Britain) I will publish Arsenal Letters’ match preview. Until then!

Qq

Photoblog: QPR Away, into the sunset

This is Loftus road, impressive

The always impressive Loftus Road Stadium springs forth from the soil like an office building.

defense

Inside it’s almost a traditional stadium: note the poles to help obstruct views. This is traditional.

kickoff

Kickoff doesn’t start until someone kicks Arteta.

Wenger

It’s already 1-0 and Wenger looks on as…

rosicky-Nacho

The boys come off for half-time. Now here’s a weird thing. I’m sure that Ras didn’t intend to do this but almost every photo has an Arsenal player with their head down. Rosicky in particular was very Emo.

Koz-ArtetaMaybe this is just how they look serious. Set to the task at hand as it were.

bac

Except Sagna, he’s never emo!

wilshere-jenksJack and Jenks warm up at half time.

fancyRas captures this guy in the stands.

booger-cinco-upside-downAnd then this brilliant photo. So the guy on the left is picking a booger. The dude in the middle is playing one of those noisemakers while wearing his quatro de Mayo outfit, the Moroccan flag is hung with care, upside down, and there’s a child watching the game, also upside-down.

Mertesacker

Meanwhile, Mertesacker keeps Bobby Zamora in his pocket.

Emo-Koz

And Emo-Koz contemplates whether Sartre was actually right, do all human beings suck?

Emosicky

“There are some philosophers, who imagine we are every moment intimately conscious of what we call our SELF; that we feel its existence and its continuance in existence…. For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, or heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe anything but the perception.” contemplates Rosicky.

TheoKick

Theo, right at the moment before he kicks the ball. Rosicky, still pondering the Hume quote above.

Rosicky

NO, HUME, I reject your perception of a perception phenomenology in favor of a radical notion of self in contemplation.

Jacksicky

The match ends 1-0 to the Arsenal and Jack comes over to cheer Rosicky up.

imperious

Koscielny has snapped out of the funk as well and he’s now imperious!

Three lions

Arsenal’s Three Lions applaud the away fans.

Sunset

And Ras rides off into the sunset.

Fulham v. Arsenal photoblog: a beautiful day out

As some of you know, I’ve been trying to find a way to get fan photos from Arsenal matchdays on the blog for about two years. I started with a Flickr group but that sort of died out over time and I really didn’t know any of the members so communication was weird. And I was able to get a few special episodes, like this one where Thierry Henry met with the NYC Arsenal supporter’s group. But I never could find the right person/people and I’ve had to shelve the idea for a while.

Last time I was in Europe I managed to meet up with one of the better known Arsenal fan photogs, one of the Tollington Gooners, a cat who goes by the name Ras. You may have seen him from time to time on twitter (he tweets @RasDamAFC) and on Flickr. If you’ve ever met him you’d know that he’s a giant man with a soft voice and a undying passion for the Arsenal. His knowledge of world football is impressive and he was one of the first to change my mind on bringing David Moyes to Arsenal. He also brings a camera with him whenever he gets to go to Arsenal matches which sadly isn’t “all of them” and after some convincing, he agreed to share his photos with all of us. And I am over the moon that we can add this new occasional feature to the 7amkickoff family.

But before we get to the meat, a couple of words about these photos. First, the stewards at all these matches are told to stop people from taking photos during the match, especially if you have a large camera or what they consider “professional” gear. It’s a stupid rule. Fan photos like these promote the game and the club because they give people like my American and Asian readers a glimpse into the pre-match fun and what the atmosphere is like at the games.

Worse, many of the big cameras are only nominally better than small point-and-shoot digital cameras these days and the same stewards almost never mess with people shooting photos or video with those little cameras.

All of this is to say that, generally speaking, it’s very difficult for fan photographers to get any action shots of the game. In fact, any in game action at all from a fan’s lens is a special treat.

Anyway, I’ve probably already spoken too much. Let’s get to the photos!

boat

As is customary, Fulham away always features a boat ride down the Thames. Saturday was a sunny Spring day and that only made it better.

tower

Not “London Bridge” the other one…

tower-bus

TOWER BRIDGE! And with a Red Bus…

shard

Not far from “The Shard” which is… uhh… a thing.

guns

I guess they park gun-boats near it. Do you see the guy at the top? Must be a Gooner.

Friends

No Arsenal match would be complete without friends. I know two of the people in this picture, both Tollington Gooners and good people!

human

I have no idea who this human is but she has a nice shirt.

Akhil

Sun, beer, friends, Arsenal — Not necessarily in that order!

buzzed

Sometimes it gets silly.

swiss

Really, one of the nicest guys you’ll meet. Offered me a ride… TO WALES.

bridgehouse

Getting close to Craven Cottage, other Arsenal fans are nearby! It’s like the British version of Lake Havasu? Uhh… not quite but still looks like a diabolical good time.

gates

Arsenal fans are all gathered at their entrance.

crowd

Anticipation before kickoff. You can see the tension on people’s faces. So much at stake.

Fulham

Classic football ground. That picture could have been taken in 1970, if not for the electronic hoardings.

Arteta

13 minutes in and Sidwell sees red for a nasty challenge on Arteta.

Caz

Santi Cazorla, five foot one, five foot two with the mohawk. Cazorla is one of the smallest players in the League, he’s also one of the best. Imagine what he’s had to deal with to get this good, stay this good, and (knock wood) avoid major injury. A tough little player with two magical feet. If anyone deserves the PFA its him.

Enoh

Enoh was Fulham’s pint-sized midfield defender. I thought he had a good game, despite the constant fouling!

goal

Arsenal celebrate after the goal. Mertesacker went over and collected Walcott. Great camaraderie.

Giroud-red

Half time comes and goes and the next bit of action from Arsenal, is Giroud’s red card. The Fulham fans don’t look too interested, really.

Jack-Hands

Another fantastic photo here. What is referee Andre Marriner saying to Jack? Why does it look like Jack is shoving him out of the way? WHY IS WENGER IN HIS WINTER COAT?

Jack-naked

Jack comes over to the away fans. Shirtless, natch.

jack-necked

“Why does he have his shirt off, dad?” my 5 year old just asked me.

BFG

I love the look on Sagna’s face. Priceless.

And that’s it for today. Please let me know what you think of the new feature in the comments below. Also, THANKS RAS, YOU ROCK!

Bonus: Do you know who the guy in the middle is?

Chris