Category Archives: Photos

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

 

ThierryHenry-IMG_7347YokoHaraoka

Henry Meets the NYC Arsenal Supporters

Every Thursday we here at 7amkickoff bring you photos of Gooners by Gooners. Sometimes this article will be pictures of you and your friends traveling to see Arsenal play Barcelona, sometimes it will be Highbury memories, and sometimes it will be a group of you watching the match in a pub in Shanghai. The point is to share the experience of being a Gooner with other Gooners.

Today we have a special treat.

The Vice President Arsenal America and head of the NYC Arsenal Supporters club (follow them on Twitter and Facebook) , Kurtis Powers, along with Josh Templeton and Brett Chase organized an extraordinary meeting between NY Arsenal Supporters and Arsenal club legend Thierry Henry. Kurtis’ idea was simple: gather together some Arsenal supporters and welcome Thierry Henry back to New York after his successful loan in London. Of course if doing that meant he might get a few more people out to see Henry play in the Red Bulls new arena every other weekend, then all the better. After all, as he puts it “the legend plays in our backyard.”

The event took place on March 25th which was the Red Bulls’ home opener against Colorado Rapids. The day started at the NY Arsenal supporters’ home pub, The Blind Pig, where folks got rosy cheeked before they made their way to the stadium. Once there they were treated to a game in which the aforementioned legend scored a brace to help lift his team to a 4-1 win. And then, after the crowds cleared, and Titi had a chance to get changed, those Arsenal fans were treated to two hours of Henry’s time.

For $25.

That’s what makes Arsenal so special. Modern athletes often can’t make time to sign one autograph, much less spend two hours with fans, after a game, answering questions and signing shirts. The love that the players feel for the supporters of this club is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced in all my time following sports. But also there’s the fact that Kurtis, Josh, Brett and photographers Yoko Haraoka and Donna Guerreros, put in countless hours of their time in order to treat 700 Arsenal fans to one of the most memorable moments of their lives.

That’s what it means to be a supporter of The Arsenal.

Getting cozy at the Blind Pig before the match.

And before you know it, out into the street to make their way to the stadium.

Songs were sung. Many, many songs.

Even during the match!

In America we are allowed to drink and watch football matches at the same time.

Arsenal supporters come from all over the world, even London.

To cheer on their hero and see him score.

And after the game, they were happy to stay behind…

And Kurtis was lounging…

A moment of levity before the Legend shows up!

Fans get a sense that Henry might be making his way to them

And as soon as he appears the energy sweeps across the 700 gathered Arsenal fans.

Thierry Henry, Theirry Henry, Thierry Henry!

Never wash that hand again!

Or that arm, leg or any body part that touched him.

“Yes, I wish you would come every week.”

Henry’s trademark smile

“What do you think of Tottenham?”

Just look at that face! How could you love Pires more than Henry?

And then there is the ritual “handing over of the baby” and Thierry moves toward the crowd

where he is presented with the baby so that it may be anointed with his presence. Ego te baptizo in nomine Patrick, et Arsene, et Thierry Henry.

Oh Rocky Rocky! Rocky Rocky Rocky Rocky Rocastle!

Let the signing begin!

PICK ME!

What a moment.

The whole family is there.

But all good things must come to an end.

Qq