Not going to trust the ESPN signal anymore in the A&E, (not accident & emergency, no no, that could have come later). It was the Adam & Eve pub, 77a Wells St, Fitzrovia, near Oxford Street. It might be a lucky place for me to watch Arsenal but finding out at 5.15pm that they couldn’t get a signal was unlucky. Luckily I thought of a pub near Shaftesbury Avenue called The Golden Lion, 51 Dean St, soho and headed there. Yes, they had the big game on, not the West Ham one they were showing at the Adam. So that was the good news.
The bad news was there was a loud obnoxious ‘tough’ drunk shouting his mouth like a Martin Johnson-look-a-like with Tourettes syndrome. ‘Slob’ he kept shouting. You should I was thinking!
He was cheering on Fulham and then was singing ‘Spurs are on their way to…’ Guess what? It wasn’t Wembley. It was an anti-Semitic song. So there you have it. Racism is alive and well in football. And like the pub landlord may have thought, the football authorities may struggle to stamp it out.
If only something or someone could have stamped this guy out as when I went to the toilet he stared aimlessly ahead and shouted ‘pussy’. I felt his alcohol-fuelled breath on my cheek, although he was at least a yard away. Before that one of his two sidekicks has said ‘Sasha Bob’ very loudly in my direction as I walked past.
Now a couple of minutes later as I returned from the toilet, Mr Tourettes shouted the same name as I walked past although he didn’t look at me. ‘Sasha Bob’ is that me?’ I asked. He didnt reply. He stared ahead presumably at the TV screen he was shouting at. Maybe Sasha Bob is Bobby Zamora. Maybe ‘pussy’ was directed at one of the players.
With the score at 0-0 still I elected to leave. Not point chancing to luck in a pub with 3 bullies who would have to pass me on the way out as I was seated by the exit. I just had visions of another verbal exchange leading to something more and decided it wasn’t worth the risk. I’d catch up on the game on Arsenal Player. You lose the ‘live’ buzz that way, but if this is buzzing I don’t want any of it.
Because of the bullies I missed two Vermaelen goals, one at the wrong end, but not a classic game, luckily. The motto is no more watching games in pubs!