I went to the Emirates yesterday, and this happened.
Most obvious questions out the way first: yes, he is that good-looking and yes, he is much taller than anticipated. It was the final of the Indesit Football Talents competition, in which people who had been selected for their ballin’ skillz played in a little tournament on the Emirates pitch in a vast range of different weather conditions. We had brilliant sunshine, to heaving rain, to actual hailstones. What a merry month of May we are having this year.
I was invited by Jess from We Are Social. Jess told me he would be there, but I didn’t think he would… you know, be there be there. Like actually be THERE, next to ME, at a table in the DIAMOND CLUB, TALKING. Bobby was there as the coach of the Arsenal team (the other teams were Gianfranco Zola’s PSG, Jean-Pierre Papin’s Shakhtar Donetsk and Daniele Massaro’s AC Milan.) Milan won and Arsenal’s stand-out player was a girl whose name I forget, but she had really nice hair. Just like Bobby.
A group of us (myself, MarrsioFootball, TheGoonerholic and keshani17 among others) got to chat to him after Arsenal had played their games (Arsenal came fourth, bad times.) Jess had met him before and was so ridiculously cool with him, it was unreal. I was less cool, but I still got to sit next to him, so whatev. Anyway, I hadn’t thought of it as being a blogging thing really, until he pulled up a chair next to me, so I didn’t record our conversation. However, these were the highlights:
- His least favourite player to have played against was Gary Neville
- Arsene Wenger is his ‘second Dad’ and that while he might be a great coach, as a person he is ‘amazing.’
- He is not thinking about going into football management at the moment, but if he were to do so, he’d prefer to be second in command
- He played five-a-side with Jens Lehmann recently, and he (Jens) was not very good
- … he has however forgiven him for the Champions League final in 2006
We also spoke about the past weekend of football and his happiness for Patrick. He said he hoped RvP stays. He said that more than anything, Arsenal was always like a family and that it still is. I asked him what he thought of Tottenham. While I wasn’t exactly expecting the response we get from Carl Jenkinson during a warm-up, I also wasn’t expecting this: “I love Tottenham… Tottenham are my team.” So shocked was I that Bobby had to comfort me (he touched my arm, it was beautiful.) It later transpired that the reason for this was that he always scored against them. And just as quickly, Bobby was forgiven.
He posed for photographs with all of us, and also had many taken of him inadvertently… I am getting the camera on my phone ready in the second one, not rudely texting or Tweeting! Once the tournament had finished, we all went on a tour of the stadium. It was an absolutely brilliant day, and thank you so much to Jess and We Are Social for inviting me. I never thought I’d be sitting around having a laugh with anyone who played in our Invincibles side, like, ever… maybe in ten years’ time I’ll be kicking back reminiscing with Thierry or Thomas. A girl can dream.
Here are some photos of the highlights of the day. Part Two of the End of Season blogs will be up soon, but I felt Bobby more important.