It’s always nice to take a trip down memory lane, especially as we live in such a cynical era for the beautiful game. Instead of drifting away from the past we should be embracing it and celebrating it, especially when it comes to Arsenal Football Club, as there’s a lot to be happy about from years gone by.
Today, we’re going to take a quick look at a pretty important game that went down 13 years ago today: Arsenal vs Aston Villa. These two historic English football clubs squared off back in 2006 at Emirates Stadium. The reason why that’s so important is because it was the first Premier League game that had been played at the brand new stadium, following the move over from Highbury.
The start of something special
A second half header from Olof Mellberg seemed to put Villa on track for a shock three points, only for Gilberto Silva to pop up with the mother of all important equalisers. While it wasn’t quite the start that many Arsenal fans had been expecting or hoping for when the move to the Emirates was first announced, they were still able to celebrate the first of many goals – from a pretty unlikely source too.
Now, in the present day, the Emirates is a bit more of a fortress for the club.
At the time, Theo Walcott was just starting to come through the team as a youngster – with Arsene Wenger having the following comments on his progress.
“I know a lot is expected from him but I am pleased.
“He had that sharpness that we missed and was dangerous on the left flank. He was involved in the goal and his overall performance was very positive.
“It was a typical beginning of the season game where the players were not completely ready physically, added to the fact that many of them played 90 minutes in midweek.”
Villa boss Martin O’Neill, as you can probably imagine, was more than happy to bask in the glory of his side’s point.
“I’m still trying to get to know my players, but I thought they were terrific it’s a great result.
“It is a big boost to confidence. If we had been hammered it would have looked like a long hard season.
“I cannot do anything about the expectation but we are not going to become a really decent team overnight.”
What is your favourite memory from the Emirates?