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Matchday Experience At Bradford against Arsenal

Bradford City beating Arsenal will without a doubt go down in both club’s histories for drastically contrasting reasons. The primary reason being that Bradford were no less than 65 places below Arsenal in the English league pyramid at the start of play (Bradford 4th in league 2, Arsenal 7th in the Premier League).

In the build up to this match there was a strange feeling between the home fans that something magical was on the cards. Not many fans were willing to rule their team out.

I was reminded of the scale of this quarter-final Capital One Cup clash by the presence of Sky Sports; a sight Bradford fans almost never see. The gulf in resources was also made apparent by the temporary shack-like structure that had been erected for Sky to work in. Whereas the Emirates stadium possesses an area specifically designed for TV.

From the outset of this match, Arsenal fans felt they were here to pick up a routine win. These feelings were enhanced when the announcement of the starting line-ups was made, revealing that manager Arsene Wenger had gone with his strongest possible line-up.

When the game kicked off, explicit chants from the 4,000-strong Arsenal following filled the stadium as Gunners fans mocked the city, citing their overwhelming urges at wanting to leave.

The fans followed these chants with “You only came to see the Arsenal” chants. In part these chants had substance as the stadium had all but met its capacity with a match featuring an attendance of 24,000. The club’s usual attendance is 10,000, which is impressive for a League Two side. But this game’s attendance was their record attendance for 60 years, surpassing any of their Premier League attendances.

The final score was, without a doubt, a resounding victory for Bradford’s team, which cost approximately £7,500. Arsenal’s team cost £65 million to build.

Bradford’s victory against Arsenal shows the true romance of the English game and what is possible for any underdog in any sport.

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  1. MG

    December 15, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Credit to Bradford but excuse me while I nitpick. Arsenal were sadly bound to lose. Underdogs Bradford were, but ‘true romance’ of the game? Regrettably we aren’t playing with the dominance of United.. An upset, yes. I’m not delusional, but Bradford were bound to win. You faced a very soft and very beatable Arsenal side, not the Invincibles. THAT would truly be underdogging/romantic.

  2. Yespage

    December 14, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I wish the US would institute such cups for College Sports. Imagine a Division III side playing home to a Duke or UNC for a College Basketball Tourney. Sure, they’d probably lose, but the chance is what makes it so inviting.

  3. Scrumper

    December 14, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Giant killing is what keeps this game alive. Not the pampered superstars with their handbags crying every time someone touches them, but grit and hard work, week in week out in the lower reaches of the game. Well done Bradford! Outstanding stuff.

    • Sammy

      December 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      Excellently said. Could not agree more.

  4. bradfordlad

    December 14, 2012 at 7:33 am

    In my excitement I forgot the semis are a 2 game decider.

  5. bradfordlad

    December 14, 2012 at 7:30 am

    WELL WELL WELL……..Mr Wengar…….we wooped your boys, we wooped your boys.
    Im hoping for a city home draw next, against chelsea or l33ds….however a home draw against the swans would be cool…then a final against either chelsea or l33ds.
    Bring it on

  6. jtm371

    December 14, 2012 at 5:43 am

    great article this is why we watch and this is why the matches are played because anything can happen.i thought i read the Bantams starting XI cost 7700 and AFC starting XI cost 65 million.a Bantam/Swans final would be epic their would be no loser in that final.

  7. IanCransonsKnees

    December 13, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Fantastic. What it’s all about and shows there’s life beyond the Premier League. Here’s one for all the Arsenal knobs. There was a Bradford player on the pitch who took a 50% pay cut to play for Bradford to £225 a week. Compare that to wasters like Chamakh and Arshavin. No wonder you’re angry!

  8. Sammy

    December 13, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Well-written article. While I’m an Arsenal fan, I must admit that this result did shine a new light onto football. Hope more of the same continues to happen, especially in the Premier League. Then, I’m sure it would become much more enjoyable to watch.

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