Frank Stapleton was one of my favourite players. I loved the guy, great in the air, two good feet, never stopped working for the team, the complete centre-forward.
Many Arsenal fans had doubts about him when he first came into the side as a raw-boned 18/19 year old but I’d seen him in the Stiffs and Youths. There was something about him that I taken to. He had a determination about him, a desire to work at his game and to make the very best of the gifts that he had, and I admired him for that…..
Yes Frankie Stapleton was a bit of a hero to me.
Then 12 months after Liam Brady de-camped to Serie A, Frank deserted us for Newton Heath, and from that day I despised him….
So when, during the 1981-82 season, Frank ‘The Manc’ Stapleton rolled up with his new team, I eagerly anticipated the home crowds reaction.
I had a grandstand view upstairs in the West Stand [can’t remember how we got those tickets] and witnessed the most poisonous atmosphere I can ever remember at an Arsenal game.
The frustration of losing our two top players in successive seasons, whilst our Board sat on their hands, buying virtually nobody to replace them, [yes it sounds familiar] was vented on Stapleton that day. Although he must have expected some grief, he actually looked quite stunned at the hatred directed at him.
David O’Leary even motioned to the North Bank to tone it down but to no avail and I felt after the game, a sense of pay-back for his perceived treachery….
Looking back now, a bit older and wiser I wonder what good did it do?
Imagine if all that passion had been used to get behind the team that day, maybe Arsenal would have won instead of drawing…?
Were the Arsenal players also affected by the atmosphere…? They certainly seemed to lack something from their game that day.
And so we come to today…..
Did all the poison directed at Adebayor at WasteLands a couple of years back, help our team???
He certainly had the last laugh results wise!
How will our players benefit when Arabia City turn up at The Grove, if all the focus is on some buck-toothed podgy Frenchman???
Personally all I’m thinking about is beating them and chanting ‘What a waste of money’ at the end….
Why give Nasri the satisfaction and the motivation to put one over us, as Adebayor managed? I’d rather we all ignored the creep and focused 150% on getting behind our team and really hurting Nasri the best way, by taking 3 points off of them…..
That in my view is the priority and the real payback…
Written by allezkev