So my day is fairly easy to plan today. Bit of Pie and Mash (2 and 1, thanks for asking) in Manzies in Walthamstow, off to the Royal George in Euston for a few pints before getting the Football Special train to Liverpool Lime Street at 15:33. Then a few more beers before getting a cab to Goodison Park.
Fair to play the club over recent years. We bash them a lot, and we always moan about TV companies not caring about away fans when it comes to scheduling.
The re-scheduling of Preston v Arsenal in The FA Cup a perfect example. Just one direct train home after the game, and it will be a bit of a push to catch it. Might even have to put a jog on.
Over recent years, the club has, where possible, chartered a train for fans.
Now of course, this is not always possible, as it is up to the train companies. The need to put on the train and the staff. Not only the driver and trolley-dollies, but staff working the signals of the tracks, the crossroads, and staff at the destination station to keep it open.
With Unions getting involved in overtime, it is not cheap, it is not easy. If the club are unable to put the train on, it is not without trying and not Arsenal’s fault.
On this occasion, the train back into Euston gets in at 2:14am. 45 minutes after the station officially closes. It might not seem that hard to keep it open for 45 minutes, nut the logistics of cleaning and repairing a station for the next day are well scheduled down to the second. So fair play to the club for putting this on.
On top of the train, the club have taken a new step of also putting on coaches to and from Liverpool Lime Street to Goodison Park. On the way to the ground, it does not make a big difference. Cabs are easy to get and many, including myself, won’t want to get to the ground 2 hours before the game. We will get the cab.
But the club are also putting a coaches on back to the station, meaning that the 45 minute walk (whilst hoping an empty taxi comes past) does not need to happen this year. A coach back to the station, maybe time for a few more beers, then that 3 hour train journey back to Euston.
Getting from Euston to Walthamstow is another story. Night bus or Black Cab? Decide that on the evening.
Hopefully the fans loyalty for turning up to a game in Liverpool on a Tuesday night 12 days before Christmas will be rewarded by the players.
Arsenal, in the days of greed, for once, with the trains and coaches, we must give credit where credit is due. Keep it up.