How I Got That Kit
How I Got That Kit
Mistakes Were Made
To my detriment, I can be a touch sentimental. It’s why I cried when I totalled my first car (RIP Fiona; gone but never forgotten). It’s why I have a closet full of old t-shirts I can’t rid myself of. And it’s why I have the worst Arsenal kit you’ve ever seen.
As is the case with many mistakes I’ve made in my life, this one begins with me playing a FIFA Manager Mode career. I believe I was playing as St. Pauli (if you haven’t heard of them, you should definitely check them out), doing my customary mining of Arsenal youngsters to fill out my squad after selling pretty much everyone I could get away with while still having a full-ish team. You know, like a professional. I ended up with a couple 60-ish rated youths: Hector Bellerin, Chuba Akpom, and Yaya Sanogo.
You can probably see where this is going.
I was especially excited about Sanogo. I’d caught his performance during some youth World Cup (under-23s, I think?) which France won in penalties. It turned out that my excitement was warranted. He scored something like three billion goals for me over the course of the few seasons I played, got us promoted, and was the 1. BuLi’s top scorer forever and ever for all eternity. And since FIFA mimics the real world of soccer about as well as Michael Cera would play Shaft, he never moved onto a bigger club or never asked for a salary raise, which is good because I continued to have a transfer budget of approximately negative Euros every season because it’s FIFA and FIFA is the worst.
Cut to the next year. I make it over to London during the summer to see the Emirates Cup. Before the first match, I made up my mind that I would reward whomever performed the best by getting a jersey with his name on the back. And as fate would have it, Yaya “the Panty-Dropper” Sanogo scored 4. I rushed to the nearest SportsDirect (I didn’t know any better) and slapped his name on the back of that bad bitch.
The confused look on the clerk’s face and the fact that he asked me to repeat myself should have been a red flag, but your boy had his rose-tinted glasses on.
I wore that kit to the next match, which we lost 1-0 and ended up losing the Cup. Not exactly an auspicious start, I admitted, but I was not to be deterred. I was convinced that Yaya Sanogo would finally lead us back to the glory years. I probably put money on it at some point.
I was definitely wrong, but to be fair, I wasn’t as wrong as I could have been.
Sure, Sanogo’s Arsenal career never reach the heights of his fictional St. Pauli counterpart, but I don’t really regret the jersey purchase. It’s a pretty good story, and I’ll always have fond memories of our baby gazelle on ice.