Arsenal v Aston Villa. Sunday 9th December 2001. After West Ham's victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday, the North Bank was bristling with unspoken optimism as kick-off approached. Titles are never won before Christmas, but after three years of dominance United seemed to be creaking and we were a team on the rise. This was a chance to be grasped with both hands.
However as half-time approached the only thing in my hands was my head.
Goals from Steve Stone and Paul Merson meant we were two-nil down and after succumbing 4-2 to Charlton at Highbury a month before, it looked like we were about to piss in the mouth of yet another gift horse.