123. The mosaic at Arsenal
I don’t know much about football, but I know what I like. And that’s a new rule that means goalposts get moved an inch wider apart for every minute of extra time until someone scores. Oh, and teams should be able to bring an additional person on to the pitch, again for each minute of extra time. Basically I’d like to see pitches with ginormo-sized goals and about 50 players. Perhaps this music could be played at the same time.
You think these suggestions would make a mockery of the beautiful game? It’s SURELY no more of a joke than having players [finger-pointing rant alert!] earn more in an hour than I do in a year, or something like that. Sigh.
Anyway, what I really really like about football is there’s an Underground station that shares its name with one of the most famous clubs in the country, and which has a staggeringly beautiful roundel mosaic above its entrance:
It’s almost too good to be stuck on the wall of a station in a quiet suburban street along which crowds of people pass at best only once a week.
In fact, it is too good to be stuck here. It deserves to be seen by as many folk as possible, and that’s never going to happen in Highbury, even if the eponymous club became the best in the world on the same day Morrissey decided to move in next door.
The scale of the mosaic would seem perverse and its craftsmanship ostentatious were it not so sense-bubblingly beautiful. It was put up during the glory years of the 1930s (and yes, it’s not often you see that combination of words arranged in that particular sequence). It gains even more points for having replaced yet another of the uber-ubiquitous ox-blood tiled exteriors, of which there are still ox-bloody too many.
If movable goalposts and ever-expanding teams aren’t on the agenda of the next Football Association AGM, can I suggest a works outing to Arsenal station? It’s the closest they’ll get to seeing any true artistry this season.
I think my favourite thing about Arsenal station is that the tiles on the platform still say “Gillespie Road”. I was very worried when they refurbed it a couple of years back that it would just get covered in Arsenal Football Club gubbins, but clearly someone involved somewhere in TfL must be a Spurs fan 😉