Arsenal: Back in Black

Arsenal kick off the 2022/2023 Premiership season this Friday at Crystal Palace with heightened levels of excitement and anticipation.

For the first time in recent history, the Gunners pulled off a pretty decent transfer window. They added youth prospect, Marquinhos, attacking midfielder, Fábio Vieira, and a Yank goalkeeper, Matt Turner, immediately endearing themselves to their American supporters.

But they really set Gooners’ hearts aflutter when they plucked a couple of gems from Man City’s embarrassment of riches, including versatile midfielder/defender, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and our own personal Jesus (apologies to Depeche Mode).

The latter immediately started banging balls into the back of the net, during Arsenal’s preseason trip to Baltimore and Florida, causing us all to reconcile unfamiliar feelings of hope for the coming season.

Not only are we feeling good, but we are are looking good, as Arsenal launched a black away kit, the kids are saying is fire (are the kids still saying that?). By all accounts, the new shirt broke all club records for sales of an Arsenal shirt, and we expect to see more than a few at the pub.

We’re back at Maggie McGarry’s for our 16th consecutive year. The ongoing pandemic has presented challenges organizing our match-viewings, but we’re optimistic for a return to normalcy, allowing us to be there for every match. Hopefully, you’ve all gotten vaccinations by now, aiding us in this effort.

Maggie’s is 21 and over, even in the parklet. As much as we’d like to welcome young Gooners, it would result in massive fines and likely suspension of the pub’s license. Dogs are welcome outside. Maggie’s does not serve food but you’re welcome to bring your own. Outside drinks are never okay.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t comment on allegations of sexual assault levied at an Arsenal player, and the shadow they’ve cast over the upcoming season. While not in possession of all the facts, the Bay Area Gooners absolutely condemn all sexual harassment and assault. Our goal is to make Maggie’s a safe space for everyone to enjoy supporting Arsenal without fear of harassment, harm or abuse. If you encounter any behavior at the pub that causes you to feel unsafe, please seek me out or Mick, Maggie’s owner.

People often ask, how they can join the Bay Area Gooners, and my usual response is, 1. Support Arsenal and come to the pub for the matches. 2. Don’t be a dick. But you can support our efforts by joining Arsenal America and selecting us as your home branch. You get nifty swag, discounts on Arsenal gear, as well as access to match tickets if you’re traveling to London.

This season, we’ll be bringing back Bay Area Gooners swag. Holly Hickman, who is responsible for designing our logo, past t-shirts, as well as our stadium banner at the Emirates, is working tirelessly on this new website, as well as scarves, shirts, and more! We will also renew our charitable efforts, which lapsed somewhat during the pandemic. More on both of these soon.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the pub. C’mon you Gunners!

Best, Mark

Published by Bay Area Gooners

Founder of the Bay Area Gooners