Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Painting over the Painting of the Town Red

In an unusual turn of events, The Hampstead Trash is now covering real sports. At Wembley Stadium on Saturday, Arsenal won the F.A. Cup Final, ending a trophy drought of nine years.

What does this have to do with Hampstead, I hear you ask? Well, the last trophy won by Arsenal was the 2005 F.A. Cup. The below picture will be familiar to a lot of you:

Reaction to being immortalised in paint at a North West London Comprehensive.

Of course, a painting of this adorns the wall of the site office, next to the water fountains. Jokes were often made that perhaps as long as the painting stayed, the aforementioned trophy drought would continue. However, does this painting really need to stay?

Firstly, it's outdated because it isn't the last trophy Arsenal have won. Secondly, all of the players in it no longer play for Arsenal. From left to right:
  • Robin Van Persie - now plays for rivals Manchester United
  • Phillipe Senderos - now at Valencia in Spain
  • Edu - Retired, Director of Football at Corinthians
  • Kolo Toure - now plays for rivals Liverpool
  • Gilberto Silva - now at Atletico Miniero in Brazil
  • Lauren - Retired
  • Freddie Ljungberg - currently without a club
  • Ashley Cole - now plays for rivals Chelsea
Pictures that Gooners still don't like to see

Thirdly, there is no definitive answer as to why it was put up. The most common rumour is that it was to honour Hampstead alumni Rachel Yankey, who played for the Arsenal Ladies team. Confusing, then, why they chose to paint the Men's team celebrating.

Finally, and most importantly, as much as Hampstead is a culturally diverse school, it is a diverse school in footballing terms. We may be in North London, however from the school to the Emirates Stadium is 4.2 miles as the crow flies. Stamford Bridge is only an extra mile away (5.2 miles), White Hart Lane 6.9 miles away, only 1.7 miles away. The school may have many Arsenal fans, but it also has many Spurs fans, Chelsea fans, Man United, Liverpool, West Ham... 

Yes, this may be a fuss over nothing, and it's also probably sour grapes from a fan of a rival, but to keep that painting is like to keep the Girls Only Area sign after they've stopped the GOA: it's outdated, it's pointless, and it's widely disliked.

One final statistic to give to you: the Hampstead Years 10/11 Boys team won more silverware in 2011 & 2012 than Arsenal did in the past 9 years. Why no mural for them?

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