I was so upset when Arsenal left Highbury in 2006. The art deco design, the proximity to the pitch, the many memories of dashing heroes and devastating victories – I’d grown more attached to the place than I’d ever realised.
I happened to be in the neighbourhood for a meeting on the day they started knocking down the North Bank. My stomach almost heaved as I saw the home of so many memories smashed into dust. Ever since, I’ve always felt genuinely nauseous when I walk past what remains of Highbury while en route to the Emirates, our new stadium.
It is an awe-inspiring new venue. Yet while I grasp the economic need for us to have moved there, it’s taken me a while to feel a genuine emotional connection with the vast, shiny bowl.
This season, it’s really started to feel like home. And I love it.