Monday, 29 November 2010

The long and winding road

So we play Leeds in the FA Cup.
We generally get involved in mini marathons when we play them in the FA Cup. So far so good though, we seem to have got through eventually. The last time we beat Leeds in an FA Cup replay we went on to win the domestic Cup double. (which I would be happy with again). The FA Cup on a replay! 
...and one of our over looked last minute goals.

1993
Arsenal 2-Leeds United 2  
Replay Leeds United 2-Arsenal 3 

1991
Arsenal 0-Leeds United 0
Replay Leeds United 1-Arsenal 1
Replay Arsenal 0-Leeds United 0
Replay Leeds United 1 Arsenal 2

1983
Arsenal 1-Leeds United 1
Replay Leeds United 1 Arsenal 1
Replay Arsenal 2 Leeds United 1

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Gunners go top Aston Villa 2-Arsenal 4

A poor Aston Villa scored twice today. Clark was left unchallenged twice. The first occassion was due to poor decision making from Clichy. Having responded well, courtesy of a Chamakh goal, to Villa's first goal that halved a two goal half time lead,  Arsenal began to show boat at 1-3. This is the sign of a team that is incapable of learning. The score then went 2-3 and the old anxiety began to set in.
To be fair Villa's second goal was helped in no small part by Fabianski's view being obscured by Carew who was standing in an 'interfering with play' position.

Never the less a three point haul from an away trip cannot be under valued. Arshavin and Chamakh both played well today and there where touches of row Z and taking the ball to the corner flag late on; yes this is also part of the game. The fourth goal in stoppage time was a useful addition to our goal difference, and as I write we sit on top of the league.

Despite the result and subsequent league position there is still a nagging feeling of trepidation. This team have yet to earn my faith. They have my support as Arsenal players, but faith is harder to come by.

Still (for now); "We are top of the league, say, we are top of the league!"
  
Team                 P    GD   PTS
1Arsenal151529
2Chelsea141928
3Man Utd141328
4Man City14825
5Bolton14622
6Tottenham14222
7Sunderland14220
8Stoke14019
9Liverpool14-119
10Newcastle14118
11Blackburn14-118
12Blackpool14-618
13Aston Villa15-717
14Everton14116
15Birmingham14-216
16West Brom14-916
17Fulham14-314
18Wigan14-1314
19Wolves14-119
20West Ham14-149

A Cock and Bull story

To finish a week where the voice of Sp*rsdom/Media/White Van man/ has proclaimed that Sp*rs are a bigger club, a better Club a blah blah blah, than Arsenal based on their victory a mere 6 days ago, let’s not forget that like Haley’s comet Sp*rs victories at Arsenal come along once in a blue moon.For some it's a once in a lifetime experience. No matter our current woes, what can’t speak can’t lie; here are the stats.

1992/93: Arsenal 1, Sp*rs 3 - Sp*rs won
1993/94: Arsenal 1, Sp*rs 1 –Sp*rs nope
1994/95: Arsenal 1, Sp*rs 1 –Sp*rs winless
1995/96: Arsenal 0, Sp*rs 0 –Sp*rs without win
1996/97: Arsenal 3, Sp*rs 1 –Sp*rs beaten
1997/98: Arsenal 0, Sp*rs 0 –Sp*rs draw without winning
1998/99: Arsenal 0, Sp*rs 0 –Sp*rs fail to be victorious
2000/2001: Arsenal 2, Sp*rs 0 –Sp*rs Leave without a point
2001/2002: Arsenal 2, Sp*rs 1 –Sp*rs didn’t win
2002/2003: Arsenal 3, Sp*rs 0 –Sp*rs taste defeat again
2003/2004: Arsenal 2, Sp*rs 1 –Sp*rs lose
2004/2005: Arsenal 1, Sp*rs 0 –Sp*rs single digit loss
2005/2006: Arsenal 1, Sp*rs 1 –Sp*rs muster a non win
2006/2007: Arsenal 3, Sp*rs 0 –Sp*rs goalless
2007/2008: Arsenal 2, Sp*rs 1 –Sp*rs nil point
2008/2009: Arsenal 4, Sp*rs 4 – DVD
2009/2010: Arsenal 3, Sp*rs 0 –Sp*rs nitto
2010/11: Arsenal 2, Sp*rs 3-Sp*rs won

Umm Perspective anyone
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1wg1DNHbNU
once in a lifetime

acknowledgements to R.Owsley

Friday, 26 November 2010

Reflections on a bad week


Wenger has a squad that lacks character. That statement is an obvious one. The psychology of sport is often overlooked or misrepresented. I believe that in Wenger’s heyday he assembled a set of players who had the technical ability yet also had character. There was little for him to do during each ninety minutes; just let them play. Given their skill and character they would get the results 90% of the time.
On the occasions when they needed something from Wenger during a game they were sold short. The ECWC Final v Galatasary, The Champions League final v Barcelona, The ECL quarter final v Chelsea for example.

You could justifiably say there is an art top selecting the right players and just letting them play. But Wenger has stopped choosing the right players for that mission statement

Wenger’s skill was in finding the players that had the requisite traits needed aside from playing ability. He was given a helping hand at the beginning with some of Graham’s boys.

This set of players, by and large, is completely created in Wenger’s laboratory, and it shows. Wenger has ceased to be a manager in the sense that selection is his only tool of trade; tactics and inspiration are missing from his arsenal.

There is no place for sentimentality in football and Arsene’s achievements grow more and more like old newspapers with each passing result.

If a decline is inevitable, as currently is the case, there needs to be a strategy to arrest that decline.

Protestations that we are not a team in decline are groundless. Lower league positions, failure to reach European finals each year, less points, less progress in domestic cups, less automatic qualification for Champions League, these are all facts;
Comparing the last five seasons with the five seasons prior tells its own story
2002 double winners, 2003 FA Cup winners, 2004 Champions, 2005 FA Cup winners, 2006 ECL Finalists. 2006/2007-2010/2011 So far nothing in terms of trophies league positions are lower and major final appearances are too.

With some character/s in the team the last five years needn’t have been so barren. The man charged with ensuring that Arsenal have the right players for the job stands alone on his soapbox of doctrine, and it seems that he has reached the point in his time at Arsenal where he doth protest too much that this lot have ‘a winning mentality’ as they have yet to prove it. That proof does not look remotely imminent.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0WPC-N3UYE
dead end street

Thursday, 25 November 2010

A View from the USA

Amid the numerous opinions, blogs, articles on Arsenal there are sometimnmes views that seem to hit the proverbial nail on the head. One such is the following posted on The Gunning Hawk by
Erik Ian Larsen, who is a former writer for the Chicago Tribune and an award-winning sports columnist. I  present his view (fith full recognition) on Arsenal in it’s entirety as I feel it is one of the most considered and thoughtful takes on the current state of Arsenal.



"Let me begin this by saying I truly respect and admire Arsene Wenger. He’s the winningest manager in Arsenal history, has kept our club competitive and relevant despite constructing a new stadium, and continues to unearth top notch talent from all over the globe to wear the red and white. I am not a member of either extremist fan group that both lauds and lambasts our manager. I do not blindly support. It’s not in my blood. And I don’t blindly hate either. “In Arsene We Trust” and “In Arsene We Rust” are not factors in my fandom, they are zealous slogans for anxious fans. So it is with great reluctance and respect in mind that I write this article.
It’s not easy to bring up Arsene Wenger as a writer. One word about the esteemed manager and you have both sides of the extreme piling on with their own versions of scripture. Piss off, he’s the best thing to happen to football since cleats. Piss off, he’s the devil incarnate trying to run the club into the ground. Et cetera, et cetera. I understand the fans on both sides, I really do, I understand how the believers resort to context, to historical fact, to calm their fears and their fellow fans. I also understand the cynics who see the club going into on-field ruins under the stubborn, penny-pinching manager and his unwavering philosophies. I understand everyone’s concerns (or non-concerns), but I think the extremists on both sides are missing the point.
Arsene Wenger will, eventually, cease to be our manager at Arsenal. It’s going to happen. He will retire. And when that day comes, we’re going to hear all about the synchronized death and rebirth of the club from both sides of the “Wenger” argument. But I don’t think we ever should’ve reached that point. I don’t think we ever should’ve, as a club, rested our laurels on fail-safe successes. Finishing in the top four is definitely an achievement, qualifying for the Champions League brings in tremendous revenues, and for a club concerned only about money, that top-four finish may be good enough to crown the season a success. Some clubs have banked their entire fortunes on qualifying for Europe, and we do it almost flippantly. But it’s not guaranteed, especially with the parity in the Premier League these last few years, and I still feel lucky to have qualified for the last decade. I applaud Arsene Wenger for his commitment to the club and our top four successes each year.
But isn’t there more than that? Isn’t there more to football that merely qualifying? Isn’t there more to Arsenal than mere sustainability? I want our team to win championships, I want our team to taste glory again, to lift a trophy for the first time in five years, and with Arsene Wenger’s contract expiring at the end of this year, for the first time in a while, I felt like both Wenger and our players had something serious to play for. For all the players Arsene has coddled and suckled over the years, this was their last year to prove themselves, to prove that they were more than benchwarmers. For the starters, it was a chance to prove that they should remain at the club, that they can overcome all the stereotypes that have been rightfully handed to them and win. We will never win with fragile players. We will never win with mentally instable winners. We will never win with players who are convinced there’s only one way play. We will never win with inflexible tactics. And this was our chance, this was our club’s chance, to really see what our manager and our players are made of. Put a snowman in a sauna.
In August of 2010, Wenger, in the final year of his contract as the manager of Arsenal, signed a long-term contract extension with the club until 2014. I remember being frustrated by Ivan Gazidis’ and the Arsenal front office’s decision. Not because Arsene Wenger doesn’t deserve an extension, no, he’s given so much to this club, both on and off the pitch, that it’s hard to argue with the board’s decision to award the face of Arsenal with a contract extension. I think Arsene Wenger, of nearly any manager in the league, deserves the benefit of the doubt that he can pull his team and his club together. I don’t fault anyone for the decision, but I can’t help but shaking the feeling that this was an opportunity. This was a chance to put Wenger under pressure, to put the players that he’s gambled so much of our team’s success on under that same heavy weight, to show that they’re all worthy of the Arsenal badge. To draw a line in the sand for Wenger and his “type” of players that they either have to put up or face the scrutiny of another vision.
For the last five years, many of those players haven’t been worthy of the red and white. Arsene Wenger himself has called them out for it. And yet, match after match, we see a group of players and a singular manager that struggle to adapt. Is that the future of our club? Is that what we’re going to see until 2014? Are we so content to be fiscally profitable and sustainable on the pitch that we don’t need to taste silverware anymore? I don’t really know the answer to that question, but I think rewarding Wenger before the season even started undermined the message to the players that this is a club with tradition, history, and precedence. That we aren’t content finishing third and fourth every year. We are Arsenal FC, we are a proud, bold club that knows what it takes to win. I don’t think the current crop of players Arsene has assembled really knows that anymore, and I’m ashamed that they may never have to face the pressure of higher expectations until our manager decides to leave on his own terms.
This isn’t about one loss, or 10 losses, or five trophy-less years, this is about culture and philosophy. There’s a thing that happens to the human body when faced with fear and stress, it’s called “fight or flight.” It’s a psychological reaction, brought about by anxiety and stress, that forces people to make split-second decisions to run away to survive or to fight for it This year could’ve been a fight or flight season, our players would’ve had to choose which side they belonged on, whether or not they were here because they were Arsenal players or if they were simply “Arsene players.” But instead, we continue on the same path of pain-free patriarchy"-© Erik Ian Larsen
And this is a link to his Blog.
Taken from the Gunning Hawk 24/11/10

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

I don't need this pressure on

Following the Braga Debacle and after the ways things have been, and are; Some songs, some images.

we've already said...

To add insult to injury we lose to a team wearing our kit.

iv'e had enough

when you gonna learn


same old scene

Monday, 22 November 2010

Arsene,We Need to talk

When, on a cold winter afternoon Arsenal lost in miserable fashion to Blackburn Rovers, legend has it that, after the game, the captain spoke to all the players and impressed upon them that they had greatness within arms reach but needed more than just ability. The date Saturday 13th December 1997.

The team went on to complete the double, with a mixture of players signed by Graham, Rioch and Wenger. A set of players who went on to be considered world class, players that went on to Join Europe’s elite clubs; Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus. This team changed and as quality players left or retired quality came in.

As every student of football knows, the ultimate achievement from this ‘generation’ was the unbeaten Season; something that probably won’t happen again. The final season at Highbury was marked by an appearance in The Champions League final, having reached this summit with the best defensive record in the tournaments history.

With the move to the Emirates Wenger’s experiment began in earnest and since that move the team has changed beyond recognition.

When Arsenal fans talk about how good Song has been and how he is essential it’s almost as if a comparison to Gilberto or Petit is being made. As good as Walcott's form has been, is he as good as Overmars or Pires. Chamakh has come to the club and done what has been asked of him. He’s good, but, is he a Henry or Bergkamp?

Is Clichy perceived as good due to a loathing of Ashley Cole? Is anyone saying that Sagna is as consistent as Lauren. Where’s this teams Sol Campbell, its Jens Lehman or its Freddie Ljungberg.

Even the likes of Edu, Kanu and Wiltord would make our starting eleven before Denilson, Diaby or Eboue.

This, in a nutshell is where Arsenal supporters are being bamboozled. The ability of our current squad is an argument that could be had all day, but I'm talking about more than just ability I'm talking about a mentality.

We have gone from watching some of the best players in the world in the red & white (and Burgundy) of Arsenal to watching a team of players who are not equal to that billing. The real quality players will seek employment elsewhere as things currently stand with Wenger seemingly bulletproof. They say that there's no loyalty in football but I believe that us Arsenal supporters have been incredibly loyal after 5 trophy less seasons. Many another set of fans would have already been calling for the managers head.

If you look at Arsenal’s position as a London based club, in a new stadium with consistent European football and excellent revenue there is an expectation that you have a team and manager to match. We have the status of a Super Club without the credentials to back up that statement.

Yes I said a Super Club, and a super club needs a super team. Something that we had at Highbury.

The man responsible for the current Squad; Arsene Wenger. No amount of loyalty, proclamations of genius or reflections on financial constraints gets away from the fact that Arsenal are not good enough. There I’ve said it. We’re not!

The manager says we are, we the fans see that we aren’t. Simplistic but true. And as to the solution? If you've read this far you know the answer to that question.
something better change


Sunday, 21 November 2010

Insult 2 Injury 3



how the club see us?
After Yesterday I came across this straight from the ticker tape of broken dreams:
‘Arsenal supporters take stock of their recent patchy home form, amid the confirmation that we will probably be the first in the Premier League to be charged over £100 for a normal match day ticket .This landmark moment seems likely to come in January, when VAT rises from 17.5% to 20%, pushing the price of a the most expensive non-corporate seat at the ground from £98.50 (including postage and the inevitable “booking fee”) to over £100. The Arsenal website’s ticket booking page confirms that, “with the VAT increase due in January 2011, our matchday ticket prices will be subject to change”, and there has been nothing from the club to suggest that this will not happen.
Arsenal has long been the most expensive place in English football to watch a match. Although The Emirates Stadium holds more than 60,000 people, ticket and season ticket prices there have shot through the roof, to little protest. Season ticket prices there range from £893 to £1,825, compared to £550 at Chelsea and £224 at the cheapest club in the Premier League, Blackburn Rovers. The reason for these prices is the cost of building The Emirates Stadium itself, but it is worth asking a very salient question at this point – will prices be reduced accordingly when the debt for the construction of the stadium is complete?’--twohundredpercent 21/11/10
I await comments......

Saturday, 20 November 2010

ARSENAL IN NEED or ‘When you gonna learn?’ or 'Derby debacle’

a woman collecting for CIN @ AFC today post game
Where to begin? I don't mind losing to a better team, but let's face it Sp*rs were no great shakes. A first half where Sp*rs made poor choices when they had the ball and Arsenal were dominant reaped a two goal lead. At this point it felt that Arsenal would consolidate this lead and go on to win and go top of the table (frustratingly Chelsea went on to lose to Birmingham)
This was not to be. Sp*rs scored a soft goal in the second half and we went on to concede the softest of penalties. The third goal from the visitors was a result of poor defending on a set piece.  That was that. Arsenal showed little to suggest that they would overturn this setback and at least get a draw.
So the Emirates had to bear witness to jubilant Sp*rs fans celebrating their first away win at Arsenal since 1993.Today's game, however, does not tell the full story of where Arsenal Football Club finds itself.
The press in the run up to today was full of Wenger's quote that "This is the best squad I've ever had at Arsenal". The irony is that, post game, I went for a drink in a local hostelry. This Public house broadcast SKY TV's sports classic, which was Arsenal 5-Leeds United 0; a game in which Thierry Henry scored 4 goals.
THIS IS WHAT'S MISSING
The squad of players involved in this game included Lehman, Lauren, Clichy, Campbell, Toure, Pires, Vieira, Parlour, Gilberto, Edu, Wiltord, Reyes,Bergkamp and Henry. Watching the highlights i was struck by how big this team was, how confident and how combative. I reflected that these guys would never capitulate a two goal lead at home against our local rivals. Never!
So when Wenger talks about our current squad in such bullish terms I have to deduce that he is trying to convince himself.
Wengers's experiment has reached a zero tolerance point as far as I'm concerned. Arsenal will not win the Premier League this season. Arsenal will not win the Champions league this season. Arsenal may win a domestic cup (specifically the Carling Cup). Wenger's Arsenal has been a phenomenon over the years but his doctrine is running dry. It's not so much losing to the White Hart Lane dullards it's throwing away a two goal lead on a day when going top of the league was a reasonable expectation. A day where Arsenal could have laid down a marker that said "we mean business".
We stumbled yet again and one begins to wonder if this golden generation have got what it takes to take their place in Arsenal's hall of fame. I think the answer is no. I also think that the writing has been on Arsene's wall for a time, and now it's in bold letters.
I can't under play how annoying it is to lose to Sp*rs but it's more about fluffing our lines in a performance that would  and should have seen us on top of the table tonight.
I really feel (knee jerkism aside) that Wenger's days are numbered as he has become a perennial also ran. Discussion on who you want as manager and would things be better is redundant; a change has to come, and I don't feel that this set of players that Arsene puts so much faith in have got what it takes.
We don't want to end up like Liverpool; all tradition but a league title decades ago.
It really is that serious.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8LWN8yMgX0
can't stand losing

Friday, 19 November 2010

NORTH LONDON BATTLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL

It's 24 hours until Arsenal's next fixture. In the cold light of day I don't think too much about Sp*rs. They are
what they are; slightly delusional like most fans not as important as
a game against ManU or Chelsea. But, and here's the thing, once I'm at
the game I F*CKING HATE them! it's all " come on Arsenal these lot are
shi*te!" "Sit down Redknapp you twitchy c*nt!" We stand for all that's good, with our history sense of fair play and commitment to the principles of good football! They are the epitome of evil with their vicious sallow faced supporters and their overwhelming bitterness and inferiority complex! We must defeat them! send them to the bottomless pit of defeat and despair!
 God I detest them!
and beating them has everyone
walking on air as the crowd disperses. Then soon after it's back to
indifference. It's just another team who we need points from not that much of a deal really. It's only a game...
But the possibility of losing to them twice this century in the league; JESUS CHRIST! This is awful, how the f*ck did we lose to this lot? oh my..you get the general idea

saints v sinners

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

international footbal, huhh, whayt is it good for? absolutely nothing!

So pre- international anxiety sets in. Arsenal have a plethora of players turning out for their countries in a number of meaningless friendlies at the worst time of a fixture saturated season. They are opportunities for Arsenal players to become crash test dummies.

It's almost as if FIFA have gone "oh Arsenal are doing okay, let's give their cut glass crystal boned players a chance to go back to the treatment table."

The thought of Keiron Gibbs and RVP in particular ending up the proverbial two steps back, fills me with terror (ok maybe not terror, more like mild trepidation).

Quite honestly I get fed up after game upon game of International football that inflicts injury upon injury on our squad. I know it's not just us but I honestly believe that every Arsenal fan believes that until the final whistles blow around the world there is that nagging feeling that Van Persie is on a stretcher, or that Gibbs is hobbling down the tunnel or that Walcott Nasri and Sagna are involved in a three way collision leaving them all with fractured metatarsals and  dislocated shoulders.

I see these matches as the equivalent of Jockey's carrying extra weight. They hamper Arsenal as they seem to inevitably end up with a queue at the Arsenal doctor's door.

Let's hope that tonight goes smoothly ie RED cards for all our players in the first five minutes!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ur5fGSBsfq8
a philosophical approach

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Three points point to a fruitful November ?


A mediocre game where Arsenal scored twice and came away from Goodison with three points and no injuries. Everton never showed much endeavour until the last five minutes by which time it was too little too late. Defensively Arsenal were ok and looked to be under little pressure. Yes it was a dull game but frankly who cares? it's a 'bounce back' result that matters

Given Man Utd and Man Citeh’s results on Saturday these three points were essential and put Arsenal into second place, two points behind the leaders. The following game between Chelsea and Sunderland was due to return Chelsea to a five point lead but, as someone once said “football is a funny old game” and Chelsea’s perceived impregnability at home was shattered by three Sunderland goals.
It goes to show that if a bad result is followed by a win the three points can have a radical effect on league positions.

Next league game is against Sp*rs and, as it’s an early kick off, it gives us an opportunity to put pressure on the two point leaders who play away at Birmingham.

Maybe November will not be our usual graveyard of broken dreams? At 2.30 on Saturday we will know a bit more and at 4.45 we should know a lot more.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Media Singing the same old Toon


In the post Wednesday dissection of Cescs' tackle his subsequent apology doesn't seem to be good enough. Joey Bartons apology for deliberately punching another player is okay though. Is that because he's a footballing hard man?

In the modern game there have been so called hard men, some of whom could play and some of whom were more clumsy oafs than thugs. Then we have Newcastle United, the wonderful friendly, everybody’s second club from The Tyne. Having been to Newcastle to watch Arsenal I have to say that those Newcastle fans I met were completely friendly and nice. What the club seem to be is an opposite of those fans.

Has there ever been a selection of such unbridled thugishness, rank stupidity and general nastiness than the set of players who have turned out for NUFC during the Premier era, not to mention players that got up to law breaking shenanigans off the pitch. General bad eggs seem to rock up at St James Park.

Here's a set of them that combine affray, assault, probation, red cards, car crashes, shooting, gambling addiction, drug addiction, racism, car crime and general unpleasantness.

Craig Bellamy
Lee Bowyer
Joey Barton
Keiron Dyer
Jonathon Woodgate
Duncan Ferguson
Mickey Quinn
Keith Gillespie
Lee Clark
Jermaine Jenas
Patrick Kluivert
Tino Asprilla
Alan smith
Andy Carroll
Paul Gascoigne

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Match of the Daze 2

Following on from yesterdays post, I never thought i would say this , but after lasts night's Match of the day final straw; I agree with Stan Collymore!

'If MOTD isn't a debate show and just a highlight reel, then why have pundits at all?
'It's a lazy show that doesn't provoke debate in our game and just says, "We've been there and done it and we don't have to do anything but sit here and dole out clichés".

'MOTD just looks like a golfing clique who have a passing interest in football, and that can't be right?'
“Shake it up someone, please”-Stan Collymore on MOTD

this would definitely improve the show

A footnote:
Yes I’m moaning about MOTD, but Wolves v Arsenal could only be viewed by going to Molineux or by watching highlights on MOTD, therefore I had no option but to wait up to see the condensed version. I make it a general rule not to watch it as it has little relation to the actual game it covers and the ‘pundits are extremely annoying. Being a supporter of a London based team is always reason in itself not to watch this Northern biased nonsense.

Match of the Daze

Yet again the Northern centric MOTD leaves us Arsenal fans waiting for the highlights of what was clearly the most entertaining of tonight’s matches. We had the turgid Manc derby low lights followed by the predictable home win at Stamford Bilge the dull Newcastle Blackburn Villa Blackpool double header and a reminder from Mr Walkers Crisps that Football focus was on Saturdays, as it has been for umpteen years.

The game itself? Well, Mick McCarthy’s assertion that Wolves were the better side seems misguided at best given the highlights shown. Arsenal seemed to have as many, if not more chances than the boys in Gold.

Chamakh’s goals that topped and tailed the game were examples of good clean finishing and over all I feel he has been a success. Fabianski also made a couple of very decent saves. The fact is while he may be error prone in much the same way as Almunia, he will also pull off a great save; something Almunia doesn’t do. That and the fact that Fabianski is making progress. And let’s face it he’s the number one until January at least. Probably longer as I can’t see a new keeper arriving through the January crack in the window.

A good three points then, particularly in light of the aforementioned bore draw at Eastlands. That’s what it is about sometimes; going away on a cold winter evening and coming back with the three points, no injuries and no red cards and a bit of good fortune here and there.

Final word and it’s on the subject of Red cards. Fabregas’ challenge was in front of the assistant, whose opinion the Ref sought and gave the colour card he felt appropriate, simple as. But the insipid MOTD panel don’t let the facts stand in the way of a good story. Barton, the unreconstituted thug and general bad egg punches a fellow pro and it is described as a ‘red mist’ moment. I know what I think is more serious.

Three points, job done, Sunday lunch Toffee beckons.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Beware Wolves of November


Will the Gunners keep the Wolves at bay?

Recent meetings would suggest so, but as its November who knows? With the Manchester Derby on the same night Arsenal cannot afford to drop any more points and given that Wolves have the worst disciplinary record in the league we can't take this encounter for granted. No fixture at the moment is a given such is our current status.
Let's hope history repeats itself:
Sat 03 Apr
Arsenal
1 - 0
Wolves
PREM
2009/2010
Sat 07 Nov
Wolves
1-4
Arsenal
PREM
2004/2005
Sat 29 Jan
Arsenal
2 - 0
Wolves
FAC
2003/2004
Sat 07 Feb
Wolves
1 - 3
Arsenal
PREM
2003/2004
Fri 26 Dec
Arsenal
3 - 0
Wolves
PREM
2003/2004
Tue 02 Dec
Arsenal
5 - 1
Wolves
LGEC
1998/1999
Sun 24 Jan
Wolves
1 - 2
Arsenal
 FAC
goal v wolves

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Stripes strike again at the Emirates


andy carroll looks like this from behind (ish)

Undone by Stripes again!
First things first. Newcastle United won today and that’s not something to be begrudging about; they came and got a result, fair dos. Andy Carroll took his chance and that's all there is to it.

Today Arsenal showed no appetite for success; an appetite that needs to be fed by success . Arsenal also had, in the fourteen players that appeared , enough ability to compete with most teams. Ability alone doesn’t cut it, you need some cajoles and some desire. We have neither it would seem.

What made today’s result more galling was the rapturous applause given to Liverpool’s first and second goal against Chelsea at the Pub I went to after the game.   

Had we won against Newcastle; a result that it was not unreasonable to expect at The Emirates against a team who have come up from Div 1, the Chelsea loss would have been meaningful. A result that would have left us just two points behind the league leaders.

Today’s performance, as was Wednesdays, was just not good enough. To win anything a team need to have application alongside ability and a feeling of achievable success. By losing to Newcastle it is a reminder to us, the fans, that Arsenal are currently, an above average team.

The atmosphere at the Emirates today was uninspiring and as flat as Frankenstein’s monster’s head. The Emirates experience has milked the corporate bovine to the brink of starvation and the team seems to reflect that stagnation.

So today was a thoroughly unenjoyable experience; a loss that cannot be denied was about right and a stadium at the brink of ennui.

This is where we are at. A solution is beyond my thought process. I just don’t know how Arsenal re establish themselves as a force in the Premier League, a credible Cup side and a European contender.

It will take something that is currently missing. Call it desire. appetite, belief whatever word we choose it's basically a psychological barrier that the players and manager seem unable, or unwilling, to breech.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=einZgVrnfG0
here's some other stripes to cheer us up

Soap Opera from St James Park

The Newcastle United Pie Chart of Despair

Football's longest running Soap Opera comes to The Emirates today. You name the act of self implosion they've done it; from dodgy chairman to fighting team mates, from bad mangers to incredible sales of players, from injury crisis to relegation, from Managerial rants to misplaced player power, from attempting to have the most despicable players in Premier history; Barton, Bowyer, Bellamy to dodgy movie tie ins, from relegation to FA cup failure, from Premier league to Div 1. You hum it they'll play it. And to see the depths of desperation at the club ... 
..Shame really as the fans are alright.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Rising above the Gossip

No one else has a pop at our manager!
To all Arsenal fans who listen to what 'they' say;
Gossip and conjecture from stupid people...
RISE ABOVE IT!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Hallelujah Hotspurs

Sp*rs fans on Wednesday morning

What we’ve learnt this week:
Sp*rs are quite literally the best thing since sliced bread. Gareth Bale, although chimp like in appearance and Welsh, is the greatest player on the planet as evidenced by his performance against the ‘best right back in the world-copyright Talk sport. Harry Redknapp is a genius on a par with the man who invented bag less vacuum cleaners. The meat pies at White Hart Lane are better than Heston Blumenthal’s. The Bovril they serve at the Lane tastes better than Cristal Champagne. The Spurs programme is better reading than 1000 years of solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Sp*rs are definitely not going to sell Bale who is now definitely worth £50000000. Sp*rs are totally going to win the Champions League, the Premier League, The FA cup, The Nobel Prize, The Academy Award for best performance in a supporting role and the Booker Prize. The fans at WHL are the greatest fans their have ever been; they make the fans in Escape to Victory look like Benedictine Monks.

WHL 02/11/10

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

You can't always get what you want

Shak 2-Arse 1
Fabianski had another good game
Theo took his goal well
not a lot else to say other than we didn't take the game too seriously,poor crossing, mediocre creativity,
average contribution from mid-field. Not too clever at the back. 
This is the Champions League where margins are small, so never underestimate situations.
Still, should progress to next round if we try we should get what we need.
that's all I've got....
You can't always get what you want

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Magic Moments

magic moment

Van Basten against Soviet Union
Bergkamp against Argentina
Maradona against England
Gascoigne against Scotland
Carlos Alberto against Italy

Magic moments but all in the past, but when and who produced the last truly ‘magic’ moment in a big game?

I think it’s been a while. Admittedly there have been some outstanding goals from Messi, Ronaldinho, Henry, Ronaldo etc but not at footballs big games in the World Cup, European Championships or European Champions League.

These are the moments when Football is elevated to art ,those telling contributions of goals in vital moments that are equal parts skill, invention and some might say divine intervention.
ZZ
In my view it’s been eight years since we've seen one of these moments -2002 Zidane Real Madrid v Bayer Leverkusen ECL Final…

Unless you have another moment?

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