Thursday, 29 September 2011

THE PRESS v THE ARSENAL

It started when Chapman deserted the grime and integrity of the grim North to come to the home of soft Southerners and turn The Arsenal into the greatest Club of it's time. Huddersfield had been the club that they could unite in praising, so for Herbert to do a Dick Whittington stuck in their collective craw.The fact that Arsenal then beat Huddersfield in the 1930 Cup Final was the last straw. The cloth capped men of the North could not conceive of a London Club, floating in a sea of white fivers besting them at their game, their sport of the masses. Thus was born the press' animosity toward The Gunners. We had it all;the swanky art deco, the cocktails, the movie, the innovations, the fame and of course the trophies. 
It took until the post war years   for the North to rise again and those journalists schooled in writing anti southern invective rubbed their hands together at Liverpool and Manchester's fortunes. These cities of industry could inspire flowery journalism, could evoke metaphors of the rise of the workers. That's why The Arsenal are still unpopular in the press; those establishments in Fleet Street and Wapping have grown up hating us, it's part of football writing 101. Sp*rs have always had a special place on the back pages; this is based on factors such as  long memories, lack of consistent threat to the status quo and of course some perceived glamour. Chelsea was always a ground that the new breed of journo's liked to go to in the swinging sixties and decadent seventies, and of course Chelsea have not threatened the Northern dominance. But The Arsenal, that's a different matter. The Arsenal have been there again and again, our 13 titles prove that. We have always been there irritating the North, taking titles in their own back yard. So when we go through lean times that most frustrated group of writers exalt in our mediocrity.
I have grown immune to the brick bats, the opprobrium, the malice. Ive had to, because it won't change. In Football, and particularly in Football writing long memories and grudges hold sway.

" He just heard the news; Herbert Chapman's gone to London"

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

arsenalism in avoiding 'Greeks bearing gifts' headline shock


As we warmly receive our Greek visitors, it's ironic that the Olympian spirit was shattered in Germany last night. Yes I'm talking about Tevez, the epitome of the Little Lord Fauntleroy syndrome prevalent amongst modern footballers. The results that both Manchester Clubs had last night has been lost amidst 'Tevez-gate' so it will be interseting to see how the press behave should The Arsenal win tonight; a win would mean a better start to our Champions League campaign than both of theirs.
Tevez Theme
But lets not get ahead of ourselves. Tonight is a tough game. Ποδοσφαιρικός Σύλλογος Ολυμπιακός Βόλου are no mugs and we have our own problems with form and injury but lets see how we go. What this seasons ECL has shown is that there are a lot of teams on an equal footing and to successfully negotiate the group stage will not be easy for a great number of clubs.
 It would be nice to see a coherent performance tonight as it will be another step in the immersion of our new players. A win would also give us a boost ahead of Sunday's league game, which is another hard game for us; not due to the debatable qualities of our opponents but because we are looking to string some wins together.
So I look forward to a Champions League night at The Arsenal. There really is nothing quite like it.
 Ελάτε σε σας Gunners!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

OLD GREY WHISTLE TENUOUS


Apropos of nothing other than the Bass Player Jim Rodford (ex Kinks) resplendent in Red & White. Here's Argent with the pomp and curious circumstance of God gave Rock 'n' Roll to you. Perhaps the only Arsenal shirt wearing performer ever to appear on that bastion of music the Old Grey Whistle Test.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Match Of The Dazed

Hansen & Lawrenson

For those of a certain age these two need no introduction. The Hansen & Lawrenson of the Muppet Show. Raining down abuse and ill judged critique to the audience.
I touched on MOTD in yesterdays post and it has touched on a nerve for some. yes we know that there is a media bias toward The Arsenal and to an extent there are choices to be made about choice of writer, Newspaper and TV/Radio channel, but MOTD is an ongoing part of a supporters Saturdays and as such should have some quality about It. In fact we pay for it. Watching as an Arsenal supporter has been rather painful of late and as such this Saturday's episode such have been mildly enjoyable; it wasn't. The old pals act at BBC Sport goes on and on and on; talking a lot but saying nothing. No insight here. As a review of highlights it's adequate, no more than that. It's time for a revamp. Put the past away and lets have some insight based on the modern game not the version that these guys took part in, back in the day.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

ARSENAL ROLL THREE POINTS IN GAME OF SNAKES AND LADDERS

RVP 100
In this season of up the ladder and fdown the snake Arsenal gained three points against Bolton. The game itself fell into the ‘nothing to write home about’ category but was a welcome win featuring that much mentioned clean sheet. Certainly current aspiration points to victories against our peers, and at the moment teams like Bolton fall into that category. Only by being competitive against the supposed lesser teams can we find a way back against the better teams.

The game did feature some good goals amid the mundanity, and therefore I expected very little from MOTD and, as usual, very little is what was delivered. Hansen & Lawrenson are decades behind the current footballing world and MOTD is nothing more than an institution. Ill informed, biased and dull punditry prevails on this dinosaur of a show.

The road to recovery for The Arsenal continues with games Wednesday and Sunday. The trip to Looting Lane should be interesting as Sp*rs will genuinely feel that they can take something out of the game. Having said that we should be under no illusions that games like this are part and parcel of a competitive middling group of teams fixtures.
It will be interesting to see how some of our newer recruits perform in the Tottenham Cup Final

Saturday, 24 September 2011

ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE NOT OUT

First kits
1927 - 1936 jerseys

IN THESE DARK TIMES A REMINDER OF WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT;
 THE ARSENAL
History

Friday, 23 September 2011

MRS ARTETA

No wonder he's got a smile on his face
Lorena Benal AKA Mrs Arteta

ARSENAL TAKE ON BOLTON ON AN EVEN PLAYING FIELD

Aah, Arsenal V Bolton; a fixture to conjure with. Tomorrow's game sees both teams as equals and the only thing that matters for The Arsenal is a win. It's a chance to have another look at Cahill and to judge the promising managerial abilities of Owen Coyle. a different side from the much loathed Allardyce era Bolton will present a stern test; every team at the moment presents a stern test to be fair. Let's hope that the Emirates show some rational insight and let's all get behind the team. Remember, at the moment a 1-0 win represents a step towards where we want to be. Every game at the moment represents a new start. Tomorrow is no different.


the 4-1. 4th Goal- Don't expect this tommorrow.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

BARTON FINK

Barton at it again

So Barton was going to join The Arsenal, yes Joey Barton. This is an individual to whom most experts doff their caps by spouting the mantra that "if you forget about all the other stuff Barton is a decent player' of course he's a decent player he is a Premier League regular. To 'forget' all the other stuff is utterly pointless; it's what makes him the loathsome individual that he is.
Barton at it again
Barton at Emirates
Barton at it again
This got me to thinking about other players that are 'decent players' but should be spurned as a rabid dog is spurned by any club with principle. Oddly enough a good few of them have names staring with the letter B; B for bad news. If the character of a player is not part of the decision making process in buying a player one could find that the team could contain the likes of  Barton, Bellamy, Bowyer, Balotelli and Bentley. Given the attitudes of a number of Premier League players, to be loathed in the game takes some doing. I would not want to see this type of player at our club. Players that may be disliked but other fans and some opponents but are respected? that I will take.
how to show those that hate?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

WINNING


Forget the bullsh*t about attendance, disregard the status of The Shrews, ignore the fact that it was the Carling Cup; last night was about one thing WINNING.
That's our priority in all things right now; WINNING, getting back to WINNING ways and WINNING back The Arsenal from the jaws of despair.
Come on the Arsenal let's go into the Bolton game with one objective; WINNING.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

WILL TONIGHT BE AS YOU LIKE IT?

The Shrews most famous supporter Derek Smalls

Given how cold it is will tonight's WINTER'S TALE see THE TAMING OF THE SHREWS or will it be A COMEDY OF ERRORS or more likely MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING? Just as long as ALLS WELL THAT ENDS WELL I will be reasonably happy. Let's call it a small diversion from other matters

to be or not to be?

LET THE VOICE OF REASON IN

EUFA Champions League, Premier League and Carling Cup; this is what it’s like now; game upon game which I think is a very good thing. The reason being that it gives the team the opportunity to gel. It gives the players no time to think about stuff, just play. Recovery can be a long process and let’s face it The Arsenal are in a recovery phase, not just from the Old Trafford debacle but from the demise that has been going on for too long.

What concerns me is that there are far too many members of the press and broadcast media that are unable to grasp the concept of   reality and are therefore negatively influencing some of those that turn up at the Emirates on a match day. Arsenal’s 1-1 draw against the German Champions was met with quite a lot of negativity, yet by the end of the week a draw in Europe was the standard for the English clubs. No acknowledgement was forthcoming as even in our current condition the ingrained hatred still prevails.

This means that now more than ever is when all supporters need to be united and introduce a bit of a siege mentality; after all it’s OUR Club and we should not allow the external forces of doom get under our skin. When Wenger spoke about the press this week there was an air of indignation that he had rightly pointed out that the press are, by and large, nit wits. Some of our fans need to remember this instead of making proclamations based on what they have read in the super soaraway. Have a view by all means but please, think for yourselves. Some of those who sit near me upstairs at Emirates would do well to grasp this. It will be interesting yto gauge the mood tonight as those who are not fortunate enough to have season tickets attend.

a day in the life of a tabloid journalist

Monday, 19 September 2011

HOIST BY HIS OWN PETARD

 
 
 
 
For 'tis the sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his own petar; 
© Bill Shakespeare

Be assured dear reader that I am striving for positivity. Also be in no doubt that I am foremostly interested in the Arsenal; I have no axe to grind with our manager other than wanting the best for the club. In this light I had to do a double take when I read Wenger's comments in the Independent 17th sept. These are his own words and therefore this is not an opinion piece but a factual account of what I manager believes

"We were a team on the up and that was not rewarded last year because we were a bit hungry to go for all four trophies"
Correct me if I'm wrong but a team on the up is not a team who goes into decline as the season progresses.

"But the basic quality was there and we were certainly very close to winning last year."
I would argue that if the basic quality was there then 'close to winning' would have been 'winning'

"We were suddenly hit by major departures that were not planned"
Not planned? do me a favour.

"But we have invested as well, our highest investment has been in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlaine, a young player"
Now AOC may become the next Rooney but, investing in a Snjeider or Mata or Samba would have been more useful right now I would have thought.

"The most difficult thing is to show consistency in any sport..."
agreed

"..and we have managed to do that above expectations and nobody else has done better than us on the consistency level"
At this point you have to question the core beliefs and values in a statement like that!

So there you have it; Wenger in his own words. Need I say more? probably not, but you know I will.

talking loud...
..saying nothing
A petard was a small bomb used to blow up gates and walls when breaching fortifications.
The term has a French origin and dates back to the sixteenth century

COMMON SENSE ON DEFENCE


DWWDDDLDDLWLLDDLLWL
Thats our league form from the nadir of last season; the 4-4 at St james'.


This run Includes loses to Bolton Blackpool Stoke and Blackburn.

Of the drawn games we have been in a winning position in a number of them, only to have the three points turn into 1,so far this season we have  conceded the most goals in the Premier league.

36.31.35.31.37.41.43.
That's our goals against in the League since we were last Champions when we conceded 26 goals

I would therefore suggest that an area that Arsenal have needed to address for some time is our defensive weakness. I'm not a 'genius' or a 'Profesor' ; people refer to Manager as such, but it seems obvious that this area alone is a major concern. The other problems have a range of reasons, possible solutions and numerous opinion as to the cause but this issue is non negotiable. Surely it's an issue that all of us can agree on.

If it's about failure to replace Gilberto in front of the back four, if it's about failure to replace Sol Campbell at the heart of the defense, if it's about failure to replace wide men who covered the fullbacks or if it's about failure to replace a dominant ball winner in the middle then surely the man in charge can see it? If it's about a team who are not willing to meet their defensive duties then that is a huge concern.

Now these are facts not opinions and this decline does not appear to be looking to halt any time soon. With tricky games at Stamford Bridge and WHL to come some work needs doing on the training pitch. In fact, it's not just the Chelsea & Sp*rs games, it's the likes of Bolton, Sunderland and Stoke that are also of concern because we are now a team that concedes to these characters.

The short term fix; acknowledging that no major change can happen in the immediate future is some back to basics defending across the team. Only then will things stabilise enough for any chance of some sort of form to return.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

LOOKING AHEAD

Following the carling Cup game The Arsenal play Bolton and Olympiakos at home followed by Sp*rs away; a set of fixtures that are resonant of days gone by. Bolton became our nemesis and therefore beating them is always rewarding, even with Owen Coyle who is a decent manager. A home game in the Champions league is something we have become familiar with over the years and we have seen some great performances against Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus among others. And then it’s Sp*rs to whom we owe one; always a high profile game as it is their Cup Final. A league win at WHL is overdue; a chance to put them in their place.

The ball is certainly rolling at the moment and the lead in to our annual danger month of November is nicely set for us to achieve some sort of form entering it. The month of October ends with a trip to Stamford Bridge and this will be the first real test of our credentials since Black Sunday.

If anything, at the moment it’s an interesting time to be an Arsenal supporter.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

ENOUGH


I've had enough

This is not Knee jerk, this is not panic, this is not hysteria, this is reality; Wenger must go.

Our club has reached a point where mediocrity is rewarded, where incompetence is tolerated, where excuses cover the cracks and where ambition has gone out of the window.
Our squad is not good enough. Defensively we are not good enough. Clinical finishing wise we are not good enough.

To get the best out of this mediocre squad you need a manager with tactical acuity; Wenger is not that man. To have a future you need a manager who can see the problems and take action to address them; Wenger is not that man.
To have a vision of wanting to be the best and knowing the type of player that can make that happen you need a touch of the mercurial: Wenger no longer has that.

The Arsenal is a club spiralling down a one way street and that it the fault of Wenger. Forget the bamboozling financial situation, forget the money that other clubs have; that's all smokescreen. A smokescreen to cover up the fact that Wenger reached his peak and is no longer able to deliver.

The Arsenal have no divine right, so let's not think that but, when things are falling apart action needs to be taken.

I believe that action is the dismissal of Wenger. A New manger then could try and get the best out of this squad through tactical means and perhaps some real inspiration, make additions in January and then re invent in the Summer of 2012.

I know that there are things going on at the club that validate my views. I have a close friend who has a relationship with the manager of a key player at the club, and believe me, things are not right at AFC.

I firmly believe that Wenger must go, now, before he becomes a hate figure. I have that compassion and would rather he goes before the fickle gods of football turn him into a Mr Bean figure, regardless of what he has previously achieved.

I say this not through any malice towards Wenger but through my love of the Arsenal.

enough is enough

ARSENAL 50 ROBINSON 0

Paul Robinson

This bloke has conceded 50 goals against The Arsenal in 18 games, poor sod. Let's hope that his reccuring nightmare continues today. Sorry Paul but "needs must"

It was sixteen years ago...

Blackburn Rover 0 Arsenal 2 (Wright 2)
Seaman, Dixon, Keown, Bould, Adams, Winterburn, Platt,
         Vieira, Merson, Wright, Hartson
         Subs: Parlour (Hartson 85), Shaw, Linighan, Rose, Lukic
12th October 1996
Wenger's first Arsenal game. An away 0-2 victory against Blackburn Rovers. It was like a new beginning. Could today be symbolic of another fresh start, albeit with the same manager?

Friday, 16 September 2011

THE LAST WORD ON FORMER CAPTAIN

There seem to still be discussions, diatribes and comments flying around concerning our former Captain. Strange really given that he's gone.
When I climb the stairs at The Emirates I come out of the doors in front of a display featuring all our Captains. Curiously they have not got around to placing RVP's portrait on the wall.This leaves our former captain as the last image on this rota of Captaincy.
I don't feel animosity, love, hate, resentment or sorrow about his departure. I just believe that once a player doesn't want to play for The Arsenal and leaves "that's that".
I don't wish him well, or ill; I simply don't care.
I see the images of Vieira, Adams, Rice and McClintock and see real captains, guys who achieved things before they moved on, and I therefore look forward to seeing more faces added, of Captains of our great club that will lift trophies.
I think Arsenal fans should muster their efforts enthusiasm and keyboards in support of the players we have now, not the 'once were' brigade.
The future, not the past. Forward indeed.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

ROVERS v ARSENAL A GAME OF THREE SEASONS

Blackburn Rovers 1 Arsenal 4

April 13th 1998 was a memorable game against Blackburn at Ewood park; a game in which Arsenal tightened their grip on the title. A game of three seasons (of Weather)

It was a game that started in Sunshine then it rained and finally it snowed. A game in which Arsenal stamped their authority early and took all three points before half time. A curios game indeed, but a game that symbolised Arsenal’s ability to meet the challenge, come back from adversity; the game was just 48 hours after a tricky match against Newcastle. Arsenal racked up a three goal lead, courtesy of Bergkamp and ray parlour, in the opening 17 minutes and Anelka added a sublime fourth. What followed was four straight victories to clinch the title.

A stark contrast to last seasons 0-4 half time lead at St James Park. This Saturday is a tough away fixture because all fixtures at the moment are tough. A trip up North with the aim of three hard won points is the stuff that this league is all about. 1-4 would be nice but let’s see our boys get on that team bus and head home with a 0-1 victory and three points in the bag

The team that day: Seaman, Winterburn, Vieira, Bould, Adams, Anelka (Platt), Bergkamp, Overmars (Hughes), Parlour, Petit, Garde. Subs: Wreh, Crowe, Manninger

Blackburn were the team that had cast doubt on The Arsenal with their 1-3 Highbury victory in 97 and were not to be taken lightly.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL


The Mission was; go to a hostile ground to face the Bundasliga Champions and come away with something.
We did and, save for a wonder goal from Peresic which Barcelona or Man Utd or Brazil 1970 for that matter could have done nothing about, we may have come away with all three points.
It's all about context at the moment, a building process and tonight was another brick in the wall for The Arsenal.

Well done boys!

A SEASON AND TEAM UNDER CONSTRUCTION


Games are coming thick and fast which is a good thing. Not only for we the loyal followers, but it means there is little time for the players to do anything other than play and work on their understanding and interactions.  Tonight’s game in a tricky Champions League group requires at least a point. Dortmund are the German Champions and this fact should not be overlooked, therefore an away point would be a good start.

We are miles away from winning the tournament so I see this group stage, certainly until the end of the year, as a period of bedding in, recapturing some kind of form and rebuilding confidence.

Let’s not look beyond getting out of the group stage. In fact it would not be the end of the world if we didn’t and ended up in The Europa League (I think I’m right in saying that some non qualifiers go into the EL; I’m happy to be corrected though) but lets try and get out of the group and se where we go from there.

Our priority, as far as I see it, is to string together some league results and begin the long journey our club needs to take in order to re-establish ourselves. Our form in 2011 has been appalling and this needs to change first; rebuilding from the ground up as it were.

Reaching the January Transfer window in good shape should enable us to look to continue re shaping the squad.

I believe that The Domestic Cups are a god route to adding that elusive trophy to give this group of players the belief that they can be winners.

Some might say I’m setting my sights to low, and that’s an opinion that I understand, however I think I’m just being realistic.

Between  now and January the Two Manchester Clubs and (let’s not overlook them) Chelsea, will be the teams fighting it out over top dog status, we should be quietly going about our business and banking league points in order to see how we go in 2012.

I guess what I’m saying is that the ‘each game as it comes’ mantra has never been more apposite.

Monday, 12 September 2011

REALITY USED TO BE A FRIEND OF MINE

This is the way it is now; the media are wetting themselves over the two Manchester clubs who are, seemingly, demolishing everyone in their paths. Liverpool’s barren spell and lack of European football is overlooked because of ‘King Kenny’; funny how his complaints about officialdom are not viewed the same as AW’s, but there you go.
Arsenal are not that big of a deal, consigned to the dregs of MOTD and barely mentioned in the press. Welcome to the 2011/12 season.
We are that slightly above average team that we used to regularly beat. We are that side who are looking to string a bit of form together. We are that team that are looking at clean sheets and picking up points where we can. That’s the reality of our current situation.

We are not Barca, we are not Man Utd; right here and now we are just Arsenal football Club.

Some of my fellow supporters on Saturday seem to be living in a strange alternative reality; were not that good. We took three points at home, job done. Sorry it wasn’t all “Henry to Pires, Pires to Ljungberg, to Bergkamp, Vieira with the finishing touch to make it 4-0”

The tutting at Theo (played out of position for years), the harrumphing at Frimpong (playing with brand new team mates through no fault of his own) and the sighs that met every wayward pass (not the player’s fault that additions were made without adequate bedding in time) are not tenable; this is where we are as a club. Get used it. Please. It’s the only reality that exists. Wenger has caused this but we are stuck with it for the time being. Let’s at least get behind the team. Acknowledge that we’ve got rid of some of the dross and give the new guys a chance.

What some of my compatriot Arsenal supporters showed was what I would call the Emirates Syndrome. We have been down as a club and we have always, always got back up. Support The Arsenal, not for what it should be but for what it is and what we want it to be. Long after AW is gone  and common sense prevails Arsenal will still be here and so will I and a lot of others through thick  and thin, even if it’s mostly thin.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

REALITY CHECK

 

European football, titles, trophies and beautiful football are not givens. A section of Arsenal supporters today seemed to be in denial. We're actually not all that at the moment therefore all that mattered was a win; 1-0 or otherwise. That's the reality of Arsenal circa 2011/12, we're not Arsenal 2003/04 and we're not the current Man Utd. We are a club with a set of players and a manager that are average. That's just how it is. Whatever some may think we are adrift. We are a project that has failed and is seeking to change. Wenger is a reality; he stays at the club regardless of what some of us think and this lot are our Arsenal for the time being. If the immediate future is about 1-0s we need to adapt to that reality. Arsenal have been on the canvas before but we've always got up. Perhaps a fallow period is a reminder that we football fans sometimes have to accept mediocrity and hope that the good times return.‏

Friday, 9 September 2011

THE EIGHTIES ARSENAL

  
ARSENAL THE ADIDAS/JVC YEARS
Looking back, those were good times. The Arsenal were a team of character and characters on the way back up to the top.
Millwall v Arsenal Div 1

 
Sp*rs v Arsenal Littlewoods cup

Arsenal v Man Utd Winterburn ignites the fuse

 
That moment
 
Champions 1988/1989
League Cup Winners 1987
EUFA Cup Winners cup Runners up 1980
FA CUP runners up 1980
Charity Shield winners 1998

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