Saturday, 25 September 2010

Pattie Malette in goal

If we are going to lose to a team that we really should be beating ideally we play quite well and lose to a fluke or an error. Actually it's a shame we didn't lose solely because Almunia was hopeless. I could've had a rant about him and moved on. He played his part by being hopeless for the second goal and awful for the third but he was not to blame. Yes! I said it, Almunia was not to blame!

The man from Eastlower warned me to leave this blog until tomorrow. Let the dust settle. Don't say anything too rash. I feel calm. It was obvious from about 3.30 that we weren't on it today. I'm not blaming Almunia as the whole team were disgraceful. Ok, Almunia should've stopped 2 and 3. He is a mistake or two waiting to happen but we have been left with no viable alternative. We know this, it's old ground. What's very worrying is how the rest of the team gave so little. It was poor. There is no other way to say it. WBA deserved to beat us. 2-3 flattered us somewhat. Arsene needs to fix it and quickly. Chavscum (South) await us after a long away trip. The defence and Almunia had won me over but now I have the jitters.

It was my birthday yesterday. Spuds, Chavs and even Liverpool joined in to give me a little present. Arsenal! You let me down. Cambridge City nearly joined them but scrapped a 2-2 draw with Hitchin in the FA Cup. Just when I thought my afternoon couldn't get any worse I was presented with Justin Bieber's biography as a gift from a good friend! Eastlower and I have been trying to out crap each other with really bad gifts for years now and this friend wanted in. Well he is in, he's joined the crap gift club. He has set the bar high.

Not sure I found out anything today I didn't already know about the team. Hopefully it was an off day for the team. They can do better. Hopefully it was a bad day for Almunia. Not sure we have better. I did, however, find out that Justin Bieber is too young to have a biography and that his mother is called Pattie Mallette (as in Timmy) and Eastlower, his brother and my good self will be using it as a euphemism at every opportunity. Childish but the only thing that raised a smile today. Pattie, we salute you.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

9.9 on the Twitcher Scale

North London was rocked last night. It registered 9.9 on the Twitcher scale and how much fun was that? OK it's not a massively important win in the scheme of things. It's the cup we don't want to win but it's a victory, and a rather heavy victory at that, over our so called (geographical but certainly not aspirational) rivals. It puts them in their place. It shuts up their players who seem to think they are our equal. They are not our equal as by losing they have lost a genuine chance of winning a pot. They'd be happy to win that. Maybe we should too but we've got bigger things ahead of us. We might not win them but we might. They won't.

The first half was a joy. More lessons for 'arry to learn. We played them off the pitch. Great fun. The second half saw the introduction of their big guns if you can call Keane & Lennon 'big' or 'guns'. It paid off as a hopeless linesman who flagged us offside wrongly twice gave an offside Keane onside for the annoying got to pass it to Flappyhandski who made very little effort to stop it. Enough Arsene! Move him on.

Two clear penalties converted topped off with a nice move by Arshavin gave us an enormous win. Spud kids were crying as Gooners chanted "shall we make a DVD" & "are you tottenham in disguise" while the team played the 'wayhey' passing game. All the songs were coming out. Glad the pope is still telling the spuds where to go.

Arsene couldn't get a signal to text his substitutions. He knows how I feel in the Clock End when I try to text the man from Eastlower a rude word to describe a Bolton player. Imagine Eastlower's surprise as he goes through Arnos Grove an hour after the game ends and his phone pops up with 'Bast*rd'. Poor Pat's phone vibrated all night as he was trying to sleep.
A cracking nights work. Jack was immense despite being assaulted every 3 minutes. What a prospect. Spuds can only dream of such an English homegrown talent.

Glad to hear the spuds megastore (why do they need a megastore?!) was inundated with Gooners calling about the DVD. Good work. But there won't be a DVD. There won't be a t shirt or an open top bus parade because big clubs don't do that. We'll take the mick for a bit & move on to bigger and better things. But for the next few days we will enjoy it.
Altogether now

"we beat the Scum 4-1!"

Sunday, 19 September 2010

The Breaks.

The game against Braga was a work of art. It was Michelangelo (the artist not the turtle) painting the Sistine Chapel. Yesterdays game was like watching cement being delivered. It's not a criticism of the team. Every game is different. It was just hard work to watch and it looked hard work to play.

Sunderland pressed us harder than 3 Huddlestones in a lift. The majority of the match seemed to be played in our half with the defence playing heroics. Immediately after the match I tweeted that we were poor but that's unfair on half the team. I must learn not to tweet heat of the moment tweets (a sentence I thought I'd never write!)

Considering Kos and Squilly are a brand new couple I think they passed this test with flying colours. The defence defended while the keeper kept. Almunia looks like 'a new signing.' He's had a shot of confidence & is looking commanding. He's coming for the right things and took 2 or 3 corners well. I even heard him shout "keeper" at a cross. That's what we want. Scroll down this blog and you'll see I wanted him out. Replace him with Schwarzer, Scooby Doo, anyone. However, he's on his way to proving a lot of us wrong and I for one will be happy to eat humble pie with added hat if he turns it around. Good luck to him.

The ref obviously received an e mail 'straight from the FA' to send off an Arsenal player for next to nothing. Alex Song was selected for a rest. Rubbish but Song was silly to give the ref that option.

The missed penalty, which landed in my garden in Islington and missed my son's goal post too, was the killer really. If that goes in it's game over. Our 4th choice penalty taker looked like our 8th choice as he hit it higher than Bubbles from The Wire. Least us not forget that if Arshavin had maybe hit the target once with his chances Rosicky's miss would've been ok(ish).

Last minute winners are horrible if you let them in. Ask the scousers in 89 or the Sheffield Wednesday fans in 93. Yesterday we gave Sunderland a point they probably deserved. Bruce must've thought he was managing Man U as the ref played on and on and on until the home team in red scored. If Darren Bent had an ounce of decency he'd have put that wide and celebrated with our team but he forgot himself.

A brief mention to my other team, Cambridge City, who beat Weymouth 3-0 away. 6 points clear after only 9 games with 7 consecutive clean sheets. Marvellous.

Onwards and upwards Gooners. Who's next? Oh yes, them! Weakened team to give them a chance? Weakened team wheels, deals, teaches them a lesson and gives 'arry a twitch? I hope so. Release our win on DVD? Never.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Those blokes at UEFA clearly don't have jobs, kids, homework, football training. They dont have to feed the kids or wash the kids because if they did they would be late like us. And that ladies and gentleman is the only moan on the most perfect of perfect evenings

I sat in my seat at 7.55 and within seconds was up again cheering the opening goal. Many things might make is late but The Arsenal were good enough to wait for me before they scored. Thanks lads.

Not sure where to go now. This is so much easier if there is a goalie or slow old defender to moan about. There isn't. It's really quite hard to say any more than that was fantastic, marvellous, wonderful and every player, to a man, were fantastic too. The Arsenal hardly got out of second gear and won 6-0. Perfect.

I remember coming out of Highbury during the unbeaten season and meeting up with the Man from Eastlower. We had little to say but 'that was great again'. There is so much more to say and argue about when things are going badly. Tonight was a 'that was great' evening.

It's nights like this that make me realise how lucky we are as Gooners. Some of the football and all the goals were delightful. Indeed if 'arry saw any of that he might learn a lesson.

This perfect evening was made complete with the two ends of the stadium singing in turn the 'We're the North Bank / clock end highbury' song.

Here's to many more games this season where there's little to debate.

That would be perfect.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Just The Ticket

This season is ticking along nicely. We are beating everyone we should only dropping points away at Liverpool which is fine. However at half time I was slightly concerned. We'd started slowly, scored, were missing chance after chance, then conceded a sloppy equaliser. That was last season football and we don't want that back.

The goal we conceded was so poor I immediately blamed Almunia on twitter. I saw him rush out (which was fine) but then having lost the man he followed him (which was not fine) I felt he should've got back in goal. I got a twit slap for blaming him & when I saw it on the jumbotrons I apologised. In the heat of the moment I've become conditioned to blame our keepers and I know I need to stop. When my car was broken into recently I'm sure I saw a man with zebra arms running away.

The second half was this season football and I like it. They'll moan about the sending off but it's not our fault the ref was utterly hopeless. What about the reds he missed for Robinson and Davies or the clear penalties we should've had. It was all rounded of with a sexy little beauty of a goal. 476 passes led to a sublime ball to Vela who tried something new by unchipping in into the corner. 4-1 was fair. Indeed 7-1 would've been fair had Arshavin not been wearing Crocs. However, that's only a minor gripe. If we score 4 he's allowed to miss chances. If we are 1-0 down it won't be so ok.

The biggest disappointment was Bolton. I kept reminding myself as I climbed the stairs of the clock End that Bolton are no longer bastards. They play football now Fat Sam has gone. Well they don't. They played very little and joined the list of teams that are too scared to do anything else but kick us. They are just not that good at it anymore. It's pleasing that we seem to be able to deal with it now.

Next stop Champions League. Must be very exciting if you are a spud although I'm sure they'll come back down to earth quicker than Wayne skydiving towards a hooker.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Non League Day - Sept 4th 2010

I know this is an Arsenal blog but anyone who has read it or follows me on Twitter will know that from time to time I mention another. I once described The Arsenal as the wife and Cambridge City as the mistress but that suggests cheating and secrecy. The Arsenal won't mind I sneak off to see someone else when they are away from home. The two can exist together as the chances of them ever meeting is slim.

Saturday 4th September has been declared 'Non League Day' as there is no club or international football that day. It's the brainchild of James Doe, a lifelong football fan and supporter of Harrow Borough FC. Its aim is to promote the semi professional game in this country by virtue of a fortuitous break in the football calendar.

My dad travelled to London in the 60s and 70s on the train to watch football. It was not a place for a child. He saw too much fighting for him to take me. The crush on the platform was the final straw. Cambridge City, the local non-league club, were the safer option. He'd watched them with his dad and now he was taking me. They had a wonderful wooden stadium which I remember feeling as big as Wembley. I even saw them play The Arsenal once in a friendly. Pat Rice led the team out. Money worries led them to sell their 'Wembley' to developers and build a small ground around the training pitch next door. They lose that ground at the end of the season and with it go many of my memories of my dad.

He always stood in the same place with the same people. John, always pessimistic, Jed, who made me laugh with every comment, Whizz, with his headphone for latest scores. Dad knew Whizz for 30 years but didn't know his real name! When my dad died in 1999 I didn't go for 4 years. It was our place and I couldn't go without him.

But I returned with my son and he loves it too. The old faces have gone. They're not standing where we always stood. I don't stand there either. That was our spot.

I urge you, this weekend to support non league day. These clubs need your support. You can get into the game, buy a programme, raffle tickets, a tea and a burger and still have change from £20. Many clubs are offering special deals on Saturday. City are letting anyone showing a season ticket to a Premiership or Championship team in free!

So on Saturday my son and I will drive from (near) The Arsenal up the M11 to see City vs Stourbridge in the Zamaretto Premier League.

If you fancy it go to where there is a map of games so you can find your nearest. Go on, you won't regret it.

Video from This is such a valuable service for us fans who've moved away & I hope the club don't mind me borrowing it for my blog! (Right click & select show all if you can't see the goals!)