Sunday, 28 August 2011

The Arsenal Thorough Worsted

Eleven little red lads in a deep red hue,

Came to show Loughborough a thing or two;

But the Luffs they said nay,

It is our turn today,

And the reds returned, thorough worsted.

That is how the Loughborough local paper opened it's report on Arsenal's largest defeat in 1896. Before today that was the only time we have ever let 8 goals in. 115 years of football and nobody managed it. If the year started in a 19 nobody managed it. Eight! 8! Huit! Ocho! One fat lady! Fucking 8! However you say it it's a lot of goals to let in. That's 1 every 11 minutes 15 seconds. No one has done that to us in living memory. 8!

Usually we all analyse the term, performance and individuals but today there is no point. They all did their best considering the neglect. They scored two goals at Old Debtford. First time since 1984 I believe (haven't checked sorry) while missing a penalty. Considering the team selection and instructions to get two is a miracle. Conceding 8 was shocking but not unexpected considering the neglect. I actually feel sorry for our boys.

I feel sorry for the kids who have been thrown in right up to their necks. For a manager who has been so protective towards youngsters it's extraordinary to see him compromising these kids. I feel sorry for the older heads who have been swamped by youngsters. They can only guide so many and there are just too many. I feel sorry for the bench. Yet again it looked like a kids birthday party outing. There are no game changers on there. I feel sorry for RVP. He's at a stage in his career where he needs trophies and he looks about this flimsy squad and must despair. After today he would be well within his rights to kick the manager's door down and ask what the Squillaci is going on. I feel sorry for Szczesny. He was our best player by far and kept the score in single figures. Without him Loughborough would've become a distant memory! I feel sorry for the whole team being asked to play 'The Arsenal Way' despite not having the players to do it. Gary Neville sat in the Sky studio almost speechless at how high the defence were playing. Paul Merson was slowing losing it.

I feel sorry for the whole club as Sir Alex looked embarrassed by the win.

I feel sorry for the away fans who were once again magnificent. Old Scumford is a horrible place to go and they sang their hearts out and should get all their money back from the club if there is any decency left.

How has it come to this? It's obvious to all and very old ground. We were promised a big summer but that was a one way promise. We need players. We all know it. It's now critical. I know we have 8 (there's that number again) out and they would help but the squad is very very light even when everyone is fit. Again boring old ground.

I'm at a loss to know what else to say. I could say so much but it's all been said before. We know what needs to be done but with only 3 days to do it, it might all be too little too late. I've phoned missing persons and reported the loss of an entire football club and a shit load of money. Manchester Police have arrested the United first team on suspicion of murdering a group of London teenagers on a day trip to the city. Seriously though, we are in a lot of trouble here.

Eleven little lads in a stupid double blue

Went to Old Trafford without a fucking clue

It wasn't a twist of fate

When the Mancs hit eight

And the blues returned, thorough worsted.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Rabbit in a Magic Hat.

So Arsenal, how could we have ever doubted you? Shame on us!
Even if you claim to have never doubted you were certainly worried after quite a short striker headed home an equaliser just before half time.

It was a massive evening. It just could not go wrong. Arsene needed to pull out a victorious rabbit from his magic hat or the future was firmly poo coloured. Imagine how this morning would feel if we were facing Trumptonshire in the Wafer cup. Imagine the pressure on the manager. Imagine the papers & the blogs! Stop now! The rabbit was found and what a lovely, fat, fluffy rabbit dripping with mental strength he was. He will be popping into every national newspaper office later with a knuckle duster just to make sure the editors have stuck our badge back together again. How annoyed will the tabloids be this morning? They were desperate for us to join the spuds. Find another story you muppets.

The first half was a breathless ding dong. Two teams with very little between them racing from one end of the pitch to the other. From kick off Udinese made a chance & within seconds so did we. This was uncomfortable viewing. Quite a lot of girlie screaming was going on in our living room as they hit the post a couple of times & we played pinball in their area. That turned to swearing then silence as Di Natale headed past Szczesny with a stunning header which Djourou should've dealt with.

Half time was unpleasant. After 1 goal in 3 & a half matches it was hard to see the breakthrough coming. Twitter was shuddering with concerned Gooners. However, we just needed one. Just one. The collective worldwide relief for all those in red with white sleeves was felt after a marvellous dribble by Gervinho & a whollop by the captain. 1-1. Nothing can go wrong now can it?

You'd think not but you have to remember that referees can do idiotic things in the blink of an eye. A corner was swug in, TV was pushed in the back, the ball brushed his arm & the essentially pointless extra official saw his chance to be given a more important job by Platini. Amazing how this bloke saw that but his mate missed a clear elbow on Theo at the other end. A clear red card & penalty. However, instead the home team were given a huge opportunity on a UEFA shaped plate. What followed resulted in everyone in the living room getting to their feet. Wojciech pulled off the most magnificent Seamanesque save, keeping us firmly in the driving seat while annoying Platini & the media enormously. A double whammy of joy.

Theo, still nursing a sore (but not glass) jaw, raced onto the final bits of a 1-2 with Sagna to make it 1-2 to The Arsenal. With the 14 on his back, he cut inside, headed straight for their keeper & buried it without hesitation. He looked so like an old 14 of ours that we were all surprised he didn't curl it around the keeper into the other corner. High praise indeed and proof, if it were needed, that Theo needs a chance to play more centrally. We may already have the striker we need. He'd be like a new signing!

And you thought I'd forgotten. Of course we need players. One win hasn't changed anything. We have a very long season ahead of us which will be littered with injuries & suspensions. We need experience so the likes of Frimpong aren't looking at Ramsey for help. Ramsey is still so young & inexperienced he needs someone to look up to & learn. Theo Walcott, at 22 is considered an old hand! RVP said after the game what we are all thinking. For the captain to publicly say the win was great as it will generate funds for new players is a big deal. We, as fans, have little power in forcing the club's hand other than stop supporting & that's not going to happen. But when the captain, whose deal is running out, cries out for help, they need to listen and act.

Last night proved & reminded us all how good we are. They played with passion & intelligence. Jenkinson, living all our dreams, looked beyond his years. Frimpong again did a job. The future's bright but with a smattering of the right signings it could be blinding.

Oh and Nasri can fuck right off too.

- Posted in bed, far too early, using BlogPress from an iTelephone.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Too Much Too Young

I'm at that age now where a football match shouldn't leave me feeling quite so miserable. It's an escape. It's not important in the grand scale of things. For a couple of hours you forget everything and focus. Briefly, the fortunes of young millionaires rule your emotions. I shouldn't let it get to me but if a cracking away win puts a spring in your step then a home defeat will puncture you.

I was concerned by the team. It looked like a Milk Cup side with the odd first teamer. Our left backs are both virtually untested and both broken so we needed to shuffle to bring in another untested teen (who did OK!). The central pair at the back were solid. Indeed TV was our best player but then he is a grown up. I like Kos too. These two will see us through. Well until Kos' back goes into spasm and he limps off in agony. I've had that injury twice & recognised it. My goodness it's painful. If it's what happened to me he'll be out for a while & will be suicidal with what's on daytime televsion.

The midfield was all about Frimpong Tiddle Eye Po. He looks like Mr T (or considering his age, the man from the snickers (Marathon) adverts.) His obvious inexperience worried me yet he looked OK. He's obviously going to be a huge (literally) talent. He was holding beautifully but was so pumped up he probably deserved 2 or 3 yellows and a red. 2 yellows & only a 1 match ban was a result in the end. Who plays against Manchester's second team is a mystery.

The bench looked like a children's party. Not a lot on there to change a tight game. Rumours about Punch and Judy at half time to keep the little ones quiet in the dressing room are unfounded however RVP is a doubt for midweek after slipping on some spilt jelly and ice cream. Half the squad left carrying wash bags. The other half left with party bags while news filtered through that the Man U game will now be shown on CBeebies not Sky.

We can analyse the players, performance or formations all night but I think there is a wider issue here. At the start of every season fans have their hopes clearly marked in their minds. It might be a good cup run or safe from relegation. The problem we have at The Arsenal is our expectations are, if not Champions, very close to Champions every year. We have come to expect to be up there and as we play in the ££££ league every season then maybe the brief is being met. However, we can all see that this squad of players is just not good enough (yet) to give the title a realistic go. They will not win the league and I think that's the first time I've felt that so strongly under Arsene. We all know we will face injuries and suspensions over the season and this squad, as it stands, is not equipped to deal with it. After 3 games it's not equipped to deal with it.

The other question that keeps popping up is, 'Are the club as financially secure as we are led to believe?' Is the squad being filled with cheaper promising youngsters as we can't actually afford anyone else? If we make no significant signings in the next two weeks what other reason could it be? Arsene's faith in such a thinly experienced squad can't be that strong. We will be found out.

My immediate concern is Wednesday. We need to be picked up (a nice uplifting signing would do that!) and make sure we don't face the horrors of Thursday nights on Channel 5. That's what the spuds do. That's not for us. Great expectations again?

Lastly, I thoroughly enjoyed Twitter today. Straight after the match I was very down on the side and got loads of abuse from the rose tinted brigade. After a large roast dinner I was more positive and got abuse from the doom merchants calling me deluded. There is an Arsenal civil war going on and I pray the club do the right things to dampen this. Also, we are all supporters of this fine club. A bit of arguing or disagreement doesn't make you any less of a fan. I'll support this lot all my life. I'll follow them to the non-league if that ever happens. That doesn't mean I have to like everything that is happening. This squad is too light, too young and too inexperienced to give both mancs and the chavs a good run for their money this year. We will not win the league and we could be facing Wafer Cup nonsense very soon and I don't like it.

Maybe that's all we can afford. The sooner I accept that the better.

- Posted using BlogPress from an iTelephone.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

What's Stan's Plan?

I know I wasn't alone in dreading this game. It was our first home game of the season & I wasn't looking forward to it. It was a massively important match. We needed to keep away from Thursday night wafer cup games & potential clashes with the spuds. Nobody seemed hugely confident after a less than impressive run around in Newcastle. The team looked as flat as the fans feel. We've played these qualifiers before but I can't remember so many nerves.

We won! That's two games unbeaten with two clean sheets. Not bad eh? One foot in the £££ league draw? I wish! How Udinese got nil is as big a mystery as to why the club are refusing to buy the players we need (for that is what they are doing. It's the only explanation.) Udinese were impressive. They were fit & quick and in periods out Arsenaled us. It was heart in the mouth stuff. The second leg will be as tough as Joey Barton in a nightclub. I'd rather it were as tough as Joey Barton on the pitch but we'd need a 5-0 lead for that.

If our first game centred around the Hitler tribute then our second was all about injuries. What odds would you've got before this game that Gibbs wouldn't make it to September? He has proved once again that he is made of feathers and those little sticks they expect you to stir your coffee with in Starbucks. I feel sorry for him. He's a talent but with a squad this thin we have no room to carry these injury prone boys. Djourou's another one. 9 minutes after coming on for the stick man & he is limping off with a memorial Cesc hamstring pull too. We end up holding onto a 1-0 lead with two 19 year olds coming off the bench to make their £££ league debuts. How has this been allowed to happen? We got away with it but on another night that could've ended up 1-3 & kids on the bench wouldn't be looked at so kindly.

The other main talking point was Arsene's ludicrous touch line ban for calling an idiotic referee an idiot. He sat next to Boro Primorac who spent the evening on Twitter & trying to clear that Angry Birds level he's been stuck on for weeks. UEFA want to tell Arsene off for allegedly passing messages to Pat via Boro. Why did the club not prepare for this? Arsene simply needed a glove puppet that could whisper onto Boro's ear. I'd love to see The Arsenal answering a charge of passing on messages via Sooty. We had a chance there to make UEFA look as stupid as they really are. The 437 pizzas that arrived in the name of Primorac will certainly confuse them.

Since Monday the latest score is Leavers 3 (Cesc, Eboue, Vela) Newcomers 0. Nesri has come close to making it 4-0. Have the Newcomers even had a shot? I've no idea but we unless we act quickly we could be in trouble. The end of August is crashing towards us like a shawcross tackle. Rumours that our only signing will be Kate Middleton as she is Royally F****d too are unfounded!

Yet if we don't sign players (& I mean players in the plural) there may not be any room for jokes. It's clear we won't win the league this year. I'm worried about getting past Udinese.

I'm genuinely concerned. What's the plan? Get all this transfer money in pound coins and pile it up in front of our goal mouth?

We need players, good results against top teams & miracles in the treatment room in the next few days or there may be no way back.

You get one man in
One man out
Out out out out
Shake it all about
Do The Arsenal Hokey Kroenke
It will save a few pounds
Cos that's what it's all about.

(thanks to @ChargingThrough for polishing that rhyme up)

Up The Gunners.

- Posted using BlogPress from an iTelephone in a lovely cafe by the sea.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Spot the difference.

I wasn't going to blog about yesterday. I didn't want to start the season like this. Three months ago I sat at The Arsenal as we slumped to Aston Villa. The atmosphere was poisonous. Boos rang out while Gooners fought among themselves in the stands. Things needed to change.

Three months of promises and that's what we get. Now, we didn't blow a 4 goal lead so this was a far less damaging draw than last season (ignoring the red card and possible ban for Song for a moment. Hold on! It is a pretty damaging draw!) It's just not how you want to start. It's hardly hitting the ground running is it? I thought we kept the ball well. Tried hard to get it back but did very little to actually beat a very poor Newcastle. That was our easiest game this month and we blew it.

The positives, after a summer of worry, were the back 5. Sez looked commanding in the box. There's a lot of pressure on his shoulders this season. He's our number 1 now and thank goodness as there is little in reserve to challenge that. The defence kept a clean sheet which makes a nice change but before we get over excited Newcastle were about as threatening as a baby with a spoon. If they finish above the bottom 3rd they will have done well.

And that's the crux. If we don't have the ideas to take 3 points off a poor side after 3 months of preparation I despair. It was a poor 0-0 with hardly a shot to register in the memory. Without Joey Barton the game would probably be forgotten already. What an absolute arsehole he is but yet again we fell for it. Did nobody warn Gervinho about him? That whole couple of minutes was a disgrace. Firstly it was a penalty. Gervinho was clipped. He was then assaulted while the ball was in play so that's a penalty too. These two penalty shouts ended Gervinho's debut and let Barton off the hook. Poor refereeing. Somehow we had a man fouled in the box which led to him being sent off. Staggering. Worrying too that Barton goes down easier than a crack whore holding a fiver and one of the Taylors thinks a stroke of the face is the same as an elbow. God help their wives for very different reasons!

What worries me more is that the side that played yesterday can only be strengthened by bringing Jack in. There is really nobody else that would make a difference. We have the cast of Glee (or Kids from Fame for older viewers) chomping at the bit on the bench but are any of them ready to invigorate a lacklustre show? In a couple of days this squad needs to try and keep us away from the prospect of unthinkable Thursday night football.

Turn it around boys. Give us fans something to believe in. Show us Arsene still knows. It's the least we deserve.

- Posted using BlogPress from an iTelephone.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Back to School Sale

So today is the day Cesc Fabregas finally signs for Barcelona and joins up with his mind after it signed for them 15 months ago. It's been a messy divorce and that's a shame. He should be remembered fondly by Gooners but his actions, and more so the actions of the filth he joins, means there isn't a lot of love for our ex-captain. Due to where he is heading we can't even wish him well. He hasn't reached legendary status and will probably be forgotten. Generations of Gooners won't list him in their best ever teams. There are few things he has done that can't be outdone by others. He never lifted a trophy.

What does disturb me is it looks likely Fabregas was on some sort of strike. He hasn't kicked a ball for us since April and this fueled the rumours. What's important is we perceive him to be forcing the issue and that leaves us cold. It's said he wasn't match fit for Newcastle but you just watch him jump around like a spring lamb if they want him to play. Apparently Barcelona are facing a huge injury crisis after half there squad, on hearing the news of Cesc, ejaculated themselves to death.

Arsene said he wanted this resolved by the start of the season and, for once this summer, the club told the truth. It's unfortunate Arsene said at 9am that nobody is leaving and by 2pm somebody had. Arsene is losing friends. Not me. I'm still a believing Arsenist but I'm being tested. I think it's the fear of who may take over that helps this belief. He hasn't gone mad. He hasn't lost it. He's doing things his way. He gave us the Untouchables so I'm still looking for that next miracle (for they were a sight to behold.)

The dress rehearsals didn't go well. Tomorrow night is the real thing. After a busy summer was promised the final cast list shouldn't be like this. Captain gone. Nasri is sick (of surviving on the thousands The Arsenal pay him.) We have players who don't want to be with us like Bendtner. We have players who are just not good enough even as squad players like Squillaci and Almunia. We have a flimsy left back. Jack is injured. We have some new school boys on the wings. Tomorrow has to go well. No excuses. The club have had the whole summer to sort out the obvious. Imagine if we concede from a set piece! Imagine if we lose!

The money is there and we have 19 days to use it wisely. Unfortunately in that 19 days we have Newcastle, Udinese twice, Liverpool and Man U. Anyway, I'm still excitedly nervous or is that nervously excited. I don't know but Match of the Day is on series link. Bring it on.

Worried? Arsene Knows .....doesn't he?

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Burning Chavscum Stuff!

For the last few days I've been thinking about the mess that is the Arsenal summer. We were promised a big one. So far we haven't had it. I was going to start it with the line,

Hopefully this blog entry will be out of date quicker than a Diaby injury in a comeback match.

By that I hoped all my concerns about the squad would be solved before I'd posted the piece. They haven't. Constant rumours about numerous players on top on the relentless Cesc nonsense is dragging me down. There is a part of me that hopes Cesc goes this week so we can all just get on with our lives (& transfers?)

Before I could find the time to embark on a summer assessment along came the blog entry to end all summer blog entries. It was written by @Yankeegunner and you can read it at

It says everything I wanted to but better. It's how all us non booing Gooners feel. It says it all so I'll shut up and let you read that.

However, before I go I must supply you with a little treat. This week my son has attended a soccer school. We are away on holiday and you must remember that this was the only school available. Had The Arsenal been here we would use them but they weren't. Chelsea, however, were and I sent my boy into enemy territory donned in full Arsenal kit every day. I did my best with the banter but as the Chavs are statistically (if not morally) better than us I was in very thin ice on very hot days. My best line was,

'We got a packed lunch, shin pads & boots. Do you supply the air rifle?'

I did my best. Anyway, the course is now over and as a memento they gave a boy in the famous dark blue/light blue of the Arsenal (there it is again for @YankeeGunner) Chavscum wristbands! What to do with them? A quick twitter poll soon gave me the answer and it involved fire!

While others produce in depth analysis on our hopes & dreams I supply you with a video of chavscum stuff burning to an Arsenal classic. I've found my level. Enjoy!

- Posted using BlogPress from an iTelephone.