Monday, 30 January 2012

Now Where Are The Trophy Cabinet Keys? Once Again It's On!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we love this thing called football. January finished on a high as we finally managed to put in a shift of 45 minutes. Look what happens when urgency and desire take over.

To be fair the half time score didn't really reflect our play. It was all too easy for the boo boys to vocalise their displeasure as we stared down the barrel again. 5 minutes before the first Villa goal I swapped texts with the man from Eastlower and we both categorically confirmed to each other that this game had 0-0 written all over it. We were blunt in attack while Villa were crap. Yes! We can read a game and will be presenting ITV's coverage of the next round. "Well Eastlower, if nobody scores it will be a draw." "Indeed it will Feverpitch and I can see a replay happening too." ESPN wanted us but we are a little too highbrow.

Moments after plumping for a draw Richard Dunne (talking of plump) rose like an overweight whale to head home after we had defended a corner like Arsenal. Nobody wanted it apart from Dunne and that was symptomatic of our first half and indeed most of January (and beyond...) We continued to look busy but achieved nothing. It was during one of these pointless excursions into the Villa box that we conceded again. They broke like we used to. Bent surged into the box, played a one two off Flappyhandski's flappy hand and slotted home from the acutist of angles. That was a well taken goal by any standards. I maybe being a bit harsh on Flappy. It was a decent first save but he really needs to put it out of danger or it will come straight back at you. It did. 0-2. Poor old Flaps. He doesn't really install much confidence does he? At one point @lovelymrs tweeted "Flappyhandski is a bit Flappyfootski too today!" Balls in the air or on the floor are a challenge. Sharp intakes of breath when the ball's in our area. Sighs of relief when he holds it. Our confidence in our number two is lower than Jordan's husband's taste in women.

The highlight of the first half for us was Arsene taking 3 minutes to do his zip up. He was struggling yet not one chant of "you don't know what you're doing!" He's zipped up 50,000 things in the past and this one would not beat him. He later failed to explain his actions and why should he?

Half time arrived and it was doom with an added dollop of gloom as we contemplated another season of no shiny things. The boos suggested Arsene was to blame. Well if he was then he must be applauded for what went on at half time. Whatever he did proves to me he is still very much the man. The team were about as useful as an ink pen on 'arry's desk in the first half. The manager and the senior players stepped up and the youngsters responded too.

Suddenly we had captains everywhere. The pitch was soaked in desire and a somewhat complacent Villa, who probably thought they had nearly done enough, couldn't live with us. Two definite penalties and a lucky Theo goal later and we were incredibly winning. Special mentions must go to Ramsey & Kos for their surging runs into the box. Theo may have been lucky but his dribble to the goal was magnificent. He assisted himself for that goal. Lastly, RVP, who drew level with the Lord Dennis on 120 goals for the club, took two superb penalties.

It was one of those lovely Arsenal afternoons that left you with a warm hopeful glow. Thierry prowling the touch line pointing and barking out instructions like a future manager might (you never know!) added to the fun. We needed that win like 'arry needs a big file in his next birthday cake. At half time it seemed like this awful run would never end. It seemed like we really were crap. One decent half in a month doesn't make the problems go away but my goodness it gives us something to build on. We had desire. We had fight. We even had some luck and with the medical room slowly emptying we can look forward with less fear.

On Sunday we saw the worst and the best of our club in the space of 90 minutes. The good finally defeated the crap.

Onwards to Bolton. Up the Gunners.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Still an Arsenist.

So here we are with one game left in January and our only match winner of 2012 being Thierry Henry against lower league opposition. For the third time this year we were beaten by a better team. No complaints about who won. Plenty of concern about who lost.

The most positive result from the round table score prediction in the pub before the game was 1-1. The other seven of us went for defeat so it wasn't unexpected. Fulham was a punch in the stomach. Swansea was the killer upper cut. Our glass jaw exposed. Expectations floored. Had we been playing Wigan the predictions would've been similar. Team news filtered through just as the spuds conceded a late penalty. The Ox unleashed. Our spirits and eyebrows were slightly raised. In at the deep end and why not?

The first half was forgettable rubbish. Man u spent 10 minutes playing with us, attacking in waves & finally breaking us down just before the break. There was an eerie silence from our end. Conceded goals are normally greeted with groans and swearing. Not this one. It was so expected it was almost a relief. To go in only 1 down was a miracle. Man u attack in waves. Toying with us until they spot the weakness or Djourou. They are like predators waiting for the kill. They attack with 10 men. We countered with 4. Mission impossible.

The loss of all our full backs is killing us. We looked like the away team on our own pitch. We also lacked any fight, heart or desire. This was personified by poor Djourou. He was targeted as the weak link mainly due to his ability and the fact he had no help and often faced 3 mancs on his own. I felt a bit sorry for him being so openly exposed however there was a moment which summed up why he really should be nowhere near the first team even with an injury crisis. The ball was lumped forward and it was a straight chase between the Swiss and Nani. One of them sprinted and got to the ball. One of them jogged casually in the general direction of play as if he was in the park with his kids. Not good enough. At least look like you care! At half time Djourou was subbed for a child who was so much better. If that doesn't make him have a good look at himself I don't know what will. Maybe he'll get round to it when he can be bothered.

We were vastly improved in the second half, well for about 20 minutes of it anyway. We created more, fought more. We looked bothered. The equaliser came and briefly we actually believed we could win so much so that the Mancs had to invent an injury to break up our momentum. It worked. We lost the impetus and Man u attacked us again in waves. And then it happened. The Ox, who had impressed and must be a worry for Theo, looked to see his number was up. The loudest noise you hear at the Ems these days are the boos and boy did they ring out. The crowd were disagreeing with the manager. We wanted to win and this particular teenager was going to deliver it. The captain visually booed too. It was a strange one but we really don't know the manager's thinking. Maybe he had good reason. Maybe he was wrong. However, chants of 'you don't know what you're doing' are extraordinary.

The boos at the decision turned to a standing ovation for the young man. He had shown why Arsene paid so much for him - a good long term decision, but let's not consider that, lets just boo the manager at subbing him. The applause then turned to boos again as Arshavin ran on. Incredible way to welcome a player low on confidence that we need to perform. How does that reaction bring the best out of a player? I understand we all pay too much to watch The Arsenal. I understand the frustrations but surely the bare minimum is we get behind the manager & team while the games are actually going on. To boo the manager & players is as stupid as sending abuse to players on twitter. What are these people trying to achieve. Whatever happened to 'We are the Arsenal?'

By all means get on t'internet and have your say. I understand some people who want Wenger to go it's just I don't agree. He has done so much for our club he deserves more respect than he is getting from sections of the crowd. I suggested on twitter last night that these people never offer an alternative. I was bombarded with suggestions, most Guardiola! Excellent! He can bring Messi and Fabregas with him. Everything's going to be OK. Sack the man who has installed these high expectations into you and give the job to the Barcelona manager who I'm sure has always wanted the Arsenal job. What if Pep prefers the Spanish weather? Neil Warnock?

Sack the manager who oversaw our move to a massive new stadium and yet kept us in the top 4? Sack the manager who built the invincibles? Maybe these people are right. Maybe Arsene has lost his way. Maybe things have gone stale. The spirit seems low. The passing, breath taking football has gone. We seem to stumble into wins instead of beating them. The squad's quality is as poor as ever. Things have got to change but changing the manager is the last resort. We need to buy some more quality. It's clear to see yet the manager refuses. He is far too experienced to neglect the obvious need that I really believe the money isn't there. The wages we are wasting on average squad players is draining and this needs addressing. There are 3 utterly crap goalkeepers we could dump for a start. I'd also look at the backroom staff. There are enough people like Adams, Keown or Winterburn knocking about who could do a job in installing discipline and a winning mentality. I'm still very much an Arsenist & will be until things get much worse and the board can convince me they are able to find a competent replacement as I wouldn't trust them to pick me a sandwich at the moment. There is so much we can do before the best manager this club has ever had is sacked starting with backing him and the players we have in the stadium at the very least.

- written in bits throughout the morning in various North London locations and posted using magic.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

THe Scream

I just don't have the energy to say the things we've all said over and over again about this squad. Man U next. I can hardly wait!

Up The Gunners

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

What shall we talk about?

I've started this blog four times now trying desperately hard to find an angle without launching headlong into "HENRRRYY" but I can't. Last night was about one thing and one thing only - The return of one of, if not THE, greatest Arsenal player of all time. When he left us we worried we would never see his like again. Well we did and it could only be the man himself.

The opening 60 odd minutes were the usual all over a team without a meaningful shot as RVP wasn't there. The first half petered out at 0-0 and half time talk was of THE MAN. We predicted only 25 minutes more of this huffing & puffing until Mr W let T save the day. The noise created just by TH12 warming up could be confused by those navigating the damp toilet floors as a goal. Indeed we could've scored while the subs warmed up and nobody would've noticed. We only had eyes for an old love.

The moment arrived. Henry and Walcott waited, man and boy. And it happened. Men, women and children stood and applauded. Goosebumps and a little bit giddy. The only acceptable other love you can have while standing next to your wife as she was having it too!

He ran around. He was offside. He was commanding. He was enormous. He was back. Then it happened. Ten minutes and he found that position. Song's sublime ball was controlled only once before the inside of the foot caressed the ball across the keeper into the far corner. HENRY! 1-0! Thank you and goodnight.

Football is many things. It's the world's greatest soap opera. It's cruel. It's magnificent but rarely is it as perfect as last night. Mr TH loves it when a plan comes together. The only downside of last night was how Thierry's quality just highlighted how average RVP's help are. There was no one in the stadium that could score for us apart from TH. His winner might have been written in the stars but the reality is, at 34 and winding down his career in America, he is still better, RVP aside, than any other 'striker' at the club. The Leeds fans chanted, "You're so shit you need Henry" and I thought fair enough (The child next to me responded with, "He's 34 and you let him score!" That's my boy!) We'd seen what the others could muster and it wasn't great. Henry popped on to show them how it's done. My goodness we need some more quality for when TH goes away again. But as Mrs Feverpitch keeps reminding me, enjoy the moment, stop the moaning about the inadequacies of the others. Thierry will be gone before we know it. We must cherish him while we can.

So I'll try! In the name of Henry I'll try. Watching that goal over and over again will be a start. Watching him celebrate. Seeing his reaction at the final whistle. Images uniting us all reminding us why we love this magnificent old club. Arsenal do things the right way. That wasn't just right it was utterly perfect. - Posted using BlogPress from a very happy iTelephone.

Monday, 2 January 2012


It's probably best we never speak of today again.

Here is a picture of a kitten in a hat to cheer you up.