Sunday, 25 March 2012

He Scores When He Wants.....

......Kieron Gibbs He Scores When He Wants.....

Well that win couldn't have been more comfortable if it had been tucked up in bed with it's favourite socks on and a nice cup of hot chocolate. No hanging on to a 1-0. No last minute winners. No coming from behind. 3-0, thank you very much.

The day started well as the chavs and the spuds decided not to beat each other giving us the perfect opportunity to capitalise. In the past we wouldn't but no more. This is the new improved Arsenal. Worry not. As my son and I strolled across the Arsenal bridge discussing how this game maybe a little frustrating if we don't open them up early some Villa fans piped up, "We're Aston Villa, We've come for a draw!" Our hearts sank as their fans confirmed their quite obvious game plan. This could be a long afternoon. How wrong can you (and the away fans be)?

As we took our seats all talk was of Kos being excused from games with Djourou standing in. If it were a kit issue we were all for Kos doing it in his vest and pants rather than have JD's worried looks at the back. Perspective returned as the North Bank unveiled a banner with Muamba in Arsenal yellow. A standing ovation while thoughtful glances were shared with strangers. Arsenal appeared and things would be OK whatever happens.

Before we knew it we were 2-0 ahead. The first half was a joy filled with confidence, pace and options. Google 'rip a new one' and you will be shown that first half. The team, to a man, were magnificent. Even JD played well especially after head butting Heskey's elbow and ending up in a heap for a bit. That must've been what happened or it would've been a red and Emile wouldn't do such a thing surely? He's English after all! Villa were shit with 11. Imagine what would've happened it Heskey had were ahead of me there weren't you?

I can't remember the last time I clapped so much. Every move, pass, cross field ball, shot, corner or tackle received a ripple of appreciation. We were demolishing Villa down both sides and the middle. They had no answer and we had goals to show for it. It's churlish to pick out individuals but a few things stick in the mind. Gervinho battling past about 5 villa players just refusing to give the ball up. The massive pass from TV to Theo who controlled it like it was magnetically attracted to his boot. Gibbs broke into the box, looked up and didn't know what to do as half the team were in spaces calling for the ball! Too many options! Both goals were lovely moves ending in confident shots. The ground was on it's feet at half time. That truly was The Arsenal.

The second half was a slower affair but if Villa weren't going to try why should we? To be honest they tried a bit harder but we still murdered them in second gear. As the usuals settled for 2-0 and started to leave we got a free kick. Arteta stepped up and hit an absolute thunder bolt past Given. Thank Bergkamp for the net North Bank as that was heading your way. The perfect end to a thoroughly fantastic display as Son of Fever Pitch displayed his shirt with pride after a celebratory chest bump with dad!

The smiles are back and so are The Arsenal.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Sh*tting Kittens

Well that was a splendid night's football. Not so long ago we were 10 points behind and 2-0 down to our undesirable neighbours. That was fair enough as the spuds clearly have the best team they've had for over 40 years. Of course they'll leave us standing. Today? Well their best team in a generation or two sit a point behind us. 'arry's twitching like an evacuating dog as the gap turned into a crack before healing up entirely.

Tonight's game was followed on a variety of modern devices. The iPad had a running text commentary while the phone was Arseblog live blogging & twittering while the TV played 'The bridge on the River Kwai' to calm the nerves!

We scored the early goal and from the 8th minute onwards we felt like we were holding on. There were periods when we destroyed them but we've seen enough of this side to know we can cock up at any minute. By all accounts the back four were fantastic. Four blokes playing in their best positions play very well. Who knew? Our nerves were wracked. Our buttocks were clenched. We hid behind sofas & under kitchen tables. We follow football and put ourselves through this by choice & consider people who have no interest in it as the weird ones!

News filtered in that the spuds were losing then drawing. The Chavs went ahead but just weren't rich enough to hold on while Liverpool hilariously collapsed. Things were going our way and the boys heroically held on for another hard earned victory. Twitter lit up. Mind the gap!

Now, it might sound a little sad to be jumping up and down at finally being 3rd and for a club who should be pushing 1st every year it might be but it's important for two reasons. Firstly, after the summer, the start & the utterly awful results we've scattered around this season, 3rd is an absolute miracle. They've worked hard and are reaping the rewards. They are proving the doubters wrong. Wenger IN!

Secondly, we don't finish below them. It doesn't happen. It's not the natural order of things. They've had their fun. Enough is enough. Mind that gap lads.

Up The Gunners.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

From Behind!

Hats off. If you're not wearing a hat, get a hat, put it on and take it off. The Arsenal, the very team that has exasperated us along this nonsensical bumpy season, have found some desire, fight and a terrific never say die attitude.

Throughout the day I wavered between confidence and worry. Despite this run of form I still thought we'd win but might lose 3-0! This season, if not years, has chipped away at our belief. We can beat anyone. We can lose to them too.

Last night's anticipation was high. We're in some right good form and to pull a point behind those smug bastards from up the road was a prize. For so long it looked as if there would be no St Totts day this season but once again it's on. It's not a trophy. No need to book an open top bus but, let's face it, it's all we've got. It's pride and it's important. 3rd, after our start and various cock ups, would be astonishing.

The game went this way and that. We had the better of it so of course they scored. Yet something has happened of late. Despite the deficit the crowd cheered. We clapped. We roared. We won't take this lying down anymore. The team thanked us within seconds with a cracking equaliser from RVP although it was a lovely team move ended with a flourish from the man.

Newcastle, having led for 50 seconds, seemed to settle for a 1-1 as soon as Robin had rippled the net. Krul started taking an age at every goal kick much to the annoyance of nearly everyone. Do you remember at school when there was a game going on in the playground & there was always one dick who mucked about and ruined the game? Krul was that dick and RVP was the bigger boy who just wanted to play. In the playground Krul would've ended up in the medical hut holding ice on his eye. My son turned to me and suggested we should win this in the last minute to really make the keeper look stupid. Why didn't I put a cheeky quid on it?!

I sat in the Clock End sucking on a locket due to a charming man cold worried we weren't going to capitalise on the Spuds determination to finish below us again. Attacks either fizzled out or led to elongated goal kicks. A cheer lifted as 5 minutes were held aloft. None of us had given up. A real change from a few weeks ago. But they were attacking. Suddenly we swept up the pitch. This was to be our final fling. The box flooded in red.
Walcott, who'd looked lively all night, swung it in. A bounce on and it fell, in what seemed like slow motion, to a marauding centre half. TA would've been there. TV was there. A pile of Arsenal complimented by scarves held aloft. The gap is down to a crack. 11 on the twitcher scale from up the road. However, a word of warning - never ever ever ever google image search 'choking cockerel' to illustrate a collapsing spuds!

The bigger boy got his reward & had the opportunity to say to Krul what we were all thinking. Time waste now you ......... Justice, indeed almost poetic. Forward? 'From Behind' more like.

This is much more fun. Up the Gunners.

- Posted using BlogPress from an iTelephone.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Rock The Mesbah

I missed last night's game. Not only did I not go but most of it passed me by due to a very charming stomach bug that had me doubled over the porcelain! Mrs Pitch and SonofFeverpitch left me in bed with those sicky halucinations that led me to believe the radio reporter was saying we were 2-0 up in the first half. I dragged myself to the TV to make up RVP blasting home a pen. We were 3-0 up at half time in my world. Thanks illness.

Following another bathroom incident I slumped into bed and that was that. How ill did I feel? '5 tweets all night' ill, that's how ill! I've had a quick look today and read through Twitterland and it seems we have a lot to be proud of. You cannot really expect to go through if you cock up the first leg so badly despite Milan doing their best to play extra time. Milan were as poor as we were out there. we, as good as they were out there. They got 4. We got 3. They go through. Move on.

Yet, if we were to go out that was the best result we could hope for. We've beaten Spuds, Liverpool and Milan in less than 2 weeks. That's a decent run of form going into the back end.

The main concern from last night was the bench. It was uninspiring just when you needed a goal. Arshavin's name came up on t'internet a lot. Who knows? Sorry about the meaningless title too. Mesbah was their left back and he was awful. Walcott rocked him and it seemed to good an opportunity to miss!

So a performance to be proud of (if not a blog to match!) So close. If only Vela had been there for the Van Persie 'chip' (see told you I was ill!)

Happy birthday to SonofFeverpitch this week. Have a great day.

Right I'm off to challenge some dry toast and water to a stay down competition!

Up The Gunners.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Arise Sir Chesney

There is nothing in the highway code about not playing a tune on your car horn while you're in the fast lane of a motorway is there? The punching of the air and the Arsenal air freshener hanging from the mirror would've alerted other road users that the 'der - der- derderder" was football induced.

My son and I made the executive decision to do a 150 mile round trip to Brackley to see the top of the table clash against Cambridge City in order for The Arsenal to win. We shunned Sky. Had we stayed at home things would've gone wrong. Mrs Pitch did her bit too by watching the other little Pitches in a swimming gala. After last week it seemed best to hold our breath and hope we kept some form for a change. Please build on the spud mashing.

There was a time where 90 minutes of coverage on the radio was a treat. We are now so used to being at the game or on the TV or finding a stream that the wireless seems second best. 90 minutes of Robbie Savage made me miss Jamie Redknapp! His only point was that going forward we are Champions League. At the back we are Championship. He was pleased with that and said it tirelessly. We were, however, being ripped to bits at the back. It wasn't easy listening. As the shots reigned in the commentators voice rose and we were split second tense. Relying on others to break the news leaves you helpless.

Penalty! The radio said definitely & Szczesny was lucky not to see red (later they did say it was a dive!) We held our breath at 70mph. SAVED! SAVED AGAIN! That's worth a toot of the horn. Lady Luck and Sir Brilliance were with us. Yet they looked away as Kos went all newly born giraffe on us as he showed the people laughably called 'Liverpool strikers' the way. It was cruel. A slap of the steering wheel. Damn.

But this is the new comeback Arsenal. Kos obviously saw that Liverpool wouldn't score so did it for them so we could complete another victory from behind. We came to life. Sagna cross. RVP. 1-1. Liverpool stunned. The first half sounded all one way with Sir Chesney diving this way and that to keep them out. He used his head twice and relied on the post more than once (that's what it's for!)

The second half seemed like more of the same. We stopped at Oxford services for an overpriced something in a limp roll and and bag of inadequate chips (just like being at the game) hoping to return to the car 4-1 up. We'd missed nothing apart from more scouse attacks. "They look Championship at the back." WE KNOW! You've mentioned it before!!

1-1 was no good. I want to make the dirty spuds panic. The best team they've had in 40 years and we are right there with them if we win. 8 minutes of injury time. We can do this but we probably need a shot if we are going to. And then it happened. We heard "Song, floats a ball towards..... VAN PERSIE WINS IT FOR ARSENAL and with it Liverpool's Champions League dream dies!!' The one note of the horn sounded like a symphony as other road users were alerted to the fact that the red (of course) car passing you has happy Gooners in it. We'd nicked it from the bin dippers. Perfection.

The 4-2 defeat at Brackley and the long drive was the pay off for the win. Had we stayed to watch the game the penalty would've gone in. The posts would've scored. Song's pass would've gone out for a goal kick. We made that sacrifice. You are most welcome!

So it wasn't until later that we got to see the goals. The radio really didn't do the winner justice. It was a peach. Magnificent. One of his best ever. The perfect volley. Alan Green was more interested in Liverpool's demise than the sheer genius of our man. You'll be hard pushed to see a better finish all season and the commentator somehow missed it. It was made all the better as it made that utter mug in the Liverpool goal look like an idiot. It flew past him at the near post as he sunk to his knees. Joyous.

We are seeing what we'd all suspected would happen if Robin stayed fit. He's a world class striker who can score every type of goal from anywhere. What happens with him will define our club for years to come. They must move heaven and earth to keep him and that doesn't mean throwing money at him. We must get some players in to match his quality. We need to prove to him that we will do everything to get him some medals. He has money. More than he needs probably but he doesn't have any cups raised above his head. He won't be going up any steps to lift 3rd or 4th place up in the air. That's what he's missing and the club need to match his talent if we want him to stay.

Onwards to Milan. Impossible? After this week? Dare to dream!

Up the Gunners.