Monday, 27 August 2012

Clean Sheet Part 2

Bloody Stoke. If it wasn't for their stupid lunchtime kick off we would've had a full day out instead of rushing to the beach, falling down some steps, slipping on some wet clay (twice!) which led to hurtling towards the sea quicker than was necessary while exasperating an ancient back problem!

Stoke may argue that none of the above are their fault however I'm in agony and we are playing Stoke. Coincidence? I think not!

I limp through the field of cows to the car & we get home in time to fire up the sky go thing just as the teams show up. No Szczesny! A bit of panic sets in. Sky can't work out if Mannone is second choice or third. They plump for third which begs the question how have we injured 2 goalkeepers after only one game? Hitting keepers with rusty nail ridden sticks after training errors must stop!

The first half passes without incident. One or two heavy challenges don't lead to the desired outcome. No injuries, no goals, no problems. We look OK again. Nothing special, a bit uninspiring but OK. The second half plays out with similar unexcitement as we arrive at the end of our second 0-0.

Two games & two goalless draws tell their own story. It would suggest we have tightened up at the back but are lacking up top. Quite simply, it looks like Steve Bould has been allowed to do more than hand out bibs & we miss 'him!' Is it that simple? It probably is. Bould was a proper defender and we are defending properly while there is no doubt we miss 'him.'

The frustration is we are waiting for players to bed in again. Every year we replace instead of compliment and it takes time. If we'd added the new boys to RVP then we would've hit the ground running but that never happens. Every year our linchpin naffs off and we start slowly.

I was going to go off on one about the home fans booing Ramsey for having his leg broken but it's old ground. They are morons. They are every season. It's pathetic but not as pathetic as the club not publicly stamping on it. The twat in the cap loves it I'm sure. He probably thinks it's intimidating and unsettles the southern softies. Well it doesn't. It just makes Stoke look like utter scum. As for the Arsene masks?! What was that supposed to achieve? Mugs.

Anyway, no goals in August but still above the spuds.

Up The Gunners.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Clean Sheet!

Having missed the game due to barbequed meat, reggae and a field we relied on Absolute "rock'n'roll football" Radio to provide us with the commentary of The Arsenal's opening win of this historic quadruple season. The summer was a good one until 'the transfer that shall not be named or mentioned ever because our ex-captain turned out to be a massive twat and we sold him to a massive twat farm' happened. It was a bit of a punch in the stomach but by the time we'd reached Football Eve it mattered not. We move on and the excitement builds helped by having the programme on the iPad the day before. What a treat it was to have Vermaelen's column in bed with us on a Friday night......oh stop it!

You wake on Saturday and you know today it's back. Our Arsenal are back.

Our whole day was designed around getting back to the car so the first half would be our drive home soundtrack. We missed the first 3 minutes! The team was built in our heads as the commentator named players with the ball. Where's Cazorla? On 5 minutes he gets a mention and we have the team. The children are playing the 'who can stay quiet longest' game as we concentrate. We get home. Kettle on. Radios on in 3 rooms to assist movement without a break in play. We await the inevitable opening goal of the season.

Everyone else seems to be scoring. Swansea and Fulham are really helping themselves. West Brom are taking some too. Liverpool are falling flat on their arse which is funny but a Twitter message saying so is dangerous. I'm familar with our defence and their work and I'm still along way from trusting them. Yet look at what we've got going forward. Sunderland seem to have given up so it's just a matter of time. Our anticipation is still high as goals fly in everywhere else.

So 0-0 was a most disappointing gift after the excitement of Football Eve. Maybe they've kept the receipt. A small ring of boos can be heard as sighing doesn't come across clearly even on digital radio. The commentator, who prefixed every player's name with a bloody list of who they'd played for previously, "The former Ajax, Ebbsfleet and Newcastle plaer swings it wide to the number 15 who made his name at Southampton before moving to Leyton Orient" - It drove me mad! Anyway, the commentator, the former and present day pain, made the 'life after RVP' quip at the final whistle, something we are going to hear time and time again this season especially if we get nil.

Impressions of the team are difficult with only an annoying commentary and two minutes of Match of the day to go on. However, it seems like we were above average! Struggled to score with a few hairy moments at the back. Business as usual? Maybe or is just a new work in progress? A work that's progress is continually hindered by pivotal players buggering off (not you Song!) The one thing that was widely agreed upon was the brilliance of Cazorla. He seems a genuinely exciting talent & I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do in the wilds of Stoke next Sunday. He's too small and quick for the Neanderthals to kick in half. How will they deal with him?

So a somewhat nothing of a start. Unbeaten, above spuds without even scoring and a clean sheet but a few worries at the back, missing chances and frustration. It's great to have it back. We've missed it all.

Up The Gunners.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Really Very Poor (but great business so that's OK?)

The man from Eastlower once told me it's best not to blog when you're cross. Avoid the 'straight after defeat' rant. A more considered approach is appreciated. So this is probably a mistake (and I didn't want to start the season this way!) However, tonight's news has left me annoyed to put it mildly.

We all knew it was coming after one great season. The Arsenal just can't keep hold of their stars. It's obviously not our thing. There is a stupid T-shirt in the club shop declaring, 'We don't buy superstars, we make them' as if that's a proud boast. Maybe tomorrow it will be available with 'and we flog them to a rival in Manchester' tagged on the bottom.

I know it's great business. We got him for less than £3 million and sold him for £24 m but to me that's not the point. The message this sends out is that we can't hold on to our players if one of our so called rivals want one. Barcelona (rivals?!)  knock every summer and now it's the impoverished mancs who plunder us. Today it feels as if we are the nursery club for the bigger boys. We were supposed to be challenging Man U but we are miles off it. 19 points behind last season was only half the story. There is no way on earth we could go to them and buy their best player. This is a one way street. People have pointed out RVP is injury prone and won't last. What odds on the bugger staying fit for the next 2 years just to piss us off?

I'm old enough to remember actually crying when Stapleton went there. I was always Stapleton in the back garden and he broke my young heart. I couldn't understand why he wouldn't want to play for The Arsenal. I didn't, at that age, understand the adult world of cash.

Over 30 years later I'm still surprised at why a player would leave us. I have this misty eyed view that the players love the club as much as we do. Well they don't. They don't give a shit and why should they. It's their job. Any of us would go to another company for twice the money. Yet football, in our eyes, should be different. All that badge kissing and fist pumping is now bollocks. There are no more Tony Adams' in any clubs.

So a decent summer ends like this. I'm sure Song will follow the captain (a childhood Gooner who's happy to play for that lot?) to balance the books as we take a few steps forward and a few steps back.

Sorry to blog this but a man I thought was decent has gone to a club I despise. I don't care about the money as I don't own the place. I care about how this looks and it looks shit.

Up The Gunners.