Well four signing already in the bag and we are still in July.
Has Wenger changed his ways or is it really the first time that we can compete with elite signings ?
Extra TV money, the new Puma deal and Champion League football is on the arisen.
We haven’t had to sell anyone of note,so the term that” we are only a selling club ” has been well and truly squashed and I wouldn’t be surprised that we add to the squad before the transfer window closes.
A lot of speculation about our Corporal.Will he be sold,loaned out or remain in the squad.Is Joel Campbell going to be in the squad ?
Of course then there is Diaby. Is this his last chance to prove he is over his multiple injuries and is the player we all hoped he would be.
One cant incorporate too many players in one season as Spurs are the best example of this and there is a good argument that Fabianski and of course Sagna had to be replaced.
Just a short post today to get things moving so what are your thoughts.
Do we need further strengthening or do you think that there maybe still the odd deal in the offing.
All in all, last season, we improved our points tally and got the monkey off our back by winning the FA Cup and hopefully we can really build on this and carry on the momentum.
Here are a number of things that will help us progress.
First and foremost we need there to be fewer injuries especially long term injuries. There is no doubt that the loss of Ramsey and Walcott restricted our attacking and counter attacking options. Ramsey will be key for us in attack and hopefully he can develop a good understanding with Sanchez, who I am sure will be a revelation and combine this with an ever improving second season from Ozil. Throw Giroud into the mix, who will hopefully gain more confidence from the 22 goals he scored last season, then add an increased number of goals from Podolski and Cazorla and maybe even Ozil himself and the options of increasing our goal tally are spread more evenly.
Wilshere has, IMO, a make or break season and if what he says is true we want to read about his on field improvement, not his private life.
Our defence has to be drilled better, especially against set pieces, and lessons have to be learnt from the four ‘Away thumpings’ we got last season. That puts more emphasis on the coaching staff to make sure that things improve.
Following on from that we need a better ratio of points returned against the other top teams, not only for the three points but for confidence.
I don’t want to see us, time and time again, stumble out of the blocks straight from the kick off and when we do take the lead in many games we must go for the jugular and put games to bed.
Diaby – is he really reincarnated? Let’s hope so as surely a fit Diaby is a bonus for the team even if he manages half the games this coming season.
Wenger has done his buying early as he said he would but I feel we still need perhaps one more player.
I am glad that Szczesny has actually now got competition for his place (Wenger’s words) but as the season rolls on we will see if that actually comes to fruition or not.
Some of the understudies will play a part and others perhaps will go out on loan but we still have nearly five weeks until the window closes and I have a feeling that not all of our business is done.
We have every chance to win the Title with a bit of luck and 100% commitment from whoever plays. More rotation may just be the key.
In his press conference yesterday Arsène joked with journalists that he had only taken one striker to New York as he hoped that Thierry would play one half for Arsenal :)
Later in the interview Arsène was asked about his best Thierry Henry moment. The goal he chose was the goal against Leeds in the FA Cup in 2012 where Thierry made his very brief comeback in an Arsenal shirt.
I was there at the Emirates that night and it was a special night even before the Thierry goal. The air was filled with expectation. Parents had brought very small children, those that were too young to have seen the King play previously and now they were going to get their chance.
There are lots of videos on ‘youtube’ of the goal but this one isn’t overlaid with funky music, it’s just commentary and the sound of the Emirates erupting and cheering a hero.
Arsene said he liked this goal the best because it made Thierry so happy to have scored it and that all the other goals were ‘business as usual’. Arsène felt it cemented Thierry into the hearts of Gooners, I would say he was already there.
If you can pick a favourite Thierry Henry goal let us know about it, for many – myself included – one won’t be enough. Be self indulgent – there will never be another Thierry Henry and we were very lucky that he played for Arsenal.
The past few weeks have been partly about celebration. Celebrating the gold winning exploits in the World Cup of our three proud German Gooners, and who knows, by the end of the transfer window this may yet turn out to be four German Gooners. Hush, hush!
Along the way, the Germans overcame the French team that included three Gooners, one of whom has since left Arsenal to be promptly replaced by another one at the same position.
Together, we were enthralled by the fantastic performances by our new Chilean Gooner, our as-good-as-new Costa Rican superstar, and maybe even the Colombian Gooner. Hush, hush! The singleton Gooners on the Belgian and Swiss squads had decent campaigns. Overall, quite a lot to celebrate then! No wonder Gooners around the world are going around with their grins spreading ear to ear.
At the same time, there were sombre thoughts as well, not least in the poor returns for the England team. Our two good guys in the England team had mostly futile excursions, and so did our Spanish Gooner. It seems World Cup glory requires years of preparation, and a thorough system through which young players can emerge. Surprise, surprise!
Understandably, youth development has been in the air. As I have argued in Part I of this series, in most leading footballing countries, Olympics men’s football plays an important role in the development of young players.
This then brings us to the questions of today’s post. In its long history, have Arsenal had many significant heroes who shone at the national level in the Olympics men’s football tournament? And if so, who were these heroes?
At the outset, there is a confession to make. We do not expect many such players. Why? First, because Great Britain does not usually qualify for the Olympics football competition and even when they do, they usually do not enter a team. The reasons for this are complex, and I will go into that later in the series. But just to set the perspective, a Great Britain football team has participated only in 9 Olympic Games since inception of national Olympics football: 1908 (prior games in 1900 and 1904 used club teams), 1912, 1920, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, and finally after a long break in the 2012 Games.
Second, until 1992, only amateur players competed in the Olympic Games, at least officially, and since then Olympics football has been officially designated as largely an under-23 tournament, with only three over-age players allowed per nation. Hence, Olympics football players would not normally be expected to play for Arsenal. However, Olympics may be a good place to scout for players, and some such players may have come to play for Arsenal when they turned professional, or more lately, when they emerged from the academy.
Today, I focus on the amateur Olympics football era. Only 5 Olympian amateur footballers for Great Britain were signed by Arsenal after turning professional, all of them British. They are Harold Adrian Walden and Gordon Rahere Hoare (1912, both Gold medallists), Bernard Joy (1936 Games), Stanley Charlton (1952) and Laurie Brown (1960). In addition, Maurice Edelston, who played for team GB in the 1936 Games was a wartime guest footballer for Arsenal. Let us find out a bit more about these 5 players, and a sixth as well.
The Football Association entered a Great Britain national amateur team in the 1912 Olympic Games. The team won the gold medal, though the IOC accredits Great Britain and Ireland with the medal. Walden and Hoare were key members of this team.
1912 British Olympic Football Team – Harold Walden back row, 4th from left, Gordon Hoare back row, 3rd from right
Harold Adrian Walden (10 October 1887 – 2 December 1955) played in all three matches and scored eleven goals: 6 goals in the 7-0 decimation of Hungary, all 4 goals in the 4-0 semi-final victory over Finland, and one goal in the 4-2 victory over Denmark in the final. Hoare scored 2 of the other 3 goals in the final. Walden holds the record of being the ‘Highest British goal scorer within the Olympics’ and is still the fourth highest goal scorer overall within the Olympics.
Walden was born in Umballa, India, where his dad was serving with the 2nd Cheshire Regiment. His family returned to live in Manchester in 1889. He joined the army in 1902 and served in India and Ireland. He played for the Army against the Navy in 1910 and 1911, and also served in World War I, rising to the rank of captain. After the war ended he joined Arsenal and played six times for the Gunners, scoring a single goal and in four friendlies, with his debut coming on 12 February 1921.
On retirement from football, Walden carved out a second career as actor in theatre and films. He played the lead role of ‘Jack Metherill’ in the 1920 film ‘The Winning Goal’, and also played himself on stage in his football shirt in the 1948 film ‘Cup Tie Wedding’. He became part of the famous Ernest Binns Arcadian Follies in the 1940’s. He fell on hard times and in the early 1950’s his Gold Medal was sold.
Walden – extreme right, with the ball
Gordon Rahere Hoare (18 April 1884 – 27 October 1973) scored two goals in the final. He joined Woolwich Arsenal in 1907, making his League debut in a First Division match against Sheffield Wednesday on 20 April 1908, the last day of the 1907-08 season. Although he played 11 League matches in 1908-09, scoring five goals, unhappy at the lack of regular first team football and moved to Glossop North End in December 1909.
Hoare returned to Woolwich Arsenal in December 1910. He scored six times in fourteen games for Arsenal in the 1910-11 season but was once again dropped at the start of the following season, unable to oust John Chalmers and Charles Randall from the front line. He rejoined Glossop in February 1912. In total, Hoare played 34 times for Arsenal, scoring 13 goals.
Hoare – Front right
Hoare and Walden were the first Arsenal players who played football for Great Britain in the Olympics, and they both won gold medals. Arsenal then had to wait an awfully long time to find another Olympic gold medallist. More on that later. Now, let us focus on some other amateur players played in the Olympics and later signed for Arsenal.
Prior to and following the start of the World Cup, the relationship between the FA and IOC turned sour, most notably in British protests against other nations fielding professional players. As Arsenal star and Olympian Bernard Joy in Association Football (1960) wrote: “Out of pocket expenses were paid far in excess of the reimbursement for hotels and travelling. … [Payments] for time lost from work, were made for playing and training, and teams were taken off for intense preparation together. Whatever the reason or excuse, thinly-veiled professionalism was rampant.”
After some protracted negotiations, a GB football team was entered in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. They lost in the quarter-finals 4-5 to Poland, but Arsenal player and captain Bernard Joy scored 2 goals.
Bernard Joy (29 October 1911 – 18 July 1984) joined the then First Division champions Arsenal in May 1935. Joy mainly played as a reserve, only playing two games in his first season – he didn’t make his debut for Arsenal until 1 April 1936 against Bolton Wanderers. Arsenal won the FA Cup that season but Joy played no part in the final.
Highbury 1939. Wilson (Arsenal) saves while Bernard Joy (centre) holds off Hunt (Bolton)
However, he did gain recognition at international level soon after, when on 9 May 1936, he played for England in their 3-2 loss against Belgium, making him the last amateur to play for the national side. Given the nature of professional and amateur games in the modern day, it is unlikely Joy’s record will ever be taken by another player. Although Joy was playing for Arsenal at the time, he was still registered as a Casuals player and he is recorded in the England history books as playing for them at the time, not Arsenal. Interesting! :razz:
Joy continued to play for Arsenal, mainly deputising for the Gunners’ established centre-half Herbie Roberts. Roberts suffered a broken leg in October 1937 and Joy took his place in the side for the remainder of the 1937-38 season, winning a First Division winners’ medal, and then, with Roberts having retired from the game, on through the 1938-39 season (earning a 1938 Charity Shield winners’ medal in the process).
With the advent of World War II, Joy joined the Royal Air Force, though he still turned out for Arsenal (playing over 200 wartime matches) and won an unofficial wartime England cap. In June 1940, he was one of five Arsenal players who guested for Southampton in a victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage. He also appeared as a guest player for West Ham United later in World War II making two appearances. He retired from top-flight football in December 1946.
In all, he played 95 first-class (that is, non-wartime) matches for Arsenal, though he never scored a goal. However, with Arsenal, he won the First Division in 1937-38, and the FA Charity Shield (now the FA Community Shield) in 1938. Finally, Bernard Joy wrote perhaps the first authoritative history of Arsenal Football Club.
The 1936 GB Olympics football team led by Bernard Joy also included Maurice Edelston (27 April 1918 – 30 January 1976) who was a wartime guest footballer for Arsenal. Later on, he became a brilliant commentator and is mostly remembered in this role.
Next up is Stanley “Stan” Charlton (28 June 1929 – 20 December 2012) who was a stand-by player for the 1952 Olympics team. In November 1955 Charlton joined Arsenal and succeeded Len Wills as the club’s first-choice right back. He made his debut on 24 December 1955 against Chelsea and was an ever-present in the 1956–57 and 1957–58 teams. He played for the London XI in both legs of the semi-finals of the 1955–58 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup against Lausanne Sports. Before quitting Arsenal in December 1958, he had made 110 appearances, scoring three goals (all of them in the FA Cup).
The final Olympian who later turned professional and played for Arsenal was Laurence (“Laurie”) Brown (22 August 1937 – 30 September 1998) who played in the 1960 Olympic Games in Italy (Rome). Great Britain failed to progress to the knockout stage and came eighth overall. The British team lost 3-4 to Brazil, drew 2-2 with hosts Italy and defeated China 3-2. Brown scored 4 goals, 2 against Brazil and one each against Italy and China.
In August 1961 he signed for First Division Arsenal, and immediately became a first-team regular in the Arsenal side. Brown amassed 109 appearances for the Gunners in two-and-a-half seasons, scoring two goals. At the time, Arsenal were the less successful of the two north London sides, and Brown made the surprising move up the Seven Sisters Road to Arsenal’s deadly rivals, Tottenham Hotspur in February 1964. :sad: Brown became one of the few players to play for both clubs.
That’s it for this time, folks. A glimpse of a mostly forgotten part of our history. 5 (and a half) Olympians and 2 gold medallists. Next time it will be the turn of our youth Olympians.
Written by Arnie
First off, get yourselves out of the gutter.
Just because we’re dealing with ‘F’ words does not mean that the tone of this fine blog will be in any way compromised.
No f*cking way.
So we are onto the sixth letter in our Alternative Arsenal Alphabet – and it’s one that throws up some fine entries to this anthology.
As always, please feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.
F is for…
The Arsenal have been responsible for many “firsts’ – a lot of them initiated by the great Herbert Chapman who managed the club in the 1930s. To list but a few…
First club to use floodlights.
First to use undersoil heating.
First club to install turnstiles.
First (and only) club to have a London Underground station renamed in its honour.
First ever game broadcast live on the radio was an Arsenal game (Arsenal v Sheffield Utd, 1927).
First ever game broadcast on TV was an all-Arsenal affair (Arsenal v Arsenal Reserves in 1937).
First game ever to appear on Match of the Day was Arsenal at Liverpool in 1964.
First match broadcast live in 3D (Arsenal v Man Utd in January 2010).
I could go on but you get the point: we are The Arsenal – the greatest club in the history of world football. (Incidentally, our N17 neighbours have absolutely no firsts, but they do have 11 number twos turning out on a regular basis).
Did you know that the North Bank was destroyed by fire in 1941? The blaze was caused by a visit from Herr Hitler’s Luftwaffe, who somewhat rudely dropped a bomb on our fine stadium. Fortunately these days the only German aerial threat is when the BFG goes up for a corner.
OK, do you know how many (fully competitive) finals we have played in over the years?
The answer is 31, made up of 18 FA Cup Finals, 7 League Cup Finals,, 3 Cup Winners’ Cup Finals and 1 each of the Fairs Cup Final, Champions League Final and UEFA Cup Final. Out of that 31 we came home with the silverware on 15 occasions.
Under ‘A’ I mentioned the 1930s film The Arsenal Stadium Mystery. It has since been drawn to my attention that there are many movies in which The Arsenal has featured in some (often very small) way. For example: in The Full Monty there’s the celebrated scene in which the men are taught to dance with one arm in the air by being told to emulate the famous Arsenal back four. Then there was Fever Pitch, the film based on Nick Hornby’s memoir of growing up as an Arsenal supporter. Among the lesser well known is the brief appearance of a bloke in an Arsenal shirt in the 1995 film ‘Hackers’. I know you might sniff at such a fleeting glimpse of an Arsenal shirt, but in ‘Hackers’ the chap wearing it was busy boffing Angelina Jolie at the time (I’ve always wondered whether Chas has an alibi for that day)…
There are many more film references to explore. If you would like to read about them here’s the link: http://www.arseweb.com/other/movies.html
No, not the end-of-the-night, drunken, arm-around-your-best-mate saying “I really love you, honest” sort of friendship. I refer to The Bank of Friendship in the Blackstock Road – a fine, outstanding example of an Arsenal boozer. I probably should have included it under ‘B’ but as I forgot, it’s getting a look-in here. It was always my favourite post-match pub while we were at Highbury and I’ll never forget the party there when we clinched Arsene Wenger’s first league title in 1998 (the game where we beat Everton 4-0, the scoring capped off with a Tony Adams volley). There was so much rhythmic jumping up and down in the bar that the whole building was vibrating and the glasses on the top shelf above the bar were shuffling merrily along to the edge of the shelf and falling off, one after the other. I don’t think the landlord really cared – he must have made a fortune that day.
You don’t often see a punch-up at The Arsenal these days and, sadly, if you do it’s more likely to be between two Arsenal supporters. But back in the days before segregation of fans was introduced it was not uncommon to see some full-blooded brawls both inside and outside the ground. As I recall, Arsenal fans were never really known for having a feared “firm” of hooligans (unlike Chelsea, West Ham, Leeds United, Manchester United, Millwall and so forth). Even so, I knew plenty of Gunner loons who were not averse to a bit of fisticuffs. Still, there’s no question that it’s a good thing those days have long gone and most people now go to football for the football, not the fighting.
Now I know we don’t do politics, religion and all those things that make the world go round, but I felt I had to put a few words together to discuss the following. Many supporters have been asking for one of our major share holders to use his billions to buy Arsenal FC outright and spend some of that vast wealth on players.
Many supporters don’t care where Usmanov’s money has come from. He is a business man, who has his billions in many pots, but where his money has actually come from no one can say for sure.
Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovitch is also running a big football club, it’s reported that he started off selling matches on street corners, and then branched out selling rubber dolls from his pokey little flat. He must have sold a lot of matches and dolls to build his wealth to six Billion.
Usmanov is another that has amassed an eleven billion fortune, rumoured to have come from minerals and other means, but no one seems to know the actual truth. These two billionaires are not alone in Great Britain judging by the papers, who recently named six russians that were all multi billionaires.
With the trouble between the Russians and Ukraine where things are getting warlike, I noticed that our Prime Minister, David Cameron has threatened sanctions on Russian deals, and wait for it, he has also stated that the Russian billionaires funds which are sitting in British banks may be held, and will not allow those billionaires to use their funds, until this Ukrainian business is settled.
Now I am far from a financial wizard, but that suggests to me that the kind of action that the Prime Minister is suggesting, is saying that their money is not really theirs, but is being looked after by them for the Russian Government.
Looking at what is happening, has made me think that what the Russian Government has done, is syphon of the country’s wealth, and given it to certain people to look after, until this money is needed. It’s been smuggled out of the country, so the Russian public are not aware of it. Of course these so called billionaires have to act out the rich man, but when you’re holding a billion what’s a yacht or two, or even a football club, lets face it yachts and football club money can be redeemed, Mayfair Apartments can be sold and so on.
Now wouldn’t you take on a job like that, live like a billionaire, and find a safe haven, invest a bit in a business and look the part. Putin runs the country, and also lives like a wealthy man, but with him he is hungry for power. And when the shit hits the fan, he always has vast wealth being held, and could disappear at the snap of a finger,
Now I may have it all wrong, and all these people may be straight down the middle, but I have a sneaky feeling that I am not that far wrong, I have always been against Usmanov’s money being used at Arsenal, and even if I’m wrong I am still glad we do it our own way and don’t need a ‘Sugar Daddy’.
Written by Steve Palmer