Give Us An ‘F’: Alternative Arsenal Alphabet

July 23, 2014

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:


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.







Are the Oligarths looking after their own money?‏

July 23, 2014

Morning Gooners,

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


Is Wenger Right ?

July 22, 2014

After our win at Borehamwood Wenger stated that he would not be adding to the forward line. He said “Up front we don’t need any more. It’s not especially for numbers. We need a goalkeeper for sure and after that it depends on how our midfielders get through without injuries until the start of the season. Maybe at centre-back we’ll still bring one in.”

David Ospina appears to be our third signing and I would hope he is competition to our Number one not just a back up to be used in Carling Cup games.

Szczesny has a good fifteen years left as a top keeper but IMO he still has a lot to learn and it would be nice for him to fight for his place rather than be an automatic choice though I know many will disagree with me.

Wenger was obviously talking about Vermaelen and I would be sad to see him go but if he does leave I really think it’s a mistake. He is a good player who lost form and has struggled to get his place back with the formidable duo of Mertesacker and Koscienly practically always being first choice but as we know Per reads the game well but by far is not the quickest defender around.

Miracles do happen so maybe Diaby can fill that hole for rotation in certain games. Wishful thinking on my part and I suspect there are at least two or three options on the cards if Vermaelen leaves.

Our ‘goals for’ has to improve and a fully fit Ramsey will provide those together with the new signing Sanchez and eventually Walcott, though he will miss at least 15 + games from the start of the season. Ozil and Cazorla should be able to up their goals apart from providing many assists.

Will the ever smiling Podolski be a starter,based on last season, the answer is no.

I have said it many times that a basis for a good team is a solid defence and I don’t want to see us ripped apart as last season by four teams who also finished in the top seven. That amounted to half the goals we let in in the whole season.

This is the key to having a good season by improving our points tally against the main contenders. Sagna was a big loss as he could play in three different positions, nearly always tried his best but it’s difficult to bomb along the wing and cross the ball only for no one to being in the box.

Our game needs to be played far more on the ground and at a quicker pace especially when counter attacking.

So in conclusion we need to score more and concede less and then we have a fighting chance for the Title


Stadiums – can we improve ours?

July 21, 2014

We’re good. City and Utd are sorted. So what’s going on with Chavs, Spuds and Pool. Surely they’re overdue upgrades. Anyone know what’s going on, and while we’re on the subject, any thoughts on improving our gaff?

Oh, and are The ‘ammers seriously moving into the Olympic Stadium, and exactly how far from the pitch will they be squatting in their cages?

Just a thought on Chelsea. What a dump that bit of it is. Many years ago I lived at The World’s End (border Chelsea/Fulham), and heard a great explanation why there are no Tube’s within the Sloane Sq, Fulham Broadway, Parsons Green triangle. Apparently that’s where the Plague bodies are buried. I concluded the resultant drinking water table pollution might explain the local inhabitants “difficulties”. Just a thought.

Back to our gaff. Ok, I’m in the minority in hating those giant blu-tacked on posters around the outside, and the hideously vulgar listing of dates when we won stuff around the top tier (err, modesty?), but what should be done to really lift match day experience.

Personally, I couldn’t care less. Go. Watch game. Leave. However, I do understand some like to get there early, soak up the atmosphere and eat and drink. Strikes me that it’s all good if you’re in Club or Box level, but for most it’s absolute crap. Seriously overprice shite food and drinks, with nowhere to sit. What about outside around the ground? Nothing. Of course they’re trying to get people inside to splash their cash, but really, is it working?

When I went to the game at Bayern last season, they have a system where you cannot spend cash inside the stadium, you buy a card/voucher and put however much you like on it. The food was better than ours and the drinks way more reasonable. Loads of seating everywhere and many fans there early.

Over to you. Stadium thoughts?

Written by MickyDidIt89

Arsenal’s pre-season starts today

July 19, 2014

Morning all

Pre-season kicks off today with a game at Borehamwood’s Meadow Park where they have just had a new stand built and Gooners get to watch a match featuring some of their idols.

fa cup pic

I started to think about who would be playing and as the boss mentioned that he would change the team for both halves I wondered if we could have a stab at a couple of teams.

I’ve had a good look at the pictures from the training ground, there’ll be some fresh faces on show this afternoon – always an exciting prospect.

Coquelin is back with the squad, Zelalem too. Gnabry should feature and I hope we’ll see Eisfeld.

The FA Cups – Mens and Ladies – will be on show and I’m sure all the Gooners that are going will give Aaron Ramsey and all the players a massive welcome.

Here’s my stab a team

Szczesny – who else is there?

Jenks  Miquel ? Gibbs


Gnabry Rosicky Arteta Coquelin

Yaya Sanogo

Can anyone help out with another centre-back?

If you’re going to the game have a great time. If you’re watching it on then come and chat about it afterwards and let us know what you think.


BT Sports ad to help push Arsenal to success

July 17, 2014

The new BT Sport ads appear to have been deliberately chosen to wind us up by highlighting some of our darkest days from 2013-14.  First out of the traps was an ad featuring our 5-1 thrashing by then-flying-high Liverpool, with alternating visions of exuberant Scousers and depressed Gooners, supposedly taking in the events in real time.  And BT Sport followed that up with a number based on the worst of all, our 6-0 humiliation at the Bridge.

Some (including our very own Evonne/Eddie) took umbrage and have complained about the bias at BT Sport their choices appear to betray.  (Chas even posted something suggesting that the senior marketing bod at BT Sport was a paid-up Spud.)

I understand the feeling, every one of us was horrified to watch those games, plus the 6-3 capitulation to a referee-assisted Man City and the 3-0 slump to Everton.  Even the defeat at Old Trafford, although only a single goal, was embarrassing in its own way, given how many lesser teams went there and got one or three points last season. It is painful to see moments such as those again.

But I’m pleased that BT Sport chose to highlight some of our heavy defeats.  It is a fact that we were hammered in those games, and it is also a fact that we fell short in the race for the title in large part due to our abject failure to take many points from our top-seven rivals, especially away from home, where our record was a pathetic P6 W1 D0 L5 F5 A21.  If we are serious about challenging for the title in the coming season, and right to the end, not just up until March or April, our record against the other top sides simply has to be improved.

Of course, our remarkable consistency last season against sides from the remainder of the league is something to respect, but each one of the five away defeats to rivals that we suffered last season is a reason for revenge.  We should be pleased that those defeats are being rammed down our throats now; next season I want to see the players and the fans take those defeats and avenge them with better performances and better results, against those rivals, home and away.  To use a footballing cliché, I hope that someone like Steve Bould pins a list of those results to the dressing room wall and challenges the players to find motivation in them.

So I won’t be doing any complaining to BT Sport, in fact I may send them a thank you note.

Written by 26may1989

At last, you don’t have to leave Arsenal to find silver.‏

July 16, 2014

Morning Gooner’s

The title says it all, Arsenal players taste victory without leaving. Arsenal players were heavily involved in this last World cup even if they haven’t even donned our shirt, as Young Campbell proved, Ok he never went on to win the world cup but he played his part and opened our eyes into the possibility that he may just wear the red and white of Arsenal.

Mesut, Poldi, and Merts, 3 of Arsenals finest were in the German team that picked up the World Cup, the biggest trophy in world football and Arsenal football club is recognised once again. We also had many of our stars feature for their respective countries, maybe not getting to the final but good enough to be part of their squads.

Every player who takes up the sport, wishes that one day, they will be able to pull on their Countries shirt, that is the pinnacle of most footballers career’s. This year has been the first for some, and others got to taste it again. Arsenal footballers have in fact had a good season. winning the FA cup and featuring in other competitions as well, even looking to win some of them. Only a few of our players never got to kick a ball in Brazil but surely their time will come.

Theo Walcott stands out for me, a young lad who was introduced to World Cup football by Sven Goran Eriksson, a strange choice in my opinion when the lad had hardly done anything for Arsenal or his country, and had I been an English forward at that particular time I would have had the right hump with Mr Eriksson’s choice. Theo as it turned out, was only taken to a world cup for experience, he didn’t even play one game, and that was at a time when English strikers were thin on the ground. Maybe Eriksson was thinking of the future but as we know, Eriksson was moved on, and Theo has had another World Cup watching only. Theo will probably have one last chance but for a young man with so much promise maybe he’ll never get to play in a World Cup.

I also feel for Oxlade Chamberlain, injured for this world cup, but was in the squad, a little reminiscent of Theo really, there but not there. Both these players are very talented, but also injury prone, now if that does not change, they may never be included in World cup finals.

Arsenal has been in the doldrums for quite a few years, and although Arsène Wenger has pushed our teams as hard as he has, its only since player buying has improved that we are seeing a difference. The Premier league has attracted many fine players. Rumoured to be the best league in the world, and also paying wonderful wages. Arsenal’s debts have decreased and the money has started to become available, although we have a Manager that can find players and get the most out of them, we have also needed that Marquee player who make the cogs turn.

Mesut Ozil has been our first Marquee signing for quite a few years, and although his first season with us has shown his talent, he hasn’t exactly excelled. having said that he has helped Arsenal win their first trophy for years.I also feel he is pivotal for new marquee players to join. Arsenal are showing intent, in the space of a season we have 2 marquee signings, high wages and bonuses makes this an expensive intent, but I don’t believe we are finished yet.

Many asked for players during the last transfer window, and as I remember 3 or 4 was the preferred number. Wenger left it late in the window and caught a cold. He had hoped for Suarez but that fell through, what a buy that would have been, we offered £40m and a pound, a season later he is sold for £75m.

It has to be said that, in the past, we have sold very good players who have gone on to win trophies, but its also true that we also have a lot of youngsters who are also very good.  Gibbs, Gnabry, Theo, Ox, Rambo, Jack, Ya Ya and also not forgetting Joel, with the inclusion of Mesut and Alexis we are beginning to look like a young Germany. They have years of fruitful futures, and, not forgetting my own countrymen, so do we.  England didn’t have a good World cup but the potential is there for all to see.

Arsenal have become a side that can compete, with a manager who strives for success, a club with impeccable credentials and finance, we are going to turn heads without a shadow of a doubt. Arsenal are back and we intend to stay there for the foreseeable future.

Written by Steve Palmer



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