A View from the Away End

Written by Gooner in Exile

Easter weekend brought Gooners to Lancashire in their droves. We took the whole end of the ground, upper and lower, the normal allocation is 3,000 but that is, I believe, half lower tier and all the upper. I would estimate the travelling ranks were closer to 5,000 on Sunday.

For a change I waited around the players entrance for the team bus to arrive to give the team the support I think they need. The entrance was lined with Arsenal fans young and old, not one player stopped to sign an autograph for the youngsters eagerly awaiting their heroes, a few, Song, Theo, RvP and Jens, acknowledged the fans with a small hand gesture. The rest were listening to their music of choice in their own little worlds. You could argue this was the look of focussed players, but to me it came across as a tense team, one under the cosh and you would have thought for all the world they don’t like each other, and would have preferred to be anywhere else than playing football.

It also struck me just how young this group of players look as they walked along, carrying the hopes of so many fans on their shoulders is a big burden for these lads.

And so into the ground we went curious as to whether there had been a bust up pre match or whether the players were just in their pre game routine and therefore not in the business of being friendly until the job had been done.

The Easter Bank Holiday brought a fair few more families than you would normally see at away games, despite being dispersed across the whole end the fans managed to make a good deal of noise pre match, and as the PA died down you would have thought Bolton had 3,000 fans in as the Arsenal end was full of noise, belief and arrogance that we would sweep aside all before us. This has to be the default mindset at away games as the fans cheer and sing despite the scoreline.

The game started well with us having a good deal of possession and a few chances, Theo’s penalty appeal was met with groans from the away end, being too far away to judge it, it just appeared that he had been dispossessed with too much ease. Groans from the away end, I am afraid that the negativity had come to the North West with the extra travelling numbers.

I was unfortunate enough to be stood next to two particularly negative fans. One stood right behind me complained that Szczesny should have been wearing a cap as he “fumbled” two crosses, which for me was garbage as I turned to him to point out that the sun was coming from the other side of the ground and that both balls had come along the ground and therefore had nothing to do with the sun.

To my right another fan was having all manner of hissy fit which was amusing a few more seasoned regulars around them, now I know it is often said that some fans don’t know what they have got or how lucky they have been to witness the achievements of this team in recent years, the two lads were probably no more than 22-25. I caught the eye of one guy who was probably in his early 40’s and there with his two lads he just rolled his eyes and smiled at the guy in front who was literally acting like a spoilt brat in front of him.

In terms of the game we failed to capitalise on early pressure and Boltons confidence grew as they realised they weren’t as bad as last weeks Semi Final suggested and they started to play with more conviction, it is true that Owen Coyle has attempted to create a more attractive side but on Sunday they reverted to type of long ball to Davies and win the knock ons. Sturridge gave the centre backs a hard time whilst Davies was running and attacking many aerial balls with great success.

This culminated in the goal at the end of the first half which led to a bit more discontent within the massed ranks.

After the break Djourou was penalised for the tackle on Sturridge and this brought more ranting from behind me, I turned and looked the guy in the eye and in no uncertain terms told him to stop shouting so much rubbish and to perhaps support the team a little bit more. To be fair he looked at me a bit incredulously and then shut up which was a relief. Szczesny saved the weak penalty and almost immediately the side was lifted.

Soon after Van Persie was breaking the Bolton resilience with a great bit of interplay with Cesc which led to a low drive into the bottom corner.

Despite so much pressure in the second half we the fans could not will the ball into the net, and the players could not however much they tried break through for a second time. Bolton conserved energy without possession sitting deep and blocking any shots and runs, whilst Arsenal players wore themselves out by overworking the ball when shooting was the plea of the crowd. However in the players defence when you look at the goal we scored and the amount of bodies in and around the eighteen yard box it is no surprise they don’t shoot, in most instances it would be a total waste. But there were times when you felt the trigger could be pulled, Jack for example ran into the box and if he had the confidence to use his right foot should have shot, another couple of occasions came and went, it seemed like the goal would not come but on the other hand I did not feel like we were going to lose either. Silly me.

Unfortunately my fears have been confirmed, maybe it was the number of fans at the  Reebok  or worse the away support has also begun to lose faith.  On the goal Arsenal fans poured out the exits, some stayed, not many waited to applaud the players off the pitch, but then few players came to the fans at the end, Sagna, Jack, Szczesny, Theo and Eboue were the few that came over to applaud the travelling horde.

I awoke Monday morning to a quote from Arsene Wenger accepting that he is to blame, will this man defend the players to the end, and will it be that loyalty that costs him his jobs, yes he picks the team, but his players in who he places so much trust have failed to do simple things well, and to score goals when so many chances have been created. When the players play we can score for fun, at the moment too many are suffering a mental block in front of goal.

My criticism of Wenger is that he is relying too heavily on a core of 11-13 players, those players are stagnating and tiring together, however it is hard for him to use the squad players as they have rarely done enough to convince him or the support that they can do the job required. Our squad rotation is limited, he needs to understand that occasionally for the benefit of the team an ordinary player must start in order to give the better player a rest or to freshen things up. We started the season with options in every position, we have ended it with an tired first eleven, and a group of squad players bereft of confidence.

Its time for this group of players to start enjoying football again, but its also time for them to start repaying the enormous faith that Wenger has put in them.

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115 Responses to A View from the Away End

  1. Morning all

    Gooner in Exile wrote the above to be tagged onto Harry’s excellent match report but I’m afraid I missed it :oops:

    Sorry, GiE the video was just too sad to have in the post :( :( :(

  2. kelsey says:

    and what’s wrong with bowls :) Arsene should come over here and relax in the sun and play a few ends.I happen to have red bowls to show my allegiance to the club.

  3. Harry says:

    Nice one GIE, you hit some very pertinent points, perhaps the thing that stood out for me was the real gap bewteen the players and the fans….

    Agreed they might have been focussed going into the ground but a handshake or signature would be welcome, the most important link is the end of match, I believe all fans should stay till the end and clap the players, thus also the players as a group, not individuals should come to the fans and clap them, more so away from the EMirates. At home they shoudl stand in the middle and clap all four sides…

    Your final statment is bang on the money – they did seem to lose the enjoyment they showed early season….

    “”Its time for this group of players to start enjoying football again, but its also time for them to start repaying the enormous faith that Wenger has put in them.””

  4. Harry says:

    Kelsey, I love a good game of bowls, would give you a run for your money…..

  5. dandan says:

    From todays times

    But is it not also possible to interpret Wenger’s manic (futile?) pursuit of the horizon as heroic rather than delusional? Can we not regard his messianic sense of destiny as admirable rather than merely risible? After all, who would stake their house on Arsenal falling short yet again next season?

    We are often presented with two ways to think about the Frenchman. He is a visionary whose genius will be fully appreciated only after he has disappeared or he is Don Quixote, tilting at windmills, fighting imaginary battles, a visionary in search of a vision that will for ever be beyond the capacities of his band of naives.

    But, for me, he is both. He is both visionary and fanatic. He is a pragmatist and a romantic fool. Like other ideologues, he exists in a realm on the outskirts of reason. He believes that football should be played in a certain way and that clubs should be run in a certain way. He does not merely preach his philosophy, he lives it, breathes it, perhaps more than is good for his sanity.

    As he put it on Sunday, minutes after dropping to his haunches in agony, a picture that graced the front cover of Monday’s football supplement in these pages, and spoke eloquently of hope and faith and shattered dreams: “I turn up every day and work as well as I possibly can for every hour of the day. It is my life.”

    I agree that Wenger should have made more forays into the transfer market. And I would love to see him buy big this summer. But I also recognise that Wenger, in his heart of hearts, believed his present team would win the title and discern his fears that big-name signings might imperil the delicate ecosystem at London Colney. And I also know that without faith in his principles, Wenger is nothing.

    Arsenal fans are not wholly wrong to profess their frustration at the lack of trophies. But I cannot agree that football is only about trophies. Birmingham City won the Carling Cup in a match that triggered Arsenal’s downfall, but — with a nod to the gallant men at St Andrew’s — I cannot say that I prefer their football to Wenger’s. Not if they won ten trophies or a hundred. Not if Arsenal came up short from now till eternity.

    The fundamental premise of sport is, of course, to win. Art for its own sake is not sport and never can be. But it is also true that art is often created in the attempt to win, even when a team or individual falls short. And sometimes, this is the greatest and most inspirational art of all.

    Arsenal’s band of young warriors are not antiheroic for their failure. In some ways they are heroic because of their failure.

    They play football in the way it should be played, the way it was meant to be played, and there is something both beautiful and tragic in everything they do.

  6. Well done dandan – I was about to copy and paste that comment xx

  7. Gooner in Exile says:

    I understand why you left video out peaches…..it hurt editing it.

    It was to add colour and it did have a message to all at the end. (maybe I should have changed music track at the end)

    I’m on road today maybe someone could embed video into comments?

  8. Here’s Gooner in Exile’s video of the players arriving at the Reebok on Sunday

  9. Red Arse says:

    Hi GIE, :-)

    A fascinating read, which looked into the mindset of an ‘away day’ fan, both the positive and the negative. I really can empathise with what you saw and heard, as well as commend you for your unequivical support of the club. It is quite humbling!

    Hi Kelsey, glad you don’t have blue bowls, I understand they can be pretty painful! :-)

    Hi Dandan, if I had the ability to do so, I would love to have written that Times piece. Who was the author?

  10. dandan says:

    Matthew Syed. Red arse…….. I have only borrowed the second half of the Article as I feel it is wrong to pirate a professionals work, but the first half starts at the spuds game and is a damn good read in its own right, leading on to the piece I published, which as you can see is so relevant to yesterdays discussion.

    Suffice it to say it encompasses much of that, which I have been trying to put across to the “their is no glory in not winning boys”

  11. Thank you for an “on the spot” account of the away game experience GiE especially which of the players acknowledge the crowd; it’s something I always look out for too.
    The fact that so few of the players do clap the crowd shows that most of the players are a tad self-centred and pampered.

    In everyone’s haste to see Cesc go this summer does anyone actually think that we will NOT hear the “I shall promote from within” message come from our manager when the £35-40m is safely banked?

  12. mickydidit89 says:

    GiE,
    5,000 away fans!!! We owe you boys and girls. Always a great effort, and must really help the lads, as is shown in our away results you posted earlier. Great stuff.

  13. mickydidit89 says:

    Kelsey,
    So Cesc is off eh. The little snake!
    When can we get the “extras” you alluded to?

  14. Red Arse says:

    Hi CharyB, :-)

    You are usually a forthright, somewhat positive thinking ‘gung ho’ character, but your, “does anyone actually think that we will NOT hear the “I shall promote from within” message come from our manager when the £35-40m is safely banked?”, seems rather cynical and overly pessimistic.

    For the record, I don’t think he will say that, and neither do I believe the underlying implication that he is only lining the club’s ‘pockets’. Sorry.

  15. Red Arse says:

    Micky, :-)

    What extras, and where do I get them?

    Is Kelsey, and his red thingy’s, holding out? :-)

  16. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh God, first cricket and now bowls. Exactly what have you lot got against Ping Pong, or as Boris Johnson calls it Wiff Waff. He put it rather well thus: “Back in 19th Century Europe, when the French found a large table, they saw the opportunity for a feast. When the English found a large table, they saw the opportunity for a game of Wiff Waff”.
    Be warned. I am extremely good.

  17. I suppose the usual end of season despondency is getting to me RedA.
    I’m not saying he is keeping the proceeds to line the clubs pockets, more because he has promised a lot of the young players he’s signed playing time and bringing in someone more experienced to play “ahead” of them may feel a betrayal in Wenger’s eyes.
    I’m also going by his previous track record, when Gilberto and Flamini left he promoted Denilson, for example, he didn’t buy a ready made DM did he?
    I’m desperate for Wenger to change his ways regarding the youth-experience mix but I can’t see it happening.

  18. Red Arse says:

    Ooops, sorry Micky, I think I have got my bowls and my balls mixed up! it’s all kelsey’s fault. :-)

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    RA,
    And a big Bonjour to you.
    There is more often than not a certain underlying tone of smut within your lines. You filthy toad :-)

  20. Red Arse says:

    CharyB,

    I take your point, and without wanting to make AW sound schizophrenic, there may be a dichotomy going on in his head — ‘if I buy, that will ‘betray’ some of the young players; — if I don’t buy, my ‘experienced players will bugger off’. — Tut alors – or, sod it, I am off to Rocky’s paradise island’! :-)

    [I think he will buy Hazard if the Meerkat and Cesc go]. :-)

  21. mickydidit89 says:

    Really looking forward to Barca/Madrid tonight. Who do I want to win, or to put it another way, who would I most enjoy seeing thrash Utd in the Final?

  22. goonergal says:

    “”Its time for this group of players to start enjoying football again, but its also time for them to start repaying the enormous faith that Wenger has put in them.”” says it all for me, just do not want the mancs to win the league on our ground,unthinkable!!!

  23. Red Arse says:

    Very true, Micky, of course I am learning from the master — ie your goodself! :-)

    Have to say it might be fun to play you at TT as I wield a handy bat myself — when drunk.
    What a sight that would be for the uninitiated Ping Pong players in Spain; you pinging and me ponging away and ;;;; hey wait a minute, who said I pong?? :-)

    Damn, you are always tricking me!! :-(

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    RA,
    Whoever we buy must have great teeth. Soccerball is going to be massive in the States in 5-10 years, so no Joe Jordan’s for us!

  25. RedA – that is the dilemma he faces but I’ve seen a lot of BS about how selling Cesc is a good idea as we can rebuild with the proceeds – when has Wenger EVER sold a star and reused the proceeds straight away ?

    Time will tell but I’m bracing myself for another summer of transfer disappointment.

    MDi89 – it’s Mourinho’s lot all the way, I hate Barca now and want nothing but for those c**ts to implode, and it seems their manager is already having a Keegan style meltdown.

    I know it’s heresy to applaud Mourinho, but his remark about “We should be playing Arsenal in the S/F” (because of the referee following UEFA’s wishes that Barca stay in the competition and giving Robin that ludicrous red card) seems to have wound Pep up.

    Good. – may those ba****d catalonians have nothing but misery from now onwards.

  26. Red Arse says:

    Hi Goonergal, :-)

    Now here I am trying to think positive and you go and mention manure possibly winning the league at the Emirates.

    You have now officially depressed me —– go and bring me some positive thoughts to restitute my good humour, please! :-)

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    Chary,
    As you appear to be in sabre rattling mode, I will go with whatever you say. Madrid it is.

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    Offing for now.

  29. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    I recently saw some photos of the young Bee Gees. Each of them seemed to have only six and a half buck teeth, separated by facsimiles of the grand canyon and showing to all points of the compass.

    later photos of them in their hey day showed beautifully matched massive chew sets, so all is possible! :-)

    CharyB, you are understandably showing apres Bolton depression. Trust me, I am Micky’s friend :-) — we will definitely buy in the summer, well that is after Citeh, Manure, Chavs and the Spuds have had their pick!! :-)

    Now I am being cynical! :-)

  30. Good stuff MDi89, you know it makes sense !

    It is possible for ManUre to win the league on Sunday if Chavski lose to the Spuds on Saturday –surely that can’t happen ?

  31. Another thought, if Shitty lose in the Cup Final how does the prospect of the domestic cups being won by a pairing of the Brum Scum and the Stoke cavemen appeal?

  32. chas says:

    Interesting GIE, but must have been a sad day.

    If the chavs lose to the spuds and the mancs spawn 3 points against us that would put them 9 points ahead. But the chavs will still have 9 points to play for, so no they can’t win it next Sunday. Phew!

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh jees!!
    Pop in and what do I find? RA looking at pics of the Young Bee Gees. What, in the name of all that is Holy, kind of a Man are you? :-)
    By the way, did you know the first name of their band was The Tossers.
    Off again. I do hope things improve around here.

  34. MDi89 – isn’t the reminder of that fact what made them flounce out of a TV interview with Clive Anderson years ago ?

    That makes me chuckle.

    As would Barca being torn a new one tonight by General Franco’s team.

  35. Gooner in Exile says:

    Chary didn’t AW reinvest Anelka windfall?

  36. I know our backup are not great.Great. Oh wait! They’re Bad.That’s what we still lack. Quality in depth. No cover for Song, Walcott, Fabregas(there can be no one here) and van Persie. Come on! We are Arsenal FC and deserve better players. We the fans deserve better players.Arsene deserves better players. And so does football. I mean what an achievement it would be if the title is won by Arsenal with our youth policy.Really HUGE!
    On the other hand, I think the first XI deserves better fans who can sing and shout to help them win. Not to sit back and blame it on the players.I’ve written an article regarding the same issue:

    Even our manager has become a victim of this. He’s become increasingly frustrated on the touch-line and is feeling the pressure of the fans along with that of media. I’ve always seen Arsene as a calm and composed man who always knew what he was doing. But now he seems a lost man. Only if the Emirates crowd could find the old Arsene back. Maybe some old Wenger chants during the Invincible era will do the trick.

  37. Sorry for the last paragraph.
    Posted it by mistake.
    Wanted to post this though:

    http://delhigunner.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/emirates-is-our-own-shawshank/

  38. Mickeyk says:

    I’m sorry to say man -u will batter us on Sunday .and we will get worse next season .as for not signing autographs I’m not a bit surprised.half the wankers we’ve got at arsenal need to fuck off.

  39. goonermichael says:

    That video is really depressing. I’ve only ever been to one away game. It was the one at OT when adebayor scored the only goal. There was a bit of negativity then but not much. I’ve been told by gooners who have been going since the 70s that it’s always been a problem. Whenever I’ve been to the Emirates it’s shocking how negative and abusive some of our fans are to our own team yet I’ve been threatened with ejection for swearing at the ref and opposition.

  40. Gooner in Exile says:

    MickeyK I did not hang around after the game but there was a queue of players waiting to either be very disappointed or ecstatic.

    I totally support your comment tho “re the half the self pleasurers”……you were talking about people who outrageously disrespect their team on the web aren’t you?

  41. goonermichael says:

    Italian giants Inter Milan are set to do battle with Barcelona for the signature of Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas when the summer transfer window opens according to Italian paper Corriere dello Sport.

    If that’s true it’s good news as his price will go up.

  42. GiE – I meant re-invested in players, I thought the Anelka money went on the new training facilities at Colney ?

  43. I’m with you on that GM – if I was in charge I’d sell Cesc to anyone but Barca(even at a discount) just to piss off those piles of distended rectums.

  44. goonermichael says:

    The problem with him wanting to go to Barca and only 1 club bidding is that it keeps the price low. £35m is peanuts really. If they bid against each other it should push the price up.

  45. That is the problem when you don’t have an open market for a player GM – ultimatley I’d rather keep him as we won’t get a similar quality replacement, IMHO.

  46. goonermichael says:

    I’ve got to go to the butchers now. He’s a livepool supporter and he’s found a new optimism and thinks it’s funny to take the piss out of customers :(

  47. goonermichael says:

    Chary sometimes commitment can can be more useful than talent. (he says clutching at straws)

  48. That’s the way to cultivate customer goodwill isn’t it GM ? Typical ‘dipper.

  49. We’ll see come members day this August GM, the papers were equally certain he was off last summer too.

  50. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Re dandan previous post

    Gnarley. How do you know the club has high expectations? some fans live in the reflected glory of the teams success and therefore have to have a pot, real fans love the Arsenal pots or not, but enjoy them when they come

    Good point, maybe Arsenal don’t have high expectations ;) So why am I bothering to care when they miss out yet again?

    I have never felt like a real fan like you dandan, & now you have confirmed it.

  51. Hi all, just popping in to say we need some posts for the coming days if anyone has any ideas, please …….

  52. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    This is where I belong. Here I am a real fan.

    http://www.puntroadend.com/

  53. You wouldn’t want a post from me at the moment Peachy, it’d only cause further despondency amongst us.

  54. RockyLives says:

    Great insight to the travelling faithful again GiE.

    But I found your video deeply troubling. The contrast between the eager, waving, chanting supporters who have spent large chunks of their hard-earned to travel to the arse end of nowhere to support the team they love, and these multi-millionaire kids in their zoned-out MP3 worlds walking past those self-same fans without even a sideways glance is truly shocking.

    Peaches, I have an idea for a post about the way the players should behave towards the fans, but I won’t have time to write it for a few days I’m afraid.

  55. kelsey says:

    OK, I am back and leave my bowls alone RA :)

    There are 3 clubs bidding as we speak for our captain, so just be patient .

  56. That’s good news and bad news Kelsey; good in that we’ll get a higher price for him than if it was only the C+++alans bidding for him but bad news in that I’ll doubt we’ll see that money resurface in the form of a replacement player of the equivalen standard, as I said earlier.

  57. goonermichael says:

    I told my (bindipper) butcher I wanted it to end so I could dream about next season and he said he’d been doing that for five years. Cheered me up a bit. Almost bought an extra 200 grammes of diced pork :)

  58. goonermichael says:

    http://younggunsblog.co.uk/2011/04/exclusive-vermaelen-set-to-face-man-utd/

    That’s good news although I don’t think defence is our biggest problem.

  59. Is that the first of our “like a new signings” for the season GM ?

  60. chas says:

    Unfortunately it’s only the reserve game against manyoo.

  61. goonermichael says:

    I hope not chary. But I imagine it is.

  62. Red Arse says:

    GM,

    That means TV will play for the reserves against Manu, not the first team game.

  63. Red Arse says:

    Hi Chas, :-)

    You beat me to it!

  64. chas says:

    Hello RA. :)

    Where’s the ‘where has our Arse’ link gone?

  65. kelsey says:

    chas,

    there was a virus/trojan on it. sorry.

  66. chas says:

    Oh dear, I clicked on it but not much seemed to happen. Off to run some scans.

  67. kelsey says:

    I am only a moderator on here,but I picked up a problem on the link.I have restored it, but please be careful.it may be genuine but I was doing it for everyone’s interest.

    re;

    Graham Yates says:
    April 27, 2011 at 3:42 pm (Edit)

    http://www.wherehasourarsenalgone.webeden.co.uk/#

    Time to be heard….

  68. Gooner in Exile says:

    RL I agree, as a mid 30’s bloke my days of idolisation are over so was not too bothered whether they said hello to me or not.

    But for the youngsters it was a shame to me that they couldn’t have given a little bit of themselves and signed an autograph or two.

    I met Pat Jennings in M&S and he signed a scrap of paper for me as my Dad took me over to see him. He spent a little time chatting too. These guys were at their place of work and they couldn’t/wouldn’t/not allowed to give some time.

  69. Harry says:

    That Scrap of paper comment reminds me of the time I was flying out of Luton airport, back to Germany.

    Was just sitting reading my paper and looked up to see Rocastle sitting about 4 rows away, i rubbed my eyes and then saw / realised it was the England team travelling out to a qualifier with Poland…

    There was 7 arsenal players in total in the england squad at the time!!!, I went over and chatted with them and asked them to sign my daily star (intelligent reading!!) when Tony Adams went to pass it to Gazza, I went “whoah hold it there, only Arsenal players and certainly not spurs players” Tony Adams made a remark about me been a true gooner……Never forget that….

  70. Wow Harry, love that story :)

  71. dandan says:

    Very interesting, I was flying back from Ireland one evening and on reaching my seat, realised I was siting next to Pat Jennings, we chatted away and then the Pilot came on and said we were being diverted to Lu ton..fog.. Pat and I travelled back to Stansted together to collect our cars, A very enjoyable end to a long day. He was a most amenable guy

  72. Red Arse says:

    My Dad, many years ago when he was a young man, boarded a train back from a game against Newcastle, in the days when the first team also travelled by train, and got everyone from Charlie George to Bob Wilson to sign his programme.

    He promised me I could have this marvellous programme one day, but, years later, after he died, the programme had gone ‘walkabouts’ and was not to be found. :-(

  73. Still no offers for tomorrow – anyone got any ideas?

  74. dandan says:

    How times change, I travelled from Euston to Manchester many years ago and the entire Arsenal squad plus management and staff were on the train. I was travelling first, but there was only One carriage available as they other two had been chartered by AFC and no one else was allowed in.

    The only other time I had known that to happen the queen was on the train.

    Mind you it was more fun when Sam fox, Linda Lusardi and another Girl were sat round a table. Linda was wearing just a vest type top and bent down to get something out of her case which was in the aisle, unfortunately one of he assets popped out of the side of the vest, all three girls were in hysterics as she struggled to get them back and stabalised.. The joys of business travel

  75. Karayzay says:

    So here at AA everyone reckons that Cesc is definitely going?

    If that is so, rebuilding the team (by promoting from within the ranks) wouldn’t just take the summer to do, it would take a long while. The newly promoted player would lack experience which AW sees as our achilles heel. Hazard is a good player but lacks experience as well. Same with all the loanees who some people see as the solution to almost everything

    So if Cesc leaves & we promote from within i expect another barren season for the Arse.

  76. goonermichael says:

    Hopefully we’ll buy someone.

    Dandan you noughty boy. I met Linda Lusardi a few weeks back. She mentioned a pervert who was staring at her bristols on a train once. You wouldn’t now though unfortunately :(

  77. RockyLives says:

    Peaches
    Have put a very flippant post in drafts. Fully understand if you don’t want to run it…

  78. Carlito11 says:

    Evening all! Sorry to drop in like this- haven’t had a chance to read everything but turns out the 3 guys next to me aren’t going on Sunday. Is anyone in need of a ticket? Thought I’d throw it out to sone real gooners in hope rather than sit by tourists :-(

  79. Harry says:

    Dandan, Linda Lusardi, one of all time favourites…!!

    Pat Jennings is a legend, met him at the emirates a while back pre match and had a good chat with the nig fella……Also met him when I was Junior Gunner afew years back…..

  80. Harry says:

    Carlito, I think I am sorted now, the Princess sorted me out, shame would have enjoyed the banter next to you…..Probably could get rid of them for you though, whats the price? text me the details….

  81. RockyLives says:

    MY God! Is anyone else watching those Catalan twunts trying to cheat and dive their way to the ECL final?

  82. RockyLives says:

    Barca players faking injury left, right and centre. I really hope RM stuff them.

  83. dandan says:

    Does Cesc really want to be part of that? Disgusting

    by these standards Ronaldo is a saint.

  84. RockyLives says:

    Dandan
    “by these standards Ronaldo is a saint” :)
    Sums it up!

  85. RockyLives says:

    Looks to me like Barca have ‘sweetened’ the ref again.

  86. chas says:

    What a disgraceful apology for a game of football.

  87. dandan says:

    Peaches have just put a rant about this match in draft if you want to use it.

  88. Carlito11 says:

    Really a poor example of football… Classic? Not a patch on the North London Derby…

  89. Gooner in Exile says:

    But our conquerors have beaten their conquerers right? In their conquerors backyard no less. Where they got gubbed, and when our conquerors came to us we won.

    So all in all we’re still better than the pile of rubbish down the road to us :)

    Carlito saw your post about ManU tickets, as I didn’t think I’d have a chance of acquiring one (that was before the defeat to Bolton) I agreed to do other things with the wife on Saturday night which won’t see me back in time to make the trip to the Ems.,..gawd dangit!

  90. Carlito11 says:

    Nevermind GiE- think I’ve got em covered now. Your vid was sad- very strange quietness from players and fans but the players heads down told their own story eh?

  91. Carlito11 says:

    Real shame Barcelona feels the need to get opposition players sent off to add insult to the injury of their having one of the best footballing teams ever assembled. Leaves a nasty taste really. Again the ref handed them the tie and mourinho, who I have little sympathy for raised an interesting query about the ref tonight: Mou: if i say what i think about uefa my career finishes here. But i leave a question, why?! Why Obrevo? Why tonight?

  92. RockyLives says:

    Carlito
    Didn’t see the second half.
    Who’s Obrevo? I thought the ref was called Stark.

  93. Harry says:

    Absolute disgrace……That wasnt football, it isnt what people pay money to see, well Messi apart, he has glue on them feet……That 2nd goal was sublime…

    Can UEFA not see what we all see? Players on both sides were over reacting and cheating, Busquets was an embarassing coward, Alves a nasty cheat…..Di Maria Angel was over reacting at every tackle as were others…..

    Both sides were at it, so have little sympathy for Madrid, this just isnt football…..they should all hang their heads in shame……

  94. charybdis1966 says:

    Biscuits was the worst I reckon and Barca’s hounding of the ref at every opportunity was disgraceful. and as for the argie dwarf. big deal. it’s easy to score if you play against 10 men. can they beat anyone 11 v 11 ?

  95. Harry says:

    Agreed Biscuits should be banned for 10games……

    and lol, no chary I dont think they can beat 11…..

  96. mickydidit89 says:

    What a tragic game last night. I had been really looking forward to the tactical battle. Utterly pathetic. Utd will thrash them (depending on who UEFA want to win).

  97. mickydidit89 says:

    Messi really ought to get away from that league !?

  98. mickydidit89 says:

    Are you all camping out on the streets of Westminster to get a good view of Uncle Vince?

  99. chas says:

    Who’s Uncle Vince?

    Those players last night all had “Respect” on their shirt sleeves. Oh, the irony.

  100. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas,
    “Who’s Uncle Vince?”. Where have you been hiding? Clearly not gripped by Wedding Fever!! Vince is the tattooed dope smoking uncle who lives on the Costa del Crime.
    The irony of the Respect Logo indeed. Shocker of a game.

  101. chas says:

    micky, haha.
    Sounds like an alter ego to me?

  102. Rasp says:

    …..or should that be altar ego?

    Morning all. Great post yesterday GiE, respect to you and the Red Army of away fans. I expect in time the Ems crowd will become more fervent but will never come close to the level of the travelling supporters.

  103. chas says:

    Rasp :)

    This from Arseblog….

    “Anyway, Mourinho is the Phil Collins of football, lots of number 1s, lots of Grammies, but you wouldn’t pay tuppence to watch the c*nt.”

  104. 26may1988 says:

    Morning all, just dropping by.

    Chary, I believe a chunk of the Anelka cash was used on buying an overpriced, young, French kid who’d failed in Italy. What was his name again? Oh that’s right, Thierry Henry.

    Exile, depressing as it is, very good post. I’ve got used to the crap plenty of fellow Arsenal fans come out with at games (and like you, regularly get into rows with them). But the players’ reluctance to link with fans pre and post match is inexcusable. Wenger and Gazidis should both be concerned and act. It’s one of the reasons I favour keeping Eboué, at least he tries to build a rapport with the fans, even if it is a bit OTT.

    Re Cesc, if we can keep him, we should do what we can to do so. And getting a more traditional leader in (and yes, I will mention Scott Parker yet again) is part of that.

    Why was everyone going on about their bowels yesterday?

  105. Morning all,

    I think the media are going a little overboard in our appreciation of the Argie dwarf.

    Don’t forget he got away with a number of sneaky fouls that Real players were getting yellow carded for, it seems another facet of the Barca love-in the UEFA refs have indulged in for a decade is to allow their blue eyed boy to get away with sly foul after sly foul.

    Prior to the sending off he was also misplacing a fair number of passes and despite Barca’s possession he hadn’t had many shots.

    Notice how most of his “wonder goals” come after the statutory sending off of one of the opponents? Could he do it in a physical league like the Premier League or is he going to coast along in a two team league(which is heading the way of the SPL) in a bankrupt country where the refs penalise every single bit of contact against Barca?

    Busquets was an total disgrace last night, closely followed by Alves and Pedro – their play acting verging on the Rivaldo level of shameful theatrics. If UEFA are serious about the “Respect” campaign and tackling the issue of simulation there should be sanctions against this reprehensible team.

    But as we know UEFA favour Barca as they are big box office and even though Busquets et al are serial offenders they will do nothing although they were quick to pounce on Eduardo, the hypocritical, double standardised, corrupt engreats.

    Before last night’s game I was fairly respectful of his abilities, now I say “F**k you Messi, and f**k your diving, cheating, team mates who swarm round the ref after every decision.

    F**k you C**talona and I hope your sodding C**talan region gets enslaved by Franco’s minions again.

  106. chas says:

    Top ranting, chary. Love it.

  107. chas says:

    Everyone likes a firm stool to sit on between ends.

  108. Rasp says:

    :P chas

    New post ….

  109. chas says:

    Comments off on new post?

  110. Has AA become North Korea and no comments are allowed on the Madrid Post ? :)

  111. Rasp says:

    Hi guys,

    Sorry, I think comments should come up on the new post now :oops:

  112. 26May – ok, sarcasm aside, perhaps on that occasion Wenger did reinvest some of the 23m on TH14 but you kind of prove my point as that was 11 years ago.
    The point I was trying to make was that the post-Invincibles Wenger didn’t tend to do that anymore – he preferred to look for “internal solutions” when a key first team player was sold.

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