Collective Disbelief at Arsenal

I get the feeling there is a rather unusual situation unfolding. Fans are a notoriously blinkered and an over optimistic troupe, whereas if anything, for Managers it is about trying to instill a Collective Belief amongst his players.

Here on this site, where there tends to be a positive outlook, one can detect more than a hint of “you wait, next season”.

Whereas, on the pitch as well as in the dressing room, I detect a real sense of belief.

This difference, between fans and players, bodes very well indeed as the level of expectation from the support (and equally importantly, the Media) will play into our hands. You can sense, particularly at Utd right now, how the reverse is true. The fans demand success, and even expect it, whereas the players have had the belief and confidence drained from them, while even their Manager is now making the wrong noises that merely underlines this disbelief.

I genuinely believe all these factors are really playing into our hands.

We now enter what Rocky has called Death Con 1, or something, the first of our two horrendous mini fixture lists. To my mind they are conveniently grouped. First up, Pool (twice), Utd and Bayern. Good results here will still leave Fans and Media alike “Ah, but butting…”…..”Wait till City and Chelsea”.

Thing is this. By the time we get to Death Con 2, it may almost be too late for Chelsea and City. Gaps may have appeared, while the disconnect between Arsenal Fan and Player expectation will have disappeared and merged into a new Collective Belief.

This is why the other day I mentioned The Liverpool game as being our last seasons’ Bayern. A game that bonded confidence and gave belief in spades.

The burden of expectation from Media as well as The Emirates Crowd will only intensify once we have confronted Chelsea and City. I hear noises of anger that The Media still don’t rate our chances, but it really couldn’t be a more positive situation.

Given Monday nights’ result, Chelsea have moved in as our chief rivals given the remaining fixtures. City have tough away games, and remember, they play Utd away three days before coming to THOF. Chelsea, on the other hand have now finished with the Manchester Clubs, but like us, have to go to Anfield.

Could the League be decided on Merseyside? I remember when it was, and no-one gave us a chance. The fans did not really believe then, and nor did the media, but the players did.

Written by mickydidit89

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122 Responses to Collective Disbelief at Arsenal

  1. Rasp says:

    Very perceptive and cleverly expressed post Micky. It is indeed ironic that at a time when the team seems confident of its ability – the fans are harbouring doubts. As you say, the fans are influenced by the meeja – and they don’t give us much of a chance.

    We know that bad events have eroded team confidence in the past (broken legs etc) but this time the loss of Walcott for the rest of the season certainly doesn’t seem to have phased our players – it has acted as a boost for the likes of Gnabry and the Ox.

    FGG has mentioned that a solid defence is what wins you titles and as long as we have Merts/Kos and Sz at the back all fit and in form, we have a great chance.

  2. LB says:

    A very interesting read Micky

    I hope you are proved to be right.

  3. Oh wow, great post Micky. Le Boss has often talked about the ‘belief’ within the squad without there being enough of a backbone for it to be real. I believe that our solid defence gives this team a real platform, we don’t always have to score more than the other side now and that confidence is tangible.

    Bring on Anfield.

  4. chas says:

    Cheers, Micky.

    I’d argue we’ve already been through Def Con 1 and Def Con 2 in November and December with mixed results, just as I expect from the next lot.

  5. LB says:

    Ahh, but Def Con 1 and Def Con 2 are different to Death Cluster 1 and Death Cluster 2.

    Or so I am told.

  6. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning, A fine post micky.

    As far as the fans go, at least AAers, I don’t think it’s a case of collective disbelief, more that we have mostly been around long enough to have “seen it all before”.

    Most of us are mature (old) enough not to get carried away and not to forget what a bite in the bum feels like. We all have enough experience of life in general to know that something nasty could be waiting just round the corner.

    That said, I’m cautiously optimistic, that we might do well, or at least better than last season, if we don’t get too many injuries, or suspensions, or run up against ‘keepers having the game of their lives, or bent referees, or…. :D

  7. Billybee says:

    What about def con 312

  8. 26may1989 says:

    Blimey micky, and I was thinking I was an optimist!

    You are right, belief and confidence within the squad are very important. Pundits have had to dilute their dismissal of us, given how stubborn we’ve been this season. But to be fair to them, they can also point to our limited success against our direct rivals this season as evidence of why, in what will be a tight competition to the end, we may fall a bit short.

    But that’s just what happened in the first half of the season: if we do better in the second batch of matches against big-wigs, including not losing to either of the Oilers, things could get very interesting…..

    As for the Death Clusters, I see them rather like the profiles of tough mountain stages in one of cycling’s grand tours: we’re about to embark on a tough category one climb, then there will be a bit of downhill riding (in which there can still be crashes as we try to keep the speed up), and after that there will be a mother of an hors categorie climb, something you’d see in the Alps. It’s going to be fun…..

  9. fatgingergooner says:

    As someone pointed out yesterday, it’s important to go one game at a time and not get carried with the positivity/negativity of one result.

    On the other hand, we could all just go bat-sh*t crazy and get full body tattoos saying ‘ARSENAL TREBLE 2014’!

    After all, why bother being a fan if you can’t enjoy these tense, end of season run-ins. It’s what we’ve all been missing for the last 10 years!

    Joking aside, I think if we can get through these next 4 games without any hiccups, then as MD89 says, the belief within the club and fans will suddenly go skywards.

    But for now, all we should be thinking about is game 25, Liverpool away, get the 3 points.

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Love the last sentence Didit (the rest was pretty good too)

    Can we have an ugly baby on the sidebar preferably in a Spurs shirt, just to have balance?

  11. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Brilliant Mickey Thomas vid, Chas. Just brilliant :-)

    So, we’re at “Cocked Pistol” stage. Like it.

    That may have been an early morning coffee fuelled ramble, but I am in the “one game at a time” camp. Although I do believe, that the Manager and The Players are the one’s who genuinely believe that we can do it, as opposed to fans and media, and I think that is very healthy.

  12. fatgingergooner says:

    Am I only the only one who doesn’t really believe we have 2 death clusters?

    For me, cup competitions are to be enjoyed, with progress as much down to fortune as it is to anything else.

    We have 2 huge league games coming up against 2 very beatable sides. Concentrate on winning those and suddenly the cup games become an enjoyable distraction for the players and fans, rather than a priority.

    Just imagine the atmosphere if we go into the Liverpool and Bayern games on the back of 2 PL victories.

  13. 26may1989 says:

    Yup, you’re the only one FGG, but then you’re sleep-deprived, so you get cut some slack…..

    Winning at Anfield is going to be a challenge, but we certainly can do it. Likewise, United are going to want to prove something when they play us and will see a win at our place as a real possibility. Again, we can get all three points there too. And if we do win both of those, confidence will be high and we’ll go into the cup games in a great frame of mind.

  14. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers Micky, I like your thinking.

    I always believe we will do well, but I put a time factor on it.

    Three years ago I thought we would win the league in 2014/15, and still do.

    In the summer, I thought we had a good chance this season and genuinely feel we can nick it.

    Our rise is not a coincidence, nor is it a one off opportunity.

    It is simply that we have entered a new period were are finances are now strong enough to tie players down to long contracts and facilitate the odd big buy.

    Our rivals have also been damaged. City and Chelsea still flash the cash but there glutinous period is over. As for Man Utd, not really the managers fault. The Glazers are parasites that have bled them dry, and now there football is reaping the consequences.

    Out of all the big clubs in our league, one thing we can say without fear of bias, is that we are the most stable.

    Throw in financial power to this mix and the outcome is pretty much inevitable

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring.

  15. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bloody hell, Raddy.

    This morning you begged everyone to get out of bed and come and play with you because you were off and away on hols, and here you are.

  16. Roland Warren says:

    Beautiful Micky, great post!

  17. Mick AKA Peter Storey says:

    Great post. Really nice to read something both positive and measured. Fact is, 3rd gets auto qualification and with that more time to attract the bigger players. For those who don’t believe CL participation’s important, try signing a top player these days without it. I’m not saying we’ll not win it but to come third with room to spare’s an improvement on the last couple of years. In terms of belief it’s better than what it was but a couple of wins against Bayern, CFC or City’ll see it go through the roof. If that occurs there might well be a trip to the Town Hall in the not too distant future. Here’s hoping…

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks Roland.

    Mick,
    While I agree about the importance of being in the CL for the reasons you mention, what I enjoy most is not that I actually believe that we’ll win the thing, but the enjoyment of playing the great European sides.

    However, I do go into each and every individual game believing we’ll thrash the opposition :-)

  19. RA says:

    The usual engaging and amusing Mickydiditus conversation starter and who could fail to enjoy that? :-)

    It interested me when you mentioned that “I hear noises of anger that The Media still don’t rate our chances’ and that has always perplexed me.

    You see, if in the past I have been admonished or upbraided by someone I respected or whom I would not want to let down, it would have made me feel dejected.

    A similar criticism from someone I held in scant regard would have been like water off a duck’s back. Bovvered? Not!

    In the same context, praise or disparaging comments from the media mice about my team hardly register with me and frankly I could care less.

    I know many of you get het up about the ‘red tops’ whereas, unless i am trying to express group solidarity, I am quite unmoved by the sometimes inaccurate or inane articles some of them write.

    They dance to a different tune to us as they are trying to earn a living as journalists, and they know only too well that provoking readers to respond is better for circulation than being ‘nice’.

    Ditto the radio ‘shock jocks’ like that colossal dimwit Durham and his anti-Arsenal agenda.

    Simply ignore their drivelling nonsense. :-)

  20. chas says:
  21. RA says:

    Micky @ 11:45

    I had to read that comment twice as;

    “(Raddy) you begged everyone to get out of bed and come and play with you”;

    seemed, at first glance, to have been begging for the words – ‘out of’ – to be excised in favour of ‘into’.

    But you know Raddy better than I do, and who he wants to kick out of bed is his business. :-)

  22. RA says:

    Good one, Chas. :-)

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA

    Let me make one thing crystal clear. On our trip to Dortmund, he point blank refused to share a room with me. Lucky I didn’t forward the cost cutting plan I had to share a bed. Dead cert I thought, what with him being a peace and all lovey everyone hippy :-)

  24. kelsey says:

    Who knows,you may well be right Micky.

    The wording has changed slightly from the mass media and pundits generally speaking.

    No one is actually saying we can’t win the league,what they are saying is that Chelsea and City have bigger squads and that in itself is their justification that at best we will finish third.

  25. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey

    “No one is actually saying we can’t win the league”. Yeah, but that’s all those weird beard Mathematicians with their “technically it’s possible” nonsense :-) :-)

    Truth is, no betting pundit would put his cash on us. They all believe it’s a two horse race, and that I believe, is very good for us.

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Only a couple of day’s ago, that Portuguese love god, Maureen, was mincing about in her thong rattling on about Arsenal being favourites. Yeah, right Ducky. Like anyone believes a word she says.

  27. Rasp says:

    Working on the assumption that the bookies are only ever objective in their odds, and on average they never lose money – it would seem that they don’t agree with the Arsenal players …….

    Manchester City 1/1

    Chelsea 2/1

    Arsenal 9/2

    Liverpool 16/1

    Manchester Utd 150/1

    Tottenham 150/1

    Everton 200/1
    (odds from SkyBet)

    I reckon we’d need to be 4 points clear going into the last 4 games to be favourites to win the EPL.

  28. Bryan says:

    Players having belief is the most important thing for me, but sorry to be negative but that is my biggest issue with this team, against the bigger teams they seem to show fear.
    The belief is there against Liverpool & Spurs as we believe we are above their level but I am wondering & hoping it will be the same when we play them at Anfield this weekend as Liverpool have gone up a notch or two since we played them last.
    Man Utd away we played awful, also were pretty poor against Chelsea at home & gave them far too much respect, crapped our selves against Dortmund at home for most of 1st half until we finally got going & should of won it.
    I hate to be saying this & be so negative but If I’m truly honest I think our title chances are going to diminish this month & then be over by the end of next month as we just don’t seem to be able to beat the big boys

  29. Rasp says:

    Hi Bryan …. you don’t need to be negative if you adopt the ‘one game at a time’ approach. Liverpool dropped 2 points at West Brom, they only score multiple goals against teams with dodgy defences. We contained their strikers comparatively easily at the Ems so we can be optimistic for Saturdays game.

  30. Bryan says:

    Hi Rasp

    I agree I am more optimistic that we can beat Liverpool than the other games ahead both oilers & Munich but we will have to play well.
    I think we have been a bit of form lately (although we are obviously missing some top players) but still won most of our games, something we wouldn’t of done last year.
    Now I am hoping we will hit some real form, when we truly need it

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky, being a “conditioned” Arsenal supporter I’m more accustomed to having nagging doubts than I am to being confident. My “conditioning” comes from several iffy areas that are outside of our control like referee’s decisions, our injury record, fixture pile up, bus size etc.

    Our team’s performance levels allow them to have an air of confidence – it’s well earned, but that alone will not win us games. In order to fend off disappointment I always have modest expectations, that way I can be pleasantly surprised if my expectations are exceeded.

    All of this does nothing to reduce how great I feel about our season to date and the way the team and club is evolving.

    Our future looks very bright and that light may yet start to shine this season.

  32. TwentyTwelve says:

    Very good point, Micky. It’s an interesting dichotomy. On a game-by-game basis, Arsenal fans seem to believe their team can beat anyone (as exemplified by the optimistic survey results). But considering the various competitions as a whole, their doubts start appearing.

    Bryan, you might note that, while your claim might be true for Arsenal, the reverse situation seems to be true for their competitors. They have dropped points against the so-called lower teams. Not counting the famous names (ManU, Pool, etc), City have dropped 13 pts (against Cardiff, Stoke, Villa, Sunderland, S’hampton). Chelsea have dropped 12 pts (against Spurs, Newcastle, WBA, Stoke, WHU). To contrast, Arsenal have dropped 9 pts (against Villa, WBA, Everton, S’hampton)

    If that pattern continues, Arsenal might just do it. As people on AA have often remarked, a win counts for three points no matter against whom.

  33. GunnerN5 says:

    TT,

    The big difference is that a game against a title rival is effectively a 6 point game – and we have 6 games lefty against the top 7 teams.

  34. Bryan says:

    Twenty

    I agree that the big teams have dropped points against the lesser teams but not so much in the 2nd half of season.
    That is where I think Arsenal have been strong this year as we have been beating them most often but the problem is we have 2 months of top teams to play & our record over the last 4 or 5 years is not very impressive against them.
    I believe we often have an inferior complex when we play them & normally only start to play when we have to much left to do (are 2-0 down in other words)

  35. RA says:

    Well guys, I am occasionally optimistic about things, because like everyone else I think we are all born with a dollop of optimism in our genes.

    However, (and where would I be without a qualifying ‘however’) there is also a genetic predisposition towards ‘optimism bias’ in many fans, perhaps to counter the ‘realistic’ tendencies of other such as myself.

    I suppose you will want me to explain what I mean by the ‘optimism bias’ and that is only right and proper, so for what it is worth, my definition of that term is that it means; ‘the belief, often mistaken, that the future will be much better than the past and or the present based on a subjective feeling that is difficult for the person concerned to quantify.

    Therefore, if someone says, “I am optimistic that Arsenal can …..”; or they say, “I believe we will win …..”; they will, if asked, sometimes also admit that the sentiment is driven by wishful thinking, because they will not be able to clearly show that their positive feeling is based on a carefully objective assessment.

    In fact they are in thrall to the optimism bias inculcated from birth.

    Unsurprisingly there is also a ‘pessimism bias’ where some fans exhibit a behavioural bias towards pessimism in their thought processes or beliefs.

    In the business world a lot of thought goes into establishing which category people fall into, as it is key to recruitment of staff in the Stock Exchange for example — or should be!! :-)

    In fans it is interesting to see which way their optimism/pessimism pendulum swings but either way their forecasts should be treated with caution — Terry!! :-)

  36. Vinay says:

    Arsenal need to win these big games, no not because these are must wins but more so because it installs a belief in themselves that indeed they can. We seem to have trends in the last few seasons where we do well against big teams and perform below par against the others or vice versa. Time to set it right, we have done very well against most others but time to set the record straight and bet the so called big teams.
    Anfield is a place we havent lost in i think 7 years in the league, dont pls remind me of that UCL loss there, so we know how to play there and always seem to give them a game and a half.
    There is mutual respect between the teams and even the supporters seem to acknowledge it when these 2 teams play( i hate pool though, owen scoring those 2 late goals to rob us of the FA cup is a painful memory).
    SAS and coutinho will come in fast initially, they would want to take the initiative and Arsenal would do well to soak in the pressure and hit them on the break. The 2-0 win there last time when poldi and Santi scored should serve as ideal example.
    1-2 to the Gunners seems to be the ideal scoreline, 1-0 to the Arsenal and an own goal from kolo as well will be taken nicely.

  37. RA says:

    Micky,

    I was going to tell you how funny a comment you made was, until I read the next one and grinned at that too.

    In any event, you brighten my life with your humour — and for that — thank you!! :-)

  38. jnyc says:

    Good point Micky. If we can get to the middle of March in a position of slight strength. Maybe get Ramsey back, and go into those Chelsea and city matches with them desperate to avoid a draw. That puts more pressure on them, and maybe allows us to play the way we choose.
    First step, Liverpool.

  39. RockyLives says:

    That is a really fine, interesting and perceptive Post Micky. Are you feeling alright? :D

    You observation that the team currently have more belief in themselves than the fans and media feels accurate and I haven’t seen that thought expressed anywhere else.

    Bravo!

    Bryan is right to highlight our record against the other big clubs, but these sorts of runs have to be broken at some time. Funnily enough, I think that provided we avoid defeat at Anfield, the home game against ManUre could be the one that pushes us on to greater glory.

    Even though ManUre are pants this year, we definitely have a bit of a hang-up about them. If we can get that particular monkey off our back by beating them at THOF anything is possible.

    I realise I have just ignored my own “one game at a time” mantra :oops:

    Redders
    I like the ‘optimistic/pessimistic bias’ analysis. Would it be inappropriate to speculate which category the AA regulars fall into?

    Let’s see: Terry… hmmmm… tough one…

  40. evonnee says:

    Mr DidIt – if I didn’t know any better I would think that some stand up comedian wrote that piece, just to cheer us up at the time that nerves are beginning to show, hands shaking, bums squeaking, etc

    I don’t believe one word you are saying and cannot believe that your mate Mick AKA Peter Storey described it as ‘both positive and measured’, ha ha ha ha, you are both deluded. Nicely deluded all right, but still not very realistic.

    I wish I was in your camp, but sadly I cannot see us coming unscathed from the first Death Con and for that reason I am out.

    Thank you for the amusing and amazing read :)

  41. TwentyTwelve says:

    GN5, I’ve often heard the statement about effectively six point game, but I’m guessing the statement must be in context of opportunity lost. Let’s say Arsenal is tied on points with City at the start of the match, and let’s further assume the unlikelihood that Arsenal lose ;) wouldn’t Arsenal then be three points behind? It’s not like points are deducted from the losing team.

    Bryan, I don’t doubt your suspicion that Arsenal have an inferior complex. I remember seeing a painful interview with Ramsey, who (if I remember correctly) when asked what was the most difficult game he played so far in 2013, stated that it was ManU away. Here was a player on his top form facing a stuttering ManU, and he thought it was his most difficult game. I was quite surprised.

    But anyway, to show my optimistic bias and prove RA’s point, I think Arsenal will hold their own in the big games the rest of the way. :D

  42. kelsey says:

    If one is going down the probability route the likelyhood is that apart from us having two tough games in the CL and City as well, and the fact City and Chelsea play each other in the FA Cup where one could argue that Chelsea have the most probable chance of progressing in the CL than either us or City, makes the upcoming game against Liverpool extremely important,remembering that Liverpool do not have a European commitment. The pressure on them is the same if not moreso than us to try and achieve a CL place.

  43. Domhuail says:

    The fans, both our neophytes and old timers, are nervous about a possible¨collapse¨,which they have seen once in awhile over the past 8-9 years. It is understandable, as the stress and tension increase, the closer we get to the finish line.
    However, regardless of the outcome at the end of May, at this point in time we can be proud of what the Gunners and Wenger have accomplished against the money Clubs, the biased media, the incompetent officiating, the endless long-term injuries and our own mean spirited, negative so-called supporters who never cease to demean and defame every achievement.
    In the past the Arsenal have suffered from a sense of inferiority and a profound doubt about their ability to sustain the charge BUT this season it appears we have put that behind us and even after some hard defeats (AV at home,United away, City away) they have come back and regained the top of the EPL. My guess and hope is that they’ll do the same come the end of May. Why not?

  44. Mike says:

    I am optimistic for sure, we’re probably the best team in the league over the calender year 2013. Obviously we’ve not won too many against the “big” teams, but we have beleif and momentum. The only thing I see differently is that by the time we play Chavs and Shitty, gaps may have appeared, but it might be us who need to make them up. Chavs have a fairlyeasy run in but have to play us. Shitty play 3 of their next 4 at home and 4 of their last 5 away games are at Manure,THOF and both Mersysiders. In between, their fixtures are manageable. I think we’ll need to beat Shitty, maybe beat Chavs too, then win our last 5 winnable games. In the 7 games before that, we need to continue out good form and take a couple of “unexpected” points vs Lpool, Manure and Spuds. Probably need 35 points from 42.

  45. 26may1989 says:

    Love the second para in Domhuail’s 4.18pm comment.

  46. RockyLives says:

    Agreed 26 – nice work Dom

  47. RA says:

    DomH,

    I too liked your comment. :-)

    I used to occasionally listen to a radio show when I was in the UK, and I was initially shocked, and angry, at the manner so many Arsenal fans (or so they described themselves) were prepared for, and even enjoyed, a little public self-flagellation, on behalf of the club or its manager, which appeared to be almost sexual in its intensity.

    But referring to my earlier comments vis a vis the inbuilt pessimistic bias that affects some fans, I think we need to cut these dudes some slack as they may not be able to help themselves, possibly because it is a defense mechanism against building up too much hope for Arsenal success, only for it to shatter before their eyes.

    It is a shame they are unable to enjoy the moment and let the future take care of itself, however the die may fall.

  48. RA says:

    Hi Rocky, :-)

    Looking back, a little earlier, at yesterday’s comments, I think in my haste to tweak poor arnie’s tail, that I forgot to compliment you on your usual fine Post, and do so now! :-)

    If in fact I did do so —- give it back!! :-)

  49. A very astute indirect question has been posed as to whether or not this a false dawn or are we really in pole position in the race for the Premiership title. Nice post Mickey and you maybe doing it again when you state that the title may be won ( or lost, I think ) at Anfield.
    Arsenal are top, not by default, but through gathering enough points to be there.Flat track bullies? I don’t think so. Save the best till last? I’ll take that.
    Some of us are so cowardly, in as much as they insist Wenger knows best, although they seem now to doubt his peerless qualifications to guide us to a title from a two point lead with a level playing field at the second week in February.
    If this was offered at the beginning of the season, how would we have reacted?
    Be very optimistic Arsenal lovers, there’s only a certain amount of games left to compete for and being top is as much as one could hope for.
    Who needs what’s is name when we’ve got Giroud?

  50. GunnerN5 says:

    I’ve decided to change my computer password to incorrect – that way when I use the wrong password they will tell me that “My password is incorrect”

  51. RA says:

    Özil will bring 😱 to the ‘Pool. :-)

  52. Our own hair transplantee Terry often mention the stirring of the ghosts of the 30’s. Terry, those ghosts are ready. One year early for you maybe, but you must love that. We are there to win the major domestic honour and we qualify in my mind as deserving as anyone else. Being top now makes it a case of how or why we should be dislodged.
    We are proud, therefore we will be happier to have won against at least one of our direct rivals. However nice that may be, that may not be necessary if we set our stall out to claim that lovely prize that is the Premiership title.
    Can we do it, or, why not.

  53. RockyLives says:

    Amen to that TC

  54. arnie says:

    Micky: What a fantastic post. Superbly constructed argument. Thank you very much. An absolutely greatest pleasure. :D :D :D Only two points of disappointment.

    First, missed the day’s fun on AA. Just a very tough day, professionally and on a personal front. My sincere apologies. :sad:

    Second, and unfortunately, no points of disagreement. Why is this happening regularly, I wonder! Is it something to do with me? :sad:

    And two major points of agreement. First, the team is superbly confident in their ability, as they should be. And we as fans are somewhat skeptical. As we should be. We have seen such promise for a while and kept our hopes high. Our hopes are still high, but this is qualified optimism, in general. We are happy about the progress of the team, and acknowledge that this is work in progress. Fair enough! :D :D :D

    Second, the Liverpool game may turn out to be big. Last year, we had a fantastic game against Bayern away. The momentum thus gained continued, in ebbs and flows, right up to the Shitty game. OK, there was the unlucky loss to ManUre away, but this was a minor blip. The optimism and confidence burst somewhat in the Shitty game. We need another one to start building this up again. I believe this could well come this weekend. And then, further momentum against Bayern. To that thought!!!!! :D :D :D

  55. arnie says:

    Redders: :D :D No dodgy cocktails today? :D :D :D

  56. arnie says:

    Redders: regarding the “haste to tweak poor arnie’s tail”, I seem to think one of your comments was removed by the moderators. Did you write something rude? I dont remember, I guess you dont either! :razz:

  57. RockyLives says:

    Evening Arnie
    I’m sorry you’ve had a tough day. Hopefully the Mighty Arse can lift your spirits at the weekend…

  58. arnie says:

    Rocky: Surely the Mighty Arse will!!!!! Is there something called qualified assurance!!!!! :D :D :D

    Onwards and upwards!! :D

  59. RockyLives says:

    I like your attitude to life Arnie.

    Where are you based?

  60. arnie says:

    Rocky: Normally Scotland, east coast, live in Dundee, work in Edinburgh. :D :D

  61. RockyLives says:

    Burning the midnight then…

    Are you Scottish or have you just washed up on those heather-covered shores?

  62. arnie says:

    Rocky: I say normally because I spend about 40% of my time abroad. Usually either the US MidWest or Portugal.

    Thank you for the compliment. I think the attitude comes from the experiences and challenges, and most importantly, the opportunities that one faces in life. :D :D :D

  63. arnie says:

    I am a bit of a night bird. These days I am having an early start, and therefore the quality of life has been substantially dented. :D

  64. RockyLives says:

    :(

    As it’s just the two of us and none of those crazy people like Micky, Redders, Terry and the like are listening, can I ask how old you are?

  65. arnie says:

    mid 40s, Rocky. :D

  66. RockyLives says:

    Spring chicken :)

  67. arnie says:

    yes, indeed. its all relative, Rocky. :D :D my guess is yourself and Redders are probably mid 60s, Micky late 50s, Raddy late 60s? :D :D

  68. RockyLives says:

    Now you’ve offended me Arnie :) (and Redders too, I fear)

  69. RockyLives says:

    I’m a sprightly 27 and Redders, the old bugger, is knocking on at 32.

  70. RockyLives says:

    Micky is 40, Chas is 50, BR is 60, Gn5 is 70 and Dandan is 360.

    Terry is 6.

  71. kelsey says:

    arnie do you happen to work for Easy Jet :)

  72. kelsey says:

    Raddy late 60’s…love it :)

    I that weight or age for Dandan.

  73. kelsey says:

    Not much happening except persistent speculation that AW is prepared to let Podolski go in the Summer and Vermaelen is desperate for regular first team football before the World Cup.

    I wonder about Podolski. Even though he was injured he isn’t an automatic first choice to start or even bring on when needed.
    Just because AW says he has the hardest shot , does it mean much. Any thoughts.

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    First. Arnie,
    Hope everything works out on the personal side.

    Rocky,
    Thank you for this “Not too bad amazingly, Didit. Are you alright?” :-)

    RA,
    What a kind comment. If anything I say brightens your day, then I’m delighted. You, on the other hand, give me a headache, but that’s ok, as I eat lots of pills. So press on, American :-)

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think Arnie managed to pretty much insult everyone with his age guesstimates, although slightly less than Rocky with his “Terry 6″

    Rocky,
    Do be more sensitive. Cast your mind back to your cap and shorts days. Being called six hurts, particularly when you are six and a half.
    :-)

  76. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, Morning Kelsey.

    I understand Verm wanting games ahead of the WC, but despite the fact that I like him, he’s the very last person I want to see on the pitch this season, as it would mean something’s gone wrong with Mert or Kos.

  77. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Given the Verm wants playing time, and we can rule out AW ever playing him as back up DM, could Gibbs perform at DM, giving Verm a chance as back up LB.

    Ok, 6am. Smut Time :-)

  78. arnie says:

    Motning all. Just to make the point that some guesstimates can generate substantial banter!!!! :razz: Insult!!!!! :D

  79. kelsey says:

    But what about Podolski ?

    arnie there at least 3 regulars on here over 70 and the majority but not all of other regulars are between early fifties to mid sixties.

  80. chas says:

    Motning.

    JC is ducking out of the manc game. Mate’s rates = 50?
    Otherwise I’ll put it on the exchange.

  81. arnie says:

    Kelsey. I get the point. sensitive, erm bad, topic. :sad:

  82. kelsey says:

    no arnie, senile :)

  83. arnie says:

    Chas. Please, pretty please. :D :D Now I have to try and obtain a second ticket!!!!!! :D

  84. arnie says:

    Kelsey. :D

  85. chas says:

    It’s yours, arnie. (Tube strike permitting, of course)

  86. kelsey says:

    chas

    you are a computer wizard so can you help me on this one.

    Sometimes I get e mails that are too big for the screen and have to go to the bottom of the page and move the arrows backwards and forwards to read each line.
    Can this be resolved ?

  87. arnie says:

    thank you, Chas, thank you very much!!!!! :D Let us see what happens with the tube strike. will buy flight tickets later on.

  88. chas says:

    kelsey, GIE will probably know immediately.

    Which email software or email provider are you using?
    for instance, Outlook or yahoo

    Have you tried changing font size or using Ctrl and the ‘+’ or ‘-‘ keys?

  89. kelsey says:

    gmail.
    I tried changing font size to smaller, it is currently set at 16 but it just made the letters smaller but didn’t resolve the problem.

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That Ctrl +/- is brilliant :-)

    Arnie
    I have two Red Membership cards you can use on Exchange. Happy to let you have numbers so you can buy on the exchange. I’d post them to Chas/Peaches for you to collect at Tavern.

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey

    Set at size 16!!!!!!

    Do you have one of those “special” phones with the enormous easy-to-read numbers? :-)

  92. chas says:

    Arnie,
    If you need two seats sat together, you may be able to find two using Micky’s cards.

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Maybe we should only address you, GN5 and Dandan using capital letters. Or shout :-)

  94. kelsey says:

    Cheeky monkey, as I said before i am not blind just unstable.

    Actually just tried the Ctrl +/- and it now works. Thank you.

  95. kelsey says:

    Did you get your leg over last night, you are so chirpy this morning ;)

  96. kelsey says:

    Anyway apart from apparently RvP and Fabregas returning you can now add Cole.

    One really couldn’t make it up or could you.

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think you are making it up, actually.

  98. kelsey says:

    Cole is 33 out of contract in the Summer and has lost his place as first choice at Chelsea.

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Let’s give it a go. Loud, clear and slow:

    “MOOOORNING KELSEEEY, HOWWW ARE YOOOU TOODAY?”

    Yip. That works :-)

  100. chas says:

    WOULD YOU LIKE A CUP OF TEA, DEAR?

  101. chas says:
    MOTNING
    
    
    		
  102. chas says:
    MOTNING, KELSEY
    
    
    		
  103. chas says:
  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I really can’t laugh too much, I’m fifty bloody two, and feel seventy bloody two. Act like I’m about eleven, I know.

    Blimey, I must be the most immature person I know.

  105. evonnee says:

    why are you fecking shouting, you woke me up!!

  106. evonnee says:

    I went to view this house yesterday. Pay attention to the pictures on the walls!
    http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-42735787.html

    I told the owner that if they leave the photos in that room I will buy the house tomorrow. She said no, I told her the garden was crap.

  107. evonnee says:

    I’d love a coffee Chas

  108. chas says:

    blimey evonee, what’s your gaff worth if you’re looking at £640k houses?

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne
    Chas only does Muffin or Crumpet for breakfast.

  110. chas says:

    Micky, you’re forgetting you know me.

  111. chas says:

    Heavily buttered.

  112. kelsey says:

    Who lives in a house like this, evonne.

    A golfer, goes to Royal Ascot may have race horses but the sofa in the conservatory is vile.

    660K are you paying cash :)

  113. chas says:

    Here’s Micky’s breakfast dispenser machine………

  114. kelsey says:

    A one bedroom top floor flat, extremely large,in a purpose built small block, finished to the highest standard overlooking Wimbledon Common was sold the day it came onto the market for 3.1 million, and the buyers….Chinese.

  115. kelsey says:

    can you see me

  116. evonnee says:

    I lied to the woman, I have no money to buy her house :)
    My house was valued at £500k 2 years ago and at a staggering £700k now!! I am not sure if I find a buyer, unless he is a Gunner and will fall in love with my ‘office’

    Kelsey – good spot, the owners have a business dealing with sports hospitalities, whatever that means. They bought this house 30 years ago from no other but THFC

  117. chas says:

    Can’t you just swap?

  118. arnie says:

    Thanks a lot, Chas and Micky. I had asked one of my other friends as well. Let me see. Rush to teach now, will sort out on return. Once again, thanks a lot. :D :D

  119. evonnee says:

    Muffin and crumpet – doh! just got it Micky :) But I think he likes sausages best

  120. Morning all

    We have a lovely New Post from GN5 ……………….

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