FA Cup – The Freddie Final

Friday Afternoon 3rd May 2002.

At last the arrangements were sorted with me picking up JC from North London, Jon to travel on his own after a long shift and Ant taking my nephew, Matt via Loughborough (where Matt was at college). I’d persuaded my old man not to go to this Final, he’d been to the Scouse daylight robbery Final in 2001 and not really enjoyed himself due to all of the walking. His feet were not good by this stage. It meant we all had tickets (I’d luckily played the martyr and dropped out of the 2001 final).

1 (1)

I popped in to see him before picking JC up, armed with a bottle of rum to “assuage the guilt” (he only really liked Pussers Royal Navy rum but it was hard to get hold of). My old man had given JC £25 to buy us all a drink with the proviso that he’d have any change that was left. As Ant commented later, ‘Rest assured, Dad, there wasn’t any’! JC was full of beans on the journey, only pausing for breath on the journey from Brimsdown to Bristol at the M4/M5 junction. (Due to a shortage of rooms, we’d arranged to spend the Friday night at Cribbs Causeway just outside Bristol and then transfer to the Innkeepers Lodge in Cardiff on Saturday morning)

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I never know why all of our football photos have pints of beer in them

Friday Evening 3rd May 2002.

By 7pm JC was convinced he’d had 5 pints already, not a good sign for things to come. We decided on some Gooner Survey type questions for entertainment. Most hated player meant that the spuds got a mention. I think it was a unanimous vote for a certain Mr Edward Sheringham. JC couldn’t understand why no-one seemed interested in his amazing fact that Ronnie Rooke had bow legs like Malcolm McDonald. Favourite game of the season featured the 3-1 versus Juventus at Highbury (bearing in mind a certain game at the Old Cowshed was still to come). Matt had feasted on two meals already, one on arrival and an early evening Early Bird meal, still he was a growing lad. His requests to have a southern comfort and lemonade because he was feeling a little bloated were greeted with, ‘he’s not having a f*ckin chocky drink’ from Ant. Matt didn’t look happy when a suggested departure time before midday was mentioned….so 8am it was.

Saturday Morning 4th May 2002.

All was well in the family room overnight containing Ant, Matt and me. Poor Jon had shared with JC who had been talking to Ralph for much of the night. He was decidedly white and shivering and we all felt a little guilty at allowing him to partake of so much refreshment. Anyway, Ant, Matt and Jon emerged from the hotel sporting Freddie’s red hair. Freddie had been superb in the run-in of the League, scoring virtually every game (with compulsory Dennis assists) and his song had become everybody’s favourite.

3

I remember JC looking paler than this!

The transfer to the Innkeepers was simple as the traffic hadn’t started to build yet. The car journey to Cardiff was one of the worst parts of going to the Millennium apparently, so we did well to avoid it. We got a taxi to the city centre and then had a healthy double sausage and egg McMuffin to raise blood sugar levels before indulging in a few take-outs as the pub we had in mind wasn’t open until 11. Preposterous!

4

An astonishing likeness

Finally installed in the pub we settled down to watch Soccer AM (these were the days when it was quite good). Jon left the pub on a pastie run as had become tradition. JC had at least 6 separate efforts at eating his pastie but still didn’t finish it. A little later he seemed to have perked up somewhat when telling the assembled toilet goers a joke about a bloke found dead in an expensive toilet who’d left a suicide note, ‘Here I sat broken-hearted, paid a pound and only…..’ He still thinks that one is funny!

We left the pub at 1.40 and took some photos of Jon’s magnificent Freddie banner outside the ground. The top of the capital ‘F’ even had the red hair quiff.

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Jon’s magnificent banner which got on the telly

Saturday Afternoon 4th May 2002.

The seats were absolutely top notch in row 4 of Glanmor’s Gap in the North Stand (look it up) which effectively meant we were in the most expensive centre band of the stadium right behind the goal Arsenal attacked in the second half. The first half was fairly unmemorable, the second up there as one of the best 45 minutes of my life. Ooo Ahh Ray Parlour scored a 30 yard curler on 70 minutes. Edu warming up behind the goal, celebrated as the ball grazed Cudicini’s fingertips and then smacked the back of the net. Freddie scored ten minutes later with a 30 yard run and curling lob of exquisite beauty, having left John Terry on the deck munching grass. We saw the Freddie banner three times on the stadium big screen during the presentations and celebrations, later finding out it was on our TV recordings too!

6

When Tone goes up, to lift the FA Cup, we’ll be there

Saturday After the Game 4th May 2002.

Leaving the stadium, we gave the old man a call and JC pretended to be David Dein. We decided to hang about near to the VIP car entrance with some tinnies and fried chicken. Ant stood in the middle of the road directing cars the wrong way out of the car park. We saw several famous people, Sepp Blatter (or was it Lennart Johannson?, who cares) Ainsley Harriot and Graeme Le Saux, who was greeted by the assembled Arsenal fans with, ‘Do you take it up the a*se?’. Those sort of homophobic songs really have no place in modern football.

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Great Trophy

We also saw Lineker, Lawrenson and Schmeichel before ambushing the Arsenal coach complete with FA Cup installed on the front dash. JC was definitely feeling better, even finding time to chat up a couple of local girls and have a photo taken (I’m not sure this one got back to his wife).

8

Smooth operator

Saturday Evening 4th May 2002.

Back to the Innkeeper’s and JC sensibly declined the evening’s festivities in Cardiff town Centre. The ‘boys’ had pizza, several more beers and then were refused entry to a club because I was wearing an England polo shirt. Not very tactful, I know. Some local girls started singing the Freddie song when they saw Ant’s hair, but they didn’t know any more of the song except for the ‘We love you Freddie, we do’ line. We decided to call it a night and headed back to the hotel to watch as many re-runs of the goals as we could find.

9

It truly was a great weekend and wonderful result.

Celebrating the Club’s third double the following Wednesday, meant that we were floating on air for weeks to come. Wiltoooooooooooooooooooooooord!

Everton at home the Saturday following saw the presentation of the Premier League trophy and capped a pearler of a week to be an Arsenal supporter.

10

Champions Too

Written by chas.

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138 Responses to FA Cup – The Freddie Final

  1. Rasp says:

    Thanks chas, I love this post especially in the light of GN5’s news and the self flagellation we’ve been witnessing after a couple of disappointing games.

    The message must be – enjoy the good times when they occur, but mostly just enjoy the ride and in that way it is so much sweeter when we have a success to celebrate.

  2. kelsey says:

    Wow what a descriptive post and photos galore.

    I don’t think of any of the Cup Finals that I have watched concerning Arsenal have ever produced not one but two fantastic goals.

    Out of interest which one is chas and/or ant. :)

  3. LB says:

    Ahhhh, it brings it all back, happy days

    Great read, very uplifting, you have a real knack of giving the reader the feeling that he was with you having a great time in the pub.

  4. evonne says:

    kels – Chas does yoga, Ant couldn’t do it. They are on the second photo with JC and young Matt

    Fab post, thank you Chas! I am amazed that you remember it in such detail, must have been important :)

  5. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    They were great days, but it’s so much better reading about them when there’s a real personal touch. Love it. Love all the tales of Rum, healthy snacks and good times.

    That post is what Arsenalism is all about.

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Off to a History of Devon Surfing exhibition, then back later.

  7. Morning all

    Love this post chas, travelling with you guys must be a riot. That was a fantastic week ……. don’t you just love being a gooner ;)

    With no football today I hope lots of people read it.

  8. GN5 – Very sad news about your daughter, best wishes to her and all your family xx

  9. Would anyone like to volunteer to write the pre-match post for tomorrow as Big Raddy is still away?

  10. kelsey says:

    I don’t mind doing the post match review but I have done the last two in my certain style so I will move over darling.:)

  11. arnie says:

    Fantastic, Chas. Now this is uplifting, as LB said, and I had the feeling of sharing the whole experience with you guys, pub, hotel, the game. Lovely lovely stuff. :D :D :D

  12. arnie says:

    Great clip to go with it, Rasp!!!! :D :D

  13. GunnerN5 says:

    Wonderful story and pictures Chas, great memories as well.

    It’s only a matter of a short period of time before we will all be experiencing that type of euphoria all over again.

  14. chas says:

    Cheers, peeps.
    Just an excuse to dig out some old photos really.
    Ant did write-ups from our trips in those days, so he did most of the work over a decade ago.
    All I did was remove the bits that weren’t particularly suitable for public consumption. :)

    I just realised I didn’t mention Lee Dixon celebrating Freddie’s goal which became one of our favourite bits. (so here it is again)

  15. chas says:
  16. chas says:
  17. GunnerN5 says:

    That could well be me Chas – that sums up the type of Arsenal supporter I admire, we grit it out in the grim times and we lap it up in the good times.

    We are not born to be critics, experts, managers or players – we are the supporters – born to be loyal until our last breath is drawn.

  18. arnie says:

    GN5: You have the admiration and respect of most members in the AA family. And your attitude towards everything Arsenal is just fantastic. However, this is a family and like any other family, there will be diversity of experiences and diversity in the way different people celebrate their support for Arsenal. For me, the best thing about AA is the way we accept, and even celebrate, this diversity. This makes this space different from everywhere else, more like a family than a blog site.

    Part of my own personal experience of Arsenal could not be more different from yours. Unlike you, who was lucky to be born into an Arsenal family and grew up with a certain culture of traditional fan support, I did not have the same endowments. I grew up supporting East Bengal (at the club level, now what is that?) and Brazil at the national level. I was attracted to Arsenal and became a supporter, just one of many other with many different philosophies towards the club. But all of them have one thing in common: they think positively about Arsenal and share the joys and tribulations that come from following a great club.

    Where the likes of me are lucky is that there is this family AA which is inclusive, and therefore yourself and myself, and all others, can discuss matters about the club. Even if our lived experiences of Arsenal cannot perhaps be more different, and even if the way we want to celebrate our support is very different as well.

    Let us continue to celebrate this diversity!!!! :D :D :D

  19. arnie says:

    Sunderland ahead against S’ton. Rightly so, Dean did not give a penalty earlier, and S’ton have fielded an arguably weaker side. Do we care? :razz:

  20. RA says:

    Chas,

    I had previously said that I hoped for another of the ‘Ant and Duck at the Game’ series and you have delivered and more! :-)

    Even though I have never experienced such a well planned ‘expedition’, myself, now having read the latest in your wonderful compendium, I can feel the excitement the anticipation and the camaraderie, and it has left me hungry for the next instalment.

  21. RA says:

    While it is quiet on here I will tell you about a conviction I have (no, not that sort of conviction, but a growing belief) that has grown regarding the events which will culminate in us winning a trophy, or not.

    This is not a prediction of our winning or even not winning a trophy, as it is still all to play for, and there are so many variables it is possible, although maybe not probable, that we could win three trophies or none – time will tell. [So far so bloody boring]. :-)

    The growing feeling I have had for some time and now, perhaps as a consequence of Arsene’s spat with the Evil Dwarf, has grown into a solid conviction, is that if we do win a trophy, any trophy, AW will stay with us for another 5 or 6 years before retiring, with hopefully another sackful of trophies, but if we do not do so, I think Arsene will decide to go of his own accord, in the summer.

    The comment that firmed up that belief was Arsene’s straightforward statement at yesterday’s press conference, was when he said (abbreviated) that Arsenal would give everything to win a trophy, but if we do not succeed, he will take responsibility.

    Unlike the snide, classless Maureen, I think Arsene is an honest man of integrity and ‘taking responsibility’ can only mean one thing to him — to bring his Arsenal love affair to an end!

  22. RockyLives says:

    Cracker Chas :D

    Not only was I able to imagine myself on your jaunt to the Cup Final, it also made me think back to all my wonderful memories from that day out in Cardiff.

    In our case we went down on the train. Everything worked like clockwork, the trains were on time, the seat booked, the beers flowing.

    When we got to Cardiff we’d lined up a great Italian for lunch (table for 10 please and 10 Peronis :) ) after which we found a pub full of Gunners right in the city centre. As we arrived they opened up an extra bar on the first floor so we all even managed to get a table together.

    More beer.

    At the game we must have been sitting so close to you and your lot. We were in the perfect position right behind the goal about 15 rows back to see those beautiful finishes from the Romford Pele and Red Head Fred.

    Back on the train afterwards, more beer, lots of singing… curry when we got back to London.

    Absolutely bloody brilliant day.

    Then a bunch of us made it up to Old Toilet a few days later to see Wiltord clinch the Double for us…

    Happy, happy times.

    As Gn5 says, they will come again and they’ll be all the sweeter for the wait.

  23. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Terrific post Chas, It brings back memories of some of my own trips to away games, usually in the company of my late elder brother and a former work colleague, mid-week games meant skivving off work, by arranging a visit to a customer in the area, and a couple of hours each way in my company provided Morris Oxford, pre-breathalyser, and pre-motorways. Some of the return journeys were a bit hairy to say the least. :D

  24. RockyLives says:

    Norfolk
    I should also say how much I enjoyed your round-up yesterday – particularly the line about Arsene checking his pockets after being helped to his feet by Scouseland’s Finest :)

  25. Norfolk Gooner says:

    RA, I hope you are reading to much into the “but if we do not succeed, he will take responsibility” quote. I see it more as his way of deflecting criticism away from his players, but you never can tell.

  26. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Thanks Rocky, praise indeed coming from The Master. :D

  27. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well played Chas, what memories. Strangely my Arsenal supporting dedication was at its lowest ebb during that time as I was too busy playing myself, when you have games Saturday and midweek plus two training sessions sometimes more it was difficult to find time away from my own football and work to concentrate on Arsenal.

    I feel very similar to the tweet from Chas and GN5’s follow up. Arnie I don’t think any of us have problems with “new fans” but as long as we see supportive fans that’s all that we want. It’s the comments that are solely about winning trophies that tend to get our goat.

    RA, maybe Arsene is just saying he won’t be looking for excuses elsewhere….unlike a certain Maureen who has thrown “we haven’t got money”, “our fixture list is congested” etc etc excuses out there already.

  28. RA says:

    North Folk,

    My conviction was not really predicated on what Arsene said, it just seemed to be a confirmation of what I was already thinking.

    I suspect Arsene knows all his hard work has come to fruition, as he has brought Arsenal through a very difficult time in its history, during which the major shareholders have changed, amid some unnecessary unpleasantness, the stadium which is the club’s greatest asset has been conceived and built, and the team has been guided through choppy waters because of financial restrictions and now can start to compete on a more equal footing with the other big beasts and so on.

    If the fans keep sniping at him, he might decided that now (the summer) it might be time for a young turk to take over from him, if a trophy is not secured.

    It is not a matter of me being wrong — if we do win a trophy, fingers crossed, he will stay and even the most rabid of the fans will shut up, if we do not win a trophy when Arsene is so convinced we will, then he may feel that retirement is the best solution for both himself and the club, as a new manager will not have the baggage of the disaffected fans to carry on his shoulders.

    I want what is best for both Arsene and the club, so whatever the outcome this season, it will be interesting to see what transpires.
    (If Arsene decides to stay, whatever the trophy score, that’s OK with me!) :-)

  29. RA says:

    You could be correct, of course, Exile, but I think I have explained my growing belief has been just the kernel of a feeling I have felt for some time, and not based on any inside knowledge.

    AW is a tough character and it will take a lot to discommode him, but for all of us, there comes a time when enough is enough, and with so many ungrateful and disaffected fans hurling unwarranted insults and abuse at him, as well as that disgusting, narcissistic little shit Maureen, the outcome of this season may be a decider, one way or the other, for a man of his age.

  30. Norfolk Gooner says:

    RA, strangely I think it more likely that Arsene will go in the summer if we do win a trophy He can then look back with pride at an Arsenal career which has encompassed a complete rebuild of an historic institution into the perfect model of a modern Major General, sorry! a bit of Gilbert and Sullivan crept in there, :D I meant to say, a perfect example of modern major football club.

    If we don’t win anything this time around, I think he will stick around for one last try, at least I hope he does, he deserves it.

  31. arnie says:

    Redders: I have to confess I have been thinking about this scenario as well, but I reached a diametrically opposite verdict. :razz: We have played an attractive brand of football, but not won any trophy for a while now. Wenger changed the style markedly in the last one year. This, I think, is to finally try and win something. Which we will, sooner rather than later. We are getting good results this year, so it could well be now.

    But, I think, if and when we do so, Arsene may have the feeling that his job is done. Nothing is going to happen in a hurry, but a succession plan may well be drawn up in earnest. Until such time, the club will try in earnest. And Arsene will be in place to try and secure the trophies, and to take all the flak from the vitriol mongers. :sad:

    So, you see, my prognosis is quite different from yours. :D :D :D

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    A masterpiece by the true master of ‘match experiencing’. Chas, you make us feel, taste and smell football like nobody else. Brilliant stuff. :)

  33. RA says:

    There is that too, Norfolk, you could be right, but, as I inferred — as the season develops I think the Arsenal Major Domo’s mien will become clearer indicating which way the wind is blowing, as our chances of success or failure crystallises. :-)

  34. arnie says:

    Ah, Norfolk, I was a bit late! Any way, glad someone much more experienced and credible thinks a similar way!!!!! :D :D :D

    GiE: Thanks and I know fully well. I just do not like this “us” and “them” narrative that sometimes creeps in. It can be divisive, I just dont see the point. :D Maybe, it is just me!! :razz: Let me shut up. :D

  35. RA says:

    Hi Total, (the other Dutch Master). :-)

    I miss your travelling awayday expositions too! :-)

  36. RA says:

    arnie,

    It is impossible to claim that you have reached a diametrically opposite ‘verdict’ to me.

    I have been at pains to explain, more than once, that I have simply expressed a growing belief as to the affect on Arsene’s future in any of the possible outcomes that may result this season.

    Verdict? What verdict?

  37. arnie says:

    Redders: wrong choice of words, apols. Prediction is too strong, prognosis, perhaps, but more like a creeping suspicion. :D

  38. arnie says:

    I repeat the suspicion: A trophy or trophies will come soon. Arsene will continue until such time, (a) to retire on a high (as Norfolk said), and (b) to keep on trying in the interim and taking all the flak as well. Brave man, and a true servant to the club. :D

  39. arnie says:

    Respect to Sir Tom Finney who passed away yesterday. “Tom Finney would have been great in any team, in any match and in any age … even if he had been wearing an overcoat.” (Bill Shankly)

  40. RA says:

    arnie,

    A prognosis, in this context, may be defined as a prediction or forecast, and I made neither.

    Probably best to arrive at your own conclusions without drawing my belief, based on nothing more than a feeling, into it, otherwise it becomes a convoluted explanation and contradiction about what I actually said, which will rapidly become tiresome to both parties.

  41. arnie says:

    Redders: Tiresome? No, never :D but I take your point. :razz:

  42. RA says:

    arnie,

    I apologise for being unduly pernickety.

    It is not an excuse, but as well as commenting on a number of blogsites, as a distraction to my thought processes, I am mentally cogitating over a mathematical ‘problem’ for which the resolution is currently evading me. :-)

  43. RA says:

    Evonne, evonne, evonnee, :-)

    (What is it with all these name changes? )

    It is nice to see TA on here after so long, and I would love to argue with him some more. A master of tactical explanations. :-)

  44. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    I think you’ll find the answer is 4 :)

  45. kelsey says:

    How football has changed. A great footballer with parts of the stadium and road named after him.
    Never played for another club,spent all his life living within 5 miles of the ground and when retired became a plumber.(Sir Tom Finney)

  46. arnie says:

    ha ha Rocky. :D

    Redders: not at all, my apologies. just a bit irritable myself. a good result tomorrow will do wonders. :D :D which branch of maths, if I may ask? :D :D

  47. arnie says:

    Kelsey. Yes, a great idol. :D :D

  48. RA says:

    Rockstar, :-)

    Math can be wonderful but also, occasionally, frustrating.

    You see, although your answer (4) is inaccurate, it actually is very similar to the problem that is perplexing me, in that I am sure of the answer, but I need to provide the ‘proof’, and that is the bit that has me chomping at Geronimo’s bit!! :-)

  49. RA says:

    Oh, it is nothing special, arnie,

    A friend who is extremely gifted has set me a little puzzle (you know, the carefully constructed party piece) :-) which is too embarrassing to mention in good company, and would cause frowns of disapproval from serious applied mathematics professors, but can cause problems for innocent accountants. :-)

    I will eventually crack it!! :-)

  50. evonne says:

    RA – I’m confused :) Iwona xx

  51. A marvelchas post !. The best I have read on here and the 2nd best was your other FAC final post !.
    You live in the middle of England, go to all the games and loads of away games, never slag the team or manager off, take care of JC, have a great sense of humour and you`re nearly as handsome as me !…..what`s not to like about you chas !.

  52. arnie says:

    Redders: “serious applied mathematics professor”? ha ha :D :D Anyway, I will distract you no further while you are trying to solve your problem. I know it can be very irritating. :D :D

  53. arnie says:

    Cockie: :D :D

  54. RA says:

    Evonne,

    I was just teasing you, darling. xx

    You know me — I have an eagle eye, and noticed the disparity between ‘evonne’ and ‘evonnee’ and also Rocky was too shy to ask you why!! :-)

  55. RA says:

    Hi Cock of the Corn. :-)

    Get back to you later!! :-)

  56. evonne says:

    Rocky too shy, yeah, right.

    Somehow I couldn’t care less who wins tonight. Maureen is a nasty piece of work, hence I will cheer for Shitty in the second half

  57. kelsey says:

    Take Yaya out of the side and City lose so much drive.

    Sad to see such poor crowds at Sunderland and Cardiff ……….

    ,”the magic of the FA Cup”

    Game not over yet as how good City look when attacking their defence is vunerable.

  58. Bayonne Jean says:

    Sorry, Evonne, have to root for Chelsea to equalize to promote fixture congestion for these two. And to have both suffer a three game red card suspension or two.

  59. evonne says:

    good point BJ, come on Chavs!!

  60. arnie says:

    yes, top point, Bayonne John!!!!! :D

  61. kelsey says:

    Will i am had to be subbed as he is on The Voice in 25 minutes.

  62. arnie says:

    Cech has been shocking today

  63. evonne says:

    GiE – what was that GM tweet ‘Not so special ….’ insert a 4 letter word of choice?

  64. Gööner In Exile says:

    Been watching the City chav game….couple of observations:

    1) Dzeko would not strengthen us

    2) the difference between our advanced three’s movement around Giroud compared to City’s around Dzeko.

    3) pace of passing

    If we improve 2) and 3) we will not be far off. Of course City are playing Dzeko because Negredo and Aguero are injured. Negredo is probably the ideal man for our system, he is good back to goal but has more pace than Dzeko and has a good finish in him.

  65. GoonerB says:

    Great post Chas. I was there with you….not literally of course but reading your posts I always feel like I was there with you.

    As I have been struggling to get on recently I had to go back to see what the references with GN5 were about so my apologies for being late with my thoughts to you and your family GN5.

    GIE I always feel you see things in a similar way to me. I hope to have more time and get back on tomorrow on the pre-match and chew the fat with you then.

  66. arnie says:

    GiE: “If we improve 2) and 3) we will not be far off”. Yes agreed. :D :D

    But we have done very well to stay in touch with both these teams this year. Well done to the good guys. D :D :D

    Yes, our game has dropped off a bit of late. I think this just reflects the fact that we are playing 20-30% below our potential. I still believe it is not necessary to get new players, except as back ups. :D

  67. Hi all

    Just going to catch up on today’s comments but before I do has anyone offered to write the pre-match

  68. kelsey says:

    arnie,
    we do need two or three new players especially in all probability we will lose Sagna,Vermaelen and Fabianski and I still believe for one reason or another Podolski doesn’t fit in AW’s plan and may well be sold.

  69. kelsey says:

    Chelse nil shots on target and did anyone notice Torres on the pitch.

    If that was us the media would highlight that time and time again.

  70. arnie says:

    Kelsey: yes, yes, fully agree. :D :D :D We need new players for next year. Let us try and get players better that the ones that we will be losing. But let us aim to get players better than those that play for the financially doped teams, because our players are just as good. That is exactly what our performance so far shows. We have to look beyond the EPL. :D :D

  71. GunnerN5 says:

    For those that advocate a change of manager at Arsenal here are the facts about the longevity of the current EPL managers.

    Appointed in –

    1996 -1
    2010 – 1
    2012 – 1
    2012 – 4
    2013 – 9
    2014 – 4

    That tells me a lot about the “quality” of the type of manager that can be successful in the modern era, There are simply not a lot to choose from and those that are hired are fired just as quickly….

    I will rue the day when AW decides that the “fans” have driven him away.

  72. arnie says:

    GN5: I think the fans will never drive Arsene away. He is made of sterner stuff. He is a proud person. And he believes in his ability and that of his team. At some point he will of course decide that his job is done and he would like a quiet retired life. The question is when? :D

  73. Gööner In Exile says:

    Sounds good GoonerB we have missed you.

  74. I sense I’m being ignored :(

  75. chas says:

    Thanks for more kind words, everybody.

    Le Grove and Tim Payton are suggesting on twitter that Mourinho deliberately threw the FA Cup tie.
    Sometimes I despair at how low these idiots can stoop for a little more self-publicity.

  76. evonne says:

    pull yourself together girl! Nobody is ignoring you, just steading the nerves before tomorrow. squeaky bums all around

  77. evonne says:

    ooops, now they know we were out together Chas :)

  78. Gööner In Exile says:

    Peaches……I’ll give it a go.

  79. arnie says:

    Chas: :D Maureen is a c**t. Yesterday, claimed Arsene is “a specialist in failure”.

    Presumably, in response there was a question post-match whether the Clelsea team had ‘failed’ him. Maureen: “I don’t say my team failed, I say City played much better than us, deserved much more than us to win … The situation is simple to analyse: They were the best team, they won.” And later: “Today proved how difficult it is to win here, which shows how well my team did in the last game.”

    What a self-serving t**t! :D :D :D

  80. evonne says:

    good night , I have lots of money and a game to think about, ta ra

  81. arnie says:

    well done, GiE, in putting your hand up! :D :D Peaches, now that GiE has kindly volunteered, we can all resurface. :razz:

  82. arnie says:

    I am in moderation. There were swear words. Never mind, nothing interesting, just Maureen’s post-match comments. :razz:

  83. peachesgÖÖner, we love you. You’ll never be ignored.

  84. Oooooh I have a fan :)

    Thank you GiE I look forward to your pre-match.

    arnie – you cheeky thing, I’m sure you said you’d write one, maybe you’d like to volunteer for Bayern Munich ;)

  85. arnie says:

    maybe, Peaches!!!!! :razz:

  86. Gööner In Exile says:

    Its in draft Peaches x

  87. arnie says:

    oh, that is very quick and efficient, GiE. I wish I could do anything even remotely close. fantastic. :D :D

  88. Gööner In Exile says:

    Lol Arnie….maybe quick…..can’t guarantee the quality.

  89. It’s perfect GiE, thank you.

  90. Rasp says:

    I’ve just updated GiE’s swingometer – we’re in 5th behind the spuds :(

  91. arnie says:

    ha ha, GiE, I am sure it is brilliant. Look forward to this tomorrow. :D :D

  92. evonne says:

    5th behind spuds??!! swing it GiE

  93. chas says:
  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    At last. Sun and light winds. We’ve waited a long time for this :-)

  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Riding a skeleton”. Cruel but fair :-)

  96. chas says:

    Cody has just seen the swingometer…….

  97. chas says:

    Are you off surfing today?

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Look at these pics from yesterday’s weather channel. Surfing in Norway.

    http://uk.weather.com/story/travel/dramatic-photos-surfing-norway-20140211

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    Got up an hour ago and went outside. Clear skies and not a breath of wind. Couldn’t believe it. Back in to check surf report and bingo.

    So, too right we are. I was about to put up a last minute “any spares” for the game shout, but this is unmissable. Haven’t been for three weeks. Still good sized waves left over from storms, but will be clean and sun, sun, sun :-)

    Water temp down to 8, so some blue faces!

  100. chas says:

    Wow, great colours. Looks a bit nippy.

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Went to this local surf museum yesterday. Some epic boards from early 1900’s onwards.

    http://www.eyeballhq.tv/2014/02/13/half-term-special-events-at-the-british-museum-of-surfing/

  102. chas says:
  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yeah, colours are stunning. See his Lanrdrover 110. Nasty, it means at no point would the heater get you warm afterwards.

    A friend of my Wife’s keeps her wetsuit on after surfing in Jan/Feb, drives home sitting on a plastic sheet, and gets into hot shower still in suit.

  104. chas says:

    Wojcieh’s lady

  105. chas says:

    Northcore do seat covers so you can keep your wetsuit on

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It was two Hawaiian Princes who brought surfing to Britain, and their female cousin was the first woman. Pretty staggering for those Victorian days.

    http://www.museumofbritishsurfing.org.uk/2012/04/09/hawaiian-royals-surf-bridlington-in-1890/

  107. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’ve often thought there can be nowhere better than Cornwall/Devom to surf in terms of surrounding scenery. I may change that opinion after seeing those Norweigan pics.

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Exile

    Much as I love it down here, I’d take some Hawaiian or Indonesian Surf surroundings once in a while. No wetsuit…bliss :-)

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    This is probably where we’ll go. Best Longboarding beach in the country. Not looking too good now as we’re bang on high tide turn. But watch for 30 seconds and you’ll see some great waves even now.

    http://www.eyeballhq.tv/surfcheck/saunton/

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right. Nuff surf.

    Arsene to go for it? The A Team? Will Pool A Team it?

  111. chas says:

    I don’t think dippers have a game midweek, so A team.
    I’d imagine we’d almost be there, too.

  112. kelsey says:

    Morning surfers

    Big game today and the 6th,Round draw is before we play.I hate this idea,games thread over 3 days with the draw in the middle.

    AW has said one or two changes maybe three and he is taking the competition seriously.

    I don’t agree with changing keepers why drop a man in form but it seems to be tradition these days so Fabianski and Flamini will play and will he rest Giroud and play with a false number nine.
    Many say Podolski should start but history shows he is out of favour. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Gnaby play a part or even Bedtner.

    Liverpool are formidable with a three prong attack but generally when teams play each other twice in a week one gets different rsults.
    Last thing we want is a draw.If we start slowly again it could spell trouble.
    I Expect the same back four and remember are vunerable away from home,christ Fulham nearly got a draw a few days ago.
    Just looking for a fuuly committed performance ad then we could win.

  113. chas says:

    Nice pre-match, kelsey.

    Why the draw is at 3.30pm instead of 6.30pm is beyond me.

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Kelsey
    Agree with all of that. It’s hard to see Podolski starting.
    For me, back 5, Flamini, Ox and Gnabry to start. Bendy or Ollie is the question, and I think I’d go with Bendy with Bayern midweek.

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow, draw at 3:30 is very odd.

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Brilliant.
    There’s ice outside on cars, so brought all wetsuit gear into kitchen to warm up. Oscar (Son) just got up and I heard a scream when he went into kitchen. That’ll be excitement, not fear :-)

  117. evonne says:

    I’m a bit cheesed off with you lot – we have several accountants that can cook the books, surfer that can cook a lobster, yogi that makes lovely pack lunches, but not one banker that can lend you obscene amounts of money. Not good.

    I am not looking to that game, at all

  118. Gööner In Exile says:

    Actually 3:33pm …… who knows…

    As for Hawaian/Indomesian surfing….from a temperature point of view fine, but I have no fondness for flat coastlands or hotels/apartments being built high as you like on the coastline.

  119. kelsey says:

    The draw for the quarter-final stage of The FA Cup will be live on TheFA.com on Sunday afternoon

    The Draw Numbers

    1 Manchester City or Chelsea

    2 Sheffield United or Nottingham Forest

    3 Arsenal or Liverpool

    4 Brighton & Hove Albion or Hull City

    5 Cardiff City or Wigan Athletic

    6 Sheffield Wednesday or Charlton Athletic

    7 Sunderland or Southampton

    8 Everton or Swansea City

    Ties to be played on 8 and 9 March 2014

    bollix to the swingometer I have my own system and the kelseypredictor says:

    Arsenal/Liverpool will play either Everton/ Swansea or Brighton/Hull.

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    All true Exile. It’s the odd day when you get your suit, to find any moisture has formed small ice particles, you think, palm trees :-)

    Evonne Morning.
    This morning you need a bent banker, and yet last night you said “I have lots of money”

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha Kelsey

    I remember last time you said you had done two full draws. Are we at home in the next round?

  122. evonne says:

    look GiE – some of us here are already depressed, you don’t want to push us over the edge. 5th below Spuds sounds as bad as more rainfall forecast.

    Micky – I took my pink wetsuit to the local charity shop wanting to donate it to the flood victims (together with other stuff) and they became very angry me. Why?? I honestly thought it could be useful in Somerset to put on when you go out. Wet suits keep you warm in water – no?

  123. kelsey says:

    I actually got it right Micky.

    I can’t edit my posts so naturally City are Number 1, Wigan 5, Sunderland 7

    Yes at Home like 1950 when we never left London before winning the cup.

  124. kelsey says:

    not having my pink cashmere jumpers evonne :) I will be wearing mine today.

  125. evonne says:

    Micky – I was gazumped by a cash buyer to the house I wanted. So I need to become a cash buyer, and have an idea how to do it. Just need a dodgy banker

    Silly Kels, I still don’t know what’s wrong with donating a wet suit to the flood victims. keeps them warm in water and they’ve lost everything, possibly surfing gear too

  126. Gööner In Exile says:

    :D Micky perhaps the most annoying thing for me as a very part time bodyboarders (last time I got up on a longboard was ten years ago) is if we get to Cornwall and have good weather…it has generally meant the Atlantic has been flat as a pancake.

    Can’t wait to take George for his first surf though, even if it is body boarding, the joy on newbies faces after they have caught their first wave properly and it’s crashed over them and taken them pelting towards the shore is brilliant. They do the first few without really catching it and you can tell they are wondering what all the fuss is about and then…….they really catch one.

  127. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne
    Donating your pink wetsuit to help flood victims is an epic oh bless :-)

    Kelsey
    I remember you got it right, which is why I come to the “wise one” for my inside info. Home…nice. Just a good clean win today and we’re all set.

  128. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evonne we all know the swingometer is BS :)

    Seriously look at the last season/this season widget up on the top, plenty of games to improve our ranking, the games we have played were what made us top team in 2013 calendar year, in other words difficult to match.

  129. evonne says:

    Having a boy gives you dreams of seeing him surfing, playing footy, riding bike and endless other joys. I am told I can take my granddaughter to ballet lessons, great.

  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Spot on Exile, that’s exactly how it is. We’ve been taking our son and daughter into the Atlantic since they were about two. They both love the sea, although my daughter is now a warm weather surfer, which is odd, as she’s tougher than my son and I put together, and has been known to go in without wetsuit in jan!

  131. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh don’t be like that Evonne. My Daughter is hysterical and never stops giving me ROLF out loud moments. She is an absolute scream when she surfs, but is not hooked like us, and only likes it with her best mate.

  132. evonne says:

    the girl would probably want to surf, play football etc, Her parents are the problem – they want a princess not a tomboy like both grandmothers

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You know it doesn’t work like that. They are what they are and there’s bugger all we as parents can do about it. We can teach them respect, manners and whatnot, but not alter their character :-)

    Right. Off. Back for the game.

  134. RA says:

    Exile, earlier,

    I had to bestir myself when i read your ‘flat coastlines’ surfing in Hawaii comment. :-)

    I suspect you have not been to any of the Hawaiian islands, because although there are beautiful white sandy beaches with coconut trees etc, there are some seriously high cliffs etc too, with some of the most fantastic surfing beaches in the world.

    The picture above shows Diamond Head in 1890 taken from Waikiki Beach, and things have changed a bit but for beginners the surfing is superb.

    But the place to go for ‘real’ surfing is on Oahu’s North Shore where delights such as the Banzai Pipeline are waiting for your delectation.

    I have travelled extensively, but if i had to make a recommendation to anyone, I would say Hawaii is perfect for family, and also for surfers, beginners or Micky experts.

    Got to go get some kip, but book your passage now. ;-)

  135. Morning all

    We have a New Post …………………..

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