Depressed of N5…

I remember the day we beat Wolverhampton Wanderers to earn our place in the 1979 FA Cup Final.

As an impoverished student at the time (well, alright, I’d spent my grant on alcohol) I couldn’t afford to go to the semi final at Villa Park and had to rely on radio coverage. Goals from Alan Sunderland and Frank Stapleton were enough to get us to Wembley.

When the radio commentator said the final whistle had gone I was a walking bundle of clichés: over the moon, cock-a-hoop, on cloud nine, walking on air, happy as Larry when Larry has just won the lottery and landed a date with Joanna Lumley (it was the 1970s, remember)…

But my reaction wasn’t unusual. Every single Arsenal supporter – and I really mean EVERY Arsenal supporter – was absolutely thrilled that we had made it to the Cup Final.

In those days before email and mobile phones we called each other up, met in pubs to celebrate and generally annoyed the hell out of anyone who wasn’t fortunate enough to be a Gunner.

The fact that we had beaten lowly, relegation-battling Wolves to get to the final didn’t come into it. Nor that our league form that season was average at best (we ended up finishing seventh).

The point was, we had landed a big day out at Wembley and the chance to claim silverware and glory.

The only emotion throughout N5 and the Arsenal supporting world was one of joy.

You can probably see where I am going with this.

After the drama of our penalty shoot-out victory over Wigan on Saturday most of the Arsenal community shared a similar feeling of joy.

But a significant minority of people who call themselves Arsenal fans were not delighted. In fact they were as undelighted as a man who inadvertently steps in doggie doodoo… only to realise he forgot to put on his shoes and socks that morning.

They grudgingly acknowledged that it was a good thing to be in the FA Cup final, but what they really wanted to talk about was the fact that (a) our performance in the semi final had been awful or (b) it was “only Wigan” and we should have rolled over them without a problem or (c) that the FA Cup isn’t really a “top rank” trophy like the league title or the European Champions League or (d) “it’s a disaster because now it means Wenger will probably stay”.

Without getting into the merits of points A, B, C and D, surely what is important is that we have a Cup Final to look forward to and a real chance to win our first trophy for nine years?

How anyone who self-identifies as an Arsenal supporter cannot find joy in that fact is completely and utterly beyond me.

But it may not be beyond the explanation of psychology.

Joylessness is a recognised indicator and symptom of depression. It literally means the inability to experience joy in situations where you would normally expect to do so.

For example, someone who normally loves beautiful scenery would, when in a joyless state, be left completely unmoved by a particularly stunning vista. Their mind may even tell them that it is a stunning vista and that they should be feeling overjoyed to look on it, but their soul is not touched by that joy.

Even people suffering from mild depression will often experience the phenomenon.

The sad conclusion of this train of thought is that a section of the Arsenal fan base is clinically depressed. They have become so accustomed to negative thought patterns that when something unequivocally positive happens they just can’t feel it.

The rest of us should not be angry with them: we should feel sorry for them.

Fortunately, there are some very well proven treatments for mild depression. They include exercise, eating whole grain food and meditating. So if you know a fellow fan who has been sullen and unresponsive since we defeated Wigan, why don’t you suggest they do the following: put on a pair of trainers; jog to Greggs; buy a whole grain sandwich; silently contemplate it for twenty minutes; then scoff it.

I guarantee if they do all of the above, before the last bite has slipped down their gullet they’ll leap into the air and break into a rendition of: “Wemberley, Wemberley, we’re the famous Arsenal and we’re going to Wemberley…”

And if that doesn’t work, just give them a hug.

RockyLives

* Despite missing out on the 1979 semi-final, I managed to get to Wembley for the final against Manchester United thanks to a United supporting friend from Dublin. It was the Liam Brady final and it produced memories I treasure to this day. Now we have another chance for more great Cup Final memories. How can anyone not be excited by that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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96 Responses to Depressed of N5…

  1. FIRST!

    “But a significant minority of people who call themselves Arsenal fans were not delighted.”

    Name names, Rocky.
    C’mon, you know you want to…

  2. RA says:

    Before reading the Rockets Post, I am intrigued by Blanco Bear’s comment to the Exile, claiming he was holding two pints.

    I saw the ‘photo published at 4:33 yesterday, Evonne, and GIE is holding a pint in his right hand and unless he has a very, very long left arm wrapped around both Chas and his friend holding a pint with a white sleeved shirt – you are potty! :-)

  3. “…had to rely on radio coverage.”
    Those were the days, radio coverage. Spoiled we were.

    Good post, Rocky.
    By the way, why have you changed your name from “Steed”?
    “”SteedLives”. NOt that good is it…

  4. I must admit to feeling a bit depressed and joyless at reading some (internet) “news” today – Arteta has an ‘injury’. AOC has a groin problem. Ramsey’s got ‘tight muscles’.

  5. kelsey says:

    Rocky

    Your post has quite unintentionally touched a raw nerve in me.

    I might well regret writing this but in in the 1978/9 season I was nearly beaten to death by a group of Leeds yobs about 20 yards from the entrance to the West Stand, suffered severe head damage, and my life has never ever been the same since..

    I suffer with GAD, OCD and depression and maybe that is why I fluctuate a lot with my comments.

  6. fatgingergooner says:

    Brilliant RL,

    Wanting Arsenal to fail just so you can justify your moaning about the manager is not the behaviour of a supporter. In fact, the word ‘supporter’ should give you a clue as to what you should be doing when your team takes the field!

    I am not overly happy with the way things have gone this season, but I am absolutely delighted that we are in the FAC final.

    Personally, I believe this trophy is more important than finishing in the CL for another season. It will actually show progression, whereas finishing 4th and going out in the last 16 of the CL every season does not.
    Success breeds success, and this FAC could be the vital first step. Losing against the best sides in Europe every year only shows the players their failings as a team. Whilst losing on away goals against Bayern may be admirable, it’s still a negative ending for a player. This FAC final could be something positive to build on.

    The younger players in our squad ie Szscesny, Ramsey, Gibbs, Wilshere, Jenks, Ox, Gnabry etc need to know that their future at this club can end with success. Otherwise they will get disillusioned and move on, just like our last group of ‘future stars’ did.

    Success is also just as key to attracting new players as CL football is. I don’t want players to join Arsenal because they want to play CL football, I want players to join us because they want to win the CL. There is a massive difference.

  7. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning Rocky, I look forward to Mondays as your posts always provide a great topic for discussion.

    I’m gong to play Devil’s Advocate here.

    In a democracy the public get to make their feelings known to the government at regular elections by voting either for them or against them. Just watch the Conservatives take a kicking at the upcoming Euro elections.

    Very few football clubs are democracies, Arsenal probably least of all. So how can the fans make their feelings known? One way obviously is by commenting on blogs, if you’re dissatisfied go to Le Grove, but woe betide anyone making disparaging comments on the “more reasonable” websites.

    The blogs present a fine outlet for fans to express their views, but does anybody really believe the club even read them, let alone take any notice of them.

    The only way most fans have of expressing their views directly to the club, and with a fair chance of them being heard, is at games.

    Should the fans smile sweetly and applaud when they witness a lacklustre, shoddy performance on the pitch? If you’re served a cloudy pint of bitter in a pub do you shrug your shoulders pay up and drink it down?

    Players, managers and directors live in a bubble, divorced from reality and cushioned from the outrage felt by fans when they are let down by the richly rewarded primadonnas on the pitch. A team booed off the pitch at the end of an unsatisfactory performance are made fully aware of the fans feelings. At least the fans doing so have stuck it out to the bitter end, unlike some of the players who have given up after going three or four down in the first twenty minutes.

    The thing that directors and managers hate most is bad PR. A vociferous crowd making their feelings known is every board’s worst nightmare.

    Maybe, just maybe they will take note.

  8. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky, a Monday morning gem as per usual :) Your post follows on nicely from the comments on the tail end of yesterday’s post – particularly Alfygun’s observations.

    Of course we must make allowance for an individual’s personality traits, but for me, the most worrying thing has been the emergence of the type of ‘fan’ who revels in Arsenal struggling just so they can be proved right (in their warped world) …. where does that come from? Is their ego more important than seeing Arsenal do well? …. obviously it is.

    I’ve been honest about some of my concerns recently, but will always give undying support to the team. Like GiE and chas/ant, I’ve had to have words with fellow supporters at games lately just because their negativity and the tone of their outspoken criticism is unacceptable.

  9. chas says:

    Before commenting on another belter from Rocky, I just wanted to clear up the confusion about GIE’s amazing telescopic arm.

    What part of the sarcasm in this did you not get, Evonne? :)

    chas says:
    April 13, 2014 at 4:55 pm
    Yep and his arm is 4 feet long; always useful when you’re a keeper.

  10. Rasp says:

    I think the picture above says it all …. just enjoy the ride :P

  11. chas says:

    RA
    I think she meant the other Guinness.
    Also Chas’s friend is my younger brother Ant, of Ant and Duck fame.

  12. RA says:

    An interesting Post, Rocky.

    Over 3 years ago, in February 2011, Carlito wrote a Post that touched on the topic of your Post and the comments made earlier this morning.

    Here is a small extract :-

    — “I find it hard to recall specific games, but it slowly dawned on me that the [Barca] supporters I met would rather lose [a game] playing great football.

    In protest at the pragmatic tactics of the dour Dutchman, [Van Gaal] the masses waved white hankies around the ground, [a signal of disgust] and walked out when their team went behind and constantly complained about what the manager said in the press and his lack of charisma.

    Being a young man who had supported Arsenal throughout the Graham years, I could not understand the fans’ complicity in their own downfall.

    The great history of the club was explained to me: the amazing resistance to Franco that meant the stadium was the only place in the whole of Spain where you could speak Catalan without fear, the amazing football of the 70s with Cruyff, the Cruyff-led “dream team” that won the European Cup at Wembley and the tradition of swashbuckling football that was always, first and foremost, an expression of anarchist resistance to the Fascist regime of Franco.

    All themes I could warm to, yet the reality was a spoilt football public that would not sing unless winning with style and constantly sniped at their players and coaching staff.”

    So the guttural reaction of many Arsenal fans who boo and snipe at the team and Wenger is not unique, and perhaps is simply a widespread way of expressing their wrath/disappointment that their high expectations were not being met, however much other fans disapprove.

    Reading the blogs sometimes fills me with a righteous indignation that they are abusing ‘my’ team, and also a deep seated melancholy for a different and more successful era, simply because this base behaviour does not occur when the team are winning. :-)

  13. Rasp says:

    On a technical note, what is it that qualifies a player to receive an FA Cup winners (we won’t be losers) medal? Is it just the players in the team, in the team and on the bench in the final or is it every player who has featured in the campaign? It may be that some great servants of the club will miss out on a medal -Theo perhaps?

  14. chas says:

    Great post, Rocky.
    Some fans are strange.
    It now seems that backing your opinion and being proved right is more important than the team doing well.

    kelsey
    I’d imagine Rocky’s post wasn’t in any way directed at anyone from this blog but more at the wider Arsenal internet presence.
    You never seem to fluctuate in your views at all: they are always consistent.
    All I would say from my own personal experience, is that the more positive I try to be, the happier my life is.

    I even struggle not to pull a face when someone points a camera at me these days…… Perhaps this needs a thought bubble from puffing giant’s head and some suggestions?

  15. RA says:

    Oops, sorry, Chas.

    I have seen Ant’s photo before, of course, but the penny just did not drop today,

    It seems my eyes or my attention to detail are fading, because even after you mentioned the Guinness I just did not see it until I minutely scanned the ‘photo again.

    So another apology is in order, to Evonne this time. :-)

  16. Rasp says:

    chas, I was wondering what GiE was doing with his left hand when I saw that photo? …. giving you a wedgie perhaps :lol:

  17. chas says:

    Rasp
    Haha, looks like it.
    Mind you if his left arm is 4 foot long, he might have been tying my shoelaces together.

  18. chas says:

    I’d actually prefer it if there was total silence from those that wish to moan during a game.

    We were talking about something similar in the pub recently and someone mentioned there’d been an experiment where children’s football matches were played with anyone watching asked to remain quiet. The kids enjoyed playing much much more.

    This from the Daily Fail….
    “The sound of parents screaming from the touchline has long been a part of children’s football.
    But last weekend, the din gave way to deafening silence for a campaign against intimidation.
    It was the first brave new step in a bid to stamp out touchline hostility and intimidation that has plagued junior football for years and led many to walk away from the game.
    The Silent Weekend, planned by Lancashire Football Association, saw 1,000 games played in almost total quiet.
    ‘It was an incredible thing,’ said Neil Yates, Lancashire County FA welfare officer, whose idea it was.
    ‘Gone were the sounds of adults screaming and shouting their advice from the touchline, like a bunch of baying sea lions. It was so refreshing.
    ‘Instead the children were able to play the game without the touchline shouting and pressure that has, frankly, become part of the junior game.’
    The initiative aims to change the rowdy environment of junior football matches so children have the ability to learn the sport more naturally.
    It aims to stamp out the bullying advice they often receive where one parent is screaming for them pass the ball while another is calling for them to shoot.
    Some 2,000 teams from 200 clubs signed up.
    Josh Lennon, whose 11-year-old son plays for a team that took part said: ‘Some matches were absolutely ridiculous – the crowd was more like a baying mob and it can be a really intimidating thing to put your children through.
    ‘There was a lot of bullying form the touchline with parents scoffing at children and telling them how they should be playing.
    ‘I think the Silent Weekend was an excellent idea and not before time.’
    Mr Yates came up with the idea after he watched an under-nines match last year and saw how terrified one boy was.
    He said: ‘He was absolutely petrified by the experience. All the adults were shouting and baying and it was an intimidating and hostile environment.
    ‘Afterwards his father came over and said: “This is not right. Something has to change.”
    ‘I agreed with him and immediately set about thinking how we could make the environment less hostile for people just learning the sport.’
    Coaches also had to be quiet, although there were concerns about how they would instruct players as a result. It is now hoped that other FA bodies could take up the idea.
    But it wasn’t only the crowd that was asked to remain quiet during Silent Weekend, even the coaches had to button their lips.
    Mr Yates said: ‘There was some opposition to that and after the matches there were some concerns that coaches weren’t able to coach the players and there were some parents who were frustrated by not being able to offer their encouragement.
    ‘But the aim of the weekend was to show how junior football matches can be marred by the type of hostility and intimidation that have become a norm.’

  19. chas says:

    I know Rocky’s post is more about an after match reaction to getting to the Final, but I hope the above has some relevance.

  20. chas says:

    More muppetry

  21. RA says:

    Rasper,

    Can you release me from incarceration, or whatever, as a cleverly altered banned word has not beaten the filter. :-)

  22. RA says:

    Would you stop swopping sides, Chas, or I will not be able to tell my Ant from my Duck. :-)

  23. RA says:

    Chas at 10:35,

    I am frightened to ask what Exile has in his right hand in the ‘photo, but he obviously has your attention! :-)

  24. chas says:

    RA :)
    A Taser?

  25. RA says:

    Hi Norfolk,

    I think you have a point in saying that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with fans expressing their concerns or disagreements.

    What has the possibility of causing internecine warfare between the various fans is two things.

    Most of us in our youth or early careers were pulled up for not doing something correctly and mostly accepted rebukes where deserved.

    What changes the atmosphere is to be addressed as a ‘stupid c*t’ or suchlike. That is never acceptable.

    The second thing that can wrankle is to have to listen to or read foul mouthed tirades addressed to the club or the manager that is based on non ‘facts’ that are utter rubbish which are based on hearsay and misunderstanding. Well it does for me.

    But that aside, I think fans do have everyman’s right to express an opinion, however spurious, because let’s face it, fans are committed for life whereas the clubs are a business, and businesses need to provide what the fans want, or risk damage to the business objectives.

    Foul mouthed rants and insults are counter productive and are never acceptable, in my view.

  26. chas says:

    Rasp
    I haven’t found a definitive answer to your medal query.
    From the FA.com site this link says that 30 medals are issued to both sides in the Final, which would mean that Theo would get one. (He deserves one for that spuds 2-0 gesture when on the stretcher, knowing his knee was f*cked)

    29. THE FA CUP / FINALIST MEDALS
    (a) The FA Cup is the property of The Association. When the winning Club has been ascertained, The Association shall deliver the Cup to such Club, which shall be responsible for its return to The Association on or before the first day in March in the ensuing year in good order and condition. Should the Cup be lost, destroyed or damaged by fire or any other cause whilst under the care or custody of the Club the Club shall refund to The Association the amount of its current insured value or the cost of thorough repair in addition
    to any other penalty which the Professional Game Board may impose.
    (b) In addition to the FA Cup, The Association shall present 30 medals to playing staff and officials of both Clubs in the Final.

    http://www.thefa.com/~/media/776fdc2c663a48568fc3688fa667463a.ashx

  27. chas says:

    I just spoke to Ant on the phone about tomorrow’s match arrangements and he pointed out that not many people would be interested in our silly selfies, so apologies to all.

  28. chas says:

  29. RockyLives says:

    Morning all.

    Just a quickie to say that of course this Post is not directed at any regulars on here. Nor is it an attempt to censor anybody who feels differently to the views expressed.

    And finally it’s not meant to trivialize depression, which can be a serious illness (as any of us whose lives have been touched by it directly or indirectly know).

    Ahem… disclaimers over.

    How about GiE’s four-foot arm! Isn’t that something! :)

  30. chas says:

    YA YA YA (reminds me of a part of my old VHS collection!)

  31. Big Raddy says:

    I think NG’s defence of the minority is well made. It forced me to re-consider, then I came to my senses.

    If a fan cannot get excited about getting to the FAC – however poorly we played – then they are front-bottoms, every one of them.

    If a “fan” boos the team he is perfectly entitled to express his opinion as long as he accepts it is my entitlement to call him a monkey’s arse and encourage the knucklehead sitting on my other side to kick him very hard in the unmentionables.

    But I respect his right to express his opinion :-D

  32. Bryan says:

    I’ve been depressed we haven’t won anything for so long but getting to the final, no matter how we done it is great & winning it will be a brilliant & won’t have to hear “Arsenal haven’t won anything for X years” anymore
    Come on you gunners, we know you can do it ;-D
    (I’m not so confident of a CL place though)

  33. chas says:

  34. RA says:

    Raddy,

    I feel inclined to speak on behalf of Norfolk as he is getting on and is probably having his afternoon doze, as we speak. :-)

    If you re-read his comment he was not really referring to the semi-final, but was making a general comment about freedom to express opinions about matters that concern fans.

    At no stage did the eminent Norfolk native actually say he was not excited by the prospect of Arsenal at the FA Cup Final.

    I rest his case, My Lady! :-)

    Oops, I meant M’Lud — too much of that cry baby Pistorius, I guess.

  35. chas says:

    RA

    I feel inclined to speak on behalf of BR as he is probably out and about misdirecting tourists around Copenhagen, as we speak.

    His 2nd paragraph wasn’t about NG’s comment but about the post from Rocky.

    His 3rd paragraph, however, was about NG’s right to boo plea which was met by the tip of the adjacent knucklehead’s Doctor Marten.

  36. Rasp says:

    chas @ 12:00, thanks for the research. I agree, in fact Theo should get 2 medals to sufficiently reward him for pissing off so many totnum fans :P

  37. kelsey says:

    Rocky

    That was just a personal observation,absolutely nothing to do with your post :)
    The 5 minute final. It was Rix who crossedd over the winner for Sunderland to score.Many had thought it was Brady.

  38. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Brilliant Rocky

    Yes, depression. I in way mean to trivialise this subject and this is no joke, but when my first wife didn’t leave me I to suffered form this terrible malaise.

    It was awful. I shuffled down the street in my slippers aimlessly, head bowed, oblivious to the world around me. Even the sight of a beautiful women or potential mugger could not deter me from my mission to go nowhere.

    I looked terrible, worse than usual I mean. Greying beard, beer gut breaking through my track suit, and wig lop sided.

    People are so cruel Rock. The odd person who recognised me would be like “F*ucks sake Mancini, I always knew you would end up like that. ime only surprised it didn’t happen sooner”

    I was at the game Saturday and got pissed off with the moaning. I felt like shouting “Whats your bleeding problem, I bet your wives all left you”, but my fear of violence reigned me in.

    Did not the great Thirties team start by winning the Cup?

    We shall win the Cup, and it will be the first of many

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  39. omgarsenal says:

    There is only one correction I’d like to make Rocky and that is to replace the word significant with insignificant before the word number of fans. They are insignificant in that they abandon their right to be called Gooners when they openly wish the team to do poorly so Wenger or some other figure their hatred is directed at, will leave.

  40. chas says:

    QPRnet.com: How did you end up wearing a wig on the pitch?

    Mancini: We won promotion to the First Division and a scribe during the week wrote what a good side we were and what a credit to the First Division we would be. They went through the team and analysed us all like this, Phil Parkes – should play for England, Dave Clement – future international, Gerry Francis this and that etc etc. The only player that they said should be replaced as soon as possible was me. I think I only missed two games that season so it hurt a bit, you spend all season playing your best, you get promoted then before you’ve kicked a ball in the top flight people are writing you off saying “he’s crap, he’ll never make it”.

    So after these write ups came out we played Fulham and I concocted this idea with Venables to wear a wig to confuse everyone. So I borrowed a wig from my wife and put it on before we went out, the place was packed out for the last game of the season, the crowd roared as we walked out and then you could hear this sort of murmuring going round “who the fuck is this, Mancini must have gone”. I always used to have a few headers before the game started and Venables knocked one up for me and I whipped the wig off and the crowd went berserk! I could have fallen over my feet that day and the fans would have thought it was a trick. I probably did actually!

  41. RA says:

    Chas,

    I feel it is incumbent upon myself, in speaking in defense of the King of Norfolk, to answer your rebuttal on behalf of the Danish Guide.

    Raddish opened with, “I think NG’s defence of the minority is well made.”, and subsequently finished with, “But I respect his right to express his opinion.” Pretty inclusive.

    There is no direct mention, in Raddy’s comment, of either Rocky or his Post.

    Hows that? :-)

  42. chas says:

    RA

    Paragraph 2
    “If a fan cannot get excited about getting to the FAC – however poorly we played – then they are front-bottoms, every one of them.”

    Feck all to do with NG’s comment, all to do with the topic of Rocky’s post.
    Game set and match.

  43. White Bear says:

    Rocky – as you are aware I suffer from depression, but despite hating jogging and Greggs sandwiches, hugs from strangers and stupid meditation I am delighted with my team! I am over the moon that we will finally have a trophy to go with the great stadium, and on cloud nine coz the boys really enjoyed the Saturday victory.

    Anybody not being happy should try Diazapam 20, Citalopram 40 and Olanzepine 100, all at the same time. That should do the trick. Thanks for the post Rocky

  44. White Bear says:

    Chas – Ant isn’t 4 foot wide and I have seen GiE, his gorrila like build and 2 pints, 1 in each hand, unless he was smoking 2 fags at the same time

  45. GoonerB says:

    Afternoon all. I haven’t managed to get on since Thursday so a big thank-you to GN5, Raddy, GIE and Rocky for the recent posts. GN5’s blast from the past was very enjoyable.

    Having not commented on the game my view was that we didn’t play too badly but just didn’t have the cutting edge to put the game to bed. I couldn’t see any tactical issues and just feel that we are down to the bare bones in the squad at present. Unfortunately I feel a couple of the more senior players aren’t doing it for me currently and the more influential players that could make a difference are the injured ones.

    I don’t get the negative slant of most pundits and journos about us being lucky and not playing well. I have seen us play better but some of the missing players would have seen us 3-0 up at half time IMO. we dominated in all senses apart from sticking the ball in the back of the net. The return of these players and some wheeling and dealing in the summer should see us in excellent shape going into next season.

    Wigan did well and did well to get to the semis and put up a good fight, but rather than us being lucky I feel it would have been a travesty if we had not made the final. We have had to beat Spuds, Everton and Pool to get to the final and currently have a massive amount of injuries, and yet still managed to dominate in the shots on goal and possession stats.

    On your post Rocky, I don’t think the behaviour of any of the fans that act in this way is accepatable whatever affliction they may have. I think a couple of quick slaps around the chops is more the way forward than a hug.

    BTW Chas you have an uncanny resemblance to Paul Newman just after the egg eating contest in your 11.03 photo.

  46. Big Raddy says:

    Lord Chas in his position of Attorney General of the AA High Court is correct in his assessment of my comment of 12.52.

    Mr Norfolk Gunner made a proposal on behalf of his clients “the moaning front-bottoms” right to an opinion, I on behalf of all right minded Gooners, refuted it.

  47. Big Raddy says:

    WB. “Anybody not being happy should try Diazapam 20, Citalopram 40 and Olanzepine 100, all at the same time. That should do the trick”

    Can you get some in the post ….. pretty please :-D

  48. chas says:

    Haha, cheers, GoonerB.
    I’m happy with any alleged resemblance to him. :)

    I’ve just found another photo of the GIE outside the burger van which puts the other one into context.

  49. Big Raddy says:

    GB “BTW Chas you have an uncanny resemblance to Paul Newman just after the egg eating contest in your 11.03 photo” ROLF :-D

  50. RockyLives says:

    Haha – brilliant Chas

  51. White Bear says:

    I cannot Raddy, I need to take them every day or I will be depressed after progressing to the FA finals.

  52. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Rocky

    “Hug” one of them! Not me.

    Alfygun posted one of the most depressing comments earlier this morning, culminating in this:

    “A good day in terms of the outcome but what a totally miserable and upsetting experience this day at Wembley turned out to be.”

    I’m afraid I share his opinion of some of our so called “supporters”, and to be honest, I can’t stand the Emirates experience as every visit of mine is ruined by some of these sorts (spoilt brats as LB called them). Yes, I am one of the most intolerant people I know, but I’m not making nine hour round trips to have my day ruined by these pricks.

    Nope, I’m a European Away Boy from now on, and very happy I am about it too.

  53. RA says:

    Chas, that latest ‘photo is very revealing and the way the big fella is pointing to heaven is enlightening.

    I have always thought of Exile as a top bloke, and to see the generous way he is offering up the Guinness to Ant just reinforces that impression. :-)

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,

    I swear Exile actually has three arms. Three pint Exile he’s known as out Norfolk way :-)

  55. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha, brilliant pic Chas :-)

  56. RA says:

    Hiya, Micky,

    Just do not go onto any of the usual suspect blogsites, as you can have your day ruined without moving from your chair. :-(

  57. Vinay says:

    I accept i am one of those who grumbled about the win and yes i admit the joy of reaching the cup final was undermined by the constant question i had in mind- why has it become like this?

    No please do not get me wrong, i am delirious in joy, we are in a FA cup final and the last one we were in, we won and yes even in that game we did not play well but won on penalties, so positive omens.
    My only grouse is, were the players under so much pressure that they were playing not to win? i mean some of the football in the first half bordered on frustration as no one apart from say ox, wanted to grab the game by the scruff of its neck. Arent such occasions when heroes are made?. Yes you can be a villain to but rather die a hero right.
    Point is, these are occasions we do not get often, so it was time to show the world, we are the mighty Arsenal and we belong here, maybe the final will be one such occasion but then who am i to grumble, i will give my arm for that damn trophy.

  58. fatgingergooner says:

    I’ve see a few pundits saying Sanogo looks lost and out of his depth, but that’s not the impression I’ve had from his senior appearances so far.

    From what I’ve seen he looks a handful for defenders, is a willing runner, can head the ball, and has a good strike. He is very raw, and in need of a goal to settle him down, but I definitely see a whole lot of potential there.

    I can understand some of the negativity, after all, he’s not the pacey world class striker we are crying out for, but that’s not his fault. Given a full season staying fit, I think he could prove to be an absolute bargain. Something along the lines of Adebayor before he became an absolute tit!

  59. RA says:

    It has been held that what fans say on blogs about their team does not matter because the players do not read them.

    But journalists do, and such moaning encourages them to be hypercritical and sarcastic.

    If you have the stomach for it read what a Telegraph journalist had to say about our FA Cup semi-final.

    —– Arsenal are a joke that gets funnier in the retelling but they do not amuse Roy Keane —–

    Roy Keane said: “Arsène Wenger mentioned them being mentally strong. They’re not mentally strong. There’s weaknesses, lack of characters, lack of leadership. Against Everton, they played like a veterans’ team. Football’s a running game, and they don’t do enough of it.”

    To watch Roy Keane as a television pundit is to catch a chilling glimpse of what life might be like under a Roy Keane government. The old, the infirm, the feeble and the impoverished would surely be purged at a stroke, consigned to a lifetime of medical experimentation along with the fey, the brittle, the sensitive and the mildly asthmatic.
    The word “pity” does not appear in Keane’s dictionary. It goes straight from “pitchfork” to “pizza’. Millions would starve, yet their cries of hunger would go unheeded. Human emotion would have been reclassified as a vice, a weakness to be preyed upon by the strong.

    The only organised football to survive this revolution would be the Champions League, and this would consist of a maximum of four teams; possibly five.

    Wigan Athletic, it is fair to say, would not make the cut. That much was implicit in Keane’s words on Saturday evening, as Arsenal celebrated their triumph at Wembley. Where most of us saw a jubilant squad who had just reached the Cup final, Keane could see only deep moral decay.

    “These Arsenal players need a reality check,” he spat. “They’re celebrating beating a Championship team. We saw last year, when they got into the top four, they celebrated. This is Arsenal. It’s about winning trophies.”

    Sometimes Keane’s ire appears a little confected. It is highly unlikely, for example, that he holds any genuine opinion on England. But I suspect his disgust with Arsenal’s current vintage may actually be real, borne of a certain nostalgia for those bruising duels with Patrick Vieira around the turn of the century, so adeptly explored in last year’s ITV4 documentary Best of Enemies.
    Keane hated that Arsenal, but he can barely summon hate for this Arsenal, which paradoxically is why he hates them all the more.

    The common reaction to Arsenal is more measured. The idea of Wenger ending his career with one final trophy, one final vindication, seems a fitting reward for one of English football’s great pioneers and a man who is, despite everything, a fundamentally decent bloke.

    Yet against this must be set a stark and incontrovertible truth. Watching Arsenal slip up over the past nine years has been intensely funny: one of the rare jokes that actually gains value with each subsequent retelling.
    Losing to Barcelona was wryly amusing the first time, positively uproarious the third. Birmingham City at Wembley was a comedic masterpiece that Larry David could not have scripted better. The sniggering generated after the defeat by Bradford City on penalties could have powered the National Grid for a week.

    With the possible exception of Tottenham, Arsenal lose more hilariously than anybody else: a mirth-obligating tableau of slapstick defending and choreographed chaos, legs akimbo, faces forlorn, Thomas Vermaelen arriving on the scene with perfect comic timing, asking: “Did I miss anything?”

    And really, this is a quality all too often overlooked in football.
    Liverpool may be more successful under Brendan Rodgers, but they were much funnier under Roy Hodgson. Sir Alex Ferguson may have earned our respect, but David Moyes has earned our laughter, and secretly we all know who we prefer. Thierry Henry was the complete footballer, but there is one important respect in which he cannot touch Yaya Sanogo: a hysterically inept footballer, a human newel post, a man whose legs appear to be constantly arguing with each other.

    -The overall effect has been to crown Arsenal with a curious quasi-underdog status: we want them to keep winning, but only so they can ultimately lose.

    If Saturday’s euphoria was anything to go by, it is a role they have enthusiastically embraced.
    “Wigan have got bigger fish to fry, you have to say,” Lee Dixon concluded afterwards, and indeed it was hard to shake the sense that Arsenal were the real story here. Little Arsenal in an FA Cup final: just imagine! How the Cup of fairy tales doth overflow!

    Now that is what the whinging fans encourage and it is scandalous!! :-(

  60. arnie says:

    ha ha ha, brilliant stuff Rocky. :-) The solution must be to let GiE’s substantial frame loose upon them. From now on, GiE should attend all our games. Period. Let us see how many of those moaners dare to come out of the closet. The four feet arms will quickly grab them off their seats and thrust them into the ground. :-) :-)

  61. arnie says:

    brilliant artwork, Chas. :razz:

  62. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Oh dear!! I forgot to make it clear that I was in no way referring to any particular match or, other than in a general way, to Arsenal in particular. Rather that I was defending the right of all fans of any club or sport to make their feelings known to the powers that be, but in a reasonable way.

    Furthermore, I’m am more than delighted that we have reached the FA Cup Final, I only wish that I could be there at Wembley to enjoy the game, which I am sure will be entirely free from moaners and groaners.

    By the way, I’m by no means a native of Norfolk, born and bred in London and only resident in the fair county for the last thirty-nine years, four months and fourteen days. On occasions I’m still referred to as an “incomer” or “furriner”. :D

  63. arnie says:

    end game time, only 6 games left, support the boys! tey are a good bunch, all said and done, and they will deliver. Then we can start discussing lines of improvement for the future. :-)

    I have worked with a lot of young people in my life, OK, not footballers, but young people nevertheless. There is a point when you apply the criticism and the stick, set the bar higher and challenge them to jump over. And then there is a stage when you say how good they are and encourage them to give their all.

    For this season, the stage of criticism,is over, constructive or otherwise. We know this team is work in progress. They are very consistent against the smaller teams :-) and even more consistent against the bigger clubs :sad:

    But we have no more bigger clubs to play. So, now encourage them to give their best and get full returns from the remaining 6 games. They deserve it. :-)

    6 more games to win, and we can do it. Yes, together we can!!! :-)

  64. Rasp says:

    Hi NG, I’ve got some bad news for you …. in Norfolk you’re only considered local once you’ve got both grandparents in the cemetery :?

  65. Rasp says:

    Hi arnie, we’ve put this clip on before – but how’s this for a motivational speaker ….

  66. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Ah! C’mon RA, that piece was written by Jonathon Liew, on the back page of today’s Telegraph Sports section. The usual place and time for a light-hearted article.

    When I read it earlier this morning I took some enjoyment from it as Keane is riducled even more than our miss-firing Gunners. The Sanogo description “an hysterically inept footballer, a human newel post, a man whose legs appear to be constantly arguing with each other” if applied to say Peter Crouch would have had you ROLFing for days. :D

  67. RA says:

    Norfolk,

    I do not read the Telegraph and only happened upon that article when skipping through the internet to amuse myself.
    There were one or two clever pieces of prose, but they were intended to ridicule, and as I never do that ——- much ——- I had to bring it to the attention of the AA forum. :-)

    By the way, I knew, from an earlier comment of yours, that you hail from London and have been in Norfolk for a short time, only 39 years —— Rasp has underpants older than that — but I knew it would get you back on AA when you awoke from your nap! :-)

  68. Hahaha chas, love that photo of GIEZilla !.
    I`m probably the only one to notice….. (and it`s probably because I used to be a magician`s assistant, so I know all about smoke and mirrors and how to make sausages disappear into a fit looking women from the audience ! )………that GIEZilla is also devouring the burger van behind him as well !. hahaha

  69. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Awoke from my nap? Surely I’m still fast asleep and dreaming of blogging on my favourite Arsenal web-site along with the witty, intelligent, discerning, denizens thereof. There are of course one or two exceptions…well one actually, can you guess who that is…Terry. :D

  70. RA says:

    Terry is loovely, but you are right not to dream of him — you could stay under!! :-)

    The following table, (if it comes out), might lift the spirits a little.

    Goal.com have released a list of the Arsenal players affected by suspensions and injuries.

    SUSPENSION:
    Flamini — Two-game ban — Return — April 15, 2014 – Against – West Ham (H)

    INJURIES:
    Diaby – ACL knee injury — NOT APPLICABLE
    Gnabry – Knee injury — Return — April 15, 2014 — Against – West Ham (H)
    Koscielny — Calf injury — Return — April 15, 2014 — Against – West Ham (H)
    Miyaichi — Hamstring injury – NOT APPLICABLE
    Monreal — Thigh injury – NOT APPLICABLE
    Ozil — Hamstring injury – Return — April 15, 2014 — West Ham (H)
    Rosicky — Knock — Return — April 15, 2014 — West Ham (H)
    Walcott — Knee injury — Return — July 2014
    Wilshere — Foot injury — April 2014

    So, If they are right, 5 players not available for the Wigwam game could be back, Flamini, Gnabry, Kozzer, Ozil, and Rosicky will be available against the Whammers.

  71. arnie says:

    Brilliant, Rasp @4:08. Absolutely love this. Yes, we can! and we will!! :-)

  72. stevepalmer1 says:

    Blinding post.
    Reading this post has made me feel very sorry for brainwashed supporters. They have actually been mugged off and don’t realise it.

    Pundits commentator’s newspapers media radio you name it, mostly supporters of northern clubs, Even Dixon Merson and even Wrighty have had their heads turned by being amongst these cretins that can not tell you enough that Arsenal have won nothing for 9 years while omitting that some of their teams had won nothing for twenty odd.

    Football and trophies are not any teams conditional right to win, 20 teams in the league and all competing for very few trophies. We compete with the other 19 for the league but we compete with many more for the FA cup. Were through to the final and their not, maybe its our year maybe its not, Hull will be trying of that we can be sure.

    The teams that are in the final are there because the others failed, The winner of the cup will deserve it even if they don’t perform that well because they put themselves in that position in the first place.

    Chelsea, City,Liverpool and Everton are ahead of us, they have had better results than us and they deserve their positions but the league is not finished yet, the same as the cup final, anything can happen yet, that’s why supporters support.

    All i would say is if you go, don’t spoil the day for others.

  73. Bayonne Jean says:

    RA: West Ham is the second match of Flamini’s yellow card suspension, so he won’t return until Hull away on the 20th.

  74. neamman says:

    Good post. If we win no one will remember a crap semi final.

  75. neamman says:

    I used to visit my relatives a lot in RAF Marston in Norfolk in the 60s.
    I remember seeing the Nashville Teens play the Sargeants Mess there and Alan Price was a guest. But Norfolk was still very suspicious of new stuff back then. There were still a few rural folks who wouldn’t let their picture get taken.

  76. 1979Gunner says:

    Great article. So so true.
    And yes, 1979 was special. I share the same memories.

  77. 1979Gunner says:

    Stevepalmer1 @ 6:06.
    Good post.

  78. arnie says:

    motning all. a short visit to AA from Porto Airport. Match day. A bit nervous, but also quite upbeat. Prepared to cheer the good guys in front of the tele. COYG!!!!! :-)

  79. chas says:

    #WeinerOut

  80. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Match day and just a few left before the endless desert of an AFC-less summer. So let’s enjoy the run-in.

  81. RA says:

    Chas,

    I have seen that before- and I laugh each time!! :-)

  82. White Bear says:

    from depressed of Warsaw:

    THE FORTY BEST PLAYERS ON THE CONTINENT (ACCORDING TO UEFA)

    GOALKEEPERS – Petr Cech, Thibaut Courtois, David de Gea, Manuel Neuer

    DEFENDERS – David Alaba, Giorgio Chiellini, Dante, Mats Hummels, Branislav Ivanovic, Philipp Lahm, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Filipe Luis, Vincent Kompany, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva

    MIDFIELDERS – Gareth Bale, Ilkay Gundogan, Isco, Paul Pogba, Mesut Ozil, Menaja Matic, Blaise Matuidi, Marco Reus, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Yaya Toure

    STRIKERS – Sergio Aguero, Edinson Cavani, Diego Costa, Falcao, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robert Lewandowski, Mario Mandzukic, Jackson Martinez, Lionel Messi, Thomas Muller, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin van Persie

    The nominees were chosen by UEFA.com staff writers on the basis of their performances for a European club or national side in 2013.

  83. kelsey says:

    Morning

    I would hate to guess your line up Raddy as I am not sure who is available,who is not and who is knackered.

    Another big game which I suppose we need to win and hopefully the Cup win will have lifted the lads.

    I am pretty sure there will be some more twists and turns but the last game of the season may have a lot resting on it.
    We play Norwich who maybe in the relegation fight and Everton play Hull who may rest players with the Cup Final 6 days later.

  84. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all, cracking read and a cracking days comments. I want that telescopic arm would be much easier to get beers from the bar :)

    I think I’ve said my piece a thousand times I’ll support at all costs to my sanity. Some say its much harder to remain calm and positive amongst a tide of negativity flowing against our club. But by adding to that tide of negativity we damage our own chance of happiness….that’s why I find it easy to support our club, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do do. Here’s the logic process:

    1) I love Arsenal

    2) Someone criticises Arsenal

    3) I defend Arsenal

  85. Gööner In Exile says:

    Chas/Rasp I never realised it was 30 medals, 18 to the match day squad, 1 for Manager, that’s 11 spare. Not sure it was always like this and think it used to just be players on the day.

  86. Gööner In Exile says:

    If the club really want to repay loyalty maybe they should get a medal and give it to Bully :)

  87. Big Raddy says:

    No – it should go to Gn5.

  88. Vinay says:

    I Support Arsenal always and forever, i do defend them wherein i need to but at times i do criticize like all fans need to as well,
    Being critical is one, wishing the club and its players bad is another , i can never do it and if anyone does so, they are not supporters, they must be shot.

    Latest news indicate, kos, rozza and mikel are all fit to play tonight and kallstrom may start ahead of ramsey, well well well, come on Arsenal, we need the 3 points

  89. Big Raddy says:

    Vinay. I do the same and agree about the shooting !

  90. Gööner In Exile says:

    Think I’d start Kallstrom…..only because I can guess Sam’s team talk.

    “Go out there, get into them, and see if they’re up for it, and who is protecting themselves for FA Cup Final”.

    Kallstrom looks like he can handle himself in that environment, also putting him alongside Arteta and in front of BFG and Koz gives us a solid foundation to let others play and not require the work rate from Ox and TR7.

    Saw GoonerB’s comments about our tactical set up against Wigan, perhaps the only ting that worried me was that we seemed to create a square of players around the pitch with no one entering the midfield area looking for ball to feet, this is why for long periods we saw the sideways passing.

    And actually this goes on to Vinay’s comments about better to try to be a hero than accept defeat. This is where I think the crowd has the biggest influence, we passed side to side to side and the moans grew, then Rambo took the ball and tried to thread a forward pass…..louder groans and then panic as Wigan were breaking.

    So would you rather be the man groaned at for passing sideways or the man strung up for giving the ball away and allowing a Wigan second goal?

    This is where the impetuousness of Youth and some character traits emerge, Ox and Rambo thankfully seem largely unaffected by the crowd disenchantment maybe they have a better understanding of today’s fans? But others can appear more influenced, some like Denilson become a totally different player.

  91. RA says:

    Hi Exile,

    You have asked a question for which you had already given an answer – and I doubt anyone would disagree with your knowledge.

    The question you posed was;

    — “would you rather be the man groaned at for passing sideways or the man strung up for giving the ball away and allowing a Wigan second goal”

    The answer you gave;

    — “we seemed to create a square of players around the pitch with no one entering the midfield area looking for ball to feet, this is why for long periods we saw the sideways passing.”

    Extrapolating that, it seems we should change the set up, and not leave the midfield empty. :-)

  92. Morning all

    Match day again ……….. We have a New Post ……………

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