There’s No Stopping This Party.

March 21, 2010

We had to fight for the right to party at the Emirates yesterday but fight the ten men did taking all three points to send us to the top of the league which was the cue for party songs to begin: say we are top of the league, say we are top of the league.

A confusing team selection: did the threat of West Ham really warrant two defensive midfielders? On the face of it the choice of Denilson over Diaby made little sense. I put it down to Wenger wanting to try the team he has ear marked to start against Barça, either way, it took precisely four and a half minutes for Wenger’s choice of Denilson to be vindicated. The Brazilian found himself in a position on the edge of the box which he is making more and more his own; he played a nice one two with Bendtner before firing a controlled low drive into the corner past the helpless stretched hand of Robert Green.

One nil up early on and Arsenal’s well oiled collective passing game slid into action establishing, after only fifteen minutes, a gulf in class between the two teams of Grand Canyon proportions. We were so superior creating chance after chance that four up after half an hour would not have been unjust. Even the West Ham fans seemed to give up on getting anything from the game and tried to salvage a bit of fun from the afternoon by singing “We hate Tottenham more than you”, this was funny.

But just when we were thinking it was going to be a romp Vermaelen was wrongly adjudged to have fouled Franco in the box leading to his sending off and West Ham being awarded a penalty.  Justice was done when everyone’s new best friend Manuel Almunia made a fantastic save to keep the title dream alive.

West Ham came out in the second half with the silly idea that just because they had an extra man that they might get some thing from the game. It took the Arsenal’s ten men just fifteen minutes to organise themselves into their unfamiliar ranks before realising (and this I thought was hilarious) that our ten were still superior to their eleven and then started pinning West Ham back in their own own half.

West Ham had a couple of quarter chances which made a few ripples but not a splash, although, even at one nil it seemed difficult to imagine anything other than an Arsenal victory , this was made even more obvious when Upson gave away a penalty for hand ball. Why, oh why are there Arsenal supporters that still think he should be brought back to the home of football, Silvestre is better than he is. Anyway I digress, a penalty was awarded and up stepped our Captain to coolly slot it home, it was job done, the party could begin and everyone’s favourite songs could be sung.

Player ratings:

Almunia: I have a theory – there are two Almunias, there is the blond haired one that is crap and there is the dark haired one who is not bad at all. 8

Eboue: a fantastic second half, one of those solo runs is going to lead to a goal that takes our breath away which in turn will raise him to even higher levels of respect. 7.5

Campbell: used his energy very cleverly today enabling him to give yet another very professional performance. 7.5

Vermaelen: although it should never have been a penalty he should never have allowed the ball to get that far. We got away with the pen if we get away with a one match ban we can console ourselves in the knowledge that things could have been whole lot worse. 6

Clichy: a commanding performance. Gibbs and Traore are keeping him on his toes. 8

Denilson: earned his wages this week, made some good tackles, some good passing, some good positional play and scored the important first goal, not the finished article but at 22 there is still plenty of time.

Song: Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the “Black Franz Benckenbaur”; a first half master class in the midfield. 8.5

Fabrégas: no one gives more than our captain in the quest to reach to the promised land known as Silver Ware. 9

Nasri: playing out on the right wing is not his best position and therefore I expected slightly less than usual but nevertheless he was still put in a shift. 7

Bendtner: a quieter game by his recent heroic standards. 7

Arshavin: he is taking this winning the title malarkey a bit too lightly for me; I want to see him absolutely destroy teams like West Ham. 7

Subs

Diaby: he is like a cross between the Harlem Globetrotters and a younger Patrick Vieira the result is a joy to watch.

Sagna: this Sagna – Eboue right back thing is really working, his fresh legs were exactly what was needed

Eduardo: may still yet have an important part to play in our run in.

Wenger: top, top team selection and great substitutions.

Have a great day in AA folks


Derby Thriller

March 20, 2010

Another London derby, another vital game in our hunt for the Premiership and another game against opposition desperate for points.

West Ham come on the back of a poor run of form and are struggling to stay in the Premiership. They have suffered a dreadful season both on and off the pitch, but hopefully (for them) the arrival of the porn barons will bring happier and more settled times. The Hammers record at the Emirates is very good, having won two and drawn 1 of their 4 games – with a record like that they could almost be classed as a bogey team. Balancing that is the fact that West Ham have not won away since the first game of the season and have yet to win a London Derby in the last 10 attempts.

If a team plays as a reflection of their manager (which is a great shame for Blackburn) then West Ham should be playing joyous, expansive and intelligent football, but to play that way requires the personnel, and sadly the Hammers financial problems have restricted the signing of flair players. Zola’s team is forced to survive through organisation and endeavour. A decent defence led by ex-Gunner Matthew Upson ( I wonder if he would consider re-signing as our back-up CB next season) has been porous, despite having a potential England goalkeeper. The Hammers strength (if they have one) is in midfield, and in Scott Parker they have a fine midfield general. He scored an absolute pearler last week in the loss to the Chavs, and continues to be a vastly under rated player. Sadly for both Parker and Zola, though not for us, he is injured for today’s clash. A player some Gooners had on their wish list is Behrami, though I cannot understand why, we have at least 6 midfielders better than the Swiss-Albanian. Mark Noble is due to make his return from injury and is a competitive little chap – a Jack Russell sort of a player.

Up front, returning from injury, is Carlton Cole. Another target for some Gooners who were begging AW to sign him in January. A dangerous forward but one who will be meat and drink for Sol and TV (hopefully). Benni McCarthy may make an appearance, his second since signing for the Hammers. Benni is one of my favourite players and I wish him the best of luck, starting next week!

We go into the game with most of our squad available, and AW has a midfield headache. Should he continue with Nasri in the centre, giving Fab a few extra days rest or start with our inspirational Captain? If I were the manager, I would bring Cesc on after 70 minutes, alongside Walcott. That would be enough to scare any team !!

We saw at Hull that there are no easy games, and I expect West Ham to give us problems unless we score early. If we do, there could be a rout. Nik is on fire, AA looks hungry again and our midfield is full of goals.

I have always had a soft spot for the Hammers due in part to the Famous Three (Moore, Hurst and Peters), but also because of “Half-Time Bob”, a good friend who initiated the leaving early epidemic which has sadly spread to large parts of the Emirates. Bob is a West Ham season ticket holder, and as such I can well understand why he developed his early departure strategy

There has been much talk in the press about the colossal signing fee that the late Michael Jackson is receiving (?) from Sony. Quite what he needs the money for I cannot fathom, but despite MJ’s life being chronicled to a degree rarely seen before, his biographers have disregarded one of his major passions.  In 1979 Michael was in the UK to perform on the Jackson 5 tour. Whilst staying at The Savoy, he asked the Hotel concierge “who are by far the Greatest team the World has ever seen?” and of course the concierge being a wise and sagacious man told MJ  that it was the Mighty Arsenal.  The concierge arranged tickets and Michael’s first game was the Cup Final against Man Utd  – Liam Brady’s last game, and one of Wembley’s iconic matches. Alan Sunderland (who co-incidently modelled his hairstyle on the young MJ) scored the last minute goal that cemented Michael’s burgeoning love of the Gunners

You may have wondered why MJ’s coffin was covered in red roses, and why the Brothers wore white gloves. Well, it was because Mr Michael Jackson was a committed Gooner ….. 😉


Luck of the Draw? – don’t kid yourself

March 19, 2010

Whatever we write about today will be overshadowed by the news of our quarter final opponents in the Champion’s League draw due to take place this morning. So this week’s Rant Friday will focus on the big news of the day.

Inspired by some ‘revelations’ from fellow bloggers yesterday, I want to examine the possibility of some ‘manipulation’ of the choice of opponents in the final stages of the CL.

The chances of us getting manu or Barça are 7:1, as is the case for all scenarios in today’s draw. What is the chance that there are  powers working behind the scenes that would wish to influence the outcome?

There is corruption in football. The examples cited yesterday of bizarre far eastern gambling patterns, floodlight failures at significant points in games, prosecutions in Italy, Spain and Germany proving that officials and players have taken money to influence results, all substantiate the fact that there is a level of corruption in the game. The rumours of corruption in English football have been bubbling below the surface for years. George Graham was one scapegoat, who probably took the rap for many others. It was rumoured that Brian Clough only escaped action due to his ill health, and of course the Artful Dodger of the prem, ‘Arry Redknapp is yet to face charges for some dirty dealing.

In 2008, UEFA submitted a 96-page report to Interpol alleging that 15 football matches were fixed. The games are believed to have been in the Champions’ League, Uefa Cup and Intertoto Cup.  As the European governing body convened in Lucerne for today’s draw for the Euro 2008 finals, an official said: “It’s all based on betting patterns, nothing else, and this is what we set up our early warning systems to look for. Those ‘early warning systems’ have been ringing loudly for years now.

So how could the draw be fixed – and do we care? The 2008 quarter final draw was predicted correctly in advance by a thread in the Liverpool Echo newspaper and bookies stopped taking bets on the outcome. The mechanics of fixing a draw are various. The obvious one is to alter the feel of the balls, possibly chilling or heating them, but I’m sure David Blaine could come up with a dozen different means. The system can never be fullproof.

It is more than likely that the fortunes of Arsenal have already been influenced unfavourably by some form of corruption. Abramovich’s millions have not prevented them going out of the CL two years running courtesy of some rather dubious refereeing. In addition, we ourselves were subjected to bad refereeing decisions in 2008 against Liverpool.

Could it possibly be that whichever players are fit, whoever our opponents are chosen to be, however well we perform, we will be affected by forces beyond our control ………or is that one conspiracy theory too many?.


Nothing to Fear …. but fear itself

March 18, 2010

I love being in the Champions League. Even without the need to qualify, it’s one of the first games of the season. The rush to the stadium on a late summer’s evening, the excitement at hearing the unsingable Champions League anthem. ‘These are the champions’ or whatever the words are  – it doesn’t matter what they are, we’re in the Champions League and  that’s very special.

We expect to be there. It’s an exclusive club. Even in the past four years when it’s been possible for some lesser club to take our place (you know the one), I’ve always believed we’d qualify. I’ve bet other gooners we’d qualify. I’ve never collected, I was always just delighted that once again we’d claimed our rightful place amongst the cream of Europe’s élite clubs.

This season, barring a real disaster, we’re not worrying about whether we’ll qualify for 2011, but who we’ll face in the quarter finals this year. We can go all the way as we did in 2006, and that belief stems from the desire and yes Arsène’s much quoted ‘team spirit’ – our boys have come of age. We won’t be a pushover for any team in the next round and I expect most will fear us.

Last season, we had signed Arshavin, but couldn’t play him as he was cup-tied – remember the FA cup semi when he was ‘rested’ apparently to show the other players that they could win without him!  This season he will be our ‘not-so secret’ secret weapon. The omens are good.  We have players that opposition teams across Europe will fear – Cesc, AA, Nasri, Rosicky, Theo, Vermaelen and even Nikki qualifies after his hat-trick against Porto last week. The possibility that van Persie will play some part in the final stages is encouraging too.

Only the mancs will be thinking that we are a soft touch. The boss has said he’d be happy to be drawn against manure, and there are those amongst us who agree. I’m not so sure, let someone else knock them out – I’m sure Mourinho would love to oblige.

After last night’s results, the eight quarter finalists are:   Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, CSKA Moskow, Manu, Lyon, Barçelona and Bordeaux. There are no easy ties at this stage, we will have to beat whoever we are drawn against. CSKA would seem to be the weakest opponents, but what a message we’d send out if we beat one of the favourites.

If the fairy tale is to continue, then the bigger teams will be saved for the final showdown. I’d prefer not to play Barçelona in this round – a game against Barçelona should surely be the final at the 80,354 seater Santiago Bernabéu. It would be our chance to right the wrong of the 2006 final. TH14 played for us that night in Paris and some believe he missed a sitter that could have won us our first CL title. He won his CL medal last year with Barça and is not the player he was when wearing the red and white.

So tomorrow the draw will be made. The theory that M Platini would like to see an end to the dominance of English teams in recent years will be surely tested. If we are drawn against the mancs, many will suspect that it’s too much of a coincidence. – me, I wouldn’t mind a trip to Inter or Lyon in this round, but whoever we draw, I say ‘BRING IT ON’ – we have nothing to fear.


‘Gallas is Expensive – Sol could cost More’

March 17, 2010

The conspiracy theories surrounding William Gallas are gathering pace, will he re-sign? If so, why hasn’t he already put pen to paper? Suggestions are doing the rounds that he is unhappy with the signing of Campbell. Others ask has he joined the worrying trend that saw Henry, Hleb and Flamini all injured towards the end of the season before being shipped off shortly after.

Questions remain to this day as to whether they were really injured or had negotiations reached a point in which their loyalty to the club was in such doubt that there was a genuine worry as to whether they would play as fully committed as necessary should they have been required.

Unlike Henry who had become surplus to requirements both Hleb and Flamini were both given the opportunity to stay but declined the offer. Gallas seems to be in the same boat as the latter two, although, lets hope he make a better decision than the one that they have both come to regret.

It seems fairly obvious that Wenger would like Gallas to stay, why wouldn’t he, the stumbling block surely being his current ninety thousand pound weekly wage. It is easy to imagine that the club have made a lower offer and rightly so: common sense dictates that in the next couple of years he will be more injured, not less, resulting in less availability and less playing time which in turn justifies the offer of a lower wage.

This forces Gallas into the position of having to shop around, much will depend on the length of the contract that he is offered, I wouldn’t be surprised if the club make an exception and break their over thirty, one year extension only, rule but they will do that kicking and screaming and so I fully expect that deal to drag on all through the summer.

As for the conspiracy theories, I don’t buy into them at all, there is no doubt in my mind that Gallas is simply injured and unless he regains his fitness we haven’t got a prayer of winning the Champions League, the Premiership maybe, but the Champions League not a chance. Fortunately, Porto were pants but I can’t help thinking that a decent team would have punished us with our defence being the way it is.

Sol maybe flavour of the month and continues to bask in the adoring glow of his second honeymoon but is there anyone who doesn’t fear the outcome if selected to play against a fast flowing side such as Barcelona? — the very thought makes me wince. He is an embarrassment waiting to happen. We have just two weeks to get Gallas back or I can’t see us getting past the next round let alone the final.

Written by London, title and pictures by Rasputin.


An Arsenal Addict

March 16, 2010

DanDan’s post on “who does your son support” sparked this thought pattern. ……  I am sensible man, I have raised a family, put myself through university, run a successful business, and lived in different lands, but one thing has haunted me since childhood and that is my addiction to Arsenal. I have given up wives, homes, friendships, pets and lifestyle, but I have been completely unable to cure my fanaticism of Arsenal. When I travel the first thing I do is check where I can see the game. When I go to a bar and get chatting, Arsenal is my Lingua Franca. My specialist subject is The Arsenal.

Why am I so hooked ? What happened to me that caused me to spend so much of my life thinking about the Gunners?  If I were to add up the money I have spent  following my obsession and compare it to the amount that I have earned, it would be a terrifying statistic, but worse would be the emotional trauma caused by my illness – Arsenalitis.

Let us go back to the start. I was but a child, mewling and puking in my nurse’s arms, when I got my first football – I have pictures of the little ball in my cot. So I was destined to be a football fan. By the age of 8 I was encouraged to choose my team, and as I have previously described I chose Arsenal because my father was a Spud. Now I could give chapter and verse about the psychological reasoning behind such a decision but that would be a little too personal, suffice it to say that my father enjoyed every season until we won the Fairs Cup in 1970, and unsurprisingly I had left home by the time of our first Double!

We all have this disease, we contracted it independently, it isn’t airborne, it isn’t viral, so what is it?

My first thoughts are of tribalism. The colours, the badge, the rituals, the feeling of emnity towards bordering tribes (and I hate the Spurs). But with the globalisation of football there are probably more AFC fans who have never seen The Arsenal in the flesh than have had that privilege – so how did they come to be in my tribe? An essential prerequisite of tribalism is the inability to switch tribes. Can one really be a true Gooner if one supported Liverpool or Man Utd prior to our success? Not in my eyes!

But this goes deeper than tribalism, my addiction has branded me in a way that nothing else could  …. there are friends all over the world who care nothing about football, but when Arsenal are mentioned, they immediately think of Big Raddy (well, actually they don’t know my real name is BR). I know this to be true – they have told me!

Tony Adams and The Merse both needed to use the 12 Step Programme to overcome their addictions………

My name is Big Raddy and I support The Arsenal


WHO DOES YOUR SON SUPPORT?

March 15, 2010

In my last post, I let it be known that I was that most that unlikely of things a Gooner residing in a spud household. How did that happen? Well, bloody mindedness and if the truth is told, the love of a good argument, combined to lead me down the path to salvation. I was a Walthamstow boy – you would have thought a natural spud. The back page of the Daily Express had a leader writer named Desmond Hackett, who threatened to eat his hat (a brown bowler I believe) if the Arsenal should win a certain game? This they duly did.

Whether or not he kept his promise I know not, but the very thought of such a hilarious conclusion was enough to put a then 7 year old reprobate at odds with his family and on the road to Highbury, if not quite ruin.

Later I was to learn this was a routine expression of Hackett’s. At a time when sports reporters had tremendous influence over huge circulations their utterances were perceived by a far more innocent readership to be based on some kind of knowledge and truth. Oh that we could dare to think that today

The upshot of this deviation from the collective family wisdom was not viewed as it might have been by some, as treason, but rather that the boy had a mind of his own which should be encouraged and challenged. Thus began many happy years of verbal jousting. But more than that, it helped lay down the vocal skills which were to prove such a boon through my business life.

Eventually I had two sons of my own, one born in Manchester and the other near Liverpool. Thinking back to the benefits of my defections from the family cause, I decided that they should do the same. Thus one was encouraged to support City and the other Liverpool and still do today.

Saturday evenings and Sunday breakfast times in the years before Sky became a war zone, when all the matches were played at 3 o’clock on Saturdays. But the kids quickly learnt to hold their end up, when dealing with me and one another. Consequently the verbal attacks of opposition fans among their school friends proved no problem.

These days, as I have all the football channels, we still congregate here and watch our own local derbies and the emails and texts in between are still as sharp and pointed as ever they were.

In fact my youngest the Liverpool fan said this weekend, bugger, if you lot win the league and city come fourth I am turning my phone off and not coming round again

So my question to you all is. Who do your offspring support and why, and if it different to you, do you care?

By our  Guest Writer dandan


Danish Nick Saves Our Bacon.

March 14, 2010

This supporting a football team and watching them play malarkey is supposed to be an enjoyable experience.  Well, I don’t know about you, but with ten minutes to go the description of nerve racking nightmare struck me as being more appropriate. Stress, tension, anxiety, nervousness — the rollercoaster ride that is called our season was plummeting down towards destruction when just at the last minute Nicky scored sending our hopes flying back up. Suddenly, with adrenalin pumping like a steam train and Phil Brown’s priceless look utter despair; the world was, once again, a wonderful place to be.

Arsenal took to the field full of confidence picking up from where they left off against Porto, their fast, free flowing football left Hull chasing shadows. I liked the team selection it struck me that Wenger has done away with favouritism and is making his decisions on merit alone. There was a time when Walcott would have been a banker to start today but Eboue was far more worthy of a starting place. Sol seemed the perfect choice to deal with Hull’s slow lumbering attackers with their potential aerial threat and so it proved. The rest of the back line picked itself as did the midfield. There was only one choice for the number nine spot and then there was Arshavin.

It took our Russian box of tricks precisely fourteen minutes to not only highlight the gulf in class between Arsenal and Hull but fourteen minutes to show the gulf between himself and every other player on the pitch. Picking the ball up he weaved his way through the Hull defence, his low sense of gravity coming into its own, leaving two defenders in his wake, the ball sat up perfectly, crying out to be stroked into the net; the Russian maestro obliged and we were one up.

It was time to sit back with a cold beer from the fridge and that was exactly what Arsenal did, the result being that their level of concentration started to dip. Hull were still having rings run round them and realising that playing football wasn’t going to get them anywhere they started, oh so predictably, to try and kick us into the air. This in itself did not look like it was going to trouble us but when they were wrongly awarded a penalty, subsequently scoring, Hull’s renewed hope was tangible the result being that we knew we were going to have a game on our hands.

Relief came in the form of Hull’s captain, who after having picked up a yellow for trying to gouge Bendtner’s eye out, he then, only five minutes later, tried to break Sagna’s leg which fortunately he failed to do but was given a second yellow and off he went on the stroke of half time.

It has been said many times that every game from now to the end of the season is a cup final and I take that to mean that if we lose just one game our title hopes are over. We had forty five minutes to stay in the race.

Diaby, Nasri and Arshavin’s hearts may have been in the right place but they were now playing like strangers, casual, sloppy passing increased the growing tension. Hull predictably started time wasting succeeding in creating further frustration.

The game cried out for changes and Wenger obliged, on Walcott came who immediately added urgency to our attack: within one minute he had carved the Hull defence apart and set up Bendtner for an excellent opportunity which just like last week with all Theo’s offerings Nick had too much time to think and fluffed the chance.  Walcott continued ripping Hull apart, setting up Arshavin with a glorious opportunity that he sent flying over the bar. It remained level and time was running out. Eduardo came on the perfect sub when the area is crowded; he added decisiveness to the attack: every pass found its man and importantly he took the pressure off of Bendtner.

The added impetus from the substitutes worked to a point but it still didn’t look like it was going to be out day. I was mentally writing the obituary at this point when the forth official lifted his board indicating six minutes of added on  time……….and then, in the distance a trumpet was heard, there was no mistaking it, our lives were saved, the cavalry had arrived: Denilson fired in a speculative shot from twenty five yards which their goalkeeper spilled; Bendtner in the right place at the right time, yet again, had no time to think about htis one  and instinctively put it into the back of the net giving us all three precious points and dispelling any doubts that may have crept into my head as to why I love football and more importantly why I love Arsenal.

Player ratings:

Almunia: it has to be said that he is doing a lot better, looked a tad more decisive which has helped to dampen the screams for a new keeper. 7

Sagna: a quality defender, yet again he did his job well.7

Campbell: Hull should never have been awarded a penalty it was off side but then lucky to stay on the pitch after it was given. 7

Vermaelen: he is such a winner, must surely be made vice captain next season. 7.5

Clichy: another commanding performance from our Gael. 8

Denilson: the 21 year old filled in for Song to the best of his ability, if Eboue can turn it around so can he, it was his shot that led to the goal. 6

Nasri: wow this man does not travel, I am going to give him the benefit and say he was tired after his magnificent midweek display. 6

Diaby: although, he has earned his starting place and had a perfectly good game I now want more, he should be totally dominating the midfield. 7

Eboue: another perfectly respectful game, some good runs and no star fish. 7

Bendtner: the man of the match and not just because he scored the all important goal, he was focused all the way through, not a single pass went astray which was no mean feat on that meadow they call a football pitch. 9

Arshavin: while this player is on the field we will always have a chance of winning. 8

By London


Let’s Tame The Tigers Once And For All

March 13, 2010

Today we go to Hull, the home of Rugby League and fake tans. Hull City lie second from bottom of the Premiership with 24 points. They are above the hapless Portsmouth, but a long way short of the 40 points required for safety with only 9 games left to play. In addition, we meet them on the back of a heavy 5-1 defeat at Goodison Park. It seems unlikely that they will get anywhere near that target and so I expect this to be our last visit to the KC Stadium in the premiership. I make no bones about it – I detest everything about Phil Brown and all he stands for. I wish them all the best in The Championship, hopefully never to be seen again.

The stats would point to a routine victory:-

Hull have only won 5 games at Home this season and have only scored 18 goals in the process – the second lowest in the league, while Arsenal are the leading joint scorers with 28 goals away from home. In their last two Home games, Hull have somehow beaten Manchester City and drawn with Chelsea. Seems simple, but as the saying goes “There are no easy games in the Premier league”. We are on a roll and I fully expect all three points.

Who will play is quite another matter? The squad is ravaged by injuries – what’s new?  We know that Gallas and Cesc are out, and at the time of writing there are doubts over Sol, Rosicky and Sagna. Bendtner had better watch where he spits out his chewing gum; otherwise Brown may decide to trump up another charge against us with the F.A.

It would be nice to see Vermaelen take the armband as I am no lover of keeper’s having that privilege, and besides,he was captain of Ajax and has the authority to muster the lads in the same way TA6 once did.

This is how the teams could line up…..

Maybe Sagna will be fit and Eboue can offer us another option in mid-field or  Rosicky will be fit and we won’t see Denilson. Either way lets hope the aggression and spirit brought on by Ramsey’s injury still burns within the team. We only have to score one more than them.

There is not much more to say about a team like Hull. Reports of an ‘unsavoury’ incident believed to be a fight between Nicky Barnby and Jimmy Bullard whilst on a ‘warm down’ last Sunday will have caused a titter. The fracas was witnessed by a group of shocked ladies from the WI who were attending a rally. What excellent role models? Their manager must be so proud.

There has been considerable animosity between Tangoman and our Leader. One is a charming urbane, intelligent man who has brought English football almost single handedly into the modern era, and the other is a shallow poser who buys his suits at Lidl, propounds the neanderthal football ethic, and is an acolyte of Sam “The Walrus” Allardyce. Phil Brown has disrespected our Captain, our Manager, our fans and our club.  Arsène – show him who the Daddy is.

Written by kelsey


Fans leave early …. Supporters stay to the end.

March 12, 2010

This is the second edition of ‘Rant Friday’. Last week some new bloggers mistook the piece for an attack on Arsenal. It is simply an opportunity for anyone with a gripe to write a paragraph and get it off their chest.

Rasputin’s Beef

On Tuesday night we witnessed possibly the most entertaining and uplifting display of ‘Arsenal Football’ in the short history of The Emirates Stadium. A game in which the ‘experts’ had said we would struggle.  A game that followed Ramsey’s horrific injury and Niklas Bendtner’s profligacy in front of goal the weekend before. The team were magnificent, everyone played their part. After the fourth goal, a carnival atmosphere enveloped the ground ….. so why oh why, with 10 minutes to go, did thousands of so-called ‘fans’ start streaming out of the ground?

They missed the drama of the penalty and Nik scoring his first hat-trick, but more importantly they didn’t stay to do their duty as supporters and clap our boys off the pitch. The goal celebrations showed how important this game was to them – it had nothing to do with earning £60k a week, it was about playing superb football (and being allowed to play as is seldom the case in the premiership) and winning the Arsenal way. I can have some sympathy for anyone with young children who wanted to avoid the crush, but to the rest who left early I say, shame on you, you are not worthy of our team.

Livers’ Beef

Right first rant and I know this is only speculation but it’s been brought to light that Roma are over here trying to get Gallas on a pre contract agreement, this caused as we know by Arsene’s policy of only giving an extra year extensions to players over 30. Now, in some regards this seems sensible in that players will have to earn a new contract each year but it does make me wonder if this should be extended to players of say 33 or over.

If a players “peak” is 27, 28 then 2 years later they are over the hill or past it? No not really and not in the majority of cases. Players that Wenger inherited when he first came like the back 5 and Ray Parlour were all hitting 30 or already over 30 and they played some of their best football past this age. More recently and the one that hurts the most was Robert Pires who I think we have never replaced. Granted this season he’s in cameo roles for Villareal and not at his best or ok, maybe past it. But it was 2006 we let him go with Wenger ok with this because we had Hleb. Now both have gone and Hleb, for all his trickery and ball control was never as effective as Sir Bob.

We let Campbell go on a free so he could play abroad…….all the way to Portsmouth. Sure his head wasn’t right but are you telling me we couldn’t have done something about it and not wasted 5 years to get him back… oh we’ve not won anything in 5 years right? Even Sol won the cup in 2008. Which now brings me to Gallas. Gallas has turned his career around at Arsenal and plays extremely well with TV so why won’t we just this once give a player over 30 a 2 year contract and if he’s still quality after that then issue the 1 year extensions. I bet Aluminia has 8 years left on his contract…….

All these players that possibly leave on a free because of our policies and there are more than I named (The Dennis 1 year extensions became a joke) leaves me to wonder why it’s such a problem. This never happened in David Deins day…..

Second Rant and a small one.. European games v League games. What are the frigging rules for time added on? 6 subs in the Prem is 3 mins. 6 in the CL is 1 min ..WTF ?

tommystout’s beef

My rant is not about  the Arsenal in particular but the way we are treated by that abysmal radio station Talksport and other associated broadcasters. Adrian Durham in particular has riled me over the years but needling away are the likes of Brasil and Townsend. Please Gooners don’t phone them up and give them the time of day, if they have no one ringing up and defending Arsenal then they will get the message. After all what would a radio station have to talk about if they have no Arsenal to talk about, they’d maybe have to turn on their beloved Man IOU or upsetting other supporters instead, this goes for Liverpool fans too who have had their fair dose of negative air time especially over the past year. Boycott the phone calls and they’ll target someone else, their loss, Arsenal are big news and an easy target, for now!

I’m addressing Talksport because I’m a glutton for punishment and listen to their “white noise” most days, but it isn’t just them,  Alan Green for 5 live has his two penneth. Then there’s Gary Linneker and Alan Shearer for the BBC and then we get to Sky; Smug faced Richard Keys and old hat Andy Gray to name but two, they look for any chance to stick the knife in. What’s difficult to comprehend is that Sky want the viewing figures and the neutrals and lovers of pure football want to watch Arsenal but these “pundits” always do their best to condemn us. Work that one out.

Until Arsenal TV get themselves into a position back on the Satellite medium, where they can screen all of their games live, until that time I will remain a sky sports customer…. Then Adios Amigo!