Musings of a true Gooner, banishes doom and gloom

Written by RedArse

I fell to musing, in a slough of despondency, after the desperately disappointing results of the recent past, and wondered; why do I feel so desolate, so full of despair?

What was the cause of this aching void in my mind, and in my body, where the act of breathing, of existing from minute to minute was such a struggle? How could simple adverse results; shattering defeats, for my beloved team, Arsenal, cause me such extreme anguish?

I suppose it had its origins many years ago, back in my childhood, when, and I can be precise here, I first heard the word, the fascinatingly military sounding name, “Arsenal”. It was while sitting on my father’s shoulders at my very first visit to watch a game.

He had told me he was going to a match, and asked if I would like to go? I knew nothing about football, indeed, I had never heard of such a thing, but I would go anywhere with my dad, just to be with him. Little did I know that would be the beginning of a lifelong love affair with a club, a team who were to so dominate my very existence?

Ironically, the match he took me to was not played at Highbury, but the pre-Bates Stamford Bridge, to see something called a derby between someone called Chelsea and his arsenal. Young, I may have been, but I knew that word, arsenal. It was a place where guns, ammunition, and weapons of all sorts were made and stored. Oh yes, I was going to like my dad’s arsenal; it was every boy’s dream come true.

The old Stamford Bridge was a huge sprawling, open aired amphitheatre which was desperately in need of renovation, and we seemed miles from what was known as a pitch. Puzzled, and a little confused, surrounded by legions of people, I asked my dad where the arsenal was. At that moment there erupted around us a crescendo of sound, and there in the distance, what seemed to be little men, poured out onto the pitch in a tumultuous wave of red and white, and my dad yelled to me, over the cacophony, “there they are”, and gesticulated delightedly towards them.

My eyes opened wide in amazed comprehension that these were, in fact, the Arsenal, so beloved of my father, and who in turn would become the delight of my life.

Over the many years since then, the increasingly glorious victories, and great feats of derring do were to become the stuff of my footballing dreams. None of the vainglorious nonsense spouted by fans of other clubs, following their empty, meaningless wins, could stop me strutting around as proud as a peacock that I was a gooner and a follower of the greatest team the world had ever seen! It says so in the song even!

What cannot be denied is that those dreams, as a child, were occasionally suffused by both pain and ecstasy almost beyond my ability to bear them. A catharsis so intense, that the experience of Arsenal losing a game left me hopeless, helpless and near to tears, whereas the sterling victories achieved an euphoria impossible to describe.

There then lay the roots of my current misery, the counterbalance to the exquisite sense of well being when we win. No amount of alcohol, in my later years, could ever quench the pain of Arsenal losing.

Many gooners, I am sure, can identify with these sentiments, which helps explain the gloom evident in the Arsenal blogs of late. So let me leave you with this crumb of comfort.

Over the years, every Arsenal setback has been more than matched by a thrilling win, and the emptiness of losing has swiftly been consigned to the dustbin of history.

I would love to hear your own stories of how you treat those two imposters, defeat and victory, because whichever of them are currently in the ascendancy, our love of Arsenal will over-ride all.

We will always be Gunners!

96 Responses to Musings of a true Gooner, banishes doom and gloom

  1. Morning all

    Great post RedArse, I think blogging is a great way to air ones feelings whether they’re happy or sad although I have on occasion shut myself away and not spoken to anyone for a few hours – not very grown up I know.

    Only three weeks ago I was having trouble speaking to my scummer friends as I felt they were a real threat but now 7 points behind us I’m happy to greet them with a sly smile 😉

    We should get some good comments today, thanks

  2. And just look at ‘arrys miserable face next to my comment 😉

  3. Ozzy says:

    Good try but that’s a shockingly bad article. Hope you have a day job. From “I knew nothing about football, indeed, I had never heard of such a thing” to “Young, I may have been, but I knew that word, arsenal. It was a place where guns, ammunition, and weapons of all sorts were made and stored” haha laughable, the article really went nowhere, pathetic.

  4. APFSDS Round says:

    Ozzy, where’s your blog, then, big nose?

  5. tommystout says:

    fab & nostalgic article Red, i even got goose bumps… cant wait to take my boys down the grove, but they are a little young but that day will make me so proud and relieved… why relieved? well the job will be done the seed of the Arsenal will be sewn, and they then will be gooners forever.
    Anyhow how do i deal with bad results, well i surround myself in my family and tell myself its only a game LOL, who am i kidding. 🙂
    and yes Red im still on the high from wednesday night.

  6. tommystout says:

    Ozzy – you knob!

  7. Red Arse says:


    You are probably correct about the quality of the writing.

    Why don’t you write a Post and then perhaps we can compare.

    I promise not to be a mindless sneering moron. Seriously!

  8. Rasp says:

    Hi Ozzy,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, shame you have only been inspired by the need to criticise. The stated aim of this site is to give an opportunity to any Arsenal supporter to share their thoughts, opinions and memories with other bloggers and to allow healthy debate to follow.

    We don’t even try to keep ‘all the people happy’, there are plenty of sites that have an agenda to promote – we don’t.

    If you are the self assured expert that your condemnation of Red Arse’s post suggests, why not write something for us and let’s see whether you can do any better.

  9. slimshady says:

    Red Arse, true what you say about the losses being matched by wins, but I beg to add – that was pre-2007.

    The string of losses to the Chavs, Mancs, the FA loss to the sp*ds, the 4-2 to Pool, and even the recent one to the sp*ds… I doubt we’ve ever had such a bad streak against what are essentially our main rivals.

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Super post RA and one I have thought of writing myself.

    Being very interested in the roots of emotional attachment and how that attachment affects one’s psyche, I enjoyed your reflections.

    I ask myself on a regular basis – why? Why football? Why Arsenal? Why do I allow myself to be so emotionally charged by something that is entirely outside of my influence? A simple answer would be tribalism and as I was born within 4 miles of the ground, it is inevitable that AFC would be my tribe.

    But why does it still impact so heavily upon my week so many years after I bought my first programme?

    After a loss like Sunday I kid myself that it doesn’t matter, then in the evening I am ratty with my wife and that can continue for days! I know I am not alone in this – there are hundreds of millions of people who are similarly affected.

    I have tried over the years to lower the levels of my addiction, to find other hobbies, other loves, in an attempt not to suffer the highs and lows and live on an even keel, but this much I have learned …..

    Arsenal is for life, come rain or shine, come hell or high water. There is no escape

  11. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    Having mentioned the word chelsea may have made your article appear in the chav newsnow column, hence the response from that ozzy bloke.

    Under normal circumstances, any pice of paper with the word chelsea written on would be used to wipe my arse with, & would be certain to go somewhere, straight down the kasi. The very same place roman’s rupples are going 😆 chamoneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

  12. gnarleygeorge9 says:


  13. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Oh & by the way. A touching piece Red Arse.

  14. Carlito11 says:

    Beautiful post RA- I could never put my feelings into words as well as that. This really hit the spot! I still remember my first game so much better than any of the subsequent hundreds! It was a painful defeat to Aston Villa but the sights and sounds of that day remain imprinted on my soul! Ooh to be a gooner!

  15. Carlito11 says:

    On the subject of dealing with defeats- I’m afraid I do a really childish thing. I pretend that football doesn’t exist for a couple of days and then work myself into a lather of optimism starting 48 hours before the next game!

  16. RockyLives says:

    Lovely memories Redders. I can really identify with your feelings about the power of the word ‘arsenal’. It’s because of that word that I became a Gooner when, by rights, I should probably be a Charlton Athletic fan. You see I grew up in south east London, between Charlton and Woolwich.
    As a young kid of 6 or 7 I used to go into Woolwich with my mum for shopping. We used to take the train from Charlton and get off at Woolwich Arsenal Station. At that time the Woolwich Arsenal munitions factory was still going strong and all us kids knew it as that exciting place where they made bombs and bullets and where generations of men and women had toiled to help bring us victory in two world wars.
    The very word ‘arsenal’ was, indeed, imbued with power and magic.
    So when I started getting into football, it felt natural to support The Arsenal. In fact, when I was little I think I believed they still played at Woolwich and were one of my local teams.
    The other part of the magic was, of course, the glorious, glorious strip that Arsenal played in. Those red shorts with beautiful white sleeves – no-one else’s kit came even close.
    My Dad, who loved footy but had no strong club allegiance, started taking me to games at our nearest club, Charlton, but it was a family joke that even aged seven I would tell other supporters down at the Valley that really I was an Arsenal supporter.
    I didn’t get to go to Highbury until I was 11 (in those days we had no car, my Dad worked overtime on Saturdays and my over-protective Mum wouldn’t have dreamed of letting me go ‘up London’ on my own).
    So there you go, a life-long allegiance inspired by a single word…

  17. RockyLives says:

    And as for Ozzy… well, someone in one of the comments on here recently came up with a wonderful word of abuse: twunt.

    Ozzy – please feel free to follow the politely offered invitations of other commenters for you to write a post for the site.

    But you are a twunt.

  18. RockyLives says:

    *red shirts

  19. Red Arse says:

    Hi Guys,

    Sorry for not responding earlier, I had to go out for a while (dentist), but I am grateful to you all for your kind comments.

    Gnarley your comment about the Chavs is probably spot on. But you can understand, I was cut to the quick by Ozzy with his exquisite, if somewhat surreal, grasp of English grammar and syntax. Not! 🙂

    I also feel a bit guilty guys, because reading the reminiscences of Rocky, BR and Carlito, they are so much better than my Post.

  20. Jaygooner says:

    You have invoked great memories and classic stories Red Arse. Nice one. My first experience of The Arsenal was in pre-season 1967, when my neighbour, who was a bit of a “Jack the Lad”, took me to Highbury to see a team that never loses. Glasgow Rangers were the opponents and a huge riot erupted in the North Bank (we were at the back of the Stand) as Arsenal went 2-0 up. Rather than feeling any fear, I found the experience totally exhilerating and jumped at the chance to return to The Stadium a few days ;ater when Maccabi of Israel were the opponents. Expecting a goal fest, it was with slight disappointment that The Arsenal only won 1-0. Next up was Chelsea away in a proper game and we lost 1-2. “I thought Arsenal never lost” I whinged to my neighbour. “we didn’t lose son, Chelsea got lucky” was my neighbours response. I’ve kept that attitude ever since. Yeah admittedly, sometimes our opponents have got fucking lucky, but it helps ease the pain, particularly in the mid-seventies when The Mighty Arsenal needed to invest in Max Wall (Terry Mancini) to save us from relegation. Even in the darkest times, it has been great to be a gooner.

  21. SharkeySure says:

    Red Arse – top top quality that. Is there a ‘salute’ icon anywhere..??

  22. Red Arse says:

    Nice one Jaygooner! 🙂

  23. SharkeySure says:

    Jay – ““we didn’t lose son, Chelsea got lucky””

    Brilliant !!

  24. SharkeySure says:

    I first went to Highbury in 1977 as a 10 yr old boy accompanied by my 9 yr old best mate. Bus from Camberwell Green to the Elephant & Castle, then tube to Arsenal. These days my own 9yr old barely goes to the shop 50yds away…how times change ‘eh..??

  25. Red Arse says:


    Times are certainly achanging. Sometimes for the better.

    I remember slogging my way to Highbury, 20 years ago, full of my usual tense excitement. Only problem was the big green gates leading into the North Bank, and West stand were firmly shut, with a great milling crowd swaying hither and thither trying to read the notice pinned on the Board.

    “Blah, blah …. Postponed …. blah, blah …. Eff Off ….blah blah.

    I might have misremembered a couple of words! 🙂
    Anyway, pretty poor communication by the management.

  26. 26may1989 says:

    In defeat, I’m sorry to say, in the immediate aftermath of a defeat, I am ludicrously bad-tempered. E.g., a non-Gooner friend called me while I was on my way home from the Arsenal v Chelsea Champions’ League game at Highbury in 2004, and, despite the fact he just wanted some good humoured banter, I was unable to muster a tiny sliver of good grace, and just told him to piss off. After defeats my wife and I also seem to have a significant number of rows. I’m reluctant to accept that this is anything other than coincidence, because that would make me a very petty person indeed………

    In the days following a defeat, I generally do exactly the same as Carlito, I don’t watch any football on TV, don’t read the football pages, don’t read endless football blogs or newsnow etc. In fact, my life becomes a whole lot more balanced and productive, I read books, spend time with my wife and kids, complete projects at work, learn a new language. Ok, maybe not the last one, but you catch my drift.

    But victories, meaning the good ones (beating Inter Milan 5-1, winning the league at Old Trafford and WHL, Kanu’s 3-2 victory at The Bridge, kicking off the United home game in 1991 as champions and of course THAT night at Anfield, etc) are magic, transcendent times, when footballing glory expands to occupy every thought.

    That’s our problem, we’re so obsessive about this sport that we become almost bipolar. I don’t know why we invest so much emotion in a game, but, unhealthy as it is, it’s bloody addictive.

  27. Trev Heff says:

    Only just found this blog. I’ll be returning.
    Great stuff RA – I can really relate to your whole piece.
    I’ll try to keep this short (I will fail!)….
    I grew up in Swindon (parents moved from Islington when I was minus 3 mths!!) so some way from Highbury. Took me a few years as a toddler to work out why my dad was away most Saturday’s and never home until late and the same some midweeks (was it football or Carol from Accounts?!?!). I soon learnt he went to watch ‘The Arsenal’. That was my first lesson – we are ‘The Arsenal’. My education started in earnest sitting with my dad in the back bedroom listening to live radio commentary of games(talking early/mid 80’s here) on our out of date grammaphone. I obviously didn’t get it at first and watching my dads odd emotional behaviour was a spectator sport in itself. I use to love listening to games with dad just to see the effect it had on him (punching walls, throwing me in the air with joy, screaming randomly out of the window at nobody in particular, even sobbing – by the way my dad is by nature a gentle, placid guy, only Arsenal did this to him!!). It was only natural, with my dad being my idol, that I’d want to understand what it was that made my dad so happy and yet so sad. And thus my love affair began. Then arrived one Friday night in September 1984. My heart sank when dad told me he was going to watch The Arsenal the following day as I’d hoped we’d be able to go for a kick around at the park. “Wanna come with me?” he replied. He’d decided I was old enough to finally go so my first ever game had arrived. West Lower, Liverpool at home, 3-1 victory (I’m typing this from work and the ticket stub from that day is pinned to may tack board in front of me). Biggest memory of that day? Walking up the stairs into the stand and the site of the big green pitch suddenly hitting me. It was enormous, so greem! I was transfixed. All afternoon all I could think was “Wow, these are the men from the radio”. And so it began.
    Oops, I intended to add my two pennies worth on how I cope with the pain of defeat nowawdays but I think I got carried away! Sorry ladies & gents!
    Told you I’d keep it short …….

  28. Red Arse says:

    Hi 26, and welcome to the site Trev, 🙂

    I loved reading your comments.

    I never dreamed that there are so many of us like minded souls out there, totally besotted by Arsenal, with all the attendant gut wrenching or ecstatic emotions that accompany our winning or losing.

    Each of your comments could have been Posts in themselves! Excellent. 🙂

  29. 26may1989 says:

    Trev, that 3-1 win over the then all-conquering Liverpool was an amazing day, a great first game for you to attend! After all the dross of the post-Brady, post-Stapleton early 1980s seasons, with Spurs in the ascendent, winning that game in the early autumn/late summer, in front of a packed Highbury, was fantastic. And the fact we went top of the league (for the first time since I had started going to games) was magical. Happy days!

  30. Carlito11 says:

    26may- I call it my “bunker mentality” and everyone knows not to talk football to me after a defeat these days. It’s the only time I turn, Mr Hyde-like into an unfeeling, uncaring brute giving short-shrift to any who just want to engage me in some football related banter. England used to do this to me in the 90s too but those days are long gone thankfully! Trev- great reminiscence. The pitch was certainly the first thing that hit me at Highbury and I remember having a dejavu experience emotionally on my first visit to the Grove too.

  31. SharkeySure says:

    “I was on my way home from the Arsenal v Chelsea Champions’ League game at Highbury in 2004,” – same night for me 26,

    Had gone with a mate who said he was an Arsenal fan, but really wasn’t dyed in the wool so to speak, and he’d never been to a match before.

    I’d gone straight from work, and met him at Arsenal tube, but he offers me a lift home cos he’d driven. During the 15 minute walk to his car he was still buzzing a bit from the excitement of it all, whereas I was in a dark ‘say nothing to me’ mood. I managed to rebuff his attempts to discuss the game during that walk by marching single file behind him thru the crowds.

    Finally we got in his car and after 5-10mins of futile attempts to engage me, he said ‘wow this is how real gooners feel it’. I answered ‘yep, this is it’. To his credit he simply turned the music up and we drove on without another word.

  32. SharkeySure says:

    “I’ll try to keep this short (I will fail!)….” Lol

    Thats the way to announce and present yourself on a new site. Well played Trev.

    You’ll quickly find that that sort of intro sits very well with the regulars around here

  33. SharkeySure says:

    Just read threst of your opipece Trev…..


    When do we get to see part two, about the pain you feel..??

    Worksgetting in theay of writing mine just at the moment.

    Ticket stub stuck no the board. Quality, just pure solid gold quality that is.

    C’mon GunnerN5, where’s your 50 Canadian cents worth.

  34. Big Raddy says:

    That Chelsea game was the only time I have left early as Wayne Bridge celebrated his goal no more than 10 yds away from me. I can still feel the pain.

    But, no-one has tried to explain Why we feel this way. In the words of Spock “It is totally illogical”

  35. Carlito11 says:

    BR- the only time I left early (to my eternal shame) was the Champions League semi-final defeat against ManYou. I couldn’t believe how badly we failed to turn up that day and I went into my bunker for the rest of that season…

  36. RockyLives says:

    My only early exit was the 2-4 home defeat to Charlton.
    We’d had a few bad results going in to the game, but with hindsight I can’t really understand why I was so cross. Too many pints of Pride in the Bank beforehand, probably.

  37. Big Raddy says:

    People have different thoughts about leaving early. I have a friend who always leaves with 5 mins to go, and it is known as the “Bob Walk”. Any of our friends leaving anywhere early are known to be doing a “Bob Walk” and most people have no idea where the saying comes from.

    I have always lived either within walking distance of the ground or at least 100 miles away and therefore have never had to rely on an underground train to get home. I fully understand why some leave early but believe they would be better served going to a local eatery/pub and waiting for the traffic to die down.

    Mmmmm this is totally off topic

  38. Carlito11 says:

    I just posted a comment which then disappeared! When I try again it says I’ve already said it! My comment contained a link- does that cause problems?

  39. RockyLives says:

    Not off topic BR – I think Redders’ piece was all about getting us thinking about our attitudes to all things Arsenal, and leaving early is certainly one of them.

    Apart from aberration versus Charlton I never go early (“letting the crowds die down” is my excuse for going to the pub after every match), but I don’t condemn people who do: who knows what compromises they have had to make with the missus/hubby/kids/lover/employer/sick rellies or whatever to be at the game?

  40. Carlito11 says:

    I’ll try again:
    BR- Bill Hicks springs to mind as an explanation. Do you know his stuff? The quote can be found here:
    Our brains are pretty powerful and whatever we invest ourselves in we take pretty seriously. If we didn’t we wouldn’t do this crazy thing- but hey- most of the time it’s great fun and it’s a far better thing to invest yourself in Arsenal than nationalism or other similarly dubious causes!

  41. Trev Heff says:

    Thanks all, glad you can relate and thanks for the welcome. Finally found a genuine, grown up Arsenal discussion blog. Fantastic.

    As for coping with defeat…..
    I like to think that I cope with it better than I use to. I use to be terrible, sulked for days, almost physically hurt after some games against our biggest rivals. Games that stand out; Chelsea in the CL as some have already mentioned, Spurs in 91 (bunked off school for a week I couldn’t face the world!), Paris (both times), Anfield 2007, Bolton away in 2003 (that one really hurt due to the damage it did to our league hopes), Luton in 1988 (probably my first real heart breaker!), Old Trafford in 2005 (but we were Unbeatable?!? .. Utd just got lucky….). The list could go on for ever (who said Wrexham?)!!!
    In reality I don’t really cope any better, but with two young children I suppose I now have less time to dwell on it. Over the past two seasons I’ve tried to consciously pull back from it, not get so het up and involved as my wife has convinced me it’s not healthy (oh and apparently it scares the kids!!). Have I succeeded? Give over!! Take last Sunday, decided I wouldn’t watch the game on TV for first time in years and would take the kids out instead. I could find the result out later and instead have a relaxing afternoon. So I spent the whole afternoon trying to log onto the Internet on my phone every 3 minutes and kept finding excuses to go back to the car to catch radio commentary (only to find they had bloody Cardiff v Swansea on 5 Live!!). At times now I wish I could not love Arsenal so much, I wish I could let it go. Not so much after defeats, more in the build up to big games. The nerves and pre match tension sometimes are horrible, especially Derby days. I remember the day of the Villareal away game in 2006. I was a wreck for 48 hrs beforehand. That was also the night my wife nearly had me sectioned. With 15 mins to go and us holding on for dear life for our place in the Champions League final I was sat on the floor legs crossed, arms folded just rocking back and forth, yes rocking, like a loon, I was a wreck!! “I hate this, why do I do this?” I kept repeating. I won’t even try to explain my behaviour when the penalty was awarded (apparently I sobbed repeatedly and uncontrolably like a girl “but we were there, we were almost there, we were almost in Paris”). My wife still insists she genuinely feared for my sanity that night. Penalty saved, final whistle, we’re in the final – so this is why we do it!!!
    I try to fool myself as well. After last Sunday, to allay the rage and depression I told myself it didn’t matter as we weren’t good enough to win the title anyway so wasn’t disaterous, no point worrying, we weren’t good enough forget about it. And after Wednesday? Elated! That’s what Champions are made of!! Backs to the wall, awesome result watch us kick on from here!! So I’ve now set myself up for a fall on Sunday!!
    Sorry, rambling again… must learn to stop.

  42. 26may1989 says:

    I’m a fundamentalist on the leaving early thing: never, never, never leave early, I don’t care how badly our lot are playing, or how difficult the journey home is! And if we lose, since my seat is near the tunnel, I usually stay to applaud the oppo off, and have a pop at the referee if needs be.

    My bad habit is arriving late, I have a reputation for that.

  43. Red Arse says:

    It’s interesting the different takes on leaving the ground early.

    When I was a season ticket holder in the West Stand at Highbury, I always stayed to the end, and had a pint or two in the bar while the stadium emptied. It was amazing the difference an hour or so made.

    I have only been to the Emirates 3 times, all evening games, when I have bought a ticket of someone who could not go. The first 2 times I stayed until the end of the game, before catching the tube. Both times I missed my connection and got home just before 1 in the morning!

    The third time I left 5 minutes early, and caught my connection and got home at 11-15 p.m. Who could believe 5 mins could make such a difference?

  44. Carlito11 says:

    I’ll have another go:
    BR- Bill Hicks springs to mind as an explanation. Do you know his stuff? The quote can be found here:
    Our brains are pretty powerful and whatever we invest ourselves in we take pretty seriously. If we didn’t we wouldn’t do this crazy thing- but hey- most of the time it’s great fun and it’s a far better thing to invest yourself in Arsenal than nationalism or other similarly dubious causes!

  45. Big Raddy says:

    To go back to the depression after a loss.

    I finished with a longterm girlfriend after the Swindon LC Final loss because she said “it was just a game”

  46. 26may1989 says:

    All of this just goes to show why the Nick Hornby book was just waiting to be written – a hate-love-hate relationship between us on the one side and the club, players and managers on the other.

    Trev, your reference to how you behave in front of your kids makes me think of watching the game against Chelsea this season on TV: I was sat on the sofa, with my 8-year old daughter (who is a fully indoctrinated Arsenal fan) next to me. When Koscielny managed to miss from 2 yeards out in the first minute, I turned to her, wanting her really to be one of my mates or my brother, and said “You take my word for it, we’ll come to regret that miss. If Chelsea win now I’ll be pretty angry.” She just looked blankly at me, non-plussed as to what the hell I was on about.

    And welcome by the way, glad you like it here!

  47. Big Raddy says:

    Trev. That is great stuff. I can envisage you sitting there rocking 🙂

    Rest assured you are not the only one to behave in such a manner, nor the only person whose wife has suggested psychiatric help.

  48. Red Arse says:


    Forgive me for chuckling at your comment.

    I have a mental image of you willing the seconds and the minutes away, when we are holding on for grim death, and I can feel your pain at losing and also the doomed attempt at rationalisation that “we didn’t deserve to win anyway”.

    Not to mention the insufferable behaviour towards innocent friends and family, also mentioned by other regulars. (Big Raddy told us he walked out on a girlfriend because she spoke to him after a losing game).

    You have all described me to a tee! 🙂

  49. 26may1989 says:

    Red A, I can’t believe you’ve only been to Ashburton three times – next time I have a spare, I’ll let you know! Only one condition: you’re not allowed to leave early!!

  50. Trev Heff says:

    Big Raddy – I live in Swindon and they mark the anniversary of that game every year with a 4 page pull out in the local paper and Don Rogers gets wheeled onto local TV!! It amuses me, probably as I wasn’t born then so didn’t suffer. My dad still bemoans the pitch to this very day though!!

  51. Carlito11 says:

    BR- Bill Hicks springs to mind as an explanation. Do you know his stuff? The quote is:
    “The world is like a ride at an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it, you think it’s real, because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round and it has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly coloured and it’s very loud. And it’s fun, for a while.

    Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question: ‘Is this real? Or is this just a ride?’ And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and they say ‘Hey! Don’t worry, don’t be afraid – ever – because… this is just a ride.’ And we kill those people.

    ‘Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride! Shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry; look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.’

    It’s just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that – ever notice that? – and we let the demons run amok. But it doesn’t matter, because… it’s just a ride, and we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort. No worry. No job. No savings and money. Just a choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy bigger guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one.

    Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, into a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defence each year and, instead, spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would do many times over – not one human being excluded – and we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever. In peace.”

    My synopsis: our brains are pretty powerful and whatever we invest ourselves in we take pretty seriously. If we didn’t we wouldn’t do this madness- but hey- most of the time it’s great fun and it’s a far better thing to invest yourself in Arsenal than nationalism or other similarly dubious causes!

  52. Carlito11 says:

    Sorry about the length of that one- tried to do it as a link to where I found the quote but it wouldn’t have it!

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great post. Jeepers, the memories.
    Again, short of time today, and so much to say, so many fantastic tales and each of us can totally relate to them all. Common bond. Its very strong glue this Arsenal stuff!

    Trev Huff hi,
    You mentioned the Green Stuff. That point really hit a soft spot with me. My father become an Arsenal man after being in the Royal Artillery, and he did a truly thoughtful and magical job on me for my first game. He picked a biggy. 1970, Leeds home. 60 odd thousand. We had seats in the Upper East and his magical moment was in waiting until five minutes before we went into the inner sanctum. The house was packed, the fans howling and immediately the players entered the arena to a thunderous reception. I was totally and utterly blown away. I had never seen or heard anything remotely like it. The emerald green pitch, the flood lights, the noise and little me amongst men, and I was immediately one of them.

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Many moons ago I did a post on The Green Stuff and the way it affected me. Extraordinary that so many have this common and life changing experience

    Carlito. Clever man that Bill Hicks.

  55. Red Arse says:

    What a fabulously rich tapestry of memories and stories! 🙂

    The internet has changed our lives in ways that are not always obvious. Arsenal Blogs have, if anything, enriched my life since I found them less than 3 months ago.

    I have encountered so many fascinating fellow gooners, heard their stories, and feel I am among a great group of friends. If we had not got the blogs, we would never have known each other and our lives would have been the poorer for it.

    And what’s more, reading your stuff makes me feel “normal”, I’m just one of many! 🙂

  56. Carlito11 says:

    Not that I’ve ever succeeded in telling myself it’s just a ride!

  57. Big Raddy says:

    RA. I agree – it is great to have cyber friends.

  58. Carlito11 says:

    Friday night beckons- been great hearing all your memories today! Cheers to one and all!

  59. Carlito – sorry about your comments in Spam, i’ve let one out but of course its come in earlier, I’ll let another one out and change the time – I have the power 😉

  60. Carlito11 says:

    BR- Bill Hicks springs to mind as an explanation. Do you know his stuff?
    Our brains are pretty powerful and whatever we invest ourselves in we take pretty seriously. If we didn’t we wouldn’t do this crazy thing- but hey- most of the time it’s great fun and it’s a far better thing to invest yourself in Arsenal than nationalism or other similarly dubious causes!

  61. Red Arse says:

    Carlito, the quote was a bit deep, but your summing up was spot on! 🙂

  62. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You are so right about the Nick Hornby book. I went to every home game that season and he captured it all perfectly. I loved the bit about Arsenal being more of a marriage than a love affair, as there was no chance of nipping down The Lane for a bit of slap and tickle if things were’nt going well. Great stuff.

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It can become a problem if it starts coming before family and work! Ooops, that’ll be every match day then!

  64. You see how lucky you all are – you’re blokes and you’re allowed to be miffed because your boys didn’t win, spare a thought for the girlie gooners out there who are supposed to be much too grown up for all that nonsense.

    So when I don’t return friends phone calls for a couple of days after a loss they just shake their heads and tell me I need to get a life.

    And then theres your very best friend who feels all the same pain as you when its rubbish and has the same twinkle in their eye when its good. ‘Lets not talk about football today’ they say after a bad result but it can’t be avoided 😉

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here’s a bloke thing. Every single one of us has been told to “get a life”. We just have absolutely no idea what they are on about!

  66. 26may1989 says:

    Don’t worry Peaches, I’m sure you behave as badly as anyone else when Arsenal screw up…

    The most committed/obsessive (take your pick) football fan I’ve ever known is one of my female university mates. We were at Leeds together but she managed to make it to pretty much every Bristol Rovers game, home and away. To this day, the only Rovers games she misses are those that clash with England cricket tours she and her fellow Rovers supporting boyfriend go on. A genuine football loon.

    Amy Lawrence was also a committed Gooner (can’t say if she still is, now that she’s a journo and has to pretend to be vaguely objective). When she was at Sheffield University, she ran the Yorkshire Gooners, enabling some of us to meet up on trips back to London or to games across northern England.

    See, women are just as immature as men!

  67. Its not immature at all, its a Goonerlife 😆

  68. Red Arse says:


    Amy, if I am not being too familiar, is still known among the jounos as a gooner, although she maintains a professional aspect to her work.

    By the way, 26, I am sorry I did not respond earlier to your kind offer to bear me in mind if you get a spare for Arsenal.

    My wi fi keeps being messed about by a neighbour’s BT hub, and I get intermittent stop/go and missed your message until I reread everything a short time ago.

    That’s a long winded explanation and a thank you! 🙂

  69. Big Raddy says:

    26/5 You are right the women fans are totally committed. Irish/Peaches/Rico/QOS and the many others. Their knowledge and memories add much to the AFC blogworld.

  70. Red Arse says:

    Very true, BR.

    They are all brilliant and frankly shame us men, in many ways. All of them share something else in common too, they are all so intelligent! 🙂

  71. 26may1989 says:

    Noted Peaches, I’ll try that one at home next time I’m accused of being ridiculous.

    And all good RA.

    Have a good evening one and all, am off home to a beer and some unhealthy food.

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right then. Time to plan a nice family weekend. What time is kick off sunday?

  73. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Does that line of honey talking work for you 😉

    If I tried it I would get a steely look and told to hurry up with dinner

  74. Big Raddy says:

    3p.m. Sunday Micky.

    Which is an absolute pig. I have agreed to entertain at a children’s party and expected a 4 p.m k.o

    Wonder if I can get away with a short set!

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The trick is to find the Achilles heal. Ironically, with my wife it is shoes!! As for my children, well that is very tough.

  76. MickyDidIt89 says:


  77. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No chance. Release ten guinea pigs and run!

  78. Red Arse says:

    BR, does it work? No, I am not the lothario I would like to be. 🙂

    The KO here in the UK is 1:30.

    I’m off to pick a nice bottle of vino, and check out the bread I am baking! Good night all. 🙂

  79. Red Arse says:

    Sorry BR, the Sky Programme starts at 1:30, the KO is 2 p.m. so you are right (again). 🙂

  80. SharkeySure says:

    Wot a fantastic read today’s comments have been.

    For my part I can echo so many of the sentiments from last Sunday. After our bad results I’m very concsious of my mood and how it might affection my interaction with my loved ones.

    Basically my kids could get away with murder after a loss, as I’m too aware that my mood could be colouring my judgement, so I give them a helluva lot of leeway.

    Having said that, having kids around really does help most times.

    26. You and your 8 yr old daughter…lol. Been there myself….

  81. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Sometimes I actually know what I am talking about.
    Read Guillem Balague today about why Barcelona didn’t sign Cesc.

    “Once installed in office, Rosell apologised to Arsenal for the manner in which the former regime had tried to force them to sell, and told the London club that, with limited finances at their disposal, Barcelona would only be able to make a slight increase on their initial offer. Furthermore, the new regime revealed that Fabregas was not an absolute priority for them: something that turned out to be key to a reversal of the situation and something that Wenger was able to make count to his advantage.”

    The key part is LIMITED FUNDS AT THEIR DISPOSAL the rest is irrelevant.Barca have no ready cash.

  82. Carlito11 says:

    Spot on Kelsey! Morning! Balague’s one of my favourite sports journos- seems to cut to the core of most issues he writes about IMO. If barca don’t want him in the near future what was cescs body language about in the last match? Not sure I bought the mirror idea yesterday- interesting though it was.

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all,
    The Cesc thing is very difficult. Kelsey, your points are very interesting coming from the source they do, however, interpreting Cescs’ reaction/response is pure guesswork. We will never know the contents of THAT meeing with Arsene. Could it be that he is simply frustrated with his performance. He received a fair whack of criticism after the Wolves game, whereas I thought he showed alot of hunger. Not a Cesc performance, but hunger for sure.
    I am not worried in the slightest.

  84. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If I feel like worrying about someone, then I look no further than Diaby.

  85. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Evening Ladies & Gentlemen

    Cesc is the least of Arsenal’s problems, he will come good, maybe against Hotshit for instance. The issue facing The Arsenal that must be addressed are the Toffees.

  86. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    So you are @ peace with Johan 🙂

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    One on one with Gnarley, its been a while!
    I am always at peace with players who give it maximum effort, and he is one of them. As to whether he is good enough, I have really tried to stop speculating, at least in public/on air. I have been proved wrong so many times about players who I thought would never make it. On this, I leave it to Arsene, as he does know better than me (no one is perfect though) and he sees them in training.

  88. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Are you a Webber man? What do Aussie’s in general think?

  89. kelsey says:

    I should have done a post today on CESC AIN’T GOING NOWHERE

  90. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Not sure about Webber. The general thought here was he fluffed it when he crashed in Korea 😉

    But while on F1, its worse than cricket from what I’ve seen. A grey cloud drifts across the sun & out comes the safety car for a few laps.

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Actually, the safety car invariably turns something dull into something exciting. I have a weird minor obsession about F1. It is an opportunity for a Sunday snooze on the sofa! Unless it clashes with something important!!
    Alonso breaks down, and its “up for grabs”.

  92. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Does F1 have the Duckworth Lewis system too?

  93. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All.

    Yu were proved right Kelsey.

    I too have a weakness for F1. Sadly, I don’t get the wonderful BBC build up and commentary over here, .

    As you so rightly say Micky, it is ideal snooze material. Watch the start and drift off after about 5 laps, come to your senses with 6 to go – a perfect Sunday p.m. and unlike watching AFC it is stress free.

  94. Rasp says:


    New post ……..

  95. dandan says:

    Well done Red a super post that has us all walking down memory lane. As for Cesc, Kelsey has always had it that Barca. couldn’t afford him, seems he was right.

  96. […] Musings of a true Gooner, banishes doom and gloom […]

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