The Debacle in Madrid

Written by dandan

Half time in Madrid, players pushing and shoving, all the backroom boys getting involved, is this what we want in our league? Mourinho is in the thick of it having started it off at his press conference, Barcelona’s reserve goalkeeper gets involved in the melee in and around the tunnel and is sent off from the bench.

Many bloggers think we should court this man, are you sure? Do we really want to even consider Mourinho to take Arsène’s place? Rumour says Jose covets Fergie’s job, would Man Utd’s directors want their name sullied by such a man? Is this the price one has to pay for trophies?

What does Cesc think when he watches his would be team mates diving and play acting? every decision questioned, the referee constantly harangued and mobbed. Imaginary cards waived in his face by players every time a team mate throws himself to the ground, anything to pressure the referee to gain an advantage and get a fellow professional booked or sent off, Is this really where he wants to go and exercise his skills? More fool him if he does, he’s welcome to it. This is supposedly the best team in the world we are watching.

The more I watch it, the more I recognise the basically inherent honesty of our league, sure we have a few dodgy divers, Fergie plays his mind games and the occasional crunch tackle goes in. But compared to this whinging, cheating, orchestrated pantomime of a game, even old Trafford is a Temple of fairness.

Sportsmanship or gamesmanship – what do we pay to watch? How would we Gooners react to such conduct in our stadium every time one of our main rivals plays there?

If this is Champions League football they can shove it.

Come on Arsene: buy the couple of players you need for next season and let’s show these prima donnas we are the best team in the best league in the world.

What the final outcome will be tonight I don’t know and quite frankly, I don’t care. Pepe and Mourinho have mercifully just been sent off and I am going to bed.

Its morning now, Barca have won, Messi has worked his magic and by his genius, partially it seems watered down the reaction in the press, to what had gone on before. Mouriniho true to form however takes no prisoners at his press conference and launches a tirade against CL refs with all kinds of innuendo, that Barca have help in that direction, no matter who they play.

Its all smoke and mirrors, what really matters is the atmosphere in which the match was played, something has to be done, this is not football, the most important match this year ruined by patent self interest, disregard for the rules and a breathtaking expediency that sees the means justify the end. neither side is blameless. No doubt the authorities will throw the book at Jose, but in my book an enquiry into the conduct of the whole match should be instigated and the video evidence used to punish all the guilty parties who sullied our beautiful game last night.

122 Responses to The Debacle in Madrid

  1. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Sorry about the technical hitch – you are free to comment

  2. Thanks for distilling some of my own thoughts on the shenanigans at Madrid last night Dandan and I’ve reposted my mini-rant from the previous post here:

    I think the media are going a little overboard in our appreciation of the Argie dwarf.

    Don’t forget he got away with a number of sneaky fouls that Real players were getting yellow carded for, it seems another facet of the Barca love-in the UEFA refs have indulged in for a decade is to allow their blue eyed boy to get away with sly foul after sly foul.

    Prior to the sending off he was also misplacing a fair number of passes and despite Barca’s possession he hadn’t had many shots.

    Notice how most of his “wonder goals” come after the statutory sending off of one of the opponents? Could he do it in a physical league like the Premier League or is he going to coast along in a two team league(which is heading the way of the SPL) in a bankrupt country where the refs penalise every single bit of contact against Barca?

    Busquets was a total disgrace last night, closely followed by Alves and Pedro – their play acting verging on the Rivaldo level of shameful theatrics. If UEFA are serious about the “Respect” campaign and tackling the issue of simulation there should be sanctions against this reprehensible team.

    But as we know UEFA favour Barca as they are big box office and even though Busquets et al are serial offenders they will do nothing although they were quick to pounce on Eduardo, the hypocritical, double standardised, corrupt engreats.

    Before last night’s game I was fairly respectful of his abilities, now I say “F**k you Messi, and f**k your diving, cheating, team mates who swarm round the ref after every decision.

    F**k you C**talona and I hope your sodding C**talan region gets enslaved by Franco’s minions again.

  3. johnny hoy says:

    Grow up mate.

  4. Alan says:

    It was all Real Madrid, Barca largely stayed out of it. Yes they play acted a little but they were getting kicked throughout the match and unlike our bunch of losers, they managed to overcome it.

  5. Alan, “Barca largely stayed out of it” ?! LOL, they stayed out of the haranguing of the refs, the “falling-to-the-floor-clutching your-face, the triple axel and pirouette to get Pepe sent off ? Alves- what a miserable, example of a sportsman, waiting for a stretcher and then back on the pitch after 3 minutes and completing the game.
    I fear you’ve fallen for the UEFA/media sanctioned Barca love in.
    Those bunch of C**talans were a disgrace last night.

  6. potter says:

    F**k you C**talona and I hope your sodding C**talan region gets enslaved by Franco’s minions again.

    Take the opportunity to withdraw that comment .

    I don’t know about you , but I lived close to Barcelona toward the end of that period . It wasn’t pleasant. Stick to football, it’s much healthier. Had you been there you would know that views expressed that strongly against the status quo would have given you an extended holiday , not with club 18-30 either.

  7. chas says:

    Alan, do you think Barca showed “Respect” for the referee?

  8. Rasp says:

    johnny hoy,

    Find another blog ‘mate’ – your comments add nothing to this site.

  9. Raspers, I wasn’t sure who J Hoy was asking to grow up, me or Dan Dan but at 44 years old I’ve little growing up left to do, only deterioration. 🙂

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Football is war when the rivalry goes so deep. It was all part of the game and absolutely unavoidable if Barca were ever to beat Mourinho’s Real. He is the master of black football art, and Barca knew they had to play along to beat ‘the beast’.

    But, as an addict to pure, total football,I saw one of the BEST matches of my life last night. Tactically, Technically, Mentally the football was of the highest order. And Messi, Messi, he is superhuman: he made Ronaldo look like an amateur.

    Let’s rejoice in the super quality of the football that was on display yesterday, and not focus on the rest too much. I recorded the game and will be watching it a few times over the ‘dry football months’ ahead.

    Finally, us Gooners are having a bad time right now, but is it not great to know that we actually beat this Barca team at the Emirates? (another game I will be watching a few times this summer!).

  11. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    What a load of dribble this post is. It just shows how bitter & twisted you must be with your tall poppy syndrome aimed at Clubs & managers who want results. If this is how Arsenal’s so called “real” fans think then this blog is not 4 me. Biased poop filled with people who can’t come to grips with a life without the burnt out old french git.

    The whinging pom is alive & well @ Arsenal Arsenal.

  12. chas says:

    GG9, what’s happened to you? You used to be full of such good humour, now just antipodean bile.

    TotalArsenal, are you sure you watched the CL semi-final?

  13. Turning to our best hopes for a trophy next season I see they’ve confirmed the line up for the Em***tes Cup. It’s Paris SG, New York Red Bulls & Boca Juniors.
    Do we still get a trophy if we come second in this ? 🙂

    Morning Gnarley, hope you’re well.

  14. Rasp says:

    Careful gnarley, you should know by now where the boundaries lie. dandan is a respected contributor on AA. By all means disagree with his post, but leave the insults for elsewhere.

  15. dandan says:

    Hi Gnarley glad to see you in such good form mate.

  16. dandan says:

    Hi Total it seemed to me that football was missing from much of last nights action. Granted there were a few bright moments and Messi is a special player but watch the whole game again? I dont think you will have many join you.

  17. Englishmik says:

    Great Post. Dani Alvles will never win footballer of year but has a great shot at best supporting actor at next years Oscars. Its true Barca are the best (playacting whingers) team in the world.

  18. Red Arse says:

    As usual Dandan, I liked your Post and the even handed nature of it. 🙂

    For myself, I enjoyed the spectacle last night, watching, as a sometimes horrified neutral, all the drama queens, ably led by Mourinho and his sycophants.

    The contrast beteween Moaniho and Guardiola could not have been starker. The former, being his usual thin-skinned, petulant prima donna self; the other, civilised and gentlemanly and keeping his own counsel.

    You may have gathered that I loathe poseurs, like the Special Cheese, both in football and elsewhere.

    Nailing my hat to the mast, (I can mix my metaphors with the best of them) 🙂 I think Messi is perhaps the best player I have ever watched, up there with Pele and George Best. Fantastico! 🙂

    Dandan is right in so much of what he cites in his Post, but I cannot wait for round 2 …. I mean, the second leg! 🙂

  19. Wonderman says:

    Great post Dandan, but me thinks we will have to have a word with a certain Mr Eboue before we are safe in our glass house

  20. Personally, I don’t think are much better than other teams. It’s simply down to one players…Messi it is. If we had such a magical player, we’d be winning many more trophies. About Mourinho, I think he is right this time cuz it wasn’t a red card by any standard.Another Swiss referee. What was the name of the one who didn’t know any rules but did know that when there’s a difference of 1 second b/w the whistle and the shot, you’ve got to give a red card. Especially against Barca cuz they are the best team in the world.
    The footballing world associates Arsenal & Barca with class .True class. I guess only one team has had it in the recent past. And that’s us.And that’s why Fabregas will not leave this summer.
    Check my new article:

  21. Good point Wonderman, but Eboue is a saint compared to half the Barca team, Busquets alone stuffed a season full of Eboue dives into the first half hour last night.
    I somehow doubt any Barca fans will give Busquets, Alves, Pedro etc..etc.. any stick in the way we do to Eboue.

    That shows the difference between them & us.

    Just imagine if we had dived/cheated as much as Barca did last night – Skysports would have been showing a slo-mo loop of it every five minutes until UEFA expelled us.

    As it’s Barca everyone is just fawning about the lucky dribble the Argie dwarf had against a tiring defence scared to tackle him in case they were sent off for being in the same time zone as him.

  22. Red Arse says:

    Hi Wonderman 🙂

    Shame on you for impugning our star diver, Eboue.

    His forward somersaults and closed pike deserve maximum points for the degree of difficulty. And all without a 16 foot diving board to assist him! 🙂

  23. You’ve got to laugh at what Xavi (the chief Cesc-tapper upper from last summer onward) said piously earlier this season:
    “Sadly, people only look at teams through success… Football is played to win but our satisfaction is double. Other teams win and they’re happy, but it’s not the same [as at Barcelona]. The identity is lacking. The result is an impostor in football… There’s something greater than the result, more lasting. A legacy”

    So how does he marry that with last night’s shameful behavior ?

  24. Red Arse says:


    I think we can see where you are coming from.

    What we need is a Scylla to counter your namesake Charybdis.

    Choosing between two evils (the monster Scylla or the monster Charybdis) is an understandable necessity, Barca clearly being yours, but we need some balance, so where is Scylla to berate Madrid? Or were they flawless, do you think? 🙂

  25. I think pretty much the rest of AA is the Scylla to my Charybdis, RedA but to answer your question Real were not blameless but like in all things proportionality is the key.

    Barca were doing waaa-aaay more of the play acting and hounding the ref(who was all too willing to bow down and worship Barca with his decisions)and it seemed a pre meditated tactic – last night was the night I decided I don’t want my club to aspire to Barca in any way.

    Trophies won playing like that are cheapened and sullied.

  26. Wonderman says:

    Chary – Agreed he is in comparison, but I still cant STAND to see it, it’s just not Arsenal

    RA …’His forward somersaults and closed pike deserve maximum points for the degree of difficulty. And all without a 16 foot diving board to assist him!’ classic !!!!

  27. RockyLives says:

    excellent post, exactly reflecting my own feelings about the game.

    Also, your reply to Gnarley shows what a classy gentleman you are. Gnarley’s original comment tells us exactly the opposite about him. He used to be fun, but he seems to have had a screw come loose ever since our cricketers humiliated the Aussies down under in the Ashes.

  28. Agree Rocky, I always had a lot of time for Gnarley, I hope it’s just a temporary change of mood.

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    Love your style. Writing a match report that you abandon watching at half time. Ice cool. 🙂

  30. RockyLives says:

    Good morning 🙂
    Your observation that RM were the kettle to Barca’s pot is well made… and yet and yet… I have more sympathy for RM because the ref was so clearly one-sided in all his decision making. I only saw the first half, but RM players were being booked for ‘fouls’ the ref didn’t see, based on Barca players rolling around on the floor clutching their face when the TV replays showed they had merely brushed shoulders with an opponent. Disgraceful.

    And Total’s point earlier is very important (particularly when so many people are saying that our current team are rubbish): we (deservedly) beat Barca at The Grove and (I firmly believe) would have put them out at the Nou Camp but for the corrupt/incompetent decision to send off RvP.

    There is something very, very odd about the favourable treatment of Barca from officials and officialdom. My cynical side sees that as a conscious move by UEFA to make Barca succeed because they fit UEFA’s ‘vision’ of football; my less cynical side puts it down to refs, media and everyone just getting caught up in the hype and subconsciously favouring the Catalans.

    Finally, at the risk of Chary seeking me out and ‘doing for’ me, I am beginning to wonder whether, in the final, I will end up rooting for ManUre…

  31. mickydidit89 says:

    Chin up matey, you have your future Head of State getting hitched tomorrow. So there’s something to look forward to.

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    I have to say that Messi really is the dogs’ swingers.

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    What, more work?
    Can’t be right. Bye.

  34. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, Rocky everone’y

    Yes I think Lionel is likely to be acknowledged as the greatest player ever (until the next one) if he can keep this up for a couple more years. His second goal was pure brilliance.

    If I was writing a Barca blog today, my headline would be…


  35. Carlito11 says:

    Afternoon all! Quality post that Dandan. I felt very let down by the fact there was about 25 minutes of actual ball in play stuff yesterday and the other 65″ was pure handbags. Bunch of wet girl’s blouses with hysterical temperaments. Not how I want to watch my football, I’m afraid.
    Can’t stop, fitting a 5 day week into 3 days is proving to be very exacting. But have you seen the proof that Wenger is a huge tool?

  36. RockyLives says:

    One extra point about last night’s game – the technical standard on display was amazing (although no better than Arse v Barca at The Grove). Sadly sullied by the play acting and cheating.

  37. Red Arse says:


    I have gone past being appalled by the antics footballers get up to, sometimes.

    Last night certain Barca players and certain Madrid players were pushing their luck with the referee, not just in the diving but also the waving of imaginery yellow cards, simulation and the crude tackles being made on each other.

    Thing is, it has often been claimed, (by their own players) that in many Latin countries such antics are seen as ‘clever’, ‘macho’ and obtaining an ‘advantage’ for their teams by all means possible.

    But the UK Prem League is not immune, either, and this attitude spreads across all sports, even cricket, where batsmen, knowing they have given a catch, stand their ground and take a chance with the umpire. Cheats, the lot of them! 😦

  38. Rasp says:

    I agree Rocky, it’s just that the system seems to work 90% of the time for Barca and 30% of the time for us – why?

    I did enjoy watching Barca stringing together the intricate passes with little penetration as it showed even they can look ineffective, but then along came Messi and that was the difference.

  39. RockyLives says:

    Messi – great player.
    Is he in the same bracket as Pele, Best and Maradona yet?
    But if he keeps this up for a few more years he will be and he may even overtake them.
    He probably needs a commanding World Cup to really get there (although Best never got that opportunity).

  40. potter says:

    Finally, at the risk of Chary seeking me out and ‘doing for’ me, I am beginning to wonder whether, in the final, I will end up rooting for ManUre…

    The European ref’s favourites against the British.

  41. Rasp says:

    I agree Rocky re Messi’s legendary status, I too qualified it with ‘a few more years’.

    He has everything that the other greats possessed: small but strong, mobile, incredible balance, technique, work rate etc etc. The old chestnut – could the others have performed to the same standard in the modern game? will never be known, but I can’t see that it would be easier today than when Best/Pele etc were playing.

  42. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, 🙂

    To pinch a phrase from Shakespeare (?) I wish a ‘pox on both their house’!

    Barca are exactly how you describe them, and Madrid have the arch-diablo in Moaning!

    Can’t wait to see how Charyb handles the Manure/Barca Final. He will become schizophrenic! 🙂

    If you are still there CharyB, perhaps you should copyright the Scylla name too. That way you heap ordure on both of them! 🙂 (I still think Guardiola is a decent bloke). 🙂

  43. Rasp says:

    Hi RA,

    How are you – and what have you done with Evonne?

  44. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, Rasp, it’s all a question of personal subjectivity (touch of tautology there?) 🙂 but I think Messi is already there. Best player ever.

    I don’t think these things can be judged by European or World Cup appearances, if you are beyond brilliant, you don’t need that sort of yardstick. Still, we all seem to agree that he is already the best, or, at least, on the road to it, so as friends let’s agree on that! 🙂

    Rasp, I am honoured to be greeted by you in the ‘everyone’ group, but, like Messi, I aspire to greatness and to be included in the ‘Hi Red Arse’ singularity, eventually! 🙂

  45. Red Arse says:


    Rasp, you know I love teasing you, and blow me down, you greet me, personally, before I can chip at you.

    I think you rig the site! 🙂

    Evonne is a woman of mystery, and no one knows from whence she comes or where she goes! 🙂

  46. goonermichael says:

    An aussie calling the English Whingers? That’s a bit rich. Your lot are the biggest whingers on the planet gnarley.

    Last nights game was shit played by a bunch of cheats that’s a fact not a whinge.

  47. Rasp says:

    RA, you have a special place in my heart and my thesaurus – you must not expect to be treated the same as other mere mortals 😆

  48. RedA – it would make sense for me to snap up the Scylla moniker.

    And as you and Rocky point out the likely finalists at Wembley will have me chronically conflicted, however at the moment I’m clinging onto the hope of a pair of miracles for the away teams in the second legs next week.

    Staws, at, clutching…. 😦

  49. Rasp says:


    We should reserve judgement on the preferred winner until after the second legs have been played. Maureen is going to have to send out a team with the instruction ‘score 3 goals’ – words never heard from him before.

    If manu win by playing good honest football and the Spanish sides continue with the histrionics, I’m going to have to support obf’s lot I’m afraid 😳

  50. trueg00ner says:

    If UEFA felt the need to get involved after the Eduardo against Celtic incident, dont you think that what went on last night with regards to conning the ref the same sort of action should also be taken?

  51. Wonderman says:

    The scary thing is Messi is only 23!!!!!

  52. Rasp says:


    Yes – will it happen? No

  53. It’s a topsy-turvy world we live in on Raspers, on Monday Ginger Durham on Talkspite was showing pity for Arsenal fans and I was rooting for a Mourinho team last night, 2 things I thought would never happen.

    If the dreaded line up for Wembley comes to pass a 3rd unthinkable thing may well happen, me supporting ManUre against the CADD’s(Catalan Amatuer Dramatics and Diving Association).

  54. dandan says:

    Rasp. Lets hope football is the winner next week, though I doubt it somehow.

    Rocky thanks for your kind words.

    RA Thank you to, but why do I always feel there is something waspish in your posts, most uncharitable of me I know. Hope you are feeling well

  55. I think I echoed your point earlier Trueg00ner. Of course UEFA won’t show consistency and throw the book at Busquets/Alves/Pedro – it’s in their economic interest to ensure the Barca glamour team get to the final.

    If Qatar can get a World Cup then refs/UEFA ensuring Barca get to the final is a walk in the park.

  56. Red Arse says:

    Hi Dandan, 🙂

    I am quite genuine in my admiration of your post writing, and also the calm, reflective nature of your character which I feel comes through in your writing.

    I like and respect you Dandan, and I would not want to deliberately offend you. (I am genuinely puzzled about the waspish bit, really).

    I do reserve the right to tease you, tho’, but I usually suffix my attempts at humour with a smiley!

    You are certainly my match, or better, at poetry or humourous comments too.

  57. goonermichael says:

    I’d have anyone (incl the trotts) over tha mancs.

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi DanDan

    You wrote: ‘Hi Total it seemed to me that football was missing from much of last nights action.’

    Maybe it is the chess player in me, or the tactician, but if you think how Mourinho had approached the last two Barca encounters, and the way he was happy to play for 0-0 from the start, at home, and you know how he has killed off bigger and better opponents in the past (like us, like Bayern last year, like Manu on many occassion etc etc) with this approach by the master of (black) tactics, and you then see how Barca approach the technical and tactical side of the game, then that for me is pure enjoyment. It really takes something to beat Mourinho at the tactical side of the game (I am afraid Wenger will never do so), as he is the Machiavelli of football, but Guardiola out-foxed him.

    Barca kept the pressure up, non-stop -and allover the field, they had (again) 71% of the ball at the Bernabeu, all eleven players were part of one big footballing machine, you could not single out anyone for performing under par, they held on to the ball so well and passed it in a flash. Both goals were outstanding and yes this I call football DanDan, and I love Arsenal so much because we are the only team in the UK who are capable of playing this sort of football – total football.

  59. trueg00ner says:

    Rasp lets hope UEFA are not as biased as it would appear , if they did take action it would send out a clear message to everyone!

  60. dandan says:

    Waspish is not in the least detrimental to you RA, far from it, rather its a compliment and means your use of words, makes me smile at times because they are often left hanging in the air and this cynical old blogger wonders if there could be a sting in the tail. 🙂

    Its a great language this English RA but it can get us into trouble. 🙂

  61. RockyLives says:

    You haven’t changed my opinion (which is still with the tenor of dandan’s original post) but your 2.00pm came darn close to doing so with its eloquent argument in favour of looking at the positives in the game.
    That’s exactly the sort of reasoned debate we love here on AA, so please feel welcome here any time.

  62. RockyLives says:

    Well, there’s quite a ‘buzz’ around Redders today 🙂

    I just hope that the ‘sting in the tail’ is not haemorrhoids.

  63. dandan says:

    WE will have to agree to differ Total as I have said there was some good football played. but the cynical tactical harassment and pressuring of the referee is not in my mind a legitimate tactic and both teams should be punished for their transgressions.
    Total football surely should be devoid of the cynical, so called professional foul, of course in a contact sport played at pace there will be accidental fouls, but the beautiful game has no room IMHO for diving, simulation and downright cheating.

  64. slimshady says:

    This is a pretty good post, I’ve been singing the same thing to all in at work since morning, last night was an embarrassment, especially on the Barca side! I’m certainly glad I’m a Gooner, and the day my beloved Arsenal resorts to such cheating antics will be my final day as an Arsenal supporter, silverware or no silverware. Thank goodness the club’s management all still understand what it means to have class.

  65. dandan says:

    Thank you slimshady, please come back to us any time you feel like it, discussions on here can get lively but generally stay within the acceptable bounds of good honest opinion and your input as a Gooner would be most welcome on this site run by Gooners for Gooners

  66. dandan says:

    Rocky I wondered who would be the first to go piling in there but had you not wondered before about the Red Arse, 🙂

  67. Red Arse says:

    Oh, Rocky, Rocky …… 🙂

    Your haemorrhoids quip is not a million miles from the truth. Thankfully it is not that, tho’! Been pretty yucky last few weeks. 😦

    Dandan, I love the English language, it’s true, as do you and Rocky, clearly.

    I confess that, for instance, when writing an unpalatable truth, or opinion, I do prefer to leaven it with a gentle bon mot to avoid being unnecessarily hurtful.
    Some people see the real message nonetheless, while for others it is best to leave it alone.

    That may seem a bit patronising to some, but there are too many individuals who delight in being abusive, without me joining in too. (tho’ I do slip up, occasionally) 🙂

  68. RockyLives says:

    That sounds like copper bottomed proof to me dandan 🙂

  69. RockyLives says:

    I know you’ve been having a tough time Redders, which makes the constant good humour you display on here all the more to your credit.

  70. Red Arse says:

    Now look, you two, you are just showing off because the Royal Navy first introduced the copper bottomed cladding to warships. 🙂

    Have to say I would not like to be holed below the plimsoll line, tho’. 🙂

    A propos of nothing really, I sometimes find it difficult to remember not to spell ‘recognise’ or ‘patronise’ without a ‘z’ (zee to some 🙂 ) Do either of you have any difficulty between using accepted US or UK spelling?

  71. Red Arse says:

    Sorry, guys, having asked you a question, I have to ‘go see a man about a dog’. (An English phrase — where the hell did that come from? 🙂


  72. TotalArsenal says:

    You are absolutely right DanDan, the beautiful game has no room for diving, simulation or cheating. Full stop. Barca did not do this when we played them, and in general they just focus on football. The question is why did they do it against Real (and Real against Barca)? My view is they did it because they decided to beat Real at their own game, and to (over)emphasise the nasty little tricks Mourinho’s men inflict on the Barca players. Fight fire with fire. I do not justify it though.

  73. dandan says:

    RA you might enjoy another of my train story’s, I caught the early train from Newcastle at Peterborough as usual with all my fellow commuters. I sat at a table in our normal carriage and being tired promptly fell asleep. As we passed Highbury on our way into Kings X I woke and noticed the young lady who had been sitting on the other side of the table when I caught the train was also waking from a sleep. I looked at her and said you know what I like best about this train, she replied no, what.

    I said with a smile you get to sleep with some lovely women on here. Much laughter ensued from fellow passengers and though she blushed she had a good laugh herself. AS I said its a great language

  74. Crikey Dandan – I couldn’t get away with that; I’m sure I’d get a slap(and not in the good way)or a harrassment claim.

  75. RockyLives says:

    Things were much more relaxed back in the ’50s 🙂

  76. Oh right Rocky, I grew up when the wimmin’s libbers were in full flow(the mid/late 70’s) – a t work nowadays you don’t complement women on anything as they’ll take it as harassment.

    Mind you, where I work it’s 80% full of middle aged dykes so I never have reason to !

  77. RockyLives says:

    Chary 🙂

    And I’m sure dandan’s train story is from post-Wimmin times – I was just being cheeky.

    We’d better watch out step here, or our ebony-tressed Amazon will be on to impose some discipline…

  78. dandan says:

    Was a different world 20 years ago and not nearly so stupidly PC chary, people still knew how to laugh and a Guy close to 50 decently dressed and with smile in his voice was able to communicate with someone young enough to be his daughter, without being labelled a dirty old man.
    I feel sorry for you managers 25/45 making your way in the business world today. Much of the fun and camaraderie appears to have removed from the work environment. Your litigious world would be a complete anathema to me. People who laugh together generally succeed together.
    Legislation it seems has forgotten one very salient point,in the final analysis people work for people not companies, no matter who pays the bills.

  79. Dandan – I think the PC dominated world is aiming for what is called a “gender neutral” workplace.
    Laughter is frowned upon at my place of work. It’s like purgaytory most days, tbh.

    Just heard that the premiership player who has taken out the latest super injunction is the chest wigged Manc Giggs. So now we know why he’s being rested on Sunday – to avoid the Big Brother references being sung at him, allegedly.

  80. trueg00ner says:

    woth watching show that Pepe didnt even touch Alves last night!!!

  81. Gooner in Exile says:

    Now I should start by saying I didn’t watch the game last night.

    But what has annoyed me is listening to the radio last night the commentators saying how right Maureen was re sending off and fans of other teams were calling to agree and sympathise.

    Now maybe I’m feeling a little sensitive but can you remember that kind of sympathy for Arsene or RvP after our game at Camp Nou?

  82. kelsey says:

    I have nothing more to say than last night was an embarrassment for those of us who love the beautiful game. Well done dandan on your post.

  83. kelsey says:

    Gaby Logan and Alan Shearer…..tut,tut,tut.another injunction on the way 🙂

    Giggs is old news chary (ask dandan)

  84. Oh right, I didn’t know about that Kelsey; so Shearer and Logan been at it also ?
    Has anyone heard about Highbury showing up in wiki leaks in some form ?
    A friend of mine just referred to it.

  85. johnQ says:

    a comment worth mentioning from other blog….

    albo says:
    April 27, 2011 at 21:37
    So, is now the time to point out that despite having Mourinho, despite having spent £100s of millions, and despite facing a depleted Barcelona team, Real still coulnd’t to what Arsenal did, and beat Barca in their CL home leg!

  86. goonermichael says:

    That giggs thing is a definite. Peter crouch has one and there is a very funny video of richard keys tied up and in ladies underwear being supressed.

    Maureen said before the game that Rael should have been playing Arsenal as RVP was sent off to help the catalans.

  87. goonermichael says:

    He’ll get slaughtered over that comment on that blog. He always does.

  88. mickydidit89 says:

    Good God,
    We are discussing haemorrhoids and the fact that Chary works in a Lesbianary. Wow, this site just gets better!

  89. kelsey says:

    I have every sympathy for you Red Arse.Do you have a rubber ring 😉

    Metamusil is the answer yet again 🙂

  90. Carlito11 says:

    JohnQ- great comment that from albo. A facile argument but a good riposte to the equally facile arguments against our lack of achievement this season.
    Thanks RedA and Chary for increasing my mythological knowledge today. Always loved ancient myths but had never heard of either Charybdis or Scylla…

  91. Carlito11 says:

    I’m sorry but I had to take issue with this comment from Total-“Barca did not do this when we played them, and in general they just focus on football.”
    I recall them trying very hard to get our players booked, sometimes where a booking was deserved, sometimes not. But I took great issue with the imaginary card waving and haranguing of the ref that took place. Barca are unfortunately not happy to be a superior team with a great chance of winning most football matches. They look to get the best defensive players on the other team on cards as soon as possible to stop them tackling and get them fearful.
    It is a frighteningly effective tactic and seems to be an accepted part of their game- but to me, it’s not in the spirit of the game and it is a real blemish on the image of that team and their “perfect” game

  92. goonermichael says:

    I remember messi rolling 6 times to get a totally undeserved free kick at the Emirates last year. BTW did you get rid of your tickets?

  93. goonermichael says:

    Just got ticket info about the Emirates cup. £25. That’s gone down I think I paid £30 the year before last.

  94. Gooner in Exile says:

    A quick point on Spanish football in general, when they dive and play act it is done to con the ref not the opposition (this is how they see it anyway) someone made this point (Guillerme Ballagde (*sp) maybe).

    And that is perhaps where English football differs, heard a great interview with Trevor Francis yesterday talking about Cloughie, when Francis tried to handball one in the net (ref saw it and penalised him) Cloughie got him in the dressing room and told him in no uncertain terms that was not the way he won things.

    He was also famous for going to the ref before the game and telling them that if they got any bother from his team the refs should let him know and he would deal with them with fines etc. Told his players not to talk back to referees etc etc. What would he make of Maureen, and the play acting and referee harassment today?

  95. Gooner in Exile says:

    On another note Scott Parker seems to be most fans and bloggers CM of choice going forward, doesn’t add a lot of height does he?

  96. Carlito11 says:

    GM- yes mate- got em shifted. Not a hard one to find interested folk for but a lot of regular st holders staying away is what I’m hearing. Not a good sign against Manure is it?

  97. Carlito11 says:

    GiE- interesting comparison with old big ead as in so many ways Maureen’s media front is reminiscent of the chap- easy to forget Cloughie was a romantic and the specious one is anything but…

  98. Carlito11 says:

    On Scotty Parker. He has drive and determination and looked to play well with Jack in the England side. I’ve always thought him a very ordinary player- but perhaps we need to “hire the attitude and instill the style” over the next couple of seasons. I think people look at Parker because he won’t stay at Wham when they go down. But in my humble- he’s not going to change our fortunes single-handedly…

  99. Carlito11 says:

    I’ve done a stroller and dispensed with Limpar- never brought us any luck this season anyway so I’ve reverted to namesake. Off out of town now- avoiding the “heartwarming spectacle” tomorrow at all costs. Back for the Manks on Sunday. Later all…

  100. Gooner in Exile says:

    Carlito was surprised to see quite a few tickets on the Exchange for ManU game early this week.

    An indication of loss of faith?

  101. GiE/Carlito – you may be right there, last week I was looking for tickets to the Villa on the Exchange and there were hardly any, but come Monday, there were about 60 of them.

  102. 26may1989 says:

    Once again, am very late to the party. My excuse: am on jury service right now, which means catching up with work in the evening. And then Arsenal Arsenal.

    I did manage to watch most of the second half of the Real/Barca game, and it sounds like I saw all the good stuff. And what I saw was another very impressive display from Barca, the little Argie’s second of course capping the whole thing. I agree with Total (nice to see you here by the way), Mourinho is generally leagues ahead of Arsene in tactical terms (and behind in other areas). But Maureen appeared to be using the same approach we did against Barca, trying to absorb the pressure before hitting late.

    I agree that Barca cheat, and dandan’s analysis (despite the stupid, boring, whingeing insults from Gnarley) is a good one. But for me, the pure quality of Barca’s teamplay trumps the dark side of their game, as well as the spectacular arrogance the club, the players and the fans display, something UEFA and referees seem to fawn over. Despite all of that, I still have great admiration for the generation Guardiola presides over and feel their standards are what we should be aiming to emulate. Not the cheating though.

    And I’ll admit it, I hate Maureen and Real, and always love to see them come a cropper.

    Night all.

  103. 26may1989 says:

    Sorry, one other thing: is anyone on for a drink at The Tavern before the United game on Sunday?

    And I might (emphasise, might) have a spare for Sunday – would anyone want it if it is free? Cover price (£38) etc.

  104. dandan says:

    It would seem that I am not alone in my summation of Maureen, this is an extract from Simon Barnes article in today’s times,

    “Sir Alex Ferguson has always recognised something of himself in Mourinho. Ferguson pushes the boundaries of the absurd hard enough, but this week Mourinho broke the sound barrier of preposterousness. His rant on Wednesday night told us unequivocally that he is no longer a person we can feel comfortable with. The genius-or-madman question has been answered comprehensively and need detain us no longer.

    Quite how football will deal with him remains to be seen. The question of whether or not he will receive an exemplary punishment for the series of wild accusations is not the most relevant issue. More intriguing is the question of whether or not he is still employable.

    Big clubs have important positions in the life of the city, the nation and the world, and for those who run great football clubs, this matters, if not from a pure sense of civic responsibility, then because compromising these positions ultimately means loss of status and income.

    Real Madrid are a very large institution with a long history. They take themselves frightfully seriously. They have tradition, meaning. Real Madrid do not look their best after the most prominent face at the club tells the world that a children’s charity played a crucial part in a disappointing result.

    Other enormous clubs — and Mourinho is not in the business of looking for work with second-tier institutions — will now be looking askance and wondering if they really want to be associated with someone capable of these carriage-clearing absurdities.

    Large institutions of any kind can take almost anything in their stride — mismanagement, self-importance, pomposity, corruption, failure — but the one thing that terrifies them is looking ridiculous. Real Madrid this week look ridiculous. The match itself was bad enough; the conspiracy theory goes far beyond mere badness.

    I don’t suppose Mourinho will ever go short of offers. There are always football clubs ready to take any kind of risk to get results. But it’s possible that after Wednesday night, the great clubs of the world — Manchester United, the job he most covets, being the most obvious example — will prefer to look elsewhere. Do you really want to be holding José when the music stops? Because that’s precisely what happened to Real this week, and they look far sillier than they did when they were consistently unsuccessful under previous managers.

    There comes a point in life when people stand before the world as they truly are. The homosexual comes out of the closet; the believer stands up to be counted; the good person does something so fine we set aside all doubts as to his moral worth; the bad person does something so appalling we will no longer tolerate him.

    We can now see Mourinho plain. He has forced us to abandon all doubt. The jury’s verdict has been returned. He is not a free spirit. He is not a man who Does It His Way. He is not a rebel. He is not a genius persecuted and misunderstood.

    No. He is just the loony on the Tube, the man you cross the M25 to avoid, because you fear that next time you meet, he’ll tell you he’s Napoleon.”


    …. My case rests

  105. Gooner in Exile says:

    That’s a damning article for sure DanDan but one I agree with throughout.

    He may have been unfairly halted at Chelsea but since then he has been hit and run with clubs he has taken charge of.

    If the club wants a pot and a side left in tatters he is the man. I cannot doubt his tactical knowledge and ability to achieve results but I dislike his whole attitude and persona.

  106. Gooner in Exile says:

    I have a dilemma…..

    Stoke have allocated more tickets for Britannia stadium, but there are still tickets available (on exchange and it now appears on 3 sides of ground for Villa).

    Where should I get my last Arsenal fix of the season. Away a singsong and watching Stokes thundercnuts

  107. Gooner in Exile says:

    Damn iPhone published too early.


    Or home against Villa for end of season party and drinkypoos with my new AA friends.

  108. Harry says:

    Morning GIE, for me you just cant beat end of season at the Home of Football and it would be good for a gathering of the AA Clan, we need as many positive (difficult at the moment) people we can get at the emirates with the expected demos……..

  109. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    On the subject of tickets some of you know that my son is friendly with many Fulham players,especially Clint Dempsey,so if you want tickets for that game let me know via peaches.I don’t think there will be a charge at all,but I don’t know how many I can get.

  110. Harry says:

    Morning Kelsey, didnt know that, Dempsey is a quality player, really like his attitude, his performances in the euro league last season for fulham were top notch, knows where the goal is……ummmm…….

  111. GiE – drinkypoos with us of course!!!!!!

  112. kelsey says:

    Harry when he scored a brace midweek he became the club’s leading all time scorer.He was brought up in a caravan in Texas and is a very humble person.
    The Schwarzer transfer was a done deal at 4 million, he was desperate to come to us but Hughes blocked it.

  113. kelsey says:

    It’s alright for you peaches i have to slave away in the sun all day,hitting 27 degrees today,hope my bowls don’t melt 🙂

  114. You know I really don’t feel sorry for you at all 🙂

  115. kelsey – have a look in drafts for me, I can’t decide which post to use today 😳

  116. kelsey says:

    peaches , The Mr Arsenal one I think.

  117. Gooner in Exile says:

    Kelsey maybe Hughes feels AW stitched him up with Adebayor 😀

    Convincing him he was worth whatever ridiculous money that City ended up paying for him.

    Peaches, Harry good call Emirates it is.

  118. OK, that’s the one then, thanks 🙂

  119. Gooner in Exile says:

    Booked Area 5 Row 22….nice. Right now to book a train which gives me plenty of time for a good bevvy pre match

  120. Welshman says:

    Mourinho knew he had to shackle Barcelona to progress in the competition, whilst Pepe was on the field the great Messi (and he is great) was shackled hence the team may of had the possession but they had not scored the goals. Barcelona are a great team and they will be remembered in years to come as one of the greatest teams ever but I will remember them as a team of cheats and liars with very little class. This is endemic throughout the club, the only exception is Messi himself who seems to be above all this as he does his talking on the field.
    If Pepe can halt Messi maybe Vermalen should be our holding man and Wenger buy some proven centre halves and then complete the exercise with a striker with a proven record.
    We are not that bad but I have never been so disappointed in supporting Arsenal, all we need is another year. LOL 🙂

  121. TotalArsenal says:

    dandan, your 8.01am post is spot-on. Mourinho has gone too far and has become an embarresment to Real. I particularly love your third paragraph from the end:’There comes a point in life when people stand before the world as they truly are’, followed by some witty examples – and that at eight in the morning!

    Looking at how Real tried very hard to get Wenger over the last few seasons, and how much most Gooners seem to want Wenger to leave (and I have finally become one of them), and that we are the only team, under Arsene, who have beaten Barca in a heavy-weight match (and as we know, Real are desperate to break the Barca spell), I can only forsee that he will replace Mourinho in the summer.

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