Hundredth Anniversary of St Totteringham’s Day (And Its Origins)

On Saturday we celebrated St Totteringham’s Day.

I know, I know, this was supposed to be the season when the pribbling, flap-mouthed fustilarians* from N17 would overcome the Forces of Light and begin a reign of darkness and terror.

Just like last year.

And the year before. And before that. And so on.

In fact the very first St Totteringham’s Day was celebrated exactly a century ago in the 1910/11 season.  It was the Lily Livereds’ second season in the top flight and they were quick to establish what would become a long pattern of inferiority, finishing in 15th position (five places below a decidedly average Woolwich Arsenal).

In the century that has passed since, we have celebrated this happy occasion no fewer than 47 times. The figure would be much higher but for the fact that our faltering neighbours have had a habit of dropping out of the top flight from time to time. Well, that and the interventions of The Kaiser and Mr Hitler: in both World Wars regular league football was suspended.

Of course there have been some years when, despite the possibility of there being a St Totteringham’s Day, it never happened.

In those years the sun seldom shone, people talked of a foul miasma in the air, dogs whelped in the streets, livestock were struck barren and crops were visited by pestilential blight.

Thankfully we have not had to suffer such ill times for 16 full and happy years. Indeed many of the current Arsenal squad are too young to have any memory of those dark days.

Nevertheless, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the origins of this important festival.

St Totteringham himself was a strange figure, dating from the Middle Ages.

I have borrowed the following short biography from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

Totteringham was born in a swampy, unhealthy hamlet some six miles north of Charing Cross in the year 1401AD. He always believed it was auspicious to have entered this world in a year that ended with a 1.  A bent and weasly man of ill favoured visage, he nevertheless gained a small group of followers by foretelling a glorious future that would soon be visited upon him and those who believed in him. “Next year,” he would chant as he walked in robes of all white, “Next year. Yea, our time will come. One day! One day! One day!” His piety was such that people, even in his lifetime, came to refer to him as “Saint” Totteringham.

However, after more than three decades of such prophesy his followers did cease to believe him and, in their great disappointment, exacted a terrible revenge. He was beaten severely then strapped to the foremost part of a bombard [a medieval cannon], which was then fired. Most of his human remains were never found, having been shot straight out of his robe. The robe itself was bloodily stained in the body (where the cannonball had impacted) but the white sleeves remained miraculously unmarked. His erstwhile followers adopted this red-body-white-sleeves as their preferred form of apparel thenceforth as a refutation of all that “Saint” Totteringham had stood for. A clerical inquiry subsequently disclosed that Totteringham, far from being a pious man, had in fact been a swindler, a fraud and a tax evader. He also had a twitch. Consequently, despite having been ‘cannoned’ he was never cannonised, though the saintly prefix remains to this day as an ironic title and a reminder to others not to follow false prophets.

So there you have it.

We Gunners may all have our differences, we may disagree about what’s best for our wonderful club. But we can all join together to wish each other a Very Happy St Totteringham’s Day.

*  pribbling: ignorant and weak

fustilarian: a low fellow, a stinkard, a scoundrel

Definitions from the Dictionary of Elizabethan Insults

RockyLives

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167 Responses to Hundredth Anniversary of St Totteringham’s Day (And Its Origins)

  1. Morning all, good one Rocky, yet I fear the N17 swampies will be throwing their toys out of the pram at this one.

    “Oooh, you’re celebrating the failure of someone else” they’ll say – but that is a major part of supporting a team. They won’t get it though – they are still pining for Santini or Gross(“Here is my ticket”) to come back.

    Now THEY were the Tottnumb glory, glory days.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Rl. Brilliant

  3. king gooner says:

    hilarious!when all hope is gone & the doom n gloomers abound there is always that little ray of sunshine in the darkness which is st totteringhams day!long may it be celebrated by the gooner empire!

  4. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, you are a genius!! 🙂

  5. Gooner in Exile says:

    😀 cheered me up Rocky

    Chary if they do I would have to ask what they have been celebrating most of their adult life. 61 Never Again

  6. Evonne 2 says:

    Oh Rocky, Rocky, Rocky, this is just a classic!!

    The robe itself was bloodily stained in the body (where the cannonball had impacted) but the white sleeves remained miraculously unmarked!!

    However, there was football during Mr Hitler’s era. Our beloved Highbury was used to shelter civilians during the air raids and we played our games…..at….Shite Heart Lane, brrrrr…..

  7. bops says:

    Nice 🙂

  8. True GiE – but I fear not only Spuds will say that but some of our own support, the “Doomer” sect amongst us.
    Both of those types of people need to get a sense of humour – it’s a hilarious piece from Rocky.

  9. Rupe says:

    Nice work Rocky, enjoyed that very much!

    I’d just like to add a mention of Julian Shulman who “rediscovered” the festival in the 90s.

    Mike Pitt maintains this page which took over Arseweb’s original coverage…

    http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~mikepitt/totteringham.html

  10. Rasp says:

    Outstanding Rocky, too many brilliant lines to list – unfortunately the tiny totts fans are unlikely to understand many of the gems you’ve dished up once again.

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    Bloody Nora Rocky, that is so much more than brilliant. Permission to copy and paste onto my body?

  12. Rupe – e mailed that link to a few spuds I know, I’m sure they’ll take it graciously.

  13. mickydidit89 says:

    Chary,
    You do move in mysterious ways your wonders to perform. Spud Mates?

  14. I think I should rephrase that MDi89: “Spud colleagues”; I suppose it’s my friendly nature that makes me think of friends when I mean colleagues or acquaintances at best. 🙂

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Great stuff RL! Just makes me wonder what our St Totteringham’s overall percentage is, once you take away the years in which we could not compete against them (wars / in lower division)?

  16. Morning all

    What a fantastic way to cheer us up Rocky, brilliant, brilliant post 🙂

    To avoid a blood bath I’ve not tagged it with anything related to the spuds and it hasn’t come up on their NN page so we can probably all bathe in the glory of another great St Totts Day without fear of interruption 🙂

  17. jollymike says:

    FUN! That is all I can say about this. FUN!

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh go on Peaches. Tag it. You know it makes sense 🙂 The poor dears have City away tonight, followed by Pool away on sunday, so right now is the closest they are going to get to us for many years.

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    Back to the accounts. Must try and get all me decimal places in the right place today. Yesterday my business was doing very well indeed!

  20. Geoff Strong says:

    Hi all,

    Just returned from a wi-fi free zone. Thanks for all your kind comments following my recent post.

    Great post Rocky, been hard to smile since Sunday, but you managed to change that 🙂

  21. goonermichael says:

    Great post made me laugh. Point of interest (or not) Bruce Forsythe supports us and the spuds as he used to go every week to the swamp during the war and couldn’t make his mind up.

  22. goonermichael says:

    I’ve got Leonard Cohen on. Sums up my mood perfectly.

  23. 26may1989 says:

    Will read Rocky’s post (which I can already tell will be great) but just wanted to comment on something the inestimable Red Arse said at the tail-end of the previous post:

    RA argued that winning the most games doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. And he’s right (what?), at least in theory. I just wondered whether reality bears that out, whether in a world of three points for a win, the champions have ever not won the most games.

    And in the PL years, the champions have always had the highest number of wins (though in 1998 and 1999, Arsenal and United had the same number of wins). In contrast, in four seasons the champions have lost more games than at least one other team.

    So winning wins titles, more than avoiding defeat.

    And in terms of scoring goals versus defending, scoring has generally had more of an impact than defending on the champions’ goal difference (which is almost always the best, unsurprisingly).

    So RA, I only agree with you in theory – avoiding defeat and conceding goals is important but with three points for a win, in reality it’s not as important as being the best attacking force around!

  24. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent post Rocky, brightens a gloomy time!

  25. 26may1989 says:

    And given that we’re celebrating St Totteringham’s Day, some stats comparing North London’s finest with Spurs:

    How have Spurs done by comparison with Arsenal since Spurs last won the title?

    Spurs v Arse average league position since Spurs last won the league, i.e. since (and including) 1961: 8.78 v 5.86

    Number of times Spurs have finished ahead of Arse since 1961: 17 (out of 50)

    What about since the Premier League started?

    Spurs v Arse average league position in the Premier League era, i.e. since (and including) 1993: 9.44 v 3.61

    Number of times Spurs have finished ahead of Arse since 1993: 2 (out of 18)

    And since Wenger became Arsenal manager?

    Spurs v Arse average league position since Wenger became Arse manager, i.e. since (and including) 1997: 10.07 v 2.86

    Number of times Spurs have finished ahead of Arse since 1997: 0

  26. For me, shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to these lowly Spuds. This sets the bar pretty low.
    But first we’ve got to look at our achievements now and not in the past.
    http://delhigunner.wordpress.com/

  27. chas says:

    Really funny Rocky. 🙂

    When the spuds were in the second division, surely Totteringhams day is on the first day of the season? 🙂

  28. goonermichael says:

    If you draw 2 games 2 points
    If you win and lose 1 game 3 points
    Obvious but just sayimg 🙂

  29. goonermichael says:

    if you draw 2 games with main rival even
    if you win and lose 1 with main rival even

    beating the lower teams is really important

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    WOW (I just spelled that backwards) 26May, that makes it look even better. I sort of knew it, but it looks good to see it like that in print!!

  31. 26may1989 says:

    TA, I just got sick of some Spurs supporting loudmouth in my office banging on about how crap Wenger is, and how we are huge failures, I had to hit him with a dose of facts! They couldn’t even dream of the “failure” that we’ve had over the last 50 years.

  32. chas says:

    26, did you see MOTD2 with Harry Nutsack. They were saying what a great season it’s been for the spuds. I suppose it’s all about expectations.

    I’m not sure I want to see them miss out on Europe completely. Playing in the Europa league is a burden that’s for sure. Mind you if Liverpool miss out, they’ll also benefit from less games. Oh well.

  33. Carlito11 says:

    LOVE IT! Such a great post from start to finish- brilliant fun. Cheers RL!

  34. Red Arse says:

    Hi (19+9-2), 🙂

    I am beginning to see you in a new light, you clearly have hidden accounting tendencies! 🙂

    My comment to Evonne this a.m., was just a tease, because I butted into a chat between her and Micky, where I showed that, however unlikely, it was possible to win the EPL without winning the most games, or scoring the most goals. 🙂

    A) Played 20; Won 11; Drawn 0; Lost 9; F 33; A 9; Pts 33.

    B) Played 20; Won 9; Drawn 11; Lost 0; F 20; A 11; Pts 38.

    Where ‘A’ won every game 3:0, and lost every game 1:0.

    Where ‘B’ won every game 1:0, and drew every game 1:1.

    So, it is possible that ‘B’ with the fewest wins, the least goals scored and the worst goals against, could win the league.

    If you don’t like dem figures, let me know and for a fee I can make them sing a different tune! 🙂

  35. Chas, how would we feel if the ‘dippers sneaked into the 4th spot, with Shitty 5th and the Spuds 6th ? that would be hilarious also, as all the highly paid mercenaries would miss out on the Champions league for another year?
    1 draw and 2 losses for Arab Shitty and 2 wins for the ‘dippers makes this possible.

  36. RockyLives says:

    Hello All and thanks for nice comments.

    Rupe
    Well said – if he is the man who first uncovered the hidden history of St T he deserves a mighty pat on the back.

    micky 🙂

    Chas
    You’re right that I didn’t include seasons in which they were not in the same division as us. It just seemed to make it TOO one-sided.

    26may
    Great stats. Any way you look at it we are so far ahead of them over the history of the two clubs that it always baffles me that the Spuddoes want to pick an argument at all. You’d think they would just stay quiet and hope to not be noticed so that people don’t look at them, point and go “hahahahahahahahahahah…”

  37. chas says:

    chary, haha, that would be funny. Can’t see the spuds getting much from tonight, though.

  38. chas says:

    Rocky, as a matter of interest, how many years have they been in the second division in the last 100?

  39. chas says:

    Or perhaps since 1919?

  40. RockyLives says:

    Hi chas
    I did write it all down but I’m out of town at the moment. That link that Rupe posted earlier looks really good – it should yield all the answers if you have a few minutes to spare.

  41. chas says:

    Fair enough, Rocky. I was just being lazy.

  42. dandan says:

    Magnificent post Rocky thanks a million. that’s more like it guys, light years away from the breast beating and self flagellation of the last couple of days.

    Lets keep it that way and look forward with confidence. the future is bright, the futures Arsenal you know it makes sense

  43. 26may1989 says:

    @RA 12.56pm: I keep wanting to catch you out with your arithmetic reworkings of my username (19+9-2 etc), but darn it, you keep getting it right.

    I had guessed your tongue was (as usual) in cheek when you tried to say to Evonne that winning isn’t all that. But your point (as is often the case) made me wonder what the truth is. Hence my Rainman-style check of the PL data. I should have peppered my response with loads of smily faces etc but I’ve forgotten how to do that (you did tell me once, but that information was discarded along with most other useful information).

    As for accountant tendencies, should I be flattered??! Truth is, my dad is a statistician and I quite like numbers, so am happy to jump into that world. Don’t interpret that as an invitation to get into econometrics or the like……

    Make or break for Spurs tonight – lose to City and it’s probably goodbye to any Euro footy at all next season. Quite how Harry Nutsack (love that moniker) can say it’s been a good season in those circs is beyond me. And as Chary says, Liverpool some how getting into fourth and keeping Shitty out of the CL would be magnificent.

  44. As we’re laughing at the spuds here’s a whinge from an actual spud moaning about the twitcher:

    “We’re not turning against Harry. I would say the smart ones have already turned. Here are just some of the reasons.

    1 – One win in 3 months is relegation form. if this had happened at the start of the season, we’d be sacking him. Jol and Ramos went for doing just that.

    2 – His transfer record has been shocking. he admits to have had little involvement in the signings of both Sandro and van der Vaart, who have been our best signings. his one success this season was Gallas – a short term signing from a short term manager.

    3 – He wanted Joe Cole when we didn’t need him.

    4 – He wanted Phil Neville at all.

    5 – He bought Pienaar for £3m when we didn’t need him because we already had Kranjcar AND he would’ve been on a free in six months anyway.

    6 – He says whatever he needs to say to deflect blame. How can poor Tottenham compete? give me a break. we have a huge squad and it’s still 11 vs 11. It’s about desire and his desire is not Tottenham. He wants the England job and he’s nailed on to get it if the FA really do want an English manager next.

    And there are many many more.

    I’m incredibly grateful for the CL run he gave us. i know he took us from “2 points in 8 games” to CL football in under two seasons, but we’re regressed this year. 6th is not good enough. No European football is not good enough. The recent performances have not been good enough. Not replacing Berbatov when we’ve had two seasons to do so is not good enough. Crouch and Defoe are not good enough.”

  45. chas says:

    Fackin triffic, chary. 🙂

    Surely, him bankrupting them can’t be too far around the corner.

  46. I like to spread the joy amongst fellow gooners Chas. 🙂

  47. Red Arse says:

    26,

    I am always impressed with the dexterity of your thought processes, and tho’ it was somewhat tangential, I was paying you a compliment! 🙂

    The statistical data you presented was really fascinating. It confirmed a gut feeling we probably all had, but it is reassuring to see the actual figures supporting the feeling.

    Re the smileys, if you type : – ) keeping a space at the front and the end, but join the characters together, you get 🙂 , but if you type them without a space:-) you don’t! 🙂

  48. 26may1989 says:

    Love that quote Chary.

    But to be honest, Spurs’ form over the last two months has been only marginally worse than ours, and looking at last season, there’s a pretty fair argument that we’ve also regressed.

    But it’s still funny.

  49. Red Arse says:

    CharyB,

    I guess disappointment and the resultant angst is not confined to Arsenal.

    The Spudoes really thought this was going to be their breakthru’ year, especially as we let them off the hook in both home and away games, again. Their ‘Cup Finals’ against us belied the real truth that they are still lacking a certain ‘je ne sait quoi’! 🙂

    I hope they lose big tonight, tho’ I have no time for Citeh either. But, you are right, I would love the ‘Pool to beat both of them to the CL 4th place, altho’ I hate them too! 🙂 Damn all of them!

  50. It’s true 45-11+12-20, we’ve hardly progressed but what get’s me is that the media are largely giving nutsack/twitchy a slap on the back and saying Wenger has lost the plot.

  51. It’s a slightly perplexing dilemma there RedA as to who we want for the 4th place space.

    Ideally if Shitty or the Spuds do get 4th imagine the hilarity that would ensue if they had a Young boys foul up from the first leg this season in BOTH legs of the 2011-12 qualifiers?

  52. Red Arse says:

    You know, sometimes poetry can help all of us to come to terms with misery and exaltation.

    The following couplet is about the Thames, but it could also describe the way many of us love Arsenal, and can take our inspiration from following such a great club, even when we are going thru’ a transient setback, such as last week-end. What do you think?

    – ‘O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
    My great example, as it is my theme!
    Though deep, yet clear, though gentle, yet not dull,
    Strong without rage, without o’erflowing full.

    Yesterday TotalA’s giant trees — today poetry from John Denham — what a dreadful site! 🙂

  53. 26may1989 says:

    @RA: “the dexterity of [my] thought processes”? Blimey! I’m honoured…. 🙂

  54. Red Arse says:

    CharyB, true! 🙂

  55. Red Arse says:

    26,

    Such modesty! 🙂 There are, without question, a number of delightfully intelligent, witty and interesting people on this site, and you are undoubtedly one of them. 🙂

    I can say that without any accusation of being patronizing, because I freely admit I am not among that group, but I take pleasure, nontheless, in being able to converse, on diverse topics, with you all.

  56. goonermichael says:

    I wonder if twitchy has got his hand in the jack and jill.

  57. Red Arse says:

    Where’s Dandan when I need a fellow poetry lover to discuss my couplet? 🙂

  58. Red Arse says:

    GM, 🙂 you are very naughty!

    I think Levy deals with all cash matters himself.

    ‘Arry said this morning that he did not know within £10,000 how much individual Sp*ds players were paid.

    I bet Professor Wenger does. (Arsenal players’ salaries that is) 🙂

  59. 26may1989 says:

    With all this talk of the Twitcher’s (allegedly) dodgy conduct, it can’t be long before AA is hit with that most fashionable of legal instruments, a super injunction.

    I know an ex-director of Spurs (I know, the company I keep etc), and when I was slagging Harry off a while ago, he confirmed what RA says, Levy does all the money stuff.

    And RA re your self-effacing 3.30pm, ssshh, utter nonsense! 🙂

    These smileys are fun…..

  60. Hey guys what do u think:
    How many current Arsenal players would get into the Invincibles squad. Vote here:

    http://delhigunner.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/current-squad-has-potentialinvincibles-had-pedigree/

  61. 26may1989 says:

    @Chary 3.10pm: It’s a crazy, crazy world – and then there’s the Chavs about to sack Ancelotti for almost but not quite retaining the title in his second season. Bananas.

  62. Geoff Strong says:

    I want to relax for the rest of the season, so please let it be a draw tonight, or (can’t believe I’m saying this) a spuds win.

  63. London says:

    Arry purposely puts just that little bit more distance between himself and the board than Wenger does.

  64. HCAA says:

    Nice one Rocky. It is a comforting tonic to know that even in dark times, we are still better and classier than twitching ‘Gooner’ ‘Arry and his shower at WHL.

  65. 26may1989 says:

    Dark times, you should’ve been around in the early 80s HCAA! Or even 93 to 96. Where we are now is what we aspired to in those days.

    But you’re right, it is amusing to have a peak down the Seven Sisters Road to see what that lot’s lot looks like.

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice couplet RA. It still does not make me much more tranquil though, after this weekend’s disaster, but very much appreciated.

  67. HCAA says:

    I was 26. Started watching Arsenal in 1970. Many many things about Arsenal have completely baffled me over that time. Anyone remember Vladimir Petrovic?

  68. dandan says:

    RA

    Perhaps your river would have supported the good ship Arsenal, that tries the loyalty of so many fans, something like this perhaps

    A ship there is and she sails the seas.
    She’s laden deep, as deep can be;
    But not so deep as the love I’m in
    And I know not if I sink or swim.

  69. Evonne 2 says:

    Chas – I like your new avatar!!

    26may – how come you are not sulking this time? I’m glad you are not, just curious. Red Arse would go a long way to disagree with me, just for fun 🙂

  70. Rasp says:

    A message from a poorly peaches (can’t go into details but she’s been in agony 😦 ) …. we need a post for tomorrow and others to fill out the week.

  71. Evonne 2 says:

    Peaches! All the very best, I hope you feel better very soon xxxx

  72. 26may1989 says:

    I do indeed remember Vladimir Petrovic – being a fairly unsophistocated footy follower at the time (and not much better now) I liked him. But he didn’t exactly make much of an impression and didn’t stick around too long, so I think my view was probably off base. He’s now manager of Serbia isn’t he?

  73. 26may1989 says:

    Evonne, the pressure’s off, our guys had the chance to succeed and they failed – that’s a major pain in the arse but it’s all done now, I feel liberated, so no need for sulking! And am psyching myself up for the cricket season – now where’s Irish when you want a good chat about cricket??

  74. dandan says:

    26….. Funnily enough I was thinking about young Bairstow on the weekend and how he would have loved to have his Dad (poor man) watching him now, he cant be far off an England spot.

  75. 26, no need to wait around for Irish, did you not know I was a club cricketer of many years standing ?

    All the best Peachy 😉

    Best wishes for your recovery.

  76. HCAA says:

    Not sure 26. Think Don Howe bought him in during his two-year spell. Think Petrovic was only with us for a season, but a very classy player. He was a lot better for us than Charlie Nicholas that’s for sure.

  77. 26may1989 says:

    Dandan, Yorkshire’s my county, so I was delighted about Bairstow, he looks a real talent. Pretty mediocre start to the season for Yorks though.

    And Chary, I had registered your interest in cricket, but I didn’t realise you’re a player! Would I be right in guessing you’re a batsman?

  78. kelsey says:

    Hello everyone,

    telephonica decided on friday night to set fire to their main control centre and knocked out three quarters of the phones and internet and cash points in the whole of malaga provence and maybe it’s a good thing that i missed the aftermath of Sunday.We have just been switched back on.

    I am a spud tonight so that we can regroup and get third or even second.

    Sorry to hear peaches has got morning sickness 😉 I hope it passes soon.

    dandan, thanks i got it sorted.

    The Spanish press are full of Fabregas once again, turning the heat on so to speak.

  79. dandan says:

    26 I was an Essex/ Herts boy enjoyed my club cricket till work got in the way.

  80. I WAS a player 26; actually I preferred bowling although as you’ve guessed not tall enough to be aquickie.

    I was a 2nd change medium pacer who batted at 8 and an enthusiastic fielder at square leg.

  81. HCAA says:

    Nice one Chas, cheers.

  82. chas says:

    Hope you’re feeling better very soon, Peaches.

  83. goonermichael says:

    HCAA I had you down as being quite young til you said you were 26 in 1970. Then I realised how stupid I am. 🙂

  84. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    Having a squint at an old textbook, I think your excellent poem is from an old Scottish love song. (c. 17th C)

    Trouble is my writing is such a scrawl and I seem to have more than one version.

    “Love is handsome, love is kind
    Love is feeling, love is blind;”

    or;

    “Love is handsome and love is kind,
    Bright as a jewel when first it’s new
    but love grows old and the glance is cold
    And fades away like the morning dew”.

    Whatever. I think your verse is apt for Arsenal, but not the above! 🙂

    Anyway, it is a lovely poem, thank you.
    When I was a kid, I seem to remember being put off because I could not understand the Scottish dialect or spelling, and this is why I probably can’t understand my scribbles at this remove. 🙂

    Too impatient as a kid!

  85. Red Arse says:

    Peacher, sorry to hear you are under the weather.

    I take it your eye problem deteriorated. (I am extremely squeamish, so don’t be tempted to go into detail!) 🙂

  86. Red Arse says:

    Chas,

    What has happened to Nigella, and who is the poser in the sunglasses? Not you by any chance? 🙂

  87. dandan says:

    It is available being sung bt a number of people on Utube. RA But this version by Hayley Westena is superb

  88. HCAA says:

    GM,

    The “26” was a response to 26may1989. Had I been 26 in 1970 I’d have been watching Arsenal since about 1950!

  89. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA and HCAA, 🙂

    Glad you liked the couplet, TA, I am an accountant, but perhaps oddly, I have always loved English Language and Literature, but I did not read it at Oxford! 🙂

    HCAA, I told you this was a knowledgeable and batty site. You lot are knowledgeable and I am batty! 🙂

    26, Dandan, CharyB, you won’t believe this, i know, but I am now officially a cricket buff.
    My team is Middlesex — Go Panthers — and we are top of Division 2!! How about that? 🙂

  90. chas says:

    RA, Nigella was on the verge of taking out a super-injunction against me. 🙂

    Micky would know who the poser in the sunglasses is;unfortunately it’s not me. Perhaps we ought to have a day where we all change our avatars to self-portraits?

  91. Gooner in Exile says:

    I miss playing cricket (well the beer time especially).

    I was a keeper and middle order slogger (no idea about a forward defence or a straight bat). It wasn’t a great standard but always light relief from serious footy.

    Best wishes to Peaches, tell her to rest up and make sure she is fit for Sundays beer festival.

    I’ve got a few post ideas I’ll try and get a couple in for reserve use this week.

  92. HCAA says:

    Hi RA,

    Indeed this site is a fountain of wonderful educational variety. Speedy recovery to you, Peaches.

  93. I’m just waiting for Vermaelan’s response .
    About Nasri, he’s lost his composure in front of the goal in my opinion. He was calm in the first half of d season(look at his goals against Fulham) but now tries to go for power.I also think he’ll become a great. If we had a better centre-forward(not one like van Persie but a poacher who remains in the box waiting for d ball to arrive) Walcott would look much better.
    I think it’s the mentality and not the experience that we lack. We have so many international captains who are quite old so you can’t talk about experience.Also Squillaci is way way poor than our other 3 defenders.What we lack is the winning mentality imo.
    Which team do you think is better-Invincibles or the current one.Vote here:
    http://delhigunner.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/current-squad-has-potentialinvincibles-had-pedigree/

  94. HCAA says:

    Happy Birthday to Dennis Bergkamp!

  95. chas says:

    What I want to know is, where has this player gone?

  96. Red Arse says:

    As usual, it is difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to ‘reports’ about Arsenal players.

    One minute I read that Bendy wants to stay with us, but he is fed up not getting enough playing time, and wants to speak to AW.
    The next he is reported as saying he wants to go to Barca, or that the German clubs are interested in him.

    I am not his biggest fan, although physically and self confidence wise he has all the makings, but played on the wing he is totally wasted.
    Explanation, please Mr Wenger — because that is ridiculous frankly!

    Anyone have any reliable sources as to what is going on?

  97. Hi all

    Thanks for all your kind wishes and as Red Arse is squeamish I shan’t be telling you what’s happened but I have been in agony 😦

    Rasp has already given a gentle nudge, I see, towards someone coming up with something to start the day off tomorrow and for the next few days. Don’t be shy now 😆

  98. Red Arse says:

    HCAA,

    What a good memory you have.

    Anyway, Denis, if you are reading AA — Happy Birthday, and we would like to see you back at arsenal coaching, please! 🙂

  99. kelsey says:

    chas,

    he has this inunction out,but i agree that apart from his heading ability he definitey isn’t an out an striker, in fact he has no power in in his shooting ability.

    offensively we need width with real wingers.bendtner nor arshavin nor walcott are the answer.
    walcott keeps saying he wants to play more centally but if you consider how long he has been at the club and gauge that against his progression,questions have to be answered.
    he typifies so many players,by that i mean they lack consistency.take song last week he was majestic against rooney yet this week he was pretty poor, and so many players fall nto the same category but for different reasons.
    i think deep down wenger is really besides himself that the players have let him down,not the other way round.

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    Get well soon Peaches!

  101. Red Arse says:

    Hi Peacher, 🙂

    TA was saying earlier that he would love to have a crack at joining the AA Authors’ list! 🙂

    OK I am lying, again, but if you ask him, in your lovely nice way, he might do a Post! You never know. 🙂

  102. TotalArsenal says:

    How desperate are the Spuds to catch up with us and overtake us? But, they are just like the mouse in Kafka’s ‘Little Fable’ below:

    A Little Fable by Franz Kafka

    “Alas,” said the mouse, “the whole world is growing smaller every day. At the beginning it was so big that I was afraid, I kept running and running, and I was glad when I saw walls far away to the right and left, but these long walls have narrowed so quickly that I am in the last chamber already, and there in the corner stands the trap that I must run into.”
    “You only need to change your direction,” said the cat, and ate it up.

  103. kelsey says:

    and bert weedon and sid vicious ;)(share birth dates)

    seriously get well soon peaches.maybe you need a week in the sun 😉

  104. HCAA says:

    RA,

    I love my club, which is why I sometimes get carried away in my own bubble of myopic rants. Wouldn’t it be great to have a legend like Bergkamp coaching at our club!

  105. chas says:

    kelsey,

    I was thinking more about the drive, tenacity and sheer determination he appeared to show in the past, but agree he’s probably not a natural goalscorer.

  106. chas says:

    TA, I thought your little tale was about Monsieur Wenger. 🙂

  107. Red Arse says:

    HCAA,

    Could not agree more about Denis. I have high hopes that when he has his coaching badges, he will eventually rejoin us.

    Hope so anyway.

    Anyway, we all get carried away with frustration and worry and have the occasional rant, especially when we cannot understand why our team performs so badly on occasion, or when AW makes strange decisions like playing Bendy on the wing.

    Trouble is we do not know what really goes on behind the scenes.

  108. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    That’s typical Kafka, plays like buggery for Real Madrid, and then comes out with a mousey D’Artagnan story! 🙂

  109. HCAA says:

    Doesn’t help RA that we don’t have a single natural winger at the club.

  110. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey, 🙂

    How’s you? Missed you yesterday!

    You make a very good point about needing ‘real’ wingers. I have been saying much the same for a while now.

    You are right about the players letting Wenger down, and also letting us down. But as GIE, I think, said earlier, AW has brought this upon himself to a degree by continually backing the players and taking responsibility upon his own shoulders.
    I know he means well, but just now and again he needs to kick arses!

  111. Red Arse says:

    HCAA,

    There are rumours (I know, more bloody rumours) that we are looking for an out and out winger, in the Summer.

    The kid Myaichi looks the biz when seen playing for Feyenord on You Tube, but next season may be a bit too early for him.

    It’s going to be an interesting transfer window coming up!

  112. kelsey says:

    Hi Red Arse,

    as I explained earlier i have been off air for the best part of 4 days and haven’t read all the comments.

    What I don’t like reading around blosworld that so many supporters have kissed goodbye for the season with a “see you next season”.I am still avidly looking forward to our remaining games.

  113. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    Thanks for the link, i will have a listen later! 🙂

    GIE, I am in awe of you, blogging away into the early hours (yesterday) and then again early this morning too. pack it in, you are making me feel even more feeble than usual! 🙂

    Got to go guys, so see you tomorrow.

  114. HCAA says:

    Would we get a work-permit for Myaichi, RA? I’m not sure Mr Wenger will make the radical changes we all hope for.

  115. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey,

    The reaction is caused by disappointment.

    But like you, I live in hope and want to see us stuff Villa, perhaps with a team that has been shaken up a bit!

    See you tomorrow my friend! 🙂

  116. Red Arse says:

    HCAA,

    You are luring me back but I have to go for some more medical crap.

    Myaichi might get a permit if he is called up for Japan this Summer, otherwise he probably won’t.

    If not, or as well as, we should get a shit hot fast winger, which i think is essential, because Theo is not going to do it.

    Definitely gone now, we can talk more tomorrow! 🙂

  117. HCAA says:

    Cheers RA, take it easy.

  118. Big Raddy says:

    Evening All.

    Sorry to hear about your complaints Peaches, at least it is only physical distress!

    Re: Wingers. We absolutely need a left sided speedster, Ashley Young must surely be on the radar. However, there is a lot of money sloshing around the top clubs and very few top quality players available, as such Young will be a hot property.

    For example, L’pool have to buy a decent winger to supply Carroll. – Joe Cole was a very poor signing (we dodged a bullet there!) and he will surely be moved on.

    MU need a creative MF and a GK. Chavs need to replace Lampard, Drogba, etc etc And that is before we talk about the big European clubs.

    AC will be looking to add to their ageing squad after their CL embarasment, Bayern have just managed to get into the CL and need players. Real will buy as Kaka, Benzema, Adebayor, Higuian have under-performed. Inter are deep in the poo and need a squad overhaul.

    All this results in it being a dream scenario summer for players agents. Expect to see some big money transfers for average players and silly money for good ones.

    If I could choose a dream player for us to sign – Ribery ticks all the boxes.

  119. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Chas

    I think Kafka will have us all sooner or later in the role of the mouse, so you are right to a certain extent it refers to Wenger as well..

  120. chas says:

    TA, let’s hope there is a degree of metamorphosis at Arsenal over the summer period. 🙂

  121. goonermichael says:

    Peaches get well soon xx

  122. kelsey – shall I look at flights, I can be there tomorrow 🙂 please invite me ……….. I’ll wear a paper bag on my head if you like 😆

  123. chas says:

    I’ve just seen Henri Lansbury at the front of Norwich City’s celebration bus.

    His goal against the spuds was one of my highlights of the season so far.

  124. Raddy – its funny what you say about Joe Cole – this morning I checked out NN scummers to see if the post came up on there and there were couple of articles about Joe Cole – seems the scummers aren’t impressed with ‘arry’s ambition

  125. I want Henri Lansbury to play for us next season – go on chas, sort it out 🙂

  126. chas says:

    A few new quality photos on Stuart MacFarlane’s link. Bear with the non-Arsenal ones, it soon returns to Arse ones. 🙂

  127. When you see the players ‘cas’ you have to love them don’t you – just cos they wear the shirt 🙂

  128. TotalArsenal says:

    great photos chas, so many of them tell a story just on their own.

    Peaches, Rasp I am more than happy to write something for this week, even tomorrow if you need something?

  129. TotalArsenal says:

    Good one chas – we could do we a mini metamorphosis this summer..

  130. Mr Total Arsenal welcome to my web – if you have an idea for something tomorrow that would be fantastic.

    Can you email it to arsenalnuts@live.co.uk either this evening or by 8am tomorrow?

  131. TotalArsenal says:

    Ok Peaches, will get working on it.

  132. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA my early mornning/late night blogging is nothing more than the top and tail of my burning both ends of a candle day. (Anymore metaphors welcome).

    Chas you’re right Lansbury’s goal and celebration were a key to what he is all about. Passionate young fella who loves his football. Little Jack seems to have lost some of that enjoyment in recent weeks, maybe he needs to get that back too.

    Peaches hoping to put at least one of my post ideas on an email for you.

    As well as the Joe Cole bullet, did we watch Schwarzer last night? There’s another bullet dodged.

  133. dandan says:

    GIE you remind me of me in my thirties, I suspect Kelsey and maybe BR would say the same, be careful my friend I retired at 57 because the old ticker had been abused just once to often.

    Luckily I was not quite destitute, but I know several who are because they didn’t look after themselves.

    Sorry I expect I sound like your Dad 🙂 But then I have boys your age.

  134. Big Raddy says:

    Crouch scored!! HIs 5th league goal of the season.

  135. dandan says:

    Oh you are wicked BR 🙂

  136. Big Raddy says:

    DD. Hate to disagree but I do!

    Live each day to the full – it is better to burn out than fade away….

  137. dandan says:

    Live long and prosper BR, you have every right to disagree hope your health holds up. I am enjoying living my life for me these days not a multi national corp.
    Fade away I wont but will expire when the time comes hopefully having fun with the mob I call family 🙂

  138. Gooner in Exile says:

    I know DanDan I am reminded by clients that they finish work at 5 and are home with their kids for tea, whereas I’m just leaving a client to sometimes drive 2-3 hours and then put finishing touches to my work once home.

    I am working towards an aim of changing all that over the next 5 years.

  139. dandan says:

    Been there, done that,GIE its easy to say, you can always get another job, your kids don’t want a change of dad. So do be as careful as you can

    And getting wound up over the Arse don’t help mate.

  140. dandan says:

    I am off to bed now, up early tomorrow, Have a good working GIE 🙂

  141. Why do I feel sordid hoping for a spud equaliser ?

  142. Well there you have it, only 2 points in front of Arab City with 2 games to go.

    A fight is on for 3rd spot now. Gulp.

    On the up side the no Champions League for the spuds next year, and probably no Europa either.

    Time, as said earlier,to point at Spuds and go “Hahahahahahahahahahaha”

  143. 26may1989 says:

    The good news: Spurs lost, no CL for them.

    The bad news: City won, CL for them.

  144. Gooner in Exile says:

    If only I wasn’t self employed….my boss is a slave driver!

    No kids yet but when they arrive I will have to change. And I will….maybe.

  145. chas says:

    Chary, me too, laughing at Crouch and then wanting the spuds to equalise all game. Eugh!

  146. RockyLives says:

    Thought Vieira was fantastic when he came on. Citeh were under the cosh, defending way too deep and couldn’t keep possession. It all changed when he came on.

    Now, can I think of any other team that might benefit from having a double-double winning, World Cup winning, multiple FA Cup winning Invincible come on once in a while to shore things up and calm things down? Hmmm, let me see…

  147. RockyLives says:

    Sadly I can’t see us taking a single point from our last two games, so I’m resigned to fourth place and the annoying potential-banana-skin pre-qualifying round again.

  148. It means our team have to give a dam on Sunday and make sure we don’t drop to fourth.
    The good thing is as Shitty won’t be playing in the league this weekend we can go 5 points clear.

    Hmm, methinks I’ll need extra peronis before the match to calm my nerves now there is something riding on the game.

  149. RockyLives says:

    The performance against Stoke gave so little reason to hope.

    But I suppose that the pressure is off now so maybe we will win those final two matches (our lot knew that if they beat Stoke they could potentially go into the final two games only three points behind the leaders, so they naturally choked again).

    Two draws or one win will do it.

  150. Yeah Rocky, I know what you mean.

    And on that happy note I’m off to bed.

    Night all.

  151. RockyLives says:

    Nite Chary

  152. chas says:

    Rocky, I think we need 4 points.

  153. Big Raddy says:

    Vieira was superb as he has been coming off the bench so often this season, but I can understand why AW wouldn’t pay his £5m a year wages..

    Just watched Ronaldo score his 48th goal of the season – what a player. In 2 seasons at Real he scores an average of a goal a game! Wonder what chance we have of signing him in summer?

  154. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. I agree – we need 4 points. MC won without breaking sweat, it was like Ali’s Rope-a-Dope, MC just watched Spurs work the ball knowing they couldn’t hurt them.

  155. 26may1989 says:

    What? That cannot be the real Rocky, not with that degree of pessimism.

    We’ll win this weekend, and that will be that, 3rd place ensured.

    Was Paddy really that good? He’s been a pretty unpopular signing at the Wastelands to date.

  156. Big Raddy says:

    26. PV never got over the halfway line and was always in place to protect his defence. Is it true he is unpopular at Eastlands?

  157. 26may1989 says:

    Raddy, last time I checked in with the handful of City fans I know, he was. That was a couple of months ago, but the view seemed to be that Paddy’s legs were too knackered for him to be of any use. There didn’t seem to be any view, positive or negative, about Paddy’s character, but then these days City fans seem to think they’re all about marquee signings (whatever that means).

    Personally, I was very disappointed that Paddy went to City and took the Sheikh’s cash. But then I’m a bit naive that way.

  158. desigunner says:

    This post gave me as much joy as any Arsenal goal this season. Beautiful work. Thanks.

    And some comments are as good as any assist 🙂

  159. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Desi
    Much appreciated.

  160. Gooner in Exile says:

    Emanu Frimpong was intimating last night that Nutsack was crying in Sky post match interview? Can anyone confirm or deny?

    This fillowing tweet is why I’m so hopeful of our future and why part of me doesn’t want to see new additions.

    Benik Afobe:

    “Thank you for the nice messages I read them all… P.s follow my boy @NicoY24 , Him Chuks and Myself been team mates since 6 years of age!”

    Since they were 6!! Even if they are not the best players on the planet that kind of understanding between players has to stand them in good stead if they continue to stay together as a team.

  161. Gooner in Exile says:

    Just checked Ticket Exchange for Sunday.

    There is a scarily large number of tickets available…..fair weather or disillusioned?

  162. Big Raddy says:

    Plastic fans if that is the case.

    Have to win to gain 3rd and the team need all the support and love they can get

    GIE. You are up very early – I hope you are not on GMT

  163. Gooner in Exile says:

    Unfortunately i am BR. Early bird catches the worm and all that (and a shed load of espresso 😀 )

  164. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    I am proud of you. You will become a wealthy man! 🙂

    I have done the same thing in my time, especially when I was commuting almost daily to Germany or Switzerland.

    The time difference meant I was up at the crack of dawn, then back to London to tie up loose ends, before getting back home at 11 p.m., only to get up again at 5 a.m. to get to the airport.

    Actually, I quite enjoyed the high level buzz, at the time, and, of course, the money. 🙂 Would not do it now tho’. [well, that is to say, I could not do it now] 🙂

  165. Morning all

    There’s a New Post

  166. […] links. There were a couple of intelligent and humorous pieces on ArsenalArsenal in the last week. This one is about St. Totteringham’s day (some comments are brilliant) while this one makes an excellent point in a tongue-in-cheek manner. […]

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