This is my Church, this is where I heal my hurt

Written by Gooner in Exile

Some of you will know the above line as a lyric from a song. If any lyric could reflect my existence on this planet that is it. It has two meanings for me, one is in the middle of a music crowd, the most important is in the middle of the red and white army.

Maybe I am suffering from a dose of ‘rosetintedglassitis’ here, if so, I hope I am not alone.

I remember a time when there wasn’t twenty-four hour rolling news, let alone twenty-four hour rolling sports news, a dedicated sports radio station and print media as obsessed with back page stories as they are front page news, when I arrived at Highbury and picked up my programme it was the first bit of inside information I had seen all week, the team sheet would be the first clue of injuries. As I took my place on the terraces I didn’t know what was in store, I certainly hoped for a good result, but expect it, demand it? How could I? I was just a fan there for ninety minutes of respite from my life ninety minutes when nothing else mattered.

Why is any of this important? Simply put I have never felt an atmosphere around the club like I felt at the end of the last season.

Some will say it is justified to be so vocal in dissatisfaction, and that if we the fans do not air our views the Board, Manager and Players won’t know exactly how we feel. Unfortunately it is this airing of these views that led to scuffles between our own support, something I have never witnessed before between our fans.

My default position is to defend the club, this is usually from attack from outsiders. More often these days it I am defending the club from mutineers within. It probably gets me classified as a certain type of fan, or I am viewed to have no ambition, that I believe the “second is success” line. None of that is true, I just don’t care about trophies as much as I care about the experience of supporting my club. Win, lose or draw I have a great time, obviously its better when we win, but its football you can’t always win there has to be a loser, you pay your money and you get what you’re given. Its never been any different, sometimes it gives you Steve Morrow, sometimes it gives you Gus Caesar.

I fear that some of us may have forgotten why we support this club. Do we follow the club because we demand wins or because we want to win?

This coming season that lyric seems more relevant than ever, not just to me, but for the entirety of our support, it is time for us fans to heal our hurts to reunite as one in support for our club. Forget the manager, forget the players, forget the board, remember why we are all here, to support our club, whether hereditary or because of what it stands for you and I chose this club, we chose The Arsenal, we give it our support unconditionally, don’t we?

Victoria Concordia Crescit – Victory Comes From Harmony

132 Responses to This is my Church, this is where I heal my hurt

  1. The Law says:


    Arsenal is my Church. Has been since that horrible night in 1995. Always will be,


  2. kaleya says:

    true. Nice article

  3. Double98 says:

    Great post. Supporting Arsenal is a lifelong thing and if 6 years without a trophy make people want to ditch the coach and boo the players then they should piss off.

    I’d rather finish 4th or 5th every year than buy the league – hell i’d rather we were relegated, in fact if we ever get a sugar daddy who blows vast millions i will step down my support a huge degree and strat following rugby or something.

    Arsenal has always been a conservative club that has punched above its weight against the glamourous Man Utd and the Fanatical Liverpool. We have always brought in young players (Fabregas, Brady, O’leary, Stapleton, Adams) and integrated them with modestly bought players.

    The real arsenal fan expects to compete but does not demand to win. Right now we are competing against clubs with infinite resources. Yet we still beat Barca, Man U, Chelsea and Man City last year.

    All you can ask for is a gentle hand on the wheel and a light foot on the pedal. Man Utd can get away with racking up huge debt because they have a bigger brand than a football entity. We would be wiped out as a club if we carried half a billion unsecured debt.

  4. harry says:

    Amen , my lord and master…………Cracking GIE……

    “”I fear that some of us may have forgotten why we support this club. Do we follow the club because we demand wins or because we want to win?””

    No chance of that with me, hath no fear, I support through unconditional love of all things arsenal, trophies are a bonus when they come along……..

  5. Sidcup Reds says:

    So Wenger is prepared to give up £20m and let Nasri go for free next year. The club raised their season ticket prices and are making an extra £4m out of 40,000 season ticket holders.
    Think about this, a player who doesn’t even want to be here, we will lose 5 times the amount of money on him against the pain of screwing your best fans 5 times over. You couldn’t make it up!
    Wenger out!

  6. Double98 says:

    Sidcup Reds – If Wenger sells Nasri and fails to qualify for the CL proper then we stand to lose a lot more.
    If he sells nasri and the replacement is less good (but still would command a higher weekly wage) then we might finish outside the top 4 and lose another 25 million so perhaps selling Nasri could cost 2 champions league spots plus associated merchandise sales which could be 50 – 100 million – if thats Wengers rationale then so be it.

    But either way – there has been no official offer and even if, are you happy for players to dictate transfer policy?

  7. Red Arse says:

    Good Morning GIE, D98 and all you lovely AA’ers, 🙂

    You are a big softy GIE, and I agree with everything you wrote!

    Supporting Arsenal is akin to belonging to a footie family, warts and all.

    In my own extensive family there are occasional bust ups over this or that, engendering hurt feelings and sometimes an attack of the sulks.
    But, would I disown any of my biological family because of that? — Of course not!

    A smile, a little apology and all is well with the world.

    Why should my Arsenal family be any different? Disown the titular head of the family (Arsene), crucify a family member for their contradictory views (other fans), rubbish the efforts and aspirations of the extended family members (the players) or ridicule them for trying and failing occasionally? Never! Never!

    You are so right GIE. Support is not conditional on always winning. Support is and should be unconditional — or it is no support at all!

    Those who cannot understand or agree with this philosophy and still call themselves supporters are flying the wrong flag shipmates!!

  8. Wonderman says:

    GIE …great post as usual, I was shocked to witness arsenal fans almost coming to blows at the last home game, unfortunately I believe we are seeing a rise in the ‘consumer base’ rather than the fan base, and when bloggers like sidcup red swallow tabloid cr*p hook line and sinker it does’nt help.

    @Sidcup Red
    a) do you really think Man U or anyone else will pay £20/£25m for smeone they can sign for free in 6 months ?
    b) If we sell Nasri as you advocate who do we replace him with ?
    c) Just for the record Nasri cost about £10m and signed a 4 year contract , which means his value to us at the start of this season is £2.5m. Your assertion that we will ‘lose 5 times that’ is quite simply wrong

  9. A Senator Tall says:

    A Faithless lyric to unite the unconditional and conditional faithful: pure class GIE 😛 You are so right to let the fans focus again on what really matters: supporting our team unequivocally and hope for the best. From the start of the season, we need believe and support in our team. The psychological impact of the level of support the team and individual players get is immense. Paradoxically, our successes depend on it: low levels of believe and support are likely to lead to no successes again, and vice versa.

    We only have to look at the Mancs to see what unequivocal, fanatic home support can do: a mediocre team winning the league by getting 55 out 57 home points 😦

  10. Gooner in Exile says:

    Morning all cheers for the comments so far.

    I’lll admit I’m uneasy about the frame of mind some fans will return in.

    RA I like your family analogy.

    Wonderman I also like your consumer/fan observation who was the most irate? Are the rumoured ST returns from fans or consumers, I hope the latter.

  11. Sidcup Reds says:

    Please don’t overate Nasri, he’s had 4 good months in 3 years.
    His performance and body language in the second half of last season was shameful.

  12. Gooner in Exile says:

    Oh and The Law….I’m glad you started off the comments with that rendition 😀 can hear us all singing it and I’m getting goosebumps.

  13. Wonderman says:

    Hi Sidcup, I am not over rating him, but does’nt that statement contradict your previous statement. If you think he is worth £20m to our rivals with one year left on his contract ,there must be something about him. I trust you did’nt see him take england apart at wembley ? He is not the finished article, but in modern day football there aren’t many dribblers with quick feet at the top level who can create space for others….in my opinion he is one of them

    @GIE …I witnessed a very heated argument between a bloke who I would deem a consumer who was booing the team as they paraded and a couple of fans who felt that if he wasnt happy he should have left, the fans had to be restrained….embarassing that we have come to this….I agree 100% with Senator’s comment

  14. A Senator Tall says:

    Hi SidcupR, sometimes you have to take a stance, not just for Nasri but for all those Arsenal players who might put us in this position in future, and of course especially to the teams who think they can come and get our top players on the cheap. Wenger is taking a gamble here – and for all we know this is just a negotiation tactic – but at least he is standing tall. With Nasri, Arshavin, Gervinho and Wallcott as available wingers we have great cover in those key areas, without Nasri it would not be strong enough.

  15. tommystout says:

    Great post GIE. Negetive gooners are like an epidemic at the moment, just check out twitter. This is why i like visiting these boards, its a big happy family all but for an occasional few who tend to fall in here and spread the seed of doom.
    Yesterday i was just pleased to have my arsenal back, doing what they do, i’m all optimistic again.
    To me we stand for whats right on and off the pitch thats more important to me than sugar daddies buying trophies, or the barca virus that obliterates the back pages, when we do things to achieve what we want as our enemys methods, then i think i would give up on football too.

  16. Ohis daniels says:

    This article is one of d best i’ve read in days. 9ce 1.

  17. Mr islington says:

    This time last year i would have agreed with you and the post,
    For me it wasnt about the not winning thophies or expecting us to win every was the way some of our team lacked any hunger or desire and played like they didnt have any cares in the world that got me.

    The total lack of respect by the players and some of Arsene’s comments really got to me,there was no effort to get out of that rot we were in and some looked happy just to have the season over with and go on there holidays with loads of cash in there pockets.

    For some its all about win win win and for others that i know,we dont really feel part of this big money making machine that is going on at Arsenal,it just dosent feel the same anymore.

  18. Mr islington says:

    I feel more like a consumer now than a fan.

  19. Red Arse says:

    Mr I,

    I do have an understanding of your point of view (11:42)

    There is undoubtedly a dichotomy between the notion of ‘Fan’ and ‘consumer’.

    The contradiction between the love, support and loyalty of the fans, which cannot be bought — but is freely given; and the consumerism practised by all clubs to ensure their survival and (hoped for) success, is often the catalyst for much of the ill feeling that creeps into the complex – club – fans – players relationships.

    These conditions are not mutually exclusive as a club with loyal fans but unable to buy and pay players commensurate with their league status would not exist for long.
    Equally, a club with unlimited resources but a low fan base would simply be a moribund footballing chimera.

    But do not be misled, consumerism has always been a necessary evil, in professional football, ever since the 19th Century, so it is nothing new. It is simply a fact that, following Sky Sports involvement, the monies involved have become excessive leading to vulgar greed from both the clubs and the players while the powerless fans are only able to look on in despair and incomprehension. 😦

  20. Red Arse says:

    Hi Tommy,

    Like you, I watched the game yesterday (well most of it — stupid (Arsenal Player video messed me about), and again I was lost in the match and trying to glean what I could from the play of, especially, the new players.

    Young Jenkinson looked very promising with a good physique, while I loved the step overs and pure speed of Speedy Gonzalez — or Ryo Myaichi, as he is known. I hope both can play for the first team next season! The only slightly worrying note for me was the confirmation – in my mind, at least – that Chamakh is not a ‘true’ centre forward’ as he was cumbersome and lacked anticipation. Still, I reassure myself that this was only the first practice match, of course, and he must be given a chance. 🙂

  21. Sidcup Reds says:

    A Senator Tall:-

    “With Nasri, Arshavin, Gervinho and Wallcott as available wingers we have great cover in those key areas”

    AST, None of the above are wingers. Arshavin & Walcott are unable to beat the defender in front of them let alane cross a ball and Nasri is a central midfield/second striker player rather than a winger

  22. chas says:

    Brilliant post, GIE, loved every word.

    I share your concern re the frame of mind in which some will return. Hopefully it’s the disenchanted booing fraternity that haven’t renewed. I read somewhere (note to self…make notes) that it was only a couple of thousand that didn’t renew. The reason for the 10,000 figure was that, of those that have been offered tickets, only 1 in 4 are purchasing (or something like that).

  23. chas says:

    With Bendtner going, we’re also losing another winger…..

  24. chas says:

    Hat-trick, boom shankar.
    By the way, this is my online church.
    Thanks Peaches and Rasp.

  25. Red Arse says:

    Hi Chas, 🙂

  26. A Senator Tall says:

    Sidcup, they might not all be pure wingers, but they will do for us and fit the Arsenal system very well. Would you have considered Pires and Llunberg as pure wingers? The only pure, pure wingers Arsenal have had in recents were Overmars and Reyes. Just look again at the video Chas just posted and you will see some awesome wingplay from Arshavin. Arshavin, Nasri, and Walcott can all go past defenders, and from what I have seen of Gervinho, he can do the same.

    For me a half-decent football player should be able to play in more than one position. All the players we spoke about can do that.

  27. A Senator Tall says:

    RA 😆 ‘A moribund footballing chimera’: you are cooking with gas again!

    Agree with you on Chamakh. He seemed very uncomfortable yesterday: maybe he was suffering from a belly-ache or just rusty? Hopefully better next game!

  28. gunnern5 says:


    A slight (one letter) change to your post seems appropriate.

    You said……

    With Bendtner going, we’re also losing another winger…..

    I say…….

    With Bendtner going, we’re also losing another whinger…………

  29. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA,

    I have been trying for quite some time to curb my undoubtedly ‘wordy’ phrases and expressions, but occasionally I slip up! 🙂

    Hopefully, you will take this in the spirit intended, as usual, your comments are exquisitely erudite, but I think you meant ‘belief’ (the noun) rather than ‘believe’ (the verb), if you read them back.

    Your English is so good you will be helping me out next, so I will simply claim ‘American’ rather than ‘UK’ English usage! 🙂

  30. dandan says:

    Superb stuff GIE thank you, Wonderman “Consumers” that for me says it all.
    One knows a true fan when you read on here, “That I would love to manage Saturday’s game but I have to talk to my wife, if we can afford the Time/Expense away from the family/budget”, I will be there.
    Supporting a club is close to supporting a family, “you might not always like them but you cant help loving them”. Wenger undoubtedly has to live with that daily, the least we fans can do is show him we care as much as he does, winning is absolutely magic, belonging is better

    Me I have been in the midst of an affair for 60 years long may it continue

  31. EIE says:


  32. gunnern5 says:

    GIE; Nice post.

    Arsenal is not my church it’s my sanctuary, my refuge from all else.
    It’s also not where I heal my hurts – it’s where I get hurt the most.

    After 65 years of supporting Arsenal and watching the best part of 2,500 games I think I’ve seen all of the good the bad and the plain horrible.

    My support has never diminished and never will – even at 74 years old I still get goose bumps when a game is about to start.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the past 15/16 years have been the best I’ve experienced. Of course, previously, there were many short periods and individual years that were also memorable but I’ve never known such consistent quality and flair as that created by AW.

    Trophies always put the icing on the cake but to me they are great to win but not an essential part of my support for the Arsenal.

    We have top quality in our organization, management, facilities, players and overall standing in English football.

    I hope AW is able to finish his career at Arsenal on a high but i fear that in many peoples minds that will not be the case if he does not win a few more trophies.

  33. A Senator Tall says:

    Spot on RA! I believe you are right to correct me without me now having less belief in my English usage. I am not (too) precious about it 🙂 I know I am not perfect, but like you, love what can be done with language (in whatever language): especially when it cuts with surgical precission to the root of the issue. What makes AA so special, imo, is the combination of people who really love Arsenal/football and have a great ability to express themselves. As far as I know, there is not another blog like it 😉

  34. A Senator Tall says:

    DanDan and gunner5, You two have an average of 62.5 years of Arsenal support and I for one, with a mere 16 years of support, take my hat off for that. The thing I share with you both though, is the focus on the joy the football of Arsenal brings to us in the first place, and cups second. When ‘my’ Dennis Bergkamp got signed up by Arsenal I started taking an interest in the Gooners, but it did not take very long before I got hooked to the style of football, the team and the club. The combination of winning things through the beautiful game, in a financially responsible way against all the (recent financial) odds, makes this club very special and second to none.

  35. Red Arse says:


    Well said my man! 🙂

    I cannot tell you how much I envy your near perfect command of your second language.

    My frustration with French and German is not so much with the writing and reading of them, (school kid level) it is the accent standing between me and the native speakers who look at me with incredulity when I try to speak.
    Oddly enough, my grammar is possibly better than the colloquial dialects some of them use, which makes it quite funny really! 🙂

  36. Red Arse says:

    Hi Dandan, 🙂

    I’m really pleased you agree with the sentiments expressed in my 10:10. 🙂

  37. Wonderman says:

    Dan Dan ‘consumers’ was the only word I could think of that accurately describes them as I see it. It is a bit like music, there are those that hear music and those that feel it.
    Those that feel it (like the fan/supporter), feel exactly the same everytime one of their favourite tunes is heard whether through a perfect sound system or a crackly radio . Those that hear their tune ( like the consumer) are more likely to complain about the volume or the acoustics rather than savour the sound of their tune once more.
    I remember the first time I watched arsenal at Highbury many many years ago and the feeling I got when my eyes first saw the pitch, coupled with the expectation. Similarly with The Emirates, there are thousands around the world who would love to see Arsenal play live as the recent tour has proven. For me if you love football, you cant fail to love arsenal

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Pitch-perfect comment Wonderman!

  39. Gooner in Exile says:

    Wonderman…you really should right more posts with analogies like that. I couldn’t agree more.

    GN5, Thanks for the comments, I agree re the last 15/16 years, doesnt stop the hurt of the defeats, but football is a cruel mistress, one can’t stop loving her.

  40. dandan says:

    Hi Red Glad to see you back Matey , Did the States deport you. 🙂 Sorry I missed your 10:10 yes I do agree, but as usual I used less words 🙂 🙂 🙂 Will put tin hat on and hide under desk now LOL

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, your accent would mellow quite quickly once you would live in say Germany or France for a few months. By the sounds of it, you enjoyed a proper education, and anybody who undergoes 3 to 4 hours of lessons in say French or German during their secondary school time – and is in possession of a ‘feel’ (look also at Wonderman’s comment) for language – will not only get a good technical understanding of those languages, but would also be able to more or less fully communicate and integrate in the local language and country.

    I have a quite a few friends who like me were lucky enough to have had proper foreign language education, but do not have the ‘feel’ for language. This is then not only reflected in for example their English usage but also in the usage of their ‘mother tongue’ language.

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    @2:34 I meant 3 to 4 hours of lessons per week

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    DanDan, you are almost a true champion of brevity (almost because a true champion would have called himself just Dan, or DD..) 😆

  44. dandan says:

    Patrick Viera has announced his retirement,Good luck Pat thanks for the memories, the pride and the commitment.
    what would we give to have the young Viera coming through now, perhaps we have, maybe a fit Frimpong will prove the leader Pat was?

    Lets hope we can find a coaching role in the club for Patrick his know how would be priceless to the young ones coming through.

  45. dandan says:

    TA I stand chastened and corrected. 🙂

  46. Red Arse says:


    Nice one! 🙂

    I might get deported from the UK for being a verbose git, but not from the US. 🙂

    TA, my lack of education and limited intellectual capacity must be showing thru’, but sshhh, don’t let the others know!

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    RA 🙂

    Rocky: Wesley Sneijder and Luca Modric have the following anagrams:

    WS: Jeered Sly Swine
    LM: Circa Mould

    You can see what sort of a club MU are by the sort of players they want to attract!

  48. Red Arse says:

    Just out of curiosity I have been browsing thru’ the comments on LG, having read a pretty good Post by Pedro.

    However, it is staggering to read the bile and the poisonous level of hatred in some of the comments, and the bitter and rancorous arguments between various elements on there.

    It makes for uncomfortable reading and, tho’ it would never make me ‘decouple’ as an Arsenal fan, it makes me somewhat ashamed to be associated, as a Gooner, with such language and sentiments.

    Maybe it is just me.

  49. Wonderman says:

    RA, that is standard for LG , I resigned myself to the fact that they attract alot of bloggers with alot of tension in their lives…the sort of people you would ask ‘ if everything was ok at home ?’. The articles sometimes have some really good points, though I dont always agree with them, but their readership’s are abuse anonymous, often with little or no credence to their opinions

  50. Wonderman says:

    @GIE..if only I had the time

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, I did the same a few weeks ago. All very bitter and sad – best to stay away: not good for the soul.

  52. goonermichael says:

    Although I disagree with sidcup red about getting rid of Wenger and screwing the fans etc. I think it is total madness to let Nasri see out his contract. Cahill is on a 1 year contract so we’ll see how much he goes for as far as value is concerned. If both the manc clubs are interested and it seems they are then we could get a decent fee. If that fee is say £15m then it is the Equivalent of buying a player on a 1 year contract for £15m. Given the reluctance we are to signing players of that price I think it’s mental. As for the post I realy enjoyed it and the reason I stopped going on other sites was that I was sick of defending our players and arguing the merits of filth like rooney. I’m happy to argue with mancs but I can’t be bothered doing it with other gooners. That is why I don’t miss herb in the slightest.

  53. RockyLives says:

    Hello All
    Another baking hot day here in Toronto (we get both ends of the weather spectrum!).
    GiE – a lovely read, one that speaks to the heart more than the head (although it’s full of good sense too).
    I guess those of us for whom supporting Arsenal is unconditional will never fully understand the ‘consumer’ supporters. However, I would not be surprised if some of the bile and anger is actually coming from people who also happen to be diehard supporters. They, of course, justify their out-pourings by saying that while they support Arsenal, that doesn’t mean they have to give unqualified support to any particular manager or player.

    Is it, I wonder, just another symptom of the current age of entitlement. The younger generation (under 30) seem to feel that they deserve to have whatever they desire, regardless of whether they have worked for it or not. And they want it immediately.

    This is a gross generalisation of course and I’m sure there are many, many sensible, grounded under-30s out there. But the EG (entitlement generation) does make me worry for the future.

    Got to go back to work now, especially after all that bunking off I did earlier this week thinking up anagrams! (Btw – loved those two efforts today TA).

    Catch you all later.

  54. dandan says:

    The sad truth is that those other sites portray the stereotype, that is many non football people’s picture of a football fan/supporter.

    The blessing of this blog is that by and large we buck that trend, even if from time to time we have our moments. The common denominator on here is an acceptance that other opinions other than our own are fine, providing they are not insulting, abusive, derogatory or expressed in obscenities

  55. dandan says:

    Rocky I love that expression Entitlement generation, how accurate is that. And how many of them expect the bank of Mum and Dad to cough up.

  56. Red Arse says:

    Wonderman, TA,

    I was banned by LG some months ago for being an educational elitist and also for intellectual bullying. One of my numerous ‘victims’ was Pedro, it seems.

    Actually the charges were without foundation, as you can guess, because I have already admitted to my grammatical and cerebral deficiencies earlier today!

    Bullying? No! Sarcasm? OK — I will admit to that, but the irony of being banned for making what I considered to be judicious and cutting remarks in defense of others did not escape me.

    These same people had frequently used foul language and salacious personal abuse against our manager and certain of our players.
    I abhor such vile behaviour and would have banned them, instead, if I had been in a position to do so. Things do not seem to have changed.

    Too wordy, DoubleD? 🙂

  57. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky,

    It was flaming hot in Noo Yoik too, while I was there.

    Oops — did I hear the crack of the whip? Back to work – quick!! 🙂

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, being ‘banned for being an educational elitist and for intellectual bullying’ hahahaha. It sounds like Stalin’s Soviet Union regime…

  59. goonermichael says:

    I’m finding it funny about Modric. I’ve had a few spuds winding me up recently about Nasri but he hasn’t said anything publicly except “don’t beleive anything you read in the press” Modric is definitely desperate to go.

  60. evonne says:

    GiE – what can I say that others have not said before?? That’s a most beautiful love story I have ever read. I don’t normally read Mills and Boon romances, but I am sure yours would be a bestseller 🙂

  61. RockyLives says:

    Took a peek at the comments on ‘another site’ following Redders’ comments.

    Sad, sad and more sad. Someone was even moaning about our prospects for the 2012/13 season!!!

  62. Wonderman says:

    RA, that doesn’t surprise me in the least. You can imagine back at school both Pedro and Geoff walking off with their ball because they did’nt score the last goal

  63. evonne says:

    Chas and Harry – this might make you smile: Peaches’ mother overheard me saying ‘Chas said that Hunter has speach impediment and syphilis’. She asked: ‘How does he know?’ 🙂 🙂 It’s not obvious to everyone that to say what Hunter did say yesterday he must be an STD sufferer 🙂

  64. chas says:

    Haha Evonne.
    Peaches’ mother must wonder what sort of site her raven-haired goddess of a daughter is running.

    To tell the truth, I don’t even know who Hunter is!

  65. evonne says:

    Chas – nor do I 🙂 I have heard him last night, but only after Harry’s comments I checked the geezer out…syphilis a defo 🙂
    Peaches’ mum is a Gunner, she is cool

  66. Red Arse says:


    As it is quiet on here at the mo’, I thought I would mention that I have always loved going to museums, when possible, to see great works of art by the Masters, such as Michelangelo, Constable, Vermeer etc.

    I recorded a programme, while I was away, centred around art forgeries, which I watched last night.

    It seemed that the Courtaulds Institute possessed a painting by that great Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, which many believed was genuine, but some others were uncertain as to its provenance. (where it came from).

    It appears that another wonderful Dutch artist (by the name of Han van Meegeren (1889-1947) just happened to be a forger, and his work was so wonderful he sold other Vermeer fakes for up to £12 million each. (he was caught after selling paintings to the Germans during WW11, and later accused of treason in 1947. He escaped a possible death sentence by proving he had sold the Germans his fakes and therefore could not be guilty of treason).

    It turned out he had also faked the Coutaulds Institute painting, but the only proof was that he had surrendered to the authorities at his trial in 1947, a phial of chemicals of ‘modern’ origin bakelite, which he used to harden the painting. He was every bit as brilliant as Vermeer, but took the shortcut to financial success! 🙂

    Who said Dennis was the only interesting Dutchman? 🙂

  67. chas says:

    Hi RA, missed you earlier, had to go for a swim. 🙂

    With Paddy hanging up his boots, seems appropriate to post this again.

    I know antifouling chloronitrate will appreciate it anyway. 🙂

  68. RockyLives says:

    Great vid Chas
    Miss that big guy.
    But also – reminds you how sensational Dennis was (not that we need reminding).

  69. Red Arse says:


    There was an amusing, to me, postscript to my run in.

    I admit I was up for a bit of verbal sparring as I was quite cross, but the other two protagonists decided discretion was the better part of valour and kept quiet.

    However, a defence of their nonsense was launched by A.N. Other and I cheerfully went at it. Then, suddenly, I was banned.

    I went back to read what had been said, to ensure I had not overstepped the mark, as I do have a cruel streak when roused, altho’ not abusive nor involving foul language.
    But all that was left was A.N. Other’s admonishments of me (with a little name calling) but my comments had been mysteriously deleted.

    The effect was bizarre because A.N. Other seemed to be talking to himself or was hallucinating by telling off someone who apparently did not exist!

    My good humour was restored and shortly after I found AA. 🙂

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, an interesting story indeed. When you say that van Meegeren was every bit as brilliant as Vermeer, I guess you are referring to the former’s technical skills. The real brilliance of Vermeer were his technical skills as well as his use of colour and light, but more than that, he shifted the focus of painting towards ordinary domestic scenes, which he glorified in such a vivid and expertly way. Bergkamp made a similar shift to Arsenal’s football, but nobody has been able to copy him (yet)!

    But you are right, Bergkamp is not the only famous Dutch person. There are also Glen Helder, the Venga Boys, and 2 Unlimited; to name but a few 😉

  71. Red Arse says:

    Hi Chas, another great Video reminder from you. 🙂

    Makes me go all nostalgic!!

  72. Red Arse says:


    Van Meegeren’s genius lay in being able to reproduce a masterpiece created by Vermeer such that the style of brush strokes, the colour patina and the subject matter were indistinguishable to even the most knowledgeable of experts.

    However, as you alluded to, Van Meegeren was basically only copying the master, and not producing/creating masterpieces of composition in his own right.

    There are another 21 such paintings, held throughout the world by unsuspecting museums and collectors.
    In any event, they would not want or would not allow their paintings to be examined scientifically, because if it were discovered they were Van Meegeren’s work that revelation would lose them millions of dollars.

    My original intention, which I did not properly explore, was to compare that story with the current day ‘buying’ of football trophies by Citeh etc, which in itself is an ersatz (false) achievement, because it becomes not a matter of classic football mastery and more a case of willy flashing (or “our club’s owner has more money than your club’s owner”).

    If that is the way football is going to go, it’s only my love for Arsenal that stops me from walking away from a rich man’s farce.

  73. Red Arse says:

    Right — having bored the arses off all and sundry, I will bid you all adieu, and see you anon! 🙂

  74. RockyLives says:

    @ your 4.53
    Great analogy.
    I fear that UEFA’s FFP regs will have too many loop holes. I would like to see US style fairness systems brought in.

  75. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all,

    A wonderful post with some excellent comments.

    As it stands we have nothing for tomorrow or the weekend so if any regs or newbies want to pen a few lines to start a discussion I’d be very grateful.

  76. Red Arse says:

    Erm, Rockylicious, 🙂

    What analogy did TA write at 4:53? And why have I missed it? 🙂

  77. Red Arse says:

    I would love to help out Rasper, but I never have anything to say! 🙂

  78. Rasp says:


    I beg to differ, your output is positively prolific! 😛

  79. Red Arse says:

    A chatterbox, eh, Rasp? 🙂

    I might come out of Post “retirement” after such a flattering comment, but not just yet. (If you look at today’s comments only TA reads mine and responds! – Not what is needed for a Post writer!) 🙂

    I have gone all Millwall like, “No one likes me, but I don’t care”. 🙂

  80. Red Arse says:

    Really gone now! Ta ra.

  81. London says:

    “Another baking hot day here in Toronto (we get both ends of the weather spectrum!).”

    In Toronto we sweat.

    Subtle, but it’s the best I could come up with. lol

  82. evonne says:

    Good evening all,

    There is some serious nagging going on!! Peaches has been texting me a lot to let her know who has volunteered to write a post for tomorrow….can someone volunteer, please, or there will be name and shame list published soon

    Chary, 26may, Sharkey – ???

  83. evonne says:

    This one is for RA:

    Tired of constantly being broke & stuck in an unhappy marriage, a young husband decided to solve both problems by taking out a large insurance policy on his wife with himself as the beneficiary, and then arranging to have her killed.
    A ‘friend of a friend’ put him in touch with a nefarious dark-side underworld figure who went by the name of ‘Artie.’
    Artie then explained to the husband that his going price for snuffing out a spouse was £5,000.
    The husband said he was willing to pay that amount, but that he wouldn’t have any cash on hand until he could collect his wife’s insurance money.
    Artie insisted on being paid at least something up front, so the man opened his wallet, displaying the single pound note that rested inside. Artie sighed, rolled his eyes, & reluctantly agreed to accept the pound as down payment for the dirty deed.
    A few days later, Artie followed the man’s wife to the local Tesco store. There, he surprised her in the produce department & proceeded to strangle her with his gloved hands & as the poor unsuspecting woman drew her last breath & slumped to the floor……..
    The manager of the produce department stumbled unexpectedly onto the murder scene. Unwilling to leave any living witnesses behind, ol’ Artie had no choice but to strangle the produce manager as well.
    However, unknown to Artie, the entire proceedings were captured by the hidden security cameras & observed by the store’s security guard, who immediately called the police. Artie was caught & arrested before he could even leave the store.
    Under intense questioning at the police station, Artie revealed the whole sordid plan, including his unusual financial arrangements with the hapless husband who was also quickly arrested.
    The next day in the newspaper, the headline declared …
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > You’re going to hate me for this…
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    ‘ARTIE CHOKES 2 for £1.00 AT TESCO ‘

  84. RockyLives says:

    Typo on my Blackberry Redders – I meant to write RA!!

  85. RockyLives says:

    Very funny Evonne.

    Reminds me of a punchline of a joke I heard ages ago. I can’t remember the jole, but the punchline was “I left my harp in Sam Frank’s disco.”

    Another had the punchline:
    Doctor: “Well, you know what they say: abcess makes the fart go Honda.”

    Oh dear, am I really reduced to publishing joke-less punchlines?

  86. Well evonne, that made me laugh and right now I need it……..Still depressed…..

    I am trying so hard not to be, but I feel so let down by some of the players (present and ex) and arsene is doing his hardest to proper wind me up…..

    I promised not to judge until December, but that thought is getting eroded alarmingly quick…..

    Right now I feel like a pair of curtains………thats it I am off to pull myself together……i know thats terrible……..

  87. evonne says:

    Rocky – ha ha ha ha 🙂 your last line is the best joke 🙂

  88. evonne says:

    Harry – that is funny 🙂
    Don’t be depressed, look, there was a suicide at Oakwood where I live this morning. An old woman threw herself under a train 😦 Our minds can be very frigile and can only take so much

  89. RockyLives says:

    I hope you’re not blind?
    Or that you’ve been draped…

  90. chas says:

    Saw this earlier elsewhere and thought it was funny.
    Beware the bad language. 🙂

  91. Gooner in Exile says:

    Harry flip the perspective.

    Yes Wenger said he is happy to see Nasri leave on a free, but he also said he wants to keep him because he wants the best players to win the Chanpionship with.

    If that happens why would Samir want to leave?

  92. I am normally so positive about arsenal………

    Right my solution:

    Sell Fabregas for 40million to barca.
    Sell Nasri for 15-25million. (less than 15 I would keep say 20)
    Sell Denilson 3million
    Sell Bendtner for 8million
    Sell Almunia 2million
    Clichy sold 7million
    Transfer pot : 25million plus above = 105

    Take Parker on loan for season
    Grab Hleb back from Barca, probably token fee…….
    17million for Cahill
    12 million for Samba
    6 Million Drenthe from Madrid
    30million for Benzema

    65-70 million spent…………

    I would be happy with that……..

    Cannot and should not let Nasri go for free……….NOTHING can justify that when we are increasing ticket prices…..

  93. Rocky, lol……

    GIE, I know, but money talks and he’ll walk even if we win something, sign now or go………sorry thats your lot samir……..

  94. Oi! mongrel ache says:

    Evonne you’ve stolen one of my best jokes. 😦

    I must comment aboout Le-Grove. I’ve met Geoff and Pedro and they are both great blokes. They publish a blog every day and I think it is well written even though I disaggree with them at times. I still read it every day. I don’t post there anymore as there are some proper arseholes on there and definitely serious trolling going on. Geoff and Pedro hardly ever comment themselves anymore.

  95. Oi! mongrel ache says:

    I said the same earlier and think it is utter madness to let him walk away for nothing. However I was talking to another gooner today and he basically said. If you sell to one of your nearest rivals it sends out a completely different meassage to a player leaving and joining them. Financially it is weird to say the least and apparently the directors wanted him to sell. I’m hoping (and probably Wenger too) that he get’s him to sign an extension.

  96. goonermichael says:

    Forgot to change my name back

  97. GM: I hope beyond hope he signs an extension……believe me I do, but i just cannot warrant him walking away for free……its madness…

    I understand some of wengers logic, i laughed though when he equated it to spending lots of money……

    I tried LG a couple of times, but the endless insults and irrelevant cconversations were soul destroying so gave up……

    I like AAer’s friendly “old” bunch……….

  98. London says:

    The only madness is that there actually are people who think that the club would allow Nasri to go into the final season not having signed a contract.


    Mr Wenger you say that you would like Samir Nasri to stay, could you envisage a situation in which he would be allowed to stay at the club not having signed a new contract.


    Of course not, the club would loose out on twenty million pounds so to put it bluntly if he doesn’t sign a new contract we will sell him. (you should know what Wenger actually said)

    Do you see how the journo trapped Wenger and how Wenger impressively found a way out without insulting Nasri.

  99. gunnern5 says:

    I just went to the Le-Grove site for the first time.

    i have not read any of the posts but I found there credo interesting.

    ” A blog where you can have an opinion, not get one”


  100. chas says:

    you’d love it on LG, gn5.

  101. you lost me on that explanation……….i dont see anything…….too tired to think at the moment………..

  102. gunnern5 says:


    Why do you say or even think that?

  103. chas says:

    gn5, I really haven’t got clue.

  104. Gooner in Exile says:

    We are lucky Peaches is not around she would have us over a barrel for talking about other blogs disparagingly.

    As far as I’m concerned swearing isn’t necessary (especially at each other). Fully written words > txt spk.
    Roundabout arguments are boring.

    Harry cheer up less than 48 hours to next kick off…,will we wear red in China?

  105. chas says:

    …a clue.

  106. I am alright GIE, this is my church i will heal my heart here…….:d

  107. evonne says:

    GiE – Peaches might not be around but Evonne the Grass is and will report to the Head Office first thing tomorrow morning!!

  108. antifouling chloronitrate says:

    Cracking post GiE.

    In a nutshell some Arsenal fans really do need reminding of how the Spuds and Citeh both celebrated getting into the CL as though it were a PL title win. This is something that we have achieved for 15 consecutive seasons.

    The media went truly overboard abuot Harry’s ‘great achievement’. It cost City £300m to buy a place, and even then they hardly claimed their place with any conviction, let alone any element o f style or panache.

    Watching them park two buses at the Emirates was just plain embarrassing !

  109. Frothing Inarticulate Loon says:

    Oops !!

    Still in alter-ego anagram mode !!!

  110. SharkeySure says:

    Alter-ego ditched..?? Check
    Anagram ditched..?? Check

    Oooh thats better, back to mi old self again.

    Chas you’re a legend. – “With Bendtner going, we’re also losing another winger…..”

    That video of the River Platet fan…oh dear. HIs poor family. Perhaps they should have given him his half a tablet before kick off not after..??!!

  111. SharkeySure says:

    “A blog where you can have an opinion, not get one””

    You’ll be hard pushed to find a more misleading tag line anywhere in the world.

    Go on… scratch the surface.

  112. SharkeySure says:

    Evonne The Legend became Evonne The Grass..??

    How long was I asleep for..??

  113. Rasp says:

    I’m off to bed guys and gals after an exhausting day. Peaches has been extra busy moving home and has no internet until next week.

    Our cupboard is bare of posts – any offering however small would be gratefully received.

  114. TotalArsenal says:

    Chas, thanks for video of everyone’s favourite neighbour.

  115. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Sharkey, I also thought it was telling the way the family waited so long with giving him his tablet: maybe they are secretly hoping he’ll pop his clogs soon 😆

  116. goonergal says:

    Beautiful post, I now find myself only reading positive blogs as I cannot take any more of the bile, I come across on the web, the so called media with their anti arsenal bias, that dodgy radio station and that some arsenal fans seem to soak up like sponges, and regurgitate it for all to read, yes it may be only a frendly but I just loved the passion of the malaysian fans, the sea of red and white, I love to see new players on the pitch for the first time, its like waching your children taking their first steps. as a worshipper in the church of arsenal,I cannot wait for the first mass of the season, and I have to believe that this will be our year, but the club goes on regardless of the men that come and go, a gooner till I die, I will then float into Arsenal heaven and get my free season ticket for eternity.

  117. TotalArsenal says:

    Goonergal, fully agree with you on your comment and good to see you are focussing on the positive things related to Arsenal. It makes life as a fan a lot easier.

  118. Gooner in Exile says:

    Goonergal – Amen to that

  119. chas says:

    Rasp, I did send something yesterday evening but assumed you couldn’t use it. Have re-sent. Apologies if it’s not suitable.

  120. Rasp says:

    Hi chas,

    Thanks, it’s excellent and will be today’s offering.

    I’m afraid I went to bed before 12 last night as I was shattered but have replied to your email this morning. I will have to publish a little earlier than usual due to work pressure. Your name is already added to the list of authors.

  121. Red Arse says:

    We can’t have Chas added to the list of Authors, he might vacate his duties as the Master of the Video —– and then where would we all be?

    Just kidding Chas! 🙂 I’m looking forward to the Rasper’s call “New Post”, so I can have a read of your debut article!! 🙂

  122. evonne says:

    Morning Chas, I don’t think I ever read any of your posts, looking forward to it 🙂

  123. chas says:

    Morning Evonne and RA,

    Probably because there hasn’t been any, Evonne.
    I wouldn’t get too excited, RA. I’m the master of linking to other people’s work and then taking the credit for it!

  124. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    New post ……

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