Arsenal’s ‘F’ Plan Diet – eat up and stop pushing your greens around your plate

Written by Camberwell Gooner

Resumption of hostilities is just around the corner. Like the starving dog stumbling through the streets on his last legs in search of a morsel, we’re starting to catch whiffs of steak wafting from a nearby kitchen, giving us renewed hope that we will actually make it to the new season before the municipal authorities bundle us in a van and drop us off at the city pound. Or something.

In a mere two and a half weeks, genuine, real, tangible football will be with us again and no longer will my Saturday nights be aimless, no longer will I look forward to the weekend with only a vague sense of what I’ll be doing and no longer will I have nothing to listen to when I’m washing up. Yes indeed, life will have purpose again.

And this also means that, for the next nine months, none of us will have to put up with any of the following: pre-season posturing between fans egged on by the slimy little life forms known as journalists (depressingly familiar announcement: Arsenal are doomed to 5th again while Pool, Manure, Citeh and Chelsea will take the top four spots), industrial amounts of tripe in the media about new transfers, waiting for Wenger to actually sign someone. (Insert pre-season irritant of choice here.)

The problem is, all of the above are so many insect bites on the arse of every fan. They itch like bastards and you know that scratching them will only make them worse but each scratch brings delicious, momentary relief. Then back comes the itch, the desire to find any little scrap of info about a new signing.

And wouldn’t it be just fantastically, arse-kickingly, John-Terry-stampingly, Stoke-beatingly awesome to log on and find Wenger has signed who we need and that we’re ready to challenge seriously for the title while stamping on John Terry and beating Stoke (in the face, repeatedly)? It really would, but you and I know about as much about what’s going on behind the scenes at the Ems as I do about Wenger’s favourite boxers.

*tries not imagine Wenger in boxers, fails, shudders*

Sadly, the same goes for our final league position come next May – we’re all in the dark, and that includes the know-all gobshites from other clubs and our friends the cow-manure-spouting hacks. We can all agree more signings are needed if we really want to challenge, but (a) they don’t guarantee us a trophy and (b) will the sky really fall in if we only get one more and lose one or both of the Annual Super Arsenal Summer Selloff Boys (aka ASASSB 1 & 2)?

If any part of (b) happens, I will not be a happy bunny. I’ll probably even be put off my breakfast egg (one of my Favourite Things). But what I won’t do is go around with a face longer than Southend Pier and start chucking my toys out of my pram (nanny would only make me pick them up again).

Whatever happens, I just want to enjoy my football without fixating on trophies and the Champions League and the top-four mini-league and all this other stuff which is icing on the cake of course, but do you only eat the icing? I know dessert can be the best part of the meal but before you get your paws on the sticky toffee pudding you’ve got to get through the leek and potato soup and your meat and two veg. So you might as well enjoy your starter and main because in football there’s no guarantee of dessert.


99 Responses to Arsenal’s ‘F’ Plan Diet – eat up and stop pushing your greens around your plate

  1. Red Arse says:


    A really first class debut. 🙂

    I am impressed with not only the content but your prose and will go back and re-read it with a keen eye! 🙂

  2. Red Arse says:


    I am re running my last comment to you in case you missed it. (Could be I am just being nosy, but I am actually interested in what you intended to do ….. visiting all these ‘blimey limeys’!! 🙂

    From 9:35; —

    Have you arranged your trip to the UK yet?
    I think you said something about a visit to the Emirates and to Glasgow Rangers (?), but maybe I am dreaming …… again.

    You are right, Gerv does have an …. interesting …… hairstyle.
    Rival fans will probably start calling him Gerv the Perv unless he gets a wider hairband!

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey CamG, what a great first post! 🙂

    It has a certain calmness and warmness to it, and a great sense of humor. A joy to read. I especially liked:
    ‘The problem is, all of the above are so many insect bites on the arse of every fan. They itch like bastards and you know that scratching them will only make them worse but each scratch brings delicious, momentary relief. Then back comes the itch, the desire to find any little scrap of info about a new signing.’

    This is so true and one of the pests of our time.

    More importantly, I like your focus on the football itself, rather than whether we win the league or end up in the top-4 again, in your final paragraph. I could not agree more.

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Cul Rouge, Gerv’s hairstyle has actually proven to be the ideal one for directing headers with precision. So rather than slate our new superstar’s coiffure, you should comment him for sacrificing his looks. If you doubt what I say, ask the resident hairdresser and you will find out that I am not taking the Michael.

  5. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Absolutely superb post. Thank you.
    So very true that football is not just about the pudding, but on a rather unsettling note, exactly what kind of undergarments do you think Arsene sports, thong style? Yuk! Very disturbing.

  6. dandan says:

    Camberwell Green. Wonderful post thank you so much… Welcome to the ranks of a number of us on here, who believe the game and the way it is played is what the club is all about. Winning pots is great,Playing good football better, being a Gooner and the custodian of all that heritage a privilege.

  7. bops says:

    nice post 🙂

  8. goonerwife says:

    Thanks for a great article neighbour ( i live in camberwell too)

    i just want to enjoy arsenal too so thats what im gonna do.

  9. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I love this line of yours:
    “i just want to enjoy arsenal too so thats what im gonna do”
    That’s it in a nutshell really.

  10. London says:

    Superbly entertaining post CG, I look forward to more of those.

  11. Rasp says:

    Wonderful culinary offering CG. As dandan and TA say, your style and delivery is perfect for the site – add a few music references and you’ll have covered most of our bases.

  12. Gooner In Exile says:

    I’m hungry for more …… I’ll get me coat

  13. oz gunner says:

    “i’ll get my coat” is a classic

    As for gervs hairdo, agree its better for headers, opposed to the like of fellani or luiz where the ball just gets stuck in their do

  14. oz gunner says:

    @ CG

    great post, very entertaining, and a refreshing post during a truly silly season!

  15. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, 🙂

    I have set up a fund for Gerv’s Abrasive Sandpaper, henceforth known as Gas, so that he can rough up his 9 inches of fulgent forehead to allow the ball more grip when directing headers.

    I do, indeed, commend him for his self sacrifice in foregoing his frugal forelocks! Unless he was bald anyway? 🙂

  16. Rasp says:

    Just to change tack a little, I wonder what it was about 28 year old Jagielka that made AW (Gazidis?) prioritise him over Cahill or Samba – maybe he didn’t, but the other two are not achievable?

    The offer suggested is in the area of Cahill’s fee and more than would be needed for Samba.

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    RA 🙂 GAS could be THE answer to our woodwork conundrum. Before you know RvP will have a healthy portion of GAS on his left boomboom boot… 😉

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, how serious do you take the Jag-rumour? If so, it would indeed be an interesting change of tack..

  19. Red Arse says:


    If the rumours are true I am decidedly not impressed.

    Jagielka is only 5’11”, so how is this supposed to address our ‘frailty’ in the air? I have heard others say he has a ‘good leap’ a la Vermaelen.

    At just a smidgeon under 6’5″, I would back myself, against a tiddler, to any ball in the air, and I bet the other lumps like Shawcross and company would too!

    Strange decision, if true.

  20. Rasp says:

    Looking at the sources of the stories and the way in which they are written, I think it is likely that there is some truth to them. I agree that it is a mystifying choice when you take into account Jagielka’s age and height.

    Don’t get me wrong he is a very good defender, but if Cahill is the same price’ish, taller and 6 years younger – it doesn’t seem to make sense.

  21. London says:

    If you think of Jags as being bought to be an automatic first choice then I can see why people would think such a signing strange but if you think of him as back up then to me it all makes sense.

    We had a big debate yesterday about the fact that there was no competition or back up for Song if he were injured, with Jags we would have. So many people want to see Squillaci move from forth down to fifth in the CB pecking order, with Jags he would.

    It is debatable as to whether he is better than Koscielny, a player who I think is just as good if not better that Cahill so if Kozzer gets injured we also have Jags.

    The amount of pluses in favour of Jags are so incredible that I am almost scared to believe that this deal is seriously in the offing.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, you ARE the BFG, although your command of English is of a slightly better standard 😛

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    London and Rasp, you are both making some good points re Jagielka. It is Friday and the Emirates Cup starts tomorrow, so maybe the BoD want to make an announcement this afternoon, to make us all feel gooooooooooood 😛

  24. London says:

    I agree that Jag’s age and price seem very un-Wenger so if this happens we have to believe that Wenger means business this season. Experienced and English, I am shaking my head in amazement as I write this.

  25. London says:

    Diaby out for ten weeks after under going ankle surgery.

  26. 26may1989 says:

    Trouble in the cricket: India have got the ball moving all over the place, and England are already down to 89 for 6.

    CG, to coin a phrase, that’s a fantastically, arse-kickingly, John-Terry-stampingly, Stoke-beatingly awesome post, well done! It’s always a good thing for Arsenal fans to get past the summer and get back to real football.

    I detest City but have to admit, if they’re going to blow shedloads of money they don’t have and which will ultimately lead to their downfall, signing Sergio Aguero is the right way to do it. He’ll be a great player for them.

  27. 26may1989 says:

    Re the discussion on why Wenger might prefer to go for Jagielka over Cahill or Samba, might it be positional flexibility? Jagielka can play in midfield whereas the other two really are just CBs. (In fact, Jagielka also did well in goal against us some years ago….)

    But in truth, I don’t really get it. Jagielka and Cahill seem to be about the same standard technically, and both are better than Samba, but size is important given all the aerial stuff we conceded last season from deadballs, and that would mean 6′ Jagielka is the least attractive option.

    But, thanks to blabbermouth PHW, at least there’s concrete evidence that we’re trying to strengthen the defence, and as London says, Jagielka would definitely be better than nothing.

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Brief visit,
    My thoughts on Jag. I have stated that I believe our defence may be better than some think and that stability between the middle three (Chez, Verm, Kos) will solve many of the problems. Therefore Jag fits the bill perfectly for me as he can do both the CB and DM roles. I would be very happy. As I said yesterday, DM is our single most vulnerable spot.
    Thanks for listening and goodbye.

  29. 26may1989 says:

    RA’s 12:44pm made me wonder what an Arsenal Arsenal XI would look like. The big man would be the rock of our defence, I would grab one of the feisty positions for tiddlers (RB or DM would suit me, thank you very much). Any other suggestions?

  30. RockyLives says:

    I’ll partner Redders in central defence. At just under 6’2″ I’m not of his stature, but I think we’d make a solid partnership at the back.

  31. RockyLives says:

    Wow, what a great debut.
    I love the cake analogy and I love the overall sentiment you have expressed in such a funny and well-written manner.
    It looks like AA has gained another quality writer!

  32. RockyLives says:

    Not sure why, but I see Raspers on the wing, terrorising the oppo fullback.

    And I imagine London as midfield playmaker. Again, I don’t know why, having never met him…

  33. RockyLives says:

    And surely BR must follow his namesake into the CF position?

  34. WiganGooner says:

    Great post Camberwell G……I’m so sorry but your name reminds me of Withnail and I, certainly not a bad thing…

    Very succint post, loved your analogies and I really enjoyed it.

    Well done


  35. WiganGooner says:


    Well I played centre-back and DM…so I’ll be the Alex Song of the team…though marginally more mobile and the ability to use both feet…..the downside is I do jump into tackles a bit more….


  36. RockyLives says:

    So far we’re shaping up….

    26may Redders Rocky (LB?)
    (MF?) London Rasp
    BR (Striker?)

    Thinking about it, we can probably put out two teams…

  37. RockyLives says:

    First come first served everyone – claim your place in the team before it’s too late…

    Oh… and we need a manager too…

  38. WiganGooner says:

    I’d probably need a backup, I’ve only ever been red-carded once but inevitably in such a line-up I’d probably get sent off trying to impress 🙂


  39. London says:

    Now here is an irony: I am left footed, not that tall 5.9, never hide from a tackle, dogged, more defence minded than a goal scorer but used to think I had a eye for a pass……….I am Jack Wilshere lol

  40. 26may1989 says:

    London, it sounds like you might get shunted out to left back!

    Sharkey has the look of a demon striker about him, and I imagine dandan having a boss midfield type of role. But then I also imagine Peaches filling the same role! But this is a squad game, there must be competitors for some of these positions…..

    Oh and we need another lanky streak to go between the posts. Actually, isn’t there a regular who said they used to be a keeper? Who was that?

  41. RockyLives says:

    Like I said London – our playmaker! (Just don’t tell London – he might drop you to the bench…) 🙂

  42. 26may1989 says:

    GN5 as a Brian Clough style, no nonsense, not in my day style manager?

  43. RockyLives says:

    Was it GiE who used to keep nets?

  44. 26may1989 says:

    Oh yeah, red cards, I’ve had a few of them. Not a single one justified, of course………

  45. RockyLives says:

    Good call 26. Gn5 would have us on our toes and would take no backchat…

  46. 26may1989 says:

    Cricket’s a disaster: one session and it’s 124 for 8. At least England will get a chance to bowl in these conditions.

  47. RockyLives says:

    I used to play CB or LB for my 11-a-side team so I can shift out to LB if there no takers. I’m right footed really but was able to play off either peg pretty well.

  48. Carlito11 says:

    RL i’ll taje that rmf position- I can crOSS as long as big raddy can get on the end of em!
    Camberwell- quality post! Loved the sentiment and really enjoyed your turn of phrase 🙂
    Cricket definitely worrying- sharma looking like taking a wicket every time he sends one down- we’ll see India batting before the day is out 😦
    Hi all by the way! Been so busy this summer- hope you’re all well! 🙂

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just in the nick of time to grab the striker role.
    I am the goalhanger supreme. Genuinely two footed and I can play with both feet!

  50. WiganGooner says:

    My red was for violent conduct, retaliation after a guy punched me I punched him back and we both got sent…

    Ridiculous decision…I was furious when he hit me….


  51. RockyLives says:

    Right, I’m off for a while. If I come back and find I’ve been sold to Galatasaray in my absence there’ll be hell to pay!

  52. Rasp says:

    Haha Rocky, actually I am genuinely two footed and was the original midfiled playmaker when younger – I only play in the garden with my boys now – although I think I could do a decent job batting against this Indian attack even with the ball swinging and seaming so much.

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    May I suggest Peaches and Evonne to sit in front of the back four as I don’t believe many red blooded opposition players could go past them. Although it would require stern words with RA at the back to keep his bloody eyes on the ball.

  54. Carlito11 says:

    Looks like I’ve cursed the Indian attack with my comments- loads of boundaries! The fight back is on!

  55. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Last thought on this AA line up.
    I am sure that Big Raddy and I would be dynamite together up top. If we play together as well as we sit together at the Ems, then all will be well. I would however like to ask whether we could have permission to take a modest hamper onto the pitch. You know, drinks and nibbles and a discreet smoke.

  56. Camberwell Gooner says:

    First chance to get on here today – after a week of, er, pushing my greens around my plate in a work sense so to speak, suddenly had some actual work to get on with.

    Absolutely made up about the comments guys, thanks a lot.

    Let’s hope it’s not a first-game hat-trick followed by a long goal drought eh?

  57. RockyLives says:

    From AW’s comments it looks like it’s going to be Cesc going and Nasri staying.

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    I used to play Left Midfield and am just like London left footed. Have a decent cross and can get past a defender on a good day. So BR and Micky would get decent service. I’d like IrishG to play in the -as she calls it – Creative Hub (nr 7) position.

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    An AA Footie side – excellent idea Rocky.

    I used to play Left Midfield and am just like London left footed. Have a decent cross and can get past a defender on a good day. So BR and Micky would get decent service. I’d like IrishG to play in the -as she calls it – Creative Hub (nr 7) position.

  60. RockyLives says:

    Not my idea – it was 26’s.

    I assume you’ll be providing the thrust? 🙂

  61. Camberwell Gooner says:

    In terms of the AA footie side, I’m in the youth academy.

  62. RockyLives says:

    You’re young?
    Blimey mate, you’re the first name on the team sheet (with other whippersnappers like Carlito and GiE)!
    You don’t think us old codgers are going to run around for 90 do you?

  63. oz gunner says:

    Jags is a bulldog, definently an english verm. Not to sure who mentioned it but yeah it was jags who played in goal against us when paddy kenny got sent off. They didn’t play with a second keeper because jags did a bit of keeping in his early days. He didn’t do too bad aswel, but it was one of those days where Arsenal should of taken shot after shot to test him. For some reason though we opted for trying to walk it into the back of the net instead.

    I used to play DM in juniors and loved a tackle. But im quite happy to be a frimpong or coquelin and bide my time.

  64. Gooner in Exile says:

    I am in the sticks, as no one else has gone for it yet, not as agile as my younger days but gravity is useful in getting down to the low shots 😀

  65. oz gunner says:

    as for diaby, nothing new there. Its a shame though because if the injuries eased up he could tighten up his consistency and become the player we all know he can be!

  66. chas says:

    Great post, CG.

    You’ve summed up the interminable wait for the footy to start again perfectly.

    What does the F in ‘F’ plan diet stand for? 🙂

    As for the AA footy team, with dodgy knees and a dislocating right ankle, my playing days are well over. I have kept a degree of fitness, though, so would like to claim the Pat Rice role and knock you old scrotes into shape.

  67. Red Arse says:

    Chas, 🙂

    You must know there is only one effin Diet Plan! 🙂

  68. chas says:

    Haha RA.

    Your comment made me think of my favourite football fanzine name….

  69. Camberwell Gooner says:

    When I say I’m in the yoof academy, I attend purely on the basis of ‘most senior player’ – a 30something mixing it with spotty kids

  70. Gooner In Exile says:

    Is there ever an AA Fantasy Football League? If not why not let’s start one. Be good to have a good size league to participate in rather than my normal family one.

    We normally use Telegraph but whatever everyone prefers, I’m not a fan of the squad ones as they take too much effort.

  71. Gooner In Exile says:

    CG trust us that is the Youth academy here 😀 I think you’re joined by me Jamie, and Carlito11.

    And of course Evonne and our Warrior Princess Peaches who are still 21

  72. oz gunner says:

    GiE is that a league where you tip on winners?because i agree the fantasy leagues where you pick a whole team and make trades and stuff requires alot of time and effort.

  73. oz gunner says:

    Does anyone else think its a mistake to let lansbury go?

    Yes we have a plethora of midfielders, but surely he could start cup games, and show his worth there! He didn’t start in the under 21 games but every time he came on as a sub his quality was for all to see. Just a bit worried about the youth system when our biggest up and comers lansbury, JET, and wellington silva might not make it.

  74. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oz, think Wenger said Lansbury has a future today.

    I was talking about the kind where you pick eleven and transfer throughout the season. Some Fantasy Leagues allow a squad of 16 where you can make changes each week which are the ones I avoid.

  75. Gooner In Exile says:

    “Henri Lansbury is in a situation where I believe he will make a career, At the moment it is a bit congested for him but I believe he has the talent to play for Arsenal Football Club.

    “I have to give him a chance at some stage and as quickly as possible. I believe in him. But if I honestly believe he will not play this season or has no chance to compete for a position I will tell him and let him go.”

    Wenger about Lansbury

  76. oz gunner says:

    good because he definently has something about him, and anyone who scores against the scum is a winner in my eyes.

  77. oz gunner says:

    cheers for the write up GiE. I hope its the former

  78. Gooner In Exile says:

    Me too

    There’s some twitter rumouring that Mata is done deal and if Barca won’t make asking price Cesc will pay difference to leave. All coming out of Barca press apparently.

  79. oz gunner says:

    mata will be a great buy, i thought arsene chucked out the wing position once freddie and bobby left. It seems its back in.

    the spanish media are about as useful as an ash tray on a motocycle, they will print anything. If there is some truth behind it then i hope cesc has some money saved up. Would it not be a slap in the face if your boyhood club kept coming in with offers that completely under value you?

  80. London says:

    “The spanish media are about as useful as an ash tray on a motocycle.”

    I wish I had thought of this. lol

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Roofrack on a helicopter is my favourite.
    Bed late or up early…we shall see

  82. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The plot thickens. Lets pretend and its all true. Cesc out. Mata in. How do we line up?
    ..Jack Song

    or is Mata to be played central leaving AA/Nasri top left?

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hey Micky,
    While slurping coffee and scratching my arse, I thought I would google Jagielka. By the way, he’s 6’2″, so not quite the midget some make out, but here’s some interesting stuff:
    “Jagielka is of Polish and Scottish descent.[30][31] In a 2010 interview with BBC 1’s Sport Advice, Jagielka talked about the death of his grandfather in 1999 for which Harold Shipman may have been responsible. “When my grandfather died, he put his hand on my right shoulder and said, ‘I think I’ll stay here a while in case he wakes up so he doesn’t scare people,'” said Jagielka. “I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but I do now.””

  84. Evonne says:

    Morning Micky- stop scratching!
    Jagielka is a very Polish name, the ‘L’ is with a little cross and pronounces like ‘W’.

    Are you going to watch the Emirates cup?

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Evonne,
    No. I officially banned myself. I got fed up with them inviting Ramgers/Celtic and their hoards of vile fans. Used to take my son but no more. I do like to get the season off with a bang and there is nothing like the first league game.
    I need to re-charge my onlinefootie account and see if they are showing either game.

  86. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Phil J’s middle name is Nikodem. Any bells ringing?

  87. Evonne says:

    Micky – no, no bells ringing, except Nikodem Dyzma book character 🙂

  88. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yes. Emirates Cup is shown onlinefootie. Have just bought a season ticket £27.99 for twelve months.

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Found this somewhere:
    “According to an agreement reached when Mata last renewed his contract, Valencia are obliged to sell to a foreign club that matches the €21m bar before Monday. Spurs have made an offer that exceeds that minimum fee in order to strengthen their hand”.
    Before monday? Weird clause, although I would like us to have something similar with Cesc! £40m by monday, or the price goes up by £1m a day.

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m on gossip fire this morning.
    “On July 28th, Costa Rica television reported that Joel Campbell had come to an agreement with Arsenal F.C.. ”
    This is the first time I have trawled the net for sources. Quite exciting really.
    I’ll stop now.

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    8/10 last comments. Off to find a life.

  92. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    RA (re your question)

    I just ran it by the family & they are all up for a 3 weeker to Blighty in the September school holidays 2012. The Olympics will be over & the footy on so there should be a bargain or 2 to be had. And our $ is high.

    Will it still be warm there then?

  93. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    New post ………

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