Sad Times and Glad Times

The death of Gary Speed has in my opinion put the trials and tribulations of supporting a football team into some sort of perspective.

Look back over our posts since the CC final fiasco and see how many AA subscribers were tearing their hair out, demanding immediate changes of all kinds as though the fate of our football team was a matter of life and death. It was not of course and never has been for the average supporter or fan. Football is a game, nothing more, nothing less.

Sure it may be your passion an interest that transcends the everyday dross of a working life, to others it becomes the driving force in their lives, the only intellectual interest they truly have, but nevertheless it remains a game.

Yes there are those who have been driven to suicide by the bounce of an inflated ball that appears to have the capacity to remove logic and reason from minds that would in other circumstances, I am sure, be far more dispassionate about such obvious misfortune.

One only has to read the vitriol that flowed through our: for want of a better word respectable site: to understand the lengths that those supporters would go to enhance their bragging rights.

Some other blogs of course, defy reason and in doing so become a cess pit full of swearing, cursing deluded would be activist, demanding the implementation of bans, marches and strikes. Whilst calling down all manner of disasters, curses and sackings on all and sundry connected with the club who come with in the compass of their hatred.

We know not what activated Gary Speeds decision to end it all. But that a man so respected, liked and admired throughout the game could come to such a decision is a warning to us all, that we must treat the game as the game it is and recognise that life has many more severe challenges than winning football matches.

Read yesterday’s blog, having dropped two points in the evening game, to a team we were actively forecasting we would, figuratively speaking, have for breakfast in the pre-game comments. We greeted the result both then and today with equanimity and calm discussion. Why? Because the position that we find ourselves in today, would have been touted as a miracle in the despair that was the aftermath of the Blackburn game, just a few short weeks ago.

Is it too much to hope that in the light of the changes these few weeks have brought, that we continue to support our super club in so grown up a manner, criticise by all means for without that there would be no discussion. But leave the soul searching and tub thumping to those whose lives revolve solely around footballing success and nothing else.

Written by dandan

172 Responses to Sad Times and Glad Times

  1. Rob Lucci says:

    Thanks dandan for such a beautiful piece.

  2. LB says:

    This morning I waved goodbye to my children as they went to school, then kissed my wife goodbye as she went to work.

    Life is a wonderful thing.

  3. Gooner In Exile says:

    DanDan that is a fine post and one with which I wholeheartedly agree. I thought about making a comment along those lines yesterday wondering how some people would feel having put some pretty awful comments towards our manager and some players this year, if later something like this happens.

    You have said it so eloquently I’m glad I didn’t.

  4. evonne says:

    Dandan – thank you, very moving and sobering article.

  5. J T says:

    A brilliant piece of writing, sums up what should be thought about the beautiful GAME when such a tragedy happens.

  6. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Thanks dandan, a sobering article. Christmas is less than a month away, as LB says, we should count our blessings. We support the best club in world football and can only be grateful.

    The Speed family’s privacy must be observed at this time, but if it does come out that his suicide was in some way predicated by the Press delving into his personal life, I (with my high morals about freedom of speech!) would be in favour of a change in the law to prevent such intrusion.

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wise words that I fully expect from you. Thanks.
    I know for certain that we all have bright clever friends who are totally bemused by our addiction to something so seemingly futile as football and our tribal loyalty. Its always been a tough one to explain.

  8. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I strongly suspect you have a point, and it appears that the gist of the Leveson Enquiry could not be more relevant. Enough from me on this subject.

  9. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Something I want to clear up.
    We have GiE and BR in one corner, and the likes of me in the other. I am referring to the spelling of the little fella Mario from Dortmund.
    It is Gotze, but with an umlaut over the “o”, so I suspect the GiE/BR version of Goetze might be right if you can’t find the umlaut button.
    Where’s Illy when you need him!

  10. evonne says:

    Micky – indeed πŸ™‚ In certain circles (at least in Poland) going to football games is so unbecoming πŸ™‚

  11. Red Arse says:

    Hi Guys, πŸ™‚

    On reading the first two paras of the Post, I knew, without looking, who the author was. Well written DD. πŸ™‚

    In another life, I suspect you may have been a composer of classical orchestral music.

    Your writing has a strong, clear, purpose, akin to a structured melodic theme in the main section of your work, having first opened with an overture, in this instance the sad demise of Gary Speed, setting the tone and pace of the piece.

    What sets your Posts apart is your irresistible urge to include a powerful counter melody, a descant in truth, admonishing the ne’er-do-wells for their failure to recognize the truth, or their crass inability to appreciate the perspective of the bigger picture.

    If not a composer in a past life, perhaps you were a thunderous preacher giving forth a stirring sermon from a pulpit! πŸ™‚

    Loved it. πŸ™‚

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh Jeepers RA,
    You’ve been away prcticing your English haven’t you?

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Anyway, how the heck are you?

  14. Red Arse says:

    Hi Micky,

    I never practice anything much! πŸ™‚

    Your comment about the spelling of Goetze is spot on. With an umlaut – no ‘e’, without an umlaut over the ‘o’ – then you have to insert the ‘e’. Germans eh? πŸ™‚

  15. Red Arse says:

    Minor setback, Micky, and still a tiny bit fragile, but OK, thanks.

    Really sorry to have missed the master writer, aka Rocky, because I had obtained tickets for the last two games – but next time, hopefully.

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Do you know where the umlaut button is? Rather hoping that we are going to be needing it πŸ™‚

  17. Rasp says:

    ΓΆ πŸ˜›

  18. Red Arse says:

    I am rather a lazy so and so, Micky, and when I need a fancydan foreign letter I simply use MS Word.

    There are loads of weird letters on there!

  19. Rasp says:

    GΓΆtze …. Goetze

  20. Rasp says:

    ΓΆ = alt 148

  21. Red Arse says:

    Show off, Rasper! πŸ™‚

  22. Red Arse says:

    ΓΆ ΓΆ ΓΆ ΓΆ ΓΆ ΓΆ ΓΆ ΓΆ – liberate the umlauts!!! ΓΆ ΓΆ ΓΆ

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    It had to take a moving post by our brilliant Socrates to finally let re-surface our very own Aristotle! πŸ™‚ I somehow knew we would hear from you today RA.

    DanDan, this is a beautiful post that only you can write: it has depth, warmth and wisdom. Thanks mate.

  24. MickyDidIt89 says:

    alt 148, alt ctrl 148, alt 148 all together, alt arrow up 148, bollocks. He’s Goetze to me!

  25. Mr Red Arse – nice to have you back πŸ™‚

    chas – your masterpiece will be published on Thursday/Friday. Thank you for coming up with the goods.

    dandan – thank you for your wise words πŸ™‚

    Come on Rasp – tell us how it’s done. Clever clogs πŸ˜€

  26. Ooops, you have 😳

  27. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Class, dandan.

  28. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Good start to the day, Peeples are here to sort out the damage caused by them darn Bulls !.

  29. MickyDidIt89 says:

    that’s alt grrr 148
    so there

  30. chas says:

    Perfect, dandan.

    peaches, I’ve replied to your email.

    RA, great to have you back. What would you guess I was in a past life?

  31. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The Chef in a local boozer is convinced he was a Panzer Tank Commander in a previous life. Normally I would be unconcerned, but his penchant for serviving sausages while wearing combat trousers does beg questions.

  32. MickyDidIt89 says:

    serving although surviving does work!

  33. Red Arse says:

    Won’t be around much today — careful……I heard those sighs of relief – πŸ™‚ but I will be catching up on the backlog of Posts and comments.

    Tried to convince the big cheese that I was good to go by demonstrating to her my incredible strength, by cracking a walnut between my bicep and forearm.

    She did not know I had cut around the circumference of the nut which I had found behind the cushion of my armchair, before the daring demonstration.

    Did not work tho’ — she told me she had not bought nuts since last February – and in any case, she did not trust a sneaky b*stard like me.

    What a cheek!!

  34. Scott says:

    Let us not forget Luca Jones,either.
    Brad Jones,Aussie keeper for Liverpool,lost his 5 y.o son to leukaemia this week,also.
    The loss of Gary Speed is a tragedy,but let’s be grateful he had 42 years and a career.
    I have a 5 y.o boy,and though obviously I never met the Luca,it still is very close to home.
    Luca never had a chance at a life,family,career………truly tragic.
    RIP Luca and Gary.

  35. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok, I think 11:00 is a reasonable time to start work. Most people will have got over the shock of monday morning and finished their first twitter session.
    Back later.

  36. Red Arse says:

    Micky, πŸ™‚

    Chas, Perhaps you were a dashing, rip roaring young subaltern during WW1 keen, clever and brave, who was always first over the top of the trenches charging the enemy.

    When shot you would tell the field medics – “Don’t worry, I’m OK, it does not count as I am really just a Sim on PS3. Let’s go again, because I have a vid to make!”. πŸ™‚

  37. Rasp says:

    Thanks Scott, obviously Luca’s story didn’t make the headlines in such a big way but nevertheless a tragedy for his family, and one that puts football tribalism into perspective. There was also the sad case of the German keeper Robert Enke who committed suicide in 2009.

  38. MickyDidIt89 says:

  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I have my coat, and I’m out of the door.

  40. evonne says:

    Red Arse!! that was a long sulk!

  41. chas says:

    RA, πŸ™‚

    I used to have a recurring dream about being keel-hauled and visiting the Cutty Sark or the Victory used to make my hair stand on end when walking close to the hull.

    Sometimes I do feel like a Sim, very perceptive of you.

  42. RockyLives says:

    Wow. What an amazing read. Thanks Dandan.

    Welcome back. Liberate the umlauts indeed! πŸ˜€

    I think in an earlier life I was an umlaut.

    Pirate in a past life then? Yep, I can see that…

  43. SharkeySure says:

    Dandan…very timely, and top top quality.

    Many thanks

  44. oz gunner says:

    Thank you for the moving post dandan, thoroughly enjoyed. Moments like these really put things in persepective.

    @ LB

    well said, life is a wonderful thing

    @ RA

    welcome back, i was starting to worry. I almost sent out the SAR Australia! haha

  45. oz gunner says:

    ‘Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold’

    ‘To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to leave the world a better place; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded.’

    These two quotes resonate with me greatly. Gary Speed by all accounts was a great bloke and he definently typified them both as he left his mark on many. However, i wish the media would respect his family and friends, and leave it be.

    Although i do not necessarily agree with suicide, i can not judge as i’ll never understand it nor will i ever know what one thinks when they are in that dark place.

    My deepest condolensces head out to Gary’s loved ones.

  46. LB says:

    Hi Oz

    Who wrote that second quote?

  47. Red Arse says:

    Hi Oz, πŸ™‚

    I would love to see the SAR Aus in action.

    I have probably told you this before.
    But, a couple of years ago, I was walking along the path immediately beside the ‘beach’ in Cairns with a couple of colleagues,and we were feeling mellowly pixolated, when we noticed a battered old sign warning of the dangers of sea crocs.

    We laughed at this thinking it was just a ‘tourist’ come on, and altho’ it was dusk, one of my buddies was jokingly challenged to go down to where we could see some white pelicans on the shoreline.

    He started to climb down, when there was an almighty thrashing in the water close by the birds. He stopped and came back PDQ, and the noise subsided and everything looked serene, again.

    The next morning I told the guy I was visiting what had happened, and he said it “Look, it’s no bloody joke, mate”. It seems that dogs, off the lead, were often snaffled by these things, but that the locals were too smart to do stupid things like we were doing. That told us.

    It’s a no brainer, that It would have been too late for Search and Rescue if my friend had gone down to the beach that night! πŸ™‚

  48. Red Arse says:

    Sulk, Evonne? Don’t understand that, but hello to you too! πŸ™‚

  49. goonermichael says:

    During the city dippers game the commentator brought the old paisley/shankley (can’t remember which) “more important than life and death” quote then said “it doesn’t seem that way today”.

    Fantastic writing dandan.

  50. gunnern5 says:



    To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Essayist & Poet

  51. oz gunner says:

    Beat me to the punch G5. Love his stuff, nothing compares.

    @ RA

    haha i don’t blame you i would of thought the same. A few years back i watched a show confirming what the guy had told you. If i was your mate and got that close i’d have probably ran until water was just a mirage!

  52. gunnern5 says:

    Arsenal teenager tipped for big things

    On-loan Arsenal striker Luke Freeman is two games into his spell at Stevenage and already making a big impression. The 19-year-old delivered Stevenage’s biggest threat in a 0-0 draw against Walsall, and the club’s manager Graham Westley believes with a bit of experience Freeman can become a genuine force.

    “He is a handful but he’s going to have to adapt his game and learn when to release it at the right time,” Westley said. “There were times when he attracted two or three players over to him and if he had released it we could have been in on the overload. But he’s a talented

  53. Big Raddy says:

    DD. Thoughtful post. I said my piece yesterday and have nothing to add.

    RA. Welcome back and I hope you are healthy again. I was in Cairns a couple of years ago staying at Gilligan’s. Fine place and a lively town. Also the first time I ate crocodile!

  54. Red Arse says:

    Hi BR, πŸ™‚ and thanks.

    I have stayed at the Mercure and the Pullman hotels in Cairns, very nice, but I did have breakfast at Gilligan’s, as it was recommended for its American (English) bacon and egg feast.

    OK, it may also have been mentioned that there were some very cute chicks staying there from all parts of the world.

    The breakfast was great and so were the girls! πŸ™‚


    Brilliant stuff Dan the Man.

    Redders, where have you been? traveling the universe in your multi dimensional time shifting machine?

  56. harry says:

    Nice piece DoubleD, but whilst your sentiment will touch many, unfortunately many in society will only momentarily pause and then forget.

    Also it is also worth noting that, it may not have been on the front pages, hidden in the depths of the papers and often maligned as a side note, another serviceman died yesterday, thats 390 servicemen or women that have died in the duty of their country.

    The world is arguably a better place than 100years ago, but the human race have truly so much to learn.

    My thoughts are with all families around the world, from whichever walk of life they come from, that are today in mourning……..

    I once wrote, when I visited a concentration camp, that

    “The human race has never, and will never learn”

  57. evonne says:

    RA – well, 26may goes and sulks, so I thought that’s is what you did too. One way or another I am glad you are back.

    Harry – Sharkey and I have discussed the wars only last week, we both agree with you, terrible.

  58. evonne says:

    Such wonderful tributes are being paid to Gary Speed, not one bad word. It is tragic for his children, especially because he was such a decent man. There is an old wives tale that the best people often die young and the heartless bastards live to be a 100

  59. Red Arse says:

    Hi TerryM, I have missed your bonhomie and good cheer. πŸ™‚

    Evonne, that rascal 26M is far to handsome and sophisticated to indulge in mundane sulkiness, he would surely only deign to pout or perhaps stand aloof from the foibles of the hoi polloi! πŸ™‚

    But don’t tell him I said so!! πŸ™‚

  60. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What is it about “old wives” and sagely words?

  61. Rasp says:

    Its disturbing to hear that ArsΓ¨ne thinks that RvP, Theo and Ramsey are in the ‘red zone’ in terms of their susceptibility to injury due to the number of games they have played already.

  62. Rasp says:

    ….. I would have thought Arteta is also on that list.

  63. Red Arse says:

    Hi Harry,

    When comparing the world as it is today with the way it was 100 years ago, I suspect the sadness and heartbreak in both eras is pretty much the same, even if caused by different exigencies.

    I would be unable to differentiate the tragic misery caused to the families of men who died in WW1 or in Afghanistan, other than one of scale.

    At a macro level, the socio-economic problems are also different between the eras but there have always been poor, vulnerable and disenfranchised people who did, and still do, bear the brunt of the unfairness in most societies.

    Sport and in particular, football, is for many worldwide, myself included, a very necessary safety valve to vent the pressures of modern day living, but as DD has indicated, it is just that – not in and of itself anything more than an enjoyable game, however much we may love it.

    In other words – I agree with you! πŸ™‚

  64. RockyLives says:

    Ramsey and Arteta were both showing signs of “red zone-ism” on Saturday (to me eyes, anyway).
    Theo, however, looked firmly in the (green?) zone, although I read that there’s some question of a tweaked hamstring.

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Is there an infra red zone for the Diaby’s?

  66. dandan says:

    ..Evening all, Thank you for your kind comments,

    Harry I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments, But by all accounts Mr Speeds humanity was a credit to his profession and our obsession and as such worthy of the reaction his passing has engendered

  67. harry says:

    Hi Red Arse, good to have you back with your so often wise words…

    I agree in someways its self defeating in a way to compare era’s, but if nothing else, medical advancement gives us a slightly better world.

    I agree that football provides a release and seen as i spend all my spare time, either coaching or watching, I use football as my crutch for my life.

    And according to evonne, I am going to reach a hundred, so I need football for a few more years yet……..

  68. LB says:


    I echo what you are saying up there. And add that my guess is that Wenger will play Arteta until he falls over which should be just about the time when Wilshere returns.
    Walcott, tweaked a hamstring in the first half, he signalled to the bench but they seem to indicate that he should try and run it off.

  69. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, yes I read that Theo’s hamstring was complaining and that Diaby is undergoing scans on a muscle problem. Thank goodness we can give them a rest midweek, I shall be disappointed if any more than 2 starting players from Saturday line up against city.

    Its probable that Jenkinson’s injury resulted from overplaying. The one player I’d like to see start is Arshavin to give him a chance to develop some form and because it means that Gerv will start at the weekend.

  70. LB says:


  71. LB says:

    Arshavin and Gervinho play better together than Arshavin and Walcott, in my humble opinion, of course.

  72. Rasp says:

    Hi LB,

    Are you saying that you prefer a front 3 of Arsh, RvP and Gervinho over Gerv, RvP and Theo, or are you thinking of a different formation?

  73. chas says:

    I don’t understand why AW would announce which players are in the ‘red zone’. Doesn’t it give the opposition information we should be keeping to ourselves? It certainly doesn’t do the fans any good knowing.
    Even though Jack was injured on international duty, Wenger still got the blame from the blogs because of this red zone nonsense. Surely we know that if a player is rested, it’s because he needs a rest?

  74. Rasp says:

    My testicles were in the red zone on Saturday when we went 1 nil down πŸ™„

  75. chas says:

    Far too much info!

  76. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, πŸ™‚

    I am disappointed I missed you on your UK trip, but I have just read your most recent Post and must say it was excellent, as usual.

    Can I, belatedly, put my pennyworth in about the noise levels at the game last Saturday?
    I absolutely accept the perception of yourself, GIE and other AAers that many of the crowd, including yourselves, were giving their all vocally and the sound generated in the Stadium was considerable. That’s a given!

    In contrast, the sound, emanating from my TV/HiFi, as heard by an armchair bound fan, surprised me at how muted the support seemed to be.
    This may have been a consequence of the organized and locally concentrated and concerted sound levels generated by the Dortmund fans as compared to the more widespread sound of Arsenal fans dispersed throughout the Stadium.

    Either way, and we have discussed all this at length on a number of occasions, there is a disparity between the perception of the sound levels experienced by fans in the ground as compared with what is transmitted.

    Two questions therefore arise;
    – Do Sky ‘turn down’ the volume of sound generated by the fans in favour of the sound levels they deem necessary for armchair fans to more easily hear the dulcet tones of their commentators? or ….
    – Are the Sky microphones too poorly positioned in a vast stadium to enable them to properly harvest the outpourings of devoted Gooners?

    We need to know!! πŸ™‚

  77. RockyLives says:

    I’m going to tell my boss I’m in the red zone and see if he gives me a couple of weeks off…

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There would’nt be a Red Zone if we were allowed to have 1st XI quality on the bench. Would there LB? πŸ™‚


    Every time i have watched Spurs and Liverpool play this season they have looked fresh and up for it. People forget that in the race for top four we have had to juggle the league with the Champions League. For this reason ime not concerned about players been in the ‘Zone’. They will all get a nice rest midweek and be up and it for Wigan away. The playing field has leveled with us and Spurs now and we will overtake them soon, infact we will eat them alive….and it will be delicious.

  80. Rasp says:

    Hi chas, you’re right that AW got the blame and probably deservedly. Up until his injury, Jack had played more hours on the pitch than any other player and he was the youngest in the squad. The fact that he finally got injured on International duty is probably academic.

    I wonder how much of Cesc’s permanent hamstring problem has resulted from being over played at a young age. I think AW can be quite ruthless when the situation demands.

  81. LB says:


    Excellent point, Wenger never does that………….there must be something more to it, probably getting us used to the idea of Diaby, Chamakh and Arshavin making immanent appearances, he may even have said that to explain why he won’t be fielding the A team tomorrow. It’s easy to forget that some people still need that explained.

  82. Red Arse says:


    — “My testicles were in the red zone on Saturday when we went 1 nil down” —

    I presume the rest of you was in the blue zone, or is that one exaggeration too far? πŸ™‚

  83. Rasp says:

    Now that is a good theory LB, le boss has said that to make it clear to any moaners the importance of resting key players for a game that is of little importance to our season – I like it!

  84. chas says:

    I thought Pearce and Capello were warned about Jack, Pearce left him out of the u21 squad, but Capello ignored the warning and called him up for the qualifier against Switzerland on June 4th.
    I must have missed something.

  85. LB says:


    I was looking for a silver lining, the combo of Arshavin and Walcott is as flat this season as it was last, but it occured to me that a by product of Walcott’s possible injury is that Arshavin seems to play better with Gervinho and by that I mean an attack of AA, RvP, Gerv.

  86. Rasp says:

    No you are correct chas I believe, but the fact is that Jack had played way too much and it was an injury waiting to happen I suspect.

  87. Rasp says:


    It is true that both Walcott and Gerv work better with RvP than one another. Maybe the fact that Arshavin comes inside more whereas Theo generally stays out wide explains the difference. As a winger, you want to look up and see your striker making a run in anticipation of your cross whereas Arsh prefers to dribble the ball into the box.

  88. RockyLives says:

    Great interpretation of AW’s “red zone” comments.

  89. Red Arse says:

    You and me both, Chas! πŸ™‚

    I am running a bit behind you guys, due to circumstances, so can i just say — well I’m going to anyway — that Saturday confirmed my view that Santos is/was the most skillful player on the pitch, and I love him (in an entirely masculine way πŸ™‚ ).

    OK, his positional play could be better, blah blah, and I sometimes wince when he does a flick or twiddles his foot when surrounded by 6 oppo players, but somehow, like a magician, he finds an Arsenal player and trots off unconcernedly, as if it was the easiest and most natural thing in the world to do. Me like!! πŸ™‚

  90. Rasp says:

    Read Arse, we had scheduled a superb post singing Santos’ praises for today but recenty events meant that dandan’s was perfect and had to go up. The Santos post is by one of your favourite bloggers and will go up later in the week after we have despatched city 1:3 ( 😳 ) on Tuesday

  91. RockyLives says:

    It’s not often a fullback gets MoTM, but Santos was certainly my choice on Saturday.

    He has such a cool demeanour. His body language sends out all sorts of “don’t worry, I’ve got it under control” signals.

  92. Rasp says:


    Apologies for not attaching the MotM poll to your match report. I had intended to make it a permanent feature but somehow the game didn’t seem to merit it. Perhaps the person who is writing the report could indicate whether they would like me to add a poll?

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Did anyone else notice MC standing on the touchline with his hands over his face (praying?) before he came on. I really hope the guy scores a hattrick against City. Nothing worse than seeing a player so desperate for a change in fortune.

  94. Red Arse says:

    Exactly, Rocky!

    Rasper, I cannot wait to read the Post you are referring to!

    I wonder who the author might be? πŸ™‚

  95. LB says:

    Definitely Santos for me on Saturday.

  96. Red Arse says:

    I noticed, Micky, and my heart goes out to the guy.

    Football wise, Chammers is in a tremendous slough at the moment, and it seems like he is playing as if he is treading in treacle, and it will take something special to get out of it.

    Sadly, I’m not convinced he can do it. 😦

  97. Rasp says:

    Santos was also my MotM but I would have put Vermaelen a close second despite the OG. From where I was, I couldn’t see how culpable he was but it is often the case that the scorer of an OG is just unlucky whereas there was nothing unlucky about the way he attacked the ball in the box to get the equaliser.

  98. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Red Arse,
    Great to see your writing`s back on here, even though some of them words leave me bamboozled !. πŸ™‚
    Evonne ,
    Thanks for the news that I have another 26 years of looking at my Mother-in-law, If I last that long. 😦

  99. Red Arse says:

    I agree Rasp.

    TV was everywhere – defense – offense – midfield.
    An immaculate display, and we now have a fantastic leader for all the guys on the CB roster! πŸ™‚

  100. Red Arse says:

    Whoops — ‘CB roster’ = CBs in the squad/team. Sort of! πŸ™‚

  101. Red Arse says:

    Hi GLIC, πŸ™‚

    How’s your bulls? (And that is not a typo TMHT) πŸ™‚

  102. evonne says:

    RA – 26may in away, it is safe to slag him off, we will not be sued.

    See, you are back and the blog is busy again.

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    Having watched the game again Ramsey was our best player in the first half and Walcott came close to it. Ramsey tired very quickly in the second half, and only then he started to make mistakes. Probably not many will agree but Ramsey was my man of the match.

  104. evonne says:

    Harry – I didn’t refer to you, it was Micky I meant (not really πŸ™‚ ). You are such a good dad, the boys are great, congrats. I noticed your expression when I mentioned drugs, sorry, foot in mouth….

    I also cry every time a young lad comes back home from Afghanistan in a wooden box; some would say they chose their profession.

    Millions of children die of hunger every day; some would say that their parents should not have children if they cannot efford to feed them.

    Some people have mental health issues. I can tell you that NOBODY chooses to have a mental health problem.

  105. Red Arse says:

    Darn it, Evonne, and I thought I was being discretely sparing with my comments.

    Actually, DD’s Post was what has brought out the discussions among us, and he deserves credit for that! πŸ™‚

    I read earlier today that my man, 26, is apparently giving lectures to his adoring Chinese fans. Wonder if it is in Mandarin or Cantonese?

    I do not think I ‘slagged’ him off, as such ( πŸ™‚ ) whatever that means, altho’ I did say I do not think he would permit an outward show of public sulkiness, but rather that he might express himself in a slightly more effete way.

    Oooer, if I only had Rocky’s way with words — I think I have now dug myself in deeper!! πŸ™‚

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Holy Jamoley. There is a game tomorrow !


    Are you sure Redders? ha ha, ime sure thats the 2nd time youve mentioned gonads today?

  108. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Them darn Bulls. It`s all been rectified today, and just before It started to pee down. Will have to wait `til the Spring to see how good a job they have done.

  109. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    How far along are you with that post ?, I`m really looking forward to It. Stop keeping me in suspenders !


    Cornwall, i havent even started it yet, ha ha. But i will do it.

  111. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, πŸ™‚

    Theo has been much better lately, and his cross for TV to score was exquisite!

    Rambo was not my MoTM, as I said earlier – or did I? – I would probably have given it to Santos.

    That said, I think Rambo puts in an amazing box to box stint, every game, and Saturday was no exception. He takes up goalscoring positions, time after time, usually after some lung busting runs, only for the ball to be passed to someone else. Unfortunately, when Theo laid it on a plate for him, the ball bobbled and his shot ended up yards over the bar, and that is what some fans remember, not the good stuff he does.

    As you say, it was when he tired that he made mistakes – don’t we all? – and AW was right to take him off.

    I really rate him, and, in the not too distant future, it will all click for him!
    A legend in the making, if the fans show some patience with him, but how likely is that?

  112. evonne says:

    Raddy – yes, game tomorrow. If you haven’t found a famous Gunner for tomorrow, you could always mention GunnerMichael, he is famous!

  113. evonne says:

    RA – he admits himself to sulking

    Yes, Dandan’s post is good, very good, so what’s new πŸ™‚

  114. chas says:

    Live football tonight is that Charlton v Huddersfield game.
    They’re saying it’s the 44th game in the run, but as Rocky said on Saturday, Huddersfield lost 3-0 to Peterborough in the playoff final at the end of last season, so the run is a little false.

  115. Jamie says:

    Small AA anouncement.

    I am in Calafornia and getting married tomorrow in Monteray.

    Weather is good, food is massive and the beer is ok too.

    Anyone in the Tavern for the Everton game when I get back.

  116. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I so wanted Huddersfield to win that play off, just to wipe the smile of Adrian Durham`s face,

  117. chas says:

    Congrats for tomorrow, Jamie. (there’s still time to back out πŸ™‚ )
    I’ll be there for the Everton game.

  118. evonne says:

    Congratulations Jamie!!! All the very best!
    Ha ha ha, that’d be the end to your booze induced greasy burger nights, ha ha ha. Slippers and salad mate

  119. Red Arse says:


    I do not want to pre-empt your pre-match, but it is not going to be that easy for AW to pick a team to play the Oil Slicks, and to also rest most of the first teamers.

    We have sent out many of our best ‘reserves’ on loan, or have some suffering injuries.

    Watt is at Sheff Wed, Chuks Anneke and Freeman at Stevenage, Bartley at Rangers, Lansbury at Wham and so on.

    Still, AW might delve into his first team squad, with Oxo, Park, Chammers, Pong, Le Coq, Diaby etc.

    It will be interesting to read your thoughts tomorrow. πŸ™‚

  120. evonne says:

    Chas you monster, time to back out!!

  121. Red Arse says:

    Congratulations to you and your wife to be, Jamie! πŸ™‚

    What a great place to tie the knot, and let me tell you the weather here has taken a turn for the worst, so having great weather there is a bonus.

    Anyway, enjoy your day! πŸ™‚

  122. goonermichael says:

    Who’s going to the Tavern tomorrow? Evonne I’m a hairdresser not an inventor (Don’t know how to do the blushing smiley) and I’m not famous. I did discover a new continent once though.

  123. goonermichael says:

    Have a great day Jamie. Is it your first time?

  124. harry says:

    Lol, Raddy, get writing………

    Evonne, I knew you didnt mean me, but I did!!

  125. evonne says:

    GM – you are famous. My hairdresser and her mate knew instantly who you are. Now they also know you are a mad Gunner

    LB – 110 in your case

  126. LB says:

    Hahahaha that’s funny.

  127. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RA, good to have you back at AA πŸ™‚ and to hear you are feeling a bit better again!

    You are right re Rambo’s perception by the fans, but boy did he work his guts out in the first half and he was so close to scoring a goal. He was desperate to get us going and allover the pitch: a top-top prospect. Once he starts scoring regularly he will be unstoppable. Just hope the Gary Speed suicide will not affect him too much – Rambo seems to have a sensitive character and this could be quite a big shock for him.

  128. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all – I was the most popular of persons today when I arrived with my bad full of “Official Arsenal sweets” – even the Mancs ate them. In May, I will bring a truckload of humble pie for them to eat.

  129. Irishgunner says:

    *bag full

  130. Irishgunner says:

    13Szczesny13 Wojciech Szczesny
    @JackWilshere I’d be the best babysitter in the world mate! At least you know I wouldn’t drop him… SAFE HANDS!!!
    5 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    13Szczesny13 Wojciech Szczesny
    @JackWilshere Bring Archie to mine! I’ll teach him some polish! I’ll wash your car as well haha


  131. evonne says:

    Irish – Archie Wilshere….ooooohhh…bless his little heart, another little Gunner

  132. evonne says:

    Irish – the sweets – are they mints in a round red tin?

  133. Irishgunner says:

    No – they were chocolate eclairs and some hard boiled colored ones .. they were the ones for Β£1.50 – cheap and cheerful πŸ˜†

  134. Irishgunner says:

    13Szczesny13 Wojciech Szczesny
    @piersmorgan Glad I’ve managed to prove you wrong! Now I am going to prove you right!!! I’ll send you my picture with a trophy in May πŸ˜‰

  135. Big Raddy says:

    Jamie. Congratulations. Hope you have a wonderful day

  136. Irishgunner says:

    My manners 😳 Congratulations and best wishes Jamie.

  137. Big Raddy says:

    I have read that Liverpool are chasing David Villa of Barcelona.

    In the highly unlikely event that he is available, should we sign him?

  138. Irishgunner says:

    TeamRvPersie10 RvP Fan Page
    Mikel Arteta is averaging 71.1 successful passes per game at Arsenal, more than any other player in the 2011-12 PL.

  139. pat says:

    Hard news to digest about Speedo – a real loss for everyone, his family, friends and fans. As a dad myself to a young daughter this sort of news hits hard – a horrible end to a great life. So many unanswered questions…

  140. pat says:

    all the best for the wedding Jamie, congratulations!

  141. Rasp says:

    Apologies for the late entrance. Many congratulations on the nuptials Jamie, hope you have a fantastic day and many happy years ahead.

  142. I’ve had a week of broadband failure which was resolved by BT giving me the money to buy my own router. 20 minutes after it’s fixed a bloody moron electrician has cut all the phone wires working in the basement. Don’t think I’ll get on tomorrow but I’ll be at the Tavern at about 6:30 tomorrow if anyone’s there.

  143. chas says:

    Huddersfield lost. Shame. πŸ™‚

  144. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all a day of tidying house in preparation for missus return. And then participating in something called a conversation when she did return…..who knew?

    Congrats Jamie…see what you have to look forward to πŸ˜‰

    My MotM was Santos, there is such an enjoyment that comes from watching him, he puts smiles on faces at his audacity, but he is always in control. I said the other week that he is marmite but I think most people will just love him now.

  145. evonne says:

    GM – I had faulty internet for 3 months. An electrician has finally fixed it, but disabled the land line πŸ™‚ So for the last 5 months I only had one of the services, but paid for both. BT are not prepared to refund me any money

  146. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evonne from my experience that sounds like an internal wiring problem rather than a BT line fault or Equipment fault. BT engineers are very expensive, data cablers not so bad (get a quote from both!)

    When we first moved in here the previous owners had been all creative with the incoming lines and left me a problem like you I could have one not the other mainly because there was a connection leading nowhere that I couldn’t put a micro filter on.

    There are now new faceplates rather than filters which provide cleaner Broadband and Phoneline. Improved one of my clients broadband from 1.5mb to 4mb download speeds (he is out in the sticks).

  147. Jamie says:

    Cheers for all the congratulations. I have paint and a burger In hand. Lovely Jubbly

  148. RockyLives says:

    Congratulations Jamie
    I hope that’s a PINT and a burger (unless you’re planning to literally paint the town red) πŸ™‚

  149. evonne says:

    Rocky – let Jamie enjoy his colourful pint of paint and burgers, it will all change soon πŸ™‚ His nen wife will look after him properly πŸ™‚

    GiE – thank you for this. You are right of course. The engineer (a Gunner as it happens) did install the new gadget – the face thighy, tested the broadband but not the phone. If he was a Spud I wouldn’t be surprised, but one of us?? Pssshhhh, not impressed. Anyway, it is all working now, but I failed to negotiate any money off of BT for lost services

  150. evonne says:

    Carling Cup night tonight!!! I love it, I love it, I love it. My most favourite competition.

    I don’t think Le Boss will play the reserves and I HOPE that we won’t see Fabianski, please Arsene, not tonight

  151. Rob Lucci says:

    Fabianski had a good run before he was injured, and only in this kind of game he can get his form back. I hope we will see him tonight.

  152. Rob Lucci says:

    Ah, I forgot to put smiley at the end of my sentence. How do you put a big smile anyway? Can you put a laughing smiley instead of typing ‘lol’?

  153. pat says:

    Mancini having a winge over fixtures…. also interestingly hinting at at a very different (i.e. reserve) Man City team to face us…

  154. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Lovely article dandan and unfortunately I know more than most about depression.
    The overwhelming response by the football world to the tragic demise of Speed shows that there are still some good people in the world today.
    I don’t know how long my Internet will last as we have major on going problems but I am not bothered about the result tonight it may be a blessing in disquise to go out as I still feel we are just a couple of players short to rotate at strength and with the CL group stages in the bag for the first time in years we can concentrate at least until January in hopefully climbing up the league.
    RVP has scored 53% of our goals this calender year and I feel that gervinho will come good but don’t rule out a striker or another mattacking midfielder to come in, in January.
    it may be best for all if AA moves on.
    I only heard the match on the radio and Alvin Martin gave a fair apprisal and in particular pointed out Walcott’s improvement and that an Arsenal of 3 months ago wouldn’t have got a draw..
    Santos will become a crowd favorite.

    Finally going back to Speed, I believe that however it seemed unliely his suicide was premedated for one reason or another though the media will throw out numerous theories yet I doubt the truth will ever come out and why should it, it is a very sad personal event and his family should be left to grieve on their own.

  155. pat says:

    Interesting that the article Rob posts reinforces the fact you will get paid twice as much to play half as much – not good value for money really…

  156. evonne says:

    Rob – you are right about Fabianski. I like him a lot, much more than I like arrogant Szczesny. However, Shitty are strong and they are not the team to experiment with. If they were to score several goals, LF’s confidence would plummet even further.

    Let Lucky 13 deal with it

  157. evonne says:

    Aha! Mr Kelsey!! I was thinking (and talking) about you yesterday!

  158. evonne says:

    Rob – great article. I am a very forgiving person, but I want that Fatso to flop, to fall on his fat French arse and never get up. Now, I said it.
    I still love Cesc though, morning GiE and GM

  159. pat says:

    Hi Kelsey – there are also unfortunately people who don’t understand depression (reading on other sites etc) – I hope they never have to deal with tragedies such is this it is so unfortunate that people are unable to receive the help that they need before getting to the point of no return…. I have to say that this has affected me more than I expected – hopefully a good game of footy (and a win for the Gunners) will get us going again – I am sure Speedo would want us to keep on playing!

  160. pat says:

    But can Fabianski do a Cryuff turn? πŸ˜‰

    yes he is a bit mad! (or super confident)

  161. oz gunner says:

    Morning all

    Fabs did have a very good run (his game against the wolves last year was outstanding), however i feel he is very much a confidence player. These on and off games don’t do him or us any justice, and for that very reason it should be given to the worlds number 1.

    @ BR

    if he is available we definently should, he would fit in nicely. We let pool get suarez, we can’t let them snap up villa also.

    @ Jamie

    Congrats, hope it goes well for you. Hope you and your mrs have a great life together.

  162. kelsey says:

    Just caught up on the last few days comments.

    Had to laugh when goonermichael said to Jamie is that your first wife :).Anyway Jamie marriage can be a rocky ride a bit like following Arsenal.All the very best.

  163. oz gunner says:

    @ Evonne

    can fabs do this?

  164. evonne says:

    Pat – many sufferers do not seek help because they know they will be called losers, weak, cowards. This is especially true of men, they carry on until they can take it no more. The society as a whole needs to wake up to the horrors of mental health issues.

    I am still scanning news in a hope that he didn’t suffer from depression, that something horrible happened recently and he could not see a way out of it. Anything is better than a thought that this lovely man suffered for a long time in total silence. Anything.

  165. evonne says:

    Oz – ha ha ha, I forgot that one. He tried to kill the monkey twice in that game, good man. I still prefer Lukasz

  166. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Morning all,
    Are you allowed more than one wife ?, yes.
    In that case I`ll have another 365, and i`ll call them the day`s of the year, Beyonce can be January 1st, Kelly Brook, Jan` 2nd…………my current wife will be known as Febuary 29th or Leap year and I`ll probably have a headache on that day ! πŸ™‚

  167. evonne says:

    GLiC – yeah, right, as if any man can cope with more than one woman at a time! They only think they can

    Oops, I think Rasp has something to say – go on Rasp, announce the New Post

  168. oz gunner says:

    haha Glic, goodluck to you. At least with 1 wife you have 1 problem, with 365 you have a fate worst then death.

  169. evonne says:

    Oz – unless you are a Muslim. I think they are allowed several wives, poor men πŸ™‚

  170. Morning all

    There’s a New Post …………….

  171. Christmas Music…

    […]Sad Times and Glad Times « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

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