Regrets? Just the one.

It’s the 88-89 Season, and I’ve been to every home game. One game left, away at Anfield, and our first title in eighteen years is at stake. It’s the most mustest of “must go to” games since ‘71. One problem. I have also attended almost every home game for many seasons with three very good mates. Two of us have season tickets, and two do not. Liverpool have allocated about 3,000 away tickets, and the chances of both of us going look remote, and what about our other two mates?

We decided to put Matedom and Friendship first and stick together. One for all, and stay in North London we did.

Twenty three years later, and I regret that decision more than any in my life. It may only be once or twice in a Gunner’s life that these games come along, but I urge you all, never never let family or friends come first. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen while you’re at the game? They may have died, but would that have been worth missing the game for. Of course not. Not a game like that.

This wee post was prompted because last night I went to a Parents BBQ at my childrens’ school. My son has a new best mate, and my heart kinda sank as this boys’ Dad made his way over to do the exchanging phone number thing ahead of the summer sleep-overs. He looked a bit wet to me and his opening gambit of “I hear you are an Arsenal Man as well” did little to arrest my interest. After learning that he had earned his colours by doing the every home and away game in a season thing, as well as the 100 consecutive home games honour, I was still only partially moved. Then he dropped the bomb. He was at Anfield.

He joins an elite group of seven Gunners I know who were at Anfield. I am not jealous of these men. I genuinely see them as superior human beings. They have been to a place I can only dream of, and I know that wrong on my cv can ever be righted.

It is impossible that your stories can be as epically tragic and pathetic as mine, so let’s hear your tales of sacrifice or regret.

Written by MickyDidIt89

162 Responses to Regrets? Just the one.

  1. […] Regrets? Just the one. […]

  2. Shard says:

    Well.. for me..going to games isn’t really an option. But watching on TV is how I am there for my team. My regret isn’t tragic in the sense that I didn’t miss out on any moment as joyous and wonderful as Anfield 89. However, a trip with my college music group meant that I missed what should have been our 50th unbeaten game. I know it’s silly, but I can’t help but think the result would have been different if I’d been watching. In any case, I regret not being there for my team during that ridiculous Riley officiated match.

  3. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Your going to summer sleepovers with your son’s mate’s dad? Weird!!

  4. Good call Shard …………

    I know we would have won the Champions Lge if I had been there in Paris. The bar steward that I bought my season ticket from had removed the voucher for the Champions Lge Final – actually he didn’t get to go either and although a gooner friend had 2 tickets he turned out to be a right scumbag and wanted £1000 each for them – he didn’t go either.

    If I had been there Thierry would have gone round the keeper with a trick to put us 2 up.

    Sorry guys 😳

  5. Shard says:

    The CL final could have been another regret for me too Peaches. There was some problem with my tv connection during the Villareal semi final and as a result, I decided to watch the final at a friend’s house. If I was watching on my tv, we might have won. However, I didn’t count that as a regret because I took the decision so as to not miss any of the match. But even more so, (and don’t kill me for this), it just didn’t feel like our time.. To me at least. I mean I wanted us to win, and thought we had a chance. But it just didn’t feel like it was destined just yet. Good news is, I think we are destined to win a CL under Arsene Wenger. Who knows, maybe at Wembley, so you can go and ensure we win 🙂

  6. The Cabbie says:

    As a Goner since 1948 yes 1948 I have been to games every season and a season ticket holder most of those years. As a London cabbie on that wonderful night I stamped my foot and refused to watch the game on TV and went to work.After all my team were about to let me down once more ,after all the title should have been won weeks before and what team were going to win by 2 goals at Anfield. My passenger when I heard the news had a heart attack when I screamed. I did make a point of driving home past Highbury where fans were still on a high and then on to Tottenham where the silence was ear shattering. So do not be so hard on yourself,s,,,t happens

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Norfolk 🙂
    I went to the CL Final and even winning it, while epic, still would not have erased the terrible guilt and regret.
    I did turn down a smokingly hot date with a very famous pop star (female, Norfolk!) in the mid eighties. For a game against Watford!!!! Looking back, Arsenal should most definately NOT have come first.
    Swings and things I guess.

  8. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cripes Cabbie,
    Impressive track record.

  9. Captainla says:

    Arsenal is a big club why Are we focuping our self Pls let Us rise an do good

  10. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Methinks he doth protest too much!

    Just joking mickey!

  11. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Changing subject, I heard the stories about AVB going down the road. Can’t help thinking it will be a disaster. Shame really 🙂

  12. Shard says:


    I disagree about that. AVB only ‘failed’ (his PL record was slightly better than Di Matteo’s) at Chelsea because the bunch of mercenaries put themselves ahead of the club and decided to not play for him. In fact, I don’t think you can even blame poor man management for that because I think AVB’s mandate was to turn Chelsea into a younger team, playing a better brand of football. Since the players acted like a bunch of babies, Abramovich gave into their demands and went with the status quo which brought them success. More through luck than anything else though,

    Spurs don;t have anywhere near that level of ego in their dressing room, have players that can play the style that AVB would like, and they might be more willing and able to cull some of their older players. I think AVB will improve Spurs, as I think he would have Chelsea also. He needs the support of the board just like Wenger enjoys at Arsenal, to look past the short term. Something Chelsea just don’t do. Do Spurs? We’ll find out.

  13. LB says:

    Just finishing off.

    LB says

    “Arteta no longer has the legs; he neither has the speed nor the stamina to cover the amount of ground necessary to play that role, hence his paring with Song whose engine is bigger and fresher and is able to make up for Arteta’s lack of mobility.”

    Shard says

    “I don’t see why Arteta needs speed to be able to play the creative role. Cesc was never the quickest, nor is Jack for that matter. All of them always seem to have time on the ball though.”


    You can see that my point was not only that Arteta no longer has the speed but he no longer has the stamina. The comparisons you make with Cesc and Wilshere fail because they are both many years younger.

    But hey ho you could be right and Wenger might use Arteta as an attacking midfielder but I very much doubt it.

  14. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Fair points Shard,
    I was working on the assumption that Spurs, like many clubs, do have the egos, but maybe you are right. However, I think they are a very short termist club though and how their appalling fans would take to the longer term approach by building from the bottom up remains to be seen.

  15. MrGrumpy says:

    Can we have the new season’s league table on the side please? So Arsenal can stay on top longer. Thanks

  16. Shard says:

    I don’t think Arteta will be first choice AM. Just that he can play there if needed. In terms of bringing in an AM, or a DM, I think the latter is more likely to happen since we have more options for the AM slot. One of which, potentially, is Arteta, if we have someone to cover the deeper role. (which in my opinion we’ll need anyway)

    But I suppose we’ll see. I’m quite excited about the season ahead. Pre season starts soon. Can’t wait.

  17. rob hadley says:

    I was there, you didnt miss much but then I was in the Kop supporting Liverpool !. You brought flowers out before the game in memory of the 96, class act. Always had a soft spot for your team since then.

  18. Shard says:

    Yup. I think Spurs are a short termist club too (among other adjectives) Their recent statements upon Redknapp’s sacking indicate that they are looking to change that. Like I said, we’ll find out if they will. On the whole though, sadly, I think AVB will be good for them.

  19. MickyDidIt89 says:

    This fellow Dad I met last night also told me how they drove to the game, got there half an hour before KO and simply dumped the car in some side street. Out popped a bloke from a house with the “don’t worry, I’ll look after your car” bit. They expected to return and find nothing. Following the final whistle, they were stunned as the Cop applauded the away fans, and then, on returning to the car, were invited into the house by said guardian to have some beers.

  20. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Work calls.

  21. gunnern5 says:

    Micky re your 11:18 post. Cop = Kop

    Spion Kop (or Kop for short) is a colloquial name or term for a number of terraces and stands at sports stadiums, particularly in the United Kingdom. Their steep nature resembles a hill near Ladysmith, South Africa, that was the scene of the Battle of Spion Kop in January 1900 during the Second Boer War.[1]

  22. glic says:

    Sorry that your new name is ” Micky Didn`t Go There In 89 “, but I rather know who the ” Famous Pop Star ” is ?, come on ” Didn`t Go There “, spill the beans !.
    As for Shard and peaches, they should be binned or banned ( or made to pick up the tab at the Tavern for a season ) for making us lose vital games !. 🙂

  23. richie says:

    I was @ Anfield I remember the 3 car loads of us leaving Highbury early that morning (like N5 I’m an Avenell Rd boy although I live in another part of Highbury now) one whole car full (mine) didn’t have tickets 5 of us bought some from a scousa tout and his mate. When we get together before a match we do still often reminise. I was in Paris for the CL final too and after the game I couldn’t even contenplate the hotel I walked the streets till 14:00ish next day before heading to the airport, horrible! Sentimentality had me believing before the game that because I was actually there we’d win. Then when you lose you start to wonder if it was because you were there. The regret is Thierry didn’t round the keeper and bag one of his 2 one on ones, if only!!!

  24. LB says:

    Just found the time to read the post — brilliant Micky, top drawer.

  25. LB says:

    I think I am correct in saying that Highbury used to have a side called the Spion Kop which was replaced by the West Stand.

  26. LB says:


    If you brought tickets of a tout were you with the Liverpool supporters?

  27. gunnern5 says:

    LB, This is from

    That same year (1893) Woolwich Arsenal moved back to the Manor Ground, the first ground where the large steeply-banked terrace became known as Spion Kop, a name later given by soldiers returning from the Boer War. The original Kop therefore belonged to Woolwich Arsenal.

  28. @Micky: lol I was born in ’89 and I still regret that I wasnt born earlier to watch this moment….well atleast I watched the FA 2002 final on TV (my first ever footie game which forever made me a fan as I saw a red haired guy leave Terry flat on his ass and curl one in) as well as the Invincibles celebration too 🙂

  29. richie says:

    @ LB Well we certainly weren’t in the kop but yes all 5 tickets bought from our Evetonian tout were in different parts of the ground. Mine was opposite the main stand in block CE3 I think from our post match conersations over the last 23 years I had one of the best tickets we bought in terms of my view. And just in case your wondering yes I celibrated both our goals big time! I was younger and I didn’t give a fuck basically! All those around me knew I was a Gooner from London and no stewards came to look. I remember the banter from those around me, was pretty good natured, they were giving it to me in the neck about how they had it in the bag right up until MT in the last min that is.

  30. RockyLives says:

    Nice story Micky.

    I missed Anfield ’89 (I was living in Hull at the time and couldn’t get a ticket). 😦

    I missed the Paris CL Final. 😦 🙂

    But I did get to Old Toilet to watch us take the league title from the red Mancs under the nose of the Purple Conked Glaswegian 🙂

  31. Big Raddy says:

    Regrets ….. I’ve had a few …….

    1. Being locked out of Shite Hart Lane in ’71 having been to almost all the games that season

    2. Anfield ’89. I lost my Unbelievable Belief.

    3. Manchester. No idea why I didn’t apply for tickets. Shameful.

    4. Real Madrid away ’06. TH’s brilliant winner. Had the money, had the inclination. Poor execution.

    5. Barca at Home. Too poor to travel.

    But then again,……

  32. Big Raddy says:


    According to Wiki. There were 700,000 Gooners at Anfield that night. Beware.

    I met California Gunner in a pub watching the Arsenal. We have been good friends ever since.

    AFC should run a Mates Service.

  33. Big Raddy says:

    I agree with GLIC 11.58. Name names……

  34. RockyLives says:

    “AFC should run a Mates Service”
    If you need some condoms, just ask 🙂

  35. RockyLives says:

    BR and GLiC
    Let’s take bets on who Micky’s hot singer was…

    I’m going for Alison Moyet 🙂

  36. RockyLives says:

    Interesting to read quotes from AW about wanting to keep Robin “at all costs”, following on from the PHW quotes in the Mirror.

    It reinforces my belief that we will hold him to his contract even if he doesn’t extend.

    I guess a 30m+ offer might change things, but I can’t see him going.

  37. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, a quote from AW last summer….

    “Imagine the worst situation – we lose Fabregas and Nasri. You cannot convince people you are ambitious after that. Even if you lose Nasri, to find the same quality player, you have to spend again the same amount of money (to replace him). You cannot lose the player and not replace him. These players are not easy to find. Samir’s situation is clear to me – he stays. We are in a position where we can say no. We are not there to make money. We are there to keep our best players. I am confident Cesc will stay because I hope he will see there would be no greater achievement in his life than to lead this team to success.”

  38. RockyLives says:

    AW also said he could write a book about last summer.
    You can read that quote from last year and infer different things from it, for example:
    (a) AW has said in the past that key players won’t leave and then they did, ergo his comments about RvP mean nothing.
    (b) Knowing the humiliation that his comments produced last year when Na$ri and Fabregas both left, there is no way a smart man like AW would fall into the same trap again and therefore would only make such comments about RvP if he knew he was staying.

    There are probably c, d and e interpretations as well.

    “b” works just fine for me.

  39. richie says:

    @ Rasp I remember Arsene didn’t want to sell either Cesc or Nasri and was prepared to hold at least one to their contract, because he rightly said we didn’t have any replacements, especially after Kroenke American player buyer? Screwed up the negociations to buy Arsene’s 1st choice playmaker replacement Juan Mata but he Arsene was forced to sell by Kroenke who put profits before the team.

  40. glic says:

    Maybe after turning down the advances of a then slim Moyet in the mid 80`s, Micky was sat upon in “89” by a then bigger Moyet and thats why Micky Didn`t Go There In 89 !
    Moyet you bastard !.

    Apologizes Moyet, If it wasn`t you who Did It To Micky In 89 !

  41. robbinURpersie says:

    Exactly, the board are a bunch of muppets who make AW look bad..the man is loyal and would never say anything to tarnish our club…

    3 years we still had on cesc.. shove your 27mil up your woohoo

    still makes me sick to this day

  42. robbinURpersie says:

    Micky, plenty of regrets but not when it comes to Arsenal..i wake up every morning and thank the big guy upstairs that im breathing and i have a gooner heart..

    i know that one day soon i will make it to THOF, but in the mean time ill just take the back seat and keep on being envious of all the gooners who soak up the atmosphere week in week out

  43. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky,

    I wasn’t having a go … just illustrating the unreliabiltiy of AW’s statements regarding transfers.

    He is somewhere between a complete hopeless romantic (my favoured choice) or such a ‘good company man’ that he is prepared to say anything for the greater cause even if it damages his own credibility.

    Hi richie,
    There were definitely several cock-ups last summer and I doubt AW was responsible for any of them.

  44. robbinURpersie says:

    Rasp, i take it youve packed Gunnersaurus’ bags already?

    thanks for that 😉

  45. Rasp says:

    😆 rURp, I was wondering when someone would notice – unfortunately its just wishful thinking

  46. robbinURpersie says:

    they could at least save on wages and put Diaby in that hideous green suit while hes crocked, or maybe your favourite bloke Chamack would be a better fit? 🙂

  47. Rasp says:

    Nah he’d get gel all over the inside of the suit.

    I’ve long believed that David Dein is the one hiding inside Gunnersaurus just waiting for the day when he dramatically bursts out and is announced as the new Chairman 😯

  48. loved the post had me in stiches.But also very sad at 13 i was watching on tv doing summersaults at the goals.happy days!

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Gunner 5 and LB,
    Great info on the Kop. You see, there is a massive advantage in bad spelling. Without my Cop, you may never have mentioned it. Thanks.

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Now for some very bad news indeed.
    Wake up, or get back from work, depending on the time with you. Its not good at all. I dropped into the barber and was flicking through The Sun or Mirror when I read “New Spurs boss AVB in for Brazilian Wonderkid Oscar”!!!!!
    Apparently, he made inquiries before, and now sees him as a direct replacement for Modric. Clearly, he reads this site 😦

  51. Big Raddy says:

    I once turned down a date with Claudia Schiffer in order to watch the reserves play at Underhill. Never regretted it.

  52. glic says:

    OK lads, we need to get to the bottom ( no, not her arse ) of Micky`s famous 80`s singer ( female ).
    I`m just going to list the ( mostly ) British suspects.
    They will all come with a Snog (S)( this can mean S**g aswell ) ,Marry (M) or Avoid (A) marking ( just my opinion, you can add your own )

    1) Kylie (M)
    2) Bonnie Tyler (A)
    3) Sinetta (M)
    4) Sade (S)
    5) Boy George (A)
    6) Kim Wilde (S)
    7) Sheena Easton (S)
    8) Annie Lennox (A)
    9) Kate Bush (S)
    10) Marilyn (S)
    11) Olivia Newton John (M)
    12) Alice Cooper (M)

    So Micky, is she on the list ?.

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Damn it, wish I had never mentioned that!
    Its just possible that you may be one of the last people on earth I’d spill the beans to. Have a sneaky feeling you may not let it lie 🙂

  54. robbinURpersie says:

    Big Raddy, i once (actually more than once) wagged a day from school when i was in yr10 and even missed a half yr economics exam to go see Claudia Schiffer, she was doing some promo over here and i breifly got to meet her..

    i never regretted it until i came home later that day and my old man busted me on the telly

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    Non, rien de rien, non je ne regrette rien! Nice one Micky! 🙂

  56. robbinURpersie says:

    karma karma karma karma karma chameleon….micky did her so, micky did her so-oOOOOO 😉

  57. robbinURpersie says:

    and now its time to let go-oOOO

  58. glic says:

    Come on Micky, you can trust me 👿
    We will just keep it on this site ! 🙂

  59. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Love it. Busted on the telly. Don’t you love it when the camera zooms in on some couple and its flashed on the big screen, and you get that “shit, I’ve been rumbled. If the missis is watching…” look.

  60. RockyLives says:

    I think Gazidis said that Fabregas effectively forced his way out by refusing to play pre-season friendlies. I guess at that point AW realised the game was up and he had to let him go. Na$ri was good business, but the difference of opinion between AW and the Board was not good and I’m sure they won’t let it happen again this year.

  61. robbinURpersie says:

    deny deny deny…a gentleman will never kiss n tell

  62. So, I leave you all chatting away happily all day and come back to no post for tomorrow 😦

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just had a text from my one and only very good Spud chum, and boy is he unhappy about AVB.
    My feeling is that once you’ve proved that you can be trampled over by one dressing room, it’ll be mighty tough to control another when the rough patch comes along.
    Also, bear in mind that many players are good chums with those from other clubs as well.

  64. glic says:

    I think a good post would be by an 80`s singer who was left hurting at Watford Gap , ” When will I see you again ! “. I bet he got the “Third Degree” the next time they met !. 🙂

  65. LB says:

    Goodness Rasp

    You never cease to amaze me how you manage to misinterprete AW.

    First off who do you think that statement was aimed at?

    Me? You? Come on.

    That statement makes absolutely clear to the potential purchasers of Cesc and Nasri, who had already shown their colours, that they were going to have to pay a whole lot more than they were offering at the time.

    Stop thinking that those statements made by Wenger are aimed at the fans, they simply are not.

    They are part of a negotiation, pure and simple.

  66. RockyLives says:

    Didn’t think you were having a go!
    I’m enjoying the discussion.

  67. LB says:


    I obviously do not know exactly what went on with the Mata deal but I think I have a more logical scenario. Put yourself in the shoes of Valencia, Arsenal come knocking in the hope of signing Mata. Valencia know that Chelsea are about to appoint a new manager, if said new manager is interested in signing their prized asset they are going to get a awful lot more money from them than they can from us. As soon as Chelsea showed an interest we had to back down. No fault of Wenger, not fault of our board just the fault of the multi billionaire who would have purposely paid more than we because he simply could.

  68. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Couldn’t those comments have been aimed directly at the Board?
    The important thing is that the early signings of Giroud and Podolski certainly imply lessons have been learnt.

  69. LB says:


    Have you ever known Wenger to criticise the club or a player on air? We both know the answer to this. Wenger does not wash the dirty laundry in public.

    I am obviously happy about the two new signings but I am one of the few who is not critical of Wenger or the board for the activity last summer; I still believe they were exceptional circumstances.

    If Van Persie goes then it probably could be argued that having Giroud in place was a result of lessons learnt.

    By the way Wenger has said Van Persie is going nowhere.

    I now believe the club is in negotiations with Juventus for his signature.

  70. glic says:

    Arsene was let down by Na$ri and Cesc or the Board or both. So Arsene`s quote was a tactical ploy to increase their Value ?, of course it was, we nearly made Barca bankrupt with the over the top market value of Cesc ! 😆
    I trusted what Arsene said and he was made to look an idiot by the aforementioned . Simple !.

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Agreed over AW’s loyalty, but someone has to carry the can for last summer. Even supposing your Mata theory is correct, going into the season with major issues unresolved was certainly the fault of someone within. Its simply beyond belief that a Club of Arsenal’s stature should leave itself so exposed to external factors.
    We will never know, of course, becaus Arsene will never write “That Book”.

  72. LB says:

    A common complaint on many a blog is that we should have got more for Cesc. The thing I would like to know is how when you consider there was only one buyer and the idea of leaving him in the reserves is childish.
    So can someone tell me how?

  73. Rasp says:

    Hi LB, what makes you deduce that I am misinterpreting AW? They are his words not mine … said out loud …. verbatim … etc etc.

    It matters little who you think they were aimed at.

    If you read my follow up comment….. “He is somewhere between a complete hopeless romantic (my favoured choice) or such a ‘good company man’ that he is prepared to say anything for the greater cause even if it damages his own credibility.”…

    … you will see that I acknowledge that some/part or all of what he says may be a means to an end.

    Basically, what I was saying, and what you are saying is that he will come out with any old bollox if he thinks it will help his cause.

    What he has to accept is that his repeated promises that a much loved player is staying undermine his credibility with an increasing number of supporters

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I guess one answer would be “Ask Old Red Nose?”

  75. LB says:

    Cesc’s transfer was an exceptional circumstance, one that will almost certainly never happen again. Barça threatend to leave it to the last day of the transfer window and they would have, Arsenal had to blink first and we did.

  76. LB says:


    I stand corrected and apologise for the misinterpretation.

  77. RockyLives says:

    Reading your 6.22pm made me shudder at the memory of how cack handed it all was.
    Supposing the Arteta deal had not worked out in those final few hours before the window slammed shut???
    I don’t think we’d be looking forward to CL football this season if that had been the case.

    I don’t necessarily buy the Arsene v The Board conspiracies.

    It was Silent Stan’s first summer in overall control of the club and I reckon he learned a lot too, which is why I expect this summer to be much more orderly and planned out. I don’t think he had fully got his head round how much power a top player can wield if they want to move.

  78. RockyLives says:

    Mind you, our “last minute shopping” did bring in some gems, notably Arteta, the BFG and Benny. Santos is not bad also.

  79. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Re Mata. Bang on. When the big boys want someone money is an irrelevance.

    Imagine the scene. AW thinks the deal is done at €20m and 75k a week. Then the Chavs come in with a €40m bid and 120k a week. Will Mata sign for us? Are Arsenal his childhood dream?

    Non …

    BTW. I am going for Claire Grogan…..

  80. RockyLives says:

    Having had my fun with the Alison Moyet suggestion, I’m now going to offer up some more mouth-watering possibilities for your date-that-never-was…

    Debbie Harry
    Stevie Nicks
    Belinda Carlisle
    Sheena Easton
    Patty Smyth

    Go on! Who was it? (And please say it wasn’t Madonna).

  81. RockyLives says:

    B. Riddy
    Claire Grogan – good call!

  82. robbinURpersie says:

    LB,giving into a players demands is childish!!

    how could we have got more?

    LB, he still had 3yrs on a contract with us..Mourinho wanted him at Real, nd a few other clubs were sniffing..

    Putting him in the reserves would not have been childish, telling him to shut up and sit out while his career rots away would have taught him a lesson..he would have come around once he realised his international career was to be in jeopardy..

    did Mancini give into Tevez??

    and by the way, who made Cesc. was it Barca academy or Wenger??

    we got burnt big time, and Barca are still laughing at us…

    Back to your arguement that we could not get anymore for him because only one club was in the hunt..Does that mean we sell Park for 4mil less than we paid because only one club are interested, or maybe we sell Bendtner for 2mil because Malaga are the only club interested??

    Please sir, give me a break

  83. Shard says:

    “he important thing is that the early signings of Giroud and Podolski certainly imply lessons have been learnt”

    Over on 7amkickoff, Tim put in to words what I was thinking but never quite tried to piece together. Rather than lessons being learnt, maybe it’s as simple as Arsenal having some extra cash to spend. Namely the 26m we got from the sale of the Queensland Road site. Which would mean that the business is done for the summer, unless we manage to move on all of the players we don’t want at the club. Even then, much of the money raised from that would go towards new contracts for RVP, Theo and Song, so there might not be much left for another signing. Although, maybe the new commercial deals will also help in that regard.


    Thanks Micky. Know what you mean about 89. Everytime i think of that day i always have that tinge of wish i was there. But i wasnt so sod it. We can both make up for it by making sure we go to the Champions League final next year and watch us make history.

    LB, great comments about last summer. Apportioning blame is easy, especialy when we dont know all the facts. We all do it, human nature i guess, but it dosnt mean its right.

    Cornwalls list r.e. micky….Boy George. hahahahahaha

  85. robbinURpersie says:

    so we are struggling for cash and we sell our most prized asset for dirt cheap because only one club are interested..doesn’t make sense..

    doesnt matter, we always have first option to buy him back, what a joke!!

    im off to hit the bag for a while

  86. Shard says:

    Putting Cesc in the reserves was not an option!! It’s not childish, it’s just bad business. We cannot pay a player 80 or 90 grand a week and not play him. We’d effectively lose Cesc, and not be able to bring in an Arteta. You’d lose 4-5m in wages, further reduce his future tranfer fee, have a player spoiling morale, and have no other player come in to lift the level of the team.

    ManU, and City with Ronaldo and Tevez are poor examples because neither of them were in the financial situation that we are in. Also Ronaldo would have loved to go to Madrid, but if Inter had offered more money, he certainly hadn’t ruled them out. Cesc wanted to go to only Barca, and wanted to go NOW!! He didn;t honour his contract in anything other than in name. There is no point keeping a player like that. If we had more money in hand, we could probably have had a stronger negotiating position with Barca. We didn’t, and the club did all they could. It’s unfair to blame them.

  87. Shard says:


    It wasn’t that one team was interested in him. It was that he was only interested in the one team. Big difference.

  88. MickyDidIt89 says:

    So would I Raddy 🙂
    Claire Grogan that is.

  89. Shard says:

    Oh and Cesc showed no sense of self worth. Barca obviously didn’t value him as much as Arsenal did. Cesc didn’t think that Barca should pay a decent fee for him. He was determined to force his move through, regardless of whatever Barca deigned to pay for him.


    Shard, you touch on a very interesting point. the way i see it is like this. For the last several years Arsenal have been the most vulnerable club for the predatory likes of City and Barca to pick us off. The explanation is simple, firstly they can shoot us out of the water when it comes to wages and finances, and secondly and more fundemental, is that we are a great club with a great manager who constantly churn out excellent players that the predetors want. This is what a lot of people fail to understand about Arsenal. Once we gain a level were we can keep our players, and uts coming, it will be us doing the shooting.

  91. robbinURpersie says:

    if we can put a media ban on our captain today why couldnt we put one on our captain back then? then we could have accidentally let that window pass us by… “whoops, sorry Cesc, next time son!!”

    And when a player is still contracted to your club and he goes away on international duty and players and staff start tapping your player up both in camp with the Barca shirt and through the media, why cant we report them and tell them to back the F**K UP

  92. robbinURpersie says:

    Please someone tell me again that the board couldnt have done better..

    someone said it was Silent stans first full window…

    Yup, it showed alright

  93. robbinURpersie says:

    Valencia got 40mil for David Villa and he was quoted as saying he was only interested in moving to Barca if he was ever to leave

  94. glic says:

    I think Stan was too busy admiring the reflection of his seamless syrup in the Window !.

  95. Big Raddy says:

    Robbin. It’s history. Let it go.

    Think of the €30m we got for Adebayor or the same for Overmars , Nasri and Anelka.

    Some you win, some you lose.

  96. Shard says:

    David Villa gave plenty of ‘come get me pleas’ to Arsenal for many years as well. Besides, Barca were willing to pay that much for him because they needed him. With Xavi, Iniesta and Thiago Alcantra, they didn’t need Cesc. They made Cesc need them, and cesc turned his back on us.

    Reporting clubs is a joke. We saw that with Ashley Cole. You have to report both the club, and the player. Chelsea got a ban that was loose change for them, and Cole probably got angrier at Arsenal than anything. Besides, Cesc wasn’t speaking to the media to generate a move. He was simply speaking to Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Guardiola. You think FIFA will take action against Barcelona for that? Hell they were reporting Xavi’s love for Cesc on their own website. The desire for something to be better is understandable. Some show of bravado, such as sticking Cesc in the reserves, reporting Barcelona for tapping up etc, is very appealing too. It just doesn’t really work out that way because there is nothing to gain by that. Sure, we can probably pick up a few pointers from last season to learn what to do better, what not to do etc. But it was a situation forced on the club, and they had to play with the hand that was dealt to them. They didn’t have much room for maneouver.

  97. robbinURpersie says:

    Ok Raddy.. its just that i see Cesc as a top 5 midfielder in the world today..Even Wenger said that he had not seen a more talented and exceptional player at 17 since Pele!… Pele!

    its gone, sorry good people, good night


    Cornwall, i will let you in to a little secret about a delux syrup. They are not just lifeless pieces of fur that you just lump on your head, Quite the opposite. They have a life of there own and posess great symbiotic qualities. Stan without his syrup is probably a nerdy type who wouldnt say boo to a goose, is bossed about by Peter Hill Wood and starts crying when Arsene Wenger talks to him. Once he performs symbiosis whith the syrup however he is a changed man. Rides into the Grove on a horse, whiplashing Gunersauraus on the way in, sticking Ivan gazidis head down the toilet, and telling Arsene that he wants to do his wife.

    So thats what realy happened last summer. Arsene made those comments about cesc and nasri because syrupless stan said he would do what ever Arsene wanted. But unfortunitly next time round syrup headed stan personaly drove cesc to the airport, beating him up on the way, and demanded Nasri was sold because he didnt like his face.

    Dangerous things those syrups.

  99. Big Raddy says:

    Big John Wayne wore a syrup for most of his life, so did Burt Lancaster.

    Real men. Not like those ponces with hair like Tom Cruise or Hugh Grant.

    Real men are follically challenged (are you reading kelsey 🙂 )

  100. Big Raddy says:

    “and demanded Nasri was sold because he didnt like his face.”

    Can’t think of a better reason.

  101. LB says:


    I actualy said that the idea of putting Cesc in the reserves was childish not that giving into players demands was.

    There is a difference in the same as Shard says there is a difference between only one team being interested in him and he being only interested in one team.

    I also think you will find that it was widly reported that Villa went to Barça for a lot less than the 40 mil you suggest.

  102. LB says:

    Shard @7.30

    Bang on except for one small point that being that every interview that David Villa gave to the Spanish press he made absolutly clear that he did not want to move abroad.

    Arsenal were never in the running.

  103. robbinURpersie says:

    LB says:
    July 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm
    A common complaint on many a blog is that we should have got more for Cesc. The thing I would like to know is how when you consider there was only one buyer and the idea of leaving him in the reserves is childish.
    So can someone tell me how?

    …”only one buyer” your words not mine

    Raddy, now please kindly tell others to leave it alone, im trying

  104. LB says:

    Which, by the way Robbin was the reason he went to Barcelona for such a low fee; once it was realised that Real Madrid were not going to bid for him the Catalans knew they held all the cards and played them accordingly.

  105. robbinURpersie says:

    they sold Ibrahimovic to finance Villa… they wanted him more than they needed him..

  106. Big Raddy says:

    I have to agree with LB on this. Villa was never going to leave Spain. We may well have been interested but it is a 2 way deal.

    This is another urban myth, just like the reason we didn’t sign Alonso was because we didn’t bid enough money, which was completely untrue.

  107. LB says:

    If Cesc was only prepared to go to one club then there was only one buyer.

    Robbin you obvioulsy care about Cesc as I do but it simply is not possible to keep players of that stature anymore if they do not want to stay. Times have changed.

  108. LB says:


    Barcelona needed Villa more that Villa needed Barcelona? Given that he did not want to move abroad and Real madrid did not bid for him where else could he have gone?

  109. glic says:

    Thank you Terry, I think I commented once before about the symbiotic qualities of syrups. I now expect to see an episode of one of my favourite programmes featuring them, ” Once upon a time” on channel 5. Could be the one featuring ” Snow White and the Seven Syrups ” or ” Rapunzel “, where Flynn has a nastier fall than Humpty Dumpty due to Rapunzels dodgy syrup !. Dick Whittingham and his Syrup, the list is endless, I think it is an alien conspiracy to take over the world !. Next time you look at one of those G8 meeting`s on TV, pay close attention to all the World leaders, their vocal cords are all manipulated by dodgy alien syrups !. I think it all started on Star Trek when the Enterprise was invaded by multiplying furry bastards !. Must lie down !. 😯

  110. Anotherswissgooner says:


    Belinda Carlisle! Yes! If it’s not true it oughtta be!
    The Go Go’s pleased the senses on so many levels for a teenaged boy back in the 80’s

  111. kelsey says:

    Reading some of the comments about Fabregas makes me think so many people know how they would manage the club better than the club itself. I know excatly the chain of events , quite complex,but quite frankly am bored with it now and as Raddy said. let’s move on.

  112. kelsey says:


    Mandy Rice- Davies 😉 she sang amongst other things 😉

  113. kelsey says:

    No, I remember it was Grace Jones, she would have eaten you alive.

  114. robbinURpersie says:

    “Reading some of the comments about Fabregas makes me think so many people know how they would manage the club better than the club itself….”

    Never said that, but you keep taking pot shots Kelsey…

    Ignorance is bliss….

  115. goonerjake says:

    Biggest regret is going to Paris for the champions league final and not even trying to blag my way into the ground like a fellow fan boasted he had done while on the coach home. I dont know if he was telling the truth or not? Then again he could of been in the ground because another of our coach party was bragging about his ticket all the way fro london to paris…. however he was not on the coach back…. suspicious eh?

    Interesting coach trip though cos on the way back we got stuck at customs while another fellow gooner had his machete confiscated on tring to leave france.


    The above account may be somewhat open to critics as my mental state of no sleep on the coach their basically meaning being awake for 48 hours plus the huge dissapointment of losing may have clouded my memory. However I was interviewed by BBC Breakfast and BBC worldwide on the morning of the game in Paris as I do have the recorded evidence.

  116. glic says:

    Where`s Redders, He`s like the AA Midfield General vital cog, keeping AA ticking over, passing a comment here, receiving one there, binding it all together with knowledge and humour.
    I hope Rasp wasn`t wearing a syrup and sold him to Barca !.

  117. Big Raddy says:

    Is DanDan on holiday?

  118. glic says:

    Thats probably why our Terry didn`t go to Paris for the CL final, coming back his syrup would have been confiscated at Customs and Quarentined for 6 months !,

  119. Big Raddy says:

    Big Raddy is heading to the mountains for a long rest, So his blogging will be intermittent (tho’ our flight has wi-fi).

    He wishes all his friends on AA a great summer.

  120. chas says:

    Bon voyage, BR.

    Great post, Micky.
    Where did you watch it in the end?

    Michael Thomas with the Anfield 89 boots

    Loving the description ‘smokingly hot’. 🙂
    Wendy James?

    By the way, it was my fault we lost to Liverpool at Cardiff in 2001. We were one ticket short for that one so I dropped out. I saw the other FA Cup finals at the Millenium Stadium and we won them all, even somehow beating manyoo 0-0!

  121. Raddy – have a great trip. Are you back in time for the Sunderland pre-match?

  122. chas – so it was your fault!!!!!!! I took part in the Moonwalk that night. My bra was festooned with red and white ribbons. I had planned to buy the first edition of the papers before the walk commenced at midnight and have the pic of Tony Adams holding the FA cup pinned to my friends back …………

    The fire engines that prowled the north bank of the Thames that night enjoyed the sight anyway.

  123. chas says:

    Patsy Kensit?

  124. Really need some posts for this week …………………….

  125. chas says:

    peaches, have you got any pictures? 🙂

  126. TotalArsenal says:

    Have a great break Raddy and thanks for all your great PM Reports and other blogs during last season and beyond. 🙂

  127. You’ll have to use your imagination 🙂 Google Walk the Walk and you’ll see plenty from this years charity event.

  128. RockyLives says:

    Happy trails BR

  129. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RurP 🙂

    You are fully entitled to argue your case, which you have done very well in my view. If we could only argue our case on the basis of being a member of the BOD, or having insider information, there would not be any discussion at all.

    It must be late where you are but make sure you don’t take the bait!

  130. On this day in ‏@ArsenalHistory

    On this day in 2001 #ArsenaI signed Sol Campbell from sp*rs. He won two League titles at #Arsenal. The amount sp*rs won in their history.

    Missed a big chance to celebrate this one ……………..

  131. Brilliant chas, thank you 🙂

  132. chas says:

    Where’s Irish?
    This one’s for her.

  133. She’d love that one 😆

  134. jnyc says:

    I know arsene does play some games with his public statements, as he needs to sometimes, but how can anyone believe that he is not doing his best for the club. He is as loyal as the day is long, and like us, he loves this team. He has no other ambitions in club football, maybe not at all. And to the people who complain that he does frenchtv commentary, obviously he does it for fun, he doesnt need the money, so i am happy for him. I would love to do football commentary myself!

  135. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all top post Micky very entertaining.

    The most difficult decision I and my Dad had to make was going to the League Cup Final in 1993. His Mum (my Nan) had passed away the night before. She was a Gooner, she would have understood. That was my first (being there) Wembley Final win watching Arsenal, not sure if it would have seemed such a good idea had we lost, thank goodness for Steve Morrow!

  136. chas says:

    I’ve knocked up a little video post. It’s in Arsenal nuts. I’m still working at the moment, so won’t be around during the day tomorrow.
    It’s not much but if no-one comes up with something more worthy of discussion…

  137. Gooner In Exile says:

    AVB news was bound to cause some mirth:

  138. Gooner In Exile says:

    Man United are going to be owned by a Cayman Island Company with some reorganisation stuff. Isn’t that where all the tax dodgers go?

  139. richie says:

    @ Rasp I love Arsene but I can’t bring myself to totally agree, coz I’ve kicked and screamed a bit the carpet while frothing at the mouth and nashing my teeth, over some of his substitutions and occassional lack of movement when an imminent substitution was called for. In terms of Arsene’s requests to the board about who he’d like them to buy for the team and who he’d like to them to sell I think its still 8 out of 10 in Arsene’s favor. Personally I think he should’ve hung on to Paddy another year, I think Gilberto should’ve had another year and I also think he shoulda tried to persuade Thierry H not to run away from London and his marriage problems. I think Arsene is fantastic at knowing when players levels are dropping (which is why he outs them) but I also think that he and his training methods and even personally he could’ve squeezed at least another year out of all of the above. Which would’ve been better in transistional terms, but not in financial terms, all of the above were on big money contracts.

  140. richie says:

    @ JNYC I’m a Francophone and I love listening to Arsene’s insightful commentaries on French TV. Over the years its been a great source for me of understanding how he see’s things, only those who don’t really understand anything will complain. Because Arsene being in the thick of it, watching lots of games and players play in high level competions benefits Arsenal. Its part of watching potential future Arsenal players.

  141. richie says:

    @ LB I missed your post about the Juan Mata scenario. I was given a bit of info before the storey broke. Chelsea weren’t interested in Juan Mata at all, (previously only Liverpool had shown any interest) until they came to know we were about to sign him. As you rightly said they didn’t have a manager to even say he was interested. But durring the Ashley Cole shit Abromovitch with the help of Frank Arneson tapped up a load of Arsene Wengers scouts. Roman was so impressed with the way Arsene’s scouts kept finding him so many great unknown players for nothing. Its why Arsene was then forced to make loyal Remi Garde his chief scout.

    Kroenke having consolidated his Arsenal ownership appointed his own man to the position of “Sporting director” or “player buyer” if you will. The problem was unlike the infamous David Dien Kroenke’s new American didn’t have a football back ground so he didn’t know his way around (He was American corporate). Valencia were broke and badly needed money they were selling off all their best players (David Villa for example) Valencia accepted Arsenals first offer, and it was at this point that the corporate American (Smith if I remember) screwed up! Instead of flying to Valencia agreeing personal terms and signing him up subject to a medical (the normal way). The yank thought he’d get Juan Mata to fly to London have his medical agree personal terms job done. (Muhummad wouldn’t have to go to the mountain).

    The sherman tank not fully understanding footballing matters (without personal terms) the deal was still open. Someone at Valencia didn’t think there was anything wrong with saying Juan Mata was flying to London to agree personal terms with Arsenal. Chelsea heard contacted JM’s Dad and instead of JM making his way to north London he had his head turned in Fulham (Yes for those who ain’t Londoners Chelsea’s ground Stanford Bridge is in Fulham). Our Arsene’s 1st choice new playmaker replacement deal died at the 11th hour. I think you’ll find only Mr Smith, Arsene, Juan Mata’s father who’s his agent, or maybe Arneson will give you more info on this. At the time knowing that JM was on his way I could almost taste the deal, I was totally gutted when it fell through. We still ain’t got a bloody playmaker. A missing piece of the puzzle.

  142. RockyLives says:

    Fascinating story Richie.

    I bet our transfer team won’t make that mistake again!

  143. chas says:

    Peaches & Rasp,
    There’s an updated version with opening paragraphs in your inbox.

    Very interesting. Stick a title on it ‘The case of the disappearing playmaker’ and it would have been fine as today’s post.

    It reminds me of the Petit taxi story, only with the boot on the other foot. 🙂

  144. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yo Chas,
    Nice try with Wendy James (Transvision Vamp). Funnily though, I used to know them well back in the day. Talk about one hit wonders.

  145. Gooner In Exile says:

    Wendy James “One Hit Wonder”?

    If “that” poster was a website it would have had more than one hit 🙂

  146. chas says:

    Smokingly hot!

  147. chas says:

    At least two!

  148. Gooner In Exile says:

    I was probably about 12 when that poster adorned our bedroom wall. Let’s just say it was an inspiration 😀

  149. chas says:

    Nearly as hot as Mrs GIE!

  150. Gooner In Exile says:

    Anyway back to football have we signed anyone else yet……come on Ivan,Stan and Arsene don’t be shy with the pennies.

    Chas, I guess ST renewals have been out…am I right in assuming no increase in price?

    With the new (yet to be announced) cheaper category games on the horizon I’m guessing we will see an increase in Cat A prices for single purchase seats.

  151. Chas says:

    Yep, same price. Thanks to the AST, eh peaches?
    We’ve managed to move two seats to the left of JC instead of the right. So I won’t have miserable b*stard in my ear. 🙂

  152. Morning all

    Thanks chas for the post, just going to have a look at it.

    Interesting comment richie about how Juan Mata became a chav – Arsene must have been livid !!!!!!!!!!!

  153. chas – the AST may be a bit military for some 🙂 but they do have regular meetings with the club and they did champion for the new price structure.

  154. LB says:


    That is a fascinating story, the problem I have with it is it presumes that Valencia were prepared to sell to the first buyer. I know they were broke but Juan Mata was not exactly an unknown talent. So this does not ring true with me.

    Once Valencia knew Arsenal were interested they could afford to wait. This deal was not done at the last minute. There is no reason why Valencia would not have courted Chelsea waving the potential purchase in their face. Your story suggests that the deal went south because of the speed of the personal terms or lack of it.

    But even if David Dein himself had gone to meet Juan Mata in Spain to discuss personal terms that does not mean that Valencia would not have waited to see if Chelsea were prepared to pay more — and the undisputable fact is that they were.

    It should be remembered that David Dein was in charge of the Ashley Cole deal and that turned out to be the worst bit of man management in the club’s history.

  155. 4.25!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What were you doing up at 4.25????

  156. Gooner In Exile says:

    Peaches I believe the correct question preface is “who” not “what” 🙂

  157. Got a couple of technical problems atm, be with you soon with the new post.

  158. New Post …………………

    Phew 🙂

  159. richie says:

    @ LB Since 2009 it was widely known Valencia had big money problems.(paralles they planed to build a new stadium) For all of 2010-11 everyone knew that Valencia were in a serious bind they couldn’t even pay their players wages. Nevertheless those same players like Villa & Silver remained loyal to Valencia because knowing they couldn’t get paid wages and were about to be sold they re-sign long 5 year contracts to help Valencia get as much as they could from their sales.

    In 2010 Valencia had all their players up for sale because we were in a Financial recession and no-one really knew how much the players sales would generate? Especially their big 2 Villa & Silva, As you rightly point out Money Citeh wanted Villa 1st and offered to buy him but were knocked back because Villa’s preference was to stay in Spain. So MC turned their attentions to Silva. After Valencia got €40Mil from Barca for Villa and €30Mil from MC for Silva. Liverpool were the only club in Europe that seemed to want Juan Mata who they made an offer for.(no Spainish, German or Italian clubs enquired). Manuel Llorente Valencia’s main man said their debts were now manageable. As if to confirm this Liverpool had their offer for Valencia’s captain Juan Mata turned down.

    Then later we made a bid for JM that was accepted. LB you like you version you stick with it. I got 90% of my info before Chelski signed Juan Mata from an Irishman I’ve known personally for over 40 years which is why I was so put out at the time. Until very recently my Irishman had a very prominante job at the Arsenal and if ever tickets were hard to come like one for the CL in Paris I’ve only ever had to make one call, Paddy’s been a family friend for all of my life.

  160. richie says:

    P.S. My ref to DD wasn’t as a fan! It was only to point out that DD always had footballing contacts (and he was the last appointed director of football until Kroenke’s guy to over) and knew his way round a player signing deal. Kroenke’s trouble shooter didn’t have footballing contacts and didn’t know his way around signings. The JM deal would’ve been his 1st. Anyway it was his 1st transfer window anyone remember anything about that window?

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