We Ain’t Far Away

Patience, they say, is a virtue, certainly it is not one exercised by a hard core of Arsenal fans, who it would appear have not noticed the dramatic change of direction Β the club has taken in the years since Cesc left.

With Cesc at the centre, in his pomp, the club was a pressing club, in the style of but not quite as effective as Barcelona. Since his exit we have gradually changed our style to one of counter attacking. The emergence of Theo to play at the tip has to some degree lessened the loss of RVP, not that a player of his class could ever not be missed, 30 goals a year is after all the stuff of dreams.

However the induction of the young British core that understands the system along with new players brought in to compliment them has provided possibilities not previously possible when everything had to go via Cesc at some point in the move.

Wednesday nights performance was perhaps the most sustained counter attacking exhibition we have seen this season. Although it has been apparent for some time that this was the way we were moving.

With the addition of a holding midfielder to break up attacks, provide the ball for our talented midfield to find the strikers along with a pacey centre half to handle their runners when we do get stretched our attack would be complete.

Put that together and the days of TH14 and the Iceman would not seem so far away.

Written by dandan

194 Responses to We Ain’t Far Away

  1. Rasp says:

    Thanks dandan, that’s a very perceptive analysis.

    I agree, against Wham we at last got the ball out of defence quickly, through the midfield and had players arriving in the box in numbers – fantastic football, exciting to watch and very effective.

    I sincerely hope you are correct as it clearly suits the players we have to play in that way. The midfield had balance and movement. OK we were helped by the fact that wham gave us space and in truth they were pretty awful, but as you say, we will keep teams on the back foot when they know we can attack at pace. If we press in numbers (swarming πŸ˜‰ ) we regain possession quickly and with this approach we have the ability to hurt any team in the prem.

  2. Manthan says:

    We need a DM addition to the current squad that is what i feel…..

  3. arthur mallard кря кря says:

    Nice one, dandan.
    You can’t beat a bit of optimism on a Friday morning.

    As for Theo ‘playing at the tip’, I thought he’d re-signed for us not agreed to play at Shite Hart Lane. πŸ™‚

  4. Shard says:

    My comment on the last post went up after everyone had said new post, and that’s where it can remain.

    My next comment was going to say when can we expect a new post, and what’ll it be today. AA is kind of like Star Trek or Sliders. A new world every day. Ok.. Off to read the post now.

  5. Manthan says:

    English People spell my name little differently. As my uncle is in britian his friends when they come to india they spell manthan as mandan.. πŸ˜€ So Mandan and dandan are rhyming words πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

  6. Morning all, a replication of the attitude shown by the team for the remainder of the season will keep me happy even if we don;t win all the time, if the desire to do their best is evident then that is enough for me.

    Thanks for the post DD(who like Double Diamond “Works wonders, works wonders!”),it’s best to have something positive to balance out my overly pessimistic(at times) view.

    Has anyone seen Ladyarse’s four panel cartoon about Arsenal fans during the transfer window ? It makes me laugh every time I see it.

  7. VCC says:

    dandan….Our young Brits certainly wet the appetite for future campaigns.

    The holding mid fielder “A Beast” , would go a long way in enabling our AM + ST to carry their duties out with much more restraint. And perhaps allow them more freedom to express themselves.

    We have the flair and skill, if only they could take the shackles off a little.

  8. Some points from Wenger’s presser:
    Obviously Vermaelen out by Rocking Rosicky is back and Wenger sees Rambo’s future in the CM role, which is all good.

  9. Shard says:

    Short and sweet from dandan, and nothing to really disagree with as far as I can see. Maybe adding another striker too since Giroud isn’t the quickest (although his build up play is excellent) and his finishing being a little hit and miss (though this should improve) We lack somebody to make a difference from the bench. Another striker, and a DM would do wonders. If only we could have kept Song and RVP. But hey ho.. No worries. We ain’t far πŸ™‚

  10. Big Raddy says:

    ManDan, DanDan …

    Brings this to mind.

    In Japan TinTin (Herges Adventures of…) is known as TanTan because the Japanese pronunciation of TinTin is chin-chin which means penis πŸ˜€

  11. ogban says:

    If only we don’t sell these players this summer!

  12. Red Arse says:

    I have a slight preference for the Can Can. πŸ™‚

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Disagree about Song. He wasn’t good enough, flashes of superb play but not consistent and he was prone to pick up silly yellow cards because he din’t have enough pace.

    Good luck to him in Barca, who IMO will regret the purchase.


  14. Manthan says:

    Game agianst Westham Rambo played role of DM really well but still a DM addition will be ideal for the team… I dont know what is running in AW mind…. maybe watever Shard told in previous blog is correct AW wants youngster to play in first team but still I think a DM addition will be good wyanama or Daime anyone is fine……

  15. Red Arse says:

    Good to see you are feeling more optimistic, CharyB. πŸ™‚

  16. Manthan says:

    Agree about song he was little inconsitent and still he is yet to impress BARCA… I guess he will regret the decision of moving to BARCA…….

  17. arthur mallard кря кря says:

    Dan, Dan, the funny wee man
    Washed his face in a frying pan.
    Combed his hair with the leg of a chair,
    Dan, Dan, the funny wee man.

  18. I’m a complex individual Redders, like our beloved team you never quite know what you’ll get with me. πŸ™‚

  19. Shard says:

    Perhaps Song’s positional and tactical discipline was a doubt. But that said, he was an important part of our team. And for continuity alone, he would have been helpful this season. Instead of buying a Diame now, having Song throughout the season I think would have proven better. But in any case, that’s not an option. I was just thinking how I would like a DM and a striker, and how we already had those positions covered before we sold those two.

  20. Manthan says:

    Daime has already publicy told he want to stay at WestHam and Wyanama is chased by MANU so he have less chance… MVIla moved to Russia who else will AW bring I doubt if he actually brings anyone in current widnow……

  21. Shard says:


    I just used Diame as an example. It doesn’t have to be him. There are other players out there. Capoue, Thauvin has been mentioned. I don’t know who, or if Wenger will sign anyone. And if not, then why not. And although I want two signings in those positions to take place, I don’t get too worked up about it if they don’t happen.

  22. Red Arse says:

    Undoubtedly true, CharyB, but your realistic take is usually sound, and there is no question about your loyalty!

    Oddly enough, I am still not convinced anything has really changed at Arsenal.

    I still have my reservations about Arsene, but fervently hoping I am wrong. I am still not convinced the quality of some of the players is good enough to give us a competitive edge.
    And I still do not understand the confusing messages coming from both Arsene himself and the club re finances, transfers etc.

    But hope springs eternal as they say! πŸ˜€

  23. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. You make a good point about continuity

  24. Red Arse says:

    The question that really needs to be addressed is why are our scouting team unable to pick up players like Wanyama, Capoue, Diame (who was on a free), Michu etc etc?

    At one time we were famous for the players that we spotted, and developed — not now, it seems.

    Someone is bound to say that that is a subjective assessment, and indeed it is, but there are some indications to support that view in the acquisition of many of the established players we have bought (Squillaci etc) as well as the youngsters we have bought and sent out on loan to eventually disappear without trace.

    It isn’t impressive!

    The scouting system needs to be reviewed and shaken up!

  25. Rasp says:

    I’d like to see us sign a DM who can play CB as the priority. I have been banging on about a Β£25m+ striker but the stats don’t highlight goalscoring as a weakness, if anything its a strength . It is apparent that if our attacking midfielders can play with the freedom of knowing there is a solid defence behind them we are a very potent attacking force.

  26. Shard says:


    Would you be happy with a CB who can maybe play DM? A subtle difference, but I’ve been thinking about this and I’m not sure πŸ™‚

  27. I agree with you there Redders, I’m desperately hoping Wenger proves me wrong and goes on to have a great finish to the season.

    I thought some would read “complex individual” as “Borderline bi-polar” πŸ™‚

    Like an OAP with viagra we do hope for some eternal springing.

  28. Shard says:


    I think Wenger explained how we ‘missed out’ on Michu. I think that explanation makes sense, although as per usual his words were slightly twisted.

    Michu at 2m worked out a steal for Swansea, but they also need a lesser calibre of player. So even if Michu wasn’t as brilliant as he turned out to be, they would still have had a decent buy. If Arsenal had bought Michu and he didn’t turn out to be as special. Wenger would have been criticised for simply adding to the ‘deadwood’. Wenger hinted at this when he said that though our scouts were aware of him, they concentrate more on higher level clubs because you expect someone of his age to have already made a step up in class. He also complemented Laudrup on having a deep knowledge (through his contacts) of the Spanish market and that it worked out very well for them.

    I think it is overemphasised the ‘unknowns’ we brought in during Wenger’s early rein. They were mostly only unknowns in England. Vieira was already with a big club, albeit in its reserves. But you can perhaps see the situation something like Pogba at ManU going to Juventus. They might not have had space for him in the squad then, but they obviously saw something in him. Henry was a World Cup winner, Pires was wanted by Real Madrid. Gilberto was a World Cup winner playing every minute of their campaign. Petit, Wenger had worked with earlier. Overmars and Kanu were injury concerns.

    The competition has become stiffer since Arsenal provided the roadmap for PL clubs to follow. As a result, (and due to the oilers) the prices have gone up, reducing the scope of bargain prices. Those that we’d really want (like Mata) we get outbid for. We occasionally find players like Cazorla, and Podolski (both exceptional crcumstnces too. Club in financial trouble and club relegated) But it is a lot harder, in terms of scouting and in terms of finances to buy those bargains.

    Which is why I think Wenger sees arsenal’s future as more like Barcelona’s. Looking to the academy prospects first and building a team out of them, and then using our money to supplement the squad with what it needs. It should theoretically allow us to compete better with the other clubs since we’d only be needing to buy 1 or 2 players rather than looking for 5-6 cheaper squad players.

  29. Shard says:

    The competition has also become stiffer since Chary brought in Viagra into the discussion πŸ™‚

  30. Rasp says:

    Haha, Shard in reality man u have 2 goalscorers, we have 4 and they’re all on the pitch at the same time often as not, Giro, Pod, Theo and Santi so either DM/CB or CB/DM to allow rotation of the defence to keep them fresh and to add extra bite if the opposition is Stoke πŸ˜•

  31. I can just imagine Funguscum unwrapping his pills with a “V” on it before he gets ready, Shard.

    At today’s presser Wenger is playing the “we don’t need more players card” with this: “We have two players in every position, that should be enough, plus the young players in behind.”


  32. Red Arse says:

    Hi Shard, πŸ™‚

    You old fox.

    You have a point regarding Henry, Viera etc, already being known as talented, but despite that, the Arsenal scouts (or Wenger himself) certainly knew about them and we were in quickly to snaffle them.

    I recall Ferguson saying, some years ago, that Arsenal’s scouting system, especially in France was just superb. I do not think that is the case now, even tho all the other Premiership clubs have beefed up their scouting systems throughout the world.

    You seem not to agree that the scouting team need to be looked at closely and refreshed, if they are missing talent that others have snapped up. I don’t see why you should disagree, it is sound business sense.

    Your question addressed to Rasp about buying a CB who could play as a DM, if necessary, brings to mind the inconclusive discussions about using either Kozzer or TV in that role, or my own suggestion to use Djourou there instead.

    But I think it is a good idea — Mbwia? Oops – too late!! πŸ™‚

  33. Shard says:


    No point expending energy on analysing Wenger’s statements to the press regarding transfers. They remind me of a book by Isaac Asimov called Foundation, in which some diplomat comes to the city with an offer of some sort. But when a mathematical analysis of all his various statements was carried out (this is possible in the future world) they amounted to a sum total of zero πŸ™‚

  34. Manthan says:

    No Djouru please other day Rasp made a point on singing Wyanama as he is strong he can play in CB too but dont know whats thier in Arsene mind……

  35. goonerjake says:

    great insight dandan. Would it not be great to see a henry\bergy style again. Now I have loved the barca style we had been playing in the cesc era and beyond, a argument could go as far as saying that its the best most attractive footy we have played. However we played on the edge of your seat football in the henry teams

  36. Shard, I never got very far with the Foundation trilogy, a great read it is though. I managed “The stars like dust” which is supposed to similar although more brief.

    Hearing what he has said today on the face of it rules out anyone coming in.

  37. LB says:

    Great read Dandan.

  38. Shard says:


    No. I do not disagree at all. I rarely do with you. The woodpecker has probably been the biggest source of variance between us πŸ™‚

    I think the scouting system should be improved. But, without knowing any of the facts, I think this is something the club would be doing anyway, and that even if they do, the results won’t be apparent immediately, and may not be successful even otherwise. They have done some things differently in recent years. They’ve explored the South American market more than previously with unhappy results mostly due to not being able to get work permits. Wenger has said they’re shifting their attention to Spain and Germany more than France now because the young talent coming out of France is drying up. We’ve mostly been scouting in a certain age range (http://www.7amkickoff.com/2013/scout-me-a-skipper-ill-be-back-for-breakfast/)

    The article also makes mention of the fact that Arsenal are notoriously meticulous in scouting, sometimes over a period of years. Perhaps a lesser known and acknowledged effect of the oilers has been in forcing us to rush through some of our scouting jobs in the fear of losing out.

    As for playing Djourou as DM. He used to and apparently he wanted to play there earlier in his career. My question to Rasp was because of these rumours about Hummels. (and statements by Vertonghen that we wanted him for the DM role) I was just thinking if I would be happier if we get a recognised DM, who can fill in at the back. Or a great first choice CB, which will allow either him or any of the other CBs to play in the middle. I can’t decide πŸ™‚

  39. JM says:

    What is our current 1st team (all available players) strongest line?
    Goalkeeping? Defence (centre-backs and fullbacks)? Midfield (every midfielder – DM/CM/AM)? Attack (including winger & forwards)?

    Where should the emphasis be placed in for building a quick passing, counter-attacking and pacey team?

    I go by the 60% to 40% rule in which the centre spine of players (GK, CB, DM/CM/AM, CF) lining up the length of the pitch influences 60% in our chances of winning a game and players on both flanks (FBs and RW/LW/LM/RM) influences 40% in our chances of winning a game.

    Whichever way the team is line up, 4-2-3-1/4-3-3/4-4-2/3-5-2 etc, the centre spine would always have more players than the flanks.

    Observations on our club’s weaknesses:
    defending against long shots, defending counter attacks & avoiding individual errors.

    2 of the above (defending against long shots & counter attacks) usually imply the area in our defensive 3rd (DM/CM position) facing our goal and the places where we start to get vulnerable when we lose possession (midfield). As such, a quality DM/CB/CM player is of priority to help stem these weaknesses.
    (E.g. Celtic’s Wanyama, Toulouse’s Capoue and Lyon’s captain Gonalons all fit into the category etc)

  40. Manthan says:

    Zaha completed MANU move will be joining them in july is he worth???? I had seen his videos and he is good player and a gooner too…. Any toughts?????

  41. Shard says:


    I think Zaha was only meant as a backup option if Theo didn’t sign. He might be a real talent but we already have several wingers within that age range, who can be seen as development projects. Ox, already with our first team. Ryo-out on loan, although he’s mostly been injured, and Gnabry-spoken of highly by Wenger himself.. On top of that we have the likes of Eisfeld, Joel Campbell, Afobe, who can play out wide, and Akpom too(another highly thought of youngster) So I am actually glad we didn’t spend our limited budget on Zaha.

  42. evonne says:

    Dandan – thank you for the post
    I agree that Barcelona style didn’t quite work at AFC. We have traded physical power of the team for the finesse of various techniques; cannot have it both ways in football, no more than you can have a butch ballerina. Personally I miss the tough Arsenal, so I hope you are right and we are heading in the right direction now.

    Do you think Pep will make Bayern play the Cathalan style? He will have to start with some diving sessions, that shouldn’t be a problem, but what then? Will he bring youngsters from Barca’s academe? Maybe our Cesc will do Deutsch?

  43. Manthan says:

    Agree With your comments.. Hope to see Eisfiled,Rio in the first team from next season….

  44. Red Arse says:


    Glad we are in agreement – altho I rather enjoy arguing with you!! πŸ™‚

    I have watched part of AW’s interview on SkyTV and he seems very down to me.

    In essence, he agreed with comments both of us have made about the difficulties of buying players in the January T/W. [He obviously enjoys reading our comments on AA] πŸ˜€

    He said that only those players unwanted by their clubs (not good enough?) or those who wanted to get away (trouble makers?) were available, and the ‘good’ players were unlikely to be released by their clubs.

    Sounds like Arsenal have been trying – and predictably failing – to bring someone in!

  45. GoonerB says:

    Well done Dandan. I agree we are not far away and we likely don’t need a raft of signings. If I was to pick one area it would be the powerful DM that most seem to agree upon. Possibly a striker also, and I like the idea of the slightly older David Villa.

    It does seem to be, however, that AW is setting the scene for not buying anyone in this window. Could be a dangerous game because if it backfires for the rest of the season I don’t think the already very twitchy gooner faithful will show any patience. Can you imagine if Diaby and Rosicky have their traditional period of absence and we start to get injuries to Wilshere, Cazorla and Arteta through burn-out. I think no signings will really equate to AW placing his head on the chopping block and only a sterling second half of the season to prove he was correct in his assessment and that we were all wrong, will save him from the fans wrath.

  46. Manthan says:

    Thanks For the comment about transfer in january i really didnt knew this but now i know why AW don’t like Januray Tranfer window…. πŸ™‚

  47. GoonerB says:

    Redders. The problem with Arsene saying that, about there only being players who are not good enough or are trouble makers is that the fans will react by quoting players that other clubs are snapping up. i would agree with him that many players will not be available til the summer. It may be that we could get certain players now but would have to pay a slight premium for the disruption it causes to the selling club mid-season. AW doesn’t seem to like to do that while you feel that SAF would rather spend the extra Β£5m if he really needed that player and would likely justify it by pointing out that having or not having said player for the rest of the season would equate to more than that Β£5m anyway.

    I sometimes wonder why we don’t use some of our players, maybe as a loan deal, as bait. Take Wanyama for instance could we get him now if we offered to let them have either Frimpong or Coquelin on loan for the rest of the season in addition to the transfer fee.

  48. jnyc says:

    Rasp, good point about us having goalscorers on pitch together walcott, giroud, pod, santi. I thought that was arsenes plan from the beginning after being sooo dependent on rvp last season. But still manu way ahead of us in the table. . Kind of disappointing. But if we can solve some issues – not too late for top four. But not really margin for error now after our weak play so far. I believe the talent is there. —–
    im at the airport heading for a couple weeks in dominican republic. Ill catch our games on fox deportes or espn espanol πŸ™‚ still hoping for a surprise in transfers, but i would settle for us playing up to our ability. i agree a real dm would be nice.

  49. Manthan says:

    Nice point about loan player to the team from which we buy… I totally agree with you AW never compromise price else we could have got hazard before 2 seasons when he was not famous at all.. We had lost many targets because of this problem and other team take benifit from these….

  50. Red Arse says:

    Enjoy your break, JNYC. πŸ™‚

  51. Red Arse says:


    Arsene added that he did not like the January T/W or that it should be limited to 2 players per club.

    I only heard part of the interview as I was ‘multi-tasking’ so perhaps some on will give us an accurate report. πŸ™‚

  52. GunnerN5 says:

    Fine post dandan, nice to see read a positive post. The game against West Ham was the best football, from any team, I have watched this season and I watch 5/6 games every week. It shows what we are capable of – now all we have to do is play that way in every game – then comes the million pound question – can we keep it up?

    You will note that even though you started the day off positively it didn’t take long for it to slip back into the “what If” mode.

    “What if” the AAers were transported back to 1953/54 and had to watch mid table “no hope” football and wait 16 years for a trophy?

    “What if” they were then shot forward to January 25, 2013 – I wonder what they would say and write?

  53. Red Arse says:

    Here is another bit of that Arsene interview, just to bring a little reality to the ridiculous speculation we see on some blogsites.

    — “Wenger stressed Arsenal have not lodged any formal offers for their reported targets.

    He said: β€œWe have been linked with David Villa, (like Chelsea), but there’s nothing concrete there. We are not on the case.”

    On Hummels, the Gunners boss said: β€œNo, I can’t imagine Dortmund selling their defenders in the middle of the season anyway and we have not made any approach there.”

    Diame yesterday stressed he was happy at Upton Park, having only moved there from Wigan in the summer.

    Wenger said: β€œWe cannot come out with the names we are on. We have not approached West Ham on that.”

    Perhaps disappointing for some, but better than being led to believe there is a possibility of signing players and then being wrongly cross with ‘mean’ Wenger when we don’t.

  54. vp says:

    Thanks for the post.

    ”We aren’t far away” I understand your view point. However,going by this January Window we’re getting further and further away. Chelsea have just bought Ba and Man united Zaha.

    I’ve already prepared myself for no signings this time round, not wanting to relive the disappointment of the previous tfr window. I’ve adapted a similar approach to match expectations also now ,gradually building up my immune system to put me in good step for years to come. I’m living proof that the club’s small time thinking is beginning to rub of on some of the fans which allows for a great strategic fit for the club’s Long -term- Shareholder- Wealth- Maximization- Plan. If we don’t make top four you can also forget about any worth while signings in the summer – the gap is only going to get bigger. Just remember, we don’t have Liverpool’s history to fall back on and will never flex our financial muscle anywhere near to what would be required if allow things to continue as they are, and fall too behind. We are short term profit maximizers, and profit will always rule over market share; always!

    How is it that teams like Man Utd and Chelsea belive they need to improve but we don’t? I have decided not to listen to any Arsene Wenger Press Conferences for the duration of the transfer window and have already written off this and next season on the premise of our last AGM.

    How high does Kroenke’s share price have to reach before the club finally decides to prioritize the interests of the fans?

  55. RockyLives says:

    Nice positive Post dan dan.

    I’m not completely convinced that we are shifting back to being a counter attacking team (WHam’s strange decision to play as if the midfield did not exist encouraged that style from us on Wednesday).

    But I hope it’s true. The “Arselona” Cescsperiment did not really work and I think evonne is right – part of the problem was that we were not physically strong enough.

    I’m told by people who know more about football tactics than me that the ‘modern’ game means we can’t really go back to the 4-4-2 style that worked so well for AW’s early Arsenal teams.

    But more counter-attacking sounds good, whatever the formation.

  56. evonne says:

    Arselona πŸ™‚

  57. kelsey says:

    One wouldn’t expect anything else from the elder statement,dandan, so well done πŸ™‚

    I hear that Wenger is considering the Swansea ball boy as a back up keeper as mannone may be off to italy.

  58. GunnerN5 says:

    Oh dear – it’s -13c outside and our hydro company have a low voltage issue in our area, the longer it goes on the colder it’s getting inside.

    I’m glad it’s not a football day as the TVs won’t turn on.

  59. evonne says:

    Kelsey – good idea! The kid was terrific. Kelsey, are you still in touch with Adam Ant? He was on a telly last week, looked very good, bit fat as you said, but ageing nicely

  60. evonne says:

    GN5 – my mum is 80 yo and she is pleased that they have a ‘normal’ winter in Poland. She comes alive in -10 πŸ™‚ Takes her poor little yorkie and walks in the snow for hours!!

  61. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey, do you think DD will object to being called and ‘elder statement’? πŸ™‚ Bank?

  62. Red Arse says:


    Is the Yorkie a snow submarine dog?
    What happens if she drops the lead? Neither could see the other! πŸ™‚

  63. evonne says:

    RA – very true! They are both small πŸ™‚ but they love it bless them

  64. I think Zaha will be the new Stewart Downing, and Fergie will have an over-priced(as he’s english) and over-rated dud on his hands.

    Well here’s hoping FergieScum has a dud.

  65. kelsey says:

    evonne, it wasn’t me who knew Adam Ant

    RA, he enjoys it, gives him a sense of power.

    Anyway, looks like our transfer business is done. If we had actually sold one or two I feel AW might have ventured on the odd signing.

  66. GunnerN5 says:


    We are used to very cold and snowy winters here in Canada and outside we dress accordingly – well wrapped up…

    But it’s inside the house it’s a different issue, I think I’ll be a nice guy and take my wife out for a drive so we can find a nice warm restaurant for lunch and a glass of cold red wine.

  67. Red Arse says:

    Hi GN5, πŸ™‚

    I have relatives in Tallinn, Estonia, which might be on a similar latitude to your part of Canada, and the temperatures there are pretty extreme too (certainly to my way of thinking).

    Because it is coastal they do not get anywhere so much snow, but all the apartments are heavily insulated and heated, and it can be a little too sauna like (for me, again) πŸ™‚ — but they like it.

  68. Great post dandan and very true.

    I’m glad song is gone

  69. dandan says:

    Thanks for your comments guys, sorry it was so short but Peaches was appealing for a post last night and I did not have much time.

    Arthur that little ditty you quoted @ 10;16 was indeed where my name came from. My original blog name was Dandan the footy man and was used mainly on travel sites, after my retirement my wife and I did a lot of that and met many cyber friends on our way around the world. Even in London Ontario Gn5 πŸ™‚

  70. dandan says:

    Red Arse don’t mind what you guys call me as long as you call me πŸ™‚

  71. Ha ha, more trouble for the Chavs, Hazard has been charged with violent conduct by the FA for the ball boy incident.

    The FA says his actions “constituted violent conduct whereby the standard punishment that would otherwise apply was clearly insufficient.”

  72. RockyLives says:

    Peaches is always appealing πŸ™‚

  73. dandan says:

    Chary The FA have lost it somewhere along the way, the lad was an idiot a spoilt little rich boy, !7 years old he should have known better. The old farts at the FA don’t appear to have the collective wit to understand just how frustrating such behaviour would be to a player desperate to keep the game going.
    They are well out of order and as for the police looking at an assault charge. Pity they were not as assiduous at some of the real football trouble spots in times gone bye.

  74. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    6 days to go still no one arrived at the Arsenal,I think Arsen can’t find a pen to sign anyoneπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§.
    Much love

  75. Yeah true DD, but the Chavs bring a lot of it on themselves.

    it’s bonkers to charge him I know, but it couldn’t have happened to a nicer club. πŸ™‚

  76. GoonerB says:

    Does anyone know if Sandro is really out for the season? If so and they are looking at Diame that would be another good reason for us to get him, as well as potentially needing him ourselves we could hopefully leave them short in a key area.

  77. Norfolk Gooner says:

    There is an old saying “two wrongs don’t make a right”.

    However wrong the ball-boys action were, there can be no excuse for Hazard’s response. The referee was at liberty to add on any time wasted, players just cannot be allowed to take the law into their own hands.

  78. GunnerN5 says:


    I visited Tallin in August of 1995, it was part of a Baltic cruise. We visited Copenhagen, Stockholm, the Isle of Gotland, Helsinki,
    St. Petersburg and then Tallin.

    We were enthralled with Tallin the town square was very quaint with
    great restaurants and shops, the open air markets were fabulous with wonderful pottery and hand knitted clothing. We still proudly display the pottery that we purchased.

    St. Petersburg was the highlight of the trip, being art lovers, we spent two full days in the Hermitage were we viewed some of the worlds most famous art works including Maddona Litta by Leonardo Da Vinci painted in 1490/1.

    The experience still resonates with us to this day.

  79. evonne says:

    sorry Kelsey, memory is not what it used to be…… I cannot remember dates, places, faces but you give me a name of any Arsenal player and it sticks like a glue….selective or what

  80. evonne says:

    GN5 – my house is cold too, rads are on 24×7, but the heat escapes through the walls; it costs Β£15k+ for external insulation…at times like that I envy footballers their wages. Are houses in Canada insulated externally? They are in Poland, extremely warm

  81. barumgooner says:

    A couple of days ago he was “very busy” trying to bring in 2 players. Today he’s not bovvered…… I think he’s fibbing. The question is when was he not telling the truth ?

  82. GunnerN5 says:

    Evonne, our house is very well insulated and all windows are double glazed.

  83. evonne says:

    GN5 – you shouldn’t be cold then πŸ™‚

  84. Red Arse says:


    You and Dandan (aka Bank Statement – source Kelsey) πŸ™‚ have brilliantly cracked this retirement phase of life with your great families and travelling — and Arsenal! πŸ˜€

    I have never been to anywhere else in Eastern Europe, other than Tallinn, (tho I would like to go to St Petersburg).

    But you are right, despite the Soviet occupation, Tallinn has retained a lot of its bijou charm!

  85. GunnerN5 says:

    Evonne, When the power goes off we have no heating, and believe me when it’s -16c outside the inside temperature drops really quickly.

    The good news is that they have restored the power and our furnace is working overtime to get the temperature back up.

  86. GunnerN5 says:

    dandan do you know other people in London or was that a cyber joke?

  87. Red Arse says:

    Norfolk you are right, two wrongs do not make a right.

    The Ball ‘Youth’ was a cheating clown, and Hazard was very immature to allow himself to get into that situation.

    I don’t much care, frankly, but at 17 we have probably all done questionably daft ‘ball boy’ things to impress mates, and at 21, in the heat of the moment, even more embarrassingly juvenile things — and that was about the level of it.

    Trouble is, once ‘in the system’ the wheels of justice grind exceedingly slowly and crushingly.

  88. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    In Wales we got gas central heating its not two expensive.
    I’m in a newish property built in the 80s, so all walls and loft is insulated.
    Nice and warm here tonight inside,Limpar is asleep by the gas fire simples

    Much love & Heat
    Sheep Hagger πŸπŸ†

  89. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Hazard kicked the ball boy for keeping the ball. Torres would’ve missed him, Cole would’ve shot him and Terry would have shagged his mother!

    Much love lol

  90. dandan says:

    GN5 yes I have friends in London, I have a brother who is a year older than you who also lives there. Have been to London(Ontario) a number of times over the past 45 years I spent one brilliantly memorable snow bound Christmas there, have never seen snow around the houses illuminated by buried lights any where else in the world but there. A sight I will never forget

  91. dandan says:

    GN5 Had to cancel our booked fight to London Last year as my wife was very Ill, hence we went on the Canada cruise in Oct, have visited in excess of 70 countries but Canada and particularly the Browning Highway across the Rockies to Montana USA is my favourite destination

  92. GunnerN5 says:


    Interesting to hear that you’ve visited our small town. My son was going to college here and kept telling us that we should consider moving here for our retirement – we have never regretted the decision. The only thing we didn’t know was that London was in a snow belt and boy does it snow………

    We live in a small village on the western outskirts of the city.

    So you know from first hand knowledge that my stories about the snow and the cold temperatures are true – as we speak there are two chaps outside clearing the latest snowfall from the sidewalks. brr.

  93. dandan says:

    GN5 My brother used to live in Komoko wouldn’t be your village would it

  94. GunnerN5 says:


    The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful place’s that I’ve visited I was very fortunate in that business took me to Vancouver once a month and we also lived in Coeur d’alene, Idaho for a few years.

  95. GunnerN5 says:


    No we live in Byron but my son just moved from Komoko to north east London, so I was there every week – baby sitting?

  96. dandan says:

    GN5 My wife and I took a couple of months driving coast to coast from Montreal and Quebec to Vancouver one year. When we reached the prairies we took a sharp left and dropped Down into Minnesota and drove through the states to Montana then over the top and back into the Canadian Rockies. Wonderful trip

  97. dandan says:

    Funny old world GN5 us old’uns tend to get around a bit, but the Grand kids is what it is all about, god bless the bank of Mum and Dad πŸ™‚ . Collected two of ours from school this afternoon and packed em of home

  98. goonerjake says:

    Are we going to sign ANYBODY??????

    Please Wenger One defender One Defensive Midfielder and David Villa, please please please

  99. GunnerN5 says:


    They say that if you live by the sea or in the mountains and then leave them behind that you will always yearn for them and that is certainly the case with us and Idaho. It was simply magnificent, beautiful lakes and wonderful people and an abundance of fresh air, we were able to catch landlocked salmon from the boat dock in our back garden.

  100. GunnerN5 says:

    It’s the same the whole world over dandan, my son just called and said dad………..can you pick up the kids for us??

    The answer would never ever be no – but that means I’ll be cooking for six tonight.

  101. dandan says:

    GN5 I too am a creature of the sea and the mountains and yet I live in the flattest part of the uk, which is why cruising and Canada provide my escapes and battery recharging these days.

  102. dandan says:

    LOL aint that just the truth Gn5

  103. evonne says:

    GN5 – I thought you were going to take Mrs GN5 out for a meal? Easy solution – take all 6 for a meal and present your son with the bill πŸ™‚ Like my son, always ends up paying for someone else’s bills

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening all.
    Arrived on here a few minutes ago, and was going to start by thanking dandan for a great post, but I do not want to interupt the great stories of his and GN5.
    I plan to flog my business by 55, and copy the pair of you!
    More stories of mountains and water please Gents πŸ™‚

  105. GunnerN5 says:


    When you arrive in northern Idaho, the panhandle, you are immediately surprised by the incredible aroma of the pine trees, you can almost taste the freshness in the air.

    In Coeur d’ Alene almost every home had fish smoker in their back gardens, smoked salmon was the speciality with the fish being caught in lake Coeur d’Alene.

  106. GunnerN5 says:


    We cancelled the lunch plans when the heat came back on and then my son called so we are staying home and I’ll cook us up some chicken fajita’s – served up with the desired amount of wine……

  107. dandan says:

    Mickey shouldnt put this on here, but things are Quiet we did part of a world cruise a few years ago and I wrote a blog for the family as I went so they could keep up with us, this will give you the idea.

    Southampton to Madeira

    Well here we are a week into our journey, and what a journey.

    We packed 4 cases and two holdalls. A forty day cruise, though less formal than in days past, still contains a dozen or so formal evenings, therefore evening clothes alone fill a case. A couple of dozen books fill a holdall, so accruing luggage is not a problem.

    We sail from Southampton, but return by air from Singapore into Heathrow, for collection and transportation home. So a friend Mick is travelling to Southampton with us and will bring the car home for me.

    8.30AM. 2nd Dec. With the cases, Mick, Anne and I set out on a Saturday morning ride to Southampton a doddle of a journey, I had made many times in the past. Perhaps as a warning of things to come my 4×4 started to play up, missing and juddering on every incline, we ignored this and headed for the M40 only to find it blocked and closed. I had left the satellite navigator and maps at home, didn’t need them. β€œWrong” Luckily my son was at home when Anne phoned, knew the area and sorted us out. Best part of 5 hours for a normal 3 hour journey, how poor Mick got home, if indeed he did, we still don’t know.

    Getting aboard was easy, cases delivered to our cabin and packed away, then off to meet old friends from previous voyages, over a coffee in the restaurant. Last year we had completed a 110 day trip on the same ship so not only were many of the crew familiar to us, but also about 150 of last years passengers like us were at it again

    Artemis sailed to the sound of a military band and clinking Champaign glasses as passengers toasted to good luck, little did they know, how we would need it

    Our sitting for Dinner is at 6.30 PM, so by the time we sat down, the ship had cleared harbour and was punching her way in the dark, down Southampton water through the Solent, and out into the English Channel. Many passengers had already succumbed to the motion of the ship. Empty chairs in the dinning room reflected this. Shame really the steaks were very good

    . Unbeknown to us, we were to be the last vessel out of Southampton, the authorities closing the port behind us and cancelling all the ferries. Storm force winds, that’s about 50 Knots, were lashing the ship and building the seas, with according to our captain, the occasional gust reaching hurricane force
    Artemis weighing in at 45,000 tons and 230 metres long is capable of 21 knots and a steady average of 18 knots, today however this is reduced by the conditions to a crawl. Steaming into the teeth of the storm, she manages just 350 miles in the first 36 hours.

    Clawing her way down the channel, riding the huge 9 Metre swell, that provokes an incessant end to end pitching motion, turning stomachs and liberating dinners, assigning the sufferers to there cabins and beds.

    Occasionally she falls off the crest, crashing violently down, and burying her nose deep in the following wave. Her foredeck now drowned in a seething mass of water, sends great plumes of spray down the length of the ship. Then Artimas holds and hesitates for a moment, before lifting herself high and clear to ride the next swell, everything shuddering as the noise reverberates loudly throughout the ship.

    Doors are locked with decks off limits to those passengers like us, who are still able to function, many are not. Although Anne with her crutches, is grateful for the hand rails around the ships corridors. Sleep becomes interesting as we slide up and down our beds in concert with the rhythm of the swells, so steep is the pitching. Finally we clear the channel and enter the Bay of Biscay here the water deepens and widens as the bottom falls away, but the seas have travelled thousands of miles to get here and do like to leave there mark, as many an unfortunate sailor has discovered..

    Sitting and watching another ship braving these enormous seas, from the safety of a comfortable lounge. I was mindful of a friend, who had once commented, that sailing a small 10 metre yacht, was like caravanning on water, and couldn’t help wondering if his caravans, had ever behaved, as the ship I could see through the window was doing. My admiration for the Helen McCarthy’s of this world grows the more I observe first hand the dangers they face.

    Artemis altered course to the west, now the seas were on her beam, she stopped pitching as her stabilisers endeavoured to hold her upright,. The captain who had kept us informed throughout, advised the passengers to go to bed or at least be very careful as the seas were very confused, the swell coming from more than one direction.

    That evening we were hit by a big wave that rolled the ship, damaging her stabilisers, crockery, people, the grand piano in the theatre all falling or moving, unassisted and involuntarily across the ship, bars were cleared of optics, booze and glasses. Televisions bounced across cabins, doors slammed and as the motion continued crockery in the kitchen and countless bottles in the wine cellar continued to fall and smash. No one could enter the wine cellar because of the danger and it was left to its own devises while others tasks were undertaken. In those few moments Β£10,000 pounds worth of booze and crockery was lost.

    We returned from the theatre to our cabin to find all shelves and surfaces cleared, broken glasses in the bathroom and our belongings strewn across the beds and floor. Luckily I had left my cameras and the computer on the floor, so no damage. The cabin staff were roused from there beds and within hours all was cleared. The motion continued unabated as the engineers worked to repair the stabilisers, with sudden big lurches catching everyone out and increasing the danger, we decided discretion was the better part of valour and went to bed.

    The medical staff however were up working on the casualties until 4 in the morning, on finishing they retired to the mess room, to find the hot buffet laid out for them spread all over the floor, the stewards worked miracles and twenty minutes later had cleared up and provided a new buffet, only to see this too consigned to the floor as the ship lurched again. The Doctors to gave up and went to bed.

    We were now into our fourth day and the weather showed no signs of improving, Anne and I were in the restaurant having breakfast sitting at a table for four. Anne on the inside next to the window with another lady sat beside her. I had just returned to the table with two cups of boiling water for coffees, which I placed on the table, immediately they begun to slide as the table tilted, I grabbed them again trying to prevent an accident. We had however been hit by another big sea and as I leaned into the lurch trying to stay upright, still holding the cups on the table, I saw Anne and the woman next to her catapulted, complete with seats across the restaurant, the woman on the outside was nimble enough to get to her feet and hold onto a supporting pillar. Anne however with her arthritis and limited mobility had no chance, and landed on her back across the vacated ladies chair which now lay on its side, whilst at the same time hitting her shoulder on the stone tiled floor, she was in great pain and could not move. Luckily there was an officer present who took charge, organised a doctor and stretcher party and had Anne carried off to the hospital.

    The hospital was like a scene from Mash, with injured and bleeding people in every available space, stretchers and walking wounded arriving at regular intervals. Anne was examined given morphine, x-rayed and diagnosed, whist at the same time people were being stitched up alongside her. Luckily she was just severely bruised and her arthritic spine shaken up, they kept her for four hours and then put her to bed in our cabin, now three days later she is almost back to her old self and looking for the sunshine as the seas drop.

    Needless to say something had to suffer for all these delays and we arrived 12 hours late at Madeira stayed over night and all the next day whilst they fixed the stabilisers and are now on our way to St Vincent having missed out on a day in Tenerife.

    So all in all quite a start to our trip, Artemis is now cruising at 17 knots, we have travelled 700 miles in the last two days and are 70 miles off the most southerly point of the canary islands, the wind is now force 6 and sea have calmed down but are still classified as rough, the sun is attempting to find its way through broken cloud, we have a formal dinner tonight and maybe we can return to normal.

    Due to Anne’s injuries we were unable to do much ashore in Madeira apart from purchase some liquid supplies for the cabin but hopefully future postings will be more of the travel kind I had envisaged

    posted by Dandan | 6:20 AM | 1 comments

  108. evonne says:

    sounds good to me GN5, enjoy!!

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry dandan, had to pop out.
    Wow, superb writing. Reminds me of stories from a chum who rowed across the Atlantic!
    Now for some entries from crossing the Rockies please πŸ™‚
    Love your smoked salmon stories.
    You can keep the stories coming, just throw in the odd “Up Arsenal” and all will be well with the locals πŸ™‚

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I always imagine your remote Canadian home to have a Nasa Control Centre type of Arsenal Nerve Room. Screens everywhere. Fixtures, interviews, stats, matches, replays all happening simultaneously.

  111. dandan says:

    Mickey it is not fair on AA’ers looking to enjoy the thought of the Arse in fine form to lumber them with this stuff, but if you can retire at 55 I Waited till 57 then you will find and I am sure GN5 will agree, that you have landed the best job you ever had. πŸ™‚

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry dandan, keep getting distracted.
    Just want to get out of work while the body still works!!!
    Oh, and don’t worry about AA’ers…miserable bunch of so and so’s

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening AA’ers,
    Theo for a hatrick against the Seagulls.
    Right dandan, the mountains? πŸ™‚

  114. goonerjake says:

    Theo for a hatrick yes, we need to rest Jack and Santi.

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Talking of mountains, where’s that Kelsey bloke when you need him.
    Trying to find a mountain retreat for august and was thinking of the Sierra Nevada. Any thoughts?
    Mountains for moi, rivers and lakes for cooling children down in.

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry Jake,
    No can do rest both of them.

  117. kelsey says:

    not the place to go to in the Summer totally deserted and nothing to do

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’ll book it immediately πŸ™‚

  119. evonne says:

    Kelsey – it won’t be when the Didits with pigs arrive

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh and Hi Kelsey πŸ™‚
    Mountains, rivers and lakes = tons to do.
    Then again, by my calculations it can be only an hour for the odd day by the Med and the horrible seasiders!
    Plus, we could meet you one evening to eat a fish with hot thin potatoes πŸ™‚

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You mean the Ghastly Didit’s, Evonne..ha ha

  122. evonne says:

    no, the lively, funny, energetic, sporty DidIts πŸ™‚ the problem I have wtih your family are the four-legged members

  123. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Its the bipeds that are the bloody problem. Them two sleep 22 hrs a day.

  124. Gooner In Exile says:

    DD very perceptive post sir, perhaps the biggest problem of this counter attacking style has been the abundance of goals conceded down to individual mistakes, which then makes a counter attacking team easier to play against. Find a way to cut out the individual errors and maybe we will really see the benefits of a counter attacking style.

    I think Giroud is a good foil for the counter attack as he is very good at getting himself to hopeful passes from defence and given the right support can mean that we don’t require the ball to be dribbled forward.

  125. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And another thing, the only sport I do is wiff waff.
    Pottering about mountains no longer counts

  126. evonne says:

    you are all going to cycle to Spain??? bloody hell, that is sporty!

  127. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Quick. Talk football.
    Play Ox central to give Santi a break? He’ll only get better and better.

  128. MickyDidIt89 says:

    How very dare you. Are you suggesting the long ball?
    That’s one thing we need to stop, and keep the ball on the green stuff.

  129. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You won’t catch me on a bicycle. Its cars, planes and trains to get me as fast as possible to a place where I need just my legs.

  130. evonne says:

    is tomorrow’s thriller showing on TV?

  131. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Regarding the game tomorrow lets no think it will be easy .
    Remember Bradford and Wrexham this will be a hard match,Gustavo Poyet has got them playing well,and they are not to bad at home.

    If we play like we did against the ball boy kickers we should win easy but we got to watch them like a jack Russell with a bone.
    Sit Limpar .

    What arsenal will show up and he has got to rest a few PL players play a couple of up coming players.

    Much love
    Sheepy β„’πŸ™ˆ

  132. evonne says:

    much love, is the game on TV?

  133. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    N o it’s a 3pm kick off
    But the liverpoo game is on sky weds night
    Much love

  134. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Sheep is not nasty or racist but if any arsenal fans are going to Brighton tomorrow.
    Remember to wear at least 2 pairs of underpants as Brighton is the gay capital of the uk.

    I went there in the 80s never again .

    Much gay love
    Sheep Hagger β„’

  135. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    New name for Chelsea
    Forget the Chavs I’ve a new nick name for them.

    It’s the BBB.ANY one got a guess ,

  136. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Breaking news no bullshix
    Fringpong ball has gone on loan to the badgers .
    I’m well informed

  137. It is true, Frimpong has gone on loan to Fulham ……….he needs to play so I hope he does ………….

  138. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky I chose my words carefully a hopeful pass is very different to an aimless hoof πŸ™‚

  139. Gooner In Exile says:

    He only got 6 games at Charlton, which is a concern.

    I want him to do well, he has Arsenal in his heart, hopefully he gets some game time and he can be integrated next season. He is the type of youngster that we can keep for less wages than bringing in an average squad player type from elsewhere. He will also always give 100% for the club when called upon.

    But unfortunately we can’t keep every player we produce, about time we produced a centre forward though.

  140. goonerjake says:


    Agree with you he needs to play…. but

    Frimpong loaned
    Chamakh loaned
    Johan loaned

    Surely we NEED more players signed NOW


    cant work out your BBB, not without being using terrible and unbecoming language for me.

  141. VCC says:

    Ball Boy Booted.

  142. RockyLives says:

    My mate’s a Charlton supporter and he reckoned Pingpong wasn’t up to much.

    Sheep – He also said that when Brighton visited the Valley the Charlton fans were singing “Does your boyfriend know you’re here?” and “We can see you holding hands.”

  143. When an opposition player feigns injury the Brighton fans sing. “we’re supposed to be the gays”

  144. RockyLives says:

    GM πŸ™‚

  145. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky interesting what your Charlton supporting mate thought of Frimpong.

    I wonder sometimes whether we put our youngsters in the right teams when they go on loan.

    It is very difficult outside of the EPL to find teams playing a similar passing style, so that means our youngsters might not be built for their style of play, or for the physicality of the leagues (especially the Championship).

    Wolves fans took to Frimpong instantly, for them he wasn’t just a defensive midfielder he offered better midfield passing than they had seen most of the season.

  146. Gooner In Exile says:

    Jake I was pondering your loaned out, and therefore we must need to acquire thought process.

    Cham, Frimpong and Djourou were nowhere near a first team start and very rarely used as subs. So I am not sure it follows that with them gone we need to sign.

    And in reality we can only make loan signings, if they return and can’t be sold the squad bloat continues.

  147. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All.

    Windchill taking temps to Minus 20 today- lovely. Might go to the beach (only a few hundred yards away) for a swim.

    DanDan’s cruise blog has persuaded me never to go on a cruise. Thanks.

    I lived in Brighton for a few years, my family live there – great town.

    Frimpers. It would be great if he had the talent to go with the ego but I fear he will be sold in summer. Shame because he certainly has the physical attributes we need.

  148. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Good point about the loans. It seems to be the case that if we can’t sell them, we loan them.

    AW must have been unhappy with Arshavin’s failure to impress at Zenit. Who knows what happened in Russia, but whatever it was AA has been on the naughty step all season

  149. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Raddy,
    We had a beach bbq couple of weeks ago and my daughter went for a swim (no wetsuit) but it wasn’t -20.
    I was born in Brighton and did alot of growing up there. Great town.

  150. MickyDidIt89 says:

    How does it happen that a player like Frimpong was so unbelievable a couple of pre-seasons ago during the Emirates Cup, and that was amongst equals?
    I think GiE may have a point about being loaned to the right club.

  151. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Topically,I was driving about yeterday, and during a chat on the radio about Saha and Utd they were saying how everyone raved about Clovely, who is now a 2nd Div level player, so maybe its possible that we make them look better than they are.

  152. Big Raddy says:

    Didit. …… I have a cunning plan. Will email after writing the PM.

    Who is Clovely?

  153. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah, that’ll be my spelling and/or memory. Cloverly??
    He was a Utd England star in the making maybe three years ago and has disappeared without trace.
    Email away. How exciting.

  154. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Anyone else watching the Australian Open Final tomorrow.
    Don’t look GM, but I’m a massive Murray fan.

  155. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mmmm, bit cheesed off Newcastle have signed Sissoko.
    (Earlier I meant Zaha, not Saha)

  156. Big Raddy says:

    Me too. Newcastle have signed 3 players I hoped AW would sign. I can only assume our scouts decided these players are good but not good enough for Arsenal. Smacks of desperation from Pardew.

  157. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Not so sure about desperation, although they are in trouble, but Mbiwa and Sissoko will make them much harder to beat I would imagine.
    There are still plenty of viable dm type midfield stiffeners out there.

  158. I’m a Murray fan now Micky.

  159. dandan says:

    BR sorry about that mate: should not have posted it on here,But Mickey did ask. πŸ™‚ We are great cruisers and though I love the wild weather my wife does not, so without the many hours of mill pond stuff where she can lay and take the rays to compensate, we would never go.
    Give it a try you might be a little surprised

  160. Gooner In Exile says:

    I did a Mediterranean Cruise once when I was only 23….it was a good way of seeing a few new places quickly, and to be able to decide to go back one day. It’s when I gained a love for Italy….preferred the culture to the Spanish ports we stopped in.

  161. evonne says:

    what do you mean you are a Murray fan GM??!! He is still Scottish

    morning all
    I love the Brighton jokes; it is such a shame that we are forced to be politically correct 😦

  162. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    Re frimpong and others
    ray parlour was speaking on the radio last night about him and bartley and a couple of others and he said that these players have the best grounding to become professional footballers but a decision is made that they aren’t good enough to feature regularly if at all for the first team but the club stands to make/save 1.5 million on each player through various clauses, if they finally settle at another club with lower expectations.

  163. dandan says:

    GIE that is exactly why we did the complete world cruise and have since returned to places we briefly discovered on that cruise.

  164. evonne says:

    Milwall knock Villa out of the FA cup, hm…..who else is left there?

    FA said that 3 match ban for Hazard is insufficient. Why?

  165. dandan says:

    Travel and Sport the two greatest pleasures outside of family that I have found in a misspent lifetime. πŸ™‚

  166. evonne says:

    NASA’s robot Curiosity landed on Mars. Early pictures show no signs of ESPN, beer or porn. This makes it very clear that men are not from Mars

  167. evonne says:

    Dandan πŸ™‚ that’s not bad, 3 out of 3 – travel, sport and Family! Great life some can only dream of

  168. Rasp says:

    Morning all, lots of diverse chat recently πŸ˜›

    Some of my thoughts….

    I’d love to go on a Caribbean cruise

    Of course Hazzard should have an extended ban, he was guilty of violent conduct and letting him of would set a dangerous precedent

    Toon has signed players who would have strengthened our squad

    The reason we haven’t signed anyone is not because there aren’t players available who would improve our squad but simply because we choose not to

  169. dandan says:

    If anybody has BBC Iplayer have a look back at Winterwatch the big freeze of 1963, it changed mine and many other lives and remember the vast majority of people were living in non centrally heated homes.

  170. MickyDidIt89 says:

    1963 eh?
    I still live in a house without central heating!!!! ROLF
    Dreadful stuff. My children are never ill.

  171. evonne says:

    Rasp – violent conduct??!! Trying to kick the ball from underneath time wasting ‘kid’? The KID is only 4years younger than violent Hazard. AND the KID tweeted befor the game that he will do his best to waste time

    How about players chosing not to come to Arsenal and going to ManU instead? What can be done about that?

  172. evonne says:

    Good point Micky – I’ve always lived in centrally heated houses and suffer from bad arthritis

  173. dandan says:

    Mickey dont be so bloody mean put CH in and at the same time you can buy the wife a washing machine πŸ™‚

  174. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I stay in hotels as I hurtle about the country seeing supermarket buyers, and as yesterday, always wake up with puffy eyes and feeling de-hydrated and terrible.
    My wife has wangled a washing machine though πŸ™‚

  175. Rasp says:

    evonne, he is a professional footballer being filmed on TV and a role model for millions of youngsters. He lost control. Is it OK for players to try to kick the ball out of the goalkeeper’s hands when he wastes time? He has to be punished for his actions and chelski should be punished for their official tweet after the incident

  176. Rasp says:

    dandan, I saw that programme it was amazing and so much better as it was in black and white. Didn’t you just love the wonderful BBC English accents of the presenters πŸ™‚

  177. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I liked Murray from the moment he said he wanted Paraguay to beat England at football.
    Why? This was just before he stepped out at the most English of places, Wimbledon, and it showed me that here was a man with no interest in making friends, simply winning. Reminded me of a young McEnroe.

  178. evonne says:

    Rasp – absolutely, agree with everything you said in the 2nd comment. And for that he was given a red card and 3 match ban. He apologised profoundly to the ‘KID’, kid apologised for deliberate time wasting and in my opinion that’s enough.

    Good morning to you, have a lovely sunny day πŸ™‚

  179. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh Rasp, you are soft.
    Hazard clearly made contact with the ball as it popped out from under said yob. The fact that he didn’t break one of his ribs in the process was simply unfortunate.

  180. kelsey says:

    You would think he could afford to get his teeth fixed.

  181. Rasp says:

    chelski has a history of failing to control its players and worse than that, not coming out and condemning their actions – although invariably they have to change their tack when it becomes clear that they have lost the PR battle. The ethos of the owner seems to affect the management and the team. They are financial bullies, they have supported a player in seeking to end the career of a referee, they employ a racist thug, they are a club with low moral values IMO.

  182. Rasp says:

    πŸ˜› micky, I’m going to have to agree to disagree with you all on this one – but I bet the FA extend his ban and that would make me happy.

  183. Rasp says:

    Well done Micky … here’s a question to ponder …. how much more of a furore do you think there would be if it had been an Arsenal player who had kicked the ballboy?

  184. Rasp says:

    I would have expected Frimpong to get a game today if he hadn’t been sent out on loan … does that indicate we are about to sign a DM? …. flying pigs ……..

  185. dandan says:

    Wonderful upper crust voices, Rasp. but most of those guys had fought through a war and a great deal had changed for them by the time they made the tele.
    I met Cliff Mitchelmore years later when he was doing his hotel program at Tikton Grange just outside Hull, he was a very affable guy.

  186. goonerjake says:


    I actually agree with you.cham, Johan and frimpong are not up to first team places. I guess I’m just grasping at straws hoping wenger will make some signings. Cavani would be nice but I’d settle for villa.

  187. Big Raddy says:

    I think Hazard should be extradited and sent to work in a Siberian coal mine for at least 3 years. Bread and ice-water is too good for him

    The man is not only Chelsea he is also a brilliant footballer.

    Get a grip

  188. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Beard and ice-water is too good for him” ROLF
    Could this also be a clue to our explorer today?

  189. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Damn, have to go. Was hoping to catch a glimse of the PM.
    Later, good people.

  190. kelsey says:

    Brighton the gay seaside capital of england. should make for a good post πŸ™‚

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