Meet The Underminers

What do you call someone who does the opposite of supporting their own team?

Well, yes, there is that, but this is a family blog so four-letter words are frowned upon. We need another name for them.

I was pondering this question on Saturday while watching us struggle to break down a 10 man Norwich defence (more of a parked combine harvester than a bus, really).

At this crucial time of the season, with a very real prize still to play for, you would think that the home crowd at the Emirates would really be doing its utmost to give the players extra belief and support.

And I’m sure that’s exactly what most of the fans do and did.

But watching live on the telly in North America it was depressing to hear the moans and groans start to reverberate around the ground after the first misplaced pass of the day.

Now I’m all for moans and groans in the right circumstances, but not at a home game for my beloved Arsenal.

I wasn’t the only person to pick up on this from the television coverage, as the Arsenal Arsenal comments on Saturday will attest to. However, not being there live, you always wonder whether the microphones are painting an inaccurate picture. Maybe the TV crew just happened to have plonked their sound recording kit next to the most miserable bunch of tossers in the whole ground.

But the impression of a vocal minority sowing discord was soon backed up by AA regulars who had actually been at the game. Some even described how they had felt obliged to tell the moaners to stop moaning.

But here’s the thing. I don’t believe that these fans (the moaners) are any less dedicated to the Arsenal than you or me.

Like you and me they are fans (which, let’s remind ourselves, is short for “fanatics”). I imagine they live, breathe, dream and sleep Arsenal just like we do. They almost certainly care just as much and want what the rest of us want: a successful team playing great football and winning trophies.

But where I part company with them is that I don’t accept that the term “supporters” applies to them because, in simple terms, they do not “support.”

Well, OK, they “support” in the financial meaning of the word – in that they pay for their tickets and any in-stadium purchases and merchandise and this contributes to the upkeep and running of the club. But they do not “support” the team when it’s on the field of play.

I believe that when people refer to “supporting” a football team (or any sports team) the more appropriate meaning of the verb “to support” is: “to hold up or serve as a foundation or prop for.”

When our players enter the battle, we want them to feel “supported” – that is, that they have firm foundations of good will and encouragement from the fans – foundations that are demonstrated – in the time-honoured way of football – by chants, cheers and songs.

So when some individuals in the crowd do the opposite of this, they are not “supporting” – they are, to continue the architectural/engineering analogy, “undermining” the team.

One of the  dictionary definitions of “undermine” is: “to weaken or cause to collapse by removing underlying support, as by digging away or eroding the foundation.”

So that’s it: the fans who prefer moaning and groaning to supporting and cheering are The Underminers.

Sometimes the “weakening” that they cause is painfully visible. Take Gervinho. He came into the Norwich game off a few good performances. He had been scoring and assisting others to score. Perhaps crucially, those good performances had been away from the Emirates (Arsenal’s away support is, thankfully, almost entirely devoid of Underminers).

Despite his recent good form, the Emirates Underminers were on his back pretty quickly on Saturday

For the first 30 minutes or so he was by far our most potent attacking threat and created several opportunities, not least from his willingness to attack the box and take on defenders.

Most of the opportunities he created fizzled out and as each one did, the Underminers got louder and louder.  Perhaps his best chance was when put through by a brilliant pass from Santi Cazorla. The Swerve took it round the Norwich ‘keeper but his touch was a bit heavy and the ball ended up going too wide for him to score. Instead he squared it along the goal line, perhaps expecting that Giroud might have bothered to anticipate such a thing.

But Giroud had not and the opportunity died amid a cacophony of Undermining. Yes, Gerv had taken a heavy touch. In the same game I saw Cazorla, Wilshere, Walcott and Podolski all also have heavy or bad touches in good positions. The latter group received some murmurs of Undermining, but nothing like the scorn heaped on poor Gervinho. No wonder the Ivorian went into his shell a little after that.

But that’s another characteristic of the Underminers: they like to have a target-du-jour on whom to heap their anger and vitriol.

I was in the ground when a clearly mentally disturbed Eboue was booed to the point of tears some years ago and substituted by Wenger as an act of human mercy. I did not boo him. I just felt sad.

Saturday’s Man of the Match – Aaron Ramsey – got his turn last season. How gratifying it see to see that he was tough enough to weather that storm and come back stronger than ever. Fabianski, Almunia, Denilson, Adebayor, Walcott and others were all targeted at different times.

What frustrates me about the Underminers is that, as I mentioned earlier, they undoubtedly want the same thing as we Supporters (namely, Arsenal success). But they can’t seem to see that their very actions help make that success less likely. I might “want” to have a hundred grand in the bank, but if I don’t get a job (or at least buy a lottery ticket) it ain’t likely to happen.

It’s counterproductive and they seem completely blind to the effect they have. I’ve seen Underminers with their kids in tow, the kids moaning and groaning and swearing at our own players just as much as their parents (Underminors?).

So what do we do about the Underminers? Have they always been there? Did they arise with the move to the new stadium? Are they a sub-section of fans who were spoilt during the good times and now feel entitled? Are they the modern-day “consumers” (rather than fans) that we keep hearing about?

Can we reason with them? Should we ban them? Thump them? Report them to the stewards for negativity below and beneath the call of duty?

I would welcome your thoughts. And it would be especially interesting to hear from some self-confessed “moaners and groaners.” Maybe you feel that what you’re doing is for the best in the long run. If so, please tell us your reasoning.

Finally I would like to include a comment that 26May made yesterday, because I think it holds a lot of truth and informs this discussion: “…the performance of our home crowd is part of the reason players of promise have sometimes laboured to do well and part of the reason why we have failed to achieve what we should have.

“I think we became a quiet crowd 20 years ago or more, other than at big matches, and quietness is something we need to accept. But the negativity, moaning and impatience has built in the last few years, and that p*sses me off more than I can express. I sometimes sit in the North Bank Lower rather than my usual East Lower, but always have to steel myself against the incessant whining of a number of the regulars there… All of that said, from where I was sitting, I didn’t think the crowd was at its worst yesterday.”



131 Responses to Meet The Underminers

  1. knuckles says:


    ……….. AND WHO’S COMING IN LASP, YEP IT’S RASP … (hey, artistic license)


  2. Red Arse says:

    That is one of the most profound literary statements I have ever seen Knuckles! 🙂

  3. gunnerpete says:

    Hi Ive been a Gunner for 63 years and have come to expect the odd game where moaners take over. Ive often had a big moan, mainly at selections made, but sites like ANR and Le Grove are a bloody disgrace to the name of AFC….. they disappear when the team have run like now but knife nonstop when we have a bad result. Its up to them but the team suffers most from their cowardly actions. If we had the record of Spuds or Chelski before they bought everything, I could understand. It is a sad fact that nowadays if your club does not buy all the trophies, the ‘fan’ of today is disloyal.

  4. gunnerpete says:

    What a pillock this bloke knuckles is and what is he on?

  5. knuckles says:

    thank you red arse. I read your stuff too when I’ve got nothing else to do but most of it goes over my head like the long blog you did about the Big Bang.

    That gunner petes done a good one. I agree pete.

  6. Rasp says:

    Morning gunnerpete, I agree, the odd moan at the right time and in the right place is only human nature, but actions which may actually be detrimental to the club during a game are ridiculous.

    By the way, knuckles is one of our regulars perpetuating an ongoing joke which is at the expense of Le Grove

  7. IanRealGunner says:

    I would also include those who leave the ground early as underminers

  8. A truly magnificent post Rocky
    How do you deal with underminers?, you can’t….
    So i choose to keep a positive outlook and hope that i can affect those people around me in the same way.
    Our stats this season are littered with fabulous positives and i bathe in them.
    I’ve linked your post to Twitter, i hope this post gets a lot of traffic.

  9. Rasp says:

    Hi Ian, added to that, would say those who leave after the game has finished but do not clap the players off the pitch. I find it embarrassing when the players (Theo, BFG and the Ox in particular) come over to thank the supporters and everyone’s back is turned heading for the exit.

  10. knuckles says:

    hello Ian Real Gunner. But what about them that dont live in london maybe they have to get a bus or a train and thats why they go a bit early. What if they miss it ? I live in Swansea

  11. Red Arse says:

    There can be no doubt that your main premise is correct, Rocky, moaning and groaning is of benefit to no one other than the uterer!

    However, you have invited us to consider why this behaviour occurs, and what can be done about it.

    Outside the professional arena, I have seen some weird stuff at ‘park’ games, where youngsters, in various age groups, have been watched by their parents and other family members.

    To witness the screaming, the yelling and the profanities employed by these parents in their exhortations as they ‘support’ and ‘encourage’ their off spring, by the use of copious swear words, blasphemies, and the constant references to the referee’s and their child’s likenesses to female genitalia, is excruciating, and intolerable.

    There is a clinical word to describe this phenomenon, Coprolalia, which means the involuntary swearing or the involuntary utterance of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks.
    I am not versed in medical matters, but from observation, it seems, to me, that some parents, and they are by no means in the majority, do not even realise that they are behaving in this way, or that their own anxiety and frustrations in wanting ‘little Jimmy’ to excel is having the completely opposite affect.

    It takes little imagination to see that this behaviour can easily be transferred to football grounds, (and not just Arsenal’s) with much the same affect.

    Something which affects perhaps all of us, is the need to use swear words to convey a visceral emotion, either when you hit your thumb with a hammer, or are really angry. It is an effective way of letting off steam, and many of us would admit to doing this in private.

    However, perhaps these private, vulgar expressions have crept (galloped?) more openly into public places over the years, and what was once confined to private conversation is now one of many ways that the social barriers between public and private matters are melting away, and becoming commonplace, especially within crowds.

    Dare I say it? There is no cure for the use of such inappropriate language and behaviour by some fans, until if/when society norms change, again.

  12. 26may1989 says:

    Blimey, quoted by Rocky and referenced in the Knuckes stream-of-consciousness, I feel honoured. Despite quoting me Rock, that was a lovely meditation on how our fans are at match-time. I particularly liked the references to parking the combine harvester and the underminors, great stuff.

    The whining? It is understandable that some feel unhappy that we are not as good as we once were, both relatively and absolutely, and that the investment in the stadium is not yet having the impact on resources for the squad we wanted, and I do understand why some fans feel negative. But the effect of the moaning, and the speed at which the criticism arrives at our ground, is obviously one of the reasons we don’t do as well as we once did. The fans have the effect of compounding the problems in the squad. And many seem not to undertsand the effect of their behaviour, being motivated more by a sense of entitlement to complain loud and long at the overpaid underperformers on the pitch.

    I have no idea how to get rid of it, I feel more or less resigned to it being there now. For my own sanity, I just use more care about where in the ground I choose to sit.

  13. knuckles says:

    meet the underpants

  14. Sorry to ask but
    can somebody explain to me what the DidItQuiz table widget is all about.
    Thank you in anticipation.

  15. The font says:

    Great post except there is more than a fair share of extreme moaners at away games the reason we are getting better results away from the emirates is the players are not hearing it from four corners of the ground . It has to stop its. Fuelled by the media
    And is slowly destroying Our ability to be the 12th man

  16. OMG they are still going on about the shirt pull
    Keyes & Gray, why have an assistant if they can’t assist

  17. Rasp says:

    Hi Jonathan, MickDidIt wrote a post that was asking for our points predictions (and therefore league position) of Arsenal, the spuds and chavs. The winner receives a framed print of Micky Thomas’ winner in 89.

  18. Hi Rasp
    So i take it that Jonathan in the list isn’t me? I can’t remember doing this, or am i just aging a little faster than i should be!?

  19. Rasp says:

    😆 Jonathan, I don’t know, I’ll have to ask Micky. Anno Domini affects us all 😦

  20. chas says:

    Super post, Rocky.

    One of the oft-spouted comments that always gets me is, “Cmon it’s only Norwich, we should be hammering these”, taking absolutely no account of bus parking tactics, relegation struggles etc etc.
    We are The Arsenal and we have a divine right to beat anyone in the bottom half of the table. Such a strange attitude when the evidence before everyone’s eyes is that all premiership games are a battle.

    I hope some come on today to give an opposite viewpoint.

  21. GoonerB says:

    That is a really excellent post Rocky. Like 26May I didn’t hear too much moaning and I was in the lower tier clock end for this game. Not being a STH I will sample different areas of the ground across a season and some are definitely worse than others.

    Maybe in the worst moaning sections they have almost fueled and, in some ways, brainwashed each other into this mode of being to the extent that they have literally forgotten how to react in a more balanced fashion and will only see things from one extreme point of view. It looks that way to me with some of the other sites we occasionally mention. It is almost like a cult where a few unsavoury and Alpha Male dominant individuals set the tone and many others are coaxed into following their pathway. It is those fans that have been swayed into being something they really aren’t that need to be turned back because I believe they are at heart balanced loyal fans that have just been led the wrong way.

    What can you do about it Rocky? I think you are already doing it with your posts and comments. I think all we can do is keep putting up good posts on this site and welcome reasoned debate and hope that some new fans turn up and start to enjoy the positive discussions that occur on here. Maybe this site can be a beacon of common sense that will turn some fans away from continuing to be underminers.

    There will be some that will accuse my view of being that of an AKB and that this site solely represents that type of fan. If any new readers are on today then I would say for the record that this is absolutely not the case. The regulars on this site often hold different levels of positive and negative views and are respectful of different opinions providing you are not an extreme ranter and raver that refuses to accept any other opinion than their own, and can bring reasoned debate to the table.

    Off til later chaps.


    Very interesting post Rocky

    Of course you get all sorts at football but the constant moaners and negativistas realy get on my wick.

    I have thought of a solution. At home i am in possesion of rather large needle like syringe that i created myself, and some highly toxic anesthetic

    The seats at the grove are very nicly placed, so a slight lean over then one could inject the malcontent in the back of the neck without any one noticing.

    I know the formula works since the other day on the bus i injected some unsuspecting hoodie. Within seconds he was out for the count.

    The only drawback was that my stop was next and as i was departing the bus i could hear crys of “Hes convulsing” , “Call a Doctor” etc, but of course that might have been another bloke. hahaha

  23. CHAS says :
    “Such a strange attitude when the evidence before everyone’s eyes is that all premiership games are a battle.
    I hope some come on today to give an opposite viewpoint.”

    4 March 1995
    Manchester United 9 – 0 Ipswich Town

    19 September 1999
    Newcastle United 8 – 0 Sheffield Wednesday

    22 November 2009
    Tottenham Hotspur 9 – 1 Wigan Athletic

    9 May 2010
    Chelsea 8 – 0 Wigan Athletic

    23 December 2012
    Chelsea 8 – 0 Aston Villa

    18 November 1995
    Blackburn 7 – 0 Notts Forest

    25 October 1997
    Manchester United 7 – 0 Barnsley

    6 February 1999
    Notts Forest 1 – 8 Manchester United

    11 May 2005
    Arsenal 7 – 0 Everton

    14 January 2006
    Arsenal 7 – 0 Middlesbrough

    11 May 2008
    Middlesbrough 8 – 1 Manchester City

    25 April 2010
    Chelsea 7 – 0 Stoke City

  24. IanRealGunner says:

    To Knuckles,

    Reference leaving early if you live a long way away, I totally accept your premise that some may have to leave early (I live in Manchester (behind enemy lines) by the way so totally get that), but the numbers of empty seats from 15 minutes before the end of the game cannot all be those of us who live miles away.

    But I agree, you wouldn’t want to miss the last train!!!!

  25. 26may1989 says:

    @GambonWalksOnWater: Before a Manc arrives to say the same thing, I would have thought a certain 8-2 result should be added to that list……

  26. 26may1989 says:

    I’ve just realised we have the perfect example of what to do about the Underminers: do a Millwall and just start lamping the buggers.

  27. Red Arse says:

    Chas was not intending to be pedantic, so he did not put in the bleeding obvious ‘nowadays’, as in “all premiership games NOWADAYS are a battle.”

    So, let’s be generous and say that ‘nowadays’ stretches back to 2009, that means only 4 games have what could be called fluke results, out of approximately 722 games per season * 4 = 2,888, which is 0.139%, a statistical anomaly which is diminishingly tiny.

  28. CHAS, and 26May1989

    8-2 is a goal difference of ‘only’ 6…
    I’ve kept the goal difference(s) to ‘7 and above’ as there’s too many 6’s, 5’s and 4’s to mention…
    …and I wouldn’t want CHAS to think I’m rubbing it in by going on and on and on and on and on andon and on… 🙂

  29. chas says:

    The exceptions never ever prove the rule. You should know that.
    Do you want me to produce a list of fixtures where the top teams got beat at home by lesser opposition.
    For someone who hates standalone stats, you do like to quote them pretty often. 😉

  30. chas says:

    You’re not rubbing anything in, because you’re picking out extremes as if they’re common place.

  31. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all,

    Good effort Rocky, I’m not sure there is anything that the ordinary fan can do, 26’s idea of duffing them up may work but the duffer up will get banned and the duffed up will get compensation. 🙂

    On another matter…I just hope that the Referee Mafia, sorry The Professional Game Match Board, don’t feel that they must even things up for Saturday’s generosity, Corner that should have been a goal kick, slightly dodgy penalty and an offside pass from Theo.

    Have we used up all our luck in one game?

  32. GoonerB says:

    Just popped back on for a moment and feel inclined to comment..

    Gambon walks, that is not an opposite viewpoint. That is just a series of game results dating back to 1995 that you have conveniently dragged up to enhance, what I imagine will be, your extreme negative viewpoint regarding Arsenal. You have offered no reasoned debate to whatever point it is you are trying to make so you haven’t actually argued or stated any alternative viewpoint. I presume your point is that we should be thumping bottom half teams all the time and that you feel Chas is wrong.

    Like those politicians on question time you have conveniently picked only stats that enhance what you want to indicate but have left out any number of game scores that could counter your argument. We have put a few past teams ourselves. Think Southampton at home this season. I will not waste my time dragging out multitudes of scores from different games just for a pointless argument with you but as one example, if my memory serves me correctly, I believe Blackburn, who were later relegated, beat Utd last season. How many did we put past Blackburn at the Emirates? Only one example I know but I think that on its own should completely destroy any validity to what I think you are trying to portray.

    Chas is right that many games against bottom half teams are hard battles and there is more evidence out there to back that statement than the games you indicated going back til 1995.

  33. Damn… Sussed!

    Had you going tho’
    And I’ve gotta go… there’s a Footy Chat Show (a good one) in 4 mins on TV – can’t wait for the ref/linesman stuff to be discussed… and I’ve got to cook yet as well.

  34. Sorry Red Arse 🙂
    Sorry GoonerB 🙂

    Chas, I just couldn’t resist it.

    The blokes on TV in the 2 hour show are Peter Reid and Alan Curbishley (both very good every time they are on).
    Gotta Go!!

  35. chas says:

    Perhaps Arsenal ought to introduce a moaning section in the ground.

    When you apply for or renew your season ticket, you get a questionnaire.
    A sample question could be…….
    a) Do you generally support and encourage the team right up to the final whistle regardless of the score?
    b) Do you whine like a 3 year old who has just had their toys taken away?

    Wouldn’t it be lovely if all of the whiners were in one part of the ground with only each other for company? 🙂

  36. Rasp says:

    That’s great plan chas …. and we could give them loads to moan about just to keep them happy … like £150 for the seat, restricted view, £25 hotdog, beer watered down even more than usual etc etc

  37. Rasp says:

    …. we could call it the Cock End

  38. Rasp says:

    …. and a special screen for replays of every time a pass goes astray or a shot misses the target

  39. chas says:

    Haha, they could all sit on the Cock End.

  40. goonersteve says:

    It’s easy.

    You call them ‘gambons’ after that muppet that pretends to be an Arsenal fan over at le-grove.
    He’s really just a fat trophy spoiled mug that started supporting us in 1998.

  41. Red Arse says:

    Don’t apologise, Big Al, 🙂

    Humour is always welcome, and I guess Chas did invite a contrary view! 🙂

    I clicked on your avatar some time ago, so I surmised it was you.

    How is your blog going? You did not answer me previously, (not to my satisfaction anyway) 😀 but are you indeed the famous Post writing Big Al of ACLF fame — which, incidentally, I always enjoyed!

    Maybe you would write one for AA? — You know you want to! 🙂

  42. GunnerN5 says:

    The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

    We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

    We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

    We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

    We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

    These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

    Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

    Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

    Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

    Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

    Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

    Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

    And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.

    George Carlin

  43. Red Arse says:


    I always thought gambon was a typo for gammon — the bottom of a side of bacon.
    Yes, that seemed about right! 🙂

    [This comment has no connection with any blogger past or present ] 🙂

  44. Shard says:

    Great post Rocky.

    I swing from one extreme to another when it comes to dealing with these underminers. On the one hand, I feel hopeful that they are reasonable people who will understand the consequence of their actions and how it is counter productive, if only it is pointed out to them in a way they can understand. On the other, I feel they are too far gone to even attempt to understand since they have a righteous sense of ‘doing something’ and not taking things lying down. (Arsenal not winning a trophy is something to PROTEST about)

    I blame the media mostly, including some (in my view) bloggers with hidden agendas. There are some absolute myths about Arsenal which have become accepted as fact, and become so entrenched in the psyche of some fans. So, for example, frustrations of the board robbing us blind, give a stimulus to these acts of heroic revolt against a dictatorial authority. (Which again is the attitude the media adopts towards issues even larger than football – whether deserved or not) It is this sense of being wronged (which is itself false), which leads them to act against what they are supposed to love in the belief that they are doing it for the greater good (and that they aren’t helpless/useless. To feel important.)

    This idea of protest is what annoys me most. It is appealing because it easy. To protest against something makes you feel useful while contributing nothing towards a common goal (if not detracting from achieving said goal) What also annoys me is the detachment they’ll claim from all losses as someone else’s fault, but claim any victory as theirs. Heads I win, Tails you lose.

    Hence, to summarize, the idea that we’ve been wronged by the people in charge of our own club (perpetrated by the media at large), the appeal of tearing the whole house down so we can then get someone in to build again (destruction is easier than construction so we do the first bit, and leave the other bit to someone we don’t hate- yet), and the always easy to fall back on excuse of only acting in the best interests of the club. Added to by the fact that the human brain craves a break in monotony. Hence a smoothly managed stadium move with consistent finished leads to more anger than a messed up stadium move which never happened, and led to going into administration and then out of European spots.

    Apparently abusing Denilson, Ramsey, Diaby etc is justified because it ensures only the player with a great mentality will survive. The other’s carcasses don’t matter. We pay money, and we don;t get what we deserve, so protest is justified. Winning trophies is everything. The ends justify the means. So all the other factors are dismissed as coming from AKB’s, people accepting of ‘mediocrity’ or ‘lacking ambition’ (catchphrases coined by the media). Humans are adept at justifying the most unjustifiable to themselves. Logic is open to arm twisting just as much as statistics are. Sigh…

    I guess we know I’m not feeling very hopeful today.

  45. Shard says:


    is that what gammon really means? There is a construction company in India called Gammon.. They always bring home the bacon.

  46. Red Arse says:


    That’s a very good homily.

    Another prayer he offered up was;

    — “On leaving, let me arrive safely back at my hotel room. Don’t let me be attacked by a maniac wearing a french tickler and a space helmet. Don’t let my beard become entangled in the gears of a transcontinental bus. And don’t let me be hit by a flying turd.”

    Also, isn’t he the same guy, with a social conscience, who said;

    Did you ever have to fart on a bus or an airplane, or in some public place? But, you had not been farting all that day, so you didn’t really know the nature of the beast. You only knew there was lots of it.

    In a situation like that what you have to do is to release a “test fart.” You have to arrange to release, quietly and in a carefully controlled manner, about ten to fifteen percent of the total fart, in order to determine if those around you can handle it. Or … Or if in fact you may be about to precipitate, a public health emergency.

    When releasing a “test fart” it is often good to engage in an act of subterfuge, such as reaching for a magazine. Lean over to the guy sitting next to you and, “Say, is that the Golf Digest?” (Fart while reaching over and clear throat).

    That one didn’t smell too horrifying, in fact, in an odd way it was rather pleasant. I think they ought to enjoy the rest of this baby. (Really let rip the whole fart)

    As it happens, it turns out to be one of those farts that would strip the varnish off a foot locker.
    A fart that could end a marriage. And everyone around you heads for the exits, even the people on the airplane, as you realize it is time to review your fiber intake.

    Now that’s the kind of guy you can take too!! 😀

  47. Red Arse says:

    Hi Shard, 🙂

    Yep, my definition of ‘gammon’ is pretty accurate. But then I would say that!

    How are the studies going? When do you sit the exam?

  48. Shard says:

    Studies aren’t going so well 😦 There’s too much to do. But maybe the date of the exam will be a good omen. It’s on the 26th of May 🙂

  49. Red Arse says:

    That’s too bad, Shard.

    Anyway, don’t rely on 26th May, he is a lawyer and will charge you extra for sitting on him! 🙂

  50. goonerjake says:

    A couple of people have spoken about leaving early to catch a train, saying “I don’t wanna miss my train, so I have to leave early” on a number of occasions I have missed my train and had to pay £50 plus. ….. and im poor, because id rather watch to the end than get off on time….. what else are you going to do watch x factor? or britains got talent? or just go out for the night?…. no extra 2 or three minutes footy for me please.

  51. Shard says:

    Oh well. I guess it’s back to the grind then.

  52. Red Arse says:

    Well said, goonerj. 🙂 Me too!

  53. RockyLives says:

    Hello All
    Thanks for some great comments.

    “Cock End” – quality, rasp 🙂

    If you look at some of my posted comments during the Norwich game you might accuse me of being a moaner myself.

    However, I have never booed our team or individual players when I’m at a game. I might mutter “FFS Bendtner” under my breath as he skies another one into Row Z, but it will immediately be followed by shouting something positive.

  54. RedMJ says:

    Excellent post. Sums up my own thoughts and feelings precisely. And early leavers? – major pet peeve. I once called Alan Green on 606 to ask him if he thought that leaving early had a negative effect on players. He couldn’t be bothered to answer the question so just took his usual lazy arsed way out to criticise the stadium being built in a residential area. Buffoon!

  55. Afternoon all – exactly what I have been saying since the 2nd game I ever went to see Mr Rock – keep your whingeing till after the game !

    An especially pertinent point about Geronimo, now he’s not my favourite player but for pity’s sake what is the benefit of eroding his self confidence to the extent he wants to hide from the game?

    Now I’m not saying this for reasons of an altruistic nature or because I’m some kind of tambourine touting do-gooder, I’m a selfish git and I know getting behind a team and ALL the players will probably mean a better outcome for me than if I destroy the confidence of the mercurial talents who wear the blessed red and white.

    If I’m going to get angry it’s ‘cos I’m annoyed at Wigan who, by getting into the FA Cup final, have changed my last matchday experience of the season from a leisurely Sunday lunchtime stroll to a frantic mid week evening dash – thanks for nothing you northern munters !

  56. chas says:

    Interesting about justifying a protest. I’ve actually heard some justify booing at half time, saying that it spurred the team on to a winning second half performance. False logic beyond belief.

    The ‘test fart’ theory. 🙂
    As with the North Koreans, always test at a local level before releasing a potentially life-threatening, long range weapon of mass putrification.

  57. GoonerB says:

    Just got back on to see what Gambon on Sea was saying only to find it was Big Al pulling a fast one on us. Can’t believe I fell for that one. I actually thought it was Sputum under a different blog name.

  58. kelsey says:

    Afternoon all and thanks for the post Rocky but have things really changed that much.
    We follow Arsenal with intense feelings and to moan and groan even if under one’s breath isn’t a new trait and in some bizarre way shows how much you care for the team,but booing is something else altogether.

    it happens at all clubs except Millwall where they literally try and kill each other
    Constant nearly daily coverage of live football has changed.commentators don’t commentate anymore they aren’t neutral they have their opinions slanted one way or another against a team, and e certainly get a very high percentage of pundits who take immense pleasure in mocking our club which strictly isn’t what they are paid to do, they do it to other clubs but not to the same extent.
    how long has wenger been in charge ? 16 years or so yet every time we get a red card whoever is commentating will say this is (number) red card under Wenger. Who cares a fig and name me any other manager that they say that about.
    Finally i am not sure the players hear the crowd groan but if they watch the game afterwards they might certainly get a complex about their performance when listening to the pundits who are quite forthright with their opinions.

  59. RockyLives says:

    Speaking of how the media pollute the Arsenal fan pool, GiE posted some excellent stuff yesterday about the falsehood of Arsenal’s “unfair” ticket prices.

    If you’re reading this, you really should re-post as a Headline Post, perhaps titled “Lazy Journalists: Read This.”

  60. James Taylor says:

    I thought Gerv had a poor game and deserved to be substituted. Infact I was hoping that he would have been substituted in the first half.

    Like yourself I was at the game the day Eboue came on as a substitute and got substituted himself. And I have to say unashamedly I was one those calling for him to be substituted.

    8 years without a trophy and increased ticket fees surely gives us fans the right to voice our anger and frustration.

    Football supporting is an emotional business. When you give up your time and money to go see a game you want to see players giving their all.

    He who pays the piper dictates the tone.

    Supporters with their hard earned cash pay the wages of these players.

    All we ask is for them to give their all rather than go through the motions, as it seems sometimes

  61. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Another cracker. Loved the Underminor!

    Your post pretty much agrees with a comment I wrote on Saturday evening, so I feel I have exhausted my ability to make a cogent comment.

    James. A good argument but I fail to be convinced. Can you explain to me how you will get your hopes of a trophy fulfilled by not supporting the players on the pitch?

    If you feel the need to boo/moan, why not do it at the final whistle?

  62. RockyLives says:

    Thanks BR
    Your comment was one of the inspirations for the Post.

    I don’t dispute you have the “right” to voice your anger and frustration. But we live in an age where people are more concerned about their rights than their responsibilities. So although you have the right to moan, I would suggest that exercising that right is not the most productive thing to do during the game. And it directly contradicts what I feel is the “responsibility” of a true supporter: namely, to support the team during the time they are playing.

  63. RockyLives says:

    I forgot to say, thank you for commenting. I was hoping someone would put the case for expressing anger/frustration at the players/team and you have done so in a clear and well argued way.

  64. Latest team news, Rosicky and BFG back in the squad, Flappy a major doubt. Time for the Don ?

  65. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, its interesting that ‘passion’ at football games is increasingly manifesting itself as much in the form of disquiet as support. We all know that football reflects society. There is a certain irony in the fact that in the week of Mrs Thatcher’s funeral, football hooliganism has reared its ugly head again.

  66. Rasp says:

    Bugger, what’s happened to Fab2 chary? (I refuse to call him flappy after recent performances)

  67. RockyLives says:

    Flappy a doubt? That’s very worrisome (never thought I’d be saying that 🙂 )

    Good news about TR7 and BFG. I would definitely slot Rosicky back in in place of Jack, who was clearly not ready. I’d also put BFG back in for Verm.

  68. RockyLives says:

    Rasp 😦
    I feel bad for calling him Flappy now.
    He probably gained us two points on Saturday with that save just after we had gone 2-1 up.

  69. Got a kick in the ribs Big And Dandy (probably from that fat git Holt) on Saturday.

    I reckon Chesney could be back in as he’s prominent in the “Pictures of squad training” on today.

  70. Rasp says:

    You’re forgiven Rocky, at least we know you wouldn’t shout it out loud at a game after today’s post 😆

  71. I’ve just finished watching one of my favourite footy programmes as mentioned earlier. Peter Reid, Alan Curbishley and some ‘journo’, who I’ve never seen before, and who’s name I didn’t catch due to my cat Sammy “meeowing” his head off for more food.

    Anyway, the ‘incident’ was reviewed on film a few times (of course), then discussed. Peter Reid said that although the linesman was wrong for Walcott being “onside” when actually “off” (and the linesman was directly in line incidentally) he was “absolutely correct” [quote] as regards awarding the penalty.
    Alan Curbishley agreed though didn’t seem quite so ‘definite’ as Reid. The journo (who incidentally was very good throughout the 2-hour show) also thought the penalty decision was correct – also, he did have a moan, and quite rightly so, about the inconsistency of refs in making that type of decision.

    A newspaper back page was then held up to the camera showing a photo and a big double-caption of two near-identical incidents of shirt-pulling – (a) Giroud’s shirt being tugged, and (b) Torres’s shirt being pulled.
    The caption(s) were something like “One Given”, “One Not”.

    The reason I’m going into some depth here is to make you aware of the apparent ‘opposite’ views of some other pundits.

    Thought you might like to know…

  72. Red Arse says:

    I have made a comment, earlier, about some people subconsciously berating their team, possibly as a release from tension or in sheer frustration.

    Two of the most positive Gooners on AA, Randy and Rocky, (sounds like a porn movie title) were both frustrated enough on Saturday to briefly voice their ‘concerns’ in the quietude of their laptops. [No swearing –and quickly followed by delight when we scored.] 🙂

    That’s stressful emotions pulling at even the best and most supportive amongst us.

    I believe an additional factor causing those at the ground to join in with the general anger and bad mouthing, is the hubris of many, who feel that we, the mighty Arsenal, should always crush the minions like Norwich, as Chas alluded to in his comment earlier.

    Then there is also the crowd psychology in which the crowd appears to have a mind all of its own, and even decent people are drawn in by its desire to lash out at perceived wrongdoing, both at the team as a group, as well as unfortunate individuals.

    It’s unfortunate, but it is an innate manifestation in human beings.

  73. A very interesting snippet from wiki :
    Peter Reid was voted as the PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 1985 and came fourth in the World Soccer Player of the Year award, behind Michel Platini, Preben Elkjær and Diego Maradona.

    ps : Sorry ROCKYLIVES, excuse time-lapse – very good post!

    pps : RED ARSE, no, I’m not “Big Al” from ‘ACLF’. He’s a different bloke altogether.

  74. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Al
    Sounds like a more reasoned discussion than MoTD.

  75. Red Arse says:

    Thanks Big Al, now what is the answer to the question I posited earlier @ 1:42? 😀

    Kamara, when presenting a Goals programme on Sunday almost wet himself when he worked himself up into near hysteria over the Lino giving the penalty from 35 yards, 45 yards, or 60 yards.

    He then admitted he had contradicted himself, by saying he usually complained that Linos did not help the ref even when they were standing only 10 yards from the ;incident.

    To many axes get ground when Arsenal are involved, and these guys would rather crap themselves than subject Manure (Ferguson) to any such rubbish analysis.

    But Kamara was not finished. He went on to say that even if it was a foul, football was a man’s game and shirt pulling was allowed, even if the rules said different.

    Confused and stupid, and he is not alone!

  76. RockyLives says:

    In that case we should make you “Bigger Al” 🙂

  77. 26may1989 says:

    I don’t generally go in for ITYS behaviour, but I’ll make an exception. This morning I said: “The fans [who moan during games] have the effect of compounding the problems in the squad. And many seem not to undertsand the effect of their behaviour, being motivated more by a sense of entitlement to complain loud and long at the overpaid underperformers on the pitch.”

    And hey presto, we have James Taylor at 3.32pm.

    (Presumably not one of the musical James Taylors, whether the 1960s/1970s one, the one with Kool & the Gang or the Acid Jazz one. But if you are one of those Tames Taylors, welcome!)

  78. RockyLives says:

    By the way, I fell for the “Knuckles” comment at first.

    My view was, if Knuckles says he’s first then he’s first, regardless of how many people came before him 🙂

    You ought to get the real Knuckles to pop on and say hello 🙂
    Does he realise he’s got quite a fan club on here?

  79. Red Arse says:

    I did not think James said anything untowards, personally.

  80. Can the Black Scarf Movement organise a march against the Emirates “early leavers” who humiliate our club on a regular basis?

  81. jnyc says:

    Great subject and post Rocky. Like many other frustrating and annoying people and behaviours in society, there is probably not much that good reasonable people can do about it. We can try to call them out and stay above it all.

  82. RockyLives says:

    Haha – well said Martin.

  83. LB says:

    Well you have all had a chance to compare Wilshere as an AM with Rosicky over the last few games, so who do you want to start tomorrow?

    OK, it was obviously a rhetorical question; one is a real attacking midfielder who is able to speed the play up, get the best out of the most talented player at the club and adds a genuine goal scoring threat…..and one doesn’t.

    I don’t think for one minute that Rosicky was injured, he was sensibly being saved for tomorrow, I say sensibly because two games in quick succession is quite a big ask nowadays.

    BTW good post, I had someone behind me on Saturday who moaned for 85 minutes culminating with a statement of: “that’s it, if it is as bad as this every week I am not coming back”, this was met with a round of comments all saying in one way or another that usually it is much worse……he got the message.

    This is just a quick fly by; I love Chas’ suggestion of a moaning section at the Emirates.


  84. Red Arse (et al)

    The problem with the shirt-pulling incident is not so much the penalty award as the inconsistency of referees. I’m generally not a ‘ref basher’, and not because one of the better-known Premiership refs (now retired) is a personal friend of 50 years or so.

    The “inconsistency of referees” debate has been going on since before the Big Bang 🙂 and will probably continue long after the next one. It (sort of) gets a bit boring after a hundred times of hearing the complaints yet the complaining is necessary to hopefully get something ‘finally’ done.

    I saw both incidents that took place on Saturday and Sunday on TV (a few times). The semi-final ref “bottled it” due to the magnitude of the game. A penalty should have been awarded. The old saying “two wrongs don’t make a right” is where I’m coming from, although it’s more like “ten wrongs don’t make a right” in truth; ten not awarded versus only one awarded.

    Awarding a penalty that can decide a title, relegation, top four spot, a Cup Final place, etc is a very tough call for any referee to make.

    But the refs must show more courage, right across the board.

  85. What hasn’t been actually said, though perhaps implied(?) is that on Saturday we didn’t bring on three subs – we brought on three “super subs”, or the other much-the-same term, “impact subs”.

    The directness and speed of all three shook us up, and shook up the opposition too! Rosicky also has that same ability.

    Bringing Wilshere on from the bench could never have the same effect; he’s not in that same mould. If Wilshere’s fit (fully-fit) then I think he’ll start. The “super-subs” can then be brought on at 70th mins if necessary.

  86. Red Arse says:

    Consistency, Big Al, is the key, you are right, but the consistency should be concentrated on cracking down on the shirt pulling and wrestling in the box.

    The refs need help from the FA and UEFA before it will change, frankly, and I would not hold my breath waiting for those corrupt pussies to move their asses.

  87. RockyLives says:

    I’ve only ever walked out early once in my life. It was a game at Highbury v Charlton Athletic and I’m ashamed to say I walked out when we went 1-4 down.

    I can’t remember why I was so angry (obviously I was angry about the result, but it’s not as if I hadn’t seen us lose before) but I do know I was extremely drunk.

    I got outside the ground and then just felt a bit silly (it was a long way before the end of the game). I went to the pub on my own (all my mates had stayed behind and just laughed at me when I walked out). I had a lonely pint until they turned up. The only up side was that I was able to get a table at the Bank of Friendship 🙂 .

  88. GoonerB says:

    LB @ 5.54. Wilshere did look a bit off the pace on his first game back since his injury but I am sure it is only about him getting back up to speed. I remember a few weeks back Rosicky also looked very rusty the first game he had back after injury also (but I can’t remember which one). It is nice to have 2 such talents to choose between so for me the decision for tomorrow would be based on match fitness. If one is looking sharper and fitter than the other in training then that one should start.

  89. RockyLives says:

    I don’t think you can make any valid judgement about Jack (or Jack v Rosicky) from Saturday’s game. It was abundantly clear that there was something wrong with him in the game (not fit? not got his touch back?) which would have affected him whatever position he played in.

    In short, I feel we was brought back too early by AW.

    When he’s on his game, his turn-and-drive style feels (to me) very similar to Rosicky’s.

    As GoonerB says, TR7 also had a bit of a ‘mare on his first game back a couple of weeks ago.

  90. evonne says:

    Brilliant post that left me sitting with red face. I am guilty of not being supportive on Saturday. I admit to being furious with Gervinho following that a tad too heavy touch. I admit to throwing things at the telly when Norwich scored. Good job I didn’t go to the game or I would be amongst the Underminers.

    I don’t normally moan and groan about the team, would never boo a player wearing Arsenal shirt, do not call for Wenger’s head and generally I am happy with our lot. But on occasions I cannot remain cool and rational, not when we should be winning hands down. So perhaps some of the Underminers are very supportive, just lose it a bit when the going gets tough?

  91. RockyLives says:

    Thanks evonne
    You can’t be an Underminer when you’re watching/listening at home 🙂

    I have no doubt that if you had been in the stadium you would have been frustrated, but you would not have booed.

  92. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Once again you take the words out of my keyboard.

    Moaning on the blogs is fine, at the Emirates isn’t. We don’t have the lovely experience of singing and chanting with thousands of fellow Gooners.

  93. evonne says:

    never! Or leave early. I will always remember Thierry’s bitter words after a game when fans were leaving 10 mins before the end

  94. LB says:


    I have no problem at all in making such a decision.

    I want to see Rosicky playing tomorrow.

  95. RockyLives says:

    Well, I hope to see Rosicky start tomorrow too – but mainly because Jack doesn’t seem match fit.

  96. LB says:

    Same, same but different lol

    See ya.

  97. RockyLives says:

    Cheers LB
    Hope all is well with you.

  98. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all, fine post Rocky sorry I hadn’t read it earlier….damn work getting in the way.

    I have to admit its difficult when in ground to tune out from the moaners, but they have always been there I remember hearing them when we used to stand on the North Bank, maybe it helped that they were not sitting next to each other every week as someone else mentioned earlier they couldn’t build those bonds.

    I had to have words with a young manat Bolton away a couple of seasons back, after the restart we gave away a penalty having started poorly….”what have you said to them Wenger? It’s shit!”, I turned round and said that obviously Arsene and told them to play shit and give away a stupid penalty for the sheer hell of it!

    I was criticised for clapping Arsenal players off after we lost to Wigan last season at home…”why are you clapping that shit?” ….er “because they’re still my team even when they lose”.

  99. goonerjake says:

    Just been watching the fans forum on arsenal tv, made me even more nervous about tomorrow than i already was.

  100. goonerjake says:

    John Cross team for tomorrow

    Sagna, Koz, Per, Nacho
    Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky
    Theo, Ollie, Carzorla

    Id be happy with that

  101. Hi everyone. I’ve been a bit of a blogging recluse lately. Hope you’re all well 🙂

  102. RockyLives says:

    Hello GM
    I think you went into hiding after I started stalking you at your salon 😀

  103. Hi gm, where have you been hiding 🙂 Did you get to see any of the great comeback on Saturday …… it was fabulous.

  104. RockyLives says:

    Bloody Hell Raddy!
    Take that down now – it’s a great Post for later in the week!

    Peaches – tell him!

  105. Big Raddy says:

    RL. I didn’t think it was good enough but will review it when more sober …. that pesky Barbaresco!

  106. RockyLives says:

    It’s really good – a proper impassioned account of then and now.

  107. Gooner In Exile says:

    Raddy, unfortunately I am now one of the many who gets in with 2minutesto spare.

    Combination of being a smoker and wanting to enjoy a drink with the wonderful folks of AA. To spend as much time with those friends as possible because once we enter the ground we all disperse to our seats and probably won’t see them again until the next match.

    Simple solution to the above is unallocated seating areas. This would also help with Chas’s suggesting of moaners corner.

    The one thing I hate hearing from fans is “the team gave us nothing to sing about”, those of us who remember getting on the North Bank or Clock End an hour and a half before kick off will know that you don’t need to be entertained to sing.

  108. Hi Rocky – I don’t know what can be done about the underminers, maybe I should just stand up and tell them to be quiet in my best ‘angry mummy’ voice 😉

  109. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Agree. But let’s leave it for when I put the comment up as a post later in the week.

  110. Gooner in Exile says:

    Ok Raddy.

    Just sen the news of explosions in Boston, I know we have a lot of American readers, goes without saying, hope you are all safe.

  111. RockyLives says:

    Very sad.

    Who would target the finishing line at a marathon? Where all the families with kids are waiting to see Dad, Mum, Sis, Brother or whoever cross the finishing line.


  112. Great post. I can’t stand the moaners. One of my clients said that someone sitting in front of him used to spend the whole match slagging off Lee Dixon so I don’t think it’s a new thing.

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Just no understanding how someone can do such a thing. Makes no difference if it is in Kabul, Baghdad, Boston, London or anywhere – the crime is the same.

    There are no words to describe what lowlife the perps are.

  114. who could be a terrorist Rocky? Dirty fucking scum. Sorry for the language

  115. Big Raddy says:

    GM. Great to see you blogging. Hope all is well with you

  116. RockyLives says:

    The language is more than merited.

  117. I was feeling negative for a while peaches and I didn’t want to bring that to AA. I’ve been really busy and haven’t seen one full match (except the spud one) for ages.

  118. Thanks Raddy I;m good thanks. I’m taking my wife to Barcelona for her Birthday on Friday 🙂

  119. This coming Sunday is the London Marathon, I don’t know what the police can do to protect runners and spectators 😦

  120. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All.

    Could so easily happen at a football match.

    Big game tonight and the post is in the loading bay.

  121. Red Arse says:

    Good Morning all AAers, 🙂

    35 people killed in a bomb in Iraq, and 3 killed in Boston, and hundreds injured.

    What a cowardly world!

  122. Gooner In Exile says:

    Worse than that RA, what one do I know about and what one have I heard nothing about.

  123. Gooner In Exile says:

    Lets move on to football….I don’t want to be depressed.

    Interesting comment by LB yesterday on Wilshere. I know his view is pretty much set, but it raised an interesting question about some criticism of Arsene’s team selection (ie why change it), tonight’s game is precisely why he changed it, and surely is seen as the harder of the two games and therefore he could “risk” non match ready players against Norwich.

    One thing that wasn’t commented on is how nice it was to bring on Walcott, Pod and Ox as game changers…..did someone say squad depth?

  124. Gooner In Exile says:

    BBC says Fab is doubtful……

  125. Big Raddy says:

    If true, a good opportunity for Szczesny to regain his shirt

  126. dandan says:

    Morning all. This mornings paper says Chesney has been made available for transfer does anyone know anything about this.

  127. Morning all

    I have internet in my new house 🙂

    ………New Post ………………..

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