We are Top of the League, and our real competitor is …

… Bayern Munich, the champions of Europe, the inheritors of the Barca legacy, the architects of a beautiful game, the Bavarian Brigade, now managed by one Pep Guardiola, who we all remember only too painfully well. And the competition is … the Champions League, of course.

Yes, Bayern Munich is our true competitor, and not any of the minnows that populate the English Premier League, basking in the vain glory of wasting a lot of money on ordinary players, and without any serious intent or ambition of building a team that plays a beautiful game. Some of them we saw in action yesterday, and what a poor show it was as well. Well, Chelsea did well this week, it has to be said. But never mind, we can deal with them. One other numpty, coming from somewhere down there in N17, will be seen in action tomorrow. Probably will be an equally poor show as well.

Compare their games to the fantastic football on show from Arsenal on Wednesday, and marvel at the huge difference in quality. Yes, quality, style and beauty of the beautiful game that Arsenal produced. Well, the show this time was only against Napoli, who had hardly anything to show at all. And before that, there were the men from across the Channel in Marseille, and they were ordinary as well. So, let us not bask in the glory of victories against weak teams. Let us look to the future.

And yes, our true competitor is the Bavarian Brigade – Bayern Munich. What a fantastic game they produced as well. Drove Man City out of the ground from the first minute, a total domination if there was ever one, almost as good as Arsenal’s domination over Napoli. Except that, Bayern’s frailties were exposed by the end, as soon as changes from the benches came in to replace the leaders on the pitch – IRN Robben, Franck(enstein) Ribery, and Schweinsteiger (the strange hybrid between, well, just forget about it!). Much as the first team played a fantastic brand of football, the weaknesses of the replacements were plain and clear. I am sure Arsene saw, noted and approved!

So, friends, We Are Top of the League, but it is not only the Premier League I am talking about, it is Champions League as well. Yes, we can win the Premier League, and even if we do not win it this year, we will certainly be in the mix. But, even if the Premier League matters, and matters not quite a flying fig, it does not quite matter as much as the Champions League. We have won the Premiership in the past, and know what it means to win the League. But if there is one trophy we want to lay our hands on, and now is the time like no other, it is the Champions League. And, yes, now is our time.

The Champions League is really our stage. There is a method to the madness that, despite all limitations that the doomsday brigade would point towards, we have qualified for the CL continuously over a decade and a half, progressed to the knockout stages umpteen times, and have more than a fair share of QFs/SFs and a Final. But, despite our consistent performance in the Champions League, despite our top seeding (for whatever it is worth), we have never laid our hands on the trophy. And it hurts. And we deserve it more than anyone else. And we deserve it now, more than any time in the recent past.

There are several things that work to our advantage in Europe this time round. First, we have a fantastic team now, despite the injuries, the thin squad and the kids! The mixture of youth and experience was always there. But the two were always embodied in different players. Some players were young, and others were experienced. Now we have a unique combination of youth and experience combined in the same players: Özil, Rambo, Giroud, Wilshere, Theo, Szcz, the list goes on. Plus, we have experience in good measure (BFG, Arteta, Flamster, Rosicky, and so on) and we have some fantastic and exciting kids coming up (The Ox, Gnabry, Jenks, Monreal, et al.). Most importantly, we have one Mesut Özil, who is just tailor-made for the European stage. And for the doubters, just watch the replay of the game on Wednesday! He knows what it takes to perform at the top level in Europe, and has both the experience and the ability to do so! In plenty, as well. And he is settling in really nicely with the fantastic talent in Arsenal. What a fantastic sight so far! And, what a fantastic prospect for much greater things for the future!

Second, we have the fans and the management of the club fully behind the players. For the first time in many years, there is a buzz around the club. Remember the happy evening of European football on Wednesday? The chants, the songs, the cheers! Ah, what an experience! Forgotten is the anger and vitriol spewed all around in the summer. The faithless have scurried into their holes. The fans are great every match, home and away. Even the journos have started putting in a good word or two for the good guys. Surprise, surprise!

Third, the playing environment in the European stage is fantastic. The grounds in Europe are good, and promote our brand of the beautiful passing and dribbling game. Our kids enjoy better protection from the refs, unlike in England, and there is good enough opposition so that the boys don’t fall asleep midway through the game.

Fourth, much as we are having a good time in Arsenal, and reaping the benefits of good financial and player management over a very long period of time, our major opposition in Europe are looking shaky. In England, the plight of ManUre, Chelski and Shitty are plain for all to see. Indeed, we are better than all of them, We Are Top of the League! In Spain, Barca are not quite the same team they were a few years back, and Real Madrid are struggling with a new management and a new look team. In Germany, Dortmund is doing well. But they lost to Napoli, remember, and wait till they meet Arsenal! Bayern are looking good, and they are our true competitors. All in all, the time is perfect for us. Arsenal is capable of beating any team in Europe on the day!! So, this is our stage, and this is our time!

We have started well, winning our first two games. But these were only two games, and against pitiful opposition as well. The men from the marshes down in Marseille, and the knobbly knees from Naples. Next comes the double-header against dodgy Dortmund. They have done reasonably well so far, but managed to engineer a loss against Napoli. Yes, the same Napoli whom Arsenal played out of the park at the Emirates the other day.

Its game on, friends. On with the show! There’s silverware looming in the horizon, and it is the right shape and texture! It is the Champions League!

Written by Arnie

142 Responses to We are Top of the League, and our real competitor is …

  1. Hubert says:

    Good to read such positive article. It is good to have a dream, a realistic one. I have the feeling that Arsenal will have at least two trophies this season!!

  2. it is still early days but a promising start this season for Arsenal. And how good is it to have some optimism about the club again!

    One point is that Monreal might not fit the bill as one of the up and coming kids at 27. Although being a similar age myself I’m happy to be considered a youth!

    Great Post

  3. Rasp says:

    Brilliant arnie 😛 You will be accused of getting ahead of yourself but what the hell, we have plenty to celebrate.

    I thought our first 20 minutes against Napoli were better than anything Bayern produced last night but they did sustain a very high level for the full 90 minutes.

    I don’t accept the ‘it was only Napoli’ argument. Before the game we were being told that they were very tough opponents but after we comprehensively outplayed them they became ‘poor quality’.

    I’d like to see Napoli play City – I doubt either would dominate, they are of a similar level.

    Bayern are hot favourites to win the CL whilst Arsenal have risen to a modest 16:1, long may we remain outsiders in the eyes of the pundits, we know what we are capable of.

  4. Bïg Räddy says:

    Great stuff Arnie. Thank you

    Really enjoying your cautious optimism 😀

  5. Rasp says:

    ‘not you’, we have a policy of embracing new visitors and trying to educate them in the etiquette of blogging, but in your case I’ll make an exception …… just bugger off will you and don’t bother coming back

  6. not you says:

    This is a gooner love in , anybody can write tripe like this about their club and the rest of you will fawn all over it . Arsenal while good SO FAR have done very little YET. So save your blushes and save this for when you actually achieve something . the thinness of your squad will be yor downfall yet and if grioud gets an injury it game over …thats how close to implosion you are . You need to buy more players in jan and pray nothing happens to Ramsey or Giroud in the meantime

  7. Rasp says:

    ‘not you’ is a troll ……. ignore

  8. kgooner says:

    good post that drew me in. the Cl is definitely is our stage. to win it would make a statement.

    one quibble, if I remember correctly, Dortmund were a 10 man team. keeper, Roman weidfeller got a red before the first goal. that fact is getting mightily overlooked. so its not a proper benchmark for borussia vs napoli.

    still. am fully in sync with the vibe of the post.

  9. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    not you ….If you spent more time searching for and wooing a women rather than that inflatable doll you might feel better about yourself. The way you talk it must have a puncture or something?

    Nice post Arnie

    Our tests are still to come, but what matters is that we are making progress. Its a long road ahead but I intend to enjoy every moment.

  10. Shard says:

    I admire the optimism arnie, and I agree with the sentiment that we must compare ourselves with the best, and right now Bayern are the best. It would be fantastic to win the CL. And you are right, it does seem like it is our time, or will be soon. We’ve got the free flowing, sexy football back. We’ve got (most of) the fans back. We now need the winning feeling back. But trophies are not really in our hands. Our performances are, and as long as the team keeps giving that, I can live with the result.

    One thing that I did last season was force myself to watch ManU lift the title and celebrate. Leaving aside my views on how deserving they were, I hope all of our players did the same. Because I remember that, and I want to beat them. I want Arsenal to be top again, and look down at RVP and the crap brigade.

    We’re looking good, and we should get stronger as the season progresses. I’m just taking it one game at a time rather than thinking too far ahead. But at the same time, it does feel like the culmination of a decade of work, patience, and support, is near. We’re close and getting closer. It will be well worth the wait, especially if you enjoyed the ride along the way.

  11. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all,

    Arnie, you are certainly not a “glass half full” man, oh no, you’re a “glass full to overflowing”. There’s no harm in that but we must not get complacent.

    Sitting here on a beautiful sunny morning, torrential rain? What torrential rain? top of not one but two leagues it is easy to overlook the fact that the season has barely started. Yes we are off to a flyer, we’ve hit the ground running, room here for more clichés, but we need to sustain it.

    That said, I think we will sustain our excellent start and really be in contention for the top prizes come May.

  12. dhakka09 says:

    Arnie: they were telling me ‘don’t peek’, you yanked open the curtains to light of the day
    I was ready to jog at a brisk pace, but now along with you, I’m running away

  13. TT says:

    Well… it is early days, like Wenger and Arteta and others have all said. Arnie’s wonderfully optimistic article is a great start for some fun speculation, and since “not you” brought up some top names, I’ll venture the following:

    I think Real Madrid struggled after going up 1-0, but with Copenhagen not have any attacking edge (unlike Arsenal), a route was always a possibility. I would count Arsenal to do better.

    It would be interesting to see if, against Barcelona, Arsenal can carry off the counter-attacking strategy, which many of us think Arsenal have adopted. Would Arsenal really sit back and try to absorb the sustained pressure? I think this year Arsenal have the speed of passing to trouble Barcelona, with or without sitting back.

    Bayern Munich looked really good against City, but we all know what Arsenal accomplished last year in Munich. It will be fast-paced football!

    Again all early days. I do wonder how Arsenal would play without Giroud. We might see sign of that this weekend? Bendtner again?

  14. Justin says:

    “NOT YOU”, unlike United we don’t rely on any individual player to score goals. Our style doesn’t revolve around an individual as is the case of United and RVPussy.

    Giroud has to see out one more week without injury and then it’s international break and Wallcott will be back to full fitness. IF Giroud were to get injured, we have Akpom and bendtner who just need to hang high and draw a defender or two and allow the midfield to keep rolling in the goals.

    We are now one of the most threatening teams in set pieces with Ozil finding who ever he wants in the box. Too simply say that if we lose Giroud it will lead to a catastrophe is a good attempt at you seeking some faith that your team might even have a chance against us.

    Wake up, see and understand what is going on. You are about to witness a decade of sacrifice explode into exponential success, and it may not be this season, but it will be soon!!!!

  15. JM says:

    Bayern München has reached the last 3 of 4 finals (’10, ’12, ’13) in the Champions League, and won it last year. And it would be another big statement in history of the Champions League if they would reach the final again and furthermore retain the title (not since last AC Milan held it consecutively in ’89 and ’90, when it was still called the “European Cup”).

    They are the defending champions and thus the team for everyone to beat. Their strong core of players (Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Ribery, Robben, Müller. Alaba, Kroos) have all taken part in their club’s champions league campaigns where they have reached the finals in recent years and they know how to do the necessary to get in again. (likewise for Guardiola, who is no novice and led Barcelona to 2 finals in ’09 and ’11)

    Let us(our club) negotiate through our group, get a good draw in the next round knockout phase and take it from there.

    Should we meet Bayern München in the finals at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, it presents another chance to write something beautiful into our club’s history hopefully.

  16. deejay1952 says:

    not you is an illterate moron.

  17. Jamie says:

    Fantastic post Arnie. It may still be early days, but what we saw on Tuesday was the best footy I’ve ever seen from any team…. ever. If this team can play like this for the first half of every game and control the second half like we did week in week out, I can confidently say that we wiill not lose another match this season, regardless of the oppo or how well they play

  18. arnie says:

    Good morning, erm almost afternoon, all! Thanks for the comments. The flag of optimism flies high.

    Comparisons with the Invincibles have made their flrting appearance, still just under the surface. Even they did not win the CL. But, never since Henry’s departure have we seen an Arsenal team with such promise. Come the end of the year, yes long way still, this team (possibly perhaps with one addition, I dont think we need more) may even turn out to be better.

    The Napoli-Shitty comparison I think is instructive. Napoli are doing really well in Italy, and they looked ordinary in the Ems – I still cant believe what we saw. Shitty, it has to be said, is a good team, comparable to Napoli I would think. They were mauled out of the pitch yesterday. Crucial difference of course is home versus away, which makes the Bayern show even more outstanding. But, the upshot is, Arsenal looks good in comparison, comparable to the best.

    Much has been made of bench strength, or lack thereof. In the final 20 mins yesterday, the Bayern bench was given a run out, largely midfield and attack, but they did not look great.

    There is a lot to fight for this year, but “miles to go” as well. Dortmund, home and away, will be a big test. I am confident we will win this one. And in the knock-out stages, we always stand a chance, even if an outside chance. So, let us keep the flag of optimism flying high!

  19. Gööner In Exile says:

    Arnie lovely stuff……I’m signing up to it, what I think we can cope with better than City is their press, we used to look a bit lost in possession facing two or three there was only one time we were guilty of not playing a forward pass sooner on Wednesday and that was when Sagna and BFG tried to play keep ball in the face of three or four of theirs, in the end Sagna did the necessary thing hooked it fifty yards up the touch line and out of play, in the past we may have tried the 5th/6th pass and lost it on the edge of the 18 yard box.

  20. LB says:

    Great stuff arnie.

    That’s what we like, both barrels from close range.

    I actually don’t think the post is being over optimistic, tell me who, right now, are the team most likely to win the EPL?

    There is only one answer to that question and if it differs from mine you are in the wrong place.

    Right, having sorted that out, we move onto the CL and; well, ok, on this subject I would allow for a bit of caution and will add Barça to Bayern as being our main rivals but that’s it, Real can go swing.

    Written with a smile on my face.

  21. chas says:

    Nice one, Arnie.

    We are Top o’the League say
    We are Top o’the League

  22. chas says:
  23. ärnie says:

    Thanks everyone, keep em coming. A small note of apology: I seem to have got my Tuesdays and Wednesdays mixed up, and todays and tomorrows. Hopefully, this does not disturb the flow.

    Second, a piece of news: Klopp touchline ban extended by Uefa. Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp will watch their Champions League game at Arsenal from the stand after Uefa extends his ban.

  24. chas says:

    Lukas was confident even before the game on Tuesday.

    Lukas Podolski of Arsenal

  25. chas says:

    I like your cautious optimism, tony.

    Glass half full
    Glass half empty
    Glass smashed on the floor

  26. chas says:

    On the jagged cliff,
    sadly gazing far below,
    his troubles end here

  27. Absolutely wonderful enthusiasm and positivity, arnie, thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable read.
    Bayern do indeed look all-conquering, and the Germans will take some stopping, as was ever thus.
    Dortmund gave them as good as they got in last years two Bundesliga meetings, as well as in the CL final, so it would be folly to dismiss or under-estimate them too.
    Amazingly and fantastically, we’re top of the league!!!
    I don’t get Mourinho’s tinkering at Chelsea, allowing Moses and Lukaku to go out on loan to bring in a 32 year old Eto’o, who has nothing left to achieve. They’re still strong, obviously, but with the Mata situation, Torres out for three weeks, I think it’s not all happy and shiny smiley faces at the Bridge.
    It’s always funny and welcome to see MU struggle, I’m lucky enough to remember Denis Law’s goal that sent them down to Div.2.
    Moyes might well be out of his depth, only time will tell, but to sack all the experienced back-room staff who all know the club inside out seems strange, and he has a big job on to convince the supporters he can step up. I think if they had appointed Paul Lambert they’d be top.
    It’s difficult to place Man City, the side who smashed MU 4-1 have just been comprehensively out-played by Bayern. A defeat at Cardiff and letting a 2-1 lead slip to lose 3-2 at Villa last Saturday is not title-winning form.
    Liverpool and Tottenham appear to be the dark horses on the rails, having both spent money and bringing in quite a few players. We’ve yet to see the full extent of the threat Tottenham pose, though Christian Eriksen looks some player. Arsenal and Tottenham have significantly raised the bar, and North London is once again a battleground.
    ‘King Brenny’ brings Liverpool to the Emirates in a few weeks, so we’ll soon see if they’re contenders or pretenders.
    Well done 26May, he said we’d be top at the end of October, and who would doubt it now with West Brom away this weekend, International break followed by Norwich at home and a short trip to Crystal Palace.
    Isn’t it incredible the effect one signing can have on the overall atmosphere and mood that surrounds the club.
    Take a bow Mathieu Flamini 🙂

  28. TT says:

    How about PSG, folks? How are they like? Haven’t seen any of their matches.

  29. tony says:

    Denis Law’s goal didn’t send Man Utd down, they were going down regardless of Law’s goal

  30. The bigger point is tony that Denis Law was one of the ‘holy trinity’ that included Bobby Charlton and George Best, and who MU fans called ‘The King’, so regardless of whether they were doomed to relegation or not, the goal itself carried a lot of significance, particularly as he was scoring for the ‘noisy neighbours’.

  31. Gööner In Exile says:

    I was going to just post Trolololo

    But as there is a penchant for the metal here I’ll go with this instead

  32. Gööner In Exile says:

    Word to the wise Sniffer the Troll is using Tony as today’s name of choice.

  33. Mike says:

    Nothing wrong with some gushing optimism, it’s been a while sinec we’ve been able to do that! There’s a fundamental difference between optimism based on what IS HAPPENING on the field, and optimism based on what one percieves might happen based on feelgood factors, such as local rivals struggling for form on a flood of new signings – for example!! That will always be the difference between N.5 and N.17. For me, expressing notes of caution during optimistic times feels better. So let’s see what happens if/when we have our first (major) setback. Birminham away (Eduardo) springs to mind. That didn’t go so well. Although at least we dont’ have William Gallas any more !! Go Gooners !!

  34. Gööner In Exile says:

    Mike you just made me think……is there anyone in the current side who could be capable of a Gallas like tantrum?

  35. RockyLives says:

    Top stuff arnie

    A tub-thumping, barnstorming, rip-roaring assessment of our potential this year and a real pleasure to read 🙂

    There will be many a slip twixt European Cup and lip so we will need to keep the faith at times, but it promises to be a fun ride…

  36. ärnie says:

    Thanks everyone. I am loving both in equal measure: the cautious optimism and the unabashed optimism. What is good is that there is optimism in the air! Long way to go, and there will surely be setbacks along the way, but we will fight our way!

    TT: I watched the highlights, and the highlights only, and based on that PSG looked very good. Zlatan was really amazing.

    On Arsenal, it is now a question of putting West Brom out of the way, then intl break (sob!), then Norwich. If we can get up to there unscathed, then there are the four biggies: Dortmund (home and away), Pool (home) and ManUre (away). In between, ther is teh small matter of Chelski, but this is League Cup.

    For me, now is the time for optimism, with a dash of caution thrown in, and getting behind the players and the manager. Mid Nov will be time for a reality check!!!!

    For the moment, on with the good vibes!

  37. jnyc says:

    Arnie, your article and the responses made me smile also.
    i feel like bayern and other top teams and their managers will surely see us as a significant threat- they will recognize the quality of our play much more than the casual fan. It will not be easy, but we will be in the fight.
    in the premiership, i really would bet on us. Our overall play is obviously in the best form. I think we can continue to win alot against lower teams, and grab more than our share of the points from the usual so- called top teams. We must unfortunately count spuds and liverpool with suarez back as top competition. But the good news is that they will also make things difficult for chelsea and the mancs teams, as they already have done.
    Overall i like our chances. I think we have the fortitude to overcome any eventual slip ups, and continue our quality play.

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    Finally we appear to have a team on the cusp of greatness and not simply a team that shows great potential. Personally I will enjoy the present and relish the thoughts that it might continue, but I will not be beating the drums just yet.

  39. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Exactly GN5

    Personally I think we will win both the Title and the Champions League but refuse to get carried away. So at the moment am just beating the Bongos.

  40. Hi all

    Thank you Arnie for the post, it’s good to be feeling good about the team, I agree. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly the negativity appears if things start to go against us but for now we are top of the league so I’m all for enjoying it 😀

    Now, as the International break is upon us we are going to need posts for the coming couple of weeks so if you have ideas to share or just want to expand a comment into a post please send them in.

    Thanks 🙂

  41. evonne says:

    oooooh, ,ooooooh the Gods seem to favour us at long last; is this a good omen? do we need one :

    Klopp is banned from Emirates Champions League clash

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    arnie

    Superb and thank you.

    I think you are spot on. Everything about the club whiffs of success right now. Pics of Bobby and Sol, Matty back, no-one sulking off somewhere else for trophies, Ozil coming, dressing room harmony, ton-field understanding, The Fans “One Arsene Wengering” again, it is all just good, good, good.

    I am loving it.

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Transplant.

    Not only are you the wittiest blogger, but lines like this light up my day:

    “Personally I think we will win both the Title and the Champions League but refuse to get carried away”

    That’s not getting carried away. Superb.

  44. evonne says:

    arnie – I like your madness, a lot 🙂
    I think we have a realistic chance of winning the CL this season. Why not? Chavs won it 2 years ago playing like pregnant donkies and nowhere near as well as we play at the moment.

    And, AND as I mentioned above, things are going in our favour on many fronts!

    thanks for this passionate post

  45. ärnie says:

    Evonne: Thank you (how do you do this smiley face thing?). Passion, more than madness, I would like to think. Make hay while the sun shines, I mean, while the “faithless have scurried into their holes”. What else can you do? Keep the ante up!

    And when the rats are out of the burrows, let Transplant, Cockie monster, and the lot loose amongst them!!!!

    Good fun!

  46. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Peaches, post e mailed to Arsenalnuts.

  47. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Arnie, colon capital D, leave a space either side. 😀

  48. ärnie says:

    NG: Thanks a lot. Let me try, 😀 ha ha ha 😀 good fun!

  49. Wenger is only one of 4 Managers to take charge of more than 100 Champions League fixtures and 3 out of those 4 Managers each winning 2 Champions League trophies and Wenger winning none.
    Who cares In Wenger We Trust.

  50. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers Micky

    I was been serious. I think we will win the League and Champions League but understand the need not to get carried away. Its much to early to predict how we will we end up doing, though I do think we will win both competitions, but lets not get carried away.

  51. Norfolk Gooner says:

    IWWT,

    I think you need a comma between cares and In.

    Try putting a comma in the right place to change the meaning of this sentence. Shall we eat granma?

  52. ärnie says:

    Micky: checked out the pics of Bobby, Sol and Matt. great stuff. happy times …. Flamster has been fantastic so far, hope Sol is doing some good work backroom

  53. Bïg Räddy says:

    IWWT. Another troll or perhaps the same one……

  54. crispen says:

    Arnie you said it!!!!

  55. goonermichael says:

    Great post Arnie. That was the best I’ve seen us play for a while. Napoli were supposed to be good. Every time we pass a “test” the goalposts move. I’d fancy us against anyone at the moment.

  56. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi GM, good to see you around. i like your story about been held up by your son on the escalators. This happened to me once, but my trousers had got caught so it was pretty terrifying.

    A plea to the Troll

    I know i have been nasty to you in the past, but you deserved it you horrible man. I however am prepared to forget the past and move forward. You are an Arsenal fan so the way i see it you should behave like one. Dignity, respect, and a touch of class is all thats required, and i know that you possess these qualities.

    The other day i was walking down the street when some bloke from the UK independence party approahed me. I quickly stopped him in his tracks and told him that it was unbecoming for an Arsenal fan to affiliate to a political party. He looked perplexed, but deep down he understood. He probably thought i would make a good candidate

    Something similar happened the other day when I and the Mrs had a dispute about what to watch on catch up TV. She wanted to watch X Facor whilst i preffered to watch Simon Schamas excellent series history of the Jews. After a brief struggle she gained access to the remote control and by the time i had removed my head from the crevice of the settee she was already on X Factor extra.

    Of course, at times, we are all tempted to behave like Totnumb fans. A few weeks back at some party some spud baited me by calling Arsene foul names and went on to insuiate that I probably fantasised about a certain appendage on Arsenes lower regions. I told him that, though i would like to pour this cheap red wine over his head and then beat him to a pulp with my chicken drumstick, i wont, because that would be un becoming for an Arsenal supporter.

    So, you with a thousand names, stop behaving like a Tool and claim your right by acting like an Arsenal fan.

  57. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’ve often wondered how pregnant donkeys play football

  58. evonne says:

    watch Chavs next time they are in Europe 🙂

  59. Red Arse says:

    Afternoon, Guys. 🙂

    Very enjoyable Post, Arnie, which was spot on, as were the ensuing comments.

    I do not think it has been mentioned, above, but I am very disappointed that our youth team player Jebb has been found guilty of making racist comments.

    It is impossible to understand the mentality of anyone behaving like that to fellow humans, but to do so when Arsenal have such a wonderful multicultural mix of players is simply inexplicable.

    In the light of this incident perhaps Arsenal’s management will give some appropriate training courses regarding this totally unacceptable behaviour and ensure it is not repeated.

  60. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, it is too humid and baking hot here in Wichita, so I might have to pop up to Canada to enjoy some of your crisp, cool air!!

    And if you tell me it is hot there too, I will take myself off to Alaska – now that will be cool even now. [I have become too used to the temperate UK!] 🙂

    Meanwhile, off to the ‘Keeper of the Plains’. I have never been before but I am being taken to see the sculptures, wonderful views and the walks. [How can I tell well meaning people to leave me alone?] 🙂

    Sayonara.

  61. LB says:

    Well said GM @ 6pm

  62. arnie says:

    RA: Bad news about Jebb, news to me. There should really be a no tolerance policy in Arsenal, as it should be in any other club. Really sad

  63. LB says:

    I’ve just got the comma joke. Doh.

    It too me long enough to understand

    Shall we eat grandma?

  64. chas says:

    From the BBC….
    “Arsenal youngster Jack Jebb has been found guilty of using racist language during an Under-18 match against Norwich in March.
    The 18-year-old midfielder has received a four-match suspension and fined £1,800. Jebb denied the allegations, but in the absence of further evidence to uphold his version of events, he and club accept the ruling.”
    An Arsenal spokesman tells me: “The club are taking this very seriously. Through the Arsenal for Everyone initiative, we work hard to promote inclusivity and diversity at every level.”

    From Norwich Evening News……
    “It is believed it was not a Norwich player or member of the management team that reported the abuse, but that the charge was brought forward by the match officials.”

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  65. arnie says:

    GiE and Evonne: hilarious!

  66. chas says:

    Jebb scoring for England u17s.
    I presume they play 40 minutes a half as he scores in the 42′ at the start of the second half (2 mins into the video).

  67. chas says:

    Food for thought.
    The mancs finished 11th, 2nd, 11th and 13th in Fergie’s first few seasons. (won the FA cup in the fourth of those seasons)
    Do you think he’d still have been there when the Premiership started if the internet had been in existence?

    https://twitter.com/FootieWriter/status/385510024446873600

  68. chas says:

    Moist In.
    Moist In.
    Moist In.

  69. Gööner In Exile says:

    Chas I’ll take three years of them being shite

  70. Gööner In Exile says:

    I had heard about the Jebb charge and guilt…does seem strange that Norwich themselves didn’t complain especially considering they have just started an investigation into a Facebook page with some racist overtones towards their manager.

    It also seems strange considering the company Jebb is being brought up in at Arsenal. Some on twitter have called for sacking him. We have to have faith in the Arsenal management team here, we have a log history of being multi cultural and multi race I would find it strange if this was an inherent flaw in his character, but then Frimpong used the Y word on twitter and claimed he was clueless as to its meaning, so who knows?

  71. Shard says:

    I would just like to point out that making a racist comment (or a comment deemed racist) doesn’t necessarily reflect a racist mindset.

    If indeed Jebb does have a racist mindset, it can be argued Arsenal should sack him, but I would argue that educating him at a club like Arsenal will benefit both him and society more than simply ostracizing him. He’s young enough to learn, and in any case I doubt he is actually ‘racist’ in the neo-Nazi sense. Which is what I thought of Suarez as well. (Although he should have apologised, and Jebb should do the same) In today’s world, it seems to me, you have to be a little racist to avoid being labelled as such.

    What I mean by that is that you have to have a pre-vocalisation filter based on a person’s colour, as to what you can say to them. Being ‘colour blind’ can be a hindrance. eg. Bale can be called a chimp, but a person whose skin colour is black, cannot. Even if the comment is not meant to hurt on the basis of his race, only his appearance. Conversely, being a little racist can actually show you as a paragon of anti-racialism. eg. The controversy over the book ‘Tintin in Congo’. The monkeys in the book apparently resembled the native Africans. When I read the book, monkeys looked like monkeys because they were monkeys. And the African people looked like illustration of African people. The thought of anything else never even crossed my mind. Anyone who saw any similarity, only saw it because they were looking for it. Because somewhere in their heads, they hold racist thoughts.

    I know that’s not the most popular view to take, and ‘racism’ in the exact European context isn’t something that afflicts my society (to my knowledge at least), which gives me a different perspective. Maybe that’s why I find some of the controversies, tending a little towards the absurd.

  72. arnie says:

    GiE and Shard: Agree with you both. I can belive that this was a naive act. Just a bit unfortunate this shoud happen in Arsenal. It takes a long and concerted effort to build a reputation, but unfortunately even one such incident generates such a lot of bad press. The press revels in digging out dirt, unfortunately …..

  73. arnie says:

    On Europa League: Good results for Wigan, Swansea and Spuds today. Needless to say, not happy about N17. Goes against my prediction as well. They are beginning to gel, and I think will also be in the mix in the EPL.

  74. arnie says:

    chas: just got to see your 12:46 on Arsenal celebrations at final whistle against Spuds. Great fun!!!!

  75. RockyLives says:

    Good evening Redders
    It has been a warm Autumn up here in MapleLand so far (although thankfully without the humidity you’re getting in Wichita).

    At the moment it’s sunny days around the 20 degree mark and it cools off in the evening. Perfect, really.

    Let me know if you decide to swing by to cool down…

  76. arnie says:

    Rocky: My first home is Scotland, but second home is Michigan. If I may dare to ask, whereabouts in MapleLand are you located?

  77. neamman says:

    I know Im a minority as I was born before the chunnel when Europeans were… well … foreigners. {Before anyone gets upset I married one and now live abroad but deep in my heart I’m a little Englander :>)]. Never have really cared if we beat some European team. Of course now the money makes the CL important, but in my heart..its the EPl all the way.

  78. Gööner In Exile says:

    “We played in a sceptical environment last year and that does not create a great level of confidence. What has changed recently for sure is that our environment is positive, our fans believe in us again.

    “That of course is very important if we want to be successful, if you feel your fans believe in you and they think that you are good. I’ve said many times that I feel it’s important for the team to feel that the fans stand behind the team.”

    Who said the fans never get any credit?

  79. arnie says:

    GiE: Who/where is this quote from? Arsene, it seems like

  80. RockyLives says:

    I’m in Toronto Arnie.

    Lake Ontario.

    Were you close to Lake Michigan?

  81. RockyLives says:

    I’ve a feeling it’s a Mikki Arteta quite Arnie.

  82. arnie says:

    Rocky: At the moment, I am in Scotland (Dundee). In Michigan, my home is Lansing, next to Lake Lansing, but close enough to Lake Michigan. I was just trying to visualise what fall would be like in MapleLand now. In another week, it will be beautiful in Scotland.

  83. arnie says:

    Rocky: Yes, could be Arteta. “for sure” sounded a bit like Arsene, though.

  84. arnie says:

    It was a great day. Thanks all, and good night ….

  85. Gööner In Exile says:

    Quote was from Arsene on the club website. 10pts to Arnie 🙂

    I felt a bit sorry for Jack on Tuesday he came on and wanted to have the fun others had had in the first half, but the others were otherwise engaged with the job of not giving Napoli a sniff.

    Jack has got a real battle to get a regular start now…it is good because it gives him time when the focus is not on him, however he needs time on the pitch.

    The midfield is getting to be a position you don’t want to get injured as you might not get your place back.

    The best thing is we don’t have to rush the likes of Arteta back in, or Santi so they can get back up to speed from the bench.

  86. neamman says:

    Our midfield is very strong indeed. While not as optimistic as Arnie I think we will be challenging come april. I am really starting to fear the spuds.

  87. RockyLives says:

    Never fear the Spuds neamann.

    Their DNA means they will explode at some crucial point of the season into a great pile of mashed potatoes 🙂

  88. chas says:

    Wow, By Far The Greatest Baby has got to be my new wallpaper.
    Absolutely georgeous!

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    I’m still trying to work out the dandruff jokes about Joe Hart from the other day!

    I know he’s a queer looking fellow, but still.

  90. chas says:

  91. chas says:

    I think it’s because of what he advertises.

  92. chas says:

    Tomáš Rosický’s birthday today. A few Librans in the squad!

    Micky, just for you, Tomáš’s “pre-assists”

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh, shampoo? He’s definitely an eyebrow plucker. I always think he looks like an off-duty transvestite.

    Lovely Bobby goal.

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha, there’s now a “pre-assist”? My list of demands is getting longer and longer 🙂

    Still loving the “silent assist” which is the ultimate non-event award, as it could be confused with running away 🙂

  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mystic Chas

    Now tell me, what is a Libranian trait? Is it a good thing for a Gunner? Do we need more of them, or less?

  96. chas says:

    Loving how you get a pre-assist if you play a one-two and score.
    Double bubble.

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Excellent point Chas.

    Presumably, if you are dribbling prior to shooting and scoring, then technically, the last touch before the shoot is an assist.

    GiE has some serious rethinking to do, and much work 🙂

  98. chas says:

    Silent assist?

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’s a point.

    Can an opponent be awarded an Arsenal Assist?

    Example: the misplaced back pass, intercepted by an eagle eyed striker, and bang.

  100. chas says:

    Librans are well-balanced and not prone to hissy fits in the centre circle.

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ozil was awarded an assist for a shot, that the keeper stopped but couldn’t hold.

    Very pc award giving in my book.

  102. chas says:

    No, an opponent can’t get an Arsenal assist.
    Interesting point, though. Don’t think we’ve had one of those for a while.

  103. chas says:

    Nice Barthez assist for first goal.

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The coat hanging at 1:23 in that clip is brilliant 🙂

  105. chas says:

    I think Ozil getting an assist for that is ok. Without the shot on target, there is no goal.

  106. chas says:

    Yep, I was laughing at that, too. You’ll have to try that on Raddy in Dortmund!
    Shhhh, don’t tell him though.

  107. chas says:

    Morning, Iwona.

    I bet you’re into star signs?

    Mesut and Gibbo are Libranians, too.

    http://www.arsenal-fans.com/team/birthdays

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I have many tricks up my sleeve for Raddy in Dortmund 🙂

    “I think Ozil getting an assist for that is ok”, oh come off it. All these awards for everyone flies in the face of modesty.

    Talking of which, I love Mesut’s very understated goal celebration. None of that Terry Henry “I’m the big swinging dick around here” running around the four corners of the stadium nonsense.

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My favourite goal celebration is still the Charlie George “take that” style “V” sign.

  110. chas says:

    I just put ‘big swinging dick” into google. Wish I hadn’t. Made me feel a bit like Sniffer.

  111. chas says:

    Of course the person who shot should get an assist.
    How many tap-ins did Wrighty have? They have to be caused by something.

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Enonne

    Ok, got it. Head and Shoulders 🙂

  113. evonne says:

    Me? Star signs? Oh dear, how wrong. It it hasn’t got length, weight or volume – it doesn’t exist.

    BTW, I am not really talking to you anymore.

  114. chas says:

    Evonne,
    Trust you to get the convo back on to big swinging dicks. 🙂

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    ROLF

  116. chas says:

    BTW, Peaches kissed me in the Tavern on Tuesday and said that you’d asked her to kiss everyone for you, even chas.

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’s it, I’m not talking to you about assists anymore.

  118. chas says:

    How much length, weight or volume did the euphoria you felt when Mesut scored have?

  119. chas says:

    Haha, I knew a mention of Wrighty would get ya.

  120. evonne says:

    tonnes, and miles and more than I could hold inside. There.

  121. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all. I see my son is up in lights 😀

    Although disappointed in him as a FullKit…….

  122. chas says:

    Beautiful, GIE.

  123. chas says:

    The shorts and socks made me laugh.

    Were you a blondie when you were little?

  124. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE

    At least he is not in the half-half kit like Chas’ Mate.

  125. evonne says:

    By far the greatest baby 🙂 He is, the chubby cherub 🙂

    Rasp, what are you going to do when Matilda comes along?
    2nd greatest baby? The maternal grandmother may kill you

  126. Haha, chubby? Big boned surely 😉

    The missus was a blondie as a kid (and the blue eyes) he is really taking after her rather than me…….little sod needs to sort his allegiances 🙂

  127. arnie says:

    GiE: On Wilshere, I thought on Tuesday he gave us width on the left side. Rosicky was too central for me and Gibbs was left alone on the left. Yes, he made runs into the box, but this was also from the centre. I like Rosicky, but could not understand this shape on Tuesday. Anyway, we were having a fantastic game, so we didnt care. Raddy thought this was part of strategy. Wilshere gives us something better on the left perhaps.

  128. arnie says:

    Rocky: The Spuds explosion into a “great pile of mashed potatoes” is good news, so long as all the s**t remains in the pile and does not spread around. Remins me of the s**t hitting the fan! From the stench that emanates from the swamps down in N17, it seems to me that some of this vile stuff escapes from the pile. 😀

  129. arnie says:

    Micky @ 7:21 & chas @ 7:27: Hilarious. I missed Micky’s 7:21 first time and sat thinking for a long time why chas would be putting what BSD on google. Gave up, and then gave a search.

  130. evonne says:

    there is nothing more beautiful in this world than chubby happy babies, not even Ozil’s goals

    Missus was a blong, yeah, yeah, You want to cover those roots more carefully next time GiE

  131. chas says:

    We haven’t changed one bit.
    http://twitpic.com/dfz0nb/full

  132. chas says:

    Micky,
    Just found another of GIE’s graphs. 🙂

  133. chas says:

    Here’s GIE’s binomial algorithm sine wave chart for attacking in the prem.

  134. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    Those graphs are sensational. Could stare at them for hours and still be none the wiser.

    I really believe this site needs to up its game. Well, that or simply take the piss 🙂

  135. Gööner In Exile says:

    Those graphs definitely prove that statistics can prove anything 😀

  136. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE

    The Swingometer is equally genius, as it is so originally baffling. I love the idea that visiting readers could only “eh?” at it, whereas we all quietly ignore it in the knowledge that it’s one of our own behind it, and he’s simply a mad accountant.

  137. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Peaches,
    Final paragraph, e mailed.

  138. Thank you

    Morning all

    chas – love the pic of you and Ant ………… so sweet 🙂

  139. There’s a New Post ………………….

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