What value is discipline and fair play, if any?

I am not talking about financial fair play here, that is perhaps for another day. To my mind, discipline and fair play, on and off the ground, go hand in hand. And Arsenal reigns supreme, at least in the Premier League, in these qualities. And as supporters, we value these qualities quite a lot as well. Or do we?

Arsenal finished top of the Fair Play League in 2012/13, and was awarded £30,000 by the FA Charity Committee, for use towards community or youth projects. “As a club, Arsenal prides itself on values of fair competition and positive behaviour both on and off the pitch,” Arsène Wenger said at the time. And not for the first time as well. Arsenal has won the award several times over the past decade and a half.

What constitutes the fair play award? At an objective level, it is smallest number of red and yellow cards totted over the year, plus positive play, respect towards opponents, respect towards the referee and officials, behaviour of the team officials, and behaviour of the fans. Quite a full agenda, is it not? But, ah, what use is fair play if you cannot win trophies? Turning the question the other way round, can you win the fair play award and the league at the same time? It turns out you can. The last team to do it was, yes, Arsenal, and in the invincible season of 2003/04.

What about the intervening period? The ride has been rocky at times, to say the least. Even, the fantastic role model that he is, Arsene Wenger has had his occasional trysts with the evil side. He has had spats with Mark Hughes, Big Sam, Sir Alex, the Special One and Alan Pardew, and has occasionally refused to shake hands. Ex gunners van Judas and Gallas had been spotted by the paparazzi smoking in public, and Wilshere more recently. Arshavin and Bendy were caught in awkward situations as well, and Alex Song even came close to a conviction. And, of course, the journos had nothing better to do but to try and make stories out of these supposed trivialities.

But overall, Arsenal has been a great example for how the team and the manager have conducted themselves in the public domain. Indeed, Arsene Wenger has been hailed for revolutionising the way English footballers look after their bodies. The Arsenal manager’s influence has led to changes in diet and lifestyle which have set new standards for professionalism at Premier League clubs and beyond. Hence, discipline in public life and fair play on the field have gone hand in hand for Arsenal.

Imagine, then, the surprise (at least for some Arsenal fans, yours truly included) in the summer when Arsenal placed a bid for one Luis Suarez, who has not been the most disciplined performer on the field of play. One of the greats at the current time, no doubt, but not a great example of fair play – diving, sledging, and even cannibalism being important parts of his portfolio. In time, we fans sort of warmed up to him, if for no other reason, than the fact that we really seemed to need reinforcements upfront. But along came one Mesut Ozil, waving a magic wand that inspired the team and the fans to fantastic heights of performance. So far, it has been a good ride!! And it would seem from Rocky’s post and responses on Monday that we no longer crave for the alleged cannibal.

All nice and fine and onwards with the discipline and fair play agenda then? Apparently not. In our attempt to be strong on the field and negate the impression of being pushovers, our youngsters have let some of the attitude spill over outside the field of play. Yes, we wanted the attitude, the passion, the strength on the field. But, we may be better without the adverse publicity, gained by alleged racist behaviour on the field, or unfortunate outbursts of juvenile opinion expressed to the press.

Does aggression on the field necessarily lead to the unfortunate shedding of the “role model” tag? Have we as fans somewhat given up on the high standards of discipline and fair-play that we expect of our team, on and off the ground? Our in principle acceptance of Suarez would seem to indicate such a change of heart?

Dear AAers, where now for discipline and fair play? What value are these qualities, in any case?

Written by Arnie

95 Responses to What value is discipline and fair play, if any?

  1. fartenmarten says:

    Interesting Post, Arnie, thank you.

    In the brutal world of modern professional football, it is obvious that to too many fans and players the notion of ‘fair play’ is a dirty word.

    OK, many fans will say they stand for fair play, but notice how quickly they come out in their droves to defend the indefensible if the culprit is ‘one of their own’.
    So, fair play? Maybe, but a specious notion that selectively applies to other clubs or players.

    Unsavoury as it is, to play fair in professional football you are at a distinct disadvantage, but fall over theatrically in the penalty area, for example, if a shoe lace touches you, or someone strokes your hair, or even if you have not been touched at all, and fool the referee, and the rewards are the awarding of a penalty to your team, and praise from team mates and others for being ‘professional’, even if some of us think you are a dirty cheat!

    There are two types of discipline, the first is self discipline represented by applying yourself in training, keeping off drugs and alcohol caring that you do not let your team or their fans down.

    The second type of professional discipline is the way in which you conduct yourself, on behalf of the club, the team and the fans, both on and off the field.
    The thing is it seems that the application of the first personal discipline segues perfectly with the second professional discipline.
    Funny that!

    Important? For a successful team it is essential.

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow,
    If the proof of a good post is in the quality of it’s response, then Fartenmarten’s comment says it all.

    Well played Arnie, and thank you.

    I tend to agree with FM that there is all too often a “one rule for us…” kind of syndrome. Another thing, where do you draw the line on an accepted level of fair play without forfeiting too much of an advantage. FM talks about having your hair stroked ( 🙂 ), but the discreet arms-around type of defending is endemic.

    This all leads on to the question of sportsmanship, and certainly history shows that we at The Arsenal have had our fair share of divers, however, I have always felt that The Club as a whole has an aura of Style, unmatched by others.

    Oh God, someone is going to ask me what the heck that means? 😦

  3. fartenmarten says:

    Micky I think I understand exactly what you meant when you said,
    “I have always felt that The Club as a whole has an aura of Style, unmatched by others.”

    My friend and I being devoted followers of fashion, tend to frequent the upmarket type of establishment favoured by the Arsenal management and players.

    I cannot reveal where this is, because it may well be in invaded by 60,000 Gooners when they learn what I am going to say next.

    You are, of course, correct in your statement, which I discovered when I nervously entered this select inner sanctum of Arsenal officialdom.

    Over there in the corner was a statuesque blond wearing high heels, black fishnet tights, a red basque with white piping (of course) and the most beautifully applied make up was – yes you have guessed it – Ivan Gazidis.

    Next to him, talking animatedly about the next £50m transfer target, was a splendid looking guy with a 10 gallon Mexican Bandito stetson, a cute little sleeveless jacket worn over a black shirt with a red cravat, tight fitting flared trousers worn over cowboy boots and carrying a bull whip was our one and only Arsene.

    Sadly, I have to report that Chezzer rather let the ambience get to him as he was wearing a polka dot, moo-cow onsie that showed rather too much in the groin area. Apparently that is all the rage in Poland?

    Yes indeed, you are so right, the club, as a whole, does have an aura of style unmatched by others.

    Which one were you? Not the fellow in the cute pink lobster outfit with the matching twitchy antennae? 🙂

  4. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good day to you all.

    A fine and erudite post Arnie, thank you.

    On reading fartenmartin’s initial comment I was impressed by his literacy and sensible comments, indeed I found myself agreeing with much of what he had to say. It seems Mickey was also taken in, only to suffer, like me, a rude awakening upon reading fm’s second comment. All good clean fun I’m sure. 😀

  5. arnie says:

    Thanks, FM, Mickey and NG. Fantastic reflections on what is, I think, a rather twitchy subject. Stll trying to digest the later part of FM’s second comment!!

  6. chas says:

    Super stuff, Arnie.

    Discipline is paramount.
    Fairplay is a byproduct of the magnificent style and grace with which the Club chooses to conduct its business.

    Though I do like it when Wenger and the players stand up for themselves in the face of provocation from lower class managers and teams.

    Our red card history in Wenger’s early years was always something highlighted by the media. We get less cards now and those we do get are for piffling little last man challenges or because refs have a pre-ordained agenda as Anthony Taylor had in sending off Kos.

    If you’re going to get sent off, at least break Cockerill’s jaw or ensure Joey Barton needs stitches. 🙂 Perhaps the proposed signing of Suarez was to add that cutting edge to our Mr. goody two shoes image.

  7. chas says:

    Typical Poles showing rather too much in the groin area. 🙂

  8. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Chezzer rather let the ambience get to him as he was wearing a polka dot, moo-cow onsie” ROLF

    This has to be an American sense of humour 🙂

  9. fartenmarten says:

    It seems apologies are required.

    It was eerily spooky on here this morning with the crushing sound of silence, and after responding instinctively to arnie’s very well made point in his first class Post, I later picked up on a comment that Micky had made.

    It was an attempt at humour, and not intended to ruffle any feathers or offend susceptibilities, or indeed to cause rude awakenings for NG.

    Anyway, apologies are extended, and I will take myself off to other pastures and darken your blog no more.

  10. chas says:

    Please don’t stop farten, marten.

  11. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Come back in disguise FM 🙂

  12. fartenmarten says:

    Honestly, Chas, Micky!!

    I find someone for whom I develop some kind of chaste hero worship and you say; Please, don’t. Stop fartenmarten! (by all means available!!

    And you, Micky, because I gave away your little secret, standing there in your lobster dudes, nonchalantly swinging your pince-nez in your claw, you want to reveal my disguise as the debonair, rather handsome gigolo, with the broken nose that is spread all over my kartouche giving a ruggedly manly appearance neatly set off with my fu manchu dingly dangly moustache!

    Is there no end to my misfortune?

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    FM

    Master of disguise you are not, however, from now on I shall refer to you as The Scarlet Pimpernel.

    That works 🙂

  14. Scarlet Pimple says:

    OK, Micky,

    Scarlet Pimple it is then!!

  15. MickyDidIt89 says:

    One problem, whenever I think of the Scarlet Pimpernel, I immediately summons an image of Sid James in said role.

    Mind you, he was all for a bit of Tiffin Time, so perhaps it is relevant 🙂

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Profile vid ROLF

  17. GunnerN5 says:

    Posted by John Cross
    Arsenal became popularly known as the Bank of England club during Herbert Chapman’s reign of the 1920s and 30s.

    Until recently I thought it was purely because they represented tradition and were the most English of English football clubs: Highbury’s marble halls, heritage — a real sense of history surrounds the club.

    But under the Chapman reign, the most successful manager in Arsenal’s pre-war history, and under the chairmanship of Sir Henry Norris the club had to be guided into a new era.

    In 1913, the move from Woolwich to Highbury brought new revenues from the new stadium, they had big money to spend and that in turn fed into Arsenal becoming known as the “Bank of England club.” Tradition and money was a potent mix.

    Now, does that all sound familiar? A move to a new stadium, new budgets and spending power as a result, a revolutionary manager and a majority shareholder attempting to oversee a new era as a powerful and successful club.

    Yes, we could easily be talking about the Arsenal of today — Arsene Wenger, the 42.5 million pound record signing of Mesut Ozil and majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, the U.S. sports mogul.

    On Thursday, Arsenal host their Annual General Meeting at the Emirates. It will be the first for many years when Peter Hill-Wood will not take centre stage for one of his colourful addresses.

    Hill-Wood was replaced by Sir Chips Keswick as chairman because of ill health. But if ever you needed proof of Arsenal sticking to traditions then it is provided by bringing in someone called Sir Chips.

    Chief executive Ivan Gazidis may take an even more prominent role this year. Wenger always speaks and always engages with the shareholders. If results are going badly, he usually charms them round and convinces them they will get better.

    Majority shareholder Kroenke will be there. He has spoken in the past. Rather like with his ownership of the club, he’s passionate, but would rather take a back seat and allow Wenger to take centre stage. There was a time when we would have loved owners like that. I bet Cardiff fans would like that model.

    There are hundreds rather than dozens present at the AGM. I love going to see familiar and friendly faces. The numbers are swelled by Arsenal Supporters’ Trust members who have taken up the Arsenal Fanshare scheme, which allows supporters to buy part of a share to be represented.

    These meetings in the past few years have brought promises of aggressive questions: “Why is not more money being spent?” or “How come there’s been no trophies?” yet they often end up asking about the PA system on match days or why the ventilators smell.

    It is always entertaining. And you can bet that there will be lots of talk about Wenger’s future, new contract and so on.

    But what is really impressive is the fact that the doors are open, journalists like me can attend and Arsenal engage with shareholders, fans and the media at their AGM like few other clubs I can think of.

    As we move into a new era when football and footballers are criticised as being detached from their fans, Arsenal share a bit of tradition with theirs.

    Kroenke has been criticised for not engaging. But he’s always there and, having interviewed him recently, it’s clear he’s passionate about the club and is spending more time and hours working on it.

    Just look at Chelsea or Tottenham. Do they engage? Do we ever see or hear from Joe Lewis, the Spurs owner? When Michael Dawson spoke about meeting him recently it was as if a mystery figure had landed from Mars. Yet their chairman Daniel Levy is lauded as a genius. When did he last speak?

    It’s the same for Roman Abramovich at Chelsea and the Glazers at Manchester United. Having said that, they are excused criticism because, presumably, they are winning.

    Arsenal need a trophy. That will keep their shareholders and fans happy. But the club also deserves credit for being open and sharing a piece of wonderful tradition with their fans.

  18. Bayonne Jean says:

    A small aside on recently concluded qualifiers:

    Kudos to the US side for upholding the spirit of the game and playing its Panama match out to the end. All the more remarkable, since Mexico football deeply despises the US, as evidenced by Mexican supporters at the Azteca always throwing bags of urine at the US keepers in the goal. Guarantee that, prior to last night, were roles reversed, Mexico would lay down and actually celebrate their loss on the pitch if it meant keeping US out.

    Which leads me to this thought experiment: suppose the Arsenal were comfortably settled in first, second or third on the last day of the league, and they are playing the fourth place side in a dead rubber for the Gunners, with Spuds in fifth, needing an Arsenal win to claim the fourth spot. What would you want the Arsenal to do?

    Most likely business as usual, as Spurs would fluff their lines no matter what.

  19. Evönne says:

    what’s wrong with your nose marten?

  20. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent post, arnie. It’s often not fashionable to talk about playing the game fairly, but I take pride in our club having been the only one ever to give an opponent another chance to win an FA Cup tie after winning first time round with a legal but unethical goal. And I also remember how Andrei Arshavin made sure a referee didn’t award him a penalty when he went down in the area.

    Of course, there are examples going the other way, not least the ability of one of my favourite players of all time, Bobby Pires, to go to ground with little or no contact (Portsmouth being the best known example).

    But we are still English football’s fairest bunch!

    And a good bit of recycling from GN5. “But what is really impressive is the fact that the doors are open, journalists like me can attend and Arsenal engage with shareholders, fans and the media at their AGM like few other clubs I can think of.” Those who criticise the way the club deals with fans (yes, I’m looking at you Rasp 🙂 ) should bear this in mind – perfect it might not be, but AFC is much more transparent than any other PL club, with the honourable exception of Swansea City.

    Bayonne Jean, good point. It’s an easy one for me, as I am that freak of nature, an Arsenal fan who is happy for Spurs to do well, so long as that means no more than finishing second to us in everything and losing every game to us. I grew up equidistant from the two clubs, and was a frequent attendee at WHL in the 80s.

    If you made it Chelsea (the club I hate more than any other) rather than Spurs, what would I want? Hmmmm, tough one…………….. So long as Arsenal weren’t actually trying to lose, I think I would find the prospect of Chelsea suffering too attractive to miss, I would want them to miss out more than I would want us to win a dead rubber. What a small minded person I am……………

  21. chas says:

    Excellent scenario, Bayonne.

    Lose, and it would be a crying shame.
    Win the match and we would always claim to have won qualification for the spuds.
    Forever in our shadow. 🙂

    By the way, didn’t the U.S. field a B side?
    Also, weren’t some of that B side of Mexican descent.

    Still the Mexican commentators loved it. 🙂

  22. Evönne says:

    arnie – good and very grown up post, thanx

    Sadly, I don’t play by the rules, win by hook or by crook is fine by me. Until all other teams sort out their behaviour I will not criticize any Arsenal player for ‘playing to our advantage’. I don’t advocate violence and cheating (well, not in public anyway), but getting away with slightly cheeky move or wasting a bit of time, or rolling on the pitch a tad longer than justified is fine by me.

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GN5
    Thanks for posting that. It’s great to be reminded exactly how wonderful our Club is 🙂

  24. picnic says:

    Arsenal most successful period was when they were pickimg up untold bookings and red cards.

  25. Evönne says:

    hi troll, long time no see
    good bye

  26. picnic says:

    Be grateful i’m taking time out to write on this blog.

  27. I hate the Spuds.
    All hypothetical I know, but If Arsenal were playing Chelsea on the last day of the season and Chelsea needed to win to take the EPL and stop Spuds being crowned and Chelsea had a last minute penalty to take the trophy out of the Spuds hands, then I would run on the pitch, kick Szczesny in the goalies, squirt mustard gas in his eyes, bound him and bury him up to his barnet in the goal and put a 1000 turbo Hoovers behind the goal to suck the ball in and if Fat Frank then misses, the referee will make him take it until the bastard scores as I would have kidnapped the reff`s family before hand as hostages to the cause !.
    Fear not….the cucking funts will never win the EPL……not on my watch !.

  28. picnic says:

    The Cockie Monster

    You’ve got a bad complex

  29. Picnic

    That is an old avatar photo. I have been moisturising a lot since it was taken. Monster Head and Shoulders gets rid of all the cookie flakes !. I now have lovely shiny blue fur….just ask your missus !. hahaha

  30. RockyLives says:

    Nice one Arnie

    I always feel that The Arsenal generally conducts itself in a manner superior to pretty much all our opponents.

    We do so on the pitch and off it.

    We have been through some tough times in recent years, but when we start picking up the trophies again they will feel so much better for knowing we have won them fair and square, not had them bought for us like trinkets a rich man buys for his mistress.

  31. RockyLives says:

    On a side note, I find it interesting that of the nine European Groups for World Cup qualifying, seven had group leaders who went through the entire qualification without losing a game (including Ingerlund).

    The exceptions were Russia (lost 2) and Boznia-Herzegovina (lost 1).

  32. ärnie says:

    Thanks everyone. Late to the party. For me personally as an Arsenal fan, fair play on the ground is something that cuts both ways. I am happy that Arsenal continues to maintain the cleanest record on the pitch, at least in the EPL. At the same time, a moderate bit of play acting does not bother me that much, so long as it is against our hated enemies, and it proves successful. Double standards, maybe, but so damned what?

    On discipline within and outside the ground, it is a slightly different matter. First, we play a lot of youngsters and discipline is very important for their development, a disciplined lifestyle included. I am a smoker (double standards?). Second, and more importantly, even if these players are young, they represent a fantastic club with great traditions, and they represent their fantastic countries, and their communities. They are role models, whether they like it or not. Hence they bear the responsibility to act in a disciplined way. Yes they can be passionate, but in a measured way.

    Tough balancing act, and Arsenal has done well. Long may it continue.

    Evonne: “very grown up post”? Do you mean I usually act childish, or am I getting old?

    26, Rocky: 😀 😀 I did not know whether we had the appetite for “unfashionable” and critical reflections, but it was the international break, I thought, what the heck!!!! Glad I did.

  33. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one Arnie.

    Ime in favour of fair play but we dont get none of it.

    What about George Graham getting done for bungs? They were all at it. Venables bought a strip joint in Majorca, Clough purchased a whiskey distellery, and the tight git Dalgleish has the best sound proofed floor boards in the whole of Christendom

    Getting deducted two points for a punch up? Wimbledon spent the entire decade practcing martial arts yet we were the ones getting done. What for? Giving Irwin and Mclair a slap? Them two were so deserving of a slap that we should have been given two points, not bloody deducted.

    What about our supporters? Were the best behaved in the Country yet when some Totnumb fan started on me a couple of years ago leaving me no choice but to defend myself and humiliate him, the Old Bill used the facebook photos i posted of the event showing me simulating a sex act on him as evidence at my trial.

    The media have it in for us an all. Always going on about a lack of trophies whilst shit clubs like Totnumb are fawned over. I dont believe in capital punishement, but those journilists should be tortured and shot.

    But the biggest sin against us is that of reverse psycology employed by wankers to deflect there wankiness of themselves on to us. Snides like Linekar and Shearer having a dig for christs sake.

    Arnie, next time you see a mug having a pop at Arsenal, just remember they are subconsiously ashamed of there wankified personality so are attempting to divert attention.

  34. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well done Arnie that’s a really top post, I like the idea of fair play, but in reality we may have to exercise a bit of “can’t beat em join em” mentality.

    I know players buy free kicks that’s fine, remember when Kuyt put the brakes on on Eboue and got “fouled” for a late penalty. Eboue copped a lot of flack for being mindless etc from Arsenal fans, the media etc, no one focussed on the fact that Kuyt stopped running. Some fans and pundits think Kozzer could have given a penalty away at WBA, but he just stopped going backwards. Difference? The defender is not allowed to obstruct apparently.

  35. Jamie says:

    great post Arnie.
    Arsenal are definitely role models to other teams in terms of discipline and this usually translates into results as attested to by the lack of success by the Orcs (although it may have more to do with a bunch of clueless managers). Arsenal on the other hand should be more successful given the level of on and off-field discipline showed by our players down the years. One of the reasons for our lack of success (and yes 4th place is not success, except maybe to the lords of the 5th down the road) is probably the fact that cheating is allowed, even praised when it goes against us. and we are continually labeled p**sies for upholding righteousness. Long may it continue

  36. Jamie says:

    m.youtube.com/watch?ei=zP1eUr6XC6SMyAGEl4HIBg&v=bbkQ0niJ-lw&ved=0CBAQqwQ&sa=X&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DbbkQ0niJ-lw%26sa%3DX%26ei%3DzP1eUr6XC6SMyAGEl4HIBg%26ved%3D0CBAQqwQ

  37. Jamie says:

    miyaichi at feyenoord……soooo much promise…..

  38. chas says:

    Stick your 2 points up your arse.
    Stick your 2 points, up your arse.

  39. chas says:

    Here’s that vid for pc.

  40. weedonald says:

    Arnie…some good questions asked but I feel the ¨bad boys¨ who have recently tarnished Arsenal’s classy reputation a bit are truly the exceptions to the rule. Don’t forget the following:

    1) these are often young kids, some of them teenagers, who don’t have our maturity and self-control,
    2) Wenger has a history of successfully straightening out wayward souls so he must have felt that Suarez could be redeemed under his firm guidance,
    3) class is permanent, everything else is illusion and AFC have never been big on illusions or delusions.
    4) we don’t know what Wenger said to Jack or the young academy player but you rest assured he dealt with both fairly but firmly.
    5) we have struggled against incompetent and perhaps even bent officiating from Riley’s horror show that ended our unbeaten run to Taylor’s classic bollocks referring that started our season so badly, yet we have never treated these men with anything but respect.

    This team is the paragon of fairness, class and Beautiful Football and will remain so for decades to come….It is the Arsenal way!

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    Why the Ryo vid at 10:17. Youtube things are meant to make anybody look good. He loses the ball on practically every occasion 😦

  42. chas says:

    Micky,
    Jamie at 10.13 posted a link to it in mobile format. I was simply posting it so that it would appear inline. I’d seen it before so didnt re-watch.

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah, I see, we have a Ryo fan in our midst 🙂

    Is that the end of International breaks what with qualifying done and dusted? Sure this is wishful thinking.

  44. chas says:

    There’s another interlull on weekend of 17th November.
    Dennis have mercy.

  45. chas says:

  46. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    Just read the Mirror article.
    I think if Roy was trying to send a message to Smalling, he may have used a less confusing analogy.

    17 November??!!!!!! You’re ‘king joking. 2 weeks? I think AA will need to book in a complete shut down.

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Damn. No game between Nov 10 and 23!!!!

  48. chas says:

    Think you might be right.

  49. chas says:

  50. chas says:

  51. Evönne says:

    right, so in Novemeber I have plenty of time to start a war.
    I am so angry I could punch a lesbian!!
    Picture this my English friends – beautiful Trent Park, inherited by Enfield council with a restriction that the old mansion can only be used for education. Enfield sold it to Middlessex Polytechnic first and now Middlessex Uni sold it to a Malaysian University.
    Consequences? Public is forbidden to enter the grounds!! Public meaning people who had been walking there all their lives. A place that is a national heritage was sold to people that are now excluding those whom it was given

    Talking about fair play in football? I don’t know ….. did you parents told you that life was fair?

  52. chas says:

  53. chas says:

    That’s a disgrace Evonne.
    Get some boltcutters.

    Can there really be a Malaysian University at Festers?

  54. chas says:

    That’s a disgrace, Evonne.
    Get some bolt-cutters.

    Can there really be a Malaysian University at Cockfesters?

  55. chas says:

    That’s a disgrace, Evonne.
    Get some bolt-cutters.

    Can there really be a Malaysian University at Cockfosters?

  56. chas says:

    Is festers on the banned list?

  57. chas says:

    Why is the word ‘f e s t e r s’ on the banned list?

  58. chas says:

    It wasn’t a lesbian it was her pregnant husband. 🙂

  59. chas says:

    There might have been a clause in the original sale conditions about leaving the grounds open to the public. Worth a look?

  60. Evönne says:

    Chas – can there really be one? Yes, there is one now. Not sure if you know it, but the mansion was used during the WW2 to detain Kraut officers. All their conversations were intercepted which helped the Allied forces. Also, Charlie Chaplin was one of the visitors there. Also, there are oaks that are 300-400 years old. The grounds and surrounding buildings are just gorgeous. All lost to us now. Sold for £22mil.

    The world has gone tits up and I want to get off, had enough.

  61. Evönne says:

    in November I will go and see the local MP and perhaps start a petition, but I have to be careful so that nobody accuses me of racism. I want to say that Trent is an English heritage and ask why was it sold to people who want to exclude local residents, but I can see this might be used against me. Feck that.

  62. Evönne says:

    the pregnant husband had a baby girl (as requested from the NHS) and all 3 are still walking in Trent. Nobody is pregnant forever, although it may seem that way 🙂

  63. chas says:

    Have a gander at these.

    “The site is designated as Metropolitan Green Belt, lies within a conservation area, and is also included within the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trent_Park

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Register_of_Historic_Parks_and_Gardens

  64. chas says:

    as requested from the NHS…….
    Just like going shopping.

  65. chas says:

    A question for today’s AGM.

  66. Evönne says:

    Thank you Chas. I will read it later and start a letter to Enfield. i am so sad, it is an absolute gem in London, thousands visit every year, some old people were crying the other day. Although it is only the university campus area, it is the most beautiful of all with lots of old buildings, acient swimming pool that my neighbours’ kids loved, the daffodil fields, orchard etc etc etc. Sold for £22m, you couldn’t even buy a half decent CF for that

  67. arnie says:

    Evonne: This is a disgrace. But 3 points.

    1. I cannot see any reason why a Malaysian Uni would come to London. Normally it would be the other way round.

    2. I can see that the council would be salivating at the prospect of £22m. It fact, even 1m would probably do. But preserving the heritage has to take priority. Can you perhaps seek advice from The National Trust?

    3. I do not see anything racist here. Remember, you are acting on behalf of the residents (not the English). If you wish, you can go to court. This may not restore access, but will restrict any kind of redevelopment for a long time.

  68. arnie says:

    Late arrivals – Terry, GiE, Jamie, wee, et al. – and everyone, thanks for the responses. It was good fun. I am sure that the traditions of fair play and disciplined behaviour on and off the field will continue in Arsenal. And much we as fans value these qualities, we also enjoy a bit of robustness on the field. 😀 😀

  69. arnie says:

    This Hodgson joke was really daft, and somewhat in poor taste as well. I am sure the FA will not be happy.

  70. Gööner In Exile says:

    Reading that Mirror article I can see why some people might get offended.

    But if I was in the dressing room it would be me who was offended because effectively I’m being called the dense astronaut who has no other purpose than passing to the player with a role to play.

  71. Gööner In Exile says:

    Putting it in context would anyone feel offended if he was referring to Wayne Rooney?

    He isn’t using the monkey in a derogatory way, if he was or if monkey was preceded with the words f’ing useless then it would without doubt be racist.

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Lads,
    On the Mirror article, I find the whole thing totally laughable.
    So, Roy has a few brief moments at half time to talk tactics, calm, motivate and ensure his side do all the right things to qualify for Brazil.
    Do I believe he sat during the dying moments of the first half, pondering his speech and a few well chosen words, and thought “Ah ha, I know, I need to have a word with each individual about specific their roles, followed by a rousing sermon. As for Smalling, need to tell him to pass to Townsend. I know, I’ll tell him the NASA Rocket Riddle. That’ll be time well spent”
    Come off it.

  73. Evönne says:

    yes Arnie, but the fact it is strange what goes on in this country. I love England, possibly more than my own country, but cannot see anything like that happening anywhere else in Europe.

  74. Räsp says:

    Evonne, are you sure you’re right about the area that is going to be out of bounds at Trent Park? As far as I can see it is only the campus area which was never theoretically open to the public. Surely the lake and many acres around it are still open to the public?

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Don’t spoil things Rasp, she was about to go out and hit another pregnant lesbian, and I for one, have already booked a train ticket 🙂

    Did you enjoy the atmosphere at Wembley?

  76. Räsp says:

    Morning Micky 🙂

    Yes I have to say Wembley stadium is magnificent. You’re not going to like this, but its a couple of notches better than the Ems I’m afraid. A wider strip around the pitch but then with steeper seating in the upper tiers creates a much more imposing atmosphere and the architecture is amazing. They should have gone the extra yard and given it a retractable roof but otherwise very impressive. The lit figure of Bobby Moore standing above the concourse as you walk down Wembley Way looks brilliant at night.

  77. Räsp says:

    BTW, we don’t have a post for today – any last minute saviours out there?

  78. Evönne says:

    Rasp – yes, ‘only’ the campus

    I am not sure why I didn’t go to Wembley on Tuesday, I should have really

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,

    I know I have moaned about The Ems Architecture, and it’s the gap behind the goals and shallow tiers that really annoy me, but all that pales into insignificance when compared to the “Arsenalisation” which, if I’m being polite, is tacky.

  80. Evönne says:

    you can laugh all you want Herr DidIt, but you wouldn’t laugh if your lobster poaching territory was sold and you had no access there

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie
    “I cannot see any reason why a Malaysian Uni would come to London”.

    Really? There are American Unis all over the World for example, and yet they have the majority of the very best in their back yard.

    If I was a Malaysian and was given the opportunity to spend three years abroad, and in London, I’d be on the first plane.

  82. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp
    10:00am is a bit late for a plea. The She Boss does it at 7am and usually plays the guilt card to perfection 🙂

    Evonne
    Not laughing at all. I genuinely want a ring side seat, that’s all 🙂

  83. Evönne says:

    Rasp – a suggestion for today’s post:
    predict the next 10 games results
    the winner gets to write a post

  84. ärnie says:

    Micky: I can see perfectly why a Malaysian student would like to come to London, I work in the HE Sector and they are our main sources of survival, but not why an uni would come. Home students will not go there, plenty of good unis in the UK, and Malaysians would prefer to go to a home uni, just in case they manage to get a visa. They will get admission in plenty of unis here, no problem. Home unis would love to go to Malaysia, plenty of students (and money) out there. But not the other way round.

  85. Evönne says:

    DidIt – fancy going to Capital 1 v chavs with me?

  86. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Fair points Arnie, although what the “HE Sector” is, I can only hazard a guess 🙂

    Evonne,
    Much as I love going to games with you, I must give this one a miss. I’ll be in Dortmund for two days the previous week with Herr Raddy, and must limit my footballing travel time. There is a sensible working Didit lurking behind his idiotic exterior 🙂

  87. fartenmarten says:

    Morning Guys,

    I was sort of interested in Micky and Arnie’s discussion of Universities and a Malay one based in the UK in particular.

    I don’t want to get drawn in frankly, but did you know there are a number of British Universities with ‘branches’ based in Malaysia?
    In addition, there are a number of British Universities (in the UK) who have set up a ‘Malaysian’ campus.

    Perhaps a Malay University in the UK would attract many of the Malay students who arrive in the UK to go to British Universities. Once here, with a student visa, they may well have the option of staying on after obtaining a degree.

    Education is education, but to get a worldwide experience thrown in as well sounds pretty damned attractive, don’t you think? 🙂

  88. Gooner in Exile says:

    New post….quickly scribbled

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