An Arsenal Blast from the Past ……. No. 1

Let’s all take a sad walk back down memory lane.

The year is 1925 and Arsenal were looking for a replacement for the sacked manager Leslie Knighton, Arsenal chairman Sir Henry Norris placed this advertisement in the Athletic News:

“Arsenal football club is open to receive applications for the position of TEAM MANAGER. He must be experienced and possess the highest qualifications for the post, both as to ability and personal character. Gentlemen whose sole ability to build up a good side depends on the payment of heavy and exorbitant transfer fees need not apply”

In response to this advertisement along came Herbert Chapman – who was to know that almost a century later he would be the manager responsible for our very own “TMHT” reminding us all that the “Ghosts of the Thirties were Stirring”

So let’s find out just a little bit about one of those “Ghosts”
Did you know that on April 23rd 1927 it was Herbert Chapman that led us out at Wembley Stadium for our first ever FA Cup Final?

The 1927 final was also the very first time that community singing was introduced in a final and it produced one of the biggest (91,206) organised choirs of the time. There was some doubt as to whether the crowd would join in but the response was so enthusiastic that it immediately became part of the FA Cup Final’s ritual. T.P. Ratcliff, who became famous as”The Man in White” was the song leader and the Northern Command Tattoos were conducted by Aldershot Tidworth. The tradition of signing “Abide with me” continues to this day but supporters also sign their own clubs war songs. The song sheet in 1927 included, Pack up Your Troubles, All Through the Night, Tipperary and Drink to Me Only.
Chapman led out the Arsenal to play Cardiff City, his team that day consisted of – Dan Lewis, Tom Parker, Andy Kennedy, Alf Baker, Jack Butler, Bob John, Joe Hulme, Charlie Buchan, Jimmy Brain, Billy Blyth and Sid Hoar.

Ratcliff 001

Unfortunately Arsenal became the first and only club to let England’s most celebrated trophy to be spirited away to another country. Hugh Freguson Cardiff’s centre-forward scored the only goal of the game in the seventy third minute – in a game that was largely dominated by Arsenal – huh! does that have a familiar ring to it?

In was a sad moment for our goalkeeper Dan Lewis (who was also a Welsh international) as the shot by Hughie Ferguson was straight at him – he dived down to make what should have been a comfortable save, however he fumbled the ball as he gathered it, and it slipped between his body and the crook of his elbow. He turned around and tried in vain to reclaim the ball but only succeeded in knocking it with his elbow into the back of the net.

On receiving his losers’ medal from King George V, a disgusted Lewis reportedly cried “This is not for me,” before flinging it as far as he could into the Wembley crowd.

Lewis blamed his brand new jersey for the error, saying the wool was too greasy for him to grip the ball properly; since then, according to club legend, no Arsenal goalkeeper has played in a new jersey before it is washed first.

Breaking News!!

Fast forward 91 years it’s now January 2014 and we have just chased the “Tiny Totts” back down the Seven Sisters Road to their very own “Chicken Coop” where they were greeted by a mute cockerel.



155 Responses to An Arsenal Blast from the Past ……. No. 1

  1. arnie says:

    On to read the post in a minute. But before that:

    Peaches, this post is listed after Micky’s post from yesterday. Please correct the order. 😀

  2. Morning all

    Sorry for the confusion ………….. it should be ok now 😉

  3. chas says:

    Lovely stuff, GN5.

    Hope you don’t mind me posting a couple of relevant videos.

    This makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

  4. chas says:

    Bloody goalkeeping jersey. 🙂

  5. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Brilliant, love it GN5. Thank you very much.

    Love the Terms and Conditions for the new manager.

    Funnily enough, as I was hurtling around country lanes yesterday, there was something on the radio about the world’s highest paid managers.

    Our Arsene was 4th, but guess who was 11th? Remember, in the World. Yip, Mr Weight Watcher 2013 himself, Sam Allardyce!

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow, superb additions to the post Chas.

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Must dash,
    I’ll listen to the Abide with Me properly later. Memories 🙂

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Gn5. Lovely addition to your summer posts.

    What a team that was in ´27. How could they lose?

    chas. As you say the hairs on the back of the neck. Marvellous. And John Arlott as commentator in the second vid – I cannot listen to him without thinking of glorious childhood summers and cricket

  9. dandan says:

    John Arlott broadcasting, me with head under the blankets, late night early hours listening on ex war department headphones, wonderful word pictures of cricket in West Indies and Australia by Land line and cable, pre satellite, together with tales of the England players,Dennis Compton an Arsenal man Etc playing on the beach with the local kids with rag balls and home made bats. BR must have loved Arlott he was also a wine expert. 🙂

  10. RC78 says:

    Hey guyz – continuing the rumour mill from yesterday concerning a replacement for Walcott…
    – Berbatov is likely to join for 18 months
    – Wenger is looking at a loan deal with a buying clause for Jackson Martinez from Porto
    – On top of Draxler, Wenger has an eye on Kevin Volland (12 Mln EUR) who has is similar to Walcott in terms of direct play
    – New name has emerged as well from AC Milan and it is El Sharawwy who has been struggling with injuries recently but has an abundance of talent and tricks…Was valued at around 30 Mln last season but injuries and a dip of form could see him leave for less than 20…

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all,

    Chas the video’s were a great addition – Thank you.

    dandan, John Arlott’s famous words still ring in my ears.

    “Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Lords, it’s a lovely day here at Lords”

  12. chas says:

    Cheers, GN5.

    Browsing for John Arlott, I came across this and was transfixed.

  13. TwentyTwelve says:

    Thank you so much for giving new fans like me a sense of the club’s history, GN5.

  14. GunnerN5 says:

    My pleasure TT, one thing that I do have is lots of memories in my old kit bag.

  15. Vinay says:

    The man who made the modern Arsenal, Herbert will be eternal to all of us and so will his contributions. Even if i were not to have been an Arsenal fan its safe to say they are the most classiest football club in the world, thankfully the club choose me and i can safely say its the greatest decision ever in my life, Thank you Arsenal.

  16. Gööner In Exile says:

    1927 is long time ago, in today’s day and age would a new manager be allowed to stay having lost that game having had two years in the job and no other successes, Mancini lost his after a similar game and he had brought success before.

    It makes me worry about the future post AW, I like that we have stability, well in comparison to most of those around us, I look at OT and worry that if our board get it wrong or become hirer/firer types we could be in a similar boat.

    Hopefully we continue to show the class others have mentioned.

  17. RC78 says:

    Since the building of the Emirates and the completion of the payment of the stadium, we operated in a very different model than most of our competitors. Our priority was to pay the stadium (sor good sustainability reasons and long-term vision reasons) and it meant that we could not compete on the transfert market. As a result, we became a “selling club” and had to part from our best or emblematic players (Vieira, Pires, Henry, Fabregas, Nasri, Clichy, Nasri, RVP…) and we had to rely on our young guns coming through and on good but not top players during that time. This period has unfortunately coincided with our lack of trophies although we did really let the EPL and the League Cup slip through our fingers at least once each…

    Now that we have a sound economic basis and model in place, we can really and genuinely challenge for top players and titles again and OMG, what a relief! We are financially stable and sustainable, we have a good crop of young players at our disposal and the Board had stuck with AW given the fact that he has delivered on what they wanted in the past years (CL qualification as a minimum). Now that this has been done, I think the pressure on AW to win trophies has increased but the board is ready to splash the cash again (Ozil 🙂 being the perfect example). I believe that AW will be given substantial means (maybe not like Chelsea, Tottenham, City, Utd, Liverpool, Madrid, PSG or Munich) to acquire top players and I trust him to bring silverware back to us by 2015, hoping it will be an EPL…

  18. GunnerN5 says:


    I agree with you in principal but having lived (nay suffered) through our years in the wilderness I know what it’s like to have to watch the product of inferior managers. Watching the teams of Crayston, Swindin and Wright in consecutive seasons was pure agony and only my inborn love for my club keep me going.

    That said it has got out of hand these days, a balance has to be found but impatient fans and erratic, ambitious owners make that very difficult.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Innocent times.

    I used to queue up outside Lords for Test matches with scorecard and pencil in hand. Loved it.

  20. Big Raddy says:

    RC78. We haven’t mentioned a loan move for Zaha, who would be just the ticket.

    Trouble is that Moyes wouldn’t take the risk of him being successful at AFC when his own wingers are under-performing

  21. GunnerN5 says:


    On my last trip to England I visited my brother who lives in Cambridge. On a Sunday morning I went out for a walk on my own, I found a quaint restaurant where I enjoyed a great full English breakfast and then continued my walk. Passing by the University grounds I heard clapping so I took a look and saw a cricket game in progress, so I paid my entrance fee and sat in the stands with a nice cuppa – and spent a very enjoyable few hours in very civilized company.

  22. dandan says:

    That ground is called Fenners GN and was for many years where the counties played warm up games against the university. I live some thirty miles from there as the crow flies.
    Village cricket still thrives in the area and indeed Rasp still plays on some of the grounds that I played on in my youth.
    The classic line in that cricket film was Richardson saying it was a classless game. Which is why the professionals and amateurs in the county game had separate changing rooms and the Gentlemen played the players each year at Lords with each coming out of the appropriate gate assigned to them. 🙂 Propaganda or bullsh*t ? Either way it was a blatant lie. Indeed long into the 1970s the older inhabitants of the village I lived in would touch their forelock to the local squire who coincidently owned the houses they rented in many cases.
    But still it was a world I remember fondly and would not wish to have swapped for the mollycoddled electronic life I see my grandchildren live, lucky as they are to have parents who are in full employment and own their own homes.

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks dandan I had no idea of the name of the ground, but it holds fond memories for me. We get hardly any cricket here in Canada but I do watch the occasional test match on TV.

  24. arnie says:

    Back to the post later, but well, village cricket in Cambridgeshire brings back happy memories. So on with it. Across the Fenners is a ground called Parker’s Piece flanked by lovely trees and a lovely pavilion called the Hobbs Pavilion. Sir Jack Hobbs, one of the enigmas of modern cricket, together with Sir Duleepsinghji brought cricket to Parker’s Piece in the 1920s. Since then, it has been the home of NCI (New Chesterton Institute) Cricket Club, one of the most traditional clubs in Cambridge.

    One of the greatest pleasures of the adult life of yours truly was being associated with NCI in the early part of the millennium, as a player, youth development and in management of the club. I joined in the second team and shortly afterwards, started the third team. During my stay 2000-04, this team progressed gradually from Junior Division 5 to Junior Division 1. At the same time, the club started a full fledged under-17 team and a ladies team. The seniors progressed to Senior Division 1. Lovely times, and great memories of village cricket in Cambridgeshire. This also includes purely college cricket and recreational cricket with the guys who used to run cricinfo.

    The club is flourishing. I think it now has 5 senior teams, 2 junior teams, and two ladies teams. I returned last summer to play a game with NCI as a guest and unfortunately crocked my left thumb. When age catches up, what can you do? Anyway, happy memories!!! Rasp, perhaps our paths may have crossed on the cricket ground? 😀 😀 😀

  25. arnie says:

    What a lovely post, GN5! Congratulations. For the seniors in this space, it is nostalgia, but more importantly, for young pretenders such as yours truly, it is education. It is only through posts such as this that accumulated knowledge about the club and its history can be distributed. I look forward avidly to further instalments of the story. Thank you, GN5.

    Yes, the nature of club football has changed, but I would hope that traditions and history still reign supreme in Arsenal. Unlike certain ignorable others populating the EPL. I hope this includes Manchester United as well. Even if there is substantial rivalry, I would hope ManUre retains its history as well. The proof will be coming shortly. The post-RedNose years will show us how much value they place on their history and traditions.

    For Arsenal, I think these are crucial times as well. I believe the new owner and the Board has acted with dignity and respect for traditions so far. But this does not mean that the crisis is over. Certain developments, that I am sure would not have escaped the notice of astute followers of the game in this space, give the indication that a process of transition from the AW years may have begun. How we conduct ourselves during the coming 2-5 years will determine where we stand and how history will judge us ex post. As the club, and its fans!!! Onwards and upwards!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  26. Norfolk Gooner says:

    A great piece of nostalgia, thank you GN5.

    It is good to reminisce but not all memories are so good. I’ve recently been researching the names on our village War Memorial. One of the young men enlisted in the Norfolk Regiment in 1912 when he lost his job on a local farm, the reason the farmer gave for dismissing him was “a smaller boy could do his work”, his enlistment record shows that he was just 5ft 4ins tall and weighed a little over 7 stone. He was seventeen and had worked on the farm for four years. During the two years before the war broke out he learnt to read and write. He fought in Mesopotamia, today’s Iraq, and was captured by the Turks at the surrender of Kut-Al-Amara in April 1916, he died a prisoner of war 3rd June 1917.

  27. arnie says:

    Village cricket in Cambridgeshire was brilliant. Lovely grounds, lovely teas, lovely people, great environment and great pints later. But, for me, the thing that was missing was young people. By and large, young English lads were missing from the game. What a pity! The same pattern was noticeable in the north as well, when we went on tours.

    This was perhaps the biggest difference I found when I moved to Scotland in 2004. Here, village cricket is flourishing. One of the reasons is that young lads play the game. In many village sides, you would find three generations playing the game together. Hopefully, cricket at the community level in England will recover soon.

  28. arnie says:

    The question, NG, is whether the local community remembers him as a hero and his sacrifices as a great contribution to society and country. Even if they may or may not agree fully with the cause. When societies and communities lose their sense of history, it is both tragic and dangerous. Unfortunately, this is what seems to be happening across societies and communities. Sad.

  29. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Arnie, one of the reasons for my research is that there are few people alive today with any direct memory of those times, in a few years time it will all become “history” and will be subject to “interpretation”. The actual stories, whether heroic or not will be lost

  30. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all. Thanks GN5 for another stylish stroll down memory lane. I had intended to create a banner for your series but unfortunately other stuff got in the way – watch this space 🙂

    The FA Cup has our name on it this year – that was one of the first bold predictions for this season I made back in September 🙄

    I have been playing village green cricket for the last 10 years and find it second only to going to the Emirates. It is true you tend to find players are either young = pre-marriage or having a second go at it like myself once most of the responsibilities of parenthood has passed. It does take up a whole Saturday but the banter during the game and post match libation are what make it great together with having the opportunity to play at some picturesque locations and step back into old England.

  31. GunnerN5 says:


    Like yourself I also like to delve back into the past – but only on specific subjects. Two of my favourites would be ,of course, be the Arsenal, and then my family tree.

    I have my paternal family tree going back to 1611, 402 years, all that time ago we farmed on a small holding in Swannaton, Devon. Today the farms houses still stand and have been renovated into B&Bs – we hope one day we get to spend some time there.

  32. arnie says:

    NG: well done you, and good luck. 😀

    GN5: This is indeed a great contribution that you are helping document the Arsenal history in this space. Fantastic. Thanks a lot, indeed! 😀 😀

    Rasp: Ah yes, the banter! Particularly when Aussies are involved. They are the kings of this genre in my book! But in terms of experience of village cricket, the teas takes the cake! Ah, what fun!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  33. Rasp says:

    Hi arnie, we recruited an Aussie last season. He was a work colleague of one of our players who had said he played ‘a bit of cricket back home in Oz’ …….. he won the league trophy for most runs scored (even though he only played 2/3 of the games) he won the league trophy for highest score (177) he averaged over 150 (he was rarely dismissed) and he pretty much single handedly got us promoted 🙂 oh and his bowling was so good we didn’t dare let him have the ball that often – it didn’t seem fair 😳

  34. GunnerN5 says:


    I’m very envious of your cricket Saturdays, they sound like a perfect way to spend a few hours.

    Back when I was an Islington schoolboy cricket was one of my passions, a distant second to football, but nevertheless a passion.
    I remember a group of us were chosen to spend day at Crystal Palace for some coaching, I was a spin bowler and to my joy and surprise I received instruction from both Jim Laker and Tony Lock, when I told my Dad he was astonished.

    Tony Lock (or maybe it was Laker) was very proud to show me how spin bowling had left him with a permanently bent finger.

    Yep – those were the days. a scruffy little kid from Avenell Road being instructed by two of England’s best bowlers.

    I only ever played at the school boy level as I blew my left knee playing football, same injury as Theo, but 60 years ago an operation would have left me with a stiff leg, so I opted out and was never again able to put the amount of pressure on my knee that bowling required.

  35. Rasp says:

    Hi GN5, I’m envious of you – being coached by the late great Jim Laker, not many can boast that.

    The art of spin bowling is all but lost in village cricket amid a sea of medium pace (= about the speed of most county spin bowlers)

    I’m a pretty good club man and a very average cricketer – but I just love playing and I’ll keep going for as long as I am tolerated. I bet you can’t guess who has the burden of running the club website 🙄

  36. arnie says:

    ha ha, Rasp, I have seen similar stuff. And some West Indians as well. 😀 😀 😀 But the Aussies are particularly talented in sledging. They have almost taken this to the level of art!!!!! While batting, my worst nightmare is not a devastating bowler, but an Aussie in the slips. 😀

  37. RC78 says:

    Hey guyz – Draxler sighted at our training ground…33.5 Million EUR release clause…

  38. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Arnie, an Aussie in a slip? I do hope you mean a Sheila!! 😀

  39. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Don’t get too excited, a move to Arsenal is possible….next summer!!

  40. Rasp says:

    Hi RC78, I think that was reported yesterday. The feeling was that we may be going after Draxler in the summer but a January move was very unlikely. Having said that, if I was a Schalke fan I wouldn’t be best pleased that he was touting himself around half way through a season.

  41. arnie says:

    NG: 😀 😀

  42. arnie says:

    RC78: Whatever happens, I like the show of intent!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  43. Rasp says:

    Our aussie didn’t need to get involved in sledging – he let his bat do the talking. Like most aussies, he was partial to a pint or two (or 10). You can imagine how many free drinks he received at the awards evening from players from other teams – hoping to lure him away!

  44. Big Raddy says:


    Exciting. I have never seen him play but gather he would assist rather than replace OG.

  45. Rasp says:

    I quite like getting a bit of sledging at the crease from the wiki/slips. With my level of talent it would usually start with “you lucky b*****d, let’s have your lottery numbers” … I would usually respond with something like “I’m so unlucky, if I fell in a barrel of tits I’d probably come out sucking my thumb” 😆

  46. Big Raddy says:

    It is one of my major regrets in life that I am crap at sport.

    Never got in the school first X1 at anything but I loved playing. It was embarrassing when we used to line up to be picked for team sports and I was one of the last to be chosen 😦

    Thankfully I have other talents

  47. GunnerN5 says:

    While we are talking about other sports…..



    Two 70-year-old men had been friends all of their lives.
    When it was clear that Frank was dying, Joe visited him every day.
    One day Joe said, “Frank, we both loved playing golf all our lives, and we
    started playing soon after high school.

    Please do me one favor: when you get to heaven,somehow you must let me know if there’s golf there.”
    Frank looked up at Joe from his deathbed and said, “Joe, you’ve been my best friend for many years.
    If it’s at all possible, I’ll do this favor for you.”
    Shortly after that, Frank died.
    A few weeks later, Joe was awakened from a sound sleep by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calling out to him, “Joe, Joe .”
    “Who is it,” asked Joe, sitting up suddenly. “Who is it?”
    “Joe– it’s me, Frank”
    “You’re not Frank . Frank just died.”
    “I’m telling you, it’s me, Frank,” insisted the voice.
    “Frank,Where are you?”
    “In heaven,” replied Frank. “I have some really good news and a little bad news.”
    “Tell me the good news first,” said Joe.
    “The good news,” Frank said with joy and enthusiasm, “is that there is golf in heaven. Better yet, all of our old buddies
    who died before me are here too. Even better than that, we’re all young again.
    Better still, it’s always Summertime and it never rains.
    And best of all, we can play golf all we want, and we never get tired. ” And we get to play with all the Greats of the past.
    “That’s fantastic,” said Joe “It’s beyond my wildest dreams! So what’s the bad news?”
    “You’re in my foursome this Saturday”

  48. arnie says:

    Rasp: 😀 I love a healthy bit of sledging as well. Its good fun. The not so good bits are in the management. When the upper team take away your best player at the last moment, lots of calling to find ringers, organise transport, collecting fees, etc. Other issues crop up when there are juniors playing. Health and safety, insurance, ensuring there are sufficiently many seniors with ECB accredition, and so on. Plus, there is the stress with keeping on winning week in week out. That is where the fun runs out somewhat!!!! But good stuff, on the whole. 😀 😀

  49. arnie says:

    GN5: ha ha ha. 😀 😀

  50. Rasp says:

    I agree arnie. We only put out one team and often struggle to make 11. Some of the bigger teams in our division are 4th and 5th elevens and as you say, if the better teams at their club don’t have a game, they draft them in – its very unfair. We don’t have to register players in our league so it is common practice.

    Actually it is all very civilised and there is no nasty sledging, most of the cutting remarks are aimed at our own players in the form of banter, we don’t tend to wind up the opposition. It has to be good natured because each side provides the umpires to stand whilst their side is batting …… strangely there aren’t many LB’s given.

  51. kelsey says:

    I love your posts GN5 and I know it is a labour of love and takes a long time to prepare.Well done.

    I am a tennis man but I have played against the late great Leslie Compton (bowls) at Highgate BC near the cemetry where Karl Marks is buried.

  52. RA says:

    Excellent Post, GN5, and I am slightly surprised it has not drawn out Herb (WATA) as he is a devotee of the great man.

    There have often been discussions on here as to who has been the greatest Arsenal manager, but I would have to say that it is not really a competition and Herbert Chapman was a remarkable man with high personal standards, and certainly the best manager of his era and I am proud he was associated with the Arsenal. -)

  53. RA says:

    Kelsey, did Karl Marks found Marx and Spencer? 🙂

  54. evonne says:

    Ha GN5! I wrote a post about 3 years ago starting with the same quote 🙂 Great minds think alike, obviously

    Thanks for the post. I love reading about the good old days; it never ceases to amaze me that Arsenal’s history is so rich, so wonderful and inspiring. No other club like it, that’s for sure. Or maybe I just don’t know other clubs’ history 🙂

  55. RA says:

    I have absolutely thoroughly enjoyed the comments of all of you aficionados of the game of cricket, and it is intriguing that memories of your involvement in that game, past and present, have given a much rounder word picture of you as individuals, and much more so than has been evident in your discussions about football.

    Intriguing! 🙂

  56. arnie says:

    Redders and psychoanalysis!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  57. RA says:


    Every time you reveal a little more of yourself in your comments the more I would like to ask you questions — not on this public forum, of course — but when I get back to the UK I must try and arrange a pub evening with you in Bonnie Scotland — and you will have to wear your kilt — that should get the evening off to a good start with a laugh.

    I will wear my stetson and cowboy boots and wear a little badge saying ‘I am not gay – and my horse is called Geronimo!’ 🙂

  58. RA says:

    arnie, 🙂

    Well, your selection of an adjective to describe me has one thing in common with other such words used – philosopher, piss-taker, pariah and many more, on other blogs which were epithets not meant to be taken as compliments. 🙂

  59. kelsey says:

    I was thinking the same thing as RA about HERB.and no it was the Marxs brothers.

    Didn’t Chapman introduce numbers to football shirts.

    I still find it somewhat bizarre that you see players with 52 or whatever on their back.

  60. arnie says:

    Redders: The Scottish Malt Whisky Society venue at The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh sounds like a perfect place. A suit and tie will work perfect for you. I dont wear a tie, so a suit and lonmg coat will be good for me. Look forward to that day!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m a bloody legend at Tug ‘o War and Whiff Whaff, and I’ve never competed against anyone famous at either, if that helps.

  62. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mind you, reading through today’s wonderful stories, I’m about to take up Cricket again. Anyone need a Long Stop? Think I could “sledge” as well.

    No good at bowling, but I could really whack the ball, although sadly, my “connection rate” was poor.

    Had to give it up aged 11, as I got slightly fed up with being chased around the Pavillion by the bent Cricket Master.

  63. arnie says:

    Redders: “epithets not meant to be taken as compliments”? I did not mean offence, I hope you did not take any!!! :D:

  64. Big Raddy says:

    I once came second in the Middlesex U-13’s 50 yds Butterfly swimming competition held at Finchley Rd Baths.

    Only 3 swimmers and one didn’t finish.

    One of my proudest moments.

  65. Big Raddy says:


    Sterling = €1.21 and rising 😀

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Was the non-finisher a result of the chili powder you stuck down his trunks. Did the same thing myself to someone. Things we did to win eh, or at least, not lose.

  67. kelsey says:

    Finchley Road Baths.Well that is a memory jerker.A bit of a shite hole if I remember .

    I hope it goes to 1.50 for you my friend as you know I am out of it 🙂

  68. kelsey says:

    Actuallt to the best of my knowledge only two regulars on AA actually live within the London postcode. How times have relocated many of us and I am now back where I started.

  69. RA says:


    No, of course not – I wondered why you should have thought I had taken offence, and realised I had omitted the ‘commonality’ between the words, and that was the first letter being a ‘p’. 🙂

  70. MickyDidIt89 says:


    And I wouldn’t mind betting that 90% have had London Postcodes at some point. Inner London must be for the young and fertile 🙂

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Heard on the radio they’re thinking of shifting the Qatar World Cup to November-January.

    How would that work with the League season? Mighty long Winter break.

  72. RA says:


    I have seen you in a ‘photo supplied to the blog by the Euro-multi millionaire BR, so I wonder if your involvement in the tug of war was to be wrapped around the centre of the rope to delineate the line. 🙂

  73. arnie says:

    Redders: 😀

  74. Big Raddy says:


    I assumed tug of war was a euphemism for something naughty

  75. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. You are right – it was a shithole. A Waitrose now!!

    Micky.I have learned to be a good loser 😀

  76. RA says:

    Raddy, 🙂

  77. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA 🙂

  78. RA says:

    Micky, 🙂


    Lovely stuff GN5

    That T P Ratcliff reminds me of my late Uncle Christaki, such happy memories.

    Every 70s Christmas get together, my Auntie Artemis would try to kill my uncle Spiro, “I gona kill you witha this knife you son of donkey”

    Whilst Artemis was attempting murder and Spiro was using the Turkey as a shield, my Uncle Christaki, god bless his soul, would attempt to placate the situation with a sing a long

    “Come on everybodys, tommorow we have big games against Wolverhamptons and Derek Dougans”. “My old mans said be a Tot-en-hams fan, i said, not on your willey, you old peasent, oppaa”

    It usualy ended with a stabbed up Turkey, and Uncle Christaki doing a Zorba dance on his own. Great times.

    I also liked your cricket story. Though not a man to play his own Trumpet, when i was at school I played for Haringey Borough. A glittering career as the new Denis Lillie beckoned.

    Unfortunately, I let fame get to my head, and rather than spend time honing my skills, spent most of it behind the bike sheds smoking and drinking. This only ended after been scared off by a man wearing a long raincoat but no pants.

    After reading your post, I felt really sorry for Lewis. But, in a way, the man is a hero. An essential part of the Arsenal culture has always been to fight back from adversity. In some ways, perhaps Lewis inadvertadly set a historical precedent.

  80. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Bind ’em up and flog ’em. Brilliant 🙂

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA smiley faces BR
    I smiley face RA
    Then BR smiley faces LB, who is nowhere to be seen.
    Nice, but weird.

  82. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Must go. Cooking fish, and you know what they’re like. Sensitive bastards. Nite.

  83. arnie says:

    Micky: It remains for LB to resurface and smiley face Micky. 😀

    And now that I have smiley faced you, perhaps smiley face me.

  84. arnie says:

    Chas: lovely. 😀

  85. GunnerN5 says:


    Its good to see Olade back in training, lets hope we see him playing again. Both he and Serge will go a long way towards filling the gap left by Theo’s injury.

  86. Big Raddy says:

    Sad for WHU. Getting a trouncing

  87. evonne says:

    no arnie, chas aint lovely, he is a monster

    yes Raddy, poor Hammers. Will they still get the olympic stadium for free if they get relegated again?

  88. chas says:

    There’s a new Vines Gooner, Charlie Mackey, weighing in at 6lb 4oz.
    Mother and baby doing well.

  89. chas says:

  90. GunnerN5 says:

    Hammered seems to have taken on a whole new meaning.

  91. arnie says:

    Chas: absolutely brilliant news!!!! wow!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

    Evonne: I meant the New Vines Gooner in anticipation! 😛 I thought Chas was gorgeous!!!!!!!!!! 😀

  92. Gorgeous baby Gorgeous. Welcome to Goonerdon baby Charlie Vines xx

  93. arnie says:

    Babby Gooner Charlie Mackey Vines brings in an early whiff of spring! 😀

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You bastard Chas,

    I watched the Flight of the bloody Bee vid, only because you posted it, so knew there would be a ROLFING surprise.

    Three minutes twenty two seconds, and nothing.

  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    This though “Thomas Hitzlsperger has bravely announced that he once played for West Ham” is funny 🙂

    Oh, and well done on whoever has had a Baby.

  96. chas says:

    I didn’t post the bumblebee vid.
    The babby is my nephew Matt and wife Julia’s.

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:


  98. chas says:

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    As the Baby is such a distant relative, is it ok to admit that blokes really aren’t interested in other people’s babies, and it’s one for the lady’s only.

    Frankly, you’re only after the Peaches/Evonne “Ahhhhh” votes, aren’t you? 🙂

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    This Morata Fella,

    Does he play first team for Madrid, as if not, it’s hard to see him slotting in and picking up the pace of the Prem to be of any use this season.

    In other words, one for the future, so I’d be cheesed off if he arrived.

  101. chas says:

    Who would you be happy with? Bendy’s could be fit for end of Jan.

    Btw, I think it was Arnie who asked me to post when the baby was born. 🙂

  102. chas says:

  103. chas says:

    When I look at this why is it I think ‘halfway line’?

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Who would you be happy with?”

    Difficult to answer, but unless they are battle hardened, and pretty much guarantee goals right now, then no-one. People mention players like Costa and so on, but I can’t comment as I don’t watch them.

    I do know that we have lost 10 goals from losing Theo, and although I rate highly Gnabry and Ox, I can’t see them bringing that amount of goals.

    Theo was about to offer a serious Plan B through the middle, and a genuine alternative to Ollie/Nic, so we’ve lost two players in many ways.

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    As I said the other day, Arsene was looking at Suarez, so we know exactly the quality level he’s thinking we need.

    Better, much better, than we have. So this rules out yer Berbatovs as far as I’m concerned.

  106. chas says:

    So Theo is irreplaceable and we lose 10 goals.
    The Ox and Gnabry get 7 between them. Morata bags 3. Sorted.

  107. chas says:


  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “When I look at this why is it I think ‘halfway line’?”

    Nope, nothing.

  109. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    I am travelling today otherwise I would make a list of all our potential transfer targets.. Must be in the hundreds.

  110. chas says:

    Theo’s been with us for 7 years.
    It’s impossible to bring someone in to replace that level of Arsenal experience.
    As far as I’m concerned, the replacement goals have to come from within.

  111. chas says:

  112. Big Raddy says:

    Halfway line …. me neither. Nothing.

    I think .”sundown ….. cold lager”

  113. chas says:

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Theo would get 10, and Suarez (or similar) would get 10.

    I doubt Morata would even start a PL game, and nothing historically suggests Ox/Gnabry would total 7.

    Goals could quite possibly bag us a Title, and we cannot camouflage the size of the Theo loss. However good your Maths 🙂

  115. chas says:

    So if Theo is injured, we will score ten goals less by the end of the season. That’s preposterous.

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    A player of the Ozil footballing quality can slot straight in anywhere, and there are strikers of a better footballing quality than Ollie, Nic or Theo.

    No doubt in my mind, it has to be serious quality, or not at all.

  117. chas says:

    So Suarez it is, then. 🙂

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bearing in mind his assists as well, I’d say yes.

    I think pre Theo injury, it would be tight tight tight between us, City and Chelsea.

    I don’t believe we can possibly be anything other than much weaker without him.

  119. chas says:

    There’s a rumour that Bendtner is using horse placenta.

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No “Suarez it is, then” it’s not.

    Come on…. “halfway line?”

  121. chas says:

    He’s found out it’s also quite good on his ankle.

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Is that like the Chinks using Tiger Dick or something?

  123. chas says:

    Let’s hope the squad think they can take up the slack left by Theo, else we might as well go home now.

  124. chas says:

    I simply meant that Suarez would be a good enough replacement for Theo to make you happy we had a chance of beating the oilers and chavs.

  125. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Slow down,

    The “might as well go home” comment cannot be applied to me, as I don’t give a shit about Trophies. What I am saying, is that our chances have been seriously dented, and I think we need a world class striker anyway, irrespective of the Theo injury.

  126. Big Raddy says:

    The Chavs do well without an effective striker . The goals will have to be made up from elsewhere.

    And we were doing very well before Theo came back into the squad.

    Damaging, Yes. Fatal, No,

  127. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And another, why the “Smalling did what”

    I think I’m being a bit thick today 😦

  128. chas says:

    I think we could do with a world class striker as well.
    Can’t really see in happening in January though, can you?
    Therefore we have to source the replacement goals from within.

    Halfway line….
    (Don’t look if you’re squeamish)

  129. chas says:

    Not thick, you just don’t read all of the shite that I do.

    Apparently Smalling went to a fancy dress trying to make some joke about Jägerbombs but ended up looking like a suicide bomber instead.
    It’s all nonsense with the press kicking the Manyoo corpse as it rots.

  130. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Now I get it ……… 😦 😦

    I was there that night.

  131. chas says:

  132. evonne says:

    aaaahhhhh….another baby Gunner!!! Lovely boy, another boyfriend for our Nicole:)

    less of you DidIt, some men have feelings you know

  133. chas says:


    This was recommended to me. Don’t know if you saw it?

  134. MickyDidIt89 says:


    But Chas, no I can’t see us getting said striker till the summer.

    Promise you, Evonne, all men think the same. Other people’s babies are not cute. Happy for the parents, yes, but cute, no.

  135. evonne says:

    yeah right Micky, whatever

    Arsenal are clear favourites to sign Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema

  136. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Puppies are cute 🙂

  137. Morning all

    Benzema huh? I don’t want to sound ungrateful but we probably should have signed him last summer if we wanted him ……

  138. arnie says:

    Motning all.

    Honestly I dont get this 10 goal business. Yes, Theo is a big loss, no question about that. He is irreplaceable. So, what do we do about it?

    OK, we lose some goals that Theo would have scored (say, 10) and some assists (say, 10). Both of these are estimates, could have been 8 on the lower side, or say 12 on the upper side. At the moment, if we think of Gnabry/Ox as replacements, we will get some from them. Micky thinks about 5 goals each. In that case, it is fine. If they are replacements, and we get 10 goals, each of Gnabry/The Ox playing half of the games, where is the problem?

    There is a problem, that on average, we will probably not get 10. Maybe 10 assists, but only may be 7/8 goals. OK, then, the likes of Ozil and Giroud and Jack have to step up. And we have to defend tighter and concede less goals. If we are PL champions material we will do it.

    As far as I am concerned, much better play a good team game than bring in an alien superstar idol half way, and risk destroying the fluency of our passing game.

    Life is not all about ROLFing!!!!! 😦

  139. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Your choice of words with “superstar idol” suggests a big name is like some kind of widow dressing to appease simple minded fans. Not what I’m saying at all. I’m talking about someone who will improve the team, Theo injury, or no Theo injury.

  140. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all, Diego Costa and Jackson Martinez both have release clauses, but they don’t apply until the end of the season.

  141. RC78 says:

    Benzema would not really be a good signing, in my honest opinion. If we go for a Real Madrid player, let us try Morata or Jese – they have qualities that would fit our team better.

    Another rumour is Klose…I like Klose but if we are going for experiences striker, then why not Berbatov who is used to the EPL?

  142. arnie says:

    Yes, I think we have to do what we can without Theo. Thats life. Maybe we lose a goal or two in the process. But that is statistics. Only correct on average, never in reality. Football is a game of glorious uncertainty. We hope the team will fight harder and bridge the gap. We shall see!

  143. We have a New Post ………………

  144. RC78 says:

    Look at Man City piling up goals and not conceding. I think it is going to be a three-horse race with City as the clear favourite and Chelsea and Arsenal challenging…We definitely need another forward – this was the case even before Walcott got injured so now that he is injured, the required profile is slightly different. Seeing that Everton is buying McGeady, we might be inspired in trying to snatch Mirallas…

  145. Vinay says:

    Morata is excellent guys, he really will fit and i may go on to say he is the younger version of Morientes, no not the pool one but the madrid one, he will be a super buy

  146. Pick 6 Leak Proof

    An Arsenal Blast from the Past ……. No. 1 | Arsenal Arsenal

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