Arsenal to appoint a new captain

June 18, 2014

Arsène Wenger is reported to be ready to appoint a new club captain. With the departure of the present incumbent, Thomas Vermaelen, looking ever more certain the position needs to be filled. Thomas has apparently agreed terms with Man U, although so far no negotiations over a fee have taken place.

What should we be looking for in a captain? Well first off he must be an established and regular starter. He needs to command the respect of the players as well as the fans and he must have sufficient standing within the game to be able to communicate calmly with the on-pitch officials.

The two most influential captains that Arsenal have had in their long history have been Tony Adams and Patrick Vierra and so in my personal opinion any candidate would ideally be a centre-back or defensive mid-fielder and thus be in a position to see the whole game.

Our current vice captain, Mikel Arteta is an obvious candidate but as the appointment must be a long term one he perhaps is ruled out.

So I guess what I am saying is that it comes down to just two possibilities, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. Koscielny is a fine player and would make an equally fine captain but overall I’d go for Mertesacker for his general calmness and the stability that he has brought to the team.

I know that a good number of people will be calling for Jack Wilshire to be given the job but as yet he can’t command a regular starting position, although in time I expect him to become our captain and to hold the post for many seasons to come.

Written by Norfolk Gooner

 


Outstanding Özil Overwhelms Overated Old Portugal

June 17, 2014

New Arsenal marmite man Mesut Özil managed last night in 60 minutes to show why he has the potential to be a superstar or Germany’s own Wayne Rooney. Even though he is their best player he seems to have to walk on water to avoid boos from his own supporters.

He was given a free role on the right where his main focus was being a playmaker and not having to worry about defending. We all know that defending is part of the game but he seemed to relish the freedom he was allowed and was able to weave his magic and cause problems. His diagonal runs were mouthwatering and constantly troubled the Portugal defence.

Obviously playing against 10 men can create more space but that’s not always the case. A more compact defence is often difficult to penetrate but with a world class striker in Thomas Müller and other creative players to link up with Germany, were ruthless.

At sixty minutes Özil was subbed and wore his usual ‘spoilt brat, I want to play on’ expression and there should be no doubting that he’s happy to play for Germany so I think Arsenal supporters should stop seeing this as a sign that he’s not happy playing for us.

As usual social media went into melt down as Arsenal supporters moaning about Mesut’s lack of finishing clashed with others who defended his skills.

Despite Özil’s almost faultless performance it’s clear that Germany are also aware of his penalty taking frailties and it was good to see that he is excused that role.

Could Arsenal’s record signing become a legend and will Arsenal supporters be patient enough to allow him to fulfill his potential?

Written by peachesgooner 

 

 


England Prove Wenger Right

June 16, 2014

Ok maybe a strange headline in the aftermath of a disappointing result for England at the hands of Italy.

But it was the manner of that defeat that proved yet again why England struggle on the world stage and whilst the 100mph Premier League may all be about guts and courage the International and European game far more often favours the technically better sides who are prepared to keep the ball and wait for openings.

Pirlo outclassed his counterpart Gerard in every department, Gerard may well be an “all action” midfielder but too often he is found out at this level. He does not have the patience or accuracy of passing to compete at this level in the deeper midfield role.

On top of that as soon as an England midfielder got the ball he looked up to see England backsides running away from him, so was left to attempt forward passes through the eye of the needle, rather than the more reliable approach of movement in multiple directions opening defences up by pulling them this way and that before launching the attack in earnest.

So why does this prove Wenger right? Well the sun might shine on a dogs arse one day (as it did for Sturridge’s goal ) but more often than not in Champions League football pace, power and strength is not enough, you need guile, and composure, and that is what Arsene is building, and he is now doing it with English and Welsh talent that are capable of playing that way. Until England managers learn that there is more to football than energy and commitment we will continue to fall short.

He has a squad to play a midfield of Jack, Barkley, Lalana, Rooney and Sterling, surely that would be better than the one that started on Saturday night?

Written by Gooner in Exile


Joel Campbell, yes!

June 15, 2014

Arsenal fans have been crying for another striker for a while. We have Giroud, who is good, but a bit lonely upfront. We have Sanogo, who is developing well, but still some way off. Even Ollie has said that another striker will be good. Arsene, you must be looking for one as well.

Right in front of your eyes, Arsene. Joel Campbell.

Joel Campbell

Last year, there were visa issues. But these are sorted out now. He has had to do his time in Olympiakos. He has done this well. Proof? Well, what better stage than the World Cup? Against Uruguay as well. What a star performance! Arsene, sign him now. Make us happy.

We cannot say the signs were not there. He was on the radar. Certainly since his wonder strike against ManUre in the Champions League. And against Uruguay, what can one say.

Joel

We are proud Joel is a Gooner. We are proud of Joel the Gooner. Now is the time.

He is young. Only 21. He is mature. Yes, what more proof do we need? Another loan spell in a PL club? No, I think not. We can develop him inhouse. Joel is ready for the show.

I think now is the time. What do you think, AAers?

Written by arnie


Who should we follow (or not?) in the World Cup?

June 14, 2014

The lazy silly transfer season is upon us. Arsenal fans have to find some other fruitful pursuit to spend their time, what with nothing but useless transfer talk filling the airtimes and twitter world.

However, this year is a bit different. In the grapevine it is heard that the medieval war ritual of Shrovetide Derbies has been transported amongst the Amazonian tribes. They have invited nations from around the world over to spend a holiday in the deep and dangerous jungles of Brazil, and engage in a competition in the ancient war game of football. What is on offer may be more war than a civilized game, and the environs may be a dangerous jungle. And they even dare to call it a World Cup! Nevertheless, there is a bit of a buzz in the air.

Do ladies and gentlemen of AA care? No, not quite. Nevertheless, there are a few issues.

First, a few of the good guys have travelled to Brazil. Well, slightly more than a few. Of the 736 players (23 players in each of 32 national teams) in the World Cup, the highest proportion (124 players, 17 percent) ply their trade in England (and Wales, whatever that may mean!). This is by far the largest origin for World Cup players, the next highest being Germany (77 players). As may be expected, Arsenal has provided quite a few of these players, 12 players to be exact, or about 10 percent. Which, at a first cut, is good news. We should and of course will be interested in following our own players.

Leagues_wherearetheplayersfrom

Second, there are both upsides and downsides to our players playing in the World Cup. On the downside, potential injuries (fingers crossed, no such bad luck this time!), fatigue and disappointment. But, on the upside, more experience and confidence, but also more appreciation potentially worldwide of the fantastic game that our good guys play. Whichever way you look at it, we have no option but to follow our players in the World Cup.

Third, some other players will hopefully be signed by Arsenal for the next year, and we would are surely want to keep track of them. Here, however, there is a major problem. Given the secrecy with which Arsene and Arsenal handle their transfer business, and rightly so, there will no doubt be desperation to find some Arsenal transfer news. Necessity, as we all know, is the mother of invention! And there will be plenty of such invention of useless transfer rumours.

Every goal-scorer will surely be linked to Arsenal, with claims as to how much better they are compared to poor Ollie. Every goalkeeper making a decent save will be projected as the replacement for Fabianski. Worse still, every right back making a decent cross will be linked to our first choice right back position. Not caring so much about whether our main requirement is for an overlapping right back or one who can defend as well! Then there are CB and DM positions, and the mind really boggles.

Nevertheless, it will be nice to be informed about who potential good players in different positions are, whether they have been linked to Arsenal or not. In fact, one of the major advantages of the World Cup is indeed that we come to know about players from many different countries, and not only the ones that populate the EPL and major leagues in Europe. Further, absolutely no harm in trying to find a good player from elsewhere in the world. How about a Japanese player for a change?

Against this backdrop, chums, let us find out what we can expect from our 12 Gooners in the World Cup and even, dare I say it, identify a few other players and teams that we may like to watch and follow. The Gooners first. 3 each in France and Germany, 2 for England, and 1 each for Belgium, Costa Rica, Spain and Switzerland.

Gunners_in_WorldCup2014

Giroud, Kos and Sagna are included in the French squad. And Arsene is going to be in attendance all through. Exciting! Sagna appears to be more of a back-up, and in any case, is bound for the Northern Oilers. So be it! He has given us a good service and has not been disrespectful. We wish him well. Koscielny appears to be a regular in the French central defence. We hope he will have a good tournament and no injuries, please. The exciting one here is Giroud. Ollie seems to be picking up at the right time, and should play an exciting role in a 4-4-2 combination with Benzema, or perhaps Remy, upfront. Very exciting, not least in combination with the other two. Why, oh why, do we not play with two upfront. Arsene, where is Arsene? Some signings please.

Giroud_Koscielny_Sagna

The 3 Gunners in the Germany team are BFG, Ozil and Poldi. Both Mertesacker and Ozil are settled members of the German team, and Podolski is a highly trusted veteran. In the run-up to the World Cup, BFG has been solid, Ozil has had mixed performances but Podolski seems to be picking up at the right time. Germany are one of the dark horses in the tournament. Who knows, maybe Germany will be the first European nation to win the World Cup in Latin America? Exciting times. Come on you Gooners!!!!

Mertesacker_Ozil_Podolski

The England team has 2 Gooners, The Ox and Wilshere. Should really have been 4, also including Theo and Gibbs. Really really gutted for both. Theo’s injury came at a bad time. I blame the swamps down in N17. Given the poor backline, my conviction is reinforced that the omission of Gibbs was a mistake. Anyway, the good news for Arsenal is that Theo and Gibbs are kept injury free and fresh. The Ox could really have been one of the young stars in Brazil. Lallana is second best, not only in football, but even in the number of letters in his name.

Unfortunately, there is an injury, and worse still it seems The Ox is being rushed back too soon. I hope all will be fine. Jack is not expected to feature that much. In any case, there is such a lot of negativity surrounding the team, and Jack’s keenness to try too hard, I hope he does not play that much. As usual England has conceded defeat even before they started, not least in Greg Dyke’s statements about the quality in the squad and complaints about having the play in the “jungle”. Eh? Whichever way you look at it, it is better England swallow their pride and return home soon. Hopefully without too much damage to the players. I am sad to say this, but I sincerely feel this way.

ox and jack

The Spanish team is exciting as well. Santi is a senior pro in the team, but given the wealth of talent in the Spanish midfield he is expected to provide cameo roles. Come on Santi! We wish Spain well.

Cazorla

Verms is selected for a Belgium team that looks tasty as well. Unfortunately, as in Arsenal, he is not first choice in the national team as well. However, he is a senior member of the squad, something like a vice-captain to Kompany. Like the FA Cup, he may yet lift a trophy as well. No, that is taking it perhaps a bit too far! Anyway, good luck to Verms. Stay fit, please.

Verms_Belgium

The really exciting one is Joel Campbell. He is a star in the Costa Rica team, and I for one will have to support him in the game against England. Still an exciting prospect, his strike against Manchester United for Olympiacos was simply superb. Come on, Joel. Make a case for Arsenal organising a work visa for you this time round.

Campbell_Costa Rica

Last but not the least, there is Djourou. Johann has spent the last season out on loan at Hamburg, and is selected for the Switzerland squad. He is not expected to get that much of play time. Nevertheless, well done and good luck!

Djourou_Switzerland

And finally, there are the on’s who are prospective signings. What of Balotelli, Mandzukic, Aurier, Draxler, Remy who are doing the rounds in the gossip columns, and even the likes of Cesc and Costa who have dropped out. Exciting prospects? Let us find out what is on offer.

So here is the full line up.

Brazil: Entire team, really, especially Forward – Hulk (Zenit St Petersburg)

Croatia: Forward – Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich)

Spain: Goalkeepers – Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Napoli); Midfielders – Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona); Forward – Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)

Netherlands: Forward – Robin van Persie (Manchester United), just to wish 1,000 ill-fortunes upon his house, and to laugh at his misadventures.

Colombia: Goalkeeper – David Ospina (Nice); Forward – Jackson Martinez (Porto)

Ivory Coast: Defenders – Serge Aurier (Toulouse); Forward – Gervinho (Roma), just because we like the guy!

Uruguay: Forward – Luis Suarez (Liverpool), just because we love to hate the chap!

Costa Rica: Forward – Joel Campbell (Olympiakos, on loan from Arsenal). Come on, Joel!

England: The whole team, but especially Midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) and Jack Wilshere (Arsenal). COYG!

Italy: Forward – Mario Balotelli (AC Milan)

All defenders and forwards in Group E, particularly in France and Switzerland, not least because Arsene will also be watching them closely.

Switzerland: Defenders – Johan Djourou (Hamburg, on loan from Arsenal), Philippe Senderos (Valencia). Come on Djourou!

France: The whole team, really, but in particular, Defenders – Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal, but Northern Oilers bound); Midfielders – Paul Pogba (Juventus), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton); Forwards – Karim

Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Loic Remy (Newastle, on loan from QPR). Come on French Gooners!!!!!

Argentina: everyone, they should be a pleasure to just watch and admire!

Germany: entire team, but especially,  Defender – Per Mertesacker (Arsenal); Midfielders – Julian Draxler (Schalke), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal); Forward – Lukas Podolski (Arsenal). COYG!!!!

Portugal: just because it is an interesting team.

United States: Goalkeeper – Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

Belgium: should be an interesting team to watch, but especially Defender – Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal)

So, chums, what do you think? Excited enough. Bring on the World Cup! COYG!!!!!

Written by arnie


Blast from the Past No. 18 England’s World Cup History

June 13, 2014

world-cup

The World Cup competition began in 1930, and has since become the world’s largest sporting event. It has been staged every four years since then with the exception of 1942 and 1946, when the Second World War forced its suspension.

England did not enter the first three competitions of 1930, 1934 and 1938. Although FIFA sought England’s participation, the Football Association declined all invitations. Not until the fourth tournament in 1950 did England take part.

England has entered all 16 post-war competitions. They reached the final tournament 13 times. They qualified through play in the preliminary competition on 11 occasions (1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010), as host country once (1966) and as reigning champions once (1970). They failed to qualify for the final tournaments on only three occasions (1974, 1978 and 1994).

England has had only moderate success in the World Cup, and that is perhaps a fair reflection of their standing in world football.

englandwcteam66

They have won the tournament just once, in 1966, when it was held on English soil and they played all their matches at their home ground, Wembley Stadium, an advantage extended to no other team in World Cup history. Their 4-2 extra-time victory against West Germany in the only final match they have reached has remained clouded by the controversy over whether their third goal, the first of extra-time, actually crossed the goal line.

ENGLAND SOCCER WC 1966

England reached the semi-finals on only one other occasion, at the 1990 tournament in Italy, where, following extra-time victories over Belgium and Cameroon, they went down to West Germany on penalty kicks after a 1-1 extra-time draw. They then lost the third-place match to the host nation, 2-1.

Englands WC placing

England has reached the quarterfinals on six other occasions, at the 1954, 1962, 1970, 1986, 2002 and 2006 tournaments. At the 1982 competition in Spain, where the final tournament was conducted through two group stages with the teams topping the four second-round groups proceeding directly to the semi-finals, England finished the second group stage unbeaten but was therefore eliminated.

England have been eliminated in the round of 16 teams stage on two occasions since the final tournament was expanded to more than 16 teams in 1982–at the 1998 final tournament in France and the 2010 final tournament in South Africa.

England have been eliminated at the first round group stage on two occasions 1950 and 1958, when they finished level in group play with the USSR but lost a playoff match.

The World Cup has been a frustrating odyssey for England, particularly since 1966. At several tournaments, their performances have filled their fans with justified hope, but in the end, they have just not had enough to overcome the world’s most powerful teams in crucial knockout matches.

Consolation-seekers like to point out that it has been England’s misfortune to meet the eventual World Cup winners in the knockout stages of four tournaments. They went out to Brazil, 3-1, in the quarterfinals of the 1962 tournament, to Argentina, 2-1 by way of Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal, in the quarterfinals of the 1986 tournament, to West Germany, on penalty kicks after a 1-1 extra-time draw, in the semi-finals of the 1990 tournament and to Brazil again, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the 2002 tournament after holding the lead.

On three occasions they have been eliminated in penalty-kick shootouts, in the 1990 semi-final against West Germany, the 1998 round-of-16-teams match against Argentina following a 2-2 extra-time draw in which they played a man short following the expulsion early in the second-half of midfielder David Beckham. On a third occasion, in the 2006 quarter-finals, England were eliminated by Portugal following a 0-0 draw.

Perhaps most disappointing was their elimination at the 1982 tournament in Spain. Having won all three of their group matches quite handily, all they could muster in their second-round group was a pair of goalless draws against eventual finalist West Germany and hosts Spain. They went home unbeaten, having yielded only one goal in five matches.

Our first game in the 2014 group stage is on June 13th vs Italy.

There will be no predictions from GN5 I simply want our team to play up to their top potential and hope that Lady Luck favours us.

world cup history

World Cup Finals
1 Jul 30 1930 Uruguay 4 Argentina 2
2 Jun 10 1934 Italy 2 Czechoslovakia 1
3 Jun 19 1938 Italy 4 Hungary 2
4 Jul 16 1950 Uruguay 2 Brazil 1
5 Jul 04 1954; Germany 3 Hungary 2
6 Jun 29 1958; Brazil 5 Sweden 2
7 Jun 17 1962; Brazil 3 Czechoslovakia 1
8 Jul 30 1966; England 4 Germany 2
9 Jun 21 1970; Brazil 4 Italy 1
10 Jul 7 1974; Germany 2 Netherlands 1
11 Jun 25 1978; Argentina 3 Netherlands 1
12 Jul 11 1982; Italy 3 Germany 1
13 Jun 29 1986; Argentina 3 Germany 2
14 Jul 08 1990; Germany 1 Argentina 0
15 Jul 17 1994; Brazil* 0 Italy 0
16 Jul 12 1998; France 3 Brazil 0
17 Jun 30 2002; Brazil 2 Germany 0
18 Jul 09 2006; Italy* 1* France 1
19 Jul 11 2010; Spain 1 Netherlands 0
* Won on Penalty Kicks

wc finals appearances

 

GunnerN5


Carlos Vela: The New Clive Allen?

June 12, 2014

According to reports yesterday the president of Real Sociedad has said that we have triggered our buy-back option for Carlos Vela.

The actual quote (after translation) was: “Arsenal have informed us that Vela would be with them next season.”

On the face of it, re-signing a striker who bagged 21 goals in the Primera Liga and who knows Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal way could be seen to be very good business.

Especially if the much quoted £3.5m buy-back fee is an accurate figure.

The return of little Carlos will no doubt make some supporters groan.

When he was with us he had a reputation as a bit of a party animal, but criticism of his on-field displays was sometimes harsh: it’s not like he ever got a regular run in the team.

Let’s put it this way, if we heard we were buying a 21-goal striker from the Spanish league (but a player of whom we had no previous knowledge) we would all be getting quite excited.

However, even if we have activated our buy-back option, I’m not sure we will ever see Vela in an Arsenal shirt again.

He could well join us “on the books” for a short while only to be moved on for a decent transfer fee or as a makeweight in another deal.

He could become the Clive Allen de nos jours.

For those who don’t remember, Clive Allen was once of the hottest young strikers in Britain back in the late 1970s. So when we signed him from QPR in 1980 – coming off a season in which he scored 32 goals in 49 appearances – we fans were well chuffed.

He was going to link up with Frank Stapleton and Alan Sunderland in what the press were already calling our “SAS attack”.

But the SAS never got out of headquarters. Within a few weeks of being bought, Allen was out through the exit door and on his way to Crystal Palace, with Kenny Sansom coming in the opposite direction. Clive never kicked a ball in anger for the Gunners.

There were rumours at the time that Palace had wanted to buy Allen direct from QPR but, for some reason, QPR did not want to sell him to the south Londoners. So in some kind of murky deal we scooped up Allen before promptly passing him to Palace. Still, it wasn’t all bad since Sansom turned out to be arguably the best left back we’ve ever had.

So what do you think?

Do you believe we have activated our Vela buy-back?

And if so, is he coming back to stay (in which case is he the shiny new striker we’re all expecting, or is he filling Bendtner’s berth as the third choice man)?

Or is he going to follow the Clive Allen path and simply whizz into the turnstile and straight back out again?

(Whatever happens, I hope his career doesn’t follow the trajectory of Allen’s when he left us. Not long after going to Palace he ended up playing in the N17 refuse dump. He ended up there again in an assistant managerial capacity much later, where his main job appeared to be eating doughnuts).

RockyLives

 

 


The World Cup window

June 11, 2014

With the World Cup in Brazil starting tomorrow, I’m interested in finding out which players you are looking forward to seeing and why. Here’s a list of players I will be keeping a beady eye on during this summers tournament:-

Jack Wilshere (England)

It’s fair to say that Jack hasn’t quite delivered on his early promise just yet. This is mainly due to injury of course, but with Aaron Ramsey having such a breakthrough year, suddenly Wilshere’s place in the Arsenal team looks in jeopardy. If he (and my next pick) can have a good World Cup, then they both have the potential to match Rambos season and push Arsenal onto the next level.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (England)

Another Arsenal player who has had his fair share of injuries recently is Ox. He’s got talent in abundance and looks a real threat with the ball, but he’s yet to cement a place (or maybe more importantly, a position) in the Arsenal side or the national team. If he can have a strong World Cup and get himself a set position, then maybe he will be another who will push on next year.

Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast)

He’s being touted as Sagna’s replacement and it wouldn’t surprise me if we’ve already got a deal in place to sign him. He looks amazing on youtube (as does Bendtner!) but I will be interested to see how he copes on the big stage. Fast, strong, versatile and attack-minded (6 goals, 6 assists this season from RB/CB) he looks like he could bring some real energy to our right hand side. Fingers crossed he lives up to the billing.

Joel Campbell (Costa Rica)

Anyone that saw Olympiacos against United this season will have been very impressed by this young man. He’s a tricky winger/forward who has the ability to beat a man and get a shot off. With Walcott coming off a bad injury, Podolski hit and miss, and Giroud needing help, there is potential for a youngster to get some game time at Arsenal this season. Campbell could be that man. Personally, I’d like to see him get a PL loan to see how he handles the physicality week in week out. England beware!

Luis Gustavo (Brazil)

A powerful defensive midfielder with the athleticism to get around the pitch and the technical precision you would expect from a Brazilian (not the wax!). He has a very underrated left foot and as he admitted himself, he only joined Wolfsburg to make sure he would get in the WC squad, so may well be available after the tournament.

Those are just a few of my picks, but who do you think will shine this summer?

Written by FatGingerGooner FGG


Arsenal ……. Home or Away

June 10, 2014

Morning Gooner’s,

This is a follow up post from my last one.

When I thought about things after writing the previous post, I started getting idea’s. I imagined that the Arsenal Hierarchy had read my previous post and thought that perhaps my idea of moving The Arsenal from England to a bigger more profitable country, could be a very profitable idea indeed. Now I know that many die-hard’s would be quaking in their shoes at such a suggestion, but like I said in my previous post, The Arsenal is far from English so why should they need to be in London or England for that matter.

Now for a lifetime supporter to even suggest that scenario could happen, many would have me whipped and keelhauled,  but when you look at it, what would be the advantages should such a happening actually happen. Emirates stadium houses just over sixty thousand, it cost over three hundred million to build, that build put the Arsenal back ten years, and we may not be back yet.

Imagine,  say we moved to somewhere like China, not to hard to imagine seeing how we have targeted that part of the world in our promotions.  We have a population of 60 million here in the United Kingdom, and many of that number are not football fans, the ones that are have many many football clubs to follow. Let’s assume that half of that sixty million are young children and a quarter are women. While we have many women supporters, I would say not as many as men, or at least that is the picture I see in the Emirates and other clubs grounds. So in other words there are an estimated 20 million supporters to appeal to .

Now when we look at China for example, they have a much bigger population. And that being the case, labour must be plenty fold, and probably a lot less to pay in wages. The Arsenal could probably buy a piece of land and build a two hundred thousand seater stadium possibly cheaper than the Emirates cost to build. They would fill that stadium quite easily even charging less for tickets, and still make massive profits. I imagine income tax would be lower than England, so we could pay players high wages, and they wouldn’t have to pay so much tax.

What about the Emirates stadium I can hear you say, well we could sell that off to an Arab or a Russian or even the British Government, as they need land for building new housing estates, and as we are also in property development, we could even build more flats or new estates ourselves. The government would really like that idea, and we could earn a massive profit.

Now of course we would be a bit too far away to play in the English Premier league, but I am sure we could enter negotiations with the Chinese government to perhaps start a new league over there. Amongst all those millions of people there must be a good pool of footballers to choose from.

Many of you would ask, why would Stan Kroenke want to move further away than he is now?  Obviously he wouldn’t, so he would sell his shares to a Chinese business conglomerate, where he would make a tidy profit on his investment,  he could even be hired to oversee the rebuild at Islington. Or we could sell the Ems to the Spuds, and that would save them the hassle of a build.

Now just imagine the thought of a top premier clash, where we usually get hammered, we wouldn’t have to worry about that any more. We all say that the team should play for the shirt, that they’re red and white through and through, so lets face it do we really care who is in the shirt, as long as we win. Not many Arsenal players are English anyway, so not many would be affected.

As we only have two or three British players, we’re hardly an English club any more, so it shouldn’t be a problem for hardened Gooner’s to follow their team.  You may have to watch them on a stream, but even if the stream was poor quality you would still see the shirt.

Lets face it, its a win win situation, Stan would be happy, you would save hundreds a season, but you could still watch The Arsenal on a stream, just like our oversea’s supporters, There would be housing built for the overflowing London, either in Tottenham or Islington spuds may just get to play in Champions league, and we can sit with our feet up watching the latest Chinese talent on display.

Then I woke up, and thought oh no, could that really happen! Blimey I hope not.

Written by Steve Palmer

 


Give Us An ‘E’: Alternative Arsenal Alphabet

June 9, 2014

“Give us an E…” I bet you haven’t heard that phrase since you were in Ibiza in the 90s.

But today it is simply the next installment in our Alternative Arsenal Alphabet.

As always, please remember the ‘alternative’ bit – which means there’s nothing too obvious like “E is for Eboue.”

Please make your own suggestions in the comments below.

Europe

We have had some great nights in Europe but I can’t help feeling that, over the years, we have punched below our weight as a European force. Not in terms of appearances and presence (our consistent qualification for the Champions League is an achievement much undervalued by some supporters) but in terms of trophies. We have managed to acquire only the Cup Winners Cup in 1994 and the Fairs Cup in 1970. We’ve had a few losing finals along the way but, as they say, second place is first loser. By contrast the Chavs have managed to acquire one Champions League trophy (admittedly they were the worst team ever to win that particular competition), one Europa League and two Cup Winners’ Cups. Even the poor little Spuds have more European silverware than us (two UEFA Cups and one Cup Winners Cup). All the while we qualify for the CL there is only one Euro trophy we can possibly win – and it’s about time it was added to our CV.

East Stand

For the last 10 years or so before we moved to the new stadium my season ticket was in the Upper East Stand at Highbury – and it was a very special place. The Clock End and the North Bank certainly made the most noise, but the Upper East was a great place for characters. From the ageing rock promoter to a bunch of hooligans who were all old Harrovians and the world’s loudest cabbie, no game went by without laughter and banter. Unlike the West Stand where, as far as I could tell, people just dozed through entire games, the atmosphere in the Upper East could get quite heated from time to time and we would regularly get a round of applause from the Clock End when we stirred ourselves into action.

Empty Seats

All grounds have empty seats from time to time. The Chavs can’t even fill their crappy stadium for important European nights. But the empty seats at The Emirates have become something of a bugbear for fans – thanks entirely to the ludicrous “attendance announcements” made during the games. When you’re sitting in an obviously 80% full stadium it’s just embarrassing when the announcer bellows out that today’s attendance is 61,176. As I haven’t been regularly for a couple of seasons, perhaps someone can tell me whether they are still doing that. (And yes, I know they are basing it on season tickets, but they claim to be announcing how many people are in attendance, not how many seats have been sold. They are often very different figures).

Emirates

And speaking of the stadium, I find it funny that some people still can’t bring themselves to call our new home The Emirates Stadium. You’ll hear people talk about Ashburton Grove or The Grove, but not the E word. Personally I think sponsorship is the way of modern sports and there’s not much we can do about it. Suffice to say that the club would not have been able to build the new ground without the funds that were supplied by Emirates at the time. The stadium has their name on it because they paid for the privilege.

Enfield

No, not the North London borough, but the comedian Harry Enfield, who was responsible for this wonderful homage to the traditions of Arsenal:

Eleven

The Number of FA Cups we have won in our history – joint top with Manchester United. Ah… how nice to think back to that day at a Wembley just a few weeks ago… Altogether now: “What did she wear?”

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