Give Us An ‘F’: Alternative Arsenal Alphabet

First off, get yourselves out of the gutter.

Just because we’re dealing with ‘F’ words does not mean that the tone of this fine blog will be in any way compromised.

No f*cking way.

So we are onto the sixth letter in our Alternative Arsenal Alphabet – and it’s one that throws up some fine entries to this anthology.

As always, please feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.

F is for…


The Arsenal have been responsible for many “firsts’ – a lot of them initiated by the great Herbert Chapman who managed the club in the 1930s. To list but a few…

First club to use floodlights.

First to use undersoil heating.

First club to install turnstiles.

First (and only) club to have a London Underground station renamed in its honour.

First ever game broadcast live on the radio was an Arsenal game (Arsenal v Sheffield Utd, 1927).

First ever game broadcast on TV was an all-Arsenal affair (Arsenal v Arsenal Reserves in 1937).

First game ever to appear on Match of the Day was Arsenal at Liverpool in 1964.

First match broadcast live in 3D (Arsenal v Man Utd in January 2010).

I could go on but you get the point: we are The Arsenal – the greatest club in the history of world football. (Incidentally, our N17 neighbours have absolutely no firsts, but they do have 11 number twos turning out on a regular basis).


Did you know that the North Bank was destroyed by fire in 1941? The blaze was caused by a visit from Herr Hitler’s Luftwaffe, who somewhat rudely dropped a bomb on our fine stadium. Fortunately these days the only German aerial threat is when the BFG goes up for a corner.


OK, do you know how many (fully competitive) finals we have played in over the years?

The answer is 31, made up of 18 FA Cup Finals, 7 League Cup Finals,, 3 Cup Winners’ Cup Finals and 1 each of the Fairs Cup Final, Champions League Final and UEFA Cup Final. Out of that 31 we came home with the silverware on 15 occasions.


Under ‘A’ I mentioned the 1930s film The Arsenal Stadium Mystery. It has since been drawn to my attention that there are many movies in which The Arsenal has featured in some (often very small) way. For example: in The Full Monty there’s the celebrated scene in which the men are taught to dance with one arm in the air by being told to emulate the famous Arsenal back four. Then there was Fever Pitch, the film based on Nick Hornby’s memoir of growing up as an Arsenal supporter. Among the lesser well known is the brief appearance of a bloke in an Arsenal shirt in the 1995 film ‘Hackers’. I know you might sniff at such a fleeting glimpse of an Arsenal shirt, but in ‘Hackers’ the chap wearing it was busy boffing Angelina Jolie at the time (I’ve always wondered whether Chas has an alibi for that day)…

There are many more film references to explore. If you would like to read about them here’s the link:


No, not the end-of-the-night, drunken, arm-around-your-best-mate saying “I really love you, honest” sort of friendship. I refer to The Bank of Friendship in the Blackstock Road – a fine, outstanding example of an Arsenal boozer. I probably should have included it under ‘B’ but as I forgot, it’s getting a look-in here. It was always my favourite post-match pub while we were at Highbury and I’ll never forget the party there when we clinched Arsene Wenger’s first league title in 1998 (the game where we beat Everton 4-0, the scoring capped off with a Tony Adams volley). There was so much rhythmic jumping up and down in the bar that the whole building was vibrating and the glasses on the top shelf above the bar were shuffling merrily along to the edge of the shelf and falling off, one after the other. I don’t think the landlord really cared – he must have made a fortune that day.


You don’t often see a punch-up at The Arsenal these days and, sadly, if you do it’s more likely to be between two Arsenal supporters. But back in the days before segregation of fans was introduced it was not uncommon to see some full-blooded brawls both inside and outside the ground. As I recall, Arsenal fans were never really known for having a feared “firm” of hooligans (unlike Chelsea, West Ham, Leeds United, Manchester United, Millwall and so forth). Even so, I knew plenty of Gunner loons who were not averse to a bit of fisticuffs. Still, there’s no question that it’s a good thing those days have long gone and most people now go to football for the football, not the fighting.







41 Responses to Give Us An ‘F’: Alternative Arsenal Alphabet

  1. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Ah! That’s better, a proper football post! 😀

    Well done Rocky, One other “first” to add to the list…Sir Henry Norris was the first chairman of a football club to flog the team bus in order to pay his chauffer’s wages.

  2. Norfolk Gooner says:

    F is for Financial Fair Play, a concept totally ignored in Paris (St. Germain), Madrid (Real), Monaco (Monaco), Manchester (City).

  3. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Oh well, all the Knot Ears are not ‘ere, and the others are not ‘ere either and as the smell of newly baked bread is wafting out of the kitchen I’m off too,

  4. GunnerN5 says:

    That’s a F***ing good post.

  5. RA says:


    Fantastic fun with frolicking fulminations of footballing fireworks including the fillip of our financial future flip flopping from failure to first-class and the freedom to forecast further flipping fortunes because of our Frenchman’s fanciful fandango with the fans.

    Eff me, hold the phone! 🙂

  6. arnie says:

    Brilliant, Rockstar. 🙂 With the AAA held in limbo, I was given to believe you were Knot Ear. Well, now I know better! 😛

    F is for proper Football, as opposed to Soccer or American Football. The proper beautiful game.

    On films, there is a somewhat obscure “viewer discretion advised” Arsenal-centred film called Incendiary (2008). Dad and son go to Emirates to watch Arsenal play Liverpool. Mom is up to some shady rendezvous in the house with the game playing on the TV. There is a bomb blast and both dad and son are killed. The film is about how this event changes mom’s life. You get the idea. Rubbish film, I think, only watched it because of the Arsenal connection.

  7. kelsey says:

    F is for French.Some Fabulous, some fantastic and some fecking awful
    Arsene Wenger 😉

    Thierry Henry
    .Jeremie Aliadiere
    .Sylvain Wiltord
    .Robert Pires
    .Patrick Vieira
    .Olivier Giroud
    .Laurent Koscielny
    .Samir Nasri
    .Pascal Cygan
    .Sebastien Squillaci
    .Emanuel Petit
    . Garde
    . Nicolas Anelka
    . Diaby
    . Flamini
    . Bacary Sagna
    . Clichy
    . Lassagna Diarra
    . William Gallas
    . Gilles Grimandi

  8. Eddie says:

    F is for ‘thank you’ the way I pronounce it. Good fun Rocky 🙂
    FIFA, FFP, forget five nil and Danny Fiszman

    RA – that is quite unbelievable, you are a clever boy

  9. kelsey says:

    Ah, Fotheringham who broke his own player’s leg, that being Joe Mercer,and that ended Joe’s career.

  10. 26may1989 says:

    Having just posted my own mini rant on the earlier thread in defence of Steve’s earlier post, just quick word to say well done Rockster, good stuff.

    My contribution: 1,2, 3….. “We love you Freddie, because you’ve got red hair, …..”

  11. Shard says:

    Fantastic article Rocky. Now I’m struggling to think of anything unique with the letter F as regards Arsenal.

    But that list of movies you linked to skips the Ocean’s Twelve scene involving Arsenal (who might have been involved inadvertently in transporting a criminal across borders?)

  12. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all, Nice post Rockyboy, and a very enjoyable read trying to find an F that hasn’t been mentioned, but cant so am going to use one of yours and say Fcuk up as apparently i have.

  13. fatgingergooner says:

    F has to be for ‘Flat Footed’ ie the one and only Robert Pires.

    He ran like he had Giroud’s penis, but he played like he had God’s boots. A football genius.

  14. RA says:


    I have only just read the Epistle according to Saint 26M and I am amazed that my comment could be interpreted as ‘slagging’ you off.

    Let me say plainly, that I have a lot of time for you and the Posts that you have put up have been one of the mainstays of the site over the last few weeks.

    My comment this morning was not intended to be personal, it was simply a reflection on the serious problems that are occurring in the Ukraine at the moment, and the deaths of those unfortunate passengers that upset me.

    You did not refer to that terrible event, but I did not want to ignore your Post,neither did I want to be around if the conversation widened out to include the wider political connotations involved, as I feared it may have drawn some unstable visitors to use AA as a soapbox, including making unfortunate comments about the religious disposition of both Abramovich and Usmanov, so I expressed my disappointment, and made it clear that I would be unable to comment.

    You are a straightforward person, and I know you were simply trying to write about a topic to help out the blogsite.

    Do not concern yourself, it was the subject matter that concerned me – not anything you said or did!

    If you were inadvertently upset, please accept my apologies.

  15. arnie says:

    Fair point, Redders. Respect. 🙂 And, my dear Steve, been there done that, bite the bullet and move on. Look forward to your next big fish. 😛

    F for fish, yes, a big catch. Ozil, Sanchez, you get the drill. 😛



    No, not George Michael driving on the wrong side of the motorway having missed his turning to a public toilet, I mean real faith.

    Lets be honest, how many of us have not wondered the last several years that we might not be able to compete for a long long time?

    Its been difficult in that respect. Not for me personally. An accident in my youth involving my groin and a tyre resulted in a nerve racking visit to the doctor to assertain future functionality.

    I heard the dreaded news “Mr Mancini, ime afraid you might have to make do with musical theatre”

    i proved them wrong, and now its Arsenals turn.

    We have a lovely squad, packed with skillful talent. The dirtier aspects of the game, fouling, cynical play, insulting an opponents nose dimensions etc are lacking a bit, but for how long?

    The idea is that as our younger players mature they will compensate for any lack of negativity and everything will fall into place

    Thanks for the post Rocky

    Keep the faith

  17. Vinay says:

    F for Fantastic, the fantastic way our club is was and ever will be.

  18. stevepalmer1 says:

    RA, You don’t have to explain to me mate, that’s what blogs were set up to do, if i don’t like the post i read, that’s just too bad. I never write to be popular, i write because i am an Arsenal fan, I often have views different to a lot of people, and i can assure you i am not on a soap box.

    Anything Arsenal usually interests me, and current affairs which may affect The Arsenal cannot go by without mention, Well at least by me
    I never intentionally want to upset anybody, but if i do, that’s part of writing your own views, all i can do is apologise, but not for the post.

  19. fatgingergooner says:

    F for Fabianski! The new Swansea number 1!

    Hope he does well. I always liked him and thought he could be decent if given a long run of games. Capable of fantastic saves but with the odd crazy moment. The type of keeper that’s fun to watch (when not in your net!).

  20. ai-zed says:

    funny how Steve’s post has got more comments than this. (just saying). F for fabregas, thanks for all the blessed memories you gave goonerdom, the goal VS AC Milan, the penalty against Barcelona with a crooked leg. you’ll never be a legend now & you know why but those memories are forever cherished. (oh! & that fight with lampard too!)

  21. ai-zed says:

    good night all

  22. RockyLives says:

    Blimey, I thought the Alternative Alphabet had been quietly led into a back room and left alone with a revolver.

    I wrote this one ages ago but we’ve had quite a few days where it was preferred to have no Post at all than to run it… and let it never be said that I can’t take a hint!

    Anyway, thanks to all who commented.

  23. chás says:

    Laters, bitches.
    Looks like I’ll have to watch out for the Hippy bath gong faggits.
    Hopefully I’ll be feeling “the strong, nice, you know”.

  24. chás says:

    Whoops forgot to comment on Rocky’s post.
    Thanks for the name check, Rocky, though being accused of squiring Angelina Jolie not long after being labelled a ‘woofter’ by Evonne, just about sums up my life here on AA. 🙂

  25. mickydidit89 says:


    Have a great holiday and really hope the surfing goes well.

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    Just left a message on your post. Thanks.

    Can’t discuss your post, as I’m sharing your pain. In a beach café yesterday, and was flicking through Sunday Daily Mail and saw your devastating news. Kristin is no longer single. I’m too upset to speak.

  27. mickydidit89 says:


    “Fortunately these days the only German aerial threat is when the BFG goes up for a corner” ROLF

    Actually, you list all the Arsenal Broadcasting Firsts, and if I followed any other club, I’d suspect media favouritism 🙂

  28. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    Rocky may i just apologise to you personally, Yesterdays Blogging was a bit of a screw up, but that does not detract from your fine post, i understand how much time and effort goes into writing posts like yours, and i found yours very entertaining.

    The concept of the alternative Alphabet is a good way to put a smile on all our faces, and i must admit it is also very informative, please don’t give this up.

    GN5 was upset at the response he got for his post, but many read all of his posts and thoroughly enjoyed them, Sometimes its hard to comment when something has happened a lifetime ago, but i still find all these posts worthwhile.

  29. Eddie says:

    I called you a woofter while you called yourself a sort of a jockey. there.

    who is Kristin? Micky – you read the Daily Mail??

    I am bored, I want footy.

  30. Eddie says:

    A footballing question for you – imagine that your young nephew is playing for Tottenham. You are at the game, feel the atmosphere, enjoy brilliant display from your nephew……would you start shouting ‘Come on you Spurs’?

  31. mickydidit89 says:


    I was in a café. They had a copy. I “looked” at it, not “read” 🙂

    And certainly not answering your “Who is Kristin” comment. Rocky will be speechless.

  32. Eddie says:

    again, nobody is talkig to Eddie 😦
    I’ll talk to myself then!

    The Commonwealth opening ceremony – I didn’t watch it. I never watch the opening ceremonies, not my cup of tea. However, last nights’ show was fantastic – I’ve seen clips on TV and photos in the papers, spectacular. And they were 41 Scotties, clever little creatures. The Queen’s burgundy car was so fab, was it a Bentley?

  33. Eddie says:

    oh, Pea and Didit are talking 🙂 hiya!!!

    yeah, I could not imagine you reading the DM. Mind you, I like the sports section in the Sun, it’s normally very good. Well, to be honest The sun is a better paper than the DM, at least they don’t pretend to be clever.

    How is our Pea? Would you shout ‘come on you Spurs’ if your nephew was playing ?

  34. Eddie says:

    there we go – some idiots are already saying that the Scotties in Glasgow last night suffered stress and should not had been used!!!!!

  35. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning Eddie, I’ll talk to you if nobody else will. I didn’t watch the opening ceremony either, frankly I’ve got little interest in the games but I’ll watch the cycling, those fit birds in Lycra, wow. Sorry Eddie that was a bit sexist, 😀

    Only 41 Scotties? You would have thought more of the Scottish public would have turned up to watch the big event, Nice of the Queen to drive all the way from Balmoral to be there.

  36. Hi Eddie – I may have to although I’m not sure the ‘spurs’ part will come out of my mouth 🙂

  37. New Post ………………….

  38. Suresh Babu Gaddam

    Give Us An ‘F’: Alternative Arsenal Alphabet | Arsenal Arsenal

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