Do Arsenal have the right blend?

Little bit of background.

Two weeks ago I took my children to a local schools surf competition. The organizers had persuaded local legend Mike to judge. He is current UK Champion and Ex European Champion. I had never met him before, but we chatted for ten minutes or so.

Now yesterday. We head off to the beach. Park. Looking over the cliff at the Atlantic I “nah, what’s the point. Too small. You guys go on in”. A couple of “oh come on Dad’s” and we’re suited up and heading in. We leave my daughter and her chum in the shallower stuff, and my son and I paddle out in the hope that some freak micro tsunami that might appear over the horizon.

There we sit waiting. “Hello there” comes a voice, and it’s Mike. “Blimey” I say “didn’t expect to see your sort out here in this”. “Why not. It’s all good fun” says he.

I watch in absolute awe as he effortlessly rides the smallest wave time after time. Performing unreal manoeuvres that I thought only possible in more powerful conditions.

He chats away to us all. What a modest bloke. Surfers, like any sportsmen, can be arrogant, but here was THE local legend out in conditions that even rubbish surfers like me deemed unworthy. Chatting away, unassuming, charming, polite and supremely modest. No “look at me, I’m the big swinging dick around here”, and it got me thinking about personalities amongst sportsmen.

I’ve always leaned towards the maverick. The wayward genius. The Senna against the Prost. McEnroe v Borg. Fischer v Spassky, and in surfing Kelly Slater (the professional) v Andy Irons (the now deceased troubled genius).

However, I’m singling out examples in individual sports. Arsenal and Football is a team game. My question is this: Do teams need to have a blend. The wayward genius, the DNA blood man, the aggressive street fighter and the leader all in there to bring balance.

I’m not sure the current Arsenal side has the right blend. For me, our current squad is a bit nice, a bit predictable and a bit samey.

Any thoughts ?

Written by MickyDidIt89

172 Responses to Do Arsenal have the right blend?

  1. Rasp says:

    Thanks Micky, its an important question that may be key as to why our performances have been so variable this season.

    I’d hope most would agree that the team is the important thing – which doesn’t always mean the best 11 players.

    This is not the time for Ozil bashing, but he is an example of a player who only looks good when we are winning or in control of a game. Our play without the ball has been in need of improvement for some time.

    If you believe the spine of the team is important then Arsenal can turn into a bit of a jellyfish in the thoracic area.

    IMO we do not yet have the perfect blend of players or the right personality in the midfield to hold it all together.

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here’s my thinking. The spine of a team.

    Henry: arrogance
    Bergkamp:: unpredictable
    Paddy: fire
    Tony: DNA

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You say spine, I say spine 🙂

    When so many appear to have similar character traits, I think it’s easier for the team as a whole to “drift”.

    Sometimes sparks are needed. Whenever someone on here posts player tweets it all comes across as lighted hearted chummy stuff. Ditto, when they’re lining up in the tunnel next to the opposition, I don’t see a Keane/Paddy eyeballing.

    I’m not saying all need to have an aggressive edge, but certainly we lack the unpredictable team dynamic.

  4. RA says:

    Well done, Micky, Saviour of the Universe, or Saviour of AA Bloggers, by your other name.:-)

    Interesting story about Mike, and it is refreshing to know there are people like him. A bit of me thinks that if it came to competitive trophy winning he might adopt a different mien.

    As to your question regarding whether having too many similar personalities in our team, or any other, would be detrimental to them being an efficient trophy winning outfit, well I suspect you were conscious of the rhetorical nature of it.

    If anyone apart from some mad scientist thought that it was possible to send out a team of identical clones, then I would say that they were…….mad.

    We need variety – the world needs variety – and not just ias regards personality but also in terms of physique and character.

    Rasp has said,above, what the rest of us here and on other blogs have been saying for far too long; our guys are like identikit players as regards skills and physique, particularly in midfield but elsewhere too.

    We need a leavening of salt to go with the sweet.

  5. GoonerB says:

    Micky, I will come back and comment on this post shortly but having not commented since last week I firstly wanted to comment on your fine post about blogging. Yes it is a good thing and should be enjoyable. I don’t like extremism or flinging out rash dismissive comments with no justification to the argument, and I don’t like that I don’t always have the time to comment or follow up any comments about my comment (if you get what I mean).

    Also thanks Eddie for the Szczesny post. Always liked the boy and I wouldn’t swap him for another keeper. He maybe has some improvements left to come but I love that he seems sooo Arsenal ingrained.

    Back soon.

  6. Rasp says:

    Micky, I do say spine 🙂 The best spines have broad shoulders = specialist wide players who can get behind defenders.

    There’s a lot of talk about Ozil wanting away in January – could be true, could be bollix – who knows?

    I suspect that AW has been not the driving force behind several of our past player purchases (ooooh controversial). They probably all had an intrinsic commercial value to the club at the time of signing. I would cite Arshavin, Park and maybe Ozil among these.

    We all know what happened to the first two, either played out of position or not played at all. It is claimed by Ozil’s manager that he is not happy wide left. Is this AW’s way of saying I choose the players and the team and any acquisition that I have not sanctioned is likely to fail?

    I don’t doubt for one minute that AW admires Ozil’s talent – but was he the type of player that he thought the team needed at the time?

  7. RA says:

    You go right ahead and be controversial then, Rasper. 🙂

    The only fact that can be advanced as non-controversial is that we can only surmise what did or did not occur, and each individual’s personal prejudices (?) can colour there take on Ozil and every other player we have bought during AW’s time at the club.

    For myself I am somewhat in your camp but not altogether.

    Mr Wenger was far too happy to announce the signing of Ozil to imagine that he was forced on him.

    Arshavin set off like a train when he joined and shortly thereafter seemed to be played as a ‘Jack of all Trades’ and mastered none of them. Park? Who knows what the hell that was all about?

    Now we have Campbell who just sits on the bench, and when/if he is asked to play he will be rusty and written off as crap. Ditto our man with the strange hairstyle, Gervinho, who looked the biz one minute then seemed utterly lost as to what his best position in the team was. or did I mean Podolski?

    I do not pretend to know what went on in the past, or is going on now, but the whole thing is odd, odd, odd.

  8. RA says:

    Spine means different things to different dudes.

    You seem to refer to the spine as being the backbone [of the team] whereas I mean something similar but rather different.

    I see the missing spine of the team, as the prickly thingies that stick out of yer average porcupine. Defensive in nature, defensive in intent, but can give the unwary a sharp reminder not to mess with the owner.

    That, in my opinion, is what is missing in the team. The backbone is there, but what we need is somewhere in the team is one or two spiky personalities who will ‘detonate’ if the opposition tries to take liberties. 🙂

  9. Rasp says:

    Who wouldn’t want a player like Ozil in their squad? I have never heard AW criticise the club – it is something he would never do. I’m sure he’s carried the can many times for things that were not of his doing. But we all know he is completely uncompromising of his principles when it comes to ‘his way’ on the football pitch.

  10. RA says:

    The echoes of my coming back to me.

    Time to go again. 🙂

  11. Rasp says:

    I wonder if AW had a choice between Ozil and Reus at the time – which would he have chosen? Reus is strong, feisty, puts in a shift, doesn’t mind playing wide, has scored a goal every 2 games whilst at Dortmund and would probably have been slightly less to buy than Ozil.

    p.s. GoonerB loves Marco Reus 😆

  12. GoonerB says:

    Fine post Micky, and interesting discussion between Rasp and RA. I agree that a blend of qualities probably makes for the best team and I can’t argue with how you have categorised them.

    Here is the thing though, I still believe we are only a couple of players in the right positions away from challenging for the EPL and ECL. I think our squad is 95% complete and has a good balance in it (minus those couple of additions). I see top internationals, older players with experience, younger quality players, home grown Arsenal DNA players, players with pace e.t.c.

    Here is the next thing though, if I am correct in my assessment of the squad being balanced, (and that is not a given), then it leads to the question of “is having a balanced squad different to playing a balanced team?”.

    IMO, I think we have been imbalanced in our set-up far too often recently when I feel we had the option to set-up in a stronger formation. That is a trifle more worrying to me because that is an aspect that only 1 person can change.

    So for me we have a balanced squad that needs a couple of upgrades, but are playing an imbalanced starting 11 all to often.

  13. GoonerB says:

    Just looking at his picture on my wall Rasp. Ohh Marco.

    The Ozil thing could just be mucky media stories. I don’t doubt that he has been miffed a couple of times, but that doesn’t mean he wants to up-sticks. I wonder what the percentage of media led Arsenal stories are actually true? Maybe it is as little as 3%.

    That said it could be true and if he has intimated that he wants out this January or next summer is the time to do it IMO. Why? Well because I believe there are other quality attacking players that will be up for grabs. Benzema maybe, Pedro maybe? Wo else? Mmm, oh yes what’s that fellows name from Dortmund, you know the one with the quiffy haircut?

    RA, interesting you note that having a spiky porcupine as what we need. I would not disagree, but I note that Wilshere doesn’t back down to anyone, and the Flamster I believe is very prickly in nature. I feel that maybe what we need is a bigger, faster porcupine that has better skills with a horse chestnut at their feet.

  14. stevepalmer1 says:

    Micky did it again,
    Blinding read and a good question as well.

    Personally, i believe the blend is very good, i feel the gel factor is still not in place , and with the amount of injuries we seem to sustain i feel it may take some time for this team to gel well enough.

    My thoughts are much the same as they have been for some considerable time, and that is the Suarez factor. Suarez is a player that makes things happen, loathe him or love him he is quality.

    Liverpool must really miss his inspirational runs, they miss that fight up front and of course the man’s ability to put the goals away. I feel Liverpool will rue the day they let him go.

    Suarez whoever he plays for, will bring something that many clubs have not got. He is a poacher he is a wizard and above all a goal scorer. Yes Suarez is a nutter no mistaking that, but it has to be said that he is a winning Nutter of the highest order.

    Arsenal have acquired some very good talent Ozil Sanchez Debuchy Wellbeck and not forgetting Ospina and of course Chamber’s who incidently i rate very highly indeed. All these new signings have quality, of that there is no doubt, but i feel that although they will do a job for us and in the end a good job, they will not be a Suarez game changer.

    Arsene will continue to find hidden gems like Chamber’s, he has in the past and he will in the future, but will he be able to get them to gel all at the same time, i have my doubts, All these players have special talents, and even the older players have as well but injury after injury will stop Arsenal from being the force it could be.

    A consistent team needs cohesion, and for that to happen they need to all be available and with the history that Arsenal have that won’t happen.

    I felt last year was a good time for us to win the league, probably the best chance for years but come Christmas fatigue and players going down with alsorts left us struggling and lucky to get fourth spot.

    So Micky in answer to your question, Yes we have the players, but we have too much else going on to be a major force

  15. Rasp says:

    😛 GB, Marco loves you too.

    This January could be interesting. Will we see the departures of Podolski or Campbel? How much will our dealings be dictated by our league position and the injury situation? With Giroud reported to be ahead of schedule for his return, I cannot see a striker on the menu.

    Since Cavani’s name keeps cropping up I thought I’d compare his strike rate to the new chav messiah Costa and was surprised to see that Costa has a career average of 1 goal every 2.56 games and Cavani 1 goal every 1.82 games – so the Uruguayan appears to be a more potent goalscorer.

    Could the money from a possible Ozil transfer be directed to buy Cavani – I’m dreaming

  16. chas says:

  17. Rasp says:

    What are you trying to tell us chas? 😆

  18. chas says:

    Love the Mike Raven story, Micky.

    I suppose the answer to your question is that ‘no, we don’t have the right blend at the moment’, simply because results could be better.

    You could say that everyone was happy for the first half of last season with the blend of seasoned professionals and hungry young tykes at our disposal.

    Then again, you could say the team is full of namby pamby, handbag-wearing invertebrates.

  19. chas says:

    Confucius he say,
    When the wind a blowing straight down the track, keep your eyes closed and nostrils sealed or much tribulation will ensue.

  20. chas says:

    Since I started blogging in 2008, we have always been 1 or 2 players away from being challengers in all comps.

    What I want to know is why can’t we find them?
    Can 1 or 2 players make that much difference to a ‘blend’?
    Or is it a case of add salt and pepper and the whole dish is complete?

  21. Rasp says:

    Ask Confucius – he seems to know everything 🙂

  22. GoonerB says:

    Rasp, those stats on Cavani and Costa may be slightly skewed now. Partly because it may be argued that Cavani has had his best purple period so from here on Costa will post the better stats. More importantly though is because until the start of the 2013 season (I think) Costa was an attacking wide man, so he has in effect done a TH14. You would have to compare the stats from the start of the 2013 season to get a true comparison.

  23. chas says:

    Confucius says
    Buy Reus and Carvalho and Assnal win Inter-Planetary Van Trophy next season.

  24. Rasp says:

    Ouch chas ……. I’m thinking Confucius has got the hump with me

  25. Rasp says:

    GB, stats/rumours … all open to interpretation. I have no idea how good/bad/indifferent Cavani is, I haven’t studied his play. Its all conjecture – but what else do we have in the interlull?

  26. GoonerB says:

    Chas @1.47, good question. I think until recently AW has been building teams on tight financial restrictions. Every time he got close, i.e those 2 mystical players away from it, one or two of our key players abandoned ship (Hleb, Flamini, Nasri, Cesc, RVP e.t.c).

    Now that is only my opinion, that I feel it was out of his control and must have been very frustrating for him. Others may toe the line that it was purely his stubborness in not spending.

    I do however feel we are now in a different era where we do not need to always be these 2 players short. If we continue to be then serious questions should be asked and, I fear, the majority of fans patience will run out.

    Not getting cover at striker last January, covering the departure of TV or improving the DM are more recent, and I hope will not be ongoing traits.

    It is not just the fans either. Many top players want to win things, including ours, so if they see we always leave ourselves just short while other top clubs get what is needed, they will likely want to leave to win silverware. Then we are left with having to replace their quality and getting those new players bedded in as well as those 2 elusive players we were originally short of.

    I feel the time is now to do it. If we don’t get what we need in January or enter the 2015 season short again I feel the club will be forced (likely by fan and our top players dissatisfaction), into going in a new direction.

  27. GoonerB says:

    Nothing Rasp. You compare as many players as you want in this interlull. I like the stats on Marco baby after all. 🙂

    Right must toodle off for a while.

  28. chas says:

    My questions were genuine and I wasn’t trying to stop anyone discussing which players we may need to get the blend right.

    After all, that’s what the post is about, isn’t it?

    I hope you’re not right about fan dissatisfaction growing as, to me, it’s almost at unbearable levels already.

  29. GoonerB says:

    I hope I am wrong as well Chas, and there is a good chance I am. I feel there are always those that go into rant mode regardless when it comes to AW, those that don’t recognise what a great job he has done on the tightest of budgets since the stadium move. They cannot be helped.

    I am more worried about the middle ground fans. I think the general feeling is that we are moving (or have moved) into a period when we should be able to complete the jig-saw puzzle. If we continue to stop short of those last couple of players then I think the majority of the middle ground will become unhappy, and the few undying Wenger supporters will be a minority that will not be numerous enough to save the situation.

    I suppose this brings up the question as to what a middle ground fan is?

  30. LB says:

    I haven’t got a clue if we have the right blend at Arsenal but it was a very good read though.

    Been cycling in Pembrokeshire, stunning place.

  31. RC78 says:

    – The wayward genius?
    Off the pitch, we have AW 🙂
    On the pitch, Ozil is supposed to be that player but is failing to live up to his reputation…

    – The DNA Bloodman?
    Off the pitch, we have S. Bould 🙂 but I would love AW to bring in Adams, Parlour and Henry to the staff

    On the pitch, we have Gibbs, Wilshere, Ox, Ramsey and Walcott. They have been here for a while now and know the club inside out.

    – The streetfighter?
    Off the pitch, we have no one…

    On the pitch, we have Flamini and Koscielny…While Flamini is passed his prime, Koscielny is still useful despite his tendency to give away penalties…

    – The leader?
    Off the pitch, we have AW but we should really also have Kroenke flexing some muscle and giving orientation.

    On the pitch, we have BFG but he is not that great

  32. jnyc says:

    Nice post Micky,

    Ozil stuff seems exactly like the sort of garbage the dailyfail would make up. Dont waste your attention on it.

    I think most of the injuries are just unlucky, like ozil, walcott, debuchy. But ramseys worries me because of recurrence of muscle problems. And I would get ozil off at 65 mins every match in the future

    Agree with steve that we mostly need to gel, because we have added alot of talent.

    Time to go on that run im predicting..

  33. Eddie says:

    I see what you mean DidIt. Nice and samey as normal=typical =standard=average= common (grrrrrr)= boring. A bit like Wenger then? I never thought about it before, but you might be right, we have enough nice guys, Jacko is getting nicer every day, Szczesny is maturing too and there is definitely a vacancy for a madman there. Someone like Keown, Lehman or Adams. A real character, maybe even two.

    Sadly it is not going to happen. These youngsters are groomed to be good, no booze, or fags or drugs. Driving with caution and clean licence. Any extramarital affairs are public knowledge and even twating is scrutinized. They have to eat healthy, go to bed early, marry young and speak well. That is what is expected of them, any madness is curbed. And you and I know that madness and genius are very similar states of mind.

    Thanks for the post, I am sorry I cannot be more helpful

  34. RockyLives says:

    Well done Micky – you’re doing a great job (with a few others) of keeping the new Posts coming.

    I hope to find some spare time to contribute soon.

    Now then… blend of the team…

    I tend to think that the reputation of a team is really cemented in success. So if we had just fallen short of a couple of our league titles with the Paddy-Bergie-Thierry teams we wouldn’t view them in quite the same light.

    Or, put another way, if we win a big trophy – the league title or the ECL – it will suddenly become apparent how much of an inspirational figure the BFG is, how feisty little Jack is, how tireless and unyielding Aaron is etc.

  35. Eddie says:

    dangerous statement Rocky -what if don’t win a big trophy?

  36. RockyLives says:

    Then they’re all rubbish Eddie 🙂

  37. RA says:

    Yaaay, Rocket is promising a Post soon -ish! 🙂

  38. RA says:

    And hold on, Rooky, — what about those who keep the comments going – until they (well he) runs out of willing recipients and has to bugger off? 🙂

  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening all.

    Interesting point Rocky (and hi) about a reputation being cemented in success, ad I see what you’re saying.

    Do you have a dog? 🙂

  40. Eddie says:

    yes, he has a white fluffy thing called Coco or choco

  41. Eddie says:

    RA -who is that, you? I always think of DidIt as a gang leader

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Spot on about genius and nutters.

    The surfer Andy Irons was a classic case. Died of drugs aged 32. He was the genius (three times World Champion) and had fierce competition duels with the ultimate professional Kelly Slater (11 times World Champion).

    Sporting battles between the dedicated pro and the wayward genius are so fascinating.

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No, you have me as a bullshitter 🙂

  44. Eddie says:

    I am a genius 🙂 simply misdiagnosed

  45. Eddie says:

    DidIt – what do you want? Blood?? I apologised ffs
    Your circle of mates and relatives makes me green with envy, I’d give my right arm to have your FaceBook friends

  46. Eddie says:

    OMG! I have only seen the Flower punch now! Bastard, evil

  47. RockyLives says:

    I’m wracking my brains to understand the ‘do you have a dog’ segue…

    But the answer is yes: he’s called Dennis Bergkamp (seriously)

  48. RockyLives says:

    Naturally we call him ‘Dennis’ most of the time, rather than the full ‘Dennis Bergkamp.’

    But he only answers to ‘Dennis’ with two Ns. He never answers to Denis.

  49. RockyLives says:

    I have been enjoying your comments every day 🙂

    Please don’t confuse lack of responses with lack of interest 🙂

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We descended into dog talk yesterday.

    I don’t have Facebook. What is Flower Punch?

  51. RockyLives says:

    It’s a lethal alcoholic cocktail, garlanded with petals…

    Watch out…

  52. Eddie says:

    Ben Flower decking the opponent

    Rocky – why did I think your dog was called Coco?

  53. RockyLives says:

    Dunno Eddie. Are you a bad psychic? 🙂

  54. Eddie says:

    what is the dog’s breed?

  55. RockyLives says:

    Cockapoo (allegedly – we think it’s actually half Wheaten terrier)

  56. chas says:

  57. etfaust says:

    I am getting pissed off about these Özil rumors. They are an absolute joke. I wrote a piece about it here – Check it out. Feel free to argue with me

  58. chas says:

    Apparently the MiaSan bit comes from this…..
    Not sure about Mia san Botschafter 🙂

  59. Eddie says:

    there you are – coco something! I am always right 🙂

    Both Theo and Gnarby in training today. Let’s hope they won’t catch a cold in this horrid weather

  60. RA says:


    No I am not a gang leader or any sort of leader – I go it alone! 🙂

    Actually I think your suggestion rather outré, but in keeping with your wonderfully bonkers personality, I sometimes confuse you with that other ingénue, Terry. Well perhaps he is more the male version, obviously! 🙂

  61. neamman says:

    certainly we need a blend.. and for me we are missing a take charge leader. An Adams, Vieira, Keown..or a Terry. Not saying we buy Terry but whatever his other faults he bleeds blue and white.

  62. neamman says:

    Not sure if this has been discussed recently as I have been busy and not online as much as usual. To me ..and I said it at the time.. we should have grabbed Cesc… he wanted to come and God do we need someone with his vision.

    But also.. how much would we have benefited if we had taken Song on loan. I know he didn’t leave in such a good way.. but he does add steel to our midfield and he is still in his prime, unlike Mikel or Flamini.

  63. RA says:

    I think it might be most tactful not to press Ronky on his dog (cockapoo) — as a dog expert do you think it is half cockatoo and half poodle?

    It keeps saying, ‘who’s a lovely boy?’ Squawk — Rocky!’

    Very infra dig I’m afraid. 🙂

  64. Eddie says:

    I thought ingénue describes a slightly thick woman. Is Terry a bird?

  65. RA says:

    Hi Neamman,

    Your understanding does fly in the face of comments from both Wenger and Fabregas.

    in brief:

    — Wenger said he knew nothing about Cesc’s transfer to the Chavs until after it happened.

    — Fabregas said he had no regrets joining the Chavs, and had no interest in joining anyone else.

    — Apparently Wenger believes there was an agreement between Cesc and Chelsea the previous January.

    So, that’s that then. 🙂

  66. RA says:


    You thought wrongly. 🙂

    Terry is not thick, nor is he a bird – ingénue means an innocent young woman, and I did say he was more the male version.

    I think I had better withdraw from the conversation.

    Ta ra. 🙂

  67. GoonerB says:

    Every time I come here to converse with Redders he has buggered orf citing that no-one is speaking to him.

    I hope that Ozil stays and starts to really show what he is all about. I am not so sure that Cesc is a better option, that many think, he just happens to be playing in a team that is better gelled than ours currently and he also gets deployed in his best role.

    If anyone doubts that not playing in his best position is affecting him, and that Cesc would have been the end to all our troubles just look back at how Cesc struggled with form at Barca when they played him out of position to accomodate other players.

    I like Neamman’s description of a take charge leader.

  68. Gööner In Exile says:

    if a football team is a recipe for a cake I’d say we have the ingredients in the squad, we just haven’t quite found the right blend yet. And I’m not sure we will why we constantly battle injuries.

    Does Arsene want Ozil? Well he plays him often enough to suggest he does….after all it’s not like he is the only midfielder in the club. Ads haven was played constantly too, until Arsene decided he couldn’t do it anymore and he swiftly found his way to the bench.

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Ads haven was played constantly too”

    Favouritism it was with Ads

  70. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Amazing setting. Look at the mountains in the background.

    This is Teahupo’o in Tahiti, where they have a round of the World Tour

  71. Eddie says:

    No, that vid does nothing for me.

    Didit, it’s just the two of us here, come on, tell me about your brother. Has living there changed him, is he going to retire to UK? Did he learn the language, have you been there…all please

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok Eddie. In order
    No. Yes. Yes. No.

  73. Eddie says:

    I see, no love lost between the two of you.

    Poland playing Scotland tonight and Germany take on the Paddies, should be interesting. I’d say in say 10-15 years there will be players in green shirts with shamrocks and names ending with -ski and -cki

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:


    If there is a challenger out there for my “Most Intolerant” title, then he’s it.

    When I say retire to UK, I think he’ll get too grumpy during the winters. His wife has something like 5th most diving hours in the world, so can’t see her staying put either.

    And when I say he can be grumpy, rude does not come close to describing it. See, all that being chased around the highlands by Earnest’s hungry dogs paid off 🙂

  75. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha, that made my day 🙂 Micky, you have not met my brother, he’d be the clear winner of the ‘Most Intolerant Grumpy P*ick’. He got divorced recently after 29 years of marriage and has already moved in with a younger, prettier, nicer version. Amazing, I would not have him if you paid me

  76. RA says:

    Good morning, folks. 🙂

  77. RA says:

    If, ‘he has already moved in with a younger, prettier, nicer version’ Eddie, he must have something. 🙂

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Not true about the no love lost.

    He works entirely on whether he respects what someone is doing or not. That applies to me, as well as everyone.

    Example. If someone said they were an accountant, he would quite simply never speak to them again. Couldn’t be bothered. Unbelievably rude. He is in the “one life. live it” camp. And I mean the extreme camp. I’ve never met anyone quite like him.

    He’s just bought a boat (small cabin, engine type) so that when he’s in the uk he can go out fishing/wreck diving. Said to me the other day “never had a lesson how to drive it. Do you know how”. No problem I said. Didn’t tell him last time I said the same thing and took three mates out off north devon, it went very very badly wrong. See how easy it will be to fall out with him and lose respect again when we sink his boat 🙂

    He’s in the UK right now, and I’m taking the children to stay end next week (half term) and we’ll have a great time. Then he’s off back to Nepal.

    There. Enough?

  79. Eddie says:

    RA – sure he has. He is intelligent, can be charming, used to be very handsome until his footballing accident that deformed his face, good job, some money. If I didn’t know I would think him a good catch

    Enough, bloody families, who needs them.

    Scotland used to have many excellent players, what about now, I cannot remember many

  80. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Damn Eddie.

    I was certainly going to make RA wait more than nine minutes before getting a response.

    Oh, alright then, morning RA 🙂

  81. Eddie says:

    micky – I think I like him, a lot 🙂 there are too many boring people around, people like your brother are a refreshing change. And he is spot on about living the life, it takes some guts – that’s why people get stuck in a rat race, unhappy, resentful and bitter. I think he has good reasons to be arrogant and intolerant

  82. Eddie says:

    more than 10 mins and he throws the toys out of the pram, can’t be bothered with that first thing in the morning

    So, Scotland – Naismith, Hutton, couple of Fletchers…all of them getting on a bit. Should be an easy task for the Poles

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, last non footbally comment
    You’d love my daughter. Was tidying up her pile of crap last night and noticed on the front of one of her school books, she’d spent rather too long carefully embellishing the thing with the words “Normal is Boring”. Bless her 🙂

  84. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Scotland Poland. Mmmm. I wouldn’t get your hopes up. So often, just when a team (Poland) has had such an emotionally gigantic win, that can be followed by something of a hollow performance.

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh God, he’s gone again.

    Come RA, what are you having for breakfast?

  86. chas says:

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If we touch that, it’s going to Rick Astley us, isn’t it, Chas

  88. RA says:

    Back laterz. On the run – so to speak. 🙂

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Haha ha

    He really ought to be put down, shouldn’t he 🙂

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well RA,
    I had two boiled eggs. Two toast, one with marmite and the other with marmalade 🙂

  91. Eddie says:

    yes, your daughter is a very likable little girl 🙂 normal=ordinary=common – tell her!

    And one last question about your fab brother – has he got a dog?

    Poland will win, they have to. The country has gone mad, the pressure is on, they will deliver

  92. Eddie says:

    always – 3 toasts, 1 with Philadelphia, 1 with home made jam, 1 with my honey. 2 large cups of strong coffee.

    Chas – that escalator clip ain’t funny. About 20 years ago I worked at the Lloyds of London, the famous building with pipes and glass lifts. One day I was a little bit worse for wear following some serious drinking the night before and took the wrong up escalator. Yes, the one going down. Lovely business suit, briefcase, high heels, etc tumbling down trying to climb up the stairs going down. I was a laughing stock until my mate turned up for work in a red suit.

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yes. A medium sized brown Tibetan beast.

  94. Eddie says:

    hey, I knew it 🙂 what a guy!

    Jokes aside Micky, do not encourage madness in your daughter. Boring is good, respectable and easy. Every morning I pray for a boring day. My prayers remain unanswered.

  95. arnie says:

    motning all. Sorry knot ear. Blinding question, Micky, back to it later.

    First, no no no, Evonne. Allow kids to express themselves. Be different. The world has just too many people who have com out of the same black box exactly the same in shape, size and character. If you want to lead a normal life, that opportunity will be there later as well. But, while rich daddy is in good humour, take the opportunity and try and be different, abnormal, even genius! 🙂

    Second, I am gunning for Botland tonight. 😛

  96. arnie says:

    The Unknown Citizen
    W. H. Auden, 1907 – 1973

    (To JS/07 M 378
    This Marble Monument
    Is Erected by the State)

    He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
    One against whom there was no official complaint,
    And all the reports on his conduct agree
    That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a
    For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
    Except for the War till the day he retired
    He worked in a factory and never got fired,
    But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
    Yet he wasn’t a scab or odd in his views,
    For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
    (Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
    And our Social Psychology workers found
    That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
    The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
    And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
    Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
    And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured.
    Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
    He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Instalment Plan
    And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
    A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
    Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
    That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
    When there was peace, he was for peace: when there was war, he went.
    He was married and added five children to the population,
    Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his
    And our teachers report that he never interfered with their
    Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
    Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

    From Another Time by W. H. Auden, published by Random House.

  97. arnie says:

    there you go. one of my favourites! 🙂

  98. Eddie says:

    great poem arnie, thanks. However, having lived in madness for 55+ years I am tired of it, I want to get off and be normal, ordinary, boring.

    Now, back to football – we are enemies now Mr Arnie! My brother still remembers Strachan’s attempts at breaking some polish legs and he thinks that an ambulance will be on a standby tonight. And he has not ‘met’ Naismith yet

  99. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all,

    Peaches/Rasp, post e mailed tlo arsenalnuts.

  100. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Eddie, your escalator moment was an unfortunte accident and can easily be forgiven. Hoewever, your mates sartorial faux pas is another matter all together.

    As a point of interest did he wear black or brown shoes with his red suit?

  101. Eddie says:

    NG 🙂 I don’t know, he was escorted out of the building by the guards. In those days only black and navy suits were allowed and women had to wear skirt suits, which made the escalator incidents worse

  102. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ….or better, depending on your point of view. 😀

  103. GunnerN5 says:

    Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis says Arsene Wenger is a managerial ‘giant’ and replacing him will be their ‘biggest challenge’.

    The Frenchman recently celebrated 18 years in charge of the north London giants, making him by far and away the longest-serving boss in English football.

    During his time at the helm, Arsenal have collected three Premier League titles, five FA Cups and graced the UEFA Champions League final.

    He has also overseen the move from Highbury to Emirates Stadium, cementing the club’s standing among Europe’s elite.

    “The biggest challenge we’re going to face as a club is that, when the transition from Arsene to the next manager of our football club happens – and I don’t know what that’s going to be – that we come through that strongly.”

    It has not always been smooth sailing, with Wenger’s transfer policy called into question on a regular basis in recent times, but he remains among the best in the business and Arsenal know finding a successor will be tough – having watched on from afar as rivals Manchester United have struggled to fill the void created by Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure.

    Gazidis told the club’s official website: “So much of the attention on a football club is around an individual and that’s very understandable at Arsenal because we have a giant who’s managing us.

    “Arsene has been a fantastic driver and has put the club in a great, great position.

    “The biggest challenge we’re going to face as a club is that, when the transition from Arsene to the next manager of our football club happens – and I don’t know what that’s going to be – that we come through that strongly.”

    Gazidis is confident that Arsenal will get a decisive call right, with Wenger having laid the foundations for the club to continue competing alongside the world’s best – with an FA Cup triumph in 2013/14 bringing to an end a nine-year wait for major silverware.

    He added: “Winning the FA Cup was a fantastic moment.

    “In my life, that’s one of my greatest moments. The moment you get away from the euphoria of the moment, the next question is, ‘How do we have more of that?’

    “We want this football club to be at the top of the world’s game. If the manager believes in someone like Mesut Ozil, he can buy him. It’s the same with Alexis Sanchez.

    “Underneath that tip of the iceberg, those star signings that we talk a lot about, there’s an awful lot else going on. Our youth development, for example, is going to be the foundation of this football club going forward.

    “Where we are currently is off the shoulder of the world’s top teams. I don’t think we’re at that level yet, but that’s where we’re aiming to get to. We want Arsenal to be in that elite group of football clubs around the world.”

  104. arnie says:

    Since we are still here, my tuppence on Micky’s fantastic post from yesterday. 🙂

    So, Micky’s rephrased question was about the blend of arrogance, unpredictability, fire and DNA. The issue for me is football has become too much structerd and regimented. There is very little space and scope for innovation. But, as a club, we are looking for this innovation. We value this more than the numpties elsewhere, the oilers and so on.

    So, if I were AW and I wanted innovation in my team. What would I do? I would get the best minds that I can get, and put them together. And encourage them to exploit synergies and try to develop new ideas. That is exactly what Arsene is doing with Santi, Ozil, Sanchez and Rambo, and that is exactly what I think should be done.

    However, innovation is uncertain. So the bottomline has to be held at a decent level. So that, worst come to worst, we can still continue to qualify for CL, challenge for the PL and reach knockout stages in the CL. So we need some grafters, some percentage players, some footmen, but most importantly a leader.

    This is our problem at the moment, IMO. We lack a leader. We have a reliable defensive pairing, but lack backup. We lack a poacher in front of goal. We lack a grafting hard-working never-say-die midfield enforcer.

  105. arnie says:

    Welcome back, GN5. Glad to know you are all right. 🙂

  106. GunnerN5 says:

    A bit cut up arnie, but still around for a while…….

  107. arnie says:

    GN5. 🙂

  108. Eddie says:

    cut up, what happened?

  109. arnie says:

    GN5 had an operation, Evonne. I think Monday last week.

  110. Eddie says:

    Bale is doing for Wales what he did for Spurs. now that he ditched the scummers we can admit he is a brilliant player

  111. Eddie says:

    micky – was uncle Albert’s dog called Duncan?

  112. arnie says:

    England’s Under-21s secured their place at next year’s European Championship finals as 2-1 victory in Croatia sealed a 4-2 aggregate win.

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:


    I see Poland take on The Jocks at home. I withdraw my concerns from this morning, as I reckon the home crowd will be on such a high, they will lift the players.

    Ah…Duncan. Yes, and there was an Angus, Dougal, and pretty much any other aggressive sounding Highlander.

    ps Ernest, not Albert.

  114. Eddie says:

    I am profoundly sorry, Ernest of course!
    And your brother’s name is Duncan too? That is funny

    I was listening to a radio interview with Strachan. Geez, that guy can barely talk, does not sound too clever at all. He was talking about his time in Japan when his manager was….yep. Arsene. From what I understood Strachan loved working for le Boss

    Poland are going to be fine. Scottish team is old, must be oldest in the whole competition

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:


    I spent some time this pm looking at some wonderful photos of the Isle of Harris….ahhhh sigh

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Duncan is a Scottish name and means Warrior. Very appropriate I can tell you.

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yikes, on cooking duty. Mmmm, will I get broadband wireless in kitchen?

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yip. Mushrooms on. Madeira in. Sour cream ready. Grill on for fish. Water boiling for beans. Be ready for ko 🙂

  119. Eddie says:

    never mind broadband, just concentrate on cooking. Men don’t do multitasking

  120. arnie says:

    yes, Micky, very beautiful. sigh as well. 😛

    which game are you watching?

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I multitask Dear 🙂

    Look, cooking done, eating right now. Alone with the football. Nice.

    Arnie, Scotland Poland

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooo Evonne. Your boys 🙂 1-0

  123. arnie says:

    1-1 🙂

  124. Eddie says:

    good old fashioned game, just a wrong result

  125. arnie says:

    no complaints. this Anya guy is handy

  126. arnie says:

    Arsenal Ladies will be aiming for a fourth successive Continental Cup triumph in Thursday’s final against a Manchester City side yet to win a major honour. COYG.

  127. MickyDidIt89 says:


  128. arnie says:

    motning Micky, motning Chas, motning all.

    Tough times begin today. 9AM lectures thrice a week. Traffic on the (Forth Road) bridge is bad after 8AM, so have to leave home around 7AM. Which is middle of the night by my clock. 😦

  129. arnie says:

    so, how do you think Atkinson handled the situation?

  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That is superb Chas.

    Looks like Albania, but against who and when. Nothing like enough of that in the modern game.

  131. chas says:

    It was the aftermath of the drone carrying the Albanian political message flag over the pitch against Serbia.

  132. chas says:

    Last night

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:


    I know full well that life is very short, but surely you could spare the time to have to the odd early night

  134. chas says:

    What else could he do, arnie?

  135. chas says:

    BR is settling in well in Iceland.

  136. arnie says:

    bloody wordpress ate up my vid again!

  137. arnie says:

    agreed Chas.

    Yes, Micky, but sad. 😦

  138. MickyDidIt89 says:

    A drone?!!! That’s superb, and I’m always amazed one hasn’t been used at a game before.

    Serbia against Albania eh? There was always going to be the odd skinhead present wasn’t there 🙂

  139. arnie says:

    more like, only skinheads allowed! 😛

  140. arnie says:

    OK, off out now. back laters. 🙂

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha, you have to ROLF at this from your article

    “Serbian media have claimed that the drone was controlled by Orfi Rama, brother of the Albanian prime minister Edi Rama, from the VIP section!”

  142. arnie says:

    Micky, regarding your multi-tasking claim. Can you compose a post on AA while surfing? Just curious. 😛

  143. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hey Chas

    Much as we mock Ommm (and we should), I do sometimes think he’s got the right work:lifestyle balance.

    Mind you, I’ll never say that sort of thing when he’s around

  144. Eddie says:

    arnie – I never thought I would find myself defending DidIt, but to be fair most people cannot do either, ie surf or write a post. And you are asking the man to do both at the same time. Pushy springs to mind

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:


    In short, no, but this is primarily down to the fact that while surfing I’m incredibly busy.

    Working out how to have a quick smoke without beaching 🙂

  146. MickyDidIt89 says:


    And, Morning Eddie.

  147. chas says:

    I don’t think you got it too badly wrong either, DidIt.

    arnie also works like a b*stard but he does fit a bit in as well. Your bro would approve.

    I’m happy just titting around. Your bro wouldn’t speak to me.

  148. MickyDidIt89 says:

    He’s a seriously awkward bastard, and has been through long periods of not talking to me either 🙂

  149. Eddie says:

    you are not allowed to smoke in parks, Trafalgar Square and some streets in London. The net is closing Micky.

    And that is all accountants’ fault. As we know everything goes back to money. The accountants worked out income from tobacco and costs of treating the smoking related diseases and pronto, witch hunt on smokers began. Now the same is happening with driniking – I will give it 10 years before booze is the new antisocial hobby. Watch out chas

  150. chas says:

    Why warn me?
    It’s you swigging out of a vodka bottle in red high heels while trying to mount an escalator who is a danger to the public. 🙂

  151. Eddie says:

    micky – my bro didn’t speak to me for almost 2 years and has not spoken to his son for 6 years now 🙂 My sibling’s pet hate are ‘commoners’ without family tree/titles 🙂

  152. Eddie says:

    Chas!! That was more than 20 years ago, the heels were black and I have been T-total for 14 years. Danger to the public- yeah, some had hiccups laughing at me, not one tried to help

    Arsenal season ticket the most expensive in the country. Here we go, ammunition to the moaners who never had for a season ticket anyway

  153. chas says:

  154. Eddie says:

    apparently tickets are cheapest at Newcastle. You can buy a ticket, pie, drink and programme for under £25. I won’t try to stop some of our fans switching alliance

    Best cars cost the most but nobody is complaining about that

  155. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ticket prices. Oh, that old chestnut.

    Thing is, when you look at the bigger picture, then Arsenal is by far the best team to follow, so what do you expect…cheapest tickets?

  156. chas says:

    I was thinking of getting an outfit like the guy in the grey, just in red with white fringes.

  157. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Transplant has the same costume but in gold

  158. arnie says:

    good, roads safely negotiated. saw the sun rise while driving, the morning sun glistening over the fall colours. lovely day. sufficiently recharged. now on to other things! 🙂

  159. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all, there’s a time sensitive one in drafts

  160. Gööner In Exile says:

    And it’s about the old chestnut

  161. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all,

    In my paper the headline is “Arsenal dearer than Barcelona”. They are refering to the cheapest season tickets on offer. In fact every one of the ninety-two professional clubs in the league are dearer than Barca’s cheapest. But to say that would spoil the “Slag of Arsenal Campaign”.

  162. Morning all

    Sorry to be late, had problems with tinternet …………

    ……………We have a New Post …………………….

  163. TwentyTwelve says:

%d bloggers like this: