Better Days?


The Old Days. We always think they were better …

Would you exchange the better standard of football we see every season at The Emirates for the mud and passion of Highbury?


Why do I long for a TA/Steve Bouldย  tackle which would “let the player know you are there” as opposed to the Guardiola idea of staying on your feet?

Some of the intricacy of our current teams passing football is beyond ken but I yearn for a Radford bullet header from a hopeful punt from George Armstrong. Why is hoofball so looked down upon as a short-term tactic?

Why did the architects of The Emirates build the stands so far from the pitch? It makes the paying punter spectators as opposed to being fans involved inย  the play as we were at Highbury. Why can’t PL stadiums have a standing section?


Football has become sanitised (IMO). Is the sport better for it?

p.s. This post was inspired by a photo of the tunnel at Arsenal Tube Station published by Chas.

written by Big Raddy

64 Responses to Better Days?

  1. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.

    The football is more technical, the pitches better, diets are better, players are no longer crippled by former injuries, the whole shooting match is swimming with money.

    I’ve no idea why I have fond memories of crumbling, packed terraces. One of the things I liked was being able to move to a different spot if you ended up with some dickhead behind you.
    I’d imagine the new standing sections would be more regimented.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Re previous post’s bacon topic: china, Montenegro and Serbia are among the world’s top pork eaters but score relatively low on death by cancer nationwide. Danish women and French men top the cancer death gender tables but this is likely to have different causes than the one suggested. What do these two groups have in common? ๐Ÿ™ƒ

    I am with sour finger Rasp all the way: vary the diet throughout the week.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Nostalgic post Raddy. I am actually getting bored with the two types of football emerging: one to defend deep and hope for a counter or set piece and the other to dominate teams in their own half and suffocate them there, but that’s another topic I guess.

    I can still enjoy a tackle or block by Coquelin or power header by Ollie, but I really love Elneny’s clever dominance of space, Mesut’s geometry lessons and Iwobi’s ball-room dancing. All agreed re stadium experience.

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    Erik on fire. Good news for us.

    Here’s a problem. Take the crowd pic in the post and zoom in. I’m guessing that’s North Bank lower. How many under 25’s?

    Agree about the Ems pitch distance, and Spurs ground is going to be much better than ours.

  5. Lockie says:

    It may have had more mud but there was some great football as well. Remember the Ajax side and the push and run Spurs side. It also had more passion and the players were tougher and would give out a bit of physical and expect it back with grace. I think it was a better time

  6. mickydidit89 says:


    Mud could be the missing ingredient from the modern game ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great stuff. Sliding tackles through the gooey substance. Magic.

  7. Great post Raddy. I visited one of those old fashioned stadiums at the weekend and had a real rush of nostalgia when walking along the upper tier concourse. I was transported (in my head) back to the East Upper Highbury momentarily and it made me smile. I never have that feeling on the upper concourse at the Ems.

    However, the football on show at that ground was rubbish with no hope of it improving whereas when I take my seat at the Ems I know there’s a good chance I am going to see something wonderful.

    And wonderful comes in waves when things click within the play and time stands still.

    The scummers new stadium is not going to be better than ours ever, because it’s in Tottenham – absolutely no class ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Rasp says:

    Great idea for a post Raddy.

    I suppose, by definition, every good memory is nostalgia …. but I share everyone’s fond memories of a less cynical, less clinical game … sadly we can never go back to it, but we can infuriate the younger generations by going on about how wonderful it was ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Rasp says:

    The Ems stadium is also a reflection of our manager to an extent I believe. There was emphasis on air movement to optimise the quality of the pitch, the seats were comfortable and everyone has a good view of the game … its a very generous stadium with a kind heart. I would have preferred steeper terraces and more of an electric chair than a chesterfield … but it’s magnificent and it’s Arsenal, so we have to love it.

  10. Thanks chas, ours was much much much nicer and red of course ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Big Raddy says:

    Enjoyed the worst pitch vid.

  12. Eddie says:

    raddy – I don’t know, it almost feels like football is a different ball game altogether.

    It is all politically correct, very polite, fashionable (more Japanese tourists go to football games in London than to the V&A museum). Footballers look like models from a gay magazine and nothing like the scruffy, clad in mad and ugly leather boots boys from the past. There are comfy seats, mothers with children rather then working class men with flat caps and long coats standing shoulder to shoulder.

    I, like you, miss the anger, the intensity and occasional aggression on the pitch, but hell if I miss seeing Ramsey’s leg holding by the skin alone.

    I think I have answered my and your question – it is neither better nor worse, it is different.

  13. Rasp says:

    I guess if you look at other sports over the same period you would see similar levels of change … tennis, rugby, Formula 1 etc etc.

    The dreaded H & S tends to remove the edginess – but saves lives, careers, joints – hard to argue against it ๐Ÿ˜•

  14. mickydidit89 says:

    Mmm interesting Rasp re other sports

    Arsenal football is better on telly than live now. I think

  15. Eddie says:

    rasp – absolutely. I have to admit I have seen a photo of you skiing with a helmet on. That’s fairly new too. I never wore one

    and the political correctness – yes, I would love to scream insults at a ref, abuse the northern bastards and swear to my heart’s content. BUT I wouldn’t want to hear the despicable chants about Hillsborough victims, or Wenger being a pedophile, or black players being victimized (especially my Eboue ๐Ÿ™‚ ). You can’t eat your cake and eat it, so we live watered down lives but for much longer, hey ho

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    I have only been supporting the mighty Arsenal for a mere twenty years, nothing compared to some of the old timers on here ๐Ÿ™‚

    But I too have been to football matches since the mid seventies. My home team back then, Roda JC, had Dick Naninga in ‘de spits’ (CF) and two very fast wingers and nothing was more exciting to see them spring a counter attack to then put a cross in for Dick to rise above everybody and thump it home. In 78 he scored the late, late equaliser in the WC final against Argentina and the hole town ran onto the street to celebrate it.

    The then top clubs like Feyenoord, PSV and Ajax would dread coming to the Koempels (miners) as they knew they would be facing a hostile crowd and very tough opponent. Do I want that sort of footie back though? No, the past has many fine memories but there is so much beauty and fun in the here and now. Just as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Eddie says:

    the above are the verdicts of SAM (Sports Analytics Machine), the super-computer built by Ian McHale, professor of sports analytics at the University of Salford, together with his colleague Dr Tarak Kharrat.
    We asked SAM to predict the outcome of every Premier League match between now and the end of the season on 21 May. The results suggest Chelsea will not surrender their five-point lead, but will instead extend it. SAM calculates Antonio Conte’s men have a 64% probability of winning the title.

  18. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Do you think SAM predicted Leicester would win the title?

  19. Eddie, computers are soulless machines and those who invent them must pay. I tire of computer nerds hiding behind the innocence of not been able to pull through fear of catching a virus. The next time one of these geeks again dare utter the words windows ten, I will make love to his artificiality created girlfriend and inflict a blow thus forcing him to do a health diagnostic on his nether regions

    Class Raddy

    For us, Highbury will always be better. It’s sentimental value is priceless. What a beautiful ground. The first time I set eyes on that luscious turf, I knew I was a heterosexual

  20. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Raddy. I love the memories from Highbury but don’t dwell on it because there was a necessity to move on. If this team can start to perform to its full capability we can be in contention for and likely win the big stuff and then the Ems can get its own identity likely with a better atmosphere.

    Eddie, not sure how technically great that SAM is. All it has done is predicted the same league positions as now aside from switching Spuds and Pool in 2nd and 3rd. This may be as simple as looking at how many top table clashes each of them has remaining so I reckon we could all do that without the 3 years of extravagant funding provided to Mr McHale to make this thing.

    Terry, Do you actually know what a heterosexual is?? I think you may find your preferences are far more complex than one simple word can define and probably doesn’t have a specific name to date. Perhaps Mr McHale could develop a SAM2 to help where the S doesn’t refer to or have anything to do with “Sports” ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Eddie says:

    …and did you know you were a nutter? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love computers, they do precisely as and what they are told to do. No fooking nasty surpises, no innuendoes, between the lines or even between the sheets. No sir, sheer logic, reliability and punctuality. Don’t even have to try to keep them happy

  22. chas says:

    I wonder what the SAM algorithm looks like for likelihood of injuries and likely detrimental impact of specific injuries.

  23. chas says:

    What would SAM think was the probablity of Costa and Hazard accidentally getting maimed while on a gentle night out in Cuffley by a flame-haired Polish Boudica’s horse-powered chariot?

  24. Eddie says:

    have you been drinking again???

    just tell us what was the outcome of your knee examination

  25. chas mobile says:

    I’ve got to have it off.

  26. Eddie says:

    wasn’t it you who posted the David Bowie prediction about internet?
    (BTW he must have been reading my uni prof’s works – he predicted all of it and more almost 30 years ago)

    it is called AI as you very well know. No rocket science to programme high number of long term injuries at Arsenal, is it?

    I spent my working life writing software for insurance. First programmes were fairly primitive but very effective. With time and lots of money they improved dramatically in no time at all. Some 20 years ago my company started to develop AI for risk assessment. Mind blowing data crunching, manipulation and unbelievable results. All taken into account. Make no mistake Mr Sarcky, your and my days of computing in COBOL are long, long over.

  27. Eddie says:

    oh yeah, micky!!! The manufacturer is collecting the bloody expensive window cleaning gadget tomorrow!! I can buy myself a proper xmas present now ๐Ÿ™‚ peaches – we have ยฃ300 to spend on plants ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    Good news Eddie about the ghastly gadget

    Mind you, plants for the garden sounds like an invitation for Drone Erik to hover around

  29. Eddie says:

    micky – drones do not hover, they sit in the hive being groomed and fed, and the only time they fly about is the last flight. Plus Erik the Drone prefers pork to honey

    window cleaning gadget service was unbelievable – told them I don’t like my xmas present, no questions asked, checked the purchase and send a courier to collect. German company vorwerk, can recommend customer services even if the product is not up to my expectations (very high when I comes to windows)

  30. Course I know what a heterosexual is GB. Someone who finds only women attractive. And would like to sleep with Liam Brady.

    Don’t like computers Eddie. They are the forerunner to the machines that will eventually take over the world. Anyone that isn’t addicted to Candy Crush, online porn, or excessive use of Excel Spreadsheets will be eliminated. Which means I’m safe, my formulas on Excel make physicists queue outside my house.

    Computer technology is now controlling missiles, drones, tanks etc. How long before a couple of drones get together for a beer and decide to attack someone they don’t like? I’m just amazed a missile ain’t yet attacked Steve Archibald.

    One day we will hear a self service machine in Asda has had enough of fatty foods and take it out on a bloke purchasing family size crisps, or an oyster machine will freak out and send you on a one way trip to Doncaster.

    Yes, computers are dangerous.

  31. Eddie says:

    there is no hope for you Terry.

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. You are wrong, I much prefer honey to pork. Honey is the nectar of the gods – so many varieties and so many subtle flavours.

    I use computers as a tool but don’t trust them to make predictions. If they could clever programmers would win the lottery every week but they don’t.

    I am with chas. Let’s see them predict a dodgy knee for Paul Pogba or Diego Costa.

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Terry. From the look of him, drones have attacked Alan Brazil, and not before time

  34. Haha, Brazil looks like he’s morphing into a donut Raddy.

  35. Eddie says:

    raddy – if the bastardly bees produce any honey this year I will send a jar of my finest to Denmark

  36. LB says:

    Terry’s explanation of what is a heterosexual


  37. chas says:

  38. chas says:

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    Taste variation in honey. Now we’re talking.
    I like it best from an altitude of between 800 and 1000 metres. Mediterranean coastal foliage ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    As I’ve mentioned, I don’t send tweets, but I do follow one or two. Now I’ve added the President of the US. It’s brilliant

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    Wow, I hope that Sanchez + dogs banner makes it up at The Ems

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All.

    Very excited to read that is the dastardly bees produce I will have some Cuffley honey.

    Have we signed anyone yet? Has anyone? This is the most boring January TW ever.

  43. Big Raddy says:

    Personal question boys

    Electric or wet razor?

    I have struggled with this nutty problem for years. Have both and it depends upon mood, but this says much about my Piscean nature (i.s. swim in both directions)

  44. chas mobile says:


  45. Eddie says:

    honey. Since I started beekeeping I can’t eat honey from a shop. it is simply not the same. Raw, unpasteurized honey is amazing, put it through heat processing and it loses most of it’s healing properties, flavour and smell.

    This, plus the fact that beekeepers who produce hone to sell cheat. I know for a fact that they feed bees during summer to maximise honey production. For example – there is an abundance of flowering trees and shrubs in May. Bees collect the nectar and produce honey.
    In June there is very little forage and the bees often eat the honey they have produced in may. Crafty beekeepers feed them sugar during that period. Same happens in August.

    My favourite honey is buckwheat, amazing, unavailable in UK

  46. Big Raddy says:

    My current fave is lavender

  47. Eddie says:

    lavender is nice, mild taste. But if it smells of lavender it means the scent has been added artificially.

    The key is to buy it raw – pasteurizing kills all the good bacteria and enzymes in honey.

    My own best is blackberry, late summer, slightly sour taste. Probably not enough of brambles in Cuffley though ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  48. LB says:

    Fascinating insight into the world of honey.

    Blackberry flavoured honey, yum

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    Great stuff Eddie

    I have heard that about raw unpasteurised only
    It’s amazing how much damage heat does to so many foodstuffs

    Apart from anything else, heat often moves alkaline ph over to acid

  50. mickydidit89 says:

    I’ve only got one jar left of my favourite I get in Italy. Its from about 600m altitude and I can only guess that it might be sweet chestnut

  51. Eddie says:

    LB – the world of bees is mind blowing. Had I known how complicated it was I would have not touched it with a barge poll. We, the humans cannot fully comprehend the complexity of bees’ lives.

    Take for example the foragers (bees responsible for collecting goodies – water, pollen and nectar). Their scouts go out and search for food, bring samples back and if the family likes the taste they ‘dance’ drawing a map of the source of food. It they dance up, it means the source is towards the sun, dancing down – fly away from the sun. Turns to the right or left give further direction of how to find it.

    But that is simple, even I can understand that. They also inform the colony of the degree of the angle between food and the sun, wait for it…taking into account time that will lapse before they get there and new position of the sun. Try to beat that

  52. chas says:

    Sorry honey-lovers. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  53. Eddie says:

    sweet chestnut? possible. There are hundreds of sweet chestnut trees around Cuffley, I have to watch out for it. I will never know by the honey, but I can observe the pollen – its colour tells me where the feckers have been.

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    It is so interesting.
    I’ve read a few books about bees but forget everything. I could listen to you on bees all day. They are incredible

  55. chas mobile says:

    My lunch โ˜บ

  56. Just call me Zed says:

    Giant Raddish, @ 7:28

    I might be able to help you with your ‘wet/dry?’ conundrum.

    [The following is on the assumption that you are referring to facial areas, anything else for males is too disgusting to contemplate.] ๐Ÿ™‚

    Buy a Philishave wet/dry electric razor that can be used ‘dry’ when time is short, or, if the mood takes you, can be used ‘wet’ with gel, as they work in either dimension perfectly well – without electrocuting Danish Tourist Guides willy nilly.

    They work very well in the shower too – but that touches upon the Chas ‘smooth legs’ syndrome and should only be used by an expert butch personage. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Finally – the honey v pork question is not mutually exclusive. I personally love the honey roast pork myself — mmmmm.

    Glad to have been of assistance.

  57. Boxing says:

    I know this website presents quality dependent content and extra information, is there any other web site which provides such things in quality?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: