Fun in the Sun – West Ham Ratings

The first in a series of goodbye games for the great man brought some glorious sunshine to North London. Hopes were high for exceptional entertainment, though the news that Auba wasn’t starting brought the mood down a notch. I suppose the hope was to further cement some combinations for Thursday’s semi, so it was understandable in that sense.

 First Half

West Ham supposedly dominated the first half according to some of the media. Apart from a ball bouncing off a Hammers’ player’s shoulder on to the top of the bar and a fairly routine save from Ospina from a shot on the break, West Ham barely had an effort on goal.

For the boys in red and white, Kos saw his decent header go just wide and Danny had two efforts showing the full spectrum of his abilities, one top quality and the other an awful scuffer. Elneny rolled his ankle (hopefully with no serious damage) but not much happened apart from that and our hopes were high that the second period would see an improvement.

           Not a day for fair-skinned celtic chaps

Second half

The second period burst into life with Nacho’s sweet volley off his shin from Granit’s corner five minutes after the break. Failing to build on this lead, Ospina then punched out a crossed ball South American style straight back to the Hammers and with the defence in complete disarray, the hideous Arnautovic crashed in a well-struck drive. 1-1, quelle surprise.

Time for the cavalry, Auba for Alex Iwobi and the world suddenly seemed an even brighter place. Hart made fine saves from Xhaka and from a peach of a curler from Welbz, before a beautifully floated cross from Rambo sneaked past a hesitant Hammers defender and into the far corner for the goal that finally broke United’s flagging resistance.

The third came after a fine passing sequence and ricocheted off the underside of a West Ham defender’s legs, fooling Hart at the near post. Effective strikers often seem to get that sort of break and Laca is proving to be very effective indeed. Get your shot off and things happen.

My favourite goal of the four was the last one because of Ramsey’s exquisite feet in rounding a bemused Zabaleta which had followed a jinking turn from Auba. Hart got a hand to Lacazette’s shot on the way in, which sort of summed up his day.


Ospina – Fairly untroubled, had little chance with the equaliser … 6

Bellerin – Appalling effort ballooned over the bar in the first half, defended ok  … 6

Mustafi – A little more composed with his old buddy alongside him   …6

Kos – Hopefully now match sharp for Thursday, led from the front as usual  … 7

Monreal – Never gives less than 100%, so always going to be a fan favourite  … 7

Elneny – Hopefully Mo’s injury isn’t serious – I doubt he would have played Thursday anyway … 6

Xhaka – Granit always oozes class against opposition of this standard, perhaps he can kick on and raise himself up to this level in all games next season  … 7

Ramsey – Class personified, always trying something to remove the wheel clamp from the bus   … 7

Iwobi – Sometimes Alex’s pitter patter feet seem to be an outward manifestation of his agitated, hesitant mind – this was one of those days  … 5

Welbeck – Still improving and you never quite know if you’re about to see a world-class finish or something decidedly spursy … 6

Lacazette – 2 more goals added to his impressive tally for a first season  … 7


Maitland-Niles – Time for a bit of canvassing in the acres of space in midfield, but difficult to recognise with his new trim … 6

Aubameyang – His entry to the field with a tiring West Ham changed the game … 7

On to Thursday with that last ten minutes giving us a welcome boost of confidence and optimism.




72 Responses to Fun in the Sun – West Ham Ratings

  1. Sorry, Chas
    excuse manners but…

    A PERSONALblog first, then onto yours…

  2. It appears I am wrong in thinking Arsene had been “pushed”, for want of a better word, into handing in his resignation.

    I care greatly as regards Arsene’s feelings, his pride, his dignity. I thought he had been treated shabbily, or worse, by the board and therefore I felt justified in speaking out.

    Being well aware the “was he-wasn’t-he” issue could be considered somewhat contentious, I added on my original post (April 20, 2018 at 12:41pm), the following wording:
    “I’ve chosen my words as carefully as possible so as not to offend or annoy my fellow bloggers.”

    Maybe that’s why I received practically no comments in reply; fellow AA-ers noticing the respect I was paying to all those who visit this site, and they in turn respectfully not slagging me off for merely airing my views, giving an opinion.

    GoonerB gave the only “in-depth” reply and, even though disagreeing with my thoughts/assumption, did so in a most courteous manner. As always.

    But not so Gunner N5, whose arrogant “holier-than-thou” post, (April 21, 2018 at 12:59pm), I will dismiss with the contempt it deserves.

    Of course, there’s the possibility he was taking aim at Ian Wright and various media outlets, that I showed in a second post, rather than my good self. Whatever.

    I personally believe airing views that differ from your own should be allowed. Especially when done showing the degree of common courtesy to fellow bloggers as I, personally, have done (see end of para 4).

    I had assumed this site, along with many others, was set up for the very purpose of airing views, sharing opinions, debating, disagreeing.


    On the subject of Arsene’s resignation I’m now done-and-dusted.

  3. chas says:

    Big Al

    I’m sure GN5 was fed up with the whole media circus surrounding Arsene, as I am myself.

    They’ve battered us about the Wenger In/Out bowlocks for years now and when the great man finally decides to pack it in, they start to get worried that they’ll not have leverage over us, so decide to start the ‘was he pushed?’ rumours instead of allowing him to leave with the dignity his loyalty deserves.

    If the airing of views that differ from your own is allowed, then surely someone has the right to say when they dislike how events are portrayed in the media?

    That is my view anyway.

  4. LB says:

    Great stuff Chas.

    Much appreciated.

    There always used to be a lull in the Blogsphere when we win for which I always assumed the reason was that there is less to moan about but with a win and Wenger calling it a day it could get very lonely on here.

    Funny how the people who loved to moan about Wenger seem to avoid comments expressing happiness when we win. I don’t get it.

    I am glad it is done and dusted and we are collectively moving on but I really felt in the last few days that someone had moved a rock and all sorts of anti Arsenal insects scuttled out.

    Maybe a win acts like light to insects and they have to go scuttling back to where they came from.

  5. VP of Oz says:

    Thanks Chas for the match report.

    as for Big Al and GN5 response etc.
    sadly, I am now long in the habit of reading every single post and all responses/comments.
    I don’t contribute a lot mainly because due to time zones, am too late but also because the comments are very articulate (and me be not) and so are some of the responses. I find the tug of war sometimes very compelling and hence I keep coming back and reading more.
    I think everyone is actually quite polite with the odd dig at each other being part of the banter (thats how I perceive it).

    Briefly, I used to go on JustArsenal and it was impossible to read. Here is an example of a comment on their blog just the other day (I logged onto it to get an example and it was very very quick to find one) –
    April 19, 2018 at 1:57 pm
    You are one of the problems, a typical fan who probably never achieved anything sports wise personally and accepts mediocrity
    The only good things is you are in the minority, thank the lord

    Now the regulars on AA are just not like that and I thank you all for it. Dont be afraid to put up different views as its what keeps this place ticking over day by day.

  6. VP of Oz says:

    So anyway, I was kneeling in church yesterday (as you do) and I got struck with an ephinany, for months the wife and kids have been asking me what I wanted for a 50th birthday present and I suddenly realised, I wanted an arsenal shirt signed by Arsene and maybe a personal message such as happy 50th VP.
    So I spoke with my wife and its in progress….
    Should be eezy peezy

  7. Chas
    On now to your post-match post.

    As always, I saw the whole game live on TV.
    And I can’t disagree with anything you’ve written.
    Even your marks out of ten.

    One interesting comment from West Ham Bob yesterday was…
    “Keep an eye out for Declan Rice, future Republic of Ireland captain, and a real class act at centre back…”.

    He’s the defender who inexplicably ducked, flat-footing Hart, thus allowing Ramsey’s cross to enter the net.

  8. VP of Oz says:

    Yes I saw Declan being scolded by Hart. Future capt position doesnt look good for Ireland

  9. fred1266 says:

    Morning everyone (from today not saying in any more)

  10. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Chas. Little to disagree on with your ratings.

    On the “Why Wenger is leaving?” debate, I actually don’t see any benefit to Arsene, the club, the fans e.t.c in overly analysing it. I am not saying we should not discuss it on here, as bloggers we should, but I think we should be careful what we take from the media (as if that is a new thing anyway) because I keep hearing contradictory stories.

    If I could I would actually advise Arsene to be careful how he answers the questions. It is just the end of a great era that had to happen. I would much prefer that the fans could unify and celebrate his final moments with us, and him celebrate this with us, and reflect on his greatness and what he has done without any finger pointing that could sour the parting of ways.

    Don’t leave with an air of bitterness please Arsene and also the team needs the support for these final games, particularly the EL which could cement your legacy in style.

    Anyway as I have said before I feel the majority of Arsenal fans have been mis-represented by the media. The many that felt it was time for him to step down anyway are still massive fans of his and eternally grateful, but the media have portrayed them as “haters”, and too many have bought into that. The real haters are a minority and if anything this is the biggest travesty and potential media win, that they have convinced too many Arsenal fans that we are a bad lot and that other clubs have better fans.

  11. fred1266 says:

    Surely Iwobi deserved a 3

  12. VP of Oz says:

    Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein told Sky Sports Arsene Wenger will have “no shortage of offers” for new jobs, and that he is already taking calls from clubs wanting to speak to the Frenchman.

    “He will have no shortage of offers. I personally had calls from various people yesterday, asking to speak to him,” Dein said. “So he won’t be short of offers from clubs, if he wants the job.

    “He’s going to be 69 in October, but he keeps himself extraordinarily fit. He is the same weight as when I met him, 75 kilos. He keeps himself so fit. He’s got a very active mind, such a knowledge of the game.

    “And over the last few years, he has been approached by some of the biggest clubs in the world, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, the England national team wanted him at one stage.”

    Dein added that he was not surprised by the announcement and that he has had plenty of discussions with Wenger about whether it was time to step down.

    “It’s been coming. At the end of last season I was discussing with him, ‘Arsene, what do you want to do? Are you going to stay? Are you going to leave?’ He was a bit undecided,” Dein said.

    “In the end, I said, ‘Arsene, do you know what your problem is?’ He said, ‘What’s that?’ I said, ‘You love the club too much.’ He’s so attached to it. So loyal, so dedicated. He felt responsible for the players coming through.

    “That was an option for him, undoubtedly. I was weighing up, ‘If you leave now, this is the situation. If you go on, you roll the dice another year or two, what’s going to happen?’

    “He made his own mind up and decided to stay. I felt the last couple of weeks, it has been getting more difficult for him, particularly with the team results. I though that, on a personal level, it was unlikely that he was going to stay after the end of the season.”

    Wenger admitted on Sunday that life away from Arsenal will be difficult for him and Dein said he went through a similar challenge after leaving the club in 2007.

    “It’s going to be tough initially,” Dein said. “As I found myself, it’s a way of life. He’s the first one at the club, the last one to leave. It will be difficult.

    “It is rather like a bereavement and the various stages, the first one is denial and finally you get to acceptance and you move on. He has to have a good holiday and decide what he wants to do next.”

    Dein also paid a glowing tribute to Wenger’s contributions for the club and hailed him as Arsenal’s greatest ever manager.

    “His legacy will be for global football. His style of play, the way he has conducted himself, his integrity, his honesty. The way he has handled players. What he has done for the club is immeasurable,” Dein said.

    “He will go down in history as the greatest Arsenal manager ever. We’ve built a fantastic training ground, sensational stadium. It was back on the Invincible team in 2003-04 that we managed to get financing for the stadium.”

  13. As regards my gripe with Gunner N5. I will simplify.

    I thought my original post could possibly be perceived as “unsavoury / poor taste” – therefore I carefully inserted into said post…
    “I’ve chosen my words as carefully as possible so as not to offend or annoy my fellow bloggers.”

    And receive this: “Frankly I find the whole debate on “did he or didn’t he get pushed” to be very unsavoury. I find it all to be in very poor taste.”


    To put even ven simpler…
    Big Al… “I don’t wish to offend”
    Reply… “I am offended”

    Is that the sound of a penny been dropped?…
    Yes? Good. Another issue done and dusted.

  14. VP of Oz
    David Dein himself was a very special man, regarding our club, as you no doubt are aware.
    I think it was a massive shame he sold his shares and took another direction in life.

  15. GoonerB

    I may be mistaken but you possibly haven’t seen my link (?).
    This one…

    All is now clear. He resigned. Have a read if you haven’t already done so.

  16. Rasp says:

    Great work, thanks chas.

    I only saw the highlights on MOTD …. and in that 2 minutes we looked fantastic 🙂

    The only thing of note was that Danny’s confidence seems to be growing and he’s looking more like a striker now.

    As for ‘the debate’ … I wish AW hadn’t chosen to say what he did in the press conference at this time …. by all means have your say, but save it until after the last game … don’t give the media more ammunition otherwise the good work in unifying the supporters to get behind him and the team will be undone. Surely we all want to celebrate with Arsene in the remaining weeks.

  17. VP of Oz says:

    after the way AW has been treated by some pundits and fans, I say let him finish off the season any which way he wants. If fans want to stay away or hire a plane, good luck to them, AW owes them no favours

  18. VP of Oz says:

    Great interview with a West Ham supporter after the game –
    “the last few years have not been good. 3 FA Cups in the last 10 years since you won the league, we’d love that, thats all we’ve won in our entire history, you know what I mean, I’ve never seen us win a cup, I’m 35 years old, I’ve never seen us win a trophy, not one”

  19. GoonerB says:

    Big Al, I actually did read it and (providing it is accurate reporting) it was what prompted me to say, I wish I could advise Arsene to answer questions carefully, without finger pointing and creating a certain bitter taste. My comment wasn’t aimed at your good self more how we all, including Arsene, handle the media angle on his leaving.

    In identifying that some of the fan base have been responsible for his decision he could set different factions of fans at each others throats once again, with hardcore pro AW’s blaming others that he is gone because of them. If Arsene has said this then I would be slightly disappointed that he has not shown more diplomacy and refrain and chosen a different angle to discuss things from with the media.

    Surely this is the time for a celebration of his great era where fans and Arsene himself can come together for a great farewell party. When your best mate or brother, who you have seen 3 times weekly for 30 years, is emigrating to the other side of the world you don’t bring up the couple of unsavoury spats that happened amidst a generally great relationship and friendship, you push those to one side and focus on the good stuff.

    Earlier this month Chas took one of my comments for a post about the empty seats. In it I stated that I felt the die hard AW supporters (that wanted him to continue) were a minority but also that the real haters were also this. The media however focuses on them more because it provides a more senationalised story.

    I also stated that I felt that he vast majority of fans thought AW should step down but didn’t hate him at all, and had just become a bit bored with going to EPL games that meant nothing, because we were playing for nothing, because we had created another underwhelming groundhog day season (with a team under-performing relative to the quality of squad), by not looking to see if we could do anything fresh or new that could improve us.

    I am in that category and, even if not directly stated, you feel there is an air of insinuation that you are a bad fan. I know many others feel this and the media like to portray it that way. I am more sad when other Arsenal fans buy into that rubbish.

    Sorry VP but your 11.11 tends to take that line for me. Not trying to create an argument or dismiss your opinion, as I genuinely feel you are a very valuable and good blogger on here. Maybe you didn’t even mean it that way but it does tend to have a tarnish all AW doubters with the same brush feel to it.

  20. GoonerB says:

    Sorry Rasp. Realised you said what I said much more succinctly 🙂

  21. VP of Oz says:

    GB, no worries. 11:11 is my view that its all about tip toeing on eggshells. So why bother as so many things said or unsaid will be interpreted in so many different ways. And I dont think this will change much when AW goes. There will always be a minority making noise or money off the woes of others. Social media is now so prevalent and loud.

    I actually enjoy the many different views on here, as I said, its what makes the blog interesting and I dont see views opposed to mine as right or wrong, just different. And in reading the different views, it has been quite a learning.

    I do dislike the extreme views. And truth be told, the really long responses are hard to read without pictures and breaks.

    As for my brother who I dont see often, I always bring up the unsavoury spats. It makes us laugh in the end and I feel closer to him.

    PS: I also think the last few seasons have been great with great new players and trophies.

  22. Hi GoonerB

    Re your post @10.39, 1st para

    When you said this:
    “because I keep hearing contradictory stories” I took that to (possibly) mean that you hadn’t read my link, meaning therefore you were (possibly) in the dark as regards Arsene’s actual resignation (rather than “being pushed”) as I had actually (mistakenly) believed.

    Incidentally, I am actually happy to be “proved wrong” in my original assumption that he had been “pushed”. I have no qualms in holding up my hands and saying “hey, I got it wrong”. I am very relieved indeed to find out the truth that he resigned of his own accord.

    By the way, there is actual footage of Arsene speaking on the issue of fans etc on the internet.
    I mention this as your comment “(providing it is accurate reporting)” seems to me to imply that perhaps you’re not convinced by the report. I, myself, am always very aware of “fake news”, however the footage is real and true.

    Unfortunately I can’t take you directly to the footage of Arsene speaking. I saw it/heard it approx 1 hour ago.

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks for your 9:42am,

    I stand behind my previous comments. If folks get upset by my opinion then they own their responses. For the sake of peace on AA I will not respond to the personal attack.

  24. VP of Oz says:

    The Football Association has apologised for a tweet from its FA Cup account which mocked Tottenham striker Harry Kane after Saturday’s 2-1 semi-final defeat by Manchester United.

    The message asked United defender Chris Smalling, “What’s in your pocket?” and included a short clip of him saying, “Harry Kane”.

  25. And I won’t respond to your attack either, other than to finalise.

    As I stated earlier, this site, along with many others, was set up for the very purpose of airing views, sharing opinions, debating, disagreeing.

    Using such derogatory terms as “very unsavoury, very poor taste” towards a blogger on a blogging site is beyond my comprehension.
    Unsocial media.

    Surely one should have the right of freedom to express one’s opinions/views without such without being subjected to such vile response.

    I stand behind my previous comments, and these final comments too. For the sake of peace on AA I will not respond further.


  26. It’s 8pm… I’m now on my out to celebrate.
    I’m so over the moon with the knowledge Arsene’s decision was his own.
    So happy I was wrong.

    And some bird, somewhere, will be happy to celebrate with me.
    That’s a given.

  27. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Al. I just take the line that it is better not to take it as gospel truth till it is repeated 2-3 times and / or one see’s that interview themselves. I am happy now to take this for a genuine fact due to your great undercover work 🙂

    I am also happy he chose to go rather than being pushed but am unhappy that he has chosen to aim some blame at the fans. Even if their is truth behind it it seems an unnecessary honesty, with a harshness to it that could put off some moderate fans that thought he should step down but who still would want to show him their appreciation, and there could be many of these fans.

    Many may feel there is a refreshing honesty about Arsene but I still think that in his position in this business a more diplomatic approach would more often be sensible; without obviously having to resort to the outright untruths and cloak and dagger approach of a Mourinho. I have often wondered how such an intelligent man like Arsene has too often said things that could inflame or upset the fans.

  28. Rasp says:

    I know its early doors … but does anyone know a way to get tickets for the Europa Final?

  29. chas says:

    That Football London article is a misrepresentation of what Wenger said.
    “Wenger lets rip at ‘hurtful’ fans” – nonsense.

    This interview below with a warm, generous and intelligent man has been corrupted.
    He almost went out of his way to not blame the fans.

    Journalists and anyone that believes their bullshit make me want to scream.

  30. Rasp says:

    These are his words that are open to ‘misinterpretation’ ….

    “I believe that this club is respected all over the world, much more than in England. Our fans didn’t give the image of unity I want at the club. That was hurtful… the image we gave from our club is not what it is and not what I like.”

  31. Rasp says:

    Interestingly, in the video above, Arsene says several times that this is not the time to talk about such matters but implies that he will answer the difficult questions once the time is right. I suspect some may be in trepidation at that prospect … Ivan?

  32. chas says:

    So if you’re a journalist and you listen to Arsene’s answers to all of those questions fired at him, what you do is forget the 95% and focus on the one sentence where he discusses not wanting the image of the club around the world to be tarnished by disunity amongst the fans caused by his own personality, and twist it around to say he blames the fans.

    Absolutely disgraceful misrepresentation of what was said.

  33. GoonerB says:

    Cheers for putting that up Chas, I haven’t had the time to look at it yet. Will go and look at it later but from what you have said my gut feeling is I will change my stance again on what he said more in alignment with your view, that it is being twisted to make him look more critical.

    Anyway, I just want a proper send off and I want the final game at Burnley (regardless of a positive or negative EL result) to be a big celebration between Arsene and the fans of a fantastic 22 years. I am going to try and get a ticket to say my goodbyes. If not it will be the FFB followed by watching the game at the pins for a proper atmosphere with hopefully massive AW appreciation.

    VP, I will try and make my comments shorter for you 🙂 I am not very good at it however and tend to come across a bit blunt with shorter comments.

  34. GunnerN5 says:

    Further to assessments and scans on Sunday and Monday, we can confirm that Mo Elneny has sustained ligament damage to his left ankle.

    We are hoping that Mo will available for Arsenal again this season and we are keeping in regular contact with the Egyptian Football Association.

    The midfielder was injured just before half-time during Sunday’s 4-1 home victory over West Ham United.

    Further updates will be made in due course.

    Copyright 2018 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.

  35. Eddie says:

    I am not sure why the fascination with the reasons Wenger has resigned. It doesn’t matter. His time was up, he’s been with us for 22years, enough is enough.

    I doubt he blamed fans directly, but I would not hold it against him if he did. Why shouldn’t he? Didn’t majority of the fans want him out? Did we not hear and see views of those who grew to hate Wenger?

    I wanted him out and I am not even ashamed of it. He was the greatest Arsenal manager ever and I won’t live long enough to see a better one. BUT, things did not work and something had to change. It is a normal business practice that when the heads start rolling they usually belong to the managers.

  36. fatgingergooner says:

    Arteta, Enrique, Nagelsman and Tedesco the shortlist according to Sky.

    Hmmmm, i like the idea of a young, up and coming manager who can bring revolutionary ideas to the club, but straight after such a long standing manager I can’t help but think a tried and tested appointment like Allegri or Ancelotti would be a bit wiser for a couple of seasons, just whilst we transition away from Wengers shadow. It’s a massive ask to come in and have an immediate impact, and I think an experienced appointment would handle the pressure a little quicker.

    Still, excited to see who we bring in and if it is one of the younger managers then I’d like to see Nagelsman or Enrique with Arteta as number 2 (if we could steal him away from City). Enrique had a great side at Barca but still won the league twice and the CL, so he knows how to create a winning team.

  37. fatgingergooner says:


    I’m with you. No matter how he left and what he said it would always become a huge story. The way the club operates in such secrecy is partly to blame for all the rumours and bullshit that follows Arsene around, so why would that be any different with his leaving?

    Hopefully we get the truth about this and many other stories from Wenger himself one day, but for now, he’s leaving and it’s time to look forward to the future. I can’t wait.

  38. fatgingergooner says:

    What does scare me now though is what will make me and the other Arsenal fans happy?

    Wenger has been hounded out after arguably the most successful 22 years in our history. I was bored of him and his ways myself. Are we seriously expecting somebody to come in and do better? Or will just a change of tactics and renewed energy be enough for the fans? I worry that after a year or 2 of us doing something different, we will be desperate for someone like Wenger to come back.

  39. fatgingergooner says:

    Are we now a team on the manager and player merry-go-round? I’d be shocked if we don’t have at least 2, maybe 3 different managers in the next 5 years. Our players will no longer be given years and years of opportunities and will instead be rotated and shifted on with every new manager appointment and every poor run of form. Our staff will be changed often (will Steve Bould still have a job?), coming and going with the new manager appointments.

    Wenger has spoken about keeping the values at the club, but I can’t help but think it’s those values that are outdated and no longer in line with the modern game. It looks like power has been switched to the likes of Gazidis, Mislintat and Sanllehi, and a more modern future awaits Arsenal fans. Are we ready for what that brings?

  40. Big Raddy says:

    Our history is of taking untried in the top league managers.

    Mee, Howe, Neill, Graham, Rioch, Wenger. Noe of them had experience of managing a top club. I expect us to continue in this vein.

    We have to go back to Herbert Chapman to find a manager who had previous League success.

  41. Big Raddy says:

    chas. You really write a fine report and the ratings are spot on.

    Rambo was my MotM. Getting him to sign a new contract is vital.

    You are right Arnautovic is hideous. So ugly he could play for Spurs.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Up with the lark ahead of a trip to Sweden in the rain.

    Good to see Theo scoring his first goal of 2018.

  43. chas says:

  44. Eddie says:

    sign them!!

  45. mickydidit89 says:

    Pool v Roma tonight 7:45

    Probably have to have a minutes silence first for su’ink, but could be a cracker once it gets going

    Then Bayern Madrid tomorrow

  46. Eddie says:

    International duties according to Michael Owen:

    ““It’s very rare for people to say anything because of the fear of the backlash of a nation that would ‘do anything’ to play for England,” Owen tells The42.
    “Then you say ‘we’re bored in the hotel’. They’ll say ‘you’re in a five-star hotel’. Footballers live a bit like monks, we’re not allowed to drink, we’ve boring food, no sauce, boiled pasta, boiled chicken, boiled rice, boiled potato, and you go away with England for a week, you turn up at a hotel, you can’t really come out of your room, there are people there, you get mired with photographs, this and that, and it’s quite a lonely existence.
    “Your normal mates aren’t there. You train in the morning, you have lunch, then you’re killing time from one until six in your hotel room.
    “Now, you’ve got phones you can play with and go on the internet or whatever you want to do, but back in the day, there was nothing to do. A few people have cards, but you literally would just sit in your room, staring at a white wall for six hours.
    “Dinner’s at seven, half an hour dinner, then half seven until half 10, you sit there staring at the wall for another three hours.
    “You see airports, you see hotels, you see the training pitch. But really, you don’t see anything else as a footballer.
    “No one will complain in fear of someone saying ‘you’ve all that money,’ or ‘you’re in a five-star hotel’.”

  47. mickydidit89 says:


    Many humble and grovelling apologies. I’ve just had to scroll back through comments to see if I was on-site yesterday to thank you for your post, which according to the data, I wasn’t 🙂

    So thanks

  48. Eddie says:

    micky – send him flowers, he would like that

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    Hi Eddie

    He likes a bluebell and I am not picking them

  50. Eddie says:

    racist 🙂 they were born here, they are english!

    isn’t it your and Chas’ birthday this month?

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    I guess you’re referring to the superior race bluebell, in which case, they’re more Welsh I believe

    No, I’m a march b’day man

  52. Eddie says:

    some tulips from Cuffley for you, Dutch nationals I think

  53. Eddie says:

    what was that buzzword or buzz expression about solid defence, was it ‘english backbone’, I cannot remember

  54. chas says:

    Lovely Tulips.
    Your spud neighbours must love that splash of reds and whites next door!

    Here’s my yellows with a tinge of red. Surely we have to go back to yellow away kit next season?

  55. Eddie says:

    lovely! i adore yellow tulips, they are in the back garden, dead now 😦

    Not bragging or anything, but my front garden is the best on the street. And yes, few spuds commented on the colours 🙂

  56. chas says:

    I never got round to answering your question about whether this is Davor Suker or not.

    It’s none other than TA6, our Captain Fantastic who used to make that little gesture like a gerbil moving its paws forward, implying that some striker he’d just scythed in half, had dived. 🙂

  57. chas says:

    My back garden is still getting going though the tulips there are a little further on as the back gets more sun.

  58. chas says:

    Did you have some help with that front garden? 🙂

  59. Eddie says:

    very nice beds, they will be buzzing with colour and bees soon

    Nope, no help with the front garden. My garden designer friend is working on my next door neighbours’ THFC patch.

    yes, of course she told me where to place structural plants; told me off for planting single herbaceous things, gave me some lovely grasses and lots of alchemella. Tulips are all mine.

  60. chas says:

    What Big Tone thought of divers.

  61. chas says:

    Oooo, I’d love to slip bits of bright red into a THFC garden.

  62. chas says:

    Perhaps you could go on a secret bulb planting mission?

  63. Gööner In Exile says:

    “Not bragging or anything, but my front garden is the best on the street.”

    As the actress said to the bishop. I think I listened to Humphrey Lyttleton too much on I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue. See double entendres everywhere.

  64. Gööner In Exile says:

    Chas at 8:09 and 8:22 stop it.

  65. chas says:

    Ooo err, missus.

    Some girl at work asked me if I’d give her a hand with her lady garden, as she had weeds growing through her membrane and her bush needed trimming.

    Well, that’s what I told everyone else anyway. 🙂

  66. chas says:

    I’m putting up your comment that BR took down to use as a post today.
    You have no choice in the matter whatsoever, just though I’d let you know. 🙂

  67. chas says:

    I haven’t had any Lady’s Mantle in the garden in a long while.

    Love the way beads of moisture form droplets on it.

  68. chas says:


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