December 10, 2011

125 years! Hell of a long time, so long ago that Spurs title win was in the future and even Kelsey hadn’t been born :-).

And what a tradition our wonderful club has, what history, and always  (apart from Mr. Norris) a club with honour and class. To those lucky enough to be going today the opportunity to share in the celebrations is one not to be missed. Get there early (and smuggle in a Peroni or two)

Would you trust this man? (Henry Norris)

Henry Norris is an interesting man. He appears to have been something of a Harry Redknapp type character. As Arsenal Chairman he was accused of bribing Charlie Buchan (the Messi of his day) to come to Arsenal, he was also known to use the club’s money for a private chauffeur and car. In 1929  an FA investigation found that he had sold the Arsenal team bus for £125 and pocketed the money. He sued the FA and lost, subsequently to be banned for life from football (according to Wikipedia). But he was the man who bought Highbury and the man who kept us in the First Division. Sadly, no statue of Henry nor of George Graham!

The choice of statues was in my opinion controversial; does Thierry Henry mean more to the history of the Arsenal than Frank McLintock? Or David Jack or Wee Alex James or Ted Drake?  I could go on but I really think  that due to our  magnificent history there is a need to put more statues around the ground. Yes, TH is our top scorer and the best player I have seen in an Arsenal shirt, but Frank and his team are such an important part of our history. Still, today is not a day to be churlish, is it?

Onto today’s match, one we have to win to keep up our challenge and to enhance the festivities. The fallout of AW’s controversial decision to play first teamers in Athens is that we lack a left back, Vermaelen can play there but he is such a fantastic CB it is a waste of his talents, plus he lacks the game to be of assistance to Gervinho. We shall see how he fares as there is no obvious alternative.

My Team:

Big game for Arteta, who has been outstanding in recent games. He will want to impress his former colleagues.

Everton have selection problems with Rodwell out (thankfully) but expect a return for Saha. They are  not in a good run of form, nor do Everton have a good record at THOF. Nonetheless, they are a decent team and as Fulham showed, any team that is well organised can cause us problems.

Today’s Gooner: It is fitting to go back into the mists of time and find one of the original fans. One of our earliest fans was a chemist who worked at the Woolwich Arsenal and was involved in the Dial Square team, his name  – Frederick Augustus Abel (1827-1902). Frederick was football nuts but also found time to develop Cordite for which (amongst other inventions) he was rewarded with a Baronetcy. Top Man. Top Gooner.

Fred showing off his fine Facial Hair.

Like all fans of The Arsenal I am proud to be a Gooner, and proud that the club I support is By Far the Greatest Team the World Has Ever Seen.


written by Big Raddy. Arsenalic.