The battle for the faux forth placed trophy.
Saturday – One day away from finding out if we play in the Champions League proper by coming third in the table or having to pre-qualify on coming fourth. Maybe we will end up fifth with the Europa Cup beckoning, thus Thursday becoming Arsenal day and having to put up with Spurs fans sticking it to us Gooners BIG time, saying we’ll be watching Coronation Street while they play Champions League football. Of course they would still have to pre-qualify so Spurs may still end up in the Europa Cup with us.
Should all go well tomorrow, then Everton will beat Chelsea, Arsenal will beat the Barcodes, Di-Canio will be true to his word with Sunderland battling, taking points off Spurs, there is a God with AFC third. I think I can safely say many of us would have taken that before Christmas.
Since 2005, as each passing year went by, the faux fourth place trophy has become a nice tool for media and fans alike to play with.
Arsene once said we COULD go a whole season unbeaten, not WOULD. However, this did not stop the media from seeing t it as if Arsene had said we WOULD go unbeaten and made a big thing about it when Arsenal did not. Yet is was only a year later that we did go unbeaten.
“For me, there are five ‘trophies’ – the first is to win the Premier League the second is to win the Champions League the third is to qualify for the Champions League, the fourth is to win the FA Cup and the fifth is to win the League Cup. “I say that because if you want to attract the best players, they do not ask ‘did you win the League Cup?’, they ask you ‘do you play in the Champions League?’.”
I doubt very much Arsene actually meant fourth place is a TROPHY, rather just an analogy as to what is important in today’s money orientated football.
Make no mistake, I would rather Arsenal win trophies, yet the sad truth is the money from participating in the Champions League is vital and has meant that winning the two domestic trophies, while a good day out in Feb or May, will not keep a club dining at the top table.
Alex Ferguson and his aura has departed from Man Utd. Man City have moved out Mancini
and Chelsea are about to bin Benitez. Three of our biggest rival all starting the 2013-14 with new managers in place. Only one of those can win the league. Maybe two between them can with the League or Champions League, or one win both. Which with these clubs, mainly CFC and MCFC you would bank on two of those managers not being in place for 2014-15 season, if they win nothing?
Since Christmas Arsenal have turned things around and our league form is as good as anybody’s, in fact title-winning form. There looks to be a new culture where the players are battling to win games as well as trying to play tippy, tappy football.
It does make me wonder why there are still a minority of fans who want Arsene OUT!! After all the board are not going to sack him, I know it, they know it. Arsene is not going to resign either. So whatever way you cut it, Arsene is around for at least one more season until his contract ends. I would agree though with those that say, he should NOT be given a new contract, unless he comes up with the goods by the end of next season.
So why if you are an Arsenal supporter are you slagging off the manager? Why not just get behind him and the team. I listened to the latest, excellent Steve Bald collective blog yesterday and it was mentioned that Perry Groves said that the fans getting on the teams back does affect the players and at times our fans are far to quick to jump on the players backs. When inside the Emirates, it should be full on support for the team. After the very definition is that we are SUPPORTERS inside the ground not moaners. We’re there to support the team which we attached ourselves too. Arsenal are not like local Councillors or MP’s, they do not come canvassing for our support, we chose Arsenal through family, friends, locality, whatever.
As supporters we have our part to play and if we played to the max, then the Emirates would be a cauldron of noise. The moaning about the team can be left for in the pub afterwards or at school, home or work.
Arsene isn’t going to go on forever. However, my opinion is, right now, Arsene
is the best man for the job and has been for the last eight years while the club have gone through the transition of moving from Highbury to the Emirates and having that huge debt over their heads.
As I understand it, since 2005 every other one of the ninety-one clubs have changed their manager during this time.
For those that say we don’t spend money, well £350m on a new stadium is not BUTTONS in my book. Spurs and Liverpool have spent enough money on players, far more than Arsenal and up to now have not finished above Arsenal in the league, though Liverpool have won a couple of trophies (may have finished one season above us in league) and yet both still have to find the money to either new build or upgrade stadia.
Whatever the outcome on Sunday (and I fully expect us to win as we need to) this summer is going to see the biggest change in playing staff since we moved from Highbury.
Arsenal have the new Emirates stadium kit naming deal and the new kit deal with Puma both coming on-line at the end of next season. There is the massive increase in TV revenue which will give us more cash to play with. The debt on the stadium has been significantly reduced and I can see many more smaller sponsorship deals with companies will come online that will add up, making us well self-sufficient and able to compete.
Then supporters can then be happy that when Arsene is interviewed after matches at the Emirates, that board behind him, will have as many company names as that SAF used to stand in front of.
Players will leave, players will come in and I for one am excited by the future of Arsenal. It’s easy for some to knock the board, Silent Stan’s hair, Ivan Gazidis “what the f**k do you do” and anyone else some can lay the blame at.
Yet as far as big sponsorship deals are concerned, the board/directors hands have been tied by previous long-term deals needed to finance the build of the Emirates. Now as these deals are coming to and end the board/directors are showing their worth.
So I say let’s see the club finally give Arsene the money to spend. Let’s see Arsene spend it. Let’s see the club/manager bring in the right players, not necessarily the big £30m type but the square peg players to fit the square peg holes and making sure we have good back up within the squad.
Then all I can ask is that we make a better fist of a challenge for the title first, then Champions League and giving the domestic cups a better go with a bigger more talented squad. If we end up in Europa Cup then for me I would still rather we took the title more seriously to make sure we get back in the Champions League for the 2014-15 season and then the two domestic cups ahead of the Europa.
If none of these things happen, then maybe by the end of his contract with Arsenal next season, it would be in the best interests of club, Arsene and supporters to cut ties and the club to move on with another man at the helm.
Stoke Everton came to the Emirates on Tuesday. A win for Arsenal would have been perfect, however, Everton when not kicking lumps of shite out of Arsenal are not a bad side. Typically Everton manager Moyes said “Do you mean when we were a little bit rough with the tackling? Up north we do that quite often, that’s actually allowed in football” Little bit rough? Then why does Moyes also think differently when it comes to his players, see here.
Jack was almost being used as a punch bag for the first 30 mins. For me it is quite clear Moysie had given instructions to his players to get stuck into Jack as well as others. As usual the ref takes him time to start waving yellows about and completely bottled it when failing to show Gibson a second yellow, thus sending him off.
Arsenal were not at the races for most of the first half save a great ball in from Ramsey which saw Giroud somehow get too much on the ball to put it wide. The second half was a lot a better. Giroud was the culprit on quite a few occasions when not making the best of chances set up for him or having no inclination to gamble and make things happen. I’m not a Giroud hater, far from it but do feel if the man sitting in the box with Sky had been playing, he’d have gambled and Arsenal would have won 3-0.
All-in-all though I really enjoyed the match, one of the best 0-0′s I have seen for a long time.
A lot has been said about Giroud this week. Is he good enough for Arsenal? Well seventeen goals and thirteen assists is not a shabby return for a first season in the Premiership. Over this season Oliver has missed a lot of very good chances and he missed a couple of good ones that could have got Arsenal a win over Everton. However this is football in 2013. There is no such thing anymore as patience from many football supporters.
Look at Ramsey. Very good prospect, lot of clubs wanted him, we got him. Sadly at least twice a season you have to play Stoke under their little man syndrome of a manager Pullis. Ramsey gets his leg broke with an awful challenge from a player who “is not that type of player”. That player (Shawcross) was picked for an England squad right after that match. Now he is playing in a team that cannot win for toffee and could get relegated.
Many Arsenal fans felt for the Ramsey and slaughtered Shawcross all over the WWW, still do. Many sent good wishes to Ramsey. Anyway Aaron had a very long time out and worked hard to get back his fitness and back into the game. Finally Ramsey makes it back and spends most of the time being slagged off by the very same people who wished him well. Many would have been happy to see him leave the club. Well right now he is doing a great job for Arsenal and this is when I’m glad the people we have in charge of Arsenal take no sodding notice of football fans whose tactical knowledge and over knowledge of football comes from sitting in front of a TV playing FIFA13.
Giroud is struggling to take many of his chances and I like others feel frustrated with this, but let’s give the guy a chance, see what he delivers next season. That is not saying we don’t need another striker, we do, not in place of him, but to supplement the squad.
I think Giroud runs himself into the ground, sadly he does not have an Ian Wright’s goal poacher instinct and is often seen lurking on the fringe of attacks which ends up seeing balls flash across the area, while he is still on the edge of the area. This part of his game needs working on and if it comes off, I can easilt seem him scoring 30+ with the chances Arsenal make.
Chelsea beat Fulham 3-0 at the cottage in a pretty one-sided match. This put Chelsea back into third above us by a point with a game in hand. Fear not plenty of time for them to drop points. Mind you with an ex-spud as manager you can bet your bottom dollar Fulham will be up for playing against Arsenal on today. Berbatripe will make an effort, Sidwell will get stuck in and make as many fouls as he likes on Arsenal players and not get into trouble for it.
Man Utd got a 2-2 draw at West Ham with their equalising goal coming from RVP who was offside. After they way the media witch hunt went for Arsenal for beating Norwich with a couple of dodgy decisions, you’d think they’d be all over this one like a rash. Sorry, forgetting myself the decision when Man Utd’s way and let’s face it
MUSkyTV and are not going to have a go at the club that are on their TV channel every week.
I’m going for a 2-1 win at Fulham today. Sneaky feeling for Jack to score one.
Evening “Mind the gap”
Arsenal grabbed three points and victory over the time wasters, Carrot Crunchers and Delia Smith’s mustard army.
For 80 mins of this match I though I had been transported back to Norwich on 20 October 2012. Back then Norwich had not won a game, Arsenal travelled by plane, I went car and the team could not be asked. Arsenal lost 1-0 to a well-drilled Norwich City team who gave us very little and did a right old job on us.
Norwich formation lined up brick-wall – 0 – 0
Arsenal just could not cause Norwich many problems. A header onto the bar from Giroud was as good as it got. HT came and Norwich had not mustered a solitary shot on goal, but then brick walls don’t, “Eh? Eh? Eh?” “Dey do do dat dough don’t dey dough”"Eh? Eh? Eh?”
In the second half Norwich were given a free kick when their player fell over his own feet wearing clown shoes instead of football boots and the referee got suckered. Snotgrass floated it in and Turner gave the visitors a 1-0 lead. Time wasting went into over-drive. Bunn was taking his time with every kick, taking the ball to the other side of the area from where the ball went out to take goal kicks. Players were feigning injury; the ref just let them get on with it. 10 mins left and I’ll be honest; no way could I see where two goals were coming from.
Suddenly, the all action Ramsey won Arsenal a corner by blocking the ball going out the ball ended coming off the Norwich player. Arteta’s corner came in and went pin ball around the area then landed near Giroud who was pulled back by Karma.
The ref was going to let play go on, when the linesman, Gord bless him, waved and put his flag across his chest. The referee noticed, so did the Noooorwich players. Sythes, hoes, pitch forks, bagging hooks and cattle prods were downed as they ran towards the Assistant. Not a happy bunch of bumpkins. “I can’t read, I can’t write, doesn’t really matter, ‘cos I come down from Norwich town and I can ride a tractor.
After a brief chat the referee pointed to the spot. Hot cross Bunn went into one and got booked for his troubles.
Now as far as I am concerned it was a nailed on penalty, Giroud was pulled back. Houghton seems to think that if the ref cannot see it from ten yards, then how can the assistant see it from forty yards. Well Houghton, tell me how you can see Theo offside from sixty yards? He was but that’s another story.
I always though the Assistant had to see right across the line of the pitch, not only to the edge of the nearest side of the penalty area. Poor loser is Houghton. I can only imagine what the media would be saying if that was Wenger moaning?
Arteta, stepped up. Cool, Calm and dispatched the penalty to Bunn’s left 1-1.
Bunn then started punching the floor like a maniac. Oh how we laughed at him. Three minutes later substitute Alex did a one-two with Podolski, low crossed into the area and there was Giroud to slide the ball, into the net, 2-1 Arsenal and take that you bloody Wurzels.
I was going slightly potty at this stage screaming MUGS, MUGS, x200 at the swathe of yellow in the away corner of the ground. Having just got finished my 200th MUG, praise the Lord, Podolski only goes and makes it 3-1, what a finish.
The crowd started making fun of Bunn. “He runs when he wants, he runs when he wants…. ” Suddenly Bunn’s taking goal kicks from the right side, while all around me the crowd are shouting and pointing, No! Over-there…
In the lead up to Podolski’s goal, Theo was offside from Giroud’s header. However, as the scorer says #shithappens and Norwich could go home and wallow in all the country shit they shovel as far as I was concerned.
Maybe, just maybe, Referee Jones, the guy who gave us two penalties against WBA earlier in the season, felt mugged by Cazorla’s dive and was into revenge mode and hence was not going to give us anything on the day. Just a thought.
Experts/pundits what are they like? Tony Gale, puff of wind more like. The bloke sounded genuinely upset that Arsenal had got back into the game, like he is head of the Norwich supporters club or something. All through the game he was showing some sort of disdain for Arsenal.
Look! I understand if you’re a Norwich fan you might be a little annoyed how you lost the game. However, if Norwich had won I would have been a little annoyed that they won on a dodgy free kick. If you’re like me, you are never happy when our opponents get a free kick around the area. Teams have a habit of scoring against us from these. Yes! Arsenal might have defended it better, but it still wasn’t a free kick. Arsenal might have even played a bit better and made any refereeing decision pointless as they overwhelmed Norwich, but then football does not always work out like that.
So why was Tony puff of wind so outraged about the penalty? Why was Chris “Ladbrokes” Camara on Soccer Sunday also outraged?
Well here’s my version for what it’s worth. A lot of pundits give their opinion over the season, yet they change like the wind, or maybe Gale. For years now many of these pundits, Journo’s and ex-footballers have been writing off Arsenal, saying our days in the top four are numbered. While we’re not winning trophies, we’re still finishing in Champions League positions. The start of every season I hear its Spurs, Liverpool or Newcastle that’s going to take our place.
The facts bear out Arsenal don’t finish outside top four and none of the above replaces us. I reckon this is what pisses these people off. Having their views shoved down their throat and predictions shoved up their arses. One week a player has his shirt pulled; it’s a penalty or should have been a penalty, the next it’s not. Analysis says refs should give them, after all if it’s a foul outside the area, then it should be a foul/penalty inside the area.
The next week their views change. It depends on game, teams playing, importance of the game/result. These people call for refereeing consistency and yet have none themselves. They end up talking so much over season they back themselves into a corner. Look at Houdi Elbow, clairvoyant unparalleled, Stewart Robson, talk about an axe to grind in slaughtering the club and Arsene Wenger. Ok! He had some views that were not far off the mark, but many of them were just bile. Where is he all of a sudden? We can see you sneaking out… I’m not hearing from him and his views right now with Arsenal gaining 25 points out of 30 recently.
Why did MOTD have David Moyes on the show when his team are also on and playing Arsenal this coming Tuesday? Why did we need the views of a current manager, thus giving him a chance to say it was never a penalty on Giroud. Maybe hoping it influences Tuesday’s ref. Never heard him say anything when his player had his shirt tugged?
I watched Camara on Sunday Soccer do all he could to make excuses as to why the Giroud penalty should not have been given. Liverpool manager Rogers silence said more than anything and looked embarrassed to be there. Camara voice was getting higher and higher and he seemed so put out that the Linesman gave the decision and not the ref. It made no difference if it was the right decision in the end. As far as Cammy was concerned the assistant had no right to make the decision. Why? He is part of a team.
Why do I have to listen to Steve McLaren tell me what is wrong or right with football. What tactics teams should employ? What the hell has he ever done? League Cup with Boro, and don’t say Dutch League, please!!!. Like a lot of ex-managers who have won sod all, we’re treated to their on how Ferguson and Wenger are going wrong at times. Give me a break, that’s like asking a milkman how to do brain surgery.
I’m seriously fed up with football experts, commentators, co-commentators and front men who only remit is to court controversy. Right now only Gary Neville is saving the day. I sometimes have to listen with the sound down, save I end up taking the piss.
Did I mention “Mind the Gap?”
Saturday – Match Day
Arsenal entered the weekend in fifth place, four points behind Spurs, two behind Chelsea. Todays match is at the Hawthorns where last season we took third place with a 3-2 win to finish above Spurs and the way the lads are playing right now I fully expected a win.
Arsenal team: Fabianski, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Rosicky (Gibbs 81), Ramsey, Gervinho (Vermaelen 73), Cazorla (Coquelin 89), Arteta, Giroud.
Arsenal were playing well for seventy minutes. Took the lead on twenty when a long pass from Arteta found Gervinho on the left. Gervinho twisted and turned his defender and a shot come cross was headed in by little Mozart for 1-0. Arsenal continued to press and a pwoper bit of Wengerball saw Ramsey somehow miss from two yards.
The second half was only five mins old when Ramsey set up Rosicky to shoot. Rosicky’s shot was parried out by Foster, only for him to follow-up and slam the rebound in for 2-0. Just like George Graham used to do, Arsenal were strolling this match. I’m sure many Gooners were thinking along the same lines, would the foot would come off the gas or would the referee intervene. The latter did and sent off the BFG for a foul on Long. I thought it was never a clear goalscoring opportunity, so though a definite penalty for WBA, the BFG should have only got a yellow. Still like at Sunderland Arsenal were now under pressure, down to 10 men, yet this new Arsenal fought like tigers, defended well, rode a bit of luck and held on for a 2-1 win that took Arsenal albeit briefly into the top four and their fifth league win in six games.
Spurs turn today along with Chelsea. After watching Spurs first team go off injured against Basle on Thursday, AVB was left with no option to play his second string. Spurs got the result I wanted against Everton a draw, with both teams dropping points. Chelsea won 2-1 at home to Sunderland.
I took the kids to Birmingham today to visit Cadbury World. Great for kids and her indoors, but I can’t eat Chocolate, yet I really enjoyed the tour. Well worth a visit if anyone wants something to do with kids during school holidays.
Lack of Arsenal news meant that the Man Utd v Man City game was all that was on offer as far as football was concerned.
Anyway on the drive back from Birmingham I took in first 20 mins of Utd v City on M25/M11 with BBC Radio 5Live. Apparently BBC 5Live mentioned that if anyone deserves a league title it’s Robin van Persie for his time at Arsenal where he did not win one. Yeah, one season in eight where he was not injured. Maybe if he was not injured for seven of those, he might have picked one up, scoring 30 goals a season more often.
When the game started out I was looking for a Utd win, purely for selfish reasons in that if City lost and Arsenal won next two games we could go second. As the game wore on first on the radio, then TV, it was clear that on the night City were the better team. Rooney, RVP, and those useless lump of lards, Welbeck and Jones that the media like to hype up irk me. RVP is going through a barren spell, but still gets hyped up, whereas when he did the same at Arsenal, he would get a lot of stick for not scoring. Rooney gets away with murder the way he speaks to referee’s. The only reason he has better disciplinary record with lack of reds and yellows is that Red Devil badge on his shirt, he’s English and SAF is his manager.
Therefore I was happy City beat Utd. I for one cannot understand how United have got so far ahead of everyone else. Frankly I agree with Mancini that some teams in the Premiership are already beaten before they go on the pitch against United, yet play out of their skins against other top sides. United are a good team, not a very good team or great team and certainly not as good as many of their other sides of the past.
Andre Arshavin is saying he could well retire at the end of the season. This caused many a response from some Arsenal supporters that his career at Arsenal was wasted and ruined by Arsene Wenger for playing him out of position. Others saying the lad picks up £70-80k a week, maybe more, he should bloody play where he is asked and put maximum 100% effort in. Me? I like the little fella and have enjoyed some good highlights in his time at Arsenal, none more so than Anfield and his winner against Barcelona. However, I have also seen him stroll around like he could not give a Gareth Bale. I am not bothered one bit of he does not turn out for AFC again, but will of course wish him well at his new club.
Today I went to watch the Arsenal ladies at Bishops Stortford. The attendance was 520 which I am told is quite good for the ladies. Nice neat little ground where Ryan Air jets fly into Stansted every two minutes and very low. So low in fact that no way could a Stoke City match be staged there. I live quite close to Stansted and it can cause problems, like the day I came home and found my neighbour’s house had a plane crashed into it, silly fool had left his landing lights on. I’ll get me coat.
Me and the boy stood right up close to the touch-line that you could almost touch the players. Phwoooor!!! I was surprised just how good these girls are. The game ended 6-0 to Arsenal ladies and I suppose the biggest compliment I can give is that after a while you forgot you were watching ladies play football. They really do pass the ball around well. I would most certainly go again.
News from Arsenal is that Jack and Theo could be fit to face Norwich on Saturday. Personally I would not bring either in. Subs bench at best for me on the day. The others have done well and deserve to keep their places for now. The Substitutes bench will look good though.
Arsenal’s home fixtures with Wigan and QPR have been changed so as they can be broadcast on TV. Still surprises me that matches can be changed at such a late stage, even when on these occasion it a matter of hours not days and more so when tickets are already on sale or been sold.
Wigan have been unable to sell 10k of their 31k allocation for the FACup semi-final, small club? Well of course they are. Personally I think they have done well to sell 21k. If the should beat Millwall in less than a month their supporters will have to buy another ticket and make another journey down to the same stadium. This is because a the FA want to pay for the new Wembley.
This Country is full of really good stadiums, many re-designed or new. Old Trafford, Newcastle, Sunderland, Emirates, Villa Park, Liverpool. All have big enough grounds to hold FACup semi-finals. I have been to many semi-finals watching Arsenal, and part of the experience was travelling to Goodison Park, Villa Park, Old Trafford, Hillsborough, Coventry or even the Millenium Stadium. I know Wigan are travelling down to London and their fans might enjoy it, but this is a semi-final, not final and they could play at Villa Park. I never really liked playing Spurs at Wembley, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge or Wembley.
I also happen think England should not play at Wembley, but play their games at grounds mentioned above, touring the Country so everyone gets the chance to see the national team on their doorstep. However, since when did what supporters want mean anything to the FA? If they had to have a national stadium, it should have been in the Midlands. Play the Finals at a ground with 60k plus capacity and only give tickets to the supporters of the teams in the final. Any not sold can go to the football family, or liggers.
David Dein. Remember him? This is the man who took about £75m from selling his shares in Arsenal and rode off into the sunset to get all tanned up. He has appeared again speaking about how Arsene will spend, spend, spend this summer. I think Arsene will as well. Next season will be the eighth at the Emirates and much has been documented about the money Arsenal have or have not had to spend in the last seven years. Now we all know the club has a nice tidy sum tucked away under the mattress, yet how much of it is for transfers and player wages is anyone’s guess. Some player contracts are ending and they can be released, saving money. Can the board go another summer lacking investment in the team, that really only need three to four top signing, I don’t think so. Therefore I fully expect some really good additions to the squad this summer.
Tottenham fought hard, played great football, playing against a tide of injuries with nothing going their way. Well that’s not quite how it went in the real world, but ITV? Two poor defensive lapses by Basle let in Dempsey to give Spurs lead and then later equalise after Basle had gone ahead 2-1. The match went into extra time and then penalties. Spurs losing 4-1 on penalties after the aggregate score had finished 4-4 after ET. Tom Twentystone and Adebayor, who else went on to miss penalties for Tottenham. This week was pretty good on twitter for fun as when Adebayor blasted over the bar #thingsmoreusefullthanadebayor kicked in to follow that earlier in the week of #tweetyourphiljonesface.
Being honest I like to see a bigger picture and if that picture means somehow Spurs staying in a competition or winning a game that could benefit Arsenal, then I really don’t care of they do. There are supporters that would prefer it if a scenario arose where Spurs had to win a game to hand Arsenal the title, they would rather see Spurs lose. Makes sense? No!!!
The premiership clubs have majority voted in their own Financial Fair Play Rules. This is going to make a difference as to how clubs run their finances, more so with that of the UEFA version on top. Now of course, some clubs did not vote in favour of this, but the majority did. It will be said that clubs will find a way round the rules or bend them. Not sure why clubs would be voting for it and then trying to bend the rules. Still time will tell out.
Arsenal news is that Theo and Jack are back for the match against Norwich, so says Arsene in his pre-match press conference, though Rosicky is a doubt. I would also imagine TV5 will be back due to the BFG having a one match suspension. When asked about Spurs getting knocked out of Europa Cup, Arsenal said “don’t mind and don’t care” sounds fair enough to me. Arsenal now have three games before Spurs play again, which could with a fair wind put us seven points clear if them, though they would have two games in hand. However, with so few games left to play the pressure could mount on them.
Found this article on attendance figures at Old Trafford it seems it not only a practice at Arsenal. This is another topic that has enraged some fans that Arsenal give out false attendance figures.
Arsenal sell tickets for football matches. I understand there are around 40/42k season tickets sold, the rest are sold for individual matches. Nowadays match day tickets go on sale a few months in advance of games being played. So if Arsenal sell out, they have SOLD 60,000 tickets. Now when the match arrives and people with season tickets/match day tickets cannot attend for whatever reason, the ground obviously will not be full. It does seem strange that you would pay for a ticket and not turn up. Yet it happens. A family get together arranged, not well, work, met some right sort and a night in the sack seems much more preferable that watching Arsenal in the cold or match being moved by those kind people at Sky, ESPN or ITV and you can’t attend.
Why not just pass or sell on your ticket,?? Well that’s easy for some, who can move it on, but others might not be able to and do not want to risk their season in the hands of others, it’s not actually allowed you know. The practice is slightly easier for match day paper tickets as once you have passed it on, you don’t have to get it back like a season ticket. Arsenal have a ticket exchange, so why not use that facility. Well it seems that you can only use it to sell your ticket once the game is actually sold out. Also Arsenal take a cut 10% and whatever you get comes off the price of next seasons season ticket. I think a lot of fans would prefer it if you got the money straight away. It’s not the best way to sell on tickets. and a lot more work needs to go into this idea.
So on the day, though it can clearly be seen that there are empty seats inside the ground. How many that’s difficult to say, yet it could be anywhere from 2000-10000 depending on match. So when the club, who USED to announce the attendance and gave it out as 60k plus some supporters were up in arms, have they really got nothing else better to do? I suppose when your dead set against anything the board/club do, it’s par for the course. I would have thought the attendance has to be on tickets sold for the purposes of the taxman.
Now the club should be making it easier for fans to pass on their tickets, after all, surely it is better to have bums on seats as those bums visit the club shops, buy programs and match day food inside the stadium, empty seats do not. Maybe make it so supporters do not feel like criminals when trying to pass on tickets to people who want to go, when they cannot make it. Most supporters are honest and in most cases sell tickets on for face value or less. Make it so that when passing on tickets through exchange the supporters get the money into their accounts straight away. Some supporters might well be up for the money coming off their next season ticket, but then that can be an individuals choice. I have seen people say, the club should give the empty seats away. How do you give away empty seats that have been sold and people don’t turn up?
Finally here’s to three fully expected points at home to Norwich today and hopefully the same at home to Everton on Tuesday.
Till next week
Atmosphere at the Emirates
I was having a discussion on twitter last week about the atmosphere inside the Emirates.
The board at Old Trafford are even worried about the same thing there on match days. So much so that United have appointed a specialist to find ways to help crank up the noise inside the stadium.
Highbury was the Library? The Emirates is a soulless bowl? Is the atmosphere inside the Emirates, really as poor any other ground? Stoke have 25k nutters from middle-Earth that make a good noise. The slime from the other end of Seven Sisters Road can even make a right old racket with a full house of 35k, though it’s the same two songs all the time. Coooome ooooon yooooou Spuuuuuurs!!!! – Oooooo Wheeeen theeee Spuuuuuurs, gooooo maaaarching iiiiiiiin……….. Haven’t they grasped it yet? They never do go marching in…However, is the atmosphere inside said stadiums like it at all matches?
I’ve been going over Arsenal for donkey’s years and at times the atmosphere has been brilliant, mainly big games. They don’t get any better than Anderlecht in 1970. Everton and United in League Cup Semi and FACup in the space of four days back in 88. Many other matches too. The smaller/lesser games will always be a bit flat. Back at Highbury the supporters that chanted out the songs were bunched together at the centre/back of the North Bank. You also had the Clock End chants but with no roof, the noise level was not the same. However, the stadium could rock with the best of them when needed.
“We’re the Clock End, we’re the Clock End, we’re the Clock End Highbury… We’re the North Bank, we’re the North Bank, we’re the North Bank Highbury… They sung to each other in turn. At times even the West Stand and the East Stand joined in”
Supporters abroad tend to make more noise than those here in England. It is like their supporters plan what they are doing on match days. Banners everywhere, no matter how big, flares etc… Like it’s all choreographed, planned out in detail.
Here in England it’s more off the cuff. English supporters I think tend to mainly be roused by the team’s performance on the pitch, rather than the other way round. I still believe that standing on the terraces made the singing of songs and getting behind the team much better. Supporters congregated together and the terraces made it easier for mates stand together. This meant that the English reserve disappeared simply because you were amongst real friends. Sitting down in stadia has meant that friends have been split up and priced out in some cases (see more below)
When the club were building the Emirates a singing section was looked into. RedAction took the lead here. I think I am right in saying an area (3000 seats) was set aside for fans who wanted to be part of this section, could gather together and have a place to start the chanting off. . Why this was put in a corner and not behind the North End goal, I’ll never know. Back in the day I used to stand on the North Bank with mates and then moved to the Clock End. Many times being in the ground at 2pm for 3pm kick-off. We started singing well before Kick Off, when the players were on the pitch, we’d sing their names as they warmed up and got waves back and cheered them for doing so. Today, the RedAction area is almost empty till 10 mins before kick-off. In the seven years so far at the Emirates, I personally think, that section is about as much use as a chocolate fire guard.
I can’t understand why 3000 Arsenal away fans can sound extremely loud, keep the singing going, though mainly standing, even though in seating areas. Yet 3000 singing section supporters inside the Emirates do not do a very good job getting the singing going and keeping it constant. Say what you like about the club rules but no one stops fans from singing. If they want too, they can.
I also understand it’s not helped by laws/rules that stop drinking inside grounds, though maybe for the best. I suppose a lot of this could be looked at as the fans own fault as to why these laws and rules were brought in. However, this is 2013, times have changed. Maybe time to bring back limited standing areas.
The Emirates is not alone in lack of atmosphere, it happens at all grounds. The clubs have to find ways of getting the noise levels cranked up and bringing back proper match day atmosphere to our grounds, well-played United for at least looking at the problem.
Arsenal being a London Club means pricing will always be higher than elsewhere in the country, though it has to be said the prices are steep. Match day tickets can cost anything from:
- £26 – £51 for cat “C” matches.
- £36.50 – £73.00 for cat “B” matches and
- £63.50 – £126 for cat “A” matches. Season tickets from around £950- to £5000 depending on sitting in lower tier or Club Level.
Let’s face it Spurs and Chelsea are not much cheaper and they don’t include seven cup tie vouchers in their season ticket prices. Fulham and QPR charge crazy prices for away fans. Man City fans moan about £62 at the Emirates for their tickets, but charge £59 for Arsenal fans at City. WOW £3 difference.
The fact remains supporters may well absorbed high prices if clubs are successful, yet they can become a monkey on the back of the club if they stop challenging.
The issue for Arsenal today is how they look to fund the club that could help keep ticket prices down? The club has chosen to take the self-sufficient route, rather than go down the route of multi-billionaire owners chucking money at the club. By being self-sufficient, the club need to get sponsors on board as well as the TV money that comes in, which will go up from next season.
It has been said that if clubs were to use the extra money from TV next year to subsidise prices next season, tickets could be reduced by 50%. The thing is it would need to be across the board of all clubs for it to work. Also it’s not going to happen. I think the best supporters can expect is ticket prices being frozen for a number of years.
There can be no doubt that the ticketing pricing at Arsenal has been raised to levels where many Arsenal old-time/loyal supporters have been priced out. These supporters being replaced by what some today call football tourists.
For the clubs football tourists are good. They buy tickets, visit the club shops and buy goods that keep the commercial side ticking over. The Club Level, executive boxes and Diamond Club were built for the more affluent supporters, executives, companies and the super rich. It was said that the 7000 seats in these areas would produce more revenue than the 38000 did at Highbury. Meaning the other 53k seats would become bonus monies. So it does seem a bit harsh that season tickets range from £950-2000 for normal terraced seating.
Trying to see this from all angles, supporters want success and in today’s football, success comes with a price tag? Man United are the world’s biggest club, well at least the biggest and most successful in England. This means United can attract big sponsors and more sponsors. Chelsea and City have owners that have bottomless pits of money and as we all know have pumped plenty of cash into those clubs. City’s best sponsorship deal is with their owners. Please don’t tell me that CFC and CITY would have won what they have without the aid of their owner’s money.
The facts are these three clubs have the financial clout to purchase and then pay for whoever they need, when they need them. When the top players come up for sale, these three clubs, plus Barca, Real and PSG are going to have more of a say than Arsenal can in purchasing players. I also see quite a few fans of Arsenal posting on comments pages in national media, forums, Facebook and Twitter that the club should buy this or that player. Pay £20m/30m, which would form part of an overall sum of around £60m for a four-year contract for a player when wages are factored in.
A lot of fans think our sponsorship deals are not very good and that the club are lagging behind in this area. However, are the deals that were struck with Emirates that bad? A new kit deal is on the horizon, let’s wait and see what that comes in at. United are the world’s biggest club and yes, they have a lot of sponsor’s including smaller ones. Many smaller sponsors can bring in plenty of money. The thing is we are NOT United… Slowly but surely Arsenal are working on new sponsors, big and small. I’m sure they will get right in time. FFPR’s will have an affect and well run self-sustaining clubs will be in a good place to take advantage. What I would describe as organic growth rather than financial doping of clubs.
On Monday when I got the chance to check my twitter time line, one of the first things I saw was Man Utd had managed to get AON to sponsor their training ground at Carrington. £150m would you believe for 10 years? I mean really how many of you have heard the name Carrington mentioned over the years? No doubt you’ll not stop hearing about Carrington now. I reckon every press conference will be made from there to get the AON name in the spotlight.
Seeing the news on Twitter about United I knew what was about to come. Arsenal had just won their fifth match in six games in a good run which meant they had put themselves in a position where finishing in the top three/four was in their own hands.
I doubt there were many fans who would have thought this was possible a couple of months back. So suddenly Man Utd’s good fortune becomes another stick to beat Arsenal with. Have some of our fans really become that frustrated at things that they can’t wait to knock the club? Have some of our fans forgot what it is like just to enjoy a win? There are between 50-60 games a season and each one is a game in its own right. Hopefully along the way we win most of the games which produces silverware at the end of the season. Sadly it is going on eight years since we had the right to celebrate in Feb or May. However, I for one, can look back during each season and think, I enjoyed many of the games in isolation, even though we did not win silverware at the end of those seasons.
I look back at this season and see games like
- 5-2 Spurs
- 7-5 Reading.
- 5-2 Reading.
- 7-3 Newcastle.
- Coventry and Southampton 6-1
- the 3-3 draw with Fulham.
- Bayern 2-0 away.
- West Ham 5-1 and the 3-1 away match.
I even enjoyed the game at White Hart Lane where we lost as well as other matches too. Of course there was some very poor matches as well, defeats by Blackburn and Bradford. But hey! Sometimes you lose these matches. This is what supporting your club about. Thick and Thin. Good and Bad. Win, lose or draw. Sometimes our opponents are just better overall or on the day. Our miss fortune is Blackburn’s and Bradford’s supporters’ good fortune.
Sometimes the team just does not play. No! It’s not good or right, but it happens. I’ve spent 50 years going over Arsenal and seen us win the league six times. Only Liverpool and United have won more. During that time, no Spurs fan I know has seen them win the league.
I have no issue with fans opinions and views, but I do wish at times people would keep it real. What I hear today is, we pay a lot more to watch, well so do other clubs, yet there are only four trophies to win. Some supporters say “I would prefer to win the FACup” Yeah! Right now you might, but when we’re not in the Champions League, losing vital revenue and slowly going even further backwards, I wonder what these fans would say then? Of course, there is no reason why we should not at least challenge for FACup or League Cup; we are one of the big clubs, yet, looking at the premiership today, all English clubs out of the Champions league. Spurs given a footballing lesson by Basle at home. Both them and Newcastle looking likely to go out of the Europa Cup, leaving only Chelsea left in Europe maybe.
Teams are looking tired. Maybe Arsenal being out of all cups is assisting our current surge of wins having only to play once a week.
I want Arsenal to be successful, like most supporters do, but I’m certainly not going to beat the club with a stick every time another club gets something go their way. Not all is perfect at Arsenal, but not all is wrong with Arsenal either.
There are seven games left this season for Arsenal. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, fourth place is not a trophy. However, right now it’s better than having seven dead rubbers. We have an exciting run in, where every match counts. I for one am going to bloody enjoy it, get behind the team and any problems or issues with club I might have, set them aside till the summer.
Saturday – Match day
I’ve sat through shorter summer football breaks or at least it felt like it while the internationals took place. Arsenal last played at the Emirates on February 23rd - I’ve almost forgotten what the place looks like.
Reading are todays visitors and this should a safe three points for Arsenal. The team : Fabianski, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal Arteta, Rosicky, Ramsey, Gervinho, Cazorla, Giroud
What looked to me like a full house the Emirates (maybe the Rocky effect), saw Reading get an early corner, yet from there on in it was all Arsenal. Aaron Ramsey crossed took a deflection and a back header by Giroud almost caught Reading out.
It took a while a get going on seven minutes however, it was good to see most of the crowd inc Reading supporters stand and applaud for a few minutes to remember David Rocastle.
The call for seven minutes on seven minutes was interrupted by a move from Arsenal that was started and finished by Gervinho who stabbed in Cazorla’s shot come cross 1-0. Nice to see him being able to turn one in from close range for a change. An assault on Giroud by the Reading keeper was a nailed penalty yet waved away by referee Foy. Great approach play by Arsenal saw chance after chance go begging for the rest of the half which ended 1-0 .
Three mins into the second half, Gervinho laid the ball into the path of Cazorla who curled a pass into the back of the net 2-0. A Reading corner was wasted and a slack pass led to the ball being played up to Gervinho, who carried the ball forward and made the right pass at the right time onto the hammer of a left foot that is Giroud to hit a low shot through the keeper 3-0. The obligatory switch off saw Reading pull one back as Robson-Jerome scored at the far post getting in behind Nacho 3-1 Nacho had hit the post with his leg and had to go off to replaced by Gibbs. Oxo came on for Gervinho who got deserved applause as he left the field, one goal, two assists and I thought caused Reading problems running at them. Straight away Oxo was doing the same as he surged past one, then two, into the area and was brought down by Mariappa. PENALTY!!! This time Foy had to give it as the pressure mounted on himself for not giving good shouts for penalties earlier in the match. I’m not sure it was just outside the area. Arteta stepped up, put it to his left for 4-1. Three points, decent game.
4-0 down and Arsenal came back to win 16-8 against Reading.
0-1 0-2 0-3 0-4 1-4 2-4 3-4 4-4 5-4 5-5 6-5 7-5 8-5 9-5 10-5 11-5 11-6 11-7 12-7 13-7 14-7 15-7 15-8 16-8
Tottenham won at Swansea. Chelsea lost at Southampton. Everton beat Stoke. The chase for top four goes on.
Martin O’ Neill got the tin-tack from Sunderland. That’s what happens when you bore the pants of people. That’s what happens when you send teams out not to lose rather than try to win. O’Neill has pulled the wool over so many people’s eyes, who seem to list him as a top manager. To think some Arsenal fans touted him (along with Coyle) as tenants for Arsene’s position. O’Neill, Hughes, Pullis, McLeish and Brown managers who took it upon themselves to dislike Wenger and dig him out. Look where they are now. The sad thing is, some other crazy chairman at a club will employ O’Neill as the managerial merry-go-round goes on.
Ricky Lambert scored a cracker for Southampton against Chelsea. Lambert is the highest scoring Englishman in the Premiership with 14 goals. Now when it comes to England who gets picked? Lambert with the above record or Welbeck two goals in 36 matches this season and zero in 16 appearances for England. Yep! Welbeck.
Not much Arsenal news around on Easter Sunday. Ollie Giroud is the latest Arsenal player to start talking the talk. Ollie says he is confident Arsenal will finish top four. Maybe scoring a few more goals might help rather than talking to the media?
The Academy lads lost the third/forth play off to Sporting Lisbon 1-3.
Chelsea beat Man Utd to go through the Semi-finals of the FACup. This meant that their game at home to Spurs is now postponed. This means that we play three games while Spurs play one. Win them all and we’ll be a minimum two points ahead by the time we have played Everton. Happy to see Chelsea have another game to play.
Samir Nasri is in the media spotlight talking about Arsenal AGAIN two seasons after he left the club. Arsene Wenger is the best manager Nasri ever worked under. More a thinly veiled attack on his current manager who would happily punch Samir in the face. News for you Mr. Mancini, you’ll have to get to the back of a queue of thousands. No matter how good Arsene Wenger was it didn’t stop Samir leaving for the cash. Samir say that Stan Kroenke stepped in to sell him, wanted the money. Well £24m I think Kroenke was right to bite City’s hand off. Which of the two clubs today are thinking they got the better end of the deal? Nasri also talks about how Arsenal have not won anything, that he has now won a Premiership title. News for you Samir, City won it in spite of you, not because of you. Maybe if the likes of you and Cesc had stayed and battled Arsenal might have won something.
Oooo for a late strike in Munich, it could have been Arsenal at home to Juventus tonight As it turned out Bayern won the match 2-0 and missed a host of chances. Bayern’s last 17 home matches WWWWWWWWWWWWWWLWW I wonder who they lost too?
The privilege was all ITV’s as I tuned into ITV to listen to a man who still thinks he is in someway funny. The reality is people do not laugh at his jokes or laugh with him, they laugh at him. Two hours of the tiresome threesome that is Chiles, Tyldesley and Townsend. Pretty much a chess match of a first half. PSG threw themselves at Barca, but wore themselves out. A pass that was sent from up above by Alves, found
Gervinho Messi 1-0. Ibrohimhasabignose, pulled it back to 1-1 after missing a few chances and having a poor game. Barca then took the lead again through a penalty and a last-minute Frank Lampard drew PSG level.
I’m in the phone booth, it’s the one across the hall. If you don’t answer, I’ll just ring it off the wall. Arsenal agreed a partnership with Telkomsel a leading operator of mobile phone services in Indonesia. This coincides with Arsenal playing the Indonesian national team on July 14 at the Gelora Bung Karno stadium. Light touch-paper, Stan Welbeck and wait for the Haters to find fault. What is it Tesco’s say “Every Little Helps” Slowly but surely the club are getting more sponsors.
Thought I’d give Wednesday nights Champions league matches a miss, instead watch Monday Nights Jonathan Creek. Alan Davies in Suit, whatever next?
Such is the media circus that follows football today, we have to see certain players from our club having their say far too often for my liking. The one that gets me is Theo Walcott. Always has something to say about what Arsenal should be doing or going to do. Yet the lad himself very rarely puts his money where his mouth is.
Arsene Wenger spoke about Theo’s slump, rubbishing thoughts that it could be down to his new contract. Arsene also said Theo has been carrying a groin injury. No goals for two months. Arsene also says that Theo will improve.
I think Theo should stop doing any media work and spend his time better on training pitch. Learing football simplicities, like controlling a football, crossing a ball, beating a player, ala dribbling past the man or two in front of him. Maybe trying to run back when he loses the ball as he does to often cheaply and win it back. I’ve always wanted Theo to do well. I think everyone at Arsenal took the young lad to their hearts when he signed and hoped he would be the new top English talent. Not quite worked out that way. Injuries of course have set him back. Theo has spells when the way he is playing you can feel the Arsenal support starting to get on his back, then suddenly he produces, scores a few goals, makes a few assists, and the crowd are back onside. Then it all goes flat again. The lad needs to push on and start making more of an impression in most games.
Spurs drew with BAsLE 2-2 and took a battering both in football terms (should have lost by five goals at least) and in terms of injuries. The most significant was that of Bale.
Not much Arsenal news around today, apart from early team news that was no surprise that neither Jack or Theo will feature against WBA. I suppose there is always the recent gossip/rumour about new players signing, but I’m a wait and see type football fan, so I ‘ll leave other to talk transfer matters.
@DavidAFC68 tweeted the link to this very good video, I had never seen it before called “building the Emirates Stadium” click the link to view.
I do think some fans ignore the fact that the building of the new stadium was being planned back in 2003, before Chelsea or City were formed. The hurdles the club had to get over with funding the build. Then when the two new clubs were formed in 2004 and 2010 and having money thrown at them like it was monopoly money, Arsenal suddenly had three rivals and not the one in United.
I still think the deal with Emirates had more to do with Arsenal needing the money at the time, which sort of gave Emirates a good hand to play knowing Arsenal were in need of money. Hence though Arsenal got a wad of money and quite a bit up front to help with build, Emirates got a good long contract out of it, which as the years went on and other clubs renewed their stadium rights and kit sponsorships, Arsenal’s deal with Emirates looked less and less of a good deal.
Arsenal’s board did say the Emirates would bring in the money needed to take Arsenal onto being one of the world’s top clubs, dining at the top table so-to-speak. Yet as the build went on it became clear the club were going to be short of money for a period which would mean having to produce youngsters, buy in players under the radar and hope Arsene’s eye for players would work its magic. It almost worked a few times with the club at least challenging for trophies. Sadly a few years ago started to fall away and it looks like a top four spot is the most Arsenal are playing for. I was never one of fans that thought the Emirates would bring the club instant success as soon as we moved in, more it would take a few years to settle in and the funds to start rolling in.
The new stadium sold out almost every game, produced revenue of almost £3m per home match. Yet I doubt many at the club or us supporters expected CFC to rise from the ashes backed by a billion or so pounds. They were followed by Man City. Today Arsenal are in good financial health and one of the best run clubs in football. The debt has been reduced over the six years since the Emirates was built, that it is well manageable for the club. There are new revenue steams coming online to the club such as the new deal with Emirates, new kit deal on horizon and smaller sponsorship deals as well. Next season far more money will come from media rights.
Not being one to panic due to eight years of no trophies as I’ve seen it all before and for longer periods, I do feel now is the time for the club to push forward and take the club to the future that the stadium was built for. I feel success on the horizon.
Maybe I am a naive yet I really can’t understand how people can think the owner is at Arsenal for profits only. SK is worth billions, married to a woman who family are full of multi-billionaires. This families kids are born billionaires. His businesses work, yet maybe his sporting franchises leave something to be desired. yet Arsenal is an English football club, not an American Franchise.
How much profit can SK make from Arsenal that will improve his wealth? I mean the profit he would make from Arsenal through match day income in his world would be like me selling something on eBay for £10 more than I brought it for. No! For me the only profit I can see SK making from Arsenal, is to build club up and sell it on for a few hundred million profit. Now the words “build it up” speak loud to me. To build it up would mean the team has to be successful, after all a football club is nothing without what goes on the pitch being reasonably successful, so why would SK be trying to destroy the club?
This might not make me popular, but then I’m not looking to be popular, just trying to see things from the perspective view of football as a whole today. I think the issue with some fans is lack of patience. That the club does not say what some fans want to hear or do what some fans would like the club to do. Arsenal’s board are their own men, they will do what they feel is right for the club, not what supporters or supporters groups feel is right for the club.
I do not say there are not issues at Arsenal. Issues that could be made improved upon or that the club should not enter into discussion with the supporters, they should, but the final decision has to be theirs.
I think in the end the club will get it right.
Coming soon to a PC, tablet or smart phone near you, Atmosphere at the Emirates and ticket pricing.
Broadsword calling Danny Boy. Broadsword calling Danny Boy. Over.
Danny boy calling Broadsword. Come in Broadsword. Over… Do you have it? I can’t find any Arsenal news whatsoever. Broadsword Over… Get out now Broadsword… All sins forgiven. Danny boy out…….
Now my Dad used to say to me, Son, if you’ve nothing to say, say nothing. He also said I should strap a mattress to my back in case I ever needed something to fall back on. So as there is no news on Arsenal I shall takes Dad’s advice for now.
I don’t care if Mondays blue…
Found this article that you may enjoy entitled “Has the ‘power’ really shifted in North London?”
Looking at the upcoming weekends fixtures
- Swansea v the 5-2′ers
- Southampton v Chelsea
- Everton v Stoke
- Villa v Liverpool
- Arsenal v Reading
“They’re not gonna catch us. We’re on a mission from God.”
It could be a good weekend for Arsenal.
In the absence of first team football Gooner eyes turned towards the academy lads playing CSKA Moscow at the Emirates in the NextGen series. Apart from the first 10 minutes the lads played well and produced some good football. Typically Wengerball. A very good goal by Gnabry wrapped it up in front of an official attendance of 60.138. This sent the lads into the semi-finals of the competition, where they play Chelsea (Friday) with the winner playing the final on Sunday. Watched the game on Arsenal player and it was strange knowing what was going to happen next.
Dear God!!! It’s boring on the football front. So much so, that I am almost looking forward to England playing Montenegro. Lot of rumour a certain player of Montenegro is being rumoured to be linked to move to Arsenal. That should die down once the match is out-of-the-way.
Goodbye, ruby Tuesday. Who could hang a name on you?
And Wednesday too
Well that’s it internationals are over. Thanks the Lord for that. Has there ever been a more boring set of fixtures to have to sit through? Mind you boring they may have been but I have to say I enjoyed Montenegro’s second half performance as they swarmed all over England. I really don’t get Journo’s. Ollie Holt tweeted that Cleverly and Welbeck were superb, say what? Say what again? John Cross gave MOTM to Milner, Say what? Say what one more time Mutha-F****r… I would not give any of the players MOTM, they were all bloody useless. Rooney started well, superb chip, which deserved a goal and then scored. Gerrard at least ended the match strong with at least 3/4 shots at goal and looked like he gave a damn. What the heck is wrong with the national team that gave the world the beautiful game. I always want England to win, yet I dislike many of the players that play for England.
When these England players turn up their clubs for the weekends games they’ll give a damn then.
Thursday I don’t care about you….
Post international team news. Arsene speaks! We listen. Starting with young Jack the lad. He’ll be out for a couple of more weeks, making four weeks so far, going 18 months. Following on we have the invisible man, AKA Theo Walcott. He is out for another week, so, no-show for either player against Reading. Gibbs has a cold and tucked up in bed with his Lemsip, misses out this weekend, however we have Nachoman. Podolski and Sagna are back for the Reading game, good to see Podolski back though I think Jenkinson should keep right back spot as he has earned it. Finally Mr Injury himself. No surprise to find he will not be part of the team this Saturday. Breaking News just in…….. Abou has done his cruciate and will be out for NINE months. “Surely you can’t be serious.”- “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.” How unlucky is the lad? Sad to see some of the reaction bounded about towards the lad. It’s not his fault. All I can say is “Get well Abou Diaby, Fuck you Smith”
Hopefully after beating Reading 7-5 and 5-2 already this season, we can beat them 6-0 and take the game three sets to love. Yeah! I know technically you can’t win a set 5-2, but for shits and giggles.
It’s Friday, I’m in love….
Today was all about the kids in the academy playing Chelsea in the semi’s of the Nextgen. Played on a poor surface it was actually quite a good game. Arsenal lads played some good stuff at times. Chelsea lads looked big. Stewart Robson was co-Commentator. Look the club let you go, why let look so bleeding obvious you have an axe to grind. Arsenal took on 16 when a very good move saw Ballerina cross for Akpom to put Arsenal 1-0 up. Early good chances were missed by Gnabry. Chelsea looked strong but the teams went in with Arsenal leading 1-0.
Within 20 mins of the start of the second half Chelsea had bagged three goals to take a 3-1 lead, slightly unfair score line. Lliev saved a penalty yet Feruz was quickest to react to equalise. Then a long punt at goal went right under Lliev, maybe the pitch did not help, maybe he had been taking tips from Szczesny. Then a good move saw Kiwomya cross for Boga to score. That looked it, over… Suddenly with a nothing to lose attitude Arsenal came more into the game and should have scored a couple of goals to even things up, but wasted chances. Then with four left Christensen and Gnabry both scored to take the game to extra-time. Seriously, the boy and I were jumping round the room when we equalised. It was like proper first team football support.
Extra-time I thought the boys deserved victory. Wasted chances cost them though. In the second period of extra-time Chelsea came out-of-their-half once and scored, bloody typical. So the boys were out, but what a good game to watch on a Good Friday.
Only thing left is looking forward to going to Emirates tomorrow, visit Piebury Corner for lunch, see the lads beat Reading and hope the other results go in our favour.