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The last week 30 March – 5 April as I saw it..

April 6, 2013

Hi Gooners…

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.

Sunday

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.

Monday

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.

Tuesday

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.

Wednesday

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.

Spursday

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.

Friday

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.

Cheers

@harlowgooner

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