Andy Gray and Richard Keys, the demon anti Arsenal Sky pundits have been fired, so is that Good?

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For the pro manc loving Fergie can do no wrong stance, yes. For their he’s just showing passion and letting you know he’s there comments, yes most definitely. But for an off air comment about a female lino not knowing the offside rule, most definitely not.

I am in no way defending sexism or any ‘ism’ for that matter and I know some of you won’t agree with this, but read on and let me tell you why I believe this is wrong.

And encroaching on civil liberties with spy cameras is verging on Stalinism and that’s on ‘ism’ that is unacceptable in this country.

What next, cameras in toilets to see who washes their hands, or worse?

Ok, they didn’t get caught fiddling their expenses at the taxpayers expense, they weren’t shagging their best friends wives and knocking them up, they were neither drug dealing or taking, they weren’t shoplifting and they weren’t looking at underage porn sites on the internet.

Yes I agree that there is no place for racism, there is no place for discriminating against disabled people, mental handicapped people or old people, and there is certainly no place for sexism, but I believe they were just having a bit of lads banter that went horribly wrong.

With all the evil going on around us in this world and in this country, let’s get some perspective, Richards Keys resignation was on page 5 today, buried further down was a white bird and a black bloke who stamped a homosexual to death for nothing, they got 7 and 6 respectively, what happened to life? Now that’s a real crime, but I didn’t see that repeated for a week on the TV and all over the press. Sky, ITV, Channel4 and the BBC have been camped outside Andy Grays house for a week.

What do blokes talk about when they are down the boozer, God? Or how they are going to spend all weekend helping the elderly and doing charity work?

Do they hell, and if you are one that does, then you have indeed cast that first stone and I humbly apologise – Jesus.

What do women do when they are out with their chums? The same as blokes thats what, being lewd and probably being disparaging about blokes, ‘man flu’ springs to mind.

Tell me I’m wrong!

If we apply this holier than thou logic in life what next, we can’t take the micky out of the Scots, or the Welsh? We can’t have a dig at the spuds? We can’t wear Lancaster bombers on our heads when we play Germany?

There is a fine line between banter and misogyny and those two guys are not misogynists. As much as they get me down with their arse kissing manc antics, they are just ordinary blokes that have paid a high price for a few moments of madness, off air and pretty sneaky by the Prince of Darkness in my book.

We have many ladies on here, and we love them all, but they know what banter is, one lovely lady called a fellow blogger an ‘acorn dick’ the other day, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know that for sure, but it was just banter, she wasn’t called a man hater, in fact many male bloggers joined in on her side.

I am all for justice, but those guys for all their faults did not deserve to lose their livelihoods, maybe a ban would have humbled them. Now though, they are finished.

As for Twitchy’s son, I expect him to be in the deep stuff with his wife after the clip I saw, but by the same logic as was applied to the demon duo, how the hell was he on Sky last night, he thought the ‘Smashing’ sketch was hilarious. He should have been sacked as well, unless hanging out the back of someone is acceptable banter, he thought it was.

So when you’re at a game and 50,000 fans are singing the ‘referees a w*nker’ I hope you tell the people around you there is no place for foul language, verbal assault or bullying, but I won’t, it’s all part of the game, and what those twerps did was in private, ill judged granted, but in private, or so they thought.

Onto our beloved Arsenal, we get to play the Brummies in the final, sweet, that means I can get hammered at Baker Street without fear of standing next to a 1000 West Ham fans, last time it was the chavs, this time though I expect a different result!

Finally I’m hearing we are talking to Sackho and Benzema, now those two would push us over the line for sure, I would love it, but I can’t see it somehow.

Email Pedro as we has lots of tickets available for the cup match on Sunday.

Have a great day Grovers, next up Huddersfield, a case of Peroni if anyone knows where that is, thank God we are playing at home and we’ll get to see Benik Afobe, not scoring though I hope!

I also found it unbelievable listening to all those sanctimonious pricks on TalkShite when they (all of them) judged Andy Gray and Richard Keys comments as unacceptable but yet they all work with Stan Collymore who no only beats women, he’s a self confessed dogger, funny how that bloke deserves a second chance but suggesting a woman doesn’t understand the offside rule is unacceptable. I wonder what Ulrika’s view on that is.


Nik on the wing… Arsenal win. Ratings and Review

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After Geoff’s impassioned plea for a resounding win, the least the boys could do was oblige.

It was the biggest night of 2011 and possibly the biggest game in the universe at that given time. Could we shake off the embarrassment of the away loss, could the boys step up?

Well… despite making a bit of a meal of it, resoundingly yes!

Ipswich sent out pretty much their only warning shot of the match after 2 seconds with a fizzing 45 yard punt at goal. You felt they needed that for pride reasons, you know, in case the Arsenal of the weekend showed up. Sadly for us, the stuttery, lets thread it through the eye of a needle Arsenal turned up. We didn’t create an awful lot, in fact, we went closest to conceding when Chesney came flying out of his goal, missed the ball and head butted Sagna out of the game.

What a plank.

Our first real chance came when Nik B picked up the ball out wide, chipped a floated cross into space where Robin was on hand to clatter the ball against the bar with an angled header.

Robin went close soon after when he latched onto a superbly flighted Cesc pass, he watched it over his shoulder but sadly couldn’t knock it into the net.

Cesc had the final chance of the half when he fired narrowly wide of the Fulop’s post.

The second half began and Arsenal’s lack of width was really telling. Sometimes it takes us an awful long time to realise that when it’s congested in the middle, there are other areas of the pitch you can pass to.

Then came our moment, Jack Wilshere saw Nik B holding his line, he fizzed a 40 yard ball perfectly into his path, the Dane controlled it with the outside of his boot, cut inside and curled one into the bottom right corner of the goal. A strike of pure brilliance and one you felt had been coming for a while!

Not quite sure what Arsenal.com were alluding to when they called it a goal of ‘rare quality’? Were they jibing Nik, because I’m pretty sure Arsenal are always scoring quality goals!

Not long after, Arshavin won a corner, he took it and found Kozzer who took advantage of some unsure keeping and headed into the net. A great goal and brave attempt by the Frenchman!

There was still time for Eboue to cock up and let Scotland in, but Chesney was equal to his tame shot.

The final goal came when Denilson broke up play, played it to Cesc who spotted an Arshavin run, the Russian cut inside his man and played a reverse slide pass back into Cesc’s path… the Spaniard slipped the ball teasingly between the Ipswich keepers legs.

The game was over. We had won. It was time to start carnival dancing to the tune of, ‘we’re on our way to Wembley.’

I said at the start of the season I’d be more than happy with a Carling Cup win. Trophies breed trophies and we’ve not nabbed one for years now. This could be a fantastic opportunity to kick-start a glut of them. I challenge any true fan to say this doesn’t mean anything to them. The fact is, if you have a mindset like that, you’re not a real sports fan, you’re just a snob. I can’t wait for our day out and I can’t wait to see our captain raise the first trophy of the new decade!

Fair play to Arsene Wenger as well. He’s made plenty of mistakes over the past few years, but it takes a big man to admit that devaluing trophies is wrong and to address that. I’m over the moon we’ve taken this cup seriously and I certainly won’t be complaining when we’re open top parading with something better than an Annual Report.

We need to get our minds focused on the weekend now. Huddersfield in the FA Cup which could potentially put us 3 games away from another Cup Final.

I’ve got 1993 fever… and don’t even tell me Koscielny doesn’t look just like Andy Linighan!

Kozzer? (Right you doughnut)

Ratings

Chezzer – He pulled a flappy early in the first half and viciously assaulted Sagna. Other than that, a quiet game and a clean sheet! 6

Clichy – I thought he played pretty well. He’s returning to form, about time too! 7

Sagna – Head butted into a rest. 6

JD – Top game, kept them quiet, won everything in the air as usual. 9

Kozzer – He made a few rash challenges and picked up a harsh booking. He was good on the ground and he popped up for the all important goal that gave us the lead. I’m really enjoying his game of late. 7.5

Denilson – He broke up play for the third but I couldn’t help but notice his flat-footed approach and how weak he is. I’m not a fan, Song is miles ahead of him. He even looks average against Championship teams. 5

Cesc – Guilty of not showing intelligence for the first 40 minutes. He grew with the game and kept plugging away. Not vintage, but a win is a win. 7

Wilshere – Superb through ball for Nik (I think). He’s a hard worker, I’d like to see a bit more creativity from him. He’s either sublime or anonymous. I guess that’s youth for you… I love that he works hard regardless. 8

Arshavin – The haters were baying for his triple distilled blood once again and he retaliated with two assists. He wasn’t amazing today but he’s feeling his way back into things. He just needs a bit of luck in my opinion. I think all the incredibly boring people who abuse him at the Emirates because it’s the done thing at the moment need to grow up. 6.5

Bendtner – Super game from the unorthodox wide man. His goal was fantastic on a number of levels, his work rate was tireless and his creativity was admirable. He’s really starting to slot into that wide role, his crossing is immaculate. 8

Robin – He looked sharp out there today and I thought he showed super bravery when the Ipswich keeper clattered him in the first half. Injury free… again!  7

P.S. Before I go, how ridiculously transparent is the Richard Keys / Andy Gray smear campaign? If any man tells me they haven’t had this exact same conversation at work, I’ll know you’re lying. Boys will be boys and I’d imagine it’s even harder not to converse like that when you work for a company who solely employs based on looks.

I actually thought that conversation was hilarious… tasteless and crude, yes, but come on, people are allowed to say whatever they want when they’re off air. Leaking videos hasn’t been standard practice @ Sky over the past 20 years has it?

… and ladies, don’t pretend you don’t have exactly the same conversations. I sat as the sole male in an office of 16 women when I started my career, my god, did I hear some things that certainly scarred an impressionable young mind!

In fact, my most embarrassing moment came in that office. The assistant manager basically shouted across the whole office…

‘Pedro, I just walked into the kitchen, I was going to pinch your ass…. but then I realised you didn’t have one’

Despite everyone hearing and laughing extremely hard, no action was taken. Good… If you can’t take a few tasteless comments in the office, perhaps you should work from home.

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Arsenal, your time has come, Arsene this is it, 90 minutes from Wembley, time to fulfil our destiny!

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Arsene, pin this on the changing room door, this is what it feels like to be an Arsenal fan, no transfer talk, this is a battle cry!

So this is it, the match we have long waited for, the big one, the chance to go to Wembley, first of all though we have to beat the team that beat us in the first leg, Ipswich.

Now some of you will be too young to remember that day I went through Plaistow park when the pink blossom was on the trees, it looked wonderful, I should have been happy, but I was thinking about suicide, yes that’s right, I was thinking when looking at those lovely trees about slinging a rope over a bough and ending my life, and for what? It was because we had just lost to Ipswich in the FA Cup final, we were overwhelming favourites and we went down to an Osbourne goal and that was the end of my young dream. My childhood so cruelly shattered.

I was devastated, but I didn’t do it, you know why? It was because I had a dream, a dream that the following year we would stuff the Mancs in the same final, and 4 months later I met the lady that I eventually married and life got better, oh and also I didn’t have a rope on me that day!

So what did that teach me? It taught me never to underestimate the opposition and never to take Ipswich for granted, here we are 33 years on (Jesus’s age when he passed away) and we face Ipswich again, also one nil down, only this time it’s only half time and this team has the chance to right that wrong, and give me back my life, that life that was so cruelly ruined by the Tractor boys. So Arsenal, you owe me big time.

I wouldn’t field a second string, I would field our best team, or at least a team that can win, a team that will not accept defeat, a team similar to the team that beat Wigan, forget the fringe players, if we don’t win this one by two clear goals it’s over, simple as that, we have to win, let’s field a weakened side against Huddersfield, we may beat Huddersfield and go out in the next round, this is a must win game Arsenal, don’t screw this one up.

Put the team out that beat Wigan, then when we get the goals send on the subs, against Wigan we played like we did against the chavs, we shut them down, we chased the ball, we pressed and we shot on sight, that’s what we need to do, not start with Denilson, Eboue or Bendtner, sorry boys, you’ve been given too many chances, sure if we won with them in the team I would be delighted, but if we start with them, so will Paul Jewell.

I think this game is more important than any game we’ve played since we went unbeaten, when we played Barca in the Champions league final we had a chance, but it was always a big ask, especially once Lehmann went off, this one will define our season, it Ipswich for Christ’s sake, take them out and do it in the first half.

I’m predicting a big win, I will feel more comfortable with this starting line up though.

Chezzer

Sagna Djourou Kozzer Clichy

Wilshere Song Cesc

Walcott RVP Nasri

Put Gibbs, Chamakh, Bendtner, Arshavin and whoever else on the bench.

They will no doubt park the preverbial, but if they nick an early goal, they will never come out of their own half and that will be dangerous, remember West ham and Shitty? Yes we beat West ham but it was tight and we don’t want extra time or penalties, my little ticker wouldn’t handle it, not twice in 33 years anyway!

Arsene, this is your chance to show that project youth has sort of worked, I know we can win this, if we were playing the spuds or the mancs I may be nervous, but we are playing the team that lost by 7 to the team we beat 3-1, go out and play for the fans, get us to Wembley and do us proud.

This reminds me of the battle of the Nile, Nelson was after Napoleon’s fleet, he searched for weeks and finally saw them off the coast of Egypt, his management team advised against an evening kick off as that had never been done before, Naval battles were never played under floodlights, he was out numbered and out gunned, he went in as the sun went down with his strongest 11, he wiped out the French fleet and blew up their flagship the L’Orient, the moral of the story is ‘strongest team’ and an ‘evening kick-off’ blimey we even have a player that used to be on the L’Orient, go out there and win it for the fans Arsenal, you owe us and history is on our side!

Have a great day Grovers, I think this will be one of those dates that people will say ‘where were you on the 25th of January 2011?’

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