Joy…

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Tell me any fan in the land who wakes up on a Saturday morning and gets excited about the prospect of playing Blackburn Rovers? I don’t think there is one… Blackburn suck the joy out of football… if they were a house chore… they’d be oven cleaning.

I dread playing Blackburn, I dread playing Fat Sam teams.

I said to Geoff shortly before the game,

”Wouldn’t it be great to get an early goal so we can relax for once”

So the game kicked off, within a few moments, Theo was released by Nik out wide right, he cut inside, laid a ball off into the box… and Arshavin bundled the ball out wide only for Oijer to deflect it home. One up after 80 seconds… what was going on?

Arsenal sat back after taking the lead and absorbed the pressure with ease. El Hadji Savage hacked Almunia down early in the game to cement his name in the book of nasty pieces of crap.

Arsenal continued to pile on the pressure, Nik B going close and Nasri following suit shortly after. It was a bit disappointing, I felt Blackburn were there for the taking, yet Arsenal seemed uninterested in extending their lead?

The second half began and the sunshine came out… surely we had perfect conditions to dish out a hammering?

Well, we had to wait till 65th minute. Arshavin picked up the ball out wide, jinked past Simpson, steamed into the box towards the byline… then lifted the ball into the roof of the net with expert precision. It was a goal only he could have scored… and thank the lord he didn’t lay it back to Nik who was having a troublesome day in front of goal!

The customary Eboue appearance came shortly after… he managed to miss an Arshavin assisted sitter… then within about 5 minutes he was first to a Paul Robinson spill.Eboue looked like he’d just won the world cup… he ran over to the Arsenal stands and performed some sort of monkey dance… perhaps he’d had a run in with the stewards as well? Pretty hilarious stuff!

His next came after, Carlos Vela was hauled down in the box… The ref pointed to the spot… and Eboue buried the penalty.

Some asked why Eboue took the penatly… but most recognised the reason. Eboue has God like status amongst Arsenal staff and players… that is why he took it. I also think the Arsenal players were interested to see what his next celebration would be… it wasn’t that entertaining… but it was nice to see the Arsenal players united in their love for one man. I don’t think he’ll be leaving any time soon…

So overall, an enjoyable, fun filled performance. Saturday afternoons don’t get much better than that!

Player Ratings:

Almunia: Solid and dependable. After his mid season dip in form, he seems to have regained a lot of his composure between the sticks and his kicking is tremendous. Late in the first half he played this drop ball kick about 50 feet in the air straight into the path of Arshavin… it was superb. 7.5

Clichy: Must work harder on his crossing. 6

Toure: I love Kolo, he emobodies everything an Arsenal player should be. Passionate, hard working and a fierce competitor. I thought he played well today. He worked very well with JD and dealt with aerial balls with ease. 7

JD: Superb today… his best game in a while. I thought he looked composed, calm and aggressive. Nothing got past him today and it was nice to see him come in and take nothing away from the defence. 7.5

Sagna: Thought he had a poor game today… must work harder on his crossing. 6

Nasri: I dunno… It’s kind of like office syndrome with Nasri. If you’ve ever worked in an office of 30 or so ugly people… you’ll know what I’m talking about. Their will always be one girl who is slightly less ugly than the rest of them… she catches your eye… you start to believe that she is actually a real beaut… then BANG… a real 9 out of 10 starts working for you… you forget the other girl. Nasri seems to be that girl. He is being overshadowed by our new Russian maestro… which I think long term will be a good thing. It will give him direction and someone to look up to. Young players—> Learning from older players…. now there’s a novel idea! 7.5

Arshavin: This little bag of under the thumb genius is proving to be a hit isn’t he? The guy is special… I’m talking in a Bergkamp/Pires kind of way. He has the same sort of vision, he lifts the team and gives people time and space… he is

THE ANTI CRAB!

… Today, he made two goals and scored one. What a player. The way he jinked through the Blackburn defence then fired the ball past Robinson from the most acute of angles was amazing… honestly… the odds of squeezing the ball between the post and the fattest keeper in Prem were about 400/1.. pure genius. Something else that made me laugh was when he miscontrolled the ball… there was silence, the fans refused to huff! Hilarious! 9

Denilson: Again, a superb performance. Wasted little, cleared up where necessary and also linked up well with the attack. When Song and Denilson are paired together, they provide a solid wall. Solidity is the new flair dont you know? 7.5

Song: I can’t knock him. He passed well, got forward with purpose and cleaned up like a seasoned pro… All the more impressive considering he was absorbing the pressure of a nasty, physical Blackburn attack. More than held his own today… and it was great to see him join the attack in a productive manner. 8

Nik B: I’m not prepared to listen to the haters anymore. Nik B is going to be a fantastic player… he works harder than most in the team, he actually wants to play for someone other than himself and he is constantly in the right position to score. His composure in front of goal leaves a lot to be desired… but that will come with age. I promise you, he will become and integral part of our future… and I think if zogby ran a poll in the stadium… he’d have more lovers than haters. Oh… and just before I leave this one… there were no boo’s, just cheers of support… we all love a player who works hard, so keep your mischeivious comments to yourself Stan Collymore. 8

Theo: I’ve not always been a huge fan of Theo… I think he is far from the finished article and I find him extremely frustrating at time. Today however, I thought he performed very well. His pace and new found power caused Blackburn problems all day. I think Theo has found a new toughness to his game and if he can some how learn to harness his explosive attributes, we could have a superstar on our hands. 8

Subs:

Vela: If there is anyone in the team who has the potential to match Arshavin for skill and flair… it is our young mexican. If you get a chance to see his one two with the Russian, please take a look… Vela won us a penatly, so a succesful cameo appearance. 7

Eboue: YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME… That is exactly what John Mcenroe would have said if I’d told him Eboue had scored two goals in twenty minutes. Is Eboue the only player in the history of Arsenal who can bag two goals and still have large sections of the fan base calling him an idiot? He came on… created a bit of hustle then buried the Robinson deflection. His second came after Vela was hauled down in the box… Eboue snatched the ball off him and buried a superb penalty past a keeper who covers 70% of the goal from a standing position. 7

Diaby: Can’t remember to much from Diaby. 6

Have a great Sunday Grovers!

P.S. Many thanks to all the Grovers who met up before the game. It was a pleasure as always!


Gazidis: Keep employing monkeys, you’ll end up with peanuts.

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Just a quick post to inform anyone who was considering club level next year not to bother.

The stewards are overly officious, you can’t sing and if you leave the ground to make a phone call, 4 stewards… average age of 18 surround you and tell you you’re not allowed back in.

Pathetic.

Arsenal, just remember… the customer is not a criminal. If the game has been finished for 30 minutes… a customer leaves… and you don’t let him back in, you’ve just lost a couple of hundred quid… because when you refused me reentry, you lost 8 customers in the process.

If a customer pays £2,600 a year for a ticket, they deserve a little more respect than they are currently being shown… if you treat us like cattle, we’ll react… and there is only one party who’ll be stung in the pocket and it wont be me and Geoff next year.

It’ll be Arsenal…

Most Club Level fans have normal season tickets… and judging from what I hear… many will have those back next year. Club level is just not worth the aggro so many of us seem to be suffering on a weekly basis. The gaps all over the stadium should be sounding alarm bells… instead of thinking up ways of gaining new customers, maybe a charm offensive on the ones you already have would be a good idea?

I wouldn’t want to tar all the staff with the same brush… but the good to bad ratio split seems to be leaning more toward the bad these days.

Gazidis… you need to address the embarrassing staffing issues you are currently suffering at the Grove because it’s getting out of hand.

If you don’t, you’ll suffer next year.


Massive, massive day today and 4th spot is the reward.

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So that’s it then, if we win today we go fourth, anything else and Villa can stretch their lead, if we beat Blackburn today though, I think Villa’s nerves will get to them, I think they will wobble, then crash, then burn.

Artistic impression of Villa's attempts for forth place.

Artistic impression of Villa's attempts for forth place.

Tottenham have a great manager in Harry and a very impressive squad, with notables such as Wilson Palacios holding the middle of the park together and the mercurial David Bentley that we let slip through our fingers. Their footballing ability should see them through comfortable winners tonight and I for one salute their way of playing pure football, the way it should be played, well done Harry, you sir are a gentleman and a veritable genius.

Ha, ha, ha, that had you going didn’t it! They’re a shit side with a lying toad for a manager who’s boatrace was successfully twinned with a bulldog chewing a large sack of wasps. Having said that they could well pull off an upset and get an away win, every side gets one a season and today could be theirs, remember what I said about blind squirrels and acorns?

So that said we still need to beat Blackburn, we have no Eduardo and there’s a doubt over Theo, but that could be a smokescreen so I expect this to be our team today.

Almunia

Eboue Kolo Gallas Gibbs

Arshavin Song Diaby Nasri

Vela Bendtner

I believe that because he has his two love children in and he may twin one of them with Diaby to counter their height and dirtyness, I also think he may rest his full backs, also Denilson and Robin who did a lot of running on Wednesday so are probably cream crackered and understandably so.

So it’s backs to the wall and nose to the grindstone today, and early goal is what we need because the longer the game goes on without one, the stronger they will get and the more desperate we will.

We need to be like a pack of rabid wolves, we need to attack from the off and on this day we take no prisoners, today we send a message to the world, Arsenal are coming back, so get out of the way you fat ugly dyke whore!

Have a great day today Grovers, I’ll be at the S&B as usual for the pre game team talk and subsequent road beers. I will once again be singing my lungs out at the Grove, right now we have nothing, but tonight we could be back in the Champions league spot in 4th place, who would have thought this a fortnight ago eh?

P.S. Cheers to everyone who supplied tickets to Le Exchange, I think I sent someone to every ticket holder? Oh… and make sure you join our twitter thing… it’s so damn cool!