5 to 3 to 1… Manc hangover continues! Fans defence of Online Gooner Ed

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Before I get started, I just wanted to mention the support for Eduardo. Above is a banner outside someones house on Gillespie Road, also our sponsors the Emirates deserve a mention for their ‘get well soon message’ on the electronic bill boards, it was a nice touch.

Onto football matters.

So, we have entered arguably the most important part of the season and we’ve now gone 4 games without a win. It seems Arsene Wenger greatly underestimated the psychological ramifications of fielding a weakened team at Old Trafford. We looked really poor today.

Villa were well organised and extremely quick on the break. Theo wasn’t lying when he said Agbonlahor was quick, the guy is Thierry Henry quick, it was frightening to watch him stretch our defence at times. William Gallas had to put in a superb tackle to stop him scoring in the first half… why he didn’t pull the trigger earlier?

Their goal was fortunate to say the least. I think it was Agbonlahor who beat Sagna for pace and powered a low cross in… which hit big Phils ankle and slotted neatly inside the near post. I can’t say it went against the run of play because it didn’t. Other notable points in a crap first half, was a rocket fired into the top corner by Villa, that looked like an Almunia tip onto the bar.

The only player who was really offering us anything in the first half was Theo Walcott. You could tell he was confident because he was all over the place… he even managed to pull a great save out of Carson.

The second half wasn’t much better, Villa’s defence was resolute and they were still causing us problems. We didn’t seem to have the creative spark and Ade was playing poorly. I know he has had a great season so far, but what a goal drought highlights is Ade’s shockingly poor first touch. Even when he is playing well its not great… How many times do you see an Arsenal player ping a ball at him, and Ade’s return ball flies about 50 feet in the air? He really was crap today.

Cesc was pretty poor as well. He hasn’t looked at the races in the second half of the season, and today he was the same. The passes that were finding people at the start of the season, are not now. I know he says he is doing more for the team, but I would prefer to see a slightly more selfish Cesc scoring and setting up goals… leave the donkey work to the Flamster.

Diaby was back to his imperious worst. He clearly doesn’t know what he is doing out on the wing, and was subbed after about 60 minutes. Arsenal, the only Prem contenders to play 4 centre midfielders in midfield. Its a joke…

Nikki B came on and was trying to make things happen. He was duly rewarded with a goal from an Ade knock down in about the 98th minute. The crowd who stayed went ballistic, but it still didn’t numb the pain of dropping another 2 points.

So, Milan up next. Make no mistake, if we play that badly in the San Siro we are going to get beaten. The good news is RvP will be on the bench to give us a much needed boost up front.

Onto matters of irritation.

I read this yesterday on the Online Gooner,

‘Let’s turn our home stadium into a fortress. Stop eating bloody food while a football match is in progress and use your mouths to get behind the team you supposedly want to win the league. And if you are only coming for the ‘matchday experience’ p*ss off and give your ticket to someone that gives a damn about the team.’

This really riled me because its such a load of old bollocks.

Problem: The Atmosphere isn’t that great.

Reason: Err, its gotta be the corporates eating their prawn sandwiches or the plastic fans who are anti singing?

Well let me break down any misconceptions people might have after consistently reading such crap.

Firstly, if someone wants a season ticket, they have to pay to go on a waiting list. Arsenal didn’t just build a new stadium and give out the extra capacity to the highest bidders. You can’t just become an Arsenal fan on a Monday, buy yourself a season ticket on a Tuesday then eat your prawn sandwiches at a game on a Wednesday. It just doesn’t work like that, even when its put into a Craig David style theme.

So basically what I am saying is that if you are not a real fan for sitting on a waiting list for ten years, when are you a real fan? They’ve waited there turn to pick up a ticket, they’ve paid their money, so lay off them.

Don’t blame the club levelers either. Everyone I sit around is a real fan. I have never sat next to anyone wearing a suit asking me to clarify the rules of football. Most of the people in the bars at the end of the game are just ordinary fans who fancied an upgrade. Sure there are probably corporates hiding somewhere amongst us and maybe some of them do enjoy a prawn sandwich, but so what? They would be a minority out of the 8000 club level fans. Would it matter anyway? 8000 fans are not responsible for the lack of noise in a 60,000 seater stadium.

The next thing the writer fails to acknowledge is the Arsenal stewards issue. They do their best to harass people who stand up and sing. Every time someone stands up 5 stewards are on them forcing that person to sit down. You can’t stand up to get the crowd going. Every time I looked down yesterday there was a flurry of fluorescent jackets surrounding fans who were trying to get the atmosphere going. If you swear you get a warning, if you sing you get a warning… there’s not really much you can do at an Arsenal game these days. I was warned about banging the hoarding when we scored… thats how anal the stewards are!

Maybe the Arsenal fans could be a bit louder, but in a new stadium, the people around you are still a bit alien. All the old singers have been dispersed and they aren’t allowed to stand up to get other fans in the mood. Its a tough ask encouraging people to sing, when you can’t stand up.

The behaviour of the stewards is not conducive to the fans getting behind the team.

Maybe the writer of the article should have an ask around his season ticket holding friends to find out how bad the situation is before he posts anymore articles on food scoffing Arsenal fans. Its ill informed and its lazy to blame the fans. Or maybe the writer isn’t a season ticket holder himself, on this site we don’t allow people to slag their own fans off, it’s like shooting your own soldiers in a war, it’s just not done. Perhaps the people at the online gooner should spend more time supporting their own and not picking holes in something that only happens in their own minds, everyone around me is red and white to the core, and anyway they don’t actually eat prawn sandwiches and they hate Roy Keane, they sure as fuck don’t ape what he said.

43 Responses to “5 to 3 to 1… Manc hangover continues! Fans defence of Online Gooner Ed”

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  1. Evo in OZ

    Very passionate Pedro, well written.

    Ill trust every word you have written there as its about 5 years since in lived in the UK, so i obviously dont get to the games these days!

    I just want to win on Tuesday, i know the league should be no.1, but im pretty sure the rest of the week will be a write off if we dont win, definitely the body and mind will shut down and the working week will be screwed as we know it!

  2. Stupid

    Due to personal commitments i gave my season ticket to my brother in law for this season ( in the upper south right behind the goal ) great seat but am considering paying the extra grand next year for a club level, which the club keep offering me at reduced rates…. worth the extra?

  3. Geoff

    I’d like to slap that wanker from online gooner, he’s always slagging people in club level off.

    I think he thinks more people will read his boring website, I remember when he gave everyone a lecture on the holocaust, like we’ve never read a book or seen a television programme before.

    That was the last time I ever read that site, I don’t know why you bother Pedro.

    Great post though.

  4. Pedro

    We like it stupid! A free beer at half time, somewhere to sit after the game while the queues die down!

    Its a great view from where ever you sit as well! Well worth it I reckon. Try and avoid a seat near the stewards though, they’ve cause Bud countless problems this season so much so, one of the guys is going down stairs and bud and his brother are buying the peoples seats behind us!

  5. Odub

    Morning all.

    Just watched MOTD, where the hell did we have 6 attempts on target?!! I only remember Carson making 2 saves!!!

    Agree with all sentiments Pedro, we were poor.I ended up sitting in the midst of the mad mob in the corner and they stand all game despite the stewards coming over every 2 seconds! They just ignored them and kept singing.

    Despite Diaby having a poor game I have to feel sorry for him for 3 reasons

    1. He wasnt 100% FIT
    2. He was played out of position AGAIN
    2. and he got the worst of the abuse from the faithful yesterday (yours truly included) mainly because he kept falling over, couldnt control the ball, and kept cutting bak in when he got the ball out wide and never fucking crossed once, and he also had those fucking orange boots on!!

    Our best player was def Theo, and Nicky came on and caused problems.

    I’m still staying positive and thinking we will draw in meelan, and do Boro next saturday.

    We do need Kolo, RVP and Rosicky back asap!!

    2 Biggest shouts, singing sequences of the day – for Eduardo, and there’s only one Gary Lewin!!

  6. Geoff

    Stupid, apart from the stewards, club level is brilliant, no queueing and you can sit around drinking after the game until the crowd have gone.

    We’re above the North Bank towards the corner, great view.

  7. Odub

    Nice to finally meet the bear by the way! My mate didnt get to Arsenal stadium until 2.58!! So missed the first 3 minutes!

  8. Odub

    Ditto Geoff, Yeah Wigan away next sunday, already looking ahead to next home game with the bame of battering them!

  9. Goonerreed

    I totally agree on the stewards front – you feel that you have to sit up straight with your arms crossed and mouth shut for fear one of those morons will threaten to eject you. But what can be done? Edelman has already made it clear he likes the hard line approach…but then they wonder why it’s so blooming quiet.

  10. Mike (the neighbour)

    Good post Pedro
    Couldnt really get a flavour of what went on from MOTD though –
    The online gooner clearly wants back the days of the terrace a meat pie and pissing in a rolled up newspaper -I suspect jealousy is at the root of it –
    O! beware, my lord, of jealousy;
    It is the green-eyed monster which
    doth mock The meat it feeds on.
    William Shakespeare

  11. Geoff

    I think you misspelled ‘cock’ Mike!

    The guy is an arsehole and has probably never been to the Grove, he think it’s cool to slag of anyone who’s in club level, it’s not though, it’s passe, the tosser.

  12. Mike (the neighbour)

    Hey if its televised Geoff we can see it together with a beer in Spain -Hopefully it will be sunny so Miss Geoffs and Mrs Mike can be quiet frying away -accuweather says 21oc and Sunny yipppeee

  13. josef K


    You seem to completely miss the point of the quote from the Onliner Gooner article.

    The reference, certainly from the quote to which you refer, makes no reference to corporate supporters whatsoever – this is something you have intimated yourself.

    What the quote you have used is saying is a request to people to stop leaving their seats to go and get a slice of pizza five minutes before half time and return five minutes late. It is asking people who are essentially ‘football tourists’ who go for the experience to give up their tickets for actual supporters.

    Clearly, this is a legitimate complaint since it happens every flipping game, and I sit behind the goal next to the opposition fans. Every game I see groups of five, six or more tourists – literally tourists from the other side of the world, who have managed to get tickets sat next to each other, just like that – these people sit on their arses watching the bright lights in wonderment, then they disappear and return with arm fulls of food and drink.

    Could you get a wedge of five tickets together for a bunch of mates who fancy showing up? No me neither.

    Perhaps you may have a legitimate point but the quote you chose to utilize undermines any legitimate concern you may have – it does not address the issue you seem to think it does.

    You have taken it as a personal slight, presumably because of the location of your own seat, and perhaps due to a running dispute with the website in question – but the fact remains large numbers of people DO leave their seats early to eat, large numbers of people DO spend their time getting photographs of the stadium and filming the action on their mobile phones rather than actually getting involved in the game. This gets right up my bugle to be honest.

    The stewarding issue you address is also incorrect, I hazard to guess but the incident you witnessed was most likely the action being taken to remove supporters who were angry at the Eduardo chanting from the Villa ‘supporters’ (its well reported). I have never had an issue with being told to sit down, I stand the majority of all games, shout what I like and never have a problem – but then I never indulge in any negative chanting.

    I would suggest that the stewarding you experience up in club level is different to that down with us proles, I do sympathize but painting it as if it is endemic problem in all sections of the ground is misleading and unfair.

    The situation with atmosphere in the ground is not perfect and it serves no one to paint the problem as either ‘corporate’ supporters or stewarding issues. There has always been a distinctly poorer atmosphere at Arsenal games than other teams, and one assume their always will be – but this I would prefer than to have supporters like Villa who spent yesterday singing songs about Eduardo and Heather Mills.

  14. Geoff

    Interesting to read Sky say Wenger will be handed a £70mil war chest for next season, Edelman said to the NOTW, strange that because Edelman said we had £70mil at the Shareholders meeting and since then we sold Diarra for £5.5, either I can’t add up or Edelman can’t.

    Given this record with selling Diarra before getting Flamini to sign, I suspect it’s Edelman

  15. Jimmy

    I think some fans are still suffering the hangover of moving stadiums. They’re not used to who they’re sitting beside and they’re not sure what they can and cant get away with. It’s understandable really, when moving in with they new you have to accept that some of the old will be left behind.
    I my self have been on the season ticket waiting list for 5 years, I go to as many games as possible every season yet I am still a red member. Where I seem to get my seats (usually upper tier in the corner above the away fans) I have to say I’ve been sitting beside many suited people, for some reason at every champios league game. I agree with most of what you’ve said, particularily regarding the stewards, but in my experience many of the fans that I’ve sat beside dont know the chants and dont seen that interested. One point that I think is important to make, because it really pisses me off, is that (and the is where the online gooner is right) when the teams enter the pitch there seems to be about 20,000 empty seats. The same seats are empty 5 mins before half-time, agin 5mins after half-time and somtimes before the final whistle. What the fuck are they there for? Hotdogs? Bovril?
    Also, given our success in the last 10yrs, we’ve come to expect a certain quality of football, and if we dont get it, and the team have to battle for a victory (like yesterday) we seem to get restless and turn on the players. Surely that can only have a negative effect on the players. As fans, we need to support the team when they’re playing badly more so than when they’re winning.
    Despite what I’ve just said, I do generaly agree with your article. There seems to be so much slating of our own fans on every site I visit (except this one!) that there nust be thousands of people with that point of biew. Maybe if those lads shutup complaining and started singing there might be more of atmosphere in the stadium.

  16. Geoff

    Too right Jimmy, also where I sit I point out to Pedro, the thousands in the lower tiers streaming our long before half time and from all over the ground, doesn’t happen too much in club level because the drinks are free and you don’t have to queue, but we don’t slag them off, I don’t blame them if they have to queue for ten minutes.

  17. Jim

    I agree with a lot that has been said above regarding the online gooner and its desire to still be living in the 70’s, however i was surprised that the sitting/standing excuse was brought out to explain the lack of atmosphere. I SAT on the North bank every game and there was nearly always a better atmosphere than at the Grove. Now, at the Grove, i have to stand for 90 minutes during most games and the atmosphere is generally pants.

  18. jimmyfingers

    You could give Wenger a 70 billion pound warchest and he still wouldn’t spend it. He had money to burn during the summer, when he could have signed Torres but didn’t because of the fee, and had money to burn during January, what did he do? Signed some 17 year old

    Obviously we’re in the shit at the present moment because of injuries. Weird that having Toure out isn’t that big of a deal: after all the Big Phil hand-wringing pre-ANC he’s suddenly started playing well but I still see the need for another centre-back, although Wenger will undouctedly stick with Djourou and possibly convert Hoyte Lehman going means a new ‘keeper

    The midfield? Until Flamini signs that’s well murky but what’s obvious is we need genuine wide men. Vela to come in and I fancy him to make a big impression and I suppose Hleb out on the right. We also need to trim the centre. If Flamini goes then we buy a stopper, and possibly a right winger

    A full fit front line and we’ve got an abundance of choices but with Eduardo out long term and RvP a crock that’s never going to happen. Do we stick with Ade? He’s frustrating and has missed some sitter recently but he’s also been carrying the burden of being the main striker all season, somethingwhich is really RvP’s role, and we know how well they dovetail together. Theo’s a big yes from me, scored two against Brum and our best player against Villa by the looks of things. Bendtner again not sure about. So we buy a striker

    But who will Wenger buy? Probably no-one we’ve heard of and barely out of nappies. Barca, Inter, Milan, Madrid, United and Chelsea will play pass the player, we’ll have to endure endless ‘Madrid want Cesc’ and ‘Ade to Milan’ rumours and at the end of it not much will have changed. I hate the fucking summer

  19. Pedro

    Josef, I don’t think I missed the point of the article at all. I didn’t base my whole argument around the quote, I based it on the article.

    The online gooner was slagging off the fans again. I didn’t say the article was aimed at corporate fans, but I felt I needed to cover all bases in my argument.

    To say large numbers of fans spend time taking pictures of the stadium is also rubbish? How many different pictures of the stadium can you get from one seat? Football tourism? If someone pays £400 for a ticket, fair play to them, they must have been pretty keen to see us and if we want to be seen as a global brand we have to accept foreign tourists want to watch Arsenal. Its a bit simplistic to just ask them to give up their tickets for ‘real fans’.

    People leaving early for food and drink? Hardly a new thing is it, it happened at highbury. If they want a drink at half time, what are they supposed to do?

    Your guess was incorrect. I wasn’t pinpointing one incident, I was summing up a problem that I watch happening below us, it happens every game. I sat too far away from the away fans to notice any aggression towards them. If you stand and shout the majority of the game… I think you are in a minority, especially if you get away with it.

    I don’t think you can say my stewarding statement is incorrect? I’ve had trouble with them as have a number of my friends who sit in other non-club level parts of the stadium. I watch the people below me getting into trouble with the stewards every game. Just because you don’t, it doesn’t mean other people aren’t.

    Yes, I have taken a personal slight to the article. I get pissed off when websites slag off the fans… Its boring and its not on.

    Jimmy, it is understandable if you are sitting next to suited people for a champions league game because people go from work. I think your point about fans not really knowing there neighbours is a good one.

  20. Stupid

    btw lads – have only read the mail on sunday and sunday times ( scanned the filth of the world online ) any mention anywhere of the flamster story?

  21. Stupid

    also…. did ade celebrate the bendter goal?

    i think not…. do we have a reyes/henry situation all over again… i think so!

  22. Geoff

    You could be right on the Ade story bu he did supply the pass, the Flamster story is not in The Sunday Times or the Mail.

    If you are being offered Club level, take them as there is a waiting list. We’re in block 55, come and join us!

  23. Stupid

    No that’s what i meant, the story is not in the mail or the times or in the notw online. The story is legit, it will break sooner rather than later.

    Was offered a club level for just over 3k on the first season, and been offered one 3 times this season, and now they are letting me take one for 2.5k. Are you sure there is a waiting list? They seem desperate.

  24. Geoff

    Ours are £2.6 they were £2.5 when the stadium first opened, other areas near the half way line were £4,5, probably 4.6 now and yes there is a waiting list because a friend is on it.

  25. terry

    A good point yesterday the team were not playing but fought right to the end . roll on tuesday night one away goal and we could win the tie.

  26. gazzap

    does anyone know what the villa fans sang? I heard the word Eduardo loud and clear but then I understand it was something about heather mills. I dont know what was actually sang (by almost every villa fan!) anyone know?

  27. Pedro

    “Eduardo used to have silky skills, now he walks like Heather Mills.”

    Didn’t you get the text the monday after the incident?

    Fucking sick.

  28. Stupid

    bring on the italians…. cesc, flamster, hleb and ade had one eye on the big game..nothing elevates your status as a top player more than a cracking perfomrnace against the champions of europe!

  29. Stupid

    lets fuck the league thing off for a couple of days and get right behind the boys for our biggest game since the paris final 2 years ago.


  30. gazzap

    that is a horrible song. why would football fans want to sing something like that? I just cannot imagine Arsenal fans singing that to anyone – even to man u and even if we’re pissed up to the eye balls. no class. Villa fans have just gone to the bottom of my estimations. wankers.

  31. Stupid

    its a class issue, unfortunately most football teams have a high percentage of low class low iq numpties that support them.

  32. jimmyfingers

    Well they’re the first, but sure as hell they won’t be the last to sing that. No doubt Manu fans will follow suit (along with everyone else) in between those lovely songs about Wenger

  33. gazza

    another reason why it’s quiet at arsenal matches.
    i ‘ve spoken to many mates of mine at the grove. there seems to be an agreement that the afc songs are predictable and, simply, boring.
    playing milan? let’s slag off those twats down the lane.
    ‘and it’s arsenal, arsenal fc’ . . . i agree with the sentiment but everyone has their own version, it’s hardly ours.
    ‘arsene, arsene, give us a wave’ . . . you can tell he’s bored stupid with it.
    all the chants are tired.
    songs aside, it doesn’t matter if it’s up the local with a pint or at the grove, what wenger has done with afc on the outlay he’s (chosen to?) had, marks him as a genius and the players — all of them — as exceptional. look at the table and remember your aspirations last august.

  34. jamesgillesp

    I can’t agree totally with you..I’m a season ticket holder in the NW corner, and we don’t get any trouble from the stewards this season. I have not sat down in a single minute of any game this whole season and the atmosphere in our very small section of the Emirates is much improved this year. It does seem that a lot less than 8000 people are responsible for ALL of the atmosphere in the stadium. I’m not slagging off anyone, and not club level specifically. I love Gooners, I am one, but it is just dissapointing every game when people don’t join in.Everyone needs to make an effort.

    Last year the stewards were very harsh but persistence has meant that people are allowed to keep an atmosphere going. To be honest though when the NW corner is quiet the stadium really is like a library. It is dissapointing, and also seeing fans streaming out with 10 minutes to go at half time and again in the second half against Villa is just bad support. This does happen a lot, much more than ever at Highbury. Part of the problem seems to be that a lot of fans don’t want to get involved in sings and don’t contribute to the atmosphere, and a lot of the stadium doesn’t get back for half time, especially club level, the club have tried to rectify this through their announcing of how long till 2nd half kick off.

    Also Pedro, many fans do seem to take pictures of the stadium and match which seems to be partly football tourism. i can see that dedicated fans who don’t get to many games may want to take photos of their first visit to the Grove, but from where I sit I see a frenzy of flashes opposite every time theres a corner. It never happened at Highbury so much.

    The old singers are not nessicarily dispersed as it was made clear that there was to be a RedAction section in the NW for the people who really want to create an atmosphere. I’m not saying you aren’t wanting to sing if you didn’t buy a seat there, but I don’t think you can totally argue that the singers are all dispersed.

    Also gazza. The reason for the slag off Tottenham is that it seems to get people a bit more active, people around the ground seem more responsive with the “stand up if you hate Tottenham” than “jump up if you’re 1 nil up”!!!

    Jim made a good point:
    ” i was surprised that the sitting/standing excuse was brought out to explain the lack of atmosphere. I SAT on the North bank every game and there was nearly always a better atmosphere than at the Grove.”

    Although I think the article from Online Gooner is extreme, I think that it does make points which are very true.. Highbury was never the loudest stadium in recent years, but it would be nice to see a bit more of a consistent effort from all fans in the Grove, not just one section. Time will tell, it probably is partly a case of “new stadium syndrome”, but there are underlying problems which may not be solved with time.

    Anyway, aside from that, we should all be feeling extremely happy after last night!!