Welcome to another fantastic addition of the weekly Guest Blog. This week long time Grover, Gunner8 has contributed a piece.
This piece follows on from Pedro’s fabulous politico blog on Friday, thanks for teeing me up!
I am going to try and show in a chronological time line how the rise and fall of Arsenal mirrors the rise and fall of our current government since 1997.
Of course Wenger joined in 1996 and had a pretty good season for the (then) rarest of beasts, a foreign manager. After releasing Dickov, McGoldrick and the prolific (sic) John Jensen, Arsene took over the famous back five and added a young Vieira and a not so young Remi Garde to the mix.
97-98: The real good stuff starts to happen in 1997 though, as Arsenal and New Labour showed that change can be great, both PM and AM (Arsenal Manager) gave us the vision of a brave new world order. The PM showed that we would not be forced into the EMU at the detriment to our economy. Wenger cleared out more dead wood in Hartson, Morrow, Helder, Selley, Linighan and Merson while bringing in the hard tackling Grimandi and Petit, plus the speedy wingers Overmars and Boa Morte, the lethal striker Anelka and the equally young Upson to relieve the tired Arsenal back 4. The result, a famous League and Cup double. The gooner faithful could not believe their luck, who was this man who made Adams, Bould, Dixon and Winterburn look 10 years younger?
98-99: Losing Arsenal Legend Ian Wright (and loudmouth), ex-England Captain David Platt and replacing them with the unknown Freddie Ljungberg and Nelson Vivas was Arsene’s first gamble. After a great start to the season with the Charity Shield and a debut goal for our new no.8 we lost the league by 1 point with little thanks to ex-gooner O’Leary’s LUFC. A cabinet reshuffle and airstrikes against Iraq dented the opinion polls, all in all things were still looking strong.
99-00: Bould, Garde and Boa Morte were no loss, but the transfer of Anelka to Madrid for £23million (22.5mil profit); whilst allowing us to build a training ground to make every team jealous signalled that Arsene-al were ready to sell their stars to the highest bidder.
Did we care though? Did we hell, Wenger’s genius gave us Henry, Kanu, Silvinho, and then a past it Suker, Luznhy and Pennant. We started brightly winning the Shield again while capitulating in the league and losing on penalties in the UEFA cup final. This was the year the Millennium dome cost the country a fortune as did Gordon Brown’s blunder in selling ½ of the nations gold reserves at a 20 year low (it has since trebled in price) costing us £2 billion, Anelka’s value had gone down in the meantime!
00-01: Overmars and Petit to Barca followed by Suker and Winterburn all left. Winterburn was replaced by Lauren, Overmars by Pires and Suker by Wiltord… Arsene’s legendary transfer policies continued to amaze everyone.
As foot and mouth breaks out, we are again runners up in the league and FA cup. Arsenal do announce the new stadium project to keep up with the competition.
01-02: Silvinho leaves after being replaced by the biggest twunt to wear our shirt, as does Vivas. Arsene strengthens his squad by adding Edu, Campbell, Van Bronckhorst and the young Richard Wright to take over from Seaman.
Labour win a second term and the government launch attacks on Afghanistan which were popular due to the Sept. 11th attacks on NYC.
The result, some strong additions to complement the team end up in Wenger’s second double, AKB’s abound, interestingly Labour decided against joining the EMU (just like the last time we won the double).
02-03: 3 Legends left our club Big Tone, Lee Dixon and the Grimster, in came Kolo, Zinedine Cygan, Gilberto and Swiss Tony? The club changed the crest to make it more modern and dropped the famous Victoria Concordia Crescit (Victory Through Harmony). We win the charity shield and the FA Cup, meanwhile Labour is suffering a 1 million people strong march against the aggression in Iraq and the BS about the WMD’s (jeezus we all knew that you are after the black gold!).
03-04: The real divine ponytail leaves and is replaced by a mad German. Luzhny, Upson and Van Bronckhorst all leave, while Clichy, Djourou and Fabregas step in.
Labour again vote against the EMU and the Invincibles walk the league. Blair becomes the longest serving Labour PM and Saddam is captured.
04-05: Parlour, Kanu, Wiltord, and Volz are replaced by Almunia, Bendtner, Flamini, Reyes and van Persie. After the early promise of winning the Charity Shield again Labour’s policies see them lose 450 seats at local council’s and even though it’s a rough year we they win a third term and we win the FA Cup our last piece of silverware to date.
05-06: We lose Vieira and Edu from our experienced midfielders, also Pennant and Taylor from the youths they are replaced by Eboue, Song and Hleb. Runner’s up in the Charity Shield we do go against all odds to within 20 minutes of winning the Champions League. Labour have been living off the fat of the good times just like Arsenal were living off the fat of the Invincibles oh and Greedybayor joined halfway through the season.
06-07: We move to our soulless concrete arena Ashburton Grove which made Highbury sound like an Iron Maiden concert. Yet while losing the experience of Campbell, twuntley, Bergkamp, Pires, Bentley and er Cygan we sign Rosicknote and Gallas. The dawn of project youth was upon us. Traore, Walcott, Denilson, and Diaby were all purchased.
Brown assumes control of the government and we lose in the league cup final.
07-08: Henry, Ljungberg, Lauren, Reyes and Aliardiere all leave while Diarra, Fabianski, Sagna and Eduardo join. Somehow the team gels without the sulkiness of our leader and we sit atop the league in February as the recession starts to bite Arsenal drop away and end up fourth. Dein quits and Kronke becomes a shareholder. Diarra who couldn’t wait to leave does, bye dolphin’ead.
08-09: While every gooner on the planet could see that all we needed was to keep the team together and get a decent CB, maybe a keeper and a winger, we lose Hleb, Flamini, Gilberto, Lehmann and Hoyte whilst signing Vela (finally), Nasri and Ramsey. We look a shambles and the signing of Arshavin helps us get to two cup semi finals that we subsequently lose. Our dynamic Russian was missing for both, most believed he should have been signed in the summer… I’d agree. The government get’s whacked by the expenses scandal.
Some people still support project youth despite it’s failing, just like some people (miraculously) still support Gordon Brown!
Labour who have always stood for the working class had milked this country dry while helping the rich get richer, Arsenal have milked us fan’s (the working class) dry by charging us a fortune. At the same time, the corporate wankers leave early and ruin the experience. We are told to shut up and sit down whilst forking out for extortionatly priced tickets in the crap, uber-pc world of the Emirates.
Why do you think we all call it Ashburton Grove Arsenal? Labour have also gone down the PC route so that in this country we have no rights but terrorists do?
This is the brave new world order that we live in today!
I am voting BNP (Buy Now Party), you should to!
P.S. The results are in from the polling station…
- BNP 59%
- Continuity Party 27%
- Uspend 15%
It’s nice to see that despite there being overwhelming support for investing in the team at sensible levels, there is still varying support for other ideologies. I guess that variety is what keeps the debating so spicey in the comments!
Have a great day Grovers!