So, a bit late, but above is the picture of the ball as it crossed the line after the Cesc penalty. I took a friend to the game who is new to the game of football. Last time we went, Arsenal beat Blackburn by a massive margin, what an opening game! Saturday was different though, this was when he morphed from casual fan, to official Gooner. He turned round to me after the penalty went in and said, ‘This is a proper football game, so much better than the Blackburn game, I completely get the passion now’. Watching the conversion drew a small football shaped tear to my eye!
Which leads me nicely onto my next topic. I slummed it this week with my boss and headed over to Leicester City versus Reading game. We sat in the away end and I had a two gripes.
- Where the hell was my cushioned leather seat?
- Where was my half time salt beef sandwich?
Jokes aside, I thought it was interesting to note that despite some sections of the blogosphere trying to depict our fans as the worst (yawn), the Reading fans behaved almost identically. You had the crazy fist pumping 65 year old man on one side, the chronic muttering moaner on the other and a large dollup of mad young fans who spent more time abusing the home support than they did watching the game. Football fans are the same the country over, making out Gooners are a different breed is boring and a load of rubbish.
That said, I’ve never sat near a moaner, the worst I had was at the West Ham game at the weekend. The guy behind was giving Bendtner jip, I told him to lay off… then he lent over and said he’d had a wager on him!
It’s a shame the great Dane wont be in the side this weekend.
What would I do against Birmingham if that’s the case?
Well, I’d stick Diaby up front. He can hold the ball up, he has the height to cause a problems aerially and he’s a great finisher. I think we’re going have a tough game against Birmingham, however, I think we’ll turn them over 2-0. God told me in a dream.
Talking of strikers, I hear that Madrid’s top scorer for two seasons is going to be offloaded this summer. He missed an open goal against Lyon and that is enough to get him the boot.
Arsenal players don’t know how good they’ve got it!
Would you have the Argentine? Spacially aware, technically gifted, nippy, clinical and proven at the highest level… could be an Eduardo replacement should we shift the Croatian on this summer. I’d take a £20million punt!
Arsene Wenger has warned us not to expect miracles from Robin Van Persie. I’m inclined to agree with him there. Arsenal return dates are about as reliable as the annual ‘it’s going to be a sizzler this summer’ story in the media (cruel basta*ds!). In my mind, he’s not coming back this season… I suggest you play it the same, it avoids ETRR (Estimated Time of Return Rage).
Andrey Arshavin seems to have made himself about as popular as Bob Crow in a train station waiting room. I’m not sure how I’d feel about training if I’d told the newspapers 36% of the first team isn’t good enough. However, we all know that our special Russian is a touch dim. He was probably given a bag of Haribo to say something controversial.Wenger seems to think it’s an old interview rehashed, I’m inclined to believe the same out of nothing more than pure love for the man.
What does interest me is how he is allowed to use his personal website with such regularity? No one else in the team does. I would have thought he’d be collared for that… he needs to be careful though. I’m not sure how long Wenger will allow a media whore in the squad.
So, it was flagged to me that I didn’t used to like Eboue and now I do. Apparently some sort of crime? This attitude, that if you have an opinion it has to stay your opinion forever is completely new to me. I used to love Ashley Cole, now I don’t. I fell out of love with Sol Campbell, now I love him again. I used to croon to Celine Dione…
Opinions are variable. For me, you judge what you see. I didn’t like Eboue because of his spectacular gamesmanship and complete lack of product. This season, he’s shown a different side to his game and as a fan, I appreciate that.
Like someone said yesterday, reputation is earned as is fan love. Just wearing an Arsenal shirt doesn’t put you up their with Thierry, Adams and Paddy. I’ve listened to Martin Keown and Lee Dixon say as much in interviews. Just ask Nik Bendtner. He’s won everyone over this season with his hard working attitude on the pitch… that’s the way it should be and I couldn’t be happier with his turnaround. I’ve always supported him as a player, but he’s never been beyond reproach. No Arsenal player should be, we wouldn’t want to see complacency would we!
Talking of hard work, I read that in life, very little success is down to luck. It’s down to hours you practice. According to Malcolm Gladwell, once you hit 10,000 hours of practice, you become a master of whatever activity you train at. Which kind of fits in nicely with this approach Wenger has had with playing someone till they come good. If the basic ingredients are there (technical ability, work ethic, youth) and you have 3 years on your hands to suffer the bad times, a player should come good. We’re seeing that with Eboue, Bendtner, Song and hopefully, we’ll see it with Theo.
Personally though, I hope Arsenal have finished this transitional period team growing stuff. I hope if Alex Song and Nik Bendtner leave us this summer for £40million, we spend that money and buy 2 players to replace them… instead of trying to be clever and promote within. We’re in great shape now, we can’t have a 3 year transition every time someone decides to leave.
This summer, I hope we build on our squad regardless of trophies because the Premiership is going to be spending as crudely as John Terry on a cover up. Our squad from now on should be complimented each season with two youth players and a marquee signing if it’s needed. That way, we get the best of both worlds. Young players learning from great players and nice blend of youth and experience.
I saw Alex Lebedev has bought up another newspaper (The Independent). I must admit, as much as I thought this was going to be a bad idea, I think the Evening Standard (Gooner friendly) is still excellent and RT Today is a top news station. Lets hope he keeps free news alive and he goes against Murdoch new plan to monetize the web.
Who’d have thought it? Russians saving the free press!
P.S. If you haven’t seen our very own range of Gooner shirts, check out Tatty Nut Nuts range here. All the shirts are now in stock, Geoff went for the Marmite version, I’m wearing the Vermaelen one! They look ace, buy one, people will think you’re cool.
If you have any spare tickets, e-mail them in. Surprisingly, people are anxious to get them now! Where were you all for the Liverpool and West Ham games where I had a bundle, eh?! I have one spare for tomorrow.
P.P.S. What’s your superstition? According to the below Grover (Jock), if he doesn’t eat his battered burger from the Chinese on Gillespie road before every game, we don’t win. He’s so sure of this superstition, he’s going to have one pre-battered for the Barcelona away game! My superstition is not to buy lucky gloves… they’re never lucky. What’s yours!
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