Firstly, A Happy New Year to all our friends and readers on Arsenal Arsenal. Whatever happens during 2013 our common Goonerdom will continue to bring comraderie and banter.
So, thanks are in order on this first day of the year: First and foremost to Peaches and Rasp for providing this forum with the non-stop effort involved; to all the post writers who have given time and energy to provide such sterling entertainment; to the morning crew who make the start of the day so much fun; to the regular bloggers who give insight and humour, and not least to the thousands of visitors who make Arsenal Arsenal such an enjoyable blog. Thank you All.
And whilst we are on the subject – thanks are also due to the stumbling fools from down the road whose inability to win 2 games in a row allowed us take 3rd and enjoy yet another CL campaign whilst laughing at their continued ineptitude. .
Onto todays game. Southampton away. The home fixture must have been an embarrassment to anyone connected to the Saints; we mashed them in a manner which suggested an immediate return to the Championship. They have improved since then as the 3 goals at Stoke give evidence.
All S’ton’s points have been won against the teams at the lower end of the table which continues to be their best survival resource.
I wish Southampton well. They are a good club but today I want to see their players trudge dejectedly off the pitch following another beating by the resurgent Arsenal.
We are doing better; not brilliantly, but better. The defence remains problematic with silly mistakes occurring way too regularly. But the midfield and attack looks very potent and are gelling in an exciting and highly creative manner. Once Jack starts scoring we will have goals from everywhere. Is there a more potent sub than Giroud? He must wonder what he has to do to get a full 90 minutes. The Theo at CF “experiment” seems to be working, and as someone said why on earth was Gervinho given such a run at CF when Theo is clearly the better finisher?
Give BFG a New Year holiday before the sterner tests later in January.
The Ox/Theo combo is working very well and when Theo went wide late in the game on Sat, we looked even more dangerous. Nathaniel Clyne is a fine FB but he will be stretched this afternoon. Shame he plays on the right.
But back to the defence. Surely the problems lie in organisation rather than personnel. Gibbs is a fine player who has a glittering future at Arsenal but recently every mistake has been punished. Likewise Sagna, who I can only assume was full of Xmas spirit vs Newcastle, either that or he was smitten by the ‘flu bug which seems to be sweeping through Europe.
Todays explorer (thank you Chary for finding not only a fine fellow but one with magnificent facial hair). My favourite explorers have always been the ice-boys. The physical challenges of the Polar expeditions are unimaginable to us of the central heating generations. We start the new year with one of the most famous of all Polar explorers and a man whose final words remain famous 100 years after his death. Captain Lawrence “Titus” Oates (1880 – 1912) went with Scott to the South Pole – he was the bravest of men. Born in Putney, he fought in the Boer War and was recommended for a Victoria Cross.
In 1910, aged just 30, Oates joined Scott’s Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole. Being extraordinarily fit he was one of 4 men chosen to join Scott on the long walk to the Pole. Their dreadful journey is the stuff of legend and resulted in one of the most famous examples of self-sacrifice in British history. Oates decided he was hindering the return to base camp of the group; he left the tent in a fearsome blizzard saying “I am just going outside, I may be sometime.” His body has yet to be found.
To anyone who hasn’t already done so, may I recommend reading “The Worst Journey in the World” by Apsley Cherry-Garrard, a stirring account of Captain Scott’s doomed quest.
Oates, Scott, Wilson, Bowers & Evans. Real Men
A successul return to St. Mary’s for Theo and Ox would be a great start to the New Year.
Let it be so ………..
Written by Big Raddy