Vote: Should RvP Return?

March 13, 2014

Rumours are that Van Persie is going to leave that cesspit. Money and the chance to sate his inner child were the only reasons for leaving The Home of Football and now he has won his title he wants out. Should we resurrect his career?

Great players do not have to be great people (Shearer?) and RvP showed his true colours when shafting us just two summers ago. He had the chance to be an Arsenal great and have his own statue but instead took the 30 pieces of silver. This has coloured the way we look at him because he was,  let’s be honest,  fantastic in his final 2 seasons during which time he was the best striker in the PL if not the world.

Positives:

1. We need an additional striker; OG for all his talent cannot carry the attack. The loss of Theo has resulted in us not knowing whether they could really work in tandem as S&S do at Liverpool. Perhaps they can but given Theo’s proclivity for injury, we need back up.

2. RvP is almost at pension age and is doomed to the bench at MU, he needs a gig, perhaps he will accept less money.

3. He remains a wonderful, natural talent with the best left foot (and maybe right) in the PL.

4. Podolski, for all his Goonerdom, is not good enough for this team. He just hasn’t got a fast enough brain. RvP has.

5. Mr Wenger still has a fine relationship with RvP and looks upon him like a son.

Unknown

OK. Now why we shouldn’t buy him ….

1. He is a traitor

2. He is 31 in August.

3. He earns over £200k a week and has 2 years left on his MU contract – so we will have to buy him

4. He may not work well with a central striker like Giroud. It would require RvP to play off a CF, and we have plenty of number 10′s.

5. The players must have been very disappointed with his betrayal and he could cause problems in the dressing room.

6. He will never accept being a squad player.

My opinion is that we should let him rot in Manchester of try his luck at Galatasary (where old players with big names but no pace go before they play “soccer”.)

What do you think …..?

Written by BigRaddy


A week of highs and lows ….. pants up and pants down

February 21, 2014

Last Friday:

Snippets from Le Boss at his press conference; On the title race…“It is very open, only Chelsea can lose it because they are in front and all the other teams can win it.” on why every other manager says they are not contenders…“It’s fear to fail”. On Sagna’s future… “No, he is not close [to signing]. It’s an ongoing process.”

Although there were no injuries due to Wednesday’s game, Cazorla is a doubt as he is in bed with Flo. Oops! Sorry flu! :D Flamini is back from suspension and raring to go. Just don’t get carried away again Mathieu!

Thanks to http://www.arsenal.com/

Robin van Persie

could be set for a dramatic return to Arsenal at the end of the season after his agent reportedly met with Arsene Wenger to discuss a move. Van Persie, who forced a move to Manchester United last year, enjoyed a superb opening season at Old Trafford – firing the club to the Premier League title. But the Dutchman has reportedly become frustrated with life under new manager David Moyes, and is now angling for a switch back to Arsenal.

According to Sky Italia

Wenger met Van Persie’s representative in London late last month where it was made clear that Van Persie wants to leave United – and go back to the Gunners.

Saturday:

The Chav’s despicable motor-mouth manager made a totally unwarranted attack on Le Boss, I’ll not dignify his words by repeating them here. Suffice it to say he got his comeuppance when City duly dumped his team out of the FA Cup.

Plenty of speculation about priorities prior to our 5th round tie with Liverpool. There’s bound to be a few surprises in the team selection.

Sunday:

Speaking ahead of the game Wenger said….“We have a very strong defensive record yet when we crack, we crack, but overall I must say defensively we have been very consistent and the real value of the team is the number of games that we have played [to get] that defensive record. On that front we have had a good stability.”

Arsene named the following starting eleven…

Fabianski, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Flamini, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Podolski, Sanogo.

A closely fought match ended with a 2-1 win for the good guys, goals from the excellent Oxlade-Chamberlain, and a sweet strike from Podolski saw us through to a home quarter final tie against the other Scouse team Everton.

Liverpool manager Rodgers, along with most of the Liverpool pensioners masquerading as TV commentators, pundits and sports columnists bewailed the decision by top referee Howard Webb to deny Suarez a second penalty, for a challenge by The Ox. Perhaps if the Uruguayan striker had merely “gone to ground” instead of doing so only after a triple somersault with half pike Webb may have been tempted to award the penalty. Two Liverpool players were lucky to stay on the pitch, the carthorse formerly know as Gerrard, and Sterling. The former escaped with just one booking for two bookable offences and a series of debatable tackles, the latter who actually put his hand on Webb’s chest while complaining bitterly about a perceived wrong. The lenient Webb called over Captain Carthorse and told him to “talk” to the young winner.

One other match went decidedly in Arsenal’s favour when Le Boss politely but firmly put The Despicable One in his place following Saturday’s ridiculous outburst, “I do not want to go into those silly disrespectful remarks” said Wenger “I am embarrassed for him. Honestly. I am more disappointed for Chelsea than for me.”

Monday:

The Cup win is now in the past, the quarter final is to far in the future, looming is the small matter of current European Champions Bayern Munich.

Olivier Giroud showed a degreeCelia Kay 4
of naivety when he was caught in a tabloid sting, a “glamour” model Celia Kay “allegedly” entered his hotel room and the striker was photographed exiting the bathroom in his underwear. Giroud has publicly apologised to his wife, family and friends as well as to the manager, team-mates and Arsenal fans. Score a hat-trick on Wednesday Olly, and all will be forgiven….. at least by the manager, team-mates and Arsenal fans. Oh! In case you are wondering, this is what all the fuss is about.

Tuesday: Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich

The build up begins.

Wenger to make seven changes!

one headline screams. Well yes but, only to restore those players rested for the FA Cup tie and to replace the suspended Arteta.

Guardiola has problems as Ribery’s stand-in is ruled out!

yells another.

Pep Guardiola will be forced to reshuffle his attack against Arsenal after learning his Bayern Munich side would be without both Franck Ribery and Xherdan Shaqiri for the Champions League tie. Shaqiri tore a muscle in his right thigh on Saturday and is expected to be out for at least three weeks. That could mean he is also absent for the second leg of the last-16 game, which takes place in Munich on March 11.

The Balotelli rumours persist, another report say’s Talks are “ongoing” between the player’s agent and Arsenal. Meanwhile, the asking price has been dropped to just €40 million and with Puma willing to stump up £15 million towards the fee Super Mario is beginning to look like a bargain.

Wednesday:

A bright sunny day, at least it is here in Norfolk, a great game in prospect and endless speculation about the starting line-up. Will Giroud play? At home, not away! Will it be Wilshere or the Ox alongside Flamini?

As usual, the “experts” have written us off, as have the bookies, Ladbrokes quote 7/4 against a home win, 11/4 against a draw and 3 /4 on an away win.

In other news, Vermaelen’s agent has been quoted as saying our captain wants to leave the Emirates in the summer, That makes three defenders likely to depart, Sagna is no nearer to signing an extension and Fabianski has already signalled his exit. Injuries and loss of form have restricted TV to just a few appearances this season and last, so as long as Merts and Kos remain fit there seems little chance that Thomas will get much game time even when he regains fitness.

Sagna is out of contract in the summer and is free to “talk” to overseas clubs now. A report in Italy says Liverpool have made the player an offer in an attempt to poach Bacary from under the noses of Inter Milan. If this is the case then Liverpool stand accused of tapping up our right-back. Will UEFA do anything about it? Don’t hold your breath!!

Young right-back Hector Bellerin has been recalled from his loan spell at Watford and has been given the number 40 shirt and is currently listed as an Academy player. Sagna understudy?

Thursday:

Dream tie ends in nightmare for Wenger

Yes, as many of us secretly feared, our Champions League 1st leg tie with Bayern Munich turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. All seemed to be going well up to the point where Ozil’s weak attempt at beating Neuer, from the penalty spot, was comfortably saved by his former schoolmate.

That seemed to knock the stuffing out of Arsenal and give momentum to Bayern. Gibbs went off injured, Szczesny clattered Robben and was rightly red-carded. Even though Alaba hit the outside of the post with the resulting penalty Bayern had their tales up and the wind in their sails.

Down to ten men Arsenal, with the exception of Ozil, put up a defensive performance only bettered by the occupants of The Alamo, but like those heroes from the past, eventually they succumbed to superior forces.

2 – 0 down going into the 2nd leg at The Allianz Arena, a repeat of last seasons second leg would see us having to win on penalties. Would Ozil take one? Should Ozil take one?

Arsenal at home to Sunderland tomorrow offers the chance of redemption. A win and the resulting three points will help to put the Bayern game on the back-burner, at least for a while.

Everything is ready for the unveiling of the Dennis Bergkamp statue. It will take place outside The Armoury at 11.30 am on Saturday, Dennis will also make an on-pitch appearance at half-time. I’d prefer him to play the second half, but we can’t have everything.

TWTWTW

Norfolk Gooner


Now We Can See How Much Damage Van Persie, Cesc and Nasri Did

December 2, 2013

I hope all those who’ve made a career out of knocking the Mighty Arsenal are taking a good look at the Premier League Table.

We’re as high as Nigella and as happy as Wayne Rooney in a bingo hall.

02

Not that I’m gloating… oh no… there’s a long way to go yet, it’s a marathon not a snickers etc etc.

But at the moment I think it’s fair to say that the squad is exceeding what most of us expected for this year.

The optimists among us hoped for a steady build on the defensive tightness and greater togetherness that steered us to fourth place in the second half of last season.

When we signed Mesut Ozil, maybe we dared to hope for a bit more.

But to be comfortably top of the table as we enter December? And to be nine points ahead of ManUre? And 10 ahead of the Tinies? I doubt any of us (apart from Terry Mancini Hair Transplant) would have wagered much on us doing so well.

Which raises the question of WHY?

Why have we shown not just incremental improvement on last season, but a genuine step change in confidence, quality and – most important of all – results?

There are many individual factors we can point to: the emergence of the Welsh Messi as the best player in the Premeirship; the exceptional form of our Pole In Goal; the precision of Ozil’s assist-making; the superb organization of our back four…

But I think Arsene Wenger gave us the real answer last week when he pointed out that this year, unlike the two previous years, we have not taken the Good Ship Arsenal on a new footballing voyage with a big hole below the waterline.

Le Boss said the clear difference this time round was that we did not lose a star player on the eve of the new campaign.

It meant we started out with the same group of players who had done so well from January to May – and threw a genuine superstar into the mix for good measure.

Contrast that with the two previous years.

The summer of 2012 was spent with Brave Sir Robin trying to pretend he was undecided about leaving but finally walking out on the club that paid his wages through so many interminable injury periods. The little boy inside him turned out to be an ungrateful little twunt.

Twelve months earlier we lost Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona (a move, admittedly, that came as a surprise to no-one); but then the unlikeable little Frenchman Samir Na$ri decided he wanted to line his wallet and started touting himself round  clubs with deep pockets, ending up at Petrodollar City.

Both those disrupted summers led directly to disjointed and disappointing starts to the new season. While other teams went off at a sprint, we set off on those season-long races with an open parachute strapped to our back.

We were forced to try and bed in new signings who, in most cases, were completely new to the Premier League; we had to work out new formations to suit the new personnel; we had to turn players from strangers into team mates and heaven only knows what psychological damage was done to the rest of the squad by the fact that our best players had made it clear they wanted out.

Somehow, miraculously, Arsene managed to maintain our membership of the Top Four club by the end of both seasons – but it was certainly no thanks to the Dear Departed.

And looking at how we’re doing now it makes me really angry about those players who left us in the lurch – yes, even Cesc (although BSR and Na$ri were more selfish, disloyal and narcissistic).

Van Persie and Nasri could have made their intentions clear to the club at the end of their last seasons with us. Their leavings would still have been a loss but at least the fans would not have been led a merry dance all summer long and the club and squad could have started rebuilding sooner.

I’m not suggesting we would have had glorious seasons if they had not left but – like Arsene – I feel we would have done a LOT better. We might have fallen short of winning the league, but we might well have been in the mix for longer instead of having to play catch-up with the skinny cock brigade.

The Arsenal revival we’re witnessing this year might have happened 12 months earlier. It’s the very success we’re enjoying now that highlights just what those players who left really cost us.

It’s naïve to expect players to show loyalty and I’m sure many fans take the view that if they want to go somewhere else for more money or a better chance of glory, who can blame them?

I can’t share that laissez faire view. I remain a dinosaur. I expect the adulation and support I give to the players to mean something, even in an age when the youth squad are driving Porsches and earning more in a month than most people do in a year.

And so Van Persie, Nasri, Fabregas: je t’accuse! YOU caused us to have disastrous starts to the past two seasons; YOU gave ammunition to the silly Wenger Out campaigners; YOU stopped us being in a position to fight for the big prizes; YOU hurt us. And WE won’t forget.

Although Cesc can come back if he wants :)

RockyLives


Why I’m Loving Van Persie Now

April 30, 2013

So the melodrama is over.

Brave Sir Robin returned to the club that stood faithfully by his side in sickness and in, er, more sickness.

He walked on to the pitch through a guard of honour. He got booed by most of the home supporters. He took a few kicks and gave a few kicks. He scored.

bsr

That’s it folks… all over, nothing to see here.

I still have mixed feelings about BSR. I completely understand why many fans are angry that he chose to leave (and that the club sold him to Manchester United, of all people).

But I also appreciate the great memories I have from the one proper season he gave us during his Arsenal career: all those “did you see that?” goals; all those volleyed finishes from Alex Song golf chips. It’s just a shame it turned out to be his last season with us.

Anyway, the dust has now settled on his return to The Home Of Football and we can get back to worrying about the important business of winning our final three games.

The problem is, it’s not as simple as that, is it?

We don’t just have to worry about our own games, we also worry about those of the teams competing with us for third and fourth spots in the Premier League.

And this is why I have decided to become a Robin lover again. It won’t be with the passion that I once had for him and I can guarantee it won’t be a long-lasting affair. In fact, it will be all over by 6pm on Sunday.

Because shortly before then the referee will have blown the final whistle to end Manchester United’s home fixture against Chelsea. And I am sincerely hoping that Brave Sir Robin, who has been in superb scoring form for two full seasons, will have done us an immense favour by banging home a hat trick against the Chavs.

If United beat Chelsea, it will give us some additional margin for error in our run in. Hopefully we won’t need that margin and we will spank QPR, Wigan and Newcastle in turn to guarantee a top four finish, but even then, it might make the difference between third and fourth place.

I hope that United will put in a proper amount of commitment and effort against Chelsea.

The Purple Conked Gorbalian has said that they will. He talked of “honouring” Chelsea’s rivals for the Champions League places by competing properly, but I have my doubts.

They have won the league already at a canter and, psychologically, I just can’t see them being as committed as they should be.

In fact, the “Van Persie returns to Arsenal for the first time since joining United” sideshow probably worked against us at the weekend. It fired up the crowd and added spice to the occasion.

Arsene Wenger said that our players started with such energy and bite because of the way they had prepared. That may be part of it, but I have no doubt that the heightened passion of the crowd also played a part.

It encouraged our boys to snap into tackles, win the second balls and harass United all over the pitch.

But if you start bullying people, eventually you’re likely to provoke a response. The United players, being the competitive people they are, could not help but be roused into fighting back eventually.

But when they entertain the Chavs it will be a very different matter. It will be a game played in front of a complacent home crowd who don’t really care what the result is. Many will have consumed a fair few drinks on the way up from Surrey and – if it’s a nice afternoon – will probably doze through the match.

Let’s face it, the place is hardly a hotbed of atmosphere at the best of times. If the Emirates is a library, Old Toilet is a mausoleum. Without the fun.

In other words, I wouldn‘t be at all surprised if Chelsea come away with all three points.

My only hope is that Brave Sir Robin himself, despite the abuse he received from his former worshipers on Sunday, will feel he owes it to us to try and help us get a top four place.

I hope that his friends in the Arsenal dressing room – the ones he was so eager to pop in and see after scoring against them at the weekend – have urged him to do his bit.

How ironic would it be if goals from Robin van Persie played a part in keeping us in the Champions League next year?

RockyLives


A False Hero

April 28, 2013

Firstly, BR would like to congratulate Sir Alex and his team upon yet another Premiership title. Well played – you have been the best team this season showing remarkable consistency and efficiency.

OK, that’s out the way :-)

Would Salford have won it without our craven submission over the traitor? Who knows, but Mancini insists this player was the difference and he knows more about football than I do. What is clear is that he has had another great season and achieved his ambitions; more money and a PL medal, but in the process lost any dignity or respect he once had.

Unknown-1

No Explanation Necessary

From a personal point of view I found watching the Dutchman score against us at Old Toilet one of the most painful of my footballing experiences, but I don’t want this post and today’s discussion to be all about one man. Man Utd at home is always one of our biggest games and today is no different.

Should there be a Guard of Honour? Definitely, we would expect one if it was the other way round.

I love this game – win,draw or lose. The tension, the rivalry, the battle between efficiency and artistry, it is all so blood-pumpingly exciting. Win today and we are well on our way to Europe, lose and we have problems.

Will United be less enthusiastic than normal? Can you imagine SAF telling his team that today doesn’t matter because we have achieved our season’s target? Beating Arsenal at any time is important to the red-conked Sweaty (cockney rhyming slang) and despite a softening of attitude Wenger and he are hardly mates.

Have we got the team to beat the Champions? If all our lads turn up then definitely. We know what to expect from MU – rotational fouling early in the game on both Santi and Jack, a closing down of Theo (whom Evra has in his pocket most games) and counter-attacking football.

My Team:

arse v manu

Losing Giroud for three games following a poor refereeing decision and an even more ludicrous FA tribunal could be costly. OG may not be scoring of late but he remains the fulcrum of our attack. His absence will allow Podolski to finally get his chance in the middle but perhaps it will be Theo. Who knows?

Knowing SAF’s propensity to pack the midfield we will need to play the 4-4-2 AW has used over the past few games. I have to say that I am not  a fan, and believe we play better with a 4-3-3. We need a big game from Wilshire but more than that we need a referee who will protect him from the SAF hackers.

Today’s English Explorer:  This series has concentrated on explorers who spent their time finding new lands but there are also those who explore by going up and today we have another of our finest, but almost unknown, heroes. Bill Tilman (1898-1977).

Unknown

Not a False Hero.

Major Harold William Tilman CBE, DSO, MC and Bar was both a sailor and mountaineer and as you can guess from his decorations, a warrior. At 18 he went to war and fought at the Battle of the Somme, by war’s end he had received the Military Cross for bravery twice. Bill started his climbing career in Africa, climbing both Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro. Rather than fly home he chose to cycle from East to West Africa!

After another war and more medals (he was at Dunkirk), Bill took on his life challenge which was of course the Himalayas. Starting with Everest (reaching 27,00ft, which was the highest any man had stood until the ’50′s) he was the first to summit numerous Himalayan peaks. Tilman then took up deep sea sailing and went both to the Antarctic and Arctic in search of new challenges and peaks to climb. In his 80th year he tried to climb Smith Island in the South Atlantic. On the journey back to Rio de Janeiro his ship sank with the loss of all hands.

Now that is the spirit we need today.

Another massive game. The return of a man who not so long ago was a hero. A Top 4 battle. Exciting times.

COYRRG

Big Raddy


Guard of Honour?????

April 27, 2013

A Guard of Honour for the newly crowned Premier League champions?

Arsenal Football club have intimated that the home players will line up as a Guard of Honour to welcome the new Champions onto the pitch prior to Sunday’s match.

The decent thing to do? Or, given the antipathy towards United in general and a certain Dutchman in particular, a provocation to the frustrated Arsenal faithful?

There have been suggestions that the fans should stand with their backs turned and in silence, this could prove to be embarrassingly ineffective unless the vast majority of those present took part. There will no doubt be a number of fans who will boo and in other ways express their contempt for the new Champions, as is their right.

Back in 1991 when Arsenal won the old League title our opponents for the final game of the season lined up to clap the new Champions onto the pitch, that demonstration of respect was organised by the away clubs manager a certain Alex Ferguson.

It is by no means an established tradition to provide a Guard of Honour, although it has been done on a few occasions. United have three more games to play after Sunday, will Chelsea, Swansea and West Bromwich be expected to honour United? If so where does it end? Does it carry on through next season until all the other Premiership sides have had their chance?

Frankly I’ve grown tired of the so called pre-match ceremony, teams marching out together, lining up and shaking each others hands in a totally meaningless ritual, particularly as it is often marred by one player or another refusing to shake the hand of an opponent over some perceived slight or previous disagreement ……

On Sunday afternoon and in all future matches let’s just get on with the game.

Written by Norfolk Gooner


Walcott to Follow Van Persie

December 19, 2012

There is a worrying trend at Arsenal of players having their best ever season for us and then immediately departing to pastures new.

Samir Nasri was always something of an enigma for us until his final season. He was capable of great runs and great goals, but was also frequently a lardy-arsed passenger in important games.

Then came the first half of the 2010-11 campaign and Samir was like a man possessed. He was arguably the best player in the EPL up to Christmas.

As it turned it out, he had been possessed: by the spectre of a huge pile of filthy wonga dripping with crude oil.

Likewise Brave Sir Robin who, last year, finally fulfilled his potential to become one of the best strikers in Europe. We had nursed him through injury after ludicrous injury so that he could achieve his destiny. But once he did he shoved all those years of support back in our faces and upped and offed to the red half of Manchester.

Hleb and Flamini both also decamped immediately after their best seasons for us.

And now it looks like Theo Walcott is about to do the same.

In just nine starts this season (plus nine more appearances as a substitute) he has already clocked up the sort of stats that it has previously taken him a whole season to amass.

In his 18 games this year he has 11 goals and 7 assists – which is a quite phenomenal return. In the whole of last season (with 41 starts and 5 sub appearances) he scored 11 and made 10 assists. The year before that, in 25 starts and 13 outings as a sub, he scored 13 and had 9 assists.

In other words, this season he is performing at least twice as well as we have become used to.

The sad thing is, Theo’s displays have all the hallmarks of yet another player busting a gut to put himself in the shop window so he can make a big pay day when he leaves.

I would love to think Theo will stay, but every sign points to him departing. I don’t believe Arsene Wenger will let him leave in January (indeed Le Boss has categorically stated that that will not happen). But a summer exit is on the cards and, if rumours are to be believed, there is every chance an unofficial deal has already been done.

It’s a depressing thought: yet another hero whom we need to boo and harass when he turns out against us in alien colours. To be honest I’m getting pretty bored of booing our exes.

Some of us regulars on AA have better relations with our ex wives than we do with our ex players (although I believe Goonermichael still boos some of his erstwhile spouses).

Against Reading on Monday Theo got his wish to play as the central striker. You could argue that Wenger’s willingness to give him a chance there is an indication that Le Boss thinks he may still sign for us.

After all, we all know Theo has said it’s not about the money – it’s about wanting to play down the middle.

In truth, I just think it shows how all the cards are with the player: Wenger has been benching him and refusing to play him centrally precisely because he knows that he is going to leave.

But in the end, none of our other central attacking options (Gervinho anyone?) have really convinced so Le Boss has had no choice but to go with Theo, even knowing it can never be a long term solution for Arsenal.

So what do you think?

Is Theo having a stellar season simply because he is putting in more effort in order to get a huge new deal elsewhere?

Are footballers really that capable of turning on the brilliance switch for such venal, materialistic reasons? I find it hard to countenance, but the facts are starting to bear out the theory.

Or is it just that Theo’s years of learning his trade have finally started to come to fruition. He is now 23 and is about to enter his prime years. We fans have watched him thrill and frustrate us in equal measure but now he is turning into what we all hoped he could be: a deadly forward with devastating pace and a clinical finish.

Just in time to b*gger off elsewhere.

RockyLives


Virgin Sacrifice: I presume

November 2, 2012

There are games one anticipates with hope rather than confidence. You know the ones, the top 3 away and of late the trip to the Cave Dwellers. I have never enjoyed our games at the Old Toilet, we rarely do well and when we do it comes as a surprise – yes, we have had some wonderful wins and some sterling performances but on the whole we struggle. We have won once at OT in 10 years (PL) and just 3 times in 20 years.

Then there was last season’s freak humiliation. And before you Kent United fans get uppity, the 8 goals came from 14 shots on target. we had 9, you had 3 corners, AFC 5. A freak result which owed much to good fortune and a dreadful defensive performance from a patched up Arsenal – Traore and Jenks were our FB’s (CJ’s first PL game).

All football fans know that SAF signed a pact with the devil – the percentage of dodgy refereeing decisions and decades of outrageous good fortune are testament to his trip down to the Crossroads but last season the Oil money bought his luck. The Chavs shameful CL victory and MC’s last-second PL win must have shaken The Gorbals  Guzzler down to the tip of his steel toed boots. Having already sold his soul Ferguson is surely looking at other avenues to ensure his team’s dominance over the fickle fates….. see below

Sir Alex prepares for the game

Let’s get the unpleasant stuff out of the way early. Brave Sir Robin. An inspired purchase by SAF, a purchase which could win them the title. For us, a shambles of Titanic proportions. To BSR we are the lover scorned and he will pay the price whatever Mr Wenger says.

What can we expect of today? None of the MU players who conceded 5 (as we did!) midweek will start, as such, Scholes, Cleverly and Carrick will be doing their best to cripple Santi and Jack.  Their defence is said to be shaky but whose wouldn’t given their injuries at CB ? We can but hope that SAF has a meltdown and includes Wooton.

It goes without saying that MU sport some of the most odious men playing today. Evra, Rooney, Nani, Rafael, Ferdinand , Anderson, Fletcher, Young – all  beetle headed baculum (look it up!). I hesitate to put Ashley Young amongst these miscreants but despite being a Gooner, if the cap fits…..

I expect Mr Wenger to take a conservative view; he will not want his team humiliated again – if last season was tough for us, imagine how it was for him.

My Team:

I fully expect to see both Arshavin and Walcott at some point, especially Theo after his fine performance at Reading. But today we will need solidity, should we reach the hour point on level terms I hope AW will bolster the attack.

Much focus will be upon the performance of Jack Wilshire. So much riding upon his stocky frame and the strength of his ankles. If he returns to the form of two seasons ago this Arsenal team will be very, very strong. It is one thing to close down Cazorla with 2 players but having another creative genius allows Arsenal to continue to threaten. We must pray that the referee (Mike Dean – the world is watching) will protect him because you know SAF will be telling his miscreants to kick two colours out of young Jack

It is a great shame Diaby is not fit as this would be his type of game, we will miss Gibbs as well because it is inevitable SAF will target Santos.

This is a game which George Graham would have relished; put the Famous 5 in place of the current back 5 and we would stand a much better chance. Actually, scratch that ….. put Seaman into this team and it would be transformed. The stats show we have conceded just 6 PL goals which is astonishing given our goalkeeping frailty; it is a testament to a team ethic. But and this is a huge BUT, no team wins things without a top goalkeeper and we are lacking. Let us pray to Dennis that AW has a proper GK in his sights this January – watching Julio Cesar perform heroics for QPR last week made me wonder why he wasn’t in our goal.

Today’s Top Man:  I promised you David Livingstone (1813 – 1873) and here he is in all his pomp and glory:

No Beard – Not Knighted

A Scottish Protestant Missionary, he was the first white man to cross Africa. He also tried to find the source of the Zambezi, a 6 year expedition during which he “discovered”/named Victoria Falls and Lake Malawi. He then traveled into the East African jungle where he got “lost” for 4 years. Such was Livingstone’s fame that the New York Herald sent out Henry Stanley to find him. They met on the shores of Lake Tanganyika with Stanley humorously greeting him with the famous words “Dr. Livingstone, I presume.”  Livingstone died in Africa (malaria), his heart was buried in Zambia, and his body brought back to England where it was buried in Westminster Cathedral

BR doesn’t make predictions but he would be thrilled with a point and promises to buy Mrs Raddy something expensive should when we win.

Written by Big Raddy


Arsenal’s Worst Injury News Ever

October 15, 2012

Following Theo Walcott’s worrying injury against San Marino (who knew you could bruise a lung?) this seems like a good time to ask what has been the most damaging injury we have ever suffered.

I don’t mean damaging to the player (because surely Ramsey and Eduardo would jointly walk away with that one… well, hop away at any rate).

I mean damaging to Arsenal’s fortunes at the time.

Yes I know it’s a downbeat subject, but I’m feeling downbeat during this ridiculous two-week interlull*.

I know we’re supposed to be all “Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George” when Ingurland are on international duty, but I really couldn’t give a Gareth Bale’s uncle.

And so to the injuries which, given our abysmal history in recent years, should be a topic close to the hearts of most of us.

Fabregas Fractured

In the 2009-10 season Cesc Fabregas is proving to be an inspirational player. As the final day of March arrives, we are entertaining his DNA buddies from Barcelona in the Champions League quarter final (first leg); we are also sitting just four points behind Manchester United in the EPL, with six games to go. The Barca game finishes a 2-2 draw, with Captain Fabregas grabbing a memorable equalizer.

Unfortunately it emerges afterwards that even as he hit that goal to send the Emirates into ecstasy, he was suffering a leg fracture. Cesc misses the rest of the season and, without him, our form slumps. We lose the second leg in Barcelona and in the EPL we win only two of our remaining six matches to finish the season in third place, 11 points behind United.

If Fabregas had stayed fit, might we have ousted Barca and pushed on to CL and league glory? The answer to the first question is almost certainly “no” and to the second… “maybe.”

Van Persie (1)

Same season, 2009-10, and Robin van Persie is in fine form. He is named Player of the Month for October after a string of goals and assists. On November 14th he turns out for Holland in a “friendly’ against Italy.

A nasty tackle by the Italian defender Chiellini leaves him with an injured ankle and, supposedly, a six week lay-off. Clearly not wanting to become another of the “Disappeared Ones” in the Arsenal treatment centre, Robin pops over to Europe for some treatment with horse placenta and – Bingo! – six weeks out becomes five months.

Would a fit Robin have potentially sent us into the final run-in several points AHEAD of United rather than behind them? With the form he was in – very possibly.

Eduardo Horror Tackle

We probably all remember that day at Birmingham a bit too well. Arsenal are top of the league, the team are looking strong and, surely, glory awaits. Then, within minutes of the kick off, a lumbering Brummie oaf – Martin Taylor – dives in on our in-form Crozillian striker Eduardo and snaps his ankle in two.

The team are traumatised; captain William Gallas sits in the centre circle crying at the end of the game and, subsequently, our form drops quicker then a Towie girl’s knickers on a night out in Basildon.

Could we have won the league in 2008 but for Eduardo’s break? Most definitely YES.

Snap! Ramsey Horror Tackle

It is unbelievable when our boys have to experience an almost identical assault on another of their team mates, Aaron Ramsey, two years (almost to the day) later. In this case the offender is the Orc’s Orc, Ryan Shawcross, and the venue is the Britannia Ground where those classy Stoke fans boo young Aaron as he’s stretchered off to hospital.

In fairness, the team’s reaction was stronger this time round but we still had a disappointing finish to the 2009-10 season.

Did Aaron’s injury make a crucial difference? Given his youth and inexperience, probably not – but with the subsequent loss of Fabregas a month later it certainly didn’t help our midfield options.

Van Persie (2)

Come to think about it, this whole Post could have been about Brave Sir Robin, but I’ll keep it to two. In 2007-08, following the departure of Thierry Henry, it’s BSR’s turn to step into the limelight. He starts just as we would have hoped, with seven goals in 10 games. Then – yes, you’ve guessed – he goes off on international duty and comes back crocked. His involvement for the rest of the season is sporadic, to say the least.

Notwithstanding the trauma following the Eduardo injury, Robin’s full time presence in 2007-08 might well have given us the edge to find our way to silverware.

Ashley Cole

Football’s most charming man misses most of the 2005-06 season through injury, before following the smell of Maureen’s filthy lucre over to West London. We finish third that year, just ahead of the Spuds.

Flamini does a good job filling in in an unfamiliar position, but we undoubtedly lose something with not having Cole’s defensive solidity and attacking threat.

Could we have won silverware with him? A long shot, but it’s a possibility.

Those are the most telling ones from recent memory. There must have been devastating injuries from previous eras but I can’t seem to recall them.

Players just didn’t seem to get injured so much in the pre-Premier League age. Or maybe they did, but they were just pumped full of cortisone and sent out to get on with it: “Bruised lung? You’re havin’ a larf. Here, hold still while I give you this jab… that’s it – now get out there and kick someone.”

For what it’s worth, I believe the Eduardo injury was the most damaging of the ones I have listed.

The team was cooking on gas and I – and many Gooners – really felt the title was there for the taking.

The collapse in the team’s morale after the injury was disappointing (whatever happened to “let’s win it for Stumpy”?) but I do feel that we might have celebrated a 14th league title if it hadn’t happened.

What do you think?

And what injury blows have I missed off?

RockyLives

* © Arseblog


#once a gooner always a gooner?

September 22, 2012

I often come across this hashtag on twitter about former Arsenal players. Usually it’s in reply to Cesc or Henry saying something complimentary about Arsenal. Personally I think Cesc should be #oncebarcaalwaysbarca but that’s just me. I’ve always wondered how Arsenal fans make up their minds about which former players deserve our support/love and which deserve our contempt and the ones we could say neutral. Here is a list. Make your own minds up

Dennis Bergkamp

Real name God. Finished his career at Arsenal after signing several 1 year rolling contracts. The most gifted Arsenal player in my limited experience.

My Verdict Always a gooner

Ian Wright

Ian was top scorer for the Arsenal until Thierry took his crown. Since he retired he likes to wind gooners up on talksh*te and says he’s a Millwall fan but I think his heart is in the right place.

My verdict Always a gooner

Tony Adams

“Mr Arsenal” Spent his entire career at Arsenal. Famously said “Remember the name on the front of the shirt and they’ll remember the name on the back”

My verdict Always a gooner

Patrick Vieira

He came from Senegal to play for Arsenal. He was a great player for us but I feel he’s tainted himself working (and tapping up our players) for the northern oilers.

My Verdict Traitor

Cesc Fabregas

Cesc came to us from the Barca academy when he was 16. It was inevitable that he would go back someday. I think his timing was all wrong. Whatever talent he naturally has, Wenger made him the player he is today (and he’s sitting on their bench)

My verdict Traitor

Ashley Hole

He was the best left back in a generation. Was offered 60K PW by Dein but the board objected and would only give him 55K famously making him swerve his car (if only) and go for a secret meeting with Maureen. Still can’t stop talking about us. I get the feeling he’s a bit bitter despite the trophies.

My verdict Traitor

Thierry Henry

Our all-time top scorer and Monarch. Like Cesc, he went to Barca but unlike the Spaniard he’d helped us to win trophies. He got the CL he wanted and dedicated it to Arsenal. Came back last winter and scored the winners against Sunderland and Leeds.

My verdict Always a gooner.

Robin van Persie

He was with us for 7 years, Spent a lot of time injured, had one season without injury and f***ed off. He grew up as an arsenal fan but the “little boy inside him” was screaming Manchester United.

My verdict Scum

There are plenty more but you get the idea:

Eduardo Always a gooner

Eboue Always a gooner

Freddie Always a gooner

Nasri traitor

Gilberto

Flamini

Lansbury

George Graham

Dixon

Seaman

What do you think?

Written by goonermichael


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