Sunday, 23 March 2014

Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal - In Depth Match Report

The players didn't give a fuck, so why should I.

Friday, 21 March 2014


The man's effect on the football club we like to call ours is immeasurable. You can debate Arsene in or Arsene Out until the cows finally do come home but there is one thing that is just a fact....You won't half miss him when he's gone.

I was fully prepared and even a little bit willing for him to move to the exit door in the summer, that maybe the grass is greener on the other side and it was probably best we should start rebuilding sooner rather than later with a new man but you know what? I was wrong, Arsene deserves one more chance to end his legacy in the way that he started it, on top.

One of the other pub football debates we lose endless hours to is "Who is the greatest manager of all time?" and while people like Ferguson, Stein, Shankly are the ones who've smashed through the glass ceiling, I don't think there's been a manager that has had an effect on a country's football like Arsene, it has been an honour and priviledge to watch his sides over 1,000 games and being a life-long supporter has just made it that little more special. I had always been a bit ambivalent over the FA Cup as long as Champions League football was secured because that was the key, that was what kept us ticking over until the new era of money was available but I am desperate to win it this season, not for me, not for the players, not to silence the mocking of other fans and parody websites but for him, to see him lifting one more trophy even if it is his last game in charge would be it for me.

He arrived in this country as a total unknown to most, but you soon knew who he was, out when the old binge-drinking culture and in came the Sports Science era that most, if not all use now. Playing careers were prolonged and new leases of life were given to great Arsenal servants, Bould, Keown, Dixon, Winterburn looked like totally different players, then there was Tony, isn't the first Tony memory that springs to mind that wonderful Sunday Afternoon when he was on the end of a Steve Bould throughball? It literally sums it all up to me.

Then there were the flair players, Pires, Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Henry, Reyes, Van Persie, Ozil etc. In a matter of years we became one of the sides to watch and out went the days of "Boring, Boring Arsenal" and in came the days of not knowing what you get, but you'd know it'd be exciting. We had two of the best players in their era at Highbury with Bergkamp and Henry, people would pay money whether you supported Arsenal or not, just to see what they would do next.

The scouting as well, Pires was hoiked from Marseille, Vieira from AC Milan reserves, Ljungberg from Halmstad but Arsene could also revitalise careers that had stagnated one way or another. Theirry Henry was rescued from the wing at Juventus, Dennis Bergkamp from purgatory at Inter, Marc Overmars from injury hell at Ajax, these were all big game players supplemented by a great supporting cast, one of the noticeable absents in the last few years has been the lack of fight in big games.

I've probably tried for years to narrow down my favourite game and I can't, how do you pick from the Spurs 5-2's and the 5-4 or the 3-0 where we scored and the camera's didn't see it because it was so soon after the first goal, the wins at Anfield, the San Siro, Kanu's hat-trick, the 7-0's, do you see how hard it is?

Whatever happens with Arsene after this summer, he's left the club in a far better state that when he arrived, his everlasting legacy will be the stadium we play out football in, how many clubs are able to maintain Champions League football when you have to curb spending against oil clubs whilst making profit every season? The next 5 years will be interesting for Spurs and Liverpool if they choose to go down the same route. It'd be sad for him to jack it in now because our time is coming, the plans are nearly complete, I want him to have one last chance at greatness because on the surface his last 500 games will be seen as a failure to many, but history will show him as our ultimate gatekeeper and make the next 1000 games whoever their under a lot easier

A bit gushy I know and there are numerous occasions of rage directed at him that are very well deserved, but the next statue should be him next to Herbery Chapman, looking at the stadium he helped build, he's been a massive part of a very happy time in all our lives.

Thank you Arsene. Thanks for the memories but I don't think it's time to say goodbye just yet. The work isn't done.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Guns Don't Kill People, Selfies Do

A lot of things annoy me, the latest one is the name of this blog title, been drafting it for a day and now I see @Good2BAGooner has tweeted it, rendering the originality of it useless. Balls. But Gaz is a good follow so do it.

Another thing that annoys me is that Adrian Durham & Darren Gough's analysis on the NLD Derby was spot on. Arsenal weren't that good, but we didn't have to be because Tottenham were so inept, it also pleased me to hear Gough in particular rave about Per Mertesacker, you don't just have to have pace to play in the Premier League, Mertesacker has speed of thought, he knows where to stand, he gives Koscielny the green-light to be the swash-buckling defender who captures all the headlines, he is the Lawrenson, Bruce and Bould of the defensive world.

I've called the first result of the run-in correctly and the win leaves us 9 points ahead of 5th with a game in hand, the most important thing is to make sure 4th is secured before we think about the next objective.

Now bless em' - Spurs fans have had to endure a hell of a season, best player sold just after losing to us, enabling us to buy Mesut Ozil, we've put them out of the FA Cup and now beaten them for the first time in ages at WHL, and they have Tim Sherwood as boss. Nothing has tickled me more than Micky Hazard's Twitter campaign to get Szczesny banned for taking a picture with Gibbs and Poldi in front of the Arsenal fans. HELLO MICKY, WERE YOU THERE WHEN WE WON THE LEAGUE THERE AND DANCED IN FRONT OF YOU LOT? Jesus wept, it seems like a deflection tactic from the fact Spurs have wasted the Bale money and then some.

Tomas Rosicky only seems to play from March-May. A very useful clutch player to have in these times and what a well taken goal.

These are short blogs because I'm writing a long piece on the manager which I hope to share with you soon.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Bayern, Tottenham & Mike Dean

Bayern tonight. It's pie in the sky stuff to think we'll progress or even win the tie so a lot of people are looking for a morale-boositng performance to carry us through for the rest of the season. Bayern were simply awesome last season and to think they've added Pep Guardiola to the ranks, the stats are simply mindblowing, although I think the last two defeats in the Allianz have been against English teams in the Champions League so maybe there is a crumb of comfort in that. Probably not though.

My thoughts are already turning to Sunday and Tottenham, it's a pivotal game you feel, win and extend the gap to make the top 4 seem that little more locked in, Sherwood's full Keegan on Saturday could affect them in two ways, utter capitulation of the Chelsea variety or spur them on (Bad Pun). Hopefully the former. A loss is unthinkable at this stage of the season anyway.

The referee for the North London Derby is almost grabbing more attention than the game itself. One Michael Dean will be officiating. Arsenal fans love Mike Dean. Google "Mike Dean Arsenal".

Paolo Vernazza scored Arsenal's 1st goal under Mike Dean's reffing, that shows you how long he's been around and back in the early to mid 00's he was actually a good luck charm, Arsenal won their first 10/11 games with him in charge, I know there is a witch-hunt for him now but look at how it could've been spun differently had Twitter been around then.

I'll be back with post-Bayern, pre-Tottenham spiel on Friday.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Run In.

Another setback this weekend and to be quite honest, the less we talk about the game the better. We've been very good after losses in the league this season but now the worry is they are starting to happen more frequently now. I've just scared myself shitless by looking at the fixtures from now until the end of the season. Jesus wept. I think we'll definitely know our fate at full-time on the 6th April. It's one month and three days to save the world and although I think the league is Chelsea's we just need to keep in touch so we don't have our annual 4th place cup final on the last day of the season. I think I speak for all of us when saying we could all do without 90 minutes where you age 20 years.

So how will we fare? Let's take a piss poor look into my crystal ball.

Spurs (A) - They'll be up for it, they'll sing their shit songs at 4mph as usual but I'm feeling this one.

Spurs 1-2 Arsenal

Chelsea (A) - Not feeling this one. No one goes into the land of A4 signs and wins. At best a draw but probably a narrow defeat all of our own making

Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal

Manchester City (H) - We'll win this one. Don't ask me how. We just will.

Arsenal 3-1 Manchester City

Everton (A) - Goodison is a nightmare to go to. I'd take a draw. With beating Spurs and Man City we can afford this.

Everton 1-1 Arsenal 

West Ham (H)

Routine home win. Ozil to score 2. 

Arsenal 4-1 West Ham

Hull City (A)

Two late goals win this one. On a roll now. 

Hull 1-3 Arsenal

Newcastle United (H)

One of those nervy home 1-0 wins.

Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle United

West Brom (H)

Hard to predict. West Brom could be down and Mel-less, could be safe and with Mel, could be fighting for survival with him or without him. Last home game should provide an atmosphere.

Arsenal 3-0 West Brom

Norwich (A)

See above. 1-0. Kosicelny.

Norwich 0-1 Arsenal

Still to crowbar in is Swansea (H) - They've played better of late but we should win this one 2-0.

84 points. Think I'm being too optimistic here. But we'll see. What do you think? You know what to do.