Thursday 30 December 2010
Not quite the result we hoped for last night after Monday however, all is not lost, a win at St Andrews followed by another win in a massive game against Man City will mean this Christmas and New Year period has been a very good one.
Anyone who was there or saw the game last year at St Andrews will be desperate for some sort of pay back after that last minute leveler and there is a score to settle there.
The game Against City is also huge for obvious reasons as City lie joint top in the league but after already beating them once and beating Chelsea on Monday, the belief will be there and the players KNOW we can win the big games.
Both games could be crackers but both are ones we need to win! So lets win them!! Come on Arsenal!
Also, i would like to wish everyone a Very Happy New Year. Perhaps 2011 can be the big one for the Arsenal. Have a good NYE whatever you do and stay safe.
Wednesday 29 December 2010
That was sweet wasn’t it? For me, what made it more sweet was that even the most positive and optimistic Arsenal fans including myself were not at all confident. We all thought ‘here we go again, Drogba is back, Lampard and Essien are back, so that means a Chelsea win’ however, we were wrong. I’ll gladly be wrong as long as we get the right result.
This was the FIRST time we have beaten Chelsea with Drogba playing and Mr Wenger said before the game that if we can stop Drogba, we can stop Chelsea and he was right.
The atmosphere was electric and we sang our hearts out. I think a big night was much needed and a big result at home was also much needed. People talk about the mental issue of not winning the big games because Chelsea and Manchester United are not miles better then us (some argue they are not better then us and we are on par even) and its more in our heads why we do not beat these two teams. I am not sure how much of a mental issue it was or who has the better team and squad but the longer it went on, the worse it would get. So to break it was vital and could prove very important.
I rang the Fans Forum on Thursday and told our very own Tom Watt and John Cross (you can follow him on twitter @johncrossmirror) that if Robin Van Persie starts then we will get the first goal and therefore win. Some would say maybe I fluked the prediction but it was true! Not that I am going on about it!
But now the focus switches to Wigan. That’s a huge game, get maximum points here and then beating Chelsea will seem even bigger.
A great way to end the year at the Emirates and the next game at the Emirates will be Manchester City at home which again is a massive game as they are joint top of the league.
Lets go to Wigan and win then go to St Andrews and win and 2011 may just be a great year!
Come on you Arsenal!
Saturday 25 December 2010
"Everybody has a different opinion in this league and nobody is a prophet," said Wenger.”
"We live a society where everybody knows everything and it looks like it is a shame to say I don’t know.”
"I personally don’t know who will win the league. I have managed 1,600 games so if Nani knows he must be 1,600 times more intelligent than I am.”
Another classic quote from the Gaffer, this got me thinking, there have been some great Mr Wenger Quotes and if any of you follow me on twitter, you may remember I tweeted many of them one evening but if you didn’t see them or forget, here is my top 20 Arsene Wenger Quotes again
20. "If you do not believe you can do it then you have no chance at all."
19. "Nobody has enough talent to live on talent alone. Even when you have talent, a life without work goes nowhere."
18. "I did not see the incident."
17. “Is the title over or not? I don't believe so. If everyone is right about the championship, then let's stop, give them the trophy and then start again.”
16. [Upon being asked what he does with his spare time] "I watch football."
15. "We do not buy superstars. We make them."
14. "I am in a job where you always look in front of you. Unfortunately, the older you get, the less distance there is in front of you."
13. "If I go into a season and I say, 'For f***'s sake, if we don't win anything, they will all leave,' I have already lost. The problem of the media is always to imagine the worst. The problem of the manager is always to imagine the best."
12. [After the Arsenal fans booed a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough in November 1998] "If you eat caviar every day it's difficult to return to sausages."
11. [Upon being asked if he had received the apology that Sir Alex had announced he had sent to Wenger] "No. Perhaps he sent it by horse."
10. [On losing the lead of the league in November 2004] "It's like a child who is used to having ice cream whenever he wants. When it doesn't come when he asks he tends to get confused and nervous."
9. [On Arsenal's recruitment policy] "If I give you a good wine, you will see how it tastes and after you ask where it comes from."
8. "If you have a child who is a good musician, what is your first reaction? It is to put [them] into a good music school, not in an average one. So why should that not happen in football?" - September 2009, in response to Uefa president Michel Platini and Fifa president Sepp Blatter's respective claims that the top clubs' pursuit of young players was akin to "child slavery" and "child trafficking".
7. "A football team is like a beautiful woman. When you do not tell her, she forgets she is beautiful."
6. [In response to Sir Alex Ferguson's claim that he possessed the best team in the league despite Arsenal winning the title in 2002] "Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home."
5. [After Jose Reyes announced he wanted to leave Arsenal] "It's like you wanting to marry Miss World and she doesn't want you. I can try to help you but if she does not want to marry you what can I do?"
4. [On Emmanuel Adebayor's stamp on Robin van Persie] "I watched it when I got home and it looked very bad. You ask 100 people, 99 will say it's very bad and the hundredth will be Mark Hughes."
3. [On Jose Mourinho after the then Chelsea boss accused him of being a voyeur] "He's out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent."
2. "I tried to watch the Tottenham match on television in my hotel yesterday, but I fell asleep."
1. [In 2003] "It's not impossible. I know it will be difficult for us to go through the season unbeaten. But if we keep the right attitude it's possible we can do it."
There you have my top 20 quotes, there are plenty more but I chose my favourites ones. The reason why my number one quote is number one is because to go unbeaten then tell people you knew you could do it is one thing, but to say you can do it, and then actually do it shows class. Mr Wenger believed in his team and he was spot on.
Merry Xmas to all celebrating and I hope you have had a wonderful day.
Monday 20 December 2010
Today's blog is short and simple.
What is a good season? Is the Carling Cup and a top three finish enough this season?
What about going for the FA CUP too?
Where will we finish in the league?
What about the Champions League? Some people have suggested going out and concentrating on domestic matters is not the worst thing?
What would you be happy with in terms of all four competitions?
We should remember the Carling Cup is far from won, i know some people have said that it is in the bag and the bookies will agree, but we should not lose focus and certainly not count our chicken's before they have hatched.
Also, with the transfer window coming up, is there anyone you would let go or anyone specific you would try and buy or loan?
Do leave your comments in the comments field as most people I have spoken to are talking about these subjects.
Apart from that, stay safe in the festive period, be careful in these conditions but at the same time have a very Merry and Happy Christmas.
Friday 17 December 2010
I think it was written in the scripts that Arsenal and Barcelona would be drawn together. I am not sure about you, but this felt like a few weeks ago when the World Cup bid went elsewhere, it was a case of you just knew what was going to happen or not going to happen in that case. We made a huge clanger in not topping our group and it seems like we have paid the ultimate price.
Lets be honest, no Arsenal fan, include myself, can honestly say we will beat Barcelona, but we can be positive and you never know, but I think most fans will be a little fearful playing Barcelona.
The positives from last season are that we played Barcelona with half our side missing. From the top of my head we went to the Camp Nou without Gallas, Campbell, Song, Arshavin, Van Persie, Fabregas so if we go with a full strength team, we cannot be any less confident then last season.
If I am truly honest, for Arsenal to win, we need Barcelona to have an off day however; I’m all up for hoping for one of them! My headline reads football is becoming a bit predictable but an Arsenal win would really bring that unpredictability back.
As a supporter, all we can do is support our team so the draw is done and I am looking forward to the tie.
If nothing else, least we get to have a few days in the sun?
Anyway, Barcelona can wait, Stoke is much more important as it’s the next game! Manchester United away was hard to take, I seem to do that to myself a lot, get my self so hyped up then it ends in disappointment. The away concourse before the game was buzzing as always when Arsenal are the visitors and the excitement was there for all to see. The away section kept singing and even with a dodgy crackly voice, I tried to join in, regretted it in the morning though! United’s goal had an element of luck but they did create more chances and were more efficient as Mr Wenger put it and therefore won.
Stoke on Saturday is a big game and we can recover from Monday night. The war of words have been there for all to see between both managers and after the Ramsey incident, games against Stoke will always be highly anticipated. With Chelsea and Manchester Untied playing each other, some ground can be made and we must do it.
Being an Arsenal fan is never a dull moment because you just do not know what is going to happen, or should that be, we do know what is going to happen, well whatever, all I ask is for three points tomorrow and the snow to stay away!
Come on you Arsenal.
Monday 13 December 2010
Being in the middle of many deadlines along with Xmas and NYE promotional stuff in nightclubs, the trip to Old Trafford has been my motivation. Losing my voice in the last week hasn’t helped either but I am back and thankfully so is football.
Someone told me the tension in X-Factor was just like football….er no! Football is what it’s really all about and Manchester United Vs Arsenal is the real deal. Since Mr Wenger has come to England, Manchester United Vs Arsenal has been the game to be at or watch. Yes, Chelsea have won titles after spending some money and now City are a threat after spending even more money but for me, Manchester United Vs Arsenal is what it is all about.
As a football fan, I can only respect what Sir Alex Ferguson has done but to beat him and his team gives me such a great feeling and I believe we can win!
Reasons why I think this?
We have the most in form player in the league in Sammy Nasri. Nani has had a good season but id put Nasri just ahead. Sammy Nasri has been on another level in the last 6 weeks and I love it! I love him! Go on Sammy!
Our away record is the best in the league; we have only lost once on our travels and have already recorded a great win in Manchester.
We have a striker who in the big games can put himself about a bit (we had Arshavin up front last season at home against United!) In Chamakh and Van Persie, we have it all covered!
We are Arsenal football club! Yes, we may not have beaten the two other championship contenders for a season or two however, we know we can. The belief is there, we can beat Manchester United!
Anyone making the trip up there tomorrow, ill see you on the M6, the away section will be rocking as usual and lets come home with three points.
Come on you Arsenal!!!!
Sunday 5 December 2010
The away games this season have been great but have been tight too as games at Everton, Wolves, Blackburn and Villa proved. Home wins against Birmingham and West ham have also been close and we can certainly add Fulham to that list.
The Fulham game was certainly interesting and there were a few talking points. Sammy Nasri kept his fine form going and is on top of the world right now. Even Rio Ferdinand on twitter is calling him Samir ‘the Angle’ Nasri and that’s because of his two amazing goals against Spurs and Fulham from tight angles. Nasri was outstanding once again and I am really enjoying watching him play and even more so really enjoying singing his chant!
The Fulham goal angered Mr Wenger because there was a clash of heads and the game was allowed to continue and the Fulham front man scored. As we did go on and score the winner, I will not dwell into their goal to much but can see why Mr Wenger was upset.
What was slightly annoying was a certain Mark Hughes, who we have a bit of a history with. I saw all game Mark Schwarzer taking his time with goal kicks and when Kamara was taken off, the score was 1-1 and he practically went off at a snail’s pace and Mark Hughes did nothing to rush him. After Arsenal went 2-1 up, Hughes was showing his watch to the referee and wanting Arsenal to hurry up; double standards or what? He wanted Fabianski to kick the ball out quickly but is happy for Kamara to take his time when coming off the pitch. What a joke! In fact, when Kamara came off, Hughes was clapping! Taking your time when your winning or holding on to a draw is apart of football, however, to do it yourself then complain when you think others are doing it in the same game is just wrong! Personally, I did not think Fabianski took very long to take his goal kick (I wanted him to take even longer!) but for Hughes to have a problem with this is just laughable.
Off course, the legend that is, Thierry Henry was at the game and I must admit I started doing a Kamara after the game when walking out just in case I get a sight of our record scorer. I did see Mr and Mrs Wenger leaving the ground and Mr Wenger looked very pleased, he was asked about his January actions and I will not be surprised if he does bring someone to the club in the transfer window. It was nice to see Mr Wenger with a big smile on his face; it proves this week has been a good one.
On my way to the Tollington, a flash dark coloured BMW X6 was stuck at the traffic lights and it was none other then Thomas Vermaelen (he was not driving in case you are wondering), a few young kids ran up to him and he was very welcoming and opened his window and signed their shirts. I shouted ‘we can’t wait to see you back Tommy’ and he replied with ‘I can’t wait either!’ and how nice it would be to see him back in the Red and White of Arsenal again.
So we got the three points we wanted and went top of the league. Oh I love football and oh I love Arsenal!
Now focus turns to a huge game mid-week and a win will see us go through to the next phrase of the Champions League then we have a trip to Old Trafford.
Football is a funny business, a great week is followed by a not so great week then you get a great week again then a not so great week….you get the picture, but we have put a few wins together and a good run in December could be vital with games against Partizan, Manchester United, Stoke, Chelsea, Wigan etc all to come followed by Birmingham away and Man City at home in early January.
Roll on the week ahead! Come on you Arsenal!!
Monday 29 November 2010
Well, it was only two hours Andrey, but the fact that we got to the top is a positive. We all know what happened last week so it was vital that we take all three points and go top of the league, even for a few hours. Being two up at half time and then conceding (even though we know there was a offside there) was quite concerning but the team showed some character to keep going and not let what happened seven days ago affect them.
It was still a bit too easy for Villa to score for my liking, however, after the week we had, a win is what was needed and we got it.
Now the focus turns to what seems like quite a big game at home to Wigan in the Carling Cup (who would have thought that a few years ago). The Carling Cup has certainly changed in regards to the way we look at it. As people say, one trophy and more can follow. A trip to Wembley will give our players some added confidence and it would be nice to make Wembley our second home this season with all three major Cup finals there.
Not sure about anyone else, but I am quite looking forward to the Carling Cup game on Tuesday night. Tickets are well priced and availability was there for ALL Arsenal fans. Tickets were on general sale and were priced at £10 and £20 so their can be no complaints there (considering how much they usually are). There has been a lot said about the atmosphere but I reckon there might be quiet a decent atmosphere on Tuesday night.
If you’re down there, do make some noise! I know I will!
Once again, the away fans were superb yet again at Villa Park and on a personal level, I can’t wait to go to Old Trafford in a few weeks because along with the atmosphere and the way we have been playing away from home, I really fancy it!
But for now, its all about Wigan on Tuesday then off course Fulham on Saturday, a chance to sort our home form out so to speak.
Come on you Arsenal!
Thursday 25 November 2010
When I made this blog I said I will be as positive as I can but after this past week, it was very difficult hence the lack of posts.
How Jermaine Defoe was winning headers in our own half is just unexplainable! How the Braga front man scored with three Arsenal players around him was also unexplainable and leading 2-0 at half time and losing was even more unexplainable!
Losing to them lot down the road was hurtful. The joy of celebrating at half time is like a distant memory, however, its now time to look forward.
There are issues that need addressing. Defensively, there is always a mistake in us and even at 2-0; you do not always feel confident. Missing Thomas Vermaelen off course is a big loss, and it seems like we may have to cope without him for a while longer so we must adapt and improve. We are just conceding way too many goals.
Now the positives;
We are still in all four competitions. A win in the in the league would mean going top of the Premiership (for a few hours at least), a win in Europe would mean going into the hat for the next round of the Champions League and a win in the Carling Cup at home to Wigan would mean a semi final place, life is not all bad is it?
This time last season, we were on the verge of being knocked out by Man City in the Carling cup (I know the same thing could happen on Tuesday but let’s be honest, it that was a very tough draw, where as this year we have a home draw and are playing more of our first team players). We lost to Chelsea around this time last season and we were something like seven points off the pace in the League. So we have improved this season. Last season we lost at Blackburn, Sunderland and City and this year we have got results at all (Draw at Sunderland was disappointing but a point is still more then last year).
The problem most of us feel is that, we will keep making these mistakes and the same old thing will happen again and again. This may be true but while we are in this position, my belief in the team will stay strong. We do need to sort out our home form because our away form has been superb this season and the stats back this up.
Mr Wenger has been the subject in many forums and on twitter and the feeling is certainly mixed. I have always been a believer in Mr Wenger and therefore will always support our man but I will be the first to admit he has some work to do. As I said earlier, the defensive side of our game needs work.
It was widely documented that there were bids for Pepe Reina and Phil Jagielka rejected and there was interest in Par Mertesacker too so this shows Mr Wenger did try and address the issue but for whatever reason it did not happen.
This week did confuse me a bit, more then I am normally anyway! I was asking myself various questions, like are our defenders good enough to win us a league? Who should we bring in to sure up the defence? Why was Djourou left out against Spurs after playing so well?
I still am none the wiser.
But the special thing about the club is, come match day, everyone is behind the team and I know that will continue.
Roll On villa away then the Carling Cup quarter on Tuesday night.
Come on you Arsenal!
Tuesday 23 November 2010
With all the hype around the game, it certainly did hurt. I know every fan would have been feeling the same!
Looking at the bigger picture, we are still in all four competitions and two points off first place but we must start taking these chances to make up ground because i cannot see Chelsea and Manchester United dropping points all season (mind you, would make it one hell of a title race if they did!)
Roll on Braga tonight, lets just get through to the next round then get a win at Villa park.
Hope any fans traveling up there get back safely with all the issues out there. Good luck to them all.
Come on you Arsenal!
Wednesday 17 November 2010
Away games are starting to really excite me, certainly when I actually make the trip. I will confess that even though I have been going to every home game for several years, away games were slightly rarer. I did travel to away games but no way as frequent as I do now. I felt I was a bit of a jinx because quite often I came back disappointed in terms of the result. This season has been totally different. We seem to be better away then at home and the stats back this up as Arsenal has the BEST away record in the Premiership.
One thing I want to do is give so much credit to the fans that travel to away games. The away support is amazing and they just never stop. I like to think I am quite vocal and do try and sing my heart out and often people tell me that they could hear ‘my’ song because they are a few in particular that I love and sing even in my sleep! But I have learned these songs from the away supporters who have been going for years. They have taught me a lot in recent years and they deserve a lot of credit.
One fan in particular, for me sang the song of the day. When we, the Arsenal fans were chanting ‘We got Cesc Fabregas, we got Cesc Fabregas’ this fan then added, and ‘Uve got Phil Neville, Uve got Phil Neville’ and this for me is genius! Someone may have sang this before but the timing of when this fan started the chant was perfect then the rest of the army joined in, much to the annoyance of Everton fans as they were unhappy with Fabregas’s tackle/block when he was chasing the ball down earlier. That is the difference between home and away supporters because here, one man started the Phil Neville chant and hundreds of other fans joined in.
Last week, I may have been a bit harsh on home supporters; after all, I am one of them. I said it was the fans that must do or change something to improve the home atmosphere but after thinking about it more and listening to other fans telling me their opinion, I have seen that perhaps its mission impossible for fans UNLESS the club lends a hand. People tell me that because of the different pricing, they are no longer sitting with their friends from Highbury and cannot create the chants like they could then. Some people have called for signing sections and some people have said, once the club wins a trophy, the atmosphere around the place may change. If I offended anyone last week then I am truly sorry, it was not meant to be any sort of a attack on anyone, the passion and disappointment of losing to Newcastle just got to me more then ever!
The trip to Merseyside was good, local people were quite nice to us as we walked around the streets of Liverpool. Once in the ground, off course the banter started but that is what you would expect.
I thought we did really well to get the three points and played as a real team. We started and ended the game a bit on the ropes as Everton had chances but generally, we were good and could have added to our two goals. If only Sammy Nasri had put his chance away because he deserved a goal after that burst of energy, what a player he is turning out to be!
How does it go?
NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA SAMMY NASRI! NASRI! SAMMY NASRI!
The only small issue about that song is, I will be at Wembley for England Vs France on Wednesday night and as an England supporter; will I be able to stop myself from signing the Nasri chant? Only time will tell!
Now roll on the visit from them lot down the road and another three points is vital. We must ALWAYS beat Spurs! Chelsea look like they could drop points because of all their missing players (mind you we missed quite a few earlier in the season) so we must take advantage if they drop points as we did over the weekend.
I will have a wild guess and say the atmosphere may just be quite electric on Saturday despite the early kick off and I am sure everyone will be behind the team.
Once again, sorry if I offended anyone last week but I was really pleased with the debate that got going on the comments section. I thought every comment was well thought out and all were valid points.
Thanks for all the kind and supporting messages since the launch of this blog; I was quite touched with them all. Great thing about blogs is they only are opinions, and everyone has an opinion. So feel free to disagree, I even tend to disagree with myself after I have said something so that’s the beauty of blogs and just sport generally.
Come on you Arsenal!
Tuesday 9 November 2010
All day (in-between work off course) I have been intrigued in the on going debate about the differences between a fan and a supporter.
I will not go into analysing the game or provide a match report because others are far more qualified to provide one; however, I do want to dig into the issue of fans and supporters and also the general atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium.
Being present at every single home game this season and most home games for several years, the atmosphere is something that comes into question quite often by other fans and now has even become a talking point with our own fans.
The game on Sunday against Newcastle was a bad one if you’re a follower of Arsenal football club. The week in general was a poor one. Funny how one week we win at the City of Manchester stadium and at St James’s Park then the next week we lose back to back against Shakhtar and at home to Newcastle.
The atmosphere was shocking on Sunday against Newcastle, their was no noise, chants were not lasting very long and at times it was even a struggle to hear two claps in a row! People that were not there may think I am exaggerating but I assure you, I am not!
Me being me, I tried to start some chants up and the lad next to me always joined in but apart from him and my mate who came to the game with me, no one else seemed interested! It was a struggle to even clap to chants for some people!
Yesterday, I heard many reasons on why the atmosphere is so bad and suggestions on how the atmosphere can be improved. Some say because of the increase in ticket prices since the move from Highbury, it has meant some of the working class followers are priced out of the market and been replaced with either the upper class (who some have said rather do crosswords then watch games) or new comers who are so used to success that when it does not come, they get frustrated. Suggestions wise, I have heard that the club level should be removed in the north bank and clock end, season ticket holders who sing should be separated covering each block and to remove the sales of pies and hot dogs so people are forced to sing rather then eat! Some have also called for some sort of an anthem for the club, where people can really get involved and sing up, like at Anfield when ‘you’ll never walk alone’ is played and sung. Even in the away section, I have shivering when listening to the Kop sign their anthem when I was visiting Anfield.
Some of the suggestions could work. Some suggestions were light hearted (like the pies and hot dogs) but some were deadly serious. To re-arrange the stadium would prove very difficult as the club level is quite established with season ticket holders and moving normal season ticket holders would be hard because each block has a different price etc.
I did think the price factor in general was important. Being someone who goes to every home game and quite a few away games, it sometimes is a struggle. With the Emirates, many new comers have come to watch games live and getting chants together are getting harder and harder. The prices I paid at Highbury were much less then the prices I am paying at the Emirates. I do feel sorry for kids between the ages of 16-21 because football is an expensive business. When you’re young, you get concessions but once you are over 16 years of age, prices increase and for students, it is very difficult to attend many games. So that is a reason for the lack of atmosphere because the same crowd do not always attend games and even though the stadium is always sold out, the crowd varies so people cannot learn songs as they do not go often enough.
I understand that some people may just be to shy to sing up or some may not know the words but the least they can do is clap along, there has been times at games, where I have started a song with a mate and people have stared at us like we are speaking a different language. Sometimes, if people do not get to away games, they may not have heard some of the songs but chants like ‘Arsenal’ ‘Arsenal’ ‘Arsenal, when a corner is awarded is not even being sung anymore.
My dream is to run and manage a fans group where every member has to take a test, which includes singing a song (the na na na na na Sammy Nasri song would do!) It would be nothing major but would be for people that CARE about the club, I would want young people with fresh ideas, I would want the older generation that have the knowledge and experiences from watching the Arsenal for years and also have the middle aged people who have seen a lot but want to do something extra to help the club; but for now, that’s just a dream!!
The fan and supporter thing did make me think. For me, a fan is someone who likes the club but a supporter is someone who loves the club. The fan will come to watch the team and be entertained but a supporter will come to do exactly what the name says, support the team. A fan will be loud and proud in the good times but a supporter will be loud and proud in the bad times. A fan will sing when we are winning but a supporter will sing when we are losing despite how badly. Before this turns into a poem, I will stress, that this is only my opinion. Until this morning, I thought a fan and a supporter is the same thing but after listening to other people on twitter, I think there is a slight difference.
Call me arrogant but I think I am a supporter.
I have always been keen to listen to people older then myself about how life at Arsenal used to be and always want to learn more about the history of the club. I do feel that younger fans, the same age as me, have been spoiled because they are so used to having success. Being 22 years old, I gained an interest in football and Arsenal in 1995 and from 1996, I have been a keen follower of the club, so Mr Wenger is practically all I know, however, I have learned about the history of the club. I was very used to success because of the double in 1998, the cup finals in 1999 and 2001, and the double in 2002 and off course the unbeaten season in 2004 which was followed by the FA Cup the year after. Even the Champions League final run was very special. Even though I have been spoiled, I have never taken it for granted and that’s something others must not do. Before the title win in 1989, there was limited success. The last time the league was won (before 89) was in 1971 where Arsenal did the double. So the club went from 1971 to 1989 without a league title, Arsenal did win the FA Cup in 1979 and the League Cup which was known as the Littlewoods Cup in 1987 where the record of Liverpool always winning when Rush scored first was broken but that was it when it came to silverware in between 1971 and 1989. That puts this drought from 2005 to 2010 in perspective.
The club is well run, the finances are in order and we do not rely on Russians, Sheikhs or Americans for investment. We built a brand new training ground and a stadium rather then getting one for next to nothing like certain teams have or will (you can have your commonwealth games and Olympic Games stadium’s because we built our own!) So sometimes you have to deal with the bad times (even though some would argue, being in the top four every season and playing in the Champions league isn’t all bad) to get the good times.
So if success is the reason why there are more ‘fans’ then ‘supporters’ or why the crowd are so quiet then some sort of perspective is needed. As a supporter, I will be ‘loud and proud’ every time I watch the Arsenal, never mind the score line.
I would love the Emirates to be rocking like it was for that Champions League game against Manchester United (for a few minutes at least) or rocking like it was when Thierry Henry scored the winner in the 93rd minute against the same opponents Manchester United.
I know Highbury was known as a library but that season when we got to the Champions League final (last season at Highbury) was special. The atmosphere before, during and after the game against Madrid, Juve and Villarreal was unreal.
The best atmosphere I have seen was in 2004 when we beat Liverpool after Thierry scored his second goal when he ran through the Liverpool defence. We had just lost to Manchester United and Chelsea in the FA Cup and Champions League respectively so there was a big sense of relief about the victory because it set us up for the league title and off course we ended up going through the whole season unbeaten, an achievement which has never got the praise it deserved. The longer time goes on and the longer this record is never matched, people will see how special the unbeaten season really was.
I have gone on a bit in this post as the subject was suppose to be about the atmosphere at the Emirates but it has ended up being a bit of a rant. There is no offence meant to anyone in the blog because we all want the same thing. We want the team to win and therefore I would like to see the atmosphere improved at the Emirates because I feel it can help.
Having a good atmosphere can only be a positive for the team. The Kop at Liverpool is a great example, I am convinced that the Kop has won Liverpool games, the energy they provide during games has urged their players on and they truly are like a 12th man. Even though Pompey is in bags of trouble, I was most impressed when visiting Fratton Park because of the atmosphere; they really did get behind their team. We saw it last week at Shakhtar too how intimidating an atmosphere can be.
Let’s try and get behind the team and get back on track. I will not be at Wolves but will be present at Everton but let’s support the team like usual and especially on our travels, because our away support is brilliant. Let’s help the team bounce back and let’s try and add some silverware to the honours list!
Come on you Arsenal!!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday 6 November 2010
We all have aspects of our life that we like to deal with privately and none of us would want to talk about our private life in public.
Mr Wenger is a man of class; he will never speak publically about his private life and that is how it should be.
What happens in one’s private life should not be off any concern of anyone else. As supporters of our club and the Gaffer, we can only keep supporting the club and players and off course the manager.
I doubt we will ever know more about these allegations because Mr Wenger will not comment, even if it’s just to deny it. That’s the way it should be done, no one wants their private life slapped all over the newspapers.
We live in a world where celebrities can get injunctions which can stop the press from printing stories and we know how certain players love to get them! In this case, there seems to be no injunction or no real effort made to block the story, so make your own mind up.
Despite everything in the Sun, I wouldn’t want to judge before knowing the full truth and as we may never know, I will concentrate on supporting the team on the pitch.
Mr Wenger has been here over a decade and is idolised by most Arsenal fans and certainly by me. Let’s leave his private life to him now.
The only fear I have is if the pressure get’s too much for him or for his family, it could tempt him to walk away. Having practically followed everything Mr Wenger has done and said in his time here, he is always quick to take the spot light away from his family. Being present in press conferences with him and having met him a few times, he does seem a family man and keep’s his family out of his professional life. If questions are asked of his family and the pressure on them increases, then could this tempt him to perhaps move on? I do not know the answer but this is a small fear I have and I am sure many of you have too.
Whatever happens happens, but Mr Wenger has my backing and support because he is simply one of the best managers to have ever managed in world football.
Let’s get behind the team because end of the day, three points against Newcastle is important and we must not let any distractions affect the club.
For me, that is the end of the matter and will try not to comment on it.
Anyone going on Sunday should get behind the team and manager as normal, I certainly will.
Come on you Arsenal!
Say what you want about our great manager because we won’t believe it.
Mr Wenger was in his usual good mood in today’s press conference and that did not look like a man who was guilty of any wrong doing.
IF something like this was actually true, would he be in such a good mood and that approachable in a press conference? I certainly would not.
We all know and agree that some stories that are written are not always true.
I read a story on twitter from a female saying she had an affair with a Premiership and England footballer but the story was a non-starter and only a few media outlets ran with the story.
I have the faith and belief in my manager and think the story will just blow over as it sound’s like a complete non starter.
AND on Sunday, i most certainly will, but i would hope the WHOLE of the Emirates get's behind our man.
In Arsene, We trust.
There is only ONE Arsene Wenger,
Wenger is Class.
Friday 5 November 2010
This blog was written a while ago when I had issues with a certain website not letting me write for them, so therefore, I did not publish this on my personal site, some of you may have read it elsewhere though as other sites did have it.
With all the call up issues with Robin, I thought it’s a perfect chance to post this again.
The subject of Robin Van Persie has been spoke about a lot in the last week or two and has got me thinking and talking too. In six seasons at Arsenal, he has made 131 league appearances and has only added three more this season. He has scored 48 goals but it does make you think about those famous words; ‘what if?’
In six seasons he has appeared in 131 games from a potential 228 games in the league. Last season in particular he looked the ‘real deal’ and was scoring and providing goals for fun but that ended as the injury jinx struck again.
Robin Van Persie on his day is a world class player. His technical ability is one of the best I have seen at Arsenal and in world football generally. He contributes with goals, assists, takes corners, takes free-kicks and is involved in most of the positive things Arsenal do when going forward. Robin is one of them players that can create something out of nothing. That amazing volley against Charlton is a great example or popping up a few years ago to score the equaliser against Manchester United at the Emirates (even though he broke a metatarsal in the process).
Last season for me was the time where I saw the real Robin Van Persie. I KNOW I am not alone in thinking that if Robin Van Persie was fit most of last season, we perhaps would be Champions of England right now. The period where I believe we lost the title was when we were playing without a proper centre forward. With Van Persie there, it may have been different.
On a personal level, having met Robin a few times and been present in a question and answer session with him, I can tell how highly he rates this club. I remember one question that was asked, it was about if players get distracted when speculation about a possible transfer is in the media, the answer for him was simple; ‘if you do not want to leave then it will never distract you, I have never wanted to leave and therefore am not distracted’. The answer was refreshing and looking at how football is in regards to money, it was very pleasing to hear a big player speak like this. I feel for Robin because he is desperate to play and wants to win things with this club.
However, when a player gets so many injuries every season, how long can you rely on a player who misses big parts of the season? Many have said its time now to treat Robin as a luxury player so to speak, and not expect him to play but when he does, it is a bonus. Last season we saw that missing Robin was a massive blow and left us playing without a proper centre forward for around three months. This time around, we have Chamakh who can also lead the line himself and with Bendtner coming back to full fitness, we seem to have more options. The debate of if we will play two centre forwards when Robin returns may not need to be answered just yet but with Robin back, Mr Wenger can pick and choose the games he wishes to play Robin in and this could benefit Arsenal football club.
I think it’s important to see how Robin comes back from this injury because after missing such a long part of last season, he will be desperate to come back. However, we must be patient with him but also protect him, so I personally do not expect to see him in the starting line up as much as we would like. Even if he just plays the games against the top 9 clubs in the league, I think it could be enough to make the difference.
It is a very hard one to call because playing one match here and there does not give much continuity; however, I am not sure if we have the choice.
One thing for certain is that I do not want to see Robin Van Persie leave this football club because he has Arsenal in his heart and I have seen this with my own eyes when talking to him and seeing him live on the pitch.
Just hope he comes back and has a good season because with Van Persie in full flow, Arsenal DO have a chance in all four competitions.
Come on you Arsenal!
Monday 1 November 2010
My latest post is once again about the Saturday just gone and in particular a special moment after the game (West Ham).
The game in general was a nervy one! When ever you enter the last five or so minutes with the score line still level, the nerves do get the better of you. The fact that Arsenal got the winner shows the desire and hunger that our manager often talks about. After winning at Eastlands the other week, all the hard work would have been undone, so to take all three points was essential.
The Headline about class is for another reason however, and after the game I saw even more class from our manager yet again. I have always been a great follower and believer in Mr Wenger and ever since 1996 I have been hooked. The way he run’s this football club is second to none and without him I hate to think where the club would be now.
When exiting the stadium I saw Mr Wenger’s car and he had stopped for a few fans that had spotted him. He was signing autographs for these fans and I walked past. He started to move off but as his window was still open I congratulated him on the win. I have met him a few times recently as a fan and also as a professional at his pre match press conferences. He looked at my t-shirt (In Wenger We Trust) a few times as it has his face on it! As he was moving very slowly, the few other fans had turned the other way and I was literally left with my idol on a very quiet road. I was walking at the same speed as his car (quite slowly) and I asked Mr Wenger ‘how he was?’ He replied by saying he is ‘fine’ and asked ‘how I am!’ I then said, ‘I noticed you looking at the shirt and if I had a pen I would get you to sign it but I do not, so next time’! His response is what really made my day. He stopped his car, put his handbrake on and said ‘wait’ he then checked his dashboard, his flap thing which blocks the sun above him and also checked the passenger side of the car. I then told him not to worry and he then got a pen out of his jacket and signed my shirt for me. I then asked him how his Birthday was and he said it was good and that he just invited some friends over. I then shook his hand and we went separate ways.
As I was in astonishment, the quotes may not be 100% accurate because I was in my own world after this but that was pretty much the most of it.
I knew this was a special moment and a moment of such class. Mr Wenger could easily have been polite and smiled but not got his own pen out! I am not sure how many other managers or even players would have done what Mr Wenger did.
I ran into John Cross from the Daily Mirror just after and even he was keen to listen to my special moment and was equally in admiration from the class shown by Mr Wenger.
He certainly made my day and after such a fantastic week and three clean sheets, this was a perfect way to end a perfect week.
Roll on this week! Come on you Arsenal !
Thursday 28 October 2010
Last year I heard people say Fabianski and Bendtner are not good enough for Arsenal and Walcott should be sold and ‘who’ is Szczesny?
First I will tackle the goalkeeping issue. I know a decision cannot be made on a keeper after just a few games let alone just one but Fabianski has proved that he is a better keeper then everyone thought he was. He flapped often and made mistakes in nearly every game he played yet Mr Wenger has always remained confident in Fabianski and continuously said that the Fabianski in training is one we are yet to see. Since the WBA game, Fabianski has played in every game (apart from the Carling Cup) and has played well. I went into the issue of Fabianski in my previous post but I am using him as an example of someone who was not always supported but is trying to turn it around and is playing quite well of late.
The goal keeping situation was the most debated subject during the summer and some fans wanted a keeper that was ready and some wanted a short term fix with Szczesny being the long term number one. Szczesny looked solid against Newcastle. He came for crosses and long balls and caught them well. He punched well and got good distance on them, something past keepers have not have done consistently. He stood tall and seemed like a presence in goal and made some good saves. The potential was certainly there and I will be VERY upset if we lose him next summer as his contract is up. If he is this good at the age of 20, imagine how good he can be at the age of 25!
Theo Walcott is another player that people were getting frustrated with last season. Theo has always got support from fans however; the minority of fans were questioning his development and were questioning whether he will be the player we want him to be. He was left out the England World Cup squad for whatever reason but he has worked hard, kept fit and come back firing this season. He already has six goals and that’s despite being out injured for six weeks. Theo has frightened defenders with his pace and has developed his game this season and added goals. He can only get better and I for one am so pleased he has proved some doubters wrong this season with his fantastic performances.
Finally, we come to Niko Bendtner. A man you either love or you hate. Even today, before his goal, some people tried to explain to me why he is not good enough for Arsenal, however, I disagree. Last season, if it was not for Bendtner, we may not be playing in the Champions league. The song about ‘Thursday night, channel five’ which we were singing at Man City fans may have been sung at us! The winner in the last minute against Wolves and Hull were vital, the goal at Stoke got us back in the game which we went on to win and he scored in many other games. He even gave us hope at in Barcelona for a minute or two at least! When you play only one striker, you still need a total of three strikers but not all three are going to be the same. In Van Persie, Chamakh and Bendtner, we have three very different strikers. Chamakh and Bendtner are more similar but do differ slightly on the pitch. If you look at our third choice striker, if all three are fit (who you would assume is Bendtner at the moment) compared to others then you see how valuable he is. He scored more goals then most third choice strikers last season and you will never get a 30 goal striker as third choice because that striker will simply want to leave. I am not saying Bendtner will be a 30 goal a season striker but to win competitions, you need a squad and Bendtner is very much apart of that. Saying that, I believe Bendtner has the quality to be a 30 goal a season striker and be first choice if he works hard but at the moment he is still an asset to this club and I firmly believe that he will get better and better and give Chamakh and Van Persie a run for their money for game time.
Once again, I stress, these are just my opinions. I am one to always support who ever plays and the whole squad certainly have my backing and also my faith and confidence in them as a whole.
This has been a great week and we want it to carry on further on Saturday.
Come on you Arsenal!
Tuesday 26 October 2010
Newcastle Away in the Carling Cup = Massive
Well, who would have thought it, a game in the Carling Cup is being talked about as one of the more important games of the week. Some have even told me they think this game is bigger then the game on Sunday in Manchester. I don’t quite agree that’s its more important but can accept that it’s just as important.
The Carling Cup has been used for developing our younger players and giving them the needed experience so they can go on to play for the first team. Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy and Alex Song are just a few players that started in the Carling Cup and went on to be regulars in the first team. The policy in the Carling Cup may not have won us a trophy but it has won us success in terms of getting younger players to fulfil their potential and play in the first team.
On the other hand, Jose’s Chelsea won the Carling Cup in his first season and that set the platform for further success. The same could be said about this team. If they did win the Carling Cup, it could give them that much talked about ‘winning feeling’.
I do not tend to do this often but here is the team I think Mr Wenger will play:
Szczesny, Eboue, Koscielny, Djourou, Gibbs, Denilson, Rosicky, Lansbury, Vela, Walcott and Bendtner.
The Central midfield may need looking at but I think Lansbury deserves a game after such a good performance at the lane and with Walcott back and needing games, it may mean Lansbury plays in a different position then he did in the last round. I want to see Jay Emmanuel Thomas more too and have been told by youth team experts that he is a very good player and will be unlucky if he does not feature.
It could be a big game for Szczesny as he has been requesting game time and here he may have it. With Fabianski playing really well and being odds on to carry on as number 1, Szczesny will surely get his chance on Wednesday night.
Let’s get behind the team and get a positive result!
Feel free to comment and tell me your predictions for the starting line up.
Come on you Arsenal
Monday 25 October 2010
My day at the City of Manchester stadium started with me stepping out of our car and being called a rude word which starts with a W! A near by police officer asked me to just ignore it and I told him how ‘I am an Arsenal fan and we have more class and therefore I will not get sucked into insults like that’ and then just smiled at the city fan and found it all quite funny.
Entering the ground and I was greeted by many Arsenal fans singing and throwing beer and coke (cola, in case you are wondering!) around and just generally enjoying the day.
In terms of the game, the sending off perhaps helped us, but we cannot control what the other team do. We did not force him to make the tackle and therefore we can only do what we can do and in this occasion it was to play against ten men. We played well overall and apart from launching into a few tackles early on, we were solid all over the pitch.
The Sammy Nasri chant is still ringing around in my ears and he is on fire right now. Missing the world cup clearly focused him and he has come back on another level. He had an outstanding pre-season and is carrying on that form now in the League and the Cup competitions. He can only get better, his vision, his passing ability and finishing is improving in every game. He is such an important part of the team at the moment and I am so excited to see him develop further.
Sammy Nasri is certainly an away fans favourite at the moment and many of the home fans have not heard his new song yet. If your one of them, some fans have uploaded their clips from the City and Spurs game on YouTube and you can clearly hear the song being sung.
A word for Fabianski too, he was outstanding at Eastlands. He produced, in my opinion a world class save to keep out David Silva in the second half and produce two other very good saves and one other but even though it was offside, it was a quality save as he did not know the game had stopped at the time. He came for crosses and long balls and collected them cleanly. He will carry on in goal for us, even if Almunia is back.
The result in general should give us a massive boast. To win away from home against a team who will be competing for the title will give every member of the squad some confidence and now its time for this team to push on.
The Carling Cup is the first chance for silverware this season so the game on Wednesday night is massive. Mr Wenger said in his post match interview that he will play a strong team on Wednesday night so there’s every chance we can get a positive result and kick on further.
Come on you Arsenal!
Friday 22 October 2010
Today is Mr Arsene Wenger’s 61st birthday and even though he will keep celebrations low key, I am sure he will say that three points at City is what he really wants.
He also hit the 800 games mark this week and personally, I am so pleased he is here. ‘Arsene who’ came here in 1996 as an unknown Frenchman and 3 Premier League’s and 4 FA Cup’s later, the man is still here.
He may not be liked by certain managers but you look at the respect shown by Sir Alex Ferguson and you see how well respected Mr Wenger is in world football. Let’s not forget how Real Madrid has tried to sign him on a number of occasions.
I hope we get to celebrate many more birthdays with Mr Wenger as Arsenal manager because in Arsene we well and truly trust.
Thursday 21 October 2010
Arsenal have been hit by a massive blow that Thomas Vermaelen will remain on the sidelines for a while longer. Mr Wenger was speaking at Arsenal's annual AGM today and also added he does not know when Thomas will return.
This for all of us, is very worrying. We all know that at times our estimates for injuries are not quite accurate but here we do not have even a possible date, not even a rough one, and that shows this injury is a bad one. No one will forget how Thomas Rosicky's injury was 'short term' and was said to be out for two weeks which turned into 18 months.
We hope Thomas will return soon but i cannot see it being in the next month or so at least. Vermaelen who had a great first season will be missed greatly as he was seen to be the Senior head at the back and is even seen by many (including me) as a future Arsenal captain.
My thoughts are with him and I hope he can return as soon as possible.
Wednesday 20 October 2010
I am no longer writing for Bleacher report and will be posting all my blogs on this site.
Before anything else, i would like to welcome you all to my site/blog and hope you will be returning as often as you can as i will be posting at least one blog a week.
I would like to thank everyone who has supported me and gave me the encouragement to build my own blog. The Community on twitter who follow the Arsenal has certainly grew in the lat six months and so many people have supported me since i have joined and i am grateful.
I would like to thank Dark Theory for helping me build the blog and you can follow him on twitter on www.twitter.com/darktheory .
I will be blogging and writing articles on our beloved Arsenal football club. I attend every home game and go to as many as i can away from home. I follow the England Football Team too but mainly write about the Arsenal.
I am a regular on Arsenal TV Online's Fans Forum and like to support everything Arsenal TV Online do. DO catch Arsenal Live on Friday night at 7pm followed by the Fans Forum from 8.15pm.
I have done some work with the Daily Mirror and ITV in the summer too and am chasing a dream!
For my more regular status updates do follow me on twitter too on: www.twitter.com/10akhil