March 1st, 2013 at 12:31 pm
I’m not making this up and it’s not the usual cocksure bravado that you get from the average sports fan but if I’m completely honest, I’m not nervous about Sunday.
Yes, Arsenal are facing the form team of the Premier League, with the form player, playing at the highest level of his career. A player who has just this year unleashed a Ronaldo-esque toe-punch from set pieces. A toe-punch that is, I might add, getting him goals from dead ball situations. Dead ball situations that Mark Clattenburg will gladly award any time anyone gets anywhere near Gareth Bale and he falls over like he loves to do.
And we all know that Gareth Bale is the darling of the Lickspittles on Fleet Street because he’s a player who admits that he dives and who (like Rooney before him) gets a pass in the press. I’m not exactly sure why he gets a pass, maybe he needs to dive for Wales against England, in a World Cup match or something before he will get the royal treatment. But the marked difference between the way that the Daily Mail basically hung Eduardo in effigy and have instead made excuses for Bale’s diving is, well… marked.
And still I’m not worried about Sunday.
I even know that it’s a big game, probably the biggest of the season. How could I not know that Tottenham are above Arsenal in the table and that this one game could go a long way toward solidifying them as finishing above Arsenal for the first time since 1995? And how could I have missed the fact that this game could very well determine what type of European football Arsenal play next year? I couldn’t and I didn’t.
I also know that Arsenal have an error prone defense. One which is setting ignominious records for allowing slapstick goals. I know that Arsenal’s captain, and chief of the defense, is not in his best form, that the team’s most experienced right back is out injured and in his stead Arsenal will start a very raw Carl Jenkinson, and that the team has a new left back who has never experienced a North London Derby. Both fullbacks will be tested by the aforementioned Bale, who will be making every effort to get the ball on his left foot and fire in wicked shots that will test Arsenal’s shaky keeper.
This should be the kind of game that I’m very worried about, but I’m not.
My quiescence comes not from a sense of bravado about the fact that we have beaten Tottenham 5-2 in two consecutive matches, that Arsenal have the better head to head record over the entire career of Arsene Wenger, and that they have a long history as the little bottlers who couldn’t. I was in London last year when Spurs were overturned from a 2-0 lead. I sat on the train my last night in London last year and watched as a Spurs supporter openly wept because Tottenham had just lost 3-1 to Man U and he knew that the bottling of their season had begun. That fact should have leave me feeling confident but it’s not the reason why I feel the way I do.
No, this Spurs team look like a strong team who will give Arsenal a real challenge. And Arsenal are starting to look like the team who tend to disappear from matches. Arsenal are a team who can go into a big game and not even bother to show up until the opposition have already won. Arsenal can stumble through the first half like a blind drunk and wait until the second half to even bother start playing, time and again.
And yes, this is the biggest game that Arsenal will face for the rest of the season. If every season is a story, then this game is the climax. From Sunday at about 10am local time, the season will start to be resolved. There will be more matches and naturally there will be some more drama but nothing will compare to this game and the events which unfold in this game will almost certainly determine the path that Arsenal take for the next few months, if not even longer.
Missing out on Champions League football would set in front of this Arsenal board and Arsene Wenger a choice: double-down on the policy which has gotten the team to where we are now or change directions and rebuild.
And yet, I’m not worried.
I’m not worried because I’m anchored by the history of the Arsenal. I’m anchored by the 13 league titles. The 16 consecutive years of Champions League football. The Invincibles. The players who have come and gone and the players who are enshrined outside of the Emirates. Players like Henry, Adams, and Dennis Bergkamp who now have a granite reminder outside our gleaming new stadium that form is temporary but class is permanent.
It’s that class that Arsenal exudes in everything we do that is the difference and what gives us, as a club, a leg up over Tottenham. It’s not the back to back 5-2 wins over them, it’s the fact that we didn’t need to make a DVD to celebrate those winss. It’s the fact that we have millions of fans from all over the globe. Fans like me who are going to Munich to support the Arsenal come what may.
And maybe I’m “frying chickens in the barnyard” crazy but come what may on Sunday, I will always be an Arsenal supporter. And that means I will always be one better than Spurs.
March 3rd, 2013 at 4:48 am
I am nervous, for tomorow and this site…anyonethere?
March 4th, 2013 at 2:44 pm
Hey GigIMan; it looks like its just you and meyeteday was not good; had hoped for a draw at least. 4th place is looking tough. there was though a good line from the commentators yesterday, referring to our defense; “the back is a complete shambles”they should write that on the front of Emirate Stadium
March 13th, 2013 at 12:17 pm
no wilshere, means no leadership, direction, drive, and penetration. cazorla will be there. but cazorla needs a platform to showcase his talents, and wilshere IS the platform. im afraid, without our 21 year old prodigy, we will have 11 players all looking at each other, hoping someone else wil step up and do something. because if there is one thing this team can garuntee, its lack of ownership and accountability
March 14th, 2013 at 8:02 pm
We beat bayern gaiz. It's jump start we need for the season. Also it would be nice if these offside ppl didnt let this place go to the dump, but oh, well. If they really cared they would've done something by now
March 18th, 2013 at 3:01 am
Heroic and historic win at allianz arena, to bad one goal to take us thru wasnt tobeTotaly agree as per the site…sure david dein runs it hahahaha
March 18th, 2013 at 3:10 am
Tv5 must stay benched, the defence vs bayern and a mix of the rest of the ream vs bayeen and vs swansea should be the starting xi for the rest of the season
March 23rd, 2013 at 5:11 pm
Ok this is just to epress wishes of survival to this beloved site, cheers gooners.Btw 3 gunn3rs scored last evening
March 31st, 2013 at 3:58 am
Hello all (2 or 3 of you); nice to get a win yesterday; 4 goals were nice, though it must be said that reading were crap. As usual the opposition scored on their only chance of he game; the typical arsenal non-defending.
Fortunately Chelski lost.
April 2nd, 2013 at 11:42 am
Speaking out against your current manager, and saying nice things about your former manager, is not necessarily the best thing to do, even if you are on something over £8m a year salary. There’s bound to be a pesky clause in your contract that says you can’t do that sort of thing.
And of course when something is reported in a newspaper there is no telling what was actually said. Was anything said at all? And what was the translation like? I can remember issues relating to Bendtner where eventually the newspaper in question had to apologise, although the apology was, in the traditions of the English press, about one percent of the size of the original article, and hidden away in a 6 point font at the foot of the racing results.
Anyway, S. Nasir Esq has seemingly spoken out, and unless he denies it I guess we take it as true. Last season Mr Nasri was good in parts, and not playing every game, (and certainly not one guaranteed a place in the starting XI), and this season it is said that when he has been picked he has been erratic.
Obviously I am not a Man City follower so I don’t know for sure, but apparently his manager (a Mr Mancini) has said (according to the papers), “I would like to give him a punch. Because a player like him should play like this always.”
To be fair, Mancini said that this did not apply just to Nasri, but to quite a few members of his elite squad, and that a fair number were only make half the effort that they should.
It is an interesting way to go about running a club – putting your own players down in public – and certainly not one that you ever hear coming from Mr Wenger and his team. When he drops a player he puts forward clear and positive reasons why, relating to the number of games played, the pressure, the tension, the player’s age… whatever. None of this “he wasn’t making the effort so we dropped him” stuff.
Nasri, according to reports, has done an interview with beIN Sport, and the rough translation of part of what he said was, “I’ve not had a good season, I know it, I’m aware of that. I am the first to be self-critical. But it’s not true that I’m playing at 50 per cent. I think the coach still doesn’t speak English very well and sometimes uses expressions that aren’t really suitable.”
Elsewhere in the interview he spoke about Arsène Wenger and his transfer from Arsenal:
“Wenger is the best coach I’ve worked with. I only regret not having more discussions with Arsène Wenger when I left. He’s the one who understood me the most and made me the player I am. I’m thankful.
“I don’t regret leaving Arsenal. I won the league while Arsenal have difficulty finishing fourth.”
Well actually, and I know it is a tiny detail, but I like to get these things clear, Man City won the league while Arsenal came third. Tottenham came fourth and didn’t get into the Champions League.
Then there’s this bit…
“Wenger told me that if Cesc left, I would stay but Kroenke wanted the money. The coach told me we’ll only take Gervinho, Cesc was already gone, I had only one year left so I decided to leave.”
Now I don’t quite understand all that, but there is no doubt that behind all of this chit-chat is Jean-Pierre Bernes, Nasri’s “advisor”.
Bernes was the “advisor” and some to Marseille’s Bernard Tapie when the two men were found guilty of fixing the Ligue 1 match against Valenciennes in May 1993.
During the trial Bernes said Marseille had spent “more than £600,000″ on corrupting the match. Bernes went to prison and was banned from French football. Uefa banned Marseille from the Champions League (which it won straight after the fixed league match) and the club had its title removed as was relegated.
Now this is important because just at that moment the top challenger to Marseille was Monaco managed by Arsène Wenger. The Valenciennes coach was Boro Primorac, who now works as assistant to Mr Wenger. Boro P testified in court against Bernes. Now years later Bernes, known as the most powerful man in French football, did allow his man to go to Arsenal, but then whipped him off to Man City.
In a further twist, Nasri claimed this weekend that Arsenal was forced to sell him to City in 2011 by the club’s owner Stan Kroenke.
Now that seems very odd, because there has never been a whiff of this story anywhere at the time (well, not in any serious newspaper anyway). What seems much closer to the truth is that Nasri refused to sign an extension to his contract, and with just one year left, was sold to avoid him going for nothing. Arsenal certainly did make a very good profit on a man who, according to press reports, his new manager has now said is worthy of a punch.
If we do want to speculate, I would say that we see the hand of Bernes in all matters relating to Nasri, and he’s now manipulating the situation to get Nasri sold again, so that both parties can pick up a good transfer fee.
April 3rd, 2013 at 8:15 pm
April 10th, 2013 at 2:06 am
We beat Bayern in their house!!Nasri is stupid.Chelsea n Spuds play each other.….come on admins of this site….it is fun to come over here , put smebody there to post!Wheres Perry?
April 11th, 2013 at 11:39 am
Hey all, I miss this site and all of you! Get some new posts up admins! Was at the Emirates last week but the team was playing away..
Mon the gunners!
May 2nd, 2013 at 3:33 am
I ll semd am email to th3 admin
July 18th, 2013 at 3:34 pm
I don’t doubt that we’ll make signings this summer, my worry and my concern is that it was all set up for us to be able to do our business in a much more efficient and much less dramatic way. There is no saga to contend with. It’s not a case of ‘Oh, once we sort out where we’re going to sell X to and for how much, then we’ll be able to to focus on the players coming in.’
Yet here we are, slap bang in the middle of drama involving Suarez, hanging onto the coat-tails of the Rooney stuff and the manager is saying, quite truthfully in my opinion, that we’re not close to signing anyone. If you’ve been following this club, and the way we do business for any length of time, and you’re not even slightly concerned at this point: can I please have some of what you’re on?
July 20th, 2013 at 2:44 pm
Wenger has a history of only signing players if he loves them and they are cheaper than they should be. I guess it would make sense then that he would go for Rooney and Suarez now of all times.
I am just convinced though, that if he can't get them at the price he wants, then he will just go without reinforcements. That will really piss me off
July 28th, 2013 at 2:58 am
August 5th, 2013 at 11:59 am
I'm so happy. Hope all is well and looking forward to reading some rants.
August 5th, 2013 at 12:07 pm
Hey all, what gets me is that Suarez is a horrible, greedy, diving, racist cannibal who has to serve 6 match ban in the new season. Why Wenger is going for him and willing to pay £40,000,001 and not 32 million on Higuian is confusing and annoying. I doubt we will be buying, again, anyone this transfer window.. well anyone of that significant.
I don't want Suarez at Arsenal!
August 6th, 2013 at 10:52 pm
Well Suarez has come out publicly, stating his desire to leave. Makes things a bit more interesting now…
August 12th, 2013 at 9:09 am
we're back in business!!!!! thanks Lachlan woo-hooooo!now we just need to find gigi-man
August 12th, 2013 at 9:16 am
I agree; I don't want Suarez either. Why AW wants him is completely unfathomable; it goes against everything he's tried to do in the last 8-10 years; paying stupid amounts of money for a huge name, plus the guy is nothing but problems.
August 17th, 2013 at 12:33 pm
opening day today!!!!lets go gunners!!!!!
August 17th, 2013 at 5:52 pm
well that was shittime to restart the homey train again, even though we know that the board loves AW, and he is not leaving. The interest on the 70 million buys lots of the wine for the directors' wine cellar, but as long as we buythe jerseys and go to the games, and give them $, the board has no reason to change anything
September 14th, 2013 at 1:11 pm
And it seems you disappeared again… Where are news on Ozil, Sanogo and Flamini?
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