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Public Crucifixion

I have pretty much have had enough of Arsenals slow death and exit out of various competitions in the last few weeks. The excrutiation on Arsenes face yesterday (on national terrestrial tv) was unbearable to watch.

He looks older to me, and more tortured. He defends his players to the point where he is fast becoming indefensible himself. Even the most die-hard Gooner was demanding a player with a bit of hunger yesterday afternoon. A player who would just try one FFS…

It only remains for me (the non-supporter on the sidelines) to sit and wonder where they would be with an efficient table football back four like in the old days. Once devastating on the break themselves, Arsenal now seem so often pitifully scythed through when the ball is on the other foot.

It is not my business to call for the managers head on a plate, or a spike or anything else. I really hope that Wenger can find a way to inject the Gunners quality that seems lacking. I heard their current playing style described as Pinball Football; that seems a good a way as putting it as any.

Arsenal show some mental fortitude (at last)

VanPersie and Wenger

About this time of year Arsenal regularly crash out of the Champions League, and the first leg match at home against Barcelona looked
like it was going to script at half-time last night.

And then, when the home side were available for the win @ odds of 16/1, well into the final half, things dramatically turned around. This photo was taken after Van Persie’s acutely angled equaliser and it speaks for itself.

After the match the players thanked the fans for their contribution
to the victory: for once The Library had run amok.

The only fly in the ointment was the stupid question in the post-match interview with Robin Van Persie. Fortunately, the Number 10 shirt can not only score goals, he can also smell rank hyperbole when it’s
shoved under his nose.

Football: a big day in the life of

And I don’t mean the impending announcement of whether West Ham will indeed get the Olympic stadium over Tottenham.

No, it’s bigger than that: today is the day the eldest goes off to play in her first inter-school football tournament on the astroturf pitches at a local High School. She has some new Arsenal shin pads, which the youngest tested thoroughly in the front room last night by giving her sister’s shins some good hard kicks. She has some football socks which she insisted she didn’t need because she was going to borrow her friend’s spare pair. It was pointed out that, going forward, if she was going to play for Arsenal Ladies she might need her own…

There then followed a fulmination about the selfish nature of her boy team mates; apparently, they would rather lose possession of the ball to the opposing team than pass to a girl. There was also a more mild-mannered digression around why she was picked to play in the team at all: long legs, speed to burn…

I am on maternal sporting tenterhooks waiting for the post-match report.

Pass us the ball lads

Easy like Sunday Morning (not)

Hobble downstairs on stiff and twisted foot. Wonder why this happens

Make tea x 1.5. Thankful to have remembered the youngest insists on putting her own sugar in and I have averted being roundly abused. Feed dog.

Am informed by half a cup sugared tea drinker that there is water, “possibly wee” on the floor under a chair in the dining room.

Mop floor, notice badge-pressing hand is sore.

Am informed by same informant that Edgar the Guppy “may be dead”. Feed fish, guppy unresponsive. Anxiously prod fish alive. Think I might cry with relief.

Drink tea. Am despatched to make coffee and get extension lead. Am informed that two extension leads have been broken in the last month by myself or my mother. Am also reminded I have not yet “fixed” the upstairs televisual feed to bedroom. Retort that I have no vested interest in this.

Draw coffee drinker’s attention to my horoscope: You might get so angry at someone who is being obstinate today that you could lose your temper.

Impervious to zodiacal warning I am admonished for serving coffee in the Arsenal mug (oh I knew what I was doing). Am informed that the morning’s viewing (downstairs, remember no feed upstairs) will be Tweenies with half a cup as no desire to relive the Gunners baffling (yet predictable) dismal display.

Open cupboard-under-stairs, take out extension lead, chip loose football over Henry hoover and quickly shut door before it rolls out again.

Hide upstairs with laptop and incontinent dog. Perhaps they will forget I am here.

Life is like this in the morning: lots of potential, but blurry round the edges.

Ranter or Sulker?

Ranters have the upper hand I am afraid. In the 17th century they had their own religion involving maverick self-proclaimed prophets and messiahs. Ranters were also prone to immoral living, drunkeness and blasphemy. Today, they mainly settle for being more healthy than your average sulker.

A sulker surrounded by ranters?

Apparently you are either one, or the other.

I am definitely the former and I live with the latter.
I have low blood pressure, my compadre’s is higher – despite being very fit.
I rest my case.

Arsenal Woe

I can’t mix football with pleasure this week.

What a dismal few days for Arsenal fans.  Where does Wenger go from here?  I don’t know what his budget is but word on the street is go and buy yourself a tall, strong man of oak who can shout (and organise) at the back.

I know Arshavin is like a pretty jewel in the Emirates Crown but they needs them some beef.

 

Dear Mr Wenger, buy some big scary footballers like Keown for next season please...

Dear Mr Wenger, buy some big scary footballers like Keown for next season please...

Are you a Gooner? Champions League semi-final (2nd leg) May 5th

Well, if you are, you should be suffering from jumping frogs in your stomach right now (that’s according to all the staunch supporters I’ve been canvassing this morning).  They go from wanting to talk about nothing else, at length, to having to turn off all the idle prattle and go inside themselves for a bit of vital inner calm before tonight’s crunch match.

The Man U fans, with the goal in hand, might not be quite so tortured as the average Gunner.  I would hazard a guess (I won’t be talking to any to find out the facts!!!) that a goal in hand at home scored by a defender is not the most comforable position to be in either.  On the tighter Emirates pitch we can hope that Arsenal will play as if their lives depended up on it.  It seems like a long time since they scaled the heights – in fact my daughter was born the day after their last big victory parade through Islington on Sunday May 12th 2002 when they won the Premiership and FA Cup double.  Of course, the cupboard’s not been entirely bare since then but still, this one means a lot. 

As I’ve said before I’m pretty impartial but I can’t say I’ve ever taken to the might that is Manchester United.  Neither to the undisputed manager of managers Sir Alex.  I’m not naysaying his genius and I respect the guy but I don’t take to him.  So tonight my loyalties will most certainly lie with the home side and I would remind you Gooners of Arsene Wenger’s words.  He is expecting his team to be “magnificent” and he expects the home fans to make some

N O I S E!!!

So if you are going tonight (and if even if you aren’t) lets have none of this Library @ Highbury business and more of a Gunners’ Roar – after all you are named after a store for arms and weapons 🙂

CMON THE ARSENAL!!!

C'M'ON THE ARSENAL!!!

Arsenal Question?

Arshavin couldnt have done much more really

Arshavin couldn't have done much more really

Dear Lord won’t you buy me an Arsenal defense
My friends all drive four by fours, we must make amends
Worked hard all those matches
No help from the ends
Oh Lord won’t you buuuuyyyy me an Arsenal defense

to the tune of a popular Janis Joplin song used in an advert one time 😦

The question is (as I’m too wired to go to bed now – thanks Benayoun) how many late goals have the Gunners conceded this season?

P.S. I don’t know the answer but I’d like to because it seems like plenty!

The Emirates Stadium

Speaks for itself?

Speaks for itself?

 

This spot is a lot nicer on a sunny afternoon in April when Arsenal (sporting transferred Russian Arshavin) are playing free and flowing football than on my previous visit earlier this year.  That day was the coldest in London for ten years and Arsenal, be gloved and be hatted if they were allowed, were tight and surly and made an awful meal of beating Bolton 1-0 (thank you green-booted Bendtner).

Yesterday they would have not been lavish in their scoring if the sheet had read 5-o against Man City.  As it was we took the 2-0, although for betting purposes I was looking for a bit of 2-1!  Frankly the North-West were not looking up for it in the last 15, I think they could nearly have lain down on the magnificent turf and sunbathed for all the impact they made.  Robinho (substituted) looked like he was on an early holiday but I took time to admire the workrate and heart of Shaun Wright-Phillips up and down the wing.  It helped that he faced the right way most of the time. 

Yet I was left, as before, with the overwhelming marvel that is the Highbury (sorry) pitch.  It is like plush velvet.  Scuzzy boot marks spring back to vanish altogether within seconds.  Oh woe is me that the Head Groundsman has departed for Real Madrid.  We can only hope and pray that he has taught his understudy well.

Goodbye Paul Burgess, its been a ball, hello Paul Ashcroft.

Goodbye Paul Burgess, it's been a ball, hello Paul Ashcroft.