Have Arsenal finally broken the jinx?

Reliving the FA Cup Final again.

Arsenal players wave to fans from the bus

In the lead up the FA Cup Final, my Arsenal life sort of flashed before my eyes. I was in Faisalabad, the third biggest city in Pakistan, on a business trip. I hated being away from Karachi, where other fans had set up shop at a cinema where the match was being screened live. But I was in my hotel room, and sitting there with the match on it seemed as if this was destiny: the nearly 9 year hoodoo ending at new Wembley. I began to remember all the years that had gone by with me following Arsenal.

I started watching Arsenal play way back in 1998/99, after I fell in love with Dennis Bergkamp in the World Cup. I saw them lose the title again and again to United, till we won the double in 2001/2 (Wiltord getting us the goal at Old Trafford), and then the invincible season of 2003/4 (2-2 away to Spurs to win the league). I saw the FA Cup final when Giggs missed an open goal and that miss was compounded when eventually we triumphed on penalties. At the time, it seemed like a given that we would keep winning something or the other. I recall the Arsenal website would have a banner every year proclaiming us champions of one thing or another.

And then followed a period in which we flattered to deceive, and disappointments that seemed short lived (losing arguably one of our two best chances at the UCL to a Wayne Bridge goal at Highbury in the quarterfinals in 2004) began to feel more long term. There are memories a plenty post that period, and most of which are of disappointment. Losing a good chance at the Premiership when Eduardo’s leg broke, losing the final of the League Cup to Chelsea after Walcott had scored his first goal (what a free kick), there was a League Cup semi-final loss in the second leg after Van Persie had put us ahead and we let in a goal (was it against Birmingham?), the UCL final against Barcelona which we all but won (barring 11 minutes, Pires off the pitch and Thierry missing a one-on-one with the goalie with us 1-0 up – not sure I ever got over that), and of course the wonderful League Cup final against Birmingham which was to be our destiny. Kos and Scez, two of the first names on the sheet in the current team sort of cost us that one, as did a collective fear to win. Between and around all of that were losses to United in the UCL and the league, and an 8-2 that shook everything up.

I’ve always been a big Wenger fan and it hurt me to see him reduced to this, being booed by our own fans. Hunted by the press and having an inability to ‘close the deal’, whether that deal be much needed transfers or big games. Then came Ozil, the second coming of Ramsey, a long time on top of the EPL and hope. And then implosion. Despite all of that I kept hoping that this team had something extra, surely it wouldn’t throw away another chance at glory? Wigan almost took it from us in the Semis, and what followed was arguably the most professional display of penalty taking I’ve seen in a while. From Arsenal. What? My team? Professionally killing another team? On penalties?

Pardon the long winded context, but the final meant the world to me. Somewhere, I kept avoiding telling myself that this was surely it. Surely. Our team wanted it too much. And then 10 or so minutes later we are down 2-0, almost 3-0 (saved thanks to Gibbs). And I’m dumb struck. A friend calls me asking me if I’m watching and I can’t even reply to him. He tells me that there is a long while left. That’s the only good thing about this. I shift my superstitious posture and keep watching numbly from another angle.

Then steps up Santi, and scores a direct free-kick after such a very, very long time. I’ve forgotten the exact time, but the last one was scored at the back end of last season by Poldi I believe. I jumped up and screamed in my room and ran the length of it to the corner and celebrated wildly with my imaginary audience.

Someone tweeted that this was how arsenal were going to break the jinx, with a monumental comeback. I tweeted back to please don’t tempt fate.

Sanogo came on and became a cat amongst the pigeons of the Hull defense. Kos made it 2-2 with 11 minutes or so to go and I was up and screaming again… quieted only by the thought that someone might come barging into the room thinking I was having a heart attack. Or something.

Extra time began and we were in charge, Giroud (I still rate him, despite all of his failings) should have gotten a worthy winner but it banged off the bar, and I began to wonder if this was going to be another flattering to deceive. Second period of ET and Jack and Tom came on. It began to be clear in my head that despite us winning on penalties in the previous round I wasn’t sure we could do it again in the final.


And then… Ramsey! Ramsey glorious Ramsey! And what a back heel to boot! To be honest all I remember in the live moment was the goal and the relief. The look of relief on Ramsey’s face and I too collapsed on my bed. I did not want to jump up, I just wanted to be happy that it could be over soon. Then I saw the replay and the beauty of it. What a winner. Someone tweeted that suddenly the Arsenal team didn’t know what to do if they ACTUALLY won. Hull had a couple of chances but the game ended and it was over.

The sight that made me most happy was the look on Wenger face as he pumped his fist. You could see how much it meant to him. Then he was mobbed like a rock star and the trophy was raised. London Calling, 7 Nation Army played and none of it mattered. What mattered was that we had won. Arsenal had won. Wenger had gotten something.

Someone in the studio asked one of the pundits if this made it a successful season for Arsenal, vs. say, Liverpool. The pundit (I’m forgetting who) replied that he still thought it was a better season for Liverpool. I laughed. HA! We have a trophy.

Do I think this is a successful season for us? YES. For the simple reason that we move forward in a positive direction, just like we did when we signed Ozil and broke the hoodoo of Wenger not spending. Yes, we blew a chance at the Premiership, Yes, we still need 3-4 players in key positions, yes, Wenger still needs to be more flexible tactically; but the narrative has improved. We move forward, on to the summer, on to the new season, on to new signings and a new hope. What do Liverpool get? Zilch. And even though I like Rodgers, and I liked watching them scare everyone I knew in my heart of hearts if they had won, the internet and the press would have crucified Arsenal with the narrative that a small squad coached ‘brilliantly’ and with the right passion can win the EPL. But whether this was a successful season for us or not requires a more in-depth write up.

But for now, WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS! And it feels SO GOOD to be an Arsenal fan!

And oh, Arsenal has not won anything for 10 days. #WengerOut. 😉

Cheers!   COYG!

Written by Umair Naeem.

74 thoughts on “Have Arsenal finally broken the jinx?

  • Superb, very well written post, Umair. 🙂

    Loved the background info re where and how you watched the game. We have indeed broken the jinx and the FA cup win will help us tremendously in terms of building further and trying to reach the next level. In order to do so, however, we will have to put up far better fights against our direct competitors, and if we fail to do so, the FA cup win only be regarded as a one-off bubble.

    But let’s just celebrate the cup win now. 🙂

  • Reading your post felt good, I was at the game and went through all those emotions , as did all Arsenal fans I am sure.

  • Wonderful, you weren’t alone when you changed positions to watch the game after conceding twice successively, in ma case, I stood until we leveled 2-2 …follow me on twitter @nassteve mention me to follow back.

  • A lovely personnel account of a Gooner alone in a hotel room with nothing but his TV and hope, but written with such enthusiasm that I felt I was there !. Believe me, Umair, you`re not alone in having superstitious tendencies ……posture !…..nothing compared to my running backwards naked around my 5 acres with a rabbits foot, four leafed clover and black cat stuffed up my arse !. hahaha

  • Well done Umair, nicely written
    You summed up my own viewing of the match too, as mine was very similar even down to the phone call. Except they got a very rude and agitated PG , calling me asking me about meaning less work stuff while the gunners are down by 2 in the final v hull , tut lol
    At the time u was worried in hindsight it was probably the best possible way to have won the final. Showing there mental stregthen as Wenger has said all season . Plus never surrendering and battling on.

  • I own three 4-leaf clovers that I found in my garden , I carefully gave em a rub that day as they are pressed and very dry and fragile .
    I must admit that my invincible top got taken off and thrown on to the other sofa after the second Hull goal mainly because I was sweating like a madman and a little fustraightion

  • Very nice Umair…Of course, I was never worried but it was still a little shocking how we started… 😀

    I love the personal stories about how people came to watch Arsenal and you are not the only one who got into it following Dennis after the ’98 WC… What was the television coverage like in Pakistan at that time? I’m sure, like everywhere else, it’s gotten a lot stronger. We basically now get every match if you buy all the extra channels with the satellite service. It’s not cheap, however, and all these TV/Internet/phone “bundles” have got to come down in price EVEN if I insist on getting all the Arsenal (and other Euro footy) I can get…

    But that’s an aside. Stressful as the match was it was so great how the group hung together and how real fighters/leaders Santi, Kos and Rambo got the goals. I think it can be a springboard but It’s also a tough landscape and they’re only the 4 prizes each season…Time will tell, of course…

    Anyhow, excellent writing and I hope there’s more from you here as we try to build on what we’ve done for the season(s) ahead…

  • Haha…Speaking of superstitions…I try to resist them but I had my boy (now 12) wear my Sagna kit and his pair of Arsenal shorts while I wore the scarf and my shorts. He agreed to suspend the “swear jar” after the Hull goals went in…

    Like I say, I never really thought we wouldn’t win, esp. after we got the first goal back, but I was also digging deep into my reserve of faith… My wife–I fear the Cockster would like her as they approach watching the Arsenal in similar fashion–couldn’t take it and spent the morning in the back yard only getting updates. The match was over in our time zone before noon, but I was spent… Clearly the way we won it–a microcosm of the tortures of these barren years–will be part of the memory. Thanks again for rekindling it. Only 10 days old, but already one that I know will linger. Maybe not quite like the 25th anniversary of the late goal at Anfield, but still a great one… Thanks again…

  • umair u’er wonderful..well writen nd infact am very excited to read dis as a Gunnerz faithful..i was busy washin car on dat wonderful day..infact i ran to de express road cousin holdup but to my suprise ppl come out to celebrate wit me instead of dem to chase me lyk mad man…lolz..finaly we break de jinx..we’ve started tel dem dis is jst de begin..UP UP GUNNREZ!!!kiss de badge… Keep de faith!congrats MR.ARSEN

  • I was offshore (from Doha) on a barge (oilfiled services) with slow internet connection. It was not far from the Iranian border, and near half time I managed to connect through roaming with an Iranian service provider. it was slow, always buffering.. It cost me about $70 USD in roaming charges to watch the second half and extra time. I didn’t know this at the time, and leaves me wondering if i had known the cost, would i have watched.. ?

  • This is our team but i knew we could win beacause we had worked had. But almost fainted when we were two goals down

  • Great reliving day we won the 2014 FACup Umair. Nice work.

    As 17ht says, it’s nice to hear how other Gooners spent their day watching the mighty Arsenal win silverware for the first time in nine years.

    It’s funny the daily red tops have little to say now that Arsenal have broken that curse. Seemed they had a vendetta against Arsenal always ridiculing them. It’s funny they don’t keep banging on about other teams not winning anything. Example Liverpool never winning the EPL and Spurs of course.

    I know you’ve all seen this before but I thought it was an apt time to re-post it….see clip below.

  • Nice one Umair – It seems a pretty universal theme. Those up and downs during a match we all so desperately wanted to win?

    I think I held my positivity pretty well, although my change of posture was forced on me by the needs of an elderly dog with about 15 minutes to go, in normal time. As I cold hear the loud cheering as I carried her back upstairs I was hoping for the best. So I missed Kos’s equaliser, and knew nothing of the clout he receive after, as the replay did not show the side on view …
    He/we are lucky he is not still in rehab?

    For me the game was won by the strength the team had gained from the 4 previous games. They were games that we needed to win, and I think they discovered how to do it. So even at 2-nil down they did not go headlong into chasing the game, and leaving us more exposed at the back. Instead, they employed the pattern of the previous games, by establishing their own game first, then exploit what openings they could. Helped by the fact that Hull had something to lose, and gave us that extra time in possession. But still, 2-1 down and only 15 minutes to go, it did have those dreaded headlines off the following day flash before us …?

    If we can retain that mentality to know we can win any game once we find our rhythm, even with new players coming in, should mean we will make more progress in this forthcoming season? I suppose we really need to be able to express ourselves on the pitch in different ways, both tactically and with different line ups. Only then will we truly ‘come of age’.

    It is good to be reminded of where we took our first steps in the process ..

    Thanks again Umair.

  • Thanks all! Good fun to write about a really good day as it turned out.
    @17ht, back in the day we used to get the weekly Premiership show. By 2001 we were getting a south african channel on cable which showed live premiership matches, but it was far far from these days where there is much easier connectivity through tv channels and live streaming!

    @Gerry, agreed. This team needs an injection of a pacy winger, a forward and a midfield anchor before we can honestly consider ourself a proper contender for the EPL. But what the cup gives us is belief that we can be non-bottlers 🙂

  • A class Post Umair, and a terrific reminder of all the hope, and expectation before the game the anguish and shock of going 0:2 down, the exhilaration of the two equalising goals and then the ecstasy of the winner from the formidable Rambo, courtesy of a superb back heel from Giro.

    You made me relive it all again in my mind – and thank you for that! 🙂

  • TCM,
    There is a message for you on the last post , but don’t let VCC find out about it 😉

  • Proudgooner……stop encouraging that lunatic Cockie. Otherwise you will have to join him and Stretch in Launcestern mental institute.

    The place is being taken over by BK,ers………

    Fozzie is already on the waiting list, and if Total keeps banging on about beasts playing for Arsenal, he will join you lot too……..


  • hahaha PG…..no wonder he`s walking about clueless with a smile on his face !.

    According to the Express, Arsenal have made a CONCRETE OFFER for Di Maria !………..no wonder we have no fcuking idea how to get SQ players, when we have bank accounts at Wickes and Jewsons !…………hold on a sec`…..#BREAKING NEWS#………..after the concrete offer for Di Maria, Arsenal have made an offer of 10 plaster boards, 10 pots of Dulux and some masking tape for…….Suarez !.

  • VCC,
    I only just got out of there last month.
    I must admit I do enjoy a few sick jokes . Cockiest cracks me up il try not to encourage him 🙂 lol
    I would love Di Maria he would be a dream signing. Hope we can get him. Never know they may want cash for Suarez hopefully. Win win if so

  • The incredible rise of Laurent Kosielny is important for me.
    He has become a world class CB, there was times only 2 years ago when I was in the stands watching that a fan behind me was calling him a liability . Hexane us as an unknown from the second tier if French football playing aloneside Giroud.
    Goes to show Wenger does still have his masterful touch of finding rough gems and creating absolute sparkling diamonds .

    Why do I say this? Well a few reasons really.
    1– Giroud stats show good improvement and I think he can really go up a couple of gears next season and score loads.
    2– We need to let Wenger still do this , only problem with it is it takes time for them to come though.
    3– Jenkinson may well be the next 1 to come though, in fact I would bet on it. So perhaps Sagna leaving ok and the right time. He came from Chalton as an unknown . He can follow KOS rise .
    4– it shows it’s not all about the £40,000,000 men though a couple are needed

    I am really looking forward to next season, another season of keeping our best players also having played more time together and the younger 1’s being that bit older.

    How great a feeling it was winning the FA cup, now dream of next season winning the title or the champions league with a couple of super signings .
    I also think we stand a great chance of retaining the FA cup .

  • long time no see @ Umair

    great to have you back and writing again – smashing write up and I agree, The FA cup won was the straw that broke Chelsea’s, Man City’s and everyone else’s dreams for next season , ha

    lovely shares by other members as well and the superstitions as well – thoroughly enjoyable.

    PG –

    in regards to your last night question – replacement for Fabianski and competition for Sczny.

    some people will say Cesar and I will say Pepe Reina ? my preference be Pepe Reina, if he can agree to take a wage cut .

    besides, Cesar is on a 90 k per week wage – if we are going to pay that much money then may as well offer Pepe Reina something close to 80 k per week and get him on board.

    The Cesar Ship for me has sailed now, I am an admirer of the spanish skipper Casillas personally and wouldn’t mind buying him for 5-7 million and paying him £100 k per week, he be worth every penny and possibly our no.1 keeper – I am still not convinced by Sczny regardless of what the numbers may lead you to believe, he is not a big match goalie and one who almost always let’s you down when the going gets tough.

    my preferences :

    1: Casillas

    3: Pepe Reina.

    not only good competition for Sczny but both good enough to be our no.1’s until Sczny matures.


  • JB
    I like your choice of keeper a lot, even more then my own in fact.
    The only problem with it is would Liverpool sell to us?
    I doubt they would but they might . I would think them silly to as I think he is better there new number 1. They clearly said and promised him he would be there number thinking that Barcelona were going to buy Reina but the deal fell though. We were after him I believe but it is but.
    QPR have said that Remy is leaving and after seeing him at Arsenal paying to watch you can only think he wants to join us , which would be awesome .
    I like Szcs as a great shoot stopper and think he will be a great keeper, but at the moment and probably never be is David Seaman and that is what we want.
    For me Reina has that solid man stature, but Begavic has it too and an unbelievable athletic skill set that is second to none . I believe that since Cech’s head injury he is better then him. So he is my first choice and probably most likely as Stoke can never offer him champions league football or wages that we could.
    He is absolutely perfect for Arsenal but Reina as could as good.

  • All 3 of our options would take number at Arsenal of Szcs but he is very nearly there.
    I actually thing Szsc is better with his feet then all the other 3. He is a great talent and is improving in every department , I am not anti Szsc , I know you are not keen at all, but while we need a keeper for numbers if we can improve then we should.
    1 other I rate very highly is the Wigan keeper I have forgot his name. Al Habsei he is very good I think, I was very happy to not see him start against us in the semifinal.

  • Good Morning, TA

    Hope you are enjoying Bonnie Scotland.

    You would know how tricky sexual harassment cases are, and here is one you might have come across.

    Every morning a male employee would walk up really close to a female colleague at the coffee machine and inhale deeply and say, “Mmm, your hair smells nice”.

    This went on for some weeks and eventually the female employee went to see her Human Resources manager, and complained.

    “Now let me understand this”, he said, “you are complaining because your colleague said your hair smelled nice?”

    She replied, “It’s Jimmy, the dwarf!”

  • Two businessmen in the centre of Weybridge Surrey,were sitting down for a break in getting their soon-to-be new shop opened ..

    As yet, the shop wasn’t ready, with only a few shelves set up.
    One said to the other, “I bet any minute now some pensioner is going to walk by, put their face to the window, and ask what we’re selling.”

    No sooner were the words out of his mouth when, sure enough, a curious old lady walked to the window, had a peek inside, and in a soft voice asked, “What are you selling here?”

    One of the men replied sarcastically, “We’re selling arse-holes.”

    Without skipping a beat, the old dear said, “Well business must be good — Only two left.”

  • Cockie,

    Still laughing at your concrete joke – Wenger must know a bargain when he sees one. 🙂

  • Reports are saying Fabianski has joined Swansea City on a four year deal, seems likely and realistic.

  • Umair, thanks for giving us a well written recap of how you experienced the FA Cup final. 🙂

    I was at home watching. When we went two down I knew we would score but was not sure if we would get the second needed to equalise and then go on and win the match. I am just so happy we have broken the jinx. Hopefully we can push on now and take another step forward next season.

  • Good luck to him and thanks for the service and helping us win the FA Cup Fabianski. 🙂

  • RA,
    Ha ha ha ha
    The lucky dwarf I never thought about the benifits of being small and getting to smell the hair, the smellier the better I say.

  • Very enjoyable read. Particularly enjoyed the Sanogo-cat analogy… Perfectly describes the way he’s worked for that elusive first goal. Where do you guys stand on his place in the squad next season? I’m definitely in the camp that believes a loan to a low-mid PL team would do wonders for his confidence and overall development. But who would take him.. Newcastle has to be a fair shout given their fetish for french footballers.

    Speaking of which.. Seems that Sagna is officially off. Too bad, really. You just have to wonder: why now?


  • Very good post, nice read…

    TV pundits, what do they know?!

    Liverpool 2nd
    Arsenal 4th, FACup winners

    Who had the the best season…?

    I wouldn’t swap that cup for 2nd…

  • Yes PG, I think with AW signing his contract, sadly it does mean Sagna is going, barring a miracle.

    I think Le Boss was hoping to announce a double signing, with a ‘I’ll sign when you do’, but with the news coming out yesterday, AW has had no reason to hang back?

    I wish Bacs and Fab all the best in the future, unless they are playing against us. Quite frankly I cannot understand the abuse going Sagna’s way, given he played with all his usual effort, up to and including the 123 minute of the Cup Final. Nobody deserves his medal than him, after sticking around through all the barren years. I think some people have only a veneer of appreciation for our players, which quickly peels off and reveals their synthetic support for what it is?

    I will leave you to fill in the missing word or words.

  • Gerry,
    I totally agree with everything you just said. I too thought Wenger wanted to announce a double deal with him and Sagna, shame this did not happen.
    But for this is the signing of the summer, Wenger for 3 more years makes me very happy.
    I think he also waited to announce the deal was that he did not want it to look like it depended on him winning the FA cup.
    Now he have a cup winning team with a world class manager that can attract world class players to sign. It is fantastic news for me 😉

  • I am starting to think as Wenger as more of a Yoda then Darth Wenger.
    Taking on the Sith Lords Jose and Darth Vampire.

  • I too will miss Sagna !………..she used to love me dressed with nothing on, but a smile and my Arsene onesie spitting and frothing at the mouth !.
    So Van McBastard is up in Sweatysockland again !. He must be up to something again, I think it`s his McBastards Restaurant….probably testing a new McBastard Burger on the Sweaties !.
    McBastards Broke Back Braveheart Bollock Burger….with cheese !. No problem for the Transvestite Tartan Tangy Testicle Tasters !.
    So Wenger`s got another 3 years !……..I see all the Arsenal boys are congratulating him !, not surprising, as he has had them since they were young !……all them sweets he invested and stockpiled have done the trick !. hahaha Talking of which, I couldn`t help noticing that the hot weather in Cornwall has brought out all the gorgeous bodies out and there seemed to be more than usual !……then I realised it was half term !. hahahaha
    That pose which Ronaldo did when scoring in the CL final, was supposedly done on purpose for a film ending according to the papers !…….a film called….Ronaldo the movie !. I have it on good advise, that they are currently scouting Thailand for look-a-like Lady Boys as stunt doubles !.

  • Listening to talkSPORT today !……and the ledge….Perry Groves said among other thing`s (you can re-listen if you want, it was after 12:00 ) after hearing Wenger had signed a new deal, that Arsenal had £200/220M in the bank !……now before our BK accountants start frothing at the mouth !…..he is a proper Gooner, who still works at the club doing legend tours, so who do or should I believe ?…. someone this close to the club or people who do not have such close ties ?. I fully expect Wenger to more than double…even treble the amount which was spent on Ozil, for more SQ to keep us in competition with the 3 who were above us and Manshafter Std !.

  • Mr Cockie Monster,
    Jedi Arse did hint that this summer would be a busy 1 and i really hope he sugar daddies it up. I live in hope and think he may well do, he must have forgot how good it felt to lift a cup and i think it will wet his appitite for more, plus the club has earnt the cash he owes it to himself as much as anything else to get some more SQ.
    Its all about the special sauce in the burgers , 1 of the local curry houses round here had there food tested and they food some jizz in it! True story, hope no one is eating a Ruby whilst watching England. .
    Your clearly a Ronnies fan, so i won’t tell you the McD’s story.
    What i will say is i had 1 over in France and it was better then a life times of McDonalds over here , you just can’t get the staff mate.

  • Do you remember what happened to Steve Morrow while celebrating his winning goal in the final.??
    I keep thinking how they could have damaged Wenger giving him the bumps, though i probably need not worry he is probably fitter then most 30 year old . But not so sure about Tony Fanandes , Joey Barton nearly did him in ha ha ha ha.

    We are in trouble at the world cup if we cant put a few past Peru at home.

  • Total, up there in Scotland, please pardon my use of the bad word and delete my comment which sits “in moderation”… Copy and paste version, bad word translated, below…

    Saturday morning and I’m missing the football!… (Anybody else?…) Ah well, what can you do?… Maybe it’s time to head down to the Lake and see if any of the college girls (out early, for the Summer, around here…) can take el agua frio… In other words, no half term (nor half measures…) here, Cockie…

    Big news is that Wenger has signed on for three more years. What’s the verdict? 😀 or 😦 ?

    Personally, I’m very happy to feel that our manager continues to believe in the project. I know, however, that many Gooners must be angry or at least “uninspired.” Three more years of misery or at least a 25 million pound parachute for the Smirkster with no plans (beyond) Steve Bould when he loses that first match and gets fired…

    On the other hand, he’s making noises about “spending.” With 3 players already gone (Sagna being both a right back and a back-up at CB, along with our #2, in Fabianski…) it would seem like we’re already behind the 8 ball (as we say)… To me it would seem almost a necessity to get a body or two in before it’s all about Brazil. If it could be a somebody (or three) with a bit of name recognition who might be available for the trip to New York (i.e. NOT playing in the World Cup), all the better… Is it possible that some of the “three and out” guys (our English players, 😉 … for the guys who actually support the Nat’l team…) might join up with the club?…

    So, on that note, who might Dylan (and his mom) get to see out there in Big Apple land?…

    Szcz, Gibbs, Jenks, Arteta, Flamini, Ramsey, Rosicky, Sanogo, Gnabry and ??? In other words, who are the Arsenal first teamers who aren’t going to Brazil? The Nat’l teams need to cut from 30 down to 23 this next week, don’t they? Maybe that means a couple more guys might start their holidays early. Why is it that so many Man City players either didn’t make their teams or are getting cut? (Negredo and Navas didn’t make the Spain 23, it appears, and Clichy and Nasri didn’t even make the France 30…) Are they not that good or are City already in training to run up a scoreline in the Community Shield?…

    Anyhow, pardon the sarcasm and the poking of fun (and the use of the banned word, TA)… Just wanted to pop round and say “hi”…


  • hahaha Gezzer, naughty ! me ?.
    I love a Savilesque joke !. hahaha
    Some girl I worked with went to see Jimmy Carr and walked out in disgust because he did some “Naughty” jokes !….and my missus walks out of the room if I watch him or Frankie Boyle !……..me !…….I just love humour and currently see no boundaries with it, but who knows, I may change my mind !…………but in the mean time, I have to shift some out of date sweets……fcuking half term !. hahaha

  • 7eventeen !……………if you like conspiracy theories, then it seems quite odd to me that some of Mansour City`s star performers are not going to the WC !………could there be some money changing hands ?.
    Heard an advert on talkSPORT today saying that in tomorrows Sunday Times, there is a big piece on back handers from high up Qatari officials to high up FIFA officials !….possibly a lot of evidence and if true, they (Qatar) should be stripped of the WC imo !.
    I`m sick to the stomach of these rich bastards buying their way into everything to appease their ego`s, when their is people dying of all sorts from homelessness to hunger and anything else you can think of !. They are in a privileged position ( most by luck of birth ) and could give away 99% of their money to help and still live a comfortable wealthy life !.
    What is that fact ?……something like (and correct me if I`m wrong) …….95% of the worlds wealth is owned by just 5% of the people !……..and these bastards have the audacity to pray !………”through the eye of a needle !”……saying comes to mind !.

    Just remembered ……my missus bought me an Arsenal Onesie !….official merchandise !…I didn`t know they did them !. 😀

  • Cockie – We all know on here that you have a warped sense of humour, and accept it for what it is.

    But when you put things in print on this site it is expecting us to condone what you write … and some of us DO have boundaries. Dirty old men ogling at teenage school kids is not something I would encourage …because we do not know everybody that reads these comments.

    Now you left your comment deliberately vague with its implication, a little addition of ‘ So the mum’s are out in force’, would I think show a healthier attitude?

    I don’t go along with the line that comedy should have ‘no boundaries’ because some people may have had bad experiences. I was at a comedy gig in Coventry when some guy started making jokes about the the bombing that happened in London only a couple of days before, when a lot of people lost their lives in the Tube station. He was quite rightly booed off stage.

    i am just giving you a more gentle ‘boo’, which would be a lot stronger if I thought you really were a ‘paedo’. That’s all

    We don’t get many females commenting as has been said before. Probably because they share your ex colleague and also draw the line well before yours?

  • Dylan – My only criticism of the first one is that you give live detail of their strengths and weaknesses. Not enough time to do too much research I guess?

    I am not a great fan of these sites that post opposite views so they get hits from all angles?

    Off to read the next one ..

  • Thanks Gerry. Sadly I was limited to about 300 words so I was not able to go as in depth about the players as I would like. I am really struggling with the third article due to this word limit. When I do my transfer analysis for this site I will go far more in depth. 😉

  • It may be a warped sense of humour, Gezzer, but the main word is…..humour ! and that’s all it is too me, nothing else !. It`s the case of if anyone doesn`t like it, then don’t read it or any of my comments or worse case, Total can ban me, which wont be a first for me ( I`m not talking about Total ! ) as it happened on another site and all it was, was humour and I`ve since seen others on said site say similar things , but because of the “clique” nature, it`s OK !.
    Personally, I think you`re going a tad overboard and need to lighten up !, but hey, we are chalk and cheese and I don’t expect everyone to be as outgoing humour wise as me, you are what you are !.
    It`s also not the first time you have pulled me up on my “humour”…..maybe you see yourself as some moral protector of ……..whatever !.
    Have a good summer boyz….UTA .

  • boys boys boys – calm down alright , we have only just signed Cesc and Remy in a space of 2 hours and in one whole day according to the Metro, the way this is going, we would have signed another 10 players by tomorrow.

    Glics – what happened to you ? since when have you been so sensitive to any sort of criticism of your humour or anything else ?

    both you and Gerry are young gooners at heart – let’s not get embroiled in such talk due to lack of “action” – fair enough, Gerry protested at one of your comments as he may have seen it differently and fears that he might not be the only one , but we and the regulars know what you mean and you don’t mean them in that sense.

    Gerry didn’t like it – he registered his protest as it’s right to do so and comment on anything in the open , however, where the fcuk do you think you are going for the entire summer ? and no, don’t tell me you are going to be living in TMHT’s bunker along with all them lesbania beauties !

    in short , Gerry Boo’ed and you should be “Boing” him in return 🙂

    which reminds me, is ISCO up for sale as well, Dylan ?

  • I use the 17HT line, it is only my opinion. I am just registering the fact that I think there are things that perhaps should not be put into print, just because they are funny,

    It not a question of you being banned. More a question what line do you draw?

    Re the previous comment I made about you humour was over a photo that you you used?
    And on reflection, you too, thought better of it and Totes withdrew it.

    Perhaps it is a sensitive subject with me because I have worked with kids who have been abused.

    Enough said. I just registered my view, and by doing so I haven’t condoned it as an okay subject. The only morals I am protecting are my own …

  • I think you are ahead of NewsNow JB?

    I think Remy is a bargain at the quoted £8m – a ‘release fee’ written into his contract no doubt?

    I read we had ‘agreed terms’, as if that means anything these days. I am still not sure he is the ideal player, if we don’t get a second striker as well. He will be a great back up, fro Ramsey’s attacking slot more than anything else?

    I have already given my views on Cesc. I am not sure I know Barca’s view on him is though. One minute the Pres is saying he isn’t going. Next they are chopping £5m of the previous rumoured price. What can you make of that?

    Bit similar to RM really. They want to keep Di Maria, but then muscle in on Griezeman. They, like us, cannot possibly want both?

    I will wait for the dotted line on all of it before I get too excited

  • JB, Isco is not up for sale. No reason for Madid to sell him. I having a feel there is a Real Madrid midfielder who is up for sale though. And that is Illaramendi. 😉

  • What do you guys make of the Cesc stories.
    1 min the clubs president says he is not for sale full stop
    Next day he is leaving and coming back to England.
    We know for a fact we have first refusal ..
    The way i see it, i think we will agree to sign back to us, or he will refuse to leave and see out his contract at Barcelona . I don’t see him joining United i realy don’t. The lure of workimg with Wenger again and playing for a good new Arsenal team will be enough in our favour plus they owe us money in the deal.

  • we know the back 4 and keeper.




    Or could we go for.




    Or even.



    Or even




    Either way just 2 signings Cesc and a SQ striker and our options are endless, with a Sq bench and options to rotate and always feel confident that the team we put out can beat anyone.
    I have not even mentioned Wilshere, Ox , Rosicky, Diarby and Zaleem etc.
    I would also feel comfortable with Giroud, Sanogo and Podolski. In fact i want Podolski in the team its just fitting hi in, you could reat Cazorla

  • PG, the ideal thing would be if we could bring Cesc in nice and early. That would leave us with plenty of time to sign a top DM and a top ST. I do not want Remy. There are better and younger options out there.

    GK should be extremely cheap, RB should cost around £10 million. That leaves us needing a DM and ST.

    My signings would be Cesc then Richards, Aurier or Abate for RB, Bender or Song for DM (I can’t see Martinez happening) and then Benzema or Balotelli for ST.

  • If you look at the transfer fees:

    GK: under/around £5 million.

    RB: Richards, Aurier around/under £10 million each, Abate 10-15 million.

    DM: Bender £20-25 million, Song around/under £10 million

    ST: Balotelli, Benzema £30-35 million. Balotelli closer to £30 million and Benzema closer to £35 million.

    Fabregas: £30-35 million.

    If I add up the transfer fees that comes up to £85-105 million. The £105 million is probably an estimate that is a little too high.

    That’s without wages, but only the first year of new players contracts would be included in the budget so it will push us to the limit but I think it can be done.

    If Verm leaves we will have to bring in another CB as well. Maybe Ferdinand on a free.

    That’s six players including Cesc.

  • A first team of:

    GK: Szez
    RB: Richard/Aurier
    CB: Mert
    CB: Kos
    LB: Gibbs
    CM: Ramsey
    CM: Song/Bender
    RAM: Walcott
    CAM: Fabregas
    LAM: Ozil
    CF/ST: Balotelli/Benzema

    That’s a title winning team in my opinion. The only weak link could possibly be at RB.

    I chose not to include wages in my estimations above as I really do not know if and how much money we might be saving from wages. There might be players leaving us to make way for those coming in which could mean even more money is freed up.

  • Whilst there is no telling what the real RM position is on Cesc, my view is that when he and his partner were reported to be in London, but not for transfer talks, I believe the latter to be true.
    More likely, He was there to show his partner the places he knows and likes in London, and to see if she is prepared to move? Without her agreement, all this speculation is null and void. Cesc is a family man.

    PG – If you see Remy leading our attack, without Giro, then I would cast your mind back to how successful, or not, Theo was when tried there? They can be easily physically controlled by a CB and a DM. Stick Giro in there, and oppositions will have less manpower, so he could make a useful SS option?.

    Balotelli? Well I will wait until we know what the squad is before dreaming of formation options. And that is what we want. Options. Not necessarily a ‘first eleven’, but getting the team to flow with alternative personnel? If we are to cut down on fatigue related injuries, that means options from back to front, not just up front.

    Unfortunately we cannot control thuggery.

    AFC – Like I say, picking a team now, might be fun, nothing more. But ask yourself if you want another injury risk on our books? Aurier would suit our style if we can cope with any AFCON absence? Song would be a good back up, but I see him going somewhere for money? Bender? I reserve my judgement if he actually signed, which I don’t think he will.

    Benzema I am not certain he would survive in the EPL, not sure he wants to come here anyway, and RM would be shedding an awful lot of players in one season?

    Baloteli? Well if he plays his grown up football, he would be an asset to any club, which is a doubt about him signing for us, albeit I think we would be his best option. Dressing room/off-field antics something we would only find out about after he signed. Like I say, if he has come to play grown up football and is focussed on becoming a great player, then he could take the club a long way next season and beyond. I will leave it to AW assess his mental state.

    Comments last night on the Man C players not going to Rio is probably more down to how they performed? Negredo had his moments, but never held down his place in the side, even allowing for injuries? Navas too. Add to the previous problem of him being away from home?

    So any signings agreed before the WC will no doubt happen this week, as those not selected will also be taking a break. Let us see what happens eh?

  • If you’ve actually watched Benzema alongside Giroud for FFF, you won’t link him to Arsenal by any means. Remy would be a Perfect signing for our style. Song isn’t really a DM, he never really protected our back four when he was here….we wouldn’t be needing his goal assists you know, there’s Oz,Santi,Rambo for that. So please rule him out….I don’t know why we don’t have our sights on Victor Wanyama.

  • Nassteve,

    I just do not think Remy is the top ST we need to take us to the next level. If we are going after fast pacy STs why not just play Walcott up top? He has impressed up front before, and he is younger and faster than Remy.

    I’ve seem Benzema play alongside Giroud on several occasions but I do not want us to sign Benzema to play with Giroud. I want AW to sign Benzema to play instead of Giroud.

    I can’t see Wenger signing a destroyer even though we need one. Song cannot play as a sole DM but can play in a two. If Song came, Ramsey and Song would take it in turns to attack and defend. A dual pivot. Wanyama is more of a destroyer which is perhaps a reason AW did not want him before he went to Southampton. I can’t see AW buying him now for a much higher fee.

    Gerry, agreed on Aurier and Balotelli. Where else could Song go? United? Chelsea? But do they want him. Have to agree on Bender. I probably should have left him out.

    Just trying to reply to PG but as you say it is probably jist best to wait. 🙂

  • AFC, I totally agree with you on Walcott going into the middle….I have always felt Arsenal would be lethal going back to our Traditional 4-4-2 against the middle \Bottom table teams…but again Arsene has other great ideas. Ramsey actually admitted “we need to be a first half team” to give you that cover at the back until a game opens up in the 2nd half, you totally do need a destroyer to shield the back four, sit permanently in front of them. I also believe arsene could coach any destroyer into improving his flair and offensive play…. About Benzema and Giroud, no doubt benzema is world class, but Giroud is special, you have seen his link up play for an ST….its rare across europe. Arsene won’t have Giroud ousted from this group, not even on Benzema’s account…..but I am certain we do need numbers upfront. Whether its benzema or Remy or both.

  • Nasssteve, I just want AW to buy the best ST he can because I can only see him buying one ST. If I was a supporter of Chelsea or Liverpool I wouldn’t mind Remy coming as he would not be the only ST signing Mourinho would make and he would be in a ST force with Suarez and Sturridge.

    Remy would not really be an upgrade on Giroud but would offer something different, I’d rather we get someone who would be an upgrade on Giroud while offering something different or be quite young, around 25ish and has the potential to do so

  • AFC

    Yes, an upgrade is what we all need…..But also believe this group will be better in 2014\2015 with average versatile quality players coming in\coming through….(Joel, Ryo, Sanogo)

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