Time To Reveal The Sad Arsenal Secret

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Everyone has their dark secrets, some of which are buried very deep and best left there.

It is only since I discovered Bergkampesque that I have managed to search my inner self and analyse my problem. Sure I tried other blogs, but none of them made me feel at home. Some of the blogs are so clique, you just get ignored. Some are downright hostile. I once suggested Arshavin was a lazy sod and nearly got lynched.

Then Bergkampesque: a friendly, knowledgeable, sometimes odd collection of Gooners who made me feel at home from day one, and even threw in free Dutch lessons. They even let me lead the UMF league for a week after I managed max points; some even said they would follow me, but week two ended in zero.

Anyway, enough of this pre-amble and back to my sad secret: I have supported Arsenal for over 50 years. At school, I was surrounded by hordes of glory hunting Manchester United fans.  There were about three of us and thousands of them and we hadn’t won anything in years. Still, in a school set in rural Lancashire, you would expect this mix of fans. But hold on, I went to School in South East London. Technically, Palace, Millwall and Charlton territory. But my Dad was a lifelong Arsenal fan, so it was genetic.

In 1966 Arsenal sacked Billy Wright and we all waited for a big name replacement. No foreign managers then, so Arsenal decided to appoint their physio, Bertie Mee. The physio??!! We hadn’t won anything for years and we appoint the physio? But with Don Howe as his able assistant, things picked up.

A team that hadn’t won anything for years suddenly began to show form. Maybe we could actually win something.

Sorry, rambling again. During the 50 plus years I have attended literally hundreds of games, mainly at Highbury, a good number of away games and a sprinkling of Cup Finals.  Prior to the latter years at Highbury, no one on the terraces had season tickets, you just turned up and paid.

Below is my list of some of the important games I have attended:

1968 League Cup Final Wembley.

Leeds United – lost 1 – 0.

Possibly the dirtiest team I have ever seen, Jack Charlton flattened the Arsenal keeper at a corner and Terry Cooper rifled the winner home. My first visit to Wembley.

1969 League Cup Final Wembley

Swindon Town lost 3 – 1 AET

This was it Swindon Town from the old 3rd division against the mighty Gunners. This was going to be a walkover. My Dad had once again got two tickets and once again we set off to cheer on our beloved team. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until we reached the game that we realised we had Swindon tickets. It didn’t really matter though because Arsenal fans didn’t have a lot to cheer about. Three main factors for our downfall that day were:

1) The pitch. Take a look at the the clip below, and remember this is Wembley.

2) Don Rogers, a Swindon legend along with 10 other country bumpkins played their socks off.

3) Ian Ure, who my Dad thought was great, but I always thought was a little clumsy, didn’t have his best game. Although Bobby Gould equalised in the last minute, we went on to lose 3 -1. Wasn’t a lot of fun going back to School after that .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4oQTUv37nU

1971 Winning the league at White Hart Lane – Spurs 0 Arsenal 1

Last game of the season: we needed to draw 0 – 0 or win to win the league. A real nail-biter, but the lads did really well. Then in the final minutes a young Ray Kennedy rose and headed Arsenal ahead. Not necessarily a good thing. We were cruising to the 0 – 0 we needed; now we had upset the Spuds even more. Referees didn’t advertise how much added time back then, and those few minutes seemed like hours. But I and thousands of other Gunners were soon celebrating in the streets of Spudland.

I also had a cup final ticket that year. Unfortunately, it was a single Scouse ticket. No way Pedro.

1980 FA Cup Final

V West Ham Wembley – lost 1- 0

Surely, my first Wembley Victory against 2nd Division West Ham. A truly forgettable game. In fact, I can only remember two events. Trevor Brooking scored the winning goal with a header. Although many of us felt that it rebounded off his head. Then, in the final moments, a young Hammer broke through on goal. This was history in the making: if he scored he would be the youngest goal scorer in Cup Final history. Then, a moment that has been called ‘a game changing moment in British football’. The Arsenal centre back Willie Young not known for his delicate touch, scythed Paul Allen down and was only booked for his trouble. After collecting his winners medal, Allen burst into tears: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKemltpQMgA

The list goes on. I was at Wembley when Gazza scored that free kick. I was also there when we lost the League cup final (I always forget what it’s called these days) to Chelsea.

By now you may have noticed a trend. 

Other than the Spurs game, every trophy winning game I have ever attended has ended in defeat. Hang on a moment though, I was shut out at Spurs and listened to the game on a tranny radio.

So my problem, in over 50 years of supporting Arsenal I have never physically seen them win anything.  Not a sausage!

If by any chance we reach the champions league final though…. anyone got a spare ticket? 🙂

Written by: Retsub.

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64 Responses to Time To Reveal The Sad Arsenal Secret

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Great, enticing story, Retsub. 🙂

    Really well written and a beautiful trip back into the past. Even though most of it is well before my Arsenal supporting days, you made me live those key moments. Cheers. 🙂

    Fifty years without tasting glory live – there and then – is a very sad story indeed. Obviously, we cannot provide you with a ticket and neither should you try and get one for the next final. You have jinxed it during all those years and you should lock yourself up in a dark tent on the North-Pole next time we are in one. 😛

  2. Retsub says:

    Thanks TA. I guess that’s part of the Bergkampesque warm and fuzzy feel.

    I forgot to mention, the first trophy won in my era was The Inter Cities Fairs cup (read Europa cup). I went to every single home that season, including seeing the great Johan Cruyff in the semi final against Ajax. The lo and behold I am on a school journey to Derbyshire for the second leg of the final against Anderlecht and I had to forgo my ticket. What made it worse was no phone calls home allowed so I didn’t even know the score until the next day.

    So I never saw the game, probably for the best, we won 3 – 0

  3. steve says:

    Wow Retsub great post and makes me feel honored to be amongst supporters like yourself posting comments back and forth.
    For me that story is not in the least bit sad mate its heroic and screams fortitude and true support.
    I’m English and that’s what we do (or so i think) we support the underdog, all this getting behind the biggest and the best and the most expensive – leave that to the mentally ill man u supporters and the yanks. We love the underdog and revel in their climb to the top even more.

    Winning isn’t everything (hardly anything to me tbh) its the game, the way it is played, the passion and beating the odds.

    One of my favourites just to cheer you up:
    The carling cup final 2007

    All i heard around that time was you’ll never win anything with kids, they’re not strong enough, beautiful football isn’t everything etc etc etc
    we lined up with the likes of Fabregas, Aliadière, Denílson, Walcott, Diaby, Traoré, Hoyte, and Senderos – all U21’s i think (or very near abouts). We played the FAR better football and got well and truly stuck in, it was fast paced, passionate, intense, attacking football played by talented youngsters and we were all over them. We lost that match 2 -1 (Drogba well off side for the second) but it made absolutely no difference to me – WE WERE THE BETTER TEAM and proved it on the pitch!
    We were the young underdogs against the rich superstars and we lost – couldn’t have felt any better if i tried mate!
    That’s what footballs about and your time will come Retsub no doubt about it 🙂

    PASSION!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. Neeraj says:

    Retsub I hope all Arsenal haters who have never watched a game and yet criticise our club are jinxed like you are
    Then maybe you can attend all the games as the unlucky millions not attending will aways overpower you 😉 😛

  5. Neeraj says:

    Retsub, you were lucky you atleast had 2 freinds supporting Arsenal
    I was always outnumbered 1:40 in my class or still am

  6. Gerry says:

    TA – You took the words out of my mouth. Jinx!

    That is true dedication to supporting Arsenal though. And you still come back for more.
    However, I noticed that you stop at 1980 … Did your fellow fans cotton on, and ban you from all finals? 😀

    Very nice post despite the trend. Another one on any upbeat memories perhaps?

    I was lucky on my only visit to Wembley, as Coventry beat Spurs 3-2. The only round leading up to the final I missed was the away one at Man U. Joyous days as I was living and working in my home town then.

    I am not likely to go again, unless I get a dog minder, so I’ll rest on my one good luck charm.

    Cheers Retsub.

  7. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Brilliant Retsub, you have my total respect.

    ive been lucky. First win was the 79 cup final and since then seen us pick up loads of trophies (lost count) including the Cup Winners cup in 94.

    My worst moments were the following:

    Ipswich 1978: I was 12 and it was My first trip to watch Arsenal in a final. We lost, I cried, and developed a nasty kleptomaniac habit. To this day, thoughts of Roger Osborns winner makes me want to sneakily reach towards the counter and stick a mars bar in my pocket.

    Luton 1987: It was pre Hillsborough and our end was so packed, it was dangerous. i ended up been crushed and in the melee was lifted up of the floor and facing the wrong bloody way. Calls of “enjoying the game mate?”, and “F*uck me, your an ugly bastard” were not as bad as losing

    Also, at the final whistle i realized I had lost one of my shoes.

    Glatatasary 2000: Bloody nightmare. I spent the whole afternoon before having to defend myself from hordes of angry Turks. I lost a tooth and sprained my wrist from hitting someone.

    The only time losing didn’t bother me. I was more concerned with my wrist. I couldn’t watch porn for weeks.

  8. Gerry says:

    Have you no shame Terence? 😀

  9. Retsub says:

    Guys

    Thanks for your supportive emails, to be honest I was expecting a whip round for a season ticket at Stamford Bridge!!!! Aghhhhh

    Steve I love the beautiful game as well, but must admit I like winning with it. If I remember correctly the Carling Cup final you referred to was Theo’s first goal. I always thought his feet were a tenth of a second ahead of his brain at first, but equilibrium came later

    Neeraj keep the faith my friend, success will come again

    Gerry I guess my attendance record tailed off with the advent of married life. I was hoping my son would keep the line going, but despite my best efforts, he is far more interested in computers etc. a friend of mine has two club level tickets which he shares with his son. When his son doesn’t attend I sometimes get the option of a ticket, so I only get to theEmirates 4 or 5 times a season.

    More importantly though do I understand you to be a closet Coventry supporter?If so you will no doubt remember the Ernie Hunt, Willie Carr free kick, what a great moment.

    If allowed I will happily contribute with another piece during a quiet period. I would however urge other aspiring newcomers to have a crack. TA was brilliant in supporting my efforts.

    Terry the Luton game what a disaster. If I had to vote on the worst Arsenal player ever, Gus Caesar would be very high up to the list.
    I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Mancini once, maybe one for a later post.

    Thanks again guys. Some of you alluded to devotion to the team. The fact is once you are hooked you have no bloody choice.

    COYG

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Retsub, I am jealous you saw JC play live. A great visionary, on and off the pitch.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve, am with you on that one. Beauty is king.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahahaha Terry -love the ‘experiences’. You have two hands, though, no? 🙂

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Retsub, yes please. If you have another post in store, go for it! 🙂

  14. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    You know I am a man that finds self glorification the epitome of vulgarity TA

    But, I need two hands. hahaha

  15. Retsub says:

    TA happy to have a crack. It may take a few days though

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Terry 🙂 your hands must be tiny. 🙂

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    No problem, Retsub.

  18. Very, very enjoyable, Retsub. Thanks for posting this…

  19. allezkev says:

    What a great stroll down Memory Lane, Retsub, mate I was living those games with you.

    I lived in Tittenham between 65 & 73, went to school there so all my ‘friends’ were Spuds. So I suffered like you in 67 (Spuds won FACup) and then experienced the 68/69 finals….

    Blimey, I too was up the Swindon end, via my Dad and ticket touts (still hate ’em)

    But I managed the 71 Final, thank God…

    Looking forward to episode II….,

  20. Retsub says:

    Thanks 17ht

    Allezkev I had no brains then. When Bobby Gould scored I was jumping up and down singing ” it’s all gone quiet over there. Luckily they were a good natured mob and they had a great afternoon anyway. The only other thing I remember Bobby Gould for was his habit of shoulder charging keepers. He did it to Gary Sprake and got a right hook for his trouble.

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Retsub

    I remember a nine hour round trip from Norwich to Everton to see Arsenal lose a lousy 1-0. The same happened when I drove from Southern Scotland to Sunderland: another drab 1-0 to the home team. But then there was Man City away a few years ago and we beat them against the odds by 1-3. I also drove from Southern Scotland to Stoke – the day Aaron’s leg was smashed – and saw us stick together as a team and take all the three points.

    Disappointment is part of supporting the team, but you have been very unlucky to attend so many finals and yet never saw us lift the cup. One day it will surely happen, though. 🙂

  22. allezkev says:

    Retsub, there was a a lot of fans paying cash at the turnstiles, usual scam, and we couldn’t get into our alloted section, just a wall of people at the top of the stairs…

    My Dad started complaining and a chief steward (obviously wanting to avoid a fuss) led us down the players tunnel and pushed us into a big mob of Swindon fans right down the front.

    It kinda went over my head a bit, but I remember three things vividly.
    A big fat woman in front of us fainting when Swindon took the lead.
    The exhausted faces of the Arsenal players at half-time and full-time (flu).
    And Bobby Gould’s goal…

  23. Neeraj says:

    ISL news
    Zico the FC Goa manager says he sees Andre Santos as an attacking midfielder
    Finally someone understands that he can do something more than swapping shirts at halftime

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    So right, Neeraj. Big bum is best suited in midfield, and he has a good tackle to rob the ball too.

  25. Gerry says:

    Retsub, just one slight correction, I am not a closet supporter of Coventry, I have never denied it. 😀
    I said a couple of years back how I became an Arsenal fan. Like a lot of others, largely down to Thierry Henry. But my introduction to football was late in coming all round. Horse racing was my main sporting interest. But after I started work,a couple of guys who I went to school with were City fans, and the match before Christmas of 1966/7 season I joined them. A very wet Friday night as I recall, pitch saturated, but the ball seemed to always end up at a City player’s feet. They beat Ipswich 5-0 in a more one-sided game than you could imagine.

    Now you are not going to like this bit … I got the taste for it. I saw every game, home and away, every home reserve game, every home youth game, and I never saw them lose in any of them!
    They had a 25 unbeaten run in the league, which gained them promotion. Unfortunately, the Youth Cup was a two leg affair, and they lost the second leg. It may have been different if I had have gone to watch? I see, refreshing my memory, from Wiki that they are only one of 5 clubs to have won the FA & Youth Cups in the same season. But that run of games you just cannot buy. I made the mistake of getting a season ticket for the next couple of seasons, but the ‘magic’ was never the same. How they managed to stay in the top flight for 34 years, because after Jimmy Hill left is was not quite the same.
    You mention Willie Carr and that free kick, later banned as it was deemed ‘two’ touches of the ball, albeit simultaneously. Two things I remember about Carr was: First, so red hot was his reputation as a 16 year old, over 13,000 fans turned up at a reserve match to see his first game with the seniors, and I was one of them. Normal attendance was around the 1,000 mark: Secondly, he was the youngest player to start a league game for Coventry, and probably the league as a whole at the time.

    So that is why I still follow the City, but geographical location means I cannot get there any more than I can get to the Emirates. At the time of them getting demotion out of the Premiership the division of football coverage was far greater than it is now, and I was restricted to terrestrial telly to watch games, and I already had a ‘second team’ support for Arsenal, which has grown over the years … including the LEAN years I might add, so they command my main interest …but they say you never forget your first love, and I will never deny mine.
    … after horse racing that is 😀

  26. Gerry says:

    Neeraj – I will make Pune my ‘Coventry’ of the ISL 😀

    David James as Player/Manager is interesting, as he has been very opinionated in his BT work. At least he will be one of the fitter ones?
    But I think Pune have done better with their signings. Trezeguet up front, and a clearly astute manager to recognise Santos’s true potential too: D

    How does this impact on the domestic league though? Are they continuing alongside while this short ISL season runs? Do the local clubs lose these ‘drafted players’ permanently?

    The other big question is how many of the ‘marquee signings’ will manage to compete in all 16 games over 10 weeks, and more if they get into the semi finals?

    I am assuming that this October to December is the best time weather wise?

    Sorry, Neeraj … questions, questions, questions, but an exciting time nevertheless.

    Keep us up date with the whole scene as it develops. In fact, make Thursdays ISL blog day 😀
    In fact, if you are clever, you might get syndication fees if you offer it around?
    BK first call though. None of this exclusive right going to the highest bidder, okay?
    Cheers

  27. Neeraj says:

    Gerry,
    Its the close season of the I-League (the domestic league) so once the isl is over most of the indian players go back to their clubs
    Most of the Indian players actually almost all of them are on loan from the parent teams.
    Some of the I-league teams have shares in their ISL counterparts so they give all theit domestic players to the ISL club.

    The Ownership of the Marquee signing is a complex matter
    Majority of the players are free agents or have retired so they have no clubs and are contracted to the ISL clubs for the enteirity of the tournament
    So they will play all the matches even the semis and the final

    October is a big warmer, for you maybe hot
    But Nov, Dec and Jan are quite cool
    The temp drops as you move to the north of the country.
    Pune(my home) is known for pleasant weather but the global warming has really screwed up the climate the seasons are delayed mostly
    But I think the South Americans, Africans and East and South Europeans wont struggle. The English chaps along with the French might find it a lil difficult.

  28. Neeraj says:

    I am planning to mark India’s arrival on the map of football with my maiden post on BK.
    I have been thinking about it for a week now.

    I would love to write match reports or previews of some of the key fixtures.

    I wont be writting about all the matches though as my schedule does not permit me and it will be of no interest to a section of BKers

    But the only thing I worry is that BK is an Arsenal blog. 1 post in maybe 1 or 2 weeks on a topic no way related to Arsenal might anger some people.

    So before I post anything I would like to knowif it is fine with majority of the BKers.
    There is no pressure on any of you as I will happily continue to visit this site even if the answer is no.
    🙂

  29. Neeraj says:

    Bit warmer*

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Neeraj 🙂

    Good to hear you are going to write for the site. BK is an Arsenal site so there always needs to be a link back to Arsenal somehow. You can either do this by alsoy reporting about the former Gunners in India, or we combine two posts on the day. One about Arsenal and one about Pune’s Playboys….. What do you think?

  31. Neeraj says:

    Yup thats exactly what I was thinking

  32. VCC says:

    Nice one Retsub. Taking us down memory lane. I could have been standing next to you on a couple of those games 🙂

    The yellow shirt at the top of your post is a replica of the 71 final that Charlie George scored that wonderful winner for us. A couple of years ago I went on a stadium tour and CG was the host, I took along my yellow shirt and at the end of the tour he obligingly signed it for me. Happy Dayz.

    I was lucky during my early days of supporting The Arsenal. The club I played for used to get two Cup final tickets allocated by the FA every year. As I was the only Arsenal supporter at the club I naturally got one whenever we managed to get to the final, the other was raffled off.

    My first was against Swindon 1969. Boy what a crappy final. It’s more remembered for the state of the pitch. It was cut up the week before as it was used for the Horse of the year show and got virtually destroyed. Football was not the order of the day. Good luck to Swindon as we both had to cope it, and they done a far better job.

    I was at the Arsenal supporters end and when Bobby Gould scored his late equaliser he ran towards us. I swear if he had kept running he would have ran straight into me, I was right in line with his path.

    It was also the final when Bobby Gould’s Father was in the crowd, and he was blind.

    My next final was 1970 at Highbury, being the home leg against Anderlecht. What a fantastic feeling it was to win 4-3 on aggregate. It was the only time I stepped onto the Highbury pitch. After the final whistle you could not help but get carried away with the crowd surging onto the hallowed turf.

    Then came Liverpool 1971. The only tickets available were ones at the Liverpool end, an opportunity I could not turn down. I always remember my thoughts after CG scored that wonder goal, I could not help myself and jumped around deliriously happy that we had taken the lead and looked like coming away with the cup. All around me were scousers wearing their glum faces. OOOPS I thought, I’m in big trouble here? None of it, they were perfect supporters and I am hear safely to tell the tail ( unlike the game against the scum Mancs in 1979).

    Leeds 1972. Lost…enough said.

    1978. Ipswich. The Russell Osmon final. Underdogs Ipswich managed to hold us out and sneak one to pull off an unlikely win. 😦

    1979. Manchester United. One of the most satisfying results EVER. There we were coasting to a 2-0 win when all of a sudden our world gets turned upside down. At 2-0 the small contingent of Cockney Reds started to leave the Arsenal supporters end shouting abuse and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Then, 2 quick goals from the Devils (rightly named) caused the miscreants to filter back onto the terraces. All talking/shouting/screaming with their London accents abuse to all and sundry Arsenal supporters, together with the choice spitting and deliberate barging. Boy, was it sweet when Alan Sunderland popped up at the far post and scored the winner. I remember the feeling well, almost as good as sex… 🙂

    1980. West Ham United. The Hammers carried the cup away after Trevor Brooking scores with his head. I swear that was the only goal he scored with his head, and it had to come against us.

    All in all, I was a lucky chap being able to see my heroes in all those wonderful finals.

    Now, alas, it’s armchair viewing, as the tickets are like gold dust, impossible to get.

    Thank you Retsub.

  33. Retsub says:

    Neeraj looking forward to your match report. I am a Pune supporter now. What colours do we play in?
    Gerry glad to see you have kept you affection tor Coventry. I am still thinking about another post and one of the ideas I had was “my brush with fame” if I go that route I can tell you about having a beer with Les Cartwright in Ibiza.

    TA the downside of seeing the great JC is that you have to be an old git, so I wouldn’t get to jealous. You also mentioned long distant travelling to away games. A couple of times I travelled on supporters club coaches to Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and it was great fun, the results weren’t always great, but as you say part of the experience

    VCC great memories! that Charlie George moment will live with me forever. As soon as my kids were old enough they were doing the Charlie George lay back routine. Used to have a big picture of it on the dining room wall,. Sadly banished to the Shed now with my signed Thierry photo

    Hope no one minds but I thought I would take the opportunity to share my favourite joke with you. it is of an adult nature and not suitable for children.

  34. Gerry says:

    Retsub – I like it!

    Les,burn up the wings, Cartwright eh?

    I’ve just been talking to my mate who was with me on the Sky Blues winning run, having our regular chat about horse racing .He still gives me a dig if I talk too much about Arsenal.
    He thought Coventry were the first team that won the FA & Youth Cup double in the same season. So the other 4 might have come later?

    Look forward to your next post.
    Cheers

  35. Gerry says:

    Neeraj – Great stuff. You need mention how well Pires and Freddy L are doing and you are covered 😀
    Seriously, I am looking forward to both your ISL and Arsenal posts … but don’t neglect your studies! I don’t want to be responsible for family strife.

    Thanks for the other ISL info. I was thinking more about the player’s age and fitness, rather than the temperature. But as you say, most are free agents and have probably been out there a while now, so hot and humid should be okay?

    Sorry TA, I only mentioned Thursday as it is generally a blank day – after our mid-week games, and before the preview for the weekend match.

  36. alcide says:

    Mesut is out for 10 to 12 weeks… I hope nobody goes the “blessing in disguise” route on this one.

  37. Neeraj says:

    Very bad news
    Ozil I feel was starting to gain some confidence it may be a boon i disguise for jack, santi and ox and to some extent rosicky too
    Specially with Theo returning

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Well that way we have two ‘new signings’ – Ozil and OG – joining us in January… 🙂

    FFS this injury voodoo at Arsenal is becoming ridiculous now…. 😦

  39. The Cockie Monster says:

    A good time to make a flying visit and post a vid`………# WHICH IS NOT FOR 12 YEARS OLDS TO BE VIEWING ! #………which ties in nicely with the Ozil news !.
    So you can add my word ( and it will become apparent ! )……Disappointment = For Fuck Sake ! …..to the list of many you are about to see/hear !.

  40. Wow, that is unbelievable news…re: Ozil… Count me as very, very sad–I only needed a couple of weeks off before I started to defend his play against those who prefer the rougher forms of football… (American, Rugby–both types, Aussie Rules, etc., etc…) 😀 I’m sorry, but the blessing in disguise bit is unavoidable and we should be ready to endure it. Santi and Jack (touch wood they come through the Int’ls…) can carry the load but we’ll need Theo and AR to come back without hiccups. It *should* make us (maybe) more adventurous in attack (and on the counter) and better at pressing the ball, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah… but, I’m sorry, for me, it is drop in the overall “class” of the team.. 😦

    On the current topic, I really appreciate the views of the long-time supporters and their personal experiences. Obviously, I’m a “modern” fan, but the underlying traditions of the game and the club are the heart and soul of the attraction. We have a friend here who grew up in Barnet and couldn’t believe I returned home from London an Arsenal supporter, given my gentle nature (see previous thread)… The violence he experienced from both Arsenal and away supporters seemed excessive (he mentioned the throwing of sharpened coins…) and it’s hard for him to understand how things have changed… Also, when we were there my wife’s supervisor was a Sheffield Wednesday supporter (and a shareholder in her club). I only met her once but she shared her personal view of how the events at Hillsborough had changed the game. (She was a teenager at the time)…She was actually going straight from the event up to see family but also to weigh in at a shareholders meeting on the crisis that was gripping her club (this is fall of ’06, for anybody who cares)…

    On that note, and to explain my stuff from the last thread to Gerry who asked…That was a photo of “Coach” from Survivor (and Survivor All-Stars, I think…) so he’s only famous as a reality TV “star.” Like I said, we’ve got English footy right here in Lake Tahoe so, my oh my, what a small world it is…

    Similarly, Neeraj, Count me among those who is very much looking forward to your post… And I’m not too worried about your studies–you seem a very bright fellow and your analysis of all things Arsenal has impressed me. I don’t necessarily agree with all your ideas (Jenkinson, for example, for me, is playing at about the correct level with West Ham)…but I’d still give your work here the highest marks possible…

  41. Shrillex says:

    Dang it, just when Walcott is about to return, the man who was bought to play Walcott to his full potential is out. Just what is Shad Forstyde doing?

  42. The Cockie Monster says:

    I also blame some BKers for our Injury Hoodoo !.
    Retsub or what he should be known as…..Jonah Jinx or JJ ……It`s has to be his fault, doesn`t it ?.
    Stevie Six Fingers !……..fcuking bang to rights !. Probably been 6 finger fist fcuking an Ozil effigy whilst running naked around Ventnor !. Just when Ozil thought it was safe to come out and play……..the Isle of White !……where nobody can hear you scream !.

    What next ?………Hamez Bond sending a Szczesny doll to….The IoW Phantom Fingerer !.

  43. Admir says:

    Great one, Retsub. 🙂 If anyone thinks to give you that spare ticket for Champions’ League Final between Arsenal FC and Real Madrid, I’ll have to visit the local store for some chloroform. 🙂 I mean, we plan to beat Real 3:2 in that final thanks to goals Alexis Sanchez (who will score a free-kick), Santi Cazorla (who is about to slot the ball home after low-cross from Theo) and Theo Walcott (great through ball from Özil). Ronaldo can stick both of his penalties…you know where. 🙂

    Our injury crisis is indeed unreal. 😦 I mean, we are without Özil, Ramsey, Walcott, Debuchy and Giroud at the moment, Chambers is suspended for Hull and we are at least one central defender and a defensive midfielder short anyway.

    How can we cope with THAT? 😦

  44. Don’t blame Shad Forsythe for the injury crisis…Blame me…

    For after all, it’s we (the effete, espresso sipping…) fans of the modern Arsenal who create these troubles. Instead of terminator-types who might kill (or at least break some legs) we prefer skinny lads (too young OR too old, but never just right…) who prance about like thoroughbreds (Gerry might share some blame here too…) and must be sent to the physio-room (or glue factory) if a rugged defender (the proverbial beast/destroyer of a defensive mid…) gives them a sideways glance. Remember, we prefer the ooh lah la of a yellow card for shirts off after goals, never for the cynical would-be leg breaker. And it all stems, of course, for our unquestioning faith in Lord Wenger… After all, isn’t THIS the body type which inspires our love?… http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/06/27/article-0-1F2B31AB00000578-730_306x423.jpg

    Theo, Ramsey, Debuchy, Ozil, Giroud and Arteta are all poofy prancers–oops can’t say that, rainbow laces and all–How about just preening pussy-cats?… Undersized, “skill-first” players, who worry more about being perfectly (body) hair-free so their tats have that ideal glisten. C’mon lads get in the weight room even if it doesn’t have mirrors! Remember, nobody will care about how you look if you’re not actually on the pitch. (Oh wait, didn’t we just renew contracts for pretty boys Giroud and Arteta DESPITE their inability to actually play…)

    Huddled up in street clothes or in those cushy duvet-coats does nothing for nobody. Remember lads, you’ve actually got to be playing if you want to score that goal and get your shirt off in front of us… Well, I guess you can swap them after the match or at half time, too… Still, you need to be able to take the pitch if you want even that sort of glory. No, that’s not true either… Paparazzi can still find you at the beach, as you work on your “recovery”…

    😦 (but also 😀 …)

  45. steve says:

    😆 😆 😆 Cockie!!!! Thats some funny shit my friend!!!! PERFECT!! 😆
    Good to have you back mofo
    How the hell of all the places on the Island did you pick Ventnor?????? That literally is the most backwards place here – touch of genius or do you know the Island?
    Ozil surprised the hell out of me mate – he had already lubed up and was waiting for me with a smile (underestimated the true power of the six finger fist though :lol:)

    But to be serious i am pretty disappointed, i wanted Ozil to loose his place because others proved they are better in that position, this injury doesn’t really gain me anything in trying to prove my point and only harms the team as a whole because there are less options overall, so yep disappointed tbh.

  46. James Bond says:

    no, you are not steve – admit it, ha

    I know Alcide said not to say the “blessing in disguise” but deep down inside the little boy inside you is jumping with joy shouting “Jackie Wilshere Jacky Wilshere ”

    🙂

    I don’t know what to say anymore, I can’t cry so will just end up laughing like an idiot at our injuries ahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahaa feel free to join me ahahahahahahhahahaha

    that was a mighty fine read @ Retsub – I think you may have left out that 2006 CL final on purpose, I know you were there that day as well, ha

  47. James Bond says:

    Glics, if it was that easy to get him out of the team – then that doll would have been sent a long time ago, ha

    good to see you back – let’s look at the bright side, we could have had an injury to one of our CB’s – least we had an injury in the area of the team which we are not so bad in numbers and quality – with the returning Ramsey, Theo on the horizons, it just gives an opportunity to players like Santiago, Podolski to play more – with Santiago in the hole and Poldi on the left – also, Rosicky can play there.

    it’s a shame because Ozil and Welz were beginning to look good .

  48. steve says:

    I will continue the injury laugh:
    ahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahaha

    And thank god that twat Ozil is gone – ssshhhh!!! little boy inside my head, i told you not on the blog, wait until i finish typing! 😆

  49. James Bond says:

    holds his head in disbelief .

  50. steve says:

    holds his shaft in ecstasy 😆

  51. James Bond says:

    holds the magic pills in his hands and says ” it’ time to take your meds now @ Steve

    👿

  52. steve says:

    😆 i was only joshing JB you know that, i already told you how i actually feel about the situation.

    Please sir not the pills again, i promise to put it away.

    😆 😆 😆

  53. James Bond says:

    on a more serious note, I wouldn’t be surprised if we lost JW during this international break as well .

    such is our luck that nothing no longer surprises me .

  54. steve says:

    Don’t forget Gibbs, now that would be typical – first time call up and boom, injury! could see that one happening.

  55. The Cockie Monster says:

    Sixy Fingers !……..went to IoW about 30 years ago and loved it, just like the name Ventnor….Ventor (Vent your ) Anger !. 😀
    The vid` about the worlds most versatile word…”fuck” !……..reminds me of another “fuck” word(s)……”astonishment/amazement/surprise”……..which will only make sense with the punch line of this true story, one which only makes sense now !.
    To put it mildly, I have a sharp wit, it can get me into trouble, but it is also probably why I came out with one of the greatest one liners ever !…….if that conceitedness doesn`t keep your attention, then nothing will !. hahaha
    I cant say where or what I was working at, but it was an all male environment and involved night shifts !. I can only say the one of the men`s names…..Joe King. This was over 30 years ago and Joe King was basically……” the only gay in the workforce ! “….well, that’s what we all thought !. Joe King used to tease everyone that he had a secret lover amongst us, but we just laughed it off, as all of us were hunky hard men ….especially me, he says in a voice which has just gone very low in tone ! hahaha………one night at work I came back early from a break, it was a time of the night when things were quiet on the work front and most were finished and gone home and I was coming back to finish off the tail end of the shift.
    I looked around to find the couple left, to tell them to go, but no one was about !, so I was calling out, but nothing !. Getting nearer to a stock room I heard some noises coming from within, the closer I got….. the noisier it got, it sounded like moaning and groaning !. I opened the door amazed to see Joe King being shafted from behind by his “secret lover” !…….I could not believe it, I was astonished at who it was shafting, Joe King………………..but that did not stop me coming out with……….” Your fucking Joking ! “.

  56. I’m glad folks are having fun, but this situation, including people putting “their needs” ahead of the club’s, is, for me at least, very sad… I guess it’s really an illustration of just how disconnected people feel from the club–they’re bound by a sense of duty to “support” the club, but they get a sense of (perverse) satisfaction when bad things happen… What’s up with that?!

    For whatever reason I’m getting a sense of deja vu to Luis Suarez biting the Italian fellow at the World Cup. He proved himself a “winner,” by helping to get his country to the next round (where they were sure to go out) and he never had to kick a football for the Scouse… 4 months out doesn’t really matter when you’re on your next (even bigger) contract at a much bigger club where people speak your language and (mostly) don’t go in for the moralizing. I’m probably over-reacting here, but I have a very bad feeling that we will never see Mesut Ozil kick a ball again for Arsenal.

    With so much vitriol directed his way why should he? Yes, there’s some satisfaction in putting one’s head down and working people back into your corner, but how much simpler is it to force a move to Bayern, be appreciated by your countrymen (who, mostly, except for the fascist sorts, noted his stellar efforts in winning them the WC…) and win bundles of trophies? Before you know it, Arsenal will have become just a grim couple of years on his way to greener (much greener) pastures…

    Suarez said he was persecuted by the English press. Well, my fellow bloggers, we’re a part of that English press, and Ozil is a victim in a similar manner even if he’s never actually bitten anybody. Not scoring or assisting, of course, is just as bad, if your team doesn’t get the result… Plus he doesn’t even give a crap. Why didn’t he leave Stamford Bridge sobbing into his shirt as Luis did in another South London stadium?… For every nice tweet or message of support he will receive, someone else will be writing the “blessing in disguise” article or comment, or, in the immortal words (or word, I guess…) of our Monster friend (and Mr. F11ngers too, it now appears…) expressing it more succinctly…as,,,wait for it…

    “BOING…”

    Good times… 😦

  57. steve says:

    17Ht, please read through my comments mate – i stated quite clearly that its a big disappointment to loose Ozil, the rest was just a bit off fun mate. I know you yanks have a bit trouble with sarcasm and humor in general but surely you could see i was joking – I EVEN STATED AS MUCH.

    As for Cockie, Classic matey! 😆 Its a shame the secret lover was in the store room and not the stationary closet otherwise (after the incident) it would have really been a case of him coming out of the closet 🙂

    Lets get some more humor going lads, all this interlul boredom and injury crisis news is getting depressing.

  58. Steve, I read all your comments and I know you’re just having fun…I tried my bit of sarcasm/humor (humour) above, as well, dontchaknow…

    In truth, as bloggers, we all have personal agendas. Yours are stranger than most (the whole not caring about results bit…) but, since you’re such a good writer, I’m able to follow it… No worries on that account. Overall, I think we come to support a club because we want to become part of something a bit bigger than ourselves. As such, it often just seems a little weird (to me…) when individuals go off in such different directions… To me, it strains the notion of “support.” But different, er, strokes, is what makes the world go ’round, as you can tell by all the “categories” on your favorite (favourite?) (finger-fun) sites… 🙂

    So, no (true) harm done…Still, if that’s the end of Ozil at Arsenal (my current perspective despite more of the bright sunshine…) I would consider today to be a very sad day indeed…

    Just my take and others probably feel very differently…

    Carry on…

  59. James Bond says:

    I have to disagree with you my amigo – our Messy is going no where , not after the amount of faith and support shown to him by AW – forget some of the fans or the media bashing re- Ozil .

    his coach and manager want him to be the focal point and for him didn’t let one of his own come back – now that is showing utter trust in someone and telling them that you are my go to player – he is loved at Arsenal by the man who runs the show – everyone else is irrelevant .

    he will be an Arsenal player for many years to come, we are trying to build a team that can win the CL not one that is going to keep finishing 4th in the EPL .

    keep your chin up, such things can happen in life, we are all gutted and deeply disappointed but what can we do ? such things are beyond anyone’s control – all we can do is hope or pray that all our players return back to Arsenal in one piece after the internationals .

  60. steve says:

    17HT,

    “I guess it’s really an illustration of just how disconnected people feel from the club–they’re bound by a sense of duty to “support” the club, but they get a sense of (perverse) satisfaction when bad things happen… What’s up with that?!”

    hahahaha so it was me who couldn’t work out the sarcasm 😆 my bad – I’ll try to forget that as quickly as possible mate lol sorry. You could put a little smiley face or something afterwards, its hard to work in plain text, without vocal triggers – that’s why i also give a 😆
    But sorry again bud my bad.

    I hope its not the end for Ozil, i really see this whole situation as a “history repeating itself” a la Ramsey a few years a go. Back then i could never work out why AW never dropped him to the reserves to get a few yards of quickness back and some confidence without his bad form (and it was bad there for while) being on show to the world for everyone to judge and comment on. I think back then there were little options tbh but nowadays there are and Ozil could be dropped for a few just to rotate and let others have a go in that position. He would breeze through the reserves gaining confidence, strength and composure all the time then be ready to regain his position in the first XI.
    But i guess that’s a moot point now with the injury, crappy thing to happen and not at all what i wanted trust me, it doesn’t benefit any of us to have another player out injured even if i personally don’t rate that player and see his management differently than everybody else – an absence gives no options at all.
    Maybe like many other who have come back from injury at our place, he will come back with a point to prove 🙂

  61. Frozen says:

    17-

    as ridiculous and doomy as it sounds… the thought of Mesut leaving us has crossed my mind as well. Whats more worrisome is that this possibility occurred to me sometime ago, in one of his interviews with the German press. The hypochondriac in me thought to myself, “man, what if he picks up a bad injury and becomes disillusioned with life in London.” Well…

    10-12 weeks offers a lot of time for contemplation. Having sustained 2 serious fractures in the span of 12 months (both with 3 month recovery periods ironically), I am quite familiar with the negative thought processes that sitting on your a** can bring about. A 3-month lay off would take him right to January– nice and fresh just in time for potential suitors.

    Mesut is one of the most intelligent and gifted players on the planet. But this current confidence crisis could really complicate things. So I guess what I’m trying to articulate is that the idea of M011 leaving us might not be all that far fetched. However, I still think he’ll come good and the supporters shouldn’t be too worried just yet…

  62. I hope you’re right, 007…Just as I hope you’re right every time you predict a big Arsenal victory in the big matches… 😀

    (Tough day over here as I hit a moving stop just before the big recovery in the equities market… Left a lot of money on the sidelines, as it were… 😦 Another reason I’m maybe seeing a lot of downside today…)

    In the Summer, Total was pretty sure the Scousers would rally around Suarez…Instead he got his dream move… When I see Ozil’s heat-map from Sunday, I find it oddly in the shape of some chompers… 😀

    I like to think that our reactions to things matter. If we dig deep and support our club through thick and thin (the subject of this thread, btw…) we will be rewarded with satisfaction, if not outright joy. I’m getting a little tired of the disappointments and the overall gloom… My thought is that if we offered actual support (rather than constant over-the-top critique and an aura of misery…) we might do our guys a favor (favour?)…

    That’s just my take on things, of course, and the players (I don’t think) read too deeply into the blogs or the tweets or whathaveyou. Still, there’s most certainly a toxic element just waiting for the right moment to surface. Also, there’s a big difference between how we feel and how the players (young, not always so mature, multi-millionaires…) feel… I hope Ozil stays and believes in the project, much as I hoped Cesc and RvP would (and Sagna, Nasri, Song, etc., etc., etc)… If Pep comes a calling and says come be my (2nd…) Messy… I dunno, it doesn’t seem that much of a stretch… If “supporters” cannot find the belief, how hard would it be to resist the call of a new (and far more believable) project—plus a 50% pay-rise?…

    Cynical, I know, but there you go… (And it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be cheered with continued humor/humour, etc….)

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