Now and Back Then Arsenal are Special

I heard an interesting comment on an Arsenal podcast recently and one of the contributors opined that he felt that the current Emirates has a younger feel about it, that there seems, since lockdown, more young people in the stadium which could explain the more intense and exciting atmosphere the fans have generated this season, although it’s been a slow burner since Arteta arrived.

I felt right from the beginning of his tenure, unlike a few of his predecessors, that Mikel Arteta recognised the value of the fans, of course he did he’d been a part the febrile atmosphere of a Merseyside derby where the Scousers create an intense whirl of emotions probably only matched by an Old Firm game. So he brought into it straight away, saying all the right things in his interviews regarding how important the fans were and this remember was before lockdown and the rest of football were reminded why they play the game they do. This generation of players and coaches have been kind of re-educated once more of what the fans bring to the table of how the ordinary folk are as much of the occasion as those on the field of play – but Arteta was ahead of the curve and he’s worked on this narrative with his players from the start, they’ve bought into it and they include the fans, refer to the fans in interviews and it’s engendered a kind of family feel that I’ve not really experienced before even in a successful season, the collective will of everyone at the club is quite amazing and it’s continuing to develop, the support is constant even after we’ve conceded a goal and if at times it dips then Martin Odegaard, Alex Zinchenko et al will wave their arms at the fans to remind them of their part in this evolving scenario, all for one and one for all.

I’ve been very lucky, probably luckier than many of those young supporters who are now driving the club on because I’ve seen Arsenal lift six league championships, all of them magical in different ways, Anfield 89, The Invincibles, The Double team of 2002, the Almost Invincibles of 1991, my favourite the 1997/98 season, Wenger’s first double, Dennis Bergkamp’s finest season in an Arsenal shirt, a hoped for but unexpected success and I think the unexpected successes are the best.

I was a youngster when Arsenal won the league and cup double in 1971, it was again unexpected. 

Back then, Arsenal were an uncompromising team of tough homegrown players like Peter Simpson, Peter Storey, Jon Sammels, George Armstrong and John Radford supplemented by experienced signings like George Graham from Chelsea, Bob McNab from Huddersfield Town who we fought off Liverpool to sign, Bob Wilson from Wolves who had signed as an amateur, Frank McLintock who had been a midfielder at Leicester but was now our centre half and inspiring captain and fringe squad players like centre-half John Roberts and one time club record signing Peter Marinello from Hibernian the Pepe of his day.

Into this mix manager Bertie Mee had included a group of young homegrown players who together had come through the apprentice scheme at Highbury, as the academy players were termed back then, the likes of Scotsman Eddie Kelly, Cockney Irishman Pat Rice, Northern Irishman Sammy Nelson, Geordie born Ray Kennedy and my hero and Holloway born and bred Charlie George. These young guys added that spark of magic to the resilience of the experienced guys and they wouldn’t allow firm favourites and Don Revie coached Leeds United to shake them off. Arsenal kept nibbling away, despite all the pundits expecting Leeds to win the title no doubt because Arsenal had finished 12th the previous season.

But Frank drove the team on, he was magnificent, inspiring, a giant of a man just like Tony Adams, he lived and breathed Arsenal, George Graham ‘stroller’ brought his laconic laid-back style to the table scoring 11 critical goals in 38 league games, Pat Rice was the epitome of hard graft, working on your skills, making the absolute maximum of your talent, a kind of Ray Parlour character but Pat could play and would go on to become an Arsenal captain and coach – and then there was Bob Wilson, nobody charged out of his goal and went head first into the flailing boots like Bob, how many goals he saved that season with his unfussy, almost gentlemanly style befitting the university graduate that he was. All four were key components of that enduring  championship winning team, a team that had ended 17 long, barren years without the league title in the Highbury trophy cabinet. 

That 1970/71 team is legendary, every Arsenal championship team is legendary, it stays with you for the rest of your life and if you’re lucky enough you end up with a statue outside of the Emirates.

By Allezkev

73 thoughts on “Now and Back Then Arsenal are Special

  • Great, warming post, Kev.

    You have mentioned before that you noticed an increase in young fans at the home of football. It must be great to experience that young energy and enthusiasm.

    Your 1970s experiences are well before my Arsenal time, but always good to read about them. 🙂

  • Following on from the England senior team winning, today the England U17’s, U18’s, U19’s, U20’s and U21’s all won, with Arsenal players involved, but it seems as if there’s a rick seam of talent coming through across the 5 age groups which bodes well for the national team as long as the guys in charge are smart enough to get the best out of the talent available to them?

    Glad you enjoyed the post Total.

  • Nice one Kev especially for me an Arsenal fan from 90s to know about earlier generation of players.

  • In the WSL, City beat Chelsea 2-0 to throw it wide open for the top spot, albeit Chelsea having a game in hand on 1st and 3rd placed Man U and Man City (as we have on the rest of the front runners.

    It is a 4 horse race, suddenly, with Arsenal still to meet Man U, City and Chelsea. Exciting times for followers of the WSL.

  • Fine post, Kev. Always nice to read about the history of the club and from the early experiences of fan, it comes out even better.

    Indeed, the unexpected successes are the sweetest which is why I think the 2022/23 win will be oh, so sweet.

  • Wonderful memories, mon ami, thanks a lot for sharing them.
    London-born fans like you, GN, and Stu, are the heart and soul of this club, academy players are its living blood (there are great Charlie moments on the club site: THAT goal-celebration in the 1971 FA cup final, an interview interspersed with some of the greatest moments of his career, too …).
    You haven’t alluded to it in the post, but I also like a lot the thought of your boy following in your footsteps as an Arsenal fan; this is the kind of continuity which makes all the difference between a club and a franchise.
    That’s the French team England U21s put to the sword yesterday btw, and with Emile on the scoresheet!!. However, all of the French lads will play top-level football, while it’s far from being a sure thing for the English … Something’s very wrong there, I do hope the Premier League will trust English youngsters (much) more. Given the outstanding quality of the job done in English academies, the number of English players in PL squads is both ridiculous and outrageous.
    The connection between this young 2022-2023 team and the new generation of fans is a sight for sore eyes indeed. I hope we won’t have to curse Lee Mason’s goal for Brentford more than we’ve already done … if not, and with all this youth set on fire by the final whistle, May 28th to May 29th is very likely to be a night to remember in North London.
    And yes … you definitely should write more!!

  • Only concern is how much Saka is played by England. Surely, we have some understanding with the national team management to manage his game time, as soon as the game is safe.

    We cannot afford an injury to that kid.

  • He is not a kid anymore, Eris. One of his biggest qualities is his intelligence. He regulates his efforts and is probably one of the most efficient players in Europe.

    Let’s celebrate him more openly on the blog, he really deserves more of us all.

  • I guess it’s the David Rocastle syndrome and how invincible he looked in his pomp and how his career nosedived when the injuries kick-in in his mid 20’s. Rocky used to take some terrible punishment as did Jack, the cowards with the whistle failed to protect them from the thugs (Reyes, Rosicky as well, plenty more I’m sure) so it’s understandable that we fans are maybe overprotective of the jewel in the Arsenal crown, football is full of Rodri types who play with zero conscience regarding the wellbeing of their fellow protagonists, but yes, Bukayo ‘adds to happiness’ for all Gooner’s, especially those in Southern Nigeria. 😉

  • Here are the latest competition results:-

    For the week:-

    1st Kev & GN5 with 4/9 plus 1 correct score & share of most correct predictions = 8 points
    3rd Total, Eris, Madhu, OX10 & Stuart with 3/5 – 3 points
    8th Le Gall with 1/6 = 1 point
    Season to date:-

    1st Kev – 112.8
    2nd Eris – 105.13
    3rd Madhu – 103.80
    4th OX10 – 99.13
    5th Stuart – 98.33
    6th GN5 – 84.33
    7th Total – 80.66
    8th Le Gall – 77.80

  • Next weekends selections:-

    Manchester City v Liverpool *
    Arsenal v Leeds United
    AFC Bournemouth v Fulham
    Brighton & Hove Albion v Brentford
    Newcastle United v Manchester United *
    Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund *

  • GN5 and Kev, good job on top scoring in the predictions game for last week.

  • Manchester City 2 Liverpool 2
    Arsenal Leeds United H
    AFC Bournemouth Fulham D
    Brighton & Hove Albion Brentford H
    Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 0
    Bayern Munich 3 Borussia Dortmund 1

  • Just got to read your fine post Kev. I’m proud to own a complete set of Arsenal programs for the 70/71 double season. My favorite is the program for the Man U Highbury with the autographs of Charlie George, Georgie Best and Jon Sammels.

    It was good to have the memories refreshed.

    The archives of my posts contains dozens from that period and earlier – but I can never remember which ones I’ve posted previously on BK.

  • GN5, that is a valuable programme because Man United fans would love it for the autographs and there’s millions of them…

    I used to be a serious programme collector and still have a big collection with loads of doubles, it’s a hobby that has lost a lot of its allure with youngsters who don’t read anything other than their iPhones and iPads these day. I used to love going to programme fayres and meeting fans of other clubs, discussing programmes and football and maybe finding that one programme that would complete a season, I could never find Arsenal vs Liverpool 1946/47. Impossible to find!

  • Kev, the earlist I have is one of Arsenal v Derby County from Xmas day 1948. Unfortunately it’s only two half pages of what was a two page program that was printed on two sheets of paper in black and white. One half page is the Arsenal line up and the other is the Xmas message from Tom Whittaker.

    Another one that I really enjoy reading over is one titled ARSENAL ARSENAL it’s an eighty eight page 6.5″ x 5.0″ booklet with pictures and facts and figures of the 70/71 season, it also has a history of Arsenal up to that point. All in black and white of course. It cost me 2 quid.

  • I guess I should make a decision on what to do with my mini collection – because it’s highly possible that when I pass it will be consigned to the rubbish bin.

  • Here’s a post from my archives:-

    Arsenals Top Seasons 1970-71 – Our 3rd Best Season

    Welcome to the 1970/71 season, after 18 seasons in the trophy wilderness Arsenal finally broke their duck and won a trophy – the Inter City fairs Cup in 1970. That was the end of an extremely miserable period for us Arsenal supporters and gave us hope for the next season. The last time we won the FA Cup was in 1950 and our last League Championship victory was in the 1952/53 season.
    The 1970-71 season started with two wins, three draws and one loss in the opening six matches. This included the visits of Manchester United and Leeds United to Highbury, as well as visiting the previous season’s FA Cup winners, Chelsea, and League Champions, Everton. We also visited West Ham at Upton Park and hosted Huddersfield at Highbury. To emerge from those six games with a solitary defeat – at Stamford Bridge was impressive and built a solid foundation for the season ahead.
    Game seven was played before a crowd of 48,713 at Highbury where a double from George Armstrong gave Arsenal victory over Tottenham in the first north London derby of the season. After such a bright start Arsenal looked to be out of the title chase after a 5–0 away loss to Stoke in September. However we recovered and put in a strong run and did not lose again in the league until January, and as the season progressed they became involved in a tight race with Leeds United. After losing away to Derby County on April 26th we went on a run of nine consecutive victories conceding only a single goal before ending the winning run with a 2-2 draw with West Brom.
    With three games left we traveled to Elland Road to face Leeds United. The game was decided in a very controversial manner – in extra time Leeds struck with a quick central attack, Billy Bremner passed to the tall long-legged Jack Charlton, who was adding his weight to the final attack. At that moment the Leeds centre-half looked a clear two or three yards offside as Bob Wilson came out at him. His shot hit the foot of the post, came back at him and rebounded into the Arsenal net for victory.
    “The official version (the Leeds official version), was that the ball had touched McNab before it crossed the line, which made it a good goal. For this to have happened to Arsenal in injury time was hard enough to bear but for it to happen with a goal which none of them believed was legitimate made it unbearable.
    In our penultimate game of the season we beat Stoke 1-0 at Highbury. Of all places to go for the final game of the season on Monday May 3rd, 1971 we had to travel to White Hart Lane. Arsenal knew that they needed either to win or secure a scoreless draw to bring the title back to Highbury for the first time since 1953. A score draw would not do as Leeds United was waiting – hoping for an Arsenal slip-up.
    51,192 fans managed to squeeze into White Hart Lane with thousands of fans outside hoping to get in; Spurs were desperate to deny Arsenal the bragging rights in North London. It was a difficult situation to be in for the Gunners as oddly enough if they scored, they still couldn’t concede for as I mentioned above, a score draw would have shattered Arsenal’s dreams. A Spurs goal at any stage was most unwelcome. Tottenham goalkeeper Pat Jennings was in splendid form and made many fine saves throughout as Arsenal tried to break the deadlock. Finally in the 88th minute Ray Kennedy headed in a George Armstrong cross via the underside of the bar. After the goal Tottenham put Arsenal under relentless pressure in the hope of preventing them from winning the title. A Tottenham goal would have been enough for Leeds to win the title, but there was limited time left for them to score. In the end Arsenal prevailed. Bob Wilson prevented any Spurs equaliser from happening and Arsenal sealed the first half of the Double by winning the league in front of Tottenham supporters at White Hart Lane, much to the delight of our ecstatic fans.

    Next up was the FA Cup Final at Wembley on Saturday May 8th, 1971 – it turned out to be a classic encounter with Liverpool in front of a crowd of 100,000 frenzied supporters.
    In the previous rounds Arsenal had been drawn away in every round and in the semi-final trailed Stoke City 2-0 before equalizing with a very controversial last minute penalty. This forced a replay at Villa Park four days later, a game Arsenal won 2-0 with goals from George Graham and Ray Kennedy.

    Now to the small matter of the most important game in our history- The FA Cup Final.
    A victory over Liverpool would give us our 1st League and Cup double. Arsenal wore their away strip of yellow shirt and blue shorts. Arsenal eventually won 2–1 after extra time, with all three goals coming in the added half hour. Steve Heighway opened the scoring for Liverpool with a low drive past Bob Wilson on his near post. However, Arsenal equalized with a scrambled goal from substitute Eddie Kelly – the first time a substitute had ever scored in an FA Cup final. The goal was initially credited to George Graham, but replays showed that the decisive touch came from Kelly after Graham had struck the shot. Charlie George then scored a dramatic winner late in extra time, when his long range effort flew past Ray Clemence. This prompted George into a famous celebration – lying flat on his back on the Wembley turf waiting for his team mates to pick him up.

    The match was played with a great spirit of sportsmanship by the players and was responded to by the fans. Arsenal’s victory and double win, after a grueling 64-match season, was greeted with an ovation by both sets of fans at the stadium. This was repeated when Liverpool took their lap of honour after the presentation of the trophy and medals.

    Wonderful memories.

  • Thanks Kev and GN5 for some great memories. I first saw Arsenal play in 1969 and immediately decided that they were my team. They were an unfashionable team at the time and they hadn’t exactly had much recent success, little did I know – or perhaps I did!

  • What a great post, along with other historical comments, offering heartfelt personal views connecting Arsenal present and past. Thanks.

  • Man City vs Liverpool….…….Draw (2-2)
    Arsenal vs Leeds Utd……..…Home
    Bournemouth vs Fulham…Home
    Brighton vs Brentford………Home
    Newcastle vs Man Utd……..Home (2-1)
    Bayern vs Dortmund………..Home (3-0)

  • Manchester City v Liverpool * Away 1-2
    Arsenal v Leeds United H
    AFC Bournemouth v Fulham. H
    Brighton & Hove Albion v Brentford. D
    Newcastle United v Manchester United * A 1-2
    Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund * H 2-1

  • Manchester City v Liverpool * 1-2
    Arsenal v Leeds United H
    AFC Bournemouth v Fulham. D
    Brighton & Hove Albion v Brentford. H
    Newcastle United v Manchester United * 1-0
    Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund * 2-1

  • Manchester City v Liverpool * 1-1
    Arsenal v Leeds United H
    AFC Bournemouth v Fulham A
    Brighton & Hove Albion v Brentford H
    Newcastle United v Manchester United * 1-1
    Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund * 1-1

  • My predictions for the weekend’s selections are as follows:

    Manchester City v Liverpool * D (2-2)
    Arsenal v Leeds United H
    AFC Bournemouth v Fulham D
    Brighton & Hove Albion v Brentford H
    Newcastle United v Manchester United * H (2-1)
    Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund * H (3-1)

  • I am off grid this week on a fishing holiday on the East Coast. Had to climb a mountain to get a signal and read Kevs excellent post.
    GN5, I will post my scores when home on Sat evening.
    L.G, I am a West Auckland boy by birth, tho honored to be considered in the same breath as GN5 and Kev.
    Love to ya’all.

  • Wasn’t 100% sure when I wrote this, Stu – but in case I was wrong, I WAS sure it wouldn’t rub you the wrong way … Keep having fun, mate – photographs of catches, along with cooking recipes, are welcome.
    Kev, GN, “retsub” made me a wonderful gift when he sent me his january 13th, 1970 Arsenal – FC Rouen programme. There is a great black-and-white picture of the Rouen team, taken from behind the main stand (the only one with seats), a few yards from the old training ground, and a detailed, accurate, presentation of each player on the photograph. What amazed me most were the two pages by “Eric Batty, London freelance” about the history of my dear old local club. At a time when the internet wasn’t even a sci-fi writer’s dream, this was a real investigative job, not one word to add to, or to take off from … I’ve scanned every page of the programme, so in case you don’t have it, I could attach them to a mail if you ask me to.
    As far as collections go, I’ve kept all my membership season boxes, but the last one I got was in 2020-2021, the one with the playing cards.
    Sometimes we got scarves, beanies too. The season we faced Rennes in the Europa League (2018-2019), I had a PSG fan in one of my classes. I never hid my Arsenal addiction, actually I often used it in classes as a pretext for a lesson, so that the day after our 3-1 defeat away to Rennes, he asked me “Sir, before we start the new lesson, could you tell us a few words about Arsenal’s game in Rennes?” (in very good English, too, which made me happy).
    The other lads smiled, because of course he had told them all about his teacher’s winding-up plan. But students don’t always realize all we know about them, so that when I answered him: “Alright, I’ll do it but first you have to tell us what you think of PSG’s home defeat to Manchester United, which has knocked ’em out of the Champions’ League – again” (march 2019 this was), and the whole class burst out laughing.
    But it didn’t end there; as you all remember a few weeks later we made it to the Baku final, so that the morning of the game I turned up with one of these Arsenal scarves I had been sent, handed it to him and told him to watch the game with it around his neck … I’ve been in touch with the kid since because he has resumed English studies in college and sometimes he sends me a mail to ask me advice about translation, grammar, literature, etc. and lately he told me he still had the scarf …
    (As I finish writing this, I have a feeling I wrote about this anecdote before, but well … sorry if I did, this is what getting old does to you, I guess, and anyway this is an interlull, isn’t it? It’s not like I were clogging up space needed for new content about the title battle.)
    Scarves, beanies, handbooks, pins, programmes with actual reading content, I guess all of this, just like Adrian Clarke’s “Breakdown”, has been regarded as useless spending, …

  • Great post LeG, thanks for the offer but I have the Rouen programme, merci.

    I’m not sure that I’ve read that story of your PSG pupil,, it reminded me of the film Fever Pitch where Colin Firth played a schoolteacher who was a big Arsenal fan and his experience during 1988/89.

  • A very good read. Also heart warming to hear such rare praise from the managers about one another. They get away to a restaurant in Switzerland, from time to time, in retirement. How much more respect can you have for a fellow man?
    What I didn’t realize is that it took this long to induct Sir Alex Ferguson to the hall of fame. He won everything and the league an incredible number of times (13). That should have qualified him a while back. Same with Wenger, after going a whole season unbeaten in the league.

    The organizers must know better to honour a good man while he is alive….

  • Fantastic result for the ladies. Hope we can avoid Barcelona in the semis, so as to get a chance for the finals.

  • LeG, I watched a bit of the Ladies 2nd half, it was ok, the tackling lacked a bit of intensity but the standard is a lot higher that say 10/15 years ago.

  • GN5, I found a local pub with Wifi.

    Man City vs Liverpool….…….1-1
    Arsenal vs Leeds Utd……..…H
    Bournemouth vs Fulham…H
    Brighton vs Brentford………H
    Newcastle vs Man Utd……..1-1
    Bayern vs Dortmund………..2-1

    Thanks Total. March is the best month for fishing up here in the Far North. The fish are all fattening up in preparation for going deeper for winter. I fish off the rocks early in the morning, change of light always a good time, and I get to appreciate the East Coast sunrise.

    LG, I’ll e mail Total a photo which he is welcome to post (I can’t work out how to get a photo into my posts).
    1. Snapper fillets coated in beer batter with parsley, salt and pepper then deep fried crispy golden brown.
    2. Fillets pan fried in butter, parsley, salt and pepper, eaten with mashed potato’s and avocado.
    3. My Sarah’s fish curry which recipe is a family secret. (you’ll have to visit to appreciate it…)

    Kev, share your concerns for our Bukayu and the sadness of how Rocky, Jack and Rosicky were mistreated by opponents and what that mistreatment cost them and our club.
    I lived four years in the Czech Republic and was so excited when we signed Tomas who was revered in his home country as the “Little Mozart”. He is still one of my all time favourite Arsenal midfielders.

    Big weekend coming up. COYG.

  • Cheers Stu, the fishing sounds idyllic and no need for wellington boots as you can walk on water… 😄

  • Thanks Stu, prediction’s are always better when made with a beer in your hand.

    I just love fishing stories, one of the great loves in my life were the camping/canoeing/fishing adventures in Northern Ontario with my late brother in law. I have many pictures, but like yourself I have no idea how to add them to my posts.

    I wish I could enjoy one of your family fish dinners and the wonders of New Zealand – but it’s way too far for me to travel.

  • Manchester City v Liverpool * H (2-1)
    Arsenal v Leeds United H
    AFC Bournemouth v Fulham D
    Brighton & Hove Albion v Brentford H
    Newcastle United v Manchester United * H (2-1)
    Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund * A (2-1)

  • Any wonder the club is being hawked on every trading market, including OLX, Amazon and Ali Baba? 🤷🏽‍♂️😀

  • Interesting reading an interview with Tammy Abraham regarding his departure from Chelsea and how he was set to join Arsenal. Then Jose Mourinho rang him and asked if he fancied some sunshine in Rome anddespite his Father and the rest of his family being big Arsenal fans he and his agentthought a change of country and culture seemed the way to go – and to be fair he’s done ok in Serie A a league where strikers go to die. He’s won the European Conference at Roma but not really broken into the England squad and that must irritate him. Would he have developed more at Arsenal, would he be an England regular if he’d come to Arsenal?

    I think the train has left the station regarding Arsenal now, I feel that Arteta and Edu are looking elsewhere, the same I believe is the case with , Arteta doesn’t dwell, if you’re up for the process he lookselsewhere and never goes back, as a rule.

  • the same I believe is the case with Vlahovic.

    if you’re NOT up for the process

  • I’m quite interested to see where the striker focus is in the summer as we’re linked with the young Danish guy who looks a rough diamond but very interesting and I quite prefer that direction rather than Vlahovic and his money-motivated agent or Abraham who is yesterday’s project.

  • The decision over Balogun is going to be fascinating because young Flo could be next seasons sensation or he could be another Joe Willock on a hot streak, that is going to be so so crucial because we don’t want another Andrew Cole but it’s going to be such a tough path to choose because this could be his optimum value or not as the case might be?

  • I guess it could all depend on the value of the bids Arsenal get versus how he might develop in this team – or not?

  • Agree, Kev. Had Abraham made the right decision, first time, he would have been a regular with the English squad. I really looked forward to him joining as he is quick, has presence, is good in the air and got some skills. He would have scored a lot of goals with us. Alas! He is in the past now and missed the boat there. I have no interest in Vlahovic.

  • That’s exactly how I feel Eris, I prefer young hungry players who want to learn and are prepared to fight for their chance. If Arsenal bring in another striker he’ll have to accept being behind Jesus and maybe Trossard andfighting it out with Nketiah, it’s why I worry that we’ll lose Balogun, he’s got big plans and being 3rd in line at Arsenal isn’t I suspect, one of them.

    LeG that looked great, I read some of it but it’s late and I’m a bit knackered. His closing down certainly suits our style but playing against a low-block would be a new experience as I imagine that Reims tend to be the team under pressure and Flo therefore has more space to operate in. Doesn5 mean he can’t and won’t improv3in that regard it’s just I have this feeling that he’ll want certain promises from Arteta abou5 playing time and Mikel May not be able to or willing to accede to his wishes?
    I’ve no proof it’s just a hunch…

    Total I think tha5 Arteta is looking for a differen5 type of forward, someone more dynamic in the air and physical. As for cover for Bukayo, that could be Nelson whilst we’re waiting to see if Cozier-Duberry can cut it?

  • Interesting discussion about Baligol. My feeling is the club will cash in on him. Jesus, Leo and Eddie all have years in front of them. A big lad as an option might be a needed fourth striker.

    Leeds in the morning. I still have nightmares about their win over us at Highbury in ’03, which ended our chances of winning the league. Viduka’s winner was a yard offside.
    I fancy us for a good win, hopefully following City dropping points to ‘pool.
    See ya’all in the morning, boys.

  • Kev, It could and should be Nelson indeed. With CL footie to come I think we need to have assurances on the right, so a Trossard like Winger on the right is highly likely to join us this summer.

  • I think Balogun will get his chance. Kev makes a good point about space so we need to see how he copes with low blocks, but he looks like a future great CF.

    It’s a hunch but I think Eddie will move on this summer.

  • I confess: I didn’t read it all myself, Kev. I like my football to remain as impressionistic as possible, I don’t like it to be brought down to stats or diagrams (which we can’t escape nowadays, though). So let’s be more precise: what I read looked interesting to me, “interesting” here doesn’t mean I agree with all the conclusions – I don’t.
    About Fo, I’ve toyed with a “what if?” scenario lately. Let’s say he’s Brazilian, not Anglo-American. He’s never set foot in London, and certainly not in Colney. He’d gone under all the scouts’ radars ‘til Reims signed him up on a one-year-contract, so that he’ll be on a free at the end of the season. All the Honest Johns and Gideon the Cats have been circling around his Reims home since that goal he scored against PSG, when he made a fool of Ramos, Marquinhos, and Donnarumma. Too bad for them, though his Brazilian buddies, it’s Edu who’s about to lure the kid to THoF … The whole Arsenal fandom would be on cloud nine, singing the praises of our sporting director, celebrating his genius, revelling in how attractive our club has become again, wouldn’t they? … Letting him slip through our hands would simply not be an option, so that I don’t think it is at the moment in the minds of the club’s deciders, either. I’d bet quite a few bucks on his remaining an Arsenal player next summer, and maybe, just maybe, at some point, considering he might be competition for GJ9’s spot in the starting XI will even no longer be regarded as sacrilege.
    I don’t think we could have dreamed of a better backup for Bukayo than Cozier-Duberry, Kev (and yes if he could share the load with Reiss, that’d look better to me still). Even the age-gap (4 years) is ideal. You don’t get backups for players like Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappé, or … Saka on the “market”. All of them were/are high up there, in a class of their own. All we could get in an Antony/Raphinha/Ousmane Dembélé kind of player, at an eye-watering price, all the more eye-watering since he’d be very likely to do a “Pépé” on the club after signing the thing. What City is allowed to do, with Alvarez backing up Haaland, is a crime against football imo – the 23-y-o World Champions CF being paid unfathomable (for the “common man”) sums of money, in order NOT to play; I cling to the hope that our club will never be found guilty of that kind of financial cheating.
    You stirred bad memories with that ’03 game, Stu … I am wary of that Leeds bunch, they look unreadable, unpredictable to me, but I still think we have a safety margin … and GJ9 is very likely to ne hungry for goals.
    COYG (finally!!)

  • Great points one and all, yes Total, Balogun may well stay and put me in my place and I’d be very happy with that, Eddie leaving I’m not sure about but who knows, he might get frustrated and next January could be a prime target for those clubs in danger?

    Yes LeG I too wear my football heart on my sleeve and find graphs lack that emotivefeeling that I crave from my football, but the text was informative, well the text I could read before nodding off, I just wonder how Edu and Arteta will play their Balogun hand if the offers for Flo become to hot to ignore? I guess the decision will be based around pre-season and the technical proficiency plus improvement Flo shows?

    It’s going to be an enticing pre-CL summer.


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