Archive for October, 2004

Batman not required as Robin comes to the rescue…

2 comments October 31st, 2004

The run of spectacularly bad headlines continues.

Robin van Persie is one of the rawest, yet most exciting young talents I’ve ever seen in this country. Back on the 10th July I told you that his performance at Barnet had me “drooling”, and I think that kind of ability is now beginning to shine through.

His last minute equaliser in yesterday’s 2-2 draw against Southampton was one of pure, expolsive brilliance.

His step-overs and mazy dribbles are reminiscent of Cristiano Ronaldo.

His perceptive passing and upright posture trigger comparisons with Bergkamp.

He shoots with the ferocity of Hasselbaink, whilst his arrogance and passion inspire association with Henry.

By the end of this season, he will be the heir apparent to DB10’s throne.

A 2-2 draw with Southampton is no disaster, especially when you consider the nature of the game. We didn’t play particularly well, and were in fact losing with just a few minutes left.

Plus, Man U lost to Pompey.

Harry’s a Gooner, don’t you know.

Happy Halloween.

Wenger’s a Loon for Karbasiyoon

572 comments October 28th, 2004

I have no evidence to support that headline. I don’t care.

After Arsene finally put pen to paper on his brand new 3 year deal yesterday, you felt that our kids might feel particularly inspired to see off Manchester City last night.

And Lo, they did.

Pascal Cygan (who impressed as captain) and Manuel Almunia were the only players aged over 21 as Wenger’s Wonderkids dispatched City in a convincing 2-1 victory.

Robin van Persie impressed, and notched his first goal for the club following what Wenger described as a “typically Arsenal” move. The relief in his celebration was obvious – up to then he’d been so desperate to impress that he was almost trying too hard. His talent, though, remains unquestionable.

The second goal came from spectacularly-named substitute Danny Karbasiyoon, who finished brilliantly after good work from Cesc and Quincy.

All of the above mentioned were excellent, but special mention must go to Philippe Senderos, who, making his long-awaited competetive debut for the club, looked worthy of the hype.

Robbie Fowler’s free-kick came too late to be of any real significance.

Apparently, David Dein has met with David Gill to ensure there will be no repeat of any pizza-throwing antics.


That won’t be funny.

Ashley Cole has a much better idea, threatening to sue Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Go on Ash. For a laugh.

Cole gives Ferguson a Pizza his mind…

1,151 comments October 27th, 2004

…Or so The Sun would have us believe.

The Sun also contributed to possibly the least funny newspaper stunt that I have ever come accross. I’ll allow Steven Howard the honour of explaining:

Yesterday Arsenal stars shunned The Sun as we took two pizzas to their training ground at London Colney, Herts â?? topped with CAPERS naturally.”

You’re not misreading that. Look:

Robin van Persie declines The Sun's offer of some pizza.  Because they're cunts.

Choker … Arsenal’s Robin van Persie shuns Sun pizza yesterday“.

The most surreal thing that I’ve ever come accross? Quite possibly. Personally, I feel sorry for those two devastated fans. They wait hours for training to end, desperate to catch a glimpse of their heroes, and then the players won’t even take a slice of The Sun’s generously donated pizza. Imagine their heart-ache. We were warned about van Persie’s attitude.

Speaking of Robin van Persie, anyone whose sad enough to have been following the progress of this blog will have noted that one commenter, Blogasaurus Rex, made a very odd prediction before the Manchester City game. I quote:

“On the prediction front: “Robin Van Persie will score his first Arsenal Goal”, predicted the Blogasaurus, of the Man City game, in what appeared to be a remarkably astute piece of punditry. However, Blogasaur continued; “after coming on as a submarine”, before concluding “in full costume.”

He later added:

“Ladbrokes: Robin Van Persie to score first goal for Arsenal dressed as a submarine – 7/1 – Worth a flutter.”

In the aftermath of the City game, he re-appeared, claiming:

Robin Van Persie scored a secret goal dressed as a submarine, and him and edu had to celebrate in the tunnel because it was a secret.”

I had always dismissed the Blogasaurus’ claims as ridiculous; sheer, unadulterated lunacy. A submarine, say you?

But then I recieved an email from a contact inside Highbury’s security system that changed everything.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:

The Proof.

Robin van Persie celebrates within his submarine-esque disguise.

Ps. Manuel Almunia, Philippe Senderos, Cesc, Ryan Smith, Jermaine Pennant, and van Persie himself are all set for starts in tonight’s Carling Cup game against Man City. Come on you (young) gooners.

UPDATE: You just finish your blog, and then Arsene goes and signs a new 3 year contract. If the man wasn’t such a legend, I might be a little peeved.

Get in.

Still Invincible

13 comments October 25th, 2004

The dust settles, and we’re still invincible.

The storm has passed, and Highbury still stands – an emblem of footballing beauty unparalleled anywhere in the world.

I didn’t fear the end of our unbeaten record.

It’s there now. The record book is closed. 49 unbeaten games. That will stand forever. The fact that Manchester United beat us 2-0 in the 50th game of our run will be dust on the mantle of our brimming trophy cabinet within a few years.

That record – 49 games without defeat – will remain.

Yesterday was a one-off. An anomaly. Some would have you believe that this was the day when we were finally repayed for Robert Pires’ tumble in the box against Portsmouth, all those months ago. There’ve been a few close calls – some lucky escapes – and yesterday could have been another of those.

But it wasn’t. Thanks to Mike Riley and a rash moment from Sol Campbell, it wasn’t. We lost.

And that’s what defeat feels like.

Savour it. This is football. Days like yesterday are, in the end, why we all love the game. For the highs and the lows. You can’t take one without the other. You can live in dreamland for 49 games, but sooner or later, you’ll have to look defeat in the eye and overcome it.

Which is exactly what this Arsenal side will do.

You can’t go 49 games unbeaten without a ridiculous amount of mental strength.

And what’s more, we’re still Arsenal.

Still Champions.

Still Invincible.


Immortality Awaits

64 comments October 24th, 2004

As Arsenal stand on the threshold of 50 glorious games unbeaten, far be it from me to suggest that Arsene makes any change to his traditional pre-match speech. However…

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or block the goal up with Arsenal dead,
In training there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of the referees whistle blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let it pry through the portage of the head
Like the cannon on our crest; let the bow o’erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth the East Stand
O’erhang and jutty his confounded enemy,
Swill’d with the wild and raucous crowd.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English/French,
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Adams’,
Have in these parts from morn till even played
And put away their footballs for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your agents; now attest
That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of Tottenham blood,
And teach them how to play, And you, good players,
Whose kits were made in England(…probably), show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your transfer fee; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in the eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit and upon this charge
Cry Goal for Arsene, Arsenal, and Charlie George!

Game on.

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