Stone Cold Friday: Dances With Wolves

Like Mongo, he’s only a pawn in the game of life. But anyway, he’s pitched up once more this Friday morning. Here’s Darius

It’s been a funny week. What happened at St. James’ Park was akin to robbery with violence, a state of affairs not helped by a Neanderthal culture which sees nothing wrong with the public mugging that took place.

It shouldn’t matter that in part, we contrived to leave the front door open for the said bandits; any seasoned thief taker wouldn’t have hesitated to collar the match officials for such a travesty.

Like many of you, I’m still suffering withdrawal from that trauma having resorted to the proverbial industrial strength mouthwash to try and clean the bitter taste left in my mouth. Perhaps the international break was a good cooling off period, giving the team enough time to contemplate the sheer magnitude of the task that sits in front of them.

Maybe we’re finally learning the tricks of old with man flu and a dodgy belly giving our two talisman licence to avoid the Wild West that is international football. Lessons are also being learnt elsewhere if we’re to read into the institutional silence that the Arsenal has taken regarding the public airing of their grievances on the pitch.

Tupac Shakur couldn’t have put it better in his 1996 hit “It’s just me against the world baby!”

Somehow, I think that the train wreck last weekend was a watershed moment in the maturity of this team. I think the penny has dropped and they know that it’s naive to expect any favours from anyone; it’s dangerous to try and take on the juggernaut head on; and we’re going to have to do this the hard way.

It doesn’t make it any easier that we have to rise out of the shadows by facing this seasons giant killers. We literally have to dance with the Wolves, who for most part can’t even buy a win against the relegation strugglers who surround them as they prop the league table.

Yet the Wolves have mauled Chelsea, Man United, Man City and Liverpool. And if it wasn’t for Wookash Fabianski’s world class one handed save that turned defence into attack – giving Chamakh an unhindered view of the whites of the Wolves keeper’s eyes within 3 seconds, we would have been another statistic of this giant killing.

With 39 points up for grabs in the Premier League; a trip to Wembley and a chance to remove that blasted “they haven’t won a trophy in 6 years” monkey off our backs; and another lower league land mine in Leyton who are hell bent in stopping us getting to the FA Cup quarter-final – we have no time to feel sorry for ourselves.

And of course, there’s a small matter of Broke Back Barca riding into town for some unfinished business. A trip that wouldn’t be complete without their chief verbal diarrhoea expert Xavi Hernandez already spewing bile about DNA, prodigal sons and I don’t know what else. To his credit though, the punk also admits “But the thing with Cesc is that there is a problem — he is now worth a lot of money”.

If Andy Carroll commands £35 million, I suspect he’s worried that they can’t afford one of the top 5 players in the world whose stock went through the roof with his assist for the World Cup winning goal.

What isn’t in question though is that we need to buckle up, hold on to our hats and face the beast. This right here ladies and gentlemen, is what we subscribed to.

My wife and other close friends tell me that when Arsenal loses a game, or something like the debacle of last weekend happens; I take things too personally. This of course coming from someone who has only recently regained the ability to watch her beloved Chelsea live after their capitulation.

I suspect though, that many of you can testify to the sleepless nights; the tossing and turning; the anguish over what could, should or would have; the cursing of every pundit and hack who bears their ugly mug to pass judgement; or the exile to the bunker and media blackout that follows a loss or freak result like last weekend.

My sense is that for the players and manager, these emotions are amplified 10 fold. In August last year, the Arsenal head chef Rob Fagg spoke vividly in a radio interview of how the players and other staff are affected by any loss and how they adversely react; and he and Ray Parlour passionately and vociferously argued against anyone who suggests that the players don’t care.

What happens from here on requires all of us to surmount incredible odds. We don’t have the luxury of moaning about signings that didn’t happen, or which players we like or don’t like, or succumbing to the misguided truths and convenient lies peddled in the narratives against Arsenal.

It’s us against the world – and a siege mentality is exactly what we need right now. We cannot expect our team to rise to the challenge if we ourselves succumb to the pressure. It’s no time to hide behind the sofa, or hope that fortune will favour the righteous. The bastards – the whole lot of them – are going to make it impossible in this last mile.

I can’t recall how many times it’s been said that the next period is this team’s biggest challenge yet. I would argue that it’s just one of the next challenges that we must overcome. The only way the team have got this far is by navigating all the obstacles that have been put in front of them.

We must continue the belief, and we must continue the vocal support in the stadium and out on the streets and on the web.

Make no mistake, Arsenal’s success is inevitable. It will have monumental implications for the way football is played, financed and managed. It will throw a grenade into a status quo that has cemented the reign of a decaying football establishment.

Let’s all fight the good fight.

til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 11, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 181 Comments.

  1. Lets put pressure on the scumbags!

  2. I certainly hope last weekend was the moment when the team finally matured. Let’s just go and prove it against Wolves and beyond.

  3. United – City, barring an early goal, will hopefully be a dull, lifeless 0-0 draw, so let’s step up and take three points from Wolves with a performance like our first half against Newcastle.

    Two points off the top heading into our game with Barca would be a great boost.

  4. Wolves as we all know can be a dangerous, under-estimated side, but if we work hard, simply that, we will win and perhaps we might see a tide turning sooner than we think. Have no doubt the lads are up for this, right to the end. What an excellent piece today, especially the grenade.

  5. great write up!yep,it’s us against the evil empire(manure) & all their minions(refs,media,british managers mafia)etc-

  6. Agree with your overall point that we are going to have to do this the hard way; I think that, given that we have the strongest squad in years thanks to a relatively forgiving injury list, our biggest enemy may in fact lie within our own support. I personally wince every single time an Arsenal play breaks down at the Emirates and 55,000 voices sigh in anguished unison, or opposition teams hit a purple patch, no matter how brief, and all you can hear for minutes at a time are the chants of the Away support.

    As has been said many times on this blog, and in vastly more eloquent terms than these, if opposition teams are going to recruit the ref to their ranks to swell their numbers to 12, then our own crowd has to swell our own numbers to 13! Simple as.

    We can do it – but will we? If the team are that committed to get this far on four competitions this late in the season then the least we can do is match their committment and JUST GO FOR IT with the unconditional support of champions for champions.

    Looking forward to tomorrow …

  7. Wolves maybe coming up but my focus is on Barca. They humiliated us last time. It’s a game of divided loyalties down here. Half the Kenya gooners desert the team when it comes to Barca. Same thing with the Mancs and Chelsea fans. Barca is thought of as “entertainment per excel lance.” So the nervousness is creeping in. We’ve got to give it all we’ve got. I’d hate Arsenal to beat Barca playing ugly, but I’d get over it!

  8. Yes! Good post Darius.

    Your right, we always seem to be entering into a big/important stage in the season. I guess that means we care and we take things seriously. Fans who claim the players don’t care coudn’t be any further of the mark. Again these are just rumblings of people set in the mindset of English grit “getting into them” and wot not.

    Is it true that the only way to prove you care about your club is to brake rival players legs?

  9. We are The Arsenal.

  10. If Mancini’ script is the same in this derby than his previous outings against the big boys, this week end provides a golden opportunity not only to close the gap at the top but also to distance man city. But to do this, the team will first need to forget the horror show that unfolded on the Tyne and hope wolves will not follow the bar codes example.

    On other news Marca’s front page says Real have a 60 million € cheque and a Benzema ready to be send to us in return for a Cesc. The good thing about the Chelsea and now the real rumour is that, knowing Cesc would only leave Arsenal to go to Barca, those rumours will effectively price Barca out of a move.

  11. Get in there! And believe

  12. I’ve just realised that I’m going to be on a fucking coach for the first Barca game, and wont be able to watch it..!! Absolutely fucking gutted. My girlfriend’s got an i phone, does anyone know of a way to get a good stream on there?

    Can’t believe it. Really pissed off now.

  13. Sorry Darius – Good post!

  14. ## We love you arsenal… we do
    ## We love you arsenal… we do
    ## We love you arsenal… we do
    ## We love you arsenal… we do

    ## We love you arsenal… we do
    ## We love you arsenal… we do
    ## We love you arsenal… we do
    ## We love you arsenal… we do

    ## We love you arsenal… we do
    ## We love you arsenal… we do
    ## We love you arsenal… we do
    ## We love you arsenal… we do

  15. Thanks Darius. Just about got over Saturday’s travesty too.

  16. ARSE PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER 5

    1. Harry Rednapp
    2. Alex Ferguson
    3. Myles Palmer
    4. Jose Mourniho
    5. Adrian Durham

  17. Love it, Darius.
    And people, maturity is a process, not a single step.

    Great post, ArsenalAndrew.

    From now until the endof the season, every single match is going to be as tough as the Barca matches. This is not the time for wishful thinking, carping or equivocation – 100% backing, 100% of the time, for the manager and every single player.

    Arsenal for Ever.

  18. I got over Saturday’s result very quickly – the ref horror show and the fact that we ended up gaining a point on ManU, did it for me.

  19. PLUNDIT STINK LIST – TOP 5

    1. Stan Doggymore
    2. Tony Cascarino
    3. Tony Gale
    4. Trevor Francis
    5. Alan Green

  20. re: ARSE PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER 5

    whose Adrian Durham?

  21. “I got over Saturday’s result very quickly – the ref horror show and the fact that we ended up gaining a point on ManU, did it for me.”

    FG – Same here. Onto Wolves, the ‘giant killers’.

  22. What a star you are ArsenalAndrew.

  23. Longblackcloud,

    Adrian Durham is a TalkShite radio presenter 4pm-7pm weekdays, who attacks arsenal and Arsene Wenger on a regular basis.

  24. Wenger positive Djourou and Song will be fit to play against Wolves. Denilson is back in the squad.

    http://xrl.in/77ga

  25. Good post Darius.

    Lets hope that we’ve recovered from the second half capitulation at Newcastle.. I think we have enough to deal with the pack of wolves as usual.

    Any news on Song’s injury status and Denilson too? Will really be gutted if neither of them is available..

  26. Vey good Darius!

    Still all to play for. A tough game tomorow but we shoulfd do it. Points to be dropped either way in the manc derby. Tomorow could be the perfect way to set us up for Farca- loan- ya.

  27. should* very*… fuck sake its too early…I’m off for marmite on oatcakes. Anyone want any?

  28. Muppet: Thanks for the clarification. How can anybody listen to that station? its like the mail “I only read/listen to it for the racism”

  29. Tateezee – Song and Djourou are having tests today, and we should know in around and hour what the results are. Song is looking likely to be back, Djourou possibly…. Not sure about Denni.

  30. Haven’t listened to Talkshite for years, why bother?

  31. @Muppet…

    Andy Townsend?

  32. Geo.

    Your best bet is to download the Arsenal TV I-Phone app, or run the BBC Iplayer where you can listen to either an Arsenal friendly commentary from Arsenal’s Dan Roebuck – or the colourful Alan Green (who I see makes Muppet’s list) and Mike Ingam from BBC.

    Speaking of Dan Roebuck – I laughed at his commentary last Saturday as you could feel his pain though he was trying very hard to remain objective as a commentator. At one point he distanced what he was about to say as not being the views of AFC and should never be construed as AFC’s views – before he went into a personal tirade against Phil Daud….LOL!

  33. Awww Geo that seriously sucks. That Iphone problem won’t easy to sort. I know of applications that can stream videos to Ipods, but live feeds will be difficult. I think Ipod’s are notoriously difficult to run many video types onto them.

    I’ll just say now I was typing this then got sidetracked with bloody work. It may not be relevant anymore but i’ll post it anyway.

  34. Denilson back in the squad, too.

  35. Cheers Darius, much appreciated…! Not too clued up to thse new-fangled eye-phonepad thingies. Nice one though, will do that for sure 🙂

    And Arsenal-friendly commentary?? What?! Need to check Danny boy out me thinks… sounds like a refreshing change!

  36. Thanks Els, hopefully one of Darius’ suggestions will suffice… Pesky work eh? Getting in the way of our serious business 😉

  37. I got a stream of the reserves match a couple of weeks back – and was shocked to hear Dan Roebuck commentating for Chelsea TV. And boy, their commentary makes ATVO’s sound detached and neutral. I felt like a jilted lover.

  38. Geo,

    iphone.tvcatchup.com

    Frigging awesome site that’ll allow you to stream any free uk based channel to your phone! You’ll have to register, but it is pretty awesome

  39. hahaha OOU!

    Wicked, thanks Gadget! I’ll get on that tonight… I would have totally re-organised my travelling plans if I’d known, wouldn’t miss it for the world. That sounds like just the ticket, cheers again!

  40. And before I forget, I’m loving the Blazing Saddles’ reference Yogi! Awesome movie! Mel Brooks at his finest.

    And that was quite rousing stuff Darius. My sword hand went to unsheath Mary Jane in salute, but alas, I’m at work and she’s nowhere near, so I punched the sky instead.

    Fuck

    Them

    All

  41. I just hope you get good 3G reception Geo! if you don’t, not even the sky sports centre app will work properly.

    Anyway, I believe the match is being shown on ITV4. Incredulous really

  42. No bother Geo, I was less than helpful though 🙂

    Yes don’t get me started about these work types I’m surrounded by. Do they not even know…

  43. Muppet, what no Mike Riley or Fufa or FA?

    Why didn’t he buy in January? Smalling will start for Manure 🙂
    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/878801/manchester-united-defender-chris-smalling-set-for-derby-start?cc=5739

  44. Darius
    Thanks for that. After the debacle that was last Saturday it is a relief to have another match to think about. I have decided that any time a so called pundit talks about the miraculous come back of New Castle ( No mention of the ref or the theatrics of JB) I stick my fingers in my ears and sing loudly.

  45. I don’t even know that Gadget! But i’ll do a few tests before the day, see how it goes… Out of ignorance, I’m not really sure how it all works, do you think i’d be able to get good 3G on a coach?

    els – I keep trying to tell my colleagues/managers the importance of constant Arsenal banter/debate/updates, but they just don’t get it. Must be Man U fans, or just way too committed to running a charity. The cheek of it.

  46. “Charity sharmity.

    Come on you gunners!”

    You can use that. Try it on them. I feel that may just turn them over a new leaf.

  47. Nasri back in training – Nasri back for Barca? Bench?

  48. Thanks Geo for the update…appreciate

  49. A draw at the Manc’s derby would be lovely. If we beat Wolves we cut the lead down to two points and we get a full three points plus a game in hand away from the petro-millionaires.

  50. Caxter, rushing Samir for the Barca match might be detrimental on the long run (remember Gallas last year?). I think we have enough ammo to win a home game against Barca.

    I’ll rather he be left for the second leg, atleast give them something else to think of..

  51. Superb post Darius and brilliant comments from almost everyone above. Another 50000 like you lot on match days and we would carry them over the line without a problem.

  52. Alas, that one didn’t work els..! Worth a try though eh? lol.

    No worries Tateezee.

  53. I agree with Tateezee re Nasri. We can bring out our secret weapon in the away leg. Wouldn’t want him out for any longer than necessary. Wenger has been much more gradual with bringing players back this year, and our relatively healthy injury list shows it’s working well – that, and the obvious overall squad improvement, meaning less risk in rotating players… I really want Chamakh to get a goal soon, hopefully it’ll spark his season back into life.

  54. Big midfield. With Song, Denilson, Diaby, Wilshere, Fabregas, Nasri, Arshavin, Rosicky and Ramsey. Add those on the wings like Frimpong, Lansbury, Eastmond and JET. I’m afraid a major sale is about to take place. 13 midfielders and we probably only need 8 as the academy will always provide “wings.” I’m very afraid for Denilson and his my favourite midfielder! Also worried for Rosicky and Arshavin.

  55. Have you still got a job Geo?

    Haha, I hope so.

  56. Haha! I didn’t really try it els! If they knew how much time i spend on Arsenal websites, I wouldn’t have a job that’s for sure… I work in a very calm and sensible working environment, so it’s all minimised windows, the less arsenal logos and adverts the better!

  57. @ joshua/Passenal

    Read your posts about football intelligence from last blog. I make the same inference.

  58. West Ham just won bid for Olympic Stadium. Wonder where the Spuds are going to now???

  59. WHam haven’t won – they have secured the recommendation from the Olympic legacy board, or whatever their full name is. The decision will be made by the Mayor of London and some MPs, I think. Sp*ds are still in it.

  60. Kenyan, the only player I fear may be sold is TR7. I think it would be age that would be a factor. As Wenger will have complete and utter unwavering faith in all the listed players abilities. If a 30 year old who is in a dark patch (form is temporary, class is permanent) is in the way of Ramsey, Wilshire, JET, Lansbury, Frimpong, Coquelin, Anuk then he may be the name to go.

    Don’t get me wrong I really hope he finishes his career here. That is my only possible negative with being an Arsenal fan. The policy of Wengerball brings us so so so very much, but we don’t get the legends playing to the point were they hang there boots up here and stick around to coach. I almost (ALMOST!) envy that about the Giggs, Scholes, Neville situations of Man Utd.

    Hopefully though it will change with more and more players coming through the team from such a young age. Perhaps no money or Wenger giving players the ‘Choice’ to decide if they would like to move on for more first team football will end in us loosing the older players.

    However, despite these policy’s it’s a testament to the way players are handled and also in the contracts do end that many players ‘legends’ to come back here to train or take part in bit part coaching roles. I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up with an ex player in a serious coaching role before long.

  61. Why don’t they just share the stadium? West Ham could keep half the track!

  62. els, with Aneke and co in the wings we’ll be spoilt for choice. Remember the saying that: “Too many cooks spoil the brooth?” Imagine a team with two Cesc’s, two Nasri’s, two Wilshere’s, etc. I don’t think the mancs golden generation will compare with what’s coming out of our academy. It’s scary – for the opposition of course!

  63. 1-0 in the 92nd minute will be perfect. Hope we dont go 4 up early on!
    and someone kidnap squillaci before the match.

  64. I’d have to agree with KG, we’re so blessed in the midfield position that I’m beginning to get scared that some of our players might become disatisfied with lack of adequate playing time and may want to leave.

    Some of the younger players like Ramsey and Wilshire still need the more established ones around, so no need to allow an exodus of players, but really I fear for players such as TR7 and ND15..what does the future hold for them?

  65. @Tateezee,

    Andy Townsend ? Are you from overseas ? He is a well known commentator over here. Does ITV and features on Talk Shite.

    @FinnGunn,

    I’ll take note of those ! Forgot to mention Phil Dowd !

    @longblackcloud,

    Yep. I think it has comedy value – nothing else.

  66. Ignore the troll. Ignore the troll. Ignore the troll.

    Did anyone hear how the FA are implementing a one game ban at club level for English players who feint illness to escape the internationals? Chelsea and Man U won’t be up to their old tricks now!

    Geo, here’s a handy link to a various 3g coverage maps: http://www.compare3gmobilebroadband.co.uk/3g-coverage-uk.htm
    You can check for which ever network you’re gf’s on.

  67. For Wolves

    ———–Schzzzz————
    Bac——SS—–Lk——GC
    ——-Deny—————–
    ————-Diaby———-
    TW——-Cesc—–TR7/AA
    ———-Chamakh——–

  68. For Barca-

    ————-Schezzz————-
    King EE—JD—Kos—Clichy
    —–Song——Jacky Boy—
    ————Cesc————-
    Theo——RVP——-AA

  69. @ mj_gunner – Diaby is suspended & TR7 is out with a groin problem. So Wilshere in place of Diaby and may be Song in for Deni for me.

  70. SCAPEGOATS OF THE WEEK

    1. Squillachi
    2. Eboue
    3. Rosicky
    4. Denilson
    5. Almunia

  71. Gadget, you legend, cheers mate 🙂

    I was seriously panicking about not being able to see my beloveds against the only other team to share our footballing philosophies. They are going to be great games, full of the best football that will have been seen for years. Without your help Gadget, I may well have missed out on this glorious occasion… So thanks!

    And re the FA thing, hopefully it’s not just come about because of RvP and Cesc’s illnesses…

  72. @Muppet

    Yes I don’t live in the UK, but whenever I watch premier league matches, Andy Townsend doesn’t seem to ever talk well about the Arsenal…so I was wondering what position he would take on your list.

  73. Tateezee,

    Definitely in the top 10 ! One of the english grit will conquer all plundits. Even though we usually get outclassed in major tournaments.

  74. yeah Zama, you are right, Wilshere it is then. I wonder what’s the status of Aaron’s match fitness?

  75. Surely scapegoat number 1 is Denilson.

  76. @mj_gunner – In fact I watched his last match against Swansea and he showed pretty good touches. In the first half he made a typical run and then unleashed a powerful shot to draw a good save from the keeper. He’s getting back to his own self IMO.

  77. yeh i think he will sell arsharvin if he finds a good replacement. hes in his last yar of contract too and Zenith says they will buy him back if he wnts to go home, they are a loaded club after all. Hes also old. But hes really good when he wants to, lets alteast hope he has a great season from now and out.

  78. Geo

    heartbreaking about the Barca news. I’m planning on submitting my request for a personal day for Wednesday this afternoon (145 pm starts and all) and really feel for you.

    One site I’ve had success with is “Veetle”. try it out on her iphone this weekend with an EPL game to see if it works. I watched a very important NFL Packers game when stuck on the runway on my iPhone on Veetle with great success.

    Good luck to you my brother

  79. Great post Darius:

    The Barca tie is the glamour event of the season, but if we have to prioritize I would love to see us finish the year with the CC, FA cup, PL title. The first should be a tap in birdie, the 2nd a straight up hill 6 footer and the 3rd an up hill 12 footer with just a little break. Red vs. Blue Mancs is a real chance to see the lead down to less then 3 points. If we are ahead of the red Mancs when they come to the Emirates they will need 3 points and it will have the same effect on that game as us getting an early goal. If they need 3 points instead of just 1 they will not be able to park the bus which changes everything about the game.

    3 trophies would go a very long long way to ending all of the misery with the media and the fans. Wolves are a potential trap game so I hope we play our strongest line up and worry about Barca starting on Sunday.

  80. NJ – heartbreaking news indeed! A personal day sounds like a good plan… I’ll check that too for sure. The more chances I have of an uninterrupted viewing, the better..! Unfortunately, I booked the coach and flights and everything weeks ago to get it mega cheap, not even thinking about the game… Fool!

    I’m impressed with all these suggestions from you guys, really is appreciated. It will make my journey so much more bareable, especially seeing us beating ‘the best team in the world’!!

    Many thanks to you NJ – as well as the others!

  81. Beat Barca, beat the world!

  82. Bill Simmons, an amercian sportswriter, talks about a sports videogame that he used to play that would switch into what he called “fuck you” mode. For one game in the season, the computer would become unbeatable, no matter how good you were. It was like the computer was saying “fuck you”.

    He applies this to players and teams that get so mad they want to crush their opponents, and they don’t care who hates them. The will run up the score. In the NFL the 2007 New England Patriots humiliated teams after a everyone piled on criticizing them after a scandal. They raised their collective middle fingers and said “fuck you” to the league by crushing other teams, and didn’t care who hated them for it.

    We’ll find out tomorrow, but I think Arsenal is about to switch into “fuck you” mode. If they do, this is going to be the best three months of our sporting lives.

  83. Haha nolagunner! Definitely time to switch into ‘Fuck You’ mode!!

  84. While I was in Canada working for half a year I did it all the time. Took the afternoon of for CL and cup games. Thank god my boss was fine with it.

  85. In other news: RVP and Cesc are fit again! And here I was fearing that their sickness would be something more serious *nudgenudgewinkwink*

  86. The Girlfriend has been in “Fuck You” mode these last 3 days. Which is kind of ironic as nothing of the sort has happened in that space of time. This morning before she stormed off to work she asked me if there was an Arsenal game on this weekend and if so, when? In a moment of pure genius I answered yes, there was one on Saturday and the lads and I where going to go watch it. She replied that the lads indeed where but I was not as we are spending the day with her family as it is her father’s 70th birthday. My offer to have him join the lads and I was met with “That Look” and quickly withdrawn. She said I will just have to watch it on DVR on Sunday. Oh and by the way she and her 2 sisters where going to David’s to get their hair done on Sunday morning, and to not expect her back until around 4p.m. When I started to reply she simply left for work…………….:) BOOOO YAAAH!!!

  87. Who gives a fuck about ‘all of the misery with the media and the fans’, Bill?

  88. Tell her to fuck off, Irishgray. You are incompatible.

  89. hahahahaaaaa! Nice one Irish.

    I always find the best way to diffuse these “Fuck You” modes is to let them have there say. Sit and listen, take it all in. Really make sure she knows your interested. Then tell her “That was a nice story”

    Then run like fuck. Preferably to the pub, or the match if your lucky enough.

  90. I think I’m gonna subscribe to Frank’s Handbook on Relationships!

  91. First page says compromise is for the weak!

  92. There’s no second page!!!

  93. I agree with Frank! lol.

    I’m gradually swaying my girl towards some Arsenal loving. She’s a tough nut to crack, but she’ll love the Arse soon enough I’m sure…

  94. Frank are you a marriage guidance counsellor?

  95. haha Irish!

  96. Erm Geo you may need to be careful with your wording.

    At one point I had a girlfriend who could name the enitre team and was almost into watching the game. She had a favourite player (Freddie).

    Then she became my wife, and now she doesn’t give two fucks about the team.

    Funny that.

  97. I was very careful indeed els, what were you talking about…? 😉 lol

    So the moral of that story is… Don’t get married!

  98. Haha!

    Well Geo. I wouldn’t say that mate, but mainly because she may be watching. AT ALL TIMES!

    Nah not really though. I’m a happy man. And I’m definately punching waaaay above my weight. Only thing is she knows it. 😉

  99. Frank @ 3:34:

    “With 39 points up for grabs in the Premier League; a trip to Wembley and a chance to remove that blasted “they haven’t won a trophy in 6 years” monkey off our backs; ”

    I agree with the above statement in Darius’ post. Perhaps I am wrong but I suspect getting that monkey off our back would improve the way media represents the team and improve the outlook of some fans. I guess some people do care about that and others do not.

  100. Have put a $100 on Shiteh to win tomorrow. Any score will suit me just fine. Although a good walloping would really make the weekend!! TV5 could be back in as little as 3 weeks. Wouldn’t it be funny if he could not dislodge Kos6 and JD? Rosicky is out with an inury, not serious just a strain, Denny is back.

  101. lol els 🙂 good man, I’m a fellow way-above-my-weight-puncher! Mine thinks it’s the other way round though, so I’ll keep that one quiet for as long as poss…!!

  102. Geo that’s the holy grail. Well done.

  103. ”Puyol set to miss Gunners tie”

    If Puyol misses out against Arsenal, Eric Abidal is likely to continue at centre-back alongside Gerard Pique with Maxwell deputising at left-back.

    Good Omen?

  104. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Fucking Frank. What a legend.

    Bill would do well to lay off ESPN. You create your own misery by reading and believing all that shite, Bill. You’d have to pay me to read and believe any football related news from the mainstream media. Those cunts are as crooked as it gets and the lot of em hate Wenger. I prefer to stay biased and supportive and get my news from ACLF and other like minded outfits. I

  105. I did my first ever bit of gambling last weekend, an accumulator and all my results came in… except the Arsenal game!!! Fucking Joey Barton and Phil Dowd cost me about £100. Bastards. That’s what I get for gambling… At least it didn’t get me addicted I suppose…

  106. I agree with N-J-N

  107. Irish:

    I long ago accepted that there is an occasional match that has to watched later the on DVR. If you are not willing to accept that then, I think Frank’s advice at 3:35 is spot on.

  108. Well, have a good weekend all. Peace.

  109. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    No amount of trophies will curb the hate Wenger receives, Bill. No compliments will probably turn into backhanded compliments and they’ll be looking to knock us off the pedestal immediately after the initial glory. I get your point, but think it is unrealistic to think a couple trophies will balance the scales and turn years of being
    dismissed and hated into an instant Arsenal love in.

  110. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Peace out, Geo.

  111. NJN:

    Most of the writers on ESPN are not strongly positive or negative, although one of the regular writers is always very positive. I think Cbob was right when he said the other day that many who do not have access to BBC, Sky, Talk Shite, and the gossip rags etc do not “get it” when it comes to the media and fan antipathy.

  112. Besides, the anti-Wenger sentiment started before we had this drought.

  113. I see bills point though, it really only takes the media to change it’s mind and the fickle fans soon follow. Taking hacks points of view as gospel truth, as apposed to watching a game and forming their own point of view.

  114. ELS – at least your wife pretended she loved Arsenal and Freddie – until she got you house trained.

    Mine was a Chav loving supporter all along – LOL!

    And the moral of that story??? At least she loves football and can argue you under a table.

    Speaking of one of the Broke back twins ala Pyol missing next Wednesday – isn’t Maxwell the left back who became Theo’s bitch last time round?

  115. NJN @ 4:30:

    It certainly will not be an instant “love in” but I think pundits love to be right more then anything else. When we start winning a few trophies they will start babbling about how they knew all along that it would happen. None will admit their past mistakes but when has that ever happened. May be I’m wrong but only one way to find out.

  116. That’s a good point Darius. Better no football than the Chav’s I spose.

    And yes it most certainly was Maxwell who Theo ripped.

  117. BBC News

    Spurs manager, Harry Redknapp, to face trial in July on two counts of tax evasion alongside former Portsmouth Chairman, Milan Mandaric.

  118. I’d agree with that bill

  119. And Spurs lose in their stadium bid.

    This day is getting better.

  120. I would just like it to be known, because this is the first opportunity I have had to share this piece of info, but the last time Arsenal played Wolves at THOF I, yes me, little old American NJGooner, was in attendance for a rousing, gutwrenching, and awe inspiring 1-0 performance.

    Without a doubt the best day of my life. Can’t believe that was 10 months ago.. feels like yesterday.. sighhh oh to live in the greater London area

  121. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Ill just say this for now. Man U has a tremendous influence on and interest in ESPN, Bill. Gotta run though catch you guys later.

  122. Muppet.

    When ‘Appy ‘Arry was first hauled into court last April, Spurs were adamant that it was a private matter and that there was no cause for concern – with ‘Arry free to do his job.

    I suppose they must have excelent flexible working arrangements that include remote working and telecommuting if they’re gonna allow him to manage Tottenham from inside a prison.

    I suppose he can also kiss goodbye to the England job.

  123. Haha Spurs. Eeeeee there funny.

  124. See you later Nasir

  125. Darius,

    With ‘Arry free to do his job, sp*ds will be heading towards administration as well. I quite like ‘Arry… but his continual statements about winning the league are in the comical Ali league.

  126. The twitch has got worse

  127. very good post..
    inspiring, balanced, naturally biased but not over the top..
    once more onto the breach my friends once more…or something like that..

  128. Again, from arseblog:

  129. Love the girlfriend banter.

    Els I’m at the beginning stages of how you described the process. Mine can name most of the players, has a favorite (RvP), and is relatively interested in the matches.

    Although, let’s be honest, for many of our significant others there main reason in hoping for an Arsenal victory each matchday is so they can avoid the often sour moods that follow anything less than 3 points for the boys in red and white.

  130. their** * main reason

  131. Excellent post Darius – one of your best. Thanks.

  132. Talking of compatibility.

  133. NJ Gooner.

    Think of it as a natural survival instinct. An Arsenal win makes life so much more easier for them. The blunt truth is that they probably don’t give a flying fuck – they’re just doing what they have to do to keep the relationship on the straight and narrow. It’s an animal instinct – its what you do to protect what’s important to you.

    Marriage on the other hand gives them rights that girlfriends will never have. They can actually tell you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip. Ask them if they even know an Arsenal player then.

    That look Irishgray described earlier is called the “What the fuck you gon’ do” look. And it’s usually followed by the “if you don’t like it, call your mother and bitch about me – see if I give a shit” look.

  134. My mate was in the White Hart Lane shop the other day, and he saw a sign that said “Spurs: The Glory Years…£200.” He said to the woman behind the counter,

    “Bloody hell that’s a bit steep, how do you get away with charging that?”

    She looked at him and says, “Well it’s £5 for the video..”

    “And £195 for the Betamax player!”
    ______________________________

  135. i think with jd passed fit, we must see the koz/jd partnership v wolves..
    they are the giant killers, they step up for the big teams..
    best team tomorrow..no risks..
    the manc derby offers us a 100% chance of our nearest rivals dropping points..we must take advantage this week….no slip ups…
    best team, no risks..lets smash em…

  136. smash em ?

  137. sorry muppet..
    terrace talk..
    beat them quite comfortabley…. 😉

  138. get the upper hand back in the GD too..always comes in handy

  139. terrace talk or Richard Keys talk ?!

  140. jonjon talk..

  141. never been a fan of keys
    limited footy knowledge..just sat there looking hairy, dreaming of rednapps mrs..

  142. I dream that Alexander Hleb had taken over my job after I went on vacation and for some reason he was getting paid money while I had been working for free? Wtf.

  143. I couldn’t relate more with the girlfriend discussion.. 🙂
    —-
    Looks like Sp*ds are heading to Stadium of Light & San Siro without three of their best players..

  144. How are we going to do against Barca Jonjon ?

  145. Delia---Block 112

    Scarcely believe that all the “casualties” have been pronounced fit. In a much more confident mood than earlier in the week. Let’ s hope tomorrow’s match isn’t such a nail biting affair as last season. When Bendy scored, my block went mental and I finished up hugging the chap next to me who I had never seen before! Oh to be a Gooner .Hope the Mancs game is a draw!
    As always COYRs

  146. Irishgray. I’ve just wasted half an hour texting that joke to every Spuds’ supporter in my phonebook. I just pray that we beat Wolves tomorrow or they’ll really take the piss out of me in the pub later.

  147. depends muppet
    if we hold our lines and close them down as a unit, it will turn their possesion negative…forcing them to pass sideways and backwards in a desperate attempt to find a gap..
    they will close us down and play a high line..so theo will have loads of room to run…if we get it through to him quickly then it will make them think again, fear of walcott could make them stand off, enabling us to work the triangles..
    if we turn up, and play to max i reckon we’ll take em at home..and draw in the nou camp..
    but if we piss about they’ll punish us…like they do to everyone else

  148. JonJon,

    Apparently Barca have won 15 out of their last 16 games. I think you are right, if we turn up, we can beat them at home. To do that we will need Koscienly, Djourou, Wilshere, VP, Cesc, Song and VP all at the top of their game.

    If Nasri can make the return leg that will be a bonus.

  149. i also dont think we’ll get that many chances..so the ones we get will have to hit the net..cos barca will take theirs
    koz will be a key player..theres no point standing off messi and letting him run at us..theres less risk if we close down early..koz likes to leave his position and come midfield to win the ball..stop messi before he gets it, cos we wont stop him once he has..unles he has an off day
    jack also a key player, barca will hound us..the jack ‘shuffle’ gives him 10 yards before he even touches it, so he’ll draw them in, turn and off we go into the space..
    koz jack and theo will be the difference…

  150. i got a funny feeling nasri will be available for home leg
    we’ll be ok without bac as long as eboue keeps it simple and leaves the diagonal runs in the changing room..
    eboue must stick to the flank and leave the diagonal to theo..

  151. if Nasri is available for the home leg that will be sensational.

  152. anyone fancies Theo playing on the left to counter Dani Alves, cutting off supply to Lionel Messi??

  153. whens the game v spurs re scheduled for??

  154. nah mj..
    maxwell looks like playing..no point using theo to stop barcas threat..
    hes our threat..so use him where hes best..
    if we worry to much about barca and get too caught up in tactics we’ll get punished..
    just gotta concentrate on us and our strengths and hope its too much for them
    jose the ‘master tactician’ tried all that nulifical tactic earlier in the season and real got smashed…

  155. yeah JonJon, isn’t that the Arsenal way! 😀

  156. Delia block 112

    “When Bendy scored, my block went mental and I finished up hugging the chap next to me who I had never seen before!”

    That was me you were hugging!!!!! Well…. it damn well couldve been! I did plenty of random dude hugging during that celebration on my inagural trip to the Arsenal!!

  157. bang on mj
    we know no other way.. 😉

  158. MJ

    I can’t relate to this girlfriend discussion, I’m the boss of this house.

    What’s that Dear? Yes, the washing up’s been done, ironing finished and I’m just putting it all away…

    YW

  159. Darius,

    we’ll see if marriage ever rolls around with this one. but yea it really is basic survival instincts. Must keep mate happy must keep mate happy haha… ohhhh the arsenal. what wondeful subjects come up from our obsession with you

  160. i had a girl for a while, she caRed less about football but for Xmas she got me an Arsenal hoody! bitch dumped me a month later. still wear the jacket all the time. down with the wolves

  161. I was cuddled by a lady when Bendy scored last year……
    Was it you Delia?

  162. im looking forward to tomorrow..
    its going to be an exciting day of football
    with the way fergie and mancinin have been setting up all season the midday game has bore draw written all over it..
    spurs without their ‘invincibles’
    just hope we hit a few passed wolves…

  163. Borges Spinelli aka Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    @JonJon

    If Nasrinho suddenly becomes available for the Barça home game, that most certainly will be the icing on the cake.

  164. defo could mate
    i heard a rumour he was back in training already but wenger aint rushing him..
    we’ll see..

  165. Borges Spinelli aka Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    That’s good enough for me. Fingers crossed, we shall see,

  166. Tennessee Arsenal

    I’m third in command at my house, but I’ve trained the top dog, who happens to be a cat, to appreciate Arsenal. She’s finicky though, and doesn’t fully understand some of the off-the-field aspects of the game.

    For example, she makes me record the games and watch them on a 15-minute delay so we can speed through the halftime show, because, as she says, “the commentators never give Arsenal their due respect.”

    Also, she gets really upset when she can’t see Sagna, her favorite player. She sulks when Arsenal are playing right to left on the TV, because he’s so far away. And when he isn’t playing, she panics, thinking he’s not on the team anymore. I try to explain about suspensions and resting players, but she just can’t understand. The Barca match is going to be hard on her.

    To answer a question from Muppet a few posts ago: Chattanooga.

  167. Yeeeehaww

  168. Bernard – Firstly we are not going to lose to Wolves tomorrow. Secondly, and much more importantly, what the hell are you doing hanging out in a Spuds bar anyways!? Just in case I am wrong(it actually did happen once before but divorce made it right again) here is a joke I posted yesterday that should make put a stop to the piss taking for a few minutes, just long enough for you to leave on a high:

    Osama Bin Laden sent out a new video to prove he was still alive, in it he said Spurs were rubbish recently. British Intelligence dismissed it saying:

    ”That could have been recorded anytime in the last 8 years!”

  169. One of my all time favorites!!

    A Spuds fan dies on match day and goes to heaven in his Spuds shirt. He knocks on the old pearly gates and out walks St. Peter in an Arsenal scarf.

    “Hello mate,” says St. Peter, “I’m sorry, no Spuds fans in heaven.”
    “What?” Exclaims the man, astonished.
    “You heard, no Spuds fans.”
    “But, but, but, I’ve been a good man,” replies the Spuds supporter.
    “Oh really,” says St. Peter. “What have you done, then?”
    “Well,” said the guy, “Three weeks before I died, I gave 10 pounds to the starving children in Africa.”
    “Oh,” says St. Peter. “Anything else?”
    “Well, two weeks before I died I also gave 10 pounds to the homeless.”
    “Hmmm. Anything else?”
    “Yeah. A week before I died I gave 10 pounds to the Albanian orphans.”
    “Okay,” said St. Peter, “You wait here a minute while I have a word with the governor.”
    Ten minutes pass before St. Peter returns. He looks the bloke in the eye and says, “I’ve had a word with God and he agrees with me. Here’s your thirty quid back, now fuck off!”

  170. my lady shares a bday with Clichy so Arsenal rules in my house every matchday. 🙂

  171. the game against wolves is the classic “trap” game, we need to be focused for the entire game otherwise we risk dropping points.

  172. Irishgray. Very good. Living in North London it’s difficult not to mix with Spuds. Anyway, I should be on a total winner tonight.

  173. mcarthey makes me laugh..
    typical old school..has a nose that can sniff around walls…
    need three points today for sure though..
    in the next 4 pl fixtures the red sox, the blue sox and chelsea all play eachtother…
    this is it… this is the time, we need to put a run together and be top by march, hopefully with a 5-6 point lead…a win at the grove v the red sox and it will be about 8-9…should be enough to carry us over the line..
    has anyone got ATVO?? apparently AW confirmed that nasri is training and is about a week away…

  174. Yes wenger confirmed nasri is in triaining and a week a away. He also said they need to master their emotions> i would agree with that.

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