One Of Us Speaks: An Altogether More Splendid Life

Big Al doesn’t suffer fools gladly…

The time is right for it! Everybody wants their say. But football management up to now hasn’t been a democratic process. That’s about to change.

Welcome to Football4U. The year is 2016. As the founder of sports entrepreneurs Bragging Rights Inc. explains, he saw a niche:

We had hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people around the world following one club, and a sizeable portion wanted a voice about what was happening on the pitch.

You can imagine their frustration; constantly invited to participate and offer an opinion in their jobs, by the other brands in their daily lives – especially online – but their football clubs largely ignored them. It’s only natural to want to be heard. And when you’re made to feel like your opinion is important, you feel more confident in expressing it.

What’s worse is that many of these people considered themselves a success. How degrading to associate themselves with football clubs that they thought were underachieving or being mismanaged.

These are winners we’re talking about, and these are the people that Football4U caters to; those who couldn’t reconcile supporting a club with difficult periods and fallow spells. It was making them all a bit confused; they had a perfectly merited sense of superiority, but could never hope to take the smallest technical decision at the clubs they held dear. Well we feel that we came to their rescue.

If you look at the climate at Arsenal in 2011 – we had supporters groups and movements burgeoning, getting more mainstream publicity by the day. Boldly moving away from practical issues like atmosphere, ticket prices and in-stadium facilities, they started speaking up about team selection, recruitment and coaching. We admired the moxie of them all.

Undeterred by their impotence, they started making television appearances; their blogs got coverage in the national press; they started manufacturing t-shirts and scarves…

And all of that’s absolutely great. We don’t believe any special expertise is needed if you want to criticise one of football’s greatest managers without having the inside track; it’s your right.

Still, some people must have felt the clamour of authoritative voices and culture of negativity would cause more harm than good?

That’s certainly the case. I believe Rinus Michels said that passionate support and faith from the fans were crucial ingredients for success in his Ajax and Netherlands sides.

And then there was Helenio Herrera, who counted on Inter’s fans in the 60s. And to give his team every chance, helped establish what would later become the Ultras – the most fervent and supportive of all. He recognised the need to bolster player morale, posting motivational catchphrases around the training ground and dressing room. It’s most likely that he wouldn’t have approved of a black billboard with “Forward?” on it, but we can’t be sure.

The top clubs wanted a break as well. It was at that point that we decided our product was needed – it would benefit many different parties.

It really started to take shape when the prisons were privatised. We came forward with a proposal to reduce the incarcerated population of 17 to 35 year-olds by turning them into 4UFootballers.

Initially it was all very haphazard and experimental; with A.I. chips and a lot of anti-rejection drugs. We approached a down at heel young offender’s institution and fitted up two XIs. It was like playing out a video game in demo mode.

We couldn’t believe what we saw. Apart from a few vomiting fits and the occasional seizure, it actually resembled a real football match. We adjusted team tactics; we gave individuals special instructions and were amazed to see that it all started to take. Slowly the players responded and began to do as they were told.

We’d invented a new game. Or a new code of football. Shadow 4U teams for every league club were set up, pretty much overnight.

Of course there were questions about morality; there still are today. But to the critics I say this – isn’t it every young man’s dream to become a famous footballer?

And doesn’t every football fan secretly desire to be a manager?

Because, most importantly, the aspiring managers finally got the power they needed. Football4U is completely interactive. We encourage participants to form associations to decide on technical and strategic matters. Delegations are required to visit their team’s online training facility during downtime to calibrate the players’ instructions.

Your average punter can also influence performance. Matches are streamed live from our complex and viewers can send instructions to the players’ chips via 140-character messages. Usually it’s only the most strongly worded directives that get absorbed. It’s also good to use lots of capital letters – they tend to get through to players as well.

Meanwhile there’s no risk of hanging your team’s dirty laundry in public or upsetting the harmony around the side. Nobody cares about all that.

And we discovered that membership of supporters’ groups began to dwindle; the talking heads, previously so ready to offer their views about their club, disappeared, too busy handling key decisions for their 4U teams. It seems their former proclamations of custodianship and ‘values’ were forgotten once they finally got to taste the control they craved.

So, football had to divide once more to survive. And both codes flourished.

In late October 2016 I met the starting striker for Arsenal 4U at an open day, and was invited to shout abuse at him. I wasn’t allowed to know who the player had been in his previous life, or where he was from; managers are discouraged from having any feelings either way towards these criminals. It’s all about results, you see. There’s no room for sentiment in this world. Not to mention the word, “luck” – that’s a foreign concept here.

On a grey, drizzly morning at the Caswell Technology Park, a Bragging Rights Inc. representative shouts harsh Midlands-inflected instructions at a player who blankly complies, controlling a football on his chest and smashing it through a netless goal from 40 yards. The young man stands motionless, watching the ball roll off into the car park.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on September 23, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 174 Comments.

  1. Great post. Very Selfian.

  2. This will go completely over their heads…. great stuff.

  3. Take a bow. Absolute genius. I am staggered by this piece. Yes it will go over their heads for the most part but who cares about them?

  4. Riddle me this-when is wenger’s plan actually going to achieve anything, apart from embarrassing defeats?

  5. If you are a true Gunner, take up the fight, say to yourself – THESE HAWKS WANT OUR GREAT CLUB TO GO UNDER…WE WON’T LET THEM!

    Take the Man U vs Chelsea game – Chelsea could easily have scored five times. Man U’s famed defence wouldn’t have been able to stop the goals if it wasn’t mother luck! Man U on their own could have scored seven times – hitting the bar twice, missing a penalty, Ashley Cole clearing on the line…. Arsenal were not as lucky against Blackburn who had five shots on target against Arsenal’s 20! On the strenght of play and scoreline, would any sane Arsenal fan wish to exchange Arsenal’s defence for Blackburn’s? Defitely not. But our misfortune wold be reported as if Wenger is the worst defensive coach on the planet. Liverpool conceded four unreplied times at White hartlane. No one is berating Daglish!

    Give Wenger a break!

  6. Chippybrady,
    You’re so right. I for one was hugely embarrassed at the home defeat of Barcelona.

  7. Superb

  8. stand out post in a stand out blog….. take a bow!!

  9. Big Al, with some ‘fleshing ou and characterisation you have the basis of a rather nifty, sci-fi short story there. Good near-future dystopian vision.

    *doffs cap*

  10. ‘fleshing out’

  11. Chippybrady

    Riddle me this – why did you bother with a facile comment that contributes nothing to debate?


  12. Brilliant brilliant post…take a bow..

  13. Excellent post. I was reminded once again why I am a regular visitor to this site.
    Love it.

  14. woah, just had to do a quick duck there, something just shot right over my head, but its gone now….

    4-4-2 for the weekend?

    Sagna Per Kos The Saint
    Oxo Song Arteta Gerv
    RVP Theo

  15. Wonderful; I agree with Jonny: with a bit of fleshing out you would have a rather intriguing sci-fi short. In fact, it would be interesting to see how you explore the contrast between those players subjected to abuse and those to hero worship. Even though it’s all code, that couldn’t possibly level the field of natural biological factors; some players would naturally have better technique that others. And what would happen to those players/prisoner who just couldn’t make the grade?

    Big Al, you must write it!

  16. It’s the last sentence which is stunningly powerful. A truely excellent piece.

  17. Gadget

    Really? I never knew ” ’til Tomorrow” could have such a profound impact.


  18. Great post Big Al….a vision more 2036 than 2016 methinks

  19. Brilliant again, OOU. By coincidence, I had started working on a piece on the same theme, but I don’t think I can top this. Stunning.
    And yeah, it will go over a lot of heads! In fact it already has…

  20. It does on me, YW. I’m like the cowboy at the end of The Big Lebowski – I don’t know about you, but I take comfort in those words!

    Thanks for the nice comments. If Universal Soldier was based on a novel then I’m screwed, Gadget! Still, the ones who don’t make the grade for my Pro Evo Master League team get their contract cancelled – I like to keep a trim squad. Actually in that game they come back as 17-year olds six months after retirement. Here the code would go into a new body. and 35y-o cons go to mental institutions.

    As for development according to amount of praise/abuse – people are more inclined to abuse these days anyway, so the game would encourage it.

  21. I will need to read this a few times to fully get it, but the sentiment is spot on. Wonderfully creative post!

  22. ‘viewers can send instructions to the players’ chips via 140-character messages’

    Thats funny

  23. Quite diverting but ultimately meaningless. Supporters have moaned about players, managers, boards, tactics and selection for ever. Modern media just gives them a bigger audience. Are you suggesting we need coaching qualifications or premiership experience before we offer an opinion on our team ? That’d certainly cut down the posts on here.

  24. On reflection, I’d replace “ultimately meaningless” with “very wide of the mark”. Apologies.

  25. Dystopia!

    Big Al abides.

  26. Someone’s been watching Gamer.. A good article though. Gets the point across and has a few moments of humour in there as well. Keep up the good work.

  27. dfb

    You didn’t get it, did you?


  28. What is OOU saying? I missed the point.i suggest you do two write-ups in future if the plan is to blog on something futuristic,abstract and deep with a heavy dose of satire.the second write would break down the first into something philistines like me’d i’ve to read the post a second time.and a third time slowly.maybe,just maybe, i’d see the light

  29. I don’t have anything smart and intelligent sounding to add.
    A welcome return to Bragging Rights Inc who’s been out of action for nearly two years. A bit like Diaby, I may add.

  30. Great stuff OOU, although it will be totally lost on those to which it is aimed.

    Great read on a Friday morning though!

  31. Brilliant post. Really thought provoking and inspired stuff.

  32. Excellent article, might offend some at “other” blogs. Groooooan

  33. Yeah! We should definitely aim at the lowest common denominator! But if we have a second post to explain the first why stop there? We could have a third to explain the second and so on.

    And everybody should stop saying anything remotely sensible in the comments. It’ll be great! Just like Le Grove but with more iron (ic) than moron (ic).

    I see Yogi’s already in the spirit – pretending “til’ Tomorrow” is a sentence.


  34. Shotts, is Diaby training again/close to return?

  35. Why, Yogi, I can only speak for myself, but “’till tomorrow” always gives me that glimmer of hope that I may indeed die another day, and the conviction needed to tell Death to “fuck off”.


  36. George – it was aimed at us I suspect. They were the target of the piece but we were the target audience and for me it did the job. Put a smile on my face first thing this morning and sent me out to work in a positive mood.
    You can’t put a price on that.
    Thanks Al, thanks YW.

  37. Universal Soldier is an underatted classic in my opinion. Only JCVD beats it for best Jean Claude movie, and I say that as a fan. In any case, I don’t think it was ever a novel.

  38. I love the arrogance of presuming that “those it is aimed at” wont have the intelligence to understand the meaning behind what has been written. Nothing like looking down your nose at people who happen to have a different opinion.

  39. No leprat – it’s looking down my nose at people who are utterly devoid of the basic cognitive functions required to understand why we despise them so much. You don’t have opinions you have an agenda.
    I sneer at you.

  40. Great work… MyFC anyone?

  41. Surely if this post is aimed at anyone, then its aimed at everyone to some extent.

  42. Somewhat Agnostic

    Ace.. this might help you along!

  43. Steww –

    “I sneer at you”


    I really give a fuck. Sad that a fair few on here are so quick to resort to name calling and yet try and be so high and mighty.

    “I sneer at you”

    Thats too funny.

  44. Jonny, according to Arsene, Diaby is 3 or 4 weeks away. From the official site:

    on Ramsey and Sagna…
    They are both OK.

    on Diaby and Vermaelen…
    Diaby is three or four weeks. Vermaelen is just over two weeks. So it should be after the international break for both of them.

    on Squillaci, Benayoun and Djourou…
    Squillaci is one week away. Benayoun and Djourou will miss the next week due to muscular problems. It is the thigh for Benayoun and the hamstring for Djourou. Everybody else is OK.

  45. I thought this post was a particularly apt bit of commentary about the way we increasingly dehumanise the football players we subject to abuse – the way how we seemingly become more and more intolerant of human error and less and less tolerant of the man behind the shirt.

    Part of me does wonder what death on tour makes of such an observation, but the rest of me is to busy sneering with Steww.


  46. LeGrave onTour,
    Nothing like looking down our noses at people who set up a blog with the strap line “..where you can have an opinion not get one” which then proceeds to ban anyone who has a different opinion from the editors.
    Honestly, if disingenuousness was an Olympic sport they’d already have given you next years gold medal.
    I join Steww in sneering you and everything your screeching hypocritical blog represents.

  47. Santos or Gibbs tomorrow then?

  48. Does anyone know if rosicky is fit for saturday???

  49. Gadget –

    That’s a great question. I agree with you about the post. I think that there is definitely an increased distance between footballers and supporters and where as 20 years ago a player would have been “one of us” now I think a lot of people see players as “one of them” a group of mainly mercenaries earning huge amounts of money with no real feeling for the shirt they wear. How much truth is in this I don’t know but I think that’s how a fair few feel. The question you asked is one that could really fill a book, sorry I don’t have time to give it justice. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.

    ClockEnd –

    Its only a name, I don’t write the blog my friend. I agree that opinions that differ from the writers are banned. You can give me all the gold medals and sneer all you want. 😉

  50. Great stuff OOU. Reminds me of a novel by the great Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe called “A Man of the people.” The protagonist appears to be a clown of sorts but has a damn serious message!

  51. I have interest in Football views not Political. Also I think this post good but not great But anyways we do have a game againts Bolton Tommorrow. And I am not optimistic about this game as some people on here.

  52. vs BOLTON (H) 24/09/11
    01 Sczseszny
    02 Sagna
    03 Santos
    04 Koscielny
    05 Mertesacker
    06 Song
    07 Walcott
    08 Arteta
    09 Gervinho
    10 RvP
    11 Arshavin

    SUBS: Fabianski, Miquel, Gibbs, Jenkinson, Ramsey, Chamakh, Rosicky, Park

  53. Aman, not sure Walcott, Arshavin, Gervinho and VP will all line up together… unless we’re playing 4-4-2. Have a feeling Gibbs might start ahead of Santos too.

    Sagna – Kos – Mert – Gibbs
    Walcott – RVP – Gervinho

  54. Le Grave, for the record, I have less of a problem with Le Grove’s writing than I do a great portion of the nasty morons who inhabit the comments section. I am sure there are some who have interesting points but they are drowned by the litany of repulsive and juvenile remarks that dominate everything.

    The fact that Geoff and Pedro tolerate this whilst at whim removing perfectly valid comments that explain a differing point of view shows one of the landmark differences in approach. They talk of free speech but don’t remotely respect it.

    If there is a widening of the gap between players and fans – there can be no surprise (money really has ruined the game) but sites like Le Grove exacerbate the problem by making anyone a fair target, encouraging abuse and painting everything as black and white.

    I don’t believe it for a second, but it is possible that Wenger and Rice have passed their sell-by and should be replaced, but they still deserve extraordinary levels of respect for what they have given as servants to the club. The fact we still compete AT ALL is down to Wenger’s vision – whoever comes next the success they reap (if any) will be from standing on the shoulders of giants.

    When P&G make valid points they are immediately lost because the first 30 posts are children squabbling to be first and the next 500 are calling the players, Wenger, the board, everyone – including each other – cunts.

    So you’ll have to forgive people when they react churlishly towards posters coming on here with names like ‘Le Grave on Tour’. I’m not accusing you of trolling or ‘sneering’ or at you (and yes that is funny btw!) but we get too may trolling twats holidaying from Le Grove everytime a result goes against us – which is too damn often of late.

  55. Kind of an explanation – It’s a bit of a reach, but the post’s about a couple of things I suppose. Firstly, I don’t like the way footballers are abused and dehumanized – well, I don’t like it when it happens to our ones at least.

    Then there’s this idea that up to the last few years football was an escape for two hours (or any time you spent at the pub before or after), where you had the freedom to judge players and be ridiculously tribal. Then you’d go back to your normal life. But now it can permeate your world if you let it.

    I suppose that change means that people have a new responsibility to practice a little more humility (coming from someone who just posted a blog a bout football robots) and maybe be more considered and rigorous in the way you talk about the game – the best comments on here are by people who talk a lot about football, but always in a measured way. YW’s blogs are the best around for that as well. Nothing wrong with opinion or comment whatsoever.

    Because there’s a danger in contributing to a kind of tidal wave of uninformed (to my mind) negative opinion that does nothing but damage the club.

    And then there are the people who have got a leeetle too big for their boots. Easy to guess who they are. They trade off their association with the club to raise their profile or make money, which I find a bit ugly. It’s even worse if they use negativity to do it.

  56. I think Le Grave OT likes it here. For some reason.

  57. This got stuck in moderation – so I’ve * the offending word.

    @Le Grave on Tour, for the record, I have less of a problem with Le Grove’s writing than I do a great portion of the nasty morons who inhabit the comments section. I am sure there are some who have interesting points but they are drowned by the litany of repulsive and juvenile remarks that dominate everything.

    The fact that Geoff and Pedro tolerate this whilst, at whim, removing perfectly valid comments that explain a differing point of view, shows one of the landmark differences in approach to over here. They talk of free speech but don’t remotely respect it.

    If there is a widening of the gap between players and fans – there can be no surprise (money really has ruined the game) but sites like Le Grove exacerbate the problem by making anyone a fair target, encouraging abuse and painting everything as black and white.

    I don’t believe it for a second, but it is possible that Wenger and Rice have passed their sell-by and should be replaced, but they still deserve extraordinary levels of respect for what they have given as servants to the club. The fact we still compete AT ALL is down to Wenger’s vision – whoever comes next, the success they reap (if any), will be from standing on the shoulders of giants.

    When P&G make valid points they are immediately lost because the first 30 posts are children squabbling to be first and the next 500 are calling the players, Wenger, the board, everyone – including each other – c*nts.

    So you’ll have to forgive people when they react churlishly towards posters coming on here with names like ‘Le Grave on Tour’. I’m not accusing you of trolling and I’m not ‘sneering’ or at you (and yes that is funny btw!) but we get too may trolling tw*ts holidaying from Le Grove everytime a result goes against us – which is too damn often of late.

  58. OOU, I thought is was a great piece.

    On selecion for the game against Bolton I would prefer to see Gibbs given the nod over Santos at the moment.

    Hysteria surrounds Arsenal at the moment, the important thing is not to get caught up in it and walk away with the belief that indeed Chicken Little was correct and the sky is falling. It has been a slow and unsteady start to the season for sure, but it is the start and I believe all over competitions aside there are still 33 games to go yet in the EPL.

  59. Markus,
    Like your line-up…
    I am hoping for 4-4-2.
    Seems easier to adapt to without a maestro.

  60. Excellent stuff Big A.

    I posted this last night, “Also like Big Al’s, Bragging Rights Ltd. Some classic stuff from him.”

    I must have seen into your future.

  61. OOU – “And then there are the people who have got a leeetle too big for their boots. Easy to guess who they are. They trade off their association with the club to raise their profile or make money, which I find a bit ugly. It’s even worse if they use negativity to do it.”

    Too true. On and off the blogoverse.

  62. My preferred line up for tomorrow






    Tell Arshavin and Rosicky to approach it like a 55 minute game and give it absolutely everything..of course Theo and Ramsey are very good options from the bench..

    Up the arsenal!!!

  63. The flexibility and versatility of the 3 in the 4-2-3-1 could be unplayable against, if they can click together…

  64. OOU- Excellent post Big Al!! Not at all what I was expecting. Makes a change from a lot of the negativity out there about our club, a lot of it deserved I admit. Was eerily impressed to see Sam Allardyce coming out in defense of AW and all that he has done for The Arsenal. Have a $50 bet for Arsenal to beat Bolton 4-0 tomorrow,needless to say my Spud friend Owen already has the money spent.

  65. Jonny –

    Everything youve said is on the ball mate.

    Zim –

    You know what I do. I think Yogi is a bit rose tinted and as such the people that post here are rose tinted too. Being rose tinted never killed anyone though and when its all boiled down these are just our bullshit opinions that mean very little 😉

    Once people get past the name I use the conversations here are good.

    I think a lot of people cannot see past the fact that we all want the same thing ultimately, well most of us do. I dont think anyone is happy when we lose, I could be wrong! I think everyone hurts when we lose but people deal with it in different ways. Also when we win I think that people go about their weekends with a smile but when we lose people come online to vent.

    You guys have a great weekend.

  66. did you guys see the aticle in the mirror today about that agent that reveals inside info about the football industry?
    Did you see how he had practically sold a player to Liverpool and then west ham came in?
    in the end west ham paied him 900000 pounds which made him close the deal with west ham instead?
    the deal with Liverpool was practically done, that was the players destination, then West Ham came in and bribe the players agent.
    oh i smell City and Chelsea here… that sounds so much like their buisness strategy.

  67. Great stuff!

    This is funny but thought provoking. It should cause us to look at ourselves.

    Loved this!

    “Usually it’s only the most strongly worded directives that get absorbed. It’s also good to use lots of capital letters – they tend to get through to players as well.”


    Have a blessed day all!

  68. I think some people are happy when we lose actually or atleast have mixed feelings, as they want Wenger gone.

  69. The main reason to detest Le Grave is they take the easy way out.

    Anyone can post tripe like that without having to think at all.

    Like this: “After 6 trophyless years, and our two best players walking out on him because of his failure, Wenger finally decides his defence and boy scouts project might need some strengthening, right? So what does he do? At the last minute he buys a big German bloke from a middle ranked piss-poor team who has no experience in English football and, for anyone who has seen him, is about as slow as Sylvestre was useless. He buys an artisan type who’s never won anything from a middle-ranked piss-poor English team, and that’s his replacement for Cesc. He buys another French speaking African with funny hair and gee-whizz, he once scored 15 goals in the French league, wow, sparks flying there, a world beater that one! He buys an unknown Korean, a 17-year old Japanese, a kid from some beach in the Caribbean, an obscure Brazilian straight out of a relegated Turkish side, another kid from 17 divisions lower than us (and throws the him straight into first team action, that’s a laugh) and that’s his answer to the biggest crisis the club has faced. And after these world beating purchases, he banks a cool 40 million clear from players deserting us as fast as they can. You know you’re in trouble when even Bentdner and Denilson say it’s not good enough. And who does he not buy, who was available? No one really. Just Et’o, Mata, Jagielka, Samba, Cahill, Young, Hazard, and Parker, and that right there, with the best of what we had, is a world beating side, and he had the f#$# money. I think Wenger is the worst manager Arsenal has ever had and he’s taken the micky out of gooners for long enough”.

    See, anyone can do it. On and on, all day, until you believe it.

    Like that robot thingy stuff.

  70. Great post big Al:

    I know its a little too early in a season to say there is such a thing as a “must win” but I think the Bolton game comes as close as possible to a must win as the 6th game of any year could be. 3 points tomorrow and at least a point and a solid performance at White Hart Lane will help us regain some mojo and start our move back up the table.

  71. Rosicky returns!

  72. Poodle

    It was in the Mail – be wary tho’, Harrison has just lost a tribunal against the agent who “negotiated” Carroll’s move to Liverpool. The article is borne of malice.

    The Mirror think Bolton are managed by Owen Cole.


  73. @ Jonny – Here’s hoping our little Mozart can grab this game by the scruff of the neck and show what we can do. Need a clean sheet tomorrow more than anything else.

  74. I liked Big Al/OOU’s piece for many reasons, but the main one is not what is says about football, but about dehumanising consumer madness.

  75. “they started manufacturing t-shirts and scarves…”

    so funny One of us.

    And Mugs,they sell them as well 🙂

    I feel guilty now as I have stopped pining for Darius.

  76. Very dissapointing post , I honestly feel cheated of my morning read. That was written for simpletons like stew and zim Paul . There are people living in the redl world who deserve better . Your way with words and writing style are impressive but the post itself was far from desirable .

  77. JO – Do you need to shout your name?

    You are by far in the minority of people today who thought this excellent piece not worth reading.

    Personally as many people have alluded to better than I could have, this was a satire on consumer madness and ‘I want it now culture’ that pervades even facet of modern society.

  78. Excellent post again Big Al!

    You have to question one who feels “cheated” (honestly atleast) by such a brilliant piece that brings to light the obnoxious and disrespecful behaviour of many with such creativity.


  79. Jo – you feel cheated that this free blog that provides you with entertainment every morning dares to post something that you don’t like? Cheated?!

    Do you ever listen to yourself and think fuck! Who’s that egotistical twat?

  80. Jo ,if that was humour then well done .
    If you were serious,its even funnier because it makes you the simplest of simpletons.
    (I do like the word “simpleton”though)

  81. Irish – I hear ya. I hear ya.

  82. I would not call Steww a simpleton.He frightens me.

  83. Jonny,are you still depressed ?
    I recommend drugs.
    Talking about drugs,where is Northbank recently?

  84. What’s a Redl world and why do people there deserve better? I’m all confused.

  85. What on earth makes you think I am or have been depressed?

    Don’t need to recommend drugs to me!

  86. Steww’s post is worse than his byte.
    Actually, it’s not, I made that up.

  87. I had just been reading down the blog and thought about replying to Jo’s comment but it would appear george and Jonny have hit the nail on the head.

    I would like to see Gibbs start ahead of Santos tomorrow, albeit it was against Shrewsbury, but I thought he played well on Tuesday, and it would be good for him to get a run of games to gain more confidence and experience at LB, hopefully without getting injured!

    Will also be interesting to see how Mertesacker get’s on against Davies, surely this is the kind of test he was bought for.

    it was interesting to see that Koscielny seems to be the one attacking long balls with Mertesacker dropping off in the Blackburn game, surely it makes more sense for this to be the other way around?

  88. I am wondering what the first full week devoted to training together has done for our first choice? It’ll be interesting to see. I’m especially curious to see more of Santos, the way he drifts into the middle rather than up and down the edges only. He looks comfortable on the ball and not short of ideas.

    If Rosicky is ready, will he start ahead of Ramsey or Arteta. Probably. I already like the look of that. Song, Arteta, Rosicky.

  89. @YW
    i meant ” did you guys read the mail today?” 🙂

    Also even though the guy may well be a swine hes hardly the only one. Football is like the tobacco industry. Everyone knows they are doing stuff to the tobacco to make you more addicted but nobody dares to testify. Cos everyone has to much to loose if the truth comes out. The money trickling down the lines are to much for anyone to bother to break ranks.

    This guy must have pissed off some truly high lords for them to kick him so far away that he is willing to totally ruin his reputation. I mean, even smallish transactions can give good profits for a mediocre agent.
    With his statements hes shitting so badly in his own nest that, if nothing he says is true, then he must be insane or something.

    By doing what he does, this guy has efficiently burned all bridges to the sacret heaven of agentery. What club would want to do deals with a guy that rats them out?Non.

  90. lol@ JO……
    thats a response worthy of JO.

  91. Well down at the mouth then Jonny.?

  92. Arsene Wenger. No accountability, fat paycheck for mediocrity, holier than thou attitude. No individual is bigger than the club but i’m amazed some gooners would rather have years of mediocrity under Wenger because of 1998,2002 and 2004 rather than fresh ideas from a new manager.

  93. YW

    Thought I did, but maybe not. Humorous parody mocking the moaners and the media and warning us where their poisonous activities will eventually lead us. Wasn’t that it ? What did I miss ?

  94. Sandy,

    What fresh idea’s from who?

    Enlighten us….

  95. Sandy,so your only measure of success is the league title?
    Fair enough.But expect several years of misery no matter who is manager.Still I get the feeling that you enjoy wallowing in misery.As miserable people tend to do.

  96. that was a mediocre comment

  97. I just thought it was a crap comment Paul

  98. I just thought he was a crap comment(er)

  99. I don’t follow George – please elucidate as to why you think I am other than happy?

    Is it because I questioned the way the summer’s business had been conducted? That I think Diaby is a flawed diamond? I can assure I can and do think these things and still be happy.

    Or are you basing it on something else altogether?


  100. Jonny ,it was as simple as I saw a change in you .As if you had decided to be somehow less positive.
    I am happy you are happy though 🙂

  101. You’re right Sandy…3 titles in 8 years is a truly pathetic piece of managing…we should have dumped him in 2000 during his first spell of crap results.

  102. Its Orwellian. Deja vu of the feeling when i read 1984 for me. Excellent.

    So anybody taking the big red ‘FORWARD..’ billboard to the grove.

  103. Why is Jonny depressed? I hope it is simply because of our horrid start as that will end come tomorrow and he can then go back to the Good Ol’ Jonny we are used to. I hate bing depressed myself, that’s why depression is banned from my apartment. You have to be smiling as you enter or you get tossed right back out.

    On the off chance he is maybe Consolsbob could “grow” him something au natural to help him through his dark period.

  104. Or maybe one of MD’s “pasties” as I hear they come with unusual (wink wink) side effects.

  105. Chortle – I’m fine guys (really).

    I think the change you may have witnessed is simply due to a misunderstanding of me. I’ve always thought that about Diaby and I still think the summer’s business was mishandled. I have stated many times I think Wenger is the best manager for the club but I also do believe he gets things wrong. I don’t think my opinion matters much – at the end of the day I enjoy the exchange of ideas and banter with people who I largely consider peers.
    I think what’s great about this site is that it’s brought together a pretty impressive bunch of people – like minded, eloquent, funny and for the most part interesting and respectful.
    That notwithstanding there is an element that feels the necessity to defend any criticism of the club as though the slight was personal.
    We should always remain completely respectful of Wenger – I don’t think I can ever emphasise that enough but no one should ever be above critique.
    So I’m pro-Wenger and positive but I still think mistakes were made and I wonder if Wenger might agree.
    Still hindsight is 20/20 and what do I know..?

  106. You know enough that I respect you and your opinion Jonny,
    But what do I know? 🙂

  107. OOU what a humoruous post. liked it and could envision it in my mind, gadget or ZimP should come up with a script if ever a time comes for a movie. 😀

    Zimpaul inthe future please dont quote that sh!t from that place I shall not mention. Despicable, they should be ashamed of themselves!!NKT!!

    Rosicky is back, nice. I am very interested to see how the guffer plays it, will it be a midfield of Rosicky, Arteta and Song or will Rosicky come off the bench to replace Ramsey. Any win will be welcome tomorrow, the less nerve wrecking the better.

    I loved this quote from Wenger “When you talk a lot, you are not always right. It’s too difficult to always be intelligent when you always talk. That is impossible for anybody so you have to let people talk.”

  108. @ Paul_n
    I like those Walcott comments – I’ve been saying that for 18 months.

    @ Jonny
    I know you see me as one of “those people” but the way I see it, criticism (of anything or anybody) has to be based on something more substantial than a feeling of dissatisfaction. It’s got nothing to do (in that particular case) with knee-jerk loyalty.

  109. I don’t mind criticism .As long as the criticism is not of me,Arsene or the club. 🙂

  110. @Jonny- LOL From all that I have read with regards to your posting, I usually agree but even when I do not I acknowledge that at the very least your points are always thought out and put forward in a respectful way. So cheer up mate!!! 🙂 can’t wait for tomorrow. Game is on at 10am FSC here in NYC so think I will watch it from the comfort of our fold out sofa bed as we have friends in from San Francisco.

    @ FirstLady – Fully agree!!! We should never mention or quote anything from you know where,unless it is an announcement stating they are going off line forever!

    @ FunGunner – I too was impressed by Walcotts comments. There have been a lot of people who have come out in defense of Arsene,some more surprisingly than others. SAF, Owen Coyle, Harry Redknapp, Mick McCarthy and even Sam Allardyce!! The boys will come good and when they do I think a lot of people will be very surprised at just how good they really are.

  111. Pedantic George – LOL That is how I feel sometimes but the fact is without criticism there would be no inner desire for improvement. And that is why the criticism should and indeed must be constructive, otherwise it serves no useful purpose.

  112. dfb

    Nope, you didnht get the post mate. People have even left clues all down the posts today for you.

  113. Wenger; I dont need help

    That was the SSN headline today.

    Makes him look like a mentalist dont it.

  114. Zim, I can’t stomach visiting that place so I’ll have to take your word for it.

    Saying that Joel Campbell is some teenager off a caribbean beach and that Oxlade Chamberlain is just some boy from a team seventeen divisions down from us is why I detest those idiots. They wouldn’t know that Oxlade Chamberlain is a starter for the England U-21. The same U-21 where Ashley Young was playing not a season and a half ago. The same U-21 where England’s future back line of Smalling and Jones couldn’t make it past the group stage at last summer’s euro. And they apparently have missed that Joe Campbell is one of the brightest prospects in youth football. Arsenal and Wenger are just too good for these idiots. They sound like they should be supporting Stoke or some other shit team.

  115. I would rather be cool about the arsenal than be a tool. How hard is that for some of these fools to grasp. Cracking myself up. sorry

  116. Oops, hit submit too soon.

    That comment about Per Mertesacker is beyond hillarious. These bozos apparently forgot that Per was part of the Germany team that demolished England in south Africa. Why they would prefer a mediocre and expensive English CB over him is quite embarrassing. Merty was an absolute steal. So was Gervinho, whose fifteen ligue une goals are pretty impressive. And since when did the starting, Brazilian LB become just some bloke from a relegated Turkish side?

  117. This piece broadly reminded me of Sky Crawlers, you should watch it.

  118. I would like to see:


    I know we will probably never see this lineup, but I can still pretend in my own head that it would be brilliant.

  119. Walcott, Wenger and everyone else on the team speaks about Walcott being destined for the central striking role. I say give it a shot, if not now then when?

  120. Excellent, entertaining writing as usual OOU topped only by this addendum

    OneOfUs | September 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm

  121. I would also be ok with this:


    Who knows…I just hope we get three points regardless of who lines up.

  122. Gains and ZP

    If we had signed Cahill and Parker and had a poor start, then you know those 2 would be getting the same treatment as the players that clueless coward slated. WEnger is Arsenal’s worse manager ever apparantly!

  123. And yes, this post was very entertaining…could definitely see a cool short film springing from this concept.

  124. AW is on the warpath, about effing time.

  125. Is the press conference on now?

  126. Dex, if we had signed those two players they’d slate Wenger for not knowing how to get the best out of them.

    How such a proggressive, forward looking team like Arsenal can have such knuckle draggers as supporters is baffling. I’d expect fans like these to be supporters of Birmingham City or Blackburn Rovers. Not a team like Arsenal, where football is elevated to art. I just can’t get my head around that. You can’t really blame geography either, as these morons were there for the invincibles. How does one go from such a quality football education to the gutter so quickly?

  127. “And then there are the people who have got a leeetle too big for their boots. Easy to guess who they are. They trade off their association with the club to raise their profile or make money, which I find a bit ugly. It’s even worse if they use negativity to do it”.

    This pisses me off the most too – scum sucking lowlife not fit to lick the dog shit off his shoe are making a living tearing down a legend. Ungrateful snakes in the grass.

  128. You going tomorrow, Passenal?

  129. I think we will win by a handsome scoreline tomorrow. I

  130. Yes FG, I’ll be there. What about you?

  131. Now you stop right there, colney – you’ll jinx us! A win. Any win.

  132. I can’t, unfortunately.

  133. I agree with FG – I would settle for 1 nil to the Arsenal right now until the team start to gel.

  134. I’ll cheer enough for both of us then FG!

  135. that was to Passenal

  136. 4-0 to the Arsenal!!

  137. @FG – I wish we didn’t clash. I respect your opinion. IMO You’re one of the most engaging posters on here. You take a lot of time out to speak to lots of people and respond with appropriate thought. I don’t want to reduce you to ‘being one of them’ you’re much, much more than that. But then so am I.

    @Irish thanks dude – but I AM FEELING HAPPY!!!!

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :):) 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :):) 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :):) 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :):) 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  138. you cheeky monkey irishgray, don’t you start!

  139. “This pisses me off the most too – scum sucking lowlife not fit to lick the dog shit off his shoe are making a living tearing down a legend. Ungrateful snakes in the grass.”

    Love it,You tell them Pass.

  140. If we win by an own goal I would take it.

    I watched that vid of AOC that finsbury posted yesterday. I am shocked to be honest, that kid can play. If he continues like this he will be great.

    On a different note, how Wenger is handling Walcott is just right. The young man is so hungry and eager to play up front that when he does get a chance he will be out to prove himself big time. He will be exceptional for us once he playes their regularly.

    Vice, I like that line up! what amazes is me is how many quality players are not in the line up. Exciting times are ahead!

  141. I see I was called a simpleton earlier. The Mayor Of Simpleton is a great tune. George I am your friend. Zim – honoured to be considered as simple as you. That is a true compliment.
    Message ends

  142. LMFAO. Brilliant stuff, Big Al. We need more people like you. How one could be disappointed is beyond me. It’s quite sad really.

  143. I have just gone back and watched the Blackburn game again with emotion set aside. It is an absolute travesty that we did not get anything from that game. Yes we made some mistakes, but the fact that we lost was incredibly unfortunate. A lot of the defensive mistakes were down to the fact that the back four had not played together much at all yet.

    Offside goal, 2 own goals, two miraculous saves by Robinson on RVP’s header and point blank shot, Chamakh’s near miss, Per missing a glaring opportunity for his first goal…unbelievable really…

    It will all come together, we just have to hope we are not too far behind when it finally clicks.

  144. I really feel RVP is being wasted up front at the moment. I really want to see him become the next Bergkamp…come on Arsene, you know you want to do it…give him the Bergkamp role already…

  145. there is only one Dennis Bergkamp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  146. @ Jonny – Me thinks you doth protest too much!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    @ FunGunner – Who? Me!? No idea what you are on about. Have you been eating some of MD Gunner’s pasties? They were meant for Jonny!!! You DO realize he is severely depressed don’t you?

  147. George

    There’s another Dennis Bergkamp..with goals. Ask Arsene.

  148. The Lord Mayor of London is in town. Apparently he was born in Kenya – and is quite happy to be home – and more interestingly he’s a gooner?

  149. @ Irishgray
    OK, got you. I was linking it to colney’s post. I always worry about jinxes when people predict a big margin of victory.

  150. Did Bob stop posting after 8-2?:p

  151. No Passenal. You don’t try playing them on their weak side, that is to defend. You throw them into their natural instinctive offensive best. Of which, I believe, their confidence is broken!

  152. tateezee

    The world will never see his like again

  153. Ateeb

    Bob went away in his caravan. (I hope he never went to Dale Farm)

    He will be a bit happier now that Risdale has gone from Plymouth Argyle.

  154. I think we should start a rumour, like one of em insane ones. Where City bought the right to first refusal on Wilshere lat year and how it was kept secret for fans since the board knew they were gonna go mad, but how the board did it anyway because they only care about money.

    I can guarantee you that a huge amount of arsenal fans would belive that and start rumour mongering on the internet. Cos City has the money to do it and Arsenal loves money and AW would rather sell players and buy cheap repplacements than to keep good player……

  155. When are you taking me to the Emirates Passenal?

  156. City bought the right to first refusal on Wihslere for 20M in the summer window of 2011 and have agreed to pay another 50M at the end of his contract if he continiues his great development.
    City aknowleges Wilsheres great potential and his enormous market value and will not accept a defeat in the pursiut of an England legend in the making one more time, which is what happend with the Wayne Roney saga.
    Wilshere will be made one of the Eithads top earners with a 250k a week deal alrady agreed upon in case of a transfare going through.
    Arsenal knows that they can not compete with City when it comes to salary or trophies, especially with AWs strict salary policy and flat structure that rewards youth players asmuch as star players. This is the main reason they have agreed upon this special deal The deal has been hushed up for as long as possible under the guideance of the senior hierarchy at the Emirates as they feared the reaction of the fans.

    By already having paied 20M up front and another 50m when the transfare happens, city are hoping to avoid another protracted transfare saga ala Cesc Fabregas.

  157. ahh with my imagination and writing skills i d say i may even have gotten more hits than JCross with this article. Slides righ in on the mirrors backgpage… damn im good. Mirror should hire me, as im almost as good as their jornous to make up stories….

  158. dups-Thanks for the #FF on twitter. Nothing better than ALF

    George-Muppet said he is still on his Tennis mission as the reason for his absence. Sounds like “the dog ate my homework” excuse 🙂 . Shall we believe him?

    viceologist- I agree on that. RVP might not Bergkamp, lbut he has far too much skill and vision to just sit upfront and wait for the ball. He can offer loads more around the box and his crossing ability is amazing, You saw that delivery to Chamakh against Blackburn?. the Berkamp thing is a good shout. Wenger does not like the fox in the box, he likes his players to be involved in everything and Rvp does that to some extent but now with the departure of Nasri and Fabregas he is needed for that role even more

  159. Poodle – Murdoch would love your talent, you can hack it, not the phones though.

  160. Once Arsene believes that Walcott is ready to play upfront, RVP will drop back. This to me seems like a master plan. Wenger keeps saying that he see’s Walcott in the middle but is yet to play him there. In time.

  161. Paul, I hope Van Persie and Theo play upfront soon. It would be a crime against football if RVP leaves and we never get to see those two play upfront together.

  162. | September 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm
    Or maybe one of MD’s “pasties” as I hear they come with unusual (wink wink) side effects.
    Strangely this week’s special was “Viagra and Onion”

  163. Shame about Jack – the conservative treatment hasn’t work and now it’s surgery. I hope he makes it back before the end of the season though.

  164. Every couple of months I pop my head over here to see how things are going.
    And each time I notice the same obsession with the ‘other’ blog.
    ACLF has been the Tottenham of Arsenal blogs – mainly obsessed with that lot up the road. Whereas they just get on with it.
    You have a distinct and credible style and excellent diction, why not focus on your own angle instead of taking obvious potshots? It does you no favours, except perhaps to please some of your more vociferous fanboys. I sense far more vitriol emanating from the commenters here towards Le Grove than anything coming in the opposite direction. It just seems a shame to stoop to flinging mud, even if it is wrapped in gold leaf.
    All the best, I hope your writing skills are being gainfully employed by now.

  165. Wow! Little did I know i’ve been visiting a Tottenham-like blog for the past 10 years!!

  166. Gainsbourg69 – I would like to see a 4-3-1-2 formation at some stage, with Chamack/Park and Theo as the front 2 with RVP as the link between them and midfield. Not sure when such a formation would be appropriate but if after 30 mins or so it is proving ineffective it would not take much tweaking to revert to the more usual formation. Maybe if we get to the point were we are guaranteed to finish top of our group in the CL? Which by the way I think is very likely as I think getting a draw ar Dortmund when playing below par is a dam good result.

    @ MDGunner – “Strangely this weeks special was “Viagra and onions”.” – WOW!! So that is what happened to C’Bob!!

    @ FunGunner – Sorry for making you feel like I have jinxed us but I have seen both of Boltons last two games and I honestly see us winning tomorrow with very little to worry about.

    @ Passenal – You little bastard!!! – “Shame about Jack – the conservative treatment hasn’t work and now it’s surgery. I hope he makes it back before the end of the season though.” 🙂 Glad I decided to scroll up after I read that one, LOL!!

  167. @ Passenal – Dam you and your timing!! See what you get when you tempt fate??

  168. @ Poodle – This is all your fault mate!!! You jinxed Jackie boy!!

    @ – Passenal – Apologies mate, what with all the beer ( and one or four shots of Jameson) I thought you had posted Poodle’s windup earlier, Eh oops!!

  169. Attention all Gooners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Matchday grub has a new dimension! Gastro 2 Go! Check us out on St Thomas’ Road before the game! We got something special for ya! See you there. Come on the Arsenal!!!

%d bloggers like this: