One Of Us Speaks: More Important than Life or Death

Big Al’s here with his food for thought this morning…

I haven’t been past the Coronet cinema in Well Hall for about a year. As a small kid I watched a bunch of comedies there in the late-80s and early-90s – Steve Martin, John Candy and Tom Hanks, that kind of thing. I performed action scenes on its forecourt with my older brother. Last time I saw it, it was still boarded up. The marquee’s paint was peeling and the many small window panes of its high bay facade had been smashed deliberately, one by one, by patient vandals.

It’s been well over a decade since families and horny teenagers went there. It’s listed, so couldn’t be pulled down either – a 30s art deco masterpiece dying next to a traffic-clogged roundabout in southeast London. The cinema was stuck with two screens, one huge, the other poky. It was a fair walk from the nearest train station in a down-at-heel area. It never stood a chance when the multiplexes came along.

A couple of minutes away was my mate’s house – he had a SNES and a Mega Drive when we were kids. There was a pet shop just along the parade leading up to the Coronet, where I adopted a succession of small companions.

And across the roundabout, on the right side of a road lined with plane trees sits the memorial stone for Stephen Lawrence.

1993 was the year I became Arsenal conscious. Within a year I’d see my first match, in the Makita Cup against Napoli. But until then I had to be happy with the new away strip – yellow with the three blue diagonal stripes. The night I got it I wore it to bed, even though that polyester collar has now been proved the itchiest thing ever made.

Obviously it’s incongruous that a place that holds so many happy childhood memories could be the scene of a crime that shook the country. I won’t speak for the residents back then or now, but the event has soaked into the brickwork, and makes the paving slabs seem somehow greyer.

There’s a jarring sensation that catches you off guard from time to time – I’m from there; those boys went to our schools, they drank at the same pubs and hung out where my brothers and friends played pool on Eltham High Street. It happened there.

Whatever your thoughts on the murder, and, just as importantly, the aftermath, chances are you found out something about yourself when you reflected on it. I didn’t realise as a child, but it made me wonder who I was, and who I wanted to be. A lot later I found out what I could and couldn’t change about myself.

I’ve been trying to work out what’s so disturbing about the recent race rows in football. And I think I might have finally put my finger on it. Football is an escape, or at least it should be, from a more serious life. It’s not better than real life, just simpler.

Because it’s so black and white – the heroes play for your team, and the villains play for theirs. You’ve got the freedom to be as irrational, vindictive and partisan as you like without having to feel guilty about it.

Apart from freak incidents, in the football world the worse thing that can happen is defeat or seeing one of your players suffer a nasty injury. It can make you angry, and you’ll empathise with a stricken footballer, but you can still move on.

The pain is only secondhand but the joy is real, like on Monday night when Henry scored. It’s just as visceral and ecstatic as in the real world, especially when you can share it with thousands of other people.

I think this football fantasy world has been confused with real life. We’re seeing battle lines over affairs as serious as racial prejudice demarcated by team loyalty. It’s a crazy place already, where players can expect to be abused for switching clubs. If we are going to act like nutters, let’s at least keep it about sport.

Maybe it’s because times are hard – there are troubles mounting in the background every day. They may not affect us all directly at the moment, but we all dread them and can forget about them by watching young millionaires do what we dreamed of doing when we were kids.

I saw online that the Coronet cinema is finally under redevelopment. It was as if some force were waiting for the trial to come before letting Well Hall move on. The cinema was left to rot long before it closed its doors, like a monument to the area’s humiliation; now it will house an auditorium for Greenwich University, as well as shops, flats and student housing.

Deal with matters like racism in your own way; assign as much or as little importance to them as you like, but try not to confront them as a football fan, because we’re a one-eyed lot by definition and can’t be trusted. These aren’t topics to be chewed over in the sports pages, which on the whole are only equipped to deal in football’s tawdry circus. Take your time. Keep your dignity.

It’s probably what Liverpool should have done when they were smarting from what they thought was an unjust charge. European qualification is at stake, and with it millions of pounds and the short-term future of their club. But all that gate revenue, and all that potential TV money comes from the pockets of people who live vicariously through the team. When the charge is racism, preserve the fantasy. It may be a cliché, but discretion is the better part of valour.

As it was, their statement sobered a lot of people up. It’s still a game, and we should realise when the ball’s out of play.

Don’t forget to check out Arsenal On This Day, this time 1979. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 13, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 206 Comments.

  1. Morning all. Número uno?

  2. Did the mega drive morph into the master system? I had the master system 2 with the in built game Alex Kidd.
    The SNES wasn’t bad either brings back memories of exchanging cartridges for favors. I remember some cartridges came with almost 100 games (the majority of them were sh*t too). Oh the good old days.
    Btw what console was contra on? Anyone know? Oh and happy friday the 13th.

  3. Bloody great read as always. Yea the SNES, I remember that! I also remember the Commodore64K!! (Although I must confess to never knowing what the ‘K’ stood for!) Then came the Atari, what a machine!! I would be up til all hours trying to beat my mates high score in Galaga. Or Asteroids. Or Buzzards. Or try and set a new record in Centipede!! Which, if my memory serves correct, must have been in the millions by the time I was done with it. Do not get me started on Sonic the fucking Hedgehog.

    I see Jonny was reading up on big words and science recently, if yesterdays posts are anything to go by. Someone obviously got a new book for Christmas 😀

  4. OOU,

    Excellent post. I was surprised both by your young age and, secondly, by your maturity. The Liverpool response was ludicrous but I know I have heard comments from fellow gooners at the Emirates, which would not be out of place with the subsequent response of the Scouse fans.

    I do wonder, however, if we can draw lines between on and off the field actions when it comes to racism and collective discrimination! I think this reality was also pointed out when you look at the recent actions associated with that club. Maybe addressing them wherever we find them is the option of those whose ethics are more fit for the challenges of this new milleniu,!?

    COYG

  5. I had a Spectrum, but for some reason my Dad bought me another keyboard so it wasn’t encased in that little rubber effort that came as standard. In those days that was unheard of, so everybody thought I had some great exotix computer. Alas, it was just a little spectrum which filled my days with “Horrace Goes Skiing” and of course “Football Director”.

  6. A mate of mine (who I play soccer with) has stopped supporting Liverpool because of Suarez and the reaction of the manager, board and supporters. You can call it an over-reaction, but his case probably deserves more attention than most. As a mixed race Capetonian he was a supporter through the bleakest period of South African apartheid, probably for the very reasons you give in your blog that extremely funny lot down there used sometimes bizarre external identification as a form of escape.

    He really knew nothing of scousers though, Liverpool and the low life of football in England and has never questioned it, but it does make you realise that it is a pity that he is not an Arsenal fan, whilst there are scum everywhere, I think the general attitude of the club, manager, players and city would not have led him to reject English football in the same way. Whether it be attitudes, racism, money e.t.c we are altogether an admirable bunch.

    Much like our football team here.

    Proud to be a gooner.

  7. SA – An interesting case for sure. Personally I don’t think that anything could happen which would stop me supporting Arsenal, simply because supporting them is not a concious choice. I just do, and do so without question.

    Much in the same way I love eating Tiger Prawns covered in garlic; I really do love them. If one day I got food poisning from them, once recovered I would carry on eating them simply because I like them so much. It is not a choice I made to like them, I just do.

  8. This is an amazing post. Respect.

  9. Morning all,

    Irish – the ‘K’ stood for ‘krap’. Like everything else on the C64, they could get the spelling right. The Atari & Megadrive? Now we’re talking…

  10. OOU, this was a masterpiece, just sorry that I’m practically out the door and cannot stop to comment now.

  11. yes ok its only a game but when arsenal plays they approach it like a war. ferguson baricades his area with his robotic catenacio and waits to hit with contra attacks…lol….chelsea approached games with us with intention to bully. the stokes boltons etc approach games against us as if they are in wwf and cage fighting. and the refs? ha! theyu try their best not to laugh when an arsenal fan gets injured from some rugby tackle or when they fuck our psychology with non existant penalties. and the media? lol…they love to present us as if were in crisis..propaganda at work. yeah its a game , but theones who control the game here dont like us and all i see is constant sabotage. .

  12. Yeah GA but in the case of the prawns, surely it is more comparable to what the prawns feel about the whole affair than you.

    You are obviously the Suarez of the prawn world and if I was a passing langostine, whilst I may have an admiration for the way you prepared your dish, I may feel I have a right to withdraw my support also.

    We are lucky though. Arsenal FC and prawns.

  13. I read your blog everyday and this is the first time i’ve posted a comment, but just wanted to say that I think yours, alongside 7am Kick Off is one of the best Arsenal blogs on the web. I get your blogs through via email and enjoy reading them on my journey to the office. Keep up the stellar work and keep it Goonerish.

    Oh and 64k stands for 64 kilobytes, which was quite something back in those days, i’m also a super geek as well as a Gooner. :o)

  14. What in god’s name is an SNES? Otherwise, brilliant, Big Al. Quite brilliant.

  15. Big Al –
    your stuff, a pure joy to digest.

    Pool has picked the wrong issue to support this player. Suarez is a fine football talent but his character is unsupportable.

  16. I odnt know arsesession, i feel that suarez has been unfairly treated. Of course i dont approve of what he said but im with gus poyet on that one. Its a football pitch , many things can be said. If we sit and analyse what is being said between players in the ehat of the momment then i think we are going to far. If it was suarez coming out of nowhere and abusing evra like some bully in the streets then yes charge him, but in this case we had something completelty different. In this situatiion the united player could not cope with Suarez.

    Suarez was mocking him all over the pitch with his ball retention ability and quick closing down. Evra couldnt breath. Evra knew he was up against a player who had far bigger energy levels than him. He had to find a way to stop that. And then the frenchman started his antics. Looking at the ref asking for stuff all the time, kissing badges in front of liverpool fans, faking injury so as to stop momentum and bring to refs attention that suarez was doing soemthing worng which he wasnt. He started trash talking suarez to psyche him out. and because suarez is no walcott to sit and accept such things , and because suarez has grown in favelas and eats silly short wannabe rap twats for breakfast he was having none of that and put him at his place using a phrase which can be both affectionary and derogatory depending on the viewpoint.

    Of course he meant it in the negative way but considering its that disrepcetful c*nt called evra who cheats and tries to manipulate refs and then talks like a wanker in the cameras, i seriously had no problem. The fact evra run like a little girl to complain to cameras after the game shows that the man had it in mind. If evra had real pride and was felt offended by what suarez had said to him he would have taken care of matter right there on the pitch, like a real man, like zidanne! No sympathies from me, on the contrary i expect one of our players, anyone, to kick him and injure him severely in the 22nd and sit above him and tell him ” thats form the kids”, and then spit on him as he is stretched out with 60k arsenal fans screaming ” finito la musica passato la fiesta “

  17. henry should do it….. the manner in which this evra has disrespected arsenal needs to be punished…only henry loves the club as much to do it…and maybe wilshere too.

  18. Brilliant stuff OOU. We can recognise when the ball is out of play but we have to play to the whistle and the FA have still not blown it yet. If they sweep the Terry case under the carpet it’s unlikely that they ever will.

    Andy, loved that analogy at 8:59 am. I love me some prawns too. Not even getting a bad one and spending the entirety of Christmas day 2010 throwing up would stop me.

  19. Cesc_ara
    Evra is not a favorite of mine. Suarez admitted to his comment(s). Language on the pitch is what it is…..but there comes a point when certain conduct-language is not tolerable.

    my opinion of this player goes beyond this incident……starting from his deliberate handball in the world cup……and subsequent remarks.

    Really enjoyed your observations yesterday.

  20. Abvsolutely brilliant Al.

    I was walking the streets with you. First class.

  21. arsesession cheers for your comments re: yday. i tend to like suarez cause he is a mean killer. ok so far it hast worked for liverpool, but if we had him id be creaming my pants, he would be eating all the opposition centrebacks alive,,he is a cannibal..hehe …not a nice guy like walcott if you catch my drift… soemtimes you need such players. and evra is to despicable and disrespctive to have my support over anything. when manure played benfica away that little fella gaitan ripped him to shreds it was so enjoyable…and what silva did to him in the city fixture..haha just lol…”who s the kid now evra?”

  22. SA – Heh, I am not even sure what your point meant, but it made me laugh anyway. 🙂

    And just to clarify, by prawns I don’t mean the ones your get in a prawn sarnie. No siree, I mean the big huge tiger prawns. Grilled if possible. I also eat the shell on such beasts as whilst a bit “plasticy” it tastes delicious and retains the flavor from whenever marinade that is used.

  23. So, on to the game at the weekend.

    Szchezny

    Djourou
    Kos
    Mertesacker
    Miquel

    Song
    Arteta
    Ramsey

    Theo
    RvP
    AA

    Sub: Fabianski/Squillachi/Rosicky/Benayoun/Henry/AOC/Park?

  24. That was brilliant. Your best post yet for me, Big Al.

  25. Read your posts most days and always enjoy them. Today’s post is excellent it brought back many memories of my own and my kids who are adult men and women now. I have been an Gunners and football fan since early 70’s and despite having witnessed the sceptre of so called football fans, violence, racism, and the general loutish behaviour of a sizeable minority of football fans but a minority nonetheless, I still find as you said that football is a great escape from ordinary, serious everyday lives that we lead, but to many are mixing it up with real life.

  26. This is the finest piece of sport based journalism I have ever read.

  27. Line-up looks right to me Andy. The real question is whether the boss will put Squillaci alongside Mertesacker and play Koscielny at right-back. Sounds like a risky combination, but against Swansea the real problem will be breaking down their stubborn defence.

  28. Markus – Yeah that would be an option I suppose. It would leave our CB pairing be quite imobile though. Kos compliments Mertesacker well as he is fairly pacey and can cover for the big german should he get caught upfield. Swansea are a decent side and are more than capable of scoring against us, but you are right; the match will hinge on how ruthless we will be (or not).

  29. By the way Arsene speaks on BBC Radio 4 lunchtime today. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0196tyk
    Just another example of the class of our club.

  30. hallo stew sorry to bother you …..i pressed the link …all i hear is some wanker talking about government and charges about easy jet….now theres a chick talking about debit cards…when does the BOSS talk ?

  31. You could always just swap Koscielny and Djourou, he should be quick enough to partner Mertesacker.

  32. Thanks for that Steww. I posted earlier this year when we had won the award about how proud it makes me to be a gooner. With the recent racism issues plaguing football, it is even more important to recognize what a classy club this is.

    Hopefully I’ll be able to listen on podcast since he’ll be on at 12:30 GMT and can’t listen.

  33. 12:30, Cesc ara

  34. Well written piece and is probably the longest article i have fully read in 10 years.
    My hatred for racism is not as deep as it could be having been the victim of 2 racist attacks myself and also losing my grandmother to a racist attack. ok the police didnt call them racist attacks back then they called them muggings. seldom are they called racist when the victim is
    white. however for 10 years after i am not ashamed i hated anyone who was not english. then after a short spell banged up abroad as the only englishman losing that hatred became essential. i took time to reflect on my last 10 years BNP rallies, anti IRA marches and a general persona of stereotyping people because if the colour of their skin or where they were born their faith or what they wore and only then realised i had become one of the same scum that inflicted fear and injury on me and attributed to the death of my grandmother. upon returning home i managed to get straight back into work and a loving family environment which helped me deal with the adjustment between encagement and freedom. i am now proud to be married to my asian wife have a son of mixed race and cannot begin to count the friends and family that i have that are of different colours creed religion and race. the most important thing over all that though is that arsenal was always there for me through my dark times and racism whilst abound at other clubs was mever really that prevalent at arsenal. so imagine my current state of depression now that even regarding all my friends and family mentioned and the way i have turned my life around i was recently branded a racist and banned from football for 3 years and the emirates indefinitely for singing a song about the yids whilst playing spurs at home. then you hear that a player can call another player a racist name continuosly and only gets an 8 match ban and a fine far less than mine in comparitive terms. the world is still full of injustice in my opinion and my hatred almost run deep again however i am older now and realise that it does not matter what other people think of you its what you think of yourself that is important.

  35. ty lime

  36. Wenger coming on now!

  37. oh fuck …not ivan !!!

  38. ivan definately smokes pot …pacifist….that voice..he s just had a few hits from the bong…brought in by song… weee aaareee veery poorraaoodd…..heeeroes..

  39. Evra did egg him on ,being a loyal little soldier that he is to that cheating, manipulating basterd he calls his manager. Sir ferret face Ferguson is the source of all these gamesmanships. Suarez is new to this league. And he wasn’t given heads up on MANURE tactical approach. He should have been smarter than to fall right into Evras trap.
    I hope our BOYS run his old legs so much that at some. Point in the game he clutches his chest and falls moaning on the pitch.

  40. Morning all,

    Irish – the ‘K’ stood for ‘krap’. Like everything else on the C64, they could get the spelling right. The Atari & Megadrive? Now we’re talking…

    atari!!! haha …do you remember spectrum?….the one with the keyboard and the tape recorder…lol….the first arkanoid i think…

  41. Oh I forgot..
    To hell with the FA and their refs. 😉

  42. well said goonerkam!

  43. cesc_ara | January 13, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Total agreement with your wanting ‘this type of player’ at Arsenal and Arsenal drastically needing ‘this type of mentality’ – all over the pitch!

    For the past 4-5 seasons the player personalities on the squad ‘ didn’t seem hungry enough’. Too much inexperience.

    I prefer the fighting spirit that Kos, Ver, Song, Wilshere, Arteta, Coq, Yennaris have in their game. (add Chamakh).

    Yes, this type of lethal determination is missing up front.

    Suarez is another version of Tevez.

  44. spot on you. cese.ara. Glad you kept your moniker. Great player he is and was a good servant for eight years. Wish he hadn’t. Lost his faith.

  45. Great post Al – also very shocked by your age….

    Can’t recall any of my pals having both the SNES and megadrive, dont really like fence sitters.

    Partisan behaviour was in my blood then too, why would you want a megadrive? Was beyond me!

    I saw a Sinclair C5 outside a pub in London Bridge a few weeks back, numberplates, the full shebang. Delightful.

  46. Coquelin does put in a shift.

  47. AT. GEORGE.
    GREAT WORK YESTERDAY. YOU AND FUNGUNNER MAKE A GREAT TAG TEAM..
    🙂

  48. As for the weekend, surely the midfield three needs a slight rest? Rosicky should start IMO, or even Bennayoun instead of Ramsey, or have Arshavin play in his favoured position, rest Ramsey and put the King out on the left wing/forward

  49. Another top post, Big Al.

    I have a degree of sympathy with Suarez in that he was provoked, but what he did was unacceptable. So often it is the case that those who retaliate are the ones who are punished (although what he did was worse than what Evra did). Given Suarez’s history – eg the biting incident and the WC hand-ball – I am surprised that Liverpool took the approach they did. Maybe the let the “red mist” descend because it was an MU player who made the accusation. “Take your time. Keep your dignity.” It’s a shame that they didn’t.

  50. Have we signed the striker we desperately need yet?

    Worst case scenario: No more players bought in, we finish 5th, RVP leaves, but we have cash in the bank.

  51. The FA is inherently racist for punishing Suarez on Evras word and failing to penalise Terry to the same degree

  52. Thank you Luke! The Suarez thing pales in comparison to Terry. Yet everyone dwells on the Suarez incident. Even on BBC Radio 4 just now, the interviewer mentioned to Wenger that a few racist incidents had happened recently “In Liverpool”.

    Fuck me it’s like the Terry incident never happened. Shame on the FA for washing their hands.

  53. yes session indeed..we lacked the “pitbulls” the last few years but ok in some respect it was expected. the youngsters as good as they were sadly they had no experience to deal with pressure sitauations. too young to know what to do to be honest. and though i admire wenger for throing them in the deep end so they learn…he didnt factor in the possibility that getting too close to the source and not drinking water would backfire in terms of his players psychology. howvwer getting to the source is still positive, i would be alarmed if they didnt even get anywhere near it, but thats not the case. the came very very close and lost it on technicalities. its ok…. i blame the rosickys and the almunias who were old enough to not be firghtened by chelseas manures and the rest. that twat eboue ffs..we score in the 90th and he goes and makes apenalty in the 91st?..how ridiculous …rosicky in sunderland misses penalty and 10 minutes later we get equalised….bollocks… ( with 5 mins extra time instaed of 3…ref dowd..oh no there is no agenda towards arsenal no nonono) .

    remember cesc;s backheel in barca 2nd leg..of course you do…do you remember clichy getting hit by the ball in the nuts and instaed of staying down to run the time ( we were on the 43rd minute) he got up like some hero to continue playing while holding his testicles allowing that short cunt pedro or villa to stay onside when cesc makes the mistake….. we all blamed cesc..yes you dont backheel there son..but ff s gael be a pro for once…stay down act as if youve been shot and ask for the medic team… its incidents like these that have cost us…too nice..too cavalier…too innocent. aaaa youth… hehe

  54. Luke and Marcus, my understanding is the FA are waiting for the police to conclude their investigation in the Terry case. Do you have different information?

  55. BB

    It all just seems a bit of old tosh.

    Where were the police in Suarezs case?

    Remember, John Terry is caught live on camera in front of millions of people showing the world what a scumbag he is.

    Suarez, with his event being after, was calling Evra a name which his mates call him, and what is common place in Suarezs’ domestic culture – no I AM NOT CONDONING it, but it was said with less hatred and intent than Terrys obscentities which were very clear for all to see.

  56. Luke, I think you have answered your own question.

  57. Bill’s Boots – That is right mate. You can prety much predict what will happen as well. The police won’t prosecute (as they rarely do for this ype of thing) and the FA will use that as their reason to let it drop as well.

    However, if the police do convict him it will be really interesting what the FA do. They will have to ban him, and for me it must be more than the Suarez ban. For all the rights and wrongs of it Suarez never denied using the words, he almost gave the “lost in translation” excuse (which may or may not hold water). Terry has no such excuse and is blatent outright racism. He has form there as well.

    The FA really could use this as a good PR exercise; if they trhow the book at him and kick him our of the England squad as well as a ban they will score lost of PR points. Terry is no longer abedrock for them and is past his best, so it would be a win win situation for them.

  58. Yep, andy and many others called it on the day it happened. The FA allowed the case to go to the CPS so they’d have no responsibility when he gets away without adequate punsihment or a token fine.

    Andy, the lost in translation excuse is actually valid in Suarez’s case. For right or wrong words like that are used in his country. Tim Vickery did an entire article about it. The nicknames of some of his national team-mates, etc.

  59. Great post big Al. Thanks.

  60. Markus – Yeah, quite possibly. Often when contraversial language is used it is not the words themselves with cause offence, but the way in which they are communicated. Only Suarez and Evra know if there was any venom behind the incident.

    And I don’t think it is a case of the FA allowing it to go to the CPS. That is 100% a police call and the FA have no say in the matter. The incidents were very different. The Terry incident is a criminal matter as it was reported to the police. The Suarez matter was never reported to the police so the FA acted using their own disicplinary regulations. The way the two incidents are being dealt with is not comparable.

  61. Gonnerkam @ 12:56:

    I agree, Laurel and Hardy come to mind. 🙂

  62. evra will get his punishment. remember in the vanistlory – vieira incident our players were ready to beat them up… roy keanne himself stepped inside to pull them little nevilles and the rest away knwoing that the arsenal players were on the right and his teamamtes were gonna get beaten up, not once did any united player back up van nislory..heheh inside their own ground..we bullied them haha ! keown legend !!1.haha neanderthal for sure..but our neanderthal!! for instance in the leeds game there was a momment were a leeds player tackled konscielny inside our penalty area and konscielny rode the challenge stayed up and started looking down at him whispering in “french”…more of that please…tommy v also is that kind of a character…rosicky certainly aint…oh and there is another one we need to punish ….anderson…i expect schesny to do a bale/cole on him soon!

  63. GA
    If you ever find yourself in Mozambique you will have died and gone to prawn heaven. For a damn good imitation I have had Tiger prawns in an Adega restaurant in Johannesburg as big as lobsters and delicious.

    You would enjoy exercising extreme prejudice in their persecution.

  64. Cesc_ara
    No argument with your analogy of players getting close to the water. I just prefer not to point blame, as fault can be laid at everyone’s feet.

    Kos and Szcz are two of our most consistent and reliable players but all of us will gladly forget the CC final. As a fan, I have to accept these type mistakes as a cruel part of their football education.

    I believe our manager is changing the landscape of our top 18 players, but injuries are a variable a manager has no control.

    For the 07/08 – 08/09 – 09/10 – 10/11 seasons…..our starting XI was more than competitive, but by spring injuries mounted and we finished every season poorly. The bench depth lacked experience.

    Arsenal is one big tribe, with a collection of many camps.

    Each camp has their view on all aspects of the club.

    The passion for the club is what brings us (regularly) to this Arsenal oasis or others.

    I have to believe (wishfully) that this year we will do something special……but it is only wishful.

    Pragmatically – Theo, Ramsey, Wilshere, Szcz appear to be integral in our manager’s vision…….yet, they are some seasons off from being the finished products (like RvP).

  65. GA
    good points about the issues surrounding Terry.

    Admittedly, when I look back at my highlights of 2011, one my top three was seeing Terry fall flat on his *ss (belly flop) as RvP goes on to score the winning goal.

    I will never forget his look (after getting up) and the look of Chelsea fans in the stands.

    For the past 4-5 seasons, I have been deprived of this type of joy.

  66. I had a ZX Spectrum with rubber keys (best game Lotus Esprit, precursor to GFA) then a Megadrive. Nothing now – one of my best friends works for Sony on the PS3 games and all i have learnt is that I must not be allowed near a games console. I’d do even less than I do right now – in all eleven dimensions.

    Irish, ya cheeky bastard, no science books this Christmas. It’s been a slow accrual of pseudo-knowledge over this thing they call ‘time’. You wouldn’t understand it but it’s (at least) one of the dimensions. 😉

    I know it seems unworldly and mostly unlikely but, as they say, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

  67. Thanks for such an insightful, mature, and entertaining post Big Al. That was truly a beautiful piece of writing.

  68. Gris Gris:

    Spent 2 weeks in Summit County over Christmas. Worst snow in history. Not a mogul in the mountains that didn’t have the bottom scraped to dirt and rocks. Lots of blue cruising. Fun but a little disappointing. Heard they got some new snow the last few days. Hope you can get up and take advantage.

  69. Brilliant Big AL!

    “Lost in translation” is out the window, when you are putting someone down.

    Jonny, good stuff about your dad last night. I hope you both have some great times together. Pass on to us what you glean, please!

  70. You need to take up fly fishing Bill, great alternative when the snow is not co operating. Some great lakes and rivers in Colorado.

  71. Jonny, I wasted many hours playing Lotus Esprit back in the day. Weird that it was in black and white, but when something exploded you got a lick of red flame. Bizarre indeed.

  72. I presume that you guys are talking about video games?

  73. GunnerJones @ 2:45:

    I have done it a several times but really look forward to spending more time casting flies in the next few years. Colorado mountains in summer is the dictionary definition of “Gods country”.

  74. Well written thoughtful great blog.

    I myself grew up a minority in welling at said time and frequented the same church. The whole community was rocked.

    Liverpool and Suarez have responsibilities to the easily influenced and morally devoid to set an example that is beyond reproach, didn’t get that feeling from either the club or the player.

  75. Yea Bill I hear you, I was up there 3 times this last summer, Twice in Telluride and once in Estes Park. Spent ever morning and afternoon hiking the rivers with my fly rod. Gods country it most definitely is.

  76. Thanks very much Paul – he’s seen so much. I hope I might convince him to write a piece – perhaps aired at The Arsenal Collective or, at least, to tell me and I can try to give it a decent voice.

  77. Well Suarez claims the deal with Arsenal is not true. So ? A striker may still be on the cards!

  78. The best way to play swans is to press high force s mistake in defense as they like to play out of there.

    Really wenger sticks to his word regarding aoc its about the kid got his chance out there.

    Will force walcott to raise his game.

  79. Does anyone know anything about Mathius Suarez? Supposedly he is out of contract at the end of this season and has signed a pre-contract with us. I had never heard of him but that means nothing since I do not follow football outside of england and a little bit of La Liga.

  80. Links to Suarez were left here a few days ago.
    Two signings have been made within ten days of the window being lifted up (ok, one for sure, two maybe, probably) but you’d never guess if you listened to some!

  81. BTW WTF – India are putting on the worst tour from a 2nd best team ITW evah I know too many TLA’s. We smashed them which surprised me but Australia are humiliating them. I’ve never seen an opener score a century (with a splendid Dorothy) off 69 balls in Test cricket.

    Yes, yes – I know this is of no interest to most of you, but hopefully Anirudh or Cbob will check in at some point.

    Al I forgot to add my voice – you get better and better sir – and you started from a lofty perch. the best compliment I can pay is that it made me jealous.

    Carry on. 😉

  82. Luke the thing is it is not on Evra’s word – he admitted he used the word and his evidence was appallingly inconsistent. I think he should have apologised straight after and that Liverpool have handled it terribly.

    I suspect he did mean it in a cunty way but not as nastily as has been suggested. He’s been hung out to dry as an example. I could care less – he’s a pretty shitty character. It’s just sad they couldn’t punish both players (simply because I hate Evra – and he is a proven liar)

    The Terry case is very different as others have alluded.

  83. Jonny, I am looking forward to the read.

  84. Thanks mister, if I am completely honest I came home a little drunk and emotional. When I woke this morning I thought ‘Oh bollocks’ and was, not a little, embarrassed.

    I feel a bit better now (thanks) and will at least ask him. He’s not the most open person but he’s lived a fascinating life and when I do ‘glean’ bits, it’s always a life I could not have imagined. Whilst I’m deeply grateful I was not born in his time – as a doctor he is fond of reminding me of the paradox that people were closer and happier under sufferance.

    Anywho – as they say, watch this space.

  85. Evra probably took more offence from the word ‘little’ than the ‘negrita’ part. Napoleon complex… All I’m saying.

    I’m obviously joking.

  86. Finsbury @ 3:18

    Until we win a few trophies, nothing will be good enough if it’s not an overpriced big money signing. You should know that by now. 🙂

  87. I suppose the good news is that he only refers to not joining in January and makes no reference to a pre-contract for the summer?

  88. mattgoonerknight

    So far, this transfer window is very boring (obviously discounting Henry’s arrival, which we caught wind of pre-new year).

    I can’t help but to continually Google “Arsenal transfer news” or “Arsenal transfer gossip” etc, only to be greeted by some three day old bullshit about Abidal.

    I know we’re only into week two of Jan and all of the real business takes place in the last day(s) but I wan’t some gossip….I don’t care if it’s not going to happen, I just want to fantasise for a few weeks before coming back down to earth with a bump on February 1st!

    Anyone got a sniff, a whiff…bullshit is fine as long as it’s fresh

  89. I’m not saying all our players are better than others but it amazes me when I look at other teams and feel such repulsion (often the mirror of the manager). West Ham were once accruing the biggest collection of toxic ballbags the world has ever seen, Leeds before them. Chelsea players largely induce vomit in the mouth (ditto the fans). Man Utd are the embodiment of the ‘get away with speeding and claim you were shitting your pants on the motorway, purple nosed aggressive win-without-class bastard’ who manages them.
    Arsenal’s most dislikeable players of the last few years? Eboue for feigning injury (but still a loveable idiot) and Bendtner for being the distilled essence of arrogance. Anyone I missed?
    Classy club. Classy players. Classy manager. Classy fans.
    However we got here – accident or design – serendipity is the word.

  90. You missed Adabayor Jonny, I know he was good for us for a while but I just could not warm to him and always had a felling his ego would be his down fall.

  91. mattgoonerknight

    Johnny,

    Totally agree and you have to think that a lot of this is down to having such an intelligent, humble and respectful manager – when the sad, sad come, let’s hope he plays a serious role in appointing his replacement.

    In terms of Prem teams, I can’t think of many Fulham players I’ve really disliked over the years – although the team as a whole are steadily becoming our new bogey team…if they take 4 points from us again next season, I will be forced to hate them!

  92. Fulham have always been my other team in the prem matt, although I was thinking last week that Zamora looked a bit of a twat and then he scored and confirmed it for me.

  93. JD Gooner @ 4:02

    The Suarez chap looks like Angel Di Maria in that photo.

  94. mattgoonerknight

    I just thought of that GJ – but even he seems a minor twat compared to the great, big, massiv cuntish twats that that are found at most other clubs

  95. Wenger realised he [offside arrogant lazy cuntmonkey] was not one of us and jettisoned.

    Class McClasson son of Refined McClasson .

  96. The lesser Ronaldo was the twat of all twats, it hurt so much more that he was actually a damn good footballer.

  97. GJ my Xwife used to leave the room or turn her back when he played. Completely refused to admit he was good at football. “I can’t look at his face Jonny. He’s a cunt”.

    Ah, I did love that girl. 🙂

  98. From Wenger:

    on Francis Coquelin…
    He is out of three weeks. He will miss Sunday and Manchester United. There is possibility he will be back for the game after.

    on Thomas Vermaelen…
    We have a big hope that he will be back for Manchester United.

    on Rosicky and Mertesacker…
    They were sick. They have still not joined the squad and I will make a decision on them tomorrow.

  99. Big Al,

    I have read a multitude of Posts on various Blogsites, some of which have been excellent, but I was absolutely glued to the brilliance of your article from the start, in a way I have not experienced before on a footie site.

    You began your story in a sotto voce style by recalling, with a fascinatingly whimsical degree of nostalgia, the details of a by-gone era in a run down part of London, complete with a sadly destitute cinema, but then, the cadence changed and your story morphed into a sorrowful recollection of the damaging impact on the area of the murder of Stephen Lawrence and the racism involved in that dreadful crime.

    You already had my rapt attention, but to manage to then relate the Post to contemporary racist football matters was frankly brilliant, altho unsettling.

    Sorry to go on about this — but it is a long time since I have read anything so moving, linking a dreadful crime of the past with current racist attitudes on the football field, which seems to point to the sad truth that some people/footballers have learned nothing in the interim! 😦

  100. mattgoonerknight

    Anyone involved in the “winger” debate last week (might be beginning of this week)?

    Well, I’m just listening to AWs press conference, and he clearly refers to us playing with 2 “wingers” and that Henry is capable as playing as one of those “wingers”

    Just saying ; )

    On another note, AW, as he so often is, is on top form in today’s conference – the way he slaps down the reporter who unwittingly asked the sp*rs related question which would test AW’s patience “We are in Arsenal press conference”

    Straw and camel’s back spring to mind – brilliant!

  101. Al I I am so impressed with this piece. I just read it to my flatmates – I think it’s fair to say they were deeply moved.

    I’m not sure ‘Big’ will cover it any more. Gargantuan AL? Monolithic Al.

    Jealous. Jealous. Jealous.

  102. Jonny,

    As an occasional visitor to ACLF I have not seen all the Posts (tho I enjoy Yogi’s take on things) can I ask if you if you also contribute?

    I have briefly discussed ‘footie and cooking’ matters with you in the past, and as I recall altho you were very erudite on both subjects (sadly I am still crap at cooking despite your advice).

    At the time, you expounded on a number of Arsenal matters and I think I would like to hear more of your views in a detailed article.

    Of course if I am asking for the moon — I will sod off! 🙂

  103. Red Arse – thanks for the compliments – life sucks at the moment and compliments like that are genuinely appreciated. I don’t think this is the right place for my thoughts (apart from in the comments section). In fact I am humbled by the quality of writing in the Arsenal blogosphere. The quality and quantity of absorbing writing is truly conspicuous. I once spent an afternoon looking at Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea blogs and was lost in disbelief at the paucity of…well anything really. This is the richest club in every way that is actually important. The quality of comments on these pages and the breadth of subjects truly reflects that.
    It’s the honest truth to say there are, at the very least, (all statistics are made up on the spot) 20 times as many Arsenal blogs than ScumUtd. That’s not just surprising it’s staggering.
    I wrote a couple of pieces for Tony at Untold 4 years ago (predicting that Afobe and Ozzy would make it big) but I’ve done little since.
    I love this site for many reasons, even when I disagree, there is a well of intelligence and opinion that enthuses me. My honest belief is that Socrates has it right when he says the only thing he knew is how little he knew. I’m opinionated, arrogant and (usually) articulate but I hope everyone realises I value my opinion less than it often sounds.
    As for the cooking tell me what you want to achieve – it’s more simple than you realise.
    😉

  104. Limestonegunner

    What a loathsome troll that Tony Pukepiss is. As if he hasn’t done enough to harm Ramsey and Wales by unleashing his disgusting monster, now he has a go at Aaron for expressing his opinions about the Wales management process. Terrible and tawdry comments. Maybe Rambo is going a bit far, which he could easily balance out by saying those are his views but he and the players are eager to do well and he’ll accept and play hard for whomever but hopes that the new manager will build in the same direction as was proving successful under Speed. That whole situation is becoming a bit of a political problem, but Pubis doesn’t help anything by making snarky comments against Ramsey. I sure hope he doesn’t take over for the friendly match v. Costa Rica. That will be a chance to see Rambo and Joel Campbell on the pitch together, btw, just on opposite sides!

  105. Lovely use of sotto voce BTW, Red Arse.

    Limestone it’s no problem, Rambo will kill them all with his bow.

    “You know what you are… what you’re made of. War is in your blood. Don’t fight it. You didn’t kill for your country. You killed for yourself. God’s never gonna make that go away. When you’re pushed, killing’s as easy as breathing”

  106. Limestonegunner

    Jonny, is that Colonel Trautmann speaking?! Hopefully, Rambo let’s it wash over and away like water off a duck’s back and isn’t affected. I’d be pretty peeved after the way he’s already behaved.

  107. Jonny

    Was waiting for that actually..and was surprised it took so long 😀

    But yes..awful, atrociously woeful, etc do not begin to describe it..and even worse when you have to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to watch it…

    You guys beat us at home..so now we are going them a confidence boost before the next ashes..muhaha 😀

  108. giving not going sorry..

  109. Jonny

    20 times more blogs than united??? that is surprising!!!

    This blog including the comments section has to be right up there in terms of quality of discussion (generally speaking not just about football blogs)

    Kudos to everyone!!!

  110. Jonny,

    Sorry to hear things are not so good at the mo.

    You obviously normally hide that in your amusing, good natured (tho sometimes cleverly barbed) comments in exchanges with others on ACLF.

    I have written Posts for 2 or 3 sites in the past, but ‘retired’ when I realized my vocabulary and somewhat esoteric style (that’s my story 🙂 ) did not gell with the regular bloggers.

    Thanks for the offer of help with my lamentable culinary skills. Next time I ‘entertain’ I will take you up on that. Thanks! 🙂

  111. Limestonegunner

    Must say, AW was in fine fettle in the presser today. Seems all the journos were trying to get some sort of comment to stoke rivalry or needle Arsenal and its supporters after Spuds as title contenders is now being widely accepted. AW was brilliant at giving away no locker room bulletin board material while conceding nothing about the title race and communicating that our real rivals are elsewhere despite this good Spuds run in the league. He emphasized that we went deep in 4 competitions last season and are still playing for the three major ones now, which was a reminder of the status of this club.

  112. Limestonegunner

    The man is a genius, I also wanted to say. But we know that! (right George!)

  113. I wonder what Sly thinks when he watches Rambo 3 now?

  114. from Jonny
    Arsenal’s most dislikeable players of the last few years? Eboue for feigning injury (but still a loveable idiot) and Bendtner for being the distilled essence of arrogance. Anyone I missed?
    Classy club. Classy players. Classy manager. Classy fans.

    excellent. fully agreed.

    a good example would be last season. when you just look at the captains. neville. gerrard (the most hypocritical diver ever). terry.

    then fabregas. the stuff fabregas said when interviewed. i remembered when he was quizzed after a game about barcelona, he said this: i think arsenal football club deserves a bit more respect

    too bad he spent too much time with cunts like pique and changed.

  115. i hope mertesacker will play on sunday. for the first time i am worried about the defence. we don’t have enough bodies. and i prefer it if only one of squillaci and djourou plays.

  116. The thing is if that is the very worst we have we are a beatific example to the rest of the league. Maybe this is why we are despised!

    I’ll probably get pilloried for this but, whilst I utterly accept that Gerrard is the most despicable of divers (like a Nazi Jack Cousteau) I still think he is a fucking brilliant footballer. He strikes a football like he hates its it’s stupid face. Bosh!

    It’s such a shame he sullies his quality with such conviction. Love and hate. But still lots of love. Sorry.

    Rambo is terrible. But I loved the last one. Is this related? I don’t know.

  117. Its as related as music Thursday.

  118. First Blood was a great film

  119. Gerrard is a despicable lout.
    A bully and a yob.
    Good player though.

  120. I think Gerrard dived 6 times in one season. 6! It was terrible to watch. When you have that much in your locker why do that? (Because you can).

    I haven’t felt that conflicted since I found out John Elway was a right-wing ego-testical, republican arseclown. The Horror.

    AND I once had a Liverpool fan in my ear slagging off Jeffers. Yes he dived but look at your bag of cunts. Jesus.

    And, even worse, people criticising Robert (he dived once against Fulham and was crucified) Pires, from their castles built of deliberate hypocrisy.

  121. Good writing Al and on a subject that has already generated a billion words it is good to read something new that has not been chewed to death elsewhere.

  122. Tremendous writing Big Al (or, for one day only. maybe, Mega Al).

    Well worthy of a far wider audience.

    Although obviously the main people have now seen it! 🙂

    A great piece.

  123. Jonny ,was it not Portsmouth he took his tumble against?

  124. Limestonegunner

    First Blood was certainly the best of the lot. “Great” film? Well, it wasn’t Citizen Kane but it was pretty decent for what is was and enjoyable for all that.

  125. I never got Citizen Kane. More a True Grit sort of a chap.
    Or Freebie and the Bean

  126. We have downplayed Liverpool as a threat for 4th but Stevie G. makes them more dangerous, especially once Suarez comes back. Still think they will end up 6th but a short run of wins from Liverpool. would be trouble for us and the Chavs.

    I hope we can make a good run while TH12 is here. I don’t believe for a second what he said about not starting games. I’m excited about TH and RVP together. If it works we will be very tough to beat.

    Not much of a fan of Rambo movies. Loved several of the Rocky movies but very little Stallone did after that. The Dark Knight was the best action adventure film in a decade.

  127. Don’t rate Sylvester much as an actor. One movie he made I enjoyed and that was. NIGHT HAWKS. I BET it was due to Rutger playing his opposite. Good story line too.
    @BILL
    haha, glad it was amusing for you buddy, but I was serious. All this talk about the fa , refs., and Ferguson is depressing. All I know is THE ARSENAL have to do at least. Ten to fifteen points better than necessary to win. The. EPL JUST TO OFFSET THE DAMAGE THE LEAGUE. AND THE REFS. DO TO US EVERY YEAR.
    IF YOU CAN’T. SEE THAT AFTER THE LAST TEN YEARS OF GAMES THEN YOU ARE AN OSTRICH WITH THE HEAD IN SAND.
    As far as Eboue is concerned, have your fun at his expense. Guys. But with our fullback situation the way it is right now, I would have loved to have a good versatile player like him still with the team. He played anywhere we asked him to, never complained. Always did his best to help the team, even in the locker room. We lost more than just a right back when we traded him.

  128. Bill.The Dark Knight? Really?You surprise me.

  129. Goonerkam:

    Never saw Night Hawks.

    Just having a little fun. I know how serious you guys take all this ref bias stuff. I feel you are greatly over estimating the damage it does to us compared to the rest of the league, but I have tried many times to argue my point and no one has changed their mind. Perhaps best to leave it alone today as I am sure the subject will rise again.

  130. George:

    Didn’t you like The Dark Knight?

  131. I wish Eboue was available for Sunday.Good player he was.
    Unlucky for him that we have the best RB in Europe.

  132. Bill ,you are wise beyond your film choice.

  133. George:

    To each their own.

    Don’t agree with you about somethings and you try hard to downplay it at other times, but you are a wise man. You can tell your wife I said so. I don’t know about yours but in my experience spouses don’t always understand just how great we are. 🙂 🙂

  134. No problems BILL. the thing is , when this effin subject comes up, its like pouring salt. In my souls wound. I remember. Freddie, Abu, Aaron,Eduardo and all that. I feel for all our players and what they have gone through BECAUSE. IT WAS ALLOWED BY THE ASSOCIATION THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE FAIR AND UNBIASED..
    our players had to pay through the nose for the shit the refs. Allowed. I say TO HELL WITH THEM. AND
    UP. THE. GUNS!!!!!!!!
    we shall. Overcome.. And it will be sweet. Then.

  135. Bill ,Have you seen “In Bruges”?
    If not try it .I am sure you would like it.

  136. I will try it George.

    Goonerkam. Damn straight.

  137. And if your looking for fishin spots, try. UTAH.
    Ten to thirteen inch. TROUTS. beautiful and delicious. The SNOW IS BETTER UP THERE COMPARED TO COLORADO. hahaha. 🙂

    In fact, the best snow in the world.

  138. Goonerkam:

    Wife and I have a place in Colorado so we ski there. I have skied Utah before but not for a very long time. I have heard others say that Utah has the best powder in the world. Hope you get to enjoy it often.

    Never heard about fly fishing in Utah. I know some very avid fishermen and will ask them.

  139. Citizen Kane was just proverbial for “sophisticated” art house cinema. I heartily second you on In Bruges, excellent picture and Bill on The Dark Knight appreciation.

  140. LG,do you think we could start that young LB if Per is not fit .JD could play CB with Koss.and Young Spanish kid LB?

  141. In Bruges is fabulous. Who knew the Irish bastard could act. Genuinely brilliant performance from our Colin.

    The best action film in a decade…what a limiting parameter. Is it the best action film evah? Lets have your top three, five or whatever you like.

    Splosions.

  142. Jonny:

    Sounds like fun, wish I had time to join. Shawshank Redemption and Casablanca off the top of my head are my all time favs.

    Action films I don’t like to have to think or believe, just want to be entertained. Loved Heath Ledger in Dark Knight and like the dark cartoon superhero although still not a big fan of Christian Bale,
    “The Empire Strikes Back” is a sentimental favorite from my younger days. “Live and Let Die” my favorite Bond film. Have to think about others.

  143. Limestone – yer CKane is cited because it is slap-in-the-mush groundbreaking as cinema, not once but (cinematographically) repeatedly and all by an ingenue, arrogant nipper. it’s not an ace film to watch but it’s the best film to study. Prize to the person who, without looking it up, can tell me the last film Orson Welles was in.

  144. 1)The Last of the Mohicans
    2)The Last Boyscout
    3)True Romance
    4)Zulu
    5)The Outlaw Jossie Whales

  145. @George
    All our youth have done me proud when they were called upon to fill in. Le coq, frimping,yennaris and Miguel. I think if called upon he will be ok against the Swansea’s wingers. I just hope AW. does. His best to bring. Us a bit more seasoned rb and lb on temporary basis. I don’t want too much weight. Being placed on their young shoulders.
    Ops, forgot the ox. He has done well also.
    @ BILL
    ENJOY THE FISHING MAN AND DONT FORGET A 12 PACK TO GO WITH IT… 🙂

  146. The Third man (part two) Jonny.?
    Am I right? Have you seen it? 🙂

  147. Sorry if I’m being thick Bill, join what?

    Best action films, evah –

    Die Hard
    Predator
    Aliens

  148. Sagna and Gibbs are almost back Kam.

  149. Jonny,Jonny,Jonny.
    Die hard OK ,but dear me.

  150. Not part two or one George. It’s truly shocking. An ignoble end for a genius who pissed off Hollywood and paid the price.

    Love the Last Boyscout. Tony Scott to Ridley is like Tony Hart to Picasso.

  151. Diss Die Hard and you know nothing of the action film code.

    Its the bible. Everything else is a pale facsimile.

    You can disagree but I’d prefer you were generous enough not to trash it. It’s like AA for you.

    Inexplicable worship.

  152. Jonny:

    Dont have enough time to really join the discussion.

    Forgot about Aliens. AWESOME!!!!!

    Predator not quite up to Aliens but also superb. Die Hard great but not top 5 material.

  153. No Jonny you misunderstood me.Die Hard is really good .Good enough to go anywhere in my list .But the other two ,mmmmm,sorry ,not for me.

  154. allo whats this the film friday!!

    well i agree with jonny that die hard was the original bad ass muverfukin ard as nails action film….but the best has to be …terminator.

  155. Oh Duke,You could be right you know.It was a bit good.

  156. Bill – Die Hard is always number one. I can’t change the facts of the eleven dimensions. Some things are immutable.

    Terminator 2.

  157. I used to thinks keepers reserved their best perfomances for us, but apparently not this season…
    http://blog.statdna.com/post/2012/01/13/Which-EPL-team-has-suffered-the-most-from-outstanding-performances-by-the-opposition-goalkeeper.aspx

  158. Alright Pedantic best 5 Westerns…none of that old school Cooper stuff. And which True Grit?

  159. Top 5 Westerns. Star Wars was the best western ever made.

  160. The answer to the quiz was Transformers The Movie (1986). Which also starred Leonard Nimoy.

    They needed the money.

    As career bookends go you won’t get much more disparate than Orson’s, never piss off Hollywood they will beat you out of town. He was living hand to mouth by the time he got this gig.

    Tragic.

  161. How could i forget about Aaaanold and Terminator. Definitely in my top 5. I have always had a fondness for aliens, dinosaurs, cartoon characters in action movies probably because I have watched most of them with my kids and they love that stuff.

  162. Oh c’mon. It’s a Shakespearean play more than it is a Western. Tcha.

  163. George:

    I love Westerns also but I agree with Yogi.

  164. Madonna is looking good for someone in her 60’s. wouldnt mind her gripping me in a headlock between them tough ol thighs!!

  165. George ! Zulu? Really. I just watched that 3 nights ago. It enjoyed it but Im a bit strange.

  166. 1)The outlaw Josie Wales
    2)True Grit(1969)
    3)Open Range
    4)Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
    5)Ulzana’s Raid

  167. GJ,wonderful film.
    I just loved Colour Sergeant Bourne: “And a bayonet, sir, with some guts behind it.”

  168. surly the Alamo or the good the bad and the ugly have to up there, although the good the bad and the ugly should not be watched half cut as you will bound to nod off.

  169. No Duke,not for me

    Madge is only 50.As if you didn’t know

  170. My thoughts exactly Duke,

  171. I actually grew up 30 min from where Zulu was filmed George and have been to the battle grounds many times. I still cant believe i haven’t seen it up till now.

  172. Would it be regarded as a racist film these days?

  173. Perhaps not
    “Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead: Damn the levies man… Cowardly blacks!
    Adendorff: What the hell do you mean “cowardly blacks?” They died on your side, didn’t they? And who the hell do you think is coming to wipe out your little command? The Grenadier Guards?”

  174. 11.49 by Evra yes.

  175. Duke at 11:14

    Madonna! That’s a visual image I wont forget for a while (hopefully).

  176. cant wait for next fridays film night..shall we do best love films and top tear jerkers!!

  177. Limestonegunner

    George, Miquel all the way. I’ve been impressed with him since his debut lysis time last year.

  178. The. BBC REPORTS.theives dug 100ft underground to get to a cash machine. In the city of Manchester. The whole gosh darn place is crawling. With thrives, cheats,divers and mercenaries. Daisyvcutter time. 🙂

  179. A bit late to the party I know but here goes for Top 5 Westerns:

    1. The Searchers
    2. True Grit (1969)
    3. Pale Rider
    4. She Wore A Yellow Ribbon ( A bit soppy but still the best of its kind IMO)
    5. Unforgiven ( I put this in simply because it resurrected the moden day Western)

    As far as action movies goes:

    1. Die Hard
    2. Terminator
    3. Aliens
    4. Predator
    5. Star Wars – the oroiginal trilogy, not that new shite!!

    As far as my all-time favorite movie goes…….The Princess Bride. 😀
    Pirates, giants, sword fighting, screaming eels, ROUS (rodents of unusual size), a true classic.

    In Bruges was an excellent movie too by the way. And as far as Colin Farrel’s acting ability goes, check out Tigerland. He did brilliant in that too.

  180. Oh yea forgot about District 9, great movie!!

  181. ENTER THE. DRAGON.
    TORA TORA TORA
    GUNS OF NAVARON
    FISH CALLED WONDA
    FARGO
    TOWERING. INFERNO

  182. Braveheart
    300
    Bladerunner
    True Romance
    Bullit

  183. Hello IRISH. HOPE YOU ARE WELL. HOW’S. THE BIG APPLE.

  184. Icy cold winds all day long mate!! looks like winter has finally arrived but at least we have a 3 day weekend 🙂 You?

  185. Oh, hell yah. I forgot. BLADE RUNNER. GREAT ONE. awesome sound track. IRISH, I think that dude is one of king sauds 800 sons. He has 400 daughters too. 😉

  186. Its FANTASTIC here. I’m torn between going skiing or the beach tomorrow. I envy you. I miss. Real four. Seasons.

  187. Fuck four seasons!! Gimme Spring, Summer and Autumn and Snow on Christmas Day 🙂 Winter can go take a long walk off a short pier!!

  188. Your envy has the peculiar air of sarcasm about it ‘kam.

  189. AW officially dismisses the kalou rumours.

  190. Limestonegunner

    Irish, you fell for one of the classic blunders! The first of which is never get involved in a land war in Asia…

  191. No no. No sarcasm at all. I grew up in a city that had snow on the ground four to five months out of the year. Spring had a different feel to it. So did summer and fall. LA IS NICE BUT monotonous. If you catch my drift. Who’s. The ARAB dude you mentioned. A defender, I hope. A mature one. 🙂

  192. LSG – Too funny mate 🙂

    ‘Kam – I hear ya buddy. I spent a week in Flodria (Fort Lauderdale) and was bored to tears. I love the beach and all that but I could never live somewhere like that. I love the winter to be honest in NYC, it just happened to be particularly windy and cold today and I spent most of it outside due to work. As for the Arab dude, I have no idea who he is but apparently it is being reported that he is now on trial at Arsenal. Then again I did read it in the Daily Mail so it is probably just a rumour.

  193. Hahaha Limestone . never go to war with Asians ,period. I don’t. Want to much load on guys just coming back from serious. Injuries. Recipe for disaster. First and foremost reinforcments at fullback positions. Guys who. Can overlap. STRIKERS. CAN WAIT.

  194. IRISH, you by any chance in construction business??

  195. Yes, I have my own company. I renovate apartments but today was doing some outside work for a friend of mine.

  196. Bed time later ‘Kam 🙂

  197. Oh man, I feel for you. Now I know why you were so pissed. Good night and warm them old bones bro.. enjoy the wknd.

  198. Cahill sold to chelski for a reported seven million. He will have to first pass his medical.
    Ah, didn’t. ARSENAL offer more than 7mil. For this guy???

  199. Greatest action movies:

    Girl with the Dragon Tatoo (Trilogy)
    Bourne Identity (Trilogy)
    Batman Returns
    Casino Royale

    Genre (or, series) altering movies that can withstand repeated viewing.

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