Pat Rice: So Long And Thanks For All The Cups

The usual Friday column by Big Al will be here tomorrow; today I wanted to pass my own respects to Pat Rice following the confirmation of his retirement.

It is an employment record with few peers in modern football. Pat Rice retires at the end of this season, 90 minutes of his footballing career remains. From here on in, he is one of us. I have never met the man but those who have suggest he is as much an Arsenal fan as he is an employee; perhaps more. He will be better connected of course. And probably better seats and given his record, deservedly so.

The best footballer in the world prepares to tackle Johan Cruyff in George Armstrong’s testimonial

League champion,  double FA Cup winner; three times a losing finalist in the FA Cup, once in the Cup Winners Cup. More than 650 first team appearances for Arsenal and Watford in a playing career spanning eighteen years, from a fresh faced youth in 1966 until 1984 with Watford. From his winning debut over Burnley en route to Wembley in 1968 to the ignominious final competitive game in the 0 – 5 defeat at Middlesbrough on May 19th, 1980, in what was also Liam Brady’s final first XI appearance; a happy birthday to me indeed.


Club captain, an international captain who nearly crossed the rubicon of 50 caps when that was an achievement. As captain of The Arsenal, I am sure that the 1979 FA Cup Final (subject of tomorrow’s Arsenal On This Day) was the highlight. It was the only trophy he lifted leading the first XI although how the 1978 and 1980 finals were lost is still baffling.

He wasted no time in practising for this moment as this photo shows

When he looks back though, Pat Rice can turn to anyone listening: 1971 double? I was there. 1998 double? I was there. 2002 double? I was there. At every turn his quiet contributions to silverware can be seen from the FA Youth Cup to the FA Cup.Everything about his career was about loyalty, consistency, hard work from his defensive duties to co-ordinating his reactalight glasses and shorts combination.

That carried on through to his coaching career which was no less successful. The path trodden by the popular Irishman has been followed by his successor, Steve Bould. The central defender is described as being the saviour of the Arsenal defensive system, routinely ridden roughshod over by the current manager and his staff. Quite what position these detractors think Pat played in I am not sure.

Had they any shame, they would realise how shameful the behaviour in using Pat Rice as the scapegoat for current woes is.

As it is, I say thank you to Pat Rice for his loyal and much welcomed contribution to the history of Arsenal Football Club. Who would have thought that the young man slouching in the 1968 team photo would go on to be such an unsung hero.

Roy Hodgson’s final match as manager of West Bromwich Albion was thought to be a powerful motivating factor for their players on Sunday. Let’s hope that win in Pat’s final match ever spurs the players beyond the need to win for third place.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 11, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 119 Comments.

  1. mumbaigooner

    such a loyal legend needs his share of accolades from us

  2. mumbaigooner

    thank you yogi for this wonderful piece

  3. Great article mate. A true Arsenal legend. Can you not find a better verb than “spurs” when referring to the motivation this will bring against WBA?

  4. 44 years of loyalty and commitment to arsenal, he has to have a statue.

  5. The man has been a rock for Arsenal. As you say, Yogi, he has been there, seen it, done it.

    I watched him from his early days, I can’t remember him missing many games once he took over the No.2 shirt from Peter Storey. Who was his stand in? I remember who was waiting to step into Bob McNab’s shoes but not Pat’s.

    I never saw him give les than everything on the pitch. Didn’t miss many tackles either.

    Thank you Pat.

    All the very best.

  6. The Real Stew Black

    It will be a sad day for me when he leaves. Pat is one of the last links with my childhood. He played for the first Arsenal team I ever supported as a seven year old and is still there now. An astonishing achievement.
    Anyway let’s celebrate the man’s work for the club and in my case just accept that I’m a broken down old fart and there really isn’t anything left of my long dead childhood.

  7. The Real Stew Black

    I should point out that I was the seven year old. Pat a little older.

  8. nice write up YW. you do mr. RICE justice. It will be weird not seeking his concerned fatherly.figure at the bench during the games. I extend my thanks as well to him and wish him a beautiful sendoff in the form of a resounding win against westbrom.
    Do you by any chance know his career goals scored number. ?by the way , I have played his position to ,at right back, all my days. I wonder where he rates on the all time best GUNNER CAPTAINS. probably , at least top five.
    On a separate matter, why can’t we have the simple elegant classy kits he is wearing in the first photo and the fantastic away uniforms he has on when lifting the fa cup. PURE CLASS.
    UP. THE GUNS!!!!!!!!


  9. First??

  10. excellent comments BOB & STEW. I’m breaking down myself. A little everyday. But I can still teach a thing or two to the twenty. And the thirty year olds. On the pitch that is.

  11. “…in my case just accept that I’m a broken down old fart and there really isn’t anything left of my long dead childhood.”

    Indeed steww, indeed.

    Bloody sad, isn’t it?

  12. Gunner From Nigeria

    Kanu (Papilo) spoke highly of Pat Rice in an interview here a few years ago. Great man who played his part in the story of a great club.
    The story is remarkable because he has been involved the entire success of the Arsenal in the past 40 years.

    Great, great legend. In a generation, where the use of the word “legend” have been absused. He practically rewrote the meaning of legend.

  13. Cbob

    Sounds like you need to get some pasties made and sit down with a flagon of homemade scrumpy.

  14. Bloody good idea Yogi. The thing is I did that last night! Ah well. if needs must.

    Building on the sad business, I had that very picture with a young Pat Rice on my bedroom wall. It was alongside my rosette, which no one wears any more, which I got from sending off coupons cut from the side of a Typhoo tea packet.

  15. Didnt we buy Kenny Sansom immidiately upon his retirement as AFC player?

  16. Didnt AFC buy kenny Sansom right after he retired as an AFC player?

    And with the 1 sub back then those backs needed to be very durable, cause it was never that area that were covered on the bench

  17. respect to Pat Rice,indeed such long term loyalty deserves all the accolade he is getting…so long Pat and thank you for everything.

  18. Ouch…Actually he played left back and was brought in to replace Sammy Nelson. My bad

  19. The Real Stew Black

    If wiki is to be believed John Devine, Viv Anderson, Lee Dixon followed Pat. Then of course The Horse, Ralph, Emporer and finally Bac.

  20. Winterburn played the role before Dixon arrived.

  21. Lovely tribute, YW. My Arsenal connection is as the blink of an eye compared to yours, cbob’s and stew’s, so I envy you those early memories of a great player and servant to the club.

    Did you see TR’s tribute on the website? He says: “Hi Pat, I am very sad to see you go. Every morning I will miss that 10 minutes before training starts when you come into the dressing room and shout at us! I enjoyed working with you for all the time I have been here and the whole team will miss you. Thank you, and all the best.”

    Tickled me.

  22. How do I get an avatar, by the way? Anyone?

  23. I think you mean scwumpy YW.

    A touching piece sir – well written and well deserved.

  24. Got, FG. Signing up is easy peasy. 🙂

  25. The Real Stew Black

    Wiki entirely missed that period when Winterburn played RB for us Steve, I must say my memory is a tad hazy. How long did the experiment last?

  26. I can’t wait to see Fun’s gravatar.

  27. *go to*

  28. Alright there – Bob calm down!

    Pay no notice – its just the cwider talking.

  29. Thanks for the info re, but I just wondered if WordPress could assign me one for this site, as it did before the debacle/fiasco/Armageddon wotsit.

  30. Stew

    One season when Sansom was still there, ‘memorable’ if nothing else for his penalty miss @ Wembley v Luton. There was also his set to with McClair in front of the (real) North Bank.

  31. As far as I know you can just use Gravatar and it works across most sites.

  32. Go on Fun, pick your own!

  33. arsenalandrew

    Great tribute for an outstanding man, his career and incalculable contribution.

    Will feel strange not having Mr Rice around – like a few others here, he was present at the first game I ever saw at Highbury in the very early 1970’s and I loved it when the somewhat unconventional Mr Wenger didn’t bring his own ‘backroom’ staff and simply carried on with Pat. It was decisions like that which helped me get on board with AW – that and his signing of an unknown tall French midfielder who arrived ahead of Arsene in those early days. I briefly considered becoming ArsenalPat as a possible way in to the playing staff although the complete absence of any playing talent curtailed such idle day dreams …

  34. Love that list, Stew…. John Devine, Viv Anderson, Lee Dixon followed Pat. Then of course The Horse, Ralph, Emporer and finally Bac.
    And projecting into the future…Jenkinson followed by Bellerin?

    Who on Sunday?

  35. longblackcloud

    Nice piece YW, also very sad to see the 1st captain I saw lift a trophy for us departing. As other have said another sad landmark in the process of growing older – Think my worst one was when Jens left meaning there were no Arsenal players older than me in the squad, that was an eyeopener! finally realised I had probably left it to late to ask for trial

  36. Who would of known when sticking a picture of Pat into my Panini Album back in the early 80’s he would of gone on to be such a great, loyal servant to the club.

    A true gentleman, who has shown real dedication and commitment to our great club.

    It is a real shame that those ‘supporter’s’ who have added him to their list of scapegoat’s can’t follow his example.

    An Arsenal Icon – let’s hope the team give Pat the send of he truly deserves on Sunday.

  37. 1979 really was a splendid final….

  38. Thank you for everything youve done for us Pat Rice ! The kids will do you proud on Sunday!

    we were born to love you , we live to follow you – ARSENAL FC 1886

    2:10 – 2:12 ….what a goal ….

  39. As an international supporter of this great club, I am moved by the YW’s tribute to Pat Rice and the many comments by fellow bloggers (I loved CBob’s and the Real Stew). Obviously my ties to the club are not as long but they are no less as emotional reinforced by the great effort YW and others give to recounting the history and traditions of Arsenal FC. I may have only been attracted to this club because of its transformation by Arsene Wenger. However those of you who see my occasional ramblings know how disgusted I am to see Pat Rice among others scapegoated online by reckless, self-serving bloggers, many of whom are are now pretentiously singing his praises.
    Thank you Pat for adding to the many reasons why I love this club.

  40. Oh my heavens Hunter what a video? Memories of such precociously talented footballers but on the greatest stage, the HOF, by Arsenwe Wenger. Seeing Diaby and Eduardo in particular brought almost brought a tear. Where are Dan Smith and Tiny Tim Taylor today? Shouldn’t they be in jail for being simply hatchet-men?

  41. Thank you very much for that fantastic write-up, Yogi! I am truly saddened to see someone like Rice go but after all he has done, I can’t imagine anyone deserving his retirement more than him. Pat is definitely in the top drawer when it comes to the most important people we had at our club and I hope that the club will find some other nice ways to honor him. Even as someone who was born past Pat’s playing days I find it hard to understand how some people fail to see his importance for the club and decide to attack him unjustly. He deserves better than that and I hope that the boys will try to give him a winning goodbye on Sunday. Thank you, Pat!

  42. Thanks for a very nice tribute YW. Rekindled those hazy and very fond memories.Pat, we wish you all the best. We will miss your benign presence on the bench.

  43. my Panini Album


    i love you

  44. Seeing Diaby and Eduardo in particular brought almost brought a tear

    exactly the same here mate …. goosebumps !

  45. Old Git Alert

    Just looking on ebay and have come across this product:

    Electronic hands up to all of those who:

    (a) know what an lp is
    (b) remember these being sold
    (c) owned one
    (d) bought the super 8 films of these finals

  46. Yogi, I qualify for a, b, and c. Didn’t have the money to buy Super 8 films which were quite expensive in their day.

  47. The Real Stew Black

    Peter Jones – YW if it had Bryan Butler as well I’d be all over that. In fact for £20 I might have just go for it anyway. Jeez when I think of the magical pictures those wonderful commentators painted in my young mind and then listen to the self important, opinionated unpleasant outpourings of those who have inherited their positions (Green – we’re looking at you) i COULD WEEP.

  48. arsenalandrew

    Great post, 13H13.

    You watch something like that it makes you wonder as to the sanity of the Doomers and the AAA Brigade, even allowing for the odd flat-ish season. Where do they get off, exactly?

    Stellar football, the acquisition of an entire stadium and scant funds to boot – I doubt there’s another person on the planet who could have delivered what AW has.

    ‘Arry won’t at Spuds, ‘King’ Kenny can’t at Liverpool. Only Ferguson has come close and look at the sad fate that has fallen Manure – these days spending half their annual profits on interest payments alone, no longer able to compete in a transfer window they used to dominate.

    And Chel$ki and $iteh had to sell their integrity, credibility, hearts and soul just to compete.


    Yes, H13H has the capacity to inflame and upset many of us but he is also capable of reminding us of our incredible achievements as a club, and how far we’ve come.

    In overall terms, and for many, many decades, I still think Arsenal has ALWAYS been the best club in England. With our outstanding stability, our roots and our traditions, we deserved to have someone like Arsene Wenger come along to build on these mighty foundations.

    But we’ll never forget where we came from.

    It’s our sense of history that is the source of our greatest strength.

  49. arsenalandrew

    It’s a, b & c for me YW!

  50. Vinyl is making quite the comeback don’t you know!

    Although for me, spending hours in Record shops buying house and hip hop 12”s and searching for obscure funk on a Saturday afternoon was a highlight of the week.

    I even remember the first copy of ‘Dancing in Space’ by Atmosfear I ever owned being taken under my arm to Highbury with me.

    Ah, the memories.

  51. The Real Stew Black

    So sorry about the accidental lapse into CAPITALS as you can see from the lower case ‘i’ which preceded it I had inadvertently hit that bloody caps lock. Don’t you hate the HABIT of random capitalisation OF words for no obvious reason.

  52. YES Stew.

  53. And there was me thinking it was a fashion statement, Stew. The blog comment equivalent of Jamie Reid.

    PS To the whippersnappers: If you have to google Jamie Reid to find out who he is, you’re too young to remember

  54. At least I know Yogi’s birthday now. I can now hack his bank account. Great post as usual and dedicated to a great man. They’ll come a time when we’ll wonder how one person could keep the same job for such a long time. And then the doubters will realise that Pat Rice was among the greats of football management. Wish him a happy retirement – He deserves it!

  55. And Chel$ki and $iteh had to sell their integrity, credibility, hearts and soul just to compete.

    heheh too right !

    and also manure who had to give their assets to the banks as collateral, and they risk their past present and future just to win a trophy or two per year, ….ahahah

    glazers have failed on three occasions to sell it ….qatar, chinese and singapore buyers…they all got out of the deal once they realised they will have to fork out about 700 million so that their new acquisition keeps its training ground and stadium ..haha ! off your perch fergie ..haha !!

  56. Great piece Yogi and you do Mr. Pat Rice a proper thank you! I never got to see him play live but from what I have read he was not onyl a great Arsenal player but a great person as well. To Mr. Rice, I want to say thank you for your years of bringing joy and giving Arsenal you passion and heart and enjoy the retirement but don’t be a stranger as you will be missed!

    If any players are reading this, lets send Mr. Rice off properly with a truly brillant performance solid defending and maybe a goal from a fullback as icing on the cake.

  57. Yogi – excellent post.

    Pat is a modern day legend. Who better exemplifies the values of Arsenal.

    Many thanks for the clip; the 07/08 squad was pure joy to watch, spectacular entertainment.

  58. kenya – I wish 1980 was my birthdate. It feels like 1880 at this minute in time.

  59. Limestonegunner

    Lovely images and touching words, a wonderful tribute to a true club man and legend Pat Rice.

    We’ll miss him on the bench. Hopefully we send him off properly with a win!

  60. Vinyl Matt

    Great tune man! The only thing I have ever been addicted to, apart from Arsenal was buying 12s every week! Spent an effin fortune and yep, its good to see vinyl making a well deserved comeback. It is the only way to listen to top tuuuuunes! 🙂

    God bless you Mr Arsenal Pat Rice; Legend.

    I wonder how some of those on other blogs are reacting? probably full of faux sincerity at his leaving.

  61. From one Pat Rice to another….

  62. I can only echo the sentiment. Pat is a true Arsenal legend who was there on the first occasion I watched Arsenal (Dec 70) and still there on my last visit earlier this year.

    I always thought he only got the job as Asst because Arsene saw his name as Patrice!

    So glad to see the pic of him with Geordie Armstrong on the photo tribute … brought a tear to the eye.

  63. Billy's Boots

    YW, that was a wonderful, heartfelt valediction for a quiet hero. Was the picture of Pat with Johan Cruyff chosen deliberately? Would it be too much of a stretch to suggest that Pat is perhaps the closest Arsenal equivalent to Cruyff at Barcelona and Bobby Charlton at Man Utd? He may not have hit the same lofty heights as a player, but he certainly seems to have been the thread running through all things Arsenal over the last 40+ years.

  64. Billy's Boots

    By the way, YW, I didn’t realise you were ever captain of The Arsenal. You kept that quiet! 😉

  65. Great post yogi.

    Good luck to pat rice. I hope he has a wonderful retirement. A win this weekend would be a great way to honor what he has done.

    Lots going on this weekend and may not have a chance to post this so an early happy mothers day to all the mom’s on the blog. 😃

  66. WordPress did it again and screwed up my name but at least they got the gravatar right.

  67. Billy's Boots

    Watch out for kenyangunner, Bill. Now she knows your surname!

  68. BB

    Cruyff was chosen deliberately, he looks like he was crapping himself at the thought of being made of a pudding of by Rice…

  69. OMG! It is getting closer and closer to the game and I am getting well nervous. Its at times like these I appreciate the differences of opinion I have had this week that have enabled me to temporarily forget the game and the importance of a positive outcome.

    Thanks then to Bill, Steve, FG, George, Hunter, Khalifha, Jonjon, etc. 🙂

  70. Vinyl Matt – that has a ring to it – might have to change my name!

    Absolutely right Dex, you can’t beat the feeling of anticipation and excitment at hearing the crackle at the start of a much sought after 12″.

  71. My regular gravatar was there at first and now on my iPad the gravatar switched to something different on the post at 1:37 and 1:38 Doesn’t that one belong to Kenyangunner . Major strangeness today yogi.

  72. kenyangunner

    Yogi @ 12:42. I know the feeling. Meeting Darius and Firstlady on Sunday for the match!

  73. Limestonegunner

    Things used to be so smooth but I’ve switched email accounts to avoid this strange registration page on WordPress. But it means no gravatar. Talk about nostalgia, I wish we could just go back to earlier this season before the WP apocalypse!!

  74. Limestonegunner

    Kenyan, best of luck getting together. Now that is a meet up!! Nairobi, wow!

  75. Flint McCullough

    I first saw Pat Rice playing in the FA Youth Cup Final c1966 & I thought I could play as well as him – he looked very ordinary, not one to mark out for the future. But Pat more about him than most of us & made himself into one of the most reliable Arsenal servants ever both on & off the pitch. In my opinion he also ranks right up there with Frank McLintock & TA as a captain, the 1st I remember making sure the players acknowledged the fans. A very Happy retirement Pat.

  76. What a post. A fantastic labour of love i imagine. Well done yogi. I hope some how Pat sees it and is bouyed by how many fans feel about him. Just well done for getting this done so well, as usual.

  77. mumbaigooner

    checking my Bergkamp gravatar

  78. The Real Stew Black

    Untold has a nice tribute. Doubtless some of you will see it as more shameless self promotion.

  79. So Szcz had an injury? Might explain his performances recently.

  80. arsenalandrew

    Odd we didn’t just rest him; what a marvelous thing this hindsight is.

  81. pedantic george

    Steww, you are getting ACLF and Twitter mixed up

  82. great tribute Yogi for a great servant as a player and an assistant coach, hope Bouldie can fill his shoes.

  83. Great words Andrew – sense of History is absolutely right – no club has anything remotely like it – or can take it from us.

    The other important value is our integrity – Arsenal seem to have always had an air of class to them (well at the very least since 1913!).

    We are the club daring to dream of a different path – and of course that path would and could never have been achieved without Arsene.

    Should that model ever become like Chelski or Shitty I would shake my head and walk away from football. I have no interest in following a team that buys success – I’d rather follow a non-league team (Dulwich Hamlet are fun and cost just £7 a ticket) than go through that horror show.

    Thankfully I can’t imagine it ever coming to pass.

    Thank God for Arsene and fuck everyone who doesn’t appreciate what men like him and Pat have given to us.

    I internally say a word of thanks every time I watch them – every time I go past the stadium – on the train – you just cannot take it for granted. It’s moronically criminal if you do.

  84. To all the mothers on here I know I’m early but wont be on this weekend just want to say Happy Mother’s Day!

  85. @jonny
    Exactly my thoughts. And that is also the reason why I am always disgusted when someone comes along yearning for Uzzie to buy us so that he can inject a couple of hundreds of millions of his own cash into the club so we can go and buy every player there is. That they seriously wouldn’t mind pissing away our history and what makes us special for some short term success is just shocking. We just can’t allow Arsenal to become a club like City, PSG etc.

  86. Regardless of who starts on Sunday, this squad has set a different tone and feeling that next season we will see silverware.

    On Sunday, I sense that some, who have been out of the spotlight, will step up their performances and heavily contribute to Arsenal wrapping up third spot.

    Three points is the priority, but a brace from RvP would complete a fitting windup.

  87. Kos breaks up a WBA attack and passes to Song, Song shields off his defender and makes an nice pass through the heart of the WBA midfield to Ramsey who then instinctively and quicklys plays a 1-touch pass to Lil Mozart…He then drives foward and plays an excellent through ball to the on rushing Walcott who has the goalpoaching RVP going for goal…Its Walcott and RVP against Foster who looks to be shaky as he committs to Walcott who then plays a cheeky lil pass to RVP who then unselfishly returns it back to Walcott so the winger gets a goal!!! O i dare to dream!!!

  88. great post yogi well said pat rice true legend loved the photos.

  89. The only thing that would make that better is if after the goal they go and celebrate it with Mr. Pat Arsenal Rice a true living legend.

  90. Best of luck to you Pat Rice. Thanks for the photos of him as a player Yogi. I never saw him play so it gives important perspective that I didn’t have before. Which I am sure the current players that aren’t English don’t have. It’s all fun and dandy for us supporters to wish a big send off for Pat Rice but really it all depends on the players. Do they like Pat Rice? or are they happy to see his backside out of the door? I think Champions League football is motivation enough for them. I wonder, what does Santos, a 20 something from Brasil, or Szczesny, a 20 year old Pole, think about Rice? Neither of them saw Rice play for the team. Do they see him as a hard ass old codger? Maybe they’re happy to see him go.

  91. C
    great thoughts…..

    Would not be surprised to see an end of match celebration around Pat.

  92. Exactly Evil – we’d be just another club. Another rich man’s train set. Fuck that for a game of soldiers.

    I’m oddly calm about Sunday. No doubt it’ll hit me just before kick off and I’ll be a jibbering wreck!

  93. Great stuff Yogi!

    A well deserved tribute to Pat Rice. A great servant of the Club. To think that I actually did get to see him play…Kool!

    May his retirement be long and propserous. God bless him!

    Have a blessed day all!

  94. PG @2.38

    What was that all about yesterday? I saw a tweet from someone else which was basically a FFS Grow Up aimed at both UA and ANR. Don’t tell me Pyles actually deigned to admit other Arsenal blogs exist?

  95. C

    What????????? Another one? When the Hell did Mothers get 2 Mothers Days and us poor Dad’s still only get one?

  96. Jonny and Evil, I am with you both. I am glad that Arsenal is run the way we are. Why would we want to become what we despise?

  97. @Yogi

    Haven’t you learned as Dad’s and husbands its all about Mothers and wives! I have come to accept that fact the great thing for me though is I have turned my wife into a an Arsenal fan(she doesn’t understand or know much about the history yet) she wants to watch the game on Sunday so I’ll cook for her and watch the match!

  98. Why are there so many clubs (Chelsea, City, QPR, PSG, Anzhi Makhachkala, Deportivo, AC Milan) operated like toys by rich owners? Has football become a good industry to launder illegal money?

  99. @Philmar

    Its become more globalized and the brands are bigger than ever thus billionares see clubs as toys and cash cows as well as investments. I hate it but since I’m not a billionare I can do little.

    *side not, my wife just text me and said she has a feeling Chamakh will get a goal and help us secure 3rd but then be sold in the summer

  100. Andrew, thanks for the BBC research, which I hadn’t bothered with.

    I pinched your extracts and have taken the complaint forward.

    Hope this keeps you happy for a while as I haven’t had much luck getting Yogi to clear up the M’vila business.

  101. Limestonegunner

    Hear, Hear, Jonny, AA, Evil et. al. This is a precious thing our history and approach to football.

    Two big clubs that seem to be doing it well, all things considered, are Bayern and Juventus. The latter is a bit iffy given Calciopoli, but they have recovered and rebuilt with more integrity from their demotion to Serie B, taking a patient approach. They’ve build a new stadium–as have Bayern– (the only private financed one in Serie A, I think, which was launched in a classy way by inviting Notts County as a respectful gesture to a historic connection) and have built a hardworking side that has finally won the Scudetto and might even go unbeaten in league and domestic cup. But hands off, RvP!!!

    In England, we see increasingly teams wanting to be like an Arsenal. In terms of how they play and in how they grow as a club in a self-sustaining way through prudent management of youth development and transfer policies. The key to establishing the success of this model is showing that we can not only be consistent at the top level but also win some competitions against the financially doped. Newcastle and Tottenham are challenging us on lower wages and fairly modest transfers in the last two years–replicating some aspects of this model–especially Newcastle–, so our challenge is really to show that we are a class above them next season.

  102. goonerpanther

    Excellent post, well worth the wait. Completely agree with you about how shameful it is that Pat has been scapegoated about the defence.

    Did my own tribute to this truly great servant here.

  103. Loved today’s title. Brilliant.

  104. A report in today’s Bucharest Herald suggests at least 400 Athletic Bilbao fans flew to the Hungarian capital for Wednesday night’s Euro Vase final, instead of going to the Romanian city of Bucharest where the match was actually staged.


  105. Good ol Arry’s response when asked about Bale supposably going to Barca if Spuds dont make CL:

    “That idea gets a bit over-hyped,” said the 65 year-old, whose team host Fulham on Sunday in the last game of the season.

    “When Gareth came to Tottenham, they weren’t in the Champions League. When Luka Modric came here, they were nowhere near.

    “He didn’t come here because they were in the Champions League, he came here because they were a good club, on decent money and had a chance to play in the Premier League.

    “Are you telling me people aren’t going to sign for Chelsea next year if they don’t win the Champions League this year because they won’t make it next year? Of course they’ll sign for Chelsea, if they are paid the right money and get the right contract, they are going to a fantastic club in London.

    “They will still go to Chelsea. They will go to Liverpool because it is a great club and they will still come to Tottenham because it’s a great club.”

  106. pedantic george

    And Harry makes a good point.
    They were happy to get to play for Tottenham in the first place .They should bloody well happily play out there contracts.
    We cant laugh at Tottenham and cry when it happens to us.
    Well we can ,but it is a bit rich.

  107. arsenalandrew

    Bob – you’re welcome, and bloody good on you for pursuing this. I don’t think it’s a sackable offence; we (you) may not even achieve an apology for it (although stranger things have happened). But the fact you have taken it to this next level should mean it’s brought to Linekar’s attention in such a way as he may think twice before lampooning one of the game’s greatest ever managers.


    Jonny (et al) – yes, I’m with you on the Dulwich sentiments; happily in my case Barnet is my local side which, given their Arsenal links, pleases me no end!

    Like you, I say a quiet thanks of gratitude and wonder every time I go past the Emirates. I was really feeling this way before the game last Saturday when a got I photo of my Dad feeding the police horses below the enormous image of Ted Drake up by the new Clock End.

    Dad saw Drake play in the 1940’s, during the war, when players, who today would be earning £40k, £60k, £100+k, would come in from their military bases to play unofficial games at the weekends, mourn their fallen player comrades and return to the war effort.

    That’s history for you, in the days when ‘being injured’ meant something very different and getting transferred could see you taking on fearsome risks, and genuinely deadly enemies.

  108. @ PG

    Its ok to laugh a little. The funniest part of the whole thing for me was: “They will still go to Chelsea. They will go to Liverpool because it is a great club and they will still come to Tottenham because it’s a great club.” So now Spuds are a great club?!?!?!?!?

  109. The dissapointing news today is that Owen Coyle is keen on giving a start to Lee after his recovery from a broken leg. Nine months out, will he really be ready for such a game? I do not know, but if it was up to me, I’d be starting Ryo! Not out of bias. Nope. No bias at all here. I just want QPR to go down.

  110. Pat Rice is a shit number two we need him out of the club now!! all he does is sit there saying shit all, he is a yes man..time we got someone in who can stand up to wenger.

    Oh Pat Rice is leaving! thanks for everything pat, love you man. i hope for you all the best you have been a great servant to us.

  111. Sarcasm duke?


    Wit anyway.

  112. Who is Pat Rice anyways?

  113. excellent post..
    thanks for everything pat..much loved, much respected, much abused by the tossers but nobody gives a shit about what they think…

    pat rice, one of only two men to be involved in all our double seasons, i salute you,..thank you for the lifetime shift you have put into this club and no matter what happens you walk away from the club with honor…

  1. Pingback: Rice Retires, Bould Promoted + Early West Brom Thoughts « Desi Gunner

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