One Of Us Speaks – Journey Through The Past

Call it fixing a hole if you want, but when I’ve had the chance recently I’ve been watching a lot of old football videos online. Due to my age I never got to see any football on television before around 1989, or in person before 1994. So that means I’ve missed my fair share of important players and moments – don’t blame me; blame my parents I suppose.

I don’t have the patience to watch entire 90-minute matches from decades ago as a routine, but thankfully many other people do. And what’s more, these beautiful bastards cut the videos down to include only individual performances by certain players.

Obviously these videos aren’t the perfect way of sizing up a player, since they don’t capture off-ball movement, and record only his touches – usually in grainy, primitive footage. But they’re bite-sized and ideal for people with short attention spans.

Anyway, what was I talking about?…Oh yeah

So, watching these performances 30, 40 or 50 years after they happened doesn’t suddenly give me licence to talk about people like Pélé or Johan Cruyff with any authority; really, I just feel I’m doing my duty as a fan of the game to check out these players at their peak – so I can pretend to talk about them with authority!

But often without realising I’ve forgiven the greats every time I’ve watched them. If there’s something that looks somehow gauche or unathletic I’d accept automatically that I’m watching a match from a different time, with different standards of skill and physical preparation.

That’s before we talk about tactics. On one of my timid visits to the football pantheon I happened across Franz Beckenbauer, facing England in the momentous encounter during the 1970 World Cup. The man they called the Kaiser would pick up the ball from the ‘keeper and stride forward in his trademark style time and again, riding challenges and threading passes for the attackers.

Something wasn’t right, and it was only when I read the comments underneath the video that I realised what it was; none of the England players were closing him down. Yeah, I learned something from a Youtube comment!

Granted they were playing in searing heat, at an elevation of almost 2,000 metres above sea level, but there seemed to be no interest in halting the progress of one of the best players in the world before he got to around ten yards from the penalty area.

Well of course. I’m a novice at tactics, but, for what I know, pressing wasn’t widely adopted as part of a team strategy at this point. But it’s not like England are standing off him and hoping to clog the area in front of the box either; Beckenbauer’s being given the freedom to lope past an attacker and a couple of midfielders before anyone wondering whether this bloke who’s not half bad at football has gone far enough.

Afforded so much space, it’s not surprising to see Beckenbauer find his teammates so often. One player who seems only to find his teammates a few times during an entire match is the Brazilian winger, Garrincha. In the 1962 World Cup he carried a winning international team to success in a way that no other player has done since, apart from Maradona in 1986.

And such was his popularity that he was known as “The Joy of the People”. In a sport of emperors, princes and galloping majors, Garrincha’s epithet is endearing for its sense of humanity, and the love for the game that it expresses – that a footballer should be a source of gladness for people under an authoritarian regime.

When he’s got the ball you can see how he earned the tag. There can’t have been many more unpredictable players around at the time. By most accounts he made more additions to the dribbling lexicon than any other footballer to have played the game. You probably know this, but his spine was crooked, and one of his knees pointed the wrong way from birth. This is partly what allowed him to change direction in such bewildering ways.

I can remember talking to someone who said he was a football scout in the pub a few years ago. That’s the level of insight you’ve come to expect from one of my posts!

He said that among the first things they assess in a kid are his or her knees and gait. By today’s recruitment standards, Garrincha wouldn’t have got past a minute of assessment. And, if you didn’t already know, his knees did give in, but not until he’d changed the way people thought about how an individual can express himself on a football pitch.

But even in his great performances he gives the ball away far too much for the taste of fans living in the era of possession-obsessed teams.

So I suppose the point – banal as it may be – is that we’ve got to admire these guys for clearing the path for future generations. As late as the 80s, the greats played with leather footballs that would get saturated by water when it rained, toiled on poorly maintained pitches, in matches officiated by referees who often didn’t just overlook but encouraged violence. As I mentioned, these footballers changed what people thought was possible.

But let’s not kid ourselves. Football is evolving, and each innovation is assimilated then eventually countered. The rules have been changed to allow skill and enterprise to flourish – raised boots and tackles from behind earn straight reds and backpasses are illegal. We have better guidelines for developing youngsters, technically and physically. We know the importance of mental and tactical preparation. Garrincha would step onto the pitch without knowing who his opponent would be!

They also face teams that are better drilled, and systems that are more detailed. Coaches now spend hours poring over video footage. Arsenal employ people fulltime to compile videos. Personified, its culture might be morbidly obese and on life-support, but on-pitch, standards are higher than they’ve ever been. But then that’s just natural.

Videos by: and

Posted on August 3, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 196 Comments.

  1. What is this crap? I thought I’d clicked onto the Argos onlione website FFS

  2. pedantic george

    Can I reserve a 32 inch plasma?

  3. and imagine them same brazilians rocking up in Inguuurland on a lovely ‘damp’ day and never having heard of dubbing for their boots

  4. What kind of plasma? Sun, telly or knit you together?

    Looking forward to seeing your ‘ninja nighty’.

  5. Al – you really are a cunning linguist.

    Bob – Your appreciation of Andrew is as balanced, fair and excellent as I would expect of a man who has such integrity. However Andrew described – or attempted to describe – the divisive nature of the RVP situation with such neutral clarity (yes I know!) and he gave perspective to the situation in ‘difficult opinion land’. I am unconvinced there is a right on this subject – just a mess of feelings.

    I guess what I am saying is that apologising for RVP’s action is contentious but not ‘wrong’.

    That said no one is right 100% of the time – least of all me.

  6. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Santi in the building!

    (And puts a Spaniard in the works for Robin, does it not?)

  7. Another very well written post Big Al. I could not follow European football until fox soccer channel came on line in the early part of this century. When I was growing up no one played soccer so its always great to get these type of historical posts. Thanks great stuff. You are a true magician with words.

  8. Big Al – Jesus HC! Where to srart? Firstly Old Franz. The original Becks started out in midfield but eventually moved to central defense, or more accuratly sweeper. Most people give him credit for inventing the role but what most people underestimate is his close ball control. The second created the first. Look at Kos, gains posession and comes out with the ball, short and quick touches of the ball which are always in his control, yet not far enough for an opponent to stick in a tackle.

    “Something wasn’t right, and it was only when I read the comments underneath the video that I realised what it was; none of the England players were closing him down. Yeah, I learned something from a Youtube comment!”

    On that video alone you are right but what you are missing is what happened to defenders before this game who did try and close him down. They were left in no-man’s land and he was left with a huge gaping hole in defense, which you can be sure he exposed. Watch that same video again and watch the passes he made which came to nothing, over the top, to the wing with pace and on and on…. It has been said he was a generation ahead, I would argue he was at least two. And probably did not even know it!! Song plays the same ball over the top and these days we expect it. That ball to the corner flag? Where noone was? THEO!!!! All day long!! Back then the ball was played to the feet of the receiving player, both of which were usually firmly planted. Nowadays, both of those feet better be flat out as the ball is played where you should be not where you are. He had that vision, Song, Cesc, Rosicky, Wilshire, Diaby all have it too.

    Garrincha – I admit to the same paucity of knowledge when it comes to him. I have watched the same grainy footage as you and been just as impressed.

    However….”When he’s got the ball you can see how he earned the tag. There can’t have been many more unpredictable players around at the time. By most accounts he made more additions to the dribbling lexicon than any other footballer to have played the game. You probably know this, but his spine was crooked, and one of his knees pointed the wrong way from birth. This is partly what allowed him to change direction in such bewildering ways.”

    Fair enough but if you remove the crooked spine (sounds painful!!) and fix his knee but then give him a whopping forehead, are we not then talking about Gervinho? He even sounds Brazillian!!!! Just saying 🙂

    All in all a great write up ( as per usual) but Franz is and always will be one of the very few I admire and to this day can still look up to.

  9. Lovely stuff Al. Mexico ’70 was my first world cup. I was only 3 in ’66 and we were living in Scotland so no one mentioned that tournament. The Kaiser was such a cultured elegant footballer. Imagine him and Moore in the same defence. Swoon.
    If ever you are in the mood for an old match send me your email address I’ll let you have Holland/Uruguay from the early seventies. The Dutch changed football for ever.

  10. I notice when watching the old matches from the 60s and even 70s that while defenders probably did get away with kicking the opposition you didn’t really get defenders going to ground and sliding in… That tackle thatvis now known as ‘commitment’. Maybe that began in the 80s? Interestingly, that kind of tackling ( which is also the most likely to cause injury) is less favoured in more technical leagues because if the defender fails to win the ball, they will either have conceded a foul, or best case scenario are left on the ground while the attacker is now unchallenged. Even if the ‘committed’ defender wins the ball itbis incredibly unlikely they will have actually played it to a team mate… Instead it will have been kovked into touch and posession therefore lost. The Spanish style of pressing retrieves the ball without the defending player ever losing control of the ball once it is won. Do you guys think this style of defending is holding England back?

  11. (sorry for the bad autocorrect spelling!)

  12. Surely now RVp must have to say…well now iz can sheeez that arsenal can compete, i do apology i stay now.!!

  13. Terrific stuff, Al. Great analysis and thinking.

    You are correct about the change in the game, the increased professionalism, fitness, technique and better playing conditions. I musy give a nod to Irish though, many players would have been even better today, given the same conditions.

    The one thing that separates out the eras, for me, is excitement and romance. ” We know the importance of mental and tactical preparation. Garrincha would step onto the pitch without knowing who his opponent would be!” Yes. Wasn’t that wonderful. The mystery, the drama and the sometimes ‘we don’t give a fuck who it is attitude’.

    Football is more proficient, no question. More exciting? I don’t think so. OK, I’m older and everything is more exciting when you are younger, but…

    The game can only go forward but I hope we don’t become like basketball, technically and athletiucally brilliant but, to these eyes, mechanical and dull.

    Maybe this is why Gervinho attracts such support. Not, to me, the most productive player, but when he gets the ball, anything seems possible.

  14. Jonny. I am not knocking Andrew. I think he does fall on the other side of the RVP ‘debate’ from me. He gives him considerable leeway. I give him none.

    The creeping willingness to welcome RVP back into the fold leaves me cold.

    And, on the verge of a poem, I’ll leave it.

  15. OOU – Nice post. Very interesting.

  16. I have very conflicing thoughts of the RvP saga.

    * Pissed with him for wanting to leave.
    * If I step back from being an Arsenal fan, I can actually understand why he wants to leave.
    * Releasing his statement was a stupid thing to do.
    * All that said, I hope he changes his mind and stays. Simply because he is a top player and we are a better team with him involved.

  17. Olympic Joke.

    A gymnast walks into a bar.

    He gets a two-point deduction and ruins his chances of a medal.

  18. You see, that’s why I could never be an Olympic competitor.

    I walk into bars whenever I can.

  19. *tumbleweed*


  20. The gymnast’s team have appealed

  21. if keeping RvP will bring Frank back, i’m all for it..

  22. A very nice post OOU, imagine what these kind of players would be able to do in the current age of the game.

    “If people start giving VP credit for any signings we make I’m liable to get wound up again and twice in two days is far too much so think on.”

    Markus I already had to explain to someone two days ago that our signings so far have nothing to do with the traitor’s shenanigans, I told him way before “the statement” we had already made two very astute signings, whoever we are currently in for (midfield players) has alot to do with Wilshire and Rosicky, atleast that is my feeling about the hunt for midfielders.

    Andy I agree with point 1&3 of your feelings regarding this saga, but totally agree with Consolsbob and George, he may still be our player this coming season and I will support him as long as he is an Arsenal player but all respect for him was lost the moment he opened his big mouth and aired his statement.

  23. Cbob,
    “Maybe this is why Gervinho attracts such support. Not, to me, the most productive player, but when he gets the ball, anything seems possible.”

    ditto a certain lil’ russian…

  24. Firstlady – I can totally understand where George and Bob are coming from, I really can. And I also feel like that to a degree. But my priority is the club, and despite him acting like a twat he makes the team better. Everthing else is secondary in my humble opinion.

    I agree about the signings though. Anybody that believes that AW is making these type of signings to placate anybody, is seriously stupid.

  25. Another angle on the RvP scenario is that he does not want to leave this summer. Has has not said he wants to leave; he has said he won’t be signing a new contract. He may fully intend to leave next year and get his big pay day.

    Just a thought.

  26. cool write-up Big Al…

    I always wonder if Maradona’s wonder goal against England could have been scored against say Italy or Cameroon?
    Its one thing to close-in quite another to make sure the attacker is stopped.

    Claudio Gentile or Theophilus Abega..or friggin’ Johnny Evans would have put stopped Diego dead in his tracks….i feel

  27. Placate van Persie? Christ I don’t believe it. The day a manager or club buys players to placate somebody is the road to ruin.

    I strongly suspect Giroud especially has been bought for reasons far removed from placating him.

  28. Lets hope Madrid manage to get Modric. That gives us a much better chance of getting Sahin, and as an added bonus weakens the Spuds.

  29. Arsene has some difficult decisions should RvP remain at the club. Where does Giroud figure for starters? I can’t imagine AW shelling out £12M for a player and then leaving him on the bench too often. But Giroud only plays through the middle, and if RvP is available he really must play.

  30. @GA
    I would hope that it would coincide with a better rotation policy in that part of the pitch. Robin played almost every game for us last season and I think it showed during the last 10 or so games when he really started to struggle to get on the score sheet.

  31. Steve

    Gilles Grimandi told French media some weeks ago that Giroud was an insurance policy, van Persie’s replacement.

  32. I was ten years old in 1962. I was just learning the game of soccer in New Jersey. Great video. The skills of the players in those years are great, Very sound fundamentals. I fell in love with the game then. I remember listening to the 1968 World Cup on the short wave, The BBC. as a kid punishment was to stay in the house. Now punishment for kids is to go outside. we played sports sun up to down in rain snow or whatever, Life has changed now in my country America freedom, private property rights, freedom of choice, freedom to worship or not worship the God of the Bible are bad. if you get a chance check out my geemans blog. Great post. Sports reflects society. Todays players have great talent but sometimes their understanding and creating opportuinties are not there. Players in my day learned on the streets. Then the coaches honed the skills

  33. Very interesting OOU. The music in the second half of the Beckenbauer video is doing my head in. I’m sure it’s an orchestral cover of another song? Or maybe the song was actually inspired by that piece I don’t know. Help.

    Irish, I was going to say we have two Beckenbauers in Koscielny and Vermaelen!

  34. YW

    Thanks, I knew I had seen something somewhere about this. An informed opinion / statement as such, not simply the opinion of a man in the street.

    It appeared at the time to be quite a quickly concluded bit of business. Dare I suggest the catalyst being that now infamous meeting prior to the Euros.

  35. Excellent post. We’ve also come along in looking after footballers after they stop playing, and preparing young hopefuls who don’t quite make it…

    Garrincha had a very sad end. Died an alcoholic in a tiny bedsit with his money stacked in wodges in a kitchen cabinet. I think he was slightly simple – in a Gazza way – and was essentially robbed by the clubs he played for, who badly took advantage of him. Very sad.

    But ‘The Joy of the People’ what a fantastic name to be remembered by.

  36. Great write up but then this place doesn’t do anything else does it?-I’m gonna have an rvp free day today, anyone care to join me?

  37. Interesting article Aman. Feel bad for the lad. If he’d been a bit more patient he might have been in our first team by now. He would certainly have gotten game time last season when we were short in midfield.

  38. Andy @ 9:30 am,

    “Has has not said he wants to leave; he has said he won’t be signing a new contract.”

    An important distinction, despite the tendency of many to conflate both points. RvP may indeed intend to do his last year and see what happens then. Either way, I see little point in damning him prior to the mooted departure. But, not so for all. And that leads me to a nasty subject: Stewart Robson.

    He is quoted by TalkSpite as having stated that:

    “At the moment it doesn’t look like anyone is willing to pay the price Arsenal are asking for Robin van Persie,”

    “Arsenal could end up being stuck with Van Persie, which some people might say is a good thing, but he doesn’t want to be there. It’s a difficult situation for the player, the club and the fans. They should accept something around £12million.

    “This is a player who’s said he’s not going to sign for Arsenal again. I don’t see how it can work if a player doesn’t want to be at the club.”

    Not only does good old Robbo determine that RvP “doesn’t want to be at the club”, he has also determined the selling price that AFC must accept for him… Thanks to all who lead the petition that possibly helped ease this pat off the club’s doorstep.

  39. Limpar – I didn’t realise that. Sad indeed.

  40. Dgob – I think new petitions might be needed this season. The man is a tumour.

  41. I don’t understand how the club employ a man who just slates them all the time. Tis wierd.

  42. LA

    IIRC Garrincha ran over his father whilst drunk and was driving when his car crashed and killed his mother-in-law.

    A extraordinarily complex life.

  43. Still no news of Santa Claus?

  44. Mel, I’m trying to steer clear of that subject, I really am.

    By the way, one of Fran Merida’s (ex?)teammates at Athletico would make an excellent backup full-back for us.

    Sílvio, 24, Portuguese. Equally at ease as a right or left back.

  45. I think Chamack will do well this year. He clearly is a really good player. Does well with his back to goal. Has a nice touch, Involves others well. Hell b4 RVP he was another of Wenger’s gems. But then RVP can make the best look mediocre.

  46. Honestly?

  47. Jonny,

    Are my celebrations premature and he has not gone?

    Please say it isn’t so.

  48. Well done Markus, keep steering!-let’s not forget we have our fifth full back in young nico from leytonstone,he never let us down last season and he’s like jenkinson-an arsenal nut which in the days of you know who and Stewart robson is good news.

  49. Chamack sound be given a chance, I’d be careful as to when he’s given his chance though, ease him into games that are already won or against lower opposition. Bloke just needs a confidence boost.

  50. I can’t see it now. We have more strikers at the club than last year (even if RvP leaves). If we get a load of injuries he may get a chance, but if everybody stays fit I don’t see him getting mucg game time. And because he was a free transfer, his wages will be pretty high. Probably best for all parties if we can get him off he books.

  51. Nice one OOU ~ remember having the record on vinyl way back when. Some good stuff, but the main memory is the unbelievable tedium of “Words”. (Words – between the lines of a page) – Oh man…
    @mel – It’s a good idea, but i’d just like to throw this out: Why the hell release a statement “to stop media speculation” and then remain silent for so long, thus fuelling it? this is irrational at best, and dishonest and selfish at worst. Ok, said enough.

  52. Big Al

    Found myself absorbed in every word.

    Bill @ 4.32
    “I could not follow European football until fox soccer channel came on line in the early part of this century. When I was growing up no one played soccer so its always great to get these type of historical posts.” Ditto

    Besides, my time was too consumed in raising three sons.

    When the oldest wanted to play YMCA soccer (2nd grade), I was drafted to be the coach.
    I was hooked.

    Cruyff was my first impressionable player, from an old video. His ball possession, passing, and dribbling skill – the foundation for a good footballer is what attracked my attention to specific football player: Diaby, Song, Rosicky, RvP, Gervinho, Arshavin…INDIVIDUAL BALL SKILLS…….with restricted space and time……

    and eventually to Arsenal.

    So excited with the prospects of our future.

  53. The thing is we just replace all the players who played for us last yr by the new ones who have been bought for that position.

    Thing is Podolski plays where Gervinho played last yr. Going by the pre season who knows whether Gervinho could keep him on the bench. The thing is alot depends on link up with team mates and such. Chamack is gr8 at this. A goal or two could bring him back to top form. He looks close.

    Same with Santa, a fit Rosicky could keep him out.

    I guess the boss is looking to rotate more as he has seen the team performance drop in the last two months of the season. This has been the case for the last 3 seasons or so.

  54. Too many things in that post. Sorry.. 😉

  55. Thanks for the nice comments. This was a bit of a late one so i’m glad it hasn’t been slammed! I’ve seen a bit of Beckenbauer, IG – and I reckon the conditions came into play in Mexico, which made his opponents look a little passive. Either way I don’t need an excuse to hunt down more after what you said!

    From what i’ve seen, and the little I’ve read, I think Gazza can be compared to Garrincha. Maybe not in terms of achievement, as the latter won things, but definitely when it came to personal life and character – that kind of naivety, and some of the shitty things they did to people in their lives.

    You got it, PB. You know what’s a tame Neil Young album? I had it on recently and realised how forgettable many of the songs are. Motorcycle Mama and Already One. I’m pretty sure it’s not your fave so I doubt I’m stepping on toes!

  56. I have been playing a Neil Young song recently as it goes. Hey Hey, My My (into the black). Great fuzzy riff.

  57. We should be very careful to judge/criticise Gazza too harshly. He had a difficult and tragic childhood and he almost certainly suffers from a mild form of Tourettes.

    As a kid he watched his best friend (and I mean VERY best friend) get run over by a car and die in front of him. Throw in abusive parents and poverty and well let’s see any of us would turn out.

  58. SSN reporting transfer may be delayed as Malaga don’t know their arse from their elbow.

  59. Jeez, this transfer is like trying to wrest a valuable possession from an addled crack addict!

    How’s that for uncaring?

    Seriously though, I wasn’t aware of Gascoigne’s back story – that’s pretty rough, and makes sense. He was always a real sport on Football Italia with James Richardson.

  60. We need to get this tied up quickly before somebody esle takes an interest. If it ends up in an auction of any kind will would more than likely lose.

  61. I’m not sure there’s a danger of that, GA, as he’s already agreed terms with Arsenal, and by all accounts has been shown round etc. It’s just a rumour, but I think the player even approached Arsenal first to tell us he wanted to join. Sounds like he wants to play in England, and sees Arsenal as the perfect fit over here.

    Yeah, Rust Never Sleeps and Tonight’s the Night are probably my faves.

  62. I’m amazed no one else has tried to gazump us Andy. I thought Man Utd would have had their interest more than piqued by developments – especially at this price.

  63. GB up to 4th in the medal table! 18 medals!

  64. If I remember rightly, the Mata deal seemed all but completed before Chelsea got interested. It looks like we have this one in the bag, but you never know. Hurry up!

  65. As far as I’m aware, the thing about Mata was that he had a low release clause in his contract (mid-teens) that expired at some point during the last summer. We showed interest apparently, and he wanted to join us, but the expiry date came and went without us lodging a bid. We never really negotiated with Valencia at all. The rest was all just hearsay.

    In the end, Chelsea came along later and paid a much higher price for him.

  66. Ah, I see.

  67. Anyway, I am off.

    Laters 🙂

  68. Amanda @ 10:08

    I thought Merida was going to be a really good player. JET is another one. It’s easy to get excited about players like that but not very many actually make it and even fewer become “difference making” players. We probably has the best youth set up in the PL and may be 2nd only to barca in the world but we get very few players who actually come up thru the ranks. Gibbs, jack and wojo in this team and Ashley cole actually start regularly when healthy. The rest all came into the first team from elsewhere like theo, Ox, Aaron, cesc, song diaby etc etc. . I guess the talent pool for players who can be first teamers for a team like ours is very limited

  69. so Santi tapped us not the other way around?
    wonder who else lusts after the Arse that we can leave the door open for?

    anyone know any reliable veteran keeper who’s @ a club in a top league where the owner(s) ain’t paying salaries on time and are a tad wishy-washy?

    this is our final need for the summer…….any suggestions?

    Julio Cesar..someone says?
    leaving Inter, Brasil’s #1..still young enough to want to start, would cost a lot, probably off to Anzi or back home……i’d pass

    Hugo Lloris?
    French #1, Lyon starter, young, must start, too costly, too much competition for Szcz…

  70. Cashley Cole has made it known he wants a raise to 200k a week and that he’ll go to Paris ST.-G if he doesn’t get it from Chelsea.

  71. musta once loved a girl named Amanda, Bill @2:33

    Fran & his agent got it all wrong.
    “Oddly” Fran bears the full brunt of the miscalculation ..not his agent.
    I feel little for him..

  72. I know some dislike the Arseblog but this is a very worthwhile read/analysis.

    Scroll down.

  73. ‘Probably’, Bill? Pffft.

  74. Idriss Kameni…someone says?

    c’mon now, that’d be taking the piss!
    Gank their best player AND their first choice keeper?
    Proper ethics dictate against such, my good man
    we are the Arsenal after all.

  75. Philmar,
    Cashley DESERVES 200k/wk!
    Abramovich must pay up…after all fat Frank & John Adul-Terry have been on more than that for years.
    Hate him or not Cashley’s been truly consistent his entire Chelsea career.
    Pay him so he has enough to spend when he moves to L.A. to go retire with Becks!

  76. Craig Gordon’s still leading the pack.
    anyone got other viable candidates?

  77. aawh what is RvP to do now that Arsenal is strengthening so much. Suddenly United and City aint guaranteed anything. Especially not United. Where to go, what to do. Especially now that Arsenal is building a team to win.

  78. “Chamack sound be given a chance, I’d be careful as to when he’s given his chance though, ease him into games that are already won or against lower opposition. Bloke just needs a confidence boost.”

    He needs confidence? OK, then play him against the Spurs!!
    I remember Bendtner’s first goal it was a few seconds after being substituted for Eboue against Spurs. Match winner. Did a lot (maybe TOO much) for his confidence. Nothing like a game against the Spuds to make you feel good about yourself.

  79. OOU – would go with ‘Rust never sleeps’ and also ‘Live rust’. Motorcocycle Mama? Lord have mercy… but remember ‘Welfare Mothers’? I wish i didn’t have to… Numero Uno, (depending on mood) is “On the Beach”, followed by “Decade”. Best song = “Goldrush” or “Helpless”. Worst gig = the ‘Trans” one in ’82/3 ; ugh..those vocoders!! 😀

  80. Meant to say Comes a Time earlier, PB! Really insipid stuff.

  81. OOU – nope – “Powderfinger”. Would post a Youtube link, to educate the Young… but don’t quite ever get it to work.
    Erm, ARSENAL!!!!

  82. poodle!…nice to “see” u man….what gives?

  83. Haha – insipid, but some catchy ones… “Arc Weld” anyone? Man, from the sublime to the truly freaking awful, that Old Man… [pun alert!]

  84. And On the Beach is up there as well – it really does depend on mood. Sky About to Rain and Ambulance Blues! Other times I can really go for scuzzy electric tracks like World on a String and Lookout Joe – of course, Like a Hurricane etc.

  85. Really enjoyable read One of Us, excellent.

    Bob – It wasn’t my intention to come across as an apologist for RvP. I had in fact been replying to an earlier post from George who had re-quoted me, as follows:

    “pedantic george | August 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm
    “We’re a far more dangerous side with him in than with him out, and that’s the bottom line as far as I’m concerned.”
    Andrew .This is the hub of the problem. Do we accept his betrayal because of his value on the field?
    I do however find it disturbing that my opinion is the polar opposite of people who I am in the habit of being in full agreement with. That ,for me ,is another thing RVP has caused that I find unacceptable.”

    To then go on to read comments by those who would call into question the ‘standards’ of those who continue to somehow support RvP is a little surprising as it raises all sorts of issues.

    But without writing an entire essay on the subject I would just say this.

    Every millionaire I’ve personally met through work or other avenue have had but one thing in common.

    Behind what is usually a veneer of charm and outward friendliness, when it comes to wealth – its acquisition, its retention and its distribution, they are ALL capable of looking at the world with a very cold and dispassionate eye.

    Emotion is the one attribute they ALL work to eliminate from their decision-making.

    As fans, naturally enough, emotion is at the very forefront of our world when it comes to supporting our club.

    Emotion as represented by concepts such as loyalty and commitment.

    The club is bigger than any one player.

    For some of us, when relationships with our partners, friends and family breakdown, when people move on and pass on, the one constant in our lives is our relationship with our club

    It’s one club. And it’s for life.

    Most of us have read of (and some can even remember) a gentler age when, amongst other things, a man’s word was his bond. An age when players still lived and moved amongst the ‘common’ man.

    My Dad tells me of a post-match train ride he took, just after WWII, full of navy personnel heading back to base following a game in which the player held responsible for the just witnessed Arsenal defeat was roundly castigated. A compartment they were sharing, unbeknown to them, with the very player that was being criticised. He eventually made himself known and Dad and all the others present felt dreadful. The player put his hand up to a bad day at the office but his misery was apparently palpable.

    The degree to which this now seems like an incredible story in part illustrates how the professionalization of the game has moved the sport in different directions.

    Far from sharing train carriages with the fans as was happening as recently as the 1940’s, TODAY’S top established players have far more in common with the millionaires of the world referred to above, who, when they are not projecting a genial disposition upon the world, will look very coldly at all their options and what’s best for them. Only THEN, once they have achieved their best deal, will they, on the whole, concern themselves with emotion. Only THEN will they concern themselves with gestures – the badge kissing and its equivalent – and engage in talk of love for the club and of their appreciation of the fans.

    So it is not that I’m making apologies for ANY player. I’d suggest my own personal ‘standards’ barely come into it, either. But when it comes to footballers, I DO separate my emotions from my expectations. To do anything else is an invitation to Mr Betrayal and Mrs Disappointment to enter my life bringing with them their ghastly children, Bitterness, Anger and Disgust.

    Quite simply, it’s the CLUB I love. Sure, I’ll admire the players, how could anyone not? I may even have my favourites.

    But ultimately, I will support any THING that secures the club over the long term and any ONE who can bring success in the short and medium terms. And that includes even those manoeuvring to get the best deal they can. If they should end up leaving the club, theirs is the greater loss.

    But I’m under no illusion that behind the badge kissing is anything other, in today’s top-level game, a cold-eyed, dispassionate multi-millionaire looking to get the best fiscal outcomes they can from their brief time at the top. Before age, injury, club or fans turn against them.

    I wish it were different. I don’t claim to like it.

    But it’s not about me giving anyone leeway.

    It’s simply recognising it’s the way of the world, right here and now, in 2012.

    And in the specific case of Robin van Persie, it’s simply believing, as I personally do, that we’re a far more dangerous side with him in than with him out.

    And that remains the bottom line, as far as I’m concerned.

    Whilst our emotions cause us to wring our hands at his behaviour, our heads should remind us that the club, as a general rule, will manage to deal with such challenges in the best way the club knows how and with the club’s interests at heart. Occasionally, as with Fabregas, one may get away. RvP is not the first and may not be the last.

    But in Wenger and in the club, I continue to trust, hope for the best and always, always, carry on.

  86. Ashley cole what an odious man. nothing suprises me when it comes to him, he just gets lower and lower.

    odious 11


    phil neville terry shawcross cole

    nani fletcher barton bale

    rooney suarez

  87. pedantic george

    Has he gone yet Mel?

  88. “Suddenly United and City aint guaranteed anything. Especially not United. ”

    Don’t count out United. They had horrible injuries to their back 4 last year. they blooded a new young keeper which cost them a few points. Their biggest problem was their weak midfield and it’s lack of creativity. They’ve addressed that with Kagawa. And Cleverley is fit again and could have his breakout season.

    Shitty only won because United imploded at the end of last year – and of course Joey Barton imploded in the last game vs. Shitty and helped queue the amazing heroics. Shitty were a bit lucky.

    If anything I see United even more able to grind out unimpressive wins as they are improved over last year. Shitty? Well sometimes winning makes you complacent, arrogant, satisfied and less motivated…and with their egos…and their collection of eccentric nutters they are quite able to implode due to inter-squad warfare/jealousy ect..

    Cazorla, if he signs is a great purchase. But he doesn’t make us favorites to win the league. We still have to make up 19 points against both Manc clubs and somehow integrate the new players and develop a new style of play (assuming our fulcrum (RvP) will not be there). And we still have a potential gaping hole if our keeper is injured.

    We can hold our own against the higher echelon teams. What prevents us from winning the league is we draw too often with the shit teams that park the bus in front of us. I’m hopeful Giroud as a target in the box will help that as he represents a plan B/different option to our preferred tactic of walking the ball in to the net or giving it to Robin so he can work a magical quick pivot.

  89. Ohmygod. Sweet release. The music in the Beckenbauer clip from 5:25 on was torturing me. At one point I thought I had it. I thought it was Whitesnake! But then I just thought I was going mad… This would have tormented me all weekend.

    Turns out all I had to do was watch the very end of the clip. But now I’m even more confused, because I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard of Dragonforce…

  90. Dragonforce are an hilarious power metal band – some of the most outlandish technical speed guitar work ever witnessed. Cheesy as all fuck though.

  91. Great comment @ArsenalAndrew

  92. There is some crazy ass tennis on BBC three at the mo.

    Federer v Del boy 1-1 12-12 in games final set!

  93. Jonny, apparently on one of their tours they came under criticism for not being able to perform their own songs, leading to speculation that their guitars were sped up in the studio.

    LOL, as they say.

  94. They have since dispelled that though – it was just a disastrous tour – which they admitted – and scurrilous rumours.

    That was over 5 years ago and they still pull huge crowds (in Europe).

    Not that I’m a fan or anything…

  95. 14-14 in the tennis!

  96. Never mind a marathon tennis game, it would appear Cazorla is having the longest medical in the history of football.

  97. Notoverthehill

    OOU, playing in Mexico at altitude requires a lot of practice. Think Andrey Arshavin and you will know the reason why!

    Mr Robin Van Persie, Captain of The Arsenal, a new contract being negotiated, therefore what will the powers that be, allow for a little TAX AVOIDANCE!

    I do not pretend to know BUT if I was conducting the contract talks for RvP, this is how I would PERHAPS start.

    Salary £150,000 per week over 4 years (29th February included). The Tax Rules allow loans, therefore £1 million borrowed over 9 months at 2% Tax Rate instead of 45%. The loan must be repaid in 9 months or else it is – full whack. The load is repaid by £150, 000 per week reduced to £131,000 per week, in the Payroll.

    Year 2 ditto ditto, adjusted for RPI, Tax and many others that may possibly turn up. ALL eventualities to be covered.

    Year 3 and 4 ditto.

    Another scenario, Manure IPO. That well known socialist, Sir A. Ferguson is not named. Pages 103 and 104, and there he is and we are told he has had a cut of £5 millions! With the registration of the company in the Cayman Islands, SAF will be well compensated legally outside the U.K. , EU and USA double taxation rulings! Wayne Rooney, even Ryan Giggs if you are not already had enough?

    DO NOT BE TOO HARD ON Mr Robin van Persie, until we know ALL the facts.

    As for a certain blogger, he should now imbibe his own home made scrumpy!

  98. I think that certain blogger got out the cider brandy yesterday judging by his wenger gag.

  99. He doesn’t want to sign a new contract.

    I really cannot work out why that is so difficult to understand.

  100. And Federer was won — finally! He will now play for gold. How awesome would it be if at the age of 30 he would add a gold medal to his collection?

  101. do not be to hard on RVp!! not untill he apologises.

  102. Ultra awesome Evil. What a player – in his prime he is the best I have ever seen and a good ‘sportsman’ too.

  103. Evil been meaning to ask – anything behind your choice of moniker? Doesn’t seem especially apt. 🙂

  104. Oh, it goes back to my teenage years when I first came into contact with the internet! I was playing some small online game, Diablo 2, and was trying to think of some really “cool” nickname for my character. Evilkiller was what came to mind (it should be noted it does not mean an evil killer. Rather someone who kills evil!) and most people ended up abbreviating it to just “Evil”, which kind of stuck with me.

  105. Ahhh I see – you’re good evil – not bad evil. :0)

    Just watching the cricket – stopped for bad light – my God Shane Warne looks fucking frightening. Like a weird mannequin – somehow his face doesn’t seem human any more.

  106. Very good post Andrew. I get you loud and clear.

    I don’t think I questioned your ‘standards’. I disagree with tyou on the leeway I’d give to RVP, that’s all.

    I don’t doubt that we could be a better side with RVP than without, that depends on a lot of things. Chemistry, tactics with new players to accomodate and, of course, his fitness. I just don’t want him anymore.

  107. For all those who don’t read out there, the only ‘fact’ that matters to me is that he bit the hand that has fed him through a rather patchy career.

  108. Notoverthehill

    OOU and Yogi

    EFE, the Spanish Reuters reporting a “sealed deal” at €16 millions and extras for “goals”? The bugbear is the salary owed to X. It is in cash and will go through the EPL and The Arsenal can not dock the money owed?

    X’s wife was present, so “house-hunting”?

  109. Yup he really did – what makes it worse is it was so unexpected. I misjudged the man and thought better of him. Lucre makes devils of us all.

  110. Notoverthehill

    Johnny, how can you watch the cricket?

    Botham’s Test was ruined, corrupted the moment Dennis Lillie and Rodney March laid a bet on at odds of 500-1, during the lunch break. How many of the Aussies were in the “scam”?

  111. but did he bite all the way through the hand, Cbob?
    I’d say, we’ve suffered no ligament damage, just some moderately deep teeth marks.

    and aren’t we strong enough to sock it up, heal, use him up for a year, win a double, and spit him out if he’s still off-centre @ 30?

  112. Lucre makes devils of us all…indeed!

  113. For the record I’m on a similar page to you Bob but I am more ‘whatever will be, will be’ about it all. It’s beyond our control after all. But, regardless, he is a diminished man in my eyes.

  114. NOTH – the Australian’s placed that bet for a joke. When the money was paid (in a bin bag in the dressing room) they were all head in hands lost in the staggering woe of a miraculous defeat. They had not even remembered the bet so gutted were they.

    You sully the incredible performance of Botham and especially Willis to suggest there was dishonourable intent to throw the match. The Aussie’s were beaten by a bowling performance from the demonic Willis that would have graced any match.

    I have never, not even once, heard anyone suggest the match was remotely suspect.

    How can I watch cricket? I love it. I played it.

    How can I not watch?

  115. Spot on Jonny. I wouldn’t bother with Noth too much. He has a rather idiosyncratic approach to logic and posting.

    He could be a clever troll but I I don’t think so.

  116. As the owner of a dog who has bitten the hand that fed him I am glad I didn’t get spiteful and cast him out on to the street to fend for himself. He’s redeemed himself several times over and the love is back.
    Forgiveness is a virue.

    That said, where does it say Robin wants back?

  117. Spelling is also a VIRTUE

  118. where does it NOT say Robin wants to stay for the year?

  119. pedantic george

    Andrew.I was almost convinced.Nearly accepted your contention.But.
    The intention of his statement was to deliberately destabilise the club.He undermined the CEO,the Manager and the new players.Its was a premeditated act of sabotage.A scurrilous deed designed to make his exit easy and ensured,at a reduced fee,which would be reflected in the wages at his new club.
    So in short he intentionally damaged the club.
    Fuck him.

  120. corr: where does it say Robin does NOT want to stay for the year?

  121. pedantic george

    Aman.What? you think he can put up with going in the wrong direction for another year?
    He wants out,and he wants out now.
    Which suits me just fine.

  122. IF Santi’s in, Sahin’s in* and Robin stays & AA too….and with the EXITS of Chamakh, Park, Bendtner, Squilly, Vito +/- Fabianski, Eastmond & Lansbury….

    I’d venture to say AW would have engineered the GREATEST REBUILD ever….
    and we’d begin our return to silverware with a PURPLE DOUBLE.

    (sorry. i can’t help it..AW is a friggin’ genius!)

    *and it becomes permanent.

  123. Bradys right foot

    Im with PG on this. I honestly wouldn’t have held any grudge against RVP if he had got a move this summer, that has never been the issue for me. Im sure he could have told the club in private his desire to leave and the reasons why.

    His twitter statement was completely unecessary and a singularly selfish act. It as PG says “intentionally damaged the club” and ultimately shows RVP to be a narcisist more concerned with his own reflection rather than the hallow words regarding the future direction of the club.

  124. If Robin was seriously considering to stay another year, he would not have released the statement he has released in the way he has. If he had been fine with staying on he could’ve easily gone through the official website. But his statement was obviously meant as a bit more than just to tell the world that he is not signing another contract.

  125. Bob – no, you didn’t question my standards and I hear you, too!

    George – do you honestly think one player can destabilise Arsenal Football Club?

    Is the club really that fragile?

    That doesn’t seem likely to me, given our foundations.

    Given our whole history in fact.

    If anything, this whole RvP situation, given the positive way in which the club have responded, has enhanced the reputation of those managing it.

    As far as I can see, the only one who is presently ‘unstable’ is RvP himself. HIS reputation has been compromised and in no small measure, HIS credibility has also clearly suffered.

    And this is unlikely to change until he eventually decides to come out and explain himself, his actions and his motives.

    As of today, however, he still wears the No 10, he is still the captain, he’s expected to train with the squad next week – and he’s not gone yet.

    But no-one’s saying you have to LIKE any of that, least of all me.

    F*ck him by all means but where will that leave YOU should AW decide he remains an integral part of our plans and our future?

    Will you still be f*cking the captain in a fortnight?

  126. Aman.

    My iPad’s spell correct added da at the end of your name and I missed that. My bad, completely unintentional I promise.

    I thought Merida was going to be a really good player but it’s pretty clear now that the boss got it right when he let him go. If he had stayed he would probably still be in the reserves. He needed to move on to see if he could make a career. Sanchez watt, gilles sunu, craig eastmond, probably henri lansbury in the same situation. We have had literally 100s of players come thru and the boss has always been spot on regarding when to let them go. The only one that we let go that I wish we could have back would be Seb Larsson and that’s debatable.

  127. What? George fucking the captain?!

    No wonder he and Dex have fallen out.

    Could this be the real reason he wants out?

  128. Ah, Afobe has joined Bolton on loan.

    Good move.

  129. Ok – good point. We are playing games are we?

    …and where does it say RvP does NOT want to have his shins surgically removed so he can be the 4th hobbit on the famous purple double winning team?

    Aman – I think if he wanted to be part of Arsenal he would have signed a contract by now. Or am I being old fashioned?

  130. pedantic george

    Andrew .I have said may times ,I will support him fully as an Arsenal player on the pitch.
    But I will still be muttering “fuck you Robin”under my breath,in ever other occasion.

  131. great post..good topic
    its why i laugh when ppl start talking about comparisons between the lesser ronaldo and best,
    messi and maradona..

    players like maradona and best where strutting their stuff on muddy shitty pitches, with the leather balls you speak of as well as being hacked down with no chance of a foul..

    and they still carrassed the ball like they were playing todays game..

    the games totally players stood out becuase they were the top players..
    today the top players stand out becuase they are allowed the freedom to..

    the pitch must be smooth, the ball must be plastic, tacklings not allowed or they cant perform..

    what bollox..

    i remember when bergkamp scored a screamer against leicester, i think it was part of his hatrick..the pitch was shit the ball was bobbling about and he lifted it first and pinged it on a kind of half volley so he could hit it clean..

    good players adapt..

    nowadays they just ping it and then look at the floor like its the grasses fault and then managers come out and say the pitch was crap..

    pampered, thats all they are..but it looks easy on the eye, and it sells, for millions, which is essentially what its all become about..
    make the game as easy as possible..make the players stand out..make the game attractive and full of brilliant players and then sell it..

  132. ” His twitter statement was completely unecessary and a singularly selfish act. It as PG says “intentionally damaged the club” and ultimately shows RVP to be a narcisist more concerned with his own reflection rather than the hallow words regarding the future direction of the club. ”

    How has the statement damaged the club?
    It has shown him to be like the majority of the EPL millionaire players (i.e. a narcisist more concerned with his own reflection rather than the hallow words regarding the future direction of the club). Perhaps he has purposely NOT died out his grey hairs to appear else wise?

  133. Good post JonJon.

    Bang on.

  134. Nice one JonJon, spot on.

    Dex will be furious with George when this all gets out.

  135. VP.


  136. She is, duke, she is.

  137. pedantic george

    “How has the statement damaged the club?”
    Because rather than going about their business ,which was going swimmingly at the time,the manager ,board and CEO were caught up in a fire fight .Fans were turned against each other,the press had a field day at our expense,and the manager has been questioned and harangued about RVP in ever presser.
    Of course it damaged the club and its preparations for the new season.Philmar.

  138. its important to remember with rvp that cesc was his bum chum
    rvp has stated several times that playing with someone like him makes all the difference..

    maybe the strikers coming in werent enough, we needed those strikers anyway, seeing as though we had all of one to choose from last year… maybe rvp didnt care about more strikers seeing as though he was doing fine by himself and he wanted another cesc like player to replace the cesc like player we should have replaced the year before, but we didnt..
    lofted balls from song and cut backs from theo arent going to work against every defence and when your only recognised ‘dm’ becomes your key playmaker its an obvious sign of a position that could be strengthened…

    if cazorla does end up coming in, as well as sahin,maybe, theres absolutely no reason why rvp shouldnt re-sign going by his own words on his statement..
    if he doesnt it goes much deeper than just ambition and then everyone can go to town on him and his comments..
    if he does re-sign then the chances are he was holding out for someone like cazorla and he played a risky game playing russian roulette with the club to get them to fix a problem that was literally papered over the year before…

  139. pedantic george

    JJ ,Bollocks

  140. i thought you’d say that george 🙂

  141. Yes, you lost me there Jonjon

  142. if todays players kicked the balls yesteryears players kicked they’d all be out with fucked up metatarsals…

    honest to god it wont be long before boots and studs are outlawed all together and players are taking to the pitch in slippers..
    all in the name of the beautiful game..


  143. i didnt think it would go down well with you either cbob..

    but while its part of the season where everyone chats bollox i thought id partake a little.. 🙂
    but thats all you get from me..
    dont care anymore..

    it easier to judge something on what you can see and so far all i see is a load of new signings and rvp still at the club..

    that’ll do for me..

  144. pedantic george

    JJ ,so you didnt see the shit storm he caused ?
    You need to go to Specsavers.

  145. JJ, Bollocks.

    I doubt he was playing chicken with the club. players hav big egos but I can’t believe he would think the club would change its policies just because of him. Interesting that the club actually has done things differently this summer although I doubt it was because of RVP and more likely because they saw the results of what happened last summer.

    I think he RVP wants a last big pay day and he wants to go to a club with a lot more money so they could pay him and other top players “market level” wages or spend enough to replace them with relatively equal players if they do lose a good player. He has been calling for the club to bring in more experienced players for a while now just like cesc did. Perhaps another factor relates to what he said after the 2010 world cup. He talked about being frustrated working hard to score and playing “great football” only to see his goals cancelled out by a crappy goals on the other end of the pitch. We still had the same problem in 2012.

  146. Notoverthehill

    Johnny, I will go with Ian Wooldridge, a real journalist , as told 31st May 2003.

    The Australians coach driver Peter X……., spotted the odds and collected £15 to lay on at Ladbrokes, for Australia to lose. The coach driver collected the winnings of £7,500. Needless to say. Lillee and March bought Peter X , a new set of golf clubs, return tickets to Australia and also paid Peter’s hotel accommodation.

    Mike Brearley in an article, the Independent (?), said the Australian bowling was too wayward!

    I have the DVD and I have not watched cricket since!

  147. pedantic george


  148. B-A-N-A-N-A-S everyone!!!

  149. i saw the shit storm he caused george
    everyone went after eachother on here, if it was in the pub it would have kicked off the police would have to come sort it… it was obvious everyone was hurt, i beleive my first comment was something like ‘sell the cunt’

    but seeing as though im one of the few on here who constantly decalres open season on the suits and the boots at the club, then i think it would make me a hypocrite to slam rvp like yourself and others

    not that im against slamming players, ive been known to throw my rattle out and kick off with many a player over the years, so im not actually condemning anyone in that sense..

    its entirely your opinion..

    but i will say, i think im in the minority maybe, who read his statement differently..
    he specifically states that out of respect to the manager and the fans he wasnt prepared to go into details.the nitty gritty shit that we all discuss on here.
    he was mouthing off at the suits and boots..thats the way i saw i cant condemn..
    also, he never states he wants to leave, he just states hes not prepared to renew his contract. and states a reason for it..

    i was prepared to see how it played out at the time and im still prepared to see how it plays out until the fat lady sings, so to speak, or when the old lady shows her money..whichever ‘side’ your on

  150. George

    AW was always going to have to answer questions to the Press. He answered thousands when Henry, Nasri, Cesc et al were about to move. Don’t know if answering more of the same is damage. The press would have still been asking questions about why or if RvP was signing. He can handle a Press conference. Fans arguing with fans? Well that doesn’t damage the club, maybe the fans. The Board and management were planning on talking with RvP so resolving his contract were already part of next season’s preparations. If anything his statement provided clarity to them. They know where he stands. The club already had purchased Giroud in anticipation of RvP not signing so the statement really wasn’t unexpected. It was business as usual and with less uncertainty. Necessity is the mother of invention. So possibly the statement may have been the impetus for us to go balls in for Cazorla. Who knows?
    I’m glad he made the announcement rather than waste the team’s resources trying to negotiate a new deal that he wouldn’t accept in the end. It also got the RvP auction started and because we knew so early now we have cover for him. We can hold out for a better price or if Wenger feels it will be beneficial, use him nest year. The cards are all in our hands now thanks to the clarity of his statement. It’s only us emotional fans who worshiped him that are damaged. The club seems to have gotten on with their business incredibly well. Incredibly well. If Cazorla is indeed signed we will, as I predicted a few weeks ago, look upon his web announcement as a good thing.

  151. well well…our man Murray beats the dour serb.

  152. B-O-L-L-O-X aman

  153. pedantic george

    Yes Philmar.The club is doing well despite RVP’s best efforts to derail them.

  154. did both podolski and jiroo come in before the statement rv made?

  155. George:

    What do you think he meant?

  156. Very happy for Murray. If anyone deserves a guaranteed medal, it will be him. Will be in two minds who to support on Sunday. On one hand it would be just fantastic to see Federer get the gold, but on the other hand I don’t think there is a player in the world I’d begrudge winning it less than Murray. I guess for me personally when it comes to sympathies Fed just about edges it because Murray has time on his side.

  157. lol…

    Robin’s not going to get what he wants when he wants it.
    AW’s put his foot down and i love the way he’s gone about re-tooling the shed.

    ..who the f**k does RvP think he is..especially after the big picture’s probably been painted for him over & over as captain.

    Arsene clearly “loves” the guy, Robin & Cesc were like his sons, but this time Le Boss has decided to flex his cajones for “all of football” to lap up…
    ..Podolski, Giroud, Carzola & Sahin..without selling anyone besides Vela & Almunia.
    WTF happened to predictable Arsenal?

    there’s NO BUS big enough to trample Arsene’s NUTS right now..fuckit, we’re even going to LIFT tHE DAMN THINGS DRESSED IN PURPLE!!!

    unf**kingbelievable….Robin better go suck up & apologize to our Yoda & the whole organization via a letter or an “i’m-really-sorry-to all gooners” video in 3-D or else!

    I love ARSENAL!

  158. if jiroo came in first then going from grimandis comments we signed our replacement before rvp mouthed off..

    so really, hes de-railed nothing since his statement..

    he’d been replaced already, and we are still going after other targets..

    so other than you and frank going to war and usmanov trying to make a wally out of stan, rvp aint really done all that much….

  159. pedantic george

    Bill ,do you not see the contradiction of Him and Cesc asking for experienced players to be brought in when neither of them had any experience when THEY came,
    Also “market level” is just you looking for conflict,I suspect!

  160. He caused a shit storm BUT I can report that we’re all better for it.
    Its made us all STRONGER and CLEARER about the role of players in our gooner lives. least until the games begin…

  161. Not in the greater order of things mayue, JJ.

    He just joined the ranks of Ashley, Waybe and their ilk.

    He kicked the club that nurtured him for his own enrichment.

    Well done that man.

  162. pedantic george

    Oh dont be stupid JJ,
    And if we have signed a replacement ,then all this is academic .He is going .So what you are saying is he is going one way or the other.Good.

  163. pedantic george

    Aman .Stay strong my man.
    Dont waver like some of the others seem to be doing.

  164. oh snap,
    August 6..boomer’s deadline day of destiny = RvP’s 29th birthday.
    …i think not. The 29th year is pretty much the most important transition year in a man’s life. Your “hardest/most poignant” life lesson usually happens then.

    “..boomer you’ve got some explaining to do!”

    (3 days to go)

  165. always pg

  166. i know ppl like to think wenger gets hurt by this player disloyalty..

    i think that too sometimes..but then i think that we have a manager who wont give players over 30 a new deal, even though theyve given a decade or near enough to the club..
    and this was a manager who broke up the invincibles quicker than quicky mcquick who was so quick he ran across quick sand..

    the guys fucking ruthless and he gets 30 mil a pop..

    hes one of the greats..

    hes built a training ground and bought the best striker the clubs seen with one of the players that ‘hurt’ him
    hes helped pay for a stadium by developing world class players that have hurt him

    hes had three great teams, 08 should have been four..

    i dont really think he gives all that much of a shit to be honest..

  167. Notoverthehill

    RVP cyrrent contract will state as in English Premier League Form 13A

    “3.2.5 knowingly or recklessly do write or say anything or omit to do anything which
    is likely to bring the Club or the game of football into disrepute cause the Player
    or the Club to be in breach of the Rules or cause damage to the Club or its
    officers or employees or any match official. Whenever circumstances permit the
    Player shall give to the Club reasonable notice of his intention to make any
    contributions to the public media in order to allow representations to be made
    to him on behalf of the Club if it so desires”

    RVP will have signed all the forms.

    Those who “despise” RVP, have every right and might to do so!

    I understand your point of view and you have every reason to express it.

  168. Notoverthehill

    Sorry, did not check!

    RVP xurrent….

  169. Notoverthehill

    Sorry, sorry, current, current, current (100 times)

  170. George

    I am not defending RVP for making that statement. I think it was done as a negotiating ploy. However, i don’t see a contradiction. Both players wanted to win and the best way to do that is to bring in experienced players to supplement the squad.

  171. August 6th. Nasa landsthe biggest space rover built on Mars.

  172. what was it called?

  173. “Very happy for Murray. If anyone deserves a guaranteed medal, it will be him. Will be in two minds who to support on Sunday. On one hand it would be just fantastic to see Federer get the gold, but on the other hand I don’t think there is a player in the world I’d begrudge winning it less than Murray. I guess for me personally when it comes to sympathies Fed just about edges it because Murray has time on his side.”

    I’m in exactly the same boat Evil.

  174. Great post OOU,
    A trip down the lane when football was a respectable,blue collar even in it’s sheer rawness.
    Enough with ‘THE CAPTAIN’ posturing…
    que sera sera
    we are arsenal!

  175. Murray for me…he has more personality then the dour swiss.

  176. “..Podolski, Giroud, Carzola & Sahin..without selling anyone besides Vela & Almunia.
    WTF happened to predictable Arsenal?”

    We don’t have Cazorla and Sahin yet. And i bet there will still be lots of selling before we are done. I think the team has decided to do it’s buying first, then concentrate on selling the de*dw*od to the panic buyers at the end of the window.

    I believe Andrei, Bendtner and Robin are still on their way out. The team can soon concentrate on selling them.

    Hell we HAVE to sell somebody. If word gets out that we are no longer a selling team the transfer fees we are charged will start to increase. 😉

  177. Bradys right foot

    JJ the voice of reason logic and moderation who’d have thunk it lol, can’t really argue with some of the points you’ve made but ( you knew it was coming ;)) RVPs statement is unforgiveable. As a football fan I make no apology for viewing my club in absolute terms, black and white. Anyone who deliberately tarnishes the club can fuck off, to do it to provide cover for leaving was dishonest, disloyal and was completely unecessary.

  178. pedantic george

    “arsenalandrew | August 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    George – do you honestly think one player can destabilise Arsenal Football Club?
    If anything, this whole RvP situation, given the positive way in which the club have responded, has enhanced the reputation of those managing it.”

    Andrew .Someone deliberately breaks your leg.It heals .You do fitness and strengthening work,your over all health benefits as a result ,Your leg is 100% and you are stronger and fitter..
    Now , do we thank the chap that deliberately caused us damage .Because now,due to our hard work we are overall in better shape?

  179. pedantic george

    Or do we kick the shit out of him ?

  180. JJ

    Its called Curiosity 😉

  181. George, kick the shit out of him.

  182. I feel excited about the coming season, Arsene is going to serve us a treat with this team he’s assembling…..The Arsenal is reloading COYG!!!

  183. Well it seems we are almost ready to announce Cazorla’s signing as done and dusted. Sahin seems to be on his way too.

    Caen have also confirmed we have put in a bit for Niang but state there is interest from other English clubs as well as an Italian club, so we will have to wait and see. As usual!!

  184. When we were kids, playing jumpers for goalposts, we would play as Brazil and I always wanted to play as Garrincha. Glad I didn’t have to play the rest of his sad, complicated life.

  185. And I thought Garrincha was known as ‘Little Bird’?

  186. Another piece on Cazorla or rather Spanish football, but still worth a read. Notice how he mentions Arsenal specifically in both articles, bodes well for him and us I think.

    And credit to the Guardian for both articles, there really is a real lack of sports journalism these days.

  187. And for those of us still hoping RVP will stay (but not I think as Captain) this write up reads a lot more positively than many before-

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