Gunners Keen on Leaving the Drama in Brussels

Late Drama in Belgium

Late Drama in Belgium

Arsenal head into their fourth Champions League fixture, aiming to handle Anderlecht with less theatrics than in their last encounter with the Belgian champions. Only two weeks after the Gunners unexpected comeback in Brussels, they head back home to the comforts of The Emirates hoping to take care of business in a more convincing fashion.

Down 1-0 in the final minutes of the match, the Gunners were saved from picking up their second loss in the group stage with two dramatic come from behind goals. Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski saved the day with respective tallies at 89′ and 90′ +1 in the final moments, stunning Anderlecht at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium. Continue reading

Wenger to unleash Sanchez and Walcott as wingers to change our season?

The combination to change our fortunes
The combination to change our fortunes

Cannot say I am a happy Gunner at present, nor am I totally unhappy, but suffice to say I could be a lot happier!!

I am not going to dwell on  all the aspects of our team that concern me at present as I am sure our own ‘Ultras’ will do it better – Ours not be confused with the club controlling Ultra’s of Italy who are role models for anyone. No I am describing the ‘Ultra’ positive Gunners who sit a dark room, meditating and singing ‘Arsene Wenger’s Magic Hat, 2002 version, so they cannot hear the ‘Ultra negative Gunners aggressively bemoaning our lack of tactics, purchases or any tangible sign of a consistent game plan from the ‘Great One!’

Oh what a joy to be stuck in between our stark and increasingly divided factions, endeavouring to remain calm and rational, which is most certainly not as easy as it was.

Enough of the self pity as I promised not to languish in it and I do actually have a brief but vaguely sensible positive observation I wish to make. It has been on my mind a while and I have written about it one more than, although not this season. I recall on the last time I may have even been forced to admit that it was a certain Mr Stanley Collymore that prompted me to scribe last time.

In every co commentary you will hear Stan saying the same thing and I agree with him every bloody time “Get the ball wide, get beyond the full back and whip it in low and hard and you will score goals!’” For all you lovers of tikka tacka, tippy tappy or Wenger Ball, call it what you will that are appalled, I am sorry but he is quite correct. Continue reading

Forget the injuries as those who deserve to play are fit – Jack, Santi and Ox.

Santi 2012/13 version please stand up
Santi 2012/13 version please stand up

I have personal reasons to be looking forward to the Oct 18th and the visit of Hull which involve a book signing with some Arsenal legends. However I am also hugely excited about the match and I suspect in many ways perversely for the same reasons others are anxious about it.

Many are concerned at our growing injury crisis and I am not about to suggest I am not but for this observer at least I suspect out of adversity a team will emerge. When I say a team I mean and team and not a collection of 11 players many of whom are being wedged into a system or position that ill suits them. On occasion when injuries occur those that step in also step up.

In 2001/2 Robert Pires was undisputedly the Best player in the Premier League and acknowledged as such by his fellow professionals but Arsenal coped admirably without him for 3 months on the run to the title. If I told you that Patrick Vieira did not play a single game in October or November of the Invincibles season 2003/4 would you be surprised? Paddy missed 12 matches including a certain 5-1 win in the San Siro. The point is that with the likes of Wiltord, Parlour and Edu even losing our ‘best’ players did not impact the Arsenal team.

A team of champions pay homage to their finest - Bobby Pires
A team of champions pay homage to their finest – Bobby Pires

Well in 2014/15 after years of waiting, in most areas we truly do have huge competition for places and players, not starting each week until now who would walk into most teams in the Premiership and who regularly feature for their national sides. In addition these are players I would argue that are in better form than those who are sidelined in most cases. No one wishes a player injured, well not one of our own anyway but I can freely admit that where I sit, when Ramsey limped off in the NLD one view was shared – It was an injury that saved Wenger a decision he should have made himself but had seemed unprepared to do. Our talisman of 2013/14 was not at that level and everyone in the stadium could see it.  That is not to say Ramsey will not return stronger and more focussed as I am convinced he will. It was ironically the same for Cazorla last season to my eyes. Santi settled in from week one with little pre-season in 2012/13 and took the Premiership by storm. The following season he struggled to impose himself in the same way and for me this was in large part down to the positional change instigated in February 2013. Continue reading

Arsenal still have much to learn to match the Top Teams!

Football is a game where the final score does not tell the whole story and Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat against Chelsea is a perfect example of that. The Gunners went into the match reasonably confident after having had a resounding 4-1 win in the Champions League a few days ago. Further, there were also numerous lessons learnt from past matches – none more so than the 6-0 thrashing last season. It appeared that Arsenal were indeed affected by the score last season. After Chelsea’s win, Betfair gives betting odds for 1/2 for Chelsea to win the title ahead of Manchester City, who are 11/4. Continue reading

Writing a book about an Arsenal Legend – The journey reaches its conclusion


A few days after her annual visit to the George Armstrong Memorial Stone at London Colney, Jill Armstrong, the daughter of one of Arsenal’s greatest ever servants made a decision. Having recently entered the world of twitter as @touchofpowder and tweeted some pictures of her dad in action she discovered instantly the high regard and fondness an Arsenal on-line community still had for Geordie. The decision was to revive a project she had embarked upon 13 years earlier when her father was so cruelly taken from her and her family and from HIS club.

His pitch at Colney forever
His pitch at Colney forever

In the months after Geordie passed Jill has asked his friends, colleagues and fans to send her their recollections, fond memories and tributes, with the intention of building a ‘Memory Book’ that her and her brother Tom’s future children, Geordie’s grandchildren might read in the future. Such that they might know the man, the family man and the sportsman their grandfather had been. A man who stood for all that was good, honest and true in life and in the world of football. A world in which he had excelled first as a player, secondly as a coach and ultimately as a legend of the one club he served for 27 years, The Arsenal.  In a modern era of football so devoid of loyalty, honour and respect, Jill wanted the grandchildren to know their ‘Granddad’ lived his life with those traits embedded in his very being. Continue reading