I must preface this article by saying there is no serious element in it at all, other than a pretty cool lesson in modern era Arsenal history and a saunter down Gooner memory lane. This idea first surfaced back in January but in those days I did not have my own blog. I must credit four Gooners, most of you will know on Twitter for this ridiculous idea for more of my ramblings. John Pickford (@TheN5er), Phil Wall (@AngryofN5) and @yogis_warrior for planting the seed that became this blog with a difference, and Andy Wood, (@yorkshiregunner) for suggesting a fresh re-write had merit.What began with a simple question posed by John, who won the league the year you were born and progressed into what was number one in the charts, gave me the idea for this musical journey through my lifetime so far as a supporter of this great club.
So the following charts my lifetime as a Gunner, from my first match to the present day, by matching the highs and the lows with who was topping the UK Top 40. I am personally disappointed that there are not too many personal favourites or classics in there for my tastes, but then we are all different and you may relate to some tracks or artists more than me. We all have songs that signify moments in our life – first girl or boyfriends, marriages, divorces, babies, so here it is, the highs and lows of my Gooner life in UK to 40 number ones. Continue reading
So much has and will be written about Robin van Persie this summer and I myself on this blog am as guilty as the next Arsenal fan. We are also guilty collectively, and not surprisingly, or moaning about not winning a trophy for 7 whole years. Where the heck if he going with this they say? Well this is not one of my tactics and formations pieces (well just a bit), nor is it one of my using statistics to argue my cases pieces. No this is a gut feeling from the heart sort of a piece, but it does have a thread that binds the two opening sentences. So why is us worrying about the decision of our talismanic skipper and our distinct lack of silverware inextricably linked?
Something has been nagging at me for a while and I will try and argue this coherently but first here is the controversial statement: ‘Arsenal don’t produce trophy winning sides when they build the team around one man.’ The last trophy we won was in 2005 but it was already going wrong by then.
Something had changed after the 49 game unbeaten run had end at old Trafford and looking back for me it was that the emphasis shifted slightly away from the brilliant well-oiled machine that has won the league unbeaten a year earlier and towards one man, Thierry Henry. Such that when Henry was unavailable injured for the 2005 Cup Final instead of just playing the usual side and playing Reyes or van Persie alongside Bergkamp we saw the first use of a 4,5,1 and Ljungberg was dropped to the bench to accommodate Pires moving to the right and Reyes playing on the left. A whole team changed just because we had lost one focal point. The result was a complete embarrassment and the first time under Wenger we defended for the whole game and played for a draw. (Our last trophy!)
Beginning of the end FA Cup & sale of Paddy? Continue reading
It has been a decidedly depressing few days with a flat, no actually a poor performance on Monday night, coupled with the expected news about Jack Wilshere and the devastating news about Mikel Arteta. It was obvious from all your comments on my Arteta piece last week how much you have all taken him to your hearts. Decisions therefore for Wenger, ahead of Saturday’s key match against Chelsea. We play earlier than our other rivals for third place so can still put down a marker, but that of course applies for Chelsea as well. For what it is worth I would play Oxlade-Chamberlain from the start in the sitting role, alongside Song , in which he performed in such an accomplished fashion against Milan. I have a few ideas for new articles in the research stage but I am so busy at work this week I am just reworking an old nostalgic piece on a too often unsung hero of our glory years in the early noughties. I guess you could say the theme for this week is ‘Unsong heroes’ and this will be revisited by @yorkshiregunner returning as a guest writer before the weekend. Continue reading