DB’s Season Diary
Week Eleven – Ups and Downs and a Bunch of Clowns
So, as I missed a week last week, am I right in calling this week’s entry “Week Eleven”, bearing in mind the last entry was two weeks ago, and was titled “Week Nine”, or should I call this week’s entry “Week Ten”, as it is technically the tenth week I have written a piece for this season diary, even though it is eleven weeks on from when I started this diary?
Now, that is pretty complicated. As complicated as determining what is, and what is not “an OBVIOUS goalscoring opportunity”?
According to Chris Foy, no, but more on that later, let’s have a look at an eventful week.
Football Porn, Hansen and Shearer not aroused
As I didn’t write anything last week, I can’t do this without mentioning the 4-1 win over Norwich City.
You don’t need me to tell you anything about the goals, you’ve all watched Jack Wilshere’s goal on loop thousands of times, Tweeted it, favourited it, retweeted it, shared it, gasped over it, wept over it, and no doubt I’m not the only one who’s climaxed over it at least once.
One of the most amusing things about this win however was the reaction of Gary Lineker, Alan Hansen and Alan Shearer – the Three Spooges – on Match of the Day.
Firstly, I don’t know if you noticed, but just after our game was shown, the camera went to Hansen, who had the expression that suggested his butt plug had just popped in that little bit too far.
The reaction from these pair of clowns when the jug-eared, crisp-whoring pillock asked whether they thought Arsenal could win the league was equally pleasing.
“Erm…well…erm…” They acted like mum had just asked if they knew where their sisters missing knickers were, desperately trying to avoid the question, mumbling answers that, to be honest, I wasn’t paying attention to. Priceless.
This brings me to my next point; Can Arsenal win the league?
It really is a bit early to be too bold, don’t want to get all Tottenham Hotspur about it, but there are enough encouraging signs to be confident. One thing for me, is the “not losing when not at the top of our game” thing.
I believe this is called “winning ugly”, but if we can win with goals as beautiful as those against Norwich I think the term ugly is a tad unfair.
How about BOBFOC*? We won BOBFOC. Yeah, I’ll settle for that. Anyway, I digress.
Going back to the question in hand, my answer is yes, we can.
Not yes, we will, there is a difference. If we were in Manchester United’s position, we would be saying we can’t, so why not think we can now? It’s quite plain to see that the confidence and good feeling that’s been spreading recently has had a positive effect on the team.
We don’t want to get over confident of course – I’ve already mentioned that lot – nothing is ever won in October, and experience tells us plenty of things can go tits up in November…
One step at a time, but I don’t buy into the theory that we haven’t been tested yet, we have actually passed some tests this season – we bounced back from a demoralising home defeat in the opening game, we beat Napoli, and responded well against Norwich after dropping points away to West Brom.
Swansea away isn’t an easy game, Spurs, deluded cunts as they are, can’t be classed as easy either. A North London derby is a unique test in itself, and we beat them better than the 1-0 score line suggests in my opinion.
Plus, looking at the results of some of our rivals it’s clear that there is rarely such a thing as an easy game, as much as I hate to use that cliché.
There are many tests yet to come, however, and we will know a bit more about ourselves at the end of November, starting with our biggest test to date (since the last one), at home to Borussia Dortmund…
Arsenal 1 Borussia Dortmund 2 – Oh, What an Atmosphere…
Not the result we’d hoped for, obviously, but certainly not the end of the world. I’m not having any of the “first big test and failed” bollocks, and gladly not as many Arsenal fans are either from what I’m seeing the day after the game, which is nice.
There seems to be a general feeling that we deserved something from the game, and that’s certainly the view I hold, and that we can learn something from this result that we can take to Germany for the return game. A draw was the least we deserved.
There has been a lot of talk about the atmosphere in the ground since the game, so here’s my take on it, seeing as everyone else is giving theirs and all that.
I was at the game, and right from the off I felt the atmosphere was more subdued than I’d expected. You can sometimes just sense it at the Emirates when it’s going to be like that. It did pick up in the second half, when the team did, which shows that sometimes one just needs the others help I suppose. The Germans were already in full swing by kick off, having arrived at the stadium just after the Norwich game, whereas I noticed a lot of Arsenal fans still making their way to their seats after kick off.
This isn’t unusual of course, and I’m sure a few Arsenal fans were happy not to get to their seat only to find a German towel on it. Sorry.
Also, there is the contentious issue of fans leaving the ground early, which is something I feel uncomfortable commenting on, due to the fact I live within walking distance of the ground (and pub…) and I understand those that have to travel may have to leave midweek games early.
Although I felt as if we were not going to score as the stadium was emptying, I’m not going to blame the fact we didn’t on people leaving early.
My personal view is this – don’t leave before the end unless you have to. Although, I’m sure many of us have been guilty of at least contemplating going off in a strop once or twice in our Arsenal lives.
The other talking point as far as this goes is people who are not at a game seemingly criticising the supporters at the stadium for the atmosphere, leaving early etc. I say seemingly, because there is sometimes a – very understandable – tendency for those who were at the game to become over sensitive with this.
If someone openly criticises the support then fair enough, but someone simply giving the opinion that the atmosphere wasn’t great doesn’t necessarily deserve to be beaten with the “you don’t even go to games” stick.
This is something else I feel uncomfortable, and quite strongly, about. There are many reasons why people can’t attend matches, I don’t go to every match for a number of reasons myself, indeed I went a few seasons without attending a game in the not so distant past for mainly financial reasons. Therefore you will not hear any criticism from me directed at people who can’t go to every or any game.
Anyway, on to the next test- can we bounce back from losing our “first test”, which we “failed”? Fuck off.
Crystal Palace 0 Arsenal 2 – Just Like Old Times?
Forget BOBFOC, this was ugly. In more ways than one.
I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I’m sure I remember us winning games like this in title-winning seasons gone by, as much as I remember us not winning games like this in more recent years.
Not just our performance, but everything that went with it.
I could be here all week with this, so I’ll break it down for you.
As you know, I try not to do match reports, so I’ll keep it brief. We were poor in the first half, but we will never know how comfortable the result may have been after going 1-0 up thanks to an absolutely ridiculous decision from Chris Foy to send off Mikel Arteta.
In the end, we toughed it out, and got the result we needed.
Thanks in no small part to Wojciech Szczesny, who has been almost faultless since the Aston Villa game, and before that too if you can excuse that performance.
The Red Card
Let’s get one thing clear – the “last man” bollocks appears nowhere in the laws of the game.
The “last man” bollocks is an interpretation of the rule that has come from the media, in my opinion, and somehow transferred its way to the useless officials charged with interpreting the laws of the game each week.
I would say this law needs to be cleared up, but the following surely needs only the slightest hint of intelligence to apply sensibly in most cases.
This is from the FA website itself…
You can find it yourself here – http://www.thefa.com/football-rules-governance/laws/football-11-11/law-12—fouls-and-misconduct.aspx
I’ve highlighted the important part. Was this an “obvious goalscoring opportunity”? Was it fuck.
Aside from the very obvious fact that it was Marouanne Chamakh, it was a long way from goal, too far for it to be deemed an “obvious goalscoring opportunity” by anyone with at least half a brain surely, which I assume at least should be a minimum requirement to qualify as a referee (I know, I know…)
The more I look at it, the more it looks like it wasn’t even a foul to be honest.
There is a link to a PDF on that page too, which details the “FIFA Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees”
Fucking simple isn’t it?
I guess you could argue there is some ambiguity there, but that is necessary, as every case needs to be judged accordingly.
So, this might just be me, but according to the laws of the game, Chris Foy should not have sent Mikel Arteta off.
Unless you are Michael Owen that is….
If you were in any doubt that there is an anti-Arsenal media agenda, I hope Saturday went someway to convincing you otherwise.
Michael Owen’s ridiculously biased commentary even caused his voice to go up in pitch for the first time in his life.
This bias reached epic proportions when our Michael was asked his opinion on Arteta’s red card.
He got his knickers in such a twist he was reduced to saying this – “It doesn’t matter if you’re 50 yards or 10 goals away..”
Owen did not sound like the impartial observer he is paid a lot of money to be, he sounded like me when I’m trying to justify a decision that has gone against us, with no regard for the actual decision, just the fact it hasn’t gone the way I want it to.
David James was a bit of a melt after the game too, but by then I had punched myself in the face so much listening to Owen I can’t remember what he said.
But, it got worse a few hours later…
Sleep Well, Alan….
Remember Jamie and the Magic Torch?
One minute I was watching us beat Crystal Palace, the next I was watching Armand Traore being shit a few years ago, and this is the reason Arsenal can’t win the league, or something.
What. The. Actual. Fuck, Alan?!
There was no debate as to whether it should have been a red card or not. No. It was just Alan Hansen showing us why Arsenal can’t win the league. Because we gave Chamakh the same space we gave someone against Villa nine games ago. Completely ignoring the fact we are unbeaten in the league since then, and are now top of the league we can’t possibly win. SMH, as I believe the kids are saying these days.
He had clearly spent the week researching this, to justify his mumbling, bumbling shite from the previous week. Wanker.
It’s not like Alan has any reason to be bitter is it….?
Anyway, fuck them all.
To me, one way to tell that we have the media and “pundits” worried is when they react in this way.
It’s also clear that results like this galvanise us as a team, a squad, and as supporters.
The more points we keep picking up, the more chance we have of winning the league.
That, my friends, is as simple as the FIFA Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees….
Please, let us beat Liverpool next week, so I can see Hansen do this again….
So, more tests to come this week, and by the time I next speak to you we would have come up against Jose Mourinho – a self-obsessed, hypocritical, horrible cunt – and Brendan Rodgers – a man who looks like the sort of bloke who comes and stands at the urinal next to you, even though you are the only two people in the toilet.
Been a long one this week, thanks for sticking with it.
Until next week then.
*If you don’t know what BOBFOC means, Google it…
I should tell you a bit about myself. I’m not a stat man or a tactical genius, and you certainly won’t hear my opinion on Arsenal Football Club finances. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of that, it’s just not my thing. Don’t get me wrong, some do this very well but, for me, football has always been about what’s on the pitch, watching the game, discussing it over a beer with your mates after, then going into work on Monday morning either gloating or defending your team to the hilt, resisting the temptation to punch the token deluded Tottenham fan in the throat. Oh and my Dad and brothers are all with the Dark Side…