Tag Archives: George Graham

Unai Emery’s Red and White Army

There is not much to moan about down The Arsenal at the moment.

9 wins in a row, 2 points off top, the place is brimming with positivity. However, there is something that has done me head in since the arrival of Unai Emery.

The backing the manager has got since he joined has been tremendous. We are now singing about him once more and his army. But this is what is annoying it.

It is not “Unai Emery’s red army”.

It is “Unai Emery’s red and white army”.

It was “Georgie Graham and his red and white army”. It was “Arsene Wenger’s red and white army”. But at Fulham, it was “Unai Emery’s red army”.

Has it been that long since we sang about the manager that we have forgotten the words? Or does it just sum up society, that we are now lazy, looking for short cuts through life. That dropping off the “and white” is systematic of society.

Well let’s stop being lazy, lets get it right.

We became “Herbert Chapman’s red and white army” back in 1933 when he introduced white sleeves to the shirt. Despite kit manufactures meddling in away kits, it has remained that way for 85 years.

We might sing “red army” at times, but it will always be the managers “red and white army”.

Let’s start getting it right please.

It is “Unai Emery’s red and white army”.


We need to reclaim our Arsenal back

Football fans generally have two emotions, elation or agony.  Those are certainly the two I remember from being a young girl standing on the terraces.

If someone had said to me 30 years ago, ‘one day you won’t  feel as though you belong or you will despise the club’ I would have argued with them all day long. How could I not love everything Arsenal??

The Arsenal were my love. It’s where I belonged and where I made my best friends and memories.

The football didn’t really matter. If we lost we felt disappointment, I don’t remember coming away feeling angry. Maybe some anger at a referee, or anger at opposing fans, but not anger at my club. We looked forward to the next game. Someone would get it if we had lost.

Half time we might sing ‘Georgie, sort em out’, we knew he would, George knew.

Fast forward to 2018.

Blue shirt, Cannon facing the wrong way, inept performances, a chairman who treats us with disdain and excuses that run out of every pore of the club.

Fans who treat us a hobby not as a cause, and the fever pitch fans who got involved when football became fashionable.  None of us wanted it to be fashionable.  We liked it that no one liked football. We were looked down upon by the rest of society.

Now we sing to our manager ‘Spend some fu**ing money’ or ‘Get out of our club’.

We now stand where we’ve been told to sit down, hoping the stewards won’t tell us to sit.

We have no idea who will be sitting next to us from week to week, we don’t know the stewards name, we boycott the shop, we’ve stopped buying programmes and when we concede we accept it. We are becoming as passive as those who run our club. I’ve not seen much anger this year.

It’s been like watching a social experiment, how to silence the masses.

We clap poor performances and have been brainwashed to ‘get behind the boys’ at all costs.

We hear more and more ‘there is no point in protesting, there is no point in making a noise’. We buy tickets to games we have no intention of going to…… and we all just wait. We wait for the day it’s going to change.

Earlier on this season I wrote a blog about when anger turns to apathy…..the signs were all there.

Friends whose lives revolve around their job of following the club, started to talk about giving it all up.

So, why do we bother? We bother because we remember. We remember what it was. We bother because without bothering, we wouldn’t ever sit in a pub again and talk about those great days we’ve had with the only people in the world that understand.   Choosing not to go is a huge decision, only a few will really understand that. We are scared of not being part of the new dawn that can’t be far away. We are scared of throwing away a huge chunk of our lives.

The club have become unrecognisable to me. We write and they ignore us, we protest and they wash over it in press conferences. But, we did start to get to them, we were being heard even if they wouldn’t admit it.

I’m not sure those great days will ever come back, but to a certain extent that is up to us.  We have to continue to force change. We mustn’t mirror the apathy on the pitch.  We need to reclaim our place as football fans…. followers of The Arsenal.

It’s our club, it’s still our name on the badge. Anyone who is thinking about bowing out, do so with knowing you have made as much noise as possible before you say goodbye.


Are Arsenal actually in the middle of a glory period?

In researching for responses to yesterdays blog on how things at Arsenal are actually not as bad as what they seem, I ended up asking myself a question:

Are Arsenal actually in the middle of a glory period?

Now before you spit your tea out all over your monitor, hear me out.

Arsenal have won 3 FA Cups in 4 years. That is 3 trophies, 3 bits of silverware. Now some of you will already be saying the FA Cup is not enough. Well done for being brainwashed by Sky and UEFA to think that the only thing that matters is the Premier League and the Champions League.

I remember the days of the 90s, when we won the domestic cup double and then the European Cup Winners Cup in 1994. I could not tell you where we finished those years.

3 trophies in 4 years is a success, especially when you factor in that Arsenal’s hit rate since 1900 is just under a trophy every 4 years (give or take a bit of time for the World Wars). Interestingly, prior to 1996, it was a trophy every 5 years. So 3 trophies in 4 years is clearly well above our going rate.

Now I looked into it further, to try and establish what our most successful periods in our history are, and how does the current period compare:

What is clearly missing from the current successful period is a league title, but what is clear is when you look at the bigger picture, that over the 125+ year history of the club, we are in one of most successful eras. Don’t believe me?

Despite our reported demise, only 4 previous era’s have shown a better years per trophy period than the era we are currently in.

The above 5 eras span 37 years between them. That means that outside of these eras, we have had nearly 90 years of either no success, or just the single trophy.

Whilst we might all be a little bit despondent about the current era, history will show it in a good light, that we are in one of the more glorious eras of our history.

Embrace the success.