Tag Archives: Tottenham

The Highs and Lows of Following The Arsenal

It’s ying and yang. Black and white. North Korea and South Korea. Leave and remain. You can’t have one without the other.

Football is very much like that.

Over the course of your life, you will suffer more heartbreak, more disappointment, than you will see success.

Luckily for Arsenal fans we have seen a lot more success, and less heartbreak, than the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea or West Ham. But 13 league titles in 130 years. That is a lot of disappointing seasons.

For every result like last night against Tottenham, Arsenal have half a dozen memories of beating that lot.

From Rosicky on the wing, Flamini scoring twice, the FA Cup game in 2010, the 4-1 on their patch, numerous 5-2’s. In recent years we have far more W’s than L’s. And I haven’t even mentioned 2004 yet.

Take the Flamini double. What a night. The Arsenal took the piss on the High Road. But the other side of the coin is last night. In football you can’t really have one without the other.

Manchester City are riding high at the moment, a decade of success. But the prior decade was relegation after relegation.

There city rivals Manchester United are suffering after 20 years of dominating English football.

Nights like last night will hurt. Losing 5-1 to them hurt. 1991 hurt. But without that hurt, the victories will not taste as good.

North London is red” comes from nearly 60 years of dominance
Of 13 league titles & 13 FA Cups
Of 71 and 2004
The invincibles and 49 unbeaten
Winning a handful of times or finishing ahead twice in over 20 years changes nothing

The world is not perfect. You can not expect to only ever celebrate. The majority of us do not.

Last night was a bad day at the office for The Arsenal. There have been hundreds of bad days in my lifetime. And there will be hundreds more before I die. There will also be plenty of glory days. Plenty of success.

They balance themselves out. Without one you can not have the other.

Pleasure and pain.



Tottenham, Manchester United and the FA Cup

I am still coming down from yesterday.

Having taken yesterday off work, I strolled in today do 100 questions from colleagues as to how was the game and Arsenal were brilliant.

This time of year the games come thick and fast, and this week we have a mid-week games. Tomorrow it is another huge test with Manchester United away.

Arsene Wenger’s demise was defined by a lack of victories on the road to top teams. Unai Emery has a good chance to chalk up his first 3 points against United.

Jose Mourinho’s team are in total disarray. They are in 7th place, 16 points off top – last season they finished 19 points off Manchester City.

Whilst I am confident about tomorrow, I am also aware that Manchester United – and Jose Mourinho – often raise their game against Arsenal.

Our player of the season this season has been Lucas Torreira. Mourinho will employ the very basic tactic of sticking Marouane Fellaini as a number 10 and hitting him with high balls. Torreira will have no chance and United will then battle for the knock downs.

It is a basic tactic, but one which could work. Especially as we are without Granit Xhaka who misses his first Premier League game since the 2016/17 season.

The big news yesterday was the draw for the Emirates FA Cup third round. Arsenal will travel to either Solihull Moors or Blackpool.

We will find out our opposition for the match on December 11, when Solihull travel to Bloomfield Road for a second-round replay, after the sides drew 0-0 at the weekend.

Solihull Moors, managed by former England goal keeper Tim Flowers, play at Damson Park on the outskirts of Birmingham. With a capacity of just over 3,000, it is likely the fixture will get moved. Gander Green Lane (the home of Sutton United) held over 5,000 when we played them a few years back.

If the fixture is not moved, Arsenal will receive about 450 tickets. It will mean a ballot of the away scheme.

We played Blackpool at home earlier this season when we beat them 2-1 in the Carabao Cup fourth round on Halloween.

An away trip to them would be a good old day, as long as it is not ruined by TV. The last train back to London is at 19:32 via Preston. Easily Makeable if we are Saturday 3pm. But if it is moved to the 17:30 kick off time, it will be impossible to make it home.

On the Sunday we have planned engineering works. That means bus replacement services and 5+ hour journey times.

Friday and Monday would be a day off work and not getting back until the next day.

A night out in Blackpool would not be too bad, if it was not just a couple of weeks after Christmas and New Year.

Hopefully the TV companies take into account the travelling fans. They often point out that the FA Cup is dying, but football without fans is nothing. The TV companies are part of the problem.

So it is a case of cracking through today at work, before settling in to enjoy the game against Manchester United tomorrow.


Arsenal show class is permanent

What a win. What a game. What a weekend.

I got home from the Islington Sports Bar and Grill late last night and re-watched the game. I was buzzing throughout, kebab in hand and content in the knowledge that I had booked this morning off work.

Tottenham fans, as Tottenham fans do, got ideas above their station in the week leading up to the game.

They forgot that they are not a big club, that they had gone a decade without a trophy and had failed to win at the Emirates in the Premier League since February 2010.

Spurs fans believed that two years of finishing above Arsenal made them the superior team. Whilst this temporary rise in form did lead them to qualify for the Champions League at Arsenal’s expense twice, Arsenal always held the upper ground. Always had the class.

A few weeks ago we sang about having our Arsenal back. A few in the media derided this. But yesterday showed exactly what fans were singing about.

The Emirates was rocking. The ground and fans often singled out as being quiet, when the reality is it is no worse than White Hart Lane (or Wembley), Anfield, West Ham or Old Trafford. Yesterday the Arsenal fans were the 12th man.

And on the pitch the players gave as much as the fans did.

When Spurs equalised, Eric Dier ran towards the Arsenal fans shushing them. Stephan Lichtsteiner stuck one on the half dozen Spurs players celebrating. One man standing toe to toe with them.

Then all of a sudden we saw something that had been missing for years at The Arsenal. Passion and togetherness of the players.

The usually quiet Aaron Ramsey got himself involved, looking to swing it out with Dier. Then all of a sudden, from nowhere, youngsters Matteo Guendouzi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles came out of no where to back up their mates.

They were not wearing bibs, they were not warming up. They were sitting on the bench and legged it down the touchline. Guendouzi sticking one on Dele Alli will only further increase his place as a fans favourite.

From 1-nil up Arsenal very quickly went 2-1 behind. At half time, no one was that worried.

Arsenal had dominated the game, unlucky to not have scored 2 or 3. It was only a Son dive that separated the teams.

Son showed Tottenham lacked class throughout the game. He was throwing himself to the floor at every opportunity. Like there were banana skins on the pitch and he kept slipping on them.

Banana skins. Another example of Spurs lack of class. The fan should be banned for life. Sacked from work. I actually hope the black lads who support Spurs stick one on him, make it clear he is not welcome anymore.

Back to Son.

The response to his dive has been odd. There was no contact, yet people still say it was a penalty. He threw himself to the ground. He was not taking evading action. He cheated and should be banned.

In the second half, Unai Emery made changes. Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette came on.

It highlights where Arsenal are these days that we had players of the quality of Lacazette and Ramsey on the bench.

The rest of the game is a bit of a blur. Arsenal won 4-2.

There were a couple more flash points. And everytime Spurs tried shithousing, Arsenal players were there, en masse, backing each other. It was a team spirit we had not seen since Martin Keown, Ashley Cole, Lauren and Thierry Henry stuck one on Ruud van Nistelrooy.

The cream eventually rises to the top. And that is what happened yesterday.

Tottenham being better than Arsenal for 2 seasons did not change decades of dominance. Of one club winning trophies regularly and the other winning 2 League Cups in 27 years.

Moving forward, this game could kill Spurs. They are not a very good side, and will end up closer to Manchester United than the top 4.

Arsenal are 19 games unbeaten, making the media and pundits eat their words, and are back.

We really are back.