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The Goon blog


Archive for April, 2011


We need to let everyone know we still exist 19

Posted on April 30, 2011 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

Lets not be dumb here, the season in terms of trophies is well and truly over. If we are going to end up trophy less we may as well make a few waves as we close out the fixtures.

Our recent record against United is pretty poor, it has been quite some time since we last managed to beat them and there is no better time to put that right than tomorrow afternoon. At the moment we are rolling over and getting our bellies tickled – we need to see some bite from Arsenal. People have forked out big money for tickets to this game believing it may well decide the destination of the title, if United win and Spurs claim victory against Chelsea then we will see a trophy won at the Emirates, but not by us.

Going into a pivotal summer after capitulating at the end of the season anymore than we currently have will just mean bad feeling festers over the summer – far from ideal for players, fans and the club.

I think the game can be summed up by the lack of comment you can really apply to it.. there is nothing to fight for but pride and this team really need to show some of that. A professional performance, the kind United have chuffed out week after week would win us this game. We have the talent to win convincingly but the soft underbelly can be exposed so easily at the moment – United are a team that could take advantage of that to full effect.

We have had some positive news with Thomas Vermaelen returning to action for the reserves and some of the stuff already being written about him being just what we are missing is a case of absence giving a warped sense of value. Yes, Vermaelen is a leader, a very good defender and gives us an added threat at set-pieces – he was also part of a defence that shipped a hell of a lot of goals last season. He made mistakes too. Pinning next seasons hopes on his fitness is more than a little naive.

I have had a very busy past few days and that is set to continue into next week. It almost feels to me like the summer months where you can switch off and not really miss anything – not waiting hopefully on injury news or other results. Every Arsenal fan probably needs the summer break to put things into perspective and find out just where they stand on so many important issues – like that of the manager and the ownership.

One of the main things I have noticed is that I miss Arsenal being hated. Hate means you are (mostly) bloody good and successful. People like us now, they like watching us and like our players. I prefer the hate to tell you the truth.

Arsene Wenger needs to get these players pumped now, win tomorrow and we will all feel a lot better and potentially save face from having to put up with those filthy Mancs celebrating on OUR pitch.

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Wenger can’t take all the blame 19

Posted on April 28, 2011 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

The comments from Arsene Wenger today have a little more than a hint of attention deflection – almost urging the press to focus on him and his failings rather than go to town on certain members of the squad that haven’t justified his, not always well placed, faith.

“We feel more frustrated than ever because we are closer than ever to winning this league. Of all the trophies, the most important above all for me is the league and this year we had the quality to win it.

“The unfortunate thing is that there are plenty of moments to look back at with regret. We missed many opportunities.

“The players gave everything and I am responsible for the results so if there is someone to blame, it’s me. I have to stand up for the results and the way that we play and the way that we behave, and that has not changed since last Sunday.”

I do feel rather sorry for the manager at the moment. He looks frail, tired and ready for a long break. Admittedly he has not helped his own cause in many cases but I really do think that he recognises the next summer is key. Many of you may contest this but he is well aware that Liverpool, City, United and Chelsea are looking to strengthen considerably this summer and Arsenal can’t afford to be left behind.

For the first part of this now six year trophy drought, Wenger did brilliantly to keep us competitive whilst starting to bring through the first talents from the youth system that he completely overhauled years ago. It will still be many years until we see the true results from that I think – Jack Wilshere is an advert for Arsene’s belief in youth and I don’t think his eye for talent can be doubted at all.

Over the past two years the case is different, Wenger has had the cash at his disposal but has looked to finish the job without using it – for the first time he has maybe based a team around one single player in Cesc Fabregas and the core of that team has been decimated so often due to injuries to the likes of Vermaelen, Djourou, Gallas, Cesc and Robin van Persie. I have a gut feeling that now he knows he has to use the resources available, it isn’t admitting defeat, its looking to diversify and build on the competitiveness that we maintained after moving stadium.

I think that right now people may just need to lay off the guy for a bit, give him this chance to change his approach and take this stagnating team forward.

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Protests, fans and bickering. Don’t forget who we are.. 13

Posted on April 27, 2011 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

It has been a bit of an enforced absence from me over the past few days, lots of assignments to be written and work to be done. Thankfully for you – I jest – I am back.

The atmosphere is full of rage and disappointment right now – which one probably depends on what clique you now belong to. From what I have observed over the past few seasons with increasing anger is the fact our fans seem to like to identify themselves as different from each other, like some kind of political party.

“Wenger is the best!!”

“Shut up!! Another member of the AKB brigade I see!!”

“Oh so you are one of the ‘Wenger out brigade’ I see!”

I’m sick and tired of reading this crap. Just because someone holds a certain opinion on the manager they are labeled and shamed like this is some kind of Arsenalised Apartheid and it is doing my head in. You can’t escape from the crap that is being spewed by many when it comes to catagorising certain supporters.

Tensions are high right now, I’ve seen myself a bit of fisticuffs in the stands between our own fans and it really is maddening, I have also heard first hand some of the abuse that members of the current squad get from their own fans, which is just as bad as punching a fellow Arsenal supporter in the mouth for holding a different view. So, excuse this little bit of hypocrisy when I say I don’t want to be associated with boneheads.

If you wish to label me, or this blog as pro/anti anything then go ahead. You are just another of those idiots I was talking about a minute ago.I’m not going to give it the big Mandela speech and ask for unity or anything like that – just a little bit of respect would do nicely. Agree to disagree, don’t abuse. Drop beats, not bombs, that kind of thing.

This brings me onto the next thing; the planned protest for the game against Villa. My understanding is that this is NOT an anti-Wenger march and is just a campaign for the fans to have more involvement and be more appreciated by the club. Of the many positive things they are campaigning for include split season ticket payments, the ability to swap seats with other season ticket holders and downgrading from a season ticket to silver membership – small changes but ones that may greatly enhance fans enjoyment and the atmosphere at the stadium.

Action like this has my backing, it is peaceful and as long as it isn’t hi-jacked by morons I hope it works. The AST support it and fans really do need to be heard now more than ever. Money for fans is tight and an ear pointed in their direction may be the difference between a season ticket or membership renewal or giving it up.

If this season had been more of a success I don’t think too much would be said of this protest, but as things are sour, it is built up and that’s when the Chinese whispers gets going and suddenly we have what is apparently a huge revolt on our hands. Twitter is a great thing, but when it comes to events like this false rumours are quick to spread.

Find the actual website of the organisation organising the protest. Read their press-release. Draw your own conclusions.

I won’t be on the protest, I will be in the pub with friends before heading to the ground shouting myself hoarse.

And now it seems I have to venture into the business of taking apart our 2-1 loss to Bolton apart piece by piece. Again, the effort was fine but the bit extra that would have stood us apart from them was missing once again, the team look tired, the manager looks ill and stressed and the end of the season just can’t come soon enough. We know it is all over, we don’t need telling that by United, Spurs or Chelsea fans – Its been accepted by me, for now it is about putting on a good show for the last few games, beating United and building towards what will be a simply massive summer for club and manager.

This is a magnificent read by Oliver Holt of Mirror Football. I urge you to read it..

For now there are a few more days for reflection and thoughts on what needs to be changed. For sure, players need to depart, quality needs to arrive. How much further does it go than that? Well, the manager has my backing for another season and I will judge after that.

However for now, we need to stick together and do what we pay to do.. support.

We are The Arsenal remember, **** all the rest.

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