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The Next Game Ramble……Liverpool

For those who travel to Arsenal games by canal there is great news, the Department of the Environment have banned water fern, parrot’s feather, floating pennywort, water primrose and Australian swamp stonecrop from these shores. Don’t put your machetes away yet though, these plants are pretty prolific. Only last Sunday Camden looked like a scene from ‘The War of the Worlds’. And several dogs, children and small adults have gone missing whilst walking beside the Serpentine and the lake in St James Park….though the latter might be down to pelicans.

Liverpool next, which is always special and full of memories, like the time I almost got divorced over that bottle opener that came as a ‘gift’ in the season ticket pack a few years back. I am told that a woman can only take so much of, ‘…Thomas its up for grabs nowwww..Thomas..’, every time her worst half opens a bottle of beer, which happens quite often. Either way even now, after my bottle opener was found broken into four pieces in a fish pond four houses away, she goes into an uncontrollable rage at the mere mention of the name Michael Thomas and it has wrecked our relationship with close friends John and Tina Thomas and their son Patrick……..oh and their youngest son,  Michael..

Anyway that was an away game and the last time we played Liverpool, at Anfield (on September 2nd 2012) I remember wishing that I could watch the game in Saint-Denis in Paris, or Aubervilliers to be precise. Not far from the Stade De France. The game would have been screened in any number of bars in the area. There they love their football, particularly games featuring Parisian players and this game starred one of their own, for Aubervilliers is where Vassiriki Abou Diaby was taught to play football.

What a player. The last of the old French guard, Abou has restored my faith in football players. Although I have to say there were many new heroes on display that Sunday and I thought they were all superb. Abou though, has a special place in my heart. I was as enthralled by his display that day as I was in the games preceding the May Day match against Sunderland in 2006. I think it was David Pleat, but I might be wrong, who was waxing lyrical about Arsene’s ability to find ‘another Patrick Vieira’ just minutes before that horrendous Dan Smith tackle. ‘Dan went for the ball, unfortunately Diaby was quicker than him’, was the pathetic response of Kevin Ball. Unfortunately several other Arsenal players proved to be ‘quicker than’ their opponents in the seasons following including Eduardo and Aaron Ramsey, the career of both of whom was adversely affected by horrific leg breaks. The effect on Abou’s career has been palpable and is well documented and painfully followed by me and thousands of other Arsenal supporters.

Abou was imperious at Anfield. The whole team were superb and every one of them deserved a mention, including Olivier Giroud, whose movement was very impressive even then, of course we now know that he is a superb finisher and maker of goals and his ability to head the ball on is second to none. Vito Mannone, Carl Jenkinson, Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain, Mikel Arteta, Santo Cazorla, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey, Andre Santos all stepped up that day. But for me, that Sunday, Abou was back, though not for long as it turned out. The imbalance caused by the leg break leaves him susceptible to muscle injuries, a condition which, I am advised, need not be permanent but requires a huge amount of hard work and patience.

In the event I watched that game in Pimlico, without my passport. Sorry about the passport bit but Pimlico always conjures up images of that film. Never fails. On TV in an apartment near to Tate Britain, that is where I watched the game. After and much later I came upon a fellow from Liverpool sitting on the kerb outside of a Peabody Trust building. He was singing ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’. I could tell he was lost and looking for Victoria Coach Station, they always are around those parts. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have asked me the way to Victoria Coach Station. They come from all corners of the world, even Liverpool.

‘Where are you heading’ I asked, with a wry smile on my face and feeling generous, as I always do when we win.

‘Home’ he said

‘Where’s that’ I asked, knowingly, fiddling with my long johns which I always wear to watch games even on TV and noting that I had put them on back to front again.

‘Camden…..now fuck off, Gooner’ he replied

I could just hear the strains of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ fading into the distance as he wandered off into the night weaving his way down the middle of the street to the tube……alone.

I seem to have told this story without mentioning a single Liverpool player, not even S….or G….and I am not going to because this game is about my team. I hope Abou will be playing he is improving by the game and is part of a fabulous group of players who to me look set to achieve greatness. Don’t care where Liverpool are in the table or where we are in the table partly because it is still January but also  because playing Liverpool is always one of those special occasions particularly as they have performed very well in recent fixtures only conceding three goals to Oldham Athletic who are in…errrr…League 1. I think that Liverpool will know they are in a game.

I love going to the football to watch Arsenal.

Frank

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168 comments on “The Next Game Ramble……Liverpool

  1. anicoll i can see them coming ” why didnt we purchase cover for left back”? from the pseudo-fans mel describes.

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  2. Oh dear oh dear….well well. Fantastic game of football. Sorry Abou didn’t play but Aaron was excellent. Two unfortunate defensive mistakes but we battered them second half. Our front line were very classy indeed and could have scored 5 or 6 on another night especially with Santi slotting in with Pods, Oliver and Theo. Jack made G look decidely average. Suarez was very influential in the first half but we got the hang of it and nullified him in the second. Sturridge kept making a beeline for Per as if he was our weak link and every time Per just took the ball off him. Pity we couldn’t get the win but the quality of football was excellent. Pleasure to watch.

    Arsenal

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  3. Sorry Olivier your worshipful majesty mispelt your name again. A name given to you by your grandfather Errol out of respect for his good friend Laurence. Great game, son, beginning to make Drogba look average.

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  4. Frank ,the fact that so many of our “fans” can only see the negative ,is bitterly disappointing . We were magnificent second half.
    I just dont understand way were are less adventurous in the first half ,of late.It must baffle the coaching staff too.Its a conundrum.

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  5. The most disgraceful part is that some of those “supporters” are abusing Santos directly on his Twitter. Will surely provide a nice motivational boost for a player who’s already short on confidence. If they expect him to perform while Gibbs is out, the very least they could do is get behind the player.

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  6. It never ceases to amaze me Evil,the level of stupidity of some people is mind boggling.
    Whats it like over at ACLF tonight? iIDREAD TO THINK.

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  7. our “supporters” are very good at that evil. i wonder what all the ramsey hating muppets got to say about his last 3-4 games. you reckon theyve owned up?

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  8. No Hunter ,they have simple slide on to the next unfortunate soul

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  9. @Hunter
    I am confident they will be quiet and as soon as Ramsey has another bad game they will come out to talk about how he must be Wenger’s step-son or something because he never gets dropped. Those negative supporters can be really funny, eh?

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  10. And what George said. The negative Arsenal supporter wants to abuse players and usually there is always one player that is not in-form and therefore target for constant abuse.

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  11. yep pg seems like it. i can understand criticism as long as its balanced and with a perspective, but this constant abuse is sickening. its only football. people need to find other priorities in their lives than arsenal. arsenal will take a while to reach the level they demand, and without the fans support it might never reach it. part of our support should reconsider their behaviour.

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  12. hah evil, then again some past legends dont help and essentially feed the system of negativity which in turn encourages some fans to react in this manner.

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  13. as if they take revenge for not being on the payroll ……you know how veterans can be when the club they played for doesnt offer them seats, positions, roles …..

    only pires stands out as one of us…and wenger had to screw him big time taking him out in the final for almunia, poor bobby, and then we let him go to villareal. and he never comes otu in public to critisise and add petrol to fires….

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  14. I thought Santos was great tonight. A bit unfortunate to have the ball bounce off his shins and onto Henderson’s path for their second, but, other than that, he did very well.

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  15. A draw is a good result. What a fightback. If anyone can’t take heart from such a display of pure football they won’t understand what this team is about. The character is a pleasure to behold. The gulf in class between Arsenal and Pool clear to behold. And whoever doubted Santos contribrution, as a second choice LB, come on.

    I am not dejected, not at all. I’m in a rather buoyant mood after this.

    As usual, there is work to do in fine-tuning and upping the mental awareness and concentration, this first half timidity, lack of focus and concentration. I have a feeling AW says whatever happens don’t concede in the first half you little shits. So we do. Stagefright. Second half; OK lads you show us what you do. Yes, boss!

    So we have a gear to step up into.

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  16. Thing is, Frank, if I were travelling to Emirates by canal, I’d have to get the damn barge thingy all the way up to the source of the Nile, maybe a stretch on the Kafue river, up lake Malawi possibly, into the great lakes region I guess to reach the nile. Then a bit of a haul, 2500 miles or so to Port Said; best bet I suppose is hug the coast to Gibralter, into the Atlantic, up the European coast, English channel, enter the mouth of the Thames, find the canal system, I’d need a map. I’d give it, oh I dunno, 9 months, and then discover I forgot my UK visa. Many years ago, 20 I suppose, we had on local TV a then 20-year old series from England about a bunch of kids who barged up and down canals from wherever all the way to London, in black and white of course. It was a race I recall, with the bad guys. I loved that series, absolutely wonderful. Those days of innocence and realism in TV, kind of underdog story.

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  17. ZP

    You better get a move on or you’ll be late for the game against Stoke RFC.

    What a game last night. 1 lucky team (with a little dodgy defending included) and 1 superb passing team. Only 1 point but thoroughly entertaining stuff.

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  18. What an adventure, ZP, got to be done. Perhaps advisable not to wear your colours for some parts of that journey. I think you know what I mean. If you set out now you should arrive for the beginning of next season and see Lord Olivier’s first goal of the campaign. The one which I reckon he might be top EPL scorer if he isn’t this year, that is.

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