Unlucky Arsenal Get A Lucky Draw (You what??)

I love watching a good game of football, and thats exactly what The Arsenal and Manchester City(the league champions by the way) served up to us yesterday.

Am I disappointed we didn’t win ? Yes, I always am.

Am I disappointed with our performance? Hell no, I thought we were fantastic.

I really don’t understand how people can suck the joy out of the game. It’s beyond pathetic the way fans ignore the good things and focus on the negatives. Why watch the game if you don’t appreciate the aesthetics of it. Just read the result in the morning paper if the result is all that matters.

Completely against the run of quite superb play we went a goal down. Flamini was at fault and they scored. But don’t all goals come from mistakes? Yes it was a poor goal to concede, but what went before was not instantly erased.

We then scored two wonderful goals and perhaps should have gone on to win. Sadly we let in another poor goal which if not for  Wojciech Szezesny’s supreme athleticism in getting a hand to it, Flamini would have nodded clear. A bit of bad luck on top of a bit of bad defending and it was all square.

We then rode our luck for a short spell and in the end I was happy with the point.

Hey, we are unbeaten and looking better, much better, much much better.

Plenty to be optimistic about if you ask me.

Jack was quite simply outstanding.

Alexis is looking every inch the player we hoped he would be.

Danny looks a fit.

Some, like Ozil and Aaron, are not up to their usual ridiculously high standards but I’m sure it is just a matter of time.

I loved the way we played yesterday. How could I not?

Right. below is a bonus from @anicoll5 with his recollection of the fixture some 50 years ago




My heart hoped for the home win, and on the balance of play it could have been. Citeh are however a wily serpent, slithering and striking around the defensive shield and it was not to be.

My head, to its credit, had settled for the draw. As I left the house in the morning, trotted after Steve towards the stadium and finally settled in my seat at 12.40 it was certain the points were to be shared.

How !?! You cry – such certainty of a draw, such a limit of ambition, so little of the Positivistas joie de vivre – it cannot be.

Well it was the cycle of history turning my friends. Fifty years ago was my first game at Highbury ( I know I have bored you with this theme before but stay with me a little longer).

The sun on that day shone in 64, it shone as bright yesterday. I sat on the North Bank, actually on the terracing but as I was by the fence at the back and the ground was half empty it was easy to see the action. It was a time of rosettes and rattles, and dark clothing, men wore dark clothing. I sat yesterday in the North Bank, wedged tightly between Arsenal fans other than when the goals went in and we popped up like a seed pod bursting. Some fans yesterday wore short trousers as they used to be known, clad in replica shirts mostly. In 1964 no adult owned shorts, let alone wore them out of doors irrespective of the weather. In 1964 I wore short trousers to the match (undoubtedly), so Ah – ha.

To be honest fifty years ago watching the tiny figures whizzing round miles away was pretty much beyond me and I suspect my mind wandered pretty soon. I persuade myself these days I know and understand a little more of what is going on, but I am prone to self delusion. Those replay screens have saved me from moments of embarrassment more than once.

And on that day many years ago you know what happened on the pitch ? The opposition scored first, the crowd groaned and tutted. Had I been more mature I expect I would have heard a few discontents muttering about Billy Wright. Our brave Arsenal lads battled back, then late on Joe Baker scored what in my mind’s eye I can still see as an excellent strike from outside the box in front of my North Bank perch to level the contest, and both sides went at it to the end. Some long forgotten referee blew his ceremonial silver whistle and the players exited for a plunge in the communal bath and for our visitors a fish and chip supper on their long, long journey back to East Lancs by stagecoach.

And “So What?”  concerning all this misty eyed sentimental reminiscing you ask, what relevance might it have to yesterday’s events ?

Well just to say that I do not think that football has changed very much. Players were exceptionally talented athletes 50 years ago compared to the men and boys on the terraces, and they are exceptionally talented now, another breed. They are dedicated to their craft. If they were not they would be the same as us, and spectators in the theatre.

The geographical origin of players has changed, and it was pleasing to see an old Arsenal player called Johnny McLeod on the pitch at half time (who even pre dates me) talking about how he had persuaded his former Hibernian teammate Joe Baker to sign for the Gunners. From what I saw on the pitch yesterday the joy of playing, the excitement of scoring, and the frustration of letting in a goal has not changed for players or fans. Admittedly the notion of Joe Baker ripping off his shirt after his goal to reveal a perfectly rippling torso would be from another Universe compared to Alexis yesterday, but Joe had his moments, in a 1964 kind of way. Eye contact, manly handshake, firm but friendly pat on the shoulder, you know the form.

That I do not think the attraction of watching a real contest that had lured me to Highbury fifty years ago and has kept me returning year after year, though not always week after week, since has changed very much.

Every single game is a clean slate which will be won or lost by an unknowable amalgam of physical skill, game intelligence, perseverance, organisation and always of luck. Luck in some games consists of a few grains, in others it is delivered by the bucketload.

If football had changed, or the object of my affections had changed then my life may have been different. Nothing has changed, other than the colours perhaps. The flame burns bright. My appetite for the game, for the Arsenal and for the contest is as sharp as it was then. I suspect the hunger may carry on in the future as long as there are sunny days like yesterday, great players, great contests, though perhaps not for 50 years.


I thank you.

Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

237 comments on “Unlucky Arsenal Get A Lucky Draw (You what??)

  1. Shotta
    It’s almost as if the WOBs are gutted the gaffer signed a new contract.

    Who could have expected or imagined such a reaction after the first defeat of the season?


  2. Fins @ 1:53pm The gaffer is just a lightening rod as he represents the humongous success the club has had over the past 10 years building a stadium yet still remaining in the top echelons of European football. Not one single top flight club club in England have built a stadium and, with the possible exception of United, none have been as consistent. But the football establishment in England supported by the mainstream media believes that clubs selling out to oligarchs and hedge funds, becoming investment vehicles, is preferable to AFC’s self sustaining model. This is at the heart of the overreaction to being beaten by BVB. Any defeat by AFC feeds the conventional narrative that Arsenal should be more like City and Chelsea. When the latter clubs fail it is simply glossed over.
    It bears repeating;what City, Chelsea and now Man Utd are doing is unsustainable in the long run. AFC may have setbacks but they are bound to get back on a long in beaten run sooner rather than later. Its happened over and over in the past. No doubt it will happen this season.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Sitting I the garden and attempting to work isn’t working for me today. Modern technology, it’s not what it’s cracked up to be. This was interesting:

    From @culanndavies
    In ten games Ozil will be on top form and Cesc will begin his oh so predictable decline as the games become important

    I’m still too much of a Luddite to go for twatter, but I like to occasionally check Culann’s and Mean Lean’s feeds as they like to chat footy!


  4. What? you dont check mine Fins?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sometimes.

    I forget to tell Outforacorner after his post the other day that the reason I called myself Finsbury five odd years ago was in order to avoid chatting footy with the venal, small minded ignorant Little Englander Alan Partdrige wannabee Loadsamoney spoofed sado masochist frustrated Chelsea fans that you sometimes induce into exposing the poverty of their hearts minds and souls.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A pre-emptive strike!


  7. Lyaksite: “Sagna was really poor yesterday. thats the worst i have seen of him EVER. kept falling and sliping all over the pitch. the lack of playing time must really be taking its toll on the usually reliable bac.”

    There was one particular play, about midway through the second half, where he was given the outlet pass from defence and he ended up giving the ball away for a throw. He wasn’t put under a lot of pressure and it was a play in which he could have dribbled out of trouble. But he was afraid to cut inside the same way a little kid is afraid to cross the street, he just wouldn’t do it. I felt bad for him, but then I remembered that he’s on £100k per week and he plays for one of our fiercest rivals.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fin: “Pointing out the lack of gr*t and effort shown by the F Word as he dilly dallied and dithered before losing the ball that led to the Arsenal hopeful’s run to set up the Arsenal reject to score against Gazprom. Good stuff. Not quite as good as a back heel on the edge of his own area to a future teammate,but he’s working his way up I think. Finding his true ‘form’, hehe. ”


    Liked by 1 person

  9. What kills me about these WOBs is arrogant assholes like Piers Morgan telling the manager what to do. He tweeted some nonsense about a CDM yesterday, as if that would solve all of our problems overnight. I’ve got news for him, our defensive frailties would not subside just by adding a holding midfielder because we don’t play cowardly, defensive football like Chelsea. We beat teams by overwhelming them with our attack. If the attack is not in synch, we will get displays like the one we saw at Dortmund. Even if we brought in Makelele in his prime, he’d still have to deal with four creative players and a striker in front of him.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I am sorry Arsene, I don’t like to interfere but I am afraid I must insist that Rosicky starts on Saturday and is pencilled in for at least some part of Tuesday.

    The boy was on fire for the Czechs during the international break and it is exactly a team like Villa that a mix of his guile and quick feet should be unleashed.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That Culaan Davies is a wise fellow and one of the few who speaks consistently good sense about the club. He strikes me as a proper supporter – and he’s a dab hand with the video compilations too.

    I have yet to meet Piers Morgan but find it absolutely consistent that he is a supporter and friend of Kevin Petersen and a denigrator of Arsene Wenger. It is simply remarkable that he supports The Arsenal rather than Chelsea.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. So not only does Scotland remain a part of the UK but it would appear all pitches must now be cut to a length no greater than 3 cm.

    The two things I learnt upon waking this morning.

    Bad luck on the pitch front, Sunderland.

    Whatever next? Video tech?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I think I have seen every Arséne Wenger press conference in the last ten years at least. How the man can remain so calm and collected, polite and cooperative is astounding. All fair and serious hacks acknowledge that he never ducks a question. None that I have read accuse him of being a snob or in any way conceited. No player he has managed, even those sold to rival teams, have ever spoken ill of him. They all have the utmost respect and in many cases love. That’s a great many players and no few hacks. Why do some bloggers claim to know otherwise?

    Liked by 6 people

  14. Arsene “the world is full of brilliant tacticians that have managed no one” roughly translated that means FUCK OFF

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Very true GP he has many fine qualities, but has Arsene ever set up a blog eh – tell me that ?

    When the going gets tough, the tough get blogging – know this

    Liked by 3 people

  16. AA
    I hope arsenal bring a little ruler with them to all away games.
    Every time some Stone Age club leave the grass long to stop our passing game will now mean an automatic walk-over and 3points without even playing.


  17. I watched the Gazprom v Schalke game last night. The specialist in failure played his most defensive line up and the first time he faces decent opposition he drops points. Seeing Schalke tear them up through the middle after Cesc lost the ball brought back so many memories.

    It seems like Arsene is pissed off at Ozil’s critics. I’m going to watch that presser right now.

    With regard to the grass having to be cut to 3cm, poor Stoke is not going to like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. everyone going on about 170m in the bank but although turnover was up over 20m profit was down to a mere 4m and that was before tax. asset rent and sales was down as well and is like oil running out. Despite the F.A. cup triumph and the revenue that brings and the 3% increase the profit is wafer thin. This also doesnt include this summers player transfers so i dont think were quite rolling in money as the paytens of this world would have as suggest.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. The Twaterrati and the Pocastateers haven’t really reflected upon the observation, indeed the record, that Ozil was switched “wider” when he wasn’t a hundred per cent last season, when a little bit niggled. Such as the game against Munchen where Chamberlain played the tennish support striker role type thing so well,

    have they?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Jack didn’t quite have the legs to play in the centre in the opening game, by the time Besiktas came to visit you could see the obvious improvement in stamina/conditioning.

    It’s not rocket science. Just anatomy.


  21. Here are the details of today’s fiscal results, to add to aorb’s comments, above:

    Group profit before tax was £4.7 million (2013 – £6.7 million).
    The group’s total turnover amounted to £301.9 million (2013 – £280.4 million).
    Turnover from football increased to £298.7 million (2013 – £242.8 million) driven mainly by Premier League broadcasting, the FA Cup run and commercial activity including a full year of the Club’s extended partnership with Emirates.
    Taking account of increased costs, principally wage costs, operating profits (before depreciation and player trading) from football increased to £62.1 million (2013 – £25.2 million).
    Wage costs of £166.4 million (2013 – £154.5 million) represented 55.7% of football revenue (2013 – 63.6%).
    Profit on sale of player registrations was limited to £6.9 million (2013 – £47.0 million).
    Low key year for property business with revenues of £3.2 million (2013 – £37.5 million including sale of the market housing site at Queensland Road) and operating profit of £0.4 million (2013 – £4.4 million).
    The Group has no short-term debt and continues to be in a robust financial position with cash balances, excluding those amounts designated as debt service reserves, of £173.3 million (2013 – £119.6 million).

    Plenty for the club’s critics to latch onto, inevitably. It would be interesting to know how our reserves compare with the rest of the league. Certainly AFC is operating with one eye fixed firmly on FFP. No doubt many would like us to operate with far fewer reserves and I can see the arguments for investing in the squad but again, these reserves have been built up over a good few years and, unlike the usual Oily suspects, we could still not afford to have limitless spending sprees every six months so I don’t anticipate a sea-change on AW’s overall approach from the last 18 months or so.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. And I agree it’s time for some Rosicky.
    Chamberlain has also said he’s feeling match fit now, we should see both get a start in the next few games.

    If Rambo had a wee niggle then he can or should be rested, any excuse really just as long as Vengerrrrrr gives Rozza some minutes. Please?


  23. Here’s a link relating to my earlier comment on new grass length regulations; unsurprisingly Sam Allardyce is appalled by this whole development:


    Liked by 1 person

  24. AA

    Turnover is vanity – only £21,5 millions approx. increase over the previous year.

    The total cash and bank balances, on the other hand has shot up by £54 millions. Which would suggest that the sponsorship and commercial deals, have had a huge front loading impact?

    The full report is required, before we can verify that the idiots are tying themselves into nots, or knots in raving lunacy!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. One of the pleasant aspects of PA is that, almost certainly, I do not have to read, reread, and hear repeated to the nth degree by the largely financially illiterate, and sometimes arithmetically challenged, the Arsenal annual accounts.

    Let’s be clear here

    I don’t give a fuck

    Thank you

    Liked by 3 people

  26. PG, if I may indulge your good nature, by responding over 2 years late to Limestone gunner!

    Dear Passenal, please look away!

    The company’s principle activity for Arsenal Broadband Ltd, is the running of the official Arsenal Football Club internet portal and Arsenal’s on demand online video service.

    Arsenal Broadband Ltd is a joint venture between Arsenal Football Club plc and Kroenke Sports Enterprises U.K. Inc.
    It can be stated that Arsenal Broadband Ltd, ultimate parent company is KSE UK Inc., which means Mr E.S. Kroenke.


    Arsenal Football Club plc owns 50% of the shares, therefore the joint venture’s results and net assets are included under the gross equity method (50%)within the consolidated accounts of Arsenal Holdings Plc, and

    The other 50%, in KSE UK Inc, incorporated in the state of Delaware, U.S.A.

    No dividends have been paid out, as

    The reserves at 31st May 2013, were minus £16,834,000.

    There is a mistake in the date of the debt owed by Arsenal Holdings plc, which should read 31st May 2013, which was £5,685,000

    Red and White Holdings, could make an issue of this?.


    Mr E S Kroenke, has his own network called Altitude Sports & Entertainment, and his own Ticket Horse, a one-stop ticket service.

    Fungunner, per the Financial Annual Accounts from 31st May 2008

    PG, thank you and Roger and out.


  27. On a more positive and football related topic is anyone working on a Villa preview?

    If not I shall attempt to produce a short piece in the morning

    Liked by 1 person

  28. anicoll5

    Are you sure you are of Scottish Heritage?

    Good for you, back to the football.

    Do not forget to mention the Villan’s first gate receipts of about five shillings, if George Allison was correct in his book!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Indeed NOTH – my father’s ashes will be stirring in fury today at the failure of his countrymen to cast of the chains on English enslavement

    Admittedly he for the most part hated most of his fellow Scots – but you get the theme


  30. And not only will George Allison get a mention but Tommy Doc – the Special One


  31. That will be good Andrew.
    PS, i’M PISSED


  32. so with George thinking all last thunder was achohol induced i can imagine A5s preview wont be up to early !!!


  33. That’s a pity, was looking forward to Anicol’s take on our finances.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. normally A5s previews are worth the wait, i wonder if he wrote it after the very interesting presser yesterday


  35. Don’t you worry – it thudded into young George’s in box on the dot of 10

    He is obviously performing his extended ablutions

    I have to say it has no presser in it, no finances, its Autumnal;

    “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
    Conspiring with him how to load and bless
    With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;”


Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: