34 Comments

All I Want For Christmas….

All I want for Christmas is a point at The Dell, or wherever it is that Southampton play these days and a home win against Bournemouth a mere two days later. Actually a little less than two days given the late Boxing Day kick off, though the Cherries themselves have a home game against Palace to get over.  And then a whole year to recover in time to welcome Newcastle, so that should be fine, as long as the Boss has managed to squeeze a little rotation into our threadbare squad and provided of course that nobody else is injured or otherwise gone missing over the festive season.  Which has sometimes proved to be the case, especially on New Year’s Day, I suspect. Still, enough of all that – what goes on tour stays on tour etc and all I would say is that highly paid though they are, they are also young men full of the joys of and it must be hard to stay focussed at Christmas time.

Some would say that nothing less than nine points as a festive return would be acceptable, but to be honest what I would happily settle for would be a run of games with no more injuries.  Everyone I suspect has their own favourite player, but it has seemed to me for a while that the one player we struggle to do without is Aaron Ramsey, so much energy, belief and skill does he bring. So a fit and healthy rest of year and season for him, please Santa – and if he can go on to have a great summer with Wales and at the same time persuade his friend to come our way that would be a bonus. Although perhaps not the greatest Gareth to play football for the principality, under this particular code he is pretty special and if it is ever appropriate for someone of my age to covet a young man (and an ex-spud to boot) then that is my next wish should I prove to have been a good boy this year.

I am getting very worried about Welbeck: it has been a long absence and the various medical bulletins that we have been privilege to have not revealed much, other than vague talk of bone bruising, which doesn’t sound much but is in reality a lot more serious than many imagine. It is actually a fracture of the inner layer of bone, caused either by traumatic impact, or, more likely repetitive stress. So my next item on the list is a full and happy recovery to him of course, but also a greater understanding of the injury factors that surround these athletes. I am as certain as I can be that the medical staff at all the top clubs have as good an appreciation of sports injury as any medics in the world, and The Arsenal staff will be no exception – but I would like the pundits to educate the fans about some of the issues involved, and just how fit you need to be to play at the very highest level. But the problem with pundits is that the non-players just don’t know, and the ex-players are normally so busy promoting the notion that things were better in their day that they haven’t much time for the upstarts who now occupy their position in the sun. Which is a shame, because a better educated fan base would eventually lead to higher standards throughout the game. And also, maybe, a realisation that by the time a player is 23 he is going to have kicked a lot of footballs, done a lot of running, been the target for a lot of mistimed tackles. They aren’t machines (unless there is an unscrupulous Dr Needles in the background) so let’s not be too harsh on extended periods on the easy list for the younger players. And may I also ask for a greater seriousness from the authorities about the whole business of drug testing, because it would be nice to know for sure that the field of play is as level as possible.

Am I allowed to ask for new signings in the January window? Everybody else seems to, equating transfer activity and money (huge money) spent as an indication of ambition and seriousness. We can’t win unless we have a this or a that, goes the cry, but Pinter has taught me not to pin all my hopes on a promised land, and certainly not on Sidcup or a pair of DMs. So I will let others do the asking for that, and content myself with the fact that most needs are merely greeds by another name, that we have much to be grateful for with the players so carefully assembled by the manager, and that if he spots a good one who is available he will know a lot more about him than I do and will act decisively. And in any case, Joel Campbell has already proved to be this season’s proverbial “new signing”, and it wouldn’t be the greatest surprise in the world if Callum Chambers stepped forward to play a major role too. I certainly hope so as he seems the sort of boy next door you’d hope your daughter might fall for.

So reading this back it seems that I actually want quite a lot for Christmas, which is a bit rich given how much this club has already give me this last year. Frustrations at times to be sure, but also another glorious cup-run (that Welbeck winner my stand-out moment for on so many reasons), the joy of watching us put Bayern to the sword whilst on holiday in a German resort and also the sheer wonderment at the skills of Ozil on show every time he graces the field: that young man is a bit special and we are lucky to have him. You will all have your special memories too, and also a few things that you would like this Christmas; no doubt  you will share them in the comments section. But finally, it would seem appropriate to save my biggest wish for last, and also to hope that it is one that we all might echo. Blackburn George, the founder of this site, and the most resolutely positive of us all, is not so very well at this moment. It would make this Christmas a lot happier should he be on the mend, and I wish him the best of all health, as I do to you all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSyx6DaUwxA

34 comments on “All I Want For Christmas….

  1. Amen to your final wish. And not a lot wrong with the rest either if you ask me.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Lovely stuff mate,merry Christmas to all you lot on here and a special mention to the chairman of the Blackburn S&M community from all of us.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. A very reasonable list that will not push the elves into overtime Tim, and may the sad eyed little urchins with their noses pressed to the transfer window sweet shop not be tooooo disappointed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent! Get well soon George and Happy Christmas to everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy Chistmas to all and to all a good night.

    Get well soon George and come on you Gunners!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As a long time reader from India, here’s wishing you all a very merry Xmas and good health to George! God bless

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks all I am feeling much better.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. reports in Switzerland tonight say arsenal and basel have reached agreement over the transfer of Egypt defensive midfielder Mohamed Elneny. and that he will undergo an AFC medical over the weekend. With a fee of £5.5M for the 23 year old agreed.

    now if this is true, it will really put the AAA in a spin, he is just not expensive enough and none of them will know anything about him, but he is a DM.

    Like

  9. Mohamed Elneny by the way has completed the most passes of any player in the Europa League this season, 161.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. FH

    a lovely article, and a very reasonable wish list.

    Everyone, have a lovely Christmas. (Inc. George, of course).

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Merry Christmas fellow positivistas….

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Lovely piece Tim, thanks.

    PG is fine……that’s the Christmas present I asked from Santa….

    Like

  13. Cheers to everyone at PA and a raised glass to good old George- to your health sir!

    And another raised glass to the Boss and his Team, they are doing Arsenal proud.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Hello all. Just popped in to wish you all a merry Xmas. Not got much time to comment of late as I’m up to my neck in PHP. AJAX & jQuery stuff (learnin’ dontcha know). Anyway this place just gets better and better, with knowledgeable writers & commenters in every corner.

    One more thing. AKB

    Liked by 4 people

  15. MERRY CHRISTMAS abd tge very best of the holiday period to you all….Its been a big pleasure associating with you all….

    PG, take care of you!

    God bless you all specially and grant all the nice wishes above especially for less injuries and might i add, better organized refs!

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Cheers to FH for a great article, and Merry Christmas to all you Positivists!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Merry Xmas my virtual friends. I have to say, I feel I have moved passed the virtual stage with many of you, Just friends now, Good ones too !

    Liked by 6 people

  18. Happy Xmas to all our PA friends from whichever distant and wonderful part of the world you live – the USA, the Far East, Blackburn – have a great day and thanks to FH for a thought-provoking piece.

    Have to agree, all I wish for is a safe return from injury for those players so afflicted, and no further casualties. If that wish were to be granted not only would the EPL be firmly in our sights but one or two other cups, too.

    Have a great day people.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Merry Christmas all! If possible the quality of this blog is just getting better and better, let’s hope the arsenal players can match it on the pitch and I’m sure more throphies will follow.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Merry Christmas to all Positivas and to our boss and friend Blackburn George. He has no idea how much he was missed during his recent hospitalization and the virtual investigations to verify his health. We wish you good health and strength over the holidays and into the new year.

    Thanks Heady for reminding us that we all have football needs or greeds as you put it but most of all what is important are the friendships we have developed on this blog. Good stuff.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. PG and co… not trying to out-pedantic PG but if you would wish us anything merry why the X in it? it is CHRISTMAS and not XMAS!

    Like

  22. merry christmas george and the house. hope we win the league title.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. my wish for christmas, apart from 3 points tomorrow, is for arsene to sign a new four year contract with us. its like his work of the past 10 season is about to mature. i want him around to reap the reward.

    Liked by 4 people

  24. Eddy

    Der «Daily Mirror» berichtete gestern von einem ernsthaften Interesse der Gunners am ägyptischen Nationalspieler. Bereits in der letzten Saison sollen Arsenal-Scouts Elneny des Öfteren beobachtet haben.

    From a Swiss newspaper, picking it up from the Daily Mirror.

    It seems that the Daily Mirror has started this rumour, on the 21st December 2015.

    Who is Adrian Kajumba ?

    PG, you started this site for the Arsenal fans and supporters. For those of us who do not rubbish the club or a player, because of a bad day on the park…

    That is best left to the undesirable followers, the strawmen.

    PG, chin up, Positive George.

    Merry Christmas to one and all.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Merry Xmas, everybody, and thanks FH for a great holiday offering. Interestingly, your wish list is almost exactly the same as mine. Fingers crossed.

    I’m looking forward to Boxing Day football. I’m glad it falls on a Saturday, otherwise I’d have to work! Nobody on this side of the pond believes in having the 26th off. Here’s to three points taken off the Saints tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I normally spend a few hours the day before drafting the match day blog (probably why it ends up being ‘too long’ for some of you) but it’s Christmas day and I’m playing board games with my family instead so don’t expect an early post tomorrow!

    Like

  27. Stew. Miss Scarlet in the library with the candlestick was always the dream combo for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Merry Christmas All.
    Here in Denmark, the big celebration is on Xmas Eve, so I’m currently in recovery. Hope to be fit for tomorrow.
    I know Arsene can’t go on for ever, but why not Four More Years? Stop all this speculation. (Then Mikel Arteta can take over.)

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Merry Christmas all. A very sensible balanced article, can only share concern over Danny and one or two others, hope 2016 is a much better year for our long term injured

    Like

  30. this is going to boil some piss

    ‘COHESION IS UNDER-RATED IN FOOTBALL’

    By Lloyd Webb
    Arsène Wenger believes stability and cohesion are key elements to Arsenal’s fine form this season.
    The Gunners have claimed three consecutive Premier League wins ahead of their game against Southampton on Boxing Day.

    Wenger only made one signing last summer – Petr Cech – and stressed the value of having a settled squad.
    If you look at our record we are more consistent with our results

    “Today’s society always wants something new,” he said. “We have news every half an hour, or every minute. You need to announce something new.
    “But let’s not forget that football is as well about cohesion, about stability and that goes a little bit against the demand of what people want. But I still think success is linked with talent and cohesion.

    “Cohesion is an under-rated factor now in our society because there is always a demand for something new. It’s more difficult because people are better informed today. They know more straight away.

    “When a team loses a game, everybody has an opinion and the environment is more destabilising than it was ever before, so maybe inside the clubs this kind of cohesion becomes more important, and resistance to that destabilising factor becomes more important.

    “If you look at our record we are more consistent with our results. I looked yesterday and someone made the table in 2015 and we are quite ahead of everyone else in 2015. The consistency has been quite good.”

    http://www.arsenal.com/assets/_files/images/dec_15/gun__1450037392_131215-

    2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20151223/-cohesion-is-under-rated-in-football-?#ZLHXoWij8svfBdvM.99

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Steww

    Only one person mused that a piece may be too long.

    I’d appreciate you continuing to write what and how you feel, about yourself and family, football, whatever. ‘stuff has to be covered, innit’?

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Merry Christmas to the PA family!
    Glad to hear PG is on the mend. Great article and comments.
    Here’s to a wonderful day to look forward to and year ahead to crown.
    God bless us all!

    Like

  33. Half baked, tired and above all you’ll be delighted to see a short new post is up.

    Like

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