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Arsenal Versus Norwich: Armagideon Times

barbarians

I always begin my match day blog with a quick glance at the official fixture list. Living in fear of writing an irreverent and irrelevant few hundred words in anticipation of a visit from Brighton and Hove Albion on the day the team are actually travelling to Scunthorpe is a heavy cross to bear. I was shocked when opening the appropriate page to count only three games remaining on the roster. The end seems to be rushing toward us with undue haste.

I have to be honest with you while I shall attempt to enjoy those last three fixtures just as much as the first one it will be nice not to think about football at all for a few short months. The negativity surrounding the club which is, as we all know, the result of many years of deliberate campaigning by those lovely people in the press and on the television, makes supporting Arsenal like swimming through sewage.

Even this positive blog is more often than not taken up with defending our position against the poor saps who have been engulfed into the swirling waters of despair and the numbers of genuinely positive posters here has dwindled to a mere handful. In short the fun has been sucked from what is supposed to be an enjoyable pastime. Bravo. Congratulations to all those who have made this possible.

It’s a shame because not only has this been a truly exciting and fascinating season with some famous victories and shock defeats and more silverware for the trophy cabinet but the end is still uncertain. There is still much to play for and something of a cup final in Manchester next Sunday as, in all probability, we duke it out with City for a third place finish. What Liverpool, Chelsea or Man United fans wouldn’t give to swap places with us. A shame that we aren’t in it for higher stakes but you can only play the cards in your hand.

To keep the pressure on City we need to overcome a Norwich side engaged in their own desperate end of term scrap. They’re level with Sunderland and a mere point above Newcastle and it seems likely that only one of these three will survive. So another highly motivated, physical side to overcome at the Emirates. Let’s us hope all the malcontents stay away from the stadium once again. The improvement in the atmosphere will make life so much easier for our players to get the job done.

I don’t anticipate it being an easy task today. Obdurate defending and counter attacking football will be the order of the day. Expect much talk along the lines of “We’re not moving the ball fast enough” or “The final pass is letting us down” or “We’re not working the keeper enough” as our silky approach play comes up against the massed ranks of a packed ten man defence. Actually my personal favourite is “Why can’t we beat sides who park the bus?” This is of course a huge steaming pile of bollocks. A silly statements and yet so often repeated. We usually do beat those sides because it is how most teams play us and we win most of our matches. Apologies to Shotta for straying into his statistical territory.

Norwich’s away form has not been impressive lately. They’ve won once and lost the rest of their last six games. We have only lost once at home in our previous half dozen matches and so if form is anything to go by at all then we have no reason to be fearful going into our teatime kick off. Form is of course an ever shifting, malleable intangible beast which can suddenly change up on you. This season more than ever those in the habit of predicting results have too often been stymied. Of more importance is what is at stake. Both sides have much to play for. I was going to say much to prove but it won’t matter to the howling degenerates in the press nor their devoted subjects what Arsenal do today as their narrative is set in stone.

It’s a shame. I used to love football. After the week I’ve had today’s match would have been something diverting. Something to which I could have looked forward with excitement and anticipation of a couple of hours of top class entertainment. Instead I’m here with my tin hat on in the bunker with the last handful of other loyalists fingering their suicide pills and listening as the artillery shells fall ever closer.

So let’s gather together and sing a song or two. The barbarians are at the gate and have laid waste much of our beautiful land. Enjoy watching a team consistently battling near the top of the table for however long we have left. When Arsène’s glorious reign is finally over the fall will be steep and painful. Prepare yourselves for battles for ninth place with West Brom and Liverpool, Stoke and Everton, for as it is written, the bleak shall surely inherit the earth.

About steww

Arsenal, books, photography, bass guitar, dog walking, mountain biking, being on the radio, writing, talking too much, failing, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

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118 comments on “Arsenal Versus Norwich: Armagideon Times

  1. picture of the protest, I’ll have to ask them to use A3 next time as I can’t see the A4’s

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  2. Giroud to the fans after he set up the winner

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  3. ha ha ha, they are now saying the protest did not garner numbers cos the stadium is full of middle class people.

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  4. Before my lad went to the game today I told him to be careful don’t argue with anyone holding up a banner and don’t get annoyed.
    However when he come back he sa ok d he couldn’t believe the venem directed as those trying to hand out the cards.
    They were told to fuck off from the kings head and on the way to the ground people were taking the cards and ripping them up, kicking the boxes as they walked passed and he saw one fella pick up a whole box and put it in a skip.
    Other fans were taking the cards and writing funny slogans on the other side and holding them up.
    Apparently the ppl handing out the cards got loads of abuse, maybe they’ll understand the real feeling among most fans.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. WENGER ON VICTORY AND THE ATMOSPHERE

    Arsène Wenger spoke to the media after his side beat Norwich City 1-0 on Saturday afternoon.
    Here’s a full transcript of what he said:

    on a much-needed win…
    It was much wanted and much needed. It was difficult. We played against a team who were very well organised. We didn’t find a good pace in our game but we were serious and organised, and in the end we got the win. In the first half we needed to be patient, and we needed Petr once or twice. In the second half, it was a deserved win against a team that fights not to go down. It was a typical game that you get. We played Sunderland and Norwich and got two similar games.

    on Wenger getting cheers from the fans…
    It was a bit of a strange atmosphere. We have to live with that. Some fans were protesting, yes, but a big majority didn’t and the big majority was behind the team. They showed that they appreciate what I’ve done until now, so it’s alright. It was a difficult atmosphere yes, but we have just to live with that, give more, focus on our performance and try to make 100 per cent of our fans happy. That’s our target.

    on who the atmosphere was difficult for…
    The game was difficult in itself and the atmosphere was alright. I think the fans were behind the team and I believe as well we had not the stylish performance that could raise people off their seats. We had a serious and studious performance, a bit subdued at stages. We wanted absolutely to win the game and we did it.

    on if he was aware of the ‘one Arsène Wenger’ chants…
    During the game? Yes.

    on if he was emotional at that point…
    No, I was focused on the game. My job is to win football games, so once the game starts, I focus on that. You can do both – you can appreciate and focus on the game.

    on acknowledging the chant…
    Yes, I did.

    on Alexis not being happy at coming off…
    No. My job is to make decisions and there again, to get [everyone] 100 per cent happy is very difficult.

    on Alexis walking straight down the tunnel…
    I honestly didn’t see it. At that stage I was more worried to keep the 1-0 and I didn’t see it.

    on if support today vindicating belief that vast majority of fans are behind Wenger…
    I don’t know. I’m a professional who has given 19 years to this club and tries to give the best for the club. I have to accept the judgment of people. The only thing I don’t doubt is my sincere commitment to the club. After, I’m sorry if I can’t keep [everyone] 100 per cent happy, but maybe it’s as well because we have been remarkably consistent. This season is a bit special because we were in a position for a long time where our fans believed we could win the league. We didn’t, so that’s why I think it’s more disappointed love than real aggression. We have to accept that because we are a bit in the same situation.

    on Arsenal scoring less goals this season than last season…
    What the problem we have faced this season is exactly the same problem we had today. We lost in the first game of the season against a team who sat very deep and didn’t come out. After that, all the teams came here and sat very deep. We did not find a way, in the air or on the ground, to score goals. Today again, I think once we were 1-0 up, there were more goals in the game for us, but we couldn’t finish the game off. Yo can always be caught back. Crystal Palace was 1-1. But I agree with you that we have not solved that problem against teams that sit deep. Why did we have fantastic results against the teams at the top of the table? Because they come out more, they play more and the game was more side to side. We had the problem that we couldn’t solve this season against teams who sit in front of their box.

    on that happening despite having lots of creative players…
    We analysed that many times. At the moment we have to finish as well as we can.

    Copyright 2016 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/20160430/wenger-on-victory-and-the-atmosphere#gs8ZQ2Y1m2oV18qK.99

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  6. Welbeck’s goal was a 20 pass goal

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  7. it was suggested he was a big ego, but its more like big eejit with tweets like this, no wonder the rabble look like fools when one of their idols is king of the fools

    Piers MorganVerified account
    ‏@piersmorgan
    North Koreans chant ‘There’s Only One Kim Jong-un’ when he passes in the street.
    It’s not a sign of support.

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  8. ah bless, the BBC commentators so displeased that more did not protest

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Looking into our history, it is clear we haven’t won the Fairs Cup since 1970, the Cup Winners Cup since 1994 and I think the league cup or whatever it is now called since 1993.
    Lots of chances for protest banners there, you can raise slogans on A4 sheets commerating the period of years since these triumphs, and you can raise them on the years of these winnings, so the banners can be raised well into injury time!
    Can even raise one to commerating the year of the Caesar slip against Luton.
    Happy days……most minutes of most games present a chance of raising discontent Wenger and Stan can but walk when faced with such meaningful protest.

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  10. Excellent Steww and yes, we fight on.

    Actually, there were two resounding victories for Arsenal today – one on the pitch and one on the stands as the derisory ‘protest’ turned into a fullsome affirmation of Arsene’s work, his achievements and his position here, today and tomorrow.

    2-0, to The Arsenal, after all, Passenal.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Eddy, please, I beg of you. Don’t defile this place by quoting that cretin’s words. I have him blocked on Twitter and quote tweeting him into my TL is grounds for an unfollow. I don’t want to even know he exists. I refuse to participate, even collaterally, in giving him air. He is evil.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. cech has kept 15 BPL clean sheets in his 32 games so far. Most of any keeper in the league.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. But, Alabamagooner……he is a super fan, he is beyond any of us, we know because the media tell us so.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Piers Morgan.. That’s Big M, small organ.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Shard – I think in certain quarters you will find the ‘g’ in Morgan is, in fact, silent.

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  16. I’m still buzzing about that show of support for Arsene. I mean things aren’t great at this moment in time, and there’s been years of negativity unfairly put around Arsenal. And sure, there will be, and are, people who think it is time for Wenger to go but won’t participate in the twitter mob’s selfie drive. But the boos for those placards, and then the chant for Wenger, were spontaneous. Were real. Something those living in twitter land would never understand. Probably why they are frustrated in the first place.

    It’s also entertaining, though also mildly annoying, how they’re trying to justify how their protest was actually a success. I only saw the headline of his blog, but all of a sudden Le Grove knows words like ‘context’. His definition of success too seems to now be open to any mental gymnastics. And this guy sits in judgment over Arsene Wenger?

    Liked by 4 people

  17. Morning – new post up

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