Who’s Home Is It Anyway?

A preview From  @LaboGoon  and the much loved Frank’s masterpiece
Good morning one and all.
Arsenal take the short trip to Wembley to face North London rivals Tottenham Hotspurs. Given the little there is to play for this season, I’m sure all involved know of the importance of this particular fixture.
We’ve seen the graphics on tv, the bold headlines echoing Pochettino’s words: “Wembley is starting to feel good”. He ain’t lying as Totnum hasn’t lost a game there since the 20th of August. Since 2013/14 Wembley has been very kind to us too, some might say even better with 9 wins in 9 games. Hopefully that dampens any concerns some may have over our form away from the Emirates as both teams should feel right at home.
This is a game all Gooners want the team to win, and I think they can but Spurs will be thinking exactly the same. So whatever they do we will need to do so much better. Which over the last few years hasn’t been an easy task for most teams as they are good at both ends of the pitch – solid in defense with the ability to cause damage on the other end if given half a chance.
So we will have to be very careful, especially at the back with Poch being rather brazen about “tricking” the refs and opposition by means of simulation to win penalties. Leaving little room for complacency since we cannot rely on the officials to enforce the rules of the game, given their affection for the theatrics and “game management”.
Spurs come into this game off the back of an unbeaten run in 8 PL games, our win last Saturday over Everton was just what we needed and seeing our new boys integrating so well even better. We were sound defensively and created chances and scored abundantly. Keep that intensity going in what could be a very open game, and we won’t be starved for chances.
I’m expecting a close game… with the team that remain switched on throughout the 90 minutes enjoying a very great weekend.
On team news: bar Petr Cech we can expect an unchanged team from last weekend. So clear those throats to shouts OooooosPINA! I heard he got a good save in him for a penalty or two.
To all going to the game today… you know Wembley is home so do make those Spuds feel very unwelcome. The rest watching on the small screen better stay glued ’cause this could be a real doozy. Enjoy!

cock and bull


I was mugged in Seven Sisters.

To be accurate I was attacked in Seven Sisters since nothing was stolen.

Cold bloodedly gratuitously attacked.  A summer afternoon several decades ago spent with a friend and I was heading home to Tufnell Park.  It was an early evening in July but I could hardly see as I turned into the tunnel heading for the tube, eating sausage and chips.  Out of nowhere something hit me on the back of the head and just as I turned, a fist hit me in the mouth.  I fell to the ground in a daze and the protagonists proceeded to kick the living shit out of me.

There was a lot a ‘fackin’ this’ and ‘kantin that’ as the boots went in and afterwards just the sound of nasal snickering.  Before I passed out I caught a glimpse of two of them.  One in white trousers and a bowler hat with ‘Tottenham Droogies’ written across the back.  The other had calf-length faded jeans, docs, white tee shirt, braces …. and a tattoo on his forearm.

A tattoo of a cock and ball.

I must have been out for a while because when I woke up, the ends of the tunnel were dark.  The reek of urine and unwashed bodies was only just bearable.  I was surrounded by squashed chips and, nestling in the gutter by the wall with not a bite out of it, was my sausage.  My head hurt like hell, split lip, bumps and bruises all over but I seemed to be OK.

I’d got away with it.

Could have been killed.  Could have been maimed or paralyzed for life.  Thankfully I had done what most blokes who are being kicked in the head do, I protected my privates.  Death is preferable to castration.

I had survived.

Slowly I got up.  I just wanted to get home.  Brushed off the fag ends, chewing gum, dog shit.  Stretched out my arms and then my legs, moved my head from side to side.  Tested my aching bones.  Nothing broken.  Lets go home, Frank.  Then someone behind me coughed.

I spun round afraid that they had come back to finish me off.

But there standing in front of me was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.  She had on an ankle length yellow dress and sandals.  She had long, long tresses of red hair and her smile was extraordinary; it could fill a room, or, in this case, a tunnel.  Her smell was intoxicating and as she touched my face with her hand I just knew that she was an angel.

I was dead and on my way to heaven.

She asked me if I was okay.  She asked me if I was in pain.  She asked if there was anything she could do for me … and before I could answer she passed me her guinea pig and started mopping my brow.

Guinea pig?

What the feck?

She gave me a guinea pig?  Well yes she did.  She handed me her guinea pig.  Cleaned me up.  Took her guinea pig back.  Held my hand and took me to Tufnell Park.

That is how I met Maude.

Oh Maude, Maude, Maude – you were perfect.  She took me home to my apartment and stayed for three weeks.  What a three weeks!


Walking on the Heath.  Drinking in The Flask in Highgate.  Strolling through Waterlow Park.  Saying “hello” to Karl Marx.  Wearing each others’ clothes.

Actually she wore mine, I didn’t wear hers, I really didn’t.  Getting drunk together on Grand Marnier and sick together afterwards.  Listening to a friend play folk songs outside the Admiral Mann.  I even started to read poetry, although it didn’t last.  Mostly though, we just made love.  Anywhere and everywhere.

In that time I was treated to a parade of animals.

Guinea pigs, rats, hamsters, geckos, turtles, tortoises, parrots, budgies, kittens, puppies, fish, snakes, you name it.

Every day she would disappear for a few hours and return with different animals.  Only on Sundays would she return without an animal and on Sunday evenings she was always very tired.  The explanation turned out to be a bit crazy but I could deal with it.  She let on that she was into animal liberation and spent much of her time nicking animals from pet shops and domestic animal stockists.

Her aim in life was to free them all.

Create an animal utopia where they could all live free from human bondage.  How she managed to get plastic bags of tropical fish and a twelve foot python out of a shop without anyone noticing I have no idea.  But she did it.  Insane of course, and I loved her all the more for it.  We were madly, stupidly, giddily happy.

Until that fateful day in early August.

So far we had lived in my flat.  It was OK.  But I was getting more and more curious.  Where did she live?  How long?  What was it like?  Was she sure that she was not using the animals as a cover for her sneaking back to a long time live-in partner or husband?

Joke, sort of.  What was she hiding?

After much cajoling on my part she finally agreed that we could stay at her place.  She lived in a flat on the first floor of a Victorian house on the A10 near to the junction with Clapton Common.  She had been on her way home when she found me in the tunnel.

So off we went.

We spent a pleasant few hours in the Spaniards’ Inn and went to a party with friends in Stoke Newington.  Caught a taxi to hers.  Let ourselves in.

Her living room was full of no-longer-soon-to-be-pets.

It was smelly and it was noisy, but she cleared a space  and we sat and drank tea and chatted amongst the boxes, cages, baskets and tanks.  Finally we fell into bed exhausted.  The following day was Monday and neither of us needed to get up early.  We were very soon fast asleep in each others arms.

We awoke on Monday morning refreshed.  She made cups of tea and brought them back to bed.  Gradually we began to get interested, the way you do.

We kissed and cuddled …

Then Maude whispered that she would like to make love in daylight amongst the trees and birdsong.  Her garden was beautiful at this time of year, she said.  She asked me to open the curtains and open the window.

Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes.

About as excited as I have ever been in my life I leapt out of bed, hopped to the almost full-length sash window and threw open the red velvet curtains to let the sun in …

The No 149 bus route has been transporting the residents of that area to the City for many years and I believe that it still does to this day.

In the days of the old Routemasters, in the rush hour the bottom deck was crammed full of people, many standing and some dangling from the platform at the back.  Upstairs was calmer and those fortunate enough to get a seat were able to read the paper or a book, do the crossword, do the Pools, knit, or in most cases just sit and watch the world go by.  There are a number of points on that journey where the bus comes to a standstill for quite a while as the traffic gets well and truly jammed.

One particular point is just outside Maude’s flat.

The floor of the top deck on those buses is roughly about the level of the first floor of that particular block of houses, and the windows of the bus are about six feet from the residents’ windows.  You can see awful lot from the top of that bus and on that day passengers had a real treat.

As the curtains opened they were greeted with … think of Leonardo’s Study of Human Proportions according to Vitruvius. 

But weedier and in a state of arousal.

For my own part I just remember seeing an endless stream of tickets coming out of the Clippie’s machine and thinking thank goodness they can’t see my feet because I’ve still got my socks on.  I turned to shout at Maude for setting me up, and as I did so I noticed something.  Something very serious indeed.  Something which caused me to shut out the embarrassment of the last few seconds completely.  I couldn’t believe it.  I froze.  The blood drained from my face and obviously from other places.

The bottom fell completely out of my world.

In the lower right hand corner of the window was a sticker.  Not a very big one, about the size of a bob-a-job sticker.  But this particular sticker had a motif on it.  A dreadful symbol.

A cock and ball.

We just hadn’t discussed football.  People had the summer off in those days.  No transfer activity.  I turned to her and just shouted “TOTTENHAM” at her at the top of my voice.  At first she completely misunderstood and she laughed and shouted:  “YES. YOU TOO …?”.

But before she could finish, she realised.

It was probably me screaming “YOU ARE A FARKING SPUD” that gave it away.  Her beautiful face contorted into an ugly grimace and in a vicious whisper she spat “Arsenal.  You are a fecking Gunner?  You bastard”.

I couldn’t stay.

I needed air.  I grabbed my clothes, putting them on as I scrambled through the menagerie in the living room.  I got to the front door and slammed it to, shutting out the cacophony behind me.  I headed for a café on the corner of the block, ordered coffee and just sat in a window seat sipping and smoking.  I half expected her to follow and to be honest I half hoped that she would.

But I realised it was over.

I could take the pet rustling and I could even take being humiliated in front of a bus full of people but I could not take the fact that she was a SPUD.  That could never work.

But that was not quite the end of it.

As I sipped my third coffee, having smoked half a pack of cigarettes, two panda cars and a police van arrived at her flat.  Maude was led out in handcuffs and for the next hour policemen loaded the back of the van with her contraband, Noah’s Ark fashion.  I felt bad about that at the time as I watched her driven away in the back of the police car it seemed unjust that she should go down for stealing animals when she had such good if not misguided intentions.  It turned out in court about six weeks later though, that every Sunday she ran a pet stall on Club Row.

She had been nicking pets and flogging them on.  She also stole them to order.

I will always remember Maude though and if I ever meet her again, which is very unlikely, I know exactly what I will say to her……………



Comment navigation

← Older Comments

60 comments on “Who’s Home Is It Anyway?

  1. Nice one, given a level playing field and if the officials clamp down on instructed and rotational cheating, we can get something from this game.
    Am guessing we will have a soft pen against us, so we will need to score two or three to win

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I hope you do score our regular 4 in the first half. Only this time we keep going for the second half as well.


  3. I hope we score the regular 4 in the first half.


  4. Morning all, two good footballing teams to go hard at it today. My heart says three points, my head says a draw. I’m looking to Kosc and Mustafi to be decisive in everything they do. I’d say Arry’s chance of drawing a spot kick after last week’s kerfuffle are limited. Interesting to see if Alderwierald is fit enough to start, if not Sanchez is in for a busy lunchtime.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The seats in Wembley are red…
    The game will be decided by an unlikely gunner….
    His name will not be added to any cock & ball story….
    Our new look attack will smash their no-look defense…
    Alas, they will come to know…who’s home Wembley actually is.

    What a classic tale.
    How I miss our Frank
    Whatever happened to Frank, PG?


  6. I like to think frank is the Hero that comes when he is needed the most. A true legend of cyberspace.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. good morning anicoll and everyone
    two football team but only one is good. because good football isnt just to play attacking and attractive football but to play with fairness and fair play. but when one team resort to winning at all cost through diving and tricking the referee, it is no more good football. i did follow the discourse here in the last couple of days and i can say they are mainly centred on spuds players diving their way to victory even against teams that are normally favoured by pgmol. i cant remember any game in recent history when pre match discourse was like this. normally with the calibre of players we have at the minute we should be super confident of victory if fairness and fair play is given right of way but we all know that is almost impossible with this spuds team.
    even the presser with wenger, this question was all about divers yet the english media have failed to tag any of their players as such. i’m still confident that our player will navigate their way through the delicate spuds diving players and get the victory their performance hopefully deserve.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Another great preview LG and i’ve read Franks piece loads of times before and i’m sure i’ll read it loads of times in the future, a sheer masterpiece.
    This is obviously a very tricky game for a multitude of reasons and we are certainly not favourites, but we have a habit of beating favourites at Wembley and we know our team have the ability to beat anyone especially with our two new guys that look so dangerous every time we get the ball.
    Tracking back, especially from the midfielders will be vital today because if we can keep a clean sheet I think we all expect we can score even if its only one obviously that would mean a very nerve raking afternoon but no matter how fast my heart is beating if its the right result on the final whistle I’ll be a very happy man COYG.


  9. How does John Cross actually get paid for the content of his ramblings?
    Can only be on the basis of a fitting into a media agenda against the club he claims to support, and not on quality evidence based journalism


  10. interesting to see if Alex Iwobi starts – big confidence in him from AW if he does


  11. Ramsey not starting, injured, annoying

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I thought Alex Iwobi played really well last week, so I will not be surprised if he is selected today.


  13. I’m gutted to hear that Mandy. I would feel a lot more confident if he was playing.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Be interesting to see who steps close to Auba in the absence of Ramsey, Miki or Özil? Özil was dropping into midfield when Xhaka and Wilshere were putting a run together, one reason for that was to block off Sanchez?

    Eleneny releases Özil as they recreate the goal against Ludo? It’s a possibility!
    Lots of options on the bench if down a pelanty/Webbalty.



  15. HT: Spurs 0-0 Arsenal

    not a great game, spurs maybe edging it chance wise.

    Need to up it a bit in the second half if we want to win this.


  16. FT: Reading U18’s 2-6 Arsenal U18’s

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Cor that is a tight game. 100% concentration on both sides, with defences on top. Just a bit more quality in our final third work required.


  18. slack defending out wide right, looked like it was jack who went walkabout and spurs swing in a cross and kane heads home, poor stuff.


  19. and we are wobbling, almost 2-0, kane heads wide from a good position


  20. crazy decision by Taylor there, clean tackle by Bellerin,


  21. Cech with a fine save,

    we need to wake up here, or it will be game over,

    need to bring on a sub, change something


  22. ozil doing the sanchez today, blaming everyone but himself. urgly!


  23. being outfought all over the pitch, we are playing at about half pace of what is required. Awful stuff, Xhaka, Jack and Eleney woeful in the second half, panic stations at the back and attack offering little.


  24. A chance will come our way – need to be alert


  25. Lacazette and Iwobi on, Elneny and Mkhitaryan off


  26. anicol we’ve been anything but alert this half,


  27. 68 minutes played and we’ve just had our first shot on target, a 20 yard curler by jack


  28. almost cock up of the season by cech aided and abetted by mustafi,

    I really don’t know why we keep encouraging pressure on ourselves by going back to cech

    Liked by 1 person

  29. goalkeeers are supose to be footballers as well


  30. this is pathetic stuff from arsenal, being out fought and out run by spurs all over the place and when we have the ball we are so god damn slow with our passing and movement, we are making it easy for them.


  31. time our lot woke the fuck up, its only 1-0, but they are playing like its a lost cause,


  32. 5 minutes to go, xhaka off, welbeck on


  33. our lot are headless, making it so easy for spurs


  34. there is an awful lack of speed in our team,


  35. pathetic effort at a shot by lacazette, he had loads of time but completely sky his volley


  36. 4 minutes of stoppage time to steal a draw here


  37. FT: spurs 1- 0 Arsenal

    completely outplayed in the second half, out ran, out fought, as poor a performance as we have seen from Arsenal this season, elneny, xhaka and wilshere were woeful in midfield, so our attack had little service, and our defense was under pressure all the time. once we went behind it was panic stations at the back.
    No pace anywhere in our team today, passing was off, only around 81%, pushed off the ball way too easily,
    plain and simple not good enough


  38. “Completely outplayed”? That is an exaggeration Eddie. Outplayed for a decisive spell in the 2nd half but we gradually worked our way back in especially after the Laca and Iwobi came in. As an outplayed team we had 2 glorious chances in the end. Poor Lacazette. He will be drawn and quartered by the mob.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Yes Spurs fitness levels are rather high aren’t they, absolutely no reason to even remotely suspicious about that.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. yes shotta, we had two great chances, lacazette missing both, but overall we were second best for almost the entire second half,


  41. our best two chances today fell for laca and he wasted them all. i’m particularly disappointed with the last chance. he could have laid it on the plate for auba but he chose to be selfish. not a bad quality for a striker, but when you do that, you have to score.
    cech with some great saves. but i hate to see that our keeper cant play simple passes and for an attacking team who wants to have possession, you cant go far with keepers like that.
    for their goal, our two centre defender terribly reminded us what we took for granted when per was in the team.


  42. we started conservatively by starting xhaka and elneny. the formation really hampered the movement of ozil and mikhi. with ramsey missing, iwobi deserved to keep his place in the team.


  43. Our midfield let us down. Although this was nominally a 4-3-3 set up. In practice it was more a 4-5-1 or 4-2-3-1 and none of Mkhi, Jack and Ozil could retain possession and create chances for Aubameyang who must have gotten no more than 1 or 2 shots. That is terrible.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Poor in the second half, generally too slow and gave the ball away too much, but should have scored at the end.
    We can still make this a successful season in the cup, but our away form and league is a concern, we are not where we want to be.
    Away , we do not resemble a Wenger side.
    Lacazette will come good, but we need to address things if we are falling behind the likes of Spurs and Liverpool two years running , taking into account their lack of silverware of course

    Liked by 1 person

Comment navigation

← Older Comments

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: