Ooh To Be A Gooner! #ICareToo

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A few years ago one of the greatest contributors to this site, Stu Black, wrote a lyrical piece about the end of the season and the onset of summer. ‘Goals dismantled on recreation parks, bare pitches turned fallow, thoughts turning to days of ease.’ His message was clear: time marches on, seasons come and go and the rhythms of the year lie just under all we do. If players need a break to allow spent bodies and minds to recover, then so too do football fans. And for me, never more so than the end of what is now thankfully last season, a season that initially promised much, but ended up under-delivering.

There were some exciting moments, of course, but also times of frustration, disappointment and downright bewilderment. The first year after Wenger was always going to be a difficult one, for players and fans alike:  some couldn’t wait to usher in the new, some couldn’t imagine life could ever be as good again. It must have been hard indeed for Emery to impose himself on a dressing room full of senior players who had learnt to play the Arsenal way, but hard also for players learning to dance to a different tune. The answer to begin with seemed to lie in hard work: more training, more running, more pressing, more tactics. And up until Christmas, that approach seemed to be working in terms of results, even if the strong suspicion lingered that at times we were unsustainably lucky. And so it proved, the turning point the away trip to Southampton where old familiar weaknesses resurfaced. And that was pretty much that, for despite the promise of an Aaron Ramsey-led revival in January and February, that too fell away, and the final stages of the season were dire. I felt that the players by then were exhausted (all that early pressing maybe), bewildered (by constant tactical tweaking) and disheartened (as the goals dried up). It was pretty dismal, and by the time the league season finished I had had enough. Unfortunately, so too had the players, failing to turn up for the second half of the Europa Final, having squandered reasonable chances to put the game to bed in the first half.

And so I turned my attention to all the other things: family, dog, work, reading, cricket, netball, holidays. And I did wonder whether football (and The Arsenal) would come back into focus, and all  the more so when I realised that the Transfer window was open and that I had never heard of the players I was told we had to buy, apart from Zaha, who was always going to be too good to be true (and what would be the point of signing a suspected diver when we don’t get penalties anyway?).

And I’m still not entirely sure to be honest, but fortunately I (or was it Stan, or Josh) was asked whether I cared, because apparently lots of people who have behaved quite despicably in denigrating the club, have now decided that, after all, they do care. And perhaps they do, in their own way: perhaps they do want to get whatever version of their Arsenal they hold most dear back; perhaps they do want to win all the trophies; perhaps they do want the shiniest new players to win them bragging rights once more. Perhaps they even want to cement their positions as the most important of all the fans, but goodness me, what a strange route to fame and fortune that is. And I guess that that is fine, and it is not for me to judge, as we all have our different reasons for doing anything, let alone for supporting a club whose fortunes we absolutely cannot influence.

But I realise that I do care. That I do want it to be the start of the season again (though not quite yet), that I do want to catch the train and then the tube to Holloway Road. That I will want it to be November with the smell of bonfires and burgers. That I will want to have my heroes. That I do want us to be the greatest team the world has ever seen and that I will be Arsenal ‘til I die. In short, that I will allow myself the temporary madness of belief and hope and love, with all the heartache and the joy that comes along with oohtobeingagooner.

Now, what about those signings then? After all, we’ve got a League to win.

Tim Head




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200 comments on “Ooh To Be A Gooner! #ICareToo

  1. Basically we started very quickly and were getting right at them, then down to ten and pen. Continued to be good, enjoyable fun with us looking plenty dangerous until Sokratis drank the stupid hemlock.

    Pretty awful then until the young lads came on and it was a decent watch again. I’m not convinced it would have gone that much better if we hadn’t sat. Just couldn’t see much of a way with the personnel out there to either get hold of ball or properly defend against a team who in that period looked vastly superior technically.

    Laca, Auba, Mkhi, Ozil means we are a bit 4-2-4-ish for me and, boy, you either need a team of superb technicians to keep possession or the two centre mids to be fantastic physically playing like that. It was sobering alright, and i wasn’t too drunk beforehand.


  2. arsenal are doing a fans forum Q&A tomorrow evening and have told those invited that they have to have ID with them as only those who are meant to be there will be allowed in. This has for some unknown reason caused a stir among the “we care for attention do you” mob.


  3. Unai Emery: “We are starting to work generally with a back four, trying to use players like Ainsley and Sead, working a lot in this back four, and also with Jenkinson. Maybe Nacho, his natural habits are to play back four and sometimes like a left centre-back. He (Maitland-Niles) started the warm-up but he felt some pain in his muscle (calf) and we decided not to risk. Our objective was not to take injuries and we decided he did not play … Mustafi is the same – he had some muscular pain so we decided he did not play today.”


  4. Emery on Koscielny’s situation…
    I’ve spoken about him, with respect to him. I tried to be with us in the position here and continue working and finding one solution between the club, between him and us. When he decided not to come here with us on tour, the solution is now only for the club and him. He decided to be out. I respect him but I have a responsibility, he has a responsibility, and the club have their responsibility. Now it’s one issue only for the club and him. My idea is to continue with the players we are working with, and the players that want to be here


  5. It’s the start of season supporters event and although this is the first time you’ve needed photo ID you’ve always needed email confirmation and a record of what supporters group you belong to.
    There are lots of people who are against any form of ID in this or getting any form tickets. Remember when manure checked their season tickets and found a good percentage dead and being used by others.
    I know from other ARSENAL events that some fans are scared stiff this will happen at our club
    This is however a great event and in past seasons I’ve been lucky enough to ask several questions to Ivan Lee Dixon, Ray Parlour and Lofty who used present this events quite often. I even had my photo with Sven (unlucky for him)
    I’ll report back on the feeling I get from the room although full transcripts are normally available as the event is going on.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Arsenal u23’s play Barnet this evening
    Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy
    47m47 minutes ago


    Starting XI: Hillson; Bola, Clarke (c), Olowu, Swanson; McEneff, Smith, Cottrell; Coyle, Balogun, Alebiosu

    Subs: Smith, Ogungbo, Azeez, Laing, Dennis, Matthews, Flaherty, Greenwood

    #ArsenalXI 🔴


  7. Xavier Amaechi not in the U23 squad tonight, with report in Germany saying he is set to sign for a German club on a permanent basis.


  8. Ed

    No Amaechi there suggests an exit on cards soon. Saka eases the pain plenty but ,ach, few times I watched Amaechi and was extremely keen to see him get shot with us. Not much you can do these days though if they want out.

    Got a feeling u23’s and u18’s may not be as strong this year.

    Plenty of talent, as tour has shown, but with a few permanently gone, maybe more on cards; few prob spending most of year with first team; then maybe a couple of loans on top of Sheaf and Osei-Tutu…I can see teams not being as strong as have been last couple of years.

    Hopefully keep momentum going anyway in terms of developing players, as I think there’s been lot of good work in academy in recent years.


  9. Ha, time it took me to write that see you had already addressed Amaechi situation!


  10. 2-0 to Arsenal, Balogun with a penalty after Coyle was tripped, and then Balogun with a quick fire second only moments later


  11. well rich re Amaechi, he is with the squad at Barnet, just not in the squad, so maybe injury and rumors of a move are just that, rumors.


  12. If youre on Netflix, have a look at the Great Hack. Needs t be a second ref, for the sake of any future democracy.


  13. Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy
    3m3 minutes ago


    🐝 0-3 🔴 | (18)


  14. Arsenal Academy
    ‏Verified account @ArsenalAcademy
    12m12 minutes ago

    HALF-TIME: @BarnetFC 0-3 #ArsenalXI

    A faultless first-half performance from Steve Bould’s side 👏


  15. Dan Critchlow
    ‏ @afcDW
    1m1 minute ago

    Soft penalty given against Arsenal, Olowu certainly got a fair bit of the ball. Barnet convert it though, 3-1.


  16. Has Balogun beaten Fowler with that hattrick, or was he even less (4 mins, maybe?)?

    Anyway, good stuff.

    My provisional estimate- (involves plenty of guesswork)- was that he might not take to u23’s quickly; so that’s a very promising sign I had that wrong.


  17. ceballos and saliba signings both confirmed now, ceballos on loan for the season, and saliba back to st etittene on loan for this season


  18. Ceballos will wear the No.8 shirt and is expected to make his AFC debut on Sunday v lyon in the Emirates Cup


  19. Raul ” sometimes success and passion you get blurred objectivity, I don’t agree we are a mess, if you are going to keep saying we are terrible then you’ll never belive we will be better.. I’m very excited of this club, this stadium is fantastic..if we don’t support the players… Pls pls let’s have a little bit of patience.. If u kill it now, your always have a new project. We scored more goals, we gained more points.” ” others would kill to have what AFC has”


  20. reports that ozil was attacked by couple of knife wielding moped guys, but Kolasinac was with him and jumped out of the car and scared the fuckers away.

    if this is true, our two players are very lucky guys that neither got hurt in any way, and kolasinac is a very brave man


  21. it true

    A Metropolitan Police spokesman said today: ‘Police were called to Platts Lane, NW3, shortly before 5pm on Thursday July 25 to reports of an attempted robbery.

    ‘It was reported that suspects on motorbikes had attempted to rob a man who was driving a car.

    ‘The driver, along with his passenger, managed to get away unharmed and travelled to a restaurant in Golders Green, where they were spoken to by officers. There have been no arrests. Enquiries continue.’


  22. Ed, I can’t tell 100% from the video but it looks like attacker had a large knife and at end of video swings it at Sead and must be very close to getting him. Scary stuff.
    Relieved players are ok. Worrying to think what impact could have on them and rest of squad. For a while they certainly won’t feel as safe, even if it wasn’t targeted incident.
    Seen a pic and name of restaurant is one I’m pretty sure Ozil has visited a lot in his time here. Hate the thought of one of the places he feels happiest in London now being scene where that happened to him and those with him.
    Kola, as you say, a brave man.


  23. Vinai and Raul spoke first about the vision and structure of the club before special guest Eduuuuuu came to the stage for a Q and A session. To be honest they could of brought back anyone from the last ten years to answer the same boring questions about the club being in a mess, heckling from the floor and old duffers going on and on without actually asking a question.
    At the end I managed to shake Edu’s hand and then Raul’s and simply said to him as long as he promoted the youth I would be Happy, he replied that’s want I want as well.
    Vinai again pointed out to the baying crowd that 85% of the stuff in the media is total bullshit unfortunately most thick skulls didn’t receive the information and kept asking questions based on exactly that.
    The trains have been a nightmare because the lines are melting, the ARSENAL crowd is getting worse and to cap it all my favourite kebab shop have closed for a family holiday, I don’t think I’ve ever come away from an event so disappointed

    Liked by 1 person

  24. yeah ian seen some of the stuff said and it was clear not only those asking the question, but those there tweeting on it, that they did not actually take in the answers, it was all about causing friction, what a shower of attention seeking cunts we have in the fan base.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. latest reports on the moped scum, it seems the wives of Kolasinac and Ozil were in teh car, kolasinac got out to confront them while ozil went to a Turkish restaurant to get help, and staff came to their aid. This could have been tragic.


  26. reports Hamburg have signed Amaechi for £2.2M


  27. Ed
    Can’t get my head around transfer market any more. Presumably that price was dictated by him only having a year left on contract, but still, Ibe 15 mill (few years ago), Solanke 18, Matondo 11 million.
    All that seems consistent is that there are lots of crazily high transfers these days and, for one reason or another, we never seem able to get big fees for players.
    I’d be very surprised if Matondo is as good as Amaechi for instance.

    In Gnabry, Bennacer and Jeff, I’m guessing that’s over 100 million of talent in today’s market, and I don’t think we got 10 for the lot of them. think I heard Malen will have no.9 shirt for PSV this year as well. I don’t know circumstances, but it is bloody unfortunate when we need money more than nearly all our top 6 rivals.


  28. Ian,

    What a shame. Makes me cringe thinking about something like that. In your opinion, is it worth continuing these events given there is no chance the people who spoil them will change their behaviour?


  29. rich you are falling into the trap of ignoring the worth of the player at the time they are sold and with the fee paid for them several years later when they had developed, also the fact we are cherry picking a small handful of players whose value massively increases, but ignore the vast majority of players who leave for small fee when 17 or 18 and whose value never really increases.

    You can only get the best fee someone is willing to pay for an untried kid, with one year left on their deal, and them with no interest in extending.

    Also would point out the large fees we paid for Oxlade-Chamberlain and even Chambers, and we got a massive fee for ox when we sold him and I would say we’d get over £20M if we sold Chambers now.


  30. Hats off to Kola, and the staff at that restaraunt, very brave. So,e of these kids clearly think nothing of using these knives, especially if denied what they are after, or in some way “disrespected”
    Don’t want to get too hung up on media type hysteria, but a shame London is coming to all this, I know there has always been violent crime, and there are complex causes, but when you get successive govts that slash funds for border controls , letting drugs flow in, slash funds for police, prisons and youth services, all allowed without a whimper by the most feeble of opposition, just know what you are going to get. Boris is really going to change things….right…..after perhaps the most inept couple of PMs in our history.
    These moped gangs seem to operate with virtual impunity in some areas, though I read police are now allowed to be more proactive.
    Sorry, political rant over! Just pleased they are ok

    Liked by 2 people

  31. He was a major part in cut backs in London, theres some video footage of him denying it when being called out.
    Whats odd is that #metoo sweeps away all in its wake, yet politicians can do whatever they want. In this sense #metoo has failed, whats the point in sorting out parts of society while other are arguably worse. This situation will give him more pseudo messianic power, another lie. And followers too.All things change, what can I or you do about it? Almost zero. Look at the folk that have gone on before, they had their five minutes then were swept away or forgotten. But hes a servant for another time, a dying breed/culture that want power back. Isnt it odd how we werent really taught about the Empire at school, how it really was?
    Whats the point in a political question time, when everything will always be a lie, or denial, and no shame or effacement in that? If #metoo had the same power in politics, we might have a different moral agenda being played out?
    Again, Netflix the Great Hack, it really does need to be seen by as wide an audience as possible. What might happen soon is illegal, simple as that.How can there people one rule for one and not the other? Once theyve done that we are on the path for them to do whatever they want. How is it democracy if its tampered and manipulated?
    Q. if this wasnt Ö and K (or some other well known person)would anyone give a crap?

    The root of it all is the mind, and how it operates.

    We lost Jo Cox so that they can do what a small amount want?

    I dreamt I saw Jo Cox last night, alive as you and me, say I to Jo youre three years dead, I never died says she, I never died says she.
    The Leavers Jo they killed you off and smeared you with their lies, says Jo to me I aint dead, says Jo but I aint dead.
    The Leavers Jo they killed you off and smeared you with their lies, but says Jo to I they never killed what they couldnt not compromise, I never compromised.
    When the words of liberty ring out loud, from valleys and from hills, where people stand up for their rights,Jo Cox is with us still, Jo Cox inspires us still?

    And Mother Earth is being really messed with and that we will all have to deal with.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. we might be getting Kieran Tierney next, reports from Scotland claim a deal has been agreed between the two clubs


  33. Rich I’m really not sure about future events. I used to look forward to these do’s and really enjoyed them but I walked out thinking what a waste of time it all was. I left as soon as Vinai, Raul and Edu came off and didn’t wait for anything els, I’ve never left early before. When I go to the AISA events there a completely different atmosphere so I might just go to them only from now on.


  34. Ed

    I didn’t fall into that trap, trust me. Don’t think I wrote particularly as if I had. Said a few times before I attribute it primarily to bad luck and just one of those things.

    It obviously hurts us though that in these years of a lot of crazily high figures in the market- did Liverpool get 10 mill or something for their third choice Welsh keeper, who promptly went and sat on Hudd (?) bench for year; then Solanke, nominal fee, does nothing, 18 million!!- we have, perhaps through no fault at all, released young players cheaply whose value has promptly rocketed.

    Then that other category, again unfortunately Liverpool spring to mind, the bonanza cash in- Suarez, Sterling, Coutinho for God knows- around 300 mill? Reinvested pretty well.

    Our model maybe needs something similar for us.


  35. Cheers Ian.

    It’s a damn shame some don’t behave at those things and they spoil what could be a decent night for others.

    Aftv lot, and what I see on internet, football and otherwise, I struggle to imagine it being another way though.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Interesting result in Madrid derby. Atletico lost 4 massive players in Griezzman, Godin, Hernandez and Rodri. Juanfran and Luis of old guard gone as well. Looked in bloody good nick in the bit of game I watched though.


  37. Pornstein saying Pepe close


  38. yeah Mandy, mess club Arsenal with a paltry budget of £40M, (isn’t that right AST & Tim Payton, and all the idiot media and cunty bloggers), have agreed a fee of £72M, on top of the £27M signing of Saliba, the £4M signing of Martinelli and paying a loan fee for Ceballos, not forgetting the £25M chase for Tierney, its amazing that AFC could be about to spend about £150M of that £40M,

    of course they are all scurrying around trying to pretend they never said it, or indeed still saying they are right cos AFC will only actually pay £40m this summerof any signings they make by cunningly paying for the transfers the way every club pay for almost every transfer ever done, namely in installments.


  39. Nicolas Pepe a left footed right winger


  40. Eddie

    Pepe is the Ivorian Arjen Robben.


  41. Yep, the clubs a real mess Eduardo.
    Of course Pepe hasn’t signed yet but seems players closing is over rivals as well. Don’t know how they explain that one away.
    And being done without the help of the much anointed Sven M too

    Liked by 1 person

  42. well it seems some got a whisper that Arsenal were after an Ivory Coast winger and jumped to the conclusion that it was Wilfried Zaha, but it was Nicolas Pepe. Or maybe we intend going double, would that be Merchant Ivory, (I’ll get my coat)

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Hitchin Town 1-1 Arsenal XI: Matthew Dennis scores as young Arsenal side continue pre-season with draw
    Dan Critchlow –
    Jul 27, 2019
    An Arsenal XI consisting mostly of u18 players draw 1-1 with Hitchin Town on Saturday, as they continue their pre-season preparations.

    Hitchin Town had the first good chance of the early stages, getting in behind the Arsenal defence and poking just wide. They had another within minutes after capitalising on a mistake in midfield, but goalkeeper Tom Smith came out to smother the danger well.

    Midway through the first half, Arsenal’s first opportunity came through Sam Greenwood, who found space in the box after being played in by Matthew Dennis. Unfortunately, his effort went just over the bar.

    Hitchin continued to have the better opportunities in the opening 45 minutes, making the most of their physical advantage particularly in the wide areas. They didn’t convert any of those chances though, and went in at half-time with the score still 0-0.

    Hitchin would go on to regret their wastefulness, as Arsenal quickly took the lead in the second half. Kido Taylor-Hart, who had struggled a bit in the first 45, finally found some space and put a great cross in for Dennis to convert.

    Harry Draper had the response for Hitchin though, scoring from a rebound shortly after they’d hit the post.

    Arsenal were playing much better football in the second half, particularly Taylor-Hart, who was bringing out all his tricks and skills.

    Hitchin were still having chances of their own though, with substitute goalkeeper Hubert Graczyk forced into a couple of good saves.

    Luke Plange came off the bench to have an impact towards the end, shooting narrowly wide before almost setting up Nathan Butler-Oyedeji for a winner, if Butler-Oyedeji had been able to jump an inch or two higher.

    In the end, both sides had to settle for a draw, which was probably a fair reflection of the game.

    Starting lineup (4-3-3): Tom Smith; Ryan Alebiosu, Levi Laing, Mazeed Ogungbo, Joel Lopez; Miguel Azeez, Stan Flaherty, Alfie Matthews; Kido Taylor-Hart, Sam Greenwood, Matthew Dennis.


  44. Xavier Amaechi: Arsenal winger signs for Hamburg on four-year deal

    By David Ornstein

    BBC Sport

    Amaechi had approaches from Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and four Premier League sides

    Arsenal winger Xavier Amaechi has completed a move to Hamburg after signing a four-year contract with the German second division club.

    Hamburg will pay a fee in excess of 2.5m euros (£2.25m), plus several million in performance-related add-ons, while Arsenal have a sell-on clause but no buy-back option.

    The 18-year-old England youth international, who passed a medical on Saturday before putting pen to paper, will wear the number 17 shirt at the Volksparkstadion.

    Amaechi turned down a number of high-profile suitors and an offer to extend his Arsenal deal, which had a year remaining.

    He received approaches from Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Nice, Hertha Berlin and Championship sides, as well as late interest from four Premier League teams.

    Hamburg were among a dozen German outfits who had been closely monitoring Amaechi since early 2019 and their pitch to the Bath-born attacker proved decisive.

    The role of their sporting director Michael Mutzl was said to be key as he, manager Dieter Hecking and director of sport Jonas Boldt – all recent appointments – committed to a project that will see Amaechi used as a regular starter on either of the flanks.

    Amaechi moved to Arsenal from Fulham in 2013 and is regarded as one of English football’s most promising talents, though he is yet to make a senior appearance.

    His 2018-19 campaign was disrupted by injuries, but he did make his debut for the first team in a friendly on their late-season warm-weather trip to Dubai and was also in the Gunners’ travelling party for the Europa League final in Baku.

    Hamburg viewed Amaechi as an ideal recruit in their bid for promotion back to the top flight and the player saw them as the perfect place to continue his development.

    Having been the only team to play in every Bundesliga season since the league’s formation in 1963, Hamburg were relegated for the first time a year ago.

    They finished fourth in 2018-19 but had an average home attendance of almost 50,000.


  45. Partizan Belgrade general director Milos Vazura has confirmed the club are close to reaching an agreement with Arsenal for Takuma Asano. The Gunners are asking for €2 million for a permanent transfer but a loan deal is being negotiated to lower the price.


  46. See in paper 11 prem stars have failed drug tests last 3 years but been cleared after doctor’s provided TUE’s (Therapeutic Use Exceptions).
    If I understand it right, these exceptions were provided after the tests had been failed.
    I’d have thought the system is designed so that players provide information beforehand if they ever legitimately need to take banned substances- for asthma or whatever- so it looks very dodgy.

    Drugs found were ‘amphetamine, morphine, Ritalin or Triamcinolone’. Last one is same as Team Sky used in cycling controversy.


    Liked by 1 person

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