The Brum Biter Bit

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Jan 022011
 

Despite my bold 3-1 betting prediction, I was more than a little concerned about the Birmingham game. My work colleagues, one a Chelski fan and one a ManUre fan (honestly – I’ve been tempted to hand in my notice at times) both told me how we didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of a win, and that a draw was the best I could hope for.

Well, they couldn’t have been more wrong. We won with style, and we won with grit and determination in the face of severe provocation from a Birmingham team that seems to regard breaking our legs as just part of the game. There were three really bad challenges, and that’s leaving aside the stamp on Sagna from Bowyer. I hope other teams will learn from this that physical violence only makes us play better football, and we won’t be cowed into submission by their hooliganism.

birtacklebv309m Uploaded by arsenalist.

To be fair, though, v Persie was lucky, to say the least, to win the free kick that led to his goal. However, we outplayed them, outclassed them, and outfought them. AW was delighted.

Here’s the post-match BBC interview with RvP and Nasri:

ManUre could have lost to West Brom if only Chris Foy hadn’t been playing in red, and Chelski suffered a last minute sucker-punch to draw at home to Villa. So the stage is set for a battle at the Grove on Wednesday when we entertain football’s nouveau riche, Citeh.

For some comedy, please visit here to see the utter b*llocks that some ‘journalists’ come up with. Sp*rs to win the title. Please.

And to cheer you up some more, here’s Cesc on a good result and his New Year’s Resolutions.

Happy New Year, isn’t it!

Arsenally Yours for 2011,

Will

A Christmas Carol

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Dec 282010
 

It was Christmas night. All was quiet at the Emirates, as the players trudged through the halls. It was Theo who first noticed the bust of Herbert Chapman change. The familiar face of the great man morphed the features of a man few of the current Arsenal squad knew well. Then it spoke or rather screamed at them.

“What the hell are ye daein’? And what the f*ck happened against Spurs? If I were still the boss, you’d all a been cleaning booots fr’ae week, ye wee slinkit timrous beaties, ye.”

“Mais qu’est-ce que c’est que ça? Aah, George Graham. T’as prend un bribe aujour’hui?”, asked Koscielny, as the French players sniggered and the English one/two looked bemused.

But then silence from the squad as the bust grew to the size of a man, its shimmering features turning purple. No-one knows what Graham whispered in Kos’s ear, but he would never speak of it, not even till his dying day.

“Come with me, and see how real men play”, the spirit spoke, and all of a sudden the squad were at Wembley, 1993, FA Cup Semi-Final vs Sp*rs. The squad were amazed by the collective passion, the organisation at the back and the workrate throughout midfield and attack. They jumped for joy as Adams scored the winner.

“Nous pouvons jouer comme ça. Peut-être un peu plus de la haîne à Sp*rs – ce n’est pas un mauvais idée, ils sont vraiment les bell-end” said Squillaci.

“Speak English you Fritalian bell-end,” retorted cheeky Jack.

“He said we could play like that, and maybe a bit more hatred for Sp*rs wouldn’t be a bad thing. They are scum after all,” translated Sagna.

“Aye ye can, and aye, ye should play like that,” said Graham. “Now, let’s look at the present. Ye haven’t beat Chelski or ManUre for a few years now. So pull ye fingers out ye arses and start playing like we all ken ye can. Time tae look to the future.”

Everything shimmered for a moment, but nothing seemed else seemed to happen. Then Robin looked up and saw a sign above the ancient bust of Chapman – Property of UzbekInvest.

“Oh my God, what happened?” said Robin.

“Can’t ye guess Robin,” the ghost replied, “Ye all f*cked oop. Ye played like boys against men, ye lost your Champions League place at the end of 2011 – tae fookin’ Sp*rs – for shite’s sake. And so ye lost yer captain to Qatarçelona, and yer gaffer to the same place. And the noo, Arsenal is mid table shite. Fans are leaving in their droves, and some fattie from fook knows where owns oor club. So fookin’ wake up, play with some spirit and beat that rabble from Fulham!”

And with that, the ghost of Graham vanished, and the squad left for their homes in Hertfordshire with an ever-burning desire to play better. To compete all over the pitch, to defend with organisation, to track back properly, and to make the most of goal-scoring chances.

And they did beat Chelski. All the players were on top form, playing with the words of Graham burning in their ears. Alex Song got one, so did Cesc and Theo. Ivanovic scored for Chelski, though. Some say Koscielny thought he saw Graham in the stands and was paralysed by fear. From keeper to striker, all played well, and the spectre that was our record against Chelski and ManUre was buried.

But would they forget the lesson they learned that fateful Christmas Eve at the Grove when it came to play the likes of Wigan? Time will tell, dear readers, time will tell.

———-

Apologies to anyone Scottish! I’m off to spend the Arsenally quids I won yesterday – 13-8, 5-2, and 18-1. Ker-Ching!

Arsenally yours,

Will

An Opportunity Missed. Now let’s move on.

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Dec 142010
 

It’s 4.30 in the morning. It could be the kebab or whisky I had a few hours back that’s keeping me up, but the thought that keeps running through my mind is what an opportunity we’ve missed. I couldn’t see the game, and thanks to my over-zealous boss I couldn’t even sneak off to the bogs for a listen. So I can’t comment on incidents in the game. Just how I feel about it.

I would usually be in a state of depression and anger after such a result, but from what I can gather, neither side played particularly well, neither side showed much flair in attack, and neither side showed much frailty in defense. I hear it was a frantic first half, with “England’s best referee” doing his best to keep his cards in his pockets.

I find the starting line-up a little puzzling. Why start with Rosicky? Sure, Nasri’s form meant he would have been marked out for special attention, but to bring in Rosicky to the midfield hardly added steel, and as a consequence of his starting there was no space for van Persie, so we had less creativity. The Dutchman showed some fine touches against Partizan, and didn’t seem off the pace at all for his first start in ages. From what I hear he added to our attack well when he came on. So why not start with him, bringing on Rosicky/Walcott for Arshavin if needed?

Of all the sides we play in the Premier League, ManUre’s defense demands we field the best we have in terms of attacking talent. Sure we need possession and steel in midfield, and perhaps AW was concernced about RvP, Arsh and Chamakh’s collective ability to track back, but for me it was the wrong decision.

We’ve shown this season that it’s our attacking talent that’s been winning us games rather than our defensive prowess. And great teams don’t need to make concessions to the opponents.

Maybe this is my sleep-deprived mind talking, maybe I’m being naïve, but it sounds to me like we played into their hands in this respect. There’s also the consideration that we made a change in formation to a side that had been scintillating up front.

One welcome solution to this issue is to make sure Arshavin and whichever one of Chamakh/RvP is playing wide track back and defend more effectively.

It’s a mark of champions to pick themselves up from such setbacks. That is precisely what we need to do, and now we have two tricky home games in which we really have to get maximum points to keep a title challenge alive.

Let’s dust ourselves off, and batter Stoke on Saturday.

Arsenally tired and disappointed,

Will