Jack’s grace and curious facial expression will be sorely missed.
Picture the scene; a tall, gangly Bristoilan barely able to keep his eyes open is writing this post at 3am. Having spent the night playing poker and occasionally bursting into glorious dance to records by Ke$ha - that happened, deal with it – I’m absolutely shattered, but instead of heading to a deserved slumber, I’m jotting this preview for you.
Dedicated, aren’t I? Well.. truth be told, folks; I can’t face having to get up to write this in time for the game today, so I’m boldly pushing through the exhaustion and the urge to dance again to do it whilst I have the will.
The game today is massive to such an extent I daren’t allow myself to ponder the ramifications should the result not be favourable. Arsenal are in 3 competitions and, realistically, two of them are beyond us – the league not so much, but the Champions League will need divine intervention to enable progression. Continue reading
Few can shackle a leaping Per.
For a couple of games a season, I don’t like my last name. ‘Stokes’ is just too damn close to ‘Stoke’ for my liking, and although myself and the football team share little or no similarities, the ring of my surname irritates slightly. I guess it all goes back to that fateful day of Aaron Ramsey’s leg-break. Before that incident, no animosity appeared between the two Clubs. Now, it’s everywhere.
I don’t actually hate Stoke City or the vast majority of their fans. I loathe the select few who have taken to booing a player who had his leg snapped in two on their pitch and I don’t much care for the lumbering idiot responsible. Those that bay and taunt Ramsey for doing absolutely nothing at all wrong are moronic. All clubs have fans that take things a little too far – Arsenal being no exception – and with all the tension in the air it is good to remember that. Continue reading
“Give us a hug, Mesut – I know exactly how you feel”
After a week that has seen a glorious triumph over Liverpool, a disappointing defeat in the Champions League and enough incandescent rage at a missed penalty to re-ignite a dying sun, it’s good to have some football to sink my teeth into. That doesn’t really make sense as an expression – I’m not chomping on the keyboard, trying to write with drool. I’m typing, my teeth are some distance from the keys. I’m now rambling. I should stop. I will.
Moving on to the game; Sunderland might fancy their chances today. Arsenal have to navigate quite a few distractions. Some have been unwelcome; an alleged bust up between Wilshere and The Flame, an allegation quickly, and hilariously, dispelled by Jack on his Twitter account. Continue reading
One of Jack Wilshere’s less-than-fortunate facial expressions…
They don’t come much bigger than this. When we played our German friends last year, I didn’t expect anything other than a swift exit. Our form at the time was pretty abysmal and we ended up getting a bit of a trouncing on our own turf. This year there’s that relentless spark of hope and expectation brewing inside me. Arsenal are a better team this time around and a more cohesive one.
I believe we can get a result.
It certainly isn’t an easy proposition. We face daunting opponents filled to capacity with pace, guile and strength. The diminutive Barcelona side we faced in previous competitions always looked susceptible to an intense pressuring game, Bayern do not. Their midfield is brutally effective. Looking across their potential line-up, even with its notable absentees, finding a weakness or point of attack isn’t particularly easy. Continue reading
Bad, bad, bad day at the office.
As I might have mentioned a few times in the past, my gainful employment puts me in close proximity to 3 fevered Liverpool fans. The previous week hasn’t exactly been a barrel of laughs. Far from it, in fact; the taunts are interminable and predictably insipid. They’ve been relentless, and maddeningly so.
Arsenal should be out for revenge today; to put right one of the worst performances in recent history; to progress forward in a cup competition we stand a very good chance of winning and to make my working life immeasurably more bearable – being able to return some of the “bantz” would be extremely enjoyable at this point.
Shortness of time and the desire to have some breakfast before heading out means I intend to make this little preview relatively short. I touched on some of the team news yesterday, and not much has changed since then. Continue reading
“Yeah, you got me. I’m a massive tool”
A tonic is required. During my younger years of drinking copious amounts of alcohol and dancing embarrassingly in seedy nightclubs with questionable maidens, I swore blind that yoghurt was the ultimate cure for a hangover. Not bog-standard, plain yoghurts, no – the Muller variety, specifically those with the nice fruit on the side you could mix with the creamy treats yourself. Arsenal need something similar today; a dose of yoghurty goodness to banish horrendous feelings of the night before, Saturday in this case.
It’s not going to be particularly easy. Pointing to United’s poor form and terrible league position is all well and good, but they’re likely to raise their game for this match, they always do. Any team that can boast Rooney, Mata and that treacherous swine in attack will cause problems. Since ‘Davey’ Moyes took over at Old Trafford, they’ve floundered and blundered hilariously. We’ve all had a good chuckle seeing a once unstoppable foe look far removed from greatness. Continue reading
Ramsey accomplishes the impossible and strikes the ball past Toure’s arse.
“Hold onto ya butts”
That line delivered by Samuel L. Jackson in Jurassic Park has always stood out. As a young man, I saw that particular Spielberg blockbuster in the cinema the day it was released and recall being the only person to find it amusing when Jackson said it. All these years from that point, I figured it was a good piece of advice with our run of tough fixtures starting today.
Are you filled with a mixture of nerves and excitement? I am. I really am; my bladder feels like a violent whirlpool and my stomach is growling like an injured beast. Yet, I can’t stand still. Finding the concentration to remain seated long enough to type this review hasn’t been an easy task. The only reprieve I have from the startling urge to dart toward the lavatory is glorious hope.
The team news is as you’d expect. Continue reading
Destiny holds 29.
Matters that are related to on-field antics make a very welcome return. Temporarily, the hideous exchange of insults and opinion can be put to one side and we can all gloriously unite as one to support the team. Perhaps. Well.. probably not. In truth, it’ll only get worse. Jesus…
I’m all about the joy folks. If you can’t enjoy football, why the hell bother? Vows are often made and broken when faced with circumstance that displeases. When I state I shall look only for the joy and humour, I mean it. The moaning and squabbles I’ll leave to those more inclined to do so.
So, let’s talk some delicious team news, shall we? Let’s. Continue reading
At my gainful employment, I have the fortune to work with a father and son duo of Southampton fans. Unlike the Liverpool contingent there, both tend not to be rabid enthusiasts and blinded by their own allegiance. However, I always seem to find myself a touch more concerned about the outcome when supporters of rival teams in my personal life are involved.
Tonight we face a very tricky test. Southampton at St Mary’s used to be a fixture I wouldn’t have considered all that daunting. This season, with their impressive defensive record, The Saints are an altogether different proposition. Add a few handy players in creative positions to that stability and you have a team that are capable of mixing it with most when on their own turf.
We could be in for one of those evenings in which I have to repeatedly, and completely unnecessarily, inform you all of the swirling vortex of nerves that is my bladder. The games against the big-games are often labelled as ‘deciders’ by the media who like to add a little extra spice to proceedings. Make no mistake, folks; games like tonight are equally as important.
The team news brings with it a few nuggets of good news. Continue reading
Errrr… What’s going on here?
Right…Bloody hell… I’ve not much time in which to scribe this. I must make haste and get straight to the point. I’d have more time but I’ve been a busy fellow indeed, editing bits for the Goonersphere Podcast we’re recording today and engaging in my usual puerile jiggery pokery.
Blather alet. Focus, James. There’s an important match with Coventry City, and before we begin, I like to add my support to their fans looking to protest against the way their Club is being run tonight. If you’re in attendance, show them your support. Problems in football could affect us all. They deserve to be heard.
The team news is as I’d expected. Continue reading