The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Glorious, Superb, Fantastic, Unbridled Ecstasy, We’ll Just Forget The First 10 Minutes….

2014 Winners.

Afternoon, folks.

In my 35 years of residency on planet Earth, I’ve never suffered with migraines.          Like the rest of you, most probably, I assumed they we’re just a really bad headache. The past week, mainly due to a combination of heat, stress and fatigue, I’ve begun having them. They are not like a really bad headache, nope; they’re far, far worse.

I watched the game in a bustling Bristol centre yesterday in sweltering heat with a very large turn out of Gooners and regretfully had to cut the celebrations short due to my pounding cranium. However, the pain it caused me to be in such a vociferous and jocund environment was worth it in each and every way conceivable.

Apart from the opening 10 minutes of the game.

Up until Santi Cazorla thundered in that fabulous free-kick on 17 minutes, I don’t think I’ve ever felt the hope and enthusiasm drain out of me faster. Genuinely, I was stood jaw agape wondering if what was occurring in front of me was actually happening or just a work of the evils that occupy my mind. Continue reading

Diaby’s Reception, Ramsey’s Rocket and Jenkinson’s Magnificent Celebration

Carl was as surprised as anyone.

Morning, folks.

Well, that’s it then; another Premiership season all over. Seems to have flown by, doesn’t it? What occurred might not have been to our wishes as Arsenal fans, but few could dispute it’s been a season without talking points and the occasional flash of brilliance.

As expected, for the majority of yesterday’s game the events unfolded in a slightly dreary and resigned manner – the kind of casual pace you rarely see in the Premiership unless it’s a last-day fixture with nothing riding on it. Arsenal comfortably controlled the game against a beleaguered Norwich side who rarely threatened at all. Continue reading

Uber-Podolski, The Maligning Of Giroud And 3 Scrumptious Points.

2 goals and a good display. Lovely.

Morning, Earthlings.

Last night’s match was a very welcome sight; 3 goals, 3 delicious points and, barring a spell of around 4 minutes when West Ham had the lead, mercifully short of reason for concern or palpitations. As if often the case with Arsenal; what should be relatively straight forward invariably turns to nerve-shredding tension and reason to remove enormous clumps of hair in sheer terror. When there’s a quest ahead, it certainly appears that way to those of us who dedicate our spare time to following them.  We have 5 games remaining this season, if they all go in a similar fashion to last night’s we might make it out of this season with our sanity in tact.

There’s a lot to talk about other than the very welcome result. Two players – Podolski and Giroud – stood out on the night for varying reasons. I thought I’d use this opportunity to discuss both.

Doesn’t that make me sound a touch self-important? Let’s be honest here; who the f**k am I anyway, other than a tall dandy with a glorious accent prone to covering himself in jam during moments of ill-advised ‘humour’. Often I’ll read through lengthy posts containing opinion and think to myself, “Really? Do you honestly think anyones cares what you have to say?”. I guess the key to blogging is the realisation that we’re all pretty much irrelevant in the grand scheme of things; just simple folk sharing our thoughts to those that might stumble upon them.  Continue reading

Arsenal Out Of The Title Race; Cruel Misfortune Costs.

The Running Kim looked pretty useful.

Morning, folks.

When the match finished last night, I had a bath. Normally I’m strictly a shower kinda guy. That might sound like the most pointless and inane of admittance, but it is relevant in a way. Amongst other things, Arsenal can cause me to get wound up. When those other things combine with my beloved football team, they create a sort of uber-stress and the notion of soothing bath appealed to me. To cut a tedious story shot; I thoroughly enjoyed it – no candles – and, if you’re currently filled with Arsenal-induced tension, I can highly recommend one. I might even stretch as far as to buy myself a little rubber duckie.

So, onto the game…

For a minute I enjoyed it, the remaining 89 plus time allotted for stoppages was excruciatingly bloody awful. Nerves were apparent all through the team, which is to be expected, but the fear of failure amongst the players was palpable. The sense of Arsenal easing out games that once was a feature of our play has long deserted us. However, I can’t really offer that many excuses for what I saw. Any team with the aspirations we have should be dispatching Swansea with minimal fuss. We shipped and early goal and although we got ourselves into a winning position thanks to a quick double from Podolski and Giroud, the sense that we wouldn’t hold on was overwhelming.  Continue reading

“I’m Going To Try And Put A Positive Spin On That Result”

Kieran Oxlade-Chamberlain gets his marching orders….

Morning, folks….

Comfortably the worst part about typing today’s entry is the sense of deja vu I have. When freakish results occur, banishing them as quickly as possible from memory is simple. After all, they’re just one of those things that happens. When an eye-gaugingly bloody awful performance away from home occurs 3 times within the same season, you have to start to ask questions.

Where did it all go wrong?

When you write an Arsenal blog you’re expected to have answers, or to “put a positive spin on what’s occurred”. In other instances, your followership gleefully click on the latest entry to read a lambasting of everything from the team to the manner in which biscuits were distributed as tea is served. I intend to do neither, mainly because gleaning any positives from that result is an impossibility and I’m far too tired of all the hatred and anger to contribute to any of it. All I can offer with any certainty is my feeling of dejection having watched what is unquestionably the worst Arsenal performance of my supporting life.  Continue reading

The BFG And Koscielny Immense, Giroud A Bit Pants And Rosicky’s Howitzer Wins The Day.

Tim Sherwood displaying what a NLD victory means to the fans.

Morning, folks.

I shan’t lie to you; sitting through those 90 minutes wasn’t one of the more pleasurable experiences I’ve encountered as an Arsenal fan. Mercifully, for all their ‘heroic’ huffing and puffing, Tottenham Hotspur remain irredeemably bloody hopeless.

In many sectors of the media, yesterday’s performance will be branded as “hanging on” or “backs to the wall”. In all honesty; I can’t say I was especially comfortable throughout, nor was I particularly nervous. I resided in a state of football purgatory where my emotions cancelled each other out, leaving a stark, listless stare on my face as I awaited the jubilation of a confirmed result. When that moment arrived, glorious elation swept over me. There is little that feels as good as beating Tottenham.

It certainly wasn’t vintage Arsenal. Spurs were given too much to cling too when, but for Chamberlain’s profligacy, we would have had considerable distance between us and them on the scoreboard. Classing the team’s performance as “hanging on” might seem accurate, but it does warrant mentioning that the only two chances to score Spurs managed to get were gifted to them by Szczesny having one of his flappy days.  Continue reading

Ozil Out Of NLD, Arsenal Exit Champions League And The Players Rated.

The scene was set (Photo borrowed from @LittleDutchVA)

Morning, folks.

A brave defeat (over two legs). A triumphant exit. A magnificent failure. Those are some of the terms I’m sure people will use to describe Arsenal’s performance and, alas, departure from the Champions League. There can be absolutely no shame attached to falling out of the competition (again) at the knock-out stages against Europe’s elite, but I can’t help but ponder the “what ifs” in retrospect. What if Mesut had buried that penalty. What if we had 11 v 11 for the entirety of both games.

Truthfully, last night was nothing more than a formality. We gave it our best shot, but faced with unsurmountable odds we succumbed to the inevitable. Bayern controlled the game for long periods, as you would expect, but on occasion we ruffled a few feathers and, albeit very briefly, threw the odd cat amongst their pigeons.

Continue reading