The Armchair Gooner

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

Invincible Coach At Arsenal, King Henry And CRUCIAL JOK!

The King retires.

Morning, delightful creatures.

As you might expect in light of his retirement, the column inches throughout media outlets and blogs are taken up with praise for the great Thierry Henry. As an Arsenal fan, it would be close to sacrilege to not dedicate even a few words to the man who gave us so much.

Where to begin? There are ample superlatives in the English language, a plethora of appropriate words at a writers disposal. However, none seem enough as I’m typing – brilliant, awesome, incredible, fantastic, wonderful…. All perfectly acceptable descriptions of Thierry Henry, but somehow lacking. In my eyes, the man was more than that.

Looking back at his career, he was something else – a player so breathtakingly talented that it’s easy to ponder whether he was birthed in a distant realm and is not of this planet. Continue reading

Newcastle United: Team news And Predicted Starting XI.

No Rambo today

Greetings, Earthlings.

If you were of the persuasion to locate sticks to beat Arsene with, today would be something of a golden opportunity. The paucity of defensive options within our squad has long been documented and as frequently lamented by those against the manager’s position at the Club. Today is the perfect opportunity to spout terms like “mismanagement” or “dereliction of duties”.

I’m not a anti-Arsene kinda guy by any stretch of the imagination. All the puerile bleating and demonstrative outbursts are something I avoid – both from those for and against. I find the whole sorry saga deflating and utterly pointless. However, looking at our squad today, it’s difficult not to agree that we lack cover in defence and there is only one man culpable.

Koscielny, Monreal and Chambers all miss out through a mixture of suspensions and niggles. Continue reading

Unleash The Banter Defence, Champions League Draw And Stuff.

Beware the banter biscuits.

Morning, folks.

You know how irritating it is when you click onto an Arsenal blog hoping to read news and updates only to discover that the author is rattling on about extraneous elements of his personal life? I’m that guy.

Today I have to work a lengthy shift at work and I’m looking forward to it about as much as I would were I to be forced into cutting my penis off on live television. Christmas is a time for festivity and camaraderie, that I shall not deny. It is also a time for James to be f**king irritated and consider jacking in his gainful employment in favour of writing a blog all the time. It’s a beautifully idealistic notion, but, alas, largely unfeasible.

But, hey – you want Arsenal information so bad you can taste it, so rattling on shall be put to one side momentarily and I will endeavour to press on.

I really do f**king get wound up, though, You have no idea. Working in a kitchen with egomaniacs barking instructions is something I’ve learned to ignore- empty vessels make the most sound, and all that. It’s the lack of appreciation and jaw-dropping stupidity from the higher authorities that really grinds my gears….. Continue reading

Galatasaray, A Ramsey Thunderbolt And The Stalking Of Nigel Winterburn.

Nigel Winterburn in his playing days.

Evening, folks.

This is the first time I’ve been able to plonk myself in front of the computer for the best part of the previous 48 hours. Often the elements conspire in unpleasant, work-related ways to prevent digits connecting with keys. Thankfully, on this particular occasion, the reasons stand proudly the polar opposite.

On Tuesday evening, myself and a few friends from The Goonersphere Podcast were invited to a Grosvenor Casino in Piccadilly Circus to watch the final game of Arsenal’s Champions League group, gorge ourselves senseless on the array of complimentary treats offered and, best of all, engage in a chin-wag with bonafide Arsenal legend, Nigel Winterburn.

I can report that the event was overwhelmingly a success. The venue was extremely nice, and the atmosphere created was wonderful – no strictly adhered to itinerary, but a formal, friendly atmosphere in which we were able to ‘hang-out’ with a player many of us idolised throughout our formative years. Think – a trip down the pub with your friends, only this time the food and drink is free and an ex-player happens to be there. Continue reading

Galatasaray Team News And Starting Line Up.

Relatively simple the first time around.

Morning, folks.

Today I’m off to the ‘Big Smoke’ with assorted friends from the Goonersphere Podcast to enjoy an event at the Grosvenor Casino in Piccadilly Circus – they’ve invited myself and other bloggers down to watch the game, enjoy free food and drink and added the opportunity to meet Nigel Winterburn.

Because of this delightful opportunity, I’m spending the vast majority of my day travelling from Gloucester to Paddington and back again – a hefty, arduous trek but always worth it to meet up with good people. Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on your perspective – this entry will be cut criminally short.

Today is one of those matches that does have some significance regarding the eventual standings in our Champions League group, but nothing especially vital given we’re already guaranteed qualification for the final 16. Dortmund sit 2 points ahead of us before kick-off and, barring something spectacularly awful against Anderlecht, will finish as the group winners.

We have an outside chance of topping the final table, but most Arsenal odds pint to the likelihood we’ll be looking at yet another year where we dread the draw for the next round as 2nd place almost certainly means a face-off with one of Europe’s elite. With that in mind, Arsene is going to field a weakened side – the team sheet was bizarrely released yesterday and does include the huge bonus of the return of Mathieu Debuchy.

We’ll line-up like this (It’s a guess which full-back positions Debuchy and Bellerin will start in as I’m completely unsure):

To be perfectly honest, I can’t see us winning tonight. I’ve seen this match many times before; having already secured a place in the next round, Arsenal travel to a difficult away game with a weakened side, show odd glimpses of their good side but ultimately lose by 2 or 3.

Perhaps the likes of Podolski and Campbell will put on a show as they have a point to prove, but I’m entirely confident we’ll see nothing remotely memorable. It’ll be like watching S.W.A.T last night  – mildly distracting, but as sh*t as I thought it would be.

I’ll predict a tedious loss that we’ll all forget within a few days as it has no impact at all – unless Dortmund lose, then the knives will be out questioning why Arsene didn’t field the strongest side available. More rage, more anger, more petulence. Blah blah blah blah….Personally I agree with the rotation and, on paper at least, that’s a side that is capable of earning a victory. We’ve players in need of a break and now’s a good time to give them one.

Anyway, folks, I must dash as I have a train to catch, Whilst I’m gone, feel free to drop a comment – I’ll get around to moderating them when I can. It is proving tricky as the WordPress app for my phone is egregiously unpredictable and bloody irritating.

I’ll be back to report on the game when I can. Until then, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

I almost forgot!!

The FA Cup 3rd round draw was made yesterday – we’ve a rematch with Hull City at The Emirates to look forward to. Fix? Your guess is as good as mine…

Why That Abuse Of Arsene Video Should Be Completely Ignored.

The 2nd home for so many.

Morning, folks.

You’ve most probably seen the video of Arsenal ‘fans’ booing and abusing Arsene Wenger at a train station in Stoke. If you’ve not, I’m not going to link to it. My advice would be to save yourself wasting 30 seconds of your life watching unstoppably cretinous people spewing dross through a misplaced sense of entitlement.

Unfortunately, the bile and hatred of that clip are not actions that will come as a surprise. Amongst Arsenal fans we have a civil war, of sorts, brewing and it’s only getting worse. Fans of varying persuasions and creeds have united in vitriolic condemnation of others simply because of a stance or difference of opinion.

Why? Where’s the anger coming from? Continue reading

Another Awful Arsenal Performance… UNLEASH THE SPACE CATS.

“Steve, give me the Uzi”

Morning, folks.

Hmmmmmm.

Just when I was certain a corner had been turned, we pull a startling handbrake turn and steer the good ship Arsenal back toward Sh*t Street. For 45 first half minutes I didn’t see an appalling performance that left me dumbstruck. No, I saw something I’ve seen far, far too often.

Meh….

I’ve no idea where to go with this entry. Obviously I’m considerably disheartened and upset to lose, and to lose at a place a feculent as the Britannia Stadium, but I’m also extremely tired of how familiar it’s all become.  When Arsenal lose, our fanbase turns nasty. And I mean NASTY. You need but glimpse across social media to see irrational folk firing obscenities, threats and peculiar exclamations simply becuase others might have the audacity to disagree. Even after the game it was rumoured that there was brawling between our own supporters – presumably those of the polar opposite persuasion.

I attended the United game with Daniel Cowan and we saw some of the vitriol ourselves – one man in particular was preening around outside the ground bellowing “Wenger out!” in the hope someone would pipe up to argue with him. Continue reading