The Armchair Gooner

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

The Preening Self-Importance of Cristiano Ronaldo.

“God damn you, Gareth… Put the bloody thing in the net!”

Morning, folks.

There is little or no Arsenal news. Bugger all, as a matter of fact.

Thankfully, for the sake of me having something to write about, there is the small matter of a Champions League semi-final. Having witnessed Barcelona’s inevitable progression at Bayern Munich on Tuesday in batches – I was doing around 4 other things whilst the game was on – I decided I’d actually sit down and give Real Madrid against Juventus my full attention.

I lasted around 10 minutes before that attention started to drift. If Arsenal aren’t playing I find it very difficult to stay with a game in it’s entirety as I prefer to have it on the background and watch when a raised commentator’s voice piques my interest.

I’m writing this entry whilst the game plays in the background and Juventus have just spurned a guilt-edged chance to go 2-1 up on the night and put things to bed with a second away goal. As it stands the game has just entered the final 10 minutes and the cameramen seem more inclined to focus on Ronaldo every time Gareth Bale cocks something up in the hope of seeing our Portuguese friend throw one of his notorious hissy fits.  Continue reading

Monday Night Football; Swansea, Team News and Starting 11.

Action from the 2-1 defeat in late 2014

Morning, folks.

I hate waiting. Whether it be in queues or traffic, I don’t have the patience. Ask my girlfriend, she’ll be only too happy to regale you all with tales of my verbal outbursts in the car and general inability to sit still for a period longer than 5 minutes. She does love a good old fashioned moan – invariably at my expense. She also has a great sense of humour and is laughing whilst I read this paragraph back to her – all while I sit patiently at her place awaiting a feast of roast chicken.

My lack of patience certainly applies to weekends without Arsenal games when we have to suffer what feels an interminable period of time until the glorious boys in red ‘n’ white make their way out onto the pitch.

Mercifully, 7:45 tonight sees the end of all that bloody waiting malarkey. Swansea City are in town and it’s a game in which victory will secure us one of the automatic Champions League qualification spots – I don’t much care whether we finish 2nd or 3rd as neither are 1st and that’s the one that really matters.

With the season winding down now that Chelsea are the title winners, it’s easy to take one eye off the remaining league fixtures and focus on the upcoming FA Cup final at the end of May. I find myself struggling to get really enthusiastic about tonight’s game and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. Continue reading

New Beginnings And The Unlikely Manoeuvres Of Petr Cech

Praying for a summer exit

Howdy, folks.

Those of you that remember the days gone by in which I posted regularly might recall that what I wrote came with a certain format; a way of writing that was, quite frankly, set to inform first and foremost. Therein lies the reason for such a prolonged absence from blogging  – something that I’ve always held dear to my heart.

You see, folks – I became lost in my attempts to deliver a structured, informative blog. The truth is it quickly bored me. I believe my strength in writing lies in it being an extension of myself – warts, blunders and all. What I enjoy most is posting articles about Arsenal, first and foremost, but scattershot pieces that encapsulate myself. Blogging, to me, is something I wish to be my own.

So, I’ve decided to do this the way I want as opposed to that which I believe is the acceptable. In short, I’m going to write this site in exactly the way I want to and that means certain elements are going to be cast aside.  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…

Goalkeeper Troubles, Podolski, Wilshere And Stuff.

Tottenham? Not a chance in hell.

Afternoon, folks.

” I just blew in from the windy city”

Currently there is a rampaging gale blowing. I exaggerate not a jot. Should a cat or small car float past, swirling towards the clouds, I wouldn’t pay it a second glance such is the ferocity of Mother Nature at present. It immediately put me in mind of the film, ‘Twister’ and I secretly yearn for Bill Paxton to burst through my door and exclaim, “Sh*t! Horizontal rain!” for no reason other than the fact I love Bill Paxton.

Today I jot for you good people because of a sense of obligation and without the handy bonus of interesting points of discussion. Recent months have seen me fall out of love with blogging, mainly due to the constraints of time and my personal grievances with the manner in which success in gleaned in this field – barring a few notable exceptions, most pursue to avenue of controversy and speculative dross in order to seduce a readership. I’m not of that persuasion, I’m just a big-haired dandy from Bristol sat in front on a PC blathering about Arsenal, and to see what little success I had obtained obliterated by opportunistic drivel disheartened me somewhat. Continue reading