The Armchair Gooner

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

Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott, Ramsey And The Unshakable Feeling Of Delicious Glory.

Theo justifies his start.

Howdy, folks.

There are moments as a Football supporter in which you can truly question the reasons behind devoting so much time and effort into following a team. In moments of the past, I’ve found myself pondering that very question, scratching my temple and proclaiming aloud, “Why the fu*ck do I subject myself to such torment?!”.

The game we all love is known to frequently show herself as a cruel and unforgiving mistress. However, as is always the case, there is a flip-side to that coin – a flip-side that is beautiful, wonderful, heartwarming and comprehensively answers the question above.

Yesterday’s performance and victory perfectly encapsulated that joy, that wonderment, that glorious euphoria and warmth you get from being a part of something experienced by others on a global scale.

Podcast cohort and good friend of mine, @TheDanielCowan triumphantly neglected a wedding to drive over to my place in Gloucester and we watched the game, along with my girlfriend who is proving herself a spectacularly good omen, accompanied by the heavenly taste of a Pieminister pie. It was the perfect set-up to what turned into the perfect performance.

From the moment the game kicked off, to the last remaining exchanges up until the final whistle, Arsenal dominated Aston Villa. Even typing the word “dominated” feels inadequate, as if there should a new word invented just to accurately describe how comfortable the day was – let’s say ‘Ultradominatronic’… Continue reading

Ozil, Giroud, Cazorla, Gabriel, Akpom And Comfortable Progression.

Giroud’s classy finish

Morning, folks.

Sometimes, I don’t get the chance to watch games in their entirety. The perils and unsociable nature of my gainful employment are such that I’m at my busiest when Arsenal kick-off. Yesterday was an extremely good example of this; I missed the majority of the first have and caught fleeting glimpses of the second.

Writing a match review under such circumstances can be troublesome, so I find myself lurking around the internet hoping to find lengthy highlights. Then I’ve got to find the time to watch them, then get the time to write…

I’m rambling.

Point is, I even though it’s a chore, I make the effort.

*Cue rapturous applause, ticker-tape descending from the skies, shrieks of female adulation and appreciative nods from my peers at the unfathomable, glorious sacrifice I make to bring this drivel to you every day*

So….. The Arsenal. Continue reading

Middlesborough: Team News, Predicted Starting XI And Thoughts.

Hopefully, high-fives all round at the final whistle.

Morning, folks.

The FA Cup. Perhaps the most likely avenue in which to get our grubby paws all over some delicious silverware. All that stands between us and progression to the quarter finals is Middlesborough; riding high in the Championship and a team to be taken seriously. After all, they did defeat Manchester City in the previous round and did so with a very good display.

I love this competition. Unabashedly so. Primarily for the shocks. Whilst it is undeniably gratingly bloody awful when Arsenal succumb to lower league opponents, it’s equally as hilarious when others fall at that particular hurdle. Anything can happen in the one-off nature of a cup tie and we need only look at Chelsea’s howlingly funny defeat to Bradford to see just how unpredictable the FA Cup can be. Anyone can slip up, and it’s usually the ones who don’t think it can happen to them.

Today we go into the game as favourites with fans and pundits alike. Even the most ardent of Middlesborough fan assume a heavy defeat is in order, and most of them see their season’s priority a return to the Premiership. So, I say it again; we are huge favourites today.  Continue reading

Santi Cazorla or Mesut Ozil Centrally? Favourites For The FA Cup?

A trinket available in May.

Morning, folks.

I’m writing this post to you last night. I’ve just finished watching Gone Girl (which is darkly, unsettlingly brilliant) in enough time to see Philippe Coutinho curl a winner for Liverpool at Bolton in the final minutes of the game (which was darkly, unsettlingly brilliant). Brendan Rodgers is currently goose-stepping manically about his technical area in celebration as that horrendous beak on his face disrupts the Earth’s gravity. The massive c*nt.

The FA Cup, aye…

Few could dispute England’s most traditional competition represents our most likey avenue for success. With the shocks of the previous round reverberating throughout the land, Arsenal find themselves in a position where the competition now appears jarringly winnable.

However, this will be a sentiment shared by both Liverpool and Manchester United. Louis van Gaal may look like a poorly inflated corpse, but he is not known for his modesty – he rarely does anything other than bleat out of his asre about how oh-so bloody wonderful he is, so, doubtless to say, he fancies his side’s chances.  Continue reading

Middlesborough, Cheerio Joel, Gabriel Paulista?! And Stuff.

“Ha Ha Ha Ha,…. Oh, sh*t – I’ve got to pack again… “

Morning, folks.

I’ve the oddest means of preparing a blog post. Many across our glorious sphere of Arsenal writers prepare their pieces lovingly, taking time to craft each word and thought for you, the delicious peruser. Me – I’m not one of them. Don’t take this admission as a startling declaration of ambivalence to those of you that pop by – far from it. I love you all with the very fabric of my being.

I just don’t plan what I write. Instead of sculpting words into ethereal sentences, I sit back and allow whatever is occupying my head to splurge all over the screen in whichever way it chooses. There’s an honesty in it – what you read isn’t doctored or drafted, it’s fresh from the source; warts, grammatical blunders and all. It’s who I am.

Currently, I’m sat in my pants occasionally breaking from typing to dance (I love to dance) to this wonderful, wonderful song. Pants and music are what I use to prepare. And I look quite lovely dancing in my pants.

Ain’t no motherf*cker out here got nuttin’ for me.

So, Arsenal…  Continue reading

Brighton Dispatched With A Little Fuss, NEW SIGNING!! And The Return Of An Arsenal Great.

Rosicky celebrates adding the 3rd with a superb volley.

Morning, folks.

It’s been a while. Lost somewhere in the plethora of false promises from myself was the inclination to blog. As I suspect you’ve already deduced, that desire proved as hollow as the words that jumped from my fingers onto your screen. I love this little site of mine; The Armchair Gooner has always represented an avenue in which I’m my own boss and I can spew out whatever balderdash floating around my head without fear of anyone telling me I can’t. Something of an anti-establishemnt, “f**k you and your authority” type, I am.

For a long time, the desire to write has been absent. Like an estranged sibling or cowardly father, it has deserted me with little or no reason – perhaps hiding in a dingy bar swigging back ale in the hope of forgetting responsibilities.

Yet here I am, referring to myself as “The Return Of An Arsenal Great”. I realise fully that’s a touch arrogant, perhaps even bordering on spectacular over-assumption of importance. Along with my aforementioned troubles with those that reside above me in positions of power, I tend to be quite narcissistic. I say ‘tend’… It’s full-blown and unabashedly so.

In short, I’ve resurfaced because that inclination has returned (I know I’m not an Arsenal great, by the way).

So without further ado, Arsenal stuff. Enough of this blathering. Continue reading

Hull City: Starting XI (Predicted), Team News And General Thoughts.

Gibbs hated losing the race to get home for X-Factor…

Morning, folks.

Match day is here. The international interferences are a blip in our rear view mirrors, a speck on the horizon as we speed towards the glory of Arsenal and the Premiership. Today we face Hull City at the Emirates, a team I have fond memories of facing.

I recall that day last May vividly; the heat of the bar in Bristol where I watched the game, the horrendous stag-do I was attending at the time and the ill-advised, stifling Cowboy attire I was wearing. Most of all I recall the wonderfully contrasting emotions experienced and the speed total disarray turned into hope and then unbridled elation. That FA Cup Final was a long time coming but it was worth the wait.

Some 5 months on from that day quite a bit has changed. A few heroes are currently injured and we have one or two news faces upon which we pin our hopes. One thing that’s been ever present over the past years is injuries and today is no different. Continue reading