The Armchair Gooner

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

£25m Vidal, £50m Ramsey, Rosicky Stays And Beware The Fluff Serpent.

 

Grinning idiots…

Afternoon, folks.

This is the first post I’ve scribed from an iPad. Check me out; all fu*king fancy-pants product dropping like a unknown blogging version of Michael Bay. You’ll also have to excuse the indulgent picture of my girlfriend and me above. It’s the only one currently stored within my memory and I’m unsure how to import something a touch more pertinent. Truthfully, I’ve no inclination to try and it’s a decent picture of me. Aren’t I beautiful? Don’t answer that…

You can tell the summer is very much upon us. How? Simple; what was once an online community obssesed with picking apart performances and player ability has suddenly transformed. From the darkness obscured by competitive football has emerged the dreaded ITK, a hideous two-headed serpent whose central preoccupation is to fill the minds of the unsuspecting with giddying rumour.

Between now and the close of the transfer window in August, you can expect an onslaught of mendacious dross. It’ll be unrelenting, aching, hideous poppycock and I’m ashamed to admit there is a little part of me that enjoys it. I like to dream, I enjoy the odd fantasy away from the chores of daily life. When it comes to my beloved Arsenal, my face beams when I slip into my own world to begin picturing a player strutting his proverbial on the Emirates turf. Continue reading

I Don’t Care If We Finish 2nd Or 3rd As Long As It’s Not 4th.

The race for those CL spots heats up…

Morning, folks.

The challenge for any blogger who aims to write every day is to find something to talk about when there isn’t much of anything to talk about. There’s often an uneasy state of purgatory between games where all the media attention is elsewhere and news surrounding your club is at a premium.

Not one for spewing out spurious guff or utilising bombastic titles in a serious manner  – I do frequently write stupid ones – I’ve decided to just let things flow from the top of my head without actually taking a moment to think about what I’m going to say.

I’m stumped.

I could discuss many things with you – topics ranging from the spectacular king prawn paella I made at work last night to my current feelings for all things Nando’s, which I, quite frankly, fu*king loathe.

However, all of that is extraneous poppycock.  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

The £50m MEGA STRIKER And A Talking Coq.

Francis is all smiles and happiness.

Morning, folks.

Disappointment is a huge part of life. Following a Football team certainly brings with it its fair share. Often the euphoric moments become lost in a haze of glee and whimsy whereas those crushing moments I can recall with crystal clarity. In short, disappointment resonates.

The reason I’m starting this entry on such a sombre note is because I suffered a large disappointment last night. It has little or nothing to do with football, but seeing as I report only to myself regarding this blog, and can write about pretty much whatever the fu*k I please, I shall proceed regardless (I am going to discuss pressing Arsenal matters in a moment, so feel free to skip this if you’re not particularly interested in me blathering and moaning).

The crushing letdown to which I refer was Only God Forgives – a movie starring Ryan Gosling and directed by Nicolas Winding-Refn (the two behind Drive; a cinematic delight I absolutely adore).

What appears a brooding and intriguing revenge tale from the trailer is actually 90 minutes of Gosling wandering about in near-silence, stopping only to make prostitutes do weird things and have the absolute sh*t beaten out of him. I thoroughly enjoy any film that embraces life’s idiosyncracies, but this seemed to just want to be creepily bizarre and make as little sense as possible.

It was unbridled cack from start to finish and given the previous brilliance of the two collaborators, a huge and unexpected disappointment.

Moving on…

In the title I mentioned a £50m MEGA STRIKER  – I put that in all capitals because that appears the done thing these days if you want to hammer a point home. Continue reading

Szczesny, Ospina Or A New Keeper And No-Go Theo Walcott.

OSSSSSSPIIIINNNNAAA good keeper so far.

Morning, folks.

I’ve the briefest of periods before I’m due to make the arduous trek toward my gainful employment, so my fingers will type with the kind of ferocity you’d associate with an Apache gunship dispatching a rebel machine gun nest – think those Warner Bros cartoons of yesteryear in which the central character had to do something with haste.

Actually, I might take my time with the writing part and instead opt to drive at breakneck speeds down the M5 with a squad of angry police in chase. You’ll see me on the morning news as the story develops and the news outlets start to send helicopters and cameras after me.

Imagine the Sky News headlines…

MAN LATE FOR WORK BECAUSE OF WRITING BLOG NOW IN HIGH-SPEED PURSUIT WITH POLICE. MR STOKES IS SAID TO BE UNSTABLE AND A TEDDY BEAR APPEARS TO BE DOING THE DRIVING.

Alternatively to all the above, I could get straight to my point. All the fluffy nonsense, as much fun as it is, serves only to lengthen the time I’m sat at the keyboard.

Remember that bit in Monty Python’s The Holy Grail where they all shout “GET ON WITH IT!”?

Moving on…

One of the debates I’ve missed contributing to since putting blogging on hold is that of our goalkeeping position. Since Szczesny blundered and smoked his way into the doghouse against Southampton, David Ospina has taken over the No1 role and thus far looked very assured there.  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

The Ideal Replacement For Arsene Wenger Is Closer Than You Think.

Howdy, folks.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Well… usually I pour out a few words at this juncture to explain why I’ve not written for such an elongated period of time. I could, but I’m not going to. Words of excuse seem trite at this stage and a little pointless.

Maybe you haven’t missed me at all…

Anyways. What have I been up to recently? Well, I’ve been trying my hand at football management. Granted, I’m talking the simulated variety here and not the pursuit that sees me caterwauling at youngsters whilst patrolling a touchline with ideas far above my station. In the past few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to receive a complimentary copy of Football Manager 2015 from the good folks at Cash Generator – they also deal in Nintendo DS.

Before I get into my exploits at the helm of Arsenal, I figured a few words about the game itself wouldn’t go amiss. Growing up I was very easily addicted to what was then called Championship Manager. Although many of my friends referred to it as simply, “a bunch of numbers on the screen”, I was hooked and could easily fret away the hours choosing tactics and trying to nurture the unknown Bolivian wonderchild I’d paid mere pennies to recruit.

It was a totally immersive experience. The modern variety, however, makes those memories pale by comparison. In what I call “death by statistics” everything you could possibly imagine is here; whether that be the ability to hold lengthy, often arduous, meetings with the board to the updated realism of ‘player power’ – it’s all meticulously recreated for you to explore. The most notable change from those games of yesteryear is the addition of a 3D match engine that allows you to watch your players as they scamper about under your direction.  Continue reading