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

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

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

Ray Parlour Brightens A Miserable Day For Arsenal.

It’s Only Ray Parlour

Howdy, folks.

A wiser man than I once said, “Don’t ever meet your heroes, you’ll only be disappointed” – a phrase I’ve taken as gospel since the fateful moment I first heard it uttered. Since that day, meeting current and former Arsenal players hasn’t been something of particular interest – I’m not sure I could take meeting Patrick Vieira and discovering he wouldn’t be willing to frolic through a plush meadow hand-in-hand. In slow-motion. As birds sing to us.

However, thanks to the delightful folks at Europcar Sport, yesterday myself and some of my friends from The Goonersphere Podcast where invited down to The Emirates to take part in a live Tweeting event during the Swansea Vs Arsenal game (I’ll get to that in a moment). The cherry on the cake here was being able to meet and interview bonafide Arsenal great, Ray Parlour. When the chance to briefly converse arose, Ray was a genuinely humorous and amiable fellow, apparently more than happy to answer questions and put pen to merchandise – the current away shirt I have adorned with his signature shall be framed and take pride of place on my wall at home.

Ray regaled us with stories from yesteryear and offered his personal views on the current Arsenal team Continue reading

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

Brilliant Sanchez, Terrible Arsenal. 2-2 Against Hull City.

Diminutive, cunning, splendid player.

Afternoon again, folks.

Ordinarily, posting a review once the game has finished is something I make a point of steering well clear of. When emotions run high and frustration has you within its grasp, opinion can veer wildly towards bitterness and fury. The decision to write this post isn’t because of a bout of apoplexy or the urge to pour my soul into cyberspace, but because I currently feel none of those emotions. Instead, I’m slumped at my desk clawing at the keys with an air of resignation.

Should I be asked to describe a quintessentially ‘Arsenal’ poor performance, today’s match against Hull would be an excellent example; we start brightly, concede to the opposition’s first meaningful attack, go behind and only come alive in the final third when teetering on the precipice of defeat. The vast majority of the possession stats go firmly in our favour, only for that time with the ball to produce little or nothing.

There are moments of contention we can look at as a means of excuse. Diame impeded Flamini on his way to scoring the equaliser and the Referee was certainly a monumental bellend throughout the 90 minutes. Continue reading