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 £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

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

How Is Arsenal’s Front Line Looking?

While the lack of a defensive midfielder and another centre-back is also an issue for Arsene Wenger, it’s no secret that Arsenal fans are still crying out for a 20+ goal a season striker to help turn this squad into genuine title contenders. But with the season now well underway, Gooners aren’t quite screaming from the rooftops about Wenger signing a new forward in January. The lack of depth in defence has been highlighted by the prospect of Laurent Koscielny spending some time on the sidelines, and the issue of a lack of a defensive midfielder remains as strong now as it has done for over a year.

So while Arsenal fans would still desperately love to see a Karim Benzema or a Klaas-Jan Huntelaar walk through the Emirates doors in January, they’d probably be happier to see a Mats Hummels or a Sami Khedira-type signing for the club. The deadline day arrival of Danny Welbeck more than made-up for the loss of Olivier Giroud to injury, and the England striker has so far more than taken his chance to impress the Arsenal fans. While the loss of Giroud was a blow to Arsenal at the time, the arrival of Welbeck has given Arsenal’s offence a new dimension and possibly made them more dynamic. Continue reading

Arsenal Out Of The Title Race; Cruel Misfortune Costs.

The Running Kim looked pretty useful.

Morning, folks.

When the match finished last night, I had a bath. Normally I’m strictly a shower kinda guy. That might sound like the most pointless and inane of admittance, but it is relevant in a way. Amongst other things, Arsenal can cause me to get wound up. When those other things combine with my beloved football team, they create a sort of uber-stress and the notion of soothing bath appealed to me. To cut a tedious story shot; I thoroughly enjoyed it – no candles – and, if you’re currently filled with Arsenal-induced tension, I can highly recommend one. I might even stretch as far as to buy myself a little rubber duckie.

So, onto the game…

For a minute I enjoyed it, the remaining 89 plus time allotted for stoppages was excruciatingly bloody awful. Nerves were apparent all through the team, which is to be expected, but the fear of failure amongst the players was palpable. The sense of Arsenal easing out games that once was a feature of our play has long deserted us. However, I can’t really offer that many excuses for what I saw. Any team with the aspirations we have should be dispatching Swansea with minimal fuss. We shipped and early goal and although we got ourselves into a winning position thanks to a quick double from Podolski and Giroud, the sense that we wouldn’t hold on was overwhelming.  Continue reading

The BFG And Koscielny Immense, Giroud A Bit Pants And Rosicky’s Howitzer Wins The Day.

Tim Sherwood displaying what a NLD victory means to the fans.

Morning, folks.

I shan’t lie to you; sitting through those 90 minutes wasn’t one of the more pleasurable experiences I’ve encountered as an Arsenal fan. Mercifully, for all their ‘heroic’ huffing and puffing, Tottenham Hotspur remain irredeemably bloody hopeless.

In many sectors of the media, yesterday’s performance will be branded as “hanging on” or “backs to the wall”. In all honesty; I can’t say I was especially comfortable throughout, nor was I particularly nervous. I resided in a state of football purgatory where my emotions cancelled each other out, leaving a stark, listless stare on my face as I awaited the jubilation of a confirmed result. When that moment arrived, glorious elation swept over me. There is little that feels as good as beating Tottenham.

It certainly wasn’t vintage Arsenal. Spurs were given too much to cling too when, but for Chamberlain’s profligacy, we would have had considerable distance between us and them on the scoreboard. Classing the team’s performance as “hanging on” might seem accurate, but it does warrant mentioning that the only two chances to score Spurs managed to get were gifted to them by Szczesny having one of his flappy days.  Continue reading

Ozil, Arteta, Sanogo, Giroud and Vermaelen All Play Part In Huge Cup Win.

Joel laments conceding and, more so, not being in the embrace.

Morning, folks.

Feels glorious, doesn’t it. That sweeping euphoria of knowing that Arsenal have not let you down and that we will be front and centre when Wembley hosts the semi-finals. Whatever you may think about games other than the final taking place at the national stadium, being able to say, “Arsenal are going to Wembley” has an undeniably mellifluous ring to it.

Yesterday was a great performance when one was needed. Before kick off and up until we took an unassailable 3-1 lead, I couldn’t relax. My stomach churned, I paced and thought of nothing other than the fact there was a game. I often write about that sensation. At times it must come across as complaint when it is anything but. Feeling so on edge, so worried, is a beautiful thing; it means Arsenal are playing in a match that’s important.

And the FA Cup is important. Continue reading

Sanogo for the Cup, Giroud’s Philandering and a Summer of Changes

Arsenal fans took their expressions of rage to dangerous lengths…

Morning, folks.

As you might imagine, the Stoke defeat is still firmly sticking in the throat of many. Losing is one thing, it happens, but when the display is so toothless and inept at a time it needed to be anything but, you can understand why the folks out there are so angry.

Anger and frustration are understandable. When that transfers into hatred and bile, and our fans take to bickering amongst one another, I find it’s a good idea to step away from it all. Why waste your time with people who seem more eager to point you towards the supposed failings of others than they do with supporting their team? It’s a waste of time, folks.

Focus amongst my peers and collaborators has been on the fixture with Everton at the weekend. Continue reading