The Armchair Gooner

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

Glorious, Superb, Fantastic, Unbridled Ecstasy, We’ll Just Forget The First 10 Minutes….

2014 Winners.

Afternoon, folks.

In my 35 years of residency on planet Earth, I’ve never suffered with migraines.          Like the rest of you, most probably, I assumed they we’re just a really bad headache. The past week, mainly due to a combination of heat, stress and fatigue, I’ve begun having them. They are not like a really bad headache, nope; they’re far, far worse.

I watched the game in a bustling Bristol centre yesterday in sweltering heat with a very large turn out of Gooners and regretfully had to cut the celebrations short due to my pounding cranium. However, the pain it caused me to be in such a vociferous and jocund environment was worth it in each and every way conceivable.

Apart from the opening 10 minutes of the game.

Up until Santi Cazorla thundered in that fabulous free-kick on 17 minutes, I don’t think I’ve ever felt the hope and enthusiasm drain out of me faster. Genuinely, I was stood jaw agape wondering if what was occurring in front of me was actually happening or just a work of the evils that occupy my mind. Continue reading

Koscielny Signs New Deal (allegedly) And 4th Isn’t Good Enough.

Until 2019?

Morning, folks.

It’s a slow, slooooowwwww news day today. Such is the nature of the time of year. When your beloved team are out of the running for an as-yet undecided league title, the stories circulating focus almost entirely on that. Arsenal, it seems, are very much a secondary thought to the news hounds at present – at least, that is, until the FA Cup final arrives and we receive a crescendo of hopeful tripe surrounding the chances of Hull City.

Mercifully, in times of paucity, a relatively interesting but dubious story has exploded into our consciousness like that bit in Inception when Tom Tardy pulls out a grenade launcher. You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling. The article/rumour in question is all about Laurent Koscielny extending his current contract an extra 2 years until 2019 – there’s no mention of a raise in salary, but I’d assume he’d be getting one. Continue reading

Mega Contracts Ahoy; Ramsey, Cazorla, Zelalem and Maybe Koscielny.

Great, but what about Sagna?

Morning, folks.

Yesterday, like a bolt from the blue, there was joyous news. Not entirely unexpected enough to warrant my use of the phrase “bolt from the blue” but a pleasant surprise nonetheless. It was confirmed by Arsenal that both Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazolra have signed extensions to their current deals and youngster Gedion Zelalem has signed his first professional contract with Arsenal.

Great news. Superb. Wonderful. Awesome and a whole plethora of superlatives I’m, quite frankly, not inclined to list any further.

It get even better when you consider that there is a lot of talk flying around about Laurent Koscielny also eager to put pen to paper on a improved contract. 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

Giroud, Rosicky and Koscielny Administer Sunderland Walloping.

Celebrating a magical third.

Morning, folks.

This may well be the briefest match review you’ll read. Don’t hold it against me; I’m suffering with an astonishing lack of sleep and instead of heading to bed where I should be, I’m taking a few moments to ensure my run of posting every day in 2014 stays intact.

I’ve managed to see as much of the game as possible. Yesterday I worked a 12-hour shift and missed everything of the match as it occurred live – checking Twitter and live scores services whilst serving wedding food is extraordinarily tricky. It also tend to go down rather poorly with those expecting you to actually be performing the tasks you’ve been assigned. You’d think it was obvious where my priorities lie…

In order to keep things short, here’s a handy bullet-point list of a few things I managed to glean whilst checking around for footage of the game:

Continue reading

Giroud answers critics (kinda), SuperRosicky and another impressive away victory.

“1 goal gets you tickets to the gun show, ladies”

Morning, delicious and ebullient individuals.

Recently, I was discussing my beloved team’s fortunes with a friend of mine and I used the following point; Arsenal have not played exceptionally well for quite a while. Now, that might sound like a fairly strange thing to say, but it’s something I stand by absolutely, and a statement intended to highlight a very good thing.

Yesterday at St James’ Park we battled and dug our heels in to get a very, very good result. Resolute defending and togetherness against a side capable of giving anyone a game is what saw us past the finishing line. Yet, we didn’t play well. Our attacking players created little and there was a litany of unnecessary blunders and the cheap giving away of possession – Szczesny was almost left with egg splattered all across his face when he adopted a blasé approach to clearing the ball. Oh, silly Wojciech… Please stop doing that. Please. One of these days, you’re not going to get away with it.  Continue reading

Big Match Day: Chelsea (h) – team news, predictions and starting XI

Kick racism out of football.

Morning, folks.

The Manchester City result aroused something in me. That something is the ability to worry about a defence that, up until recently, has been solid, organised and performing to an extremely high level. Perhaps that game was one of those silly moments in football where things just happen without any logical or rational explanations. Perhaps. Regardless of that, I get the impression I shall omit a whimper of some sort the moment any balls arc ominously toward our penalty area.

“Must win” – that’s how the game is described by many, and I’m inclined to agree. Having seen our glorious top spot taken from us by a one-man army in red and a decent points lead whittled away very quickly, the best way to get ourselves back on track is to dispatch a Chelsea side that have floundered and look beatable on their travels. Continue reading