The only way is up (surely)
9th September 2017
Even after the international break the team were still displaying some nervousness. They had clearly not got over their trouncing at Liverpool, well neither had I to be frank. During that break we got rid of the Ox, £35 mill plus add-ons and they had the cheek to famously ask what we had been smoking; Mr never complain Kieran Gibbs off to play for Tony Putrid’s team. We kept hold of Alexis Sanchez (but at what cost) and made a fruitless bid for Lemar.
Bournemouth at home, they had not got a point on the board but they were playing like a team and were looking good before the international break. Met Moggy nice and early because of his usual 15 pints in 15 pubs before the game did not happen and he was actually static also nearly never recognised him without his customary shorts. I was so pleased that if he missed kick off this time would not actually be my fault. I was a bit nervous about this game I kept thinking about how they almost slapped us up at their place last season and was not sure whether we had the resilience to dig deep again. After Liverpool I was doubting my team’s inner strength.
It did not take long to get a foothold into this game, Danny Welbeck after 6 minutes before half an hour had gone we were 2-0 up. I still however was not feeling confident. When we went 3-0 up just after half time, I started to relax. Coquelin came on for his 100th appearance which lasted 15 minutes before his hamstring went.
I am not saying that the landlady of the Gunners is a nutter but my head would not have been hurting on Sunday morning if I had not visited her establishment. There was a good atmosphere and many people genuinely felt like they had something to celebrate.
14 September 2017
Next game up home to FC Köln or just Cologne to me and you. I some how had managed to choose this day as my day for working from home. Unlike when I am at work there is that mad rush to leave to get to the pub, but today I had not urgency and now desire to rush, in fact I would not have left so early if I was not meeting the Leyton’s finest father and son combo until the son turned up with green sodding hair. I thought I cannot be seen with these two. It was like having to walk down the street with baby bleeding shrek FFS. The Cologne fans had turned up in their thousands like 20,000 they had brought Soho to a standstill earlier but I don’t think people were ready for the emergence on the Emirates, game was delayed by an hour, which meant I had to go for a drink in the end. There were reports of them doing the bleeding conga around the stadium, it would not be surprising if they were. German football fans are just crazy and I just love watching their intense madness. On the return leg I doubt if we would give them as much as ring a ring of roses to be honest. We conceded in the first 10 minutes and I thought here we go after having a delayed kick off they have lost their concentration. Half-time substitution, Kolasinac comes on for Rob Holding and just five minutes later we were 1-1. Superb goal by Alexis, I am not sure why people are giving him a hard time still, I think he is playing well and giving it all but some people just can’t let go that he wants to leave. Alexis is still playing well and whilst he has that cannon on him he is trying, I want fault him. Glad to see Jack Wilshere back, I still very much rate him as a player. Just gives us that something extra. I am hoping he gets some premier league time soon. Bellerin finishes off the scoring, the game finishes 3-1 worth the wait the late start in the end but I must say I did not like some of the ugly scenes especially when it was the quieter Cologne fans that were getting punched in the face and one in particular did not even bother retaliating.
17 September 2017
My most hated match – yes against them, the WLW (West London Wankers), this was a game that I started off watching from behind a cushion. I am not sure if they had managed to find their pride which had must slipped behind their sofas but we were the much better team, we managed to make some of the “pundits” sing our praises. We were the much better side (surprised me and all). After the match I sat on my settee thinking I am proud of my team, even though slightly disappointed because I thought we could have nicked that 1-0 and we would have been the deserved winners in any event. Not often we have a 0-0 against Chelsea, but the Chavs did finish with their usual 10 men.
20 September 2017
The games are coming thick and fast but this report comes from my daughter who attended the Carabao Cup match against Doncaster Rover. She came in and went “well that was shit, I prefer when I go football with you, there was a strange atmosphere and you could just tell most of the people there were not the regular fans”. I wish they would just call it the League Cup sponsored by blah blah. Anyway for those interested we scraped through 1-0, still in the draw.
25 September 2017
Three 3 games in the next 7 days starting off with a Monday fixture home game to Tony Putrid’s team. It was a strange night at the Emirates, I was without my mates again, but funny how I get to the games on time and they normally blame it on my slow walking. It is going to be hard seeing Kieran Gibbs in a West Brom shirt. To be fair West Brom started well and I thought are we going to let them bully us. The atmosphere was different we had a laugh in our section, not normally known for starting the singing but a few of the old songs were doing the rounds. It was quite funny seeing the look on some of the young ‘uns faces as they didn’t know the words. But the main song – ‘You are my Arsenal my only Arsenal’ is the song that truly did the rounds. Lacazette score twice we won 2-0 and Tony Putrid had the hump and a moan, what more can you want?
Three days later and 1200 miles away in Minsk was our 6.00pm kick off against Bate Borisov, nearly missed it, me running down the road to the Three Lions in Cales de Mallorca was a sight to behold and thankfully only a rare sight. I do know however of this one particular person, bless her had a nightmare journey to get there, after flight cancellations, followed by flight delays, followed by missed connections, travelling across two time zones but made it, hats off to you Deidre, you were treated to some good football by the fringe players and a nice win. Glad to see when all the lads around you were waving their shirts, you showed some restraint and kept yours on. Some of the young players will make mistakes but as long as they learn from them I am happy. Walcott scored twice and was very magnanimous to allow Giroud to take the penalty to get his 100th goal when he could have bagged himself a hat-trick. We won 4-2.
Oh well next up was Brighton & Hove Albion at home, after playing on Monday evening, then again on Thursday evening over a thousand miles away, so to please the TV channels they give us a midday kick off on the Sunday. This could easily just allow me to lead off into another rant, instead I just made sure I was at the pub at 10.30 for early opening, well I wouldn’t want to miss out now.
The game was a non entity. The players were flat, the atmosphere was non existent, it was like everyone at the Emirates was nursing the mother of all hangovers. It was like everyone was forced to be there but no one really wanted to be there fans and players alike. Well home fans anyway. The Brighton fans were loud and cocky and coupled with the irritation of the Mogster making me getting the ground early so he could see the whole match I was already feel irritable. Lacazette hit the post early on which filled me with slight enthusiasm that Brighton were going to get a good spanking. We might have won 2-0 with goals from Monreal in the first half and Iwobi in the second half but apart from that we spluttered and chugged towards the international break. I was disappointed that we just did not improve upon our goal difference.
Whilst waiting for the Premier League to return, do remember we are a club in crisis, sitting in fifth position on the same points as the current champions and one point behind the high flying spuds.
The Sanchez story that dragged on all summer has got a bit stale so now the Mesut Ozil merry go round has started. Chile are not going to the World Cup. What does this mean for Alexis and his mindset that’s if he hasn’t buggered off in the January transfer window.