Arsenal 1-0 West Ham: collective outtake of breath, and a rant.

November 1, 2010 17 Comments by Sian

I think Saturday’s match against West Ham might have been one of the most horrid matches I’ve seen. Not that the football was particularly bad, not that the performances were particularly bad, not that the weather was particularly cold. It was just inherently horrid. And had Alex Song-Billong not got us our one and only goal in the 88th minute after save after save after save by Robert Green, the afternoon would have been a complete write-off.

The loonies who didn’t learn from the West Brom match continued predicting we’d win four or five nil before the match which in my mind was just never going to happen. West Ham might be bottom of the table but they were never going to roll over at the Emirates. After about half an hour you could see that perhaps even predicting three points for the Arsenal may have been ambitious.

Cesc was a million miles off his game in the first half - which is to say he probably played like your average Premier League player for a change. Samir was half the player we’ve come to expect this season and while the defence was nothing short of brilliant… well, theirs wasn’t half bad either. While Lukasz Fabianski had few saves to make, Robert Green was having the time of his life up the other end catching anything that came his way except a cold.

I read a report yesterday that reckoned the referee got all his decisions right. Er. You what? The time he clearly gave an Arsenal throw to West Ham. The time he allowed play to go on with Scott Parker down on the floor for about half an hour. Not hurrying up the dawdling player being subbed in about the 80th minute. Tackles going both ways that deserved heavier or lighter punishments than they got. Not sending Behrami off for his twat-and-a-half hairdo. And so on and so forth.

But anyway who gives, because we got the three points we needed to keep us second and to keep up the pressure on the top teams. Also both Manchester City and Tottenham lost which isn’t that important with only 10 games played but is always funny.

West Ham didn’t look like a team who will be spending next year in any league but the Premiership but, to borrow a phrase from every footballer who has ever given an interview, ever, at the end of the day the lads came through with the points. Nice goal from Alex too, especially from a Clichy assist(!) I think we were the better team, but it’s like against Chelsea… both teams played well but one scored and one didn’t. Nice to be the team that did score in this instance.

I know it’s a boring thing to complain about but West Ham did deserve to concede a goal so late on after all the ridiculous time-wasting that went on on their part. Time-wasting for a draw? Oh come on! Robert Green was particularly good at it along with all their subs. Bloody hilarious seeing them literally sprint off after we’d scored though. What does it tell you? Don’t do it!

I’m too scared to say anything like “Love this mentality, grinding out the results, winning whatever it takes, perhaps it’s different to last year!” But I think we all know not to get ahead of ourselves at this point. Still, well played boys and now let’s look ahead to Wednesday and the visit to Shakhtar Donetsk.

**The upcoming rant is being put in this post because it occurred during the match. It is NOT aimed exclusively at West Ham fans. On the whole, West Ham fans are some of the best I’ve seen. It just made me think, and instead of putting it in a separate post I’m putting it here. If you don’t want to read about it, please stop here.**

I hope Song’s late goal was felt particularly hard by the fans who were singing “Sit down you paedophile” at Arsene Wenger toward the end of the match. I’m not saying for one minute it was all of them because clearly it was not, but I am saying it was enough of them that everyone I have spoken to since the match has confirmed that they heard it too. And frankly I don’t care if it had been one person doing it. It’s ignorant, it’s slanderous, it’s damaging, it’s completely and utterly made-up by some should-be-friendless idiot and it’s a problem that will continue to be there because no sod wants to do anything about it. If it was Ferguson or Redknapp you can bet your bottom dollar it would have been nipped in the bud but because, ohhh it’s only the moaning Frenchman, we can all just let it go. No, we can’t. And that’s where this country can be a pile of the proverbial.

It’s always been something that’s really got to me. Maybe it’s because I’m female and don’t have a sense of humour that finds that kind of thing acceptable. Maybe it’s knowing he has a wife and child. Maybe it’s the fact Wenger deals with nothing but shit from other fans all year long yet still manages to rise above it when other managers would have spat their dummies out long ago. Who knows what it is. I just hate it, and we all should hate it. We should hate it in the way we should hate the racist chants people just as ignorant sing. Just because it is aimed at one man doesn’t make it any less sick.

Oh and the fact that it isn’t true makes it no less awful. I have heard it defended for this reason, which is undoubtedly one of the biggest loads of bollocks I’ve ever heard. Imagine it was your dad having that sung about him by a stadium full of fans. Imagine it was YOU being called that by a stadium full of fans. If you don’t think it would bother you, you’re either a liar or there’s something missing upstairs. As a fan who has never sang a song like this against another team, I don’t see how any of them are acceptable. Those who sing songs about Hillsborough and the Munich air distaster are equally vile and ignorant and a disgrace to sports fans everywhere. I’m not saying Arsenal don’t have their own brands of horrible songs. I don’t see what Harry Redknapp’s mother has to do with football, so I don’t see why the chant is sang. I remember on the way to the Milan match at the San Siro in 2008 a couple of drunken knobheads piped up with a song about the Holocaust. The rest of the fans’ reactions was enough to shut them up and it was not heard again.

I realise that the root of all of these songs from the terraces is ignorance, but saying “Oh, it’s just ignorance” doesn’t wash. Trying to get them all stopped would lead you on a bit of a fool’s errand because you’re always going to find twats who will sing them, I just think it should be taken more seriously than it is.

Here ends my rant of the day. If you don’t agree with me, fine. Just don’t bother to leave me a comment berating me as just another whinging Arsenal fan. Sometimes things go beyond football and as far as I’m concerned this is one of them.

I’ll end this post by sending you in the direction of Akhil’s post about his encounter with Wenger after the match.

What a geezer.


  1. Alex Harvey
    2545 days ago

    Spot on with the rant about “that” song, if it were one of the media’s little darling managers it would have been nipped in the bud years ago. Vile song and needs to be stopped.


  2. dilshan
    2545 days ago

    great post, and am sadly one of those loons who was predicting a big one, well a 5-0..but now I change that to the newcastle game..was not there for the game so may be thats the reasons the boys have saved a good one for magpies this sunday to welcome me back to the…

    Jokes aside that sng is not funny, for me it highlights the flow in the society one that is prepared to come up with such chants, those parents and children who’s childs have suffered abuse in some form or another will not find that funny or entertaining..just pure ignorance and at this rate soon it will be considered funny to make racist songs as well


  3. Treez
    2545 days ago

    Absolutely love your rant! High time somebody did something about it. I actually think it’s worse than racist chanting because it’s aimed at just one man. To his credit, Arsene bears it well and never complains about that aspect, preferring to ignore it. I’d like to think that any steward in the crowd who could identify the knob-heads who do it would eject them.

    Good blog too, by the way!


  4. Reznuk
    2545 days ago

    I didn’t hear that song being sung (I’m seated at the opposite end of the stadium, and maybe I just wasn’t listening), but I agree completely with you. I’d go further though and say those who sing it should be spotted (plenty of CCTV and stewards around) and banned.


  5. Akhil From Hounslow
    2545 days ago

    Great post! i loved it. really enjoyed it.

    That sit down song is sung often though, Man City sang it last week too (i was right next to them so heard them clearly) Spurs too have sung it, its one of them stupid songs sung but i tend to ignore it. We know how great he is, most teams will never have a manager like him so let them sing i say, if that pleases them.

    Thanks for the link too! He is quite simply the man!

    keep up the writing, blog is outstanding.


  6. Daniel
    2545 days ago

    Nice blog, Sian! Love Song, he really is shaping himself into an Arsenal hero. Lovely to get that result in the end and it is even sweeter when the away team are time-wasting from the first half. Both you said it and my brother and dad (I wasn’t at the game, I was watching The Hangover on Sky+. Real fan, me!). I mean, don’t waste time and that goal may come around the 80th minute and you may have some time to get back into it!

    Totally agree about the horrible chants. Wenger gets it (just about) everywhere and it is sickening.

    I also remember Sol getting so much abuse with Pompey when they played Spurs and ‘arry going on about how sick it was and they were a disgrace and then the next week he is managing Spurs who have “the best fans around.” Prick.

    On the other hand, I hear Arsenal fans were singing some horrible stuff at Adebayor last week and there is no place for that kind of thing either. It really doesn’t suit us and is really disappointing to hear.

    I’m sure many fans of all teams feel the same way about chants like the Wenger one, including Hammers fans. But they will always exist :(

    Up The Arsenal!


  7. Red Arse
    2545 days ago

    Hi, a girl who loves the gunners, :-)

    An excellent Post in its own “write” so to speak.

    Your rant is in fact not a rant to me. It is a decent person’s reaction to an abhorrent and idiotic mantra, sung by despicable “fans”. Like most things of this nature, it was started by malicious, deviants with vicious minds, pursuing their own agenda.

    Sadly, the gormless clowns, with no brain of their own, then ape them, while thinking how clever and original they are, while excusing it with “it’s only a joke”.

    Now that is a rant! :-)


  8. Carl
    2545 days ago

    WHU fan here …. great read and probably the most unbiased I have read. Gutted to conceded so late … but hey, that’s football for you …. this game is as much about defending as it is attacking …… I’m old enough to remember the AFC sides of a few years ago who wasted time for fun (pre Wenger) …. wait until you play Stoke and Birmingham if you think we were bad. What has been refreshing this year in the PL is the promoted sides not just playing football not to concede but to be entertaining …… well done to Newcastle, Blackpool and West Brom. All the very best and see you at the Boleyn next year …..


  9. Johnny
    2545 days ago

    Totally agree with you about the songs. Its not about football, its not about what team you support, its about being a decent human being.

    A Hammer.


  10. Alan
    2545 days ago

    Brill blog again, but even better rant, summing up the anger all real football fans feel when we hear such mindless ‘chants’. I just love the way AW completely disregards it and makes no fuss showing what a true class act the man is.


  11. Akhil From Hounslow
    2545 days ago

    Must admit, us at eastlands (i chose not to sing this song though) but chanting at adebayor….that it should have been you…shot in should have been you.

    Bit harsh for me, no real need for that. Then the chant of adebayor adebayorrr look at the scoreboard and tell us the score was sung…thats much better, about football and thats just class.

    No need for first song.

    But i guess footballers know how to deal with it. Usually inspires Ashley Cole even more! Clubs must give some media training to players, but i agree…no need for certain songs.


  12. mangetout
    2545 days ago

    anyone singing it should be arrested and prosecuted for slander. i don’t understand how they are allowed to get away with it.


  13. Tony
    2545 days ago

    As a West Ham fan I find that chant deplorable. Gutted we didn’t hold out the draw too.


  14. Sam H
    2542 days ago

    I realise this is a stupidly late comment Sian but I’m still recovering after being tarred with the same brush as Stoke, Blackburn, Bolton & Allardyce in general!

    1 – no place at all in the game for songs like that. Full stop. But, that does have to apply to all sets of fans….Arsenal too.

    2 – I think you should actually take a lot of encouragement from the result. At the end of the day, it’s games where you’re entirely on top that you *have* to go on an win. Because at the end of the season it’s points that count, not free-flowing football. There’s of course a time and a place for it, and as a purist I love it, but in the tough physical games a 1-0 with gritty football is worth a lot more than a 0-0 with beautiful football.

    3 – Gutted we didn’t hold on those last couple of mins, but if Arsenal win the league ahead of Chelsea, United, City (& Spurs) by two points and we stay up comfortably, then it would have all been worthwhile!



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