Birmingham vs Arsenal: New Year, 'nother win.

January 2, 2011 22 Comments by Sian

*wipes egg off face*

OK, so perhaps sacrificing eight players from our Chelsea win for the Wigan match might have paid off a bit. Birmingham played the same team they put out against Manchester United and it showed, while our fresh-legged lot ran rings around them. When all’s said and done, seven points out of a possible nine is not something to be ashamed of, though if we’d have been told that at 7pm on the 27th there’s no way you’d have thought the dropped points would have come against Wigan.

Yesterday’s win at St Andrews showed us back to nearly our best against a team who’ve often provided us with problems in the past. While there was plenty of nice football on display, there was also a lot of controversy, which I’ll get to later. Overall though, it was a win that was much needed after the disappointment of our midweek match at the DW Stadium. As we have Moneybags City coming up next, the last thing we needed was to go into it with two draws or a loss and a draw under our belts.

The match started off slowly with us creating plenty of chances that we, surprise surprise, couldn’t put away. There was a bit of nastiness early on when Johnson went in a bit lungey and looney on Fabregas, getting him right in the front of the leg. I agree that as Arsenal fans we sometimes throw a little bit too much of a wobbly when one of our players is tackled, but the yellow card Johnson received was about right. Plus Cesc would later go on to boss the match, so BOTHERED.

Our first goal came in the 13th minute from a RvP freekick won by RvP. Now. The Dive Debate. I DO think he ‘made the most’ of it. I DO think he could have stayed on his feet. In the last blog I said how there should be a refereeing league for bad decisions. I still think that’s true. But if we were punished in the week by N’Zogbia with his blatant dive in the sort-of penalty area, this week we pulled one back. And it wasn’t anywhere near as blatant as his. Obviously though, ours got more attention. But of course.

Birmingham’s only real chance came from a Sebastian Larsson (remember him?) free kick, which Lukasz saved very well. I don’t know what the boy has to do to show he is worthy of his starting place in the team this year. Next bit of controversy came from good old Robster once more. Handball in the penalty area. While I’ll say he was maybe guilty of a spot of Tom Daleyism for the free kick that led to a goal, I fail to see how anyone can say the handball was intentional. If it had happened down the other end I’m sure we’d have been hollering and hooting very Alex McLeishily but we’d have also got on with it and carried on playing our own game instead of crying about it for the next hour. Plus, Birmingham are hardly averse to getting a bit handsy with the ball are they? Ah, the hypocrisy of the footballing world. We all do it. Before I get any complaints from Birmingham fans saying that I would say that because I’m biased… the clue’s in the URL and the blog name, petal.

If we were alright in the first half, we were great in the second. As you’ll all know as Gooners, 0-1 is not a safe scoreline for us this season. Nor’s 0-2 really. Even so, Nasri doubled our lead in the 58th with a beauty of a strike. Here’s where I insert a tweet from SI.com’s Jen Chang:

‘Nasri tremendous again. Mind you, I’d like to see a foreigner like him do it on a cold wet day in Prem at somewhere like Birmingham. Oh.’

Lolsome. That was his 13th of the season. What a beaut from the edge of the area. You’d like to say Birmingham were dead and buried at this point but no, we’re Arsenal, so a third was still needed. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long as a mere five-sixish minutes later we created, yet didn’t actually score, a brilliant third goal. It was Nazzerazoo and Cescito joining up once again for the latter to smash it into Ben Foster who blocked it into the path of not one but two of his team-mates. A lovely goal, even if it was an own.

I think finally we could say we were looking likely to win it. Overall a great performance against a team who have the capability to do us damage (and I mean in the points-takey sort of way, not the bone-breaky sort of way… I’m not THAT sort of dwelly Arsenal fan). God, I need to stop inventing words to suit my own agenda.

I don’t think a match report of that match is complete without a spot of Bacary/Bowyer stand-off however. If you think Robster’s dive was blatant, then Bowyer’s stamp on Bac was as blatant as his foot having come through your telly and broken your nose before insulting your mum. Entirely unnecessary and just a bit stupid. But he’s an horrendous plonker and we all know that, so I think instead props must be given to Bacary for just getting on with it. Whinging Arsenal? Not archangel Bac. Bear in mind also that he played against Chelsea, against Wigan and now against Birmingham too. If he can do it, I don’t see what anyone else’s excuse is. The FA will apparently review the stamp as no action was taken. I just hope Bac’s legs of steel hurt Bowyer’s foot, to be honest.

Final point to be mentioned is how great the away fans were, again. Birmingham’s crowd, or lack of, was pathetic and they were pretty much outsung throughout. Apparently we had 4,000 fans travel up there which, given it was New Year’s Day, is brilliant. I’d love to know where the myth of us never singing comes from when we’ve been louder than the home support in 90% of away matches I’ve seen. Are our away fans really good or is everyone else’s home support just as shit as they claim ours is?

I get the royal hump with fans, particularly fans overseas who tweet so often about how bad our home support is, when I am part of that home support. Yes, we have some regulars who leave before the end like the numpties they are, but I’d hazard a guess that the reason our support seems so weak is that the crowd is interspersed with so many Day-Tripping Dereks. People who come along because they’ve got their hands on a ticket and happened to be nearby, or who fancied seeing an Arsenal game, or who’ve brought along the other half who sits there playing Doodlejump throughout. Arsenal can’t vet all the fans we get through the door, and while we do have Red Action, the proper Gooners are maybe too spread apart to be able to get the noise going as much as at Highbury. If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t go and believe you me, our last home match showed that the regulars really, really, really do care. I can’t have been the only one in tears when Theo slammed home our third!

Any road, we’ve got the other Mancs at home next. Our last Emirates encounter with them was a bit of a dishcloth but neither team will be after a draw this time round.

Jack, meet Mario. Mario, Jack…

21 Comments

  1. Treez
    2423 days ago

    Very entertaining blog! You should realise, Siany, that the reason many of us look forward to your blog is the way you make up lovely new words to suit your own purpose.

    Yesterday’s game was one to be proud of, at last. Nasri and Cesc reminded me of the good old days with Thierry and Le Bob. Sheer class.

    Reply

  2. James Dalton VII
    2423 days ago

    Agree with everything again, great blog

    Reply

  3. bobby
    2423 days ago

    this blog is fast becoming the best one. keep up the good work and i want to see at least 3 new words invented next time, lol

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2423 days ago

      @bobby Thanks for reading Bobby! I’ll do my best…

      Reply

  4. Daniel
    2423 days ago

    Super blog Sian :) love the end…

    It was a lovely win and a yellow card plus shamefully limp own goal was good justice for Johnson’s lunge. Very dangerous when players lose control of the ball and then make desperate attempts to win it back. Like Shitcross.

    Most grounds are quiet when things are tense anyway and it’s easier to sing when you can breathe – our football makes mr nervous, be nice to hoof it now and again and I’d have a right old sing song. And Highbury “the library” was just as bad anyway!

    Nice to hear the Eduardo chants last night too.

    Whoop! Bring on Citeh, I shall be there. Yay!

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2423 days ago

      @Daniel Maybe it was a while ago but I don’t remember it being AS bad as it SOMETIMES has been at the Emirates. And I love he-of-the-lovely-family-and-lovely-temperament’s new name.

      Reply

  5. We Beat The Scum One-Nil
    2423 days ago

    Hope your voices are in fine tune for your big match on satdy – t (once) mighty Leeds are coming t town!!

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2423 days ago

      @WeBeatTheScumOneNil I’m sure we will be. If we’d not moved back to London when I was four months old, Leeds would have been my local (decent) team, so it’ll be an interesting one for sure!

      Reply

  6. Iluvafc
    2423 days ago

    Enjoyed ur post. Refreshingly light yet insightful at the same time.
    Loved how you end it.. Can’t wait to see how Jack & Mario would square up..

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2423 days ago

      @Iluvafc Me too, and I really hope Jack shows him exactly who he is.

      Reply

  7. Pat
    2423 days ago

    Hi Mate,
    I may have something to interest you. I am in the process of creating a feed of all the Arsenal blogs I can find in the world, so the fans can check out the posts from every Arsenal website in the one place. I only have sites from real fans, so there is NO SkySports, Goal, Clubcall, The Sun, Mail, etc or all that “news” and rumours crap.

    I have been working on it for a while now, and already have over 80 Arsenal Blogs on board. The biggest and the smallest and the newest have all joined, and I want to have every single Arsenal blog in the world on board.

    All it has is a couple of lines of your post, and the headline will go straight to your website, so each post will link directly to you. You will also have a link to your home page on the contributors list.

    If you would like your site added, please send me your feedburner or RSS feed url and I will get it added straight away.

    All I ask in return is a simple text link to “Just Arsenal Blogs” somewhere on your homepage or you can have my 120 x 40 button if you prefer?

    You can have a look at the site (and the button) here:
    http://justarsenalblogs.com

    Let me know if you want to join….
    Regards
    Pat

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2423 days ago

      @Pat Thanks Pat, I will email you back.

      Reply

  8. Jockdownsouth
    2423 days ago

    My son’s an acoustic engineer and he reckons the roof panels at the Emirates are badly designed, in that they’re more likely to muffle the crowd noise than amplify it. I wonder if “management” are aware of that.

    Reply

  9. shegunner
    2423 days ago

    Archangel Bac. Oh Hahahaha. Love it.

    Basically, I thought the Brums were out for blood for some reason and that MacLeish looked like he was on some sort of illegal stimulant. We were lucky to get out alive.

    Then I saw Sagna’s little grinny face after the stamp, like “It’ll takes more than that to stop me, chump Bowyer.” It made me feel all safe and happy.

    Delightful blog as always. You do need to post it several times to make sure everyone on Twitter sees it. More sharing than self-promoting if that’s your worry.

    Reply

  10. Alan
    2422 days ago

    Well observed, bird. Bac’s been unshowoffishly excellent this season. Love the Jack/Balotelli intro as well. Three very well-earned points make up for the Wigan disappointment as I’d have taken 7 out of 9 Christmas/New Year points. Bring on Citeh!

    Reply

  11. Theo van Nasrigas
    2422 days ago

    Great Blog Siany,
    You were just recommended to me by a fellow Gooner and I will be following you from now on.
    My company was involved in the security systems setup for Emirates stadium and the only and only match I ever saw there was the August 2006 Dennis Bergkamp send-off/exhibition and then it was back to Canada. I’ve been a Goonerette ever since and I’m so glad we seem to be recapturing the excitement of those heady days. Here’s to a most successful 2011.
    Cheers,
    Theodora

    Reply

  12. 1NilToTheArsenal
    2422 days ago

    Another excellent post. Please keep them coming. We all want an especially ecstatic one later in the week following the Man City tie. Would you make any changes to the starting XI? Keep RvP up front or save him for the cup matches, bringing on Chamakh instead? I’d keep us intact, as this group is really starting to click.
    Happy New Year all, now let’s show those City malcontents what team spirit is all about!
    1NTTA

    Reply

  13. Tricia
    2421 days ago

    Excellent blog as usual. I love the names you come up with for any and all players.

    Reply

  14. Daniel
    2421 days ago

    @Sian Yeah, I think Emirates can be quieter to be honest. Eerily so sometimes. They should give us all microphones I reckon, that’d solve it.

    Glad you appreciated the name… wasn’t very imaginative like some of yours ;)

    Reply

  15. irishgray
    2421 days ago

    Jack meet Mario….priceless!!! had me laughing like an idiot :) great post as usual Sian. Now to take down Citeh. Should be interesting as they are playing pretty decent. Thought you might enjoy this little video, some of the funnier moments in the beautiful game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiTvo2P6Oog

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2419 days ago

      @irishgray Ha, thanks for sharing!

      Reply

One Trackback

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Daniel Clancy, Chris Punnakkattu D. and others. Chris Punnakkattu D. said: RT @SianyMacalarny: NEW BLOG: Birmingham vs Arsenal: New Year, 'nother win. http://bit.ly/gS5r5f (and a tribute to our away fans) [...]

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