Arsenal win a game, RvP turns 100!

September 26, 2011 13 Comments by Sian

Arsenal 3 – 0 Bolton Wanderers

Two goals in and we started singing the ‘We are staying up’ song. I do love a whinge, and I have exercised this fondness on this blog many a time, but in that moment I absolutely adored our home crowd.

I’ve always maintained you need only two ingredients to be a happy human being: hope, and a sense of a humour. Warmth and shelter and nourishment help, but it’s mostly the first two. We finally got a win we needed, and a quite emphatic one at that. We have now reached the dizzying heights of SEVEN (count ‘em) points. When Alex Song blasted in our third goal on Saturday afternoon, my mum turned to me and screamed ‘MINUS FIVE!!!’ Plus, if you look at our home scoring record, we’re actually two goals to the good. So there.

This is not to say we’ve emerged from the county-sized cowpat we’ve been struggling to stay afloat in since August, but the only way you can get out of a cowpat is slowly and surely and goalsily. Or so my country bumpkin friends tell me anyhow.

I mean, you know, it was Bolton, rock bottom Bolton we were playing. But if we’d have lost, we’d have been the bottom lot, faces squidged grotesquely up against the glass floor of the league with all our bullying neighbours looking down on us and treading harder on our crumpled spines.

And in the first half, it did look a little bit like we could find ourselves struggling to reach the achievements of 2008′s Derby County points collection. We were nervous, and when the chances came, the chances were squandered. Or I don’t know, maybe we worried that if we played well in the first half, we’d explode into a million tiny crying pieces in the second half. Szczesny made an excellent save very early on, which was good from a ‘Keepers win games’ point of view, but very very bad from a ‘Defence like a teabag’ point of view. Gervinho also had a great chance to put us ahead in that half, but he kicked it like one would kick a weapon from the arms of a prone enemy. Thus, we did not score.

However, we came back strong and quick in the second half and RvP’s first (yet also 99th) goal just 40 seconds after the re-start was as much a nerve-settler as a Scotch on a bumpy flight (unless you’re Kristen Wiig). Shortly after, David Wheater was sent off for a professional foul on Theo Walcott, who was clear through on goal. He did go down a bit easily, no doubt about that, but I’m sure you’ve all read Arseblog’s take on the incident and I don’t think you can say any fairer than that. If you’re going to have a go at Theo for making a meal, you need to have a go at every single player in the league who does it. And you’d be there a while. Plus, he was criticised for not making more of a fuss when he should have been awarded a penalty last week (there was talk of this only summing up Arsenal’s aversion to fighting spirit), so to criticise him for doing the ‘right’ thing here, is a bit… well, typically football commentary really.

In the 71st, Robin van Perfect made it two, and in the grand scheme of things, made it 100. It was a lovely goal, and it was quite good that it came with him naturally in front of goal. Often when a player is on some kind of milestone (or even a hattrick), you see him placing balls all over the place as his teammates try and get him over that final hurdle. But not our Robster.

Speaking of team mates, there was a moment in the second half which has been made into a fairly big deal. It involved RvP taking on about four or five Bolton players who seemed to be having a go at him for continuing play when their team mate was on the floor. Maybe John Motson and I are wrong, and they were actually angry about something else, but if it’s the initial point, then yelling at a bloke for having a go at goal with a player down, after your own team has done the very same thing with a TEAM mate down… kinda loses its sense.

Anyway, more importantly, he took them all on by himself. I think eventually Theo and Aaron wandered over to help him out but before that there was a good thirty or forty seconds of him standing up to them with no back up. The fact Theo and Aaron (and Arteta) were first there makes me wonder if it’s maybe because they’re some of the longer-standing players (no Walcott/Wheater pun intended). Plus most of the team had its back turned at this point. Anyway, mountain out of a molehill, but it would be nice to see our captain supported as much on the pitch as he is off it.

Our final goal came from Alex Song (while I was shouting ‘To Arshavin! TO ARSHAVIN!’), to put the game away completely. We’d had further chances (mostly from Theo) but as is a visiting-goalkeeper-at-the-Emirates’s nature, Jaaskelainen made some great saves to keep his team in it.

It was all in all a good day. We’re now 12th, and we play Spurs next. In our last five meetings with that lot, we’ve drawn one (3-3 at White Hart Lane, April 2011), lost two (3-2 at the Ems in November 2010, 2-1 at White Hart Lane in April 2010), and won two (3-0 at the Ems in October 2009, 4-1 at White Hart Lane in the Carling Cup in September 2010)… rubbish stats, when they’re your noisy neighbours, and about time we started making them better just as we need to start making our overall stats a bit better. We’re going well on the sendings off front (not even a yellow on Saturday!) and even our goal difference is a bit less than tragic now. Ish. Onward.

Another arena in which we are most certainly going onward is in the Carling Cup. I didn’t manage to get a blog out after last Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Shrewsbury Town, but I was there and it was good and we did sing ‘One Arsene Wenger’ and it did make me happy.

And yesterday, Arsenal Ladies beat Birmingham 4-1 in the Continental Cup to lift their third trophy of the season. Goals from Ellen White, Jayne Ludlow and two from Rachel Yankey (the second of which is A.MAZING) were enough to mean Isobel Christiansen’s goal was just a consolation.  They are un-bloody-stoppable. [standard comment about the men learning from the women] Congratulations girls, you are an inspiration to people everywhere who cannot play football to save their lives! That is, me.

Finally, there has been a lot of talk about RvP’s contract talks so far this week. It’s very early to be speaking about it, and I understand if he wants to focus only on the football for now (many others could learn from this sentiment), but the fact his new agent is Darren ‘Ship ‘em Out’ Dein, and he’s yet to explicitly state he wishes to stay, it’s easy to see why people are getting itchy. Let’s talk about that nearer the time. There’s still plenty of time for the team and the club to prove to him that his future is at Arsenal. After all, with Robin there’s no case of ‘I love you… but I love them more’. Isn’t that funny? Very rare for an Arsenal player. Let’s just carry on with the season and, on and off the pitch, try to prove to him that he’s right to have always been a Gooner (link courtesy of @DanielClancy)

RvP, July 2009: “I believe in Arsenal as a club, in the fans, in the teams. I just love Arsenal.”

PS. Please sign, Robin, I dedicated my blog URL to you and you alone!

13 Comments

  1. Alex
    2157 days ago

    I’ve been waiting for this blog for ages! Kinda feel sorry for the bookmark on my phone, overused a bit too much.
    I am proud to say I was at the Emirates for Shrewsbury on Tuesday and Bolton on Saturday for my 1st two Arsenal games (Boy do I know how to pick them lol) and it was awesome to see the team perform from the North Bank and the East Stand (my favourites <3 ).
    Fair enough there were a few negative with each performance (Fabinaski in goal and Walcott's injury and one-on-one finishing (raises eyebrow) but its great to see my beloved Arsenal on the up. Going to Olympiakos at home on Wednesday would be pushing it so I'll enjoy that game from the comfort of my home :)
    COYG, there's only one Arsene Wenger…

    Reply

    • Sian
      2155 days ago

      Sorry for the delay Alex! I’ll be posting post-Olympiacos thoughts tomorrow morning though so your bookmark can be rested for now!

      Reply

  2. Daniel
    2157 days ago

    I used to have this thing where if Arsenal were playing and I wasn’t there (and it wasn’t on TV), I’d go to the supermarket for a bit and we’d usually do well then.

    So, at 4pm on Saturday I found myself in Sainsbury’s Local in Kentish Town, looking around for pitta breads and baked beans like my mind was totally focused on pitta breads and baked beans when really it was pretty much seeing shelf after shelf lined with Kevin Davies’ face smiling wickedly at me like Satan.

    Then there was the bit when I checked my phone casually when I was at the bus stop. The Sky Sports App on iPhone is pretty much the scariest thing in the world, usually deciding to take ages to load up and then giving you that red signal OF DEATH on the ‘my scores’ tab. And there it was, staring at me like Kevin Davies’ beady red eye. I took a deep breath and with a quick though of “ah well, 2-0 down won’t be that bad, really”, I looked down. 1-0 to the Arsenal. BUT OF COURSE, OBVIOUSLY.

    Then I get home and switch on the TV. BBC1 I think being the least jinxing form of score-finding-out, ahead of FiveLive, Talksport, SSN… etc. But only just. “Ah well, 1-1, we’ve still got 10 mins to win it” I thought. But there it was, as my heart raced and the scores flicked from Scottish Div 3 to Prem: Arsenal 2 Bolton 0.

    UP YOURS WORLD.

    And that’s my little story. What are you doing to me Arsenal?

    Loved the blog, Siany Sian. As always :)

    Reply

  3. Irishgray
    2157 days ago

    Siany!! Welcome back :) Great result and even better news is that Theo should be fine, bit of a scare though. Was screaming myself for AA to get on the end of that one, well played Song great finish. AW looked delighted and very relieved when Alex scored that beauty, as did every Arsenal fan going I would imagine.

    Would also like to say that I am really enjoying the guest posts, very well written and very interesting to get a some what different viewpoint when it comes to the Arsenal. Still it was a nice surprise to see a posting from yourself Sian, always makes the day that bit more enjoyable :)

    As for RVP being surrounded by Bolton players, he was only having words with two of them. The rest had smiles on their faces and really it never looked like blowing up. I think RVP has a very good reputation, even the ref was only half hearted bout getting involved. As to his contract, I think it is just being jumped on as news simply because we played so well and without any real drama that the media had nothing negative to say, poor bastards what? COYG!!

    Reply

  4. JOvez
    2157 days ago

    <3 RVP!! always been a gooner !! will always be a gooner. We have to keep him. In order to do that, we need to convince him about our trophy ambitions with a couple of superstar signings to help him out!

    Reply

  5. irishgary
    2157 days ago

    This is what RVP said in the past
    “I don’t have the inclination to go anywhere. This is the best team for me to be in. The bottom line is that I want to win trophies with Arsenal, not with anybody else. I know you can win trophies in many countries and in many ways, but I want to do that in our way and in an Arsenal shirt.

    I’m sure I could win things at another team in another country, but would it feel like our trophy, my trophy? I’m not sure it would. Anything we win here will come from the heart and that’s what I want. It’s my dream and I see no point in speaking about other teams when I have these dreams. I think other people know that about me; I’m just hungry to win with Arsenal and that’s it.”

    ‘NUFF SAID!!!!

    Reply

    • Sian
      2155 days ago

      Good point well made!

      Reply

  6. Paulo
    2157 days ago

    Another excellent post thank you!

    Bad news from poor old Wilshere, out for probably five months! Out when the team needs him so much, don’t half everything happening to this team this season.

    Yet I still believe Arsene will take the Arsenal to the top of the league, and possibly top four, there’s enough time.

    Reply

    • Sian
      2155 days ago

      You have the faith, I have the faith, now for everyone else to catch on!

      Reply

  7. Tony Glickman
    2156 days ago

    Just found this! Love it!

    On the RvP contract talks: It’s natural that the media picks up on this given Cesc and Nasri.

    On yesterday’s UEFA results: For some reason, I still want to see Cesc do well but I sort of enjoy when Nasri suffers disappointment. Cesc was something as a youngster before he joined Arsenal and I think he handled his departure with class. Nasri was not nearly what he became under the professor. When the whole Mancini thing blew up, all I could think of was Nasri and his comments about City being the better club.

    Bookmarking you and loving you from afar with all the New York City gunners!

    Reply

    • Sian
      2155 days ago

      Thanks for your comment Tony! I think most are with you on the Cesc/Nasri dilemma also. :)

      Reply

  8. Padwoir
    2155 days ago

    Great blog. I’ve only recently found it also, (through Uncle Arseblogs link).. and I have really enjoyed reading your efforts, they are insightful and refreshing. ” Climbing out of a county sized cow-pat” made me laugh, super image. :)

    I can only hope that the majority of Arsenal ‘supporters’ start to tow the line now, get off the managers back, stop finding fault with every player over any or sometimes no indescretions and start to back the boys. This is our team for the season like it or not, and they need us to back them as much as we need them to keep giving us our regular dose of 3 points. Hopefully they will satiate the need with a plump roasted and basted Cockerel for Sunday dinner.

    Reply

  9. Jerald
    480 days ago

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    Reply

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