Double Dutch.

October 17, 2011 14 Comments by Sian

Sorry it’s been quiet. It’s mostly because, well, a.) it’s been quiet, and b.) I DID write a post last Monday, a really nice long post about nice things that have happened because of Arsenal, but as I pressed ‘Publish’, WordPress decided to only publish a draft I’d saved about two hours previously, and which was about one paragraph long.
Swears were made. And my day had been so cack up until that point, I knew that if I started another one, it’d probably only explode into a fireball and eat my face. So I didn’t write another one.
But here’s another one now! And a happy one at that! We won! Three points! Exclamation mark parties to be had! Now, I know that it’s only one match, or one obstacle on the marathon-like journey to the end, but the good points of this season so far have been outweighed by the bad points, so I think it’s only fair we celebrate each win emphatically at this point. No, it’s not ‘papering over the cracks’, it’s just appreciating things when they do go right for us. After all, a loss would be greeted with anger and tantrums, so why shouldn’t a win be greeted with presents and party hats?
So anyway yes, a 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Sunderland, and a new standing of 10th in the league (well that was a fun sentence to write… let’s all side-eye that sentence). The win yesterday was thanks mostly to two players: captain Robin van Persie and keeper Wojciech Szczesny. I think I’m yet to read a blog on yesterday that hasn’t said ‘Well, without those two we’d have been in trouble…’ and I do agree. However, as much as football is a team sport, sometimes there are matches in which one (or two) players have to step up and drag the rest of the team over the line. In addition to this, how many times have we complained in the past of not having a keeper who ‘wins matches’? Well now we evidently do have one – Szczezzer’s save from Cattermole yesterday one of the best that will be made this whole season.
So, let’s celebrate that. Yes, we’re still not exactly good by Arsenal’s standards, but we won a match yesterday, by scoring more than our opponents. That’s usually how matches are won, so I’m told.
We started out marvellously, with RvP banging home the first after only 29 seconds, our league record so far. People hadn’t even sat down yet, such was its earliness. Could it be that we’re on our way to an overdue trashing of a team? we thought. Well no, no it couldn’t, because we’re Arsenal. Sunderland were level again before half time courtesy of a stunning Seb Larsson free kick, gifted by the hand of Mikel Arteta.
After having started out so well – RvP could have had a hattrick in the first quarter of an hour – it was a right pisser that we were only level. There were a few half-hearted boos at half time but there was little or no venom behind them. From where I was sat – in Block 31 with @10Akhil and @FabRik4 for the day!– it seemed more a noise of dread and weariness than a noise of anger. But anyway, after having dropped a little, as we’re prone to do in the late stages of the first half, we came back better after half time.
Both Song and Walcott had chances, and then around the hour mark, RvP came the closest to putting us ahead again. The introductions of Arshavin and Benayoun for Gervinho and Rosicky (both of the latter two running off as opposed to that Sunderland player who continued to dawdle after being warned to get a wiggle on by Web) made a difference, and had Arshavin’s solo effort through about three Sunderland players gone in instead of going wide, it would have been a cracker.
We finally put the match to bed in the 82nd minute, with an amazing free kick by Captain Vantastic (thanks Jack!) I mean, obviously, in terms of putting matches to bed, when it’s Arsenal reading the match its bedtime story and trying to cradle it off to sleep, the match is always the hyper little bastard who wants to jump on the bed instead of drifting off, but we rocked and rocked until it finally went sleepy-bye-byes after 95 minutes played.
Given how rubbish we’ve been this season as compared with last season, one stat that must be remembered is that we’ve got three points off Sunderland already. That’s a point more than we did in both matches against them last season!
Stand-out performance of the day obviously went to RvP with an honourable mention to Szczezzer, after he made THAT save when Carl Jenkinson went walkabouts and dropped him in it. What a beast! That slip-up from Jenks aside though, he had a good game yesterday. And he can CROSS. Did you know Arsenal players can cross? Apparently, some can! If you have the match recorded, by the way, look back at his reaction to Szczesny’s save in the first half. A more relieved man you will not see. Equally, look at his reaction when RvP’s second went in in the 82nd. I love that this year we seem to have some actual Gooners on the pitch.
RvP had claimed in his programme notes that he’d show his commitment to the club on the pitch, and show his commitment to the club on the pitch he did with yesterday’s display. God. What must those people who wanted the crock gone be thinking now, eh? Obviously his future is still far from set in stone and unless we get our arses in gear, he won’t be signing anything but shirts any time soon, but for now he’s ours and by God am I thankful he’s ours.
So all in all, not a perfect match, but three precious points. Plus, we only let the lead go once. WOOHOO. We’re away to Marseille on Wednesday, before Stoke at home next Sunday and then Bolton in the Carling Cup on Tuesday. You can’t say you’re not getting your money’s worth with a team like the Arsenal.
Pre-match yesterday I also met up with a few fellow Gooners and had a lovely time. My personal low point of the day was leaving everyone to trudge down Hornsey Road and getting a phone call saying I’d missed Theo and Arteta and worst of all, ARSENE, all coming out of the stadium in their cars and stopping to chat and sign things. I missed Arsene. I could have met Arsene. I didn’t meet Arsene because I missed him. Gutted doesn’t cover it.
But hey ho. I have the mental strength to come back from this, and the character to push on to better things. I am a young team and it’s exceptional that I have showed such spirit here. Maybe he’ll be driving with the handbrake on next time.
I’ll stop now.
See you after Marseille!


  1. Emkay
    2198 days ago

    Marvelous piece as usual sian…for vantastic nd scezzers they’re already stars in their own world…van is really a ledge!


  2. Bob
    2198 days ago

    I didn’t think positive posts about Arsenal were allowed anymore. Nice blog Sian I followed your pain at missing Arsene on Twitter and your anguish was palpable ;-)


  3. aditya
    2197 days ago

    Nice ending para bringing our old villain “mentul strengfff” into the picture… All hail captain Vantastic… Well i was begging to god at one point that at least one of our free kicks should go in and then RVP scored… Looks like he listens to us gooner sometimes :p


  4. frodo barnes
    2197 days ago

    Brilliant blog Sian, I know how you feel about missing Arsene… I missed Dennis The lord almighty Bergkamp when I was 12 :( A mention has to go to Rosicky though, aside from rvp and Wilshere I’ve not seen anyone in the team who can beat a player with his first touch, he played well right until he came off. Also Song was erratic with his passing but it was good to see him back in midfield. Thanks for the article Sian keep up the good work


    • Atom
      2197 days ago

      Y r u pple sayn jst van nd chezzer were d standout performers of d match,did any1 c Song nd rosicky…pleasee gve crdt 2 whom its due.


  5. Alan
    2197 days ago

    Good reason to smile after the win and good reason to laugh out loud at your blog. How come other teams have individual standout performers yet the Arsenal become a one-man-team when any one of our players has the temerity to play a bit better than his teammates? Or am I just being paranoid? Here’s to a decent result in Marseille.


  6. Khimz
    2197 days ago

    Nice write up!the game was absolutely vanszchestic! Lesson i learnt.1 Atleast, we can score frm free kicks.2,our subs can bring impact.3 webb can ref arsenal match for 95 min without dishing red card n a penalty.4.thank God rvp plays for arsenal.5,we won despite critism frm sky sport calling us ‘No defence”.6,we can concede and win the match.7,we r doing thing our own way ie.THE ARSENAL WAY.


  7. Icent
    2197 days ago

    Juicy post sian,sorry bout ur miss atleast u dint hit d bar,@adity GOD listens 2 we gooners always.


  8. Alex
    2197 days ago

    “when it’s Arsenal reading the match its bedtime story and trying to cradle it off to sleep, the match is always the hyper little bastard who wants to jump on the bed instead of drifting off”

    You just made my day Sian! :D
    I know how you feel, its like when I miss meeting TV5 and the Captain after our Shrewsbury home game in the 3rd round, getting my program signed on my 1st Arsenal game would of been the highlight of my life.
    They’ll be other chances hopefully, for the both of us.
    Keep up the good work, COYG!


  9. irishgary
    2197 days ago

    Sian’s back and we won a game!! :) Is it Christmas already? Great post as per usual Sian and again i find myself in agreement with Frodo, Rosicky was excellent. AA was at his best running at the defense and I even think it was more like 4 defenders and the GK that he beat, just a pity his shot skewed wide. And that chip by RVP would have been one of his greatest ever if it had gone in. Just how many times has he hit the woodwork exactly? Unfortunately I did not get to see the entire match, just the highlights but a win is a win is a win. Roll on Marseilles!! Aren’t Mondays soooo much better when we win on the weekend?


  10. MattWFC
    2197 days ago

    Great piece as per. Agree that Jenks’s reaction to the save from Szczezzer was definitely one of sheer, joyous relief. Had that gone in, he’d have been “injured” for six months, probably with a rare elbow condition, and then shipped out to West Ham on loan. His whole life flashed before him between the Sessegnon cross and the Cattermole header. He saw it all, playing non-league, signing for AFC, own goals in friendlies, mistakes in the PL, a few Siany-appreciated crosses and finally Big Fat Sam The Walrus. And then Szczezzer’s saved it. Cue jumping like a girl (no offence Sian) and massive relief-type stuff.

    I’ve said too much. Off now.

    (Btw, thought Rosicky and Song were both excellent. Obviously not as excellent as RVP and the Szczezzmeister, but excellent all the same. Now, if just one of our three wingers (Theo, Gerv, AA) could actually hit some form, we might be going somewhere…)


  11. Paulo
    2197 days ago

    Fantastic read Sian it’s always a pleasure!
    I agree with Atom and Frodo, Rosicky did play well his best game all season.
    But for me I think the underrated, the watercarrier, putting out fires, and overall outstanding contribution was Song, he’s so important in the team. Sure his passing was not perfect but nor was it bad or appalling, and given how hard he worked he deserves a lot of credit. Of course goals and saves stick in our memory and wonderful though they were my heart went out to Song, Arsenal’s future captain, a true box-to-box midfielder with a great heart.
    I’ve always thought that Arsenal’s midfield of Wilshere, Ramsey and Song are superb and capable of becoming the best in the country!


  12. Girl Gunner
    2196 days ago

    Excellent post sian, as usual!
    Agree with Aditya and Icent tho also think Arshavin and Rosicky is up there with The Capt and Szczney (anyone else thinks hez hot?) well Marsaille next, another 3points? Well, we can always hope and Pray that we do… :) #upthegooners


    • Sian
      2191 days ago

      I do… just a bit, but I do…


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