RvP, his invisible team-mates, a mad match and a wonderful win.

October 30, 2011 44 Comments by Sian

Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal

I normally sit here staring at a blank computer screen not knowing how to begin when we’ve done an Arsenal and imploded in spectacular fashion. It’s been a long time since I’ve sat here not really knowing what to say thanks to the brilliance of the previous day’s events. Happily though, this is the situation I find myself today.

Arsenal and their appalling away record went west to Stamford Bridge yesterday lunchtime, confident enough on the back of seven wins in eight but understandably apprehensive as to the challenge they were to be confronted with. Our form has picked up immeasurably when compared with the opening matches of the season, but Chelsea have this great tendency to leave us all in a really bad mood. Though Gooners seemed a lot more optimistic in the lead-up to the match, it’s agreed that most of us would have been happy with a draw.

Chelsea were without the suspended Drogba, who has been a snarling, free-kick taking, goal-scoring thorn in our side for ages now, but they also somehow managed to lose 0-1 to QPR at Loftus Road last week. If there’s ever a time you don’t want to play a supposedly stronger team than you, it’s after an anger-making loss like theirs last week. But still, on we went.

I had to rely on text updates from my mum and from @DanielClancy in the first half, and it didn’t make for pretty… er… reading. Djourou had forgotten what football was. Gervinho AND van Persie had missed sitters (I’ve watched the whole match back now and I think calling Gervinho’s a ‘sitter’ does sitting a disservice). Then, predictably and obviously, Chelsea were away with a 1-0 lead thanks to Frank Lampard, whom I’d decided I liked after going to a live recording of A League Of Their Own in September. Our like affair was short-lived. Only 14 minutes had passed before his head put the game in the home side’s favour.

The opening half hour could have seen either side with multiple goals, thanks to the Victoria sponge style of defending adopted by both sides. People complained that Mertesacker was being truly tested against the best and was failing the test. Rhymey. Others gloated that they’d always known the Big Friendly German just wasn’t up to it. Santos was torn to shreds at half time. Overweight, unfit and out of place in a London derby. What a waste of space (they said).

It had taken us 35 minutes to finally get an equaliser, from the most obvious of sources – Robin van Perfect. Gervinho had gone haring through the middle of the Chelsea defence before cutting back to the captain when confronted with Cech, leaving Robster to fire it home.

Chelsea nearly went ahead again through the foot of Daniel Sturridge, but it was ruled offside. Ten minutes later, following a flurry of angry/despairing texts, I sent the following tweet:

‘Terry? TERRY? KARMA YOU’RE A USELESS COW”

Yes, JT had put his boys ahead again. It was obvious really, given the week he’d had. He was never not going to score. I don’t know why we didn’t just pass the ball to him at KO and go ‘Right go on then, get it over with’. What didn’t help either was that he’d scored from a corner. With his foot. With Arteta stood IN the goal and Mertesacker doing an impression of a seizing octopus. 2-1 Chelsea at half time.

I managed to catch the second half of the match and also much of the half time criticism. Oh, Arsenal. Don’t let the good work you’ve been doing mess itself over with a shambolic showing of shittery in the second half too. We know they’re the stronger team and we know they’re higher in the league, but they’re the weakest they’ve been in a while at that stadium. You and your mythical mental strength would go to town on them. Please get cracking.

Anyway, let’s go back to the chubmeister that is Andre Santos. Probably having another dire half, no? His lardy legs are probably feeling like lead weights as he realises just how out of his depth he is in this pacy league. Errrr how ’bout NO? I love an underdog. I love it when a player everyone else thinks is shit has a good game. Even when he’s not an Arsenal player (unless he’s playing against Arsenal), I really enjoy the unexpected success of a player who’s been given a really hard time of it.

So to see Santos burst through and whack it past Cech was a marvellous moment. I don’t understand the dislike. He’s not a perfect player and I’m sure we’ll see cock ups again, but the boy got swag. After a season of half-hearted performances from players (you know who you are), it’s encouraging to see someone who tries as much as he does. And I know I’ll get ripped for that. ‘Trying’ shouldn’t be a word used in praise of a millionaire footballer. But he really does try! And he’s skilful. And he wants to win. I’d sooner that over a super-skilful lazy arse who looks surprised when his trickled in effort is picked up by the goalkeeper with as much effort as it takes to blink.

Anyway, level we were. Which let’s face it, is always a precarious position for Arsenal. So when Szczesny came haring out of his goal, and into the face of Ashley Cole like THIS … there were sharp intakes of breath everywhere. And as Andre Marriner reached into his back pocket, we were all already making the groaning sounds of a dying animal. But thankfully, it was only to be a yellow. Both the MOTD pundits yesterday agreed it should have been a red, but then they also started with ‘All the credit in the world to Arsenal…’ and then talked almost exclusively about Chelsea so, you know, whatever. I think it could have been a red, but there was a covering defender and it wasn’t in the area. Plus, it was Ashley Cole. That he stayed on was entirely the correct decision based on this last fact alone.

Just six minutes after our Brazilian beefcake’s equaliser, our little English pocket rocket put us ahead for the first time in the match. Theo’s another one who’s come in for a lot of criticism (including from me), but he’s always up for it against Chelsea and his goal yesterday was brilliant. As well as all the ‘No football brain’ talk, another big criticism of Theo is that he’s too much of a lightweight. In spite of having put on a bit of muscle over the past few years, he’s still pushed off the ball easily from time to time. But yesterday put me in mind of his assist for Adebayor against AC Milan in 2008. This time he fell over apparently his own feet, went sliding a couple of feet, saw he was still able to control the ball if he got up quickly enough, then wandered straight through the middle of two Chelsea players to put us 2-3 up. Get in there, Thee. Threo. Hehe.

On this Saturday of ups and downs and ins and outs and lefts and rights and karmic messin’, Chelsea’s equaliser wasn’t far off. Almost as soon as we’d switched Walcott and Djourou for Rosicky and Jenkinson, we were level on terms once more. There were complaints of the fact Santos had been body checked off the ball by Lukaku, but their equaliser was still fantastic. It was a spectacular goal from Juan Mata (who else?), who scored pretty much mid-tackle by Song. What a little player he is. And he could have been ours…

Anyway, no time for what ifs, there was still a match to be played. Instead of looking like we were about to crumble into a heap and concede three more, we looked relatively assured. It did cross my mind that ‘Oh well, a draw is a good result’. RvP oughtta smack me upside the head for being so bloody pessimistic. Remember our old mate karma from earlier on? That tweet would come back to haunt me, but very much more in a Casper the Friendly Ghost sort of way than a Toby from Paranormal Activity 3 sort of way. It was a crap pass from Florent Malouda to John Terry, but his body’s response was still hilarious. It was a proper gutser. I would have been proud of that one. Sorry Chelsea fans, if you’re reading, but to be honest, stop reading Arsenal blogs if you don’t want to see people enjoying that slip/trip. RvP then rounded Cech to make it 3-4. Which would have been good enough, even if it was probably fairly likely they’d have equalised, given the mentalness of yesterday and the Arsenalness of our recent history.

Four minutes were added on, which was just about time enough for Robin to complete his hat-trick. On a rubbish day, that wouldn’t have gone in. He lifted it past Cech who actually really helped it to go in, if anything. The celebrations were as beautiful as they were ridiculous. Vermaelen and Koscielny’s roars, Arteta’s manlove, RvP bundled to the floor. They were only bettered by the partying at the end. Critics would call it stupid, celebrating a league win like we’d won the Champions League. But let’s be honest, who gives a flying one what critics think. The team was dancing in a season in
which dancing has not been on the cards in any way at all. We’d come out on top in a mad game, managed to hold on until the end and shift ourselves up to sixth from somewhere down in the abyss only a few weeks ago.

I like to think yesterday was a bit of an ‘Up yours’ to most. From the deserters, to the naysayers, to the people left utterly unmoved by Wenger’s incredible speech at the AGM in the week. No, we’ve not won the league, but we’ve won three points away against a big rival and at a ground at which points dispensal has not been generous in recent times. And in a wicked fashion as well. Laugh it up, everyone else. Not a single shit will be given this day or any other day.

And as for the ‘One man team’ talk, keep it coming. The Invisible Forces of Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny and Mikel Arteta and Gervinho and, yesterday, Theo Walcott, work at their best when no one is paying them any attention anyway.

There’s still so much work to do, especially defensively, and also contractually with regard to Robin, but yesterday the Arsenal did us proud. Well done boys.

44 Comments

  1. Treez
    2122 days ago

    Great blog, Sian. (looked forward to it from the final whistle yesterday!) What a game. As you said, both defences like a Victoria Sponge, but when you’ve got RvP up front, who cares? Can’t wait for Tuesday now.

    Reply

  2. lady
    2122 days ago

    Fuck ‘em all, we are the Arsenal!

    Reply

    • John
      2122 days ago

      Maybe not all of them !!!

      Reply

  3. Rod
    2122 days ago

    Great blog as usual. Still have a buzz from the match and hopefully we can continue being positive. A mighty up yours to the anti-arsenal brigade

    Reply

  4. DV
    2122 days ago

    I remember the last ‘one man team’ we had, they went an entire season unbeaten; it’s not as bad an appellation as some seem to think.

    Reply

  5. Rodney
    2122 days ago

    GUNNER GLORY!! what a win :)

    Reply

  6. Alan
    2122 days ago

    You got the flavour of yesterday spot on, bird. Great weekend for the boys and our fans (the away support was just fabulous yet again).

    Reply

  7. Paul
    2122 days ago

    Great blog Sian for a great performance! I’m still buzzing from the game and those wild celebrations at the end. I don’t think I’ve seen such emotion for 3 points from our players or our fans and it was so encouraging after our less than impressive start to the season!

    Reply

  8. irishgray
    2122 days ago

    Brilliant as always Sian :) i missed the game as I was forced to work all day yesterday (apparently we have bills that need apaying or some such nonsense) and did not get home til late. Was absolutely delighted with the result and the fact that RVP got a hattrick!! You are right when you say fuck the naysayers and the critics, they are nothing to do with Arsenal and when we wn they will be left with egg on their face. I would love to leave something else on their face. Where you at the CC game as well? Just wondering what you thought of Park. :) COYG!!!

    Reply

  9. David M
    2122 days ago

    Excellent blog

    Reply

  10. Skanda
    2122 days ago

    a blog that befits yesterday’s game. Brilliant as usual.

    Reply

    • Sian
      2122 days ago

      Thank you very much.

      Reply

  11. Daniel
    2122 days ago

    Absolutely blinding feeling after that, I’m still dancing now to be honest with you. It feels crap (ruined weekend kinda crap) when you lose – especially in that fashion – so winning like that deserves to be enjoyed and celebrated massively. Similar feeling to the 2-1 Barca and this time there’s not even a 2nd leg to worry about. Result!

    It’s days like this that hammer home exactly why you believe in this club and love them through thick and thin. Because now and again, they just turn up with a bunch of roses, take you to Thorpe Park and follow it up with a champagne dinner. Yeah, there may be one or two rollercoasters and vom-ish spinning tea cup rides along the way but at the end of the day, you look back and think “YES!”

    We’re blessed to have Van Persie on such form, but he was surrounded by brilliance yesterday. Gervinho was a threat throughout and Theo had one of his best days in the shirt. The list goes on really, particularly in the 2nd half obvs. Also important to remember that RVP isn’t some big money buy for us – he’s been there8 years and has worked hard to earn his place and become yet ANOTHER masterstroke signing from the great Arsenal manager ever.

    Great blog Siany and was a pleasure keeping you informed, even if I regret only using the word “sitter” and not “biggest cows arse with the biggest banjo EVER” ;)

    Reply

  12. ad14
    2122 days ago

    excellent blog.. :-)

    Reply

  13. ad14
    2122 days ago

    excellent blog :-)

    Reply

  14. ilovearsenal
    2122 days ago

    Brilliant, brilliant win. Like you said, all the deserters, naysayers, Wenger haters can kiss my ass!

    Reply

    • Sian
      2122 days ago

      Mine too!

      Reply

  15. F7
    2122 days ago

    “a Toby from Paranormal Activity 3 sort of way”

    What? Who’s gonna get that reference? Nobody went to see that. Wait, you went to see that? Really? Why? What’s wrong with you?!

    Reply

    • Sian
      2122 days ago

      Not a football fan then? I assumed most wouldn’t, hence the ‘FROM PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3′ bit, but those that did wouldn’t have needed it. Also given the juxtaposition with the ‘Casper the Friendly Ghost’ part and the use of ‘Paranormal’, I’m sure the non-viewers would have just about got it. I will assume you’re not that into football, so I’m sure there are plenty of film blogs out there for you to follow if this is more your bag. Thanks and goodbye, “F7″.

      Reply

      • F7
        2122 days ago

        Wow, Sian. It was just a joke. I wasn’t making a serious criticism. You referencing that movie just made me laugh is all.

        Not sure I understand what you mean by “I assumed most wouldn’t, hence the ‘FROM PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3′ bit”. Of course you mentioned the movie? I mean, you’re not just gonna say “like Tobey”, are you? I dunno. Lost me there. Whatever. Doesn’t matter.

        But anyway! I enjoyed reading your blog and I personally loved how the boys celebrated at the end, it was great moment and it feels like a new dawning. And as far as critics that may say it was stupid, are these the same critics who’d already ruled us out of a top 4 finish? They should know by now: It doesn’t matter what they think.

        Reply

  16. Boris Godunov
    2122 days ago

    I haven’t felt this good since we qualified for CL on the last day of the season when we won our game and Spuds lost theirs with stomach flu. It goes to show that if Lady Luck doesn’t smile at you, the best thing is to bend her over, pull her pretty pink panties down and have a go. Godspeed, me beloved gooners.

    Reply

    • Sian
      2122 days ago

      Ha! Yes that was a good day too, not least because it was the last day at Highbury also :)

      Reply

  17. Girl Gunner
    2122 days ago

    Great blog sian!
    After all the horrible days arsenal and I have been through,it’s days like these that remind me of the team I fell in love with, and cement on the fact that I’ll never break up/ walk out on arsenal <3
    romantic right, I know ;)

    Reply

  18. SAGunner
    2122 days ago

    My first read of your blogg – sian, I love it and love the gunners- Ohhh what I would give for a defence of premier quality – We would have won 5-1
    RvP is giving us his moeys worth – hope and pray he doesn’t sparain his ankle again and sits on the side for 3 months.

    Go gunners – we will shortly play real gunners ball again.

    Reply

  19. silentstan
    2122 days ago

    excellent article

    Reply

  20. ed
    2122 days ago

    this is such a great post. so intelligent, witty and descriptive.

    people make a big deal about us being happy about the win.

    but we….

    1. won 2. beat chelsea away. 3. beat the supposed mighty chelsea.

    thats 3 very good points for our confidence.

    Reply

    • Sian
      2122 days ago

      Thanks! And yes, exactly.

      Reply

  21. shegunner
    2122 days ago

    Such great stuff. Fun to relive the match through your blog eyes. Also fun to be in love with the Arsenal.

    Reply

  22. Paulo
    2122 days ago

    Great read, thanks Sian!!
    And who said Arsenal were never gonna finish fourth this season? The same naysayers that nailed Arsenal to a coffin after a couple of games, albeit a disastrous one, Wenger will take this time to fourth and who knows if further, the way this league is going.

    Also, I loved the Robin van Perfect bit! He’s my absolute hero, he’s been my favourite in the Premiership since that volley a few years ago, I think still at Highbury, possibly against Tottenham or Man Utd, I think it was Man U.

    I’ve been crying out for RVP to have a season free injury because he’s such a great player deserving of a lot more praise than he gets. He had a such a good season last year from January onwards I did feel that this could be his year, in fact I named all my fantasy league teams as RVP’s year! :) And indeed he’s proving it, let’s hope it continues and he can continue to play, because if he playes he scores.

    What about this for a record: van Persie has scored 27 goals in his last 28 games, that’s better than CR7 or even Messi!!!!

    Reply

    • irishgray
      2122 days ago

      Paulo – I think the volley you are talking about was against Charlton. It was from a cross from Eboue who had made a great run down the right hand side. I can still hear the commentator: “Van Persie’s ARRIVING!!!!” Brilliant goal, priceless!! COYG :)

      Reply

      • Paulo
        2121 days ago

        Thanks mate just saw on YouTube it’s definitely that one, and it’s even better than I remember it!! :D

        Reply

  23. Alex
    2121 days ago

    Keep churning out the excellent blogs Sian, and maybe Robin van Perfect and the Invisibles will keep on churning out the goals and wins ;)

    Is the reason why there was no Carling Cup 2-1 victory blog about the Bolton game because you were at the game and have been busy ever since?

    Reply

  24. Irishgray
    2121 days ago

    Yes Sian, Alex makes a good point we are short one blog. There really is no excuse fo slacking! :)

    Reply

    • Chyna
      1312 days ago

      This post has helped me think things thrgouh

      Reply

  25. UncleK
    2121 days ago

    Happy daze…Great piece as ever,Sian.

    Reply

  26. MattWFC
    2121 days ago

    In all the Terry-falling-over, Andre-Santos-dancing-like-a-buffoon type shenanigans, we’ve all forgotten about the purely magnifcent Wenger/Gervinho high-five (after the 5th goal I’m guessing but can’t quite remember)

    Never before have I witnessed something so great. Two such different people high-fiving must have never been seen before.

    Pure magic.

    Keep up the great work Sian – My fave Sianyism this week is “The team was dancing in a season in which dancing has not been on the cards in any way at all.” Says it all. Just hope all the Wenger critics were not two-faced enough to do their own little jig.

    Reply

  27. James
    2121 days ago

    Threo!!! I love it! I’m stealing that for future tweets!

    Reply

  28. Danzinio
    2121 days ago

    Just fantastic Siân. Great game, great blog, great read! Thank you

    Reply

  29. Tricia
    2121 days ago

    I finally got the time to read your post (stupid non-football stuff).

    Oh God, Szczesny’s jazz hands. Watched that over and over again. But totally ready to cry because I thought he was reaching for a red.

    I love that Theo’s so fast that he trips over his own fett. Anyone has to admit that it was a great goal for that alone. He knew he tripped over his own feet, instead of trying to get anything, he just played on.

    So what if we celebrated like we’d won the league. We had a shit start to the season and things are turning around. There was lots to celebrate on Saturday, a comeback. 5 goals scored. A hat trick. Several players having a fantastic match. Winning at Stamford Bridge.

    And can I just say that the push up match after the whistle between Szczesny and Threo was hilarious!

    I don’t get to watch many matches because of lack of showings and a crappy time zone, but of the ones I’ve watched this season, this was a great match.

    I think title challengers is a bit out of the question but if we can keep this run of form, we can definitely make top 4.

    Fantastic blog as per usual.

    Reply

  30. irishgray
    2117 days ago

    Just saw Paranormal Activity III by the way, not a bad movie but completely ruined by the idiot behind me who jumped at absolutely everything and managed to spill her entire extra large Sprite all over myself and my girlfriend!! Any chance of a blog to cheer us all up!?

    Reply

    • Alex
      2117 days ago

      Unlucky Gary about the spillage on you and your girlfriend, I consider the Paranormal Activities scarier from the 1st to the 3rd so this woman must of been a thriller lightweight, wonder what the reaction would of been for the 1st or the 2nd,,, :p

      Reply

      • irishgray
        2116 days ago

        Alex – I should have been more prepared as the idiot in question was jumping with fright at the trailers that played before the movie started!! Live and learn I guess :)

        Reply

        • Alex
          2116 days ago

          Heh heh, what applies to you, applies to our dear Gunners :)
          What doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger or more resistant anyway :p

          Reply

          • irishgray
            2116 days ago

            LOL Alex! great win today, just a pity QPR could not hold on for a draw with City. Still at least the ‘Pool dropped 2 points. :)

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