November 24, 2011 18 Comments by Sian

Well, hopefully you’ve all seen the match or heard the result by now because otherwise I’ve completely ballsed up the surprise for you haven’t I? I’m sure you’ll get over it once you realise or remember: WE WON! WE BEAT THE GROUP FAVOURITES! WE’VE QUALIFIED! WE’VE TOPPED THE GROUP! If there was a text form of party poppers, I’d be typing them now!

*POP!!! woooja wooja wooja wooja “Ugh argh no I’ve got string in me wine!”* is the best I can do I’m afraid.

I arrived home late last night with a throat that felt really quite bleedy from all the cheering. Well, the cheering and the grizzling at the frustrations of Gervinho’s finishing a couple of times, but that’s a decidedly different story for a decidedly different day.

All of our celebrations so far this season have been ever so slightly muted. Even versus Chelsea, which was fantastic, was tempered by a slight sense of “OK, now we must continue to work and not get carried away with ourselves, lots still to be done”. Of course, in this here Champions League, there is still a world of work to be done, but for now the boys have got the job done and dusted way ahead of schedule. Like excellent, rare builders.

While most everyone else goes on fretting about qualifying first or second, we’ve already done it. Like the geeky kid who always gets his perfect bastard essay in two weeks before everyone else. I hate that kid. I was never that kid. But if Arsenal are that kid for the next little while, then I am A-OK with that. It should be noted that the only people this morning going “Duuuuuur you should have qualified easily anyway! You haven’t won it! Get over yourselves!” are supporters of teams who either haven’t yet qualified or weren’t in the position to buggering well qualify in the first place.

So, just irrelevant. Now let’s watch them all march off irrelevantly over into their little irrelevant corner, where they can continue to be irrelevant. They’ll sit around a campfire and tell stories of irrelevance all the while sucking on toasted lemons.

Now, the focus must be on the team. The first half didn’t produce a great display last night, though it was probably quite a good half if you were one of those neutral things I’ve heard about. Dortmund came flying at us at a tempo my dad noted they’d be unable to keep up. It was true, with anything we did they were right up in our biz. The team needed to remain calm and remember what was at stake.

The only real ‘moment’ of the first 45 was Thomas Vermaelen breaking poor Sven Bender’s jaw completely accidentally. Imagine what he could do if he meant it? There would be obliterated footballer bodies all over north London. Anyway, Bender’s departure was swiftly followed by that of Mario Gotze, who we’re apparently after but aren’t after at all but might be after but it’s really unlikely we’re after, though we might be after.

Those early substitutions were a big blow for Dortmund who were otherwise kind of owning our arses at that point. Bender’s jaw issue sounds especially nasty and he will apparently be unable to fly home thanks to the surgery he had to undergo. Wishing him a speedy recovery. Doesn’t mean his name doesn’t still totally make me laugh though.

Lewandowski had a sort-of chance which was collected up by Szczesny, and which has subsequently formed the basis of one of the most consonant-heavy sentences to have ever been written. Walcott also had a go from a blistering run, but it came to nothing as Weidenfeller did well to push it away. My dad told me that Weidenfeller is German for ‘Fat man’ last night. It’s rare that I get the giggles in a match as important as yesterday’s.

At half time, I thought we’d done really well but I was apparently the only one. Oh, we had scored via Theo in the first half also, but it was ruled offside. Theo wasn’t shown a yellow for continuing to attack after having heard the offside whistle, which really just goes to show what an utter wanker that referee against Barcelona was. In case you were unsure (I WILL NEVER LET THIS GO).

All the good stuff came in the second half. You’ll know by now that Robin van Persie scored both of our goals last night, and so onward continue the one-man team jibes. Well, if Robin van Persie had also managed to clone himself, go from Dutch to Cameroonian and then give himself a proper shit hairdo then yes we are a one-man team.

Robin did fantastically well (Outkast skit now in my head) to head the ball in but the work from Songinho in the lead-up was nothing short of magnificent. As he received the ball down the left and even after he’d nutmegged a Dortmund player, he still looked as though he was running into a dead end. With two of them still with him he tapped the ball straight between them to finish it off with a pinpoint shot onto van Persie’s jumping head. Weidenfeller was unfortunate to have not saved it, but still what beautiful work from Song. You’ll note my description is crap. That’s because sometimes poetry is more than words.


Gervinho had a couple of ridiculous chances but fluffed them again. He’ll get there though. On a night in which we did the crest of the club proud, let’s not get pernickety about one player. I am fully aware he will go on to miss a hatful of chances against Fulham now and I’ll be eating my words, but THIS IS A PARTY POST, SHUT UP.

Our second goal came from a corner by Arteta, was nodded on by the most beautiful head in world football (guess) and straight to the feet of Scoring Scoring Robin. The celebrations were lovely. It’s been said before but you do sense a far greater feeling of team spirit in the current team than in recent times. There was of course the obligatory loss of the clean sheet as Kagawa pulled one back in the dying seconds of injury time but it wasn’t enough. Arsenal are through and go through as group leaders and don’t it feel good?


I KNOW it’s November and there’s still football to focus on, but I’m just so pleased for the team that they’re through. I’m pleased for us fans too. No one likes grey hairs and sleepless nights ahead of the final group game, but it’s just nice to see our team happy. And to see Arsene happy too. LadyArse has written more extensively on this, and I echo her sentiments. While the hate bubbled away in the cauldron over the summer and much of the autumn and the fears continued to divide and conquer, one man who continued to have faith in his new team was Arsene. Even with his bad points, I don’t
think I’ll ever be able to put into words just how much I appreciate that man.

Oooh, I’m getting all misty-eyed now, so moving on. The Dortmund fans were amazing yesterday. I’m not planning on getting any other teams any time soon, but if I ever turn to the Bundesliga, I think I have a slight soft spot for Dortmund now. The other two in our group just pissed me off, so hopefully they’ll batter Marseille and be through as well.

Today’s been fun. Every time something’s annoyed me, I’ve just remembered that we’ve already qualified for the knock-out rounds of the Champions League. I’ll always love the Arse, but today I really, really like them as well. I know we’ve achieved this so many times before, but this year has been the first year in which the team has managed to succeed in spite of an absolute trashing from absolutely all angles. The pity articles about Wenger. Fans of rival teams getting just a little bit too massively lardy-arsed and cellulitey for their massively ugly boots. People I respect and admire conceding that one of my biggest heroes has lost the plot.  It’s been arse.

This is a moment of non-arse. You have to enjoy times like these. I feel happy and relieved and actually almost a little surprised in spite of the vast quantities of faith I put into this team. But mostly, I feel proud.

Oh, and happy Thanksgiving to the American readers! Hope you’re all turkey and pumpkined out.  I’ll give you one guess as to what it is I’m thankful for today? :)

Enjoy your day/night.






  1. Sonia
    2157 days ago

    Summed up brilliantly. Well done!


  2. Alan
    2157 days ago

    Funny and joyous post. Feels good to be doing well. just need to keep it going.


  3. Dhee
    2157 days ago

    This is pretty hilarious.. proper sums my feelings about the team right bout now! I feel there’s different kind of team spirit amongst Arsenal and a maturity. I love how angry Verms and Szczesa got when we conceded despite it not being important.


  4. Domhuaille MacMathghamhna
    2157 days ago

    Cute and clever blog Ms.Arse……..sums up my feelings last night to a tee! Keep up the good work!


  5. Jay
    2157 days ago

    Okay I wondered if you lot could settle something. Firstly I’m a spurs fan and I come in peace with a serious question. I came on news now and found the first arsenal fan site and this is it. My question I’ve asked a mate which he refuses to answer is this. Rvp is on fire at the moment and the main reason arsenal are doing well again. Should rvp get injured would arsenal struggle as in previous seasons they have had players like fab and nasri to step up and take over but right now it seems to only be rvp scoring. SO my question, should you lose rvp to injury, will you struggle and if not why? Who would score the goals to replace rvp consistantly from arsenals squad if he were injured. Its a serious question. No insults or name calling just honest answers as I wanted to hear what you arsenal fans would say.


    • the hive mind
      2156 days ago

      We’d find it harder, but we’d cope.

      VP isn’t really carrying the team, the central midfield has been good, the defence relatively solid, we have two in form wingers and a better keeper than we’ve had for a long time. He is providing the cutting edge though.

      I imagine Chamakh would play if VP were injured (though many would disagree). Granted he won’t score many, but our attacking midfield players tend to get more chances. He drops a bit deeper, pulling the CB’s out of position and allowing more room for the wingers.

      Park looks a decent player too, but can’t see him playing as a lone striker.

      We would have to play differently without VP, but I believe the recent run has been largely due to a much improved defence, new players settling and the return of vermaelen.

      In any case, VP is never getting injured again. Deal with it.


    • Sian
      2156 days ago

      Hi Jay, thanks for your comment and for venturing behind enemy lines!

      RvP is our captain and the only striker firing on all cylinders at the moment. Should he get injured, it would be a huge blow for the team. However, I think we would struggle less than we would have in recent years. So our supposed ‘star’ players jumped ship when the going got tough – the rest didn’t and it has been showing in performances of late. Someone else would need to step up and keep scoring (and in a season in which even Santos and Vermaelen have scored I don’t think this would be a huge problem). Lots of RvP’s goals this season have been tap-ins created from wonderful work by other players. That’s not to diss RvP – obviously he’s world class and I wouldn’t want anyone else but him at the moment.

      So, to summarise, yes it would be difficult and we hope it won’t be an issue. We also have Chamakh and Park waiting in the wings, neither of which have really been tested so far this season. Who knows what January will bring. Hopefully someone to help share the load.


  6. gunnie
    2156 days ago

    Arsenal is a lot more fun without the sulking Fabregas!
    Long live Arsenal met mijn landgenoot Van Persie…


  7. Patrick
    2156 days ago

    I’ve been following Arsenal on NewsNow for a while now… funny, but I’ve never come across your blog before.

    I just have to say that it is FANTASTIC!! One splashed with passion, insight and humour!!

    Just for fun, I went back to your August blogs.. more specifically, August 28th. You have been a true supporter through thin and thick… I would like to see those that were Arsene bashers come out of hiding… oh wait… they are now supporting Man City…

    I’m not a stalker (ummmm… having said that… only a stalker would say that he’s not one)… but I’ll be “following” you on twitter going forward!

    Keep up the good work!!


    • Sian
      2156 days ago

      Thanks Patrick! Yes, that 28th August post was not the easiest to write, but it had to be done. I will be here through the thinnest and the thickest of times. :)


  8. 1NilToTheArsenal
    2156 days ago

    So wonderful to read a true, unbridled FUN, post! Well done, as usual. You’re our Amy Lawrence.

    A few observations:

    First of all, Song’s contributions cannot be understated. One of the great individual performances of this for the Arsenal. He was brilliant and not just for the Messi-esque footwork to set up our first goal.

    Walcott and Gervinho continue to wreak havoc on the wings and it is only matter of time before they find the back of the net. We create so many opportunities, the lack of that last bit of clinical finish is glaring now, but I am confident it will come. No Nando’s here (except the chicken kind – love the Peri Peri sauce).

    RvP is in naturally in the limelight now, but most of his goals are team efforts (Song, Walcott, Gervinho and Ramsey in support). When you’re the hottest striker in the world you don’t fix what ‘aint broke. There are worse problems, and this is a very good problem to have right now.

    Finally, although we are still stuck like a stone in 7th in the league, September seems like a long time ago. What will December be like? Once can only hope for many more such joyous missives from Sian.

    Cheers all,



  9. Irishgray
    2156 days ago

    Sian – Just a quick thank you for a post, a rarity these days but understandably so!! I specially liked your Dads joke, too funny :)


  10. UncleK
    2156 days ago

    Messi has 25 goals in La Liga this season.Next is Villa with 8.
    All other scorers have one each….Are Barca a one man team?
    No more questions,m’Lud.Your witness.
    It’s hard not to feel smug,watching the C word’s defence all over
    the place and Mancs struggling to put a performance together,so a
    quietly contented smile will have to do.
    Yours ’til the serious stuff begins.


  11. Daniel
    2156 days ago

    A joy to read Siany in such high spirits, always one of the best things to come out of an Arsenal win – aside from 3-points and qualification to the knockout stages of the CL, o’ course!

    “While the hate bubbled away in the cauldron over the summer and much of the autumn and the fears continued to divide and conquer, one man who continued to have faith in his new team was Arsene.”

    Absolutely brilliant. And so true. Nobody has more faith in this team than him and you can see it in the face sof our boys. His motivational skills have been put to the test more than ever and he… well, words can’t really describe what a leader he is.


  12. Alex
    2156 days ago

    Well in Sian! This passion in this blog is what attracted me from the fields of Newsnow Arsenal to your blog like moths to light time and time again until I could stand it no more and bookmarked/imbedded the site name into my favourites/memorised it off my heart :D

    Too many funny bits to trawl through, but the ‘toasted lemons’ bit did it for me.

    I’ve always followed the Arsenal ever since the early brainwashing of my Londoner/Red Manc older brother wore off (circa 2001) but this is the most active I’ve been as a fan to date, when I look at our club crest, I feel warm love :)

    Keep up the good work girl, I wait in anticipation for your next blog.

    (PS – When I finally create a Twitter account, you are the 1st person I’m following ;) followed by the Captain and various others :D )


    • Sian
      2153 days ago

      Thanks for your kind words Alex… and yes, get Tweeting – where do you think I get all my news from these days? :)


  13. Uncle Mike
    2156 days ago

    As an American reader, whose high school “football” team lost their “derby” game in quite the debacle yesterday (Thanksgiving, like Boxing Day, is a traditionally day for such matchups), I find your post to have lifted my spirits somewhat. An Arsenal win over Fulham will help such matters considerably. Your post, unlike a properly-cooked turkey, was well done.


    • Sian
      2153 days ago

      Thanks Uncle Mike!


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