Classic win on a classic day.

December 11, 2011 19 Comments by Sian

Arsenal 1-0 Everton

So, on the 125th anniversary of the beginning of the greatest thing to have ever come out of this solar system (aside from Rolos… you’ve got to love a Rolo), Arsenal finished a match by winning 1-0 at home.

If only there were a song for that.

Regrettably I had only an iPhone and my brain with me as tools for recording the historic day, but I did manage to take a two minute video of the presentation of the legends. It’s terrible, and it may take me until the 130th anniversary to work out how to upload it, but I will try to at some point. There was a worry that the match might have proven itself to have been a little flat given the massive build-up to the match… the actual 90 minutes versus the visiting Evertonians actually almost felt like an afterthought given the emphasis put on the run-up. The fact our new favourite handsomest Spaniard on the planet was facing his old club was also largely overlooked.

The match itself was unspectacular. We had opportunities aplenty in the first half – Ramsey scraped the roof of the net and RvP also had a go which he miscontrolled and was deemed offside anyway. There was a Gervinho fumble and others also but I’m still defrosting the icicles off my eyelashes and am having difficulty remembering them all. We seemed to find ourselves offside about 17 times in that first 45, a consequence of a combination of Theo’s blistering speed and Everton’s high line. They were playing a dangerous game, but as per, we seemed unable to penetrate the fiery goalzone of death and spiders.

Being the optimist I am, I was positive that Everton would have not a single chance but then be brought down in the penalty area and would end up nicking the win. It needed a moment of magic or of SHIT OFF NO I CAN’T BELIEVE IT BOLLOCKS!!! Fortunately, the magic found us before the swears. Having had as many squandered chances as we had had (oh, plus Everton were defending fairly sharply), when the eventual goal came, the lead up to it was not even full of all that much anticipation. Alex Song made the perfect piggy-in-the-middle shaped pass to Robin van Persie, who proceeded to receive it, sit down with his paints and easel, and paint out a masterpiece so magical it made the Mona Lisa look like a miserable slopey-shouldered old witch. Dontcha just hate over-exaggeration?

In all seriousness though, his goal was a beaut. There was no controlling of the ball, no bringing it down to get a cleaner shot on it. From the moment the ball left Song’s foot, RvP knew exactly what he was going to do with it. His body was ready and perfect. There’s a photo of it floating around the Tumblrsphere where he looks like something out of Swan Lake. Anyway, afterwards we still had twenty minutes of nail-biting before Howard Webb finally blew the whistle saving us from any kind of anti-climactic embarrassment. I think we were the better team – Everton stuck to their gameplan and their substitution of Saha for Distin about half hour before the end showed you exactly what it was. It was close to working as well, so praise be to you, Robin. There was also a moment of fret when Vermaelen was subbed and headed straight down the tunnel. Apparently the blurred vision caused by a smack in the head is temporary and nothing to worry about. PHEW.

Here is my favourite celebration of the day. As an aside, I’m not an avid Tumblr user (because it confuses me), but one of my first Internet stop-offs after a match is always Sha’s blog. She gets absolutely everything down on there and it’s always guaranteed to make you grin.

I took a couple of photos of the statues before KO as well. My Tony Adams one came out terribly as he was in the shade of the stadium and also absolutely surrounded, but have a butchers’ at my Herbert Chapman and Thierry Henry ones. I love love love the positioning of Chapman’s.

The ’125′ in the North Bank looked amazing, the massive cannons in the technical area prior to kick off looked class and the Legendy Line-Up looked as legendary as a line-up of legends should look. You could see Ian Wright’s smile from my seat in the upper tier. Also, the Rocky Rocky Rocky Rocky Rocastle song that rang out when David Rocastle’s son Ryan was introduced made my sister and I turn to each other flary-nostrilled and swimming-eyesed going “Are you crying too?” What a lovely afternoon of celebrations for the Club we all love so much.

Oh and by the way we’re up in fourth now. Possibly very temporarily as random teams around us have games in hand, but given we were in at 17th a couple of months back, it’s little wonder even Match of the Day felt the need to praise Arsene and his men. That’ll be all for now. I’m off back to reading So Paddy Got Up. The Herbert Chapman chapter has already had me bawling and the rest have had me laughing and “No way, didn’t know that!”ing throughout. Combine this with a classic scoreline yesterday and the hilarity of us and Chelsea finding ourselves the only teams through to the next round of the Champions League and it has all in all been a good week of football for us all.

And that’s nice.


  1. Alan
    2140 days ago

    Super blog, bird. Love the image of VanP sitting down with his paints and easel. It was a brilliant day all round – one to remember and here’s to the next 125.


  2. The Ghost of Silvestre
    2140 days ago

    “Alex Song made the perfect piggy-in-the-middle shaped pass to Robin van Persie, who proceeded to receive it, sit down with his paints and easel, and paint out a masterpiece so magical it made the Mona Lisa look like a miserable slopey-shouldered old witch. ”

    Now THIS is poetry.
    Great blog, Sian!

    You’re the RvP of blogs.


    • Nikhil
      2140 days ago

      that was poetry…


  3. Clock End Mike
    2140 days ago

    What they said. Esp. GofS: “You’re the RvP of blogs” I like that !! :-)

    And thanks for pointing out @agoonersdream — hadn’t seen it b4.



  4. Gabi
    2140 days ago

    It was such an emotional, brilliantly classy day in every way! You’re right, the 90min did almost feel like an afterthought but I thought we were stoic in defence and looked by far the better team, creating chance after chance (even if we did fail miserably at finishing them).

    One of my favourite moments in the match though (apart from RVP’s masterpiece of course) involved Vermaelen (who else?). It was early in the second half, and TV5 had just been fouled deep in the Arsenal half. Well, the ref ended up blowing for a free kick, but Verma wasn’t taking any chances – despite being tripped over, he launched himself in mid-air and made sure he fell on TOP of the ball. No chance of the ball rolling out to a striker and accidentally into the goal. Verminated the danger right out of that potentially awkward situation. Loved it!

    Brilliant blog as always Sian, and thanks for including the photos – I totally agree about the positioning of the Herbert Chapman statue. Just makes me feel all proud and squishy inside. That Mona Lisa reference of yours shall go down in history as one of the ‘classic’ moments of this blog, I think. How appropriate :)


  5. Nikhil
    2140 days ago

    we seem to lack width due t the absence of all our full backs…how about playing walcott at RB and Chamberlain up front…


  6. USAGooner
    2140 days ago

    A weekend’s never complete until I’ve had a dose of your Gooner Love and snarkritude. Excellent as always!


  7. Daniel
    2140 days ago

    RVP’s artist dad would have been proud of that masterpiece- one you can watch again and again… and again. Such a brilliant example of his quality to show the legends in the stadium, especially after from what I gathered he seemed quite nervy getting caught offside himself a few times, which is rare for him.

    But what a goal. The stuff statues are made of!

    Great blog Siany – enjoyed the snaps yesterday and was gutted I wasn’t there. Don’t be in a band. Don’t be shit at keeping a diary. And if you don’t listen to those things then screw the band over and go see the Arsenal. Not like me!

    And if anybody here is in doubt GO GET SO PADDY GOT UP. It’s great thing and this blogger up there ^^^ wrotea lovely piece in it. It also smells nice, like any good book does. Mmmm! Can’t wait to read mine fully and give my old man his. Christmas pressie for a dad never happened so easy!!! He now knows I was raised well ;)


  8. irishgray
    2140 days ago

    Nice one Sian, love the photos :) 1 nil to The Arsenal was highly appropriate for the day I think and what a 1 it was!!! Roll on Citeh :) COYG!!!


  9. Natalie
    2140 days ago

    Nice one Siany! What a day. I wasn’t even in the stadium, but even just wandering around beforehand looking at the statues and reading all the tributes to the players and the club brought a giant tear to my eye. Gorgeous celebration of a gorgeous club.


  10. vaders_grandfather
    2139 days ago


    I think my eyeballs just had an orgasm.

    No superlatives can justify the excellence of this particular piece.

    That is all for this morning.

    Thank you.


  11. UncleK
    2138 days ago

    That Carole Ann Duffy should be worried…Sian for Poet Laureate!!


  12. Alex
    2137 days ago

    Very nice post Sian, I was sure I posted an epic comment aout Rolo Ice Cream and your liquid poetry skills in reflection of Robin van Perse’s goals coring artistry and you signing my day-old copy of ‘So Paddy Got Up’ (Santa came good ;) ) one of these matchdays in the future, but its gone to the barren wastelands of the internet now…

    Keep it up :)


  13. irishgray
    2136 days ago

    Sian – I woiuld like to buy the book but being in New York City it is a bit of ‘bother’ popping over to The Tollington, any suggestions on how/where to get it? I really hate Kindle and the like as I am a book lover at heart. Would appreciatre your help on this as it will be my Christmas gift from The Girlfriend :)


    • Sian
      2135 days ago

      Hi IG,

      The book should be available in the Arseblog store right about now! Actually, I think he sold out, but is sorting out another print run. I believe. Anyway, head over to, because he outlined all the details in a post or two this week. If I had any spare copies I would send you one but they’ve all been dished out already!


      • irishgray
        2134 days ago

        Hey Sian, thank you for the reply. I think I will just have to wait for the reprint as I believe yer man in Dublin is ordering one up. Failing that I will have to settle for kindle or whatever. Still, better than nothing right? Looking forwaard to the Citeh game. Just to annoy FunGunner I shall predict a 4-2 Arsenal win :) Nasri to score an own goal and get subbed off too!!


  14. akya
    2135 days ago

    This post was as Terrific as RvP’s beaut.. Kudos Sian.. Have you heard any news on this Sunday’s match? I searched everywhere but nothing useful other than park’s statement. No idea about verminator’s involvement either..


  15. home page
    99 days ago

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  1. [...] out of the Champions League. And oh how we enjoyed. Three days later came Everton at home and the celebration of 125 years of Arsenal. With all the faff around the match, it was fitting that the end result was a nice and traditional [...]

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