Reactions, Ramsey, relationships and rotten days.

January 15, 2012 18 Comments by Sian

Swansea City 3 – 2 Arsenal

Alright here’s the deal. In May 1998 I woke up one morning and watched this team called Arsenal (who?) win this trophy shaped like a head with big ears, against a team dressed as bar codes. I know that at the time I’d seen this strange team in red and white play before, because my parents were fans and because I remember knowing the names of the players on the team back then. As it stands now, however, that morning is the earliest memory I can gather of an actual match.

Simplicity. One match and a trophy – how easy is this football malarkey? You can call me a glory hunter if you wish, but I simply like to consider myself as having been born under a lucky star. Christ, think of the other options. I certainly did not know, dressed in a red t-shirt and white shorts that morning (I didn’t have an actual Arsenal shirt back then… nor any kind of fashion sense) that this team of men hoofing a round thing made of leather would go on to become such a massive source of emotion for me. If I had known (and had a brain more mature than an 8-year-old’s), would I have still got so sucked in?

I sodding well hope so. It was the start of a beautiful relationship.

Today was a cack day. We were in a no-win situation all along. Win, and oh well it’s Swansea. You’re Arsenal, of course you’re supposed to beat them. Forget their frankly brilliant home record for a minute – you’re the big bad Arsenal from the big bad city, you winning is like the big bad wolf eating the fragile little red riding hood chick, who FRANKLY, I always thought should have been more cautious anyway. No nan’s chin is as hairy as a wolf’s, no matter how much she’s let herself go.

The team we fielded was not first choice by any means at all. And let me prefix this by saying I thought Swansea were great today. I know my opinion will matter to them of course. Their home support actually drowned out our away support, which rarely if ever happens, and the team on the field was good. That we were the first of the season to have managed more than one goal there says a lot more about them than about anyone else. So good for you, Swansea. Just make sure you keep that up against all the teams I hate, and you and I will get along juuuuuust fine.

So back to Arsenal. Like I was saying, definitely not a first choice team out there today. Look at the injury room, which bulges at the seams at the moment. There’s a Vermaelen, a Santos, a Sagna, a Jenkinson, a Wilshere, a Gibbs (who?), a Diaby (… no really though, who?), a Coquelin, and an Arteta (arguably). There is nothing but laughter, gut-stabbing laughter, caused within me when I look at that list. How. I mean, how. How though. Really, how. It’s all very well saying “WHEN so-and-so is back…”, but really… when WILL so-and-so be back? It’s utterly frightening luck we seem to be having this season (and the one before that, and the one before that, and the one before…)

So I had had a disgusting feeling about this match ever since about Wednesday anyhow. We started well, with a goal, which can never be bad. It was well taken by RvP and settled the nerves a little. Then they pulled one back through a penalty. I bastarding well called it as well. The second the player went down, I went “Not a penalty”. And I never see these things, ever. Then when I saw him grinning his really small ears off, it was confirmed. Looking back at it, HE (Nathan Dyer) treads on Ramsey. I’m not sure why Ramsey didn’t protest harder but then, well, protesting has never got anyone anywhere before, has it?

I cannot remember the last time we didn’t have a penalty call go the wrong way for us. Not grizzling, not wallowing in self-pity, it’s just a simple fact. Of course we had 75 minutes to rectify that situation, but nevertheless. We then turned to shit. Theo was nowhere to be seen, Miquel was being properly tested, and Swansea had really started getting on top of us. I’ve got to say, though, as a seasoned Gooner, bugger the possession stats. We’ve out-possessed every single team that has ever graced the planet and it’s got us nowhere, so those little Sky number imagey things that come up, can do one.

They then scored fairly early on in the second half. Then we leveled the scores through Theo, who had had a rough day. Then, while the cameras were still showing replays, suddenly it was 3-2. It was sooooooooo last season’s Arsenal. I think it was Danny Graham who scored their third. Tom Daley Divey Diverson had scored their second.

We kept going. Rosicky and Henry and Chamberlain on to help out  – Arshavin went off… he had been dreadful. And there were chances, but we obviously didn’t convert them. Basically, another bad day in a bad season for the Gunners. There are big worries cropping up all over the place, and over-reactions a-plenty. Obviously there’s glee from warty faced idiots elsewhere, but that’s expected. The real worrying reaction is the one from within the Arsenal support.

Of course complaints are due. Why DO we still have players in our team who simply don’t cut the mustard? Why HAVEN’T these issues been addressed further? That’s all very well, and you crack on. But then you get people sending abuse – and I mean abuse – to our very own players from behind their tiny little computer screens. How anyone could ever take issue with Aaron Ramsey is beyond me. For what it’s worth, I didn’t think he had that bad a game today. He went for it in spite of probably having been the most pressured player on the field (something about Cardiff or something). Besides this, he seems to be one of the least offensive humans on the planet.

It’s deceiving, because he’s not the sparkiest of interviewees, and doesn’t seem an especially strong character. But take a look back and see how he’s always one of the first on the scene when a team mate gets into a bit of argy-bargy on the field. He reinforced the idea of possessing a captain-like personality earlier this week when his comments regarding the position of Wales manager came into question. I’m not sure if the words he wrote on Twitter were all his own, but I tend to think it’s likely they were.

Then look further back, at the life he’s had at 21. He’s suffered a terrible injury that could have seen him never making another appearance for us or Wales again. He’s been made captain of his beloved national team by a beloved manager. He’s then gone on to face the death of said beloved manager in utterly horrendous circumstances. And he’s 21. When I was 21, I’d broken my foot, come first in a 100 metre sports day race, and had four teeth taken out. Those events were also much more spread out than the ones in Ramsey’s life.

I personally love him, and hope he’s with Arsenal for a long time to come. He’s like Theo in that he’s had an awful lot of attention focused on him and, unfortunately, in Britain, attention tends to be nothing more than an appetiser for the feast of criticism up next. If you think it’s alright to send death threats to ANYONE, you’re nothing better than the scum on the old, dried out pond in the park no one goes to any more.

Anyway, I digress. So, 1998, I’m watching the Arsenal. They’re looking pretty tasty to me. 2012, I’m watching the Arsenal. Tasty? Not so much. They’re testing my bloody patience, and there’s a hell of a lot the powers that be have to do in order to fix the issues at hand.

If the Arsenal was a friend I’d had since I was 8, I’d say that this is the year in which his problems have really come home to roost. This is where the friendship is tested. The same goes for everyone else wondering if continuing making an effort with him is worth it. I know there are issues at the moment, but what happens to a person in a tricky spot deserted by his mates? He ends up mugged and homeless, that’s what happens. If you really don’t think it’s worth it, that’s cool. Say goodbye. I know he’s a pain in the neck and you could find other mates elsewhere anyway.  But he’s my mate, and I love him. His problems are fixable, a mere liking for prescription drugs as opposed to a full blown heroin addiction.

Spend some money, sort the board out, face realities, blah blah blah. I could try and talk about those issues, but I don’t know enough to do so and it would be even more boring than the rest of this blog has been so far anyway. It’s a hard time right now, and the question looms as to whether anything will be done about it in this little transfer window we have going here. It took a bad result to properly set the cogs of any visible movement in motion last time, so I guess there’s hope there as well. Perhaps the little run of form pre-December was misleading, but I do still think that when (there’s that word again) the players waiting in the wings DO come back, we’ll be seeing a more accurate representation of the stuff we have to work with here. Either way, I’m banking on my mate to pull through. I have to… we have United next!


  1. Lexi
    2105 days ago

    Thought Ramsey was woeful today, but just saw one death threat to him before reading this & instantly became incensed. The nerve of some people to abuse their own players? I may (do) get frustrated with players but to wish death upon them???


  2. Alex
    2105 days ago

    You really pulled it out of the bag for the post today Sian, hit all the spots for me, the Aaron Abuse and Wenger Out/SpendSomeFuckingMoney brigade all starting from Twitter, not the nicest 1st matchday on Twitter to experience but you hit the nail on the head with the Best Mate analogy.
    I love Arsenal, and I’m not gonna bail out to the Russian Chavs across London or the Oily Cunts up North when it gets tough because of one result.
    Up the Arsenal.


  3. Damien
    2104 days ago

    The vermin who wrote some of the worst abuse towards Ramsey, the one who had ‘winner’ in his game, has removed his account. Inexcusable abuse from some of our ‘fans’. Don’t really know what to say about that. We seem to have a lot of angry glory hunters who started supporting Arsenal during the Invincible era and for whom a period without success was not what they signed up for. See United fans after any defeat for example.

    Ramsey got the abuse because his performance was poor but the venue meant the focus was all on him. However he was far from the only poor performer on the pitch. The whole performance was lacking again. Really not sure what is going on at Arsenal but we need a full back …err… back and a good striker to partner RVP. Not sure if we need much in midfielder considering who we have to come back.

    I am also pissed off with having to listen to people with a chip on their shoulder about London everytime we have to travel. They to think they have stuck it to the entire city if they win. GAH.


    • Damien
      2104 days ago

      That was meant to be ‘They think they have’. Stupid me.


  4. Sourabh
    2104 days ago

    Hey Sian.. got the link to your blog from twitter.
    Nice write up… would love to

    Am totally onboard with you when it comes to things like BUY PLAYERS/HATE AW or KILL XYZ! Those who say or do such things need to understand that if u pay for a ticket, that does not necessarily give u the right to start throwing pots n pans on players and the manager.
    Yes I am a fan since 98, Yes I was the proudest when we were the invinsibles, Yes I am pissed off since the CL final. AW has been trying to bring up the team. We still need to understand one thing, Manager is responsible for the team, but players are equally responsible to their duties.

    Agree with all the points and Would request all others to stop acting so stupid to send death threats to players.

    Sourabh from India :)


  5. vaders_grandfather
    2104 days ago

    Good Morning Sian and fellow readers,

    Yesterday, for the first time in my (admittedly short in comparison to others) relationship with The Arsenal, I was furious, we looked dilapidated, soulless and to a certain extent scared. Yes, we came back to level the scores, only for the Swans to pull a goal back forty-five seconds later. It seems we cannot shake the ghosts of Arsenal past.

    What do we need to do as supporters? Do we vote with our feet? Do we shout abuse at the team and boo at every opportunity? No, that is what the opposition’s supporters are for. I think that we should not stop supporting the team, because when all the world is against you, it only takes one person to shout encouragement for you to get back up and try again.

    I think that many of the supporters are angry because the inefficiencies in the squad/ club can be addressed. We have the resources, both monetary and intellectual to solve the current situation at the club. No supporter is truly able to know what is happening behind closed doors with regards to transfers and so forth, so we can only hope that Mr. Wenger has a top secret plan to change the direction of the club.

    He has achieved that once, I believe he is able to do it again.

    We do have many players returning in late January and early February, but will it be enough to pull The Arsenal out of the quagmire we find ourselves in? I hope so, because at the moment it seems to be all I have at the moment.

    Next week I will be in front of the television, believing for ninety minutes (plus Fergie time) that we are able to beat the red side of Manchester.

    Stay safe and I’ll be singing with you wherever you are in the world.


  6. Volpino
    2104 days ago

    Some sense. Some goddamn decent common sense. I rubbed my eyes, read it all again and then whoa, I was right the first time. Right you are on the hater/arsenal spend Wenger out maniacal hysterical wailing nonsensical trolls among us: the candy bag sometimes empties and you gotta earn the next one. Frustrating as hell but to resort to threatening such a calm quiet angel (I saw the wings in his locker) like Ramsey is shameful and just makes me want to punch my sparsely stuffed pillows in anguish. Please Jack and Bacary rise from your injury caves and help your club, its fans, and your beloved manager. Oh, and give Arron a hug too. He might need one.


  7. El Greco
    2104 days ago

    Sian, the Arsenal is like a family – no one chooses his/her family, and the family glue will always ooze loyalty regardless of what happens.
    There is plenty of inteligence at management level to know that this is a poor Arsenal team, and is nowhere near good enough to challenge for the Premiership, so a top 4 spot is all they, and we, can hope for. I say ‘hope’ cause I don’t think this team is equiped to make it in the top 4, and if it does, it would be because the teams around them have slipped up.
    Meanwhile, there is only one Arsenal, and no amount of cowardly threats is gonna inspire them to do better!


  8. 1NilToTheArsenal
    2104 days ago

    Well done Sian,

    You’ve surely summed up the emotions of many. My relationship remains intact mainly because I have given Swansea tremendous credit. They weren’t nasty, they didn’t try to break legs, they didn’t park the bus. They played like an Arsenal team.

    First time seeing them play, they were a revelation to me. They are a credit to Premier League and outplayed us at our own game. I really hope they stay up. They certainly deserve it after the first half of the season.

    As for us, we have lost form after the away game at Wigan. Do we still have what it takes to play in the CL next year? Absolutely, but I if believe why don’t the current squad? What more motivation is needed? We even have Henry back.

    COYG – we can do this.


  9. Goonergal
    2104 days ago

    Classy as always Sian, could’nt have said it all any bettter, supporting a club(family member) when they are in crisis is what real loves all about,
    Felt we really missed Arteta’s experience yesterday, he is more valuable to us than he is being given credit for.
    Anyway what done is done ~ bring on the Champions, Vermalen will need his best shooting boots !


  10. Alan
    2104 days ago

    Fantastic blog, bird. Why are your pieces so good when our performances are so poor? I need brilliant blogs with brilliant performances. Sort it, Siany!


  11. Daniel
    2103 days ago

    I needed this. Thanks Siany. Perhaps, though, I didn’t need to see Jenk’s face in that shot. Jesus, 10.06am on a Tuesday and already I’m thinking of tonight’s nightmares. Loved those pictures though, probably could have found a more recent Arteta one but there you go.

    Nothing more to add regarding the match, other than I hate it when we score early goals. Don’t get me wrong, I go as joyously ballistic as the next gal, but deep down there is a part of me saying “yeah, this one got draw written all over it, stop celebrating… get the ball out the net and let’s waste no time in playing out this painful, painful match in which I will probably go and make my bed on 86 mins just so I don’t have to face 20,000 ecstatic Welshmen losing the plot and rubbing our noses in it.”

    But yeah. Aaron Ramsey? To be honest, he is one player who – despite not always getting it right – will always try and try and again and not shy away. Gone are the days when a player would get credit for trying… no, no, the Arsenal fans of today groan at each and EVERY unlucky pass or dodgy bit of control. This has of course led to the kind of abuse that Ramsey got. This abuse, I may add, I didn’t see. I heard about it and then just locked Twitter off because I couldn’t be bothered to depress myself even more. Fans like that don’t deserve players like Ramsey in their team. Players with heart and soul. People like that deserve to be turning cogs stirring the devil’s tea in the fires of hell. But the really cold part of hell.

    Imagine when Ramsey is 22 or, bloody hell, 23. He is likely to get better and better…. and people have such a short memory span, following his game against Leeds.

    “We need your support in the good times but more importantly the bad.” – Thierry Henry.

    ps. I was at said game in 1998. Somehow I knew there was a touch more positivity in the air that day! :D


  12. korihikage
    2103 days ago

    nice to see a post with some sense :)

    4, 5 years ago, i would be the one ranting at my own team.

    now, maybe because i am wiser with age, i don’t do that anymore. i would just say ‘come on’, and give a clap of encouragement.

    this isn’t an easy time now. but the door is always open for people to leave.


  13. Winks
    2103 days ago

    Fantastic Post!
    I have to say that you talk a lot of sense!

    Its quite frightening to see how quickly a team can deteriorate from such great form to utter rubbish in the space of a couple of weeks. But we’ve seen it all before!
    Its also worrying to see how quickly people have been sharpening their axes and becoming an angry mob going after Wenger’s resignation. Where were they when we were playing well ? Those are the kinds i cannot tolerate. The kinds of people who only sing when we’re winning!

    Cheers !


  14. Uncle Mike
    2103 days ago

    Nothing in life is worth it without dealing with all of it. As the saying goes, if you weren’t there to rock the baby girl to sleep, don’t expect to be invited to her wedding.

    Arsenal’s current difficulties are like a kidney stone: Painful though it will be, this too will pass. You haven’t given up, Sian, and many of us haven’t given up, either. We will dance at the wedding. Not well, perhaps, but we’ll get cake.


  15. Forever Arsenal
    2102 days ago

    This is a Brazilian blog about the best club in the world!
    Click on the translator’s page for English.


  16. irishgray
    2099 days ago

    I have thought long and hard all week about what to write in your comment section Sian with regards to the Swansea game and here is what I came up with.



  17. Cheap TOMS
    1859 days ago



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