Bletherin’.

March 22, 2012 23 Comments by Sian

It’s probably a bit pointless writing this now at 8.52pm the night after the match, but as my Granny would possibly say, if you cannae blether in happy times, then when can you blether? So let us blether on long and loud and proud. ‘Til Saturday at least.

It’s quite cosy in Arseland at the moment. As we basked in the glow of everyone else ballsing up last night while we strode defiantly on, it was easy to get carried away in the glittery shower of happiness that befell us as we befell the third place in the Premier League. For the first time this season, non?

It’s been a funny old season. Up until summer, I thought that my best Arsenal memory since the glory days of invincibility had been the 2-1 home leg win against Barcelona in February 2011. I used to look back on that night with such fondness. I still do, but somehow it’s not quite as up there as some of the moments we’ve had this season. Maybe it’s because most of the team from that night is a goner now. Maybe it’s because that night was the sole night of brightness in a few months of total collapse and that that night seemed to be the final slap-up meal before we were left to feed on scraps from the shit kitchen for the next two months. Who knows? Either way, it feels a world away from where we currently are.

This season, we’ve had some proper stinkers. I need not remind you of Man United away or Blackburn away, or of the really quite unlucky home loss to Liverpool. I need not be reminded myself of the moment post Blackburn where I looked at my dad like I used to when I was about five and went “Daddy… are we getting relegated this season?” Obviously I feel a total knobber for having thought that now, but sod the taxi duties and wedding payments, dads are mostly there to reassure you in your time of footballing need. (FYI, he looked at me unblinkingly and said firmly “No”. See, belief runs in this fam!)

Anyway, the point is: our wins against Chelsea and Tottenham and Liverpool and Newcastle are occupying a more prominent place in my liking at the moment. Suddenly this team we see before us is all spunky and sparky and fighty. Alright we looked all wobbly and Arsenally after Everton’s wrongly disallowed goal yesterday (soz but SAHA 2011), but beyond that we look different to the teams we’ve seen in seasons gone. Those teams were capable of spectacular things no doubt… but they were still a little bit pansy at times. Six wins on the bounce used to be the norm for us, but four consecutive wins from a losing position never really was. Of course it would be good if we didn’t put ourselves in the losing position in the first place, but Rome wasn’t built in a day now was it?

There’s an interview with Kieran Gibbs on Arsenal Player (and YouTube - 4.00 onwards) which must have been recorded a few days after the Champions League exit to Milan. He says all the things you’d expect him to say, but he says it with a lot more feeling than most footballers have ever seemed capable of. Remember Rosicky’s pre-wrist slit interview that night? That was the most bluntly honest interview I’ve ever seen with a footballer. Gibbs is not quite so brutal, but this part:

“We put so much… we put SO much into the first half…” really struck me.

They gave SO much that their professionally athletic bodies couldn’t keep up the pace. They believed SO much that Rosicky looked actually shellshocked that they’d not gone through. This is new territory and I kinda like it.

No matter what goes on between now and May, this group of footballers deserves credit for going where previous teams have not gone before. One memory that will probably last in Arsenal fans’ minds from this season is Paul Merson kicking seven colours out of us on Soccer Saturday a few months ago. I forget the actual words he used as I blocked them out at the time with words of rage-fuelled venom aimed at my telly, but his conclusion was essentially that we were a disgrace. Given the cacky foundations this team was allowed as a result of the summer and the start to the season we had, I think calling them a ‘disgrace’ is a bit harsh, but it does seem as though there has been some kind of rallying speech delivered to the team that has motivated them somewhat. Let’s not forget, also, that this new improved Arsenal was kicked to life in Sunderland by an assisting Russian called Andrey and, maybe more significantly, a scoring Frenchman called Thierry. Coincidence?

Obviously maybe it’s simply the fact our fullbacks are FINALLY fit, but that sounds a lot less pretty so let’s just go with my theory. We still have nine matches left, which is more than enough time for our annual slide to begin getting its groove on. That said, this time last season we had already started down the path on which we were to end our season. Fingers crossed this year we’ve started down a different one?

Finally, I know my words don’t mean anything, especially given the enormity of the pre-existing pile they’re about to be added to, but this week can’t really go by without a word about Fabrice Muamba. I always think of him in that Last Season at Highbury kit and as having been good mates with Nicky B. Apparently they were in the cinema watching Miami Vice together when Nick was first called up to the Danish national team. What happened last weekend was horrendous to watch unfold and it’s wonderful news that his condition in hospital seems to be getting progressively better. I loved our shirts for him last night and I really loved the fact they said ‘In our thoughts…’ rather than ‘Pray for…’. Let’s hope that as his former club (the club he literally knocked on the door of in pursuit of a trial SORRY BUT IF THIS ISN’T THE CUTEST FOOTBALL STORY EVER)  – continues down the path to success, so too does Fabrice continue down the path of get-betterdom. If Thierry can motivate a team onto a six-game winning streak, surely his flying visit to him yesterday will have done that room-brightening grin of Fabrice’s a world of good. Keep on keeping on, Fabz!

23 Comments

  1. Snail
    2040 days ago

    Blether away hen.

    Reply

  2. korihikage
    2040 days ago

    ‘I need not be reminded myself of the moment post Blackburn where I looked at my dad like I used to when I was about five and went “Daddy… are we getting relegated this season?” Obviously I feel a total knobber for having thought that now, but sod the taxi duties and wedding payments, dads are mostly there to reassure you in your time of footballing need. (FYI, he looked at me unblinkingly and said firmly “No”. See, belief runs in this fam!’

    i went awwwwwww as i read this.

    you can be very proud of your dad :)

    Reply

  3. MartyNI
    2040 days ago

    Love the Blog, but then again i always do – isnt it just great how the likes of Talksport now hardly mention the 6 games winning streak, the fact we are now 3rd , not quite the panic buys they would have led us believe, i think thats what gives me so much more satisfaction then even that epic ( hate the word epic and now i am using it..yak!) night where Arshavin bent the ball into the net v Barcelona, ut then maybe its because Nasri delivered the pass that i want it out f my head. Keep it up, love the blogs.

    Reply

    • Nick
      2040 days ago

      Right about Talksport. Here in the U.S. we get Talksport all day on the soccer channel on XM radio. I love hearing my sport talked about on a talk radio station, but today I wanted to wring (once again) the neck of that wind-up man Adrian whathisname. What a hater! (even though I know his role is to wind up the callers.) Anyway I know what you mean, and I’m 5 time zones away in Washington DC.

      Reply

  4. McAsh
    2040 days ago

    I disagree with you when you said “I know my words don’t mean anything, especially given the enormity of the pre-existing pile they’re about to be added to” because you sure got my eyeballs! Great piece.

    Reply

  5. Alan
    2040 days ago

    An absolute gem, bird. Please keep on blethering’ like this. Here’s hoping for a slap-up meal and no shit kitchen scraps this year.

    Reply

  6. 11cannons
    2040 days ago

    Nice one Sian. I’ll always love the 2-1 Barca win, but I see what you mean. Something good’s happening in this squad right now. Feels like we might be getting our Arsenal back.

    Reply

  7. Rebecca Jill
    2040 days ago

    Definitely blether on …

    Brilliant post about the current 6-game run of Arsenal and Fabrice Muamba.

    I just love reading your match summaries.

    Reply

  8. Mark1Arsenal
    2040 days ago

    Brilliant piece…full of emotion and verve..great blog..Thank you

    Reply

  9. Alex
    2040 days ago

    Sian, I could listen to you Blether on ALL day :) (My Joint if not Favourite Arsenal Blogger, along with the Goonerholic, the Arseblogger makes up the triumvirate)

    The 2-1 home win against B*rca was a great memory, rightfully so as you suggest but this new Arsenal team are making many more, 3-5 against Chel$ea, 7-1 against Blackburn (with the King’s Final Goal at the Emirates for the Arsenal potentially, God I wish I stumped up to go) 5-2 against the Spuds and many more performances, not for their scorelines but for the spirit the lads exuded out towards us fans :’)

    Let us not forget Thierry’s absolute class with his 5k Mile Round Trip to visit Muamba for a Hour. <3

    PS – Your dad is awesome.

    Reply

  10. irishgray
    2040 days ago

    Sian – Awesome as always :) Personally I always look forward to your ‘bletherin’ whether we win, lose or draw. This team has the makings of something truly special, in that I will agree with you. Echoes of 07/08 when we saw a few players step up and make themselves known. In as much as it never quite worked out for that particular squad, that 2-1 victory over the mighty Barca is still on my DVR and when bored (think this past weekend!) I stick it on and turn up the volume!! It is really nice to be finishing a season strongly for once, feeling happy and confident about this team. COYG!!!

    Reply

  11. Gf60
    2040 days ago

    Blether on Sian. Great review. And give your Dad a big hug from an old gooner. Cheers.

    Reply

  12. Deejay
    2040 days ago

    2 difficult games coming up. AV have lost only 3 away, QPR just beat liverpool and they have that animal barton in their side. However if you look at the run of games… Spuds, liverpool, Newcastle and Everton and compare with AV & QPR? 2 crucial games that we MUST win, then I would settle for 2 draws against Chavs and manshitty, both home games. anything more is a bonus for me. It is also important that manshitty do not win the league and end up potless this season, as a tribute to all our ex players that went there ” for the trophys of course, not the money “. I would love to see the italian pony get sacked by manshitty for his constant ‘tapping up’. .

    Excellent article by the way.

    Reply

  13. Alan fae Findochty
    2040 days ago

    Sian, thank you. Nostalgic about my Scottish roots when ‘blether’
    was mentioned :) Did your granny ‘haver’ too?

    Reply

  14. Kal
    2040 days ago

    Always love reading your work, well constructed & rational. The fact you draw on past Arsenal experiences too, puts you in good stead for a future within writing.

    Reply

  15. Daniel
    2040 days ago

    Marvellous, you always add the ingredient that is often missing from today’s game but has always been very important to me and the memories I have of this club: romance.

    Bravo, keep on keepin’ on and I’m sure if we get behind this team like we all have been of late, they can kick on and do us proud in the run-in.

    Lovely words on Muamba too… I’m left with an image of him smiling and Nicky B wearing a blazer with the sleeves rolled up.

    Reply

  16. UncleK
    2040 days ago

    Great stuff, Siany! One of your funniest and then suddenly,one of your most moving.All our thoughts are with Muamba.

    Reply

  17. irishgray
    2037 days ago

    Sian – Myself and The Girlfriend are on our third day of a 2 week roadtrip from New York to New Orleans and back and I have to say knowing that we are 3 points above THEM is making for one happy Irish co-driver :) Can’t wait for the next installment of Believing in The Arsenal :) Keep’em coming girl!

    Reply

    • Sian
      2034 days ago

      Hope you’re having an amazing time. I (and the fam) will be in New Orleans for the first time ever in June! Must get some recommendations from you :)

      Reply

  18. 1NilToTheArsenal
    2036 days ago

    She is to the blogosphere what Arsenal is to football. Nuff said.

    Reply

    • Sian
      2034 days ago

      Awww, what a comment!

      Reply

  19. Gf60
    2036 days ago

    Your last blog written “8.52pm the night after the match,” Are you alright Sian? Certainly no reason to not be happy surely? I’m starting to feel blog withdrawal symptoms. Let’s be havin yer blatherin!

    Reply

    • Sian
      2034 days ago

      Coming soon…!

      Reply

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