Jack’s back and I love Olivier.

November 22, 2012 12 Comments by Sian

Happy days are here again. Kinda. After a(n*) horrendous few weeks of awful, in which things were dire and performances were badly atrocious and also quite horrifically ghastly, we appear to have at least momentarily risen from the soiled graves of abyssish crap, and risen to the skies of hope and promise once more.

Ah Arsenal, what a harsh slavedriver of the heart you are. We enjoyed our annual 5-2 win over the neighbours at the weekend, of course. It wasn’t quite as enjoyable as last year, what with the portions of “OH MY GOD WHAT ARE WE DOINNNNNNG???” that still managed to pepper our display (but of course!), but a 5-2 win over anyone is always fun, particularly in a match you feel so sick about beforehand that you have to actually take to your seat earlier than usual just to keep yourself from hitting the deck. That said, I personally felt OK generally ahead of the match. I’d not felt OK for weeks –most certainly a massive factor in our win.

Anyway, the dismissal of Adebayor, a chump I’d like to just dismiss in general really, certainly helped us out some, along of course with some goals spread brilliantly across five different members of our team. A nice Saturday, so it was, a very nice Saturday. I’m not sure it’ll be quite the league catalyst the same fixture could have been considered to have been last year, but it got us more points while taking points off another team in the league. And is that, friends, not the name of the game?

Then yesterday our match with Montpellier would decide our European fate, which was obviously for us to continue in Europe, because Europe loves us and we’ve been excellent Europe dwellers for the past thirteen years consecutively or something. There are other hopefuls unwelcome in the warm yet ever so slightly sweaty bosom of European football. And to those I say ha ha ha. And ha ha ha ha ha ha. Because ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. It’s just so very, very funny. Continue to throw cash at the fair maiden, and she will give you affection indeed, but you will not win her heart. You think you gotta keep her iced, you don’t. You think she’s gonna spend your cash, she won’t. She doesn’t want to drive your Benz. And you needn’t be offering her your floss either, Roberto** – she has her own. You see, even if you were broke, European qualification don’t cost a thing.

Or it might, and that might have been J. Lo rather than the Champions League, who can tell any more? But the Per and the Santi of it is, we’re through and once again the richies are struggling. Hee!

I watched the match yesterday from the East Stand (is it called that these days?), having been invited into the Champions Club with Heineken pre-match. As well as getting both a wristband AND a lanyard and food, we got to meet the surprisingly tall Pat Rice who was exactly like you’d expect Pat Rice to be, except taller (yes I look like an ill ghost in that photo, I had a bad work day). When Tom Watt asked him who he thought was going to be victorious last night, he replied “It’s always Arsenal for me.” Awww. I should have had that as my blog URL. Pat would have never packed up his teeth in his old kit bag and flappy-ran off to Manc. Oh well, too late now. There were a lot of suits around, but normal fans too and we were sat quite close to the Montpellier fans. Normally away fans irritate me, but their spontaneous phantom goal celebrations were very funny.

Anyway, in spite of a slightly wobbly start, we didn’t look in too much danger of conceding at any point. It was like in the days early season where we kept, like, two entire clean sheets. We had the best chances too, a Koscielny header smashed into the bar and nearly a brilliant moment for Mertesacker. And that was just the defence!

Though Podolski’s was probably a contender for our goal of the season thus far, my match highlight was Jack’s opener. It meant so much to him and not just ‘because he’s a Gooner innit’ but because he’s spent best part of 18 months not doing the thing he was clearly born to do. Until he gets an autobiography out (probs in say a year?), no one except those who’ve been similarly sidelined will be able to understand exactly how hard the past year or so has been for him. There must have been moments where he wondered whether he’d ever be back, and surely a worry as to whether others would give up hope. But he came back and no one gave up hope and yesterday he played his first 90 minutes for us. I’m so glad he’s ours!***

Poldi’s golden goaldie was beautiful, finished like only Lukas can. I read in the programme a stat that Lukas’s shooting accuracy in Europe this season has been 100%. It now must be slightly less as he had a few goes last night, but his one-touch strike assisted by Giroud is definitely one for the tournament highlights reel.

Finally, let’s all bask in the glow of all the sudden Giroud love. Though it does seem to be mostly the men commenting on how handsome he is, I know that as a female with working eyes it’s easy to suggest I would be slightly biased toward liking him because of all the face – but he’s giving us so much more to love at the moment. From day one, he’s worked his massive socks off. His first few shots went a bit awry and suddenly he was a waste of money who had never done it on a bigger stage than Ligue 1.

But last night he was man of the match with two assists. He may not be as flashy as the likes of other good strikers we may have had until recently, but he does seem to bring more than HE did in other ways. I’m not sure I remember van Persie being all that great at set piece defending, for example. Olivier, on the other hand, seems to be our main corner defender. He looks like the kind of player who will do anything to be useful in the team. He won’t sulk if he’s not getting service and the amount of assists he’s had in only 10 or 11 starts speaks for itself. He’s a striker who looks around and sees team mates in better positions than he and chooses to pass to them rather than have a go and miss himself. A scar of the ghost of Stoke miss, perhaps? Also, there now seems to be somewhat of a point to those pointless goal kicks we do – he actually wins headers! Keep doing what you’re doing, Oli G, you are fast becoming a favourite.

Finally, I’d like to thank Joe at We Are Social, and Heineken, for inviting my sister and I along to the match. It was a brilliant experience to go along with a brilliant result for the Arsenal. Heineken, obviously Champions League sponsors, are doing football-related ticket competitions etcetera, so follow them on the old Twitters if you’re over 18. We’ve still got to look at Olympiacos away to worry about finishing first in the group but to be honest, at this stage, anyone you get is going to be difficult no matter where you end up. We’re through, y’all!

~ ~ ~

*treat H as a consonant or a vowel, on which side of that fence do YOU sit, dear reader?)

** what is a floss please.

*** for now.

12 Comments

  1. LB
    708 days ago

    I said from day one that Giroud will settle in and prove to be an asset to the Gunners. He has a lovely touch and is an intelligent player – he knows where he should be in the box and always gets into good positions ( mark the contrast with Chamakh ?! ).

    The more comfortable he becomes, the goals will increase as a consequence.

    I still feel another top quality striker will need to come in in the Jan transfer window … and then we’ll really have a strike force for anyone to fear in the EPL.

    Reply

  2. Graham
    708 days ago

    I don’t think I’ve wanted a player to succeed as much as Giroud since Supermac

    Reply

  3. FunGunner
    708 days ago

    I’m going to start a blog if it means I get invited to rub shoulders and who knows what else with so many legends.
    Lovely blog again.

    I know that as a female with working eyes it’s easy to suggest I would be slightly biased toward liking him because of all the face – but he’s giving us so much more to love at the moment. From day one, he’s worked his massive socks off.

    This is it, Sian – the single most gorgeous thing about Monsieur Pretty. (And it is mostly the blokes going on about it, ha ha!)

    Reply

    • Irishgray
      707 days ago

      We all know that it is only because the Ladies are too stunned by his good looks and stunning masculinity to dare speak and ruin the moment :)

      Reply

  4. richard
    708 days ago

    well the post is good in most parts, just one error to put right we have had five clean sheets in all competitions this season but this is first one in champions league. As for other comments its nice to see some positivity. I have not said giroud would be a success but i have always maintained that the time to judge a player is at the end of the season when we have all the stats and he will be a success if he scores twenty plus goals in his first season in english and european football. so far giroud has seven goals and six assists so he is well on his way with about a third of the season gone.

    Reply

    • TT
      707 days ago

      I kinda thought the statement on ”two entire clean sheets” was sarcasm. Did she mean it as a fact? I doubt that; so nothing to put right really. Nice read.

      Reply

  5. Alan
    708 days ago

    You’ve done it again, bird.

    Reply

  6. Feng
    707 days ago

    Urban dictionary says floss means “to flaunt expensive merchadise such as Iced-out rollies, Jaguars on Triple Golds, Gem-encrusted Pimp goblets, Huge whops of dank hydro, etc.”

    I still like to imagine she’s talking about dental floss though, it’s just that bit kinkier.

    Anyway, does Arsenal have the handsomest players or what? I mean..Manchester’s full of ogres, Barcelona’s full of goblins..

    Reply

  7. Irishgray
    707 days ago

    Siany is back! Yay!! Seriously nice and refreshing read from you Sian. Like you yourself said, going into the weekend match I too had a good feeling and was very happy to get our “annual result” :) Great news also on the sponsorship deals, bodes well for the next 5 years or so. I believe the new TV deals will bring in excess of $30m a year extra as well, so we are looking at an awesome jump north of $80m a year in revenue and as we are a well run club, it should all be available for player purchase/contract renewal.

    Nice photo of you, your sis and Pat Rice by the way. Another Arsenal legend. Roll on Villa, should be an easy win. And then we can all sit back and watch the Chavs kick lumps out of Citeh. Considering what they have done to Mark Clattenberg’s life and reputation, I cannot see them getting any 50/50 decisions. Rafa, WHAT were you thinking!?

    Reply

  8. Alex
    706 days ago

    Another great blog Sian, suspected around Monday you were going for the League then Champions League double summary :) Glad that I got to meet you, Evie, Teresa and Alan on Saturday after the game, thanks for everything and I hope you enjoyed the Montpellier game in Club Level, I was in the Family Enclosure at Clock End Lower with 3 American Gooners over for their 1st game at the Emirates (I was an unofficial host for them :P ) and so when the Arsenal attacked towards the Clock End I was pretty sad for them that apart from Koscielny’s crashing header against the bar and Mertemessi (or would that be Messisacker?) dancing through the Montpellier defence like he was in Nigeria all over again :) that they didn’t get to see the Arsenal put a goal in the net towards them, but Jack and Poldi’s goals were very emphatic and the Montpellier’s fans phantom goal celebrations were like a French Mosh Pit, hilarious when the Clock End and some of the West Stand joined them in doing it =D Jack’s on the way back & Giroud gets better by the day, hope they and Poldi (1st 90 mins on Wednesday!) all get on the scoresheet for a 0-3 away win for the Arsenal today! :D

    Reply

  9. Irishgray
    700 days ago

    Sian – Dear God please write something, if only so we can read something other than all the crap that is flying around the blogosphere at the moment. It doesn’t even have to be about The Arsenal!! Pleeeeeeease!!!!!! :(

    Reply

  10. tony
    697 days ago

    The way i see it is that the common sense analysis of Arsenal’s problems comes down to this:
    because of the ineptitude of the manager and the board, Arsenal don’t
    have good enough players. We should spend more, and change the
    manager. Possibly a new head of the club with a lot of dosh would allow
    us to spend our way out of trouble.

    It can work. When Manchester City was sold in order to be part of
    the promotion of the World Cup in the middle East it had all the money
    from the oil rich state pumped into it and the club won the league.

    On the other hand Chelsea have had unlimited funds – but have spent
    quite a spot of money on changing managers. They have not won a league
    match in their last seven – apparently their worst run since dear old
    Glenn Hoddle was manager in 1995.

    So they suffer fans’ protests – in fact they were suffering them even
    before he took control. I don’t like their manager, although of course
    I have never met him. But reviving confidence in a team which has lost
    a number of its natural leaders looks hard going. If Benitez does turn
    things around, it will be impressive.

    If Benítez does not get Chelsea into the next part of the Champions League all he has left are the domestic bits and pieces.

    But it doesn’t look good. And yet owners of clubs often appoint
    managers that the crowd don’t like. I don’t think anyone much liked
    Howard Wilkinson and certainly not when he turned up at Sunderland.
    Newcastle didn’t take to Sam Allardyce and in fact West Ham haven’t
    always loved him. His public pronouncements about fans that don’t like
    his style and his bizarre outpouring that one can only denounce that
    which one has personally heard or seen (thus allowing most of us to
    ignore such minor matters as the Holocaust, the Vietnam War, the way the
    Taliban treat women and destroy the relics of other religions etc etc).

    What on earth Tottenham were thinking about when they appointed
    George Graham at Tottenham I have no idea, and as for Villa giving
    McLeish a job, that just seems plain insane.

    And this is the problem. If Mr Wenger were to go, who would we get
    in his place. Benitez (who might well be unemployed any day soon). Or
    Jose M. – another ex Chelsea man who is seemingly on the way out of
    Real Mad.

    And then there is the issue of the finances. Just imagine (if you
    can) being a Leeds supporter. Ken Bates weaves his magic after the club
    collapses under a mountain of debt. Eventually he sells the club to
    GFH Capital – which looks good because they are from Dubai, and there is
    money in Dubai.

    Then the PR spokesbeing and chief operating officer of GFH declines
    to answer any questions about himself. Then his web site is taken down.

    But David Haigh, the man in question, won’t answer questions – and
    why should he? After all he’s only been taking over the club for seven
    months and these things take time.

    But Leeds United Supporters Trust say, ‘We have concerns that are not
    being addressed,” either amount the money, the owners, or the fact that
    the new top man in the club has in the past written about how wonderful
    Man U are.

    Perhaps the problem with Leeds man Haigh is that he puts up things on
    his web site that suggest he has done stuff and won stuff, which
    actually wasn’t quite right. The removal of the site was apparently
    just a coincidence.

    But what is interesting is that the website for GFH Capital is
    seemingly registeredd to Mr Haigh himself despite Gulf Finance House
    having done $$$billions of deals in the last few years.

    The Guardian also reveals that Haigh once stood in local elections
    for the Conservatives in London and came ninth out of thirteen. But
    that isn’t really relevant to football. I once stood for the local
    council and came third out of three, but I am not sure that stops me
    being interested in football.

    Anyway, in two weeks Leeds United will be owned by a firm based in
    the Cayman Islands, and from then on we’ll have no idea what is going on
    (not that we have any idea just now).

    The training ground and the Elland Road ground are already owned by a firm in the Virgin Islands.

    So what’s my point? Simply that replacing the board, and Mr Wenger, doesn’t guarantee success. Be careful what you wish for.

    “Common sense” I am told, suggest that a full scale change is needed
    now. And it could mean we ended up like Man City, winning the league
    but with an FFP problem. Or we might end up like Leeds United. Or
    Chelsea.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    Reply

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