Lay down your body for this Club! What Francis Coquelin and I have in common!

What a weekend for yours truly. The low was being floored by a right hook by a Stoke hooligan at the head of the RedAction March in favour of Arsene Wenger, the blow did not hurt me or the pride that we had altogether in North London. Yes, PRIDE. Not pride as in love of the hooligan element, but proud that over a hundred Gooners held their cool in the face of mindless provocation from some zero life forms from the Potteries. Yet will a single Stoke Fan get a football banning order for the violence inflicted first upon the peaceful drinkers outside the Herbert Chapman pub on the Holloway Road, followed by the unprovoked attack on the RedAction march??? Don’t hold your breath. Because what ever the Metropolitan Police had planned for that Sunday, it certainly wasn’t football hooligans from up North.
Not that when it came to stopping a breach of public order, they failed in their duty, but mainly the fact that despite a good few pints of beer, very proud and loud Gooners, were exceptionally restrained and held off attacking a group of mindless oiks who were hopelessly outnumbered. These pathetic excuse for the kind of excrement that comes out of the rear of Police horses, had come to spoil our end of season party. They almost succeeded in doing so had it not been for the excellent good sense of many Arsenal fans. What amazed me was the way that such a blatant act of hooliganism got such little response. I have not heard of any arrests from the Stoke contingent, but if anyone from the Met wants to know, the guy who hit me was around 6ft 2in, dark receding hair, and wearing a navy and white horizontal polo shirt.
I was carrying the Banner at the head of the march when for some inexplicable reason, two Police horses shepherded the thirty or so idiots from the Holloway Road, around into Hornsey Road towards the Away supporters end. The very road that the well publicised Arsene Wenger march was to take place. If this is the intelligentsia of the Met police at work, then God help our Majesty. It did’nt take a genius to realise that the chanting noise coming from the march which had started at the Rocket, and that it would converge upon this group sooner or later. The Police seemed to condone the acts of hooliganism from the “visitors, preferring instead to pepper spray the gooner victims outside the Herbert Chapman, and then of course, not a single officer who witnessed the assault on me, came to my aid, or arrested the hooligan responsible. Talk about giving them some slack! It was almost as if the conclusion was “just get them into their respective ends of the ground and lets go home” Now I am being a little unfair, in that the witnessing officers were on Horse back, but aren’t these officers in contact with their colleagues? What harm would it have done to point out my assailant?
So I got back up and went straight to the front of the march where I belonged. (photo courtesy of Arsenal Times) No-one was going to stop our march in honour of the greatest ever Arsenal manager, except of course the additional two Police horses, the squad car that almost ran over an Arsenal supporter with it’s reckless driving and around twenty riot like regulars from the Met. They stopped major public disorder I suppose, but protecting our fans? No. How could they have protected the fans, and taught these morons a lesson? Simply by rounding every single one of these Stoke fans up in a corner, and transporting them to the nearest magistrates cells. I am having a go at the Police, because I had seen them being very heavy handed with some Gooners who admittedly were very worse for wear from the alcohol point of view, which did not appear to happen when confronted by thirty Stoke fans. But seeing as Arsenal Football Club are paying for this service, are we not entitled to expect more from our guardians in blue?
On to happier things, and I am so pleased that Arsenal Youth team, managed to finish their work at Anfield, beating the scousers two goals to one, with Steve Bould looking on proudly. The game was marred in the closing moments by a cynical forearm smash to the face of Coquelin by Alex Cooper. The act deserved a straight red card as it was clearly premeditated and could have resulted in extremely serious injury for Coquelin. Those of you reading this who like me know the fundamentals of Karate, know how potentially lethal an “Empi” strike is when delivered with speed and movement. The power is transmitted through the point of the elbow, and I have broken wood with this strike when well delivered.
To his credit, Coquelin did not try to get even later on in the game. Neither did any of the Arsenal team attempt to retaliate. But rough justice was meted out by Referee Mason with his pathetic yellow card, not wanting to spoil the final. I can only hope that Coquelin is not too bruised tomorrow. His assault was rather more severe than mine, poor lad! The game at Anfield was not the spectacle that I hoped for following my match report from last week, this time the game was only held in front of a paltry 12 thousand fans, compared with 33,000 at the Emirates. But the Respect to the Ninety-six banner which was laid out by the Arsenal away support reminded us all that when all is said and done, Football is just a game, and why should ordinary fans come to harm because of it. The South Lancashire Police were culpable on that occasion and in the absence of compensation from a full Judicial Action in the Courts, we will never know where the blame really lay on that fateful day at Hillsborough twenty years ago.
Sanchez Watt scored two goals. One a lovely run in between the Liverpool centre backs which allowed him to turn the ball past the keeper into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. His movement off the ball has improved this season. The second goal came from a deflection off Spanish hothead David Ayala, who again tried to get himself sent off by his unnecessary roughness on some of the Arsenal players. Sanchez collected the ball on the half volley with a lovely first touch, he ran the angle slightly wide to the left of the six yard box, and cut the ball back in for his fellow attacker. Ayala was caught in no-mans land and the rest they say is history.
The Liverpool attack looked better organised during the short spell of excellent football they shared just after their goal. But one always knew that this young Arsenal side, well schooled in possession football would have the upper hand. Steve Bould wasted the talent of Emmanuel-Thomas by playing him out on the wide left flank. He seemed so much more effective in the hole behind the strikers. Having said that, Jack Wilshere was played too deep again and so the Arsenal attack look a little fragmented without Wilshere’s guiding influence in the immediate vicinity. A job very well done nevertheless and Steve Bould and Arsenal Football Club can be very proud of this fledgling teams’ achievement.
Finally, as we count down the 51 days to the pre-season friendly at Barnet Football Club on July 18th, spare a thought for Theo Walcott. Playing for England is an honour, but I thought the days of slavery were over. Playing for the Senior squad AND the Under-21’s way out of order. Theo needs his rest, and it is gratuitously unfair that he should have to face the risk of injury before a ball is kicked in anger for next season’s campaign. He may become fatigued and start the season less brightly which is not what we need. Lets hope that we settle the transfer speculation early and allow all of us to get some kind of break this summer. So Hangerland, Blaise Matuidi and Roque Santa-Cruz? If these logical flights of transfer fantasy do take place, don’t forget that like many things this season, you heard it first on Arsenalinsider.

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