PGL: Morning folks, I’m back after my little sabbatical last week. Thanks for picking up my slack fellas. It’s been yet another strange week in a season that has more twists than the rollercoaster at Alton Towers. So with FTK to the left of me and Arsenehollis to the right, Insiders, here I am stuck in the middle with you!
PGL: The big boo (not sure why everyone has been calling it a ‘boo’, it was actually an ironic cheer, but that’s not important). For all the issues I have with Mr. Eboue, and I have several, no player should be exposed to that. As many have said there has been booing before, but I don’t remember an incident anything like this one. Some have made the point that we should be more vocal and the general quietness of the Emirates crowd made the incident worse, this is true but Arsenal fans have been quiet since time began… it’s not going to change. Bendtner’s name was also booed in the pre-game squad announcements?! As I posted during the week, whatever you think about any player, this type of thing is fu*king treason. “Sat there in an overpriced replica shirt, eating overpriced hotdogs, in overpriced seats, screaming at overpayed players…” Is that what’s going through your head on the way out of the Emirates? If so you’re missing the point and maybe, just maybe, its you that needs to go not Mr. Eboue.
Richard Williams from the Guardian summed it up for me:
“Arsenal‘s supporters have one of the finest new stadiums in Europe, still within walking range for the traditional fan base. They have a manager who is not only transparently dedicated to their cause, but universally regarded as one of football’s handful of genuine visionaries. They have so many wonderfully gifted young players that the game’s governing bodies are trying to change the rules in order to make it harder to compile such an aggregation of super-talent. They have not just a long and glittering history but a glorious present and the sort of potential of which others can only dream. And yet on Saturday afternoon, by booing one of their own players until he wept, they acted in a way that dishonoured themselves and their patrimony.”
AH: PGL, good to have you back dude. All I would add to that is the hypocrisy it involves to degrade our own. Just this summer all and sundry were up in arms about Ade’s disloyalty, why? The fact is he stayed, where Hleb and Flamini left, yet he got murdered by our ‘fans’. You can only presume that despite him doing the right thing, he got there in a public fashion, where they slunk out the back door which makes the difference. So, as Gallas showed, you keep you skiddy knickers out of the public view and all is well. What did the ‘supporters’ – rings hollow eh – do?
If Cesc leaves and slags our ground off as being as lively a Scotish pay toilet will we complain? Will a funeral break out on the internet, but nothing nearly as lively in the ground? On what grounds could we demand better?
FTK: It has been warfare on parts of the blog this week with some fans with moronic tendencies deciding to have a go at Arsenalinsider for defending Eboue. What I see is more than stupidity over the Eboue thing, I see tribalism and immaturity. This is a generation that have been spoilt, they lack for nothing, and when they pay for their tickets, instead of seeing this as a privilege, they see it as some God given right. If they were still one of the thirty thousand fans on the waiting list, they would behave differently. Yet they do not see themselves as a disgrace, and they maintain that Eboue “had it coming”, well I dislike the player, and I agree that his past antics should have seen him leave the club, but when he is selected by Le Boss then I shall support him to help our team win during the game.
It’s was like Adebayor, I refused to sing his song in the summer, and still I have yet to sing it. But there is something bigger than my feelings about this or that player that transcends the attitude that I hold towards them. The desire to support my Club and the team, so that together we can achieve success. I argue that if you boo the team it is like supporting the opposition. You are basically saying that you want the other team to win. It is the other team that will take heart from the booing, just as in the same way they will will feel threatened by masses of cheering for the team. I had the opportunity to meet with Stan Kroenke, Peter Hill-Wood and Danny Fiszman at an Arsenal Supporters trust meeting yesterday evening and let me put it this way, the firm consensus was that Arsenal fans should support their team, come hell or high water. Stan Kroenke is a very warm and soft spoken man, but his persona is immense. I was very impressed by his willingness to take the time to meet with Arsenal fans, and he expressed a great desire to see the club succeed. He is an amazing addition to the Board.
PGL: The Carling Cup side, with a few experienced bodies thrown in, played in Porto on Wednesday with the lack of thrust you’d expect from an eleven put together out of necessity rather than design. Ramsey came through with more kudos than most. Yes he’s lacking physically and could be sharper with the ball but the boy has it. Bendy once again didn’t seem all that bothered, but maybe this is more lack of confidence leading to frustration than actual lack of effort… the jury’s still out on the big dane, but he will need to produce in the second half of the season if he has any real ambition of staying at the club. Second best on the night and second in the group, you couldn’t say we’re having the most convincing run but lets how when the CL recommences we’ll be stronger.
FTK: I was impressed by the performance of our youth. Aaron Ramsey almost scored, Carlos Vela tried so hard despite being fouled repeatedly. Jack Wilshere is a world class star in the making, and his courage is amazing. I still maintain that Arsene Wenger doesn’t mind finishing second, and if you look at the likely opposition, it is not that fearful, Barcelona apart. People have to realise that sometimes playing difficult games upon a knock out basis brings out the best of this team. We can beat any team on our day, any team. It’s about time we started believing again. Let us start at the Boro on Saturday.
AH: PGL, you knock our form, but we have won 3 of 5 in the league, including manure and chelsea. In all honesty 6 points from our november schedule might not have been a bad return and we got the big points at the end of it. (Those ‘we should walk it at home. Getting a game is a disgrace’, twats your input Is not needed or anything more than murderously boring)
6 more against Boro and Liverpool and all is well. Burnley and Porto were basically meaningless games with second string teams, less in the kiddie cup, that hyped up doom mongers jumped all over just because they were looking for an excuse. I’m fed up arguing with other gooners who are determined to convince people this team is shit, Wenger is senile, and that there is something much better on the horizon even though t hey cant tell us what it is. Just f*ck off. I can get that shit off the local Spurs twat for god sake. AKB, ‘blog wars’ (how sad), maximus and his ilk, my life is too short for that crap, go get one toe-suckers.
“It is difficult to say [if it will be important] but would we not feel guilty if we had a massive draw in the last 16?” asked Wenger. “We would have not done something when we know it can punish us.”
AH: Barca aside, there is no difference between first and second. If we avoid a second leg at Camp Nou or in Munich we will actually have done better out of it. Lets look to bigger things with less of a soap-opera feel. I’m sorry guys but all this negativity is getting me down. We boo, we bitch, we don’t sing. Great f*cking support. Bottom line, the draw will be lucky or not and could have been whatever our result Wednesday. You want to win the big one and be the best then you better be prepared to face the best, no back door this season I am afraid. (Manure got that last year)
FTK: You know what guys, I am convinced that fate is with us. Arsenal under Arsene Wenger always does the unexpected when the tide is against us. When everyone writes us off, that is when we deliver our best. Why can’t we all realise that despite having have seen the worse of Arsenal since the beginning of the season, yet we are still in the top four places in the Premiership, and we have reached the last 16 of the Champions League. If we can do that whilst playing badly, imagine what we will achieve when we rediscover our beautiful football? I really think that fans have to remember this and try to support the lads. Bring it on I say, when the going gets tough, The Arsenal get going! We have been here before, with our backs against the wall, we are the ARSENAL and we will survive!
PGL: I got to wonder how guilty Mr. Wenger will feel when the last 16 draw is made. Events in Porto may well cost us and I’ve got a sinking feeling it will… It would be fantastic to see TH14 back at the Emirates but February 2009 would be far to soon as far as PGL is concerned!
FTK: My praise goes to Carlos Vela, for showing that he is not just about scoring fancy goals. He ran his heart out for the team, despite receiving some very harsh treatment. Arsene Wenger should play him down our left flank, as he will deliver.
PGL: My performance of the week goes Eboue, simply because he fell off the horse on Saturday and bravely got back in the saddle on Wednesday. So Emmanuel, your getting the nod from me…
AH: Toure. Lost in all the Eboue embarrasment we heaped on our own club was a fine display that perhaps suggests a return to form. When he broke out of defence late on, urging the team forward we got glimpse of what was at one time the worlds best (top 5 at least) CB. Same deal with 3 great tackles facing his own goal. If he and Djourou can stay fit and firing I think we have our defence sorted. Pace, height, technique, athleticism, and a great reading of the game. This one could run and run.
FTK: You know what? It has to be Sky Sports TV for their usual bias in favour of Manchester United. Wayne Rooney appeared to use an Aalborg player’s chest as a trampoline in the Champions League game, and guess what, the footage has hardly been shown. Contrast that with the SkySports treatment of an Arsenal incident, it would have been on continuous replay with every bulletin, from sixteen camera angles. Plus they would have had pundits wondering if UEFA should give the “Arsenal player” a six or ten match ban. At least the gutter tabloids are covering the story for once.
PGL: There is no one who has particularly pissed me off this week! Well no one Arsenal related… The temptation is to condemn all those who had a pop at Eboue but cussing out your own is not my style no matter what the situation. So there you go no Friday Finger from PGL!
AH: (Eds. Note: AH missed this section, having stormed off in a strop already leaving his toys scattered on the floor.)
AH: WHAT? No. Mabe next week…Thanks you say… 3 points at Boro and the chance to close again against Liverpool – battle of the boo boys. Bring it on, but we need to do the biz Saturday first.
FTK: I am thankful that I am part of the family of Gooners and that we are privileged to support the greatest club in Europe, and that we have had the opportunity to enjoy 12 years of amazing football, and despite the shaky last two seasons, it is an honour to be an Arsenal fan. I can’t imagine what it must be like to support the Chavs or the Spurz. People should remember that sometimes.
PGL: This week I am thankful that so many fans have been disgusted at what happened on Saturday. It would seem there are still plenty of fans who understand how futile and ridiculous it is to barrack one of our own, in a week when I felt worse than losing the CL final defeat and the week TH14 left combined, the fact so many have stood up for Eboue has made me happy to be a Gooner again cause on Saturday I wasn’t.