GO YOOF! – ANOTHER EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE AGAINST THE PIE-EATERS – RIGHT-BACK SHORTLISTS/ALL-TIME ARSENAL & WORLD XI’s
FTK will no doubt be posting another of his excellent match-reports for your delectation and delight, so I won’t go into too much detail. Suffice to say that the yoof again looked the nuts at the Grove last night. We really do have some talent coming through the ranks. Two passes to die for led to the first two goals, one from young Jack Wilshere, not 17 until New Year’s Day and another from Welsh Wizard Aaron “Rambo” Ramsey (18 on Boxing Day). Two good finishes from Jay Simpson, partnered last night by Carlos Vela who got our third with a wonderful run and a real poacher’s finish lobbing Chris Kirkland in the Pie-Eaters’ goal.
I love the new song for Carlos: “He’s our Mexican superstar, he’s better than Cantona! Carlos Vela, oh, oh, oh, oh!” (to the tune of Volare, a la “Vieira, oh, oh, oh, oh!”). Quality! Well done, REDAction! It was the normal crowd we’ve got used to for Carling Cup games, much younger and much more diverse than the normal old codgers like me. I took my normal perch in Block 112 and only one of the regulars was around me. Sad in some ways that more don’t come along to support the yoof, but it does give others a go, especially as the prices are cut to reasonable from the normal silly levels we’ve had to endure in this country.
My only complaint is that large numbers of the crowd arrive EVEN later for Carling Cup games than some of the regulars. A third of the sell-out crowd was still to take its seats at kick-off. This meant going up and down like a harlot’s underwear for about twenty minutes whilst trying to watch the game. I can understand that some who aren’t regulars at THOFII don’t “know the manor” as well as most of us who are lucky enough and rich enough to have season tickets do. I also know its midweek and therefore people have to get from work.
Call me old-fashioned, call me a grumpy old man, but I always leave a bit of time if I’m going into unfamiliar surroundings. Some of the crowd seem more interested in improving the takings of our catering concessionaire Delaware North than watching the game. Call me a miserable old git, but the main purpose of going to a football match is to, er, watch the football? No? Am I missing something?
Talking of THOFII, in fact it’s THOFIX if you’re a pedant (which I am). We used two grounds down “sarf” in Woolwich before de-camping to Highbury in 1913.
Anyway, I kiss the ground whichever Arsenal scout found Jack Wilshere. He should get a gi-normous bonus and a medal as big as a frying pan. This kid has the potential to be genuinely world class. He couldn’t have a better guide and mentor than Arsčne. If he keeps on this way it won’t be too long before he’s ready for League, FA Cup and European action. Guard him well though, Arsčne. He’s a rare talent. Meanwhile we can confidently expect Aaron Ramsey to join current the 20 (yes, that’s 20) full internationals in our squad (if you include Philippe Senderos, currently on loan at Milan) very soon, possibly as soon as the Welsh friendly in Copenhagen against Denmark next week. The training ground must be like a ghost town during international weeks these days.
No transfer rumours to discuss in this blog, so straight on to my short-lists for My Greatest Arsenal and World XIs.
I’ve already picked my goalies. It’s Pat Jennings in goal for the Arsenal and Ladislao Mazurkiewicz for the Arsenal. Now the nominations (drum roll please) for the right-backs in both teams, as always in alphabetical surname order:
Viv ANDERSON ( England)
Lee DIXON ( England)
Pat RICE ( Northern Ireland)
Bacary SAGNA ( France)
Peter STOREY ( England)
And for the World XI
CAFU ( São Paulo, Juventude, Real Zaragoza, Palmeiras, AS Roma, Milan & Brazil)
Manfred KALTZ (Hamburger SV, Girondins de Bordeaux, FC Mulhouse & West Germany)
Christian PANUCCI ( Genoa, Milan, Real Madrid, Internazionale, Chelsea, AS Monaco, AS Roma & Italy)
Lilian THURAM (AS Monaco, Parma, Juventus, Barcelona & France)
Javier ZANETTI (Banfield, Internazionale & Argentina)
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