Welcome to my new blog. I have been enthused since joining Twitter since the beginning of the World Cup last year that there are people out there willing to read what I have to say. Of course I am more than willing to read their views too.
I have called my blog ‘A View from Above’ because, apart the picture above being taken from my seat at the Emirates, I believe my views are taken from an aerial perspective – they are not always necessarily positive but what I feel is an objective view of Arsenal FC, the club I love and have supported for over 30 years and deep within my family for nearly 100 years.
I aim to write this blog weekly – taking into account all the games of the week – not writing on a knee jerk reaction to every Arsenal game. I’ll leave my thoughts on those on Twitter. Hopefully (after I calm down) my thoughts in this blog will have that ‘view from above’ perspective.
A mixed week then. The performances vs Leeds and Ipswich were extremely disappointing. I don’t mind losing or dropping points as long as we give it our all, but I get sick when we don’t – we always get punished (quite rightly). Ipswich was the most disappointing. For the performance that we put in, we should have played the kids that were so magnificent at White Hart Lane. They would have shown more fight and spirit than the ‘first/strong team’ we saw at Portman Road. Well done though to Ipswich – a great win for them. I think though we should be too strong at home – but with luck against us, we could be punished for a very poor 1st leg showing.
I think I was similar to other Arsenal fans by wishing there weren’t 2 legs in the Carling Cup Semis, but after Wednesday, boy am I glad they are!! In truth I actually find them very unfair to the lower league teams as Wednesday showed. In one game anyone has a chance, but over two, the Premier League teams usually show their dominance. I hope we do in a couple of weeks.
After Ipswich a lot of fans were calling for a much better show against West Ham. I ‘expected’ a much better show and was glad we got it. We played well, but the Irons were truly awful. We don’t have a great record at Upton Park. They have quite a passionate crowd and it is a real London derby. But on Saturday there was simply no fight from either the team or the fans.
Of course it is related to their plight both on and off the field. I do feel for Avram Grant, and the rumours circulating before that he would be sacked after the game were in bad taste. I am glad West Ham didn’t sack him on Saturday night. Spurs then remain the club with the most un-gentlemanly act in dismissing a manager with the terrible way they sacked Martin Jol (during a game).
We did play well. It was great to see us dominate and take chances. RVP proved again how important he is to our team – but will he stay fit? Songwal Van Nasregashire on form are great and the goals from RVP and Theo were both sublime. However, for all our great play, West Ham were presented with a couple of great chances which most other teams would have taken. A warning there.
I hear that TV5 is having an operation this week. We wish him well and surely Arsene must now go shopping. If he brings in, as rumoured, either Upson or the mighty Sol, then our Scouts should retire. Surely Arsenal must be tracking a wide variety of players in all sorts of positions, and to bring in ex-players of questionable quality baffles me. I don’t think either will come back and we’ll see someone like Cahill or Per Mertesacker. But I could be wrong of course. I can never second guess what Arsene will or won’t do in the transfer windows.
I didn’t see either the Birmingham or Liverpool derbies but I did see Stratford Spurs v Manure, and the latter lived up to their name this season. How on earth are they un-beaten? They were poor, couldn’t pass and had no real ambition. They are reliant on a resilient defence which did well, squeezing Spurs inside, giving Bale and Lennon no real freedom. They also marshaled VDV and Modric well.
Although we’d all love to see their unbeaten run come to an end, a draw was ideal for us and Man City. We lay just 2 points off them and 6 over Spurs. A nice cushion. Let them and Chelsea fight for 4th.
Of course another furor resides around where Spurs will be playing football in years to come. White Hart Lane or Stratford.
Financially it makes sense for them to move. Emotionally and from a heritage point of view, they should remain in Tottenham. But I would laugh if they moved. I have spoken to many people and some who don’t quite realise our club’s South London origins and therefore haven’t realised the irony if they moved. Arsenal moved to North London in 1913 to the horror of Spurs and completed our mission of dominance 6 years later when we got promoted to the top flight at the expense of Spurs. We of course have stayed in the top flight ever since.
If Spurs moved, and I have a feeling they will, we would have pushed them out of North London. Someone said that if they moved we would always be their rivals. Sorry, we won’t. Our North London derby will be against Barnet.
My dad reminds me of when Spurs last got relegated. After the euphoria subsided, when the fixture list came out, everyone realised that there was no derby which left a huge whole. In a weird way, I think we’d all feel that too. Although after the most recent derby, I wish the fixture was obliterated forever.
A big week beckons again. Leeds at Elland road will be tough but if the team that showed up at Upton Park turn up in West Yorkshire, we will be in the 4th Round. Any kind of lack lusture display again and we will go out leaving a romantic Yorkshire derby in the next round with Leeds playing Huddersfield.
Wigan at the Emirates will also be tricky given our suspect home form but a team we should successfully navigate, keeping up the pressure at the top. All you can do is win and worry about the others after.
Until then, C’mon you Gunners!!
Thank you to @olegooner who got me on the road to blogging and I will always promote his blog http://www.olegooners-blog.blogspot.com/ – make sure you visit.