Can one man make a difference?

By our Russian correspondent

With any luck our talismanic new signing Andrey Arshavin will be over his virus and fit to turn out against  Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday 

Having just lost to United by 3 goals to 1 at the Emirates, we will have a chance to judge just what effect 5 foot 8 inches of Russian genius can have on our team’s performance. 

We shouldn’t expect too much. Granted he pretty much single handedly took on and should have defeated Liverpool at Anfield if only we’d had even a rudimentary understanding of defence that night.

Andrey the man……he comes from working class Russian stock. His parents divorced when he was 10 and he almost died when he was involved in a car accident. He had to sleep on the floor of a cramped flat and showed footballing promise from an early age encouraged by his father. So no silver spoon there but a classic rags to riches story.

He is of compact stature with something of the ‘Hobbit’ about his physique. His low centre of gravity and deceptive strength are comparable to that of Maradona and give him the ability to twist and turn making him a nightmare for lumbering centrebacks. But his most outstanding gift is located between his ears….he has an exceptional footballing brain, his spacial awareness and vision in passing is as good as anyone in the Premier league. He has ‘two good feet’ and I think we can forgive him for not being prolific with his head considering it comes up to the waist of most other players.

His record…..he scored 52 goals in 238 appearances for Zenit at an average of 1 goal every 4.5 games….he has scored 15 goals in 43 appearances for the Russian national team at an average of 1 goal every 2.8 games….he has scored 6 goals in 12 appearances for Arsenal at an average of 1 goal every 2 games. 

The effect on the team……he has brought energy, invention and much needed clinical finishing to our midfield and attack. He gives options to Cesc, RVP and Nasri – they can play football with him and they seem to be on the same wavelength already.

The effect on the fans…..I can’t remember any other player that has ever become such an instant hit. OK, we were desperate for new quality signings and after the prolonged post deadline saga it was not surprising that we yearned for a new hero, and boy, he hasn’t let us down. He is already being described laughably as a ‘legend’ when he’s only been at the club a matter of weeks. He’s lifted the players, he’s lifted the fans and next year, I have a feeling he will help us lift trophies.


About peachesgÖÖner

Garden Designer Mum Enjoys Red Wine, Sunshine and playing with plants
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132 Responses to Can one man make a difference?

  1. peachesgooner says:

    Good morning all

    Many thanks to our Russian correspondent for his post 😆

  2. Rasputin says:

    Morning Beachbums….

    It’s the Russian revolution all over again! 😛

  3. kelsey says:

    Good Morning,
    nice insight into our new hero Arshavin from our Russian correspondant.In a very short space of time we have become “The Reuters” of Arsenal FC, with dispatches from all over the world.

    Tomorrow’s game saddens me,as we have literally nothing to play for,except pride,with the almost ineviatable feeling that a trophy that so easily could have been ours just over a year ago,will be handed to United,yet again.

    Will AW really motivate the side to at least give a performance and get stuck in and wear the shirt with pride.? The gulf between the two sides has been more the evident these last two games and i will be looking to see how arshavin and in paricular Walcott performs,after he was completely marked out of the game.

    I am sure later on today,we will hopefully be able to discuss what went on at the meeting last night.

    Off to the beach this afternoons,see you bums 😉

  4. Rasputin says:

    Morning Kelsey,

    I have mixed feelings too about tomorrow’s game. We wouldn’t want a good result to give anyone the excuse to say that the team doesn’t need reinforcing.

    AW has criticised the fans for being too negative – that is tantamount to an employee criticising his employer. Fair enough the board engaged him but the revenue comes from fans buying tickets, merchandising and watching tv – we pay his wages. He asked to be judged in May. Well May’s arrived and his school report reads “must do better, talks too much in class and doesn’t do his homework!”

  5. peachesgooner says:


    It’s sad that we have 2 games left and we havn’t even got the unbeaten run to keep playing for.

    Will Arsene mix the team up for these last games – usually he would blood a couple of the graduates, maybe we’ll see Vela and Ramsey …….

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Fine post.

    Last player to xcite in his first few games? PV4.
    I was there when he came on as sub at THOF on his debut. The whole crowd was lifted, we knew we were in the presence of a future star. After years of Selley, Morrow, Hillier and Jensen, we finally had a ballplaying DM. If only we had him now (in his pomp).

    AW’s comments last night. I sincerely hope they were taken out of context. If not an immediate apology is due. NO manager has the right to criticise the fans.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Depends Peaches.

    MU are going to want an emphatic victory tomorrow, and playing the kids could be a disaster.

    How would that help their development? I would def. play Adebayor, Eboue, and Denilson. Drop Theo to the bench, and pack the midfield.

    If we are being hammered at 75 mins, bring on the kids. By then it won’t matter

  8. Rasputin says:

    Morning Raddy,

    I think the forum from which the quotes came is going to be screened on ATV. Maybe AW’s theory on PR is the same as ffootball = attack is the best form of defence. He has as much as admitted that our failings are in midfield and defence by quoting the goals scored and conceded in relation to manu.

  9. peachesgooner says:

    Morning raddy and rasp

    There must be a transcript don’t you think?

    Hes pretty delusional if its all true – but then I’ve thought that for a while.

    His PR skills are rubbish and its seems that no-one at the club has any influence over that…….

  10. Rasputin says:

    Morning peaches,

    He seems to have developed a talent for saying exactly what we don’t want to hear – but you’re right, it could be being misreported or distorted to create headlines. I think you’ve got Arsenal TV so you should be able to judge for yourself

  11. peachesgooner says:


    The more I think about a Q&A session with unvetted questions the more I realise that he obviously doesn’t think that that much is wrong!!!!!!!

    Why would you leave yourself open to abuse if you knew the fans were unhappy????????

  12. peachesgooner says:

    I have got Arsenal tv – she says proudly 🙂

    They may show it on-line too – in which case you’ll be able to see it.

    For a man on his day-off you were blogging early 😆

  13. Big Raddy says:

    The Arsenalinsider site has a good write up.

    Of course AW is delusional. We have always known that he spends all his free-time watching and thinking football. So he lives in a world that
    is totally focussed on his work, and his emotional life reflects his obsession. With no possibility of empathetic reflection, how can he understand how the fans feel?

    Let us assume an average season ticket holder spends 10% of his disposable income on The Arsenal – doesn’t that buy him/her the right to be negative? Anyway,the negativity stems from the team, not the other way round

  14. Irishgunner says:

    Morning guys.

    Anyone know where to find a transcript of last night?

    If reports are true I’m afraid our manager may be gone cuckoo….

  15. Rasputin says:

    Morning Irish,

    Either way it is not good spin and what will he say if we concede a hatfull against manu – maybe he’ll blame the fans for that. I’m a Wenger fan, but I am beginning to wonder if I was delusional for the 1st 7 years of his tenure. At the end of the day, its results and trophies that make fans happy. If we were winning, none of this would matter….sorry for stating the completely bloody obvious 🙂

  16. Rasputin says:

    I’m off for a while beachbums…..catch up later this afternoon.

    Keep the debate alive 😆

  17. Big Raddy says:

    On a personal note …. my obsession doesn’t rule my life 😉

    My ‘bonus son’ (Danish for the son of one’s partner) is helping me with a fridge today. Last week we rented a van, picked it up from the shop and carried it up the 5 floors to our apartment (no lift). Not an easy task as it is a large fridge/freezer, and I am not the man I used to be!

    Well ….. we unpacked it, and discovered a huge dent in the door. We called the shop to be told “Call tomorrow, when the Manager is back in”. We did, and she said that we could exchange it for a new one if we brought the damaged fridge back! I said, ” No. We have returned the hire van, you have to collect it and bring us the new one”. She replied that as we picked it up, we may have been responsible for the damage, and she was being generous with her offer’ So, I asked how much it would cost to have a new fridge delivered, and the damaged one removed.

    £250 !!!! £250 of England’s finest!! We live 2 kms from the shop, ….

    So, today , my ‘bonus-son’, Mads and I are going to take the fridge down 5 flights, walk the fridge back to the shop (we have a trolley), walk the new one back and then up the 5 flights of stairs (94 steps!).

    I write this as a form of explanation should I not blog again. A coronary is distinct possibility.

    At least I will miss the MU game 🙂

  18. Irishgunner says:

    Was he really blaming the fans or just wishing they weren’t “negative” at home?

  19. Irishgunner says:

    😆 BR – best of luck with the moving ha ha

  20. peachesgooner says:

    Sorry, I had to pop out for a bit.

    Morning Irish – might just be me and you for a while 🙂

    Raddy – that sounds like a job and a half, poor you, good luck and hope you’ll have a laugh along the way.

    Good point about negtivity stemming from the form of the team………..

    I havn’t seen the transcript but it seems to me that often Arsene deflects blame from himself by saying we shouldn’t attack the team – mostly he doesn’t pick up that we are questioning him first…….his choice of players………his tactics…….

    He seems to think we just want to have a go at the players

  21. kelsey says:

    sorry to be negative,but didn’t AW say that a different team would come out for the second leg against Man U.

    Hello Irish and all.Amazing where you bump into people.

    He has to play his strongest team tomorrow,don’t want anymore shell shocked kids.

  22. Irishgunner says:

    Do you guys reckon AW was shocked at the amount of negativity last night?

    I personally don’t think he should have been but maybe he was and this is his wake up call? Well that’s the hope anyway.

  23. peachesgooner says:

    I think that he thinks that we are upset only with the team – I’m not sure that he realises that in some way we are upset with him and the decisions he has made.

    Now hes an intelligent man – what does he genuinely believe we, the fans are upset about and who has the power to try to put it right?

  24. peachesgooner says:

    Irish – I’ll have to wait until I see the footage because you can tell a lot from his body language…….

  25. Irishgunner says:

    Will you report back to me Peaches please??

    I don’t have ATVO 😦

  26. peachesgooner says:

    I will irish.

    I have felt for the whole of this season that Arsene has needed someone to bounce ideas off of – I wonder if David Dein was that person previously…..

  27. Irishgunner says:

    Cheers Peaches 🙂

    I think you are right there about Dein. I just wonder how much Gazidis can do?

    At least with Dein he knew Arsenal and football. Still no matter how crap the MLS is at least Gazidis got it on the map somewhat.

  28. rico01 says:

    BOO 😉

  29. peachesgooner says:

    rico – if you’re about, I agree with you about the money – I have also always said that there was no money for him to spend unless absolutely necessary.

    Maybe now the board have offered to loosen the purse-strings a little and he’ll be able to go after who he wants.

    Something has to change…….

  30. rico01 says:

    peaches – you have got me in moderation 😦

  31. Irishgunner says:

    Peaches – FYI “A” on Le Grove reckons the Q&A will be on from 9 tonight. Not sure where he got it from though.

  32. Irishgunner says:

    Last one didn’t seem to post 😕

    I think the Q&A is on at 9 tonight Peaches

  33. peachesgooner says:

    …..and that he would take the blame for everything and deflect criticism from the board……..but he could have avoided some of his strange decision making with regard to tactics…….

  34. peachesgooner says:

    Sorry rico, you’re out now, Helloooooooo

  35. peachesgooner says:

    irish – you had ‘le grove’ in your comment and I blocked using that……..

  36. Irishgunner says:

    I see Peaches – least you got the comment

    Is Rico here?? Ha ha don’t see her 😆

    By the by I meant to say – great name for the blog, its very relaxed 🙂

  37. Irishgunner says:

    Agh I see her 😀 Hi Rico

  38. peachesgooner says:

    rasp just suggested a new term – ‘cross-blogger’

    We are all ‘cross-bloggers’- cbs for short 🙂

  39. kelsey says:

    Good God,
    3 ladies in one room and they are all gooners (is there a female word for gooners )

  40. kelsey says:

    cross dresser
    i never looked at ras that way 😉

  41. peachesgooner says:

    Hi kelsey – gooners is generic isn’t it 🙂

    How was the beach – you lucky lucky man 😦

  42. Irishgunner says:


  43. Irishgunner says:

    Gooneresses? even

  44. peachesgooner says:

    I laughed too – I’m not sure he realised what he was saying. Raddy was about so he obviously survived his fridge moving expedition – hes chatting elsewhere 😉

    Rico put up a link from about there being some money now for him to spend…..did you have a look

  45. peachesgooner says:

    Gooneress is good 🙂

    Does that mean i should be peachesgooneress – bit of a mouthful 🙂

    kelsey – i suspect you’re catching up on your reading 😆

  46. peachesgooner says:

    Irish – thanks for that its really funny 🙂

    If the Q&A is on arse tv at 9 tnite it might not be on-line until later.

  47. Irishgunner says:

    Then I’d be Irishgooneress …. eemmmh makes me feel like a Princess though 😆

    So Peaches who are we buying with all this money Arsene has?

  48. Irishgunner says:

    Could I watch the interview tomorrow? They stay online don’t they?

  49. kelsey says:

    gereatric more like it,
    loads of zimmer frames on the beach,
    too hot for me,had to come back

  50. Irishgunner says:

    Come live in Ireland Kelsey and you need never worry about the heat again 🙂

  51. kelsey says:

    I thought about it for about 10 seconds,and decided to decline your offer.

    We have tens of thousands of Irish living here,in fact many bought here before the English.I wonder why ?

  52. Irishgunner says:

    I shall give you a list of options:

    1)The Weather
    2)High rate of living in Ireland
    3)The Weather

  53. peachesgooner says:

    Sorry guys, my internet keeps disappearing.

    So Irish, apart form Benzema who have you got your heart set on……

    ….and about the interview I’m sure it’ll be on there for days…..

  54. Irishgunner says:

    Tough Tackling Center Back a la Hangerland or Chiellini and a tough defensive midfielder like Lorik Cana and that’s me a happy bunny.

    If Arsene does that and feels he has enough to add Benzema too 😉 and we can stay relatively injury free we could be in for a great season

  55. peachesgooner says:

    I agree, I’ve felt all season that the addition of a couple of strong experienced players would have made all the difference.

    I love Cesc but hes not really captain material yet – the players love him too but hes not their leader. We’ve missed a leader since Vieira and Arsene messed up when he gave the arm-band to Gallas instead of Gilberto and Toure after Thierry went.

  56. Irishgunner says:

    I thought Arshavin did well with the armband against Pompey – he ordered the young guys around.

    I think it was Vela who he virtually said to “You go there and I’ll get the ball to you and then I’ll move there and I want it back”.

    Then again Pompey is a different kettle of fish.

  57. peachesgooner says:

    At some point we are going to have to think about the game tomorrow 😦

    They only need a point to win the league and – stating the obvious here – I’m not convinced we can stop that from happening 😦

    Not like me, I’m usually really optimistic 😦 😦 😦

  58. peachesgooner says:

    I noticed in the first games where Arshavin played he was already pointing and directing – this young team need that.

    I think Cesc should step down from being the captain and tell the boss that the team needs someone with more experience and to give the arm-band to Arshavin.

  59. Irishgunner says:

    I shall bury my head in the sand about tomorrow’s game – want to join me??

    Seriously though, this line up:


    Sagna ——- Kolo ——- Silvestre ——– Gibbs

    Eboue ——— Cesc —— Song ——— Arshavin

    ————- Van Persie —- Bendtner ———-

    I shall put my head on the line with all my dignity and say 2-1 to Arsenal 🙂

    Hope Gibbs scores to stick it to that ponce Evra.

  60. Irishgunner says:

    I don’t think one person would knock Cesc for doing that, in fact he would be applauded if he did so.

    Whether he will or not is another story.

  61. Rasputin says:

    Hi Beachbums 🙂

    There’s a lot of analysis of Arsene’s home and away fans analogy. I think like a lot of things he says there isn’t particularly deep meaning, but some folks try to find one anyway. Of course away fans are more vociferous – why would you waste a whole day, travel to the other side of the country and spend a bucketload of money. Every team’s away fans are more hardcore – they all know each other and are p****d by the time the game starts. If AW wants more of the traditional ‘Highbury type’ fans at the Emirates he should reduce ticket prices and let us all enjoy Club Class 😛

  62. Irishgunner says:

    Darn that’s wrong, I’ll go again:

    ————— Fabianski —————

    Sagna ——- Kolo —— Silvestre —– Gibbs

    —– Fabregas —– Song ———- Nasri —-

    ——Van Persie —– Nik B —— Arshavin —-

    Yeah baby 4-3-3 😀

  63. peachesgooner says:

    Until I read your team Irish I’d forgotten that Almunia is injured again – Fab2 may just decide to stand to the side of his goal 😉

    We can stuff the mancs – we know we can – I was there in November it was the most exciting game of football for ages!!!!

    Why no Theo in your team?

  64. Irishgunner says:

    Theo is my supersub 😀

    Is Rosicky out of contract?

  65. Rasputin says:

    Hi Irish,

    If you’re going 4:3:3, I think your team is the strongest possible. If it is to be 4:4:2 – I’d swap RVP or Nik for Theo.

  66. peachesgooner says:

    Love that team selection – wouldn’t they play 4-1-2-3 though?

    rasp – are you a ‘Highbury Type’ fan then 🙂

  67. peachesgooner says:

    ‘Theo is my supersub’ good plan there 🙂

    Rosicky is out of contract – yesterday someone put up a link for all the players out of contract in the uk, france and spain.

    I think we’ll see Rosicky on our sick list next season 🙂

  68. Irishgunner says:

    I was thinking 4-4-2 but to hell with it, lets go all Barcelona on their ass and go 4-3-3 or 4-1-2-3 🙂

    I know its small consolation but to stop the Mancs celebrating their league win in their home ground would just bring a wee smile to my face.

  69. Rasputin says:

    I only ever sat in the North Bank Lower when I went to Highbury peaches – so you judge for yourself 😉

  70. peachesgooner says:

    The mancs are gonna think we’re so easy – they’re probably all going out clubbing tonight 😳

  71. Irishgunner says:

    I wonder will Rosicky get a pay as you play deal?

    He’s a smashing player and I was so happy when he came, little realising that he loves sick bay.

  72. peachesgooner says:

    I didn’t ever sit in the north bank lower I’m afraid 😳

  73. Rasputin says:

    Yea – clubbing seals to death……

    Nik could teach them a thing or two about clubbing 🙂

  74. Irishgunner says:

    Just flicking through the “out of contract” list and for AC Milan they have Paolo Maldini.

    It’ll be odd without him in world football 😥

  75. Irishgunner says:

    I never got to go to Highbury 😦

  76. kelsey says:

    as Raddy constantly reminds me I am one of the oldest on here if not the oldest.i get annoyed when people talk about plastic fans,as there are a multitude of reasons that not everybody can attend games.

    I have experienced both being a school kid sitting in the lower east unreserved and then a Season ticket holder in the West stand both at Highbury.

    I can’t associate myself with The Emirates as i have never been there,but I would agree that attending one gets a broader picture than one does on TV.

    there i have avoided talking about the game tomorrow(on purpose)

    A real fan supports the club through thick and thin,it is in your blood whatever age you are and in fact is difficult to describe the emotional highs and lows on paper.

  77. Big Raddy says:


    I am fitter than I thought!

    I want Adebayor to start tomorrow. He has a lot to prove, and more to the point, he needs to be in the shop window. A hatrick at OT would add a few euro’s to his price

  78. Rasputin says:

    I don’t miss the loos at Highbury Irish, but I do miss the atmosphere. Oval grounds are always going to have worse acoustics which make cohesive chanting impossible. The North Bank used to sing as one – as did the Clock End and the East and West stands. There was friendly rivalry between the areas. That couldn’t happen at the Emirates.

  79. Irishgunner says:

    Was I talking about plastic fans??

  80. Big Raddy says:


    Nick Hornby did it. I loved Fever Pitch when itcame out, and then his follow up about a record shop in Archway – people genuinely thought that I was writing under a nom de plume.

    Nick was a customer of ours, and compared to me, he is a plastic fan !

  81. Big Raddy says:


    The Wembley Roar ?

  82. Irishgunner says:

    The Emirates is a lovely construction though.

  83. Big Raddy says:

    If anyone likes Coldplay, they are giving away a free download of their new live album today

  84. Rasputin says:

    No you weren’t Irish 🙂 You know how ‘proper fans’ get upset when other ‘proper fans’ tell then they’re not ‘proper fans’…..

    I’m not having a dig at you kelsey, I find it funny when there is a disagreement online and eventually one party says “well I’ve supported the Arsenal for 40 years” or I’m a season ticket holder as if either of those make an opinion more valid!

  85. Rasputin says:

    Raddy 🙂 – I can’t ever remember coming away from Highbury and not being hoarse for a couple of days after (terrible english but you know what I mean)

  86. Irishgunner says:

    Phew I thought I said something wrong.

    People have accused me of been a bandwagon jumper, I started supporting Arsenal in 1994 which would have made me one bad bandwagon jumper.

  87. Irishgunner says:

    BR – The link is broken unless I just can’t get it here

  88. Rasputin says:

    Raddy, I read your comment earlier regarding the instant impact Vieira had in relation to the point made about AA in the post. I agree. He was/is my favourite Arsenal player and he had a way of moving, a deceptively calm demeanour on the ball that just drew your eye to him. He always gave me such confidence just standing in the tunnel or when the coin was tossed. People have said we have never replaced Vieira, but like TH he was a bit of a one-off. We have been exceedingly lucky with to have such a crop of exceptional players all in the same era.

  89. kelsey says:

    No one is having a dig at anyone.i just read through so many different blogs and in nearly all of them the question comes up what is a real fan ?

    Of course you are right about someone saying that they have supported the club for 40 years doesn’t mean thay know it all or are always right,But where I beg to differ is the younger element of supporters aged about 25 or uder has seen a pretty good era with several trophies whils some of the old codgers like Raaddy and myself,lived in the shadows of spurs and forest and even liverpool when we were younger.The point I am trying to make but not very well,is that in those days,there was no live football bar the Cup Final,no internet,no mobile phones and generally it was more personal and not so global.However times change and one has to accept it.

    One used to discuss football in a civil manner face to face with one’s mates,it was goodhearted banter,but today with the internet,though it is an extremely useful tool,you are blogging with a hidden identity who in the majority of cases can say what they like,be who they want and can hide behind their PC and be abusive.

  90. kelsey says:

    that came out all wrong,but i hope you got the gist 🙂

  91. Rasputin says:

    If you ask me, being a real fan is about a feeling in the gut. It was summed up perfectly in the opening chapters of Fever Pitch and you mentioned it kelsey. Its a sort of masochism tinged with optimism that means you build up to a game all week and if lose, you feel bloody awful for a couple of days until you begin to think of the next game and your enthusiasm returns. If we win, you worry that you might lose next week….hence the often used ‘fickle’ label I suppose.

  92. Irishgunner says:

    I see what you are getting at. I try not to be abusive but I will if I get backed into a corner – on “another blog” I have been told to go support another team, many a time Spurs, because I back Wenger and even after the last week still do.

    I see he has made mistakes but I also see he is human.

    I’m 23 so would fit into the age category that you speak of but I don’t hide behind anything, I’d quite gladly meet anyone in a pub and discuss issues. I do it every week in my local and love it.

    I don’t think I have ever accused anyone of been “plastic” – if there is anyone that calls people plastic it is those that label people “AKBs”….

    I have no ties to Arsenal, no-one in my family supports them, I just fell in love with the club 15 years ago and come rain or shine I’ll support the club.

  93. Big Raddy says:

    Reading you loud and clear Kelsey

    Works fine for me Oirish. I’ll try again

  94. Irishgunner says:

    Worked that time BR – great stuff 😀

    I like bands like Coldplay on in the background

  95. Rasputin says:

    Irish – you are obviously in the ‘proper fan’ category as is everyone who spends time blogging. Another word for ‘gut feeling’ is ‘passion’ and you can feel it through some people’s words when they write online don’t you think?

    A more complex argument is can you support the club, but not some of the players or the manager? Luckily I don’t think I’ll start anyone off on that subject on here 🙂

  96. Irishgunner says:

    I support them all Rasputin but it mightn’t mean I like them all 😉

  97. Rasputin says:

    Irish ….. was that a subtle way od dissing Coldplay…. I’d only listen to them in the lift 😆

  98. Irishgunner says:

    😆 ha ha no I just wouldn’t pay attention to their music too much but if I’m on the internet or something I’d have them on – is that still sounding bad?? ha ha

  99. Rasputin says:

    I know you’re Irish Irish ( 😉 ) but are you getting a bit fed up with U2? I know I am

  100. Irishgunner says:

    I like U2, think they are a good band and Bono is doing his bit for the world 🙂

    Having said that I wouldn’t queue for three days to get a concert ticket.

    I just like U2’s music but aren’t too pushed otherwise.

  101. peachesgooner says:

    Well done rasp – you were the 100th comment today 🙂

  102. Big Raddy says:

    I am sitting here nodding my head at comments about everyone being entitled to their opinion, and that maturity and length of AFC service are irrelevant.

    Then I had a lightbulb moment. No. No. No.

    A spotty 12 y.o herbert who spends his life enclosed in his bedroom playing computer games and studying You Tube vids, has NOT got the right to call the great Arsene Wenger a c***.

    I am all for p.c.’ism, but we can take it too far.

    Am I more knowledgeable because I have been to a few hundred games. Hell Yes.

    Is my understanding of tactics better? Yes.

    The fact that I have seen thousands of players gives me a better feeling for a quality player. Experience counts.

    Irish, I think for a 23 y.o you have a wonderful grasp of the Beautiful Game, but with age even you will have a more balanced view of the team. I really do not mean to be patronising.

    I recently got into a blog argument because I said that Pele was better than Messi !!! Of course he was, but how could this kid know. For that matter, my father always said that Alex James was a much better player than George Best – who knows, maybe he was..

    In my other life I once had a discussion with a customer as to the relative merits of The Beatles and Eminem. This fool truly believed that The Beatles were overated and had Eminem been around in the ’60’s , he would have been bigger ! What a plum

    Rant over 😉

  103. peachesgooner says:

    …..and thankyou 😉 …..

  104. Rasputin says:

    I’ve been trying to find some chavski sites to see how they feel about Ade playing for them and there’s precious little being said. I think we should all keep quiet and just praise him so that they can buy him and learn the true meaning of frustration 🙂

    I’ve got to go to my next class soon, so will bid you all farewell for a while.

  105. Irishgunner says:

    Not at all patronizing BR – I have been obsessed with the game since I was four but I still have a lot to learn.

    Just on Pele I would like to quote myself here ha ha

    “Yet ask me who my favourite footballer of all time is and I don’t even have to put my brain into action, I simply say “Paolo Maldini”.

    When people strive further and say “It must be Pele or Maradona”, I say “No, it’s Maldini”.

    Personally, Paolo Maldini is the greatest footballer to have ever taken to the pitch. People will argue that is rubbish, it is Pele, Maradona, Puskas, Best or Van Basten. Funnily enough the people that say this most often are my own age.

    Pele may well be the best of all-time but I am not going to base my judgment on a few video recordings and stats. I didn’t grow up with Pele, Maradona or Best, but I did grow up with Paolo Maldini.

    My parents or siblings can’t explain it but from the age of four or five I have been obsessed with football. Perhaps it is because the Republic of Ireland became good around then when we reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Italy.

    Funny that it should become Italy as I fell in love with the Italian game before I did the English one. The first footballers whose names I learnt were Irish—Packie Bonner and Dave O’Leary.

    After that it was Paolo Maldini, the third player I can remember as having an impact on my love of the game. A bit strange he should be number three in line.

    For the 56th and most likely last time, Paolo Maldini took to the San Siro pitch last night for the Milan derby and as I sat watching the game on BBC3 it brought with it a wave of nostalgia.

    I remember sitting on my sofa at home when I was barely bigger than a football myself watching the great Milan team of the early 1990s. So many big names—Baresi, Weah, Donadoni but of course the one that stuck out was the guy playing at left back.

    For a reason I cannot explain, Maldini made me fall in love with football.”

  106. Rasputin says:

    Thought I was going but I’ve just read Raddy’s rant.

    You can’t properly compare players when their eras are more than 20 years apart.

    All I would say (and I’m not in the first flush of youth myself) is that age/time brings experience but also the tendency to build up entrenched ideas, and youth often means impatience but can also allow someone to look at a situation with a fresh more immediate perspective uncluttered by knowledge of past events which may not be relevant.

  107. Irishgunner says:

    Peaches – did I have another banned word in my long post? 😳

  108. peachesgooner says:

    Wow raddy – its all that flexing of muscles, gone to your head honey 🙂

    When I was Irish’s age I would have very serious discussions about football – of course age and experience produces more knowledge but you can’t pretend the passion – once you love the team, you love them. At any time in our lives our passion for football might lessen but even when I gave birth I still had to know what happened that afternoon in the game.

  109. peachesgooner says:

    Its on now – sorry it was in the spam, don’t know why.

    Irish has a long comment at 5.31 that you might have missed everyone 😆

  110. Irishgunner says:

    Do you know what is a curse though – Youtube clips 👿

  111. Irishgunner says:

    😆 Couldn’t miss a comment that long Peaches

  112. Big Raddy says:

    I agree entirely Rasputin, and I am not dissing youth and fresh perspective.

    This is a long and very interesting discussion, something that is close to my heart. It requires a different in order to discuss it.

    I am in the process of setting up an open source research website (with some young friends who have the tech. knowledge) focusing on Social values, intolerance and integration. Ageism and hardening social attitudes towards youth would be a central theme.

    When I get it off the ground, I will invite critique…

  113. peachesgooner says:

    You’ve made me nostalgic Irish – when I close my eyes I see Charlie George – age will certainly be kinder to Maldini that to George – he was my hero, that was a bandwagon thing I’m sure but I was the only gooner and all the boys I knew were spuds so what was I to do…….

  114. Irishgunner says:

    Maldini has always been my footballing hero – always. Flew to Milan a few years back to see him play and the darn league was postponed by a week thanks to the corruption scandal 😦

    Got to see the San Siro though – an awesome structure

  115. Big Raddy says:

    Not strictly true Peaches. Some of the boys you knew were Gooners and Hammers !!

    Maldini, what a player, what a man. Good choice Irish.

  116. Irishgunner says:

    I went to a wee little Irish country primary school (had about 50 pupils in total) and they all supported Liverpool and Manchester United apart from two Gooners – my neighbour and I, one Newcastle fan – my brother who now hates football and a guy that supported Blackburn but then changed to Manchester United when they got relegated 😕

  117. kelsey says:

    I know enough about you to know you are very articulate and would beat me 9 times out of a 10 writing a post,but we are both fans.
    One of my children is a year younger than you and we used to live in the capital9nearly said the wrong word there0 and then in Surrey.90% of ben’s friends had no allegience to Man U but it was fashionable to support a winning team.That is why the reference is made so often that so many united fans don’t live anywhere near manchester.

    Also it is a known fact that in a town like(Can’t say the word but sounds like Wondon) you used to get what was called floating fans,who would go to watch “the team of the moment” and i suppose that still exists to some extent.

    I remember in the 60’s we played Leeds at home and only 400+ turned up,can you believe that ?

  118. kelsey says:

    4000 I meant

  119. Irishgunner says:

    I have always seen Arsenal as a club packed with history so I would find it hard to see only 400 turning up.

    Then again my local team – Limerick FC 😀 – get a crowd of about 300 at home games. Second division league of Ireland 🙂

  120. Irishgunner says:

    Oh well 4000 is better – that would be a great crowd for an Irish game ha ha

  121. peachesgooner says:

    raddy – you used to give me withering looks cos I didn’t know who Hawkwind were!!!!

    ……and I couldn’t understand Warrens filing system 🙂 ……

    Really we should have just talked football – not bothered about the music 😆

  122. peachesgooner says:

    kelsey – Wondon 😆

  123. peachesgooner says:

    My son was just watching the youtube clip of Barcelona winning the Copa from the other night…..I want Arsenal to win a cup……..I always say its not that important but it is really and we should be in the FA Cup final and Arsene mucked it up for us.

    If he did think it was better not to play Arshavin against the chavs because he wouldn’t be able to play in the champs lge, surely once he could see it wasn’t working he should have changed it…..

    Thats the bit that I don’t understand……if we could see that Diaby was wrong then why couldn’t he???????

  124. Irishgunner says:

    I’m still annoyed about that game Peaches, that was our big chance to win a trophy…

  125. peachesgooner says:

    Irish – that will be one of many disappointments of this season 😦

    I have to go and be a groupie now for my daughters band – feel free to chat away to each other and I’ll catch up with you all tmoro 🙂

    Have a good evening

  126. peachesgooner says:

    rasp – if you want to take the controls when you get in be my guest, just in case someone is trying to get on – text me if you don’t remember how 😆

  127. Irishgunner says:

    Enjoy your night Peaches 😀

  128. peachesgooner says:

    Thanks Irish – catch u tmoro 🙂

  129. Rasputin says:

    I’m around if anyone wants to tell me I’m talking rubbish 😆

  130. peachesgooner says:

    You’re talking rubbish rasp 😆

  131. peachesgooner says:

    Not really 🙂

    Goodnight all, busy morning tmoro

    NEW POST…….

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