Are You Shitting Me?!

Worthy Adversaries

Muhammad Ali had Smokin’ Joe Frazier.
Sugar Ray Leonard had Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns and Marvin Hagler.
Ahab lost his leg to Moby Dick.
David faced Goliath.
Montgomery fought Rommel back and forth across North Africa.
Jesus faced down Lucifer, Satan, the Devil.
The Buddha had Mara.
Van Helsing fought the undead Count von Dracula, and that was only his 2nd scariest name, his scariest being Vlad The Impaler.
Coe had Ovett.
McEnroe had Borg and Connors, and then Lendl.
Sampras had Agassi.
The Rolling Stones had The Beatles.
Oasis had Blur.
Sherlock Holmes had the invisible Moriarty.
The Hatfields had the McCoys.
The Sicilians had every other Sicilian.

Hannibal fought the might of the Roman Empire. He crossed the Alps in winter with his Army. He then waged war in Italy for 16 years (an AWAY TIE FOR 16 YEARS. 16 years wearing purple.) 16 years on enemy soil facing Roman army after Roman army. Imagine that: surviving by wit and sheer will. Imagine just the challenge of feeding and manning an army for 16 years in enemy country, Roman country!

Roman mothers scared their children into behaving by warning:

Hannibal ante portas” – Hannibal is at the gates.

Hannibal came within a hare’s breath of sacking the city of Rome but, having defeated legion after legion, by the point at which he could approach the gates of the City, he had lost too many troups and needed to regroup. The Romans – the greatest Empire the world has ever known.

And we have the Spuds? You have got to be shitting me?!

How embarrassing. What, did we pick them up, at a car boot sale? Less Vlad the Impaler and more Elmer effing Fudd.

“Barcelona has Real Madrid, and we have the Spuds.” Say that sentence out loud. Don’t you feel silly saying it?

It is less embarrassing to have to say: “Our nemesis is Kevin Smith.”

van Helsing was fighting the effing Undead, for God’s sake!!

I’m sorry but “AVB is at the gates” is not scaring anyone’s kids. “Mini-mou is at the gates” will have them running out to greet the little fella. And “Andreassshhh Villassshhh Boaassshhh is at the gates” will have them rolling on the floor holding their stomachs.

Who Do Arsenal Fans Hate The Most?

From the recent poll performed by @thesquidboylike and written up in his excellent post on Arsenal Vision: The Rival Clubs That Gooners Hate The Most, these were the results. Jesus, what were we thinking? I pray this doesn’t fall into enemy hands. There may be spies among us. What were you thinking? In fact, what was I thinking? I picked the Spuds too. But, as @thesquidboylike can confirm, I changed my mind before the end of polling, and yet he refused me the right to change my vote, citing technical limitations.


To Make It Interesting This Year…

Look, to make it interesting this year, let’s spot the Spuds 16 points. Last year they blew a 13 point lead and were 2 goals ahead in the NLD. We caught and passed them within weeks after putting 5 goals in a row in their net and leaving them stunned and shell-shocked on the field of battle. In the immortal words of Martin Tyler: “It’s absolutely incredible. Tottenham do not know what’s hit them. But I can tell you…It’s Theo Walcott.”

I do this with my nephew. He’s 9. “I’ll race you to the corner.” But I don’t start running till he’s half way there. It keeps it interesting for both of us. It does NOT make him a worthy rival, though. But, God love him, he thinks it’s a fair race, bless his heart. Just like the Spuds.

Worst Team In An Era

I never liked the “Worst Team In The Wenger Era” tag. Too disrespectful to a team of players I love. It might have been the worst season. It was certainly the worst start. But you don’t just measure a team by its star names or lack their of. Or by just the individual skills of the players. It’s also about their heart. And this team had the heart to fight back from a disastrous start, to recover from an 8-2 beating and falling to 17th place and 13 points behind. This team fought for more than half a season without two fullbacks. And above all they lost three of their 4 recognized world class star players. They lost their 3 midfield uber-talents before the season started.

And yet, among other achievements, such as sheer bloody-minded survival, they were the comeback kings of the Premier League. But surely, you say, that must be the legendary mental strength that is Manchester United. Or the sheer relentless power that comes from having the ridiculously expensive and deep squad of Manchester City. Or from having the highest paid squad in the EPL as does Chelsea? Nope, the come back kings of the EPL were our beleaguered Arsenal. Thank you: Alex, Robin, Theo, Sagna, Vermaelen, Arteta, Yossi and EVERY ONE of you goofy bastards!

Let’s Call A Truce

I understand why they’re obsessed with us. They are the little men. But us? Why do we honour them by calling them rivals? So I propose, we declare a truce with Spurs.

Now hear me out. We give them a week where we don’t troll, we don’t taunt and we do not make Spurs jokes. It’ll be tough. They will not honour the truce to begin with but over time they will realize we have turned our attentions upwards.

We have bigger fish to fry. Or as the French say, “On a d’autres chats a fouetter.” (We have other cats to whip.) The French – a cruel people. Sexy, though.

United. Now That Was A Rivalry

Vieira vs Keane; McKeown vs van Nistelroy; Wenger vs Ferguson


God, they effing hated each other. I mean, they despised each other. And we hated them and their lackey referees and their cheating ways. And it was great! And Spurs’ only role was as a spoiler, if they could. Consigned as a bit-part player in this Shakespearean drama of Protagonist and Antagonist.

But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favored rage,
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect

……………………………..The game’s afoot.

Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry “God for Harry, England, and Saint George!”
And kill us a few Frenchies!
Now don’t get me wrong. United have no interest in a rivalry with us. That is not the level of their ambition. Ferguson felt pity for Arsenal and Wenger last season when they butchered us like a drunken, homeless drifter who wandered up the wrong alley straight into a snuff film with a retake-happy director.
And when United came to the Emirates, he grabbed Wenger’s hand before the start and pulled him back to share an extended greeting and a laugh. All too cozy these days, for my liking. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
“The other thing is that Arsène and I have been here for such a long time now it’s hard to imagine we were not going to have one or two arguments. Longevity brings that, whereas we have loads of situations now where new managers come in and vanish after a couple of years. It’s just the two of us, and we’ll probably ride out in the sunset together.” Ferguson, August 2009.
But while United are obsessed with City, let us steal upon them like a thief in the night.
From this year forth, let our goal be to catch and surpass United. To get in the mix at the top of the table. To be a team feared and respected by United, City and Chelsea. That is the goal. That is the rivalry we seek. McEnroe, Connors and Borg. Great stuff.
And if you really want to piss off the Spuds, ignore them with a simple: “On a d’autres chats a fouetter.”

Let Us Be Humble

Let us be humble. It won’t be easy. You can’t just show up for the first time in years with a squad good enough to put a together a sustained challenge, and expect and demand silverware, expect and demand that we surpass United. We have two EPL Championship-tested teams that tied for 1st place on points last year And it would be foolishness to look past a Chelsea team with the highest spend in the EPL who have been throwing around money this summer like a drunken marine with just one sodden night in port before heading off to war. Chelsea have shown that they made a pact with the devil himself from the luck they rode in the CL last year.
But we should be in the mix, right back where we belong.
Now, to chasten ourselves with a little reality, here are the current odds for us to win the EPL. City are rated as more than 9 times more likely to win the EPL than Arsenal; United more than 4.5 times and Chelsea more than 2 times. Gulp.
This will be a great year for us. So let us look upwards. But accepting the Spuds as our defining rivalry?! Are you shitting me?!