Are You Shitting Me?!
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 chargeCry “God for Harry, England, and Saint George!”And kill us a few Frenchies!
“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.
Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant post!! From now on,i promise not to make jokes about the spuds,sorry Tothenham Hotspurs anymore. Onwards and upwards,how about we go to old toilet this season and get a win (even by the smallest of margins),who’s with me?
great post! i was actually trying to think back and remember the exact moment/season that I stopped considering united as our rivals and spurs became our primary targets. oh dear
Hate those Manchester scums. Hated them ever since I fell in love with Arsenal. Hate them for their diving, cheating, whining, complaining and foul play. Hate them for ending our unbeaten run. Hate that Shrek even more for that. Hate that every version of FIFA comes with that same Shrek on cover.
Where I live, 7 out of 10 football followers happen to be those Manc glory hunters.
Hate their taunts. Don’t want their sympathy.
Hate losing to them. My lowest moment as an Arsenal fan came last year. My happiest moments are when we get one up on them (sorry Spuds).
Robin van Persie can play for Planet Zorg as long as we don’t sell him to those Mancs.
Love Arsenal. Hate Manchester Utd(I won’t even type their full name).
Well written, was a real pleasure to read! Keep it up man!
Absolutely brillant keep it up
I applaud you, sir. Well done
This is a classic; this post. It had me howling with laughter. I like you already, gosh! This is sublime, wondering how you thought this all up. You’re good mate, you write wonderfully, you have gotten my deepest respect, Jesus knows you have.
Will check this space regularly – subscribed.
BTW, I dare-say that Spurs should not EVER be underestimated this season. Not just because of AVB but also for the willingness of the players to work with him. If the idiot Adebayor moves, and he behaves, err…mate, we’ve got a tough nut of a team.
The battle this season will be intense I assure you. If not for anything, for the top 4 (minus the number one spot, did you see what Man-City did to Chelsea just now?). Then you have clubs like QPR and Newcastle and Liver-pill (Liverpool) who can spring up surprises.
Let’s not underestimate any club this season mate, let’s not.
Great comment and points well made, sir! I think it will be a challenging season for us but believe we can move it up a couple of notches.
More pure gold man, you really are a unique writer and definitely my favourite blog to read (no offence to other great football bloggers!). Just looked over Poznan in My Pants again to refresh that joy of seeing your stuff for the first time.
As a New Zealander i can’t say i feel the mega hatred towards other clubs that must come with the territory, but dear god the very mention of the unholy trinity of Man U, Chelsea and Man City make me cringe. Spuds are really just a bit of fun in comparison, arn’t they? I would have no qualms what so ever if they did well this year, just as long as we finish above them…i.e sitting pretty at number 1 😀
And by the way, Prinz Poldi is gonna do the buisness this season, i can feel it in my loins.
Great comments mate and thanks for reading. I hope you’re following on Twitter.
Finally, someone to back me up on NOT picking Spurs as the most hated rival on @thesquidboylike’s poll. You’re fast becoming my favorite blogger ever. Rollicking good read every. single. time. How do you do it? Hats off!
Love your work. As a South African I also don’t feel the Spurs territorial hatred. Hate City and Chelski for buying championships, hate (but slightly respect) Man U for all the success. Kinda feel like Spurs are the red-head kid that believes there is a rivalry, but really you are just taking the piss with him.
Mindblowing!! For hundreds of millions of us Arsenal fans out there beyond the grey drizzly haze that is London, ManU is the viscerally hated rival that must be beaten, even if it takes the very breath from our lungs. Dislike for ManU and Barca bubbles up with an almost unthinking, subconscious bile. That is why 8-2 plunged us to such depths that 5-2 can’t even begin to claw us back from. That is why the title going to ManC on the last day was infinitely preferable to yet another ManU victory, with one of their sorriest teams in years, to boot! That is why while losing at Spurs is as distasteful as any other loss, losing to ManU or Barca is soul-gnawing. And that is why victory against these can keep a smile going for weeks, even as the rest of your life falls apart around you (economy, bad boss, girlfriend, mom, take your pick).
incredible read.. love spending time here rather than at the trasfer window!