Sunday, 8 May 2011

A Trip to Stoke

Just so we all know where we stand now it's down to a game with Stoke the high brow stuff is at an end, and so from this point on I shall refer to Stoke City FC as 'The Cunts', Tony Pulis as 'Tony Penis' and Ryan Shawcross as 'SuperCunt'.

Clearly the story on everyone lips is that Cesc Fabregas in injured so Aaron Ramsay will be playing against SuperCunt, and his band of merry cunts for the first time since the last time, if you get me. Even without the whole Ramsay incident arsenal fans would still hate The Cunts on account of their clogging rugby like antics.

Still it will be interesting to see how the player himself deals with the gravity of the game. In the past he has always done well when being thrown into a big game, as both before the injury and the performance against Man Utd. As much as Arsenal's youth policy has been criticised by both fan and pundit alike, and think most of them have turned out very well. We just need to add a little depth and experiences, replacing those that have been given their chances over a couple of seasons and have not taken them. Compare that with the likes of Wiltshire, Ramsay, Sznechsy, Walcott, who went given their chance have taken it and not choked.

Also on the cards this afternoon is a first appearance since the dawn of time. I think this game is a bit early for him, but it would be nice to come on as a sub and kick SuperCunt in the balls, score a goal whist standing five yards offside, using his hand, that never actually corsses the line. Then for Tony Penis' head to explode in anger.

Now, I'm off to the pub to watch the game. Just to get you in the mood for The Cunts, here's a hooker probably with genital herpes (Warning Not Work Safe)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Second Post 6.5% better

Theres no bigger talking point today than the ticket hike, dropped a couple days after beating Man Utd. The cynical side of me says this press release has been in the draft email folder since we lost the Shit Beer Cup Final to a shit team with Lee Bowyer in it.

A thing that has been raised is how not just this ticket price rise at arsenal, but the general skyward nature of tickets to all football games will affect younger fans going to games. Will they all just turn into armchair fans only ever watching on Sky? I think that has already happened regardless of this particular price increase.

Most people I know only ever watch their team either on Sky, a stream, or Match of the Day. The only people I know that regularly go to games (me aside) support lower league teams where they can get in for a tenner with an NUS card. (Dagenham and Leyton Orient)

I was a child of the 90s and so only ever watched Arsenal on Sky, as we didn't have broadband back then, this was in the dark ages of going down the paper bins looking for porn. 1998 against Everton - Sky, 2002 against Man Utd - Sky, 2004 against the spuds - a little different I got into a pub underage and watched it on Sky.

Speaking of Sky I hear Andy Grey has got a new job commenting on hardcore gay porn. "Take a bow, son. I mean that, take a bow"

I also never actually got to go to Highbury because I didn't have any money to get a ticket and my parents couldn't afford to take me. I only ever went to two arsenal games growing up, both of them away games at West Ham in the wrong end because my dad knew someone who worked there who got some cheap tickets.

All I can remember of the game was (back in 1996) that David Seaman saved a penalty and arsenal won 1-0. Via the same contact that acquired the tickets, I got to meet then manager of West Ham at the time, Harry Redknap, I can't remember what I said but I took the piss out of him for losing even with a penalty. Harry just twitched. He's still twitching even now, the cunt.

Back on topic, Now having got older, and got a job I go about once a month on a red level membership. You can really see that a lot of people are excluded because of the price, I'm not exactly rich or loaded but I've been to Uni, got a degree and a decent job so am okay financially. I could afford a season ticket at the low end of the price range at £1000 and would be just about able to manage a high end one, but there are a lot of people worse off than me.

I remember seeing a documentary about Hillsbrough, where it was stated that one of the reports recommendations were that prices should not rise significantly due to the move to all seater stadiums. So I ended up spending about an hour skim reading the Taylor report tonight looking for that quote, hoping to use it as an argument against price hikes, I did find the quote, however having thought on it some more I don't think it makes much different, prices have been steadily rising as money has been invested into the sport. I did however find a couple of interesting things in the report.

Taylor Report

They say the popular perception of transfer fees as excessive and extravagant is mistaken. The money, I was told again and again, simply circulates round the League clubs. It is calculated to bring on budding players. The level of payments is high, but it is forced up by prices continental clubs with huge financial backing (like Juventus from Fiat) are able to pay.

The fact is the more money that is pumped into football through TV, and sugar daddy owners the more that prices in general are rising. Is there any chance in hell Newcastle would've got 35 million quid for Andy Carrol if they didn't know Liverpool had 50 million in the bank from the Torres deal. If they want him, then they just have to pay whatever Newcastle ask.

This is probably why English players cost a lot more than foreign players. The 8 million Arsenal paid for Eduardo was probably a significant cash injection for his former club. Even for a midtable club in england that isn't a huge amount of money. Even the man behind the price rise hinted at this went talking to the guardian:

Crazy Ivan talks to the Guardian

This is bad for the continued health of the game and is driven primarily by escalating and ultimately unsustainable levels of spending on transfer fees and player salaries.

This is a fundamental issue that football needs to address and is why I have been a vocal supporter of Uefa's proposals to bring more restraint and responsibility to spending within football

You have to consider the fact the you have to pay 30 quid to be a red level memeber (I'm not sure if this too is increasing by 6.5%, in order to have the privilege to pay 50 quid for a ticket. So even if you can't go regularly it's going to cost you about 80 quid just to a one off game, a family of 4 is looking more like £320 quid, pretty prohibitive I would say.

Taylor Report

Admission to all parts of the ground, save the visitors' section (pen D), is to be for members only to prevent away supporters buying tickets for the home end."

And as much as I've moaned about ticket prices, I'd still take a season ticket if I could get one anytime within the next 5 years. :-(. Also expect the next post to be less rambley with quotes from 20 year old public enquiries and more "Stoke, what a bunch of cunts..."

And because 2.5% of the increase is due to the Tory VAT increase I'll leave you with this:

Monday, 2 May 2011

A nice day to start on

I was going to name this blog something nice like Gillespie Road, but then I thought people might think Gilles Grimandi had gone into the pie business or that it was already taken but I won't let minor details like that get in the way.

I'm not an arsenal supporter who can explain with great detail, and a long family history of how I support arsenal because by dad did, and he always used to take me to games, as his dad before him did. Except for my great granddad who supported spurs, and deserted at the Somme shouting "Fuck this! I'm off to the pub..." Or even one that can say I supported Arsenal because of all the great players

No, When I was growing up I spend most of my time with my mum, who hated football and would always say to me "Football's shit, Football's shit, Football's shit" but then that's probably why she got sectioned. However, I watched a game with my dad when I was about seven or eight, it was some team in yellow, probably either Brazil or Norwich. After that I changed my mind, I knew that this 'football' was actually quite good and my mum had been talking bollocks again.

Then it came time to choose a team, so I got the league table out and seven or eight year old me decided "This one has arse in the name. I like arse. Actually, if I support Arsenal I'll be able to say arse in front of my parents", for even back then I was incredibly witty, and that's in a nutshell how I became a Gooner, and hence the name for this blog.

My dad supports spurs, and he did once go on a coach trip to the Somme and say "This is a bit depressing, I'm going down the pub..." Everyone else in Dagenham supported West Ham. I supported Arsenal knowing nothing about them. It was pure chance that they were in London, and a lot better than the likes of Spurs or West Ham. I'm just glad there wasn't a team in the division called Cuntface Utd (aka Stoke City), as back then I'd have been all over them like genital warts.

I've been wanting to start writing this for a few weeks and it's taken till now because I didn't want the first post the be a depressing rant about how everything is wrong with the team. Thats the reason and not because I'm lazy. If theres ever a time to stop bashing the bishop and start bashing the keyboard it's the day after beating Man Utd.

It was a good well taken goal from Ramsey, all the more so considering it's is first full game of the season after getting broken by Ryan 'Cuntface' Shawcross. The team looked up for it right from the start, something that has been sorely missed in recent games. Every ball was contested, never letting Utd get an unpressured touch of the ball for pretty much the whole 90 minutes.

Now I'm hoping from this point on to use more science and less knob jokes, as I'm not going to say much more than that about yesterdays game because it's already been done by the bloggers that didn't get shit faced last night and had their bank holiday bacon sandwiches before 4pm. Like every other arsenal blogger I have an "I'm pissing in the wind" theory about the woe of Arsenal. I read this article on the BBC and I immediately thought of arsenal:

Carol Dweck, a leading psychologist, took 400 students and gave them a simple puzzle.

Afterwards, each of the students were given six words of praise. Half were praised for intelligence: "Wow, you must be really smart!" The other half were praised for effort: "Wow, you must be hard working!"

Dweck was seeking to test whether these simple words, with their subtly different emphases, could make a difference to the student's mindsets. The results were remarkable.

After the first test, the students were given a choice of whether to take a hard or an easy test.

A full two-thirds of the students praised for intelligence chose the easy task - they did not want to risk losing their "smart" label. But 90% of the effort-praised group chose the tough test - they wanted to prove just how hard working they were.

Then, the experiment came full circle, giving the students a chance to take a test of equal difficulty to the first test.

The group praised for intelligence showed a 20% decline in performance compared with the first test, even though it was no harder. But the effort-praised group increased their score by 30%. Failure had actually spurred them on.

And all these differences turned on the difference in six simple words spoken after the very first test.

"These were some of the clearest findings I've seen," Dweck said. "Praising children's intelligence harms motivation and it harms performance."

Full BBC Article

How often have we heard Wenger talk of the teams inherent ability, even as they've dropped points needlessly? How often have you heard Wenger praise the hard work of this squad? A considerably lot less, if at all, I would say.

How many of the current squad are coasting through there arsenal careers, having been given long term contracts with good wages, without necessarily doing that much to prove it on the pitch. Especially when you consider the fact the likes of Flamini, Ashley Cole (as much as a cunt as he is), and Pires were let go because we wouldn't pay the going rate.

I think the policy changed because of us learning from those experiences, and because our financial situation improved, but I think we have perhaps gone a little too far in the opposite direction, giving players too much praise both in terms of the wallet and statements like "We won't bye experienced player X because Y won't get playing time"

We could probably do with some players who may not be great footballers, but are average and that realise just how lucky they are to be at Arsenal and work damn hard because of it to keep up with the more technically gifted players e.g. the likes of Ray Parlour or Park Ji-Sung and Man Utd.

The evidence is clear about what happens when you work hard think Man Utd and Chelsea, and what happens when you turn up expecting to coast through, or that something will just happen and we'll get a goal at Blackburn.

We need less "We have the ability to beat Bolton" and more "We'll only beat Bolton if we work fucking hard! Just like when we beat those cunts from Chelsea and Manchester" Obviously that needs translating into the Wenger lexicon.

Credit is also due to Andrei Arshavin who was doing a job for the team yesterday, making tackle after tackle, kicking Rooney which is always a good sight, and generally pissing off fergie. In the second half if this season he has really bucked up his ideas, and is putting in a shift in every game he plays at the moment. I think he's a player who has really clocked on to the idea that he'll be getting jack shit if he doesn't put the effort in. It was him afterall who got the only cheer of that terrible 'I can't believe I paid 45 quid to watch this' game against Blackburn when he run 60 or 70 yards to make an important tackle.