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Lansbury gets 2+1, WHAM supporters sanguine

Henri Lansbury – what a player in the making.  If for no reason other than to see the midfielder play for Watford you tuned into Sky last night you would have seen him score a terrific goal.  A pass, the perfect positioning for a return,  heads for goal, a player on either side of him so he plays the ball from one foot to the other in the space of half an inch, and slips through the middle.  Keeper is covering the near post, all except for another half an inch, and that is exactly where the ball goes.

That was on 26 mins.  On 54 he played a team mate in for Watford’s third, and then finished off a move in the 61st minute for the team’s fourth and his second..  Wow-wee as they say.  (I don’t know who “they” are in this context, but maybe you get my drift).

Thus is must seem that even the continuous doom sayers are now reckoning we are no longer in Paradise Lost, that no longer can it be said that the Lord Wenger is “not waving but drowning”, and that those highly educated folk that sit in the club level are no longer sitting in their loungers, sipping their cocktails  muttering, “do not torment me prithee”.  (Milton, Stevie Smith, Shakespeare).

And the Lord Wenger has promised us a trophy.   Last time he promised like that we went unbeaten all season.  (Mind you he actually promised it one year early, so we have to be cautious).

It seems of course 100 years ago, but we started  the season winning 6-1 away.  But, oh yes, I remember on Everso Simple Plodding Nonentities (ESPN) we were told Arsenal weren’t that good, it was just that Everton played badly.  And it won’t be like this every week, and “Calm down calm down, calm down, they’ll be all right”.  (I think that is what they said).

Indeed even this very week on Sky the very venerable Glen Hoddle told us that we have attack problems, and desperately need a fox in the box to put away more of our chances.  The mere fact that we had just beaten the record for the number of goals scored in the first eight games was neither there, nor here, nor anywhere else for our Glenda.

Even with most of the first team injured (and we have an injury crisis that makes Liverpool look like the centre of health) we are doing ok.

Theo played for 27.25 seconds, Eduardo came on for a bit and UEFA tried to ban him, Nasri has just got his first game in the reserve reserves, Denilson is now a distant memory, Bendtner got a groin strain in a night club or a car or something, and Almunia tried to eat aluminum and got a bug while the other guy broke both arms at once, Rosicky has done his knee, Vela spends most of his life in an aircraft (apart from when he was really injured), Merida went off to play in the Under 3’s World Cup, Arshavin got crocked in a world cup match, both full backs have needed time off….  and I am expecting a call any minute to fill in at right half.

But of course that is still the surface.  What of the lower levels?

The reserves… played five, won four, drawn one.  2nd in the league, one game in hand.  Win that we’re top.

The yooof…. with most of their players of last year now either in the reserves or the first team squad, a completely new bunch of kiddies has needed to be found.  All a bit rough and ready of course, can’t expect too much….   Played nine, won five, drawn two, lost two, top of the league

The ladies… most of our top players went to play in the pro league in the USA.   Manager has gone.  Started our campaign late because of the World Cup, now playing two games a week every week.

So can’t expect a re-run of the heroics of last season, but including two Champions League games in Europe and one league cup match we have played eight, won eight.  Scored 45  let in 3.

But to return to this matter of West Iceland.  The club is bust, gone, kapput, dead, sunk, beaten, eaten, smitten, forgotten, unforgiven, and charged by the FA with bringing stewarding into disrepute.  They have problems that make AZ Alky look like the pinnacle of financial well-being.

So I went looking for a few West Iceland blogs to see if they would say anything I could snigger at, and rather interestingly, most of the ones I found were rather good, well argued, honest, and genuine.

Yes I know I am saying this about WHU, but it is true.  I just went to google, typed in “West Ham blog” and worked my way down.  Their bloggers know they have problems, but they are being real, good supporters, sticking with their team even in the dire times.  Made me feel a bit of a nerd with all this West Iceland gubbins.

I even found someone who could really amuse me with his/her writing.  Try this…

“For West Ham United, severely impeded by the Scylla and Charybdis* of a rabid football press and a public financial imperative to balance books, the transfer window cracks and hums, pulsing like the premonitory electricity of death. Transfer rumours in these austere times are as pieces of lint, static-clinging to our collective screen as 24hr rolling media disseminates half-truths and belches effluents, pollutants, contaminants and deliriants into an airborne toxic event…”

* a Greek mythology version of a rock and a hard place – actually much more meaningful in the Greek – Tony.  It is at  http://jlmd.blogspot.com/

Trouble with that one is that it was posted in July after which the blogger gave up and was suckered by Uranus (that’s the Greek god of the sky – and if you don’t stop sniggering I’ll close this piece and go and play the piano).

But wait, try this one (and how about this for a bit of honesty when considering sunday’s game)

“Scoring could also prove useful. As could having a shot on goal. Getting a cross in might get us somewhere. And making a valid substitution before second half injury time is also something to consider.”

I thought that rather droll, but if you look at the whole article at http://thehlist.blogspot.com/ you will see it is a genuine piece of passion from a real fan, not from a whinging moaner who complains because we haven’t won the Euro Cup four times in the past three years.

In fact my quick flick through the West Ham sites shows true honest support, which recognises where the team is, and what they are doing, and stays with the club no matter what.

Meanwhile according to that fountain of knowledge (The Star) Arsenal are going to sign Valon Behrami, and Arsene wishes he had never let Upson go.

Hey ho.  Another 1-4 to the Arsenal I guess. West Ham’s goal is headed in by Zola from the technical area, while Eduardo scores a back flick, a flick with his right ear, and overhead flick from the half way line, and a bounce in from a concrete bollard left over from the Millwall match.

MAKING THE ARSENAL – the first novel about Arsenal to be published since the Arsenal Stadium Mystery is available on October 30th.  For more information please visit www.shop.firstandbest.co.uk And there’s a regular update on Arsenal 100 years ago on www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk

(c) Tony Attwood 2009 (Not that anyone would want to nick a piece like this and pretend it is their own!)

20 comments to Lansbury gets 2+1, WHAM supporters sanguine

  • Nathaniel

    I do like this blog but please look sanguine up in the dictionary – I can’t think what you imagine its definition is from your use above.

    Ta

  • arsenal general

    Your writing style is crap and just wasted my time reading your blog!

  • christianjimmy

    I saw (and heard) Glenda say that Arsenals weakness was upfront, and it took all my self control, coupled with a high level of technical awareness such that I knew he wasnt actually inside my tv box, to stop myself from destroying my tv in frustration that such idiotic errm… idiots are presented to the viewer as experts.
    Irs particularly galling when there are such good examples of football writing and understanding in blogs liek this, and the ones that you found from WH fans.
    We deserve higher standards of punditry. We DEMAND higher standards of punditry. Who will stand with me?! Viva la Revolución!

  • Well, I thought sanguine meant a dark red colour, and it could be claret – one of the original heraldic colours. I know it has a second meaning – maybe I was trying to be too clever by combining that with the notion that they were still supporting their club. I think you need to read the whole of the “Scoring could be useful” piece to see that the writer really is hoping for a win.

    My piece was just a bit of light-hearted whatnot for a saturday – and “Arsenal General” – if you think it is so awful, you really don’t have to go beyond the second word before you move on to someone who can write better than me.

  • pig

    WHU strike me as an un-pretentious lot. a rare commodity in the prem. ok, they have fallen foul of foreign investment, but lets face it, iceland has a population of just over 300,000. their banks can be little more than a credit union in most big cities in europe. not exactly solid financial backing.

    inspite of their hard luck story, we have to beat them tomorrow. and then we can comiserate with them on their hard luck.

    perhaps the ‘i’m forever blowing bubbles’ will become more apt when their financial heads are so underwater they’ll need scuba gear to do the accounts.

    as we enjoy history on this blog, i thought i would mention billy bonds mbe. an outstanding player who made almost 800 appearances for his club, was captain for 10 years, and picked up silverware, a feat that this current squad are going to find hard to follow.

  • pig

    nathaniel, please look at http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sanguine

    tonys combination of cheerfully optimistic and the blood/claret team colour thing was probably a wee bit over your head.

  • Kevin

    Dictionary Corner: sanguine
    –adjective
    1. cheerfully optimistic, hopeful, or confident: a sanguine disposition; sanguine expectations.
    2. reddish; ruddy: a sanguine complexion.
    3. (in old physiology) having blood as the predominating humor and consequently being ruddy-faced, cheerful, etc.
    4. bloody; sanguinary.
    5. blood-red; red.
    6. Heraldry. a reddish-purple tincture.
    –noun
    7. a red iron-oxide crayon used in making drawings.

  • walter

    Well it’s the same over here. We also have those pundits.
    The major thing they have in common is that most of them are ex players. So far so good. But some of them became manager and most of them … was a big failure. But with their mouths they are the best.
    Pundits, I spit on them.

  • sid

    Which team who used to be regulars in the top flight do you secretly look forward to returning? Newcastle? Southampton? Boro? Sheffield Wednesday? Forest perhaps? The list goes on.

    Me? Long story but I do look forward to the day Leeds make it back. Genuine ‘big’ club who for a 70s footie fan like me do belong in the 1st Division!

    What about you?

  • salaquin

    The Gunners will hold their annual meeting on Thursday as Wenger celebrates his 60th birthday.

    The French tactician came

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPS This post was copied from Online Gooner. Now I am not a contributor to, or direct supporter of Online Gooner, but they did feature me on their DVD of last season, so I think I really ought to do my bit to protect their copyright. So I’ve cut the rest of the piece.

    Tony

  • None Sid. I like newcomers.

    Torquay United in the EPL would do a lot for me. So would MK Dons. Or Corby Town.

  • Diceman

    An entertaining piece Tony.

    Our ladies team is very awesome aren’t they?

    This is a tricky game and the players need to be at full concentration at all times…a 1-0 win where the ball deflects Song’s hairdo into the goal will do for me!!

  • LRV

    Very good, humorous piece as usual, Tony. Ehnn… Mr Arse nal-General, correct me if I am wrong, but did anyone force you to read this article? Indeed, did anyone force you to come to this blogsite? We pride ourself on respect here. If you do not know how to be civil, please stay away sir. This blogsite is for gentlemen and women, not for half-wits. Thank you for staying away in future.

  • Or…. Eduardo attempts to kick a beachball out of play, but it is caught in the wind and then hits another beachball which hits the West Ham keeper, who slips over, stumbles over another beachball, and falls onto the actual football which slips under his body and then goes into the net.

    I reckon that goal is allowed because the outside object did not come into contact with the actual ball.

    Or that squirrel that we had in a Euro game at Highbury comes onto the pitch and bites the refs knee – he falls over, VP kicks the ball, hits the refs head and bounces into the net. A goal I think.

  • walter

    It would be a goal and a valid as well Tony.
    I sometimes dream that at the last game of my carreer the score would be 9-0 or something and then I will give a penalty to the losing side in the last minute and I will take it and score.
    That would be a bang I guess. 😉 No, I will not do such a thing in real.
    So yes a ref can score a goal and nothing can be done about it.

  • walter

    Except that you must need to run as fast as lightning to get in the dressing room. 😉

  • walter

    Well Sid, if there would be a team I would welcome in the PL it would…. Aldershot. Just a personal thing from my youth when we came to the UK with my team and we visited some local youth cup final there. They only have half a stadium, and maybe half a team, but this was a good youth memory.

    On the other hand, I really feel for “Arsenal-general” because we all know time is money.
    But Mr. Arsenal-general, my son has a little shop and you can buy some extra time over there. But must tell you as time is money it isn’t cheap.
    So if you would like to make up the lost time just tell me how much time you lost and I will tell you how much it would cust you to buy the time back.
    But no refund if you waist your time again.

  • OH YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    THE VERY TINY TOTTS ZERO STOKE CITY 1

    “IF THE TOTTS WIN THEY GO TOP,” said Sky Sports over and over and over again.

    Now, lets get it right tomorrow.

    Tell you what, my local team Corby Town won as well. (Conference North if you are not familiar with the finer points of the lower league. Torquay got another draw, which edges them slightly up the 4th division, although still in real danger. (My parents retired to Torquay and the last few games I went to with my dad in his later years were at Torquay, so I have a very emotional link with them).

  • Paul C.

    We dont want to jump all over Spurs for one result do we? Of course we do.

    Actually, I have some sympathy because the report of that match seemed eerily similar to the scenario we have seen so often with Arsenal in rcent seasons. Dominate a match, create chances, look odds-on to win, get caught with a sucker-punch, lose the game (or get 3 points snatched away with a late equaliser). All of it occuring at home as well.

    Four wins from four at home is the only statistic that matters to me so far this season. If we win 15-17 of our home matches we will challenge for the Championship.

  • Just seen the Stoke goal – excellent strike – just one of those that happens in a match you dominate – exactly as Paul C says.