It was a very subdued Billy the Dog McGraw at the Toppled Bollard public house today as we gathered just beyond our old spiritual home, deliberately drinking in the street, just to annoy the police.
The news had come through about Rob VP, another martyr to the insane stupidity of the international friendly.
I debated who was the more stupid in this matter: Robin or the distribution centre of Amazon.co.uk (see previous article).
Billy was sad, but after accepting my offer of a quadruple rum and coke he refused to blame the Netherlands. “Robin was there, they picked him, he could have said no. Robin knew what the risks were – it is hardly as if he has not been injured before playing meaningless pathetically pointless internationals, but he chose to ignore the piper who plays the tune.”
It was a typically meaningless comment from Billy, but he is bigger than me so I let it go and sipped my diet coke. Billy continued…
“Blaming Holland for Robin’s injury would be like blaming Pink Floyd for the death of Syd Barrett. Syd was a total genius who wrote some of the greatest popular music in the history of the universe, but he went his own way, and others took over the band and turned it into a very ordinary rock n roll ensemble. Syd went into decline and died a few years back, but he had to take responsibility for his own actions, even if he were a schizophrenic.”
This all seemed far too much for me, so I bought Billy a pint of G&T and moved on.
“The game against the KGB,” I said. “Clearly we can expect a lot of the secret police at the game, but what sort of team will we put out?”
“I predict we will use footballers,” said Billy, and I began to wonder if this interview was worthwhile. I could have been watching Kingstonian against Carshalton.
“In goal: Aluminum Man with the Pole with the unpronounceable name in the reservoir.
(I took a quick look at distance between me and the door, and started to edge sideways).
“Back Four: Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Silvestre.
(Now I am not sure that we have the ok on Gallas here, and I would not bet against Song playing in the back four, if Gallas is not there.)
“Middle three: Fabregas, Song, Denilson.
(That makes sense assuming Gallas can play and therefore Song stays in the middle, but if not Ramsey will play I suspect)
“Front three: Nasri, Eduardo, Arshavin.”
(Again this makes sense. Vela really didn’t make it in the Euro game, and Eduardo had a rest. Nasri looked good and came off early, so it seems reasonable, and The Grand Boss has said that he feels he rushed Theo back too quickly before, so he will be unlikely to start – especially against the KGB who would probably tasar him after 30 seconds anyway.)
So it seemed that despite his rambling on about old rockers Billy the Dog was giving me a fairly reasonable analysis
- Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Silvestre (Eboué, Senderos, Traoré)
- Fabregas, Song, Denilson (Rosicky, Wilshere, Ramsey, Mérida)
- Nasri, Eduardo, Arshavin (Theo, Vela).
I think Mérida is still ok to play – he was sent off in a reserve match with a straight red, I think, but is not suspended until the next match – so will miss the league cup game against the Arabs.
I mentioned earlier that the Guardian has taken to following UNTOLD ARSENAL in terms of predictions, and so has Arsenal winning 13-2. I put this to Billy, but he was at the bar, and I was unable to get his attention. So it’s down to me.
I am going to take it that this is the moment that the KGB suddenly notice the Berlin Wall is down, and they don’t know which way to turn.
A certain Cole will be playing and we can expect him to snarl, shout, give v signs, and abuse everyone in sight. He will be sent off for cheating when the ref tosses the coin for the choice of ends.
Terry’s mother will be on the stand, and her arrest for trying to lift shares out of the pocket of Mr Usmanov distracts the man named after the box of chocolates and he will miss the ball completely as Eduardo scores.
Drogba plays, but after seven minutes attacks a ball boy and is deported to Grimsby, reducing the opposition to three men and assorted others. Wilshere scores from the bench – his ninth from that position.
A floodlight failure is blamed on KGB interference at half time, Mr Abramovich is deported, and a vast net (secretly installed over the away supporters end) drops onto the fellow-travelers heads and a wild array of grunts and snorts is to be heard from that part of the ground. A police helicopter drops a grabbing mechanism and lifts the net and captured grunters and takes them to Southend Pier.
With most of the rest of the KGB team being declared illegal immigrants following the release of new FIFA data, the away team demand the abandonment of the match on the ground that they now have less than 7 players on the pitch. A fourth official is called in, but decides that Chelsea don’t have any players anyway, and so the rule does not apply. Wilshere runs onto the pitch with Theo and scores nine goals during the half time interval and we are awarded by game by default.
(c) Tony Attwood 2009
MAKING THE ARSENAL – buying from Amazon doesn’t seem a good idea. If you would like a copy of this truly wonderful book try www.woolwicharsenal.co.uk
21 Replies to “Blaming Holland is like blaming Pink Floyd for Syd Barrett’s death”
I blame the football god, if there’s one, who constantly put curse of the Arsenal for the past few seasons.
But we will get a break from the stepping up of someone in our squad. Starting today…..
We cant blame holland but FIFA is 2 be blamed. Down with blatter…
Just a word of advice to all Gunners.. It took some 5 games or so before RvP finally settled on his role as the spearhead.. Asking both Vela and Eduardo to slot in effortlessly into one of the most important role in the teamplay in a lesser time would be very hard for them.
Realised that.. and let them grow into the position.. And stood behind them 120% if you must .. for they are wearing our beloved team shirt.
I agree AnonymousGun, so we have to look to the defenders and midfielders to pitch in until the strikers adjust.
Billy the Dog is wrong. Players cannot refuse to play international friendlies if they expect to play in the World Cup. But if they play for man u or chelsea they can fake injury to get out of it and no one calls them on it.
A really tough game today and one we must not lose. I have a feeling we might see a surprise in the way Wenger deploys the players. Not sure exactly what but maybe Arshavin in the middle and Eduardo playing from the left. Song has been immense lately and he needs to show he can physically dominate in games against players like Essien.
All in all a game in which we need the polayers to step up and show they have the desire to go out and win the league.
Come on Arsenal!!!!
Marc, I’ve seen Song dominate Essien for Cameroon in the ACN 2 years ago. He just needs to do it for us today. He is perfectly capable.
Ancelotti maybe gave Chiellini and Italian team a phone call. You know?
Anonymousgun, you are right. I used the same sentence over here to ask some patience on who ever plays up front.
In fact the first games the gloom and doom brigade declared Wenger mad to play RVP up there and that he never could play in that position. Did he proved them wrong ? Hell, he did. So lets wait a couple of weeks before we say anyone is not good enough.
Who to blame for the RVP injury ? The topclubs that dont protest against these friendly internationals and let their players go.
There is some organisation, Arsenal is a member, from the biggest clubs in Europe and they should start to make an agreement for not giving players free for those stupid friendly games in the middle of the season.
Just for today can you change your blue T shirt to a red one 🙂
i will pray to god that tony’s words come true…
if we win this one, which i am sure we will, i will give tony a treat..
hmm the great wenger’s masterplan coming into action once again
Well the Berlin wall came down 20 years ago but we couldn’t get through the blue wall today. A big blow I must say.
It looked like a copy from last year. We the possesion and the early chances and they the goals. Shit happens every now and then.
Got to pick ourselves up.
Again some talking points about the ref but we get used to it somehow that the refs will never give us any thing.
Walter, It sucks but it’s life in football you know….
I have to say now that they have a great chance at the title, but I no mean give up whatsoever though.
It’s a pretty messed up result I gotta say…
Well the sun doesn’t shine every day.
We missed our chances up front and they didn’t. And then that own goal killed us off. From that moment we needed a miracle or a quick goal. We could have that goal but the ref didn’t allow us anything. If we put an arm on a chelsea player they get the fouls otherwise they could push us off the ball and play on. Must have been frustrating for the players that they were not allowed to give an answer to the phisical play from the Chelsea players. Cesc clearly was annoyed by it.
But then again, just like after our last 2 defeats we have to come back and show what we really can.
Just thinking what is the hardest loss of the weekend: 3 points against chelsea (how painfull it may be) or RVP out for almost the rest of the season ??
All the top sides have injuries so lets stop pretending that all our problems are because Van Persie is injured. We play some lovely footabll but have some glaring weaknesses and as the saying goes a chain is only as strong as the weakest link. Chelsea are a strong physical side but also a skillfull one. I didn’t see anything particualrly dirty or wrong with how they played. They out muscled us and when the time came struck with power and precision. We saw nothing wrong when Vieira and co would bully sides into submission before Henry and Bergkamp would destroy them so lets not get on the injusice band wagon now please. We need to step up in certain areas and then we might become a really great side. Till then we will be a good side that comes undone against the great sides.
Despite all all the disappointment, especially today, I do really love Arsenal very much.
To answer you Walter, RVP’s injury to me is the biggest blow spare from Eduardo’s in the past few seasons.
I said that it’s like someone put a curse on our club. Each big 4 teams has a world class striker – but it has to be ours that will miss a season. Not to mention he was on the form of his life kicking everyone’s ass along the way.
He, though, took almost a month to get used to the system and started scoring goals. Hopefully that too will be the case for Eduardo or Vela.
I felt so sad for Wenger, he looked pretty jaded today.
Now let’s focus on how our kids do against another bunch of lottery winners..,
simple the best team won.,very few shot,and chelsea always look the more dangerous side..Eduardo was playing on his own all match,no support in front.Where was Arshavin doing all match ,not much as usual.so much we are playing 4-3-3
Big error from Wenger to take Song out (our best player)leave Denilson(nightmare first half).
It was a very dissapointing game especially as there were long periods where
Arsenal had Chelski on the back foot.Too few chances created for the fowards as well as poor control in front of goal meant we lost a winable game.Two crosses from Cashley Cole who was not checked by the right-sdided
midfielder ,and poorly defended by the centrebacks gifted them this win.The
third goal from a badly positioned wall off a needless freekick was inevitable.The defence was quite solid with Taoare coping well with the Chelsea attack.Song played well and his removal was a suprise -Either Ashavin or Nasri should have been withdrawn.Eduardo was lively in patches and should have shot rather than pass when the few chances came.
Not to sure that i understand all the wailing and hand wringing going on at the moment, the only thing that Chelski had over us was Drogpa apart from that we were the better team, we played the better football but missed that big presence up front, it was always going to be tough without both RVP and Bentner as Eduardo is not and never will be a main striker.
We lost the game through poor defending from the right side of the back four (Sanga)and the piss poor defending from Gallas, Silvestre would have been a better choice defender given that Drogpa all ways has a good game against Gallas.
Managers strange moment, taking off our best player Song and replacing him with Walcott, wierd or what???, lastly we realy do need another big pure striker as we cannot take the chance that Bentner will not be injured again this season