Arsenal WHU: catering, early leaving, predictions, possession

By Tony Attwood

When we are good, we are really good.  We ended the game against West Ham with 69% of the possession, and 24 goal attempts, with 10 on target.  For 12  minutes we were unbeatable.   Any suggestion of anything else was a mere trick of the floodlights.

As for West Ham’s opening goal – it felt like we had to give them something just to make the game interesting.  At the start Stefan said it was going to be a 3-1 win and that opening goal made it seem possible.  (Stefan also complained that I had said previously that he left five minutes before the end and that this was an outrage which could lead to the withdrawal of all my banking rights.  We compromised on three minutes, although the gent who used Stefan’s wife’s seat left a good 8 minutes early last night).

But there are many questions unanswered.  Like how could Sam the Fat put out a team like this?  Yes WHU did some defending in depth, but nothing like the revolting “park the team bus” and “kick the shit out of them” which led to Untold’s description of the tactics as “rotational fouling” and “rotational time wasting”.  Yes they still do high balls and industrial challenges in the nature of the Fat Slug of the North, but there are bits of the old West Ham there too, so maybe the WHU spirit is being poured down the Fatman’s throat.  Who can tell?

West Ham tried to play, and really the only sadness was the problems at the away supporters end in the second half.  Of course I only see from the opposite end of the stadium, so maybe it was Arsenal stewards fighting amongst each other.  Maybe it was nothing.

Back with the football, Santi Cazorla’s back flick goal, which crawled over the line at about the speed of a tortoise who has drunk too much meths, was a wonder.   And the glorious wonder of the signing of Podolski was shown here.  He does assists, set ups, and perfect passes and then goes through the routine again – whilst getting the equaliser with a rasping shot.  Good man.
So what else did we learn?
At each match I go and order a burger.  Not that I want one – I can’t stand them.  But I do it just to prove that they are not available.  Try ordering a burger 10 minutes before kick off, anywhere between blocks 99 and 101 and the answer is no, or you will have to wait 10 minutes.
Now since advertising a product you know is not for sale is against Trading Standards regs, Delaware North are being naughty.   It is not a one-off – it is every single match.
And I look to ask myself, “Are there people rushing around cooking the revolting things?”  No there are not.  There are people standing there.  They are very good at standing there.  The “standing there” training must be excellent.
I also order a cappuccino at half time.  This time, two of the three coffee machines had their front doors hanging off.  Only a couple of the people serving knew how to use them – the result was chaos as men with cups and no liquid bumped into men who had got liquid into their cups.  The doors on the front of the machines were slammed shut and sprung open, knocking cups that may or may not have had some form of drinkable solution within them.   That’s how it goes.
The system of service is chaotic, and any semi-manager with the IQ of a red squirrel sitting in the Isle of Wight on a wet Tuesday could do better.  So, the question is to be asked.  Why is there not an Arsenal base on the Island recruiting catering managers?
Fortunately the football was better, and the evening was good.  Theo moved into the middle at the end, and went off to count the £9.92 he earns a minute – even when he is asleep.  I think I would sleep better if I knew I was earning £9.92 a minute while sleeping.
But my life involves the journey home to the Midlands, fortunately in the company of Drew who dropped me off at Northampton station, to find that  my car was equally fortunately still there.  Home from the match by half past midnight, and I was able to drive through the village in which I live without being hampered by snow drifts – it felt like summer.
Fortunately we don’t have any more midweek matches that involve me leaving work early and getting back half an hour into tomorrow until, oh, I don’t know, oh yes, next week.
One last point for the ref.  Very early on Vaz Te kicked the ball away after the whistle had blown.  The ref did nothing.  Later he got booked (at the end of the first half) for repeating the trick.   If the ref had seen the first one, he might have got sent off – which is not what I want, but kicking the ball away is really a very silly little game to play.  Come on Fat Sam.  Sort him out.
One last, last point: no Chamakh.  Is he in Africa?  I thought he might be.  Drew thought not.   We didn’t really care, we just wondered.


The books…

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23 Replies to “Arsenal WHU: catering, early leaving, predictions, possession”

  1. Chamakh couldn’t play due to PL rules stating loanees can’t play against their parent club.
    Re the catering, you can only get a pint of beer dw stars at certain bars. It’s truly bizarre. So we have now stopped drinking inside the ground altogether.

  2. “The “standing there” training must be excellent” that made me laugh out loud. Lucky I sit on my own for the moment.

    Chamakh was somewhere in the Emirates (maybe protecting Na$ri??) as he wasn’t allowed to play against his own club.

    Loved the game and the article.

  3. Maybe Arsenal has adopted a total stop on beer drinking policy? 😉

    And about Chamakh he…oh I think you know by now 🙂

  4. Talking about the game. What I liked a lot and only got to see after the game when they showed a few highlights of the game (well just the goals in fact) was the first goal.

    Podolski scored a cracking goal with a rocket from distance. Of course he was happy but you could see on his face an expression telling: “Ok, I like it. This was a cracking goal.” But also the expression telling: “Let’s get it on because we need to win this game”.

    You could see that he and the rest of the players wouldn’t be happy with just one point.

  5. I say it was good training too for Liverpool then Bayern.In all the games we’ve lost, had we raised the pace a bit,we could easily have won. Our game was always full of pace, movement and combination play. Now we sometimes play at a snail’s pace. In the modern game, you can’t win if you’re slow. Should we play at that pace, we will beat Liverpool, even Bayern.

  6. I arrived at the catering point by 101 at the start of half time. There were about six in front of me at the time. I finally got my burger and chips about a minute before the second half started (at least the boys were kind enough to score a 5th so I could jump up and celebrate – I was eating my dinner while the previous 3 went in so was restricted to a muffled cheer).

    Re yellow for kicking the ball away – Koscielny (I think) did it late on and got away with it. A bit more subtle than Vaz Te however!

  7. On Vaz Te, without trying to read the ref’s mind, my feeling is didn’t get booked for any one event.

    If you remember, in between the two ball kicking incidents he did leave his studs rather nastily (and unnecessarily) in Mert’s ankle. I expected the ref to book him then, but instead he got a final warning. Seeing as he was dumb enough to have a strop and kick the ball away a few minutes later the yellow was inevitable.

    On Jack, I like how it was done. Really low profile. It was nearly 10 minutes before I had noticed he had been given the armband. (It didn’t help that almost no one noticed Vermaelen going off amongst the deluge of goals). He’s at the point of his career where he does not need any more pressure and the casual way he got made captain probably helped.

  8. Surely someone at the Beeb or ITV, experienced in sitcoms and the like, could make a lucrative series about the catering at the Emirates. The serving (or not serving) of cappuccinos could take up one whole episode and I’m beginning to wonder whether or not the catering staff are actually frustrated actors.
    These slightly off topic reports are becoming so popular that the football is now quite secondary and uninteresting.
    For example, I look forward to hearing about Tony’s visit to Brighton on Saturday, how he got there, if he got back, the food and drink he consumed and the characters he met at this part of the Sussex Rivieria.
    He could mention the score at the end…if he wants to.

  9. Well I am in sunny QLD, Australia for a 2 week deserved holiday! But why am I still on my old iPhone reading and looking for anything Arsenal? Fuking sad man!
    But not really cos it is pissing down for 2 days now only 1 day of sun, the day I arrived.
    Just need my arsenal fix for sure.
    Anyway after the Chelsea game where I thought we were the better side (as usual) I then read Walters article on AW ‘sack him or not’. Many people like some dude called Ed, obviously angry after losing or the many others who commented on AW to go.
    Where are they now? As usual nothing to say until we lose a game. I fear AW will never get a break from these folks u less he does a treble…

  10. A great performance at times, even more so when you consider Sam sent his team out to kick and intimidate, but we stood up to it. Sam insults the history of west ham. The violence of some of their tackling has been lost in the euphoria of the result.

    When are referees going to start protecting jack wilshere? Sam insults the game of football. In the past, I have admired the ethos and many aspects of west ham, but as for Sams ammers, if that is his game, hope they go down, he gets sacked and gets no further employment in top level football. It is only the inadequacies, bias and cowardice of English referees that keep the likes of Sam, pulis and others at this level, and time and time again, we are in the receiving end of it

  11. Mandy a good link. You are right about Jack, some teams think that the way to stop Arsenal is to “take him out”.

    In the previous match, the Chel$ki “hero” Ramires – man of the match – fouled Le Coq quite badly in the build up for the first goal, dived for the second, put a knee into Giroud’s kidney and back elbowed Jack – and not even a hint of a card. This type of aggression seems typical of certain teams, especially the more arrogant ones – when they know that the ref will let them get away with it.

  12. “Like how could Sam the Fat put out a team like this?”
    Well, did he have two front line defensive players injured, or not? That’s what he noted afterwards, and, and top of that he also lost two more by the end of our match.
    And he gets no credit for continuing to tell The Truth about the double standard that rules football on display at Old Trafford, slating the ref and Fergus’s Way, about which he is taking on the FA by demanding a hearing; and he stands to be punished Arsene-style for casting aspersions on Lord Football and the fix.
    Yet not a hint of a nod toward him hereabouts; not on any of one those scores, such is the nature of tribal revenge (sigh).
    Now Sam may deserve this, karmically speaking, but it’s not very sporting of you in victory, I dare say. I mean for all the high-mindedness about other issues of the day, like racism, and FFP, etc. All of which I agree with. But we’re happy here just to damp down the grave. So much for the high road.

  13. p.s. and he gave us full credit in his post-match comments for a brilliant display. But hey, kick ’em when they’re down, eh?

  14. @Bob. So what if Sam does what you say, does he deserve our applause for saying Fergie gets his way etc?
    Had we lost would you be saying this?
    Had one of his charges injured our player by kicking, elbowing etc would u be praising him?
    He sets his team up to kick and intimidate us in a non footballing way (especially with west hams history, as mentioned) then when it doesnt work he congratulates us for winning despite his ‘orders’ to maim…
    What about opening his mouth about a Dutch skunk and all that…

  15. elkieno,
    I’ve said this about Sam before. It’s not praising him you see. It’s giving this devil his due – which you won’t. You see, I think Sam sucks; and has been brutal toward us. But what you fail to catch here, mate, is that he has been one of Don Fungus’s loyalists and, until this time (in my experience) he could always be expected to roll over at Old Toilet for Don Fungus. But This time he did not. Instead he bit his master’s filthy hand, and has done so in this very year – the season that means the MOST to Don Fungus – to win the Rednose XX (becoming all-time winningest ManUre coach – if not all football, I think). So if there is a falling out of sorts among the thieves, that is noteworthy. And UA, who has long been monitoring the ways in which referees and Fergie’s favorites have conspired to gift ManUre its place atop the table, has not noted this breach in their ranks. My point is that even people like Mourinho (last season) and Fat Sam (this season) will speak truth about Don Fungus and it is worth taking note – from people such as these – that there is an actual (if not) growing discontent around the league about the one-sidedness of the EPL results. To me this was worth noting and remembering, and I don’t worship Sam for speaking the truth, but I do thank him for it – because it is the truth and it adds to the case that something is really rotten at the top. (The fish rotting first from the top, as some know.) So, mate, consider this. If it floats your boat, good. If not, no problem. But I’m not saying this because we won or lost the last game; but because Sam was generous to us in defeat (praising our brilliance, like I said) and he’s now an enemy of the team and thuggish manager to whom we sold our best player. All this to let you know why I think in ways that are not tribal reflexes. Sam’s testimony to the bent-ness at Old Trafford is welcome to any who want to continue to hold a mirror up to that crime scene and declare it bad for football. (Assuming that matters to you?)

  16. Oh joy! What was (a)missed yesterday for a tidy 20M to the EPL:
    “Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore, said: “We are extremely pleased with this exciting development that sees News International, traditionally a newspaper publishing organisation, move further into the digital media space through the acquisition of our UK near-live clip rights.

    “In a world in which all forms of media are looking at their digital offerings, and given the extensive coverage that News International publications give to the Barclays Premier League, we believe this partnership will see football fans able to consume the best Premier League action in innovative ways.”

    This means that online The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times – and no other papers or media outlets – can make available to subscribers 30 second clips from live games, and 60 second clips on Monday to zillions of video hungry fans.”
    Now ya ‘avn’t foun’ d’Arsenal in da good graces a dem dere papers, ‘av ya?

  17. Does this clarify anything along with the morning cup of coffee?:

    A quick glimpse at the FA’s Board will reveal that only two clubs have their major executives among the 12 board members. Behold:
    (1) The Chairman of the Board is Mr. David Bernstein:
    “…On the Board of Manchester City FC for nine years, five of them as Chairman. During this time, the Club returned to the Premier League and David led the negotiations which delivered a new stadium.
    (2) A Director (for the Professional Game) is Mr. David Gill:
    “A chartered accountant by profession, David is currently Chief Executive of Manchester United FC having been previously appointed as the Club’s Finance Director in 1997.”

    None of the other 10 on the Board of Directors are directly or openly linked to any other team. Only the two Manchester clubs. That’s the FA, where only a David can be Goliath.

    Not to say there’s a stacked deck, or anything. Just saying.
    Go Gunners!

  18. regarding the WHU goal, i feel giroud should have done better. You never head the ball away like he did. if he had lobed the ball, maybe the defence could have closed down the WH player before the strike. [reminds me of a inciddent in a game i was playing years ago. but thats for another day] weather he is aware of it or not, i don’t know. bouldy unlce should point this out to him. that’s a typical strikers header for the opponent’s goal. mind up i am not blaming him for the goal. if a defender had done that, then yes.
    as for Jack being the captain, he has that Tony Adami type character, where is quite capable of going up to anyone if his teammates and give a kicking if they don’t up in a shift. we need that sort of captian. i am not sure if we want hand him the captaincy, be it even for 10 mins so early in the age. or maybe AW is pointing out to others that he has been rewarded for his work rate and commitment.

  19. Well, did he have two front line defensive players injured, or not? That’s what he noted afterwards, and, and top of that he also lost two more by the end of our match.

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