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August 2021

Newcastle Vikings v Arsenal Saxons

By Billy the Dog McGraw

It is interesting the conjecture that if King Harold Godwinson had not won the Battle of Stamford Bridge against King Harald Hardrada (a man still known in Newcastle as Haraldr harðráði) and his mate Tostig, then these days the capital of England could be York and we might all be speaking Newcastlian while bending the knee to King Sweyn Estrithson and Magnus Barefoot.

As it is, we don’t, and instead note that Tim Krul and Rob Elliot can’t play and that the 238 year old Steve Harper plays his last game for the Vikings after 2000 years at the club.

Newcastle V (a name that is said to descend from the hand gesture that many Saxons give on hearing the word “Newcastle”) have let in nine goals in their last two home games which means the home fans have been seeing some entertaining football of late and should be jolly happy.

The venue is St James’ Park, known in many a blues songs as St James Infirmary, a song whose origin was in the tune “The Unfortunate Rake” and indeed it is hard to argue with that when sitting in the potting shed with Dennis Bergkamp prior to a  Sunday game. Naturally we both burst into song.  At first it wasn’t the same song but eventually we got the hang of things.

I went down to St. James Infirmary,
Saw my baby there,
Stretched out on a long white table,
So cold, so sweet, so fair.

“Baby” is Northumbrian for “association football club” of course.  The referee is The Howard Webb (a man named after a public house of the same name).  Here is how the teams perform with him on the pitch





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So both teams significantly under achieve with the Webb on the pitch, which suggests and dull and boring 0-0.  But…

The northern lads have Marveaux, Santon, and Tioté listed as doubtful, although I am not sure if it means that their humanity is in doubt, or whether it is their availability that is questionable.  Dennis took the former route, I the latter.

On the table (ie in St James Infirmary) we see Shola Ameobi, Vuckic, Haïdara, Krul, Sissoko,  R Taylor – which is what you get for being on the losing side in the Battle of Stamford Bridge.  Elliot is suspended.

As for the club’s recent form they have won two, drawn two and lost two.  Top man with the goals for the entire and total season is Cissé avec 8.

As for ourselves Arteta has a chance of playing somewhere around -10 on a scale of 1 to 5 and we all know about Wilshere, Diaby and Miyaichi.  Our last six are four wins and two draws – and we have won our last four away games and are actually unbeaten in the last nine.

The home team have won once in the last 11 league games between us, have not scored a goal in their last two home games, and well… not much more to say.  Tickets were still available last night for the home part of the ground.

If we meander over to the question of the team we may well see something roughly resembles this:


Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs;

Coquelin, Ramsey;

Walcott, Podolski, Cazorla;


On the bench
Fabianski, Jenkinson, Monreal, Vermaelen, Oxlade-Chamberlin, Wilshere, plus A N Other.
Let us return for a moment to older days…
  • Arsenal 7 (Walcott 3, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Giroud 2), Newcastle 3 , December 2012
  • Arsenal 2 (Van Persie, Vermaelen), Newcastle 1 March 2012
  • Newcastle 0, Arsenal 0, August 2011

And thus with a heavy heart Dennis and I had a bacon sandwich and pint of Special for the last time this season, before hanging up our pitchforks and hitch hiking around the North Circular Road one final time.   But we will be back in August for more.

Or maybe not.

Recent posts

The books…

The sites from the same team…

Today’s anniversaries

  • 19 May 1907: Budapest 0 Arsenal 9
  • 19 May 1931: Frank Tiger Hill bought from Aberdeen
  • 19 May 1940: Jack McClelland born in Lurgan
  • 19 May 1955: Joe Wade ends his Arsenal career
  • 19 May 1980: Liam Brady’s last match for Arsenal


128 comments to Newcastle Vikings v Arsenal Saxons

  • @blacksheep63

    i predict a few more visitors to the allotments next season Billy.

  • AL

    Is Rosicky injured? Would love to see him at least on the bench.

  • naked goon

    Great tales from the potting shed, clearly you have a healthy supply of fine ales or suchlike on hand.Harper is indeed an interesting fellow who happens to be at the club 1,762 years before he was born, clearly a contract was drawn up by that master agent of the day Merlin,a specialist in the non corporeal and metaphysical. No doubt all wrapped up in those glorious pre-Viking days.
    AL,yes it has to be Rosicky alongside Ramsey, those two will cover all the ground and I wouldn’t bet against a goal for Tomas.
    3-1 to the Arsenal.

  • bc

    yennaris and aneke are said to have travelled

  • Bill

    Howay man lads. We howked the Vikings. The Danelaw never got north of the Tees. We stopped the Romans at Westgate Road -200yds south of St James!- as to the rest of them… We rebelled properly against the Normans (got beat) and gave the Scots their biggest defeat at Flodden 500 years ago this year.
    And we’ll still lose today. But the ground is sold out and you’ll have a great time if you’re here – like we did in 1998 ( Hen and Chicken etc). So enjoy the Champs League, you deserve it. But don’t say we’re Vikings… They are Yorkshiremen. And if it wasn’t for the Geordies, they’d be Scots!

    Tarra lads. Have a good time here.

  • nicky

    At long last we have a mention of the Louis Armstrong classic “St James Infirmary Blues”! Only the first verse but no matter.
    What with the “Emirates Catering” reports, DB’s “Gardeners’ World” and now “Jazz Records I have heard” a new vista of Untold has emerged…….only to be messed about in August when the new football season has to start. Shame.

  • Kenneth Widermpool

    Hilarious as always Billy Lad! Is that St.Totteringham I can see rowing down from Lindisfarne and is that a V gesture hes making whilst chanting a ye old Gregorian refrain “come on you Machems, like”… before getting off and making his way up to the Big Market and celebrating his own feast-day with a new pair of open-toed sandals and a plate of cold Spuds,like?

  • marcus

    Isn’t this bribery?

    Can Arsenal FC offer the Magpies staff 2m if Newcastle lose today?

  • Ong Bing

    Henry’s statue said, TV5 will play at Arteta’s place.

    The front 4 is, Theo, Poldi, Santi, Rosiky. And we win 12-3, all 4 score hattrick.

  • Ong Bing

    OK, we go to CL next season, and I go to doctor to check my heart.

  • WalterBroeckx

    WE DID IT!

    Happy St. totteringhamsday…

    pfew my fingers still shacking can’t type right now

  • Highamsparkgunner

    To all the doubters.
    We are where we belong.
    Now let’s buy some players

  • AL

    Fantastic! Well done boys.

  • Mick

    Arsenal 4th, Gareth Bale 5th.

  • Tasos

    Not sure how we’ve done it but CL football again next year.

    Koscielny was superb today.

  • Florian

    Theo made me miss a few heartbeats, but that’s alright, I can live with it:) Arsenal in CL forever!

  • bjtgooner

    Well done the team, manager & away fans!!!

    A great achievement, especially after the team was undermined by the antics of the greedy Dutchman last summer.

    Speaking of undermining – I have two words in particular for a certain double-tossing halfgooner; one word starts with a “u” and the second with a “y”.

    Later tonight I plan a large glass of single malt – maybe two!!

  • marcus

    Now Arsene can buy Bale.

    Can’t see him getting any Germans though..(Muller, Dante)

  • John L

    happy st totteringham day!

    motm for kozzer. had an absolutley storming performance!

    cant wait for next season, i think it will be a memorable one!

  • dan

    Happy St Totteringham’s day;)

    Well today witnessed 1st hand Fergie’s love child in action at the Hawthornes.

  • dan

    No Spurz boys/girls on here today?

  • marcus

    Well done Walter and the team, your efforts could have made the difference of 3 or 4 points….good job

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Never in doubt!

    Ten down fourth to go – one at a time


  • Persian gunner

    Ther should an Arsene Wenger statue in every football pitch around the world!

  • Andrei

    Congratulation Gunners. Well deserved top 4 finish. I feel that this team is just a full season fit Wilshire away from becoming a genuine title contender. Especially with United, City and Chelsea having new managers and likely going through transition next season.

  • Vc

    Congratulations gunners! Laurent Koscielny you beast! Cabaye should have been sent off! Title contenders next year! Poor team Bale, he can always be our second striker do a sol Campbell!

  • Ong Bing

    Actually, we not in CL yet, only play off. But who care!

    Emh, maybe we meet Schalke again 🙂

  • sperez

    Wenger really has to do something or we’ll be facing the same fight for 4th spot profit trophy next season. However, we all know Wenger is not renowned for being proactive so there’s no point in being positive about the next season. He’ll have his excuses ready.
    On a positive note, Koscielny really improved as a defender (though he is still a bit error prone). Vermaelen, on the other hand, has been in decline for 3 seasons. Sad but true.
    Anyway, if Guardiola really wants Koscielny at Bayern then I can see him going to Germany (Let’s hope this is all paper talk).That’s what the American blood-sucking Kroenke really cares: Money!
    Add to that our pathetic socialist wage model and then you know why it’s so easy for other clubs to sign our players.
    Persian gunner, I hope you meant this ironically. I can’t see how a manager deserves a statue for doing the bare minimum season after season over the last 8 years.

  • Florian

    Some people are just unable to enjoy the moment. What a sad life that must be. Up the Gunners!

  • Shard

    Yaayyy!! Not pretty, but all the sweeter for that. Well done Arsenal. It was scary for a while, but getting the job done over the past 2-3 months, shows great determination. At one point this seemed beyond us, but once again, we’ve come through, and St. Totteringham comes over again.

    Next season, we’re going to go for the title. Whether we win it or not depends on a lot of factors, some of which will be out of our control. But we can do it. Have a good rest/recovery, and be ready for pre season. What do we fans do in the meantime??

    Nice try sperez, but maybe you could share your wisdom with the Spurs crying into their bananas.

  • Adam

    Relief is what I feel right now. Once I get over that, it’s looking forward to 2 years of solid football. A lot of players will be playing for their World cup slots next season so individual performances & ambitions will be on the rise.

    Hope for a title challenge next season whilst playing stunning football that bamboozles all opponents.

    I don’t want much then.

  • bjtgooner

    Sour sperez a spud or AAA sewer rat? – just now his comments are irrelevant – the win, 3 points, Champions league for next season and tweaking an already good squad over the summer are the important points!

  • Ong Bing

    After a few season lost captains, I think we will not lost our captain this summer.

    Is that a good sign?

    (Be careful, Bayern and Barca looking for CB, so lets hide Kos in small island that no phone and internet)

  • Adam

    Oh, and hats off for our manager, what an achievement. To hear a certain Mr Neville speak about Arsene’s consistency whilst only having a net spend of £9 million since moving into our new home highlights that some appreciate his worth as a builder and protector of our great club.

    A statue wouldn’t do the man justice, just rename the stadium after him when the time comes.

  • Shard

    Ok now this is convulated logic by Spurs’ manager

    Villas-Boas felt it might have been a different story today if Spurs had been awarded a penalty in the 21st minute when Bale went to ground inside the box under a challenge from Sebastian Larsson.

    Instead of winning a spot-kick though, Bale was once again booked for diving.

    Villas-Boas said: “It’s very, very disappointing because a penalty doesn’t only change the running of this game but changes the running of the other game (Arsenal match) too.”

  • Ben

    18 games unbeaten what are the chances of us going unbeaten again?

  • Shard


  • americangooner

    One Nil to THE ARSENAL.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    And the universe unfolds as it should. Spurs comfortably where they belong …in purgatory

    Purgatory’s kind of like the in-betweeny one. You weren’t really shit, but you weren’t all that great either. Like Tottenham. – Ray “In Bruges”

    Having said that I don’t think Spurs have the numbers of anti-fans that Arsenal do – people who want to take the gloss off of anything happy. And we are happy.

  • Yassin

    @ shard,
    and so does the adebayor offside goal against chelsea, and we can go further if he wants.

    btw, Wenger told the stuff not to tell the players about tottenham match no matter what the score is, so they win regardless….

    We desreved it, rosicky run to defend when the tottenham scored to was priceless, kosienly deserved man of the match, And not for his goal only, ramsey brilliant, chamberlain played in Arteta place and we didnt notice, walcot was brilliant, sagna perfect, gibbs outstanding, the away fans brillinat those fans shall be pictured and put on the emirates entrance…..
    and Wenger, the arsenal greatest fan, been through much hard times and now its time to shut those stupids trying to speak utter bulls**t what he can do with little more money..



  • FunGunner

    What a beautiful beautiful day. Well done, boys and happy St totteringham’s day to all.

    @ Shard
    May 19, 2013 at 7:14 pm
    Did AVB really say that? He is barking mad.

  • Yassin

    @ adam,
    totally agree, the stadium shall be named after a while, he deerved that, he built it, and now is the time to thank him, we the fans, by standing behind him, not being a sperez, oh how annoying he is..

  • Stuart

    If you can’t enjoy this you might as well kill yourself Sperez, save us all from the pure boredom your repetitive post brings.

  • Stroller

    I though that AVB had a bit more class than to make that convoluted excuse about an unawarded penalty. Having claimed a couple of months ago that we were in a spiral of decline he could at least have been slightly congratulatory about our late run. Never mind I guess working in that hellhole changes people.

    I’ve really had enough of these close run-ins with them for 4th place. Let’s get it right in the market and on the training pitch to ensure we’re genuine title challengers next season.

  • AL

    What a beautiful picture, a la chad le clos’ dad.

  • Persian gunner

    100% agree with the suggestion of the stadium’s name after Arsene Wenger!

  • Florian

    Priceless! Thank you Shard!

  • Mike T


    I have to be honest I thought you would struggle at Newcastle just like I thought we would against Everton. In the end both got there with I guess a bit to spare so well done to us both.
    Spurs shwed today why they fell short and yes theywon but again had to count on one player who I have a sneaking feeling will be on his way.
    It was important to finnish 3rd and in the cold light of day you will have to hope yo end up playing a team from somewhere stan as opposed to a Spanish, Italian or German qualifier but hey thats to worry about tomorrow but tonight is all about celebrating the moment

  • Super Singh

    Year after year, we are told our club is on the decline, by burks that profess to know the game, our supporters who can’t see the bigger picture and fight against other talented football team’s, bent or incompetent referee’s.
    But still we get knocked down and we get up and stand tall. Because we are “The Mighty Arsenal”.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Congratulations to the club on an amazing run in, they showed immense fortitude. This team really have grown and though we still have a qualifier this finish was vital on so many levels. We really can
    Move forward now and right a few wrongs and maybe unite at least some of the fans. Please spare a thought for the media pundits and arry at this difficult time.

  • dan

    The media rats are hurting today, loved it!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree mike t the spuds have become very reliant on a special player who could leave or may stay and even increase the level of reliance. We know a bit about reliance on special players and it is a credit to the team the way they have responded to losing such players. Still guess they made it a close run thing but I bet levy is kicking himself…. again. These last two seasons were their best chance to pip us, who knows how that will effect them.still they are a threat and wenger needs to consider this as we move onwards and upwards

  • WalterBroeckx

    Let’s have a little laugh shall we

    they actually thought that Newcastle had equalised 😉

  • marcus

    Pure Schadenfreude Walter. According to the Daily Tattle he’s our next big signing.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Great turn around by Gunners. Congrats to all of us, and thanks to AW, the player & the staff.

    Mind the gap!

  • We looked nervous today, but the win was very imp. I too was wondering why the duds were applauding. They really are duds.

  • Shard

    Well well…Looks like City are doing some restructuring of accounts. No idea whther its because they fear they are in violation of FFP or are just looking for a better deal, but either way, I think FFP is having at least some effect.

  • AL

    It must be very hard being a spud on the final day of the season; last season they thought they’d qualified for the champs lge & celebrated like crazy, only for Chelsea to take their place a few days later. And now this. They deserve it though, loud mouths

  • AL

    Also notice they’re, including their manager, moaning they were denied 3 clear penalties. Not sure if they fully understand that even if they won by 10 clear goals it wouldn’t have mattered. They’re looking more & more like fools.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think this will hit em hard and Avb is just articulating that. So appropriate kos got the goal today the man has been immense

  • Rupert Cook

    Scrappy game but fortunately Newcastle were pretty dire. I’ve had enough of this now, absolutely no need for it, these last day do or die games. Get spending Arsenal.

  • Arun

    AVB:”We are on an upward spiral in terms of confidence and they are in a negative spiral in terms of results”.
    Thanks for giving us another reason to laugh at you.
    Another thing that comes to mind is how Suarez has been robbed off of the golden boot. Those 4 offside goals were finally the difference as Suarez lost by 3 goals.

  • Asif

    Walter/Tony – can we for a day ban the AAA super agents like all these Ruperts and Sperezs for a day just today! We do not want such negativity atleast on St Totteringham day when we should be simply proud fo the team and celebrating -these kill joys are raising their ugly head…these morons will never understand!

    Proud to be a Gooner…and Arsene knows…we will stick by your judgment…whoever you get into the team we will stand by them! I love my Arsenal…

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think we certainly do need to get spending but worth remembering our recent results are good and we have to keep this new found spirit and momentum sometimes prima Donna types can ruin all that but I am sure we will spend and spend wisely. But we can improve in other areas as well maybe for instance do we have the best coaching methods training facilities and medic facilities available? Not saying we don’t, but hopefully the club will now look into all possible improvements as we can spend less time worrying about finances. We could be on the cusp of something special if we put a few things right and recently the signs are good. Expect some lively debate on here over the summer as we hopefully move forward but tonight is the time for celebration appreciation and even relief

  • nicky

    Couldn’t really see much wrong with Webb today. Maybe because Man Utd had already won the title he had no axe to grind.

  • dan

    Wathcing MOTD, can’t wait to see the long faces.

  • bjtgooner


    Good post.

    After a long and difficult season; when at the end we hold our nerve and complete a long unbeaten series of results to clinch 4th place, with all the rewards that brings, it is amazing that twits like rupert the rat and sperez the sour choose this occasion to continue their season long output of bile.

    Two red cards please.

  • dan

    MOTD wankers just cant bring themselves to give Arsenal credit, oh it hurts.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Motd most amusing shearer seems to really have it in for us these days, Looks like the spuds should have had a pen or two and did not realise they had none all season. Still bale has a well deserved rep for diving and they could have been given ten penalties today for all I care

  • AL

    Its official, Alan shearer is a muppet.

  • Rufusstan

    All that comes to mind right now

    1). Happy St Totteringham’s day to all. Hopefully it will come earlier next year.

    2). Just a reminder that the CL qualifiers are seeded so we wont get anyone really nasty like Milan or Schalke are out.

    3). The thing with captains now is more than just not selling them.
    Our last 4 captains: Viera, Henry, Cesc, Van Persie, all were given the job at least in part for status or to retain them.

    This year we have got back to actual leaders as captain. Vermaelen was a step the right way; with him out, Arteta. Today when he went off, Per took the armband. Jack has had it as well this year. A real step in the right direction.

    By the way, Hansen and Shearer on MOTD. Interesting analysis; did we lose today?

  • bob

    The prune faced toothy Arse-hating Macnanamanaman on ESPN gave the audience there a final paragraph of 4 sentences on the match: the first 3 were about how Newscastle had tried hard and look ahead to a challenging future with pride and assets; the last sentence was that AFC had perservered and, ah, well, ur, hmmm, geesh, ah well…deserved it. Yes! That piss-poor pundit actually put the words Arsenal and deserved it in the same sentence! Well, like the proverbial broken clock, even this creature can be right that we deserved our CL finish. On to the summer!

  • Adam

    @AL, we all knew something had made it’s way up his Arse.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Are we seeing the falling apart from MU already?

  • Vc

    No first team starters leaving next season loan paid off we are going to annihilate Man U next season!!

  • bob

    VLB: “It’s very, very disappointing because a penalty doesn’t only change the running of this game but changes the running of the other game (Arsenal match) too.”

    Maybe the Spudmeister here is making reference to some wished-for inside hanky-panky that might have ensued at WHL were his Divemaster not properly carded? Perhaps there’s a wee window on something untoward? Just catching the whiff of sulfur there…

  • bob

    One last AFC Captain item: co-captain Vermaelen, if he does depart, would then be the last of the Darren “Damien” Dein clients on the roster. His riding the bench may harbor another message (on this score) than simply the evident quality of the Kos-Mert duo.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Still think there could be some tasty teams in the qualifiers rufusstan anyone German Spanish or Italian even if not seeded but every reason to be confident now. And our bottom line finances about to go stratospheric so no need for a repeat of the summer of cesc with late and maybe in some cases panic buys. And hopefully not a team as good as udinese in the qualifier

  • bob

    Shard, sorry, AVB

  • Shard


    You are mistaken about the loan. There is still a large amount left to be paid. To the tune of 19m pounds every season till around 2030. So a long way away from being paid off.

    But the increased income from TV, and from our sponsorships will help us.

    Honestly, I think we’ll see some signings, but don’t expect 30m pound signings and our wage structure being smashed all of a sudden. It will be a gradual process of evolving the club, rather than the quick fix so many people seem to call out for. There will be changes. Just not too drastic. And that is a good thing.

  • Shard

    I see Halsey is retiring. I think he’s also written a book that will be published soon. No idea if he’ll tell some dark secrets of the trade. I don’t recall what his stats say but to me Halsey has always seemed like a decent ref who wants to referee the game right. Maybe that perception stems from the Fulham game during our unbeaten run where he wrongly awarded a penalty but then reversed his decision, and explained why he had done so on air afterwards. (This was before they forbade refs giving interviews)

    He also, if I recall correctly, made a comeback to refereeing after battling cancer. Wish him a happy retirement. (Unless he’s one of the corrupt ones, in which case he can go to hell 🙂 )

  • Shard


    It’s possible but I doubt he’d talk about that to the press. I watched their game against Chelsea keenly. Dean didn’t swing it in their favour. With Rednose XX secured, but with the Riley rats gaining some unwanted publicity, I think they decided to call it a season and refereed the game largely fairly (Dean can’t help himself sometimes)

    If anything, these performances show that they are capable of being fair in their decision making, even if not perfect.

    Let’s see how next season pans out. I have a feeling they’ll try to be less obvious, and might even let it be for a season so as to regain their credibility and exhibit the EPL better (To stave of competition from the Bundesliga) But then again, Lord Rednose could just be replaced by Chief Maureen.

  • Rufusstan

    Bob, I think VLB (trying to think of a suitably insulting acronym for that so it actually works) was getting at the idea that if they go ahead early it puts pressure on Arsenal. Of course that ignores the fact that Wenger told the staff to say nothing about their game. Grasping at straws.

    Vermaelen’s agent is the same as the Dutchman, but Dein keeps sniffing around as an ‘advisor’ even though he doesn’t seem to have any official clients.

  • Vc

    @shard oh lol about the stadium woops any way we have some good youngsters so hopefully they will all do a Wiltshire! Boom!

  • Shard

    Vile Lying B*****d?

    Venomous Loony B***h?

    Vague Lame Bufoon?

  • Shard


    Haha..Yes, that would be of help 🙂

  • Rufusstan

    Mandy have a look at this about the qualifiers

    Things are not fully filled yet– Spanish season 2 games left etc. A lot will depend on if Valencia or Sociadad finish 4th there.

  • Vc

    @mandy shearer saying look at arsenal it’s like they won a cup! But spurs more amazing! Can someone stick his head up his arse!

  • bob

    Villainous Loathsome Barnacle?
    Virtual Lying Bean-Counter?
    Very Laid-back Bluffer?
    Von’t Be Back? (to the top 4)?

  • Vc

    Jamie red nappy spend to keep bale lol you can’t even afford a new stadium. Gary Neville ripping him was hilarious he’s actually a very good pundit! Then again my Liverpool bro in law said spurs have a better squad man for man £50 won today was so sweet after the defeat to spurs when the bet was made.

  • Vc

    Very lame being 🙂

  • Vc

    Good results monkey city and Howard Webb united made me laugh more downward AVB style for next season

  • Shard

    This Halsey retirement and book seems to be interesting. Apparently he could face legal action from the PGMOL for not giving 3 months notice (BT have announced Halsey as their ref expert), and for breach of contract for writing the book.

  • Shard–Charles-Sale.html

    Read the next 2 snippets after the Halsey bit. The ones about ManCity’s Chief Executive, and how Alex Ferguson is going to keep his position in the League Managers’ Association.

  • Rufusstan

    Interesting Shard. Not so sure Red Nose staying on as a mentor is all bad; knew about City’s owners. Its funny they have such a low profile and no one calls them on it. Much like a certain West London Russian who never does any media.

  • bob

    Maybe we should swoop for the book before their lawyers pull it off the shelves. 🙂
    Don Fergus still in the League Manager’s Association (as first among equals, no doubt). Having tasted its power, possession of the ring is all consuming. The only thing higher than Lord Football, let us remember, is being Lord of the Ring. The Rednose XX might yet pale by comparison to what the Lord of the Strings may yet pull off. (Surely we cannot let so rich a villain exit stage right from our discussions whilst the show continues to go on…) Will he and Micky R continue with business as usual? Tune in tomorrow. 🙂

  • marcus


    Arsenal were attacking and Cazorla was upended outside the box. The ball fell to Rosicky I think, and the attack had potential venom, but Webb blew up very quickly.

  • bob

    Wayne Rooney was not in Don Fungus’s farewell line-up…
    Must be farewell Rooney….

  • rantetta

    Congratulations, Arsenal. Kudos, Untold Arsenal, and its plethora of superb commentators.

    bob: Thanks for your kind comments in a previous post. You’re still King.

    On the first page of comments, somebody opined that the Webbmeister was reffing the game OK. That’s not what I saw, but I’ll look out for the review.(Sure, it’s all over and done but even during off-season, it’s so important to remain vigilant). AVB’s comments about not-given penalties are interesting. If sp^/s had been given more/earlier ‘favours’, how much more blatent might’ve been given against Arsenal? Rosicky and Gibbs were booked, the latter possibly for dissent, but I thought the foul should’ve gone the other way, i.e. to Arsenal.

    And yes, MOTD really have a cuntinuing nastyness about anything Arsenal. What can one do?

    Shard, thanks for the links. I noticed a paragraph about Jake Humphries v Gary Linekar. I don’t understand whats being said (I’ll have to re-read I guess), but I wonder if BT’s coverage of matches will be “different”? I’ll not hold my breath, especially as it’ll be no time before the gutters will continue their attempted de-stabilisation of Arsenal – it’s f**kin’ RELENTLESS. “Arsenal relegated Wigan”. Really?

    Gary Neville talks about £9M net spend and Ars being almost debt-free. Sure, he paid us some compliments, but the throw away lies about Arsenal’s debt – allows me to disbelieve the £9M 10-year net spend (even if that figure’s accurate). Jamie Redknapp is…. Redknapp, so what do you expect? All of this is about; Spend some money shite (preferably so it can trickle down into plundits pockets, perhaps, cos there must be so many reasons for YEARS of Arsenal HATRED by so, so many, when clearly, Arsenal’s play is BEST in the league despite having the most negative officiating, not only from on-field officials, but from the FA and Uefa. This. Is. Outrageous.

    That Arsenal have again achieved this season is sensational. Look at our players. Look at them. Compare them to almost any players in the league – with open eyes. I am so proud of them, so happy to know they’re honest people and footballers. Arsenal allow them to move on if they’re too big for their boots/ drive badly/drink or gamble too much/ disrupt team spirit, etc. If Arsenal had finished 5th I would still love them, cos they’re utterly loveable, and so is Mr Wenger.

    (All we need to do is buy 3/4/5 players for £60M each, cos we got the money, innit. And yeah, get that 30% guy in, cos ‘e’ll win us stuff by……) Bollux! I’m not having it.

    Forward, Arsenal.

  • bob

    Great stuff, Ranty! Wish we were there!

  • americangooner

    It seems like we will be playing either Real Sociedad or Valencia, depending on their respective results, in the CL qualifiers.
    Preparing for a 3 month silly international friendlies, silly transfer rumors, useless confederations cup. It was a roller coaster half a season and a bit smooth sailing the last ten games after a massive win at Bayern Munich. Lots of contender for player of the season but presumably santi will win it. can’t wait for another season to begin.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Funny, the Daily Mail gives us a C+ and Spurs a B+ in their end of season report card. My memory is that about as many ‘pundits’ put the Tots ahead of us in their prediction tables in August yet they get the nod ahead of us. This despite our great run in when the chips were on the table.

  • John

    AVB attracted some sympathy for the way he was treated at Chelsea. He now shows himself to be a bitter deluded graceless person, as well as not being very bright.

  • Pad Gooner

    Its completely off topic. @Walter, when I click “Are the playoffs fair? link on the main page, it is directed to “Whats wrong with pl refs”

  • ARSENAL 13

    Espns Asia coverage had Paul Parker (ManUtd) and Steve McMahon (ex liverpool manager) as pundits. They had a say at Arsenal players celebrating their 4th finish. “This is good for Wenger and fans and the club, but the players should be ashamed of themselves. What are they celebrating about??”……Blind shit heads….Cant they see that players are acknowledging the contribution of the away fans and are being a part of the celebration with the fans.

    Arsenal finish 4th, Bale 5th and France 16th….hahahha. Did some one say we should buy Tiote. Well Why would any one want a player who gets cramps every game??

  • Mike T


    As some will know I am a Chelsea supporter and have to admit I had a smile on my face yesterday yes about us but in truth a chunk of that smile was more about Spurs. Why some may ask well quite simply AVB got away with it for much of the season due to Bale and he hasnt yet been exposed as time after time poor performances were masked by one man playing their get out of jail card.AVB is not a good manager and that will show sooner rathr than later
    Yes Spurs won one more game this season but last sason I think 8 of their 20 wins were only by one goal, most by 2 or 3 gaol margins whereas I think something like double that number this season were by one goal most due to a Bale (often late) goal.

  • Rupert Cook

    I was watching it in a pub where both games were being shown. For some reason the Spuds game was shown on the bigger screen despite the fact that there were three times as many Arsenal fans and the pub was far closer to the Emirates than WHL.

    Much chanting ensued in the last twenty minutes, most of it from the Arsenal contingent as Spuds realized their season had come to nothing again.

    Still I must admit as I left the pub my thoughts were on the CL and just how much it’s devalued the league. Fans chanting like they’d won a cup when all we did was finish fourth. As most of us reflect on the season, if we’re honest, it’s been as uninspiring as ever. Remember the times when we used to be playing in finals and challenging for the league?

    Wenger did a splendid job in the last third of the season. It was a more pragmatic Arsenal if a slightly dull one but he marshalled the players into one unit focusing on one purpose and they repaid his faith. I wonder if we had not beaten Bayern away if the run in might not have been different. That victory I feel imbued the team with a confidence which they fed off.

    There is serious investment needed though if we are going to challenge for major honours. I doubt we’ll buy any thirty million players but we have to look to spend above 20 million on the odd player and a world class striker is needed. We can’t rely on defenders to win us key games every year.

    Transfer rumours will be revving up now and one reported in a French paper suggests that Gervinho may be off to a French team. Lyon I think, for around 14 million.

  • @blacksheep63

    Rupert, you say that the CL has devalued the league but also cite the bayern away leg as the turning point; some confusion surely? The players and the club want the CL and AW would have been crucified by the media if we hadn’t made it so it is worth celebrating. But yes, we need to be more competitive, at home and in Europe. Being in the CL (even the qualifying rounds) helps us attract players and it helps financially too. I’d be surprised if Gerv left after so short a stay but it maybe true – perhaps he is finding the criticism of the home crowd (quite evident at times) difficult.

  • Rupert Cook

    @blacksheep. no confusion at all. My point is we have teams more focused on finishing top four than actually winning the league. The Bayern game is a separate entity, a product of being in a tournament that really should be only for league winners. But once you are in it you can’t just ignore it despite the fact that only about four or five teams are good enough to win it.

    Of course the players want the CL. And the reason Gervinho wants to leave seems to be nothing to do with the home crowd but the fact that he isn’t starting enough games. He has a place in the Ivory Coast team to consider and he wants game time.

    I certainly hope we attract some top players. Gary Neville made the point that we have a net spend over ten years of 9 million pounds which is a result of the stadium move. But now it’s time to kick on. Money is in abundance, at least compared to Spuds. For sure Chelsea and City are going to spend heavily and we have to be showing the same ambition. That doesn’t mean spending 30 million plus on one player but being brave enough to spend a little more on one player rather than pulling out when a club wants an extra million.

    We’ll see what the club is made of and there’ll be no excuses if we have to go through this same scrap same time next season.

  • bob

    “I certainly hope we attract some top players… That doesn’t mean spending 30 million plus on one player but being brave enough to spend a little more on one player rather than pulling out when a club wants an extra million… We’ll see what the club is made of and there’ll be no excuses if we have to go through this same scrap same time next season.”
    Rupert Cook,
    Amen to the above.
    (Though, as a matter of historical principle – that is, the Brothers’ vicious displays in derailing us at OT – I’d never find myself quoting Neville, right or wrong, to buttress a single opinion on AFC/AW. I thought you’d be more principled that pragmatic on this score. 🙂 )

  • Shard


    I don’t get what you mean. Are players not supposed to focus on getting a top 4 spot? Obviously if you win the league you are automatically in the top 4, so how is it that teams are focusing more on the 4th spot than the title? It’s not a conflicting interest.

    As regards the fans celebrations, you can either take it is a devaluation of the league, or an addition of something to play for. Something which, for a lot of clubs, can prove crucial to their growth and future ability to compete for the trophies. I think the celebrations in the fans were about both the achievement, and finishing above Tottenham. But if not, maybe you are implying the fans see 4th place as a trophy? 🙂

    There’s time for next season. We agree that there should be some good signings, while maintaining squad stability. I think it’ll happen. I think we will strengthen, and the camaraderie formed this season will help us a lot next season. It was great to watch Vermaelen look so happy, and Fabianski jumping around excitedly at the final whistle. Team spirit. That’s the key to our revival in the late part of the season. Now to add quality and maintain this spirit throughout the whole of next season.

  • Rupert Cook

    What I mean Shard is that teams will always take solace from fourth if first seems impossible. This isn’t so obvious at the beginning of the season but as the league shapes up after a dozen or so games some teams will consider what is achievable. To get a CL spot is almost as good as winning the league, that’s the way it seems sometimes, crazy as that sounds.

    If you finish fourth and get a CL spot then your reward is exactly the same as being champions. Seems wrong to me. But money talks in football and the CL won’t go back to the European Cup.

    @Bob I hate the fact that an ex Manu player talks a lot of sense but there you go.

  • bob

    From the settling-up-of-legal-accounts department:

    Anyone still interested in the previous debate and inquiry into the issue of whether AFC had the legal right or not to prevent RVP from leaving? Well, I didn’t think so. A bit geekish, maybe? But, hey, just in case, say in a moment of idle curiosity or rarer moment of passionate conviction about the historical record (that is, before we actually get to really know anything say, from AW’s memoirs): the analysis was continued here (on another website) in some very interesting and high-level interchanges between Adam and FunGunner: Lots to learn (just do a search on their names.)

    On my customary lower level, I will say there is nothing “definitive” about her part in the exchange, which was FunGunner’s self-characterization of her contribution thereunto. In truth, both analysts are in fine form, so have a look there. And, yep, I must admit to a wide smile to find Adam’s again pointing out: “We could have made RVP stay…” Yay! However, in fairness to Adam, most readers (including FunGunner), would or have already joined in Adam’s sentiment “…but what would have been the point in having a stroppy little shite knocking about London Colney dragging everyyone else down?” (Of course, that’s where the argument started in the first place, when I advocated for AFC/AW having had the nerve to call RVP’s bluff and forced him to be professional and self-interested enough to play at his customary high-level for his next contract. But I’ve made the best case I could for that and will spare us all (myself included) further rehashings.

    I thank Adam (who I will promise – and mean it – to no longer drag into my legal battles as a third party) and FunGunner for our (although she’s disowned me as an unprincipled distortionist) having (via Adam) shed some light on a difficult (and still to be resolved) legal issue, with little to no weighty precedence in the courts. Surely nothing “definitive.” But, to find out where that stands, do read their worthwhile interchange. (Major Tom to Ground Control, over and out.)

  • AL

    OMG, some people are still unhappy? Guess even if we won the title it would be I don’t like this, we could have won it by so many points.

  • bob

    fyi: that was old business, wrapping up old business with an old (but not settled here, on UA) debate between two posters (with a third person as reference). An unresolved issue. One that may have gone over your head, or under your radar. Get it? Hope you feel happy with your “OMG!”, but why not first try understanding by reading (or not) before you trot out that boring doom and gloom thing to stick on me broomstick (to keep your D&G/AAA witch-hunt alive?). Pal, you got the wrong emboyo in your sites. COYG!

  • AL

    Really sorry about that. That was not directed at you in any way, was referring to certain individuals and apologies for not specifying any names(I felt I may have been coming across as targeting certain people lately so decided to keep it toned down a little). I can see my post coming after yours created the impression I might be referring to your debate. In fact, I have kinda followed your debate with the other poster and am vaguely aware you have something like that going on.

  • bob

    Cheers, mate. We’re good. 🙂

  • AL

    No worries mate:)

  • WalterBroeckx

    Just seen that one of the possible opponents in the CL qualifying round might be Zulte-Waregem. don’t let me try to explain you how to pronounce that second part of the name but this is the team that finished second in Belgium much to the surprise of all in the Belgium football world. They had to win their final game away at Anderlecht and were on their way but a deflected free kick gave the title to Anderlecht.

    So Zulte-Waregem will be playing the CL qualifying rounds and if we would draw them I will be there to support the boys! Fingers crossed

  • maden

    Buying arsenal captains has serious consequences. In 2005, Juventus bought Arsenal captain Patrick Viera: within a year club manager Fabio Cabelo SACKED. In 2007, Barcelona bought Arsenal captain Thierry Henry: manager Frank Rijkaard SACKED. In 2011 Arsenal captain Francesc Fabrigas moves to Barcelona: club manager Joseph Guardiola RETIRES. In 2012, Arsenal captain Robin van Persi to Manchester United: you all know what happened within a year! Now, who dares buy our current capt. Thomas V. If Barca, then Villanova will have to go/be sacked.

  • bob

    Now ya got me to thinking there… And you know what – it happened to ancient Rome too, when that Barbarian Hun’s captain was recruited to head up the Roman legions? Yep: Rome was sacked. 476 AD. You’re spot on, mate: Beware the Captains that March.

  • maden

    Rupert Cooker.

    When will you ever realise that the Epl is financially doped, unlike Bundesliga for example. Arsenal simply don’t have someone else’s money to *splash* about or even pay half of what the mercenaries at chel$ki and Etihad get. Or operate like manure, who get support from everyone, the FA, the media, the whole f***ing establishment.

    So we celebrate 4th position and champions league qualification in this context. Job well done: within our means.