The Arsenal Belgium flag at Wembley is our Lucky charm

By Walter Broeckx

I have had the luck of being at Wembley when we played there two seasons ago in the semi final against Wigan. I always say that is there where the first signs became visible of our new team.  A new team that would go all the way. Only 2 years later we have been to Wembley 6 times and we won all those matches.

Not that it has been easy at times. We sometimes had to dig deep. Very deep. To overcome opponents but also to overcome terrible referees. The FA cup win over Hull being the best example. I will never forget how Probert denied us almost a handful penalties and make it a very difficult match to win. But we also made life difficult for ourselves at times. Certainly in semi finals we seem to have that habbit. But as a result we have now won the last 4 finals we played at Wembley.

A 3-2 win against Hull. A 3-0 win against Manchester City a few months later. A few months ago a great 4-0 against Aston Villa. And now the icing of the cake a 1-0 win against Chelsea.

Don’t believe one word that for Chelsea it was just a pre-season match. No way, José. The way Ramires was send out to kick each and every valuable Arsenal player like Özil and Cazorla in the opening half hour showed his intentions. No prisoners would be made, only “dead” players from Arsenal was the target. It didn’t work out that way. Well at least I hope as some of our players really had a few dangerous kicks on their ankles and foot. And Taylor was his usual useless himself by not acting. Or pretending not to see it. I have said it umpteen times : a ref should be very alert for players stepping (late) on other players feet. It is very dangerous and can cause serious injuries.

But I couldn’t make it to Wembley this time. But we had sent out a little delegation from Arsenal Belgium for this match. 8 of our members had the day of their Arsenal supporting career. That is what I can make of their early pictures they published on the internet before the match and from within Wembley.

But they had something special with them. As we wanted to make our official supporters club more visible to the outside world we have ordered a few flags from our supporters club. It has on it the official logo that we got from Arsenal and below we put Victoria Concordia Crescit.

arsenal belgium vlag onderweg

The flag underway to Wembley in the shuttle to Folkestone

And that flag was for the first time at an Arsenal match today. And it was the first time Wenger beat Mourinho in a match. One can say that it was The Ox who won the match, I say it was our flag that brought good luck to the boys.  Of course it is in a way meaningless and it will not influence the result at all but it sure didn’t bring any bad luck to Arsenal to have our official flag in the stadium.

What I did see however was a few outstanding performances. Even though the sun makes it hard to sometimes see the match in good conditions as sometimes I couldn’t see the difference between Arsenal players and Chelsea players on my screen because of the reflection of the sun and the ball going in and out of the shade in to the sun. But I did see a few players making great contributions.

Let me start with our match winner: The Ox. I have always admired him and thought he was a very promising player. But his goal contribution was below par. It was the difference between being a good prospect and really becoming a top player. And lo and behold that was excactly what he was thinking himself. And that is what seems to have changed from this season on.

It was a wonderfully taken goal. A little dummy from right to left, going on to his left foot and then BANG a thunder shot that left Courtois diving in the emtpy. The ball had already touched the net when Courtois was in the air. A wonderful goal. A great goal worthy to win any match. This week I had a discussion with my friends from Arsenal Belgium. Would you play Ramsey or The Ox. I opted for Ramsey as he scores more and gives more assists.

But I urged The Ox to prove me wrong this season. And I think he has read my thoughts on him. Keep on doing the way you are doing Alex, keep it up. Have your first wonderful year just as Aaron did two seasons ago.

And another stand out performer was at the back for me Laurent Koscielny. He was always present when Chelsea had a chance and was the defender that tried to get in the way. The chance for Hazard was a great example. His late tackle just did enough to make Hazard doubt for a split second and he fired over the goal. Cech making himself as big as possible and spreading his body will have done the rest. Koscielny almost got injured as Hazard then stepped on his leg when he came down on the ground but luckily he could continue.

Who remembers the times when Koscielny came to us and the moaners moaned and moaned and moaned. A player with only 1 year in the top flight in France. Pfew Wenger being stingy again. But as Wenger said it was his best value for money over the last years. He once again was impressive in this match I found.

But he was not the only one. All the players did their duty for as long as they were on the pitch. Working hard and not forgetting their defensive duties. The only regret I have is that we could and should have scored another goal in the second half. That would have killed the match off completely. But then again winning a final is about having scored most at the end. And that is what we did.

A very enjoyable and mature performance. We had the best and most clear cut chances in this match. If our players can keep their focus on that level for the next 38 PL matches things look good. Keep it up Gunners! But never forget that it will take each match to work hard and never think things will come from itself. I hope that the old heads will keep this in the mind of the younger players.

Oh and we will bring our flag with us from now each time. So if you see the flag in the Emirates in the future, I and my friends will be around. Hope to see you then.


29 Replies to “The Arsenal Belgium flag at Wembley is our Lucky charm”

  1. Great match review Walter.

    Ox definitely has the potential to become a big game player. And he is only 21!

    Maybe the Arsenal Belgium flag has something to do with lifting the players mood. Yes I believe in that.

    We could have gone 2-1 down had Ramires header and Hazard found the net. But we also could have won 4-2 if Ollie, Santi and Gibbs took their chances.

    However it was a 50-50 game, and we somehow have found the brakes to our gameplay, making it seem like the Arsenal that plays well defensively and offensively.

    We have lost out the past few seasons due to the weakness in defense and attacking positions, and the eagerness to leave the back open to just the defenders, without the DM.

    For 2015 it was a different case. We were playing a more level headed form of football, but yesterday we were guilty of letting balls move around us. Maybe we know that we have a good keeper to save us if we do not work as hard defensively?

    Yesterday Mourningho (yes pin intended) has said that we were a defensive team. Come on. Didn’t they do the same against us last season? Yesterday they were trying to score goals, that’s why they didn’t have the time to put up a solid bus in front of their goal.


  2. A lot of brouhaha is going on about who shook hands with whom after the game….or who didn’t.
    It’s about time all this silly shaking of hands before matches, was abandoned. It has become a meaningless exercise by the players and in most cases merely a prelude to mayhem on the field. Get rid. 😉

  3. Last season the Chavs ‘parked the bus’ from the 1st whistle.
    At the CS game we became more defensive after scoring.
    Not the same thing and MaureenO knows that, but the problem is that most of the ‘Hacks’ (I can’t bring myself to call them journalists) are pretty stupid and don’t understand the difference. The few that do appreciate it are more interested in making headlines, hence the hand shaking issue being bigger than the game its self…..

  4. @AndyMack,

    You just said that word.

    And yes. Last season they played “park the bus” from the start. Counter attacking. Yesterday their defense showed some kind of holes in them and we got our chances.

  5. In his after match interview the ‘loser one’ aka ‘special one’ said that the best team lost and the team with the best defense (Arsenal) won.

    That can’t be right for we all know Arsene doesn’t do defense!

    Seems to me ‘the loser one’ doesn’t know much about football if he thinks Arsene does defense. 🙂

  6. LOL Colario, surely all those moaners who said Arsène doesn’t do defence can’t be wrong. What on earth is going on as the one who they said was much, much better than Wenger in tactics, defence, winning trophies (after spending lots of money) is now suddenly saying that Wenger does do tactics and shiver…even some defending….

  7. Nice to see the Belgian supporters’ banner and glad that it was there.

    Best ever Match of the Day last night. They even noticed Koscielny’s great performance, Walter. All the pundits were positive about Arsenal and Manish was a great improvement on Gary Lineker. Of course it helped to have Martin Keown there.

    Great start to the season!

  8. Just read Menace on another article. You’re right, Menace, the commentators did ignore Ramires’s fouls on Match of the Day. But at least we could see them. I felt a couple of times it was obvious from the choice of footage that the ref wasn’t doing his job. Maybe I’m being too optimistic! We’ll see what happens during the season.

  9. “The way Ramires was send out to kick each and every valuable Arsenal player like Özil and Cazorla in the opening half hour showed his intentions. ”

    My my, i was screaming at the ref to do his job. BUT our players responded and showed Chel$ that if they were going to start playing like that, then we would respond, and maybe they would end up being more injured.

    This is a warning to all so call “rugby” tactic teams, BEWARE, if you start something Arsenal will finish it.

    So, my little groan:
    Please please, Arsenal, when we are defending deep, if you are going to boot the ball up field, please boot it out the sidelines, this will use up minutes of the game AND give us time to regroup. So many times i saw us boot it straight up the middle, and of course a Chel$ player then gets the ball and can start off an attack again.

    I hope this makes sense and not just to me?

  10. Great write up Walter, I assume the Belgian supporters had a great day!

    You are right to draw attention to the incompetence of Taylor, who not for the first time put the safety of our players at risk.

    I am always slightly surprised when players like Ramires and Ivanovic manage to finish a match without being sent off – but seeing the incompetence of the PGMO and the protection they receive from the media, I should no longer be surprised.

    But, it was a great win yesterday, the Odious One is really sore judging by his post match behavior and ill conceived comments – I think that adds a little more to the enjoyment of the occasion!

  11. @bjtgooner,
    Yes, my ancient heart skipped a beat when I heard the name of the referee. But then I realised we were playing Chelsea and not Aston Villa and Taylor wouldn’t influence the result overmuch. 😉

  12. @nicky

    What I think we showed last season and also yesterday was that we are good enough to win on most occasions despite the bias of the PGMO.

    The team has shown a maturity and realization of the ref bias and instead of letting the unfairness of the situation upset their play, they have just knuckled down and got on with the game, and outplayed the opposition.

    As others have pointed out, the team has been very careful to tackle fairly and not give the PGMO twits too many chances to book them – yesterday Taylor had to resort to booking Coquelin for a phantom foul allied to a Hazard dive.

    What concerns me is that those who have had it in for Arsenal over the last number of years, the paymasters and also the media, may well redouble their efforts – hence the delay in introducing technology to ensure correct on field decisions – but, against that, the widespread exposure on television for almost every match means that ref errors/bias, while protected by the main media channels, will be questioned by an ever increasing and ever more vociferous clamor.

  13. I had time to watch a couple of hours of Sky Sports this morning, something which I normally cannot do on a Monday morning.

    A number of points noticed: –

    1. During the time I watched Sky showed yesterday’s Bentake goal three times, but failed to show Chamberlain’s goal.

    2. The Sky report on the Community Shield concentrated on the lack of handshake, trying to imply AW was at fault, and also the Odious One’s allegations about Arsenal being defensive. Was there a game of football involved somewhere?

    3. The absence of Costa was a repeated Chelski excuse – but no mention of the absence of a certain Sanchez!

    Fair reporting?

  14. The true meaning of class .

    A man goes to the famous Lucas Carton restaurant in Paris with his girlfriend and orders the 1928 Mouton.

    The waiter returns with a bottle full of wine, pours a small amount in the glass for tasting.

    The customer picks up the glass, smells the wine, and puts it down on the table with a thud.

    “This is not the 1928 Mouton.”

    The waiter assures him it is, and soon there are another twenty people surrounding the table, including the chef and the manager trying to convince the man that the wine is the 1928 Mouton. Finally someone asks him how he knows that it is not the 1928 Mouton.

    “My name is Phillipe de Rothschild, and I make the wine.”

    Finally, the original waiter steps forward and admits that he poured the Clerc Milon 1928.

    “I could not bear to part with our last bottle of 1928 Mouton. You know Clerc Milon, it is in the same village as Mouton, you pick the grapes at the same time, the same cepage, you crush in the same way, you put them into similar barrels. You bottle at the same time, you even use eggs from the same chickens to fine them. The wines are the same, except for a small matter of geographic location.”

    Rothschild beckons the waiter forward, and whispers to him,

    “When you return home tonight, ask your girlfriend to remove her underwear. Put one finger in one opening, another finger in the other, then smell both the fingers. You will understand what difference a small distance in geographic location makes.”

  15. Mourinho has been particularly obnoxious in his behaviour towards our manager.

    Mr. Wenger is correct not to shake his hand. In his position, I would have done the same.

    Re all the media nonsense about sporting behaviour making handshakes compulsory, it may be pointed out that a hypocritical handshake with the Odious One would devalue the genuine handshakes with other opponents.

  16. Brickfields, thats bad—some of my lunch is all over the computer screen again!

  17. bjtgooner, The CS was a BT Sport game, so Sky probably won’t pay for the rights to show the Ox goal.

  18. Here’s a question for everyone;
    Would you prefer the ‘pundit’ commentator to be a former spuddie player
    or a ‘I’m from up north were real football means kicking players’ type
    or someone who’s both, like Danny “I played for Liverpoo” Murphy?

  19. Somebody mentioned on the the other post ( Menace? ) that MOTD did not condemn any of the bad tackles. Was it ever any different? This would be a marvellous platform to bring dirty play & lax refereeing to the public’s attention, but they duck the issue for some reason. Perhaps it’s written into the contract not to be controversial, but you’d expect more from a national broadcaster.

  20. @ Andy Mack – None of the above. My overall joy in watching Arsenal has improved tremendously ever since I started muting the volume. Found no need to shout at , not have the urge to destroy the TV.’

  21. @Andy Mack

    Sky did not carry the Dippers match live – but repeatedly showed the Benteke goal this morning.

    BT use the Sky satellite as the vehicle for their sports channels – so I would assume there is an arrangement for Sky to show moments of interest on their main sports news channel – should they want to do so. If there is some sort of exclusion agreement in place then I will happily stand corrected.

  22. @bjtgooner
    August 3, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    BBC has been much the same…the super goal of Benteke against…well…I can’t even remember!!

    On the Community Shield much the same as you describe for Sky; and not a word about our absent Sanchez 🙂

    Thing is – this lot of Media outlets are PREDICTABLE at best!!!

  23. I wouldn’t – nor would any one else with any self respect shake the hand of another who is continuously disrespectful – that is the point the Media should be making!!! RESPECT!

  24. It would be really refreshing if the pundits had said Ramires and Ivanaovic are doing as instructed when Ramires went over the top to Cazorla and the first contact with Ozil was his knee in the hows yer fathers and of course the disgraceful Ivanovic scrape down Cazorlas achilles. This is the slant we want from ex pros not the sanitised version.

  25. @Walter,

    Good write up and congratulations on the Arsenal Belgium banner, look forward to seeing it at games throughout the season!

    In regards to the Wenger/Mourinho non-handshake, why should they be forced to do a handshake when they clearly do not like each other? Considering the statements made by Mourinho in the past in regards to Wenger, I actually think Wenger showed class and restraint by only walking away.

    In the video, Mourinho gave all the Arsenal players handshakes, but decides to hug the back of the last player before Wenger (which I believe was Ox) and was essentially turning his back to Wenger, before Wenger walked away and Mourinho continued his 360 spin

  26. The media constantly goad managers into making comments about each other.

    They obviously do this in the hope of enticing one or the other, or both, to say something controversial. That’s what they want. And if they don’t get it they resort to twisting what they do say (especially when it’s Wenger) into something that fits there agenda.

    The usual theme is that Mourinho’s played some brilliant mind game and Wengers bitten. Bo!!ocks I know, but that’s the line they want it to follow, so that’s the line they take.

    Surely this is the saddest, most childish kind of Journalism (I use that description in the loosest possible way) there is.

    Basically it’s sh!t stirring, no more no less.

    Then when there targets get caught up in the shenanigans, they go all ‘holier than thou’ on us, proclaiming the protagonists should ‘grow up’ !

    Typical media hypocrisy of the highest order.

    These journalist really are low lifes.

  27. bjtgooner. I’ve no idea if there’s an inclusion or exclusion agreement.
    I was just making an observation that could be the reason.

  28. The surfer though has since been banned by Wembley simply because it contains the name of the opposition, despite the name only being used because Villa happen to be playing them in the final and it’s a necessary part of the design. The flag is a direct appropriation of the infamous Sex Pistols album and reads ‘Never mind the Arsenal here’s the Aston Villa’.

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