Nominations for the best of, worst of, what we need more of and what we need less of in 2016

By Blacksheep

Tony asked me if I could think of writing a sort of review of the year article about Arsenal, perhaps in the spirit of prize giving (best goal, worst referee, most exciting match etc). After this week of disappointment (spoiler alert if you recorded the Everton and Manchester Airport games) I must say I’ve found it hard to be positive about anything to do with football.

It’s been a funny old year to date: we’ve voted to leave the most successful economic partnership the country has known since the end of Empire; America has elected a reality-show star as its next president; loads of famous people that were universally liked have died (and Katie Hopkins hasn’t); Bob Dylan won a Nobel prize; Leicester won the Premier League title; and Iceland knocked England out of the Euros.

The weather has been unbelievably mild right up to this week; London’s air is more polluted than it’s been since the 1950s and the killer smogs; BHS has gone bust (ok, not that much of a surprise); giraffes are officially threatened with extinction; and Liz Truss is the Lord Chancellor (following in the footsteps of Cardinal Wolsley, Sir Thomas More, and Lord Shaftesbury).

Until the week that’s just passed Arsenal were having a pretty good year. We secured 2nd in the league after Sp*rs collapsed at Newcastle (surely a contender for ‘match of the season not involving Arsenal’)*. This season an inept defending performance saw us lose to Liverpool!!! but then go unbeaten until the toffees away.

We topped our CL group (albeit a bit fortunately given PSG’s demise) and we earned a ‘surprise’ fixture with Bayern. Until November Özil has been pretty amazing, Alexis has been outstanding and Theo has been, well Theo. Losing Santi Cazorla has been a killer in my opinion; he makes things tick. Losing Mustafi has also been serious; less so Ramsey who has yet to shine this season (I’m sure he will). We don’t miss Jack but I expect the fans do; and I miss the BFG (a lot) for all his lack of pace.

Over Christmas and New Year we have several winnable fixtures (WBA, Palace at home, Bournemouth and Preston away) so I’m hoping we can pick up some more momentum. With one game to go this weekend (LFC vs EFC) as I write this we are 4th in the table (where we belong!) just 2 points behind City in second and on par with Klopps’s lot. It is very far from a disaster but worryingly far from first place where Chavski look pretty nailed on at the moment.

A lot can change in a short space of time though – this week taught us that if nothing else. And this is a funny old year on top of a funny old season 2015/16. Looking at social media last night you would think that we’d been beaten 6-0 at OT again, or that this was late April and the title race was over. There were calls for Özil to be sold and the inevitable predications that we will win nothing while Wenger stays in charge.

So in this year of surprises and shocks I’d like to place football exactly where it belongs, as a hobby that brings pleasure to millions. If nothing else take the time to count your blessings that you support a big club with great players and a fantastic stadium.  And if you find yourself wanting to vent your frustrations at how awful [insert player’s name here] is, or wishing the board would sack the manager and magic us a genius from wherever, then stop.





It’s a hobby, a pastime, a passion. In the real world people are dying.


In November 50 players and staff from Chapecoense Real were killed in a plane crash. Since war broke out in Syria somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000 people have died (that’s 8 Emirates stadium’s full). There has been a 30% rise in terrorist-related killings in 2016 with daily murders in Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

So my prize for 2016 goes to perspective, something we all need a lot more of.


* along with The Iceland/England fixture

Untold Arsenal

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

Football in England is at the crossroads and its future hangs in the balance

The psychology of winning.

England’s refereeing in the dark ages. In Europe they are already talking about the problems AFTER the video box

Arsenal players 1934/5 and 1935/36 the fundamental problem with the team

Arsenal in the summer 1936: from winning the Cup to an assassination attempt on the king

April/May 1936; Arsenal win the Cup. A match report and season’s end

Referee Appointments and Results Matchweek #13 complete with video evidence

FA Youth Cup 2016/17 – Arsenal v Blackburn Rovers 16/12/2016: Match Preview


15 Replies to “Nominations for the best of, worst of, what we need more of and what we need less of in 2016”

  1. Well said Blacksheep, at the end of the day it’s only entertainment, there are more to life than being negative about a group of highly paid people who most don’t personally know or met before. Let all calm down and enjoy the roller coaster show.

    I hope in 2017 we get to see the war in Syria end and no further wars develop, the beginning of the end to terrorism, better global economic conditions, and of course the year Arsenal bring home the EPL trophy where it belong.

  2. Just not too long ago, I would refuse food because Arsenal lost a game anymore! Now, immediately after the initial anger and disappointment, I quickly get over it and carry on with my life. Like my wife(who is also a gooner) would say: if those blokes on the pitch who earn outrageous money do not kill themselves for not earning their money, why should I?

  3. ……but there are people who visit this blog who admit to shutting themselves away in darkened rooms when we lose, while eleven skilled, highly trained, supremely fit young men earning between 50 & 150 thousand pounds per week require the services of a psychologist to motivate them to perform their duties to the necessary level.
    Yes Blacksheep, perspective is everything.

  4. The most important thing for us now is for Arsenal to bouce back into contention for the PL title. Arsenal have the financial and the right caliber of Gunners capacity to fight for the PL title this season and win it. But this win can only be achieved if they are able to hit a long long winning run and become unbeaten in their remaining 21 PL games. Then, will their fights prevail over their other stubborn PL title rivals.

    Le Prof, the Arsenal board, the Gunners and we the Gooners all want Arsenal fc to win titles this season. Paramount among the titles we are aspiring to win this season are, the PL title and the UCL title. The FA Cup can be an added bonus if we won it for a record 13 times I suppose.

    Arsenal have a big chance to recover from the 2 PL game loses they have suffered. For, their next 3 matches in the PL as from this Sunday when they host WBA and later host Crystal Palace then pay a visit to Bournemouth are not easy games but are winnable games for 9 points by Arsenal.

    I expect Jack Wilshere to inspire the Cherries to victory over the Blues on Sunday at the Bridge to help Arsenal recover 3 points from the 9 they’ve fallen behind Chelsea in the table. And 2ndly, to stop Chelsea in their attempts to hit a 12 PL games winning run this season. A run that is increasing threatening Arsenal’s all time 14 PL winning run. So Jack Wilshere has a tough job in his hands to do for Arsenal on Sunday. And this job he MUST unfailingly do for his parent club – Arsenal.

  5. i would agree take a deep breath swear then go enjoy something else you can take two deep breaths or swear a bit more if you want:) yes i swear a bit more than once

  6. I would like to nominate Neil Swarbrick for referee of the “half year” in the Premier League. I think it would be nice to see nominations for similar positions in lower leagues (other countries, …).

  7. My condolences to the family and friends of those killed in Germany. What is this world coming to, it’s 2016 not 3BC for heaven sake. Why can’t us humans stop killing each other ffs.

  8. Good article Blacksheep.

    Disagree with your take on the EU or as I call it the 4th Reich. It was costing the UK to subsidise the rest while leading us all toward subservience of the remnants of Germany’s Nazi’s.

    There were several million killed in Africa that has been brushed under the carpet. The killing goes on as the supply of killing materials, like drugs, does not stop flowing. The punishment of these perpetrators is laughable.

    Many beautiful people died in 2016 & the music & talent they left will live on while others will take their places as new generations change the rhythm of ‘popular’.

    Football will move on & Untold will gradually have a bigger voice as publicity gives it more air time. The FA & PGMOL will continue to sow their corrupt seed & the media will revel in the sludge that feeds the gullible. My Arsenal will always be top irrelevant of tables or charts. Leicester will be called Champions as history will not remember the gifts of victories by the selectively blind officials.

    Wenger will eventually call it a day, as accepting the reality of a corrupt financially motivated game eventually dawns.

  9. My best moment of the season was during the last games of the season involving us vs Villa , and the Spuds at Newcastle .

    Many of ‘them’ pussies were trying to screw up proceedings , before and during the game with their banners and booing , but in the end were made to look like the fools that they really are !

    And that OG , their pet hate scored a hattrick was an added bonus . As the crowd roared for each Newcastle goal, I would flip the channel to watch it.

    I for one shall remember the joy that I experienced on that night for as long as I live . Sweet !

    And I’m sure that we are going to get more of that mud in their faces to ‘them’ clueless ones ! Something you could really predict !

    WOO HOO , HOO !

  10. 88% of tobacco cost is tax, it pays our contribution to EU, we make more from it.

    Extremely mild, I been rolling about in a vest at times in our fair Capital, time to relocate NW isn’t what I was after, it’s just a stop in!

    My reaction to City, was extreme anger, then I realised I want reinforcements, then I realised I knew what we needed alrady. Mostly I was pissed my mate didn’t do the bet, the City game cost me £240 in possible revenue. I am a pragmatic guy, I want us to win it and am backing it!

    Throw wads of it about, I am about to, to win!

  11. And for me , wine always helps in the enjoyment of the game .Cheers !

    A man enters a wine store and asks the seller…..

    “Which brand of wine would you advise me for my 25th wedding anniversary?”

    Wine Seller-
    “Sir, it totally depends on whether you want to celebrate or want to forget.”

  12. Only the best –

    Once you realise that your wife is beautiful, has a great figure, is intelligent, gets things done on her own, drives a car well, has very little expectations, is not materialistic and loves you with crazy devotion …

    Please understand that the Liquor you have consumed is of the best quality!

  13. Menace, I am happy to agree to disagree on Europe but calling it the ‘4th Reich’ is daft and inaccurate. Say what you like about Germany but their attitude towards minorities and asylum seekers is exemplary. You may not like the reality that Germany survived the war and partition between the East and West only to emerge as the most dominant economic power in Europe but we can hardly blame them for trying to reconstruct themselves.

    There are some residual Nazis in Europe and the rest of the world but you won’t find as many of them in Germany as you will in this country sadly. We only have to look at the one terrorist murder in England in 2016 to see it was perpetrated by someone who subscribed more to Nigel Farage’s belief system than to Frau Merkel’s.

    But thanks for the otherwise kind words and continuously interesting football comment. the jury is out on whether Brexit will be a positive or a negative in the long term.
    Happy Christmas!

  14. Merry Christmas Blacksheep.
    Germany is a massive country with a huge complicated mass of people & opinion. They also have some brilliant footballers playing for us. I wasn’t picking on the country but just the people behind the EU concept. I accept your view & only history will tell. Greece is taken, now it’s Italy. Soon it will be Spain & Portugal.

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