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It’s time for Mr Gazidis to act!

By Tony Attwood

I knew before I started the three hour journey from my home to the ground that I shouldn’t have gone.  Not because I feared for the result – I had hoped we could win, or at the very least take a draw – but because I had been coming down with a cold for the previous 24 hours, and it was getting worse by the hour.

It is of course just a cold, nothing more, but still it’s making me feel rather sorry for myself, with regular sneezing and all the other grotty bits that go with it.

So yes it was rather dopey to go out in the cold and rain, and put myself through six hours of driving, underground trains and walking, there and back plus of course a couple of hours sitting there.   But the option of not going didn’t really cross my mind, no matter that I knew I would have been a damn sight better off going to bed yesterday afternoon and listening to the radio.

And I know from all my years of being a football supporter, I’m not alone doing this.  Being there, somehow, is important.  In fact, more than important.  It is a part of me.  A part of what I am.

I’d already missed the Huddersfield game because of travelling back from Cyprus (a trip arranged long before the fixtures were announced in the summer) and missing a second game seemed, well… not an option.  Sod’s law, I thought, would mean if I didn’t go, the match would be a historic win for Arsenal.  So I went, and of course it was the reverse.  Well, maybe not a historic defeat, but an annoying defeat.

But what made me feel so determined to go?  Come to that, why am I so determined to support Arsenal?

That last question is easy to answer: I was brought up a couple of miles from the ground, my father was a supporter, and so were both my grandfathers.  It was what my family did: they went to the games so I wanted to go too.  We were Arsenal, even though during my youth Arsenal weren’t really up to much.

And thereafter I continue, and I can’t stop.  What happens with the club matters – not more than anything to do with my family or my close friends, but it really does matter.  And by extension, my being there matters, even though what with the cost of the season ticket and the travel I am spending a fair amount of money following the club each season.

In fact just how expensive this is getting came home to me while I was in Cyprus when I had a long chat with fellow member of the party (who I had not met before) who turned out to be a Sheffield United supporter.  His round trip to home games is about 10 miles, and his season ticket costs about one tenth of mine.  Literally 10% of the cost of my ticket in the East Upper.

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Like me he’s supported his club through thick and thin, and the dreadful years at Arsenal that us oldies love to complain about (the mediocre 1960s, the latter part of Bertie Mee’s reign with the threat of relegation, George Graham’s best-defence, worst-attack team) must have seemed to him like Nirvana compared with coming 11th in League One as Sheffield United did a couple of years ago.

But giving up going to Arsenal is not an option, although it will happen one day, even though as a result of going yesterday I am now feeling a lot worse than I might have done had I been sensible and simply stayed at home in the warm (as us old folks are so often told to do).

Looking at myself from the outside, what I did yesterday was stupid, and from any logical basis, inexplicable.  I know that.  And yet I will almost certainly do it again, once I’ve stopped sneezing and coughing and my temperature has dropped down to something vaguely normal for a person of my age.

Indeed I wonder how Mr Wenger, who is just slightly younger than me, manages to keep going.  It’s probably the fact that he eats more vegetables and drinks less red wine than I do.

Anyway, it’s all totally irrational, and the anti-cold medication which I have taken is making it a bit harder to concentrate now.   If the result had been reversed I probably would feel an awful lot better, which I suppose is another way of saying it’s all Arsenal’s fault.

In which case I wonder if Mr Gazidis could take his responsibility for all this seriously, and pop out and buy me another packet of Beecham’s powders.


14 comments to It’s time for Mr Gazidis to act!

  • Jax

    Hope your cold gets better and that you haven’t passed it on to too many of the dozens of innocents you probably came into contact with yesterday, but I’m sure that you took the responsible precaution of wearing one of those masks that the Chinese people seem to favour.
    For the record: I seem to have some sort of immunity as my last cold was in the mid ’80’s.

  • WA

    I was watching the World Hockey League in India the other day and realised that football has a lot to learn from field hockey.

    Two referees, each covering either half of the pitch
    The referees microphones are open so that everyone could hear the communication of the referee
    Use of video umpires. The communication between the video umpire and the referees are open
    The challenge system. Each team is allowed, I think, 2 challenges which is lost if a challenge is unsuccessfull

    There might be others but these were the most obvious to me. Field hockey appears to be a game that is keen to ensure that decisions by the umpires are correct and are seen to be correct.

  • Mike T

    Thankfully fingers crossed and all that at this moment I don’t have a cold but I have total empathy with this article

    I live around 150 miles from Stamford Bridge and yesterday at 6.15am whilst in a deep and refreshing sleep what sounded like the Dagenham Girl Pipers ( remember them? ) marching around our bedroom told us it was time to get a move on or we wouldn’t get to London for 12,30 ko

    I don’t know about any of you but gone are the days when I am able to spring out of bed, into the shower and out the door in about 10.00minutes. Now it’s a few huffs and more puffs a cup of tea, a sit down another few huffs and out the door maybe in 30-40minutes if pushed. Yesterday I didn’t have that luxury and within 15 minutes showered but un fed, un watered out into the dark . I have no idea, like To y why we didn’t settle and watch the game on TV but the fact that I am now asking myself the question as to why suggests the days of a lie in are getting ever closer
    Hope you feel better soon Tony

  • SeaGoon

    Such dedication. Shame the performance was not matched by the result. I wonder, should you analyse this match and the officials, if you will have noticed the other nailed on penalty on top of the nailed on penalty on Wellbeck.
    All the pundits seem to have missed it. I am of course talking about the incident in the first half when Lacazette appeared to miss while on the line and the rebound from the impressive GK hit the shin of Lacazette for a goal kick. He was clearly hauled to ground early in the incident by the defender’s outstretched arm. What do you think.
    I think not only do we not get penalties at Old Trafford but anywhere we play Utd.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Hope you get better soon Tony.

  • After the match on Saturday – Arsène to the ‘Oink’Mob: “Last night I watched Napoli v Juventus on television and you can see top-class referees.” No he didn’t mention any English referee or their secret organization.

    Tony, going to a football match in your atrocious British weather only showed you definitely adore AFC to risk your health, but you should have been thoroughly all wrapped up. Get well soon.

  • Pat

    Nice one Arsene. Thanks Bobome.

  • Polo

    Get well soon Tony.

    I watched the Benevento vs AC Milan match and what a goal from the Benevento goal keeper to draw the match in the last minute of the match, their first point in Serie A. Well done.

  • Andrew Crawshaw


    Quite correct. Min 18 Lacazette hauled back.according to Arseblog “replays showed that a penalty would not have been a generous decision”.

    However, as I said yesterday if we give away three goals like we did yesterday we really only have ourselves to blame for the loss.


    I hope it is just a cold in which case a few days wrapped up well shoul put you back to rights.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Arsenal PL match lose to Man Utd yesterday at the Ems is inexplicable and condemnable by all accounts. For, there was no reason whatsoever for the Gunners to have allowed themselves to be beaten by the Red Devils from the town of Manchester.

    Two negative issues that became revealed against Arsenal in their big game against Man U yesterday are 1. Arsenal back three of Koscielny, Mustafi and Monreal is not rock solid as we think but can be found porous and caught out if subjected to heavy attacking pressure by the opposition. How come Koscielny was out muscled twice by Paul Pogba who laid 2 of the 3 Man U goals for Antonio Valencia and Jesse Lingard to score. And Mustafi getting loss in his defending duty which allowed Jesse to score his first goal for Man U in the game is a case. The bottom line is, are Koscielny and Mustafi still world class centre backs who Arsenal can continue to rely on in the big games if their showing of defensive ineptitudes in the big game for Arsenal yesterday is to be seriously looked at?

    2. Was Le Boss culpable in the Arsenal PL big game lose to Man U yesterday? Should he have brought on his midfield enforcer, Coquelin for Xhaka who apparently cannot shield the Arsenal back-line efficiently before and after Mustafi went off injured.? Is Xhaxa a DM or a midfielder with long range ball passing ability suitable to play only in the medium and small games but not in the big games? When Arsenal fell 2-0 to Man U under 15 minutes and it became obvious Xhaka cannot provide adequate defensive shield to the Arsenal back three, thus exposing Koscielny and Mustafi to the mercy of Paul Pogba’s muscular prowess?

    Despite all the acclaims accorded the Gunners by football pundits for pressurising Man U unabatedly in the game but came out of the match empty handed. To me, Arsenal played an evil game with Man U yesterday. For, there is no reason for the Gunners to have lost the match to Man U having started the match with Arsenal strongest starting XI of this season’s campaign. I think Le Boss should start taking a serious look st this current strongest starting XI of his this season with a view to fine tuned it with just only one change done to it in the midfield area by bringing in a true and true DM into this his current strongest starting XI.

    I am not giving up on the PL Title win by Arsenal this season despite our lose to Man U at the Ems yesterday because Arsenal are still in the PL Title race. With the 29 points they’ve collected so far and awaiting 68 points on offer to collect to get to 97 points total if they collect all the 68 points. But Arsenal don’t need to collect 97 points to win the PL Title this season in my own view. 93 points might be okay for them to win it. Therefore, let the Gunners as from now on stop dropping points but be collecting them in the maximum.

  • climatic

    Arsenal certainly went down with something in the first few minutes yesterday. Had a bit of a fragile immune system for years now. One sniffle and Wenger is chasing the bus up Holloway Rd to little avail. Always get a jab myself and never seem to get the old lergie. Maybe you should drop the jiving and take up Tai Chi. All the rave for us oldies – especially the ones who love GG come what May (geddit!).

  • SAA,
    Your unbridled optimism can sometimes be infectious and how it would be most useful in a world where things work according to plan. Unfortunately things don’t always work out the way we wish they would. You know why? There is evil lurking everywhere and you’ll have to contend with it to reach Nirvana. If we make top 4 in spite of the ‘Oink’Mob this season it would be time to clink the champagne glasses come May 2018.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Hope you get well soon, Tony . We need our daily fix !
    Anyway here is a natural product that will put a spring in your step and probably lead in your pencil !

  • alexanderhenry

    Perhaps what is most annoying and confusing is arsenal’s lack of consistency.
    How can we put in a performance as good as the one against spurs and follow it up with yesterday’s?
    Mustafi was immense against spurs but yesterday watching him was like watching a very fat, drunk man on roller skates.

    Also, I cannot see what Xhaka adds to the team. He can’t tackle, gives the ball away, is slow and doesn’t score. Bad signing, and I’d rather see wilshire in there.

    Where we are now is very, very familiar territory. Same old arsenal. What usually happens next, is that wenger manages to resurrect a bit of form, we go on a decent run and scrape into fourth- maybe even win a cup.

    However, this season is different. The still unresolved Ozil/Sanchez saga continues to rumble on and if they leave in January I see the team struggling. If they stay, we should be better off, but it won’t alter the fact that the club will have traded in approximately £90 million for a season’s worth of two underperforming, want away players. Surely we have to question the wisdom of this.

    Exactly how wenger and the club managed to get themselves into such an awkward, unprofessional and embarrassing situation regarding the above two, is baffling.