Arsenal v Notlob; Billy the Dog’s contribution to football journalism is recognised by O2.

By Billy the Dog McGraw

Oh yes indeed!!!  It’s Arsenal vs Notlob Wanderers. (And by the way Tony has a spare ticket for the Wednesday European thing match.  Call me on 07714 76 2250, or email Tony with your contact details (  Cost price obviously, but you have to sit next to Tony and I must warn you he goes on and on about that bloody book he wrote about the Arsenal.  Don’t blame me if he drives you insane.)

But back to the plot.  (The line up is near the end of the post – but the bit about me and O2 is quite jolly, so I hope you’ll read that too).

I have of course known for some time that my fame as a journalist, breaker of myths, and recorder of the histories of our rivals, has been striking a chord with the wider world.

And this very week I received a call from O2, official membership partners of Arsenal FC, asking me for my advice, guidance and general participation in their support of our wonderful club.

O2 are about to launch a new special wonderful magnificent match day experience for selected fans of our Wonder Club, our Victory through Harmony (as we should say), and they were looking for some mug who would be willing to go through it all while the process was in Beta Test (or “we wanted you to be the very first” as they said.)

Would I be the executive, the respected member of the blogsphere, the glorious leader of opinion, who took on the O2 experience?

Not being one to decry a free lunch (or anything else free come to that) I said, yes, yes, and quick where do I sign?

So, the deal thus far is that they pick myself and my partner up (and yes stop sniggering at the back, I do have a partner) at the Highbury and Islington Station, and drive us in a rickshaw to the grand central Emirates Stadium, where upon the two of us indulge in the fun, and the games, and the general what-not, all courtesy of the O2 telephonic corporation.

Then there is the Brown Room, or is it the Green Room?  I forget in the overwhelming O2-ness of it all, but whatever it is they are taking me there.

After that there is the match avec (I trust) le pint of booze.  And that is at club level.

Now I have to admit I have done a bit of hankering after a seat in club level, simply because I ain’t been there (apart from a walk around on a tour).

During the old Highbury Days I had (over a number a years) a little plan to try and stand or sit in every single part of the ground, and as it was redeveloped, to continue this scheme, sitting where I had stood etc etc.  I completed my task when a business associate who was a very senior supporter of Oxford took me as a guest to the one and only Arsenal v Oxford league game (Don Howe was manager at the time I recall).  I got to sit in the director’s box (ok on the guest side, but still in the Director’s Box) and that was a tick – the complete, the final bit of Billy the Dog meets Arsenal Stadium.

Later they built the boxes at the clock end, and my dear pal Roger included me a couple of times on the guest list when he was taking out people as part of his business life with Kodak, and indeed as he was a bond-holder I was able even to visit the bond-holder’s bar as a guest on occasion.  (I actually told Roger not to waste his money in buying bonds, but he never listened to me, and the fact that he made a trillion pounds profit when he sold them in later life shows just how right he was).

Anyway, back to O2. I am, as yet, a little unclear on the details other than the ride from Highbury and Islington, to the ground, some “fun and games” (the partner is looking at me very askance) a massage (partner looking even more askance) and the club level bit.  And the puce and maroon room, or some such.

I shall of course be reporting back.

In the meanwhile I understand everyone is injured and so we are putting out the reserve team against Bolton. Never mind.  Apparently they (the reservoir dogs) are jolly good.

Arsenal Reserves will line up as…

Manuel Almunia

Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Clichy (Gibbs, Djourou, Squillaci)

Alex Song, (Diaby, Denilson)

Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri (Eboue, Wilshere, Lansbury)

Tomas Rosicky, Andrey Arshavin,  Marouane Chamakh (Vela)

I can only hope that Theo now realises the utter and total contempt with which Fabuloso Cappuccino holds him.  “It’s a very little thing,” he said.   Did you hear that Theo?  Did you hear how the Italian fraudster spoke of you?   I’ll show you a very little thing Mr Cappuccino.  Just you wait.

Editor’s Note: Billy the Dog McGraw is currently helping police with their enquiries.



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9 Replies to “Arsenal v Notlob; Billy the Dog’s contribution to football journalism is recognised by O2.”

  1. Make sure your hat doesn’t fly off. 😉 I hope you enjoy the occasion and what ever that may come your way.

    Looking forward to read the report….

  2. i dnt arshavin will play cuz loNG trips n all i guess long trips aswell vela so wilshere on wing in place of rosicky, eboue rb,gibbs lb n etc my line up will be.:
    eboue koscieliny,verma,gibbs
    wilshere,chamakh, i wish jet but i guess it will be rosicky..

  3. Oooooohhhh, aren’t we getting all fancy, eh?????

    3-1. An easier game than the score suggests.


  4. You must include some pictures when you tell us later, Tony.
    Or who knows maybe we will see an article on

  5. I think Vela only played last weekend, and so would have been back in the UK by Monday. I can’t remember if Russia played on Tuesday, but even so, he should have been back in the UK wednesday with time to adjust.

    So I am hoping both are in contention

  6. Vela played on wednesdaymorning with Mexico but only just 17 minutes at the end of the game.
    According to Carlos Vela news he came back yesterday, which should be thursday if the have the same calender as we have.

  7. No Vermaelen as he picked up a knock so looks like Squillaci gets a game. I expect Eboue to play forward on the right considering his recent form in international games. Either that or Nasri up there with Diaby in midfield, Diaby’s form has been pretty good.

  8. I would not play Nasri tomorrow. Put him on the bench if he is 100% fit. Let him have those extra days and then play him in the CL game next wednesday. We have enough cover with Rosicky, Wilshere so we don’t need to rush Nasri back.
    A setback from his injury that would be a blow. Some busy weeks ahead and still enough players available so need to rush him.

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