WC fever, other nasties and the new fixture list.

 

Welcome to the GunnersoreArse Blog. Being blogged 918.74 kilometers (in a straight line) from the Emirates Stadium.

As Arsenal fans, we have all been worried about our players picking up serious injuries in Brazil. But there are other Eden Hazards and dangers of being an international footballer. Even more so when they play a world cup competition somewhere like Brazil. Violence and the crime rate in South America gets a bad press, but many people have already been Arjen Robbened and it’s advisable to always be on the lookout for Igor Akinfeevs, keep your Van Purses in a safe place and only carry small amounts of Cashley Cole on you at any one time.

In Brazil there are also health problems caused by food and water.  Contaminated Frank Lebouef, undercooked Bacary Lasagna and contaminated non-drinking water can lead to Delhi Dembélé, Marco diarReus, Alex Salmonella, Carlton Cholera, chronic irritable Gareth Bowel syndrome and Septic Bladder, causing severe Mezut Özillness, with Per Mertesicker all over the floor and leaving a Kevin de Bruyne Lionel Messi in the WC!

Tropical diseases can be  spread by the Gerard Piqué of the mosquito, these include Malaria Balotelli and Cristian Tello fever which are common throughout Brazil and can be fatal.

On top of all those health risks, players are also being warned not to go out looking for Loose Van Girls for a piece of Samuel Umtitti and Rod Fanni. The risks of  catching something nasty in Brazil like Aids Adebayor, Ole Gonorrhea Solskjaer and Hepatitus Bramble are seriously high just for dipping your chorizo into some local samba sauces. Players are therefore being advised to keep their Wilfried Bony in their trousers, (With a special warning to the French team). Instead players are being told to stay in their hotel rooms and have a Louri Jerkhov instead. And for those players who are on the other side of off-side,  who wear short shirts like Larse Bender, preferring Roman Weidenfellers and some Lee Bum-young, there is the added danger of suffering from a painful GunnersoreArse.

So if the Arsenal players currently in Brazil can avoid all these dangers and also return home un-injured, then for me it would have been a good World Cup.  But in general it has been a very exciting first week to the tournament. The teams shining at the moment are Germany, Holland and France plus the surprise underdogs Costa Rica, Chile and Ghana for their heroic game against the Germans last night. There are already two potential best goals of the competition, Van Persie against Spain and Cahill against Holland. Out of the ex-Arsenal players having a good World Cup, Gervinho needs to be mentioned. Disappointments so far, Ronaldo and Diego Costa. Ronaldo probably due to carrying a knee injury but Costa because he just wasn’t good enough, we won’t get a chance to see Costa improve, because like Spain, his WC is over. Argentina have also been a disappointment, with a front three of Aguero, Messi and Higuain I was expecting better. England turned up but the naivity of team selection and tactics could still see Woy out of a job. My dark horse prediction of Belgium getting to the final started off slowly but there is still room for them to improve. So far there have been some excellent games, attacking play being the tactic of the day, lets hope it continues all the way to the final.

Premier League fixtures 2014/15

On Wednesday the 2014/15 fixture list was published. What delights can we hopefully look forward to………

Dates to be cheerful: Part II.

Aug 23rd 2014 – Away Everton: An early test, second league game of the season. Can we prove that there has been improvement on last seasons game at Goodison Park.

Oct 4th 2014 – Away Chelsea: Last years memory of Wengers 1000th game needs to be avenged, nothing less. If any game this season is going to show that AW has learned from last season, this is the one. Plus we’ll have the joy of seeing Fabregas playing in blue.

Dec 20th 2014 – Away Liverpool: Twenty minutes of hell, that’s what I remember from last seasons match. I was watching the game in a bar and I was transfixed on the large TV screen, looking at it in horror as the Liverpool forwards ripped us apart and we fell apart.

Jan 17th 2015 – Away Man City: Positive thinking, we scored three goals in the corresponding game last season.

May 16th 2015 – Away Man Utd: In a season when Man Utd were at their weakest for several seasons, we failed to take advantage. That old chestnut – fear factor- took a hold and we didn’t have the dangloids.

No points from any of those games last season and a total of 21 goals in the deficit column. If we can get 6/8 points from the first four of those games then that will be a vast improvement and show the credentials needed for a serious title challenge. The penultimate game at Old Trafford could be very interesting. What game are you looking forward to see next season?

Right, time for a glass of wine and some chorizo…… hope you enjoyed your visit. Until the next time.

à bientôt

Every Sunday morning at 9am GMT. Don’t miss your dose of GunnersoreArse. Lubrication optional.

Travels in the Cevennes with a Gooner and his paintbrush

 

Welcome to the GunnersoreArse blog. Being blogged 918.74 kilometers (in a straight line) from the Emirates Stadium.

 

Scene 1: A bar in a small Cévennol village in a remote part of southern France. Sometime after Midnight.

Outside the mistral is blowing hard, gusts up to 60kmh, whistling through the quaint little streets of the village. Picking up the dust and gravel on the petanque playing area in the square and tearing at the limbs of the large plane trees. Inside there is a young couple at a secluded table, whispering sweet nothings to each other, at another table, four old men are playing cards and at the bar, an Englishman, head in  his hands. He is looking into his tall glass of pastis, watching the ice floating in the misty pale green liquid, he’s drunk, gloomy and depressed. The barman Philippe looks at him occassionally with sympathy, and tries now and again to break the silence with a small comment of consolation, but the man stays silent, oblivious to Philippes attempts at conversation. This Englishman has been in the village for about a month, an artist apparently, but Philippe has only seen him drinking at his bar, never seen him painting! The man gulps back his drink and finally speaks;

“Un autre Philippe, s’il vous plait?” he asks the barman. “Vous êtes sûr?”  replies Philippe, knowing that this so called artist has had far too many already. “Ouais, ouais” the man whispers. After living here for a month his French accent has already taken on the local southern twang. Philippe pours the golden liquid into the glass, tops it up with chilled water and drops two ice cubes into it. The man picks it up, feels the coolness of the glass in his hand, stares at it briefly, then puts it to his lips. It tastes good. His thoughts are a drunken hazy jumble, the sweet taste of  pastis in his mouth, the barman  trying to be nice to him but more annoyingly, the memories of how the evening had shattered his dreams and propelled him even further into a depressive tunnel. What the fuck went wrong he thinks, he empties his glass, looks at the barman…………. and orders another pastis.

Scene 2: The same bar, approximately 1 hour earlier:

Philippe had put the TV on earlier for the Englishman, a football match. Philippe followed Olympique de Marseille so enjoyed football, but the old boys in the bar were not so happy to have their quiet evening of cards disturbed with the noise from the TV and this bloody stranger, cursing when his team come close to scoring, shouting in his strange language and accent, “for fucks sake” and “you fucking wanker”. They carry on with their card game, trying to ignore him.

All of a sudden, the TV commentator is screaming, it’s a goal!  The card players watch the Englishman with amusement, turning away from the TV, turning back again, turning away again, both hands over his mouth, his shouts are muffled but the card players can see he is upset.  “oh No, Fuck….. fuck….. fuck”  he mumbles through his hands, “Come on, come on!”. But the referee blows the final whistle, the Englishman turns away from the TV, disconsolate and aggitated he walks to the bar, not interested in the celebrations being televised. He asks for another pastis, looks at Philippe and says, “Fuck”, the barman looks back with a sympathetic smile and a shrug, pours the drink and turns off the television. At last, the card players think, silence.

Scene 3: The same bar, approximately 3 hours earlier:

The Englishman walks into the bar, nods to a few people, shakes hands with some guys with whom he’d played petanque earlier that day and walks to the counter, orders a pastis and confirms with Philippe that it’s ok to watch the match tonight. Philippe turns on the TV and searches for the channel. The man is excited, since arriving in the village for a six month stay, it had been depressingly cold and the mistral had been blowing practically non-stop, adding to his depression. Not like he’d imagined the south of France  to be in April and May. To make things worse, his inspiration and creativity had deserted him. The main reason for coming to this remote area in the Cévennes was to paint, but he’d only managed a couple of pencil sketches in a month, the bad weather, his feelings of isolation and being alone, his inability to find inspiration, all contributing to his depression and so he had prefered to spend most of his time at the bar.

But tonight was different, football, his team are playing….. a chance to get out of his depression, confident his team will win this match. He is really looking forward to it. On the TV the teams come out onto the pitch…. he clenches a fist and mouths a little cheer, “Come on you gunners!”

Scene 4: The same bar, approximately 6 hours earlier.

The Englishman has just finished a game of petanque with some local villagers. The sun is shining and the mistral has taken a rare break. He finds a table at the  bar terrace in the sunshine, enjoying the warmth and relaxing. Philippe the barman arrives at the table, tray in hand, “Bonjour”, “Bonjour Philippe, un pastis, s’il vous plait”  As the barman starts to walk away, the man calls him back, “Philippe, le Journal des Sports aussi s’il vous plait?”.

Philippe returns with the drink and the sports newspaper. The man sips his pastis, cool and fresh, the taste of anise so much better when the sun is shining. He rolls a cigarette and lights it, taking the smoke deep into his lungs. What a life he thinks, playing petanque, drinking pastis and painting….. well, the painting was taking a bit of time to materialise, but it will come, perhaps when the weather improves. He picks up the newspaper and flicks through the pages till he comes to the football section, wondering if there will be any English football news. In his excitement of being here in France, enjoying the experience and being down and stressed about painting, he’d not given much thought to his team and is shocked to see that tonight they are playing. How could he have forgotton such an important game. He quickly checks the TV section, yes, yes….. it’s on French TV. Excitedly, he calls the barman over, “Philippe, c’est possible pour regarder le foot ce soir?””Ouais biensur, à quel heure?” the barman replies.

“À huit heure, c’est bon?” Philippe nods a yes,  it’s more of that typical French type of shrug and nod all in one movement, plus a little raise of the eyebrows. The man orders another pastis and sits back in his chair, pleased and excited, brilliant he thinks. He stays at the bar for a while, enjoying the sun and watching a game of petanque in the square, and the occasional young woman walking by in tight jeans and T shirt. He  slowly finishes his drink, puts some money on the table in payment and leaves to have something to eat. Philippe watches him depart, observing that the man has a spring in his step. Philippe goes to the table, picks up the coins and the empty glass and glances at the open page of the newspaper……….

 

 

Date: May 10th, 1995.

Headline: European Cup Winners Cup Final. Arsenal vs Real Zaragoza.


Right, time for a glass of wine and some chorizo…… hope you enjoyed your visit. Until the next time.

à bientôt

And remember, GunnersoreArse goes out across the blogosphere every Sunday morning at 9am GMT.