Friday, September 29, 2006


Memories of Charlton

My first footballing exposure to South London's Addicks came at the humble Rec, home of Aldershot. The Shots beat them 3-0 and on the Monday after at school I was quite the hero. Everyone liked football but only I went to games.

During the skinhead revival a mock band called The Gonads glorified Charlton and in particular their mythical hooligan following Tucker's Ruckers. A song was released in their honour but still most people remained unaware of these 'legendary' heroes. One night I went to the Rainbow to see some punk festival featuring another Sarf Lahnden band, Splodgenessabounds. They dedicated one song to Tucker's Ruckers and off it went. Skins turned on punks and for seveal minutes a hooking and a whacking took the spotlight till security complete with vicious foaming mutts restored calm.

It was 10 years before I saw them again, that is Charlton. This was in the old Second Division at The Valley, once upon a time the largest ground in the country. The East Terrace was a massive expanse and though looking decrepit a minder of their halcyon days. For my visit the infamous Leeds United Service Crew were in town and they won 3-2 and pretty much took over the whole stadium. It was wierd hearing some struggling second division team sing "We are the Champions of Europe'! It's not as if they won anything.... That was to be my first and last time at the Valley.

In 1986 Charlton reached the first division via the newly introduced play offs, beating Leeds along the way. The Valley had been replaced by ground sharing with Crystal Palace and they hosted Arsenal in the November I think. It was Graham's first season and we were flying high. Martin Hayes scored a wonderful chip and I think Adams got the other. We won 2-0. We also played them in the League Cup at ours and we beat them before winning the trophy that season.

A couple of years later I went to Selhurst Park for the away game which we won 3-2. One time teenage wonderkid Steve MacKenzie scored for them. That year of ourrse we won the league with Mickey Thomas but then you know that don't you?

Today Charlton are back at the Valley and with Dowie replacing Curbishley are entering their own new era. And another funny thing. I've met more Charlton fans since I've been in Indonesia than I ever knew in England and that's not including Jakartass!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Indonesia to visit Thailand???

Something in Bola today has Indonesia playing in the King's Cup in Thailand December time. I'm awaiting confirmation at the moment...


Arema Malang coach to leave?

A story doing the rounds here is Arema coach Benny Dollo maybe on his way to Tangerang just weeks after winning the Indonesian Cup.

Likewise Jakarta coach Rahmat Darmawan, just arrived in January, is talking to Sriwijaya.

Gossip eh? Normally hate it but the season is over and I haven't got round to writing my review yet. Also gives me a chance to practise my nascent Indonesian skills ...


Thursday, September 21, 2006


Indonesia won

3-1 against Bandung Town in the trial match. In China where they head to on 3 October they play China on 7 October, a Chinese League side on 9 October and a Hong Kong side on 14 October in time for some serious shopping!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


National team trial game

Indonesia have lined up a trial game for this afternoon against Bandung Town in Bandung. I doubt it's on TV!

They're off to China soon and have a friendly lined up on 7 October

Monday, September 18, 2006


Bogor Town get ready

New boys Bogor Town are seeking to increase the capacity of their Cibinong based stadium in good time for next season. They are hoping 15,000 will be enough to handle the travelling hordes from Jakarta, Bandung and possibly even from Tangerang.

Their fans are known as Gothics for what it's worth...


Shit on United

Murdered them we did, they were lucky it was just the one. What was good to see was they did play football throughout the game, not try and kick us off the park like in previous years. Adebayor had me swearing one minute and doing hand stands another, it was a priceless performance and a boost for the ego. We need to do the same though against teams who shut up shop, the Boro's, Villa's etc. Bolton away, that type of stuff.

Lehmann was immense, Toure should be captain, Cesc was fab. Gallas gives us a new option, someone who uses his head!

To think yesterday morning I was mentally preparing an obituary but we are The Arsenal and that, guys, was The Arsenal way..

Sunday, September 17, 2006


We won the cup

Well, Arema Malang won the cup, beating Jayapura 2-0 in the final at Sidoarjo. Serge was also the top scorer and the Malang fans were the best fans. The best player was a Malang player.As far as I know Malang also won the best mascot award and the best walk from the station to the stadium on a rainy day award.

Jakarta won the Fair Play Award for refusing to score too many goals. They did beat Medan 2-0 to finish 3rd though.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Arema Malang v Jayapura

Today's sees the climax of the Indonesian football season with 2,500 security forces on duty at Sidoarjo for the final. Given the small capacity of the Delta Stadium, Malang are receiving just 10,000 tickets. Their opponents from Papua are getting 1,000! Meanwhile the teams fighting for the 3/4th place play off, Jakarta nd Medan, also get a measly 1,000 though given the way the Surabaya hooligans chased Jakarta out of Gresik during the recent play offs, how many Jakmania will make the journey remains to be seen.

On a final note I was just checking the Jakmania website and notice they have stolen one of my photos...

Guys, at least have the courtesy to credit me with the picture.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Jayapura's Coach/Mayor and the Inspirational Team Talk

"The victory is not decided by the coach, the players or the officials but it comes from God. I had told the players that they must rely on Him in facing the final," Persipura manager and Jayapura Mayor MR Kambu said.

Straight from the Ferguson/Wenger book of Coaching for Dummies...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Jayapura reach the Indonesian Cup Final

Jakarta's famed defence for once let them down as Jayapura beat them 2-0 in Papua. Saturday's final, which is planned for Sidoarjo, features Malang, last years Cup winners against Jayapura, last season's Champions.

The worry for the authorities on Saturday is digruntled Surabaya fans arriving and spoiling the big occassion. Of coure, why schedule the game for there in the first place? Of course, it shows there is a derth of quality stadiums in Indonesia but new ones are coming on line in Sleman and Bandung but these places are difficult to access.


Indonesian Football Story in Jakarta Post Shock!

Defending champion Arema Malang is one step away from retaining its crown after taming PSMS Medan 4-2 in a home semifinal match of the 2006 Copa Dji Sam Soe Indonesia on Monday.
The victory, however, was shadowed by fear of crowd violence during the Sept. 16 final, which will take place at the Delta Stadium in Sidoarjo, East Java.
Arema's road to the semifinals was marred with violent clashes between its supporters and those of archrival Persebaya in the latter's home base Surabaya. Twelve people were injured and the stadium's management suffered losses of more than Rp 2 billion (US$219,780).
Persebaya was later banned from competing in East Java for a year, while its fans are not allowed to attend soccer matches for three years. The club has appealed the ruling.
In Monday's match, Arema's striker Antony Jumah Ballah scored twice in the fifth and 22nd minutes. Entering the second half, PSMS' Gree Nwokolo narrowed the gap by scoring in the 63rd minute.
But four minutes later, Arema's strikers Franco Hitta and Emaleu Sergen widened the gap, scoring goals in the 67th and 78th minutes respectively.
Nearing the end of the match, PSMS' Gree Nwokolo made nice use of a handball infraction by one of Arema's defenders, bringing the match to a 4-2 close after Arema's goalie Kurnia Sandi was unable to block the ball.
Arema will face either hot favorite Persija of Jakarta or last year's runner-up Persipura Jayapura, whose semifinal result will be decided Tuesday in Jayapura, Papua. Both teams tied 1-1 last Saturday.
Arema coach Benny Dollo said he was happy with the result but noted that his players have yet to put in their best performances.
"PSMS played very well today. They even played better than the first leg of the semifinal last week."
Benny declined to rate his team's chances against the other semifinal winner, saying both are tough teams.
He called on the Indonesian League Body (BLI), which manages national soccer games, to reconsider the venue for the final match.
"We all know that Arema has a bad record with Surabaya. The BLI should reconsider and take preventive measures ahead of the final."
PSMS coach Rudi Saari, whose team will fight for third place finisher, requested a guarantee the venue would be secure.
"If they can't guarantee security at the stadium, we had better just pull out and go back to Medan. I don't care about the consequences. My players' safety is more important."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


A couple of things...

Indonesia beat Makassar 3-0 in a friendly in Bone, Sulawesi

The Indonesian Cup Final held in Sidoarjo MAY NOT be on TV...

ESPN's Football Focus just featured a couple of cracking goals from the Indonesian Cup including Serge's wonder strike...

Monday, September 11, 2006


Arema Malang v Medan

Great fun. Malang were comfortable winners, cracking goal from 40 yards by Serge, but sloppy defending gave Medan a glimmer of hope once or twice. 5-3 on aggregate!


The Arsenal Challenge

How well do you know the Arsenal? Try this quiz and win absolutely ...

Which Arsenal player appeared in On the Buses?
Which album sleeve has a picture of the Clock End on it?
Which Pogues song mentions Arsenal?
Which former Arsenal player played for his country in a friendly at Highbury in 1984?
Apart from his short spell at Watford, how long has Pat Rice been an Arsenal employee?
Who came before Denis and Peter?
Who wrote Good Old Arsenal?
Which TV presenter stood in once at Highbury as an emergency linesman?
When was the last 50,000 + crowd at Highbury?
Who was the last Welsh international to play for the Arsenal?

... nothing!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Half time in the semis

Medan v Arema Malang 1-1
Jakarta v Jayapura 1-1

If there is any advantage I guess it is favouring the away teams as they will be hosting the second leg. And of course the authorities must be hoping Malang reach the final and they actually get a crowd turning up for the final in Sidoarjo! Medan against Jayapura could be embarrassing with all its empty spaces on the terraces!

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Surabaya must play elsewhere

Surabaya's punishment is known. Next season they cannot play any games in their home province of East Java. Addionaly ffor 3 years no Surabaya fans are permitted to enter the stadium.

Given that 95% of fans are teenagers wearing club colours it should be pretty simple to stop tgeir fans watching teir games. Uunless of course they start snapping up Burburry or Lacoste.

Where they will play is another matter. The club has expressed optimism their sponsors will stick with but playing all games in a different province will add an extra financial burden. The closest option would probably be Solo in next door Central Java, a 4 hour train ride away but the League may insisistnon somewhere further away.

Last year Surabaya were kicked of the League during the Big 8 in Jakarta. After serious crowd disorder they pulled out and were relegated. Surabaya are one of the biggest clubs in Indonesia but they have a job on their hands getting theeir fans to behave. They have the years to think of something.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Cup Semi Finals

Are being played this weekend, home and away.

Medan v Arema Malang
Jakarta v Jayapura

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Surabaya again...

So once again Surabaya officials have to avel to Jakarta to answer for the lunatic fringe among their support. Realistically what sanction can they expect?

A fine? Points deduction? Stripped of thir Championship and kept in the First Division?

Money is like water for football clubs, always around, easy come, easy go. A desultory fine is nowt but a slap on the wrist and ineffectual. Deducting points is much more fun and hurts the club far more than a few bob. Football clubs crave status, Juventus laughed off the fine they got for match fixing but shat house bricks at the relegation and points handicap.

Maybe relegating Surabaya and docking them points. These guys are serial offenders and need a kick in the balls. But there is the wider issue of crowd misbehaviour. Who is responsible, the clubs, the league or the police?



Loyalty in football

Steve MacMahon was on Football Focus showing how little he understands the psychology of the average football fan. He made the point that the punter on the terraces would be likely to move companies if someone came along with a large pay rise he would jump at it it. Yeap, probably. But we're talking football. We don't change our clubs if someone comes along with a better offer, we don't change our clubs when we start playing shite.

Half the time players are full of shite. They profess their devotion to the badge on their tit but in the background their agent is looking for more money somehow. It sucks, they are littke more than mercanaries and the only difference between a mercanary and a prostitute is gender.

At Arsenal we're lucky. Pat Rice has been there some 45 years, excepting a short spell at Watford. Our physio Gary Lewin has been there pushing 30 years. David O'Leary spent 20 years at Highbury. Ken Friar goes back bloody ages. Dennis Bergkamp graced our pitch for 11 years, unusual for a foreigner to stay so long. Bob Wilson hung around so damned long people tried buying him in the recent Highbury auction. Our Chairman Peter Hill Wood is the 3rd in the Hill Wood dynasty to preside over the club since just after the First World War. We are a club built on stability and stability comes from loyalty.

It may make no sense to Macca but then being a true football fan makes no sense to anyone not involved.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Chelsea a big club? You're having a laugh

Upset at losing Gallas Chelsea have spat the dummy, accusing him of threatening to score an own goal if he had to play for them again. Compare that reaction to Arsenal, losing Ashley Cole who effectively put a gun to their heads. They wished him well...

Class can't be bought, I don't care how much money those buggers have they lack tradition, they lack class, they lack pedigree.

There are three big clubs in English football and they all wear red and white.

Remember, Chelsea are the team who tap up for fun. They are the club who hounded a ref into retirement. There's a foul smell emanating from SW 16 and it's affecting the whole game. Standards are being lowered, ethics are going out the window and something needs to be done. The game is bigger than any one club.


Surabaya hooligans at it again

Last night Surabaya played out a 0-0 draw with Arema Malang meaning the visitors go through to the semi final. But Surabaya wouldn't go without a whimper and their hooligans kicked off big time again. They bottled it in Malang, where they would have had some opposition, but last night the gloves were off.

I'm sure the Indonesian League are delighted at the thought of these simians back in the league next season.


Emmanuel de Porras

He's one of the highest paid imports in the game but it seems Semarang no longer require the services of Emmanel de Porras. And who can blame them? In the recent play offs Semarang, prompted by Ortiz,, forever pumped the ball long hoping the short arsed forward would get on the end of one. He didn't and Semarang ended the season with nothing.

There's a rumour Champions Kediri want him but personally I can't see him combining well with scoring machine Christian Gonzales. Jakarta are rumoured to be interested but while de Porras would add a star quality they need a prolific goalscorer. What about Minahasa, last seasons surprise package? But maybe he sees his future elsewhere?


An eyewitness account

of Arema Malang v Surabaya

Hey Casual,I caught the Arema-Persebaya match on Friday. It was a good time all around but the supporters were more interesting than the match. I was a little shocked by the quality of the football and the tackles. I've never seen so many terrible passes or flying studs up challenges in my life. Anyway, I figure that match is probably a good inauguration to football in Indo and I look forward to more games.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Indonesian Cup Latest

Latest scores

Manado v Medan 0-3 (yeap, Medan won an away game!)
Arema Malang v Surabaya 1-0
Padang v Jakarta 1-3 (after 2 legs)
Jayapura v Sidoarjo 2-1

The semi final line up is as follows:

Manado/Medan v Arema Malang/Surabaya
Jakarta v Jayapura/Sidoarjo

Rivetting stuff eh???



Indonesia Cup

Jakarta scored early and held on to beat Padang 1-0. They go through to the semi finals 3-1 on aggregate.

Padang had plenty of pressure but rarely threatened the Jakarta goal.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


The recent Malang game

I remarked at the time there didn't seem to be many Surabaya fans who had made the short journey for such a potentially explosive fixture.

It appears there is an 'agreement' between the fans of the the two teams that Surabaya won't travel to this fixture! Of course a cynic might suggest that when it comes to a team with as large a support as the Port City's the Surabaya hooligans are less keen on mixing it.

I wonder if the 'agreement' covers Malang travellingfor the second leg?


Friday, September 01, 2006


Are Malang v Surabaya

Apparently some 1500 security personnel were on duty in Malang for this potentially explosive Indonesia Cup Quarter Final which saw the hosts net after 3 minutes and hold on pretty comfortably for the 1-0, having plenty of possession in the business end of the park.

From me armchair the terraces looked pretty well packed and a sea of blue so I guess the Surabaya faithfull were to the side of the main stand. The game was so so and Surabaya will feel they are still in with a shout when the second leg os played in front of their fans next week. Malang may rue that wasted possession.

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