Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I don't belong anymore

Many years ago I was a regular. Home and away I followed the Arse up and down the country when we were shite. All ticket games were a rarity in those days, sell outs were unusual and the food available within the grounds was usually Bovril and Wagon Wheels...

But it was fun. We never expected to win much, with players like Chris Whyte and Brian McDermott you soon learnt not to be too optimistic but there was still the sense of being part of The Arsenal and we were special. We were boring, crap but special.

I left in 1987. My last game as a regular fan was Norwich at home when we lost 2-1. A young lad called Paul Merson scored for us that day but as I stood on the Clock End I looked round the stadium thinking it was the end of an era. My era. So many memories tied up in the small area of North London, the concrete terracing, the fish and chip shops, the pubs. Badger on the North Bank, roasted peanuts, queuing for the programme, I'd been there and done that. In my mind I'd lived Fever Pitch a thousand times in those narrow streets.

That same season Luton Town, a club I despise, introduced a membership scheme and everyone tut tutted. Well, everyone except Thatcher but we could never see the Arsenal doing that could we? Members only at the Arse?

I've just looked on the Arsenal web site regarding tickets for upcoming fixtures. We have Platinum / Gold Members, Silver Members and Red Members.

Of course you can't just join the Gold Members. You must start at the bottom and they don't mean being among the 200 who went to Goodison for a League Cup tie in 83. Oh no, nothing like that counts. To prove your loyalty to the club you're going to have to start with the Red Members. Remember, this won't guarantee you match day tickets. Season ticket holders, the Platinum/Gold, then Silver then what's left over. Of course you can join the Season Ticket Waiting List for which of course you show your loyalty by paying another fee.

If you want your voice heard by the club... forget it. You can only post on their message board if you're a member. Remember your loyalty is expressed by how much you blindly hand over to your club.

But what happens if you can somehow get hold of those elusive tickets? How much do they cost?

2006/07 Match Day ticket prices

Emirates Upper/Lower Tier

Category A
Category B
Centre Upper
Centre Upper Back
Next To Centre Upper
Next To Centre Upper Back
Wing Upper
Wing Upper Back
Corner Upper
Goal Upper
Goal Upper Back

Centre Lower
Wing Lower
Corner Lower
Goal Lower

Family Enclosure

Senior Citizen/Cannon Club
Junior Gunner


Of course watching some of the football played by players of the quality of Fabregas and Henry ain't gonna come cheap but when the cheapest tickest against the so called big teams are 46 bloody quid...

Fans I know who still go regularly complain about the new breed of supporter the club has attracted. A type willing and able to pay these high end prices but a type who doesn't want to be surrounded by people who stand and shout for their team. The atmosphere is being sanitised and the club, despite all it's talk about how they wanna improve the atmosphere just don't care. They're happy for the Hornbies to pay top whack and act like they're at the theatre, it's the market they're striving for. But one day Monseuir Wenger will be gone. There'll be years when we struggle and when we click on the tickets page of the web site we'll see tickets on general sale but I for one won't bite. My club, the club I grew up with left me years back...

Monday, October 23, 2006


Reading away

Well, that was bloody impressive if I say so myself. 4-0, it could have been more had not van Persie in the first half not been so profligate, Toure and Fabregas immense again and we could afford a so so Henry and giving up for the last 20 minutes. Sure against Watford, Sheffield United and Reading, the 3 new teams, we have looked the mutts nuts going forward but we need more serious tests and not until we go to Bolton, Blackburn and Liverpool and return with the 3 points will I think we stand a chance in the Premiership. Not until we beat Chelsea. I’m not asking for much am I?

Rosicky has settled in well as has Gallas and Djourou looks better every game. And don’t forget we have Ljungberg, Eboue, Lauren and Senderos so things are looking good. But we’re in October. Let’s see if we’re still there in April/May.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Christopher Wreh to Medan

Former Arsenal bit part player Christopher Wreh, cousin of the more famous George Weah, looks like he's on his way to Medan for the coming season!

He was one of Wenger's early signing and despite scoring a couple of vital goals n the 97/98 double season soon slipped from the radar and was shipped off to Birmingham from where he disappeared without trace. If you can read Indonesian check the story

And this comes from

Cousin of George Weah was at Monaco for just over five years moving to Arsenal on a Bosman free transfer. "When Arsenal first tried to sign me people at Monaco told me not to come here because they had Bergkamp and Ian Wright, but it never bothered me,'' says Wreh. "I never thought I had anything to prove to people. In Liberia I'm a star and I trust in my own ability. The boss brought me here because he knew I was a good striker and he had confidence in me. He knew that if Ian and Dennis weren't there, I could score the goals for the team and work hard. I have no problem playing in front of 40,000 people because when I play for my national team, it's in front of 60,000 people so that is something I am used to." Scored his first goal for Arsenal in the 1-0 win over Wimbledon to start Arsenal's 10-match winning run that carried them all the way to the '97-98 title. He has now moved to the oil rich Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia where his squad was scheduled to play in the now canceled World ClubChampionships

Name: Christopher Wreh
Date of Birth: May 14, 1975
Nationality: Liberian
Position: Striker


Previous Clubs: Young Kotoko, La Modelle International, Invincible Eleven --IE (Liberia), AS Monaco, Guingamp (France), Arsenal, Birmingham (England), AEK Athens ( Greece), Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia)
Club Honors: Finalist French Cup 1997, Guingamp, English League Championship, FA Cup Winner and Charity Shield, Arsenal.
Personal Honors: None
International Debut: Liberia vs. Togo 1995 (Nations Cup Qualifier)
Caps: 36
Goals: 11

Friday, October 20, 2006


Sydney United to visit?

The Bang Yos Cup kicks off in December and rumour has it Sydney United will be joining Kediri, Medan, Semarang and Jakarta.

Could be interesting if that happens...Sydney United used to be known as Sydney Croatia and the last time I saw them was a 3-0 home defeat against St George...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


You're havin a laugh ref

Ok so we lost in Moscow but I’m not too worried and I don’t suppose Arsene Wenger is either. They scored because we didn’t properly attack an indirect free kick on the edge of the area and while we didn’t play too well we should have come away with a draw thanks to Henry’s late goal. The circumstances surrounding the goal shed light on the argument for technology to play a greater role in the game.

English football at it’s best is fast and competitive and breaks in play are greeted by jeers and are as welcome as a night out with Ken Barlow. Supposing we had a fourth official last night in Moscow. Supposing we had the option of him viewing contentious decisions from a variety of angles. What would happen with play in the meantime? Would the players dash to the touchline and sip their sports drinks or would play carry on? This is football and like it or not we demand ‘instant justice.’ The Spanish ref dropped a bollock last night and it cost us a point. I fail to see how technology could have been made to work to provide a seamless decision making with minimal disruption to the play.

Before I’ve been against technology and I see no reason to change my mind. Putting aside the commercialization of the game it is still at heart a beautiful simple game. The skill of Henry is as essential to the 90 minutes as the balls up of a defender, keeper or official, it comes with the territory. They are humans and as such they are fallible.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006



Is on his way back. Bola reports him signing for Jakarta after 2 years in Selangor.

A rumour has Firmansyah talking to Kediri. Him and Gonzales up front eh?

Friday, October 13, 2006


Bloody ex players

Everytime the slightest thing odd happens in football and the media, of which there is far to much with far too many resources chasing far too few stories, wheel out the old pros who pass their armschair judgement and it usually follows the same formula. The officials are always wrong and should be relegated. Players are only human and they make mistakes.

Witness the current brouha surrounding Robinson and his fly kicking in Zagreb. Now my playing career was limited to Sunday morning pub football and some coaching of enthusiatic kids but I did know one thing. When you pass back to the keeper place the ball either sides of the posts. Less chance of an og that way. It ain't rocket science. Likewise these days the keeper can't pick the ball up but surely when the ball is heading the wrong direction, when it's goal bound, make certain eh? Control it if you can then get rid of it.

Robinson deserves the brickbats he's going to receiver, just as much as Neville does for endangering his keeper but Robbo more so. He plays for the Totts, that's reason enough to give him heaps. But players do deserve grief when they put up a pisspoor performance. They take the glory and the riches, so must they take the grief. All fans ask for is effort and we ain't stoopid. We know when players aren't pulling their weight or when someone just ain't fgood enough. Robinson is a good keeper and kept us in the game for long periods but he deserves the grief he's gonna get. I'm Arsenal, Seaman got slaughtered after Nayim from the halfway line, this is for us...


Players (English) Behaving Badly

Man City, under Psycho Pearce have a few English players in their squad but look at the problems they've had with them

Thatcher - knocks seven shades of shit out of mendes

Richards - spits his dummy out the pram when he was taken off recently

Barton - drops his pants on the pitch

Is it a coincidence that English players act the twat time and time again? Remember under the oh so glory days of Neill and Howe when the players car park was empty cos most of the squad was banned for drink driving?

Cole and Campbell anyone?

Of course foreigners aren't angels, step forward Nicolas Anelka who's had more clubs than Fat Boy Slim but is there something in the make up of the English that allows them to act the prat so often? Admittedly they don't all come from the best of backgrounds and perhaps they are just a mirror of the yob culture that scars society but surely with all this dosh flowing through the game someone could bring in some kind of anger counsellor and shut the buggers up or just stop them making such tits of themselves?

Thursday, October 12, 2006


England, oh England

I didn’t see the game against Croatia last night. In fact I rarely watch England games, they don’t inspire any feelings in me. Sorry, forget his recent goal fest Crouchie just doesn’t do it for me. Lampard, no thanks. McLaren? Isn’t he involved in F1 somewhere? If not, he should be. When I was younger I used to make up my own England XI with my mates and we had a midfield or Graham Rix, Ray Wilkins and Glenn Hoddle which reflected our location, London overspill and our teams, Arsenal, Chelsea and that lot from N17.

It was a midfield that never clicked at international level, much like today’s mix of Lampard, Gerrard and the others. We don’t learn lessons in England and we don’t threaten on the world stage. We have the support of face painters and drum beaters who follow overpaid prima donnas afraid to mix it against piss poor opposition. Not Croatia, they have some quality, but England and quality? Stevie G yes. Umm, anymore?

Saturday we’re back to the real stuff. We play Watford and I’m looking forward to that. We’ve had what, two cancelled weekends since the season stared to prepare for the qualifiers and what’s it got us? The Premiership is our bread and butter, I’ll celebrate 3 points on Saturday much more than I would celebrate 3 points with England. Coming soon…memories of Watford.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Emmanuel de Porras

The Argies are keeping the Indonesian football press busy at the moment. Hot on the heels of the Ortega rumour we hear the currently clubless but hoping for a bite from Jakarta Emmanuel de Porras making enquiries about Indonesian citizenship, no doubt hoping to create an international career for himself. Of course he’s overlooking a few things. Like he needs to be here for 5 years before he can take out citizenship and he ain’t been here that long. Like he was crap last season and wouldn’t have got a cap even if he was Andorran or Tongan And like he ain’t even got a club at the moment, hoping for an international is a tad premature innit, que?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Ariel Ortega to Jakarta

Well, that's the rumour this end. I did a search on Google and came up with zilch while the local presses have been running with it awhile.

I wouldn't get too excited. The guy is 32 and never stays long any place, he always seems to upset people and if he can't handle Valencia or River Plate then he has no chance here...


Monday, October 09, 2006


Pointless Weekend

Again I couldn’t be arsed keeping an eye out on the England qualifier against Macedonia. It sounds like I didn’t miss much. 0-0 against them at home isn’t a good result but I don’t care. We play Croatia midweek but I don’t care. If we win there we would have 10 points but I don’t care. Neville missed a sitter Saturday but I don’t care. Scotland beat the French but who cares? I’d rather watch the Arsenal reserves if there are no real games. We’re in the Indonesian close season too so there is no local stuff to keep me interested. Roll on Saturday…

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Jakarta's Oldest Club

Taken from the Jakarta Post

Soccer club goes distance on pluck and perseverance
In another decade he will be a century old, but his youthful spirit seems unhampered by the declining body of an old man.
Endang Witarsa turned 90 on Wednesday. While other grandfathers might have long surrendered to the comfort of their beds, Endang finds no place is more comfortable than the soccer field.
From behind his glasses he watches the members of Jakarta's oldest football club, Union Makes Strength (UMS) in Tamansari, West Jakarta, from weak-footed beginners to professionals.
Having trained as a dentist, Endang soon discovered as a young man that his passion laid with soccer. He joined UMS in 1948 as a halfback. When he hung up his shoes in 1951, he became one of Indonesia's greatest ever coaches. Any soccer player or coach in the country would bow to him.
UMS, the club that became Endang's second home, was founded in 1905 as the Tiong Hoa Hwee Koan Scholar Football Club. Later in 1914, it gained its current name.
The club bred renowned national players who took Indonesia to its peak of football achievement, from the late 1960s to the early 1990s.
It has been some time since the country has seen its soccer teams be internationally successful, but Endang is unlikely to give up trying and training players until he takes his last breath.

Friday, October 06, 2006


New rules for foreign players?

Apparently a player must stay for 2 years with a club now. If they want to stay more than 4 years then they can't keep changing clubs!

I think that's what it says! What a pointless regulation...

It's an international week, that's my excuse...

Thursday, October 05, 2006


The next local season

The Indonesian football authroites are currently deciding the make up of the 2 divisions, Western and Eastern. The biggest stumbling block lies in East Java where there are 7 teams to be assigned and obviously there is a desire to minimise potential trouble.

Malang, Arema Malang, champions Kediri, Lamongan, Sidoarjo, Surabaya and Pasuaruan Town need to be surgically disected and I imagine Arema will be in the Western Division like before and it would be nice, and oh so selfish, to have Kediri too. Surabaya can stay in the East as far as I'm concerned but I fear they may not...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Shit happens...

I do wish Benetiz and these other whinging pros would shut the crap up. Take the free kick given against Liverpool last week and Speed scored Bolton’s first goal. Of course Rafa says this was the defining moment of the game, the lino’s wrong decision cost his beloved overpaid tarts the points. Bullshit you whinging tart. Your team didn’t defend the free kick. Your team couldn’t score over 90 bloody minutes. The only people to blame for another lousy Liverpool away performance are your guys in the red shirts. In football as in life it is all to easy to blame others for your shortcomings but it gets boring when these mercenaries trot out the same old record.

Did Roeder sack Harper after he slipped and allowed Alonso the joy of another 50 yard goal? Oh no, we can’t upset the puffed up egos can we? Better off blame the guy who can’t fight back and doubtless Roeder would have blamed the officials if he could have. After all if they dropped every player who made a mistake they’d be no one left to play the game.

Hats off to Iain Dowie whose Charlton were denied a surefire penalty when the ball struck Gallas’ arm. Deffo a pen but the ref didn’t give it. I’m sure Dowie was gutted but all he said was mistakes happen. Very true fella. Van Persie missed when it seemed easier to score but hey? Shit happens.

Do one Rafa

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