When the going gets tough…
By GoonerGirl (BB)
The Arsenal made me smile again
I love Arsenal. Not because they are flash, star-studded world-beaters who are going to win it all this season, but because they have made me smile again. At the end of two very difficult weeks for me personally, with my dad very ill in hospital, life was made just a little bit lighter and happier with the win over Manchester City.
As much as the QPR debacle seemed to echo the negativity in my family at the time, so the City result mirrors the fact that things on the hospital front are just about as good as they will ever be. In footballing terms, there are very few teams I would have liked Arsenal to have beaten more on Easter Sunday. In fact, my only regret about the result is that we didn’t win by a far more comprehensive margin.
To me, City are right up there with the very worst excesses of modern football. This buy-it-all, have-it-all, we-are-the-greatest-before-we-have-achieved-anything mentality goes completely against the ethos of the game. Whatever failings we have at Arsenal, and complaints we have about our lot, there is nothing in the world that would ever make me want our club to be run in the way Manchester City is.
I would rather be self-sustaining, even if our transfer-dealings at times frustrate the hell out of us all, than go around luring players to our club simply because we pay the most ridiculous wages imaginable to footballers who clearly don’t even come close to justifying such expenditure. Moreover the end-result of this policy, apart from the fact that, for this season at least, City will hopefully remain trophy-less, is that they have amassed a motley collection of individuals with no incentive whatsoever towards teamwork, and, in the case of Balotelli, particularly destructive characters at that. These are the footballers who were seduced by the money, and by this hackneyed belief that where there is money there will be silverware, and lots of it.
Plenty of ex-Gunners have chased the mighty Arab dollar, and did any of them sparkle against the current, much-criticised Arsenal team? Not in the game I was watching, but then it is hard to have any influence at all when you can’t even get in the starting eleven. Of course, in the deluded world of Samir Nasri, he recently claimed that he had been played far too much by Arsenal, and that by sitting on the City bench he was actually improving. Improving his bank balance certainly, but Rosicky looked twice the player Nasri was on Sunday, definitive proof that actually playing football regularly can improve you as a footballer. Who would have thought it?
I wouldn’t want any of our former players back from City, even if they paid us to take them off their hands, not just because they are money-grabbing mercenaries with over-inflated opinions of themselves based on the ludicrous bounty City have put on their heads, but actually because they aren’t remotely improved as players as a result of leaving Arsenal. In fact, arguably they have drifted into mediocrity.
All the money in the world can’t buy you respect, or seemingly happiness, judging by the sour-faced Manchester City executive contingent sat in our directors’ box on Easter Sunday. If they came hoping for three points and a cosy little chat with RvP about joining their petro-fuelled bid for world domination, they clearly didn’t get what they bargained for, at least on the former and, hopefully, not on the latter either.
My hope that Robin remains at Arsenal beyond this summer, and next summer and a few more summers besides, is far greater than any amount of money City have in mind to offer him. His commitment to the Arsenal cause this season, allied with the way he has matured into the role of captain, and of course his 33 goals to date, makes him our latest priceless asset, so naturally that puts him very firmly on City’s radar as a result. However, should we qualify for the Champions League, and City fail in their bid to win the title, then the only reason he would have to leave us for them would be for money. If it was for footballing ambition, he would go to Barcelona.
Admittedly football is a short career where the majority of players will spend more of their life retired than in action, and thus maximising earning potential is something hammered into most professionals by their agents from an early age, (although in the case of Nasri that obviously means that his greatest “improvement” will come when he is sat in his sprawling chateau during those twilight years), but it is hardly as if Arsenal pay the minimum wage; perhaps if they did, our memberships and ticket prices would be a bit more affordable for the average fan.
I don’t think anyone would blame RvP for wanting assurances that Arsenal will once more become contenders for trophies before he puts pen to paper; it is nothing more than we fans are asking for as we approach what will be a vital summer for the Gunners, but Arsenal will always be a far better bet for RvP than moving to a club where the love of money is the only thing their players have in common. For everything City have spent, they lie just ten points ahead of us, went out of the Champions League before us, and I wouldn’t mind betting they are in for an even bigger summer of changes than we are, even though all previous petro-fuelled overhauls haven’t yielded what the owners expected.
Arsenal are far from perfect - we all know that - but I am still a defiantly proud fan, and when your family is thrown some real life-and-death stuff, results like Sunday’s are a blissful haven of happiness that only the emotionally-charged rollercoaster world of Arsenal can provide. Keep it up boys, please!
11th April 2012
User Comment and Reaction
User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.
RDT - 4 9:10am 11th Apr 2012
I agree, City are a complete embarrassment to the modern game. All that money spent and they're out of all competitions by early april. Everyone associated with that team of walking disaster areas should be utterly ashamed! - Post No. 23241
Mike Walsh 9:23am 11th Apr 2012
I totally agree with your comments, the game on Sunday is right up there with the spurs and MIlan games in terms of emotion and a real sense of satisfaction. One thought about the game, can anyone explain to me the lack of reaction among the Arsenal players to the leg breaker of an assault by Ballotelli on Sagna? Can you imagine how the players at Chelsea or manure would have reacted if Mata or Scholes had been taken out in this way? Was that a factor in the official who we now hear witnessed the assault thinking "well it can't be that bad, look at his team-mates reaction" - Post No. 23242
Gooner_jh 9:39am 11th Apr 2012
Brilliant blog! They really did us proud on Sunday almost had a tear in my eye. Hopefully we won't get complacent and finish strong in the league to secure 3rd place. Best of luck with your old man too! Gooner family. - Post No. 23243
Howard 9:39am 11th Apr 2012
Arsenal will be a far better bet for RVP.Yeah stay at a club whose ambition is to finish top 4 no better.Just look at what Cesc has won since he left.If Madrid Barca or City come a knocking he's off.Even Henry proved to win the big one he had to move - Post No. 23244
Paul 9:54am 11th Apr 2012
Hang about.RVP will ask for at least £150k a week when his contract runs out.Remember this is a player who up until 12 months ago sat on the treatment table for 6 months every season.Loyalty goes both ways the club stood by him when he was continually injured so what about some loyalty back from the player.Some Gooners have short memories and are only judging RVP on the last year.This is his first season injury free - Post No. 23245
rudytel 10:06am 11th Apr 2012
Good article. Silverware or not, we remain a huge proud club steeped in history and tradition. Seeing some of the Citeh fans at the grove on sunday running their mouths about "we've got all the doe"..."Rvp, he's already ours" etc, honestly I felt like vomiting. Clueless, classless, arrogant fools.... Up the Arsenal!! - Post No. 23247
BringBackDene 10:32am 11th Apr 2012
Very good article. I am delighted that City have not been able to buy the league title. Also I am also not happy about United winning the title as they are in debt to the tune of £450M. But for Arsenal it's squeeky-bum time so good luck. - Post No. 23248
Gare Kekeke 11:09am 11th Apr 2012
Good article. Man City along with Chelsea epitomise everything that is wrong with modern football. If you go to Man Utd, you go there to win titles. If you go to Man City, it’s for the money. Simples. End of. We are The Arsenal and it means something. We are the third biggest and most successful club in England and by far the biggest and most successful in London. It’s time us Gooners acknowledge that fact and stop hiding behind pathetic reasons and claim that we are not big and we are medium-sized club with limited finances. Total BS. Time for me to do a Rafa Benitez here. We make more than £220m a year and have plenty of cash in reserve after wages, loan repayments and costs. We make more money than Chelsea & Man City, FACT. Man City & Chelsea would love to boast that each of them have won THIRTEEN league titles. Can I repeat that fact? THIRTEEN league titles. We have won more league titles than those put together. FACT. When we won the league as part of our ‘double’ in 1971, it was our eighth league title, at the time an English record. FACT. No football fan should ever dismiss more than a century of English, European & world football history because it wasn’t on Sky TV. Sunday was hugely enjoyable. Let’s not get carried away but none the less very pleasing. Manchester City & Chelsea are not rich clubs. They have rich owners but are not rich clubs like The Arsenal. Take away those rich owners and they are big clubs without the huge financial resources e.g. Everton. Best of luck to your family situation too. Up The Arsenal! - Post No. 23249
Dan h 11:27am 11th Apr 2012
Enjoyed your article.If we come 3rd or even 4th RVP will stay next year regardless of a new contract.Some decent quality signings & he will sign a new deal this is based on more than opinion. - Post No. 23250
AUSSIE BLOCK 15 11:49am 11th Apr 2012
FANTASTIC, THATS WHY WE ARE THE ARSENAL AND NO ONE QUITE TAKES THE JUICE LIKE OUR BOYS. - Post No. 23251
divingrooney 12:07pm 11th Apr 2012
I would sell RVP for 30mn pounds, if anyone bid that much for him. He has had a great season, but considering his injury this seems more like a one-off. So, 30mn for a 29yr old seems a good deal. - Post No. 23252
Ron 12:11pm 11th Apr 2012
There is not one Club who have more class than Arsenal. The other Clubs and many players of other Clubs have said it many times down the years. All of the very best of luck with your Dad. - Post No. 23253
goonercolesyboy 12:47pm 11th Apr 2012
Great post and best wished for your father's recovery. As for the one eyed Howard's post,23244, cynical or what? Barca I give you but he won't fit into their constant pressing game, Madrid he can't stand Mourinho and as for City are you having a laugh, he saw first hand what a bunch of mercenaries they are and classless too. Let's enjoy the recent form and continue the run tonight, please. - Post No. 23254
Harry's have-a-go heroes 13:08pm 11th Apr 2012
I too love Arsenal. Unconditionally. The worse they are, the more I care. Like an ugly child or a sick relative. Those who threaten to turn their backs on our beloved Arsenal when things don't go well don't grasp what it's about being a fan. Thick and thin. We've been dealt a great hand as fans. Also, why do the media only mention 'London's top team' when Tottenham are above the others? The moment it changes to Arsenal or Chelsea, no mention. - Post No. 23255
Tony Evans 14:36pm 11th Apr 2012
It was great to see Arsenal put one over Nasri and co and all but end their title challenge. Hate seeing Manure grab yet another title but I would rather them then Citeh. Just hope Arsenal make a proper challenge next season and let's hear no more talk of this 3rd and 4th place trophy nonsense from Wenger. Very best wishes for your Dad's health. - Post No. 23258
SW 15:44pm 11th Apr 2012
As wonderful as he is, please remember that this is RVP's first injury free season in a very very long time. We stood by him when he spent months in the treatment room. I hope he remembers that when contract negotiations start. - Post No. 23259
maguiresbridge gooner 16:36pm 11th Apr 2012
Excellent piece it was great to put one over the mercenaries your right would we really want balotelli type players at arsenal just for themselves and the dough few players have went on to better things when they've left arsenal (apart from cesc and nobody begrudges him that)yes they've certainly improved their bank account.It was great to see the money men from city in the directors box giving a spanking with their open cheque book trying to buy history.I've never thought RVP to be the mercenary type but i suppose you never know as you say their career is short and this will probably be his last chance of a big payday but i firmly believe if arsene strengthens properly in the summer therefor showing the right ambition he will be with us for another three or maybe four years.And i hope the team continues where it left off on sunday at wolves tonight. - Post No. 23260
Mark 16:38pm 11th Apr 2012
i thought we played excellently against city. we made them look ordinary, we were together and spririted througout and made them look like a bunch of individuals who didnt care enough. so much happier with our back 5 these days; that has been the foundation in my view - Post No. 23261
maguiresbridge gooner 16:54pm 11th Apr 2012
@Mike Walsh totally agree about the reaction of the players and arsene hadn't very much to say about it later either considering the history we've had with leg breaks and to make matters worse he's got away with it would an arsenal player have got away with it apparently one official seen it could he not have lifted his flag. - Post No. 23262
jjetplane 19:15pm 11th Apr 2012
One thing is if I could have a quid for every Arsenal shirt I see in movies, tv, novels and the rest - I could cash in and have my first visit to the empire? Gooners are just everywhere and without any bias I am not seeing any Manc stuff in these global media trawls. We really are ****ing massive and thats about history. What can I say. How yer feeling now smarmy Noel Gallagher - out of touch and just a tad shell-shocked! I used to like City (never Utd) when I was paying a half a crown into the north bank.Last few matches - I smell real Arsenal! So can dem spuds! - Post No. 23263
CT Gooner 21:59pm 11th Apr 2012
Mostly agree, but did everyone miss the fact that Walcott was on the pitch, and marked out the game by no other than Gail Clichy. I was never a huge fan of clichy, as I feel he is a below average defender with great recovery speed. Not trying to poo-poo your points, only let's not gloss over another sub-par Walcott performance. - Post No. 23266
Mandy Dodd 22:16pm 11th Apr 2012
Enjoyed the article. Do not worry about robin, he will stay, you can see it in him, Rvp likes when he scores, or when we score, in fact his smile lights up the stadium. As for nasri, for all his riches, I wonder if his frequent trips to see us signify a little bit of regret. And as you say, going to citeh certainly has not improved him as a player, although after this evenings results, he could yet end up with an epl title. Let's just back this team to third place, let the summer take care of itself and move on from there. George graham said finishing in the top four this season would rank amongst wengers greatest achievements, we can do one better than that. Well done boys, keep it up. - Post No. 23267
GoonerGirl (BB) 22:41pm 11th Apr 2012
Many thanks for all the lovely comments fellow Gooners, and especially the kind wishes for my dad. Unfortunately he has advanced dementia, so no chance of a recovery, but he will be out of hospital tomorrow and into a new nursing home for palliative care in time for his 85th birthday on Friday. Hopefully news of tonight’s 3-0 win might bring a flicker of happiness to his face tomorrow, definitely just what I needed after a busy day of moving his stuff. Come on you Gunners!!! Totally agree with those who’ve said that RVP owes us – he sure does after all those years of injury. Giving the remaining best years of his career to the Arsenal is the least he can do (and keep scoring like he has been during those seasons too). I’m a twitter newbie, but you can follow me @bethyb1886. Gooner family you rock x - Post No. 23268
simon 23:07pm 12th Apr 2012
this is a lovely blog. Sunday was one for the football gods, a triumph for right over wrong and a real feel good day, The team are doing us proud right now and healing some of those wounds we've suffered the past 6 years. - Post No. 23308
Joe S. 0:03am 13th Apr 2012
Nice One, Gooner Girl. We may all have different opinions on where the club is or should be heading but the smile factor should not be overlooked as it has brought the Gooner nation closer. Well done to the players and gulp boss. - Post No. 23309
Rocco 4:53am 13th Apr 2012
So long as Arsene makes assurances to Robin that we will open the purse strings to strengthen our weak spots over the summer he will be back. And the Arsenal will be back rightfully contending for more than one title next year. - Post No. 23312
Adam Smith 13:22pm 14th Apr 2012
outstanding article! WE LOVE YOU ARSENAL! - Post No. 23338
JM- LONDON 0:55am 15th Apr 2012
Spot on BB, I work with a life long Citeh fan who in the 10 years I've known him has slagged everyone who ever had a few quid and now guess what?. Money wont buy you class - I hope they win nothing and get abandoned by who ever it is that actually owns them? - Post No. 23342
Fozzy 15:08pm 15th Apr 2012
Totally brilliant piece, GoonerGirl. You said it all. - Post No. 23351
20th May 2013
Online Ed: 4th place trophy and CL qualifier secured