So, all’s well with the world once again. As King Richard II said, there’s nothing like a 5-2 away victory to calm the revolting peasants. Although I fear that the peasants may soon rise again! Not long ago, in fact the blog/email before last, I wrote negatively about three issues. This time I want to turn things around by discussing a couple of positive events, the Puskas award and the new HD projector at the Brazenhead. Whilst I’m writing this we are playing Norwich in the Carabao Cup, so maybe I’ll have more good news to report on – you know how these things tend to happen in threes.
On Monday, half an hour before I settled down to start this blog, I got a ping on my smart phone to say that our very own OG had won the FIFA Puskas award for that scorpion kick goal against Palace last season. I’m not sure how many of you saw the goal as it happened or whether you watched it as part of a replay of the game or the goal itself because someone had told you about the goal “that you must see”. I remember clearly watching the game live on TV and when it happened I just didn’t believe my eyes. It was like a trick piece of TV, which never impresses me as tricks on TV can so easily be made up. Real live tricks are so much more impressive because you can see exactly what is happening and how everything is set up. But, because this was a live football match it caused a bit of confusion in my head – this was a real live trick but it couldn’t be because it was a live football match and everyone was happy and smiling. Well, everyone Arsenal related. Did I actually see what had just happened I asked myself? It can’t have been a trick because this was a live telecast, but no one scores a goal like that and if they did I wouldn’t be watching, but I am watching and that was the most amazing goal I think I will ever see. However, congratulations to Olivier. I think because of that goal no one really talks about the goal he scored against Red Star Belgrade last Thursday. That was also a fantastic piece of athleticism and control, but we all expect that of him now. Imagine if he had also been gifted with a bit of pace, what a player he would have been!
Next positive event is the Brazenhead at Lonehill. I’m sure that most readers have been to our club venue, especially as we top about three to four hundred supporters every time we’re in the FA Cup final which is quite often as of late. Our arrangement with the Brazenhead has been very beneficial for both parties. As indicated, they get a lot of income from Arsenal supporters, especially when we hit the big time such as Cup finals. But they also invest back into the Arsenal SA club. As the 50 odd paying Arsenal SA subscribers are aware (“Is that all, only 50” I hear you say. “Yes, it’s shocking really.” says I ”There are so many benefits but a lot of the supporters just won’t cough up R150 a year”), sorry, as I was saying, as the 50 odd paying Arsenal SA subscribers are aware the Brazenhead give us 10% discount on all purchases, both food and beverages and have come up with a ‘personalised’ Arsenal SA discount card which also doubles up as an Arsenal SA membership card. In addition to that, they have sponsored the annual club raffle prize, being an air ticket to London and are sponsoring it once again this year. And now, on top of this all they are installing an HD projector in the Wine Cellar so that we can watch those smaller games with quality viewing. Now we don’t have to guess how many minutes extra time have been added, nor wonder why Ozil may have kicked the ball out to the touchline when magically a player appears out of the darkness!! So for this weekend’s game, experience first-hand how Arsenal take apart Swansea through the magic of an HD projector and no longer wonder where all our players are lurking.
It was also good to see Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette start for the first time on Saturday. There were some sweet moments during the game with Ozil taking centre stage, and although one swallow does not make a summer, hopefully we will be fine tuning the trio against Swansea this weekend in preparation for the biggest test this season on 5th November when we travel to the Etihad to meet Citeh. It was nice to see the team not lose their heads when they went a goal down and as desperate as Everton were, we were able to get back on an even keel before half time with Monreal’s well taken strike. Thereafter we took the lead in the second half before Everton basically succumbed with that silly tackle by Gueye that reduced them to ten men. It also looks as though that foul cost Koeman his job as he was sacked the following day. Makes me wonder just how much it would take for Arsene to lose his job. Everton finished seventh last season and although they were not in contention for a top four place they were a hard team to beat and they managed a 4-0 win against Citeh being their best result. They now languish in 18th position which raises the rhetorical question, if Arsenal found themselves in 18th position, would Arsene still be at the club? We will never know. We do know that after 11 games in the 2014/15 season Arsenal had just 18 points to their name and were closer to the bottom of the league than the top points-wise. In fact two years earlier, they only had 16 points to their name. Statistics are dangerous though, as we know due to the famous saying attributed to the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” If you look at the table now , you will see that Arsenal are as close to the second from bottom team on points as they are to the top team but no one is making a noise about it because we are 4th= in the table.
Onto the weekend’s game and it’s Swansea. Something of a bogey team for us at home having won 4, drawn 1 and lost 4 since September 2011. However I believe this weekend will not be a negative result. We will probably put out the same team as we did last weekend and I don’t see Swansea worrying us too much at home. Swansea have the same number of points as Everton but their goal difference is better by seven goals which puts them three place above them. There’s really not too much to say about The Swans. They struggled last season and only just managed to stave off relegation. They haven’t brought in too many players but the talk of their transfer season was Renato Sanches who they acquired on a season long loan from Bayern Munich. They also managed to bring Wilfried Bony back from Manchester City but have lost Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton. All in all, not too much to worry about. We won this corresponding match last season 3-2, which seems a bit tight, however we have the quality to put this game away before half time (a bit like the Everton game except there were a few goals missing – if you know what I mean!!)
We’re now into our ninth week of ArsenalSA Fantasy League and SuperBru. Ebrahim Moolla has squeaked ahead to the top of the league by one point from Nicholas da Silva with Yusuf H falling back to third. But it looks like a three horse race with the same faces being reported on every week in the FPL. At least there are three new faces at the top of the Superbru league. The top of the respective tables look as follows:
Fantasy Premier League
We are all Besiktas Ebrahim Moolla 363
LALLANAS IN PYJAMAS Nicholas da Silva 380
Welbz FC Yusuf H 390
Special mention goes to Sibongumusa Shongwe’s Bafan’Abafuni FC who cleared the three digit mark with a week high score of 101, great stuff. Our first centurion!!
MAC 10 71,50
Highest points for the week goes to tphato who moved up 9 places to 2nd with a well scored 13,75 points.
Saturday’s game is at 4pm and as I said, we’ll be trying out that new HD projector so what better reason than to c’mon down to the Brazenhead and have yourselves some fun! And by the way, that third thing did happen…. I went to bed sometime in the second half when we were 1-0 down to Norwich but magic Eddie came to the rescue with two goals thus allowing our second string some extra game time this season!