Its’ a bit cliché, but being an Arsenal fan isn’t half an up and down adventure. Supporters of every club claim to be on a rollercoaster ride during the season, but we’ve really seen a mass fluctuation in mood, performances and results over the past couple of weeks.
Protests, drubbings, a derby win, disappointing draws, commendable draws, transfer rumours etc etc. They’ve all been present over the past fortnight or so since I last wrote. This time two weeks ago, we had just beaten Spurs at White Hart Lane having avoided defeat at Bayern Munich and advanced past Everton into the semi-finals of the FA Cup during the previous week.
Since then, Arsene Wenger’s 1000th game was an embarrassment, we shot ourselves in the foot against Swansea, but then held free-scoring and title favourites Manchester City with a decent display at the Emirates.
I can’t help but imagine that this is what it feels like to be a teen girl on your period. Emotions all over the shop.
We’re still in the Premier League title race by a thread, but I’d be more concerned by the fact that we still haven’t guaranteed our place in the top four yet.
Loads to talk about, so let’s get to it.
Gunners Town Top 5: Talking Points of the Week
Right, let’s get the gossip out of the way.
I have no idea about this transfer, and nobody from a good position or close to the club has told me anything about the bloke.
Lothar Matthaus, the Germany legend, is certain that Arsenal have all but signed Josip Drmic, the Nuremberg striker. Matthaus claims that he’ll head to the Emirates in the summer for around £8m and that his wife is looking for a place in London.
“Arsenal are believed to be interested in Drmic,” Matthaus told Sky Germany. “I know for a fact that his wife is looking for a flat in London. “I assume that Drmic will finish the season with Nuremberg hopefully successful and Nuremberg will sell him afterwards with a good profit – in this case to Arsenal.”
However, Drmic has since had this to say.
“At the moment I am single and there is no one house hunting in London,” said Drmic. “What will happen in the future, I don’t know. Any boy dreams about playing for Arsenal.”
Someone is telling porky pies here, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it was either of them.
Matthaus has responded to Drmic’s quotes insisting that the player is playing it safe in the media, and he knows for a fact that his partner is house hunting. Either way, Drmic has shown that he would be willing to move to Arsenal, given his remarks.
From what I’ve seen of him (which isn’t much), he appears to be able to time a run in behind well (God have we needed that this year), has two good feet on him, great control, and composure in the penalty area.
Have a gander at the video below and instantly become an “expert” on the bloke. Then play a game on FIFA and realise that his rating isn’t above 80 (probably) and dismiss wanting him as he’s “not good enough.”
The boy is 21 and has netted 16 times this season, including five goals in his last four games. Given that we only play one striker in our current formation, I wouldn’t be shocked if Wenger only brought in one up top this summer, as opposed to the heavily-desired two attacking purchases.
Nicklas Bendtner leaving could change that, but you have to wonder whether that will open up space for Chuba Akpom to come through. Yaya Sanogo and Olivier Giroud are also there too.
Anyway, just passing on the rumour, anybody got any idea as to whether he’ll be any good for us or not?
If you’re going to protest, do it right
To quote the Miz; Really? Really? Really? A bedsheet? A fucking bedsheet. This protest for Arsene Wenger to go, or for Stan Kroenke to go or whatever is a joke.
There will always be a WKB v WOB war, and that’s fine by me. There will always be plenty of fans in between, myself included, who know that Wenger isn’t perfect and has his bad points, but is still a fantastic, top class football manager.
In fact, he’s more than a “specialist in failure”, he’s a specialist in areas that most football managers don’t even know exist or have to worry about. But hey, a lot of fans don’t give a shit about that, and would rather he put the club in debt in order to taste some silverware – which would still fail to please a lot of people anyway.
Football is a very fickle sport, and fans quite easily forget the trophies and accolades that Wenger has achieved with us.
That’s one thing, but to turn up outside the country’s finest footballing arena, that we wouldn’t have the pleasure of living in if it wasn’t for the long-term vision of Wenger, on the day of a crucial match against a title-challenging outfit such as Manchester City and whack out a bedsheet telling Wenger to “Fuck off” is just downright disgusting behaviour.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and if you want Wenger out, I have no problem with that. But going about it in that manner is just disrespectful, and makes Arsenal supporters out to be a laughing stock to other fans.
The protest itself looked as if it went to shit, and I’m happy with that, because it was an embarrassment.
Final fixtures and Everton D-Day
The season continues to wind down, and below are the fixtures left to play for the current top five in the Premier League.
Due to one reason or another, our clash with Everton on Sunday is huge. We know how good they can be. They were brilliant against us in December when they took a point from the Emirates in the league encounter, and the 4-1 scoreline flattered us when we progressed to the last four of the FA Cup at their expense a few weeks ago.
Everton, albeit with a number of loanees and a couple of absentees, have now won five in a row after beating Fulham at Craven Cottage yesterday, and are still in with a serious shout of snatching fourth from us, especially as they have a game in hand.
A draw at Goodison wouldn’t be too bad a result for us this weekend. Yes they have an extra game to play, but it would mean that we remain four points clear of them come next week. Throw in the fact that Everton still have to face both Manchester clubs as well as travelling to Southampton before the season is up, and you would fancy us to hold firm a spot in the top four.
Once we get this weekend out of the way, our run-in is pretty easy. Not simple though, nothing is ever simple when you support Arsenal, especially the way the Premier League has been this year.
But, in a nutshell, I think we’ll be fine.
I’m throwing this one over to you because I’ve been so back and forth on this ultimatum, if you will, and keep changing my mind.
I’ve heard a lot of people discuss this: Pundits, Tweeters, Journalists etc.
FA Cup or Champions League qualification. You can only have one, which is it?
We badly need silverware, and to get that monkey off of our back. But I can’t help but move towards a top-four finish over the Cup.
I love the FA Cup, and it would be amazing to win it. Players and fans always look back on fond times playing/supporting their club and remember these days very warmly.
However, the fact that the Premier League is so open at the top right now, and everyone is going to be fighting for players during a World Cup summer, I feel like we NEED to be in the Champions League next season in order to lure top talent to the club and in order to progress.
Of course, and it’s far from unlikely, we could have both. Fourth place and FA Cup winners isn’t a ridiculous prediction. But just for the sake of interest, have a vote in the poll below and let Gunners Town know which you would prefer. Leave a comment giving your reasons too.
Today marks the 13th anniversary of the passing of David Rocastle.
A million different things will and have been written about the man today, so I will spare you my tribute.
However, I can’t help but feel like Rocky would have been superb in the Wenger era. Above all else, people remember him as a true gentleman, a humble and very commendable guy.
If you’re lost when it comes to working out his style of play, this quote from David Dein will go a long way in helping you out.
“I first saw David Rocastle play in 1983 for the youth team. I remember coming home excitedly from the match and telling my family, ‘I’ve just watched the nearest thing to a Brazilian footballer you are ever likely to see – and he comes from Lewisham.’ – David Dein on Rocky Rocastle.
He deserved so much more from his career, but tragically, it wasn’t to be. Yet, he was a graduate of our academy, a fan favourite and a two-time league winner with us.
Here’s to you Rocky. Gone, but NEVER forgotten.
Oh Rocky, Rocky…
That’s all from me this week, please leave your feedback and vote on the poll.
You can follow me on Twitter, where I do love a chinwag with fellow Arsenal fans.
Never forget you’re a Gooner.
Matt has been the editor of the site since June 2012 and was born into a Gooner family 21 years ago. He recently graduated from Southampton Solent University with a degree in Sports Journalism and strives to work in the Sports Media industry. As well as currently working as a reporter for Sports Mole and TIBS News, Matt has been providing football commentary for the visually impaired since 2008 at Arsenal, Exeter City and Wembley.
His earliest Gunners memory is watching the ‘Boring, boring Arsenal’ VHS as a six-year-old on repeat, to the extent where he could recite most of the commentary from that season. Matt was lucky enough to witness Arsenal lift the Premier League in 2002 as well as being present during the last match at Highbury in 2006, and at Dennis Bergkamp’s testimonial a few months later at the Emirates Stadium. Matt’s favourite players include Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Tony Adams, with the 5-3 comeback victory against Middlesbrough in 2004 the best match he has ever spectated.
Matt is an optimistic ’In Wenger we trust’, kind of guy and believes that the glory days are not too far away…
Apart from his editorial duties, Matt will also be bringing his Arsenal knowledge to a column called “Where Are They Now?” – which focuses on former Gunners.