Wednesday, February 28, 2024

On this day: Handshakes, goats, and multiple arses

This feels like a very Interlull morning. It’s grey and raining outside, and there’s no Arsenal news. It leaves with me with no choice than to go back through the archives and see what was happening on this day in years gone by.

September 22nd 2003

Reporting on an uneventful 0-0 draw at Old Trafford the day before …

Moments later there was a high ball, Ruud van Nistelrooy jumped in the air, kicked Vieira in the chest, landed on Paddy’s back and when he landed the Arsenal captain made a half-kicking motion towards the Dutchman who jumped backwards as if there were rabid dogs trying to bite his bollocks off. Watching on Sky they showed how the referee would have seen it, and from there it looked worse than it was. Vieira never made contact with Ruud, but I presume he got his 2nd yellow for intent. After the game Arsene Wenger was interviewed about van Nistelrooy and basically called him a diver and a cheat.

Fun times! And let’s not forget we face Ruud van Nistelrooy’s PSV side in the Europa League this season. In a team full of players to dislike, with faces like Gary and Phil Neville, the Dutchman was always very close to the top for me. I love how, in latter years, we found out how obsessed he was with Thierry Henry and how many goals he scored.

More than you, pal.

September 22nd 2004

Real Madrid are reportedly after Arsene Wenger.

From the mount spoke the herald to respond to tidings of Castilian cravings for Arsene Wenger. Reverend Peter Hill-Wood said unto the Standard “I am absolutely certain that Arsene will stay at Arsenal. I cannot believe he would go there and Madrid can fornicate with the goat of Zebedee’s third wife.”


September 22nd 2007

We hear from new shareholder Alisher Usmanov as Red and White Holdings increase their stake in the club …

Alisher Usmanov revealed yesterday his intention to buy a ‘blocking stake’ in Arsenal. He said:

I want to be in a position that will allow me a blocking stake. I will then wait for it to go up in value.

So, what we’ve got on our hands is, at best, an aggressive speculator, at worst somebody who will make life as difficult as possible for the people who run the club at the moment.

Yesterday on Reuters: Germany raids Russian oligarch’s properties in money-laundering probe


September 22nd 2010

The night before, Arsenal beat Sp*rs 4-1 in the League Cup, Jack Wilshere playing a major part in that with a scintillating performance despite them trying to kick him off the pitch. Sadly, a recurring theme with how teams would try and deal with Jack in the years to come.

The blog ended with this pithy observation:

We saw what football was all about last night, what it is that brings us all together, what it is that makes this game so great – seeing little children with cocks on their shirt crying.

And who can argue with that?

September 22nd 2011

Times are tough, the start to the season has been difficult, and there’s a lot of online scrutiny of Johann Djourou. It wasn’t long before this that he was being lauded as a key part of the Arsenal defence but, like the team, he’s struggling and drawing plenty of ire.

I attempt to find some middle-ground.

I don’t like what’s happening at the club at the moment, the run of form we’re on pains me, as I’m sure it pains you, and the idea that we should ignore that and blindly accept the team’s failings is surely of no benefit to anyone. At the same time though, maybe a little more reason needs to be applied along the way when discussing players and their foibles.

It can’t all be negative, all the time. Otherwise you’ll get an ulcer. And ulcer might burst and the acid will eat through your stomach and burn you another hole. Nobody needs two arses, and I think, muddled as it is, that’s a lesson we could all do with learning.

I suspect, given how some of the subsequent years went, we might have a few fans who are known – in their doctors offices at least – as Johnny Five Arse.

September 22nd 2013

Arsenal are about to play Stoke, who sacked long-time enemy Tony Pulis and now have Mark Hughes in charge. The Aaron Ramsey stuff is front and centre again, and to be fair to Hughes, he speaks well of his fellow Welshman, but the enmity between the two sets of fans continues.

It’s always a spicy affair and even the change of manager plays into that:

Hughes and Wenger have their own history, of course, after Hughes was really, really, really upset that Arsene committed the war-crime-level sin of having not shaken Hughes’ hand once.

I do miss petty nonsense like that. If I recall correctly, the reason Arsene refused to shake his hand is because Hughes and his assistant spent the entire 90 minutes abusing him from their technical area. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to base your actions on that, and not some post-game convention which says that regardless of what happens, a handshake makes it all better.

Of course all the headlines and pundit outrage are about the disrespect of not shaking hands and not the 90 minutes of vitriol, but isn’t that always the way? Sort of like people getting mad at a talented 15 year old playing a few minutes at end of a comprehensive win or something.

Plus ça change, and all that.

That’s it. Have a good one. Back tomorrow with a brand new Arsecast.

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