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Three points in the bag + Big news on the ownership front

April 10, 2011

Just as I thought I would sit down and write a nice match report, here comes the damn Yank with all his money and spoils the plan. Despite all the legends surrounding the life of a sports blogger which would make you believe it’s all jet-set, caviar, champagne and other stuff I prefer not to mention, it’s harder than it looks! But hey, I can’t really complain, could be much worse, like nothing to write about or doing a post mortem after a less favourable result, eh? As they say, there is no harm in excess and I feel that my readers can’t be let down by yours truly, so let’s get cracking!

I gotta say phew, we made it look like hard work! Those who watched the game will know the scoreline does not tell the whole story – just to start, let me tell you that if the bookies took bets on Arsenal lineups and if I was a gambling man, I would probably be stinking rich by now. It’s only the inclusion of Lehmann as a result of another mysterious injury sustained by Almunia that would put a spanner in my works on this occasion, you know? And before anyone asks, I categorically deny possession of the Grays Sports Almanac issued some time in the future, as I would definitely be a ‘gambling’ man and could probably afford to buy our club with the lunch money. Not to mention that my yesterday’s preview would contain a set of prophecies about Diaby getting the first goal and Zinedine Eboue scoring an absolute cracker of a second and the comments section would be full of suggestions for me to seek professional help, just for me to have the last laugh! I mean, to continue on the gambling subject what were the odds of that happening? Walking past the bookies offices during the day, the adverts mentioned Nasri, Robin, but these two? Fair play to them, especially the latter goal cheered up the travelling support and I thought that we were well and truly on our way after a bit of a shaky start.

But we just don’t do the things the easy way, do we? We had a few more situations to score, most notably when Nasri hit the post with the keeper beaten after hitting the ball in clever fashion. Robin also had a chance to increase the damage earlier after hitting the ball straight at the keeper, but to be fair it was not the easiest of chances. In the latter situation, the peach of a long, pin-point pass from Cesc, who played his 300th (yes, that’s three hundred you see there) game for the club deserved to be an assist. He was also in the right place to clear the ball off the line with Mad Jens in a bit of trouble just before the final whistle.

The start of the second half looked a bit like the beginning of the first period with the only difference being the goal they managed to pull back after seven minutes. Oh shit, here we go again, I thought and probably so did you! A bit later on Koscielny tackled the opposition player in the box, my heart skipped a beat and quite rightly so, as it looked like a stonewall penalty. Lee Mason must have either not seen it or might still be consumed by the feeling of guilt with regards to allowing that Saha goal when we played Toffees at home and he was miles offside. You would think we would have run out of the ref credit by then, but when Koscielny barged a player in the box sometime later, the whistle stayed silent as well. Say what you want, I’ve seen them given! Maybe he thought football was a man’s game, as when Wilshere was a victim of a similar, albeit much stronger barge earlier on, he did not bring BFC player to order either, which resulted in Jack the Lad being kicked left, right and centre. Given that he is the biggest hope of England playing nice flowing footy in the coming years, that’s a tad unpatriotic if you ask me, but there you go.

Enough said, we have finally put the game to bed in the 75th minute when Theo broke free and squared the ball to RvP for the mother of all easy finishes. 1:3, thank you very much! Since there was not a lot to write home about afterwards, it was not quite the broadside I was talking about yesterday, but a win and three points are not to be sniffed at and I would be daft to think otherwise. I don’t even want to begin to think about the consequences if we did not get the result ahead of the next week’s clash with Liverpool next week. Emirates can be a very cold and unforgiving place and tens of thousands of thumbs pointing downwards can knock the stuffing out of any gladiator. Now, I don’t need to tell you that it would be the last thing we would need, do I?

Moving  on to the next subject: without a shadow of doubt, the Gooner universe has been rocked by the news of the imminent takeover by the largest shareholder, Mr Stan Kroenke, who appears to be set to acquire the shares held by Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina, taking the percentage of the club owned past 60 per cent. Breaking news indeed.

Blunt object or Stanley knife?

He is not a man of many words, hence the ‘Silent Stan’ moniker, so it is difficult to fathom what that means for the club, small shareholders and – last, but not least – the most important people, which is you and me. It’s getting a bit late, I need to do a few other things, so for the time being I suggest you read the brilliant piece from The Swiss Ramble to get the idea on what kind of man he is. Rest assured that I will come back to you with my take on the subject as soon as I get my head around it a bit more.

The sudden nature of the takeover suggests that Danny Fiszman may not be in the best of shapes, so please spare a thought for him as one of the men behind the club being where it is, if not out of the common human decency. All the best, Sir!

P.S. The goals and other videos linked in the article are courtesy of Arsenalist, which is the best place on the web to get the highlights from the Arsenal games. I have now included the link to this site in the side panel and you may want to check it out whenever you happen to miss a game or just relive a moment or two – enjoy!

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