doubters woz 'ere

Posted by as | 8/26/2005 | , | 3 comments »

Yep, it's good to be back.

So, in a quick recap of a very boring summer (roll on next summer's World Cup) the Arse have gone and sold their skipper Paddy to those pesky Juve's. So bleedin' what? Like I mentioned before, the first whiff of transfer talk and I was quite prepared to fork out for a one-way ticket. The speed at which the whole business was conducted meant I didn't even have time to sell my Manure shares to finance a flight to sunny parts of the Med...only kidding about the Manure shares...

Anyway, a new season is already under way. The Arse have managed to lose twice to Frogba already, and Senderos has been banished to obscurity for a while...but way to go Pascal, none of us, and I mean none of us, thought you had it in you. 2 goals in the same game? Had to rub my eyes upon reading that onscreen.

The doubters had begun to congregate after Sunday's defeat to Chelski and Frogba's big girlie shinpad but for chrissake, you have to give the boys a chance. They will deliver again this season, probably not in the Champions League, despite today's kind draw, but they won't suddenly drop to mid-table. It just ain't in their Franco-Espagne genes.

Last night's victory over Fulham has banished a few of those doubters to the hills, but another couple of poor performances and they'll be back. The feckers. All I have to say to them is: think back to the period 1982-83 to 1987-88. Now let's take a look at our final league positions for those seasons: 10th, 6th, 7th, 7th, 4th, and 6th. Yes, one top five finish in 6 seasons. Pretty hopeless. Now say Thank You Arsene, Thierry et al, and leave them to get on with it.

Thank you for listening.

closed 'til august

Posted by as | 6/11/2005 | | 6 comments »

A sterling fightback by Israel against Ireland, eh? But that's it for now, no more footie, just ongoing transfer sagas that look likely to bore the pants off...

So, as the close season strenthens it grip on the summer, liam brady and both his shinpads are taking the summer off. Until August I'm sure I'm going to be kept extra busy, so if you know where to look, go and see what an anglosaxy gooner in Israel is up to...

on yer bike

Posted by as | 6/04/2005 | , | 1 comments »

Let the fecker go. He's been a great player, 'one of ours', but if he's going to contest this fine and legality of this week's outcome, it's time for all gooners to bid a fond farewell.

Tonight it's Ireland v Israel in the World Cup qualifiers. Come on Israel!

oh robert

Posted by as | 6/01/2005 | | 2 comments »

Dreamt about Robert Pires last night. Nope, it didn't involve his luscious long locks, or his girlie hair band, but it did involve an amazing game against Manure. In one particular moment of glory he tore down the left wing, utterly humiliating the Neviller before cutting back across the goal. After shimmying past what seemed like 10 players, he sheered towards the right of the goal before unleashing an amazing shot. That didn't go in. The commentators (in English, not Hebrew) collectively sighed with disappointment...

Does this dream signify something? Perhaps we've seen the last of the best of le Bob?
I have a feeling that a new signing whom might just oust le Bob is on his way, and I have a hunch it could be a certain geezer from Madrid...and I'm not talking about Golden Balls...

eh? it be raining...

Posted by as | 5/30/2005 | | 3 comments »

Just as I thought it would be time to get myself down to the beach again with ye olde surfboard, it goes and rains. WTF? It's almost June and that hardly ever happens in this neck of the woods. Could that bloke up in the sky with the big, white robe and even bigger white beard be shedding some tears over Manure's oncoming demise? Next year they'll need a trophy, otherwise they'll be forced to wear potato sacks (though cut elegantly at the sleeves).

Meanwhile, the all-conquering Israel national team have turned into temporary Essex-boys, what with their stay in Colchester while they prepare for the World Cup qualifier with Ireland at the weekend. As the Irish will include Roy Keane, we all want Israel to win, don't we? And with the season well and truly over, how hard is it to get motivated for this game?

liam brady fact file #4

Posted by as | 5/28/2005 | | 2 comments »

Could be a few of these postings as the close season drags on...

Chippy joined Arsenal as a 15-year-old apprentice in June 1971. He turned professional two years later, following in the footsteps of his older brothers Pat (who played for Millwall) and Ray (QPR). His debut was against Birmingham in 1973, where, by all accounts, he stole the show after coming on as a sub.

scouse me

Posted by as | 5/26/2005 | | 1 comments »

Fuck me! What a game!

Hats off to the Scousers for pulling off an amazing comeback. Obviously I'm not a fan of those Northern gits, but that was one of those games where you just sit there and mouth "Fuck me..." repeatedly...that blinding 15 minute spell that destroyed Milan physically and mentally was like something out of Roy of the Rovers!

OK, so I fell asleep during extra-time (it had been a long day, with visits to two law courts in Herzliya and Ramat Gan - don't ask - and a new English student) and when I woke up I saw wee Stevie lifting the trophy, felt almost dream-like, only the ring of my telephone shook me back into reality.

Though Sky News' opening sentence of its 6am broadcast: "Everybody wants to be a Scouser this morning..." may have been going overboard just a wee smidgeon...

In other breaking news, the FBI have raided Michael Jackson's house: They found class A drugs in his kitchen, Class B drugs in his living room and Class 5C in his bedroom.

doing an arsenal

Posted by as | 5/25/2005 | | 5 comments »

Champions League final tonight and I fully expect Liverpool to do an Arsenal (at least an FA Cup final Arsenal) and play their defensive asses off. If you look at it, they have absolutely nothing to lose and could play an exciting, attacking format, much like they did in that first half against Juventus...BUT, with the big prize so near, you couldn't blame them if they shut up shop for 90 minutes, even 120...

Wouldn't half mind being in Liverpool supporters' shoes today, though tomorrow morning, even with the trophy in their hands, they'll be more than welcome to their boring team...

So, for one night only, we might actually be cheering on the Scouse gits, just a little...and tinged with a tad of envy, perhaps...

i'm so lonely...

Posted by as | 5/24/2005 | | 0 comments »

...sitting in my corridor-land seat at 8am...unbelievable. These 6 o'clock wake-up calls are killing me...

Well, it's been a long, hard season, punctured by an end of the season move to smallsville, the town that everybody loves to hate. After last night's marathon "Battle of the Bands" session, where 14 year old kids rapped the whole town to sleep, I'm beginning to see the reasons for the hatred...the noisy little bastards.

As for Arsenal's season, it ended on a high on Saturday but had promised so much more back in August. OK, so a new record was set for games unbeaten, but from the moment that run was broken (by Manure back in October), it took a good few months until the Arsenal of old appeared. In that time 'off', Chelski managed to build up a good head of steam and that was that.

I'm very pleased that some of the youngsters have come through, especially Senderos and Fabregas, but it will take a good signing or two to convince me that Arsenal might actually be able to get somewhere in the Champions League next season. Let's face it, this is the real prize we'd all love to see Arsenal catch, or at least get damned close to. And if Paddy talks the talk again about how much we really want it, he can walk the walk, all the way to the airport...He's starting to wind me up. How about Senderos as apprentice skipper next season?

More mindless observations to come during another boring summer...

the signs are there

Posted by as | 5/23/2005 | | 1 comments »

Aaah, the huge 'For Rent' sign stuck up yesterday kind of confirms that corridor-land is moving on to greener pastures. Nice, shiny offices await but you don't want to hear about that...Quite who would be willing to rent this shit-hole is beyond me, what with it's recent metamorphosis into a full-on building site. Just a shame it didn't happen 3-4 years ago, because I might have actually cared then...

Arsene looks like he's booked a job for life, which is kinda nice. He has transformed the team since his arrival, without a doubt, and deserves some kind of future role at the club. Seems far-fetched at the moment, but will there ever come a day when we'll actually want him to go?

she's ours!

Posted by as | 5/22/2005 | , | 2 comments »

Third time in four years...

OK, so yesterday's Cup Final wasn't the classic that we were all hoping for, but the game did have its moments. Rooney was hot the entire game and I was sure he was going to hit a beauty into the roof of Lehmann's net every time he got the ball, the stocky little bastard. Thank Christ Jens put in a great performance, he was the only Arsenal player who really shone. Manure totally outplayed us, as can be seen from the game stats, but it ain't never over until it's over...

The first final to ever to go to penalties, so the record-breakers that are Arsenal continue setting records, of sorts...it's a cruel way to end a game, but probably better than starting all over again in a replay. Scholes is probably feeling a little sore after having his penalty saved, but who cares??

Best moments of all:

Ljunberg's reflex header off the line, unbelievable...

AND seeing Fergie wince the moment he knew we'd won the Cup. Time to retire mate...

cup final eve

Posted by as | 5/20/2005 | | 5 comments »

The steaks are in the freezer, the kebabs and drumsticks raring to go. K, A, S, R, M, I, R, L, L, and O are ironing their Sunday bests and starving themselves in anticipation of a food fest. Pity they don't know it's one kebab per person and half a drumstick per couple. The beers will be a-plenty though...

Come on you GOOOONERS!!!!

sunderland8

Posted by as | 5/19/2005 | | 3 comments »

...that's my new password. My computer in corridor land died yesterday, so the hard disk has been replaced and all my files backed up into a corner. And, in true Cup Final spirit, the password has been updated to reflect one of the finest moments in Cup Final history, when Alan Sunderland snuck in at the far post to bring Arsenal some glory. I quite fancy more of the same this year, but with JA Reyes doing the honours.

And if you're in a shopping centre somewhere in Liverpool in the next few weeks, watch out for the blinding English delivered your way by some Israeli youngsters pushing sales of Dead Sea mineral packs...I be fixing their old pitch to passing potential customers - oh yeah, it sure needs fixing as it was written by a local. If you're tempted to buy, just act like you're not interested and it's too expensive and they'll be quick to knock down the price, trust me, I've seen the pitch...somebody is coining it, believe me...

reshuffle 'em

Posted by as | 5/18/2005 | | 13 comments »

OK, so Thierry is out of the Cup Final, after unselfishly declaring that he's not fit enough. Bit of a blow, but I'm actually not that worried, especially after the last few games without him (re: 7-0 against Everton, well, at least the first half). Let's reshuffle that frontline a little...it also gives a chance for some of the others to shine and prove their worth, especially Reyes and Van Persie. With Reyes still looking a bit doubtful, could it be an all Dutch frontline (Dennis and VP)? My only issue is I think that Van Persie is still a liability in hi-tension situations, and I can see Keane and co landing a few late tackles to wind him up. Ten men against Manure, and minus Henry, won't be a picnic. So, let's hope it's Dennis and Jose to start.

My Cup Final turf has been laid and is looking all green and shiny. I recommend buying some shares in the national water company, what with all the water I'm lashing down on it...

fat boy

Posted by as | 5/17/2005 | | 2 comments »

After the visit of Mourinho to the Holy Land last month, yesterday saw the arrival of one of the world's greatest, and probably fattest, players, Ronaldo. Say what you like, the good intentions are there, and that ol' geezer Peres still knows how to pull a celeb over to these shores. And say what you like about the locals, they sure know how to scare any celeb's entourage into cancelling planned press conferences. Mmm, some might say that Israelis hold the copyright on encroaching (occupying, perhaps?) one's personal space...

I'm not sure what Ronaldo made of all the hysteria, though he's sure to pig into some comfort food, such as some locally produced pita and hummus, to forget all his troubles. Bless 'im. Don't forget to try the olives, fat-boy, very tasty, though if they offer you some Goldstar or Maccabee beer, politely refuse...

an alien feeling

Posted by as | 5/16/2005 | | 4 comments »

Relegation. Something that Arsenal have never experienced. Something that Crystal Palace fans are all too familiar with (4 times in the last 14 years). Something that Saints fans haven't had to worry about for 30 years but yesterday had to live the nightmare. I saw some shots of crying fans on the news and it was heartbreaking. Count yer blessings you gooners and Manure followers, I say. Hats off to West Brom though, they managed to squeeze through and survive, having been my own personal favourites to go down.

For the die-hard fans it must be so hard to take, what with the reality of next season's fixtures against Plymouth and Crewe hitting home...No more Manure, no more visits to Highbury, no more El-Hadji Diouf flobbing at you...

And a quick commiserations to Eastbourne Borough FC (despite their Manure-like black and red scarf), my local team, who failed to make it in the Conference play-off against Altrincham yesterday. The big time was just around the corner...

bbq countdown

Posted by as | 5/15/2005 | , | 3 comments »

6 days and counting...

The new BBQ grill has been set up, while the BBQ corner itself is a 'work in progress' but is almost there. The new turf is on its way on Tuesday morning, we'll probably have to turn on the sprinklers in time for the big match on Saturday. Beers have been purchased, a whole crate's worth. I can already feel the tension building up, but am feeling mighty confident, especially with the mess that has enveloped Manure the last few days...

I've already picked my Cup Final team, Arsene, so please take note:
Lehmann, Lauren, Senderos, Toure, Cole, Pires, Vieira, Edu, Fabregas, Henry, Van Persie.
Subs: Campbell, Ljunberg, Bergkamp, Reyes, Taylor.

malcolm vs. alex

Posted by as | 5/13/2005 | | 4 comments »

In a real Friday the 13th match-up, Sir Alex looks like he's going to have to go head-to-head with young Malcolm if he wants to stay in charge. I'm laughing my ass off at this news. I reckon another 2 years and we'll see Manure in the Championship alongside Leeds...

seven sent

Posted by as | 5/12/2005 | , | 2 comments »

Pure class. Arsenal destroyed Everton last night 7-0, one of the most sublime performances I've witnessed. Just a shame it came in the last home match of the season, and not immediately after the loss to Manure in October. The match was enjoyed at R and S's place, who were doing a little BBQ-ing to celebrate the eve of Israel's Independence Day, and fortunately R didn't need much convincing to order the game on Pay For View. He's probably getting it in the neck as we speak but I owe him one.

The accompanying steak was a little pink, but this was a red and white performance to savour, for more reasons than one. I was impressed by everyone playing, it was just one of those nights when everything gelled. Great to see Thierry make it back as well, looks like he'll be back in time for Manure next Saturday. Not that they really missed him these last few games, eh?

As for Dennis, I really believe he deserves a new contract, especially after last night's performance, but I have a feeling Arsene isn't going to offer him one. Wouldn't he have just revealed his thoughts last night if they had been positive for Dennis? Surely if a contract was on the table he would have said something like (avec French professor-like accent): "You can see why I want Dennis to play on for another year..." Is it me, or did Dennis look a little sad at the final whistle, almost like he knew this was his final moment in an Arsenal shirt? Perhaps he's already aware of the decision? The fans were shouting "One more year" but is it going to happen?

no more red and white

Posted by as | 5/11/2005 | , | 1 comments »

Sad times...

Tonight sees the last ever League game at Highbury with the lads adorned in the famous red and white. Historic moment. Next season, the last at Highbury, sees this new shirt, which I've mentioned before. Might just have to pay my respects and order the match on the ol' Pay For View.

And continuing in the paying respects department, Israel is in mourning mode at the moment with the sirens wailing some minutes ago to bring the country to a respectful standstill. Today it's Memorial Day for the soldiers that have fallen in Israel's short history. Then tomorrow, in a total reversal, it's time to celebrate Israel's Independence Day, a national holiday. I've already been threatened with some spray snow (you know, that stuff that streaks out in strings of foam) by one of my English students, so I'm going to get the hosepipe out and batten down the hatches. I'm barricading myself in and no fucker is going to get past the front door...the dog hasn't been fed for 3 days and is the first line of defence...

what a streakerstriker!

Posted by as | 5/10/2005 | | 0 comments »

Thierry Henry's new strike partner?

reality check

Posted by as | 5/09/2005 | , , | 0 comments »

...for Liverpool, who are no longer the 'best' team in Liverpool.

...for Manure/Sir Alex. Arsenal have surely done enough to wrap up the second spot and condemn Manure to struggle through the Champions League qualifiers this summer. Time to put the old goat out to pasture, I say.

...for Wigan supporters. Nice to see newbies make it to the big-time, but they must surely be odds-on favourites to make the drop. Wigan v Arsenal as a league fixture probably seemed a little optimistic 3 or 4 years ago...

...for moi. My first visit to the corridor of hell in 18 days. Kicked off with a 2-hour trek into the office thanks to horrendous traffic. My only solace was feeling Mrs. LBLS's bulging stomach and the accompanying kicks and body-flips by junior. Future free-kick taker I believe.

13 days and counting

Posted by as | 5/08/2005 | | 2 comments »

As the season draws to an end and Chelski parade their blood money trophy around Stamford Bridge, there's one more trophy up for grabs that seems to have escaped the attention of everyone in the past few days. Yep, the FA Cup final.

The big one, a glorious day out for all, typically bathed in untypically British sunshine. Me, I can't wait, as every game with Manure holds a special interest, and of late, always a moment of drama and bedlam. Let's hope that the game keeps that element of suspense and drama, though with perhaps a touch of the good-spirited Chelski-Arsenal games that have been played this season. So, Roy Keane, Gary Neville, and Ruud Van Horse, that means playing fair and square, without the usual follow through tackles and boots raked down shins...

In true Cup Final spirit, let me take you back to the 2003 winning line-up (1-0 over the soon to be relegated Southampton): Seaman (where is he today?), Lauren, Keown, Luzhny, Cole; Gilberto, Parlour, Ljungberg, Pires; Bergkamp (Wiltord 77), Henry. This game did of course see the introduction of the Cup Final BBQ, so rudely interrupted by Manure last year, but so relieved to be making a return in 13 more days...

scalp the scouse

Posted by as | 5/07/2005 | , | 0 comments »

Tomorrow evening sees Arsenal play Liverpool at Highbury. Hopefully the Pool will still be giddy from their European exploits and Arsenal will rip 'em to shreds. Then again, Gerrard the chav-looking git might just put in one of his commanding shows, as he usually seems to do against Arsenal...just none of those last minute wonder goals ta very much, Mr Gerrard...

I'm still working my ass off in the new place. Friday was digging up the pitch day, Sunday I should be relaying some new turf. Or maybe not. At least the neighbours are impressed, especially that blond from across the road. Must have been my sweaty brow...

second rate shirt

Posted by as | 5/05/2005 | | 0 comments »

Not alot of news at the moment on the Arsenal front, so, thanks to Arseblog, we can have a look at the new Arsenal kit for next season, the very last at Highbury before we go off to our shiny, new stadium.

Is this a wind-up? Doesn't this look like a Championship side's away kit? Will we be kicking off our first match in the new stadium against Crewe? No, we won't. We will hopefully be kicking off as champions once again, but in this shirt I doubt we'll be defending it successfully...

Ahh, good to be back in the civilized world. There was a moment when I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever make it back, but it all came good in the end (yesterday), telephone, Internet, cable, all correct and present. The new place is alot noisier than I thought, but we'll sort the neighbours out with the upcoming Cup Final BBQ.

Arsenal have been further cementing that gap with Manure to clinch an automatic spot for next year's Champions League. Only 3 matches to go and 4 points in front. Should be a given, but a tricky game against Liverpool should raise the heart rate for a few more days. As for the 'Pool, you have to take yer hat off to their tactical nous in putting out the mighty Chelski. Not the prettiest stuff ever, but still nice to see a British side in the Champs League final. Chelski and Milan would have been the dream final, but those fantasy footie matchups hardly ever happen, do they?

In between filling in holes, painting Irish green and ice-grey walls (no red and white unfortunately), and building a new garden, time is a little limited these next few days. But just worth a quick mention: Arsenal's win over Spurs last night, which still keeps the title out of Chelski's hands for another few days and further cements the 4-point gap with Manure.

And while we're at it, perhaps I should point you all in the direction of my favourite web page at the moment. Hint, hint. G - you don't have to go all the way to Highbury to get these...

liam brady fact file #3

Posted by as | 4/24/2005 | | 2 comments »

Liam was well liked in his seven years as a pro at Arsenal. He was voted the supporters' player of the year three times. In his finest year ('79), he was also voted PFA player of the year and Republic of Ireland player of the year.

Flashback: 12th May 1979, Liam Brady working his socks off and looking world-class against Manure in the FA Cup Final. Possibly his finest moment in an Arsenal shirt.

post-chelski

Posted by as | 4/22/2005 | , | 3 comments »

I was impressed by Arsenal's performance, especially in the first half when there were a few moments of pure domination. Vieira put in a sterling show - this was much more like it, just don't put us through all those summer shenanigans again Paddy and we might actually believe that you're happy playing in North London. Cesc was solid, what can you say about the kid, he's still only 17, Senderos solid too, though is getting rave reviews. Glad to see Manure completely lose the plot and give us a little breathing space in the challenge for the runners-up spot.

Meanwhile, over at the new smallsville stadium, the painters (me, myself and, er, I) have called a flash strike to protest at the lack of fluids currently available at the new abode. That is, until the fridge arrives next Thursday. Stacked full of green bottles with a beery texture. Just don't tell the neighbours, coz beer is strictly not kosher for the next week, thanks to Passover...

mr. big

Posted by as | 4/20/2005 | , | 0 comments »

Big game tonight against the Russian mob over at Chelski.
Big display expected from the likes of Vieira and Cole, just to prove they've still got it.
Big boxes all over my gaff with the upcoming move to bigsmallsville.
Big pile of work in my Inbox and one and a half more working days before we down tools and lock up shop for a week (due to the upcoming Pessach (Passover) holiday.
Big, huge Pessach work bonus of 150 shekels (about 18 quid, mmmm, where am I going to spend all that cash?).

fergie woz 'ere

Posted by as | 4/19/2005 | , | 2 comments »

Nope, I'm not going to give too much space to Fergie, but I came across this interesting fact yesterday: Fergie has 'previous' in Israel as a dirty, lunatic, red-nosed player. He broke the nose of their star, Mordechai Spiegler, in a Scotland game in Tel Aviv in 1967. Think that is reason enough for all Israelis to stop even thinking of supporting his side. Right, G?

time for a barbie

Posted by as | 4/18/2005 | , | 6 comments »

So, a cracking final awaits on May 21, the final everybody would prefer to see, unless you have a voodoo doll in an Arsenal or Manure strip and regularly stick pins in it...

Anyway, the BBQ is getting polished as we speak. G, bring the tissues, you Manure cry-baby! Don't worry, you will be crying when the Arse have finished with your pathetic rabble...Should be a great game with loads of yellow cards, Fergie rants and raves on the touchline and a kicking for Ruud van Horsey...

Ashley still can't commit to next season, eh? Pack your bags mate. Even though this might be contract 'negotiations', this smells mighty nasty to me. If Gael Clichy was fit, it would have been interesting to see if Arsene stuck with Ashley for the Chelski game on Wednesday.

Saw Alex Manninger in action yesterday (well, for 5 minutes) for Sienna...brought back some nice memories of the '98 season, especially when he leapt cat-like to claim a cross. That's the first time I've actually seen him play since he left Arsenal. Still looks like a little kid though.

feckin' satellite

Posted by as | 4/17/2005 | , | 3 comments »

So I didn't catch the game live after all. Once again I tried Leo's, but the promised screening, as declared by their website, failed to materialise because of technical problems (the satellite hadn't yet been launched). They're blowing their chances, one after one, of getting this gooner back...

In the end I ended up with M and Mrs. LBLS down by the Med, drinking a couple of Tuborgs and wiping our plates of humus clean with pita bread. M's response to my invite "Do you fancy coming down to the beach for a beer or two?" sums up the average Israeli perfectly. His response: "Isn't it too cold to sit on the beach?" came while the sun was in beating down mode at 24 degrees. Freezing mate, bloody freezing.

On returning home, I was feeling a little pessimistic but a quick check on the Internet soon put a smile on my face. A nice 3-0 win with two great goals from a bloodied Van Persie. I'm going to try and watch the repeat of the match some time today. Apparently the Sports channel over here couldn't show the game live so have shown a recording of it at least 4 times already. Of course, the other semi-final will be shown live. Feckers.

liam brady fact file #2

Posted by as | 4/15/2005 | | 2 comments »

Liam Brady's nickname, "Chippy", came about because of his love of chips (of the fish'n'chips variety) and not because of his classic chips over the 'keeper. I didn't realise this until very recently. Doh. Nice healthy diets in those days. Today he'd probably be fined if he was caught down the chippy...

[Flashback] And there I go (without the Liam Brady hair), shimmying past Dalglish and delicately chipping over Shilton or Clemence in the park, before launching off on one of my "Chippy" celebratory runs...yesssss!

Sword has been sheathed. Liverpool actually made it through to the semi-finals of the Champions League, after quite a solid defensive performance. But then, if Juventus had turned up for the game, it might have been a different story. Just makes you wonder what might have been with Arsenal, because they are undoubtedly the better side, no contest. I guess this is what mere mortals feel like...the bitter pang of jealousy never mixes well with humility.

Anyway, that means an all English semi-final of Chelski and the 'Pool. So a guaranteed English finalist. Nice one. Though who I'll be rooting for remains to be seen. I have to confess to cheering on Manure when they won in 1999 (just don't tell anyone), though this year I really have no preference. On purely footballing terms it would be great to see a Chelski-Milan final, because they are the best 2 sides in Europe this year. PSV-Liverpool would be pretty depressing...

Us Gooners have to console ourselves with the FA Cup, and this weekend's semi-final. I'll force myself to have a Tuborg or three while we romp to our 17th final. Or maybe just cry into my pillow at what might have been this season...

steaming

Posted by as | 4/13/2005 | , | 4 comments »

Steaming hot in Tel Aviv at the moment. Event Mrs. LBLS switched on the air-conditioner last night, that has to be a first...

Over in steaming hot Blighty, Arsenal are building up to their semi-final on Saturday, which will be live on TV over here. Should be an interesting game, but Arsenal really should win. This is their 7th semi-final in 8 years, not too shabby, eh? It does look like an Arsenal v Manure final, and let's face it, this is the neutral's preferred match-up. Who'd really pay to see a Blackburn v Newcastle final, except for the hard-core? And G, mark your calendar, Saturday 21 May will be a day to stock up on some tissues (to mop up those tears, if you still support Manure then...).

Tonight off to see some friends with their cold, wet Tuborgs, to see Liverpool put to the sword...though you have to feel sympathy for the scousers having to face some of those Italian fans and their fancy fireworks. A ban for last night's Italian Guy Fawkes impersonators? Yeh right.

peacemaker

Posted by as | 4/11/2005 | , | 2 comments »

Mourinho is still making news here in Israel, what with his willingness to assist in joint Palestinian/Israeli soccer schools, that are apparently soon to be setup. I see that as well as receiving soccer coaching, the kids will get help with their homework. Mmm, does that mean we'll be seeing the next generation of Israeli players diving for glory as they make innocuous gestures...?

a timely reminder

Posted by as | 4/10/2005 | , , | 1 comments »

Just as Arsene goes and tells Bob Pires that he'll only be offered a one year extension to his current contract (because he's OLD), who goes and grabs the winner for Arsenal against Middlesborough yesterday?

Mmm, I smell a summer of contract wrangling coming on, what with Bob, Dennis Bergkamp and the inevitable media circus contemplating whether Paddy Vieira will join Real Madrid or not. I say Dennis deserves another year, he's put in some decent performances, and, he is still class. Bob Pires has had better seasons, perhaps Arsene is beginning to doubt his legs? And as for Paddy, if I hear just one story about his possible move to Real, I will personally buy his plane ticket to Madrid.

Norwich shocked Manure 2-0 yesterday, which gives Arsenal a nice little cushion now. They'll need it, I reckon, what with games against Chelski, Spurs (*spit*) and Liverpool coming up. Should be an interesting end to the season. Spanish session tonight, with the Barcelona v Real Madrid game live on TV. I'll bet Paddy will be watching...

As it seems to be the season, perhaps I need to renegogiate my Corridor Inc. contract? A new computer, a window that opens and a mini-bar would be luverly, thanks. There is a rumour that we are heading for brand new offices, complete with working toilets and *gasp* windows that open, but I have my doubts, especially after seeing the first quarterly results of 2005. And still in contract mode, our hole has now been rented out to a nice couple from Gangsterville (a town in Israel renowned for its charming tenants), while we are heading out of Tel Aviv to Smallsville. Mugs, they are paying more for our 50m place than we are paying for a 160m pad...

OK, so often the two don't mix. I won't reveal how many times I've been forced out of the house or been forced to 'lose' the remote. And no more bewildered gazes in response to the question: "Who is that guy in the black and why is nobody passing the ball to him...?"

But when they do get along, the results can be very rewarding.*

*Nod to All Quiet in the East Stand.

As John Terry so eloquently put it last night, "there's taking the mickey and there's taking the mickey...". So who the feck was that on the Chelsea bench in the hat, pulled down over his ears? Not trying to hide something were we, such as a small earpiece? Did you see any others on the bench with a hat on? Did that UEFA ban on Mourinho really make any difference?

Great game, though. Lampard was a diamond, has to be said.

1989...

There's probably a few of you out there who remember a certain side who used to absolutely dominate English football in the 1980's. You might even say they dominated Europe to a certain extent, what with 4 European Cup wins between 77-84. That's right, those scouse gits, Liverpool...*spits*. Hard to believe today but Liverpool were a side to be feared and admired while full of stars, the predecessors to Manure's 90's dominance *spit spit*.

Let me take you back to the season of 1988-89. Arsenal had been going nowhere special for a few years, and hadn't won the League title for some 18 years. That season however, George Graham had welded them into a tight unit, as Tony Adams (then Arsenal captain) put it in his biography: "We probably weren't the most talented team, but we were probably the most organised and disciplined..." Liverpool were coming to the end of their dominace but weren't yet aware how bitter the taste would be to their season-end...

The latter stages of 1988-89 were overshadowed by events at Hillsborough. I remember being frozen in shock as events unfolded live on TV. Football carried on, though it was undoubtedly influenced by the disaster. In fact, the Liverpool v Arsenal game that was going to decide the title was postponed until the end of May, partly because of the disaster, partly due to fixture congestion. Arsenal had looked like they were going to walk the title but with just a couple of games left a home defeat to Derby had let Liverpool back in.

Now, in the deciding game of the season, the very last game of the season, Arsenal had to go to Anfield, a place pretty much regraded as a fortress, and win by two clear goals. Mission impossible. Public sympathy was also with Liverpool, since it had been their fans killed at Hillsborough. OK, so double mission impossible.

The game was of immense interest and was shown live on TV. I remember watching nervously as the game unfolded and willed Arsenal on non-stop. I had Liverpool supporting mates at work and knew I'd never hear the last of it if Liverpool won. I had also never witnessed an Arsenal title-winning team and had feasted on the pictures of 1970-71 way too often - it was time for my own special memories, a memory that could warm the cockles on dark, cold nights (OK, I didn't know then that I was headed for Israel...).

0-0 at half-time was still OK. Nervy but still OK. The second half was still young when Smith headed in a goal for Arsenal. But wait...the ref had to consult his linesman...but he eventually gave it! YES!!! Arsenal continued attacking almost incessantly, but Liverpool were doing enough to hold on. Even though they were going to lose 1-0 on the night, it was still enough for them to win the title. Bastards! The 90 minute mark came and went and Liverpool players and fans had started believing it was theirs...

...when suddenly in the final seconds, a pass from Dixon found Smith who found Mickey Thomas, the ball bobbled and fell nicely for him, and yes, there it was, a sweet chip over Grobbelaar! FANTASTIC! PANDEMONIUM! The legendary Brian Moore declared "It's up for grabs now..." as an overjoyed Thomas flipped over in pure, spastic delight. The enormity of coming to a place like Anfield and stealing a 2-0 win was just too much...This surely was one of the most dramatic finishes to a season that there will ever be. Just what football should be all about...

Me, I had a great time at work the following day. I was also resigned to the fact that this Arsenal team could actually win things and I'd have to stick with them no matter what. The next year saw me head through Europe and arrive in Israel, but thousands of miles wasn't about to break the allegiance...

and the winner is...

Posted by as | 4/06/2005 | | 4 comments »

....the flu.
Fecker.

mais oui...

Posted by as | 4/05/2005 | , | 2 comments »

So Arsene thinks England have a better chance of World Cup glory than France? He obviously got to see the French against Israel last week, because they were awful, Paddy Vieira included. Whether England can actually perform to a level that matches their massive potential remains to be seen, personally I think that Sven will always play it too safe to ever win anything. And of course, England have yet to confirm their place, something the Poles might just have a problem with...

Tonight sees an interesting Champions League game between Liverpool and Juventus, who haven't actually met since Heysel. Me, I'll be off to see this guy slip on his guitar, though the bout of flu that has attacked me may get the final word...

pooling my resources

Posted by as | 4/04/2005 | , | 3 comments »

Oi....me head. A few beers were downed last night as the pool cues were taken out of their mothballs. Sponsored by corridor-land but vetted by O and myself to ensure that only the creme-de-la-creme were invited, we ended up as 6 hard-drinking, cue massaging pool sharks at a basement place in Lincoln street (complete with waitress from London!). Honour was left intact as I managed to keep tabs with R, who looks like he's played before. England v Israel ended at 3-3, so a rematch is in store. Note to myself: Never get in a car with O when she's had a couple of beers. Taxis sure don't hit 150 kmph when it's raining...

Meanwhile, over at Highbury Arsene is convinced Ashley wants to stay. Who cares? Maybe he's doing it for 'the record', just so that any eventual transfer will seem against his wishes. Me, I have no problem with the argument that everybody occasionally looks at other jobs (I've lost track at the number of interviews I've had on the sly while being employed at Corridor Inc.,), it's just that as a die-hard fan, once a player expresses a desire to move on and better himself, his place in my affections is gone. It will take some pretty good brown-nosing to get back into my good books...

Just returned from 'up North', after downing some lamb steaks on a balcony overlooking the Med. Not so much sun around today, even though it's now officially summer time, but still T-shirt weather. Nice work if you can get it...

Of course, I've just checked today's results and am smiling at Arsenal's demolition of Norwich. A nice threesome from TH14, who seems to have decided that short-sleeves aren't so important after all...then again, those rash comments of his may have been due to the influence of the moon and yesterday's calendar.

I was, of course, mortified at Manure's goalless draw at home to Blackburn. I guess that puts Arsenal back into second place and in control of that crucial automatic qualifying spot for next year's Champs League, right? The thought of coming up against teams like Krakow Estonia or Liddlzch Vienna in the qualifying rounds doesn't bear thinking about...

thierry henry on his way??

Posted by as | 4/01/2005 | | 5 comments »

I can't believe I'm the only blogger who has got wind of this...apparently Thierry Henry was having an off-the-record chat with some French journalists here in Tel Aviv and inadvertently revealed that his Arsenal contract states that he can leave Highbury if Arsenal fail to win a trophy in any one season, for FREE! He even commented on the "boring London food" and grey, drizzly weather and is apparently looking for a club where he can play in short sleeves most of the season. Not like you're waving your hands in the direction of Real Madrid/Barcelona then, eh Thierry?

Perhaps this image of TH14 reeling away after netting yet another goal is soon to be a thing of the past...? I'm trawling the Web but as yet haven't found anything in English. I know there's going to be some serious ins and outs at Highbury this summer, but this smells like serious feckin' trouble...

so i lied...

Posted by as | 3/31/2005 | , | 2 comments »

So what. So Henry never made it onto the pitch during last night's game against Israel. Well, technically he did because at one point he did go for a trot round the pitch and did look like he was going to come on, but in the end, he just sat on the bench. Looking pretty gormless, it has to be said. In the end, Arsenal's sole representative on the pitch was Paddy Vieira, and what a shite performance, pretty much his average Arsenal game...

The game itself was OK. I think this was the first time I ever got into watching the Israel national side and was willing them on, especially those last few minutes when they really deserved to win the game. Even came away with a bitter taste in my mouth, because this was a missed opportunity. It's all too tight at the top of their group now, and with away games at Ireland and Switzerland to come, you have to say that Israel's chances look slim. Still, their two games this week has given the side some fresh hope and the whole nation is getting hyper; as an example, the channel that showed the two games has broken all its previous ratings records.

And summer time officially kicks in here tonight, though the last couple of days were obviously unaware that they were supposed to be drenching us in rain. That means the beaches will be officially opened soon, but the news of a five meter shark (5 feckin' meters!) being found off the coast of Ashdod (a few miles down the road from Tel Aviv) is hardly tempting me back in the water to resurrect my surfing career...

henry in tel aviv

Posted by as | 3/30/2005 | , | 2 comments »

A certain TH14 hits the pitch in Israel's national stadium tonight, with a few Israeli gooners probably torn between their admiration for him and their home nation...Not often does one of the world's greatest footballers get to grace the green (well, fairly green) turf in Ramat Gan. Big news here, and I'm already dreading the traffic on the way home from work.

Just before the match we get to sign contracts with our future tenant. Would you rent your house to someone, who, upon hearing my name, says: "Wow, do you remember that band from the 80's, Dashby and Simpson (he meant Ashford and Simpson), who sang 'Solid...solid as a rock..'?" and then bursts into song...I was worried he was going to step up onto our table and give it his all. Even the dog raised one of his ginger eyebrows. Twat.

swinging towards israel

Posted by as | 3/29/2005 | | 0 comments »

Tomorrow night sees the mighty French play Israel in Tel Aviv (to be strictly accurate, the game is actually in Ramat Gan, right next to Tel Aviv - the game is just across the road from my house and I live in Tel Aviv). I did plan to go and see the game, because it would be a once in a lifetime gig, seeing Henry, Vieira, Barthez (we won't mention that he will probably be booed off the pitch at every chance after this little comment) et al in Israel, but I'm settling for a few Tuborgs with some friends gathered round a TV. The England game isn't being televised this time, so not a lot of games to choose from...

Even with the Arsenal contingent, I have to say I'm rooting for Israel this time. They're the underdogs for sure, but maybe there's a chance of pulling off a shock. Just look at France's recent results, not very convincing. Most of the nation will probably be tuning in to catch this game and there is a certain amount of anticipation, especially after the draw with the Irish at the weekend. Perhaps just a tad too much anticipation...people seem to forget that France are still ranked No.2 in the world. Should be a good one.

mourinho in israel

Posted by as | 3/28/2005 | , | 1 comments »

Whatever you think of Jose Mourinho (girls, put your tongues back in...), I think he's putting his heart where his mouth is with his visit to Israel this week. Some might say he's a little missing in diplomacy-skills, but this trip is designed to promote goodwill between Jews and Arabs, so that ain't a bad thing, is it? And let's face it, the guy needs some good press. Took them a few hours, but the local press finally got wind of the news...

Oww...hangover city this morning.

Great display from England yesterday afternoon, especially that 15 minute spell at the start of the second half. Joe Cole looks like he's finally fulfilling that potential, which can only be a good thing for England. Another game like that on Wednesday and England should be through to the World Cup finals next year. Arsenal-wise, Sol looks like he's going to find it hard to get back into the center of defence (see East Lower's summary), while Ash Cole did a standard job, though wasn't really tested, was he?

Meanwhile, in Tel Aviv, the Irish looked like they were going to destroy Israel after getting off to a flyer, but it was Israel who came back to grab a late, late equaliser (scored by an Israeli-Arab, for those of you interested). I was at a brit party (celebrating R and S's new baby boy) and caught some of the game - the promised big screen failed to materialise, so, together with a bunch of dodgy-looking Israelis, I had to make occasional jumps into a small office and mutter under my breath as some naive play almost let the Irish walk it. I missed the equaliser of course. Nice to see Roy Keane trudge off the pitch looking miserable, enjoyed that.

And the beers floweth on...next stop was the corridor-land party. As it was just across the road from our house, I couldn't very well not go...nothing special but there was a band fronted by Si Himan (her spelling, not mine). And why the hell husbands of fellow-workers have to take tons of pics with their flashy cameras I really don't know...

This weekend sees an influx of Irish fans as Israel takes on Ireland in the World Cup qualifiers. Actually, most of them arrived a couple of days ago and have been quickly depleting the stocks of Guiness of the 7 Irish bars in Tel Aviv...just last night I got a call from Mrs. LBLS's parents who were in Molly Blooms (the original Irish bar in Tel Aviv) amid a crowd of rowdy Irish leprechauns and begging me to come down to do some translating. Had to refuse as we had a few potential rentees coming round to check out our place (we've almost closed a deal, almost, almost...). And anyway, what am I going to do with a bunch of rowdy O'Sullivans? I want them to lose, especially if Roy Keane plays. It would be great to see Israel win, but I'm not that optimistic.

England take on the other Irish, the Northern Irish, tomorrow afternoon, and for some reason they have the game live on the Sports channel over here. A few beers will be downed in celebatory fashion, as England romp to a convincing 4-1 victory, mainly down to Sven's exciting new formation (yeh, right). After that we're off to a brit party, where the Israel v Ireland game is going to be screened on a big screen, and then off to a work (corridor-land) Purim party just across the road from our house. At least we won't need a taxi home, I'll just stagger across the road and slump into bed...

Meanwhile, on the Arsenal front, Jose looks like he's on his way this summer, which will be a shame because the glimpses of magic he has occasionally shown have been mouthwatering, and Ashley appears to still be in demand. No Premiership football until next weekend, so these two stories look like they'll be doing the rounds for the next few days...

My first magical gooner moment revolves around the magical Cup Final of 1979. I was ten years old and remember being mesmerized by those final four or five minutes, when it all seemed to be going pear shaped...

I had probably been hardcore gooner for at least a year or two (after flirting with the idea of supporting QPR and even, God forbid, Newcastle). And yes, I had watched, appalled, as Arsenal had lost the previous year's final to Ipswich. Yep, Ipswich...at least nobody in my class supported them, otherwise I might have had hell to pay...

1979 was going to be different of course. We now had Brian Talbot on our side, who had helped Ipswich beat us the previous year and who was aiming to become the first player to win two back-to-back finals with two different teams. Our opponents, however, were a little more accomplished than lowly Ipswich - if we were going to cover ourselves in glory, we had to overcome Manchester United.

The final itself wasn't the most exciting, until the last 5 minutes. Arsenal had control of the game and were leading 2-0 when United suddenly bounced back with 2 quick goals. All seemed lost, the commentator was rasp, the Manure fans were sure one more goal would do it...when up popped Liam Brady (*falls to knees in 'we're not worthy' mode*) on the left wing, a cross was delivered and, yes, YES, YESSSSS, Alan Sunderland managed to get his foot to the ball and steer it home! A few moments later, it was all over, Arsenal had done it! Pure, fucking bliss.

Me, I got my hand-knitted scarf out (red and white of course, cheers Mum), got on me bike and went off down the road, ecstatic. (I even remember calling a friend who supported Manure from a nearby phone box, the price of a call - 2p!)

My first magical gooner moment. The moment I knew I had made the right choice. The moment I knew I was with them for life...

god bless ya

Posted by as | 3/23/2005 | | 0 comments »

What a gent.
A LBLS gold star goes out to the car park attendant who let me park for 3 shekels (that was all I had in my wallet, honest guv) instead of the standard 10 shekel fee. I played the excuse of picking up Mrs. LBLS from the doctor a little too much, but at least it was true. We all know the 3 shekels went straight into his pocket, but what the hell...
A scholar among car parking attendants.

mug update

Posted by as | 3/22/2005 | | 5 comments »

The bastard who kidnapped my Arsenal mug yesterday (or sometime before yesterday) obviously had second thoughts...there it was this morning, full of cold coffee and coated with something rather slimy, and sitting rather forlornly in the corridor kitchen sink. Our mutual glee at being reunited was rather shortlived, as I had to perform a lengthy decontamination process that involved lots of squelching and rubbing, but eventually all was well. The mug is once again sitting proudly on my desk.

Steer clear, bastard, steer clear...

profits slashed

Posted by as | 3/22/2005 | | 1 comments »

Oh no, that's a real shame. Profits down at Manure? Will that mean an influx of cut-price 'stars' this summer, rather than the next Rooney or Rio? I'm personally gutted, though have decided to do my bit...here's my list of bargains that Manure might just fancy:

  • Eric Djemba Djemba
  • Diego Forlan
  • Fabien Barthez
  • Juan Sebastian Veron (though he might just prove an expensive flop...)
  • Liam Miller (what? they already have him, who would have known...)

So, at least 4 fresh faces this summer, what do you think?

And continuing on in the caring, sharing mood, I think I know what I want for Christmas...one of these will do nicely, Mrs. LBLS.

wanted: dead or dead alive

Posted by as | 3/21/2005 | | 2 comments »

...the thieving bastard who stole my Arsenal mug.

For over 4 years it stood proudly on my desk, turning itself into a crockery legend. Despite the attentions of former corridor Manure-ites G and R and despite lengthy holidays abroad, it survived all that was thrown at it. And I'm pretty sure that when I wasn't around, there were things thrown at it, eh G?

And this ain't no ordinary mug. This mug has the old, traditional Arsenal crest, something that you just can't buy these days and was actually purchased in the Arsenal souvenir shop at Highbury.

Feckin' bastard.

"let's be english..."

Posted by as | 3/20/2005 | | 0 comments »

Sweet nothings from the mouth of Eyal Berkovic in last night's series on the state of Israeli football, "Searching for the lost trophy". He was referring to the lack of respect and lack of football culture in Israel, while handing out compliments left, right and center to Richard Nielsen, the Danish coach (he led Denmark to the European Championship in '92) who briefly took over the helm in Israel. Nielsen, who seems a very modest guy, always had a hard task to pull Israel into shape and never really had the time or the ability to outpower those in control at the Israel FA. His comment that the groundsmen were just as important as those who thought they were important, such as this piece of shite (the guy in the pic, Gavriel Levy, is a sorry excuse for an FA chairman), nicely summed up the first episode, at least for me...

I'm not going to delve into the problems that are rampant throughout the Israeli game and infrastructure, because these problems are prevalent throughout Israeli society and I'll end up sounding anti-semitic...let's just say that the league football in this country is a joke. I'm proud to say I've never watched a full game in my entire 14-15 years here.

Next part of "Searching for the lost trophy" is on Tuesday, though I'll probably miss out...

another clean sheet?

Posted by as | 3/19/2005 | , | 2 comments »

1-0 to the Arsenal. And despite the continued abscence of Big Sol, the makeshift defence seems to be holding it together the last few matches, I make that 5 clean sheets in a row. Just a shame they couldn't churn these results out during their sticky patch...

Looks like the title's Chelski's after their 4-1 victory. They now have the groove and there's no stopping 'em. Let's face it, the Premiership was all over weeks ago, the only thing that has kept us gooners interested is the Cups. A semi against Blackburn beckons, and then a possible final with Manure. The dream final, let's be honest.

A series (Hebrew link) on football in Israel and why the football in this country is a pile of shite is just kicking off on Channel 10. Should be good for a laugh, I'll report on it tomorrow...

liam brady fact file #1

Posted by as | 3/17/2005 | | 1 comments »

Liam Brady had fucking wild hair.

The Ashley Cole tapping up affair continues, and even makes the Israeli sports pages, what with superagent Zahavi refusing to give details.

I have a feeling it was all coincidental, that Ashley and his agent were going for a bevvy, when they came across Zahavi, Kenyon and Mourinho, who were also having a bevvy, by chance in the same bar. After strenuously rejecting invitations to join Kenyon and Co, Ashley suddenly wilted when he heard about a free holiday to Tel Aviv...

safely through

Posted by as | 3/14/2005 | , | 1 comments »

Saturday's FA Cup Quarter Final went according to plan, a nice little victory over those buggars from up North, Bolton. Lately, they seem to have become our bogey team and generally cause us big problems. Not this time, and even Freddie could afford to hit the miss of the season, really not sure how he managed that! I still say that missing flame of red hair is sapping his strength...

I have to say, those Gary Speed long throw-ins were a little stressful, especially with the number of free headers that 4 foot 6 inches Giannakopoulos was able to rain in on Lehmann. All in all, an OK performance, but room for improvement.

The match was on the local sports channel, commentated by the ever knowledgeable Avi Meller - that guy sure is ugly but he knows his stuff. He'll spot some old geezer in the crowd and reel off a series of facts about him and his dog. Quite amazing.

Any bets on getting Manure in the semis? I have to say that Manure look more 'up for it' than the Arsenal, but on the day Arsenal can outfight any side, especially those put out by Fergie. Right, G, you know that means the game and beers at a neutral venue...

I see the Ashley Cole affair is still rolling on, what with today's testimonies being given by Cole and Mourinho. Now that we know Ashley did meet up with Chelski, surely it undermines his ability to do the job at Arsenal, whatever the reasons? I don't care if he feels he was insulted about the lack of money offered, if he really wants to play for the team that he supported and grew up with, surely he'd think about his actions a little more deeply. Personally, I say fuck it, let's get rid and get Clichy to replace him. Nice little 20 mill + profit.

keggers

Posted by as | 3/11/2005 | | 1 comments »

You have to say "Thank Christ" he never managed Arsenal. I love the guy's passion, but his tactical nous leaves a lot to be desired...Can you imagine a guy like Keegan at Arsenal? Doesn't the thought just make you want to streak on to the pitch at Highbury in protest (ending up jumping into Arsene's arms complete with a passionate and yes, still starkers, bearhug to show your full appreciation for the amazing job he has done)...

A few alcoholic beverages numbed my disappointment, once again, at Arsenal's failure to shine in the Champions League last night. The beers were flowing, in copious amounts, but the football wasn't quite there, was it?

In the end the boys (R and M, no K - he wimped out) and I headed out to Leo Blooms, where the locals were watching Real Madrid on the big screen, despite the pub's website proudly proclaiming the screening of Arsenal-Bayern. So we carried on down the road to Frame, where the voluptuous hostess more than made up for the muted TVs. So no pizza tonight, but some cracking tits chips, a bit of a rarity in the Holy Land - they really have no idea how to make 'em over here.

As for the footie, Arsenal simply didn't deserve to go through, though after Henry's goal I had a feeling that they might just do it. Never mind, there's always next year's failure to look forward to. And the 'morning after' press have had a field day, hailing the end of the Gunners, reasons for Arsene to move on and highlighting their endless failures in trying to make it big in Europe.

A lot of what was written makes perfect sense of course, which is the hardest part to swallow, but from what seems to be clear, there will be funds for some substantial new additions this summer. Should be an interesting close season, one that might just revamp a side needing some fresh impetus. And don't forget, next season is the last ever at Highbury, before moving here, so time to go out with a bit of a bang...

After a good, long dream in which Quincy, Cesc, and Loopy Lupoli vanquished all before them in a shiny, new stadium, it was time to put the boys on hold last night and concentrate on some other meaningless Champs League footie involving Chelski and Manure. I mean, OK, we'd prefer Chelski to beat Barca any day, especially with the English backbone they have, but I just have this sneaky feeling that people are starting to get pissed with Mourinho and even if they do lift the Champs League trophy, there'll be this feeling of, er, OK, so what, they bought their success...he's a great tactician, if boring and defensive is your cup of tea, and knows how to organize a team, but come on, with that dosh available, who couldn't build a successful team? As for Manure, I'm just pissed that G and R aren't here in the corridor to share my joy.

Tonight, it's the turn of London's finest to sweep away Bayern. Am I making a big mistake in inviting some of the boys round to share in my sorrow joy? The beers are piled in the fridge, my fingers are primed for dialing the local pizza place and mrs. liam brady's left shinpad has been banished from the house.

Meanwhile, Arsenal's next 'big thing', who is currently lurking in mrs. liam brady's left shinpad (that'll be Mrs. LBLS from here on in, just can't be arsed to write all that out in full every time I mention the other 'alf) womb, has been kicking his way to victory the last few days. I've got a feeling he's going to end up a real bruiser or at least have a mighty fine free-kick...

all aboard!

Posted by as | 3/08/2005 | | 2 comments »

Forced to retire from the public domain, I have decided to resurrect my blog career at Liam Brady's Left Shinpad. I won't go into the reasons here for my exile, but for those of you that follow me onwards and upwards from here on in, I promise a good read...

Don't worry, for those of you who know me, the corridor of hell still puts the monthly cheque in the bank, while my two Manure foes from the corridor below have recently departed to greener pastures. No more G smiling like a Cheshire cat as I walk in after a poor weekend result, or R grinning smugly as he tallies the closing/widening points difference in the League table. Miss the bastards, but not alot... :-)

Meanwhile, Arsenal have managed to blow the title for this season after walking it last year. After playing some of the most spectacular football I've ever seen, in particular their early season comeback against Middlesboro, they seem to have joined the ranks of the mere mortals. The lads spoilt us something rotten during the last 2 years or so, and I have a feeling those dizzy heights may well never be reached again. They say that every team has its 5 years or so together when everything clicks, well, that 5 years could be up for Arsenal. Perhaps it's finally time to say goodbye to Vieira (yes, please!), and a couple of others. Perhaps it's time to let the youngsters stake their claim. Perhaps it's time I went to bed and dreamt of future glories in a shiny, new stadium. Per'aps indeed.

about us

Posted by as | 3/03/2005 | | 0 comments »

Ahh, those were the days. Having a kick-about in the local park, pretending to be Liam 'Chippy' Brady while shimmying past a pre-teen Kenny Dalglish before launching one at a mini-Ray Clemence. The days when getting to the park was the highlight of our week, only leaving when dusk smothered us. The days when O Levels and Sixth Form College hadn't even entered our vocabulary. The days when we really had no idea what the future held, apart from a life-long allegiance to the football team we had chosen.

This blog will occasionally jump back to some magic moments, but it will mainly focus on my life-long allegiance to Arsenal, mixed up with a bit of action from Tel Aviv and other selected bits of the Holy Land.

Why the name? Well, Liam Brady was always my favourite Arsenal player, and I'll always remember that amazing 1979 FA Cup final, when his socks were wrapped round his ankles, and his shinpads, if I remember correctly, were discarded (always a risky decision if you're playing against those bullies from Manure, how things remain the same eh?) on the touchline. Yet he managed to supply the cross that gave Arsenal the winning goal in one of the most dramatic finishes to a game I've ever witnessed. So, in tribute to the shinpad that protected his magical left shin, we have this blog...

UPDATE July 06: And in another tribute to the legendary no. 7, my newly born son now bears the name of Liam. The missus thinks it's because of its great gaelic meaning (unwavering guardian/friend, or something similar...), so let's keep it between us...