30 August 2017

The Three Amugos

Not a misprint.  Or a typo.

Given the "Wenger Out!" post earlier in the week. We are still going to spend a tenner** each to sit in our grand (cash not surroundings) seats at the Emirates Stadium to watch the second string and yoofs take on League 2 Doncaster Rovers.

History is on our side. In 8 meetings since 1901 they have come out on top only once, 115 years ago.
More credibly we last played them in 2005 and the game ended 2-2.

Given the "sell, sell, sell" attitude of our under-fire manager and the clowns on the board we may see them extend their winning streak to 2 from 9 in 116 years.

Fingers crossed Amugos!

** plus £1.65 charges on top of the ticket!

Car Insurance - Insignia

It's getting on for that time of year again when my car insurance is due. I used to be with Direct Line but the quote gory higher and higher every year and so I started trawling the comparison sites to get a better quote.

Last year this turned out to be the insurers that sell under the banner of the RAC motoring organisation.  They had the cover I wanted and although not the cheapest quote, were the cheapest of the companies I had ever heard of.

This year my renewal arrived and they quite matter of factly tell me that this year my premium will go up £50.  The car is a year older and therefore less valuable.  The risk hasn't changed much. So it is back to the comparison sites.

What has really happened is that premium last year was a new business discounted amount. This year they are trying to get some of it back. Sadly for them I will go elsewhere.

29 August 2017

Wenger Out!

Sunday 27th August 2017. 

A day of infamy.

Our glorious team of Arsenal Gladiators went out in the Anfield sun to do battle with the Lions of Liverpool and came back battered and bruised.  Humiliated some may say.

The lack of fight from highly paid professionals leaves a nasty taste in the mouths of fans. "Wenger Out!" is the cry on those same battered lips. 

"Wenger Out!" is the cry from even committed Gooners and ex-players like Ian Wright.

The apologists for the French Professor keep repeating the mantra that he has done so much for the club in the 20 years he has been in charge. So many victories. Invincible even.

"It's not his fault" they cry in return, but the "Wenger Out!" Cries begin to double, then double again.

"How is it nor his fault?" The cry goes up. 

His starting eleven contains one of the finest right backs in the country starting on the left. He leaves out a German international centre back and plays a rookie who has been shite in his last two appearances. Another German international isn't even on the bench.  He plays a Spanish Left-back at centre back.

Remember who the World Chamions are? Germany.

He leaves the record signing centre forward, who cost £52m, on the bench and plays a guy that has the ball control of  a snail and the goal tally of a retarded sloth.

On top of those slight errors he plays two players that have been agitating to leave.  

One of whom has been "Mr Sicknote" up to now and the other actually leaves the day after for a rival club - see update below - one game player after he had a stomach pull and then a cold, or was it the other way around.  It means that it was late August before he made an appearance.

The former is huffing and puffing inside twenty minutes as the game isn't going the way he wants. Another German international floats through the game ineffectively and then also starts to wave his arms like a sulking school child.

They ship too many goals to lose 4-0. Each one was a personal cock-up by a player that led to Liverpool taking the ball and a few passes later scoring.

With the game lost and beyond the wit of anyone to look like we can drag something from the burning embers,  the great leader brings on £52m man and the other French striker.  Both of them rivals for the same French international starting place. Both of them see little of the ball as it seems the remainder of the starting XI seems unable to get the ball to them. Or simply are incapable.

The shit and the fan come together.  Wenger looks shaken in the post match interview. He refuses to answer the question about the "Wenger Out!" banners and shouts from the fans that have travelled 200 miles on a Bank Holiday Sunday with little of no public transport available and with expectations of getting home sometime in the wee small hours.  Thank you Frank Sinatra for naming them.

He whispers the usual platitudes about players not being on their game. Once again he defends the clowns he put on the team sheet.

At least there is an international break for a week or so before we have another attempt to play.  With 15 clubs above us in the table we are lucky it's one of the ones below us; Bournemouth. 

Another galling thing is that we were f*cked by a Liverpool side playing the game that we used to play before Wenger numbed all the talent out of the players. Pressing to win the ball. Quick passing and a fast counter attack.

When even Thierry Henry and Ian Wright, the club's two highest goalscorers, are both almost in tears to see this humiliation and both sense there is something rotten at the club, then rock bottom can't be far away.

Monday 28th August 2017. 

We awake on Monday to the news that Want-Away2 has indeed gone to a rival for what last year would be a mind blowing £35 to £40m!   Why the f**k did Wenger play him at Liverpool the day before.  He must have known the deal was done and all it needed was the player to sign and the Russian Oligarch signs the cheque. 

Rumours persist on the sports channels that the German international dropped in favour of the Rookie also wants away and has been talking to Inter Milan of Italy. We are resigned to players leaving. It's no longer a surprise.

The international transfer window closes in about 52 hours after me writing - 2300 on the 31st August - by then "Sicknote" will have f*cked off to a rival and we will have no room to manoeuvre. Wenger will then do as he has already done in the past,  repeat the same error, and panic buy.

We panic bought a Brazilian centre back from Spain. He's gone back already. We panic bought a Spanish striker and he wants away. He wants a chance to play for his country and from the bar or at best the bench at Arsenal he won't achieve that.  It's World Cup next year BTW.

The apologists go on about it being only three games.  We have lost two. We have a -4 goal difference and we are 16th.  Manchester United have spent more millions on players and have won all three games and are already six points ahead of us and how many goals....... 14!!!!!

In modern football - goals are worth a point at the end of the season.

Time for Arsene to quit. Go back to France and buy a nice cottage and spend the years and years of millions of pounds he must have stashed away.


Wednesday 30th August 2017

And the story has changed.

Want-Away2 has decided that he doesn't want to go the Chelsea  (sounds like a song title) but wants to go to Liverpool.  The club responsible for the shafting on Sunday... So are we supposed to think that he knew this before Wenger picked him to play. Or just coincidence.  

Whilst all this is going on we have shifted a full back with long service,  but into his last year of contract, to West Bromwich for £7m.


Sicknote has been pretty quiet after being caught laughing on the bench soon after Liverpool scored their 4th. But reportedly has asked to leave. Manchester City offer £50m. Arsenal turn it down. 

Then WantAway2 is reported to be going to Liverpool for £40m.


The club has apparently received two bids for the Spanish striker. From Deportivo, where he wants to go, and Levante, who are the club's preferred buyer.  Read "offered more money" for preferred. 

So that's £47m today. How much tomorrow on the last day of the window.

And no one coming in.


Thursday 31st August 2017

The transfer window is closed.  At 11pm it was met with a fanfare and a countdown on Sky Sports 1.

In the end the we have offloaded  Spanish striker to Deportivo on loan for the season. OS that should save the wage bill.

Sicknote stays.  The club made a desperate attempt to sign a replacement from Monaco and had agreed a massive £92m fee but that fell through so he stays with us until the January window at least. Some will say this was a token attempt as it was never going to happen.  A kind of "cover your arse" move in case Sicknote left and we were another man down.

A whole host of lesser cast members left as well either free or for the token £1m. At least we have brought in about £73m in revenue and only spend £46m.  

Kerrching again!

And are the fans happy.  Wait and see when AFC Bournemouth come to the big city.


Want-Away2 -  Alex Oxlade Chamberlain
Long Service Full Back - Keiran Gibbs
Another German International - Shkodran Mustafi
German international centre back - Per Mertesacker
Rookie - Rob Holding
Record Signing - Andre Lacazette
Sloth - Daniel Welbeck
Other French Striker - Olivier Giroud
Sicknote - Alexis Sanchez
Spanish Striker - Lucas Perez
Brazilian Centre Back - Gabriel
Spanish Left-back - Nacho Monreal
Finest right backs - Hector Bellarin

20 August 2017

From the Shoebox Archive - Variety Pack

There are many shoeboxes in the archive. 

Like many archives like this a lot of the photos are pretty uninteresting to anyone else. Plus the other problem...

Where the heck were they taken!! It's easy to remember who the people are in them. But so many I have no idea where or when they were taken.

This couple of scans are places and events I do remember! It's a bit lazy but I have scanned three together! !

First up. A trio of Lisbon photos. 

Secondly,  a mixed bag from Rome (top), Murcia, (bottom left) Madonna in procession around the city at Easter and bottom right, me and Andrew Pratt after the National Rally.

Lastly a picture of my TDM850 outside the old house in Hythe.

17 August 2017

From the Shoebox Archive - 'Cade in Spain

Those of us born before the digital revolution must have one - a shoebox archive.

This one is from way back in 1990!  The campsite is in Tarifa which can claim to the be the southern most tip of Europe in the west of the continent.  

From the beach you can clearly see the coast of Africa.

Behind the Cade is Audrey's XJ900. The bike we took across to Morocco later that week. It was so hot down there that I had problems with the clutch as the grease on the lever dried out as it was "cold weather" rated and 40ºC temperatures in the day simply reduced it to dust.

In Malaga on the way home it rained a little and turned the highway into an ice rink - water on months of rubber.......   

As you are braking and sliding with both wheels locked just stopping short of the car in front and then hear the car behind sliding faster than you and then seeing it go past makes you wonder about life.....

And here is another from the same trip:

15 August 2017

Hythe Venetian Fete

The Venetian fete is bi-annual in Hythe and uses the Royal Military Canal as the base for a series of free concerts and a river pageant on rafts.

The third evening was Abbalicious, an ABBA tribute group but there must have been a falling out as only AA were onstage. What happened to BB we have no idea.

When we arrived with Reggie there was plenty of free parking in Waitrose and we walked along just as they came on stage.

After a few numbers we set off for a walk around over the bridges that brought us back stage.  My arm got tired waiting for them to turn around and not face front only.

A good evening,. And free.

11 August 2017

It's back! The Premier League kicks off tonight

It kicks off again tonight and Arsenal has the inglorious task of being the first new season to kick off on a Friday evening.  I suppose it means we can have football and a free weekend.


Update: 11/08/17 22:00

Won 4-3.  Supporting Arsenal isn't the easy job it might be if you have a tame billionaire from Russia or a middle east oil state that spends money as though it is going out of fashion.

Mr Wenger decided that the potent striker Vardy for Leicester wasn't a threat and chose to play a rookie centre back and no other recognised central defenders.  That proved wrong. As Vardy scored twice.

In the end what he will call "mental strength" seemed to work and we came from 2-3 to 4-3 in a two minute spell in the last ten minutes of the game.

At least we won it.  Usually, we lose or at best get a draw to start the season.

8 August 2017

Community Shield - August 6th 2017

Another chance to go to Wembley Stadium to watch Arsenal. Once again against Chelsea.

Arsenal were in this traditional fixture as Cup Winners and Chelsea as League Champions. Back in May Arsenal had beaten Chelsea in the FA Cup Final also at Wembley Stadium. This stopped them wining the "Double" of League and Cup in one season.

Another warm sunny day when we were glad to be in the upper tier and under cover rather than being burned to a crisp in the sun. The view is pretty good from all around the stadium.

Before the game there was the usual tedious build up but this was relieved by the Choir for Grenfell coming to sing after the minutes silence for those that died in the terrible tower block fire some weeks ago. The Choir and celebs have made a charity record to raise money for the families that lost everything. I took a short video of it.

The game was pretty even although statistics will show that the Arsenal had more possession, 54% to 46%, more attempts on goal and fewer disciplinary cards. Chelsea getting another red card for a reckless tackle. More stupid than malicious.

Both sides seemed to be saving players for the start of the Premier League this coming weekend. But did give new signings a start.

In the end Arsenal won their 9th successive game at Wembley. After finishing 1-1 they won the penalty shootout 4-1.

Pano at the end.  One half very empty

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