By: Brian Perceful
I saw something beautiful this weekend. No it wasn't Giroud. No it wasn't us picking up all three points at Leicester. It was something that even transcends what happens on the pitch but it was the team in red on the pitch that made it all happen.
As part of Arsenal America we've gotten to know Gooners literally from coast to coast and across the world. Some of our own have moved to other pockets of Goonerdom. Some have visited us and left becoming honorary Sooner Gooners. When I see the #GoonerFamily I one hundred percent beilieve it. Family.
We've banded together to help a Fresno Gooner and his wife make a trip to see the Arsenal in person. (Full disclosure: we got featured in a pretty sweet ass book for it...Hahahaha). Last winter you guys hopped on board with Soccer Is OK to spearhead a toy drive at Skinny Slim's. A few of you even donated an evening to help clean up the toy shop. All that to say if any group embodies #beagoonerbeagiver hands down, its you guys.
So this weekend you guys went to work. Disaster never seems to be too far from us. All too often we've sat back and watched our towns destroyed by Mother Nature. And just like clockwork people rally around us and always help us back on our feet. Clearly the gratefulness isn't lost on us as we had the chance to partner with our friends, the Krewe of NOLA, and give to their flood relief efforts as Louisiana has been rocked with record floods.
You guys came up huge. I watched as their original $2000 goal quickly got obliterated as Gooners from all over the world contributed. $4000 goal was set. Smashed. By the time we hopped in we helped to push them over the $6000 mark. You guys came together and through outright donations or buying some old swag raised over $500! Yep...Gooner Family indeed. We even had fans from other clubs hop in a give. A beautiful thing if you ask me. Cheers to all who got involved!
I know I know...shut up and talk footy. Well...not much to talk about. Both sides were poo-rific on the field Saturday. Only positive I have is that we looked a different team once our best players came on. Clearly rust is still there. No news on the transfer front. Seems the support staff is latest segment of society to be tossed under the proverbial bus. Whatever helps ya sleep at night I guess le Boss.
We take on Watford on Saturday in what to me is an absolute must win. Can't afford to be 7-8 points back of whoever at this point. This is a match that should see us get going. If not I'm out of ideas.
As always Skinny Slim's and George's are THE only place to be. Great turn out last week! If you need to pick up your new shirt you can grab it this weekend. Help us as we continue to #packthepubs!!!
By: RJ Young
I don’t want to talk about the 0-0 draw to Leicester City at King Power Stadium. Though it was good to see Santi back in a familiar role with those nipples protruding from his jersey that always look so happy to see you.
I don’t want to talk about Arsene and his inability to pony up the money needed to sign one of the world’s best strikers—or defenders if you ask me. Lord knows he’s got more excuses for why he hasn’t than hell has sinners.
I don’t want to talk about how even with Koscienly at the back we still look more confused in defense than the poor soul managing Christian Benteke’s Twitter account. I counted at least three opportunity’s for Vardy and Mahrez to rub Arsenal’s offer to sign either of them in our faces, but thanks to their utter ineptitude we have months more of chatting s— before we get banged.
I don’t want to talk about how Theo continues to show so much promise and make the same mistakes he did 12 years ago as young but utterly gifted winger. I don’t want to talk about how the handsome devil, the gorgeous gourd, Olivier Giroud, is so brilliant with his head that his very style of play doesn’t fit with our overall philosophy anymore.
And I don’t want to talk about how we can’t seem to have a healthy Welbeck AND Wilshere at the same time or how loaded down with attacking midfielders—Ozil, Ramsey, Alexis, Santi, Wilshere, Campbell, Theo, the Ox—we are but don’t have enough balls on the field to satisfy their burgeoning brilliance.
What I do want to talk about is Sooner Gooner G.J. Koehler and Calum Chambers.
You probably know this. G.J. Koehler is Gooner from Tulsa, and I met him for the first time at George’s Pub on Saturday just before the game started against the Foxes. But I didn’t open with introducing myself. I hadn’t seen the starting lineup, and I wanted to know if Santi was in it. After the game he had last week, I thought it was only fair that he and the Ox started. G.J. didn’t know if he was, but he knew Chambers wasn’t—and thought Chambers should.
I balked at that because, well, Chambers has been one of several whipping boys for Gooners the world over for years. You know the game doesn’t matter or everybody but the ticket takers are hurt or the game is so out of hand that there’s NO WAY Chambers’ defending could hurt us when he’s playing. But G.J. wanted to see Chambers start.
“I think he should be wearing the arm band too,” G.J. said. I asked him if he was serious about that, and he was.
G.J. owns just one Arsenal jersey—Freddie Ljunberg’s—but he swears he’s set to buy a Chambers jersey. Of course this begs the question, of all the men to wear the Arsenal jersey why would he choose to buy Chambers’?
The answer is in Carson, California.
G.J., his wife and a couple other Sooner Gooners traveled 1,000 miles west to watch the Gunners play in the MLS All-Star game last month. It was expensive, the outcome of the game meant nothing and there was no guarantee that you’d see a strong squad from the Arsenal, especially coming straight off of Euros. But G.J. and company went anyway and sat in the Arsenal America section.
At the conclusion, when you would expect Arsenal players to show their appreciation for a few American working boys and girls who might never get the chance to see them play in London—or anywhere else for that matter—only one of them did. You probably guessed by now that that player was Calum Chambers.
It might not seem like much to some, but, to G.J., Chambers’ willingness to simply walk around the boundaries of the stadium thanking Arsenal fans from the States for their continued support of a team still trying to find a way to win its first league title in more than a decade meant more than any trophy they might not win this year.
“I’ve yet to see another Arsenal jersey worth wearing until Chambers walked around the stadium thanking me and everyone else for coming to California,” G.J. said.
Good on you, Calum Chambers. You get why we’re here, why we support the club, and you’ve won more of us over because of it.
By: Brian Perceful
The bitter taste of defeat still looms strong on the tongue. Our glaring weaknesses were exposed and exploited for all the world to see. That we actually fought back and got into the match, to me, seems to gloss over things. The proverbial polishing of a turd is still a turd if you will. Here we sit midweek almost a month since the captain went out and two weeks since his replacement went down and we dither. Listen I feel I’ve been patient. I’ve really tried to be understanding. Honestly I’ve pumped my fair share of sunshine up to this point. Now I find myself looking around for more and not finding any to give. We are without excuse at this point. No reason that we haven’t moved for someone. I’d take any kind of movement if only to just show me that we care and that we really want to compete. Maybe that’s just not the case. Maybe we’re content with this. Personally I’m not anymore. This weekend’ result, though completely expected, has soured me in ways no other losses have. And then to follow it up with quotes about a much needed defender being too expensive and we’re saving for a striker…shoot me now.
Does anyone actually believe that at this point? Come on! We literally sound like we run this club the way a newlywed couple saves money for that first down payment on a house. All the while Silent Stan swims in the cash vault like Scrooge McDuck on Ducktales. Maybe we’re saving up for that mythical striker in the 2019 summer window. Who knows? I don’t get it. I went to Ross Dress-For-Less the other day and had the epiphany that maybe this is what Arsene is like when the windows are open. The dude shops at Ross! Maybe that explains the zipper issues? Anyways, it is what it is. On to the next one as they say. And next up is the defending champs.
We head to Leicester having shot any momentum we carried over from the end of last season. Maybe it’ll work in our favor that they were dealt a reality check of their own to a newly promoted side. They certainly look far from the side they looked last season. Missing a player on the level of Kante will do that to anyone. It’s obvious they are going to struggle with that loss for a while. Any team would. Maybe Mahrez will get to witness an awe inspiring display from our boys that makes him move to the good side of North London. Maybe he’ll shove off on a wave of Vardy’s tears as he soon discovers he’ll retire with a mid-table club at best. Man I’m a bit spiteful this morning. We should get the boost of a few returning players, notably Koscielny, Giroud and Ozil. I’m hoping for the best but always prepared for the worst.
We’ve got issues too numerous to count at this point. We lost Ramsey to a twanged hammy and Iwobi to the mystery thigh niggle. Couldn’t have happened to Theo could it? Too soon? Nah…also our CB pairing at the moment couldn’t go out clubbing in the states together. Maybe Chambers could hook Holding up with a fake ID so they can have a good time. This is what its come to. I know its only one match. I know there’s 37 left to play for and that’s a lot of points. My issue at this point is that we don’t even show that we care. It’s like we’re not even trying at this point in the market. My only saving grace is that we nicked Ozil in a similar situation. Maybe lightning could strike twice? Honestly I think we could be offered Messi and Ronaldo in a package deal all for a sixer of London Pride and we’d mess that up. We’d come back with a counter offer of 2 pints and miss out because we wouldn’t pony up 40 more ounces. It’s that bad with me.
Anyways…all things considered we had nice turnouts at both pubs. Shirt pick up is this weekend and George’s and Skinny’s. We have a great time slot for this one. 11:30 is a great time to get out and help us pack the pubs. If you ordered a shirt come out and pick it up. If you didn’t we’ll have some extras for sale. Don’t miss the great drink specials the pubs have and I heard George’s brunch menu was on point. It’s going to be a great time, win or lose, because of you guys! See ya at the pub!
The SG Blog
Gooners from Oklahoma share their views and insights about Arsenal Football Club!