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Going Lupine from Toenail to Headnal!

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28.03.2001 (03.06.2005)

Advantages:
Great management, players and history

Disadvantages:
Cost of new stadium, a few aging players

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Physical Effort

Skill

Are they fun to watch?

Quality of defence

Quality of management

Quality of attackExcellent

Quality of midfieldExcellent

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ORIGINALLY WRITTEN March 2001

Arsenal was previously known as Royal Arsenal and Woolwich Arsenal. They are the longest serving team in the top division i.e. Premier League and the old First Division.

They were promoted in an unusual way. They finished 6th in Division 2 but were promoted anyway to Division 1. They then acquired the nickname of 'Lucky Arsenal'.

Their most successful manager was Herbert Chapman. He won a host of trophies in the 1930s. Arsenal won the FA Cup in 1930 and 3 successive championships. Chapman even persuaded London Underground to change the name of Islington tube station to Highbury and Islington. In the marble halls of Highbury is a bust of Herbert Chapman.

In the late 1960s Arsenal reached the final of the League Cup final twice. In 1968 they lost 1-0 to Leeds United. In 1969 they lost 3-1 to Swindon Town.

Their most successful year was 1971 when they won the League and Cup double. The Scot Frank Mclintock led the team. Other players in the team were Bob Wilson, Pat Rice, George Graham, Georgie Armstrong, Peter Storey, Peter Simpson, Charlie George, Eddie Kelly and John Radford. Bertie Mee was the manager while Don Howe coached the team.

The championship was decided during the last week of the season. Arsenal beat their North London rivals Spurs 1-0 with a goal by Ray Kennedy.

I remember the FA Cup final on May 8th for many reasons. It happened to be my 9th birthday and several school friends attended my birthday party. After lunch we all sat down to watch the final with Liverpool. No goals were scored during normal time. But in extra-time Liverpool took the lead through Steve Heighway after a horrendous mistake by Bob Wilson in the Arsenal goal. Eddie Kelly equalised. Charlie George scored the winner. This was a perfect day.

Arsenal fared worse in the 1971/72 season. Playing in the European Cup affected their league performances. But Arsenal reached the FA Cup final against Leeds United. But with the inexperienced Geoff Barnett in goal, Arsenal lost to an Alan Clarke goal.

Terry Neil became manager in the late 1970s. Arsenal reached the FA Cup final on 3 successive occasions. In 1978 they lost 1-0 to Ipswich despite having Malcolm Macdonald leading the attack. In 1979 they beat Manchester United 3-2 in an epic final. Liam Brady, Alan Sunderland and Frank Stapleton were part of this team. In 1980 they lost 1-0 to West Ham United via a rare Trevor Brooking header.

Their success in cup competitions stemmed from their mean defence coached by Don Howe. They won many cup matches by a single goal.

They lost the 1980 European Cup Winners Cup final on penalties with Graham Rix being the culprit.

I first saw Arsenal live in December 1981 during a League Cup match against Liverpool at Anfield. The match was notable for the first-team debut of fullback Stewart Robson. No goals were scored in normal time. Liverpool triumphed 3-0 after extra-time. It seemed to me that Liverpool were more hungry for the ball than Arsenal.

In the early part of 1982 or 1983 I saw Liverpool beat Arsenal 2-1 in a league match at Anfield. Rix scored for Arsenal whilst Liverpool's goals came from the fullbacks Alan Kennedy and Phil Neal. The Arsenal defence was tough to break down that day.

Don Howe replaced Terry Neil as manager but won no trophies.

George Graham became manager in 1986. He immediately sold Steve Williams and Charlie Nicholas. This was despite Charlie scoring both goals to win the 1987 League Cup final against Liverpool. Tony Adams became skipper and the famous Arsenal back four was formed. Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn and Steve Bould were bought.

Arsenal won the 1989 Championship with the last kick of the season by Michael Thomas.

Arsenal again won the Championship in 1991 only losing one game in the season.

In 1992 they won the League and FA Cups beating Sheffield Wednesday in both finals.

In 1993 an Alan Smith goal was enough to lift the European Cup Winners Cup against a strong Parma side.

In 1994 Arsenal reached the European Cup Winners Cup final again. They were meeting Real Zaragoza of Spain. The Spanish team won courtesy of an amazing goal by Nayim who chipped David Seaman from at least 35 yards out.

George Graham was sacked for receiving a bung and Bruce Rioch took over. Although he won no trophies Rioch did buy Dennis Bergkamp for the club.

The unknown Frenchman Arsene Wenger replaced Rioch. Wenger purchased many foreign players such as Emmanuel Petit, Gilles Grimaldi, Patrick Vieira and Marc Overmars.

In his first full season in charge Wenger managed the team to the double of Premier League and FA Cup.
Arsenal has not done as well in the Champions League. Last season they played their home games at Wembley Stadium for a bigger crowd. But this seemed to inspire the opposition more.

Davor Suker, Sylvian Wiltord, Kanu, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires were purchased. Petit and Overmars were sold to Barcelona.

The only celebrity Arsenal fan I can think of is the chat show host Clive Anderson.

Nick Hornby wrote about his obsession with Arsenal in the brilliant book 'Fever Pitch'. I enjoyed the film version starring Ruth Gemmell.

As I write this opinion, Arsenal is in the quarter-final of the Champions League and in the semi-final of the FA Cup.

UPDATED May 2002

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Arsenal did well in the first couple of group stages.

The best result of the first group stage was the 3-1 home defeat of Juventus. I was in Dublin at that time and the bars were full of pundits watching the match.

In the second group stage Arsenal thrashed Bayer Leverkusen 4-1 at Highbury. This was the same German team, which beat Liverpool and Man Utd in the quarter-final and semi-final stages respectively.

But Deportivo La Coruna beat Arsenal home and away which effectively knocked them out of the tournament.

It was sad to see Deportivo field a reserve team in their final match against Bayer Leverkusen. So much for fair sportsmanship.


PREMIERSHIP WINNERS

Arsenal won the Premiership for the first time in 4 years.

They went through the whole season without an away defeat, which was incredible.

They also won their last 12 Premiership matches which was fantastic.

Dennis Bergkamp scored the goal of the season against Newcastle.

Thierry Henry won the golden boot by scoring 24 times.

Robert Pires was the footballer of the year.

Arsene Wenger was the manager of the year.

The style of their football was great. There was great pace up front. Teams were scared of the pace of Robert Pires. Patrick Vieira was imperious in midfield. Only the defence was slightly suspect.

They won the Premiership at Old Trafford with a goal by Sylvain Wiltord, which was the perfect way to win the trophy.


FA CUP WINNERS

Arsenal had a fairly easy run up to the final.

Their hardest match was against Liverpool where 3 players were sent off.

The final against Chelsea was quite even. But 2 brilliant goals from Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg won the cup. It was as if their name was on the cup.


PLAYER ANALYSIS

David Seaman recovered well from his shoulder injury. He may retire this summer.
Richard Wright looked shaky at times. I think Wenger will buy another keeper to replace him.
Stuart Taylor did OK in his few matches. He did better than Richard Wright though.

Lee Dixon hardly played this season but has been a magnificent servant to Arsenal. He has now retired.
Tony Adams again had an injury plagued season. He may also retire this season. Is he still going out with Caprice?
Sol Campbell had a few injuries early on. Will Spurs' fans ever forgive him for deserting them?
Ashley Cole had a great season. He needs to improve his timing of tackles.

Patrick Vieira was brilliant. I do not know if Real Madrid will bid for him.
Robert Pires was fantastic all season. His goal against Aston Villa was my favourite of the season.
Ray Parlour did OK. For some reason Sven has ignored him.

Thierry Henry scored some great goals. His pace was amazing.
Sylvain Wiltord scored some vital goals.
Dennis Bergkamp was pure class.
Kanu spent a lot of time on the bench. He can be so unpredictable.


ARSENE WENGER

I must confess to not having heard of Arsene Wenger before he became Arsenal manager. But he brings a scientific approach to management, which is quite unique.

He introduced plyometrics, which increased the suppleness of the body. He also ensured the analysis of the blood of each player. Tablets were administered to counteract any deficiencies. Even players such as Jamie Redknapp were phoning up the Arsenal asking for these tablets.

Arsene always has something to say to the media. This could have worked against him. Over this season he has managed to outpsych his adversary Sir Alex Ferguson. To win the title at Old Trafford must be the sweetest feeling of all.


THE FUTURE

I get the feeling that an European league will be formed sooner rather than later. Arsenal is well placed to play a part in this league.

Arsenal needs a couple of good defenders and may be a goalkeeper to replace David Seaman.

As a Liverpool supporter I just wish Liverpool had the flair and pace of Arsenal.

UPDATED May 2003

SEASON'S HIGHLIGHTS

The highlight of the campaign was winning the FA Cup final against Southampton. This was the 3rd successive final, which Arsenal had reached. They became the first team since Spurs, of all teams, to retain the cup. The best performance came against Man Utd at Old Trafford. The win in the replay against Chelsea was also quite impressive.

Arsenal finished runners-up in the Premiership. In March they were at least 7 points clear. But they dropped points at Aston Villa and Bolton. The home defeat to Leeds was a shock. Basically the Premiership should have easily been sown up. I believe that the crucial match was the FA Cup win against Man Utd. Arsenal felt that they were the best team in the country after that performance and became complacent.

Arsenal lost at home to Sunderland in the Worthington Cup. It was a rare victory for Howard Wilkinson. I think that Arsenal was winning 2-0 before letting in 3. But this trophy does not feature highly on Arsene Wenger's trophy list.

Arsenal reached the second group stage of the Champions League. They basically played the same attacking formation as for Premiership matches. Perhaps a more patient approach would have reaped a better return in Europe.


MANAGEMENT

Arsene Wenger has done a remarkable job as manager. He always said the right things before matches and in post-match conferences. He even talked about other football issues when Arsenal did not have a match. We have to remember that English is not his first language.

I loved the warring between him and Sir Alex Ferguson. The best quote came last year when Fergie claimed that Man Utd played the better football despite winning nothing. Wenger replied that everyone says that they have the prettiest wife.

Last winter Wenger made the outrageous claim that Arsenal would go through the season unbeaten. He also criticised Valencia and Aston Villa for playing defensively.

This close season will be interesting. Wenger will have to find replacements for the likes of Seaman, Keown, Bergkamp etc. Funds available will be less than before due to the building of the new stadium.


GOALKEEPING

David Seaman had a good season. But at the beginning of the season he made several howlers. Even Frank Skinner parodied him. But he made the save of the season in the FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield Utd. He also completed his 1000th game. But he is 40 and past his best.

I was surprised that Alex Manninger was sold. The Egyptian goalie Rami Shabba had an unfortunate injury. Stuart Taylor has made a few appearances and looked good.


DEFENCE

Pascal Cygan did not really replace Tony Adams. Martin Keown suffered a few injuries. The best defender was Sol Campbell who was a giant. Ashley Cole defended OK and linked up well with the midfield. Luzhny and Stepanovs were mainly on the substitute's bench.


MIDFIELD

Patrick Vieira proved that he was the best midfielder in the country. The timing of his tackles and ball distribution were fantastic. Gilberto Silva came into the side straight from Brazil's World Cup winning team. Edu also settled in well. Lauren played in the back 4 and in midfield. Ray Parlour was not used much. Robert Pires was fantastic. Freddie Llungberg had a few months out injured but scored crucial goals.


ATTACK

Thierry Henry had a magnificent season. The highlight must have been his hat trick in Italy in the Champions League. Dennis Bergkamp showed sublime touches but his stamina was not as great as before. Francis Jeffers looked useful and made his international debut for England as well. Sylvain Wiltord also scored a few goals. Kanu spent a lot of time on the bench. Jermaine Pennant scored a hat trick on his debut. He should blossom next season.

UPDATED April 2005

PRE-MATCH WARMUP

This is another one of my anger-letting updates. When I started writing my Ciao ops I was careful not to put anything to controversial in them. Now I have more confidence in speaking my mind. Duncan Torr certainly prefers my updates to the original ops. I just wish I had his success with the opposite sex.

Due to anxiety-related problems over the past 2 years or so I have not been able to fully analyse the soccer scene. I do try to memorise some results and performances but not in as much detail as before.

This is the first update I have written without being on medication. Usually this causes a lot of repressed anger, which will be reflected in my writing. The very handsome Oliver of Tesco Nutricentre recommended Holly Bach Flower Remedy to counteract anger. This has worked without any side effects. Homeopathic doctors treat the whole person rather than just the symptoms. I feel that they are more caring than NHS doctors and are more interested in your wellbeing rather than pharmaceutical company perks. Check out Oliver, girls.

The more secrets, which I reveal in my ops the closer to reality, I become. Writing can be therapeutic in this instance. There is actually not much about Arsenal in this update. But I hope that you will all have an entertaining read.

To the leggy, blonde Tesco shopper who keeps hitting my shopping basket on purpose, please carry on what you are doing. Supermarkets are the new psychiatric hospitals. Every little flirting helps.


EXETER CITY FC

I cannot remember any matches between Arsenal and Exeter City.

What do you call a Grecian Urn? I am too polite to ask.

I read in Bella magazine that Kylie wears Grecian sandals. She ought to make another appearance as Rah in 'The Henderson Kids'. I should be so lucky to go Down Under.

To 2-timing J: A donkey in Belsen has better morals than you. But thanks to Leopald Fregoli I see you every time on the steps in front of Tesco. Don't speak (No Doubt #1 tearjerker 3/97).

To 2-timing S: I also see you in Tesco thanks to Fregoli again. I was your He-Man. Perhaps I should have walked away as suggested by a pretty Harrods shopper. Never look a gift horse in the mouth. But my heart always rules my head. Honey saved my life. You don't know what you have got till I've gone. (Janet Jackson hit cover originally done in the early 1970s by Joni Mitchell). We never forget. I'd rather leave while I am in love (Rita Coolidge hit penned by Carole Bayer-Sagar). Refer to my' 10 favourite love songs' op for more schmaltz.

Ex marks the cross. I was unhappy to be overlooked for Pope again. I am as celibate as he is apart from the wet fantasies. I must be the first asexual Bengali in history. I must get into the habit of chatting up nuns.

The past few days have produced amazing news: deaths of Jim Callaghan, the Pontiff and Prince Rainier, that wedding, the calling of the General Election, Paddy going off with Viv in Emmerdale etc. This all coincided with a solar eclipse from an e-mail I recently received. Somehow the solar eclipse astrologically affects the goings on on earth. The number of UFO sightings also increases proportionately with the frequency of sunspots. So does the number of Page 3 girls.

I would love to take part in the forthcoming election. But I am too constipated to raise a deposit. My education mantra would be 'education, depression, admission'. I would campaign for better pubic services.


BOLTON WANDERERS FC

For some reason Bolton play better against Arsenal than most other Premiership teams. I remember seeing Bolton play Hull City on New Years Day 1974. It was the worst goalless match I ever saw. How far away is Bolton from Shevington?

I just want to say a few words to the Indian police officer who needlessly honked his horn twice at me in January near Heathrow Airport. You were out of order. I would feel less strongly if a white policeman did likewise. Some inconsiderate Indians are pigs. Conversely some inconsiderate pigs are Indians. No wonder Kermit always has a high-pitched voice. We need more Maggie Habibs.

If he really wants to make some arrests he need look no further than my Mafioso family:

Bhang-taking Kolkata medical students, kleptomaniacs, molesters, bribe givers and takers, jailbirds, attempted murderers, alcoholics, at risk suicidal schizophrenics etc. And the male family members are just as bad. Even convicted child-murderer Robert Boyle would think twice about marrying into our clan.

We make the Dingles look like the Brady Bunch. I hear that Ali Baba is coming out of retirement for one last payday.


MONACO

The Arsenal team jumped into the shower after a hard match. Jordan then joined them at the request of the assistant manager. When asked about the incident Arsene replied 'I did not see that'. The moral of the story is that the P Rice is always right. (I spent ages working on that)

I think that Arsene Wenger was manager of Monaco when Glen Hoddle was at the club. He later left to join a Japanese club in the J-League.

The passing of Prince Rainier a few days ago jogged my brain cell. My mind casts back to the early 1980s when I was between university years. I read on Teletext that the crash was initially not at all serious. Then a few days later the death of Princess Grace was announced which came as a shock. The funeral turned Princess Caroline from a girl to a woman overnight. About 4-5 years later I came across a magazine article, which claimed that the crash was deliberate as the brakes had been tapered with.

There seems to be certain similarities with the Diana crash: death of a non-Royal female who married into the Royle family, suspicious car crash, French connection and cover-up. Coincidence or something more sinister? I suspect a Black World secret organisation with sympathies to the European Royals.

Paul Burrell was brave in speaking out against the Royle Family in his book. But a few weeks after publication his small business (floristry shop?) was mysteriously torched. I don't think anyone was charged with that arson. I feel that the arsonist had some connection with Diana's murderer. But then I am as paranoid as Inspector Clouseau.

Everyone in the world watched that wedding except me. The reports said that the bride looked very radiant. I am not a very good judge of women but I reckon the soccerette on Soccer A.M. was better. Why did they get married when they did? To curry favour with the subjects in preparation with Sir Johnny's watered down report. If there is any suspicion of murder in the report then the end is nigh for the Royles. I want to be the straw, which will break the camel's back.


HULL CITY

I don't know if Arsenal has ever played Hull City. Ex-Gooner Terry Neill became player-manager of Hull City in 1971 (?). He came across a brilliant guy. I think that he lived in Ferriby. When he was sacked as Arsenal manager in the 1980s he was asked about his future plans. He said that he would be celebrating his daughter's 13th birthday later that evening and that was the most important thing in his life. I think that he owns a sports bar now. I would probably drink the profits myself.

The happiest memories of my childhood were attending Hull City matches with my father. That was probably the only bonding we did. Desmond Morris was right when he wrote about the tribal jungle. I can just about recall seeing him on 'Zoo Time' on our portable black-and-white set in the 1960s. Money does corrupt.

Full back Frank Banks was my favourite player. He was the only player who wore his wedding ring on the pitch, which was quite romantic. I went to school with Paul Dennison whose father played for Hull City nil and Wolves (?).

The funniest thing I remember about going to Boothferry Park was carrying 2 carrier bags full of M&S crisps, chocolates, nuts etc. Hull City even had its own train station at the ground. The best match was probably the victory over Sunderland. John Hawley later to be sold to Arsenal for 75K scored a brilliant goal from an impossible angle. Even the Sunderland fans applauded which was big of them. I would love Clare Tomlinson to analyse that goal using the latest technology.

I still feel bitter that my father did not see any of my school rugby matches. I guess that there were no pharmaceutical freebies going. I prefer the simple things in life e.g. kicking a football with my father in East Park on Sundays in the 1960s with my mother proudly looking on. Those were the days (Mary Hopkin #1).

My saddest memory was seeing City lose to Man U in the semis of the 1970 Watney Cup. I think City took the lead through Ken Wagstaffe before Utd equalised with a few minutes remaining. The first ever penalty shoot out I saw ensued. George Best missed for Utd. Wagstaffe did likewise for City. I think it was Terry Neill who hit the cross bar with the 5th kick. Tears were shed that night.

Sometimes we would see schoolteachers at the ground. I saw our Cornish Latin teacher standing in front of us. When he saw me, he simply turned around, ignored and blanked me out for the rest of the game. No wonder his daughter messed up her French O Level oral. Alea iacta est. Columbine. In the last few months I have seen lookalikes of Mr Ashurst and Mr Ransom. Fregoli again.

Often the TV cameras were at the ground for Sunday's 'Match of the Week' programme. Keith Macklin was the main commentator later to be replaced by a young Martin Tyler. Martin Tyler gave a great commentary on Liverpool's Radio City in the early 1980s. I bet that Suzanne Dando fancies him. At one game I noticed my new form master and pointed him out to my father. But at half time he gave his girlfriend a good tonsil tennis lesson, which was not caught by the TV cameras. That will teach him to deduct marks for not putting curly brackets in my set theory exam.

I somehow doubt that my father put me through private school to watch 'Babestation' in the evenings. But he did go to see 'The Language of Love' at Cecil Cinema one Sunday in the mid 1970s. Whatever happened to the Dorchester Cinema? The same fate will befall Ratna the Kirkella rat.


SPURS

I wonder if any Arsenal fans have dated any Spurs fans?

Walthamstow Avenue once drew 0-0 with Man U in the FA Cup many aeons ago. But they lost the replay 8-0.

My uncle is such a Spurs fan that he set up his surgery near the White Hart Lane. He probably doles out more anti-depressants after Spurs defeats than at any other time.

My uncle was an excellent hospital doctor and is an excellent GP. My father is a very good GP for physical illnesses but did not detect his son's mental illness. God help his mental patients.

My relatives do have different approaches to treatment. My father would treat a patient's cough with antibiotics. My uncle would write a letter to the council asking his patient to be rehoused. Doctors should treat the cause rather than the symptoms.

I feel that my uncle was a better father than my dad. My cousin probably did not have my academic qualifications but grew up happy, sociable, well adjusted. He probably gets laid more times in reality than I have in my dreams.

One of the mistakes my uncle made was taking advantage of his job in gaining access to my notes without my permission. While he passed all my details to my parents, my paranoia and anxiety did not decrease. A 2nd helping of Brixton porridge?

My favourite childhood chocolate was Bar 6, which came in a lovely orange wrapper. If you mention bars to my uncle will he stand behind them or drink them dry?

My father referred to my uncle's new wife as an alien as she was not a Bengali. This was being disrespectful to the Greys. He constantly told me that I was black, as he was white. Similarly I was accused of being an introvert while he boasted that he was an extrovert. He even made fun of me and my uncle's stammer. Why does my uncle always deliberately cut the line when we ring him? The caring face of the NHS.

My father is unique, as he has not spoken to his mother-in-law in over 40 years. My grandmother has been to the UK 3 times staying a year each time. On every visit time my mother completely forgot about me and basically sent me to Coventry. That's one of my excuses for messing up my A levels the first time. My father's wish for me to become a doctor was scuppered by his own mother-in-law. The look of delight on my father's face whenever his mother-in-law had to leave Hull to go to London was a picture. Grandma, we don't love you.

Funnily enough in my spirit readings my grandfather has come most often and always has been a guiding hand. It's not often that a man helps his grandson by plotting against his daughter. But he did severely beat my uncle as a child to a pulp with a stick for a minor misdemeanour.


FULHAM

Arsenal does have a very good record against Fulham. I think that the male team also has similar results.

Whenever Fulham score the fans point to their manager and say 'Lookie, let's have nookie with cookie'. It is great to see a young British manager given a chance to work in the Premiership. After his horrific car crash he must have had trouble getting his leg over.

After 'Sunday Worship' on Radio 4 I usually tune in to 'Goals on Sunday' on Sky Sports. I really admire managers who turn up on the show after the previous day's shenanigans. Cookie has appeared several times. I bet he gets jealous when Rob McCaffery puts his hand on Chris Kamara's knee. Has anyone checked out my new hottie Isha of Sky Sports News?

I was in Harrods the other week as Ciaoers do. A small blonde was looking at her texts, tripped up and shouted '*****r'. It nearly put me off my lunch at the Terrace Bar.

Who was that blonde, leggy sales assistant on the lower ground floor opposite the Costa coffee shop who fancied me? Pay rise.

Another large buxom blonde on the ground floor perfume department started looking at her nails the moment she saw me.

Ayse, I say, Ayse what do you call a ground floor sweet counter sales assistant? Turkish delight. Apparently turkey is nutritionally better for you than chicken. It's ages since I had a stuffing.

Why did the Indian sales assistant on the 4th floor lie to me about her breakfast? P45.

I would love to write a Ciao op on Harrods but there is hardly anything to criticise. The pharmacy bit on the lower ground floor looks a little shabby. Perhaps the managers should go to John Lewis to see how it's really done.

If I ever get to write my autobiography I may call it 'Hull, Hell, Harrods'.


WBA

The only Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion I can remember is the 1968 FA Cup final when the late Jeff Astle hit the winner. I think that he scored in every round that season.

We saw Hull City beat West Brom 2-1 in the early 1970s. Two former Throstles John Kaye and Gordon Nisbet also moved to City. The 3 Degrees even saw a few matches at the Hawthorns in 1979. When will I see you again? Are we in love or just friends? Unfortunately the latter.

The Albion fans always go 'boing boing' at the Hawthorns. This was probably a tribute to former boss Ossie Ardiles' middle name of Zebedee. I must check out the share prices of mattress companies in Hagley.

Baby Jane's pillow talk mainly consists of WBA. My pillow talk comprises Hindu gods v Jesus, India v the UK etc. I am all talk and no action. I tend to fall asleep straight away after a nanosecond of action. Period is the new headache. My views on reincarnation are not as strong as in the past. Whatever happened to Ideal milk? I would love to come back in my next life as alternating current's fingertips.

BRADFORD CITY FC

Arsenal won the double in 1971 with a strike force of John Radford and Ray Kennedy. Radford was signed from Bradford City I think. I was surprised when Kennedy was sold to Liverpool who turned him into an international midfielder. He actually played midfield at school. He was a great passer but kept his sharpness around the box. He was just short of the highest level. I recall him hitting the crossbar for England v Italy in the 1980 European Championships.

The biggest bristols I ever saw belonged in Bradford. She was wearing a purple jumper in the rain. My parents and our other Hull relatives used to go regularly to Bradford on Sundays in the 1970s. It always rained. The highlight for me was going around Jacobs' Ladder roundabout. How many Ciaoers live in BRAford? Peter Sutcliffe should never be released.

Unfortunately my uncle and aunty could not attend our Kolkata wedding. So they very kindly gave us a belated but expensive wedding present a few months later. As usual my mother stole that from our London flat. My 2 honeytrap WPCs Barbie and Sindi should investigate. I would love to help them with their inquiries. Honour thy mother and father (Exodus). Refer to my 'Alpha Telecom' op.


WEST HAM UTD FC

My claim to fame was that my uncle once spoke to Frank Lampard snr. He was the one with the beard. I cannot remember how many times he played for England. In those days the Hammers used to be near the top of the First Division at Xmas. But they always seemed to come down with the decorations.

In the early 1970s I was gutted to find the Hammers beat Hull City 1-0 in the 2nd round of the League Cup. Peter Eustace scored the late winner. I think that he later played for Sheffield Wednesday. I also saw City beating Wednesday, 2-1 with my father and uncle on a very cold afternoon. West Hams' goalie, Bobby Ferguson was on loan for Wednesday that day but he kept dropping the ball.

I cannot fathom why so many Arsenal players are sold to West Ham. Alf Garnett was a Hammer. The American equivalent was Archie Bunker. Some of my rants on the Internet are no better.


ARSENAL

Last season Arsenal made history going through the season unbeaten. One Sky pundit said that they played like Brazil at times. I felt that the Euro 2004 championships tired out the players physically and mentally. But it must have been difficult for the players to motivate themselves having achieved so much last season. Patrick Viera's mind was not right after his move to Real Madrid broke down.

I must read 'Fever Pitch' by Nick Hornby. I did enjoy the film. I wish I had a teacher like Ruth Gemmell. I must take a chance on borrowing a copy from the library.


FINAL SCORE

I really enjoyed writing this update. Ciao ops are my main outlets for ridding my mind of the junk, which have accumulated over the years. I hope that you don't mind the few digressions along the way.

I am now thinking about my future earnings. I certainly would not want to work for a firm, which would be crazy enough to employ me. I would love to be a sex instructor but do not have the experience. I'd even make the first lesson free.

I am now off to tamper with my tampons with some crampons.

Thanks for reading.

Happy Gooning.

Ciao for now.

Paul xxx

UPDATED June 2005

I just want to say a big thanks to Craig, Neil and alia for their support over the past few months.

I also want to thank that lady who looks like Elizabeth Taylor. I usually see her at the zebra crossing. But at Tesco she was in a wheelchair.

Arsenal won the 2005 FA Cup final after a forgettable match. Man Utd dominated the 120 minutes without taking their chances. But the penalty shootout lottery prevailed in the end. The match was nowhere as exciting at the 1979 Cup final where Alan Sunderland slid in for the winner.

Every little va-va-voom helps.

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Comments about this review »

JoePoirot 07.12.2006 16:24

Celebrity fans: Greg Rusedski, David Soul, Prince Harry, Ainsley Harriot, Alan Davies etc etc

groinstraddle 19.08.2005 01:41

A very good and accurate concise history of the club. Does turn into a bit of a rant at the end. Laters!

marcellep 26.05.2005 11:40

Great review, interesting reading. Rob

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