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Keep The Faith As Arsenal Look Ahead To The Next Season

Keep the faith Gooners..

It’s been a long time since I blogged. Lots of travel (both personal and work-related), plus a change in job (which included a hell lot of transition) and most of all, Arsenal’s poor form, kept me away from 11G, something I feel very apologetic about. I sometimes doubted my allegiance towards the lads, as the trend suggested I kept away at a time the team wasn’t doing well. But I’m sure that’s not the case, it’s never been, and it never will be.

Infact the end of this season marks my decade as an Arsenal faithful – a decade filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, the speed of Henry and the skill of Silvestre (remember his 1-2-1 with Messi!?), the vision of Bergkamp (who btw celebrates his birthday today!) and the strength of Eduardo (and Diaby, and Ramsey, etc), the invincibility of Vieira’s men and the ineptness of Cesc’ charges, the calm on Arsene’s face (first half of the decade) and the callousness in his demeanour (offlate) – I’ve been through them all.

That brings me to Arsenal’s recent loss of form, and how! I won’t bore you with the stats or an entailing account of the games, but I can still recall ‘that’ moment of madness between Koscielny and Szczesny. From being the only team in all 4 competitions at the end of February, to the only one which repeated the same mistakes for 6 seasons running, it’s been quite a tectonic journey.

I can go on and on with the likes of FC Barcelona and Manchester United and their dubious ‘winning ways’, but I leave that for my more experienced peers. Either way, history will remember season 2010-11 for who won the European Cup, and not who stuck to his principles come what may; so what he (ref: le boss ofcourse) ended up facing failure all over again.

The fact remains that Arsenal have now spent 6 trophy-less seasons – the day is not far when the idea of a ‘trophy cabinet’ at the Emirates is permanently shelved! On a serious note, although I am saddened by Arsenal inability to close seasons and emerge champions in whatever little capacity, I can still quote enough reasons to keep believing. Again, I would refrain from giving a telling account on how we’re now financially stable (and others are not), we have a robust youth set-up (a lot others don’t), we ‘make’ players (others ‘buy’ them), referees save their worst for us (never against our oppositions), and lastly how we play the game beautifully (and not cheat occasionally to get the job done). A bagful of reason to keep the faith I say.

Moving on, I would ideally want to see wholesome changes at my club. Changes which include doing away with atleast 5 of the first-team starters including Denilson (simply not good enough), Rosicky (respect him, but never been the same post-injury), Diaby (too injury prone for a club as big as ours), Almunia (no point having both him and Fabianski in the squad – ain’t one calamitous player good enough?) and Eboue (love him off the field, but seriously not him please, no offence!)

Off-loading 5 squad players’ raises the obvious question, ‘whom do we replace them with?’ Fellow bloggers (with much better insights than yours truly) have been pitching in for the likes of Samba, Cahill, Parker. Not that I’d sidetrack them, but going for them would supersede the bigger question. Experts, pundits and former players alike, have unanimously pointed out a lack of ‘winning mentality’ being Arsenal’s biggest nemesis over the past 5-6 seasons.

We’ve lost proven winners like Vieira, Henry and even Gilberto – players who know how to inspire fellow team-mates and up the ante when the going gets tough. I doubt if the aforementioned Englishmen are armoured with the pre-requisite credentials. Agree that they know the physical nature of the English game inside-out, and have proven themselves with lesser sides, over a period of time. But pre-assuming that they alone can guide Arsenal back to winning ways would be too naïve a thought in my earnest opinion. The eventual decision rests with boss himself, and in him I’ll always trust.

In Arsene We Trust. Period.

This brings me to Arsene himself. First things first, exactly how many of you want him out? I’ve got just one sentence for you all, ‘I pity you.’ The man is a legend and sticking to the routine, I’ll avoid going into the details. I just hope he turns a little flexible and slightly does away from the ‘all-for youth policy’ for once. A right balance of exuberant youth (mind you likes of Cesc, Nasri, etc are still in their early twenties) and proven winners (hopefully a couple of new signings) will take us afar.

Amen to that..

Here’s to Arsenal returning to winning ways before the season bids adieu. Then lets gear up for changes galore. Cheers!

PS: A decade as an Arsenal fan is simply not good enough. I want a lifetime more of red & white! Fingers crossed x x

Follow me on Twitter @trulytazz

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Note: If any of you want to share your views/opinions on the club from N5 (read: Arsenal!), leave Us a comment at the bottom. We’ll get back right away & be glad to give you a chance. Keep Gunning..

Never Been To The Emirates? Don’t Worry, This Should Help!


Every Gooner dreams of this day..

Hi all, 11Gunners have asked me to explain the match-day experience at the Emirates, how everything goes on in the lead up and after a match and also about how life inside the club works. I however, am just another supporter like the millions all over the world, however I have done some media work and will try and share any knowledge I have.

Also View:

The Emirates(Part 1): We Were There!

The Emirates(Part 2): Quotable Quotes!

The Emirates(Part 3): Trophies!

The Emirates(Part 4): In And Around!

The Emirates(Part 5): Over The Years!

The preparation for a match day starts with a pre-match press conference usually the day before the game (sometimes two days if the game is away from home). The Press conference is split up into two parts. The TV part (what you see on AVTO) and the newspaper part where the papers get to quiz the boss (we do not see this, only get to read it). The Press conference is exactly how you see it online, having been present at a few, journalists gather usually around half an hour before the press conference is scheduled. Then do their write ups straight after the press conference and before they leave the training ground. When I have been present, the atmosphere has always been quite relaxed. In one particular one, the boss came out a few minutes early and said ‘you’re in shock because I am early’ which was greeted with laughs and everyone rushing to their seats!

The boss also does an interview with AVTO and this is usually on Thursday. The injury news you get from the press conference is what you would tend to go by as this is done a day later. I even saw the room where the interview is done and where the players sometimes give interviews (used to be called Spotlight on Friday nights) and I can tell you, this room is tiny!

The night before a home game, the team spends at a hotel where they can focus for the game in hand. Away games are trickier because it depends on distance if they go the night before or on the day itself.

The team then come to the ground and what happens then is quite obvious as they prepare and go out and win (most the time) the game.


In Arsene's hot-seat!

After the match, post match interviews take place and the post match press conference etc. The players do whatever they do after games then go and meet any family members who were present at the game. Some players do other stuff which the club organises for people in boxes who have paid top dollar.

Players then go to their cars and leave the ground, sometimes stopping along the way where supporters have gathered.

That is the general way match day is for the staff of the club but for the fans and supporters it’s slightly different! Many like to go and have a pre-match beer and a chat with fellow followers and some prefer to go and get a burger. Some like to get in early and watch the warm ups and others may just turn up before kick off.

Sometimes there are activities going around outside the ground, for example sometimes, EA sports have a spot where they have activates going on. Sometimes the charity of the season is also raising money and lemons like me are just walking around singing Arsenal songs.

The club shops on match days are always busy, there is two located at the ground and one not to far next to Finsbury park station.

Match days for me are special, I feel like a kid at Christmas and have a buzz every time I go to an Arsenal game (home or away).

Arshavin - Never short of words!

A few asked what the interaction with players is like. There are two Members’ Days where every player is involved and there is question and answer sessions and also signing sessions. There are other QnA’s during the season where supporters get the chance to meet the players. There are often signing sessions in the club shop too.

Footballers in general are quite free spirits living in London. My cousin saw Abou Diaby in Brent Cross shopping centre (a shopping complex in North West London) and a friend saw Bac Sagna in a restaurant in Kensington, so I am sure players are spotted everywhere which shows they have freedom.

That is as much information I can give you on general match days and other things that supporters abroad may not know.

Hope this has been useful.

One thing I can assure you off is ARSENAL IS THE GREATEST PLACE TO BE ON MATCH DAYS!

by –

Akhil Vyas (Follow me on Twitter and also check my blog!)

Follow 11G on Twitter @11gunnerz

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Note: If any of you want to share your views/opinions on the club from N5 (read: Arsenal!), leave Us a comment at the bottom. We’ll get back right away & be glad to give you a chance. Keep Gunning..

PS: Sign our Petition against ESPNSTAR clicking here, thanks!

Always Believe In ‘The Arsenal’.


<<The Pride of North London>>

Reasons why our beloved team is better known as, ‘The Arsenal‘.

  • Q. Which team has spent the most consecutive seasons in the English top flight (90 years and counting)?
  • A. The ARSENAL
  • Q. Which team holds the longest unbeaten sequence in the English top flight (49 games, from May 7th 2003 to October 16th 2004)?
  • A. The ARSENAL
  • Q. Which team has the longest unbeaten away sequence in English league football (27 games, April 5th 2003 to September 25th 2004)?
  • A. The ARSENAL
  • Q. Which team has the longest consecutive scoring run in league games in England (55 games from May 19th 2001 to November 30th 2002)?
  • A. The ARSENAL
  • Q. Who scored the most away goals in an English league season (60 goals in 1930/31)?
  • A. The ARSENAL
  • Q. Which team has scored the most goals in an English league season (127, in 1930/31)?
  • A. The ARSENAL
  • Q. Which team has the record for most goals scored by a single player in an English top flight game (Ted Drake – seven goals away at Aston Villa, December 14th 1935)?
  • A. The ARSENAL
  • Q. Which club holds the record for having the highest number if players in an England starting eleven (seven players, versus Italy in 1934)?
  • A. The ARSENAL
  • Q. Which club has the highest attendance in English league football (83,260 for a game against Man Utd at Maine Road in 1948)?
  • A. The ARSENAL
  • Q. Which team has featured in all three of the highest-attendance league games in English football?
  • A. The ARSENAL
  • Q. Most away points in a top flight English season (47 in 2001/02)?
  • A. The ARSENAL
  • Q. Most consecutive Champions League matches without conceding a goal (October 18th 2005 to April 26th 2006)?
  • A. The ARSENAL
  • Q. First team to use numbers on the back of their shirts (1927)?
  • A. The ARSENAL
  • Q. First team to play a match broadcast live on radio (versus Sheffield United, 1927)?
  • A. The ARSENAL
  • Q. First team to play in a match broadcast live on TV (versus Arsenal reserves, 1937)?
  • A. The ARSENAL
  • Q. First team to play a match broadcast live in 3D (versus Man Utd, January 31st 2010)?
  • A. The ARSENAL

There you have it.

The Arsenal is not just a club with history.

It’s a club that writes history, shapes history and makes history.

Others may have their moments in the sun, but only one side has endured in such a way for such a long time.

I look at the supporters of all other teams and feel only pity.

So thank whichever God watches over you (or if you ascribe to the new religion of Darwinism, thank the mindless tinkering of the blind watchmaker) for one simple fact:

You are lucky enough to have been BORN TO SUPPORT THE ARSENAL.

Follow 11G on Twitter @11gunnerz

Like‘ Our Page on Facebook here!

Note: If any of you want to share your views/opinions on the club from N5 (read: Arsenal!), leave Us a comment at the bottom. We’ll get back right away & be glad to give you a chance. Keep Gunning..

PS: Sign our Petition against ESPNSTAR clicking here, thanks!

Arsenal Look All Set To ‘Hammer’ West Ham!

Occasion may differ, the result won't!

It’s that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcome of all of this week’s Premier League games. I’m running a predictions league and my team would seem to be the yo yo team in the league as I’m now down to seventh place after rising to second place only two weeks ago. Sitting proudly on top of the table is Stephen Bradley and at least he’s a fellow Gooner which is far more preferable than him supporting another team and winning my league.

I’m hoping to have a great week this week and make my way back up the table but if I can’t improve on last week’s six wrong predictions I’ll be dropping further down the table.

Michael Sheehy a.k.a. Jamrock Rover, takes out time for 11G in this exclusive. Do check his very famous blog at OleOle. Follow him on Twitter @JamrockRover. Read on.. (more…)

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