Category Archives: Grimbo

Robin van Persie gives Arsenal the double guns

Grim thoughts: Return of the Angri…(parts 1, 2 and 3)

It’s been a while since I’ve written here, almost the whole season in fact. I’d like to quickly apologise to anyone that does like my piffle and offer special thanks to Tim the Enchanter himself for putting up with my many promises to write which have too often evaporated faster than the concept of fair play in a FIFA meeting. It’s been a tough year for me at work…the painful truth is that after 14 years of doing what I do, 8 of which as a co-owner of the business, it looks like the game will finally be up in the summer as the business climate is gloomier then a Gooner during the transfer window and as irrevocable as RvP’s reputation. It’s been distracting to say the least but it’s really only half the truth.

The other half of my self-induced writing coma actually came as a surprise. It’s taken me a while to get it straight in my mind and in fact it only really coalesced in my mind on Monday. What compelled me to write again after such a long hiatus I hear you furiously type? Well as I’m writing this the Manc’s have just claimed their 20th title with the media dropping volumes of literary spoof all over ManUre’s team, that Dutch prick and of course Fergie for taking advantage of the Skunk’s treachery and buying the 30 goals that he lacked last season like he’s some sort of tactical genius that didn’t just buy the best player in the league. In reading and viewing all this Grade A typical ManUre cockmongery I have asked myself; how do I feel about all this? The sad answer is; that in until Monday I didn’t feel much… this season was pretty much over for me the moment HE put on a gingham tablecloth and basically did for them exactly what he should have been doing for US this season. Instead I was reminded how cold football has become. Again, a player that claimed to love the Cannon on his chest, a fan since he was an ACTUAL little boy, someone who has posed for a picture with “No 1 Fan” on a jersey with images of his yearning to play for us since his youth… someone who I thought was one of us was in fact not. He’d had a disagreement with the ‘direction the club was going in’ and held us over a barrel just like so many others have in the last 5 years.

Say what you like about him having the talent deserving of trophies. Fuck that. Personally I think he deserves a hefty kick in the nether regions every weekend for at least 6.5 seasons. He’s lower in my mind’s eye then Ibra – because at least Ibra’s honest… he’s always been a mercenary. Say what you like about him picking ManUre over Citeh for ‘Footballing’ reasons or that he could have ‘gone for the cash’ at Citeh I personally think Fergie offered him the kind of reach around that Mancini’s ego never would allow and as his options thinned out; no Farca, Real’s teabagging of Ronaldo, Juve were too poor, PSG already had Zlatan and Citeh for the first time since hitting black gold trying to control a wage bill that reads more like the US trade deficit. The canny predator that is SAF saw an opportunity, saw what RvP was, and was willing to spend an insane amount of money for a player that had 1.5 good seasons in 8 and who at 29 only had a few years left at the top. RvP knew this, we knew this – hell even Citeh knew it… old red nose took a small gamble on his ability to remain fit and it paid off.

After it was announced it was like someone had torn out my heart and replaced it with a series seven sports heart from Jensen* after which I began a season long intravenous novocaine drip – I’ve watched every match this season in a half stupor… every time I saw that grinning toe rag on the TV I’d just switch it off and do something else with only mild mumblings. In my heart, I truly believe that it would have been us competing or winning the title in this run in if we’d have managed to re-sign him. I don’t fall into the ‘keep him and let him go for free’ camp because players more often than not only play like that when they’re happy, I say this in the full knowledge that I’m going to get an explosion of “You don’t know what you’re talking about” in the comments below about how the whole team is shit, Wenger is a nincompoop and the entire Board are nothing but money hoarding trolls sitting on a huge pile of cash like Smaug atop his treasure.** You’re all welcome to your opinions, but as I see it if he’d have not said what he said on his website we’d have at least had some stability. Song, being about as bright as a beige painted kitchen, most likely would not have agitated and the team we had last year PLUS iPod, Giroud & Cazorla not to mention fit again Wilshere/Rosicky/Rambo it would have been a seriously interesting team to watch play.

Sure; say what you like about the HFB/iPod being bought to replace RvP, I personally don’t buy that… the deals were done too early in a very ‘un-Arsenal’ fashion in my opinion to deal with what I suspect is RvP’s whinging about lack of superstars…regardless of if you agree with me or not, the fact is that unless you have a spy cam inside the Board room or direct access to the inner workings of Wenger’s bonce I suggest we’ll never know for sure. In addition of course, it’s all moot. He had his ‘meeting’ after which, either he or his agent, posted a message crafted for one purpose only: To burn his bridges with us.

Robin van Persie gives Arsenal the double guns

Essentially it was a very public Craigslist post; “Striker for sale; 2 careful owners, has been involved in accidents but refurbished to ‘better then new’ cond, good runner, great for weekend twists & turns, happy to sell personal legacy, make myself/wife/father look like idiots in exchange for guarantee of silverware and a truckload of cash.”

After that our position was untenable. Arsenal, ever the ‘fiscally sensible’ club took the 24 mill, Song instantly thought he was Cesc reincarnate and flashed his tits to other clubs and the rest is sad history. Another summer fucked by players that we’ve shown unwavering loyalty to and which left us rebuilding for the fifth summer in a row. I don’t know why this one hurt more than others personally speaking. I’m a reasonably smart man, I know that if you drop large cash on a new house it means the far flung vacations and new shiny toys must be limited…and by and large I applaud the way the club has handled things since the switch to the Emirates. Think about it, we did not do this like ANY other club! No government support like in Spain, no legislation or fan ownership like in Germany. No stand by stand like the Red/Black half of London/Manchester. No free handouts like Shitty. No council knee trembler like Wet Hams are about to get. We raised the capital and built the Emirates, from scratch all by OURSELVES, on the backs of; supporters, player sales, savvy land management and sheer force of will.

So why did this summer hurt more than others? Perhaps because of the statements he’d made when others had left? Maybe… I never bought into the Cesc worship…a great player yes, but he was always headed back, we were always his stepfather and he wanted to hang with his real daddy regardless of the fact that his real daddy only really gave a toss when we made him the man he is. Flamoney/Hleb/Adeybayor/Song/Na$ri/Clichy were all transparently in it for the dosh to these eyes, they never carried the Cannon. Even Toure to a certain respect, although he’s been far more becoming in my eyes and I’m sure Gooner history will be much kinder to him.

I think my issues is that I took it personally, because for the first time since Henry had left I thought a player genuinely loved the club like we do. I’d abandoned my simple “Grimbo” and player number on my jersey and, while still refusing to put a full player name/number on my back (not since Henry…I just can’t), I at least paid homage to the Dutchman with ‘v. Grimbo 10’. I loved van Persie…I’d always argued his corner despite the numerous seasons where fate fucked RvP’s ankles, knees et-al and by extension each successive season we didn’t replace him with a like for like. I’d always thought; finally a player that Wenger had gambled on when almost everyone else would have cut their losses and run. A player that was obviously world class, someone who could live up to legacy left to us by TH14 & DB10. That we finally had a player who understood, who looked at the Cannon and said ‘home’ who would repay our faith with glory…complete his fairytale return to form with Silverware in our dusty cabinet. To be the first real hero of the Emirates!

This I believed like godly people believe in their respective deities… right up to the moment I read the statement on his website and the realisation dawned on me, he didn’t believe. I did that Warner Bros cartoon thing where the character gets stitched up and turns into a Jackass when he realises he’s been had. Not only was he a liar and a mercenary of the worst sort, not only had he decided to shun us but also to fuck us all in the most painful manner possible, by going to an old enemy and guaranteeing them a title that I thought was ours by right… To claim that they suffered last season in comparison to our 8 years? Bollocks… oh sure our Cock/Ball neighbours have a FAR worse history in that regard but I don’t care about them one jot.

On that day my obsession not just with Arsenal, but with football full stop took one look at the situation, said ‘Fuck this’ and went for a walkabout somewhere deep in my subconscious. Look as I might for my Angry Green Man whenever I tried to write again the passion wasn’t there. I didn’t believe in what I was saying… I knew we couldn’t compete this season that all the boo-boys were right and we were just going to fight for 4th again…knowing you’re fucked before you even start is about as much fun as taking it up the poop chute with a hedgehog tipped dildo.  T’was the day my romance with great players that kiss the badge, that believe in a dream, that love one club over all others was gone and with it a lot of my passion to write… I had dared to believe that he could live up to the shirt number he’d lusted over. I was wrong. When life takes your beliefs and jets runny poo all over them it takes a while to recover…the well of passion I needed to write these epic opus’ was dryer then Death Valley. Then like a switch after I saw that grinning cuntbag, read the line “I’ve waited for so long for a Premier League title” something happened.

The rage came back…

While I knew, like many of you, that this was coming all year the shock of seeing it actually happen snapped me out of my coma like a cold February slap across the thighs in PE… On Monday as it all sank in it was like a scene from “Kill Bill” and as I sit & write this in my mind’s eye I’m in the Pussywagon saying to myself “wiggle your big toe.”*** In short I think this season may well be looked upon as a moment when the club got a big slap across the face and woke up bit. I fucking well hope it is.

As a man whose missus fucked off with his best mate some three years ago, let me tell you; revenge is a powerful motive. Don’t get mad, get even. The rot appears to have stopped – Walcott’s re-signing in January was somewhat of a turning point in theory… this far: NO further. Who gives a fuck if he’s worth the money or not – it was just as important to break the habit of being fucked over by players as it was to keep an asset. From now on, anyone not playing ball needs to be shipped out… I see it in Wenger too…there’s been a more ruthless streak to his player management this season; benching of players regardless of their team standing, an unwillingness to yield to the media…the much vaunted ‘siege mentality’ although only in patches. This we need… we need these players, this club and everyone in it to remember…

“You need big shoulders to play for this club. The Cannon is heavy.”

So on Saturday Sunday I say we should all choke back the bile, smile at that guard of honour bullshit… live it, let RvP rub our faces in it…watch every chomp of that masticating red nosed arsehole and suck it up. Be silent and let their fans rub it in, suck all the air out of the Emirates with a sheer vacuum of indifference. Aim the disappointment down on the pitch and let everyone there, from the board to the players know that this has to be a turning point… Do it not by shouting and raging like those classless cunts in Fulham. We are Arsenal, we ARE different. We should be using distain, distaste and disregard for all others, for disappointment hurts far worse than vile vitriol. Trust me – I know a thing or two about betrayal. I hope we can start with a sound beating of them on Saturday Sunday but the real work starts in the summer… I’m fucking PISSED, are you?


*Tsk, tsk…you’ve not seen Robocop have you…? No not the new one, the 1987 original.
** SIGH! Go read or watch “The Hobbit.”
*** Oh FFS you don’t get this one EITHER? Where’s the point in my witty use of modern popular western cultural references if you haven’t bloody well READ or SEEN them eh?

Who are we? Who are we? Who are we?

Earlier in the week I was asked to define 7amkickoff. It was a simple enough request: “Can you send me a sentence or two summing up 7amkickoff?” but, as it turns out, defining yourself is not that simple.

It should be simple. “Who am I? Why am I here?” is the question that everyone asks themselves soon after they realize that they are, in fact, a person and that they are, in fact, “here.” Hey, wait, I’m my own person? What kind of person am I? If there were a terrace full of people experiencing an existential crisis they might perhaps chant: Who are we? Who are we? Who are we?

And it was easy to define myself when I first started writing — I was “The Arsenal Blog From An American Perspective” — because like a young kid just realizing that you are a person, you start with a basic concept like “I’m American!” and then try on a lot of different ideas until you settle on the ones that really fit you.

In my Arsenal Writing Youth, I was a “wild eyed optimist” (factually, you can’t spell “optimist” without “tim”). I was a cranky anti-Arshavinist (I still am). I was a pro-Wengerist (still am). I built my own statistical database (still use it). I wrote poems like a teenage girl (still do). I built the “7amkickoff Index” — a data driven style of writing borrowed from “Harper’s Index” (which is now my By the Numbers column on Arseblog News). And I wrote travelogues that literally tens of people loved (still do).

But since then I’ve added some contributors and just as important readers who add to the collective conversation that is 7amkickoff: Grimbo and Chary came first. Grimbo filled with righteous sanctimony and Chary with pragmatic match day reportage. And now we have Les Crang and Arsenal Letters adding their pieces to the mix, Les with the wonderful pieces on Arsenal’s history and Arsenal Letters with the insightful match previews. And 11 Cannons (not listed in the official Who Are We section of the blog, yet) who is going to add artistic flair to the site with some very special graphics. And before this starts to sound like the epilogue from The Breakfast Club:

Dear Readers, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Tuesday at 4am for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. As a…

I guess I will actually have to get down to the business of defining “7amkickoff” — a sort of mission statement if you will.

Here’s what we are:

We are forward thinking — Have you heard the one about how Arsenal haven’t won a trophy in eight years? Me too. I’ve read Arsénal: the making of a modern superclub and I think that’s about as thorough an explication of the recent past that anyone needs to understand why we are where we are today. If you want to dwell on why Arsene bought Silvestre, go right ahead. I’ve decided that I don’t care about that any more. I want to look forward, toward a better Arsenal future and not some past full of mistakes.

We are rooted in Arsenal’s history — Just because we want to look forward doesn’t mean we can’t also look back. We honor Arsenal’s history, the good times and the bad because Arsenal’s history if what makes us different from Chelsea or Man City. So, don’t want to forget our history but we also  don’t be enslaved to it.

We are storytellers — the goal of my writing is always to tell a story and just like with any story there will be opinion, but opinion is not the point. The point is to take you from whatever dreary little hole you work (or live) in and transport you someplace else. I want to take you all to the Swansea game, not  just tell you that I thought “so and so’s match was yet another example of Wenger’s profligacy in the transfer market”. There will be some of that but it’s never the point. The point is always to tell a story.

We are data driven – whenever we do write an opinion, we try to do our research. Les is notorious for his research, I can’t tell you how many sources he pulls for one of his historical articles. I love data, obviously. Chary reports what he sees. 11 Canons draws from myriad sources to make his original artwork. And Arsenal Letters gives match previews based on all available data for that week. Our one, lone, voice of unreason is Grimbo. And even he doesn’t just spout off. He knows his stuff inside and out, then he spouts off!

And I, Tim, am an iconoclast – you hold up any icon and my urge is going to be to smash it — yes, even Arsene Wenger. Everyone and everything deserves to be challenged. If it’s strong enough, it will stand up to the meager challenge of some Arsenal blogger.

In short, 7amkickoff is an iconoclastic Arsenal collective of writers and readers who write and discuss in equal measures analytical, passionate, historical, and forward thinking stories about the club that we all love. The Arsenal.



Grim Thoughts: Solving the revolving door.

So our first game’s out of the way after the long, dry, real football environ that is the off season and it was great to see the Bay Area Gooner contingent down at Maggies in San Francisco at the weekend. A really great bunch, & good friends. There was a lot to take as positive from the most A-Typical Sunderland park-the-bus approach which was to be expected from an O’Neill team with as much will to win as a fat kid bunking off P.E. with a note from his mum. There were some obvious missed passes that were due to lack of playing time but all the new signings looking good if yet to gel. ESPECIALLY our new Spanish wizard who would rip the Sunderland attempts to stop him, apart at will. Yes there was ‘that’ miss from the benefactor of my new Jersey (12 Grimboud)… but fuck it, that’s just lack of playing time. We didn’t get gazumped with a last minute “against the run of play” goal for the Northerners so the pub left in good Song, which as it happens brings me to the main point of this post.

Much of the talk and swearing in the pub was about the biggest back stabber since the streets of London were roamed by some bloke called Jack who had the unfortunate last name of “Ripper” – I mean what other profession was he likely to take up – Jack the Ripper: Professional Fartist? Yes I jest, but I think I’m on fairly solid ground in saying that this is how most Gooners (barring Ian Wright of course) see the YaarVeePee situation. If our old captain’s betrayal was a Hollywood script that could have been penned by George Lucas himself (boyhood fan, becomes man, stabs mentor in back after flirting with the Dark Side) it appears to be an annoying trend that we find the talent, usually overlooked, undervalued or passed over for whatever reason, develop it and then when it’s either becoming the end product or is showing real promise, some rich fuck rolls up in a Limo with a chequebook and fiscally flashes their tits at them. Their agent says “PHWOOOAAR” and starts ‘talks’ then advises the player to start agitating with a quotes like “I’ll always be a Gooner” – “At the moment I’m a Gooner, in the future who knows” etc. This occurs after a conversation along the lines of: (in your best Arthur Daley* accent) “Look sahn, ah do this all the time yeh? Best fing to do is let me ‘ave a chat with ‘em yeh? Find aht wots on offa and then cahm back and see what the Arse do. Either way yer onto a winner right? Yer’ll eivver stay an’ get more whonga, or go and get more whonga – either way; more whonga!” We know the rest… Papers have a mediagasm spend all day finding out what rhymes with ‘club in crisis’.

Bottom line is that money talks, and classless fucks gravitate towards piles of cash like a meteor flirting with the Earth around the end of the Jurassic era. It has always happened, it will always happen, those are the facts. We either plan around it or we try to emulate them. Both options are fraught with danger – the former is that we can no longer compete; the latter is that a big money donor might not be of the Abramovich/Mansour ilk and might be a crook that plummets the club into Man U levels of debt.

I personally believe the former is the better option purely because I’m looking at 2014 when the sponsorship deals are up and if ManUre can get their underpants sponsored I’m pretty sure we can too. The former allows us to be in control of our own destiny, the latter is akin to puckering up, closing your eyes and hoping whoever you make contact with isn’t a complete munter. Plus – the news of David Silva’s stalled contract talks, and Adeybeywhore’s ‘transfer’ to the Spuds show that all Citeh have done is created cash-expectant monsters who have a sense of entitlement not seen since the House of Lords in its glory days. David Silva is on 130k sterling a week and wants parity with those on 200k in order not to feel undervalued. In reality I laughed a lot more than this, but for the sake of my word count and your patience I will limit my tittering to: Ha. Ha. FUCKING Ha.

Back to us – what do we do in the mean time? There’s about 18-24 months until we can pump new sponsors for the privilege of sitting underneath the famous cannon and until then I think it’s time we set up a set of criteria that are pre-requisites, not for new players, for ANY player we’re interested in. They are as follows:

1)      DNA screening: All players that we’re even mildly interested in must submit their DNA for testing to ensure that no Barca DNA is present. If it is in sufficient amounts then they are rejected without question because I’m a non-violent person but reading that initialisation** and that abbreviation in the same sentence makes me want to go Hulk over the whole of Catalonia which I’m told, despite the despicable nature of their club, is actually a nice place.

2)      Agent interviews: All players managed by Darren Dein are firmly told to fuck off until they have removed the cunt. Kees Vos is fast getting to the same level except that the Verminator re-signed and isn’t looking like those other players, having said that I thought the same about horse face.

3)      Little boy checks: Before any terms are discussed when we/they are showing interest they must have a Cat scan to see if there are any little boys inside them. If present, said internal little boys are psychologically profiled to discover if they are in fact the sort of little boys that will ‘hold their breff’ until they get ice cream. If so they are rejected.

4)      Coaching badges check: Players must submit to a lie detector test to discover if they hold any coaching badges or indeed if they know ANYTHING AT ALL about the running of one of the world’s biggest football clubs. If they do they are rejected because PLAYERS are PLAYERS and should just fucking PLAY. Not dictate to CLUBS things like policy, transfers, tactics, etc. Suggestions, fine, but demands? Fuck you, you fucking fuck. I do wish I could be in the changing room of a certain Northern club when a certain Dutchman tries demanding something from a certain Scotsman who is to Wenger’s calm and collected reasoning what a smooth Islay Single Malt is to Diet Coke & Mentos***

So a simple four step plan to get us to 2014… I like it, but then I should, it’s my idea.

For now, it appears that we may have a couple of new signings still to come in but I can’t be arsed on the speculation because that’s what twitter is for. In the whole this is not an unpleasant start to the season barring the usual blatant one sided reporting from the press but I’ve recently discovered new Zen Master Techniques help me control my reaction to those. All our ‘usual’ competitors lost barring the irritable bowl syndrome of football; Citeh who were almost beaten by a team that cost 3 million, a great match – hats off to the Saints – and to their fans who after the final whistle sang as if they’d won. So until next time – purge your mind of Songs about Purse strings and C’MON YOU REEEDS!


*Search Youtube for  “Minder”…then get the joke.
**Not to be confused with an acronym as an editor recently told me. An acronym makes a legible word like FUBAR, LASER, LANS where as an initialism is just first letters; TTYL, FYI, BTW.
***Really – you haven’t seen what happens when you put a Mentos into a bottle of Diet Coke? Where the fuck have you been for the last five years? Do you know what the interwebs is for yes? Sigh… ok – click here