Which is pretty much what he did against Olympiakos as well.
Sigurdur Jonsson‘s very short career consisted of merely 10 games over a period of 1 year. Hardly a career, more a blip on the Arsenal map. Actually though he was a player that ‘might have been’ at the Arsenal. We’ve had players like that before. Alex Cropley in the 1970’s, Vladimir Petrovic in the early 1980’s and Glenn Helder in the 1990’s. Very similar to these players, but oh so different. The other three players mentioned were all attacking players who never made it at Arsenal, leaving after between 6 months to 2 years. These players were sold on for a loss. Unfortunately, Siggi joined us and suffered a back injury that ended his career at Arsenal.
Siggi Jonsson was a strong, central midfield general. In the previous 4 years we had similar players such as Stewart Robson, Steve Williams and Kevin Richardson. The last two had helped us win a league cup trophy and 1st division championship. Many (or may be just myself) felt Siggi would be the next in a successful line of defensive midfielders at Arsenal, following one from the last three as well as other such as Peter Storey in the double winning team of 1970-71.
Siggi Jonsson was an icelandic international that we had signed from Sheffield Wednesday. A season or two previously we had signed one of Arsenal’s most under rated winger in Brian Marwood. It is difficult to think that prior to the Premier League,in the old first division Wednesday were a top 6 club. In fact, sometimes Wednesday could attract players we tried to buy (Andy Sinton) in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. So, getting Siggi was a fairly good signing. Prior to joining Wednesday from his Icelandic team, Akraness, teams such as a great Liverpool side of the 1980’s had been after Siggi. Signed as a 17 year old in 1985, his four years at Sheffield Wednesday was a period marked by injuries. A back injury at the end of 1985 and a leg break whilst playing for Iceland against the Scottish and Graeme Souness which Siggi said of the incident:-
“It was painful, to say the least,” Jonsson recalled. “I realised right away that something was wrong, that my ankle was broken.” Jonsson refuses to apportion blame to Souness, but comprehension is also beyond him. “It was one of those things,” he reflected. “I guess it taught me a lesson. I have never been a player who goes about hurting people, it’s not in my nature.” It was, though, when Souness’s went through him meant Siggi only played 67 games in those four years.
Although he made only 67 games, he scored just five goals. As a tall player, it was often a header such as this one against Charlton Athletic. He was also a player with a stinging shot from distance. When he was at Wednesday, his defensive skills and shielding the back was clear to be seen. A regular starter at Wednesday (when not injured) that when Arsenal went in for him he was one of a few signings after the Arsenal had won the league on the last game of the season against Liverpool, when it was up for grabs now.
Siggi was signed for £475,000 in July 1989 as one of our new defensive midfield players at the club. He was there to bring competition to a player like Kevin Richardson, a player who often spoke his mind. Something that did not go down too well with George Graham. In the end Richardson would be sold after calling George, and his dictatorial management style, ‘Ayatollah’.
In later years, Siggi said of his signing:-
I had followed Arsenal when I was a kid and signing for them was a dream come true,” Jonsson said. “My first season was good, but then I had a bad back injury which finished me by 1992.
Siggi was the only major signing of the season and many of us felt we certainly needed more. The opening game of the season of 1989-90 though underlined how poor we were. A first game of the season at Old Trafford, against a side that had spent money over the summer on players like Neil Webb, Mike Phelan and Danny Wallace. A 4-1 capitulation against Manchester United summed up how much more we should have brought players in.
Siggi Jonsson made his Arsenal debut against Manchester City in a 4-0 win, a game which is famous for two things: Perry Groves scoring two headed goals and Perry Groves scoring his second goal after being concussed and not remembering the goal. This would be one of 10 games that Siggi would play.
By the time he played his fourth game for us against QPR, Siggi came on as a sub and did two things for us. He scored the last goal against David Seaman before he joined us in 1990 (he wouldn’t be beaten by us until 14 years later in a 2-1 at Manchester City when Sylvain Wiltord scored). Also, the 3-0 win would put us top of the league (a rare occurrence in season 1989-90, a season in which we’d end up in 6th position).
Therefore, George Graham’s first movement into the Nordic market in buying players was in many ways a disappointment for George, Siggi and the fans. The good thing was it had not put George off the Nordic market, as in the following summer he would sign Anders Limpar out on the wing. His signing alone helped us win the 1991 league title. Although Siggi played two games in season 1990-1991, he would soon retire from Arsenal in 1992 at the age of 24. The final game that Siggi played was a 2-0 win against Norwich with Paul Davis scoring both goals. ‘The second (was) the result of a four-man move involving Siggi Jonsson, Nigel Winterburn and Anders Limpar.’ Oddly, in 1999 Siggi came out of retirement to come back and play for Dundee United for a year.
It was always a shame about losing Siggi. George Graham would replace him with a mixed bag of defensive midfielders such as David Hillier, Mickey Thomas and Scandinivia’s finest player in John Jensen, a player who would cause the downfall of George Graham. Graham also looked into buying two divergent defensive midfielders in Geoff Thomas and Roy Keane, but refused to pay the fees (good in the Thomas case, but foolish on the Keane case).
I often think, what if Siggi had kept injury free? I reckon the early 1990’s would have been different for us. If for no other reason than the fact that Siggi would have been better than Jensen.
Chief Stoke Fan: ORDER! ORDER! This hereby meeting so called is ordered. Presently are myselfs, Jingleberry, Beetle, Jangle, Dingle, Barty an Fred. Dingle, please bring the video machine in we’ve got to dispense with the tape.
First, we shall read the charges. Jingleberry, you do the honors.
Jingle: Marry, sir, Ramsey did shush.
Moreover, he tried to quiet Stoke fans by putting finger to lips.
Secondarily, he is a husher.
Sixth and lastly, he did shush a lady,
Third. he attempted to muzzle us,
and, to conclude, Ramsey is a shushing knave.
Chief: As you will see from the tape, his finger will make what is known as a clear shushing motion.
Beetle: then we can have pie?
Chief: yes, porkies. Dingle, what’s taking so long?
Dingle: rewinding the tape, sir, this is modern VHS technology here, takes time.
Ah, here it is.
(applause and oohs when the television is turned on)
Barty: PICTURES! Is it real life Fred? How do they make the little tiny people and keep them in there? Where do they go when they turn the TV off?
Fred: it’s TV Barty, it aint real, is a factory simile of real life, a duplicate, you noodle brain. OH look, there it is! THE SHUSHING. HE SHUSHED US!
Beetle: it’s like I’m living this horror all over again. It took me months to get over the mental anguish the first time. Imagine, me, being shushed. It’s horrible. We’ve got to do something about this, Chief. But… but what? What can we do?
Chief: It’s plain. That was a shushing. And we don’t deserve to be treated like that. Are we not almost men? He could have done any other celebration. Anything classy would have done: no celebration, some muted celebration, or perhaps something really classy like reenacting a dinner at Nandos?
Jangle: oh, that’s making me hungry. When are the pies?
Chief: And after all we’ve been frew. What with him breaking his leg on Shawcross, ruining that poor boy’s career, which wouldn’t have happened if Bendtner hadn’t fouled Ryan. Watch the tape again, Bendtner clearly pulls Ryan’s shirt, the ref should have blown up for that! It should have been Bendtner off, Shawcross on the English and Welsh national teams. But instead, Shawcross is been vivified!
I could forgive Ramsey breaking his leg on Shawcross but from there things went real pear shape. Refusing to take Ryan’s calls, blocking Ryan from playing with Wales, and now the shushing.
This calls for decisive action, mates. We’ve got to show them that we won’t put up with this type of insult.
Jangle: Let’s throw PIES!
Chief: no, Jangle! Give me a minute, I need to think of something.
<6 months later>
Chief: I GOT IT! We’ll boo him.
Everyone (except Fred, who smirks): BRILLIANT! HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH THESE IDEAS???
Chief: now. We’ve got to get the word out to everyone. Let’s write a letter and put it on the back page of the Oatcake Fanzine. Something with a title like “All hats are off”.
Jingleberry: how about “ALL BETS ARE OFF”.
Chief: THAT’S IT. “All bets are off” has such a nice ring to it.
Fred: Boss, I think Ramsey aint playing this weekend. I heard he’s still hurt.
Chief: Sorry, Fred, this is the plan. We are not wafflers like them French lot at Arsenal.
Barty: (snigger) ARSE!
Chief: Ramsey or no Ramsey, this is the plan. We will boo Ramsey.
Barty: Or maybe that Ozil fella.
Fred: what if Ozil is out? Arsenal rested him last week. Might be out again this week. Don’t want to risk him ahead of their FA Cup and Champions League matches.
Chief: Well then we’ll boo whoever has the ball. We’ve got to show them that they need to put this pantomime behind us and that we will no longer allow this situation to be drawn out without retribution. There can be no whining and having them try to take the moral high ground. It’s his fault, he dared to shush.
ALL: ALL BETS ARE OFF!