Our very first contest! Oh yeah, plus some Arsenal stuff.

Before I start, I just have to say thank you to all the folks who shared their wonderful stories of falling in love with Arsenal yesterday. It was a special thread and it confirms the validity of an idea I have had for a while now. More on that latter bit once I work out the details. In the mean time, I will try to incorporate more user generated content in the blog.

Until then, why not try to win a shirt? I happened upon this www.philosophyfootball.com site a few weeks ago and got a real kick out of their products. So, we worked out the following competition for 5 (five!) of my readers to win a free Anfield ’89 commemorative shirt, just follow the directions below!  Good luck.

WIN ARSENAL 89 T-SHIRT


‘It’s Up for Grabs Now’…… And the rest is Arsenal history! Brian Moore’s match commentary as Michael Thomas puts away the goal that clinched the ’89 League Championship in arguably Arsenal’s greatest ever match is featured on Philosophy Football’s anniversary shirt. Plus, a diagram of the winning goal and match details. Available from www.philosophyfootball.com we have 5 to be won in our competition, to enter simply answer the following simple question:

Liverpool v Arsenal, 26 May 1989, name the two goalscorers.

Send answer, name, address and preferred T-shirt size to admin@philosophyfootball.com Entries close 30 June ’09, no purchase necessary to enter.

Cesc denies Pep talk

I never said it.

Once again, whenever the Spanish press print a blatant lie about Fabregas pining for the plains of Spain our young captain immediately and categorically denies the lie and Arsenal moves on. This is a good thing and a bad thing: it’s great because we always know where we stand with this player, it’s terrible because we all know that one day there will be silence and that will mean that Cesc is ready to leave.

Let’s just hope that day is a long way off.

Of course, that denial is immediately followed by Setanta plastering a headline like “Fabregas frustrated by trophyless run” which takes a quote about his frustrating season and expands it into a “frustrating run” but then again, you can’t trust Setanta to report news when they are unable to even make their required payments.

Clichy followed in Fabregas’ footsteps and released a statement of his own denying that he is off to Real Madrid. No one I know wanted to see Clichy go, unless the price was crazy good. So, let’s put this one to bed as well.

Arsenal pull out of Enyeama

Uh…. erm… So supposedly Arsene Wenger was so excited by watching some guy named Enyeama play in keeper for Nigeria that he immediately put in a bid for the guy. They wanted too much money, Arsene renewed Fabianski’s contract instead, and that’s how Arsenal avoided getting an Enyeama

That’s it for today, kids, there’s some flap brewing between Adebayor and Togo but I’m not linking anything until I know more. Same thing with the Vermaelen deal, no news to report so I’m not making anything up.

See you tomorrow and good luck in the competition!

How did you fall in love with Arsenal?

Today, I’m testing out an idea I have.

I could blah blah about Mathew Upson (sure, let’s break all traditions and sign the former Gunner), I could join the chorus of voices that are saying that the Cesc to Barca story is crap, I could give you an analysis of Cesc’s goal against some footballing backwater, or I could link some more speculation about so and so coming to Arsenal.

But instead, I want to hear from you. I want to hear your story of how you became an Arsenal fan. So, please post your story in the comments section  below. And if everyone could stay respectful of each other, it would be much appreciated.

To kick this off, here’s my story…

I’m an American. I was born in Pennsylvania to two “full blooded” American parents. And apart from a stint in Germany when I was a boy I have lived in America my whole life. As a good American, I grew up calling football “soccer” and American Football “football.” I loved and I played American Football. I never kicked a “soccer” ball in any serious way until just a few years ago.

In the mid 80’s I moved to Tacoma, WA. Few people outside of Tacoma and fewer outside of America remember the abortion that was MISL, but the Tacoma Stars was my first introduction to “soccer.” I saw a few games live and I think I probably said “those guys are fags.” But hey, I am an American and worse, an American Football jock and that’s just how we were back then: small minded assholes. This is all to say that for many people I have no legitimate claim on football and no legitimate reason to love Arsenal. If only life were that simple.

In the 90’s I got sick of watching American Football and the annual rules changes and generally boring nature of the sport. Sure, there were a few moments of interest, like when teams played the “hurry-up offense.” But American Football left me wanting more.

So I drifted from sport to sport looking for something to latch onto. Something that provided me with non-stop action, beauty, a respect for defense, and moments of orgasmic glory.

By 1998 I was sick of Basketball (my love affair with basketball should be it’s own blog) and by the luck of the gods I caught a game on a new channel here in the states; Fox Soccer Channel. Over the next year I watched as many “soccer” matches as I could. But I couldn’t settle on a team, until I watched Arsenal play a home match at Highbury. The camera angles were better, the seats seemed closer, the stadium was beautiful, and the action was intense.

Since that fateful day I have spent all winter finding ways to watch matches live and three months of the summer slavishly searching the internet for news. In 2004 I had to pay-per-view matches. This was before the days of Setanta; Arsenal, when not on Fox Socccer Channel were only available to me if I gave $20 to my local cable monopoly. 2005-2008 have been, well, magical. I haven’t missed more than a handful of matches since 2005; hell, I have more access to live Arsenal matches than most people I know in England.

Along the way, I have been to London four times; once to see Charlton at Highbury (2006), once to see Reading at the new Emirates stadium (2007) and again to see Blackburn (2008) and just this year (2009) to see Sunderland . Sure, I went to the museums and drank beer and chatted with locals and had a great time in spite of all that because I got to see Arsenal every time.

What’s your story?

Go outside

There’s nothing going on today. Go outside and kick a football around. Take the family to the park. Do something, anything other than sit here and wait for no Arsenal news.

While you’re kicking the ball around, think of this…

Joey Barton earned £675,000 from Newcastle for his “image rights.” Which they negotiated AFTER he was convicted of assault.

Genius.