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Friday 31 August 2007

The Last Straw?

I was perusing the paper late this evening, as one does when sitting upon the throne in our lavatorial library, when a small clip in the sports section of the Grauniad caught my eye and inspired this post

However before going "off on one" in my angry state, I thought it only fair to point out that after all the stick I've given Fabregas recently, I must admit that when Cesc replaced Diaby last night, coming on as sub for the last 23 minutes, it seemed to me that there was a noticeable difference, compared to his lacklustre efforts to date.

Everyone seemed very impressed with Diaby and although I also enjoyed his influential first-half performance, I thought he faded as the game wore on, which I guess is not surprising. Perhaps the sight of Abou imposing himself on Sparta, acted as a spur, or perhaps it was just because Fab was so much fresher than most everyone else around him. Whatever the cause and while it might be difficult to put the change in Cesc into words, to my mind there was a certain "je ne sais quoi" about Fab's attitude and demeanour that's been sorely lacking up until now and it was a huge relief to once again recognise the Fab we've always known and loved. Compared to the way in which he has moped about the pitch somewhat in the first couple of games, Cesc appeared totally energised and up for it, as if his time on the bench had him chomping at the bit to get out there.

Mind you when I saw him stripping off only 15 mins into the second half, I wondered if there was a need to call for the club doctor, if not for Wenger, then for me! I was close to feinting at the rare sight of Arsène ringing the changes with more than 15 mins left on the clock. Knowing Wenger, I'm sure he probably has a perfectly logical explanation. Or perhaps Arsène's incessant tendance towards leaving the same team out there until 15, or at the very most, 20 mins before the final whistle, is merely due to the fact that Wenger is as superstitious as the rest of us?

It's "same as it ever was" as far as the gobby Stamford Bridge one is concerned. The smug, supercillious t*sser gets on my tits, just as much as ever. But credit where it is due, unlike Le Prof, whose pragmatism leaves him almost totally incapable of an act of spontaneity, Mourihno usually appears to recognise when it's not going right for his side and when a change of personel and tactics might do the trick. Admittedly the Blues are often blessed by having the choice of three players for every position on the park, when our squad might not be so deep and where Wenger only has the choice of replacing one inexperienced youngster, with another. Nevertheless, even if Arsène had the same limitless resources at his disposal, as those on offer from the East European oligarch, I somehow cannot envisage our manager assuaging my fears and frustrations with wholesale changes at half-time, as he's in the habit of only ever making substitutions at a time by which one can set one's clock.

Thus it was a pleasant surprise on Wednesday night, as there have been plenty of times in the past when I've looked at the subs sitting on the bench, or warming up on the touchline and I've wondered who amongst them would be capable of actually changing the game, when with only 15 minutes, it's a toss up which is going to come first, the final whistle, or the sub getting up to speed with the pace of the game. Whereas they had a little longer to make an impact against Sparta and already 3-0 down (on aggregate), in the boots of the Czech players, on the end of legs rapidly filling with lactic acid, I would've felt totally demoralised to see the likes of Fabregas, Denilson and Adebayor entering into the fray.

It was also great to see Eduardo get on the scoresheet at the death on Wednesday and my only regret is that it would've been the perfect cherry on top, if Walcott had joined him (as a goal might do Theo's confidence the world of good). However despite the fact that they might have struggled for enthusiasm with qualification already in the bag and that it was still some way from the Arsenal at their flowing footie best, just about the only good cause I have for complaining, is that I can't afford the trips to Seville, Bucharest and Prague. While I would certainly love to see where the oranges come from and I wouldn't mind going back to the scene of Henry's record breaking feats, having never been to Romania before, I am only really gutted that I won't be going to Bucharest. Hopefully this will at least mean that I might still have some far-fetched lines of credit available to me in order to follow the Gunners on their European tour, should we achieve qualification for the knockout stages.

As for today's Grauniad, there were a few lines in the "Digger" column in the sport section which read:

Gooner™ - it's intellectual
Arsenal have applied to trademark the word "Gooner" for use on club merchandising ranging from bath linen to coats, boxer shorts and ear-muffs. The phrase, the colloquial term for an Arsenal fan, is the subject of an application filed to the UK Intellectual Property Office earlier this month, and will doubtless soon be appearing in the club superstore.

How very dare they! It seems to me that this is the very last chink in the Arsenal's armour that would secure the greedy buggers their ultimate objective of an absolute monopoly over anything and everything related to the club we love. Time will come when we will need to request their permission to wear a red & white shirt!

If successful, the significance would be that the principal INDEPENDENT public voice, namely The Gooner magazine and the company that has seized on an apparent opportunity with their Goonergirl range of clothing and sexy lingerie, would I assume in future either require permission to use the word "Gooner" or would be forced to pay a royalty. Doh! Never mind them, what about me? I'd probably have to change the name of this blog if the club have their way!

As far as The Gooner is concerned, it would be tantamount to castration, if they needed the club's assent, as they might struggle in future to "say it as it is" for fear they might upset the powers that be and end up denied their permission. What's more, if anyone has a right to a copyright of any sort over the word "Gooner", I'd imagine it would be our trusty fanzine, as I'd be surprised if they weren't the first to use the term in print.

Meanwhile, at the end of the day, prohibitive share prices might prevent us plebs owning a small piece of our beloved Arsenal, in order to have our say in the running of such an significant facet of our lives, yet if the term Gooner belongs to anyone, this certainly belongs to all of us long-suffering supporters, rather than those suits at the club, like Edelman, who are obviously trying to turn a fast buck from its acquisition and who's blood hardly runs red & white.

I don't know about anyone else, but I feel a protest coming on! I'm far too cream-crackered right now and I'm desperate to catch up on some much needed ZZZZs, however at the first opportunity I will look up the
UK Intellectual Property Office and try to establish whether we are entitled to express our opinion on the subject and how we go about doing it. Watch this space......

Big Love

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phatosas said...

I always felt you were to harsh on Cesc Fabregas. He missed a huge chunk of the pre-season games and it was only going to take a while to get up to speed. Even with the supposed poor performances he has scored 3 goals and has 1 assist in 5 games so far this season. Gradually he would get into the groove and if he can score goals consistently, we would do very well this season.

Anonymous said...

Totally a craps!!!all nonsense!!

Michael_Staley said...

If you feel so strongly about AFC registering "Gooner", then you or anybody else should lodge an objection with the Intellectual Property Office. Consult a Trademark Attorney first, since you will be required to cite those parts of the Trade Mark Act 1994 on which your objection is based. Of course, you may prefer not to put your money where your mouth is.

I love these people who think they could do a better job than Wenger. He is the manager, and will manage as he judges best; he will, after all, stand or fall on how well he does his job.