The Highbury Spy – Online Column

By Steve Ashford, The Highbury Spy

Reflections On A Disgraceful Team Selection by OGL

It’s 8.30 on a wet Bank Holiday morning and I should be tucked up in bed digesting everyone’s thoughts on yesterday’s debacle at White Hart Lane, but I’m so angry l feel the overwhelming need to contribute a few words to the online furore surrounding the match, so I’m knocking one out first thing in the morning if you forgive the expression.

OGL had some support at the Lane yesterday…

It didn’t start well I have to say. I met my mate Terry in our usual away game watering hole and the Theakston’s Old Peculiar had been replaced by yet another nameless pop up craft beer. There’s nothing worse than going into a pub to be confronted by six hand pumps all containing craft beer monikers none of which you have remotely heard of and haven’t a clue what they taste like. The Hope and Anchor in Upper Street is a classic case in point. Why would you spend four quid on something you might, and probably will, find horrendously foul, and given that most of the craft ales taste like sewer water, you have to taste every one until you find one you like. In the unlikely event you do find one, they’re gone the next week anyway. Like pop up restaurants, pop up shops and everything else f***ing ‘pop up’. I wish pop up everything would just f*** off. What’s the point? Given that all the craft ales look like lager and taste like shampoo mixed with washing up liquid, we declined and swiftly moved on to somewhere that did Harvey’s Best Bitter, a reasonable beer you know that does the job. Punters do not want to be confronted by dozens of pop up craft beers they don’t recognise or care about and will never see again. And they wonder why pubs are closing!

As if that wasn’t bad enough we learned Arsenal’s team as we were tucking into our third pint of Harvey’s. Oh dear. If you didn’t think Wenger had lost the plot before yesterday, you certainly do now. After the magnificent and encouraging display by the three centre halves at Wembley last week, our clueless, senile imbecile of a manager decided to drop the best one (Rob Holding) play a left back (Monreal) in the middle of the defence in his place and persist with a lamppost up front (Giroud), when the mobile and speedy Danny Welbeck was ready and waiting. Arsene Wenger must’ve been the only Arsenal fan who wouldn’t have played Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck yesterday and his stubborn display of “Arsene knows best” arrogance got what it deserved. A big fat defeat.

If I was Rob Holding’s agent, I would be on the phone this morning telling him that if Wenger stays for longer than the end of this season I’ll be doing everything I can to get him a transfer. He’s clearly not appreciated by the idiot running this club and it’s a crime and an insult to us fans when you see our best players not utilised by the stubborn old fool.

Mind you, if I was the agent of Mohammed Elneny I’d be on the phone to him too, and Lucas Perez and Danny Welbeck. What has Wenger got against all his recent signings? Does he sign them for purgatory? Is he some sort of insane sadist who enjoys bringing excellent players to the club and then torturing them by never playing them? And he wonders why we don’t like him anymore and projections of ‘Wenger Out’ are beamed high, wide and handsome over The Emirates Stadium, Highbury and Marble Arch.

My God he’s even started to alienate Hector Bellerin now, who posted a picture on Instagram very critical of his team mates and Wenger. With City ready to pay £50 million for Bellerin in the summer, I’d be careful about upsetting him if I was OGL. And why do you think Hector may have lost his form since Christmas? I don’t suppose being coached by a Mr. Bean lookalike who’s way past his best has anything to do with it do you? Can you imagine? Bellerin must be licking his lips at the thought of playing for a proper manager like Pep Guardiola next season.

And why weren’t Lucas Perez and Elneny even on the bench yesterday? Neither of them have ever let the team down and they are 100% committed on the pitch ready to give everything for the club. Elneny covers every blade of grass and is a one man pressing machine which we could’ve done with against the Spuds, so why has he been ostracised? Perez has one league start this season and Welbeck a similar number. WTF is going on?

I’m not going to mention the game yesterday, you all saw it, with Mr. Bean doing his usual ranting and raving at the assistant referee. He looked like a man who had totally the plot after the game and we all know he f***ing well has. Please, Mr. Gazidis, Sir Chips and Josh Kroenke, please you must see what we see unless as you’re as deluded as the senile old fool running the team. For all our sakes, and for the future of our players and the club, you must ensure Silent Stan withdraws that offer of a contract and tells the old fool that his time is up. You’re our only hope, as he isn’t going to walk of his own accord, that’s for sure. Didn’t the thousands of empty seats at the home game against Leicester tell you anything? We’ve had enough. Time for Change.

Finally, I can’t end without a word for those morons who pretend to support Spurs who yet again attacked and surrounded peaceful Arsenal fans on the way to and from the game. Why do the police and Spurs officials allow them to congregate and wait for the Arsenal fans? It’s a disgrace and it will be even worse at their new stadium because there will be even more of them! Thank God we don’t have to suffer that sh*t next season. Let’s hope we turn up with a decent manager and a team that isn’t put together by a fantasist. Enjoy your one season ahead of us Spurs. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

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1st May 2017 12:02:24


Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

RobG  12:35pm 1st May 2017

Well said Steve. We are of a similar vintage. I always like your column. Agree with you about the beer as well. You always need to know your beverage. And it would help if we knew our team as well. Sadly we don't and we won't next season either if Wenger is still there. I live in the - small - hope, he might not be. - Post No. 106851

Graham71  12:43pm 1st May 2017

Spy when you are grabbing onto the likes of Holding Elneny and Welbeck as our salvation were are relly in deep s**t.When will people realise Welbeck was a panic buy at the end of the transfer window.He was a crock at United and he has been for 90% of his Arsenal career.From the same box as Jack Wheelchair and Diaby.Perez was this summers panic buy,a 28 year old who had one good year in la Liga.Spurs would have beaten us yesterday whatver team we played.They are better than us only Sanchez would get in there starting 11.The club is in terminal decline with an owner a CEO a manager and an apathetic fanbase who just dont care that the club is sinking faster than the Titanic.Where are the 20 thousand fans protesting every game?They are not because that is what Arsenal have become.Its not about football anymore.The Emirates is now a theme park.This season is not a blip.Sady fans like you were taken in by the one off v Man City.Take a look at the total hammerings we have received in the last two months.Wenger Kroenke and Gazidis have got away with destroying our club because the fans have let them.Boycott is now the only answer - Post No. 106852

Wardy  16:29pm 1st May 2017

How much longer will this farce continue? ,,,,,, no announcement on a new manager or as seems likely another 2 years for Arsene Wenger & its obvious the club are waiting until memberships have been renewed before announcing it ,,,,, no chance of me renewing ,,,,,,, the laughing stock of the Premiership & there's nothing fans can do aside refuse to go until there are changes ,,,,,, let the thousands of empty seats / full house comedy continue ,,,,,, Kroenke / Gazides / Wenger ,,,,,, please go now ! - Post No. 106863

Alsace  18:05pm 1st May 2017

Enjoyed that Spy. One thing though , Wenger isn't an Arsenal supporter. He is an enemy of AFC. Thank goodness that most have now woken up to that. Getting rid of him will be the best thing to happen to the club since the Rev D Bergkamp. Imagine enjoying your football again? - Post No. 106870

Cyril  18:08pm 1st May 2017

Spy, I'm feeling that article. You are so right about Holding. Trying to think of something positive and certainly having different tactics is a blueprint for the future. We need the right players, but playing the ones available to us now would be a start. Good grief! - Post No. 106871

mbg  19:17pm 1st May 2017

There's those spending much more on what we find horrendously foul, wenger stinking the place out than a pint of beer, at least with the beer there's a decent chance it will taste good or alright, or at least be drinkable, with this useless embarrassment of a manager we have none of that applies, or is remotely possible, and everyone knows, and is aware how foul it is and how it stinks like a sewer before they go in, but still they do, and spend and buy it anyway, there's only one way to make it taste good again, get the sewer rat out and disinfect the pipes. We want the Sewer rat out. Good article. - Post No. 106873

CORNISH GOONER  20:11pm 1st May 2017

At last, some welcome news - Harvey's Brewery is still going. Managed to get a tour of their premises back in the 1980s, lovely bitter then. As for Monsieur Hulot, I just don't understand why he puts himself through this personal torture match after match. OK, I get that he doesn't exactly live a full life but I can't remember him walking out of a Sky post match ever before. On an HD screen his eyes in particular looked awful so I asked my wife for a second opinion as she is bloody good on basic health stuff - especially eyes. She said the man is clearly ill - but we really need him certified don't we?! - Post No. 106876

!No Pasaran!  20:36pm 1st May 2017

Your comment re: Holding....: he's clearly not appreciated by the idiot running this club' how depressingly true. Le Fraud is not merely managing the team, bad enough I know, but running the club. How did it come to this? - Post No. 106878

markymark  8:11am 2nd May 2017

The problem with a lot of craft beers is that they over hop the beer to give it a memorable kick they all become a one trick pony. It's a bit like when the South African wine industry (well some of them) were putting pepper in the wine barrels as a short cut. For a good beer on the IPA side of things that is actually drinkable try Ghost Ship by Adnams. I've recently moved onto Gin as a drink of choice for those long Wengo suffering evenings and have to say the more quirky the bottle the more likely you end up with some form of Alcohol cordial. You really can't beat Tanquery I've come to the conclusion. Now where was I ? Oh yes Wengo...... oh **** more Gin please. - Post No. 106883

SilverGooner  8:38am 2nd May 2017

A couple of month ago, Inspector Clueless told the BBC he was the man to "take the club to the next level". He is certainly doing that - DOWNWARDS! A staggering 20 points behind the Spuds and heading for Thursday night football. Let's hope that the loss of Champions League revenue brings Silent Stan and Invisible Ivan to their senses. - Post No. 106886

peter wain  8:43am 2nd May 2017

not unexpected and in fact could have been more. No attempt worth the name on target and nobody produced an acceptable performance. Quite where this leaves us who knows. We clearly need new blood (at least ten players) but how can you have confidence in the management to buy them. We need a whole new back three/four/five two holding midfield players two creative midfield players and two strikers. Wnger will not buy this number and worse will retain the failures who should be sold. Lower part of the table beckons. - Post No. 106887

Alsace  10:45am 3rd May 2017

Harveys is very much still alive and kicking, by dint of it's excellent taste. There would have to be unusual climatic conditions in the infernal regions to get me to drink any other bitter beer, but I will drink Harveys. Brewed in Lewes in Sussex and widely available in that area. Those going to Brighton next year should try it. - Post No. 106921

bergkamp10  19:42pm 3rd May 2017

Good post. I have said it a hundred times this season. The club is stale from Wenger down. AS long as the wages come most don't really mind(perhaps they care deep down), but as long as the gravy train keeps paying me....I alright mate! Walcott at Place was the for me in so many ways. My Grandfather, father & i were all S.T. holders once. GrandDa is no longer with us, Father & I NO longer S/T holders. I say we may end up with 2-3 **** years ahead, but the club have to start down a new road. 70% of the players may be well worth keeping we will only find this out with a different Manager & back room team taking us or going in a different direction. We will be great again. Up the Gooners! - Post No. 106934

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

15th January 2018

Being muscled off the ball by Bournemouth is like being mugged by your grandma

Online Ed: Another poor Arsenal display on the road just another signpost as we near the end of the Wenger era