Ashperry Groves, Here I Come

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Right, that’s my summer holiday put to bed for another 12 months, and extremely pleasant it was too. The one in France was hot and sunny, and the one in England wet, windy and grey. Odd that.

Looking back, it’s been a funny close season, dominated as it has been by players desperate to leave rather than those wishing to come, and by the odd feeling of having to move home.

And it says something too about modern footballers and their self-importance that one of those wishing to leave today saw fit to release a press release to tell the world he’s ready to play tomorrow. Well I’m glad he’s cleared it up – there was me thinking that pocketing £60,000 a week didn’t require you to show up for work. Silly old me.

Too many of the close seasons of years gone by have seen unedifying will-he-leave-won’t-he-leave tabloid feeding frenzies involving our players, what with Vieira, Anelka, Overmars, Henry, Cole and probably plenty of others I have consigned to the dusty bit of my brain. The opening credit of next summer’s guaranteed blockbuster – Madrid Courts Cesc – has already been played out, and you can guarantee that we’ll have to endure the same nonsense next year with him. It’s flattering on the one hand that Arsenal players are coveted by other sides but arduous on the other. All I can say to these teams is Chuff Off, the lot of yer.

Tomorrow, a common Arsenal curse has struck again – playing a team we should beat just as they get taken over and/or appoint a talismanic new manager. Needless to say, I’m slightly excited not just about seeing us play after the ennui of watching England over the summer, but also about my first trip to Ashperry Groves.

With Sunday comprising a trip the Oval to see England v Pakistan, it’s a weekend of intense sporting fun. When Mrs RotorGoat is away, RotorGoat will play.

Tomorrow, I intend to sink a beer before the match and take lots of photos of the backs of people’s heads.

Three points would work for me, too.

Mr F. Season, welcome back!


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.