Begin the Begin

The Bay Area Gooners got the season off to a rousing start with the first annual Season Kick-Off Party last Thursday night at Maggie McGarrys. Gooners enjoyed pizza from Golden Boy Pizza, watched classic Arsenal matches on the big screen, and tried the new BAG t-shirts on for size. But mostly just drank copious amounts of cool, refreshing, alcoholic beverages and ruminated on all things Arsenal. All in the name of a good cause, as the event was also a canned-food drive for the San Francisco Food Bank. Many thanks to the Gooners who brought donations. Pictures of the event are here.

On Saturday, we regrouped for the first match of the season against West Bromwich Albion, a newly promoted side. Happy to see Samir Nasri get the first goal, which never hurts the confidence of a young player settling into his new side. But it was the numerous other chances that went begging that drew the most collective groans from those present. We really should have been up 3-0, and this inability to finish teams off always leads to squeaky-bum time in the last few minutes of the match as the opposition throws everything at us in order to equalize. As much as I loathe the Mancs, they do put teams away in a less stylish, workmanlike fashion.

One shouldn’t put much stock in anything The Sun publishes (ahem, aside from Page 3), but it was disappointing to quotes attributed to Thomas Rosicky, criticizing the likes of Gael Clichy for the unsatisfactory result to Arsenal’s last season. Someone should remind Little Mozart, in as much as Gooners appreciate his play, we haven’t seen very much of it, due to his near-permanent residence in the club’s physio room, and that slagging off a player who has been a model of consistency for us, isn’t the way into our hearts.

Then there is the small matter of Arsene Wenger’s latest signing, Mikael Silvestre. Since when does Arsenal offer players over 31 a two year contract? Players the caliber of Dennis Bergkamp (aka “God”), and Robert Pires were only offered 1-year extensions when they hit 30. But now we are offering twice that to ManUre cast-offs whose injury-to-playing time ratio rivals Thomas Rosicky???. Maybe Rosicky needs someone to keep him company.

What can one do besides take a deep breath, remember that “Arsene Knows”, and hope that we dispatch Fulham FC without much trouble this weekend. See you at the pub.

Cheers, Mark

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