We go into today’s League Cup with more questions than answers. Is our uneven form a truer form of our levels than our thrilling but ultimately disappointing title-chase of last year, or does it merely reflect the challenge of seeing key players and and of integrating new ones while injuries plague the squad? There are probably more, but I’m a lazy, lazy man, Roger. A trip to face Brentford offers a tricksy mix of options—it’s not as clear a chance to rotate thoroughly as a match against, say, Lincoln City, but we should still be able to rest key starters and give valuable opportunities to others.Continue reading
What is going on with this club? We’re all used to transfer rumours flying fast and furious, but they’re usually the result of some hack playing mad-libs with the template “[insert club name] linked with SHOCK move for want-away [insert player name]. Having already dared to upset rivals by spending money, Arsenal now seem ready to sign yet another player, Brentford’s David Raya.Continue reading
|From a previous incident…|
I’d like to say a few words about any so-called Arsenal fans who have directed racial abuse at Ivan Toney after his controversial late equaliser on Sunday: GTFO. Hand in your Arsenal shirts, posters, scarves and anything else. Sod off to Milwall or Chelsea. You’re not wanted here. We’ll set aside fancy words like hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance, for these are almost certainly too lengthy and polysyllabic for you to understand, and the last thing I want to do is to enrage someone whose idea of a legitimate reaction to conceding a goal is to hurl racist abuse at the scorer. If you doubt me, take out your sarcasm detector and check.
How does a racist brain work in these situations? How do you explain spewing racist abuse at Toney because he scores? Do you do the same with Saka or Nketiah or Magalhães if they make a mistake? Does putting on an Arsenal kit absolve black athlete of his previous “crimes” against this club…and forgive you your previous prehistoric insults? Every club is going to have its share of racists, and the chance of that only grows as the size of the fanbase does…but that’s no excuse for these antics. If you’re one of the ones who tried to insult Toney on the color of his skin, what was your aim? Were you trying to get him to reach out to Lee Mason to offer Mason line-drawing lessons? Were you trying to intimidate the player so he won’t dare to score against us in future matches?
News flash, ace: neither one of those will happen. If anything, we’ll now face a galvanised and inspired Toney (not to mention his mates) the next time we face each other. I sincerely hope you won’t be present to see such a day because I do honestly hope you are found and handed your lifetime stadium ban before the week is out. Maybe even a P45 as a bonus.
If you’re one of those I’m addressing, you’re one of two types, neither one of which bathes himself in glory. You’re either an actual racist, as in someone who genuinely and sincerely believes in the inferiority of black people. If not that, you’re one of those who insists that his racism is simply bantz. Second news flash in as many minutes (I hope it doesn’t fry your brain). That’s still racist. Now, you may be thinking, “but I don’t actually hate people”. You might even add, “I have quite a few black friends”. If your brain has truly been fried, you might go one step further and think, “I even find [famous black celebrity] to be attractive.” None of that matters, mate. In fact, most of it makes it quite a bit worse. There are levels of racism, of course, and you may not rest at the bottom of the barrel, but you’re still in the barrel.
28 September 2002. Does that date ring any bells? It should. That was the day that Arsène (the man the club is named after, after all1) submitted a teamsheet that listed nine black starters—the first time this had happened in English football history. Now, I’m not claiming that this club has spent its entire existence at the forefront of the movement to kick racism out of football, but we’ve been among the better ones. As you can see from the tweet above, the club has issued a strong statement in support of Brentford and promised to take the “strongest possible action to anyone [they] can identify sending hateful messages”.
If you’re going to go the racist route, you’re going to have to disavow the contributions and achievements of countless black men who have represented this club. This is not just the club of Saka and Nketiah and Partey; it’s also the club of Henry and Vieira and Campbell; Wrighty and Rocky and Thomas…well, if you don’t catch my drift by now, maybe you never will. If you’re still willing to resort to that racist route, sod off.
Victoria Concordia Crescit. That’s not just some fancy Latin to make us seem classy. “Victory grows out of harmony” is a club motto that dates back to 1948, hardly a time of racial enlightenment. If you can’t get behind this club and its players without resorting to racism, you don’t deserve to support this club in the first place. There all too many other clubs out there that tolerate or even encourage racism. Take your pick. You either disavow the racism or we disown you. End of.
It really is a pity that I can’t offer you negative numbers to choose in situations like this one when VAR got a decision so horribly wrong that you start to wonder about Lee Mason’s IQ. Still, when you only score one goal while playing at less than your best, you really are rolling the dice. The result pegs us back to a mere three-point lead over Man City with a massive six-pointer to play on Wednesday. Do our recent struggles reflect a deeper problem, or have we been so eager to go toe-to-toe with them that we’ve looked past Everton and Brentford? Let’s hope it’s the latter. Well, 514 Gooners weighed in and denied No One a second consecutive MOTM award. 38.1% of us gave it to Trossard, suggesting that it might be nice to see a bit more than a half-hour from him sooner rather than later, especially how out of form Martinelli has been lately. Thomas Frank did say that the stability of our lineup does it make a bit easier to prepare for us… Well, enough pondering. Let’s look at the results below the fold.
Well, there’s more. It wouldn’t be much of a blogpost with only a title and no actual post. I could go the way of certain poblications that will go unnamed for now, giving you roughly 100 words of text interspersed with about the same number of images and/or ads, but I know that you’re here for more than that. You’re here here, fine reader, for the same petulant, self-absorbed whining I dispatch almost daily. Let’s get to it, it then. As I’ve already stated, Lee Mason is an incompetent, bumbling dolt. He’s so incompetent that he makes me pine for Jon Moss. What’d he do this time? It’s what he didn’t do, and it was the only thing he really had to do: draw a few lines. A child could do it, really. However, according to PGMOL representeative Chris Foy, the VAR referee simply forgot to check the offsidein the buildup to the Brentford goal. That VAR referee would be—you guessed it—Lee Mason. Lee effin’ Mason.
I’m hoping the cameras and the visuals … maybe it looks like there were two actions. I don’t know. It’s too late, it’s fine. The goal was allowed and we dropped two points. With the second [possible offside], I don’t know because you have to see the line the way they see it with the cameras. It’s irrelevant. It’s gone.
Simply put, we can’t dwell on this. We shouldn’t forgive and we certainly shouldn’t forget. We have to use this to fuel our fire, to score and score again to take these drooling, mouth-breathing fools out of the equation. We’re going to need that fire in just a few days’ time.
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