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Here's To You Mr. Robinson

All in all I got what I wanted from last night. A score draw and I escaped injury, a lot of travelling Gooners cannot say the same with regards to the latter. I know two people who were the victims of violence outside the turnstiles post game. I heard a Tottenham fan on the train telling his mate that the Seven Sister's Road was utter carnage and that he'd 'never seen that before at Tottenham.' I was absolutely burning to inform him of the constant misdameanours of his fellow 'supporters', but staying incognito is paramount for any Arsenal fan at the Lane.

The journey to the stadium is always a particularly tricky affair. Our route is meticulously pre planned so as to appear natural, as if we do the journey every week. On the train from Tottenham Hale to Northumberland Park, one has to observe strict decorum. Being careful not to converse about the game too in depth for fear of reverting to type and referring to Arsenal as 'we', as is second nature. I had even strategically opted to wear a white shirt and navy tie to work that day. The walk around the sloping estates from Northumberland Park to the stadium is always decidedly cumbersome. Trying hard not to strut or look too cocksure for fear of being identified, equally trying not to let the intimidation manifest onto your features when you hear the distant cries of 'Yid Army' followed by, what Paul Weller lovingly described as, 'the rumble of boots.' Negotiating the gradual leaning towards the South Stand away turnstiles is also a tricky affair. Trying to strike the balance between getting into the away section swiftly and not making a beeline for it too soon is another militant operation. 'Who, who, who let they Yids in' comes the cry as you line up to be searched, your cover blown, yet protected by the smorgasboard of stewards and police.

If there are any Tottenham fans reading this, and I've no doubt there are, THIS is why you will not receive 9,000 tickets next week. The slavenly behaviour of a select few EVERY TIME Arsenal travel to White Hart Lane is the reason the Police deem it unsafe to have 9,000 of you at Ashburton Grove. Anyhow, we arrived in the ground safely, relieved that the tension would be alleviated for the next couple of hours until we faced the real gauntlet of hate after the game. Tottenham began the game the quicker, as they always do in this fixture. In four of the last five seasons, Tottenham have scored the first goal at White Hart Lane, therefore it is with some surprise that I heard Wenger express his surprise post match. Tottenham got Lennon and Malbranque on the ball with impunity. Traore, indeed the whole Arsenal defence, seemed unable to stop the electric pace of the sparkling Lennon. He twisted and taunted the Gunners backline whose only answer seemed to be to take him down at every opportunity. Malbranque took the ball in field and looked to link up with Defoe, while Dawson's long balls to Berbatov caused us all sorts of problems. Berbatov should have given Tottenham an early lead after a swift one two with Defoe, he turned Toure inside out but his low half volley clipped the outside of the post.

The young Gunners seemed to be reeling under the pressure and in the hostile atmosphere, and just as the Arsenal faithful let rip with their first rendition of 'Rocky Rocastle', a Lennon cross saw Almunia tell Toure to leave it, but strangely the Spaniard made no move towards the ball and Berbatov was left with a free header. Tottenham continued to take control of the game, getting at our shaky backline with alacrity, Berbatov and Lennon caused mass panic as clearances were sliced and challenges were clumsy. The Spuds were soon 2-0 up, as Toure was very harshly penalised for a foul on Defoe (I think?). That said, we should have defended the free kick better, Dawson jumped over Huddlestone's low drive and it deflected in off the dumbfounded Julio Baptista. At this point, I would have taken the final whistle, we were ripe for the taking.

Yet despite our defensive fragility (it's a word, alright), we always looked dangerous going forward. Denilson's tackling and distribution were faultless, while Cesc's link up play with the sharp Aliadiere looked like it could bear fruit. The problem was, I could not see us restricting Tottenham to two. The injury to Berbatov seemed to disrupt Tottenham's gameplan. Then a glorious chance went begging in first half stoppage time, a Fabregas free kick flew to the back post, only for Baptista's shot to hit the back of his standing leg and come out. At the other end the ball had been only too happy to ricochet off his back leg and go in, it looked like one of those nights.

'2-0 to the England sang the ignorant Spurs faithful', 'easy, easy, easy' they taunted at the half time whistle. I do not understand what it will take for them to learn not to gloat so early into the game/season/pre match meal. The Gascoigne free kick from 1991 was replayed no more than SIX times during pre match and the interval. At least on this occasion, they stopped short of announcing Cup Final ticket details over the tannoy a la 1987. Though, unfotunately, some Tottenham fans did manage to break their way through the gate into the Arsenal section of the upper tier at half time and attacked unsuspecting Gooners enjoying a much needed half time pint. Why can't they have 9,000 tickets again? The second half itself was a different story altogether. Lead by Fabregas, who constantly cajouled and inspired the troops, the young Gunners, buoyed by Wenger's words of belief, went for the jugular. Denilson imposed himself on the game, Hoyte overlapped Walcott more often. Walcott looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights in the first half, but got at the suspect Assou Ekotto in the second half.

The Gunners needed a catalyst to reward their industry, Fabregas pulled the strings to the point that I cannot remember a contribution of any kind from Zokora or Huddlestone in the second period. The twin introductions of Eboue and Hleb gave us greater impetus on the flanks, with Fabregas and the tigerish Denilson already dominating affairs centrally. Just after the hour, the Gunners got their precious away goal. Baptista, who had pushed further up the pitch, desperate to make amends, played an intricate one two in the box with Walcott, at first his reception of the ball was halted by Dawson, but the Beast muscled his way to his feet, recollected the ball and tucked it past Fatty Foulkes. Game on!

Arsenal pushed forwards and an equaliser seemed inevitable. Though we were left open to the counter attack, Almunia thrusting out a limb to deny Keane. Why Tottenham seemed so loathe to use Lennon on the counter I've no idea, a third was there if they wanted it, but they did not. Tough luck, because with confidence infused into youthful limbs the Gunners got their equaliser. Fabregas, Tottenham's arch taunter, played in Hoyte down the right and England's patheitc excuse of a goalie gave us our equaliser. Somebody must have told him the ball was laced with sugary treats as he toddled out after it, miles from shore. He made the goal very easy, as Hoyte's low cross found Baptista, ravenously feeding on Tottenham's prone corpse in front of an open goal. Does that count as a hat trick? At half time myself and John spoke of how much we would love a Robinson cock up, so that we might taunt the Spurs fans with an ironic chant of 'England's number one.' Of course tubby obliged and I'm sure you heard the refrain ring around the Lane.

Arsenal appeared the more likely, but injuries to Eboue and Hleb appeared to handicap us slightly. However, Walcott had a glorious chance to wrap it up as Hoyte's flat right wing cross found him unmarked at the back post, but he pulled his volley wide with Robinson heard to whisper, 'mmmm....donuts!' The final whistle sounded and it was time to run the gauntlet. The familiar sound of broken glass and bodies tumbling to concrete could be heard. We managed to slip out towards Northumberland Road unnoticed, betwixt the massed ranks of hooded Spurs 'fans', scarves wrapped up around their faces, their eyes searing you with hate. The familiar whispers of 'Oi Gooner' were heard up and down the Seven Sister's Raod, the sophisticated idea of which revolves around clobbering anybody who looks around. Fortunately, I've been around that particular block enough times to know not to react. The stony poker face of a man who has seen his team pathetically crumble was etched onto my face. Myself and Mike even began to have a little fun with it, adopting the slanting posture and and breathy complaints of any Tottenham fan, 'I can't believe that fat **** Robinson gifted them a goal' and 'let's face it, we're never gonna win at the Emirates are we?' I almost blew my cover when Mike remarked, 'Mido looks fatter and fatter every time I see him' whilst we were surrounded by the Tottenham unfaithful.

Our sense of mischief was soon removed when we received text messages from friends, revealing that they had 'been done' by Spurs hooligans, or caught a random flailing fist from another piece of human garbage. It really is pathetic, I am all for rivalry, but how on earth is beating the living sh*t out of someone supposed to prove anything? What are we to do? Is a good kicking supposed to all of a sudden enlighten me to the error of my ways and become a paid up Spud? Over on the Tottenham forum, you might care to take a look at a remark 'woddywoo' made when I informed him of my friend's misfortune, 'shame your friend didn't break his neck IMO.' It's there, go and see it if you want. Anyways, we have given ourselves a good chance to go through, but this is by no means over. If Tottenham can prevent us from scoring until the last twenty minutes, things could get very nervous. Remind me why Tottenham have not been permitted 9,000 tickets again? LD.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 25 2007

Time: 2:07PM

Your Comments

apologies - if only we could hurt you where it counts.
Jacky B
Thing is jackyb, people like yourself have no need to apologise. The police, who routinely do nothing, and a small minority of your fans do.
Little Dutch
Scummy football club with a scummy ground and even scummier fans! You dont get groups of gooners "hunting" after matches at the grove yet the knuckle dragging, soap dodging fraternity at *****efartlane seem to make a regular habit out of this! Shame, as you could be such a mediocre club with good honest support, instead you plunge to the depths of Birmingham, westHam and Millwall with the actions of some of your so called fans! Jacky B _ If only more spud fans were like yourself then we could al enjoy a trip to the Lane, alas there seems to be very few who are!
You should of gone dressed as Cosmic pete LD! No chance of them mistaking you for a gooner! Shame about all the violence, the hate kinda spilled out on the spurs vital page as well with a couple of sickos talking about child abuse. When will people realise that whilst we are all passionate about our clubs its only a game and there is a certain line we should never cross.
LD - Yeah i know, but still... tarred with the same brush and all that.
Jacky B
As for the game in a strange way I wasnt bothered with the young guys going 2-0 down as it gave us all an opportunity to see if they had the heart to stay in the game or if they would crumble. The mark of a good player is how they react to adversity and the young boys led by the beast showed heart and strength of charecter beyond belief. I hope they can do it again next week, it would be a great reward for their efforts to get to a cup final.
sorry to hear about your mates, LD - football is football, a game, we're all passionate about, but violence becaause of footy rivalries? most unsavoury. winding each other up and rinbbign each other is all good fun, but when it's blind hate that is makes you feel sad. I hope they're okay... »»Arsene Knows««
Nothing a swift shot of whiskey won't handle Wingston. As for the Cosmic Pete costume, that may have been an idea, but I don't think I have the jewellery, attire, lack of shame to pull it off!
Little Dutch
On the point of hooligans. Cardiff fans were banned from the wolves game last week due to persistent violence so the 5000 + tickets we have given to sp*rs seems more than reasonable.
The problem is at Spurs is that we know when and where it's going to happen and the police fail to do anything about it every time. Anyone who was at the title winning game at the Lane will tell you that it wasn't just the usual hostile atmosphere but relentless violence for hours after the game. It took us 2 hours to get near our car at Northumberland Park and even then there were gangs of them looking for stray Gooners. pathetic. Glad you are safe though LD, I opted out last night due to cash flow, but I was gutted at the end not to be there.
In 2004, I think it was policed better because we were kept in for so long (who wanted to leave anyway), they managed to secure the streets afterwards. I saw many attempts and many surges, but the police thwarted them all and we got a police escort back to Tottenham Hale.
Little Dutch
cant belive they didn't keep you in last night - absolutely stuoid
Jacky B
we were in a pack hunted from every sh!tty little side street and attacked with flying bottles all the way back. Still, it was worth it that afternoon.
cosmic pete lmao
I bet Cosmic Pete's gone on the biggest acid bender seen since Bobby Gillespie was in his pomp. I can just imagine him now, staring at the floral patterns on the walls of his squat. Trying desperately to understand the mathematics of blowing a two goal lead. Woooaaaah maaaan!
Little Dutch
I have never been to white hart lane and I hope I never do go unless spurs fans aren't there (FA cup semi maybe). Every time we play them I read about the violence outside the ground. thats not what I consider to be football. well done to the 3000 who went, you're braver than I. I bet your mate who had his jaw broken wont go to the lane again? as you say the problem is as much the police turning a blind eye as the spuds fans.
Silly spuds. Their early gloats always come back to haunt them. I don't think anything ( from my eyes) can top last season. So much gloating how they were ahead of us in the league, untill the last game. I guess reality woke up and put things right. Spurs behind Arsenal.
Behind another 7 teams too the last time I counted.
LD, last time I went sh**e hart lane I fell for the 'Oi Gooner' trick. Luckily for me being a now ex-pro boxer I was quite happy to step forward a knock one of their thugs clean out. You wont be surprised to hear that his 2 mates run straight to the onlooking police & I was pointed out & arrested. I have never been back since & to be honest I never want to. Anyone who wants to go to football for a fight is just about the lowest form of life there is & cannot be classed as a supporter. My 10 year old cousin was beaten to the point he was on a ventilator for 3 weeks by 6 fully grown men all because he had an henry top on. What makes it worse is that the spuds fans are actually proud to have a 'firm'!! Unfortunately people like Jacky_B are actually in the minority now, the younger generation are really buying into this thug scene!!
Ashburton Gooner
sorry to hear that Ag, thats Dispicable and done by the lowest form of life that exists, ************s.
I wish I could express some sort of surprise about that AG, I saw a 15 year old girl get hit by a stray bottle on Sol's return. Trust me, if I had to miss one game every season it would be this one! I guess I've just got more balls than brains.
Little Dutch
on behalf of all decent and true Spurs fans apologies to your mate Little Dutch about what happened. Like with many things its a pathetic scumbag minority that tarred the decent majority of fans. Very much like comments on these pages, it only takes the pathetic postings of one or two fans from either side and all of a sudden, the acceptable mocking, ribbing and rivalry decends in personal abuse .. I am as guilty as many others .. but often intelligent fans from either sides with interesting comments are getting spammed out by the likes of the Beast.
LD I bet you had no problems up at Anfield when we beath them 6-3 and 3-1 in the cup's?
when the cops know that this sort of a thing is going to happen every year at their stadium, why don't they make better arrangements for it? why doesen't the FA do more to look after the safety of the fans? every year we keep hearing such incidents. it has to stop somewhere..
You know I thought they would leave kids out of this thuggish behaviour. I guess my expectations were set to high, it is truely disgusting. You should be able to watch a game without having to look behind your back.
Sir Harry why are you targetting The Beast, i remember all your previous comments and personal abuses, and you're hundred times worse than The Beast..
Limpar, I have been to Anfield on many occassions and believe me, it can be one of the worst venues to get away from safely. Don't believe everything you read in the papers.
Romford Ray is coming back to Arsenal, but only to train. damn i got so excited for a second after reading the headline. maybe Arsene can give him a contract till the end of the season, he can really boost the squad in the time of these inuries..
Ive just read the best comment on one of the Sp*rs articles about Robinson! some dude said he thought a fan had run onto the pitch when he saw Robinson stranded for the 2nd goal! lol
I must admit Robinson does look like a fat overweight punter, so it was an easy mistake!
LOL yeh i read that, that was a pretty hilarious mark about if you want to play left wing ask bmj, but not in the middle of a game or somethn like that , hahahah
lol hes got such podgy legs, i chuckle every time i see them, proper chubby, with his knee cap fat hanging over the top of his socks LOL
Saw the trouble at half time, it's probably on You Tube as we speak, strangely never been involved in any trouble at the ***** hole apart from when we won the title there. You've just got to know your route, get your head down and move quickly. If Hleb stays on the pitch we win the game.
Anon 1
Not meaning to sound harsh LD but everywhere football rivalry involves violence thats just the way the sport goes. Even in Australia late last year there was a minor riot when Melbourne played Sydney and evey year we used to get two or three when Melbourne Knights and South Melbourne (coached by Ferec Puskas to the title, ***** yeah) played eachother in the old NSL and that was racial croat vs serb stuff right around the time of the war, serious racial hatred, ***** happens and i have to say be ready and except it or dont give the *****wits the people to swing at by not going
Ozi Gooner
Good write up, LD. I thought it was an excellent view of the game. sorry to hear abt ur mates though.
and police never stop anything while its happening, just look at videos and try to arrest people a week later
Ozi Gooner
The lot of them are complete scum. Last year i took my 13 year old little cousin to 3 point lane to watch the 5-4 defeat. On the way home we were surrounded by scum and they taunted us as we walked to the tube. Inevitably, they do their talking off the pitch because they are crap on it, and both me and my little cosuin got a bit of a kicking by roughly 6-8 fully grown men. My 13 year old cousin having his leg and collar bone broken during it. I completely despise the lot of them. And you know what the most stupid thing of all is. My cousin is a spurs supporter, but sat with me in the away stands as obviously he couldnt go in on his own. When it slowed, i pulled up his jumper to reveal the spurs shirt he was wearing underneath, only to be told well he "shouldnt have such friends" and "deserves it". I hate those cowards with a passion. Only picking on people in numbers, too scared to do it alone. SCUM and always will be.
Sir Harry, the sentiments are appreciated, overall I tend to see about 2-300 people responsible. That represents a small minority of the 33,000 Spurs fans (indeed, there's no way of telling if some of these idiots have even got into the game). Ozi Gooner, I am not, and never will be prepared to accept this kind of behaviour. If a load of hooligand wanna have a tear up in an alley, fine, just stay away from me. But when they randomly target innocent people, I'm not gonna ignore/accept it, no way. I am also not going to stop going, I wouldn't give pondlife like that the satisfaction. It's an old adage, to hold your tongue, or to catch a fist? Martin Luther King once said, "if a man hasn't found something he's willing to die for, then he is not fit to live." Tupac Shakur expressed a similar sentiment, "I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees." I would not advocate women or children attending this fixture, but while I'm a young guy and I'm responsible for myself, I'm gonna keep going. If I don't, the idiots have won. Sorry to be preachy, but I just cannot accept that level of apathy, one more quote before you fall asleep, "the price good men pay for indifference is to be ruled by eveil men."
Little Dutch
And the beast, your story again does not surprise me. But it is important to differentiate between true Tottenham fans and thugs. I embrace and relish the rivalry, the banter with the likes of Sir Harry and Jacky B. But when it turns into violence, it's something else entirely. I know that 99% of Spurs fans would not accept that kind of behaviour.
Little Dutch
The type of people we are talking about simply dont respect the game of football. Anybody who sings that vile song at Arsene does not respect the game of football, Anybody who said those vile things to Glenn Roeder does not respect the game of football, anybody who raises a fist in support of their team does not respect the game of football. Its good to see so many people on here (Both Arsenal and Sp*rs fans) standing up against this type of behaviour.
you said it TheBeast.....thats sounds so bad youve must of made it up!!!anyway talking about liverpool,i remember going there when we was champs 98,you know "ince is not a w a n ker"and i was standing at the memorial paying my respects to the fans who had lost their lives and a liverpool fan tried to start a fight with me, taking about **** fart lame, i use to go in my blue addidas baseball hat and white addidas trainers,just to avoid any hassles,i dont have any puma gear so i dont bother going anymore
fran merida
to be honest i had no idea the incidents this serious occured at white hart lane and i am shocked to hear of of the beasts and ashburtons horror stories, ive only been to the lane once and i had quite a pleasant day tbh, but i dont think ill be rushing back there anytme soon after hearing this, people take it too far and the police should arrest them on the spot when they see these things happening.
on a note of having a go at the Beast, I had grown thoroughly irritated at basically the same old post, being referred to by him as scum and let my anger get the better of me. However having read the Beast's post above I can now better appreciate his attitude and would in many ways understand his disgust, abhorence and irritation of anything related to Spurs. And I feel embarassed that fans of any hue, including my own, did not assist him. But please remember EVERY CLUB, has a small minority of worthless c**nts who are the pondlife of society, a catergorization that would be deeply offensive to pondlife. The majority of Spurs fans while still coming up with 'Sol' songs would never behave in that way. I personally think that as homophobic crime gets you an extra 5 years so should any football related violence, in the ground or within 5miles of a ground. And on another note, I would just like to compliment the Beast on his post on our site under 'Whose to blame, Rupert Murdoch' - articulate, intelligent, coherent, the sort of post that as a Spurs fan I am delighted to read on our pages. Far better than my own sides posts in its effective reasoning and observation I am embarassed to admit.
you know, it saddens me that you rival teams cannot support their teams on the pitch without feeling the need to sort it out outside of the ground, i have never understood this, it is a football game, and may i strongly underline the second word GAME ! yes there is a passion, no one likes to lose, but the violence is not the answer. I wouldn't be happy if I attended with my kids in tow, it is not right and something must be done to kick these idiots out of our game, we need more people like jackyB and LD supporting their teams rather than the thugs like HTG
Totally agree with you Puregold. And the only way to stamp it out is that if people are caught, charged and convicted, then if the violence is heard to be football or even sports related, occuring principally because someone supports a different team, then a minimum increase in sentence should be added to any existing tariff. With your new ground you should be able to sort out troublemakers, but other stadia makes this more difficult, and all clubs should receive assistance to ensure that supporters from whatever hue can enjoy a day out at the great game, before, during and after.
As a neutral, although we have our own issues with Spuds, I can't understand why the clubs don't get more involved with the Met on this issue. There is absolutely no room for violence in sport, and how ironic that Spurs will benefit from the UEFA Cup ruling!
Chelsea are of course, whiter than white on this issue
It makes me sad reading this , english football has to be a role model for other countries, i thought british hooliganism was over , as far is i know sir_harry there were no new incidents regarding chelsea fans (but please feel free to correct me if i'm mistaken).You have no idea how hooliganism affects brazil, rarely any parent will take his children to a football game anymore, there are fights all the time , and when the police steps in , they will beat the ***** out of you.This has to stop,don't know how , but it has.

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