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Top 5s

The last two weeks have been rather unremarkable for us Gooners, exiting three competitions at once as the Football Association continue to flaunt their hypocrisy like a strugglong actress flashes her knickers. This article really emanates with yet another slurry conversation with my mates as I manfully attempted to drown out Arsenal's problems in a sea of stupidly named ales. (Didn't work, but it's worth a go nonetheless!) Given the fact that my social clique almost exclusively comprises Millwall fans, it was a conversation I felt a little left out of. (Fortunately, being relegated to Division Two having been top of the league in December does not appear in my Arsenal hall of shame). I thought I would lubricate the wheels of conversation by proposing my own choices. Starting with my five worse games in living memory in reverse order (suspending your disbelief see).

5) 2001 F.A Cup Final. Arsenal 1 Liverpool 2.
A gloriously sunny day in Cardiff, the women were wearing yellow ribbons, the temperature was in the 90s and my first visit to the Welsh capital. 2000/01 had been a pretty inauspicious season, with United wrapping up the league on Easter Monday and John Carew knocking us out of the Champions League Quarter Finals. The Cup was a shining beacon of hope to rescue a mediocre season by our standards (beating Spurs in the semis was a nice touch too!) What transpired still beggars belief, as Arsenal battered Liverpool, missing a host of glorious chances (sound familiar?). Cole, Henry (twice) and Wiltord all missing one on ones, a Hyypia handball on the line which your writer could see from the back row of the upper tier was missed by the ref. After finally going a goal ahead, Liverpool stole victory with their only two shots of the game. Having lost two consecutive Cup Finals, questions were asked about the winning mentality and Wenger's vision for the future (sound familiar?) Equilibrium was however restored when we fluked it against the Mancs four years later.

4) F.A Cup Semi Final Replay. Arsenal 1 Manchester United 2.
A great spectacle it was, but one of those numbing defeats that scars you. I still have the feeling I will be relaying the sight of Ryan Giggs' insanely hairy chest to a psychiatrist some day. Having fought back from a brilliant Beckham effort with Bergkamp's deflected goal, we suffered the ignomity of wildly celebrating a disallowed goal as Anelka was ajudged offside, a decision which took an age to register with the Gooner ranks. Then, a last minute penalty put Wembley on a plate for DB10, who suffered the heartbreak of missing the Final the year before. It was a most undeserving miss from a player who deserved more than the cruel hand fate dealt him, it was the defining moment in United's treble glory. Of course, we all know about Giggs' solo goal from Vieira's misplaced pass and THAT chant we have been serenaded with ever since. Only of course exorcised when Paddy smashed home the winning penalty in 05.

3) May 1999. Leeds United 1 Arsenal 0.
The much vaunted game in hand. Arsenal trailed United by two points, but victory over Leeds would see them go into the last day of the season two points clear. Once again, chances were wasted (sound familiar?) as a young Woodgate cleared off the line from Kaba Diawara, the black cat owning, mirror smashing, ladder striding striker would also hit the bar. Hasselbaink broke our hearts with a stooping header with five minutes to go.

2) April 2003. Bolton Wanderers 2 Arsenal 2
Another gloriously sunny day, another ridiculously early start as the title charge came into the final furlong. The Gunners strolled into a two goal lead, only for the Orcs to strap up their hobnails, Cygan, Lauren and Ljungberg exited the fray within five minutes of each other, all the victims of bad tackles, none of the offendants booked. Of course, this gave Bolton the impetus as they clawed back the defecit and handed the title to Uinted. Allardyce amazingly blathered about the ref's favouritism towards Arsenal and a hatred was born. The coach journey home was memorable because not one single person said a single word all the way home.

1) Cup Winners Cup Final 1995. Real Zaragoza 2 Arsenal 1.
The absolute season from hell was signed off in the most bizarre and horrendous fashion. With our manager sacked following bung allegations, Paul Merson spending three months in rehab and our only decent player Schwarz wanting out, the ragged bones of a once great Graham team dragged itself into a Cup Winners Cup Final, where they were hot favourites. And a bloody ex Tottenham player scores. In the last minute. From forty five yards. In the one season that Spurs have finished above Arsenal in the last fifteen years. You could not make it up. The roles were almost diametrically inverted from Anfield 89 (where lest we forget a future Liverpool player hit the winner).

Continued on another thread........

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday March 13 2007

Time: 1:16PM

Your Comments

before I submit mine I'd like to correct you for one thing - the blatant handball in the FA Cup Final 2001 was by Henchoz, not Hyppia. I am mentioning it because it was the day I really started to despise the Swiss CB and English refereeing in general.
i was gonna say that.
Jacky B
good old Nayim!
Jacky B
From despair to where?
Anon 1
Ah yes, you are right G4L. He also repeated the trick in the Charity Shield a year later. Cheat.
Little Dutch
Anon 1, Manics fan?
Little Dutch
I will start with a very obvious one: 5) 00/01 - ManUtd-Arsenal 6-1; what a day! Yorke, Cole, Keane just ripped Seaman's net and my heart into pieces. We missed a number of players but nevertheless it was an appaling performance that had my manc supporting mates take the mickey out for years to come........ 4) Arsenal - Galatasaray 0-0 UEFA Cup Final 99/00 (lost on pens); a very sad day for Gooners, a game that we dominated, where Tafarel was playing out of his skin and Petit was afraid to make a tackle. Keown's miss from 4 yards rounded up our miserable night that was only topped by Suker's missed penalty (he had never missed one before I think).....3) Arsenal - Barcelona 1-2 CL FInal 05/06; the game that will always give me an uneasy feeling, like when you have a small stone in your shoe that keeps annoying you. down to 10 men, 1-0 up, completely contained Barca's stars, and Titi missed a few one on ones......ManUtd - Arsenal 2-1 FA Cup replay 98/99. you said it all. DB misses a pen., Giggs scores THAT goal and shows everyone that he is one hairy b@st@rd. Revenge was sweet, though....... 1) ManU - Arsenal 2-0 EPL 04/05; the end of the 49 unbeaten run. Rooney never dives, he's English. And Riley is not a tw*t, never. Very proud at the end of the day, but the sickness in my stomach was unbearable.
All games that would probably end up in my 6-10. Though the last time we lost at the Lane was horrible as well. It was my first visit their. Ugh.
Little Dutch
And LD, great write. Henchoz never got a card for either of the incidents, right?
Nope. He got nowt. In fact in 01, he punched it off the line and we didn't even get a corner!
Little Dutch
No one wants to remember bridgey's goal that knocked you off the CL?You guys were pretty mad when i tricked you into watching it (about 4 times) . : )
It was a bad one, but we won the league about twelve days later, so it doesn't really register. I think that game meant more to Chelsea, with their lack of history and all.
Little Dutch
ah yes. the one that ALMOST got Roman thinking not to dump Ranieri.He was to be reassured by Deschamp' s Monaco.
yeah, but we won the european super cup.You know how that feels don't you?Oh , wait, you never won it.
Never won a game of tiddlywinks either. Can't say it keeps me awake at night.
Little Dutch
and how many championships has chelsea won there kevin (not bought)? FA Cups? wait, you have no clue do you.
lol, touche.Well, did you play tiddlywinks with madrid? : p
G4L, i don't like to remember our history in the championship,just in europe and in the epl. : )
good. keep it that way, otherwise you'll be looking for a new club.
chelski... the last couple of years you mean?
Jacky B
Yeah, what about you?I don't recall seeing you in the CL.
I think you misunderstand me. I was pointing out 2 things. 1... You have supported Chelsea about as long as Abramovich. 2 you were ***** b4 he came to rescue you from administration.
Jacky B
Wow, i didn't know Mr.Abramovich was almost 8 years at chelsea, thank you for that.If we were *****, what would tottenham be?HIV?
there is a lot you dont know about Chelsea. Tell me something about them from 1999 you loyal supporter you. Nice joke about HIV aswell
Jacky B
My point is, you have only ever had success when it was available to purchase. In your time as a fan, this has always been true.
Jacky B
damn right LD..i've found myself playing 'The Holy Bible' far 2 often of late..I think one of the valencia games should be on that list..there's no doubt that if Adams hadn't slipped we'd have beaten leeds in the semi..then who knows what could have happened
Anon 1
really?We bought our champions league spot right?Something from 99, hmm,, hey i know!We finished above you in the league!Haha, but that's an every day thing right?Oh, are you gonna get sentimental on me?Your mates called me a brazilian rent boy.That's worse than a little hiv joke.Anyway, if you felt offended, i apologize.
Still feel cheated over the way we lost our unbeaten ferdinand and horseface stayed on the pitch i'll never know..the pen was inevitable as soon as riley stepped onto the pitch..will never forget the widespread praise rooney received for his 'clever play' and the way the heavens opened the moment we left the ground.
Anon 1
kevin,just face it,the fact is as youve been only supporting chel$ki for 7 or so years,and that it is chel$ki,you will never get any respect from spuds ,mancs and most gooners,it has alot to do with you being a new fan,that chel$ki,was a very bad team before,with racist,bigoted fans,in the same mould as millwall,and that you actually supported a different team to chel$ki before switching,and your always on this site looking for friends to talk to,trying to big yourself up,when we all know what you represent.
fran merida
Respect from spuds?Is this is a joke?Mancs?Blimey, i don't care what it was, it's not like that at all anymore.I never switched, i still care for my local team, but i didn't switch at all.Why can't i keep an eye on my local team, and cheer for chelsea?They will probably never meet.I'm not looking for friends to talk, go on our site, you'll see me there.I don't need to big myself up man.What do i represent?Fans that don't take life too seriously.Fans that don't kill each other, fans that have friendly banter.If you don't respect me, there's nothing i can do about it.Actually, there's nothing i want to do about it.8 years and i'm a new fan?I'm not a new fan, i'm a young fan, that's different.
im talkin about you,writing about chel$ki this,chel$ki that,winning this and winning that,bigging yourself up,is telling us how wonderful your team is,we dont care about your team,because we all know what it represents,a club,with a very poor history of never winning,fighting against relegation,and bankruptcy,and supporters whos only claim to fame were racist thugs who would leave business cards of their firm(name of hooligans)on their victims,after they were beaten up,i dont have a problem with you,but if you claim to love this club so much,why dont you look up some info about its past,and then you will understand why we have a negative view towards it new army of fans,and current ownership
fran merida
I didn't say that.I winded up LD.He did the same, i took it in a good mood, you can say it up there.Theeeeen, came the filthy filthy spud, trying to wind me up, now, you know that, anyone with dignity, can't allow a spud to mock you.So i did what every human being would, i started arguing with him.I know about the headhunters, about combat 18 links, i know it all.I know you all hate abramovich, i know everything.If by your standars we don't have history, that's okay, that's a personal opinion.Read everything again, and you'll understand with whom i was trying to argue(jacky b).Me and LD were ""bantering" in a good mood.
dont worry for me im cool about it,you can have banter with whoever you like,it was just that jackyb was getting very *****ed of with you,and i dont see him like that very often,i just wanted you to realise that after whatever is said,after the jokes or banter,you will always be a just another new chel$ki fan,and that will always be against you,everyone will be waiting for the day for you team to fall back down from where it came the offence
fran merida
Don't you think i like that?It's fun sticking up for my team, everyone enjoys defending their team.Don't you worry fran, we will always be enemies, no matter what. : )
Worst first. 1) Valencia 1-0 CL QF "nd Leg - f***** Carew, f***** away goals. This was easily the worst experience for me as we would have had a great chance to go on and win it that year. Heartbreaking as we had enough chances to kill them off in the first leg. Sound familiar? 2) Barcelona 2-1 CL Final - No words necessary 3) Liverpool FA Cup final - Michael, 'robbing b******', Owen 4) Zaragoza Cup Winners Cup Final - f****** Nayim 5) Man Utd 2-0 - 12 man, Utd end our unbeaten run. Fuming!!!
1) 2-1 Barca in Paris. Not so much for the result (as i thought the boys fought valiantly against the odds) but because some inept muppet of a ref ruined what could've and should've been the best display of attacking football in a CL final (AC v Scouser FC doesnt count, bad defence not good attacking) by first not calling Eto'o offside, and then when he went down red carding Lehmann instead of using some common********sense and letting them play advantage and take a 1-0 lead, So dissapointing because I had been looking forward to that game since we beat Juve 2-0 1st Leg, just new it was coming.
Ozi Gooner
2) 2-0 Man U at Highbury, end of Invincibles run. Again not so much for our performance as the refereeing, Kunt is the only word that comes to mind, for both Shrek and the Mancs no1 fan. The look on Sol Campbell's face said it all, he was fuming, but you could see he was fuming more because it was Rooney, he looked as disappointed as he did angry. Before that game i was indifferent about Rooney regardless of how much of a meathead thug he might've been, but that was one of the worst dives i've ever seen and ever since i have honestly wished him nothing but misfortune (sorry England fans but celebrated his missing start of WC) and hope he is hit by a bus.
Ozi Gooner

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