Three: An Arsenal Web Documentary (Part One)

Following Arsenal from Australia is a unique experience.

It means a midnight kick-off for the weekend game and a 4.30am starts for midweek one. It means sneaking away from your friends birthday party to watch them at the pub. It means going to the work bleary-eyed and hungover after seeing them throw away another shot at the title.

It also means sharing brilliant nights out with other die-hard Gooners who know exactly how much you have sacrificed for the cause.

Over the next three games against United, Chelsea and Liverpool, Panda Bear and I will be bringing you a fans’ perspective of following the Arsenal from our home in Brisbane, Australia.

I can’t tell you just yet how it will pan out. What sort of footage we will end up with I just don’t know. But I can assure you that it will be good fun.

Part One of “Three: An Arsenal Web Documentary” features footage of us and a host of other Brisbane Gooners as we watched our beloved Arsenal lose to Manchester United.

Let me know what you think and stay tuned for Parts Two and Three which will be posted shortly after the Chelsea and Liverpool games.

Have your say on the Arsenal web documentary by leaving a comment.



  1. haha love the documenrary, its actually quite interesting to see football watched abroad. OOH TO BE A GOONER

  2. I would have thought that there were only Arsenal Fans, watching the celebration of the others is cruel, isn’t it? 😀

  3. andy that was great man,great to see the effort you guys put in and also feels like i know you and panda now!!!
    the devil in me wouldv liked to hav seen ur reaction for the first goal tho…hahhaha
    if your ever in the emerald isle you gotta look me up man….bring panda for the premium guinness aswel!!!international rules series wud be good!!!
    great idea,nice work,lookin forward to the next one

  4. Thanks guys – just a first effort so I daresay they’ll improve quite a lot quite quickly.

    We had fun though. As much fun as you could have on a night like this…

  5. Nice music. 🙂

    It’s certainly much easier watching Arsenal in Arsenal than in Brisbane. Though there was a great deal more swearing at the defeat.

  6. Moving to Bris at the end of Feb, look forward to hopefully joining you guys watching a few games before end of season. Nice work on the site/doc!

  7. @ Jake – I can imagine. Although I did have to cut out a bit of the swearing towards the end. Plus, there was that violent incident that will hopefully never rear its head again.

  8. Panda this is your Mother – no swearing or I will burn all the bamboo shoots out the back!
    Seriously, a great job boys – on what could only be described as a crappy night all round 🙂

  9. Sounds good, look forward to hopefully catching the Arsenal sneak a cheeky title :).

    Just got back from 8 months in Europe and while it was good there to watch all the games local time and the amount of football available to watch there’s something too watching games in the early morning struggling to stay awake or making a big night/early morning of it.

    Bring on South Africa 2010 as well!

  10. Dunno if you guys have kept tabs on how Szczesny is doing at Brentford. But apparently hes been sensational. I saw some of the saves hes made for them and one at Norwich was stunning. Hes still young but to be honest he looks good

  11. I just have the feeling nothing other than a total chock in team tactics will challenge Chelsea on sunday. Im talking about changing formation, changing passing game. Like playing 5 i defence with Gallas and Vermaelen pushing Drogba out of the picture while Campbell sits back behind them and sweeps everything away. We need Campbell to handle their heading ability. And I also want our 2nd rate small players to sit on the bench, so no Denilson or Rosicky please. Almunia,Sagna,Gallas,Campbell,Vermaelen,Clichy: Eboue,Fabregas,Song,Arshavin: Bendtner. It could work.

  12. wow!!! that video is excellent, keep them coming.
    the pizza too looked yummy and for a moment i thought you guys were thinking of how Man-u will be chewed by the Gooners.

  13. hmmm must say arsenal fans over there do seem a lot more attractive than the local variety…

  14. We are going to get absolutely FLOGGED against Chelsea. Anelka and drogba are going to destroy us.

  15. Brilliant article I think you guys ought to read…

  16. A highly pertinent question has been asked by all footie fans with North London-affiliations this week: just how many clubs did Oirish midget Robbie Keane support as a lad? First it was Liverpool, now Celtic. Make up yer mind, Robbie dear; not that leaving N17 requires a valid excuse. Still, he arrived in Glasgow in time to get turned over at glamorous Kilmarnock, known affectionately as “Killie” by the Scottish footballing cognoscenti, if that isn’t an oxymoron. He has, in essence, swapped a team 13 points adrift in a meaningful league for one that’s now 10 points adrift in a meaningless one. “Dodgy business,” his ex-boss may conclude.

    But are things really as bad as the majority believe in their ManU post mortems? No-one has stated that we, The Arsenal, have scored the most Premier League goals this season (double Champions League-chasing Villa’s total), and this despite having had only one penalty (Stoke at home at 0-0 in the 2-0 win), which Cesc missed. If we really are so bad, if our team are too small, only play pretty passes with no “end product”, are too one-dimensional, have no Plan B, are full of uncommitted and overpaid journeymen, then how come we’ve hit the onion bag so regularly? And, lest we forget, we’ve had numerous injuries, especially to strikers (and left backs), including the huge loss of Van Persie, who last scored for us in October.

    Our 60 non-penalty goals span just that one measly penalty awarded, a ratio of 60-to-1, obviously. Chelski have scored from five and, from memory, Frankie missed one at Citeh. ManU have scored from four, including Rooney’s theatrical fall-to-ground-before-contact against us at OT, one of five penalties we’ve conceded, four of them scored. So the 24 non-penalty goals conceded imply a 4.8 ratio (24 / 5) at the other end. Think about it: 60 v 4.8 ! These statistics, completely overlooked, represent a chasm; yet in professional sport even wafer-thin margins determine outcomes.

    Win at The Bridge and the despondency will lift, though not dissipate.

    Keep the faith.

  17. I have just read a few articles on Theo Walcott and his woes and issues and the thing I notice in every one of them is that they all say Arsenal STRIKER Theo Walcott. have him down as a striker so why is he still being played out on the wing? He has been with is for 3 and a half years now made 65 starts and 54 sub appearances pretty much all on the wing barring the Eduardo Birmingham match where he played as a striker and scored twice, maybe the odd match or two at other times. Walcott gets a load of grief these days for under performing, not having a football brain, being a sprinter not a footballer etc etc but surely its time he was utilised properly. I know many people talk about the way Henry was “bought up” by Wenger and his wing play which also seemed to be killing his game but are Walcott and Henry the same person? I see the ambition Wenger has for him and see where it looks like he is going with him but how long does Walcott the player need to here the sighs, look at his own performances with a cloud over them and start to think, I know I am a better player than this.. Walcott for me is a commodity that worse than being under used is being incorrectly used and I feel that this use is having a major impact on his game and his confidence. Sadly it takes an injury to Eduardo for us to see what he can do up front but only gets to play there once despite scoring twice.

  18. Arsenal cannot afford to blame individual players or positional factions within the team for any on field problems. The team attacks as a unit and defends as a unit. Top scorers yet not top defence shows a complete lack of defensive teamwork. I believe that if we can either promote, improve or bring in the correct box to box midfielder and goal keeper we will have a squads that is capable of the consistency that is required but we will never achieve this with players who do not play their part. When I see players like Denilson tracking back then giving up I shudder, Rosicky and Fabregas do tend to get stuck in and sometimes that’s all you need. They may not even win the tackle but simply to break up play is the idea. Look at Owen Hargreaves, remember him anyone. His greatest attribute to his game when he was fit was his ability to block or stop an attack. I remember watching him in Germany and seeing how he made attacking teams look really stupid as they would be breaking and he would simply kick the ball away from them, get in their way and on occasion make the necessary professional foul. He would not doubt collect bookings but he was great at this. I think we are still missing that type of player, obviously not Hargreaves as I think he is on holiday with Woodgate but a player of that ilk. Song for me is going a good job but he is more box to box whereas Hargreaves type players tend to sit in wait for the counter attack. Personally I still think we could do much worse than push Vermaelen into that position as he he can also pass and hold the ball but we would need a full time centre back replacement as I am not sure Campbell would be up for that I am pretty sure that Silvestre is not up to it. If we defend as a team and keep getting those little blocks and digs in and then have this type of player in waiting I think we could be fine.

  19. Hi mate
    U listed the united game too.Its already played,but maybe u haven´t ssen it because of time difference….just joking…hope its ok.

  20. I was prompted to write this following the extraordinary convulsions in the Arsenal blogosphere after the defeat to Manchester United.

    Chicken Licken bloggers, one of whom claimed they could manage Arsenal better than Arsene, renewed their calls for Denilson’s head, Arsene’s head, anyone’s head. (Unwise bloggers might be encouraged to read this.) It seemed so out of kilter with reality that I thought that there had to be some kind of diagnosis of a collective mentality, shared by the football media in England and the ‘doom and gloom’ Arsenal bloggers, that made them react in such a way. These are my diagnoses.

    The Foreign Agenda. Arsene’s French nationality is a constant point of reference, the implication being that Arsenal is now a ‘French club’. (One blog stated that Smalling had chosen United over Arsenal ‘because he wanted to speak English in the dressing room.’) From the old references to ‘discipline’, or rather lack of it (all those red cards, symptoms of a suspect temperament) to the current accusation that Arsenal lack an ‘English spine’, fighting spirit, or physicality, Arsène’s Arsenal fall foul of a particular kind of xenophobia, in both the football media and among our own fan-base.

    What is unspoken is that Arsenal’s global scouting network is a necessary and far-sighted (and now much-imitated) policy that enables the club to compete, by attracting young footballing talent from a global pool: nationality is secondary to technique, temperament, ability, and athleticism. Arsenal are a post-national club, a difficult thing in a post-Imperial country.

    The Logic of ‘Success’. We often read that Arsenal haven’t won anything for 5 years (and counting). The Chicken Licken mantra: ‘We must buy. The kids aren’t good enough. The club isn’t successful. The ‘youth experiment’ has failed.’

    As Untold Arsenal has been exploring, finances in English football mean that we have to re-think what we understand by footballing ‘success’. What is success, and how do we measure it? In wins, in trophies, in superstars bought for multi-millions? Or, in building a stable, properly-financed, sensibly run club, which produces and develops its own players, that plays an entertaining and winning style of football, and that will continue as an institution not for 5 or 10 years but for 100?

    The Blame Game. ‘Something is wrong with the club.’ ‘Wenger’s lost the plot.’ ‘He’s too stubborn.’ This line of thinking sees defeat not as a necessary component of sporting competition (think of what it would be like to ‘support’ the Harlem Globetrotters), but as a manifestation of some kind of lack on the part of the manager, or some kind of terminal decline in his thinking.

    When Arsenal are beaten, the assumption is not that the other team played better football on the day, but that Arsenal would beat all others handsomely if it were not for the selection, motivational and tactical deficiencies of Arsene Wenger himself. The Arse-blogosphere looks for someone to blame for disappointment, and lays it all at the door of ’Big Daddy’ (see below). The blame game is clearly linked to raised expectations created by the 1998, 2002 and especially 2004 teams, but is also tainted by ‘declinism’, a belief that the past was a better place, which is very much an English cultural malaise.

    The Instant. The Arse-blogosphere is reactive, and places instantaneous reaction above reflection and thought. It also places instant digestion above slow rumination. The Chicken Licken blogs are symptoms of our ‘live’, ‘24/7’, instant access and instant comment digital culture. The culture of instantaneousness means that Arsenal are not allowed to lose, because there is no longer view of things, and a defeat means the end of the world.

    As the food critic Anton Ego says in Ratatouille, ‘After reading a lot of overheated puffery … you know what I’m craving? A little perspective. That’s it. I’d like some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that?’

    A Sense of Entitlement. ‘We deserve better.’ Chicken Licken Arsenal bloggers and fans believe that somehow they are entitled to watch not only high-quality entertaining football, but all-conquering football. This has been reinforced by the success of Arsène’s Arsenal itself. No-one who watched Terry Neill’s Arsenal, or George Graham’s, can honestly inhabit that sense of entitlement. This sense, not that we are privileged to watch the kind of foot ball seen at the Emirates, but that we ‘deserve’ to do so, is also connected with consumerism.

    The Dominance of Consumerism. It’s no great news that the contract between fan and club has changed since the advent of the Premier League, and the post-Hillsborough construction of a middle-class fan-base for top-level football. In treating the fan as a customer, however, our club has helped produce a consumption-oriented fan mentality that now manifests itself on the Arse-blogosphere. A recurrent complaint is: ‘I pay £XXXX for my season ticket, so I expect to see XXXX.’

    Chicken Licken bloggers now relate to the experience of watching football as they would to a movie: they want a guaranteed level of entertainment or success, and if they don’t get it, they complain loudly. Of course, the experience of watching a live football match is not the repeatable, guaranteed experience of watching a movie: sometimes a team plays badly, sometimes they lose. Arsenal don’t lose very much, but when defeat comes…

    A Culture of Complaint. In 1993, the art critic Robert Hughes published a book called The Culture of Complaint. In it, Hughes argued that ‘we create an infantilized culture of complaint, in which Big Daddy is always to blame and the expansion of rights goes on without the other half of citizenship – attachment to duties and obligations…

    The emphasis is on the subjective: how we feel about things, rather than what we think’. Rather than a democratic expression of fan voices, the Arse-blogosphere is largely characterised by this mode of complaint, the football-consumer rejecting the long-term ‘duties and obligations’ of supporting their club in favour of short-term gratification, and instant expressions of blame.

    The Importance of Ideology. This underpins everything. The foundational motive for the bias against Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal is economics. Arsène Wenger has been pursuing an economic policy which runs diametrically against the prevailing ideological orthodoxy of ‘Football 2.0’: that financial irresponsibility (spending on transfer fees and wages at a level that cannot be sustained by the club’s business model) is the only path to success (see above).

    This model is of course the same one that Brownian economic policy has pursued since 1997, the inflation of a financial bubble founded on unsustainable levels of debt, that is now also falling to pieces. Wenger’s foresight is actually astounding, if only the football media and the Chicken Licken Arse-blogosphere could understand it, or perhaps stand to look at it.

    Wenger’s Arsenal offer a different model of financial responsibility and footballing excellence that rejects ‘borrow and spend’ irresponsibility. When the sky does indeed fall (as Untold Arsenal has demonstrated that it shall – the first drops of a hard rain are falling even now) then Arsenal will be one of the best-prepared clubs to succeed – by whatever measure – in England, and in Europe.

  21. Brian – just read your article on Untold Arsenal. Very good and well written piece. I completely agree with you.

  22. Andrew, well done for making the film. Pity it was THAT night -b’cos I just felt depressed again after watching it! Hopefully things will pick up in part 2 (although I have to say I doubt it). Pretty quiet in that pub – but perhaps understandable in the circumstances.

    @Walter – you ask what player could guarantee success and the answer of course is no one. No player in the world can guarantee you win anything. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth buying anyone either. Arsene is now saying he did try to buy someone but failed – although he’s not saying who. I hope it’s not too rude of me to say that I don’t believe it. It may have been said to placate the fans who have again witnessed weaknesses in our squad shockingly exposed. Either way – I’ve already said I’m determined to be positive. I never thought our team could win the league this year anyway so it’s more a matter of expectations raised – and then dashed. Getting knocked out of the FA Cup so feebly was a punch in the guts though.
    Dropping Almunia for Mannone would make me feel a whole lot better about the Cheslki game.

  23. NonnyMouse – it was probably not packed because we have to watch late football matches at 2am Australian time! It is worse when it is on a Sunday and people risk sleeping in Monday!

  24. Terry has been dropped as captain of England. It’s all going to plan boys, Terry is losing trust among his peers. Although the Chelsea boys claim to support Terry its inevitable they will be looking behind and at their wife/gf mobile number for any fammiliar number.

    Although football has evolved to a modern business machine, the unwritten rules and codes forged between men must be respected especially those bonded by the badge, and Terry has been done by his own folly and by the media scheming.

    Hopefully the referees will no longer protect him and stop his cheating ‘unintentional’ body blocks, ‘camaouflague’ shirt pulls and other unintentional professional fouls he has been getting away with for so long.

  25. @Darragh – yes I can see how the pub might be thinning out at that time! So you’re in Oz too?
    I spend a bit of time in Sydney many years ago and remember going out to watch games at the local pub – but I don’t remember them being on that late. Is Sydney on a different time frame – or is my memory playing tricks on me?

  26. I enjoyed the vid. You guys are so much more subdued when we have a scoring chance than I am. I stand up in anticipation and than scream loudly if we fluff it. That pizza looked fantastic.

  27. brilliant footage bro. We endure the same here in New York. Except it is 2 pm so we end up skipping work/school.

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