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Something very strange is happening. For what seems to be the first time in years, whoever distributes good fortune is smiling on Arsenal. We have faced Everton and Portsmouth as they are at a low, and pulled Celtic out of the hat in the Champions League qualifier, when tougher opponents were lurking.

William Gallas has been scoring off various parts of his anatomy, and we have been awarded a penalty that wasn’t. The midfield, for so many the inexperienced achilles heel, is functioning superbly, and Thomas Vermaelen promises to be the signing of the season.

Surely the good vibes wouldn’t stretch to a favourable Champions League draw this afternoon? Wrong again! Regardless of the caution being rightly expressed by Ivan Gazidis, we could have faced much, much stronger opposition than AZ Alkmaar, Olympiakos, and our old friends Standard Liege in the group phase.

Is this the calm before the storm, or will the omens remain good through two trips to Manchester for our next couple of Premiership encounters? Lady Luck has bestowed her favours on our rivals in recent years, but is the old flame flickering once more?

Lucky Arsenal? Welcome home. Now, where is that rabbits foot and those redcurrant boxer shorts…

Theo’s New Nike Ad

A first for ‘holic, and thanks GS for the chance to bring a bit of video to the site. The good fortune has not stretched to having a fit Theo Walcott available and firing on all cylinders. Nike have a timely reminder of what we have still to add to the exotic mix we have seen so far in August.


18 Responses to “Lady Luck Remains Faithful, But For How Long?”

  1. on 27 Aug 2009 at 8:37 pmSnail

    I’ll have tipple from the lucky flask as well, please ‘holic.

  2. on 27 Aug 2009 at 8:46 pmOllie

    I would have taken that first drink.
    You should start a ‘holic flask collection.
    I’m ordering one straight away.

  3. on 27 Aug 2009 at 9:00 pmmarcus

    We’re not having much luck with injuries, tho. Several players already out. But you’re right, we are getting some crazy luck that we haven’t had recently. Hope it lasts.

  4. on 27 Aug 2009 at 9:03 pmBooland

    I believe our hard work has earned the luck! Nothing to do with the lady luck. But we will need the luck when the tide is against us! Not now! When it will really matter!

  5. on 27 Aug 2009 at 9:42 pmSiddharta

    Earning your own luck by working hard, true. But also when you are playing well and getting the plaudits that’s when “the refs, the media, opposition players give up a little more in your favor. It’s a mind game but a very hard one to control. Powerful nonetheless.

  6. on 27 Aug 2009 at 10:26 pmShane

    Just as my father always say ” you Have to be Good to be lucky”

  7. on 27 Aug 2009 at 10:29 pmJames

    Best of luck to yous and hope it is a good season. A wee bit of luck always seems to be part of winning a league or competition. One thing I will say is I wish nthing but misfortune for Eduardo for the remainder of his career.

  8. on 27 Aug 2009 at 10:35 pmMadridCelt

    Flukey cheating bastards. The world is disgusted by you!

  9. on 27 Aug 2009 at 10:54 pmdesigunner

    Interesting draw ‘holic. Koeman has knocked us out twice with Ajax and PSV respectively 🙂

  10. on 27 Aug 2009 at 10:56 pmFrank

    As a celtic support , I have to hold my hands up and say Arsenal were the better team and played some of the passing and movement was a joy to watch.

    We were poor on the ball , which over the last few years against teams as good or better in the CL was not the case. CP wins against AC Milan, Man Utd, Shakhtar,Benfica x2, seen us going into the last 16 of the CL. And in there against Milan after a 0-0 draw at home, a dodgy ref turned down 2 stonewall penalties, only to lose 1-0 in ET to a Kaka goal and in the other last 16 round Barca only nudge it 2-3 at CP.

    So I was disappointed with our play on the ball, but money really has turned football into rich man poor man game. £15m+ was the price of our starting 11 and bench against Arsenal that says it all. People laugh at the SPL as a 2 horse race but so has the EPL over the last 10-12 years. With Man Utd being stopped twice from making it 10 in a row.

    Arsenal will come up against better teams than us in the CL, and I can not see them getting near the final. Why ? This may sound stupid after a 2 leg 5-1 win against us, but fire power , the want of an out and out goal scorer will do for Arsenal.

    For all the possession , more so at home than at CP but for all the time they had the ball, for something close to 120mins of the 180min of the 3 goals they had 1 was a wild deflected fluke , 1 an OG and the other a dive for a penalty.

    At CP , that freekick which was soft to say the least was only about only 1 of about 3 shots on target all night.

    That’s not saying we weren’t poor on the ball , but for all the knocking the ball about , come the final 3rd nothing of note at CP.

    That dive and penalty end any slim hope for us, the other 2 goals icing on the cake and the only 2 goals of merit from Arsenal over the 2 legs. We were not going to score 2 or 3 against Arsenal, but on the other hand it took 2 freak flukes and a dive to give Arsenal the game.

    People will say Sour Grapes , not at all , I’ve enjoyed watching Arsenal over the last few years and was rooting for them against Utd Liverpool and Chelsea last year, but one thing stands out they need a goal getter. Take away the 2 flukes and the dive, for all the lovely football Arsenal played , they only score 2 decent goals.

    Against better teams than us , they can be snuffed out and better teams will have better forwards than us.

    I wish them well , the football they play is what I like to see , but lack of a 25-30 goal a season goal scorer, when things are not going there way, this is when it will tell.

  11. on 27 Aug 2009 at 11:16 pmAlan

    A couple of things about the Eduardo incident.

    1. If the ref had seen the incident it would have been a yellow card. Why is there talk of a two match ban.

    2. Does this now mean that if a centre-half dives in his own half that he’ll receive a ban (I mean what’s the difference where it is on the pitch)

    3. You could argue that Arsenal have not been the same team since Rooney dived in Old Trafford in 2004. Can we claim a couple of hundred million in compensation

    4. In the quarter-final in 2008 Helb was pulled back by a Kuyt for a stone-wall pen. Was the referee banned.

    Eduardo seems to be getting alot of stick from people who are of the opinion that a guy who has received good will from people following his horrific injury should be an angel on the pitch. I say F*ck that. His career was almost destroyed due to the attitude in England that you need to ‘rough Arsenal up a bit’ with some ‘good English style’ football. I’d have preferred the incident didn’t happen but get a grip. Some of the decisions which are made week in week out pale in comparision with none of this hysteria. Celtic had 2 shots on target in 180 minutes. The result was never in doubt.

  12. on 28 Aug 2009 at 12:01 amAdg

    Celtik, Against bigger opposition, we wont be against a defensiv mynded syd who do nothin bt harry d players hopin dat dey get frustrated n mess up. If u had playd ur ball n givn us a chance to play ours [u cnt eat ur cake n av it], we would av won 8-1. Ask portsmouth kus apart 4rm d harryin, u wernt much beta.

  13. on 28 Aug 2009 at 12:59 amWAMBAM

    Well said Alan!after Rooney’s dive there WASN’T ANY sort of this outcry,the papers seemed happy about arsenal loosing the unbeaten record. True,the result was never in doubt,EDUARDO SHOULD HAVE SCORED A HAT-TRICK!

  14. on 28 Aug 2009 at 2:57 amStephen

    I am amazed that ANY football supporter would condone Eduardo’s dive… even if they are die hard Gooners! As a football fan I would think that we would all want to see this kind of stuff booted out of the game. Citing comparisons with previous incidents to try and legitimize that kind of play is just nonsense. However, I will take it point by point…

    1. If the ref had seen it then yes, it would have been a yellow card. However, that is the penalty for simulation… by taking the resulting penalty kick and scoring a goal (and important goal in the context of the tie) the player then needs to be penalized for gaining an illegitimate goal by cheating NOT for simulation. A precedent for this is the case of Saulius Mikoliunas where he received a two game ban from Uefa for a very similar incident.

    2. Read point one again til it sinks in… a player in the centre of the park would not have gained an illegitamate goal (and important goal in the context of the game).

    3. Compensation?!… Celtic aren’t claiming compensation! This is just a silly remark which sidesteps the real issue here. Should Rooney’s dive have gone unpunished? No…. if evidence is available then he too should have received a suitable punishment.

    4. Referee banned?! … another silly remark to try and sidestep the real issue! Celtic aren’t blaming the referee in this instance as, from his vantage point, he called it how he saw and was conned by a dishonest player. When referee’s do fail to give decisions like this they are noted by the 4th official and can result in the referee being downgraded. This has nothing to do with the Eduardo incident.

    I am sure Arsenal fans must have been on the receiving end of cheating from other teams and been left with a bitter taste in their mouths because of it. I can accept unlucky goals going against my team like deflected free kicks and own goals… that is part of our beautiful game and we will all get our share of those kinda things over the piece. I would hope that all real football fans would not accept that diving and cheating has any place in our sport.

    Again, this isn’t sour grapes about the result. The better team won and Arsenal played some lovely stuff over the two legs and deserved to go through. It is just a shame that such a quality team and a quality player resorted to such underhand tactics.

    Best of luck in the group stages.

  15. on 28 Aug 2009 at 4:06 amShah

    I think you are missing the point made by Alan. So much has gone against us gunners because of bad refereeing and now suddenly for the first time something goes in our favour and now everyone wants to improve the game by dishing out retrospective punishment??

    The issue is not about what Celtic want here. It is about improving the game. So why should that be limited to only bad decisions made by refs in favour of arsenal?

    You say that as a football fan you wish to see this kind of stuff booted out of the game. Well as an ARSENAL FAN we wish to see teams play FOOTBALL. But do we get that? No. How does the saying go again? If you cant play arsenal of the park then literally kick them of it?? Oh but thats all fine and dandy – its Arsenal – who gives a f**k.

    Well heres Arsenal fans saying it back. Good one Edaurdo for diving and f**k everyone else (I would normally not condone diving but this media hypocrisy is unbelievable).

  16. on 28 Aug 2009 at 8:00 amdan

    Stephen’s argument has the weight. After the emotions have cooled it has to be said that even as an AFC supporter it was a bad call and a worse dive, anyone watching the telie could see that. In eddie’s defense, strikers will always jump over the keep but he did his part to simulate and the ref was just poor, but that said I don’t want to see eddie do that again, any fair minded supporter would admit it cheapens the game and harms the spirit of the match especially when it changes the complexion of the match. Simulation is certainly not the stuff of which the epl should be known. We have to face our mistakes to correct them. Whether there should be a ban or not, well with uefa making such referee selections can we have much confidence in their decisions? However, the better team over the two legs was Arsenal and for me that has to settle it.

  17. on 28 Aug 2009 at 9:38 amSouth african Gooner

    hahaha, whats all this hype about a dive??? get over it…

    SO anyway… on a more positive note… I cannot remember a more exciting start to the season as long as i have been a fan of the arsenal!!!

    scoring 3.75 goals a match while conceding only 0.75 is fantastic stats… We’ve had a CL knockout tie and now, only the third week into the EPL season, we playing Manure… God, its good to have football back!!!

    I think we can do it… i really believe, even without our captain, that we can come away from manchester with 6 points and maybe more importantly taking 3 points away from two of our top 4 rivals!!

    On the other hand, we are playing away from home and we are playing two very good teams in the next two weeks, so two draws would not be a complete trainsmash!!

    looking forward to the game tomorrow, and i hope we get one over the mancs to help spur on the conversion of your grandkids ‘holic…


  18. on 28 Aug 2009 at 11:03 amdon

    It is a shame that following such a positive beginning to the season, any talk of Arsenal is now being dominated by the single action by a player that, in retrospect, had very little influence on 180 minutes of football play and the end result. Yes, Eduardo will undoubtedly be forced to dwell on the way in which he takes responsibility for his actions and to the team and the club. I, for one, will not condone diving……by ANY player. There has to be consistency, whether that player be Rooney, Gerrard, Michael Owen…..or even Eduardo.

    It will be interesting to see the reaction from the media when the next high profile player is judged to have done the same. Trial by media in quite the same way?? Pardon my scepticism in doubting that.

    As regards what will be done by UEFA, I guess we will have to wait and see. If there is a two match ban, can we really rightfully complain??