Arsenal: Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 1

Arsenal embarked on a major revamp this summer as a rebuild of the first team squad. The need free up squad space and wages meant some notable exits for players who were ‘in need of a fresh challenge’. As the exodus took place so there was continued push to find young blood, the search for vibrant and hungry new faces gathering pace. The extension of the close to the transfer window ‘till the start of September, on the back of the delayed Euro2020, meant that this process was still ongoing as the Season kicked off.

Then came the combination of an unfortunate Covid outbreak and three very tough opening fixtures: we fielded players who were clearly heading out the door and suffered three defeats without a goal scored. A sad sight at the bottom of the League.

The transformation since the first international break has been incredible. Some clever signings have added to the exciting mix of young talent already on board.  Arsenal fans could quickly see the improvement, as I witnessed at Burnley and then Sunday’s stunning win over Spurs. A renewed sense of hope for an exciting season and future. So, what has changed?

Here is my take. Firstly, and most importantly for me, in White and Gabriel we at last seem to have a commanding, powerful and excellent ball playing pair of centre halves. The signing of White looks an astute piece of business – despite the price tag. Next, with Ramsdale and Tomiyasu, the best two signings of the summer window in my opinion, all of a sudden, for the first time in a generation, we have a young but solid keeper and a dependable back line, Tierney included in that! Plus, we have protection in front of that back line, a fully fit Partey at last, and – wow – you see what he brings to the ‘party’!

With Lokonga, another good new signing, we have options on who to play in beside Partey as an alternative to Xhaka. The protection and ball winning capabilities are clear. This gives us the chance to gain more ball possession and start to dominate in the midfield area. Which then brings our two top young talents Saka and Smith Rowe much more into the game in offensive areas of the pitch. Coupled with the quite brilliant signing of Odegaard, after his decent loan last season, we have a real threat in the final third.

With lots of options waiting in reserve, all of a sudden, as the North London Derby showed, this young, vibrant, hungry and talented squad of players is really starting to take shape. It’s clear the fans are buying into the project as I witnessed first-hand at both Burnley and the home match against Spurs (what an atmosphere!).

OK, it’s only been three good games and results against Norwich, Burnley and Spurs but, in all honesty, these are matches in which we’ve really struggled in recent years – so that’s real encouragement. Hopefully the players’ confidence will grow and this new squad will continue to gel and improve, I am sure it will be great to watch as they do. All in all, there is at last much to be encouraged about.

 

COYG!

 

Jason MacDonald, ASSC Regional Rep for Perth

 

Arsenal FC set quiz for supporters to win a signed Arsenal shirt

Chance to win a signed Arsenal shirt

I hope like myself you are all looking forward to the coming season starting tonight against Brentford.

It will really be good to be with fellow Gooners in a full capacity stadium after all the trials and tribulations of the past 18 months.

Wherever you are in the world make sure you give a big shout out tonight for the lads.

I’m sure it will be a season full of ups and downs, nothing changes there but all the clubs start with nil points and I think us as supporters know that we need to be the 12th man now more than ever for the team.

To help celebrate Arsenal have a signed authenticated shirt to give away (see photo) from last season.

All you have to do to stand a chance of winning is to answer the following question by 9am UK time on Monday 16th August.

In which season did we last play Brentford in a League match?

Nice and simple and please send any answers by email to

mbrindle@arsenal.co.uk

with the heading ‘Bees’ and in your email please state that you are from Arsenal Scotland Supporters Club

ASSC Sponsors Harry Clarke’s Shirts at Ross County FC

Opportunity to Sponsor @HarryyClarke6 on loan at @RossCounty from Arsenal’s Academy

About twenty or more members of Arsenal Scotland were at the pre-season game against the Hibs to cheer on @Arsenal. Wearing shirt number 35, Harry Clarke was one of several young players who caught the eye at Easter Road in that match. Harry looked a presence, a big lad who was tidy in defence and could pass forward to help build the attack, one for the future in Red & White.

Clearly, we were not the only ones in Scotland to notice Harry’s playing ability as news came through that Harry Clarke was to be sent on loan to Ross County FC, the most northern team in the Scottish Premier League who play at Victoria Park in Dingwall.

Thanks to the sharp eyes of our Membership Manager (Mike Buchanan), Arsenal Scotland Supporters Club has seized the opportunity to show welcome to Harry by becoming the sponsor for his Home and Away kits during his loan spell.

We wish Harry every success this season with The Staggies * and hope he has lots of playing time in competitive games in the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Cup, providing a chance for ASSC members to see him at Away games all across Scotland. Plans are now also being laid for a trip up north to watch a Home game at Victoria Park in Dingwall as a get-together for Arsenal Scotland Supporters Club members.

(Dingwall is over 500 miles from The Emirates, although as the Proclaimers sang, we would walk that, and some!)

There are good supporters clubs and there is what Arsenal Scotland do 😉

COYG!

 

Dave Harrold

Chair, ASSC

 

* The Staggies is nickname taken from the crest of the regiment in which many in the area were volunteers, The Seaforth Highlanders stationed at Fort George in Invernessshire.

Arsenal Scotland Supports Bukayo Saka: “Love Always Wins”

Bukayo Saka, you were the star player in Arsenal’s 2020/21 Season, fully deserving of Player of The Season.

And you were rightly MOTM in nearly every game you played for your country in the Euro 2020 competition.

Bukayo, you have every reason to be proud of these achievements and as individuals and as Arsenal Supporters we are very proud of you.

You are a diamond as a young man as well a footballer: brave in stepping up when the world was watching to take what seemed to be your first competitive penalty kick  and brave in standing up to racism and bigotry. 

We fully support your public statement and endorse the support given you in the statement by Arsenal Football Club .

Looking forward to seeing you play for The Arsenal this Season, always knowing that you will strive to make a positive difference :
“Remember who you are, what you are and who you represent.”

COYG!

Thrill of Meeting Johnny MacLeod, an Arsenal & Hibernian legend

Johnny MacLeod scored the opening goal in Arsenal’s very first European match, a 7–1 thrashing of Stævnet on 25 September 1963.

As royalty he of course accepted handshake from Prince Philip, as per this photo which sits above a door in Middletons Bar on Easter Road.

Here’s an account from Jamie Lynch on their surprise meeting:

“It was great we just sat down at the next table to Johnny and his son John Barrie and I said it’s a grand summer’s evening for a game and they asked if we were going. And I said I am, that it should be a good game and that although I’m a massive Gooner I’ve a soft spot for the Hibees. And John Barrie, the son, said, “so does this man here”.  John senior smiled and I asked how come he liked both teams and he laughed and said, “well I played over a hundred time for both”. Me and Danny were both taken aback.

“Then we got talking about a wide range of things ranging from my home place in Limerick which they both knew well. John’s wife actually came from co Cavan, to chatting about visits to Canada and Boston, to pubs in north London on the Blackstock Road for visits to Highbury and the Emirates. We had a great chat with them and it was a pleasure to meet such genuinely sound gentlemen. Just the same as ourselves, out for a pint & watching a game of football.”

And, apparently, his transfer fee paid for the new toilets at Easter Road!

First Day Back to The Fitba’ for Hibernian vs Arsenal

Arsenal at Easter Road
“We would walk 500 yards …”

For many of us this was as local as you could possibly hope for To Watch The Arsenal Play. This, Hibernian vs Arsenal, marked the start of the pre-Season friendly matches before the first League game against Brentford.

Good to see Gooners from near and far, this from Stubsy a good summary for of those visiting North of The Border.

Some of the Lads met up with the Arsenal & Hibs Legend, Johnny Macleod before the game. Johnny played over a hundred games for both clubs,  and he scored the first Arsenal goal in European competition in 1963.

You can read account of that  surprise meeting here.

Below is an extract of some of the posts made on our FaceBook Page:

“It’s good to be back at the football”

“We loved being part of the occasion, and it was great to put some faces to names” ☺

“It’s the little things that make it a day to remember for the kids – quality of AMN to pose for photo & a hi & 👍 from Auba made Harrison’s day. (Saw Laca & ESR sign a guys shirt & couple of selfies from Auba & Laca which I thought decent ). So good to see them play live again – just warming up at the end with the nice interplay with Laca, Pepe & ESR.”

“Well today , for me , was awesome! Until today I had only met two club members (Jabs and Mike) in almost 16 months .. since my last Arsenal game away at Chelsea. Not only this but watching my two teams playing each other at Easter Road. The game didn’t matter nor did the score. I was livin’ the dream. I was actually quite emotional for a few seconds as the teams walked out the tunnel.

“But the most important thing for me was once again meeting friends from Scotland and England not forgetting an Irishman or two. Some of the finest people you could ever hope to meet. Proper Gooners and Hibbies! Some of them have stories to tell about today, so watch out for them. Proud and pleased to meet everyone today. Just perfick! And yes I bought a half and half scarf. 😉 ”

50th Anniversary Arsenal 1970/71 Double!

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Arsenal 1970/71 Double!
In Conversation with two Arsenal Legends, Bob Wilson and Pat Rice.

UPDATE: The event too place, and was recorded,
see Bob Wilson and Pat Rice in Conversation

-/-

Mark this now in your diary: On Friday 23rd July, starting at 7pm, our Honorary Club President Bob Wilson OBE will host an hour of reminiscences of that fantastic 1970/71 Season with fellow team mate, legendary Pat Rice MBE.

Please check this ASSC website and/or our FaceBook page for any additional information as this becomes known.

This is to be an ASSC Charity Event, held via Zoom, with donation to The Willow Foundation – the charity set up by Bob Wilson to provide seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 with uplifting and unforgettable Special Days.

You will not be charged for this event. Instead, as an expression of appreciation, personal voluntary donations of £5 or more to The Willow Foundation may be sent to ASSC’s bank account using ‘Bob’ as the reference. The total of those donations will then be forwarded to The Willow Foundation.

Please let us know If you would like to take part as soon as possible, by sending email to clubchair@arsenalscotland.com By doing so, your email will be included in the list of ASSC members sent joining instructions for the event via Zoom on 23rd July.

I am happy should you also add in a question you would like to be put to one or both these two Arsenal Legends!

Dave Harrold

Chair, Arsenal Scotland Supporters Club

13 July 2021

 

Welcome to our New Regional Reps

New Regional Representatives

Please welcome four additional regional representatives for Arsenal Scotland:

For Ayrshire it is Ally Richardson

For Perth it is Jason MacDonald

For Dundee and Angus it is Billy Mitchell

For Dumfries & Galloway its Mikey Boyd

Their contact details are set out on the Committee page

Regional Reps are your local point of contact for advice about meeting up locally to watch Arsenal on TV, maybe discuss car sharing to games, how to get forms to join the Club and to raise any questions you have about the Club. 

 

Privacy, Data Protection & GDPR

GDPR

We need to draw to your attention to matters required under the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which have been made into UK Law.

Please read the ASSC Privacy Policy and related GDPR documents:

Privacy Policy

Website Terms of Use

Cookies Policy

These indicate, among other things, that by providing an email address (and any updated email address) you are understood to have agreed that ASSC, including members of its Management Committee, may use that to communicate with you on Club business.

You may withdraw your permission at any time by notifying ASSC via clubsecretary@arsenalscotland.com

Squad of Regional Reps Now Complete

Regional Reps are there to help you organise local get-togethers for matches and social/charity events. 
The full list of Regional Representatives is found under the ‘Committee/Region Reps’ tab.
Welcome to Billy, Jamie, Ally and Mikey!

Roll on the new season. We only do it for The Arsenal!

COYG!
Dave Harrold
Chair
Arsenal Scotland Supporters Club