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On Christmas Day 2019 we received the dreaded but sadly not unexpected news that Dave Faber, aka ‘The Goonerholic’, had been taken from us. I use those words advisedly because his passing seemed like a very personal loss to so many people. Many of those people had never met him but felt as if he were a very special friend. Not just a bloke they had met online but someone who was truly interested in their lives and someone whose opinions on Arsenal, on music, on cricket and on life they were fascinated to read and debate with him. His delightful nature shone through his writing.

A year has passed since Dave’s death and the blog that we created in his memory and which attempts to preserve the traditions that meant so much to us all, has been functioning for nine months. Ironically, it came to life just as lockdown began with a report by Bathgooner on the West Ham game in March, then football ceased for several tedious months. But the blog continued and on the anniversary of his death I asked a few of his closest friends on the blog – Btm, Bathgooner, Steve T and Gunnersaurus Stunt Double – about their memories of Dave and what he meant to them. These are their recollections. 

How and when did you meet Dave?  

Btm: I had been contributing to the Goonerholic drinks for more than a year as ‘Bergkamp’s The Man’ and had several ‘to and fro’s’ with Dave over that period in the bar. Goonerholic was a pastime and I devoted a goodly proportion of my Arsenal time to contributing to it.

I was living in the USA at the time and only an occasional visitor to London. When the time came to fly in for a game, Dave and I agreed to meet ‘under the umbrellas’ at the Tollington. While I was looking forward to this, a part of me was concerned that Dave might turn out to be a total plonker (my enthusiasm for Goonerholic would have plummeted). I needn’t have worried. In the local parlance, it was immediately apparent that he was a ‘bang up bloke’ and ‘a diamond geezer’. 

Bathgooner: I first met Dave in person in the Tollington on a cold, dark evening in December 2011 at the launch of Andrew Mangan’s book ‘So Paddy Got Up’ in which he had written a chapter. I treasure my copy of this excellent book signed by both Andrew and Dave. I was bowled over by the warmth of Dave’s welcome for someone who was merely an occasional visitor to the ‘Drinks’. Over the next several years we met up regularly on the terrace at the Tollington either pre- or post-match. It was always a delight to anticipate or review the match or simply to shoot the breeze with Dave and that became as essential a component of my match day experience as a fine pre- or post-match meal. I have extremely pleasant memories of several occasions when we combined both elements and over the years I came to know him not only as an expert in all things Arsenal and a good opinion therein, but also as a constant friend, a great raconteur, a gourmet, a true gentleman and an aficionado of fine whiskies.  Through Dave I met a wider circle of match-going ‘Holics, several of whom have become good friends. The Tollie is a fine pub but on match days it can be unpleasantly rammed and were it not for the opportunity to meet up with Dave, I would have been a much less frequent patron.

Steve T: I’m not sure how I discovered the blog. I am not a fan of social media, or the very numerous trolls that it attracts. I can only guess that I discovered the blog purely by accident. That must have been a good 10 years ago now. Apart from commenting in the bar, there must have been some private interaction. My seat is in block 4 and I knew that Dave was only a stone’s throw away. As a result, at one home match, I have no idea which one, we arranged to meet up at half time for a quick drink. That we did and the rest is history.

GSD: I met Dave a few years ago in the beer garden of The Tolly before a match (I have no recollection who we were playing!). I was not living in London at the time and could rarely get to games. I was going by myself, so I finally decided to take the leap from online relationships to meeting in person and used Dave’s blog to find out which regulars were going. And where they would be meeting for a pre-match pint. I was thrilled when Dave himself replied that he would be at the game. He was Arsenal royalty, I had been reading his blog and posting in the ‘Drinks’ for years, so the prospect of meeting him was exciting indeed!

As I had chosen ‘Gunnersaurus Stunt Double’ as my daft moniker for his blog I decided for the first time, in honour of Dave (and because life is too short not to do damn silly things for the fun of it) that I had better live up to it. So, I purchased a dinosaur onesie and got myself kitted out as our famous mascot. That got me some funny looks on the tube I can assure you. But I could not shake Goonerholic’s hand and introduce myself by the handle I used on his site without earning it, now could I? Weirdly, I felt I owed it to Dave.

Arriving in the pub beer garden I did the only thing I could think to do when meeting someone whom I had never seen before – I yelled, “Goonerholic!” loudly and looked for responses. A couple of amused Gooners took a step to the side, pointing at a distinguished looking gent with a smile and a pint.

‘I am…,’ I started to say ‘Gunnersaurus Stunt Double ‘, he replied with a huge smile. And that was how we met!

What were your impressions of him?

Btm: A very genuine, thoughtful, warm gentleman with a deep knowledge of, pretty much everything sporty, and a point of view on everything else.

Bathgooner: My first impressions were that he was a genuinely loveable man. Warm and considerate, and with a huge passion for the club. It was also abundantly clear that he had a massive in-depth knowledge of the club.

GSD: As for my impressions of him. Well, I was thirty years his junior, which I suppose meant I saw him a little differently to regulars who, like Dave, were attending Highbury before I was born. Before meeting him, I had always respected his measured views on Arsenal. He was like an Elder of my tribe, whose wisdom and standing in the tribe were beyond reproach. When I met him, I was pleased to find that everything that came through online was true, but also just the tip of the iceberg.

Steve T: To me, he had a calm authority. He was funny and full of life. When he asked questions, he actually listened to the answers. There is not too much of that flying about three beers in and an hour before kickoff on a Saturday afternoon. He was generous in all ways, with his time, his care, the way he shared about the club and himself. I have rarely enjoyed spending time with anyone as much as I did with Dave. He just had something special about him that resonated with me and put me at my ease. I dunno what more I can say really. He was just a special bloke.

Do you have any memories or anecdotes which particularly sum him up?

Btm: Dave’s mum was from Stirling and he cherished his Scots heritage. That included a willingness to suffer all of the slings and arrows of being a Stirling Albion fan (as well as a long suffering Gooner). He claimed to have watched ‘The Binos’ get beaten often (they rarely ever won) at Forthbank Stadium (cap. 3,806) and said that their’s was the second result he looked for on a Saturday night.

Bathgooner: I have seen many acts of generosity by Dave from getting Cup Final tickets for people, insisting on picking up the tab for people he had invited to lunch, to that moment he left the 2014 cup final just after half time to help a friend who had phoned to say he was in trouble. Dave was the warmest, most generous man I have ever met

Steve T: My favourite memory of Dave was on 30th October 2012. I had been in the west country to visit my sick step-father. The plan was to head back home on that day and to take in the Reading game with my 12-year old daughter and 8-year old son. Arrangements were made with Dave, and with the assistance of ATG, to park up and to meet in a hotel for a pre-match bite to eat. Traffic from Bristol meant that we did not get there early and would probably be too late to eat. We went in and met up with Dave. Both of my two knew about Goonerholic, but had no real idea what it was all about. Dave was eating but as ever, was more than generous with his time. He was happy to let my two help themselves to the platter that was spread before him. After about 10 minutes, we departed. Our food would have to be whatever Reading had on offer. I will always remember how Dave was on that day. Again, warm and engaging with my two who both loved the attention. As we walked to the ground Ben, my 8-year old struck up a conversation. “Dad, is that Goonerholic?” “Yes son, it is.”  “Wow,” he said before we carried on. A few seconds later there was another tug at my coat. “Dad, what’s a Goonerholic?” I just laughed and explained the best way I could.

I can remember Dave mentioning both of my two in his subsequent match report. I think I recounted the story in the drinks and I can remember Dave coming back and laughing. It was often the subject of conversation. What was more important was that at almost every meet up after that, he would always ask about my two. How are they getting on and just general chit-chat. That meeting, and all of the subsequent ones for me, sum him up perfectly. Always a mad passionate Gooner, but someone who more than knew the importance of family

GSD: One thing that I remember so clearly was his support when I was fundraising. I contacted him to let him know I was skydiving (dressed as Gunnersaurus Stunt Double, of course) to raise money for CHAOS, a local East London children’s charity that takes kids on camping holidays and that I have volunteered with for years. It is a cause close to my heart and I wanted to share it with the ‘Holics, but I wanted to check with Dave if I could use the ‘Drinks’ to do that.

Instead, he did it for me! On his next blog he signed off with a piece at the end about what I was doing, who it was in aid of, and how people could sponsor me if they so wished.

In the next days and weeks, I was blown away to start receiving sponsorship from ‘Holics across the globe. Many people who had never met me, without any particular affiliation to CHAOS were giving up their hard-earned and also offering their encouragement and support. That meant so much and the money raised was well spent on a wonderful holiday for kids who otherwise would not have had one. That was a time when the blog went way beyond football.

I am still touched by this and full of gratitude. It really sums up what an incredible community Dave created.

What made Goonerholic such a special blog from your perspective?

Btm: Goonerholic was always a ‘glass half full’ site. Dave would often offer constructive criticism of many aspects of The Arsenal but never sunk to the depths of irreverent, indecent, unbalanced bile served up in other digital media venues. Accordingly, contributors’ ‘voices’ expressed, for the most part, a similar generally positive, often amusing, realistic perspective.  

Bathgooner: Dave’s blog always stood out as an oasis of calm and commonsense in the somewhat hysterical world of Arsenal blogs, particularly during Arsene Wenger’s latter years when vitriol and bile were widespread. Dave’s match reviews were measured and succinct and he dispensed praise with typical generosity and criticism without rancour. He often combined both with dry humour. He could express his passions wisely without losing his self-control. 

The blog was enhanced by the ‘Drinks’ which under Dave’s stewardship was a haven for intelligent discussion and reasoned, respectful debate about all things Arsenal. At its peak the Goonerholic blog drew a worldwide community of ‘Holics whose views and opinions were always worth listening to. It was one of only two or three blogs that I thought it worth reading.

Steve T: Goonerholic was special because it was the one place you could go and debate all things Arsenal. The good, and the very much not so good. Sometimes things would get heated, but the attraction for me was that it was okay to have a different view to someone else. That I rapidly discovered was not the same on many other blogs.

GSD: The qualities of the blog were, for me, the level of debate and discussion, coupled with the respectful yet passionate way those views were expressed. There was a huge amount of humour and ‘Drinkers’ informed by a wealth of experience watching the Arsenal which gave them perspective that I loved. And there was Dave. A steady hand on the tiller. A writer of rare pith and turn of phrase, so adept at judging the emotional tone of his readers and adding joy on the good days whilst soothing the disappointment of the bad ones. The rules in his bar were so clear. And as long as people stuck to them, they were welcome. And no-one was ever unsure on what was acceptable because he made sure everyone followed the rules. An iron fist in a velvet glove, had Dave. His quiet, impeccable leadership was of a kind not many are gifted with.

I think the simplicity of setting a simple, yet inviolable, honour code that ‘Drinkers’ had to adhere to was the basis for all of the incredibly good stuff that filled the ‘Drinks’ in his blog. There was no other place like it. The best bar in the world.

What do you think Dave would have made of developments in the last year at Arsenal?

Btm: Like most of us, he was aware that Arsene should have left after the 2017 FA Cup triumph. He would have been dismayed by the year of Emery (and the politics behind Unai’s appointment). However, he would have been greatly encouraged by the appointment of Mikel Arteta. Right now, he would be urging patience and continued support for a new project at a nascent stage.

Bathgooner: I think Dave would have been deeply saddened by the dysfunctional behavior of those in control of the club he loved so dearly. Generous and forgiving though he was, he had a low tolerance for incompetence and dishonesty. He would certainly have called out the executives for the multiple mistakes they have made off the pitch that more than match the worst mistakes some players have made on the pitch. He would have seen those executives as being far more responsible for the huge challenges Mikel Arteta now faces than are the players. I think he would have praised the courage that was displayed in finally appointing Arteta and he would have supported giving him all the time that will be required to rebuild the Arsenal as a top competitor.  

Steve T: Dave would be horrified at the current state of things. However, I think he would be more pointing the finger at Stanley and the Sceptics rather than at Arteta. He might not feel that Arteta is blameless by any stretch of the imagination but he would adopt the approach of all for one and guns pointing outwards. I am also certain he would have had more than a word of two for the ‘Wenger out brigade’ that started to infest the club. The majority of whom think that football was only invented with the advent of Sky. With a sly grin it would be, “be careful what you wish for.”

GSD: It is hard to know what Dave would have thought but my impressions are that he would have been thrilled with Arteta’s appointment and the FA Cup success, although I think he would have been concerned with our shenanigans at boardroom level. He would doubtless have given us all many posts that made the Covid-19 world seem a better, more hopeful and joyous place. Yet, in our current slump I am sure we would all be relishing his ability to look at our problems head on whilst maintaining perspective. Dave absolutely loved Arsenal, so whatever he would have thought about where we are right now, he would have reminded us all, with his simple, unassuming example, that our relationship with our club is special and something always to be cherished.

We are trying to carry on the tradition that he laid down in his blog. What are the key things we must do to respect his legacy?

Btm: • High quality penmanship.

• A positive perspective on The Arsenal (but never non-critical when criticism is appropriate).

• A well-stewarded ‘Drinks’ section.

• Varied, thoughtful, interesting pre-match and ‘interlull’ postings.

• Rapid match reports (no one is interested after 36 hours – target 2 hours).

Bathgooner: Dave set a standard of tolerance for dissenting views but demanded respect for all and rigorously policed the ‘Drinks’ to ensure there was no personal abuse or antisocial views. We must maintain those standards.

Steve T: To carry on, I think we need to find a way of getting greater publicity for the blog. Goonerholic always appeared on the News Now platform. I have no idea how that happened but I think that could well have a good effect on getting new people to the blog. I think that people may well turn away at some stage if it’s just the same old names again and again, with no new views.

GSD: To respect Dave’s legacy, I think there are a few simple ideas and not much more. It says a lot about Dave that his ideas on how he wanted his blog to run were clear and simple. That is why they were so effective. The way we treat each other with respect and also those associated with the club with respect is key.

Welcoming anybody at all who wants to come and talk about Arsenal on the blog is also vital. Dave even had Spuds fans who would turn up to engage in well-mannered banter and to join in the fun. As Dave himself said “football is the most important of the unimportant things”. He would never let club allegiance get in the way of treating others with decency, or refuse to serve them a virtual pint.

Tolerance is another key point. Over the years he had a huge variety of posters and posts. As long as people followed the rules they were welcome. The bar can never become a place where one set of views are held up as better than any others, or where people cannot express exactly what they think and feel about the club. The flipside of that was no tolerance for discrimination. Some things are not welcome and they never will be.

Also, puns. There must, intermittently, be long strings of puns, or generally themed gags, in which much of the bar chips in and everyone goes a bit daft. And team goals carefully constructed as we approach a ton in the drinks, followed by goal celebrations and congratulations all round. Dave was always very amused by those things and they grew from what he set up. Not all legacy is serious. Dave was so full of humour and that must also be something we remember!

If you had the chance to send him a farewell message what would it be?

Btm: ‘Wonderful friendship and a bunch of great memories, Dave’.

Bathgooner: Thank you for your friendship. It was a huge privilege to get to know you and I miss your warmth, wisdom and wit.

Steve T: A farewell message? Wow. I’m not totally sure. It would be something like, God bless big man. Thank you for everything that you have created. I have no idea if you actually realise what you have managed to create but it is something very special. I have real and virtual friends for life thanks to Dave, and I will always be grateful. I hope he is up there with ‘Holic dad and the pair of them are moaning like no tomorrow about what is unfolding in front of them. I would finish by just saying thank you. As I said, I am not sure you actually realise what you are responsible for.

GSD: If I could send Dave a farewell message it would probably be pretty emotional. He meant so much to me. If I had one more chance I would tell him how much I loved him and how much I looked up to him. I would thank him for being one of the best men I ever met. And I would promise him that I will continue to honour him by embodying the lessons he taught me and the qualities that he possessed in such abundance, and by trying to share them with others as generously as he shared them with me. I’d also ask him to have a word with the Big Ref in the sky to see about us getting our hands on a league title again

TTG: I am one of those unfortunate posters who scarcely met Dave. That was very much my loss and a huge regret. I was first introduced to him at the Grove at a function for supporters in the close season. But online he became a very close and treasured friend. One evening he heard that my grandson Harry (aged 9) was playing against an Arsenal development squad in Tunbridge Wells and he asked me to write a blog report on the game. It worked out rather surprisingly as his team beat some decidedly unimpressive Arsenal boys 7-0 and Harry got a hat-trick (I blamed Xhaka who continually left him unmarked!). I wasn’t sure if Dave was serious about carrying such a personal experience on the blog but a few minutes after I had sent him the piece and a picture, it was up on the site.

The following night he contacted me and his delight in the story and the experience could not have been greater if it had been his own flesh and blood taking part. “What a beautiful boy,” he said, “I hope he enjoyed being on Goonerholic”. I’ve told Harry subsequently, that to be part of a blog created by Dave Faber is one of the biggest honours you can ever have.

Rest in Peace, Dave and thank you again for all that you meant to so many people. 

340 Drinks to “Goonerholic Remembered”

  1. 1
    Countryman100 says:

    TTG, BtM, Steve, Bath and GSD what a magnificent job you have done.

  2. 2
    Uplympian says:

    Gentlemen that’s a fantastic read & tribute to Dave. It is a masterful rendition in the fine traditions of both Dave’s blog and our tribute blog that followed – it has truly enhanced my Christmas Day – thank you all.

  3. 3
    Bosnian Gooner says:

    Wonderful tribute! Very sincere and warm.
    Thank you, guys.

  4. 4
    Bodrum Gooneress says:

    That is just fabulous. Well done everybody. A man that not many of us had the chance to meet but who brought so many people together all under the umbrella of his beloved Arsenal.

  5. 5
    ClockEndRider says:

    A lovely, touching write up, Gentlemen. Thank you. A wonderful read this goodly Christmas morning.
    A very merry Christmas to all and here’s to a, well, normal new year.

  6. 6
    North Bank Ned says:

    A wonderful, heartfelt tribute that captures so well what made the Guv’nor and his bar so special. Wiping a tear from my eye.

  7. 7
    scruzgooner says:

    sigh. what an emotional read for christmas morning. thank you, gents.

  8. 8
    Steve T says:

    Lovely stuff. A fitting tribute to a great man.

    Big love and hugs to you all.

  9. 9
    Trev says:

    Great work above, fellas – a super tribute.

    I was literally about to walk from kitchen to dining room to start my dinner last Christmas Day, when I noticed a new message had arrived on my phone.
    When I read it, it stopped me dead in my tracks – it was the news that Dave had passed away in the early hours of that morning.

    As deaths near to Christmas do, his passing will leave an indelible mark on the festive season for his family especially and for me, maybe particularly as it is always a period packed with football matches, but mainly because it’s a time to think about family, and Dave was a part of so many people’s Arsenal family.

    He was aware of my daughter’s thankfully past health problems and whenever we met, the first thing he did was ask after her, before he ever said anything about football – and he never spoke about himself unless pressed to do so. He would always come straight to the Tollie railings if she was with me, to say hello to this young girl he hardly knew.

    Typical Dave – always friends first, then Arsenal, never himself.

    Rest easy, mate.

  10. 10
    Laurie L says:

    What a beautiful collection of tributes. Thank you all, so much, for sharing. I never had the privilege of meeting Dave in-person (one of my great regrets, ever) – and I missed him by 5 minutes at “the umbrellas” at The Tolly, when we had scheduled a pint of the black stuff. In his texts to me afterwards, amidst some light ribbing, he said “Next round is on you, Laurie!” – the completely justified cheek!

    Like a lot of you, I knew Dave digitally. I’m mostly on Twitter (@laurielaker) and connected with Dave back in 2010 or so. Quickly it became apparent that he wasn’t a “normal” bloke content with matchday banter and slagging off those who disagreed. He had standards. He never let them drop. Most of all, as he and I became friends over time, what became most apparent to me of all was that Dave was a profoundly kind and generous person. His curiosity about me, my story including and beyond Arsenal, was genuine and entirely unprompted – he just cared, and wanted to know how and who you were, how and who I was. That’s an honour in and of itself. We’d chat about music, cricket, The Arsenal. He’s check in via DM’s when I was low, and I’d do my best to do the same. He was an incredibly decent, fun, and kind man. I don’t profess to have known him well, nor to have been one of his best mates – far from it. I am, however, one of the lucky ones who – even digitally – got to call him a genuine friend. I’ll always hold onto that.

    Yesterday I had the honoured being a part of a podcast tribute to Dave, via The Gooners Podcast, alongside many of his longstanding pals and those who knew him well, including members of his family. There I met Paul (countryman100), and I’m so glad that at his encouragement; this is my first of many Drinks posts. I’m glad to finally be here, at Goonerholic’s bar.

    As Dave said, “Next round is on you, Laurie!” It always will be. Rest well, Dave Faber. We love and miss you. Thank you, beyond words, for being my friend.

    Here’s to you, mate. UTA.

  11. 11
    bt8 says:

    What a lovely tribute on the anniversary of Dave’s passing. Thank you so much, BtM, Bathgooner, Steve T., GSD for your heartfelt memories and wonderful photos, and equal thanks to all contributors in the drinks. The first time I posted in the drinks I was surprised to get Dave’s personal reply calling me ‘maestro’ and asking me to keep on contributing, which I have despite being less versed in Arsenal lore than most any of you. More than 10 years later now, I consider Dave a real friend and personal guide to the Arsenal community although we never met excepting through his blog, and I am ever so grateful to him for it. Thanks to all for keeping his community and wonderful humor alive.

  12. 12
    Pangloss says:

    A lovely post guys, thank you.

    Laurie L@10 Like you, I never met the big feller and it is an enduring regret. Unlike you, I never even got as far as arranging a meeting although I did (once) receive an invitation.

    I must, however disabuse you of one mistaken impression. With much respect to Dave’s remark, it is a tradition of his bar (and this one, its spiritual successor) that no-one pays for their own drink on their first visit. Draw up a stool, and get one for yourself on my tab. Welcome to the bar, and may you not be a stranger in future.


  13. 13
    Trev says:

    Laurie L – countryman mentioned you last night,

    Good to see you here 👍🏻

  14. 14
    Countryman100 says:

    A lovely first drink in the bar Laurie. Thank you and welcome!

  15. 15
    Bathgooner says:

    Good to meet you Laurie. A large measure of your favourite tipple is on the bar, sir. Hope to see more of you. 🥃

  16. 16
    TTG says:

    Laurie L
    You are most welcome to this most congenial of bars , dedicated to Dave’s spirit . Please call in regularly, hopefully tomorrow to celebrate a fine victory!
    Merry Christmas

  17. 17
    TFGWrites says:

    A lovely piece, which captured both the essence and values of one of our most beloved bloggers.

    Thank you for honouring Dave’s memory in such a vibrant and engaging manner; carrying the tradition which he established and with which he delighted so many.

    I always got the impression with Dave that he wrote for love of the Club and with a genuine desire to reach as many Gooners as possible and to enthuse us with his erudite views and generous humour.

    It was never about “look at me”, rather, engaging a range of opinion.

    I vividly remember my sorrow upon hearing the sad news this time last year; but I am really happy to see that the community endures in Dave’s honour.

    I am far more Twitter based than I was in the ‘Drinks’, but I don’t recall ever seeing a bad word about “the Maestro”.

    I remember with warm affection how we began to chat after an online disagreement, which nevertheless remained cordial throughout.

    I’ve a few arguments on Twitter; it was one of the few I recall with great fondness.

    Here’s to The Goonerholic and all he has created and Merry Christmas to you all!

  18. 18
    Countryman100 says:

    Thank you TFGWrites for your lovely words. A glass of your favourite is on the bar. Welcome.

  19. 19
    Pangloss says:

    Welcome TFGWrites, another glass of your favourite awaits you when you’ve disposed of the one from C100.

    May you return here often and may your arrival mark the return of Good Times.


  20. 20

    My first drink in this wonderful bar but I promise it won’t be my last. Strangely I’ve never been a “blog” reader or writer but it’s time for that to change in honour of my friend (and friend to everyone) Dave. Paul, and the rest of the GF crew, this is a beautiful tribute and reading it was like a warm glass of milk on a Christmas morning. To be followed by glasses of things that are decidedly “not milk.”
    I plan to interact and try to draw folks to this great site to the extent possible because being around ladies and gents like yourselves just makes me feel better. Merry Christmas to you all and raise a glass to class, personified by Dave Faber.

  21. 21
    Pangloss says:

    …and the warmest of welcomes to Goonerspod Mike@20. Sadly earlier arrivals have occupied both ends of the bar – you will therefore have to take your welcome drink in full view of all in the middle of the bar – it’s on me.


  22. 22
    Countryman100 says:

    I promise we won’t make you drink Guinness Mike – it’s just lovely to see you here!

  23. 23
    scruzgooner says:

    welcome, laurie. saw you on mike’s fine podcast, you are welcome here. after you’re done with pang’s, have another of your choice on my tab (never as big as lars’ wallet, i do what i can).

  24. 24
    Potsticker says:

    My thanks and gratitude to Dave for creating this wonderful community. And thanks to those who have carried it on in such excellent fashion. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

  25. 25
    Bathgooner says:

    Welcome TFGWrites and Goonerspod Mike and welcome back Potsticker! Line ’em up, barkeep. Here’s to the best man I ever met. 🥃

  26. 26
    scruzgooner says:

    welcome, mike. glad to see you here, you will fit right in. and learn to love guinness, it’s what’s for breakfast. nothing finer than a pint hoisted for a 6am kickoff at jack’s bar (home of the silicon valley gooners), the minute it becomes legal to drink in a california bar :). unless it’s the pints drunk celebrating an arsenal victory! so to speed you on your journey of acclimatization, one is on the bar for you…

    just to say, so everyone knows, mike (and laurie) are strong drivers behind Arsenal America, the umbrella organization over our array of supporters clubs here in the US. they probably wouldn’t admit to it, but they’re dab hands at herding our number, organizing trips for groups to arsenal games, getting tickets for people, etc. and mike is a (the?) spearhead for the goonersVcancer initiative. they also organized with the club when they came to the states in 2016 and 2019. well done, gents, and again, welcome.

  27. 27
    scruzgooner says:

    welcome too, tfgwrites. it’s a fun place to hang out; the spirit of our dearly departed can’t be arsed, among others, keeps a lively craziness about the place 🙂

    merry christmas, potsticker!

  28. 28

    Talk about making a man feel welcome! Thanks for welcoming me into this fine community and Scruzgooner thank you for the kind words. Loved Jacks when I was there in ‘16 and hope to be back again someday… for now this is the bar to be at!!

  29. 29
    scruzgooner says:

    cheers, mike. i remember you were there (in hindsight) but don’t think we chatted. it was a great thing to be able to see the arsenal that day (and any day!). i look forward to seeing you and actually chatting this time 🙂 in the meantime, you’re right, it’s all here…

  30. 30
    Cynic says:

    A lovely tribute.

    Thoughts are with Dave’s family and friends, both real and online, today.

  31. 31
    Steve T says:

    Several new names in the bar. Great to see. Welcome one and all. Drinks all round although I’m not letting Bath or Dave choose. The last time that happened in the Tollie I don’t think I’d ever felt so violated. Bath knows……

  32. 32
    Lonestar Gooner says:

    Well done, boyos.

    The Guv’ is beaming right now. Merry Christmas, everyone! UTA!

    Keep the faith. SMBD.

  33. 33
    scruzgooner says:

    lonestar! merry christmas, great to see you!

  34. 34
    Trev says:

    Hey, Lonestar ! – good to see you,

    and a big thank you to all the new posters above for some truly excellent contributions.

    Don’t be strangers, fellas !

  35. 35
    arsabeatbarca says:

    Very emotional … crying actually (tears over loss and those still ‘here’.

    Thank you all for sharing so many beautiful memories ( we can ‘hear’ ‘holic’s ‘voice’ ) …

    His kindness extended to his twitter family. He followed a Newcastle fan who was

    doing very poorly from a liver ailment. She would often tweet she didn’t know how much

    more pain & suffering she could endure. Dave never ignored her distress and offered

    emotional support. I called her when she as in hospice, and she spoke with fondness of


    I’d like to believe Dave and Gooner Terry have met up, ( just that thought makes me


    Take care you beautiful people. xx

    to offer her moral support.

  36. 36
    'desi'gner gooner says:

    A mighty fine & touching tribute to the Maestro – Btm, Bathgooner, Steve T, TTG & GSD – thank you for that. As someone who knew him only through his writing on the blog and the discourse in the drinks, this post was a great read (along with the wonderful pictures) to get an idea of the kind of person he was. I had always imagined him to be a top top man and this post only reinforced that and beyond.

    I discovered this blog sometime around 2010 – after I got broadband internet installed at my studio (I am an architect by profession). I live in Ahmedabad in western India and my state is a dry state (‘dry’ meaning alcohol is banned here). Anything that is banned increases it’s value even more and a large percentage of the population here really cherish their alcohol (and find all sorts of ways to buy and consume it secretly) because of the same reason. Therefore the name Goonerholic and the comments section titled ‘drinks’ instantly drew me in. Once here, there was of course no turning back.

    Supporting Arsenal from this part of the world has been a very lonely pursuit (there was an attempt to set up a Facebook group of gooners from the city sometime in 2014-15 and I was surprised to find 20 odd gooners but that fell by the wayside). But this bar always gave a sense of belonging to a community. I still remember posting my first drink after our FA Cup win in 2014(it was well past midnight here when we won) and also the fact that Trev immediately posted a response and welcomed me to the bar. In keeping with the same tradition, I must welcome the new drinkers Laurie, TFGwrites, Goonerspod Mike & also welcome back Potsticker. Here’s wishing a merry Christmas to everyone and a raised glass to the top man up there 🥃.

  37. 37
    Steve T says:

    The Nurse is in the house. ABB, so lovely to see you in here. I hope you and yours are all well.

    Evening Desi. A glass of something that’s not outlawed awaits you.

  38. 38
    ATG says:

    Wonderful tribute, this certainly brings a tear 😢 in my eyes, Dave will remain forever in our hearts.

    Merry Christmas to you all! 🎄🎅

  39. 39
    Bathgooner says:

    Welcome back Clockend Rider, Lonestar, ABB and Desi. Good to see you all back in the nearest thing to Dave’s bar. What are you having?

    Don’t listen to Steve. He’s just not practiced drinking the cratur enough to appreciate the qualities of a fine malt yet. Or at least the finest malt the Tollie can offer – Glenfiddich – one of the beefs I have with that establishment. Here you can have virtually every malt that is distilled.

    The sadly departed Chris (Oskar the Dog) who will be shooting the celestial breeze with Dave, cba and Gooner Terry shared my strong preference for Highland Park 18 year old – now hard to find and costing £100 a bottle when you do find it! Dave was a great lover of Islay malts, Ardbeg (a fine choice) was his favourite but his true love was Talisker. Glenfiddich is an introductory level malt, but don’t tell Steve. :0)

  40. 40
    DESNJ says:

    Excellent tribute – I have read ‘Holic for many years but rarely comment. And congratulations to all for keeping the blog running to his high standards. Cheers All, and here’s to a better new year.

  41. 41
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Nurse abb!

    So good to see you in the bar. Merry Christmas you angel! xx

  42. 42
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    GS Mike.

    Welcome to the bar. It’s late on Christmas day here, so I’m gonna go for tradition and offer you a glass of port. But if you’ve already moved on to the whisky I’ll understand. 😉

    I watched the podcast live as you did it yesterday. It was an absolute triumph. Well done mate.

    You’ll always be welcome here and we would absolutely love to hear from you in the drinks. It is a really great place to discuss Arsenal as though our own, original Landlord were still here keeping an eye on proceedings. Don’t be a stranger.

  43. 43
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


    You’ve always been a top contributor here. I’m so glad that you continue to find kinship here despite the sad loss of Dave. Your posts are uniformly excellent and a pleasure to read. Cheers, have a bottle of Royal Stag on me!

  44. 44
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    DESNJ you’re always welcome. Its good to see you in here.

    Lonestar. Hello! 😊

  45. 45
    Laurie L says:

    @Pangloss, Trev, Countryman100, BathGooner, TTG, scruzgooner, and ‘desi’gner gooner –

    Thank you, gents, all for the kind and libatious welcome to the bar. I’m absolutely delighted to be here. Now that I’ve consumed my first round, it’s my turn to repay the favours.

    Given how Christmas morning tends to start in my house – champagne and mince pies – I’ll supply the same to you all, unless you’re more partial to something a tad stronger. Wouldn’t put it past anyone here! 😉

    @Goonerspod Mike – good to see you here, my friend. Thank you, again, for having me on the pod yesterday. I felt something of an imposter at times, but it was a real joy to be a part of something so vitally important to so many people. I know Dave would’ve found the whole thing entirely baffling, but nonetheless – if any man deserved a celebration in such style, it’s him.

    Happy Festive Day to each and every one of you.

    Next round, as the big man directed, is on me. UTA!

  46. 46
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Welcome to Laurie L (i read a piece on your blog after Countryman pointed me towards it. It was about Chester Bennington and suffice to say it struck a chord with me. Nice stuff.) Please don’t be a stranger here.

    The same to TFGWrites. What a pleasure to hear from another top Gooner in the bar. Even if you are more of a Twitter follower you will always be welcome here anytime you need to slow down and here from those of us who don’t get drunk and type the first thing we think.

    We are usually too hammered to type straight anyway 🤣

  47. 47
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


    A drink on the bar. Top man.

    If you’re drinking Guinness it is two for one…

  48. 48
    TTG says:

    Goonerspod, TFGwrites, Clockend Rider, Lonestar, ABB et al who visited here today . Welcome or welcome back it is a great pleasure to have you all in this bar today and we vehemently hope, in the future too.
    When Dave passed away last year it was devastating. I tried to capture this in my introduction here and it is amazing how similar and how strong the reaction of so many people dispersed across the world was.
    Almost immediately after Dave died we found that a number of us not only wanted to keep a blog going but to keep a blog going that inculcated Dave’s spirit and kindness and knowledge of Arsenal. I believe we have been able to do this and that is a really positive achievement .
    This has been a bittersweet day. The most emotional family day for so many but this year a very strange one in constrained and artificial conditions Similarly while we mourn the loss of a dear friend and wonderful companion it is so good to see so many people moved to express their feelings about him and hopefully commit to returning and joining the blog more often. That would delight Dave and particularly at a time when our club is in far from rude health he would have appreciated the good sense and love for the club that is being expressed . This year has shown us how emotions can swing very dramatically and that the human spirit can adapt to great adversity and restrictions on our way of life . Let us remember in such a strange year that wherever we are, we are united in a love for a great football club, one that the Goonerholic loved with all his heart .
    Happier times will come not only for Arsenal but for all of us . Let’s look forward with the optimism that Dave always managed to engender , to a better future .

  49. 49
    ClockEndRider says:

    Cheers Bath,
    At the end of a long day where I may just have had a little too much, I’ll settle for a cool glass of water.
    Oh, who am I kidding. Pint of Pedigree please sir.

  50. 50
    HerbieGooner says:

    Lovely blog and memories.

  51. 51
    D Jacobs says:

    As a person who only interacted with ‘Holic via Twitter (MrDJ @ExPatGoonah is my handle), we usually talked music and some Arsenal every now and then. Always genuine and kind with a chat (“Maestro” was a calling card with him in our messages) the times we spoke it was always respectful and good. From all of the words I have read it just shows me how respected and cared for Dave was amongst all those who called him “friend”. I would just add a final song for him to remember him by it would be “Easy” by The Commodores. Gone but truly NEVER to be forgotten by those who had the pleasure of knowing such a kind soul I join in the raising of a glass in his memory. Rest easy, Goonerholic.
    1 Life
    1 Love
    1 Club
    1 Nil!!!

  52. 52
    North Bank Ned says:

    Laurie L, TFGwrites and Goonerspod Mike, welcome. Also, welcome back Potsticker, Lonestar and Nurse ABB! Large ones of the bar for all of you.

  53. 53
    Bathgooner says:

    Welcome Herbie and MrDJ. Just listening to ‘Easy’ by the Commodores. I haven’t heard it in years. That languid rhythm will now always make me think of Dave. Thanks for that MrDJ.

  54. 54
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Hello Herbie. A tipple behind the bar for you.

    Like CER, I’ve had too many. But I’ll have a cheeky whisky.

    Because when you’ve been drinking for well over 12 hours straight they’re all cheeky, no?

  55. 55
    bt8 says:

    What Ned and TTG said welcoming first and irregular drinkers, also including Herbiegooner and D Jacobs. By the way Lonestar, I am assuming SMBD is Spurs Must Be Destroyed but need your confirmation. Cheers all!

  56. 56
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

  57. 57
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:




  58. 58
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Santa Claus is Okay 👌

  59. 59
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    56 is for D J @ 51.

    Great shout.

  60. 60
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

  61. 61
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I also wanna give a huge shout out to TTG. He organised this entire piece and spent his time and efforts in bringing together this tribute.

    And to Baff who both contributed and then did the technical stuff.

    You are both absolute feet* and Dave would be humbled by your efforts.

    Steve and BtM. No words.

    Virtual Bar. Real Friends.


  62. 62
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Is Christmas Day still fair game to make a run at the century?

  63. 63
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    If anyone else fancies it let me know…

  64. 64
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I cannot cba it all the way.

  65. 65
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    But I’ve got enough Christmas cheer* on the go to offer up a willing runner if someone else wants to be the Bergkamp to my Romford Pele?

  66. 66
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    * alcohol

  67. 67
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


  68. 68
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    They are all asleep anyway.

  69. 69
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    The family, not the cows.

  70. 70
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


  71. 71
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


  72. 72
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Something about politics.

  73. 73
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

  74. 74
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    For all the Clash fans who have been lurking for years!


  75. 75
    Ray Parlour says:

    Yeah mate.

    I’m in.

  76. 76
    scruzgooner says:

    steps in to the pass and drops it backward, much like a certain swiss watch(er).

    herbie and djacobs, welcome.

    nurse, so glad to see you here! please don’t be a stranger, you are missed. in case anyone doesn’t know, the tile in grey in the piece, used for the background of our site’s header, also in the sidebar, was organized and paid for by nurse abb, and is cemented into the terraces around the grove…what, a decade ago? and, if i recall correctly words were come up with by trev. all to the honor of dave…rest in peace, holic.

  77. 77
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


    Although of all the people I could gave for support…

    Its only Ray Parlour.


  78. 78
    scruzgooner says:

    dribbles out the side of his mouth, having found the rye too damn tasty…

  79. 79
    scruzgooner says:

    finds it puts a wicked spin on the throughball, right to feet…

  80. 80
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    @75 should of course say ‘have for support’.

    And Scruz is an absolute foot. My memory is the same as yours. Nurse abb stumped up and Trev found the immortal words.

    Virtual Bar. Real Friends.

    Never a true word.

  81. 81
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Tries to back heel it but treads on the ball.

  82. 82
    scruzgooner says:

    and if you’re really good with bike wheels, and you get one dead nuts after tightening the spokes, and spin it fast enough to hear it, you will say “truer spokes were never whirred…”

    or you might after a couple more whiskys…

  83. 83
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Pretends to be Granit Xhaka.

  84. 84
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


    Admits to being David Hillier.

  85. 85
    scruzgooner says:

    you’re a bunch of octopus feet yerself, gsd… 8 times over.

    that’s why you tread on the ball, maybe?

    does a bunny hop and a rabona at the same time. neither repeatable nor successful in moving the ball forward.

  86. 86
    scruzgooner says:

    @84 don’t admit to being ray parlour, though! (says a man who can see through virtual walls… 😉 )

  87. 87
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Kicks the ball off for a throw in.

    Stops wasting energy on the Xhaka/Hillier identity crisis.

    I am who I am.

  88. 88
    andy gorham says:

    Of course, I had to come by. But I’ve been here, unnoticed, all along, kind of like Sokratis.

  89. 89
    Ray Parlour says:



    There is only one of me!

  90. 90
    Ray Parlour says:

    If there were two then my wife would be twice as rich 😳

  91. 91
    scruzgooner says:

    Oh, Ray, always only one Ray Parlour. Only One Ray Parlour.

  92. 92
    scruzgooner says:

    @90 unless there were two of her.

    hoofs it past the last defender…

  93. 93
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Andy Gorham. My man. Have a drink sir.

    Just like Sokratis. Except better with a fish supper and less into tzatziki.

    Both are delicious. But not together.

  94. 94
    scruzgooner says:

    something tells me you’ll never see andy gorham and sokratis together.

  95. 95
    Bradley Walsh says:

    Chase me now, Tim Lovejoy.

  96. 96
    scruzgooner says:

    though i do hear sokratis is more likely to slap andy in the belly with a dead fish than the other way around.

  97. 97
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


    Nice reference.

    Doffs cap.

  98. 98
    scruzgooner says:

    missing the mooooo of our departed treacle stout master…always have to imaging him out at night to settle them down with a bottle or thirty.

  99. 99
    scruzgooner says:

    but will it be a yellow-card worthy reference, gsd? twofer?

  100. 100
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Accidentally knocks it through to the runner.

    What? We don’t do deliberate through balls anymore! 😅

  101. 101
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    It runs on past the keeper!

  102. 102
    scruzgooner says:

    seeking the tabs position, an honor for this ton…

  103. 103
    scruzgooner says:

    and gsd gets the yellow!

  104. 104
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Me and Scruz are in a Bergkamp Wonderland!

  105. 105
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    I tell you what though Scruz… Dave wouldn’t half be proud of that effort.

    I’ll have whatever you are having. Drinks all round holics!

  106. 106
    scruzgooner says:

    it’s getting us knee deep in goals, gsd. i’ve been dreaming of that kind of white (and black) christmas. cheers for the ton, and glad to wind it up with you 🙂 happy merry…

  107. 107
    scruzgooner says:

    and to you, gsd. that was fun. it’s been a while. cheers!

  108. 108
    scruzgooner says:

  109. 109
    scruzgooner says:

    and, for dave. and cba, terry, chris and oskar…

  110. 110
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cheers Scruz. It has been a while.

    No better day to remedy that!

  111. 111
    She Wore says:

    Lovely emotional read

    Raising a glass tonight for a wonderful man.



  112. 112
  113. 113
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Yes Steve!

  114. 114
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    She wore.

    She wore.

    She wore a yellow ribbon….

  115. 115
    Bathgooner says:

    Good to see you drop in Gav. Your favourite tipple is on the bar. Come again sir, whenever you’re cycling by. Bathlet Number 1 loves the shirt and socks by the way.

  116. 116
  117. 117
    Steve T says:

    One for you cba. You know you love it really.

  118. 118
    TTG says:

    Happy Boxing Day Holics !
    Let’s hope it really is a happy one!

  119. 119
    ecg says:

    Wonderful tributes and memories from all at the bar.

    For cba:

  120. 120
    Osakamatt says:

    Thanks for a great read gents,
    heartfelt is exactly the word.

  121. 121
    Osakamatt says:

    and some real leadership on a
    memorial run to the ton from
    GSD 😄

  122. 122
    Cent says:

    Just popping in to affirm to what a kind gentleman Dave was. I miss him and on some levels, I’m still living in denial. I still feel like he went on a trip and he will be back soon.

    I would also like to acknowledge the great work done by all the people who maintain this site and everyone else who contribute, in any way, to keeping Dave’s memory alive.

  123. 123
    DESNJ says:

    Not Boxing Day for me for another few minutes. So on that note, I’m having another one for the road and here’s my favorite Christmas song. Cheers All and good luck tomorrow.

  124. 124
    bt8 says:

    Well in GSD, scruzgooner and friends.

    Team news reported on the Arsenal website and the only “positive” item to report is the return to availability of Xhaka after his three game suspension. 🤮

  125. 125
    ClockEndRider says:

    Please, no Xhaka or Willian.
    Nor Bellerin unless Santa brought him the bestseller “Throw-ins for Dummies”.
    How difficult can it be?

  126. 126
    Bathgooner says:

    Good to see you, Cent. Drop in whenever you’re in the neighbourhood. Your favourite refreshment is on the bar.

  127. 127
    Bathgooner says:

    and you ecg, welcome back fella!

  128. 128
    Countryman100 says:

    Well there’s a blast from the past, a late night drink inspired run to the ton! Well in GSD, with Californian assistance from Scruz.

  129. 129
    Trev says:

    It’s only the Nurse ! Abb – good to see you again !

    I hope we find you in good health. – lovely mention of Gooner Terry – especially on a
    Friday !

    I will stick with the first 3 letters of the alphabet and add a mention for cba – he would have been proud to see an impossible run for the ton 😏

    Some good old names popping up in the drinks and great to see some new interest – we hope ! – from Dave’s Twitter mates.

  130. 130
    Esso says:

    Good work fellas! And lovely to see Nursie about again!

  131. 131
    North Bank Ned says:

    Vintage run to the ton, GSD and Scruz. Some serious mooing for the black coffee hours.

    Welcome back to andy gorham, Cent, ec, She Wore and any others we have missed. Boxing Day bevvies on the bar for you.

    Wonderful tribute to the Guv’nor to see so many old friends dropping in.

    As GSD said @61, a tip of the hat to TTG for organising it all.

  132. 132
    depressedgooner says:

    My nick here speaks volumes about who I am and how my life has gone, despite that I do try to find the poitives where possible.

    Dave never judged me on my nick, never judged some of my more depressed posts where the positives were hard to find and made me feel welcomed where others would have shut me down.

    There are so many fine people here that I never tire of reading the insightful things they have to say.

    I lost one of my best friends at Christmas 2017 and can genuinely say I was gutted and shocked when I read we had lost Dave too.

    My contributions may well be small but I will always return to the bar and know I am amongst friends.

    Thank you goonerholic…..forever.

  133. 133
    Esso says:

    Top post mate!

  134. 134
    scruzgooner says:

    hang in there, dg. your take is always welcome.

  135. 135
    bt8 says:

    DG. You won’t be depressed when Fat Frank and Mike Dean have a head-on collision and send each other flying into the mud. 😂. Great to see you here.

  136. 136
    Countryman100 says:

    I completely agree with Bt8’s sentiment. But on a point of order, Mike Dean did Man United v Leicester earlier. We’ve got Michael Oliver this afternoon.

  137. 137
    Esso says:

    Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Tierney, Holding, Pablo Mari, Elneny, Xhaka, Smith Rowe, Saka, Martinelli, Lacazette

    Subs: Runarsson, Ceballos, Aubameyang, Maitland-Niles, Soares, Pepe, Mustafi, Willock, Nketiah

  138. 138
    Esso says:

    No Luiz, Willian in entire squad.

  139. 139
    North Bank Ned says:

    That is a team that is a part necessity, part adventure.

  140. 140
    Esso says:

    Or Gabriel, rumour is he is ‘ill’.

  141. 141
    Countryman100 says:

  142. 142
    TTG says:

    Luiz and Willian are ill but have tested negative recently . Gabriel is isolating .
    We have been talking about reverting to youth. This forces us to ! Hope ESR and Martinelli can change our fortunes

  143. 143
    Cynic says:

    Not sure that 14 days is correct. Little Scotty Parker has been cleared to return to work at Fulham from Monday and he has only been in isolation for a week.

  144. 144
    North Bank Ned says:

    dg@32: You always will be among friends here. And there are no small contributions. Every voice weighs equally. Dave’s rules still rule.

  145. 145
    TTG says:

    The way GSD orchestrated that late night century last night suggests to me he should be in midfield in place of the Swiss Maestro . The man is a monster !

  146. 146
    scruzgooner says:

    that’s more like it. i’d like to see willock or saka on for xhaka. hopefully his shite won’t bury the team.

  147. 147
    TTG says:

    May I underline that this is a place where you will always be welcome. The football might be average but the companionship and kindness is world class

  148. 148
    TTG says:

    I believe Cynic is right according to NHS guidelines
    ‘ If someone you live with has tested positive and:
    they have symptoms – self-isolate for 10 days from when their symptoms started
    they have not had symptoms – self-isolate for 10 days from when they had their test’
    Still looks like three games off though

  149. 149
    Cynic says:

    Four players in that team that I think we can rely on, four are questionable, one no choice and two I’d have nowhere near it.

    So I guess we’ll win.

  150. 150
    Esso says:

  151. 151
    Cynic says:

    Arsche indeed.

    Luiz and Willian are no loss at all, but Gabriel will be.

  152. 152
    Osakamatt says:

    We’ll miss Luiz and Gabriel I
    think. Let’s hope Mari and Rob
    work well together or it may be
    a grim day. AMN a bit unlucky
    to be on the bench but Hector
    is back and captain. Laca needs
    to step up today.

  153. 153
    Trev says:

    No surprise that we have Covid isolators in the squad after a number of Man City players and staff have tested positive and we played them in the week.


  154. 154
    Trev says:

    I’d prefer AMN in midfield and Xhaka on the bench – ideally someone else’s.

  155. 155
    North Bank Ned says:

    Trev@154: 🙂

  156. 156
    North Bank Ned says:

    One of the Man City players to test positive was Gabriel Jesus, also Brazillian.

  157. 157
    Cynic says:

    If it spreads via passports, you’re all fucked.

    *sits smugly without one*

  158. 158
    scruzgooner says:

    ned, the monks have any idea when xhaka is out of contract?

  159. 159
    scruzgooner says:

    i wonder if all the brazilians got together for some pre-christmas caipirinha, feijoada, and samba?

  160. 160
    scruzgooner says:

    matt@152, so does our captain-of-the-day.

  161. 161
    ATG says:

    Xhaka and Elneny don’t give me much confidence

  162. 162
    Cynic says:

    He only signed a “long term” deal in 2018, so if you assume four or five years, we have the pleasure of his company for a while yet.

  163. 163
    scruzgooner says:

    thanks, cynic. his original deal was summer of 16, was that an extension?

  164. 164
    ATG says:

    ESR on the wing?

  165. 165
    scruzgooner says:

    playing the özil role there, i expect, atg. morning!

  166. 166
    Cynic says:

    I guess so. Various online sources say he’s here until summer 2023

  167. 167
    Steve T says:

    How the fuck does Xhaka start??????

  168. 168
    scruzgooner says:

    @166 thanks. sigh.

  169. 169
    scruzgooner says:

    bloody tv ads. COYG!

  170. 170
    ATG says:

    Chance for Gabiball unlucky

  171. 171
    scruzgooner says:

    xhaka dribbling forward into space. wonders never cease. corner.

  172. 172
    ATG says:

    Xhaka brain farts again

  173. 173
    Countryman100 says:

    Xhaka too slow to track the run, so launches himself off his feet as usual and gives away the free kick. Mount beats Leno but just brushes the post.

  174. 174
    scruzgooner says:

    lucky rob.

  175. 175
    scruzgooner says:

    i like pablo.

  176. 176
    ATG says:

    Mari booked and rightly so

  177. 177
    Countryman100 says:

    Ouch. Clear yellow for Mari. About a week late.

  178. 178
    ATG says:

    As long as he stays on the pitch

  179. 179
    Steve T says:

    Mari. Another clueless yellow. Still, only 75 minutes to go.

  180. 180
    Osakamatt says:

    had to be done

  181. 181
    scruzgooner says:

    it was the type of yellow card we cry out for…

  182. 182
    scruzgooner says:

    feet of granit, our boy xhaka has. well played, rob.

  183. 183
    Countryman100 says:

    Elneny doesn’t play the easy ball and gives it away. Great defending by Rob.

  184. 184
    Osakamatt says:

    good by Rob

  185. 185
    Osakamatt says:

    bit late to reply but yes Hector
    needs to step up as well scruz.
    bit lucky to be picked I think

  186. 186
    scruzgooner says:

    that’s our goal scoring, or lack thereof, right in a nutshell.

  187. 187
    osakamatt says:

    should have scored then waste
    corner – frustrating

  188. 188
    Countryman100 says:

    So close for ESR and Gabby.

  189. 189
    scruzgooner says:

    at least chelsea matching us inept pass for inept pass.

  190. 190
    Countryman100 says:

    Whisper it quietly but we are playing some nice stuff here.

  191. 191
    scruzgooner says:

    why make that over the head kick, granit? right to the middle of the pitch in front of our goal?

  192. 192
    Steve T says:

    We appear to have tried to develop some corner routine on the training ground???

    All very commendable if he had only actually taught someone how to take a corner in the first place.

  193. 193
    scruzgooner says:

    snow or rain in north london?

  194. 194
    scruzgooner says:

    jesus hector, nice mini break, though.

  195. 195
    scruzgooner says:


  196. 196
    Osakamatt says:

    another chance wasted,

  197. 197
    scruzgooner says:


  198. 198
    ksn says:

    Penalty! Commentators saying not a lot of contact.VAR says penalty. Laca taking it.

  199. 199
    Osakamatt says:

    get in!!!!!

  200. 200
    ATG says:

    Good penalty from Laca 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  201. 201
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


  202. 202
    Countryman100 says:

    Well played KT3. Get in Laca!

  203. 203
    scruzgooner says:

    good double ton, artur.

  204. 204
    Steve T says:

    Aaron Ramsey’s birthday today.

    It breaks my heart every time I see Elneny and Xhaka in our midfield and think that we let Rambo walk away for nothing.

  205. 205
    Osakamatt says:

    fuck the commentators- it was
    an obvious one and James knew

  206. 206
    scruzgooner says:

    great defense, rob just ran werner out.

  207. 207
    TTG says:

    Gary Neville is a twat
    United get one of those a game

  208. 208
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    ESR at 10 is a game changer.

  209. 209
    Countryman100 says:

    He trod on his foot. Once the ref has given it, there’s no way VAR will overturn it if there is contact.

  210. 210
    scruzgooner says:

    whispering, c100, but our offense is not so offensive with the kids in there…

  211. 211
    Countryman100 says:

    They are scared shitless of Gabby after the Bridge last year.

  212. 212
    ATG says:

    Just noticed Scurz 😂

    Playing well so far, just keep the ball lads.

  213. 213
    scruzgooner says:

    if only hector could port the throwins to his teammates.

  214. 214
    Countryman100 says:

    KT3 can finally do his thing with Gabby cutting inside. Makes space for the overlap. James doesn’t know who to follow.

  215. 215
    BtM says:

    Refershingly informative commentary by Adrian Clarke on Arsenal.com if you can’t stand the SKY twats.

  216. 216
    scruzgooner says:

    man, kt3 has a motor.

  217. 217
    Countryman100 says:

    Elneny is an accident waiting to happen

  218. 218
    scruzgooner says:


  219. 219
    ksn says:

    Xhaka magic!!!!!

  220. 220
    ATG says:

    Out of all players Xhaka scores ha ha 🤣 🤣 🤣

  221. 221
    scruzgooner says:

    helluva free kick.

  222. 222
    ATG says:

    Well played you have to give him that

  223. 223
    Countryman100 says:

    As TTG often says, man love that Xhaka. 🤣🤣

  224. 224
    Steve T says:

    Fuck me. It must be Christmas.

    Get in.

  225. 225
    TTG says:

    Why you blokes give Xhaka stick I will never know 😀

  226. 226
    scruzgooner says:

    2-0 at the half. i’ll take that. much better showing, well done, lads.

  227. 227
    ksn says:

    Elneny and Xhaka can still do something stupid! So keeping fingers crossed.
    Go into half time 2-0 up. Can’t believe that but the boys played better after the first twenty minutes.

  228. 228
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Great fk from Xhaka. I did not see thay coming….

  229. 229
    ATG says:

    Great first half we’re working hard all over the pitch I just hope we have enough gas in the tank for the second half.

  230. 230
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    ESR, Saka and Gabigol look excellent together. Much better movement and shape. With Auba in the middle and Partey behind them we would surely see a consistently better team than the one with Willian and no 10 because we have an extra cb?

    We’ve wanted it for a while. So far I’m pretty impressed…

  231. 231
    Cynic says:

    “Oh fuck off out of it, Xhaka…. YEAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!”

    Sums it up.

    Astonishing first half really, let’s keep it going.

  232. 232
    scruzgooner says:

    it’s amazing how a 2-0 lead over chelsea brings out the waggle dance while making my halftime coffee. i’ve been getting used to muttering curses under my breath and wondering if we are *ever* going to play well 🕺

  233. 233
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Big second half coming up now.


  234. 234
    Osakamatt says:

    I’m not sure I want to watch the
    2nd half in case it spoils my
    happiness 😄😄

  235. 235
    bt8 on the road says:


  236. 236
    scruzgooner says:

    chel$ea look peppier this half.

  237. 237
    ksn says:

    Bang on, GSD. We have to win from here to get confidence going in the coming matches.

  238. 238
    Countryman100 says:

    Get in Saka!

    I’m fucking dreaming here

  239. 239
    scruzgooner says:


  240. 240
    ksn says:

    Saka, what a hit!!!!

  241. 241
    ATG says:

    Saka goal 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  242. 242
    scruzgooner says:

    what. a. goal.

  243. 243
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:




  244. 244
    ksn says:

    Was that a cross or shot from Saka? Not that I care.

  245. 245
    scruzgooner says:

    wonder what the bookies were getting for this scoreline at the finish before the game. dave, holic dad and grandad, along with cba, terry, chris, having a right craig up topside…

  246. 246
    Osakamatt says:

    a real nerve settler from Saka
    that – glad I watched the 2nd
    half now coygs!’

  247. 247
    scruzgooner says:

    auba walking the sideline asking “where the hell was this when i’m playing?”

  248. 248
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Gabi is quality

  249. 249
    bt8 says:

    Mamma Mia!!!

  250. 250
    ksn says:

    Elneny taking too many risks near our box. Boot it out.

  251. 251
    scruzgooner says:

    oooooh, close. great break.

  252. 252
    ksn says:

    Giroud getting ready. He can make a difference.
    Gabriel misses an open goal.

  253. 253
    scruzgooner says:

    gabi, esr, saka, making a difference. even with xhaka our flow is so much flowier.

  254. 254
    ksn says:

    Willock on for ESR.

  255. 255
    scruzgooner says:

    joe in for?

  256. 256
    scruzgooner says:

    thanks ksn.

  257. 257
    ksn says:

    Pepe on for Gabi.

  258. 258
    scruzgooner says:

    great game esr and gabi. well played, youngsters.

  259. 259
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Great performances from ESR and Gabigol

  260. 260
    bt8 says:

    Ben in London on BBC website: “
    Difference between Lampard and top coaches? Frank is whisper quiet when the team is doing badly!“

  261. 261
    Countryman100 says:

    Oh Martinelli
    He comes from Sao Paulo
    And he plays for Arsenal


    Gabby ….

  262. 262
    scruzgooner says:

    love seeing a frustrated tammy abraham throwing his christmas toys out of the pram.

  263. 263
    ksn says:

    Havertz and not Giroud coming on for Kanye.
    Silva booked for putting his hand on Laca’s face.

  264. 264
    ksn says:

    Kante and not Kanye, bloody spillchucker.

  265. 265
    scruzgooner says:

    they might of done better with kanye, ksn 🤣

  266. 266
    ksn says:

    True, Scruzgooner. They should have played low block and screwed us on the counter as other teams have consistently done this season.

  267. 267
    scruzgooner says:

    would the crowd be singing ”you’re going down” or “you’re getting sacked in the morning”?

  268. 268
    scruzgooner says:

    god, laca deserved that to be a goal.

  269. 269
    ksn says:

    Tierney booked for time wasting.
    Laca misses a great chance to make it four, zero.

  270. 270
    scruzgooner says:

    mo off the post!

  271. 271
    Osakamatt says:

    blimey how is not 4-0

  272. 272
    ksn says:

    Elneny hits the crossbar. Holding hits the goalie.
    They get one back. No Tammy was offside.

  273. 273
    scruzgooner says:

    damn. not offside, goal.

  274. 274
    ksn says:

    It counts, shit. 3-1. Really unlucky, we should have made it 4-0. Will get nervy now. Probably five minutes of extra time.

  275. 275
    Osakamatt says:

    spoiled our clean sheet by a

  276. 276
    scruzgooner says:

    silva should have scored there.

  277. 277
    ksn says:

    It was almost 3-2. Silva missed it, thank God.

  278. 278
    scruzgooner says:

    yikes. are we going to throw it away?

  279. 279
    scruzgooner says:

    come on bernd!!!

  280. 280
    scruzgooner says:

    get the fuck in!!

  281. 281
    ksn says:

    They get a penalty. We are throwing it away. Mari brought down Mount. Leno saves it. Yeah!!!!!!!

  282. 282
    ksn says:

    Mustafi on for Laca. Everyone behind the ball.

  283. 283
    Osakamatt says:

    how to win the hard way from
    3-0 up

  284. 284
    Countryman100 says:

    Of all the days, below this main post, in these drinks. A memorable victory. Try and say that Mr David Faber, up there in heaven, didn’t have something to do with it. This one was emphatically for you Guvna.

  285. 285
    scruzgooner says:


  286. 286
    ksn says:

    Tenth successive Boxing Day win at home. 14th in the table, two up from 16th.
    That’s it. Three precious points.

  287. 287
    scruzgooner says:

    exactly, countryman.

    excellent win.

  288. 288
    bathgooner says:

    Well, that was alright. Young guns add energy! Who’d a thunk it?

  289. 289
    Osakamatt says:

    Good win, very 😃 🕺🕺🕺🕺

  290. 290
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Get the fuck in!

  291. 291
    scruzgooner says:

    esr and gabi going off for joe and especially pepe gave chelsea a lifeline. but we did it, and the rest of today will be gooood as a result!

  292. 292
    ksn says:

    Everyone is smiling instead of the long faces we were getting used. The extra energy from, ESR. Gabi, Saka did get us off to a good start.
    Never in doubt, we were the better team. Can’t still figure out why Giroud on, given his goal scoring form.

  293. 293
    Osakamatt says:

    just remembered I called the
    3-1 too 😉

  294. 294
    North Bank Ned says:

    That one was for the Guv’nor.

  295. 295
    North Bank Ned says:

    Gabi and ESR make such a difference with their energy and running. Also, fair play to Xhaka who remembered to pass the ball quickly today and looked a much better player for doing so.

  296. 296
    ksn says:

    Wrighty is still a kid at heart and his reaction to Saka’s goal was absolutely lovely to see. He echoed what every Arsenal fan was feeling.

  297. 297
    Bosnian Gooner says:

    I hope Xhaka won’t start thinking that he is good enough because of that goal…😜😜😜

  298. 298
    scruzgooner says:

    indeed, ned, credit to xhaka. first time on the ball he dribbled forward into space, i was hopeful.

  299. 299
    Pangloss says:


  300. 300
    ksn says:

    That one was for Holic as NBN said. The youngsters helped close them down better.
    Saka’s goal was pure class though Chelsea supporters are calling it fluke.

  301. 301
    scruzgooner says:

    great triple ton ksn, pang with the unanticipated assist.

    for dave!

  302. 302
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    We’re gonna win the league!

  303. 303
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Well in ksn!

  304. 304
    Esso says:

    Deep fucking joy!

  305. 305
    BtM says:

    @ 293, you did, Matt but it should have been 5-0. 🙂

  306. 306
    ksn says:

    The next two games against Brighton and West Brom are crucial; win them and we are almost in the top half.

  307. 307
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Hudson-Odoi is a good player.

    And every time I see Pulisic he impresses me greatly. Excellent attitude, drive, skill and end product.

    But it was great to see our own youngsters outshine them!

  308. 308
    ksn says:

    Thanks, guys. My 300 was like Saka’s goal.

  309. 309
    ksn says:

    Agree, GSD, Pulisic has something special and Odoi’s pace almost changed the game today. Their two new German imports were disappointing. Very surprised their main goal scorer, Giroud, was not introduced at half time.

  310. 310
    Pangloss says:

    …and as well deserved, KSN

  311. 311
    Cynic says:

    love seeing a frustrated tammy abraham throwing his christmas toys out of the pram.

    Tammy. Heh. Heh.

  312. 312
    Cynic says:

    Honestly shat myself when they got the penalty.

    It’s taken me this long to calm down, but that result is so good I’ve fallen in love with Alex Scott and think Rob Green is talking complete sense.

  313. 313
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cynic @ 312.


  314. 314
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    It was a fantastic save from Leno. He deserves big credit for that. Well played that man.

  315. 315
    ATG says:


    What are you drinking over there? Did Lars put something in it? 😀

  316. 316
    ecg says:

    I’m so confused and not sure what I should be doing.

  317. 317
    'desi'gner gooner says:

    What a joy to watch that tonight! Excellent team performance – everyone put in a great effort. Martinelli, ESR and Saka was a brave selection from Arteta and fortune favoured the brave. The movement and pressing up front from those three youngsters was phenomenal. Lacazette led the line admirably and he pressed really well until the final minutes and almost scored a deserving goal for his pressing late in the second half. Laca also cleverly shielded the ball and spread it wide for the pacy Martinelli and Saka on the flanks. Special mention for Xhaka who played very well tonight and scored from a fantastic free kick. He won plenty of headers in midfield and generally moved the ball forward quickly tonight. For our third goal – Holding’s brilliant forward pass from our penalty box and Xhaka’s one touch pass to the flank was fantastic. When the forward players are moving quickly and using space intelligently – they immediately make the midfielders look better.

    After that committed and positive performance I personally think that the same eleven should start the next game even if Auba is fit. He can come on as a substitute and ease into the side slowly. A fantastic win overall and now it’s important to string together a few and make our way upwards in the league table. So good to have that winning feeling back 🙂

  318. 318
    Cynic says:

    I’m drinking shandy and this time made with lemonade instead of Coke.

    When they got the penalty I switched quickly to the NFL and only went back to our game because Tampa were massively ahead. I was terrified they’d make it 3-2 and things would collapse.

    Credit to Leno though, that save made it a complete team performance where every player contributed.

    For those who remember an earlier drink, Leno was my “no choice” player. The four we could rely on were Saka, Martinelli, Holding and Tierney the two I would not have had anywhere near the team were Xhaka and Bellerin. If anyone cares. 🙂

  319. 319
    bathgooner says:

    Cynic @312. Snap to all three!

  320. 320
    Cynic says:

    I was always in love with Alex Scott, I just needed to be reminded 🙂

  321. 321
    Countryman100 says:

    After a late traditional Boxing Day lunch of cold meats, bubble and pickles, tonight I am dining on a smoked salmon sandwich and Sicilian white wine. Get me.

    I too was thinking lustful thoughts about Ms Scott. She might not come near me after the bubble though.

  322. 322
    bathgooner says:

    Alex Scott analyses games well and talks well about the game too. No bullshit or attempts to be controversial or smart. Much better than most ex-player gobshites that get into studios.

  323. 323
    Countryman100 says:

    Bath. At the risk of sounding non PC she is also as fit as a butcher’s dog.

  324. 324
    bathgooner says:

    Oo er, you’ll get us shut down by the Mayor of London, CM100!

    She’s certainly easier on the eye than Paul Merson!

  325. 325
    Cynic says:

    She’s certainly easier on the eye than Paul Merson!

    I only see him in photos and and on telly and that, but… in the flesh I imagine he must be fan-fucking-tastic.

  326. 326
    bathgooner says:

    I saw PM in the flesh at a function in Wales when he was on the wagon. He was very entertaining especially about his time sharing a house with his brother, Gazza and Jimmy Five Bellies. Their post training routine was a competition to see who was the last man standing after drinking Special Brew all afternoon and evening while watching day-time television. That man had to turn the TV off.

    Alex Scott is much easier on the eye and I suspect much better company.

  327. 327
    scruzgooner says:

    she’d be turning off the tv, too, baff.

  328. 328
    TTG says:

    I’m very fond of Alex , she is an excellent analyst but for those expressing lustful thoughts ( shame on you ) I think she may travel in the other direction if you know what I mean . She won us our only Champions League though

  329. 329
    Countryman100 says:

    Even you couldn’t convert her TTG? Then the rest of us are lost.

  330. 330
    TTG says:

    I didn’t try C100 but she is the prettiest right back Arsenal have ever had. Lee Dixon was very unhappy to hear this .
    I think she’s a superb role model for young ladies from her background . She’s earned everything she has through talent and personality .
    When she was on Strictly Mrs TTG couldn’t decide if my support for her was because of her attractiveness or because she played for the Arsenal . One evening she commented that her outfit was not flattering because she had ‘ rather muscly legs’. I pointed out it was hard to overlap constantly up and down the right wing without them . My beloved had no idea what I was talking about .

  331. 331
    bathgooner says:

  332. 332
    bt8 says:

    Guess I wasn’t the only one in love with Alex Scott. Oh well.

  333. 333
    bt8 says:

    The second third awaits.

  334. 334
    ATG says:

    Still buzzing from the win earlier on, despite the lockdown and everything else that is trying to get you down these days I certainly think we had a good Xmas considering and the rest of it. Dave’s tribute was just top notch fellas, C100 did really well on the pod and for a second it felt like he was still around. Someone wrote on the blog this win is for Goonerholic himself and that is spot on.

    Anyways fellas great win and hopefully better times ahead 😜

  335. 335
    Osakamatt says:

    It’s a happy Sunday morning here
    in Osaka. The sun is bright and
    cheerful and so am I despite a
    4.30 finish.
    As many said great to see the kids
    stepping up and getting at Chavski.
    But also a shout to Leno for saving
    us from a horrendous final few minutes
    and to Mari for not getting sent off
    after taking a necessary yellow fairly
    early in the game. But MotM for me
    goes to Laca – he had to lead the line
    and help the younger players and he
    did that brilliantly and unselfishly all
    game. Should go to Xhaka really for
    his game-changing moments but l just
    can’t be that fair.
    Good subs by MA too though they
    changed the flow – need to look after
    Gabi and ESR and he did. Welcome
    back to Lady Luck too – we’ve missed
    you and we were only asking for a
    fair shake. We beat Blackburn 3-1 years
    ago at Xmas to turn round a season and
    let’s all hope this is a similar harbinger
    of better things. Win the next two,
    silence the hysteria and then we can
    enjoy watching the youngsters develop
    this season.

  336. 336
    Osakamatt says:

    Oh and you’re right BtM, should
    of been 5-0 😃

  337. 337
    Cent says:

    Thanks for the warm welcome, Bath, NBN and anyone else I may have missed. I’m always lurking but I haven’t had a lot of good things to say about our recent games, manager and the rest of the higher ups so I kept my musings to myself.
    Today, the team was set up with an attacking mindset, playing to our strengths, and it paid off handsomely. Hopefully we continue this way.

    Pleased to see some familiar names from the old bar, especially nurse ABB.
    Sorry to learn of Oskar The Dog’s reunion with the real Oskar, his dog . We disagreed on a lot of things in the old bar but it was always done respectfully. He will be one unhappy gooner if he doesn’t get a 60-inch flat screen TV to watch Arsenal from up there. 😉

  338. 338
    scruzgooner says:

    cent, soon as he got there he had 4d and infinite pixels. always glad to see you!

  339. 339
    North Bank Ned says:

    Cent@337: Never fear, OTD has the celestial Jumbotron.

    How goes the book?

  340. 340
    scruzgooner says: