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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A pleasure listening to Arsenal legend, Bob Wilson, on BBC Radio 5 Live

Bob Wilson was Arsenal's goalkeeper during their 1970-1971 'double season' and later on was Arsenal's goalkeeping coach during the first two generations of Arsene Wenger's time at Arsenal. In 1999, he and his wife set-up the Willow Foundation in loving memory of his daughter, Anna, who had passed away from cancer. This charity has since supported thousands of individuals with a life-threatening condition to have wonderful and memorable days.

Always when I hear him talk I am impressed by the reason and manner that he puts across his opinions. He has respect for his listener and facts and looks to be constructive and supportive in his comments. His words and his manner reflects an individual who is extemely decent and for me its a bonus that a football man of his quality of character is also an 'Arsenal' man.

Yesterday, for the first time that I can recall, he was in the role of co-commentator/expert summariser for a live football match. He was commentating alongside Alan Green and Mike Ingham on BBC radio five live for the Arsenal v Dynamo Kiev match.

In tricky times its good to hear reassuring voices that you have respect for so I was glad to hear Bob Wilson on the radio give his insight and reflection on the current Arsenal situation.

He placed the current situation and events leading to it in their context with a reason that was refreshing to hear. He spoke with reasonableness and insight on the character and qualities of Arsene Wenger, William Gallas, Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy etc.

He expressed an informed view that Arsene Wenger is definitely not averse to buying but that he will only do so if the potential recruit was of sufficient quality. He also strongly intimated that Xavi Alonso was very close to coming to Arsenal in the summer but that move did not go through because Liverpool were unable to get Gareth Barry from Aston Villa.

Overall, it was simply a pleasure to hear Bob Wilson on the radio. He speaks with kind heart and reason on Arsenal and football and has a personable manner that seems to attract the full respect of his colleagues as well as the full respect of this this listener. This is in marked contrast to what we usually get as watchers/listeners of football broadcasts.

So, thanks to the BBC for having Bob Wilson on yesterday's commentary. And, much more than that, here's to Bob Wilson for his achievements, his character and for being a great Arsenal man.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's why he was brilliant when he hosted ITV football!

11/26/2008 7:44 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a retro jersey signed by bob. guy is a legend

11/26/2008 7:47 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy is a class act, always has been, always will be. And he was a brave keeper and a damned good athlete too, in his day. I'd recommend any footie fan to read his autobiography - a genuinely moving read.

11/26/2008 11:14 pm

Anonymous LondonsFinest said...

Err, sorry, not buying it. Yes, Bob Wilson was a legendary keeper for Arsenal but there is nothing in your little thesis to indicate what he actually said. All I read was he said Wenger wouldnt buy unless it was a good player. Dont they all. Thing is Arsenal have spent so much into the stadium that they have little to no money to spend why he uses to not pick up money players. Had he really wanted to dip in for Alonso, Alonso would have gone. Then he was after Barry but didn't go there either. Both price tags made Mr Wenger get scared and not bother in the end. God knows both clubs would have bent over backwards to please anyone interested in their players. Definitely Martin O'Neill, dislikes the scousers but loves the Gooners.

Anyway, good to see the Arsenal lot come out of the woodwork from hiding from the shelling they were getting but it's just a respite, really. Your manager is happy because you won, and it doesnt worry him none how he did it, ball moving, improper freekick but you're not grumbling. Now you've been found out, your tried and tested formula has severe leaks and you're desperate to make any point a positive one. Truth is Alonso was a mere inquiry and nowhere near going to Arsenal, let's get that straight. Juventus were the nearest ones to his signing but pulled out. Barry was more expensive but that put off buying him, why even O'Neill was so desperate to not give him to the scousers and instead send him to London he make the interest public.

I respect his work in the name of his daughter but when it comes to football, he isn't in the running idea of it as he makes out. Most definitely you would have heard clear word of it in the media and it would have spread like Anchor. A[pologies for disappointing you all but that is nearer the truth. And you wil be put to the sword again when you come to the Bridge. We had a shitty time last night and we are looking to take it out on someone and you know what time it is when that happens.


11/27/2008 8:51 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To London's so-called finest:

1. It wasn't a free kick, it was a drop ball, and therefore a perfevctly legit goal.

2. AFC had a £16m bid for Alonso rejected by LFC on deadline day. Fact.

This doesn't mean that AFC don't have problems with parts of the team; everybody knows where, including Wenger, but he tried to sign both a CM and CB last summer, but couldn't pull it off. When that happens there's (a) no point in signing someone, anyone just for the sake of it, and (b) you don't come out and publicly reiterate that you know you need more strongth in cnetral midfield and central defence, because it undermines those who have to play there.

Wonder how Chelsea will cope when the money starts to get tight?

11/27/2008 11:37 am

Anonymous LondonsFinest said...

"AFC had a £16m bid for Alonso rejected by LFC on deadline day. Fact."

"Wonder how Chelsea will cope when the money starts to get tight?"

Oooooh, a challenge.

Let's start with your 'fact'. What is not 'fact' is the above. What is is the scousers wanted £16m and Wenger decided that was too much to pay for a over-25 in central midfield and decided not to. You most certainly did not, REPEAT did not, bid £16m for Alonso (and what, break a habit of a lifetime??!)

And there's this: "The stumbling block being the £16M asking price that is being demanded by Rick Parry to the annoyance of Benitez. Benitez wants the sale of Alonso to go through to finance his purchase of Gareth Barry from Aston Villa."
From '' One of yours, no? I suppose he is wrong, then??

Or this from the Mirror: "We can't deny our interest," said Juve president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli. "But it's important that we get value for money." The only sticking point is Liverpool's £16m asking price for the Spanish international, bought from Real Sociedad for £10m four years ago as manager Rafa Benitez's first signing."

£14m was what Wenger actually bidded but fatty Raffy said no, so you hooked your noses up and went....nowhere. Thinking your ploy would fare out with the 'youngsters', now you have no defensive central midfielders (not "cnetral") to help behind Fob-your-ass, no one.

Ha ha ha ha!! Thanks for the laugh, hope that's clear enough? Draw you a picture?

Next, our finances. Abramovich has invested several millions and until such time as those millions are recuperated and thens ome, he and his back-up packages are departing nowhere. Nice if you think you can secure him but Russians have never venutred into grubby North London, while we have the current wag of class they want to be part of.

Want to be in London, it's the west you go to. Islington council should clean up with the millions they have but little offerings like Arsenal and Spurs will always hang around for limited success.

Won anything lately? No? It's alright, your new CE will rub it better, like a genie lamp, grab his share and then head back to the States.


11/27/2008 4:47 pm


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