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  • Артилерия, в следващите редове ще ви запознаем с потайностите на големия град. 
    Ще намерите (без)ценни съвети за пребиваването ви в английската столица. 
    Автори са Борислав Байчев и Цветомир Цеков, чиято експертиза не подлежи на съмение. 
    Приятно четене.
     
    Билетът
    Настъпил е дългоочакваният, лелеян момент. Секретарят на ASCB Ви се е обадил с новината ,че имате билет за мача. Намерили сте време и ресурси, получили сте разрешение от мама, тате, жената, мъжа, децата и сте на път да сбъднете мечтата си да гледате любимия отбор на Emirates Stadium. Долните редове могат да ви бъдат от полза да добавите финалните щрихи по организацията на своето пътуване.
    На първо място преди всичко оправете своите финанси, Лондон е един от най-скъпите градове в света, но в него изобщо не важи максимата Cash is King, а напротив – на много от местата може да платите само и единствено с карта. Препоръчваме Ви финтех карти тип Curve, Revolut, N26, Monese, Wise, които дават по-добър от валутния курс на БГ банките, но и стандартната българска или издадена от чужда финансова институция дебитна/кредитна карта от Visa/Mastercard ще Ви свърши работа.
    Мобилен оператор:
    Както вече ви е известно, UK не са част от ЕС и практически мобилния ви план няма същите условия на острова и цените за роуминг там особено тези на мобилните данни са баснословни. За да не издирвате и проучвате алтернативи сред мобилните оператори там ви препоръчваме услугите на еSIM. Доказан и тестван такъв провайдър е Airalo – сваляте си app /достъпен е както за Android, така и за iOS/, правите си безплатна регистрация и може да си изберете какъв обем пакет мобилни данни Ви е нужен и за какъв период, цените са доста по-рационални от тези на мобилните оператори по света.
    Все пак може и да проверите предложенията на вашия мобилен оператор. Специално условията на Виваком не са никак плашещи.
    Полетът:
    Лондон разполага с половин дузина летища, но от България се лети до Luton (Wizzair), Gatwick (EasyJet), Stanstead (Ryanair) и Heathrow (Bulgaria Air). От тях само Heathrow има метро директно до централен Лондон (Piccadilly Line). От другите летища е нужен допълнителен трансфер за централен Лондон. Влаковете са до големи гари в централен Лондон, а ако се купят билети онлайн предварително /цената в деня на пътуването ви ще е по-висока/, цените са доста сравними с тези на автобусите, предимствата са доста – по-бързи и удобни са и избягват все по-ужасния Лондонски трафик и задръствания.
     
    В зависимост от летището, което изберете опциите Ви за трансфер са чрез coaches, сиреч автобуси на National Express, Green Line, Easy Bus и т.н или влак:
    ·         Luton Express до Saint Pancras/King’s Cross, Farrington, City Thameslink, Blackfriars, London Bridge
    ·         Stanstead Express до London Liverpool Street, Stratford и Shithole, пардон Tottenham Hale https://www.stanstedexpress.com/
    ·         Gatwick Express до Victoria Station https://www.gatwickexpress.com/
    Ето и още няколко полезни линка за да го организирате:
    https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
    https://www.easybus.com/routes/london-luton/
    https://www.nationalexpress.com/en
     
    Пътуването в града:
    Няколко реда и за пътуването в Лондон. 30К крачки в повечето случаи са вързани в кърпа и ходенето по улиците винаги е зареждащо и удовлетворяващо, но при нужда от ползване на обществен транспорт, съблюдавайте правилото – по-бързо от Tube няма, макар и не софийски евтино /тук може да намерите карта на метрото или да вземете безплатно такава от всяка метростанция: https://content.tfl.gov.uk/standard-tube-map.pdf/. Ако се придвижвате обичайно с кеш, то закупуването на Oyster card e силно препоръчително, защото пътуванията Ви през деня се таксуват максимално до цената на дневната карта. Това е карта ,която заплащате на машини разположени на всяка една станция и струва 5 паунда и след това трябва да я заредите с сума, която ще използвате като пътувате и докосвате на влизане и излизане на жълтите точки на вратичките. Когато си тръгвате за България може да си върнете петте паунда заплатени за картата като трябва да следвате инструкциите на машинката. Ако ли не може да я запазите за следващо пътуване до Лондон като сумата вътре ще бъде запазена. Персоналът на всяка метростанция е винаги готов да Ви помогне така, че не се срамувайте да питате за помощ, ако се наложи. Алтернативно и много по-удобно може да използвате една дебитна/кредитна карта за целта, която да tap-вате на вратите на градския, важи горното. Избягвайте час-пик часовете за една идея по-малко навалица и по-ниски цени на пътуване. Автобусите са най-евтиният начин за придвижване, за жалост са винаги в солиден трафик, но пък е не лоша опция да разгледате града от втория етаж.
    И за разлика от софийското метро, не забравяйте да чекирате картата си и на излизане. И внимавайте да ползвате само една карта (ако разполагате с повече от една, разбира се).
     
    Настаняване:
    Ако не сте от щастливците с роднини и приятели, склонни да Ви приютят, нощувките са може би най-голямото перо от екскурзията ви. Цените на хотелите в Лондон са баснословни, а AirBNB за една, две нощувки понякога се обезсмисля заради допълнителните административни такси и такива за почистване. Поради гореизброеното предлагаме авантюристичната алтернатива – хостел.Да, не е за всеки, но има и опции, в които запазвате цяла стая и имате желаното „хотелско“ усещане (доколкото 8 кв.м., 2 двуетажни легла и една мивка, могат да минат за такова). Перфектно е в случаи на 3-4 пътуващи от една група или повече. Ето някои „експертно“ проверени на много удобни, пешеходни локации от централните части със супер социални помещения и атмосфера:
    https://www.strand-continental.co.uk/
    https://www.smarthostels.com/camden-inn
    https://www.hostelworld.com/st/hotels/p/510/generator-london/
    https://staygenerator.com/hostels/london?utm_source=google-my-business&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=hostel-London
    Ако решите да спите в района на Емирейтс, този хотел е само на минути от Finsbury Park Station, респективно 15 мин от стадиона. Цените варират,но двойна стая за две нощувки може да излезе около 150 паунда в зависимост кога се резервира, а колкото по-рано го направите ще получите най-добрата цена.
    https://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/610/London-Finsbury-Park-hotel?sb=0
     *местата за спане са препоръчани и изпитани, но отговорността за запазването им си остава ваша
    Emirates Stadium
    Имате много варианти за пристигане, най-лесният е може би през Piccadilly Line и Arsenal Station, Holloway Road и Finsbury Park, която е и на Victoria Line, както и Highbury & Islington Station на Overground/ оранжевата линия на метрото , която е надземна и е на 10 минути от стадиона.
    Достигнали сте до заветната цел, ако неблагоразумно сте го направили в голяма раница и куфар има голяма вероятност да не Ви пуснат с нея, но и за това има лек – lockers на Finsbury Park. Бъдете поне час преди мач, тълпите са често явление в последния момент, пък и да избегнете забавяне поради възможни технически проблеми със системата за проверка на билетите на входа на стадиона, както и security, а не искате да изтървете началото с North London Forever, The Angel by Louis Dunford. Освен всичко това, ами има си и какво да се види, Stadium Tour е приятна притурка, снимка със статуите на Adams, Bergkamp, Chapman, Friar, Henry, Wenger, посещение на Armoury, мостът, топчетата пред магазина, музеят, снимки отвън на стария Highbury Stadium / Ще видите East Stand на Хайбъри и може да влезете във фоайето и да си направите снимка за спомен. Консиержът е много любезен, но и вие се отнесете в нужното разбиране, ако сте късметлии може да се докоснете до митичния терен/.
    Силно препоръчително и подгряването с песни и биричка в пъбовете в Islington. Ето някои от най-атрактивните за целта:
    -          https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g186338-d5232896-Reviews-The_Gunners_Pub-London_England.html
    -          https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d20806434-Reviews-Eaglet-London_England.html
    -          https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d5000395-Reviews-The_Tollington_Arms-London_England.html
    -          https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186338-d5912002-Reviews-The_Twelve_Pins-London_England.html
    -          https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d7274063-Reviews-Bank_of_Friendship-London_England.html
    -          https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d2481397-Reviews-The_Coronet-London_England.html
    - https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d15362478-Reviews-Islington_Sports_Bar_and_Grill_274_Holloway_Road_Limited-London_England.html
    -     https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d7274056-Reviews-Arsenal_Tavern-London_England.html
    -          Arsenal Supporters Club, на около 200м северно от Arsenal Station / Странно, но много кокетно и колоритно място – едно от най-посещаваните от всички фенове, а пък и официален фен клуб. За да влезеш вътре имат вход от £2, препоръчително е да се плаща кеш заради таксата от £1 с карта т 1 паунд. За да си изкараш бирата навън трябва да е в пластмасова чаша, която се заплаща £1 паунд който се връща обратно в последствие с чашата.
    Имайте предвид че всички пъбове са пълни до краен предел в деня на мача и е препоръчително да се отиде рано. Това е една традиция за Match-Day. Пригответе се да не сядате защотоо повечето са с няколко маси само и 95% от феновете са прави. Всеки пъб е на самообслужване. Ако поръчате храна и сте седнали на маса, всяка маса има номер, който трябва да дадете на бармана и някой ще ви сервира храната на масата.
    Може да продължите да пиете бири и след като влезете в стадиона. Той отваря два часа преди мача, като в първия час бирите са 2 за 1. Предлагат не лош лагер и много приличен IPA срещу 7 паунда. Задължително влизате през упоменатия вход на Вашия билет. Пушенето е забранено, както и с плащането кеш. Задължително заредете дебитните и кредитните си карти, защото никъде на територията на стадиона не можете да платите кеш, дори във фен-магазина на стадиона. Играчите излизат 30 минути преди началото на мача да загряват.
    Приятно гледане!
    На излизане обикновено лудницата е голяма, затова ако не бързате, Ви съветваме да изпиете една бира в някой от гореизброените пъбове, докато тълпите потънат в метрото, а защо не и на стадиона където важи офертата 2 за 1 бири в първия час след мача.  Формата на стадиона позволява го обиколите целия и видите и опознаете историята на клуба по стените му заедно с легендите от близкото и далечното минало. Ако решите все пак да изчакате при изхода на подземния паркинг намиращ се вляво от стълбите към Armoury може да имате късмет да помахате на някои от футболистите напускащи стадиона с личните си автомобили.
    За любознателните, наситили се вече на конвенционалните забележителности, които Лондон може да предложи Ви предлагаме следните места свързани с ранните години на любимия ни Арсенал:
    ·         Royal Arsenal Woolwich /SE18 6GH/, Dial Square и паметна плоча за основаването на Arsenal SE18 6GH /Number 1 Street, Dial Arch Public House/
    ·         The Star Pub – първата съблекалня на отбора /158 Plumstead Common Road/
    ·         Plumstead Common – настоящ парк и бивше футболно и крикет игрище, където Арсенал е изиграл първия си мач
    ·     Prince of Wales Public House /111 Plumstead Common Road, SE18 3/ - настоящ хостел и бивш пъб, където са подписани документите за основаването на клуба.
     
    Бонус трак:
    https://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/arsenal-stadium-tours-and-museum
    Това е сайт, който може да Ви е полезен и да го използвате за стотици атракции в Лондон. Ето как може да влезете двама с един билет.Трябва да си закупите два билета, ако сте двама или съответно колко човека ще ползват,но трябва да сте четно число за да излезе сметката за ЖП влак National Rail. Не важи билет за метро или карта за метро. Трябва да е ЖП билет закупен на деня. На всяка голяма централна гара има бюро инфо и може да питате кой е най евтиният билет от гара до следващата най-близка и да обясните защо Ви трябва. Ако не може да обясните на английски покажете този сайт. НЕ Е ЗАДЪЛЖИТЕЛНО да използвате билета и да пътувате.
    -          Направете си регистрация и изберете съответната атракция,която искате да посетите.
    -          Попълвате колко човека ще влизате 2,4,6 и т.н.
    -          Избирате дата.
    -          Избирате ЖП гара за ваша първа спирка, откъдето сте закупили билета.
    -          След това ще ви пита дали искате да принтирате или да запазите на имейл ваучера и изберете мейла.
    -          Ще получите мейл с ваучера ,който трябва да покажете на входа и да заплатите билет за един човек. Може да ви питат да покажете билетите за влака, но в повечето пъти не го правят
    -          Офертите важат само за делнични дни и не в ден на мач.
     
    Няколко съвета и за вашата безопасност - Лондон колкото и да е магичен, може да е и опасен. Винаги си отваряйте очите на четири понеже има всякакви индивиди. Метрото и централната част на града е пълно с джебчии и даже имаше инфо ,че и на Емирейтс докато чакат на опашка да влязат на стадиона се внедрявали.
    Надяваме се, че този пътеводител ще ви е от полза и ще допринесе за по-качественото преживяване в града на Арсенал.
     
     

    Happy Birthday Sir Henry George Norris 
    You know, there is a great movie to be made of the life of Sir Henry George Norris. The guy was involved in everything, but obviously loved football the most. Despite his title he was born to working class parents in Kennington in south London on 23rd July 1865. But it was he who turned Arsenal from a struggling south London team into the greatest ever London team. He, more than anyone else, can be said to have created the Arsenal.  

    Highbury in 1913- the start of Henry Norris's plans for greatness
    But first he had to create himself because was born into humble beginnings. Such people struggle in class ridden Britain to rise up. But Henry Norris was not such a person. He always found a way. Astrologists among us would say it was because he was a Leo – dramatic, fiery, outgoing and self assured. I reckon he would laugh at that nonsense because he made himself by himself and not by some accident of birth.
    A talent for the dark arts
    His first area was education, where he showed promise, and then a long stint in a solicitor’s office until at 32, he found his direction. He became a property developer in the booming 19th century London, where industrialisation and an empire that stole resources from half the planet created a massive Capital city screaming for places to live. He had places springing up mostly around Fulham. His talent for corruption meant that he could always get his permissions. He moved into politics alongside this once he made his fortune, becoming Mayor of Fulham, then a councillor, then an MP for, yes you guessed it, the hated Tories.

    The Grand Lodge of England
    He was prominent in the Freemason’s, becoming Grand Deacon of the United Grand Lodge of England. Power, riches, and political and trade influence were guaranteed to the Freemason’s and only those who bought into their ways had any chance of advancement. This was a man who knew how to move himself upwards and they recognised a man who would also move them upwards. They were the not-so-secret cabal who ran the empire and embracing the dark side of life was their forte, whenever they had to.
    He made Highbury
    He was chairman of Fulham well before his political career, showing his love of football. He then became chairman of Arsenal in 1910 and wanted to create a new superclub by merging them both. The league blocked him so he devoted his attention to the Arsenal. If he hadn’t, would Fulham now be the prominent club in London and Arsenal gone the way of East Ham, Islington Corinthians and Shepherds Bush? No longer around and nobody ever heard of them.

    Randall Thomas Davidson - a friend in high places
    He realized that he needed a base so he called up his old crony, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Randall Thomas Davidson, and secured a religious plot at Highbury. By 1913 he had created the Arsenal Stadium, a ground fit for a top club and was the first to be known as the home of football.
    A World War? Great!
    The war was to intervene the next year but when you have an impeccable eye for the main chance this becomes, not a disaster, but an opportunity. Arsenal were barely above a midtable 2nd division team but when the war ended, the man who had spent his days giving bribes for building permissions got several men onside in Charlie Roberts, Eric Shawn, Dick Fitzwell and Phil McCracken (all chairmen of Football League clubs in 1919) to accept bribes, to get a free promotion to the top league. By 1927 this all came out and all were banned from football forever. Arsenal kept their spot, though, as many years had passed.

    The horrors of war - no, an opportunity
    Getting Arsenal into the top flight meant that he could get Herbert Chapman, the man who had worked miracles at Huddersfield, to take over. A bit like getting Pep Guardiola today. Although it took a bit of time, Chapman was to make Arsenal the top team in England for more than 20 years as those that came after him built on the strong foundations. Between 1930 and 1953 we won 7 league titles and 3 FA cups and probably more if the war hadn’t intervened for 6 years.
    Chapman gives us the glory
    But Chapman could have done nothing if Henry Norris had not taken over Arsenal in 1910, created the mighty Arsenal Stadium, corruptly got Arsenal into the First Division and then took on the master to create the greatest football club of its time.

    The FA Cup in 1930 - the first of many trophies
    Is it embarrassing to know that a convicted crook made the Arsenal juggernaut? For me, yes, as Chapman was generally regarded as honest (although a canny transfer operator) and Arsenal tried to keep high standards after the Norris epoch. We cannot get away from the fact that the top Freemason of his day manipulated people to dishonestly advance the Arsenal.
    Legal, illegal, schemegal!
    Nowadays, as I explained in last week’s blog here, all top clubs will chase any margin they can to get ahead, whether legal or not. If Henry Norris was around today, he sounds like the perfect man to make sure we win and keep on winning. Fans don’t really seem to care as long as that is happening.
    So maybe we should all hail the 23rd of July, the birthday of Henry Norris as the most important date in Arsenal’s history. Without him we may well be like Gnome Athletic, Barnes football club, and Hawks fc, another three football clubs from London who are long gone and forgotten. The guy who came from nowhere and took a team from nowhere and brought both to the top while sacrificing himself so that Arsenal could be the greatest, probably deserves far more recognition. Now, compared to the crooks that run football, he seems more like a guy that dived to get a penalty or pulled the keeper's jersey at a corner. Let’s get him the biggest statue of all. He built Arsenal.

    We will need a new motto
    We may have to change our motto, though – Victoria per fraudem et corruptionem– is more appropriate. Ah, well.

    There’s only one magic number - 114
     
    114 is the magic number. How come? Because that is when you have won all your matches in the Premier League. And the best so far? 100 points in 2018 for Manchester City. In recent years City have moved into realms only achieved in a few leagues such as Bayern Munich in Germany, Real Madrid in Spain, or Juventus in Italy. Bayern have 33 titles, well ahead of the best in England. Real Madrid have 36. Juventus also have 36. Bayern have a 91 points record but from 34 matches. Madrid have 100 from 38 matches. Juventus have 102 from 38 matches.

    Juventus will do anything to stay top and have been relegated to prove it
    These are astonishing numbers. They point to a supremacy that emphasises the gap between the top and the rest. Is it good? I say no. It means that there is little fairness in the system and the big teams grab any margin they can in their favour.
    Any advantage is a good advantage
    Margins are the reality now in major sports. What will give you any advantage no matter how small. The aim? To get to 100%. Then you win all matches. Before, if your star player or players were injured you would lose, but 5 subs and huge squads mean that, for instance, when Ederson at City was injured, Ortega came in and nobody could spot any difference. Guardiola rotated with abandon last season and still got 91 points. De Bruyne and Haaland were also injured but the margins were covered. Grealish was regarded as vital the previous season but this season struggled for a game.

    No Ederson - no problem
    Having a top class large squad of almost interchangeable players gives you the most improvement to your margins. The capacity to hire and fire players is also crucial. Guardiola and his team rarely seem to get it wrong. Cole  Palmer? There is De Bruyne, Foden, Rodri, Silva, Grealish and many others there. He probably would have had to wait for a chance that might not have come.
    We must sell better
    One margin in this area that City have been doing better than Arsenal is in selling. We have let a lot of players go cheaply. Pepe, anyone? We have bought better in the past two seasons. Rice, Havertz, Trossard and Raya spring to mind but I feel we will be trying to sell players this summer and I am not sure if we will get a good price. I suggested here that up to 15 players could go and some may have to go cheaply. We will probably buy 3 or 4 but most likely for big money.

    Cole Palmer - Chelsea's best player couldn't get a game at City
    My point is that all margins have to be in our favour as they are at City. It is not enough to get most things right. City are close to achieving that 100% margin and we must beat them. Can we?
    We have to get everything right
    What do we need to get right? The players for sure. They must be good enough to win all matches. The manager must be able to get the maximum from his players. Does Arteta get more from his players than Guardiola? We will see. The recruitment and selling team must be able to buy and sell sustainably. Letting players go for free or cheap is a margin against us. The backroom team for the health and fitness of the players must ensure that injuries, stamina, and speed, etc. are kept to the best possible margin.

    Pepe - great business for Arsenal 
    The business people in the club must gain every margin they can in maximising revenue from ticket sales, TV rights, merchandising, and memberships, to grow year on year. City have consistently moved upwards in fan numbers every year. Can Arsenal do the same?
    The Kroenkes are crucial to gaining the upper hand
    I feel that it is these margins for success that the Kroenkes are aware of. They know they must gain an advantage over City if they are to win. City, are, I suspect, saying the same thing. They must ensure that the margins they have at the moment are kept. Guardiola has come out on top of Arteta every year so far. We must get better. Can we?
    Who are the rivals? Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Aston Villa, the Spuds, and Newcastle are the chasers. I believe there are grounds for optimism with these clubs. I will go through them as they are written above but it is difficult, at this juncture to say who are the strongest.
    Upheaval at all rivals bar one
    Manchester United seem to need a squad overhaul with plenty of players coming in. Bedding them in will be a challenge. They also need to get their backroom teams at their peak to minimise injuries, etc and the new business management team will probably take some time to get their margins right. I will be surprised if Man Utd can get things right quickly enough. If they do start to get all margins up the following season could see them back challenging. They have huge revenue and a large fanbase to help them along. If Ten Hag is the right man this season will show this. Top four will be their best hope I feel.
    Will the new manager slot in at Liverpool? It is a huge ask and rarely happens when an iconic manager departs. Lots of good players and a system in place that tries to maximise the margins as Liverpool have got huge points totals in recent years but again I feel that they need to be really lucky with Arne Slot. Again I feel that top four is the best they can hope for.

    Arne Slot needs everything to go right at Liverpool - could be another Ten Hag
    Chelsea again have a new manager and while that worked for Abramovich it doesn’t work for Boehly. They need everything working right everywhere to challenge City and us. All margins wound to the top. Another bad year, I expect.
    Villa could make a jump upwards
    Villa? Unai Emery knows all about chasing down the margins. He will be working hard to get to 100%. Champions League football will make it harder. I feel he can be the dark horse, particularly if he buys right. The biggest danger.
    The Spuds? It seems like they have shot themselves in the foot again. When the Euros is over there are still top clubs and countries out there looking for a manager that wants to win. Ange could be their man. He lost the battle to get them to think like winners and that’s a big margin to change. He won’t be able. He will need the chasing pack to be poor, I feel, if he is to get top four.
    Newcastle? Their Arab owners are looking at every margin and trying to get them in their favour but the financial ones are a hamstring. Rumours are they have to sell. They could challenge for top four but I suspect they won’t quite get there.
    We will need more points, maybe quite a few more

    No player must be irreplaceable - not even Saliba
    If Arteta and the gang manage to put a couple more small margins in our favour we can do it. They will look at every area and see where we can improve. But so will City. Last year was our lucky year with minimal injuries. We will need to buy well and for the whole squad to be ready. Arteta will need two top players in every position so that even if William, Bukayo, Declan, or Martin get injured, we can carry on winning. We will need a huge amount of points and if I am right that the chasing pack are weaker this year, several more than last season. We will need to be close to that 100%. We need the magic number 114 in our sights.
     

    Управителният съвет на „Арсенал България“ взе решение Общото събрание за тази година да се проведе в град Шумен. Мероприятието е планирано за последната седмица на месец септември. В периода от петък до неделя/27-29 септември/ клон Шумен ще бъде домакин на срещата, която както знаете бе насрочена за есента, поради празненствата за 20-ият рожден ден на "Първият" и най-голям фен клуб на чуждестранен отбор в България.
                     От УС сме се съобразили и с оповестената програма на Висшата лига за новия сезон, като в този 6 кръг от надпреварата Арсенал ще играе с Лестър Сити в събота от 17:00 часа българско време и това ще позволи на всички гости да усетят от неповторимата обстановка на специалното място, което шуменци имат за гледане на мачове. „КлубЬ“ е уникален по своя характер, защото е първото място, което клон на ASCB аранжира и оформя като свой дом и намери много почитатели сред посещавалите го български "топчии" през годините след неговото откриване.
                     Град Шумен и районът на т.н. „Стари столици“ предлагат много исторически и културни артефакти, които ще направят посещението на всеки гост незабравимо. Плиска с нейната базилика и историко-археологически резерват, "Домът на буквите", Мадарският конник, дворцовият комплекс във Велики Преслав, паметникът „1 300 години България“, шуменската крепост са само част от забележителностите на региона, които горещо препоръчваме. Самият град, наш домакин е „първи“ в много отношения. Тук на 11 май 1813 г. се е състояло първото в България чествуване на Светите братя Кирил и Методий. Шумен е дом на българския театър, първите училищни самодейни колективи и първият български симфоничен оркестър.

                          За нас от „Арсенал България“ този град също има специално значение, тъй като фен срещата от март 2018 г., която беляза възраждането на местния клон даде и един своеобразен тласък за развитие и прогрес на цялата ни организация, който всички виждаме през тези последни години.
                  Каним всеки член на „Арсенал България“ да присъства, защото решенията, които ще се вземат на предстоящото Общо събрание ще определят и посоката ни през следващата година, а тя е много важна, особено след грандиозния успех на нашата 20-та годишнина!

                   Шумен е жив! Шумен е Арсенал!

    Captains, Managers and Legends
     
    List of Arsenal players who were foreign and captain.
    O’Leary, Henry, Vermaelen, Vieira, Arteta, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gallas, Aubameyang Lacazette, Fabregas, Van Persie, Xhaka, Odegaard.
     
    My team from the above list with Pat Jennings in goal
    Jennings
    Gallas (France) O’Leary (Ireland) Koscielny (France) Vermaelen (Belgium)
    Fabregas (Spain)  Vieira (France)
    Odegaard (Norway)
    Lacazette (France) Henry (France) Van Persie (Nederlands)
    Subs
    Mertesacker (bfGerman), Arteta (Spain), Xhaka (Switzerland), Aubameyang (Gabon)
    All foreign captains
    Do you know that Arsenal hasn’t had a non-foreign captain since a little-known player called Tony Adams was captain from 1988 to 2002? Well, now you do. Declan Rice is the strongest candidate at the moment but I suspect Odegaard may be there for all the time Rice is, but you never know.

    David O'Leary was our first foreign captain
    We have had 13 foreign captains since David O’Leary in 1980-83 and I decided to see what sort of team I could make from them. A good one as it happens. We haven’t had a goalkeeper so I stuck in Pat Jennings as the only other option is one of the subs.  Perhaps Mertesacker might do a job but let’s stick with Jennings.
    A strong defence
    We didn’t have any dedicated fullbacks but Vermaelen fairly regularly played there and Gallas sometimes did so that’s what we have. They will be fine.

    Arteta - Captain, manager and our greatest?
    I went for Koscielny and O’Leary although a strong case could be made for Mertesacker. Koscielny played more matches 353, and scored more goals 27, than Mertesacker 221 and 10. O’Leary has played more matches than anybody.  A top-notch centreback pairing either way.
    A great midfield
    Midfield was where the hardest decisions were. I left out Arteta and Xhaka even though I know Arteta will probably take his revenge on me by barring me from the stadium. Don’t try to outfox me, Mikel, I will find a way in, don’t you worry. Vieira had to be in, for sure, and Odegaard to me also. I chose Fabregas as he was versatile and could play out wide when needed. We can all agree that is a super midfield as all can knock in goals when required. 33 for Paddy, 57 for Fabregas, and the young boy Martin has 35 already.
    Goals galore
    It wasn’t too difficult up top as Thierry Henry is a cert. Van Persie at 132 goals has to be next. Aubameyang should be next but I feel Lacazette would be better out wide as 3 centre strikers is too much. Aubameyang thus misses out but is a useful guy to call on if needed.

    Vieira - our greatest foreign captain?
    This team, at their best, would cause any team a big problem. What formation? To me, I would go for 4-2-1-3 with Odegaard just behind the attackers to give them all sorts of supply.  Goals for sure. I suspect Arsenal are unusual in having so many attacking players as captain. For some reason, fullbacks are rarely captains, nor wingers, probably because they are on the wings. Central players are the most usual choice. None of our captains mentioned here are usually a fullback or a winger. And hey, I would make Arteta player-manager although he might just insist on playing himself.
    Who is the best Arsenal captain/manager?
    How about Arsenal captains as managers? We have had some, Don Howe, Terry Neill and Mikel Arteta.  How do they rank against each other?  George Graham never captained us but he would have clearly been the best up to now.

    King Terry who brought us close to the top
    Terry Neill got almost 8 years, the longest of the three but only one trophy, the Liam Brady final of 1979. As a player he had 10 years, 241 appearances and 8 goals, not bad for a central defender. I think, crucially, what he did well was he brought us consistency after a disastrous dip under Bertie Mee which had us in the relegation zone. We were up in the top half of the table all the time although our best finish was 3rd in 1981. Neill will be remembered for the legends he had under him, Liam Brady, Pat Jennings, Pat Rice, Malcolm Macdonald, David O’Leary, Frank Stapleton, Charlie Nicholas, Tony Woodcock, and almost, if the press are to be believed, Diego Maradona.
    Don Howe was a truly great coach
    Don Howe was heavily involved in the 3 cups of the Bertie Mee team as the first team coach and the essential football brain of the Arsenal. I doubt if they could have been won without him. The same would have been true of Terry Neill’s time, the four finals, including the win against Manchester United, were ours because of the work, tactics and knowledge of one of England’s finest coaches. He was the rock upon which Bertie Mee and Terry Neill relied.

    Don Howe - a legend among coaches
    As a manager he never won anything and he lasted just two years, but he did introduce Tony Adams, David Rocastle and Niall Quinn. I think though that I will give him second place because of his high involvement in winning 4 trophies. He also played 70 league games and scored one goal. But he was that rare breed, a full back who became a captain and manager.
    Our rookie comes good
    And so to Mikel Arteta, already 5 years on the job. Ok, he has only one serious trophy, the FA Cup of 2020 but he got us two second place finishes against the current behemoths of the Premier League, Manchester City, and maybe they will become firsts, if City are sanctioned. Considering who he had to overcome to get those second places, Liverpool under Klopp, Chelsea, with unlimited money, Manchester United, by some counts the richest club in the world, and Tottenham, who had finally got the better of Arsene Wenger and were laughing at us. Plus the newly rich Newcastle and a resurgent Aston Villa under a tenacious Unai Emery. The competition is tough but only Arsenal and Arteta gave City a real battle these past two seasons. I will place him number one of our captain/managers because of all this and we all hope he will go on to capture the big trophies.
    As a player he had 150 appearances and 16 goals. The second statistic is not so impressive as he was our penalty taker and I can’t remember him missing one so he must have scored very little from open play.
    Legends because of all they did
    The three, as players, would not be regarded as legends, although Neill, with ten years had by far the most games. Arteta had 2 FA Cups and 2 Charity Shields as a player which puts him on top in the trophy metric. The other two had no trophies.
    Howe, as a coach, is clearly the top one of the three, with his work as England first team coach under Ron Greenwood, Bobby Robson and Terry Venables coinciding with the strongest spell England had since the World Cup win in 1966. He would have been regarded as one of the best coaches in the world in his prime. It never really happened for him as manager. An Arsenal legend as a coach for sure.
    Can Arteta be the greatest of all?
    Arteta’s role now is quite a bit different from the other two. Probably he is more akin to Howe’s position as a coach as he is in charge of football matters but a lot of the additional duties are performed by other parts of his team.
    Terry Neill, with his total body of work for the Arsenal, is an Arsenal legend. Don Howe can easily claim the same. And Arteta? I feel he can potentially go on to be our greatest. He is only 42. Arsene Wenger, our supreme ACE, was almost 47 when he pitched up at Highbury.

    Will it go to 75,000?
    There is talk of an extension to the ground to 75,000. The Kroenke’s seem to be excellent financial managers. We have many players ready to hit their peak. This is the most optimistic I have ever been about Arsenal since Wenger was butting heads with Mr Ferguson. Can this be our year and the one where Mikel Arteta takes his place among the great managers?  Can he be the first Arsenal captain to manage a title winning Arsenal team? You betcha!

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