Layth’s TAKE

Hello, and welcome back to a new season at The Arsenal. How’s your summer been? As we were putting the finishing touches to this issue, news broke regarding the loss of two Gunners icons. It was with real sadness that we heard about legendary supporter Maria Petri’s death. Many of us here at the Gooner knew Maria well, and despite her age, we thought she’d go on forever. We re-jigged a couple of pages to include a tribute to her in this August issue, and will be running further pieces in our September issue. To say she lived and breathed Arsenal was an understatement. We all knew of Maria from her distinctive voice and chants at men’s first-team games, the length and breadth of the country as well as all over Europe, but I, along with many others, was also fortunate enough to get to know her through covering and watching the Arsenal Women and the Arsenal Academy at Meadow Park. As you can see from our front and back covers, Maria was a true Arsenal icon. RIP. A few days later, we heard the sad news that former Arsenal boss Terry Neill had also died. We managed to include in these pages loyal Gooner and top-notch journalist Nick Callow’s breaking story. Again, due to time constraints regarding publishing we will include more in our next issue. RIP Terry. LEAH IS A GOONER Speaking of Arsenal Women, many of us who watch the team at Boreham Wood (and lately on occasion, the Emirates) can testify just how good the team is. Led of course by the outstanding Leah Williamson. I was at the majority of the Lionesses’ games throughout the summer, from Brighton to Bramall Lane, and took my eldest daughter to Wembley for a day that will never be forgotten, as Leah led her team to glory by beating Germany 2-1 after extra-time at Wembley. As many of you know, I’ve always been an advocate of women’s and girls’ football after first reporting the game when I was at the Islington Gazette, including interviewing Leah and others. With two daughters I am also active at grassroots level – and would urge you all to give the game a go at all levels. There is a special atmosphere down at Meadow Park for women’s games, so why not give it a go. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

CONTENTS CHARLES WATTS On our new striking options 4

LE GROVE Rates the summer business and the season ahead 6

TRIBUTE TO MARIA Bernard Azulay’s tribute to life- long Gooner Maria Petri 8

GOONER SOCIAL Collection of your best tweets 27

MATCH DAY PUBS Have you got an experience of an N5 pub you want to share? 32

DAVID FENSOME Focus on the football season post-Second World War 34

DAVID SQUIRES The trials and tribulations of supporting Arsenal in the 1980s 40

ALISTAIR COLEMAN The Cursed Gooner & Antonio Conte’s Diary 60