Alkmaar Capitulate As Arsenal Has A Good Night’s Work

UEFA Champions League Group Phase, Matchday 4
Arsenal 4 – 1 AZ67 Alkmaar

1 – 0 Cesc (26)
2 – 0 Nasri (43)
3 – 0 Cesc (52)
4 – 0 Diaby (72)
4 – 1 Lens (82)

When the draw was made for the Group phase, the group was deemed to be very much a straightforward exercise in qualification. It is being made thus. Bar for a late slip in Alkmaar, that objective would have been sealed last night. As it is, we wait until the visit of Standard Liege in three weeks time for that aim to be achieved.

It was a win where class shone through, as Ronald Koeman admitted afterwards, even if he did fall into the trap of believing that experience was still lacking from a team of internationals. Yet it was the tenth straight home win this season and if that is not a club record, then it must surely be very close to it. Never will the wins have been delivered with such style.

Such was the comfort with which victory was achieved, Arsene was able to substitute his trio of jewels in the crown with time to spare, no doubt much to the chagrin of Mick McCarthy. Fabregas and Arshavin were the undoubted headliners, two goals and three assists respectively are not to be argued with.

Arsenal set about the Dutch side from the kick-off. The midfield spiders spun their web before feeding van Persie on the edge of the area, his angled shot appeared to be saved but no corner was given, barely four minutes on the clock. Before the quarter hour mark, the Dutchman would have his chance when Romero handled a backpass. Refereeing decisions often attract the opprobrium of the masses and not forcing the wall onto the goal-line is one such way of doing so, van Persie striking the barrier.

Alkmaar’s problems were sitting too far off Arsenal; failing to tackle when a team with the technique and comfort on the ball is inviting trouble. Had no-one told Koeman and his charges that Arsenal are not typically English in their outlook? A bigger liability emerged in the shape of their goalkeeping hero last time around. Romero may have produced some astonishing saves in Holland but to allow Fabregas’ opener to crawl into the corner of the net was almost as shameful as the space that was afforded William Gallas.

His paseo covered the length and breadth of the pitch before finding the mercurial Spaniard in space. Twenty five yards out and he concentrated on keeping the ball down and getting it on target. Whilst the new design makes the flight difficult to judge, Romero cannot offer such an excuse for failing to stop Fabregas’ shot. The net barely rippled as the ball came to rest.

Chances were arriving on a regular basis for the hosts. AZ67 had a couple of shots which failed to trouble Almunia, principally because they were either straight at him or wildy wide. As the interval twinkled fluttered its seductive eyelids, Gibbs was freed on the left, his centre met by Fabregas but alas no increase to the lead. That came through the returning Samir Nasri. Arshavin slipped the ball to the Frenchman who swayed his hips in a manner that caused Jessica Rabbit to turn green with envy, Moreno left gawping as Nasri strode into the area and slotted home. Breathing space with barely two minutes remaining in the opening half.

If the first half was one-sided, the second showed no tendency to diverge from that path. Whilst neither side entirely dominated the opening exchanges, the visitors offered little resistance. Eight minutes in and the fatal blow was handed to Alkmaar although there is merit in the argument that prefers the kick-off to be that serious to the Dutch side. Eight minutes in and Fabregas added his second for the evening.

Diaby snaffled possession, releasing the ball to Arshavin. Artfully dodgy trouble is a trademark of the Russian, his mind alive to the opportunities whilst defenders seek to recover position. This time Fabregas was the benefactor, free in space on the left before racing into the error and sending the ball into the near side of the goal whilst furtively glancing to the far post.

Alkmaar almost responded in kind. Pelle found himself free on the edge of the six yard box, Almunia had his ‘Banks’ moment, turning the ball onto the bar. If Green and Foster could do it to Arsenal, Almunia proved we can do it to others.

If Fabregas showed finesse in finishing, his goal was outdone by Diaby. The Frenchman has garnered a lot of interest and media coverage this past week, deciding to prove his manager correct in his assertion that the midfielder’s instincts are to attack. Eduardo had just joined the party and provided a neat little piece, an outrageous backheel that sent Arshavin into space. The Russian squared to Diaby, albeit apparently too firmly. Diaby produced a Gadget-esque extension of his leg, controlled the ball and finished with some aplomb.

Rout complete, now we waited for the game to be closed out or a soft late goal to be conceded. It was the latter and soft does not even begin to describe how it looked. If Almunia produced a Banks moment earlier, this was pure Robinson. Lens, the club, proved a barrier in the past for Arsenal in Europe but last night the player was an irritant. Irratingly for Almunia, he shifted his weight too much in guessing where the shot was going and guessed wrong, watching as forlornly as a commuter seeing his train pull out of the station, the ball sliding past the Spaniard into the other corner.

The opposition was so poor that criticising player performances is an exercise in futility. Arshavin and Fabregas were outstanding, Nasri excellent on his return to proper first team action although Liverpool were a sterner test than Alkmaar. Gibbs and Eboue were fine as full backs, revelling in the space and time afforded them going forward. Little surprise that there is a growing feeling that Gibbs may yet go to South Africa to work next summer as his recovery speed and tackling is excellent.

Forward to Wolverhampton on Saturday, momentum gathering just as the international break approaches. Keeping it going once that break is over will go a long way to deciding how successful this season will be. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on November 5, 2009, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 236 Comments.

  1. well there is always a first first time eh? LOL

    YW, well laid out as per usual. Am sure the qual will be sorted along with top on the group by the next match!

    Some one is due a hattrick; esp RVP with eduardo not too far behind him.

    Maybe both will get this weekend?

  2. The GK position still seems to be the weaker point. Defensively, we’re improving with Song repaying Arsene for his confidence in him but we are still short in quality GK.

    Non of our GK’s is up to the task.

  3. we got wolves and sunderland next. should be an easy 6 points. btw, anyone knows when Denilson is coming back?

  4. May I be the first to invite Howard to fuck off?

  5. hopefull denilson will be back in time for man city

    only fab, please drop that name, it doesnt sooth anyone that can still complai after a 10th straight home win… 4 -1 for that matter.

    Almunia is just fine; he will do well

  6. Someone called?

  7. van der saar conceeded 3 at Old Traff!!!

  8. Great show, lovely to watch…… What has happened to the buy,buy,buy, Mr Wenger your squad hasnt got enough depth, press, it seems to have disappeared…… Although I still think our Keepers are vulnerable and that should be addressed in Jan if possible, Given would have been perfect…. But never mind Arsene Knows and who are we on the back of last night to argue. LOL

  9. lmunia is due 12 straight cean sheets.

    will that be a record?

  10. sooth, yeah… tell that guy so stop calling himself any gunners name! LOL

  11. lmunia = Almunia
    cean = clean

  12. Wolves up next. Then the international break.

    God, I hate international breaks.

  13. Many of you folk know a lot more about football than I do, so I hope you will be able to help answer a question that has been puzzling me for some time: How is it that Arsenal is so much better than all other football teams?

  14. International breaks usually means more knocks, fingers crossed we get lucky this time.

  15. Its because we haven’t got a strong bench like the spuds Poli.

  16. I am happy this team is coming together quite nicely.

    2007/2008 was a dress rehersal for this season.. I am confident that with rosicky back and arshavin/ nasri in for hleb, we will go all the way this time… along with all the other much improved members of the squad!

    Why some people think the only sign of being ralistic is to moan after a fine win that marked 10 home wins with 33 goals scored and about 10 conceeded is beyong me really

  17. aaditya – Sunderland away after an international break will be very hard. Just look at the results of the ‘big 4’ after intl breaks and sunderlands record against those sides this year.

    They are a team that raises their game for the big sides but struggle to keep that level up in all matches.

    Last break chavs and scousers both lost away and us and manure were less than our best at home.

    Will make for a tough match. If we get 3 points their it will be a massive boost and should send us towards the chav match in stunning form. Will be the first real test of our home record.

    I hope we see wenger use the last 2 group games to get the carling cup players a bit of top level practice before shitty, would hate to lose that game.

  18. I thought Cesc’s 1st goal wasn’t a goalkeeping error. It was about precision and technique. There was no power in it, but the keeper saw it late as the ball came through a couple of bodies.

    It’s very much like RVP’s first goal against Spurs. If you get it low, and on target early, with the right spin on the ball, the keeper can have a problem with it because it’s unexpected.

  19. Worst kept secret in English football: Arsenal are the best team so far this season. You won’t hear the pundits admit it though.

  20. Thank you Ole – beginning to think I was the only one who saw it like that. The man scores for fun at the moment – long may it last.

  21. OG

    You are very kind with your interpretation of events surrounding the first goal.

    RvP vs Spurs – I didn’t think the keeper stood a chance from that range and with the pace that the ball had.


  22. YW,

    When Cesc played it, I knew the keeper will have a problem with it because he’d see it late.

  23. Steww

    Whoever he is (I have come across his posts, but who knows who he actually is), let me be the second.

    Howard. Fuck off.

  24. @OG & YW

    I thought he dummied the keeper. The keeper misread, thinking twas to be a pass on the other side. before he could react to shift his weight, Cesc was already wincing (okay – Grimacing. Wondering how a “world class?” keeper can be so much shit)

  25. OG and Steww.

    It’s very painful for the pundits and hacks to admit that they were way off base. You can see it in their faces, you can feel it in their voices. Even they know how ridiculous they sound when they say what they say.

    Arsenal is the in form team in both the EPL and champions league and most hacks and pundits are hoping and praying that we copitulate in the hard cold winter that is coming up. They would rather we fail than them to be seen as the stupid prejudicial punks that they are.

    I’ve lost count at how many goals we’ve actually scored this season in all competitions – I think it’s 50. It’s ridiculous to even suggest that a team with such a record is not a serious contender for titles.

    If you look at all the odds across the betting market, you’ll see that all bookmakers are not taking Arsenal for a joke. Having started the EPL with odds of 16:1, we’re already averaging 4:1 after a quarter of the season and those odds will reduce after the game with Chelski.

    Meanwhile, silent Stan has officially clocked 29.9% in his frantic share accumulation.

  26. @ Ole Gunner

    I think you’re right. He scores a lot of goals like that – that look as if the keeper should have made a save. It must be good disguise or something like that.


    @ Poliziano

    I’m not sure if that was a rhetorical question earlier, but I’m sure I don’t know more about football than you do, but anyway, if it was a genuine question, I would suggest:

    technically excellent, intelligent, athletic players +
    intelligent, attack-minded, innovative, fearless manager = by far the greatest team the world has ever seen.

    Crucially, Arsene is not afraid to trust his players, not afraid to trust his own judgement and not afraid to lose. He only buys or keeps players in whom he has utmost faith (whatever the price tag), and then allows them to express themselves and make their own decisions – all of them have this licence to some extent, not just the “star” player. They grow in confidence as a result and you get a virtuous circle of improvement. He hates to lose, but he is not afraid of failure – this communicates itself to the players and also encourages calm and intelligent decision-making on the pitch.

  27. I’d agree with your sentiments OG concerning us being the best team in England…just waiting for the league table to adjust itself! The match on the 29th will be important in this regard

  28. And how was that Diaby yesterday?

  29. Nice write-up YW.

    Just how did Diaby control that ball?

    Don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at Nasri’s hips again!

  30. Let’s trust Wenger and Fabregas to keep the team hungry and not get carried away by the intoxicating euphoria that comes with good victories. We need to keep our feet on the ground.

  31. DS, Mandanda, arsenalkabisa, all;

    Balls played along the line to the extremity of either post is always a problem to goalkeepers. It’s hard to get down, keeping an eye on the ball all the time, and then making the save.

    When keepers make saves like that, they seem routine but they’re not as easy as they look.

    Solskjaer’s striking career was built on this idea. Watch his goals. He always aimed for the extremities of the post making sure he was on target, having struck the ball cleanly.

  32. Diaby was Diaby…he might have won over some of his critics but I fear it might just be temporary until he misplaces a pass…
    I think he is important to the way we play, unfortunately, not everyone sees it.

  33. Excellent write up Yogi..
    Last night i thought AZ were an ok team and we were just making them look crap; but seeing the highlights, they are crap.

    But what lovely lovely goals. A-kabisa; it’s true, Cesc looked annoyed that the ‘keeper was so useless..but from his angle it was hard to read.
    What a sweet week it’s been! Would have loved Gibbs to score..just curled away.

  34. kenny samson's bookie


    well said about the Almunia mistake.It was a shocker.I would sign Jaaskelainen in January.Our 3 keepers are not up to standard for a title winning team.Fabianski amd Mannone’s time will come in the future but not ready now.Almunia not good enough

  35. Thank you for that, FunGunner. I was really just trying to make everyone feel proud of the team – of OUR team. I don’t know whether that counts as a rhetorical question. If it wasn’t a rhetorical question, you gave a good answer. I would just add one extra ingrediant: Magic!

  36. Fantastic play.. Link up was breathtaking..

    The spirit of masterful football seems to have left Barcelona and now Arsenal are its new host.. Arsenal are right on schedule to reaching the 156 goals Barca scored last season, but the road is still long and we must avoid the many pitfalls..

    Nasri was switching beautifully with Arsha in the front three.. Rosicky and Eduardo are also masters of these transitions.

    Theo and Bentner are our only players who aren’t as fluid yet, but I think they make up for this either by speed or power and their technique is gradually increasing..

    Our top players still need to take part in our next group game, with the team rotated.. After this, for the last game when we’ve technically qualified then we can hope to see the youngsters play a large role which always makes the fans happy, like seeing a great story told from the beginning..

    Diaby handled the press conference before the match intelligently and its clear that Wenger only chooses the smartest players, despite what the fickle fans think..

    Almunia’s reaction save onto the bar was amazing and although Gibbs played very well it was better to see his side was not exploited like in his game before, consistency will show quality..

    What a Team.. What a Game..


  37. Darius,
    I like the new word: copitulate. Is that what Liverpool are doing this season?

  38. YW

    Your are correct about Arshavin.Fans have been calling RVP the new Bergkamp he isnt its the little Russian.The little master like Dennis is always one step ahead.He is the missing link from the Arsenal of 12 months ago to the Arsenal of today

  39. F~cking international break. i hate it. England are such a bunch of chavs. Thats the beauty of supporting Arsenal is that there all wonderfull dedicated people. The teams got character. How humble is fabregas despite being one of the best in the world?

    Its difficult to like a team that has John “my mom robbed tescos and i’m well ‘ard” Terry, Cashley “N95” Cole or Wayne “im bigger than the game and is that your nan, shes fit” Rooney.

  40. Stan,

    Both RvP and Arshavin both have element of Bergkamp. We are gifted with an exceptionaly intelligent/ skillfull front line. The very best in europe.

    If we can keep this momentum going after the international break I realy think christmas will come early this year and we will be a considerable amount in front by then.

  41. Great display against decidedly average opponents…
    Plenty of great individual performance, but was stunned yet again by the speed of thought and awareness of Arshavin…
    After a neat backheal on the half way line the little russian was set free and tore towards the 18 yard box head down, at this piont i am ashamed to admit that myself and fellow gunners in residence began screaming for the square ball. ‘yee of little faith’, Arshavin with apparent telepathic ability picked out Diaby without even looking. All praise the all seeing Arshavin!
    YW I know the topic is all we hear about but should we be worried about the apparent blessing of Peter Hill-Wood for Stan Kroenke as he edges to the holy 29 & 9?

  42. Thought you guys might be interested:

    Arsenal have won 11 in a row at home if you go back to Stoke last season and the current record is 12 and was set in 2002. According to arseweb [Thanks to optajoe for these stats]

    “Most consecutive home wins 12. Starting with 4-1 win over Fulham on 25/02/02 and ended by 2-1 loss to Blackburn on 26/10/02. We’re not sure when the previous record was set, but we believe it was 11.”

  43. @ Poliziano

    I guess it was a rhetorical question, then! Oh, well. 🙂

  44. I’m happy as everyone with the win but in reality I’ve a concern for the GK situation. Our GKs don’t look like title winning GKs types.

    Finally, Diaby is gradually being the player Arsene expected. His height, technical ability, his knack for scoring goals meant that he only needed to improve his tackling and be discipline to hold his position and release passes quicker.

    Diaby is a far better player than Denilson and will keep Denilson out of the First IX.

  45. Seeing Torres struggle thru the game yesterday, (one could clearly see he was pushing himself) made me realize why Wenger pays so much emphasis on resting key players, especially when coming back from injury or keeping them out of the starting 11 at the hint of injury.

    Unfortunately Liverpool’s sqaud strength doesn’t allow Rafa such comforts…but ours does!!

  46. @PZ. Liverpool is indeed copitulating with breath-taking precision. I would suggest though, that their biggest worry is not on the pitch, it’s off it. Liverpool is in real financial turmoil and at risk of imploding, and I doubt if Gerrard and Torez can get them out of it. They’re good players, but they’re not that good.

    @Fun gunner, your definition of why Arsenal is the best team in the world (in answer to PZ’s rhetorical question) should be pasted right next to the definition of Football in the English dictionary.

    I get bemused when folks say that we should sign this player or that player, or this goalie or that goalie, as if they were even available let alone good enough. People should stop with the video game manager already.

  47. Kopitulate. I like it.

  48. Thanks for the info Cellphish who would have thought our most consecutive clean sheets in the CL would come from a back four of Eboue, Senderos, toure and that bench setter Flamini..

  49. The scouse are really kopulating it up.

  50. my thoughts exactly darius

  51. From the Times Online article…

    ‘Alkmaar never threatened to respond, leaving Arsenal to embark on their own goal-of-the-month competition’

    Good old Arsenal.

  52. Poliziano Arsenal is the best team in the world coz God intended it to be!!!

    Great win yesterday.Made me oversleep!!!

  53. There is only one DB10, AA is AA and RvP is RvP….all world class.

  54. Only Fab,

    “Diaby is a far better player than Denilson and will keep Denilson out of the First IX”

    You are comparing two completely different types of player here. It’s like comparing Song with Wilshere – what useful comparison can be drawn? I’m afraid it’s a bit pointless and irrelevant.

  55. great game and great result.. I wasnt lucky enough to be there last nite but watched it on telly. We were absolutely awesome so i was just thinking to myself. After the team put on an exhibition like that why was the ground almost half empty with like 10 minutes to go..imo if ur gonna go to the game you should stay till the end,i know id give my right arm for tickets at the home of football right now! To all those who leave early, shame on it on telly if you’re worried about gettin home. After a magnificent display by the team surely the least you can do to show that u appreciated that performance is staying and applauding them off the field! rant over..

  56. this season now depends on chelseas consistanacy (as well as ours) as I really dont see any other contenders to the throne.

    also would hope to draw barca soon in CL as they are possibly in a ‘blip’ at the moment.

    how does a word like ‘blip’ become top dog when decribing loss of form anyway? its pretty silly…

  57. I agree with prince-nasri. The supporters performance last night was absolutely abominable for a team of this quality. There was never more than 85% of stadium capacity, so loads of season ticket holders just did not turn up. When the players left the pitch there were barely 5000 people left. After a performance of that quality surely supporters can stay and applaud the players.

  58. prince_nasri

    Even if they don’t care about the players, you’d think they’d want to get their money’s worth. Last time I was there, I deliberately hung back and left with the last groups to see what difference it made – yes, there was a bit of waiting, but overall it made 10-15 minutes difference compared to leaving earlier (but still after the final whistle, I hasten to add!). OK, some people have trains to catch, but I can’t believe THAT many people have valid reasons to leave early.
    And early leavers should get their cards marked. Latecomers are annoying as well. The stewards should do what they do in the theatre – if someone’s late, they don’t get into the stands until “a suitable break”.

  59. 10-15 minutes longer to get onto Highbury and Islington tube platform, I meant

  60. There did look to be a particularly widespread exodus yesterday. Very sad.

    I can account for one seat. My cousin’s season ticket was held up in the post after having lent it out for the spurs match which he was away for. He was furious last night, and I can only imagine he is doubly regretting the whole thing after we played so beautifully.

    But the rest of those feckers…

  61. For the last 12 minutes of the game, all you can see are people pouring out of the ground. It is utterly embarassing, and I have not seen the same phenomenon at any other ground.

  62. “Diaby is a far better player than Denilson and will keep Denilson out of the First IX”

    @ only Fab,

    I thought football was played with 11 (XI) players?

  63. Went along last night, the game was really good. In terms of attacking flow and possesion we were outstanding.

    I was particularly impressed by Vermalean, who made some great challenges, and Fabregas, everything just seems so much easier when he has the ball at his feet, whilst some other players seem to labour to find the right ball, for Cesc it is all too easy.

    Not sure about the defensive performances of Gibbs and Eboue. There were a number of occaisions when Gallas had to go out to the right wing because Eboue had left his man, or when Gibbs got overpowered an let his man into the middle with Vermalean having to cover (which he did really well).

    Think Gibbs might get found out a bit in the premiership over the weeks Clichy is out. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great talent, butb he doesn’t have the strength yet. Hopefully I’ll be proved wrong and he’ll earn that England call up, but he’ll have to play better than last night.

  64. What time did you leave the ground Steve C? Stay to the end?

  65. If more than three quarters of the crowd (is that true?) leave early, the delays are surely going to be as long, if not longer, for them than for those who stay till the end.

  66. Yes it is true.

  67. cellphish

    Is the 10 straight a record from the start of the season?


  68. just out of curousity, i went to check the goals conceeded this season and found…

    Arsenal has conceeded 13 and Bolton 19, so just what makes jussy better than our keepers?

    Even Given has conceeded 11; used to be the excuse that his defenders were not good enough so is that excuse still tenable for him now?

    We attack more than most teams and so its not surpising if on the counter as was mostly the case in Man city if I remeber, we also conceed more!

    Man city have scored 18 goals this season and bolton 11.

    So lets leave AW to do his work of picking the team including the keeper! Ors is to enjoy the season as it unfolds towards the quadruple! or should I even now add the world club cup?

  69. I leave on average about 15 minutes after the final whistle and just walk out. No problems on tubes, trains or with cars….and especially none for horses.

  70. I left 1 min into 2 mins of stoppage time.


  71. Many people seem to find it difficult to concentrate on football for 90 odd minutes. The fellows behind me spent the entire game discussing their mortgages, interspersed with criticism of Abou Diaby.

  72. No absolutely not acceptable, Steve C. I am surprised you ask.

  73. Ors = ours

  74. “19-year-old Fran Merida wants to stay at Arsenal, despite reports linking him with a move to Atletico Madrid this summer.

    Atletico are very keen on the young Spaniard, but the player’s agent, Joseba Diaz, is quoted as saying: “I am coming to London to discuss a new two-year deal with Arsenal with whom we have a very warm relationship.”

    Hooray! I love warm relationships involving Arsenal.

  75. Hey guys,

    What a wonderful week its been.

    This team will win the treble this year mark my words.

    Can’t wait to get back to London missing the atmosphere in north london.

  76. Where do you park your horse, Frank?

  77. happy with fran then; i would rather he stayed… someone mentioned what ot was like to have a rosicky coming on for arshavin and maybe vice versa; seemless fit!

    Fran ahs been groomed into the arsenal way! he should stay.

  78. Also anyone know why Cesc was upset after his first goal yesterday no fellow fans around to ask.

  79. I’m all for staying to watch the performance and support the team, but when it takes me 1.5 hrs to get home from a game that finishes after 9.30 I’ve got no problem with missing 60 secs of football to catch a train when the next one is in 30mins.

    I have never left a game inside 90mins and I aim to be at the stand exit as the final whistle blows. I also noticed the exodus and was a bit disappointed to be honest, but leaving 60secs early is just common sense.

  80. I can understand the fans leaving early when we lose or draw or win by only one or two goals, because they of course want to be first on the phone-ins to criticise the team; but it’s harder to understand when we annihilate the opposition, as we did last night.

  81. He was peed off at being persistently fouled, Maria and was saying ‘up yours’ to the AZ no. 6 who was holding his shirt.

  82. There are paddocks and bits of waste ground all over London, Perrygroves. You would be surprised how many horses there are in the centre of London.

  83. @Maria, I noticed that, I think the defender must have said something after Cesc nutmegged him for the goal. My spanish isn’t great but think I could lip read a spanish swear word directed at Da Silva (not ours).

  84. Pretty finely tuned that journey of yours, Steve C. Relax a little and take the next one.

  85. Kroenke has just hit 29.9

  86. I was sat next to a barely sufferable trio at the Liverpool game. A father and two sons, both of whom must have been over 30 but with the humour and wit of 12 year olds. Constant tutting, whingeing and sighing when wonderful passages of play happened to break down. A miserable set.

    Their dad seemed most upset to be in attendance of the game. I think, in retrospect, he may have been a Chelsea fan.

  87. Thanks guys….Cesc showing his mean streak again i love it!!!

  88. The media referred to the Arsenal effort as “Champagne Football’. It was every bit an intoxicating game to view. I delighted in the manner that the subs fitted in with only a slight change in holding our shape. What is truly exciting is when the injured players return. Maybe our weakness is at centre half. If Gallas or Vermallen encounter an injury, I am not thrilled with the backup that we have at this position.

  89. I stayed until the final whistle and got home at 12.35 am.
    Mind you, I do live in Nottingham.

  90. The following statement was released by Plus Markets this morning:

    On 4th November 2009, Arsenal Holdings plc (the “Company”) received notification that on 4th November 2009 KSE, UK, Inc (“KSE”), a company controlled by Stan Kroenke, a Director of the Company, acquired 200 ordinary shares of £1.00 each in the Company (“Shares”), at a price of £8,500 per Share.

    Following the acquisition, Stan Kroenke has a beneficial interest in, and controls voting rights over, 18,594 Shares, representing 29.9% of the issued Shares.

    100 of the Shares acquired by KSE were sold by Peter Hill-Wood, the Chairman of the Company.

    Following the sale, Peter Hill-Wood has a beneficial interest in, and controls voting rights over, 400 Shares, representing 0.6% of the issued Shares.

  91. 12.35am is not bad for Nottingham. I left 15 minutes after the final whistle and got home at 5.00am and I live in London.

  92. @ArsenalKabisa

    Have you noticed that Supersport never put on Arsenal TV more than once a week (6/7AM) and that are games are rarely repeated while we have to sit through Liverpool reserve games its soooooooooo annoying!!

    Also what did Hansen and Co have to say after the Liverpool and Sp*uds reseults on MOTD guys??

  93. Ola Maria.

    Yap the *@#&&#^#$

    But is all good. this glow that am feeling is just oh sooooo good.

  94. haha, Frank.

    What kind of horse is it?

  95. @YW

    I think it would be safe to assume that. The best of 12 was a run that started in February 02. And as arseweb can’t be sure of the details regarding the previous 11 then one would assume with a game difference that the current 10 is pretty much there!


  96. I seem to remember Hansen flip-flopping all over the place and gushing about how great we are – and that of course we can win the league, never any doubt.

    Although I was terribly, terribly drunk by that point.

    Shearer said that Liverpool’s title hopes are now but a distant memory. Hansen wept loud and long, embarrasingly loudly actually – and without apology.

  97. So hang on – Liverpool are all but out, Barca are on the brink. Milan, Inter & Real are sh*t. Man Yoo are conceding three at home.

    Surely the path is set for the mighty goons to conquer europe?

  98. The horse with ten toes.

  99. She is a cart-horse, Perrygroves.

  100. loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool


    Aint football grand!!

  101. This is Rosicky’s divine contribution against Birmingham, although he didn’t have his shooting boots on on the day, its clear why he is one of the best mid-fielders in Europe..

  102. Mario how is RSA?

  103. My name’s Angelo, not Mario.

  104. Like Lee Chapman?

    Ah, shanks’s pony.

    For a minute I thought ‘riding the horse with ten toes’ was a euphemism.

  105. Ole Gunner – I’ll bite – Diaby had a pretty sound game last night and scored a fine goal.

    But the opposition were absolutely crap.

    Whilst you can only play against what’s put in front of you, if he does as well against the Chavs when they come calling I will be right at the top of this board congratulating Monsieur Diaby.

  106. Kabisa and those F**king bozos in studio always seem to think our goals are from poor opposition.
    When we are ahead they always talk with grimaces on their faces…Its like it hurts for them to admit how good we are!!Wankers!!

  107. I didnt mean you Poliziano and it was a typo meant Maria.

  108. In (and not with) respect to Tottenham Hotspur, the pundits have a point. Rarely will we come up against such poor opposition as that encountered last Saturday. Dismal, negative and amateurish. Dull, gutless and smelly. Rotten to the core and laughably impotent. A silly rabble of posers, thugs and assorted livestock, including an inebriated giraffe -wearing what looked to be, from a distance, a badge picturing a chicken balancing gracelessly on a basketball.

  109. California Gooner

    Diaby had better than a fine game yesterday. He was excellent. If you look at his goal yesterday, Eduardo will get the plaudits for that brilliant backheel. However the play started when Diaby recovered the ball near our own box and then ran the length of the field, leaving Ramsey and everyone else in the dust, to receive Arshivin’s pass. The whole play took around 7 or 8 seconds!

    Anyhow, it is amazing how some fans and bloggers are nitpicking after such a systematic dismantling of another team. AK’s goal showed some poor defense and goalkeeping, but up 4-0 with 10 minutes left is the time to make those mistakes. Mistakes make good teaching moments and remind you that you can do better. They are an essential part of learning.

  110. Almunia is a little rusty, but that goal (like our first goal) looked far worse than it was. Almunia was daring him to shoot or pass far side, and had to gamble on it. Brilliant execution by Lens. Much like Cesc who was moving *away* from goal when he shot through traffic. Hard to save shots when you don’t know they’re coming til they’re in your six-yard box.

    So much to enjoy in the 17 minute (!) highlight reel.

  111. very nice nolaboyd .. people conveniently forget Almunia’s reaction stop (which was up there with save of the week) and that Ramsey eased off allowing the striker to take the shot with no pressure..

  112. My ideal of the ‘perfect’ goal (especially for a CM) is for the player to challenge & win the ball deep in their own half, followed by sublime skill and a pass forward. Which starts a free flowing attack, the player bursts a lung or two, gets onto the final pass and applies a brilliant finish. Easy.

    The other week Diaby nearly scored the perfect goal, yesterday he did!

  113. I like how every team is “going to prove to be a test” or “is poised to make a challenge for one of the top spots” or “is well-organized and difficult to break down” or “is the team that will expose the Arsenal soft-underbelly” – until we beat them and then it’s “really poor opposition on the day” or “Arsenal got lucky with their goals” or “we could have beaten them easily but we failed to take our chances”…

  114. @FP. If you remember last year on Boxing day against Villa (isn’t it erie that we also play them this Boxing day), Diaby did the same with a box to box move with Eboue before slamming the ball into the roof of the net.

  115. I know you were being sarcastic Limpar…it just got me thinking…

  116. BTW…loving the new vocab – “copitulate” …

    Verb: To F!!ck oneself until surrender…

    Yep…sounds like Liverpool.

  117. The official Actim Index blog sums up the Spurs game quite nicely:

    Tottenham certainly made a lot of noise about being able to match Arsenal stride for stride, didn’t they? And what better way to put it to the test than a good old ding–dong of a north London derby. And, for a while, it looked like game on. Then, as quickly as you can say ‘Cesc Fabregas has got the ball and made a mug out of Tottenham’s midfield’ the game was over.

  118. Anaconda. Are you suggesting that Tottenham copitulated?

  119. Ko⋅pit⋅u⋅late

    Pronounced [koh-pich-uh-leyt] –verb (used without object), -lat⋅ed, -lat⋅ing.

    1. to surrender unconditionally (usually to beachballs)

    2. to rely soley on two individuals, then realise without them both you are shite.

    3. to allow a beardy spanish man to waste all of your money.

  120. Rosicky=Fluency.

    When he plays we look fluent and dangerous. Very underrated player.

  121. He is the role model for Diaby.

  122. Darius Stone

    That was my favourite goal from last season.
    That or Van Persie’s late equalising goal (can’t remember who it was against) which came from a beautiful lofted pass from Diaby, similar to Songs assist for Eduardo against Burnley.

    That’s his first goal this season since Old Trafford? More to come I think.

  123. Whoops, I think that Eduardo goal might also be up there with the top goals for 08/09.

    I think with 33 goals scored in the last 10 matches, this season’s choice might be even harder then the last.

  124. Ole gunner. How can you even make such a claim. Rosicky is not even fit enough to wear the Tottenham shirt. And it’s there for all to see that Spurs has a significantly better squad than Arsenal.

    Arsenal still have a soft under-belly and Rosicky can’t solve that. Song, Denilson and Diaby are shit and Cesc and Arshavin are off to Barcelona.

    Wenger needs to spend and this time he should buy quality world class players like Lee Cattermole and Steven Taylor both of who are available. That’s the only way this team will have a back bone and win a title. He should also bring Flamini back.

    Seeing as there’s no active D&G folks, I thought I might indulge.

  125. – 1 ‘I think.’

  126. @ Finsburyparker

    It was against Everton.

  127. God how I hate Lee Cattermole.

    I feel sure he’ll end up at spurs.

    The loathsome little wretch would fit in there like an overrated w*anker in a collection of overrated w*nkers.

  128. What an absolute lickshot that was. Lovely pass too.

  129. Thanks FG.
    & Perrygroves.

    What a goal!

  130. @FP. The Van Persie last minute (literally the last kick of the game) was against Everton at Goodison Park. We robbed them that night and smuggled a point out because we played a very sub-standard game. Everton deserved to win but I wasn’t complaining about the draw.

    It was a great goal straight from Almunias throw to Diaby and first time to RVP to slam into the back of the net in less than 4 seconds. Breath-taking.

    Although I loved Diaby’s goal against Villa, Eduardo’s against Burnley has to be the goal of last season – and so far this season, I’d go for Arshavin’s back flip into the net against Wigan after a sublime team effort with about 14 passes.

  131. LimparAssist, I enjoyed your description of the spuds, especially Crouch.

  132. Darius, lol

    Yes, kopitulating may just have happened there. Funny how after hyping up their squad ‘Appy ‘Arry has done not much else than talked about missing his best players, thus indicating that maybe the squad is not that strong after all…

    In weekend we’ll see which kopitulates more, Spurs or Sunderland. Modric may be back though. Sunderland seems to be losing their best form and are missing Cattermole. This week they’ll be without Jones and Cana as well. They have three former spuds as well.

  133. Since Actim Index was mentioned (by me), it might be worth noticing that 3 Arsenal players are now at the top 5.

    Also Vermaelen and Gallas have the best scores of centre halves and Diaby is 9th in midifielders. Diaby’s score is higher than John Terry’s and only a few points behind Lampard.

  134. This team is one mistake a game away from greatness. Some amazing goals, Andrey Bergkamp, Nasri back, Cesc showing why he is the most complete midfield player in the world and of course, the obligatory goal conceded.

    ManU do not look the same this year and I think Chelsea could be the biggest barrier to us winning the title. We are scoring so many goals but it’s the tight games where we may lose out.

    I believe that we can solve these defensive problems however and its better to have this problem than not being able to score.

  135. What is our best starting XI when everyone is fit?( yes i know it will never happen)

    He’s mine


    Sagna Gallas TV Clichy

    Rosicky Song Cesc Nasri

    Arshavin RVP

  136. I find it very very hard to determine which goal was better yesterday…ok, maybe Cesc’s first goal was weak to concede but it was well placed shot…it reminds me of his goal against AC Milan last season.

    Most of our goals that we score are just wonderful, well worked goals….the counter attck for the 4th goal was amazing…

  137. I don’t think Rosicky is over rated Ole – I have always said he is world class!

    I can account for a missing seat last night too, had a client meeting in Crawley and the M25 was seriously bad so i got stuck in traffic, and went home. Just got back in time for kick off so watched it on TV.

    Great performance though, and some truly beautiful goals.

    Is there anyway Arsene can get Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin, Cesc and RVP in the same team?

  138. I would agree with that Ian!

  139. Nice hat.

  140. G4E, Cesc went for the first…..sort of.

  141. Perry, I thank providence for the existence of Tottnum. In Tottnum, The Arsenal have been blessed with a tremendously comical, frequently hysterical and uniformly awful, rival club.

    God bless their tiny little hearts – life really wouldn’t be the same without them; like Othello without Iago, like Wacky races without Dick Dastardly, The Godfather without Fredo or Gladiators without Wolf.

  142. the winds of change really are in order, with a positive and confident observation from none other than AIC..

  143. Ian I think its clear that we will probably never go back to a back to a 442 but i like your team.

    Shame there was no room for Diaby who i have to be honest have often given him a hard time because of the rate he looses pocession but this could just be down to not enough 1st team games, Denilson will find it hard to get back into the team the way he is playing now ans song well song is just simply undroppable now!!!

  144. Fuck off, AIC

  145. lol

  146. Limpar Assist.

    Tottenham will never forgive Arsenal and Norris for the audacity of moving from the back sticks of south east London to their backyard across the river in 1913.

    How dare we? And since then, they’ve become a figure of riducule as we grew in stature from year to year and they descended into mediocrity.

    It’s nearly a century and they still haven’t got over Arsenal crashing their party and taking over north London.

  147. I agree with Frank

  148. Frank,

    What kept you?

  149. Let us give Tony Attwood on Untold Arsenal a plug….

    Here you are Darius. This is why the Spuds really hate us.

  150. I had to sort Lady Neena out, AIC.

  151. Are you the new 15% shareholder then?

  152. I was wondering since you said that you were sorting Lady Nina out.

  153. Thanks Frank for that link to a very interesting article about Tottenhams hate. I’ve just scanned through and I’ll read through it in detail when I get home.

  154. No I said I was sorting Lady Neena out. Lady Neena is my horse. I usually give her and Peter a rub down after an adventure.

  155. Misunderstanding then.

  156. Dan Fatkroyd,

    Liverpool have bigger problems than the absence of Torres/Gerrard. They started their losing streak with the 2 of them playing.

    They have a defensive crisis. They have had many injuries in defence and this affects defensive form.

    Also, Benitez has tried to transform them into an attacking team that can take initiative in games, and that just highlights the defensive problem.

  157. We have a problem with the depth of our squad. A major problem. We simply have too many great midfielders and forward players. Seriously, can any other team in the PL claim that they have this sort of problem? We have Rosicky, Bendtner, Ramsey, Denilson, Wilshere, Walcott, Vela, Merida and, while all those players would be in the starting eleven in almost any PL squad, they are just in Arsenals second team. And then you have those youngsters like Craig Eastmond with impressive performances making their mark and in a couple of years he will be pushing for a place in the starting eleven, too.

  158. Thats it then, Evilfiek, we are doomed…had our chips….buggered….completely fucked.

  159. RVP….Click Click Click

  160. i think wolves will be a good opportunity for us to show we can beat the so labled “rough and tumblers” of the EPL. Basicly the ones who assault people.

  161. I am so pissed off about last night’s performance! How the hell did we concede a goal FFS? Terrible, just terrible, we will win nothing by winning games 4-1 thats for dam sure and no mistaking. let me tell you startight. Cooffee, time, smell wake up, put those words togetherf and do the math, fact!

  162. Spike,

    Surely you needed “fact” in caps with at least 5 ! following to sound like a real d&g-er

  163. Apologies.

    We are fuct! FACT!!!!!!!!

  164. Ahh, much better. Just like the oracle alias eg.

  165. Strangely quiet when we have a good game init.

  166. Its a sad indictment of todays goldfish memory, instant fix, throaway, build em up, tear em down, vacuous materialistic society, probably.

  167. @ Spike

    ha ha ha ha

  168. I was giggling at the 9:57pm post, obviously, not the 10:31pm one.

  169. I blame Eboue

  170. FG;

    I will take laughs whenever I can get them thanks!

  171. AIC

    i agree with your fact that this team is one mistake a game away from greatness.but its true coz we do have players who are capable of Punishing other opponents.and that example would be arsharvin,nasri,rvp and cesc the captain.and It’s funny how we have this so called arsenal fans thinking we have won the world cup already.and we still have alot to do in order for us to become a serious title winning team.

  172. In this respect I like how absolutely down to earth our captain is. He is just 22 and when you listen to his interviews he keeps showing a lot of maturity. Maybe Robbie Keane should listen to some more Fabregas interviews to learn what it means to be a true leader.

  173. Cant we be a comedic title winning team instead? Do they have to be serious all the time?

  174. Am I the only one who runs out of breath reading gooner2’s posts? (Or should that be trying to read)

  175. Dupsffokcuf

    I do sometimes find it hard to read some of your own posts.but how come spike understood what i was trying to say and you couldn’t?

  176. I don’t understand this “one mistake a game away from greatness” talk. Do you mean clean sheets indicate greatness, and a lack of clean sheets indicate lesser than greatness? We make 1 mistake in every game only, and if we eliminate that 1 mistake, then we are great? Or we allow 1 mistake a game, but no more to be great?

    We don’t need to be great by such a definition. We just need to win games, to outscore the other team, to make less mistakes than the team we’re playing. Perfection is not needed to win the title. Just a higher percentage of consistency.

  177. and i think it’s better for you to stay the fuck away from my own business.

  178. Like I said before to you Gooner2 put a space and Capital letter after a full stop. It will make your posts easier to read.

  179. gooner2;

    No offence old pal, but “keeping away from your business” is a tad hard on a blog dude. Its kinda out there, if you catch my drift?

  180. Kinda “way out” there.

  181. luke

    I think what I was trying to say was that if we do eliminate that 1 mistake, then we will be great.but I still think it will take hard work for us to be that great.

  182. What’s the business exactly? Talk sh*t and having AIC as guest speaker?

  183. It’s very rude to do one’s business in public.

  184. Dupsffokcuf

    Just fuckoff please?

  185. Sorry Gooner2 I am here for a while yet.

    And I agree with G4E and Angelo.

  186. haha a chicken gracelessly balancing on a basketball indeed.

  187. Gooner2, the fuckoff part is the end of my name (mirrored).

  188. Where are you from gooner2?

  189. i’m from Brixton (zone 2) In London offcourse.and I was borned there and lived there for like 25 years.

  190. Where are you fromed now then? Coz you obviously dont get to speak or type English much nowadays I’m guessing.

  191. I digress. More stupid questions. “Is that all?” No. Yes. Maybe. Probably. Hand me that dictionary.

  192. Seems gooner2 has an underground map impression of London.

    Was it painful being borned?

  193. Gooner2, how many of you are there. Are you like altogether Andrews?

  194. You are one mistake away from being literate I tell thee.

  195. Dupsffokcuf

    I think if you had read my comment above then they wouldn’t be a point asking me that silly question again or wouldn’t it?

  196. gooner2,

    “I think if you had read my comment above then they wouldn’t be a point asking me that silly question again or wouldn’t it?”

    Read your comment and tell me if it makes any sense.

  197. “I think if you had read my comment above then they (there) wouldn’t be a (any) point asking me that silly question again or wouldn’t it (would there)?”

    Try that with my corrections in brackets.

  198. For a person (borned) in Brixton you sure have a poor standard of education.

  199. I could understand if you said (da arse is da biz blud init)

  200. Spike

    He is 1 mistake from being literate, but there is huge chasm from being educated.

  201. Give a monkey a typewriter and enough time and you have gooner2.

  202. gooner2 capitulates as Arsenal has a good night’s work

  203. The holy trinity:

    Arshavin, Fabregas, RVP

  204. Hello ACLFers. I’ve been out and about and so keeping up with THE team is via bush telegraph, which works here as well as any match report. I am informed by Arsenalistas around here that Nasri is back, and I mean ‘back!’.

    AIC is just one mistake a day away from complete mediocrity, the greyness of grey, the bland, tepid dullness of a warmed up take-away frozen mass-produced, chemically-enhanced stodge with ‘lasagna’ or perhaps ‘fish fingers’ written on the package – there is no difference.

  205. Perfect ZP – “tepid dullness of a warmed up take-away that sums up his kind of lukewarm half assed support perfectly.

  206. another holy trinity

    Edwardo, Nasri, Rosicky.

  207. And what about a holy trinity of Four (or Five if you include Gibbs)

    Sagna TV Gallas Clichy & Gibbs

  208. Trinity they may be, but what exactly makes them holy?

  209. Probably not a good idea to refer to a defence as holey.

  210. @Frank

    Surely wholey would do?

    @team spirit


    Sacred, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified, blessed, divine, righteous, saintly

  211. lagooner at 3:56 am;

    Ignore the likes of Lawton who deal in hyperbole. When we’re doing well the praise is excessive, and when we struggle they’re merciless & mindless in condemnation.

  212. I enjoyed the article very much. Cheers, lagooner.

  213. Has the businessman gone yet?

  214. Was that article really written by Lawton? Talk about shifting positions and trying to hoodwink us into thinking he actually thinks Arsenal can win anything.

    As much as it might be a compliment that diehard anti-Arsenalists are realigning their prejudices, I think flying in under the radar of all the hyperbole suits the Arsenal fine at the moment.

    Phil Thomas was totally misguided when he talked about the big 3 of Manure, Liverpool and Chelsea. I gather now that there’s only a big 2. Well, it’s only a matter of time before Arsenal takes its rightful position at the top of that big 2.

  215. In fact there is only a big one. Been obvious for some while now. Country mile…country mile.

  216. DS,

    The next time I see Oliver Kay, I’m going to be asking exactly how he arrived at the calculation that Spurs have a stronger squad than Arsenal. What was he smoking?

    Spurs have a squad full of internationals but, apart from Keane & Palacios they are all fringe players for their national teams.

    With us, even the likes of Vela (19), Bendtner (21), are well-established members of their national teams.

    And I can’t get over why anyone would think Ledley King is better than Gallas. Based on what? Ability? Trophies won? Champions League finals played in? Years playing at the top? Defensive record of teams he’s played in? What?

    King wins in one category, being a tall lump who’s been capped for England.

  217. OG. I think one of the misguided measures of the strength of a squad used by the media and idiots like Robbie Keen is the over-hyped transfer value of players and their astronomical wages.

    The Tottenham establishment clearly has dillusions of grandure when they say they have a bigger and better squad and yet when we bitch slap them, they can only come up with the excuse that they didn’t have 3 of their best players – which totally negates the claim that they have a better squad. Factually, we had 9 players out when we played them so they should just shut up.

    In every position, the difference between us and them is quality. None of them are fit to wear the red and white of the Arsenal. Look at the first half of the game, their only strategy was to try and stop us playing instead of playing their own game. Smirks of a team with an inferiority complex.

    The tune is surely changing though with most of the hacks shifting from “Arsenal won’t make it to 4th place” to “Arsenal are playing well, but let’s wait and see if they can last the distance”.

  218. By a country mile here we come.

  219. Lesley (just because his parents couldn’t spell doesn’t mean we should continue their error) King has more injuries than Gallas.

  220. DS,

    I left out Modric & Corluka. They’re proper internationals. But their 2 Jermaines, Crouchy, King, these guys aren’t internationals of any weight, surely.

  221. Morning all, top post as usual yogi, you’re one of the best, keep is up.

    ..the REAL holy trinity..
    song billabong, verminator, willy g.

    Also, i’m really glad that since upton park (sorry) Abou D has cut out his silly losses of poss..prob the only positive from that game. Anyway i think maybe the penny’s finally dropped for him, because if he’s got the desire, then his potential is truly world class.

  222. ALEXIC How are you my old friend very little to complain about even Diably is improving.

    Are you having an affair with Lady Nina or is she going out with Frank

  223. Guys,
    check out the one we have to snap up before it’s too late! His name is Shaqueel, RvP junior, and he really has a powerful left leg/foot.
    Hurry up Arsene!

    [video src="" /]

  224. Nice one harnet. Did you see the left foot that tot’s got on him already!

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