Time To Shine In The Stadium Of Light – Sunderland Preview

The Stadium of Light provides a welcome return to club football from the drudgery of the internationals. Arsene has had a mixed bag of a fortnight, losing van Persie, Diaby and Gibbs whilst welcoming back Denilson and Walcott. Robin’s placenta queen had gone into hiding from the Serb authorities but she cannot be that hard to find since Frank Lampard knows where she is apparently.

Eduardo is the Dutchman’s replacement, a man with a point to prove, denied the opportunity to show us his talents on anything other than a sporadic basis so far, is now motivated by a new long-term contract. It is an example for Tomas Rosicky to follow, the proof that being out of the game for a long spell is not the curtain on an Arsenal career. Hopefully Wenger and Gazidis are talking to the Czech international and his representatives to resolve that issue as well.

Steve Bruce acknowledged his admiration for the Arsenal manager this morning, unusual for a former charge of The Dark Lord:

He is a genius. The way they play is fantastic. They are a great team to watch with great individual players. For me, when Arsenal come to town, it is THE big occasion, they really have that extra bit of class.

Now either Brucie is hoping to get a bonus by lulling the Arsenal team into a false sense of security or the ties forged through loaning him players in the past or recommending someone who could do a good job has softened the former United captain. The fixtures following the return to club action after international weeks are notoriously slovenly in Arsenal performances. This afternoon, Arsenal will need to be on their guard against a side which has a decent home record. It is a match that Arsenal should not fear, their own form strong enough to warrant a reasonable expectation of three points.

There will be changes to the side. Diaby’s injury will probably mean a starting place for Aaron Ramsey, fresh from a sparkling performance for Wales against Scotland. Samir Nasri could drop into that role but I would prefer him on one flank with Arshavin on the other. Despite improving performances, Emmanuel Eboue’s inclusion on the right would be an overt defensive move, leaving the front three shorn of one more goalscorer. At left back, Arsene seems likely to go with the experienced head of Mikael Silvestre rather than Armand Traore at left back. Other than that, there is little apparent reason to mess around with the side.

Those changes would mean a starting line-up of:

Almunia; Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Silvestre; Song, Fabregas, Ramsey; Nasri, Eduardo, Arshavin

The returning players seem to be destined for the bench at best, a run out for any of them this afternoon would be a precursor to a start in the Champions League. The key thing for Wenger will be keeping personnel fit for the visit of Chelsea next week, especially since a point against Standard ought to be good enough to win the group in that competition. Three points today would consolidate second place, especially as Chelsea seem likely to romp home against Wolves even with a depleted squad.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on November 21, 2009, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 269 Comments.

  1. We have Ole Gunner Thursday and Stone Cold Friday. Might I suggest the addition of Gooner Two’s day?

  2. My list of the 10 worst Frenchmen would have to include Inspector Clouseau, truly the most inept detective I have ever seen. I don’t know why he is so highly rated.

  3. Pz

    Ho and indeed, Ho. Your gold medal position is under review from the joke police.


    PS To accommodate the French thread, continued this morning:

    An English cat, called, one two three, and a French cat, called un deux trois, had a race across the channel. The English cat won but why is this obvious?

    Because the un deux trois quatre cinq

    I’ll get me coat.

  4. gooner2 should be on a monday to cheer us all up

  5. I hope Ramsey starts, he has been in great form and hopefully, will help us achieve victory

  6. i still don’t trust wikiAnswers answer for why it’s called the stadium of light as ”because there are a lot of lights in it”

  7. I agree with your prospective line up with one exception: I think he will rest Arshavin (long trip back, big disappointment with Russia…) in favor of Nasri on the left, with Rosicky playing on the right up front.

  8. Now we are reaping the benefits of such a huge and talented squad. Even with our top two tip top quality left backs out we have a choice of vast top flight experience or a reasonably experienced fast and skill-full youngster to step in. Up front despite losing two internationals to injury we are still able to argue over who should start.
    A punishment of luxuries.

  9. Safc fan here….talking about poor French players..We had 2 shockers in recent years..Lionel Perez a keeper who could only save with his feet never his hands..and couldnt get near one penalty in the 4.4 play off at Wembley and Lilian Llaslandes a centre forward horrendous…

  10. As bad as it was YW, I still laughed at your joke!

    I agree Amerigooner, I was surprised Yogi left Rosicky out of his starting line up. He has great experience and he can be relied on to track back and support the defence. He is fit and did not play during the international break, so I will be very surprised if Arshavin is chosen ahead of him or Nasri.

    P.S. I read somewhere that Rosicky’s agent told the Czech papers that he is in talks with Arsenal about a 2 or 3 year extension to his contract. I hope it’s true.

  11. Stadium of light used to have 3 big searchlights shining in the sky after a game..They have stopped using them for 2 reasons Niall Quinn has just got the leccy bill in…and/or they havent been able to see any german bombers for a few years…

  12. P.P.S. As funny as your joke was Yogi, I’ve seen an even better one on Newsnow. Apparently we are swapping Cesc Fabregas for Mario Ballotelli from Inter!

  13. Wasn’t it called the Stadium of Light after the Benfica stadium?


    Looking at that 360 degree view, I was struck by how similar the Emirates is in layout.

  14. Same architects. HOK, innit.

  15. Sorry, was in a rush to get to the kettle there.

    I heard that this kind of design, where the bowl tapers at the corners, helps the playing surface.

    No idea quite how, though.

  16. Finally the internationals are over and we are gonna see arsenal play. This international break has been very busy for us. 1st wit injury 2 RvP, injury 2 gibbs, Henry’s handball et al.
    Come in Arsenal, lets tame the black cats..

  17. Yogi, any news of the match fixing scandals.I heard on BBC that 12 UEFA matches are involved.

  18. Yesterday, wenger was talking bout resting gallas and sagna, he also said arshavin just came from a long trip and is dissapointed, so he might not play as well.
    song is a card away from suspension, missing the chelski game for him is not an option. so i dont think he might play today aswell
    i think we would play

    eboue senderos vermaelen silvestre
    ramsey, song(deniilson, in second half), cesc
    nasri dudu rosicky

  19. not a bad line up eh?

    whats everyone hoping for man citeh and pool?

    A painfull goaless draw?

  20. Please let Gooner 2 have a guest post, it would seriously make my day. His posts are so funny in a not funny sort of way. Do you think he would correct himself during his article?

  21. I would probably rather a 4-4 draw, more entertaining.

    Oh and I hope that is correct about Rosicky, Passenal. He should really be starting today along with Nasri.

  22. Thanx for that info Passenal, Rosicky should get a 3 year extension at minimum, as he is still 29, there is still plenty young jack wilshere and ramsey amongst others could learn from that tenacious genius..


  23. Do you know what mean lean, I would prefer a win. no i know what you’re saying.
    Make or brake for rafa today, to be honest i kinda want pool to beat citeh, just because it’s citeh. no no, i want a draw, so it would be their 6th consecutive draw.
    I don’t see liverpool as a threat this season, but i just don’t want buying success to prevail

  24. watch my link, it will put you in good spirits if you aren’t. If you are, just watch it anyway.

  25. Zaparodje,

    That link was so random! 🙂

    As for the game coming up, if anyone of them were to lose then I would rather it was the money bags. I wouldn’t cry if Adebayor managed to brake his leg in the process.

  26. What is the team today ? Anybody know ?

  27. hey mean lean.

    i wouldn’t cry either

  28. the team isn’t officially released till abt 45 mins before k.o or something

  29. Yogi,
    Thank you for dix-huit story about the cats. Just think, if the French cat had had a little boat with little quatorze, he’d still be alive today.

  30. im a little bit nervous today.

    Looking forward to eduardo leading the line though, if he dosent score ill eat my toes.

  31. and that black banana that should have been evicted from the fruit bowl on my dresser around the same time we beat the spudlings.

  32. i’m extremely nervous.

    right, i’m off to watch pool vs citeh

  33. the cat joke was excellent yogi, it even made by girlfriend smile for the first time this year.

  34. why you people so nervous.. I’m glad you’re not part of the teams mentality “Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that positive thinking is the secret to free-flowing football. ”

    The players know where ever they play they are there to show how good they are and they go there to win, as they’ve done in Milan and many other places..

  35. you’ve got a point KC

    We will win

  36. deano you have the power..

  37. City could be any average premiership side. Only one tactic, hoof the ball towards Ade, usually inaccurately.

    Very poor.

  38. i feel woe betided watching this.

  39. Pool v City first half could have been like watching 2 League One teams play each other. Yawns…wait, League One teams might be more interesting than those two.

  40. what’s wrong with the game? It’s ok i mean are you expecting it to be 3-3 at half time?? some good football is being played in my opinion

  41. Money City v Liverpool.

    I’d like a 10-10 draw, or either team to win 10-nil

  42. ks, the reason i am nervous is because i love arsenal so much. I’m a fan, not a player, and i dread to think what it would be like to draw or lose especially as we’re tieltle conetenders

  43. in the words of Roy Keane Get over it..


  45. 1-1 at Liverpool. Excellent.

  46. oh dear me.

  47. haha this is crazy

  48. this game is getting more and more funny.. what amazing defenders..

  49. The question is who has the shittest defence, City or Pool??


  51. Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Vermaelen, Gallas, Traore, Song Billong, Ramsey, Fabregas, Rosicky, Eduardo, Nasri.

    Subs: Mannone, Vela, Walcott, Denilson, Silvestre, Arshavin, Eboue.

    No surprise about Arshavin, given the week he’s had.

  52. Blimey, how creative is that team?!

  53. Team:
    Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Traore
    Ramsey (yaay!) Song Fabregas
    Nasri Eduardo Rosicky

    Vela, Walcott, Denilson, Arshavin…er..forgotten the rest.

  54. Eboue, Silvestre and a GK

  55. thats a strong bench.

  56. great Squad WE REALLY ARE THE BESTEST..

  57. That is a VERY strong bench, DG.
    And consider that Djourou, Diaby, Bendtner, Van Persie, Clichy and Gibbs are all out through injury.

  58. If/When we have all our players available at the same time then Wenger is gunner struggle to pick his bench let alone the starting line up.

  59. draw-chester citeh

  60. im bloody confident now

  61. A R S E N A L


  63. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Traore starting, huh?

    I’m liking that move.

  64. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Sunderland don’t stand a chance.

  65. streams anybody?

  66. I am watching the match on my laptop whilst broadcasting live from a community radio station. Beat that!

  67. Deano google my p2p they have loads

  68. Well, there’s multi-tasking, steww!

  69. cheers steww

  70. “Sunderland don’t stand a chance”

    That’s way OTT. We need to be our best. That is why the boss put out a very strong team.

  71. I have to adlib a piece on Alex James of Blur whilst trying not to swear and shout.

  72. Great effort!

  73. should be 1 – 0

  74. he can hit em cant he fabregas

  75. playing beautifully

    Sunderland getting frustrated

  76. they’re huffing and puffing but we are infinitely superior.

  77. Tasty game so far. Some good counterattacking by S/land.

  78. The boy Traore is quick, very quick.

  79. How is Traore doing?

  80. Traore: Offensively so far – A few good overlapping runs, a decent square into the box and a misdirected shot on goal. Jury is still out defensively.

  81. I think we are a little tentative in the S/land third. There are at least 4 offensive players starting for the 1st time and it shows.

  82. Thanks s-g.

  83. Close shave – Eduardo miss.

  84. That was so close!

    The switch between Song & Gallas there was beautiful.

  85. you have to be kidding me

  86. sunderland are playing well, but they are going to be SHATTERED at half time

  87. Another good overlapping run by Traore. Nice cross. Shot on goal by Ramsey. Saved.

  88. The Machine will run smoother.. all in its way shall be CUT..

  89. Good game. We are a bit unlucky not to be ahead. A couple of good chances. Sunderland very competitive.

  90. i have a feeling that there will be quite a few goals in the second half

  91. Let’s hope you’re right, deano and that they are all Arsenal goals!

  92. but of course

  93. you’re right deano, they will eventually tire (i hope with all my life) which will allow us more space and freedom.

    Nervy 1st half. COME ONNNNN!!!!

  94. you’re right deano, they will eventually tire (i hope with all my life) which will allow us more space and freedom.

    Nervy 1st half. COME ONNNNN!!!!!

  95. Rosicky and Nasri have to up their game in the next half. They need to be more threatening coming from wide areas. Eduardo is doing his part but he is a little man among some giants.

  96. Good game.
    Vela and Walcott lurking on the bench. I would love to see a midfield of Song, Fab & Rosicky/Nasri (for games like this, where we are pegging the opponent back in their own half), maybe one of them will drop back for Ramsey if we’re still looking for a goal later? Poor AW, what terrible choices he has to make!

  97. love the flags on Song’s wrists

  98. Song has been terrific. I would like to see Walcott , Arshavin and possibly Vela at some stage.

  99. if it remains, or gets worse, i reckon nasri and rosicky will be rested, arshavin and denilson should replace them in my opinion.

    not right now, there’s a long way to go

  100. apart from few hairy moments I think defensively we are fine we just need more bite upfront Walcott and Arshavin will add to the goal threat

  101. We are getting no joy when coming from wide areas. I would bring on either Vela or Walcott or Vela by the 70th minute.

  102. Gone v scrappy

  103. that is a very positive substitution

  104. Come on ARSENAL

  105. come on arsenal!

  106. Good change of Arshavin for Ramsey. Early enough to be influential.

  107. Quite balanced at the moment we need a bit of magic from someone

  108. c’mon…these spud rejects are a tough nut to crack. we do look tired. we might need a slice of luck.

  109. fuck fuck fuck

  110. Walcott is coming on

  111. No worries still time

  112. They were always good for a lucky goal.

  113. We will WiN come ON BOYS

  114. seems they got the luck

  115. yeah come on arsenal…more than enough time to win this

  116. This is the test, come on you can do it boys

  117. I can’t beleive we are not going to score

  118. this cant be the first game we dont score in

    I dont believe it can be

  119. We are going to score, lets go for 2?

    We do look a bit tired though


  121. Well, thankfully there won’t be another international break for a while.

    Come on Arsenal!

  122. we have to throw the kitchen sink now

  123. 8 minutes…….plus stoppages

  124. We miss Diaby’s drive from midfield.

  125. yes i do think we miss diaby….were missing his leggy sprints and strength

  126. fucking hell are we going to get a break??

  127. We miss Diaby’s drive from midfield. We just haven’t won enough on-on-one battles.

  128. tell that keeper to get the fuck up

  129. I don’t beleive this shi.t so close

  130. They will be happy to play the clock now

  131. yes we need to speed it up

  132. great save big al

  133. Why is Sagna just lumping it forward to no one?

  134. ofcourse we don’t get a penalty on Vela its forgotten

  135. Damn damn damn.

  136. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Bollocks. What a lucky bounce on Bent’s goal.

    The lineup didn’t create near as much as I thought it would.

  137. Still lots to play for this year, not the end of anyone’s title charge, but I thought that was a poor effort from the team. They never played with a spark.

  138. man this hurts alot.

  139. Gah, this was always going to be toughie, right after the international break.

    It’s good that we can rotate for Tuesday and rest a couple of players in time for Chelsea next weekend.

    Still, I’m sure we going to get a mong-fest on here over the next couple of days.

  140. Sunderland played WEll the engine didn’t find the required fluidity

    fuck chelsea we will take this league adios its not nice taste but we are strong ..


  141. Fair game to Sunderland, they wanted it more and they played themselves to the ground.

    Time for the doomers to have some fun.

  142. I think without Diaby, van Persie and Bendtner, we do lack a bit of physical oomph, but I’m pretty sure we can chalk that result up to tiredness. The difference in preparation really showed.

  143. lethargic

  144. Not enough intensity during the game, probably due to the internationals.

    Eduardo didn’t have anywhere near enough support and unlike Van Persie he cannot do it alone.

    We controlled the game without do anything with it.

    I still see us beating Chelsea and we have a long way to go.

  145. shit happens.

    just not sure what we can learn from this cause we played reasonably well but showed that frustrating trait of not looking clinical in fornt of goal.

    im sure arsene will work it out

  146. still in our hands but i totaly totaly agree with shotta we missed diaby big time. His industry isnt pretty but he give us something.

    fabregas nasri and rosicky didt turn up.

    one to forget but im still as positive as ever about this season. Now for chelsea. Sometimes its better to go into games like this on the back of a loss as strange as it sounds.

  147. sighs, sunderland worked their socks off but we should have done better. Screw international breaks. Argh.


  149. I agree with Shotta; Diaby was missed today. Gives us a little more drive than Ramsey does.

  150. Well, we did create a couple of chances but we didn’t use them. Still, I think loosing this game won’t hurt us too much. Our players are tired and Sunderland did good to keep us away from their goal.

    Btw. about those times our players fell, are there any videos of that? My feed didn’t show any replays of those scenes and to me it looked like your players simply fell way too easy, but just want to go sure.

  151. Too many players in the groove but not fresh, others fresh but not in the groove, maybe?

  152. Haha, yeap KS. Always a silver lining in this dark cloud. Hopefully after this weekend it’s clear skies for us. Finish off Standard Liege in mid-week and on to the chavs.

  153. AHHHH furstrating. Walcott made a diffrence but a bit too late. We missed the threat down the flanks and didn’t put few long balls into the box. that would’ve given Sunderland something to worry about they knew in the absence of RVP we will not resort to those difficult balls into the box. Still its not the end of the world this year is very different anybody can beat anyone and I’m expecting Chelsea to clapse sometime soon.

  154. We won’t win every game and we will lose again.

    That’s football. Pick ourselves up and win next time. Still second.

  155. I tell you what: Song is making some sick chipped passes the past couple of years.

  156. according to the stats s’land had 1(!) shot on goal. how unlucky can we be? still we looked tired. bit disappointed with rosicky. no runs into the box and a bit too slow.
    ps. cana looks a bit flaminiesque.

  157. Well said Ted Harwood

  158. Put this one down to a variety of reasons but fair play to Sunderland who are a better side than they get credit for.

  159. that was the absoloute definition of “one of those games”.

  160. We didnt win because the players were not up for it.Not one Arsenal player played well.Same old story we just cannot defend at set pieces.

    Eduardo cannot play the lone man striker role.The RVP injury will kill our season.The Chelsea game is not a 6 pointer its a 9 pointer

  161. How can you have a 9 pointer game FFS.

  162. fucking hell i thought it was a long time before any dooming began but teds here to break that duck.

  163. As the only one of the so called top four teams to play away after the internationals I thought we coped pretty well.

    Don’t forget we had to change the team quite a lot.

  164. Fast forward

    You only need on shot on target to score.The game is all about put the ball in the net,The truth is not one Sunderland player would get in our team but they wanted it more.
    And how bad was Traore?

  165. I bet Ted was one of those that said RVP cannot play as a lone striker.

  166. California Gooner

    Sunderland played well and kept disrupting our game in midfield, but it’s also the case that our attack was very disjointed. Nasri and Rosicky basically offered nothing and Eduardo just didn’t have much impact. Sagna showed a lot of heart, but looked knackered. I thought Eboue might have offered more in terms of breaking down their defense.

    For me Song and Traore were the big positives. Song was everywhere and managed to not get a yellow card. Traore looked the real deal, one strange ‘cross’ in front of our own box aside. I can see Traore, Arshivin and Eduardo doing good things down the left. So, those are good things going into the Chelsea game. But I hope Diaby can make it back as well as Ramsey doesn’t look ready and Nasri looked slow.

    I think that without RVP and with no big player to win crosses, we will have to rely more on speed (Walcott, Vela, Arshivin, Traore). Eduardo will never beat Terry and Alex to a late cross, but cross it early and he is clever enough to find space.

  167. i’ve had time to reflect and to be honest they played really well, and we did the best we could, even without any target men, for example diaby, bentdner, rvp.

    It’s not all bad, ok after manure crush everton we’re 3rd but all is not lost. We can still win the title.

    Bloody hell this game against chelsea is turning into one of the biggest ones we’ve played

  168. I think it was a mistake to play nazza, he really struggled out there

  169. Nutty boy commentating on the Man U Eveton game.

  170. FFS

    Why cant we defend set pieces?
    The international break is just a smokescreen for our abysmal performance.Sunderland were fucking awful but we were worse.
    Felt sorry for Eduardo upfront with no support and the service he got was nonexistent.
    Arshavin on the bench made no sense at all

  171. Fuck off Gooner Ted. Sunderland were far from “fucking awful”. If you think that playing internationals is a smokescreen it show what little you know about football.

  172. I couldnt agree more with you deano. We were easily all over Sunderland without breaking a sweat. The team created a host of chances despite Sunderlands parking the bus tactics with Walcott injecting some well needed urgency. On another day RVP, Eduardo or Song would have toe poked those chances into the goal. Anyway everyone put in a decent shift save for the ball falling for Bent who to his credit was more alert for the ricochet . Chelsea will still be put to the sword and the momentum will definitely be with the team. Doomers know what the can do….Come on Arsenal.

  173. go to bed gooner ted

  174. We played a very committed Sunderland team at the wrong time for our boys. Ramsey had a poor game, but you can’t point the finger at one player. Things could also have been very different if Rosicky’s early shot had been a foot further to the left of Fulop.

    Ultimately, it was less about missing strength and more about pace. We looked 10 times more dangerous with Walcott, Arshavin and Vela inserted, and our starting XI had the skill but not the speed to break down their defence.

    With Liverpool and Man City only picking up a point, we’re still looking comfortable for Europe.

    f we can beat Chelsea we will be right back where we were before this game, 5 points down with a game in hand.

  175. @Gooner Ted,
    I’m not sure anybody who’s not gonna be in his prime 4 years from now would be very motivated after just missing out on playing in the world cup

  176. Alexandra, traore looked quite uncomfortable at lb but to be fair he hasn’t played for a long time.
    sagna was awsome.
    we are not the first team to lose against s’land. unlucky. draw would have been fair result.

  177. we neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedd to beat che;sae

  178. Didn’t take long for the doomers to crawl out of the woodwork. I seem to recall chelski losing an away game after an international break to Wigan, so it was always risky.

    If we had been able to pick up with the same team we left off with before the break we might have done better. Arsene was forced to make too many changes and that disrupted the flow of the team. Never mind, it’s not the end of the world. We’ll just try to win the next one.

  179. Okay, thats 5 points dropped against opposition we should have beaten. We need to make up those 5 points in our games against chelsea, mancity, manutd and pool. yeah thats sounds allright.


  180. gloomers still moan even when we won, so I’m not surprised by their bitching whatsoever.

    All of effort now has to be about how to beat the blue cunts…..beat them and get the flow back then they ll be on the pressure to spend one billion in Jan.

  181. We don’t have a GK that can save us when we don’t play well. At the moment, a mistake by a defender almost always result in a goal.

    Once again Almunia was indecisive. Didn’t know whether to come forward or stay put. He started moving forward when the ball was kicked in and then tracked back. Why can’t he command his area? He did same against Wolves.

    All our Gks are not good except Szczesny. You need a good GK to win the title but we don’t have. Winning titles in years gone by we had Seaman and the Lehmann.

    I’m afraid to say that Almunia can’t win the title for us.

  182. come on u gunners- liege on wednesday- my team: Almunia eboue silvestre vermaelen gibbs song fabregas ramsey diaby eduardo rosicky.

    can’t wait already, COME ON ARSENAAAAL!!

  183. i didnt see much wrong with almunia today

  184. Fuck off Howard

  185. We dont even need to beat Chelsea but I would enjoy nothing more than if we did and wiped the smug look off thier faces. Man u won last season without ever beating all the top 4 team. In fact Man U Lost to all 3 and drew 2 and winning just once . They did however loose less points to lower league opposition.

  186. If we take ManUtd., Chelsea, ManCity and Liverpool as the tough teams, we have 30 games that we should otherwise win. 90 points is definitely enough to win the League.
    So far then, we have dropped 5 points that we shouldn’t have. Making up these points (and more, when necessary) should be easy in our home games against each of these 4 teams.

  187. Gunner From Nigeria

    Disappointed but, its still November. We have to beat Chelsea to make our game in hand with Bolton to count for something.
    I look at our dropped points against West Ham as counting against us now.
    However, no shaking. We have to move on.
    After Liege and Chelsea, this month is history.
    My God, i dislike November as it concerns Arsenal.

  188. ignore him zaparodje.

    this happens, football is chaotic thats the truth. We can see players play well and not and we con only guess as to why.

    I thought that we started brilliantly and we could have got something from the game but didnt.

    No finger pointing or even suggestions for changes. This team is special and will bounce back. No fear when it comes to chelsea either. Just excitment because I firmly believe we will do it.

  189. zaparodje

    Watch the replay. Almunia wanted to move in and attack the ball and then he moved back. That indecision cost us even though Bent was unmarked. He did same when we played Wolves.

  190. Trust me to jinx Arsenal.

    Here’s my 2 cents about the match

    I’m disappointed but not angry or devastated. Always difficult to lose.

  191. Only Fabregas,

    If there was any fault in the gaol it was from TV who allowed a player he was marking to win the header.

    Errors happen in football there does not always have to be a scapegoat.

  192. Only Song played well today the attitude was poor the passing sloopy there was just no pace to our game.We lacked a physical presence.Very impressed with Cana who kept breaking up our midfield.£5m a bargin
    Who was supposed to be supporting Eduardo?none of our midfielders got up to help him.We cant keep blaming the injury to RVP that is what squads are for.And werent Sunderland missing Talyor and Jones?

  193. aw darius! good article but no jinx. sunderland just ran and ran and ran and got a smidge of luck. it happens.

  194. V need all 3 pts from chelsea or things will get tougher. But it is still november an d we have time.
    Lets hope for the best..

  195. What I learnt from today’s loss:
    * Every team in the EPL is going to get one or two good chances vs Arsenal in each half and on any given day they will take one or both of them. Hats off to S/land, they took the one that mattered.
    * We missed our big, physical players on the front-line (RVP, Bendtner and Diaby). I keep making this point contrary to those who offer an unbalanced line comprising the skillful “little uns.”
    * We miss Diaby’s drive in the midfield – the ability to take on opponents one vs one and beat them and then play-in the attackers.
    * Eduardo is never going to win the aerial battles with big defenders around him.
    * A frontline of Nasri, Eduardo and Rosicky is skillful but not quick enough.
    * During RVP’s absence we will have to rely have to rely on our speed players (Vela and Walcott) down the flanks to take on fullbacks and create chances for our front men. These two guys had better grab their chances because when RVP and Bendtner return the door is going to be shut gto one of them.
    * RVP is the dogs bollocks.
    * Diaby’s cojones are just as big. We missed them today. If I see any more shitty criticisms of him on this blog, I will let the poster have it.

    PS: Last Saturday-Sunday I predicted that RVP would be a great loss, not because I wished to spread doom and gloom, but after replaying the tapes of this season’s games over and over again I am simply blown away by his influence on our team. Now we know that why Wenger has him in such high regard. We will just have to alter lower our expectations; we won’t score as much but we have the talent to win games. ARSENAL!

  196. The next long unbeaten run begins on Tuesday night

  197. the bad thing in the match was that there didnt seem to be any sense of urgency with minutes to go. I have a feeling, unlike last year, we will learn from this mistake.

    Regardless of whether you or on form or not you need to be direct and lay with passion, that was missing badly.

    I actually do think that Eboue wouldve been perfect for this match, unless he is injured from his goal against Germany, he is very direct and always plays all out.

  198. Shotta, I think the problem was we were not direct enough. We really pass around a lot today with not much attacking especially on the flanks but we will learn.

  199. Paul N: Nasri and Rosicky are never going to beat opponents with speed. They have to break you down with combinations. Once S/land pack the center it was going to be difficult. (RVP changes the dynamics because you can drive that pass into him in the box and he will bring it under control, pass or shoot.) Diaby is different from both because he can either pass or beat the opponent one vs one. He has speed with with those long legs or with his bag of tricks.
    Sagna tried the direct approach, lumping the ball into the box in Eduardo’s direction but we never looked like scoring that way.

  200. Not a disaster just lacked a cutting edge in front of goal.
    Shots (Ars 12), Sun (7)
    With the way they’ve been playing that would normally be a 2 – 1 win.
    6 key chances didn’t go in. Best was Eduardo 1 on 1 after 30 mins – scooped it wide.
    Rosicky, and Ramsey attempts in the first half were unsavable unless they went straight to the goalkeeper – they went straight to the goalkeeper. Arshavin attempt in the last 5 mins hit the outside of the post and Vela centre was just beyond Fabregas and Arshavin. Arsenal don’t get penalties anymore, so the foul on Vela in the last 2 mins is no surprise.

    Arsenal made 498 passes (83% accurate), Sunderland 240 (65% accurate) so 67% possession – so Arsenal were not a team lacking confidence or tired.
    Only Gallas and Sagna played 2 full games in the last 2 weeks so the Intl break is no excuse – in fact they both had storming games.
    Team was a bit disjointed at times in the final third but you’d have to expect that with a pretty new combination.
    You’ve got to give credit to Sunderland for an effective game plan and a large slice of luck over the missed Arsenal chances.

  201. “Massive setback” sys the boss. I agree with him completely especially when (1) our two other top-three competitors have won or winning, and, (2) the boss put out a team that on paper should have won easily. Its going to be hard, not impossible, to peg back these nine points by Chelsea but we need to be resolute especially we the supporters. All the backsliders will be slinking off the bandwagon. Keep the faith ACLFers!

  202. I hear you Shotta but there is times when they dont necessarily have to out run anyone but attack the gaps, I didnt see that today, we were too careful at times with our passing. I do think we couldve done with the speed of Walcott earlier but even with the subs we were not hungry enough for the goal.

    Again, this team will learn

    Sagna kikcing u the field was a total waste

  203. Agree Shotta, KEE THE FAITH!

    This team will still win the PL, we have many more games to play.

  204. Gunner From Nigeria

    This is a setback we would get over.

    Shotta Gunna

    Thanks for the Diaby lessons. We missed him. Especially those late runs into the box to meet a cross with is head.
    Chelsea have the momentum now but, they shouldn’t be over the moon as the unpredictable nature of the Arsenal means you right us off at your own peril.

  205. Shotta, I don’t think anyone was denying that we would miss RVP, but he’s out for 6 weeks, so the team has to manage without him. The players out there should have been good enough to beat Sunderland, but on the day they didn’t quite click.

    I’ve never heard Arsene so disappointed, so I’m sure we’ll get a reaction from the players starting Tuesday.

  206. will somebody please…..please destroy darren fletcher

  207. god i loathe him

  208. IIn a way I was worried about this game; post international break, too many players not really match-fit (Nasri, Rosicky, Eduardo, Walcott). We had a few chances to win the game but lets not be despondent; any one of those players could be a match winner next weekend!

    Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal

  209. I thought Walcott gave us that speed down the flanks and made a delicious pass into the box where the ball stood in front of goal begging to be hit but I think his speed beat the Sunderland defenders as well as our players and there was no one to finish off. Tiredness ha s a lot to do with it. we were restricted to the middle, Fabregas had no options but shoot few times, He would normally flick the ball to RVP. I think its will take Eduardo a bit of time to get used to that role even RVP said it was a bit difficult to adapt in the beginning. It could’ve been all different had Eduardo’s chip went in or Rosicky’s chance. I’m expecting Chelsea to implode in January they have that habit every year. We just need to make sure we take advantage of it

  210. It will take at least another season for Fletcher to replace the hate we felt towards the lesser Ronaldo. But he’s on the right track.

    NO need to read too much into the result. Others will drop points. Chelsea surely will, it will be a closer title race this season, the big teams will lose games. Too many positives today, Rosicky, Nasri, Theo, Denilson, and Vela back from injury. Feeling more optimistic, strangely. The chavs should be really be worried about next weekend.

  211. 1 Loose cannon,

    It took RVP 7-8 games in the start to finally get a goal. Can’t put too much expectations on Eduardo, he’ll take time but he would come good. And with his finishing skills, he’d bury those chances that RVP hits the post and bar with.

  212. Hopefully Eduardo will get into the groove a bit quicker then RVP, against Chelsea.

    Nasri, Walcott, Vela, just back and Dudu & Rosicky still fighting their way back to full fitness/strength…suprising we were beaten? No, but still disappointing. Just have to beat the Chav’s now. Can’t afford too many more defeats.

  213. Apart from 1 or 2 doomers, I’m glad to see most are taking this defeat in perspective. man u have also lost 3 and played a game more than us. chelski always start well, but we’ll see if they sustain it.

  214. The same 1 or 2 doomers Passenal. I expect a few more by tomorrow.

  215. California Gooner

    The doomer’s are annoying. Blame Almunia for that goal? First, it was a free header, and then the ball just bounced right back to Bent. Bad luck. More worrisome, our attack lacked the cutting edge it’s had all season long. But there were literally four changes among our front six. Nasri and Rosicky underperformed. Eduardo didn’t just slot in as hoped. And Ramsey just doesn’t feel quite ready. But these guys are geniuses. They will figure it out… hopefully in time to send Chelsea home unhappy.

  216. Bad defeat. Good to see Wenger being honest and admitting the side lacks consistency to win the premiership title on this performance.

    This defeat is typical of what we have been suffering for the last few seasons.

    Hope Wenger can sort this out. He has work to do.

  217. And right on cue another one appears Dupsffokcuf

  218. Ateeb- Eduardo will come good I have no doubt about that after more than a year out its not easy to get back to his full sharpness , slowly but surely he will start banging them. In the mean time hopefully the players don’t drop their heads and resume to business as usual on Wednesday. The other thing that bothers a little is the Media are going on about free scoring Arsenal Bla Bla it rises the expectations of the fans expecting goals evey game that might put pressure on players as well I’ll be happy just to get the job done 1 nil.

  219. I KNOW I’ll be going home happy after the Leige and Chelsae games.

    I LOVE it!

  220. Adams the leader

    Chelsea’s fixtures during the ANC:

    Hull A
    Sunderland H
    Birmingham H
    Burnley A

    While our fixtures are:

    Everton H
    Bolton A
    Villa A
    Man Utd H

    i know which one i would prefer

  221. Adams the leader

    Paul N

    thanks for the Wenger post match interview link

    Every Gooner who is blindly saying we will win the league should listen carefully to his comments.

  222. let’s look on the bright side – Song was awesome today, great first touch and close control, shielded the ball well and distribution was outstanding…….

    Blaming Almunia for the goal is absurd – he did well to get close to blocking an unmarked striker 6 yards out.

    Vela and walcott should start on tuesday – they injected a threat which wasnt there until they came on

  223. We will win the league if we learn our lessons and perform consistently. Of the top 3 only chelski have lost less than 3 games and there is still a long way to go. I bet man u fans still think they can win the league and they are in the same position in terms of defeats. Until it is mathematically impossible, why give up? Belief is the cornerstone of success and loss of belief by supporters is not going to help the team come back from this setback.

  224. I think most sensible gooners are saying we have a team who are capable of winning the league.

  225. of course we can win the league, any gooners who think otherwise should realy watch this.

  226. bradys right foot

    Very shrewd and astute words from le boss in his bbc interview. Hopefully the players are listeneing as that is as strong a kick up the arse as Wenger is going to give them. He’s put a bit of pressure on them before the Chelski match.

  227. Positives: Song (world class midfielder) and Vermaelen (born leader).

    forget the defeat and move on.

  228. Deano..what the fu*k was that video all about?? are you trippin man!

  229. Have we had a penalty since Eds was hung drawn and quartered. Today’s was a stone cast iron waller.

  230. Duke, we’re going to have to do it on our own. We will not get a penalty if the referees can avoid it. It’s almost like they have been given instructions not to give a penalty to an Arsenal player as they could not hang Eduardo out to dry.

  231. Very stern words from Monsieur Wenger, I wonder who he was thinking of when he said that certain players did not focus.

    Our approach play was fine in my opinion, we passed the ball well in midfield and dominated them it was just in the final third, we didn’t show enough desire to score the opener, we didn’t push to support Eduardo enough and as long as it stays at 0-0 the opposition always have a chance.

    I am very confident that we will take out our frustrations on Chelsea.

  232. Let’s get back in the mood with a good win in the CL and then against Chelski.

  233. well tha chav game is huge. if we win its back on if we lose, it’s goodnight vienna.

  234. Even if we lose the Chelsea game it will be far from over. There is still plenty more games to play, Chelsea have to go to Man U, Man City we have to play them at Stamford Brige etc

    It is easy to jump the gun but so much can happen in the space of a few games.

    But ideally we need to smack Chelsea up good and proper.

  235. Anyone guess Yogi’s headline tommorow…

    maybe..Arsenal’s performance was gloomy at the stadium of light.

    or how about..Arsenal’s title charge gets dimmed at the stadium of light.

  236. last!!

  237. What always looked like a difficult post international fixture proved to be exactly that.
    Have no doubt I’m sure Henry Winter and his esteemed media colleges will embark on a tirade of self indulgent I told you so headlines, but I say bring on Chelsea and an Arsenal back to there best with a suspension free Song…

  238. To true WG

  239. Wasn’t that a stonewall penalty on Vela by Frazier Campbell? can you imagine if that was a ManU player cut down in the box?
    Talk about dishonesty and cheating in the English game.

  240. Shotta we can forget getting any penalty decisions after the Eduardo nonsense. We will have to stick together and win without those decisions.

  241. Agreed Dups. It is so dishonest but this is a reality we have to deal with. Our players, if they haven’t learnt already, have to be twice as good as their peers.

  242. On a lighter note check this guy out for air guitar.

  243. nice video, Dupsffokcuf. reminds me a bit of this guy:

  244. About the penalty, I was amazed how Football First on Sky didn’t even show a replay. They conveniently didn’t mention it again after it happened. Can you imagine if it was Gerrard or Rooney who had been hacked down.

    5 different angles, over and over again.

  245. Just my point Mean Lean. The refs are fully aware that there is no price to pay for failing to grant penalties to Arsenal. They won’t be embarrassed by frequent replays of their f*ck-ups on Sky or the BBC, no relegation to Championship games. Instead there will be more plum assignments to ref big games. Reminds you of how discrimination thrives in any society. This looks, sounds and feels like keeping “johnny foreigner” in his place.

    Let me be clear; I an mot blaming the ref for our defeat but this kind of take down in the box is a clear penalty.

  246. Fast Forward, I wonder what he does in his spare time. Must be a busy man with that talent 🙂

  247. One last one for the doomers

  248. Bleh, kudos to Sunderland, they defended very very well.

    We need more of a physical presence against sides such as this. (you’re right about Diaby/Bendtner and RVP being missed)

    It’s painful, but hopefully there’s still time to turn this around.

  249. Adams the leader

    When we play poorly we just cant grind out results.Have Utd played well once this season? yet they are above us.
    After an hour our passing game wasnt working but there was no plan B.I was amazed that for the last 15 mins we didnt go gung ho for an equaliser.There was a lack of urgency

  250. Steve Bruce got the tactics spot on,Sunderland arent an awful team..give credit..we have now taken points from you lot,Liverpool and unlucky to only get 1 at old trafford…get over yourselves the ;league is changing..

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