Easy Win For Arsenal – We Find The Cost Later

UEFA Champions League, Group Phase
Arsenal 2 – 0 Standard Liege

1 – 0 Nasri (35)
2 – 0 Denilson (45)

A performance and a win that erased the memory, somewhat, of the weekend’s defeat at Sunderland. First place in the Group was secured but a price has been paid with Kieran Gibbs out with a broken bone in his foot and William Gallas’ ankle injury has left him doubtful, at the moment, for Sunday’s clash with Chelsea. The full extent of his injury will become clearer as the days pass and it is premature to write him off just yet.

It was a night he will not remember with any particular fondness as he left the pitch at the interval not to re-emerge for the second half, having departed in a similar facial condition to many of Muhammed Ali’s victims when the Great Man was in his prime. Andrey Arshavin had staples inserted in his head following their collision in the first half. Nothing so namby-pamby as stitches for this boy, just a Rexel for him.

Without being disparaging to Standard, they were poor last night. Despite this, they rattled the woodwork twice which would have put an altogether different complexion on the result and an altogether unfair one as well. Arsenal dominated possession and should probably have been three up before Nasri’s excellent finish as the interval approached.

Cesc and the Frenchman could, and perhaps should, have scored in the opening minutes. Nasri had an excellent chance for breaking the deadlock and you would have to assume that he thought the angle for shooting tighter than it actually was, Bolat some way across from the near post. Instead, a cross came, Vela shot and a chance went begging.

The notable moment before the breakthrough came from a corner. Fabregas’ delivery was good – a noticeable improvement this season, perhaps because there is a genuine threat in the shape of Vermaelen and Gallas. Arshavin’s close range effort was blocked; Vela hit the rebound against the post; Bolat twice denied Gallas before Arshavin had a Bendtner moment, blocking Vermaelen’s drive, the ferocity of which left the Russian seeing double.

With the pressure all one way, a typically continental break ensued with Mbokani striking from the edge of the area, hitting the angle of the bar and post before flying to safety. That was the prelude to Gallas’ second injury of the night. Early in the match, he had suffered a knock to the ankle in executing a block tackle. Limping, he was left to persevere in pain, the old adage of running a knock off being adhered to. Whether that was wise or not remains to be seen although with Silvestre on the bench and Standard offering little, surely caution should have taken precedence for Wenger? Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It would have prevented his clash of heads with Arshavin as they both went for a corner, Gallas heading narrowly over.

Both players required treatment and Standard scented blood with Arsenal down to 9. A goal duly arrived in their net; Vermaelen sent a long pass over the top of the Liege defence, a defensive slip and an exquisite finish by Nasri. Arshavin returned and almost double the lead, shooting narrowly wide.

The result was sealed as half time rapidly approached. Denilson received the ball from Gibbs and shot from distance. Bolat had his angles all wrong and flapping vain as the ball entered the net. It was a good strike but not an unstoppable effort.

In the second half, Arsenal visibly relaxed. Witsel found himself free in the area but Almunia collected the ball as the opportunity withered away. For Arsenal, Vela and Walcott had decent chances as the game appeared to be heading for a gentle conclusion. That was not to be.

Both sides finished with ten men with Liege’s as a result of a red card for a stupid lunge of Gonzalez’s head at Fabregas whilst Gibbs foot was broken needlessly.

It was a comfortable performance all round. Denilson had a good game on his return to the side, offering plenty of support and to an extent freeing Fabregas a little more than normal by covering a bit more defensively. Song was his usual non-expansive self, quietly getting on with the business of minding the midfield, effective on the odd occasion that he chose to stride into the attack.

Up front, Nasri was certainly sharper than at Sunderland although the freedom he was allowed by Liege was considerably more than he will get in the Premier League. Arshavin added an intuitive inventiveness to the attack whilst Vela, I thought, did well leading the line. He will need to time to develop in that role but his link play was good, another sharp stick in the eye for those who believe that you have to be a neanderthal to succeed in that type of position.

The refereeing was pretty abysmal. Eboue did not dive, his knees were clipped by the defender. Perhaps there was an element of doubt in the referee’s mind on that instance. He may have been thinking of his role as Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore rather than concentrating on the game as Gallas clearly brought down the Liege forward, the referee not far behind.

In the end, all that matters was the result and the cobwebs being dusted away ahead of the Chelsea clash. It is pretty much certain that Traore will replace Gibbs whilst we wait for news on Gallas.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on November 25, 2009, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 145 Comments.

  1. It’s good going into a game against a bunch of thugs thinking we’re as hard as nails: Arsh has had his head stapled back together and Gallas looked like Sonny Liston in late February of 1964. He could have done with having his eyebrow cut. It will give Sammy, Cesc, Carlos, Eds and Theo, an extra sense of confidence in our physicality to be playing alongside these great warriors.

    We will also be fielding the toughest, strongest athlete on the pitch in Thomas Vermaelen.

  2. Ha! YW, went for the same analogy and I hadn’t yet read your piece. Must be a fitting one. Didn’t know about the ankle though – that’s not so clever.

  3. Actually, I think Song had a pretty attacking game. He did his defensive job with excellence, but he also provided some nice passes and crosses for our lads up ahead. He is starting to become a complete midfielder.

  4. Despite the opposition being poor, I thought Song was magnificent last night and its great to have Denilson back especially considering we are going to lose Song shortly for the ACN.

  5. A great moment was Song Billong body-popping out of a challenge on the floor, forward-rolling himself away from danger with the ball clutched daintily between his ankles. ‘Ole!’, I saw him shout.

  6. Will repeat what I said earlier (hoping to stimulate more debate):
    “Much better performance last night compared to last Saturday. I thought the front-five (not six, as Denilson tended to stay back) showed much more desire to get behind their defenders. Vela showed that while new to the role of central striker he is very willing. Compared to Eduardo last Saturday, he was much more mobile and lively. Unlike RVP he is not yet comfortable or as proficient with his back to the goal which this role demands. (No criticism here: There is no other forward in our team as versatile as RVP.) On saturday, we will have to play with the same type of controlled aggression and sustain it for 90 minutes, not just the first 45 as it appeared last night.”

    PS: I agree with Limpar earlier – we can’t sustain the tempo of the 1st 30 minutes for an entire game – simply impossible. But certainly the same attitude.

  7. Btw. I think despite Ramsey’s development our best midfield still consits of either Song/Cesc/Denilson or Song/Cesc/Diaby, depending on wether we need that little bit of extra physicality that Diaby adds to our side.

  8. I kept my eyes on their number 22 for about 5 minutes last night and in that time he crunched Cesc, elbowed rosicky in the gob and had at least two scraps with Song, and all this before he broke Gibby’s foot. The biggest thug I have seen at the emirates in a long time.

    Quite pleasing to see our guys stand up to the physical spiciness of the last 15 minutes.

  9. About Eduardo and Vela I remember complaints of our front 3 inability to score after the first few games of this campaign.

    Could it be that Vela and/or Eduardo is having the same problem as Rvp —finding the right balance between doing your primary job as a striker and the secondary responsibility of contributing defensively.

    In both games (Sunderland and Liege) there were times when the strikers wasn’t in the box when needed.

  10. Bergkamp Ghoulfest

    @EvilFiek

    My best mid 3 has Rosicky in it…

    I understand the argument about physicality, but it’s not just a size issue. It comes down to scrapping, which Fab is never shy of doing in big matches. As for Rosicky, he has the penetration and class I like to see in those types of encounters.

  11. I’ll repeat my reply to you Shotta:

    Wenger says Dudu is our most versatile striker he says he can play “on either the flanks, as a shadow striker or as a target man”

    I first realized your simplistic understanding when you came up with your revelations after the Sunderland defeat, saying we don’t have enough speed in a front-line of Rosicky Eduardo and Nasri amongst other things..

    Wenger has said countless times that Nasri is very pacey but like Eduardo is very smart and does not spend excess energy when its not required (some call this headless chicken) ..

    In your many revelations you failed to recognize what effect Ramsey playing in the advanced role had on the team against Sunderland.. By playing in the free-er role it effected the team in two folds..

    1: it meant the wide attackers Nasri and Rosicky fell back to support ramsey negating incisive runs into the box

    2: cesc stayed back with song and his dynamic attacking game was severely limited..

    The by product of this was that Eduardo had no support upfront.. As his front men were supporting the inexperienced mid-field fulcrum..

    It would have been un-fair to start Denilson (who had not played since injury) when Ramsey had shown such great international form, but it was very evident yesterday that Cesc is much more dangerous when he has the platform of Song and Denilson to play off ..

    THE MASTER HAS RETURNED

  12. I think Denilson and Song were fantastic. It will be interesting to see how Nasri develops as he can be a great central midfielder in the role that Denilson or Diaby have played in. On the wings, he needs to dribble more as Wenger says and that’s why Domenech is unliekly to take him to WC in that position, more centrally.

    Eduardo should easily adapt to the centre-forward ala RVP; Sunderland were tough opponents in that they defended so deep and compact. Also the personnel at Standard made it easier for Arsenal to play a quicker game.

  13. random person has an opinion

    Did anyone else notice that the long time absentees come back and bang a goal in their first match.

    Rosicky
    Nasri
    Denilson
    Walcott
    Vela
    Eduardo.

    Did i miss anyone else?

  14. I thought Carlos did a pretty good impersonation of RVP at times, dropping back into and beyond the centre circle to pick it up and lay it off. He popped up on both flanks as well as being regularly available in tight spaces in the middle. It’s a really difficult role to play with so many varying runs needing to be made – I thought it was a pretty great effort for his first crack at the whip.

    Just before he miss-hit the shot with his left foot – *that* turn – mwah! Belissimo x

    He also continually has a smile on his face which I love. Did you see him slide into the net trying to convert that Nasri/Cesc cross-shot? He was still smiling when he hit the back of the net…

  15. Funny enough I didn’t think Gallas’ challenge was a penalty, it was right infront of me. Gallas had been caught the wrong side and was harrasing from behind. The striker just stopped and momentum took Gallas into him. Added to the fact that the striker was heading towards the by line probably convinced the referee that the striker was playing for the foul

  16. vivb: Yes, the forward looked to lean into Gallas, realised he was not close enough and their legs buckled. Not a foul but from a different angle and indeed different referee can easily see it being given.

    Eboue also looked for a penalty I must say. Yes, he was in the end clipped, but realised his momentum and touch took him off control of the ball and ensured he was caught. It wasn’t the move greatest of contacts; the speed got him. I wouldn’t have gave it but on another day you can see it being given.

  17. We was a little lucky with the sending off

  18. Nice to hear the perpetuation of every bastard commentator’s favourite new Arsenal cliche – variations along the lines of “Unusual for Cesc Fabregas to misplace a pass like that…”. As used last night when Arshavin sold Cesc short with an underhit pass, “Fabregas was caught napping there, that’s not like him” (no he f*cking wasn’t you cliche ridden clart).

    Or when Cesc tried threading Vela through with an incredibly fine ball between two defenders – “Unusual for Fabregas to get an easy pass like that wrong”. Easy?! I’d like to see you try doing that you ignorant, ignorant f*ck.

    How can men so inept at their own jobs belittle sportsmen so brilliant at theirs? It’s just a nonsense and it does the game no favours at all. I mean, I remember as a kid watching games on tv – you actually place a bit of stock in what they’re saying. They should take some responsibility and get serious about knowing the ins and outs of the game that they’re commenting on, for the good of grass roots football.

  19. LimparAssist

    One which I heard quite alot last season and a few times yesterday on Denilson, when he stealth-fully intercepts passes its always “another misplaced pass from the opposition” they don’t even bother mentioning that he is repeatedly the benefactor of these “way-ward passes”..

    was it Serk who called this commentators slur “the drip feeding” of the masses?

  20. I wonder if Traore will carry his knuckle busters on Sunday?

    Really sad that Mangala 22 was on a mission and Gibbzy bore the brunt of it. His long tterm injury took the shine away for me – it was just thuggery by the Liege defender who should have been hauled down a local police station for assault and not to the dressing room.

  21. K-S – Admittedly it is dangerous to over simplify things. I concur that last Saturday, Ramsey did change our shape playing as the most advanced of the middle three and not being as effective as Cesc is in linking up with the front three. As a result Arsha replaced him in the 62nd minute to give us more thrust up front. But we still looked toothless in the final third with the middle being clogged. No doubt that is why both Vela and Walcott were brought on to add some speed on the wings. Thereafter we got behind them often enough and created some chances. Nothing between Saturday and Tuesday have changed my opinion about the role of a speed in breaking down stubborn defences. In that regard I have my doubts about Eduardo. Time will tell.

  22. what’s with this copyright BS ..i cant watch replays of the goals on youtube.F fifa

  23. I’m glad you’re not beyond reason .. its true not much changed when Ramsey came off but it is also true that at that stage fatigue from the lull had begun to snake its way in.. (in a game where the longer we played the weaker we would become)

  24. You have a fan Shotta.

  25. Did I hear someone say, “THE MASTER HAS RETURNED?”

  26. THE MASTER HAS RETURNED

  27. Denilson was brilliant last night – as was song. I also thought Eboue was very good – whatever anyone says about his diving, he’s a top class right back. Even had a shot on target.

  28. With his left peg no less.

    Where’s Alex’s photo op in the mahogony room? That’s what I want to know.

  29. Talking about speeding up the passing game; did you guys see Barca vs Inter? Pep dropped Messi and Ibra and put on that little speed merchant Pedro together with Henry as part of the front three. Frankly they simply embarassed Inter. 2-0 does not tell the story.

  30. This result did’nt do jack to erase the memory of losing to sunderland. Only a win against the chavs will. and then winning the league and the champions league and maybe the fa cup, then i’ll feel like a winner!

  31. This stinks. Two more injuries is not good. This could be a killer. When will the MRI be taken on Galles ankle? Once the extent of the injury is known then a rehab plan can be made. Still great goals by Nasri and Denilson. I am happy for Denilson. He is a mate from Brasil. Way to go garto. A good win and lets kick Chelsea’s butt. I am a Man U fan but I have a huge warm spot in my heart for the Gunners. I saw the movie Fever Pitch with Colin Firth. I said Arsenal fans are cool. In Brasil we( I am married to a brasilian) have names for fans. I am a Flamengo fan. I am called a flamenguista. What are Gunners fans called?
    http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  32. We love you bobbygee! Your daily updates fill our lives.

    Thank you Bobby G!

  33. Team for Chelsea

    Almunia
    Sagna
    Gallas(hopefully)
    TV
    Traore
    Rosicky
    Song
    El Cesc
    Nasri
    Tsar
    Eddy

    The lack of hieght is a big worry though

  34. @ BobbyGee: I am called an Arsenal-Head. Sometimes people use it offensively but at most it’s friendly.

  35. @ shotta-gunna: Messi and Zlat were carrying knocks so with El Clasico coming up, Guardiola obviously thought this was a more simpler task for his Pep Boys.

    Also when did your Eduardo skepticism arise? After the Sunderland game, after his leg injury, or since we signed him?

  36. Here’s the only link to highlights that I can find.
    http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/sports#watch%3Dv19421875k5AHQ7yf

    You can see that Eboue’s leg clearly gets clipped, which will always knock you over…easy to miss though, and Eboue’s earned himself no favors. You can also see that Gallas does not foul at all. In fact you can argue that he got fouled…the ref had PERFECT position on that one.

    Did I read up there that Eduardo is not *fast* enough? What craziness is this?

  37. Brain – I have been having some doubts about the Crozillian pre-injury and post-injury. I am yet to see the same snap in his legs, the same predator we were used to. I voiced them here and I was shouted down. Last week he had a five-year extension on his contract recently so the football denizens have made me look even more foolish. But I am not convinced he is as pacy as we require.
    PS: Anyways thanks for the update on Messi and Ibra but didn’t Barca look sharpish without them. They were pinging those passes in an Arsenal fashion and pressing Inter like tigers. I loved it.
    Of course they were playing at home – that always helps. But we could learn a lesson or two.

  38. Pacy as the requirement to play as the fulcrum in the front three. I will gladly eat crow on this one.

    (I am sure my bredrin PaulN will be aghast that a Jamaican is committing sacrilege. But this is not the CPSU congress. We can express our doubts.)

  39. Eduardo is pretty fast.

    Vela & Walcott are probably two of the fastest footballers around at the moment.

    Eduardo like Rosicky has been out for over 12 months more or less. I don’t think it’s fair to judge either their fitness or performances’ till towards the end of the season.

    Vela, Walcott and Bendy have all got to contribute this season. Walcott’s played less football then me this season, and Vela not much more, so they’ll need a little time. Loosing Bendy as well as RVP, and now Gibbs/Clichy is very annoying, but after last season, it’s not suprising.

    The assisted assist from TV5 to Nasri was the first of many of that ilk.
    Now imagine that it’s Vela or Walcott on the end of such a pass, up against John Terry.
    Shotta’s basic point is very valid, either Vela or Walcott will add an extra dimension to our play this season, and help against teams like Chelsea, or Sunderland, regardless of whether Dudu, or anyone else, is playing or not.

    Arshavin will be outstanding against the Chavs. It must be very hard to adjust a lifetimes fitness in your late twenties to cope with the rigours of the EPL. Much harder then, say, the jump for Bobby Pires from the French league to a top four club in England’s three games a week triathlon. The performance last season against Liverpool, and the rest three days prior, were not some kind of freakish coincidence.
    The league was the priority then as now, Villa only lost on the Saturday, so AA was rested for that crucial Liverpool game.
    Hopefully, along with Gallas, his headache, & bruising will have eased by Saturday. I always thought Gallas was a loveable lunatic, after watching him play on last night, there’s no doubt! Very worried at one point, until I remembered the physio’s would not have allowed him to play on with a concussion.

  40. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    They also had Iniesta up front at RW, too, Shotta. He’s no faster than Nasri, but both could skin a defender no sweat if need be.

  41. Eduardo is remarkably quick. Go look at that CL qualifying we played against Dinamo Zagreb to see how Kolo struggled to keep pace with him.

    He isn’t a power runner like an Adebayor, nor does he have the acceleration of Theo, but he’s got pace.

  42. Shotta-gunna what I noticed as did Wenger after his injury is that Eduardo still moves in the same way he did pre leg snap.. which is the most crucial thing.. RvP and others have said Eduardo is a genius in and around the box..

    Ridiculous Theo like speed isn’t everything.. Eduardo has the ability to read a defender and wrong foot him leaving him for dead as he’s shown us earlier this season..

    There are three strikers of small stature who have been incredible in the central forward position, in the past decade and Eduardo arches his runs, reads and attacks the goal in a similar way to them.. Raul, Inzagi and Romario.. Eduardo provides a similar deadliness to these in front of goal..

    Excessive running is not required, there is an African proverb that says : The best hunters stay in the same place..

  43. Your right; pace is needed in movement and in combinations which I feel too will be the killer difference attacking wise against Chelski. Wenger’s learned now and hopefully his players that they always need to be dynamic and more urgent in their thinking.

    Denilson is surely to start to help combat Chelsea’s diamond movement and strength although they are missing Lampard (Drogba also, I think). In fact it will be close to the same eleven, Silvestre at LB for height and cautiousness. The only other change I envisage presuming Sagna returns (obviously) then Walcott may start to pin back Cole or Nasri stays and his movement inside will open space on the side for Sagna. It would be better for Eboue to profit from that but lets not skimp on the defensive side first and foremost.

  44. oh fuck. Not that traore is bad but i wouldnt be entirely comfortable at all with silvestre and traore, more the latter, as i think silvestre will cope but it’ll be tough for traore.

  45. 3 months out for gibbs. bloody hell. To be honest, i would rather Sly drop back into the left back spot against

  46. Eboue had some good performances at LB last season.
    Traore deserves a chance, but for this game, Eboue at LB?

  47. when did he play lb last season FP????

  48. Portsmouth away, Zap.

    Can’t remember if he was in from the start, but he did well.

  49. Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes. Bring on them Chavs!

    Oo to be a Gooner

  50. @GOSH video which is adorable: I’m slow. Why did the little boy gasp at Theo when Theo opened his Lion head? At first thought the little boy was surprised to see it was Theo in the Lion costume, but that can’t be since obviously they started the whole journey together as well as being together in the car, he should’ve well known who’s in which costume. And while I’m at it, why the ol’ Armageddon?! (this one’s rhetoric tho)

    redpout

  51. Oh f*ck it.

  52. Eboue left back against Chelsea?? behave. we do want to win this game. i’d be appy well i’d be ok with silvestre.

  53. any which way we are royally f*cked, them chelsea slags.

  54. Good Silvestre will get his chance now that Gibbs got injured.

  55. you clever bastad

  56. I`d move Sagna to left back for Sunday & stick with Eboue at right back. Anelka is likely to play right side for the Chavs.

    With discussion of pace & left back who would win a sprint between Clichy ,Gibbs & Traore ?

  57. You jinxed our Left Backs. Should be banned from making any suggestion for this position 🙂 for the rest of the season. Or at least till Clichy is fit again.

  58. Anelka!!

  59. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Everyone already gave up on Traore?

    Cut the man some slack!

    Jk, G4E.

    (crawls back in cave)

  60. You’re right Nasir…cut the man some slack. He only played one game…maybe he was bad, but the whole team was not up for it anyways.

    When a young player like Traore comes in for a game like this, you expect the more senior and regular players to support him…but there was no support.

    I still think the Chel$ki game may be too early for him and would put too much pressure. I would go with Eboue or Silvestre.

  61. “You’re right Nasir…cut the man some slack”

    That’s not asking you personally to cut him some slack Nasir 🙂 JK….

  62. huge games coming up for traore, chelsea, the citeh game, and liverpool among others. This could be his season to do a Gibbs. I’m highly confident in him,

    COME ON ARSENAL LET’S WIN ON SUNDAY

  63. did you spot some of song’s tricks, incredible, and rosicky passed while looking the other way, sweet… They just had fun out there last night, something needed before a huge game on sunday

  64. Hey Zapordje, yesterday I thought you might be J*mes, sorry for that.

    Songs tricks have always been incredible. He plays with a combination of someone like Moore’s sublime tackling ability & Beckenbauer’s strength & skill when he surges forward. He’s not the D**M that some D**Mers have been baying for, but so much more. I wonder if, over the years, Song must have learnt some of those dribbling skills off Diaby, they’re a little similar.

    With Diaby to rotate with Denilson and Song as he builds himself up to their level (of experience) this season, Arsenal’s midfield is all good.

  65. hey,

    you’re right, our midfield does look quite good, and i think the fact it’s 3 now with our formation, it gives each player a bit more freedom to work their magic. I think Cesc benefits the best, but it allows song to show that he isn’t just capable of being a solid DM or centre half, but can be very exciting when going forward.

  66. yes Finsburyparker I am also of the impression that Song has learned some of Diaby’s wondrous dribbling skills, its not long now till Diaby displays some of Song’s tremendous defensive ability..

    Just watched Denilson’s post interview he’s so love-able, he says he always works on his shooting and Wenger is always telling him to “shoot shoot” and now he is focused and looking forward to helping the team, as he got so excited when he watched them play but he was out injured..

  67. when is diaby coming back?? Oh i just remembered he’s out for 3 weeks. Damn.

    Just to remind everyone if you dont know, the 3rd round draw of the f.a cup is on sun. Northwich Victoria at home, I hope

  68. Denilson’s only played six games this season, and he’s already scored with two long range strikes. Add that to the best ball-winner in the league, and you have THE MASTER.

  69. you know it..

  70. I meant on Sunday it wont actually be on the sun

  71. Just found out I will be missing the match on Sunday bloody Sky and their Super Sundays!!

  72. I feel sick!!

  73. ——————almunia———————————sagna—–gallas—vermaelen–traore———————Song—Fabregas—Denilson—————————Rosicky–Eduardo–Arshavin———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

  74. ——————almunia————————-sagna—–gallas—vermaelen–traore———Song—Fabregas—Denilson—————–Rosicky–Eduardo–Arshavin—————-

  75. I know how you feel maria, I had to miss the fa cup semi last season, because i was on a plane! And the 2-0 vs Citeh, because I was on a plane!

  76. I will be too on my way back to London via Dubai.

  77. Song V Essien only see one winner there.

  78. ha! I was coming from Dubai too

  79. You’re in Dubai now?

  80. No South Africa but will stop over Dubai am traveling with Emirates you see.

  81. aha. By the way, Etihad in Arabic means united, so basically on citeh’s shirts, it says:

    UNITED

    hahahaha
    its true though it means that i speak arabic

  82. it means that, I speak arabic, it doesnt mean i speak arabic. I correct myself too much

  83. lol…..I see…..

  84. Thanks for that tidbit zap – citeh wearing shirts that say utd – you couldn’t make it up!

  85. Sanchez Watt scores!

  86. When? Where?

  87. It’s the reserves against a filthy Aston Villa team.

    It all turned sour after the goal; Merida got clattered for the 50th time, swung an arm and got sent off. Then we conceded two.

    Half-time now. 2-1 Villa.

  88. Interesting game yesterday. I was also watching Vela and his progress as a forward striiker. I was interested in his stance on some occasions with the defender. He was standing side on to the defender. Experimenting, I guess. The side on stance may give him more room and time to attempt a pass or turn. Presenting the entire back to the defender is a stance that has less awareness to attempts at interception by the defender. The side on stance allows Vela to use one arm to hold the fuckers off. He will develop into a first rate striker

  89. WHERE R YOU WATHCING THE GAME?

  90. The reserves?

    It’s on ATVO. Still 2-1, but Arsenal have dominated the second half.

  91. Shame about Merida getting sent off, but he’s going to have to learn that in the PL referees usually allow this over physical approach and tend to deal more harshly with the player who retaliates rather than the original agressor.

  92. I just saw the replay of the incident – the Villa player should also have been sent off as he grabbed Merida around the throat first.

  93. ” I always thought Gallas was a loveable lunatic”

    I love Gallas. He reminds me of a big lovable, unpredictable and, sometimes, angry teddy-bear.

    I’m so glad he’s with us. Hope his form carries on and he gets to retire in an Arsenal shirt. I feel that he doesn’t get enough positive recognition from us sometimes.

  94. Ditto abid….A friend of mine works wiith his son and says his a sweetheart.

  95. KS – “Just watched Denilson’s post interview he’s so love-able”

    They all are. I really like watching Eboue’s interviews. He’s so funny. And then there’s Rosicky and RvP who are both really nice fellows as well. Same goes for Cesc, Nasri, Song, Walcott, Arshavin, Ramsey and the rest. All of them seem genuinly nice and have none of that super-star arrogance. Bendtner’s attitude is loveable as well.
    I blame Arsene for all of this of course.

  96. Good point abid – a lot of people seem to assume he will be off at the end of the season. I’m not so sure. He must be very committed to Arsenal to stay on after the captaincy debacle and despite his poor relationship with Kolo last season. He seems to be very happy on the pitch and always gets a good reception from the crowd at the stadium. I still remember his reaction to scoring the winner against Hull in the FAC last season. He was ecstatic.

  97. Even Mikel is loveable on ATVO.

    And Arshavin is so f—ing funny!!

  98. true Abid..

    Walcott is growing a little beard .. it has been attributed to Beckham ..

  99. Cesc pick up a cheap yellow card yesterday, he didn’t need to retaliate and ignore the sucker another yellow and he could miss a very important game in semis or final if we go all the way. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen.
    Watching the Chelsea game. I was hoping Porto would rough them up a bit but it looks easy for them. Essien is the main man if Song can do a job on him we will beat them handsomely.

  100. Maria, I love watching the player interviews on ATVO. It does give you a bit more insight into their personalities. We have some real characters in the squad and you can just feel the togetherness and respect for each other.

  101. 1 loose cannon. I thought they were going to rest Essien?

  102. i agree, i love those interviews.

    man u 0-1 besiktas!!!!

  103. Passenal-he came on second half and made click and they scored, prior to that nothing was happening.

  104. cmon, i want man u to lose

  105. They have already qualified top of their group, why risk him?

  106. I love it…hahaha…and NO penalty!!

    Not getting the calls at home.

  107. The thing with Chavs is they always seem to play their 1st team, be it a meaningless game, a milk cup or CL.
    What is it with Manure and Extra times they always seem to get 5 or 6 minutes extra.

  108. Leaving work early today…..yaaay

    Happy Thanksgiving to the ones who celebrate.

    G4E

  109. fergie time ..

  110. Great Name XI – minus one

    Hilario

    Christian Fuchs
    Kermit Erasmus
    Logan Pause
    Sven Bender
    Lars Bender (the Bender brothers)
    Eden Hazard
    Herschel Sanchez Watt
    Hulk
    Fred

    I’ve been collecting fun footballer names, and nearly have enough to make a full XI. I only have one defender, which is a problem – and some of the names, especially the Germanic ones, are only fun if you have as bad a sense of humour as me.

    My favourite is South African Kermit Erasmus.

    Anyone know any defenders with good names?

  111. I know it’s kind of meaningless, but it’s good to see man u lose at OT. If it was the PL, those spineless referees would find a way to favour them with a soft pen or enough fergie time to get an equalizer. European refs have no interest in fergie and his reputation.

  112. Well said Passenal. Old red nose jumping up and down with his tired looking gum falling out is always worth watching.

  113. One good thing about man u losing means we still hold the record for CL home games without losing (24).

  114. ummm… we lost against them in semis

  115. Well, yeah…but you wouldn’t want to watch replays, Maria.. or would you ??

    ~ Chamakh….going to hear ALOT of him (yawn) after tonight.

  116. Hell no!! Just tuned in for the final minutes only to find out the traditional 5 mins were handed out at the OT good to see the strength in depth SS always claim United have on full view though…lol

    ~ Chamakh….going to hear ALOT of him (yawn) after tonight.

    Why??

  117. Zap, the record is from previous seasons.

  118. “The thing with Chavs is they always seem to play their 1st team, be it a meaningless game, a milk cup or CL.”

    That is why they have no youngsters coming through into the first team and will always have to buy players. I’m not sure how they will continue to fund it though since they are allegedly meant to be living within their own means now.

  119. The most important good thing about Man U’s loss is that they will have to put out their top squad in December. More wear and tear on their old leagues.

    Over/under on our average age at Olympiakos is 20. Any action?

  120. that would be “old legs”, of course.

  121. Thoughts:

    Keeping Gallas on the field for so long was crazy, he looked like he was going to be sick and clearly had no idea of his bearings.

    Loved Song throughout, and especially his little acrobatics session up off the floor with the ball wedged between his boots.

    Denilson’s goal was brilliant. Blatantly fouled, referee does nothing, so he turns around and smashes it in from distance. Exactly what Arshavin did against Man Utd.

    So annoyed about the Gibbs incident. I had a spooky premonition just before it happened – as we won the corner for no apparent reason I thought “I bet Gibbs is going to go forward and get it passed to him and shoot at goal”. I don’t know why, but that’s what I saw in my head, and then it happened and he got crocked and I found myself cursing myself for having “made” it happen! Weird stuff.

  122. Oneofus – how about this?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danger_Fourpence

    Danger Fourpence. Surely any name can’t be better than this. I wonder what his parents were thinking!

  123. “enough fergie time”

    Love it Passenal, that’s what we should call it from now on.
    ===

    Fergie thought he can play his kids in the CL and win like Wenger does…Sorry Fergie, you’re not Wenger and your kids are no match for ours.
    ===

    Reports suggest that Lamphart’s injury was enough to avoid his National team game but short enough to be available for Arsenal game…What an English hero? And what a tailored injury?

  124. Crafty Bison

    We should played keep ball in our own half instead of going forward. Gibbs’ shot on goal wasn’t necessary and invited the block/tackle that injured him.

  125. G4E its been called “Fergie time” since the end of last season..

  126. G4E

    But Cuntley Cole was fit enough to be on the bench.

  127. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Ciro Immobile is a pretty good name for a forward. I’ve always had a thing for immobile forwards.

  128. Sorry KS, it was the first time I’ve read it 🙂

    I love Nasri…he’s just a great signing.

    After watching the game again, I think Cesc is missing his buddy RVP up front?

  129. GE4

    Arshavin and Fabregas had some problems reading each others passes and movements in the Standard Liege game.

    Eboue was good. Love his dynamism going forward and one-touch passing (occasionally failed to find the target, but to be expected). Song was best.

  130. Exactly right Luke, hopefully they’ll figure it out in training for the weekend.

  131. what the hell is Adebayor doing in the “Spirit of Highbury” photo? Can’t we get a petition together, or do we turn a blind eye because he only became a jerk after we moved?

  132. Unfortunately, as much as we may dislike him now, he is part of Arsenal’s history as much as cashley.

  133. I couldn’t really be bothered to watch the mancs or the chavs last night but i did see the Besiktas goal while channel hopping.

    The commentators were just creaming themselves over the manc youngsters who ‘stand in such a proud tradition’ when this bloke cracked one in from outside the box. I laughed out loud, well, who wouldn’t? They then went into great detail via replays to show that the shot got a deflection so ‘there was no stopping it’.

    I laughed again. Bankrupt morally and intellectually. The media that is. Not the mancs….er, is that right?

  134. “Danger Fourpence” – brilliant!

    How about Nyron Nosworthy?
    Sounds a bit like a Viz character, no?

  135. Cheers Frank;
    Laughed out loud there. Have-a-look Dube !!

  136. nice to hear fat frank has miraculously recovered from his bogus injury and is back in training..

  137. KS,

    All the better. They won’t have any excuse when we beat them.

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