Stone Cold Friday: Unite And Win, Divide And Fail

My name is Bond. Darius Bond…

If I were an analyst working for an industrial espionage outfit commissioned to carry out a destructive interference programme on Arsenal, I’d be looking forward to filing my November report with the dubious committee set up to oversee the capitulation of the club. The committee sits late every Friday night guided by the silhouette of a hangman and his noose perched above their heads.

The executive summary of my report would go something like this:

The past fortnight has been a watershed for our Arsenal destruction programme. Contrary to our initial belief that this team will capitulate by mid February, I am pleased to confirm that we are seeing the signs of their demise much faster than we expected.

Our campaign to spread poison and conspiracy theories about how the team can never hack it and why Arsenal receives an extraordinary proportion of injuries during international breaks is well on target. We have received a boost from two unexpected sources.

Firstly, 11 months ago we recruited a sleeper agent in the suburbs of Belgrade. An unlicensed quack masquerading as a miracle healer of sorts, our handlers ensured she had a dodgy tax record to support plausible deniability.

Our Belgrade asset was called to action a few weeks ago. She did an effective job in providing false hope to their talisman and the entire gooner nation. By the time they realised what the deal was, their chap was pretty much confirmed as out cold for the season, a situation that has clearly unsettled them.

The second and the most important catalyst to the destruction of Arsenal are the forces within. We always felt that the work their manager had done over the years stood on very firm ground. Our media allies and pundits have ensured that our anti-Arsenal message continues unabated. We needed their support to sow the seeds of doubt amongst their weak and fickle glory hunting fans; to convince them that they can never win something unless they buy players with inflated price tags.

In the last 2 or 3 weeks, this group of fair-weather plastic fans has unleashed a venomous tirade as they spit fire and brimstone on the internet and airwaves. The voices of reason of the realistic and level minded supporters will soon be drowned out if we maintain the current pace of interference.

Some of these fickle Arsenal fans don’t even realise what they have. The club is one of the best managed elite clubs in world football who are financially solvent and only have a mortgage for their magnificent stadium as debt owed. They don’t realise they have one of the best managers in the world who has the courage and vision to set a path and a future for the club that will stand them in good stead for decades to come. They don’t realise that they have a great talented squad that just needs a tweak or two to click into place.

Impatient for success, our friends in the media have drummed it into their heads that they are weak and useless, that there is no place for beautiful football in the game as we want it. Former Arsenal players in particular have been doing a brilliant job at confusing and annoying with their public utterances of our messages.

With the events of the last two weeks, particularly their losses to Sunderland and Chelsea, there is a danger that they will regroup and get reinforcements. It is not in our interest if they succeed in this and we must continue to run interference for the rest of the campaign if we are to achieve our goal of keeping them divided and bringing them down at the end of the season.

They have a very intelligent manager and intelligent players who have the desire to be champions. The players know that they aren’t there yet; that they have to iron out a few defensive issues and build up their mental strength and character.

Every competent observer we talk to convinces us that this team will only get better as the season goes on. Luckily they are getting their customary dip in form that every team has at this point. Our fear is that they will peak at just about the right time to grab all the honours and I can’t stress enough why we cannot let this happen.

They have a good number of bloggers who unwittingly do our job for us. You should seriously take the time to read the blogs of such negative anti-Arsenalists who call themselves fans and slate their own team left right and centre. Most fans around the world would trade an arm and a leg for their team to play the Arsenal brand of football, but some of these folks are so spoilt they don’t even realise the joy that their football team brings to true footballing fans around the world.

I’m confident that the media and pundits will continue with our strategic anti-Arsenal diatribe as the season goes on. Our hope is that their fans will follow this nonsense instead of getting right behind their team and becoming the 12th man if you will.

One of our worst nightmares is if the Arsenal crowd ever gets behind the team at their stadium in particular. A strong crowd that gives belief to this team up till the 96th minute of any game, in combination with a team this talented and this motivated will be explosive. You can see why we cannot let that happen.

Luckily for us, strategic interference has convinced the fans who attend match days that it’s not worth staying for the whole match. Their lack of belief in the team will hopefully start trickling down to the team itself and the players will realise that they have fake fans who are only interested when they bang 8 goals in without reply.

In conclusion, I must say that if we continue with our path, we will certainly be on our way to making the Arsenal the most lucrative proposition for an enticing hostile takeover. It is not in our interest to let all the ingredients of success come to fruition at this club despite the fact that success is nigh for them.

Our worst fear is that it’s only a matter of time before the team gets the benefits of constant defensive drilling and discipline, and that the supporters get behind their team and push them over the winning line.

We just have to make sure we divide and rule this club because the only obstacle to our intentions is that the team and the fans unite as one to unleash their magic on us.

One final thing to add on behalf of The Gooner Review:

The Gooner Review is offering LIMITED EDITION Christmas bundles, such as signed Bob Wilson caps, signed Peter Marinello books and ‘The Gooner Review 08-09’ DVDs from only 4.99 (plus p&p).

In conjunction we’re running a Christmas competition to choose the best Christmas Gooner wishes from fans. The best two entries will win The Gooner Review 08-09 and Gooner cap both signed by Bob Wilson.

Click here to find out more about these offers but remember time is tight with Royal Mail deadlines to adhere to ensure packages arrive in time for Santa’s stockings.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 4, 2009, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 333 Comments.

  1. COME ONN!!

  2. Thanks Darius, I feel alot better!!!

  3. Well, it doesn’t do any good when Arshavin goes moaning around in the papers.

    Is Arshavin the new Gallas?

    People will say he’s only calling it as he sees it. To which I say, they way he sees it is a problem.

    I want to know how these comments help the team, and what they help the team to do.

    What’s particularly annoying is that he’s not playing very well or anything.

  4. Great one man, it seems am early on this! Well put, we got to be strong. It is not easy supporting arsenal now but this is when the true fans need to stand and be counted

  5. Dear Sir, I cannot imagine how rose tinted one can be. No offence, but you are tottaly blind to major flaws this club have from the ecxuse for the board to too the ordinary ballers on the inflated wages. Anyway, keep tinting if you fell like it, are very good at it.

  6. Absolutely right – it’s self destruction that is the most potent form. Supporters are great for the team it’s the many that are mere followers who fail to understand what their role could be.

  7. I dont think i’ve ever read a blog that was so sincere and without even a hint of irony.

    Great blog Darius, i think you could be onto somehting…

  8. dont think you quite got it Moscow

  9. Hear hear!

  10. Is it really not easy supporting Arsenal now Emmagunner? One third of the way through the season still competing in the major competitions? The club has existed for 123 years – there have been fewer times in it’s history when it has been as easy to be an Arsenal supporter as it is now. These are the good times.

  11. Great article. Just the perspective needed for those sceptics, the silly supporter.

    We are the Arsenal and we love it!!!!

  12. about bloody time, very well written and at long last someone seems to have got some focus.

    as for Arshavin, i think it’s brilliant having someone in the ranks that’s not always telling us how good everthing is, i think everything he’s said is just about right, sometimes the truth hurts. we do need a big strong center forward, and what happens when TV gets nailed this weekend by Fuller???

    good stuff

  13. Embryo,

    Please explain how his comments help.

    I am curious to see. Thanks in advance.

  14. The media is doing a fantastic stitch job. The Arshavin interviews… Personally, I’m very suspiciousand skeptical. They’re all too stupid, so it seems likely everything he’s said, or at least the translations, have all been taken out of context.

    They’re trying to destablise the team now.

  15. The youth policy is showing it’s age. Time for changes.

  16. The more I think of the Arshavin comment, the more annoyed I get.

    It’s not even true. Arsenal aren’t the smallest team in the Premier League by any measure.

  17. Nice blog, DS.

    One thing about Arsenal fans on the internet.

    If you have a look at newspaper blogs with comments sections that provide a kind of feedback score – such as those found on the Guardian and Times – there has been a big show of solidarity for the club this past week.

    Comments defending Wenger and the team get by far the highest scores. What is so heartening is that these sites are visited by all Arsenal fans, whereas on blogs, AW supporters read ACLF, and deranged, misguided people go to Le Grove, and the bulk of the comments beneath each post reflects this.

    However, international news sites reach a far, far greater audience (well, d’uh!)

    I know that these sites aren’t the best way of gauging how all the fans are feeling, but at the same time, it must be remembered that Arsenal bloggers are, in general, the worst Arsenal fans around.

    And many of the comments you read on Arsenal blogs are by a small group of people.

    In total the population of doomers can’t be more than a couple of hundred worldwide.

    For instance, I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that Howard, Arse21, Peter Storey’s Budgie and the delightful BB account for a big portion of the shitty comments on this blog. It’s just that they change their nicknames every couple of minutes.

    So, I don’t think proper fans should get disheartened by the sh*t that these cretins propagate. Remember that they do use multiple usernames.

    Also, I really do apologise for going a bit over the top the other day about transfer talk. It was beyond unreasonable. CB and SG are the good guys – well, they definitely don’t need me to say that.

  18. Steve’s a zombie.

    The youth policy is working with Clichy, Gbbs, Traore, Fabregas, Denilson, Song, and Nik B.
    It will likely work with a minimum of Vela, Wilshire, Merida, and Ramsey.

    Rather than making vapid and vacous statements, how about trying a logical arguements for your position.

  19. Gadget,

    It’s time for him to stop giving bloody interviews that get taken out of context.

  20. cheers darius, fantastic article! this is becoming the primo arsenal blog imho, the only one that seems to reflect how I (and many others in the silent majority) feel.

  21. Ole,

    I reckon Arshavin was talking about the attack up against Chelsea and not in general. The attacking trio did look a little petite against the chavs, and I certianly felt we missed Diaby, Bendtner and RVP.

    Like I said, context manipulation by the media

  22. I think the interview was given to L’equippe, who interviews Wenger a lot. if I am correct, I definately think this is a british media stitch job

  23. another arsene knows best rubbish article. this club is cheating supporters with sub standard kids and sub standard players while charging the highest prices in world football. none of these players bar gallas has won anything or ever will. how long will supporters put up with this. not long by the amount of tickets available for the stoke match

  24. Gadget,

    You see that you’re trying to interpret what he’s said, giving him the benefit of the doubt? Perhaps underlining how clever his comments weren’t?

    We had 3 players out who are more than a physical match for Chelsea.

    Then he says every single team in the EPL is bigger than we are. Factually incorrect:

    You don’t have to be 6 ft 9 to dribble 2 people and rifle into the top corner of the net. Maybe he should have done that?

  25. Comments like that suggets he’s holding himself above the team.

  26. Tickets are still available for the stoke match? I’ve got some loot, I’m gonna bring my little brother, who’s a proper supporter.

    Cheers for the heads up hh, you zombie

  27. I still want to know, Gadget. Now that he’s told his teammates they’re too small and not good enough….

    Will they now go on and win anything? Now they know because truthful and frank Arshavin told them?

  28. although one of the guys on le grove is a complete arse and his name doesnt end with o i agree with most of the supporters there that wenger needs to go

  29. hh you lying zombie. The game’s sold out.

    And Ole, if your comment is regarding Arshavin, I’d like to read it in full and perhaps untranslated, before I pass judgement on our little wizard

  30. yes arsehole gadget tickets are aplenty. if u were a real supporter u would have known that u brain dead tosser

  31. Yeah let’s moan about Arshavin having an interview, and answering questions honestly. If the players are so weak-minded as to let something like this bother them then well… I’m sorry but that means they really aren’t mentally strong enough to win anything.

    And the fact that he’s playing badly is neither here nor there.

  32. translated into what arsehole gadget. thicko language

  33. What does “hh” stand for?

    You should be careful using a nickname like that on a web forum.

  34. Ole,

    according to Football 365 he said: “We are not good on set pieces, and that is bound up with the fact that we don’t have many tall players”.

    If that is accurate, I would without hesitation take umbrage with Arshavin and point out the obvious: we have scored quite a bit from set pieces – both Gallas and Vermaelen have, and we have quite a few tall players. Unfortunately we have injuries to these players but, they will come back. In any case, being small doesn’t mean you can’t cause havoc with great movement in set pieces.

  35. gadget wat a load of shite u talk. you sure ur little brother isnt bringing u to the match

  36. What did the short Russian say this time? Any excerpts? Links?

  37. Oh the positivity…how do you keep it up given all the recent events around the club? I can’t decide whether to admire you, or to call you crazy.

    I know we have a lot to be thankful for as Arsenal fans, great team, wondeful players and sublime football at times. I’m just beginning to wonder if the club has that winning mentality. We seem too happy to sit back after a defeat and say ‘Yes, but we were the better team…we played the better football etc, etc…’ It means nothing after the final whistle blows.

  38. *sigh* Come now hh, relinquish the shackles of your zombie nature. You can do better if you try just a little bit harder

  39. Firstlady, newsnow has links to several sites putting their own little spin on the interview:

  40. Ole Gunner, the reason i personally like to hear AA comments has more to do with the vast amounts of scripted dross that pours out of the emirates rather than any one individual comment. he’s right we were not as good as Chelsea, he’s right we do need more strength in depth, and actually the issue of height should be address as an issue of power rather than height, Crouch may be signicantly taller than Drogba but i know which one is the harder to play against. we do lack enough power, simple.

  41. In the midst of the doom and gloom of recent times, its indeed encouraging to read this from you Darius.Your piece is like a relentless torrent of cold water to shoot down the tide of negativism looming over Arsenal. Keep it coming, as it may be the only saving grace we fans enjoy.

    Then for Arshavin’s comments.For a powerhouse who was bought to open up defences in the final third, and who has confessed to not playing well so far this season, he knows he is one of those who has let the team down with his depression after the failure of Russia to qualify for the WC.

    Then we wont forget he admitted to not liking training.So his disappointment/depression + dislike for training and a dip in form should concern him more than anything else. Its time for AA to stop talking about siging players and start doing what he’s paid to do. His comments though, are not based on these’hard’ times he had like Cesc, been calling for reinforcements even b4 the season kicked off. Wenger should for once do the unthinkable and splash the cash in January and buy some ‘dirty Harry’ players for Arsenal for once.

    Then for a team seeking to emulate Barcelona’s style of playing, I think our workrate is the real reason we are losing.Earlier in the season, we, after ‘perfecting’ the details of the 4-3-3 during the ore-season, played like a rampaging army of termites, switching positions and tracking back relentlessly to deny the opposition, win possession back and help the defence. All these we did barring perfecting the set piece aspect which remains till date. Now we lose the ball and dont track back as quickly as we should nor do we press the opposition high up the pitch as we earlier did.

    Against Chelsea in the first half, Edu and Arshavin were constantly crowded out because we didnt push up quickly ehough to help them. I think if we had played earlier in the season, we would without thought have beaten Chelsea black and blue, surely. If we want to play like Barca, we had better watch them better and see how they track back in droves to defend and then systematically push up, passing back and forth, seemingly boring at times, switching positions quickly and running into dangerous positions that compromise the opposition’s defences.

    Then in Xavi, Iniesta, Messi and Ibramovic, they have very intelligent players with superb technics and killer passes. Just that when this doenst work, they can defend for 90minutes and keep it very tight at the middle(especially) than even the back. They proved this last season against Chelsea at home and away and even against Man Utd in the CL finals. This is what Arsenal must do as urgently as tomorrow when we meet the physically endowed Stoke.

    I dont want Arsenal to change this style for anything nor think that changing Wenger is the answer.This is the harder way to achieve success(build a philospphy, style and converyor belt with class).It is rare to find a manager who will put his career, reputation and self on the chopping block like this.We lose this and all we get from now are mechants and instant-success driven managers.

    We will, even if it is as a matter of proving a point, beat Stoke tomorrow no matter how roough and physical they get! Let all the throwins come, Stokes, we’ll still give you some spanking and send you back to your gym-like-pitch! Common gunners, lets do this!

  42. @DQSD. I have been called many things in the past and crazy does pop in once in a while.

    I guess the degree of positivity depends on how you see the events over the last two weeks. Many dispirited folks would consider the situation Arsenal is in as that of a ‘half empty glass’ if you will. Others with a more sunny disposition will look at it as a half full glass situation.

    Perhaps what we all need to do is look at it differently and see it as an opportunity to quench our thirst as opposed to debating whether the glass is half full or half empty. It might give us all some perspective.

  43. You have to earn the right to speak out, to demand more from your club, manager, and team-mates.

    Arshavin has been rubbish this season. When RVP went down and we needed our big players to stand up where was he? Crying about Russia. Moaning about tax. Gobbing off like a complete little cunt.

    Your 29. You have had one good season on the big stage, which is generous if beating Rangers counts as the big stage. You have never made it outside of Russia and your prime appears to be passing you by in a flurry of arrogance.

    Shut your mouth, get playing, and do something for this club. It is a club with more class, history, and quality than just you.

    A rich mans Ryan Babel at this stage.

  44. I don’t know why you waste your time jsutifying a positve outlook to these people. They are either naturally cripplingly pessimistic or have an ulterior motive. The first group will never change. The second group have no interest in changing. I now live in a bubble occupied only by real Arsenal supporters, a small bubble. The rest, the outsiders just bounce off.

  45. funny yesterday someone was asked who they would replace wenger with as they wanted him out.

    he replied hiddink or mouriniho – when asked what if they are unsuccessful after 3 yrs or so, the reply get another one.

    Sounds like the spud owners master plan


  46. I’m thinking Alex Song was put in against City purely to get that yellow card and have his ban used up against Stoke tomorrow.

  47. The West Stand at Eastlands was named after Colin Bell. They were going to name the North Stand after him, but then they realised that the stands at end of the ground are referred to as ‘ends’.

  48. I agree with LimparAssist

  49. Arshavin – all 5ft 4 of him saying that we are too small. Hilarious, especially since he is the smallest player.

  50. The honesty defence of Arshavin’s constant moaning doesn’t work.

    I am waiting for someone to explain how his ‘honesty’ helps anything, when it clearly doesn’t and actually hurts in more ways than one.

    He says things you agree with. It doesn’t mean he should be in the newspapers everyday saying thisng like that.

    I don’t recall any single Arsenal player in the last 15 years who’s so constantly in the media about club affairs.

    it is plain wrong.

    To criticise his teammates when he’s not performing at his best is bound to corrupt team spirit.

    I have nothing against honesty. I personally always say what I really think.

    I just don’t think it’s honesty to say all you think. Instead, it’s stupidity.

  51. I’ve never enjoyed watching football so much as in the last 4 years – indeed since I started in 1970/71 season as an Arsenal fan (age 13 when I also started playing). It’s never been ‘easy’ and I am thankful for that. I never say ‘we were the better team’. I only ever say, how does this fit in, do I actually like my team and are we honest to ourselves and our stated objectives? I am never disappointed. It’s not that results don’t matter, they do, it’s that THE big result matters more – the way football is played so it becomes a worthwhile endeavour – this is so much bigger and better and more rewarding than A RESULT – whoopie, we beat ManC in the Carling Cup, now I can feel good about myself for a change!

    The ‘modern Arsenal’ story is so interesting it will inevitably be written about for decades to come. Hacks deal in ‘stories’ for the cannon-fodder (ie mass media readership), most of which they manipulate or even make up, such as the ‘non-handshake’. That’s supposed to be news!

  52. Limpar Assist, did you notice Song started to march off the pitch as he thought he had received a red card? Which would have put a different spin on the speeding up the yellow card thingy.

    Foy was handing them out like candy – and just to Arsenal, though Bellamy got a token yellow for good measure.

  53. What a star you are, ZimPaul

  54. I wouldn’t read anything into what Arshavin says. It’s meaningless anyway you look at it. More non-news. What matters is how well he is playing.

  55. Ole,

    Its true that criticism of teammates is not helpful – especially when you are not playing well but to be fair AA has criticised himself as well. I do like the fact that he speaks his mind and does not use the anodyne football-speak of many.

    I am not 100% sure that he is 100% committed to Arsenal however. Its a just a feeling I have.

  56. I am getting bored with negative blogs. i just love the Arsenal and watching them play football. Our squad is clearly two or three short but until anything can be done about it let’s get behind the tema. thanks for showing a bit of perspective.

  57. Ole, agreed if we all said what we thought the world would be a shit place, but i feel much happier knowing that we accept we have to improve by hearing this, as opposed to hearing the club in general claiming we’re the greatest and blaming evryone else for our downfall. the ref was shit but ask Sir AF what his refs are like. let’s accept we have issues and deal with them.

  58. Ole gunner.

    In most companies I know, Arshavin would already be going through a disciplinary procedure for bringing the company into disrepute for his public utterances.

    He may well have a valid view about things, but there is a place and a process for expressing these and this is in the dressing room and on the training ground.

    I wouldn’t be averse if Arshavin had the riot act read to him – preferably by Ivan Gazidis – so that Wenger can play the good cop and pick up the pieces.

    One of the reasons we have a dip in form is because Arshavin hasn’t played well for a while. I don’t think the issues he is talking about are alien to staff at London Colney. Whatever it is he has to say doesn’t change the fact that his form has been poor and he has been a passenger in the team at the best of times.

  59. Top top post darius.

  60. Anodyne is probably advisable with the number of painful injuries we have in the squad.

  61. I think that young Mr Gazidis has other fish to fry at this moment.

  62. darrius, disagree about AA being a passenger at the Chelsea game, in the second half he was great, showed some real toughness and got a bit nasty, about time too. agree that he needs to pick his game up, but he’s the firat to admit it

  63. dqsd it would be worse if they didnt play better football and they still lost. ATleast this way we get entertained albeit alittle.Everyone here feels disappointed everytime we lose but we have decided to use our energies in a more positive way than calling for Wenger’ or players’ heads.
    At the ned of the day lose or win Arsenal is our club and we will support it through thick and thin.

  64. Well, we still love you Andrei Arshavin!

    Just earn the right to talk first, by having a brilliant season and winning us something…….

  65. It’s all very well being uber positive – but lets face it, the best team that we could put out between now and the end of the season is not good enough to win the EPL. (If I’m wrong then I promise I will crawl back here and eat my virtual hat).

    AW has bred a team of “nice boys”, who look great when things are going well for them, but don’t have the physical or mental strength to cope when things go against them.

    All in my humble opinion of course. I know there are some Nazis on this board who don’t like anyone questioning the party line…..

  66. embryo,

    Eboue, Sagna, Denilson, Song & Rosicky have all been in the media acknowledging their failings, apologising to the fans, and vowing to improve.

    That’s the kind of attitude that wins IMO.

    Not turning your guns at your own.

  67. Ole, can we now turn our attention to the real problem at Emirates, how do we stop the scumbag tourist fans leaving before the final whistle, just turns my stomach watching those tossers sloping out when the boys need support!

  68. Well who are the Nazis, zicoinexile, the positives or the negatives. I guess by definition those with the opposite stance to you.

  69. Speaking of Nazis, Stoke are in town tomorrow, Home of the BNP.

  70. embryo,

    I suggest auctioning off their season tickets…or better still, giving them away.

  71. Hi Frank, what do you think about this …

    “I dont want Arsenal to change this style for anything nor think that changing Wenger is the answer.This is the harder way to achieve success(build a philospphy, style and converyor belt with class).It is rare to find a manager who will put his career, reputation and self on the chopping block like this.We lose this and all we get from now are mechants and instant-success driven managers”.

    Steven talks sense. He is worth listening to. This is what an Arsenal supporter says.

    There are about 50-odd like this on ACLF, regular or occasional posters and many, many more who read the column, and tens of thousands worldwide who think like this. So do many people who just like football, and many others in the sport. Arsenal is so respected and envied.

    In its real and full context Arsenal is in a very strong position, as is Wenger.

    I really like Wilshere after seeing a bit more of him on the weekend. This lad has got something. His encounter with Bellamy spoke volumes.

  72. Excellent, Darius.

    Thing is, you know, Frank is right. You put it in a very eloquent and amusing way as many have before. It makes no difference to those who are just miserable human beings and those who are have their own agendas. See Big Al’s post for some of those culprits.

    What we do need reminding of is that there are those out there with a vested interest in undermining out club. Some doubtless do believe that they are Arsenal fans. Others are just opportunists whose interest in common is knocking the club down to build themselves, or their masters, up. Arsene rot them all.

    By the way, that’s OK Big Al, I remember giving you an undeserved poke in the eye some time ago. What goes around… I was also enlightened by your list of serial posters on here. There were one or two that I hadn’t spotted. Ave.

    And a big thank you to you ZP. Always a pleasure to read your perspective. I really look forward to what history will make of the Wenger era in,say, twenty years time. A bit of perspective to tear away the smoke and noise of the present will see a fascinating story revealed.

    Of course, by then we will be the biggest club in the world and serial winners of whatever is worth winning. We still won’t bother with the Carling Cup though. That will be left for the mancs, scousers and chavs to fight over.

  73. I like it lots, ZimPaul, couldn’t agree more.

  74. great post darius.

    I have to say I noticed Arshavins overwillingness to criticise through the media, there can only be a negative outcome. This is 5 or 6 times now. Still as long as Wenger can keep him in check then it’s no problem.

    Sorry to go over old ground chaps but with the story today of Senderos’s iminent departure, would we not have been better playing him against Man C and Song in the centre where he can does his thang? Hindsight eh (obviosly this is just my opinion), no doubt this is an ongoing thing and Wenger has a better understanding of Seno’s mental and physical state, than I. However I really will miss him as I would have loved him to stick around as a 4th choice defender, the lad deserves more than that and he’s off I guess. Just hope it’s not to another premiership team.

    Role on stoke we WILL crush them, with our frankly greatest team since the Invincibles. Would love Eduardo to score 3 and instantly change Wengers and fans minds about needing that extra goal poacher.

    Come on you Gunners!

  75. You are a wise man, CB

  76. Thats good Zim Paul.

    Let’s not let the miserable detrimental fans get us down.

  77. Ole,
    how about a forum where we can post pictures of them leaving, to name and shame them. if their face appears three times they get their season ticket confiscated and given to someone who would apprectiate it. the Liverpool CCup game was full of kids and people would love a season ticket, people that would actually suppoet their side.

  78. If Stoke is the home of the BNP I hate the bastards. Say no more.

  79. If what arshavin said was accurate, then up to this point he has been as much a part of the problem as anyone else.

    Team for tomorrow:


    Eboue Gallas Vermaalen Traore

    —–Cesc Denilson Nasri

    Rosicky ————- Eduardo


  80. Quick Question what’s the Intelligent fans take on the need for a new Striker.

    Frank, Darius, Zim Paul, Yogi, Consolsbob, LimparAssist i’m talking to you guys. Obviously there are more but forget names right now.

  81. Darius

    I don’t normally comment much on these things, but at last some common sense.
    HH – You don’t have to support Arsenal, no-one makes you so if you don’t like what you see go elsewhere, no-one will stop you.
    Wenger shouldn’t be immune from criticism, but the way I say it is that each year there are three trophies we are interested in, only one club can win those three trophies (although sometimes that can be the same club). We have two main rivals for those three trophies, both of whom are debt-ridden, one to an oligarch who will probably never call in his money, the other to a family that created the debt when they purchased the club. Only one of those clubs is self-financing and all their generated profit goes into interest payments. They have bought success and that’s their prerogative, Arsene has taken us a different way and the last 5 years has slowly but surely created a team in his image playing fantastic football, however due to resources when injuries happen we are hit more than the other two clubs. This time last year Chelsea were 8 points clear of Utd., this year they are 11 points clear of us, who won the league last year? The doom and gloom merchants seem to be very young and have no comprehension of the years prior to George Graham and where we are now compared to where we were. Only 1 club can win each competition, ideally that would be us, but realistically we have less resources than our two rivals and need a bit of luck for things to go our way. If we don’t achieve anything this year I will still support Arsenal, if we don’t win anything for 10 years I will still support Arsenal, it is how my dad brought me up and it is a lifelong commitment. If you want success support this years successful team, but let me remind you that in 1998 we lost to Blackburn 3-1 at Highbury, had lost 4 games already in the league, but ended up winning the double. The only people that hand out prizes in November are journalists looking for good copy, I would sugges that some of the more rabid of you wait until May.
    As Columbo would say ‘and just one more thing…’ all you people saying get rid of Wenger, who would you replace him with and how would you fund his budget? If the budget has to come from a rich businessman with deep pockets how long does the budget last? If no success is gained this year how long does the manager last? Is it really a clever idea to break a self-financing model (which will be seen in years to come as the ideal business model for running a football club) for short-term success which is ephemeral anyway?

  82. I love the BNP! They want to give me money just to go back home… all the way to Camberwell! I only work in Maida Vale, so that’s a profit of £1,995 every day! Can’t argue with a policy like that

  83. Els, there is no need to panic about strikers and buying. RvP is a big loss, but the compensation is not necessarily buying ‘another RvP’. As if that existed. Eduardo is obviously a good striker, and Vela is developing quickly. It will not be long before the conveyor belt of goals kicks in again. this is temporary blip.

  84. Long time reader first time writer!! great read as always…Lets hope we can smash up pulises mob 2mrw with watever and whoever we can many more injuries can we possibly get phucking joke!!

  85. Edwardo will come good but if Wnger decided to sign anyone else it wouldnt go amiss with me.

  86. Anyone know how extensive Walcott’s injury is?

  87. Good afternoon folks.

    Nice post Darius.

    What is the criteria for a player being “injury prone”?

    Are some players inherently injury prone or is it the case that players recovering from major injury is likely to suffer niggles for some time after?

    Is getting you injured as a result of bad/heavy tackles make a player “injury prone”?

  88. els,

    Not saying I’m intelligent, but I don’t think we need to buy a new striker. We have people coming back from injuries, Eduardo’s only had two games to adapt to this new role. There’s no real need to buy.

    A loan might be an option, but I imagine it’s more difficult to secure a loan for a player in his prime. Van Nistleroy might be an option, but it seems to me he wants to go Liverpool.

    We could always go for Babel though. He might not do much for us this season, but I’m sure under Arsene, he could flourish

  89. @Firstlady, Theo hopes to be fit for Olympiacos.

  90. Els

    I wouldn’t say I’m intelligent but I do think there is a more pressing case for a backup centre-half and defensive midfielder. With Song away, Diaby (imho) not quite good enough, and Denilson better alongside Cesc than behind him then we need someone as a DM. Centre-half is self-explanatory, Senderos is obviously off, Djourou is out, we only need injuries as we had last year in March and we are stuffed.
    I think Eduardo needs match-fitness and a run of games, same really with Vela. We do need another striker to replace the one we lost in the summer (forget his name at the moment), but as I said I think other positions are really more pressing.

  91. ELS.

    My sense is that Arsenal has already identified a player to sign – if it came to a situation where we will have to buy a relief striker. I highly suspect that the scouting network has always got a shopping list.

    I think though, that Arsenal will use the time between now and mid January to let Eduardo, Vela, Bendy and perhaps Walcott settle down. It’s totally unrealistic for anybody to expect either Dudu, Vela or Bendy to hit the ground running in a role that it took RVP time to grow in. Bendy for example, has already shown time and time that he is as good a playmaker as he is at using his strenth, power and height. It’s a shame that he will only be back in training next week – but I would personally prefer that Bendy Eduardo and Vela get a handful of games to settle down – their quality is not in doubt, but I think sometimes they apply too much pressure on themselves rather than playing with a smile and enjoying the game.

    Buying a ready made off the shelfer may not be the outright answer for the simple reason that it’s extremely difficult and risky to buy someone who will drop into the Wengerball style of play immediately he jumps out of the wrapper. And it’s totally unreasonable to alter the entire game plan to suit a new relief striker.

    I think its sensible to take the approach of playing it as it goes and making a decision later in January, there’s no reason to jump the gun now.

    But I’m sure if we have to buy, then Wenger will buy – and it’ll probably be someone we are least expecting.

  92. Is getting you injury as a result of bad/heavy tackles make a player “injury prone”?

    I wouldnt blame them for this. And the niggles are obviously expected esp after a long injury.

    Anyone has more theories(other than Gooner from nigeria’s) on why we get more injured than other players in the PL?

  93. Wenger is very much a victim of his own success at the moment and the huge amounts of money that have been pumped into clubs like Chelsea.
    It’s amazing that we are still up there competing when you look at the amount of money we have spent compared to other clubs.
    These heavy defeats to 4 opposition are persistent and frustrating though and Wenger’s response to some of these defeats certainly does not help matters.

  94. Not sure what that HH fool is on about – the game is sold out tomorrow.

    Losing to Man City may not of been a total disaster – it may give them the confidence to take some points off the Chavs tomorrow…

  95. Firstlady,

    I suspect it’s a combination of;

    Getting kicked often because we set out to play.

    Having players who’re more prone than say Frank Lampard who never seems out for more than 2 weeks.

    We play with such speed and skill, and with players being so fit, these injuries tend to happen.

    The RVP injury was freakish wasn’t it? The impact on his foot itself was minimal. That it takes him out for 5 months is sheer bad luck.

  96. With the departure of Senderos, does anyone think Wenger is going to bring a centre back in?

  97. Thanks reply-ees, intelligently formed answers which suggest you are obviously of the higher intellect ;).

    Personally I always air on the side of sticking with what we have however, If Arsene is expressing a little concern then I could be worried also. This coupled with the new formation (I know this will be controversial) I now think we may have a space in the squad for player solely focused on being fed and putting the ball in the back of the net. RvP was doing his usual fine work. My other candidates would be obviously Eddy and Vela. The former should be given time but is this something we have and the later is ‘Work in progress’ but obviously a beacon in our already luminescent youthful squad.

    I would possibly welcome a signing that is for a short period i.e. loan or an older player to come in and helpout but only as second string to eddy. Perhaps beautiful Thierry should take stock and bring his wounded reputation back to where he belongs and is loved the most.

  98. I’d normally love to have Titti Henry back. But I’m afraid we’ll get even mor hounded by media and get fewer refereeing decisions going our way.

  99. Darius you make great points, the formation should not be changed to suit a new player. What we have is awesome, we just need to see those guys doing what we know they can infront of goal.

    Was it not 2 or 3 weeks ago when wenger was saying how the goals where flying in… but this can all change with 1 instance. His knowledge is incredible. RvP went kaput and we are not quite ticking now. Que the doomers! Give the guys time to get used to the new roles as you say.

    The only thing that concerned me was Wengers concern on the situation.

  100. I think Big Al’s given some brilliant insults in the last few days, though a couple of his victims probably deserved mercy. If my weapon is the rapier, and Frank’s the cudgel, Big Al’s must surely be the poison arrow.

  101. Ole I’m sure the positives would outweigh the negatives if this was to happen.

  102. The Citizens versus The Senior Citizens.

  103. I think that Eboue and Song summed it up in the pre-Stoke comments. Losing your best player, a player as influential as RVP is earth-shattering, both in terms of the gap on the pitch and the influence he has over the team in terms of motivation, confidence etc. I suspect his attitude and voice in the dressing room is a major loss too.

    The team need to regroup and hopefully players who can play in the front three in a 4-3-3 will step up and/or adapt. The problem was that this all happened in International week and our first game back was up in Sunderland. That loss compounded our problems and although we stepped up against Liege the fog had still not cleared by last weekend, hence the Chelski result.

    I think that this week is really important because AW will have had plenty of time with the squad. I don’t think that AW knows yet whether he needs a new striker or not. Obviously it depends upon performances by AA, Theo, Eduardo, Vela and Nic when he returns. However he has already given notice that he will buy if he has to….btw that was before he had news of the outcome of RvPs surgery. This is important becuase there are two key pieces of information from that operation. The first is how well the op went…it seems to have gone very well. The second is how bad was the injury in the first place…the op will give a lot more information. It would seemd that this is good too so any lingering doubts about permanent debilitation have now reduced.

    So, in summary, I think that AW is less inclined to buy a striker now than he was a week ago before he had the news from Holland. However he will be watching closely the performance of several players before making his final decision. In the mean time I am sure that he has his people out there preparing the ground. I think one of those people he is relying upon is a very important character indeed if we need the ‘big buy’, and I have already mentioned who it is. But we will see…..doesn’t stop us having some fun though….

    David Villa

  104. Cudgel? Cudgel? Who are you calling a cudgel?Call me that again and I will punch your fucking lights out.

  105. Btw David Villa is not the important person…well he probably is…but not the one I meant. David Villa is just my guess at who might come if AW actually really did go out and buy a striker. But you have to bear in my mind that I don’t do this sort of thing often…speculate about player to buy I mean. So I would not pay any attention whatsoever to my view on this…

  106. I rate all of our remaining three strikers very highly. The thing is, AW has always kept four top class strikers in his squad at any time.

    For the rest of this season we are going to be missing a vital component.

    Eduardo, Vela and Bendtner have a total of 21 career PL goals between them. If we don’t enter the transfer market then we need them all to make a massive step up, but is it fair to expect them to fulfil their potential in the space of six months?

    Maybe it is, but at the same time, an extra player with experience would restore the pre-RvP injury hierarchy, and nobody’s path would be blocked and no young player will be exposed to the kind of treatment Arsenal fans dish out to those who fall short.

    Two things worth noting from AW’s interview yesterday:

    The first is that the formation will not change, despite the 2 defeats. This means no 4-4-2, a formation which some feel would better suit Eduardo’s style. He is a great player, but is he capable of playing as lone striker over the course of a full season?

    The other is that he said there is currently a “hole” in the squad. Since only one automatic first-team starter is going to be missing for the rest of the season, perhaps it’s safe to assume where this hole can be found.

    What if one or more of our remaining three strikers gets injured? It’s not beyond the realms of possibility. Eduardo, Vela and Bendtner have all had spells on the sidelines this season.

  107. You can see why AW was concerned from tha article above.I posted another link which for some reason is in moderation. The probability is that the op has demonstrated that the injury was not too serious. With a bit of luck they did not need to repair the ligament damage with the surgery but just had a good look round. Here’s hoping.

  108. “Maybe it is, but at the same time, an extra player with experience would restore the pre-RvP injury hierarchy, and nobody’s path would be blocked, WHILE no young player will be exposed to the kind of treatment Arsenal fans dish out to those who fall short.”

    Have to add that, whatever happens, I’ll still be backing AW come February.

    This is the last time I’ll say what I think about this situation as well.

  109. I agree with Big Al. There may also be a ‘hole’ at the back if Phil Senderos leaves.

  110. els,

    I think you ‘misunderestimate’ how much of a tide we’re swimming against.

    Do you think the current media ‘firestorms’ about Arsene’s comments on Drogba & Kakutagate (twisted completely to make him look stupid and bitter) has nothing to do with Henry’s handball? Gallas was booed at Sunderland. Ex-referee Jeff Winter on his website had a headline “cheating in player’s Arsenal” in which he was talking about Henry. What do you think current referees will do or/and think?

    Do you think having 9 clear penalties not given for us this season has nothing to do with Eduardo gate? Are those 9 penalties not worth 3-6 points?

    Do you realise that this chorus of “Arsenal are too short, and don’t have physicality” just allows referees to allow brutal tackles against us?

    Have you forgotten how things work in English football?

  111. I can’t stand this! A couple of days ago people were going berserk with the excitement of buying a new striker, now apparently, we don’t need one!

    No. seriously, I think we probably do. I thought so last summer. While happy to see whatsisname leave, he did bring us something different, which is wht Arsene was interested in Chamakh.

    That something different is not available in the current squad, even if Bendy was fit, so….

    Having said that, I would love David Vela!

    Is that better, Big Al?

  112. To play Stoke…

    – – – – – – – – Almunia – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Eboue – Gallas – Vermaelen – Traore
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – Denilson – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – -Rosicky – – – Fabregas – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Nasri – – – – – – – – – – – – – -Arshavin
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – Eduardo – – – – – – – – – –

  113. I hadn’t thought of that, Frank. Wasn’t Senderos just injured on Wednesday? I know he hasn’t played much, but he seemed very much part of the unit during the Spurs game.

    PZ, come on! One was at a doomer, the other was wrong and I took it back straight away.

    Oh, maybe you’re being sarcastic…that would be a first!

  114. David Dein speaks again:

    That’s a few appearances on the BBC this week. Each one more prominent then the last. Now the ‘former Arsenal vice-chairman’ is fronting for the England WC bid.

    Great news about RVP’s op.

    The way I see the hierarchy between Bendy, Walcott & Vela is simply one of age and experience.
    Bendy came into the 1st XI a season before Walcott, who came into the team a season before Vela (not including his loan to Osasuna).
    And barring injury’s these factors at this embryonic stage of their careers seems to have determined how much playing time is scheduled for each of them.
    So with Walcott still suffering from Stuart Pearce’s Butlin workout and Alex McLeish’s lovebite, & Bendy probably, physically just recovering from crash induced bruising & shock and subsequent strains, the next few weeks could be very exciting for Vela.

  115. “Tomorrow, by coincidence, I am managing my 500th game at Arsenal and I believe I have shaken hands 497 times. I believe that it is a ceremonial courtesy. But the most important is not the ceremonial but the courtesy of behaviour.

    “I don’t deny I am a bad loser but on this occasion I would have done exactly the same if we had won the game or lost the game.

    “I am in accordance with the principles I think are important on the football pitch and I maintain exactly what I said and did.

    “I am used to treating this kind of thing with the needed distance. I do not want to make a fuss. There are incidents on the touchline but you never heard me ever say anything about another manager after the game, in a press conference or after during the week.

    “I maintain exactly the way I behave and do not regret one second of what I did. If the world has no bigger problems than this then it is not so bad.”

    The mercurial Arsene Wenger.

  116. andy carroll for a cheap one with potential…. and hes english

    this is open to criticism of course…

  117. God Bless You Arsene.

  118. consols,

    My favourite part is; “If the world has no bigger problems than this then it is not so bad.”


  119. David Dein speaks again:

    That’s a few appearances on the BBC this week. Each one more prominent then the last. Now the ‘former Arsenal vice-chairman’ is fronting for the England WC bid.

  120. I Love it. This is great. Circle the wagons and have a heart to heart talk with the players and then come out and kick some butt.
    It is the players that have to do it. It is called a win at all cost attitude. This seems to be lacking this year and last.
    Championship teams have this. Arsenal had it when they had their great season in 2004-05.
    Arsenal can win the title. The EPL champ will have between four and six loses. Maybe even seven.
    Chelsea has chinks in their armor.
    All is not lost until the fat lady sings. She is not even in the parking lot yet.

  121. After last year the boss pointed out that the number of goals we concede separated us from Man U. We are even worse this year. The last 9 EPL, CL and FA cup games against MU, LP, Chelsea, and City we have conceded 23 goals. (0 – 7 – 2). To continue to blame bad luck and referees is not realistic. The game against Chelsea highlighted the problem. They packed their defense, because they knew they could score without opening the field. Even with RVP we could not have beaten Chelsea when they can stay deep and still score 3 goals. Even the best attack can usually be stopped with good defense.
    We need to invest in a difference making CB, GK, and possibly a DM. Our RCB and GK are not going to improve at this point. Good defense is less about talent and more about effort, concentration and pride. Most importantly, the organization needs to develop the commitment needed to keep clean sheets. Barcelona conceded only 1 goal in 3 games vs Chelsea and MU last year. Our CL finals team played superb defense. Trophies can not be won without great defense. Mr. Wenger has built our identity as an intricate attacking unit, but I suspect defense has not been his priority. I hope I am wrong, but I doubt we will ever consistently compete for trophies without better defense. We are very close to being a great team, let’s not waste this chance. Your thoughts?

  122. Who the shit is big al?

    Frank you talk serious amounts of sense.
    While I have practically infinite backing and confidence in any decision Wenger makes, just the crazy fleeting mention of Villa makes my loins a twitter. I try not to be caught up in this type of speculation but I too have thought of that name. We know that despite Wenger of late not being anything other than cautious in the market when he see’s the need for a certain player, money or status is no hinderance to him, historically speaking.

    I could see a use in a poacher, but that would be a change in ‘wengerball’ however, with the three forwards in use the wider of the three are the feeders.

    Ole Gunner I havn’t forgotten the way the league works I just am perhaps are slightly less paranoid than you. I don’t deny the fact that there is a little shit storm brewing, but times a healer and i’m sure that Gazidis can turn public favour, times a healer.

  123. Bill,

    I think we’d have beaten Chelsea 3 weeks ago. Timing matter a lot in football.

    I think we could have been a lot more incisive than we were.

    Even with their packed house, Eduardo was put through on goal thrice in that game.

    In games like those, Arsenal had to score first and make their dominance count.

    Believe it or not, Gallas, Sagna & vermaelen won’t usually make mistakes like those.

    I don’t even want to excuse the result. I do think that game was one in which the only thing that mattered was the result, and we should have scrapped a lot more.

    And scrapping has nothing to do with size. It has to do with heart.

    I think the problem this team has is simple….it’s just elusive. There was that stat that said we conceded 8 shots on target, and 5 of those were goals. We concede fewer chances that all teams except Chelsea. That means our defence is not that bad.

    The problem could be no more than mental or even completely incidental.

    As far as I am concerned the worry is for the next 3 games, being able to get Eduardo up to speed, and the team playing with him.

    Arsenal will get tighter in defence, the key is to maintain the incision in attack.

  124. Thank you Mr. Wenger for making me smile this afternoon. What a response about the furore on a non-handshake.

  125. I didn’t write anything on the City match but forgetting that they were better than Arsenal on the night, individuals etc. surely, those youngsters found themselves stuck in the transition of the senior side?

    Let me explain; the 4-3-3 was introduced to give the side more directness plus compensate for their lack of tactical awareness, hence defending from the front mostly rather than around them.

    The young boys have been for the most part been eduacted the old Arsenal way- pass and move. That was in the 4-4-2 last year which could easily transform into some sort of diamond in attack and spanked Wigan 3-0.

    They didn’t need the switch as much as the senior side did.

  126. els,

    It’s not paranoia. It’s things that are predictable, because we’ve seen it again and again.

    It’s human nature. It’s human psychology. It’s not a conspiracy.

    For example, if someone said tomorrow that Arsenal are vulnerable to crosses beind Sagna. If it resonates with people, and they think it makes sense. It does not have to be true. Teams will start crossing behind Sagna, and statistically it will become true that most Arsenal goals come from that tactic, because many people do it.

    I saw when the idea of “Arsenal don’t like it up them started”. People say we used to have giants in the invincibles side, but they conveniently forget that the idea of us being a soft touch started when we had those giants.

    Teams then resorted to overphysical tactics, and it stuck, so much so that any bad result will be based on that fact, which will make it happen more.

    Referees will see a rough tackle and will unconsciously or consciously conclude it wasn’t thet tackler being rough, it was the player being weak.

    It’s no conspiracy. It’s mass psychology.

  127. One of Us is Big Al

  128. It’s a great post also, Mr. Bond. I don’t try to give much attention to the doom-mongers unless I hear them directly to me.

    I emulated one recently, for a joke. People believed it and a small ounce of my integrity went down the drain.
    I can’t believe, people are able to question Wenger without knowing the full details of the club and worse, the press reproduce it to the mass seemingly convincing others of the truth.

  129. Class, AW, sheer class.

  130. @ole Nail, Head, Hit.

    Chelsea, 5 shots, 3 goals.
    Sunderland, 1 shot, 1 goal
    Wolves 1 shot 1 goal,
    West ham 3 shots 2 goals,
    Birmingham 2 shots 1 goal
    Blackburn 5 shots 2 goals

  131. Bill my thoughts are that we are comparetively scoring way more than last season at this point.

    Stats say that Almunia concedes more goals per shot than any other in the top half of the table (I think?) So that suggests we could improve here. The problem is that investments wouldn’t make a difference, we have fantastic defensive players. Gallas, Vermaelen, Song, Denilson as a backbone would walk into ANY premiership team I don’t care what anybody says about them. It’s just that our mentality is to entertain through attack, therefore you are going against the very nature of the club.

    You could play any defender you like and he would fare no better than gallas or vermaelen.

    Perhaps your supporting the wrong team if you would like an onis on defence?

  132. The problem is Almunia

    Vito 19 saves in 5 appearances.
    Almunia 15 in 8, what does that tell you?

  133. wengerball,

    It’s a bit surreal.

  134. It’s too simplistic to say our defence is not good enough and this mass psychology thing just exagerrates everything.

    Anyway, I have finallly concluded my analysis for the reasons for the goal leakage (nearly half of the total shots on target have been goals and let’s also consider the team has let in the third least amount from open play in the Prem) and will report them soon. Maybe on the 15th.

  135. wengerball,

    That Vito faced more shots on target when he played than Almunia.

  136. Ole great response to bill by the way.

    I agreed to the small shit storm, but I will still have to disagree that if we signed Henry it would make things worse at the emirates.

    Frank who is it, who, who. Oh my god it’s you, it’s all of us. There watching aren’t they? ? ??

  137. els,

    Did the Eduardo incident make things worse? If it did (9 penalties denied), then expect more of that if Henry comes to Arsenal.

    I predicted what will happen with Eduardo the day the incident occurred. I predicted instantly on Twitter the Henry incident will be blamed on Arsenal (even though he’s a Barca player) and within minutes I was reading pundits blame Arsenal. Read articles on Arsenal in the Guardian or Times today to see the extent people link Henry’s handball with “cheating Arsenal”. Completely irrational but that’s how humans behave.

    I am predicting we will have some rough games coming from the likes of Stoke, Bolton etc. In those games there will be outrageous tackles on our players that won’t be punished.

    I also predict that if Henry comes, someone will find a way to make us pay for it.

  138. Ole

    Well all I can say is that I hope your wrong. The eduardo point is a fact, however having not seen the fact that we got the blame for Henry’s indiscretion I can’t comment.

  139. percentage of shots saved.

    Friedel 80.82
    Sorensen 80.60
    Mannone 78.26
    Hart 78.13
    Cudicini 76.60
    Cech 75.00
    Gomes 75.00
    Fulop 71.43
    Foster 69.23
    Jaaskelainen 68.24
    Myhill 68.12
    Given 67.92
    Gordon 67.44
    Schwarzer 67.39
    Green 67.09
    Hennessey 65.79
    Reina 64.29
    Jensen 63.29
    Howard 63.24
    Robinson 63.16
    James 63.04
    Duke 60.87
    Kirkland 58.57
    Almunia 56.67

  140. Big Al is a legend.

  141. Who is he, i’m sure he’s chuck norris’s uber brother the way people are talking of him, but I don’t recall a Big Al???

  142. The game in hand has been announced, the magical game which will turn around our season with 3 excellent points at home to bolton, we do seem destined to lose

  143. He has posted on here today.

  144. what what whaaaat? I’m looking now.

  145. els,

    Here is Jeff Winter (former ref) talking about why Wenger is his villain of the week:

    Recently the French nation have been shamed with their cheating.

    Arsene Wenger does nothing to enhance his country’s reputation by being a bad loser and also showing a lack of courtesy to his opponents and belying the supposed intelligence that people claim he has.

    That’s your link right there.

    Here’s John Cross of mirror on twitter that night:

    @arseblog Are u serious?! If nothing to do with Arsenal why did I get so many texts? He’s an Arse ledge partly for his sportsmanship. Poor

    He also said

    Next time Arsenal are cheated, no one can complain. This was a big game.

    There is a link in the minds of many people. If you’d listened to the Spud git on Talkshite, he blamed the entire episode on Arsene Wenger!

  146. I cant wait for the Champions League draw

  147. Zap Its the World Cup draw you donut

  148. David Dein speaks again.

    Tried posting a link earlier, he’s back on the BBC again, this time as a front for the England 2018 bid.

    The ‘former Arsenal vice-chairman’ as the BBC like to call him seems to have Malcolm Tucker on his PR team. Which could be helpful. I wouldn’t mind setting a tame Malcolm Tucker loose upon twitchy Redknapps & hack dwarves.

  149. 2003/04-Winning it, Bridge’s goal in the C/L
    2004/05-F.A Cup, unbeaten run ended
    2005/06-Real Madrid 0-1 Arsenal, C.l Final
    2006/07-Arsenal 1-1 Villa, Carling cup loss
    2007/08-AC Milan 0-2 Arsenal, March 2008.
    2008/2009-Roma penalties, Arsenal 1-3 Man U
    2009/2010-so far, Fabregas vs Spurs, 0-3 against chelsea

  150. No one on this blog is English, if you were you’d know that shaking hands is part of our culture.

    Hughes is a wanker though, but not shaking his hand is like Wenger admitting he got to him

  151. those are my highs and lows of the past few seasons

  152. William.

    Fuck off u donut, I know it’s the world cup. It’s globally ascertained hughes spent a large amount of time scratching his genitals.

  153. Will’s a dickhead all he does is moan and call me a donut

  154. Ole and others thanks for your response:

    I love Arsenal and will always support them, and I do not want to see us win every game 1 – 0. I want us to continue to play good attacking football, but we need balance.

    The statistics I mentioned in my post indicate that we clearly need to stop conceding goals. Projected over the entire season this year we will concede 53 goals in league games. We have conceded an average of 2.6 goals per game in the last 9 vs. the other top teams. No team can win with that goals/game ratio. Barcelona who many consider the best attacking team in the world can keep a clean sheet when they need too. Last years CL and the recent game vs Real Madrid are examples. Recent history shows that we concede way to many goals in the big games. The sample size is large enough at this point to indicate this trend is real and not just bad luck. Somehow we need to improve our defense if we want to win the trophies we all covet. Bill

  155. Ole:

    You were right on about Eduardo. And I think your right about Henry too. Note also that Wenger commented about AA comments been taken somewhat out of context.

    I still disagree about the “steel” though. You said that we had three players missing that would have matched Chelsea physically? Bendtner is not as remotely powerful as Ade, Drogba or even Anelka and is not a match for Terry. That’s not to take anything from Nik – he’s still very young and highly talented. Neither would Diaby have been a match for either Essien or Mikel. As technically talented as he is, he is by no means as aggressive as Vieira was. Do you think it was coincidence that Ballack & Deco were on the bench? Its not about height – its about physical power and aggression. Something Chelsea have in spades. Roy Keane/Essien/Mascherano are not tall players in stature – but they’re far more aggressive and have that little bit of bite that I think were missing.

    Whatever side of the physical fence you fall on – it still doesn’t answer the defensive problems either – because even when those players were on the field – we still managed to shoot ourselves in the foot.! And why are we not closing down players from the front as intensively as we did at the start of the season?

    Frank: I agree with your thoughts on Dein.

  156. Oh shut up William. What a stupid comment.

  157. Maybe we should buy a defender who can defend? Maybe that would work?

  158. will, I’m Moroccan. I’m not complaining Wenger didn’t kiss Hughes on both cheeks

  159. OK ole you win. It’s a sad state of affairs and a part of me has just died, It’s thiery for god’s sakes hes a legend.

  160. William mate, please have some optomism. Why do you come on here? To say we need a defender? For others to tell you to f*ck off? To call me a donut.

  161. Bill,

    That’s why I think we will tighten up. It’s very improbable we will concede 53 goals this season. That’s exactly why perspective is needed.


    In terms of strength, Diaby is as strong as anyone Chelsea has except Drogba. Did you see Rooney bounce off him at Old Trafford.

    The fact still remains, that we had so many crosses Chelsea dealt with easily. With RVP, Bendtner & Diaby playing we’d have been much more dangerous aerially, and it would have forced Chelsea to open up.

    But let’s not misdiagnose the problem. As tight as Chelsea were at the back, Eduardo was put through thrice. Our problem was very much also a lack of incision (apart from the Sagna, TV & WG goal gifts). That has nothing to do with height. It’s form, it’s belief.

  162. I agree with Ole G @3:56pm.

  163. Diaby is stronger than drogba

  164. Don’t misunderstand me, Big Al. There’s nothing wrong with a poison arrow. It’s a very effective weapon. The problem is, you can never take them back. Sure, you can pull the arrow out; but the poison remains to finish its lethal work.

  165. Hi Poliziano, I totaly DO know who big al is, but erm would still like you to tell.

  166. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Long Live Arsene Wenger. The man is an absolute legend.

  167. nice to read boo boo saying sorry for a forgetable week. i think normal service will be resumed on sat. unfortunatly unlike other teams we always have to play at the highest level to keep the hacks happy, that includes sky sports. At the end of the season we get to see who has the last say, and between then and now, well thats what its all about init

  168. I think Gordon(sell all our gold reserves for peanuts) Brown could learn a thing or two from Wenger about shaking hands. Old Brown will shake the hand of the dev….no wait…

  169. Who is Jeff Winter?

  170. I have told you already who Big Al is.

  171. init boomer blud

  172. Whoever he is, it sounds like he would benefit from one of Big Al’s poison arrows. If Big Al takes him down, would you have time to cudgel him before the poison kills him?

  173. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Big Al is One Of Us.


  175. I personally dont give a monkeys what anyone says about Arsenal. im like i am with my family, defend till the end even when we lose, its not that im particulally sporting but to smile at these idiots and keep the faith pisses them off. Drogba never looks strong to me, more like he hit by a bullet the way he goes down, now that might be modern football, i dont know. most players these days never go in with all they got

  176. Yes but which one of us? Hmmmmm is it Maria is he big al? Haha

  177. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Oh, and another brilliant piece from Darius. I love Fridays.

  178. Big Al??? WTF?

  179. I think it’s my attempt at humour but i’m finding it tedious so f*** knows what you lot think.

  180. Perhaps our ridiculous shots/goals conceded ratio could be due to making basic errors that provide clear goalscoring opportunities. We do not let teams have many shot against us yet we concede too many goals. Either the chances that we allow teams to create against us are so clear-cut the opposition cannot miss or the keeper could be better.

  181. We love you Arsenal……….can’t wait for tomorow

  182. Good point AIC.

    The goals aren’t that clear cut. Many of them are flukes. Maybe 6 of them are keeper errors.

    Could we actually be paying the price of bedding into a new system?

  183. Alex Ice Cream, that’s very true

  184. I would prefer the opportunity to cudgel the fucker before you stick him or Big Al… know…blows him.

  185. …before Big Al buries the pointed end of his shaft into him.

  186. Ole Wenger did warn that the change in system would create a slow start. That was the reason why Clichy and Sagna had below best starts to the season, and I think could very well be the reason behind keeping organisational errors.

  187. I have heard that the price of bedding is disgraceful these days. We sleep in our clothes most of the time…just can’t afford sheets and blankets stuff.

  188. On that count, you’re not burning calories in bed. You and the missus can’t be soiling those sheets much… Or maybe you go to bed with rubber sheets on.

  189. Is Frank old enough to have started soiling his sheets?

  190. Thanks again for the excellent post Darius.

    If it weren’t for the regulars on here…well, best not to speculate.

    CB and Zim thanks for saying what true fans SHOULD be thinking. Frank, Limpar and the rest of the usual suspects…cheers. Arsenal!!

  191. I haven’t got any sheets as I said…..and as far as the other stuff is concerned sheets are never involved…one has to be more imaginative and shall we say creative as one gets older.

  192. Frank doesn’t keep clean sheets I suspect. But his lack of clean sheets is probably more as a result of his vitality than about a lack of control.

  193. els, I take it your American?

  194. We all getting excited by the draw?? c’mon England, i want us to get some big nations, might as well have some good games before we go out.

  195. Duke why???

  196. Great post DS! most Arsenal “supporters” just dont get it.

    Arshavin needs to focus on playing football, well. why is it that no one is else is constantly quoted about whats Arsenal needs? not even Cesc.

    We may need a better GK but what I would love to see is more aggresssion on the defensive side. Get any part of your body in the way! We play beautiful football and maybe we want to play with that same finesse on the defensive side also?

    Eduardo will start to fire, great player! This team will still win the PL!!!

  197. DukeGoonem,

    I did a mock draw with my random number generator, and I got England, Cameroon, USA & France.

  198. England, New Zealand, Algeria, Serbia for me boys.

  199. els, just taking a guess coz of your use of the word totaly.

  200. No i’m english matey I didn’t realise i’d used it, hopefully it was tongue in cheek cos that would like totally piss me off, if i’d like you know used that.

  201. els, thats a bloody boring group though dont you think.

  202. very, could build up to Serbia, they are a pretty tough lot, but still trounce all 3 then get a bit of momentum and probably go on to win the whole thing totally. 🙂

    You don’t actually like England do you. Thought I was the only one on here.

  203. ok els, sorry i thought you was a yank.

  204. Gosh darn thats a tootin thing of yall to think.
    I just straight plum aint no yankie.

  205. Ole,

    I don’t think it is because of the new system as we have often conceded goals from relatively few shots or from the opposition’s first shot on goal in the past.

    Maybe the new system has exacerbated the problem, I don’t know, but I don’t think it is the cause.

  206. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    And if he was a yank, what would happen?

  207. Love John Motson’s voice. So much better than the f*cking over excited high pitched ones these days. He really made the occasion seem important didnt he?

  208. Don’t give a shit about England or the world cup.

  209. May I suggest the aquisition of a player who has the tricks of a Greek God. He need not shake hands nor even respect his opponents! This talented player can originate from any continent and speak any language. We only wish that he scores goals with reckless abandon. Will Monsieur kindly pull this unknown phenom out of the hat at his convenience.

  210. David Villa

  211. I can honestly say that I happen to love England. Although I am not an Englander, I enjoy and respect most things about English culture. Ahem, even their ladies.

  212. England, U.S.A, Algeria, Slovenia

  213. Excellent post as usual Darius.

    Arsenehollis@ 12.40 pm could not agree more

    OleGunner – what you are saying about mass psychology is true but I think it’s over the heads of most people. If something is repeated often enough people start to believe it whether it’s true or not. We need to win by ourselves because when games are tight we will not be given the benefit of any doubt.

    Fantastic riposte by Arsene but the thickos will not get it anyway. If you want respect you have to give it.

  214. David Villa, but at what cost? It is a pleasant thought to think that we could purchase a player of Villa’s ability.

  215. England got such a lucky draw..nice. Only problem is a potential clash v Germany or Serbia in the 2nd round

  216. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What a draw for Italy and England. Also, being a Yank, I can’t help but be excited about our chances.

  217. Good draw, didnt want the U.S.of A though, they are a good team now, Algeria beat Egypt who aint no mugs but at least we didnt get no negative europeans. still should qualify. Poliziano you should be appy, Italy have an easy group.

  218. C’mon NJN, you yanks always do well now at wc’s, wont be long till you get to a final.

  219. Come on Algeria

  220. Zap, You a Jock???

  221. I’m Algerian/Moroccan

  222. Not really such a good group for me. We have more heart and we’ll have the best supporters though, so we’ll see.

  223. True, Duke, but I’m not optimistic about Italy’s chances of winning.

    I’m glad to see Portugal are in a tough group.

  224. Zap, i Didn’t see the Algeria vs Egypt game but Egypt are a good side who play great Arsenal like football, So if Algeria beat Egypt then they must be good. Should we be worried?

  225. Duke.

    meh, not sure. Anything can happen, and we’re a good team who dont exactly play Arsenal-like football unfortunately, but we move the ball around quickly and well.

    So no, not really.

  226. Gunner From Nigeria

    We are beating Argentina. More of hope than reality.
    Thanks Darius for the reasoned and seasoned article.
    Tommorrow we awake from our sleep.
    5-0 to the Arsenal.

  227. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I wouldn’t say we always do well, but we are improving and we have shown some fight in the past. Our best shot was 2002 when we got robbed by a Frings handball that would have equalized the match. But I like our chances. I like our squad and think we match up with England well. It will be interesting to see what part the German/American Jermaine Jones is going to play for the US come June.

  228. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    The USA beat Egypt in the Confederations Cup, but there was word going around that the Egypt team stayed out all night the night before befriending hookers.

  229. Hey GFN

    i think you can beat them, especially with maradona as manager. WHo else is in your group?

  230. Think Algeria will beat the USA

  231. That’s very charitable on the part of the Egyptian players, but I can’t see why making new friends should affect the performance.

  232. Come On Arsenal

  233. _________________almunia____________________sagna______gallas____vermaelen__traore_________rosicky____Fabregas____denilson_________nasri_______eduardo____arshavin_______

  234. ————-almunia——

  235. Zap Dont be a donut all your life

  236. Hey william

  237. come on algeria,beat slovenia and draw against england beat the yanks and we are through to the second stage,the spirit of 1982 is back.allez les verts et blancs.come on arsenal.

  238. What’s up Will?

  239. Senderos in the middle anyone?

  240. Hey, are you Algerian?

  241. Alots up Zap, our defeners are a god damn joke

  242. im zap,im from constantine,i live in milton keynes


    the best support in the world will beat england, slap the yanks and brush aside slovakia.

    That, or we lose every game

  244. Nemesis, are you mad?
    Senderos is the only way to make this situation worse

  245. Chamakh.

    Fuck off

  246. hey, will why don’t you step into the defense yourself eh, you donut

  247. are you sick or what?

  248. Algeria will be spanked

  249. no I’m not thanks for asking.

    ALgeria will be spanked.

    Fuck off u donut

  250. Arsenal Head-To-Heads in World Cup Group Stage

    *Likely Contending Players

    Group A:

    France (Gallas, Sagna, Diaby, Nasri) vs Mexico (Vela)

    Group B: None

    Group C: None

    Group D: None

    Group E:

    Holland (Van Persie) vs Denmark (Bendtner)
    Cameroon (Song) vs Holland (Van Persie)
    Denmark (Bendtner) vs Cameroon (Song)

    Group F: None

    Group G: Brazil (Denilson) vs Ivory Coast (Eboue)

    Group H: Spain (Cesc) vs Switzerland (Djourou, Senderos)

    Sadly missing-Arshavin, Rosicky, Vermaelen, Eduardo

    Very mild internal competition compared with Kaka and Ronaldo, or Drogba and Carvalho in Group G….

  251. Forgot-scratch Denilson most likely..

  252. sorry i was supposed to put ”algeria will be spanked” because that’s what you said u donut

  253. Algeria will slap everyone.

    It is very annoying we won’t see Arshavin at the world cup

  254. algeria could be spanked william,for us going to south africa was a massive achievement,our main aim is to play good foorball and represent well the coutry,our players nearly died in cairo,they will be fired up believe me.

  255. Zap you make no sense, your like a talking donut.

    lagooner, thanks, that was stat-tastic

  256. Algeria will do great. Don’t worry. That match was great, 1-0 at home, it was a brilliant night, because that match was more than a game. Inshaaalah we’ll go as far as possible

  257. Will, How old are you??

  258. dont give me the answer in donut years

  259. What about Carlton Cole in january??

  260. Zap- I wanted Algeria to go through they were badly treated by the Egyptians. They were hit with bricks. What I liked is they didn’t moan just got on with it and got the result. If David Beckham get hit with a brick on his head England will bring Tony Blair back and declare war on Egypt for terrorism act. Joking aside I think an African country will do really well this year.

  261. thanks 1 loose cannon,

    let’s hope so

  262. Hey William;

    I mean, how bad can he be agaisnt stoke? Could he do worse than song? I know he is slow but he is very strong and tall, His defensive awareness is definitely good and the lad needs playing time; plus he can be very useful in set pieces.

    The man is not that bad, is he? i remember him putting the Milan attackers in their place last year at SanSiro

  263. William has buggered off mate

  264. Carlton Cole is injured till the end of Jan, anyway he is shite. Lets get old Van nistlehorse, tjhat would ruffle some fukin feathers, but he will get goals so f*ck it.

  265. I dont care we aint getting him.

  266. PZ,

    I don’t like the sound of that poison dart stuff, but I’m sure my poison is no more potent than a stinging nettle’s.

    Anyway, lethal or not, I’ll be saving insults for the deserving from now on.

    Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Traore
    Eboue – Cesc – Denilson
    Nasri – Eduardo – Arshavin

    Too much speed and skill for Stoke, and no D&Gers around these parts come tomorrow evening. I can’t wait.

  267. Who’s playing in the early kickoff??

  268. It’s a mouth-watering encounter between Portsmouth and Burnley.

  269. Sorry, that was me. Stupid wordpress username.

  270. It’s destined to be 4-4

  271. i’ll probs watch it anyway, wish I was going tomorrow. If you are please make some noise, the atmosphere really is shit sometimes

  272. I just finished watching the Denilson spotlight interview on ATVO – it’s well worth viewing if you have the chance. What a fantastic young man he is.

  273. i saw it.

    i agree

  274. im between you and le grove…arsene is abit of a twat lately..3 years

  275. does B stand for Bastard?

  276. “I am here because it’s my dream.”

    “And to play for Arsenal is amazing.”

  277. is that denilson?

  278. Yep who else?

    What a player and young man.

  279. he has a huge future with us. He’s vital for Wenger’s plan

  280. Brings a smile to your face don’t it?

  281. I’ll be so happy with any win tomorrow. Oh crap today it’s half past 1….Let’s hope we kill them off early, the last thing we want is a fight.

  282. obviously not a physical one, you know what I mean.

  283. Indeed, Wenger is perplexed that his failure to observe the ‘ceremonial’ duties of a manager are seen as a bigger crime than insulting your opposite number during a game.

    “I think sometimes in England that you feel that the ceremonial is more important than the real thing,” said Wenger.

    “For example in this case, I am the only one who is questioned. I am here for 13 years, nobody wonders why did I react like that and [I am criticised],just because I did not respect the ceremonial.

    “That means you can say what you want, insult everybody, but if at the end of the game you do what is [demanded] you are perfect.

    “That is sometimes the case in England and I feel the ceremonial is important but it’s not the most important. The most important is how you behave.

    “I will [shake a manager’s hand] when people behave properly,” added Wenger. “But I am not a slave of the ceremonial. I have my freedom and like you, I have my views.”

    ………….What an intelligent guy…………..

  284. loooooooool

    I would love a 5-0 half-time score.

  285. We are so blessed to have Arsene.

    Just imagine we were stuck with that nasty incoherent cahv Hughes.


  286. Good man, there is no law in fifa stating you have to shake the opposition manager’s hand.

    Then again, there isn’t a law stating you can’t scratch your genitals whilst calling the oppostion manager a w*nker


    Please let’s talk about it.

  288. Mark Hughes!!??

  289. i thought so.

    really looking forward to this. I’ll probs watch it on the trusworthy internet

  290. Yes and his nasty ass genitals.

  291. Can’t wait!!!!!!!!

    We seem to be making a habit of losing back to back. Let’s hope we can put togather an similair response to our last two defeats.

  292. damn that sounded weird

  293. i wouldnt comment on anyone’s genitals

  294. “Then again, there isn’t a law stating you can’t scratch your genitals whilst calling the oppostion manager a w*nker”

  295. that’s what sounded weird. The computer got the comments in the wrong order

  296. yeah all right maria


  298. ……………..ArsenAL…………………..

  299. can’t wait for the champions league draw

  300. The world cup draw was a bummer……… So hope that goes better…………….

  301. Algeria have quite a tough group, I hope we can go as far as possible

  302. All the African nations are in tough groups.

    England, Italy and Spain have the easiest groups.

  303. You’re South African right? if so I think you have a good group

  304. I think getting there was a great achievement for us, let’s see what we do….

  305. Click on my name a very good link….

  306. Beating Egypt was a wonderful achievement have to admit I was cheering Algeria on.

  307. random aswell, a bit maybe um but maybe

  308. The majority of sudanese people were also supporting Algeria from what I could see.

  309. Oh dear…….that was just wack……….

  310. Ya the Sudanese were cheering us on aswell.

  311. yo boom dat spit just joking

  312. bedtime i think.

  313. A bit annoyed with Arshavin too. He should be leading the way not complaining. Of course, if he’s been misquoted, then all the above is retracted.

    The problem right now is that with Bendtner and Diaby out, opponents can concentrate on preventing Gallas and Vermaelen. When you have Bendtner and Diaby running at full speed towards a cross, it takes attention from Vermaelen, Gallas (and even Sagna and Song) and allows them more chances.

    I still think we’ll thump Stoke…

  314. I will start by saying that we were Fucking shit againts mancity.And i think its about time for wenger to get the fuck out of the club.And I have been reading AiC comments and I Totally Agree with him.

  315. gooner2,

    F*ck off. Even AiC(sic) would keep Wenger.

    Deluded Dave are you a secret Gooner as you post a lot on here.

  316. Eduardo and Vela need to deliver.They know Wenger will be buying a striker so they have 4 weeks to fight for their places.

    Please play AA23 in his natural position.The guy is wasted stuck out on the wing.

    Give Ab Fab a start as well

  317. People in glass houses be warned….! World cup draw comes up cue hysteria. Now England are going to win the world cup!!!!The team haven’t even landed in Cape Town and the injury list hasn’t even been confirmed and the journos and pundits are at it again. Sounds very familiar.

    Darius Stone Your wisdom is appreciated by the many and wasted on the few. Keep it up mate. Form is temporary and class is permanent and all that. Counter Agents are infiltrating the doomer factions at Troll Central as we speak. The wheels will come off the Chelsea wagon soon enough. Another 4 – 0 against stoke today Please.

  1. Pingback: STONE COLD ARSENAL » Blog Archive » The World Cup Circus in Cape Town

%d bloggers like this: