Stoke Preview: A Chance To Resume Normal Service

Stoke City’s visit this afternoon has been relegated to a sideshow in the media circus surrounding Arsene’s failure to shake the hands of Manchester City manager, Mark Hughes, following the Carling Cup exit in midweek. The column inches devoted to this episode are almost as pathetic as demanding the manager’s head. Not quite. Everyone it seems has an opinion, forgetting that this part of the annual media targetting of Wenger, fights that occur once a season and have done for pretty much the entire span of the Frenchman’s reign.

Pullis and Megson were two who condemned Wenger yet all the incident proved was the lie that forms a central plank of English football; what happens on the pitch is instantly forgotten. It isn’t otherwise retribution would not be taken in later matches for incidents that happened years ago. One man who stood up for Wenger was Roy Keane, half-praising Arsene for not being a hypocrite. When you have the Irishman as a character witness, you know that your defence is in trouble.

And yet, not one journalist has stood there and thought that Wenger had planned this, despite his admission of that yesterday. Not one of the media witch-hunters has looked and noticed that this week’s coverage has been focussed on the manager, consigning the criticism following the Chelsea defeat to the chip wrapping, enabling Wenger to assess any damage and rectify failings ahead of the next match.

Which is today. Stoke were criticised after last season’s fixture at the Britannia yet should not have been. Their resources are more limited in technical ability than Arsenal’s so they play to their different strengths. It is not hard to plan for what you will face since they make no secret of their style. It is not a manner of playing that you or I want to see at Arsenal on a regular basis but it was effective, their continued Premier League status evidence of that.

By comparison to the last campaign, Stoke are having a good season thus far. Whether it lasts is their equivalent to our quest for the title, a quest that has not been derailed yet, merely skidding on some autumnal leaves. Too many are planning Chelsea’s coronation, forgetting that obituaries were written, welcome messages for Guus Hiddink as another Stamford Bridge managerial reign came to a crashing halt. All this was six weeks ago following their defeats at Wigan and Villa Park. A season is a short time in football.

Wenger has hinted that he will be active in the January transfer window but not necessarily buying. Window shopping can be enjoyable but not when you are in the wrong precinct. Dzeko is too expensive, similarly Balotelli whilst Chamakh is staying at Bordeaux apparently. Any one of the three could arrive, the chances of that roughly the same as those of them not being signed. Wenger is not going to show his hand but gave the media enough clues as to what he is looking for: a world-class striker who is not cup-tied for the Champions League. Darren Bent it is then.

Options for this afternoon are reduced from last weekend, Theo Walcott succumbing to a minor hamstring injury, Alex Song suspended. The bright spot is Bacary Sagna recovered from his ankle-knack. With Rosicky having been involved in midweek, I doubt that he will start, a place on the bench most likely, similarly Eboue and Vela. Traore will be the exception in Kieran Gibbs continued absence.

The line-up will be along the lines of:

Almunia; Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Traore; Ramsey, Denilson, Fabregas; Arshavin, Eduardo, Nasri

A win is essential, to keep track of the teams around us, capitalise in the unlikely event of any slips and as much to stop the talk of crisis. Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 5, 2009, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 624 Comments.

  1. Time for a bit of passion from Arshavin…….5-0 with a hat trick

  2. can’t wait for this.

    Come On!!!!

  3. Darren bent is anything but world class.

  4. Okay, enough about winning the race! We need to win today. Only goes to show how bad things seem that we can even imagine loosing to Stoke at home. We do need a striker in January. If we can get a good one on the cheap well and good. But I’d suggest we also recall Jay Simpson from his loan spell. Some of the misses Eduardo and Vela have made would have been buried by Simpson. I also think it’s time to play Walcott upfront. Some say he’s not ready. I believe he can learn on the job. Owen was scoring when he was two years younger.

  5. You’re right mate, but would simpson’s positioning initially be as good as vela’s or eduardo’s? Maybe with some experience.
    we neeeed a win today

  6. Vela is 3 years away from maybe being good enough to lead the line, What was the point throwing him on at Chelsea, he went on with a white towel.

    Anyway anyone seen Wengers plot??

  7. that was a joke by the way.

  8. It`s open season on Arsene right now as the press have tired of Rafa for the time being.

    They just love a `crisis` & may as well sit in Stoke shirts in the press box today.

    Yogi`s picked the team I think will start

    Any win will do

  9. Hoping for a win today (of course), as well as a clean sheet and two goals for Eduardo.

  10. i want DD to return to help Wenger

  11. Eddie needs a lift

  12. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Eboue start and Fabianski in goal.

  13. Frank Bough is a Stoke City supporter

  14. eddie will be lifted when he gets a goal..he was afox in the box..we used him on the left and he lost his he has to regain his composure

  15. c’mon Arsenal

  16. Yep i’d like to see Eboue in the team, At least he likes a scrap.

  17. I agree with Paulie the media smoke screen should not affect our performance. Fans are too easily blinded by media spin and unneccessarily harsh on the team. People seem to forget that once that very great team ‘The Invincibles’ lost their 50th game to United they never really recovered, the wheels came of our title challenge and we didnt make so much as a blot on the Champions League landscape. And that team had TH14, DB10, RP7,PV4, Gilberto, Ashley Cole, Ljunberg, Seamen, Toure, Lauren, Keown etc. So when we spout unfair comparisons against the Class of 2009/10 its purely a mental thing and nothing to do with a chasm in class between ourselves and the rest of the chasing pack. We are a better team in so many more ways.

  18. Another interesting fact from Frank.

  19. Where did Eds lose his bearings??

  20. Same place as you lost your marbles, Duke.

  21. Off to the match in a couple of hours and I can’t wait.

    Come on Arsenal!

  22. Tony Pulis is a proponent of ‘binary football’, I presume this is a derogatory term. He is a Welshman and a friend of Mark Hughes. In terms of his remarks about AW over the last few days, he is probably a bigot…definitely a prick…but probably a bigot. Hopefully we are going to see the electric shock hand shake device in operation today. Pulis has no hair so we will have to make do with the rictus grin. Worth staying to the end of the game to see for that 70% of Arsenal ‘supporters’ not interested in the game.

  23. must all be in the same place as Wengers plot then.

  24. Those in the Americas – doesn’t seem the match is live on FSC, Setanta or ESPN. Correct?

  25. ESPN hardly ever does the 3.00 games

  26. I’m gonna watch it on the internet

  27. Very good, Duke.

  28. The Duke hasn’t lost his marbles, has he?

    Oh well, he never used them anyway.

  29. It`s vital the fans get behind the team today. An early goal would be nice (just to shut the `not scored in first 15 mins this season` brigade up) but if it doesn`t come they have to stay with the team. Even more so if we go behind.

    Pulis probably still can`t believe he`s made the Prem after years shaking hands in the lower leagues. Maybe he could trim some strands off Gerry Francis` mullet & stick it under his baseball cap for effect. Classy blokes

  30. i agree, we need an early goal. As usual at home, we’ll penetrate from the off. Come ON!!!!

  31. I just read the comments on “Le Grove” and they are shockingly negative! i havent read such negative garbage in a long while. I do prefer the comments above, they seem level headed, mature and worthwhile. Well done, we need more of this kind of attitude to spread amongst other fans.
    Re Hughes, he breached his technical area, and then shouted obscenities towards wenger. Shake his hand? I would kick his ass!
    Look at how much money he has spent at man city. What has he achieved? sod all. Man city are still a mid table team after spending tens of millions.

    If the owners had any sense, they would sack him and get a proper manager.

    Keep the faith, Arsenal will get back on track. There are so many injuries at the moment, i feel really sorry for AW. There are always 5 or so first team players injured at any given point.
    The team needs time to adapt without RVP and Bendtner. The 4:3:3 formation isnt working in the final third as the lone striker has to be exceptionally good, and in great form.
    Both of ours are still getting used to things after being injured. They will hopefully start firing soon. In the meantime, any bad result is costing us big time. There is huge media uproar, some sections of the supporters are going on the rampage, as if it is the end of the world.
    Pls keep positive, and support the team, they need the fans on their side, now more than ever.

  32. in the u.s. game is on fsc at 10 am est…

  33. We will win.Probably very easily.But what will it prove?We can beat the shit teams yet as soon as we face the big teams we lose.The Chelsea defeat should make Wenger realise rhe team needs strengthening from keeper to centre forwa

    2-0 win


  35. Dave fuck off

  36. Oh the joy that the seond half of the season is going to bring. The sheer joy. Watch the mighty fall. The utter misery they are facing…and they don’t even know it.


  37. Chamakh is unavailable. Dzeko is too expensive, and the same is presumably true of Villa. I say again: Prinz Poldi. He even looks like Robin. As one of the worlds top strikers at international level (strike rate 0.54), he can’t be planning to stay at Koln for long, especially as his return there has been so unsuccessful.

  38. We’ll see poliziano.

    I have a feeling it’s going to be a shock signing…

  39. Or maybe no signing at all… we’ll see.

  40. Usually when I see a Le Grove headline I want to tell them to f*ck off but I don’t want to count as a hit on their website. Does anyone have a separate email address for Le Grove so that I can simply tell them, daily, to f*ck off without them earning from my visit to their website.

  41. Has anyone been on the Emirates tour? I’m thinking of going on one, is it worthwile?

  42. I’m not sure Podolski can lead the line. Didn’t he have attitude problems at Bayern?

    His scoring record for Germany is phenomenal. His record at Bayern, and at Koln since he returned there is not so impressive.

  43. we need more height on the pitch…we need to buy 4 or 5 physical guys to help when the going gets tough..

  44. Wenger now seems less certain that he will buy in January.

    Podolski’s scoring record at Bayern Munich (about 1 in 5) was not great, but I think he was often played on the wing.

  45. Portsmouth vs Burnley, today’s glamour tie

  46. You are a fucking twat. Fuck off

  47. We have height Ritesh, they just happen to be injured at the same time.

  48. Zap, will you please ignore him. By engaging with him at all, you are just encouraging him to keep coming back. Trolls are only interested in attention and by feeding them you are playing into their hands.

  49. I’m sorry but all this hype, about how easy this group is, wait until u.S.A beat them and we beat them, they’ll beat slovakia but Algeria and U.S.A Will go through

  50. Do you think it makes a difference mate. He aint going anywhere because he’s an arsenal fan, just taking his frustration out on here.

  51. Zap, what are you blabbering on about.

    And dave is obviously suffering from a split personality disorder, so what is it today dave, a spud, a chav or a manc?

  52. yeah, all the tall lads injured plus dudu out of form


  53. You’re free to do as you please Zap, but I’ve seen the Dave type before, so it’s up to you if you want to keep engaging him in a pointless dialogue. You obviously have the time to waste. I’m off to the game shortly. Catch you guys later.

  54. i do actually pas, come on the Arsenal!!

  55. hi, i would like to put my 2 cents worth. I think with 2 or 3 English players for a tough spine. We will also be on the refs good books cos we are seen to support local talent. Thereby the ref would go easy on us and gives us penalties. A question to the forum ” Is there any corruption among refs?( do they fix matches for money and women or do they just fix matches cos we dont have english talent)

  56. Great writing as usual, thanks mister man.

    Andy P, Le Grove is for children & idiots. They made the mistake of thinking THEY own the club and they have a huge anti-Wenger agenda that they cannot back down from and is deeply boring.

    My advice is to leave them to themselves so they can practice their onanism in peace.

  57. agree the crowd would be behind the team

    see how they r when TW gets the ball

  58. It looks like match fixing by the refs. Refs dont earn much so global betting syndicates could get hold of them to fix matches. Say for example jeff winter or graham poll (former refs). Would they take 100k quid to fix a match? Add to that a girl thrown in after the match. I think they’d take it. Especially winter. He looks a thug.

  59. naah… we just get a spine of english players..get the CEO to talk more than Wenger and the refs and media would oblige.

    no need to sacrifice that poor girl 😉

  60. Exactly ritesh. Thats what i mean. Sign 2 or 3 englishmen just as a form of affirmative action plan to please the majority. AW dont have to play them all the time. Just to please the ref, media and fans. They will stay until the final whistle to clap the english players.

  61. I dont trust premier league refs. They look like they’re on the take. Look at all the dubious decisions all thru the league matches. They should be investigated. I mean, if someone offered mr wiley 100k and a 18yr old russion girl to fix a match, would he take the offer?

  62. For everyone’s info, betting around the world for 1 match can run to bilions of usd. That includes illegal syndicates. With that kind of money at stake surely someone will fix a match.

  63. I just hope we’ve done some defensive training this week

  64. william u donut
    of course they have

  65. i think match fixing is real and it wont go away. Ignoring it will make it worse. Maybe players are too well off to be swayed by syndicates, but refs? Surely you guys have noticed strange calls by refs have risen at an alarming rate these past 2,3 years.

  66. Zap, we need a new defensive coach in january and two new defenders. That should be priority number 1

  67. Eduardo is out – injured in training yesterday apparently.

  68. I’ve got 1 eye on the ref for our match today.

  69. Weve got Vela anyway, he’s better then Eduardo now, Eduardo is not the same player unfortunately. Vela deserves his chance

  70. Especially english ones william.

  71. William you are a dickhead. Give Eddie a chance.

  72. Is affirmative action the way forward? AW should sign roy carroll, upson, bent. Use only for nothern teams or non technical teams. English quota i call it

  73. Zap, instead of abusing me all the time, why not answer the question properly and stop being such 24 carrott donut

  74. Shebby, any defenders who can actually defend would be good, dont matter where there from

  75. will my friend

    have faith in the team

  76. Zap, I’d have faith if we could defend. Whats the point of saying ‘have faith in the team’ on a discussion blog? Aren’t we supposed to have a discussion? Donut

  77. William you fucking prick.

    If you support Arsenal, defend the team, why don’t you go and tell Wenger you want to step into the defense yourself you twat


  78. Zap you sound like a crazy person. I believe we need two new defenders to strengthen our mentally fragile defence, why are you getting so upset about that? I know you are a massive donut but do you ever watch the games?


    Normal service please! Come on you GUNNERS!

  80. Fuck off mate. Why do you call me a donut 24/7

    I watch every single match, and I haven’t missed a match for as long as I can remember, with the exception of being on a plane in last season’s semis.

    You are a fucking baby, sort yourself out before you can call yourself an Arsenal fan

  81. William. Arsene clearly doesn’t share your faith in Vela :

    Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Traore, Eboue, Fabregas, Denilson, Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin. Subs: Fabianski, Senderos, Vela, Ramsey, Silvestre, Wilshere, Merida.


    sagna gallas vermaelen traore
    rosicky fabregas denilson
    eboue nasri arshavin

  83. damn matty!!!!

  84. Interesting, no Eduardo….

  85. So no recognised striker. Vela can’t get a start despite being only striker fit.

    No start for Ramsey despite Diaby / Song out.

    Almunia retains his place.

    Senderos back in the squad.

    I’m surprised at the first 3, happy about the last one.

  86. Is Eduardo injured?


  87. Matty
    you’re surprised abt Ramsey not starting?

    I’m happy Manu is playing…

    P’mouth 2-0 Burnley in the glamour tie

  88. I’m surprised you see Portsmouth-Burnley as a glamour tie. I’ve never thought of them as particularly great clubs.

  89. Interesting that Vela doesn’t start. If we assume that eddy is injured then a signing in January looks more likely.

  90. Does anyone know the bench???

  91. Thats a weird fucking team. This is either sink or swim for Arsene, but usually in these situations he pulls it out of the bag. I really thought Vela would get a chance, he’s got the talent. Also Wiltsire has been the best player on the pitch almost everytime he’s played, maybe he’ll get a cameo. Should defo be interesting

  92. who the f*ck we got upfront????? this is dire.

  93. We’ve got Arshavin, Rosicky and Nasri, surely the worst attack to participate in the history of football

  94. I was being sarcastic if you didn’t realise

    That’s a world class attack

  95. Vela doesn’t start coz he isnt ready/good enough to yet.

  96. Duke, thats bullshit, hows he supposed to improve? This is a perfect chance, stoke at home? All this making me think wengers going to buy big in January

  97. whats the chances of us scoring a header today. fukin slim. i’d take a 1-0 win by an own goal.

  98. A R S E N A L

  99. i am happy Eboue-boue is in the team

    Watch Arshavin today… I expect a big big match from him if hes in the middle.

  100. Good and technical. I’d much prefered eboue in the mid instead of the front 3.

  101. Here’s hoping that the ref for our match did not take any bribes b4 the game to fix our match.

  102. This could be interesting. The onus is up to Eboue and Rosicky to get behind Arshavin and I think Cesc and Nasri will play higher making it more a 4-1-2-3-0. It’s going to be up to the movement to beat Stoke because there really isn;t nothing else. Pace at a premium; intricacy and invention galore.

  103. Any links??

  104. I just hope they fucking shoot for a change, cos they’ll be noone there to tap it in

  105. He can dribble Shebby

  106. english refs are like their albanian counterpart. They can be bought with money and women.

  107. Thats not workign anything else?

  108. Shebby what are you talking about? You’re starting to sound like that donut Zap

  109. Gunners looking good..and Shava doing well 🙂

  110. What the hell is up with Al???

  111. He’s lost his confidence, we need a keeper, two defeders and a top striker

  112. Let’s not get silly now.

  113. keeper looking shakyyyyyyy

  114. @william
    add a “successful” manager to you list as well.

  115. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    A penalty!!!! No way!!!

  116. Amazing hope we score

  117. Nasir Jones-Nasri


  118. Dang, we need Nasri taking penalities, ahh

  119. Sorensen juusssst a little early on that one?

  120. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    That a foul on Nasri. Wow.

  121. RVP pen=goal

  122. Penaltyyyyyy

  123. yeah very early on, if Cesc had been keeping an eye at the keeper, who could have gone the other way. No sweat, we’ll score soon.

  124. Even worse than missing the penalty is that prat Thompson on Sky celebrating by saying, “can anything more go wrong for the Diddymen, yes it can!”

    Fucking wanker.

  125. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Sorenson was way early.

  126. “What the hell is up with Al?”

    One player who frustrates me so much…compared to other keepers in the league (for the top 10 teams), he’s pretty useless.
    Compared with the top 4 teams in Europe? We’ve definitely got the worst.

  127. Y shava did not take that

  128. Arshavin’s runs and movement has been mesmerizing almost as good as RVP’s. And the link up has been quite good as well.

  129. Easy.

  130. GOALLL!!!!!!

  131. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    About time Arshavin.

  132. Let’s hope that cheers up Arshavin.

  133. Wow, was Tuncay always a cunt like that? Complaing all the time, not giving the ball to Almunia, etc.?

  134. AA is pretty good in the middle. just dont concede arsenal!

  135. I saw no smile.

  136. oh. my. goodness. that’s the unluckiest thing i’ve seen in ages.

  137. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Eboue oh my goodness who’s team are you on?

  138. I’ve found the solution to our keeper problem. EBOUE. With saves like that at the opposite end, he’d be the next best thing to Cesc for us.

  139. So unlucky for Eboue.

  140. Eboue denies us a second on the line…

  141. In fairness to EE, Cesc hit the ball right at EE

  142. Come on, Arshavin. Give us a smile. Just a little one.

    Callers on Arsenal TV Online are arseholes.

  143. Eboue is like an april foolsday joke, in december

  144. Wow, can’t Derlap just throw the ball? Does he always have to polish it like that?

  145. Does anybody know who is on the bench?

  146. we should be 3 nil up now. Eboue defending at wrong end clearing the ball of line. Fabregas needs to up his game a bit

  147. Arshavin is pulling his finger out, at least somebody has

  148. For Goodness sake, just stop whinging, William.

  149. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Eboue just a little greedy there.

  150. consolsbob, I’m an arseal fan, whinging comes second nature to me, just like you just whinged at me without realising it

  151. No, I told you to stop whinging. Whinging is not second nature to arsenal fans, it is just the behaviour of immature twats.

  152. Could the central striker position be a good thing for Arshavin?

    Great link up play, good movement and pace, plus we know he can score goals.

    He may only be a little dude but he is probably better than many of our attacking players in the air.

    I shall be watching him with interest.

  153. haha…Troll hunting during the match, Bob?

  154. With all due respect to William, Shebby and Ritesh; the effen game is going on. Stop the bloody sniping and support the team. wankers!

  155. Consolsbob, stop worrying about me and talkabout the game you big whinger

  156. All these bloody six-footers from Stoke look like a bunch of clumsy oafs.

  157. Arshavin is really causing havoc at moment keep going comrade.

  158. Doomers wouldn’t have seen how well Denilson won that ball back without hardly having to make a tackle.

  159. William – who the f8ck is this jackass. A Stoke troll?

  160. I agree mean lean, the only difference I’ve seen so far between RVP and Arshavin, in the central striker role has been the height. He’s having a good game.

  161. we need a 2 goals cushion at least.

  162. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    We need you to f*ck off, GGooner.

  163. GGooner @ 3:42pm -you don’t say?

  164. Shotta Gunna: “All these bloody six-footers from Stoke look like a bunch of clumsy oafs”.

    More like Orks-never seen a bigger uglier group of players, complete with a big, ugly Delap sling. Nice to see it backfiring though.

    Arshavin is our Frodo today…

  165. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You see how high TV got up there for that header?

  166. Defo need a second goal to calm the nerves

  167. Efen penalty. Hand away from the ball.

  168. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    No way we’re getting two penalties.

  169. What is the Man city cheski score?

  170. At least we’ve finally scored a goal

  171. Not happy at all. Should be 3-0, this game should be over

  172. Nasir Jones- whats up your ass, don’t you want us to score more and make the game safe?

  173. Maria

    They’re playin at 5.30

  174. I see.


  175. Zap stop whinging you donut, Consolsbob doesn’t like whingers

  176. arshavin was amazing first half. what a shocker from cesc (apart from an assist of course)

  177. Arshavin has pulled his finger out, hopes he’s in the dressing room pullingtheother plyers fingers out, namely Cesc and Eboue

  178. Zap is fine. What we don’t like here is the childish demands of the Sky Sports educated minority of Arsenal fans.

  179. What pisses me off is the effen doomers? Our boys, (our team) are on the field giving a 100% and these effen so-called supporters are effen whining and snipinng instead of supporting. I just want to reach out from my computer and grab them by the balls. Our support in the stadium is poor. Our support on-line, with the exception of a few blogs, is just as bad. Can you imagine at Old Trafford, ManU not getting that last penalty call. The scales are tipped are against us. We have to be 50% better than our opponents especially our support.

  180. Eboue did play very well. He was a constant threat, also did help out at the back, I don’t think he can be criticisized (besides standing in the way of Cesc’s shot).

    Cesc has had an okay game. Good passing but he did lose the ball a couple of times. Still not enough reason for doomers to start a witch hunt.

  181. Your right Maria, Zap is one fine donut.

    Shotta-Gunna, Maybe you should go to the stadium and give your support to make it better

  182. Correction: I meant “hand away from body”. O/G – thats penalty #11. The count is now 1 from 11. What a statistic!

  183. Ah, just recognised the tone, Ateeb. William is our old spud troll mate, j*mes. I shall ignore from now on.

  184. arshavin and traore had a very good first half,nasri palyed well too,we should have been out of sight by halftime

  185. What the hell is wrong with these people emailing in Arsenal Online.

  186. Come on Yogi, I want speak about football, I have a lot to say

  187. Evil Fiek @3:56. Damned by faint praise. Eboue was trying to get out of the way for gods sake.

  188. It’s not just the morons emailing in; it’s the presenters reading their shite out and broadcasting it to other Arsenal fans.

    Why do they bother with this stuff?

  189. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I’ve seen you before GGooner. Don’t play the fool. We don’t NEED a two goal lead, and we don’t need you telling us what we need. Are you watching the game? It’s only a matter of time so calm down, Stoke are playing with absolutely zero ambition going forward.

  190. I do wonder…

    Vela on for Ricky………

  191. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Maybe you could commit suicide, William. You scumbag. You probably sell crack to buy your tickets.

  192. Morning/afternoon all!

    So far so good! we will wrap it up in the 2nd.
    I like the way Eboue pushes the ball up the feild, if he can get a little more control in the final third he will be very dangerous.

    God bless!!

  193. Is that due to 90 mins in midweek?

    I bloody hope so

  194. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Vela!! Get in.

  195. Morning PaulN – mi bredin. We need some help with the anti-goons.

  196. I see that Shotta, but lets enjoy the match and not waste time. We will deal with them after the match!!!

  197. Accoding to sky honest englishman steve gerrard just dived.

    Come arsenal. Eboue to score a cracker!

  198. Me too ML

  199. Eboue off

  200. He wasn’t booked though was he? Nor was there a EUFA trial ordered.

  201. Gosh, what a ball that was from Cesc.

  202. That Portsmouth player had one of the worst dives ever to win a penalty against Burnley. you wont hear a word though!

  203. Sagna should practice 100 crosses per day

  204. I have to agree with Paul N.

    It would really hurt if we were to concede now. One of those wonder/fluke goals?

  205. Cross? What cross?

  206. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Terribly unlucky.

  207. Somebodys toes just denied us a sure goal 😦

  208. This is intense

  209. The challenge is we put in so much energy in attacking and then we lose concentration because of the fatigue and anxiety. e.g. Traore.

  210. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Take him on Aaron!

  211. When was the last time we kept a clean sheet in the league? Haha.

    What a cross to the keeper by Sagna.

  212. A tricky, strong Fuller can give us problems.

  213. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Traore really does have a nice touch on his cross.

  214. Shit…Traore is hurt.

  215. The media is a joke. The media couldn’t get a story right if it bit them in the ass. Why let the facts get in the way of a good story. I know I was one of them. With that said, Chelsea hasn’t won anything yet. There is too much futebol to be played yet. The winner of the EPL will have at least four losses. I think it could go as high as six.
    If you doubt me on this read what I wrote about brasileiro futebol.
    This is a must win situation. Go Gunners. I am a Man U fan but I have a huge warm spot in my heart for Arsenal. Why? The movie Fever Pitch starring Colin Firth. I saw it ten times. My wife thinks I am nuts. I am.
    I love your blog. Keep up the good work.

  216. Now Stoke will resort to their cheap tactics they will be hoofing the ball to Fuller for the rest of the game.

  217. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Traore look ok, Shotta. Thank goodness.

  218. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What a cracking slide tackle by Vela.


  220. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Get in. Outside of the boot?

  221. Yeah!!!


  223. We did it. Lets keep a clean sheet.

  224. All started by Vela’s great tackle.

  225. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Ohhhh, nasty shot.

  226. I feel better now

  227. That was the weirdest Bobbygee post ever.

  228. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Well, Ateeb, he has admitted openly he is nuts.

  229. Where are the effen anti-goons now? Probably back under their rocks.
    I have news for them: Denilson has had an excellent game in defensive midfield. What a midget?

  230. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Arshavin could have easily had a hat trick today had his touch been a tad better.

  231. Gunner From Nigeria

    My sweating has gone down after that second goal.

  232. NJN @ 4:48pm – You are absolutely right. He had a decent shift, better than usual.

  233. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Indeed, Shotta. He looked dangerous today.

  234. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Whelan having a couple if words with Gallas. Bitter Irishman.

  235. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Couple of.

  236. Back on track. Win – yes, even better the clean sheet.

  237. Is Traore injured? says he is………hope its not serious..

  238. Good win!

    Troare, brilliant player!

  239. 2-0!!!!!!!!!

  240. Oh no!! We played well, we won AND Arsene shook the hand of the manager of Stoke City. What’s the media gonna write about the whole next week?

  241. Really satisfying result.

    Clean sheet, and some great possession play.

    Especially good considering we’re missing 3 out of 4 strikers right now…4 out of 5 if you include Theo as well.

    Do you think we’ll get some peace around here now?

  242. EvilFiek- about how our title chances are still over? they’re idiots. all it takes is for chelski or united to drop 3 points and its game on again.

  243. Yogi, I don’t know why you treat “a world-class striker who is not cup-tied for the Champions League” as indicative of Darren Bent. David Villa is a world-class striker who is not cup-tied for the Champions League.

  244. Well, obviously they will be taling about Liverpool failing to win again and Stevie Me’s dive.

  245. Back to winning ways, lets build on this. Not losing in Greece would be nice with what is likely to be a very young side.

    At last, I have had the chance to see Rosicky, Nasri, Cesc and Arshavin start the game.

    Fingers crossed that Traore is ok. How many teams could suffer all these bloody injuries in the exact same position.

    Why us? *sigh*

  246. A wonderful match to watch, it was almost like a game of chess: our excellent passing play gradually ripping Stoke to shreds. The commentator on the US-based Fox Soccer Channel did his best to ruin it (“You can hear the anxiety of the Arsenal fans” – er, no) and even seemed to think Van Persie was playing. Both of the goals were top quality and the team performance was defiant: we knew we were NOT going to let a bunch of cloggers score.

  247. I think YW was being sarcastic.

  248. Oh, I forgot to mention that Traore and particularly Eboue were very impressive today. I hope neither’s knock is serious.

  249. What a wonderful win the only spot on it the possible injury to Armand.

  250. And Eboue and Ricky.


  251. we have the best 3rd choice lb in the league.

    should have been 5:0 but i’m not complaining.

  252. Damn, man u won 4-0. OK, we need chelski to drop some points

  253. Was Gallas injured?

  254. Fingers crossed Zap.

  255. i think a tie would be the best for citeh and the other blue creatures.

  256. What do you guys think of having Arshavin up front??

  257. Thought Arsh was great, but he needs to get used to it, i reckon eduardo could be pushed out to the left attacking position when he returns.

    Na, We need Chelski to lose.

    I don’t give two shits about citeh, they aren’t trying to get the title are they?

  258. how many injuries we got…???

  259. Yes I agree, chelski needs to loose this one.

  260. “I don’t give two shits about citeh, they aren’t trying to get the title are they?”

    very true…i think its more of a personal vendetta. see, ideally both teams would kick themselves into the ground with a dozen injuries.

  261. just feel that Citeh are going to be tired after the CC

  262. Arsenal can defend set pieces and crosses afterall. That’s the lesson from today. We stifled Stoke completely and we were well solid.

    Look the these chalkboards:

  263. Love the Guardian chalkboards; great work, OG!

  264. Gunner From Nigeria

    A silent prayer for Traore that all is well with him.
    May injuries stay away from us as its becoming unbearable.
    It was all one way traffic today.
    Now we can sail through Athens enroute to Anfield where all eyes would be on our new leader in attack- Arshavin

  265. @abid
    Even chelski played CC game the same night with almost the first team.

  266. ah true that..

  267. Had we lost I would imagine we would have been full of ‘fans’ reflecting on the game!!

  268. Given is a quality keeper. Which I could swap him for you know who….

  269. Adebayor scores.

    an own goal!

  270. Ade scores own goal..looooooooool…..what a wally…….

  271. Nice goal ade!!

  272. ah bloody hell…stupid own goal. now Citeh need to get thisgoing

  273. Chelski are like last season’s United

  274. Excellent work Ole.

  275. The one time this season I wanted him to score and he does it to help out his god Drogba.

  276. I don’t think Beyonce will be happy to see Adebayor score an own goal 😦

  277. oh come on Mr. Adebayor

  278. loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool

  279. Chelsea, all they do is play on the counter! wack!

  280. At last Wenger plays AA23 in his favoured position and we look a much more dangerous team.Keep him there Wenger even when NB52 is fit.Arshavin is world class but as a striker not a winger

    The difference when Rambo came on for Eboue was amazing.This kid is CLASS

  281. Ade scores!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  282. In the right end…loool

  283. city have been far better

  284. gah…wish we’d got the same luck against chelski…cech’s a comic and wtf…the ball landed right on the togo guys foot!

  285. heh. My damn stream is like 100 minutes late. He just scored

  286. Micah Richards handled it to Ade. Obviously, there will now be a media witchhunt against English players and an FA enquiry. He will probably be banned for a year.

    So, Stevie Me and Richards both caught cheating on the same day.

    An English scandal that will rock football.

  287. they got lucky aswell, so it evens itself out

  288. My man of the match was Samir.

    By a mile. A few miles. He got dispossesed once as far as i can remember. brilliant performance from him

  289. That was interesting. Drogba just missed with an almost identical free kick to the one he scored against us with last week.

    Remember? The one that Almunia was criticised for. When people said we should have signed Given. Guess what?

    Given got nowhere near it.

  290. you know, Arsene may have had something when he was talking about Chelski’s luck. Based on how they’ve been playing today, we should have beaten them. Out-worked by Citeh and they seem all over the place. If it hadn’t been for Carvalho, of Adebayor’s arse, they would’ve been down 2-1 or 2-0.

  291. Would still prefer Given overall though Bob.

  292. Ireally enjoyed the game today the scoreline flatered Stoke it should have been at least 5-0. When RVP got injured I suggested Arshavin to replace RVP some Gooners laughted at the suggestion all they want is buy buy buy. but it proved a brilliant move by Wenger, his finishing is deadly, despite the lack of height he is very powerful. He is too honest, before the penalty he could’ve gone down but stayed on his feet and the second tackle the ref had no choice.Well done. I heard some gooners slating Denilson, what does the man need to do to please some idiots?

  293. “Remember? The one that Almunia was criticised for. When people said we should have signed Given. Guess what?”

    Almunia’s positioning was crap…Given did a decent job with that but yes, its hard to save those. I don’t see what’s defensible about Almunia so far. He’s been thoroughly average.

  294. I really really really cant wait for wednesday night, we can all actually relax and provided we don’t get beaten 6-0, the score won’t really matter.

    Should be fun

  295. The back for were excellent today especially Traore.

  296. Zap

    The Man of the match was Arshavin he won the penaltly,Scored and hit the bar .His movement was exceptional.Why has it taken Arsene so long to realise this is his best position?.Eduardo and Vela just dont have Arshavins movement

  297. The Drogba free kick wasn’t Almunia’s fault by any means. If he’d saved it, it’d have been the save of the decade.

  298. I thought we defended those long throws very effectively and in a robust manner. TV was very good in particular, some of the times unless I am deluded, his feet were higher than his head when he’s standing when he jumped, he’s got incredible spring. He’s a future arsenal captain in my opinion,

    unless he has Barcelona DNA of course

  299. The Gunners boss admitted after the Stoke game he was hoping for good news when the casualties from the match are assessed on Sunday.

    “Hopefully we will have good news tomorrow,” Wenger said. “Eboue and Eduardo have muscle problems. It is too early to say whether (Eduardo) will be back next week.”

    However, the Gunners boss expects better news from other members of his wounded squad.

    “Theo Walcott should be back and available for Wednesday along with (Abou) Diaby while (Alexandre) Song will return after suspension so we should have two or three players back.”

  300. it was,

    He was going to his right (almunia) and had to rapidly change direction. If he has been standing still, he would have saved it

  301. Some good news finally.

  302. yes yes yes
    cant wait to have diaby back

  303. please be an entertaining 2nd half. I expect it to be 2-2. I can see citeh scoring, but chelsea’s class will prevail in the closing stages

  304. They advertise Pukka Pies in Japan!!!!

  305. Actually, I agree with both Maria and Ole re: Almunia.

  306. Explain master……..

  307. let’s not contemplate on that eh what? We’ve got anfield to look forward to- and champions league, and the draw- this is gonna be an exciting week arsenall-wise

  308. possesion- man city 73-27 chelsea

  309. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Wow. Tevez puts em ahead.

  310. 2/11111

  311. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Petr Cech is terrible, too.

  312. Chelsea are on ropes at the moment Citeh 2 up

  313. el Apache scores from a freekick. Another inside footed strike that makes a fool out of the keeper.

  314. chelsea are so shit…clever play by citeh though.

  315. Well. I think that if Almunia had saved that shot it would have been a fantastic save. That is, the goal was actually down to Drogba making a very good shot rather than almunia cocking it up.

    However, for me, Given is the better keeper.

    I assume that you were talking to me, of course, Maria.

    On a related topic, how dodgy was that piece of ‘keeping by Cech?

  316. Chelsea need a new goalkeeper and some small clever players. Hahahahahah

  317. If you go to the side where the wall is you are positioned wrong, no? what is the reason for the wall?

  318. if it stays like this, it will be very, very good for us

  319. chelsea can lose now before in their mind they have already won the title. Can’t stop laughing at pundits who think they know it all.Its a long way to go and the suckers handed them the title after they beat us.

  320. Chelsea are not great are they? Dont believe the hype!!!


  321. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I miss Adebayor. Even if he was bi polar.

  322. Zap, it would be great!!!

  323. agreed…

    adebayor continues his love affair with the offside

  324. Miss him in what way?

  325. nasir- he won’t give any effort for them come next season

  326. hah oh come on Nasir…

  327. Random Fact No 1: Adebayor was the second person to be born in an offside position. Inzaghi was the first of course.

  328. Ofcause……..did I not mention by name?

  329. The difference between the two keepers kicking is amazing.

  330. If Chelsea will be champions- they will get something from this.

  331. terry = big baby?

  332. phew! I look at my screen, and ivanovic looked like he scored

  333. Come on Citeh, a couple more bodychecks for Drogba!

  334. ade jogging around 20 yards behind the pace…

  335. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Beletti could easily have seen red with that challenge.

  336. He should of but didn’t like Chelski players.

  337. Drogba has done nothing this game & I don’t really think that’s down to city’s defence.

    Also how about fernando torres at the end of the season? I figure liverpool might scrape a europa cup place at best, but if they don’t Liverpool won’t be in the champ league again for sometime, especially with the debt their in. They’re already operating a one-in-one-out policy with regard to transfers and without Europe money, well let the exodus begin

  338. if that was diaby or sagna they would’ve gone off

  339. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Toure forearms the ball to Drogba’s head. What a hilarious game this is turning into.

  340. A pen of dear toure gives another one to drogba AGAIN

  341. rash tackle!

  342. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Fat Frank blows it!!!

  343. To be fair to Chelski, that penalty should have been retaken. Given dived forward and before Lampard kicked.


  345. Ha, Ha Ha. Lampard just missed a penalty. Ha, Ha, Ha.
    Two chavvie teams but better Oil City than the Chavs.

  346. thumbs up to Webb

    He prevented players from running into the area as before the pen was kicked!

    For once, I praise a referee

  347. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Chelski are an arrogant bunch of bastards. Drogba misses a great chance.


  349. I see Hughes strolling out of his technical area again. This time pulling a Chelsea player’s shirt.

  350. Chelsea can’t win in that black shirt can they?!

  351. I think espn just insinuated that Chelsea are mentally weak!

  352. de jong’s been good..ade still average

  353. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Great ball by Ade to free Tevez.

  354. Despite the moaning, whipped up by the media, I always agreed with AW, the Chavs will drop points. The title is not decided in November. We have to give credit to that wily old scot at Old Trafford; he always prepares his teams for the distance, not the sprint.

  355. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Robinho shakes hands with Ancelotti. Cheeky.

  356. I have seen Steven G and JTerry dive today

    Will there be rioting in the press about that tomorrow..

    Am watching the match with french commentary and this is very amusing… two players went for a ball and were injured.. the commentator said the english referee will of course give it to the english player cause he will think, he is more hurt

  357. i am watching with japanese commentary

  358. stupid tevez

  359. De Jong MOTM

    cool, we are 8 points behind with a match in hand

  360. Man Citeh 2-1 Chelsea

  361. HOil City 2 – Chavs – 1.

    Take that you in the filthy media.

    The coronation ceremony for the Chavs and Drogba just hit the skids, you know-nothing fools.

  362. that’s a useful result

  363. Chelsea clearly paid for playing a strong team in the Carling Cup and seeing the game go to extra time. Football is a game of small margins

  364. De Jong was a beast…
    Hate to say this but Citeh did a great job. The work-ethic was great…

  365. so the new invincibles are beatable, right media?

  366. just like that!


  368. If we win our game in hand we are only 5 points of Chelski.

    Funny old game.

  369. Chelski have now lost 3 games in a row.

    Will they become the new crisis club?

    I predicted it their midweek loss was signal for their customary mid-season meltdown to start.

  370. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Proud to be a Gunner. WIth that I’m off to go and play myself.

  371. OG, to me they paid for trying to sit back and play on the counter.

  372. I like Pulis. He was generous with his comments last year and even now:

    “”Arsenal have so much quality that they get their chances no matter how well you play. “

  373. Gunner From Nigeria

    I want to hear the press now.
    Those Vultures have failed.
    We need a result at Anfield next week as we haven’t won there for a while.
    After that Burnley, Hull, Villa(revenge for last season) and Pompey then its bye bye to 2009.

  374. Last three?

  375. Pulis is a wannabe fat Sam no respect from me

  376. Good to have you back Maria.


  377. I know I missed are little ACLF community from last season.

  378. Paul N,

    Yes, I thought the same thing. But in the second half they came back and it didn’t help that they were much less energetic than Man City.

    It’s hard to play 120 minutes on Wednesday, away from home, and then play Saturday away from home.

    Football is a game of margins. Small margins.

  379. O/G @ 7:35 – You’ve never backed down on that prediction and I am with you.

    Good day for Arsenal. I worry about ManU, I predicted they would get better; they will not give up the championship easily.

  380. Just need Everton to win tomorrow and it will be a good end to a bad week.

  381. Man U have no defenders fit now though.

  382. Maria I missed you as well. Welcome back. We need you. The doomers have been emboldened by our little wobble and the loss of RVP, our best player.

  383. we need to take the points at pool

  384. Me too SG… your pic btw.

    Is Vidic injured?

  385. Very handsome.

  386. SG,

    This season will be a bridge too far for Man yoo. If we win next week at Anfield, (we’re due a win against them), we’re back in it. I think the 2 convincing teams this season are us and Chelsea. Man poo are 6 ahead of us playing poorly, but you don’t see where their improvement will come from.

    To be fair they’ve looked more convincing in the last 2 games.

  387. Vidic pulled out before the game. Neville and Brown during the game.

  388. Gunner From Nigeria

    We have a great chance at the title especially if we built a long winning streak as is customary with Manu.
    By the first week of February next year, we would have finished playing Villa, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manu and Everton for the season. (Three of these are at home) Assuming we get between 15 to 11 points from these matches then all we have to do is blow full force to the end and, the title could end up at the Emirates.

  389. O/G – Are you keeping count? 1 penalty/11 good shouts. At this rate we will a grand total of three penalties this season.
    No wonder the foreign commentators now observe that English referees favor English players when they are fouled.
    Any chance of an English ref getting to officiate a world cup match beyond the first round (not counting the massive cock-up by 3-card Graham Poll last time around)?

  390. Neville…….hehe…..

  391. big game against liverpool

  392. 6 yellow cards for Chelski aswell…….oh la la……..

    Terry of injured..does it get any better…….??

    It does ofcause a red for Cashley would have been nice!!

  393. Maria – Re: pix – Sorry to say I am a pale imitation of that very handsome rebel.

  394. SG,

    Did you notice the players started appealing for penalties again? Both penalties today, hands went up immediately.

    I wonder if they were told not to appeal before.

  395. Crisis at the Bridge.

    Vidic was ill, Maria (seen World Cup Draw)

    Can`t wait for the uproar about todays divers

  396. hey guys, is that Vitel broadcast free or they charge you on the line?

  397. all the 4 chelsea defenders had a yellow

  398. I did notice. I thought, up to Sunderland at least, that the instructions were, not to bother with appealing, but to concentrate on defending, as we won’t get the calls. But maybe, after Wenger’s digs at the refs after the last two games, that some of the blogs and posters have been talking more about the biased refereeing.

    PS: I thought our defending from the front today was excellent. Midfielders and forwards were busting a gut to close down opposing players when we lost the ball. Echoes of Barcelona (sweet music to The Brain). Long may it continue.

  399. Stevie G and JT dived

  400. The way we stifled them was gratifying. Not one of their crosses or long throwas was on target. Great defending.

  401. CORRECTION: But maybe, after Wenger’s digs at the refs after the last two games (some of the blogs and a minority in the press have been talking more about the lack of penalty calls0 the players are more confident in appealing.

    Like I said before this is not a good advertisement for English refereeing. I doubt if any of them will get a quarter final match much less the prestigious semi-finals and final at the next world cup.

  402. Shotta

    where are the good referees based then? Italy?

  403. Zap,

    I think the referees are better in Spain, Italy and Germany.

    Refereeing in the EPL is poor I’m sorry to say.

    The Lampard penalty at Citeh should have been taken. Fabregas’s penalty should as well have been retaken.

    It’s honestly hard to identify one referee in the EPL who’s always good.

    Tell me if you know one.

  404. i have to admid H.Webb was good today

    But he is not always

  405. FUCK

    Tomas rosicky is out for a while. My moods fucking lifted and now that. FFS FFS FFS

  406. he’s got another fucking injury

  407. O/G _ The best are Webb and Atkinson and they are poor and inconsistent compared to their European brethren.
    Our job is to help the boss by exposing their bias. IMO: The glare of publicity is the best disinfectant for this vermin.

  408. fucking hell no rosicky ffs

  409. gallas, traore are injured aswell. Fucking dirty Stoke

  410. I don’t rate Webb much. the 2 yellows to Adebayor against liverpool, and that Carling Cup game where 22 men had a brawl and Webb sent off only the African players has done it for me. Atkinson is a good ref but even he has a history of nonsense.

    Howard Webb the skinhead, immerses himself into the game, such that it’s too often about him.

  411. According to the headlines on NewsNow, Arshavin was our Saviour and will save our season.
    For heavens sake, how lazy can headline writers be?

  412. O/G @ 8:35pm – According to Walter at Untold Arsenal, Webb can’t hide his Liverpool sympathies. YNWA etc

  413. not that easy Shotta Gun

    i often watch the matches with french commenatry its quite funny

    On the Chelsea match, two players collide in a 50-50 challenge.. commentator says
    “of course ref will give the foul to the english payer cause he feels the pain of the english player more…its natural, its human…”

    This is why I agree with Shabby who said we need a couple of additinal english players as affirmative action

    We would get the penalty decisions, we would also get the crowd backing…just see the reaction when walcott gets the ball even if he is playing shit.. they would all stay till the final whistle

    I know this sounds a bit harsh, but its realistic.. the world is not perfect

  414. Ole, I thought the best thing about today was the defending. We were really good especially against the long throws and crosses and got our offside line right the vast majority of the time. The attack was a little wayward but we could have scored a hatful on another day. Good to see Arshavin making more of an effort

  415. The reason we have lots of injuries is because the smaller teams ,they believe what the likes of Hansen says about how to stop Arsenal by kicking us off the park. I believe we get kicked more than any other team. In Europe the refs are less lenient. Here they think its part of the game to kick people.

  416. we lost Traore to yet another agricultural challenge today

  417. Where’s your information about Rosicky having picked up an injury come from?

    Also: Tuncay is almost as permanently offside a player as Adebayor.

  418. It was a very strange game, Passenal. I can’t put my finger on why it just seemed slightly surreal.

  419. Wenger’s post match interview crafty bison

  420. The injury situation is now getting ridiculous.

    I`m a Rosicky fan but his contract negotiations should include a pay as you play cause IMO.

  421. ole- did you smoke something?

  422. You play AA23 in his best position the position he plays for Russia and played for Zenith SP and you get one of the top 5 players in Europe its as simple as that.dont change it Arsene.
    Stoke were average to be honest

  423. 1LC,

    Not in a long time, mate.

  424. Arshavin isn’t a centre-forward, and he has never played in that position for Russia or Zenit.

  425. I agree Zap, Nasri was great today and I noticed too that he only lost the ball once. People are blinded by hype about Arshavin. From where I sit in the upper tier you get a very good view of the whole pitch and he was only marginally better than he has been all season. It was only the goal that made him appear more important. He took the ball off Denilson’s toe at least once if not twice when the latter had a chance to have a crack at goal and then he did nothing with it. A lot of his passes were under hit or he tried to be too clever. He played well but so did the whole team. He has room for improvement.

  426. What crap.. what is Wenger crazy playing arshavin as the main striker against the “biggest” team in the league and expecting to get anything.. He must have had a brain transplant..

    We need a big powerful Striker to stay in the top 4.. Something like Chelsea their incredible strikers are so big, burly and gritty just what you need to provide a great threat to all defenses (I won’t be surprised if Drogbear and Anelka rackup 500 goals between them this season) oh we also need someone like lampard who can take our penalties because we have had so many penalties that need burying..

    Look at what buying big has done for Moneyshitty Lescott and Toure are real defenders, they never let in goals..

    Arsenal needs a new team in January and some High heel boots and leg extension operations if they want to keep their chances available for the europa league..

  427. I should change something there – Arshavin has never been a centre forward, until now. It seemed to work pretty well today. Let’s see how it goes from here.

  428. Arshavin was awesome today. The defenders found it hard to predict what he was going to do , very tricky to defend. He is also a TOP FINISHER. Wenger will keep that option open I can see Wenger playing more upfront . We have plenty who can play on the flanks Nasri, Eboue Walcott and Rosicky so it makes sense to keep Arshavin upfront for now.

  429. i know it’s a bit off-topic, but would barcelona have this worldwide recognition as the best team in the world had they not won the c/l last season, which in all fairness should not have happened(winning it)

  430. I wonder how much taller on average and how much heavier on average Money City were than Chelski. That’s what determines EPL results innit?

  431. Zap,

    What do you mean it shouldn’t have happened ‘in fairness’?

  432. i’m watching deportivo and barcelona, and i’ve been realising that they actually play a much different game from us. We like to make short passes in enclosed areas, and a section of the team goes forward together surrounding the ball like a herd of animals (not in a bad way, like lions or jaguars, inbetween a lion and a jaguar) whereas they spread the ball around more.

    It could be because in spain the defenses give the attackers more freedom, and encourage them to shoot or perform a tricky maneouvre thus most of the time handing over possesion, whilst here we are closed down a lot more

  433. OG they should’ve had like 5 penalties (chelski)

    I’m not defending them though don’t get me wrong, I laughed my head off when Iniesta scored

  434. You can’t play that high and that wide in the Premier League. Stoke, Bolton, Chelski, etc will have numerous field days.

  435. whats the matter with the world… Don’t they realize Messi is just to short to be the world’s best player, how can he have won European footballer of the year.. some people just don’t understand football..

  436. No way, Zap. Only 1, at most of those were penalties. Clear penalty on Henry not given in first leg. Ballack should have been sent off in the first leg as well. Abidal wrongly sent off in 2nd leg-

    Both teams were victims of crap refereeing.

  437. Does anyone else agree that after today, they’re not really interested in hearing any more predictions about the end of the year from anyone?

  438. Sorry to be grumpy about it, btw.

  439. KS,

    that’s a ridiculous comment. I agree he’s not the best, Nobody is the best, everyone has on and off days, but you can’t deny he is an incredible player

  440. I’m kidding KS

  441. haha KS Lescott and Toure are real defenders…

  442. Ted Harwood,

    The pundits have no clue. You just have to form your own opinions, looking for data you can find.

    9 out of 10 times they talk utter shite.

  443. the latter used to be, the former is shit I’m afraid. How the hell did they beat chelsea- oh, shay given ofcourse

  444. who the hell does Wenger thikn he is instead of playing the garanteed to win strategy of 4-4-2

    He goes and outright plays a 4-6 formation.. (and they call this guy a tactical genius)..

  445. Exactly, O.G. All this talk from pundits (and fans) about Chelsea this, Chelsea that, Arsenal can’t, Arsenal never will… It’s only December 5, ffs.

  446. I’m watching the Juve Inter game- Balotelli isn’t good enough I’m afraid

  447. Also, OG, was it you posting about how mass psychology shapes and creates perception? That was some top stuff, man.

  448. I think the reason Diaby is so useful in the front 3 of the 4-3-3 is that he can drop back to help out the midfield, he’s got plenty of energy so with him not only do we have added strength we can alternate constantly between 4-4-2 and 4-3-3

  449. It’s weird how this whole height thing has come about.

    I feel that’s it’s an important attribute for a team to have, especially in our league.

    Yet, since the Chelsea game its significance has been crazily exaggerated. What’s strange is that height (or lack of it) had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of that match.

    I’d say that Arsenal’s least popular player this season has been Diaby. Most of the gooners I know wanted someone like Rosicky or Ramsey in the team instead of him.

    However, before he got injured the more clued-up fans were banging on about how we needed him because we needed that brute force and those extra inches. It’s something I still agree with. Same goes for Nicklas Bendtner now we’ve lost RvP.

    So now, placing an emphasis on height has gone from being a good way to get behind AW’s decisions to a means to attack him in the most irrational ways.

    That’s how it seems to me at least.

  450. Heh – Interesting comments on Arshavin allround:

    Arsene Wenger: “I don’t think he was a big fanatic to play centre forward. But I’m convinced he can play there because he has good body power, good movement and technique.He made intelligent movements and it worked today. He got a goal but could have had two or three and overall he did very well.I have to try it again to see if it works, at home and away from home, and to find a balance because I have many technical players around the team.We’ll see, although at the moment we don’t have much choice.”

    Tony Pullis: “I thought Arshavin was absolutely brilliant. They gave him licence to roam and he caused our centre halves a load of trouble from start to finish.”

    Shotta Gunna: “According to the headlines on NewsNow, Arshavin was our Saviour and will save our season.
For heavens sake, how lazy can headline writers be?”

  451. I really wish there was an Edit option.

  452. OneOfUs think of it this way, if we sell Diaby Denilson Walcott and RvP we can afford a quality striker like Heskey , (we can then claim to have an Engalnd international at the world cup)..

  453. But…..Joe!

    Arshavin did give us back a functional attack that we missed in the 2 previous league games.

    On the other hand, he did seem to make hard work of it at times.

    He played quite well I have to say. Nasri, however, was my MOTM. TV5 was joint MOTM.

  454. Well, well, well. One lucky result against Arsenal, and Chelsea start thinking they can play football. Sadly for them, Manchester City and Blackburn were on hand to bring them back down to earth. In both matches, it is a case of the student surpassing the teacher. Blackburn, of course, are one of the teams that has attempted to imitate Chelsea’s style of play, and Man City have sought to imitate Chelsea’s business model.

  455. Arshavin is our saviour, I just love him so much

  456. Oh, should add that Diaby offers a lot more than just brute force.

    Yeah, KS. I’ve seen a few of those comments around. Stuff like, “Had we not bought Denilson, Eboue, Diaby and *other unfashionable Arsenal player* we could have afforded Dean Windass.

    Not even you, Joe – Arshavin fellator extraordinaire – would have touted Arshavin as a lone centre-forward.

  457. There is One of Us. It’s the scroll function on the mouse. I use it a lot to skip most of the negative BS that clogs up the inter-web!

  458. How can Joe fellate Arshavin when he always has his tongue up AIC’s arse? Unless…no, that doesn’t even bear thinking about.

  459. I heard Gerard made the most rediculous blatant dive, but the referee feared for his family and couldn’t book him..

    I wonder if it will make the highlights package for MOTD, (I know, i’m tempting fate now)

  460. What is this Arshavin love-in all about. He played well as did all our other players. Please give them equal credit for creating chances and defending well.

  461. Those comments say more about you Pz than they’ll ever reflect on me.

    I hope your enjoying your Saturday night.

  462. Poliziano your a big perv

  463. Deportivo 1-1 Barcelona 2nd
    Real Madrid 4-2 Almeria

  464. OG:

    I do take the point re our functional attack.

    But I still think we’re missing that bit of Steel.

  465. What season did we play deportivo?

  466. Even when we win people have to fucking moan about something. Miserable tossers.

  467. Really looking forward to the champions league draw…I want Inter Milan

  468. True, Joe. How embarrassing for me to have revealed my ignorance of such matters.

  469. Joe forget the steel.. Wenger already had a chance to sign the undertakers brother Kane.. but you know as well as I do that he has no eye for gritty talent..

  470. “Even when we win people have to fucking moan about something. Miserable tossers.”

    Hear hear. They obviously lead very sad lives.

  471. Two domestic defeats for Chelsea. Four goals conceded, they really need to spend big this coming transfer window. A keeper and defender should be on the list. And a replacement for Drogba when he goes for the ACN.

    A win against liverpool next weekend, would surely put us on top. And with the form they are playing is, it is very possible.

    Arshavin was brilliant today, played like RVP. Maybe we don’t need a complete CF, rather a player like RVP and Arshavin, who likes to play in the hole, and can fill the central striker position, by their link up plays.

  472. We were lucky stoke played their smaller side and haven’t found a real skilled replacement for Delap.. when will Wenger learn..

  473. hahahahahaha he missed


  474. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    If Arshavin was the mythical footballing beast all these Le Grove sheep reckon he is he would have bagged himself at least a hat trick today with the service he got.

  475. I went on Le Grove once, thought i’d see what the people on there are like. I immediately found out, when i saw ‘last night i was so drunk i picked a fight with a mop’ so, you can see what kind of twats are in that particular section of the Arsenal community

  476. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Koeman sacked by AZ Alkmaar.

  477. Screw LG, they’re just full of s***. Two more wins and they’d be back praising the team and the manager. And how the youth policy is working miracles.

    Their other favourite player, Flamini monster is STILL warming benches at Milan. That is one way to ruin your career.

  478. ‘last night i was so drunk i picked a fight with a mop’

    I bet the mop won.

  479. At least the mop would win in an IQ test.

  480. haha mate,

    that’s probably true

  481. The pundits can now go back to kissing the arse of the red-nosed one now that chelski have proved to be not so invincible after all.

  482. His nose was proper purple after the Wet Spam game today.

  483. Agree passenal, it’s been a while since Manu lost. Their earlier defeats are easier to forget. And they won 4-0 with no Central defenders, surely they will win the league now.

  484. What’s all this crap about Man u being as good as Arsenal today? All their goals, in the build up took at least 1 lucky deflection, bar the gibson one.

    All of them were caused by shockingly bad defending.

  485. Man U have never been the best in the last few seasons. Never. They just trodded along winning 1-0 and equalizing with a ronaldo supergoal.

    2006/2007- Chelsea were dominant then, Avram Grant kinda f*cked up.

    2007/2008- We were the best, we had a horrible, season ending march.

    2008/2009- liverpool had some poor results and a lot of draws, but were dominant.

    see, manure have never been the best, they just don’t have bad runs, or anything like that. They just do enough… Come on Arsenal let’s go beat Liverpool and win the league

  486. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    It’s pretty hard to have bad runs when refs consistently give you call after after call and practically let you play until you equalize.

  487. Ferguson’s a canny manager in so far as he always chooses the thickest players. This has the benefit that his players never feel under pressure, because they lack the wit to realise the situation they are in.

  488. WTF? “He pretty much won the 3 points on his own”? What a crock. Football is a team game.

  489. Lineker thinks Arshavin got us the three points.

    How about our defence not allowing any of Stoke’s crossing, long balls or long throws to reach a Stoke man!?

    If we’d failed to deal with it, that’d had been the crux of their analysis.

  490. Zap,
    06/07 it was Mourinho in charge. They were better than Chelsea without being fantastic. That was the year Chelski started their yearly ritual of collapsing around December. And it’s usually the period when Terry gets injured. Guess who limped off injured today?

  491. I do not know why you bother with MoTD it is more biased than sky sports and that is effin hard.

  492. ok but the other ones were accurate descriptions of how they won

  493. Mike Riley was still around to help them in their endeavours then.

  494. I know Dupsffokcuf – you’d think I’d know better by now! But sometimes curiousity gets the better of me!

  495. Strange once Jeff Winter had retired that Boro got relegated as well.

  496. Never mind Passenal at least you know that their agenda is dodgy.

  497. On the way home I listened to Talk Shite hosted by famous gunner Ray Parlour and somebody who apparently used to play for Chelsea called Jason Cundy. Someoone who claimed to be an Arsenal fan called in saying we were too small and that wanted us to re-sign both TH and PV.
    Even Jason Cunty called him a doom and gloom merchant! What is wrong with people? We won 2-0!

  498. Oh dear I am in moderation yet again; grow up YW. hERE IS THE **VERSION

    On the way home I listened to Talk Sh*te hosted by famous gunner Ray Parlour and somebody who apparently used to play for Chelsea called Jason Cundy. Someoone who claimed to be an Arsenal fan called in saying we were too small and that wanted us to re-sign both TH and PV.
    Even Jason C**ty called him a doom and gloom merchant! What is wrong with people? We won 2-0!

  499. Passenal, how do you always manage to present such a well balanced view of the game?

  500. Arshavin was brilliant today.He has got to be played in the middle no more stuck out on the wing.He needs to be involved in all our attacks.The guy has a fantastic football brain.Some of his movement and running was a joy to behold.And the ball sticks with him

    Great to see Rambo get some game time.He adds so much more than Eboue.Lovely finish.

  501. Thank christ we have Arshavin, he will save us again he is that good, he is our God

  502. Joe, the Fellator

    Brilliant, One of Us, absolutely brilliant.

    Arshavin finally put in a 90-minute shift, together with our the rest of the team which excelled at defending the long throw-ins, shutting down the clod-hopping six-footers that some want to inflict on our team, keeping possession and creating numerous opportunities. He finally stopped the moaning and start playing to his ability, thats all we ask. We don’t need saviors, we need team players if we are to make up the lost points and win this league.

    Poor Joe wouldn’t know this. Too busy fellating up you know who’s ass.

  503. deary deary me

  504. What utter bollox. Arshavin is good no doubt, but a great player can perform also from the wing. The fake Ronaldo no matter how much we hated him performed from there and up front.

  505. Dupsffokcuf.

    Please do the anagram stuff and offfuckski

  506. “Thank christ we have Arshavin, he will save us again he is that good, he is our God”

    This must be one of the daftest comments I have ever read on here.

    So get rid of the other 10 players then. Twat.

  507. I do not anagram stuff

  508. Arshavin is just so talented it scares me, he just got us three much needed points almost single handedly, the boy is so so good, thank god we signed him

  509. Guys, you shouldn’t give the idea we have any agenda against any individual player.

    Arshavin is a well-liked and important member of the Arsenal team. And he has a lot of quality that’s won us many games.

  510. How did we ever win any games since 1886 without Arshavin. The mind boggles.

  511. We have a SQUAD not a player.

  512. Hamster, Toni et al – You are repeating media poppy-cock. Arshavin, like every player that wears the shirt need to consistently work hard for this team or two weeks from now you guys will be crucifying the Saviour. Remember Him.

    This is a team game. Who determines who is our savior? If, god forbid, Willy Gallas or TV became injured, are we in need of a another savior?

    Try thinking with your brains instead of repeating the bull-shit that comes from the media.

  513. Arshavin is the new king of Arsenal, from now on, he can say wahtever he likes, we need to keep him happy, a new contract might be in order. He is the new RVP and should be paid as such

  514. Team to play Liverpool next week.

    GK – Arshavin
    RB – Arshavin
    CB – Arshavin
    CB – Arshavin
    LB – Arshavin
    MF – Arshavin
    MF – Arshavin
    MF – Arshavin
    FW – Arshavin
    FW – Arshavin
    FW – Arshavin

  515. I cannot see how we can fail with that team

  516. One word left. IDIOTS

  517. Dear spudf**koff; stop being a silly boy.

  518. Toni he is probably on more than RVP

  519. 1no10 piss off

  520. Dups – I am now convinced Hamster and Toni are trolls or dregs from Le Grove. I think we have both made the point.

  521. If you cannot write the name just copy and paste it

  522. So is 1 Number 10.

  523. I think Toni is J*mes

  524. Shotta; to me they are just tossers who do not know a good squad when it is there for them to see.

  525. Someone mentioned on here yesterday about buying Luca Toni and all of a sudden a Toni appears.

    Limited imagination.

  526. Shearer was practically creaming over Arsh on MotD.

  527. Dups – There are too many tossers supporting Arsenal. Most of them will be singing the same b.s. all of this week until we go to Pool, forgetting this is a team game. If the goalkeeper, defenders and mid-fielders don’t play to their best Arshavin and the other forwards would be plowing a lone furrow, lost among the big trees. When will they learn?

  528. Shotta; some of them will never learn.

    Change subject; how are the WIndies doing against Ponting’s brigade?

  529. The champions league draw this week………….can’t wait…

  530. I am afraid you’ll have to wait a little longer Zap.

  531. fabianski
    gilbert silvestre senderos eboue
    wilshere ramsey merida
    watt eduardo vela

    is my team to face olimpiacos…

  532. why is that dupsfffokcuf

  533. It’s only sunday morning, best part of a week to wait

  534. Love the way they make games on the football league show seem really important with the build up and everything and the game is sh*t.


  535. Dups – Cricket: I have lost almost all interest. Have absolutely no idea.

  536. 196/2 aussies
    WIndies 451 all out

  537. who the fuck cares about cricket

  538. Zap; the fans of those teams think they are “the greatest team the world has ever seen”.

    Also they are the majority of fans supporting the England team.

  539. I watch a lot of sports Zap.

  540. that’s true. I sat near the West Brom fans and they were pissing out of their mouths:”were by far the greatest team, the world has ever seen”

    I stood up and said you aren’t mate.

    Ooh, nice saves from szsznzsnezny for brentford

  541. So do I, though my interest in sport is generally in the field of flowing sports, like football. and football. And…….basketball

  542. Chelsea can’t win in that black kit can they?

  543. Arshavin is going to stop global warming.



  545. You pissed out of your mouth since birth and you will do it until you run out of piss.

    Now f*ck off.

  546. you still braving the early morning hours dups?

  547. I am Zap, as are you.

  548. You in England Zap?

  549. I’m guessing what with your backing of the cricket team you are an Englishman??

  550. Yea I am English. Not an English football fan though.
    Cheats like Gerrard and Rooney ruin any allegiance I had.

  551. Same here,

    but I’m Moroccan/Algerian so I go for the algerian team, the former’s national team doesn’t exactly have an illustrious history in club football

  552. Me too D.

  553. P.S. I almost missed out the “truly honest” (pon my word guv) John Terry there.

  554. so I’ll be routing for Algeria, as well as any country with arsenal players in it.

  555. It’s the mirror Maria. A shite rag

  556. “Gooners take note. Arsene still knows better than anyone else how to pick a player. He’s just having a frustrating time trying to build a team.

    If you believe he’s lost it, fair enough. It’s your premium rate call to a phone-in. Go for it.

    After all, I hear Steve McClaren’s looking for a return to English football. Failing that, George Graham anyone?”

  557. at least it’s not as bad as the sun

    or betfair’s new ‘1 room 5 idiots’ campaign

  558. Carlton Cole is out injured and also has a very poor disciplinary record at club level (a party animal)

  559. Zap; they are all as bad as each other.

  560. yep

    they are

  561. i’m watching the motd highlights again. Cesc really shouldn’t have hit manu, there was so much empty net without the cross section of eboue’s body covering it.

    What a great finish that one from ramsey was

  562. Cesc did not have a lot of time for the shot though Zap. Eboue was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. If we had Man U luck it would hit Eboue on the arse and then hit the post and go in.

  563. very true.

    what’s your favourite goal been this season so far?

  564. Where did you watch it Zap I went out and missed it.

  565. what the match, maria?

    I watched it on a russian tv stream

  566. Sorry Maria, my brain seems to have completely malfunctioned. Aaargh.

    k then g’night

  567. Wait where can I watch MOTD??

  568. my brain is emshaat as you would say in my language

  569. Am away people, sleep well all. God bless the Lord Wenger.

  570. ummm….don’t they do replays in the morning?

  571. 7.30 AM Maria, they do a repeat

  572. I throught you just said you were watching a replay of MOTD?

  573. yep, 7:30 i checked

  574. oh haha i recorded it

  575. i was watching it recorded you see…

  576. aaaaaaaah any chance you could send that through to me?

    Hate to miss Chelski losing on MOTD

  577. I’m trying…..

  578. yeeeeaaaaaa

  579. google epl

  580. fucking isnt letting me post the stupid link

  581. what is it?

  582. yep it works just google epl, it will show u all the matches.


  583. Am on there thanks……..

  584. The title race is wide open.

  585. After watching the game again, I have two questions:

    1- Is Traore a bad player?

    2- Does Stoke know there is ways to play football other than long throw-ins?

    Suddenly Chel$kos are not so far away and they’re not holding the title.

    We are the best team in the league with the worst luck. We hit the post the ball won’t go in, goals cleared of the opponents line by our players..when we finally get a penalty since August, it gets saved. What can I say?

  586. Cescs peno save wasn’t luck, he telegraphed the corner he was going for. Same with Lampard’s penalty. Van Persie’s pens never got saved because it didn’t matter if the keeper went the right way because he always hit it 1 cm inside the post. I think Arsh or Nasri (or even Vermaelen) should take our pens because they are better natural finishers than Cesc.

  587. Arshenal

    Its a myth RVP never misses a penalty.Man City home 2007

  588. Wasn’t Denilson a delight yesterday. Calm and efficient. Traore improves with every outing. This is where the depth comes into play. Soon Diaby will be back, we’ve missed him more than people realise. Song. Bendtner back in training, maybe 2 weeks away. Theo back, one hopes, soon after. Eduardo. Strikers and goals? They literally come from the way we play. I couldn’t help but notice how effective Eboue is higher up the pitch. The team will be full of confidence from now. The dominance over Stoke was near total and this is the well-organised team that was about to ‘upset us’. They are ninth. There is a huge gulf.

  589. Chelsea are still recovering from their Arsenal exertions. They will find it takes 3 games usually.

  590. It’s frightening how steadily our team is improving; it’s fairly continuous now and the overall mechanics of the system are almost in place. We are about 15% up on last year and players coming through the ranks from every direction. Just take a minute to understand Gibbs and Traore, how they are came through. Think Ramsey, Vela and where they will be in a year. Think Mannone, Fabianski – ditto. I have the highest regard too for Merida and Wilshere and I hear Barazite is something. I still feel very sad for RvP, but I guess Arsenal was always going to have to do this the hard way. C’est la vie.

  591. Yes but that is the ONLY one hamster, you prick

  592. Country mile…country mile

  593. Imagine all of those tattooed skinheads tucked up in bed in their Stoke villages dreaming of the fantastic football to which they have just been treated….and there we must leave them. Sleep on little nazis, sleep on.

    No forwards available yesterday so we just midielded them to death. Pure class. Loved it.

  594. ….’midfielded’ would have been better

  595. I like that Frank, we ‘midfielded them to death’! Once we get a striker in there, there’ll be no stopping us.

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