Arsenal’s Night In Greece Ruined

UEFA Champions League, Group Phase
Olympiakos 1 – 0 Arsenal

Leonardo (47)

The Champions League group stage fizzled out last night as the youthful exuberance succumbed to a sucker punch, Olympiakos playing the footballing equivalent of rope-a-dope, undeservedly winning to ensure their progress to the next phase.

Those on display last night showed that there is a promising future; some are more ready than others, Cruise and Bartley for example would benefit hugely from a Carling Cup campaign or two. Others such as Ramsey and Merida put forward strong arguments that they are capable of handling the step up to a regular first team berth. Fitting them in is another matter but a decision that will please Arsene to have to make.

Chances were created and spurned, Walcott stung Nikopolidis’ hands with an early strike as Arsenal enjoyed much of the possession. An air of familiarity abounded though as the net failed to bulge, the prospect of a goal for the hosts increased briefly, Galletti and Dudu perhaps the most culpable as the balance of the match swang back into parity rather than Arsenal dominating possession.

The evening’s decisive goal came barely two minutes into the second half. Bartley put in a strong tackle in the midfield, Leonardo picked the ball up and ran through empty space, chased forlornly by Song, finishing calmly past Fabianski. The goal was a poor one to concede, Gilbert had pushed too far forward on the right and there was an absence of cover whilst Bartley challenged in midfield.

Even so, Arsenal can feel aggrieved that poor finishing deprived them of a creditable point. Vela had two opportunities to boost his confidence, deprived by Nikopolidis after a square pass by Ramsey, the Welshman surging forwards on the left, evading two defenders before finding the Mexican. Fran Merida then freed Vela who scooped the ball over the bar. A harsh lesson in finishing for Vela but in Europe, missing those sorts of chances is costly.

Just before the final whistle, Aaron Ramsey had an effort cleared off the line which would have given his performance the reward it richly deserved. His passing was excellent all night, suggesting that he could be the fulcrum around which the first team is built in future years. It has been in keeping with recent outings for club and country, a run of form that became noticeable when he led the Scottish midfield a merry dance for an hour recently. Particularly impressive was his choice and range of passing. Often promising youngsters will constantly seek to find a defence-splitting pass; Arsenal has instilled in Ramsey and Merida that choosing your moment is as important as delivering.

Theo Walcott left the pitch with a minor knock but will apparently be fine for the weekend. The suggestion has to be that his hamstring injury was minor indeed for his fitness levels seemed fine, judged on the standards of someone who has been missing for a short while.

Defensively, the performances of Bartley and Cruise were heartening. The latter continued the production line of left backs whilst Bartley showed good promise in the centre. It is too soon for them to tackle the Premier League but should they continue their development, there is no reason why that cannot begin to happen within the next two seasons. Wilshire was slightly disappointing yet that is because much is expected of him.

Progress made already into the next round and looking at the qualifiers whom we could face, there is no-one outstanding to be afraid of. Pretty much the groups went as expected with one or two exceptions – Fiorentina and Bordeaux might not have expected to win their groups – but I guess Wenger will be looking to avoid the necessity of a winter trip to Moscow given the choice.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 10, 2009, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 271 Comments.

  1. Ramsey was Superb but Walcott and Vela were really poor.And Fabianski showed he should be the number 1.

  2. Great Game, Song was a feast.. Vela had some good touches but also some touches he’d like to forget.. Merida and Ramsey were a delight.. I Guess it wouldn’t Arsenal if after a couple of passes Ramsey wasn’t being hailed as the second coming (don’t know how many times I’ve heard that was pass of the season)..

    Hope Diaby is well soon, we really need everyone to get on top of their game in the next weeks..

  3. Morning all.
    Ramsey was indeed superb, he reminds me so much of Gerrard. Stevie G for £5m what a bargain.
    I watched the ITV coverage last night, is it me or is Merida always been pronounced ‘Merry-dar’

  4. Cruise was pants, gave nothing going forward and let in too many crosses!

  5. Classy stuff, Dee.

  6. Sorry Yogi, but I can’t get down with the ‘swang’ – I’m old skool!

  7. Kitchen Sink

    So Ramsey wasnt the best player on the park then.What game were you watching?

  8. All round it was so promising, felt sorry for bartley his challenge was good just an unlucky bounce that put them through.

    Song, Merida and Ramsey were all exceptional.
    Can’t see us ever needing to sign a central midfielder.

  9. Ramsey,Song,Fabianski Excellent
    Merida Very good.
    Walcott,Wilshere Vela .Not at it last night.
    Bartley.Should not have dived in but will learn from it and looked promising.
    Sunu.Brief appearance but seemed to take to it pretty well.
    Cruise,Gilbert.Not good enough and should be moved on.

  10. brian, do you actually realise how young Tom Cruise is? Do you realise that was his first game at that level? Perhaps you should lower your expectations and realise that taken in context he did not do too badly at all.

  11. “…the footballing equivalent of rope-a-dope” Exactly, YW.

    Also, on “…promising youngsters will constantly seek to find a defence-splitting pass; Arsenal has instilled in Ramsey and Merida that choosing your moment is as important as delivering.”

    This is quite true. Looking at it the other way around though, these two weren’t scared to try the eye-of-a-needle stuff in the last ten minutes, when they knew they really needed to make something happen. Sometimes you need to go all out and take a risk. Both Ramsey and Merida have a refreshing tendency to just go for it – add that up with the top, top quality they possess and taking those chances will reap the rewards more often than not.

  12. Red H,

    I agree with you. Ramsey is an amazing player and the best on show by far last night.

    Woocash should also be our number 1. Almunia will never be good enough. If he does not know how to claim crosses6 yards from his goal at the age of 33 there is no hope for him. Woocash looks good and at 24 can only improve.

    Walcott and Vela were awful – no surprises there. Vela is an embarrassment. He falls over the moment an opponent gets within 5 yards of him and then looks sheepishly at the ref for a free kick.

    We have invested millions in Walcott and Vela for little return.

  13. Big plus points last night Ramsey of course, a star was born on the european stage,Song as usual,Bartley at last a CH at the club with a physical pressence he reminded me of a young Sol Campbell and Fabianski who dominated his box.

    Negative points Vela two awful misses and sadly Theo.I had great hopes for Theo but my patience is running out.He has always had pace but sadly his end product is non existent.And whose idea was it to let him take ALL the free kicks.Compare his progress with that of Ramsey who has come on leaps and boumds in 18 months while Theo’s career seems to have hit a dead end.Its time he forgot about England and thinking about doing it for Arsenal

  14. Let’s not judge anyone too harshly on that performance, not least Cruise and Bartley. Remember these are 18(?) year old kids making their debuts away from home in a hostile atmoshphere in the biggest club competition in the world. Yes they made mistakes, but it would have been absolutely incredible if they hadn’t. My only disappointment was the finishing of Vela, I have to agree with Arseblogger today about his performance.

    Positives are the performances of Ramsey, Merida and Fabianski (commanding on crosses, despite being dwarved by pretty much everyone around him), and the fact that Vela, Song and (fingers crossed) Walcott didn’t pick up injuries.

  15. You are starting to sound a lot like Howard, AIC.

  16. Admittedly I only watched the 2nd half, but I was very impressed with Cruise and Gilbert. I thought Gilbert was a bit of a plodder up until this season but having watched him last night and through the CC, he’s got lot’s to offer. He works incredibly hard all up and down the flank, and he’s much quicker than I thought he was.

    Cruise looked very good. Lovely touch, crisp passing and he blocked out his winger more often than not.

  17. Same thought here – Cruise actually looked promising playing against a tough winger.

  18. I don’t buy that the yg had a good work out.yeah they are for the future. How many times have we heard that?
    Ultimateley it boils down to winning and not passing beautifully and playing the best soccer in the world.

  19. Walcott will come good if he stays fit, he needs time on the pitch. Vela I’m less sure about but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt for now.

  20. James,

    You are not alone in being annoyed at just how poor Theo’s progress has been and how he keeps going on about England.

    He has been injured all season yet was quite happy to play through the summer for England – even the u21s. Why did he not tell Stuart Pearce to get lost. Playing through the summer did us no favours and he has been injured ever since.

    Even AW lost it when questioned abot Theo and the World Cup and I do not think his anger was just directed at the journalist in question. The next day Theo’s PR man gave it the big one about Arsenal being Theo’s priority, yeah right.

    Country before club – Theo is the newMichael Owen – without the goals.

  21. Samy, if you can’t appreciate the best ‘soccer’ in the world, and can only place value in winning, why don’t you offer your half-arsed support to The Mighty Ducks instead and fuck off while you’re doing it.

  22. Ramsey is simply amazing. He has vison, touch, passing, eye for goal and work-rate.

    No wonder Cesc is looking over his shoulder.

    If we had had a centre forward we would have won comfortably last night.

    If Ramsey was playing for Olympiakos they would have smashed us.

  23. If Mathias Sammer thinks we disrespect the Champions League, then he disrespects Olympiakos as they struggled like all hell, and barely touched the ball in the second half.

  24. Can peeps get off Velas back, ffs? Even Walcotts, they are 19/ 20 years old, hyped beyond belief, full internationals with good goal to game ratios, both flogged into the ground for their counties, no summer breaks and niggling injuries they have just returned from…They both rocked last season, stop being so fickle and negative. Mellberg went to town on Vela, the intential elbow to the temple stands out and Bravo had the game of his life against Theo…chill out, they had off games – Vela, possible Theo, are good enough to play 1st team here soon, with Rambo and Fran.

  25. Fran Merida was awesome last night. great touch and vision. Good prospect for the future.

    Vela was poor!

    Much work still to be done with these youngsters.

  26. Spot on Andy B. There are far too many morons ready to slate players at the first sign of a little loss of form. They are both class players and they will regain their form with a bit of patience.

  27. Andy B, Vela should have put away at least one of his chances last night. That he didn’t has nothing to do with how old he is, or how much he has or hasn’t played. He simply wasn’t able to do what any striker has to do, score goals. But like I said he get’s the benefit of the doubt from me. He still has a big part to play in the first team this season, and he has the talent.

  28. Rambo was just magnificent.

    What really impressed me last night was the manner in which we lost. This team stood up and fought to the bitter end with Rambo leading the charge with a last min clearance off the line.

    When you contrast his development with Theo’s it begs belief. Rambo doesn’t have 60k a week/ferrari/Nike advert like Theo.

    Instead Rambo has real substance and given the fact that he’s Welsh he wont be poisoned by the Media like Theo has been.

    I think Vela deserves more time though. He really hasn’t been given enough chances as yet. He probably should have made the keeper work harder last night – but at least he was getting into those positions.

    Fabianski’s natural ability to catch crosses was refreshing to watch. Something we’ve been missing for some time.!

  29. Sorry Andy B, vela was terrible and unless he was concussed by the elbow from mellberg those misses were shocking. Its not just the misses either his overall play was very poor.

    Can’t understand why theo, who was bloody awful, was taking set pieces ahead of ramsey and merida, sometimes i just give up on AW. He has to pull some bizarre tactical shit out in every game, its like he is trying to prove he is cleverer than everyone else or something. Theo taking free kicks was just infantile. Totally fucking stupid and we wasted some great free kick positions.

  30. A big stage for many of these youngsters, certainly not a CC adventure playing some 1st or championship division English club at the Emirates.

    Their play did mirror that of the first team, which is a quite a complement.

    Maybe Vela and Theo had below par performances, but neither has seen much playing time this season and that is enough to explain their final touch.

    Ramsey, Merida, Song, Fabianski, – no surprises; the player that caught my attention throughout the match was Bartley: very composed and good positional awareness.

  31. What form is to be regained Passenal?

    Theo has been at Arsenal for 4years! What has he done in that time? A few goals and the odd assist, that’s it yet we have spent millions on his transfer fee and his huge new contract.

    Theo is no Anelka – make no mistake. Anelka was better at 17 than Theo is now. I am not writing Theo off but I am saying that he’s expensive and has achieved little in 4 years.

    Vela had a decent season in Spain but has done little for Arsenal.

    Most telling is that AW says that we need a striker. RvP is out and AW has no faith in Vela or Theo to play centre forward – which is why we spent millions on them in the first place.

    Can you really imagine Vela or Theo in a 4-3-3 leading the line anytime soon? Ever?

    We have had these players on our books for 6 years (plus 2 years abroad for Vela) and they are not ready to play when we need them.

    Theo has barely developed at all. The term “blind alley” was made just for him. He has no idea how to beat a fullback apart fom kick and run.

    Theo reminds me of Perry Groves but with a bit more pace and better finishing.

    Perry bled for us and cost £65k which is what Theo earns in a little over a week.

  32. What makes you think AW chooses who takes each free kick, rayman? I think Theo stuck his hand up, probably because he’s been hitting some nice ones in training, and the team backed him as one of the more senior players in the side. I’m glad Theo is looking to broaden his skillset.

  33. Gunner From Nigeria

    If only we could roll out right backs and central defenders as we have done at left back, it would have been splendid.
    Imagine an equivalent of Cole, Clichy, Gibbs, Traore and Criuse at right back or central defence.
    What a prospect that would have been.
    Who knows, maybe Nordveit, Bartley and Eastmond would come out good at the end.

  34. Joe,

    Spot on with the contrast between Theo and Rambo. Theo is all pace and hype whereas Rambo is a bit of a genius…

  35. Limpar,

    It would not be hard for Theo to broaden his skillset.

  36. Vela is an instinctive striker. He wasn’t ruthless enough when he hit the keeper – which was disappointing. But the chance when he narrowly missed over the top was unlucky. He made the right decision to go high, clearing the keeper this time, and he hit it nice and early. Once he’s got his radar tuned he will be prolific.

  37. i agree with you Andy B. One swallow doesnt make a summer and all that. I thought we played very well, my personal favouri9te from last night had to be Fran the man, i see more from him than Arron and Arron played well. Carlos and Theo got into some good positions and poor finishing on the night let them down, they arev 20 years old and playing in the CL. I remember evryone lauding Carlos Vella with his stunning goals in cup games. The thing with young players is that they are inconsistant, Arrons perfommance against Sunderland was not that good to be honest but we shouldnt slate him for that. For me good performance and left me feeling very proud.

  38. Bartley looked very good also and was a bit unlucky with the goal. He is big, mobile and looks to take on responsibility. I would like to see a lot more of him.

    Silvestre is old and Phil on his way out and ith Djourou out for the season we may well need Bartley this season.

  39. Limpar,

    Do you think that Vela can lad the line in a 4-3-3?

    Really?

  40. AIC, this was Theo’s first game back in a while. You judge him too harshly. His touch let him down a couple of times, yes. Take encouragement from his playing the full 90 minutes and looking very lively til the very end. He always shows for the ball, never shys away and is always willing to make a run. If I were Aaron Ramsey, that’s just the sort of workrate I’d appreciate from a player in front of me; always being an option and always drawing defenders and making space.

    Look back to that sublime Walcott chip against Villareal if you are in doubt as to what he can do when he’s got a run of form behind him. He will soon be tormenting defences once more. He may even skin the whole Liverpool team again on Sunday.

  41. Shit off AIC. Yawn go away.

    Would have been lovely to see Eastmond yesterday. I hope Nordveit comes back from loan, and it aint the last we see of him also.

  42. What we saw last night is the project youth, imagine this team (if they stay together) in four or five years time, not all will make it but a performance like that as the youngest ever CL team cant be bad.

  43. Gunner From Nigeria

    I think we should thread with caution on the issue of Walcott.
    I believe his problem started after the goals against Croatia. The media in England did not help matters.
    Mind you, his goals against Croatia were not coincidence as he was one of our in form players up to that moment.
    If its a blame thing, i think you should blame Scott Parker for that shoulder injury because Walcott has not been the same since then.
    Lets give him time.

  44. Out of Bartley, Eastmond, Djourou, Nortveidt we will find at least one beast to take the reigns from Gallas. Although I prefer to see Eastmond doing his thing in front of the back 4.

  45. Limpar,

    All I a saying is that 12m in transfer fees and a new contract worth over 10m is a lot for Theo.

    He has not developed much in 4 years and is not ready to play as a striker now that he is needed.

    So far he represents poor value for money. He may go on to be a great player as he is only young bt as of today he has achieved little to justify the expense and the hype.

  46. Overall i think it was a good performance from the boys, i think Song hasn’t had enough praise for his performance, he was a beast, clearing up and playing some good balls through

  47. AIC – I think Bartley is still way too young and inexperienced to make that step up.

    People have been talking about buying a replacement striker, which I agree with but I think we need a CB just as much. When Gallas takes his annual leave of absence or if Vermy gets injured – we’re very exposed and not adequately stocked with replacements.

    Limps: Theo can broaden his skills in Colney when he actually learns how to strike the ball first. He’s not even remotely as talented a striker of the ball as Merida.

  48. I do think Vela can lead the line, yes. I thought he did a pretty good impression of RVP against Liege. Dropping back and keeping the play ticking over. He times his runs better than I’ve seen anyone do in a long time. The little half-step he takes to stay onside for the 2nd chance is like Ali dancing. Don’t Mexico play 4-3-3 sometimes? He leads the line there.

  49. Joe,

    I agree that we need a centre back badly but i can’t see us buying one.

    Tom and Gallas can’t play every game so it could be a choice of Silvester or one of the youngsters. I would go for youth.

    Bartley needs more time but he may well end up playing due to lack of alternatives.

  50. Limpar,

    I think Vela’s lack of physical presence and tendency to fall overcould be a problem.

    I am not writing him off either but he does not look at all ready. It took RvP until this season to lead the line.

  51. Joe, as far as talented strikers of the ball go, Merida is top, top quality. Manu Petit could strum them harder and faster than Thierry though, who scored more goals?

  52. Gunner From Nigeria

    Djourou was 19years old when he made his EPL debut against Boro a couple of seasons ago. Bartley for me at 18 is too young to make an EPL debut.
    It depends on confidence, frame of mind, development and support from other players.

  53. There were a couple of shots of Song after we went behind where he looked very sulky and sullen. Hopefully that’s just his normal hangdog expression, but I can’t help feeling he should have taken on more responsibility for spurring the youngsters on and not letting their heads drop.

  54. Gunner From Nigeria

    i meant not too young

  55. vela was poor, but we’ve all seen some brilliant finishing from him before, he just need a bit of a run in the side, get a few class finishes under his belt and he could be brilliant. Theo was poor too, i don’t understand why people assume he’ll be in the world cup squad, SWP and Lennon are ten times better than him at the moment.

  56. Hey! doomers! leave those kids alone!!!

  57. embryo

    because Lennon plays for the Spuds and they dont want to admit Lennon IS better than Theo even though its true

  58. AT LAST!

    It was truly fantastic senderos got injured just in the nick of time for the DEFENDERS of our academy to get their chance. Whether they make it or not, time will tell, but atleast we are now putting them in to see how good they are. this will give them experience and hasten their growth IF they are to make it, in other words its playing time invested well.

    We have had so much bad luck with injuries that its heartening that fortune has smiled on us in some respects. The injuries to diaby and now senderos (I hope its longer than expected) and recently denilson (which was too good to last) has given the team some positives and us something to smile about.

    Well, plain and simply Ramsey should have been playing from the beginning of the season instead of diaby. He may not be ready but he will always give the team much more than diaby, so I hope now aaron will be first choice to partner cesc from now on. By the way I have always believed that he is a future arsenal captain.

    And yes, as evident by our recent travails against chelsea and others, The defense is still the biggest problem and the aerially dominant centre back (I hope bartley will be that) is still the need of the hour and a defensive midfielder in january would be most welcome.

    Its going to be difficult for us to win anything this season, but I believe in being optimistic and am enjoying the flow of the season…. good to be a gooner!

    Cheers all!!

  59. random Roy, great shout, Song is becoming a superstar in the middle, our un-sung hero and better than Dennilson in my opinion at the holding stuff

  60. Song was actually awesome last night, he was everywhere and his ability to beat two three men in tight spaces is starting to remind me of Alex Hleb.

    It was a thouroughly enjoyable game, we clearly have a wonderful group of players coming through.

    As for the Theo/Vela comments. Insane, they are very young players 4 or 5 years away from their peak. And already they are causing International defenders inc a v.experienced Mellberg major problems.

  61. Let me say somethings that I’ve seen in Theo that really makes me worry:

    When he scored against Blackburn during the 6-2 demolition – he kind of slighted/snubbed Arshavin in aftermath celebrations. Now its no secret on this Blog that I think Arshavin, apart from being one of the senior members of the squad, has more talent in his toenails than Theo. I just thought it was arrogant of Theo.

    Then there’s the Thierry knee slide into the corner flag.

    The Ferrari he bought the girlfriend. The Nike Advert. The Diamond stud earpiece. And of course the importance of the England World Cup spot place.

    All of this from a young lad – who seems to be enjoying the spoils of success – without having any success to show for it. Without even bothering his arse to track back and support defense.

    Its an attitude and lack of application that is just waiting to come to a crash landing. And while I really do hope he makes the most of his pace and talent – what I’ve seen so far is worrying.

  62. Aaron Lennon is really shit.

  63. Joe you couldn’t be more wrong. I talked to the Emirates tour staff recently and to a man they stated that the nicest most humble men at the club are Theo Walcott and Gael Clichy.

  64. Joe,

    You are spot on. Theo has done f*** all to deserve the hype and money that he has.

    Way too much, way too soon.

  65. I bet those of you criticising Vela and praising Song.. criticised Song about a year ago.

    He’s 20 years old. He’s shown us he can score goals and get in good goal scoring positions and he’s palyed a full season in la liga. He’ll come good, no doubt.

    some of you guys make me sick. Go suport shittenham.

  66. Bit jealous there, Joe? You worry too much mate.

    I wouldn’t read too much into who celebrates with who in a goal celebration either; who pats who’s back and worrying about who might ‘kind of’ be snubbing each other. That’s how schoolgirls fall out.

  67. Vela was crap last night and Theo is over-rated. We should all agree on this.

  68. Heard just about enough of this shit can’t be arsed listening to supposed fans ripping into the team. Limpar, QoS, Gunner form Nigeria good luck to you trying to sort these knobbers out.

  69. Easy on Vela. First hance he didnt realize he had more time to place it. Second, chance had the right idea to dink it but didnt pull it off like he wanted, you could see what he was trying to do and his reaction was like Howw the??? So its understandable. With regards to free kicks I think Walcott has the technique and it just didnt come off like it probably did time and time again during practice. I can imagine Walcott starting to bang them in sooner than later.

    4 years at arsenal and nothing to show for it? 12 mill wasted? Hes only 20 FFS and has been injured. He just needs to get his focus back and work hard. Last night was good for him as he now knows what he needs to work on just give him time. The only reason everyones making a big fuss is because we expect them to deliver instantly since we have alot of injuries. This can only be possible with a run of games. Look at Liverpool’s Ngog he’s getting better with each game. Look at the improvement Ramsey’s made in the few cameo he’s had. Let them get a run of games and I guarantee you that you will see results of improvement. Haha that Ramsey pass I just cant get enough of it.

    I agree AIC if Ramsey was against us he would’ve ripped us to shreds, his urgency was just a joy to watch.

  70. I have to say, Joe, that is the biggest pile of shit I have read on here for a good while.

  71. I agree with Joe. He is talking sense.

  72. Yes it does not surprise me that you agree with Joe, Jim

  73. Pires,

    The biggest difference between Theo and Ramsey is not game time but ability.

  74. We cant expect theo to be as good as the rest of the non british players (He is not even our academy,so he may be 2 or 3 years behind the standard of merida , wilshere,etc).He really did stand out in yesterdays game , even our fullbacks got better technique than him.

  75. This conversation sounds like we’re rewinding 2 years and talking about Song. Vela and Walcott have plenty of time to come right and I’m happy for them to take it. There’s no defending Vela’s performance last night, but there’s plenty of scope to defend his potential. Walcott definitely does have the potential too, but has been very unfortunate injury wise. It was when he was hitting his peak last year that he got knocked out for the season.

    What I found more interesting was Wenger’s comments that he expected us to be badly beaten. I guess he was really just interested in avoiding further injuries.

  76. Gunner From Nigeria

    Hey AIC,
    Whats up? Please, show some support.
    Ice cream is suppose to act as a coolant but, you are the opposite of your name here.
    Be cool AIC.

  77. Hi Nigeria,

    I am showing support. I am supporting those mu who have paid a lot of money to watch this team and therefore pay the likes of Theo to waste 150k on a ferrari for his WAG.

  78. Both have different talents but I have to admit ramsey is the more complete player at this stage. If any of you watched the game or the highlights you’ll notice Ramsey’s positioning.He was always looking to get fed the ball and was always in the correct position at any given situation (even when he didnt get the pass he wanted). That positional sense for someone thats 18 years old is just mind boggling. Theres a reason SAF also wanted this boy and as we all know SAF doesnt have a bad eye for talent either.

    With regards to Song, he showed why he was a first teamer and led by example. I think he isnt getting all the praise because thats what we’ve come to expect of him, pure quality and probably our most consistent player of the season so far.

  79. AIC -FUCK OFF.

  80. Pires,

    There is no probably about it, Song has been the most consistent player for s this season.

    He will be badly missed during the ACN.

    Let’s see if Denilson can do as good a job.

    Well done Alex, you have been excellent this season. To be fair Song played well last season as well, especially in the latter half.

  81. AFC the Greatest

    Aaron is shit but Theo is worse, Lennon has better end product than Theo.

    I have a lot of sympathy for Arsene. He brings in all these young players hoping that they will come good but most end up average at best. Almunia, Senderos (he came with a big reputation but not good enough), Djourou, Diaby, Eboue, Denilson (came with a great expectation but average) and Traore.

  82. “One Song, we’ve only got one Song!”

  83. And Traore?

  84. Arse Bag,

    Awww touched a nerve have I?

    We overpay for kids who have yet to achieve anything. Theo is a good examle

  85. Fabianski – 8 – apart from the goal, really solid.

    Gilbert – 6 – mostly fine.
    Bartley – 8 – one mistake, but very promising.
    Silvestre – 7 – good overall.
    Cruise – 6 – a bit all over the place, sometimes.

    Song – 9 – ruled the game, kept the shape of the team.
    Ramsey – 8 – the most creative player onn the pitch.
    Merida – 7 – very good at times.

    Wilshere – 5 – hardly featured.
    Vela – 6 – poor finishing let the team down.
    Walcott – 5 – poor control, poor free-kicks, poor passing.

    Sunu – 6 – showed a bit of presence.

  86. No, you havent touched on a raw nerve. I just think you are a w*nker who spends too much time criticising individual players who dont perform to the ridiculously high standards that you hold for them.

    Last season it was Song, Denilson et al and this season its Vela and Walcott.

    You also only appear on this blog when we lose which says a lot about you.

    I don’t mind listening to reasoned criticism about our players but you take the biscuit…

    You are f*cking w*anker. Support the team or FUCK OFF.

  87. Senderos – is a great defender
    denilson – i think he is a bit like pools lucas some say he is great and many dont agree.
    almunia is better than chech at least .

  88. I really wish Song wasn’t african Just because of the ACN. I hope he goes there and impresses whilst also remaining fit. I really think cameroon have a bigger chance of winning because of having him in their squad. I’ll be honest and say that i’m not looking forward to denilson playing without Song in MF. They work better together but beggars can’t be choosers. Kind of scary to think that if Denilson gets injured then our only replacement would be Randall or Eastmond (Still not prem quality). Were on thin ice right now but have to make do with what we have. Thoughts on the liverpool game people?? Torres is back and i’m beginning to wonder whether Senderos injured himself on purpose hehe ;-P

  89. Petr Čech

  90. Arse Bag,

    Try substituting “riduculously high” standards for “Arsenal” standards.

    I do not only post when we lose. Go back and check if you want.

    I didn’t criticise Song and Denilson last season. At the start of the season I just said that they were not ready to fire us to the title and I was right. I also said during the season how well they had played so again you are talking nonsense.

  91. Fabianski–I’m ready to be first choice at Arsenal

  92. who is Pierre André the Gignac ?

  93. All this talk about ferrari’s, money and WAGS is kind of irrelevant. Its his money let him do what he see’s fit. Has it cross your mind that this actually inspires him to be a better player to further provide for his family. His happiness increase his chances of performing well and improving. You make it seem like his pay check makes him feel he’s reached self actualization and all he’s got to do is sit on his ass and keep counting his stacks. Thankfully, I don’t think it works that way. From what I understand Theo is as humble and kind a person as one would expect. He will repay the faith put in him by wenger. That in itself is enough motivation.

  94. is this youth policy expensive than the traditional buying of experienced players if we consider the time and effort and the cost ?

  95. I think that Fabianski will become an absolute hero at Arsenal. This save was superhuman.

    Serious GoalkeepingThe funniest home videos are here

  96. like southamption pompey is also going towards administration . harry houdini magis is certainly working .

  97. harry houdini magic is certainly working wonders , i hope the trend continues ,

  98. gignac is looking like a possibility, I could see that happening over a lot of the other rumours, other than Villa of course.

    Gignac has a pretty good scoring record and is a big lad that can handle some bully boy defenders.

  99. Don’t understand the Vela criticism from some. He’s lacking a bit of confidence in front of goal; he seems like a player, like Eduardo who prefers to play close to someone.

    He’s done well up front considering his height; good balance, dribbling and movement. The problem for him so far has been the deep defences he’s had to face making it that much harder to break through them. He’ll learn how to break through them each game – he got on the shoulder of the defender twice yesterday, something which hasn’t done much alone up front previously.

    He’ll be a star no doubt.

  100. Gignac got 24 goals in 38 games last season for toulouse.

  101. Also, Wookush spoken in a Sean Connery accent, produces some wonderful results.

    “Lovely pahty Wookush, pity I washn’t invited.”

  102. Queenie,

    Nice man Theo might be – but thats doesn’t mean he still has lots of questions to answer. Thats the price of the success/contract/profile he gets playing for a big club. You look/talk about little Theo as though he’s your son/kid brother. The lad gets 60k a week. And I contribute to that. Y’know I wouldn’t feel so bad about that if I saw little Theo bursting a gut to track back. Showing a little attitude and application – like Rambo! But I don’t even see that. All style – no substance. He’s got to learn that theres a big bad world out there where people who work much harder for an awful lot less have invested in his talent…!!

    Last summer you spend time staunchly defending Kolo – saying he was Arsenal through and through. I was lambasted from high for even suggesting that a legend such as Kolo should be sold (not to mind the abuse I took on catapulting Ade out!). From the matches he’s played so far for City – and from the impact Vermy has made – its not been a bad decision has it?

  103. Well can I take it upon myself to thank you for masterminding this season for the Arse Joe.

    Truly Thank YOU

  104. Like Heskey, people don’t seem to understand Wlacott’s selection. Fabio Capello likes him as his movement inside and pace can offer him as an outside forward.

    But Walcott is a confidence player; his dribbling has been slightly off the pace recently but before he got injured was playing fantastically. At the moment he seems to be trying to hard to impress therefore mentally he’s a bit unstable shall I say (no offence to anyone intended). He’ll become more decisive as he starts playing more regularly with the first team, mark my words.

  105. AIC,

    If I may, I think you’re being a bit of a smuck. You’re being way too harsh on Vela and Theo, especially considering you’ve only got the benefit of a few games to judge someone on.

    To an unpriviledged observer, a footballer is only as good as their last game; however, to a manager like Wenger, there must be someother type of benchmark. I imagine both Walcott and Vela are pretty tight in training, or at least show the qualities that Wenger likes or rather can work with and mould.

    An Arsenal player is as good as Wenger says they are.

  106. so he is french ,huge , not playing in cl ..will be availble for around 12 mil wont he ? i think he is our man then . is he the same fellow played against the Irish in playoff ? dont impress me there.. thats a good sign too.

  107. walcott will be good for england .they can utilize his pace being a counter attacking team .but we need a little bit more from him i think .

  108. The young cats did well. They took to the greek side. Olympiacos was playing their A team. Walcott, Ramsey, and Vela all had good games. They had their chances to touch the twines. Yep, finishing up was bad but these kids will learn. All in all it was a good performance by the young studs.
    Hammie injuries are hard to overcome. He should be all right. Lots of ice and heat to keep the hammie loose.
    I was happy with what Isaw. Now its time to get ready for Liverpool.
    I would love to give my friend Richard Starr a bunch grap about Liverpool losing.
    http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  109. all right boby spam see u later

  110. Gadget,

    A player is as good as his performances.

    I am not saying that these two will not make it. I am saying that we have spent many millions on them and we need them to deliver. This has become more urgent with the injury to Robin.

  111. AFC the Greatest

    No more French players. We’ve had enough of them and recent ones brought in have been poor. We have to loosen up ‘Ashley Cole’s ‘ French mafia rather than strengthen it.

    There is a French mafiosi and both Cashley Cole and Toure confirmed the existence of the mafia at the club.

  112. All the kids were fantastic yesterday.

  113. “There is a French mafiosi and both Cashley Cole and Toure confirmed the existence of the mafia at the club.”

    Oh Pat……

  114. AFC the Greatest

    Don’t salaud avec les Français vous enculé

  115. but the Scotland yard didn’t confirm the existence yet.

  116. I see no signs of improvement in Theo in the last 2 years.Defenders have sussed him out rather than dive in thet just stand there ground abd he run into them.Bravo his marker last night yes the same Bravo who was shit at Leeds could have markered Theo smoking a pipe and wearing a pair of slippers the amount of trouble he caused him

    I say cut our loses and sell him to a lower premiership club for £5m because he is not going to make a top class footballer at Arsenal.Yes he is quick but where is the end product.And he’s injury prone!!!! Reminds me of a certain Franny Jeffers

  117. theo is a liability. Always getting injured and producing no end product. We should sell him now!

    I’m sick of these players who haven’t produced anything for the last few years. There time is up!

  118. Really excited by Bartley, I think he could become a very good squad defender in the future. He obviously needs to bulk up, but has all the attributes to succeed.

    Hopefully he doesn’t do a Senderos.

  119. You are disappointing me Maria…

  120. I mean how much crap has AIC got to spout before….

  121. Some very disappointing comments today.

  122. Theo Walcott is pure class. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a whiney twat.

  123. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What a shocker. AIC coming out of the woodwork again to slate our own after a loss. Surprise, surprise. F*ck off already. All these c*nts slating Cruise and Gilbert are talking shite, too. How many times did you see Cruise block a cross last night? He balanced his duties well and never got caught out of position. These people will find something to whine about regardless. The ridiculous thing about people like AIC is they don’t give our own the benefit of the doubt. Vela was unlucky to not have scored and it was a good save. But you don’t hear that, you hear he’s crap and that’s it. No mention of the fact the kid is 20 and doesn’t see regular playing time and needs some confidence. Miserable lowlife bastard.

  124. This has been one of the most disappointing threads on ACLF in a bloody long while.

  125. But AIC, brilliance arrives at it’s own pace. Pressure shouldn’t be heaped upon the players like this, least of all by “supporters”. Let them grow into their own legends rather than trying to force it. Expect nothing, receive everything, you know that type of thing

  126. Hello Ole,

    How did you enjoy the game? Were you with the Away fans?

  127. Thank you for that video, LimparAssist. What a player! It’s a shame that Walcott’s injuries have made those with short memories forget how good he is.

  128. Ole,why act surprised its been the same drivel for the past 4 weeks..

  129. boy runner looks good in youtube.

  130. I hate to come on here and see people putting down players like Vela and Walcott, seriously that just seems idiotic to me.

    You look at them and they have immense talent but because they set the world alight, soon after being injured, we have wasted money!

    Some of these comments make me sick.

    VELA, WALCOTT, GREAT PLAYERS! They will carry us on into greatness for years to come, unless some clowns make them want to leave.

  131. LimparAssist,

    It’s one of the loudest craziest stadiums I’ve been to. An absolute cauldron. I could barely hear myself think.

    Olympiakos fans are fantastic. I met some of them in the hotel. These guys could talk football for hours…very knowledgeable.

  132. Walcott and Vela would have been reminded just how harsh the pressures are for players in a big club.

    Only at Arsenal will seemingly intelligent people make pronouncements on players who’ve hardly had 10 starts for the club, but who’ve nevetheless proven they can play at the top level.

  133. Jim, we are sick of people like you.

  134. Gunner from Nigeria got any info on
    Macauley Chrisantus??

  135. Back to the same old AIC, I see!

    Geez, those few poistive comments earlier on this season must of took a whole lot out of you but not to worry you are back to your normal self! miserable, ungrateful, complaining, inpatient, whiney and overly critical.

    WELCOME BACK!

  136. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Ah, Joe is just envious of Theo is he. You wish you had the life Theo leads. But it’s ok, Joe. Everyone needs haters like you in life. Guys like you push the people who are doing things in this world to become better even if you don’t realize it. While you sit here and slate everyone but Arshavin because it fits your retarded hack agenda, Theo is doing things you could have never imagined. Playing for one of the best coaches in the world, fly girls wanting to get know him, Ferrari, fat bank account pretty much everything you want. Like Katt Williams said if you’ve got 10 haters right now you need to work on getting 20 by the end of the month. Quit worrying about what Theo has. Worry about not sounding like whining teenager maybe. Stagnant twats.

  137. It sounded good on tv. I don’t usually like the look of that synchronised bouncing up and down with the scarf twirling. When the the dutch teams do it, it looks a bit forced, when the German teams do it, it can look a bit regimented, and when the Russian teams do it, it looks a bit… well, communist. When the Greeks do it though, it just looks like fun. The place was rocking. Very impressive.

  138. Catagorical statements back and forth. It’s why some of you piss people off so much.

    It amazes me to hear grown men castigate what are essentially children…you blast them for their lack of maturity yet your comments are just as immature.

    Ready to put them to pasture at the ripe old age of 20+. I’m dying to hear how you lot were setting the world afire at 20.

    Have just the slightest bit of humility…I’d love to see you tossers pitch this bullshit with AW face-to-face. AW has watched these players for hundreds of hours, you’ve seen them for an instant in comparison.

    You attack their effort without a hint of the ironic as you sit your fat ass on the computer with virtually no information at all, but perfectly willing to pass yourselves off as arbiters of what these kids can/cannot do. Not a legitimate football manager or talent scout among you is there?

    I’ll say it again…you sound daft when you attack kids for a lack of maturity while exhibiting every single characteristic of the immature…you sound daft attacking them for their lack of quality when we all know you don’t have any REAL information with which to make that judgement…

  139. Stagnant Twats is quite a good name for a punk bad, NJN. Albeit a rather repulsive one.

  140. I like it NJN.. money in tha bank, shorty what you thank..

  141. Katt Williams sold me some deaf and it turned me blind

  142. Damnit, i thought the draw was this week, but it’s next friday. aagh. oh well. Brrrrring on liverpool

  143. Didnt see the game, but i did see the high(low)lights……..oh, and i did see the pass of the decade!

  144. It occurs to me that Liverpool are performing in a similar manner to us of last season. In fact, there is some symmetry…

    ANyway, Liverpool should not be underestimated

  145. just to state the obvious, whihc is the specialty of any good lawman

  146. Axis very good indeed. Remind me not to get on the wrong side of you.

  147. Theo has a sports car and a large-breasted girlfriend, and (like most footballers) he dresses horribly at times, but according to Nacer he is a very amiable fellow, perhaps even excessively modest.

  148. What pass of the decade? I must have missed it.. doesn’t Arsenal pride itself with having many player’s who make good passes every game?

  149. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    It was an outside of the boot through ball from Ramsey to Theo, KS. Great ball but pass of the decade is pushin it.

  150. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Bang on, Axis.

    And I see we have a few Katt Williams fans. Nice.

  151. I love you OOU

  152. axis,

    Then why all that money for mere kids that lack maturity?

    Its lack of contribution for the money that I have an issue with; their age is irrelevant.

    We need strikers now and do not have another 4 years of 60k a week to wait for Theo to improve enough to play centre forward for Arsenal.

    Some people on here make me laugh. They praise the club for being good with finances yet support the spending of millions to line the pockets of kids who have yet to complete even 1 season in the Premiership.

  153. NJN I’m quite aware of it I just noticed how the hacks were marveling at it, as the pass of the season, when our other players do that very often with out even a word of acknowledgment.. for the record that was a pretty high percentage pass but was well executed..

  154. Loving your new coat AIC..

  155. Vela will have the opportunities this season as will Theo.

    Let’s see what they do.

  156. VELA VELA VELA VELA VELA VELA VELA
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  157. Looks a lot like the old one..

  158. Oh, the timing could not be better on this one, KS!

    We haven’t exactly invested millions in Vela, by the way. We got him for next to nothing, and until now his wages have probably been quite low, comparatively speaking.

    I’m no football expert, but I’d imagine that this is the way to manage young players; give them an incentive, support them and show some faith in them.

    This going to sound self-righteous, but supporters could probably take the same approach.

  159. I have a feeling Arsene has gone looking for trouble playing a Carling Cup side in a UCL game in which the result still counted.

    UEFA won’t have been very impressed, and it’d have cost us some political capital.

    I tried convincing some guy that a stronger Arsenal team wasn’t less likely to lose, as they’d have played not to get injured.

  160. Pass of the century then????

  161. My comments were mainly directed at Theo. Its true that we haven’t spent millions on Vela who did well las season to be fair.

  162. Forget it AIC…you’ve managed to read what I wrote while missing my point entirely and yet simultaneously proving it.

  163. and as soon as I respond a reasonable and fair assesment…thanks AIC that’s all I wanted…

  164. come on, you can do better duke.. Clichy’s getting fit again..

  165. Duke,

    Bergkamp to Vieira at Stamford bridge in 2004 or Bergkamp to Anelka (and a similar one to Petit) at Shite Hrt Lane in 1999are some of my favourites.

  166. AIC@4:37

    Do you understand the concept of building?

    Building takes time, money, and effort.

    I understand you want to build the Chel$ki like castle with no foundation. So buy ready made players, spend the money on them, maybe win a title or two and when the sh*t hits the fan, the castle will collapse.

    Unless they change their policy, Chel$ki will collapse sooner or later, we will be there for the long run.

  167. @ axis
    Great post at 4:08pm!

    @ Joe, AIC

    Gosh – and to think people call you fairweather fans!

    I’m surprised that you are comparing Theo unfavourably with Ramsey – given that he cost 2 to 2.5 times more, surely that means, by your reckoning of a player’s worth, that he is 2-2.5 times better?

    Seriously, though, how can you hold Walcott’s price against him? It was not set by him and you know very well that had he been Lithuanian, or Malian, he would have cost the club one-tenth of what he did. But Wenger saw something in him, Capello sees something in him, and both of them are better judges than either of you. Form goes up and down at that age. Ramsey’s form has gone up and down. He has been frankly awful sometimes this season, at other times he has been sublime. But overall, he’s been better than last year, just as Theo has shown overall improvement, not least in his defensive awareness. For what it’s worth, I agree that now, at this moment, Ramsey is a better player. But Theo is a different kind of player in any case – they are not alternatives to each other.

    AIC, your standards are not high, they are unreasonable. They reveal your ignorance of coaching and development of young athletes. As for demanding delivery from Theo on behalf of people who have paid to support the Arsenal…tosh. Speak for yourself!
    The wages Theo and co are paid are set by the market – all EPL footballers are paid insane amounts, even the mediocre or poor ones. However a player turns out, the club has to pay him at the going rate. Again, your attempt to have a pop at the club’s wages structure reveals your ignorance of management.

    Why the obsession with making big calls about a player’s ability or potential? It’s not your opinions that irritate me personally, more the arrogance with which they are stated. You have both been wrong so often it’s not funny any more, and yet you persist in making your sweeping statements. Why?

  168. AIC ain’t a true supporter

  169. Well said FunGunner @4:59 about AIC. In fact, excellent.

  170. are you by any chance a snake charmer Fungunner?

  171. Does Theo have the talent to play at the top?

    The answer has to be yes. Has he done the business yet for Arsenal. The answer has to be no.

    He’s 20 years old though. All we require of him is to keep improving, and to play at his best, and contribute to the squad.

  172. And of course try to stay uninjured Ole!!!

  173. The only place nomarks like Theo get 60k a week is at Arsenal. We don’t have to pay players anything – we can sell them as well.

    We let Pires go on an free and yet he was asking for less than Theo.

    Theo has been at Arsenal for 4 years,we have a striker crisis and he is not able to step-up. Why would anyone be happy with this?

    Thoe has been given time and of course is still young but we need him now.

    He didn’t set his transfer fee but his agent sure helped to set his wages. I have no problem in paying players the going rate but what has Walcott actually achieved?

    To hear AW saying that Theo can’t play upfront – his preferred postion -after 4 years and many millions is disappointing.

  174. Please shut up, AIC, you really are getting fucking boring. All about you again.

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  179. Theo hasn’t wasted the time he has spent injured. He’s written a series of children’s books that are going to be published by Random House next year. Not bad, hey?

  180. I agree with Maria.

  181. Ramsey on the other hand is scary. He has the mentality that he will control the game even at 18. Cesc is the only other player this young that I have seen that has that. Some of Aaron’s passing last night was just brilliant and he really stood out. When Cesc came into the team he controlled games also but had the Invincibles to help him. Ramsey showed that he can do this even with a young team around him.

    I am trying not to get too carried away about Ramsey but I think he is the real deal and the best teenager since Cesc. There are shades of Cesc and even Platini to his game.

    Steven Gerrard? No, the Diving Thug can’t pass the ball like Ramsey did last night.

    He is also playing well for Wales. I bet Ferguscum is still screwing about this one.

  182. Haven’t been reading the message can’t believe that smug lil’ **** has been on……sleamy dirty little parasite….eeeeeewww…..makes my stomach turn everytime I see his name let alone read his posts……

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  184. Then you haven’t seen much AIC, here you had me convinced that was a new coat , now I hear you just took it to the cleaners..

  185. does anyone else think that senderos had one of wenger’s “diplomatic” injuries so that he isn’t cup tied when he leaves in january?

  186. Does anyone else think fast forward is an arsehole?

  187. fungunner, well said. Unfortunately, despite all and sundry having a pop AIC doesn’t leave or stop babbling. Thankfully the team started on a great run at the start of the season so we haven’t had to read this crap until lately (no coincidence there as, despite what he/she says, AIC only pops up when the sledding gets tough).

  188. Or an “O”

  189. I hope Woocash starts v Liverpool; Almunia has had enough chances.

  190. no need to insult me, pz. just an innocent question. just because there are some trolls out there doesn’t mean i am one of them.

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  192. Lovely points @ 4:59 FG

  193. hello all

    overall i was very encouraged by last night and we deserved at least to draw.

    first and foremost, ramsey and merida looked absolutely spectacular, passing decision making, merida even tracked back really well to block a shot in the box… AW will def take notice of that. would like to see fran get a similar run in the first team as ramsey has gotten.

    Song – WOW he was so calm on the ball, i cant believe how much his dribble avoidance moves have improved from last season. he was our commander last night, and a couple of times you could see the younger players just defer to him with a back pass to reset things.

    have to admit i was frustrated with vela not putting that one in during the 2nd half.. from the replay he seemed to try and guide it and shot it right at the keeper.

    vela did have some bright moments, and we all know how clinical of a finisher he can be when in top form, but i think the area he needs to improve the most on is his first touch. did anyone else notice that? not being critical, just hoping AW recognizes that and its focused on in training

    the walcott criticism by some of the “fans” or i guess you all call them “supporters” on here is very disheartening.. do they really fail to realize how littel time he’s had on the pitch this season? let alone consistently? not sure he’s been fit for even 3 straight fixtures!!! how can you be so critical given that information??

  194. God – I have been able to post much but this blog has become awful, until….Maria. When did a bunch of no-good slime bags with too much time on their hands suddenly became arbiters of who is good enough for Arsenal? Thanks Maria for putting that awful, good-for-nothing slime bag AIC in his place.
    Unfortunately this is not the last of him and his fellow travelers. It is truly difficult to drive a stake in his heart.

    Peace out!

  195. AIC, do you really think Fabianski’s first Premier League outing of the season will be at Anfield?

    – – – – – – – – Almunia – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Traore
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – Song – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – Fabregas- – – Denilson- – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Nasri – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Vela
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – Arshavin – – – – – – – – –

    Ramsey, Theo, Fran and hopefully Eds and Vassiriki on the bench as back-up. All of whom can bring the magic.

  196. Am still loving the pic S-G and your welcome reading Bob and Pz wake me from my slumber that fool was running riot today from I can see.

  197. About bloody time, Maria!

    Sleeping on the job?!

  198. That was spooky, Maria. I posted the above before you posted your above.

    Er, I think that makes sense.

  199. Ole @ 4:45

    spot on.. that was my only worry perfect use of the term “political capital”

    but given the teams performance it would be hard for UEFA/Platini to be critical after the fact… those youngsters showed they deserved to play their football

  200. Not sue Vela should get such a long contract, lets be honest and admit he hasn’t progressed like we hoped

  201. I am being honest and he is developing as I had hoped. All the signs are that he is going to be a fabulous player.

  202. i agree frank.. he consistently puts himself in positions to score/create goals

  203. When forwards get into positions and the ball just doesn’t seem to go in…one goal and the flood gates open.

  204. How can you say that Frank, he’s been poor. I do like him as a player but with Walcot, Arshavin & Eduardo, who are all better then him, I dont see him ever playing for the first team

  205. I think we will see a lot of young Carlos and Eduardo over the coming games. Really looking forward to it.

  206. @ Bob hehe……I still protest about the tone you took with me…..the internet on my phone has been acting up!!!

    @ Christian

    Vela deserves a contract for life!!

    If only to participate in the Arsenal catalogue every in year out!!

  207. Glad you enjoyed the game Ole. Athens is a great city to visit.

  208. You are just wrong…er…Christian. is that actually your name?

  209. I agree with Frank.

  210. so christian what would you have us do then?

    the kid is 20 years old!! in 5-6 years if you got your way, he’ll be scoring goals against in this type of competition and you will be left with a HUGE foot in your mouth wondering hwo you couldve been so impatient and short-sighted

  211. The atmosphere created by the Olympiacos supporters was orchestrated by people ‘conducting’ the crowd from around the pitchside. About one every 5 metres. Big fat blokes some of them, but they whipped up the crowd.

  212. One supporter seemed to be refusing to sing, and this big fat bloke was sitting on his back pulling his head back by his hair with one hand and conducting with the other.

  213. Gunner From Nigeria

    Els@4:01pm

    Chrisantus Macaulay is on the books of Hamburg but, he was loaned out to Karlsruher RC for this season in the German Division two.
    However, his season have been disrupted by injuries as evidenced by the fact that he was absent at the U20 World Cup in Egypt in September
    I do hope he regains full fitness as he is a natural finisher.

  214. Another refusenik was being used as a baton by the biggest conductor.

  215. Bendtner is out for longet than expected; no one is surprised.

    Its even more important that one of the strikers step up. It could be Arshavin instead though, at least until Bendtner returns.

  216. NJGunner, I might not be left with a HUGE foot in my mouth. His performances have been pretty mediocre IMO. He is young i’ll give you that, see what happens I suppose

  217. i noticed that Frank and was kind of surprisded to be honest… I know the Greek fans are known to be some of the most intense in world football, but that came as a shock the first time they showed the guys with the boom mics

    is this common in other places?

  218. A keeper’s mistake, a striker’s miss seem unforgivable, a pass that goes astray a missed tackle less so, That is the deference between Vela and Ramsey. Sure Ramsey was great but he lost the ball a few times, some of his split passes did not come through, so?. VElla already showed us that he can do incredible things,his speed his technique, and position are top, but he should become stronger physically and a little less latin in his way of taking contact, BUT I am sure his misses even if frustrated Arsene do NOT worry Arsene all that much, because they are more about finding a groove ,fine tuning and having a run and NOT about quality and ability.
    However he is another of those wingers or’false 9’players we have a few of, not a CF .

    Theo is more complicated, because his extraordinary natural endowment of speed paradoxically impedes his admittedly not too large football brain and skills development, and yet with Theo you always feel that something tremendous can still happen here.This is very unique and IF it will come good he will turn into a frightening game changer, BUT He is a player that needs very attentive coaching.

    Fabianski is a brave and PROACTIVE keeper and that is refreshing being used to the passive reactive nature of Almunia. but he is sometimes too brave and rush,prone to a silly mistake, but that will come good if he playes regularly. If Fabianski was English he would have been on the way to SA. Maybe this does not say much, but Almunia c/wouldn’t have been on that plane.

    Song IS impressive, and yesterday he was asked to do more , keep the ball , control the tempo, keeps things cool when the youngsters lost their head. he knows how to create space around himself impressively and rarely looses the ball. the only thing that would worry me is his speed. He is not slow, but he cannot easily make the recoveries that terriers like Lass Diara or Macherano or maybe even Flamini were able to, and that is a big minus for a DM of such attacking unit as Arsenla is ,as we saw yesterday with that goal

  219. you most certainly would!! a size 17 to boot! (ooo good pun)

    the way your talking about him, is that you think the only option is to sell him/not renew his contract

    down the line when the young mexican has turned into the grizzled very experienced 25 year old mexican and has fully refined his skills and finishing, if he his not displaying those skills for Arsenal, you will feel sheepish at the very least

  220. So are writing off Vela’s performances/goals in the Carling and FA cup, since he joined us?

  221. “BUT I am sure his misses even if frustrated Arsene do NOT worry Arsene all that much, because they are more about finding a groove ,fine tuning and having a run and NOT about quality and ability”

    Robspierre spot on

  222. Pass of the millennium???

  223. Last I find it ludicrous and detestable that fans put themselves as stingy shopkeepers and accountants of the club, about which true finances they know NOTHING at all. we care about the quality, performance ,philosophy and style of play, Why would you care how much a player makes or cost? they make/cost a lot, we know that.
    To me the huggling about 2, 3,5 millions for a player Arsenal really wants and sould have is inexcusable for such a big club .And the fans should not take the position of pushing the club to invest rather then be the prudent anxious shopkeeper in this
    e.g I still think that getting rid of Ashley Cole at his peak and who still is the best fullback in england was a mistake and fans should have thought of it in football terms and not get drawn to the finacila part of it which were not unreasonable by the way. Clichy is good but Arsene made a mistake there, and from a FAN”S point of view he makes them often

  224. People need to see what Walcott has done last season when he was fit (for example in the CL match against Liverpool) to realise his potential. He has been injured constantly this year so obviously he is lacking consistency, but if he gets a good run of games, defenders will sh*t their pants when they see Theo running circles all around them.

  225. hindsight is 20-20 robespierre

  226. Limparassist @ 4:06

    Very funny, but very true, looked like a fun place to be.

    If only we could get some of those fat cheerleaders to show AIC how real fans support, but probably they’d just loose patience, give up, and turn him into a kebab.

  227. I remember when Arsenal tried to improve the singing at Highbury in European games by having a band in the North East corner. You could actually feel the heat radiating from embarassed red cheeks around the ground.

  228. Gunner From Nigeria

    Whats the false alarm about Vela? For Heaven sake he is 20years old.
    How good was Ronaldinho when he was 20? He struggled in the French league and only fulfilled his potential in is second season in Barca.
    Some of our players haven’t gotten to the level of YES but, these criticisms levelled at them are without foundation.
    In Nigerian parlance, no WAHALA!

  229. Stoke was te perfect time for Vela to show what he can do in the premiership but for whatever reason he never got the chance to play 90 mins, t was annoying because, lets be honest he needs toperform in matches that really matter

  230. Er, no offence to any skinny cheerleaders out there, (or any sheep that pride themselves on the kebabs they make) but those dudes knew how to get a party going!

  231. Just what the fuck are you dribbling on about …er…Christian.

  232. yea finsbury

    did you see all the fans jumping in unison at the end??

    boom mics to orchestrate the songs at the emirates?

  233. Gunner from Nigeria, Are you comparng Vela to Ronaldinho?

  234. “Boom mics to orchestrate the songs at the emirates?”

    Since only Passenal and Frank will be singing, that sounds a bit over the top.

  235. well Duke.. at least you tried..

  236. Each of the boom mikes had a red button on it. Did you not botice the rictus grins on the faces of the jumping fans?

  237. Usually I understand what AIC is bothered about. In this case I just struggle to understand it.

    It’s disappointing that criticism could be so passionate yet so flawed.

    Why the f–k does anyone care how much footballers are paid? They’re all bloody overpaid anyways, and have been since at least the 80s.

  238. Sorry, to ‘botice’ is apply steam to your arse..I did of course mean notice.

  239. We still got any of those cox cables?

  240. I like to sing at games in a falsetto voice. Been doing it for years.

  241. i hear ya Ole.. he’s taking 1+1 and ending up at 11!

  242. Gunner From Nigeria

    Some “OVER SA BE” (Nigerian English) would be silently happy that Eboue won’t make the trip to Anfield.
    Its a shame that some groups have continually castigated our/their own players while salivating almost on a daily basis at the prospect of having… at the club.
    The best time to support a man is when the road is rough for him.
    Eduardo, Vela, Walcott, Diaby, Denilson should be supported to the high Heavens so that we would reap the fruits.

  243. AIC seems to have a fascination over players salaries & signing fees.

    Was he not the same AIC that said he would pay whatever amount to sign Arshavin?

    The man’s a fool.

  244. Gunner From Nigeria

    Christian @6.52pm

    I am not comparing both players. My point is that development varies at a young age.
    Ronaldinho was not so good at 20. So, we should give our young players time to find their feet.
    It won’t be lost on you that some where clamouring for Vela to start ahead of Eboue and Diaby few months ago. Now, he is being labelled as not good enough after just 90minutes of football. Thats every unfair.
    Time would answer it all.

  245. sure,we’ll defeat liverpool.

  246. “What I found more interesting was Wenger’s comments that he expected us to be badly beaten. I guess he was really just interested in avoiding further injuries.”

    Arsene never said that, he never even implied it. He certainly expected the game to be harder than it was, but it was only some wayward finishing that stopped us winning the game. Olympiakos were not better than us on the night, they just took advantage of one error and managed to take their chance.

  247. we hope to get a decent attacker by january to hold forth for van pee

  248. passenal: i guess we should expext such mistakes with a young squad.

  249. Almost a day late but here goes ;

    Fabianski – not far off now. Decision making will improve in time but he`s a top class shot stopper
    Bartley – promising. Like his composure
    Song – so consistent. Never less than 7/10
    Merida – as with Fabianski, not far away. He`ll start in the prem within 12 months.
    Ramsey – He`s there. I`m trying not to think about his potential !
    Walcott / Vela – Disappointing but receiving unfair criticism

  250. Christian, What is ‘toperform’? Is it a more architectural form of topiary?

    GfN. Totally with you and I’m a big fan of Vela but I do think Ronaldinho was pretty incredible even at 20 when he was at PSG. He was the crowd favourite and they hated it when he left.

    His good form there may or may not have anything to do with there not being many decent clubs in Paris.

  251. There are some very indecent clubs in Paris. Try Mimi’s in Pigalle…ask for Veronique and mention my name.

  252. Very good LA.. Football is gloriously fickle, there was a stage when Wilshere was what Ramsey should have been .. now the roles have been reversed on the 2 youngest most exciting British prospects.. I’m glad Wenger is keeping Wilshere under raps..

  253. Man, there’s been some cretins on here today.

  254. Jesse, I think that’s the point missed by many who are laying into a couple of 20 year olds. I also worry for Ramsey. He had a good game last night, but those calling for him to start on Saturday are way off the mark because he’s just as likely to have a poor game and then get his share of the slating, which some are only too eager to dish out.

  255. Its a matter which polarizes opinion Passenal..

    Wenger likes to hold his tongue and speak privately to his players about their performances and admits he worries for players who give a report of being great on a day, with out noticing their mistakes..

    Rednose on the other hand has recently been called a complex man by Nani, in that sometimes he is showering you with praise and at other times cursing you shouting at how bad you are..

  256. Flint McCullough

    Why am I so surprised that some of you are so confident writing off some 17-20 year olds when they played a mature CL team of the park for most of the match

    I see AIC is still blinkered into his lack of vision & lack of any football sense.

    Barley & Cruise did exceptionally well considering how much of an intimidating atmosphere that must have been. They will both learn from this experience but are probably not yet ready to play an important match.

    If Theo or Vela had been sharper & more confident we would have won that game because we controlled most of it & created 3/4 really good opportunities.

    I think this team probably did better than the 1st team, with nothing to play for, would have done.

    Good performances all round, well done lads (& Sylvestre).

  257. Here here Flint,

    We should be proud of all of them.

    Passenal,

    Correct – they build `em up to knock `em down.

    Ramsey will be on the bench at Pool

  258. AIC

    I couldn’t reply to you earlier but you are a tw*t of epic proportions.

    (1) You are only ever seen on this website when we lose, in the aftermath of loss, or when we are in a difficult patch.

    (2) Your posts are ALWAYS critical and never supportive.

    (3) Last year you were slating how sh*t Denilson and Song and how it must be embaressing for Fabregas and Arshavin to be playing alongside such sh*t.

    I am fed up with ‘fans’ like you. I don’t have my head in the ground and realise that our team still has isues to sort out but what f*cking planet are you living on when you make comments about players who make mistakes at the start of their careers?

    I’d rather have an empty Emirates than have plastic fans like AIC constantly criticising our club, its players and everything Arsenal just to serve their own arrogance.

    W*nker!

    (it’s been a long day and someone had to get it)

  259. I could have written that in a more polite way but sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say ‘fuck it”

    Too tired for politeness.

  260. I share your anger, Arse Baggins, and not just towards AIC. Every one of our players gave a more than satisfactory performance last night, and they deserve praise for matching one of the top 16 teams in Europe.

  261. There are days when the comments on here disgust me.

  262. Vela will be an Arsenal great!! 1 goal is all he needs for his monstruous talent to detonate.

  263. Arse Baggins, I thought your post was polite enough when considering the cretins that are involved.

    “There are days when the comments on here disgust me.”

    I agree Poliziano.

  264. I agree with isaac

  265. The way our youngsters played tonight, we could have played them every game and still qualified for this round.

  266. shut up joe

  267. In 3 years, we will be fighting to keep this player from leaving for Barca, Inter, Madrid and other scavengers.

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