Stone Cold Friday: Dear Santa…

’tis the season to be jolly, tra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la. So here’s Mr Bah-Humbug with his last weekly post before he gets absolutely rat-arsed and passes out for the rest of the festive period. Take it away, Darius

As the festive season falls upon us, we wonder what Santa has in store for the Arsenal. For many of the ’Premiership Manager’ video game playing experts, the wish is that Wenger whips out the cheque book and buys some serious no-nonsense reinforcements. For the more level headed realists, the wish is that we cross the half way point of the season amongst the leading pack.

Regardless from which angle we see Arsenal’s form, all of us will be wishing that the festive season brings us a reprieve from the relentless injuries suffered. I’ve come to accept that injuries are pretty much here to stay, the expectation that you can go a whole 60+ match season without them is as unrealistic as expecting the Coyote to catch the Road Runner with his arsenal of ACME accessories.

Give or take the next 2 matches against Hull and Villa, the half season report card is not as bad as the losses and draws so far make it look like. I’ll be my ever optimistic self and suggest that the table doesn’t lie, and bagging anything around 38 out of the possible 54 points (minus the game in hand of course) at the half way point of the season is a good place to be given the challenges we have endured.

Despite our injuries, I subscribe to the notion that if Arsenal were ready to start the season with the current squad, then there’s absolutely no point in waxing lyrical about strength and depth if we’re not going to use the full extent of your resources. Solutions from outside, fuelled by the clamour of transfer window movement of big name players, is not necessarily the answer to our woes. We have to be open-minded about whether the solutions come from within or without.

Apart from the injuries, Santa wouldn’t go amiss if he dropped a letter from the fans about consistency to the boys at London Colney. There is no doubt about the players’ talent and technical superiority. Mental strength needs to come out shining. We have that mental fortitude, though it sometimes takes Wenger to blow a gasket for the team to show it. There’s been much talk about our physical presence, perhaps clouded by comparisons to Arsenal teams of yesteryear.

My sense is that those who still harp on about Arsenal not being as physical as the last two title winning sides need to move on and embrace what we have, for that’s what we have. Suggesting that Vermaelen, Song, Diaby, Bendtner, van Persie, or even Arshavin for that matter, can’t ‘take care of themselves’ is as misguided as suggesting that the only way to play football is to use brute force. Brains and not just brawn are part of the modern game and Arsenal is damn good at it.

Besides, it’s a serious compliment that for some teams, the only way they can play us is to try and kick us off the park. The media establishment and pundits will be right behind egging them on to show this uncouth brand of leg breaking, ankle crunching, blood spattering route one football as being good entertainment.

We are indeed privileged to be every football purist’s second favourite team because of the brand of sexy and scintillating football that we play. Just like a beautiful and sexy model revered by all and sundry for her breath-taking looks, elegance and stunning physique, we’re not going to wake up every day looking like a million bucks. There will be days that we’ll wake up feeling ugly and ordinary, and playing Wengerball will be a long stretch. For such days, the team will have to settle for consistency and professionalism as a bare minimum to grind through the match.

We don’t have the divine right to waltz into a game and win anything. It is games that force us to fight for a draw or a win, or defend a tight lead that will make the difference this season. During this marathon of the premier league season, at this point in time, mental strength is much more of a factor for success.

Application of this positive mindset goes hand in hand with the need to be consistent for it is through this that we gain confidence. Arsenal is a confidence team, and we thrive on the ability to impose our game on opponents. They know that if they let us play our game, it will be to their own detriment. When faced with the challenge of a team that come at us whichever way they see fit, it’s our mental fortitude that will win us the day.

As I’ve said several times over the last few months, this team is at the brink of success. What can be frustrating for some is that this team can also be inconsistent. Certain groups of fans need to manage their own expectations about the team. We are doing as well as can be expected by being in and around the leading pack. I acknowledge that there is room for improvement all round. The desire to improve is always a sign of quality.

That improvement is something that the boys in the team work on every day at London Colney but there is still one massive area for improvement away from the training ground. It is in this latter area that I can only wish that Santa brings more promise to us – that is to encourage Arsenal fans, particularly those in the stadium on match day, to show their support to this fantastic team. We all have a role to play in achieving success, match day fans in particular must show the players that they are behind them in good times and in bad times.

Merry Christmas to all of you and here’s looking forward to a good run on the other side of this season.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 18, 2009, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 235 Comments.

  1. Very god article but I don’t think so gaffer will buy anyone in Jan. transfer window. Because Bendtner will fit to play in new year Tomas is near to fitness and looking at the past record he will not buy anyone

  2. He probably won’t, but a new Keeper is by far the most urgent thing we need. Even if Fabianski suddenly makes world-class saves, he’s only 24, and will be pretty inconsistent.

    And a backup for Song would be good. I don’t think that Denilson can do the job on his own. Yaya Toure anyone?

  3. Nice article… It’s true that we hav done well so far coz i dont think any other team wud hav juggled dis well with such a humongous list of injuries and still stay at the top… but i stil cant c y wenger refuses to buy… buying sum1 lik villa or dzeko now vil b a similar move to the one made last decade in goin for DB10… he has 2 go for the KILLER PASS… wats he waitin 4???

  4. We will be at the top come end of season!

    Very well written as per usual Darius

  5. Well written as per usual.

    We need to stay positive and back the team.

    We will be at the very top of the table come end of season!!!

  6. We expect loyalty and comitment from a group of not just players but young players and show little in return.

    Lets get behind this very good squad of players and see what we can achieve together.

    Starting with Hull. And lets give tham at least a half to score this week


  7. I cant seem to post a comment?

  8. Gunner From Nigeria

    Those ahead of us would play before us. So, we have to be vigilant to take advantage of any slip up and, not bring pressure on ourselves.
    We have to keep on winning to make our match in hand against Bolton to count.
    I hope we get Stutggart in today’s CL draws.

  9. Will he buy or wont he, i hope he does. Something was missing mid-week. Cant play great all the time i suppose and we dug in as and when, but dont kid yourself being everyones second best team means nothing , and on nights like that we need a little bit of something else. I hope je buys an experienced midfielder to partner fab4 or……go back to playing 442 in the absence of rvp with song in the middle. lets get back to winning ways this qweekend as a pre-curser to a happy xmas.

  10. Gunner From Nigeria

    Its a shame that we rarely have our full team to choose from because of injuries.
    Its evident from earlier this season that our full team can handle anybody.
    I remember a couple years ago Alan Green on World Football on the BBC World Service said when he answered a question posted by a listener that a full strength Arsenal team is better than all in the PL
    If we put that into perspective,
    can we ever avoid LONG TERM injuries for a season?

  11. “Certain groups of fans need to manage their own expectations about the team. We are doing as well as can be expected by being in and around the leading pack.”

    Excellent post as usual Darius and the sentence above hits the nail on the head perfectly.

  12. Well said GFN. Even Wenger himself said he doesn’t know why we suffer so many injuries. There has to be an answer PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Gunner From Nigeria


    We need somebody to put the ball in the net not who would partner Fabregas in 4-4-2
    We already have players who can do that.

  14. I post this last night, just in case you missed it, Its the entertainer Arshavin.

  15. Wenger’s off to manage Money City. Where’s that Arsenal TV guy, Tim Peters to diffuse the news when we need him?

  16. We often forget how hard it is to win when others are favourites.

    I like it when they write us off, and nobody is talking about us.

    Unfortunately, they bash us saying we’re not title contenders, and then they bash us if we don’t win every game.

    Surely, if they’re so sure we’re not contenders, us dropping points shouldn’t even be newsworthy?

  17. Consistency and injuries go hand-in-hand. We won’t achieve consistency without consistency of selection.

  18. I think we have a good chance this year, I’m not convinced about Chelsea at all. It looks like that Wigan defeat has exposed their weaknesses in defence it showed to everyone they can’t defend high balls into the box and now every team is trying it out on them Portsmouth should’ve got at least a point if it wasn’t for some terrible finishing. United are not convincing without Rio and Ronaldo. You could say the same about us but If we get our players back by the new year we could pull away. I think we stand a good chance this year.

  19. 1LC,

    There’s a reason Chelsea haven’t won the league in 3 years with this same squad.

    Chelsea are less than the sum of their parts. They have a very strong squad, and they’re hard to beat. That’s their strength.

    But if you look harder they really don’t have match winners to come off the bench.

    Here’s their lineup from the match against us where they had an essentially full squad:

    Lineup: Cech, Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, Carvalho, Terry, Essien, Lampard, Joe Cole, Mikel, Drogba, Anelka.

    Substitutes: Hilario, Ferreira, Ballack, Malouda, Zhirkov, Deco, Kalou.

    All their subs are seasoned professionals but very few of those have come off the bench and changed games for them in the last couple of seasons.

    They’re also an old team. Their engine is full of older players in Lampard, Drogba, Anelka, Ballack. These are the guys who start most games for them. These guys usually fade in mid-season.

    Chelsea are hard to beat, but they’re not an unassailable juggernaut.

    The challenge for us is to keep a run going. It’s hard when you’re disupted by injuries. But if we can keep it going, we’ll be boosted when injured players come back.

    I hope Eduardo finds form against Hull and takes them to the cleaners tomorrow.

  20. Very reasoned and resonable darius. I’m not sure why, “We are doing as well as can be expected by being in and around the leading pack”, though.

    We really could be doing better.

  21. Once Ivan Gazidis has told Wenger who to buy in January, he needs to set his mind to reforming Arsenal TV Online. Whoever was responsible for spreading false rumours about Fabregas should be sacked. The commentary must be improved. At the moment, play can go on for minutes at a time without any attempt to describe what is happening. The number of emails read out during matches must be drastically reduced. In my opinion, unless they are particularly interesting, they should be reserved for half time or after the match. Any emails that sound like they have been written by Howard should be either ignored or held up to ridicule.

  22. 1LC

    So you were wearing a blindfold during the Chelsea game.If they are that poor why did they beat us 3-0

    We have some great players but also lots of poor players Almunia,Diaby,Eboue and of course Theo who will stop us taking the final step

  23. Oh my god, can’t the Diaby and Eboue bashing be stopped? WTF?

  24. + Theo and Almunia bashing. Basically bashing of any our players. What kind of supporters are we if we only whine about our team instead of supporting them?

    Every single one of our players has proven his worth to the team, it’s just that some are completely out of form (Theo) or lack confidence to do the job properly (Eduardo, Almunia). But if that changes and they regain form or confidence, they will become an integral part of our team again. Unfortunately though bashing and booing them won’t help them on their way back, what they need is support and we are supposed to give them this support as “supporters”

  25. PORTO!!

  26. We got Porto!!!

    Not bad.

  27. it should be easy

  28. PORTO!!!

  29. its good we avoided ac milan

  30. And Mancs get AC Milan, and Chelsea get to play Mourinho. All in all a fine draw.

  31. Wonderful draw FANTASTIC..

    Looking forward to the Inter Chavs and Manc AC..

    this could be the year the English clubs fair of worse to the so called weaker Italian league teams..

  32. What a silly comment El Pel.

    By your logic, Wigan must be one of the strongest teams in Europe, having beat Chelski 3-1.

  33. Gunner From Nigeria

    The draw is very kind to the Spanish teams.

  34. Gunner From Nigeria

    The draw was very kind to the Spanish teams.

  35. Great draw with big distractions and tough games for our domestic rivals.

    If this round is being played over 4 weeks, surely we will have two weeks when we play and others dont? It will balance of course, but it makes a huge difference depending on who you get the following weekend. A bit strange.

    I hope Nasri plays in cescs place on saturday and we put an extra attacker in the side. As good as Ramsey looks, i think we should be more aggressive with team selection.

  36. Fuck off it should be easy do you knowhow strong they are. Hate people who say that, anything can happen

  37. Chamakh you’re a donut

  38. gunnerfrom nigeria, i think lyon are a good team.

    we avoided, ac milan, inter milan and munich, but next on my list for the ones to avoid was porto.

    Come On, I’m so glad we got Porto

  39. Who do we think would win if Zap had a mud-wrestling contest with a donut?

  40. he is a wimp polizano,i will cruch him like a worm

  41. Depending on the dates, we could play both games before home league games, or both before going away to Stoke then Hull. Those could be tough games on short rest in Febuary. I hope our luck holds and this goes our way also.

    We need to focus on the league now and put together some consistency. This team seems to only be able to pull out its best when backs are against the wall: Liverpool away this year, Chelsea last year.

  42. lol…where’s riley?

  43. Gunner From Nigeria

    Chamakh and Zap
    You guys seem to get in each others way all the time.
    I guess you two cannot do without it.
    Keep up the good work. Lol

  44. Hear, hear, Darius.

  45. Denilson back for Hull. Phew!
    Eboue will start.
    Traore back for Aston Villa.

  46. Chamakh, once again drawing unnecessary conclusions, have you met me, no so how can you say you will crush me. You are a deluded fucking prick so don’t think you know me.

    You are entitled to your opinion mate and so am i, so let’s leave it there ok?

    PZ asked what would happen between me and a donut . To answer your question i think it all depends on the contents of the donut, i would have to examine it to extract it’s individual elements then draw a statistics table examining GDP in the donut.

    what a stupid question

  47. Behave, the pair of you.


  48. up in the sky..

  49. for those who missed it Mad Jens “taking the piss” to new levels..

  50. The draw has been kind to us, but it’s by no means an easy draw. This next CL tie has been thrown right in our court and we need to give it the respect it deserves.

    Porto have won the Champions league in the last 5 years, we haven’t. Thinking that they’ll be a walk in the park is misguided and disrespectful – but Arsenal is also one of them clubs that teams want to avoid at all costs.

    I think I’m more please that Chelsea got Inter and the Mancs got Milan.

  51. Gunner From Nigeria

    Thanks Yogi for your intervention.

  52. Depends how many injured troops we have when we play Porto doesn’t it. If we have a strong team we will send them packing.

  53. yogi,

    send him back to the grove where he belongs.

  54. Mourinho as usual will hype up the game so well and will fall, like man u last season and barcelona this season, on both occasions being beaten 2-0 easily. I’m afraid i think the same will happen unfortunately, as for AC Milan i think they can beat a Man U without Ronaldo, but I think if Chelsea got knocked out, they may say we can concentrate on the league but i think it could derail their season, same goes for manU

  55. All that bollox about no draw is easy is just what the team says to take pressure off. The truth is this is the easiest draw we could have asked for , well maybe Stuttgart but they have a very good keeper dont they.

  56. hahahahhaha it would’ve been funny had they scored during that moment….

  57. Thanks Darius …

  58. Gunner From Nigeria

    Although Porto is a good draw, it depends on the limits of our injuries as Duke pointed out.
    If all our players are fit except RVP who is out long term then, we could go all the way.
    Another determinant factor has someone stated earlier is the EPL games we have between the two legs. I hope it turns out to be home matches especially before the first leg in Portugal.
    However, the team in form at that time would truimph.We should be at our best then

  59. We are sorted, have you watched Porto recently? they are so shit, we couldn’t of got as better draw. It will be a cricket score to the Arsenal

  60. – – – – – – – – – – – – – almunia- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -sagna – – -gallas – – – vermaelen- – – cliche- – – – – – – – -song- – – -diaby- – – – – -denilson- – – – – – – – – – -eduardo – -arshavin- – – -nasri – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

  61. I watched Porto beat Atletico Madrid 3-0 in Madrid, and they are a quick team in the final third, due to the fact they lost Lisandro Lopez, their star man they will be easier to defend against, and as long as we maintain our passing game, and take the game to them getting some priceless away goals shouldn’t be too hard. I think if we score at least 1 away goal, we have a great chance.

  62. There shit Zap, we will batter them

  63. We might do in the 2nd leg, but in their stadium in front of their fans it will be an intimidating atmosphere, so i think it’s vital we get at least 1 goal there, at the Emirates provided we have a strong team, we should be able to do it

  64. Gunner From Nigeria


    No use belittling Porto, we are two months to wait.
    If you ask me, Porto are a good team.

  65. We will annihilate them, there shit trust me

  66. Gunner From Nigeria

    We have two months to wait

  67. darius wonderful post… you really hit the nail on the head with this one

    “We are indeed privileged to be every football purist’s second favourite team because of the brand of sexy and scintillating football that we play. Just like a beautiful and sexy model revered by all and sundry for her breath-taking looks, elegance and stunning physique, we’re not going to wake up every day looking like a million bucks. ”

    Porto… hmm cant say ive seen much of them whats the thought lads?


    No this is good news. See ya sendy and thanks for all the …erm memories.

    Nah in all seriousness you was an honest pro. a nice guy. all the best.

  69. Arsenal is actually my first favourite team. To be honest, I can’t see how a football purist could support any team but Arsenal.

  70. – – – – – – – – – -almunia- – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – -sagna- -gallas- – -vermaelen- -silvestre- –
    – – – – -song- – – -diaby- – – – -denilson- – – – –
    – – – – -eduardo- -arshavin- – -nasri- – – – – – – –

  71. – – – – – – – – – -almunia- – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – -sagna- -gallas- – -vermaelen- -silvestre- –
    – – – – -song- – – -diaby- – – – -denilson- – – – –
    – – – – -eduardo- -arshavin- – -nasri- – – – – – –

  72. – – – – – – – – – -almunia- – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – -sagna- -gallas- – -vermaelen- -silvestre- –
    – – – – -song- – – -diaby- – – – -denilson- – – –
    – – – – -eduardo- -arshavin- – -nasri- – – – – –

  73. – – – – – – – – – -almunia
    – -sagna- -gallas- – -vermaelen- -silvestre
    – – – – -song- – – -diaby- – – – -denilson
    – – – – -eduardo- -arshavin- – -nasri

  74. almunia
    sagna- -gallas- – -vermaelen- -silvestre
    song- – – -diaby- – – – -denilson
    eduardo- -arshavin- – -nasri

  75. ————-almunia
    sagna- -gallas- – -vermaelen- -silvestre
    song- – – -diaby- – – – -denilson
    eduardo- -arshavin- – -nasri

  76. Hull to the Cleaners

    Come On The Arsenal, a win vs Hull would get our seasn right back on track, plus fulham and west ham hopefully will take some points off the title rivals

  77. This team is simply in the middle of adjusting to the loss of a very key player. But adjust they will and indeed are. It is good that their leader has to remind them from time to time that they have nothing to fear.

    As for the in-stadium supporters. Lost cause. It will not be sorted out until ownership of the club is sorted out…and maybe not even then.

  78. Why do you have to be a purist to support Arsenal. I’d think just about anybody who watches football appreciates our brand of effective, passing, flowing football.

  79. I have always considered ‘purist’ to be a pejorative term, but what the fuck do I know?

  80. We are adjusting, we will. Hopefully, we have a winnable run of fixtures to speed it all along.

  81. There has to be a counter-balance to all these home matches that Chelski are scraping by on and these teams who forfeit the game to the Mancs before a kick has been…er…kicked.

  82. Porto isnt such a bad draw, was afraid of getting Bayern and the milans.I would have loved Stuttgart though. What i would ask father xmass is for all our players to be injury free and the fit-less to regain form.With them being back to their best like we started this season would be great.

  83. oh my word i am crying at that back to the future/ arshavin video. Genius.

    Good draw. We have been treated kindly, not to say that it will be an easy game.

    Stuffing Hull good and proper will make my christmas.

  84. We will win only if our wingers do their job of getting behind the defenders… Nasri and Walcott have failed to do that…

    I would prefer to see Eduardo and Eboue on the wings this time.. They have more presence and provoke the defenders which frees the midfield players to attack more.

  85. Hull (h)
    A.Villa (h)
    Portsmouth (a)
    Bolton (h)
    Everton (h)
    Bolton (a)
    A.Villa (a)
    Man.U (h)
    Chelsea (a)
    Liverpool (h)
    Sunderland (h)

  86. Mate, such a good blog. I completely agree, this team is on the verge of stunning success, but our fans need to move on from the days of the invincibles. Those days are over. We aren’t a swashbuckling team throughout the season, but we have more than enough to fight for the title. With a little bit of luck it could end up at our door. How cool would that be? Like seriously? How cool?

  87. very cool nashisr

  88. It seems history has been re-written by some D**Mers. Walcott didn’t contribute at all to the two goals scored against last week.

    It seems a week can be a really, really long, painful & excruciating time in the mind of a D**Mer.

    It’s been two years of non-stop whinging and crying, “We need a D**M.”

    Now that such pathetic warbling against players such as Song or Denilson (& Diaby) is prooving to make these chumps, look like, chumps, they’re just moving onto the next available target, players returning from injury, or out of form.

  89. Scored against Liverpool.

  90. Hull (h)
    A.Villa (h)
    Portsmouth (a)
    Bolton (h)
    Everton (h)
    Bolton (a)
    A.Villa (a)
    Man.U (h)
    Chelsea (a)
    Liverpool (h)
    PORTO (a)
    Sunderland (h)
    Stoke (h)
    Burnley (h)
    PORTO (h)
    Hull (a)

  91. Wenger might surprise everyone and splash some cash. The Gunners are still very much in the hunt. The EPL title is well within reach. Man U and Chelsea will stumble and lose. You can bet the farm on that. This baby is far from over. The stretch drive won’t happen until January-Feb. The next two are must win. Go get em and kick some major butt. spam bobby

  92. nolagunner i was doing the Premier league ones


    Zap, want a jug of lager? Yum

  94. i didn’t know you had internet connection on your sleigh Father christmas?


    bobbygee, ur a nutcase. 3/4 and a cuckoo head. Good luck to ya

  96. “Purist” pejorative? I suppose it carries connotations of anal retentiveness, which some might consider derogatory.

  97. I’m seriously starting to doubt wether you are actually father christmas father christmas.

    It must have been tough for your wife concieving a whole festive occasion


    i am on wireless. No worries. Lager zap? Castlemaine 4x

  99. i don’t consider it derogatory,but that’s my opinion which doesn’t matter, except for Father Christmas here, who insists i have a lager.

    Grandfather Christmas must be so ashamed to have a son not carrying the tradition on, instead killing the continuation of the Christmases, with modern technology. Really father C, don’t you have presents to give?

  100. Christmas is a week tomorrow. Santa will be in his grotto checking his list once, checking it twice, and so on.

  101. Nice post Darius. I agree with much of what you said. I really think this club is close to being very good and truly challenging for the EPL title. However, I really think we need someone on the squad who can score 12 – 14 goals in the 2nd half of the season and we need a CB who can boss the air space in the box and organize our defense. I do not think there is anyone on the squad who can do this.

    Nik B will be an excellent striker someday, but at this time there is no evidence that he can score more then an occasional goal. Even great strikers usually hit there form in the mid 20’s. Same with Vela, maybe in a few years he will score 20 -25 goals but not now. Eduardo may regain his form but shows no evidence of that now. Theo will probably be a good player but not yet. The pendulum has swung a little to far towards youth development and away from winning now. Buying a striker and a good CB will not destroy the careers of the younger players. If they are truly good enough they will develop and push their way into a regular spot on the first team. Playing Theo regularly may speed his development slightly but, playing him now so that he develops faster is hurting the team today. If the young players are not really good enough they will go the way of Bentley, Lupoli, Aliadiare etc. etc. Last year Arshavin probably saved our CL qualification. 2 difference making players could easily mean the difference between 4th and 1st place this year.

  102. I agree with you about anal retentiveness, by the way, Zap. It’s just an illness, like any other, and can be treated at great expense by any reputable psycho analist.

  103. it can also be treated by Father Christmas.

  104. don’t joke about being treated by father christmas…

    it’s not as jovial as you expect it to be..

  105. Bill,

    I think there’s a lot of evidence Bendtner is already a top striker.

    He’s 21, has scored against Chelsea, Scored against liverpool, he scored a goal every 180 minutes last season, he’s a regular for his country, and has a decent scoring record for them.

    In terms of ability he has everything a top striker needs. He needs to improve his composure and confidence, but he’s a good player any way it’s measured.

    Sure he hasn’t done the business yet as a regular. But we do have reason to believe he can do it.

  106. Father Christmas is overweight, and he has poor personal hygiene. If you really think about it, they guy’s a lout.

  107. ….and a suspected bestialist.

  108. Someone needs to do father christmas for being drunk and in charge of a vehicle. What’s the point of all the anti-drink driving campaigns at Christmas yet no one thinks of collaring ole Santa.

  109. With 4 of the next 5 at home we should get 15 points. We must start our title roll here.

    The draw gave us good dates also, before a home game and on the Tuesday before we go away.

    Porto will be tough and a score draw would be a decent result at their place, but overall it couldn’t really have been kinder.

    Team for saturday


    Eboue Gallas Vermaalen Silvestre

    Denilson Song Diaby

    Nasri Arshavin Eduardo

  110. At least he favours Arsenal colours, Darius.

  111. yes, ole gunner, but think about it….Santa>Snow>Spuds….

  112. Purist carries connotations of dogma, single-mindedness, one-eyedniceness, inflexibility, obsession, eugenics, mass murder…that sort of thing

  113. I heard his sleigh doesn’t even have a catalytic converter fitted. He doesn’t have insurance or a tax disk. If a policeman stops him, he just has Dasher kick him in the goolies.

  114. You’d expect a purist to try to get rid of impurities. So Frank might just be right.

  115. …cleansing fires, scorched earth, Armageddon

  116. We must adress the Arshavin retiring situation- Snap up his son Artem in January

  117. Blitzen is my favourite reindeer…apparently he is a complete and utter bastard to the other reindeers.

  118. Is he a friend of donner ?

  119. I think this is the most dignified picture they could find…,,10338~1909022,00.html

  120. i hate the way rudolph is such a little bitch.

    If a Premier League player was a reindeer it would be Gerrard.. especially after his antics in our game last week

  121. Santa can’t be a spud…. he’s too competent to manage it.

  122. It was Blitzen who invented the game of Chimney Plop…and he holds the record of 200 metres at a height of 73 feet at a speed of 82 mph with a following windspeed of 15mph. Sheer artistry.

  123. Blitzen, heh? Sounds like a name a purist would appreciate.

  124. Santa has an uncut willy. More reason he can’t be a spud.

  125. mm I don’t know OG he also has a tendency to deliver up until and during Christmas, then fades away miserably

  126. They were great, great friends for years, Moopay, until they ended up shagging after a particularly drunken post-Christmas party. Never was the same again.

  127. Santa prefers Prancer….and Cupid gets very jealous.

  128. Did you not know, OG. Santa doesn’t have a cock, that is to say he did but Prancer bit it off after she discovered he had been… well you know…with Dancer.

  129. Yes and we all know why Rudolph has a very shiny nose. What a tart.

  130. i am unfamiliar with these reindeer…maybe it has something to do with not celebrating christmas. I rely on Frank for education on suck matters, and to be frank, Frank, i’m shocked.

  131. i mean ‘such matters’

  132. Ole:

    I agree that NB will be an excellent striker. He has all of the tools. No one knows when he will show that form in the EPL. I suspect by age 25 he will be scoring 25 goals/yr. Same with Vela. Neither of these players has done it yet and to place the hopes of this season on their backs is not fair to us or them. I have no idea if RVP will ever come back to form after this type injury. A new striker will not damage NB’s long term career. He will get plenty of games and if he is as good as we think he will show that quality and move into the 1st team. I do not want us to spend like Chelsea of City but their has to be balance and for now I think the pendulum has swung a little to far towards youth development and away from the team winning.

  133. Bill.

    I’m sure you, like many other fans who can smell the success due to this team, get eternally frustrated by that final mile we have to manoeuvre. That final mile to the first trophy is the hardest for everyone.

    However, the key question is whether we throw the baby out with the bath water and kill all the progress made so far, or whether we fight it mentally and where possible, add to the current squad to improve it.

    Wenger has always said that he will only buy a player who will add value to the current squad. His argument is cemented by his last 3 purchases – Vermaelen, Arshavin and Nasri, all of whom have brought significant value to the current squad.

    Buying for the sake of buying and because of undue pressure from outside is in most cases never the answer. Take for example the striker position everyone is screaming for – mainly to be a relief striker for Van Persie. I would pose a few questions:

    1. Can we afford the player that is available and who will add true value or are we just going to be handbagged into buying over-priced hype because we’re a captive audience.

    . Will the player actually blend into the Wengerball style of play in good time. Will this person literally hit the ground running? It’s actually incompetent to try and change our style of play to fit a single new relief striker. We can’t have the tail wagging the dog. The person has to be right for the club.

    3. What will happen when Van Persie is back if the player we have to buy is not strictly relief and also hasn’t exactly fitted in well. Because of the money spent, there will be the pressure to play this player more even if it isn’t working.

    I would start by asking whether we have the resources internally – and Bendtner seems to fit all the answers we need. He’s already schooled in Wengerball, has the arrogance and attitude we need up front, can link up play very well as his time with Eduardo and Arshavin has shown, and for a 21 year old, he is fairly experienced.

    People talk about Carlton Cole coming in and this and that player, but no one can say for sure whether that will be a better solution than supporting Bendtner to make the final grade. They’re both risky strategies, but the question here is what risk are we prepared to live with. My sense is that supporting and cajoling Bendtner to rise to the challenge is a much better solution for us – and Wenger will still have the option to buy if he thinks it’s not working by the end of January. I’m not sure when exactly Bendy is back – but he would have my vote over a new signing. besides, an entire footballing fraternity in Denmark wouldn’t be wrong in declaring Bendtner the best player in Denmark.

    If Wenger had given up on Van Persie 5 years ago and let him piss in the wind – we wouldn’t have the privilige of having such a key talisman with us now. But it’s taken Van Persie more than 5 years to get to where he is.

    The question then comes back to our willingness as fans to see the project through and how this is balanced with quality additions to the squad like Arshavin and Vermaelen. It’s a delicate balance and it’s best we keep emotion out of it an let the staff at London Colney make their decisions.

    I’m fairly confident that if the decision was made that we need to buy a new striker (or any other player for that matter) Wenger will not hesitate to take out his cheque book if the right player comes along.

    He’s already said he’d rather have his injured players back than buy new ones – so it gives you an idea of which direction this is heading.

  134. Frank…Santa has a prosthetic replacement. He was detail oriented enough (anally retentive) enough to insist it be uncut.

  135. RvP will be back.

  136. Those Xmas parties are regrettable. I remember it well.

  137. I heard that Prancer photocopied her arse during the Christmas party and gave it to Santa as a kind of saucy Christmas card. Far from finding the picture seductive, Santa thought it was hilarious, and passed it around the other reindeer to the sound of raucous laughter.

  138. To tell the truth, Santa doesn’t miss his whatnot anyway. All those mince pies have given him such a belly that he hasn’t seen hide nor hair of it for years.

  139. #when santa got stuck up the chimney
    #he began to shout
    #you girls and boys won’t get any toys
    #unless you get me out

    #my beard is black
    #there is soot in my sack
    #my nose is tickly too
    #when santa got stuck up the chimney
    #achoo achoo achoo

  140. It is easy to see if he looks hard enough. It is over the bar in the reindeer common room.

  141. I’d like to have a drink with FC though. Maybe at an ice bar in Lapp Land drinking strong vodka….

    He’ll have to shave first though. I’m afraid of catching some lice.

  142. Mince pies. Yuck. That’s reindeer food. I reckon it was us Yanks that contributed to his belly most. We at least leave him things that actually taste good.

  143. We might have nothing to talk about though. I’d yatter on about Arsenal, and he’d just keep going; “ho ho ho”.

    I think Santa will get along with Snoop Dogg. Or Alex Ferguson.

  144. This is kind of a support group for people who find Santa scary:

  145. A







  146. AL

  147. ……….A
    ……………………………..E ………….
    ………………….N ……
    ………………… ……. ………….A

  148. Zap,

    You know that ad they sjow on Arsenal TV, for Arsenal soccer schools, in which there’s this kid who goes…..”Arrrrrrrrsenal”.

    Love it.

  149. do you know the sky sports snowman? I hated it when he tilts his head back and breathes ice on to the screen. It pissed me off at half time vs Liverpool, and at the end i liked him. He’s also on Sky Sports news

  150. Is that the Snowman that appears alongside the big 4, Mancs, Chavs, Towelheads and Dippers ?

  151. I think it’s John Terry’s dad.

  152. From optajoe on Twitter: Opta EPL Team of 09: Sorensen, Sagna, Vidic, Skrtel, Lampard, Cole, Kuyt, Gerrard, Arshavin, Rooney, Torres. Min. 2000 mins

  153. Apparently Santa is a bad role model for kids and people are campaigning for a more healthy, less inebriated gift bearer.

  154. I prefer those bars where nubile young ladies bear (not gifts but goods in glasses) having strategically neglected to wear their blouses.

    But most parents wouldn’t like that. Kids react well to gunnersaurus.

    What do you say we nominate gunnersaurus for Santa, The Brain?

  155. Went for a ‘foraging for Christmas decorations walk’ with consolslel today. Beautiful, bright, clear sunny day, very cold along the river. Ended up in a pub that I had not frequented before, very nice pint and a roaring fire.


    In walks the local postman and starts telling the landlord about the Champions League draw. Good, I hadn’t heard it.

    Turns out he’s an Arsenal fan and I had to spend the next half an hour listening to him expound to the landlord all of our ‘shortcomings’.

    “..something wrong with our training methods….too many injuries….no presence in the box…no point in crossing the ball…they want to walk it in the net, ‘course, bloke on Sky said that they have to, no strikers….Eduardo is like Arshavin, a midfielder who scores goals….all little blokes…need more strength in the side…Walcott’s rubbish…need someong like Owen…onandonandonandon’

    It was like a bad day on ACLF or like watching any football programme or reading a newspaper. Consolslel, very amused.

  156. Well he is green (double boom, boom) but on the other hand, he is kinda fat.

    Didn’t RVP once visit one of those bars?


    I’d love a pint or twelve with u oG. Just opened a wishful letter from le grove. They want gus hiddink for xmas. Twats. Never going to happen. Theyve been absolute turds all year.

  158. I hear so much of that Consols….my brother is the biggest doomer that emerged from human evolution. Kevin Whitcher would love him.

    He reckons we’re only slightly better than Aston Villa. Says Gallas should right back, Vermaelen left back while we get two beasts in central defence. Sol Campbell is preferred…says if Giggs can do it, Sol can.

    He says Pat Rice contributes absolutely nothing. Wenger is fighting a losing battle, gallantly but irretrievably taking one for principle in football while Arsenal steadily fades into past glory.

    He says not one kid from the academy will make it….Vela’s poo, Walcott too, Wilshere’s got no clue.

    Amazing how negative he is. Yet he’s kept his season ticket, and out there every other weekend.

    I flinch to read his texts sometimes…..

  159. The Brain,

    Just once? What’s that lad been doing with his life!?

  160. Your brother’s name isn’t Howard, is it?


    I will grant this to u–> wenger for life, hatful of goals, sexy football and god bless… May u find bliss in may.

  162. Fuck the fucking fuckers is what I say, and no messin.


    My one wish for Christmas is (apart from all our strikers finding form) for Le Grove to get all their heart wishes. They’re so fickle, inconsistent and contradictory, that everything they get will serve them just right.

    Oh, and 9 points from 9 this Xmas period.

  164. If my brother were Howard, either he or I would have had the other committed by now. I would have for sure.

    In this season, I hope Howard has a brother who loves him and would consider doing the right thing.

  165. Why do they bother? Just enjoy the football.

    It seems to me that being part of the pack is just more important to many people.

  166. Well, is your surname Ice Cream?

  167. Darius, I totally agree with your assertion that third place in the Premiership does not reveal a team that is wanting for strong management. In fact, it was mentioned in a Canadian broadcast of the Liverpool game during the weekend that Wenger survives on a very meager budget when compared to the top teams in the Premiership. I feel proud that Wenger has taken a very different route to success other than spending huge amounts of money which, at times, does not produce the desired results.

    Nevertheless, there is no harm in fans wishing that we had other alternatives to, for example, the Almunia’s of this football world. Those of us who are critical, also love the team with a passion. There is no doubt that we produce boo’s during games, but I do not find this objectionable. In fact, I proudly reserve my right to boo a performance that is sub par. It is only in an autocratic, Hitlerian, Stalinist, enviornment that the necessary right to be critical is not welcomed!

  168. It would be better if you just fucked off, Two Owls.

  169. Too true, Two Owls. One of the most unpopular aspects of life under Hitler and Stalin was the ban on booing at football matches.

  170. How dare you evoke Hitler and Stalin in this context you superficial piece of shit.

  171. Here is a man who is ‘proud’ to be a part of a ‘mob’ who declaims those not in the mob as nazis or stalinists. What an arsehole.

  172. Owls are renowned for their utter stupidity. The bits of their brain which process sound and visuals are just about all there is. If you increase the number of owls you don’t get to combine their intelligence…you just get two very stupid creatures.

  173. Gunner From Nigeria

    Ramsey turns 19 on boxing day while, Wilshere would be 18 on new year day.
    Happy birthday in advance to both of them but, i would have preferred if Wilshere is left alone without any loan move. Partly, because our injury problem means he might be needed in one of those matches in the new year especially the FA Cup.

  174. frank, not everyone share’s your opinion.

    Stop slating people, it isn’t correct all the time but neither is your opinion..

  175. Just watched the interview with JET on signing new contract with Arsenal. Well worth watching his soooooo cute. Can’t wait to see him in the first team.

  176. F*** OFF JOHN!!!

  177. maria again another prick, go and make your boyfriends dinner mouthy bitch!!

  178. Gunner From Nigeria

    Hey John,

    Please, take it easy. Don’t you think thats too strong a language to use.
    Some courtesy please.
    I hope your day wasn’t bad as you sound annoyed.

  179. Always interesting that these bastions of free speech turn out to be the most neandethal in their attitudes to women.

    Maria is a lady, John, so I’ll say it.

    Fuck off John.

  180. hey, gunner

    i’m not angry, yes maybe that was a bit strong! why don’t you nothing to say to maria, gunner? did she use courtesy?

  181. consolbob

    why you getting involved, if maria is a lady she shouldn’t be saying “fuck off” for no reason.

  182. I tend to get involved when someone starts spouting insulting rubbish, John. Particularly if it’s puerile, sexist rubbish.

    Is that how you talk to women in your life?

  183. The reason they all pile on Wenger is that he’s so much cleverer than they are. Another brilliant press conference today.

  184. im sorry to say consolbob but if maria wants to be treated like a lady she needs to act like one

    respect needs to be earned and a lady does not constantly treat ppl abusively..especially with phrases such as f@ck off..which seems to be her most popular form of post…

    just a thought…

    anyway…back to football..good post darius..i enjoy reading them and they provide alot of thought provoking insight…i agree mostly but would disagree with your opinion on the emirates…

    i agree matchday fans should show their support but sometimes not everything is as clear cut as it seems…

    well done on the post again..truly enjoyable..

  185. consolbob,

    I was abused, I abused back! was it sexist? maybe? I cook dinner for my girlfriend all the time.

    maria is foul mouthed so I used that as a point if she wants to talk like a fool then i will treat her like a fool..

    it’s over now anyway…

  186. I don’t think I’d mind having Ribery on our squad sending crosses in to Bendy…more than I think Wenger will be willing to spend though…

  187. ribery would be an excellent purchase, but highly improbable..

  188. Consolsbob,
    It’s very gallant of you take on the ponyboy role, but I suspect Maria doesn’t care what John says about her. The clue was in the “fuck off.”

  189. Gunner From Nigeria

    Hey John,

    Nice you stated its over. You know strong language is not good and, two wrongs don’t make a right.

  190. ok fair enough yogi…nice while it lasted though..thought i behaved quite well and kept it football even though ive been constantly abused myself..but you have your favorites and i apreciate that..keep up the good work fella..

    if you would like to email me and explain the reasoning then that would also be appreciated, but i know time is limited when one owns a blog and i know you dont need to explain yourself to anyone so i wont hold my breath..

    cheers for the airtime and i suppose i was on a tight rope anyway…

    although i would say reasonable civil conversation isnt hard if one trys and alot of your posters dont try..i find that rather hypocritical when the same posters believe themselves to be superior intellects than others..

  191. I know, I know, Pz. It’s just that with Ponyboy AWOL I just feel that someone should tilt at the occasional windmill.

    It’s true though that Maria cares not. Were you not once her rival for young Carlos? She goes her own way.

  192. Come on JonJon. Don’t moan.

  193. True, Consolsbob. A touch of gallantry is more than welcome in this singularly ungallant age, though I never could get the hang of it myself.

  194. Has JonJon been given the heave ho?

  195. Pz

    Nope, he triggered a spam trap with a comment by using a particular combination of letters within a word.

    That this was the username of one particularly tiresome individual was entirely coincidental and took me about 20 minutes to work out why a harmless comment was held for moderation.


  196. So Christmas hasn’t come early.

  197. Darius:

    Thanks for your response. Your points regarding finding the right person to play for us are well thought out and certainly have merit.

    My disagreement with you is your idea that buying 1 or 2 good players is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    I do not want to throw out Nik B. I think he will be a great striker. I think Vela will be a 20 goal/year player. My contention is that they are not yet there. Your point about RVP is important since it did take him 5 – 6 years to become confident enough to lead the line of a potential EPL winner. Very few 21 year old can are ready for that role. If NB does not score in his first 3 – 4 games he will loose confidence, the papers, some blogs, the fans will get on him which can do much more harm then good for a 21 year old. Most good strikers mature in their mid 20’s. Just like RVP, Nik will be much better served by playing with someone else who is considered our top goal scorer. He can take over that role when he is ready. I believe the greatest risk to Vela, Theo, NB, Ramsey is to expect that players that age will play consistantly at a high level. This type of pressure can certainly damage these players. I do not advocate throwing out these players. Putting the hopes of all Arsenal fans along with the hopes of Cesc, Arshavin, Gallas etc on Nik’s shoulders is asking alot of him at this age. Theo, Vela and Ramsey are great squad players now who will probably be excellent 1st team players at some point. (esp Vela and Ramsey). If they are as good as we think, like RVP they will mature. However, having them on the pitch as key players at this time is certainly not been to our advantage.

    The question then is how long do we wait. I do not know. AW has indicated that this is the year. Maybe next year will be the year. The EPL is more open this year and if we got a striker who could score 12 – 15 goals and a CB and hopefully as you have pointed out in last Friday’s post “improve our defensive nous” so we can keep a clean sheet when we need to, then we could win. If we wait to long then we risk killing Cesc, AA etc. etc.

    Thanks again for your thoughtful comments. I am not a negative fan. I do not boo at players, but I really want Arsenal to win. I believe that we need to balance our management of the team and that we have gone to far to the holy grail of youth development to the detriment of the teams chance to be more successful. Any fan can tolerate 1 – 2 years of rebuilding but at some point the patience has to wear thin for team and the fans. Buying a player to fill a specific need is not a sign of weakness and will not invalidate all that AW has worked for.

  198. Hull city player :”But our game-plan against those types of teams (Arsenal) is to work hard and get in their faces”
    Honestly, I’m really sick and tired of this phrase “Get in their faces” ( I blame Hansen for it)any team that says this just telling you,” we are a rubbish team can’t play football and we’ll try a bit of thuggery and hope for the best.

  199. Bill,

    Buying a player to fill a specific need would only be valid if that player will replace an existing player. The idea that we desperately need a striker may or may not have some weight, but the problem is what happens once VP comes back from injury ? We end up with a surplus striker who may not like being on the bench.

    Also, I do not buy into the idea that Bendtner or Walcott are still in development. Sure, Walcott has looked poor, so much so that Talk Shite held an inquisition on thursday, blaming Stuart Pearce for his inclusion in the U21 tournament in the summer. I don’t completely buy into this. Walcott has had hardly any games. No player hits top form after a long lay out. Somehow, some people believe that Walcott should be an exception.

    Contrary to popular belief, our first team has a lot of experience, including champions league, and even if they don’t, witness the youth factory that went and played at Olympiakos. Sure, there was not enough experience to win that game. On the other hand, just project 3 years into the future.

    The point you make about patience should also include perspective. Regardless of if we have ready made players, that does not necessarily bring success. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are top clubs who have squads packed with ready made players, and all have a piss poor record in the champions league recently. Also, the idea that 1 or 2 players to fill gaps will bring success may be correct, but it presumes that we can get those players, and it does not mean that injuries will still not occur to either those new players or to the rest of the team. In any case, this is not the main reason that buying off the peg players would be a weakness. If we did this, it would complete invalidate the youth policy, which I believe is our main weapon against those clubs spending with impunity i.e. the chavs and the mancs. We need a long term strategy that will allow us to overtake and eventually dominate those two clubs, who will hopefully bankrupt themselves in spiralling transfers trying to catch up.

  200. Darius:

    One more point. Buying a striker and CB may not win the title for us but it certainly gives us a better chance. It would also help us next year especially a good CB.

    I loved what you said in the 2nd to last paragraph of last Fridays post. If the whole team did the dirty work and really concentrate for 90 minutes on the defensive end we could win. This team considers itself an offensive team, but I think we tend to loose focus on the defensive end. We need to be good on both ends of the pitch to win. That is the most important thing AW could do for this team.

  201. lets get in their faces too…thats what Rosicky said.. match them physically then outplay them

  202. Muppet:

    I agree that spending large amts of money on multiple players like Bayern or Real does not always work. We can not do that even if we wanted. Buying to fill a need is not the same thing

    I completely disagree that buying a player or 2 invalidates the youth program. Did Vermaelen or Arshavin destroy our youth program? There needs to be balance in team building. We can not hold our breath and wait for the Mancs and Chavs to implode. That is not the way to manage a team such as Arsenal. Youth has got to be the at the core of our strategy. However, we probably would not be in the CL this year without Arshavin. The Chav’s are really happy they have Anelka now even though they have one of the worlds best CF playing at his prefered position. If we had another good striker and RVP I suspect Le Boss could figure out a way to use the talent he has. If RVP can return and play well next yr (big question mark), he will play as long a he is helping the team and he is better then the other players we have.

    I do think NB and Theo are developing. Look at RVP and TH14, Drogba etc.. Strikers do not mature at age 21. I think Theo is most at risk from the expectations he carries. Nothing he has done except for his international hat trick would suggest he is ready for a full time slot on a team that has the expectations of Arsenal. He will eventually mature and be a very good player or become David Bentley. Throwing him on the pitch in a title race before he has to confidence to play consistantly and the confidence to handle the negative bloggers and the newspapers will only hurt him and Arsenal.

    Buying a player or 2 will not assure us of winning but it gives us the best chance this year and integrating new players with our youth will give us the best long term chance of success.

  203. Bill,

    Vermaelen and Arshavin were effective replacements for already experienced players – Toure, and arguably Arshavin. They were not purchases to balance a younger squad.

    I just don’t agree with the premise that our team is unbalanced and we need 1 or 2 players. The usual call for 1 or 2 players is just based on the injury to VP. Otherwise it’s a call to get rid of 1 or 2 players that people usually scapegoat, such as Almunia, Eboue or Denilson.

    Of course, Bendtner and Walcott have further development to come, but I think they are ready. I would prefer to see them than a run of the mill striker. If you said Ribery then that would be different. But we are not going to get Ribery.

    I understand the argument about youth and balance, but as I said, I just don’t buy into the fact that we are too young. Take our first team, the youngest are Fabregas, Walcott, Nasri and Bendtner, Denilson. I don’t have any problems with any of those players out on the pitch. The back up ? Yes, Ramsey, Traore, Vela, Gibbs are all young, but you have to ask yourself… how many teams have matchwinners on the bench ? Ole Gunner expressed the opinion that Chelsea don’t really have any. That leaves Manchester United… who has been coming off the bench to win them matches ?

  204. Frank. Well, all right then. We will retire to the back limb and let you articulate for those of us who are, as you say, so stupid! By the way Frank. What limb do you hang from?

  205. Bill,

    Vermaelen and Arshavin were effective replacements for already experienced players – Toure, and arguably Arshavin. They were not purchases to balance a younger squad.

    I just don’t agree with the premise that our team is unbalanced and we need 1 or 2 players. The usual call for 1 or 2 players is just based on the injury to VP. Otherwise it’s a call to get rid of 1 or 2 players that people usually scapegoat, such as Almunia, Eboue or Denilson.

    Of course, Bendtner and Walcott have further development to come, but I think they are ready. I would prefer to see them than a run of the mill striker. If you said Ribery then that would be different. But we are not going to get Ribery.

    I understand the argument about youth and balance, but as I said, I just don’t buy into the fact that we are too young. Take our first team, the youngest are Fabregas, Walcott, Nasri and Bendtner, Denilson. I don’t have any problems with any of those players out on the pitch. The back up ? Yes, Ramsey, Traore, Vela, Gibbs are all young, but you have to ask yourself… how many teams have matchwinners on the bench ? OG expressed the opinion that Chelsea don’t really have any. That leaves Manchester United… who has been coming off the bench to win them matches ?

  206. Bill,

    I’ve written you a reply, but it’s stuck in moderation. The main points are that I do not believe that the squad is that unbalanced. Certainly not the first team. I believe we have a very big squad, but injuries have taken their toll. Nobody could have anticipated that Eduardo would not have hit form this season. Walcott has not had a run of games and I believe that Bendtner was playing very well before he got injured. The call for 1 or 2 players is really just to fill the injuries. I do not believe it is to replace what we have, unless you believe that we need more experience, say, in the middle of the park.

  207. Muppet:

    Enjoy chatting with you. See you next week. Go Arsenal.

  208. Making rules about the age at which strikers “mature” is absurd. Every player is different. Consider Ronaldo. Aged 17, he scored 44 goals in 44 games; aged 18, 35 goals in 36 games; aged 19, 19 goals in 21 games; aged 20, 47 goals in 49 games. The next season he managed a pathetic 34 goals in 47 games. During his mid twenties, his years of maturity, injuries meant he hardly ever played; but once he arrived at the autumn of his career, he began to play and to score again, never dropping below a strike rate of 50%, but never regaining the form of his immaturity. If we dispense with lazy generalisations, and instead examine individual players, I expect the cheese model of player development would be found to be rubbish.

  209. All fair Pz. But after all said and done, most players don’t perform at 17-20.

  210. How old is Drogba? Thank you very much. Wow imagine the reception RVP gets on his return…..

  211. OG when you went to Olimpiacos did you see those tough men urging on the crowd to sing?

    Same thing should be done at Emirates

  212. Poliziano i have finally found the answer to your question- what would happen if i had a fight with a donut. The donut would win, i would be overwhelmed by the fact that the fine piece of bakery would be able to fight.

  213. hurry up back robin!!!

  214. my favourite in that season was for brilliance vs Liverpool at the emirates, for occasion against Chelski at Stamford Bridge to make it 2-1.

    Oh and 1-1 at everton… many!!!!

    what a player, what a reception he’ll get when he returns

  215. we take the brilliant players we have for granted.

    Its amazing how many people were saying he didnt cut it before he was injured. I look at some of the things he does in the game and wonder if ANYONE else can do that?

    Same situation with bendtner now.

    Its going to be difficult in jan because any striker bought will have to be exceptional to displace anyone we have when fully fit.

  216. I LOVE OUR YOUNG GUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    P.S I must add a thanks to Mr.Gentleman himself Bob……….I seem to have missed all the huuha………

  217. Ole Gunner have you ever visited a redrant site the blog of Manchester United fas

  218. deano,

    Are you saying Bendtner is exceptional?? I mean he’s good but he isnt that good yet.he might read your comment and then get all complacent.

  219. Seems you are always at the center of the huuha Maria.

  220. I think Denilson will put in a great performance today… At last, he will be given the box to box role suited to his talent

    Expect a big big match from him + a high tempo throughout.

  221. Dear Auntie,
    With a heavy heart I have this morning learnt that my two dogs Cubby and Lucy, a lab and a pointer, multiple crosses in the mix mind you, are secretly supporting ‘Wolves’. I have had a bit of a chat, trying to explain that the name is not derived from their ancestors, and that the manager is quite possibly the biggest prick since or before Phil Brown, certainly in the running. It has been very emotional, they are confused; we are a Gunners household you see. Please help.

    Meantime, the Guardian reports that ‘dark matter’ (long suspected but never proved) has been discovered, buried underneath ‘Old Trafford’. It is not clear how long it has been there or who put it the stuff there. It has been variously described as the key to understanding the universe, and, a probable link in a heavily-veined red-nose condition afflicting several at the club.

  1. Pingback: Top Posts —

%d bloggers like this: