Cesc, Motty and Arsene on Boxing Day

Traditions of Christmas still abound in an everchanging world. Liz still spouts on, families snooze post whichever meal they have gorged on, too much alcohol and kids fighting because one of their toys does not quite function as well as they expected. And football returns on boxing day. Well, it would if the television companies had not meddled. Instead we wait until tomorrow lunchtime for a resumption of action.

Ahead of the clash with Aston Villa, Arsene has noted that armand Traore is the only player whose return is guaranteed from those who missed the fight, sorry, match with Hull City. The noteworthy absentees are minimal in being anywhere near fit, Cesc the nearest, rated as no better than 50:50. Which is a tough one to decipher because Arsene’s 50:50’s rate anywhere between 100% and no chance of playing. More team news will no doubt be forthcoming during today in the lead up to Sunday’s encounter.

According to the manager, the players trained on Christmas Day morn before tucking into their turkey or whatever takes their fancy in this diet conscious game that we live in. Arsene believes the only thing he can give at this time of year is the health of his family and that Arsenal wins their matches. Peace and goodwill to all men on Earth coming in a very poor third, no doubt.

I suspect that Arsene will not be worrying unduly about giving the FA their Christmas card next season, believing that the decision to charge Arsenal with ‘failing to control their players‘ to be a harsh one. Not too sure that he can really defend the players since an sign of a melee is going to see the clubs charged. Better that than having a single player or more facing a suspension through their actions, whilst the club will be fined. Hull are expecting to be hit with a bigger fine as they have been charged more recently than Arsenal with the same offence. It won’t happen like that, of course, since Arsenal are a big four club and therefore deemed to be immediately more guilty than their supposed peers.

Elsewhere, John Motson has decided that the 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane in The Invincibles season was the defining moment of the decade as far as the Premier League is concerned. Whilst I appreciate his rationale in that it sealed the title for a monumental Arsenal team, I am far from convinced that it is more of an achievement in a one-off scenario than the win at Old Trafford to seal the title, a match where United were dominated entirely. Indeed, there could be a strong argument that the victories over Liverpool and Leicester City in that undefeated season required more strength of character to achieve. The latter was a nerve-jangling affair with the history which beckoned provided that defeat was avoided, stress placed upon the players to a greater degree than in a normal 90 minutes.

The Liverpool match displayed even greater mental strength. Coming from behind in the match itself, immediately in the aftermath of a treble crumbling in front of the players’ eyes. The 4-2 win at Highbury was the defining moment of that season, the result which truly indicated that no slip-up in the league would be countenanced.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 26, 2009, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 52 Comments.

  1. Quite appropriate I think

  2. morning n happy birthday to Ramsey newaiz top post

  3. Gunner From Nigeria

    Thank You Jesus that we can expect a delivery of our desires.
    Hoping for a crowning glory at the Emirates tommorrow.
    Fabregas’ 50:50 means he might play as Wenger rated Gallas with the same figure before the Chelsea match and, he eventually played.
    Go Arsenal.

  4. Is there a link to the Motson article, Yogi?

  5. I’m relieved with the return of Traore as I think despite his lack of experience he is better equipped than Silvestre to handle Agbonlahor’s pace.
    Saying that Cesc is 50:50 means that Wenger is playing mind games.
    I don’t see Utd or Chelsea slipping up this weekend so it’s vital that we pick up 3 points against a confident Villa side.
    If Eduardo scores tomorrow and pitches in with another 2/3 in Jan will Wenger hold off on buying a striker?
    Can Walcott finally hit some confidence building form? I know he didn’t have a pre-season but with VP out it’s time for him to really give 2010 a right crack.
    I was about to conclude that this is an important game but with the battle for fourth place as tight as the title race, every game from here on in is a big game.
    Sit back and enjoy!

  6. I somehow have a really good feeling about the villa match. Don’t know why, but seems this is one match that we will definitely win. Think it is because of Denilson and Diaby, and the fact that we have Fabregas coming back.

  7. glad traore is coming back, nothing makes me more nervous than seeing silvestre in the starting 11.

    my last xmas wish (still xmas in US) is for cesc to make the start.. im hoping wenger is being coy about his prospects…

    also, ive just found out that the match wont be on television here…

    any gooners around here know of a good STREAM?!?!??!?! would love the help

  8. sorry pal,it will be live in kenya.

  9. The game is on Shetanta which is some how still operating in the US?

    NJGooner, kind of hard to find streams from now…maybe 10 minutes before the game is more likely. It’s even harder to find a stream when the game is aired on Shetanta since not to many people have it.

  10. I hope we win there is a link myp2p.eu watch it here

  11. Love the history, those days were superb!

  12. http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/sport/Brown-infuriated-by-FA-charge.5939101.jp

    What is it with Hull?

    Is there something in the water that makes these clowns alter basic facts and fail dismally to see any balance?

    Or are they just inherently dishonest over there?

    brown claims we scored a goal in the 49th minute from a free kick that shouldn’t have been given (true).

    He then claims that after that Nasri “lit the touch paper” – Wrong, Nasri trod on the twat’s foot BEFORE the goal?!?!

    I love the “We conducted ourselves in the right manner in the face of adversity”?!?!?!


    So it’s ok to barge, kick, hack, dive and generally try and thug your way around the pitch (calling all stephen hunts, fagans etc, come in please), but when one of your “targets” decides to “put his foot down” (in a manner of speaking), then it’s just not fair?

    Honestly, the orange twat and his club are the absolute pits.

    My personals vote for relegation:

    stoke (in reserve)

  13. http://www.itv.com/sport/football/news/premierleague/generalnews/brown-positive-ahead-of-united-clash-872715877.html

    “You just want a bit of luck and a decision to go your way. Unfortunately we didn’t get that.”

    So what was the softest penalty in the history of the game then you f%$&*g doos?

  14. Can’t remember when we have not been able to see an Arsenal game live, here in Kampala Uganda. So to all those gooners who can afford it, why not drop in here to watch some live action. Plus the weather is fab and the watering holes are some of the best on the planet. Come on you gooners!

  15. Phemmit from Lagos

    Hap to see traore back in action 2morrow! Is song going to play b4 leaving for africa? Plz help find out. Though in his absence, we have more than capable replacement in denilson n diaby.so, good luck gunners. Merry xmas to u all.

  16. Phemmit from Lagos

    Hap birthday RAMSEY! D only bday cake u can give is GOAL againse villa tomorrow.

  17. ello ello, i actually want cesc to not play tomorrow, but only because i want to see ramsey, and that will never happen until fabregas is unavailable. im hoping for ramsey taking cesc’ spot and a 40 yard scorcher from the welshman

  18. Nice bit of righteous anger there, Mike.


  19. ife, are you mad? If Cesc is fit, he will play. He is one of the best midfielders in the game and you would rather have an 18 year old with potential in his place? I’m glad you’re not the manager.

  20. Villa match live on Setanta: 8:30 am (eastern in USA); also on internet at http://www.atdhe.net

    I believe this is Song’s last match b4 heading to ACN .

    Regardless of whether Cesc can play, we should have the personnel to control the tempo and take the 3 points.

    Villa will be most dangerous on the counter attack and set plays.

    Friedal always gives us problems.

  21. Diaby, Denilson and Song. Am not worried on midfield. just concerned for the left wing.

  22. i believe cesc fab wil b on the field to enable us play our sweet game while scoring goals.
    Arsene should make sure he gets a replacement 4 VP.Gunners al through……..

  23. Diaby, Cesc, Song…not exactly a Christmas present for Villa.

  24. Good stuff as usual Yogi,

    I agree that the 4-2 home win again Liverpool showed incredible courage & fortitude, kicking off within a day & half of our second cup exit of the week.

    As for the here & now, Arsene has a tough choice at left back. Although Traore has pace `to burn` Sylvestre has more experience & definitely improves us when defending set plays. I suspect Traore will get the nod as we`re at home.

    I hope Cesc plays as I think we`ll need just that little bit of extra he can give us.

    On the Hull issue, I believe Brown now has such a pathological hatred of all things Arsenal that he actually imagines things that didn`t happen. The man needs therapy.

  25. It’s a game I have eagerly been awaiting.

    Aston Villa won 11 of their 17 premiership games last season before the new year.

    They have a good first 11, that’s it.

    Which defenders should Capello pick?

  26. ArsenalArseneArshavin

    chelsea game about to start… come on Birmingham though I hate them…

    does anyone know how many points arsenal had after 17 games last year??


    For christfuck sake, arsenal will stamp on villa, what?

  28. birmingham had goal disallowed.

    should’ve been 1 – 0

  29. Chelsea lucky to be level… the linesman on that side seems to have a few glasses more. He had an awful first half.

  30. Tipical Chelsea luck,,
    I dont know why every one is so anti Silveste , I think he has filled in rather well in the absence of our left back injury list,,,

  31. We haven’t had a win over Villa for quite a while. I am confident that we will dent Villa’s ambitions tomorrow.

  32. It’s not anti Silvestre. It’s a recognition that the pace of Villa presents a huge problem for a geriatric like Silvestre

  33. A R S E N A L

    Good to see Traore will return! Let’s hope Cesc will be back as well.

  34. Chelsea just drop 2 points 😀 😀
    Another great week for us???

  35. So Chelski drop two more points! Come on ARSENAL! Another great opportunity to gain some ground on the leaders. Tomorrow is going to be a cracker!

  36. And the Sp*rs drop points too!! Under no conditions do I like to see them above us in the table. I don’t care how many games we have in hand.

  37. Traore is not a concern of mine. The games he has started for Arsenal were all good performances. He has extraordinary pace and gets up and down the wing like he owns the territory. As well, Traore is improving with every game at crossing the ball into dangerous areas. What he might lack in experience he more than makes up for in effort. The team does not suffer with Traore starting at left back.

    Exactly how long will we be without Song?

  38. A good day for us, but only if we win tomorrow.

    This will be a massively important result for our season. People can say they all count the same, but we cant afford to drop points now and it also offers the chance to separate from those around us. A win would be a statement of intent from the boys, because if we can take care of our own business – play to our potential – we will walk the league. Now is the time to show it though.

  39. Song goes after FA cup game next Saturday. Final of ACN is 31 Jan (day of ManU game) but he could return before that if Cameroon are knocked out before the final. He will definitely miss the 2 Bolton games, Everton, and 4th round FA cup if Arsenal beat West Ham next week. He could be back for the 2nd AstVilla game and ManU if Cameroon don’t make the final. If they are in the final then likely he’ll be back for Chelsea 7th Feb.

  40. Chelsea just got gifted another point. Last week’s poor penalty decision and todays diallowed goal means Chelsea can’t lose when they lose.

  41. Looks like chelski are this season’s villa. They seemed to get a lot of gifts last season, but even their luck ran out eventually.

  42. Howard the Unwanted Fan

    Everything is in our hands now. Let’s beat Villa and win against Bolton and we’ll just be 1 point behind the leaders. Chelsea will drop points against Fulham for sure so by the second weak of January, we should be on top of the league.

    We need a striker to replace RVP and another CB in case Senderos leaves and the title will be back home.

  43. Chelski is more like last year’s Man Poo. Like the Mancs, they seem to get the benefit of the doubt from referees to scared or biased to make the hard decisions against them.

  44. Chavski drop MORE points.

    ……………………ARSENE KNOWS…………………….

  45. God I am excited and want us to beat the Villa sooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!

    Bring on tomorrow already.

  46. lol

    Thanks for that Maria.

    Quite soon, as the squads younger players mature and fill out the mantra will change from ‘they don’t like it up ’em’ to, ‘they’re dirty cheating foreigners’ just like it was during Viera & Pires’ pomp. Probably, as Ramsey and Wilshere grow up, they’ll get the same fawning treatment as Gerrard or Rooney. Would that be worse? Well, it won’t happen as long as AFC have a ‘foreign’ manager.

    The funniest/most ridiculous ever sending off was for Ade last season after he just picked the ball. A good excuse for a second yellow apparently, ahem, cough-cough, splutter splutter.

    With both teams fighting for second place, should be a really exciting game tomorrow. Here’s a toast, hoping the Refs not a NOW/Sun reader.


  47. Motson is a spud and just wanted to get Tottenham’s moment of the season (and accompanying video) in the frame when discussing us.

    Your choices are much better, YW.

  48. A water carrier..

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