Aston Villa Preview: A Land Of Opportunity

The Premier League likes to portray itself as the footballing ‘land of opportunity‘. For Arsenal, it is a golden opportunity in every sense of the occasion. The chance to put some daylight between themselves and fourth place; a temporary chance to snatch second place; the opportunity to claw back the deficit to the leaders to four points. If a team needed incentive to win this afternoon, Arsenal has it.

So do Aston Villa for all of those opportunities afforded to Arsenal, extend themselves to the Midlands ‘top side’. The two sides are level on points, separated by Arsenal’s superior goal difference. In an era of Premier League football clubs having an international ownership, Randy Lerner has shown that it need not all be debt-laden gloom and doom. Whether he has put his own money in or is in hock to a variety of banks, I know not. If it is the latter, he has managed the situation in PR terms considerably better than the owners of West Ham and Portsmouth.

For those who seek solace in omens, expect that Arsenal will fail to win. The clubs have met five times in the immediate aftermath of Christmas, Villa winning thrice, the remainder drawn encounters. One hundred and four years ago, the two teams met on the same date, Arsenal succumbing to a 1-2 reverse. The two most recent encounters ended all square with Arsenal the authors of their own misfortune in letting a two-goal lead slip at Villa Park this time last year. Ho and indeed, ho, ho. That was then but this is now.

From the side that flattened Hull in more ways than one, little change is expected. Late last week, a Fabregas return seemed to be on the cards. Having failed to complete a training session on Christmas Eve, I suspect it will be the trip to Portsmouth that sees the mercurial Spaniard return. Armand Traore is fit once more, recovering from the niggle picked up at Anfield. That being the case, it would be a surprise if he were not included in the starting line-up. Pace is something that the Villa attack has in abundance. Whilst Silvestre has experience, he may be given a torrid time by Young, Downing or Milner, their youthful exuberance potentially outweighing any nous that is lacking on their part.

It is the axis of Milner and Young which may provide Arsenal with a potent attacking opening. Both like to push forward which will leave space, Diaby being more than happy to exploit such opportunities in the past, pressing onwards to the opposing penalty area when given the chance to do so. The speed of Arsenal’s attack is something which may neuter their Villa counterparts to some extent; if you know that the outcome of putting too many players into attack is to be hit with a faster counterstrike, the natural reaction is to restrict your own attacking instincts. Walcott can meanwhile keep Downing and Warnock very busy by pushing on the right, keeping Villa stretched on either flank will be a key feature if Arsenal are to prevail.

The team I would expect Arsene to go with is:

Almunia; Sagna, Vermaelen, Gallas, Traore; Denilson, Song, Diaby; Walcott, Arshavin, Eduardo

Villa should not be taken lightly. They have won at Anfield and Old Trafford, beating Chelsea at Villa Park but held by Tottenham at home in their recent encounter. These results were threatened last year so this season cannot held to be a flash in the pan. Arsenal has yet to record a victory over today’s visitors at The Emirates, last year’s 0 – 2 defeat preceded by two 1 – 1 draws. Villa enjoy their visits but this time do not encounter an Arsenal side in the throes of navel-gazing as has been the case previously. This Arsenal team are alive to the chance of catching Chelsea and have a determination about themselves which is often overlooked.

Villa are an opponent to be respected but not feared. This is an afternoon where Arsenal has the chance to take a big step towards catching Chelsea. Forty years ago, astronauts bucked historical trends by landing on the moon, taking giants leaps for mankind. I seek nothing so grandiose; three points will suffice.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 27, 2009, in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Football, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 273 Comments.

  1. Gunner From Nigeria

    Great opportunity. We have to grab it.

  2. wow, early post!

  3. Gunner From Nigeria

    Yogi, i think you are walking in path of Mr Stuart Hall of the BBC who celebrated his 80th birthday on Christmas day in using carefully structured construction of words to deliver write ups that have been your hallmark for long.
    Although, Mr Hall renditions comes mostly in spoken words.
    I strongly believe the People’s Republic Of Wigan would be proud that being in the words of Mr Stuart Hall.

  4. I am expecting another big game from Abou. I think Cesc will start the game, it was only a slight twinge after the Burnley game and he has had plenty of time to recover. I assume that the same midfield trio will also start so it will be interesting how Arsene sorts that one out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Diaby wide left of the attack with Cesc, Denilson and Song playing in midfield.

    I hope the boys can start at full pelt. Some of our recent starts have been quite slow and rusty.

    I am blinking nervous already. COYG!

  5. Important few weeks for the club coming up.
    Chelsea have left the door open for us and with Drogba, Essien & Co. leaving for the ACN we could see them drop a few more points.
    Arshavin is right – we have been given enough opportunities now to close the gap.
    History has show that the every league champion goes on a bit of a run after Christmas that sets them apart from the rest.
    If we can build some momentum in the next 3 games I feel that we will be there or there abouts in May.
    But for that to happen a few things have to change.
    The walking wounded & out of form players will have to come back immediately & find some sustained form right to the end of the season. I’m referring to Eduardo, Rosicky, Clichy, Bentdner & Walcott.
    Diaby or Denilson need to cover seamlessly in the absence of our most improved player. Both have done well but I’m afraid consistency hasn’t been their friend. Fingers crossed on that one.
    And as for VP replacement, that’s simple we need a proven goal scorer (on the cheap of course)to come in and do what Arshavin did last season. Easy Peasy!

  6. Gunner From Nigeria

    Its vitally important that Fabregas plays today but, if he fails to, i believe the midfield you selected in the preview would be it except Walcott.
    We need Nasri in there to keep hold of the ball that, being one of his strong points.
    The major talking point should be; who gets rested from Diaby, Song and Denilson if Fabregas eventually makes the team?
    Nice to see how AW does it.
    3points is it. Even if we have to win by half a goal.
    Go Arsenal.

  7. If our players can click together and find the early season form then a new striker isn’t of much importance.

    We are in the middle of a choppy period, players coming in and out from injuries and not having much in the way of continuity.

    We need to keep 13-15 first teamers fit for a long period of time and find our game again. I think this is the reason for our slow starts to games, they are not quite up to speed because so many of them have just come back from injury.

    So far we haven’t seen the best of Walcott, Rosicky, Bendtner, Clichy, Almunia and Eduardo. That is a lot of players who can give us so much in the second half of the season as long as.. yep, they stay fit.

  8. Gunner From Nigeria

    Mean Lean,

    I do not subscribe to Diaby playing wide left. We need natural balance in the team.

  9. It isn’t my favourite position for him either but I cannot see any of Diaby, Denilson or Song getting dropped if Cesc is fit enough to start.

    Diaby cannot be dropped after his Hull City performance and Wenger will want his power in the side, he may just try and use him from another area.

    We shall see.

  10. ————–Almunia
    Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Traore
    ——-Denilson Song Cesc
    ——-Nasri Arshavin Diaby

    That is my guess.

  11. This will be a tight fisted encounter. For all of Villa’s pace in attack,they do fear an Arsenal onslaught which will leave gaps at the back.
    The gunners defence better not awol or all the hard work will be down the drain.The gunners had failed to hold on to a lead previously. Failure will cost them dearly today.

  12. Gunner From Nigeria

    It does mean Arshavin would feature in attack instead of Eduardo.
    But a midfield of
    Nasri, Song, Denilson, Diaby
    Fabregas
    would be deadly defensively and offensively.

  13. Gunner From Nigeria

    That could be it if Fabregas features.
    That line up is the bomb.

  14. Gunner From Nigeria

    Just can wait.
    i think its 12hours 30minutes to kick off

  15. California Gooner

    Song plays, no doubt. Why rest him when we are about to loose him for five weeks?

    As for the rest, it’s hard to know. Diaby looked dominant last game, but so did Denilson. More and more the later reminds me of Owen Hargreaves (the free-kick put that idea in my head), a kind of all-action DM who can also push forward. I hope he has a better injury record than Hargreave’s, of course. Nasri or Theo??? Nasri is the safe choice, but Theo does stretch defenses. Given Theo’s form this year (poor), I see him more as sub. Anyhow, I’m excited.

  16. Villas pace will count for nothing if they cant get the ball off our midfield. One anticipates this one to be a tight encounter. If my mind serves me right Villa beat us last season after putting us under pressure and capitalising on 2 mistakes…one a non goal bound Ashley Young deflection off Clichy and the other a long punt to agbonlahore that decieved Billy after Vela was felled in the villa box but nothing was given. Im not bitter. But only one team will leave with points today. ARSENAL.

  17. Go arsenal kick sum *ss. 3-1 to the arsenal!

  18. I F#@KNG LOVE THE EPL. BEST PRODUCT OF THE FUCKING CENTURY.

  19. Without Fab we need Nasri in there, creativity and possesion will not come from the DiaDenSong midfield you propose, I want to see Song protecting solidly and not take playmaker position by default as he tends to do when Fab is out. Theo should come in later in the game, I also think Eboue could be in there at some point; possibly this rigid 4-3-3 will have to go and be a flexible 4-5-1, which will allow Diabi’s forays better and with Arshavin free to change positions in support of Dudu who seems lively again and hopefully will come clinical again against the Villans. tough game on paper , but if calamitiAlmunia will hold steady, we just might be surprised

  20. agree with Gunner From Nigeria . Diabi on the wing is an experiment that is over with. waste of time, ball, pace, wing; Diabi in/from middle with beefed up midfield.

  21. Riveting take on the match. I’m bubbling and desperate for a good stream. Praying for an early goal. Enjoy aclfers. Come on you gunners

  22. I want Arsene to play the same team that faced Hull. He shouldn’t take a defensive stance against Villa. If Young is contained, meaning he has to track back and worry about our RB, then we will stiffle them.

  23. yes but nasri is a sensitive character who reads all that is written about him so i don’t think it’s appropriate that he plays.

    leave him in the colney creche i say.

  24. This Arsenal team just needs a little bit of belief. This title could be ours.

    The Chavs got 2 points in their last 2 outings because of poor refereeing decisions. They are not up for it when the old legs have to play every 3 days.

    Can you believe this, they did not win any match since they beat us 3-0.

  25. u’re not quite correct ritesh they beat portsmout they had a penalty which is becoming a regular scene these days,only that it favour em n against us. Nasri or walcott? It will always be nasri for me,i knw walcot needs to play to get some semblance of form but surely u’ll agree this is not the kind of game to experiment with,selection should be strictly on current form.
    My team:
    *almunia
    *usual back four(with traore pls!)
    *denilson,fabrepass,song
    *nasri,eduardo,arshavin
    subs:walcott,eboue,silvest,ramsey,fabianski.

  26. anybody see the rumeurs about signing players ?

    there is something very wrong….

    it’s a load of conspiracy theories.. a cover up

    the truth is out there… the board are stalling and we are not going to sign anybody cos all they are doing is pushing up the share price

    what is really happening at the club is termoyle

    we dont have the balance in the team and there is a power play to bring in new players led by Gasmanov

    but the other poeple on the board dont want it

    its our watergate

  27. Tunde, Refs have been very pro-chelsea.

    You team looks good, but I think Cesc will not be around if he is not fit. This match will demand 100% effort, so I prefer Diaby to continue where he left.

    Agree for Walcott.. he needs to show some commitment. He seems to enjoy being in the limelight with flashy interviews, but in terms of substance, his game needs a lot of improvement…Sure Wenger will give him time, but maybe he will be a late developer

  28. I just hope AW unleashes Diaby and let him run at the defenders.Defenders eve the elite relish attackers attacking them with ball feet.
    This is indeed a golden opportunity fo Arsenal to shut up the doubters.If they fail
    to do so it shows the squad aint up to the task and dead wood must be removed.

  29. An early goal would be nice and force them to come out which would play into our hands nicely.

  30. Thanks Muppet – I was beginning to worry about this comment section.
    Sam – how many games in a season? If we win today we don’t win the title. If we lose today we don’t lose the title. Get a grip.

  31. Muppet You really did pick the right name. 🙂

    After Diabys last performance You’lld like too se him getting a chance .. I’d prefer him in center of attack he has all the tools to suceed there. I think Villa despite all the pace they possess will be wary of our pace and defend in numbers trying to hit us on the counter atack but I wonder if they ar aware that we are a differnt beast this yea.. this team is physically very strong .. espacially when Denilson, Song,Diaby are on field at the same time and Vermaelen and Gallas at the back I do not expect too see Agbonlahar outmuscling anybody in a similar fashion as last year. And our lads are quite good at stoppng pacy and technical players. I think Walcott took a tiny step forward formwise last game .. but he really has been crap since his return from Injury.. So I think Nasri is a shure bet to start.. actually I wouldn mind Eboue starting in Midfield.. His pace and technique is not to be underestimated he is really good one on one.

  32. Excellent post, YW. I loved the spot-on analysis of Milner’s leaving space open for us to exploit. Fingers crossed.

  33. Come on Arsenal!

  34. The big difference between Denilson and Hargreaves is that Denilson can play football.

  35. Muppet, I loved the spelling. Although next time do not leave spaces after a full stop.

    It is funny how so many doomers write in the same way. Something behind it perhaps?

  36. I would like to see this:

    ———Back 5———-
    —-Nasri-Song-Diaby—-
    –Walcott–Dudu–Arshavin—

    I think that line up would give us the best variety in attack while still being defensively sound.

  37. Howard the Unwanted Fan

    How can Traore play, when he’s just coming out of injury? Besides, his defending is still poor. He has pace but that alone is not enough. Sylvestre for me, he will use his big head, physical presence to bully Young, Milner and Agbonlahore to give up.

    We need to win this game if we’re serious this season. Its a big opportunity we need not give away.

    Its between us and Manu, Chavski’s legs are too old to sustain a title challenge.

  38. F*ck off Howard.

  39. Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Silvestre, Clichy, Theo, Denilson, Diaby, Fabregas, Nasri, Bendtner.

    That’s the team we put out last year when they beat us 0-2. No Eddy for obvious reasons, Arsh and Verma were yet to sign and Song was an unused sub. I’m happy to admit they’ve improved too but look how far we’ve come in a year, if I was a Villa player i’d be terrified.

    Also: Muppet, I did an actual “lol” at that. A*

  40. COME ON ARSENAL!!!!

  41. I would very much hope to see Fabregas start today. Hopefully the boss’ fifty fifty rating was the usual bluff over our most influential player.

    If it were any other side outside of the considered big four, I would undoubtedly err on the side of caution, but Villa are unbeaten at ours and on the crest of a great run. I am not saying it will be tough today, but with Chelsea’s continuing sluggishness, it is time to play our captain who has returned to the goal-trail in alongside Diaby who is on one of his own and has a soft spot for somewhere between two Villa centre-halves and turn the screw on our potential title rivals!

  42. when’s the game??? I’m in canada and I hate converting the time zones everytime!!! can someone tell me in how many hours the game is? atleast then I can rest assured.

  43. Btw even if we lose today were still in it, thats the amazing thing. Were going to meet our title rivals soon and in those games it in our hands to take the lead. Were going to need a near perfect end to the season if we lose today. Considering how many slip ups and injuries we’ve had its amazing that our boys have kept the pace!!! GO GUNNERZZZZ

  44. Still 90 minutes to the kickoff.

  45. I think fabregas will play. I have this gut feeling his body will heal due to the importance of this game. If he doesnt make it i’m confident that our boys will make up for it.

    ————–Almunia
    Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Traore
    ——-Denilson Song Cesc
    ——-Nasri Arshavin Diaby

    That is a monster of a formation Mean Lean!! Walcott, Eduardo, Ramsey and Vela off the bench are good to have. Traore has to play as his pace is a great asset. Its not that I don’t rate Silvestre but lets just say Villa aren’t Hull and he will be tested. Interested to see the team Arsene picks.

  46. thanks bawatski

  47. Muppet didnt you know we have made bids for Robbie Keane and Ruud Van Nistelroy

  48. Any links please?

  49. Muppet just relax and stop hyperventilating! If there is the right player for us out there you can rest assured Wenger has already watched most of his games and knows exactly what type of player he is. I’m sure Wenger has a list of players that he hopes to bring in and the club will help him in checking the availability of said players. Wenger is a professional so just let him do his job.

    Personally, I would love to bring in one of these three players. David Villa just makes my mouth water everytime I watch him play and I think we can all agree he’s a perfect fit for our system or in other words he is ‘Arsenal quality’. Klaas Jan Huntelaar, regardless of what’s been said about him thing like he’s unproven outside Holland or some utter rubbish like that. He’s scored in Holland, Spain and Italy. Has also scored on the international scene. His record speaks for itself. He’s an out n out goalscorer and what happens when you put a player like him in a team like Arsenal?? You guessed it GOALS! The amount of assists that our technically gifted team can provide him with are just mind boggling. The third and final player I feel would be worthy to don the arsenal jersey is non other than Gignac. The boy is class, has a good record and more importantly he has years of game time ahead of him.

    All these players I feel can contribute positively to our campaign almost as soon as they are introduced to the first team line up. Nothing less than these players will do. They will be hard to buy and so Arsene atleast should consider a loan move for Huntelaar as he’s barely getting any game time at Milan.

    If anyone is going ‘where is Dzedko?’ you’d be surprised to hear that he would be harder to get than David Villa!!!

  50. The official team is out :

    ————–Almunia
    Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Traore
    ——-Denilson Song Nasri
    ——-Arshavin Eduardo Diaby

    Sub: Fabregas, Walcott, Silvestre, Vela, Ramsey, Eboue, Fabianski

  51. Oh this is interesting. Goran Pandev is a free agent. They don’t get cheaper than this Arsene. Seems he’s going to Inter anyways. Career suicide. Does this mean that Balotelli will rethink his future??? Interesting January filled with silly rumours that could vaguely resemble the truth. Who thought that the Arshavin to arsenal headline was legitimate when it first broke??? Definitely not me.

  52. ————–Almunia
    Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Traore
    ——-Denilson Song Nasri
    ——-Arshavin Eduardo Diaby

    Very, very interesting. Arsene you crazy muthafucka.

  53. Haha I just read that Maria. What a sore loser Hunt is for not recognizing that Garcia’s reaction was more deplorable than Nasri’s ‘step’ or whatever it was.

  54. Thanks for the laugh, Maria. What a silly man that Hunt is. First he moans about Nasri “instigating” a fight and then says we are soft!?

    COYG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  55. Come on Arsenal!!

  56. Diaby is fantastic so far.

  57. Any feeds my connection went down!!!

  58. Come on guys HELP!!!

  59. heeeeeeeeeloooooooooooo

  60. F*ck off Dunne.

  61. F*ck off Warnock.

  62. Cracking match this.

  63. prediction: eduardo to score in the 2nd

  64. Diaby has been fantastic. Nasri also in a less spectacular way.
    http://www.veetle.com/viewChannel.php?cid=4b28a455797d9

  65. Were looking good but were getting pushed to the flanks too often. We should try to go more central, you all saw how threatening we look when we go through the middle. I’m just worried we get caught on the break.

  66. go to Rojadirecta Maria, there are many links there. 1st have is up though.

  67. Eduardo is lacking confidence. On his day he would’ve taken that with ease. Is anyone noticing the negativity towards arsenal from the commentators??? It fucking drives me nuts!!! Why can’t they give us some recognition? fucking twats

  68. Mute the sound and go to ATVO for the commentary, Piresaholic. It’s the only way!

  69. ttM IF HE DOES HE WILL HAVE TO IMPROVE,ON HIS FIRST HALF PERFORMANCE

  70. Sagna has been poor going forward. I really wish Arsene would’ve stuck with Eboue. Some runs inside right and overlapping Nasri would be just the thing needed to get Dunne and Cuellar to open up.

  71. FATHER CHRISTMAS

    Sheby singh of espn just said we’re not good enuf to win football matches. Dumb arse.

  72. Yeah, Piresaholic. When Villa get a chance it doesn’t mean they got a chance. It means our defense is rattled.

  73. “Mute the sound and go to ATVO for the commentary, Piresaholic. It’s the only way!”

    Yep, that’s exactly what happening here – and I’m watching the game on TVE in Spain. I can’t handle Castilian commentators when Arsenal are playing; they are far too excitable.

  74. Thanks guys. FG I can’t listen to ATVO commentary because of those flipping emails that they read out that are always negative. I am already stressed out.

  75. Game on. Later.

  76. Come on Arsenal!!!

  77. F*ck off Agbonlahor.

  78. Actually mr.commentator, Verma wasn’t “struggling with the pace of Agbonlahor” but more the fact he was climbing all over his back. Twat.

  79. I can’t listen to ATVO commentary because of those flipping emails that they read out that are always negative

    You have correctly identified the downside, Maria, lol!

  80. Bloody Friedel!!! he’s the only thing thats keeping them in this!!!

  81. CESC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  82. FABREGASSSSSSS !!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA OMG AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA YES YES YESYEYSYSYSGDSFGSDF LDS GHASGASKJGNA.KVAK.J

  83. Captain Fabtastic!`

  84. we’ve got cesc fabregas!!!!

  85. OUR CAPTAIN AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH AHAHSASJHASAKS YES YES YES YES GET IN!!!!!!

  86. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS FABREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  87. please let Cesc be all right – what a difference he’s made.

  88. looks like he pulled his hamstring again tht suxxxx

  89. Like Kenny Sansom says, if he is in any danger, take him off

  90. We love you Fabregas, we do!
    We love you Fabregas, we do!
    We love you Fabregas, we do!
    Oh Fabregas we love you.

  91. just amazing. get well the captain

  92. Comes on for 30 mins, scores two goals and then has to go off.

  93. Please let it not be serious.

  94. Let’s keep that clean sheet, boys.

  95. Fabregas only needs 20 minutes to beat Aston Vanilla.

  96. That will do it.

  97. Come on let’s batter this two-bit team. One more!

  98. Woo-hooo Abou!!!

  99. Fuc** off, Delph!!

  100. Perfect performance!!

  101. Diaby kept us ticking over either side of the two Fab-less periods.

  102. Villa got thumped. The commentator is trying to say that the 3-0 flatters us but that’s just bullshit. Villa had no scoring chances in the second half.

    Immense from Fabregas. Twenty odd minutes and two amazing goals. From the looks of things it appears that he hurt his knee. Let’s hope it isn’t serious. With the ACN coming up we need him in order to catpult past Chelski.

  103. WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WIN!!!!!

    WHAT A PLAYER!!! WHAT A CAPTAIN!!! WHAT A MAN!!!!

    ……………….FRANCESC FABREGAS……………….

  104. Diaby was on course for man of the match, untill Cesc came on the field for his cameo performance.

    Diaby is a class act. He was the bright spot in the first half.

  105. I agree vince. Abou was great today. Pick of the midfield (other than Cesc’s cameo!)

  106. If they give us 100 million and 2 Messis we wont give up Fabregas …………………………….FANTASTIC

  107. The third goal just added that gloss.

    Another clean sheet.

  108. Our midfield was what won us the game. Diaby, Song, Cesc and Denilson were all superb today.

  109. Fantastic win, the whole team was good…Traore’s long cross field pass for Walcott resulted in the second goal. I think we will have three of the best left backs in the world (Take that Cashley).

    Fabregas is just something else…I hope he’s fine.

    Awesome Holiday gift.

    Love you Arsenal.

  110. 1. Fabregas came, saw, scored 2 goals and went home again. If you ask me, he can do that every week. He simply is the best midfielder in the world. Period.

    2. How f*cking good was Diaby the whole game? He didn’t put a foot wrong and I am so glad he scored a goal. Take that, you doomers.

    3. Almunia seems to be back to full confidence, he had a really good game and that he kept a clean sheet is awesome.

    4. Is Traore the fastest player in the EPL? I thought Vila got some fast attackers but I didn’t see any of that today. All I saw was Walcott, Arshavin and Traore running them ragged.

    5. Is there anybody who can stop us now?

    What a great game, very important victory! So proud of our players!

  111. GALLAS AND Vermaelen were suprb ……..Practaccly neutered Big Foot and Agbanlawhore.

  112. An authentic quote:
    “Fabregas, hey? Well, you’re not the only ones with world-class players on the bench. John Carew, start warming up!”

  113. Chelsea 42
    Arsenal 38 -1 game
    Man U 37

    Love it. Man U are deplted at the back and have to rush the little Brazilian twins back from injury.

  114. Do you remember the facile fans who came on this website and others, last year and this, slating Diaby?

    The tabloid website football365 took a special delight in feeding the D&G supporters the moniker diabolic Diaby.

    Who is looking foolish now?

  115. @ Pz
    LMAO (Laughed My Ar*e Off)

    @ Maria
    I second that emotion!
    I am delirious with excitement but I can’t celebrate properly until I know what the deal is with Cesc.

  116. Wow, that was just amazing. As soon as Fabregas came on you could sense the urgency he brought. He was like a hitman that came on did the business n went off. He was the missing link. The whole team was impressive today even Eduardo seemed better. Song is just a beast!!! Were going to miss him when he’s gone. Diaby was brilliant I was happy everytime he had the ball. Perfect end to 2009. Now lets just hope Hull get some points off Utd but don’t hold your breath

  117. End to 2009? Aren’t we playing Portsmouth on the 30th?

  118. I’m on pins and needles concerning Cesc as well.

  119. I agree with you Fungunner. That was the shortest celebration for me, for I stop short the second he started limping. Fingers crossed, hope it’s nothing serious.

  120. Ha, Ha, Hah.
    Oh Muppet, you really did a number on Piresaholic.
    You really have the D&G bullshit down to a tee.
    I see you were reading today’s Le Moan and their semi-literate posters. Exaxt replica.
    What a bunch of cacks!

  121. We had 19 attempts on goal (12 on target) vs. villa’s 7 (3 on target).

    anyone that says 3 nil flatters us is an idiot.

    we also had 62% possesion.

  122. Unlike Wolves, Hull can’t afford to give up points against MU. The fight at the bottom is just too tight now.

  123. When will we see old Eduardo?
    That miss in the first 5 minutes was almost criminal by his standards.

  124. Ahhh thats for making me look like a muppet, muppet!! Lets try that again. It will be a perfect end to 2009 if we thrash Portsmouth.

  125. I realllllllllllyyy reallllllllllyyyyyy hope Cesc stays fit!!!!!!!!!!

  126. GAIN- I’m hoping Hull do realise this is do or die and play their tango wanking arses off

  127. These are the upcoming fixtures for our nearest opponents:

    Chelsea v Fulham.

    A. Villa v Liverpool.

    Man Utd. v Wigan.

    I can see all three dropping points.

  128. The only negative thing about Fabregas’s performance is that the Barca rumours are going to go into overdrive during the transfer window

  129. @ shotta-gunna

    We’re just going to have to be patient. Eduardo is not a fast adapter (remember he took the full regulation six months when he first arrived) so I think it will be a while yet. This setback is the result of the Celtic lynching. But he will come good. His movement is back (not commenting about today, haven’t seen the match), it’s just the finishing. The last mile is always the hardest.

  130. Piresaholic

    So what if the rumours start? Fabregas is going nowhere anytime soon. He has made up his mind that we are going to win something this year or die trying!

  131. Shotta, I think Edu is getting back in the groove. That he took that shot is indicative that he’s growing in confidence. His timing may not be up to par but he’s throwing himself about and seems like he’s regaining his courage.

  132. Hopefully UTD’s kit this season will be remembered as an Arsenal skid mark on their chests!!!!

  133. I give Cesc at least three more years with us. He can’t dislodge Xavi from the Spain NT yet so what makes people think he’ll do the same at Barca? Rumors about him leaving will always fly around but that happens when you’ve got a player as good as him.

  134. Oh I definitely know he isn’t going anywhere. He’s a lifer. I just meant that its going to be a headache reading all that bullshit. Even if he does sign I doubt he’s going to go through the fan imposed barricade round Heathrow!!!

  135. Idon’t think that Eduardo is being helped with all these subs personally.

  136. Song on ATVO.

  137. Its HUNT THE CUNT OHHHH ITS HUNT THE CUNT!!!

  138. We have two more games with Alex Song.

  139. Execellent news.

  140. I agree Maria but its just the fact that he came back into the team at a crucial point in the season where he must perform. We can’t afford to wait until he gets his groove back. I know he’s been through alot for us but patience is growing this as we get to the run up.

  141. Just thought I’d mention how the commentators for the UTD v Hull game are giving the Mancs a huge benefit of the doubt. They are talking about how having five men out can affect any team. When it comes to Arsenal, though, they question our depth, our strength and our heart. Bunch of fvcking hypocrites.

  142. thin*

  143. Yeah i noticed that gain… absolutely sickening

  144. I know NOBODY I mean NOBODY mentions that we had Sagna, Clichy and Gallas out for our Semi-final defeat to the Mancs.

  145. I can only hope for a draw here….Hull are poor….loool

  146. Arsene doesn’t think it’s to bad. But they will only know tomorrow.

  147. Denilson back problem.

  148. @ Maria,

    You’re right, getting subbed isn’t helping him. But Villa is too big a game to not sub him because he needs to get in form. Theo came on and stretched the Villa defense to the point where they lost their cohesion and tightness in the middle. Something Dudu wasn’t doing.

  149. A draw would be an excellent result Maria. Cant believe you were initially hoping for a possible win. It’s Hull FFS haha

  150. Denilson did his back? If so that is horrible.

  151. Arsene did say it’s a little problem but……..

  152. sweet sweet victory.

  153. True 69 Theo did well when he came on.

  154. We’ll see the old Eddy back sometime soonish, hopefully in the Spring. He can’t have completely lost his mojo. Surely that would be obvious in training.

    Diaby was amazing, held the game by the scruff of the neck from the beginning. And once Cesc scored, he was playing with even more confidence. A few more games under his belt and then most people will find that even the ‘he plays great for one game out of five’ whinge sounds like the juvenile rubbish that it is.
    Nasri was great too, & as with Diaby, Walcott and others still settling into the squad this season, it seems like there’s so much more to come (obviously).

    Dissapointed with Villa’s approach to the game (I think the preview over at Untold Arsenal got their tactics spot on) but really happy to see how the squad coped.

    Highlight of the game:
    AA’s completley unecessary nutmeg.
    Not because it was AA, but because we’d played so well all game, and the Villa players needed to be reminded that their shirt tugs weren’t that impressive. Agbonlohor getting agro with Vermaelan…What!!!???

    Oh…thought the referee was goodish today. He could have been a lot worse. On a few occasions, he allowed Song & Nasri to outbully the Villans, rather then give them fouls, which defintely makes a change to recent games.

  155. That sucks. Seems to be a recurring one eh? Might need surgery for that if its serious. Hope its just a strain because of his recent return from injury. Whats the news on Bendtner and Clicy’s return??? Where the hell is Rosicky!!!!

  156. Yeah that nutmeg is definitely going to be on the weeks showboating segment followed by song back flick pass. Feel bad for Ramsey came on and did the only thing required of him wrong, baddddd pass. The crowd’s moans are going to ring in his head all day.

  157. Fingers crossed for Denilson and Fab. But even if we have to rest them, even after Song has gone, we can still play Ramsey, Diaby and Nasri in the middle. Squad depth – what wonderful thing it is.

    @ Finsburyparker
    On a few occasions, he allowed Song & Nasri to outbully the Villans, rather then give them fouls, which defintely makes a change to recent games.

    I’ve noticed that, too. Someone had a theory that it’s because the squad has shown they are up for the *ahem* physical battle and the referees respect them more. So they are NOT giving out yellow cards as we feared they would.

  158. And I see we are only 1 behind Chelsea in goal difference. With a game in hand. Muahahaha!

  159. Oh lord, Hull actually nearly scored.

  160. I personally throught that the ref had a good day. He had many chances to book Song but he had Fletcher skin on.

  161. Fagan should go out there and try to ‘earn’ them another pen.

  162. Diaby has scored 6 goals now even with his injuries. An excellent return.

  163. Denilson did have a tiny fracture in his back. Perhaps it’s a bit of a flare up.

  164. Yeah the ref was amazing today. Lenient with the cards and spot on with the fouls.

  165. Evra got carded hahah can this day get any better?

  166. Garcia is diving about against United. Ha! Ha! Ha!

  167. Hunt talking about being physical pshhhht just got hustled off the ball by the 18 year old Fabio!!!

  168. Did Arshavin endear himself to the English public when he lobbied the ref on behalf of Dunne?

  169. Is Hunt even a real footballer?

  170. 1-0 at the half.

  171. FunGunner – I look forward to the real Eduardo soon. I fear for him. I really do.

  172. Hunt is a real Pikey.

    Hello, all. Merry Christmas. Great result today, great goals for us all to enjoy. Particularly enjoyed Theo’s performance, he’s found his touch again, as shown with the perfectly weighted assist. Nasri, Diaby, Song and obviously, Cesc (‘Our Cesc is on fiiiire!’ anyone?) all had fine games. I think Almunia deserves a big mention. He’s looking like his head’s firmly back in the game. Some great saves, which we all already knew he had in the locker – the way he commanded the box today though, was very impressive.

    How good were the celebrations after Cesc’s first? Our team really look ready to win something together. Inspiring stuff, tonnes of passion on display – and Manu Eboue was even in there. A joyous Noel!

    Fingers crossed on Cesc. The latest is; “If it’s scar tissue, 2-3 days. If it’s a pull again, up to 3 weeks. We’ll know tomorrow”

  173. Once again the the tabloid numpties at football 365 not only look like fools but with their own words have removed all doubt:
    “It’s still early days in this particular retraction but Abou Diaby is finally answering back to his critics. We’re not yet eating our words….”
    The worse cut is Arsenal fans subscribing to their B.S. Cut to Le Moan.

  174. It’s hard to imagine that Arsene would have signed Eduardo to a new contract if there was any concern that he’s lost it.

  175. When is Eboue off?

  176. COME ON HULL!!!!!

  177. Feel dirty now.

  178. Well done. The pikey just got his team in trouble.

  179. Hull 1 – ManUSA 1.

    The perma-tanned one has done us a favor.

  180. Fungunner:

    Can’t remember who the ref was, he was the 4th official against Hull, & i remember thinking, he llooks like a dcent ref: I imagine Songs been building himself a deserved reputation as one of the few players who constantly attempts to win the ball without any lack of self-control or discipline amongst his peers and officials, so deserves to be allowed to mis-time the occasional challenge.
    I think as Denny, Song, Diaby (& little Nasri) etc. fill out (most of us menfolk do between 20-24, funny how football fans seem to forget) that the chargesheet will change from ‘wimps’ to ‘cheating foreigners.’

    Ah well,

    Hull scored!

    A penalty!

  181. Eboue and Song were given a few more days by their FA’s.

  182. Altidore is doing well for playing as the lone striker.

  183. Damn Garcia nearly got a second. The arabic commentator is shocked by Hull’s performance haha

  184. Haha was looking at the 9/1 odds on Hull winning on the ad boards and made start to wonder. Can players bet on their own games???

  185. Liquid football !

    Marvellous performance from the boys. The midfield were all excellent but perhaps we are now beginning to see the real Abou Diaby. He was brilliant today – possibly the hardest player to dispossess in the EPL.

    Cesc wasn`t bad either…. It looks like a pull again rather than a tear , so hopefully he`ll be fit for Bolton at home in 10 days time.

  186. Men’s abdominal muscles are particularly prone to hypertrophy from their early twenties onwards.

  187. Own goal Hull. Damn!!!!!!!!

  188. F**King utd

  189. I meant there’s never any malicious or violent intent in Song’s tackling…so when he mistimes, contact is usually minimal.

    Oh no!

    Hull own goal.

    Hmmmm…….

    The tiger roars.

  190. So you should, Maria. Wash your mouth out.

    How enjoyable is the suprise in the tone of voice of football correspondants talking about The Arsenal today… eg. “Chelsea fans will be enjoying this Hull equaliser…and of course ARSENAL fans too, who have moved above Utd.. blah blah blah”.

    Idiots.

  191. Hyper-trophy?

    heh.

  192. Hopefully venegoors name puts utd players into a hypnotic state while reading it so he can nick an equalizer

  193. What a waste of 30 million Berbatov is.

  194. Still not worth 30 mill

  195. Game over. Now the commentators are pouring on the praise on United. They’re getting philosophical even. My lord.

  196. Its sickening gainsbourg it really is. SAF is a genius in their eyes.

  197. Just back from the game and celebrating the win with a sparkling glass of Spanish cava in honour of the best midfielder in the world and he plays for Arsenal!

    It seems like goals from free kicks are like buses for Arsenal. You wait for ages and then 2 come along!

    What a fabulous day – Villa got nowhere near us. Gallas controlled gobby well today and the one time he got away, Almunia was there with one of his best saves of the season. It seems like Arsene giving him his confidence with the armband in the absence of Cesc has really boosted him.

    Nasri and Diaby kept the ball really well and I thought they were both great today. And once again we put to bed the lie that we are soft, because we also out muscled them physically as well today.

  198. There’s an absolute spanner of an Arsenal fan on 5Live right now.

  199. Passenal, I wish you could’ve come across this guy I just suffered on the radio just now, at the game. His name was Tony. He was the grizzliest, gripiest old scrooge you’ve ever heard. Maybe you could’ve given him a good shake.

    He claimed we need a striker, a bruiser type, like Henry or Wright (bruisers?! What?) He claimed we need a ‘protector’ for Cesc. Maybe you could’ve pointed out Alex Song for him. He wants Viera back. Arse backward idiots like Tony need a good slap. It just really gets me down how many of them are. My cousin was at the game, called me and said, game of two halves, Cesc won us the game – he sounded miserable! I despair of Arsenal fans sometimes.

  200. I throught we were on top both halfs and before Cesc came on we had aleast two goal line clearances.

    BTW is this the first goal Cesc has scored directly from a freekick?

  201. @ LimparAssist
    I reckon he deserves a slap, not a shake. The 5Live researchers must filter out all the non-numpties and only allow the crazies on the show!

  202. Oh, and you can slap your cousin as well. Unless he’s bigger than you…

  203. Hold your horses, there’s a sensible Arsenal fan on now! Good lord.

  204. I know what you mean Limpar Assist, but I agree with FG except it would be a good kicking that I’d give him. We were playing well first half and in full control, but both Arshavin and Eduardo couldn’t quite get that first goal, which would have been all we needed to open the flood gates. Some people will never be happy no matter what. Cesc didn’t get injured due to the lack of a ‘minder’ and that is highly disrespectful to suggest that the best midfielder in the world needs one.

  205. Shut up Spooney, let the man talk!

  206. ‘minder’ loool

  207. Arse backward is a very good name for those fans. They always want to repeat what went before. But the world of football doesn’t stand still.

  208. Yes, and another one. Take that Doomer Tony. Daft old clown.

  209. ..it would be a good kicking that I’d give him.

    ha ha ha! Can I have tickets for that?

  210. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11095_5804931,00.html

    Someone Robson took a liking to last week. Could be a good back-up CB.

  211. There were many highlights to my afternoon actually, FG, but maybe the funniest was when my Doomer cousin, on the phone to me, suddenly stopped dooming and started cursing, as his bus lurched off into the distance! He’d been stood in the wrong queue or something. He didn’t even say goodbye, the phone just went dead with him grumbling. I was walking home at the time and broke into a little hop step of gleeful satisfaction. What a wonderful day.

  212. @LA
    Karma…

  213. Am listening to the Arsene post-match press conference and AW may look at MF aswell with injuries to Denilson and Cesc. But still likes Arshavin up front so he will continue there.

  214. We were on top for the whole match today. Our superiority was evident in every minute of the game. Fabregas had an incredible, almost magical, effect today. It was similar to a game in the last European Championships when he came on for Spain.

  215. Brilliant contribution from Alan Davies on 5Live.

  216. Cesc is a very intelligent player and I think when he sits on the bench he is analysing what is going on in front of him, which is why he is always so effective coming off the bench, because he has already got a plan and sees what needs to be done to turn things around. I know it’s a long way off and probably won’t be in my lifetime, but I see him as a future football manager.

  217. ^ Absolutely. He does the same while he’s injured as well. Perhaps a future Arsenal manager? 🙂

  218. Great game. Song is a monster as our holding midfielder.

    Funniest moment from the Fox Soccer commentary team”

    “Almunia literally took his eyes off the ball”

    It’s looking like the February 6th game against Chelsea could determine who has the momentum heading into the final stretch. Anything less than a win for Chelsea should put us in prime position.

  219. lagooner according to the media man u are breathing down chelski’s neck, meanwhile we are 1 point behind them with a game in hand, yet we seem to be invisible. I like it when no one notices us gaining ground on the outside track.

  220. On talksport some Arsenal ex pros on.

  221. What are they saying Maria ?

  222. The overwhelming evidence that Arsenal are a club in crisis is that the directors do not speak and this is the most convincing proof that I can think of. Despite loads of newspapers reports about goings on at the board level – NOT A SINGLE QUOTE. There is no possible way that this is a normal corporation. There are many BELIEVABLE theories about what is going on, but until the rumours, and they EXIST, become TRUTH, and they may be hiding it from us, it sounds like conspiracy theories I know, that won’t be enough for some people. We shouldn’t need confirmation. How is there no doubt ? It is because they dont issue denials.

    The state of play is this:

    – Arsenal has a propaganda machine unrivalled since Goebbels.

    – No minutes of board level meetings are ever published or revealed.

    – The club will be sold to the highest bidder in the summer

    – Top Secret meetings are held on a monday night

    – There is masonic influence

    – Wenger is french.

    – The Youth Development programme is just a tax dodge.

    – The training ground is used for more sinister purposes.

  223. lol Muppet

    ****
    I too am loving the pundits’ wilful refusal to acknowledge the threat from Arsenal. It is astonishing the lengths to which people will go to avoid admitting they might have got something wrong.

  224. THE HACKS

    ed: hack, Arsenal have just beaten Villa, the on form team in the premiership, the team that beat ‘Pool and Man U at home and have beaten Chelsea 2-0. Look hack, we need to keep this quiet.

    hack: err.. ed ?

    ed: Yes.. low profile. Look, we need another explanation for what is happening in the premiership this year.

    hack: err.. well… some strange results

    ed: YES.. that’s the word.. “Strange”. That explains why they are all closing in.. print the word strange, and mention that Man U are closing in.

    hack: yes ed. It’s a strange premiership.

  225. “I know it’s a long way off and probably won’t be in my lifetime.”

    Don’t say that, Passenal. I’m sure you’re not that old.

    Forgive me for writing on a matter unrelated to football. I remember some time ago you said you are fond of War and Peace. An English friend bought me a DVD of a serialised version of War and Peace that was broadcast by the BBC in the early seventies. Have you seen it? It’s really very good. Pierre is played by Anthony Hopkins, and he is excellent – almost exactly as I imagined him.

  226. The dumb pundits who wrote us off all season, especially after the Chelsea game, now have to find some plausible excuse to justify having to retract most of their b.s.

    Cometh Kevin Palmer of ESPN. It seems last year we “lacked the physical power and maturity to back up their majestic passing football.” This numpty, in one sweep of his laptop, completely erases from memory the fact that last year we had all of our creative players injured during mid-season and three out of four 1st team defenders injured in late season. Despite these blows, I heard an amazing statistic that, for the entire 2009 calendar year, we were the most successful team in the premier league (easily verifiable on the Arsenal FC website). But why should facts get in the way of the nonsense spouted by Mr Palmer and co.

  227. PS: Mr Palmer and the hacks are now excusing ManU’s swoon to the injury to their defenders. No such excuses were offered on Arsenal’s behalf late last season. I thought whatever was good for the goose was good for the gander. Bull shit artists, all of them.

  228. Maybe I just feel that old Poliziano!

    I remember that series, but I didn’t know it was available on DVD. I might have to check it out as my memory of it was that it was a really well cast and well acted adaptation. But then again, the BBC are pretty good at the costume dramas.

  229. Absolutely shotta-gunna. There is such a lack of analysis applied by pundits it beggars belief as to why they have the title. Ole Gunner has consistently exposed the nonsense that gets written; even by broadsheet journalists, who are supposed to steer clear of lazy, ill written trite. The fact is that we lost 4 key players in 2007-2008 and we were easily the best team in the country during that period. We had the misfortune to lose the services of at least 7 players the following season, either through transfers in the case of Gilberto, Flamini, Hleb and Diarra, and then players who spent months on the treatment table, including Rosicky, Fabregas, Walcott and Gallas. We lose the vital services of three physical players in Bendtner, VP and Diaby against Chelsea and suddenly we are lightweight and weak. We didn’t look weak today though, did we ? I didn’t see anybody being outfought in a physical challenge, far from it. The hacks have never actually stopped to think about what would happen if we had the majority of our key players fit and available, for the majority of the season. On the evidence of today – we would be absolutely frightning. We just need minimal injuries from here on in till May.

  230. The league is not strange. It’s competitive for the first time in ages. So much so that there are very few points between 18th place and 8th. Teams like Birmingham, Fulham and Burnley are strong at home and are not dying off midway through the season. Teams at the bottom can take points away from teams at the top. I haven’t seen this for at least a decade.

  231. Exactly Gainsbourg69.

  232. Muppet, that is why I have no respect for any of those hacks. There is no objective analysis of the teams they just string a lot of well worn cliches together with big words if they are one of the ‘quality’ papers and smaller words for the tabloid readers, but it’s the same old bull crap on a daily basis Only manure is decimated by injuries we just lack strength in depth.

  233. Quite Passenal. Let’s just hope that in May that they will be choking on their words. Martin Samuel in The Times suggested that the sound of sirens from a white van could be heard in Wenger’s press conference could be heard when he suggested that Chelsea would drop points.

  234. Chelsea, regardless of the ACN, were always going to drop points. They are lucky they haven’t been plagued by a few injuries just yet. Maybe by the time the champions league kicks off again and fatigue starts to hit those old legs, they’ll succumb to the injury zombie. Ditto for Man U.. Rio Ferdinand may not come back this season and they have no cover on the flanks worth mentioning. So if Rooney, their only scoring threat, goes down they’ll be fvcked. The pundits, however, can’t be made to admit that those teams have little depth. It doesn’t fit the narrative which states that MU, Chelsea and Liverpool are big clubs with big players. And big clubs with big players can’t lose to clubs with inexperienced players.

  235. What a win!!!

    The whole team played great but Diaby is the player I am enjoying immensly, dude is unbelievable.

    Remember “Sell Diaby, Song and Denilson, they are not Arsenal quality”. What a bunch of idiots some Arsenal fans are.

    Walcott was very effective when he came on also, class.

    Eduardo played well but is lacking that cutting edge in front of goal but its coming, he looks better every match.

    Dont worry about the idiotic reporters, what they have to say will make our PL and CL titles much sweeter!!!

    NO FEAR!!

  236. Wenger should buckle up and go for James Milner and Heskey in January..

  237. If Wenger went for Heskey I think he would be buckled up.

  238. Actually, both are good players and Milner is close to Arsenal quality, if not Arsenal quality.

    Still, won’t stop the detractors for moaning about the need for a new striker or the poor form of Eduardo. I am fervently hoping that Eduardo will regain his mojo from 2007. Wouldn’t that be something.

    And what a brilliant performance by Diaby today.

  239. forget my previous attempt at humor at 10:47..

    at least MOTD was special today..

    Wenger must be lynched ..

    __Arsenal__

  240. The analysis on motd is pants.

    Better off watching news at ten.

  241. What did they say on motd ?

  242. At least news at ten acknowledge we are in a title fight.

  243. erm… not afukinlot.

  244. Apparently Villa’s midfield and defence contained us for 60 minutes. They must have been at a different match because our midfield dominated throughout and it was only a lack of sharpness by Eduardo and Arshavin up front that prevented us going ahead early on. They also managed to edit the first half to make it look like Villa were more in the game than they were. I was pretty amazed though that they showed Young’s dive (Englishmen don’t do that) and his booking!

  245. this time last season: P20, W10, D5, L5, GD10, pts35

    this season: P18, W12, D2, L4, GD27 pts 38.

    and people still whine and moan.

  246. Spot on as usual Passenal. We were all over them like the preverbial cheap suit.

  247. I think if Wenger had signed Milner a season or two ago he would be a better player than he is now. He is still young and learning like most of our squad.

  248. Villa contained us ? Honestly some pundits need a smack in the mouth.

    Arsenal A.Villa
    Possession 62.1% 37.9 %

    Shots on 9 2
    Corners 10 4
    Pass Success 81% 71%

  249. who gives a shit about Milner. A hard working player but once you cut out his crosses he just doesn’t do much very much like that diving thing Ashley Young they were snuffed out by Traore and Sagna one trick pony.

  250. well said 1Lc..

  251. Is Milner the new Kompany?

  252. Or perhaps the new Bullard.

  253. Muppet, great form earlier but Heskey a great player? He is a disgrace to football and the fact that England actually pick him for the national squad means England should be banned from all International tournaments for 20 years.

  254. 1 loose cannon: I can live with being contained if we win 3 – 0 every week.

  255. Quotes of the Day:

    Kitchen Sink at 10:47 – “Wenger should buckle up and go for James Milner and Heskey in January.”

    Dupsffokcuf at 10:54 pm – “If Wenger went for Heskey I think he would be buckled up.”

    Ha, Ha, Hah!

  256. Milner has a had a great season so far. Thing is, he’s got a pretty easy job in that team. Villa are so one dimensional, and a guy like Milner never has to use his imagination much.

    He does the simple things well: Cross after cross for the giants in the box, and hitting those big diagonals out to Bog Whore or Ashley Young on the left. That’s about it. In a side like Arsenal he’d be lost.

    Villa play dull, metronomic football. And, funnily enough, they were at their worst in that second half because they knew they had to try something different. Fat chance for that bunch of robots!

    Of course, nothing they tried came off. And it was quite fitting that Milner gave the ball away to Traore for the second goal after a vain attempt at improvisation.

    AW never gets credit as a matchday tactician, but I think he saw Villa coming all the way from the West Midlands. I reckon it was no coincidence that we attacked down the right exclusively during the first half.

    This pinned Villa’s pacey players back, forced them to use all their energy defending and denied them any space to break into. They had nothing come the second 45.

    Oh and another thing – we were smart really smart with those niggly tactical fouls in the first half. We nipped a few counter attacks in the bud that way.

  257. What a resounding victory. A good day to be a gooner

    Shotta Journos, Pundits and hacks are full of cr*p. They are quick to curry favour with the Man U Chelsea bandwagon. It makes them believe that English players and Man U Chelski are infinitely better than they really are glorifying their talent whilst denigrating that of the ‘soft’ foreigners. So such crap as Gerrard is the only person who shows heart at Liverpool… that Villa bullied Arsenal….that we are weak…doesnt surprise me any more. What more do we need to do.

    But we will have the last laugh because they forget that their ill concieved comments are immortalised in black and white for all to see when they get it wrong. After this game the pundits are going to have to come up with some better excuses because Arsenal are going to prove the critics wrong.COYG!

  258. Howard the Unwanted Fan

    We need a striker to replace RvP and we’re done. Eduardo is facing serious confidence problem, may be he needs help. He’s missing too many sitters:

    Spurs 3
    Sunderland 2
    Burnley 2
    Hull 2
    Villa 2

    We need his scoring boots back to put us on track.

    We also have to do anything to keep Fab4 from Barca even if we have to make him the highest earner in the EPL.

  259. Is this the Howard that most regulars tell to ‘fuck off’ on here?

    If so, fuck off, Howard.

  260. Howard the Unwanted Fan

    Fuck off lagooner. I probably spend more money on the club than you do, so just keep your big mouth shut.

  261. Fuck off Howard.

    Marc, I didn’t see Heskey was a great player. I think he is a good player, for what he offers, which is ball retention up front. Read the comment. lol.

    Fuck off Howard.

  262. Wow. Howard strikes back. F*ck off Howard.
    Happy new year to all the non-doomers and grateful thanks to YW for the best Arsenal blog.

  263. What kind of ‘fan’ keeps a chart with his own players’ mistakes on it? I don’t believe it’s the same Howard as he never ever reacted like that.
    But just in case.
    Fuck off Howard.

  264. Tiger Woods and Thierry Henry have been named by one newspaper among the Villains of 2009. I find the reaction to Tiger Woods particularly surprising. I would have expected him to be one of the year’s heroes. He has, after all, f*cked as many women as possible, which is the pursuit officially recommended to all men. The Irish, so far as I can see, should be grateful to Henry. They were going out anyway. This way, at least they can pretend it should have been otherwise. In a few years, when memories have faded, perhaps someone will even believe them.

    Who are the true villains of the year?

    1) Clive Tyldesley
    – for falsely accusing of cheating a player who has just returned from a career-threatening injury.

    2) Anatole Kuragin
    – for his disgraceful behaviour towards Natasha Rostov.

    3) Barack Obama

    4) Michelle Platini

    5) Geoff and Pedro

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