Fabregas Torments Villa As Arsenal March On

Arsenal 3 – 0 Aston Villa

1 – 0 Fabregas (65)
2 – 0 Fabregas (81)
3 – 0 Diaby (90)

Aston Villa arrived on their chariot, conquering all-comers in the notional and current top four, leaving The Emirates firmly on the back foot, acquiring knowledge that their progress, whilst substantial, needs to take a giant step forwards if silverware is to be added. Functional in their approach, they were undone by a solid Arsenal performance, one of the best in terms of containment, compressing the opposition and then stretching them, turning the handles of the rack until the defence was snapped.

Centre stage was taken by Cesc Fabregas, lead actor for an imposing half an hour, yet missing for anywhere between days and weeks. No-one yet knows but the spectre of losing Alex Song and his captain, is materialising in front of Wenger. The manager is, at the moment, rightly unrepentant about introducing the Spaniard into the fray, the result producing evidence of the correctness of his decision. Points gained in his continued absence will assess whether it was faith or folly.

The match itself began as it continued; Eduardo found space in the area following a silky dragback and turn by Diaby, shooting weakly at Freidel. The Croat is this seasons’ Bendtner; devoid of finishes that we know he is capable of, unafraid to take the lead to put himself time and again in the position to miss. Notionally on the left side of the attack, Eduardo is adept at turning up anywhere along the forward line, left, right and centre within moments of the game, adding his value through workrate.

Villa’s defence though was effective in marginalising Arshavin. The wit and guile of recent weeks was absent from the Russian’s game in the first half, a forty-five minute spell where he buffetted and bulwarked by Dunne and Cuellar. Denilson, Nasri and Diaby all fluttered around the midfield, the deft touch of butterflies masking their determination and strength in the challenge. Behind them, Song provided an effective barrier to an almost full-strength Arsenal defence. When the midfield wall was breached, Villa created little threat, the most dangerous of which was created through indecision on Arsenal’s part, the ball eventually cleared to safety after a Gentleman’s Excuse Me from Almunia, Song and Sagna.

The second half threatened more of the same until the introduction of Fabregas. Immediately, the captain proved to be a colossus, belying the notion that the only big players Arsene need look at are those physically so. Big of heart and mind, he provided a cutting edge, a probing run drawing a foul from Dunne. The shortest of run-ups ended with the sweetest of strikes, lifting the ball over the wall and into the corner from whence Freidel had organised his wall. Poor goalkeeping position to face the kick? Yes. Would he have stopped the shot if he were correctly placed? No such was the accuracy of the Fabregas’ effort.

Such moments turn games. Arsenal became more dominant with Villa rocking. Arshavin and Eduardo combined on the left, the Croat racing to the byeline, Fabregas created panic between Dunne and Freidel, Cuellar blocking once more a goalbound effort. The second came in the last time. Traore picked the ball up just outside the Arsenal area, releasing a fifty metre pass that his captain would have been proud of. Walcott picked the pace up with Fabregas inside, providing the ball at perfect pace for the Spaniard to run onto and slide past the advancing Villa ‘keeper. In the process, tweaking his hamstring, willing through the obvious discomfort to produce the match winning advantage.

Villa responded with an effort almost carbon in copy of Agbonlahor’s goal last season. This time though, he was thwarted by the athleticism of Almunia, having been robustly challenged by Gallas. Credit to the young forward for holding off the tackle to get to his feet so quickly. Ashley Young can only hold his head in shame for the manner with which he calculatedly hit the turf in a blatant dive, rightly earning himself a booking which means he misses the upcoming fixture with Liverpool. A fitting punishment for such cowardice.

The win was sealed as Fabregas’ replacement, Ramsey, and Nasri combined to free Diaby. Gliding across the turf as freely as a Bustard through the air, the Frenchman strode unopposed through the Villa half, accepting the invitation as the defence backed off, to curl the ball past Freidel.

Three points were crucial to turn the screw on Chelsea as they will be against Portsmouth on Wednesday. A margin of four points with a game in hand to the leaders was an unlikely outcome for the end of the year following the home defeat to Chelsea, according to the sage and wise pundits on our screens. Humble pie is not yet being eaten but is being cooked into a delicious treat for them.

Last evening, the lifeforce was extracted from my body in listening to the diatribes from those whose lobotomy’s were reversed with nothing inserted, encouraged by Gabrielle Marcotti’s constant denuding of the forward line’s talent, deriding them as ‘Smurfs‘. As easy as it would be to respond in kind, I’ll leave those of a more vindictive bent to take the suitable course of revenge for such cheap chatter.

Quite often I am accused of having glasses, the hue of which is rose in colour. Those who persistently desire the return of Patrick Vieira need to re-assess their own eyewear. We remember Patrick very fondly in ACLF Towers yet never lose sight of the fact that he is no longer the player that he once was; unquestionably powerful in his prime, injury-prone in his fading years.

Midfield is a precarious position for the club for four weeks whilst injuries heal and Alex Song vacates his slot in the first team. Wenger admitted any more absences may produce a short-term requirement but a forward remains his priority, as does, I suspect, cover at centre back.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 28, 2009, in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 164 Comments.

  1. Nice one YW. What a great day.

  2. Gabriele Marcotti is a tosser.

  3. shyte groves! beat me to it

  4. It was a shame Song got booked for diving too.

  5. nemesis, i am your nemesis.

  6. What did Marcotti say ?

  7. lol groves, I will try to be a worthy adversary….good day/nyt, it is late at night on my side of the world

  8. 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

  9. Sorry, Muppet. I have a lot of respect for you, both as a blogger and as a man; but I can’t agree that Emile Heskey is a great player.

  10. Heskey is shite

  11. Geoff and Pedro no. 5? Surely theirs is tosserdom of the first water….

  12. PZ,

    I think something has been lost in translation. My post very clearly says “good player”. Not “great player”. I also attribute this to his one saving grace – “ball retention”. If however, you believe that this is not a saving grace and he is not a “good player” – then fair enough. Funnily enough I remember talking to somebody about 10 years ago who said that Heskey was shit, so he can’t have improved since then.

  13. The numbers don’t necessarily correspond to the rank of the named villains.

  14. By the way, does anybody know who the premiership manager was who was seen sauntering out of a brothel ? Apparently, it’s mentioned on wikipedia, but I can’t find it.

  15. Oh come on, Muppet. Retentive? Yes. The best striker in the Premier League? I don’t think so.

  16. It was Fergie, Muppet. But it wasn’t what it seemed. He was just picking up his wife.

  17. Yes, Yogi. I listened to that tosh as well. That man is very annoying and insulting, posing as a voice of reason.

    Every time he called the likes of Arshavin and Nasri, in fact the whole Arsenal forward line, ‘smurfs’ I went into a ‘ragin fury’, (one for old ‘Valiant’ readers) and reached for ‘Klicky Ba’ (Hotspur, I think).

    He really is a twat making Spoony sound a fair man.

    Interesting, although depressing, that as soon as Spooney suggested PV4 as a short term signing, was the number of Arsenal fans ringing in and saying what a good idea. They were not as bad as the one who ‘had been at the game’ and insisted we needed to mend the ‘glaring deficiencies in this side, to wit a ‘proper’, ‘bruising’ centre forward, a midfield protector for Cesc and a central midfelder.

    Even that Canadian twat blinked at that list.

  18. Good one.. PZ..

    yes.. perhaps retentive in another sense PZ..

  19. I was told it was Avram Grant, Muppet.

  20. Really Perrygroves… LOL

  21. He’s probably got no other choice than to pay for it!

  22. Is using prostitutes considered naughty any more? Some men go to bars or nightclubs and essentially buy sex for the price of a few drinks. Others go to brothels, which are perhaps more expensive, but contain a better class of women. In moral terms, I can’t see the difference.

  23. YW;

    Absolutely nothing wrong in having Rose tinted specs man! Rather that than constantly fearing (secretly wanting) the worse.

    I thought the whole team played excellently yesterday and we would’ve won even without Cesc’s interventions. The defence were brilliant and Traore just gets better and better.

    3 amazing left backs and Silvestre has done well there too.

    Gabrielle Marcotti has morphed into a 2 dimensional cartoon characature of himself; a smug, self satisfied 2 bit twat.

  24. Gignac would be a good acquisition even if we were to sell him in summer a la Kabba Diawara to replace him with Chamack.
    Pierre Andre Gignac is a hard worker. He will hussle thedefense all game long. Also he is not afraid of shooting.
    BTW, this year Arsenal is the leader in number of goals scored from outside the box (Yesterday again two out of three). Maybe the pundits should review their assessment that Arsenal is trying to walk the ball into the net.

  25. I think it’s an interesting story from the point of view that it has been suppressed. Whether it be because of Max Mosley and his shenanigans in the bedroom, or perhaps something to do with Murdoch, because he owns Sky, and would not benefit from adverse publicity, it does seem to be surprising. Or perhaps as you say PZ, there is no public appetite for this kind of story now as things have moved on.

  26. We obviously need to sign a few English players.

    Once again, certain players were diving and cheating outrageously and not one sentence, let alone paragragh dedicated to it in today’s papers and media outlets.

  27. Nice write-up, Yogi.

    Good points, Valentin, but I have given up expecting pundits to pay any attention to the facts when forming their opinions.

    @ Pz
    Barack Obama one of your villains of 2009? I know you did not think the Nobel award was justified, but a villain? Behave.

  28. @ Spike

    Even though the media are trying to ignore all the instances of English players cheating, I have a feeling the evidence is seeping into the collective consciousness nonetheless.

  29. Poliziano, might Berlusconi have appeared in your top 5 list? Or is he just regarded as a bit of a joke and unworthy of the title villain?

    C’mon Arsenal!! Diaby fabulous. Gallas, excellent. Amunia, what a puncher. Eduardo, the artful master, I expect him to announce himself soon. Fabregas, a match worth remembering in a decade especially if we take the title. Traore, just improves by the week now. Theo looks close too.

  30. What’s wrong with being smurfs? They may get caught temporarily by nasty old Gargamel and Azrael, but you know they’ll always triumph in the end. Maybe Papa Smurf’s first name is Arsene. 😉

  31. I do hope Portsmouth stay up, and mount a fightback after their next match. I just want their manager to be around longer to annoy chelsea.


    Cesc is God, there is nothing more to say!

    To the match then, and the whole team played extremely well and more importantly, as vermaelen said, DEFENDED better.

    A special mention needs to be made for abou diaby, who played really well. He has been on the recieving end of a lot of stick, including a lot from myself, but yesterday and against hull he played superbly.

    Its about time that he started contributing to the team, and its great that he has broken his ‘good in one match and rubbish in the next five’ routine. With cesc’s situation he will need to continue this in the coming weeks.

    He is not the partner for cesc though, as I have said before. With song leaving we will need to bring in another defensive midfielder from somewhere if we are to win the title this seaon.

    January will be crucial to our fortunes, lets hope wenger will make the required additions to lead us to some silverware at the end(fingers crossed)

    Thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the win, to portsmouth then…

    Cheers all!!

  33. Great lad, a lot of others need to learn from him.

    All the very best for the future steve, we’re proud of you too…


  34. Well,well,well

  35. Spike @ 11:17 am – “We obviously need to sign a few English players.”

    Obviously we do’t have good enough divers.

    Welcome back my friend. We have missed your, er, spikiness.

  36. Good lord, deliver me from Naga’s post. And hold him accountable for his sayings and judgment. For surely, his earlier take on Denilson and Diaby, makes him sound like a fool.

  37. Not a country mile, Frank. Yesterday’s perfomance was atleast a continent mile…….

  38. Country mile, country mile. End of Jan, noses in front. Then away we go.

  39. Ateeb – I simply avoid Naga’s long, verbose. reactionary blather. God help us from this type of “fan”.

    Frank – For the first time in ages I am beginning to get nervous about the injuries to our midfielders. Cesc – recurring hamstring. Denilson – recurring back. While we can do without either, we cannot do without both, especially in the absence of Song. No wonder Arsene is thinking of buying some cover.

  40. I disagree Muppet, I wouldnt call Heskey world class.

  41. I just want to ask who is fan favourite at arsenal?

  42. Ha ha ha… PZ and Dukegoonem on a wind up.

    Heskey is the greatest !! Didn’t you know ?

  43. Well after a convincing 3-0 romp against an in form good team you should be hard pressed to be negative but low and befukinhold that blog has come up with…Villa played poor and we still need signings or Wenger will be winging it.

    No we made Villa look poor by bamfukinbooziling them all over the pitch with our quick passing. We have a big injury list already and are still near the top of table. Fukin moany c*nt.

  44. At pompey we wil have rambo,nasri and diaby midfield and arsh,eduardo,walcott that not as bad as we think

  45. You’re right, FunGunner. I was being naughty. I believe Barack Obama means well, whatever else one might think of him. Nevertheless, since one or two of his worshippers have used ACLF as their pulpit, I thought it would be fun to include him on the list of villains.

    As for Avram Grant:
    In my opinion, the normal sexual behaviour of celebrities is not a fit subject for the media. I can’t see any reason to report on the women, whether professional or lay, with whom football players or managers (or anyone else, save perhaps persons of great responsibility) are having sex. The only exceptions should be for cases of particular cruelty.

  46. shotta;

    Ha! Thanks for that!

  47. Stranger;

    I’d even rest Arshavin and start with Vela vs Pompey. He was great there last season and he would be well up for a rematch.

    Agree with all your other predictions regarding personnel for the game.

  48. Stranger…Dont i know you??


    piss off naga u plastic shyte. Ur not a fan.


    Naga gunner is not a fan. He moans and kick the team when we’re not at our best. When we’re winning, he comes along saying how right he was and shit and that wenger listened to what he said. We dont need them sort, like naga. These are loser fans with a capital L. LOSER NAGA!



  52. SomeRandomGunner

    I heard song will play against portsmouth. So our midfield will be Song Diaby Ramsey not bad at all.
    We will need Rosicky back and he needs to stay fit for few weeks atleast .

  53. An performance full of maturity yesterday.

    I was impressed with how Arshavin kept his position in the way Henry used to do for us in the first half. Eduardo was buzzing in spite of the miss (few would have converted that btw)

    We increased the tempo after the break, and the game was turning in our favour especially after Cesc came on.

    More than the score, i was impressed with the way we bossed the game. The Liverpool half time talk seems to have made a difference to the way this team behaves on the pitch.

    Champions quality! only sour note is the injury situation extending its grip to our midfield.

  54. I’m worried about Rosicky’s injury, with Arsene stating that he might be looking for midfield reinforcements. Denilson and Cesc, would be back soon. What about Rosicky, wasn’t he due back a week ago?

  55. This was a good ole fashioned butt whipping. Fabregas daily double lead the way. Cuidos to the guys. A great win. This keeps the pressure on the top two. Chelsea can’t win to save their lives at this point. The door is ajar now kick the sucker down. Its all about the “W” baby. I love it.
    spam bobby http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  56. I saw the game live on Setanta and this network produced game announcers who gave a lively account of the game without defiling Arsenal. They were even speaking of Arsenal winning the league though the caveat was “on their day”. Who in the Premiership has a player that can stand a match on its head in the space of 28 minutes? It was an incredible display of talent.

  57. Good post as usual Yogi. Yesterday the pundits must have been choking on the proverbial pie. Aston Villa was brushed aside and convincingly beaten in the same manner as those irritating upstarts the Spuds following our dispatch of Liverpool whilst playing below par. Diaby, Song and Denilson where beasts but fans are still calling for commanding defensive midfielders to protect Cesc. FFS it doesn’t take a genius to see that’s why Cesc is scoring more….midfield is working overtime.Frank Lumphard has built his career on the back of a good midfield working overtime around him.

    The pundits, hacks and journos are growing ever more desperate in the negativity stakes…now they are suggesting Wenger was foolish in playing Cesc since our title challenge will fail without him. My sides are hurting at the thought.I seem to remember last season the team putting in a sustained unbeaten 21 game run without Fabregas, RVP, Rosciky and carrying multiple injuries…

    As for Gabrielle Marcotti and his ilk are Class A tw*ts. He is the same one who predicted that Arsenal would flounder in the couldron of the San Siro and the giants where “smurfed” by the smurfs convincingly. Now the pundits are going to see that their media favourites Chelsea and Man U are just a glorified Aston Villa.

  58. Fulham take the lead at Stamford Bridge.

    Ho ho ho.

  59. SomeRandomGunner

    oh it is chelsea’s home game great………

  60. The cold weather will be wreaking havoc with The Pensioner’s gout.

  61. @ Pz

    Oh, I see. You little minx.

  62. Must be a result of that Knightsbridge lifestyle.
    Still time left in this game to gorge in a deflected goal or penalty.

  63. I think Drogba has already died twice in this game, why can’t they find the sharpshooter? I’m worried that at this rate he might run out of miraculous healing powers…

  64. I’m beginning to hate Drogba like I used to hate Van Nistleroy

  65. Listen to the boos – sounds great doesn’t it? One of our rivals getting boos at home.
    That’s why it is inexcusable at the Ems – giving succour to the enemy.


    chels are in the dumps

  67. “FFS it doesn’t take a genius to see that’s why Cesc is scoring more”

    well said..

    shout out to bobbygee The W baby..


    Maybe drogba will cheat for a penalty? I have 11-9 for that happening lads



  70. Haha awesome commentry in the eurosport.co.uk liveticker: “Terry gets forward and, as Fulham back off him, he opts to shoot. Miles over. That’s why they backed off you John, they know you never score with those.”

    Well, Terry is no Vermaelen, that’s for sure.

  71. This is desperate stuff from Fulham, can they hold on? I really really fucking hope so.


    ALTOGETHER NOW! 10 MEN WENT TO BED, WENT TO BED WITH CASHLEY C@NT! 10men, 9men, 8men, 7men, 6men, 5men, 4men, 3 men, 2men, 1men AND HIS MOBILE PHONE WENT TO BED WITH CASHLEY!

  73. Eduardo 9

    I can’t believe some of Arsenal fans – If they’re truly Arsenal fans – comments I read elsewhere.

    One of them said “Arsene should buy a striker because Eduardo is sh*t” I say, Let’s brutally f*cking break your leg and your ankle and see how sh*t are you.

    Yes, he’s not in form…he’s been in & out for awhile now due to the fact that some idiot broke his leg while he was giving his all for “Arsenal”.

    Eduardo is a class player, and I think beside being injured for awhile, the fact that we changed the system we play may also affect him. Eduardo shined when he was playing off Adebayor or Bendtner, someone big & tall the he can feed off. But he will find his way to form and his way to fit in the new way of play because he has the most important ingredient : QUALITY.

    Having said that, I recommend and applaud the fans in the stadium who always sing his name and encourage him with every mess, he needs that.

  74. G4E – anyone who publicly slates any of our players is not a fan. End of story. I totally agree with all you write.

  75. Fucking Dogbreath. I hate Chelsea.

  76. Oh well – that’s that.

  77. Disappointing…

  78. Hodgson fucked up by taking off Gera. Didnt need to change it.

  79. Oh well Chelsea are still as shit as their fans. We will reel them cu+ts in.

  80. What was the final score?

  81. Abou Diaby 2

    Abou is making great progress now that he is having a good run in the team and it’s paying off. I believe he scored 5 in the Premier League so far and if he continues like this and score 5 or 6 more, wouldn’t that make him a very effective midfield player?

    Although they’re different in style & position, how many did Ljungberg score a season?

    I still think sometimes he holds the ball longer than he should, but he will lose that by time.

  82. Drogba got booked and it means he will miss the first game after he comes back from ACN. Isn’t Chelseas first game after ACN against us???

  83. In other news how can legroan put a negative spin on everything Arsenal, even if we win with a convincing performance like against Villa?

  84. So far it’s 2-1 Passenal with 4 minutes of OT

  85. Hello ACLF,

    I haven’t been so pleased after a victory for quite a while. What a great team display.

    I have a question.. Did anyone listen to talksport after the game. I totally forgot about that utter [insert swear word] Collymore.

    Does anyone know what he had to say for himself and his team after the game?

  86. It is a shame that Cesc stole all the accolades after what was an excellent team performance.

    The debate about Denilson, Song, Diaby looks well and truly dead now. They bossed the midfield, drove us forward and created chances. Arsene knows.

    Villa defended desperately, rode their luck, and over the course of the game were absolutely battered. We thoroughly deserved the win and played them off the park before cesc capped it off.

    I can’t wait for Wednesday, we lucked out with 3 days rest. Interested to see who he plays in the cup as well.

    By the 6th of Jan we might be only 2 points off the leaders, safely through as group winners and with a decent draw in Europe. We are improving as the season progresses, there is much more to come from this squad. You couldn’t really ask for more.

  87. Thanks G4E, and I can’t help ML, I never listen to those shows.

  88. Collymore wasn’t on the air yesterday, but his show is going to start in the next few minutes.

    I’ll be listening, I bet he will try not to mention their beating yesterday.

  89. I dont know arsenehollis over at le cun*ing moan that trio still looks weak…on paper,whatever the fu*k that means.



  91. Chelsea were very fortunate to win today.From what I have seen they will drop lots of points, and Manure are simply not going to win it this year. And I beleive we have a good chance of winning it. We need just a little bit of luck with injuries

  92. Football matches are not played on paper though – maybe that’s where they’re going wrong over there!

  93. They should stop using recycled paper.

  94. Still can’t wipe the smile off my face.

  95. I say they are weak in their mind on Le Geof(balls)

  96. Smile on Maria…till we lift the title, then you can start laughing.

    The regular idiots of MOTD were saved the blushes this weekend since they don’t appear on MOTD2.

  97. Absolutely right Maria!!!!

  98. Drogba has scored around 13-14 goals in the league this season. He will be sorely missed in January, with Anelka also out injured. They will be dropping points, given how poorly they’ve been playing. Drogba has been saving them, with equalizers or winners. The next top scorer is Anelka with 4 goals. Nothing I saw today, convinced me that they will be able to cope with their players departing for ACN.

  99. Unless they buy someone Ateeb. It was just a shame Fulham couldn’t hold on for at least a point.

  100. Even Chelsea win now and then.

  101. Well, poor old Collymore was leading a chorus of tut-tutting at the fact that a lot of Chelsea fans booed thier own players. Apparently it’s the ‘fair weather prawn sandwich’ eating caste of ‘johnny come lately’ fan combined with the ‘laziness of the African players’ before the ACN that is the real problem for Chel$ki.

    So, lots of surprises there then.

    Might have missed it but didn’t hear any mention of The Villa.

  102. Yow! Passenal – I was lured to the FTK Blog (Fabulous-the -King) by this sensationalist headline “Why selling Cesc would be a betrayal”. I remember this dude as one of the regular posters at football365 feeding into their daily Arsene bashing. I have to agree 100% with your post:
    ” What a lot of nonsense. Cesc does not want to leave and Arsene does not want to sell him, so what exactly is the point of this drivel?”
    Nothing to add.

  103. I know I should rise above it Shotta, but I couldn’t resist as it was so appallingly bad!

  104. 1. Arsenal
    2. Chelsea
    3. Manu
    4. Sp*ds
    5. Man C
    6. ‘Pool
    7. Villa

    You read it here first.

  105. You did very well Passenal. Occasionally, someone has to stand up to the drivel spouted by our own supporters. The media certainly doesn’t need our help to further their agenda that Arsenal is in crisis by giving credence to their b.s. that Cesc is going to Barca.

  106. Song is with us until the West Ham games.

    By then hopefully, Cesc and Denilson will be good to resume service. Rosicky is back for Portsmouth. Bendtner should not be too far behind now.

    I think if we negotiate the end of Jan/start of feb period properly, the title will be almost in the pocket.

  107. Consols, the seer or the prophet.
    We can do it. But I fear that our key midfield players Cesc, Denilson and Song will be absent for prolonged periods. Added to the loss of world class RVP.
    I am fearful, indeed.

  108. Shotta. Pull yourself together man.

    Who’s got the supply of white feathers?

  109. Shotta – FTK is fickle, at times is very critical of Wenger but sometimes very supportive, I think he was behind the march last year in support of Wenger.He had his 2 minutes of fame on Sky last year maybe it got to his head.

  110. I agree with consolsbob shotta, you must have faith and not attract what you fear the most. I’ve seen a few people today suggesting that Diaby’s good form is a pre-cursor to another injury and Eduardo is finished, almost like they are wishing for it to happen. We have to be extra positive to counter-act this negativity that threatens to undermine us at every opportunity.

    I hope that’s true about Rosicky being back for Portsmouth Ritesh, that would definitely soften the loss of Cesc and/or Denilson

  111. Consols, as long as you get the first spot right, the rest does not matter.

    I think the half time talk at Liverpool gave more than 3 points to this group. It gave them the belief that they can win this Championship.

    Aimé Jacquet did something similar with the French team at the WC semi final in 1998. At half time when they were behind against Croatia, Jacquet told them “You are afraid. But before you blow this away, tell me, you are afraid of what? you are afraid of who?” The players went out and bulldozed past Croatia.

    Something similar may have happened to our own Arsenal. A new found belief, the realization that they can make it. The Boys have turned Men.

  112. So true, Passenal.

    How many times in life does defeatism lead to, well, defeat?

    Shotta knows this. He just lacks a few years.

  113. Shotta you should have nothing to say against the planters of the seeds of fear and discontent..

  114. I am trying to find the source of the Rosicky story Passenal but I remember checking the author to make sure if was credible at time of reading

  115. Perhaps I am blighted by the derailment of our campaign at Birmingham 2 years ago. In life I think it is healthy to not be Pollyannaish; that is easily the point when one is weakest.
    My point is losing both Cesc and Denilson; eventually it catches up with you.

  116. The Fabregas 28 minute wonder should be mounted and placed above the mantel of your memory. This is a rarity. I cannot think of another that I have witnessed throughout the years that is the equal. I am old enough to have seen many of Pele’s games and when he played in the old North American Soccer League for the New York Cosmos. There was never a 28 minute wonder like this. Even the great Zidane did not produce this.

  117. I’m sceptical Ritesh because there is nothing on the official website and I wonder why Arsene would talk about buying another midfielder in the absence of Cesc and Denilson if he had Rosicky about to return? I hope it’s true though because we could do with some bodies returning from injury and he was looking good before his last setback.

  118. Is there any news of Cesc? I haven’t been able to find any…

  119. We are The Arsenal.

  120. Indeed there’s nothing on the official website. We will know tomorrow at the press conference.

    Rosicky, like Nasri is maybe used as a forward in the 4 3 3. Maybe also Wenger relies little on Rosicky this term given his extended lay-off.

  121. shotta, I don’t see it as ‘Pollyannaish’. They may be out for a few games but neither look to be out for the season at the moment. Remember those who thought we couldn’t do anything without RVP? Yes we dipped for a bit while we adjusted, but it is a squad game and we made that 21 game unbeaten run without Cesc last season.

    The rest of the squad have to believe in themselves that they can keep things going until we get some bodies back and for that to happen they need our backing to strengthen that belief. Thinking positive does no harm, so why not do that and good things might happen? I believe that people who think negatively, do so out of fear of failure. If you do not expect anything, you won’t be disappointed when it doesn’t happen. But that makes life not a very pleasant experience, because you can’t just live in the moment and enjoy what is in front of you as there is always one eye on the horizon waiting for disaster to strike. But if it is going to happen, it will happen whether you look for it or not.

    It’s Arsene’s job to be concerned about the team because he is the one who can do something about it, so why worry ourselves when that is just wasted energy as we have no power to control things? Sit back, enjoy the ride and hope for the best. That seems like the sensible, logical thing to do in my opinion.

  122. Cesc is having a scan tomorrow.

  123. Thanks, Ritesh.

  124. Another win almost certain for City now.

    In one week, Mancini wins as many games as Hughes won since the start.

  125. What is your source for the Cesc news Ritesh?

  126. Daily Mail, Passenal.

    Some sources said yesterday he was to have the scan today but we would have known about it by now if it had happened. Their story makes sense this time.

  127. Tee hee. Shotta-gunna has become quite the pessimist. I doubt Denilson and Fabregas will be out for a long time. We certainly have no reason to think so yet. I was surprised that Wenger said he might need to look for a midfielder in January. For me, it is becoming less and less likely that we will make a signing in January. Wenger seems slowly to be reverting to his usual message that he is always looking for a special player who can improve the team. Despite injuries to our strikers, we have continued to win matches. Since Bendtner will soon be back, and Eduardo’s performances are becoming more and more encouraging, there hardly seems a need for a striker. A signing is still possible, but I won’t be shocked (or disappointed) if nothing happens.

  128. Good evening everyone.

    Fuck off Howard.

  129. No, no, Muppet. Look a little closer.


    You see? It’s shotta-gunna, not Howard.

  130. Just a preemptive strike PZ.

  131. Man City’s Craig Bellamy on BBC:

    “Wolves started off very well, but we gradually got into it and on the break we were very dangerous. We worked very hard, but 3-0 maybe flatters us a little bit. Under the previous manager, we had looked at the Christmas schedule and targeted nine points and we’ve got that. On a personal level I’ve got a great affection for Mark Hughes, but that’s football and you have to get on with it.”

    I would not be jumping with joy if Arsenal were to this guy.

  132. I agree with your point about needing luck with injuries One loose canon. Bendtner will be back and banging in the goals soon hopefully?

    My new years resolution is to ignore all hacks, journos and doomers. They prove to be misinformed idiots all the time and have absolutely no knowledge of football whatsoever….If Chelsea are the yard stick to follow then the last time they won the league their midfield was anchored by a ‘smurf” called Makelele (a great player by the way)…but the journos forgot that…they should reasses their doomer strategy.

  133. That’s a good strategy Gooner4Life then they can’t get into your head and infect you with their negativity.

  134. Song is going for 3/4 wks. The only other Def Mid is Denilson. If his back injury is bad then the next Def Mid in line is Coquelin/Frimpong or Eastmond (all about 18). Nasri, Diaby, et al are not Def Mids.
    Its unusual for AW to mention an injury and that he may go for a midfielder unless: a. the injury is bad and b. he needs to tell the market (the agents) that he really needs someone.
    I suspect that Denilson was brought back a bit early (it was a fracture to a bone in the back after all) and now they know he is not ready. Denilson is a trooper and will play through a brick wall if necessary, but I think his numbers are down from pre his injury, his passing and tidy game is as per usual but he has not yet got in the flow re tackles/interceptions which is his game. So whilst having your 2 tallest forwards (out of 6) is troublesome, having your 2 dedicated Def Midfielders out is a big problem.
    Maybe they will find another Central Def/Def Midfielder as they will need cover with Senderos seemingly on the way out.

  135. THE HACKS

    ed: right…we need a piece about the 2 horse title race

    hack: err..ed .. Arsenal are back in it.

    ed: No they are not.. they lost to Chelsea 3-0. That’s it for them

    hack: No ed.. they then got 13 out of their next 15 points… they are back in it.

    ed: No hack.. they can’t be … they don’t have the physical presence to do that. Look, I want an article about Chelsea and Manchester United and how they keep slipping up and letting the other in. No mention of Arsenal. It’s a “strange” premiership.

    hack: What about Fabregas ?

    ed: Just mention Rooney instead. Let him take the headlines for his totally brilliant performance at Hull. We must not upset Murdoch and co. Remember who pays us.

  136. Out of circulation for next ten days or so.

    Hoping the injury-gods are kind and we are in pole position by early January.

    Shotta -the non-pollyana Gunna

  137. I look forward to your return to this Vale of Tears.

  138. Ian Wright told us that Chelsea won the title on the 8th of November remember!

  139. Injuries to backs are not good news period! These injuries are often times career shortening events. Do not be surprised if we have seen the last of Denilson this season. That is not negativity that is common sense. We are in desperate need of a midfielder who can replace the nous of Denilson. This matter becomes even more critical when one considers Song and Africa, Fabregas and his injury. This does not mention the need for a reasonable central defender who might also play in the midfield in the event that Gallas or Vermalen go down. I am not worried about our forwards since we seem to have an abundance of talent in that area. Young but talented.

  140. This is what Berbatov said “I think it will be decided between us and Chelsea but in the end I think we’ll end up on top” I love the fact that we are still dismissed by everybody, it will work in our favour, no pressure on the players we will do our business quietly on the pitch. While they are still debating the 2 horse race we will snatch it from them and that when they will realise that the season is over and the title is heading to Ashburton Grove

  141. Ian Wright, an Arsenal Legend and a footballing genius with his feet but sadly his brain remained in his feet.Last year he said Liverpool would win.I cant remember the last time Wrighty backed us or said anything positive about Arsenal. All that glitters Wrighty…

  142. It is hard to believe that some one could be so friggen dumb as Ian fuggen Wright! This man talks excessively and virtually does not say anything. He annoys me immensely. Actually, it is hard to believe that anyone takes him seriously including his son.

  143. Physio-room shows returning:
    Rosicky – jan 3
    Clichy & Bendtner – jan 9th
    Cesc – jan 11th

  144. It would make more sense for Arsene to buy a versatile defender that can cover for Song and at CB.

    The dynamics of Diaby in attack are obvious. He is not just a good goal scorer, but a real threat to beat opponents with his size and pace – creating havoc for the defenders.

    Slotting Diaby at DM seems a waste of attacking talent. Like having Cesc play RB.

  145. re: Rosicky
    originally he was showing to return on jan 9th…..so this new date of jan 3rd is very encouraging.

  146. Rosiky coming back, one should take with a grain of salt! It is good to know though that Bendtner is close to reappearing.

  147. Diaby was at one time a striker. I agree Arsesession, it would be an absolute waste of his talents to fit him into purely a defensive role. In fact, someone mentioned in an earlier post that Diaby would be a good consideration to use as a striker, something that is not alien to him.

  148. M. Diarra (loan) and Huntelaar (loan). We don’t need to buy anyone as our squad is full once everyone is back and fit. If Wenger would just play Sendy if any of our CB’s are out then were covered. Other than that we should not tie in any new players anytime soon. We should just reassess what we need in the summer after the season is done. I have faith in this squad and its DEPTH. We have been really unlucky with injuries and I assure you if all our players were fit and firing on all cylinders from the beginning of the season then the premier league would definately be ours. This isn’t blind faith but common sense.

  149. Re AW going in for a midfielder…I think this a bit of the old smoke screen from AW. Let’s not forget that Nasri has a defensive element to his play too. I think AW has found what he’s been looking for and wants a deal done asap w/o the hacks getting a sniff!!

    C’mon the Arsenal!!

  150. KiwiG, that’s probably it. Well, unsure when Song and Eboue are off, but just wanted to wish them well in the ACN. Come back un-injured please.

    Shotta, I think the next player coming of age looks to be young Ramsey; he’s bound to see more games and looks the part. Nasri of course is effective in a central role too, and has defensive attributes. Theo is starting to regain form and might be more regular. If Cesc and Densilson have more problems we will start to be a little thin around the waist, but no alarm. The key is having Bendtner back, fit and rearing to go (February?), which allows AA, Dudu, Theo, Vela to play around him and a midfield from Diaby, Ramsey, Cesc, Denilson, Nasri, Rosicky and the odd 15 -min showing by Merida and Jack.

    I think we will purchase a defender, and maybe an unexpected attacking player/midfielder.

  151. I am guessing we will be reminded soon enough of the realities behind all american presidencies – they are not put there to change anything much.

  152. Yep Consols, sound about right to me.

  153. ‘Arsenal are a really good team with a good manager, but when push comes to shove they have problems against the big teams.’

    A little seasonal quiz.

    What scouse supporting twat who ‘works’ for the BBC said this about our club this morning?

  154. Hansen?

    Jbh re Denilson’s numbers being down on the intercepts and tackles, I think he has also been asked to play in a more forward role this season and Song is taking more of the defensive responsibilities. Denilson is the link midfielder between the defensive Song and attacking Cesc. As we are attacking more this season he supports the attack, but is always ready to slip back into the defensive role when required. Watching him closely he is still doing what he did last season but you could see that something was up before he was substituted on Sunday as suddenly his passing was going astray when he is normally pretty accurate.

  155. Unlucky, Passenal. It was the other one.

    Talk about damning with faint praise.

  156. If Cesc embodies the feelings in the changing room, which I am certain he does, his showing against Villa explains exactly the tenacity and motivation of this team. Maybe skill is a different matter, but head to head with the big teams, the winning mentality at Arsenal is not in question. It is this that commentators don’t get. They see the skill, call it ‘pretty patterns’ and forget the work and mindset behind it. I always want to remind people, this team was forged in the latter half of last season; fighting for 4th, derided as ‘soft’, injuries in every position, the backbone was laid by Song and Denilson and a fine season it was.

  157. So long as we keep on track of ManU, Chelsea’s lead will take of itself. SAF is a clever manager who plans his ‘drive’ for points around the mid-late winter into March. I expect a big ManU effort starting around now; points, points, points.

    Wenger seems to see the way the marathon is approached the same way and says we expect to be much stronger in February.

  158. Consolbob, was it Alan ‘Twatface’ Hansen? He should be ignored at all costs, his depression over Liverpool’s hilarious plight is turning him into a dark and bitter man full of fear and hatred. I think he should start wearing a big hood like “The Emperor”. Well it would amuse me anyway.

    Apart from being a cosmic twat, Gabriel Marcotti is also a Chelsea season ticket holder. Coloured as his opinion is anything he says should be taken with a large pinch of shite.

    Lest us also not forget he worked at the Satan’s very own soiled arserag – THE DAILY FUCKING MAIL prior to moving the The Times (The Mail in a posh frock).

    Cosolbob – I like your prediction I’ve been thinking along similar lines. I stand to win £500+ if we take the league this year. I don’t normally bet but I felt in my guts we would challenge for the title this year and 10.5-1 was too good to miss.

    I also agree with PIRESAHOLIC, insomuch as we would surely be well clear of the rest of the table with an injury free squad. No one seems to be pointing this out or even noticing it.

    There are some benefits though – would Diaby have had as many opps with a fully fit squad? Traore’s value must have soared upwards in recent weeks.

    Plus we are still right in it and can hope for some very fresh and hungry players to return.

    IF we triumph this season all the critics will have to throw themselves on spikes – as we will have done it in the face of obscene spending, whilst we make a profit, with players who are too small and in the face of a ridiculous injury list that no other premiership club would have been equipped to surmount.

    This is such an exciting season and those whingeing mingebags Pedro and especially Geoff should definitely just go and fuck themselves and each other.

    Up The Arsenal.


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