Ramsey And Song Hit The Right Notes In Arsenal Cruise

Portsmouth 1 – 4 Arsenal

0 – 1 Eduardo (28)
0 – 3 Nasri (42)
0 – 3 Ramsey (68)
1 – 3 Belhadj (73)
1 – 4 Song (81)

2009 finished in the same manner as 2008 with a comfortable victory over Portsmouth, this time the scoreline reflecting Arsenal’s dominance. The hosts had received a winding-up order from HM Revenue and Customs, informing the Premier League of their financial plight beforehand. Little wonder that Richard Scudamore was supportive for on this showing, Portsmouth will cease to be members of the top flight at the season’s end.

Arsenal aspire to greater things. Temporarily elevated to second place ahead of the final whistle at Old Trafford, a permanent opportunity to that placing presents itself next week when Bolton visit The Emirates. By then, the calls for a striker will probably have reached a crescendo despite the squad passing the half century of goals in the Premier League last night.

The sixth game without defeat since Chelsea, the third by a three goal margin. Previous failings of being unable to put ‘smaller’ sides to the sword have been corrected thus far, a run that needs to continue in 2010 for silverware to be nestling on the sideboard in May.

Arsene observed afterwards that his team should be taken seriously as title contenders, mental strength the key to success:

I’m proud of the team because the belief is there and we played like a real team. It was a big game for us tonight. We knew, to keep chasing, it was important to win here.

This win was not the only boost with Cesc a borderline returnee for the home fixture against Everton a week on Sunday, possibly the following week against Bolton, Theo Walcott likewise. It is a similar schedule for Nicklas Bendtner whilst Tomas Rosicky appears to have come through his 20 minute workout unscathed. A shard of sunshine starting to emerge through the injury gloom.

Performance wise, there is little to be critical of last night and much to celebrate. Aside from the goal, Gallas and Vermaelen were excellent, afforded much protection by Diaby, Ramsey and Song. Key to this win though was the team defending as a unit; Portsmouth were unable to replicate the constant pressurising of the Arsenal midfield and attack when the opposition had the ball. Slack defending will be punished when facing the top teams and last night it was received its due reward.

Portsmouth’s opportunities were few and far between. In the opening quarter of an hour, Piquionne forced a save from Almunia, the Spaniard turning the shot aside. Pressure mounted on the home defence through set plays with a number of half chances being shunned. Diaby had a shot saved by Begovic before the stalemate was broken, a fortuitous intervention by Kaboul sent Eduardo’s freekick flying into the corner.

Arsenal controlled the game and the question became not if a win could be achieved but by what margin? Part of the answer arrived three minutes before half-time. Eduardo was allowed time and space, passed calmly to Ramsey whose equally composed pass was despatched into net by Samir Nasri, a deserved reward for his recent performances.

The second half was pretty much as you were. Arsenal controlled, Portsmouth huffed and puffed but rarely looked by blowing the visitors defence in. The third came, a testament to the progress Aaron Ramsey is making. He was outstanding last night and in my view, Man of the Match. He collected the ball midway in the Portsmouth half, moved in field past lax challenges before coming back onto his left foot and burying the shot from 20 yards.

A brief ray of sunshine shone through for the hosts with fifteen minutes to go. A break down the right found Gallas and Vermaelen drawn too close to the goal, ball watching rather than paying attention to the forwards as Belhadj dropped back to fire home via the Belgian’s outstretched leg. A moment of rare slackness that will no doubt be seized upon by those who believe that this team will drop away.

The rout was completed as once more Arsenal were given too much time and space in possession. Song tried to dribble his way through the home defence thwarted as Diaby had been moments earlier. The ball fell kindly to Nasri who with time and space, crossed exactly where Song demanded the ball be put, the Cameroon international leaving the ball in the net with an excellent header, a perfect parting gift.

The win was crucial, dismissing for a while the claims that Arsenal do not have the firepower to win the title. A new striker would allow Arshavin to drop back into his natural position but the Russian is working hard for the team despite not getting his due reward in front of goal as often as his play deserves. Arsene refused to rule out new faces after the match but crucially stressed that he will not panic, looking at all of the options he already has before deciding on whom to spend his money.

A gap is opening to fourth place and below, slowly putting to bed the lie propagated at the start of the season that Arsenal were vulnerable to the new money, the new kids on the block. The gap to the top is closing, putting to bed the lie propagated one month ago that Chelsea were champions, leading a procession to their crown. Time to ensure that doubters are silenced.

Finally, congratulations to Vic Akers on receiving the OBE, richly deserved for his efforts for the Arsenal Ladies and women’s football in general.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 31, 2009, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 121 Comments.

  1. Nasri and Diaby were awesome but the collective performance was excellent.

  2. Great display all round and Song just about shaded Ramsey for man of the match as all of our midfielders put in very strong performances. A little slip-up for the Pompey goal, but hardly a blemish on a very good team performance. I agree that a new striker will allow Arshavin to drop make into the freer role he is more used to and feel it a shame that some commentators appear quick to knock him when he has worked tirelessly for the team, sometimes with very little to feed off. His goal against Liverpool was just class and was probably the only chance he got all game.
    The period between now and early Feb is going to be the most trying for the team as we have played all of the big boys by Feb 10th. If we are still in touch by then our run-in looks very good.

  3. 16points out of18 aint bad for a december

  4. I find sonmething starngely not commented on, Fabregas has actually put his footballing career on the line so that he can play for Arsenal, Any player who his heart is not with the club would simply turn down come on against A.Villa and risk a serious injury which could ruin his so called “dream move” but not Cesc he is absolutely commit to Arsenal and yet some fickle fans just refuse to see it.

  5. Well, well, well

  6. This really is my favourite Arsenal squad of all time. The number of world-class players in the squad grows by the week.

  7. Dug, bore, cartesian.

    Happy new year all.

  8. Bloody rubbish! How the fook can we expect to win anything playing like that???

  9. I think you mean Artesian

  10. Spike- We are softies who only play pretty patterns. If you want to win something you have to play ugly like Stoke. we should buy Delap he can score with his hands thats what I call football (sorry Handball)

  11. Just one question – does anyone know why Vermaelen has his left hand bandaged? This has been for about a month now.

  12. Great win. Bring on West Ham

  13. Of course, Frank.
    I had Descartes on my mind from a crossword clue.

  14. Diaby in 3 good games in a row shocker.

    I think its the beard. Must be the beard.

  15. Dave;

    He doesnt want to chip his new nail extensions.

  16. 1LooseCannon;

    Yeah, you are right. I wonder if Nicky Butt is available too?

  17. Let’s sign Alan Smith and put him out of his Newcastle misery.

  18. LOL! Spike.

    Have you been listening to Paul Merson and Steve Claridge again? Stop with that Plundit Cool aid stuff.

    At the beginning of the season, we weren’t supposed to hack it without Adebayor. RVP was never given a chance and was categorized as ‘not good enough’. Now the excuse for us to drop off is that we don’t have a natural goal scorer.

    The table doesn’t lie, especially the points tally and goal difference.

    I’m concluding that plundits out there are actually so thick and illiterate they probably have the personality of a fence post.

    Last night was a great team game – a very professional job and one that illustrated how mature the team are getting – even without key players.

    The positives for me were:

    1. Eduardo’s overall play and increased confidence.
    2. Rambo himself – who said Arsenal always want to walk the ball into the net
    3. Mr. Alex Song – this guy is on his way to becoming the world’s best defensive midfielder. The difference between him and Makelele for example is that Song is actually far technically superior in all aspects and all he lacks is the mileage of game time.
    4. Abou Diaby – go on my son. Watch this guy become the most lethal box to box midfielder of his generation.
    5. Armund Traore – who would have thunk that he was our 3rd choice left back.

    And did anyone notice Little Mozart. Stay fit Tomas and let Cesc have a rest. Show the EPL why you were given the nickname of Little Mozart.

  19. Is Traore still our third-choice left-back?

  20. Darius;

    Ha! Ive long given up hope of the pundits having an original thought or, heaven forbid! Take a look at the bigger picture, look at things in perspective and actually consider silly, daft things like, erm; players natural development!

    We’ve seen the likes of Diaby, Song, Ramsey, Traore, Nasri and Theo developing very well (Theo’s injuries have stinted his a bit, but he still looks better than last season) but this just wasn’t taken into consideration by the pundit clan. Bollocks to em!

  21. What a way to bring in the New Year….im in love with the arsenal….Traore really proving his worth…id noticed him when he was playing for pompey and always that he was going to prove to be a good player for us. Songs’ game is from another planet….ramsey took his goal rather brilliantly….diaby was rock solid in defence and a beast going forward….bring on the new year!

  22. Polizi;

    Hmmm, good question.

  23. Darius these people want to be proved right at all cost they predicted we will finish outside the top 4 and its not going to their prediction and it makes them look foolish in front of their boses who pay them huge sums for their drivel. if they keep getting it wrong they get the sack. You want to read Merson’s drivel and what he thought of Arsenal?

  24. i was on a International Trip…. came back to India at 12 30 am… In India the game started at 1:10 AM… i was soo damn tired but still watched the whole game and i was sooo glad i did stay awake till 3:30 am… good game…. C’mon i think we can surely win the title……

  25. 1LC.

    All you have to do is look at the Sky Sports montage that has been touted about all season with the big 4 being seen as Chelsea, United, Liverpool and Man City. Arsenal was written off by the footballing establishment even before a ball was kicked. The Sky Sports advert with Ronaldo’s break away goal against us at the Emirates is further proof of the contempt and disdain that Sky Sports and their pundits show for Arsenal.

    They want us to be that annoying fly that disturbs their pretty little party and they want to swot us away. How dare Arsenal choose to tread a different path. It’s headlines like ‘Men against Boys’ and myths like Arsenal are a frail and weak team that will be blown out of the park if you just say boo.

    It’s this mentality that has misguidedly given false hope to other teams that they can come to the Emirates and push us around, bully and kick us out of our own backyard – get into our faces and up our noses as they say it. It’s an illustration of a bankruptcy of footballing acumen that the only solution is seen as stopping us from playing our game on the pitch as opposed to actually playing football – and using every available method off the pitch through useless pundits to try and discredit us.

    Even radio station producers have caught onto this and only screen to allow the craziest of Arsenal doomers on air to perpetuate the imagined crisis in our team. I cringe sometimes to know that we have such so called fans.

    The truth is that even without a striker for example – we are the most lethal team in Europe. The table doesn’t lie. Look at the goals for and goal difference, even in the Champions league.

    If Man United or Chelsea or Liverpool would have achieved what we’ve done with the resources we have and the injury list, they’d be touted as champions elect with the ability to withstand adversity and show strength and depth.

    We’re just seen as a second rate team of foreigners who don’t have the ability to graft and grind results.

    Pundits who have at least acknowledged that they need to find a strategy to dig themselves out of the graves they are in have adopted 2 cliche’s.

    1. If Arsenal win the league, it’ll be because Chelsea and Man Utd are not that good this season.
    2. Arsenal always do this every season then they fall off the cliff in the business end. Can this be the year they do it? I’ve always said this team will eventually come good.

    The truth is that they would love nothing more than Arsenal to implode.

  26. Merson used to commentate and review like he was actually in the Sky FanZone. He used to talk about “we” every time he was asked his views on Arsenal – a Gooner through and through. It seems that the pundits couch has taken that away from him and he now spins out the same rubbish as the rest of the idiots rather than looking at the facts – 51 goals before the New Year the season after we sell Adebayor and whilst our main striker is injured.

  27. Darius, Sky is the ultimate Big Spender, forking out a fortune for the coverage of the Premiership. They love to back the big spending clubs, those willing to fork out millions for the supposed star players even if it means going into the red to do it. They are quick to turn on those who fall from grace, as Liverpool are finding out – whilst the cash registers were ringing with the signings of Torres, Johnson and Aquilani all was fine, but Sky commentators have been quick to write them off when it seems likely that Liverpool will not be out there in the January sales. Liverpool are only 4 points off 4th spot now – a month ago we were being written off as having blown our chance at the title, let’s see them try to write us off now.

  28. terry moore-basingtoke

    lets all cool down , it alright beating the teams at the bottom in feb will play avilla man u chelsea and liverpool 4wks on the trot , lets see how we get on if we do well then we can happy. ELTEL

  29. It is precisely because of those fixtures that we will be on course for winning the EPL at the end of January. We will do well and by the end of January we will have nosed in front. By the middle of February we will have pulled away.

    ….Country mile….

  30. Clichy on the bench will have Real calling us soon then

  31. Has Flamini been taken onboard on a loan move?

  32. With the season having finished in the Russian league any of the players plying their trade in that league who are going to the World Cup will have to find some way of keeping match fit. Wouldn’t be surprised if AW found a loan player or two to bring in until the end of the season.

  33. No, no…must have been a joke from somewhere. Please ignore

  34. Was going to say we should have Wagner Love on loan, but he is already on loan to Palmeiras.

  35. that a good one Wavey…wonder if we have scouts who cover that region.

  36. One interesting stat from the game. Fouls by Arsenal: 3 (Is this a record low in a game?); fouls by Portsmouth: 16. Is the fouls ratio of 3/14 a record low too?

  37. looks like diaby has signed a new deal. am glad he is staying for a long time but wat about merida.i think he is fantastic player.we need to tie him down

  38. Traore has performed the best of our left backs this season. I absolutely love the fact that he has come in and defended first, looked super solid, and is adding the attacking bursts slowly as he plays games. Tall, super quick, positions very well, and can cross a ball. He will be tough to drop on
    this form.

    I agree with Frank, we will get through January top, then open up a clear lead over the final 13 games. The flip side of playing all the ‘big’ teams in a stretch is that that the final quarter of the league looks stunningly inviting for us.

    Players who were once our weak links in games like yesterday, away and without our star names, are now the core of a superb team. Diaby, Song Traore, Ramsey were all brilliant.

  39. At the moment it feels like the guy who jumped off the top of a sky scraper, and as he fell was heard to of said, “so far so good, so far so good”

  40. I think Clichy is still our best left-back, as his total contribution to the defence is greater than that of the other two; but I don’t think a fit Gibbs would automatically displace Traore.

  41. He also makes the odd mistake often though..and often in big matches

  42. WAVEY Russia are not in the world cup

  43. which players do you mean?theres no really big non russian stars. mainly rejects from Holland etc

  44. This was a total kick ass performance by the Gunners. They cleaned Portsmouth’s clock. I love Songs goal. Dig this two minutes of possesion time before the ripped header by Song. I love it. Eduardo’s goal was sweet. Ramsey should be a force to be reckoned with. One Hiccup-the Portsmouth goal. The “D” feel asleep. Wenger was pissed. This is the way to end the year. Now get the “W” next Wednesday. Spam bobby http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  45. happy new year all


    this team is fantastic

  46. Darius,

    It’s another scoop from Song to Eddy. Nice control by Eddy too.
    A bit flatter, less flight and spin then before, more like one of Diaby’s chips to RVP. Maybe he’s been watching the cr*cket lately?

  47. Finsbury Parker.

    I think Song is only getting warm when it comes to attacking instinct. Compared to the defensive midfielders around like Mascherano and Yaya Toure, I think he’s more technically gifted and he seduces and uses the ball better.

    Granted, there’s some moves that Song pulls even just outside our box that you think to yourself “if that goes wrong, we’re fucked”, but I don’t know whether it’s the actual execution of his move or whether it’s his calmness and ‘it’ll be cool – don’t worry’ attitude that makes the hairs at the back of my neck stand up.

    I still can’t get over the CL game with Liege where he literally rolled on the turf away from a tackle with the ball still stuck to his feet and rose to pass the ball to a team-mate so nonchalantly like it was something he did every day after breakfast.

    For me what makes him stand out is that technical ability that makes him far more superior to his defensive midfield peers. Mascherano for example wouldn’t buy a pass like that if he tried or even score that 4th goal if his life depended on it. The only thing Song lacks is that game time to accumulate the mileage. Funny that during the summer, every doomer on the planet was spitting fire and brimstone because they wanted a ‘big name’ ‘big dollar’ so called world class defensive midfielder – yet we had him on our payroll all the time.

  48. Alex Song is cool as raindrops in the middle…he seems never to get pressured. He is so technically gifted and he moves so easy…the best word I have to describe him is ‘smooth’.

    I love this Wenger comment:

    “It’s not completely rational, football,” Wenger said. “We have problems with our strikers, it’s true. Everybody tells me to buy strikers, but nobody has scored more goals than us in the league. With the confidence high, everyone can score goals. But we are still in the market.”

  49. Wenger is not ruling out a striker as at times, maybe more against more resolute defences, the team will need to find some extra variety and unpredictability. With a great performance in midfield, it looks unlikely we’ll buy there.

    Goran Pandev is available on a free; slightly regressed in the past year, he’s just won a court case freeing him from his contract after the president of Lazio refused to play him. Would be fantastic and similar to RVP.

    But it wouldn’t be me to start a rumour.

  50. great show last night

    wonderful build up to the goals except for Ramsey’s which was worthy of the big 50..

    Interesting link there Anaconda, at least 10 others sources on Google confirm it.. I’ve only seen glimmers of Wellington about half a year ago, he’s no Douglas Costa but after a bit of colney sharpening he may be up there with the best of’em his name has also followed the club longer than most others..

  51. Song just takes on opponents sometimes just to test out the limits of his own strength and skill. It’s amazing to watch. Diaby too. So what if he runs into a ‘blind alley’ every now and again. It’s like watching a bird learning to fly. The early attempts are almost the most enchanting. Same goes for Denilson, who’s played less football then either the above two.
    It must have been much easier for Cesc, settling into an established side with players who’d been at the club for years, they deserve some credit for their efforts, and their achievements will already have made it easier for those who follow them.

    Happy New Year Gunners.

  52. Six encounters that defined the decade-

    That was very good The Brain very true

  53. So,

    Fat Sam – The defender and saviour of English Football – is so worried about England’s National team’s future because Arsenal & Pompey didn’t field an English player starting the game.

    Dear Fat Sam, the answer is in your belly but you can’t see it. Look at your so English Blackburn team standing and you will know the answer to your fears.

    Of course fat Sam could care less, but his rant is intended for Wenger, I read someone else stating that “Wenger started all this and his plan is coming to fruition” His plan for what? That most English players don’t have it? Even the Average player is below average. If English players were so good, Hull, Burnley, West Ham, and Blackburn would be the top four.

    Go back to eating fat…Sam.

  54. Maybe if English players were so good, they’d be mega stars in major European leagues.

    Pray tell, apart from Beckham, Owen, Hargreaves, and Woodgate – which other major English players have traversed other major leagues in Europe in the last decade?

    The EPL is only considered the global phenomenon it is because of the foreign players and managers in it.

    …And Harry Redknapp believes that the only saving grace for Portsmouth is if someone new comes over and buys the club out. Talk about ground hog day.

  55. So who got your vote, guys?

    I went for Diaby.

    We’ve had a great month, but, weirdly enough, the best performers have done their work in shifts. Look at Diaby and Cesc – both of whom have been in and out through injury, yet worked wonders when they were on the pitch.

    Maybe there was a case for Nasri, Song or one of our CBs, given our strong defensive record lately.

  56. Just heard the great radio presenters on talkshite declare Rooney better than Messi and to compound it Carrick is the best passer in the league.

    Apparently Carrick didn’t make a bad pass last night.

  57. Fat Sam can f*ck right off. Arsenal has three players in the England U-21 squad. And below that, the youth ranks are permeated with talent from our academy. Luke Freeman, Chuks Aneke and Benik Afobe are top-class prospects.

    It’s not our look-out, but we’re doing more for England’s future than the rest of the Premier League, with the possible exception of West Ham.

  58. as i was watching the match yesterday i found myself thinking of the Frank’s phrase “Country Mile” im really starting to believe that he’s right, that not only will we win the league, but it could be by a large stretch..

    diaby looked spectacular yesterday, as did song/ramsey and nasri was great as well, getting width and coming inside in a good balance

    country mile boys…country mile

    oh and good to see SAF talking about how we arent title contenders, he only trys to play these games when he’s getting nervous…

  59. OneOfUs I voted for Diaby aswell, i hope he wins.

  60. Look guys please, we were all saying ”country mile country mile and similar statements b4 the birmingham game in the 2007/08 season. Look, we must take each game as it comes and make sure we don’t repeat the mistakes made in the previous seasons.

  61. darius @ 2:44

    completely agreed darius, and i distinctly remember the event your describing in the Liege game..

    he is so calm on the ball, so composed he just makes space for himself and finds his man.. seriously he blew me away a few times last night im getting very upset at the prospect of losing him for however long he will be gone…

  62. but there is a major difference- The players are more mature, we don’t have adebayor fighting with bentdner, gallas insulting fellow players…. I think everyone in the team get along, you can see in the games they all fight more for eachother, and they all celebrate together…..

    We have great brotherly spirit, we don’t have players ignoring others (adebayor ) and this is reminiscent of the 2004 team, team spirit was a key reason for their success…

  63. oh zap trust me… i am not one to count my chickens before they hatch, or whatever the phrase is. just given the progress of the season, and our perseverance and performances in the face of adversity, i am incredibly excited for the prospects at the beginning of each match, with the full understanding that this league can be won only with consistency, determination, and a one game at a time attitude.

  64. Pandev is joining Inter Milan if I remember correctly.

  65. i know NJ it’s cool- I said the reason it’s different this season and why we have a much better chance than the last time we came close (07/08)

  66. If English players are as good as Fat Sam thinks they are, why does he consistently start Givet and N’zonzi (who I believe came from the French second division). What a twat Fat Sam is.

    For laughs check out his wikipedia. It says he’s a pioneer for implementing American football tactics to English football!!! Bwahahahahahahahah! Hilarious.

  67. yea… i agree about the team spirit thing. kinda clear why wenger sold adebayor and toure,

  68. Zap stop with the see saw bullshit. You’re all giddy one minute after the victory and now you’re reminding of us Birmingham? Settle down man. We’re the class of the league by a country mile. Everyone knows it.

  69. For Zap:

  70. I said we should zap Zap, but you all told me to zip it. He’s starting to sap my patience. I don’t see why I should put up with this crap. Still, we’ve delayed too long, and now we’ll all have to take the rap. Of course we don’t expect the title to just fall into our lap. Such complacency could cause a mishap. The good thing is that between us and the leaders there is only a small gap. Let’s keep the pressure on. We can’t afford to take a nap. Let the pundits yap. It’s just a load of pap coming out of their trap. We can’t lose, with the expertise of Wenger on tap.

  71. lol Pz don’t lose it, had a few?

  72. Poliziano: that put a smile on my face. Very good.

  73. The final hour is approaching for the people on earth..

    well said Poli

  74. “..with the expertise of Wenger on tap.” I love it. Thanks, I’ll be smiling all the way to the new years celebration.

  75. California Gooner

    May I add to the praise of Alex Song? His coolness on the ball comes from a knowledge that nobody will get it of him. His combination of strength, ball skills and balance are simply too much. Of course, he almost screwed it up yesterday with is slip at midfield 5 minutes in. But on the whole he is incredibly impressive.

    One caveat: with those attributes, one would expect him to start hitting shots with power and accuracy, they way, for example, Denilson does. Is that something or a player either has or doesn’t have? Or can it be learned?

  76. Is Fabianski gonna be continued as the cup goalie?

    So, they don’t have Cole, Parker and Green is in shit form- i hope the players rise to the cup challenge-

    theo seems to do amazing in the F.A Cup, shame he’ll miss it.

    I hope ramsey plays, he’ll be high on confidence….He’s got outstanding touch

  77. When Song is gone for however long who will replace him from within the squad Is it becoming a little bit desperate or can Fran Merida step up to the plate and fill his shoes. Is Fran ready for prime time?

  78. California Gooner and FP. In early December I did a profile on Alex Song called Arsenal’s Unsung Song.

    I think he’s one of the success stories of our generation (footballing wise).

    The other players that I hope will have the same ascendancy include Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Little Jack Willy. Abou Diaby is also threatening to be one of the most lethal box to box players in Europe.

  79. The best thing about Song this season has been his consistency. I don`t remember him having a poor game.

    Whilst he`ll be missed during the next few weeks, we have the players to step up. I`d like to see Fran Merida get a run out at West Ham for starters.

    Anyone know much about this Brazilian lad we`ve `signed` ?

  80. Song was immense! A word that I haven’t used for an Arsenal midfield enforcer since the days of Viera in his pomp. The goal was a fitting reward for a guy who has taken on leadership of the midfield in Cesc’s absence. He will be a huge miss for the next couple of months. Hoping Cameroon get knocked out 1st round.

  81. Dawn French is a huge miss.

  82. That’s not likely with Song in their team though Goonerpolos. He is an important player for Cameroon and it’s his performances with the national team in the last ACN, which have helped a lot to give him the confidence to become the player he has become for Arsenal. I know we want to be selfish and keep him with us, but a demotivated player whose national team is knocked out early on when they are one of the top teams is not much use to us either.

  83. It’s the saddest night of the year, except perhaps for one’s birthday.

    Happy New Year!

  84. Happy Birthday, pz.

  85. Uptight Literary Guy

    Did the second goal go Eduardo-Ramsey-Nasri or Eduardo-Arshavin-Nasri? The latter is my memory.

    New Year’s thanks for a great blog. I’m in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. Not exactly the football capital of the world. This blog is about my only connection to other football and Arsenal fans. I really appreciate it.

  86. Hey man,

    it went eduardo-ramsey-nasri

  87. Hi Uptight Literary Guy,

    I’ve been to Chattanooga. I dined in the train and played pool in the hotel. Tennessee is a wonderful place. Very uncrowded. I loved the Smokey Mountains, Memphis, Nashville and Gatlinburg.

    Happy new year everyone.

  88. Anyone else in recovery having a quiet sober one tonight? If so hope it passes pleasantly – just remember occasions like tonight were always amateur night anyway. We never needed an excuse.
    Happy new year everyone.

  89. happy new year one and all! we are on course 4 d epl, eduardo and rosicky will finish d season in active duty. i think we are due a break on d injury front.

  90. why is everyone so excited about the new year. wow a new year my car clock will say 2010 now. I still have to pay expenses, congestion charge won’t be removed and my life will remain basically miserable.



  91. Happy New Year everyone!!!!

  92. Happy New Year, YW. One of my first stops every day, here. Keep up the great work in 2010.

  93. ‘holic – you are a legend. Keep up the good work.


    What a great year it’s been only 5 league defeats.

    2 Semi-finals.

    Arsene Wenger staying.

  95. Zap- why miserable?
    Who is this Wellington kid from Brazil? will arrive in 2011.

  96. and creating the greatest team the world has ever seen.

  97. **Happy New Year**

    To Yogi Warrior…All the best to you & the family and to all ACLF’ers I wish you the same.

    May 2010 be our year and the beginning of a new decade of Arsenal domination.


  98. hear hear Darius Stone @ 9:53 am and 11:03

  99. A happy new year to all from us here in Auckland, New Zealand.

  100. California Gooner

    As I was just coming home here in San Francisco, I came across an Asian woman wearing running tights and an RVP Arsenal jersey. Now some people know Arsenal here, but that really caught my attention. A beautiful woman with discerning taste! Not only the Arsenal Jersey but the rather refined player she chose — a superstar for those in the know but not widely appreciated by the more marginal fan.

  101. Just popping in to say Happy New Year YW and all your readers.

  102. Wellington Da Silva?
    The kid is fantastic and I’m happy we finally pulled off this long raging coup.
    I think people are confusing him with other Wellingtons; we signed the 15yr old. who in my opinon is head and shoulders above anything I’ve seen in and around his age bracket.
    He played in the last ManU kiddie tournament.

    A happy and prosperous new year to my fellow ACLFers!!!

  103. This decade is Arsenal’s baby, i can feel it.

    Happy 2010

  104. This is the last comment on here this century

  105. ummm…..decade

  106. And this is the 1st comment for the next decade

  107. has anyone looked at the Wellington Silva clips from the Mirror? There are 3 video clips and a picture of “Welllington”, but the guy in the picture looks different from the guy in two of the 3 clips. What’s the deal?

  108. Good post Darius. Not only does the media’s obsession with us being soft give teams a license to kick us off the park, it also gives referees the license to not protect our players. Diaby and Eduardo having almost identical inuries is not an accident. Can you imagine the outrage if this type of injury were inflicted on Drogba, Ronaldo, Rooney or any other golden boy? So not only do the likes of man u, Chelsea and Liverpool get the proper protection but they have players like Rooney, Terry and Gerrard who can get away with lunging studs up on any player while the pundits laugh it off as english grit.

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