Bolton 0 Arsenal 2: Trotting Along Nicely

Bolton Wanderers 0 – 2 Arsenal

0 – 1 Fabregas (28)
0 – 2 Merida (78)

A good team performance has left Arsenal three points from the Premier League summit, a two-goal victory on Wednesday night over Bolton will bring that place for a week at least. Bolton played as expected and added some spite into their game, taking Kevin Davies’ inference that Arsenal were little girls to heart, pulling Cesc Fabregas’ hair early in the match, having shoved his face into the turf. On the whole and to their credit, the players kept their calm and stuck to their gameplan, passing Bolton into the bottom three of the table.

Cesc was instrumental in the victory. The depleted midfield was shored up by Eastmond’s first start in the defensive role and he did well, allowing his captain to roam forward at will, linking with Arshavin, Rosicky and Eduardo to cause Bolton problems throughout the match. It was a fine return to the team for the Spaniard, denied two clear penalties as well as scoring and being pivotal in the second, Fran Merida’s first Premier League goal.

It is his best season, statistically, in an Arsenal shirt. Yesterday’s goal was his 13th in all competitions which given the number of games he has missed is an impressive return. The opener summed up the determination with which the team had entered the match. Bolton tried to play their way out of defence and the hapless Taylor turned his back on the ball and it duly landed there. Before he had time to recover, Rosicky had pressured him, winning the ball and setting the attack in motion, swift passes and a positive surge by Diaby, found Eduardo with a flick into Fabregas’ path, the ball nestling in the net following his accurately placed shot.

Arsenal’s dominance of the first half confirmed. It could have been more. In the 12th minute, Phil Dowd proved overly munificent to Jaaskelainen when the ‘keeper tripped Fabregas, the Spaniard having dinked the ball over the advancing legs, limbs which brought the Arsenal skipper crashing to Earth. No penalty, leniency for which Tomas Rosicky would be grateful as his retaliatory trip later in the half could quite easily have been a red card rather than the yellow he received.

As half-time approached, Dowd’s benevolence turned to questionable competence, Knight’s challenge on Fabregas outside the bounds of the law and undoubtedly a penalty to all except the man in control. A second goal before the interval would have been just reward and may have quelled the second half storm which the team had to weather.

That was inevitable with Bolton being the hosts. They opened the second half more determined and afforded space, they sought to exploit Traore’s uneven performance with Lee becoming a focal point of their attacks. Yet they were kept at bay, Gallas and Vermaelen strength and determination binding the defence together. When Bolton did get their opportunities, they found Almunia in his best shot-stopping form.

When called upon, the Arsenal custodian was more than capable of coming up with the answers. Having made a couple of required saves in the first half, including an outstanding right handed save at close quarters from Klasnic, he was reliable in the second period, handling well. Taylor though should have equalised shortly before Merida struck the winner.

The Bolton midfielder found time and space behind the Arsenal defence but instead of taking the ball on, struck wide from 25 yards. Almunia did well not to have a rush of blood and force a lobbed effort from Taylor, remaining in his area rather than charging into oblivion. It was a poor effort though, indicative to Owen Coyle that his team were not going to get anything from the match.

That was confirmed when Arsenal showed the gulf in class. A Bolton attack broke down, Fabregas wrestling away from close attentions to release Merida. The youngster showed confidence to fend off three defenders to allow Sagna time to support. From there, Fabregas took over, purposefully striding to the edge of the area, releasing Eduardo on the left side. Knight deflected the Croat’s cross into the path of Merida, whose control was sublime and the calmness in the finish indicating why Wenger is keen to keep the player.

In the lead up to the match, the midfield became strained. Ramsey and Nasri’s injuries appear to be more serious than initial reports suggest with Arsene observing that both are likely to be out for three weeks, making their return likely to be at Stamford Bridge although such are the vagaries of their injuries, that might be the visit of Manchester United to The Emirates.

Eastmond’s debut is one he should be pleased with. He did the simple things well, short passes to free the ‘creative’ forces, covering for defenders when they advanced and putting himself into tackles as needed. He was not shy in using the ‘Dark Side’ either, a yellow card for a deliberate trip in the first half should have been received, good to see though that he was not intimidated by the fixture.

A further bright spot was the return of Gael Clichy, midfield though perhaps not his position. A return to left back may well be the order of Wednesday with Traore reverting to the ‘cup side’. Cesc summed up the squad in his post-match interview when talking about teams wanting to win the title, “No team will want it more“. On the evidence of yesterday, it was no word of a lie.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 18, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 577 Comments.

  1. Now for three more points on Wednesday. Fingers crossed. And we on top of the league.

  2. 1st again today

  3. nameless,
    u spoilt my fun, wish I could put a virus into your pc.
    About the game, shows how much impact Cest can make in games, he’s very vital for our success now.
    Another three points gained, three more on Wednesday and nothing less.

  4. top 5

  5. 4th

  6. Fabregas was awesome yesterday… Leading by example…. overall a gr8 result…… Fran also scored a good goal…

  7. VaughntheSAGunner

    Fantastic result, all for a repeat at the Home of Football.Great to to see Clichy sprinting up and down the left flank once again! Say, what are the chances of Sol as a sub if we are leading, say 3-0 with 20 mintues to go?


    have you guys ever read harry harris’ stuff on soccernet? last year, for the chelsea-man u game, he claimed tt it was a two-horse race, and should there be a third contender, it would be man city.

    i always love to read his stuff for the amusement factor, cos he is such an idiot.

    i can’t believe he actually gave wenger credit in this article. i should go buy the lottery.

  9. f4phantomphreak

    good match overall, enjoyed seeing Fabs back in action and Fran getting his very 1st Prem goal, good’fer him…. Bolton are still thugs no matter who is at the helm, the hair pulling is the kind’ve stuff girls do, big sissyfied girls…..


    hear hear AW.
    This is my slogan for the rest of the season.

    Nice write up YW. Eastmond definitely gave a good account of himself. Looks like with more experience, strength & savvy he will be quality.

    Now I’d like to see what Coquelin (& JET) can offer us i the same position. Hopefully he’ll play on Wed

    All the hype is kindergartenly on Fab4 as expected but I thought the whole team put in a gritty performance yesterday. Special mention to Gallas, the Verminator & Big Al.

    Diaby’s languid lanky was a tad out of sync with the prevalent tempo but he got more responsible as the game wore on, especially after Eastmond left.

    Really can’t see O-Wen-Coil’s team taking anything but naught @ the Emirates. Their get-it- to-Davies-special-long-ball-approach must really be nauseating to lovers of the modern footer.

    I see more Gunner celebration.
    Just hope Coyle doesn’t have a seizure. He should take a look @ what’s become of Fat Sam (who looked like a mini Jabba The Hut @ their game against fulham yesterday).

    (injury or no injury!)


  11. yea f4… i was shocked tat a player from bolton was pulling hair of cesc….

  12. “Uneven”? Careful Yogi, that sort of thing is frowned upon. Apparently when Arsenal win everybody must be deemed to play well. Same as when they don’t, but you need to stress the underlying quality more. It makes for a truly soporific analysis, but it is easier that way. It would be a shock though if Clichy didn’t start against Villa.

    Manure play Hull on Saturday, they can go top then, but a win against Villa would put us back first, assuming we take care of business Wednesday night.

  13. If the ref had done his job properly we would have strolled that game. The first penalty was clear and the ref was looking straight at it.

    At least there will be some extra motivation wednesday to thump them in the sporting sense after all the niggle with Cesc. Dirty swine.

    I think Vela and Clichy will both start. I hope we get some players back this week, so we can get them some game time in the cup.

  14. arsenehollis you are being unfair. It’s one thing to say a player had an uneven performance and quite another to single him out for unfair, over the top criticism. I think that is what people were objecting to previously.

  15. YW, Manyoo play Hull next Saturday.

  16. arsenehollis- You want Yogi to hang Traore for your own satisfaction, You love it don’t you? if someone has a bad game what do we do? we hang them and try and humiliated as much as we can. Let it go,Will you?

  17. fabregas 4…World class. And a great debut by eastmond in the toughest place to go after stoke possibly a curtain raiser to our Sunday FA cup clash. Arsene F@*kin Knows. Merida, Traore, Merida, Eastmond…showed that you can win things with kids Hansen. The team showed a hunger and desire that should worry every team.

    The crucial period being the next few weeks were we will lock horns with the big four. Having Man Ure and liverpooh at home gives us a psychological edge and a good opportunity to thump them. Away to Chelsea and Villa is a tougher proposition but after Bolton were put to the sword there is nothing that would give me more pleasure than to see Frank Lumpphard and JT in tears at the bridge.

  18. Fabregas was asked about the reasons behind his 13 goal tally. He replied ” just luck” . This kid is really down to earth and I think his team mate love him and respect him as a captain.

  19. Indeed, “hanging”. That is just stupid. He had a rough game, got caught out of position defensively. It is hardly having him “humiliated” to say so.

  20. Fabregas is in the top 3 in the world now. He should go for about 25 goals and 25 assists. That is comparable to Messi and Ronaldo. If we win the league, europe, or both he should be in teh running for world player fo the year.

  21. Last 8 league games:

    Won 6 Drawn 2

    Scored 19 Conceded 5

    4 clean sheets kept.

    We are the form side in the country at just the right time.

  22. Any guesses for our FA Cup side?

    I think:

    Fabianski, Coquellin, Campbell, Silvestre, Traore, Merida, Eastmond, Denilson, Walcott, Wilshere, Vela

    Hopefully with Bendtner to get soem time off the bench.

  23. ArsenalArseneArshavin

    fab4 will be in the running for the world player of the year if he continues this form. No player is standing out right now maybe apart from Messi.

    OMG I hate Bolton. The hair pulling is what girls do when they fight. I sincerely hope we beat them again on Wednesday to leave them in the bottom 3 and take us top of the league….

  24. There’s now way Ronaldo gets 25 assists a season. I repeat; no way. He gets some 7 a season or something like that.

    Cesc has 13 goals 12 assists for the season, and he’s missed at least 6 games.

    Messi has 19 goals and 6 assists for the season so far.

    I still insist Cesc is already better than Xavi. But the other guy gets a pass for his experience.

    Xavi won’t have the same impact on Arsenal that Cesc has.

  25. I’m not convinced that Traore is just a third choice left-back; but however that may be, his spell in the first team this season has been a great success. Nobody now would bat an eyelid if Traore’s name was on the team sheet.

  26. A first class performance from Cesc. 10 goals from a midfielder, that’s fabregas. Diaby didn’t have a good day. Proud moment for Eastmond, but his long passes were off. Luckily for him he’s still young, definitely a learning curve. Traore also had a bad day in the office. Eduardo had lovely touches. A good all round performance though.

  27. I completely agree Polizano, he was brilliant for a few games. He looks a stunning prospect who is potentially the best of the bunch. His pace, crossing, heading ability, offer something different to the others at the club. It is his first run in our side and the pressure is mounting, his last 2 games were his weakest yet, it is logical Clichy will get a chance now. Wenger said he was delighted to have him back for a reason.

    Ole – If you combine goals and assists 50 is comparable with Messi and Ronaldo at their best. When they won world player of the year honours.

  28. By halftime I was livid, us being a goal ahead didn’t make me any less livid. We had been denied two penalties, one atleast stonewall if i ever saw one, Fabrigas could have got his head chopped off when that jerkface decided to use his studs first and then his knee, the ref was inept,bolton could have scored atleast 2 goals from an offside position, they were fouling us to no end and he wasnt calling for fouls let alone showing yellows.

    2nd half we started off on the back foot, they also didnt relent on the fouls and the ref wasnt doing anything about it. Despite all that we managed to do our best and won the game while still keeping a clean sheet.


  29. arseneholis,

    I was backing up what you say. Ronaldo’s 42 goals and 8 assists was a fantastic return for a midfielder. Cesc is well on the way to achieving something close to that, (say 20 goals and 25 assists).

  30. Ole – If we win a major trophy and he take sus far in Europe he will be top 5 in next years polls.

  31. 2 assists for Eduardo yesterday, having been moved back into the strikers role. Bendtner back soon. Maybe we don’t need a striker.

  32. We still need a striker. If EDS got injured…. Also, he still doesn’t seem comfortable leading the line.

  33. He looked pretty good there yesterday Ole, maybe his previous troubles were more general?

    With Bendtner back, we should have cover, plus AA in an emergency.

    Suddenly midfield looks very light, Song can’t get back quick enough, Denilson is struggling to stay fit. Maybe a holding player would be a better option, we are still scoring many goals.

  34. Cesc was outstanding again. There’s an inner confidence (which some people might mistake for arrogance) in how he applies his talent to influence games. As good as he is now, he really is going to be some player in the coming years. I just hope we manage to hold onto him.

    And as much as I don’t rate Andy Gray, he made a great point yesterday saying that RvP and Cesc were missing more for Arsenal than Gerrard and Torres have been for ‘Pool – which further puts into perspective how well we’ve done.

  35. Nobody can justifiably say we don’t have “strength in depth” (still hat the stupid cliche). We have fantastic strength of squad, with the squad dealing with many many injuries.

    Luckily Gallas & Vermaelen are bullet-proof (touch wood), so that gives a fantastic base for the team.

  36. And what is more important, Bolton-proof.

  37. What a great game. Has anybody ever took there first prem goal as coolly as that?? Shows his class there and in the build up. The boy is going to be good, great to see that he didn’t get his head turned, surely he’ll sign a new contract now.

    Also fabregas what can you say, truly the best player in the prem. I doubt i’m saying anything original on the borad today but EPL player of the season and possibly european and world (but he isn’t a EUFA/FIFA golden boy) player, and deservedly so.

    Eastmond was fantastic, great to see the confidence in him. As YW noted, that trip showed he wasn’t intimidated. Our team is massive look at the injuries and we can still field that kind of talent. The rest of the EPL must be shitting themselves.

    Great game, great performances and another middle finger to the “Arsenal can’t fight for it brigade”.

    Also Eduardo was fantastic.

  38. Eduardo really struggled leading the line those passes he made were just because Cesc is so good, we should get a new striker right now Walcott and bentner obviously don’t count as real players just the imaginary fluffy ones, Arsenal only have RvP and are struggling for goals, ..

    Denilson was all round shocking we should buy another better prototype, Song although excepted by the finklestines will only be back in another couple of weeks so Wenger must sign a Dm till then..

    Traore could never be better than Gibbs, we should get a new one just encase, one who can deal with getting no support and tracking back from his left side support (Arshavin)..

    Almunia isn’t even a premier league goal keeper all his saves yesterday were flukes we need another one who actually stops balls from getting into the box..

    have I missed anyone..

    Oh right its clear that Arshavin is the only world class talent we have.. although if Cesc were to score 300 goals and gets 40 assists and wins us all the trophies he may make the top 50..

    4 new and shiny players are needed this transfer window come on Wenger do your job and buy more, the team will train themselves..

  39. In a match full of glorious moments, one stands out for me: the moment when AW brought on Gael to give him some playing time – and left Traore on! Brilliant man-management.

  40. I can’t wait to see Gael back in at LB. I think Traore did exceptionally well coming in unexpectedly last month but as peolpe have said above, his last few games have reminded us of his inexperience. Runs like this though are just what he needs (a couple of good games and a couple of bad ones to learn from).

    I agree Joe, the comment from Andy Gray was a surprise to me but does really highlight how quality our quad has become.

    I am getting more and more confident of winning at least one trophy this season. Come on boys!

  41. I agree with Kitchen Sink’s sarcasm.

  42. The “no strength in depth”rant is soo old right now.
    When are the gonna realise that we top the group when it comes to squad depth.

  43. KS didn’t you also think that we need a big centre forward like Drogba, somebody who can take the punishment of the prem not like the pussies we have that are made of glass.

  44. Eastmond could become a real quality player – what is he 18? 19? either way to have that maturity in such an important defensive position is astounding.

    I thought it would be coquellan would have been more likely to come through but Eastmond definitely seems to have something about him.

    Great to see him and Rosicky giving them a kick yesterday – last few seasons we would have been intimidated and maybe even lost that game. Finally showing some real bite about us even against possibly the dirtiest team in European top flight football…

  45. right again Els..

    Serk I’m dead serious..

  46. All good points, Kitchen Sink; but the one that particularly struck a chord with me was our need for shiny players. There is a definite lack of shiny players in our squad. Walcott is quite shiny, but apart from him we have almost nothing. At Chelsea, they have Malodour and Ashley Cole, two of the shiniest players imaginable. Unless we can match their shininess, we will struggle to compete for the league.

  47. Haha, Poliziano I always think that Gallas has shine potential never fulfilled.

  48. Kitchen Sink – Perhaps you should roll the tape back to the summer.

    AW is a c*nt. Lorik Cana is on the market for gazillions of dollars and he knows we need a monster defensive midfielder. Yet he allows S/land of all clubs to gazzump us.

    Look at how well Lorik Cana is playing now. Only responsible for 3 of 7 goals the S/land “defense” conceded to Chelsea yesterday. Yes I know he was playing center-half instead of defensive midfield but please.

    Roll on ye mighty doomers, cursing Wenger and demanding even more expensive shiny new toys.

  49. KS – don’t you think we missed a trick with signing the youtube extraordinare – Lorik Cana? because let’s face it – Song just isnt good enough…

  50. Got in there before me S-G!

  51. “shininess” Poliziano i like that.

    Two people i was watching the game with almost came to blows when one called Wenger stupid coz of bringing in Clichy and leaving Traore on.

    Traore had a poor game but i understand where he is coming from, Clichy being back must have been immense pressure on him and as KS mentioned he wasnt getting that much support from Arshavin.

  52. Sorry George. I have had this on my mind since yesterday when I saw Cana’s shambolic performance. He was the summer love of the doomers. Don’t count on them to remind you or any other of their hare-brained transfer targets (cue Le Groan et al).

    Now in the winter (January transfer window) they keep touting shiny new players and ripping the existing members of the squad. Apart from being stupid and unrealistic, they suffer from a disease rampant in English football; spending big money is the solution to building a a good football team.

  53. Too true Shotta, I always think if you put Diaby, Song, Denilson, Bendtner, Traore or Almunia in another league, make a you tube best bits vid, then link them to Arsenal, certain fans would go wild for them. It’s the Pomp and circumstance of arrivals, that people prefer to the actual players attributes.

  54. The only argument people can justifiably make is if we have “strength in Cesc” as opposed to depth. There are some fantastic players and it’ll be hard for anyone to match a world class player but his influence is the most telling as no-one else gives Arsenal the fluency he does.

    Still, only onwards and upwards from here.

  55. Exactly s-g, and i must admit i was hoping for someone to bolster the midfield last summer but Song Billong has become a far better player than almost everyone expected (except the ever-visionary AW).

    I was very worried that, once Song went away in Africa, Denilson could get injured – check; Ramsey could get injured – check and DIaby would have to be played there – check. I was not expecting to see Eastmond there yesterday but i can see why he was picked.

    If it wasn’t for AW playing our youngsters in the cups, Eastmond wouldn’t have even been considered to play a physical team at their own turf in the prem. Would have to rely on Diaby to fill the holding role for 90 mins for a few games in a row – something i’m not convinced he can do mentally.. physically of course he’s suited to it but that’s as far as i would go…

  56. does any1 else think moses would be a good signing? I think we should buy this kid before city get him and ruin hes career wenger would make him world class

  57. @Firstlady
    it is true that traore had a bad game. but i am glad wenger simply put clichy on to help him out, rather than make a direct sub. i think you could see wenger’s thinking behind it: he wanted to protect traore’s confidence.

    so the person who called wenger stupid wasnt too clever either.

  58. Today’s gospel according to Le Groan is the Board has done well to keep us profitable and financially secure but Wenger is the problem. He has failed to spend the gazillions that was budgeted for transfers. To not sound totally stupid, they admit that the youth policy has borne fruit this year, but it didn’t over the prior four years and that is when the money should have been spent. In other words purchase new expensive players so as to prevent the growth of Denilson, Song, Ramsey, Wilshere, Vela. Hah.

    Excellent. Being partially stupid is better than being totally stupid, I guess.

  59. does anyone know what exactly is happening with the stan kroenke thing?

    i wish people can just leave arsenal alone. any takeover or whatever can wait till after the season is over. it is just a distraction and disruption right now.

    let the boys play football please.

  60. Lots of positives from the game yesterday. Firstly, eastmonds contribution to the team and the demonstration of our squad depth for all to see. Call me crazy but I think our injuries have been a blessing in disguise as we have rotated players, kept everyone happy, utilized all our manpower and given our youngsters some much needed experience. Nasri and Ramsey injuries are annoying but I’m sure we can cope. The only negative from yest game was our defensive line especially the offside trap. Definately need to improve our communication at our end of the pitch.if bolton weren’t so shite we prob wouldve conceded. Other than that a less than beautiful win tht will do just fine, 3 pnts in the bag thank u owen!how brilliant is our youth set up? Any strikers in there?lol n oh did u guys see tht vermalen run? Typical arshenaaland goes to show we can score from anywhere in any manner possible.

    I agree, we still have some defensive issues to iron out and you could see that Gallas is not happy with Almunia behind him – did you see him scowling at him when he expected Almunia to come and tidy up? Also when Almunia went to catch the ball that Sagna went to header? That’s schoolboy stuff : coming for the ball screaming for it as any GK should…

    But how many CB’s are called for offside in open play on the counter? Not many! I love his and Gallas’ marauding runs

  62. Maybe I haven’t seen enough football. I have never, ever seen as loutish a display as that of Bolton against Cesc, and later Knight on Vela. A real credit that Cesc and most of the team (Tomas got a bit shirty) all but ignored it and continued causing confusion in Bolton ranks.

    If ever there was an embarrassment to English football – ‘grit’ and ‘determination’ style – this was it. I suggest the particular display (by Robinson was it?) on Cesc is put on You Tube or some such, and does the rounds so fans all over the world can have a really good laugh.

  63. Arsenal were fully dominant yesterday despite some low key individual performances, inconsistent defensive work of the whole team and all round lack of sparkle. To me, Eastmond looked composed, and later Merida had a good 15 minutes. The referee had the worst game I’ve seen.

  64. Paul no disrespect but there is nothing to laugh about the way he manhandled fabrigas, he could have injured him badly,Fabrigas could have ended in a neck brace for all we know. Alot of big four lettered words are running through my head right now which I thought the foulers were but i’ll resist using them.
    And the Ref, dont even get me started on that one….

  65. Agreed firstlady.

  66. @Paul

    i thought Merida coming on was a very good move. before he was subbed in, we were trying to move the ball too quickly, and it wasnt working, hence we were giving the ball back to bolton and putting ourselves under pressure.

    i think wenger brought him on to help pass the ball around, slow down the game. and he even got a goal afterwards!

  67. Wont Bendtner be back for villa?

  68. In August, several hacks said Liverpool were favourites for the title. Arsenal were supposed to be in the position Liverpool are in now.

    Now they tell us Liverpool have no real quality in their side, and some even say they dont have players as good as Man City, Spurs & Villa.

    Why don’t they have to explain to us, the trusting public why they got it so wrong?

  69. My comment at 12:40 pm is in moderation which I will repeat:

    Today’s gospel according to Le Groan is the Board has done well to keep us profitable and financially secure but Wenger is the problem. He has failed to spend the gazillions that was budgeted for transfers. To not sound totally stupid, they admit that the youth policy has borne fruit this year, but it didn’t over the prior four years and that is when the money should have been spent. In other words purchase new expensive players so as to prevent the growth of Denilson, Song, Ramsey, Wilshere, Vela. Hah.

    Excellent. Being partially stupid is better than being totally stupid, I guess.

  70. Ole – i would love that but let’s face it, they will probably still have some way of making out that we’ve just been lucky and don’t deserve to be where we are. Not many of the pundits/hacks are big enough to admit they were so far off the mark…

  71. They’re as wrong now as they were before. Liverpool have a far better team than Aston Villa and Spurs, and probably somewhat better than man utd. Man City have perhaps more good players, but they are the wrong players.

  72. Whisper it quietly but with the exception of RvP the Arsenal no 1 team could be playing Weds night.


    OK Song is no1 this year (but Denilsons been injured and was no 1 last season). And Nasri has been no 1 this year, but a fit Rosicky hardly suffers in comparison.
    I hope they are all rested for the FA cup game as the 4 key games in 2.5 weeks (AV, MU, Ch, Liv) will require the above 11 to all be fit.

  73. I think “uneven” is exactly the right description of Traore’s showing yesterday. He made some excellent interceptions and got forward when he could, but was caught out positionally – but then again AA should really have been there to cover.

    @ Merlot
    In a match full of glorious moments, one stands out for me: the moment when AW brought on Gael to give him some playing time – and left Traore on! Brilliant man-management.

    Wholehearted agreement. Also a shrewd appreciation of the problem for Traore – dealing with having no cover. Let’s appreciate GC even more – he has been coping with that for a season and a half.

    @ Firstlady and ZimPaul
    I too was shocked and enraged by the behaviour of some of the Bolton players and the weakness of the referee.

    Incidentally, I thought Diaby had rather a good game – he gave Eastmond support and made many very penetrating runs and passes, won and kept the ball under pressure. Very disciplined, I thought.

    I also loved seeing Clichy putting on a spurt and nicking the ball from a player who thought he had all the time in the world. No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition! Except he’s French. And…oh, never mind. You get the point.

  74. A 2 goal winning margin Weds would see Arsenal top of both league tables.
    PhysioRoom (10) players.
    Never before been acheived.

  75. I never could understand why Liverpool was being rated so highly.

    Torres is a monster, and Gerrard is a genius. Reina can be world class. That’s about it for Liverpool.

    They have a good cadre of ok players; Kuyt, Agger, Lucas, Benayoun, Rieira, Carragher. When you get to position 15 on their squad list you’re down to outright inferior players.

    That was true last season and it’s true now. They’ve been unlucky with injuries & Benitez doesn’t have the experience of scrapping withback-to-wall that Wenger or Ferguson or Hiddink have. Neither does Mourinho by the way.

    To think they were favourites for the league title was absurd.

    To be fair, there was a case to be made for each of the “Top 4” not winning the league.

    That so many backed Liverpool ahead of Arsenal just shows how biased the hacks are.

    But that’s not news to us. They’re football fans afterall, and each one of us fans has his agenda.

  76. Hey, we’ve passed the halfway point in the season. Not a bad time to look back at this:

  77. Question for YW: Is to use the euphemism le-groan a ticket to moderation?

    PS: It may be 6 months since the blog wars but it would be naive to think because this team has been relatively successful that the divide no longer exists between those who support Wenger’s vision for the club and those who believe we should be a big spending-instant gratification club.

  78. anyone remember the last time we had such difficult back to back fixtures?(AV, MU, Ch, Liv)

    shotta you sure do hate le-groan!!

  79. @ jbh

    I’d be VERY happy for us slide down one of those leagues!

    Mouthwatering line up, but remember Song and Denilson are BOTH first choice in normal circumstances. Song/Den/Fabregas is the preferred triumvirate.

    I’d love to see JET get a chance in the Stoke game – on the left of the front three. That’s probably Vela’s slot, though. Do you think JET has a chance of starting?

  80. Shotta

    No it isn’t. I’m trying to work out why yourself and Arsenehollis had innocent comments caught in recent days.


  81. Very funny stuff Big Al. I really enjoyed those predictions. Anonymous, I noticed.

    Always up for a scrap still I see, shotta!

  82. I agree with Poliziano. Liverpool are in a real trouble, but to think that the Villa or Spurs squad is better is plain stupid.

    I still think that for the amount of money that has been made available to the Liverpool manager they should have a much better squad than they do. But that doesn’t make their current squad a worse one than Villa or Spurs.

    As always the hacks write up the story that best explains the latest results and the latest standings in the table. There is a simple lack of critical analysis in football journalism. That’s why you end up with journalists shifting from one side of the argument to the other in a matter of weeks if not days.

  83. Thanks YW. Nuff Respect.

    First Lady – I hate everything that Le Groan stands for. They represent everything that is anti-Wenger and anti-Arsenal. What pisses me off is they are exploiting their readers. These two advertising geniuses deliberately use hot button language to stimulate and foster backward attitudes to the club and the team. They are not the only ones but I target them because they are the most obvious.

  84. FG
    Agreed Song Den Fab are usually preferred for the toughest games. But one of Song/Denilson is always sufficient for a home game against lower league teams.
    I agree re JET, would be great to see him, maybe an FA cup lineup of:


    Would be interesting, but I’d don’t think AW will be that adventurous.

  85. hear hear s-g. people are gradually being educated to stay away from there and myles p. some people just love to moan though and they have 2 perfect places to do that there.

    Does any one have a good place to look at Arsenal player stats? Would be much appreciated!

  86. Cbob – None of these wolves in sheep’s clothing are going to slip under the radar if I can help it. They are now hopping unto the bandwagon simply because the youth policy is bearing fruit and the the recession has exposed the total fallacy of clubs pursuing highly-leveraged takeovers or relying on the club owner(s) to annually provide a huge transfer budget to win a trophy. (ManChester IOU, Liverpool Insolvent and Pompey immediately come to mind). AW and Arsenal have proved those are simply pyrrhic victories.

  87. Player Stats:
    Telegraph football statistics
    Guardian chalkboards
    Yahoo sports fantasy league
    Castrol index
    Arsenal site
    Arsenal programmes (last couple of pages)

  88. The opening minutes were shakey for the Gunners. Whew that was close.The goal that was not allowed due to offisdes. This near goal woke up the Gunners. Great effort. Fabregas is the key. With him the lineup it is Katie bar the door. Great Goal by Fabregas. His great breakway run down the pitch set up the second goal. You gotta love it. A big three points. Now kick ass and take names in the return match on Wednesday. I love it. Way to go garoto. Thanls Spam Bobby

  89. thank you for clarifying it for me. I was at a loss why you seem so peeved by them.

  90. Firstlady;

    Yes I do. Last season we had Chelsea, Liverpool (A), Boro (A) Man U (A) Pompey (A) Man U (H), Chelsea (H), Man U (A).

    Season before we had; Chelsea (A), Bolton (A) Liverpool (H), Liverpool (H), Liverpool (A), Man U (A)

    It happens every season.

  91. Bleeding Graham fucking Taylor on how Arsene Wenger “revolutionised” the 4-4-2 tactical system:

  92. Any stats sites for arsenal guys? most only have limited information (unless i’m not looking hard enough)


  93. On one hand I do understand Le-Groan’s reasoning because the board had a business plan, stuck to it and has got them results. But they also knew, without Wenger they could almost be nowhere.

    Le-Groan’s misunderstanding football management and getting confused with the financial markets or whatever comparisons he used with Liverpool and Man Utd.

    I’m not even convinced Wenger has been given a proper budget. He can spend it but also knows that it may be best for the good of the club if he did not.

  94. “Today’s gospel according to Le Groan is the Board has done well to keep us profitable and financially secure but Wenger is the problem. ”

    Please tell me that only half a dozen or so people buy into that rubbish…I’ve never ventured beyond arseblog, aclf, goodplaya and goonerholic – all top top blogs so that statement is a bit of a shock.

    To hear people say something like that is simply absurd. Hopefully someday, even for a little while, we can call the “Emirates”, the “Arsene Wenger Stadium”, that’d make their blood boil.

  95. “On one hand I do understand Le-Groan’s reasoning”

    What reasoning? I think every word that’s been mentioned there is rubbish. It makes no sense whatsoever. What will they say when these boys win us a trophy?
    Idiots like that forget why players like Cesc, Andrei, Rosicky, RvP, Clichy, oh god, the list goes on and on, are at Arsenal.
    Do they even really support Arsenal? Why are we bothering with them anyway?

  96. Agreed abid – apart from Arseblog, Goonerholic and ACLF there aren’t many sites that really cut i’m afraid. I haven’t really bothered with any of the others for a while due to getting so frustrated with their nagativity and almost inept writing. So many people jump on their bandwagon though it’s crazy.

    Top of the league soon guys… it’s been a while 🙂

  97. Wenger is central to Arsenal strategy and execution. Anybody who doesn’t get that is an utter fuckwit moron.

    Anyone who doesn’t see that not one manager, I repeat not one, could have achieved what Wenger did at Arsenal in the last 5 years, should have a prosthetic brain fitted.

    The reason why Arsenal won’t ever contemplate sacking Wenger is that he’s multiplied their wealth multiple-fold. Just go look up what Arsenal shares were selling for in October 1996 and look what they’re selling for now.

    I do give full credit to the board. The spirit of stewardship & custodianship is an example to all of football, and I’d say only Bayern Munich can be said to have such a capable board.

    They have understood very well the challenges facing the club and what was possible. They never got greedy. They never got hasty. They never shirked away from the club’s values.

    Most of all, they’ve been staunchly behind Wenger, and he behind them…..

    Arsenal Football Club. The greatest the world has seen.

  98. Craig Eastmond can be proud of himself, very tidy first half performance in what was a particularly frantic game. I watched him in the FA Youth Cup final last year, at home, playing at rightback. Being thrown into a pretty hostile Bolton game in midfield, is quite another thing. So pleased for him. Well done Craig!

  99. What do people think of the transfer situation?
    Do we need a new signing or not? I don’t think so. Even when playing players who are obviously lacking in confidence and fitness we are scoring more than anyone. even with most of our midfield missing we are battling it out with teams like Bolton and at least we have a couple of experienced CBs to cover if needed… Arsenal with strength in depth? Oh, so Arsene has been doing something right this whole time? You reading this Groan boys? or Myles?

    But joking aside i suppose the real test will be in the next few weeks. Time to really prove a point!

  100. abid; okay reasoning weren’t the right word. But I think even the most ardent Wenger fan will accept this is a good business plan but then, as OleGunner also points out as you do too, Wenger is central to it working.

    Arse Shavin; Try my site. Don’t bother with finances because it’s all speculation and everyone thinks they’re experts. StoneCold Arsenal is good too and also Arsenalvision.

    Never really tried Arseblog so I don;t know what all the fuss is about but it is really popular.

  101. What we have achieved thus far is amazing considering all the injuries that we have, irrespective of where we finish. We are very well placed and now we really need to go on a run to cement out title aspirations. This is the best position we have been in League-wise since 2008. The fixtures that we have coming up will go a long way to deciding the season but will not be conclusive.

    Sol coming back is an interesting one but I hope he doesn’t play too many games. What are the odds of Gallas or Vermaelen being unavailable for the Sperz game at the Drain?

    Cesc is just magical and I would not swap him for anyone – Ronaldo and Messi included. This team still has flaws but so do all of our rivals. If Bolton had someone better than Dirty Matt Taylor then they could have made us pay but we had 2 clear penalties not given which would have put us out of sight.

    The difference between this year and last is that last year we were out of the title race by October realistically but here we are in January 2010 and we are right there.

    If only our injuries would clear up…

  102. Essien is now long-term injured. Cartilage and medial ligament.

  103. Country mile

  104. I wonder why some people care so much about what others write and think.

    The grave is just rubbish. Poorly written, incoherent analysis, garbage in the comments section. It is stupid shite for stupid people, but leave ’em to it. Why read it?

    I read an ANR article for the first time in months, I have read about 10 total. It is a pure wind-up. The guy is a known Chav fan. His article deliberatly insinuated that Arsenal should be looking at 4th, not the title. He then ended by saying that Ashley Cole was class and had scored a goal that Vela could only dream of. It was all designed to be annoying, but imagine how sad that twit must be to sit about writing a blog for another teams fans and enjoy the notoriety of it. He is an arse-hole.

    The media generally is a different thing, but getting worked up over what blogs think just gives significance to soemthing that only has any if you enjoy it. A quality blog like this that many people enjoy is a good thing and Yogi does a fabulous job of making that. For them, the grave is that also, but only that. It doesn’t effect the real world, it does no harm, so leave them to it.

    To suggest that what they say has influence, suggests that what we say does, but it only does for us. The monitors do no real service. In fact, they become an agenda, blinkered just like the people who whine about AKB’s.

    It is obvious that Wenger is a genius, this team is special and about to show the world that. If you can’t see that you are missing out, but leave that’s there problem, until you make it yours.

  105. Cheers Brain – what’s your site?
    Also, is Stone Cold Arsenal anything to do with the Ctone Cold Fridays?

    For reference – Arseblog is one of the best (in my opinion) for a very truthful and well though out analysis and is always a good crack (if you don’t mind the word c*nt!!). They also do Arsecast (podcast) and have ‘Holic among other people on there. Check it out…

  106. arsenehollis – absolutely spot on!

  107. Yogi,

    Might I ask that you refrain from fixing that moderation problem and leave it as it is?

    Y’see I find Shotta’s comments so instructive that I prefer to read them twice. I just love to hear what our comerades on “Le Groan” are up to. In fact thats why I log onto ACLF – to see the running update from Shotta as opposed to logging onto Le Groan all by myself. It fills my days with wonder what new “troll scalps” he’s taken and how the doomer situation is being “monitored”..!! I like to lie safe at night in the knowledge that if I were a “wolf in sheeps clothing” and tried to infiltrate this blog – that good old shotta would be there waiting to gun me down.
    Keep up the good work buddy..!!!

  108. Arse Shavin; there’s a link on my name. Stone Cold Arsenal is something to do with the Stone Cold Fridays, yes.

  109. I agree, arsenehollis. I only read that ANR sh*t once or twice and it was very, very clearly a wind-up. So why bother?

    C’mon Fran, sign on the line that is dotted!

    Also, PZ, Nacer B is back in training after his surgery and could be ready to play Stoke reserves on Feb 10th.

  110. Hahahahaha!

    Joe – word.

    Cheers Brain, will check it out

  111. Great news if Merida is staying. Now that he is getting game time – I hope he plays the cup – he will only improve and become more settled in the squad. It shows a real determination to succeed with the team if he stays, rather than doing a flamoney.

  112. joe, what are you waffling?

  113. Thanks Joe for your most fulsome praise.

    Keep pressing those hot buttons. They work wonders.

  114. I’m still undecided about Merida… I would love for him to become another gem but can’t decide whether we’ll do it. It was great to see him get a goal and hopefully it’ll give him to confidence to move in that direction. Would be a shame for him to go though before getting a decent run in the first team.

  115. Merida is quality, every game he seems to find the pass to open up a defence. In the current system he can flourish, but playing 4-4-2 he would have been too lightweight at this age.

  116. le-groan is a joke..highly infantile too..but what is worse is those submissive weak minded people who agree with everything that c**t geoff says

  117. Fair enough, i have only seen him in a handful of games – most of them he was fairly quiet.

    I think if Ramsey and Wilshere can find consistency, we have a couple of absolute stars in the making. I hope Merida is in their bracket too…

  118. Arse Shavin.

    Like The Brain has said, click on my name and it’ll take you to Stone Cold Arsenal. Stone Cold Friday is a weekly column that I write on ACLF.

  119. Replay of Cesc’s assault – with Catalan commentary!

  120. More power to your elbow shotta! If the doomers won’t come to us then take the fight to them.

    Ole? You know, I believe that you are absolutely correct without a hint of hyperbole, Arsenal ARE The Greatest Football Team the World has ever seen.

    The facts are clear. Who could reasonably argue?

  121. Thanks Darius, like i said, i tend not to venture too much – newsnow links to so many unreliable sites that spout a lot of nonsense and i’d much rather just go directly to ACLF, Holic, Arseblog and any others of a similar ilk. All of yours and YW’s posts are in this category for me so i will definitely check yours out. Brain often talks sense on the comments here too so thanks for the links 🙂

  122. Darius & Yogi – just out of interest, what other blogs do you enjoy reading most?

  123. Re: le-groan – Despite their popularity (in terms of number of posters to their board), over time they have been losing all the strategic battles. They 1st lost the battle over the role of Arsene Wenger whom they spent much of last season villifying. They had to change tune and tone down their anti-Wenger campaign late last year especially after the march in favor of Arsene at the lost home game. Their next big defeat was the idea that the young talent from within could lead us to better things. RVP proved them totally wrong about the need for a big signing to replace Adebayor. Three months, Geoff the mighty talent-spotter had to totally back down in his hostility to Song after the growing incredulity by his regular posters. Finally the recent about face about the club finances. Of course they (Pedro and Geoff) have to cling to this nonsense about Wenger not spending his budget of millions on new players.

    Apart from the Joe, who in the past I have had to expose and rip for his support of this le-grove nonsense, I would credit most of the posters on this blog for helping to turn the tide.

  124. To be fair S-G (and i’m not a fan of anti-wenger etc etc) but did you have faith in Song? I think i’m a fairly good judge of a player and i didnt think he would be able to handle it week in week out. He’s proved me wrong along with thousands of other Gooners…

  125. LimparAssist,
    Since I speak to Nacer on the phone at least once a day, he is really the last Arsenal player I need information about. Still, I thank you for your consideration.

  126. You’ve been told Limpar!

  127. I demand revenge on Taylor.

  128. Sorry, it’s the day of links today, but here’s some much needed good news on the injury front – well, apart from Merida getting a knock:

  129. He’s a dirty chav and always has been. The Bolton switch was his destiny, as were all his terrible attempts on goal – hilarious. I’ve had players do similar things to me on a saturday and cesc responded in the bes way: by dictating the game, shrugging them off and making them look like to sloppy oaves (correct plural? ;-)) that they are.

  130. Arse Shavin – I have been a supporter of Song ever since that disgraceful booing of him in a game at Highbury vs Fulham. The boy was only 17-18 at the time for heavens sake I followed him in his loan spell at Charlton when he became the fulcrum of their midfield. I had no doubt he would make it. He has gone further than I ever dreamt.

    BTW – Anybody who is long enough on this blog know I have a soft spot for the African players mainly because of the b.s. they have to put up with fans like those at le-groan. Eboue anyone?

  131. You big buddies with our Nacer then are you Poli?

  132. Just listening to the Sunday Supplement & one genius on it, when asked if he saw Arsenal overtaking Chelsea, said he couldn’t see it.

    There’s a high chance we will do just that on Wednesday. Chelsea would have a game in hand on us but then we had a game in hand on them for weeks while they were ahead of us.

  133. Fair enough! I wasn’t fully into the online arsenal at that point and from what i had seen, i wasn’t convinced – booing is another thing entirely though and not acceptable.

    Did you have a soft spot to Ade…?

  134. Fantastic news, OOU. Good timing. Poor Fran, though. Perhaps he will make Stoke? He’d be in the frame if fit, I’d have thought.
    I am praying that Owen Coyle can wean his players off their thuggery by Wednesday.

    Btw, I am loving your FA Cup line-up, but as you say, unlikely!

  135. nasirjonesnasri

    What a legend Shotta is.

    So essentially what you’re saying Arse Shavin, is that you know more about football than Wenger. We’d probably be in League One if Arse Shavin was our manager.

  136. Not at all mate! if that’s what you got from what i wrote then i apologise.. just telling you what i thought – not what AW should do. You should actually read these comments bafore having a dig, totally misinterperated my points. Cheers anyway.

  137. If anything, i was saying that AW knows way more than me!

  138. nasirjonesnasri

    First off, Joe, you need to switch comrades to traitors. That scum isn’t going to go unchecked, so you may as well just stop reading the comments from the anti-LG’s. And it’s not like you can debate the c*nts on their site, so if you don’t like your beloved getting dissed don’t blog stalk as your boy Geoff would say.

  139. @ Arse Shavin
    As I understand it, what you’re saying about Song is “Who knew?” Arsene knew! But seriously, what I mean is that even if fans couldn’t see Song’s potential, they should know by now that AW is rarely wrong about such things, and should have given Song the benefit of the doubt for that reason and because of his tender years.

  140. Oh that’s nice, Poliziano. I thought the two of you might have split up.

    I think it might just be ‘oafs’, Arse Shavin. The ‘oaves’ are best served with the fishes. In astonishing and unlikely quantities where possible.

    I must say that when I first saw Alex Song, which was at Highbury, possibly making his debut (2-0 against Everton, Campbell with two identical headers?), he was only on for 5 or 10 minutes and in that time he managed to lose the ball, misplace each pass he tried and generally have a shocker, no one could have safely said at that point – this boy is going to be a world-beater. Now though, make a list of the best defensive midfielders in the world – and Song will be right up there! Quite an amazing player and perhaps the finest example we have, so far, of a true product of Wenger’s magical youth system.

  141. nasirjonesnasri

    Then don’t doubt the man, Arse Shavin. He didn’t get us to where we are today by buying shit players.

  142. nasirjonesnasri

    Thank you, FunGunner. Bang on.

  143. Arse Shavin.

    To answer your question, I only read Arsenal websites with a sunny disposition. I don’t have a Kamikazi streak designed to give me high blood pressure by reading the content from Le Groan and Piles.

    Like with everything in life, there’s also many other sites out there that lack substance and with time, I’ve refined what I allow on my news aggregator. A good example of what I mean is NewsNow – Just check it out 2 to 3 hrs after a game and you’ll find hundreds of minute by minute match report labelled as exclusive – and the truth is if you watched the match, reading them sites can be mind numbing.

    Being selective is very important in surviving overload on the blogosphere. More importantly, I don’t believe everything I read on the internet.

    On the issue of Le Groan @Shotta.

    What you shouldn’t forget is that Jeff and Pedro are marketing professionals so they will be effective at peddling their brand of bullshit all over the internet. If they didn’t know how to do this, then I’d suggest they give up their day job.

    That’s why it’s so important for voices of reason like ACLF and many others (Stone Cold Arsenal of course) to continue to fight the bang out of order negativity and bile.

    The way we do that is by making sure quality triumps over venom. What we write and how we do it will always overcome the venom on some of these sites. As someone famously said (the name escapes me), all that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing (and I’m sure like last time I tried to figure out who this was Consols came to my rescue). It’s not just enough to say – leave those sites alone they’re bad. We have to also show what is good.

    Finally, the worst thing as bloggers we can do is assume that our readers are not intelligent enough to make up their own minds about what is bullshit and what isn’t. People are smart enough to see these sites for what they are.

  144. Ole Gunner,

    That will be Ian McGarry of the midweek Screws.

    He is a Chav and Man U arse licker per excellence.

    His reasoning on life is that only 3 teams exist in the known universe – Barca, the chavs and the mancs. The rest are also rans.

    Well Ian McGarry – f*ck off back to your desk and write about the screws.

  145. Arse Shavin – I don’t blame you and others for the doubts you may have had about Song. You may have been new to his growth and development I blame the Geofs and Predros of the blogsphere (the IKBs) for popularizing such patent nonsense about his ability and potential. They did the same to Denilson and Diaby, the latter they have belatedly recognize. That is why the battle for hearts and minds on Arsenal blogs is so important.

    Thank god they lost in their summer campaign for the club to sign Cana and Melo.

  146. Fair enough! At that time i was getting impatient to be truthful and that was also my point – you said ‘AW is RARELY wrong about such things’ not that he’s always 100% right. I have had my doubts at times over the years and all i was saying was that one of those times was with Song. When he was the only real DM left at the club and was given the responsibility to become our main midfield holder i thought it was a gamble. AW is a genius but any fan will have doubts about certain things at some point.

  147. Shotta,

    What a shining star you are. Anybody who thinks that Pedro and Geoff are complete fuckwits and pollutants is eminently sensible.

  148. @ darius well said but remember the fourth wall

  149. Great post by Ole Gunner at 2.56

  150. I agree with Darius Stone.

  151. nasirjonesnasri – and i’ve not once said about signing any players let alone shit ones!

  152. Cheers Darius – spot on

  153. Darius @ 4:57pm – Absolutely spot on. Fortunately or unfortunately, I feel a need to monitor the doomers. Only then can I spot their new clothing from a distance. ACLF, Untold Arsenal and the Arsenal Column, Arsenal Vision, in no special order, are my pro-Arsenal blogs of choice.

    PS: It is Martin Luther King holi-Day in the Americas. Hence I have a day for ACLF in between the honey dos. This is just in case Consols begins to get worried.

  154. Arse – I just saw your question about Adebayor.

    I have to laugh. Maybe you should ask any of Paul N, Consols, O/G, Passenal, FunGunner and Muppet the question.

    Ha, Ha, Ha!

  155. well the problem of anti-team blogs isn’t restricted to arsenal’s almost everywhere…i keep going through some chav n manure blogs and trust me , some of them are worse than the le-groans of this world.

    they think they’re different as they’re giving an honest and straightforward analyisis but the truth is that such “fans” are that only -fans , and not supporters . true supporters are bad losers..they can’t and don’t want to hear any unjustiified criticism of their beloved club , let alone starting a blog perpetrating it

    infact i pity such cowardly surrender that these whiners exhibit because it’s like they’ve signed up for a life-time of moaning .no club is perfect..every team loses matches and goes through long rough patches and this is what them moaners fail to understand

  156. @ Arse Shavin
    And I would say you should STILL have given Song the benefit of the doubt, for the second reason – because he was just a kid!

  157. Very nicely said.
    By: Ole Gunner on January 18, 2010
    at 2:56 pm

  158. els,
    I fell in love with Barazite after watching him play against man utd in the F.A. Cup last season. The next time I saw Arsene, I told him of my admiration for young Nacer, and asked if it would be possible for me to meet him. Arsene agreed to recommend me to Nacer, but stressed that it would be up to him whether to get in touch with me or not. A couple of weeks later, whilst I was staying in my family home outside Montepulciano, I received an unexpected phone call from Nacer. We chatted for almost two hours, and at the end I asked him to come and stay with me for a few days on my estate. He agreed. For three days, we spent almost every waking moment together – sometimes with one of the small groups of friends and acquaintances who often join me for conversation in the veranda, but more often alone on long walks through the beautiful Tuscan countryside. In those three short days, I felt he came to understand me better than anyone had understood me before. Those sun-drenched fields of Tuscany, which for so long had seemed overcast by grey shadow to me, now seemed to have returned to the light once more. Those joyous days of childhood, for so long just a melancholy memory, had come back. O Tuscany! O Nacer! Truly, those were the three most precious days of my life.

  159. infact someone with a good sense of the blogging technicalities should start a blog called le-groan..for the first time , a parody might just make more sense

  160. That was beautiful! 😉

  161. You are a bit of a treat sometimes, Poliziano.

  162. To quote one of the regulars on here……

    …..oh dear, oh dear, dear…..

  163. No one lost any campaigns to have players signed over the summer. There was no campaign, just some blokes chatting shit on the net. It had no bearing on reality. You are delusional if you think they lost anything. They never had anything, but an opinion and a hope which did not come to pass.

    The sheep’s clothing thing is bizarre also. If you know Malcolm’s story, you probably realise you zeal has greater injustices to rail against, you are wasted on this one.

    How many days can a blog, or a poster, go on about the opinions of someone else before they cease to have there own and are defined solely by the other site?

    If in two days all that can be mustered to sustain conversation is about le grave, at a time when we play every 3 days and can go top of the league tomorrow, then perhaps acknowledge you find them necessary to sustain your own point of view.

    They are a bunch of c$$ts. Bill Hicks had it straight on marketing. But it is feckin boring listening to people talk about doomers for season after feckin season. Piss off. I just want to go somewhere sane people have a chat about Arsenal when I cant get down the boozer. It is a damn shame that this site has become a broken record with some pillock on a campaign. Go there, tell them. If I had any desire to know about it I would be there to.

    Good news on the injury front though, if it matters?

  164. Incredible how much time you spend moaning about other peoples work. Piles Palmer? How very intelligent.

    Shotta moaner, you are an incredibly pathetic person. What saddens me the most is that you have a congregation of even sadder disciples who think you are marvellous. I can imagine the type of miserable little man you are in person. I doubt you’re living life to the max wherever you’re from.

    Some of you really need to do yourself a favour. Take a look at the front door, open it, exit and live. Maybe even buy a ticket and see a game.

    Fantastic post Yogi as always.

  165. “Wenger is central to Arsenal strategy and execution. Anybody who doesn’t get that is an utter fuckwit moron.”

    Very true. What more is there to it?

  166. Fungunner – i know i should have and that’s the beauty of le proff! Legend that he is, spotted it and stuck with it. And as njn said, Arsene is far superior to anyone in seeing that in someone, it doesn’t mean i’m going to lie and say i agreed at the time.

    I heard that when Toure joined, DB10 spoke to AW and asked him to get rid of him because he was such a raw, hard tackler that he was endangering training sessions! but again he stuck with him and he turned out to be a pretty damned good CB! Arsene knows and i know that now 🙂

  167. Arsenehollis, very well put.

    Yogi takes the time to write a detailed analysis of the game. Yet all his bloggers want to talk about is Myles Palmer, Le Grove and anyone else they deem an legitimate target.

    So very unfair on the author.

  168. When Song was at Charlton, the hated pundits on Match of the Day picked him out as a great prospect, thereby showing themselves to be a couple of years ahead of the majority of Arsenal fans when it comes to recognising talent at Arsenal.

  169. Whilst Song got treated awfully when he was younger by the fans, away to which is surprising, I can’t see how anyone could claim to know he would come this good. It was even a stretch to see it early last year, which is not to excuse the anti-support who should have been behind him whatever.

    Bendtner should be back for the chav game, fully fit, that should be a boost.

    I hope walcott plays the cup, he gives us something extra with his attacking quality from out wide and his ability to get beyond the defence.

  170. Harry, my friend, I have to be honest: you strike me as a bit of a twat. You sound a lot like you might be Palmer himself.

  171. et tu arsenehollis!

    Can’t let go, sonny. Feel bad I burst your anti-Almunia bubble. Get over your bile son. You will be a better man.

    Famous last words: If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

  172. Poliziano, you also strike me as a bit of a twat.

    I guess we have twat equilibrium.

    I enjoy Palmers work. It’s nice to read multiple views on the club I love.

    As for Song and the credit I assume you are taking for predicting his rise to prominence. May I add that if you predict every player will become a top player, you will be right sometimes.

    Where is the skill in predicting greatness for every player?

  173. Pz – He does sound like that. Wouldn’t put it past that nasty creep of a chav fan.

    It is a shame to have a position that attracts the chumps who defend those clowns on matters of quality, taste, or class. I don’t, which is why I steer clear and wish some people here would just get over it.

  174. So you admit that you are Palmer?

  175. Polly, you have caught me out!

    You are a clever sausage.

  176. I can’t say I’ve ever visited Palmer’s blog. I doubt I ever will. I certainly don’t give a f*ck about his opinion. Harry is just defending Palmer in the way a man usually defends his own work. If we assume he is Palmer, his comments on here become all the more amusing.

  177. This is the same guff Shotta. You burst a bubble?

    There was no bubble to burst.

    I was pissed off we dropped 2 points and the keeper had a mare. I said the keeper should dropped for looking shambolic. Next game he played well, I said so and was happy for it. It is part of being a fan, you are sad when we lose and happy when we win.

    You really are a dullard.

    Your noxious sense of self-importance, the idea people give a jip about what you say, or that it has any bearing on anything is very tedious.

    All I am asking is that you find an opinion of your own besides who you are against and know better than. We heard all about that and are happy for you.

    The perpetual flow of shite about what idiots write is also stupid. Move on.

  178. hey guys, just read this article on the guardian:

    And it got me thinking about our injuries situation…how many do we have out so far? I think I counted 10 first team players…

    Do we know why this happens? One of the comments rightly points out how “normal” it is for us to have that many out over the past 3 seasons.

    Maybe its because our squad is so young and developing, whereas the 1998-2005 squads were much older? It’s a mystery but this is the only factor which concerns me about our challenge. We can win the league, most definitely but having so many players out is probably our only deterrant. If we even have 5 of those 10 players back (excluding RvP and Djourou), we’re practically unbeatable. As it stands right now, losing anyone on the pitch at Bolton is an incredibly scary prospect.

    I disagree, as that article claims, that we’re entirely reliant on Cesc. When Cesc’s around the rest don’t impose themselves as much but in his absence we’ve seen diaby, arshavin, nasri and rosicky step up. Of course he’s really important to us, but he’s surrounded by brilliance as well.

    It’s a bit of a miracle isn’t it? Upwards of 50%-60% of our squad in and out of the team and we can still march onto 3rd spot.

    Liverpool, lose 2 players and nearly drown…

  179. nasirjonesnasri

    Ask Le Groan and Piles that same question, Harry. They’ve made a living off moaning about Wenger’s work. Highly intelligent, considering we’re three points off the lead with a chance to go top on Wednesday. F*ck off you mong.

  180. Nasir, great input there. Very intelligent, you should be proud.

  181. Do you agree with Myles Palmer’s views Harry?

  182. Gunner4ever. Some of them.

    Is your position to disagree with them all?

  183. arsenehollis – legend

  184. The man said nothing but crap about Arsenal & Arsene since I knew his blog existed. So yes, I disagree with everything he says.

    I’m curious as to what exactly do you like in Myles views?

  185. Harry @5:58pm


  186. nasirjonesnasri

    You’re missing the point. It’s not about predicting what players will come good. It’s more to do with supporting the team and Wenger’s philosophy and then letting everything else fall into place, rather than subscribing to the what have you done for me lately crap that’s being peddled by the largely anti-Arsenal media.

  187. abid – it is pretty special. Look at Man u too, injuries to a few of their starting 11 and they’re no where near their best. We havent had the opportunity to field a full strength team in so long but it’s a mouthwatering prospect…

  188. no-one’s up for moving on then..?

  189. nasirjonesnasri

    Nice response to my response, Harry. Very informative.

  190. I’m up for Harry moving on.

  191. nasirjonesnasri

    Arse Shavin- dunce.

  192. Who the f*ck is this Myles Palmer bloke????

  193. That’s an interesting stand point Mr Gunner.

    You disagree with everything he says?

    Hard to believe.

    I like his articles. They aren’t always right, but whose are?

    Nasir, I know it makes you feel better to believe Arsenal are the only team that gets picked on. This my friend is a false hood. The media pick on whoever is game. If you support every Arsenal player and that is your stance. Terrific. Don’t take credit for them coming good though. Your opinion is the same for everyone.

  194. Polly, I’m up for you piping down over there.

  195. nasrirjonesnasri – argumentative little twat.

  196. nasir – did you have a bad day mate? Need a cuddle?

  197. @ arsenhollis

    I was very impressed with Song’s performances in the Carling Cup run two years ago (especially with his drive and leadership in the game against Blackburn which went to extra time). Then at the ACN the following January, he usurped the place of a more experienced teammate and led his team on to the final (or was it semi-final?). And he made the team of the tournament. So, yes, I did see a potentially great player there. I wasn’t really aware of him till that year, hadn’t started reading blogs etc and I had no preconceptions about him, so perhaps that’s why it wasn’t a stretch for me to see him as a big player.

  198. harry = doubt

  199. “As for Song and the credit I assume you are taking for predicting his rise to prominence. May I add that if you predict every player will become a top player, you will be right sometimes.”

    I don’t know if that was addressed to me. I’m not taking credit for anything, because I claim no ability to predict whether a player will turn out well; but if I see a player doing well for Charlton, and I see the pundits on MotD praising him for doing well at Charlton; if I see him doing well for Cameroon, and I see everyone praising him for doing well for Cameroon; and if I see him doing well for Arsenal (though without praise), then it seems reasonable to me to claim, not that he will become, but that he is a good player.

  200. Oh my, who invited Columbo onto the forum?

    Cuff me and take me away Emperor, I’m guilty as charged.

  201. I’ve only started reading blogs in the last year and i was unsure. I went on what i saw and it took me a while to realise his potential.

  202. Polly, if you saw the opposite. Say, all the pundits telling you Bendtner wasn’t good enough or Almunia is the weak link, would you listen then?

  203. nasirjonesnasri

    Bang on, Harry. Trying to match wits with our manager is a fools errand. One day you will understand the genius that is Arsene Wenger.

  204. Pz said he saw him doing well in those games, not soley because the pundits said he was…

  205. Great game and great result. Fabregas had a flawless game (a routine now). I think Rosicky had a good game and made a big contribution in the buildup to the first goal.

    @ S G at 4:23 pm
    Yes I agree that you have a soft corner for the african players and you have always supported them.
    I have always rated Song since his days at Charlton, but I have to admit that he has grown(as a player) faster than expected.

  206. Edmund Burke.

    For all those out there who are fed up with the debate about the effect that doomers and dooming can have on our team and it’s success, give it a bit more thought.

    Now that we are winning, the blog wars seem less relevant in the way that an effective financial policy seemed unnecesary in a time of ‘plenty’.

    Those people do real damage. Put Arsenal on one side for a minute. Anything and anybody who peddles ignorance, lies and misery is a menace to our society. You have to ask yourself why they do it.

    Is it because they are true beleivers in what they peddle? Sometimes. These are fanatics their agenda can be truly scary. More often than not it is for profit of some sort, This could be financial or just the exercise of power. For them to gain status, at least in in their eyes, or money.

    Greed, a hunger for ‘celebrity’ and a contempt for truth. All very damaging.

    Fair enough, if like arsenalhollis, you can’t be bothered with it all and just want to talk Arsenal, do it. If like some, you perceive another dimension to it all, then it would seem logical to confront it.

    Edmund Burke.

  207. “I like his articles. They aren’t always right, but whose are?”

    That doesn’t give a clear understanding of what views exactly do you like from Myles Pharter?

  208. nasirjonesnasri

    My day is going swell, to be completely honest.

  209. If I see a player is good, and if all the pundits say he is good, what possible cause could I have to doubt that he is good? If at some point he seems sluggish in a couple of games, do I decide that all the matches in which he played well were a fluke, and that the truth has been revealed by those couple of games, or do I write off those sluggish performances and wait expectantly for him to return to his previous level?

  210. Nasir, that is a sweet way to live your life, very subservient.

    Arse Shavin, I believe Charlton still went down that season.

    Mr Gunner. Are you asking me to list down all of the views from all of his articles that I like? What an absurd question that serves no purpose.

    Conbob, go to the cupboard and fetch your medicine. You’re rambling.

    Polly, answer the question. Skating around it won’t save you.

  211. Quite right, consolsbob.

    Well said, Pz and nasirjonesnasri earlier – it’s about keeping an open mind, retaining perspective and giving players a chance.

  212. walcott and denilson back for bolton

  213. “…the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.”

  214. People, it has been interesting, but I must bid you farewell. Hopefully you have some new topics to discuss.

  215. Ah, good. Time to move on.

  216. Harry, I mean Myles, me and my spud mates love your blog. Well done.

  217. “The media pick on whoever is game.”

    Yup it’s true!
    In a week when the former manger and chairman of Portsmouth FC are given a court date, after Portsmouth couldn’t pay their players for the third month running, when West Ham were fined for a ‘pitch invasion’, it’s so reassuring to see the non-stop stream of ‘Spanish Waiter’ bollocks directed towards the biggest villan in English Football (after AW of course), at that , erm, Spanish Waiter Rafa Benitez.

    John Cleese has a lot to answer for.

    Tapas anyone?

  218. Harry, just proves that the man has not one even single overall view that you are proud to list here. So don’t stand up for someone while you can’t even give us an idea of what you like about him?

    It’s like asking you “What’s your view on Bush doctrine” and you say “In what way Charlie” Which agrees with what CBob just posted.

  219. I find it hard to grasp how any sort of ‘blog war’ between ‘doomers’ and ‘AKBs’ really has any baring on anything real, at all – but if it does, and the blogosphere can contribute somehow to the Arsenal zeitgeist and effect how our team is supported on matchdays and perceived in the media – then I for one am glad to have militant blog-warriors like Shotta-gunna on our side. If you have a great big guard-dog and he just ends up staring into the inky firmament all night – you still get a better night’s sleep, just knowing that he’s there.

  220. @ Emperor Gooner

    I suspect Denilson will start and Walcott will be on the bench. What do you think?

  221. nasirjonesnasri

    Sure, Harry. I prefer you’d use loyal, but it’s ok. You’re running out of ideas I see. You love Piles but you can’t muster up one of his articles that you agree with? This is getting retarded. Soon Harry will disappear only to come back under a new un-shamed name.

  222. I love tapas.

  223. Not much of a student of Burke, Consols, despite the efforts of my GP teacher at A-levels many decades ago. But winning hearts and minds, the battle for ideas, is one of the enduring features of all civilizations. No wonder control of the modern media is vital to the powers that be in our society. In fact there are currently many efforts to control the unruly internet (check the current campaign by NewsNow to allow linking and aggregation of football sites).

    Today, we as football fans are very lucky to have the internet and the blogs to break the stranglehold of the official media and “plundits” (thanks Darius) have had in setting the agenda for football debate especially when it comes to Arsenal. Those who ignore the agenda of the various blog sites do so at their own peril. Fools perish in their own ignorance.

  224. I love Nacer.

  225. fun gunner , i can see denilson starting along side diaby n cesc. theo on bench for sure

  226. – – – – – – – Alumina – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Clichy
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – Denilson – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – Fabregas – Diaby – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Rosicky – – – – – – – – – – – – Eduardo
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – Arshavin – – – – – – – – – –

    VERY strong. Cannot wait til we get those thugs out on the North London grass and start passing them into early retirement. They deserve a proper pasting.

    I will never get tired of watching that first goal. Eduardo’s touch sums up why I love football; absolute skill.

  227. yep can’t wait..the only worry against those thugs is getting any knocks before the all-important fortnight

  228. I hope that video of Taylor will be on show in the Arsenal dressing room.

  229. I’d like to see a repeat of the rotational fouling that so upset Evra.

  230. Consols – it does beg the question then if here is the place to do it. You will be preaching to the choir, as the saying goes. Why not go there and hassle them on their own patch, there could be some chivalric honour in that, perhaps, but this is just futile.

    Maybe they could joust somewhere out of sight, some sort of battle to the death that no one returns from.

    Again though, it has no bearing on reality.

    Song did look excellent against Blackburn in the cup, he always looked good in defence, but his step forward this year as a creative player and tactically mature midfielder is amazing.

    I agree with Limpar – especially on the tapas.

  231. whats AKB ffs

  232. What’s ‘ffs’ for fuck sa…oh….

  233. .abc,

    Its like FNG’s and KIA partner, its shit you know nuttin about cos you aint gangsta

  234. nasirjonesnasri


    For the 100th time. They don’t allow debate over there. They call you a blog stalking AKB and ban you. End of. Fighting them on their own patch is impossible.

  235. arsenehollis,

    Just leave it now partner, you’re boring the shit out of Fungunner again and you know this

  236. Oh God, it is football Shotta, find a political movement. (This is purely tribal and anti-rationalistic.)

    Again with the lofty horse-shit and self-approbation.

    There are many things that one can be aware of and still say that is boring, or has no meaning, or is worth not a second of anyone’s time.

    Another tepid rant that fails to involve Arsenal – you talk about yourself a lot – and looks strangely out of place. Get a grip.

  237. shotta you sound paranoid sister and you know this, you aint been taking your medication have you?

  238. I actually laughed at that one Billy, well played.

  239. @ abc

    akb = arsene knows best…refers to people who trust in wenger…or in other words , all the sensible supporters

  240. Laughed at the comment addressed to me.

  241. Are shotta and arsenehollis married?

  242. Tippy Tappy Tapas.

    I want some Salted Rosbif with my football. Ginster quality.

  243. There’s a domestic disturbance at ACLF.

  244. So, Nasir, it is impossible to debate with, engage, or modify this block of stupidity you have rightly identified. Exactly how do you propose to do anything then, beyond Shotta’s rambling delusions?

  245. Indeed Pz, although it is tough to tell which of us qualifies as the long suffering half.

    Perhaps a separation is the best way forward.

  246. I think you have misunderstood me arsenhollis. My point is that those who see a larger point in these debates will continue the argument wherever they can.

    Those who don’t, and you are clearly of that number, won’t.

    That’s fair enough. You can’t see the point. You believe it to be a fantasy.

    I disagree but you can still talk football here without criticising those who choose to take a stand based on a perfectly reasonable argument.

    You may have noticed that we also talk football.

  247. Nasri-Mrs-Jones-weve-got-a-thing-going-on-nasir,

    ‘Fighting them on their own patch is impossible.’

    Thats why you got to lead them back to your hood partner, trick dem fools to coming on here to represent, then ambush them westside story style dog. You get me?

  248. akb = antonym of doomers n gloomers
    now i got it

  249. arsenehollis, you poor baby, I am ignoring you. Truly I am.

    Sorry Almunia made you look even more foolish by putting in a rock solid performance yesterday. Don’t blame me, blame yourself. Be more careful when you go into another childish rant, you poor baby.

    Oh…If you keep this up…everytime Almunia succeeds I will remind you. Just as I will remind you how foolish you were about Song.

    Feeling better now baby.

  250. Don’t get me started on Ginsters, Finsbury.

    So called ‘pasty manufacturers’ that any true pasty maker would turn their ire on in such a way as to make the blog wars seem like a spat between Belgium and Luxembourg.

  251. @ LA
    Going back a bit, I know what you are saying about the point of “blog wars”, and I would feel the same if the blogosphere was a hermetically sealed world. The trouble is that the nasty stuff is picked up by the media and goes out into the real world – and back again, in a sort of negative feedback loop. And it affects the crowd in matches. A blog makes a scapegoat out of one player for cheap laughs and we get into a situation where some people feel that booing players is no biggie.
    It’s less of a problem this year because we are doing better and also because the thought that AW might leave jolted the majority of fans into standing up to be counted. And the team being older, more mature and confident means that they are less susceptible to being influenced by the hostility of their own fans. Even this year, though, Traore remarked that it was the manager’s faith in them that kept them going if they had negativity coming at them from newspapers etc.
    I know people are not sheep, but they ARE influenced by what they read – and a tragically large number of people do seem to believe everything they read in newspapers or on the web, especially if it confirms their fears/prejudices. So I always feel it’s important to stay positive and try to counter the negative. Faith in the team helps them become more confident, and if they’re confident they play better and we all win. Literally.

  252. Sorry Nasri. I sometimes don’t know what I’m talking about.

  253. come back to football guys , o yeah arsene knows best

    what will be the MO of nb52 into the team. apparently he will be fit for the villa game. will he be played straight away or the usual wenger way of 10 minute subs and where will he be played , winger cent

  254. Fungunner,

    Blog wars aint no joke lady, you stick to the DMZ and you might survive but many mans gone MIA and been WIA in my time in the trenches. We gots to stick together dog and you know this partner, down with Le Grove, Down wit Arseblogger, Down wit Goodplaya.

    We’ll leave Gunnerblog alone cos them boys are sweet, we go way back you get me

  255. “Thats why you got to lead them back to your hood partner.”

    But is it a true hood, William, or is it one of those false hoods that Harry mentioned?

  256. Sorry I brought that up Consolbob!

    But, on that note I must point out that the quality of food stalls on St.Thomas Road N4 on match days is rapidly improving.
    A delicious home made curry stall run by one family…a friend is debating whether to set up a burger stall or one selling jacket potatoes. A shame they won’t think about a concourse of stalls on the stadium concourse just yet.

    Quick survey:
    Do people think eating jacket potatoes on the way to the station/stadium is any more bother then managing a burger? We discussed this last night but personally, I always like to sit and eat, so I couldn’t give good feedback.

  257. Ateeb will now explain ‘jihad’ to all non believers.

  258. I think its one of them sports hoods dog

  259. I’m a sitter myself, Finsbury. Eating is too much pleasure to do on the hoof.

    Pasties are perfect stadium food by the way.

  260. Like on a “hoodie?” I think I know what you mean. It looks like a real hood; but it’s sewn on to the back of the garment, so it can’t actually be put up. One can look like one is wearing a trendy hooded top, without the bother of having a real hood flapping around. Excellent idea!

  261. Very poor Shotta, that certainly wasn’t the reasonable argument consolsbob was talking up. No bigger picture there.

  262. Exactly dog, welcome to the party partner

  263. It’s like those jumpers one can buy these days that have a shirt collar sewn into them. One can achieve the fashionable layered effect with going to the bother of putting on an extra garment. Excellent idea!

  264. The Media – including blogs – is a very powerful tool in shaping masses of people’ opinion, otherwise no political candidate would advertise himself and views on TV, etc. etc.

    The problem is with the herd of sheep who believe everything fed to them by the media without realising that half of it is crap and the rest is the owner’s views and agenda.

    I see no difference in this and football blogs, the over zealous criticism of everything Arsene & Arsenal creates and fosters hate for the club, the good thing is, it should only effects the weak supporter, only the none believer can be easily swayed but we believe in our club, the club’s history, and it’s ability to to comeback stronger even in the hardest of times.

    It is our number one responsibility as fans to defend the club against hate mongering blogs and we will not back down one minute regardless what some of you say.

    At least here on this blog, we don’t get banned if our views don’t match the owner’s views.

  265. Almunia was rock-solid yesterday, Arsenehollis.

    Made you look foolish again, Arsenehollis.

    Anything new, Arsenehollis.

  266. R u muslim ateeb?

  267. Gunner4ever,

    I hear you dog, but lets leave Gunnerblog outta this, them boys are sweet and you know this.

    Le Grove and Arseblogger make mans frown,
    bam, bam, bam, bitches gotta go down

  268. FP,

    Yes. you need a plastic knife and fork to eat a jacket, well you could just use a plastic fork but if the skin is slightly hard it could become a bit of a tussle and you could end up with beans down your erm.jacket. I wouldnt like to eat a jacket on the move.

  269. My mates say I talk crap. Do you agree?

  270. Thanks Bob, that is the traditional match day snack. After staring at people eating expensive cardboard/pizza at the new Stadium and wondering why anyone would ignore the amazing local pizzerias I’d forgotten. I think I’ll suggest pasties!

  271. Have anyone noticed I like dog?

  272. Arsenehollis, shotta is goading you dog, dont take the bait though partner, she’s a powerfull lady on here and you know this, before you know it your balls will be cut and served to you on your own dinner plate, trust me on this dog, live to fight another day, represent

  273. Cheers DG, yeah, it’s kind of obvious. I think sorting out decent pasties will require more effort, hence my friend trying to convince himself that jackets could work…

  274. William-

    what’s ur fifa10 account

  275. sorry shotta. I’m confused.

  276. Why doesn’t some enterprising couturier manufacture a pair of low-slung jeans that have the top of a pair of designer pants sewn into the top?

  277. zap 123456789.

  278. Finsburyparker, no need to thank me dog, I dont help people like you for thanks, I do it for one reason only and thats love G

  279. No Shotta, he didn’t. Almunia played well for Arsenal, that is what happened and matters.

    For someone so pleased with their own absence of ignorance, that thing fools perish in, you have very little to say really.

    You called me a baby and threatened to taunt me with the fact a player from my team did well. Then you taunted me. I AM HAPPY ALMUNIA PLAYED WELL – it is good for the team.

    Unlike you, I am not beholden to a rigid position or obsessed with being right all the time. I just want the team to do well. That surely was always the point, before you lapsed into irrelevance with this stupid guardian of truth agenda?

  280. Too much effort PZ.

    He’s got a day job!

  281. @ arsenhollis

    Song’s position isn’t really the issue, though – whether at CB or CM, his character was what shone through. Eastmond, on the other hand, was a complete surprise to me.
    What do you think of JET? I have no idea what position he will end up playing, but to me he just looks like a stunning footballer in the making. I just hope Wenger thinks so, too! That is one player I would HATE to see moved on.

  282. Zap you donut I cant give things like that out, imagine if we actually new eachother? how messed up and embarrasing would that be?

    I would beat you though

  283. If I could I would beat myself and my dog.

  284. will.

    you wouldn’t

    I hope Bolton go down.

    my prediction for the drop:


  285. FunGunner,

    JET was good but it must be said that Wolf made the show, I also always liked Saracen for some reason

  286. Over an hour has passed since a post mentioned a football matter. I realise that I am culpable in that, but it begs the question for what this place is for and what you would do without the places you hate giving you something to talk about. I am relatively new posting here, but i read, and this is not a new state of affairs. Anyway, night all, I hope tomorrow there is some sport to talk about.

  287. Newcastle 0-1 West Brom

  288. To go down –

    West Ham

  289. arsenehollis, don’t waffle you borehead.

  290. Interesting that AW said Merida was kicked straight after coming on, and that it’s a bad injury.
    He was the first substitution so could easily have taken the easy option and gone off injured.
    But instead he stayed, fought hard and scored a great goal and with his weaker right foot.
    In answer to the question about whether he is staying in the after game interview AW said “he still believes he will sign” but “nothing has happened yet”.

    1. Is Merida playing his heart out, putting himself in the shop window to get a bigger contract elsewhere?
    2. Has AW learnt from Flamini and is putting him on the “injured” list to politely promote someone else instead?

  291. I’m very good william dog, unbeatable partner, u feelin me? I will cream you and u know this dog

  292. Fun gunner, that came up after i posted my last comment. I’m still off to the cocoa, but I think JET looks amazing, a future great for the club.

  293. I’ll make the pasties Finsbury, just as my Devonian mother taught me. I do have a problem with size though. Mine are always very big.

  294. Wednesday night will be tough. My heart says a 5-1 slapping, my head says a 4-1 slapping.

  295. Zap, many men have said them words to me and then quit before the first half is over, ‘connection with the other player has been lost’

  296. “Over an hour has passed since a post mentioned a football matter.”

    On the contrary, designer pants are an important part of modern football.

  297. FunGunner,

    Ian Wright is presenting the new version of the show at the moment, its great isn’t it

  298. My memories of venturing West include fine wholesome pasties and something called ‘Doom’ Beer from Cornwell.

  299. Why not cakes. you dont get enough cake stools around the ground, there are alot of kids walking around and a nice fairy cake with afc on it will sell like erm…hot cakes. wanna go into biz fp. know any one who can bake?

  300. Listen to talksport Steward Robson along with another guy talking sense!!!!!!!

    Eduardo was not a dive.
    Henry should not have been suspended.

  301. William- what because they r beating you so badly and got bored?

  302. Yes, yes, okay. Pasties are also an important part of modern football. Satisfied?

  303. I should have thought that even one caked stool around the ground would be too many.

  304. Ha ha, Zap
    I’ll be happy with a two-goal victory. It will be just as tough a game physically. Plus Coyle will have learnt from Sunday and he will be keen to apply the lessons. As for the thuggery, let’s hope we have a stronger ref. At least we know the crowd will put pressure on him if he tries to ignore blatant fouls and violence.
    Is it Wednesday yet?

  305. Heh, I have to go, I wasn’t taking the pastie, yes cakes are always a good idea, I shall pass your wisdom on, but I fear said entrepreneur is looking to do as little work as possible, which isn’t very enterprising.

    And he gave me his Bolton ticket!

  306. Zap, when you score, press and hold L2, then press R3, you’ll do the robot its hilarious

  307. Maria, Stewart Robson has his little ways, but his head is basically screwed on correctly. I’m just amazed they haven’t gagged him by erasing his mouth in a Keanu Reeves in The Matrix sort of way, though. That’s the real wonder.

  308. FunGunner,

    I see. So rather than what is said on a blog having a direct influence on the matchday crowd – journalists who do pick up on the negativity can perpetuate it in the papers and on the airwaves, and that can have an influence. That makes a lot of sense.

    Still though, I don’t think voicing concerns about Almunia for example, when he was struggling for form – is really going to trickle out onto the stands to such an extent where he will be supported any less than he always is – and it certainly won’t get him booed. If anything Almunia has been receiving more encouragement than usual perhaps, as we all will him to do well. Also, I think if a few people on a blog are in agreement about a player’s form (for example) it’s probably not a massive stretch to think that those in attendance on matchdays might have formed a similar opinion, independantly and without having read a blog or picked up a paper – but by having watched the games.

    I do know what you mean though, and the anti-Arsenal streak in the papers do a sterling job all by themselves, without our own fans feeding into it. Fans of big clubs like ours in particular, do seem to have a rather annoying predilection toward dissatisfaction and self-pity.

  309. FG,

    Lol I am not quite sure who is alongside him I think they are calling him Paddy Barclay he has been defending our boys and stood up for common sense.

    Also one more day I really hope we stuff them with 4 goals min.

  310. Now they are talking abut Cesc, Xavi and Ineista being the best players. Not one mention of Shrek interesting.

  311. ‘Doom Bar’, Finsbury. A nice pint. Not the very best.

  312. I think you’d be surprised at how much of what is written in the papers has its source in our very own fans.

  313. Not sure what Coyle will have learned from the weekend other than that his lads are incapable of taking their chances. Bolton have one approach, the last time they tried it against The Arsenal they lost 0-2. You can’t teach finishing and they haven’t got it, kicking Arsenal off the park didn’t work either and Bolton were helped immeasurable by a match official who clearly bottled it.

  314. Pz, I think I dislike clothing with faux-layers peeping out at the collar almost as much as Consolsbob dislikes Ginsters faux-pasties. They must’ve been designed by the same hand that created artificially ‘distressed’ jeans and that highstreet ‘rock chic’ which had 15 year old girls wearing MC5 t-shirts and boys wearing diamante studded belts (looking at you Nikki B!).

    Doom Bar’s not a bad drop – but not a patch on Otter. A friend gave me the ‘Badger Sett’ of Badger beers at New Years – and I can tell you that drinking all four of those of an idle hour, is a delightful way to warm up.

  315. Compare the media’s hysterical reaction to Nasri’s “stamp” on the Hull player a few weeks ago and the complete silence that followed Taylor’s assault against Fabregas. Just astonishing. Where’s the call for a three match ban? Where’s the FA? Oh wait no media witch hunt no ban.

  316. I have watched the game again and was wondering has Sagna a shoulder injury? He was relieved of the ball everytime there was a throw being taken.

  317. “”On the downside, Fran Merida is out. The Spaniard suffered a kick on his ankle at Bolton just before he netted the visitors’ second goal 12 minutes from time.” ~Arsene

    filthy filthy Bolton…

  318. By himself now Robson is sticking the knife into Arsene. Just another jealous Englishmen I suppose.

  319. er..sorry, i meant the Arsenal website but Arsene commented on that as well

  320. FP, I think a little tapas procession might be in order, up and down the Gillespie road. Residents could earn a little money while showing off their local fare, cooking up little tidbits, wrapping them in waxed paper and shopping them out through their bay windows. Arsenal supporters could lean in, pick up a tasty local morsel, exchange Arsenal related pleasantries and banter – stroll off licking their lips before a few yards later, mmm… another tasty treat from another charming window vendor. This would continue until you hit the stadium, buoyed and warmed not just nutritionally, but by a new sense of belonging to the area.

    I of course, as a fan of tapas, would be looking for little squares of tortilla, choriza, calamari, whitebait and other oily loveliness. I’m sure the residents of Gillespie Road and Avenall road etc, would create a veritable cornucpia of North London delights though, given the opportunity. The mind boggles and jowels salivate just to think of what we might be in for…

  321. I don’t know what Maria will think of the women of London being described as tasty morsels.

  322. I wonder what this means -“Did you deliberately miss the ball in that moment, when he (Craig Eastmond) hit the gate?”

    I liked it when Andrey stood up for Eastmond when he was getting booked. Dowd told him to walk away but Andrey just shook his head, smiled, and stayed just where he was!

    It was good to see Dom-uhz getting stuck in when Diaby was in trouble too, though he’ll have to keep his cool on Wednesday because the Bolton heavies might try winding him up.

  323. The Master Plan

  324. I hope we can get Song back for the game next week because with all our injuries if we have Song-Cesc-Diaby in the middle then I would be allot more confident coming into the games against the top four regardless of who plays up front.


    G4E have you heard this weekly I think it is American based Arsenal podcast?

  326. Hi Maria, no I never heard of it. Thanks for the link, I try to stay with the English side as much as possible. I don’t even visit Arsenal USA except when I want to know the game time 🙂

    I will give it a try.

  327. They do have a wanker of the week. So they do try.

  328. Here is another one for the near future

  329. We should have wanker of the day on this blog!

  330. Arsenalholis:

    “Whilst Song got treated awfully when he was younger by the fans, away to which is surprising, I can’t see how anyone could claim to know he would come this good. It was even a stretch to see it early last year, which is not to excuse the anti-support who should have been behind him whatever.”

    I disagree. I’ve been laughed at because I compared Niklas Bendtner to Ibrahimovic. Nevermind that many of these people didn’t even see Ibra when he was at Ajax. They just thought it was absurd because at this point, Ibra is a huge player and Bendtner is just starting out. But if you look back at a 20 year old Ibra, and the fact that he was playing in an inferior league, then you compare that to a 20 year old Bendtner and where he plays, then that comparison is not that crazy after all. It’s all about perspective and developing an eye by watching Wenger do his thing.

    Those who didn’t see the emergence of Song are the same ones who still don’t notice how Denilson improved from one season to the next or how Diaby became a good player all of a sudden. Look around you and you’ll notice who has faith in the kids and who doesn’t. It’s not like the believers are hiding. We’ve been shouting it from the roof tops for about four years now.

  331. I vote that the inaugral prize go to Harry.

  332. My wife’s sister;s best friend’s uncle’s dog learnt whilst sniffing the buttock of another dog at Heathrow airport, that Arsenal are apparently in the market for Canales, the Racing Santander striker. Neither the dog, it’s companion or any of my in law relatives have any reason to lie. Woof.

  333. nice link to AA’s site maria ..

    Its wonderful to have so many intelligent players and its great that Arshavin realizes he didn’t support his defense as he should..

  334. hahahah muppet

  335. good news about van persie.

    If we’re still in it by April, he will strengthen the run-in

  336. I agree with Poliziano.

    Funny thing Muppet, I always thought it’s Woof… Woof not a single Woof, are you sure no one is lying?

  337. Maybe just a shaggy dog story.

  338. The reason I believe in the players Wenger picks is because he’s a bloody genius.

    Who goes to Liberia to find George Weah and in a matter of years he’s easily the best player in the world?

    How can any person doubt Arsene Wenger. Francis Jeffers you might say….but how many managers get it right more frequently than Arsene?

    The guy is so meticulous. Who else watches a player for 3 years?

    Wenger is no mug. If he selects Alex Song, then I have good reason to believe Alex Song has qualities that could make him a great player.

    And most of these players have already been distinguished at lower levels.

    He’s not making a gamble. He’s buying players nobody knows but who he has very good reason to think they can get there.

  339. Is it weird most of what you may call Arsene mistakes are “local” players? Jeffers and Pennant? Maybe this is why he doesn’t buy “local” players and prefers to work with them through the Academy?

  340. Ultimately, we believe in the players because they’re our players. They wear our shirt, and there’s no point not believing in them.

    As long as they give their best and fight hard, they’ll always have 100% of MY support, each one of them.

  341. I read about Vermaelen that he two reasons why he was picked before all others was that he doesn’t drink and also because the scout was impressed by his jumping ability during training.

    Now Thomas is here playing well I still can’t believe how good that free-kick he took was!!!

    Also nice to see him make Davies a player I have come to hate on par with DD his b****.

    …………………….ARSENE KNOWS……………………

  342. G4E,

    My wanker of the week has to go to Taylor and 69. Both made me see red for the same reasons.

  343. Francis Jeffers had shown great ability at Everton. Signing a young player, however, is always a risk. I would suggest that late teens and early twenties are ages when many sportsmen succumb to the temptation to accept mediocrity.

  344. Lol Maria, yes Taylor would be one of my choices too.

  345. Arshavin admitted he was poor defensively at Bolton. Really big of him. Quite impressive.

  346. That’s what I like about Arshavin, he is honest about his performances, unlike some people who see the price tag and give him credit he has not earned. He has off days like many other players but his world class label seems to buy him a free pass, whereas young, up and coming players seem to be held to a higher standard.

  347. Does anyone know of any footy websites which have the prices of a players last (or all) transfer(s)?

  348. vermaelen’s spirit is unmatchable..i remember when he unfortunately conceded that own goal against chelsea , he was running everywhere on the pitch just to help us get a goal back..he wanted to make up for it so could see it right in his body language…a great guy!!

  349. gallas and vermaelen is as good as it gets. no one else in the league has 2 centre-backs who can play the ball. sure they make mistakes sometimes. but that is when the keeper has to do his job. no one earns a free wage, right?

    and arsene wenger once said the value of english players is inflated. just look at the price of players like barry. would you pay that much?

  350. Thanks for the videos, G4E. An excellent distraction.

  351. Ipswich under 18s are a pretty tidy outfit if memory serves. Bouldie’s Young ‘Uns will have to show a bit of Cesc’s “No team will want it more” determination. Which, incidentally, I am beginning to think might be the key to our success this year. That coupled of course with our incredible footballing prowess.

  352. “I fell in love with Barazite after watching him play against man utd in the F.A. Cup last season. The next time I saw Arsene, I told him of my admiration for young Nacer, and asked if it would be possible for me to meet him. Arsene agreed to recommend me to Nacer, but stressed that it would be up to him whether to get in touch with me or not. A couple of weeks later, whilst I was staying in my family home outside Montepulciano, I received an unexpected phone call from Nacer. We chatted for almost two hours, and at the end I asked him to come and stay with me for a few days on my estate. He agreed. For three days, we spent almost every waking moment together – sometimes with one of the small groups of friends and acquaintances who often join me for conversation in the veranda, but more often alone on long walks through the beautiful Tuscan countryside. In those three short days, I felt he came to understand me better than anyone had understood me before. Those sun-drenched fields of Tuscany, which for so long had seemed overcast by grey shadow to me, now seemed to have returned to the light once more. Those joyous days of childhood, for so long just a melancholy memory, had come back. O Tuscany! O Nacer! Truly, those were the three most precious days of my life.”

    Just spotted this Poli, wow! I’m not sure what to make of it, you strike me as an enigma, possibly slightly eccentric, is this the truth.

    I’ll tell you Poli it won’t be long before he’s at the bar attracting the attentions of wealthy european men… and you know what happens then.

    Kepp up the good work poli.

  353. I think our injuries have been a blessing in disguise as its given the chance for fringe players to step up and contribute. I also think Arshavin should be given a rest next game and Clichy to come in for Traore with Traore pushed further up field on the left. What do you guys think??

  354. n oh add me on PSN fifa10 players, tha_stunna
    Is it going to be arsenal v arsenal?? hehe

  355. Injuries are never a blessing, Pires. Unless perhaps if you happened to follow Man Utd and Gary Neville got injured.

  356. Fucking hell

  357. I think Arsene said that when he bought Jeffers and Wright he felt some pressure to buy young English players. Thankfully, he’s hasn’t succumbed since then.

  358. Well maybe not necessarily a blessing but a forced opportunity for a lack of a better description. Come to think of it I can’t believe Nasri and Ramsey got injured. Everytime we get a few player back we lose another few. Its like their working in shifts.

  359. Interesting how the transfer nonsense has significantly died down recently. For once people are beginning to accept that we’re not signing anyone this transfer window.

  360. Except David Villa

  361. That goes without saying frank.

    Looks like Man City are getting Flamini on loan till the end of the season.

  362. wow, be interesting to see how flamini re-adapts to premiership life after 2 years of sitting on a bench in milan.

    stupid feck has missed out on a world cup due to leaving the arse.

    no chance of him making the squad this summer.

  363. Thats true, I wonder if he’s another of the I shouldn’t have left brigade.

    How many of our players are going to end up at ManC? If they get Parlour or Henry, i’m gunna shit with anger.

  364. We should kidnap David Villa and make him sign a contract as ransom. Stranger things have happened.

  365. Not sure if Flamini will have any more luck breaking into City’s midfield than Milan’s.

    De Jong, Barry, Ireland, Vieira, Kompany (on occasion) will all compete for spots in the middle.

    Put him with Barry or De Jong and they’ll lack creativity. Can’t see things working well for either Flamini or Vieira, and they’ll both probably be left out of the French squad.

  366. Yeah Man City are trying a tactic of buying ALL the midfielders I think.

    I still want Kompany by the way, for a useful utility man. As everything is covered in the squad so anothe all rounder (eboue) would be nice.

  367. Having said that, how strange it would be to see lined up against us:


    Can’t think of a time we’ve ever had four former players in a game against us.

  368. and I’m forgetting Sylvinho!

  369. Yep that’s 5! I would hate that.

  370. and Stuart Taylor…jesus!! It’s an epidemic!

  371. Flamini is a mercenary

  372. He is isn’t he his reputation has just further plumeted for me, he must know he isn’t going to be an instant first choice player. I don’t think he gives a shit about the World Cup, only cash.

    It’s a shame as he was such a good player and partner for cesc. He’ll never ever get that back.

  373. ‘not close’ says AW when asked about new tarnsfers this January. The privileged in the inner sanctum will know that ‘not close’ is clearly an encoded message which roughly translates into ‘David Villa’.

  374. aaaah it’s only a matter of time.

  375. You have to tune your mind to these things.

  376. The following players have all been linked with a move to Arsenal by a major English newspaper in the last 3-4 seasons.

    Kompany, Hart, Barry, Richards, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Bellamy, Johnson, Robinho, Lescott, Tevez, Santa Cruz, Given.

    If that’s not enough to make someone stop reading the transfer news pages, then nothing is…

  377. Moderated-trying again:

    The following players have all been linked with a move to Arsenal by a major English newspaper in the last 3-4 seasons.

    Santa Cruz

    If that’s not enough to make someone stop reading the transfer news pages, then nothing is…

  378. Looking forward to the game tomorrow, shame about Merida but hopefully Denilsons comeback has been timed to perfection. Its one-in-one-out at the moment it seems.

    (reading some of the comments on here from last night – from about 7.15 pm its comedy gold. Could have been a Monty Python sketch. Keep up the good work guys).

  379. “Not Close”, eh?

    Hmmm, something doesn’t sit right…

    NOT – Old English = “naught” – naughty – enfant terrible – wild child – kid in Asturian means Guaje – El Guaje is David Villa’s nickname. The Kid.

    But David Villa isn’t the first to have “the kid” as an epithet.

    We all know Billy the Kid was a VILLAIN, but only those who know the code will tell you that the word comes from Latin: Villa.

    CLOSE – Medieval pilgrims passing through the town of Oviedo along El Camino Frances would say, “Asturias is NOT CLOSE to Santiago de Compostela”.

    Guess who was born in Asturias? David Villa!


    Quick, there isn’t much time – remember what I told you. The world needs to know the truth.

  380. Brilliantly deciphered, OOU – but I still don’t understand; AW says that we are now “David Villa to bringing in any new faces”?

    Which makes me think, perhaps there’s some sort of Wenger rhyming slang on top of all that: Godzilla, Manilla, Chinchilla, J Dilla – nothing fits!

  381. lol OOU

    Limpar try King Geedora

  382. …david villa to, bringing in a new face.

    David Villa is the one bringing in a new face. It has been sugested in whispered voices amongst those in the know spanish style, that david has in fact purchased the face of, luke chadwick.

    This will infact lessen his transfer value by 7/8ths thus making him a Wenger bargain. They also say that a french prophet by the name of Arsene has been the instigator behind the incredibly brave decision from the kid.

  383. my imput to the deciphering is in moderation. I think the powers that be are on to us. We were getting to clos to us, watch your ba………

  384. …david villa to, bringing in a new face.

    David Villa is the one bringing in a new face. It has been sugested in whispered voices amongst those in the know spanish style, that david has in fact purchased the face of, luke chadwick.

    This will infact lessen his transfer value by 7/8ths thus making him a Wenger bargain. They also say that a french prophet by the name of Arsene has been the instigator behind the incredibly brave decision from the kid

  385. Its the f**** Dan Brown epidemic that affects the brain…….

  386. Muppet’s been carrying the disease….but it seems OoU immune system was too fragile as well.

  387. Godzilla doesn’t rhyme with Dabid Bee-a, so it can’t be him.

  388. I think so, I have to say I prefer the gunter grass epidemic of the brain, but that’s me!


  389. “This will infact lessen his transfer value by 7/8ths thus making him a Wenger bargain. They also say that a french prophet by the name of Arsene has been the instigator behind the incredibly brave decision from the kid.”

    You had to push it, didn’t you? You had to keep on asking questions.

    Didn’t you ever stop to think that some things don’t need to be found out?

    You were right all along, LimparAssist; nothing fits. Until you get to the one word they don’t want you to find:


    For one eighth, AW will complete the signing of David Villa.

  390. Is Phil Brown Dan Brown’s more intelligent elder brother?

  391. He could be. Dan always lived in his orange shadow, “you may have the beautiful tan, but I can right some books about that Jesus fellah.” He was heard saying.

  392. I wish someone would right his books.

  393. Damn it, there on to us. Scatter grab the bikes and meet me on the hill on the edge of the woods. I’ve got Harry Redknapp wraped in a white blanket on the basket on my bike.

  394. Phil is his technologically advanced elder brother, having revolutionized communication gadgets.

    It would take decades for someone to right his books. Undeciphering will take alot of time.

  395. King Gee-dorah / Da-bid Vee-a. It’s an almost rhyme, KS. Plus, having a three-headed flying monster up front might necessitate a game based on crossing, at the expense of our wonderful on-the-deck stuff.

    It’s God-zee-a, in Spanish, Pz.

    Sensimillia and Doom? Now you’re talking.

  396. what don’t you people get..

    lynch Wenger now before the prophecy is fulfilled..

  397. Who’s Poli? Phil Browns’

    Phil Brown has a conspiracy on that photo of the girls bum next to the tennis net and he says when he spilled some liquid on it (I don’t know) and he cleaned it off underneath there was a picture of that Moaning Pizza faced bastard Alex Ferguson.

    Damn i’m going to have to stop smoking those experimental ciggies.

  398. Nah, it would be Dios-thee-a.

  399. the signs are there for all to see..

    his assumed higher intelligence

    The alignment of the 3 Ars-es

    His vitruvian man pose amongst the manc fans

    the Devil football the team plays

    should I go on..

  400. stop before it’s to late KS

  401. If you think that I am going to be drawn on the code, you can think again. I wasn’t born yesterday you know. Far from it.

  402. destroy him for he knows what he does..

  403. They’ve drawn the code onto Frank! Memento tattoo stylee. Find Frank and we find the code.

  404. hmm he wasnt born yesterday…

    18.01.2010 hmmmmmm, what is far from that???

    It’s Jaffa Oranges isn’t it! He must have a fruit stall, GET HIM!

  405. I think you need to read more carefully, LimparAssist. How can you expect to progress if you don’t concentrate.

  406. You have all the days prior to 18th January to choose from, Els. Actually I did have a fruit and veg stall at one time.

  407. nasirjonesnasri

    Bahamadia and David Villa.

  408. Please don’t question our methods frank. Why don’t you just come in, maybe we can cut you a deal, your just delaying the inevitable.

  409. I see! Frank will be drawn on to the code using the Turin Shroud method. If you believe that Frank will be drawn on to the code – then you will be able to ‘think’ again. In this way, the code will set you free.

  410. nice Bahamadia vid Nas haven’t heard that *itch for years..

  411. Here’s one for you..

    Wenger and the Devil..

  412. – – – – – – – – -Fabianski – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Sagna – Campbell – Sylvestre – Traore
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – -Eastmond – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – Merida – – – – Denilson – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Walcott – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -Vela
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – -Eduardo – – – – – – – – – –

    A blend of youth and experience for the Stoke game.

    With JET, Sanchez and Franny Coquelin coming off the bench.

  413. RVP Click Click Click

  414. Nice Limpar, but i’d swap Eddy for JET.

    Which is just youth, youth, youth.

    They deserve it, and they can win with that.

  415. nasirjonesnasri

    Thanks, KS. Classic mid 90’s DJ Premier ish.

    And good looking on that Gil Scott Heron joint. That’s some pretty spooky stuff.

  416. Nice team KS,

    Young Franny could even slot into right back.

    No Sanchez? What??


  417. Nope. I am staying out here. Safer.

  418. Limpar assist- wouldn’t gilbert play right back? I think sagna needs a rest….

  419. —–almunia–
    ….for bolton

  420. Come in, dearie, come in. You’ll be safe here.

  421. Gilbert`s just gone out on loan Zap

    I agree with your team tomorrow. We have to be careful with TR7

  422. Rules is rules, don’t go there
    Stay on sale like a old coat made of mohair ..

  423. What’s this? My mohair coat has to go as well?

  424. What is a mo anyway? No don’t tell me I think I know. Do they make coats out of their hair though? Outrageous.

  425. hahaha you think that’s air you’re breathing..

  426. The only danger I foresee in the game tomorrow are sendings off, or is it sending offs or sendings offs? Especially if the Bolton players pick up where they left off.

  427. Or is it left offs or lefts off of lefts offs?

  428. I like it Frank .. the carcass is almost resurrected..

    it will help to clean the crud out your 3rd eye..

  429. My only fear is that players will be sent off.

  430. Actually, that’s not true. I also fear that one of our players will run on to the pitch wearing my mohair coat.

  431. lol..killing me..u are…guys u


  432. …and that Wenger will give the post-match interview wearing my chinos, or my artificially distressed denim jeans, or my jumper with a shirt collar sewn into the neck, or my false hood.

  433. I don’t think Wenger would tell a falsehood, but he might wear one. After all, nobody predicted the turtle neck.

  434. Pz

    If it’s a mo-hare coat, it will probably run onto the pitch by itself. And then land a couple of punches on you if you try to catch it.

    Arsene’s anklebiters are playing in the FA Youth Cup tonight. Send out the good vibes!

  435. I love the turtleneck on Arsene. Very 1960s Monte Carlo.

  436. Sol is such a lovely man. Even if he doesn’t get a game he’s a great character for us to have around the club, pushing the young ‘uns on.

  437. That’s how Sol sees his role, certainly, LA. Btw, does he mind which side of a CB pairing he plays?

  438. hello, anyone following the youth cup?

  439. FG, seem to remember Campbell playing on the right-side of the two when he partnered Keown, and then on the left-side when he was with Toure – so maybe he just gets on with it, any which way!

  440. Could Sol win the league at White Hart Lane – again?!

  441. @ LA
    That’s good – then he can fill in for either TV or Gallas, no problem.

    @ notlager
    I’m afraid we’re two goals down already. On the up side, it’s still early and we are playing at home.

  442. we’re two goals down. hm….

  443. I didn’t realise the game started so early notlager. Arsenal are two goals down already – two long balls over the top of the defence, our achilles heel. Ipswich do seem to be the bogey team for the under 18’s although this Arsenal team is quite young and inexperienced and also haven’t played together for a while due to snow causing the cancellation of the last 2 fixtures.

  444. FG, it sounds like we’re really pressing for a goal, but I expect Ipswich will now play the 10 men behind the ball game to protect what they’ve got.

  445. thanks Fun and Passenal.

    Come on young Gunners.

  446. @ Passenal

    That’s what it looks like – with luck, they’ll tire or lose concentration. We seem to be making chances, at least.

  447. Please let’s get at least one back before half-time. COYYG!!!

  448. I think they just got caught cold due to the fact the team have not played for weeks. Now that they have had a chance to settle they seem to be dominating. Such a shame about the start, but if they are anything like the senior side, they could turn this one around.

  449. Yes, it’s been weeks, hasn’t it? Real test of character for them now, though.

    Who do want to go through in the CC – ManU or Man City? I’d like City to go through but lose in the final to Aston Villa.

  450. Oh and Rooney to get booked for diving again.

  451. “If it’s a mo-hare coat, it will probably run onto the pitch by itself. And then land a couple of punches on you if you try to catch it.”

    I’m not sure I like to M.O. of these hares.

  452. I forgot about the CC. I don’t really care to be honest FG although I agree I don’t want either of them to win the thing even as unimportant as it is!

  453. I didn’t think I cared who won but actually I so detest seeing Man U win anything that City just get my vote. Either to lose the final please.

  454. Not looking good for the youths, only a few minutes to go plus injury time and still no break through.

  455. God Rooney is so despicable.

  456. Did you see that penalty by Tevez ?! LMAO

  457. This is agonising – they seem to keep having chances but it’s just not going in for them

  458. What did Rooney do, steww?

  459. One thing the commentary is showing me is how biased in favour of manu they all are. I always assumed it was purely an anti Arsenal bias but actually they are also extraordinarily in love with saf and his vile gang.

  460. Speaking of hair, I notice Giggs has started dying his. There’s even a suspicion that he has a hairpiece, as his bald-spot is smaller than it used to be.

  461. We’ve lost. I’m so disappointed for them.

  462. Perhaps he’s transplanting the excess hair from his chest, Pz?

  463. FG – just his reaction to the penalty, the way he had to be restrained from swearing and yelling at the ref. Just his horrible face really.

  464. They’ll come back stronger next year.

  465. Our kids, I mean, obviously!

  466. The boys are out of the youth cup. Such a shame, they couldn’t come back from those two early goals despite a sterling effort.

  467. steww

    usual Rooney behaviour, then!

  468. Maybe he’ll get himself sent off? One can only hope!

  469. Man City’s midfield is awful. I’ve never seen so many passes go astray.

  470. Yes FG, nothing out of the ordinary. Never thought I’d have any sympathy for someone like Craig Bellamy but the loathing I nurture Manu is too deep and permanent. Took me a couple of years to really detest the new Chelsea – it’ll probably be the same with city.
    I don’t dislike everyone who isn’t Arsenal, I respect Fulham and what Moyes has done at Everton and I like that Steve Bruce has always had such public respect for Arsene. But that drunken old red nosed hypocrite and his revolting rabble can rot for all I care.

  471. Now if that’s a penalty John Terry would be out of a job…..If I didn’t hate Man Ure so much I would feel sorry for them.

    Muppet what was Rooney saying to Tevez? Tevez replied in the best way and gave him the “you talk too much hand”.Loved it!

  472. Very well said, Steww.

  473. FG, as usual, Fletcher is always screaming at the referee along with Rooney, sometimes even more (like when they played Chelsea, I thought Fletcher was the one protesting all the time, yet Rooney was booked for it).

    Good job by VdS to calm Rooney down, but then wasting time and getting booked.

    Did the commentators say it was a wrong call? Guardian’s live-text does.

    I wonder if they know the rules?

    “if a defender starts holding an attacker outside the penalty area but continues holding inside the penalty area, the referee shall award a penalty kick”

    Click to access law_12_fouls_misconduct_en_47379.pdf

    Page 15

    Also a penalty could have been awarded earlier as well.

  474. why didn’t the ref book rooney?

  475. Polizi wrote: Man City’s midfield is awful. I’ve never seen so many passes go astray.

    I think the midfield is not that awful as a whole, but Barry is again awful. I don’t remember when he’s last played really well for City, maybe in the first 5-6 league games?

  476. Tevez was certainly wound up Gooner4Life !

  477. who do u guys want to win?

  478. loved the rant, steww

  479. I know what you mean Steww. With Man U Vs City, its a case of who to detest the least. Man U are historically hated by Arsenal fans but nobody likes to see the new rich kid in town trying to buy up premier league places. The only good thing is that City are United’s local rivals and its good to that mob squirming a bit. So all in all, Come on city! Loved Teves’ reaction to scoring as well.

  480. Matty, how did Tevez react? I thought he didn’t want to celebrate?

  481. Games where I think I’m neutral usually take a goal to tell me who I’m supporting and I celebrated the penalty.
    Anaconda – no one at the BBC seems to know that rule. like they don’t know the offside rule. Or rules in general.

  482. Boy did he react! He wheeled away with a double fist pump and then put his hand up to make a sort of talking mouth sign (not sure how to describe it and not sure who it was aimed at but I hope it was Gary Neville or Fergie or all Man U fans) 🙂

  483. Matty Boy, I think it was for Rooney who went to yap at him before he took the penalty.

  484. I thought i didn’t care who won this one until Tevez cracked the penalty and I involuntarily started to do this sort of evil cackle. I then knew who my true loathing was reserved for.

  485. Anaconda – you are right, that makes sense now. I so wanted it to be Gary Neville or ALL Utd fans 🙂

  486. Given is quite good isn’t he? I hope Darren Fletcher gets toothache. Or something equally painful.

  487. Tevez! 2-1 – another great celebration even though he said he wouldn’t. Naughty boy 🙂

  488. Man Citeh 2-1 Man U

  489. A draw over the 2 legs + extra time would be perfect for the Mancs. let them beat the crap out each other.Second leg is on the 27th Jan. While they are still wombling on their legs We will floor them whith a nock out left jab from Arshavin on the 31st Jan.
    While I’m typing this Tevez adds the second, Manure are absolute shit

  490. Another goal for the vampire bat. He’s in a different class to the other players on that pitch.

  491. hey 1 loose cannon-

    surely manu losing will knock down their confidence?

  492. that was shite goalkeeping..van der saar should’ve come out for that…not that i’m complaining 😉

  493. Who writes these football scripts. Give them a Man Booker prize. All we need now is An innocuous Rooney injury.

  494. Matty, lol.

  495. haha that’s quite funny- my stream hasn’t got the rights to the bbc(obviously) so they’ve copied and pasted their logo over the bbc’s! Also the other day my stream cut out and there was a warning sign on my screen saying you cannot view this content-

    the guy at the stream’s hq frantically tried to get it back- so funny…

    i also saw a dog the other day and it barked at me. beat that poliziano.

  496. Fergie, sign him up now.

  497. “surely manu losing will knock down their confidence?”

    See, I’m on the fence with this one…I’d like United to go to the CC final and lose to Aston Villa. Keeping them busy till then would be good for us. I think a 2-2 draw in this match would be ideal…

    I doubt that United are like Liverpool…if they lose out on the CC, I’d bet that they’ll try even harder for the league and they do have the players, and manager, to make it a problem for us.

  498. What’s up Zap. Happy today? I didn’t see any of the African cup this year the timing is difficult. How is it so far? Any impressive new players?
    I can’t wait to play Yanited. The form their in is perfect for an all time humiliation.

  499. TEVEZ!!!!!

  500. hey…i’m allright mate… there have been some incredible goalkeeping howlers this acn, have u seen any of them?!!

    Algeria are through, only just- we lost 3-0 to malawi then 1-0 against mali then 0-0 vs angloa

  501. ..sorry i meant to say we beat mali 1-0..

    yes i agree as long as citeh keep it tight manure will be tired..

    also do u know if away goals count in the carling cup?

  502. oh oh, oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh ohhhhh, oh ohhhh, oh ohhhhh, ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Sylvinio!

  503. Zap- I can’t remember one decent African goalie they just don’t do goalkeeping over there. I didn’t see any game unfortunately. How did Song got on?
    Dear me, Valencia has just missed a sitter

  504. “Fergie time” is back on the menu 5 min extra time

  505. Fergie time….. 5 minutes. Its almost the done thing home or away now for Utd. New rule from FIFA: If Fergie is present at a game anywhere in the world, add five minutes.

  506. song is doing very well, carrying his arsenal form into angola…

  507. I forgot it was over two legs. 2-1 to Man U at home, please, then extra time and penalties.

  508. fergie time over yet?

  509. Full Time. YES!! Can’t wait to laugh in the faces of all the man u fans around me who have given me hell these last few years…not too long before they start looking to glory-hunt someone else. hahaha

  510. FunGunner- and let the penalties go on for ever..

  511. …well, until 4.00 Jan 31st

  512. Yep, game over. 2-1 City. I agree FG, extra time at old trafford would be good. Tired legs, penalties and heartbreak for Utd please.

  513. I don’t know, anaconda. The Man. City midfield looked rather poor to me, although Kompany redeemed himself to some extent later on.

  514. Post match interview: Carlos Tevez is like an untrained Monkey.

  515. Was this the 1st or 2nd leg?

  516. 1st leg as the original game was postponed due to the snow.

  517. How come Tevez still can’t speak english?

  518. hahaha 1lc- Gunner4ever this was the 1st leg, 2nd will be played on the 27th, a few days b4 The Arsenal face manu

  519. celebrating mancini almost missed rednose on his way out..

    must be a foreign thing..

  520. Thanks Matty….cool, so they still have to grind it at OT

  521. And we thought our referees were bad:

  522. Perfect Zap…but we will beat the Mancs anyway.

  523. I can’t believe this man is the manager of Bolton!

    Coyle said: ‘For me, you have to recognise that Chelsea and Manchester United are good sides, but the purist in me? Yes, I would like to see Arsenal win it. They play the way I like to see football played.

    ‘The way they pass the ball … they don’t play in straight lines. They pop up in different areas that can hurt you.

    ‘When you think of the fluency they had at the start of the season before the injuries, they looked superb. Then you had people writing them off. They were 11 points behind at one stage and they weren’t so much written off as totally dismissed.

    ‘Their position now speaks volumes for the way Arsene has galvanised them now they are through the injury situation they had with some of their top players.

    ‘The purist in me would see a lot of merit in the way they play and gain success, and that success is deserved for the way they go about it.’

  524. Mancini is entitled to shake hands with whoever he likes lol.

    I think away goals count too so if Man U win 1-0 at OT they go through. Hopefully it will go to extra time and pens.

  525. mancs are poor as hell…i know this is cliched but they really are a mediocre team without ronaldo…their defense is utter shite…watch how we dismantle them at emirates..just hope fab stays fit though!! we’re a different midfield altogether when he’s playing!

  526. Carling Cup away goals only count after extra time.

  527. Damn right, Owen!

  528. @ matty

    if united are 1-0 up , it’ll still go to extra time

  529. Now just tell your players to play football…

  530. oh, thanks dupsffokcuf…emperor gooner- i agree- the result vs manu will be different if cesc isn’t playing. Please….i will feel so confident going into the game with or without him but- we need him to dtrengthen the mid and score aswell!

    Bentdner is back vs Villa, by the way-

    any thoughts on who will be dropped for the crucial games- Bentdner, Walcott, Arshavin, Eduardo, Vela to choose from in the front 3- tough choice. I would play Diaby-Bendtner-Eduardo for villa in particular.

    I hate to say it but andrei would be innefective in such a physical battle.

  531. Passenal, I think the way Burnley played until he departed to Bolton speaks on his behave. They played very good football even though with very limited resources and less technical abilities, but they still managed to play some football.

    My concern is, will he be able to change the way Bolton played for year and years? Can he actually get someone like Elbow Davies to play actual football?

    Remains to be seen.

  532. Passenal, he just wants Jack on loan. 😉

  533. Passenal..haha. I hope bolton change, so we can play against something other than dross twice a year. Also who saw Stoke vs Liverpool- the worst game i have ever seen!!

    Actually not the worst, there was a match where in saudi arabia players were forced to play during ramadan, they were all fasting and were all exhausted- that was the worst

  534. Seriously I really like Coyle. But if he’s such a purist why leave Burnley and become manager of Bolton Footbrawl club? Perhaps he’s also an idealist.

  535. Notlager…good point, he wants Jack badly 🙂

  536. That was a classy statement from Coyle. Props to him for saying that.

  537. Cardiff 1-0 Bristol City.

    f.a cup ties to look out for this weekend:

    P.N.E vs Chelsea
    Reading vs Burnley
    Spurs vs Leeds

    and of course our one.

  538. Admirable words from Coyle, but I’m afraid it’s like putting the Pope in charge of a brothel.


    Nice article, if a bit OTT. It looks like the Sports Journalist of the Year award has seriously gone to his head.

  540. Coyle is a former Bolton player, so it’s probably a romantic desire to return home that had something to do with his motivation. But judging by Sunday’s performance, he’s got a long road ahead of him to turn those sows ears into silk purses!

  541. I hope Bolton get relegated so we’re finally rid of that nuisance.

  542. Anybody notice an interesting stat from the weekend. Most consistent pass rate completion in the premiership – Eduardo 96% – 26 passes.

    Don’t suppose the hacks will notice this. Ian McGarry from the screws – “Chelsea have Droba”, “Liverpool have Torres”, “Manchester United have Rooney”, “Who do Arsenal have ?”

    Well Ian McGarry – Arsenal have Eduardo. But we also have Van Persie, and we also have Bendtner, and we also have Walcott.

    But watch out for Eduardo.

  543. Don’t sleep on Carlos Vela, Muppet.

    What a squad Arsene Wenger has assembled.

  544. No – of course not. He will come good as well.

  545. Muppet, I can’t stop watching Arsenal’s first goal against Bolton…it was an amazing piece of play between Cesc & Eduardo….people are concentrating more of course on Cesc because he scored it…but Eduardo’s flick with the heel side of his foot was just as clever as the goal itself.

  546. nice stat Muppet , I remember Van Persie was pretty amazed that Eduardo hardly lost the ball in his 1st match back..

  547. Eduardo9 Click Clack Clack

  548. Absolutely G4E, Kitchen Sink.

    Eduardo is dynamite. But because he was bought for a modest fee, the hacks turn their attention to the crock Torres, who has scaled Liverpool to the dizzy heights of 7th this season.

  549. where did you got that stat from muppet?

    dudus finishing this season has left a lot to asking

  550. Has anybody listened to the Guardian podcast?

    Make sure you are sitting down before you read this and have someone with you who can look after you..

    Barney Ronay actually praised Arsenal for being in the title race and running the club the right way. Barry Glendenning even went as far as saying he hopes we win it.

    I swear that is the first time I have heard anyone journo or pundit admit that we are the only ones running the club correctly and still in the title race.

    About fricking time.

  551. Well, how goes the saying? credit where credit is due!

  552. These journos are just following the herd in praising Arsenal. Most don’t have any originality in their thinking.

  553. @ Zap,

    Ummm, Kolo plays during Ramadan, doesn’t he. In fact, there are studies (links not handy atm) that have shown that with the correct break-fast diet and exercise regime top athletes can still fast and play at the top level.

    The reason that game was crap was probably because Saudi players are generally crap

  554. Anyway, what is the deal with Vela? Doesn’t seem like Arsene fully trusts him. He’s surely the bottom of the stack as far as Wenger is concerned. When he was talking about Bendtner’s injury he talked about having one fit forward. Either Vela is seen as a midfielder or for some reason he’s dropped down a bit in Arsene’s esteem?

  555. Andy E at 5.42am

    I would always bet against NBA player Olajuwon during Ramadan when his team when they were playing back-to-back games. Didn’t work (see below)

    Olajuwon was still recognized as one of the league’s elite centers despite his strict observance of Ramadan (e.g., abstaining from food and drink during daylight hours for about a month), which occurred during virtually every season of his career. Olajuwon was noted as sometimes playing better during the month, and in 1995 he was named NBA Player of the Month in February, even though Ramadan began on February 1 of that year.

    On a side note, Olajuwon said playing football as a boy in Nigeria helped him develop the agility and footwork to become a great basketball player. Growing to 7 ft didn’t hurt either.

  556. btw, that long paragraph should have been in quotation marks.

  557. Mean Lean.

    I’m not always his biggest fan, but Setanta’s Pat Dolan has frequently stepped up to defend Arsenal. He was on our books as a teenager, but he has always stood up for the Arsenal way and Arsene’s management.

  558. Gunners will surely take 3 points at Emirate Stadium but I expect them to play safe because they clearly understood Bolton’s ability. Wenger’s side is confident to control the match after leading so Gunners will stop fire after score 2s and Bolton may has a chance to steal a goal in last minute.

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