Arsenal 4 Bolton 2: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Arsenal 4 – 2 Bolton Wanderers

0 – 1 Cahill (6)
0 – 2 Taylor (28 pen)
1 – 2 Rosicky (43)
2 – 2 Fabregas (52)
3 – 2 Vermaelen (65)
4 – 2 Arshavin (85)

Hey boss, you’ve been telling everyone how good we are. Do you really believe that?
Mais oui, mon petit capi
Arsene leaves dressing room
Right lads, give ’em a two goal head start…and then we’ll marmalise ’em

This Wasn’t In The Script

Were that it was so simple. With the summit of the Premier League at stake, a Dury-esque moment almost overcame Arsenal with a bout of first night nerves on this one night stand. Fortunately this morning, we are not discussing What A Waste last night was although it could quite easily have been so. Champions, we are frequently told, are made of steel and can retrieve losing situations. Arsenal gave another indication that they have the mental resilience to bridge the gap between winners and the rest.

Of course, there is a counter-argument that they should not have allowed a two-goal deficit to emerge in the first place. A sluggish start was duly punished by Gary Cahill’s sixth minute opener. That it was self-inflicted to a certain extent is as much the issue, the ball not cleared initially by Diaby before Clichy hoisted an ‘an up and under‘ as the late, lamented Bill McLaren would have said. Davies unsurprisingly won the resulting header, the ball falling for Cahill to swing at and bury past Almunia. Before that and immediately aftewards, the Arsenal strikeforce and midfield forced saves from Jaaskelainen.

Almunia was called into action rarely but when required, made the saves, a strong right hand turning away Taylor’s freekick as the first quarter of the match passed and he very nearly prevented the same player from doubling the visitors advantage from spot after Denilson had clumsily challenged Lee. No argument from anyone about the decision is possible but the criticism of Almunia for failing to stop the kick is baffling. A penalty should never be missed and when they are, it is down to the poor technique of the taker. If a goalkeeper is able to take advantage of that, fair enough but to if not, the outcome is only as it should be.

If the first goal penned Bolton into their own half, the second saw Arsenal fencing them in, herding them like sheep by recovering possession quickly. Errors abounded, Davies fortunate to see his header hit his own bar with the ‘keeper stranded and then bounce to safety.

The Charge Of The Slight Brigade

More shots peppered the goal but still the breakthrough would not come until half-time approached, Rosicky shepherded wider on the right of the area by Knight hit a powerful shot to the near post, the only part of the goal he could see. Jaaskelainen was apparently unaware of the Czech’s abilities to find a good strike, watching in awe as it flew into the net.

I wonder whether Arsene re-iterated Graham Taylor’s infamous half-time team talk. On entering the dressing room as his Aston Villa charges trailed by two goals at Crewe in an FA Cup tie, the much lambasted former England boss walked over, took a seat and said, “Gentlemen, you got us into this mess. You get us out of it.

Within seven minutes of the restart, that was completed. Gallas gave the ball away midway in the Bolton half and went in late on Davies, who had been effective in the midfield battle as Coyle sought to smother – unsuccessfully – Arsenal. The ball pinged its way to Fabregas, Bolton had every opportunity to clear as the Spaniard and others bundled into the area, taking advantage of ricochets. When the shooting opportunity came, the angle was acute and the gap between Jaaskelainen’s legs wide enough for the ball to be passed into the net.

One way traffic beforehand became unstoppable, momentum behind the home team. Eventually the pressure told as the Bolton defence crumbled. The third was inevitable and it fell to Thomas vermaelen in an almost carbon copy of Cahill’s opener, the difference being that the Belgian let the ball bounce across his body before decent technique allowed him to half volley the ball home via the upright.

The third was the signal for the side to take a breather of sorts and to close out the match, which they were successful in doing. Pressure continued on the visitors, Fabregas denied a clear penalty for the third time in the two matches against Bolton when Jaaskelainen brought him down. The lack of awareness of the rules on the part of officials and pundits is alarming; it is irrelevant if the ball is heading out of play, that Fabregas had it under control before the Bolton custodian fouled him means that a penalty is instantly awarded. Obviously not if you are Alan Wiley.

The top of the league for the first time since the opening month of the season still beckoned, Arshavin the one to accept the invitation. Similar to Fabregas’ goal, the ball was bundled through weak and ineffective challenges before the opening arrived, the Russian burying the chance enthusiastically.

It sparked Arsenal into life, a fifth almost added when Vela sent Arshavin away. Walcott accompanied him in a 2 v 1 break, waiting for the pass, staying onside. The Russian decided otherwise and looked to be scoring one of the goals of the season until his finish let him down. Walcott was despondent but had no guarantee of scoring either.

The win showed the lessons of the past have been learned. No longer can teams with lowly positions come to The Emirates, mass the midfield and shut out Arsenal on a regular basis. Belief in the style of play, adherence to passing will bring results eventually. Sometimes, route one can be mixed in. Confidence though is high and not surprising with an eleven point gap removed until Chelsea play their game in hand. That home defeat to the second placed team seems a long time ago suddenly.

It Was Late And Bad

There can be no defence for the tackle which started the move which led to Fabregas’ equaliser, even if the incident was unintentional on Gallas’ part. The tackle was bad. If you hand out criticism when a player is the recipient, you take it as an offender.

Sarcasm from Coyle about the event, “The fact the referee’s not seen that, and the lad’s prostrate on the ground, and Arsenal being full of ‘fair play’ as we keep hearing yet carried on playing and score on the break“, shows a lack of understanding and gross hypocrisy on his part.

The amount of fouls suffered by Arsenal is ignored, save to ridicule Wenger for complaining. That it was one of his own players who suffered is not particularly surprising given his captain stoked up the matches by claiming before Sunday’s encounter that ‘Arsenal scream like little girls‘ after tackles. The lack of intelligence in his own leader on the pitch shone through although Davies is proof that little talent is no bar to having a long professional career.

As for not stopping the move, Fifa removed the ‘Sporting Behaviour‘ rule after it was seen to be abused and, let’s be honest, Bolton get little enough possession of the football in matches as it is, so if they kicked the ball out every time they fouled someone, their dwindling crowds would diminish further, failing to see their ‘heroes‘ kick the ball save for restarts. A signal that Arsenal are treating others as they are treated themselves. I believe it is called ‘English Grit‘ by pundits, something we have been accused of lacking.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Villa did win the cup-tie, 3 – 2 at Gresty Road. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 21, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 380 Comments.

  1. first at last! Good analysis yogi!

  2. Well said man.Now let’s prepare for the rest of the league as EVERY TEAM from here on will say, ‘top of the league my foot;let’s see what you got Arsenal’. If games have been must-wins till now, they become cup finals from here on.

    Hope we can deplete that treatment room;its congested! Pls either reinforce or rotate;how can we lose Diaby again? For how long and who replaces him?Injuries have forced Wenger into the market before, so sorry but they may do so again! Certainly we cant lose Diaby;not when he’s finally repaying Wenger’s faith in him. Loan deals needed in midfield and attack if at the worst.

    From here on, every game may require the same grit and tenacity that the two Bolton games demanded.They have set a tone for us but we dont concede anymore ‘silly’ goals.

    Well done gunners! Long may the summit reign continue!

  3. Steven it’s hard to rotate when you have no spare players.

  4. Bergkamp Ghoulfest

    Thanks for finishing the Graham Taylor story. I LOVE dressing room speeches. Wonder what Wenger said to the guys this time? “GET IT SORTED!”, a la Liverpool earlier this season?

  5. Splendid as always, Yogi.

    As for Chris Smalling, this one sounds on target, if only because it is such a classic Wenger move.

    All the attention is on the other 6 ft 4 in (ok 6ft 5in) Fulham defender. Arsene justs moves in on the younger, more agile version of Hangeland.

    He’s English, and Arsene is definitely looking at more English players in Arsenal’s future. Whether it’s to do with a particularly good crop, or possible UEFA changes, it’s looking like Arsenal’s squad will have a more English look to.

    If true, I’m not sure if this indicates that Arsene is worried about losing Gallas or whether he wants Smalling to have a year or two of adjustments. Hopefully, our 4 central defenders next year will be Gallas, Vermaelen, Djourou and Smalling, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

    But there’s no doubt that Arsene will have pulled another magical bait and switch move if this comes to fruition.

  6. adjustment not adjustments!

  7. Go Tunisia Go! Send Alex Song home in time to face Villa!!

  8. It was a 50/50 Gallas was entitled to go in and if he had not gone in hard, he ran the risk of being hurt himself.

    Davies stretched slightly further and got there a fraction ahead, by winning the ball he received the impact that Gallas had intended to deliver to the ball.

    No question of intent to hurt.

    The litmus test should always be intent. Was it a genuine attempt to win the ball.

    For that reason, i think it is wrong to condemn Gallas.

  9. QOS

    Agreed, but also no need dismiss or even celebrate the player’s injury as some did yesterday.

  10. California Gooner and Steww (from the previous thread):

    I think you both missed my point. Of course I’m ecstatic, but I was just saying that people who focused on the 11 point difference were being overly pessimistic.

    We’ve done tremendously well to haul back Chelsea no matter what, but a 5-8 point swing in 9 games isn’t as much of an achievement as actually being top of the table after 22 games when everyone wrote us off.

  11. Overall a great display of desire from the team.

    Even though we struggled earlier to break down bolton, the movement of our offensive players around the bolton box completely bamboozled the bolton players as the match grew up on us.

    The Fabregas equaliser can never be termed as the turning point of the match as it was quite evident that we were going to score the equaliser and then bang on more goals.

    It can get any better.

    We are topping the league.. Yeaaaaaaaaah!

  12. Against the likes of Blackburn, Everton, Stoke, Hull and other English clubs who plays the British game, I would put Sol Campbell in and play Vermaellen as left back or defensive midfielder. In Champions League against European team, we can cope with Gallas and Vermaellen at the back

  13. “Tiny” Gallas isn’t that sort of player.

  14. On the Gallas incident listen to Davies BBF commentator friend and claims Gallas ‘went straight for the ankle of Davies not the ball’ when he has no idea what the hell was going on in Gallas’s mind when he went for the ball. P**** me right off.

  15. the commentators for the game on the stream i caught up was abominable as they went on and on the foul committed by Gallas.

  16. yeah. I like the Gallas isn’t that sort of player reference

    LOL. “Tiny indeed”

    But truly, he isn’t that sort of player!

    Very nice indeed to be on top of the league and no matter what negatives people pull out, it is a well ginded out come back and to be able to come back from 2 goals down and win emphatically is the stuff champions are made of isn’t it? Its a lot tougher than straight 2 – 0 win where we would have heard the opposition was “only” Bolton!

    Those that are waiting for us to bottle it will continue to be on their own while we match on to our treble!

  17. Is Kevin Davies english if so why is he allocated the donkey role up front for the national team instead of Heskey? He has perfected the art of the ‘flick on’ and ‘elbow charge’. Come on England call the lad up it he light up WOZA 2010.

  18. Gentle Gallas.

  19. Absolutely correct QoS. No intent.

    Yes’ it was a foul. End of. Nothing like the foul on Eddy which was deliberate and malicious. Waiy for the comparisons being made in the media though.

    On the highlights programme on Sky last night, we were told that “..it was the sort of challenge that Arsenal are the first to moan about..”

    Get over it. We are top.

  20. If two players running headlong and head on commit to a 50-50 ball one of them always gets hurt. That is football at any level.

  21. maria the highlights u attached says i cant play cos am in Nigeria! Not fair, pls attach neutral highlights

    LOL

  22. Yes it was a bad tackle!

    No it wasn’t malicious, just ill timed!

    Yes Gallas should have been booked and a free kick awarded to Bolton….

    But the ref played on, you play to the whistle and Bolton had three / four chances to still clear the ball!

    SO COME ON ARSENAL!

  23. “In fairness to Arsenal, they had no complaints when Everton almost scored earlier this month after Denilson lost possession and went down with a back injury.”

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/sport/jeremywilson/100004932/mark-davies-paid-the-price-for-breakdown-in-trust-between-footballers/#comments

    finally someone making some sense.

    @lagooner
    yeah you are right. i feel ashamed that i was one of those rejoicing over the injury. ok rejoicing wasnt the word. but i was shouting at my screen when the commentators were saying that he was staying down. and when we scored, i was shouting: take that you s**ker.

    or maybe the word started with a f. i can’t really remember.

    but yesterday was a hell of a game, and things got emotional. the top spot meant so much.

    but yeah, you are right, it was immature.

  24. Oh and Sky are really going over the top about it today!

    Despite in one instance they now report that AW has reviewed the tackle and agrees it was a bad challenge…….they still manage to follow it up with endless slow motion re-runs of the tackle with AW post match comments saying “I did not see it’ accompanying it!”

    Get over it Sky!…….

  25. Honestly, believe it or not I saw it happening as it did. I thought they’d score first, we’d equalise, they’d score again, we’d peg them back again, then we’ll just flood them with 3 goals. My prediction for the game was 5-2.

    When it became 2-0, I knew we’d win 4-2 and predicted it on twitter. You should read my tweets and become a millionaire :))

  26. what if the FA intervenes, as they love to, and sanction gallas? you know the video replay and shit.

  27. It was a 50/50 no intent but nevertheless it looked nasty if it had happend against us we would be upset. But it didn’t, it happend to bolton who dish it out, especially to us. Davies especially hasn’t got a leg to stand on (haha) did anybody hear him scream?

    If last night didn’t dispell the rumour we can’t compete physically then nothing will. I have to admit I liked seeing that as unfortunately it’s a sad fact but about 50% of the teams we play will try and give us that treatment. So this just proves we can handle ourselves fine thank you very much when need be, but for the most part we’ll just stick to our fantastic wengerball.

    This team can do it all, and win it all.

  28. I am sure that the FA in all their hypocritical righteousness will call Gallas to a ‘hearing’ and he will receive a ban.

  29. no7 we will survive whatever strategy they try to use to derail us this time… it wont be 07/08 afresh hence am rather happy that we are the ones coming over to claim top sot rather than the ones who have been on top for so long!

  30. Bergkamp Ghoulfest

    Anyone heard the “Dzeko was at the stadium rumours”? Some bloke posted a comment to that effect during Arseblog’s live blog, which most people thought was a prank.

    Now Myles has put something similar on ANR (tenuous, yes), and some other Arsenal forum has a similar story.

    I know it’s wrong to believe these rumours, but I really wouldn’t mind a giant Bosnian goalscorer to really solidify our title credentials…

  31. i read “a brilliant orange” by david winner. it is a great book on the dutch and their total football.

    in it, ruud krol was interviewed. and he said: we could play any style, beautiful or physical.

    however beautifully they played, they were always prepared to play hard with opponents who tried to bully them.

    good to see us standing up for ourselves this season. i thought many of our players might be slighter in frame, and yet held their own against more physical players.

    eduardo did very well to hold up the ball with his back to goal yesterday, did anyone notice?

  32. It was not a ‘bad tackle’ as Davies did not have possession of the ball. Both players committed and one of them got hurt. Both actually went for the ball and as one got there a tiny fraction of a second before the other he shifted the ball from the position that the other player was aiming. It was an injury born of a robust and courageous challenge by both players. The Bolton player is not served well by the whinging whining aftermath of his fellow players and manager.

    The baying press and media always have their agenda regardless of the truth….Owen Coyle has proved yet again that the Scots really are not bravehearts.

  33. Bergkamp Ghoulfest

    @TeamSpirit. There are highlights up at Arsenalist which you should be able to watch from Nigeria. (hello from South Africa)

  34. We’ve had tackles as bad at that in the 2 games against Bolton. The only thing here is that the guy is injured.

    What would you say about the guy who kicked Merida 2 minutes after he came on?

  35. I want to tell you a story about Paul Robinson. When I watch him in the 2 games I want to set fire to my television like I did when Dennis missed a penalty against Utd. He doesnt know football, he only knows how to make his legs fat like a big piece of gammon and beat his wife with a bag of potatos. Then he shout abuse at our players til we kicked him off the pitch and told him to go and beat his wife early because he is not a footballer. Anyway, when I see him I will spit on him. I spit so much last night I had to clean my TV with special vinegar and urine mix. I wish I throw the urine on Kevin Davies but he probably would drink it.
    Well done Arsene. Well done the southern softies.
    Say your prayers and we wait for Villa with a big bag of spit.

    Tunday

  36. I don’t like to see injured players jeered as they leave the field as lagooner stated. However, as per the excellent point Yogi made, some of that was brought on by Kevin Davies’ “scream like girls” comments.

    I think some of the jeering was of the “who’s screaming now” variety.

  37. teamspirit

    yeah, it is honestly kinda impossible to lead the premiership from start to finish. so it is better to be top after round 38 😉

    i have confidence in our own ability and desire.

    @bergkamp
    dunno about the rumours, but i live in germany, and i have seen dzeko.

    he has a bit of everything. i saw him fly to meet crosses. not kidding.

    and doesnt he love to score against those circus performers in manchester who have to return their wages?

    the only thing is his price.

    if you ask me, between villa and dzeko, i would take dzeko. villa is world class, but dzeko is still 23.

    i feel that a big part of why dzeko is so good is down to his understanding with misimovic. but hey, we have fabregas. so he would have no problem.

    adebayor scored that many goals because of fabregas and hleb.

  38. not too long ago, everyone else was gushing about chelsea running away with the title.

    has anyone ever read that article by harry harris on soccernet before the chelsea-man u game?

    he said that it was a two-horse race. and should a third contender appear, it would be man city.

  39. Harry Harrison sounds like he eats rat

  40. The jeering was really orchestrated by Jusi. He was show-boating in front of the Arsenal supporters whilst his colleague was being treated….and Taylor set it all off with his celebration at the NorthBank End. The people who really deserved our respect are the people of Haiti and they got that.

  41. Yogi,

    Thanks for the account – it really was superb and very well balanced.

    I endorse the perspective that while we showed great pluck retrieving a poor situation – it still does not paper over the defensive cracks and propensity to shoot ourselves in the foot. Against a better team than Bolton, we would have lost. Nevertheless, we are top of the league and have good momentum heading into some crucial games. But we have been lucky.

    Its very difficult to criticise the referees, especially when injury is feigned or diving takes place, when the relevant associations refuse to adapt technology. Its virtually impossible to tell in a split second whether a player has dived or genuinely fouled. The only reason most punters can form any opinion is due to action replays!

    I thought Wengers handling of the Gallas incident in post match interviews yesterday was masterful. There was definitely no intent. But unlike the Eduardo diving incident, we offered a token apology which has diluted the reaction and hopefully will alleviate any harsh decisions in the coming games. We definitely suffered in not getting many key decisions after the Eduardo incident. The stone wall penalty on AA at Old Trafford just one of many that comes to mind.

    As for transfers – I still think we need a striker that provides an aerial threat especially against the better teams. I’d donate one of my testicles and both of Franks for Dzeko..!!

  42. Frank…

    and our players for the great fight they put up 😉

  43. Blessings to Frank. Do you still believe mother nature is a myth?.. I was thinking about this last night and trying to understand. Anyway how is your jelly fishes?

  44. Arsenal are too small to beat physical teams like Bolton. We lack height to deal with a team that’s the tallest in the league. Arshavin v Zat Knight. No chance for the Russian.

    Arsenal are not in the title race this season.

  45. Wyclef is doing everything he can to help his people in Haiti. Like it says in his song ‘I got 50 Bentleys in the West Indies..’ If he can use the Bentleys to make a big convoy with food and medicine then he will be blessed even if it just helps a few.

  46. Matt Taylor is a graceless little t*rd

    The sort of bloke that would take a dump in your airing cupboard whilst you were out!

  47. Does Gunnersaurus always join the players round the centre circle for minutes of silence?

    It was slightly surreal to see his head bowed as well – not sure if it struck the right tone for me.

  48. ‘Mother Nature’ is a naive term coined by people of an earlier age who were ill-equipped to make sense of the world. We have since moved on although we are still poorly equipped. But we have learned a great deal more, enough to know that ‘Mother Nature’ is a very simplistic concept.

  49. Frank, you know I respect you but that is the biggest load of pseudo intellectual poppycock I have ever heard. Mother Nature simplistic?.. Are you serious?.. Have you ever had a walk in the jungle?, watched a wildlife programme?, been privy to strange, unexplainable synchronicity, looked at the stars?.
    If we as a human race returned to these basic principles of life and ancient knowledge we would be far better off. Technology has only taken us backwards. We are like Lemmings now.

  50. I always say I know when we’re about to concede a goal. It’s when we suddenly can’t clear the ball.

  51. The one thing that really struck me as i was unfortunately forced to watch the highlights was how much the team wanted this. You could see it in ther way they played, their faces, their body language. It was fantastic.

    Cesc was truely right when he said no one wants it more than them.

    Anyone else think it’s shambolic both Sky and BBC radio (despite their excuse about rights) both saw fit to broadcast the same game?

    Then again, listening to Sky’s hyperbolic moaning about Gallas annoyed me no end. No mention of how classy he and Sagna were holding up that tee-shirt in support of Haiti.

  52. Ole you sound like the prophet Jeremiah.

  53. Totally agree about the Gallas incident. Preposterous these reaction indeed.

    http://bigfourza.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/talking-point/

  54. I knew a guy called Jeremiah and he wasn’t a prophet but a barber.

  55. I’m glad we’ve seen the back of The Pansy Division for another year.

  56. You are right about the failure to clear leading to rapidly falling spirits in the home of this Arsenal watcher, Ole.

  57. Its all so predictable with the usual media scum highlighting the Gallas foul at the expense of focusing on a great comeback. Bolton’s filth is washed away in a deluge of biased reporting. I am actually quite pleased that there was a foul in the build-up to the equaliser so Bolton can feel aggrieved at the use of foul-play. I honestly believe that there was no intention to injure on Gallas’ part however, which is in stark contrast to the intentional and persistent fouling that referees have allowed Bolton to perpetrate on us over the years. I didn’t hear any complaints from Fat Sam in 2003 when filthy fouls took Cygan and Ljungberg (especially) out of the game (with no punishment) and this was a big part of why we let a 2-0 lead slip and effectively lost the Title as a result. I also enjoyed Fat Sam being ko’ed of the crap cup and whinging about the ref.

    Its brilliant that we are top but as AW said, we have won nothing yet. Injuries and suspect defending could yet cost us but let’s enjoy what’s happening at the moment.

    I didn’t think that we would be top now so it has come as a nice surprise.

  58. “Information on the commentator Pz wanted to take a hit out on!!!loool”

    Thank you, Maria. I’ve got a steel toe-capped walking boot with his name on it. I’ll cover my foot with vaseline before I put it on. Gale can keep the boot, but I don’t want to have to walk around with that f*cker on the end of my leg until his hospital appointment comes up.

  59. This is at least the 2nd time we have recovered from 0-2. Against Standard Liege away was the first. We were 0-2 after 5 mins. We have a team of Champions.

  60. I think you lack focus, Tunday. There is a tendency for some to assume that previous generations and particularly very old generations have some sort of profound knowledge or wisdom. There is of course no evidence for this. In fact quite the opposite. I would go so far as to suggest that such a view is positively dangerous. Anyone who prefixes any word with ‘pseudo’, except in a very precise and meaningful way is highly likely to be an unclear thinker.

  61. I love the fact that pseudo has a silent ‘P’!

  62. I love lamp.

  63. Bolton don’t like it up them….

  64. Oh fuck I have been pronouncing it wrong all this time.

  65. I have always said Cesc is the captain in name only the real captain of this team is Billy Gallas and he proved it again last night

    That “tackle” was the turning point of the game.About time Bolton got a taste of their own medicene

    .For too long we have had a soft underbelly no more.

    Gallas is a winner

  66. I am very focused my dear friend, and despite your assertions, I simply cannot agree.
    I do not ‘assume’ anything. My subjective opinion is born out of experience and a great deal of study. To say that there is no evidence of profound knowledge or wisdom existing in the ‘old world’ is simply not true. Ancient Egyptian civilization, The Mayans, The Israelites (just of the top of my head..) have all given us knowledge that we are still striving to understand to this day!.. Unfortunately, in this world where everyone lives their life through a facebook account, we are now wholly unreceptive to anything which needs time and enquiry.

    So how can ‘such a view be positively dangerous’ as you state?.. Surely for a society to truly move forward it must examine all the options, and seek truth in whatever guise it may lie. No knowledge is ever ‘dangerous’ and I completely fail to understand where you are coming from with that.

    In short, another pseudo intellectual post of absolute unsupported babble. You wrote 10 lines and didnt say anything. I am fast losing respect for you, even if Jesus loves you/

  67. Luke,

    I think that the last time we came back to win from 2-0 down in the Prem was against ….. Bolton away in March 2008.

  68. 23 March 2008. Having taken the lead through a Sagna header, Arsenal look to be hauling themselves back into the title race after a dismal run of form. After Joe Cole goes down during a Chelsea attack, the ball breaks to Emmanuel Eboue and Arsenal launch a counter with Chelsea outnumbered. However, in a great display of sportsmanship, Eboue puts the ball out of play so Cole can receive treatment. Chelsea take the throw in and Captain Courageous himself, John Terry, showing why he is such an inspiration to young footballers worldwide, returns the gesture and puts a long ball out near Arsenal’s goal-line for a throw, forcing the Gunners onto the back foot. From the resulting throw, Arsenal lose possession and the ball eventually finds its way to an OFFSIDE Didier Drogba, who levels the score, and Chelsea go on to win 2-1

    Fuck fair play. We’ve been burned once, never again

  69. RC

    Totally agree TV has had the plaudits this season but Gallas has been a rock

    Where are all the Toure fans who wanted Gallas kicked out last season?.When will you learn.Arsene Knows

  70. Your last sentence says it all, Tunday.

  71. Larry,

    Going back a bit further, I remember a game v Blackburn at Highbury in 1996 when we put the ball out for one of their players to receive treatment for an injury. Chris Sutton pressured Nigel Winterburn into conceding a corner from the Blackburn throw-in and Gary Flitcroft scored an equaliser from the resulting corner. So what?

    It cost us a place in the Champions League that’s what.

  72. At least you have decided to stop digging that hole. I admire a man who puts his pride aside and admits he is wrong. ( Not like the pigdog Adebayor)

  73. Come now, let people believe what they want to believe… as long as they know Arsene knows best.

  74. You are lost, Tunday

  75. Willy Gallas is my mate. He hates Chelsea.

  76. I agree Gadget!.. I just was responding to Franks kindergarten philosophies. I would rather talk about Arsenal anyday. If Cesc stays fit and Willy and TV can maintain at the back, we have every chance of winning this title!

  77. You are disappointing, Tunday.

  78. If we must discusss Mother Nature as an abstract concept, the flaw in Man’s imagining is that he never considered things beyond the planet. The Universe is an utterly dangerous place. There’s so much out there that can destroy this planet or just wipe us out: from comets to quasars, and so Nature isn’t so motherly afterall, unless your idea of a benevolent mother is a crackwh*re looking for her next fix who just unexpectedly gave birth

  79. That’s not to say that on a micro-scale the concept of mother Nature doesn’t work, because arguably it does. However, it’s not that this planet was made to sustain us, but rather we’ve evolve to survive soley on or in certain parts of this wet rock we call home.

    However, if life can only truely take hold in environments like our then perhaps the nature is quite motherly.

  80. I like the metaphor Gadget hehe.. the fact that nature could wipe us all out in a second surely means that it deserves slightly greater credence than to be called ‘a myth’ .. this is why ‘Mother’ nature, or whatever you choose to call it, is the highest power.. that is all that I am saying. Why is worshipping the sun or the moon any more crazy than worshipping a mythological character from an old book written by man. It is equivalent to future generations worshipping Harry Potter.

    And Frank.. if you wish to engage in discussion (on any topic) I welcome it, but please do not stand on the sidelines and make little quips at me, like Phil Brown.

  81. So Tunday are you James, but just trying hard???

  82. No, Gadget. The invention of space is the fruit of the colonialist’s wish for there to be ever new lands to conquer. The hazards of space were invented as a pretext for the desired conquests. The nature of space itself (as it has been imagined) is the natural consequence of late-capitalist alienation.

  83. Argh this makes my blood boil

    From SkySports
    Paul Robinson has labelled William Gallas’ tackle that resulted in Bolton midfielder Mark Davies being stretchered off as ‘disgusting’.

    The Trotters were left furious when Gallas completely missed the ball and appeared to stand on the 21-year-old’s ankle leaving him needing immediate attention.

    However the challenge went unnoticed by referee Alan Wiley with Arsenal scoring from the resulting attack through Cesc Fabregas to level the scores at 2-2 – Bolton had led 2-0, before the hosts went on to win the game 4-2.

    Trotters manager Owen Coyle described the challenge as an ‘assault’ and questioned the Gunners’ sporting behaviour for failing to put the ball out of play with Davies clearly in agony on the floor.

    “It was a disgusting tackle,” Robinson told the Bolton News.

    “He’s lucky he hasn’t broken his leg.”

    The former Wolves ace is set to have scans on the injury on Thursday but it is believed that the youngster has suffered ankle ligament damage.

    Davies is no stranger to disappointment having picked up a knee injury towards the back end of last season which kept him sidelined for some time.

    Hypocrite.

  84. Great Blop as usual Yogi!

    What a great win last night! When we went down to 2-0 I must admit I was scared as I thought Bolton would play their 11 players in the box and completely close the game!

    The players really went for it and I think it may be the best scenario as it shows great character and will give our players belief! The pressure is on chelsea now!

    Great message to all the team in the league! Arsenal are no kids and are up for the fight!

    Go gunners!!

  85. And I still think the squashy face was disappointing last night. He is a good squad player, and I know we have injuries, but maybe we need to strengthen in the middle. I honestly prefer Eastmond to squashy face on current form. Clichy was also extremely rusty, but the result matters most and we showed huge character to come back and win this game.
    Arshavin neglecting to find Theo at the end was slightly worrying and not really in the Arsenal spirit but we cant blame the little owl face because he is true football genius.

  86. Gibbs out for the season, has to have a bone graft to give him a chance of full recovery. His metatarsal injury wasn’t improving.

  87. Els please stop flirting with me and go back to your comfort zone of cutting and pasting what we all read hours ago.
    I love football like life, but its nice to have a discussion on another topic once in a while. If you do not wish to participate then kindly refrain from insulting me. It is childish and unproductive.

    Blessings.

  88. Ole that is terrible news which had not yet reached me. I just told my little Jimmy and he is very sad (Gibbs is his favourite player, apart from Eboue..)

  89. “The game has gone now, you can’t make a mistimed tackle without getting booked, it’s just ridiculous. I would imagine that in a few years slide tackles will be outlawed” Quotes from Kevin Davis on BBC before last night. So why are they complaining then???

  90. Kevin Davies is diseased ostrich meat as revealed exclusively in yesterdays postings.

  91. Worship’s an interesting concept in itself. Why worship anything? Some would argue it’s down to fear, gratitude, and/or awe, but why actually worship?

    Worshipping out fear is utter cowardice. Out of gratitude and/or awe seem to me to sheer sycophancy. A simple so long and thanks for all the fish should suffice

    Worshipping the Sun or God, in truth there’s no quantifiable difference other than one is undeniably real, whereas as the other’s existence is heavily disputed. But worshiping the sun is just as flawed since part of worshiping is the assumption that the worshiped is: 1) aware of the worship and 2) appreciates such things. To worship the Sun, moon, character in a book, assumes the figure has sentience.

    However, should there be sentience why should your worship matter bit to the figure you’re actually worshipping? “You stop worshipping me, and i’m, gonna kill you”? Granted gratitude is nice, but were I God, worship’s the last thing I’d want since it’d stifle good conversation!

  92. Woah Tunday cast your mind back to yesterday, I think you’ll find that was when the mud slinging was started. And why do you think that by saying you are James, but trying hard is an insult?

    Even if the article had been read and discussed (which as far as I can see it hasn’t) then I still think it has more relevance on this blog than your twisted views on mother nature have.

    Please don’t stipulate to me what I can and Cannot post here. I find my comfort zone discussing anything that interest’s me wether I claim to have knowledge on the subject or not.

    Also fuck off with your little Jimmy talk you fool.

  93. You really haven’t a clue have you, Tunday?

  94. Great, great win yesterday. Didn’t see the match live and had to rely on you guys on ACLF for reports as I labored in the salt pit. But I it delayed on FSC (SKY tv’s little cousin in the US). I must say the commentators and pundits have simply confirmed their “wanker” status with their over-reaction to the Gallas tackle. It was not an intentional foul, simply a 50-50 challenge where Gallas missed the ball as Davies rushed in, catching him on the ankle. It deserved a card, yadda, yadda but to blow it out of proportion is simply b.s.

    I will be a big boy and admit I was premature about Eduardo’s ineffectiveness. He may not be as speedy as say Walcott, and not as lethal as two years ago but but he is a wizard in the box. Those assists are piling up. Go Eduardo, I am eating crow.

  95. coolsteve, great find. please spread this quote through the blogosphere.

  96. Sorry, was that English?.. I mean, English is my 3rd language but its good enough to understand most things.

    Blessings.

  97. Pz I bow before your unrivalled knowledge. Capitalist scum.

    Els, we all know the media are scuzz. Everybody thought it was a fair tackle before the slowed down, zoomed in replays.

    The media are also barstewards for their constant attempt to make Wenger look stupid. The post-match after last night and after the Celtic game were utterly repugnant with the aim of rediculing Wenger. Fortunately he’s far too magnificent to be out done in such a crude manner.

  98. Pz, not calling you capitalist scum there, just lamenting about capitalist scum

  99. Which is the more preposterous:

    Current manager of universally reviled old slutbags Bolton Wanderers – Owen Coyle, claiming his team deserved a draw from a game in which they were roundly slapped, dominated, basted, stuffed, tickled and humiliated by a team of flying super-geniuses, and which resembled at times Fred Astaire attempting to lead Barbar the elephant’s sickly grandfather in a high-speed tap routine.

    Or,

    Universally reviled old slutbag Sam Alladyce claiming it was the referee’s fault his team had conceded six goals?

    I can’t choose between them.

  100. Shotta, eddy is a one of those players that can have a subdued match and then BANG lethal.

    Big of you, good man. But what a game, what was final possesion for the atch?

  101. Goddamn metatarsals. We should start breeding people with unbreakable metatarsals

  102. Hey Gadget!.. Interesting post. I think that worship as a concept is extremely flawed aswell, although many forms of ‘worship’ in ancient society or in modern shamanic cultures are based more on a principle of acknoledgement and a wish for symbiotic existence as opposed to worship itself. One thing that is present there however is the awe factor and you cannot get away from that. Why do you think ‘worship’ through ‘awe’ is sycophantic?…
    For instance, in amazon tribal society, the relationship between man and the plants that surround him is truly symbiotic.. it could easily be argued that the plants and ‘nature’ also ‘gain’ from this relationship… I know its far fetched but merely on a theoretical level. When man puts his ego aside, he realizes that the twig of a tree is far cleverer than he could ever be.

  103. Tunday what didn’t you understand, perhaps I could help.

    Blessings

  104. Great post Yogi

    As you say the Gallas tackle was bad and if it had been against us we would have been screaming blue murder
    How some on here can try to defend it and say it was a 50/50 tackle is blinkered in the extreme

  105. And Els, bringing my little Jimmy who is only 4 years old into a petty argument on the internet is disgusting. Would you like it if I insulted your family, your first born son?.. Thankfully for me it is water off the antelopes back but you should really think about your words in the future. It will bring you happiness.

  106. What utter fucking rubbish, Tunday.

  107. Shotta,

    Im a reasonable person. As such in relation to Eduardo – I forgive you.

    But I do think you owe most of the other posters on here another apology in relation to the “conspiracy theories in your head” that you have, unfortunately, shared with us all.

    Now, do front-up like a good chap!

  108. Thanks Frank. Your contribution to this thread has been enlightening.

    Blessings.

  109. Gibbs out for the season after a filthy tackle and we will not hear any condemnation of the Liege scum who did this. If I remember correctly it was not even the first foul on Gibbs by the same player.

    It says a lot about the game that there a world-wide witchhunt ensues after Eddy’s non-dive and yet a tackle that puts a player out of the game for 6 months is virtually ignored.

  110. Hi Joe,

    I saw your question to be on last night’s post.

    My answer is I don’t know but we are in a great position. We are doing better than I thought we would and I have no problem admitting this.

  111. just shut up joe.

    you owe us an apology each time you post here.

  112. No I wouldn’t insult a 4 year old. I suggested that perhaps your comments on this subject were absolute plain as day bollocks. Spouting drivel you were, I mean utter shite.

    Blessings

    But genuinely no offence intended toward your son, I didn’t even realise that’s who ‘little Jimmy’ was. Still bollocks talk.

  113. Maybe not sychophantic, perhaps more psychotic. Consider this: I’m in utter awe of Arsene Wenger. I may be whimsical about worshipping him, but to actually worship Wenger would be a wee bit worrying (stunning alliteration – my old English teacher would be proud). To be honest though, I don’t think I can argue this point objectively.

    “When man puts his ego aside, he realizes that the twig of a tree is far cleverer than he could ever be.”

    Interestingly enough, I read a science paper suggesting plants use quantum entanglement in photosynthesis, and my crazy noggin had a similar thought! I’m going to converse with the oak in my park!

  114. Well, well, well, AIC and Joe back on here together again….and good lord the penny seems to have dropped for both of them. For now.

  115. YW
    If the tackle was not intended to injure or take out the attacker, and from the front and one footed, why was it bad? Only mistimed, surely?

    robbie
    It was a 50-50 tackle. If Gallas had been quicker than Davies he would have been injured himself. His foot made contact with Davies’ ankle, which is where the ball was a split-second before. It wasn’t bad technique, he was just late.

  116. You continue down that road a little further, Gadget, and Tunday will have you believing that your arse is more intelligent than you.

  117. I agree with FG

  118. After last night’s exhilarating win, as we approach the season’s critical phase, my mind turns to noses and eyebrows, and the effect they have on the brain.

    First the monumental conk of Phil Thompson:
    “I call it the Big Three – Arsenal aren’t on their level,” said Thompson on Soccer Saturday prior to their 6-1 thwacking of Everton. (15 Aug 2009)

    And then the luminescent hooter of Sir Rudolph Ferguson: “It is not looking like it at the moment, but history tells you that two teams break away at the end. Chelsea are the big danger because they too have great experience.” (29 Dec 2009)

    If only Carlo Ancelotti’s runaway eyebrow could hoodwink him into predicting that there’s only one team in the title race, we’d be home and dry.

  119. team spirit

    its good to know that im not the only Nigerian thats read this blog

    can somebody tell me how to change my avatar like ole gunner

  120. Why, when a moronic troll like james or tunday comes onto a football blog with the single intent of changing the subject and starting a tedious argument, can’t we all just agree to blank them?
    Imagine the sad spotty adolescent giggling as he invents another meaningless paragraph of drivel and prays someone answers him.
    I know I know – just by writing this I acknowledge the existence of said parasites but this is the last time I mention either.
    DNFTT

  121. Great post YW. Spot on . Can’t defend the Gallas tackle as it was a late one and a foul however its down to Alan Wiley to spot that and he missed many throughout the game. The fact that we played on just shows the contempt we have for Bolton, what with Matt Taylors antics and inciting the fans, their ‘keeper didn’t do them any favours either so i’m afraid they got what they deserved. Special mention has to go to Fabregas for dragging the team forward when we were two down.

  122. Frank, my arse is where my brain lies!

    Actually, it lies a litte bit more to the front of my body, and thinks only of the contours and curves of Spanish women at the moment

  123. Gadget, I must leave too aswell. It has been a pleasure as always.. every time I speak with you I gain a slightly different perspective on life, and that can only be a good thing.

    Blessings to you and all the arsenal family.

    Thankyou Els for your apology.

  124. Sorry Steww, it just pisses me off when he has a direct go at me.

  125. welcome, it was a specific one obviously.

  126. There you are that is all the proof you need, Gadget.

  127. Merlot, it pleases me no end to see Phil Thompson choking on his own words. When we win the league by a Country Mile, I will gladly tune into Match of the Day as well. In fact, I’d bet good money Hansen and his Arsenal hate comrades won’t even appear on that show

  128. I had my ankle broken in a 50-50 challenge like the one we saw yesterday. I got there first and nicked the ball, but of course the other guy then got my ankle. He was going for the ball, so was I. If he had been a split second quicker it would have been the other way round. I did not accuse him of making a bad tackle and neither should anyone accuse WG. One of them was always going to get hurt in that challenge. There is no time to think in those situations. Occupational hazard. Bad tackle? Rubbish.

  129. Hi Fun,

    I am referring to your post to me last night.

    Firstly, I was not taking the mick and I am not sure why you think I was.

    Secondly, I did say that some performances mainly at the start of last season were spineless, which they were. Since then I have said very little about this. I also said that the players were talented but simply not ready to challange for the title last season, which they weren’t. I said that the manager was to blame as his expectations of players playing their first full season were unrealistic and that we should have tried harder to replace Flamini and Hleb. My oft-repeated desire for a CB has been answered by TV and hopefully by the return of Sol. Song has developed brilliantly in midfield.

    I also said that being out of the title race in October was unacceptable and was lambasted for saying that I was premature in my assessment. AW has recently made a comment about us being out of the title race by then as well.

    This season I have been more positive (apart from some posts about Theo) and I freely admit that we are higher up the table than I thought that we would be. In fact with all the injuries we are suffering it is a minor miracle that we have done as well as we have.

    You seem to think that I have a problem admitting mistakes that I may have made which is not true. I always express my opinion at the time of my posts and if I am wrong then so be it.

    Let’s hope we can overcome the series of near-misses that we have suffered since 2005.

  130. Correct Frank, a bad takle? no. It was slightly late and a foul. Alan Wiley missed more than one.

  131. I understand that Els, of course I could never ask you to apologize for your opinion of me, that would be crazy.

    What is a troll and why is Steww calling me this?.. I just looked it up and found a picture of a monster?!!! What the hell is going on?.. I only post my opinions and I normally post about The Arsenal family but just decided to continue a conversation I was having yesterday. I’m sorry if I offended anyone talking about nature.

    Blessings.

  132. Bergkamp Ghoulfest

    Fantastic article at The Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/matthew_syed/article6994314.ece

    Think it sums up how a lot of Arsenal fans feel (or at least should have felt) in the absence of trophies.

  133. Frank I wish your little ankle better.

  134. hahahaha phil thompson has a nose like an elephant.

  135. Frank I once lay on the floor after a collision, nothing unruly. When the fellow collisionee raised himself up by putting all the weight of his body on the back of my neck. You know how it goes, it must have been an accident as he immediately pulled my hair then slapped my face in the way of an apology I assume. So the following Wednesday night me and my team, absolutely whupped there thuggish poor footballing asses, all over the pitch. Also indulging in a touch of the rough-housing ourselves. You know what they whined like little girls.

  136. I agree completely with Frank.

    Davies reached slightly more to win the ball, Gallas went in hard but also in such a manner as to not hurt himself (without the element of stretch).

    Its a split second thing. A 50/50 where one player arrived a fraction of a second before the other.

    Davies apprach was a bit like Bolton’s generally.

    It was brave, but it was probably determind to the point of unintelligent.

  137. @ Bergkamp Ghoulfest 12.40pm – nice one.

  138. Matt “Dirty” Taylor stamped on Cesc and pulled his hair on Sunday after fouling him in the box yet nothing is said about this. There was no attempt to play the ball.

    Gallas went for a 50-50 tackle but was late and we have not stopped hearing about it.

  139. Excellent article, Bergkamp Ghoulfest

  140. Thought Rosicky was MOTM.

    With Cesc being overplayed and mugged all night, Tomas took over as our field general, dominating runs through their 5 man midfield, broke down their organization.

    All night his passes were surgical!

    The combination play of Cesc, Rosicky, Eduardo, and Arshavin is priceless.

  141. @ steww
    I’m 100% with you on DNFTT!

    ***
    @ AIC
    You seemed to be taking the mickey out of Maria.

    As to the rest of your post, my recollection is a little different, but let’s call a truce in any case.

    **
    @ Joe

    Wenger said sorry IF it was a bad tackle, not sorry FOR a bad tackle. He made it clear in the interviews that he had not yet reviewed the video, so if he had, and decided it was NOT a bad tackle, presumably he would not have apologised for it.

    After the Celtic game, he rightly did not apologise for a misdemeanour which his player had not committed. Wenger said Eduardo had not dived and that they could prove there was contact. So a) He believed his player and b) he must have seen a video replay if he claimed they could prove contact.
    Last night, Wenger didn’t have evidence one way or the other. At Celtic, he did.

    Another point of difference is that Eduardo was accused of cheating, Gallas of violence. The comparable accusation this time round was that the players carried on playing when they (according to Coyle) knew that Davies was injured. Wenger robustly defended his team again.

    There would have been a media reaction in both cases, regardless of any apology/non-apology, because the incidents themselves were not the issue. The issue for Coyle is that he lost the game from a winning position, and for the media the issue is that Arsenal are “foreigners”. Neither of which Arsene could or should apologise for.

    And if the row ends up less long-running or vitriolic than expected, that could be down to us showing we won’t be pushed around (by which I mean we defend our players), or to the fact that Bolton don’t have the clout that Celtic do, or that we are now winners in the eyes of the media – we are top of the league and genuine title contenders.

  142. @ Arsesession

    Rosicky was fantastic, but there were heroes all over the pitch last night.

  143. YES, YES AND F*****G YES!

    I love it! Finally we are now showing the hard knuckled nastiness that is and undoubted ingredient of winners and champions.

    For too long have we lacked this and now I see that perhaps finally grown into men and have acquired the WORLDLINESS required to go the distance.

    I love wengers comments after the match where he says that it was a stern test of fitness and strength and that a team is never more tested than when playing against bolton.

    This has been coupled by his admission at the beginning of the season that he finally acknowledged fat sam and boltons style as another way of playing despite himself not liking it.

    I had said at the time that it showed arsene getting more thick skinned than accepting defeat. And with that stance he has finally groomed his team to deal and dismantle the thugs. Way to go Gaffer!!

    3 points = superb,

    Everything else = F**k all!

    And how lovely it is to hear the whining now emanating from the north. I am lost in the melody. Let it flow…

    Sweeter music has seldom been heard!

    Cheers all!

  144. Have to agree with FG again

  145. …and again

  146. WHATS 11 POINTS?

    WHATS 11 POINTS?

    WHATS 11 POINTS?

  147. SCREAM DRACULA SCREAM!!

  148. You got red hair, FG?

  149. Mattew Syed is certainly one of the better journos out there.

  150. There were still many in the ground last night who were slating Eduardo and groaning every time he made a mistake. I have just watched the highlights again – how can it not be obvious to everyone that he is a top, top striker, his little touches and lay-offs around the box are sublime, his first touch is superb and he does not stop running. He hasn’t even hit a good run of form yet! As soon as Nicky B comes back i think we will really see the best of him. After all he has been through he deseves 100% support from everybody. Cheers, rant over 🙂

  151. + he appears to be growing some splendid facial hair.

  152. From another forum: Davies does NOT have a fracture or ligament damage.

  153. Wasn’t Rosicky class last night. What a player. Pray to god that he stays fit. His touch is sublime.

    Wasn’t Eduardo superb as well. I am convinced he is not far from banging goals in on a regular basis.

    The media as usual are mounting a hate campaign against Arsenal and Gallas. If you are of a nervous disposition do not listen to the Talk Sport show at 4pm. No doubt Adrian Durham will be conducting a witch hunt.

  154. Well that is a major embrassment for the poor boy, then. After all the fuss and he got carried off on a stretcher all wrapped up so that only his little nose was showing. Turns out he sort of hurt his ankle a bit. No honestly look there’s a mark. That is not a mole it is a bruise. Well OK yes I will be playing next game…but it did really hurt. Look I will have you know that I have a very low pain threshold. Anyway Arsenal were about to sc…whoops sorry the boss told me not to mention that.

  155. Lord above when I broke my ankle the first time I had to drive myself to the A&E department.

  156. AIC,

    Thanks for the response. I remain unconvinced. I’ve said that all through out the season – at the start, after being beaten by Chelski and even now when were top. We still leak far too many goals and fortune has played some part in our recent advances.

    I am very pleased with the new formation. It compliments our brand of football and really does force us to play “with the handbrake off” as opposed to trying to achieve the same thing with 5 in midfield like last season. Going forward we really are the best team in Europe alongside Barca. But an aerial striker would provide more options to unlock the big teams.

    I would have preferred to see Senderos stay instead of bringing Sol back. I think people conveniently think its a good move because they remember the Sol of old. I’m not so sure a 35yr old Sol will provide the same cover as a much younger Senderos. It was all too convenient and cheap an option for my liking. However if theres any truth to the Smalling rumour – I’d be a little happier. And judging from Wengers post match reaction – there seems to be.
    Its not the players – but the same old lack of organisation and discipline. The two goals we conceded yesterday were very poor and over the two legs Bolton still managed to carve out far too many chances. Kevin Davies won everything in the air yesterday. The long high ball threat should be meat and potatoes for a tight back 4. Yet for us – we struggle to cope in most of the games we play. We make it far too hard on ourselves to win games against pretty average teams by needlessly conceding. It would have been much easier to win 2-0 yesterday than 4-2. And I have no doubt this extra effort contributes to our injury levels.

  157. Hi Fun,

    I wasn’t taking the mickey out of Maria at all. I was just replying to her post. As you know I have no problems at all with taking the mickey out of others, players, myself but this was not one of those occasions.

    Let’s call a truce – although I never had a problem with you as you are free to say what you wish about me.

    If the truth be told, I like yor posts on the whole but truce it is.

  158. You are a barrel of laughs, Joe, aren’t you? What a fucking misog.

  159. @ Joe – i am inclined to agree that we leak too many goals but i think it is the way we defend as a team which contributes most to this rather than individual as I think our current back five is as good as anyone in the league apart from Chelsea. Any team would struggle against Kevin Davies as he is so good at using his body whilst the ball is in the air. It is a one dimensional game-plan but one we have always tended to struggle against. They have scored a reasonable amount of goals playing this way so its not just us that struggle against it.

  160. I’ll add my observations.
    I watched the game when I got home as I had recorded it and was surprised when the Gallas tackle happened. It didn’t look bad at all to me in real time, just a 50/50 and I was surprised that Davies went down. Judging from the comments in the press I was expecting Gallas to pull out a sycthe and remove Davies ankle and then parade around the pitch with his severed foot. The replays looked like it hurt, as was obvious, but it was always a 50/50 without intent to injure.
    The commentators on Fox Soccer Channel were absolute rubbish and have been added to my list of people I would like to meet in a pub for a good barracking in person.
    Even after going down 0-2 the tempo of the game never changed, the boys never stopped playing their game. Such belief! You could see the confidence in the team and knew, KNEW, that they would make good. I don’t think anyone wearing Red on that pitch thought for a moment they would lose the match. It was an incredible sight to see and to me clear intent that this team knows they can challenge for the title and is not going to let that opportunity go by the wayside.
    How good is Craig Eastmond! Once he came on I never noticed a change. He slotted in seamlessly and played well, as he did on the weekend.
    Eduardo does not deserve the stick he gets from the press and so-called fans. He played two great games, is still recovering from his injury, and is a fantastic player.
    How good to see Clichy back!
    Finally…Congratulations to the team. They know nothing has been done yet but they will be riding high after this.

  161. Giving up the two early goals was a wake call. Hey guys these cats won’t roll over and play dead. They want to fight. This win showed what the Gunners are made of. This is a huge win. Learn from the mistakes and feel good and then next. The focus is always on the game in hand. Eduardo had two really good chances. These were for sure goals. He needs to finish these babies. Fabregas is the key. He is the QB of the team. He set up all the goals. I love it learn forget about and move on to the next game. Thanks Spam Bobby http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  162. Here’s confirmation: Davies is ok.

    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_5876328,00.html

    I will be waiting for an apoloy to Gallas.

  163. Well,well,well

  164. Presumably as long as we score more than the opposition then we are not ‘leaking’ too many goals. That would appear to be the case.

  165. Certainly is the best Arsenal squad I have ever seen and that is a fact.

    Craig Eastmond just slotted in. No fear. Great technical ability.

  166. ‘Leaking’ points is the only form of ‘leaking’ to be concerned about. Liverpool are doing that. We are not.

  167. Gris Gris,

    Anything can be made to look really bad with over the top comments and manufactured outrage.

    Gallas was late, and caught Davies badly, but it’s not even the worst tackle we’ve seen in the two games against Bolton.

    The commentator went over the top. In the first half he referred to Bolton as “us” so I am not surprised.

  168. He didn’t catch Davies ‘badly’, OG, he just caught him. It all happened in a microsecond. It happens many times in every game we watch and people barely comment. It was stirred up by Owen ‘Braveheart?’ Coyle.

  169. If we score ten and the opposition score nine, presumably we are leaking too many goals.

  170. @ FG
    agree, good performances by our team…….

  171. but ‘someone’ has to start the belief!
    TR7

  172. Can’t say I disagree Frank. I only used the word badly because Davies seemed hurt.

    It wasn’t the worst tackle we saw in the two games.

  173. Truth or Fact are largely irrelevant.

    What matters is how an incident is perceived.

    IMO – Eduardo dived against Celtic (and I say this as someone who really rates him as a striker and as an individual but I do think he dived on that solitary occasion). Other don’t agree – fine. He was wrongly scapegoated and charged. Of course the charge had to be embarrassingly retracted (I mean how can you prove someone dived – and what precedence would it have set?).

    It mattered not what was truthful or what was factual. The absolute reality was that the general perception was that he dived and the club suffered very badly in a myriad of decisions that went against us afterwards.

    Last night, as I have already said, there was absolutely no intent in the tackle by Gallas. But the perception created was that the player was badly injured (however truthful or not..!!) I still think Wenger was right to apologise. It dilutes the ensuing media sensationalism, actually protects Gallas and the Club from being at the receiving end of “the establishments” way of dealing with sh1t like this.

    Its basic PR and Wenger handled it brilliantly. Its no coincidence the “Wenger is sorry” stories are being bandied about as much as the ones that castigate Gallas.

  174. I think that Davies has just justified playing on in all cases except for life threatening problems e.g. head and neck injuries, heart failure, suffocation. In other words and this only happens once in a lifetime, FIFA were right to impose the ‘only if referees direct play to stop’ rule.

  175. Truth and fact are largely relevant.

    The truth is not unknowable.

  176. Why is it that you make my hair stand on end even when you are trying hard to be positive, Joe. You seem to have the knack of putting a negative spin on even the most positive of messages.

  177. There are some people who think that being negative is being realistic.

  178. In life things either change for the better or get worse.

  179. If Alan Wiley saw the foul then the discussion would be non existent. If it had happened to us I would be more pissed off with the ref than the other team. I know refs have a hard job but part of their job is to see thing which happen 10 yards away. As for us playing on, we were within the rules to do so and I would only want play to be stopped automatically if there was a head injury as Frank suggests. I also think in some cases a rule could be looked at where physios/the stretcher should be allowed onto the field of play whilst the game is in progress as in Rugby and then players would gain no advantage in feigning injury.

  180. Matty: “I think our current back five is as good as anyone in the league apart from Chelsea.”

    By in large I would agree with that comment. And indeed you could argue that on paper they’re as good as if not better than any other team.

    But the reality is that Chelski, ManU, Spuds, Villa, Brums, Fulham……have all conceded less goals as a defensive unit than we have.

    We know we have the best attacking unit. If we could just get the defense right we’d beat all before us.

  181. Frank

    cannot agree best squad ever. in 2004 squad players were Keown,Parlour,Edu,Clichy,Wiltord,and Kanu.

  182. A very very good win and no doubt a landmark game when we look back on the year. interesting as we seem (hopefully) to have figured out how to turn games round with mind over matter. mature decisions combined with a mental intensity have given us an edge when we find our base mindset not enough to win matches. Hopefully the team will learn how to react to the hurdles of the game faster and more intuitively as asking for 110% intensity in all matches is unrealistic.

    Great to see Rosicky is coming back into a battling form whilst being incredibly composed and articulate with the ball. hopefully he can make a big impact in Nasri’s absence but he needs to keep up the intensity if he is to really make a difference at the end of the season.

    There were some slight lapses from diaby and denilson but over all they had accomplished team performance’s. Think what you like but their contribution cannot be overlooked with a 4 goal win. I like the way diaby is becoming a real spanner in the works (for both teams), he gives us that flash of unpredictability with his unusual marauding style.

    In my eyes I’m afraid Eduardo has lost too much pace and power to ever lead the line for us in the long term. I hope I’m proved wrong but the fact that wenger is looking for a new striker when we have 4 suggests to me he has already considered edu’s future. A real shame as he is such a clever player but this is the modern physical premiership game where small differences/advantages are key.

    has this been our most gratifying game so far this season?? maybe the villa 3-0?

  183. btw is it just me or does diaby look like some sort of 15th century musketeer pimp?

  184. Gallas didnt go into that tackle to hurt Davies, he went in braced, which any player knows is the way to go in if you want to avoid injury.

    What i found most satisfying about cesc’s goal was that the Bolton players were so angry that we hadn’t put the ball out of play that they became more focussed on kicking cesc and arshavin. that meant that they didn’t make what could have been 3 or 4 easy tackles near their box… Their mentality truly bit them in the arse that time

  185. Joe – your second comment is exactly the point i was trying to make. We have, as good, if not better defensive individuals than all the teams you mentioned so i don’t think it is a problem with personnel. More a problem of defending as a team or with the shape of the team when we don’t have the ball. I know its nitpicking a little but I just hate conceding goals. Personally i would sooner win 2-0 than 3-1, maybe its because i was brought up during the George Graham when a clean sheet was something to be proud of. Maybe i just need to get over that and embrace the ‘we will score more than you’ attitude.

  186. Oh yeah, and:

    A splendid 2nd half performance from what is looking more and more like a title winning team – come on boys, let’s keep this up!

  187. robbie,

    Here’s the bench from when we beat Inter 5-1 at San Siro:

    Stack, Keown, Clichy, Papadopulos, Hoyte.

    That was in 2003.

    We’ve never had a squad this deep at the Arsenal. Ever.

  188. The thing abput looking for a new striker is that as proven by having to cope with som many injuries, you can never have too many good players!

    Not too sure it means Eduardo is not good enough, he seems to be improving from game to game

  189. I agree with Team Spirit. I posted earlier about Eduardo – HE IS A TOP STRIKER MAKE NO MISTAKE. When Bentdner comes back we will really get the best out of him. in my opinion If RVP was fit we would not need to look for a striker, it has no bearing on Eduardos position at the club.

  190. I agree Matty Boy, i’ve always been a huge fan of eduardo (remember that heel volley?). I think he has been severly lacking in confidence, as would any player who’s suffered that kind of injury, but he is coming back into it every game. His back-heels and flicks are better than anyone else in our team and like you say, with NB52 back, i think he’ll be in his element… When he’s in form he’s got more composure than any striker we’ve had (apart from lord Dennis)

  191. I would rather see a 3-1 game than a 2-0 one anyday. Apart from anything else I get to see 3 Arsenal goals instead of only two. I like to see us beat teams who have something to offer. As long as we get the three points I don’t care how many goals we concede especially if the payback is a team intent on attacking with a passing game at all costs. I really don’t want to see squad the like of which George Graham could have put together…that time has surely gone. It had its day and now it is defunct. This is definitely the best Arsenal squad I have ever seen. We will start pulling away in February.

  192. Tunday, if you read this, its nice to see someone who is not ashamed of the gospel.

    I too must come to the defense of gallas, again, it was not a bad tackle at all. Both players went for the ball and it was unfortunate that someone got injured but thats football.

    I dont remember any Bolton fans having a problem with Cesc being kneed in the head and havining his hair pulled on Sunday!

    ARSENAL!!!

  193. Eduardo is playing well. He is not scoring but make no bones about it we are scoring and winning because he is playing. No weak links in this squad.

  194. Amen to that Arse Shavin and all bow to Lord Dennis for his is the Kingdom, the power and glory for ever and ever, thanks be to Arsene (and Bruce Rioch) 🙂

  195. David Dein brought Dennis to the club, not Bruce Rioch.

  196. i agree with Frank. All bow to Frank 🙂

  197. @ Joe

    You thought he dived, Wenger thought he did NOT dive, therefore Wenger defended him. Rightly.

    It mattered not what was truthful or what was factual. The absolute reality was that the general perception was that he dived and the club suffered very badly in a myriad of decisions that went against us afterwards.

    So you feel the perception that Eduardo dived would have been dissipated by Wenger saying (against his own belief) that Eduardo dived and apologising for it? Nonsensical reasoning.

    We have indeed suffered from decisions since that Celtic incident. But we are not suffering because Eduardo dived, or Wenger didn’t offer up some craven apology. We are suffering as a result of the orchestrated overreaction – orchestrated because it was a convenient distraction from the Millwall fan fracas and because of the underlying xenophobia of much of the football media and establishment. Why do you think Rooney’s dives or Bolton’s attack on Cesc went unremarked upon?

    “I still think Wenger was right to apologise.”
    You obviously haven’t understood – Wenger did NOT apologise for a bad tackle from Gallas. He said he didn’t know if it was a bad tackle and IF it was, he apologised. Next you’ll be saying he should have apologised to Brian Horton for Cesc’s NON-spitting. That caused a fuss in the papers, too, didn’t it?

    ..Wenger handled it brilliantly.
    That we can agree on. But I think he handled the Eduardo incident brilliantly as well.

  198. Didn’t know that Frank, I’ve been giving Rioch the glory for that one…

    We don’t need a striker, what are we going to do when they’re all fit and on form – oh yeah, that’s never going to happen.

  199. Oh dear how embarassing. Now..I know what bowing is even though I think it is shoddy behaviour. But this scraping thing…what do people actually scrape and what with when they…you know..scrape.

  200. Does anyone know if/how long Diaby’s out for?

  201. Now..I know what bowing is even though I think it is shoddy behaviour. But this scraping thing…what do people actually scrape and what with when they…you know..scrape.

  202. Oh dear how embarassing.

  203. @ Joe

    Why is it a problem for you that Campbell was cheap and convenient?

    Regarding the goals conceded – you should have listened to Nigel Winterburn on ATVO last night. He was making the point that the back four have performed well and it is the midfield who were not doing their job around the penalty area – not getting to the second/loose ball quickly enough, not closing down on the edge of the box.

    This would certainly make sense of the strong perception that our back four are overall stronger than last season, and the apparently contradictory fact that we are not conceding many fewer goals. You may or may not agree with Nigel Winterburn, but it shows that for every problem there are more (and possibly better) explanations than the obvious one.

  204. What’s your boggle Frank?

  205. think frank went a tad coy there.

  206. Haha got it. Now I know what bowing is even if it is shoddy behaviour. But what is scraping? The root verb of which gets you moderated. But what is it and what do people actually do it with and is it even possible to do it whilst bowing at the same time?

  207. I definitely am in an agreeing with FG groove here.

  208. Can’t agree with this comment that Eduardo has lost pace and power. ffs … give the guy a break. He almost slammed in the ball from 25 yards on the end of Diaby’s upfield pass.

  209. I thought he was excellent yesterday, Moopay.

  210. Frank

    Thanks for that – it was the root of moderation problems for others.

    YW

  211. Yeah, that shot looked pretty powerful to me! And he was holding off the likes of Cahill etc like a natural ‘target man’ at times…

  212. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=728895&sec=england&root=england&cc=5739

    “Arsenal continue to mesmerise both their own fans and neutrals alike with their superior brand of pass and move football, but the Gunners really don’t have the strength in depth to maintain that lofty position,”

    if going top of the table with an injury list like ours is not proof of strength in depth, i don’t know what is.

    i wish harry harris will stop embarrassing himself further.

  213. Frank, this is one of Wenger’s greatest teams indeed. The strength in the depth extends beyond the first 11, beyond the bench, beyond the reserves, to our youth outfit.

    It’s a truely magnificent achievement that despite all our injuries we’re here fighting for this.

    you figured out what you were moderated for?

  214. Eduardo has played an exceptional two games.

    He has made some of the most intricate passes I’ve ever seen in a two yard space…he opens the defense for Fab and Arshavin. His touch is insane…and he routinely pops up in dangerous areas – splitting defenses. He’s not got the same job as he used to so stop talking about his goals record. He not the 9 – he’s the 10 now…he’s slotted in to RvP role…make assists, set the others free in the box. He takes a shot if splits the center halves but other wise the attack comes from Fab, Arsh or Diaby making the initial pass into feet where Eduardo either spins his man or sets the run through the defense’s line.

  215. Even when we’re doing our laps of victory at the end of the season they’ll be saying “Yes, but they obviously don’t have the strenght in depth to retain this trophy next season”

    There’s alway’s going to be something. It’s the curse of the Arsenal supporter. Used to be ‘boring boring arsenal’, now it’s ‘dirty cheating foreigners’

    why is it never “the most beautiful football, the most ethically run, financially sound club in the world?”

  216. With my forays out into the forbidden lands I spied on the camp of le-grove and found them to be in a boyant and happy mood. They gave Almunia good ratings but still frown upon the world-beater-in-waiting Denny.

    Then I snuck further in and checked on Arsenal Truth. In this land it rains all the time and the people are a miserly bunch. It’d take more than a carebear stare to cheer this bunch up

  217. Im about to put the kettle on – who would like a cuppa?

  218. Cameroon are one down. 1st minute.

  219. come home alex song!

  220. Me please. Strong, milk, no sugar…and none of this lemon malarkey that foreign people have a horrible tendency to make. Sorry, G4E, didn’t mean to seem ungrateful.

  221. I know all these people are wanting Cameroon to go out, but such a thing may dent Song’s confidence. Should he come back soon, I hope his name gets sung louder than ever

  222. Yes please russian – do you have Yorkshire?

  223. Sorry, russian, I should say.

  224. guys please dun take offence if i don’t want alex song to taste glory with cameroon. after what happened to van persie…

    it is club over country.

  225. Right, off to check on Alex. Oh and glad to be of service, YW.

    Chips

  226. A few things after reading through:

    Some have pointed this out, then others ignore it, but the chief reason it wasn’t a bad tackle is that it WASN’T A TACKLE AT ALL. When two people go for a loose ball, there is no tackling involved. I still say it was the right call by the ref.

    Eduardo was magnificent. Anyone who is complaining about him needs to go back and read everything that was said about RvP in the first matches of the season. He’s concentrating on the hold up right now, and making gorgeous passes. Soon, just like with RvP, it will come together, and the goals will come.

    We are close to having a healthy first team. Were I to choose from everyone, I would have RvP for Eduardo (I would take no one in the EPL over RvP, but a handful over Eduardo), and Song for Denilson. The front diamond of Cesc-Arsh-Dudu-Tomas makes me salivate to think about. Best creative front four ever.

  227. Aaaah I see you sorted that one out too, YW.

  228. What was the moderation issue anyway? I either missed something or got very confused….

  229. You have no idea how liberating it is to be able to say chips again.

    Chips, chips, chips

  230. Chips, chips chips

  231. aaaaannnndddd more chips

  232. Did Eduardo get the assist for Arshavin yesterday? I thought ball returned to Arsenal via a Bolton defender

  233. Not sure gadget, was a bit scrappy in the build up… If only Arsh had scored that one at the end, the way he spins defenders is 2nd to none

  234. O’Shea out for the season…this is going to be a two team race.

  235. Oh what a shame… O’Shea is probably my favourite player in history – apart from maybe Robbie Savage and Kevin Davies

  236. No love for Fletcher?

  237. How could i forget??! Lovely man that he is.

  238. Frank & Arse Shavin its ready and waiting!!

    And I found an upoened packet of jaffa cakes in the fridge (the wife hid them behind the yogurts)

    This was a great spot by me as they were quite well concealed!

  239. Great, a jaffa cake’s just what i need right now. I get hungry when i think about the most horrible c*nts in the world.

  240. Mmmm lovely stuff russian

  241. is that a hint of vodka in there? unconventional but hey, it warms the cockles an’ all that…

  242. Fair analysis Yogi’s W, especially of the Gallas incident. If this was a tackle by a Bolton player on Arsenal player the comments would be:

    Oh, he’s is a gentle giant, he didn’t mean it, he was just high on “grit”.

    Or, he has every right to go for it and break the player’s leg in the process…it’s a physical game!

    There is no doubt that it was a foul by Gallas, there was no intention to hurt, he was late. Did the referee got it or not adds nothing to the argument. Two referees missed 3 clear penalties on the same player over the course of two games. We do complain about these tackles, but our complaining always falls on deaf ears, so why do they want us to care now?
    ===

    I’m just so proud of the team, we are not backing down any more.
    ===

    One last remark or two actually:

    1- Why Eastmond was wearing gloves? I thought he was English?

    2- Did any one noticed how Cesc consoled Walcott at the end of the game? I think he was telling him don’t be upset with Arshavin, your day will come Theo.

  243. A striker’s role in our 4-3-3 is not just to score goals. It’s to hold the ball up, bring others into play, and pass well to feet.

    He’s the one who leads our functional attack. The whole point of switching to 4-3-3 is to bring midfield players into the game.

    Eduardo is making assists and scoring but he’s not yet convincing in holding the ball up, and bringing others into play by passing well to feet.

    At least he’s not doing it as well as RVP was.

  244. I didn’t know it was illegal for an Englishman to want to warm his hands.

  245. I have to say, Theo’s tantrum reminded me of Henry. It’s good that he has such a high desire to score, but he shouldn’t be too annoyed. A gentle word is all it takes.

  246. Ole, he’s really starting to come into it isn’t he? He’s only played a few games in that position and RVP took just as long to adapt (in goalscoring terms anyway) so i can see him starting to get some goals now too…

  247. Totally agree Gadget, i really hate it when our players do that stuff… I know it’s hard in the heat of the moment but like you say, a quiet word is all that’s needed. Maybe that’s what cesc was saying to him at the end

  248. Crafty….Tell that to people who criticize our foreign players for wearing gloves.

  249. I think Song will be glad to come back to Arsenal. Cameroon are very poor. No spirit, no idea.

    I wonder if you are right about LeGuen G4E.

  250. I did like it when there was a close up of Arsh after the ball had gone out of play and he was having a joke about with Rosicky, i was beginning to feel that arsh wasn’t enjoying his football at the moment.

  251. i think song is coming back to arsenal. 45 more minutes, then he is back.

  252. But AA23 should really have put in Theo though..
    dat goal would have down Theo a world of good..
    dat moment reminded me of the birmingham game when Ade refused to square Bendtnar….
    the better placed person should always get the ball…dats wat Wenger teaches, day in day out

  253. Agreed Flex. But theo’s only young, he’s got plenty of time to get the goals. You’re right it would have done him wonders

  254. theo needs a goal. so does eduardo.

    i am glad vermaelen and arshavin both got one each yest. they haven been scoring in a while.

    gallas will score in his next game!

    16 different scorers in the league. amazing. almunia should go practise taking penalties.

  255. FG,

    If Wenger offered some token display of remorse with the Eduardo situation, as he did with the Gallas one – it would have diffused the reaction and abated the establishments treatment of the club thereafter. (If Owen Coyle needed an example of assault, all he had to do was look at Fletchers tackle on AA at Old Trafford.)
    Wenger did that this time around because I think he learned from the Eduardo incident. The media are xenophobic – and Zebras have stripes. The question is how to play it that yields the best results for the Club. Of course you have to stand by players but that doesn’t mean that you have to take a hard line either (“I didn’t see it” or “It wasn’t a dive”). A softer approach is better from a PR perspective.

    The Gallas situation was perfectly played. He never criticsed the player yet offered a soft semblance of apology. It was perfectly vague. And after a day or two – the whole thing will disappear. It won’t drag on like the Eduardo piece.

    Do you honestly think Eduardo would have been charged if we took a softer line? Do you think we would have missed out on so many penalties and free kick decisions that went against us in the aftermath? What has been the cost of the Eduardo debacle to the club?

    Some wars are worth loosing in the short term and may prove vital in a long term league battle. 2 years ago we lost the league by only four points. I hope the myriad of decisions that have not gone our way so far don’t come back to haunt us in the end.

    I take your points on Winterburns analysis. But I respectfully disagree. Most of our concessions come from an inability to defend high balls and set pieces.

  256. Diaby and Sagna are out for the Stoke game.

    With Eboue at the ACN this leaves us without a recognised right-back. What would you do if you were Wenger?

    Bear in mind that Kerrea Gilbert, our notional third choice in that position, is now on loan at Peterborough.

    Personally I can’t see any way other than playing Craig Eastmond there, even if it’s not a position he particularly liked during the Youth Cup run.

  257. consols, they do have an idea: Get the ball to Eto’o and hope that he comes up with the goods. They really don’t seem to have any other tactics. Lot’s of that in the ACN, many teams have three very good defensive/central midfielders and a few good forwards, but no playmakers. Only the North Africans, especially Egypt, seem to have any sort of form to their attack.

    The Tunisian keeper shoud’ve been sent off in the first half btw. Bad for Cameroon, good for Arsenal, should Tunisia maintain their advantage.

  258. Hmmm i reckon he might play traore or clichy there, he doesn’t mind swapping it over if he really has to – Eboue at left back a while ago…

  259. why is sagna out?

    how long is he out for?

    i doubt he would have played against stoke anyway, since it’s a cup tie.

  260. One option would be to play Coquelin at right-back and keep Eastmond in midfield.

  261. Shoulder complain apparently, he’s being rested for stoke as a precautionary measure.

  262. Hi Joe,

    I have only just seen your post.

    I also have doubts regarding the defence and as Matty says, its a collective problem mainly. I would add that Clichy and Almunia have been guilty of plenty of individual errors which has exacerbated the problem.

    Just because we leak goals it does not mean that we cannot win the title. As long as we keep on scoring we can do it. People have to accept that the way that Wenger’s teams play means that we will always be a bit vulnerable at the back. This has certainly been the case since the old back 4/5 retired. Even the team of 2004 conceded some pretty soft goals. I am hoping that we can improve defensively however.

    I agree that a 35 yr old Sol is not ideal but he could do a job for a few games. AW monitored him closely and would not have signed him if he didn’t think he was up to it.

    Phil’s career was over at Arsenal long ago and part of this deal was to allow him to play. AW seldom, if ever, keeps players that do not play. We could have signed Carrick for £2m but we didn’t when Vieira decided to stay in 2005.

  263. DM’s do need similar attributes to full backs i guess so yeah, good shouts

  264. Eto’o came up with the goods, first attack of the second half, 1-1.

  265. Why the bbc got tennis on and not the acn?? who cares about people who care about tennis.

  266. Just realized that the Fox commentator (and I say that without real conviction) was Warren Barton ex-Newcastle and Wimbledon, which explains plenty. Did not recognize him because it looks like he has had the plastic surgery op on the face.
    Didn’t he get pulled for stealing cars – at least one Merc while he was still at Newcastle?
    Anyway he’s a shit.

  267. I only care about hearing when that jock gets knocked out.

  268. Joe, Ronaldo dived all the frigging time, but never got the witchhunt we suffered.

    Gerrard dives all the time but no witchhunt

    Ashley dives regularly but no witchhunt.

    Need i go on, because I could with alarming ease.

    Nothing Wenger would have done would have diffused the Eduardo situ, because it wouldn’t stop the implication that were it not for our “cheating croat” Celtic would be in the CL

  269. Did anyone see that Rooney dive against shitty? Not one of his best but still a good one on the edge of the box.

  270. wadeva happened to gerrad’s lawsuit?

  271. ALEX good to see your name. Our goalkeeping will be solved next season SCEZNY has been utterly brilliant at Brentford hes has twice been man of the match and my friend who watches Brentford says if they get promoted it will only be if AFC extend his loan

    Sol could do well at Stoke with all those Delap throw ins which are more like set pieces.

    Coquelin should also be in team its time for him to have his chance

    COME ON TUNISIA

  272. I seem to remember Coquelin playing a couple of reserves games at right-back last season.

    AW says he’s going to make use of the squad, but to what extent? Could it be:

    Fab

    Coquelin – Campbell – Silvestre – Clichy

    Denilson – Eastmond – Cesc/Rosicky

    Theo – Vela – JET

    I think it’s worth giving Denilson and Clichy a little more game time; they looked much sharper in the second half yesterday, and should continue to improve.

    Not sure if Wilshere or Merida will be back for this one.

  273. Oh dear, Tunisia 2-1 up, Cameroon own goal.

    Oh, and like 12 seconds later it’s 2-2

  274. I think Joe is being rather naive. Are we talking about the same Arsene Wenger who praises an opposition player after a game, and his comments are twisted into giving the impression he was doing the opposite?

    Eduardo was charged because of the actions of Celtic, British Media & the Scottish FA.

    Wenger said it wasn’t a penalty. He very clearly said it wasn’t a penalty.

    Why would anyone think anything Wenger said would have changed anything knowing what we know now.

  275. CBob…I hope LeGuin doesn’t know what he’s doing and we get our Song back. I like Eastmond, but we are a well written Melody with Song.

  276. . . . . ‘ello ‘ello ‘ello. What’s goin’ on ‘ere then?
    . . . .There’s been an assault, officer.
    . . . .An assault?
    . . . .’Im over there. ‘E kicked my mate’s ankle.
    . . . .I see. And ‘ow did this ‘appen?
    . . . .They were playing football. They both tried to kick the ball at the same time.
    . . . . Isn’t that what you do in football?
    . . . .Yes, but he missed the ball and kicked my mate’s ankle.
    . . . . I see. So ‘e did it on purpose then?
    . . . .Well, not exactly.
    . . . . ‘Ow ‘ard did ‘e kick it?
    . . . . Oh . . . very, very hard.
    . . . . So ‘e injured ‘is ankle.
    . . . .Oh, yes.
    . . . .’E broke it, did ‘e?
    . . . . Almost.
    . . . .Tore some ligaments?
    . . . .Well, not quite.
    . . . .Sprained it?
    . . . .No.
    . . . .What, then?
    . . . .Well, it was really swollen.
    . . . .You’d better show me.
    . . . .No, it’s gone down now . . . . . but you can still see a small bruise.
    . . . .So your mate won’t be able to play again for quite a while?
    . . . .He might miss some matches.
    . . . .But ‘e’ll certainly be out for the next match?
    . . . .He might be.
    . . . .I’ll tell you what, sir.
    . . . .Yes?
    . . . .You go an’ tell them nice reporters over there. They don’t ‘ave to bother with the facts.

  277. NO WAY should CESC OR rosicky start in the Stoke game maybe on the bench for emergencies but Stoke are nearly as big thugs as Bolton

    Denislon definitely needs more game time in the first half he was hopeless but improved in the second

  278. @ Joe

    If Wenger offered some token display of remorse with the Eduardo situation, as he did with the Gallas one…
    He wasn’t offering token remorse. If he had been sure that Gallas had not made a bad tackle, he would not have made the conditional apology.
    Once again you’re finding it difficult to distinguish between what you think and what Wenger thinks. He was sure that Eduardo had not dived, so he took a strong stand in defending the player. Perfectly logical. You talk about diplomatic losses, but what of the damage inflicted on team morale, and the trust between the manager and the players (in particular Eduardo) and therefore the spirit in the camp, if Wenger had thrown Eduardo to the wolves and basically (in his own eyes) lied about him? On your logic, Wenger should have apologised to Tango and Horton despite the fact that Cesc did not spit and he could prove it – just to avoid a media backlash.

    Of course Eduardo would have been charged if we had “taken a softer line”. It was never about him diving per se – Celtic had lost the chance of a CL place and had been shown up badly over the two legs. They were looking for a) revenge and b) a fig leaf to cover their embarrassment.

    As for AW supposedly learning from the Eduardo incident that it’s better not to make a fuss, how do you explain his combative stance about being compensated for Robin’s injury? FIFA have tried to discourage him in advance, no other managers are openly supporting him, but he is still determined.

    And after a day or two – the whole thing will disappear. It won’t drag on like the Eduardo piece.
    It will probably will disappear – but for the reasons I enumerated earlier. And even our crazy media can’t sustain a “Gallas’ horror tackle” story in the absence of any injury whatsoever to Mark Davies.

    **
    Vermaelen in particular pretty much deals with most high balls these days – it is the second ball which we don’t react quickly enough to.

  279. Denilson was not hopeless in the first half. I have very high hopes for Denilson.

  280. The Gallas tackle was unfortunate. Unfortunate it wasn`t on Kevin Davies, Robinson or Matt Taylor (who played a lovely little assist to CF for the equaliser).

    What goes around.

  281. What are the tiebreakers in the ACN? Gabon, Zambia, and Camerron, could all end up with the same points and same GD.

  282. wait a sec- do we get song back if they draw- cameroon vs tunisia…

    it’s 2-2 at the moment

  283. Gadget at 5.18pm – nice one.

  284. Denilson wasn’t hopeless at all. A little rusty at times, maybe, but that’s understandable because his season has been seriously disrupted.

    I mean, who’d have thought that Rosicky would play more games than Denilson this season?

    He’s managed just 14 matches – with two relapses since he got back from long-term injury. Compare that to Vermaelen’s 31 starts, or even Cesc who has played 10 more than Denilson this term, despite missing a few games in recent weeks.

  285. I like your team for Stoke, OOU. I like it a lot. Cesc and Rosicky could do with a rest, but have to have the drive, guile and leadership that either would bring. Coquelin is a excellent RB.

  286. paulie:

    yeah, we got the wrong davies.

  287. sorry – meant to say “WE have to have the drive…”

  288. If the ACN game stays at 2-2 does song come home?

  289. I like OOU’s Stoke team because it is fast, skilful and mostly young. Against that side, Stoke will not be underdogs, playing without pressure. It could work in our favour the way CC matchups against low-ranking PL sides do.

  290. Hi Sol,

    I have heard good things about ‘Chesney as well but I feel that Woocash will be ahead of him in the pecking order. AW will stick with Almunia atleast until the end of the season but maybe no further. Let’s see how Almunia does, he has looked a bit better lately.

  291. ‘Here’s confirmation: Davies is ok.

    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_5876328,00.html

    I will be waiting for an apology to Gallas.’

    I won’t hold my breath on the latter and the former does not surprise me at all.

  292. nope a 2-2 draw will see cameroon go through

  293. @ Passenal

    I’m glad you’re not holding your breath – we’d hate to lose you!

    What’s the betting that Mr M Davies trots out for Stoke at the weekend?

  294. AIC,

    Agree with you re Clichy and Almunia. I’ve never been comfortable with Almunia and Gael has been poor by his normal standards.

    I hope your right on the SOL issue. I know he’s been training and Wenger will have had time to assess him – but only time will tell. I’d prefer to never know though and hope that Gallas and Vermy stay fit. Vermy has been amazing hasn’t he? And to think we got 16m for Toure and only paid 10m for Vermy!!

    As for us out scoring our propensity to concede – thats all well and good against teams we can break down and score against. But when you come up against a real team that can defend – like Chelsea – often only one or two goals can decide the game. Chelski deflected us onto the wings at the emirates because they knew our crossing was poor and we had no aerial threat up front. They knew they could soak up the pressure and still score. We won’t get soft goals at the bridge and our defense will be robustly tested.

  295. Thanks DukeGoonem, that’s a shame.

  296. Yes, FG. And it includes JET!

    Seriously though, I think it’s well worth keeping some first-team names for the match against Stoke. The sight of a team made up entirely of teenagers and veterans might give those cloggers an unwanted boost. And besides, what choice do we have?

    All our other CMs are either injured or out on loan. Seriously, I think if Sagna’s injured – causing one of Coquelin or Eastmond to stand in – then our next options for CM after Cesc or Rosicky would be Frimpong or Henderson.

  297. OOU
    Yay! JET!
    There could be some first teamers on the bench. Plus Traore.

    ***
    @ Merlot on January 21, 2010
    at 5:27 pm
    Very funny. Keep ’em coming!

  298. “But when you come up against a real team that can defend – like Chelsea – often only one or two goals can decide the game.”

    If Chel$ki “did” know how to defend, would we be top of the league? They were 11 points clear for ffs….how is that good defending?

    The title was never decided by the results of the top 4, it’s always decided by winning against teams like Bolton.

  299. “My celebration was directed at Gary Neville. He acted like a complete sock-sucker [boot-licker] when he said I wasn’t worth £25m just to suck up to the manager. I don’t know what the hell that idiot is talking about me for. I never said anything about him.”

    “My team-mates were telling me about it and asking what I thought. And I wondered to myself: what’s the tarado [moron] talking about me for when I never said anything about him, when there was never any [issue] with us. It was a lack of respect for a compañero [fellow footballer]”

    “I know that Ferguson loves me, that’s why he always talks about me, ha ha.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/jan/21/carlos-tevez-gary-neville-boot-licker

    hahaha, gotta love el Apache. The headline saying that Carlos Tevez launches explosive attack on Neville is a bit ridiculous. I mean, Neville a moron, hardly explosive news?

  300. they’re playing egypt on monday..so that means song would be in london on tuesday..great news!!

  301. Nice one, Merlot.

    Looks like leguen has learnt quickly, G4E. Too bad!

  302. Oh well CBob, maybe Egypt can do us a favor 🙂

  303. From what I have seen, they are a better team than Cameroon.

  304. Ole you never sees to disappoint..

    Eduardo is not RvP, they have different qualities..

    To love one player doesn’t mean you have to hate on another..

  305. Are we still discussing The Pansy Division? I wonder if their mums have managed to stop them crying yet. There, there, little Keviny weviny. Big girls don’t cry.

  306. The sad news is Cameroon was so lucky that Zambia beat Gabon and they top their Group. They will play Nigeria.
    Song is staying 😦

  307. Ole,

    No not naïve at all.

    Wenger did indeed say it was not a penalty.
    But he also said , “but I do not go as far to say Eduardo dived. He went down, for what reason I do not know.”

    Now I remember the context of that week in question very clearly because Wenger gave a very open interview when he very clearly stated that sometimes he admitted to not seeing certain incidents because it would implicate his players.

    The football world at large waited for Wengers reaction in the post match interview – and he fudged it. He sat on the fence. “He went down, for what reason I do not know” aka the “I did not see it” line.

    You thought he dived – you said it at the time.

    I thought and still think he dived.

    The dogs on the street and everyone at the stadium thought he dived.

    The situation was further exacerbated when he raised how England players get preferential treatment and if Rooney did that in the World Cup finals – do you think he would be slaughtered?

    Then Eduardo was later charged and Wenger changed tack somewhat:

    “He made more of it, yes. But we have the proof that he has been touched and that he made a little bit more of it. There’s a fine line between behind shrewd and everyone supports you, or saying that it’s a dive and you’re cheating.”

    Of course proving the “intent in diving” is an impossible can of worms and it begs belief that Eduardo was charged and scapegoated in the first place and it was no wonder he was acquitted. People saw the Eduardo acquittal as some sort of validation of wengers arguments that Eduardo didn’t dive. It wasn’t. It was just a technicality that could never be proved and any determination would set a very dangerous precedence for the future. The Fifa climbdown was deeply embarrassing and highlighted the stupidity of the administrators for even bringing a charge.

    The entire debacle was initially mishandled and turned into a deeply embarrassing climbdown for Fifa.

    And we have paid for it on the field ever since..!!

    There have been any decisions against us that you yourself have chronicled on this blog Ole.

  308. Gary ‘Tarado sock-sucking’ Neville. Ha, ha.

  309. Sock-sucker.

  310. Stoke have announced their line-up for the game on Sunday:

    GK:
    Frankenstein’s Monster

    Centre-Backs:
    Charles Manson
    Robert Huth

    Wing-Backs:
    Sweeney Todd
    Jack the Ripper

    Defensive Midfield:
    Matthew Etherington
    Lorena Bobbitt
    Sauron
    Ted Bundy
    Lord Voldemort
    Professor Moriarity

    Striker:
    The Orc Ram from Return of the King

  311. It’s like censor’s cut of the Usual Suspects: “Give me the keys, you sock-sucker”.

    Anyway, I suppose we’re officially the most exciting side on the continent this season.

    We’re scoring more goals per game than any other team in the top European divisions. And that includes Barcelona, who have sacrificed just a little flair and now have best defensive record around.

    It’s amazing when you remember we’re coming up against teams like Aston Villa, Chelsea, Bolton, Stoke, Liverpool, Birmingham, Blackburn and Fulham, which usually try to keep things tight and hit sides on the break (to varying degrees of success).

    This Arsenal team is a few months away from making history.

  312. Interesting…5-Live avoided the “Foul”-nonsense entirely…

  313. Well I have to say that I agree with FG yet again.

    Joe, please shut the fuck up you are like a broken record, son

  314. @ Joe

    Are you still maintaining that if he’d been officially labelled a cheat by his own manager, that would have discouraged officials from thinking of him as a cheat and denying him legitimate penalties? How does that work?

    There’s no doubt the incident hurt us – but it would have hurt us anyway, once Celtic and ITV decided to make a big deal out of it. If Eduardo had pleaded guilty to what he said he didn’t do, and received a ban, we could have paid for it in the subsequent CL matches. Crucial goal against Standard Liege, remember? And we would STILL have been denied legitimate penalties.
    You didn’t say – should Cesc have fessed up to spitting that never happened?

    For the last time – offering up Eduardo as a scapegoat would not have lanced the boil, because the boil was not his “dive”, or Gallas’s “bad tackle”, or whatever. If it was, all the other far worse and clear-cut instances would cause a furore. They don’t – how do you explain that?

  315. I agree with Frank @ 7.03 pm

  316. The perfect argument a Spud fan would be proud to make?

    “I thought and still think he dived.

    The dogs on the street and everyone at the stadium thought he dived.

    The situation was further exacerbated when he raised how England players get preferential treatment and if Rooney did that in the World Cup finals – do you think he would be slaughtered?

    Then Eduardo was later charged and Wenger changed tack somewhat:

    “He made more of it, yes. But we have the proof that he has been touched and that he made a little bit more of it. There’s a fine line between behind shrewd and everyone supports you, or saying that it’s a dive and you’re cheating.””

    What’s your point Joe?

    You think he dived, I think he didn’t..who cares?

    You want Wenger to come out and say Eduardo dived to the media so they would slaughter him alive? They didn’t need Wenger’s help, they slaughtered the guy anyways.

    Wenger is like any one of us, can never be sure of the intentions of another person. So, as any decent manager would do, protect his player.

    I didn’t say the thugs of Birmingham or their manager coming out to say that the stupid giant intentionally broke Eduardo’s leg?

    Get over it, whatever occasional favors we get are way way less than the clear ones we never get.

  317. – say
    + see

  318. I like it G4E..

  319. Stoke will be an interesting challenge as a number of players need rest but we also have so many injuries.

    The team doesn’t look incredibly strong, but I think Arsene will stick with his usual policy of having firepower on the bench.

    Fabianski

    Eastmond Campbell Silvestre Clichy

    Coquelin Denilson Traore

    Walcott JET Vela

    Cesc, Rosicky, TV, Eduardo, Wilshere (if fit), Senderos on the bench

    Arsh, Gallas, Sagna rested completely

  320. and Mannone on the bench too.

  321. Eastmond and Coquelin are the players who’ll send Denilson back to Brazil. Denilson hasn’t got what it takes to play regularly for the team in midfield.

  322. I like that team for Stoke lagooner, i think that will be very close to the starting line-up with a strong bench as you state. I see JET in the lineup but given his versatility, still not sure where.

  323. I have a sneaking feeling one of Eduardo or Rosicky will play instead of Traore.

  324. I see Howard has found yet another name.

  325. Yet the content still the same?

  326. If you are expecting different responses to different names you’re mistaken.

    It will always be: F*ck Off Howard.

  327. F.G. – You have patience my lady. Joe is a miserable sock-sucker and tarado [moron]
    He has nothing good to say about our beloved Arsenal, particularly the manager and players.

  328. Matt Boy,

    You might be right re. Rosicky or Eduardo. I just can’t see Arsene taking a risk on Rosicky breaking down with 3 games in a week.

  329. Great match yesterday eh ACLFers??

    I lost it when TR scored, great effort adn you could really feel the pendulum starting to swing. That was not the first time this season where the half time break coming was better for our opponents. Once Rosiscky scored i knew we would come back

    Whatever IT is, this squad has IT.. in spades too.

    very upsetting to hear about diaby, he’s crucial, size/presence wise with Song gone

    god what a game, im still beaming about it

  330. I often think I’m at the end of my tether, shotta-gunna, but his bizarre reasoning and anti-Arsenal bias wind me up so much I can always find the strength to carry on! 🙂

  331. California Gooner

    Can somebody please explain why there are rumors of us loaning Senderos to Everton or Celtic? Isn’t he out of contract in June? So wouldn’t we want to sell him? Loaning a player just to lose him on a free sounds totally idiotic, but then I must be missing something.

  332. I’m gonna head to Le Groan in a second to see what they’re whining about, but i thought id take a gander using my expert skills of prediction to guess what’s being moaned about..

    – Almunia’s lack of a save on the penalty
    – Denilson, giving away penalty & poor pass selection (manifested by claims that “he’s just not good enough”)
    – Bitching of some sort about Eduardo
    – probably some more denilson hate mixed in

    any others yet to look that want a shot at it?

  333. I’m so miserable I could die.

    If Arsene had made the right calls 18 months ago, we would have better options at right back.

    At night, I toss and turn. I posted 16 months ago, and told everybody my thoughts.

    I was right.

    I had doubts then and I have doubts now.

    I will be talking to the doctor to up my medication.

    If we win the league and the champions league, I might just be happy. Just.

    It would depend on the win. If we did it on the cheap, I would be unhappy.

    I would not celebrate.

  334. No interest in Le Groan from me, NJgooner.

    But last night was like a James Bond movie, wasn’t it? (Or Jason Bourne, if that’s more your cup of tea.)
    Bond is chained to the giant bacon slicer in the villain’s underground lair deep inside a metal mountain, and surrounded by machine-gun toting blonde PORGs. You can’t imagine how he will escape that AND the lake full of piranhas and crocodiles and then suddenly bang! There he is, riding out of the sea on a jetski with a freshly prepared martini in one hand and a PORG babe in the other.
    That’s why I love my Arsenal!

  335. its actually not that bad today..i know there are 2 guys who contribute and “Pedro” must be the more rational, realistic, intelligent, level headed of them.. bc its not as bad as it usually is, even during wins.

    they are so quick to place blame along with a blind lack of confidence in denilson though, always a hallmark

  336. Muppet
    looooooooooool!

  337. Probably

    It was Song’s fault we conceded two goals yesterday?

  338. haha sometimes i jump on there just to remind myself how great ACLF is. adn that has just as much to do with YW as it does with all of us. this is one of the few bastions of true support for the club.

    but i completely agree!! and an amazing bond movie it was!!! same basic plot line, early failures, seemingly inescapable doom, coupled with a magical, dominate escape and finishing in style!!!!

    TOP OF THE TABLE

  339. yea muppet speak in coherent sentences please… that mess is basically unreadable

  340. We-will-topping the league say we will topping the league!!!

  341. California Gooner

    We want to sell him, but it sounds like no-one wants to pay a fee as he will be available at the end of the season.

    I think Arsenal turned down Everton last summer on a 2 million offer, but that was at the time when Arsene was open to giving Senderos another crack.

    As it’s clearly he won’t play him, maybe a loan is the next best thing.

  342. I see Kitchen Sink has been around, and he’s amazingly thrown the kitchen sink at me and missed.

    Oh boy….

    Mr Sink, there’s not one comment ever to be seen by me, and evaluated without blight, that’d suggest I dislike Eduardo. I absolutely love the guy.

    He hasn’t led the line as well as RVP is all I say. And I don’t think there’s any censure or reproach in saying that.

  343. Joe,

    I think Eduardo dived.

    But Wenger did the right thing by standing by his player who assured him he didn’t dive.

    As someone pointed, you’re dreaming if you think any Wenger comments would have stopped the people who mobbed Eduardo.

  344. Desperate need for a “sarcasm”-font eh Muppet?

  345. What do you mean Axis ? I am realistic.

  346. ole I just pulled the plug but you’re right you’re too big to fit with out the blender..

    and despite what you think I absolutely love you..

  347. How much did we pay for Senderos?

  348. Yeah, Axis, Muppet’s just calling it like he sees it. Telling it like it is without rose-tinted specs. You and I are just deluded.

    ***
    @ NJGooner,
    That was one of Muppet’s D&G-er caricatures. And very accurate as always.

  349. —————— Fabianski ——————–

    Sagna —— Bartley ——- Silvestre —– Traore

    —— Coquelin ——

    —– Eastmond ———–Denilson ———-

    Walcott ————– JET ——————- Vela

    Would be a team I would like to see against Stoke with some of the big boys on the bench.

  350. Are these the guys you fancy Maria, or what ?

    Big boys ?

  351. Completely agree, Muppet. What Wenger doesn’t understand is that football isn’t just about the results. It’s about how those results were achieved. Let’s consider last night’s match. Okay, the history books will record that we got three points. Great! That’s what it’s all about! So say Wenger and his puppets. What the history books won’t record is the score. FOUR-FECKING-TWO. Yeah, so we won. Whoopee! Excuse we whilst I die of happiness. The problem is, Mister Wenger, we can’t score four fecking goals in every match. Suppose we hadn’t scored those goals? Then what? WE’D HAVE LOST TWO-NIL. TO BOLTON. AT HOME. As for Denilson: send him back to Brazil. Right away. If he’s going to give a penalty away in every match, we might as well not even bother turning up. Why would Wenger play someone who’s going to give away a penalty in every match? Does he want us to lose? Arsenal are not in the business of scraping past teams like Bolton. Rather than pretend we deserved the win, he should acknowledge that Bolton were the better team. That would earn him and the club a lot of credit in the footballing world. A lot of people still remember that he defended Edurdo when even the meanest hack could see that he dived. If Wenger granted the three points from last night to Bolton, I think a lot of people, myself included, would begin to respect him again. If the worst comes to the worst, and we win a trophy or two unjustly, perhaps we, the righteous ones, could get together and not celebrate.

  352. hehe………well Muppet I can’t deny it would be a pleasure to see Armand,Denilson,Vela and that little cute French kid all in the same line-up. However the reason why I throught up this line-up was because we have sooooooo many players missing!!!

    RVP,Nasri, Song,Bendtner,Diaby, Djourou,Merida,Ramsey, Eboue and Wilshere are all not not available.

    What I meant my big boys is Cesc,Rosicky,Eduardo maybe I should have used a different description but heyyyy.

  353. “As for Denilson: send him back to Brazil. Right away. If he’s going to give a penalty away in every match, we might as well not even bother turning up. Why would Wenger play someone who’s going to give away a penalty in every match? Does he want us to lose? ”

    OMG……….I have been thinking that all season.

  354. Poliziano,

    I have enjoyed your sober take on things. It’s a pleasure that there is a like minded blogger, like me in fact. I know we are right and have been proven right by events. Wenger can’t be right all the time, right ? That’s why there are clear tints like you and me to set the record straight.

  355. Bloody mind reader.

  356. Maria,

    I have enough female fantasies to contend with, what with my wife and that stupid vampire Twiglight nonsense, with all her friends coming around and disrupting some valuable arsenal viewing time and salivating over the DVD… so let’s be a bit objective with the team selections, eh ?

  357. Exactly, Maria. How many games has Denilson lost us this season with his habit of giving away penalties?

    Muppet and I might not be big boys in your sense of the term, but we’re big on integrity. Perhaps you could join us in May for an evening of commiseration.

  358. Did anyone catch Eduardo jumping like a mad man infront of Zat Knight right before he got called offside? It just shows how desperate the man is to score a goal and give his all to this team. He’ll come good. Mark my words. If his coming back the way he did from such a horrendous injury doesn’t show how committed and dedicated he is then nothing will.

    On the Arshavin, Theo thing, I must side with Arshavin. The way he turned his player gave him every right to be selfish. On top of that, he took the shot because Jaskelainen would’ve naturally expected a pass from him so he decided on the element of surprise.

  359. Somebody forgot to ask Wenger to wake and smell the fresh coffee?

  360. To be honest, the odds of Arshavin scoring are probably much higher than Walcott scoring…even if he was in a better position.

    It’s not a big deal, Walcott will get over it.

  361. @ Muppet

    You would replace those stunners? But with who I ask?

    P.S That Cullen guy freaks me out.

    @ Pz

    LUCKILY Denilson hasn’t lost us to many games due his injuries otherwise we would NEVER have made it top of the table!!! SOD LAW’S though that his fit again while our other competent DM is away. Eastmond is three times the player he will ever be samba my a** we need more gritzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  362. I think the lack of people mentioning Denilson and his effect on our victory last night is very telling. He did just about everything right last night but he didn’t out shine any of the flash players. He went about his business, like he laways does, and he kept our midfield ticking like a damn metronome. It seems as if people only notice him when he gives the ball away. Thank god Arsene isn’t a knee jerk doomer. Long live Denilson.

  363. Is it just me or is Joe a fucking bore?

  364. It’s not just you Dupsffokcuf

  365. clichydoubledeuce

    completely unrelated, but i still can’t get over this lovely piece of skill by fellaini against shiteh. apparently even bellamy applauded him for it.

    http://videos.sapo.pt/jb9YVL9Nglmd5LoYI91V

  366. Very funny.

  367. Gallas’s foul wasnt bad. it is just like usual one so the equalizer is not controversial.

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