Great Dane And Not Letting The Season Go To The Dogs

Local DIY stores have reported a slowdown in the sales of ropes, the numbers of people wearing Arsenal shirts demanding ready-made nooses has diminished following Chelsea’s draw at Hull last night. How long that will last for remains to be seen, although a victory at Stamford Bridge does not concern the retailers, knowing full well that a surge in demand will arise the next time results and performances do not go to plan.

The squad is slowly edging back to full fitness, with only the long-term absentees, Gibbs, Djourou and van Persie, definitely out for the weekend. Diaby, Eduardo and Campbell will apparently have recovered from their various knacks as the onslaught of fixtures continues. It does give Wenger options if he wants to shake things up following the defeat at home to United.

The Dane in particular has an opportunity to press his case for leading the Arsenal line. Adebayor’s departure and van Persie’s long-term absence should have given him that chance already but missing all of the fixtures since October has hampered his cause.

Bendtner is the latest in a stream of forwards coming through from youth and reserve levels who have promised much but never been able to transfer their form at younger levels. As far back as 1990, Andy – sorry, Andrew –  Cole was spoken of as a very real long-term prospect in the Graham era, falling out with Graham not conduicive to being given the chance.

In Wenger’s time, the situation has not changed considerably. However, Bendtner has proven he can score at international level and not just against smaller nations either, averaging a goal every three games, a decent record at that level. The Portuguese in particular being a defence he enjoys playing against, Bendtner scoring in three matches against them.

He has not yet been able to score regularly enough, contributing factors being played out of position and substitute appearances. He is though nothing less than perservering; missed chances do not see his head drop, willing to be back in the place again when the next chance comes along.

Bendtner does give the option of varying the attack, his height an advantage, almost bringing Arsenal into line of the ‘Big man, little man‘ duo but it masks how good his close control can be. Whether he is the solution for Sunday is another matter. If Eduardo is fit, I suspect he will be the central attacker, supported by Rosicky and Arshavin.

With the fixture being at Stamford Bridge, it seems unlikely that a gung-ho attitude would be adopted. Something similar to the approach in this fixture last season more likely. Chelsea will seek to dominate and it is up to the squad to be ready.

Personally, I’m looking forward to it. The chance to prove that Sunday’s defeat was an aberration, a one-off almost inexplicable collective loss of form is surely the motivation that is needed? If not, the chance to be within a win of Chelsea at the end of the game, refusing to be dumped out of the title race to suit the whims of journalists and pundits alike.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 3, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 223 Comments.

  1. First??? Sry guys had to do it hahah

  2. Bendtner, Fabianski, Ramsey, Walcott should all be given a run of games and a the chance to impress. They each look excellent and offer us something the team seems to need that the incumbents cannot.

  3. Great piece btw. I honestly wish Bendtner gets a start. I know he’s not fully fit but i’m sure he isn’t lacking any motivation and plus he gives the team another attacking dimension.

  4. Both Gibbs and Djourou are players with huge potential. I don’t think Johann has ever looked out of place when playing in the first team, and as well as being pretty huge, he’s quick and can play with both feet. He has had the worst luck with injuries, but if he can stay fit, he will be a serious addition to our squad.
    Regards Bendtner, I think he also has a lot to offer.. he is a player who thrives on confidence, and having watched him in the reserves for years, I know how adept he is at build up play. He is also very quick and can beat players for fun on his day.. he needs a run in the team and a couple of goals to start showing us what he is made of.
    Personally I think we’ll draw at Chelsea on Sunday.. its what we do afterwards that will define our season. Keep The Faith.

  5. Sunday can’t come fast enough!

    And the first paragraph really made me laugh, but that’s the way it is. Sun is shining again in doomer land — at least until we either sign a youngster, lose/draw a game or one of our players gets injured. Then the moaning will start all over again because either:

    1. Wenger should buy proven players for 20 mil, not talentented youngsters

    2. Our team sucks so bad, no chance of ever winning the title if we lose/draw against Team X (I wonder if Chelsea has to face the same problem after yesterday. Are all their fans going mad and getting their panties in a bunch because they drew with Hull?)

    3. Arsene should’ve obviously bought 5 world class players just as back up for exactly that position

    Seriously, we as supporters and the club as a whole could do a lot better without that attitude.

  6. Arseneholis.. Walcott?!.. Looks excellent?!! .. Are you sure??.. Whilst the kids potential is not in doubt, and whilst he is far and away the fastest player in the league, he needs to show a lot more if he’s to command a place in the first team in my opinion.

  7. Rinsing…..Im sure he’ll do enough to prove himself…IF…he can stop getting injured at the drop of a hat

  8. I think that Walcott in our 4-3-3 system has a massive part to play. His pace on the break will be invaluable, being allowed to play further forward and closer to the opposition defence.

    mainly though, we need our wide players to come in off the flank when they dont have the ball and make runs behind the defence. With cesc pulling the strings and our Striker pulling the centre-backs out of position it could work a treat.

  9. YES, Yogi! Last two paras are a great rallying call. Can’t wait either.

    I think I’d like to see…

    – – – – – – – – Alumina – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Clichy
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – Song Billong – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – Fabregas – – Denilson – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Arshavin – – – – – – – – – – – – -Diaby
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – -Eduardo – – – – – – – –

    With Bendtner to come off the bench if we need to go more direct, and Theo to come off the bench to give us width. Rosicky to come off the bench if we need a miracle, and Nas to come off the bench if we get in a scrap.

    I know there’s no real width in that line-up so our bomber full-backs will be required to get forward – leaving us susceptible to more farcical ‘no defenders in our own half’ style defending – but still, you shouldn’t break with your principles!

    I honestly don’t think we’ll sit back too much. We don’t really know how to. We’ll see a lot of the ball. We just need to be patient, but play at a high-tempo nonetheless, and take our chances. Our pass and move tempo is naturally a lot quicker than Chelsea.

    And Arshavin – F*CKING SQUARE IT! – or else, make sure you find the net (feeling fickle).

  10. Ole Gunner, I do agree that Theo should concentrate on what Theo does best. I guess the Ronaldo analogy was more about personality types. Theo is clearly a very disciplined and focused individual, quite controlled in his outlook and not an ounce of arrogance (it would seem). Ronaldo was not afraid to experiment and not afraid to look stupid in front of 70,000 fans. I think a bit of that would not harm Theo. But you know how our (home) fans would react. Not to mention the posters on YoungGuns and elsewhere.

  11. Why on earth would Eduardo start in the middle if Bendtner is fit? Especially against Chelsea… we need to use all the height and strength we possess. Eduardo has neither. Start him on the left with Arshavin on the right if you must. That sounds decent.

  12. I Really do hope Clichy gets his act together…he has been out of it lately…and i know it probably boils down to getting enough matches under his belt after his return from injury…and he and the rest of the defense really need to step up on sunday

  13. @ bob…where does that leave diaby?

  14. Arseman.. I agree.. the boy is wonderful, but the tackle that put him out for 3 months was nothing more than a strong centre backs challenge and this worries me a bit. He needs to stay fit to have an impact. Momentum is so important in football and a stop/start season will not help him or the team/
    Arseneholis – I agree to an extent with your point aswell.. the problem is we cannot drop too many points waiting for Walcott to explode.. Playing with Arshavin and Eduardo in the team also limits Theos game because he needs to receive the ball with space to run into and is not really suited to our current brand of pretty triangle football.
    The team need to become multi dimensional in the methods by which they attack. I think Wengers hands have been tied until now because of injuries.
    Keep The Faith.

  15. Arsenehollis hasn’t ramsey had a good run of games?

    surprise me with who’s place you think he should take in Limpars team..

  16. Im so happy…we are finally discussing football on aclf again…yesterdays posts were most depressing

  17. I really hope Clichy gets his form back. Is it just me or does it seem like he has lost a bit of pace? I hope it’s nothing that a good run of a games and a couple of training sessions can’t fix.

  18. ‘Chelseeeeeeea, wherever you may be,
    Don’t trust your wives with John Terry!..
    His dad sells crack while his mum drinks tea,
    And he cries when he misses a penalty’…

    Sing your hearts out on Sunday lads.

  19. I like your formation Limpar but i would like Arshavin to be on the bench..allow Bendtner to start.

  20. Rinsing, how about – “His dad sells crack and his mum’s just a thief”?

    Also, “His dad links cocaine”, rather than “sells crack” is probably more accurate – but yours is funnier.

  21. Evilfiek..
    Clichy is awful right now, but his performances of the past have sparred him the wrath of the doomers. He seems to be seriously lacking pace and is making schoolboy errors with his marking. He seems to take a long time to gain match fitness after injury. He’ll come good though, he’s quality.

  22. Controversial, Firstlady, controversial.

  23. Kitchen Sink – if Diaby is fit there would be no place for Ramsey.

    Song Cesc Diaby

    These are our best midfielders on current form.

    If you can’t see the difference between picking on form and either blind condemnation or faith then you are blinkered.

  24. Hahahahaha Limpar!.. I like..

  25. My team for Sunday would be:

    ———Fabianski

    Sagna Gallas Vermaalen Clichy

    ———Song Diaby

    —–Walcott Cesc Arshavin

    ———–Bendtner

    With Eduardo, Denilson, Ramsey, Campbell on the bench to bring on.

  26. I like the potential of that team Holis but Wenger will never start with that XI in a million years. With Arshavin and Walcott on the wings, Clichy and Sagna would get murdered by Cole/Malouda and Ivanovic/Anelka

  27. Innit great to hear many of the lads are returning to full fitness. It will make a difference and have a direct bearing on February and March. Clichy actually looks OK to me fitness wise, but like many just returning, it’s the confidence that takes longer, not the body. Ditto Bendtner.

    The one guy we really missed was Eduardo. He has real football intelligence, rarely loses possession and adds team momentum with his passes, especially with Rosicky in the vicinity. He’s badly under-rated.

    I think Bendtner may be on the bench. It just depends on his sharpness in training.

    Song are Diaby are critical in my view. Diaby adds menace and height.

    That said, the doomers have mostly gone to the woods today tra la la , la la …

  28. Bentner needs to start to do less talking with his mouth and more with his legs. He still has a long way to go to proof himself.

  29. It’s time Walcott began starting in the centre. We need goals and they’ve dried up. In Rooney and Drogba we see the brute power of an ox. With Walcott up centre we get the speed of a young Thierry Henry. I’d go for that over a pair of oxen!

  30. I think we should go back to 4-4-2

    ———————–Almunia———————-

    Sagna————-Vermalen/Gallass—————Clichy

    Eboue————–Song/Fabregas———-Diaby

    ———————-Bendtner/Arsharvin—————

  31. Rinsing – our full backs are not offering a great deal going forward. Their crossing is a symptom of a poor performance, when we have run out of ideas. I would play wingers and tell the defenders just to defend.

    Maybe that line-up with either Eboue or Denilson in place of Walcott is more realistic though?

  32. I have missed Edwardo. I have a feeling if he’d played on Sunday he’d assisted in a goal or two if not scoring himself.

  33. What has Terry done to deserve such mockery? He’s really a very convivial guy once you get to know him as well as his last mistress. The fact that he’s bigoted and mean with the moral compass of an earthworm should be set aside.

  34. Poliziano is the prurient prude with nose bent out of shape from peering into other people’s parlours.

    Did you want to be there while Terry pounded Perroncel’s p*ssy?

  35. Play like when Arsenal played Inter and won 5-1.That means stop the passing to eternity game.Look at roony’s goal. He passed to the MU guy and smashed in the return. Well he could do it because all the arsenal defenders were caught out of position.
    I don’t think Chelsea would fall for this.But it does mean the gunners cannot afford a high defence line.

  36. Zim paul
    “That said, the doomers have mostly gone to the woods today tra la la , la la …” Shuush!! this might just be the invitation they are waiting for to start flooding here. We all agree we can do without it after the last coupla days.

  37. Here’s a song for John.

    Doo-bee, do-bee, do-bee-doo – Dubai
    Yeah, if you don’t get caught it’s not a lie
    oh yeah, oh yeah, oh baby don’t cry
    Do you wanna have a tumble in my pigsty

  38. I don’t think you need to star out ‘pussy’, Ole. That’s a perfectly innocent word.

  39. Lose to Chelsea and all the fans would be baying for AW’s blood.He is too stubborn and arrogant. Furthermore he thinks he is right which is unfortuantely wrong most of the time.
    As some fans say there are too many similar type of players. We shd have the destroyer type who break up the other team’s attack. This won’t appeal to AW because he expects the other side to play to his version. He can dream on for another million years.
    The name of the game is winning. Why is the red faced cunt highly regarded?because he gets on th business of winning unlike AW who wants style to go wth winning.
    That for me folks is the root of the trouble. Until and unless there is a radical change in AW’s thinking Arsenal will be stuck in a limbo. He doesn’t want to win ugly when all the successful teams play the this type of winning game.

  40. Actually I just wanted to highlight it, LimparAssist.

  41. To be honest Ole G, Terry’s sinanigans are not on my top 10000000000 list of interesting topics of the day. I’m just stirring the pot. I don’t even know what he did except what I read on ACLF.

  42. KG, I don’t think scoring 1 in 2 games against two of the stingiest defences in the league whilst maintaining our position as league’s leading goal-scorers, really constitutes goals drying up.

    Although I take your point – I would certainly start Thierry Henry ahead of two oxen, or even just one ox for that matter.

  43. Slater, get a grip. Your head has dropped so low you risk a stubbed forehead. If you snivel anymore you’ll drown. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try and be a supporter.

  44. “Lose to Chelsea and all the fans would be baying for AW’s blood”.

    Just not true, Slater. Thankfully, a massive majority of Arsenal fans would disagree with your misguided, hot-headed, reactionary opinion.

    Did you just arrive in from the seventies?

    Do Barcalona win playing ugly? Do Brazil? Did we get to the top of the league the other week and stay within touching distance of the leaders by winning ugly?

    Pull your head out of your arse.

  45. If your wife has forgiven you, Ole, I won’t condemn you. I’m flattered to be described as a prude. I sometimes fear that my comments might give a rather different impression.

  46. Poliziano is not a prude, he’s just … poliziano. There is only one, of this I am certain.

  47. 15 of the 20 PL goals Chelsea conceded have come from set pieces. Hopefully we will have rehearsed some by Sunday.

  48. Didn’t call you prude, I said “prurient prude”….the type who’d blast gays as immoral but give blowjobs in airport toilets. You know that type of course.

  49. Shame on you Vivb. Arsenal doesn’t do set pieces and long throw ins.

  50. uh oh … I smell a wee battle of wit brewing …

  51. I wonder if John Terry is related to Sonny Terry, of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee.

  52. So all we have to do to beat Chelsea on sunday is sit tight, defend in numbers, our defenders stay back unless and only when we get freekicks, and then score from a set piece.

  53. Can we resist the temptation to go at them though?????

  54. Duke genius.

  55. I might fax this plan b over to Wenger.

  56. Oh, I see. She hasn’t forgiven you. That explains it.

  57. Arsenehollis wow such a reaction.. blinkered even.. I’m starting to think Shotta was right about you..

  58. What I find distasteful is that Phil “I saw their hooded captain spit at my assistant” Brown was responsible for bringing a modicom of perspective to the Arsenal Armageddon prophecised by the doom and gloom brigade. Funny that if we use the doomers’ own criteria, it’s more humiliating for Chelsea not to win against Hull, than it is for Arsenal to lose to Manure.

    There’s a risk that Phil Brown will claim that he talked a few Arsenal supporters from jumping off a bridge.

  59. I would punish those that gave terribal performances on Sunday by ommitting them from the team and some even the squad altogether. Those that didn’t play on Sunday are not guilty of anything to do with that match and therefore will be involved, even if they are not great options, simply to teach the players a lesson, and that is you won’t get away with giving performances like that.

    My team and squad would be:

    Mannone
    Eboue, Gallas, Cambell, Vermaelan
    Song
    Fabregas, Diaby
    Rosicky Eduardo, Arshavin

    Subs:
    Fabianski (Goalkeeper)
    Eastmond (Right-back/Defensive Midfeild)
    Silvestre (Left-back/Central Defence)
    Nasri (Right/Central/Left Midfelid)
    Bendtner (Centre Forward)
    Vela (Left/Center Forward)
    Walcott (Right/Centre Forward)

    The main difference would be to put Verm as left-back. Verm was also a left-back previously, so could slot in there, Clichy needs to sit in his room and reflect. Sol would come in Verm’s place with Gallas. A bit heavy on changes, but who cares – they can’t be worse than last Sunday!

  60. I fancy us to get a result on Sunday. The squad will not get a better chance to prove we are contenders. A win will give us momentum going into the Liverpool match.

    Diaby/Cesc/Song in midfield

    and

    Rosicky/Bentdner/Arshavin up front.

  61. How boring kitchen sink. Any views on football?

  62. please don’t cry I sincerely didn’t mean to hurt your feelings..

  63. Can’t believe Slater had to ruin a so far positive run of comments. Tisk tisk.

  64. On sunday, Denilson must be replaced by Dialby (I hope Denilson never plays for Arsenal again but who would want him!). We have got to have Bendtner up front to give some physical presence and height – we got walloped by Chelsea at home because our small forwards had no impact at all and were unable to hold the ball up). I would put Campbell in the team instead of Gallas because he can handle Drogba who always bullies our small defence. Gallas as an ex-player is too close still to various players in the Chelsea as squad – he was smiling and exchanging greetings with the Chelsea players after the home match – did not seem too bothered that we had been hammered by one of our closest rivals! I would also replace Clichy with Traore – Clichy seems to have gone backward during his recovery from injury. Cannot do much about the Goalkeeper because Manone . and Fabriski are no better. Walcott should not be considered at all – I realise now that he all he has is pace and no football brain at all!

  65. As- If those changes give us greater defensive stability then i’m all for it. I highly rate Clichy but the guy needs some more time to reach his best. Chelsea is too big of a game for players to try to find their feet. If only Sagna can cross and more importantly if only someone can meet one of those crosses.

    I really don’t care about the result much aslong as we give a strong performance that eradicates the memory of our last game.

  66. I have heard a lot of criticism of Wenger’s team selection on Sunday. Not surprising. What is surprising is that not one of the 15 such blogs and articles even realised we have 5 strikers but not one of them was fit enough to start the game against Man poo.

  67. Now we have confirmed what many of us been saying all along, i.e. Chelsea is no invincible force sweeping all before them to the title, I would like to share my observations from seeing the 2nd half of Hull v Chelsea:
    • Chelsea’s attacks seem to come mainly through the middle. Until the arrival of A. Cole, who subbed Zhirkov, they were fairly toothless on either wings. I suspect they will change tactics on Sunday and strengthen their wing play knowing how susceptible we are. Last game they attacked Sagna’s side with multiple success. On Sunday, it may be Clichy’s turn, for obvious reasons.
    • Hull successfully pressed and harried Chelsea whenever they lost possession particular in the middle and the defensive third. Hull tried to compress the space between the midfielders and defenders as much as possible with an emphasis on keeping their defensive shape especially at the back. I rarely saw a defensive player isolated one v one.
    • Hull’s wingers worked tirelessly to help the wing back and midfielders, particularly Hunt. We all know Hunt is a c*unt but fair play to him. He never shirked and was always available as an outlet. Once he had the ball he was willing to attack the opposing wingback (Ivanovic) and force him to stay at home.

    I know we have a different set up from Hull, we are a far more offensive minded team for instance, but I think there are some lessons to be learnt. Any thoughts.

  68. Ole Gunner

    I agree that Terry’s behaviour as it affects his wife and children is a private matter.

    However, imagine if Terry was having sex with Rooney’ wife? The only reason he hasn’t been drummed out of the English captaincy is because of Bridge’s questionable value to the English team.

    Where I do completely agree with you is that only the perfect should take a holier than thou attitude to his affair. As there are likely no perfect souls on this board, the moral outrage is a little rich.

  69. We need to win the central midfield battle, but this could be a problem as Song will drop fairly deep I would imagine to be in front of Drogba when Chelsea play longer balls.

    This means that the 2 wide players in the front 3 will have to drop deeper to make the midfield area compact. Which in turn means thgat whoever is the main strker must be able to hold the ball well, because support will have to come from deeper. It has to be Bendtner in that case. Arshavin and Eduardo for all their merits will struggle to hold the ball up against Terry and whoever.

  70. I just want a good performance for the boys not a luck lustre naive one like sunday.

    Drop Denilson please, this guy has never convinced me and if I were Chelsea he (and Almunia) are the weak link.

    I really don’t think it is all over yet and we’ve put a run togther after an embarassing defeat so why not again?

  71. Something our full backs don’t do is try to make runs between the opposition centre half and full back into the box.

  72. The sale of ropes eh? How many were sold to Arsenal supporters. I love it. I still think the players were worn out from the huge encounter against Villa mid-week. These back to back matches take a toll on players. I loved the Chelsea tie. it was great. This sucker aint over yet. Three and a half months left in the season 14 games. This is an eternity. Flamengo did it last year. Arsenal will do it this year. Mengao was down 15 points with 16 games left. We won. Arsenal will do it too. It all begins against Chelsea. Thanks
    http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  73. lagooner,

    I agree it’s pretty scummy behaviour. I just detest the fact that these people only have to behave badly to dominate our airwaves, our discussions.

    4 days after we’re still talking about it.

    Sod that.

  74. “Clichy needs to sit in his room and reflect.”

    No, As – Clichy needs to play again at the first opportunity. It’s sitting in a room that’s made him rusty. He’s world class on his day and he has a point to prove. Shotta gunna is right that he will be targeted on Sunday though – big, big game for Gael. The whole team must defend as a unit. Diaby could be playing up ahead of him, he will be a great help.

    Vermaelen to left-back isn’t a serious option.

    Shotta, I agree with your observations on Hull’s high work rate. I think though, we will see a very different attitude from Chelsea on Sunday. Complacency on the road at Hull for a group of players so overpaid, oversexed and so arrogant – is hardly suprising. They will treat Arsenal at home very differently. They will also attack our fullbacks, as you say.

    Duke, I don’t think we can resist. Why should we? Of course we’ll have a go. Chelsea will look more like the away side for much of the game – is my prediction.

  75. Good point, OG. If you think 4 days is long, then you should try living in the States during the Tiger Woods story.

    And if this woman decides to go public and then more women come out publicly, you’re looking at constant coverage until June.

  76. “Complacency on the road at Hull for a group of players so overpaid, oversexed and so arrogant – is hardly suprising.” Limpar – that is a classic, especially being oversexed.

    On the subject of workrate, I know Arshavin is hurt and Nasri just returned from injury, but it is simply criminal that our wide players do not effectively help our wing backs. I am not speaking of token defending, which I saw a lot of last Sunday. Trotting back, looking lost and pointing fingers is not being effective.

  77. This team should get the job done. Without the Emirates ‘faithful’ moaning at him, Bendtner can be a real danger on Sunday.

    Almunia

    Sagna
    Clichy
    Vermaelen
    Gallas

    Fabregas
    Diaby
    Song

    Rosicky
    Arshavin
    Bendtner

    Fabianski, Denilson, Ramsey, Campbell, Eduardo, Walcott, Traore

  78. Sam. Had a brief chat with Arsene. Wasn’t easy, he seems distracted, training stuff, tactics, psychology he murmured absent-mindedly. Anyway, good news, mate. He said ‘no problem’ he is not planning a lack lustre naive performance on Sunday, but a brave and tactically astute one.

    That’s great, hey? Wish I was there.

  79. oops, missed Nasri and Eboue….

    The squad is looking deep again!!

  80. So we are about to sign a young 6ft 2 defender by the name of Stefan Savage 😆

    Verminator and Savage at the heart of our defence for most of the next decade.

    Certainly has a ring to it.

  81. Great Dane And Not Letting The Season Go To The Dogs..No but it will go to the drog,yet again.

  82. I picture Poliziano v Ole Gunner, both Arsenal diehards and comrades in arms, as the rapier v the stabbing spear, a deadly battle indeed. Might I propose gents you turn your formidable skills towards the enemies. Squabbling over John Terry, my my, what has the world come to?

  83. Unless the team press and harry we will be picked off again as we were in Nov, we weren’t outplayed by Chelsea but conceeding two goals in quick succession left us reeling and chasing the game.

    Our defensive frailty is partly due to the team dropping off the opposition, as has been pointed out here. At the begining of the season the team pressed the opposition forcing mistakes from which we could exploit. Increasingly the team has failed to do this allowing the opposition to target players as weak links (e.g. Clichy or Traore).

    The team should remember that the pressure will build on Chelsea, they will be behind Man Utd when we kick off, will they be happy with a draw and dropping 4 points in a week?

    I’d take a point (as long as we beat Liverpool) which leaves us 6 points behind the leaders with our better run in ahead.

  84. Zimpaul,

    But I think you just identified why I hate the bloody topic. We end up arguing over something that has nothing to do with Arsenal.

    Something we can all get behind: Stamford Bridge is the cunt capital of the continent.

  85. My team for Sunday has Eduardo leading the attack (+ Arsh and Rosicky), with Song and Diaby for the middle. No sure where to put Nasri now. Damn, maybe I should ask Arsene for advice.

  86. Vivb, you are correct. When we press effectively all over the park, we tend to play well when we win possession. One has something to do with the other, don’t ask me what, but it’s true.

  87. Gawd, I detest Chelsea. All of them except Drogba whom one can’t but respect as a player. In fact, I can take ManU and accept when they play well, I’m almost sympathetic to Liverpool, I pity ManC, I don’t give a a toss about Spuds, but Chelsea! Ole G you have the right attitude.

  88. This is the team I’d like to see:

    – – – – – – – – Alumina – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Clichy
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – Song – — -Denilson– – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – ——-Fabregas – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Arshavin – – – – – – – – – – – – -Diaby
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – -Eduardo – – – – – – – –

    The original usage of a 4-3-3 formation was to have 2 defensive midfielders and one play-maker, and cosidering the ‘quality’ of our defense at the moment, coupled with the pace of anelka and the strength of drogba, having a second defensive midfielder in the for of denilson could prove invaluble

    AT LEAST THIS BLOG DOESN’T CONDEMN OUR SEASON LIKE MOST OF THE REST! I’m sick of people talking like its May and we’ve already lost. KEEP THE FAITH

  89. Great to see that we’ve all moved on from yesterday’s bullshit. I couldn’t bring myself to get involved, some of it was truly pathetic.

    Shotta – it’s nice to see that you are writing about the team and how we are going to play rather than giving your in-depth analysis on our supporters, groaners, doomers etc etc… Can be pretty tedious mate. Good tactical analysis though, i didnt see the Chelsea – Hull game so thanks for filling me in…

    I think we have a good chance on Sunday as long as we stick to our gameplan – just a bit more tempo to our passing (compared to last week) will be enough to break them down. And as a few people have said, our wingers tracking back is essential at the moment, especially with Clichy lacking in sharpness and confidence.

    NB can cause them problems and with Arsh and Rosicky either side, they’ll have a lot to think about at the back. If our midfield can keep it’s shape and pressing game, it’s ours for the taking.

    Diaby, Song & Cesc in the midfield for sure. Sunday’s the type of game where Diaby can cause some damage… Come on boys

  90. Yo Yo Yo dogs, we back in the game and you know this.

    Terry was distracted by the fine-franch-punani

  91. “Stamford Bridge is the cunt capital of the continent.”

    Lovely stuff Ole!

  92. That 433 with 2 DM’s could be the way to go Matt…

    I played as one of those DM’s on Saturday in exactly that formation against top of our league – and we beat them 3-2!! It worked for us… And we were massive underdogs – unlike Arsenal on Sunday

  93. I hate ManUtd most but love beating Chelski more.
    Every defeat takes them 1 game closer to returning to their birthright of being the 4th biggest club in London instead of 2nd which they can maybe claim to be today.

  94. Arse Shavin,

    But under 10’s is quite the same is it partner

  95. Agreed Arse Shavin.

    Nice that people can have a discussion about the fact our wide players haven’t been defending well enough, the team work-rate could be higher, and our left-back getting targetted for his poor form without the usual doomer hysterics. Amen to that.

    We are right back in the title race now.

    Manure have peaked in form, but I don’t see they have the quality to sustain it, especially not if Rooney gets hurt.

    The chavs can’t handle the matches, they will fall away. Before the break for snow when they got 2 weeks off they were strugling. They came back fresh and were thumping people. Now, again, they are unable to turn up the performances.

    These defects are impossible to reform in the short term.

    For us, we have lost 2 in 12.

    Both were beatings, but by good sides due to mental errors. We bounced back before and will do so again. The nerves will be cured, thsi squad has that within them, just look at last seasons game at the chavs.

    We attack to well for weaker teams to keep us out. This will lead us to the title. So long as we don’t lose to Chelsea, the momentum will shift back to us as we pick up 3 points after 3 points with free-fowing footy against the mid-table sides.

  96. ha ha ha ha ha! Jesus, i haven’t laughed that much in a long time – William, James, etc etc – you are truly a comedy genius, ‘bro’.

    I may be the height of an under 10 year old but at least my mental capacity is more than an adolescent troll’s.

  97. If Rooney gets injured, imagine how much that would impact Manure… We’ve coped amazingly since RvP’s injury. Doubt Man U could do the same at this point – Berbatov & Owen up front? Scary stuff…

    We can still do it even if we lose on Sunday. We can beat Liverpool and then it’s a relatively easy run. I would love to see it go all the way this year, with us pipping the Chavs at the post

  98. ZimPaul

    I respect Drogba as a player but the only Chelsea player who is both a fantastic player and conducts himself with total class is Essien.

    Would absolutely loved to have had him at Arsenal, and his absence could hurt Chelsea in the next few weeks.

  99. Arse Shavin,

    Well i’m afraid thats the way the ball bounces G.

    You have the football knowledge of a Crystal Palace fan and you know this partner

  100. Don’t bite, Shotta. Don’t bite….

  101. The Almunia Dilemma (apologies in advance for the long post)

    I think Arsene’s in a tricky position in the goalkeeper spot. If he brings in a world-class keeper now, then what does that say to his triumvirate of young keepers?

    Its likely that Almunia will last out the season, but his terrible error against Man United reminded me of the waning days of Jens. Whether it’s for private or professional reasons, his haunted expression is a far cry from the sunny, confident Almunia who took over the keeper’s jersey a couple of years ago.

    If Arsenal can stay in the hunt, then it looks like Arsene will stick with him throughout the rest of the season. As for the others:

    Fabianski has the build and presence to be a world-class keeper. His decision-making will improve over time, and I would not be unduly panicked if he stepped in for Almunia.

    For me, Mannone is the least convincing of the 3 young keepers. There’s a nervousness about him that worries me, but his spell in the first-team showed that he is capable of a match-winning performance.

    From the few performances I’ve seen of him, Szczesny is going to be our star keeper in years to come. He has the total package, and for a 19 year old, he shows remarkable maturity.

    Arsene is in a hurry up and wait situation with his keepers. He needs one of them to step up so he can move Almunia on. Unfortunately, he’s still one, maybe two years away from any of the young keepers being able to excel at the highest level.

    The only other solution would be to bring in an older experienced keeper for a couple of seasons (someone like Friedel) as a straight swap for Almunia and keep the younger keepers on their current path towards succession.

    As Man United showed, a transitional keeper like Van De Sar can actually turn out to be a critical asset for several years, and is handy insurance when younger keepers like Foster don’t immediately fulfil their potential.

  102. Any insightful football knowledge from you then William?

    In fact, i don’t think i’ve ever heard you say anything about the way we play football or sparking off any kind of rational debate apart from childish comments designed to piss other aclf posters off…

  103. Great post Lagooner, it is a real hurry up and wait scenario.

    I havent seen Chezney at all but many people have said that he’s the most promising. Not sure who he would bring in though who’s better than Almunia… I dont really think anyone who’s affordable in the prem would be an improvement.

  104. Trolls tend to be Droll.

    All that wit and effort can be very draining.

    OleGunner @ 15:54

    Clichy used to, he’s the fastest LB around when he’s fully fit. (Traore might be quicker?) I think he fell out of the habit of making runs into the box last season during the long unbeaten run, when AW forced the team in a tactical corset.

    I see Sagna as a similar player to Dixon. I think, any assists he gets are a bonus, I won’t be betting the mortgage (unless I decide to work in the City!) on him being the next Alves.
    He is the best ‘orthodox(ish)’ RB around on his day. Unfortunate for Eboue, but Eboue adapted his game to serve the squad in an admirable way.

  105. Finsburyparker – totally agree.

    I said similar things about Sagna and got shot down on here a few weeks ago. Probably by another troll… Hopefully Clichy will find his blistering pace again. Surely with a bit of confidence he’ll start to block those crosses again, something he seems to have let slip a bit this year

  106. Don’t know if I agree with saying Clichy’s lost form Arsh Shavin.
    He is just returning from injury at the moment, I’ve just missed my favourite chant of,

    “Run, Clichy, run!

    He’s the fastest footballer, the world has ever seen.”

  107. I think his form had dipped even before the injury to be honest. I love him and think he’s up there with the best in the world (only maybe Evra and even Cole are in this bracket with him) and hope that he returns to being the player he was last season and the season before…

  108. In 2007-08, Clichy and Sagna got 6 assists each. Since then, Clichy has provided no assists. In 2008-09, Sagna got only one; but this season he has returned to numbers similar to those of his first season with us, having got 3 so far.

  109. Arse Shavin,

    Your football brain is amazing brother

  110. Any insightful football knowledge from you then William?

    No?

    Then fuck off you sad little prick.

  111. Chelsea were neutralized yesterday because Hull defended in numbers and kept a high tempo. Both of these are things we can do regardless of our style of play. If we keep our 4-3-3 as compact as possible, Chelsea will have few scoring chances.

  112. arseneholis,

    Not sure Man yoo have peaked. All their players are better individually now than at the start of the season.

    They do have weaknesses of course, and that’s in creating opportunities.

    I would very much like to see how they cope without Rooney. But that’s probably not what they should fear most. Rooney going through a barren spell would be worse for them. Then he’ll play, but not score.

    If Rooney got injured they’d bring in Berbatov/Owen who just might find themselves able to score against most of the league.

  113. Thanks for that PZ,

    2 of those assists for Sagna were in one game this season, a great performance.

    I do love Sagna, hard to remember a player who’s joined and been so ridiculously consistent & brilliant from day one.

  114. Good shout Ole – i would be half as worried having to play against Berb/Owen than i would Rooney though…

  115. The only person that has slotted in as seamlessly as Sanga, was Vermaelen. AW obviously spots players who are good at adapting – Arsh didn’t take too long either did he?

  116. TV5 is an equally amazing signing as Sagna, of course!

  117. As the hacks pen articles in the past week on AW’s ‘lost touch’, proof yet again of what utter b*llocks is available for people to read and choose to believe in out there.

  118. Arsh Shavin, SG’s 12:01 post on Monday was brilliantly written. I don’t think you understood it all, but no harm was done! It was relevant.

    Have to to go,

    ‘Good luck to Leeds!’.

  119. @Arse Shavin
    I believe credit has to go to our scouting system for that. There is a good reason why we track players for a year or more before deciding to buy. It’s important that those people fit the squad (and not just the playing style but also personality wise). You can spend all the money in the world, but the few signings we made over the last two years all fit perfectly in our squad. I can’t think of any dud we bought the last two years. (Compared to say a player like Valencia etc.)

  120. For me the the team looks strongest and most balanced with the trio of Cesc, Song, and Diaby in the midfield. I am really hoping we see that midfield this weekend. Our front 3 should definitely be Bendtner throught middle and Rosicky and Arshavin on the wings.

    When we last played Chelsea they conceded the wide areas to us because we had no one to cross to. Every time the ball came in they were never in danger. Bendtner will definitely cause them problems in that regard.

    Can’t wait for the game…I have a good feeling we will respond like a team with something to prove.

  121. Finsburyparker – I did understand it all and they were good points made, but it seems that pretty much all of his post are about supporters, not our team. I know he thinks he is ‘protecting’ this site from ‘doomers’ as he put it but i was just saying that he is obviously intelligent enough to discuss Arsenal rather than lowering himself to analysing a bunch of twats

  122. Viceologist,

    Chelsea conceding wings was a massive mistake which we let them off for. We have great dribblers, who’re clever and can build attacks from wide to centre, without having to cross.

    You know, sometimes I think the reason we’ve recently lost the big games is that they focus on our weaknesses, and we never try to capitalise on theirs.

    Take the Man United game, in the first 30 minutes, we got behind Rafael & Brown again and again. If they got joy from targeting Clichy, we should have done same.

    Or take Liverpool’s pressing us at Anfield, when we are better able to beat them at that game since their central midfielders aren’t so good on the ball.

    Arsene always says we don’t have to focus on opponents’ weaknesses. Maybe sometimes we should.

  123. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Whingefellow Hawke can f*ck right off, too. Now you want to come back and make friendly comments? You picked up all your toys that you threw out the pram on Sunday?

  124. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    The doomers are far more tedious than Shotta, Arse Shavin. That’s where our opinions differ. You don’t mind the dooming, others can’t stand it. It is what it is. Don’t be a dooming twat, and you won’t get treated like a dooming twat.

  125. California Gooner

    A few thoughts: Clichy was terrible against ManU. But only in the first half. After that, his wounded pride seemed to up his game and become the battler we all know he is. Let’s hope he has rediscovered his form and can play more like he did in the second half. Second, I really, really hope we have Bendtner through the middle. Remember, we played with Eduardo last time against Chelsea and were totally toothless in the final third. Bendtner will help make Arshivin much more effective. Third, I hope to see Diaby back in the middle. We will need to hold the ball well to avoid counter-attacks; I think Diaby can do that against Chelsea’s muscle. Fourth, please don’t play Nasri and Rosicky together. They are too similar… and neither did much of anything against Man U. Everyone noticed Denilson failing to pick up Rooney on the break. Did they notice Nasri just jogging back when Rooney was right in front of him (not behind him)??? I wouldn’t mind seeing Theo on the right, but would almost prefer Eboue — his ball control is excellent and he can get around defenders and make passes.

    Anyhow, Chelsea’s slip up definitely gives us hope. Perhaps the drama of Sunday’s loss made us all overestimate it’s importance. A wound, yes. A death blow… maybe not.

  126. I do hope Terry doesn’t go on holiday before our game with him on Sunday. The Arsenal away lot will wind him right up – hopefully so much so that he does something silly in his own penalty area. Mind you – when was the last time we got a penalty decision go for us? Bastards.

  127. I would like to see Bendtner starting on Sunday although he is probably still just short of full fitness. Great to have Eduardo and Diaby close as well although i also doubt either of these will start either so I think the starting line up will be very close to the Man U game. As long as we offer the full back more protection I see no problems with this. We can beat anyone on our day. Last Sunday was not our day.

  128. Nasir – Fair enough, and i do think doomers are tedious, and mis-guided. they get way too much air time on here: We’re talking about them now! We should just ignore them and get on with more constructive debates, which was my point to shotta…

  129. I’m hoping Diaby gets a start, and NB. Like you say Mattyboy, our fullbacks definitely need protecting. Too many crosses in and they’ll score goals. Remember Stamford Bridge? If we’re up for it and are closing down quickly, we can beat anyone

    What about Ramsey? Maybe start him and bring Diaby on later on..?

  130. while i couldnt agree more with this article, one has wo wonder: if at the beginning of last season someone had told you we’d be praying for Bendtner to come back from injury quickly and make an impact today, what would your reaction have been?
    I might have started buying ready-made nooses then.

  131. Haha 🙂

  132. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I agree with everything outside of ignoring them, Arse Shavin.

  133. I would stick with Denilson (along with Cesc and Song in the midfield). I know he has come in for criticism from some quarters but the best thing for him is to play. Its good to see Ramsey competing for a place but i would still go with Denny for his experience. I doubt Diaby will start due to match sharpness but i’m really, really looking forward to seeing him back in action.

  134. It can be quite infuriating engaging with them though from my experience, maybe i need to chill out a bit…!

  135. Through his waters, he can feel events before they occur..

  136. Ok, yeah that’s a good shout Matty Boy. It is great he is even being considered though, he’s come on leaps and bounds i think. He’s only 19 too…

  137. Its a shame we can’t fit Cesc, Denilson, Diaby and Song on the pitch at the same time. Maybe we can? (i think we did it more than a few times last season but it means playing one of them out of their favoured position) What a nice dilema.

    KS – nice video. I have always rated Denilson, he has such an all round game. I do wonder if he would benefit from being more aggressive even though this moght not fit his personality. I wonder how many yellow cards he picks up in comparison to others.

  138. Thanks for posting that KS. A couple of so-so games and people are quick to forget what a fit and confident Denilson brings to the game, whilst others remain free from criticism despite delivering sub-par performances on a regular basis.

  139. *might*

    Spu*s Vs Leeds.

    Come on Leeds!

  140. Are you implying Denilson is merely a water-carrier in this team, KS? Only kidding. Cool video. Denilson was fabulous at the end of the summer. Confident he’ll be back to his best soon enough.

  141. Sink,

    Didnt see Rooney’s run before he did though did he?????

  142. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Denilson is so much more mature than you’re average soon to be 22 year old. What a great player.

  143. If Diaby was injured at home against Bolton – which was less than 2 weeks ago – and before that he was on a nice injury-free run and in great form, then he may well just come straight back in.

    It was ‘only’ a calf strain which he picked up away at Bolton, where he took a bit of a kick. Depending when he was back in training – if he’s had two or three full sessions this week, then I should think he’d be good to go.

    But then again, I’m no doctor – just having a guess.

  144. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    your average. Some of the flicks and touches in that video were Fab04ish.

  145. up the spurs

  146. California Gooner

    I disagree regarding Denilson. I generally rate him, but the last few games he has been piss-poor, directly implicated in a couple of goals against. It is not about ‘what Denilson needs’ (Games, obviously), but how we can beat Chelsea. To do that, I think we need to match their strength and combine it with our craft and ability to hold the ball. To me that means Bendtner and Diaby play — both will make Arshivin much better. I am even tempted to think that Sol Campbell could be good against Drogba (if anyone can be good against him), but doubt our starting duo will be broken up at the back. And if we are going to play Bendtner, why not put someone on the right who can run behind the defense and cross — i.e. Theo or Eboue?

  147. People who do not recognise the merit of having a player like Deni are clearly berks of epic proportions.

    The point of the video is to highlight the qualities a FULLY fit and confident Deni brings to the team. He is the link player between Song and Cesc but I suppose you are one of the people who say all he does is 5 yard square passes when clearly this is not the case, his choice to use the 5 yard pass is because it is the best way to keep a move flowing and when he needs to be more clinical and move the ball forward he does so because it is the right thing at the time to do so.

    I can’t remember the statistic from 08/09 season but he assisted in something like 6/7 goals which is a pretty good return for a CM plus he was incredibly high up in the interception list as well but people cannot see the wood for the trees.

    I agree this season he has not been at his best when returning from injury but you try being at your best when you are injured and then back and then injured again. It is not only a physical struggle against the injury but also a mental one

    Oh well, rant over onto Sunday….

  148. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Nice post, Jmmyd.

  149. lagooner @ 2.24
    Like you team if you could fit Nasri and perhaps Eboue in instead of Traore and Walcott, but yes it’s getting difficult to see who to leave out

  150. glad some liked it.. Duke don’t put words in my mouth .. I said he feels events, not that he sees them..

  151. Lagooner

    I like your analysis of the GK situation but it seems fans who’ve not seen Szczesny don’t know the quality he brings. Arsene describes him as a great GK, a GK who makes unbelievable saves. Age shouldn’t be a barrier because if you’re good enough, you’re old enough. Iker Casillas began keeping for Madrid at age 19.

    I’m sure Szczesny will get his chance next season. Almunia wasn’t good from the start and still remain not good. Arsene took a chance on him but has not worked. From my own analysis, he costs us about 15 points every season.

    Don’t think Fabianski can make it having blown away so many great opportunities to excel. Arsenal v Spurs CC game at WHL. Arsenal v Chelsea FA semi. Arsenal v Pool EPL, Arsenal v Stocks and on and on. Szczesny is the best of the pack.

    Other player problems are:

    Denilson-not ready, can’t defend, can’t attack, can’t track running opponents, rarely passes beyond 5 yards and has no aerial ability.

    Eduardo-hasn’t got the physical presence to play top in a 4:3:3 formation. Too one-footed and slow-paced to succeed. EPL is too fast and physical for him.

    Rosicky-injury seems to have pulled-back a once a great player and at almost 30, the clock is turning against him.

    Clichy- has lost some pace but will come back strong and face serious competition next season against Gibbs.

  152. Moda, you f*cking bore, feck off.

  153. notlager

    Your half brain interests me. I recommend that its pulled out for examination at the medical school. You twat.

  154. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What a c*nt. No mention of the mediocre form of Arshavin, Moda? What a shocker.

  155. Moda, one of the berks of epic proportions I was referring to earlier.

  156. nasir jones-nasri

    AA was just not lucky on the day. He missed too many chances but it happens. To be honest, Denilson don’t have the quality to play regularly. He divides opinion and his supporters only relies on his ‘great’ statistics. If Diaby is fit and continues to remain fit, there’s no way he can get a chance to play.

    Denilson is so unbrazilian; can’t believe Arsene travelled all the way to Brazil just to buy this average midfielder. What does he bring to the team? Nothing except statistics.

  157. nasir jones-nasri

    You sound French. Are you? No wonder you see nothing wrong with the collection of average foreign players bringing down the club

  158. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What a mong.

  159. so is Arshavin average as well?

    f*ck off you wannabe Howard. Le Gr*ve are missing their village idiot.

  160. notlager

    Do you have a brain? You need to be examined. It wouldn’t cost much. You twat.

  161. http://arsenal.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=517619#yoursay

    ‘Eduardo and Arshavin have looked to fill that role but neither convincingly though similarly van Persie wasn`t entirely convincing in the role in the early season games. But it is in the assists stakes that we can compare the contributions of Eduardo with 5 assists and Arshavin, with much greater playing time, just 1. Similarly with much less playing time Eduardo has created far more goal attempts too.’

  162. I believe it. Arsene will finally do senderos on Denilson. Sooner than later, he’ll realise his mistake on Denilson. Its Senderos all over again.

  163. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    That’s blasphemy, notlager! How dare you speak of our saviour in such a manner!

  164. AW will play Denilson just to see you jump from the next bridge, Howard.

  165. AA has been a passenger for most of the season and he is banging on about playing injured to excuse himself. Denilson is clearly not 100% fit, but you don’t hear him making excuses for his off performances. If you are pointing out the short-comings of one player, at least be consistent and fair and point out the short-comings of others. AA was more interested in his own personal glory and was not being a team player on Sunday. His negative, feeling sorry for himself comments when we lose a game are also not helpful either, but it fits with the general D&G mindset ‘ask not what I can do for my team, ask what my team can do for me’. I support him as an Arsenal player but I’m not blind to his limitations as he is not bigger than the team.

  166. okay Moda, I have decided to bite at you goading;

    where to start…….

    Statistics – Everything in football is statistics, the league table is basically a table of stats, goals for, against, games played etc, everything in football is measured in stats so by saying they are irrelavent shows your poor knowledge. Intercetpions for example, they are crucial due to the fact that the definition of the very word is to stop something on it’s current path of trajectory i.e in football terms winning possession without the need to tackle.

    Passing range – I covered it earlier but here it is again in plain English:
    He is the link player between Song and Cesc but I suppose you are one of the people who say all he does is 5 yard square passes when clearly this is not the case, his choice to use the 5 yard pass is because it is the best way to keep a move flowing and when he needs to be more clinical and move the ball forward he does so because it is the right thing at the time to do so.

    Unbrazillian, Brazillan – The position Deni plays is very similar to Gerson from the 1970 world cup winning team, a common link between DM (Song) and AM (Cesc) this is done through having a good footballing brain and being able to find the space to receive and give the ball even in a tight situation.

    Long winded reposte but these so called supporters really do cause a rise in my blood pressure!

  167. passenal, you took the words right out of my mouth.

  168. Most uplifting arsenal chant to this day.

    Should be reworded and replace Elvis as the intro for all home games.

    Would get the crowd bang up for it.

  169. Jimmyd

    Denilson is the player Arsene shouldn’t have bought. We don’t need him in the team. As soon as he gets the ball he releases it to the next colleague available whether under pressure, being marked, he doesn’t care.

    In effect, his passes are 5 yards, backwards and sideways. Any time he attempts a long pass, he misses so he plays it save. He lacks the pace to contribute to a counterattack. He ball-watches as opposing players run to score. He has no height so has no aerial ability. He has no strength and so get bullied. In sum, he lacks defensive, attacking ability and the physicality to succeed here.

    We have a recreation of Senderos all over again. A player Arsene had faith, failed eventually and got shipped out. I can see young Eastmond upstaging him in a year’s time because; Eastmond has a good height, good in the air, is physically better, has a longer passing range, can tackle and has the discipline to stay in his position.

    Will you recommend the purchase of Denilson if he was playing for Everton, Fulham, Villa, West Ham etc? No.

  170. Moda, you probably also thought Arsene was wrong to persevere with Song and Diaby and thought they weren’t fit to wear the shirt. You are wrong, you are so wrong you cannot be more wrong. A couple of off games does not a bad player make and if Arsene thinks a player is worth a chance, I would trust his judgement over yours any day of the week.

  171. Again Moda you are missing the point about the 5 yard pass, He KEEPS the move flowing, he is always prepared to receive the ball, he is also incredibly good at making up for his lack of physical stature by being good at shielding the ball and also having two good feet with which he can receive the ball and again, generally speaking, gives the ball to a colleague.

    He doesn’t need a huge amount of pace due to his reading of the game (at this point I expect to to sight him letting Rooney past, but in actuality there were numerous players caught ball watching at that point.) but again once a fully fit and confident Denilson, this is not the case.

    I trust our manager to make the right decisions based on the fact that he sees the players day in day out and it isn’t a case of blind faith as he has amassed a large number of appearances by the age of 21.

    Senderos definitely was not a failure and how you can say he was is a slur on his name and that of Arsenal. He was part of the central defense that broke the record for the most number of clean sheets in the champions league, also the only season we have made the final and that was also the season that we nearly missed out on fourth and he was integral in pulling in the lead Spurs had.

    Anyway I am bored of trying to change some peoples perception of players when clearly you cannot see the wood for the trees.

  172. Sendy was not a failure and if he agrees to stay on after he has had enough playing time to be picked for the world cup, he is welcome

  173. here, here Team Spirit

  174. Jimmyd, some good points there. ‘Moda’ clearly knows fuck all about fuck all though so I wouldn’t waste your energy.

  175. Sounds like a very articulate Howard…but still, F*ck Off.

  176. Limpar, so true.

    However I felt the need to vent as I am so sick of hearing this sh*t about Denilson, especially over the last few days.

  177. G4E, who is this Howard you speak of? I am new to the ACLF family.

  178. Jimmyd, Howard is a well known racist and Denilson hater who re-appears every so often under a new name but always spouting the same crap. All foreigners are rubbish and Denilson is the worst of all. He’ll even support one of the other foreigners on the basis that at least they are not Denilson. I would not be in the least surprised to discover that Moda is Howard in disguise.

  179. California Gooner

    JimmyD, were you responding my post above regarding Denilson or was that for Moda? I thought that I said “I rate him”, so I’m miffed at the accusations. But right now teams are pressing us in the midfield, knowing that we might cough the ball up and allow a counter-attack. Denilson is more easily overpowered and recently seems out of sorts. Perhaps it flusters him. Anyhow, I think that the power and drive of Diaby adds something that Denilson does not.

  180. The people who slag off Denilson were the same people who did it to Song and Diaby and Eboue and Bendtner before him.

    Apparently they know more than our coaching staff and Manager when in fact they just need someone to blame when the going gets tough.

    When Denilsons full worth is proved they will find somebody else, Theo seems like the next target.

    Why not do your job and support whover wears the shirt and let the staff do their job.

  181. Just for the record, i enjoy debate and discussion regarding players, its the ‘he is crap’ or ‘he is not fit to wear the shirt’ that i find so non supportive and fickle.

  182. California Gooner it wasn’t a response to your earlier post, it was purely aimed at the cretin ‘Moda’.

    Your point above I agree with, in that, teams know who to press in the midfield but this wouldn’t be the case with an in form Denilson so maybe this run of games has come a little early for him.

    I also think that if fit Diaby needs to play on Sunday for his physicality and I have sneaking feeling that he will crop up with a goal or two.

    I might have contradicted myself a bit, but life is full of contradictions.

  183. Thanks for the heads-up I will keep an eye out

  184. Fuck off Moda you tosser.

    Evening all.

  185. Absolutely Matty, could not agree more, a healthy debate is much more fulfilling than mindless name calling. Although maybe some are just blessed with reasonable thought process and abilty to articulate our points.

  186. I agree Jimmyd. Diaby does well against chelski because as well as his physical size he is also very good on the ball and can run rings around them. That CC final a few years ago featured Diaby, Denilson and Cesc in midfield. They were outstanding for 70 mins until the Terry incident and the departure of Diaby. If we could get that combo working well on Sunday… Young Theo also got a great goal after a 1 – 2 with Diaby. We just need a quick second goal next time to consolidate our lead and prevent them getting back into it. That was what we managed last season, which saw us close out the game to emerge victorious.

  187. Nah Jimmyd, don’t get into a pissing contest with a skunk. Trolls are not here for debate, they are here to wind people up and impose their view. Whatever you say will not have any influence.

    The problem is that there is a certain percentage of bloggers, from both ends of the spectrum, who will take a certain position and it becomes a matter of pride defending it. To me, if Denilson is not good enough, then so be it. The real problem is the lack of support for the guy while he wears an arsenal shirt. Convincing others that he does have merits may help, but it’s better in my view to point out that the attitude of dissing a player stinks.

  188. Diaby is definitely one of the most talented players at Arsenal when he has the ball at his feet. I think the loss of Essien for Chelsea has been under estimated, his tireless work in midfield is definitely something they will miss.

    We just need to get the tempo high and by 60 minutes will we be running the show. People also tend to forget that Theo tends to score against Chelsea.

  189. The really worrying aspect of recent displays against Manchester United and Chelsea have been that we have conceded goals in open play. Our movement and ball rentention are normally areas where we are very strong. To concede 5 goals in open play, 2 on the counter attack is very very disappointed and arguable preventable, especially the 2 on the counter.

    Last season, I recall us being more cautious during the 21 match unbeaten run. I also recall more caution after the Man City defeat where Wenger was screaming at Diaby to stay back for defensive midfield duty.

    Wenger of course is aware of this, and I think that more caution will surely be adopted on Sunday. We can’t go committing 8 players forward against the likes of Manchester United, especially when they are lying in wait for it.

  190. I love diaby, sometimes he looks absolutely immense and has an amazing ability to work his way out of a tight spot, open his legs and run past players as if they are not there. I’m still not convinced he will be a starter on Sunday due to match sharpness but like i said earlier, given the injuries we have suffered its nice for Wenger to have this sort of dilema.

  191. owh i hope you guys sing the John Terry song so loud on sunday that we can hear it on our streamers. That would be great!.

  192. I have no doubt we have the quality to beat the Chavs.
    we have conceded 3 own goals against Manure and Chavs this season and that points to one thing “Nervousness” the players wants to do so well in these games they panic a little bit, some calm and belief will do us a lot of good and that will have to come from the fans too because the minute we lose the ball you can hear the groans and moans . Despite what people keep saying about our players I have seen a lot of positives in those defeats in term of possession shots on target we come on top. when people look at the score lines would think they absolutely battered us but no they had their chances and they took them really well and we didn’t. I think the only team that outplayed us this season is possibly Everton at home . So the squad is good enough and we proved we can beat them, our only guilt is we don’t seem to be ruthless enough. Lets hope we finally make that step forward and beat the Chavs.

  193. 1Loose cannon And fulham away though we escaped with the three points.

  194. Firstlady- Yes I remember now, that day belongs to Don Vito.

  195. “Wenger will rue decision not to buy striker

    Arsene Wenger launched an uncharacteristically strong attack on his players following last Sunday’s defeat to Manchester United by labelling them naïve, but the Arsenal manager also needs to wise up. Wenger’s belief that there is only one way of playing football remains touching, but is out-of-kilter with the modern game.

    Wenger’s defence of one-touch passing football is admirable, but his principles begin to look self-defeating when he ventures into the world of economics. The Frenchman’s reluctance to buy a powerful central striker during last month’s transfer window is looking ever more neglectful, a decision he could regret for the rest of his days.

    Given the problems experienced by Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool Arsenal may never get a better opportunity to win the Premier League for another generation, but their hopes have founded on the rock of good housekeeping. To remain in the title race without a genuine centre-forward for several months was a great achievement, but to win it in such circumstances would have been a miracle. Not even Wenger can produce those. ”

    WHAT BOLLOCKS!!!!

  196. MODA on this site you are a heretic if you tell the truth about a 30K week brazilan, hes just about a squad player

  197. Ah Solgooner…dear oh dear oh dear. Clearly being burned at the stake has not prevented you from spilling your guts on this site for the last year or so.

  198. FRANK i know we are going to win the EPL and ECL despite Almunia and Denilson because it is one of your prophecies which are always right

    Its nearly 3 years not one measly year…

  199. Ah solgooner, does your evident scorn allow me to claim crimes against humanity for not being allowed to present my opinion without reaction.

  200. Dear Arsenal squad;

    If you want to win the title you’ll do well to ignore Arsenal fans. You can’t count on them.

  201. Agreed, OG

  202. What a bunch of punks….turn on their team because the manager didn’t buy them a token player.

  203. O/G – The anti-support is alive and well. This young team has always proved its detractors wrong. I am absolutely sure that on Sunday it will do so one again. Unfortunately, in today’s world, we cannot burn the detractors at the stake.

  204. O/G – Have you read the sheer hate and malevolence by the usual Arsenal blogs and the trashy media because Wenger refused to throw money around? How can these persons be even considered Arsenal supporters is beyond me.
    I think that is why Frank wants to do some burning at the stake.

  205. Who are you talking about in particular, guys?

  206. OOU,

    We have a young team, fighting for the league for the 2nd time in 3 seasons, decimated by injuries but mounting a challenge.

    Yet it’s being very brutally shredded by its fans.

  207. Of course, OG, but I was wondering if someone had written something this morning to warrant such despair. I only read three Arsenal blogs and haven’t used newsnow for a year or so.

  208. shotta-gunna,

    We might well go to Chelsea and get thumped. Possible.

    But the number of people who have ruled this team out with 42 points to play for, might be no more than a vocal minority, but still constitutes too large a number of people.

  209. If Diably cant start then Campbell should come in at CB and TV move into midfield. That way we could stifle Droghba menace and attack Chelski in the air especially during set pieces where they concede the most

  210. Sundays game was a one off? just like the game v Chavski in november was a one off,and the 4-1 defeat against them in May,and the CL semi.One off?It has happened more than once in 9 months

    Will Wenger drop that clown in goal????

  211. http://www.footballfancast.com/football-blogs/open-letter?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ffc_Premiership_Blogs+%28FFC_Premiership_Blogs%29

    My support of Arsenal is somewhat religious nowadays. I feel like one of the Inquisitors happy to slay any heathen with opposing views, but so be it. There is only one way to support your team and that is to support the players and manager

  212. Shotta.

    With regard to yur comment regarding the usual knee jerk blogs, I am ashamed to admit but, I read Le Grove this morning, based on the Wellington headline.

    It starts with:

    ‘We have nothing of note to talk about or even hope for’

    It then continues with following peals of fucking wisdom.

    1. Cesc will leave in the summer
    2. Allowing Wenger to leave in the summer
    3. We should have bought a Keeper
    4. We should have bought Defensive Midfielder
    5. We should have bought a Striker
    6. RVP, Theo and Nasri WILL be injured next season
    7. Sagna and Clichy should be dumped in the reserves
    8. ‘Hoyte, Gilbert, Randall, Almunia, Denilson and Simpson should all be sold.’
    9. ‘Sunu won’t make it’.
    10. Pat Rice should go, and a new No2 bought in.
    11. JET is an ‘arrogant dimwit’ (possibly true)

    For somebody who has nothing to say, he can sure spout a whole pile of shite. Words fail me.

  213. Ohhh, so it was Le Grove!

    The guy who writes that blog is just an ACLF reject.

  214. *runs away screaming, unable to bear another conversation about the retards at LG*

  215. Cambell must start.I would play 5 at the back.Sol WG and TV as CH’s with the full backs as wing backs as neither can defend

    Get AA to play BEHIND Bendtner.Please Wenger dont play Nic on the wing

    I am really worried about the goalkeeping posisition though.Almunia and Fabianski are just not up to it.

    My heart says a draw my head says a heavy defeat

  216. Look, it’s four days since the Man U match – I thought things had calmed down a bit and wanted to know if there was a reason for this gloomy start to the day.

  217. King Salami – I refrained from calling names but they are the usual suspects.

  218. GOD,U LE ARSE FANS ARE SO COCKY AND ARROGANT.U GUYS HONESTLY BELIEVE U’LL COME TO THE BRIDGE AND TRASH US.NO WONDER SOME OF YOUR FANS COMMIT SUICIDE IN AFRICA WHEN YOU LOSE A GAME.ARSENAL FANS ARE NOW BELIEVING THEIR OWN HYPE.

    YOU GUYS WERE ALSO VERY CONFIDENT OF TRASHING US AT THE EMIRATES BUT WE SILENCED YOU GUYS.U WERE ALSO VERY CONFIDENT OF TRASHING MANURE BUT THEY SHOWED THEIR GULF IN CLASS TO LE ARSE WITHOUT THEIR RONALDO.HAVE SOME HUMILITY BOYS.BEAT US AT THE BRIDGE BEFORE U START BRAGGING

    BESIDES,WE HAVEN’T LOST AT THE BRIDGE FOR THE PAST 35 GAMES.EVEN BARCELONA DIDN’T BEAT US AT THE BRIDGE…..I’M SORRY ALMIGHTY LE ARSE,U ARE NO BARCELONA…LOL

  219. AS FOR PEOPLE ATTACKING JOHN TERRY AND HIS PARENTS,U LOTS ARE SAD ,SICK AND TWISTED CHAVS.

    I THOUGHT ARSENAL FANS SAID THEY HAVE CLASS.CLASSLESS BUNCH OF LOSERS.

    UR HEIR TO THE THRONE WAS DOGGING EVERYWHERE AND HAD A STEADY MISTRESS B4 HE DIVORCED DIANA WHICH ULTIMATELY LED TO HER DEATH.

    U GUYS KNOW WHY THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND WAS FORMED…….DUH…SOME LE ARSE FANS NEEDS EDUCATION

    U GUYS ALSO REALISE WHAT THE MP’S HAVE BEEN DOING WITH OWN TAX.CRIMINAL CHARGES MAY EVEN BE IMMINENT.I THOUGHT THEY WERE MEANT TO BE ROLE MODELS.THEY ARE NOW AS CORRUPT AS AFRICAN DICTATORS.

    U GUYS ALSO REALISE WE WERE TAKEN TO A WAR BASED ON A LIE AND INQUIRIES ARE BEING HELD.

    OK,THOUGHT SO…BUT EVERYBODY IS VERY ANGRY AT JOHN TERRY FOR CORRUPTING THEIR LILY WHITE MORALS.

    I WISH HE WOULD EVEN RESIGN HIS CAPTAINCY AND ALSO RESIGN FROM INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL COS THE MEDIA ARE NOW TARGETING CHELSEA WITH ALL SORTS OF LIES.

    JOHN TERRY IS NOT THE POPE,BOYS AND HE CAN’T KEEP HIS PARENTS UNDER LOCK AND KEY.HIS PRIVATE LIFE SHOULD STAY PRIVATE.WE NEED TO SORT OUR PRIORITIES RIGHT AS A COUNTRY

  220. le grove is the best arsenal blog on the web.

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