Abou-t Time We Beat Liverpool At Home

Arsenal 1 – 0 Liverpool

1 – 0 Diaby (72)

or ‘The Joy Of Six’ for the sake of a cheap gag.

Liverpool were vanquished last night in a solid performance, a win ground out against an obdurate and unadventurous opponent who really only came to life once Abou Diaby had broken the deadlock. With United and Chelsea dropping points, the nine point gap was reduced to six, offering proof that the title race is not a procession, offering hope that the gap can be overhauled. Whether that hope is real or forlorn will be known by mid-April as remaining fixtures run down and the pair encounter the remainder of the top six teams.

Wenger reshuffled before kick-off, Emmanuel Eboue taking the right back slot and Nicklas Bendtner leading the line, ensuring that Andrey Arshavin returned to his most effective, deeper-lying role. The Dane put in a decent performance, for someone with reportedly limited mobility, he appeared to have a full range of movement, including crashing to the ground without concern for his own well-being. The official was suitably unimpressed, a yellow card followed.

The Dane had a few opportunities, skying a couple of shots, denied by Reina in both halves as he sought to make up for lost time, his season being given the opportunity to start now. His general link-up play was good and he was busy making a nuisance of himself to the Liverpool defence, keeping the pressure across the front line, not really allowing the visitors to settle.

There was understandable edginess in the display, partly through a concern for not being caught on the counter-attack, a lot through the nullifying tactics of Liverpool. Chances were at a premium, few clear cut in the first half, some more in the second as confidence grew and the win sought. Almunia intervened from Gerrard’s deflected effort whilst Gallas should perhaps have made Reina work with a header from Cesc’s cross.

Early on Nasri added to injury concerns, eventually succumbing and replaced as half-time approached by Rosicky. The Czech would have a lasting impact, although prior to that his touch betrayed him as he bore down on goal, leaden footed as Reina closed the angle of the near post in the second half.

An unsurprisingly goalless first half transformed when the second commenced. Arshavin and Lucas traded chances, neither troubling the opposition custodians. Ngog though threatened with his pace, Gallas’ tackle reminiscent of Bobby Moore on Pele in the 1970 World Cup. Gallas was excellent last night, his tackles generally well-timed but positionally, he snuffed out a lot of the danger before it really emerged.

With the final quarter of the game in progress, the Arsenal breakthrough came. Bendtner bundled, huffed, puffed and eventually found Rosicky whose pacy cross was met by the marauding Diaby; an absolutely cracking header which was close to being unstoppable. In fact it was since Reina failed to get anywhere near it. Patrick Vieira may have made his return to English football but [Thwack! We will have none of those comparisons here thank you – ed.]

Liverpool picked up a bit after that, although in truth the main threat was from Gerrard conning the referee with his diving abilities. Quite why he did not pick up a yellow card for his tumble as the final whistle loomed when Bendtner received one for a less obvious effort is something that the referee should explain. The EPLs PR department need to look once more at why the officials do not have some sort of limited interview afterwards although the media would not be too happy as it would rob them of the chance to create controvesy.

Almunia has looked under pressure recently. A criticism of him is that he cannot ‘win’ matches for Arsenal. He certainly did his best to dispel that misapprehension with an outstanding save from Babel, tipping the Dutchman’s ferocious drive onto the crossbar late on.

It was not a vintage performance; it did not have to be, a winning one sufficed. There is a long way to go to overhaul the gap at the top and last night should not be taken as a sign that it will be quickly recovered. To the chagrin of those who wrote Arsenal off, the possibility of a title remains, the desire will be the key.

Crucially, patience was shown in the performance, the passes not too hurried on a consistent basis as the points were chased. That will be a key trait that needs to be repeated as opponents seek to stifle Arsenal. Testing times still remain; whilst United and Chelsea have tough fixtures against teams at the top, those at the bottom have points they need for differing reasons. The title race though is not as clear cut as some would have you believe.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 10, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 241 Comments.

  1. Very nice recap YW.
    After a three difficult fixtures, a great result to regain our confidence.

  2. __Arsenal__

  3. wonderful stuff.

    6 Points is nothing…….

    NOTHING

    A winning run is what is needed

    We havent drawn many this season

  4. Remember this stage last season we could not get enough of goalless draws.

  5. Great result

    It just shows for all our beautiful football you still get the same points for winning ugly.And we won with Cesc being off form.

    MOTM Gallas a match winning tackle. Please Wenger offer him more then a one year contract

  6. Man U play Everton away next in the Premierl eague. We play Sunderland at home.

    I was certain if we could be within 5 points after the Liverpool game we could and most likely would win the title.

    6 points and having Man U 5 points clear is difficult because they both need to drop points. However, they do play each other so we can certainly catch one of them that week.

  7. Ver fair and reasoned recap, admirably restrained about title chances and all the writing off of Arsenal after the last two defeats. Our draws against Everyon and Cilla are starting to look better, as long as we can go on a long winning run with draws or better against Spurs and City, ManU and Chelsea might just drop enough points to go to the wire. What a crazy season!

  8. A fair reflection on a hard faught 3 points as always YW.

    Its good to go into this ‘mini break’ from league football with a win after the last couple of weeks, especially with European football looming once again on the horizon and we’ve seen our club and AW given a rough ride by the press (would you expect anything else?!?). IMO the fixture list still favours us if we can find a run of form now and at least put pressure on the top two. The 80 point barrier is certainly not beyond us, the rest will hopefully take care of its self.

    Between now and mid May its going to be a roller coaster ride but since when did Arsenal do anything the easy way???

    Come on you Reds!!!

  9. Everyon and Cilla = Everton and City

    typing on iPhone!

  10. Sorry Cilla meant Villa!

  11. THIS IS IT!

    It all comes down to this. I had said before the chelsea game that we would lose against them but that it would NOT determine our fate. And that the next 8 games until we meet the spuds would.

    Its now or never for our lads, we have to take 21 points from our next 7 games to pull off the miracle that we are all desperately clinging on to.

    We need winning streaks not unbeaten runs which is certainly possible looking at our opponents in this crucial period.

    Well done to our lads yesterday and we got the rub of the green that champions need. Now everything is up to us now, I dont care what united or chelsea do in the period provided we keep our end of the bargain.

    As they say…. its up for grabs now!

    Cheers all!!!

  12. I agree with Yogi, the title race will not be straight-forward whichever way, nor are our fixtures necessarily much simpler; but for us there is an back-hand advantage, we have been written off thrice already – at the start, in December, and a few days ago. We are so ‘written off’ we should have it as our motto. The pressure of wanna-be favourites is dimmed. Good. There is another advantage: the same elation we feel as fans is being felt in the team, and who -really – wants any return to post chelsea blues (sorry for the pun). Motivation will there by the bucket-load.

  13. Brdgunner, this is definetely a good time to meet sunderland, they have been off-form lately,lets hope Everton keep up the good work and hold those guys back for us. We have some catching up to do. A wk+ to go, in between lets beat porto and match on to the last 8.

  14. I honestly believe Chelsea will fade in the end their record away from home is really poor and there is no sign of recovering and Terry’s wheels or I should say (Pants) have come off and left himself exposed on many occasions against Everton. My main concern is M.utd they seem to be lucky with decisions and other things they had 10 own goals this season and that is very strange. But all is possible, If we win all remaining games we can win it.

  15. Good win. We looked much more solid last night, and apart from a spell after we scored looked in control.

    I thought Bendtner had an OK game (to be expected after injury), but we looked a much better side having a recognised focal point up front. Cesc/Diaby/Song will be an excellent combination in midfield for years to come should we hold onto all three of them.

  16. I hope Arshavin injury is not serious. I think we can handle Porto without him, but we need him back finally playing in a better position rather than as a CF.

  17. Morning Zimpaul. Long time no speak. I enjoyed your posts last night.

    Still hanging out at the Book Cafe?

  18. Hello Consols, oh yes Book Cafe is my place – for music, freedom of thought and good people. How are you? In your honour, I am renaming Frank’s motto to ‘by a country smile’. How’s rural england anyway? It’s been a mite cold I hear.

  19. DAVE-I know you are reading this. Did you wet yourself last night? Why don’t you come on and brag you wimp?

  20. Good point abuot Arshavin’s injury. If he is not fit, Bendtner not seemingly ready for 90mins, Eduardo the same we don’t have any viable option as a striker.

  21. song seemed to be back to his best last nite,with him diaby and fabregas in the middle we look strong in midfield,long may it continue,that is our best midfield trio no doubt,lets hope they stay fit,the less denilson plays the better we will do

  22. @gonnerrandy…wenger said that Eduardo might be fit for porto…so we have to keep our fingers crossed…and if he is..then him and bendtner will have to play 60 – 30 to get us through the match.

  23. Unusually we started the game with the emphasis on maintaining a high level of defensive organisation and only gradually released our grip in the second half as the game began to open up. As a result the football was not as attractive, but it did the job. Both centre backs played very well individually making the right decisions but also supporting and talking to full-backs and midfield players. It was stripped down performance, almost that horrible term ‘back to basics’. Important though because the game was about regenerating confidence in readiness for the run to the top of the EPL. Emanuel Eboue makes such a difference, but Abou Diaby was such a star. He defended brilliantly, created brilliantly and attacked brilliantly in equal measure.

    The people in the stadium booing in and at the end of the first half are not needed at Arsenal.

  24. Hi YW

    Definitely agree we can’t take the points for granted in our apparently easier fixtures, but given our new-found ruthlessness in disposing of smaller teams this season, I think it is fair to expect us to do very well in the last 12 matches.

    @1lc

    I agree with what you say about Chelsea. And let’s hope ManU get bogged down in draws.

  25. And can we stop the Denilson-bashing? The guy is on the bench, can’t you just leave it at that?

  26. The people in the stadium booing in and at the end of the first half are not needed at Arsenal.

    Agree with that absolutely.

  27. Agree about the fans booing, that was not nice to hear. Suprising as well, it is not as though we was getting beat.

  28. WHEN ARSENAL COME UP AGAINST STONGER OPPOSITION THEY WILL CRUMBLE REMEMBER STOKE,MAN UTD,CHELSEA,DONT GET OVER EXCITED WITH THE WIN.YOU PLAYED AGAINST A POOR LIVERPOOL TEAM AND STRUGGLED
    POTO 2 ARSENAL 0
    CHELSEA- WIN PREM
    BACELONA-CHAMPION LEAGUE
    FABREGAS £45 MILLION-BARCELONA
    VAN PERSIE WILL LEAVE DUE TO LACK OF TROPHIES.

  29. Interesting you should mention RvP. He will probably be back in time for the Spuds and Mancs II games and if we can get past Porto, fit and ready to take his place in the second leg of the quarter finals of the Euro thingy. All of our players are coming back to fitness at precisely the right time.

    …country s/mile……

  30. That was just like the old days “1 nil to the Arsenal” we sacrificed the entertainment for the result and it worked perfectly. How about that save from Almunia? top class.

  31. I will be suprised if we see RvP again this season to be honest. Our 2 weeks useually ends up being 4 weeks, and 4 weeks, 6 weeks, etc.

  32. Before we get carried away by the hypocritical backslapping by some, not all, posters, it is useful to be reminded of the doom-mongering as recent as last Monday. Here are some precious quotes:

    “Yogi, your blind optimism is a joy to behold. Back in the real world, the title challenge is over.” – zicoinexile on February 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    “No team with Almunia in goal has any chance of winning the title.Why has Wenger never addressed the goalkeeping situation after Jens left?” – ITS ALL ABOUT WINNING SOMETHING on February 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    “Both Ferguson and Ancelotti both recognised our big weakness. Gael Clichy.The guy is shot to pieces. I would put Sagna at LB and Eboue at RB v Liverpool” – Alan on February 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    “AW has begun to live in a bubble and needs to
    wake up fast…..His decision making is more erratic. He has made the calls this season and while he can’t be totally at fault for mistakes made by the players or injuries he is ultimately in charge of the direction of the club and the blatant weaknesses in the squad.” -vivb on February 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    “Our defence as a whole is culpable in both these defeats. A nervous wreck in Almunia doesnt serve the purpose at all. We are so jittery when the ball is around our box.” – clash on February 8, 2010
    at 1:13 pm

    “I do think the lge is beyond us now; mainly because I don’t expect manure and Chelsea to drop too may points between them regardless of what we do.” – goonerandy on February 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    “So Arsenal dont need a Keeper??????? and you are happy with playing a 5ft 4in player as a lone striker????You are more deluded than Wenger” – tony on February 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    “you are bonkers. We are playing ourselves back into form!!!!! yes thats right losing 2 games scoring just one goal and conceding 5. Yes thats really playing ourselves back into formThe only positive yesterday was we only lost 2-0” -eddie on February 8, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    “Thinking that we can win the title with Almunia (or Fabianski) in goal and no striker to play up front is either blind optimism or just plain delusional.” – Baz on February 8, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    “The only constant in our slow defense erosion is AW. There is no one else to blame.” – Bill on February 8, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    “We had 70% possession. Yippie! That should be at least 3 points in my books.” -ritesh on February 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    “Wenger has blind spots. A less stubborn man may look at a second opinion, a consultant of sorts to come into the training ground and give a fresh perspective.” – word on February 8, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    “There is nothing like Englisgh solution. The fact is that we’ve not been bringing in the right players in for sometime now. For 12+ Arsene should have bought Milner or Ashley Young instead of Nasri who has no pace and is not direct.” – Moda on February 8, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    “We’ll all be thrilled if we win silverware–it just doesn’t look as likely after two defeats to top sides, a draw with a 4th place challenger, and a less than convincing team selection and loss in the FA cup.” – limestonegunneron February 8, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    “The positive spin on here about the most recent “non” performance would be the same sort of positive spin that would be circulating the inner sanctum of your labour party… Before you deluded lot print your slings & arrows @ me, don’t bother, I will be well & truely back in reality world. Le Grove” – gnarleygeorge9on February 8, 2010 at 9:49 pm

  33. Yep, top class save and top class punch from Almunia. Imagine if a booer got his head in the way of that punch..would just his head get to the halfway line or would it be his whole body do you think? I am not sure on that one. Have to think about it.

  34. What a star you are s-g

  35. Heh, would be funny to see.

    Shotta – I still stand by that post. And it is not a refelection on us either. I don’t see Chelsea and Manure dropping too many points. I really hope I am wrong, but there you go.

  36. We will have to see, goonerandy. It is another 8 weeks away.

  37. I think that it is entirely possible that Chelski will lose another game and draw two, similarly with the Mancs.

  38. Dave-You have finally picked up the courage to come on here. Well done. Did you suffer last night? still sore I guess. Let me remind you 1 win in 7 away games is not a form of a Champion. Your captain was caught with his pants around his ankles last night. Ha ha ha

  39. Its going to be tough to cut the deficit but we have a nearly fully fit squad and have no excuses if we don’t go on a winning streak. We might be facing lower placed teams but if you look at the relegation battle its even more interesting that the battle for the title. We’re going to be facing teams that are desperate for points but noone is more desperate than Arsenal. We have something to prove and hopefully we will.

  40. Well done Shotta- Name shame them all.

  41. frank looked like the crowd stayed until the final whistle.That’s a step in the right direction.

  42. Yes, I am so ashamed for thinking that the best 2 teams in the country for the past 5 or so years won’t drop too many points in the run in.

    Shame on me.

  43. Not that I am defending the booing but when i heard it i thought they were booing the ref for all the decisions he seemed to be ruling in LFc’s favour.

  44. ArsenalArseneArshavin

    the title is still up for grabs

    United to play City and Everton away. Liverpool , Chelsea and Spurs at home.

    Chelsea to play Liverpool, Spurs and United away. City and Villa at home

    When are we playing Birmingham away?? Our destiny lies there. It was there that our title was taken away from us 2 years ago. That game will be the turning point of our season

  45. goonerandy- no matter what the reality is if you back the team and they fail you don’t feel bad but if you don’t and they do well then you will feel guilty. Stay positive that all you can do.

  46. You should be ashmed of yourself, goonerandy.

    Because if the team has the same mentality like you we should declare Chelsea the PL champions today.

  47. I always back the team mate. Stupidly so sometimes as well. I always think we will get a result, even when we are getting beat in the remaining seconds. I am always amazed when we get beat.

    But I can’t see both Chelsea and Manure letting us back in. As far as our results go, I remain 100% positive.

  48. Shotta, I like it man. Don’t feel bad GAndy, it’s just a way of saying ‘keep things in perspective’ -the media and pundits are already doing s fine job rubbishing Arsenal.

    Hello Frank! I’ve enjoyed your increased posts in the last few days. I scroll through all the dross and stop at yours and the other friendly types.

  49. notlager – That makes no sense. The players will want to win every game won’t they?

    Ashamed for having an opinion? Pfft, grow up.

  50. andy, Chelsea are already Champions.
    What is the goal of playing the rest of PL games?

  51. Top class s-g.

    Alan Hansen insisted last night on MOTD that we don’t have a chance of winning the title.

    Bitter is bad enough a trait to see in the man, but that combined with delusion leaves Alan Hansen as an empty shell.

  52. Well, they way I look at it is like this. We are 6 points adrift. Chelsea and Manu play each other. One or both will drop points. This is mathematical certainty. So, we are not far of the pace. Simply put we are in the reckoning.

  53. Bradys right foot

    Moments of individual brillance sometimes get overlooked in what is a collective effort to win over the course of a season. However they can be inspirational and while not a definitive turning point in a campaign, Gallas tackle on Ngog certainly had a very positive effect on this individual result, and Yogi was right to compare it to Bobby Moores on Pele as it was a piece of sublime tackling. Yes “sublime” tackling is also a skill well played Billy.

  54. I love that shottagunner me thinks I’ll also keep all the negative qoutes on Denilson and use them on judgement day!

  55. “STEVEN GERRARD is angry at decision not to punish Cesc Fabregas’s handball”

    Is this idiot for real? He made two or three (unpunished) blatant dives in the game and he is angry at the ref.

    You couldn’t make it up.

  56. This was a huge win. Daiby’s goal was brilliant. A great set up. When teams pack it in patience is the key. We spoke about that before. The race is on baby. One thing is certain. The title is not in the bag until the fat lady sings. She ain’t even warming up yet. The fat lady is not even in the building. She is athree miles down the road. A great win. forget about it. learn and now move on next. Thanks
    http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  57. I really enjoyed the win last night – even before finding out the other results- not because it was an amazingly exciting game but because we do not win many games like that. It was a tight affair and we won it from a header from a cross and we did not concede.

    Big up to Diaby who played well again yesterday; the team misses his skill and power when he doesn’t play. He has also scored 7 goals in an injury-hit season which is also great. Diaby is unique in world football; there are no others who can run with the ball with his pace, strength and close control with the ability to finish.

  58. c’mon u gooners. shove alan hansen’s comments up his arse at the end of the season.

    next 7 games = need 21 points and guarenteed we’ll be ahead of the chavs and manure.

    c’mon everton, city, villa, liverpool, but fuck spurs

  59. Morning sports fan… bright day in NYC this morning? 😆

  60. I will refrain talking to notlager as I now realise he is under 12 years old and would not want to be acused of “grooming”.

    The Gallas tackle on Ngog last night was amazing defending. Timed to perfection.

  61. Hansen hates us because of what we did to Liverpool at Anfield in 1989.

    Liverpool have never recovered and have not been a football “superpower” since.

  62. STEVEN GERRARD is a fucking diver. if i were an englishman, i would be ashamed of him.

    and john terry, betraying teammates like that. do you even want him on your team?

    gary neville- i wonder why he is the captain.

    compare that to what cesc fabregas said yesterday:

    i think we deserve a little bit more respect.

    CLASS.

    now, all we need to do is to put our heads down and keep fighting.

    everton, villa, man city, liverpool, and spurs can do us a big favour.

    but we need to help ourselves first by maintaining a winning run.

    36 points left. if we get all 36 points, we are champions.

  63. AIC;

    About Diaby; I agree. Oh how much I agree. He’s got every thing he needs to be absolute world class, and hopefully he’d get more luck with injuries.

    By the way he now has 7 goals and 4 assists. Arshavin has 8 goals and 4 assists. The goal is not to disparage Andrei, but to underline the fact that so many just a few weeks ago said Diaby will never be good enough for Arsenal.

  64. Who gives a flying one what Hansen says. Lest we forget this is the man who seriously tipped Liverpool to the win title (doh). Way to go Alan.

  65. Diaby was immense yesterday.

    A brilliant display all around that got the basics right first and put us back in the race for sure.

  66. I’m hoping Redknapp makes more boasts about finishing above Arsenal ahead of the weekend.

  67. Well, Firstlady, theres a thing. Quite a few left from about 10 minutes from the end. But it was much better than usual. Imagine… Arsenal 1-0 up in a nailbiting finish…’think I will up and get that train now, scuse me everybody I know I am blocking your view but well I have this train to catch see.’….beggar’s belief doesn’t it?

  68. “(Clubs) have a responsibility to keep going because that club means so much to so many people. Tony Pulis as the voice of reason.

  69. Ole,

    Diaby needs to work on his defensive awareness and to be more aggressive in defensive situations such as the header against Terry last Sunday.

    He is such a talented player though and has some great skills.

    His progress has been hampered by an assault and the subsequent injuries. Now we are seeing him play regularly.

  70. It is no coinsidence that Diaby is putting in good performces now he is getting a run of games in central midfield. His time spent on our left wing will have improved his game, but it was no suprise he did not really influence games from there.

    He is the only player in the squad that can win the ball and drive from deep. And it is a joy to behold.

  71. Whilst I believed in Diaby as key to our success, a lot of you rather chose the unbrazilian Brazilian as better of the two. Arsene had pencilled in Diaby to be the rock of the midfield but injuries always prevented that. Now, I hope its clear to you that the stats. man can’t match Diaby.

    If fit, Diaby plays. Its as simple as that. We don’t need stats. to determine the ability and technicality of Diaby, its clear for everyone to see.

  72. Excellent shift you put in there shotta. No mercy.

    Well, thanks ZP. Yes it has been a mite cold. Starting to get a bit of sun now which the chickens appreciate. Just starting to come into lay again.

    A bit like our beloved Arsenal.

  73. Fuck off Howard.

  74. AIC,

    His defensive contribution is already immense. For some reason, many people don’t realise how much Diaby contributes to the team’s defending.

    The header against Terry wasn’t his fault. It was Vermaelen who lost Terry. Sure he came into Diaby’s zone, but it’s hard to match someone running to meet a header if you’re starting from a standing position.

    Did you see the incident on Sunday when Drogba tried to outmuscle him, and bounced off Abou?

  75. This character called Matt Hughes on the times is such a twat!!! three days after our loss to Chelsea he is still coming up with more crap to attack our club and manager!!!

    Moda we don’t need you here. you criticizing a player who hasn’t played in a couple of games shows real class D*ckhead!!

  76. Ole,

    I am not saying that Abou doesn’t contribute defensively but this is where he can improve further. He sometimes loses concentration when defending. His timing of tackles has improved however.

    I thought that Abou could have challenged Drogba more agressively but it was Vermaelen who lost Drogba.

  77. AIC,

    It was Song who lost Drogba, while Vermaelen lost Terry.

    I agree he can improve. Of course he can he’s 23 years old, and has lost maybe 2 years of his career to injuries.

  78. Yesterday I said that Wenger would start Eboue and that Abou would have a big game. From now on I would like to be known as Prophet Rinsing. And this weeks lottery numbers are…

  79. Re:Diaby.. Walcott was asked in an interview recently who was the most skilful player at the club, and he said hands down Abou. He went on to say that in the small 6 a sides they play at Colney, he was a bag of tricks and that no-one could ever get the ball off him. He will be a huge player in Arsenals very bright future.

  80. Sorry, Terry, not Drogba.

    I enjoyed watching Saha owning Terry yesterday.

    I am already looking forward to Porto.

  81. Great game. I loved to see the club take a little more defensive approach and keep a clean sheet. Not the most beautiful football to watch but winning is so much fun. We took a more pragmatic approach during our CL finals run 4 yrs ago and it worked. If we play defense like that we can always score goals against the opponents we have in the next 12 games and we could easily take 34 points. I think Birmingham away might be the biggest danger game. If we play smare we can nick 3 points at Spuds and hopefully smash City.

    Diaby is awesome. He is the perfect example why all the idiots who blast Theo, Vela and Nick B and who expect Ramsey to come into the side and be constitantly good at age 19 are way off base. Most players do not mature until their mid 20s. Diaby is 23 now and hopefully he can somehow stay fit enough to grow into the world class player that he can be.

  82. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=740116&sec=england&cc=5739&cc=5739

    you know, steven gerrard is really a big loser.

    he tries to cheat by diving and still loses.

  83. Great victory yesterday. This title race is gonna be a roller-coaster

    Shotta: I’m not quite sure what the point of your post is. Are you saying whoever critized the manager/team has no right to celebrate a victory?

  84. I was wondering the point of that post myself.

  85. The point seems to be that if you have any critisism/observations of the team that are not “WE Are Da Bestest Team EVA!!” your points are not valid and you are not a “proper fan”.

    I would point out that some of the critisism is over the top and stupid, but some of it is also made because people care passionately about the team.

  86. No, the point is that you should not come on this blog and, Chicken Little style, moan about everything when the going gets tough. If that’s what you’re going to do then you will be called out and rightly so. Please, take enjoyment in victories, but remember that being an adult is about having some perspective and not wetting your pants when the manager/team/players don’t perform to the level you expect them to.

  87. F*** OFF Goonerlady,Yoda,Henry back to the sewer you go.

  88. There are some good rational posts on this Blog, but I am becoming more convinced that many people on here are posting from their phones in Primary school.

  89. Gris Gris – Please show where I have “moaned” about anything. I think you will struggle to find many moans. If I have any observations I will back them up with a reasoned argument. This is known as adult debate.

  90. Goonerandy at 3:29PM:

    Well said. The reason we have these blogs is because we love this team and we love to talk about them whenever we can. How incredibly boring would these blogs be if no one expressed different opinions. Some of the criticism is way over the top and I think not supporting and worse booing at the team in our stadium is crap. But it is not bad or wrong to disagree about the merits of certain players and to disagree with some of the decisions of team management. Fans have been doing that everywhere for as long as there has been sports.

  91. Shotta-gunna@12.11pm. Brought a smile to my face.

  92. Very true.

    Discussing online about arsenal has no bearing on the team performance. Sometimes I get the feeling that some gunners are more obsessed about the nature of support from other gunners than the team’s performance itself. This goes for some called ‘doomers’ as well. Coming on here and insulting other people for being positive, what’s that about?

    It doesn’t add anything to the football debate and does get quite tedious

  93. Why has no one yelled at Yogi for throwing Bendtner under the bus? I’ve watched the replays, and there is clear contact on NB’s trailing foot. That will send you down every time. I don’t think it was a horrible call…the contact was slight, and Webb had the guts to give the card if he wasn’t giving the penalty.

    But we who have the benefit of replay should know better.

    I’m also mystified by those who keep claiming “the ball was going in” if it didn’t hit Cesc’s arm. If his arm hadn’t been there, it would have hit him in the head (which is why the arm was there).

  94. You have a point, Bill, in theory, but most of the quotes s-g posted are NOT part of reasoned debate, are they? They ARE in fact over-the-top criticism of players, knee-jerk over-reactions or mockery of optimists and fans who refuse to give up before it’s over.

  95. @ Henristic

    You are quite wrong – the blog atmosphere undoubtedly does have an impact on the team’s confidence because firstly, it influences a lot of people. This is not a private forum. You’re not talking to half a dozen people in the pub, you’re broadcasting your views to the world – thousands of people read these blogs, gooners and non-gooners. Secondly, the readers include journalists who communicate what they assume is a general feeling to a wider audience. So the language used and the views expressed about Arsenal do matter. How bad is it for your confidence to be Player X and hear/read via the media that your own fans hate you and think you’re crap? If you wouldn’t boo a player in the stadium, don’t boo them on a blog site.

  96. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Go on Shotta. Exposing the weak hearted chameleons as he should. You doomers need to look up the definition of unwavering. We’re consistent over here in our support for Arsenal, unlike you up and down see saw supporters.

  97. nolaboyd, YW is right. Even though there was contact, it still was a dive. Remember when we criticised Rooney for doing pretty much the same thing to win the penalty against us at OT?

    Next time, I hope he’ll be smarter about it, like Gerrard, whose is now definitely the best in the world at ‘stumbling’

  98. @ nolaboyd

    I’m also mystified by those who keep claiming “the ball was going in” if it didn’t hit Cesc’s arm. If his arm hadn’t been there, it would have hit him in the head (which is why the arm was there)

    I actually think he was just wiping his forehead with his sleeve!

  99. If there’s no problem with the comments cited by shotta-gunna, why are their authors complaining? Surely they should be proud to see their earlier wisdom recycled.

  100. Song and Arshavin injured from yday..
    Nasri ok

  101. Fantastic Greatest Hits Of Doom from Shotta! I like how Arsene even managed to solve our alleged ‘keeper problem internally, is there nothing Cesc can’t do?!

  102. Has anyone ever defined a dive?

  103. FunGunner I disagree. I don’t see any evidence supporting your view. Look how well Song, Eboue and Diaby are playing, all recipients at one time or the other of intense criticisms on blogs. People are now even saying they’d prefer Eboue to Walcott on the wings1

  104. Impossible to define, FG. That being said, Gerrard is still a diving asshat.

  105. i realise most of the stuff he said was on 1 April

    April Fool’s indeed.

  106. “I actually think he was just wiping his forehead with his sleeve!”

    For whatever reason he did it, thank goodness he did!

  107. Well it was a headable effort but why should he risk messing his face up for a free kick the scouse cheated to get? Justice done I reckon.

  108. I see we have been fined 20 grand for nasri stepping on the Hull blokes foot.

    Bang goes the summer transfer budget then.

  109. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You’d think a player as big and strong and tough as Stevie D would maybe try and use those attributes to his advantage. He’s way too soft for his size.

  110. Morning, afternoon folks!

    Henristic, how do you think the players would feel if they knew that all the blogs were 100% behind the team and were keeping the faith?

    If you were a footballer, and you read that the supporters of your specific team were backing you to come good, what would that do for you? what about if they all said you were crap?

    Anytime we think these people are robots we get it wrong, they have feelings and the opinions of the supporters can have an impact on them, regardless of the forum as they dont live in a vacuum.

    People are talking about adult discussion, over the past few days I have read all of the folks who always back the team criticise the defensive errors, obviously we are not blind but who wants to hear, “I dont think they will drop points” even though they dropped points just yesterday or “this and that player is crap, Wenger has lost the plot, we are not good enough”?

    Thats wack yo!

    God bless!

  111. @ Ted Harwood
    No argument about Gerrard!

    ***
    @ Henristic
    I don’t see any evidence supporting your view.
    Are you saying there is no evidence that blogs are public fora? Or that thousands of people read them? Or that journalists read blogs and the views expressed are recycled from blog to blog and in the wider media? Or that reading that your fans think you’re rubbish would affect your confidence?

    First of all, as an example of the way blogs influence fans directly, if you have been reading non-stop mockery and vilification of a player on a blog it makes it easier to cross the line and treat them unfairly in the stadium. Eboue and Bendtner being cases in point.
    Secondly, on negativity leaching into the wider world via the media, think back to last season and the BBC’s abortive story about the fans having lost patience with Wenger and there was a groundswell of anti-Wenger feeling. They thought there would be banners and demonstrations – there was no such mass movement, that idea started from a blog. Reading a few blogs off Newsnow is the journalists’ idea of research or “taking the temperature”.

    Look how well Song, Eboue and Diaby are playing, all recipients at one time or the other of intense criticisms on blogs

    I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. Those players have come through the storm – it doesn’t mean they were not affected or that it was OK to try to destroy their confidence.

  112. Henristic:

    “FunGunner I disagree. I don’t see any evidence supporting your view. Look how well Song, Eboue and Diaby are playing, all recipients at one time or the other of intense criticisms on blogs. People are now even saying they’d prefer Eboue to Walcott on the wings1”

    This is absolute bullshit. These players were on their way to becoming good players anyway. They were lucky that Arsene Wenger and true supporters had their backs when the morons booed them. To suggest that booing a player is some how better for them is absolutely retarded. If that were the case they should be booed from now until the season ends. The reality is that these players were victims of negative punishment fetishists. Their games weren’t influenced by boos. It’s not like they were fucking about drinking and staying up late. They had the misforyune of being out of form and they got unfairly punished by a section of the support that knows no other way.

  113. Yesterday I took a look at 9 point gap and the run ins for the top 3 and put a tenner on Arsenal to win the title at 20-1, am now feeling slightly smug as our odds are down to 10-1. Come on Arsenal, its really in out hands now, Spurs away is our toughest game and I could see us going unbeaten for the rest of the season.

    Arsenal
    Arsenal v Sunderland
    Stoke v Arsenal
    Arsenal v Burnley
    Hull v Arsenal
    Arsenal v West Ham
    Birmingham v Arsenal
    Arsenal v Wolverhampton
    Tottenham v Arsenal
    Wigan v Arsenal
    Arsenal v Man City
    Blackburn v Arsenal
    Arsenal v Fulham

  114. Steve C

    I can feel a 13-match winning run coming on!

  115. I am not interested in debating…and I don’t think that this is a debating forum. No football blogs are. You can give your opinion and you can lapoon people you disagree with and you can be yourself or someone else. You can lie, you can confess, you can practice your writing skills, you can look for a friend or even a shag. You can seek solace and you can even preach. But you cannot debate on a football blog..

  116. If one’s looking for a shag at ACLF, Frank, they may be barking up the wrong tree… 🙂

  117. Well if you are the ‘one’ to whom you refer, Ted, don’t be shy. Veronique in Pigalle will be able to sort you out I should think. Want me to put in a word? I don’t charge commission for ACLF contributors.

  118. @ henristic

    Anyway, we have got slightly off the point, which is that a season is like being on a war footing – solidarity is our secret weapon. So it is really annoying, when you are trying to shore up the team’s confidence, and to get behind the manager who is doing the same, to have some people flip-flopping, panicking and generally failing to hold it together. We will lose games. Players will be below par now and again. The manager will make mistakes. He won’t do what some fans want. That’s his prerogative. If we panic every time we lose, or harp on and on about our team’s failings, or constantly call for new signings, the message we send the squad is that we don’t think they’re good enough. I don’t think that helps. Do you?

  119. FG @ 5.01. hear hear…I second that.

  120. Oh and there you go again. FG @ 5.22 hear hear…I second that.

  121. Gainsbourg69@ 5.04 hear hear I second that too. Although I think you have seconded FGs.. er…you know…er…motion. Actually thinking about it Gainsbourg69 I would be very surprised if you were not already acquainted with Veronique and her..you know…resources?

  122. Ashley Cole has broken his ankle!

  123. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    And he’s out three months! Get in!

  124. ACLFers:
    “Who the cap fit, let them wear it”
    -Bob Marley

  125. Cole with a broken ankle and Giggs with a broken arm. A sad day for the media.

  126. The idea that blogs have no effect on fans behavior is the doomers false excuse to continue their destructive agenda.

    You mean to tell me that if, Frank, CBob, Poliziano, Maria, and Passenal go to the stadium to see an Arsenal game they will view the players and the game exactly the same as a group from Le Grove?

    I’ll tell what I can imagine happening, The ACLF group will be cheering Denilson on, and the group from Le Grove will be shouting every degrading name on the planet at him with every “successful” 5 yards pass.

  127. Frank, things are getting entirely too sexy for me now.

    Btw, is there any news yet on Song? Is he all right?

  128. Oh, crap. Just as I post that there’s news on the official site. Sorry, everyone.

  129. Cashley Cole? They’re going to drop more points.

  130. Bergkamp Ghoulfest

    You can’t turn comment threads into a jingoistic propaganda parade on the off chance that Nicklas Bendtner’s dad reads ACLF and that maybe, just maybe, some doomer will wound the great Dane’s confidence (which is boundless, anyway).

    Forums are for US, and we (most of us, anyway) are intelligent adults who like to talk ABOUT Arsenal and not just trumpet the manager’s credentials every week. If you do it in a reasonable way, you’re adding to the wonderful eco-system of Arsenalism that is ACLF. If you’re being a prat, well, then you’re being a prat, whether patriotic or overly negative.

  131. Have you guys ever seen that episode of The It Crowd where Moss has a program that helps him speak about football?

    The program tells Moss to say the following:

    “That was a ludicrous display last night. What was Wenger thinking bringin Theo on so early? It’s like Arsenal are always trying to walk it in.”

    This is what the doomers remind me of. They have no thoughts of their own. They’ll spew whatever it is pundits and other so called experts talk about.

  132. Frank, I’m a bit lost about Veronique. Maybe you can explain.

  133. Bergkamp, one thing is to discuss football and quite another is to throw your toys out of the pram after a loss like the little boys here tend to do.

  134. BG – a supporters blog site should be about supporting the team and creating a positive atmosphere around them so that they have the best chance of success. To me it is an extension of the in stadium support. I would not dream of booing the players on the pitch so I do not do the equivalent off the pitch. Bendtner’s dad does not have to read the blogs to know what’s going on. Players don’t live in a bubble and have friends or associates who might pass things on to them. Don’t you think journo’s who are asking them questions don’t say ‘the fans think so and so, what do you say to that’? And where do you think these journo’s get those ideas from? They have to be the laziest people in the world. When they are not in the pub making things up, they are reading blogs to get ideas. They took the Sorenson story from le shit hole and they took the ‘brochure’ from the arsehole. Fortunately there is a larger majority with the brains to see the bigger picture who don’t cave in at the first sign of adversity.

  135. It is a star you are, Passenal

  136. Gainsbourg69. Veronique was a shaker and mover in Paris in the sixties when she set up in Pigalle.

  137. This blog is a great forum for fans of Arsenal.

    And YW’s top summary of last nights game is another example of why people like to post here.

    As LAGooner eloquently said, I too have no interest in questioning whether someone is an Arsenal fan. I don’t think that was clear enough in my post last night, even though I only wished the Trolly a pleasant journey home. Still, sorry for being boring, I guess that counts as FTFT.

  138. Perfect example last night on Sky.

    That complete idiot Keyes couldn’t get the answere he wanted out of Souness about Arsenal bein on the rocks so turns to Smith and says, ‘How long can Wenger last without a trophy?’, or words to that effect.

    Smudger then confirms that there is dissatisfaction amongst the Arsenal fans and that there has even been a petition to get Wenger out.

    Job done. Buit for Souness, there would not have been a positive word said about Arsenal before the match.

  139. There are obvious differences to watching a live game, or a broadcast game, but reflecting on the insight and humour shown here, by almost everybody, it isn’t really that important. It’s also obvious that footballers & coaches learn a lot from watching football on TV & Video.

    The biggest difference, for me, is following individual players and specific areas during a game. I like to watch the Full backs movement and positioning.

    So following on from some interesting comments made yesterday afternoon on this blog, including some by ‘Americans’, I found the ‘tactical battle’ in the first half around the FB’s interesting. In the end, they didn’t take the bait, and did not run to the byline much, if at all. Those comments were a bit more interesting then, for example, “Liverpool will just come and defend.”

    I thought that might be vaguely interesting feedback for those who anticipated that aspect of last night’s game, as I don’t think I’d posted after going to a game before. These observations were probably more easier to from the broadcast anyway! However, I had a great view of Almunia’s save. A save so good, I think many in the Stadium didn’t spot it. There is no cryptic meaning in that last sentence.

  140. I think there’s a fair chance that there are some who will not follow your post there, Finsbury. Those who are more intellectually challenged, I mean.

  141. Bob, I watched the game with a friend who expressed Moda’s view of Nasri. Not a classical winger, not fast enough.
    When I countered that by pointing out that he’s going to be miles better then the older ‘winger’ Malouda, did better in comparison last season, they accepted that along with their own, no problem.

    I also said I saw Nasri as Rosicky’s ‘apprentice’, don’t know why.

    But that was a ridiculous cross from the ‘winger’ Rosicky.

  142. @ Bergkamp’s Ghoulfest

    Blogs may be “for US”, but anyone, absolutely anyone can read or contribute. Whether you like it or not, they are the public face of Arsenal fans, just as public as the fans on matchdays.

    Most fans enjoy debate, but is it so difficult for people to remember that there are 38 games in a season, not just one, and therefore not scream “We’re doomed!” after a bad loss? Is it so hard to say that Player X is having a bad game, or is off form, as opposed to Player X is a disgrace, or not fit to wear the shirt? Can’t people say “He made a bad decision” instead of “X is a f*cking joke”? People can refrain from abusing the Cescs and RvPs of the team when they have off days – why can’t that restraint be shown for all the players? And the manager? A degree of restraint doesn’t seem like a huge or unreasonable demand, to me. Because ultimately, the debate is a luxury. Arsenal is our obsession, but we aren’t in charge of the players’ training sessions, so any ideas we might have for improving players are irrelevant. WE can’t coach them. But we can worsen players’ performance by knocking their confidence. So why do that? If you go on a Sp*ds forum and see that they are all abusing Jenas or Lennon, it makes you rub your hands with glee, doesn’t it? So why give comfort to opposing fans or hand Adrian Durham and his ilk ammunition to lob at us?

    And I have to say I find your use of the word “propaganda” bizarre. It carries sinister overtones to me, and I would be interested to hear what you consider is the sinister aspect of showing a united, solid front while a title campaign is going on?

  143. @ Finsburyparker

    Can you expand a bit on the FBs tactical battle?

  144. FG,

    Not really, as I’m no Brain when it comes to tactics in football. I’ll give it a quick try.

    It seemed that Clichy and Eboue were deliberately given lots of room just inside the Liverpool half, during the first half, to ‘suck them in’.
    Almost every Arsenal move out from Almunia had either FB in an amazing position, but they were ignored by the CB’s and midfielders a lot, even though the crowd were asking for them to be played in, and Clichy spent most of the 1st half begging for a pass. And I noticed, as discussed by some here, that the FB’s did not get too close to the Liverpool box very often in the first half.

    A classic example of ‘cat & mouse’?

    Many said Liverpool didn’t have enough pace in attack, but perhaps Liverpool should have played as they did in the later twenty minutes earlier, they had some chances in the end. Loved the Bobby Moore reference above for Gallas.

    Have to go, but hope that made some sense.

  145. Typo:

    *And I noticed, as discussed by some here, that the FB’s did not get too close to the Liverpool box very often in the first half.*

    >

    *The FB’s did not get too close to the Liverpool box very often in the first half.*

  146. Very strange indeed that some people think that it is beyond the realms of imaginations that players or those associated with them actually read blogs or other internet related writeups on themselves or the team!

    many have personal web sites … Arshavin anyone? Arsenal players strike me as well read and quite exposed and not too long ago, Gilberto said he heard of not being made captain from the internet!

    Criticize by all means, but with perspective… There is nothing abnormal about expecting us to win all the remaining games of the season and expecting our opponents to drop points. It is well within rights of the so called tinters to support us to win the title until we are mathematically out of the race whether by January or else by may!

    We were on top of the league with at least a five points gap until eddy’s injury towards the end February 2008! Do you recall who eventually won the league that year, with we dropping about 9 to 11 points eventually, cos we ended up about 4 points behind the eventual winners… so why can we not expect that to happen for us this season. Even if it has never happened before, what is the support of a team without Hope and expectations? If man u had not played with that belief they would not ahve positioned themselves to take over from us when we started to drop points in that season!

    Those called doomers are those that make dramatic comments like “Chelsea can never drop points”, when in this very season, they have shown themselves capable of just that! or “You cannot win any trophy with almunia in goal”, when he was not the keeper for both the carling cup and FA cups that we are put of and we are actually still in the competitions that he is the main keeper for!

    Its all about perspective.. we didnt play well against man u, we lost, so what shound we supporters say to the team? “Come on! you can do better than this, the season is not yet over”.

    Then They improved against chelsea, but stilll lost, so what do we say to the team? “Much better performance, but take it a step further”!

    Then there is improved performance against liverpool, so what do we say to the team? “Thats more like it, guys, keep this up and God willing and all other things working out for us, we can be champs come May”!

    And do the team do. only come May, can we tell, but they will be in a better frame of mind to carry on that with the doomers approach of “you cannot amount to nothing”, or “Theo can never be a great player”, “Song can never make it at arsenal”, “Diaby can never win you a match” … i read on one of the blogs that they felt diaby had never put in a man of the match performance for Arsenal and therefore, he should be dropped! etc, etc, etc! Very generalised comments, hardly constructive!

  147. @Gainsbourg69
    Haha, I absolutely loved that IT Crowd episode but yes, you are absolutely right, doomers are a lot like that in this respect.

    So, how often have we been written off this season? At the beginning people expected us to drop out of the top 4 — well, we are in third place and our position is very secure. THen after the two ManU games it was written that our title challenge died in it’s infancy, but Arsenal class showed and we bounced back. After Chelsea we were written off again … and again we came back, even going on top for a couple of days. And now? Why do they even bother talking about how we got no shot at the title when this season has been clearly unpredictable so far and we just kept coming back? Pundits will never lern…

    Oh and I think it’s fun that people @ le-grivel are still miserable despite us winning. I thought now, for once, after such a glorious victory, we might see something else but doom mongering on their site but..well…just a couple of excerpts from the article:
    “Almuina spilled a freekick he should have caught. If newsnow allowed naughty words, I’d tell you what the whole country shouted in the direction of the Spaniard at that moment.”
    “Theo managed to pick the ball up in Liverpools half, instead of holding onto it, he played it back to Reina! What a muppet, that put us on the back foot almost immediately! ”
    “Do I think we’ll win the league? No.”
    “Eboue was proving to be a liability “

  148. Well, see the examples by evilflek and you can be sure that these are what will be expressed when these fellows go fro a game!

  149. Veronique used to say to me so many years ago and of course I am translating for you ‘You know, big boy’ …I won’t tell you why she called me that….’you know big boy, pessimism is tiresome at the best of times but active, arrogant, paranoid, evangelical, pessimism is probably the most corrosive characteristic a human being can possess.’…I really loved her when she said stuff like that, even though I knew it was just a business arrangement.

  150. Bob Wilson’s comments on 5Live this evening were fantastic. ‘How would Manchester United have coped without Rooney, or Chelsea without Drogba, or Liverpool without Torres in all of these important games.? Well I tell you that Arsenal have lost a player every bit as important in Robin van Persie, and yet they are in third possession and still in a position to win the league, and no-one reports it’

  151. ‘Third possession’ is the state of grace achieved by being in third position without a particular important player. Kind of like rapture.

  152. Frank, this Veronique, you know, does she er…um…run an overseas branch?

    And Bob Wilson’s awesome.

  153. Why do I feel so lost?

  154. ashley cole out for 3 months!

    Whos englands second choice left back again?

  155. har har har

  156. Bob Wilson is a star!

    Great post TS

    And thank you, Finsburyp.

  157. Old veronique certainly floated Franks boat!

  158. To be honest shes floating mine as well!

  159. All your talk about boats is making me (sea-)sick!

  160. Slowly sinking guys. Taking in too much of this Vernique water, methinks, or is it Frank’s water. Whatever?

  161. Vernique, Veronique. Whats the difference?

  162. Were they identical twins?

  163. @ Frank:

    Ha! Ha! Thanks for the explanation. She seems like an obliging lady.

  164. Bob Wilson is a legend

    I`ve also been very impressed with Graeme Slewness too lately. The bloke bloody loves us & says so many intelligent, positive things about our style of play, business plan & Arsene that his days as a Sky `pundit` must surely be numbered.

    Infact, he`s the complete opposite of Paul `I mean` Merson & Ian `Showbiz` Wright. Ex players who should know better.

  165. Sorry Shoota-gunna, couldn’t resist a rather lame attempt at humor.

    Anyone else a bit disappointed we don’t have a game this week-end. Nothing to get excited about. A gap to fill. And then the fixtures will undoubtedly pile up when the CL kicks off again, who makes these decisions?

  166. Matty – I thought I was the weakest of the lot. Welcome to the club! 🙂

  167. You feeing lost Maria ‘ what a shame. Come back down to the sewer, it’s nice and warm. A woman with your colourfull language would be rather at home down here.

  168. Many of the Chelsea players are concerned about what John Terry might be doing with their wives, especially with him being given time off to supposedly sort things out with Toni. Ashley Cole’s “fractured ankle” should be read in this context.

  169. Incredible as it seems, Cheryl Cole is actually one of the more attractive of the Chelsea wives – provided she keeps her mouth shut.

  170. Bob Wilson is indeed a legend.

    Not only is he a legend but he is a great ambassador for the club and a Gentleman too. I once saw him on the concourse outside The Emirates and he was only too happy to pose for photos and sign autographs. He even squeezed in a quick prediction for the game and a quick chat about how the season was progressing. He was smiling and jovial throughout the fans’ general harassment of the great man. A down to earth ex-footballer and all round good guy in my opinion.

  171. Rednapp was dressed in a very smart suit today in court.

  172. He may be swapping it for one with arrows on in april!

  173. I have to say, it was good to be an American Gooner last night!

    Arsenal put in a solid performance and Landon Donovan played an integral part in Everton’s victory over the Chavs…

    He put in the cross on the first goal…drew a penalty, and managed to break Cole’s ankle in a completely clean 50/50 tackle…not saying that I wish that on a player, but it is going to possibly help our cause.

  174. lolol Remi… and a slopping out bucket.

  175. Ashley Cole……couldn’t happen to a nicer man.

    Is Veronique in Pigalle a regular poster?

  176. What you won’t hear from the pundits.

    Chels played 26 pts 58 (avg 2.23 per gm)
    MU 26 pts 57 (avg 2.19)
    Ars 26 pts 52 (avg 2.0)

    Projecting fwd at the same rate would be Chls 84 or 85. MU 83. Ars 76
    For Ars to hit 84 needs 32 from 36 in the last 12 games. Six home, 6 away.
    Looking at the points in the same games first half of the season Ars won 8, drew 2 (Burnley/ WHam), lost 2 (Sund/MCity). Total points 26. But obviously these are now reversed with all of the games where they lost points now at home (Burnley, WH, Sund, MC).
    Of the 6 away games Stoke, Hull, Birm, Totts, Wig, BlBurn they are all winnable but you would expect to draw at least 2 of them (possibly from Stoke, Birm or Totts).
    IF Arsenal can win all of their home games (Sund, Burnley, WH, Wolves, MCity, Fulham), win 4 of the away games and draw 2 of them, then they will have 84 points and have every chance of winning it.

    Chels and MU have still to play 5 of the top 8 so for them to drop at least 10 points over the course of the last 12 matches is reasonable.

    I think it will be very close.

  177. Lol – Muppet!

    Euuuuuugh – what a thought!

    He will be having to share a cell with ‘Lenny the Dip’ or ‘Bonecrusher Smith’ – nice…….

    Would be funny if his cell mate was an arsenal fan!

  178. Cheryl Cole? Might be another woman in T’s bed? Fears run deep in Chavski camp. Watch your back.

  179. No CC final distraction, no FA cup run (Chels), favourable Ch League draw, so far. Also very positive.
    RvP back during March (post the Int game of course).

  180. Taking the credit for the fact that an American might have hurt poor Ashley with a perfectly clean tackle…..haha.

  181. Its definately dooable JBH

    Chelsea have only one win in seven away games (I think) so if that sort of run continues and we can keep on a winning run then who knows!

    Come on you Gunners!

  182. jbh

    Great analysis, I’m convinced we’ll do it.

  183. don’t forget we would have played citeh in the f.a cup- no doubt wenger would play the kids, we would have got slaughtered and our season wud derail.

    instead we have some rest, and preperation time for what could be the most exciting run-in for quite a while.

    brace yourself….

    Come on Arsenal.

    btw can somebody say who the yids got this weekend?

  184. After Terry’s hurt Ashley, his tackle won’t be half so clean.

  185. Terry’s felt quite a lot in the past couple of weeks.

    a few victorys, a loss and someone’s wife. All in the life of a simple yeoman i say..

  186. Oh and Chelseas last three away games are at Man Utd, Spurs and Liverpool…

  187. it was Donovan, was it? haha

    hahahahahaha

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Same thing in the world cup, please

  188. i’m not american though, but how can u support a team that consists of such prats?

  189. Ice,

    Away to Bolton in the cup.

    Then away to wigan in the league

  190. Carefree, wherever you may be, you aint got no history

    a few f*cks there and a few over there (with someone’s wife aswell)

    you all do eachother and u still dont care

  191. Look at these quotes:

    “Cesc is committed when he plays, [so] what’s the future? We don’t know what will happen in six months, in two years, in five years. Your commitment is when you sign your contract and where you play.” AW 9Feb10 (Ars website)

    “Barca denied it (illegal verbal agreement for CF to join Barca this summer) and I’ve denied it, no player is bigger than this club, this is disrespectful to Arsenal, its fans and me” CF 10Feb10 (live interview after the game)

    “Nothing is going on, nothing is agreed and if this [speculation] happened to a Barca player we [all fans] would be very unhappy. And besides if anything happens it will be during the summer” Fabregas’s Dad 10Feb10 (G Armstrong translation)

    Translation: Cesc has not extended his contract which (with the 2011 extension clause) runs until 2014 despite Arsenal asking him to. AW will push hard for him to stay on (obviously) but both AW and Cesc are making noises indicating that it may end this summer (AW – “6 mths”, Cesc “no player is bigger than the club”).

    Can he (AW) squeeze another season or 2 from him or will they take the cash this summer?

  192. Shotta. Loved the list. Props and respect. The weak and waivering have no place amongst this crew. Very appropriate considering your avatar, truth and justice and what have you

    glad to see Chelsea and utd have hard roads ahead

    great quote from Wilson, I tell whoever will listen that same thing all the time

  193. yeah i have to say….its looking like fabregas is indeed off this summer.

    I dont doubt for one minute that he loves Arsenal.

    But Theres no longer the same conviction in the denials and more than that….room for speculation within it, something theres never been before.

    Perhaps the offer will just be too good to ignore?

    Can he be replaced?

    Its sad if there is any truth in it…..but we have an exciting end of season to focus on right now.

  194. A R S E N A L

  195. I do not see where you get the “Fabregas is off in the summer” nonsense. This story is rubbish from a rubbish Spanish radio station.

    Cesc’s father’s words were even edited to sound like there is a story when there is not.

    All that was said basically was, “leave Cesc alone he is happy at Arsenal and -IF- there were any talks they could not even take place till the summer”

    Notice the big IF.

  196. i cant believe it, but apparently no one at soccernet.com has covered the midweek games????????

    you know, you always expect to see articles praising chelsea, liverpool and man u, and saying same old weaknesses from arsenal again.

    yesterday was such a big day, and you are telling me none of the reporters were down at the stadiums to write their specials??????

    leck mich doch!

  197. now if Landon can just put a similar tackle on ManU’s #10 this weekend…

  198. In Landon we trust 🙂

  199. Arsenal!!!
    ps Cesc is not leaving, AW is honest to say ‘you cannot know’- there are so many variables. It is highly unlikely anyway.

  200. California Gooner

    Finsbury, I agree with your comments. i don’t get to games very often and almost exclusively watch them on TV. But when I do, I’m always excited to be able to see what players are doing away from the ball, ‘off camera’ as it were. When somebody makes a run the TV is unlikely to pick it up unless a pass is made. Obviously, TV is better for tight shots — and of course there are no ‘bad’ seats — but not as good for watching overall movement in the stadium.

  201. Hi

    Would anyone remember to whom Vermaelen owe his black eye to? Which Chelsea player?

    Looks pretty bad.

    Thanks.

  202. Bergkamp Ghoulfest

    @ Fungunner, others

    I’m sorry but the “public forum” argument is BS. Some of you (I exclude FunGunner, who articulated his point well) sound like the Chinese government, honestly. It is not a fan’s job to withhold his own opinions for fear of jeopardising the morale of the team, not on an internet blog, for goodness sake. Booing at the stadium is sin but if even here we’re supposed to wax lyrical about Denilson’s defensive virtues and stats or shut up completely, then football has become just another silly religion.

  203. Luke if i remember correctly it’s Malouda whom by the way I think got away with plenty of stuff in that game without being booked.

  204. You dont read very carefully do you, Bergkamp Ghoulfest?

  205. Thanks Firstlady. It was a tough game to follow on TV. To have been down so early, I credit myself for staying switched on throughout. But I must admit not noticing when TV got hurt. Malouda is normally not known for roughhouse tactics. Probably the worst offenders are Terry, Carvalho, Jon Obi Mikel, Essien (didn’t play that game).

  206. Frank – You seem like an intelligent bloke; are you honestly saying that if somebody makes a well thought out point regarding the team or a player which is not blowing smoke up whoever’s arse is out of order?

    I do agree that some of the hysterical reactions are just plain stupid, but it seems as though people who make reasoned points get lumped in with the idiots in some people’s view. If that is the case some very good and relevant points will go unheard.

  207. Well actually the point I was making is that FunGunner is a woman.

  208. In general I mean.

  209. In general she is still a woman.

  210. She has bottle too. Although Passenal’s bottle is very much to my taste.

  211. Ah, point taken.

  212. BG your argument is ridiculous when placed in context, ie reality and with some perspective.

    Arsenal’s position is overwhelmingly positive, and Denilson in particular is an exciting young talent (nobody said he was the finished article) so why would you choose to be overly critical? Against what yardstick are you analysing? Why?

    You should see some of the footage of ‘early Vieira’ where he might be described as dodgy at best, and certainly inconsistent.

    Most current young Arsenal talents except Cesc have been pilloried by their own fans in the same way as Denilson, and yet one by one they are becoming recognised by most fans as good to excellent – Song, Diaby, Traore, Bendtner etc. All the evidence, and it is extensive, says that Denilson will be, or is now, the same.

    What makes you think Wenger would keep a player who is not good enough?

  213. Stepanovs?
    Jeffers?
    Wright?
    Wreh?

    Wenger makes mistakes (the same as all a mangers) but I would not swap him for anybody. Your point about being overly critical is a fair one. But it seems that any level of critical is over critical on here.

  214. And nobody has answered my question. I am not trying to start an argument either, I am honestly interested in people’s thoughts.

  215. GAndy, your argument is just as facile. It is not about mistakes or non-mistakes, it is about strategy. Is the strategy effective or not? Are the results there to prove a good strategy in place?

    I hardly think the players mentioned will ever be held up by anybody as typical of Wenger strategy.

  216. Most ‘Arsenal’ blogsites, lead by leGrove and Online Gooner are beacon’s of negativity. People who have become quite disabled by a life of pessimism flock to these sites in the vain hope that they can be saved. No chance.

    ACLF on the other hand has taken a different path. Lead by a site owner that had the bottle to stand up publicly to the BBC over the Beveren Affair. The site has drawn real Arsenal supporters who have become utterly disillusioned with whinging nonesense promulgated by the pessimists and the press and media. We recognise that as far as football is concerned we don’t really know our arses from our elbow, but then neither does anyone else.

    We are all different and many of us may not like each other but we do share one belief and that is that Arsenal is the finest club in the world of football and we are not going to run down its manager and players. Why as a supporter would you want to dis your own manager and players in public just for the sake of expressing an opinion which is probably wrong?

  217. It is very easy to criticise a player or a manager in a game, and equally meaningless, because football is played over a season by a team, in a context (financial, competitive, objectives etc).

    Most critical posts are, in this way, not reasoned but actually meaningless.

  218. Well said, ZimPaul

  219. A healthy view by a supporter might be as follows: “I enjoy every match my team plays, not just for the outcome but for the game. I like every player in an Arsenal shirt, including most the ex-players because they play in my team”.

    Why?

    “I am an Arsenal supporter. I enjoy it. Every neutral commentator says they play the best football in the world, alongside Barcelona, that makes me happy”.

  220. Laura Harvey has a dream job I reckon. She is now the Ladies first team manager. Good luck to her and to the squad.

  221. 29 years old and manager of Arsenal Ladies…that is a fantastic achievement.

  222. Frank

    I agree with you. We have to be unashamedly biased for Arsenal FC to be called an Arsenal supporter.

  223. I wonder who next, after Eastmond, will get a first team jersey or a little run out there, whether by injury or design? Who knows out there? Who’s the ‘talked about’ lightie coming on fast?

  224. Bergkamp Ghoulfest

    ZP, what is so “ridiculous” about my argument? I don’t think it’s ridiculous at all. I reserve my right to enjoy my team’s performances and to talk rationally about tactics and management like an adult. Simple as.

  225. Well, I take your points but don’t nessasary agree.

    Possitive/Negative view points are not black and white. Just because I voice a concner in a particualr area doe not make me a negative supporter. It is funny really, because I am quite the opposite. I am 100% comitted and 100% behind each player. Some I rate more than others.

    I don’t think highlighting area’s of concern is a bad thing provided it is done constructively. It is a shame (from my point of view) there are not more here with the same opinion as I enjoy a good debate about something with somebody who shares the same passion I do for the club.

    We have a great club, which is heading in the right direction. But all is not perfect (the same as every club) and it is folly to just ignore the bad areas’s just as it is stupid to not take delight in the good area’s (of which there are much more).

  226. Well done, goonerandy.

    What you have posted and debated ( with applomb ) this morning about having the right to a “balanced” view of the Arsenal is without doubt the normal, intelligent, reasoned individuals viewpoint.

    Unfortunately, you have the likes of le moan.. who very quickly ban you ( think i lasted 2 days ) if you praise the meritocracy of the grand way in which our club is set up to be a monsterous super club for decades to come with the infrastructure and conveyor belt of talent our current legendary manager has instilled.

    When we lose or draw, the piece of shit blog owners like to call the greatest manager that ever lived ” a french bleep” or tell him to “fuck off back to france” …. it was after these type of expletives that i fell out with them … they are not normal people, they are disturbed, gormless, dreamers. They have a merry band of brain dead followers who go down with cherry blossom poisioing daily. Brain dead, boot licking chat suits them to a tee.

    However, there is another extreme displayed on this very blog, as you highlighted andy.
    No matter how positive you come across about the club.. one minor dissenting voice about a certain player not being up to the task yet.. and the code of the cult is broken…

    you are suddenly a chameleon, a shapeshifter, a doomer etc etc

    its possibly more ridiculous than the other mob at the other extreme, they are very clear.. we hate arsenal and the manager and we will ridicule them at every opportunity.. and tinge it with so called love of the club 😆

    this mob here, are meant to be the real fans of the club, who understand where we are going following the build of the stadium, youth project etc

    but a real fan, a real blogging atmosphere of intelligent, reasoned gooners.. will have the overriding feeling of mass positivity, as we are set up wonderfully for the future, with the allowable feelings of raising good debate on the virtues of certain players at certain times.

    otherwise.. what’s the point?

    nobody that ever lived… or will ever live…. will be perfect.

    wenger can and had made mistakes in the past, he never does them purposely to the detriment of the club, and the morons who boo at the stadium need shooting… but if you feel denilson is not quite up to the task.. why not voice it on here with reason?

  227. And I am sure my keyboard is making me look dyslexic.

  228. That is exactly my point S Hawke.

  229. get ready to be called a doomer

  230. where is our dose of stone cold Friday?

  231. The most interesting issue with the younger players is not the usual infantile – they are good, they are bad – but how they are developing in terms of the overall strategy and team. My own view is that Denilson and Song were the players of the season last year, and in all probability, the main reason we are playing Porto next week. I am sure Denilson hasn’t reached his standard this season, but he’s shown why he is there. In all likelihood, he will become a very good player.

    Hawke’s nonsensical ‘call to reason’ is the usual “I am Wenger’s biggest supporter but being the snob I am, I reserve the right to call him a twat because all “human beings are fallible”‘.

    But surely you realise that Wenger’s biggest critic by far is himself. Le Grove doesn’t even come close. It’s not about his mistakes, which are many, but how the strategy is panning out.

    You’re late Hawke, we’ve heard the ‘fairweather fan’ report before, in all its variables and it still stinks the same way. GAndy is more humble and sincere.

  232. “I wonder who next, after Eastmond, will get a first team jersey or a little run out there, whether by injury or design? Who knows out there? Who’s the ‘talked about’ lightie coming on fast?”

    We’ve got 14 players out on loan at the moment, which shows that “Project Youth” is on the right track.

    Despite all these temporary moves, and all the injuries, the first team’s pretty well covered anywhere on the pitch. Still, I like the look of Luke Freeman and Chuks Aneke – winger/striker and attacking midfielder respectively.

    They both offer something we don’t really have. Of course I doubt we’ll see them for a while, but I think they’ve got a good chance of breaking through purely because there aren’t equivalent players in front of them.

    Freeman’s very direct – a lighting-quick Paul Dickov with more skill and finishing ability. Chuks Aneke’s – whisper it – comparable to Vieira, but plays further forward.

  233. New Post

  234. I just cannot understand why supposed fans/supporters would come to an Arsenal supporting blog and spout forth with the same drivel that the fans of other teams (including the paid biased pundits) dish out against the Arsenal Manager/Players week in and week out? Its the easiest thing in the world to criticise a young player (young players should never make a mistake, right).

    Either they really support the other teams (trolls), want to give arguments to the pundits, journos, etc, or they are naive, and a bit thick.

  235. jbh – You are wrong mate. It is that exact attitude which causes the problems and arguments as well. Trolling is not the same as airing a reasoned opinion.

  236. Frank,

    any idea if kelly smith and alex scott are coming back on loan?

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