The Importance Of Being Theo

English football is littered with Great White Hopes, talented youngsters who have failed to deliver when push came to shove. Few in the modern game have had a longevity which matched their early promise, injury or poor career choices have blighted them. Following on the heels of Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott was seen as a sign that the misnomer ‘Golden Generation‘ might have been applied too early to the England team of 2002.

In a World Cup year, injuries are the key focus of media speculation when their imperialistic bombast is not slating the South African hosts for their construction skills (wrongly) and Fifa for their greed (rightly). The England team would not be ready for a tournament if a metatarsal was not snapped into pieces. It seems that the bone in the foot of the star of the team is old hat; this time focus is on burnout and wayward back or shoulders.

Walcott’s rise was meteoric and entirely in keeping with the media age we live in. Sparkling performances for Southampton brought the attention of the big clubs. To the delight of various editors, a right royal bunfight for his signature ensued, won eventually by Arsenal, the promise of being developed in a team which promoted youth that could play football being decisive.

The big money paid automatically meant that expectations were raised by journalists; Wenger developed him slowly, bringing him onto the wing where his biggest attribute – pace – was utilised to great effect. Too slight to be the central striker he desires, Walcott showed great promise to the extent that the final act of folly from Sven was to include him in the squad for Germany 2006.

For the player, such experience was invaluable. For the national team, carrying a passenger at the finals was a pointless exercise. No blame should have been attached to Walcott, it was not his choice yet he has been tarred by that brush. His goal in the Carling Cup Final seven months later emphasised the potential. His Arsenal career though stuttered through hereditary problems with his shoulders. The pattern of growth problems suffered by Steven Gerrard seems to be repeating itself with Theo; different injuries but the same stop-start seasons.

Expectations are high. Everyone can see the possibilities that Walcott has. I do not think he will be as prolific as Michael Owen or Robbie Fowler, his ‘killer instinct’ seems not to be as in-bred. When he eventually moves centrally, he is more likely to be in the mould of Henry, creating opportunities through speed; he simply needs to improve his finishing.

Coming back from a long lay-off this season, questions are being asked whether he will be fit for the World Cup. A not unreasonable angle for the media to take since they have a long time to fill in but to be subjected to scathing criticism for his performances thus far is wide of the mark.

Being absent dulls match sharpness; no matter what player, all need time to get back into the ‘groove’ of competitive games to bring themselves back to their best. Walcott is no different. Critics also forget he is young and he has yet to fully harness the mix of pace with final product. Against Sunderland, he outpaced his defender and got space to put a cross into the box; alas Nasri was more than ten yards behind him, reaching the edge of the area as the ball skewed past the far post.

Experience will bring knowledge and confidence to Walcott so that he can know what to do in those situations. It is too soon to expect him to be all-conquering right now yet this is not how he is perceived. Personally, I would like Walcott to be able to play on the left as well as the right. That stage of his development is not coming along as when playing there, he is too easily channelled into a dead end by defenders. He has the skill and the pace to do more.

Walcott is in exactly the same place in his career as Bendtner; they can go on to become Arsenal greats. They appear to have the desire and the talent, it is down to the coaches and manager to harness them. Is it too much to ask that they be given the patience, support and encouragement from supporters to help them along the way?

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 23, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 460 Comments.

  1. ist perhaps, good post yogi

  2. Great article YW.

    Theo will go on to become a great along with NB, as you say. Theo is getting sharper with every game and he really showed that on Saturday. Once he has the experience to hold onto that ball for a few seconds more, waiting for his team mates to catch up with him, he’ll soon rack up shed loads of assists. He has also shown glimpses of quality finishing, and those glimpses will soon become showcases of Henry-esque clinical goal scoring. Might not be for a year or even two or three, but patience is the key for Theo. Hopefully he wont get frustrated because it isn’t happening for him right here, right now… It will come Theo!

  3. Imagine how hard it must be for young Theo to hear the criticism directed towards him by the Fans/customers/supporters….
    The poor guy has hardly played this season, hes been struggling with injuries all year long and yet, everyone expects him to run before he learns to walk (no pun intended)
    People need to realize that its not easy to recover from injuries, specially when ur at that age.
    If u were twenty and suffered the same injuries that he did….how would u feel if people came up to u and criticized you for trying to get ur game back.
    I wish him nothing but the best…im going to support him through thick n thin like ive done with arsenal

  4. wow….first comment!

  5. Maybe not. Good article though and I agree entirely -we need to be more patient with Walcott to give him his chance.

  6. Walcott is very playerish. I know it’s near enough impossible for the eagerness of youth to understand, but Walcott really has time on his side.

  7. Arse baggins you is not the first comment, what is you talking about?

    I feel bad about Theo now, he is only small after all, time to give the lickle rude boy some slack and you know this

  8. Not many people on here wanting to stick up for the Theo I notice, theres alot of hartred aimed at Theo for all the wrong reasons and you know this. Sub-conciously alot of people on here want Theo to fail cos he’s English and that shit aint right, not mentioning any names but theres alot of haters out there dogs, alot of bitter, twisted and jellous people and its sad G, it aint the vision and you know this, Racism works both ways and you know this

  9. For England supporters who are Walcott Haters,

    Why would u want to destroy his confidence in a worldcup year?
    With a little encouragement…he can only get better.
    With all this discouragement…ur only making it harder for someone who wants to play well for England to discover his form and live up to expectations….
    just fail to understand the logic behind it

  10. I actually thought Theo had a relatively good game against Sunderland considering the stop starts he’s had all season.

    I don’t think Capello will have the luxury of leaving Theo out for the simple reason that he’s two for the price of one. Rather than take 5 strikers, Capello can opt for Theo as a striker cum Winger who he can use for impact.

    I agree that the pressure from the media is relentless – and Walcott needs time to improve his game and decision making.

  11. Darius,

    I was thinking maybe give Walcot a cycling helmet to stop him from hurting his lickle head all the time when he runs into people, must hurt like a biatch and you know this. What do you reckon cus?, can we run with this? is it possible? Logistically speaking?

  12. I think we expect to much to young. When you consider that Berbertov, Lampard, Carrick, Hargreaves, even Bellamy who has had many good review this year all took off in their mid 20’s its crazy to think Theo can be written off at 22.

    So many top top players do not come to the forefront until they reach their mid 20’s yet we never seam capable of waiting for this. With Arshavin and Rosicky in the team we have the experience to wait for Theo to come good.

    A good comparison with Niki, who if he were to come good at 24 and really take off as much as he thinks he can. I would not be surprised if a big bid turned his head. And who would blame him? The same fans that booed him and would have caused it.

    Take Hleb for example, as out of order as he was to leave he got some stick in his early time at the club which would have tested his loyalty and any players.

    People say were to quite which is true, however, it’s the groans that are most costly for us.


  13. Nic Bendtner would become an Arsenal ace? I don’t think so. He should be showing much better skills and touch now which simply aren’t there. As we know he hasn’t got the pace, he should be better in other aspects already.

  14. SanElan,

    Leave ‘Red Pants’ out of this G, we talking about Theo, show some love

  15. I dont expect Theo to go to the world cup and its not because of his current form its because he has players in front of him who are in better form and are playing more regularly than Theo.

    Theo for me is a winger not a Valencia type winger but a messi or Ronaldo type winger.
    Messi and Ronaldo beat people with their pace and trickery and Theo can do the same but he does need to improve his finishing and also his final ball
    There’s one thing that’s certain Theo has a big future in front of him.

  16. I find it staggering that anyone continues to question theo. how many englishmen could have set up ade’s goal again the Pool in the CL? How many could have scored a hat trick in croatia?

  17. RomfordPele, thats Two games in four years dog, he’s got to improve and you know this, maybe show him some old tapes of the Dickov, i dont know cus, we gots to work out a solution to turn Theo into the boom ting

  18. Andrew.

    Theo will go to the world cup (assuming he stays fit). He is an option that England has and must use.

    There’s enough room for him on the plane – and no other right winger needs to be left at home. Besides, Lennon seems to be more injury prone than Walcott.

    I have a feeling that he’ll actually get back his sharpness about the time when tickets are being handed out for the flight down south.

  19. Darius will you be supporting England G?, not the players, the flag?

  20. Nice article, but I already used that title on my site a couple of days ago!

  21. SanElan after being proven wrong by Ebue,song & Diaby u still think u know more than Arsene.Nic B will be a hit soon & u will pick on someone else to direct ua bashing on.Go support the tiny tots pal!

  22. Darius Stone
    its easy to get the fitness back but its not easy to improve your skills in 3-4 months and Theo has a lot to learn
    maybe being left out of the world cup will make him strive even more to improve and it might be a better thing for him than going to the world cup and sitting on the the bench.
    There are more people who deserve it more right now and Theo will get his chances in the future no doubt about that
    P.S Theo will turn 21 next month so he has a long long way to go

  23. good article.. and theo is still pants imo.. an athlete at best but certainly not a footballer! 4 years training daily with Bergkamp.. Henry.. Fabregas.. under the supervision of the best coaches in the land.. Robbie Savage wld be a better footballer by now..

    Even Arsene make mistakes.. and to me Theo is a mistake.. not good enough for Arsenal..

  24. Yogi- I do not agree that Walcott will not be prolific as Owen. And then you say he will be more like Henry. Henry was more prolific than Owen. Owens’s maximum tally a season was around 15-17 goals. Thierry was averaging 20-30 a season so if he will be like Thierry like you said then he will be prolific. Thierry was banging the goals at the age of 2. The only difference is Thierry was taller and stronger physically but Theo has plenty of time to grow physically and learn a lot more. We just have to be patient.

  25. correction “at the age of 24”

  26. Nicholas Bendtner has done a great job since coming back
    He has held the ball, he has gotten on the end of crosses so theirs no reason for anyone to be mad at Nicholas
    He does need to improve his finishing but people tend to forget he’s 21 and in a couple of years he will start showing his true skills.

  27. A lot of frustration from Arsenal fans surrounds the fact that he got injured playing in a tournament that Arsene did not want him to go to.

    Had he chosen differently then, people would have been less frustrated with him now.

  28. Andrew- Going to the world cup will be very good for his confidence and also he can taste and feel the big stage.He ‘ll learn a lot. it can only help him and Arsenal too.

  29. he has already felt it before and this time it will be just frustrating
    sitting on the bench for a second world cup wont be a shot of confidence but a Disaster
    Still I didnt think Capello was that impressed with him in the sunderland game neither was I

  30. Completely agree Zico . . . the England management set up have a lot to answer for with regards Walcotts run of form!

  31. Good post. I think Theo has the potential to be a great player, but needs time. Firstly, he needs time this season to get back in the groove after a long injury layoff. Not just physically, but over the psychological hurdle that that there isn’t going to be another lay off. He also needs longer to develop a bag of football skills. This will take longer. If he doesn’t he’ll be all pace and no creation.
    Having seen watch the younger Henry play when I lived in France, it took him a while to add the craft to the pace. A case for patience from the fans, care from the coaching, and a deaf ear to the press.

  32. Theo really could be a great footballer. He is great of the ball, but struggles on it. He really needs to keep working hard on his technique.

  33. Lydster- Agree, patience is needed with this kid. Wenger has been cautious with him and doesn’t want to throw him at the deep end from a very young age, Owen burst into the scene as a 17 years old and his career seems to be over where players normally peak, blighted with injuries. People keep going on about Rooney. Rooney was a fully grown man physically at 17 even his hair is receding so early.

  34. Theo has pace and finishing ability but not composure. There’s every chance he’ll get more composed as he gets more experienced.

    The danger to his career is that he has to find that composure soon. You almost feel he needs to have a run of 15-20 starts to find confidence, fluency and form. The problem is his current form means its not very likely he’ll get that. Rosicky, Eboue, Nasri & Arshavin are all very much ahead of him.

    Maybe he has to focus on making an impact when he comes on.

  35. There are too many stupid haters out there the people who sit behind me absolutely hate HATE bendtner and slate him even when he is warming up. So much so they even slated him when he scored at the weekend. if I was him I would consider any offers that came in when your own supporters boo you when you score. WTF. To all those haters Fcuk off. Support someone else or if you ain’t for anything good to say then shut the fcuk up.

  36. Theo will return to full form after a couple of games but he shouldnt be taken to the WC so he can keep his feet on the ground and keep improving his game all round;he still has a lot to learn!
    He went patriotic and played for both the national team and the u-21 even against AW’s wishes, flopped,got injured, couldnt take part in the preseason and has been deviled by injuries ever since.
    Leave him out of the WC train and you’ll have an explosive player on your hands (4 Arsenal first, and then England second of course)in four year’s time.Take him along again and you slow down his development.He believes his press too easily and doesnt work at improving the gray areas of his game.
    Perhaps leaving him out of the WC party(something Capello’ll do without even thinking twice) will turn out to be his MAKING as a player!

  37. Steve
    Bendtner is not stupid he knows that wenger has trust in him, the players have trust in him and all the sane fans realize that HE’S 21
    In 21 most people are either playing for the reserves or are on loan to a championship side
    he’s leading the line for arsenal and his country so some people may not realize this now but we have a gem at our hand
    I think in a couple of years these people will be saying the same thing that they are saying about Song, Diaby and Eboue now
    “I didnt like him before but he has really grown and matured into a top class player.”

  38. Ole, it depends on who we’re playing of course, but I get the idea that on the right-hand side of our attack, Theo when fully fit is ahead of both Rosicky and Eboue in Arsene’s selection thoughts. As Arshavin and Nasri can play on the left and as in the absence of VP, Bendtner plays up-top, it’s arguable that Theo’s actually just about first-choice for us on the right. Certainly for home games, and perhaps in Europe too.

  39. I think Rosicky fitness depends whether he plays or not
    I still think Rosicky is above in the selection than Walcott

  40. Seeing as Theo is quicker than every left-back on the planet (with the exception perhaps of Armand Traore), it must be very tempting to play him against anyone and everyone.

  41. Is Amand that fast?

  42. Armand is second fastest at arsenal but pace doesnt mean you can beat any defender
    A defender can skill stop Theo without pace

  43. Not if it’s a straight line race toward a ball played through they can’t. Not without giving away a freekick.

  44. With everyone fit, Theo might even be behind Bendtner on the right.


    What do you think the front 3 will be all players fit?

  45. limpar you make me smile..

  46. From Silvestre to Walcott.

  47. Don’t ask me that Ole, it’s too difficult! Eduardo RVP and Arsh perhaps?

    All I’m saying is that Rosicky, Nasri and Arsh – all offer quite similar options down the right. Eboue, Bendtner and Theo all offer very different options there. Without going into the comparitive attributes of Bendtner and Eboue, when you’re looking at pure pace down the wing and a target to play the ball through to and in front of, to get behind the defence – it’s Theo hands down. Which is why when he’s fit, he seems pretty much first choice there to me – certainly at home to the ‘smaller’ teams.

  48. Totally agree Limpar. It’s a very tough choice but I would be tempted to play Arsh, RvP, Theo. Nasri and Rosicky can both play in the centre if needed, but with those 2 down the flanks, that’s some proper pace that would worry any defence.

  49. Edu’s a tricky one to leave out but i do think he’s back up these days. His link up play is amazing but i would prefer to have 2 pacey wingers and when RvP is fit, there’s no question of him starting.

  50. I think it’ll be Eduardo RVP and Arshavin, from left to right.

    Theo’s pace is a massive weapon… present it looks most massive coming off the bench around the 60th minute. But that’s just my opinion….and not a particularly founded one.

  51. Firstlady – the 3 fastest players at Arsenal (and arguably in the league) who could give any 100 m sprinters a run for their money are Theo, Traore and Vela.

    I think Walcott and Eboue compliment each other very well on the right flank. Any defenders who are assigned to mark Theo will have a nightmare with an overlapping Eboue. theo would then have an option of cutting inside and letting Eboue have the freedom of the park hugging the right touchline and creating havoc.

    Which reminds me of what was most definitely the goal of the season in 2006-07 – Charlton vs Arsenal – when Van Persie literally took off like a rocket to meet Eboue’s sublime cross mid air for a volley right out of the top drawer. Most commentators were lost for words in trying to describe what the hell happened.

  52. I think that’s fair enough Ole. It makes sense to have him coming on to terrorise defenders when they’re tiring. I would like him to start as much as possible though to get him the much needed game time. But i suppose, by the time we have a fully fit front line, Theo would have probably gained that much needed game time… What a nice dilemma for Le Prof

  53. DS – that was amazing! The technique for that volley was absolutely sublime. That, along with the Edu heel volley are 2 of my favourite Arsenal goals in the last couple of years

  54. Great post Yogi:

    We have a number of very talented but young players and the media and fans have to give them time to develop. NB, CV, AR, K Gibbs, TW. Realistically you can not expect these players to be ready to consistantly play well at this age. Even the great C. Ronaldo took a few years to become great. Rooney is hitting his best now. Goal Scorers usually hit their stride in the mid 20’s. TH14, Drogba, RVP, etc etc,

    I agree with Ole. We would love to give TW a run of games but his performances have not allowed us to do that. The team can not afford his inconsistancy in a title race.

    I think the proper way to develop these players is similar to the way the boss brought along RVP. He was 2nd or 3rd striker behind TH and then Ade. He got in games but he was never the main option. That allowed him to mature and develop his talent. Waiting for his chance did not kill RVP. When he was ready at age 26 he stepped into the limelight. If a player is talented enough it will eventually show on the pitch. If they are really good enough eventually he will go the way of Aliadiare, Bentley etc etc etc.

    The danger is asking them to be the main option before they mature. I think NB will be a great striker in 2 – 3 years. If we put to much pressure on him now before he really learns how to finish it can damage his confidence. The fans, media and the player himself stop believing in his talent when the only real problem is he just needs time. Unfortunately we do not have any other options a striker now. Hopefully NB will not have a few bad games and miss a few sitters and lose his confidence over the long term. Asking a 22 year old to lead the line of a team fighting for the EPL and CL is asking a lot of him. Same with TW and AR etc etc.

  55. Ole, the only reason i would be tempted to inclued walcott in our little fantasy world of perfect fitness, is because he offers something that neither AA, eduardo, or rvp offers. i think with AA & Eduardo, you have two players while maybe not similar, they represent a similar threat to defensives, they cant be given space in and around the box and are neat finishers. Including Walcott with RVP and AA gives you 3 different types of threats up front.

    Going along the same line, I think that when Nasri and Rosicky started wide of AA against Porto, we lacked a bit of dynamism, or any sort of variation in our attacks in terms of how the threats were being developed.

    Eboue to start @ Stoke?? I think he has to

  56. oh and i think what theo seriously needs is a goal. a first team goal. i think that would help his confidence immensely.

    Walcott gives us something that no other player we have can. he doesnt always give it to us, but when he does, it really provides us with some attacking variety

  57. Bill, I also think that NB and Theo are developing thick skins, in order to repel any crowd murmers whenever they try out a trick that doesn’t quite come off. ROnaldo fell flat on his face for two years, but didn’t seem to give a shit whether people were laughing at his attempts, or not. Growing up in public is part of their curve. Being patient and supporting them is part of ours.

  58. Bill,

    RVP has been ready since 06/07. Arguably that was his best season for Arsenal, and he was simply fantastic before injury knocked him out. I think he got 13 in 15 or something like that that season. He didn’t suddenly become ready at age 26.

  59. NJGooner, You know dat, you know dat

  60. Like all gooners, I’m hopeful of, and eager for, Theo to fulfill his promise. What makes some impatient and perhaps, hyper-critical is that this boy collects huge wages during his on-the-job-training. He gets paid real money – not potential dollars. Personally, I’m not troubled by his compensation, what I’m concerned about is Walcott demonstrating his commitment to Arsenal FC and not the England u21s.

  61. Edward, we deal with sterling here Biatch, you know dat

  62. Mingus:

    Unfortunately they need to develop thick skins. That is the way of the world with the internet.

    The fans and the media have to be patient but the players themselves also have to be patient. I think Aron Ramsey has true world class talent. NB, TW and potentially CV are going to be excellent players but it will take time. Just like C. Ronaldo they are not yet good enough to play regularly on a title contending team. Like C. Ronaldo and RVP if they have the talent they will get there eventually.

  63. It was amazing how many Arsenal ‘fans’ did not get RvP even in 06/07. It was only a year or two back that some of the commenters on here were arguing that he was not a team player. Fucking idiots. Believe it or not there were people claiming that his voley against Charlton was an ‘accident’. Unbelievably poor support.

  64. NJGooner,

    I personally think the best 11 players should play. And I don’t count Theo in that.

  65. Theo has been at the club for 4 years and still cant cross a ball.I would play Eboue wide right everyday of the week before Theo.

  66. Yes but by that rationale we’d have Rosicky in goal…

  67. …Ole

  68. At the moment, it is NB who tries things, fails, tries again, succeeds, and doesn’t seem too bothered about the inevitable groans he might hear from us. CArlos smiles and gets on with it. Theo doesn’t try tricks, but neither did TH14 really. It’s not his thing.

  69. If Theo played every day of the week he’d be far too exhausted to be in contention for the world cup – so I guess it’s a good thing it’s not up to you, GH>

  70. What people forget about these Arsenal kids is that they are outstanding players already, playing at a higher stage than most of their peers. If you consider TW for example, in the England setup he’s been ahead of the likes of Milner & Lennon who’re 3 & 2 years older respectively.

    Bendtner already has over 30 caps at 21. He’s been player of the year for his country; and Denmark have decent players. He has a decent scoring record for Arsenal if you count goals per minutes played.

    Carlos Vela is an established international at 19. I could go on and on.

    Too easy to forget all that.

  71. Djourou is 22 and he’s already been to the World Cup.

  72. Guildford Gooner

    Another sensible post.This is why yours and untold Arsenal are the only gooner blogs i read.Well spoken!

  73. i think you can’t say a player is too young to deliver, but you can make the converse mistake of thinking a player won’t be world class because he’s not world class at 20.

  74. Mingus, you are on fire partner, you trully are a Razor, now put down your sword and embrace me as your brother

  75. Also, Gerry, crossing the ball is not the be all and end all you seem to think it is. Here are some crosses/assist stats. Have a look, some of your favourite players may even feature…

    Andy Reid SUN 189/6
    Antonio Valencia MUN 171/7
    Ashley Young AVL 172/7
    Leighton Baines EVE 157/5
    Jamie O’Hara POR 147/3
    Steven Gerrard LIV 147/6
    Stephen Hunt HUL 140/5
    Francesc Fabregas ARS 126/13
    James Milner AVL 130/11

    My point is that a) as a midfielder you don’t need to cross the ball into the box over and over again to create goals, and b) Arsenal aren’t really a ‘crossing team’ so, in the 4 years Theo’s been here, he hasn’t had as much practice at lumping the ball in the box as say, Andy Reid. I for one am glad of that fact.

  76. Wonderful post, totally agree.

    Theo and Nik B have the talent.

    Wenger has not become a poor talent spotter overnight.

    This time last year.. Eboue, Diaby and Song were questioned ability wise.

    Role the clock forward and we now know why AW stuck with them… don’t be surprised if the same will come true of many others who are still finding their way.

  77. Let’s face it, Eboue was only put under the cosh because he was starting ahead of Theo, and our great public couldn’t stand the fact that the poor random African was ahead of the great English hope.

    So they slowly turned Eboue, and he became a crappier and crappier player in popular folklore, until he became outright crap.

    It’s the same way Almunia has become the worst keeper in the division.

    The criticism started out as, “he’s not world class”, and then “he’s not as good as other Top 4” then “he’s just average”, then “he’s the worst in the division”. Arsenal fans like to work themselves up into a fine lather…….believing each succeeding wave of their own rubbish.

  78. Theo is excellent already. His general passing and movement is often overlooked, it’s improved a lot this season already, he has a good shot and he gives sluggish defenders a few nightmares. His threat compels defenders to stay deep and distorts their positioning. And he’s getting better with each outing after a fitful start this season.

    Wenger was simply telling it ‘as it is’ the other day when he said Theo has a big part to play in the tail end of this season. Wenger attends training. We do not. Sometimes we should listen.

    Thanks Mr. Yogi W.

  79. I’d like nothing other than for you to fuck off.

  80. @ Frank, Ole,

    Couldn’t agree more about RVP and Theo. Theo is in a difficult position – he does indeed offer something different, but he has to earn his starting place just like everyone else. And the competition is FIERCE.

    Frank, do you remember Robin being described as a “luxury” player? Well, for a luxury player he’s turned out to be pretty integral to our team!

    @ Edward
    Why the moaning about Theo’s wages? He would get big money whichever PL club he was at, whether he was starting or not. That’s just how it is.

  81. Limpar its strange that you’ve put so little value behind passing the ball well, to emphasize your point, lol.. especially with one of the best passers of the ball in world football, as your avatar..

  82. Kitchen Sink,
    You know dat, what Limpar said was silly, dont listen to it dog, crosses, high or low, are effective and you know this.

    Embrace me as your brother

  83. Here’s a good reason to go into your local WHSmith. The new issue of Four Four Two has a feature on Milan’s fitness lab. It explains how they got their over 30’s playing for longer and it may signal a way forward for Arsenal.

    Demichelis, the main fitness guy, says when they first started they used chiropractic techniques to find structural problems in players that may lead to injuries. While non-traumatic injuries (I’m guessing that’s muscle pulls etc.) have also decreased.

    That hasn’t stopped them finding a cure for Nesta’s injury but has worked for most others.

  84. Ole, i see what you’re saying abotu the best 11. id have to agree with you that he is not one of our “best” 11 players. but as we saw with eboue on saturday, that doesnt mean he cant add to the team, and in a HUGE way. would i rate eboue above nasri or rosicky? absolutely not, but you have to admit, sometimes we lack a bit of diversity when nasri and rosicky both start on the wings

  85. The Brain, If milan were in the premiership they’d finish 8th

  86. Brain – I recall Beckam speaking very highly of this fitness regime at milan.

    I’m sure i also heard or read an interview with flamini going into a lengthy chat about the postives of this magical fitness place in the milanese moutains.

    I can also wenger and his sports science techiniques prolonging the playing careers of many a player in the late 90s.

  87. Stringfellow Hawke: The next step seemingly for the Wenger revolution at Arsenal is improving the fitness regime. Milan, I read, use a number of different specialists, not relying on a little number of physiotherapists. Their techniques are a step above the rest and interestingly, their research was the reason McCarthy rested so much players against United. So blame Milan:

    Mick Mcarthy: “I read an article where Carlo Ancelotti had said that the risk of injury in one game is 10%. And then that goes up to 30% or 40% if another intensive game follows in three or four days. We believe that anyway, but that came from the Milan Lab research centre set up by AC Milan.”

    William: that’s not the point.

  88. if only some of the magic could be worked on the u30’s

  89. NJGooner,

    He’s in the squad isn’t he? Of course he adds something to the team.

    I think the Nasri+Rosicky point you make is off. You don’t have to play either both of them or play Theo.

    All players fit, It’d be hard for Theo to keep Arshavin, Nasri, Rosicky, Eboue out of the team, despite how much we appreciate what he brings

    Those guys are all outstanding players, and they defend better than him apart from Arshavin.

  90. Seemingly that’s the next step in the Wenger revolution – to change the fitness regime. Milan benefit by relying on not a few physiotherapists but a number of specialists and techniques, and don’t also use painkillers and such before and after match days.

    Their ideas was the reason Mick Mcarthy rested all those players against United. So fine Milan:

    “I read an article where Carlo Ancelotti had said that the risk of injury in one game is 10%. And then that goes up to 30% or 40% if another intensive game follows in three or four days. We believe that anyway, but that came from the Milan Lab research centre set up by AC Milan.”

    William: That’s not the point.

  91. Seemingly that’s the next step in the Wenger revolution – to change the fitness regime. Milan benefit by relying on not a few physiotherapists but a number of specialists and don’t also use painkillers and such before and after match days.

    Their ideas was the reason Mick Mcarthy rested all thoise players against United. So fine Milan:

    “I read an article where Carlo Ancelotti had said that the risk of injury in one game is 10%. And then that goes up to 30% or 40% if another intensive game follows in three or four days. We believe that anyway, but that came from the Milan Lab research centre set up by AC Milan.”

    William: That’s not the point.

  92. Cheers for that Brain. They have been the masters at prolonging players’ careers for a while now. I know we dont really have issues with prolonging careers but we definitely have some issues with players getting cropped in the first place. If these preventative measures could be implemented, we might even get a full strength team out at some point…

  93. KS, do you have a Rosicky vs. Porto video? His trivela pass between 2 Porto players the other night was one of my favourite of the season so far.

  94. Flint McCullough

    Excellent piece YW.

    With Theo you are so correct in pointing out that it is all about managing expectations, a mirror image of the whole youth project, in fact.

    We have seen only glimpses of what he can do, eg AC Milan & Liverpool CL, & the hat trick for England. He has not managed to stay fit long enough to get the games that will help him do that more regularly.

    It is a tricky situation because he has to be good enough to get the games & so far, this season he has looked a level below his colleges. However his main weapon, pace, does worry the opposition & he can create space space for others even if he is not using it so well himself.

    Theo to me is an instinct player, who makes good runs, can finish but is better when he doesn’t have to think about what he is doing & just does it. The problem with that is he becomes a lottery & you get either utter brilliance or the downright poor. Can we afford that?

    Vela is also quick & for me much more of a football brain than Theo. He must be thinking how come this guy gets games ahead of me?

    Still the pros & AW seem to rate Theo very highly so let’s hope both of them can go on to be Arsenal greats.

  95. oh im not saying that if you dont play walcott, you have to play nasri and rosicky, i just took your comment about the best 11 earlier, at least given our current fitness tandings, to apply to nasri and rosicky being “better” than walcott, eboue or whoever.

    I just felt we were too predictable with the two of them playing, especially alongside aa

  96. I think the midfield is an equally tricky dilemma. I would quite like to have song, cesc and either nasri or rosicky in the middle, but you can’t leave diaby out at the mo… where does that leave denilson and ramsey? It’s the same with the wing positions.

    Our team is not only maturing into a squad of top quality players, we have the ability to mix it up and play players in these different positions, which is a great luxury. It means that we can tailor our starting line up to suit the team we play next. I can’t think of another team with such flexibility.

    However, I would still like a natural anchor man as back up to song, as i think this is the only position where we lack a natural replacement. Eastmond will get there next year or the following year and i’m not too confident in either Diaby or Denilson playing in that role – particularly against the top teams in the world.

  97. Any thoughts?

  98. Excellent Yogi’s…Over-Expectations and Patience-less can kill talent.

    This is why Wenger is Wenger, I don’t think any manager have his patience to work with youth. Working with Youth players is like raising kids, if you don’t have the patience, you better off not having kids.

    Many Arsenal fans would like to throw Denilson, Bendtner, Traore and a few others under the bus …..maybe Walcott too (Only his place of birth is giving him more time).

    Do we learn anything from the past?

    Song proved us wrong and Wenger right.
    Diaby is proving us wrong and Wenger right.
    Walcott and the rest of developing youth will prove us wrong and Wenger right.

    I have no doubt about it.

  99. Limpar @ 3:20pm:
    “My point is that a) as a midfielder you don’t need to cross the ball into the box over and over again to create goals, and b) Arsenal aren’t really a ‘crossing team’ so, in the 4 years Theo’s been here, he hasn’t had as much practice at lumping the ball in the box as say, Andy Reid. I for one am glad of that fact.”

    Hear, Hear!!

  100. unlucky, cashley

    some poof yank dancer is now ripping into your missus 😆

  101. Is there any other Arsenal blog where people talk football all day like ACLF?

  102. LOL Ole gunner.

    I have a doomer free zone. And the talk is deep.

  103. The problem most of our youth players face has got a name: Cesc Fabregas.

    I think our fans are simply too spoiled because of Cesc. He was barely 16, 17 when he became a first teamer, starting for example in the CL final and at 20 all of our hopes already rested on his shoulders. I think we can all agree that during his whole youth he was considered the best young central midfielder in the world and at 20, the first season without Thierry, he proved that he might even be the best central midfielder regardless of age.

    Obviously having such a one in a million talent in our squad ensured that most of our fans now simply expect that every one of our young players has got:
    1. exceptional talent
    2. fast development curve
    Unfortunately great talent and already coming close to reaching your potential at 20 isn’t mutually exclusive. Some of our players might take a couple of more years to become as good as their talent promises and we need to have patience with them. Furthermore most people tend to forget that Cesc has had hardly any injuries in his career — his only long term injury was last year, aside from that he never missed more than a couple of weeks. On the other hand players like Theo sometimes have been sidelined longer than they’ve actually played. This can obviously disrupt the development of a player massively.

    I believe our fans need to stop comparing our young players with Cesc in their minds and realise that if they want our youngsters to become great players the best thing they can do is support them.

  104. Oh, on another note: Cesc’s goal ratio has been astonishing this season. 12 in 23 so far and 13 assists on top of that — show me another midfielder who can repeat this feat!

  105. EvilFiek

    You should also mention that the goal tally only includes 1 penalty – as opposed to certain penalty takers at Chelsea and Liverpool whose goal difference is artificially bumped by the penalties they take. up by

  106. Does anyone know if Dennis B is actually going to become a coach for us? I heard someone say that he’s qualified now… That’d be beautiful

  107. I thought he’d scored more than that, i may be wrong though… Where do you guys get your stats from?

  108. Limpar at 3.20pm for example?

  109. Sorry for going off topic, but someone mentioned Theo’s high wages, so I want to share some interesting information on the high earners in World Football I’ve recently stumbled across. The only Arsenal player on the list is Arshavin at 47. It’s ridiculous how much City are paying players like Adebayor (ranked 6th !!!), Toure, and Bridge. Also of note Chelsea’s wage policy. Terry and Lampard earn more than Drogba and Essien.

    Here’s the full list of the 50 best paid players in World Football. Figures show monthly and annual wages.

    1.Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid CF 1.083.000 € 13.000.000 €
    2.Zlatan Ibrahimovic FC Barcelona 1.000.000 € 12.000.000 €
    3.Lionel Messi FC Barcelona 875.000 € 10.500.000 €
    4.Samuel Eto´o Internazionale 875.000 € 10.500.000 €
    5.Ricardo Kaká Real Madrid CF 833.000 € 10.000.000 €
    6.Emmanuel Adebayor Manchester City 708.000 € 8.500.000 €
    7.Karim Benzema Real Madrid CF 708.000 € 8.500.000 €
    8.Carlos Tevez Manchester City 666.000 € 8.000.000 €
    9.John Terry Chelsea FC 625.000 € 7.500.000 €
    10.Frank Lampard Chelsea FC 625.000 € 7.500.000 €
    11.Thierry Henry FC Barcelona 625.000 € 7.500.000 €
    12.Xavi FC Barcelona 625.000 € 7.500.000 €
    13.Ronaldinho Gaúcho AC Milan 625.000 € 7.500.000 €
    14.Steven Gerrard Liverpool FC 625.000 € 7.500.000 €
    15.Daniel Alves FC Barcelona 583.000 € 7.000.000 €
    16.Michael Ballack Chelsea FC 541.000 € 6.500.000 €
    17.Raúl Gonzalez Real Madrid CF 541.000 € 6.500.000 €
    18.Rio Ferdinand Manchester United 541.000 € 6.500.000 €
    19.Kolo Touré Manchester City 541.000 € 6.500.000 €
    20.Wayne Rooney Manchester United 500.000 € 6.000.000 €
    21.Robinho Manchester City 500.000 € 6.000.000 €
    22.Iker Casillas Real Madrid CF 500.000 € 6.000.000 €
    23.Victor Valdéz FC Barcelona 500.000 € 6.000.000 €
    24.Frederic Kanouté Sevilha FC 500.000 € 6.000.000 €
    25.Deco Chelsea FC 500.000 € 6.000.000 €
    26.Didier Drogba Chelsea FC 458.000 € 5.500.000 €
    27.Gianluigi Buffon Juventus 458.000 € 5.500.000 €
    28.Francesco Totti AS Roma 458.000 € 5.500.000 €
    29.Luca Toni AS Roma (emp) 458.000 € 5.500.000 €
    30.David Villa Valência 458.000 € 5.500.000 €
    31.Arjen Robben Bayern Munique 458.000 € 5.500.000 €
    32.Bastian Schweinsteiger Bayern Munique 458.000 € 5.500.000 €
    33.Ashley Cole Chelsea FC 458.000 € 5.500.000 €
    34.Fernando Torres Liverpool FC 458.000 € 5.500.000 €
    35.Gareth Barry Manchester City 458.000 € 5.500.000 €
    36.Patrick Vieira Internazionale 458.000 € 5.500.000 €
    37.Charles Puyol FC Barcelona 416.000 € 5.000.000 €
    38.Andres Iniesta FC Barcelona 416.000 € 5.000.000 €
    39.Sergio Aguero Atletico Madrid 416.000 € 5.000.000 €
    40.Andreas Pirlo AC Milan 416.000 € 5.000.000 €
    41.Joe Cole Chelsea FC 416.000 € 5.000.000 €
    42.Frank Ribery Bayern Munique 416.000 € 5.000.000 €
    43.David Bechkam AC Milan 416.000 € 5.000.000 €
    44.Wayne Bridge Manchester City 416.000 € 5.000.000 €
    45.Lassana Diarra Real Madrid CF 416.000 € 5.000.000 €
    46.Dimitar Berbatov Manchester United 400.000 € 4.800.000 €
    47.Andrei Arshavin Arsenal FC 400.000 € 4.800.000 €
    48.Nicolas Anelka Chelsea FC 400.000 € 4.800.000 €
    49.Ryan Giggs Manchester United 400.000 € 4.800.000 €
    50.Alessandro Del Piero Juventus 400.000 € 4.800.000 €

  110. After we have won the EPL and possibly the Euro thingy this season, I am looking forward to a Holland vs Spain WC final with our two captains playing against each other.

  111. Notlager (aka Pilsner): Where did you get those figures? They are astonishing. There are some donkeys on that list being paid like thoroughbreds.

  112. wenger should tell theo to practice putting in hard and low crosses from the right..this would really increase our lethalness..eboue does this very well but he can improve too

  113. there is a link below all those figures… that clearly identifies the source 😉

  114. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Alright, william/Stringfellow Hawke. What brought you back here to talk footie with a bunch of peasants?

  115. i’m looking forward or hoping for an england vs spain final because I am english

  116. I am English too…and whether England get to the final or not is of no interest to me.

  117. Actually I just the Le Grove article about English referees and it was very illuminating.

  118. With Emile Donkey in the team? I’m afraid, it’ll be then usual 1/4 finals. 1/2 finals if it’s a god year.

  119. may I ask why frank?

  120. You have no idea how much i want algeria to kill usa in the world cup..

    kill them
    killl themmmmmmm

  121. william/stringfellow

    you aint too bright if you think we are one and the same… but that figures

    one very easy way to make you look the typical yank that you are… all mouth and no trousers..

    go ask yogi to check the ip addresses 😉

    fucking peasant 😆

  122. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Le Groan is too much sometimes. Isn’t it funny how guys like Gnarley George call the arab Man City owners spoilt brats for some dodgy article linking Moaninho to City whilst simultaneously commenting on a blog renowned for being full of a bunch of glory hunting spoilt brats who throw their toys out the pram and call for our manager to be sacked when Wengker didn’t cave into the English Way and sign World Class backups at every position in the January window. F*cking hypocrites.

  123. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You’re the one who’s got the mouth and always resorts to the internet tough talk. Nice try, though. And speaking of trousers remember when you soiled yours after the game against the Chavs?

  124. listen stupid… stick to playing sherlock holmes…badly !!

    suits you.. leave the soccerball chat to us 😆

  125. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Sorry but it’s the World’s game now. You English are far too arrogant for how good your squad actually is. You lot don’t even have any say in your own sport anymore. You guys had to bring an Italian in to right your sinking ship of a squad that wasn’t even in the last Euro’s. Next.

  126. Nasir,

    please for the sake of us all ignore this troll.

  127. Yes of course, John. There is no player in the current England squad with whom I can possibly identify.

  128. There is nothing wrong with being English, NJN.

  129. Actually, as far as national football teams go, England is very successful. Not quite in the top three but very close. Personally my principal interest is in club football.

  130. A yank wants to bash the England soccerball team 😆

    I wonder if you will have similar sentiments following the meeting between england and the beatnicks this summer.

    btw – Arsenal are still very much ENGLISH!

  131. In the international competitions I tend to go with players. So in this WC my top players are RvP and Cesc in that order. But I will watch out for others too.

  132. Actually Arsenal is London, not English.

  133. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I never said there was, Frank. My girl is 100 percent English. Mom’s side from Staffs, Dad’s side from Islington. I love England, and love tons of British music, too. It’s just squares like Stringfellow.

  134. Anyone who misses “mad Jens” should check out the Stuttgart game. At 71mins 35secs with the ball rolling out for a goal kick he goes all Bruce Lee on Carlos Puyol! Classic Lehmann!

  135. yeah yeah yank, too easy pulling you along by your ears 😆

  136. errr guys SFH and frank
    arsenal is a scottish club
    in london

  137. Blasted West Ham!

  138. arsenal is london, london is england!

    If you’re a foreign fan, respect where the gunners are from!!

  139. do you history john the woolwich (dial square)
    was started by a jock

  140. ‘Royal Arsenal’ formed in Woolwich

    A small group of Scots sowed the seed which would grow into one of the most famous names in football.

    David Danskin, from Kirkcaldy in Fife, worked at the Arsenal munitions factory in Woolwich. The Scot, a football man in an area dominated by rugby and cricket, founded a team with the help of three friends, Elijah Watkins, John Humble and Richard Pearce. The arrival in Woolwich of two Nottingham Forest players, Fred Beardsley and Morris Bates, had spurred Danskin into action.

    Word got around and 15 men came forward, each prepared to pay sixpence to help start up a club. Danskin added another three shillings himself and the club bought a football. It was October 1886.

  141. You’re so funny Stringe Fella…let’s hope you don’t get more Yank paranoid if Arsenal is bought by an American.

  142. arsenal is still london england rsd…. jock initiated or not! so we are a scottish club now because of some guy from fife?

  143. did you watch any of the games 2nite G4E

  144. shall we agree on british club john

  145. Hi realsocialdad, no i didn’t….I’m at work, I save watching games while at work for Arsenal only 🙂 No other club/game worth the trouble I may get into.

  146. Gooner4Ever would be more apt… for a fan.

    However, i don’t suppose the nuances of supporting The Arsenal have quite reached that far across the pond.

    Lets give it another decade.. or so.

  147. the joy of sky player ey

  148. watch this and chill out fellas.

  149. RSD,

    I would still say english because of location and now a 124 year history in england. RSD

  150. i watch the bordeaux game think i might as well see this chamakakakaka guy
    but i had to check the line up to see if he was playing
    then when i final did see him he was falling over.

    did people see utd first goal they are in form just great team goal

  151. Can’t identify with England either. Horrible football, ugly people, nationalistic fans singing shit songs backed by a shit brass band.

    With Belgium absent I’ll be following whichever team plays good football and has a real go.

  152. No we will not agree on British club. Woolwich Arsenal, the history of which is very well known, is not really the heritage of this club. The club as we know it started with Henry Norris. Highbury is the beginning.

    A London club which lends itself more to London and Europe than England or Britain. An innovative club. The first club to break into Europe and beyond. London has more in common with other great cities of the world than it does with England.

    The rest of England resent the very essence and presence of London. Arsenal and London are inseparable. Arsenal and England are incompatible. Until that is that Arsenal dig England out of a 40 year hole and provide the players for a successful England side.



  153. and you can bring your dinner

  154. RSD – you will be able to watch that clip.. for years to come..and lol every time 😆

  155. I read it was a good goal RealSD, but, didn’t they just lose to Everton? 🙂

  156. i’ll be using that i tell you
    i prefer
    you can come in your plate an’ your mail.

  157. oneofus

    are you from belgium?

  158. oou
    thanks for that by the way

  159. I certainly identify with England, just not in football terms…..and I think of myself as a Londoner first and English second. My thoughts on the rest of the world are quite complicated.

  160. I think of me self as norf landaner first frank

  161. No, Gunner4ever, they just lost to Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

  162. You’re very complicated Frank, but we still love you. 🙂

  163. Where in particular in North London?

  164. John, nope.

    Should correct something – I consider Ashley Cole and John Terry ugly in a nonphysical sense. Didn’t phrase that very well! Wasn’t trying to wind anyone up.

  165. im not looking for a date frank if thats what your asking

  166. Facetious, John.

  167. oneofus,

    john terry and ashley cole are wankers we can’t help who plays for england but I still support my home nation..

  168. Despite being an Englishman, I hope the “yanks” utterly destroy England in the WC. I would love it if this so-called “Golden Generation” of cheats (both on and off the pitch) goes out at the group stage.

  169. You are not supporting your ‘nation’ though are you, John? You are supporting a team. We are not fighting the political battle of our lives here are we? It is just football.

  170. I want the Arsenal generation of English players to win the World Cup…not the current English team.

  171. club is just a gazillion times more important
    than england

  172. the team represents the nation frank, so I support them in just the same way as our players represent arsenal so you support them whether you believe they are good enough or not…

  173. I know the area very well. lived in Kentish Town, Tufnell Park, Archway, Camden, Highgate, Belsize Park and Hampstead….as well as Hoxton, Bethnall Green, Holloway Road, Crouch End, Finsbury Park and Euston. Where in NW5?

  174. @g4e we won the World cup in 2018


  175. Mandela street, goldhurst terrace & abbey road, chatsworth ave.

  176. It is not a question of good enough. I simply cannot bring myself to support John Terry, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard etc etc….and their pals in the jingoistic press and media. The English football establishment is a disgrace and needs to change.

  177. imagine going to wembely for a final with that team out. then i’d start support england again proper.
    no surrender

  178. I lived in Goldhurst Terrace in the sixties.

  179. Sounds like a great team to win the WC RealSD.

  180. doesn’t look to shabby does it

  181. Frank- Aron Lennon, Defoe, Crouch, and the dive master Rooney .. I’m feeling sick now.
    When it comes to international football I am the most disloyal fan I supported France because of Thierry Now i look out for Cesc when spain plays and I only watch England when Theo is playing.

  182. The Bird in the Hand in Kilburn round the corner was our local. Years later I used to visit friends there and you could hear Ian Dury practicing when he was in Kilburn and the High Roads. Never met him but I admired him even though he was a bit after my time. Good man. We want on to the Memphis Belle that night and the IRA came collecting in ballaclavas. Told the fuckers to shove it up their arses.

  183. I’m surprised The Brain’s comment about Milan’s “fitness lab” attracted so little interest. I’d like to point out that many universities have departments devoted to studying sports science, and that many journals are devoted to publishing the results of their research. It is not, however, a subject where best practices can always be agreed on, and there are various schools of thought. We know that in the past Wenger was interested in the guidance that science could give to football training, and I’m sure he has kept up that interest. I doubt that the research conducted at A.C. Milan will be completely knew to him. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if their research is merely the implementation of a theory that has been around for some time.

  184. i was in the brit when was in goldhurst
    bit of a gold fish bowl
    so no late nighters

  185. The Klooks Kleek Club…I think it was by West Hampstead station anyway we used to frequent the place. I think the Brittania had a bar billiards table. Not a common feature of pubs these days.

  186. “The English football establishment is a disgrace and needs to change.”

    Yes, that’s exactly it.

    The players and press represent many of the things I don’t like about the country.

    And the way these arseholes are lionised!

    It’s obviously down to personal taste, and my relationship with the country is complicated. I grew up in a family of little Englanders, and got programmed with a load of nonsense that often made me a laughing stock as I grew up and became surrounded by sensible people.

    My parents read the Telegraph and Daily Mail, and I’ve spent my teenage and adult life trying to work out what I really think about things. It’s like that Larkin poem about your parents effing you up.

    For me, Britain at its best means fairness, the NHS, as well a lot of the stuff that went on in the early sixties – people like Roy Jenkins and – earlier on – Nye Bevan. If my Grandparents had got their way then these people would never have been able to achieve what they did.

    Anyway, I know it’s just a sport, but when I look at England I don’t like what I see. And I don’t agree with just following a bunch of guys if you find them, and the culture that surrounds them, reprehensible.

  187. right guys it time for me to hit the hay
    out of caucasian anyway
    always a pleasure…..

  188. the balace is wrong with some on here it is becoming more obvious that most of you, unbelievably some english hate our international squad because there is no arsenal and the players play at rival teams.

    thats not how it works..

  189. I guess anyone who really likes what they see in any country is easyriding, Big Al.

  190. That was a little too confessional. As you can see, it’s all a bit muddled for me when it comes to England.

    Oh, and Nye Bevan and Roy Jenkins were Welsh!

    Maybe when I hear England fans singing “Rule Britannia” in a foreign country without irony, it touches on something a little too close to home.

  191. oou
    england might be a dump and the goverment is shit but for some reason we love it even if we dont stay.

    frank i think they knocked the birt down and turned it in to yet more flats prob because it had a pool table. :-0
    right seriously im offski

  192. That is an intellectually poor assessment of the dialogue, John. That may be your problem.

  193. That actually makes me feel better.

  194. Pool? No…bar billiards. Mushrooms and all. A wonderful English pub game.

  195. My mother god bless her can barely lift a soup spoon to her mouth, but she still insists on lobbing cheeses at skittles in her local once a week.

  196. I gave the England team one last shot at holding my attention with the 2006 WC. I’ve never seen such abysmal football played at such a high level, when you’re used to watching Arsenal it was like being torn away from a delicious continental dish and being force fed gravel. It’s nothing to do with the players being from rival teams, it’s to do with quality of football. I don’t watch crap through choice, that’s borderline masochism.

  197. I agree with Vince

  198. …except the bit about rival teams. It is not all players from rival teams. Just certain ones. For example I have no problem with Wayne Rooney at all. He is a great football player.

  199. frank,

    I can bring myself to support england because I don’t let my dislike for some of the players you mentioned earlier get in the way.

    they when they play for england are not playing for chelsea, spurs, liverpool or utd.

    why would anyone care what they have done off the pitch anyway?

  200. Vince- masochism would be watching Cashley and his sleazy mates lifting the world cup. I’ve had enough of hearing West ham fans claiming the 1966 world cup so I will not put up with the Chavs claiming they’ve won us the world cup this time. Unless Walcott comes up with a hat trick in the final then I’ll brag.

  201. vince,

    have arsenal always played above standard since you have started supporting them?

  202. “why would anyone care what they have done off the pitch anyway?”

    Due to Polanski i’ve read countless debates recently regarding whether the sins of the artist affects how someone views their art and I definitely think it gives you a bias. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a love rat footballer or someone in a band you like getting caught doing something immoral, it’s hard to look at what they produce the same way.

  203. “Unless Walcott comes up with a hat trick in the final then I’ll brag”.

    only if arsenal player plays, my point earlier..

  204. John: Due to my age and the fact that everyone I went to school with who followed football was a twat, my Arsenal (and indeed football as a whole) experience began a few weeks before Wenger became manager. So for the most part yeah, i’m used to the beautiful game as it should be played. Even if that hadn’t been the case i’m sure i’d be far too accustomed to it now to try and support a team playing something so much worse.

  205. it’s different arsenal are you’re club team england are you’re national team we used to have many internationals in the team. wengers fault dare I say we have 1 now and lets be honest he is as overated as they come..

  206. John, it’s not about Arsenal not having English players. I for one who’s American still support England when they play….but I have to be honest, they don’t make me proud with the way they played in tournaments.

    I was living in England when they lost the Euro’s in 1996.

    When England start playing football, and leave the Rugby punt & run behind…I will be happy to stick up for them…I hope the Italian coach can succeed in doing just that, if not, we will have to wait for Wenger’s English born, French football raised kids 🙂

  207. Good point john but there are no conditions attached when it comes to Arsenal. I guess Vince would not watch any rubbish except when its Arsenal’s rubbish, I can put up with that. There is Arsenal in everyday of my life but England once every 2 years and I’m selective to which games I watch. When Arsenal lost in CL final I was feeling sick. England? Don’t get me wrong I want England to do well but when they lose it does not effect me at all. I do not care. that is just how I feel about it.

  208. Walcott is a striker.

  209. Why wont Wenger play him in the middle, his greatest mistake since letting go of Pires.

  210. Maybe Wenger is waiting til he is strong enough. who knows but he will be deadly upfront.

  211. Walcott will be world class.

  212. I’ve always thought that line by Larkin is the worst ever written.

  213. of course, I prefer arsenal to england and I would rather arsenal won the champions league then england win the world cup.

    I don’t support them in the same way but I still support the england team even though I dislike some of the players.

    I do get fustrated by the fact that some in an england shirt put together much better performances for their clubs then they do for the national side with the exception of rooney.

  214. duke you are a master bater

    pires a striker?

    wow good call

  215. Ole:

    “What people forget about these Arsenal kids is that they are outstanding players already, playing at a higher stage than most of their peers. If you consider TW for example, in the England setup he’s been ahead of the likes of Milner & Lennon who’re 3 & 2 years older respectively.”

    Excellent point Ole. We have twelve first team regulars who are under twenty five years of age and we’re fighting for the league and the CL. If people can’t figure out that our kids are indeed special then they have some problems. Granted not all of them are going to be like Messi, Cesc or Rooney, who were the finished product at eighteen years old, but our youngsters are exceptional abd will develop at their own pace.

  216. Nice performances by the Arsenal alumni (Hleb and and Mad Jens)in Stuttgart’s draw with Barca. Reminded me of my love for both players. Hleb remains the pass master and Jens may have lost something with age but his technique is impeccable.

  217. thank goodness william is in bed, he is a bore. we are about to be A BAND ON THE RUN, anyone

  218. i work nights

  219. philly

  220. tommygoon – Add Stringvest to the irritating trolls.

  221. i will good sir

  222. honestly i like your outlook as well with yw and ds we shall keep the FAITH and prosper

  223. The Milan lab is indeed awesome. But let’s not forget that Italy has a less physical league than England’s. And the players we’ve had out are a product of horrible injuries (ie: Eduardo and Diaby both having their legs mangled) and injury prone players whom, Milan Lab or not, would have a hard time staying healthy (ie; Rosicky and Van Persie). The injuries Walcott has suffered are a genetic anomally so, again, Milan lab wouldn’t have helped. All in all, I don’t doubt that Arsenal has got decent injury treatment facilities. Maybe not as good at Milan lab’s but good enough.

  224. The funniest thing Ive heard all weak was Stan Collymores suggestion that Wenger is wasting The on the Wings and that he could coach Theo to greatness! Being the great role model Collymore is and having won numerous er accolades er in his life time…most scandalous, most over sexed, girlfriend beater, most nose dived career…it brought tears to my eyes. Theo is already on a path to greatness and wont be anything like Jeffers or Bently. I think these two believed their own hype to quickly and forgot about how to have the patience of the stundent and listen to the grand master. Fools will never understand the method in Wengers madness of playing players out of thier position.

  225. Gooner4life, you know dat G, you know dat. I got some inside information about our upcoming match dog, Arsene is playing dudu in goal and Theo as a DM enforcer, remember where you heard it first partner

  226. On the debate of England; I could not care less to be honest.

    International football is just an interuption of Arsenal’s season and a chance for our players to get injured. Like others have said, there are too many players playing for the national team who I intensely dislike for me to get behind them.

  227. John seems to have missed the point. Not only do I dislike England as a football team and set up, I also believe that football at the national level is a dodo. There is no point to it. Except perhaps in the Olympics.

  228. Frank-dog / GoonerAndy,

    You guys obviously are not English, and you know dat

  229. Who on Earth could take any pleasure in watching Cole, Lampard, Gerrard, Terry and their ilk wearing the England shirt? It makes me feel dirty to be an Englishman.

    It would be like watching the chavs at that horrible ‘celebrity’ auction a few years ago when Cashley bought his idols’ watch to prove to the world that he and his tart were the next Posh and Becks. I mean, who would want to be?

  230. Consol- Sometimes people think if you don’t follow the England team you are not patriotic. I konw people who are very Patriotic and don’t watch football at all. When it comes to football there is only one team, ARSENAL. If Arsenal players are involved in the national team I would take an interest because I want our players to do well otherwise why would you want to watch sleazy men who don’t give a damn about anybody else but themslves.

  231. Yes, the majority maybe arseholes but you would cheer on anyone wearing an Arsenal shirt wouldnt you? Same applies when watching England, not all English people are bad

  232. Mario Balloteli anyone?

  233. They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They made us all go Arsenal mad
    When we preferred Man U.

    Arsenal was fucked up in its turn
    By the man from ‘cross the sea.
    He takes the money that we earn
    But ne’er goes on a spree.

    The team gives misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Leave the stadium as early as you can,
    And don’t support the kids yourself.

  234. Goodness me

  235. That’s Poliziano larkin’ about.

  236. Maybe its absurdly pessimistic on purpose – challenging people to educate themselves if they don’t like what they’ve inherited. And in turn, try to keep their neuroses in check when they have kids.

    I dunno, I don’t have the learning to put it into context.

  237. will piles palmer every STFU about “my brazilians are better than your brazilians”

    same story, different season.

  238. The outlook’s not too bleak, is it, Big Al? After all, you managed to break away from your Telegraph-reading parents and align yourself completely with the zeitgeist. There’s hope for every one of us.

  239. Ok dogs, I accept half the England team are dickheads, but you’d cheer on anyone in an Arsenal shirt wouldnt you? Same applies for your country. International football is great and should bring everyone together. Do you think the Spanish, French or Germans want to win the World Cup? you bet your ass they do. We need to embrace the international game again for the good of the country and you know this

  240. RVP’s injuy has kinda put me off mindless internationals.

  241. c1gooner, the freindlies are stupid, that goes with out saying, but the tournaments are amazing, the greatest show on earth. Celeb culture has ruined England dogs, we need to get back to basics and Football is the heart of the country and you know this. Remember Euro 96? The Atmosphere around the country was fantastic, people were actually smiling and being nice to eachother. Also, anyone who regards England as there home is English, and you know this dogs

  242. agreed William. We should get a cracking atmosphere in June.

  243. I’m keeping schtum from now on!

  244. If you don’t mind me asking OneOfUs, what does schtum mean?

  245. Hi C1G,

    “Keeping schtum” is keeping quiet. Actually it looks like it’s spelled “shtum” as well. It’s only got a few thousand hits on google – I thought it was quite common. Parents use it all the time.

    It’s fun to say, though.

  246. The right writing would be stumm, I guess. It’s a german word.

  247. I never felt my mind repose upon something with complete and undistracted enjoyment as your little poetic ditty earlier this morning Pz.

    Its nice to see you among those little amusements that are suitable to your inclinations and spirit.

    While its not quite iambic pentameter – you do provide some little beat and the occasional rhyme. With everything being “ph(f)ucked up” I wonder was it your tenure at the theatre or maybe some other form of live show that has enabled you to provide such lucid insights?

  248. Speaking of Germans (sort of) and English footballers… …Jimmy Bullard, there’s an English footballer I can get behind! He could’ve played for the German national team; eligible through his Grandmother.

    I’d take Bullard to the World Cup if only for the craic, if I were Capello – and I can’t bloody stand Hull City FC.

    From his comeback for the Reserves last night…

    “On 18 minutes Jimmy Bullard reminded the watching Tigers fans just what they had been missing. City won a freekick just outside the box and Nicky Featherstone rolled the ball back a couple of yards to Bullard who flicked the ball up and then volleyed a shot into the top corner to give the Tigers the lead.”

    He doesn’t take himself half as seriously as most of his contemporaries, and he’s exciting on the pitch. Bullard for England!

  249. My ideal England line-up, if everyone were fit and the World Cup were tomorrow…

    – – – – – – – – – -Hart – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Johnson – Dawson – Upson – Gibbs
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – -Hargreaves – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – Bullard – – – Rooney – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Walcott – – – – – – – – – – – Wilshere
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – -Carlton Cole – – – – – –

    Maybe Nedum Onuha instead of Hargreaves…

  250. So you would play Rooney and Bullard in central midfield?

    Ahead of Gerrard, Lampard, Barry? Heh, you mental case. Walcott and Wilshere on the wings?

    That team would get absolutley battered.

  251. Oh dear is this fucking England thing going to run and run? I think I will avoid the interwebthingy altogether leading up to during and after the WC. Take a break. That’s what I’ll do.

  252. I am having a row with a pair of wankers in my fantasy league and I need some stats to compare Gerrard and Diaby this season.

    Apparently I cannot say that Diaby has been better than Gerradr this season, because Gerrard is ‘world class’ and everyone knows it. Seems strange to me.

    If anyone knows of a good site to find things like tackles won and winning the ball back I would be most grateful. Cheers.

  253. Goonerandy,

    Rooney can do anything those three players you mention can do, twice as well as they can. So I figure, why stick your best player up front chasing overhit lofted throughballs, when you can have him in a Cesc role.

    AH, I’m up to 2nd in the ACLF league! behind someone called Cork Goons. Where are you Cork Goons? I’m coming for you…

  254. Arsenehollis you dont need any stats to prove it, ask whoever is arguing with you to watch just a single match where either is playing and compare. Gerrard has been poor this season, no question about it, only thing good about his season is his diving hasnt fooled as often as it has in the past seasons.

    Being that my country has never made it to the world cup( atleast as far as I can recall) I have supported other numerous teams over the world cup years but hate England with a passion, ofcourse not the whole of England but the England National team, for starters they dont play the right way and believe their own hype to the point of making me puke, them not making it to the Euros in 2007 was the best, can’t wait for their downfall again come June.Luckily they got an easy draw so that means having to wait until quarters before they are kicked out.

  255. Firstlady I agree, but this goon appears to think that the man who makes the adverts for Sky knows all and cannot be persuaded by such simple methods.

  256. I’m glad you enjoyed the ditty, Joe. If you had turned your mind to literature instead of flatulology, I fancy you would have written verse very much in the vein of Larkin’s original. For myself, I can’t say I have a high opinion of the poem. It’s sniveling opening line, in particular, is the worst I have ever read. To be honest, the succeeding lines are barely an improvement.

  257. limparAssist – From your team only Rooney would make any of the stop European sides, the rest would not even get a look in. As a striker, because he is a good goalscorer. You really don’t play your top goalscorer out of position in midfield.

  258. Do you have a computer in your WC, Frank?

  259. Apologies for the superfluous apostrophe.

  260. Are not Arsenal one of the top European sides, goonerandy?

  261. No. What is a WC?

  262. You know – the crapper.

  263. Oh the shitter.

  264. When someone looks at this Arsenal side, with the current setup and formation-and says “Walcott is a striker, why doesn’t Wenger play him through the middle” you wonder what if such a fellow watches football at all.


    Your help is needed. Help us understand how Walcott as our striker is going to work.

  265. I would imagine Joe handles aitches badly.

  266. ‘Hay wan dah was hit your tenuah hat tha featah hor maybe sam ava fuwm of liav show that as enabled you to proviad sach lucid insiyats?

  267. arsenehollis: Go on to Guardian Chalkboards and count the stats up manually for those who don’t want to pay for the stats. Very useful.

  268. The Premier League is opposing reform in football it appears.

    Their justification for why the EPL has more debt than the rest of UEFA combined is ludicrous and shows they’re not ready to make changes.

    Apparently a spokesman says the EPL’s debt is higher because the EPL’s revenue is higher. But he of course neglected to mention that the EPL does not earn 56% of revenue that all UEFA clubs take in.

    The spokesman then went on to highlight some going concern test administered to all EPL clubs every year, but again neglected to acknowledge that it failed to predict Pompey’s travails.

    I am curious to know what their game plan is. What is going to turn around impending financial doom?

  269. Uriah Heep

  270. Good points. He will grow and become a great player if he is taught by the right people. Wenger is a good coach to teach him. Lets hope he doesn’t break down with all the matches he will play. He is young. He will grow and learn and then watch out world. Look at Wayne Rooney.

  271. Wow, Gerrard looks average compared to Diaby..

  272. Arseneholis Ole’s stats prove what we knew from the beginning.

  273. Arsh’s website is a treasure trove of interesting insight into the big man.

    14. From veizel
    Hi, Andrey! I am 13 years old and I began to play football 2 years ago.
    Do you think I’ll be able to become a professional footballer?
    Arshavin: I do not know.

  274. One of the worst bands ever, Uriah Heap. They have failed to be resurrected alongside other ‘eavy metal bands.

    I agree with pz, I have always thought that poem rather trite.

  275. LimparAssist – Indeed we are. And if everybody is fit niether of them play. Proving my point somewhat.

  276. I handed out flyers outside a Uriah Heap gig at the Astoria when I was at Uni!

  277. An endless procession of balding jurassic metallers in tattered leather jackets.

    I think This is Spinal Tap was aimed at bands like those guys and Saxon.

  278. Well, the England national team aren’t a top European side so they’d do a lot worse than pick my team, which was just a bit of fun and based largely on who I think comes across as most likeable in a tv interview; incidentally though, Theo Walcott is a better player than Aaron Lennon, a better player than SWP, and a better player than David Bentley – so he should start on the right, perhaps rotating with Beckham. He’s not Lionel Messi, yet, but then Messi’s not available for England. I also think that Kieran Gibbs is a better player than both Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge – esp when they are both playing with a distraction.

    Wilshere should get a chance to impress with some starts for a struggling Bolton side now – and seeing as he’s only really got Joe Cole, Ashley Young and James Milner to usurp, then that’s not beyond the realm of possibility either… Realistically though, next World Cup for Jack.

  279. I feel very weary today!

  280. And I don’t like my blue face with sharp teeth…

    It makes me look very aggresive and not at all in keeping with my placid nature!

  281. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I root for the US, but also root for all the teams that prominently feature Arsenal players. I’ll never forget 2006 and that lil #10 from the Czech Republic who now plies his trade with the Mighty Arsenal. What a performance.

  282. Fancy that Big Al.

    We all have to start somewhere, I suppose.

    They had one hit, if I remember correctly.

  283. Hey CBob…what’s up old man?

  284. Not Uriah heap…Uriah Heep. Scrap metal dealer I have known for years. He has a metal leg which is an occupational hazard in a scrapyard. Many a time I have popped round with Lady Neena and Peter and found him dangling upside down from his giant magnet. Tricky stuff…you don’t want to just switch it off he might land on his head. We often have to undo his leg and lower him slowly onto Neena’s back, which always makes me smile, becuase he hates horseriding. I guess I would too if I only had one leg.

  285. I think that Van Marwijk should keep his fucking mouth shut. Those reports of RvP coming back early are well off the mark. They talk of the Arsenal physios travelling to Holland to check on Robin’s progress. Which can only lead to disappointment since he is now being treated at London Colney.

  286. Evening RSD

    I like Scorpions..I think they’re a great band.

  287. So, since the Eduardo brouhaha we’ve been awarded 2 penalties, is that right? And we’ve had some right royal blatant ones turned down. However, in the grand scheme of things, we’re doing alright…

    “Since 1998, Arsenal have won the most EPL penalties at home (46), followed by Newcastle (41) and then Liverpool & Man Utd (40)” Opta.

    Actually, better than alright.

    It makes sense though; Arsenal have, on average, a higher percentage of possession (esp. at home) than any other team in the league, we use that possession to attack teams. Also more than any other team Arsenal choose to work the ball into the box rather than crossing it toward a tall centreforward, often with the ball at our feet. So, it stands to reason that more tackles will be attempted on Arsenal players, in the opposition penalty area, than on any other team. Furthermore, it then follows that probability wise, some of these will be foul challenges…

    …so where are our f*cking penalties?! We deserve penalties, we work for them – and when they come, we aren’t being given them – because, essentially, of anti-foreigner Daily Sport bullsh*t, from last summer! Not happy.

  288. LimparAssist, I thought of you today while reading the Arsenal magazine. It seems your boy Anders still turns out for Arsenal Old Boys from time to time.

  289. la you never know our luck might jsut even out over the next 12 matches
    so that would 1 or 2 everygame

  290. Really Passenal? I’d love to see Anders play again. I bet he’s still amazing to watch. I will look into that, cheers.

    I haven’t bought the Arsenal magazine for years. I remember an interview with a 19 year old Abou Diaby where, when asked what he was listening to at the time, Vassiriki listed an incredible amount of old tat like Anastasia and Pink. I wouldn’t let this news effect my opinion of the player or of the man, so instead I let it effect my opinion of the magazine. Perhaps it’s time I gave it another chance.

  291. is it that slow a news day

  292. Evening G4E.

    How’s it hanging?

    Do you remember Uriah Heap? Big Al does. Frank knows him.

  293. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Word up to Limpar Assist. And we’re still challenging for the league. And that’s without our most powerful talisman, too.

    Proud to be a Gunner. Long live Arsene Wenger.

  294. F. Frederick Skitty

    Does any other red-blooded, patriotic guner think that this might be the perfect time to splash the cash and get Ashley Cole back?

    He is injured and needy, so we should be able to get him at a great price. He is experienced, British and Arsenal thru & thru.

    Maybe we could do a swop with Gale Cliche, who has finally showed his true colours.

  295. @ LimparAssist,
    ha ha
    Abou was 19 – blame the folly of youth.

    Btw, have you noticed how ALL the under-25s in the Arsenal squad seem to love Michael Jackson’s music?

  296. @ FFS

    Ew. No thanks.

  297. FFS, surely you jest? He can keep his chav cooties to himself!

  298. @ Frank

    Could your friend Uriah Scrapheap not get his metal leg remade in something which is not magnetic? Glass would be stylish and cutting-edge, don’t you think?

  299. Or ceramic, if he is old-school?

  300. I thought of aluminium, but you wouldn’t get the load-bearing capacity.

  301. Hey CBob…it’s hanging well 🙂

    Of course I remember Uriah Heap, but I think I only liked one song and I can’t even remember what it was.

    It’s like Led Zeppelin, I only like Kashmir

  302. FFS….having a bad brain day?

  303. Excellent idea, FFS; but by the time Wenger has completed his double swoop for Adebayor and Bentley, I expect his transfer war-chest will be empty.

  304. “Btw, have you noticed how ALL the under-25s in the Arsenal squad seem to love Michael Jackson’s music?”

    It’s the same with Chelsea. Dirty Vanessa is their favourite.

  305. I rather liked Zeppelin, especially LZ4,

    The UH song I remember had a chorus, “…wait for the richocet”. At least I think it did, it was a long time ago and it was the only song of theirs that I ever heard, i think.

    Big Al would know, he was a big fan, went to all their gigs and Frank put them up afterwards.

  306. Can’t you leave Vanessa out of this pz?

  307. FG, the first two albums I ever bought were Michael Jackson Dangerous and Guns & Roses Use Your Illusion II. I think I used Our Price vouchers. I am far more ashamed of the G&R album now than I am of the MJ one. The production values on Dangerous are a decade before it’s time. The under-25s in the Arsenal squad are perhaps more Quincy Jones fans than they are fans of MJ – though they may not know it.

    A few of our players sometimes give the appearance that they might be doing the ‘moonwalk’ – look out for it. It usually takes place immediately prior to and right after the evasion of a tackle; and the most notable exponents of it are Alex Song, Denilson, and Abou Diaby.

  308. Of course you are absolutely right, FG. Been some years since steel prost..prestog…progtwig…legs were de rigeur in the unipod world. I think that his leg is some sort of composite and we have suspected for some time that he keeps weapons in it. Knives, guns that sort of thing.

    I am mindful of the great Peter Cook when he said to a one legged Dudley Moore…’I have nothing against your good leg. Trouble is, neither have you.’

  309. Kashmir is also my favourite Zep song.

    I might be confused, perhaps the name is a clue, but was there not an Indian (classical) structure to the melody’s and rhythm’s of that iconic English song? I think it was initially ‘iconic’ because it was about as long as a classical piece!

    Where did those boys get those damn guitars from, Spain? Some wandering Gypsies? Oh dear.

    It’s confusing stuff, this patriotism.

  310. I lived in the Midlands for a while in the sixties. Not far from the young Robert Plant’s stomping ground. I saw Arsenal play Wolves, his team, a couple of times.

  311. “The production values on Dangerous are a decade before it’s time.”

    All the more reason to be ashamed, I should have thought.

  312. My fourth wife really liked Bog Lig.

  313. Sorry Big Log.

  314. Too young to have ever seen them, but Led Zep, for me, were a great band. Did many bands of that era come from London?

    Possibly London’s musical renaissance (depending upon your taste) went hand in hand with the evolution of the computer.

    I’ll save my collection of classic bedroom DJ efforts by Arsenal fans for another time.

  315. Blodwyn Pig. That was another one from that time.

    Their singer was electrocuted on stage at a festival in the rain. Pz would have approved.

  316. Tir na Nog. Another one. Possibly an offshoot of Bog Lig.

  317. Sorry Big Log.

  318. The Kinks, Finsbury. One of my all time favourites.

  319. London’s musical renaissance?

    The London music scene in the sixtes lead the way.

  320. Doh!

    Of course,
    they really got me.

  321. Just because the Beatles were from Liverpool. The Stones, The Who, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, Small Faces, Procul Harum, John Mayall, Fleetwood Mac, Dusty etc etc etc

  322. I did say, depending upon your musical taste..erm…but, yeah, I forgot about that Hendrix dude too, even though I’ve been to see The Castle Made of Sand.

    He wasn’t bad.

  323. Keith Relf and Les Harvey, Alex’s brother both died from electrocution. Les was on stage with Stone the Crows.

  324. Erm, I think he may have been American, Finsbury.

  325. I liked The Nice very much.

    “How can we hang onto a dream”. “Diamond Hard Cold Apples of the Moon”.

  326. Actually Jimi’s big break was coming to London. He made his name over here before heading back to the US. His band were English, initially…and of course Chas Chandler was English.

  327. Excellent band, Cb

  328. Funny enough, I was reading about Alex Harvey only yesterday. I hadn’t played any of their stuff since the Seventies and had a hankering to hear their version of ‘Tomorrow Belongs to Me’ again.

  329. Yes Frank, shame about Keith Emerson.

  330. But he was very much an adopted Prince of London, Consols. He recorded much of his best music in Marylebone and when he eventually did return to his hometown of Seattle, on tour, he was widely villified by the local population as the ‘Uncle Tom’ of the Greenwich Village hippy set. He embraced London more than any other place on earth – and eventually passed away there.

  331. I love ‘Next’ by Alex….and ‘Delilah’.

  332. Oh yes he went on to form a prickrig..pripcock…prosticump…art rock band.

  333. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Were you guys into The End?

  334. The end of what, NJN?

  335. Well, thank you for that, Limpar.

    Do you make documentaries?

    That live version of ‘Delilah’, you just have to imagine what he’s doing on stage as he’s singing it.

    I don’t remember The End, NJN.

  336. …only, if you do, you’ll have to make more of the circumstances of his death than just, “..he passed away there…”.

    Drugs and sex sell!

  337. Phew, cheers LA.

    Bassist Noel Redding, drummer Mitch Mitchell, both from Blighty & Jimi himself formed ‘The Experience’ during their time in London.

  338. Alex was a real trouper…a one off. They broke the mould when he died.

  339. Apparently Jimi was extraordinarily well-hung. Which I assume means that he paid a lot of attention to the positioning of his guitar strap. You see it is all in the detail. That’s the sort of attitude that is always going to win over audiences.

  340. The end of what? Are you guys in some sort of secret society?

  341. Well I read it in a book. Room full of Mirrors by Charles R Cross. The author extrapolates the events of Jimi’s final 24 hours very well, so I was loathe to try and imitate them myself, or even give away the ending, to those who should come to reading it themselves.

    Here’s a great band, that I found courtesy of my Dad’s record collection, that I think were from London.

  342. Nope, none of that rings a bell Dups, although my keyboard now has psychedelic stripes across it after reading the web page. Do you think that was meant to happen or am I having a flashback?

  343. The Groundhogs! Tony McPhee. Saw them in ’74. That wasn’t their famous song though.

    Don’t go all sensitive Limpar. Im, still up for that pilgrimage to Anders’ Bar if it ever reopens.

  344. I have the Groundhogs 1st album “Thank Christ For The Bomb”.

  345. I’ve just re read your last post Limpar. Do you mean to suggest that there are those alive now who don’t remember, or even know, how Hendrix died?


    The sort of chaps who don’t know what “Schtum” means, I suppose. You know, those who never had ‘The Valiant’ or ‘The Victor’ as lads.

  346. Lol, ‘Thank Christ for The Bomb’.

    Jimi Hendrix may have had a low slung left hander, but Mitch Mitchell had the cooler name.

    Imagine a world where Jimi’s drummer was called Neville Neville?

  347. Heh, Heh! Chelsea one down!

  348. Bradys right foot

    Fancy Inter tonight.

  349. The LimpBar, Consols; and it will be reopening. Passenal is arranging a business meeting for us, after the next Arsenal Old Boys match. With a nod to the Arsenal ownership model I will be proposing we spread the nightly takings around equally, between Anders, myself, and a few choice shareholders – so you’re welcome to join us. It’s less of a pilgrimage now though, more of a crusade!

    If I sounded sensitive it was perhaps because I did once make a documentary – and it was awful. It was about Raising & Giving. Actually it was shot round about your neck of the woods, Teignmouth, Exmouth, places like that. I did manage to get Dr John – Right Place, Wrong Time onto the soundtrack though, despite that song being totally inappropriate to the images I coupled it with.

    By give away the ending, I didn’t so much mean (SPOILER ALERT) asphyxiation on vomit, so much as the details; the model he was bedding, the drinks he was drinking, the drugs, the people he last saw – all the good stuff.

  350. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    There’s nothing like that first flip through your Dad’s records. I remember only recognizing a few of the artists and I came to find out that the artists I did recognize were my mom’s records. Stuff like The Police, Blondie, X. My Pops was way into stuff I’d never heard of like JJ Cale. I’m sure glad I gave those JJ Cale records a try, too. What an awesome song “Magnolia” is.

  351. JJ Cale is one of my favorites NJN 🙂

  352. They call me the breeze…is my favorite

  353. @Limpar Assist
    The “LimpBar” eh? There is a profound truth reflected in that name.

    No problem at all with MJ’s music, actually LA – although I see why you thought I did have. Some of the greatest dance tracks ever written. What I was commenting on was the uniformity of taste of the under-25s.
    Loved Led Zep as well.

  354. I also can’t believe you saw the Groundhogs. I bet they were great live.

    In a strange twist of coincidence, along with Mitch Mitchell there was another drummer with an alliterative name, again supporting a Seattleite guitarist/frontman in another popular rock band, take a bow… Nirvana’s Chad Channing.

    Maybe it’s a drummer thing.

  355. Oh my god.

  356. I remember going to see Clapton when he was with Bruce & Baker (Cream) back in the late 60s. Ginger Baker played a 10-15 minute drum solo. Awesome band.

  357. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You’re a top bloke, G4E.

  358. Eboue looks like Shaft in that pic.

  359. Nasir Jones-Nasri


  360. Ha ha ha, notlager.

    Eboue’s got great legs, hasn’t he? Especially for a footballer.

  361. How did Et’o’ miss that?

  362. What do you do in a 15 minute drum solo? Read a book? Chat? Sort yourself out? Surely drums are an ensemble instrument. Unless you are trying to frighten the shit out of someone in a strange land.

  363. FunGunner,

    Eboue’s shorts are quite short.

    Does anyone know whether Jack is playing against sp*ds?

  364. Anyone see the Chelsea penalty shout there? Kalou would have definitely got it if he hadn’t thrown both his arms up as he went down.

  365. Yea. Chealsea is the new Stoke!!! anyway they have always been. What’s it with the long throw over the top tactics

  366. @ Vince
    I thought Kalou deliberately entangled his leg with the defender’s. His foot came out at an angle when he saw the ball had got away from him. That’s my story, anyway.

    @ notlager
    No Wilshere – not even on the subs bench. Sort it out, Owen!

  367. @FG I wasn’t saying it necessarily should’ve been a penalty, just that Kalou put paid to any chance he had of it being given with his theatrics. John Terry’s been absolutely shocking for the last few weeks or so.

  368. thanks FunGunner.

  369. I’m in Limpar. Fancy that, about you making a docu, I mean. I’m not usually that intuitive.

    They were great live although I found their albums a bit much to take.

    Incidentally. Consolslel has a Ginger Baker drumstick. He used to break a lot with his style and kept a load of spares attached to his kit so he could grab another quickly without interrupting his solos!

    Her then boyfriend caught it. I also have a newspaper picture of her screaming her head off at a performance of the Beatles in Exeter. She comes from Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth was where she misspent much of her youth.

  370. Budleigh Salterton would make a great character name in a John Irving novel. If it weren’t already the name of a place in Devon.

  371. @ Vince
    Understood. I was being facetious in any case – just explaining it away the way ITV would have done if it had been us. Bit of lingering bitterness there… 🙂

  372. F. Frederick Skitty

    It’s so lovely to see that the posters on this site actually do have the breadth of passion, interests and life experiences that matches their appreciation and unwavering support of the Arsenal.

    This site is such a blessing.

  373. While we’re on a music tip can someone remind which Pavement song it was that made a dig at the Smashing Pumpkins? I was talking to someone about it earlier and i’m drawing a blank.

  374. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Range Life, Vince.

  375. Yes! Cheers NJN. Take THAT Corgan.

  376. Cech has just been carried off with a suspected broken foot in the champions league. That could hit them hard/ He’s been in world class form recently.

  377. Adebayor got sent off too, not that we care or anything!

  378. Lucio has put Drogba in his pocket tonight, its strange to see Drogba looking like a kitten, Lucio is ridiculously powerful.

  379. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I like a few of the dream pop and shoegaze leaning songs they do on Siamese Dream. But outside of that I can’t really say I’m a fan.

  380. did ade stamp someone in the head?

  381. Just what i wanted Stoke/Man.C Extra time. I hope they get worn, lose and depressed!!!!!!

  382. Stoke that is****!!!!!

  383. Paul N, it says he lashed out at someone’s face. So, nothing out of his usual.

  384. Jack was cup-tied.

  385. cech out for the season

    badeybayor sent off

    stoke playing a hard 120 minutes ahead of saturday

    chelski beaten

    wonderful night for gooners 🙂

  386. G4E, its sad when thats not out of the norm for you.

  387. Probably Paul N.

  388. Stoke now 3/1 delap is lethal

  389. All we need now is for Chelsea to actually drop some points Stringfellow Hawke and for us to successfully negotiate Stoke.

  390. Delap using the towel again?

  391. is Delap allowed to take a free kick with his hands ? funny how no team has found an answer to this guy’s throws. What is Tuncay doing playing for Stoke ? this player is good enough to play for a football team.

  392. Why did Adebayor get sent off?

  393. It is a bit worrying, Delap will change the face of football as I can see few managers scouting for long throw players. You will get players turned down because their throws are not long enough.

  394. Lol 1 loose cannon.

    Thing with Delap is that he dosen’t have massive arms or anything. Must be is technique. I hope he has used all of his long throws v City and is puffed out for the weekend.

  395. I hope Delap’s arms are tired after tonight! He’s a freak and that towel business should not be allowed.

  396. He was a Javelin champion or somethiong like that I’ve heard so we could see the introduction of Javelin to football training sessions.

  397. FG, he threw his arm back when he was running with the ball and the Stoke player went down as if he’d been shot.

  398. We just need to make sure we don’t concede any throw ins near our penalty box!

  399. Javelin practice at the grove…hmm…should be interesting…esp since Fabianski reaches out to catch one where he should hae just stayed back…lol 😉

  400. Passenal- You saw what happened last time their players invited a tackle along the touch line hoping for a throw our players refused to tackle and they end up putting in a cross for fuller to score it is very tricky.The best way is to use the offside trap and play high up the pitch.

  401. Fascinating discussion about pop music. It seems Jimi Hendrix was a lot like John Terry.

  402. C1 gooner -then we will get injuries like Arshavin got a spear into his thigh so he will be out for 2 years.

  403. What happened to Oil Man City? I thought spending 100s of millions guarantees trophies?

  404. Thanks, perrygroves.

    @ 1lc.
    Or you might end up with one or two specialists on the team and a bizarre situation in which the team never tries to get into the penalty box, instead they try to win a throw-in level with the 18-yard line. Just like some players base their game around winning corners and free kicks.

  405. My post disappeared.

    @ 1lc
    What I tried to say was that you could end find that managers recruit one or two long throw specialists and the teams never try to get into the penalty box, but instead try to win throw ins level with the 18-yard line. The whole strategy of the team might be based on throw-ins – you could end up barely playing infield at all!

    As for Delap, with a bit of luck, Campbell will fall on him early on and dislocate both his shoulders.

  406. I hope we get in early on stoke’s goal and kill the game off, rather then worry about rory delap’s throw kicks…

  407. Thanks, perrygroves

    My previous posts keep disappeared. so you’ll probably get this in triplicate in about 10 minutes time. Anyway….

    @ 1lc
    What I tried to say was that you could end find that managers recruit one or two long throw specialists and the teams never try to get into the penalty box, but instead try to win throw ins level with the 18-yard line. The whole strategy of the team might be based on throw-ins – you could end up barely playing infield at all!

    As for Delap, with a bit of luck, Campbell will fall on him early on and dislocate both his shoulders.

  408. testing

  409. Adebayor did not deserve to be sent off. Shit decision….again and again and again and again. Referees are now beyond the pale in terms of incompetence. It has never been this bad.

  410. In what way is Jimi Hendrix like John Terry, Pz? I know you don’t like John Terry and I know you don’t like music. Is that all there is to it or is it more subtle than that?

  411. Drinking, drugs, having sex with models – all characteristics common to Hendrix and Terry.

  412. …and me too

  413. I don’t know if Terry actually takes drugs, but he’s involved with drugs via his father.

    Perhaps we’d have to add Rio Ferdinand into the mix to get a Hendrix.

  414. …you seem to have forgotten the all-important innovation element

  415. …the creativity

  416. ..the tenacity

  417. …the courage to do stuff that no-one else has ever done

  418. Have you done the drink, drugs, sex stuff yourself, PZ? You judging these guys?

  419. Hendrix’ rendition of Dylan’s ‘All along the watch-tower’ is tomorrow’s classical music….and you reckon that John Terry is up there with that?

  420. I reckon that makes you a heathen, Pz.

  421. …for two or three years in London that man’s light was almost blinding

  422. Jimi Hendrix belongs to London. Just like the Texan Embassy. Part of our history…which rolls on and on and on.

  423. …and just ike Arsenal

  424. I wouldn’t describe John Terry as innovative, but to keep all his affairs from his wife must have taken a certain amount of creativity. I’ll grant him tenacity. Courage to do stuff that no-one else has ever done? Well, Wayne Bridge had certainly gone before him; and to tell the truth, I suspect there had been others.

  425. Exactly, no comparison. John Terry should never be mentioned in the same sentence as Jimi Hendrix…..oh fuck.

  426. Did we ever get to the bottom of the end? Or the end of the bottom?

  427. Have to feed the fish.

  428. 1LC:

    “Lucio has put Drogba in his pocket tonight, its strange to see Drogba looking like a kitten, Lucio is ridiculously powerful.”

    Lucio had an amazing game. The way he comes out of the defense dribbling his way past the opposition is a sight to behold.

    I think the way Mourinho stopped Drogba was by preventing him from getting the ball. Cambiasso and Stankovic did a very good job of keeping Ballack and Lampard quiet which meant that Drogba had to drop back a bit to receive the ball. Also Chelsea weren’t ever on top of Chelsea because Maicon, Zanetti and Sneijder proved to be a handful for them.

    This game was almost a carbon copy of the Everton game. Hopefully Mancini took notes and is thinking about playing Petrov and Wright-Phillips. They need to keep pressure on their flanks and keep the middle tight. And I hope the 120 minutes doesn’t wear on them. Chelsea dropping points is crucial for us.

  429. CBob @ 6.11
    I think that line comes from Sweet Child in Time by Deep Purple.
    I saw the Nice and Pig on the same bill in Leicester, along with Family.
    I once went to a Quintessance (that’s spelt wrong) and we all talked through the first 45 minutes thinking that they were still warming up – seems it was their “Indian” part of the gig. They were better after half time.

  430. Notting Hill

  431. You are right MD. The UH song was something like “..before they had the war” or some such nonsense.
    I’m confusing my Heavy Metallers. I was never a fan of Purple.

    Sounds a good gig. That’s another band you hardly ecer hear today, Family I mean, yet they made some very good stuff and had excellent musicians. I never saw The Nice, Wish I had. Can’t quite see the Pig on the same bill as them though. A bit esoteric, that bill.

    I have wasted too much time at gigs like your Quintessance experience. It was the times.

  432. 24.02.2010

    Andrey Arshavin has answered the questions of his site visitors about goalkeeping, about his red cards, about Olympic Games, about the bees, about Campbell and about a lot of other things.

    1. From kostea
    Are you good at goalkeeping?
    I was good when I was a kid. Sometimes I even took virtually dead balls.
    There has been a long time since I last stood in the frame.

    2. From dysano
    Andrey, just wanted to ask you who you think is the best goalkeeper in the whole history of football?
    Among the contemporary goalkeepers I saw playing I liked the Dutchman Van
    Breukelen, champion of Europe 88. Buffon. When Buffon finishes his
    career, Igor Akinfeev will become the best.

    3. From kostea
    Can you say at least approximately how many red cards you received?
    From childhood? I think there were about 7 or 8 in my whole career.

    4. From galinanaz
    Hello, Andrey! I was wondering whether these moving and changing advertising billboards on the pitch can distract from the game?
    Arshavin: No

    5. From Nikita5
    Good evening,
    Andrey, I was in London with my son this October and we went to see Arsenal-Blackburn game (just a miracle as we arrived just the day before the match and even managed to buy tickets for Liverpool – Chelsea game). Your team won (You scored). In general, football in England is like a holiday, football fans are different, they have great sense of humor, and many Arsenal fans love you (especially ticket wallahs).
    Question: Since you play well and strike with your both legs, tell me please what methods do you use for exercising “a weak leg”. Thank you.
    I have never done anything special. Only when the ball was under my left
    leg, I tried not to shift it to the stronger one, and played with my
    left. Over the time, I noticed that my left leg started working better.

    6. From mika61
    Dear Andrey,
    I wanted to wish you good luck in this difficult period for you. Don’t lose your confidence, YOU ARE THE BEST, do not lose hope, continue to play your football and your success will come back … Do not lose your motivation please, we’re behind you to support you … Do we still vibrate dear Andrey ! You will find the way of the goal soon !
    Best regards – Mickael
    Arshavin: Tnank you

    7. From madam1kristinckao1ou
    Hi Andrey,
    We were asked to write a paper at school about some athlete and everybody wrote about you! My friend and I took information from your web-site and we got excellent marks! Thank you very much for the site and for your football.
    Sincerely, Christine
    Arshavin: I’m glad 🙂

    8. From Sayana
    Hi Andrey, I want to ask you, do you know where the Republic of Khakassia is? I live there, it’s Western Siberia, and its capital city is Abakan, I want you to come here, it’s my dream. But I’m positive that it will never come true! 😦
    Arshavin: Everything is possible….

    9. From Sayana
    Who do you think is going to win the Champions League this year?
    Arshavin: I hope it is Arsenal

    10. From KolyaNike
    I have a question for you! Do I have a chance in Zenit youth team, if I live upcountry but I have determination and my coach says I can succeed!?
    Good luck in Arsenal and show them who RUSSIANS are and who YOU are! Good luck in everything you do, Andryukha!
    Arshavin: Everything depends only on you.

    11. From Olga22
    Hello, Andrey! Do you have a personal shrink?
    Arshavin: No

    12. From Olga22
    Hello Andrey: If you have time, will watch Vancouver broadcasts? What kind of winter sport do you like?
    I like biathlon. I’ve managed to watch it only once so far; don’t have enough time.

    13. From veizel
    Hi! I’m overweight. What shall I do?
    Arshavin: Lose weight 🙂

    14. From veizel
    Hi, Andrey! I am 13 years old and I began to play football 2 years ago.
    Do you think I’ll be able to become a professional footballer?
    Arshavin: I do not know.

    15. From valerian
    Andrey, I’m very worried about the number of injured in the team. Maybe there are some flaws in players’ physical training? Excessive stress? Is there a special person in charge of this? Thank you.
    Arshavin: It’s a difficult question

    16. From honeygirl
    Hello Andrey! My question might be silly, but the whole purpose of this site is to ask you the questions that interest us 🙂 As far as I know, Orlando Bloom lives in England (I’m not sure where exactly) Maybe you met him somewhere? Well, I guess it’s possible)))
    Good luck!
    Arshavin: No.

    17. From IvanOrlov
    Do you think Tymoschuk will come back to Zenit?
    Arshavin: I don’t know.

    18. From iorh99
    Do you watch football on TV?
    Arshavin: Yes

    19. From marusuy
    My name is Maria, I live in Tajikistan, I play football too and I’m your big fan. I would like to invite you to Khujand and I’d like you to have a look at our team.
    Arshavin: Thank you.

    20. From kutarba
    Andrey, who is the most inconvenient defender in England? Who played rude against you? Does anyone come into your mind?
    Arshavin: No one played especially rude against me. Everybody play tough. Especially in the National League. IAll defenders play like this in this championship.

    21. From nastyaspb
    Hello, Andrey! I am a student from St. Petersburg! I like football and your game especially! And I understand why you left Zenith, though it was a pity.
    We are going to come to London in late March. Where would you recommend us to go?
    P.S. I’ve checked that I won’t be able to see the games.
    Arshavin: At first, take a sightseeing bus tour around London.

    22. From kostea
    Have you ever been stung by the bees in the forehead or near the eye?
    Arshavin: No, but I’ve been stung once in my behind by a bee.

    23. From Mansur95
    Hello Andrey. What do you think about Campbell?
    Arshavin: He has been useful to the team so far.

    24. From CapatoBec
    Hi Andrey, I’ve got 2 questions for you 1) Have you ever swore in Russian during the game?)) 2) I’ve watched a lot of Arsenal games and, in my opinion, Bentner doesn’t like you? Whenever you have an opportunity to escape, he passes to the other players, what do you think?
    1. Yes, for several times
    2. Why many people think that he treats me badly? I said many times that
    we were on good terms with Nick.

    25. From kostea
    Have you cleaned your yard from snow in London?
    Arshavin: No

    26. From kostea
    Andrey, how often do you eat onions or garlic??
    Arshavin: It happens sometimes…

  433. Why not just put a link there Arseman?

  434. thats a good question Rinseout….
    i really have no idea why i didnt just put the link up.

  435. Great answers though. I loved 13 and 14. Brilliant!

  436. 22 and 26 are quite interesting too.

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