Everybody’s Happy Nowadays

Media reports of Nicklas Bendtner having the ‘last laugh’ put the whole of the coverage surrounding his performances in recent days into the perspective that they deserve.

The image which sprang to my mind was a Python-esque character, dressed in Superhero garb, proclaiming, “I laugh in the face of danger“, his horn-rimmed spectacles perched precariously on his nose. The ‘danger’? Anyone taking the criticism and praise seriously without realising that they will return in equal measure, depending upon his performance at Hull on Saturday.

Bendtner noted that this is the manner in which the ‘issue’ was dealt with ‘internally’:

There was some criticism of me after the game last Saturday, but me and my team-mates have just laughed about it. They made jokes with me. That is how I look at that – I laugh. They have all congratulated me for my hat-trick and then we laughed about it – in a good way.

Thomas Vermaelen was effusive in his praise for the Dane, positive about his resilience and strength of character, as well as acknowledging the alternatives that Bendtner provides for the team, especially as an outlet for releasing defensive pressure:

He doesn’t struggle with confidence and that is a good thing for a striker. You always need a good centre-forward who scores goals for the team, he did that against Porto and I hope he will score a lot of goals in the future.

For us it’s good that Nicklas is there, you can give the long ball and he wins headers and you can put opponents under pressure. Sometimes that is really good. It gives you more options

The key thing though was Vermaelen’s assertion that Bendtner was no less happy with his performance against Burnley than he was with the hat-trick against Porto. Whilst that may be too simplistic an interpretation of Bendtner’s mood – I am sure he derived more personal pleasure from scoring than not doing so – the attitude underlines one of the core values apparent in the squad now divisive members have moved on: unity and stability in behaviour.

Bouyancy quite rightly drives the squads outlook. A tricky spell with some poor performances has been negotiated, adversity in the form of Aaron Ramsey’s injury overcome and now they look forward to season-defining games, albeit one at a time. None of them are straightforward in that the team cannot believe that they can just turn up and take the victory; each of their opponents has something to fight for.

Wenger and his staff have done an outstanding job this season with morale, regrouping the players after setbacks, instilling into them humility in victory, efforts to prevent that duly recognised if misinterpreted widely in their media regurgitation, eliciting the desired over-reaction from Messrs O’Neill and Pulis.

No doubt he is helped by the fact that the egos are kept under wraps in public, presumably controlled by the fact that the outstanding players for all of the individual efforts and skills are very keen to point out the contributions that colleagues make, ensuring everyone is appreciated and the everyone appreciates the ‘lesser’ players.

The players have always been ‘positive’ in their media outlook, rarely depressed or seemingly so, in their comments which in itself is no bad thing given how much confidence contributes to performances.

Ensuring that nerves do not overtake them in the run-in is a key test for Wenger; he has the experience of winning titles, the squad for the most part, the experience of losing one. Make no mistake, the scars of 2007/08 will burn deeply in their professional psyche and forge a determination to win the title, a determination which they have shown tiem and again this season.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on March 11, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 144 Comments.

  1. I know, it makes a nice change from “Something’s Gone Wrong Again”.

  2. One and All for the title now.

    For some reason i have a feeling Man U will drop point this weekend. If we don’t we will be in good stead.

  3. Phemmit from Lagos

    Well done Bendtner!! Dat’s is a good workdone. So,keep up!

  4. Where are all the Wenger hater’s now?

  5. Narsi is Zidane like in the way he controls the ball, he uses both feet to control it depending on which foot is better placed.watch the goal again, he dribbles with the right, then the left then right again before unleashing a powerful strike.That is a true sign of a truely great player..most players use one leg to control and push the ball…

  6. Bergkamp Ghoulfest

    Chelsea have a few easy fixtures now, but their last few, oh boy. Villa, Mancs and Pool, nice and clustered together, plus another FA Cup outing against O’Neill’s men.

  7. Bergkamp Ghoulfest

    and by God that Le Grove boy is an idiot. Terrible, terrible writer. The real tragedy is that so many people actually read his fucking tripe and call it ‘analysis’.

  8. Kabisa I doubt it will happen this wknd, aren’t they playing Westham at home?but it will happen sooner or later.

  9. ARSENAL FOR THE dOUBLE

  10. @FL

    its Fullham for Man U. Chelsea is at west-ham.

    Depending on the Chelsea result we may sleep on Saturday being top of the table…

  11. might anyone know Total Arsenal Goals scored this season so far…??

    i know we have 69 in the EPL, but the rest of the competition??? are we still on target to being the most free scoring on the planet??

    i Know on the EPL we are tops… and in Europe we trail Real or something…

  12. Le Grove is total garbage ,trouble is we keep reading it.and as they dont allow any critics tto post you dont get to tell the retards

  13. I agree with Team Spirit

  14. I wonder how Ade, Hleb and Flamini are faring…

  15. Eboue has really changed!it seems ade influenced him alot and the sale has given him a fresh start.how hilarious was it for real to spend a quarter of a billion only to be eliminated in the round of 16 for the 6th consecutive season?

  16. @arsenalkabisa

    Thats 99 Goals in all competitions (44 games in total) this season I believe it is.

    Not too bad for a side apparently without a recognised striker eh??

    Come on you Gunners!!!!

  17. Arsenal kabisa-we have 99 goals,chavs have 97 goals while united have 91 goals

  18. Just for the record thats:
    69 Goals in the league
    23 goals in Europe
    4 in the FA Cup
    3 in the League Cup

    20 different scorers (including OGs counted as one scorer but 4 OGs in all) upto now.

  19. @K-TR7

    Nice to see our ‘stats’ add up!!

  20. Bad news:Looks like we might not have Sagna/Sol available Saturday and Fabrigas is nowhere close to returning.

  21. Kabisa, cant wait for fulham to do us all a favour.
    George you can say that again, try saying anything about how they run things there and you off to the garbage can.

  22. @ Bergkamp Ghoulfest on March 11, 2010
    at 12:10

    I had no intention to comment but man, I just had to after reading your post.. Le Grove? What a disgustin blog (that is imo). I suspect its a
    Spud blog in disguise. Those guys never say anythin good about Arsenal, and they especially hate Wenger.. And they are never consistent,Today they are chanting down our financial policy tomorrow they hail our financial supremacy after it was reported that we are on on our way to to the top of Europe’s financial league…one word: Delusional

  23. “…albeit, one at a time”. True.

    On Nic Bendtner, (especially after seeing perrygroves’ video of the crowd reaction over NB’s misses against Burnley the other day), when 60,000 people scream and shout, laugh with derision, flap their arms in exasperation, shake their heads, groan etc…. what better way to react to all that than to smile and get on with it, knowing, in the back of your mind, that you are well on your way to being a top, top striker and these things happen when growing up in public. I like his applauding the crowd later, too. It all helps the line of communication, in both directions. He knows it, we know it. We’re all in it together, this growing up thing.

  24. Nasri is a faster Zizou

  25. All those people that wanted hunterlaar should trust AW’s judgement on players.flamini looked clueless.Nasri is a unique dribbler;he uses both feet and took 14 touches in his goal vs porto.btw after milan rout utd have 95 goals.

  26. All this cursed positivity can’t last. We’re doomed!! remember? doomed!!!!

  27. Oh yeah. The Buzzcocks. (That one nearly slipped through the net).

  28. Wonderful outing against Porto. Nasri demonstrated his incredible ability throughout the game and for me he has made his stamp in the Arsenal midfield. I worry about his leg injury though and dearly hope that they can administer a spray that will set the leg on the road to another one of those exilerating goals. It is interesting that here in Vancouver, Nasri’s goal has been played regularly on sports net as the play of the day. The goal had the effect of closing down the mouths that so frequently see Arsenal as the light weights of the Premiership. Sadly, those anti Arsenal pundits are exclusively British expatriots. Their regular comment is …”They lack the size and the intestinal fortitude to become champions”. This group of expat’s drive me to utter distraction as they wail away at our beloved Arsenal. I am applying to have the whole bloody lot of them shipped to some isolated island in the pacific. If they make too much noise, the natives will deal with them.

  29. Great blog again, YW. Though Bendtner could go out and score another hat-trick at Hull, and he’d still get slated by a certain section of so-called fans.

    Disappointing news on Cesc… but at least we can feel confident in the team’s ability to play very creatively even when missing him.

    Good to see that Lyon bumped Real out yesterday. A smug grin certainly crept across my face when I saw that result. 🙂

  30. Since when was Liverpool a hard fixture????

  31. I bet Ronaldo is still sulking 12 hrs after!!!

  32. Toure and Greedy were the bad apples at the club.Now they have gone look how good the team spirit is

    It still amazes me how many on here we saying we should have kept Greedy,yes i mean you Ole.

  33. Looks like Sagna and Rosicky out. Hopefully Sol will play this weekend. Need to avoid CL hangover

    Eboue at RB and hopefully Theo can replicate his form against Burnley. Hull has been in bad form and hopefully even with a little hangover we can win without to much fuss.

    Nasri has been awesome. To know that we will not only get by but we can really prosper when Cesc is out is great for the squad. It is easy to forget how young he is. The best is yet to come from Samir.

  34. tough injury news.. im just hoping, above all else that sol can make it back for hull. bummer about TR he had a great game against porto, doing the little things for us.

    How pumped are you guys abotu Lyon??!?!?!?

    I bet the folks at Real are literally shitting themselves as we speak! they were all so focused on the CL bc teh final is at the Bernebau (sp?) and now??? bwahahah. i love it. affirmation of our club’s transfer policy if you ask me

  35. Maybe a little something from Carlos, too on Saturday?

  36. Nasri’s thigh was strapped on Tuesday. So he could also be a risk.

  37. denilson diaby and nasri in midfield, i guess.

    then arshavin, bendtner, walcott in attack.

  38. I dont think Arshavin will start on saturday. Before the Porto game Wenger was saying he wouldnt be able to play the entire match because his injurywasnt fully healed.

    So i think the team will be

    Almunia
    Eboue–Sol–Verm–Clichy
    Nasri–Deni–Diaby
    Walcott–Bendtner–Eduardo

  39. where
    is frank and
    ” you know this dawwg” william the two
    most celebrated know alls who know shite all
    ill take the double too

  40. I think tomas will not start even if fit,four games in two weeks is not good for him.wrap him and cesc in cotton AW since they are crucial in pl and cl run in.According to aw,i think sol will play.sagna i think will shake off his knock.

  41. Winning isn’t every thing it is the only thing. Vince Lombardi-Green Bay Packers- winning is the cure for all ills. The guys stepped up and showed what they are made of. Great win. Learn and move on. Next. We have a huge match this weekend. It starts all over again. What have you done for me lately. http://defutebol.net

  42. First time poster here, but long time reader!! Am forced to watch on Fox Soccer channel in New York City, and you think the English pundits are bad!! I have to listen to Warren Barton’s expert analysis!! Sounds like an oxy moron I know but they pay this guy to speak absolute crap. I don’t know if anyone heard what he said after the Chav’s beat Stoke 2 nil. He said that was possibly their toughest tie and they won it brilliantly!! Yet when we win 3-1 (after Rambo got his leg smashed) he said it was “not a bad performance but left more questions than answers!. Anyways, great for the Arsenal, Nasri was fantastic and just how fast is Eboue anyhow? And NicB gets a hatrick but is still slated, Rooney scores two and is being hailed as “amazing” “best in the world alongside Ronaldo and Messi” blah blah blah COYG!!

  43. ArsenalsAfro
    in andrey interview on his website he says he doesn’t feel any pain
    so you would think he’s back
    I guess the main worry is sol but it’s only cramp so it just whether he can do 180 in a week
    thankfully we played on tues so gives him some more time to get going

  44. well we do have options in attack and midfield.

    i am just concerned about sol. i prefer to see him there than silvestre.

    if silvestre has to play, i rather it be a home game rather than away.

  45. Hope Arshavin plays this weekend. He was superb vs Porto. We do not have another game for a week. He and Sol will have plenty of time to recover. We should beat Hull easily but do not want to get complacent with only 9 games left in the season.

  46. watch denilson do a eboue, song or diaby next season and all the arseholes who cant stand him on le drip do an about face and start demanding that he plays in big games. such a fickle lot.

  47. Denilson has already shown his potential… I think he just hasn’t gotten a good run of games.

  48. Hey anyone know if Gallas is going to sign with us again, he is out of contract this June, and some friends are telling me that AS Roma are offering him a 2 year deal that he might just find more tempting then the usual 1-year-for-the-over-30’s that is Arsene’s policy. I mean even if he does stay we will have to find another CB for coverage but if he leaves, we have to find two. If he does go any thoughts on who could replace him?

  49. I personally think that Verm and Djourou are going to make for a fantastic partnership. That leaves one top notch defender to sign, as well as a serviceable 4th choice (unless Sol has the stamina).

  50. Was just reading Le Moan… I know I can’t help it it’s like watching some really crap movie that is so bad you can’t look away, anyways apparently it was posted late and they were all, wait for it…. complaining!! And then, this is great, some idiot comes on and says ” hey give the guys a break they post every day for us and we should just support them and be thankful for what they do and not criticize them” hmm…..this is soon followed by a poster who says he hates Randall, that he thinks he is a c**t, admits that he doesnt know why he thinks this and not one person comes to Randalls defense!! Those bastards make me sick. But…OOOOHHH TO BE A GOOOOOONER!!!! Ahhh that feels better 🙂

  51. Silvestre had an outstanding game at Home against Hull, from LB.

    Possibly, he was helped by the cunning move from that tactical genius, Philip L’Orange, to rest his quickest player?

    (Mendy? Played almost well against ‘The Hurricane’ Clichy last season, I wonder if Hull will attempt to pick their best players, like when they beat AFC, or will they try attempt to play ‘Kick’Em With A Little Help From The Ref’ again?)

  52. – 1 attempt

  53. Personally I think Djouru is awesome but will take several games to get into the swing of things. Can anyone see Sol taking a coaching job at Arsenal, I mean who better to teach any up and coming CB’s? Just a thought. Have just heard a rumor that Sol may get a shock England call up for the WC, any truth to that guys n gals?

  54. I believe his name is spelt Phillipe L’Orange 🙂

  55. I have not been a great Denilson fan but its easy to forget how young he is. He has been around for so long that it seems like he is older. Hopefully he can do a Song/Diaby. He is getting to the right age. I would like to see him and Song add a little more “bite” to our midfield. I do not want to see us start to break any legs but someone who could be considered an “enforcer” (Viera like) would add another dimension to our team.

  56. Thanks Irishgray!

  57. Denilson saved our season last year. At least he was as important as any player in having the reasonable success we had. He’s already proven himself to the manager.

    At some point, some doubting Arsenal fans will come round to accepting the obvious.

  58. Does no one remember the goal against Everton on opening day? Denilson has got class, he’s just not had a good run of games recently.

  59. Hull attempt to pick their best players…

    P.L’Orange: hmmm… Arsenal…sneaky team…quick you know and small…yes sneaky and small…

    AsstMgr: ehem, Msr L’Orange the team?

    P.L’Orange: eh…yes in goal…in goal I will put…

    AsstMgr: The “goalkeeper”?

    P.L’Orange: mmm…sounds good…now for defense I want fast, skillful and passionate players on both wings!

    AsstMgr: eh….fast….skillful…on both wings you said?

    P.L’Orange: yes of course we must fight fire with fire…Aha!! put him in left back and him in right back…hehehe….now CB’s… we need strong, intelligent,professional players…players who can defend and attack…any suggestions?

    AsstMgr: eh..intelligent? defend and attack?…I don’t kno-

    P.L’Orange: AHA!!…these 2 are perfect…one has massive experience and the other while young has passion and scores goals on a regular basis.. perfect…just perfect

    AsstMgr: eh..scores goals on a regular basis?…who are you talking ab-

    P.L’Orange: now midfield..midfield…we need speed,creativity,skill,passion,commitment,men who will fight to the last whistle…Arsenal are sneaky…we need sneaky players…skillful players..AHA!!…yes..him…and him…and him…and him…hehehehehe

    AsstMgr:Speed?Creativity?Skill?Passi…..just what the hel-

    P.L’Orange: and last but not least our deadly strike force up front…hmmm….just who to pick…so many options…

    AsstMgr: Options? Up front? Strike ‘Force’?

    P.L’Orange: AHA!! yes…thse 2 are perfect!!..a big tall,strong skillful target man and a smaller but very sneaky and silky player to play alongside…HA!! take that Arsene Wenger!!…he does not stand a chance…hehehehe

    Asstmgr: eh Phillipe, may I see the team selection, please?

    P.L’Orange: of course of course,here my good man, read it and rejoice in our pending glory!!!

    ALMUNIA
    EBOUE CAMBELL VERMAELEN CLICHY DIABY DENILSON NASRI ARSHAVIN
    EDUARDO BENDTNER
    BENDTNER

  60. Oh yea your welcome Finsbury 🙂 I just love having wednesday’s off, watching the Porto game again on DVR!! Sweet!

  61. Song has learnt a lot from Denilson.

    What Denilson has to bring to his game is determination and more intensity in 1-on-1 situations. Apart from that he’s quality.

  62. Denilson can be a great player in the future, he’s almost there now. Like Ole says, just a bit more dynamic in the battles and he’ll be top quality. His only real problem at the moment is that everyone else has stepped it up so much in recent months that he’s going to have to wait for his chance again.

    I loved seeing Nasri in the middle, it’s where he wants to play and he looked amazing – even without his goal. I’d be tempted to play him, cesc and song in the middle. Diaby/denilson for the more physical games maybe…?

  63. @irishgray
    have been think about the CH situation if gallas leaves today
    It’s a shame we missed out on that young iti who signed for lazio in summer De Silvestri
    have you seen that kid who plays for genoa Criscito a lb he looks like he could be a star tho juve already part own him.
    What about metzelder who’s unhappy with real?

  64. Do you think the dippers are happy playing on a thursday
    cos they can pick up there giro before the game.
    😉

  65. Arse Shavin:

    Nasri has been great and will only get better. Still think we need Diaby whenever he is healthy. Combination of physique and technique really adds a lot to the team. Agree that Nasri needs to be in the side somewhere. Between spot on the wing and rotation/injury to Cesc and Diaby I suspect Nasri will get plenty of playing time. Great problem to have. Can not really go wrong either way.

  66. the key difference between song and denilson even diaby is upper body strength. song has enough strength to ride challenges and put his body between ball and player, same wit diaby. but denilson is lacking there so can be brushed of the ball easier than the other 2. Denilsons positioning is slightly better than the other 2 and he covers a lot of ground as to diaby. i think there all really good players who gives us something different in defense and attack. personally i think denilson is better than melo and gilberto silva

  67. Great stuff Yogi.
    Must admit I thought the only player that really worked and had a bit of class last night for Milan was Flammini. Played in three different positions as far as I could work out – right midfield, defensive midfield and right back. Was up and down the field all game long.
    Dont get me wrong I dont want him back…didnt have enough class not to go for the money… but kinda wish he had stayed for at least another season cus I think he would have really supported the younger players.
    Anyway as a team we have moved on and advanced since Flammin was here
    all the best
    Dave

  68. I’m so freaking happy for Eboue, he is so good going forward…speed, trickery, and now better finishing.

    Everyone is focusing on Nasri’s goal and rightly so, but Eboue’s burst through the middle, timing the run, rounding the keeper, then finishing with his left foot was just as good.

    Even we he had to move to the left when Walcott came on, he did good.

    He is a prove that players mature at different ages and times. He is also a hint for us to give Denilson the space & time to mature without this constantly unneeded and unwarranted pressure from fans. There is enough pressure on the players from the intensity of the game itself, there is no need to add more unnecessary pressure from fans.

  69. G4E,

    Eboue got a lot of stick last season, and as he got stick his game becamse worse. But he’s never been a bad player, and he’s been here 5 years now.

  70. kaman arsenal

    we cant get too carried away dont forget were 3 points behind, doesnt mean we’ve won the title does it? well i guess its ok as long as the players dont think that.

    determination alone will get us past hull- i dont expect points dropped from either united or chelsea but so often we have seen them win a tough game then lose a seemingly easy one, so that 3 points should be brought down to zero soon/……..

    kamaaaaaannnnnnnnnn

  71. from what our injury situation looks like at present, i expect this team to go out and beat hull.

    Almunia
    Eboue Silvestre Vermaelen Cliche
    Denilson Diaby Nasri
    Walcott Bentdner Arshavin

    subs: fabianski eastmond….shit we aint gonna have a very strong bench…

  72. Right Ole G, he always had that pace, he had good technical ability, and always good going forward.

    I think the improvement came in the form of maturing as a person not the football.

    In any case, he proved his doubters wrong, it’s becoming a theme with most of our young players who were unfairly harassed by some impatient section of the fans.

  73. Paulie Walnuts

    Eboue is playing the best football of his career. He has added composure in the final third to become a real threat going forward.

    From what I`ve heard Campbell should be OK for Hull. Sagna`s ankle problem occurred very early on against Porto & he didn`t appear to struggle so hopefully he`ll make it too.

    Same back 5 with a midfield of Eboue , Denilson & Diaby for me. Nasri & NB52 up top with one from Walcott, Eduardo, Arshavin or Vela.

    As for who scores – I don`t mind

  74. I think people underestimate Denilson because he has been playing for a big team in a big league ever since he was eighteen years old. Like the other young lads his mistakes have been made in front of sixty thousand plus crowds and a few million television viewers. Unlike most young players, who pop out of nowhere and carry with them some mythical reputation from a lesser league or youth academy, he has had to forge his reputation playing in big games with tough opponents. That’s why I think that people don’t rate him as highly as he should be rated eventhough he’s an excellent player. Which I think is insane since there aren’t many players his age holding down a first team spot in a big team.

  75. yeah i agree gainsbourg

  76. If like me your joy in watching the Porto match was tempered by the inane comments of the pundits and commentators. I’d ask you now to join me in sparing a thought for them. All of them. They’re beginning to panic.

    They make their living from predicting the future. And at the start of the season they gleefully predicted that Arsenal didn’t have a cat in hell’s chance of winning anything.

    Fairly safe, you would think, for them to predict that we wouldn’t win either the EPL or the Champions League. After all, there were 42 teams in the Champions’ League at the time we joined. And there are 20 teams in the EPL. (I suppose Portsmouth still count.) There’s only one winner in each competition. So even they could work out that the odds on us winning either must be fairly low. (Actually a 7% chance if you give every team an equal chance in each competition.).

    How things change. Take the EPL. Only three teams now have a real chance of winning it. And while our hearts say that Arsenal will win (and, if there is any justice they will) our heads tell us that those three teams have probably got a roughly equal chance. So, it’s now a 1 in 3 chance of winning the league.

    And the Champions League? Well by next Wednesday night we will be one of 8 remaining teams. Of course Arsenal are the best of the eight. But at that level, especially in a knock-out tournament, anyone can win. So, let’s say a 1 in 8 chance.

    What’s spooking the pundits is that some of them have poker playing friends who can count. They’ll have been told by now that this means that Arsenal’s chance of winning one or the other has shot up from 7% to 42%.

    So it’s still slightly more likely than not that they’ll be able to crow at the end of the season that we didn’t win either. But they’re beginning to get very anxious.

    And, if we get through to the semi-finals of the Champions League (and all three teams are still in contention for the EPL), our chances of winning one or the other will have risen to 50%.

    Who’d be a pundit? All their woefully ignorant, disparaging remarks at the start of the season, safe in the knowledge that they were backing a 93% certainty. And now they discover they’re very near to backing a 50/50 chance. No wonder they’re desperate for us to get knocked out of the Champions League and hit a losing streak in the EPL.

    Well, the odds are still with them – just. But you’ve got to feel sorry for them.

  77. Mertlot onot only that but we were apparently gonna finish 5th and by this time of the season, our fans should be signing petitions to get rid of wenger, bentdner and eboue.

    how right they were

    fools

  78. You left out that Fabregas would be in Barcelona, we’d be bottom of the table in goals scored since we have no proper striker with Adebayor leaving, and that we’d be leaking goals like a sieve having offloaded a great centre-back and replaced him with some lightweight belgian no one has heard of.

    Of course the pundits will be fuming, because not only are we proving them woefully wrong, but we’ve been doing whilst missing key players all season long.

  79. and also, liverpool were gonna come 1st or 2nd

  80. Almunia
    Eboue TV Silvestre Clichy
    Denilson Nasri Diaby
    Walcott Bendtner Arshavin

    more than enough to take down Hull

    Our injured team is as good if not better than the possible Hull line-up:

    Sagna Gallas Campbell Djourou Gibbs
    Fabregas Song Rosicky
    RVP Eduardo

  81. The reason why the pundits wrote us off is because they believe money and big names equals trophies. But just look who’s having the last laugh. With perhaps one of the most financially stable clubs in Europe, Arsenal and its kids are right where any true believer of the Wenger youth project knew we’d be. And about the big names, just look around. We have them here too. Anyone who thinks the likes of Samir Nasri, Theo Walcott, Niklas Bendtner, Alex Song, Denilson, Tomas Vermaelen, Gael Clichy etc. aren’t going to be dominating other twenty five year olds when they hit that age are completely blind.

    Personally, I hope some of the pundits have the balls to write an article apologizing for doubting Arsene Wenger. As of this year there has only been one pundit that I’ve seen backing us to win the title. He’s a scot by the name of Bobby McMahon and he’s a pundit for fox soccer channel here in the states. He took a lot of flack for backing us but he did anyway.

  82. Didn’t Bobby McMahon come out and speak some sense about the Shawcross “tackle”? (“Not a tackle, a scythe”).

    I have a lot of respect for that guy.

  83. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Bobby McMahon is a proper football man. The man tells it like it is and doesn’t resort to all the cliche bullshit. The world definitely needs more Bobby McMahon types.

    There’s only ooooonnne Bobby McMahon!!

  84. Late reply i know, but that’s true Bill – i think most players would hate to have to play against Diaby and as you say, it’s one of the better problems to have… We’ve now got the luxury of being able to rotate and not having to play players when they’re carrying knocks, and (touch wood) we haven’t been completely plagued by niggles in the last month or 2 – but then i suppose Ramsey’s injury has made up for all of those 😦

  85. Martin Atkinson’s at it again.. this time in Valencia giving a penalty that never was.

  86. Paulie Walnuts

    Anyone seen Fran Merida lately ?

  87. Arse Shavin:

    I have not done the math, but I think we could count on our fingers the number of games that both Cesc and Diaby were both fully fit. Nasri’s rise as in center mid field is really great for the squad. I know the wing is not his best position but I think Cesc, Diaby and Song make the best midfield in the league. Great balance of technique and strength. The only midfield that might come close is Chelsea when all healthy. I only say that because I think Essien is the best in the world at his position. Without Essien no midfield in the league could handle ours. Just wish ours were all fit more often.

  88. Denilson is crap and the only misfit in the midfield. He’ll eventually get the Senderos disease. We don’t need him. He should be sold or opt to go back where he came from. We don’t need average players here blocking the development of better young players.

  89. I personally like the fact that Diaby,Song and Cesc offer different things to the MF and as a combination it works well.

  90. Moda, just shut up already. It’s said that you have so little to do in life that you spend your time coming online day after day, slating a 22 year old young man. Who incidentally has more talent playing football than you will ever have.

    Also, he was not made captain of Brazil in two different age groups for being an average player, let allow a useless one.

  91. Paulie Walnuts

    Maria,

    Agreed – the balance is perfect.

    When Song adds goals to his game , which he will do , he`ll be in the top three box to box midfielder in the EPL.

    Alongside Cesc & Diaby

  92. Well said Maria,

    Moda you remind me of every ignorant twat who slated Song 3 years ago, Eboue and diaby last year, and bendtner 4 months ago.

    I’m sure you will be kissing his ass like the ignorant sycophant you obviously are within a year.

    tell me, is your obsession with him unhealthy? You know…were there issues in your youth?

  93. Denilson has proved that he’s not good enough to succeed here. 50+ a week for a crap player like Denilson is another waste of money a la Senderos. We wasted so much time and money on Senderos till Arsene smelled the coffee. What does Denilson offer?

    He came here with a huge reputation as a future Cesc replacement however, we found out he lacked the technicality inherent in players like Nasri to succeed there. Now DM? The guy can’t tackle, has no physicality to put his foot in and get bullied. Has no height to help with headers. Has no pace to track back. In games, you see him jog while others run. He passes only backwards and sideways thus claimed to have 100% passing success rate.

    Simply put, Denilson falls short of Arsenal standard. Can’t see him making it. Arsene will smell the coffee soon.

  94. The same fans who hailed Senderos are using statistics to rate Denilson as the best DM in the EPL. Can Denilson get a game even at Spurs? If we offer Denilson for sale right now, Chavs, Manu, Pool, Everton, Villa, Spurs will never bid for him, why? He’s crap.

  95. Oh I see Moda,

    Arsene will wake up and smell the coffee. probably after we win the league with Delison having played in 70% of the matches.

    Last year Denilson was our best and most consistent midfielder. This year he was hurt – he has a back problem that has recurred a couple of times, once causing him to collapse in agony during a game.

    Hmmm, has anyone else played hurt and not been as good? Fabregas? or Clichy? or Wolcott?

    The guy is young – he is better at 21 than Flamini was at that age, certainly. Or Gilberto for that matter.

    Last year he covered more ground per game than any other player – the guy can run. is he at him prime right now? Maybe not. Like Eboue was not. Like Van Persie was not at the start of the year.

    But Wenger’s job is to llok not only at the past but at the future performance of a player. And i trust his judgement just a tiny amount more than I trust yours.

    twat.

  96. apart from fans like you moda, there is nothing wrong with Senderos.

    Fro a CB, he is still young and since the world cup will be over come July so far he is ready to fight for His place, I will take him any day.

  97. Moda you’re crap so is your dad

  98. Fuck off Howard (mark 2). You are a crap fan but we don’t continuously state that fact in all our comments.

  99. shut up moda youre a right dickhead hope you get slapped by your own words next year

  100. I’d like to slap the little turd.

  101. nando

    Last year he was not great and not consistent. He played because we had no choice. He came in because of injuries and was crap as usual but he had to play. We had so many draws against weak teams and lacked our creativity with him in the middle. There was no difference between us and West Ham. We lost our flair too.

    Brazil even rate Lucas and Anderson higher. He’s just not Arsenal quality. He better move on and pave the way for Coquelin, Eastmond, Wilshere, Frimpong and Lansbury who’re all natural footballers.

  102. moda your gonna smell coffee when i track you down living in your car park and pour some down your face you racist

  103. Lol me too Dup, however his pobably some old a** greasy, overweight, middle-aged guy. It would’nt be fair.

  104. @ Modo

    Coqeulin is French btw and will probably be the next to break into the first team.

    Arsene really likes him.

  105. Team Spirit

    Senderos? Everton won’t take the option to sign him. Crap. Mark my words. He’s already struggling to get into ‘a top 4’ team like Everton.

  106. Moda nobody’s gonna mark your fucking words you prick piss off nobody wants to read your continuous crap

    go away please

  107. Moda, if you think Denilson was crap last season then you have proved you know absolutely zero about football.

  108. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What kind of person comes on a blog the day after a massive victory and slags a player that played little to no part and also happens to be struggling with match fitness and injuries?

    Shit for brains Moda, that’s who.

  109. Moda I respectfully suggest you relocate and “support” another team. Nobody on here wants to read the pessimistic, ill informed ramblings of someone who presumes to be smarter than a man who has assembled several world class teams, who have always and will always continue to compete at the highest level under his tenure.

    So piss off.

  110. Moda:

    “Brazil even rate Lucas and Anderson higher. He’s just not Arsenal quality. He better move on and pave the way for Coquelin, Eastmond, Wilshere, Frimpong and Lansbury who’re all natural footballers.”

    The only reason why they get picked over Denilson is because Lucas was a star in Brazil before he made his way over to Liverpool and Anderson plays at a club that won the champions league. And even then they’ve only had a handful of caps for Brazil between them. Anyone who makes Dunga the arbiter of who is good and who isn’t should really check their arguments before typing out such pap. Besides, if they’re so good why haven’t they displaced Gilberto and Felipe Melo?

  111. 1 loose cannon

    Arry Rednapp once again came out with a cracking comment about Arsenal, he said:
    “The gap is closing. We’re trying to turn it around but it’s not easy. There’s not a million miles between the teams.

    “I don’t think that there will be much of a gap at the end of the season.”

    Laugh everybody Ha Ha HA Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

  112. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha,

    Oh ‘arry

    every time the spuds camp has opened their mouth abour arsenal this season theyve gone and lost afterwards.

    Not a million miles away he says??

    How much have they fucking spent?

    when was the last time wolves did the double over us??

    Be’ave ‘Arry

  113. ahahah 1lc haha nice i like the vid to go with it XD

    arrys such a dork

  114. ‘i dont think there will be much of a gap at the end of the season’

    yeah the gap between his fat mouth and a dummy to shut him up

  115. Moda:

    I agree with Nasir Jones Nasri on this one. I do not quite understand why you persist in Denilson bashing. He did play well last year. I do not think he has progressed as well as expected this yr and has fallen down the pecking list. However, the guy is only 22. Time will tell if he lives up to his potential. For now he is certainly one of the better back up central midfielders in the league. We really need him to do a good job when he is playing and most times he does.

  116. Paulie Walnuts, @ 9.07, I may be wrong but I thought I saw Merida training with the CL squad before the Porto match on the free video that was shown on the Arsenal.com website on Monday.

  117. 1 loose cannon

    Zap- Arry is laugh.

    Bill -I do feel sorry for Denilson he has a back problem and Wenger is really cautious with him, he hasn’t fallen the picking order. Last season he played almost the entire season non stop and he helped us a lot when Song Fabregas Diaby were all out he carried us to finish in the 4th spot even this season he covered for Song while he was away, people seem to forget that. this seaosn he is suffering physically, He is still a young man, he is still very much part of the squad. He is a great attacking player, we have too many attacking midfielders, apart from Song almost the entire team is attack minded even Vermaelen and Wenger want to mould him into a Gilberto type so far he has done well.

  118. Mingus @ 11:26

    correct, Fran was in that photo from the training ground.

  119. can someone please shoot Moda!!!

  120. I loose cannon

    He hasn’t falling down the pecking order? He got his chances last season to prove that he’s neither an attacking midfielder nor a defensive one.

    He had his chances because we were confronted with injuries to Fab4, Rosicky, Diaby and Flamini. He’ll never play if everyone is fit. He’s not good enough to be playing and collecting 50+ a week while young lads like Eastmond and Coquelin wait.

  121. realsocialdad @ 4:44p.m. sorry for the late reply. Criscito is a very good player, has a nice turn of pace and likes to go forward, sounds like an Arsenal full back to me but the fact is I don’t see him at Arsenal, just lacks that certain something. Ahh but Metzelder, totally different problem, he strikes me as a prima donna, just like the 2 we got rid of last season, he would be a divisive influence if you asked me regardless of his skill which is very impressive, I have to admit, but look at how our team are fighting for each other, look at our response after Rambo’s leg break. It would take a very special talent for Arsene to go and pay to take a chance that they would slip into our squad (regardless of skill or cost) without disrupting the amazing team spirit we now have. It speaks volumes that the last 2 big signings were AA, nuff said :), and TV, nuff said again 🙂 Sol knew the team from training with them so was readily accepted and even more important was respected from the get go.

  122. Have to say I like Denilson but I do see why a lot of Arsenal fans don’t agree with his selection. He is not what we expect from a Brazillian . He is not the flashy kind of player we have come to expect over the years from the greatest footballing country. And as such at Arsenal he tends to stick out, not for what he does but for what he doesnt do. You said it yourself, he does the sideways passes, he knocks the ball back more often than not. But Moda that is the reason he gets picked, every other midfielder is charging forward as soon as we have the ball ( with our red-faced screaming encouragement) Eboue, Diaby, Rosicky, Nasri, Cesc, Rambo all charging forward but as soon as we lose the ball, bam Denilson is there, check the stats Moda. I did. And you can bet every penny you have that AW did and continues to do so, and that is why he gets picked

  123. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Anyone get to read that old ACLF troll Franchise’s Carlos Vela “rumor” on Le Groan? It’s defo a must read if you get a kick out of such drivel.

  124. Bang!!!!#$@%$@

    There, I’ve shot Moda.

    (Blowing the end of the barrel of my gun, as one does, um, oh know in the Westerns).

    Peace out you ALFers.

    Africa LOVES Arsenal.

  125. Very nice shot ZimPaul!!! But just to make sure can you shoot him again?

  126. Nasir Jones-Nasri @ 5:54

    Just read that idiots posting about Vela and yes it is bull. It is an old one stemming from that swine flu scare that I believe began in Mexico. Vela had flown over two friends to London but was asked not to bring them to Arsenal where he had planned a training ground meet-and-greet with his team-mates just in case. But when the media got hold of it it got twisted into him being sent home from training for partying with his buddies. As it turns out the myth lives on…I think it fair to say that considering the amount of flack Gallas got for being pictured with an unlit smoke and NB for leaving a club late one night, that there is no way Arsene would put up with this so called party life style from someone who is not quite a first team regular. That being said he has played in I believe 17 games this season alone, so not bad for someone who is being ignored. Just a reminder, in Velas first game for us, Carling cup v. Sunderland I believe, he also scored a hat-trick. Bring on Hull 🙂

  127. sorry my bad it was Sheffield United, either way both crap teams 🙂

  128. I loose cannon Hahahahahahahahahaha

    very cute had me laughing my head off 🙂

    Is there any way someone can find a way to insert Harry Redknapp’s silly little speech in between the laughing? Now that would be funny!!!

    Come on YW, you can do it surely, I would if I could but I have enough trouble turning on a laptop, can’t do the techy stuff at all. It would be fucking hilarious if you could throw in some Hansen one-liners where he is knocking Arsenal and then just have the baby laughing hysterically!!!

  129. to the debate on denilson:

    he hasn’t have had the best of seasons this year…

    but he didnt captain brazil at every youth age group for nothing.

  130. i managed to watch eden hazard yesterday.

    i think he can bring something to our game. that pace and the direct play. plus he’s only 19.

    i think he can blossom under wenger.

  131. Oh god, I’ve modered moda.

  132. And I feel … oddly … bright and happy.

  133. The sunshine is shining …

  134. On a more serious note, I see in Denilson a potential future captain of Arsenal a few years down the line. The lad has it all. Good attitude, excellent positioning, ball control, ability to read the game, passing and most important no panic.

    He’s young. He’ll put on bulk, and peak physically in about 2-3 years. He is respected by players.

  135. 1 loose cannon

    Moda -I’ve posted this clip on here before and I will post it again just for you to make you suffer a little bit more or maybe you will understand what is going on with this player. this clip shows Denilson’s great attacking instincts but recently Denilson is not coming forward as much, ask yourself why? there are a lot of things behind the scenes that you and I have no knowlege of so my advice to you is get off the guy’s back and let him do his job, a job that Mr Wenger asks him to do and not you. He is sacrificing a lot to adapt in the holding role and he is progressing slowly but surely. Just watch this space.

  136. ZimPaul,

    hmmm, i don’t see it that way, because i see Cesc staying for even longer…

  137. “I don’t drink pints of hindsight. I drink pints of Guinness” – Phil Brown, 2010.

    One for the ages.

  138. @ ZimPaul,

    I hope you shot Moda in the arse as that is where most of his comments come from.

  139. Classy comment from Mr. Orange there Big AL.

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