Stone Cold Friday: They Say Faith Can Move Any Mountain

I raid my record collection and nab a post title from The Buzzcocks. Darius raids his and comes up with a Tears for Fears lyric. Tears for bleedin’ Fears? Yea Gods. I know whose CDs I’d like to listen to and they ain’t his…although any article that references Steve Marriott can’t be all bad.

The Association of British Specialist Insurers has suggested that in the last few weeks members have inundated them, seeking advice on how to approach the development of a new product.

A select group of clients are clamouring to buy what has been described as ’Humble Pie’ insurance, seeking to find solutions that will save face, stop them from eating their words, and shield them from having industrial portions of humble pie shoved down their throats come the end of the football calendar this year.

Victoria Concordia-Crescit, ABI Business Development manager, observed that the enquiries from clients seemed to be from the sports media outlets, particularly BBC Sports, Talk Sport radio, Sky Sports, ESPN, tabloid newspapers and ex-footballers who sit uncomfortably on various lurid sofas.

The demand for this specialist insurance has been prompted by the unexpected and continuous resurrection of Arsenal football club in this year’s Premier and Champions League campaigns.

One Sports presenter from the BBC described this phenomenon as a ‘Lazarian’, pundits and hacks throughout the land remaining baffled that Arsenal are still in with a chance of silverware this season, despite being buried several times at publicly attended funerals.

Concordia-Crescit confirmed that despite biblical references, the Association’s specialist actuaries had categorically ruled out the principle of ’Force Majeure’:

From what we know, the actions and inspirational comebacks that Arsenal has made this season don’t qualify under our Force Majeure principle as an act of God. We have closely looked at the history and origin of this so called resurrection phenomenon, and we can attribute 5 key factors to this;

  • Excellent management and husbandry of the club by the board and their manager for more than a decade
  • The courage and tenacity of Arsenal’s manager to lay down a vision and follow it through despite the short sighted adversity of ’Johnny come lately’ customers
  • Collective contempt and disdain shown to Arsenal by the establishment clouding the reality of the progress that Arsenal has made in the last 5 years
  • The incompetence and inability of pundits, hacks and generally the establishment to understand the vision Arsenal is following and give it credit where it is due
  • The growing belief in the Arsenal side that they are destined for greatness, and that the mental fortitude they have shown in coming back time and time again is a manifestation of this belief

Crescit added that they are working with their specialist underwriting team to design an appropriate product which provides adequate cover for the inevitability of Arsenal’s dominance in the decades to come.

Asked to shed light on what were some of the issues that clients were seeking to address with this new insurance product, the business development manager suggested that the root causes of the problem were:

  • The intellectual masturbation and diatribe spewing about Arsenal that had gone unchecked for the best part of 5 years
  • The contempt shown for Arsenal’s decision to dare to do things in a different way to what the establishment comprehends
  • The implicit and explicit belittling of Arsenal laced with xenophobic euphemisms and stereotypes.

She observed that there was likely to be a high claim ratio once they’d implemented this new insurance. This was not particularly worrying as they would normally counter with higher premiums in subsequent years.

Companies which employ these pundits and hacks will be calling on this insurance purely based on an assessment of risk factors. Based on their study of Arsenal’s vision, financial performance, as well as its growth and development on the field, it’s clear to see that the club has the best foundations to go on and straddle the European footballing landscape for decades to come with their dominance built on organic growth.

If you look around right now, the footballing world is littered with basket cases on one hand, and recklessness on the other hand with breath-taking financial instability. Concordia-Crescit cited the case of Real Madrid who had sold the family silverware to hedge their bets at domestic and European glory, yet they spectacularly fell short all the same.

Asked to comment on why she thinks Arsenal have survived this onslaught and has caused panic and mayhem in the ranks of punditry, she simply smiled and attributed it to one thing; Faith.

Faith that the board and manager could lay down a vision and follow it through despite the inevitable criticism;

Faith in the team that has grown together and matured over the last 5 years despite the heartaches and joy that they have shared.

Faith by the true fans that have kept patience and travelled this journey with the team, sharing in their triumphs and celebrating with the team; commiserating with the teams defeats and expressing their frustration and emotion.

Faith that it is possible to win and to win playing the beautiful game.

Faith that when the team eventually win their first title together (and they wouldn’t be selling Humble Pie insurance if this wasn’t a certainty), the victory will have been made sweeter by the joy and pain that the team and supporters have suffered through this journey – and the hard work of the team and their courage shown through adversity.

Faith can move mountains, and it’s inevitable that it will win Arsenal titles on the way to shifting those mountains.

Oh, and can someone give me Faith’s phone number whilst they are it. I’ve a huge pile of rubble in my garage that I need to get shot of. Perhaps she could do that the next time she’s moving a mountain in the Thames Valley? ‘til Tomorrow.

Posted on March 12, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 129 Comments.

  1. Hull is a tricky tie. They took points of Chelski and Money City.

    It’s going to depend on the physical condition of our boys, and a continuation of the attitude they’ve brought to the last few matches.

  2. I agree. Bt rite now we look light in the middle. Nasri mite be doubtful,R7 is 50-50. Just daiby and denilson to fit in. Oh ramsy wht a poor timing!

  3. invigorationg post as usual darius

    If we get an early goal tomorow they are in for a battering.

    Song, cesc and gallas definatley out, rosicky,nasri, big sol doubts means id go with:






  4. Great article today.

    Who said Nasri was doubtful for the Hull game Proo III?

    This is probably how’ll we’ll line-up:

    Eboue Vermaelen Sylvestre/Campbell Clichy
    Nasri Diaby/Denilson
    Walcott Bendtner Arshavin

    Would love to see Arshavin shift to the left and Vela get a chance tho.

  5. Hull would definately be tricky but im sure wenger would ring it in the players heads not to be complacent or underestimate hull.

    the arsenal players are showing some real hunger for something this year. i suspect wenger might rotate a bit

  6. Love the piece. Very creative and inspiring. I would love to see Arsenal win the league, partly because I’m a supporter but mostly because I believe in the club and its management. I was oppossed to the money madness in the EPL from the start and as they say, it would be a case of the chickens coming home to roost.

  7. Darius,
    I suspect many of the references will have gone over the heads of the halfwits they were aimed at. In any case, nice work.

  8. @ ole gunner,agree with you.hull wont be easy looking at the injuries we have (tr7 and sagna).hope nasri and arshavin are in good shape for tomorow.theo and eboue starting could be a good one.

  9. lovely write up

  10. i face critism of my faith in arsenal and the wenger system from other fans and even some arsenal fans who have been blinded and cant see what we see. victory in d league or champs league or better still both would be wonderful. keep the FAITH………………..l love arsenal so much

  11. Keep the faith

  12. ClockEndRider.

    For those who get it, it’s most definitely worth writing.

  13. in arsene we trust

  14. i think the line up could be like this;almunia,eboue,vermalen&silvestre,clichy,diaby,nasri,denilson,arshavin,bendtner,walcot.

  15. Almunia
    sagna vermaelen silvestre clichy
    nasri dennilson diaby
    walcott nick52 arshavin

    arshavin to cause some serious damage, he is really looking sharp after his injury

  16. Regarding tomorrow’s game – I’d prefer to think that complaicency will be our enemy as opposed to a snarling tiger.

    Even with our injuries, the squad Wenger puts out is capable of grinding out a result at the KC. Incidentally Bendtner scored in our 3-1 win at the KC last season. to this being a

    For the reason that we have a week before the next game after Saturday, my sense is that Campbell will start the game. His fatigue isn’t as much of an issue as first thought.

  17. Nice post Darius and my girlfriend is called Faith!

  18. Darius, you often write superbly on football, but after three paragraphs I gave up, demoralised at the thought of another stock screed about the media.

    I realise that this sort of thing goes down well here and it must be nice to throw the fish into the seal pen and get clapped, but there are finer things to Arsenal’s resurgence than crowing at those who couldn’t see it coming.

    Of course, you also neglect the fact that we have not won a thing yet. I am sure we will, but some sense of perspective, perhaps class, certainly superstition should preclude you gloating quite so much. No?

    Some mention of Hull city away, a tough game against a bunch of twunts we don’t like, fighting relegation who will go for it all the way would have been nice the day before the game.

    I would have thought, that as long as we keep winning, we can keep looking forward, to each game and the prizeson offer. However, you seem obbsessed with winning some game of one-up-manship more than the actual winning in reality. That probably is not the case, but to read what you write it does smack of skewed priorities and premature triumphalism. I just hope that you aren’t eating humble pie later, that would be a truly sad day for all gooners.

  19. Bergkamp Ghoulfest

    ugh… agreed arseneholis…

    who wants to talk about football?

  20. HOLIS,

    then its likely you have not been reading the Friday write ups by Darius much cos they are rarely if ever match previews, but rather about taking a topic and writing quite eloquently, insightfully and humorously about it!

    by the way, well Done Darius… Faith does move mountains!

  21. common gunners, give me my 10 – 0 . hull will surely be a team well deserving of it…

    Hattrick for NB52 and EDS9, Diaby, Arshavin, Walcott and Nasri to complete. okay one for Rosicky and then Eboue so thats 12 then!

  22. TeamSpirit – I do read them, that is the point, whilst they are all the things you say and extremely imaginative i their construction, the topic is always the same.

    You can only play around with the same idea for so long before you wear it out and most people who think for themselves can see the media garbage for what it is unaided. You might also think, that having figure dthis out, they would stop listening to the more egregious aspects of it, or accept their flagrant stupidity and irrelevance.

  23. Arsenehollis.

    Maybe you need to stop sniffing the carpet and lighten up. Just for the record, I don’t do match previews or match reports on ACLF. In fact, I rarely do blow by blow match previews or match recaps even on my own blog.

    Stone Cold Friday is an opinion column and I’m happy to accept that not everyone will agree with my opinion about all manner of issues. In fact, I’d be disappointed if everyone did – for debate is good when there are different points of view.

    But since you mentioned the match against Hull tomorrow, I’m sure today’s debate on ACLF will be that much better.

    At Kenyan Gunner – Ahsante.

  24. Clearly most Arsenal fans haven’t achieved your level of enlightenment, Arsenehollis.

  25. “I realise that this sort of thing goes down well here and it must be nice to throw the fish into the seal pen and get clapped,”

    Arr arr arr!

    That’s my seal impression is that. Hey it’s the best I can do. Sorry.

  26. A weekly opinion column would benefit from an opinion that was not always some variation of the same theme of, “Bash the press or circle the wagons” depending on what the score was the game before.

    I read your own blog and it contains far more range than that, I wonder why you limit yourself every time you are on here to the same basic points inventively dressed up.

  27. arsenehollis: I see what you’re saying and i also see you on here a lot of the time. Surely by now you know that there is a bit of a theme on ACLF. I had a go at Shotta once cos all he seemed to talk about was ‘doomers’ etc and not actual football. I didnt get anywhere, and had numerous people having a go at me for daring to question him… it wont change, but it doesnt stop us from discussing team news and debating lineups, tactics etc in the comments.

    I much prefer coming on here and putting up with persistent ‘plastic fan’/ ‘doomer’ / ‘jonny come lately’ slating, than getting riled up by the majority of other blogs that are written by complete arseholes.

    When football is being discussed, this is the best blog going imo.

  28. “When football is being discussed, this is the best blog going imo.”

    I would agree with that. It makes it worthwhile to try and get the theme pushed that way a bit.

  29. A great read Darius, thanks.
    Aside from all this banter, has anyone here had the pleasure of reading Arshavin’s Q&A sessions on his official website?
    This particular question made me chuckle…

    Q: Andrey, did Bendtner read your interview after
    the Arsenal-Burnley game?
    A: In the original? No, he has difficulties with the Russian language.


  30. “I would agree with that. It makes it worthwhile to try and get the theme pushed that way a bit.”

    It’s a shame then, that you spend more time trolling than talking about football.

  31. Arsenehollis.

    I’m not aware that YW stops anyone including those commenting of talking about any on or off topic issues, especially about football.

    One way we could move on from this impasse is if you shared your opinion about the game tomorrow – instead of focussing your energy on remonstrating that I didn’t.

    I’ve already offered my opinion about the game against Hull at 11:28 am.

  32. avaris15

    Arshavin should publish a book with his Q&A sections.

  33. Darius, I think you’re right. There’s plenty of content there. The guy is hilarious.

    As for this weekend’s game, injuries or no injuries, we should be capable of beating Hull. That said, we shouldn’t be complacent. I don’t think this should be a problem now – I think the players know that the opportunity is there, but they still have 9 games to play. Let’s hope for an exciting game, with none of the usual Hull nonsense.

  34. Hey Darius, great article as usual.After reading it even before heading to the comments the first thought that came to mind was “here comes Arsenehollis”

    we as gunners need such articles to remind us where we have come from, even if we dont win anything(key word being IF) I believe we can afford to gloat for the mare fact that everyone but us(mind you there were some gunner who though we didnt have a chance) thought we were out of the race way before it started and several times since but we still fought our way back into it.

  35. avaris.

    Hull have no option than to unleash their nonsense. They’re going to try and frustrate us and hope we lose that focus – and in a lot of ways, the response to the setback at the Stoke game tells us a lot about how the team will respond to Hull’s brand of football.

    They are fighting for their lives if you consider that relegation will spell disaster financially for them and run the risk of putting them into administration.

    That makes them a difficult proposition, but a professional job from our boys will see us through – we have the personnel.

    I think alongside Pompey, Hull and Burnley are going down.

  36. The attitude that the team’s projecting at the moment is really impressive. From the manager down, nobody’s getting drawn on questions about how far we can go; it’s all about the next game, whoever we’re playing. That’s great to hear.

    Hull away presents a totally different challenge to Porto, and the mental preparation clearly started as soon as the players left the pitch on Tuesday.

    It’s like they’ve been coached to keep the tone humble, mature and focused. Fans will want to hear that, because it seems to me that, until now, whenever we’ve been in this situation over the last five years, the players have often sounded a little cocksure. That kind of stuff can be tough on the bragging rights!

    I have to say, out of all the premier league teams, Hull is the side I know the least about. Who do they have that could pose a threat? Fagan? Hunt? Bullard?

  37. That’s something that has impressed me too, OneOfUs. All the players are quite relaxed in front of the camera, or in interviews. As you say, they are taking it one step at a time, never ruling anything out, and never getting ahead of themselves.

    It’s a shame that’s what it comes down to though, isn’t it? For what is supposedly “the best league in the world” you still have teams who aren’t capable of playing in the top tier and just degrade themselves by playing questionable football (read that as you wish). But then, as you say, the financial implications force them in to these situations. It’s a pity, because I think most players could play competent football if they had the right mindset instilled in them. Is this down to the managers?

  38. OOU – define threat…LOL!

    If it’s kicking our players and doing anti-football, hell yeah, they provide a threat.

    I like their winger Bernard Mendi though, I think he would do better in a better team.

  39. Avris.

    The manager’s philosophy and approach has a lot to do with the end product.

    Players are conditioned to a certain mindset and survival seems to be the M.O for clubs like Hull. The fact that they’re fighting for their very existence makes them as dangerous as it makes them vulnerble. The variable here is how Arsenal responds.

    If you take the Porto game for example, Bendy’s early goal was very important because it started breaking the spirit of Porto, but the second goal they were broken.

    We have to take the same approach with Hull by breaking their will to last the 90 minutes.

    Being complaicent is more of a risk to us than what Hull will present in footballing terms.

  40. Sorry to hear about all the injuries and minus Song. Might we see Eastmond in the mix, on the bench? No doubt the team is up for this one. They know this is it, the tail end of the season, and well in the race. No doubt, they know what’s a-coming from Hull. I expect a determined performance, and especially from Bendtner and Theo. I might be tempted to play Traore and Clichy in midfield.

  41. Certainly during the Stoke match, it was captain Cesc who provided the focus that was needed after Rambo got hacked. Against Hull, without Cesc, we will need Big Sol and TV in particular to do the same. And Theo, of course, to snarl impetuously to a dirty foul on him.

  42. Cesc interview on ArsenalOnline is great. He really is Arsene’s captain, he comes across as highly intelligent guy everytime his interviewed.

    Compare him to a Phil/Gary Neville or Terry and you just think thank god Arsene knows…

  43. It will be an interesting game to see. Psychologically, there will be a lot going on in this game. If we put the pressure on them early on, and we get to half time and haven’t put a goal in, it must feel a bit frustrating for the players. They’re probably asking themselves what they can do to affect the game. Is it just a case of persistence, and hope that we wear them down? Or do we change tactics to adapt?
    It must be frustrating knowing that you’re technically superior, but unable to succeed against a “lesser” team, and it’s just because they have “bodies behind the ball”.
    I feel like I’m blathering on now, so I’ll stop 😛

  44. And yes Maria, when you compare his intelligent interviews with those you mention, it does make you very grateful.

  45. Good to hear we have scored 9 goals already.

  46. Lol that was meant to be 99 goals….on course for the 100 against Tango and his slimy lot.

  47. Darius, great article!! very clever and well written. arsenholis must have eaten his “pretentious pie” this morning.. not sure they’re working on insurance for that hah.

    At the same time, I think he does have a bit of a point. and if he had any “class”, somethine he derided you for lacking darius, he wouldve been able to bring that up in a manner that didnt make him sound like a horses ass.

    I think part of the reason that the doomer/media establishment’s xenephobia comes up so often here is that we all feel a bit of solidarity in expressing those views on ACLF bc we know they will be met with a somewhat sympathetic ear. The other reason is that while the general theme and overtones used while discussing the topic are often similar, the little reminders we have of the situation or so consistent and obvious, that one can have strong feelings come to the surface on a daily basis thanks to some absurd sky analysis, or a bogus Sun article.

    — what do you all think of that theory?

  48. Just istening to the Up for grabs podcast after the Hull game….so real diamonds in there like….

    Your getting tanned in the morning, tanned in the morning……

    Your white and you know your white……your white and you know your white….

    For those you haven’t heard it. Go on itunes and look it up it will have you in tears and all revved up for the game.


    when will these fucking spuds learn?!?!?!?!?

  50. NJGooner,
    I think you’re probably right. Although I rarely comment here, I do read most of the comments. Just as it’s sometimes implied that it’s Arsenal against the world, it sometimes feels like it’s ACLF against the rest of the blogging/media world. It’s nice here because the road ahead is looking good for Arsenal, but it’s not just mindless blind optimism. Most contributors here are pretty open-minded and appreciate a good conversation/debate. One of the best things about football is being able to talk about it, especially with like-minded people.
    One thing, generally, that we have in common is the “opposition” – the “doomers” or whatever you want to call them. Those who don’t have their own opinions, and only know what the media tell them.

  51. ^ just read that comment I wrote. very disjointed, sorry – was a bit pre-occupied. but you get the point.

  52. As for Harry, I think that is just blind optimism 😛

  53. Cesc in a hoodie…’re scared of Cesc in a hoodie….Cesc in a hoodie….

  54. Crescit forgot to mention that the insurance premium is set to rise after this Saturday, and humble pie insurance may no longer be available after next Saturday and humble pie insurance would have become, in effect, uninsurable.

    Nice piece Darius. 🙂


    Forgot about that one OG.

    Another great one was…

    Why did you lie Brain……whyyyyy did you lieeee

  56. OOU:

    The American yoot player at Hull looks a promising, he’ll play in the WC I think.

    Alongside Bernard Mendy, could both provide a ‘pacy’ threat against Sol or Silvio?

    Last time we played L’Orange, Mendy was on the bench, & Kilbane started, I think.

  57. Mendi?

  58. Oh lord, my team Zimbabwe 63-6 in the West Indies (my second favourite team).

    Oh well, never mind, it’s Hull I’m after.

  59. I wonder if Cesc will steer a wide berth around brian horton this time.

  60. ZimPaul, don’t worry… You have already out-performed expectations with the T20 win and the first ODI. Windies have just finally started playing like a team and fulfilling some of their potential.

  61. Arsenehollis:

    I agree it is a lot more interesting to keep the discussion to football. I also agree completely that we need to win something before we gloat to much about the pundits stupidity. Once we win then have at em.

    That said, this is a public blog and people can blog about whatever they want. Subjects like the media treatment of our beloved team have been happening in pubs and at water coolers for as long as there has been sports media and sports fans and it will continue forever so why worry about it.

    CL hangover has been a problem in the past. Hopefully the team did not get too giddy after Tuesday and focus on these last 9 games. Somehow this year feels a little different and I think the team will focus on the job. We have a great chance to win the league if we stay organized and focused for these last 9 games.

    I hope Nasri can play. He has been superb. Bendtner scores anothe late penalty. Arshavin and Diaby on the scoresheet. Arsenal wins 3 – 0.

  62. In honour of Silvio’s performance against Hull earlier on this season, I’d like to propose a line up:






    TR7 to make a guest appearance.

    The above isn’t serious, but I would consider it for a few seconds, maybe just one, if I found myself in AW’s position, and Hull decide to unleash their secret weapon, Kilbane, again.

  63. Ah, but why now, against us Taeryn? Surely they could have waited for the next england tour.

  64. Delia- Block 112

    A highly entertaining epistle which will appeal greatly to like minded Gooners. Even with a depleted sqaud, we should have more than enough to tame the tigers, who look destined for the drop .
    I just hope Nasri dosen’t have any leftovers from the last encounter as I am sure that Brown’s Mob will try and wind us up! We don’t need any unavoidable suspensions at this stage of proceedings!
    Every game from here on in is going to be a nail biting occasion and not for the faint hearted. I have great faith in AW, the resolve of the Boys and the fantastic support of the travelling Gooners.

  65. Eboue Verm Sol/Syl Clichy
    Diaby Nasri
    Theo Bendtner Arshavin

    with a bench of Fab, Traore, Eastmond and Vela ++

  66. flying dutchman

    Slightly unrelated to the Hull game or the blog: has anyone watched the post Porto interview with Sol Campbell on Arsenal TV Online? I had never seen Sol interviewed and I was most impressed with his personality, he came across as a very intelligent and extremely self-assured person, but not arrogant or cocky, rather disguised in a tongue in cheek way, like a more-than-average educated footballer who knows and could say so much more than he does. Anyway, he could barely hide his delight at the situation he’s in and the prospect of the season’s finale and his possibly crucial role in it. Just felt like sharing this impression of him.

  67. and eduardo + merida maybe

  68. Thanks Dutch … I like big Sol, he’s got heart and he WANTS this.

  69. Actually, now i think Eduardo might just start.

  70. It would please me no end if Cesc was to travel with the team and wear his hoodie tomorrow

    … and just glare at Mrs. Brown

    sorry Master Brown …


    I wouldn’t be for that, she might just take a liking to our handsome young captain. Compared to Brian Horton he would a absolute dream.

  72. ACLF family, wanted to let you all know that my wife gave birth to our beautiful baby girl this wednesday.


  73. She’s a bit of an emotional wreck Maria, it’s been a long hard winter; still I hear she loves stepping out in her high heels, maybe she’ll wear them tomorrow – now that would be funny.

  74. Makorokoto!!!!! (congratulations) Paul N. and family. Wonderful news. May you be blessed. Happy days!

    and we are right behind you Paul N. – my wife is in week 40, and just a few days to go!

  75. Hey Paul N, this is awesome….Congratulations man. Another baby Gunner.

  76. Congrats Paul.

  77. Thank you all!!!! talk to you all soon, gotta get back to the hospital.

    Makorokoto!!!!! ZP.

  78. speaking of getting off the topic of football. I usually do not spend much time with Le Grove and rarely look at their comments. However, I enjoyed the comment from “songthegreat” at 15:26. If you do not approve of “off color” jokes then don’t look but I had a good laugh.

  79. for once i feel that i have some unique insight on a topic here..

    as a yank i can say that Jozy Altidore is pretty solid. especially for an american. im looking forward to watching him get bossed around by TV and co.

  80. congrats Paul!!

  81. flying dutchman: his contributions so far have been invaluable. AW picking him up was a stroke of genius..

  82. Arsenehollis, I am indeed relieved that someone else has an opinion of this gentleman they refer to as stone cold. He does appear psychologicaly stuck in an over zealous, protective, stance of Arsenal Football Club. I agree with you that his writing is quite creative but unfortunately rarely varies from a long moan about the manner in which the pundits are unable to see the real truth about Arsenal.

    There is no harm in uttering a tut tut from time to time. In fact, once Stone Cold is able to allow the negative words to flow I predict that he will find the process quite exillerating. I say negative but what I really mean is creative criticism.

    Get on with the football analysis Stone Cold!

  83. Wonderful news, Paul N. Congratulations.

    Look at this; you couldn’t make it up.

    In front of a Women’s Institute rally no less! Haha!This lot really are a shower of spanners. Apparently Hull players regularly settle their differences on the training ground by rolling up their sleeves and having it out! Proper rag-tag, amateur hour stuff. Sounds like Sunday league! If Viz had a strip on football managers – they’d surely base it on Phil Brown.

  84. Which makes this all the less surprising.

    What on earth will become of them when a well-oiled high-tech machine like the Arsneal glides into town? With the title in their sights and a fire in the belly? I do hope they don’t start kicking us to save face.

  85. “According to Bettorlogic Player Pro, over the last 50 games the Gunners have a win percentage of 52 per cent without Nicklas Bendtner.

    With him in the side, the win-rate rockets up to a whopping 76 per cent.”

    God bless Nic B.

  86. Limpar you truly understand that Hull will try to kick us out of the park. They will be in our face from the minute the bell rings. We will need to bob and weave to win this one. It will not be a football game as much as a prize fight!

  87. I’m sure they will, Towels, but we will slink through them, jink past them, dink over them, and leave them all floundering on their well-padded backsides; like leedle cock-a-roaches all over the park. We will make them look terribly silly in all sorts of silky and elaborate ways. My only fear is that Stephen Hunt, blinded with tears and jealous fury, flies into one of players, fists flailing like a child and does someone a mischief.

    I hope Sol plays. If only to hold Nasri back from killing Stephen C*nt on live tv.

  88. Leave it Sami, LEAVE IT!

  89. i think we can all agree on two things…




  90. I’ve never quite understood the significance of that with/without stat.

    It’s a bit like the stat about Arsenal not losing when Adebayor scored.

  91. Very many congratulations Paul.

    It should be Mr. Paul now I think.

  92. it’s even more this season with niki 88%

    even wierd is the that we’ve never lost when cesc is out the team
    and never draw when he’s in the team

  93. I fear those two games could well be write-offs I’m afraid NJG. All we can do is win our own games. Still, will certainly be willing them on.

    No, Ole, I’m absolute pony and trap with stats. I just saw that somewhere and thought of you.

  94. Phillipe L’Orange:

    “From an Englishman’s point of view…Arsenal are one of the best ‘Footballing’ teams around at the moment…from an Englishman’s point of view…”

    Got it?

  95. A bit over the top, arsenehollis, with your criticism of Stone Cold’s post.

    I see where you’re coming from though. I also have always found the pundits and doomer bashing, that many on here seem to like, quite tedious. It ‘s surprising how much energy some put into it. Like it makes any bloody difference to the football?

    Fact is, the quality of the football discussions I get here is the best I’ve found on any blog, and well worth enduring those posts I don’t like.

  96. fulham might nick a point there
    but were beat bad last night and was away
    so wont hold my breath

  97. and turnball starting for the pensioners in goal
    so anything is possible

  98. My favourite quote this season from an opposition manager:

    “I was recommended him as a left back (but we were strong in that position).”

    “People who recommended him didn’t speak of him as a central defender…”

    ‘Arry Redknapp upon Thomas Vermaelan.

  99. Wear plairn ull termorrer.Orm a rrrrrugbeh leegah. Adjustable spanner ont shirt.

  100. So we’re back on top of the injury table with 8 players out (Sagna, Rosicky, Fabregas, Djourou, Gibbs, RVP, Ramsey and they left off Gallas) and Song suspended. The only team that comes close to matching this quality being out of action is Chelsea (Cech, A.Cole, Bosingwa, Essien) and ominously Man United now look to be in great shape physically with no core players out.

    There is serious quality on our injured list and that’s why this next game concerns me.

    Hull have a full squad and our deep squad is depleted.

    I can’t see Arsene risking an aching Sol with Djourou and Gallas both out, so the line-up is shaping up to be:

    Eboue Silvestre Vermaelen Clichy
    Denilson Diaby
    Walcott Bendtner Arshavin

    Subs: Fabianski, Traore, Campbell, Eastmond, Eduardo, Vela, Merida

    The subs bench has only two proven, high quality experienced EPL players whereas a couple of weeks ago we were loaded.

    I would gladly grab a scrappy 1-0 win right now, but this one could easily be a draw. Having said that, I don’t believe for a second that we need to win all our remaining games to win the league.

    I think winning 7 out of the remaining 9 games will do it, and with a healthier squad we are more than capable of that even against better opposition than Hull. We just look awfully thin for this game, even with a deep squad.

    Of course, now I’ve said that, we’ll probably score 3 goals in the first halfhour! COYG!!

  101. i believe in ourselves and liverpool.

  102. Ull is the only town in the UK which has or had its own telephone system. Intriguingly the first linkup was between Mr Higginbottom’s butchers shop and O’Reilly’s Funeral Parlour. Unlike Stoke and Burnley though Ull boasts a liberal history and was the centre of the abolitionist movement in England. William Wilberforce was the MP for Ull at the time.

  103. How could a town with such an illustrious history have ended up with Horton and Brown. What a fucking shame.

  104. What would be the point of having a guest post that is just an inferior version of what we get every day? Darius plays to his strengths; and from what I have seen, his posts are enjoyed by everyone except arsenehollis, Bill, and Two Owls. Should everyone else miss out just so that regal trio can be appeased?

  105. It’s not all bad, Frank. Isn’t Two Jags/Two Jabs/Two Shags Prescott their MP?

  106. Yes, PZ. Exactly right. Interesting that John Prescott is in fact Welsh. He was born in Flintstone…I mean Flintshire.

  107. To all those little ingrates who come on this site deriding Darius for his optimism and exposure of all that is anti-Arsenal in the media an on the blogs, from my experience, you use the excuse of football talk to do play the same dirty game of player- and club- bashing.

    Darius – Make no apologies my friend. ACLFers have a right to gloat because we were the few optimists in an ocean of doom and gloom. The fact that most supporters now realize that it is the heights of stupidity to slag and slate a player when he has had a bad run (eg Bendtner vs Burnley) is a tribute to the balance and optimism bloggers like you and Yogi have constantly preached. Of course, I am “opinionated” (an insulting epithet thrown at Darius) enough to recognize that the assault on Ramsey brought the club supporters together more than anything we have wrote as it was undeniable the pattern of violence against us for trying to play football.

    As for me, I leave team selection to Arsene Wenger. If that is the type of football discussion these ingrates want, I leave the field to them so long as they don’t bring their poison on board.

  108. Wasn’t Hull voted the worst place to live in Europe a few years ago?

  109. For those of you who do not know John Prescott our ex-deputy leader, and/or for those wondering why the UK is engaged in conflict in Afghanistan.

    ‘…the objectives remain the same and indeed that has been made clear by the Prime Minister in a speech yesterday that the objectives are clear and the one about the removal of the Taliban is not something we have as a clear objective to implement but it is possible a consequence that will flow from the Taliban clearly giving protection to Bin Laden and the UN resolution made it absolutely clear that anyone that finds them in that position declares themselves an enemy and that clearly is a matter for these objectives…’

    Always nice to know that we are in safe hands.

  110. Worse than Tottenham even?

  111. The art deco variant for the phone boxes in Kingston-Upon-Hull was a design classic.

  112. Isn’t it funny that even with all the stabbings, robberies, shootings, drugs, prostitution, murders, sexual assaults, gangs and gang related violence, organised crime and all that it entails; and yet the worst thing about Tottenham is it’s football club.

  113. I agree with Shotta G

  114. It must have been the worst city. Although that begs the question why Manchester didn’t win.

  115. The best footballer to ever play for Hull was JJ Okocha.

    I wonder what happened to him – he was also Boltons best player, perhaps alongside Anelka and now Little Jack Willy.

  116. Arsenal has done it the right way. The only way a house will stand if it has a strong foundation. Arsenal has a strong foundation. Young players mixed with old. Home grown are the best. MLB(Major League baseball) has known this and do it for years. screw the media idiots.

  117. Houseboats don’t have strong foundations.

  118. You got it bobygee.

    And boy, did they have to do some serious site prep before construction could begin.

    It was always, from the very beginning, an ambitious and well run project.

    Some seem to think, that understanding that has no relevance to Football.

    Therefore, as I understand it, by their logic, it makes no difference to be play a game of football on some mud dug randomly out of a corner of Wembley Park, or upon the finest Football pitch in the world.


  119. You would have to be stark staring mad to buy The Gooner. It is a crap publication that has failed the club over and over again.

  120. Lay off Darius guys. It strikes me that now when Arsenal the team are doing well, we start to moan about the bloggers themselves instead. Is it genetic or something? I mean this almost constant need in a fair portion of Arsenal fans to find constant fault when in fact we should all be sitting here grinning like idiots. New stadium, lots of young talent up and coming in our ranks, a very young but experienced first squad, still in the PL title race with an easier run-in, and q/f of the CL. WOW!! Look at Real Madrid guys, over 240 million spent in one season on players and they are out. And guess who they want as their manager? Thats right ours, but he won’t go. Why? Because when he started re-building our team 5 years ago, I doubt he would have invisioned having such an abundance of talent at his fingertips, almost all 23 or younger, pushing for the title and a CL cup. Dam AW is good! 🙂

  121. Paul N. Congrats and God bless.

    12 – 0 to the Arsenal!

  122. Darius Stone @8:33

    JJ Okocha apparently joined Hull after “God told him to do so”. Though I think it is safe to say that “God” would never tell anyone to go to Hull for any reason, this he did. However it seems that somewhere along the way “God” lost all interest in either JJ or Hull(the latter part I presume we all knew about) and after a few months of life in Hell…I mean Hull, sorry, he announced he would be retiring at the end of the season. In an amazing twist Hull secured promotion to the PL(almost ruining it for everyone else but I digress) and JJ changed his mind, believing that this must have been “God’s” plan for him to play in the top flight. Hull’s plan however was to release him and so he retired anyways. “God” has remained schtum on the entire affair.

  123. Fun fact, I’ve watched Arsenal’s last 2 matches and haven’t seen a goal scored. Something came up each time and I’ve missed every one of our last 8 goals.

    Hopefully I won’t miss any tomorrow.

  124. So you hope we won’t score?


  125. even better is his Q&A on his website

    From Misora Andrey, is it possible to meet you in London?

    Arshavin: If I live here, then there is a chance.

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