Arshavin-Speak Gives Media Mischief Opportunity

Thomas Vermaelen lost his appeal for the red card, the Football Association believing that not having the ball under control means that an obvious goalscoring opportunity exists. Still this is nothing new, this is after all an organisation which is riven with self-interest, cannot organise itself commercially or football wise and is generally making a PR disaster of the 2018 World Cup bid, unable to bring the media onto their side.

Although that is of no surprise since good news does not get hits, sell papers or fill the airwaves. Don’t believe me? Andrey Arshavin has put the wind up a few people, no doubt attracting the opprobrium of the masses for daring to voice an opinion that is not wholly supportive of his fellow squad members and their collective efforts to win the Premier League title. At least that is how the headlines portray his words. As with every other story, the enticement to read the article bears little resemblance to those loosely translated from Russian TV:

I am still of the opinion that to win trophies Arsenal needs more players. There is the simple fact that last summer we sold two players and bought only one. So there is an obvious deficit of at least one. Then we lost Van Persie, Gibbs and Ramsey for a long time. So for me it is natural we need new players.

Without the variety of players we have less diversity in attack. That allows our opponents to read our combinations more easily. Finally, it results in less ball possession for us and our defence comes under more pressure. The Premier League is very interesting, at least as long as we continue fighting to win it. But without new experienced players, real stars, it will be difficult to achieve success.

Ideally we need three or four such experienced players and then among our youths there should be guys who are not only good at playing football but have real character.

Arshavin’s comments are nothing if not consistent, this is a central point he has put forward since joining the club. I am not sure how Zenit St Petersburg achieved success – was it youth or a mixture of big signings and talented youngsters – but the fact is that Wenger did not sign anyone and there is little point in being hung up on the point, supporters and players alike.

The Russian is outspoken and is entitled to have his opinions. Who knows, maybe it is a widely held belief within the squad except those who benefit from the youth policy will defend it whilst age is on their side and diplomacy reigns when talking to the media. Arsenal players rarely criticise the club, the manager or each other when speaking publicly. I suspect that this will be met with eyes raised to Heaven, shrugged shoulders and no interest whatsoever. If someone takes offence, let them use it as motivation, to prove the Russian wrong.

The translation is a little bit loose or Arshavin is a tad more conservative with his words on club duty. Speaking of Nicklas Bendtner, he argued that the diversity in attack is helped by the Dane being in the side:

Obviously it has helped us [having Bendtner back]. He creates more space for the players behind him, and that offers us more time and possibilities to do something special. It helps me personally of course. And he’s good in the air – he wins a lot of balls that way and through this we can gain even more possession.

We can play differently with him in the side – when I am playing centrally we can use only low balls, but with Nick up front we have the opportunity to play higher balls and balls in behind, varying things a bit more.  His goals have been welcome. He’s in good form and has shown that he has the instinct for a chance – not that many teams make as many chances as we do!

It is apparent that Arshavin does rate the players at the club, lest his words be considered divisive. They are not, more to do with the fact that we are not used to hearing footballers speak their mind. Too often, there is a party line being toed. There is nothing wrong in that but some honest opinions make a change. Nor does it mean that Arshavin does not believe the club can win the title, simply that it will not be easy.

He does not omit himself from criticism. Arshavin set high standards for himself in his first four months at the club and has met them, generally speaking, in his first full season. Yet he has struggled to find consistency:

I do not have a sense of stability in my game. I feel I can match them and sometimes when I catch some inspiration I show performances that are on the same level or close to them. But I am still not as consistent as [Drogba, Cesc and Torres].

He is right. Adaptation to the English game is not an instant process and he has been asked to play in unfamiliar roles during his time at the club, central striker against lumps of defenders does not naturally suit him. Were he as unhappy as the media portrays, his performances would not have been as good as they were.

Once more misinterpretation rules supreme; the truth is less prosaic than the headlines which trumpet Arshavin’s throwing in of the towel would have you believe. The interpretation from Russian to English allows for some mischief but you have to admit, it is nowhere near as funny or psychedelic as that which his own website carries.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on March 24, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 320 Comments.

  1. Im sure the media twisted his words. i heard gthe tiltle on the sun was ” Arshavin says arsenal wont win the title”………….
    but really, he shouldnt be giving the media anything to say or twist

  2. Still love our little Russian tho

  3. If these quotes are real, then I find them inexcusable. Unfortunately they’re supposedly from TV so we can’t even verify how real they are. I asked my Russian friends, and so far neither of them has gotten back to me.

  4. ole….
    even if they are not real, he just give them a chance to bend or twist his words

  5. On the Vermaelen appeal; not suprised that the decision was upheld if the appeal was made on the grounds of ‘not having the ball under control’. In this instance the ball was dropping right into Franco’s path. Had Vermaelen not been there competing for the ball it would have fallen perfectly for the old dictator to hit on the volley or half-volley. It’s like if you’re fouled by the last defender while waiting for a cross that’s destined directly for your noggin, you are being denied a clear goal-scoring opportunity, but in no way are you in control of the ball. Penalty and the defender goes. (Cowardly caveat: I don’t know the technicalities of this law, so I’m sure someone will prove me wrong!)

    The point for me is that it shouldn’t even have been a penalty. Two players running under the ball, competing for position, their legs come into contact, Franco hits the deck. I doubt he even felt Vermaelen’s hand on his shoulder – and even if he did, since when does a hand on your shoulder bring anyone down? It’s not like he was tugged to the ground, in fact TV’s touch looked positively featherlike. Franco got his legs caught up with Tom’s while running, at best he stumbled and missed his opportunity, at worst he took the chance to take a dive. This ‘any contact’ rule gets my back right up. It gives the striker too massive an advantage, too much opportunity to give up and go down at the slightest contact. Ruining the game.

  6. I sound like a terrible, curmudgeonly old northerner at the end there. Oh dear.

  7. ..except when we’re doing the attacking.

  8. I think the qoutes are very badly timed. We need togetherness. However, it is not the end of the world. I imagine Arsene will have a word about it and hopefully we can move on.

    I fancy him to play well against Barca at our place. I think it will suite him to play an open attacking game. And the rate at which the RB’s at Barca attack he could really exploite some room.

    COME ON THE GUNNERS

  9. i may be lost here but isnt Ashavin’s comment a repeat of what he said a while back?

  10. Most fans have been lauding our mental strength recently and rightly so.

    Whatever else you may say about the quotes, they seem extremely unlikely to affect the side. They have been through much tougher tests already.

  11. If we win the league this year, Arsene in the stands at OT will go down as one of the great, memorable images in British football history. He set his stall out early, it will be beatiful if the lads make him right on it.

  12. On Arshavin: the media love this kind of thing. A player speaks his mind, which is not uncommon with our Russian forward and it makes them a news story.
    Is what he said wrong? No, not in my opinion. Do we need more experience? Yes. Is our current squad strong enough to win the Premier League / Champions League? Maybe. Only time can answer this question.

    Is it helpful that these comments have come at the business end of the season? No, I would suggest not.

    But I’m sure that none of the squad will be troubled by them. After all, Andrey seems like a straight talking guy and I’m sure he’d say the same to Wenger and his team mates.

  13. These words are nothing new. If you dig at his website you may find some interviews where he states that we need more players. This time it was just blown out of proportion.

    Now to be fair, he is doing too much talk and too little football at the moment. If he’s on pain then save him for the big games, where he often does show up.

  14. Limpar assist,

    You sounded like a terrible, curmudgeonly old northerner at the end there.

  15. Arseneholis not that I need to justify my comments to you, Fabregas said our loss against Porto was made of school boy’s mistakes and many people called him on it but non said he was going to leave. There is a chance Arshavin may have been misquoted but still him insinuating that this crop of players miss character is so off-mark it pisses me off!!I am sure if our players were to come across these comments the’d be pissed off as well and no way in hell that would be good for team morale and the dressing room for that matter. I am not denying he is a world class player but I am getting fed-up by his petulance and so-so performances.

  16. Its not like Arshavin said is rocket science we are always going to have it difficult with the number of players we have injured. I wish the boys well but Arshavin is right we need more men

  17. First Lady, dont you think theres been a strange coolness towards Arshavin ever since he arrived though, as if he’s an outsider messing up Wengers youth project?

  18. arsenal…!!!

  19. “not that I need to justify my comments to you”

    Don’t then. No one loses anything if you don’t.

  20. I’m sure, if real, AA’s comments have been twisted and taken out of context but the man has always spoken his mind. This is fine by me rather than him peddle the same old PR nonsense that most footballers come out with, he is clearly an opinionated guy although the timing of his comment could be questioned. Especially as the transfer window is well and firmly closed. My only worry for AA at the moment would be that if we did sign a player or two at the end of the season then he might just be one of the players who gets replaced.

  21. James u are still still FULL of it man, can’t believe your still bothering SPUD MUG.

    anyway…

    Arshavin always says things like this, and its very consistent of him to say we lack experience or numbers because of injury. I don’t see it as a criticis of his team mates, if someone asked him what factors do you think could need improving to better Arsenal… he would have given that answer.

  22. chrisGoona search for feelings, you know it to be true, you plonker.

  23. James search for your brain, you SPUD

  24. matty boy, but the players signed would most likely be a GK, a

  25. Matty bwoy, but the players signed, if any, would most likely be a GK, a centre back and a target man, so I dont hink he would be replaced

  26. Chris I thought we agreed to ignore eachother, again you let your side down. I shall be informing Frank about this, you just want to prey he’s in a good mood today.

  27. Firstlady has it spot on about the character thing. I’d be gutted if i were playing for them and read that.

  28. Matty,

    honestly don’t know how you can say that, Arshavin is one of our BIG players, who seems to be the one we are looking to when needing a goal. Before he came to Arsenal he was voted 6th best player in the world.. i wouldn’t say hes dropped off that accolade. He will prove that against Barca like he has all season, he is into double figures isn’t he? for a midfielder in his first season, and all his assists and impact on the team.. he is just outstanding.

  29. I agree with chrisgoona aka the plonker…….

  30. I agree with Matty Boy and Chris. Except on the timing part; Arsenal have thrived on the adversity of sh*t journalism/punditry/public opinion this season, and have enjoyed a long spell as the ‘underdog’ because of it. The longer the myth that Arsenal can’t win the league for want of experienced ‘stars’ is perpetuated, the better. It pushes us back under the radar – remarkably. I’m frankly amazed this falsehood still has legs, you’d have thought our league position, form, and European record would have blown our cover by now. The fact that Arsenal are the best team in the EPL continues somehow to remain a secret – because of articles like this. Praps Arsh is cleverer than we give him credit for.

  31. Ok i’ll save you a bit of dignity by ignoring you. Just keep your Spud perspective to yourself, this is an Arsenal blog.

  32. Ok chris, I shall not tell Frank seing as you have backed down, this is your last chance though, cappiche !!!

  33. LimparAssist

    Well said, the only thing left is to actually win something, only then our players will be deemed as experienced. When you look at the numbers of games that our players have played and stop looking at age, its remarkable. We have a squad of experienced players, Internationally, Domestically, and in the Champions League. Yet we are being considered as under dogs for the clash against Barca? Chelsea sit below us in the league right now, if they played them next wednesday, I wonder who would be underdogs?

  34. chrisGoona

    He is an outstanding player but he’s also a role model to some of the younger players. I’m sure some of them will be trying to emulate his quality etc, but when one of your more senior players is openly doubting your title credentials – especially when it’s being quoted on telly, it’s not good. It probably won’t affect the team, but it could. He must know that these things will be plastered over the internet etc but he still continues to talk about them openly.

    I admire his honesty hugely, but wish he would keep it to himself sometimes. He could wait until the season is over at least!

  35. SpudMug, you live far too much in your little computer world, I wonder if you act like such a co*k in your everyday life?

  36. chrisGonna

    I am not doubting AA’s ability or importance to the team, my point is, he has no right to think he will automatically be in our starting 11 next season. Presuming we stick to the 4-3-3 we have played this season and RVP comes back, if we buy anyone else in an attacking capacity then he might just find himself on the bench a bit more often that he has this season that’s all I’m saying. Maybe he is aware of this and enjoys the prospect of the competition for places.

  37. LA @ 12:23 – good points

  38. Geo

    I understand you fully, I was shocked to see the comments also especially at this point in the season. I just find it very very hard to believe they havn’t been twisted, or brought up from an interview a couple months ago.

  39. Exactly, Arshavin knows full well that players like Rosicky, Diaby, Nasri, Vermaelen, Clichy, Denilson, Sagna, and Eboue, are all stars, and are all highly experienced.

    He’s just smoke-screening for us as we drop and roll through the exploding treeline to Domestic and European GLORY!

  40. Chris, you’d want to be my friend in real life, you’d follow me around and ring me all the time but i’d always be busy and never answer the phone.

  41. LA – good points about us thriving being the underdog, in a way it is a role that has always suited us. As you say perhaps AA is using his experience to push the team on and really bring out that ‘backs to the wall’ mentality that has done so well for us in the past.

  42. matty

    Maybe, if he sees himself as an automatic starter no matter what he produces on the pitch, I will be worried. I doubt he actually thinks like that, and i think he is intelligent enough to see the quality coming through in our team. When he sees Diaby taking the ball away from 3 players, or Ramsey coming off the bench to have a blinder, or even the pacey Vela waiting in the wings… I just really don’t hold any credit to the comments.

    Cesc used to mention every month about us lacking experience, or lacking this or that last season.. he was just being honest. Isn’t it a tad wierd how he doesn’t comment like that anymore.. this season I think he has realised the potential of the team more than anyone else. Cesc believes we can win any trophy, I believe along with him, so should the rest of the players.

  43. LimparAssist

    haha, well its worked wonders so far this season everyone writing us off, maybe hes trying to keep that perspective going. Good work Arsh in that case!

  44. I’m sure they were taken out of context a little…

    I saw an interview with him recently and he was just laughing the whole time, joking with the presenter, and talking very honestly.

    I’d only read his quotes about similar things before, without seeing/hearing them from his own mouth. It was very telling for me, just by his body language and the way he conducted himself, it made me realise that he wasn’t digging or trying to provoke anything, he was giving honest statements and generally having a laugh! He’s just a cheeky chappy i think!

  45. anyone actually know what is happenning to our CB’s this summer!!

    As far as i heard we have:

    GALLAS
    CAMPBELL
    SILVESTRE

    all out of contract? I would really like to see Gallas and Campbell stay, their experience is vital. If Djourou comes through by pre season we wont have to buy.

  46. I really hope Big Johan does come back without any overriding niggles. He, like Edu was looking awesome before his injury. With him and Kyle B waiting in the wings, we don’t need to buy. With Gallas and Sol staying on, we’ll be more than ok…

    What do you guys think?

  47. @chris
    I agree. If Gallas and Campbell stay, we will have 4 centerbacks and that is usually enough. I don’t know many teams that have more than that. Plus we will still have Song, who can play there, too.

  48. I love this photo, it’s currently the home page on the official site.

    I love it but, not for Arsene’s uncontrolable jig, nor the sheer pleasure on the face of Eboue and Ramsey, nor the side busting leap by Gary Lewin, but for the bloke sitting top left, who do you reckon he supports.

    Oh the pain.

    http://www.arsenal.com/splash/236/see-the-wins-share-the-excitement.-watch-every-game-at-emirates-stadium.

  49. I just don’t like the look of the Gallas situation, reminds me of the Flamini one, where everyone says its going well, talks are ongoing, then the player leaves on a FREE. I think Gallas wants to stay, but is he going for one last payday? Flamini done it when nobody expected him too.

    Really really hope it don’t turn out that way, Gallas should see staying at Arsenal and enjoying another year at the top as the best option.

  50. When Pires came over from OM, he was widely considered to be one of the best players around at that moment. Real Mad were desperate for a good player in his position…and Arsenal gazumped them. A real coup for the club, and the manager.

    Same as with AA.
    He struggles with his relative fitness, that must irritate him, & he has to conserve his energy sometimes. I don’t think you need to be a physio to figure that one out.

    It took Pires a season to settle in, adjust to the different demands of the PL. Which is one reason why Nasri’s form last season was so impressive, before his minor injury set back.

    Although, it is logical to think that it’s easier for a 21 year old to adjust to the PL then it would be for a 27/28 year old.

    AA seems a cheeky chappy.
    I can’t listen to anything he says without smiling.

    “I am Gooner!”

    I think there were some “Gooner” chants on Saturday for AA?
    No Adebayor songs. I don’t like that song. Ade’s gone, so why sing about him? It’s time to move on!

    Something in me bones, the way the leaves were floating down the New River this morning, tells me that Gallas will either be back for Brum or Barca.

    He must be desperate to play in those games, surely?

  51. Stringvest hawke, That AKRed was a bit of a shit stirrer wasnt he, I wonder who he was on here, I reckon its Ateeb

  52. Kingsalami

    he looks rather trampy, id say hes a spud or a scouse down in london for the weekend

  53. Kingsalami

    I change my mind, thats got to be James, 100 %

  54. “As you say perhaps AA is using his experience to push the team on and really bring out that ‘backs to the wall’ mentality that has done so well for us in the past.”

    which could also work against him and backfire.

  55. james… the complete irony of his post had me in stiches

    they really do appeal to the lowest common denominator in society

  56. Finsbury: agree with all of that. Very good point about younger players settling in quicker, i hadn’t really thought about that before…

  57. Limestone Gunner

    A very thoughtful and restrained post. Arshavin really needn’t be talking about this stuff to the media right now, mindful of how words get twisted and context stripped. While it isn’t anything he hasn’t said before, the timing is quite unfortunate.

    You do also get the sense that he is a bit of an outsider and that some of the younger players are a bit cool to him.

    Hope this doesn’t affect the unity and spirited determination of the team. But certainly there is no need to get too excited in condemning him for his views. In many ways he is really refreshing.

    I’d especially like to see him back up his views with a stellar performance against Barcelona.

  58. The ginger dude is Muppet, Muppet is Arsenals favourite Ginger headed Nugget.

  59. Stringvest Hawke,

    I seriously doubt that Geoff supports Arsenal, he’s just on a wind up

  60. How dare you cunts have an opinion about what someone has said in the media, you should be ashamed of yourselves, get the hair curlers out.
    I don’t support arsenal fans I support arsenal.
    You lot are mugs cos you’re not a bitter old fucker like me.

    Or something

  61. chrisgoona tell him “I’m a Arsenal fan, fuck off Spurs’ but since he is just thick, it probably wont make a difference.

  62. Just hope the boys turn up for birmingham game and not to let the barca anxiety get to them.it’s on record that the team’s performance against westham after the first goal dropped due to the anxiety from the champs league draw (check arsene’s comments on the official site)

  63. What makes it hard to abide the quotes attributed to Arshavin (and I doubt they’re true) is that it’s not as if he’s been carrying the team. At some times he’s been carried by the team.

  64. From YW.”…..but you have to admit, it is nowhere near as funny or psychedelic as that which his own website carries. ”
    Exactly!! See AA on Arsenal on-line. There is no anxiety. No pressure. No nerves. Andre is at his surreal, humourous best. He is a maverick. A law unto himself. One whose opinions would be listened to and taken seriously; respected even, but I don’t think anyone will take offense by what he says or be down-heartened. Priceless!

  65. First lady, nice of you to say hi over at Darius’ blog. A good morning to you also my dear.

    I do hope rinseouts assault on curler wairers wasn’t directed at you, that would be unfriendly and you are such a sweetheart all the time.

  66. FO James

  67. Limestone Gunner

    Yes, can’t overlook Birmingham. But I hope players get excited about Barca tie rather than anxious. Still, I can understand the nerves: last season we defeated mediocre Roma and Villereal before going out to ManU and this season in CL we had a group without Europe’s best and defeated Porto (falling out of CL places in the Portugese league). So Barca is our first meeting with a top European side since we faced ManU.

    That’s why I feel, even a loss, as long as we perform and play well will be fine to continue in the league with a chance to win.

  68. I wish AA had not said that. I do not think it will have any real negative affect on the team but it did not need to be said. Wait until after the season to say we need more players. What good does it do for a senior team member to say that now. Oh well.

    Regarding CB I doubt WG will be here next year. No one has any real idea how good Johan is since he has not really played that much. Even if he is as good as we hope he has not been able to stay fit and we can not rely on him. Nor has WG been able to stay fit.

    Even when WG and TV were fully fit our defense was not really that good. We are currently 8th in the league in goals allowed which is not adequate. If WG returns we need at least 1 CB. If he goes we need 2. If we add Chamakh there is no need for more attacking players. Adding a big strong defender in the Sol Campbell mold such as Sakho or Sabbotic could make us much stronger against teams that score on set pieces like Stoke. I do not advocate spending like Chelsea but a strong CB or 2 would clearly increase our chance of winning next year. We have the money and do not really have any other major needs. Why not use the money that is available to give our team its best chance to win?

  69. Here’s a table based on the number of completed passes made by all top flight sides last weekend

    1. Arsenal (with 10 men) – 387
    2. Man Utd – 384
    3. Fulham – 378
    4. Everton – 372
    5. Man Citeh – 333
    6. Portsmouth – 330
    7. West Ham – 302
    8. Chelsea – 295
    9. Liverpool – 292
    10. Tiny Totts – 288
    11. Birmingham – 274
    12. Aston Villa – 263
    13. Wigan – 218
    14. Wolves – 198
    15. Hull – 196
    16. Sunderland – 192
    17. Blackburn – 158
    18. Burnley – 145
    19. Stoke – 143
    20. Bolton – 136

  70. The only people who give a shit about these quotes are people who need something to talk about every day on blogs – the time takes some filling.

    Arshavin hardly looks like a disruptive influence on the team, just check his intervies on ATV, he is relaxed and happy.

    Chill out.

    There always needs to be someone to bash, ex players, current players, other blogs, shotta the mug.

    Good things up ahead from here, massive games. Try and stay up beat about it, this perpetual negativity will drain the teams positive energy.

  71. Is that the same table from Gingers Limpar blog?

    It is only fair to cite your source mate.

  72. My assault was on hypocrisy not curler wairers – do what you want with your barnet.

  73. looooooooool

  74. You got a problem, bluerinse?

  75. Rinsed!

  76. arseneholis,

    I think it’s naive to think one of Arshavin’s young team mates would read or hear those quotes, and believing them, would consider everything hunky-dory.

  77. Bill,

    Gallas and Vermaelen have been brilliant, superlative this season.

    I repeat, they’ve been simply brilliant.

    Your philosophy of so and so has injuries we’ll have to let him go is so funny. If top managers thought like that Scholes, Ferdinand, Neville, & maybe Giggs would have left Man Utd a long time ago.

  78. Ole – I think this squad has shown it can deal with criticism and adversity already.

    If our youngsters can’t take that and turn it into something positive, motivation and fight, then maybe he is right and they are too brittle mentally.

    If they are true, then it is clearly preferable he didn’t say it, but let’s not pretend this is a big issue. Birmingham away is a big deal, what the Sun prints is always worthless.

  79. Arshavin's Barber

    who cares what andreius says comrades. you lot know that he can pull a rabbit out of a cap any time.

    I hear firstlady likes to do lady’s things.

  80. arshavin is havin us on
    he’s a white russki version of Song
    we must go and buy Messi
    and some others unless ‘e
    decides we’re o’k. all along.

  81. arseneholis,

    Remind me again why Ferguson shipped out his great Captain Roy Keane?

  82. Frank – Not any more son, I think I’ve got it off my chest now.
    Was just reiterating a point that Arse Shavin made yesterday – i.e. if YW (or Darius on Friday) talks about what someone has said in the media you don’t criticise, but if commenters do then we’re vacuous, petty, worthless, pundit licking, r*dknapp loving, media sheep for even mentioning it.
    Not to mention the much needed tension it caused…

  83. @arsenehollis

    Yes it is.

    *Table Quoting Gingers Limpar blog FYI

  84. divided we stand or we fall
    give arshavin much of the ball
    and allow him some quotes
    let him hit the high notes
    then buy a defender thats tall.

  85. so andrey he called me last night
    said i gave all you gooners a fright
    but back in st. pete
    my quotes were complete
    that Putin is nothing but shite.

  86. Grimeyhouseducksteps! You seem a little upset.

    YW fills me full of fear and dread…I don’t really know the other fellow.

  87. Crap poetry that, blazon.

  88. Bill, why are you still on about buying centre-backs? Give it a rest.

    You have to feel that AA’s words were twisted to suit the big headline story. When you read what he routinely says in interviews and the like on his website, he always speaks well of his team-mates and just last week said he reckoned Arsenal were quite capable of winning the Champions League.

    Regardless of whether his words have been twisted, the media reaction is as over-the-top as you’d expect, with both the Sun and BBC (and I’m sure other “reputable” news sources) proclaiming that he categorically stated Arsenal will not win the title (can’t find where in his quotes that is). Ho hum.

  89. i was thinking, what match is that on the arsenal home page and what goal was that??

  90. That picture is actually taken when the news of Phil Brown’s sacking was announced, jeff.

  91. @Frank.

    Does the Country Mile Prediction still stand? Might it be a normal mile now? Or will it be by a hair strand?

  92. @Taeryn

    I thought that that was when News broke that Manshity had accepted Ade’s bid?

  93. You’re right, Arsenalkabisa, my mistake.

  94. I think that the injuries we have suffered at key points in the season and particularly just before important games have stopped us from pushing ahead. But we have started to ease out into the overtaking lane again. Yes, a ‘country mile’ still stands. As does the Eurothingy prediction.

  95. Rinseout’s name reminds me of Rinse FM which is excellent. But he/she has probably never listened to it.

  96. frank, you’re a bit of a wank
    you tend to critique and not thank
    but andrey and i
    keep our standards up high
    while you constantly go in the tank.

  97. Good morning/afternoon folks,

    I say this is a time to do all the talking on the pitch and not give chance to your words being twisted.
    This team has enough doubters and haters to motivate them already.

    Blessings!!

  98. You are not a star, blazon

  99. blessings Paul N,
    Congratulations……..on your kid

  100. You have another child, Paul N?

  101. A friend of mine played out on Rinse FM when he was about 16. Highlight of his career.

  102. @Frank.

    Does logic back you up or emotion? Will we have a 14 game winning streak? Will we drop points? Will the opposition drop points?

    Interested in you making a bold prediction ala Wenger after the Chelsea defeat when he said Chelsea will come to naught..

  103. frank, im talking bout thesame child…….
    peps, im still wating for the anwer on the watch goal it was

  104. Thanks Jeff!!!

    Yes Frank, my daughter was born on the 10th of this month.

  105. oh, not sure if you knew I recently had a child Frank, did you?

  106. LOL Rinseout. I agree completely. It is pointless to have an opinion over what is quoted in the shite papers in the UK. 99% of it is tripe and shame on you who believe a single word of it. As numerous people have demonstrated time and again YOU CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT YOU READ IN THE PAPERS IN ENGLAND!

    Frank, am in lockstep with your opinion. Despite all the disruptions, despite all the negative BS from all and sundry this team is inexorably rising to the top as class will inevitably do.

  107. Congratulations on your new daughter Paul N!

  108. In adversity great squads dust themselves down and get back into the game. This squad have had to do just that several times this season. Liverpool have dropped off and the chasing pack are just not good enough. The Mancs and Chelski look very vulnerable. The cracks are showing in the Chavs already. The Mancs have been dragged through for the last few games by Rooney. That will not last.

  109. ….meanwhile our squad is getting stronger and stronger, and our talisman is about to return.

  110. Ole:

    My point about injuries is not to get rid of JD and WG because they are injury prone but to be sure we have the necessary cover if/when they do get injured.

    Last year we gave up 13 more goals then United and the boss said that defense was the difference between the 2 sides. This year compared to United our defense has had relatively few injuries and we have still conceded 8 more goals in 31 games. We are now 6th in the table in goals allowed. No team has won the EPL with any worse then 2nd in the table in goals allowed in the last 8 years. Even the Boss said our defense needed fixing after last year and statistically we are no better or worse this year. To say that our defense has been brilliant this year is at best naive.

    Even if WG is here next year he certainly will not be here that much longer. We will need at least 1 more CB in the next 1 -2 years. We have the money. Why not get him now and give him a chance to work his way into the squad and adjust to the EPL rather then wait. We have the money and we really do not have any other major needs (may GK?) . Another good CB who could improve our team against set piece teams would certainly benifit the side. Why not strengthen the squad and give us a better chance to win?

    I do not like what AA said but I suspect he is not the only senior player who would like to see us add a player or 2. On this blog there is constant chatter about how the media negatively affects our team. If you want to positively affect the confidence of the team there is nothing more potent then adding a difference making player. Look what AA did for our teams confidence last year. Again I do not advocate a gigantic spending spree but we would certainly can afford and would benifit from having another good CB.

  111. You must be a very proud man, Paul N. I am sure she is a star.

  112. Bill – do you have the defensive stats since the turn of the year?

    Ole – Keane was the captain of failing side who stepped out of line with his managers dictatorial policy and basically challenged his authority. It was a smuch to do with the manager as the players.

    Arshavin doesn’t compare. I would also wager that there are many, many times when Keane challenged younger players to step-up and Fergie loved him for it.

    To compare the two blows this out of all proportion. If you think they are similar, do you think we should cut our losses with the little Russian?

  113. While Arshavin was brought in as a ready made star who was experienced last year he has continually been out shone buy younger less experience players this season i.e. Diaby, Song, and Ramsey who are all stars in their own right!!

    Maybe those players should their real views to the media!!!

  114. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. He was (mis)quoted in The Sun for f**ks sake. The Sun!! I mean it’s not fit for eating fish n chips out of, let alone reading.

  115. This year compared to United our defense has had relatively few injuries and we have still conceded 8 more goals in 31 games.

    Is this backed by fact? Remember Djorou? Clichy? Gibbs? Traore? when everyone thought TV had a broken Leg? And now Gallas?

    We have only We have had a worse off injury crisis. its a surprise that we are where we are after the losses to Man And Chelsea…

  116. Bill, we have let in 2 or more goals 4 times since November.

    We have lost 3 drawn 3 in that time, won the rest, in the league, from 21

    We have scored 2 or more 14 times.

    14 – 2

    15 – 3 – 3

    Not bad

  117. We have only been able to manage our injury crisis better. We have more strength in depth..

  118. If you take the mancs and chavs out, we have let in 15 goals in 27 games.

    We have been pretty good in general.

    we have 3 less clean sheets that the top side in that category.

  119. My point about injuries is not to get rid of JD and WG because they are injury prone but to be sure we have the necessary cover if/when they do get injured.

    How do you make sure of that? This is the very heart of the matter, leading from yesterday’s topic.

    I remember in 2008. In central midfield, we started with Gilberto, Flamini, Song, Denilson, Diaby & Diarra vying for one place alongside Fabregas in central midfield.

    When crunch time came, we only had a barely-fit Gilberto to call on. The people who share your way of thinking said we lacked strength in depth, instead of the reality of the strongest midfield in the world at that time that was decimated by injuries.

    We bought Eduardo da Silva in 07/08. when crunch time came, his leg was chopped off, and we suffered.

    Buying guarantees you nothing. As I pointed out yesterday, we started the season with 5 centre backs and 1 player who can play there, yet everyone thinks we have a centre back crisis right now.

    Look, Arsene tried to buy Smalling. We have Nordtveit coming back. Then we have Ayling, Bartley and Hajrovic who might make the step up. All very promising talents.

    Then we have Johan Djourou who has been at the club since he was 16, and at 23 now has to play-he’s saved us in the past too….I remember playing Chelsea with Senderos+Djourou as the centre backs 3 or 4 seasons ago.

    We have Gallas who has been brilliant, and who should have at least 2 or 3 more good seasons.

    Sol might go. Silvestre might go.

    All good. Wenger will make the right decisions as he usually does.

  120. @ Arsenalkabisa

    Just wondering what the boys on Monday thoughts were on Arsenal’s title bid the second half of the season?

    Any idea where I could watch this show and Soccer Africa I miss the boys on there!!

  121. arseneholis,

    I am happy to have you criticise me for being too negative. I take it on board.

    I just think it’s really really naive to think one player putting himself above the team in public does nothing to morale or team dynamics.

    Place it in any organisational context. Think of your co-worker going on TV to say that the junior members of the team (imagine you are a junior member of the team) might not have the character to do the company’s business.

    I’m sure you’ll feel very happy and secure with him.

  122. @Maria… too bad. I missed all games this weekend. couldn’t run away from some wedding palnning!

    I will hunt and see where else you can get to see that…

    I assume that you are back to the great Island?

  123. Limestone Gunner

    Very nice analysis, Bill.

    Arshavin may perhaps believe both that it is possible for Arsenal to win something this season (if everything goes right and we have a great run of form) and that to improve these chances the squad could be strengthened with experienced players.

    I agree with Frank that both Chelski and ManU are weaker this year, but I don’t see the same signs that ManU are collapsing. Vidic and Ferdinand are back and their last several results show typical late season strength. They are still the favorites I think.

  124. @OG

    The good thing with football is that the talking is done on the filed. He can talk as much as he wants, but everyone can see reality on the field. And reality is that Cesc, TV, Bendtner have won us more games than him.

    About them being world class, that is subject to debate.

  125. Ole.

    You said “buying guarantees nothing” Absolutely correct, no doubt about that.

    However, buying a good difference making player that you can afford will also definitely increase your chance of winning. NOT GUARANTEE but increase your chance. There can be no doubt about that. Buying increases the probability that CF, AA, WG, TV etc etc will see themselves as EPL champs. Our youth will get their chance if they are good enough. RVP progressed despite buying Adebeyor. I want our youth to progress but we need to give our team and its senior players the best chance that we can possibly give them within financial reason.

  126. Limestone Gunner

    On a different but slightly related topic, Ole, does Arsenal seem to suffer more from injuries than other teams? If so, why do we? If we don’t, why/how have other teams dealt with their injuries more successfully over the last several years? (Unless we think our teams weren’t really good enough to win until perhaps this season).

  127. Thanks Frank, I am soo very proud xtremely proud!!!

    Thanks Gris Gris!!

  128. Thanks AK, and I agree with you on the AA.

  129. Congrats again Paul!!

  130. @Bill

    Sometimes buying becomes a backward step. Ask Barca and Abrahimovic, the buy may not necessarily improve the team.

    We are a complete team. We have enough permutations to bring out a team of 11 individuals who can defeat almost all teams in Europe.

    @Limestone
    We do not have the worst injury crisis. its only we are exposed to ours more as it the team we support. Bar Fat Lamps, almost every player of slight worth that i can think of has missed at least one game this season. Me thinkan TV has the highest starts in the leagues, bar the goal keepers..

  131. Bill,

    However, buying a good difference making player that you can afford will also definitely increase your chance of winning.

    No. It might or it might not. How many times have we seen teams acquire players and end up worse?

    That’s what Arsene Wenger gets and so many of us don’t. It’s about finding the right players, for the team, that fit into the team including considering who you already have. If you have 5 centre backs; 6 before you sell Toure, then you can’t simply get one more.

    Squad building takes a lot of careful thought and balancing. That is why AW gets it right.

    Having said all that; in this specific debate, you’d note that what I take issue with is that you think there is a way to guarantee you’d never be short in an injury crisis, and I tell you that’s crazy.

    Chelsea have 4 centre backs. Man United have 3 plus 1 who can play there. Spuds have 4 centre backs. Liverpool have 4 centre backs. Villa have 4 centre backs.

    We have 5 centre backs and 1 player who can play there. Yet we’re short. And you still think the solution is to get a 7th. I think you’re not being realistic.

  132. Thanks Maria!! how r ya!!

    Everything must be in balance. Will the players allow what AA said (if he said it) to affect them as far as playing, I doubt it. Is it possible that some of his team mates might be offended, sure.

    What needs to be looked at is what is the best thing for a team that is trying to win the PL with 7 matches to go? surely not one of your own saying you need players. Fact is, no players can be bought now so the whole statement, even if with good intention offers no help at all to attaining the goals for the team THIS season.

  133. Limestone Gunner,

    I did my research and the answer is yes. I went to physioroom.com where they had the injury stats for a few seasons. I found out that in terms of time missed out due to injuries Arsenal was worse off. The last time we won the league is the last time we weren’t worse off than our rivals. In fact, the team with the least injuries usually wins the league. Think back to the invincibles season and remember how we always had the key players fit.

    And physioroom only have data for a couple of seasons ago. This season has been dreadful.

    Luckily, Man United have also suffered a lot of injuries, and Chelsea’s recent dip is correlated with a lot of injuries to Essien, Cashley & Cech.

  134. Ole – I agree with that, it isn’t ideal or desirable.

    (Although he talks about the youth, rather than the junior members of teh team. In fact, he cites injuries to Gibbs and Ramsey as big blows, i think, which suggests they are significant players.)

    Still, he is like that, maybe the team will give him some stick, but as much as you can judge from outside he appears a positive influence.

    Plus, Wenger backed him last time strongly, “I love him as a player and as a man”, so maybe the negative impression only exists outside.

  135. Arshavin has a new set of questions on his persaonal site, they are as good as ever:

    4. From yan4ik
    What qualities do you value in people and what qualities do you consider unacceptable?
    Arshavin: Decency and honesty. I can’t stand flattery.

    13. From STIM
    Can A.A. jump out of my birthday cake?
    Arshavin: It’s unlikely; I’m a football player, not a minstrel or a clown.

    14. From puzzle
    Do you have a yellow rubber duck in your bathroom?
    Arshavin: Yes, how do you know?

    16. From Zeedorf
    Andrey, your answers are so capacious, and you always have your own opinion you are not afraid to express. Members of our philosophical group have decided at the general meeting to make you a proposal to join our ranks. This is an absolutely serious proposal. Of course, we understand that communication with you can be only by default, but we are absolutely comfortable with it. If you get at least a little interested in our proposal, please send us your answer and we’ll send you detailed information about our group.
    Arshavin: I have to give your proposal careful consideration, get prepared, weigh everything, and only then I’ll be able to answer you 🙂

  136. 1 loose cannon

    Just heard on the radio a russian corespondant saying that Arshavin has made the comments on a small russian tv station a while ago and not recently.
    The station is possibly funded by Abramovich who knows?

  137. Kabisa una arusi? congrats are in order.

    About Arshavin what pisses me off is he hasnt been that great this season. I understand he could have been misquoted but could he please keep his comments to himself maybe until the end of the season? As Ole pointed out our players reading his comments wont be good for team spirit.

  138. Wenger:

    “It seems strange when fans celebrate new signings more than trophies.

    “When they sign a great player, the fans are pleased but this increases the pressure to put on a great performance. This is a team sport.

    “Madrid have been eliminated in the second round of the Champions League for the last six years.

    “They are fragile.”

  139. Yup Firstlady, his timing isn’t great is it? You’d have thought that the media team or whatever at Arsenal would ‘advise’ them not to have such frank discussions to the hacks – particularly at this point in the season. We can do without any distractions right now.

  140. 1LC if that’s the case I am sorry for being too harsh on him.

  141. Geo I agree with you.

    Anyone listened the the exclusive vid on the official website and let us know what he says in it? He looks so cheerful.

    Arsenehollis since you have visited his site has anyone asked him why he celebrates scoring the way he does? I’d really like to be enlightened.

  142. 1 loose cannon

    firstlady- I had my doubts. Why would he come out with that at this satge with few games to go. Sometimes its better to wait for some clarification specially if the news filter through from abroad. Didn’t we hear from spanish media that Fabregas has made a deal with Barcelona? it turned out all bullshit. I do not doubt Arshavin’s comitment if he get into a good position to score a goal to win us the title I don’t he will stop and consider wether to score or not he will put it away of that I’m sure. As long as he does the business I’ll be happy and for those who says other players won us more games , Arshavin did too, the winner against liverpool comes to mind. He is the difference this year no doubts about that.

  143. Arsene always says that for a team like ours which depends on what he calls “collective play”, belief and harmony is fundamental. It only takes one player really angry at the comments to ruin team dynamics and create friction.

    But in any case I don’t believe the quotes. As arseneholis and Yogi pointed out, his comments on his website have been different in tone.

  144. If that’s the case that AA did not have the faith in the team that the likes of Song, Vermealen and Cesc did and that’s not accpetable especially if it was said after the big three defeats. It just goes to show that that experience does bred belief.

  145. Firstlady

    If that’s AA your asking about, he refuses to say until he retires.

  146. Portsmouth’s crest is of Islamic design and they used to play in salmon pink. They are on 13 points. Even though their best striker is unavailable tonight I feel that Avram Grant may have a trick or two up his sleeve. Good luck to him.

  147. If there is a strong team spirit, the team will have enough trust in each other on the pitch to rise above all the trash reports in the media, including AA’s alleged outspokenness. As long as Arsene says the right things in public, and what he says matter more to our players than what is published, then there should be no harm done. I believe that our team spirit is strong enough to overcome.

  148. Good luck to Portsmouth. Avram Grant has a point or two to make tonight to Abramovich.

  149. “Portsmouth’s crest is of Islamic design and they used to play in salmon pink.”

    Any story behind that Frank?

  150. Finsburyparker

    I remember the reception that the Pompey fans gave TH14 once.

    Great fans.

  151. @ 1lc
    I think the AA quotes are accurate but they are from at least a year ago – media mischief-making indeed.

    @ Ole G
    “Remind me again why Ferguson shipped out his great Captain Roy Keane?”

    Good point. And why Arsene stripped Gallas of the captaincy?

  152. @Maria
    Halfmoon and start are typical muslim symbols.

  153. *star

  154. FG,

    Seriously?

    Last year when he first arrived?

  155. @ EvilFiek

    Why would Pompey have that as their symbol though?

  156. Finsburyparker

    Barborossa!

    Barbery pirates.

    “Aaaaargh.”

    Anglo-Turkic Imperial conflicts in the Med some centuries ago, their association with Portsmouth.

    All of that I imagine, and more.

  157. Has no one considered the chance that Arshavin could be completely playing the media here? The way I see it, there is probably an inside joke within the club house about their “lack of experience”. He probably comes out with these statements while the entire team laughs at the media for lapping it up like the story scavengers they are.

  158. I am a muslim, the crescent and the star is our symbol like the one on algeria’s flag. I didnt know that’s the same symbol on the portsmouth symbol, although it looks similar.

  159. Limestone Gunner

    Ole, thanks–I didn’t know about that site. Very interesting. Main question is why? Not something we can answer perhaps but this data and analysis helps put performance in some context. I’d say that the regularity of some of our key players missing large parts of each season requires additional squad strength or discovering remedies to these injuries. Can’t just be bad luck the last 5 seasons, can it?

  160. The Islamic emblem was conferred upon the city in the twelfth century by Richard the Lionheart (or Dick the Pussy as his enemies called him) on his return from crusade. The salmon pink shirt I think is a reference to the flag of Portsmouth gifted by the same king. Apparently in exhuberant mood and feeling generous, when asked for a token he whipped off his pants, a little soiled but noone minded because they were royal. Turns out that he forgot that he was wearing a pair of his wife’s silk pink knickers. Anyway they used them for a flag. Centuries later the football team referenced this story by choosing pink as their shirt colour. They wore the colour for two seasons until the players went on strike because they were utterly sick of getting sent off for fighting with away fans because of their insinuating remarks.

  161. I think we can all see the team’s unity, theyre all playing for eachother. I get the sense Arsenal are just one big unit moving forward and its great. The fans are part of it too, if we stick together, the club will do great things.

    Adebayor probably had a negative influence on others, now he’s gone the teams bond has improves

    We are tha feckin arsnall

    lets make lots of dashes

  162. Finsburyparker

    “It seems that in the 12th century the arms of the crescent were open to the top. King Richard I of England adopted the star and crescent as a royal badge, from the Emperor’s standard of Governor Isaac Comnenus, after capturing Cyprus. Back in England, ‘a crescent of gold on a shield of azure, with a blazing star of eight points, or rays of silver, between the horns’, was granted to Portsmouth as the heraldic crest of the newly incorporated Royal borough. The English Admiralty took it as their emblem until the 16th century, when perhaps as a result of the fall of Constantinople, it was replaced by another emblem of Richard I, the Anchor of Hope. Rear-Admiral R.M. Blomfield writing in about 1900 pointed out in ‘Origin and History of Admiralty Badges’, that “Had the old badge been retained, the Admiralty and Ottoman flags would now be identical.” The star and crescent is still on the arms of Portsmouth and between 1936 and 1939 appeared on the Blue Ensign of the Portsmouth Yacht Club.”

    http://www.fotw.net/flags/islam.html

    Interesting history.

    As Eddie Izard once asked,

    “Have you got a flag?”

  163. Finsburyparker

    Damn.

  164. Viceologist – that’d be great, i hope that’s the case!!

    If the quotes were from last year, in a way that’s worse… Admittedly we weren’t in the same position at that point, but he was a new player, and coming out with anything controversial then would have been ill-advised. I still really like the guy and hope to see more of his interviews, rather than reading the select parts that the papers have decided to print.

  165. Ole:

    Obviously we will never agree on this.

    However it happens the boss needs to improve our defense. Either we need to buy new players or somehow improve the performance of the ones we have on the defensive end of the pitch.

    I have cited statistics that indicate the importance of team defense and how a teams place on the goals against table correlates very strongly with the league winner. Our league has the strongest correlation. You have said many time that “Defense is relative” The fact that we are 6th in the goals allowed table yet still fighting for the championship this year proves your point. However, this year is clearly unusual and over the long term we can not expect to have success when our team position in goals against over the last several years has been. 1st (the invincibles), 3rd, 3rd, 4th 4th, 5th and this year 6th.

    Does having this “relatively weak” defensive record exclude us from possibly winning a championship? NO.
    However, it certainly adds one hell of a strong headwind that we have to fight against.

  166. Limestone Gunner

    Zap is right about Islamic symbols and think Finsbury Parker is correct about the historical associations related to shipping and conflicts with Barbary pirates and Ottomans in the early modern Mediterranean. But odd that these would be adopted as Portsmouth club symbols. Then again, why are so many pubs called the Turk’s Head!

    Why did Frank mention this anyway?

  167. I agree Geo.

    Thanks Finsbury and Frank but interesting pieces of ‘HIStory’.

  168. Some people are just dull.

  169. That’s what I’m saying, Viceologist. Arsha’s on a wind-up!

    FG, he mentions Aaron’s injury though. Which dates it as pretty recent. It does all sound very familiar, maybe it’s a patchwork quilt of soundbites? – who knows. I’m not worrying about it having any effect at all on the team. It’s just chip paper bullsh*t. Do we think any Arsenal players actually read the Sun?

  170. Opps…that was aimed at Bill btw!!

  171. That confirms it then, Finsburyparker, our stories are remarkably consistent. Different sources too. I think that corroborates the Richard link.

  172. Limestone Gunner

    Thanks, finsburyparker!

  173. I can’t agree strongly enough with Maria.

  174. Why did Frank mention what?

  175. Are you from over the sea, Bill?

  176. From now on all I want to see is,

    …………….ATTACK ATTCACK ATTACK……………..

  177. lol Maria!

  178. One of my favourite pubs in the whole world is called the Turks Head. It is in St Margarets near to Richmond, which is in London, best city in the world, and home to Arsenal. Best team in the world.

  179. The defensive performance in the second half against West Ham was exemplary and proof that this squad does not stand still.

  180. It may be that AW has already sorted out any defensive inconsistencies, without even buying a player.

  181. @ Maria and LimparAssist

    If AA mentions Ramsey’s leg fracture, then I am wrong. But I have definitely read something similar before from him, and I take a dim view of it.

    @ Bill

    Once again you say you understand that buying guarantees nothing, but you always argue as if buying more players WOULD guarantee that we do not have an injury crisis. How can it possibly do that? Please explain. You could buy an infinite number of players and have an infinite number of injuries in the same position, no?

    If you think AW is blithely unconcerned, and you have ATVO subscription, look out for a recent Wenger interview – pre-Stoke, I think. He is very clear about the need to improve our defensive record, but not at the expense of our attacking ability. Balancing the two is not easy, but it is being worked on. The team is still a work in progress in some ways.

    You sound as if you believe that:
    Wenger thinks we need two or three players,
    he has identified the perfect candidates,
    they are all available at an acceptable price,
    their clubs want to sell them,
    they all want to come
    and all would fit in…

    but he refuses to buy them because…. What? Seriously, why would he not buy if all those criteria were fulfilled? The more logical conclusion is that at least one of those boxes is not ticked. You just ha

    @ Limestone Gunner
    In a season of so many and such severe and long-lasting injuries, we are sitting second in the league and in the last 8 of the CL. How can you imply that we lack squad depth? Look at Liverpool – that’s a club lacking strength in depth. Injuries to key players and they are mid-table. Injuries to our key players and we cope.

  182. I agree with FG.

  183. We dont need to buy defenders, as long as we keep one of King Billy or Big Sol for another year. We’ve got Johan and Kyle waiting for their chance (if Johan makes it our of the treatment room that is!).

    I personally think Gallas should be offered a 2 year deal. He hasn’t lost much pace in the last couple of years and i cant see him being a liability in 2 season’s time… But you never know i suppose.

    Song has shown on a few occasions that he’s very assured at CB and can slot in there at any time. Against WH he was impeccable (although i would have given Denilson MOTM).

  184. Don’t forget Havard. He will have picked up enormous experience in the Nurnberg.

  185. Finsburyparker

    Frank,

    No mention Salmon Silk on my link, but the crusades and silk routes were asspociated…

    COYG!

    Come on Portsmoth!

  186. Finsburyparker

    Associated

  187. “You just ha”

    LOOOL

    I salute you FG, day after day, you fight the good fight with patience of a mother with quadruplets. It’s a shame that it’s wasted on most.

  188. Limestone Gunner

    Fungunner, agree Liverpool is really lacking in depth and quality. My comments are regarding the stats Ole dug up about our injuries. If we have consistently had more injuries (for God knows what reason) we can’t compare by numbers with typical squad size and quality, we probably do need to plan for many more injuries to key players who do seem to be injured very regularly (see Gallas and RVP, great players who have missed substantial parts of several seasons). Those stats point out that we cope but have had more injuries and haven’t thus managed to win.

  189. @ Frank “Don’t forget Havard. He will have picked up enormous experience in the Nurnberg.”

    I’ve hardly seen him play so couldn’t give my opinion i’m afraid. But from what i’ve heard, he’s going to be a top player. I’m in a similar situation with Schzzzezzney (havent seen him play but heard he’ll be amazing).

    Where can i get to see some of the youger pole in action? and Harvard for that matter…

  190. Limestone Gunner

    Frank,
    Wondered why you had noted Portsmouth’s crest in original comment.

  191. Play up Pompey!!

  192. Anyone read about how Portsmouth fans came to be known as “skates” among Southampton supporters?

    Maybe its common knowledge.

    Either way, don’t look it up if you’re planning on eating fish tonight.

  193. A bloke in a pub in Portsmouth told me about the pink knickers. Apparently Richard refused to allow the story to enter the public record on pain of death. Turns out this blokes family have passed it down the generations for many centuries. After eight hundred years the secret had weghed on his family. He reckoned he just had to tell someone. As it happened at that moment I walked into the pub, spotted him and said ‘You alright mate’ and it all came out. I told him it was OK to tell me and that I would not tell anyone else….and there it is.

    …Oh fuck.

  194. Like to rephrase that last sentence, Geo?

  195. lol OOU, i live with a Saints fan and he hates Pompey with a passion. I’ll ask him about that later… after i’ve eaten my mariner’s pie 😉

  196. Limestone,

    That is why wenger’s squad sizes have been growing over the seasons. Our double winning squad was tiny compared to now, we had players like Grimandi and Hughes who were no where near the squad players we have today. We probably have in my eyes 15 first team players who are capable of holding a first team spot in ANY other team.

    As it happens there always comes a point in the season where your squad gets stretched, look at United, they were playing Fletcher at CB! I think we have a really healthy size squad, they have coped brilliantly throughout another injury prone campaign.

    Anyone that says otherwise is using this situation as an excuse to cry out for a signing. What on earth is the point ??

    Can we buy now? NO, we have a league to win so shut it

  197. “Frank,
    Wondered why you had noted Portsmouth’s crest in original comment.”

    Just because, his Frank and that’s what he does.

    RECOGNISE!!

  198. Limestone Gunner

    Lol! Hopefully no Portsmouth fans read comments on ACLF. Like a medieval Templar story or Dan Brown thriller–watch yourself Frank!

  199. FG, ‘Please explain’? Really? Did you have to?

  200. No team in the last 8 years in the EPL, Italy, Scotland Portugal or Dutch leagues has won the league championship when they were worse then 3rd in the league goals against table. No team in this decade in the EPL has won the championship with worse then 2nd position in goals against. Our goals against position in the table is cited in the 3rd paragraph of the 4:21 post. The only logical conclusion is that we need to somehow improve our team defense.

  201. What a star you are, Maria.

  202. You a policeman, Bill?

  203. LOL!! Sorry Frank! What i meant to say was:

    Does anyone know where i can see some matches involving Sczezney playing in goal and Harvard playing at CB?

    🙂

  204. We already have worked on our defence and the results were evident in the West Ham game.

  205. I don’t know about Sczezney but you might catch some of the Nurnberg games in the Bundesliga on a stream.

  206. Ever read ‘We’ by Zamyatin, Bill? You remind me of D-503.

  207. Limestone Gunner

    chrisGoona, somehow I don’t think I have distracted YOU from winning the league by following up on Bill and Ole’s discussion and clarifying my thoughts to Fungunner regarding my response to Ole’s helpful info. As I said yesterday to Ole, the question is moot for this season and we must support the team we have.

    But I learn quite a lot about our beloved Arsenal and ways to think about football in these discussions, including your last remarks; perhaps some others do too. Also it is enjoyable talking football.

    So, humbly, I don’t think I’ll just shut it, with your esteemed permission, of course!

  208. I agree with LimparAssist. If only to show that I am very cultured. It amazed me that he could have written such an insightful story about piss.

  209. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Nice post over at yours, Stringfellow. Since I’m in moderation over there I’ll post it here:

    Keep up the good work. There are a few decent commenters over there, but they’re severely outnumbered. If I were Geoff I’d look into some new hobbies. The guy has been so consistently wrong with regards to evaluating players. He comes off as a mix between Pundit Pele and a super pessimistic Jim Cramer.

  210. Limestone Gunner

    Maria,
    RECOGNISED!

  211. @ LA
    ha ha
    Sorry.

    @ Bill
    “The only logical conclusion is that we need to somehow improve our team defense.”

    At least we agree that defence is a team responsibility. But is the only way to improve our defence, to buy players? Is it even the best way? Is the ONLY possible reason for conceding goals, that our CBs aren’t good enough?
    The problem, insofar as it one, is being worked on. Remember that we are still working through the implications of the new formation – those factors have to be integrated into the coaching. And do not underestimate the difficulty of having excelling at both ends of the pitch. We will get there, but you will just have to be patient.

    You didn’t answer my point about the illogicality of seeming to believe Wenger won’t buy just for the hell of it. Any response to that?

    ****

    @ Limestone Gunner
    Cast your mind back to the start of the season. Remember how we were all trying to work out our first-choice midfield? Or how we could fit in all our strikers? Remember that we had FOUR fit, experienced CBs plus Song and Sagna?

    We DO already have extra depth in key areas, depth which has been tested and not found wanting.

  212. Speaking of piss, they’re shafting the cider drinkers now! Do you hear, Consolsbob? At least, the ones that buy it are being shafted, so that’s mostly Magners drinkers then… so on second thoughts, maybe I don’t care that much.

  213. Almunia
    Sagna Silvestre Song Cliche
    Denilson Fabregas Rosicky
    Eboue Bentdner Diaby

  214. Finsburyparker

    “They have a lot of spirit and belief too, like the team before. The belief has definitely started to come, and everyone can feel it.”

    Doot doot do doot,
    Sol’s a Gooner.

  215. 85th minute, Camp Nou, 6th April. Arsenal penalty after Puyol mistimes a tackle at Nasri in the area. Scores 2-2 on aggregate after a hard fought 1-1 at the Emirates. Fabregas calmly slots it wide of a diving Valdes. Arsenal now 2-3 on aggregate and with 2 away goals.
    Now my question is this. How does Fabregas react? Do we get the full fist pumping Monty or something a bit more restrained in deference to his former colleagues?

  216. Come on Portsmouth

  217. jbh, let that happen first then we’ll see

  218. ………….Arsenal…………….

  219. Arsenal
    Bayern Munich
    Man United
    Chelsea
    Inter Milan
    AC Milan
    Barcelona
    Real Madrid
    Bordeux
    Lyon
    CSKA Moscow

    These are considered the best teams in europe right now. What amazes me is, when you look at each of these teams,,

    all of them are in a huge city, a large part of their respective countries and obvious superpowers. What is incredible is we are able to call ourselves one of the world’s elite, when we are just a small part of North London, where our names arent cities but a train station.

    Makes me proud to be an arsenal fan.

    And all of this from non-investment, injection from russian billionaires (why i left chelski out)

    All of this because of the greatest manager we have and probably will ever have.

  220. So what is the problem with English managers these days?

    Pulis: Instead of crying about Arsene Wenger, stand up like a man and say that you’re mentally & technically bankrupt manager. Stand up for what you believe in and say that you have nothing but a towel, a long throw in, and an out of control freight train posing as a player. This is the only way you can win some points, stand up and admit it.

    At least when every one berate Wenger and his young players for their style of play….he never ever backs down or afraid to stick by what he believes in.

    Hypocrites suffering from Hypocritis

    Same goes for you Fat Sam, maybe if you chew gum with your fat ass it will free your fat head to think about playing better football.

  221. @ jbh

    Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, eh? 1-0 at home and 1-1 away will suit me fine!

  222. Its a serious question. Henry has pretty much fallen over himself in not wanting to celebrate. I think we’d get the full jumping, fist pumping monty (but not the badge kissing) IF Fabregas scores there.
    And I don’t think the Catalans would begrudge him. It will be a great match after all…..

    However, I think Wenger will go with Almunia for sitting next to him at the pre match press conference.

  223. No team in the last 8 years in the EPL, Italy, Scotland Portugal or Dutch leagues has won the league championship when they were worse then 3rd in the league goals against table.

    Bill Arsenal had never turned around a first leg deficit in European ties, but I seem to remember we beat Porto 5 nil.

    The past does not predict the future. Where we are in goals conceded today does not predict where we will finish.

    If you look at this team and analyse our defending…..just try it, find a video of all goals conceded and I think you’ll conclude this very same team can concede much fewer goals.

    As I have told you many times, in 2009 we set a new defensive record in the Premier League. But we also drew too many goals 0-0.

    As Frank pointed out, against West Ham on Saturday, we had a very solid defensive shape.

    We are an offensive team. As long as our offensive part functions, we’re getting the most important thing right for us. We should absolutely play to our strengths.

    If you look at how much we win the ball back (admittedly that declined from Jan-Feb( and how many chances we allow to the opposition, our defending is not as bad as the goals conceded makes it seem.

  224. Back to the subject of the original blog post:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/mar/24/sol-campbell-arsenal-premier-league

    THIS is much more like it. Good advice, exhortation, but above all, backing his teammates who look up to him.

  225. Finsburyparker

    Pulis needs that trowel, it’ll come in handy when he needs to fix his ‘moaning drain’.

    The Brittania Stadium?

    Pffffffftt.

    Where they blaze out ‘songs’ from loudspeakers, during games to create ‘Atmosphere’?

    I’d rather read a saucy bit of Rimbaud in the library then listen to that shite.

  226. Yes, I noticed that Limpar. What else can you expect of a government that hates the green areas that surround the Cities.

    Still, you are also right. Magners drinkers can always switch back to alcopops.

    Just off to pour myself a pint of the very best.

    I read Zamyatin at university amongst a whole swathe of anti utopian stories. Loved it. Mind you, that was 35 years ago. What happened again?

  227. Fun Gunner:

    Defense is a team responsibility and I can not argue with your point that it is not necessarily a problem just with our CB. Your point that buying a new CB might not help the problem is also correct. At the present time that position seems to me to be our weakest link. Maybe I am wrong.

    Whatever the problem is I hope we can fix it. Based on the stats its seems that our team defense is the main reason why this very talented team does not having a trophy for the last several years. I hope the boss can fix it.

    I also agree that you do not buy “just for the hell of it”. I think we do need to shore up the CB position. Obviously that point is debatable. IMO debates like this are what make blogging fun.

  228. I’m getting withdrawal symptoms from this lack of Wengerball. Come on Birmingham, let’s see how good you really are at home.

    COYG!! and roll on saturday…

  229. Ole at 6:21

    Your points are all correct and certainly this year proves that we can compete even with less then stellar defense. I still believe that we have made it much more difficult to win because for some reason we concede a lot more goals then the other legitimate title contenders. Even the boss said that after last year. I hope we can fix that problem and we can be the ones who win 3 – 4 EPL titles in a row.

  230. It’ll come Bill, it’ll come. We’re looking at a bunch of superstars (some of them still in the making) and a few who are yet to even be seen in our starting 11.

    In a few years time, if we can keep the majority of our players, we’ll be watching our fancy new trophy cabinet filling up nicely…

  231. Starting in a couple of months 🙂

  232. I hope he plays well against Barca and earns his move then I will say thanks and so long. He does not care about Arsenal other than as a vehicle to show off his ability. As long as he does that whilst wearing the Arsenal shirt he will get my support but that is the beginning and end of my interest.

  233. You’re not a fan are you Passenal?

  234. @ Bill

    I also agree that you do not buy “just for the hell of it”.

    No. What I said was, that you seem to think that Wenger sees a specific need, could buy the perfect player at a good price at the right time and yet refuses to do so – just for the hell of it, or because he likes a gamble. I was inviting you to consider that it is far more likely that he cannot find the perfect player, and that signing the right player is not like buying beans from a supermarket. Sabotic, Sakho, whoever – you can depend on it that if you know about him, so does Wenger, and if he is not at the club, it is for any number of good reasons.

    “I think we do need to shore up the CB position.”

    I have a horrible feeling we are going in circles. What exactly do you mean by shoring up the CB position and why is it that you think we need to?

  235. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I admire your relentlessness, Bill, but my goodness. I don’t agree that we play less than stellar “defense”. Vermaelen, Gallas, Song, Clichy and Sagna are all world class defenders. I don’t care what the stats say. And have you ever factored in things like dodgy pens awarded against us? We get so many dodgy calls and pens called against us that I’m inclined to just say f*ck our defensive stats.

  236. I feel the same way as Passenal. Well when I say feel…I don’t mean er…well what I mean is in the emotional sense..not that emotion…oh dear.

  237. If we concede 5 goals or less in the next seven league games we will have the same or less goals against as we did in 88/89.

    Interestingly we have already scored the same number of goals as we did in the whole of the 88/89 season and much of that without a centre forward.

    I only make the comparison because everyone reckons that that was the best defence we ever had. Funny old world isn’t it?

  238. Fun Gunner:@ 7:03

    Your point is again correct. Obviously the boss was after Smalling so he thought we needed to add to that position. Campbell was a stroke of genius. Why he did not buy last summer or buy another player in Jan only he knows.

    NJN @ 7:03.

    Thanks for your comment. I am not a huge stat person but those trends that I mentioned seem hard to ignore. I maintain that this team has way to much talent to not win and our team defense is the #1 cause of our recently empty trophy case. Even the boss said that after last year.

  239. Congratulations Paul N (and Zimpaul) on your good news – I’ve not been around much to say so before now.

  240. Has ZimPaul had a baby too?

    Well done, ZP. I reckon blogging makes a man virile. Well it might do anyway.

  241. I guess it was the second best defence as David Seaman had not yet joined. But John Lukic was fine.

  242. The point is that this squad is set to be the best defensively that Arsenal has ever had. The players are in place and the system is beginning to work through.

  243. @ Bill
    That wasn’t any sort of response to my comment at 7:03pm.

    But anyway…
    “Obviously the boss was after Smalling so he thought we needed to add to that position.”

    Smalling is a good example of the boxes NOT all being ticked. Right player, good price, available, BUT the player did not want to come to us.
    Wenger also looked at a young Serb, but he was not thought to be quite ready.

    “Campbell was a stroke of genius. Why he did not buy last summer or buy another player in Jan only he knows.”

    Again, the suggestion that AW is being perverse. Why would he NOT buy if all the criteria he sets are fulfilled? Surely the logical explanation is that there was no-one who met all his criteria at that time.
    When you look for a house to buy, there are probably thousands on sale at any one time, but only a very few that are right. Is it perverse to wait for the right one to come on the market?

  244. Consolsbob @ 6.53 pm – I was actually looking forward to his arrival and hoped for great things, but for all the hype I remain underwhelmed.

  245. I see some of your regulars are moving on, YW. Splitters. Sorry if I have contributed, or not if you see what I mean.

  246. FG I admire your patience! You go girl!

  247. That’s an interesting stat about the defence from 88/89 Frank. We have to look at these things in context and for this season we have been playing a new system. The full backs struggled to adapt at first – I’ve read interviews with both Gael and Bac in which they’ve talked about this. I also think the WHU game on Saturday showed how defensively sound we can be. Even the plundits on MOTD mentioned it in their analysis. The 10 men were so disciplined and most of the chances we have conceded recently have been from ‘soft’ penalties awarded against us rather than any team cutting a swathe through our team.

  248. wow, FG have you got someting against Bill??!!

  249. Fun Gunner:

    I have to sign off today after this.

    I never would suggest that the boss has some “perverse” reason for not buying a player. I may not agree with his reasons but I would never suggest that they are “perverse” and I would never suggest that he does not have the best intentions for this team. Nor would I ever suggest that I know more then he does. That does not mean I agree with every decision he makes.

    IMO the team would have been better served this year and in coming years if we had bought another CB last summer or in Jan. Again that is certainly a debatable topic and no one else in the world really cares what you or I think or blog about. The boss has his reasons for doing everything and Your guesses are as good as any.

    See you tommorrow.

  250. Yes I think that we will look back at this time and see that everything came together nicely at the back this season. The squad is maturing very nicely, not least in defence.

  251. not a country mile though..

  252. Yes a country mile.

  253. David James you utter fucking moron!

  254. how the hell did the two central defenders bump into eachother?

  255. Come on pompey theres time

  256. Good grief, Chelsea are hacking down the entire Portsmouth team.

  257. Actually I agree Passenal. I was excited too. I want more.

  258. Watching Barca, they definitely look a bit vulnerable on the counter-attack. Both Alves and Maxwell like to have a stroll forward.

  259. I had totally forgotten about the Chelsea game tonight.

    I was watching the Barca game and they were very average tonight. Messi could not have the same impact as he has in recent games and the whole team suffered because of it.

    We can certainly cause them plenty of damage defensively.

    I hope we are bold and take the game to them at the Emirates.

    Something tells me that we are going to draw at home and win in Camp Nou to make a truly memorable night.

    The night that Barca were outplayed in their own patch by a collection of young talented players.

  260. As always a very constructive blog. I would like to bring your attention to a REALLY interesting blog which appears to be under most Arsenal blogs radars.

    He has many good articles on the UK football scene – Arsenal included – his financial knowledge and his location makes me think he is one of the original Knomes!!

    Check it out

    http://swissramble.blogspot.com/

  261. Mean Lean,

    Been watching them too. All I can say is they better hope they get Abidal and Pique back soon. Osasuna tore them apart at will in the first 30 minutes. If they’d played Arsenal today they’d have lost by at least 3-0.

    But it’s still the same thing we’ve been saying. Their form is not so good, Messi’s form is imperious. You get the feeling that we can win this tie depending on how well Messi plays.

  262. when are we going to play spurs?

  263. 14th April I think we play spuds.

  264. Chelsea have improved their goal difference tonight. It is now the same as Man U and 7 ahead of us.

  265. 5-0? Chelsea a gonna fancy themselves now aint they. Villa drew 1-1 what shit, theyre not gonna get anything from stamford bridge

    Ok so we gonna play spurs the tuesday midweek after their fa cup semi vs portsmouth- Hopefelly theyll be tired after that, but more than likely looking forward to a cup final.

  266. I dont think goal difference will be a problem, 7 can easily be cut down.

  267. I watched the Citeh v Everton game and Everton were at their time wasting best. Why is it Howard has mystery injuries when they are 1 nil up. He needed a defender to take goal kicks, was almost substituted twice but still finished the game.

    Having said that Citeh could play till saturday and still not score.

  268. Zap i’d rather win with more points than hope to win on GD.

  269. Possible games for rivals to drop points

    Man U:
    Bolton (a)
    Chelsea (h)
    Blackburn (a)
    Man City (a)
    Tottenham (h)
    Sunderland (a)

    Chelsea:
    Man U (h)
    Tottenham (a)
    Liverpool (a)

  270. I wonder how much money changed hands to bring about that scoreline? When you have a club desperate for funds with a recent history of shady owners plus an even shadier billionaire in need of a return on his investment, it’s a thing that makes you go hmmm…

  271. i think our game against spurs will be postponed, since they apparently beat fulham in the fa cup..

  272. Indeed it does

  273. 1 loose cannon

    Watched some of the Barca game Messi was taken out of thye game got fustrated and started behaving like a spoiled child and got himself booked, If we really furstrate him he will lose his cool and I think that is key to put him off. All the Barcelona games I’ve watched they make the same mistakes at the back everytime and Mr Alves will gift us loads of space and I guess Wenger has penciled it in his note book.
    Well Portsmouth did not help by laying down for the Chavs and they helped themselves to bump up their goal tally, we need to start tharshing teams and bulid on our goal difference it might come to that in the end.
    Good night for the spuds. No one seems to want that 4th spot.

  274. That is the new date no7

  275. yes i agree 1 loose cannon with what you said about messi.

    Arshavin will know about alvez going forward. Arshavin will be making plenty of dashes down the left hand side.

  276. dups, thanks for the help with the virus, ive got avast installed

  277. I heard two chelski players should have been sent off in the first half, including goal scorer Malouda. Did anyone watch the game?

  278. no worries zap.

    notlager, I saw the Malouda incident and thought it was an accident.

  279. Its quite funny looking at James/William trying to be funny earlier today. What a desperate confused spud

  280. I feel sorry for them Zap. Just imagine their own team’s blogs are such shite they have to visit an Arsenal one each day to read intelligent comments.

  281. cheers dupsffokcuf.

  282. While underwhelmed by some I have been overwhelmed by the Arsenal as usual.

  283. Cesc interview with a dutch journalist.

  284. Zap, judging by tonight’s performance it took a divot and a few flailing elbows to get Chelsea the win. I don’t see them having the same luck against Villa. I’ll stand by my prediction that they drop at least four points before meeting the Mancs.

  285. 1LC,

    “Watched some of the Barca game Messi was taken out of thye game got fustrated and started behaving like a spoiled child and got himself booked, If we really furstrate him he will lose his cool and I think that is key to put him off. All the Barcelona games I’ve watched they make the same mistakes at the back everytime and Mr Alves will gift us loads of space and I guess Wenger has penciled it in his note book.”

    This is the same thing that happened away at Stuttgart. I think Clichy keeping an eye on Messi will work out well for us. If Clichy decides to storm forward he’ll have the same problems Alves will have with Arshavin. I think the key o this game will be down to speed and possession. Whomever can move the ball around the fastest will take the tie.

    “Well Portsmouth did not help by laying down for the Chavs and they helped themselves to bump up their goal tally, we need to start tharshing teams and bulid on our goal difference it might come to that in the end.”

    Pompey didn’t lay down. They got knocked down. That first goal was an absolute joke and the ref not showing Malouda a red was even worse. If that game would’ve stayed tied for the second half I believe Pompey would’ve made it a much tighter affair.

  286. G69, that is not very nice. Fancy calling David James a divot.

  287. 1 loose cannon

    Gainsbourg69- Sturidge broke the Portsmouth player’s nose with an Elbow and went unpunished and Maloouda broke another portsmouth’s player cheek bone, bizarrely none off them got sent off. not bizarre its only Portsmouth. the shambles thast is the FA will just turn a blind eye as usual. despite the 5 goals the Chavs will not fool me they still managed to look poor. Terrible errors from portsmouth.

  288. The Sturridge one was a bookable offense surely. Malouda’s foul on Rocha should’ve ened up a red card. This along with O’Hara’s foul not being called and eventually leading to a goal made it so Pompey never stood a chance tonight. That was some of the poorest refereeing I’ve seen anywhere for quite a while. Put it this way, I’ve seen amateur league referees make fewer mistakes than that plonker. The F.A. should really look into some kind of evaluation panel or start paying referees a good enough salary that they only dedicate their time to refereeing. This must stop.

  289. Yeah, Chelsea looked right shit tonight before the ref gifted them a goal. Pompey had them pretty much down to only one shot on target for the first half hour of the game.

  290. With Fulham out of the FA Cup now, we will play our season ending game against a team that has nothing except maybe the Europa League to play for. (Fulham is 10th in the table on 38 points from 30 games.) So in a way, Spurs knocking out Fulham from the FA Cup is good for us as they will have 1 more game to play and hopefully, this will make them less focussed when we meet them in the premier league.

  291. I agree with Passenal.

    The FA effectively handed games like this to the opposition when they unnecessarily docked 9 points. Any team playing Portsmouth before the reduction faced a team fighting to stay in the EPL. Any team after face a broken team. Nevertheless the Chavs still had to cheat their way through the game.

    Both the Chavs and the Mancs will lose shortly. But it would nice to see a draw between them as a preparatory first step.

    Another example of the refereeing crisis last night I see.

  292. Bendtner is a doubt this Saturday, which means a strong possibility for Eduardo to play at the venue where his ankle was broken by Martin Taylor. I can really feel for Eduardo should he be called upon to play.

  293. No doubt he will have to play to the strains of ‘Wun Martin Taylor’ from the Birminum ‘fans’. A hattrick should lay it all to rest.

  294. Luke- I see it as a way for him to put his demons to rest.

    ACLFer’s, i’m going absolutely crazy about the Barca tie. Its all I think about. Sadly, the last time I thought about a season defining tie, I was left with my head in my hands. The boys have an opportunity to make a statement to the world that they have arrived and are going to stay.

    COYFG!!!!!!!!!

  295. Piresaholic

    Agreed.

  296. http://www.redaction.org.uk/front.html

    anyone got a rocky flag for redaction on wed nite?

    morning all

  297. In Arsene’s press conference just now, he smiled at the question surrounding the Arshavin story saying it was old news from around the time of Van Persie’s injury when they panicked a bit. That’s all. Come On You Reds!

  298. Im gutted were playing the spuds in mid-week, we ALWAYS beat them on a Saturday morning, they seem to play alot better mid-week when there idiot fans are more up for it, will be a helleva game im sure

  299. When exactly is the date the tie has been switched to?

    Is it the last game of the season now?

  300. 1 loose cannon

    Angel – The Spuds progressing in FA cup was good for us our game against them scheduled to the 14th of April otherwise it would’ve been on the 10th which is just few days After playing Barcelona away and and that wouldve hard for the players after traveling. There is also the possibility of RVP playing in that game

  301. Hola everyone;

    Vote for your favorite Saturday lineup here

    http://socceropera.blogspot.com/

    Cheers, have a good day!

  302. 1 loose cannon

    Just to confirm what I said about the Arshavin comment were old. Its seems my suspecion that the republishing of his comment were purely to cause trouble and derail our title challenge.
    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-arshavin-es-from-old-interview

  303. Exacto 1lc. They had to go to ridiculous lengths for that non-story because we’re giving them nothing at the moment.

    I love how we’re handling the boring, publicity aspect of the run in. Everybody’s saying the right things.

  304. The qoutes being old, makes it even worse for me. But hey what’s been said, has been said.

  305. If they’re old quotes, why was there a reference to Ramsey’s injury?

    They must have added quotes from two interviews to make one.

    And if that’s the case, it was done with mala fides. An attempt to destabilise Arsenal.

  306. Pfft. I think most Arsenal fans were hoping for a striker after the RvP injury – Bendtner’s package was still busted, and nobody was too sure when he’d be back. AW said his decision on signing new players was contingent on Bendtner’s recovery.

    These are nothing quotes.

  307. Calling for a striker, that I don’t mind however call for four NEW experienced players without which we won’t accomplish anything is what has my back up.

    Whenever a Arsenal player, makes a comment about my team always take an interest.

    Also I have long dislikes a number of Arshavin comments on our team. I mean he is the new boy and I must say I haven’t warmed to him outside of Anfield.

  308. 1Loose,

    I think we all know by now that if nothing else our manager is a diplomat.

  309. I think we’ve seen time an again how a player says one thing to a journalist in his own country, only for it to be twisted to suit the most negative story possible by the Sun- Cesc and Nicklas have fallen into the same trap a couple of times.

    The thing about AA is that he’s a big public figure in Russia, and he’s always expected to make appearances in the media and offer soundbites and whatnot. Add to that his general outspokenness, and this means that there are probably archives of material that a desk-bound scibbler can go to when contriving a story like this.

    The fact that these “quotes” have been taken from Russian TV make them practically unverifiable. All the better for the Sun hack.

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