Whilst Man City Provide The Comedy, Sol Gives Arsene Food For Thought

This morning brought forth the first mention in less than a week over the future of Cesc Fabregas, apparently to be the subject of a £50m bid from Manchester City. Apparently, they have not been “put off” by the initial soundings made over any offer for the player’s services. Presumably those soundings were much more polite than any private thoughts may have been on the matter. Still, nothing like a good laugh to start the day.

Wenger invited such speculation by mentioning that he will be dipping into the carrier bag of used fivers stashed behind the pot plant in Ivan Gazidis’ office. It will be a summer where he will hope to get his business completed early, before national squads meet up for the World Cup. Transfer windows around international competitions tend to be a sellers market, clubs hoping that their saleable assets perform well to inflate their values.

For Wenger this is the problem. Players such as Villa – even if he were to perform admirably – will not increase their values greatly. €40m – €50m will always be his price unless there is a bidding war. With the price bracket that Wenger tends to buy in, the increase tends to be more marked, a €5m becomes a €10m player on the back of a good tournament.

You notice that the currency is Euros; quite simply, I cannot think of many English players whom Wenger would consider technically adept enough to sign. The members of the England squad diminish that number further. Of the international players from overseas who ply their trade in the Premier League, their price will already be overinflated as it is so the manager is within his rights to look further afield for comparable or perhaps better, individuals.

Sol Campbell has spoken in the aftermath of the defeat in Barcelona, offering the view that the Champions League tie should be viewed as the benchmark for this Arsenal squad. Being one of the few squad members to have won the title, his colleagues would do well to listen to his belief, something he hopes they will do.

The hunger and desire Campbell speaks of is assumed to be shared, it is a mental requirement for champions. The likes of van Persie, Clichy, Bendtner and Cesc have always spoken of this desire, the remainder you assume have it as well. The ability to learn from the defeat will be the key. Being on the receiving end of the constant Barcelona pressure – as Real Madrid were last night – gave the midfield and attack the level to which they have to raise their game, starting at White Hart Lane.

Comparing this team to The Invincibles as the media likes to, is a pointless exercise. The Champions of 2004 were at the peak of their powers whilst the current squad are not on that level yet. Even so, they are challenging for the title, the outcome of which will be decided in a little over 500 minutes of football.

Campbell raised an interesting issue. He said:

You’ve got to respect football in every way. You’ve got to go for the League Cup; you’ve got to go for the FA Cup, you’ve got to go for all competitions because you never know which one is going to come your way.

I agree with Campbell in one respect. The first trophy the players win will break the mental barrier, prove to themselves that they are winners. Wenger strives to maintain a balance. The League and FA Cups are used to blood younger players and keep squad members fresh, preparing them for Premier League action when called upon.

That policy has not borne fruit in those competitions and with the League Cup in particular, it is hard to see that it will. The mentality of the top six teams has changed in recent seasons. Manchester City, United, Villa, Tottenham and Chelsea have all reverted to fielding strong line-ups from the quarter finals onwards. It means that Arsenal’s talented younger players learn from playing seasoned professionals. Yet the squad as a whole could learn from winning a trophy, irrespective of its value.

That said, if the youngsters start in the League Cup, over time there is a probability that they will gain reward, assuming of course that this taste of first team football does not lead to them moving to another club, Fran Merida may be a prime example of that this summer.

There is a balance to be struck and Wenger has to bear in mind the injury risks for players, particularly in the junior competition which coincides with the group phase of the Champions League. The stats I noted last week show that Arsenal suffer a significantly higher number of injuries than their close rivals, missing players who arguably could make a difference in the key competitions.

It is a matter of priorities, the decisions for which Wenger is paid his salary. His obvious targets are the Premier and Champions Leagues, two competitions which are extremely difficult to win due to the consistency required in the former, the quality of opposition in the latter. There should be no suggestion that either be sacrificed for the sake of another trophy. It hints of desperation and defeatism to suggest that they should be. The question is whether Arsene can continue to give the lesser tournaments the lesser attention.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 11, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 136 Comments.

  1. Oh so close! That will teach me to light the BBQ!

  2. A phyical league, international football calender and domestic cup requirements.
    I foresee a top 4 squad going up from 20 to 27 at least.

  3. Good post Yogi considering the shortage of Arsenal related news, apart of course from the comedy transfer articles. I see the hardy perennial Sebastian Frey has been linked again. I’m just waiting for the Obafemi Martins link, then I will know it’s summer!

    I also hope the Barcelona games will be motivating for our players and they will know how hard they have to work for every victory. I thought it was noticeable how determined Barcelona were to beat us. They knew they needed their A game to do it and they certainly had to produce it out even to get past our depleted squad. There really is no reason for heads to drop.

  4. William, I thought there were rules coming in to limit squad sizes to 25 including some home grown element?

  5. The whole club is structured to believe that the domestic cup competitions are of lesser importance. Internally, this is given credence by the fact that so many of our youth and reserves get the chance to gain valuable experience in these competitions, regardless of what other clubs do. Externally this is given credence by the fact that the governing body of football in England can’t even be bothered to provide a surface worthy of a final. Clearly, no lessons learned there since the Horse of the Year show in 1967.
    I can’t see what value there is in winning a trophy which has negligible financial value and which doesn’t give any advantage, given that we finish in the top 3/4 and qualify for the Champions League. Over time our players mature, part of which is exposure they’re given when younger to the domestic cups. That maturity is brought to bear in the league and Champions League. Sol Campbell talking about the domestic cups importance smacks of a man looking down the barrel of the end of his career. Nothing wrong in it. Just gives his perspective which is not necessarily aligned to that of Arsenal football club. As we have seen previously, not least when it came on top against West Ham in 2006.

  6. Paulie Walnuts

    `The new rules, agreed by all Premier League club chairmen, state that clubs must name a squad of up to 25 players, with 8 of those being ‘home-grown’ players. Furthermore, no more than 17 of those players can be over 21 and not home-grown.`

  7. No problem for us, eh? I think Cesc, for example, counts as home grown ’cause he has been with the club since he was a teenager?

  8. Most of the overseas youngsters, eg Barazite and Merida, count as ‘homegrown’ because they have fulfilled the criteria of being trained by the club for 3 years before the age of 21.

    Were Wenger to buy a youngster of non-English origin from another English club, provided that individual had been trained by the English club for 3 years, he too would fulfil the ‘homegrown’ requirements.

    So it won’t make much of a difference to Arsenal whichever way you look at it.

    Also, with the high turnover of players, 2 or 3 leaving every summer, there will be gaps for non-homegrown players to fill each season.

    The rules, like everything that Fifa or Uefa tries to do with regards to running a club, are largely toothless.

    YW

  9. you don’t have a clue as to whether City are bidding for little cesc. All you have is a flimsy web rumour. I’ll explain it fully to you one day but there are people called “journalists” and people called “agents” and between them they drum up a lot of rumours. Last summer we were “linked” to over 200 players. The key word is the word “linked” – always look out for that word.
    Meanwhile City quietly progress and threaten the boring old “sky-4”. Pool, Stretford and (it seems) yourselves are anxious big time. The time for the real laugh is when we sign him.

  10. Off topic but Keyersoze made the following post earlier on yesterday’s blog, which in a long ways exposes Long-ball O’Neil as the earnest, sanctimonious hypocrite he is:

    MoN is quoted in F365 as saying – “It was an horrendous challenge on an England team-mate”.
    What does this mean? It is ok to dish out such challenges to players who are not your England team mates?

    No doubt my animus towards him is inspired by his recent unwarranted attacks on AW but I find the man to be insufferable on many levels.

  11. Nice retarded post from Steve there, the word “apparently” in YW’s post not registering. Apparently.

    Does anyone else think Eduardo might benefit from a loan spell somewhere? He’s unlikely to be a regular starter with us until he finds his old form again and he’s only going to get that from playing every week.

  12. The Cesc rumor is a great example of journalism just for the sake of reporting something considered “news”. Maybe the rumor has merit, maybe there is some truth behind it, maybe City are really thinking about stealing Cesc — but now apply some common sense:

    Why would Cesc want to go to City? A club that possibly won’t play in the CL next year?

    Why would Arsenal sell him to City? Selling your best player to a direct rival — that would be an awful move?

    Even if Cesc wanted to leave Arsenal (and he has confirmed about 695965969 times now that he does not) — the only realistic destination for him seems to be Spain.

    Unfortunately, journalism these days does not seem to use common sense anymore. The ManCity rumor is something that should only be reported with one sentence somewhere hidden away — at most. But it is definitely not worthy of the 10 or so paragraphs the website of the News of the World has dedicated to this non-story.

  13. Hi Vince – maybe you missed the headline: “Whilst Man City Provide The Comedy” . It is in quite big letters and the words are nice and short.

  14. Oh i’m sorry Steve, did you require the word ‘allegedly’ in a headline on an unofficial blog site? Should YW anticipate legal action? You mugs have got a match today, go and focus on that.

  15. mmm….. we really are irritating the old guard.Keep it up

  16. Vince,

    Here are Tony Atwood’s thoughts on injuries (thank you for all the research YW) & squad sizes, which makes sense to me:

    “I really do think that the club is now looking at the injuries that have hit us for 3 years and are saying, ok that is how it is.
    So it is not enough to have a top player in every position, and one just behind him – we need a third level of players for when both of the first choices are out.
    So bringing in another forward is not a bad thing – and does not in my opinion mean the end of Eduardo. I think Eduardo has signed a new contract, and I suspect the addition of another player means he will have plenty of time to find his form, without pressure.”

  17. A loan for Eduardo could help, but where? I don’t abroad would be a good idea, and a lot of teams in the PL are following the verse and scripture of Clogger Allardici and his acolytes.

  18. I don’t think abroad

  19. I understand what Tony’s saying and it does seem like the injuries are something we have to work around rather than write off as a freak occurrence every single year, but who’s going to sign for us knowing that they’re likely to be third placed for a position?

    As for Eddy, I really don’t know where. It’d be weird seeing him play for another English side, what other league is comparable to the physicality of the EPL?

  20. Although I do like Tevez, in what way is ManC NOT boring (apart from the fact that a contender within a top 6 is being created)? Better beat your old rivals ManU at home and then talk big, Steve.

  21. Also I don’t want to get excited just yet but with 65 minutes played the Mancs are still drawing 0-0 at Blackburn…

  22. Steve

    Tad touchy aren’t you. Time to grow up son. Either that or pack your computer back into it’s box, return it to the store you purchased it from and go play with your Etch-A-Sketch.

    YW

  23. Cesc leaving for ManC must be a newsroom joke.

  24. Eduardo on loan? Only if he gets to go back to Dinamo Zagreb.

  25. Wenger simply must give Sol another 6 months contract, to be reevaluated prior to the Jan transfer window.

    His last few months in 2006 made me forget how much of a leader and warrior this guy is.

    He’s a lion.

  26. Thank you Fat Sam!

  27. The Mancs held at Blackburn.

  28. I never thought I’d say that particular sentence.

  29. Now the Mancs face Man City. Without Rooney I see them having a difficult time.

  30. Haha – definitely no Manure job for Fat Sam now.

  31. Unbelievable!! Seems like I can rework those darn permutations with a brighter prospect in mind.

    Blackburn didn’t play half bad too.

    Yeah thank you..Fat Sam.

  32. Vince,

    “but who’s going to sign for us knowing that they’re likely to be third placed for a position?”

    e.g. If a striker ? comes in of Chamack’s age and experience, they’d be playing a lot. It seems NB52 is the ‘third choice’ behind Eduardo and RVP anyway, followed by others. So, it’s a good example of how the ‘Youth System’ is being used already to build a very strong squad?

    Got to go and take the nieces to see the (Urban) deer, but that’s one example of how things might develop.

    Blacburn 0-0 ManIOU!

  33. He did everything in his power to let United win the game, so fuck fat Sam. Where were Dunn and Diouf all game?

  34. Bloody hell. A goalless draw. I didn’t see that coming. I’ve entered the twilight zone.

  35. Fair point Finsbury, I guess form would dictate the pecking order also and competition for places is never a bad thing.

    Nani was totally shocking today, dire.

  36. Didn’t see the game, but it looks as though Sir Rudolph was double-crossed by his convex concubine Sal Lardarce. Credit where it’s due to both of them.

  37. FailU 0:0, could there be a greater thing on earth? Now only Chelsea needs to drop a couple of points… our boys can still do it!

  38. Salgado had Nani in his back pocket throughout. Berbatov is the one who was really shocking. Sir Red Nose must be kicking himself for paying so much for such a useless player.

  39. I think it had more to do with Man Poo’s (sans Rooney) inability to take advantage of a dire Blackburn performance than anything else. So yup…credit where it’s due to both of ’em.

  40. I thought Blackburn played well and actually looked like they would score towards the end of the match. If anything United were crap.

  41. Urban Deer? They must be easy to shoot, although I suppose there’s more risk of collateral damage in a town.

  42. Not that that would necesariy be a problem.

  43. Berbatov is man utd’s most skillful player. Ferguson just doesn’t know what to do with him.

  44. He could try to sell him for a profit. Now that’s a feat I don’t think even Arsene could accomplish!

  45. Limestonegunner

    FA cup has great history and tradition. I think the FA needs to look into making it more lucrative to win and make it a midweek competition until the semis and final.

    Our team hasn’t taken it that seriously, which is strange since we haven’t won a trophy for a while. The first trophy would mean something to young players and perhaps give them confidence to believe themselves winners. Now when they go out of one competition like the CL one really fears for their momentum in the PL; if they’ve experienced winning they might be more likely to develop the winning mentality and culture that perpetuates itself and survives the occasional big defeat or loss to another big club. I see this in ManU and Chelsea right now and hopeful signs with our resilience this year, but it is very very difficult to win the only two competitions we really seem to be really committed to. Ihope next year we are a bit more aggressive in our pursuit of the domestic cups and build a strong enough side to compete seriously on three or four fronts and secure that first trophy. It could propel us to the level we have been waiting for.

  46. I don’t think Blackburn played particularly well…..I just think without Rooney they really do look piss poor. I can see Man C turning them over (fingers crossed).

  47. Man Utd got held to a goaless draw! Things are looking good! :DDD

  48. Now is thd time for Jack to beat Chelsea for us. In the FA cup Lansbury was a monster for Watford. He played his heart out and was their man of the match and got a yellow card for good measure! Pity they lost. Jack may be luckier.

  49. they were both crap then

  50. Sam Allardice selected a team to lose. Unfortunately you can only lose if the opposition scores.
    Without Rooney Manchester IOU could not score.
    The problem is Berbatov is not a goal poacher, which exactly what they currently need.
    The injury to Michael Owen may turn out to be most significant thing for them.

    Paul scholes committed a couple of dreadful tackles. Fat Sam nose-browning SirAlex did not complaign about a single one.
    Against Arsenal he would have been on the pitch remonstrating with the refere, spitting his gum and screaming his xenophobic bile.

  51. Valentin, it’s hardly unexpected given their hugging in the races or whatever. When Blackburn played at Old Trafford, they were 2-0 down and around 80 minutes played they scored and the goal was wrongly disallowed as offside, and Fat-Sam didn’t even complain about the refereeing.

    I find myself strangely agreeing with O’Neill, how they have been robbed twice in Wembley this season is just shocking. And the tackle by that awful c*nt, Chelsea’s captain whose name I shall not utter here (a bit like those hobbits and Sauron?), was just appalling, but again that’s what you expect.

    How much man-love can one feel for Hodgson and Fulham? 0-0 at Anfield and spanish waiter, Stevie-Me and El Niño (and their four-five world class signings,hahaha) can continue the hunt for Europa league glory next season as well.

  52. Fat Sam, first the Chavs now the Mancs is he softing towards Mr. Wenger?

    Next time you know he maybe offering to share his gum with AW.

  53. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Man City signing Cesc. Heh. That’s a good one.

  54. First sentence great, Maria, but the second one made me vomit a bit, it’s enough to be hung-over, some serious boilk (first time proper drinking this year), but now I have to suffer the idea of Sam’s used gum. The vomit is suddenly strangely appealing… Strange night it was, and strange day it seems as well.

    Spurs-Pompey still at 0-0, lets hope they get to extra time. Oh it would be so sweet, Ol Twitchy flunking at extra time to Pompey, or get stuffed by Chelscum in the final.

  55. We got an unexpected gift from Blackburn. Now let us hope Bolton can pile some misery on Chelsea come Tuesday! What odds on Wilshere scoring for the gunners?

  56. Cesc eh? Well City can go on dreaming…they won’t get any player from Arsenal to join them unless Wenger wants it. They have a long way to go before they can dictate terms in the transfer market.

  57. Anyone watch Man City today. We will need to be in top form at the back when they play hear. It makes me sick to watch Adebeyor actually working and scoring.

    Any news on RVP. I would love to see him on the pitch again.

    Birmingham has been excellent at the back most of this year then melts down against City. Having a top notch GK (Joe Hart for Birmingham) can make a huge difference.

    We can go ahead of the Mancs this Wed. With a little luck from the Chavs we can still win the league. Amazing year. All credit to our guys for getting rid of the demons that caused us to drop points to the clubs in the lower half of the table in past years. If we keep that mentallity against the smaller clubs and figure out how to stop the big 4/5 from scoring at will against us we can run away with the league next year.

    Lets go gunners.

  58. Extra time for Spurs! Brilliant stuff.

  59. Haha, this from Timesonline comment section for the match report:

    Simply, no Rooney, no hope.

    The utter mediocrity of Utd was on full view here this afternoon. Even with Ferguson’s best buddy not starting with his strikers, (hopefully not to look too blatant) and to give Utd a chance of a sneaky 1-0, they were still unable to take up his generous offer.

    *****

    5-1 to City, Birmingham was abysmal. At least twice Gardner pretty much passed the ball to Barry, flashbacks from last season perhaps.

  60. 1 loose cannon

    Spuds going to extra time. Perfect. Disappoited with the lioverpoll result I was hoping theywill be in with a chance for 4th spot when they play the Chavs, with the europa cup in mind they might throw that game now.

  61. What happens if Portsmouth go on to win the FA cup? Would they be playing in the Europa League next season despite being relegated?

  62. “Despite receiving widespread condemnation for his remarks, the United manager maintained that they were justified and claimed that Bayern and other European clubs needed to start demonstrating “English fairness” in matches or be punished for what he perceives to be their attempts to pressure officials into booking opponents.”

    Oh dear, this from the Prince of Darkness, Darth Fergie himself. Manager who has made dark art of influencing referees (those at OT against Chelsea quickly relegated, but Howard “ManU” Webb never, no matter now many penalties he gifts them). And he has the other Scot twat, whom Graham Poll described as “the worst referee baiter of the league”, in his time. This would be so funny it wouldn’t be true. Oh wait, it is quite funny actually? Any rants at refereeing after Blackburn game yet?

  63. Come on Portsmouth!!! One-Man Utd just cannot win without Rooney, Berbatov is not good enough he needs a strike partner to play off. As for Shiteh buying Cesc…man I have not laughed that hard for a long time!!!

  64. Keysersoze, sure they would, Millwall played in Europe (dropped out quickly) after getting to FA Cup final. Dont’ remember were they League One or Championship team at time though.

  65. Is there something sweeter than Spurs tears? Now they have to go through extra time and most likely they won’t even progress to the final. Sucks for them. Only thing we have to do is pick them off on Wednesday.

  66. Anaconda – the fact that “journalists” still report what old red nose says is in itself laughable, and thats without even reading the crap he comes out with!! How many times has he been called in by the FA for the crap he says and yet he is such an arrogant bastard he does it again and again.

  67. What an amazing cheeky grin from David James after the disallowed goal, brilliant stuff.

  68. One-nil to Pompey! Dawson slips, Wembley pitch is truly laughable, and Piquionne takes advantage.

    Spurs tired for extra-time, hopefully feeling bad for losing, Arsenal rested, RVP maybe on the bench, what a beautiful St.Totts day it could be.

    Hmm, goal disallowed for Spurs, bit softly though. Even more fun, hahaha.

  69. Portsmouth just scored!!!

  70. Ahahahahahah Spuds suck!!

  71. 1 loose cannon

    nothing wrong with the spud’s goal and that makes it even better if they go out.

  72. Irishgray, the most ridiculous thing when he felt sad that maybe some journos were happy cause they lost, because he thinks all the journos should always be on United’s side… Well, he has banned journos from training ground scripted pravda “interviews” for less.

  73. It’s just what Spurs deserve…

  74. English fairness? I hope whenever he goes back to Scotland someone punches him on his big, fat, red nose.

  75. 1-0 to Pompey half-way thru extra time.

    This may turn out to be a lovelier day than I could have imagined (and I am busy doing my taxes).

    Note to myself – Hold off on your guffaws s-g!

    PS: Isn’t Wembley a shame, poor Dawson slipping at a crucial moment.

  76. Under what excuse, beside being former player, is Andy Townsend a pundit. My hung-over mind and English my second (or third) language Jamie O’Hara is not easy to understand, yet he makes much more sense.

  77. What’s up with the pitch at Wembley? Does the design prevent the sun from coming in? I remember Arsene being adamant about the Grove being designed in a way where the pitch could get the most light.

  78. s-g, Wembley pitch is a cruel joke, like something from Dirk Gently’s holistic detective agengy.

    If I’d be a tennis-pro playing at Wimbledon and one of the courts were that bad, we’d be laughing over it with the chair umpire.

  79. What FA would spend 1 billion pounds on a new stadium but forget about how to grow grass in the centre.

  80. Anaconda – Old Red Nose is so fucking arrogant he actually believes all journos should be upset when his team loses!! Can you believe that shit? As for English Fairness…I think we can all agree that the English are no more fair than any other country, nor should they be. Fact is Utd got beat and beat well by Bayern Munich and deserved to go out but he just cannot take it. Was interesting watching his reaction to losing and comparing it to Arsenes who was nothing but humble in his praise for Barca. Does Red Nose really believe his Utd team are good enough to take on the likes of Barca? if he does …man I want what he is drinking!!!

  81. Gainsb69, it’s like 11th time they’ve redone the pitch, because they often have to cover it (even with asphalt once I believe) for other uses.

    Remember, Ken Bates was in charge of the project, one should not expect anything good to come out of such scenario.

  82. Didn’t the FA say that even if Pompey win the Cup they will not be allowed to play in Europe next season. Something to do with going into administration.

  83. Dawson may be a Spud but that is no surface to play the semi-final of a major competition. 1 billion pounds! What a shame.

  84. Why do they not just sack the ground staff and hire Arsenal’s ground staff to do it properly? I mean its fucking Wembley? Suppose to be a mecca for football and the reality is that Burnley have a better pitch!! No disrespect to Burnley, wish they could stay up, anyone see Alexanders 2 penalties? Outstanding, could give lessons to many top strikers.

  85. haha, wrong penalty decision against Spurs. Great!

  86. According to the BBC Spuds have had over 30 shots on goal, half on target.

  87. I fucking love the refereeing in this match.

  88. 2-0 portsmouth Ahahahahahahahahahahahah

  89. HAHAHAHAHA

  90. Pompey 2 – Spuds 0 to loud guffaws from s-g.

  91. Totally agree irishgray, although I can’t even think about drinking now, maybe we could share, I’ll smoke whatever he smokes? You get the drinks, whatever “children head-ache pills (those with smiley-faces)” he has are better left for someone like Howard.

    Penalty for Pompey and it’s 2-0, how much schadenfreude can one have over one day?

  92. Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be.

  93. THIS IS AMAZING. Extra time AND they lose? We couldn’t hope for a better result. Coupled with the Utd score…what a great day for the Arsenal.

  94. If Harry the twitch was still at Portsmouth he would now be in the FA Cup final.

    hahahahhahahahahhahahaha

  95. And to think…Harry Redknapp must be dying….today is suuuuuuuch a good day!!!

  96. SomeRandomGunner

    Is wembley pitch so bad ? i have seen atleast 5 players going down with no challenge what so ever in the last 15-20 mins.

  97. dupsffokcuf, after ninety mins it was something like 24-9 shots, but 5-4 shots on goal 😀 and corners maybe 17-5.

  98. Can you image the joy of beating a heartbroken Spurs team? Can’t wait for Wednesday!

  99. Isn’t this poetic justice for Harry.

    Helped to bust Pompey and the payback comes back on a very big stage. Karma.

  100. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

    OMG I can’t breathe………..

  101. Pompey my new second team!!!!!

  102. Anaconda – nursing my own hangover from last night but must admit today is worthy of a nice cold one!!! Spuds losing to Pompey and Manure drawing!! HAHAHHAHHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHAHa…COYG

  103. I bet there is not an Arsenal fan anywhere without a big grin on their face today.

  104. Shotta, Karma indeed

  105. The players seem to really like Avram Grant. Good for him. If Liverpool ever decide to get rid of Rafa they should look into hiring Grant. He’s a pretty good manager and deserves to be at the highest level.

  106. Take a deep breath Maria…:) oh God it must really suck to be a spud!!!

  107. I agree about Grant, he seems to be a decent guy and would love for him to win the FA cup now.

  108. We must rub some salt into Harry’s wounds on Wednesday.

  109. Doesn’t the Spuds look like one-trick pony? Crosses for Crouch who hangs at the back post most of the time. Pompey throttled them in the middle and they couldn’t pass their way around. Defoe and Pav(what’s his name) looked like total mugs. I didn’t look too closely but did they have a serious threat on goal between them?
    David James did look MOTM to me.

  110. I know it is close to blasphemy but the spuds do have some decent players and have at times played some really nice football this year…I can’t believe I just said that, I feel all dirty 😦

  111. Well done Pompey!!! 🙂 And a big shout out to Ross County for knocking out Celtic!! Robbie Keane once a spud always a spud!!!

  112. Vince: “You mugs have got a match today, go and focus on that.” …….. err……. what was that you were saying?

  113. Hmmm, I guess the icing on the cake may be that Palacios had 10th booking for the season, and will miss games against The Gunners and the chavs.

  114. irishgray – The spuds do flatter at times by with their passing game.They are dire when they resort to lumping i towards Crouch But we underestimate at our own peril. Remember that 4-4 draw last year after we were up 3-1? IMO they lack real quality in most parts of the field especially the final third. In Defoe they have a true flat tack bully. Can we rename him Graham “Jermaine Defoe” Hicks?

  115. If we beat the Spuds on Wednesday it will be St. Totteringham’s Day!!! What a wonderful week it will be 🙂

  116. Shotta-gunna – lol consider him so-named from now on!!! Yes I agree they flatter at times but they are capable of upsets and I do not want us to become complacent. We need to win all of our games to even give our selves an outside chance. It is Chelsea’s title to lose though.

  117. Steve: “Vince: “You mugs have got a match today, go and focus on that.” …….. err……. what was that you were saying?”

    I didn’t say anything unclear Steve. Nor did I imply you’d lose to a mediocre Brum side. You’ll be thanking us Wednesday when the Spuds drop some points, be sure to come back then to give us our dues.

  118. the spuds had 20 corners and 31 attempts at goal(16 on target) and still could not score!!!! They do flatter don’t they?

  119. Vince and Steve – can you guys just get a room already!!!

  120. ARSENAL!!!!

  121. referees makes you think, are they really just genuine mistakes, or intentional and trophy deciding mistakes?

    How much HM’s Revenue gets from player’s wages? I heard it’s %50 in England, is that true?

    ===

    That would be correct, G4E.

    You think Gordon Brown is directing results?

    By: consolsbob on April 11, 2010
    at 8:10 am
    =========================

    On the taxes, if the government is getting more money from high spending clubs, wouldn’t it make sense to favor those teams?

    Just a question and it might not make sense, But to me, if you have someone who is getting you more money, wouldn’t you want to keep them happy and keep them spending?

    The two subjects are connected, you get a clear penalty for Villa against Chel$ki “intentionally” ignored…then you get a flimsy penalty like the one against us for West Ham….how can it be day & night between the two mistakes?

    Maybe Chel$ki would have won the game anyways, but at that period Villa were dominating and not giving the penalty certainly helped Chel$ki.

    Why didn’t the referee make the error against Chel$ki? Then why the blatant offside Drogba goal against the mancy’s?

    These mistakes are happening thick & fast and they are title deciding mistakes.

    I don’t know who is directing what, but it surly doesn’t look like a fair game to me.

  122. Excellent news!!!!

    Arsenaaaaaalll!

  123. ……………………..A R S E N A L………………………….

  124. In as much as I cannot stand John Terry, I find MON equally annoying. Yes it was a high tackle and dangerous and he should have been redcarded. Milner is a quick and very talented player and he got very lucky indeed not getting his leg broken. But does anyone expect JT to apologize and even if he finally does will anyone believe it? I won’t. But the real fact is if Villa had won MON would not be making such a big deal of it, it is simply his pathetic sore-losing nature that is the driving force behind this latest bit of drama.

  125. I thought Zimpaul shot Muppet?

  126. MON is a fucking mug. Near career ending means you see a leg dangling in an awkward angle. I wish he would’ve spoken up when Ramsey got his leg busted. But until it happens to one of his own it doesn’t really matter, does it?

  127. I remember shooting some no-name sewer rat, Howard-like. No, would never shoot Muppet.

  128. Never mind 4th, by the time they meet Chelsea Pool will be in a desperate battle for 6th. Spurs are quite capable of holding chelsea on their day.

  129. Never mind 4th, by the time they meet Chelsea Pool will be in a desperate battle for 6th. Spurs are quite capable of holding chelsea on their day

  130. From the BBC match report…

    “…Without the injured 34-goal striker Wayne Rooney, Ferguson gave Frederico Macheda his first start of the season up front with Dimitar Berbatov….”

    Do they know something we dont?

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