Early Tottenham Thoughts

A decent weekend for Arsenal as Manchester United unexpectedly dropped points at Blackburn. That result gives Arsenal a little warning as Ewood Park has been a bit of a graveyard this season for the top six with only Manchester City coming away with maximum points. It is much the same as the visit to St Andrews, a win was entirely possible yet a draw the result as with the other sides.

The outcome of the next two fixtures for Chelsea and Arsenal will go a long way to deciding the eventual resting place of the title. No matter what hopes we have of Jack Wilshere scoring the winning goal for Bolton at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, anything but a convincing home victory will be a surprise. Bolton are probably safe from relegation and have other fixtures where they will be targetting the required points to ensure their Premier League survival.

It seems unlikely that they would field a reserve side but with upcoming fixtures at Stoke and at home to Portsmouth, Owen Coyle may decide that tomorrow is as good a time as any to rest some players. Scoring goals is their problem, none in the last three at Everton or home to Villa and Manchester United. Having been trounced 4-0 at The Reebok by Chelsea earlier in the season, the latter’s visit to White Hart Lane at the weekend assumes greater importance for Arsenal.

Chelsea has the title to lose. Arsenal can only win their last five games and hope for the best. That is very much the attitude of the players, Nicklas Bendtner the latest to reaffirm that position.

White Hart Lane sees two teams come into the game on the back of defeats in cup competitions. It is a question of who reacts the better. Arsenal has had a week to get over the defeat in the Nou Camp and may benefit from that rest, mentally as well as physically. Three points takes Arsenal 2nd, one ahead of Manchester United. With their goal difference being vastly superior, the points advantage will be crucial in finishing above them. Tottenham seem set for Europe next season with 6th place set for a Europa League spot following Manchester United’s Carling Cup win and more likely, 7th as well should Chelsea win the FA Cup by the 500 goal margin that the media expects them to. Even if Portsmouth do triumph, their dubious finanicial standing may preclude them from taking their place in the Europa League.

Tottenham, of course, want 4th spot but that seems unlikely. Their game in hand over Manchester City is this week; they have the tougher run-in and have to go to Eastlands for their penultimate game. Defeat tomorrow may be the pin which totally deflates the balloon.

Robin van Persie is being pencilled in for a return by the media, presumably based on the comments in Colin Lewin’s recent interview as opposed to anything tangible from the manager.

Even if van Persie makes the squad, and that must surely be debatable, he is going to be warming the bench, presumably Arsene would be hoping that the match can be won before sending the Dutchman into the fray. Alex Song and Sol Campbell are the two whom the manager will be placing more reliance on returning.

It will presumably be Campbell’s last North London derby, age catching up with his career. However, Wenger has told the defender to take it one game at a time with regard to a new contract but there is merit in retaining him, irrespective of others, for the Carling Cup next season. This would allow Wenger to have experience at the heart of the defence whilst ‘blooding’ those younger and inexperienced centre backs such as Bartley and, should he return from loan, Nordtveit.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 12, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 143 Comments.

  1. Just a thought on yesterdays post but with the carling cup/youth players and the non competiveness of the reserve league. Would there be some merit in buying a team in a lower division – plenty have financial problems – and effectively using it as a B team so our younger players get real experience week in week out as an alternative to going out on loan. I’m not sure if it is “legal” and there is a moral argument but there needs to be an alternative and it seems to work in europe

  2. Surely a win for Arsenal takes us 2nd?

  3. top post as always…

  4. Andy

    I am not sure that Uefa rules permit this, even if the EPL does.

    Personally, I’ve always agreed with Wenger that the reserves should be allowed to compete in the Football League, much the same as the Spanish set-up. I don’t hold out much hope of that ever happening though.


  5. i do not see van persie taking part in the game in any form, he has been out for too long… i supose wenger would like to ease him in gradually perhaps he could play with the reserves to gain match fitness… i do agree with the idea of sol campbell helping to blood the new kids; his experience would be invaluable for their development… with so many injuries plaguing totenham i do no see anything but a win however man city seem to be in the form of their life i am not sure if our injury ravaged side can cope with them but i hope!

  6. Spuds game in hand over Manchester City is tomorrow night? I thought it was Wednesday.

    Can’t see RVP in the squad, but the fact that it’s even rumoured is a pleasant surprise. I’ve not allowed myself to think about that since he got injured really.

    “may benefit from that rest, mentally as well as physically.” The master of understatement, Yogi! Not only have our wounds fully healed while the spuds lick theirs, our heads are now right back in this title race, and we’ve also been back on the training pitch for a week. We have a massive advantage over the hapless cockerel-sporting lilyshites who just got turned over by relegated Pompey. Imagine what would have happened to them against Barca!

    Having said that, anything can happen in the North London Derby. I feel for Sol, the rotters up the road thought they’d spat the last of their foul bile at him when he left Portsmouth. They will be on lowly, lowly form indeed at WHL. But what better opportunity for Sol to shove it right back down their throats again.



    I think we will win on wednesday unless we shoot ourselves in the foot. The injuries and the fa cup extra time for the spuds does indeed hand us a big advantage.

    Personally I believe the title will be decided on the basis of whether we overcome man city and blackburn. city are always dangeous to any team on their day and will be a handful while rovers at ewood park will see us, I am sure, fighting against an incredibly rough game with a team FIRED UP by fat sam.

    Those two games will be a test of character and grit. RVP must NOT be risked for the spuds game, we must not rush him until he recovers fully. I am glad that he could be fit for the two aforementioned games because we are certainly going to need him there.

    I think the equation is simple for us – If we win all our games we will win the title. Chelsea will drop those 3 points they have over us (I am banking on torres being on top form in their penultimate game) but its going to be a big ask for us without cesc gallas and arshavin. We are going to need the so called “luck of champions” along with our efforts if we are to win it.

    Here is hoping that we do…

    Cheers all!

    (P.S. By the way if we do win it, would cesc be around to lift the trophy? It would certainly look ridiculous if almunia were to lift it!)

    Just dreaming…. carry on πŸ™‚

  8. Whilst I think we will win at Shite Heart Lane, I do think it will be difficult. The little twerp Defoe likes scoring against us and could prove difficult.

    If we play well and are quick we should win. As long as the weasel-faced ego train of Bentley doesn’t score I cant afford a new TV.

  9. The next time you have the poor fortune to witness a Stoke City game btw – have a look at Rory Delap’s long throws. You can’t miss them. I had a look yesterday and I’m pretty sure that almost all of them are foul throws.

    I tried some ‘long throws’ in the park the other weekend and found it nigh on impossible to run up like Rory and still have ‘part of each foot on or behind the line’ when I let the ball go. On closer inspection, taking Delap as an example of the expert long-thrower, you can see how all the energy from his final stride lands on the leading foot (as you would expect) and he hammers this foot down just on or behind the line. As with a javelin thrower the trailing leg is all but redundant at this stage of the throw and could just as happily be left dangling out behind the thrower in mid-air – if it weren’t for the pesky ‘laws of the game’.

    Cleverly taking this into account, Rory makes a great strain to straighten his trailing leg out and have the toe of his rapidly moving right boot graze the surface of the pitch as he lets the ball go. It’s a token gesture, squeezing him inside the the parameters of the law.

    The problem is, it doesn’t look as though he’s straining quite hard enough. You would need to see the whole thing from a level camera angle, and maybe slow it down – but I’m pretty sure that a large percentage of his throw-ins are foul ones. Taking 20 of those monstrosities a game, and travelling at the velocity he does, he can’t possibly hit that tiny graze of a target every time. In fact, yesterday it looked to me like he was missing it every time.

    He must be watched very carefully, with a referee’s assistant stood right beside him, or better still layed down on his tummy with a magnifying glass – because basically he’s cheating.

  10. Sorry, that’s both long and off-topic.

  11. Excellent point, LimparAssist, good solid research. He gets away with it becuase everyone watching the game including the officials have dozed off by the time he releases the ball. Actually particularly the officials.

    Just part of the ongoing refereeing crisis that no-one in the press or media seems to have noticed.

  12. LimparAssist – if DeCrap needs to THROW it onto someone’s HEAD it says everything about their level of football mate. Good point though, but as they are a “hardworking, British team” no-one’s gonna call it.

  13. If it’s madness that Jack Wilshere will score the winning goal against Chelsea then its time we all became mad. Liverpool has the habit of letting the big three down. We beat them when the other two would rather we lost, manure beat them when we needed a Liverpool victory and I wouldn’t hold my breath against Chelsea. In fact they’ve been real pathetic this season. So let the madness begin!

  14. I’m also certain that Mancity is going to beat Manure. So after we beat the spurs its going to be a two horse race.

  15. The defense of Karl Henry continues. Something is wrong in English football when the chief executive of a Premier League team, i.e. Jez Moxey of Woves, can ignore the evidence of of stud wounds at the back of a players calf and declare:
    “Clearly, Rosicky is not injured. Henry’s challenge was nothing more than a run-of-the-mill foul.”
    He then takes the high road, a la Slur Alex, and thunders:
    “We should all take exception to players surrounding officials, designed to pressurise a referee into making an unfair decision.”

  16. Wonder if Terry had broken Milner’s leg, would the officials have done something about the barbaric legs sweeps that are on display as tackles, him being English and all. I doubt it very much. This aspect of English football is sadly killing the goose that’s laying a few million eggs for the FA. And they are too busy counting the cash

  17. YW

    you say keep on Campbell next year for the Carling cup but what if TV or Gallas if he stays gets injured in the first game of the season.We made the mistake of not showing Silvestre the door and the end of last season and he ends up playing in the Canp Nou.

    No Campbell has done a good job but it was just a short term messure.He is nearly 36 and cant play two games in a week.

    Now if you are talking about keeping him as a defensive coach now that is another matter

  18. Gooner Ted

    No, keeping him on purely for the Carling Cup & early FA Cup rounds. It relieves the pressure on the main centre backs and brings the younger players through quicker.

    Wenger should sign a CB this summer – 2 if Gallas goes – with Djourou returning to fitness, there shouldn’t be any need to use Campbell in the PL or CL.


  19. what the f**k does POXY MOXEY know??

  20. if terry had broke milners leg,would the media and everyone else said hes not not type of person cuz i for one think he is certainly that type of person how do you say cunt!!

  21. Watching the Robben volley against the Mancs, made me miss RVP even more, does anyone remember his volley against Charlton a couple of seasons ago?….delicious…..!!!!

  22. YW,

    What is the situation of Gallas and Sol would Arsene allow both to leave this summer without buying replacements?

  23. YW

    ah yes Djourou returning to fitness.We said the same about Eduardo and Rosicky and how many games in a row have these two played.Should we really be puttting our faith in a player who hasnt played for 12 months

  24. Ted

    Following your logic, we ought to sell van Persie…


  25. Maria

    Gallas, Campbell and Silvestre are all out of contract this summer. They are able to talk with other clubs now and sign ‘pre-contracts’ with them.

    If 1 leaves, I would guess Arsene would sign 1 centre back. If 2 or more go, I’d guess that two cb’s would arrive, 1 of which would be first choice.

    Outside of djourou, the only ‘experienced’ cb in that case would be Song which leaves the defence exposed in case of injuries.


  26. Gooner Ted, The main difference betwen Eddie, Tom and Djourou is that Johann is a young man by comparison.

    I think everyone here is being a little hard on Rosicky as I think he has been good this season. Not sparkling but good all the same. He hasn’t been allowed to play a full 90 minutes even when he has been playing well.

    As for Eduardo he has lost a fraction of pace, however sharpness for a striker comes with matches and especially goals and he has not been given the match time.

    He also is the kind of player that needs to be playing alongside another striker not out on the wing or up front on his own.

    I think he would work really well feeding off of the knockdowns and space that Nic creates.

  27. Thanks YW,

    While with the incoming Chamakh, I am not worried about our attack it’s the defense our worries me for next season.

    Even if they tay Gallas,Sol and Mikeal are no spring chickens…

    Thank god for V.

  28. I am not sure Eduardo has lost a yard of pace, it’s just that we don’t see him in the positions where he was so lethal two seasons ago…playing of another striker or off the shoulder of the last defender….doubt we will see it again with him playing on the left wing or by himself through the middle….it’s a real shame since I had Eduardo for the golden boot this year…..will try again next year I won’t be to hopeful….let it be a surpise……

  29. God this place is boring…..mind-numbing in fact…office work really does suck….I need to find me a farmerboy….

  30. Where do you work? It could be worse I reckon, lucky there are gooners around to share in your misery!

  31. Can I just say that I think Limpar’s post on Delap’s throw ins is one of the best reads that I’ve had on here for a while.


  32. You will all please note that I avoided falling into Maria’s honey trap.

  33. loooool

    Fine!! I demand an introduction to your handsome mexican co-worker then….or first born son…..you choose….

  34. Good lord

  35. Agree with Yogi. Hope we buy 2 new CB this summer. As Darius said last Friday its time for WG to pad his retirement acct and a 1 yr contract is not the best way to do that. I suspect most of us would do the same if we were in his place. I know that most of you do not agree but I have never been a big fan of the WG TV partnership. I think we are better with a big strong stay at home type who can boss the airspace especially on set pieces. I do not think it is a complete coincidence that our defensive efficiency has improved without WG in the lineup. TV will be even better if his partner is less adventurous then WG. Djourou may be an excellent CB but at this time we do not know how good he will be. Hopefully he will start as our 4th CB. With Carling Cup, FA cup, rotation and injuries he will get his chances if he is good enough he will move up the pecking order. Counting on him at this point to help anchor an improved defense is a big risk.

    Cesc to Man City? Not a chance. Maybe we could consider it if they offered $50M, along with Joe Hart, Adam Johnson and Craig Bellamy thrown in the deal. I hope we can keep this team together and add a few new pieces rather then do major surgery.

  36. Well, the first born son is available.

    Lives in a tiny cottage on Dartmoor. No money, two young boys and has no way with women at all.

    The plus side is that he has his own business as an agricultural mechanic.

    He has no interest in football.

    And I don’t mean that he is a chav supporter.

  37. Consol Maria with somoee who has no interest in football, not a chance!!

  38. A ‘baby daddy’…..mmmm…..not sure about that…no hot mexican worker taking a quick siesta this ever so lovely afternoon??

  39. Yup.

    Sol would’ve dealt with a motivated (playing against his old club) Anelka tearing towards him at Mach 3 with no problem.

    Especially when his returning, and therefore hesitant LB, became suddenly dumbstruck.

    That must be why AW rolled Sol out in full battle dress, injuries included (like with the ‘useless’ Gallas), to face Barca.

    Good Lord.

  40. You got that one right Firstlady….no drama that does’nt involve Arsenal anyhoo…

  41. Limestone Gunner

    Ted didn’t suggest selling Djorou, only that it is a mistake to rely on him as starting or first backup center back. Like Bill, I think he should be 4th. If he is 4th, then go ahead and keep Campbell for Carling Cup/early FA cup etc… as an extra.

    On RVP, no one wants to sell him—he’s terrific. But it is foolish to count on him playing for the whole season. He regularly has had injuries of various and unlucky kinds, but still, history is our only guide. The team needs to have a real contingency plan and competition for places is no bad thing.

  42. No, sorry Maria. No workers here at all Didn’t you know that in the country we just all live off the fat of the land?

    It’s a place of milk and honey.

    By the way, was it you off to hunt urban deer yeterday, Finsbury?

    How long will you hang them for?

  43. No hunting Consolsbob, not skilled enough!
    Just feeding.

    Not quite The Kings Deer, (red deer?) galloing about as in Richmond Park. But in Clissold Park N.London they have a small farm.

    There must be some Urban Farmboys around the place who look after them.

  44. Talking about buying two center backs. Does that mean that the players in the academy are rubbish?

  45. We don’t hang deer in Royal parks..cruel and quite impractical. We shoot them.

  46. Frank, as long as you dont bum them

  47. Frustrated again J*mes?

    No joy chewing the cud at fair Wembley Park this past weekend?

    I’d recommend a change of diet.

  48. Kick off is at 20:00 on Wednesday.

  49. Well, high calibre bullets are expensive. Rope is cheap.

    Catching them and getting to stand still on a stool while you tie the rope can be a bugger though.

    Urban farmboys!

    What, they own a pair of wellies and drink Magners?

  50. I hear swan is a nice treat this time of year!

  51. Not sure about Urban Farmers, but maybe they hang out with Tree Surgeons?

    In most cities they use Tree Pits to place ‘Urban Trees’.
    Today, I’ve been investigated some poor abused (urban) London Plane trees who’s roots have grown wild, and dangerous. Crazy, it’ll cost loads to fix, and the tree will be damaged. A scam?

    Ray Mears would be in tears.

    Er, back to work…

  52. – been.

  53. I read in the Hackney Gazette a couple of years ago that there were some refugees/asylum seekers/waifs & strays eating the swans down by the marshes.

  54. YW

    That is a big problem for us.We rely too much on players who have had long term injuries.RVP Rosicky,Eduardo and now Djourou.Its no good saying they are good players they are no good unless they are fit.

    We are going to have a real problem if Gallas leaves.Campbell is too old,Silvestre is no good and Djourou is a back up CB.Look what has happened as soon as Gallas got injured this season.We even had to play Song at CB at Birmingham when we really needed him in midfield

  55. Rinseout, Have you never tried swan & mash?

  56. Spider,

    what exactly happened when Gallas got injured? Campbell stepped right in and was perfect for that stretch of games we played.

    We know we will have injuries but not when and where (in the scheme of the lineup). This season has been our strongest showing as a squad yet.

  57. Is that what you do, Finsbury? Investigate pits?

  58. Kenyon Gunner:

    The defenders at the acadamy are not rubbish but probably not ready to play CB for a team with realistic title aspirations. How many teams like ours play 20 year old at CB? (none). Kyle Bartley probably not ready. Nordtveit has been playing DM for his relagation challenged loan squad in Germany. Those players will get their chance. They will either move up the pecking order as they mature and show how good they are in Carling Cup or on loan or they will go the way of Mathew Upson, Seb Larrson etc etc.

  59. Alisher Usmanov vs Stan Kroenke for next few weeks now…

    I guess usmanov stands for more investment and kroenke for more of the same… but which is the more passionate and knowledgable about arsenal?

    kroenke seems pretty shrewd to me and may be in this more for his own wealth creation… usmanov seems a bit reckless but no fool.

    I’m not too well read on either though so will be interesting to see how fans react to the forthcoming changes.

    any insights people?

  60. Limestone Gunner

    Some commentators think she is handling the way she is because she isn’t interested in selling necessarily to either Kroenke or Usmanov.

    Is there a wealthy Arsenal supporter (a real one) who could buy her shares? Jay Z?!

  61. Limestone Gunner

    I think any single owner is a big problem. The club is in the perfect position to turn profits and actually have money taken out of the club in the coming years. I don’t think Kroenke has any real commitment to Arsenal as a football club and its tradition at all. On what basis would he? He has barely even been to any games. This is a business decision for him–he enjoys owning sports businesses. Apparently he is deciding very soon whether to sell his share in the St. Louis Rams. At the very least, I hope he doesn’t finance his take over by saddling us with new debt. I’m not bothering about Usmanov, since it seems Kroenke is the frontrunner, but I don’t want him to control the club either–investment but becoming another Chelski is no good. We have the resources from the stadium to build a great team.

    We should all join the Arsenal Supporters Trust.

  62. pretty sure red+white holdings are always gunning for more shares so if its going on a open market then surely there is not much to stop him?

    dont want to see anyone tip the 30% margin but surely its inevitable seeing how close these 2 are?

    what actually happens when someone takes over like this anyway?? what extended powers do they have and what are the limits of their powers??

  63. Limestone Gunner

    LA, πŸ™‚

  64. I do not have strong opinions either way. I thought that the club could not be purchased with debt based on bylaws. Anyone who really knows, correct me if I am wrong.

    The other American owners who have purchased Villa, United, Liverpool have certainly not been afraid to invest in those clubs. If Kronke does invest in the club without using debt it would certainly not be a bad thing for us. Most sports franchise owners do not look at them as money makers. However, no one really knows his or Usimov’s intentions.

  65. Cristal poppin’ up in the boardroom, yo!

    In more directly Arsenal related news though…

    …the wait is almost over…

    Van Persie Free Kick Against SunderlandFunny video clips are a click away

  66. Bill thats the reason manure let Pique go – he was still too young! Well he won the champions league and they lost. How was Vermaelen when he made Ajax’s first team? If you are good enough you are old enough! What I’d want is our academy being good enough to at least give back-up to the reagulars. Don’t forget we almost got Smalling who isn’t better trained than Bartley, Nordtveit, Ayling and Hoyte.

  67. Word,

    Kroenke pretty much owns every sports team save the American football team where I live in Denver, Colorado. He has a passion for basketball and has been a pretty good owner for the basketball, hockey, and footy teams here in town. He also owns the sports arena, ticket-distributor, and a television channel that broadcasts some of the matches for all the teams he owns. He does not seem to be financially reckless, lives out of town, does not involve himself much in the community, and acts like he has patience in getting a return on his investment.

  68. Limestonegunner

    Bill, hope you are right about the bylaws preventing debt. But hope gooners are not as passive as your remarks suggest. He can still take money out and just look at his previous sports ownership. I think we all should be concerned until we do see that investment. Single ownership doesn’t really stand to benefit a club as well run and financially strong as ours, I think.

  69. Limestonegunner

    Gris Gris, what have his Denver teams won except for the hockey team a while back?

  70. Laugh my socks off I will if DD buys a chunk of em in a consortium.

  71. Limestonegunner

    Wish DD wouuld buy back in-would make things very interesting.

  72. @ Kenyan Gunner….frankly I don’t understand what message Wenger was trying to send to our young and upcoming defenders by bidding for Smalling. Like you said…he shouldn’t be better trained than any of our other young guns and yet we felt the need to bid for him. I never understood the reasons behind it….

  73. I saw DD a couple of weeks ago outside the ground. Walked up to him and shook his hand. ‘Thanks for coming along’ said he. For all the world as if he was the chairbeing of the club.

  74. limestonegunner

    I haven’t had a chance to look it up, Gris Gris, but I don’t think the Denver Nuggets have won anything under Kroenke and seldom made the playoffs but were a laughingstock in the NBA. The “Soccer” club hasn’t been a big success in MLS either. The Rockies won the Stanley Cup a couple times a while ago. He may be financially prudent, but that doesn’t recommend him to me as an Arsenal supporter, if that means he doesn’t intend to invest. It sounds like he is taking over a club that doesn’t even need him to invest after the last several years of Wenger’s youth development and the construction of a new stadium. We can live with our own means. So what is the benefit of having a single owner who is not accountable to anyone else, who may lose money in some other part of his empire and need to leverage the value of Arsenal or take profits out?

  75. Campbell is a perfect 5th CB for us, so we just need Djourou to contribute at points during the season and for Gallas to return alongside TV. One new left-sided CB alongside Djourou as the back-up pair and we’re set.

    Song would be our ‘break glass in case of emergency’ CB as he is too valuable in midfield to be considered on any other basis.

    For the most part, having 4 strong choices at CB should be more than enough. We’re just been desperately unlucky with injuries, causing our 6th choice (yes, 6th choice!) to have to play against Barcelona. For a 6th choice, Silvestre isn’t that bad.

    Right now, something will have to give at Man United. With Vidic denying he wants to leave now, they have him, Ferdinand, Smalling, Brown, O’Shea and Evans who can all play CB. Chelsea are really capped at 3 CBs (Carvalho, Terry and Alex) with Mikel their inferior Song option.

    My best bet is that we’ll bring on an experienced, tall (6ft 2 plus) left-sided defender to back-up TV. In effect, a younger, quicker, better option than Silvestre.

  76. In the event of a tie at the end of the season, is the title given to the team with the most centre backs?

  77. Limestone

    Denver Nuggets haven’t been a laughing stock for years. They are currently 4th favourites to win the NBA title this season, behind Cleveland (largely because of LeBron James), L.A Lakers and Orlando.

    They are also not in exactly the biggest media market in the States, which is more important for players than in Football, so you could say that like Arsenal they are punching above their weight.

  78. Almunia reckons that the atmosphere at Shite Hart lane is much worse than the Gnu Camp. Bound to be isn’t it? There is the smell for a start off….

  79. Are you Americans making these names up?

  80. Frank

    You can be quite funny when you’re not telling everyone to ‘Fuck Off’.

    The point is that Chelsea have been very, very lucky that for the most part only one of their 3 options has been injured. I think they would be in 3rd chasing us and Man U by now if they had lost Terry and Alex for a substantial amount of time in addition to Carvalho. They played with fire this season, and might just have got away with it.

  81. Frank-I’m English living in America. Similar to a neanderthal living in England. Doesn’t necessarily make the neanderthal English.

  82. Did I just say I was similar to a neanderthal?!! Damn….

  83. I wish Frank…although it is the same as referring to Hull as the Hull Tigers.


    Kroenke only owned the Avalanche for one of their two cups and that team was not one built by him. In fact the Avalanche won two cups before there was a salary cap in the NHL and they did it the Chel$ki way by buying up the top players.

    LAgooner is correct in all respects re Nuggets.

    The Colorado Rapids, of the MLS, had some brief success years ago when they almost won the MLS. Of course there is a playoff system here rather than just a winner of the league so the only real goal every year is to make the playoffs. The Rapids are decent, not great, but MLS has a wage structure that means you must grow your teams with astute, inexpensive purchases, excellent coaching, and luck. Given that most of the players in the league are from the States this means you automatically start at a disadvantage.

    The Colorado Rockies hockey team you refer to has not existed in Colorado for over 20 years, they are now the New Jersey Devils. You looking in old history books or something?

  84. Have I just been damned with faint praise? If so you can fuck right off, lagooner. If not then you can’t. Unless you want to.

  85. This geographical feature thing in the MLS? Quite dramatic…avalanches, rapids, rockies.

    In England we prefer more sedate titles. If Kroenke is going to own the club, hope not, we will be Arsenal Ox Bow Lake, or Arsenal Meadows, or Arsenal Rolling Downs.

    If we have to have this devils stuff then we could be the Pixies or the Elves. Not the Faires though…absofuckinglutley not.

  86. I’m disappointed that Lady Nina couldn’t wait until the season is over before she did this. It is an unneccessary distraction. Although it should not affect on the pitch performance, it could affect whether Arsene decides to extend his contract beyond 2011. It concerns me, but as I have no control over anything, I can only hope that everything will work out for the best.

  87. lagooner, but they also have Ivanovic who can play at centreback, Essien who can play at centreback, and Sam Hutchinson who is like ‘their Djourou’ in that he is a promising young centreback, and Jack Cork (out on loan since January). So they didn’t really play with fire.

    I would imagine too that Belletti and Zhirkov could probably hold their own in that position.

  88. I agree with Passenal

  89. Of course Sam Hutchinson is nowhere near as far along or as talented as Johan Djourou, and Jack Cork is no Kyle Bartley, Ivanovic at centreback is as good as having Silvestre back there out of position. Essien is crocked and any Reserve team Chelsea players coming up through the ranks are almost certain to be tainted by the arrogant children that beget them in the 1st team – in short, they’re all c*nts. So I’d take Mikael and Sol as back-ups over that shower of shit all day long.

    Just to clear that up…

  90. I agree with LimparAssist

  91. limestonegunner

    Firstly, LA, London is the biggest/richest market/city in Europe, so we haven’t been punching above our weight in that sense.

    But no matter how you look at it, Korenke is only a moderate success as a sports owner. There is no indication that he is going to make massive investment in Arsenal, and frankly we probably don’t need it anymore. He could have been helpful the last five years, where was he? Now that all the hard work has been done, he wants to buy up the club, nearly debt free with a new stadium in one of Europe’s greatest capital cities. I see a canny and potentially mercenary business mind at work. We deserve better.

  92. Me too.

    By the way, I both did and didn’t fuck off, if that helps any.

  93. limestonegunner

    We’ve been punching above our weight for a number of other reasons. Don’t forget that there’s a salary cap in U.S sports, so the city itself and the sponsorship revenues a player can generate becomes even more important.

    I don’t think Kroenke will be particularly helpful for us either, but he certainly appears less risky than the Glazers or the Hicks-Gillette comedy act. I think most of us want to be frozen in our current state, but realistically this is high finance, and things will change no matter what we want. Kroenke is our least toxic option right now.

  94. Kenyan Gunner @ 5:32.

    The fact that the boss tried to buy a young CB would indicate to me that he does not think the other CB you mentioned are ready yet.

    We have a great chance to win the league next year and to make 20 year old CB who is probably not ready for that type of pressure an important part of your team is to much of a risk. 20 year old CB’s have to be patient. They can play in the Carling cup or go on loan. If they are good enough they will work their way into the 1st team. I do not think we can risk damaging our chance to win the league because we are concerned that we might slow the development or loose someone who might be good someday.

    Besides, the young players that the boss has let get away have not really turned out to be that good. (Bentley, Aliadiadare, Lupoli, Muamba etc etc etc) I think we can trust him on that subject. He is more likely to hold on for too long such as with Senderos.

  95. limestonegunner

    I would really like to know what happened to make Lady Nina marginalized on the board. She was part of that original group that agreed not to sell shares when the first Kroenke threat came up. Also, how in the world did DD get cast out for trying to bring in Kroenke (remember PHW saying we didn’t want his kind at Arsenal!) but Kroenke then becomes the board favorite while DD works with Usmanov for a time? Very strange. I’d rather we had DD and none of these billionaires. Why did Lady Nina decide to sell now? Who knows the inner byzantine workings of the board?, anyone?

  96. limestonegunner, all I know is that the lockdown agreement runs out this month so she now free to sell her shares. There have been rumours that she has been wanting to sell up for a while and clearly her ousting from the board suggests that she was no longer in step with the wishes of the other board members, whatever those were.

  97. It is tragic that Lady Nina has decided to sell. I really do not want us to be bought out by the vulgar one or the american one.

    It would be a tragic loss of identity to part with tradition and history for money.

    How sad!

  98. Perhaps Lady Nina is opening the door to another form of ownership altogether. That is why she will not sell to Stan and Ali.

    It is perfectly possible that she is about to attempt to block any attempt to own the club outright.

    Or maybe she has had enough and is about to create an even bigger charitable trust with her husband.

    Would she sell to DD? Would Alisher Usmanov sell to DD? Could the club be owned by a consortium…only part of which is Stan Kroenke?

  99. Very interesting. This turn of events is gargantuan in its importance.

  100. Just as we make a last dash for the line in the EPL, the Board start playing poker.

    I know who I want to win!

  101. I want what is best for the club i.e. not loaded with debt and no single ownership.

  102. Agreed Passenal but of equal important is our identity. We are old school, very English and a well run club.

    We are the only club in the top 10 that retain our identity, culture and history in spite of the bundles of money that has been thrown at the EPL.

    The other 2? Everton and Stoke. Maybe Spurs but they are not really a football club are they?

    If and when we win the league, it will be a triumph of identity, history, philosophy and human spirit -part of the reason why Wenger isn’t leaving. Arsene and Arsenal fit.

    It would just be sad if we joined the ranks of Liverpool, Man United, Chelsea, Man City, Aston Villa -as foreign owned clubs.

  103. I am no Xenophobe. I am half English so I have no problem against those dirty foreigners that taught our boys to dive. Ahem…

    Our identity is what makes Arsenal great. I would rather Lady Nina sell her stake to any one but the fat blob and the american cardboard cut out.

    It would be better if she sold her stake to her a third person -which would make it even more difficult for the blob or the fob to make a takeover.

  104. Stan Kronke seems to be well liked by the fans of all of the sports teams he owns. I see no reason to think there would be significant change in the way the team is run with him as majority owner. My impression is that most sports owners do not look at the club as a cash generating venture. If Arsenal was really had potential to be a significant “cash cow” I suspect that there would be a lot more people trying to buy in. I think sports franchises are treated like real estate in that you spend money and invest in them and hopefully their value increases with time.

    That said no one really knows what will happen and the unknown is always frightening. I think most of us are happy with the status quo. Whatever happens I want as much of the revenue as possible put into the team. Do any of us really know where the money goes now?

    Nothing we can do but hope it works out for the best for our club.

  105. Arse Baggins, either the money or the desire to own clubs is not there in England anymore and we may not be able to hold onto traditions in the face of the onslaught. I think this was DD’s position and the rest of the board may have come round to that way of thinking too, hence the grooming of SK as the best of a bad bunch. They seem to have spent the last year building trust, so if he does take over, let’s hope their trust was not misplaced. It will be a very sad day if we set off on the road trodden by those clubs, hence why winning something with the current regime will disprove the myth that unsustainable debt levels and dodgy benefactors is the only way to go.

  106. Hi Passenal, it may well be true that there is no desire in England to own football clubs. I don’t mind who the owners are but it is important that the Arsenal tradition is carried on. It is our very Englishness that makes us special out of the top 10 clubs in EPL.

    No disrespect to Stoke, but I would say that only Everton and Arsenal carry forward those historic traditions now.

    It always struck me as irrelevant whether we had 11 foreign players because our roots, identity and history were inherently English.

    I can only compare it to the Oxford vs Cambridge boat race where the participants are uh..non english for the most part but yet no one accuses Oxford or Cambridge of being foreign!!!

    We might joke that Man United are Man USA or that Chelsea are Chelski but there is some truth in saying that they are no longer the clubs that they once were. They sold their soul.

  107. I don’t think this over yet. By a long way. The outcome may be a little surprising.

  108. I prefer that the ownership of the club to be shared by several investors rather than an outright purchase by one shareholder. It is perhaps the only way to maintain an element of equilibrium and ensure the stability that we currently have.

    Or we could hope for a Barcelona style ownership. Imagine!

  109. I think that the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race should be made more interesting by allowing spectators to hurl objects at the boats during the race. A little more Its a Knockout and a little less elitist upper class twattishness.

  110. Oh god no. Not a state owned club…please not that. The local politicians of Islington fucking hate Arsenal…and I fucking hate them.

  111. Perhaps MPs could throw their expense claims at them? πŸ˜›

  112. Not a state owned club!

  113. I would rather Frank owned arsenal than Igor the Impaler who thrashed a thousand men to earn his trillian in porny sex movies.

    Even Frank!

  114. May morning -young elitist upper class students jump of a bridge into shallow waters -drunk.

    Is that the twattishness you were referring to?

    The boat race is full of German’s and Americans.

  115. I refer to the institution. The rowers are slaves.

  116. 1 loose Cannon

    Perry Groves Wants Wenger to buy Palacios. Why all ex- footballers wno become pundits think they know it all? Song is far far better than Palacios in every department. Heard of RVP palying against the Spuds any truth in that?

  117. My hope is that Kroenke will be irrelevant in the overall scheme of things, just buying into the values of the club, trusting the other directors to do their bit, contributing insight from US sports, bringing in commercial expertise which is where he could be useful, and letting Arsene handle all the rest.

    The fact that Nina Bracewell-Smith would offer her shares through agents suggests she doesn’t think Kroenke is about to launch a takeover.

    It suggests she doesn’t want to sell to Kroenke or Usmanov if they wanted to buy.

    It’s all looking good from my position. We’re set not to have an outright owner. A splendid outcome.

  118. I suppose we’ll find out about RvP tomorrow. Seems unlikely – unless we’re keeping our cards very close to our chest. We haven’t seen or heard a thing from him recently. The last word on RvP was from Colin Lewin in that interview about injuries at the end of last week. He said RvP would be returning training “imminently”. I doubt that’s enough time.

  119. It would be a great psychological boost if RVP was even to make the bench for spurs.

  120. I agree with Ole Gunner. This “selling through an agent” is telling. Kroenke and Usmanov are easily tracked down, if she wanted to do that. And despite her agent taking a chunk for himself, she would rather go down that road….

  121. I’ll prefer Palacious to Denilson as a DM. Arsenal now lacks winners. The team is packed with so many foreign players who’re technically good, lack winning mentality and therefore flops when the stakes are high.

    Too many foreigners has taken away the soul of the team.

    Players like:

    They’re not fit to play for the club.

  122. Nina is a fat bitch I hate her shes ruining us the spoilt cow

  123. Fuck Off Howard

  124. Moda,

    you are a momumental cock!!!

    All of the players you have named above have shown massive signs of improvement this season with the exception of Almunia (I will agree we do need another keeper).

    Edurdo is still recovering from a massive injury that could have ended his career; similar to Diaby – he only just starting to show the kind of form most arsenal fans were fully aware he possessed.

    Denilson, i know a favourite of yours. IMO he was the one that changed the first leg of the Barca game, his drive, energy and reading of the game are superb for such a young man.

    How Vela comes into the above is beyond me, he has hardly played this season so how you can jusge him so harshly is ridiculous.

    In short, go take your Xenophobic tendancies and shove them squarely in your a*se.

  125. Moda is clearly a spud on a wind up guys, let him have his fun. We’ll get ours Wednesday night! God, how funny was it when Fabregas ran past 3 of their players and scored about a minute after Van Persie had converted that cross? Great times.

  126. Spurs is not an easy match. I am banking on the spirit in the team to see us home comfortably. I am certain motivation is extremely high. Barca was a watershed, that’s what I think. The absence of key players is felt, but not critically because the lads will have great determination. In this, of course, Song and Denilson are the experts.

    The players do understand the situation, if we win we move into 2nd, simple, and that spot is in our own hands. A little later chelsea have a couple of tricky away games.

  127. Mongolian Gooner

    I think the reason Lady Nina Bracewell selling her shares is that the market price of our share is around 10k at the moment. And I am under impression that Kroenke is also waiting for the price go down to 8500. Or so I have read somewhere.

    And could I just say I love reading Yogi’s and Darius’ blogs, and posts of all the guys. (consolsbob, Maria, Passenal, Kenyan Gooner, lagooner, OneOfUs, ZimPaul, OleGunner, LimparAssist, Arse Baggins, Frank, 1 loose cannon, Finsbury, shotta-gotta, and many others)

  128. shotta-gotta? gotcha? got what?

    Still puzzled by that Mongolian Gooner.

    Respect nonetheless!

  129. Mongolian Gooner

    sorry for messing your nick.

    I like the positivity around here.

  130. Mongolian Gooner

    how do you change the avatar here? Is it just a random image?

  131. Not sure about the Avatar, Mongolian Gooner. Just looking at my default avatar, and I’m not sure if I’m smoking or only have one tooth..

  132. Kroneke just exercised his rights to buy the rest of the St. Louis Rams for about $400M

  133. a fungus-coated right hand

    Speaking of default avatars, I’m only posting so I can see what mine is. I’m very vain that way, but I’m sure it will be handsome.

  134. Your avatar is as handsome as your name.

  135. Moda = Howard = Barbados = various nom de plumes = a particlarly stinky, xenophobic, lonely, depressing, right wing, exceedingly boring (he never says any different, positively drone-like) individual. He is the mother and father of all trolls, and also their cousin, sister and brother, and their children and grand-children – there’s a whole lot of in-breeding going on in the sewers.

    Ah, I feel a song coming on…

    there’s a whole lotta inbreeding
    dear liza
    dear liza
    going on in the sewers
    there’s a whole lot of in-breeding
    dear liza
    a whole?
    No, a troll!
    ha ha ha ha (manic laughter)

    Quite gothic I think.
    It’s bad, it’s really bad. I love it. Tom Lehrer could do someting with this.

    It’s going to be interesting seeing the defensive side next season. Gallas will stay, I think and play less. Sol definately. Djourou will be back but his fitness and performance level uncertain. We still need a first-class regular CB pairing. I think we will look to buy UNLESS Song is destined there.

    Song is already a Wenger player – can play in 2 positions. Eboue. Rosicky. Nasri. Cesc. Diaby. Gibbs. Ramsey. Arshavin. Walcott. RvP. Den. All can play comfortably in 2, if not 3, positions.

    What the hell is Wenger building? A monstrous team without precedent. Sometimes i think so.

  136. Mongolian Gooner

    Hope Sol and William stays for at least one year. Watching Sol’s attitude in tough games I feel our players are well protected.

    And his “englishness” can be used effectively. Just compare public reaction on Gallas’ and Sol’s tackles.

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