Fabianski Thinks He Can Be But Does Wenger See Him As Number One?

A new day with more reports of unrest with the leader, key individuals sniping from the background but enough about the Labour Party, let’s talk Arsenal. No, wait, I was. Andrey Arshavin is criticised this morning for comments that nobody knows if, where or when they were made, the Russian newspaper which is the source has form in concocting them. So perhaps we’ll give them the same wide berth that is applied to Cesc’s comments which are not dissimilar in nature.

Elsewhere, a plethora of goalkeepers including the hardy perennial Sebastian Frey, are being linked with the club. People seem to favour signing Hart from Manchester City but with their problems in that area, such a signing seems unlikely. Maybe Arsène should just sign Frey so that the back pages can then erupt in a welter of “Scoop” headlines, accompanied by “We told you first in 2003, this would happen” and raging against them, “But we told you in 2002!“, “2000” or “We told you when he was an embryo!“.

The current first choice, Lukasz Fabianski, has admitted to mistakes:

I am glad to have the chance to play. The boss shows he believes in me and I just want to take the opportunities and show I am good enough. Every supporter has the right to give their opinion. I’m not stupid and I realise that incidents like the one at Wigan make other things appear less significant and that these are the things people remember. I have no problem with it.

This season has been difficult for me. I’ve only been playing every few weeks or so and it’s hard for any player who isn’t playing regularly. Two games a week is much better for anyone, of course. But I didn’t feel apprehensive for the Wigan game. I felt quite well, it was just that one incident that is hard to explain.

It is not that difficult, try a lapse in concentration. Unfortunately, the position of goalkeeper does not allow for that to happen in the eyes of supporters. One mistake generally equals a goal conceded. Most people are tolerant of goalkeepers if clean sheets are not being kept provided that the errors that lead to goals are a generic defensive error. An error-prone goalkeeper? No hope.

The Pole went on:

This is the life of a keeper, though – some love it, some hate it but you just have to be strong with it. One day you can be the hero and the next people say you are the worst around. You just have to manage yourself in a good way and keep believing in yourself, keep working and fighting. If you keep believing in a keeper then he will believe in himself and when he plays regularly you can see the benefits over a few weeks.

There is a truth in his words and in terms of playing time, the theory is that consistency comes from regular games. In Fabianski’s case, experience is a must. He has to believe in himself and Wenger has shown some ‘trust’ in him, retaining him in the side ahead of Mannone whose form earlier this season suggested that he could quite easily drop into the side in place of Almunia. Yet the Italian was not as safe as is being reported now with similar criticisms surfacing as his spell in the first team came to a close, the balancing item being his youth.

Fabianski is further into his career yet has not shown the consistency required to give confidence that he should be Number One. At this moment in time, Arsène needs a goalkeeper to restore confidence throughout the defence and I am unconvinced that Fabianski can do that.

If the Pole seeks any solace, goalkeeping has proved to be Wenger’s Achilles Heel. If you look at the signings he has made over the year, a number of them have been promising but arguably, the only one who made the grade was Lehmann, hardly a spring Chicken when he joined and perhaps staying a season too long. Richard Wright failed dismally to live up to his reputation whilst Manninger showed immense promise that never materialised in the long term.

It is a position where experience counts and any younger player is going to make mistakes, the crucial aspect will be tolerance of that. That is not something that will readily be given and no matter whom Wenger signs, errors will soon become the brickbats with which they are hit.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 28, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 489 Comments.

  1. Mongolian Gooner


  2. Mongolian Gooner

    Sorry Bigbrovar.

    Personally I think Arsene’s not gonna sign any GKs. He might probably let go of Almunia. Maybe he would stick with our current goalkeepers’ team.

    As many have pointed out last few days, buying goalkeepers may be damaging for our young keepers’ chance.

    Fabianski would be like Hart if he had a chance to continuously play like him. And everybody would have praised him.


  4. I do not want to see that clown Fabianski ever play for Arsenal again – even for our reserve team! He is so utterly useless I could not imagine any team in the whole football league would want him. Mannone and Almunia are also not good enough – a new top quality goalkeeper is a must for next season!

  5. I wouldn’t bother going to the game on Monday evening then, Gunner90.

  6. Alex Ice Cream


    Mad Jens staying a season too long? No – he should have been kept for the last 3 seasons as well!

    We got rid of Jens way too early. He made 2 mistakes – against Fulham (which was not too costly) and Blackburn which cost us 2 points at the start of 2007/8 and he was axed.

    Almunia has made countless errors and is still there. Jens even at 40 is better that Almunia will ever be.

  7. Is it cynical of me to suggest the story on the Arsenal website about Wenger talking to definite transfer targets has been strategically placed today to coincide with the mail i receieved earlier about my season ticket renewal?

  8. 1 loose cannon

    Arshavin’s agent is simply strange. He dismissed Arsenal as one man club that is Wenger. Then he made some bizarre contradictory comment about his own employer Arshavin saying he has the right to speak his mind then accusing him for not doing enough this season and he is “prostituting” himself because of an unsuccessful season for him.

    He said:

    “We would like to know that Arsene Wenger will be at Arsenal next season. The main thing about Arsenal is not Andrey, [Cesc] Fabregas or [Robin] van Persie.

    “What happens to them depends on what happens to Mr Wenger. Arsenal today is 95 per cent Arsene Wenger. The influence and charisma of Mr Wenger to Arsenal fans, the management and the Arsenal family is huge.

    “But he is 61 years old in October and you could read clearly in Mr Wenger’s face how disappointed he was that they haven’t won anything this season.”

    “I know Andrey is never thinking twice before opening his mouth,” said Lachter. “But by the rules of democracy, anybody can say whatever they want and there is some kind of disappointment [from Andrey] because of his injuries and frustration at the results of the club this season.

    “It is not a secret for anybody that he has a big respect for Barcelona and it’s not a secret for anybody that I agreed the move from Zenit to Barcelona for 15 million euros six months before his move to Arsenal. I know Andrey would like to play there but he is a player for Arsenal.”

    “It is totally unfair to blame your team-mates. In the eyes of each one of us you need to do the best for your company or your team.

    “You shouldn’t be prostituting yourself or changing your mind because you don’t like what is happening today.”

  9. I remember the cry some years ago about what happened to great English goalkeepers. England once had an abundance of great keepers. Not only does Arsenal lack a world class keeper but the Three Lions are even worse off. Some jokers claim that England has a good shoot at winning the World cup and yet we all know that the WC can’t be won without a decent keeper. And maybe the same thing applies to us. We haven’t won the league in the last five – and now add six – seasons and we haven’t had a keeper as good as Cech or Van Der Sar since Lehmann dipped in form and was replaced by Almunia.

  10. Don’t renew your season ticket then, Matt.

  11. Wenger has signed one good keeper in 14 years.Mad Jens

    Jens was 34 experienced and Germany’s number 2 behind Khan
    VDS was 36 when Man Utd signed him from Fulham.3 titles in a row later……

    Thats what we should be looking for an Experienced battle-hardened keeper not a keeper who may turn out to be good.We bought Almunia from the Spanish 2nd division FFS

    The keeper we need is Sebastian Frey

  12. Arsenal.com certainly does work in mysterious ways. It was particularly opportune for them to come out with a message of sympathy for the Polish people, for whom it was made clear were going through a very difficult time following the air crash in Katyn, the day before a match where some thought Fabianski might get it in the ear a bit for his lapse at Wigan the previous Sunday – but a fortnight after the disaster took place.

    Maybe I’ve read them wrong but that didn’t sit well with me at the time.

  13. Alex Ice Cream


    I agree with you!

    I am a silver member and I don’t go to as many games any more partially becuase I am tired of all the “we will sign some super players” rubbish and then end up with more teenagers.

  14. Manninger was fantastic and went on to be a great keeper. Problem was he wasn’t prepared to wait for his slot and he didn’t get the backing from the fans he deserved. The same seems to be happening for Fabianski, how can he be judged so harshly before being given a good run in the first team?

  15. Alex Ice Cream


    I am not sure about Frey but you are right that Mad Jens is the only decent keeper Wenger has signed. He inherited Big Dave but I believe Fabianski could do the job but not just yet.

  16. I hope we don’t sign Sebastien Frey. He’s done naff all in a long Serie A career and he is fat. He’s like a shit Neville Southall.

  17. I said it with a smile on my face Frank.

    Of course i will renew, i always would, regardless of who we signed.

    I just find it amusing that the guys who run the website are stupid enough to think that the story would make any difference.

  18. Didn’t Manninger break Arsenal records back in ’98¿

    And I know he’s highly regarded in Italy now.

  19. lehman definitely stayed a year too long. We should be grateful to Alumunia that he was able to step up to the plate at the right time. He has not been a failure but just is not in the same league as cech and van der sar. boo hoo

    I disagree fabianski’s mistakes have been lapses in concentration. If anything he is too concentrated, too highly strung. He seems confident enough yet rushes into things quickly eager to make an impression. At 25 he is still acting like a puppy. We need someone more cold hearted with a very low threshold of tolerance. mannone and tech 9 are more like this.

    If no one is brought in then Almunia will stay as a safety net. Perhaps then people might realise how safe he really is.

  20. Alex Ice Cream


    Manninger’s problem was that he was always dropped the moment that Seaman was fit.

    He also displayed a weakness at crosses but was amazing during our title run-in in 1998.

    I remember us singing “We all agree, Manninger is better than Seaman” at Big Dave when sat/stood in the Clock End. Dave turned round and laughed but there was an element of truth in this. Manninger was far more agile and made saves that Seaman probably would not have done but Dave was more solid and has the winning mentality.

  21. I agree with Els on Fabianski. Nobody can really pass judgement on him until he’s had a real run of games.

  22. AIC – “I don’t go to as many games any more partially becuase I am tired of all the “we will sign some super players” rubbish and then end up with more teenagers.”

    seriously mate, why are you even here?

    chelsea is just down the road and has much cheaper tickets. probably not even a waiting list

  23. I am a big fan of Fabianski’s new yellow and black gloves. They could prove to be a difference-maker.

  24. Fabianski has made childish mistakes in just about every game he has played in bar maybe last week. A run of games might help im sure but the house must be built on solid foundations.

  25. Yep, we need a new goalie, unless the younger Pole can do a Cassillas.

    I got ripped for saying that a couple of months ago, after Manuel had thrown the ball in his own net for the umpteenth time… Anyone seen that Shotta cunt lately? He really is a wanker.

    Would be nice if we got all our business done now, announced them when the season ends, and we could relax for the world cup, maybe enjoy it if england get humped good and proper.

    Anyone remember the goal rosicky scored in the WC the summer we got him, always nice to watch the new guys at a tourney.

  26. By the way Alumunia must have won performance of the season in both PL and CL with his showing at the first barca game. just by a country mile or two

  27. Alex Ice Cream


    I go to as many games as I choose. I have gone to many, many games over many years.

    The main reason I don’t go to games is that I find the Emirates a complete bore. No atmosphere, nazi stewards, heavy handed police, the stadium announcer.

  28. Alex Ice Cream


    Yes, apart from rushing off his line to help Ibrahimovich score.

  29. I still think we would have won the league two years ago with Lehmann in goal.

    Our defence regressed and Mad Jens never would have let that sort of rot set in.

    Any coincidence that we have struggled at the back every year sine Manuel came in?

  30. The reason Fabianski has not been given a long run in the side is every time he is given a chance he cocks up

    Spuds CC semi 1-5
    Chelsea fa cup semi
    Stoke fa cup
    Porto CL

  31. bascially we need a bit of a cunt in goal

  32. Richard Wright didn’t work out, but you could say that he was the Lloris of his time. Every club was after him. All of AW’s other GK signings were intended as reserve keepers and not much more.

    Of course there have been a bunch of errors, but, interestingly, Fabianski has come in cold for just about every game he’s played up to now. Until last week.

    I’d just like to see what he can do for the final two games.

  33. Alex Ice Cream


    I certainly think that we would have had a better chance.

    I can understand why Lehmann was so upset at being dropped by such an inferior keeper.

    Jens was an Invincible and a legend. Replacing these players has been almost impossible so Jens should have been kept.

    Almunia on his day is a very good shot stopper but not a goal keeper.

  34. AIC,

    Watch that goal again, Vermaelen is at fault as he steps up to intercept what he expects to be a ball into Messi’s feet. Ibrahimovich runs into the gap left behind him and the route one ball over the top puts him through with the goal at his mercy. He could then have scored the goal in a number of ways. Almunia had little chance, he decided to come out and narrow the angle, but that’s not what cost us the goal, it was Vermaelen stepping up too eagerly – so should we ditch Vermaelen?

  35. ‘I’d just like to see what he can do for the final two games.’

    Same as that. And I’m sure we will get to.

  36. Backup for LA’s point:


    I suppose it has a lot to do with the CB partnership getting disrupted.

  37. Excellent. When I get into the stadium, which is gradually improving in all respects, at each home game…I have the benefit of knowing that cunts like AIC are not there. Warms the very cockles it does.

  38. NAZI stewards?

    Yup, the old lady who kicked me out of a seat I shouldn’t have been sitting in, once, *ahem*, she had this funny walk…

  39. I LOVE IT DEANO!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Alex Ice Cream

    And I shall be happy knowing that I can watch games an Frank will be elsewhere.

  41. Alex Ice Cream


    I am talking about the first goal. Song lost Ibrahimovich for the first mistake and then Almunia came out when he should have stayed on his line.

    Almunia was only 50% to blame,

  42. The Arsenal Supporters Trust..who I have often derided, did meet with Tarm Farx..sorry Tom Fox, the Commercial Director in March to see what the club was up to in terms of commercial strategy. Some guy wrote notes of the meeting, which can be downloaded at the bottom of the page under the pictures….


  43. @ Mongolian Gooner on April 28, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I fully agree with you!

  44. I agree with Mongolian Gooner too…are broadband services available in yurts now, MG? A romantic thought.

  45. I went to the doctors for a flu jab my doctor said i am giving you the Fabianski jab
    I said what is the Fabianski jab?
    He said the Fabianski jab means you will never catch anything

  46. We should sign that number 12. He looks the business!

  47. I have a hunch Fabianski is a good keeper, will become our first choice, and will be part of a winning team. Well it’s a just a hunch. It’s based on an outrageous assumption, that both Wenger and the goalkeeping coach already know his quality, and are grooming him accordingly.

    I have certain knowledge however that various posters on here today emphatically do not know, and their usual whinge, where nothing new is ever said, are a bit like the crap my 5-week old puts out, that is runny, mustard colour, and predictable. Care for a nappy anybody?

  48. that’s “is”

  49. Cheers Yogi.

    Almunia’s been a lot better than many have given him credit for. Our defence hasn’t been the tightest over the last few years, but up until recently, he has been one of the most consistent performers – particularly in the EPL. If we did go for Joe Hart (PLEASE NO!!) then we’ll realise how solid the Spaniard actually is.

    Don’t get me wrong, i think we do need someone better if we are going to win the CL or EPL – not because of his ability, but for the confidence our defenders have in him. Fabianski, Mannone and Almunia dont fill our defenders with confidence which inevitably results in lack of communication and uncertainty at crucial times.

    Oh yeah – Alex Ice Cream – fuck off this site then you twat. How can you call yourself an Arsenal supporter? I know many people that would happily take your membership – and you can rest easy that the likes of me, frank etc wont be there to ruin your day.

  50. Geo,

    I am not advocating Joe Hart – but what makes you say No so emphatically about him?

  51. Hi Matt
    I’ve never been a fan of him. He will look amazing at times (as did Almunia against Barca 1st half & Man U last season), but then he makes comical errors, flapping at crosses, lack of communication – all the things people slate Almunia and Fab for…

    To be fair i’ve only seen a handful of matches, but that’s the picture of him that i’ve been privvy to.

  52. Zim Paul

    Our goalkeeping coach is the last person i would listen to.Just look at all the mistakes our keepers have made this season.He’s head should roll

    on what do you base your hunch on Fabianski,certainley nothing he has done on the pitch

    Lets all be honest now Arsenal’s best keeper plays for Brentford

  53. tech 9 > joe hart

  54. Partly, my hunch comes from watching an old match featuring Patrick Vieira, then a new boy at Arsenal and well … finding his feet. While some of his passes were spectacular, by and large he couldn’t keep the ball, fell over quite a bit, and made strange passes direct to the opposition.

    Now, he did stay and history was made, and what was it that decided Wenger? It was something he had seen in practice, in matches elsewhere, his determination, confidence and a pattern emerging if the type of player he might become.

    I find Almunia a very good keeper, but prone to concentration lapses and confidence issues. I think, personally, and I don’t pretend to know, that Fabianski has the right psychology, and I don’t doubt his skill – Wenger is not an idiot to maintain him as # 2 were that the case.

    The issue then becomes is will Fabianski be ready before the age of 27 (typical top keeper age)? If not then I think we will see a stop-gap.

  55. Unless Wenger finds gold, which he might. I have no doubt he would sign immediately a top world keeper if available.

  56. Why is our young keeper refered to as tech9?

  57. Atlas it is then, Zim Paul?

  58. To be honest, I find the criticism of Arsenal at this stage all a bit odd, more odd than last year.

    Let’s work our way down the list. Are we world beaters yet? No. Are we EPL contenders? Yes, obviously, with the caveat that both injuries and a lack of self-belief (exactly what Sol said, and he knows, I am a SKB) deflect this. Are we better than last year? Yes obviously, by a distance I would say, but yes. Are we in a better position regarding player depth, potential, outlook than before? Probably the best in our history, but simply yes, we are. Are we in imminent danger of going downhill, taking a backward step, for example losing our CL status? No, we are not.

  59. But most of all, is Arsenal interesting, innovative, credible, a team worthy of support in the sense that it gives something worthwhile to football?

    Well, obviously, and that by a country (s)mile.

  60. And the same questions might be asked of our goalkeeping department specifically. Personally, I find it quite exciting to have 3 really outstanding young talents on board, nor do I discount Almunia as ‘terrible’. In fact he’s the very type of keeper that were he playing for, let’s just say Wigan – to be provocative – a team that ships around 60+ goals a season or so, all you’s would be crying FFS Wenger you IDIOT just buy Big Al, that’s all.

    Because we would see his shot stopping abilities week in week out; he’s also exceptional at penalties.

  61. Perhaps ‘Gooner Dave’, real or not, would like to grace us with some information about mistakes made by all EPL goalkeepers over the last season or two. It would be interesting to see the source material for his analysis.

    Perhaps he could give us an indication of the number of Brentford games he has seen this season too

    Of course if he chooses not to he might just fuck off instead.

  62. Fabianski is shit, end of.

  63. Almunia’s difficutlies are in the self-confidence and 90 minute concentration department, which is usually illustrated by elementary mistakes, things he and we know he can do with his feet tied together, like throw a ball accurately.

  64. All posts ending in “end of” or “Sorted IMO” are the work of what we called ‘grunts’ in another life.

    Randell, you grunt.

  65. limpar @ 12:22pm.

    I thought I was the only one who noticed that.

    For both of those goals Verm took a gamble and Zlatan invaded that vacated space and took advantage.

  66. By a country mile it is ZimPaul.

  67. All Daves are in fact related. Eg Chelsea Dave, Gooner Dave etc …

  68. Zimpaul you grunt. Fabianski is crap. If he’s in goal next year we’ll finnish fourth. Any dickhead can see that, except arsene

  69. I agree with Zimpaul. I have the same hunch about Fabianski. I dare anyone to give any facts as to him getting a good 7-10 matches run for the first team. It’s unfair to judge a player, when he is to come into the team like he has been, and expect him to produce a world class performance.

  70. Well I think that Fabianski will be fine too.

  71. I have never known a Dave who did not have a Dave complex.

  72. Alex Ice Cream


    Apart from your obvious lack of intelligence, what is your problem?

  73. Dave seems anything but complex.

  74. I think it is important for a number two keeper to be able to step up to the plate when he suddenly gets a chance after warming the game for 37 and a half matches or something.

    Which brings an interesting question in my mind. Do any of you remember the number two keeper of any team who gave consistent good performances after coming into the team suddenly after long period of inaction. I certainly can’t remember anyone off the cuff.

  75. Fabianski is not good enough.Why are people even debating it? I rate Manonne as a better prospect
    Get a good keeper in and see our back four improve.The goals against column is worse than last season

  76. Alex Ice Cream

    I actually agree with Zimpaul and Ateeb.

    I think Woocash has been given horribly unfair criticism.

  77. Ateeb. we didnt want a world class performance against wigan though did we, just not a shambolic one. How much longer are so many moronic gooners going to bury there head in the sand? Why not buy Mark schwarzer and win the league?

  78. Who is the best ever number two keeper in the premiership? Once upon a time I heard it was Cudicini, but the voices drowned after he gave less than convincing performance when asked to stand in for Cech.

  79. Keysersoze

    Alex Manninger 6 cleans sheets in a row in 1998.Including one at OT

  80. It is for Dave

  81. SKB – count me in

    Sol always was a great ambassador for the club but was just one of many in his day. However his return has highlighted for me the kind of mentality we need to be truly competitive until the very end. His passion for our team at 35 has overshadowed even fabregas let alone some of the rest.

    Wenger as the single parent has certainly benefited from having someone alongside him to do a bit of the dirty work. No offence but I doubt any players would be too worried if you threatened to tell pat rice what a naughty boy they had been at school today…

  82. Randell, I called you grunt, try to be a even a little bit original. Call me something like “my superior” or “oh wise one”. I did explain that to earn the monicker ‘grunt’, you have to end your mails “end of” or “sorted IMO”. You are a true grunt, a grunt among grunts, a gruntified grunt, a gruntessa (assuming you are, as I suspect, an Italian female of high birth), and if not I will refer to you as His Sewerness, the Right Gruntable Grunt of Cesspool.

  83. Actually I disagree about Sol. He has had a fine old time, unexpectedly, and I thank him for helping out this season. Cesc and RvP are real fighters though…and neither would walk out on their team mates at half time. Both are more competitive than Sol. Trouble is we lost them both at crucial times.

  84. Would have said cudicini for chelsea myself… vague memories of him being pretty good. Also joe hart stepped up for city on occasion.

    Thing is flapy wasn’t really a problem at no.2. Now he has become no.1, we have a problem.

  85. Zimpaul you Grunt, what the hell are you talking about? Were discussing goalkeepers.

    Frank, what rubbish, Sol was immense in every game he’s played and verbally encouraged the team. When Van Persie came on he played well but kept his head down when he didnt have the ball, he looked embarrased. Sol has been the captain since january

  86. ZP, you are in great form today! What’s freed up all your time for the many posts? More please!

    I am surprised how little bashing AIC has taken for his outrageously stupid comment about not going to matches because we don’t sign super players.

    You go to matches because you enjoy watching football, win or lose, Kaka or kak, lager or lemonade you god damn idiot!

    As ZP said so perfectly “is Arsenal interesting, innovative, credible, a team worthy of support in the sense that it gives something worthwhile to football? “

  87. I think Cesc and RvP have shown their fighting qualities, and are the two leaders. Sol has passion, that’s obvious, and maturity enough to speak truthfully about what he sees. What he sees is a team that will be virtually unstoppable given what he calls “self-belief” plus what he calls “balance”, which is a good word, it also means a team without too many injuries, which is the first thing to unbalance the side.

  88. Too many idiots on these blogs are Arsene fans, not Arsenal fans. If Arsene joined chelsea then grunts like Zimpaul would probably support chelsea within the year.

  89. A.I.C – “Apart from your obvious lack of intelligence, what is your problem?”

    Apart from that obvious fact, my problem is that you have a glaring disability when it comes to supporting Arsenal.

    You say you’ve been to less matches this year because of what you percieve as a ‘manager’s promise’ that hasn’t been fulfilled. Only a true shitcunt would follow that logic as a supporter.

    I don’t know what ‘stories’ you were reading last summer but i dont remember him saying he was going to go out and buy loads of ‘super players’.

    Any true Arsenal supporter would be itching to get to EVERY match to watch the team, whether it be to bellow encouragement when collapsing against Wigan or erupting in pitch a invasion to celebrate winning the league at No Heart Lane.

  90. Hell you try to pick on somebody, like Gruntessa and he doesn’t rise to the bait. Damn!

  91. Zimpaul, Did you support Arsenal in the George Graham and Bruce Rioch era?

    Thought not

  92. Zimpaul, let me guess, you have a soft spot for Barca?

  93. Gris Gris apart from a 5-week old baby and 3 and a half day jobs, I’ve got nothing much to do, so I toy with his Seweness the RGG of Cesspool for much needed light relief. It keeps me young.

  94. You’re out of your depth Randell. To support Arsenal, you must also support the manager. End of 😉

  95. Is he related to Graham Seweness ZP?

  96. word, i think the memories of cudicini are from the days when he was number 1, he was pretty good. i don’t remember him being half as impressive when he became number two and played once every 8 months or so.

    the fact that kenny had to go back 12 years to find an example probably shows that being a good consistent performer while being numebr 2 is not the easiest job in the world.

  97. Geo, thats not my point though is it you grunt. My point is that when arsene leaves all these self righteous morons will leave with him, and the so called doomers will have to pick up the pieces

  98. I don’t mean to belittle fab and RVP with the sol comparisson but the way sol grabs the lads in a headlock and deafeningly roars like a lion in their faces sends bloody shivers down my spine!

    Fab is a fine leader and a verbal enough guy on the field, RVP does more talking with his feet but neither can conjur the actual fear of god like sol can.

    Some of the others to be fair dont even come close…

    (I am being slightly over critical here but there is enough truth in it to be worthy of statement)

  99. Zimpaul, do you have a soft spot for Barca? are they your ‘second team’?

  100. And when Arsene retires the “self righteous morons” will stop watching football?

    But lets not speculate, we never knwo what the future holds. What we know now is that while the doomers are busy dissing everyone in sight including the manager, booing players and generally looking at half empty glasses, the “self righteous morons” are busy picking up the pieces.

  101. Alex Ice Cream


    That is only partially the reason; the main reason is my dislike of the new stadium and the lack of atmosphere in particular.

    Supporters are free do go to games if they can get a ticket or not go for whatever reason they choose.

    Who the f*** are you to tell people why they should or should not go to games? If you want to go to game for whatever reason then go, if you don’t then fine. I don’t give a s*** whether you go or not.

    I bet you are one of the many silent supporters in the stadium who misses half the game when buying sh1te overpriced beer and food and then f**** off after 60mins to go and watch TV at home.

  102. Alex Ice Cream


    I agree that Sol has a certain prsence that others even RvP and Cesc lack.

  103. Ah, now he rises. Do this for me Gruntessa, go back and compare the average goals for and against during the 13 complete years of Wenger and in the 13 years prior to Wenger, as a relative comparable measure of achievement and then come and talk.

    You will find what you are looking for on the web and in the various Arsenal miscellanies.

    I bet you one Grunt-guinea you cannot do that. The loser has to eat pig-swill for a week. I don’t suppose that will do you any harm.

    Where were you when Arsenal won the double. I was playing on that very magical day. I was in the under-15s, although I was 12. I was a right back in those days before switching to striker. I was an Arsenal supporter.

  104. Alex, I am someone who lives so far away from English shores that I can’t even dream of going to a stadium, so I am not eligible to comment about atmosphere and the price of beer.

    But even when I have a shit cable transmission, or even when I don’t have a cable connection while travelling and have to depend on even shitter online streams I still watch my team play.

  105. The things one has to do for entertainment these days! Not that I’m complaining, I do admire a decent insult. I feel very let down by Gruntessa.

  106. Alex Ice Cream


    I very rarely miss a game also whether in the pub, stream, TV or even at the game. This has been the case for many years.

    When travelling to places where there was no electricity I had a shortwave radio worldwide receiver.

  107. Keyersoze,

    What you said is typical self righteous crap. All I have said is that I feel fabiasnki is crap and that we need a better keeper if we want to win the league, and any fool, even Geo, must know i’m right.

  108. Come on Your Sewerness, out with your pictorial dictionary now and throw me an insult worthy of the name. It’s like fishing for dinkles at the moment.

  109. Alex Ice Cream


    I agree that we need a better keeper. Fabianski is not ready yet and may never be but the criticism of him is unfair. He needs a run in the team but I am not sure that we can afford this.

    Almunia has to go.

  110. randell –

    To quote you, “Geo, thats not my point though is it you grunt. My point is that when arsene leaves all these self righteous morons will leave with him, and the so called doomers will have to pick up the pieces”

    From the above I did not realise that all you said was what you just said.

  111. Oooohhh! Calm down Mr Soft.

    I didnt once tell you what you should be doing – i merely stated that any true arsenal supporter would jump at the chance to go to any game. Dont get your handbags out until you have fully comprehended what you are arguing against mate.

    Oh, so you have seen me there before?! i’m the one going round the whole stadium asking people to keep the bloody noise down, so we can watch the match in peace, while sipping a very well-priced beer for 60 minutes, and yes, that’s around the time when i must get back to watch America’s Next Top Model. You know me too well Mr Ice Cream – you’ve got it “sorted IMO.”

  112. Zimpaul you Grunt, do you think you’ll win tonight?

  113. Arsene Knows Best. End off, sorted IMO.

    (Grunting under my breath)

  114. I might not win, but I have a sneaky suspicion I’ll score. And you Cesspool?

  115. Zimpaul the grunt, I think Inter will turn you over

  116. This conversation is getting surreal, end of.

  117. Alex Ice Cream


    Has it occurred to you that some true supporters can’t afford to go anymore or that they prefer watching games in a pub as they can be with their friends and enjoy a better atmosphere?

    Judging by your description of yourself you must be an Arsenal steward.

  118. Keyzersoze. You are very funny when you put you mind to it. I’m still chuckling at 3.20pm and then comes 3.23pm.

    I gotta go guys and gals. (where are the gals today anyway).Dinner to cook, that type of thing.

    Don’t forget to feed shhh you-know-who his pig-swill at supper time, and off to bed for him. Make sure he washes behind his ears too.

  119. AIC, Geo probably lives thousands of miles away, like alot of gooners on blogs he’s a hero from a thousand paces. His has a soft spot for Barca

  120. Zimpaul, yes go and get ready for the big match. Good luck tonight, remember you have to play mourihno at his own game, ok?

  121. Tonight we have sadza, huku ne muriwo (ie sadza, staple food in these parts, with chicken and greens, onions and tomatoes, a classic dish, and simple). It’s eaten with hands, together as a family around the plate, and is a social time.

    G’night all. got to get the sadza on and hold the baby.

  122. The babys name is Messi

  123. Oh Randy Randell, ooh … ouch … you’ve sure a got a way with words. Thanks for the playtime, but it’s getting booooooring. Bye.

  124. Bye Zimpaul, I hope Inter hammer you tonight

  125. Sorted IMO … love it!

  126. Good night, ZimPaul. Take care

  127. Limestonegunner

    Clearly we are all Arsenal supporters if we are willing to spend a lot of valuable time reading the rubbish that goes into many of these comments, whether vicious slagging of the team, vicious slagging of one another for having an opinion or expressing it in a way that we don’t like.

    This blog usually attracts some serious discussion, even if the topics and points of view can be repetitive. Once every few days there is a really high quality discussion, and I for one learn a great deal.

    Can we have a little less “who is a worthy supporter” and insulting-baiting and get to some more football talk?!

  128. Mr Whippy – if you had stated that financial constraints were stopping you from seeing matches, then i would have no gripe with that.

    I take it you and Randell will be doooming away in peace together, in a better environment than the Emirates Stadium – how lovely.

    Oh and by the way Randell, as a Steward, i only live 1000 paces away from the stadium.

  129. Check back the posts, you’ll see who started the childish insults.

  130. Sorry Limestonegunner. Got carried away.

    So do you think Fab is our future number one?

  131. Geo, rubbish, you’ve probably never seen a game

  132. f*ck off James, you stupid spud.

  133. Limestonegunner

    Geo, no apologies, my man–it is just that the footy talk is more interesting!

    As far as Fabianski, I think he could be an Arsenal keeper if he learns to deal with the pressure of first team football, which is hard to do without getting games. We can’t afford him playing right now, so I’d loan him out and hope he rebuilds confidence and concentration in a less pressure filled environment. He has skills but not the mentality right now.

    In the mean time why not bring in an experienced keeper and have Almunia fight from no. 2. In a couple of years Fab, Mannone and Chesney can fight for top spot, hopefully.

    But for next season, I don’t think we do ourselves a favor just relying on the current crew.

  134. LG – Can’t get fairer than that. If we can get someone in who’s better than Almunia, they should be snapped up straight away. I would be very surprised if Fabianski turns into the top quality keeper that we need. Maybe, as you say, a loan spell will sort him out. It’ll be interesting to see who AW has been looking at in the GK department. None spring to mind that could come in and do a job (speaking english) instantly and instill the much needed confidence at the back… Obviously they will need to cost less than £20,000,000 or it would never happen.

    BTW Randell – I’ve been to 27 games. Not many compared to some but I’d bet a lot of money it is more than you (judging by the age your comments suggest you are).

  135. Randell

    You really are a tiresome little fuckwit. Stop changing your posting name from Romni last week, Fhazzok, Conrad Gustin, Angel and I couldn’t be bothered to look for anything else. Not that it makes any difference because I cannot see one comment you have made that added anything to a debate other than a lot of posts telling you to fuck off.


  136. What do you think of Hart? I’m not convinced that he’s any better than what we’ve got already.

  137. Has anyone elses formatting of the page gone a bit strange? Is it a new look YW?

  138. Alex Ice Cream


    I agree with you. I don’t think that Hart is the man we need.

  139. yeah same things happened to me. Why YW?

  140. thought the old one was better. oh well,,, on to blackburn,,, i hope players like eastmond, vela and merida get a start.

    Emanuel thomas scored again for doncaster..

  141. The lesson is to ignore the children and don’t bite when they come fishing with attention seeking bile. Nothing works better than the cold shoulder.

    Please its embarrassing when you see pages of name calling after a spud fan comes in to stir it up. Don’t give them what they want.

    Did Randell actually just say ‘he started it’? FFS

  142. Randell your jokes are almost as bad as James’s…. What just annoys me about our keepers is that almunia and fabianski are actually very good, they’re brilliant shot-stoppers, but lack the confidence in big situations and unnatural goalkeeping saves..i think they need to adapt to different situations better, but the fact remains sznezny is the only ‘keeper who will become great out of our existing ‘keepers..

  143. Limestonegunner

    Too bad Zim Paul is away but his list at 2:13 was interesting.

    “Let’s work our way down the list. Are we world beaters yet? No. Are we EPL contenders? Yes, obviously, with the caveat that both injuries and a lack of self-belief (exactly what Sol said, and he knows, I am a SKB) deflect this. Are we better than last year? Yes obviously, by a distance I would say, but yes. Are we in a better position regarding player depth, potential, outlook than before? Probably the best in our history, but simply yes, we are. Are we in imminent danger of going downhill, taking a backward step, for example losing our CL status? No, we are not.

    To point two: Yes we contended for the title this season and barring injuries and/or a striker and goal keeper in January would have had a really strong chance to win. Self belief was lacking but importantly this can also come from some actual success–you can’t keep believing if it never works out otherwise that’s likely to become delusion. However, the top three ahead of us from last year were quite a bit weaker this season and several of those behind us quite a bit stronger. We are getting more experienced but also more experienced not actually winning–hopefully that will change next season.

    Question 3, on our improvement over last year. Yes we are better than last year but let’s not exaggerate by how much. There has been progress by individual players and we hope there will be more but there have also been some plateaus in development as well. And the team has some persistent weaknesses that need to be addressed. These have been subjects here before. How confident are we that we will avoid the level of injuries that has plagued us the last three seasons and what will be done to prepare for their seeming inevitability? What can/will be done to bolster defense not only in players but in scheme or system–it seems we aren’t so effective here.

    5) Danger of going downhill or losing CL spot: I wouldn’t be so casual about this point. Man City is improving very quickly with the money they have and if they achieve fourth this year they will be able to attract an even higher caliber of player than the mercenaries they have now and perhaps a top coach/manager better than Mancini (who isn’t bad himself). Tottenham, Villa, Liverpool might all improve next year as well. I don’t think it is likely that we will be overtaken but it shouldn’t just be taken for granted by standing still this summer.

    I am optimistic that this summer will see some changes and be quite interesting. Frankly, I think Arsene Wenger has realized that some improvements need to be made. There is clearly more money available than in some previous years for some valuable and necessary additions, and if our development as a team continues to progress without excessive injuries we haven’t prepared for, we may be ending this drought of trophies next year. Once we experience such heights I expect this young team to be infused with a really winning mentality that might see us doing a CL/PL double in the next few years.

  144. new formatting is shit

    sack yogi and buy up someone with some real international quality!

    perez hilton?

  145. I completly agree with geo, aic you were made to look like a pr*ck mate, you seaweed.

  146. my formatting is back to normal..

  147. Word

    Paris Hilton has enough experience of some things but football is not one of them…oh, sorry Perez Hilton.


  148. Formatting is going to change from tomorrow, there is a tweak to iron out first.


  149. That’s better YW, we don’t like change round these parts 😉

    Joe Hart – his chavvy hairstyle was the nail in the coffin for me… He looked good (and i don’t mean aesthetically) when he started playing in the first team at City, but apart from a couple of games where he’s looked impressive, he doesn’t seem to have progressed as much as expected. Maybe i’m being harsh, but i will be disappointed if he is deemed the answer to our GK problems.

  150. I hope the players realise what hurt they’ve cause the fans more than anything, we go to work depressed while they have 5million pound houses…

    Nothing other than a win against blackburn please.


  151. Nice, cheers Zap.

    Why the new look YW? Bored? I really like the current format, nice fonts, easy to navigate etc…

  152. They’re gonna get nailed by our 2nd string team. Can’t wait. We are overdue a win, let’s start with the Walrusses cloggers and a fine performance from the young Pole.

  153. Limestonegunner

    YW, new format was easier on the eyes, came in a bigger font in Mozilla. I liked it!

  154. It’ll be interesting to see whether the best team in the world can get to the final of the Champions League tonight.

  155. Oops, my mistake. The best team in the world isn’t playing. It’s f*cking Barcelona instead.

  156. sad thing is paris hilton probably knows more about football than some of the mugs on here today 😦

    she could certain confirm ronaldo has a tiny package but tbh who needs confirmation of that?

  157. I don’t believe El Chipolata has a tiny package. He’s all prick.

  158. how in the world can they allow man city to sign an emergency keeper simply because their first two choices are out?

    didnt we play mannone, supposedly our third choice?

    fucking hell, the epl is corrupt.

  159. It falls under the criteria of ‘extreme circumstances’ apparently. Who the fuck decides that? Sounds more like extreme bad management to me.

    A tremendously unfair and frankly unlawful decision.

  160. Limestonegunner

    No. 7, Do you think Arsenal even asked the FA? I think Almunia was mostly dropped with an injury excuse–that lung infection lasted a very long time. Different circumstances, which isn’t to deny that the FA is corrupt. It is and they shouldn’t get another keeper.

  161. Whoops sorry wrong site

  162. Where the fuck am I?

  163. Something has interfered with my….good lord

  164. Oh I see

  165. TOO BIG!

    Come on, which of the geriatrics on here suggested this font size?

    It’ll take half an hour to scroll past one of Joe’s posts now.

  166. You’ve been fannying around with the site haven’t you, YW?

  167. told you those value pack beans were no good frank….

  168. Great I can dispense with my magnifying glass.

  169. Don’t need my Dennis Taylor’s either. Blessed relief. You are a kind man, YW.

  170. Limestonegunner

    OOU, I didn’t ask for it but I can’t complain about the font size change. The line is longer though, so you can scroll past Joe!

  171. Everything has become sort of… untethered.

    Are we at the end of all things?

  172. You’re right about the line being longer, but I’m sure I could read more posts without scrolling before.

  173. That was to LG.

  174. lolo,, amusing to see the commotion caused by this change. And not just joe, what about dave’s rants? Along with bigger text his capitals will be just too much…

    spare a thought for our neighbours barnet, who will probably be going down. hope they remain in the football league where they belong,.

  175. I was just being silly, I’m sure I’ll get used to it with time and medication.

    Hopefully the change will confuse Dave and force him to rethink his life.

  176. Soooo….confused…..

  177. the end is nigh

  178. CTRL & – makes the text smaller – working on getting the print smaller in the meantime


  179. [Limestonegunner for the win @ 3:46pm]

  180. I really hope Inter get trounced tonight.

    I do have a small allegiance to Barcelona, but it pales into insignificance compared to my contempt for Mourinho. He turns everything into a circus with these matches.

    And the football that his sides turn out is just so dull. I don’t see how any neutral can root for his team.

  181. Can’t we just get a 7’6″ retired basket ball player to be our GK. I mean they have great ball handling skills and will find dealing with crosses a walk in the park. As for shot stopping, honestly more often than not the ball is hit right at the keeper. So with a little off-season training I am sure they will do fine!!! There are lots of these players out there, why not stick one in goal in the Carling Cup and see what happens 🙂

  182. Whether we like it or not, you can’t judge a player fully from two or three appearances spread out over a few months. Goalkeepers, more than any other position, need that match fitness. Fabianski has hardly played this season at ANY level, let alone 1st team. I think it is ridiculous to expect him to jump in and impress from the start.

    The more appropriate question is “does he have potential?”, and if so, then “should he get 1st team games with Arsenal or out on loan?”. I think you have to say he has potential. We’ve seen him handle plenty of shots without any problems. He distributes very well. The mistakes he’s made (you cannot blame him for Porto’s 2nd – the ref never should have given the ball to Porto and allowed them take a quick free-kick) have been on easy, almost too easy, balls where he just seemed a bit slow and undecisive. That is pretty standard for a ‘keeper that hasn’t played for awhile.

    I’d keep Fabianski and send him out on loan, to begin with just until Christmas. The kid has got to play for a judgement to be made. It would be unfair to base everything on a few games where he has been dropped into the team suddenly. Either that or you say Fabianski is going to be our no.1 next season. And that is very, very risky. But I’d rather they did that than sell the kid before we know what kind of player he can be.

    The question then is whether you buy an experienced ‘keeper that can keep the gloves for a couple of seasons, or pay loads of money for a hotshot young ‘keeper like Lloris or Akinfeev?

  183. Inter look a typical Maureen Yo team.

  184. Sergio’s an cheating bastard!

    But then we already knew that.

  185. “a”

  186. I hate Barca!!! If I had any respect after the second leg its all gone now.

  187. Come on Inter, 1 goal and its a done deal.

    Stinkin, cheatin Barca!!

  188. Hannah Tolliver

    Hey there, I happen to run across your site and have some ideas that will benefit you and your reader. Please email me to find out more. THANKS!!!!!


  189. wow…an oscar for that performance

  190. They wanted to kill Eduardo over the “dive”, doesnt this kind of acting deserve to be dealt with restrospectively?

  191. What a shit game this is

  192. For all the style of barca they dont half roll about the diving little b@stards. That play acting stinks..I hope Inter stink the game out and park the bus all evening.

  193. For real, this game is wack yo!

  194. I think there is going to be a massive punch up at the end of this game.

  195. Yeah, it really puts the Eduardo incident into perspective.

    Despite that, it’s anyone but Mourinho for me.

  196. Barca is not good against people who park the bus, at all. Watching Inter play, I wonder if maybe we shouldve sat back and used the counter. I know thats not our style but I think we had the pace to beat them that way.

  197. OOU, Barca and the fans are way too smug for me, I want them out and hopefully Real can get them for the league. Humility is in order!!

  198. “it’s anyone but Mourinho for me.”

    Me too, but sadly I think he’s got this one wrapped up, I can only hope that Bayern are up for it in the final.

  199. Yes, Bayern it is!!

  200. did you see the guy peaking through his fingers to see what the ref was going to do.
    They have no class at all, Barca!!

  201. I’d hate to see us parking the bus, Paul. That’s not what we’re about. I’m glad we went toe to toe with them.

  202. It’s mostly just Busquets, Paul. He’s got a reputation for that kind of thing.

    It should come back to haunt him sooner or later though.

  203. I’m surprised we invited Celtic for the Emirates Cup after what they did with Eduardo.

  204. OOU, they were all diving when the played us.

    I dont mean to park the bus as what Inter or Chelsea do but more about being patient. I wouldnt say that United Park the bus but they are patient and good on the counter.

  205. 1 loose cannon

    That was not a red card at all, very soft, yellow at best. We suffered at hand of the ref in the Nou camp as well, they seem to favour Barcelona. But it will not make a difference to Milan they were playing with 10 anyway, Milito had nothing to do. Inter are simply cannot take on Barcelona with football so parking the bus is what they do best.If they make it through it will be the best defencive display in C.league. no team should be proud for parking the bus but Mourinho does not give a shit.

  206. One shot on target in 61 minutes

  207. “I’m surprised we invited Celtic for the Emirates Cup after what they did with Eduardo.”

    It’s a political move as far as I can see. Sometimes you have to play the game. The Scots are clearly very influential at UEFA, we had Glasgow Rangers over last season, so we have to balance that out by inviting Celtic. Arsenal are pragmatists, they might not be happy, but they know how to play the game. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. You never know when you might need allies for a fight, so you swallow your disgust and do what you have to do.

  208. Well, that’s another matter, Paul.

    I’m not sure we had the personnel to play that game at the Nou Camp. Perhaps if Gallas, Song, RvP, Cesc and Arshavin had been fit…

    Watching this game, I wonder how Barcelona would cope away to Stoke.

  209. Great control there by Pique.

  210. Good goal for real!

  211. “Watching this game, I wonder how Barcelona would cope away to Stoke.”

    They wouldn’t! We had been tenderized by the PL thugs, so by the time we faced Barca we had very little left in the tank, but still they had to play out of their skins to beat us. I firmly believe that our best 11 against theirs in both games we would have won that round, because not only can we play football, but our experience in the PL means we are also a lot tougher and fitter than we are given credit for.

  212. True, we just didnt have our players, nothing couldve been done about that.

    I also doubt Barca could deal with the rough and tumble of the PL week in and week out.

  213. 1 loose cannon

    I think Pique was offside but has scored a wonderful goal. Inter are really under a lot of pressure now.

  214. What a load of rubbish that was.

  215. ha ha, dups! yes that was a waste of time except for team that went through. What a bore!

  216. So Arsenal is still on course to become the first team to retain the Champions League.

  217. Despite what you may think of the manager, that was an excellent performance by Internazionale: defensive discipline, understanding perfectly their instructions and getting their share of luck, good and bad. Lots to admire as well as criticise but Barcelona did not deserve to win. A shame the manager is getting the plaudits as the players deserve the praise.

  218. You have to give it to Mourinho, theres a man who knows how to win things

  219. Barcelona were crap, over both legs actually. We may not like the style of Inter but the fact is that Barca doesnt really know what to do about it. With 11, I could have seen an Inter Goal.

    I just want Barca followers to show some humility, they are forced to now.

  220. Fascinating. Any top-ten team in the premier league could have done beter than Barcelona did tonight. I suppose they’ll blame it on Messi not being able to play.

    Yaya Toure is officially the worst player in world football. Luckily for him, he didn’t have a chance to show how bad he is in defence, as Inter never attacked. Nevertheless, he was able to demonstrate his matchless incompetence at long-range shooting, and also his ability to get his hand to the ball when it is blasted at him from a couple of metres away.

  221. 1 loose cannon

    Paul N- Ive watched barcelona this season and they get an easy ride in la liga, I wonder how they can cope in the Premiership getting knocked and bruised week in week out.
    That was a defensive master class. The Barca fans were simply useless, maybe spoiled, they were quite the entire game up until Pique scored. The last 10 was the most exciting part of the game, the rest was simply Barca players kicking the ball against a wall. They had no plan B at all.

  222. This is the way to play Barca, stifle them all the way. Inter didnt have to kick them like what happens in the PL, just give them no room in the middle of the park as they like us are not good from crosses.

    I am not mad at Mourinho at all.

  223. agreed 1Lc

  224. I agree that we’d have won with a few more players fit, Passenal.

    It’s going to be a defensive, dull as ditchwater World Cup. I can see it now.

  225. Barca werent crap. Inter were brilliant. Mourinho sets up his teams so well. He knows how to win the big games better than any other manager. Most teams crumble at the new camp and end up looking like fools, inter werent scared at all

  226. I am impressed, they would not allow Messi any pretty crap but they didnt over committ as far as going upfield to get the ball back. Very shrewd defending with 10.

  227. Barca were crap!

  228. Inter were also very good, I am not discounting that but if you think Barca were good in this match, someting wrong!

  229. OOU

    They always are…


  230. 1 loose cannon

    They’ve showed a clip of Pedro peeking through his hands while rolling on the floor to see if Motta is sent off. Its very funny. Can anyone get that clip?

  231. nice insight on celtic passenal

    barca would prob finsh more like 5-6th in premier league I reckons

  232. Yeah, but I got my hopes up after 2008, YW. The defensive teams are back with a vengeance.

  233. These Barca morons thought they could out dirty the dirty one. Hahahahahahaha!!!!

  234. that was NOT football.

  235. my predictions.

    Bayern Munich to win CL….but everyone will be asleep when that happens

    Man U to win the premiership

    Portsmouth to win the FA cup

    Villa to get 4th

  236. deano, you hate Chelsea dont you?

  237. It’s no wonder Guardiola was so astonished by the way his team played at the Emirates.

  238. barca vs inter has been a proper opinion spliter, which has been interesting…

    sided with inter in the end despite prior logic. barca were so hypocritical with the play acting. wouldn’t be accepted in the UK. barca had so much possesion tho, dont think i’ve ever seen a game so one sided.

  239. Barcelona did out-dirty Mourinho, but they still couldn’t win. There was plenty of cheating on both sides.

  240. Randell has a crush on Jose Mourinho.

    The reason Inter went through is because they have mastered the art of parking the bus. I wouldn’t call that display a master class in defending, I’d call it being adept at something you do all the time.

    This is why I’m going with Bayern in the final. Jose can’t possibly park the bus in a final, can he?

  241. paul N

    Yes i realy do.

  242. 3 ref decisions gave Mourinho the tie.

    Offside Milito goal.

    Peno on Alves not given

    Bojan’s goal was valid, shouldnt have been overruled

    Nobody will mention that.

  243. Inter played the spoiler brilliantly. They got out of the dressing room last, Julio Cesar took a month and a half to take a goal kick, Lucio ran thirty yards to take his free kicks and they broke up play every chance they got. So, no. They didn’t out dirty the dirty one at all.

  244. Well said Passenal!

    I thought that was like watching Arsenal in the EPL.

  245. Ole, how many poor off-side decisions did Inter have in the first leg? And that laugh of a red card trumps all of those three by a mile.

  246. Gainsbourg69,

    It didn’t change the game much, the red card. Inter had 10 men behind the ball anyways….

    3 decisions that directly impacted the result.

  247. Tee hee. It’s a bad day for all those Arsenal fans who were lauding Barcelona as the greatest team ever.

  248. ole

    In general, but especialy after this CL campaign, football officiating has been shown to be utterly broken and incompetent.

  249. I still despise maureen-ho, but I acknowledge that it is his privilege as manager to choose to win at any cost over aesthetics. To each his own, I guess.

  250. I’m enjoying this.

  251. Barca know what it feels like to get the breaks, as they did against Chelsea last season. Such is life.

  252. Me and you both PZ!! I am SOOOOOO glad that Barca are out.

    “Best team ever” and all this bull!!

  253. Mourinho gave young Guardiola a lesson in tactics.

  254. Paul N,

    But last season, on balance in that tie, the decisions were even.

    Ballack should have been sent off at Camp Nou. Peno on Henry not given. Abidal wrongly sent off….

  255. Barca are the best team in the world. No hiding from that.

  256. Jose is the special one

  257. jose has a special bus he loves parking everywhere

  258. I hate Barca, but Mourinho is a total prick, even after winning. Taunting the home crowd and disrespecting your former employer. I rather loose every match than win one trophy with this f$@*a%s.

    Randall, romni (or whatever name you decide to hide your spud identity) deserves a coach like Mourinho.

  259. OG, the only team that has been hard done by in the CL is Arsenal. I dont feel sorry for Barca.

    Sending offs dont gaurantee a win one way or the other.

    Anyway, its not even about that, I was tired of the Barca fans gloating and everyone talking about this being the greatest team while discounting our injuries. Add the diving to that and i was dont with Barca!!

  260. OG, Barca has to prove that. Beating a hampered Arsenal in tthe CL is not enough. If they dont win their league will they still be the best team?

  261. I hate Barca, but Mourinho is a total prick, even after winning. Taunting the home crowd and disrespecting your former employer. I rather loose every match than win one trophy with this f$@*a%s.

  262. Deano, Jose’s bus is full of special throphys

  263. F*ck off Romni.

  264. Paul N,

    It seems we showed them too much respect, and we got the tactics wrong in the 1st leg.

    And the injuries didnt help.

  265. ‘Taunting the home crowd and disrespecting your former employer’

    notlager dont be such a girl, it was great entertainment

  266. randell, joses bus was sold to him for the blood of one thousand children by Lucifer and runs on the ground down bones of endangered species.

    It only serves to inflate an already repulsivley large ego catostrophic proportions. And bores everybody who watches it to the point of despair.

    Yes he wins trophies…but dont kid yourself its for playing football.

  267. Paul N,

    I think Barca have proved they’re the best in the world. They even have the trophies to prove it.

  268. Romni you spud feck off.

  269. anyone know the email address to contact YW?

  270. “‘Taunting the home crowd and disrespecting your former employer’

    notlager dont be such a girl, it was great entertainment”

    Bet that wasn’t your reaction when Adebayor did it, was it Randell.

  271. OG, you mean overall? cannot disagree there but they will have to do something this season to sure that up.

    We did show them too much respect, way too much. I dont think they would have beat us in the second leg if we had our player and they also had all of their best. For me a fully fit Arsenal is the best team in the world. Obviously I am biased but I really believe that.

  272. Els,

    Randell is a known troll using multiple user names like Romni to hide his spud identity, just ask YW.
    Sad looser, don’t waste your time.

  273. No one can be the best forever, If Barca dont win anything this season do they still hold the title of best team? I dont think so!
    Ole , When you look at both legs the refereeing desision were all together crap for both teams.
    Inter scored 3, barca 2 , Inter went through, as much as I hate the special one he knows how to win a game of football. I bet if Arsenal had done the same and gone through with the same score line every one on here would be commending them on being able to get the goals and shut up shop.. No!

  274. But Jonesy,

    3 decisions that directly affected the result!

    They showed a lot of pluck, Inter. They played well in the first leg, but they’ve gotten a lot of help from the officials

  275. We need the special one

  276. If the special needs one could do it on a limited budget, whilst actually playing football as Arsene has had to do for the last few years, I might feel differently about him, but in actual fact there is a huge gap between the reality and the hype.

  277. Passenal, he is the greatest manager in modern day football

  278. Is Hopkirk your new user name Romni?

  279. Passenal,

    Of course there is. Ancelotti for example has won more in the same period with much less.

    Not to talk of winning trophies when he’s by far the strongest team in the league. In England it was while Man Utd and Arsenal transitioned, at Porto and Inter they were by far the strongest and richest team in the league already and they’d won trophies before him.

    Most top managers would win from the same position.

  280. He is the special one. Show some respect and be quiet

  281. 1 loose cannon

    Do I admire Mourinho for getting a result with 10 men against a top side? Yes. Would i like to see him at Arsenal? absolutely not. His football is crap. But I’m happy he knocked Barcelona out, as much as they are a wonderful team they are also arrogant and treat everyone else with disrespect, They’ve been unsettling our players for years with their antics so the less successful they are the better for us. I remember clearly the way they behaved prior to the final with us in 2006, They’ve publicly chased Thierry the same way they’ve been chasing Fabregas now. Barcelona DNA and all that crap.
    They switched the sprinklers on were the Milan players were celebrating. How pathetic is that? they also had a fire works display during the night outside Inter’s hotel. No class.

  282. I think Hopkirk (or whatever ID he normally uses) is a real special one. I hope he keeps taking his medication.

  283. So I think we are all inagreement when I say Come On Bayern!!!

    Mourinho is a big pain in the ass, never shuts up and pisses me off no end. Just exactly how many trophies has he won? I would hazard a guess that Arsene has won more.

  284. What a load of bollocks!! He isn’t the special one, he’s a very annoy prick!

    Just to clarify Thiago Motta’s foul on Sergio was easily a yellow card. If that was Song in the Champions League would any of you really be surprised if he got a yellow for a hand going up to the other guys face? No. Why? Because that’s how it is in Europe. We all accept it and try to act accordingly. Motta was an idiot. Simple as. So with that in mind did the sending off affect the game? No. Motta was already on a yellow and should have been sent off in any case. No difference what so ever.

    And before the entire British media starts to salivate over that Inter performance, it wasn’t a master class in defending. In fact that wasn’t even football. I don’t know what it was but it wasn’t football. You want to see a master class in defending, go and watch the first leg of the Arsenal v AC Milan game from the other season. Now that was truly masterful defending. AC defended fantastically against an opponent that attacked with pace, precision and purpose (which is more than could be said of Barca). But they also tried to play football. They showed more pride and more courage than this Inter side. Inter didn’t even bother to hold on to possession, they were so negative.

    Inter were fucking awful, but Barca actually managed to be worse. No heart, desire, urgency; nothing. Barca were robbed by the handball decision against Toure, and yet the simple fact is that they didn’t deserve to go through. Now I’m convinced that Barca are living on their reputation. Even with all the injuries that we had we could have beaten this Barca side.

    And the play acting from both sides was utterly pathetic. Which brings me nicely on to the subject of the officiating in this game. What a completely shambolic display. I can’t believe that this is the level of officiating in what is supposed to be the highest platform for club football in Europe (which pretty much means the world). Did any one notice the throw in that was first awarded to the wrong side, then turned in to a free kick and finally a drop ball, near the end of the game? There was no discernible reason for any of it.

    There wasn’t a single redeeming thing in that entire game. As if all that wasn’t enough I had to watch that arrogant cunt prance around on the pitch, celebrating afterwards. Truly soul destroying stuff. We need to make sure that we win this thing next year so that Europe has a champion that is actually worthy of being called a champion. A team of passion, heart, class and attacking verve. We did ourselves an injustice by not beating Barcelona.

    Oh, and while I’m at it……. Randell…..Hopkirk…..Howard……Fuck off!

  285. Mongolian Gooner

    @1 loose cannon, 10:00pm

  286. hahhaahaha lol!!! Mongolian Gooner that just somes up Continental football for me and is the main reason I can never sit down and watch a Serie A match or a La Liga match. They are full of diving and rolling around in agony, only to be up and running again as soon as the free kick is given. Although I must admit Dutch football is still worth watching.

    Serk Da Turk – Well fucking said mate!! We showed Barca way too much respect and we paid the price for it in the end. Mourinho as usual showed no respect whatsoever and look what happens, Barca get creamed in the first round and then Inter park the bus, tough shit Barca, just a pity it was Him that beat you. Go Bayern!!

  287. Well said Turk and 1lc

  288. I agree with Passenal.

  289. Well, well, well…

    Predictable result. Barcelona are not the best team in the world…that is just football hype. In fact they are not even the most gracious club either. Apart from the shenanigans on the pitch, they are financially doped, and they clearly attempt to destabilise other clubs, their treatment of away supporters is abominable. The reason Josie Maureen appeared to be goading the home fans is that Barcelona place away fans on the highest tier, above several layers of Barcelona fans.

    Grotesque club…

    As for Inter’s defending, they had no choice. But the quality of it was no better than the Spuds against us the other week. When so called top clubs start parking the bus football is in trouble, until someone finds the key to unlock that particular strategy. I know a club who can do that….injuries allowing.

  290. Celtic are a fucking disgrace and should not be allowed anywhere near The Arsenal Stadium. As far as I am concerned they are not welcome….

  291. Masterclass or not, it was very good defending. Barcelona certainly couldn’t have done as well, especially since they needed their best defender to create chances up front. Perhaps I should say, they needed their best defender and the linesman to create chances up front.

  292. I think we probably caught Barcelona at their peak. The timing couldn’t have been worse because we were losing players all over the place.

    In recent weeks they’ve been looking a bit tired. They barely created a chance away to Espanyol, who came out and attacked them, on the weekend before the first leg against Inter.

    And I was low last night, and didn’t think of this, YW – wasn’t the ’86 World Cup a feast of attacking football? It was before my time, but I’ve read about the Denmark team. You also had France, Brazil, USSR and Argentina weren’t bad going forward either.

    I thought France ’98 was a decent spectacle. ’02 less so. While the last one started out well, but grew increasingly tiresome as Italy made their way through the rounds.

  293. Puppy Guardiola still has a lot to learn about football.

  294. what a stinker of a game. I have no sympathy for Barca or Inter just Messi…being surrounded by lesser mortals and a big Italian bus, World footbaaller of the year seems a bit harder without the medals…Remember when Thierry had the season of his life only to be pipped by Fabio Cannavaro…that was a crime.

    Looking at this game its clear Barca were offended that we could even claim to emulate their style hence they put in a performance aimed at humiliating the Arsenal faithful and obliterate us and our ideas but we held firm. I am also convinced that had we been abel to field a stronger team against the worlds best. The outcome would have been different.

    As for Mpurinho. He is a c@nt!. He builds teams on huge transfer budgets, thinks only aboit instant gratification and no long term plan. What other clown would insult the country and league that has given him the opportunity to shine. Trust me when he wins the trophy he will be calling himself the greatest. Total class.

  295. I enjoyed watching Barca desperately trying to break down the 8-behind-the-ball defence, Messi searching for the chink, and realised how good Arsenal are and have been at this. I can bet Arsenal would have found the way through. Aside from that and some crisp passing (I do like the ball control) the match was dull, dull, dull.

    Barca were bereft of ideas, and showed everyone how they can be undone from here onwards.

    Mourinho is outstanding at tactical defending and in a special category of the despised. Chelsea should have kept him, they go so well together.

  296. OOU

    Judging by your maths, every 12 years we get a decent World Cup which means this one might be OK.

    Hardly a testimony to The Greatest Show On Earth


  297. That’s probably true, PZ.

    Now when we’ll find out if he’s much more than a disciplinarian and motivator.

    He inherited a great, if unruly, squad and instilled a work ethic while promoting a couple of the guys he worked at Barca B. If Barcelona fall short in the league as well this season then we’ll soon see how well he can build a team of his own.

    Whatever happens he can forget about recruiting from Arsenal!

  298. I’ve never seen a World Cup I didn’t like. The last one was amongst the best. Those of you who don’t enjoy them could perhaps apply to your Prime Minister for permission not to watch.

  299. There are reports on the internet that Puppy Guardiola accidentally left his microphone on when he left the post-match press conference. He was recorded talking with Joan Laporta, the club president.

    Guardiola: That was a disaster…should never have put me with that Maureen woman. Whose idea was that?

    Laporta: I don’t know.

    Guardiola: Michelle’s I think. Just ridiculous.

    Laporta: What did she say?

    Guardiola: Everything, she was just a sort of arrogant woman who said she used to be Barcelona.

  300. 1 loose cannon

    Mongolian Gooner- Thanks for the link. I thought it was Pedro doing the peek-a-boo, its actually Biscuits .Priceless. The mighty Barcelona resorted to a peek-a- boo game ha ha ha ha.

  301. I think Holland could be the ones to watch this year. Apparently RVP, Sneijder, Van der Vaart and Robben have been making noises in the dutch press that they want to play together. So then you’d have Van Bommel or De Jong in front of the defence and 4 of the best attacking midfielders and forwards around playing ahead of them. That’s quite an excting lineup. They may not win it but they’ll certainly entertain the watching world.

  302. Mourinho is an outstanding coach.The best around at the moment.In fact his greatest achievement is not what he has done at Chelsea and Inter but winning the CL with Porto

    We cannot complain about Inters tac-tics because we won trophies playing the same football under GG

    What Inter have a great back 4 and a brilliant keeper.Take note Arsene

  303. 1 loose cannon

    I would love the dutch to win it, they gave us some wonderful football over the years its a shame they haven’t won the WCup yet.

  304. I am supporting Holland too

  305. If Almunia had committed as rashly as César did last night for the Barcelona goal, he’d have been pilloried on here.

  306. Hup Holland Hup!

  307. 1 loose cannon

    The Barca loving people are simply stupid for criticizing Mourinho’s tactics. Do they really expect Inter to attack with 10 men and get walloped 6-nil. Arsenal has suffered at hand of Inter-like teams in the premiership and from a selfish point of view I would moan about it, then I realised it up to us to break them down and this season we found a way to beat the smaller defensive teams but lost the defensive discipline against the top teams. Next season we’ll find the right balance

  308. Mourinho has proved once again that he is the special one. Barcelona were out-psyched with his comments about there obsession. the way they unsettled us, he unsettled them. he is the greatest big game manager in the world. You dont have to like him to admit he is the special one.

  309. Inter had a two goal lead. If Puppy Guardiola was more tactically astute, he would have realised that conceding three goals in the first leg of a tie is not the best way to guarantee an open game in the second. Still, that kind of insight can only come with many years experience of management.

  310. 1LC,

    The game did not change from before the 10 men to after!

    Inter’s game plan was the same and did not change. So you can’t use the red card to justify the cyincal approach.

  311. Well said Poli at 10.04. I LOVE the world cup!!

  312. True, Hopkirk. You have to love him to admit he is the special one.

  313. How could anyone not enjoy the world cup? Its just amazing. Even if your country isnt there you still get completey hooked. Its pure football with the highest stakes possible

  314. 1 loose cannon

    Ole- The game was terrible, I’m in no way in favour of such atrocious tactics, but we have to accept these teams do exist and they will continue to exist unless it become illegal to defend for 90 minutes. So, what the answer? do you go the other team and asked them politely not to park the bus in front of goal or you just get on with it and find a way to blow them away? I believe the best equipped team are the ones who have a bit of both, defensive discipline and flair to go with it. So Barcelona is not a complete team as everyone made out. They won it last season because the referee handed it to them at Stamford bridge, so they cannot moan about referee decisions, you win some you lose some.

  315. just kidding. Did not see mongoliangoones link up there

  316. Alex Ice Cream


    I often agree with your footballing analysis but to say that the game did not change after the sending off is not correct.

    11 on 11 there was at least the possibility of as breakaway Inter goal which would have concerned Barca. This possibility vanished with the sending off: Inter’s threat was nullified. Barac no longer had to worry.

    It also meant that Mourinho could not alter the tactics to be more attacking if he wanted or needed to and it meant a change of positions for certain players – Etoo playing left midfield for example.

    The Inter players would get more tired playing with 10 men as the game wore on which would affect their energy levels.

  317. AIC, exactly. Inter were away from home, down to ten men, and held there shape brilliantly. If we had half of there defensive abilities we’d stand a chance of winning a big tournament

  318. Alex Ice Cream


    As much as I have misgivings about some of Mourinho’s method’s I have to agree about how good Inter were defensively. Defensively Arsenal are a shambles and could never see out a game like Inter did last night. We can only win by attacking and if this does not work, we lose.

    Samuel, Lucio and Cambiasso especially were fantastic. There was play acting by Lucio in particular but Barca are also prone to doing this with the vile Busquets the worst offender. Barca kept diving against us and I glad that they are out.

    The resolve they showed was also commendable.

  319. ha, looks like man shitty are looking to get rid of ade already! apparently the fans never warmed to him…. sounds familiar.

    also looks like Stephen Ireland is up for sale…. wonder how much? we dont really have a position for him but he would not be a bad addition by any means… any takers?

  320. 1 loose cannon

    Harsh- I found my own my own link for Biscuits Peek-a-Boo but not as good as yours and Mangiolinagooner

    Anyone else who hasn’t seen it
    Peek-a-booooo LOL

  321. Barcelona should be banned from next years tournament for the sprinkler incident. It was absolutely disgracefull.

  322. Inter lost yesterday against Barca.

    Arsenal have shown in the past that they can win even with 10 men down. We’re on the right way. It’s easier to destroy than being creative.

  323. 1 loose cannon

    Word-its strange Stephen Ireland was rated a 20 million + player not long ago when he was awesome. I don’t think he will fit in our team we have a lot of midfielders of his kind, but a very good player.

  324. But the hardest thing to do is win the tournament playing the teams that inter have faced. Alot of teams could pass the ball the around to no effect, whats the point in that? Inter deserve huge credit.

  325. notlager, I think you’ll find Inter won the game and are in the champions league final

  326. Hopkrik or should I say Romni or Randall, after the CL final you will change your name again.

  327. forget ireland actually – I’ve just seen his cars…

  328. They are in the CL final, but they lost yesterday.

    After the CL final you will change your name again, Randall.

  329. notlager, they drew yesterday at the camp nou, a place were most teams get schooled. What is your point? That you dont think winning is good because, convieniently, the team you support cannot win anything?

    We should learn from Inter, not put them down, they were fantastic

  330. I am really curious to see how we respond to the new squad rules.
    It seems like we’ll end up having a lot more of the Merida type situations and can see younger players demanding more playing time/better contract extensions when the richer clubs come searching for “home grown” talent. Wenger is usually good at managing our youngsters but matching the deals offered by the likes of Man city and chelsea and the likes is going to get harder seeing the kind of 21 and under talent we have….
    Seeing the instant gratification approach employed by Man City….I can see them raiding other clubs for young talent instead of patiently building a youth academy like wenger has done. Im proud of the great talent thats yet to be seen in the first team.

  331. It’s clear you didn’t watch the game yesterday, Randell.

    Why should I admire a team like Inter? They parked the bus even though they had a comfortable lead in the first leg. Compare this with Bayern’s attacking game against Lyon. If every team adopted Jose’s style no one would watch football anymore.

  332. well, what inter did well yesterday was to apply pressure without commiting. this is something we can learn. pressing systematically and in a controlled manner.

    what we tend to do is to commit and get beaten and get the rest of the guys behind in trouble.

  333. notlager, did you support Arsenal during George Grahams reign?

  334. GG played with two strikers most of the time.

  335. A Sp*d wouldn’t know that.

  336. Alex Ice Cream

    I wonder if all the Gooners who deride Inter were saying the same thing about us when Arsenal won the Cup Winner’s Cup in 1994 by defending stoutly against a superior Parma side and scoring a breakaway goal.

  337. I agree with with OleG, and those laughing at Barca.

    Busquet’s really is a zero-gravity footballer, but Inter were no better, they were diving all over the place before the sending off!

    Was it really a handball by Toure?

  338. Finsbury, it was still nick a goal and defend though wasnt it? I believe the horrible chant sung around the country was ‘Boring Boring Arsenal’ for years and years. But we won so it didnt matter what people said.

  339. That team against Parma didn’t fall over every time an opponent touched them.

    Alan Smith scored quite a good goal.
    ‘Breakaway’? No.

    1-0 to the Arsenal.

  340. You don’t seem to be able to remember that Cup Winners Final game very well.

  341. I suspect that Bayern Munich will beat Inter in the final, particularly if Schneider is unable to play.

  342. ..sorry Sneijder

  343. Alex Ice Cream


    Smith did score a great goal – more against the run of play than breakaway I agree. After that we defended brilliantly.

    We didn’t dive but I doubt that Parma did as much as either side yesterday.

  344. no7,

    I agree. We can improve our defensive play, that is to defend as a team, to balance our attacking style. This is something that can be teached. Luckily for us it’s harder to learn how to be creative.

  345. AIC,

    How do you expect fans to react the same way as neutrals?

    People hated us then for our football, and it was no surprise.

  346. Tomas Brolin would never survive in the modern game

  347. At the end of the day, Mourinhos brief when he signed for Inter was to win the champions league, and he looks like he could do it in his second season in charge, you dont have to like him to admit he is special.

  348. notlager

    Where do you think the 1-0 to the Arsenal song came from???? The way inter played last night was how GG’s team played from 92-95.With Wrighty upfront.And for older fans how we won the double in 71

  349. I don’t think Tomas Brolin was capable of diving.

    Not without damaging the ptch.

  350. <pitch

  351. Tony Pulis has written to the media asking to be called a tactical genius like Mourinho. Afterall, he uses the same tactics every week.

  352. No one here derided Inter’s game plan like the way you normally deride the Arsenal team, AIC.

  353. kenny, I imagine notlager has only been a fan during the Wenger era

  354. Alex Ice Cream


    Its a fair point but I can appreciate both attacking and great defending.

    People did hate us back then but people hate Mourinho as well.

  355. AIC,

    About the red card;

    I’m not saying there was no adverse effect to Inter from having just 10 men on the pitch.

    I’m merely saying, we saw in the 20 minutes before the red card, that Inter had come to put 10 men behind the ball.

    So we can’t say they were forced into catenaccio due to adversity

  356. I would rather watch Arsenal win 10 games 1-0 than win 9 games 5-0 and draw one

    Maybe next season we can park the bus v Chelsea and Man Utd and we maybe get something out of the games against them

  357. Alan Smith & Ian Wright were GG’s preferred and most successful attack.

    Occasionally he played a lone striker.

    It’s bizarre to see people come on this blog,
    and lie about it!

    Oh, not when you see the full logic of their debate:

    “I imagine X has only been a fan during the Wenger era”


  358. Alex Ice Cream


    Fair enough, Inter were defensive from the start but with a 3-1 lead and with Barca’s attacking potential and with Barca being at homecould you blame them?

  359. Naah. Arsene Wenger is special. Not Josie. Josie is a self-publicist…and a good manager.

  360. I’d rather see us win 10 games 5-0 than win 10 games 1-0.

    But it’s not the scoreline, it’s how much creativity you put into the game.

    I don’t understand why the likes of Stoke get so much stick when Mourinho does the same thing and that’s labelled genius.

  361. Alex Ice Cream


    You could make a case for Merson and Smith as well. Wright scored loads but Smith’s form suffered a bit after Wright joined and he scored fewer goals. Wright played a lot with Campbell as well.

    Smith and Campbell did very well at the end of 91 and Campbell’s goals were crucial in the run-in. 2 late ones v Leeds and one in a 2-2 draw with Citeh immediately spring to mind.

  362. Some of our fans are such snobs,Ole

    Inter are in the final, End of

    Copenhagen 94 we had won shot all game the goal and we beat a vastly superior team by brilliant defence.

    Most all all i want Arsenal to win i dont care how just win

  363. Finsbury, sorry pal but you’re the one who started calling people ‘spuds’ because they didnt agree with you. You are very defensive, try and have an open mind and chill out a little bit, its just a football debate.

  364. It isn’t a debate

  365. ..it is a pub conversation

  366. Alex Ice Cream


    Stoke don’t do it against Barca.

  367. AIC,

    So you’re saying, that GG usually played two forwards, correct?

  368. “I would rather watch Arsenal win 10 games 1-0 than win 9 games 5-0 and draw one”

    These do not ring true as the words of a football fan. Very suspect.

  369. Michael,

    Winning with style is the minimum required from a big club.

    But there’s the POV of the club fan, and there’s the POV of the football fan.

    I’m a football fan, and I’d rather see teams rewarded for taking the initiative, for creativity, and for innovation.

    If all teams played 10 men behind the ball, football will be rubbish. It’s what killed Serie A.

  370. AIC,

    But if Stoke played Barca, you can be sure they’d do it, AND NOBODY WOULD CALL TONY PULIS A GENIUS FOR IT!

  371. so what inter are in the final.they have been the Chelsea and Manchester city of Italia for years spending zillion for the last 15-20 years on million of player.They only dominate the crumbling Italian football for only 4 years.Nothing is amazing about Inter achievement

  372. Alex Ice Cream


    Of course. When did I say otherwise?

    I can’t ever remember GG playing one forward. Even when he used the sweeper system at the end of 1989 we still has Merse and Smith upfront.

  373. Alex Ice Cream



  374. I sang 1-nil to the Arsenal as much as anyone. Even this season, I was pleased as punch that we robbed all 3 points off Fulham earlier in the season.

    But that’s the perspective of a club fan. I want Arsenal to win period. But that’s not all, I want Arsenal to win and to play good football.

  375. Alex Ice Cream


    We all want Arsenal to win playing great football but sometimes its not possible.

    Surely you would prefer us to win say, the CL playing less than stellar football on occasions than not winning it at all.

    Our CL run in 06 was based on 10 clean sheets.

  376. AIC, you said,

    “I wonder if all the Gooners who deride Inter were saying the same thing about us when Arsenal won the Cup Winner’s Cup in 1994 by defending stoutly against a superior Parma side and scoring a breakaway goal”

    Inter played with one forward in both legs, last nigh they started a LB in mid-field!

    In my mind, there is no comparison between the two teams, of Inter yesterday, and AFC back then, like you implied in the above post.

    I understand what you’re are trying to say,
    but I think it’s a slight on that AFC teams’ achievements, to compare them to the way this Inter team plays.

  377. AIC,

    I don’t disagree.

    If we won the CL very negatively I wont celebrate any less

  378. AIC,

    Of course, starting one forward isn’t ‘negative’,…but I think you can understand what I mean.

    I agree with the basic point, that a defensive performance can be a great performance.

  379. The footballing establishment and its trumpeters found themselves with a large helping of egg on their faces following last night’s result. There seem to be two possible responses. The first is to praise Inter Milan even more hystericaly than they had previously praised Barcelona. Yes, Barcelona is the best team in the world, but Inter Milan are even better! The second possible response is to deny that Inter Milan in fact won. Defending a two goal lead just isn’t fair. Inter Milan had the advantage of having a player sent off. A goal set up by the most blatant handball you’ll ever see should be allowed to stand. A player who persistently dives should be awarded a penalty, as he must really want it. And so on.

  380. “Surely you would prefer us to win say, the CL playing less than stellar football on occasions than not winning it at all.”

    I don’t see the virtue of making this argument at all. We have come so close to winning the league and the Champions League playing beautiful football. With a little luck on the injury front, we may very well have won both this year.

    To even contemplate giving up on this approach in favour of sit-back Mourinhoism is fucking shameful.

  381. Poliziano,

    Samuel whcked the ball at Toure’s chest, with his hand pinned to his chest, no movement towards the ball.

    No way, by no correct interpretation of the rules is that handball.

  382. What does it say about me that the quotes from Arshavin’s agent saying he will stay does not excite or move me?

  383. The question about Toure’s handball was genuine,
    I only saw a blurry replay.

    I am also ignorant of the actual rule about handball.

    Hence the question.

  384. Yaya Toure clearly moved his hand into the path of the ball. No handball could be more obvious.

  385. Any plaudits Inter receive for their ‘heroic rearguard action’ (steady on!) must surely be tempered by criticism of their caterwauling centre-back, Lucio. What a fucking cheat!

    If an Arsenal centreback resorted to that, I’d be ashamed.

  386. Finsbury;

    from the laws of the game:

    Handling the ball
    Handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with
    the ball with his hand or arm. The referee must take the following into
    • the movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)
    • the distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball)
    • the position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an
    • touching the ball with an object held in the hand (clothing, shinguard etc.)
    counts as an infringement
    • hitting the ball with a thrown object (boot, shinguard etc.) counts as an
    Disciplinary sanctions
    There are circumstances when a caution for unsporting behaviour is required
    when a player deliberately handles the ball, e.g. when a player:
    • deliberately and blatantly handles the ball to prevent an opponent gaining
    • attempts to score a goal by deliberately handling the ball

  387. PZ & OleG,

    Very funny!

    It was not the worst or best decision ever by the referee, with the handball incident.
    That doesn’t take credit away from the efforts of the Inter players, and on reflection it was a ‘close’ game.

    Inter were not clear ‘winners’.

    I think Barca missed Iniesta.
    Sometimes, having injured players, can be a big blow.

  388. The Inter defence (which as Finsbury points out extends well into their midfield) do make me laugh. Zanetti is this incredibly well-groomed, consummate professional; and the rest of them line up like a rogue’s gallery! Chivu is particuarly amusing, with his executioner’s mask and strange psychotic laugh. Samuel’s bulging eyes must’ve seen a few things – mostly on Special Ops in the Peruvian jungle, or running guns out of Columbia with Ivan Cordoba. Proper mercenaries.

  389. How a hand pinned to someone’s chest could be moving towards the ball is a very liberal interpretation of what happened. Only Poliziano saw that happen, and it required a bit of imagination

  390. I’m definitely supporting Holland at the WC too. If anyone is going I just put my tickets to the Holland/Denmark match back into the FIFA pool so there are two more tickets available. Won’t be able to make it to SA, unfortunately.

    ZP, thanks for the dinner menu. Just found the Congo Cookbook online…yes, not Zimbabwe Cook Book, but an online search for sadza, huku ne muriwo led me there. If you’ve got a recipe you can share please do!

    Ah, yes, the debate about playing football to “win” vs. playing your brand of football. I see this akin to something that causes relationship problems. You sacrifice your integrity to placate or appease your partner…it starts off well and always ends in disaster. You have two choices, you are either true to yourself or you subvert yourself. The current identity of Arsenal is not about parking the bus, shutting up shop, playing Mourinho-style football. We are the proponents of the beautiful game. There is no shame in an eulogy that says you live and die by the sword.

    In my opinion the only thing that is good about Mourinho is the YouTube show that used to be called “I’m on Setanta Sports” and is now called “Special One TV.” If you haven’t already check it out. Some of the most hilarious takes on world football.

  391. OleG @ 1:47 p.m.

    It seems, by the ‘letter of the law’ that it was a harsh call.

    I think it was the pause before the ref blew for the free-kick that left me feeling a little queesy.

    In defence of the referee, he may have been trying to give Inter an advantage, and when it looked like Bojan was about to score, he blew. Maybe that’s why, genuinely, it looked an odd decision. Still, I don’t trust the dark arts of Jose Arragantio.
    He does have previous on his CV.


  392. Good to see that Arshavin’s comments in the Russian press did not go unpunished for long.


  393. I was happy to see Mourinho’s Inter win yesterday, and that is saying a lot, as Mourinho is one of my top hated people if football. But Barca has become a bit of a joke, yes they play good football, but the sense of entitlement that their fans and indeed their players display as a result of that truely turns me off. They bang on and on and on about how they do it the right way, yet we see them committing niggling fouls in the name of superior pressing, petulantly expecting to be given an infringement when an opponent even touches them, while at the same time rolling around the ground a la busquets, alves and messi, and barging people into the advertising boards a la messi.

    Inter are ugly and can be negative, granted, but at least they are not dishonest enough to take a moral high ground about their uglyness and negativity. barca on the other hand….

  394. When I first saw the handball, I thought it was a handball; the referee thought it was a handball; and the video confirmed it was a handball. It was a handball. The establishment and its trumpeters, of course, saw something different.

  395. and there is a difference between inter parking the bus yesterday and certain teams doing it in the league. stoke park the bus from the start of a game. inter only parked the bus when they were 3-1 ahead at a point which is equivalent to the half time of a league game. i would have no complaint if sam and tony’s teams parked the bus in that position, but unfortunately they seldom get to that position.

  396. to copy zim paul, most of the barca players are absolute grunts.

  397. I would say taht if Mourinho displayed a lack of class in his celebrations, it was what barca deserved. Barca are undeserving of a gracious adversary.

  398. As a defender of the establishment (hahahaha) I must encourage Poliziano to look again. And;
    1. Note the distance.
    2. Not the position of Toure’s hand when it made contact.

    I believe it’s hard to look at it reasonably and conclude it was a deliberate hand ball.

  399. I see there are a few Holland supporters there. Holland have been my international team since I started watching football (my country is in the footballing back benches, so they do not really count. With Holland the journey is always worth it, even though I expect them to self combust again this time after rasing hopes.

  400. I felt Toure’s handball was definitely unintentional. I also felt Pique was offside when the assisting pass was made.

  401. It seems I was wrong.

    The establishment and their trumpeters, saw nothing wrong with Jose Arragantio’s record at Porto:


    From another article:

    “Porto were implicated in what became known as the “Golden Whistle” police investigation in Portugal, which looked into claims that referees were offered bribes before two Porto matches during the club’s title-winning season in 2004.

    Porto were eventually docked six points and fined 150,000 euros (216,000 dollars). Last summer, UEFA temporarily banned Porto from the Champions League before they were reinstated.”

  402. barca’s impotency yesterday showed how they would fare in the premier league. In my opinion with Arsenal’s injury crisis this season, they woudl have been hard pressed to qualify for Europe.

  403. Alex Ice Cream


    I was just saying that Arsenal have had success by defending well against the odds and the CWC Final in 94 is a good example.

    I didn’t make any mention of 1 striker.

  404. Alex Ice Cream

    The handball decision was wrong: there was no way Toure intended to handle the ball and there was also no way he could have avoided any contact.

    I am not even sure he handled it at all.

    I also think that Pique was marginally offside.

  405. Check out this Limpar assist…

  406. AIC,

    I know, my comments at @1.25 & 1:34 clarify what I was trying to say, which was not to disagree with the basic point you were making.

  407. AIC,

    I saw a video where they drew a line as they do which showed that Muntari on the far side was playing Pique onside.

    Also, the lino was on that side….

    It was a good goal.

  408. Not really deliberate handball but I just feel that he would have had more directional control of the ball coming off his arm like that. Had it hit him just square in the gut his body position would not have let the ball fall into bojans lap for the goal.

    From the angle that the ref had it would look like he almost punched it in to bojan as his muscles did tighten slightly. Fair enough decision I thought.

  409. Fair enough, word.

    I can understand why the ref would give it. Many refs would make the same mistake. But it would still be a mistake.

  410. saw the computer stuff. pique was level.

    Pep would have been SLAUGHTERED in the press had pique not scored tho as it was a wild decision to put him up front after taking off ibra. On the edvidence however he probably should have started up there! least we forget he is always mentioned in the same league as messi and cesc in regards to academy performances.

    3 at the back was pretty bold too. had inter had the 11 I think they could have easily been caught barca on the counter and Pep would had had even more questions to answer.

    Over 2 legs its no doubt barca were out maneuvered tactically. bravo jose

  411. word,

    For the 1st leg I agree that Mourinho got his tactics right, and they worked. They made their luck, though they were quite lucky to have the offside Milito goal and the penalty not given on Alvez which wouldn’t have given them a 3-1 lead to defend.

  412. Alex Ice Cream


    “Surely you would prefer us to win say, the CL playing less than stellar football on occasions than not winning it at all.”

    I don’t see the virtue of making this argument at all. We have come so close to winning the league and the Champions League playing beautiful football. With a little luck on the injury front, we may very well have won both this year.

    To even contemplate giving up on this approach in favour of sit-back Mourinhoism is fucking shameful.”

    We got to the CL final on the basis of 10 clean sheets and about 5 goals – hardly beautiful football. In the final we were hanging on after Mad Jens got sent off.

    Its not just Mourinho who has used this type of approach. As discussed above GG used them to great effect as well.

  413. Word @2:38

    That makes sense to me too.
    A mistake from the referee, one that is easy to understand.

    Like YW said last night, a mixture of good luck & bad luck in both games but at the end of the day Barca can’t really complain.

    A close game, I feel Iniesta was the difference, you can’t cage both him and Messi for 180 minutes. But then, “I know nothing.”

  414. AIC;

    But clean sheets aren’t incompatible with beautiful football. That’s a false choice the media have created.

    Some of our performances in that run were ehhilarating….the games against Juve, away to Real for example.

    At no time in that run were we just playing not to concede like Inter.

  415. Barca lost the CL when they brought ibra for 70m. Drogba must be worth at least 100m on those valuations. Would it be too cynical to suggest they wouldn’t have done the deal if ibra was black….

    More of a worry is that barca will now decide some big investment is needed to compete with real and the CL next year. cesc is their no.1 target by a distance. not that he will go of course……… but considering he will spend all summer with his spanish friends (shit they might even lift the cup together) its no doubt his resolve will be fiercely tested.

    Wonder who they will go for up front?

  416. I’m talking about where we are now, AIC. Right now I could give a fuck about George Graham.

    You seem to be advocating winning at all costs, even if it means sacrificing our style of football. My point is, yours is an impossible dream. Our style of football IS the way we win matches. Like it or lump it (so to speak).

    We are so close to achieveing greatness that changing our approach, our style, is not just ridiculous, it’s impossible. These players have grown up playing the game the right way; expansively, quickly, creatively, and with a love of scoring goals and entertaining. To call time on that now and send them to the Mourinho school of cynicism, rope-a-dope, and bore tactics – it wouldn’t work! They’ve seen the light, and as much as you might want to see them dragged back to the dark ages, it ain’t happening.

    And by greatness I mean winning and winning well. Real football fans remember great football, not just notches on a bed post. This is why Wenger’s title winning teams will be remembered so much more fondly than Mourinho’s.

  417. If a ball is deflected into the path of a team mate, or if a ball is stopped from reching its target eg the back of the net, then it doesnt matter about intent. Can you imagine every cricket player given out for lbw claiming they didnt mean it. This no intent nonsence has been highlighted by sky and other networks,. each it would seem having their own agenda. I had the strongest feeling that the commentators last night would have prefered a home win. And not once did i hear that barca have difficulty in finishing teams off. That Barca lacked a plan B ( though there was some reference). That Barca overplayed. We get that all the time. When we play against a team that just defend then its that team that gets the prase and our style of football gets critisised. Im glad there out cause im fed up with the sickofantic way in which their talked about. How many times did messi lose the ball trying to go past defenders, if that was theo, well you know.

  418. AIC.

    Have you forgotton the ’05 FA Cup final?

    ; )

  419. What i cant help wondering is, if we had been in the other half of the draw instead of BM might we be going to spain in may

  420. Correction to my 2:57 comment.

    A mistake from the referee, one that is easy to understand.


    A decision from the referee that is easy to understand.

  421. The ball definitely struck Toure’s hand and the result was that he was able then to control the ball. More often than not a referee will give that as handball.

    Also the referee made his decision immediately although that dickhead Beglin implied in his commentary that the referee blew for the foul after the goal was scored. Not true in fact the ref blew straight away.

    The other commentator was just vomitsome and was right up Barca’s and Josie’s arse throughout the game. When oh when will we get games broadcast without the commentary.

  422. I agree with boomer

  423. arshavin’s wife looks quite hot!

  424. Holland are looking fantastic up front with VdV, RvP and Arjen Robben, and Sneijder sitting just behind them. Expect magic…

  425. you forgot dirk kuyt frank

  426. Watching last night’s game has further entrenched my belief that for all his tactical genius, I wouldn’t want Mourinho anywhere close to my team.

    –unless he’s a tactical consultant and nothing more.

  427. No I think that Dirk Kuyt will be a useful addition as required, word. Huntelaar too. But my first choice would be those four RvP, RVdV, AR and WS.

  428. Watching last night’s game further entrenched my belief that, for all his tactical genius, I wouldn’t want Mourinho anywhere close to my team.
    –Unless as a tactical consultant and nothing more.

  429. …and of course Nacer Barazite.

  430. Eventually yes, PZ

  431. Thanks, Passenal, I some right little stinkers turned up in the comments section there. Old stringvest himself…

  432. That Mourinho quote about not wanting the ball was ghastly. Sums it all up for me.

  433. In that blog link legendaire, i posted the follwoing but seems was removed by the moderator. Funny…

    “Erm, i think you missed something there. Since we are talking about a two legged knockout game,yesterday’s game was actually the second half, the first half having been won by inter by 3 goals to 1.

    In contrast Stoke Blackburn and Man City park the bus from the outset, when the score is 0-0. Let them win the first half and then park the bus in the second, no one would complain. So before calling others hypocrites, you would do well to take a couple of deep breaths and think.”

  434. I have thought. Still think they are hypocrites.

  435. sorry, the comment appears now. seems something is playing up with the site…

  436. It’s amazing the number of Arsenal so called supporters who can find every excuse in the book to justify josie maureen’s small team tactics, yet have no sympathy or understanding for the team they claim to support.

  437. Did you take a couple of deep breaths though? That’s the key!!!

  438. Passenal, given the circumstances, I think the tactics were not unfair. Not great viewing, not ideal, but not unfair. If he had played for a zero zero draw rather than a 3-1 win I would have differed.

    And how does the team being Mourinho’s have anything to do with all this?

  439. Josie’s team were playing last night, keysersoze

  440. I know Frank. But we are talking about the tactics here, not Josie. At least I was.

  441. It’s relevance is that the last time a team parked a bus was last night…and that happened to be Josie’s team.

  442. As you please Frank.

  443. I was equally scathing of the Spuds when they did it the other day.

    Arsenal under AW don’t do that they go for it even with ten men…and often win. Even almost did it against Barcelona in the final. If we had sat back in that game it would have been all over by half time.

    When teams adopt that tactic they are lucky to get away with it. Inter were lucky last night, although I don’t rate Barcelona as highly as some…and the Spuds were lucky against us.

  444. Yes, of course. But if I were to praise or criticise a tactic it would not matter to me who was the coach. I guess you too agree with that.

  445. With our full first team I would fancy our chances against either of those teams last night.

  446. I don’t care who the coach is. Josie Maureen is neither here nor there to me.

  447. Yes, I also agree. It is a risky tactic, and you need loads of luck along with defensive skills to get away with it, and Inter almost lost it in the last 10 minutes. It is not a great tactic. But given the circumstances, I understand why he took the chance, he had worked himself into a position of strength in the first leg from which that chance could be afforded.

  448. “Arsenal under AW don’t do that they go for it even with ten men…and often win.”

    I think 3-1 up, and down to 10 men, even Arsene Wenger would have been a little more cautious than usual. Obviously not like Inter where they admitted they did not want the ball, but that is how it is, different strokes for different folks.

  449. KS-

    their tactis were the same before and after tehy went down to 10 men though

  450. *tactics *they

  451. •Arsenal


  452. Limpar assist:

    “I think Holland could be the ones to watch this year. Apparently RVP, Sneijder, Van der Vaart and Robben have been making noises in the dutch press that they want to play together. So then you’d have Van Bommel or De Jong in front of the defence and 4 of the best attacking midfielders and forwards around playing ahead of them. That’s quite an excting lineup. They may not win it but they’ll certainly entertain the watching world.”

    Holland has been my favorite NT since 1988. In this twenty two year stretch I’ve watched as Holland builds magnificent teams only to see them crumble and stall. I can’t deal with another 98 or 08 again, so please don’t jinx things. 😉

  453. Have to agree about supporting Holland, they are the best footballing nation to never win a WC. Always have great teams, exciting to watch and terrifying to play against. Would love it if RVP had the tournament of his life and came back to us on a high!!. All I ask is that neither Brazil or Italy reach the final. My ideal final would be Spain v Holland. With both teams having fully fit squads and jsut going for it from the off. Can you imagine the scoreline? I would give Spain the edge but only because they have been so consistent together. Still, sounds better than any other match-up. I would like Spain to beat Brazil in the semi’s, and Holland to knock out Italy .

  454. Say what you like about Mourinho, the fact is he’s a man who knows how to win things, a big game manager, the special one. I would love him to be the next manager of Arsenal

  455. I wouldn’t!

  456. so we all agree that we want Jose to replace wenger then?????

  457. Remi, mourinho has acheived more than most managers at such a young age, he almosts gaurentees success. He would be amazing at Arsenal in the future, he’s the special one

  458. Mourinho wouldn’t be able to fill a 60,000 seat stadium with his snooze ball, Randell. Stamford Bridge was half empty during a CL match a few days before he was fired as manager of Chelsea. Only Chavs like you want a manager like him.

  459. notlager, well he fills 80’000 at the san siro every week. Wenger is the only manager you’ve known notlager, you dont really know what you are talking about. Mourihno would be great at Arsenal in the future, the type of manager to make the club feared again. You wouldnt get players wanting to leave if Jose was in charge

  460. You wouldnt get Arshavin slagging his own club off and making us look like fools in his magazine column every week. Our club needs dicipline, some of the players take the piss out of Arsenes good nature, its a recipe for coming second. Mourinho only does first place

  461. DNFTT

  462. I don’t think i would care for Moanrinhios pragmatic style of football at Arsenal.

    He wouldn’t come anyway, the heirarchy at this club have invested heavily in a long term youth policy, i dont see him wanting to carry that on!

    He would want the club to release all the money they had for him to go and buy XYZ – To my mind the only place he will go is Real Madrid or Man City

  463. Assumptions and lies as always, Randell. He wasn’t able to fill Stamford Bridge in his last season at Chelsea. FACT. From your comments it is clear you follow Italian football the same way you watched yesterday’s game. That is not at all.

    Arsenal are class. A concept as alien for Mourinho as for you to grasp, Randell. Mourinho would be the antithesis of what Arsenal the club or Arsenal the football team stand for, whether under the leadership of GG or AW. That is enough for me to keep him as far away from our club as possible.

    dupsffokcuf, my last words regarding this troll.

  464. Well played Fulham

  465. notlager/Dups, Typical comments from Arsene Wenger fans, what will you do when he retires? probably support barcelona, who i’m sure you have a soft spot for.

  466. Man it’s sad that Reyes didn’t work out for us.

  467. what hodgson has done is much more remarkable than what checkbook mourihno has done.

    imo, end of.

  468. oou


  469. a club that two years ago barely scraped out of the relegation fight now in a european final.

    and they played some decent stuff.

    even taught simon davies how to play a little keepy uppy

  470. 1 loose cannon

    Absolutely delighted for Roy Hodgson a real english gentleman overlooked for many years here in England. You have to see Simon Davies’s goal, a fabulous goal. I believe every player has a magical moment in his career and for davies that was his moment, Well done Fulham.
    As for Liverpool I do not care, they shouldn’t be in that competition it feels like a big boy trying to take sweets from a small kid.

  471. shite arsenal fans…listen to the liverpool fans right now.

    learn something

  472. liverpool are out..

  473. 1 loose cannon

    Delighted to hear Collymore choking after seeing his beloved liverpool knocked out.

  474. 1 loose cannon

    I think Wenger has finally lost his patience with Arshavin’s constant talk to the russian media and all that Barcelona stuff.
    He said:
    “Yes, I am very disappointed because he shows a completely different attitude,” “He wants to extend his contract with us and stay with us, so the noise coming out of Russia is very difficult to explain.

    “He looks to be very happy here, so you should ask him where it comes from. We do not, of course, accept that. When you are at Arsenal, you are at Arsenal. When you are somewhere else, you are somewhere else. I believe that your pride makes first that you defend your club.

    Wenger got a point, I hope we are not going to have another Adebayor and Beyonce scenario. All players should respect our club and be careful with their comments, the media love to stir trouble whenever they can. The talking should be done on the pitch.

  475. a fungus-coated right hand

    Would love to be in Hamburg to root on the Mighty Fulham. All the world loves a cinderella story, and especially me.

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