Final Day Win Ends Season With A Smile

ARSENAL 4 – 0 FULHAM

1 – 0 Arshavin (21)
2 – 0 van Persie (26)
3 – 0 Baird (37 o.g.)
4 – 0 Vela (84)

And so the 2009/10 campaign comes to an end. 3rd place in the Premier League was secured and although not the triumph which threatened to materialise, the placing is considerably higher up the table than the squad was given any chance of achieving before the kick-off at Goodison Park last August.

There were many positives about the line-up with Clichy and Arshavin back whilst the bench saw Gibbs and Djourou returning from their long-term injuries. Perhaps it was the final appearance for others, may be not. Either way, opinions will remain divided over the likes of Silvestre with their contributions to this season being less than fondly remembered but deserving of more respect that the minority gave them.

Pre-match suggestions of this being anything but an ordinary end-of-the-season match were wide of the mark. Fulham’s minds were elsewhere but Arsenal set about ensuring that the campaign finished on a relative high, passing and moving well from the kick-off.  This derby was anything but blood and thunder.

For Mark Schwarzer, it was a case of thud and blunder as he miscontrolled the ball, allowing Andrey Arshavin to nip in to steal the ball, beat the Australian and then bury the ball into the net as the halfway mark of the first half approached. It was Arshavin’s first goal since March 30th at Hull. Goalkeepers had a nervy afternoon. Fabianski missed an early punch, giving his detractors more ammunition whilst conveniently ignoring his place as stand-in for the squad, the notion of which identifies him as not yet being ready for the first team on a regular basis.

The lead was doubled five minutes later with Robin van Persie scoring in consecutive games for the first time since October 2009, his first Emirates goal since the crushing of Tottenham, emphasising the costly nature of injuries this season. It was the quintessential Arsenal goal. Sagna released Walcott on the right and his pace took him clear of the defence. Showing a composure which can occasionally go missing, Walcott squared for van Persie. The Dutchman’s shot ricocheted off Schwarzer’s leg onto the bar, van Persie burying the rebound.

A match which seemed to be killed off with the first was sealed with the second as the Fulham resistance crumbled. The third indicated the problems of a makeshift defence, issues that we can readily identify with. Walcott cross from the right, the ball pinged off the calf, knee and ankles of the Fulham back four before Baird stepped in to decisively fire the ball into the net. A pity that he put it into his own net such was the authority of his effort. Good to see though that he had the presence of mind to berate his team-mates for their part in his downfall.

Fulham briefly came to life as the interval approached. Okaka evaded Campbell to shoot whilst Nevland hit the bar with a header but the threat diminished, Roy Hodgson probably certain in his mind that none of the starters yesterday did anything to cause any tinkering on Wednesday night.

Both Arsenal players on the scoresheet had opportunities to increase the lead whilst both sides might have had a penalty on any other day. In the end, another maligned player finished the days efforts, Carlos Vela applied what is now a trademark finish, an exquisite chip over Schwarzer, a reminder to doubters of the unarguable quality the young Mexican possesses.

An season of extreme highs and lows has finished. Trophyless which is ultimately disappointing but with enough promise to be short of despair. At times the football on display was exquisite, a signal to the rest of the world of the capabilities of this squad. On others, the weaknesses were ruthlessly exposed, particularly in the ‘big matches’.

Injuries have ultimately wrecked the campaign. Not just the quantity but because of the personnel involved. Some players are irreplacable, and removing them from the action severely weakened the team on occasion. That the squad fell out of contention, only to haul themselves back after defeats in crucial top four clashes is indicative of the huge mental strength they possess.

That only four points out of a possible twenty four from the fixtures against the rest of the top five shows the steps for improvement next season but also the freakish nature of those encounters this season; I cannot recall a time when results have gone so badly in those matches.

New faces are hinted at arriving before the World Cup starts, I am sure some will have gone by then as well. The quandry for Wenger is how many players he needs to cover should the injury catastrophe strike once more.

The players deserve credit for the improvement on last season, which did happen despite what some will tell you. When they return from summer ventures, the pre-season is the opportunity to work on the faults and enhance the good points.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 10, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 330 Comments.

  1. 1st 2wice?

  2. And a 3rd?

  3. What abt 4th

  4. Grand 5th

  5. What about the spam bin?

  6. 6th!!

  7. Really enjoyed the contributions of Carlos Vela, Henry Lansbury and Johann Djourou yesterday….and I agree that rumours of Fran Merida leaving may be premature.

  8. I thought that about Merida too. Didn’t seem to acting like he was rushing to catch a plane to Madrid did he?

  9. What the he’ll! 10th!!

  10. 11th.

    Im ashamed of myself

  11. I am guessing that you don’t find Frank McLintock sexy, QoS?

  12. It is sad about merida, if only he were a little patient, his chance would come. As for aditions to the squad I don’t think we need much more than a centre back. What we do really
    need is our medical team to figure out how to keep our players fit. No doubt we would be holding that trophy if not for all the injuries.

  13. Actually Frank Mac is a bit of a silver fox.

    The accent doesn’t do it for me though.

  14. gunnerjones i would think that the medical team would need to take one of the largest quantum leaps in medical science to prevent the types of injuries that Ramsey, Fab and RVP all suffered.

  15. My favourite moment of the season is still the look on Arsene’s face after the Barca first leg.

    He was asked about the sense of allowing Fabregas back onto the pitch after his penalty and Arsene just sort of looked the audience in the eye and said “what could I do, he just got up and walked onto the pitch”…it was sort of exasperation, mixed with amusement and more than a little pride.

  16. The Scots thing is a real problem for me too.
    Anyway in my head you are Marilyn Munroe standing in an updraught.

  17. Injuries are set to play an important part in the outcome for next season too as a result of new EPL squad rules.

  18. Arsenal.com should update the list of club honours with a list of all the years we’ve qualified for the Champions League!

  19. “Barcelona didn’t lift a trophy between 1999 and 2005; during that time they brought players through the youth system who are now integral in their side.” Barcelona went on to win the Champions League twice, including a 6 trophy haul last season. They are universally viewed as the best club side in the world right now.

    Arsenal didn’t lift a trophy between 2005 and 2010; during that time they brought players through the youth system who are now integral in their side. Arsenal will go on to win……………………..yet to be discovered.

    Nobody should give up just yet!

  20. Well OK then, but I have to confess that I have been seeing someone else, and I think we should consider our relationship to be an ‘open’ one.

  21. I don’t think that Barcelona are the best club side ever by a long way. That was all just short term media crap.

  22. Is there any other kind Frank?

  23. Nice write up, YW.

    Although I think “enough promise to be short of despair” is a somewhat stingy appraisal of the season. The exquisite football you mention in the victories over Everton, Celtic, Porto, Olympiakos, Spurs, and Villa. And the battling ones against Liverpool, Stoke, and Bolton – leaves me a million miles away from despair, and the team only a few points off the top spot when April came around.

    We have taken great strides this year, and displayed many of the qualities needed to win the league – a league that’s more competitive now than it’s ever been.

    We’ve been dealt a succession of cruel and unusual hands by the injury croupier. And in the face of all that I’ve seen much to be proud of, including some truly astonishing football. I enjoyed this season immensely and take a great deal of hope into the next one.

  24. Improvement is a difficult thing to measure, but I think the premier leauge position is an accurate reflection of where we are and we have improved on last season.
    However, if we look at the stats the question is more nuanced as this season we had a worse record against the top teams, let in more goals and got less further in the cups.
    I think you can ignore the cups as how far you go is often down to the luck of draw. We did better this season because we beat more of the mid-table/lower mid-table teams, simple as that.
    There are also encouraging signs that the character and the mental toughness of the team has improved as demonstrated by some battling injury time winners, but there are some real problems with defensive and positional play
    that have been evident for a few seasons now.
    We really have no chance if winning the PL until these issues are sorted out.

  25. I agree with LimparAssist

  26. Wenger actually said qualifying for the CL was the same as winning a trophy.The madness of the man gets worse every day

  27. The rationality of the man is there for all to see and here.

  28. @hope

    You see, that’s the thing I don’t understand. When Wenger says that everyone derides him.

    I’m sure Harry said the same thing on Wednesday night, where’s the derision there. None, just exaltation, infact a manager of the year award.

    Yet Wenger is the mad one.

  29. LimparAssist fully agree

    Injuries have been very costly, they just seem to all come at 1 time! What makes it even worse is seeing players like Van Persie and Djourou play after we are essentially finished for the season for the possibility of winning a trophy.

    Next season is very promising, I expect us to challenge if we buy or not, that is down to the quality I can see in the players.

    Sol and Vermaelen are solid CB’s, so too is Djourou, one more and we will be fine in that area. Goalkeeping may be looked at, if Almunia is on his way out then we need to find someone good.. or if Wenger finds someone good he is on his way out! Depends what light le boss sees it, and depends on the belief Wenger has in Almunia.

    The problem this season was our defence as a team, and the injuries to the defence. If we can sort that out then the goalkeepers can do a good job, we could have won the league with Almunia prior to this season, I dont see why we cant win it with him next.

  30. Indeed Frank, subborn comments like those AW came out with during yesterday’s post match interview do him no favours. He’s got a big summer ahead of him. Lets hope he can turn things around

  31. No team can win a title conceding 40 plus goals.

    Even against shot-shy Fulham reserves Flappy looked shaky

    New goalkeeper and CH is a priority next season

    Yes they was improvement but after last season that wouldnt have been hard.

  32. Hope

    Spurs celebrated getting into the Champions League like it was winning a trophy, so I have to agree with Wenger.

    Getting into the Champions League means you are competing against the top teams in Europe. It means you will be watched all over the globe in the best footballing competition, and it gives you a massive income of cash.

    Would you rather finish 5th and win the FA Cup? Is that what you are saying?

  33. Irish Gooner

    Picking on Fabianksi is a cowardish way to go about criticising a 2nd choice goal keeper. He is a good understudy who may well become our number 1.

  34. They were not stubborn comments they were entirely rational. He is a deeply honest man. He is a genius….and has achieved what no other could have done. Kept the club on an even keel and at the same time achieved Champions League football.

  35. Irish,

    Also, it was a massive improvement on last season, we were in a title race until April last month, or have you forgotten

  36. I prefer to take AWs assessment of Lukasz Fabianski’s ability than yours, Irish Gooner.

  37. “Whatever happens, Arsène has identified the fact that the defence has been an issue for us this year, so it’s not difficult to imagine that that’s an area we’re focused on in this transfer window.” IG

    Bill was last seen leaping stark bollock naked from rooftop to rooftop all the way from his place to Ivan’s to give our CEO a big Bill-sized bear hug.

    Ivan was last seen scrambling down the marble corridors in a state of extreme distress, squawking his driver’s name.

  38. Well said Frank

  39. Naaah…WG has gone.

  40. Arshavin———–Rvp————-Walcott

    RvP————–Bendtner———Eboue

    Nasri———–Chamakh———-Eduardo

    Vela———–Eduardo————Bendnter

    Diaby————Song———-Fabregas

    Rosicky———Denilson———–Nasri

    Denilson——-New DM———–Eboue

    Eboue——–Eastmond———Wilshere.

    Exciting.

  41. Re: Fabianski that was the line in Yogi’s post that I am not convinced about.

    Yes he’s an understudy so its fair to expect that he is in some ways behind the number 1 keeper, but I do think our second choice keeper should be able to come into the side and not cost us goals.

    For me, Fabianski can be a good keeper, he makes saves inc one at Blackburn that i’d point money on Almunia not making but he needs experience. I’m not sure GK is a position that we can afford to have an occupant who isn’t ready.

  42. Bugger! Ive completley forgotten we have a welsh wizard on the comeback trail!

    A global superstar in the making.

  43. YW

    The top 2 have had their worse seasons in terms of defeats in many years yet the gap between us and them is still big.We lost nearly a quarter of our league games!!!

    What we have learned again this season is our squad cannot compete with both Chelski and Manure.

    We have 3 keepers of which none are good enough
    After TV and Gallas the cover at CH was a 36 year old and a Manure reject.To see Silvestre start in the Nou Camp says it all

    The worst thing that can happen is for Wenger to believe a 3rd place finish is an achievement.That is from a manager that from 98-05 we never finished outside the top 2

  44. QoS

    I think you can say the same about the sub keepers at the other top 4 clubs, you wont be impressed by them either.

    Remember everyone – GRASS AINT GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE

    I hate saying that, but its bloody true!!

  45. I didn’t see Gallas there yesterday…everyone else was.

    Suprised me, because if he’d made up his mind to go, why not come and say goodbye?

  46. I think he was referring to one-track Bill the poster who has been going on and on about our defence!

  47. Good to see Ramsey walking freely around the pitch at the end (for the pitifully few loyal supporters who stayed on…..)

    interesting Lansbury came on rather than Merida – am I reading too much into that?

  48. I suspect that William Gallas is quite a complicated character.

  49. The cup comments by AW amay seem a bit strange, but I see his point. As Arsenal fans we are so used to enjoying champions leauge football that we take it for granted. Arsène is gently reminding us that CL qualification should not be taken as a given.

  50. Chris Goona

    Dont you think a world class team like Arsenal should have a world class keeper?

  51. Remind me of the other keepers chris?

    Chelsea have Cech and Hilario?
    United have VDS and ? Foster?
    Spuds have Gomes and the chelsea reject who’s name escapes me…
    City have Given and Hart?

    Accepting that there is an unconcious bias in favour of over-estimating an opponents relative strength, i’d still say we are weaker in that area?

  52. Rubbish, Big Johan…there were thousands of supporters there at the end. Excellent turn out.

  53. I agree with Frank.

  54. Overall this was a positive season, but because the team hit a bad patch near the end, that is what many will remember and allow it to colour their view. I had a look earlier at one of the ‘populist’ Arsenal blogs and I cannot believe the conclusion the writer reached. He clearly was not at the game, so where he gets off suggesting Arsene has lost the support of the crowd is beyond me. Tell that to the thousands singing ‘one Arsene Wenger’ yesterday.

  55. QoS

    Did you see hilarios—HILARIOUS gaffe against man city? Unable to stop Tevez’s rasping 0.2 kph shot.

    Ben Fosters against city?

    Tomas Kuscack against Fulham?

    Fabianski’s problem is confidence. He’s had some wonderfull moments between the sticks this season….but as the cliche’ goes mistakes are always more memorable…you have to be mad to be a GK.

    As with Mannone his high profile mistake against West Ham overshadows for many cynics, a Deity like performance (perhaps the best GK performace in the league this season along with Myhill against Spuds and Gomes against us) away at Fulham.

    Football is fickle, but its madness to ignore giving credit where its due…and accepting that somethings are worth working on in order to mature and peak………

    Unless your man city.

    Unless

  56. I agree with Passenal. I was there too. Very positive support.

  57. We have a very good reserve keeper, best in the league.

    We have a lot of talented young keepers coming through, who would benefit from time on loan.

    All we need now is a decent one to play regularly in the first team.

  58. QOS – I agree with you, Fiabianski, as understudy keeper should be good enough to come in and do an adequate job. He is squad cover after all.
    I don’t want to slag off our keepers, but we have got to have the weakest keepers (first and second choice) out of the top 12 teams in the premiership.

  59. I’m not sure I’ll say the support was positive. Some fools where sarcastically cheering fabianski every time he touched the ball. How was that supposed to help?

  60. Don’t get me wrong Deano, I accept that there is a reason all of those keepers are 2nd choice.

    Certainly all keepers have a howler in them and with the way the modern ball moves, I think its harder and harder to look like a good goalkeeper.

    I just think that we are weaker in that area than the other teams.

  61. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/-i-ve-no-doubt-we-ll-extend-his-contract-

    Thank you: God, Jesus, Alah, Buddah, Krishna, Ron L Hubbard, Obi Wan Kenobi, Charles Darwin, David Atenborough and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

  62. QoS

    Man City didn’t have Hart as a sub, he wouldnt accept a bench roll, and he won’t next season.

    You cannot get a quality keeper to play second fiddle to another keeper. Almunia is number 1, Fabianski isn’t quite there yet, why get on his back as if hes our number 1?? What your doing is killing a future prospect who could turn out to be amazing for us. Why any supporter would do that is beyond me, that goes for you Irish too.

  63. I think we are weaker in the goalkeeping area than probably the rest of the top 12 in the premiership.
    Fiabianski should not be written off yet though, he hasn’t really had a run in the team. I think Almunia’s time is up though, he’s had a poor season.

  64. QoS – that is your opinion.

    Managers manage, critics criticise, and supporters support.

    What are you doing?

  65. deano

    nice comment by the way

  66. ChrisGoona: “You cannot get a quality keeper to play second fiddle to another keeper”

    No, but you can get some solid experienced back-up, Cuddicini, for example as back-up. Man utd have Cusak who seems to do a good job when he comes in.

  67. er… talking about football Chris.

    I doubt Fabianski is reading it, so i’m probably safe in stating that i think he needs a bit more experience.

    No wait, he’s here!!! He’s tracked me down!! fFeck he looks angry!! He’s got a gun! Save yourselves!!! AAAAAARRRRGGGHHHHH!

  68. QoS – Ill ask you again seen as it got ur knickers in a twist

    Managers manage, critics criticise, and supporters support.

    What are you doing?

  69. Wengerball & ChrisG,

    Why should we bring ourselves to the spurs’ level just to make an argument? Of course they’ll celebrate reaching top 4. Heck, these are the same people who make dvd’s because they beat us once.

    Arsenal’s aspirations are way higher, our resources (players, coaching staff, stadium) are also certainly better. We should rightly be disappointed with 3rd.

  70. Big M: Why do you think Cuddicini left Chelsea?

    Kuscak has made big errors aswell this season.

  71. theBigM

    I think our issue is the defence more than the keeping area, we had the same keepers the season before this current season and nobody was complaining. I agree Almunia has had a poor season, but I think that is largely down to us being very exposed.

  72. “Managers manage, critics criticise, and supporters support.”

    Says who? Is this written in some holy sacred book?

  73. To complete your statement.

    “Managers manage, critics criticise, and supporters support.”

    What are you doing?

    Supporters also discuss and state their opinions. If nobody did that then the game would die.

    Imagine walking to the ground in a world where there is no opinion…

    “Fabianski’s great isn’t he?
    “Yes, he is”
    “hmm”

    Its absurd, but then so is the concept that you can’t be honest about what you think.

  74. Henristic

    Wenger was making a point in how we have come to not appreciate the achievements of his team consistently appearing in Europes top competition. He is entirely correct, before Wenger came Graham would have only dreamed of achieving such league positions year in year out, never mind the competition out there – which nobody can argue has massively improved.

    I believed start of the season we would challenge, we did, we had bad luck with injuries at a crucial time. Next season Wenger will prepare us for what is to come, and I will still believe we will challenge. The quality we have is there for all to say, its why you pick up the papers and see Arsenal player rumours everywhere mate 😉

  75. Fabianski is ahead of Kuszczak in the polish squad.

    I admit Fabianski has made some costly blunders but I don’t think it’s a reflection of his goalkeeping ability, I’d put it down to nervousness and a desire to impress.

    Remember how bad Gomez was a season ago, how Casillas was a laughing stock one season and the best in the world the next.

    If the professionals that are paid to do the job thinks The young pole is good enough then he is, if not I’m sure they’ll move him on.

    Personally I feel he will come good.

  76. QoS

    Everyone has opinions, but slating your own team is counter productive (even on a blog), especially after having a season where we have challenged for the title which you and many others thought we wouldnt do so.

    My opinion is Fabianski is not ready to be number 1, but hes a good understudy and has a chance of getting the number 1 spot in the coming seasons, you compare him to others in a neutral light and you will maybe understand that.

  77. Yes, we have leaked too many goals again and this is not just down to the keepers, but the defence/team as a whole, but the keepers have made plenty of blunders.
    I thought Almunia did well last season and I don’t really understand what has caused the problems this year, but mentally he has seemed to struggle at times.
    I do think that poor defending is exposing the keepers too much but the keepers have let us down at times.

  78. Thank God the season is over. it was full of turns and twists and though a disappointment for not winning any trophies, it was s great experience. Next season awaits.

  79. Frank, QoS,
    Have you ever read The Open Relationship and its Enemies by Karl Popper? A libertarian classic, it’s considered the bible of the modern swinging movement.

    See, by the same author:
    The Poverty of Monogamy
    Conquests and Rejections
    The Logic of Sexual Discovery
    The Open Marriage: An Argument for Infidelity
    Carnal Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach
    Unended Lust

  80. I agree with wengerball. That’s my take on the matter.

    I’ll nevertheless add that his position has become weakened, and there’ll be a sense that he hasn’t taken his opportunity.

  81. Delia-----Block 112

    A pity we fell away in the final stretch but the injuries to Cesc, TV and Gallas left us very exposed and no one save Sol stepped up and showed any leadership qualities. There is of course the lack of a world class keeper , which in my and just about everyone else’s view, must be addressed this Summer if we are to compete successfully with the two sides above us in the PL, let alone with the Barcs of this world.
    I won’t forget the night at the Emirates with Barca
    for a very long time. It goes with the 1971 Cup Final as one of my most memorable Arsenal games.
    My plea to AW is to strengthen our defence with the type of player Inter fielded against Barca. Their power and commitment was something that would not go amiss in our squad and a world class keeper, please!

  82. ChrisG,
    I believe he was making that point to poke fun at the tots. In the Wenger era, its no longer that much of an achievement to qualify for Europe. That shows how far we have come as a club. That is why anyone would find it weird if our players were to be seen celebrating (like the spurs did) because we came third.

  83. I agree with Wengerball.

  84. Queen of Suburbia

    Counterproductive to what Chris?

  85. Fabianski is not good enough to play week in week out at Arsenal…..which is why he’s the second keeper.

    Cut the guy some slack, he’ll come good any time now.

  86. I really don’t think we need to change our GKs. Almunia was there in in 07/08 when we could well have won the league, and few will argue he was anything other than adequate. I think the problem this season has been poor defending in general. From what I’ve seen from the last 2 seasons, I do have my doubts on whether AW can fix it.

  87. “Everyone has opinions, but slating your own team is counter productive (even on a blog),”

    By slating do you mean ANY sort of criticism?

  88. That’s why we may not win anything again. Has become POOL, next season and next season. We have fans not seeing anything with Almunia, Fabianski etc. MANU freed Taibo after one big howler Asenal fans would have praised him until he destroyed the team. Where is Forster? He got booted after few mistakes. He would have been safe if here plus big increase in wages to boot.

    I say the league went through Almunia’s hands at Birmingham. Almunia and the other average players with prolonged contracts will be here next season and fail once more and the likes of Ole Gunner will continue to hail them.

  89. I hope everyone expresses what he thinks so long as there’s no harsh (unfair/baseless) slating of player, club, board or manager.

    The one player you’re allowed to bash unfairly is Silvestre 😛

  90. I hereby hail all our average players. Thanks for playing for the shirt. I appreciate you!

  91. arsenehollis

    It feels like a massive weight has been lifted. Now that the season is over it is possible to take the good from it safe in hope for the next.

    The match we played at Spurs was one of the most depressing I have ever seen, but now that the focus of the mind is on the future it can be laid to rest.

    If we can get everybody fit for the start of the season it would be great. I am sure some teams will feel the effects fo the world cup, so a fast start is crucial. Add in a couple more and we will be flying.

  92. Dear average Arsenal player,

    I love you. Thanks for delivering more than average results & brilliant football that’s still one of the highlights of our lives.

    Thanks again.

    P.S. Adam can go fuck himself.

  93. arsenehollis

    Adam – impressive you can type at such tender years, although why don’t you come back when you have something sensible to say.

  94. arsenehollis

    Arsenal need to use the loan system better.

    If we are smart, surely we can get a lot of our kids some game time away from the club before the new year, then have them back for the run in if needed.

    For example, why didn’t wilshere go out and play half a season, rather than a couple fo CC games, then he could have been with us in the last few months.

    I think we should loan out: Fabianski, Bartley, Coquellin, JET, Vela, Wilshere, Barazite, Lansbury, Bartley, Schezny if he isnt promoted to number 1.

  95. Silvestre was giant against Hull!

    From LB.
    Against a team playing 9-1. With L’Orange playing his RW at RB (so he could fall over whilst trying to foul AA…).

    MS wasn’t at his best against Messi.
    But then again, neither were Vidic and Ferdinand in last years CL final…

  96. Big M has hit the nail on its head Improvement is difficult to say.
    Defence,defence, dfence(no my keyboard has not developed a stammer) is something that has to be seriously looked at over the Summer period.What is the point in scoring a record number of goals when in return the team is unable to defend? Defensively at times we have been a shambles.

    Injuries are part and parcel of playing football,yes we can say that we’ve been unlucky in this area this season in having more than our fair share of injuries but that is what a squad is for.

    What became blatantly obvious is there appears to be a lack of natural leaders at the club.Can we imagine if Campbell had not been playing what the scenario might have been?

    Delia Block has it spot on the players that Wenger has looks to bring in defensive players who have got power and can play…

    I’ve the distinct feeling that Aresene is going to leave us all very perplexed come the start of the new season…We wait n See..

  97. Yes I have, PZ

  98. “The match we played at Spurs was one of the most depressing I have ever seen, ..”

    Arsenehollis, the most depressing was the match at Wigan, I had to take a break from all things football from then until today.

  99. arsenehollis

    An average Arsenal players is very, very special.

    Just like an average season for us is very, very special for just about everyone else.

  100. LimparAssist

    I think we should make a grab for Hans-Jörg Butt. He’s even more of a punchline than Fabianski and he takes penalties, which is both amusing and useful for when RVP is injured.

  101. Pertinent to our discussion today….

    “Our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite”

    “No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man (or woman) who does not want to adopt a rational attitude.”

    Karl Popper

  102. That is right, Ras. The natural leaders, RvP, Cesc, WG, TV…. were all injured.

  103. arsenehollis

    I can’t agree, that scum match really got to me. Anyway, no need to dwell on it.

    Part of the problem this year, in terms of the season winding down and people’s reaction to it, was the lack of any cup run.

    Whilst we made the QF of the champs league, in truth we fell against the first real challenge.

    We were very poor in exiting both domestic cups. This seems silly, especially because for fans they do mean something, especially the FA pot.

    I think we should field stronger teams in the FA cup than we do. The sense of expectation that builds through a good cup run is a brilliant thing for fans, just look at Fulham in the Euro conference league.

  104. With the inuries we were carrying we were down to the bare bones. How could we field stronger teams?

  105. Irish Gooner

    Frank

    Chelsea were without Cashley,Joe Cole,Bosingwa and most importantly their best player Essien for long parts of this season.We do not have a monopoly on injuries.Its how you cope with injuries that decides what you win or dont win

  106. Well, we challenged for the title, and what a rollercoaster season it was.

    Such a shame that we were hit with such injury problems, and the wheels cetainly came off a bit towards the end, but exciting none the less.

    It would be hard to look back and argue that we weren’t any better than 3rd, so a fair result.

    By the way – a loose affiliation i know, but congrats to Mark O’Connell – he won the ACLF Fantasy League.

    I managed a Champs League place, and 4th, So not too shabby.

    Yogi – down in 56th – Don’t give up the day job!

  107. Our seasons have faltered on the back of injuries recently, fielding stronger teams in cups is still no guarantee of anything and most likely would mean we run out of players even earlier. Young players are not going to learn and develop without competitive playing time. Loans are useful for this, but the club has to select the right loan team, e.g. the players have to get playing time and the coaching staff have to be able to help them develop.

  108. Chris – I’ve just noticed an innacuracy in your 1.23 post.

    You suggested that I had believed we would struggle at the start of this season.

    In fact, I was quite confident of top two as whilst I thought Chelsea would be strong albeit aging, I felt United and Liverpool would be weaker.

    Your view on blogging is flawed because it appears to be based on the assumption that anybody who has an opinion that isn’t “we have no improving to do” is slating the team and manager.

  109. LimparAssist

    Olympiacos at home, and Alkmaar at home were two of our most fluid performances of the year. The football we played on those nights was the best I saw all season from any team. So quick. Brilliantly entertaining football. Every Champions League night is a great pleasure, don’t take them for granted.

    Matt, I came 3rd! O’Connell’s CorkGoons have led all year. Well done on the CL spot!

  110. I’ve never been a big believer in the ‘spine’ theory. However, losing 2 full backs won’t hurt you as losing your centre back pairing. Not a like for like comparison Irish gooner.

  111. I lost interest in that league after all the winter cancellations cost me a place in the cup. And then some dude decided that he wanted to join the league mid-season, which knocked me out of the top 10. And every time I signed a player he picked up an injury the day after I got him.

  112. So it’s all your fault OOU? If you play again next season, just do not pick any Arsenal players for your team!

  113. Good work LA, good work – 3rd is damn good with the number of entries.

    You beat me by about 20 points – I had RVPas my captain yesterday, so another one of his chances going in, and it might of been different!

  114. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach:

    Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.

  115. My Bergkamp Babes were comfortably mid table but we just missed our target of getting into the Top 20.

    This season we were more Fulham than Tottenham.

  116. Arsenetheman

    A good win to finish off a miserable season.

  117. ….maybe next year!

  118. what a goal by vela!this kid is just awesome.I wonder what would have been had he not been plagued by injuries this campaign.i bet he will be sought after by all the so called big clubs in a few years time.

  119. I’m alone in this i know but i’ve never rated Essien as highly as others do.

    He’s a good player, but i’ve always felt we’ve handled him well, Denilson is particular often outplays him. For me, Chelsea are Drogba especially against Arsenal.

  120. LimparAssist

    My heart said captain RVP, but I thought a friend of mine in another a league would captain Lumplard so I felt I had to too.

    What a sell-out! I used to never pick people I didn’t like, like Lamplard, and any spuds. I finished the season with Gareth Bale in my team. Shocking.

    Backing Arsenal players all season while others wrote them off was the secret to my success. (Yes 3rd is success!)

  121. I was down in 18th in the end.

    That’s probably right, Passenal. Looking at it now – Vermaelen, Fabregas and Song all have red exclamation marks beneath their names.

    I had a strict anti-spuds policy, which I upheld, but I caved when it came to Manure and Chelsea because some players guarantee points.

  122. We finish one place about the Spuds and some Gooners look on that as success.It is just a sign of how far we have fallen.We havent finished about Chelsea since 2004

    Top 3 players of the season:1.Cesc
    2.TV
    3.Song

    Worst 3 players of the season: 1.Almunia
    2.Eduardo
    3.Theo

  123. Ole: “I’ve never been a big believer in the ‘spine’ theory. However, losing 2 full backs won’t hurt you as losing your centre back pairing. Not a like for like comparison Irish gooner.”

    Well, given our luck (is it really luck?) with injuries we can be sure we’ll be losing them again next year, if personnel remains the same.

  124. Not bad though Ole.. Not bad….

  125. Yep – i had Bale towards the end as well, and Modric…

    Hurt me to do it, but hey….

    And due to the scoring nature of Fantasy Leagues (goals & Assists) Lampard is pretty much a must really.

    I think you probably would be alone in thinking Denilson outplayed Essien QoS!

  126. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach….

    “We are so vain that we even care for the opinion of those we don’t care for.”

  127. Nice post Yogi:

    Lots to be proud of after this season. Injuries to our most important offensive players totally derailed our fluidity the last part of the year. Next year Nasri, Walcott, Denilson, Diaby, must be more consistant. NB needs to continue to score. They have all been brilliant at times and all been invisible at times. These players need to step up.

    At the beginning of the year I thought Arshavin would be one of the best players in the league. I do not expect that anymore but he needs to be good again. RVP and Cesc will both be great but we need some luck with injuries.

    The disappointing part of this season is that Wenger identified defense as our weakness after last season. Injuries killed our offense but we were relatively intact defensively for the 1st 26 games and we were still not good enough. We had a bunch of defensive injuries in the last month but that does not hide the fact that our defense was not adequate all year. This time more then lip service needs to be payed to defense.

    Our attacking talent is above question. If we can fix our problems at the back and have a little luck with injuries there is no telling how many trophies this team could win. If we do not stop leaking goals we will fight for 4th again.

  128. We haven’t had £300m to throw at our team like Chelsea have though Ray.

  129. Frank, I view you as chief Arsenal cheerleader (without pom-poms) – so I am surprised you were happy with half the crowd not bothering to wait 5 minutes to cheer the players at the end of a season which as Yogi has pointed out ended with a better league position than many thought possible at the start of the season.

    The cheering of the God Eboue however restored some of my faith in our supporters.

  130. lol Very good Frank.

    William Drummond:
    He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave.

  131. Quote lifted from the Manager’s Email today:

    The fans did not react well to Lukasz Fabianski at the start of the Fulham game but that is part of the learning process for him. You want the fans to be positive but I feel he has enough quality to be an exceptional keeper – he responded well and had a quality game.

    It is not easy to play at such a young age under such pressure. In the last three weeks he has made progress and I believe he has huge potential.

    We want to improve our quality this summer. It is not necessarily a large number of players that we need to buy but I believe you don’t win the title when you concede 40 goals.

    Leave the transfer business to me and when you come back in July for the Emirates Cup you will see.”

    Let the criticism begin…

    YW

  132. Limpar:

    “Bill was last seen leaping stark bollock naked from rooftop to rooftop all the way from his place to Ivan’s to give our CEO a big Bill-sized bear hug.”

    LOL. I do not agree with your opinions very often but you are entertaining. Nothing I could say would do that one justice.

  133. I agree with Wengers statement on Fabianski. I think he has loads of ability…but i’ve never seen a player with such nervous mannerisms.

    Those that sarcastically applauded yesterday were clearly idiots.

  134. Is 24 really that young for a GK?

  135. Yogi:

    The boss thinks Fabianski is quality and he may be right. To have this much faith him there must be something that he sees that we do not see in the games. However, lets all pray that he does bring in someone as GK next year and let Fabianski go on loan to Newcastle.

    I agree with what you have said, the club can not afford to start another season with a GK controversy. The Blackburn game pointed out. Even when his performances were not that bad the fans and refs were waiting for him to screw up. We can not have another “here we go again” moment next season. Lets give Fab a chance to prove how good he is but not at our expense.

  136. The response of a minority in the crowd to Fabianski yesterday was a disgrace really.

    I can’t understand why anyone would think sarcastically cheering our own GK is in any way helpful when the guy is struggling with his confidence anyway.

    Unfortunately we do seem to have a significant chunk of moron’s in the crowd these days.

  137. arsenehollis

    That Gomes git was a complete buffoon for the scum not long ago.

  138. I hear a lot of praise for Gomes these days. People saying “Tottenham have 2 quality goalkeepers in Gomes and Cudicini”.

    Does no one remember the absolute calamity that he was when he first joined?

    An example maybe of the benefit of sticking with a keeper who clearly has talent but makes mistakes early on.

    There’s no way Fab should be our No.1 at present, but maybe, given Wenger’s belief in him, its worth him sticking around for a while yet. Or maybe a loan spell would be fruitful… if anyone was willing to take a risk on him.

  139. The crowd were suprised Flappy actually caught a cross

  140. Beat me to it arsenehollis. But it’s true.

  141. SEASON IS OVER TRANSFER SPECULATION BEGINS HOPEFULLY WENGER WILL MAKE A COUPLE MORE SIGNING AFTER CHAMAKH

    Arshavin Chamakh/Nolan ————— Van Persie
    —————–———– Fabregas ————————–—
    ——————– Jenas ——— Song ———-–———–
    Clichy — Vermaelen —— Bramble —-—– Sagna
    —————–—— Zuberbuhler

    GK – Sell Almunia or Loan Fabianski and then buy Pascal Zuberbuhler. Good players and Wojeich can take over in a couple of years and Green can become second choice. I choose Pascal Zuberbuhler because he’s a good keeper and should be available at a good price, 39 years old and will solve or bandaid this goalkeeping problem until Wojciech Szczęsny is ready to take over in a couple of years. Hopefully not more than 5-6 million

    CB – Bramble is a very good choice, strong, powerfull, tall and we have a good relation with Wigan. Maybe Wilshere and Vela on loan to Wigan will sweeten the deal and we might get him for less than 10 million

    DM – Jenas would be a great buy as Diaby or Denilson are not ready yet for it yet. Pure class.

    ST – Chamakh is already coming and will surely be a great addition. But I think we need an alternative that is used to the english game. Strong and tecnically adept. My choice would be Kevin Nolan

    Not more than 20 million (30-35 million if we go for Melo) of spending and we can recoup most by selling Eduardo and either Fabianski or Almunia. We already should have money left from selling toure and Adebayor

  142. Does anyone know why the Arsenal captain was out last night at the celebration party of…………………………….Chelsea?

  143. Ray,
    And…?

    You think it is OK to react in such a way to a member of the home team?

    You don’t sound like much of a supporter to me….

  144. Very good points Cannonsense and Arsenhollis. I think it comes down to your attitude to risk.

    A loan spell may well be a big help to him.

  145. @ YW

    A very fair summation of the season, but I like LA’s gloss. I was a bit down last night, thinking of what might have been and trying to avoid TV pictures of the cootie-ridden Chavs (thanks, Passenal) but now all I can think about is next season.

    I am guessing that we will sign Chamakh and ONE other. On ATVO in February, one of the commentators who seemed to be in the know claimed that the player who Arsene nearly signed in the January window was…a GK.
    I have no opinion about the veracity of this tidbit, just putting it out there.

    And I am hoping that Merida, Gallas and Campbell choose to stay. Come on lads, you know you want to.

    ****

    @ Matt

    There are people who think their “right” to express their feelings trumps everything else. So the pointlessness of jeering your own keeper doesn’t enter into their calculations. But he grew into the game, and we started to see the real Tabbianski.

  146. Its funny because its true muppet.

  147. Brilliant again, Muppet.

  148. LimparAssist

    I do hope we don’t employ that silly Northern chant of “Attack, Attack, Attack-Attack-Attack”, for Marouane, if he passes his medical and whatnot.

    “Chamakh, Chamakh, Chamakh-Chamakh-Chamakh”. It’s almost inevitable, isn’t it? Oh dear.

  149. Nick
    He may have been testing whether the Reds could find any common ground with the Blues, but I think he found that your Blackpool team had got there first……

  150. Finsbury:

    Schwarzer looked rather pedestrian on that first goal. They all make mistakes. Know it probably will not happen but would still love to see the boss make a real run at him. Fulham could probably be tempted at the right price and if we sent Fabianski or Sczeczeny or Mannone along with Vela on loan. Maybe Hangeland and Schwarzer as a package deal with some loanees going the other way.

  151. As I alluded to in my blog, I think the fans reaction at times might seriously affect the decision of other players to join us, or indeed existing players to stay with us.

    It’s a disgrace at times, and certainly won’t make players want to play for us.

  152. NC

    Clichy,Campbell and Sagna also at Chelsea title celebration bash.What a joke.Someone tell them they play for Arsenal

  153. Ha Ha QoS. I see your point. But Bramble and Jenas ? Really ?

    Arsene will sign some unpronounceable name from Burkina Faso who nobody there has even heard of. !

    It’s going to be 2 months of non stop speculation. Here we go.

  154. How about:

    “Go long, Marouane,
    It’s time that we began to…er something, something.”

    Needs work.

  155. “On ATVO in February, one of the commentators who seemed to be in the know claimed that the player who Arsene nearly signed in the January window was…a GK.”

    And the rumours doing the rounds on newsnow suggest it was Akinfeev. If true, I wonder what made him withdraw from that deal?

  156. Matt

    I spent good money to travel up to Blackburn last monday to see the Polish clown f**k up again.I have every right to have a go at him.

  157. Excellent points, Muppet. My concern about Chamakh is his price. If he is any good, surely Bordeaux would have sold him a couple of seasons ago when they could have got some money for him. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about football, it’s that you get what you pay for. Look at how Arshavin saved our season. And he was the first established player Wenger had signed for five years. If Wenger really rates Chamakh, he ought to have paid a few mill for him.

  158. LimparAssist

    ‘Go long, Marouane’… brilliant.

    …to pass, and score, and score and pass around them all the time…

    Still needs work.

  159. Hey, that can be a summer project!

  160. Bill
    “Lets give Fab a chance to prove how good he is but not at our expense.”

    I’m not sure about that. The consensus seems to be that without a player to criticise, our poor fans will have literally nothing to talk about. Let’s hang on to Fabianski, and hope to God he keeps making the mistakes for which he is famous. The alternative is that The Emirates will be completely silent, except for the occasional brief exchange, going something like this:

    “Fabregas’s great isn’t he?
    “Yes, he is”
    “hmm”

  161. Muppet, why not Jenas and Bramble? they’re tall and English aren’t they? Maybe you don’t like them because they are black.

  162. Yesterday, when they were announcing the final total attendance for the season at the Emirates, I was elated that I was part of that number.

    Thank god we have the world cup to distract us this summer

  163. Jon, the club where the chelski celebrated is apparently a popular hang out for footballers. It’s possible that our players just happened to be there for their end of season get together as well. I’m sure they would have congratulated their fellow professionals on their success, but the media would prefer to spin things differently.

  164. Quite right, Poliziano, the best buys are always the most expensive, like Veron, Berbatov, Anelka (£800k?), Vieira (£2m?)………

    Bramble? interesting thought – and how about that massive Stephano Okokokoko (sp?) we saw yesterday – Sol looked anorexic next to him….they would make us true heavyweights

  165. The Emirates is already completely silent save for the occasional hiss and boo at one of ours PZ…

  166. Do you think it was productive to have a go at him Ray?

    What did you hope it would achieve?

  167. Fabregas went along to have a chat with John Terry after the patchy haired offspring of a drug dealer was seen talking to his girlfriend.

  168. You think QoS?

    Where do you sit then? Club Level? 😉

  169. You’re right Poliziano, when Bordeaux wanted £17m for a player in the final year of his contract, Arsene should have just ‘splashed the cash’ to show intent. We’re a big club and we should spend money we haven’t got in order to prove it. Who cares about the future, live for the moment!

  170. “Come join us in the window, my little foundling,
    I’d like to try to twist you arm,
    I used to rave above our young crozilian boy
    Before they snapped his gifted bones.

    Now go long, Marouane, it’s time that we began to pass and win?…”

    Meh. Back to work.

  171. Yeah with Geoff!

    Nope I sit lower tier won’t say exactly for obvious reasons but not a million miles from the halfway line.

    I was kidding about the perception of the Emirates being quiet tbh!

  172. Poliz,
    Brilliant. Is that why Stamford Bridge was so quiet last night after Chelsea scored 8 against wigan.

    Probably also explains why manu fan have had nothing to say the previous three seasons.

  173. Is Arsenal trying to win football? Is football some kind of last man standing contest where the only team that survives wins?

    Chelski, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man Utd, Liverpool are all financially doping.

    Talkless of the Pompeys & hulls of this world.

    If everyone else goes bankrupt who will we contest the league against?

  174. just add ‘…and do it all again’.

  175. Were there not reports of some empty seats at Stamford Bridge yesterday?

  176. club level rocks.

    plebs!

  177. Ha ha – your new mate!

    Did you share your fake money with him?

    I thought the lower tier was where all the noise came from, certainly seems that way from my vantage point in the upper tier.

    Certainly not as loud as the old clock end, but it has been rocking on occasion this season.

  178. Yes, that’ll work, CB.

    And that was “about” not “above”.

  179. Spend this money. We have that money? Instead of the board making their City friends rich by giving OUR money to the banks, they should by a player sometimes and stop cheating the fans.

  180. Frank regarding earlier. AW is the finest manager we’ve had since I’ve been supporting the Arsenal who’s honest (to a point) but is no genius. What he’s achieved during the last 5 years by keeping us in the top 4 has been miraculous. But is he the man to take us forward? The summer should tell us.

  181. PZ,

    Yeah. That really irks me. The Chamakh deal. I would feel better if we paid £15m to £20m for him imo.

  182. I think my fake money demonstrated quite ably those that were prepared to have the courage of their convictions, Matt.

    In fairness, I like posting on all manner of sites. I try to see past those that are clearly fans of rival clubs on the wind-up.

    I like where I sit, there are a couple of muppets nearby for whom going to the EMirates is clearly painful but mostly its fun.

  183. It seems that Fabianski’s problem is a mental one rather than physical. If he can’t cope with the pressure or is suffering from stage fright then his own fans booing him is hardly going to help.

  184. my moneys plenty real mofo

    poor people – LOL !

  185. I noticed you were reffered to as a Grover the other day, you must be very proud!

    I am probably still banned.

    We all have those, we refer to the chap behind me as The Oracle, as he see’s all, and know’s all about football, even when others cant see it.

    Its quite amazing – he can see offsides at the other end of the pitch that a linesman 2 yards away missed.

    Best quote of the season from him was calling Maxi Rodriguez a dirty spaniard…

    I was laughing too much to point out he is Argentinian.

  186. Argentinian, spaniard, it’s the same think.

  187. I’ve been called worse Matt!

    Because there are a lot of posters on there, you are never short of someone to talk to. Irony is, I never stopped posting on there 😉

  188. I think if we just all agreed African, it would save a lot of time.

  189. Hmmm … I just loved the delicate Vela chip, that’s all, such economy. That does it for me.

  190. Ha ha – absolutely Muppet.

  191. Argentinians (of European origin) are Spanish-speaking Italians. Or so I’m told.

    @ Muppet, Pz, Passenal
    ha ha ha

  192. QoS,

    Are you schizophrenic or something ? How do you manage to blog on both sides of the politicial spectrum ?

  193. Its more cognitive dissonance Muppet.

    At the end of the day, we’re all just Africans really.

  194. Henristic,

    Bramble has actually improved a lot.

    Jenas ? Don’t know about him.. He hasn’t featured much this season. Injury prone ?

  195. Well done boys. Well done Arsene.

  196. With a hint of neanderthal so I hear QoS ?

  197. Ahh – a secret name….

    Very sneaky QoS.

    So maybe the Oracle was right – maybe he is a dirty Spaniard after all.

  198. Did anyone notice bigbrovar’s swift entrance and exit? I find that quite stylish,

    And so the boredom begins. Im already bored. Hasnt taken me very long has it.

    So when are our 8-0 spankings of austrian fourth devision sides gonna begin?

  199. More than a hint in some cases Muppet!

  200. I was actually Baxter Wall, Matt. I started blogging by going a month without saying one positive word about Arsenal. Just complete venom to see if he would be accepted.

    He was, and then i started getting bored so I began to soften him at which point I thought I might as well just be myself.

  201. QoS. Yes.. sorry for that. I’ll check out my DNA profile and see what’s what.

    Zap – the spanking of the austrian sides like nirgendowobergenschonaussichten begin in July/August preseason.

  202. I go on as akb QoS. They hate me. Geoff rewrites my posts.

    Quite funny really.

  203. Actually a little off topic but for DNA profiling Muppet check out 23andme.com . I’ve just had mine done and its flat out fascinating stuff.

    My doctor wants to take me to dinner to discuss it in more detail.

  204. So true QoS, so true. Mother continent you know. Human history (of ‘civilisation’) is so recent, the blink of an eye really; just 13,000 or so years, hell that’s just the other day. Prehistory is another matter but not by that much. A few more days. Perhaps this is why we Africans generally are not impressed by time.

    Cognitive dissonance is dissonant cognisance. It pays to come to ACLF.

  205. I thought that was Frank!

  206. Well said Damien.

  207. I already know I’m fooked QoS, so I’m not bothered.

    Are you going to die then ?

  208. So they claim Muppet.

    I carry around a copy of Mitch Albom’s “The five people you meet in heaven”. Ever since. It freaks a lot of people out.

  209. You thought what was Frank, Marilyn my dear?

  210. AKB on Le-Grove. I’d say you were most certainly an influence.

  211. Very sneaky QoS – one not to be trusted i see!

    I thought they tracked IP adresses, as they are so clever.

  212. Who would you guys like to come into the EPL from the play offs?

  213. Interesting. Five people you meet in heaven ?

    Let me guess – St Peter, the devil, the tax man, err.. parisian toilet attendant ?

  214. I have never posted on LeGrove….only here.

  215. More intellectual curiosity than bad intentions to be honest Matt…

    There are many simple measures that can be taken to block ip addresses.

    I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I’m no longer interested in the blog wars/political spectrum of Arsenal support, i’m quite happy posting where people want to talk about Arsenal. Makes for a quieter life.

  216. Maybe we should all adopt different names on there and slowly influence them to become supporters….

  217. U have to admit, le-grove at least does something good, its a haven for pricks to gather, getting rid of them from sites with real fans (no disrepect to suburbia queen becaus yur not wan of them) but at least it means less cunts out there.

  218. They were 5 people that informed the main character’s life Muppet.

    The writers concept of heaven was that it was a place you get to understand your life rather than some sort of Utopian paradise.

  219. Interesting QoS. I’ll look it up. Thanks.

  220. Intellectual curiosity?

    Really?

    I couldn’t even get through all of the comments the other day on the one with the fake money, as there really are some total retard’s on there.

    I imagine a them as a group of Danny Dyer-lite characters, supping on their Peroni’s talking about how ‘pwopa norty’ things where at the weekend.

  221. I think every site, on every subject, gets good and bad posters Zap.

  222. Muppet,

    So what if he’s improved? I’m pretty sure you can say that about every player in the world, no matter how shit they are.

  223. The Online Gooner is the home of the anti-Arsenal anti-Support. Some of those guys hate the club & don’t even try to mask it. Starting with their editor, a serial fibber called Witch

  224. In last weeks arsecast, the irish guy – it it Nesbitt, said that Online Gooner can go fook themselves after saying that it would be better for us to finish below Spu*ds to deliver a wake up call.

  225. Henristic,

    Very true.

    What’s your take on what we need this season ?

  226. Yes I agree with that, OG. Kevin Whitcher is a cuckoo.

  227. Never read that site at all. Sounds awful.

  228. @ Big Johan

    Just watching highlights and you are right, Okaka is HUGE. He’s like two men glued together. Makes Campbell look like Walcott. He is also lumbering and slow.

  229. The thing is, they’re one of the oldest & most established gooner voices.

    All the more tragic that it’s occupied by little green men.

  230. Actually it’s like watching Frodo and Gandalf style trick camera-work. The guy is unfeasibly massive.

  231. Mould or envy?

  232. Or nausea?

  233. It is the online version of ‘The Gooner’, which got too big for its boots.

  234. The Gooner is indeed a haven of knob heads.

    Arsenal Action has to take the prize for the worst though, pure comedy.

  235. PZ @ 4:11.

    What do you think we should do about GK. The boss has always been a good judge of talent and he obviously thinks Fabianski is good. He just seems to have a major mental hurdle to cross. Do you think we should start the season next year with him as #1. Big risk? Might happen. Maybe better for him to work out his self belief issues on loan?

    Like you I think that booing a player in the stadium is garbage. Sure sign of “small mans syndrome”.

  236. Lots of comedy gooner blogs…..

    Arsenal Action twice started a petition to get Arsene sacked. He got 5 names on his list. He couldn’t even find enough Spud fans to join him.

    But he’s no better or worse than Le-Grove…..the blog Arsene reads before crying himself to sleep every night (in their dreams).

  237. This ‘freaks’ approach to football really has to stop. Football eugenics. Goalkeepers with impossibly big hands. Defenders with enormous feet. Rory Delap types with arms down to the floor all the better for chucking the ball into the area. Centre forwards with telescopic necks. Wingers with just legs and a head on top…no middle. Very, very tiny people so small that no-one can see them…with an uncanny ability to think the ball into the net.

  238. “Perhaps this is why we Africans generally are not impressed by time.”

    Speak for yourself, Paul of Zim. lol.

  239. Fucking hell im bored. No football. What shall i do ole gunner..

  240. Consider your thoughts on electoral reform in the UK, Zap. That should get the pulse racing.

  241. Muppet,

    What we need next season? Luck. Plenty of luck with injuries. A Lampard type injury record for all of our players will do me just fine.

  242. Defenders so wide they can literally form an interlocking wall. Strikers so incisive that their teammates get lacerations when they cuddle them after they score. Playmakers who are a giant brain in a massive test tube surrounded by green liquid which bubbles occasionally… I agree, Frank – STOP THIS MADNESS NOW!!!!

  243. Zap,

    Well the World Cup will provide distraction for a month.

  244. Ole, yeh i guess so, atleast it wont be as bad as last year, and we should get some signings.

    The triangle of life as i call it has changed, from

    Work-Home-Arsenal

    Work-Home

    so….depressing

  245. Oh yes, just a thought on the electoral reform has got the blood pulse racing excitedly, frank

  246. Considering you guys are supposed to hate le-grove, you do mention them an awful lot. Geoff, probably thanks you for the cheap publicity.

    I myself found out about le-grove from here and I’m now a regular reader, particularly the comments section. You can’t beat them for comedy value.

  247. Ole

    No, the World Cup will not provide any respite. It will be the cause of a thousand comments along the lines of ‘X was brilliant in the match yesterday. If Wenger doesn’t sign him, he ought to resign or be sacked.

    YW

  248. Henristic if you want comedy value look at online gooner,, its hilarious,

  249. Just re-watching the game on ATVO and I can’t believe Arsene seriously considered buying Smalling. On the evidence of yesterday he is a poor defender and a lumbering oaf who cannot pass the ball 5 yards without making a mistake. He might get better one day, but if you’re going to spend £10m I’m sure you’d want more than that.

  250. LimparAssist

    That Mario Balotelli doesn’t seem like a very popular chap in Serie A.

    Here’s Totti giving him a jolly good kick up the arse. http://www.footballspotter.com/totti-launches-attack-balotelli/

    De Rossi’s reaction, bottom left at about 1 minute is pretty good.

  251. @ Passenal

    Regarding Smalling, perhaps we were right after all about Wenger’s Cunning Plan…

  252. LimparAssist

    The sad thing about the Chris Smalling story is that poor old Maidstone Town FC who initially discovered him as a schoolboy, sold him to Fulham for a pint of beer and a slap on the back. He was put in the shop window playing for Hodgson’s Heroes for all of 10 seconds and suddenly United come a cooing with a multi-million pound offer – a tiny fraction of which could’ve completely transformed Maidstone Town, both in terms of squad, and more importantly in going a ways toward financing a return to their original ground, which is something the fans there desperately want.

    Sad for ‘The Stones’.

  253. Limpar,

    There’s one Premier League rule I’d support; add a sell-on clause to every young player so that the original club which formed him gets paid if he makes it big.

  254. Your knowledge of such things never fails to impress, La.

    Apart from your blindspot for Argyle of course. Every time you read that everton produce good young players like, erm, Dan Gosling, remember that they bought him from the Pilgrims.

    Never liked that name incidentally. They used to be the Dandies before Malcolm Allison got his hands on them.

  255. nice video limpar. seems like balotelli would be an AW like project, but i think the fact that he’s already at inter and hence carring a big price tag, will prevent his arrival at the emirates. if AW had found him before he got big at inter, who knows.

    his egotistical attitude seems painfully similar to a certain Togolese international…

  256. It doesn’t really matter whether the LeGrove or Online Gooner get publicity from this site or not.

    What is interesting though, henristic, is that you are a liar.

  257. YW,

    How right you are!

  258. LA:

    Agree with CBob @ 6:30PM.

    (not trying to be facetious, really)

  259. What is even more interesting is why you think I’m a liar Frank. Or maybe you’re just bored and there’s no one else to goad?

  260. Bill

    Poor old Mark S had a howler on Sunday. It happens.
    Imagine if he’d been an AFC keeper!

    But what leaves me very confused is how someone can post above that they’ll never forget the Barca game, and then completely forget Al’s display n that game. (No, he was not ‘at fault’ for their goals in that home leg)

    All I’m saying is Almunia clearly has all the talent in the world.
    That’s not always enough, in any sport. I’m not attempting to defend him, or critique him, I just find it hard to respect the judgement of those who call him a poor keeper.
    For the future, I have no interest speculating upon what I have no understanding of, but I do have the impression Al may not stay. If he doesn’t I don’t think it will be for Football reasons.
    However, that IS subjective speculation.

  261. LA and Ole and Yogi:

    You have probably forgotten more about football then most of us have ever known.

    Its going to be a long summer without real games to talk about. Transfer rumors are fun for a while.

    The WC will get more interesting as it gets closer. Hopefully the US and England can both go thru our group. Your knowledge of world football will help make it more interesting. My biggest interest in the WC at this point is that no Arsenal players get long term injuries.

  262. What other reason could there be Finsbury?

    He would prefer the weather somewhere else? What? I’m curious.

  263. C-Bob,

    Family reasons? Am reluctant to follow this thread, but didn’t he lose a bit of his form earlier in the season when someone fell ill?

    I have no idea, it doesn’t really matter. Just a thought:
    We’ve all seen top athletes lose their ‘focus’ at times for one reason or another.

  264. a fungus-coated right hand

    A good season for the anybody but man united crowd. Finishing 2nd will prompt them to spend megamillions to replace berbatov and bring in other established stars to regain the title. Which is the most likely outcome I can foresee next season unless Arsenal see the light and splash some hefty cash for once.

  265. Consolsbob, his mother-in-law died in a car crash before the season started. He suffered a lot of trauma from that experience. Maybe his wife wants to return home after such a loss.

    Bacary Sagna also spoke about the difficult time he has had getting over the loss of his brother. He says it affected his game at times.

    People forget these guys are human and we all react differently to loss. It’s interesting how people don’t really mention it or take any of that into account when talking about players form. Somehow there is a belief that the big money they are paid should insulate them from normal human experiences.

  266. Finsbury:

    I have never thought Almunia was great but at the beginning of this year I thought he was adequate and I was not in favor of replacing him after last year. He had a great 1st half against Barca and was really good in the first leg of last years CL semi with the Manc’s. However those type of performances seem much less common then some of the mistakes. Who knows why it happens but don’t you think his inconsistancy has hurt us? IMO AFC has not developed a strong team self belief especially on defense. Fair or not I suspect our GK has been a significant part of that fragile self belief. Sometimes changing players or systems can do wonders for that “nous” even if the player you add is not that much more talented. I hope that can happen with our team defense.

  267. So which keepers are we getting then?

  268. Finsbury and Passenal:

    I did not know any of that.

  269. Passenal very well said,, that is absolutely true and youve put it perfectly there.

  270. Yes, thank you Finsbury and passenal, I remember now.

    Tell me though, it seems to have become almost a given that he will not be at Arsenal next season.

    Is it wishful thinking on many’s part or do we actually believe that Arsene is going to sign a new No.1?

    If that was Akinfiev that he tried to sign in January, as someone posited earlier, I would be surprised. He has never impressed me as being the finished article that we are looking for. If we did, then all our keepers might as well move on. How old is he/

  271. I can’t see what the fuss is about Almunia is about tbh. I don’t think he makes more mistakes than most other keepers in the league. All the so called best keepers Casillas, Cech, Reina etc have good and not-so-good seasons as well.

    Our transfer budget, should such a thing exist, would be better spent getting better quality outfield players as backup than we currently have.

  272. We’re getting Robogoalo, he’s not human so he will always make the right decisions and thus never make any mistakes or allow personal problems to distract him.

  273. I can’t see what the fuss about Almunia is about tbh. I don’t think he makes more mistakes than most other keepers in the league. All the so called best keepers Casillas, Cech, Reina etc have good and not-so-good seasons as well.

    Our transfer budget, should such a thing exist, would be better spent getting better quality outfield players as backup than we currently have.

  274. I can’t see what the fuss about Almunia is tbh. I don’t think he makes more mistakes than most other keepers in the league. All the so called best keepers Casillas, Cech, Reina etc have good and not-so-good seasons as well.

    Our transfer budget, should such a thing exist, would be better spent getting better quality outfield players as backup than we currently have.

  275. LimparAssist

    Yeah, that’s a good thought, Ole. I’d like to think that Arsenal FC would’ve offered to pay them, perhaps through Fulham, a more than nominal fee – partly because I seem to think we’ve done something similar in the past?

    Consolsbob, strange that one so guileless as Gosling was once a Plymouth player. Ahem.

    Finsbury, good to see you. Heard on the news last night “man stabbed to death in front of Finsbury Park tube station” and my first reaction was one of, “FINSBURY!! NOoooo”. So it’s good to see you around.

  276. shotta-gunna

    …same old, same old.

    ….Despite the hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth, we comfortably finish 3rd.

    …Next three months of of all the amateur scouts, football agents and would-be football managers.

    ….No thanks. In Arsene I trust.

  277. Well, if a thing’s worth saying it’s worth saying three times I suppose.

    If it’s not worth saying then it seems the same must be true as well.

  278. One post will do, henristic. You are lying in your references to LeGrove.

  279. oops!

  280. @ cbob

    I think the Akinfeev rumours were wishful thinking on behalf of some bloggers. But the word on ATVO was definitely that the “almost” signing was a keeper. Not that that means AW will revisit it – depends on the reason why it didn’t come off. And in Feb or March, AW went out of his way to say that he felt Almunia had got back to his best form, so that’s another indication that he might not look to buy in that position. But it was interesting to hear that on ATVO because at the time many people assumed AW was after a striker.

  281. Stories, which show the human side of players are of little interest to our sensationalist press, which is why you wouldn’t know it Bill. Sagna actually gave the interview to a French publication, but it was translated and re-printed in the Arsenal magazine. It certainly gave me a completely different perspective on him after reading that.

  282. Sorry, not “on behalf of”. “on the part of” some bloggers. Can’t believe I wrote that.

  283. Al has to go doesn’t he really??? whilst he isnt shite he isnt good enough to make us take over the footballing world is he.

  284. FG, there were also rumours about Thomas Sorenson in January. Arsene may have been concerned about the speed of Almunia’s recovery from his loss and Fabianski was also out injured. Mannone did well to start with, but it’s difficult for a young keeper to maintain that level of concentration game after game. I doubt very much that Akinfeev was a serious option. He is only 24 and is first choice at CSKA, why would he settle for a stop-gap position? Also, why would Arsenal spend that amount of money on one?

  285. shotta!

    Long time no see…

  286. @ Bill

    I think other players have been culpuble in the past regarding AFC’s ‘defence’, so it’s not fair to focus n Al.

    Toure had to struggle with his recovery from maleria, quite hardcore for a top athlete competing on the treadmill of PL. He fell out with Gallas before even that, we have no idea what affect the Ade situation had on the squad, but at least we can see that Gallas has recovered his ‘focus’ for want of a better term this season for AFC. I’m not sure what I mean in that last sentance, but Gallas has been immense.

    Edu & Petit both came to AFC with excess ‘trauma’.
    Edu’s was physical, Petit needed something to sink his teeth into (opposing PL midfieders!).

    AFC got two amazing seasons out of Edu, a few interruptions, but he was a key member of that squad. If any player returning from some kind of hardcore physical trauma can give a club two Great seasons, that is quite an acheivment IMO.
    ‘Messed up’ players are not always worth ‘disposing’.

    @ Duke:

    heh.
    Time to sit back & enjoy the Creeeeeeeeeeeeeeekit!

  287. well the “you cant win a title without a world class keeper has been proved this year by our dodgy duo”. lets get schwarzer to replace al and any keeper from the womens league to replace flappers.

  288. Hello, shotta. Thought you were missing in action.

    Enjoying the crickey Duke?

    Every time I hear someone say how exciting 20-20 is I think of the first morning of an Ashes series.

    11 am. Brett Lee comes tearing in to a field of 5 slips and 2 gullies…. We hold our breath.

    20-20 World Cup, Zimbabwe versus Pakistan. First over in trundles Ray Price and dobs down a few off spinners.

    You couldn’t make it up.

  289. Oh lord

  290. Limpar Assist:

    The sad thing is, it’s not the first time…

  291. Passenal:

    What ever happens to him with regard to football this summer I am sure we all wish him the best. He has certainly been a good servant to AFC.

  292. bob, the cricket has been great, good wins over south africa and pakistan and erm ireland. we could win this tournement. more chance then the football. even though that doesnt say alot.

  293. Oh give it up Bob. Cricket has moved on, from 5 boring dreadful days to quick 2-3 hour matches that everyone can enjoy. Not long before they completely scrap the 5 day test match. That form of the game is for old people who’ve got too much time to spare. I am personally hoping for an end to the one day game as well. WTF? Why take a day to finish a match, when it can be done in just 2-3 hours. Most people agree that it is the first 10 and last 10 overs that are interesting, hence the 20-20 game. LOVE IT.

    COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  294. LimparAssist

    Probably not a very popular notion, but if Manuel does go, I’d like to see another young goalkeeper join on level pegging with Fabs. Then they can fight it out on pure meritocracy from the first training session to the first league game. I’m not sure I like the idea of an old pro coming in and automatically getting in ahead of Fabianski – based on a fan/media invented need for experience.

    It’s a shame Rene Adler won’t be fit for the World Cup. He’s an excellent young goalkeeper.

    Finsbury, I remember hearing Manu Petit talk about how he played every minute of every game in memory of his brother. He pretty much became my hero at that point! He really did play like he was fighting to save something or someone he loved – fortunately for us that something ended up being AFC.

    Couldn’t agree more with you on 20-20, Cb. It’s like watching a golfer at a driving range.

  295. Finsbury:

    As you know from multiple past posts I think that the problem is multifactorial starting with the top of our organization. The GK situation is 1 part of it. “Scapegoating” a certain player is the easy way out and is almost alway inaccurate and never really tells the true story.

  296. Obviously Shotta has been taken some time out to go watch the 20-20!

    @ Bill, I hear you!

    As I’ve responded, with no shame on a site that has a genuine Football Brain on it, or a few, I think that there’s been an interesting development with our first choice CB’s. Risky, but fun.

    Maybe I’m writing *******s.
    We’ll find out next season!

  297. Well, coming from a banker I suppose I have to concede that you would understand excitement Ateeb.

    All those debits and credits, balancing the books, remembering to open on time.

    I can’t make an argument really, can I, being a person of older years and discernment?

  298. Still, to be fair, I can understand why someone from Pakistan would want a cricket match – any cricket match – to be over as soon as possible.

  299. Oh don’t get personal now, Bob. I regret using the words old people in my last post. And I’m not much of a banker to be honest with you, but that’s a story that I can’t reveal here. As for the match, come on, whose got time to watch a 5 day match. Just watch the last 10 overs, or the first 10 overs of that ashes first day. Bret Lee ripping apart all the English batsmen in one good spell. You know how that series mostly goes, I wonder why you guys are so anxiously waiting for it. It’s irrational to me. It’s like someone excited about their own dreadful death.

  300. We Love You Arsenal……….

    cant wait for the next season aready

  301. Ateeb my Brother!

    Nothing personal. Just a bit of old fashioned ‘in your face’ piss taking. It’s all we less talented posters can do in the face of greater ability!

    I’d say sorry about the banking career but I know that you hated the job.

    You’re still wrong about cricket though.

  302. sorry ateeb but test cricket is still cricket in its greatest form. only men (or women i suppose today as they like to get their ore in everything now) with brains can understand the art of patience and skill that comes with test cricket. twenty20 whilst exciting will never replace the good old fashioned test match.

  303. Queen of Suburbia

    http://spittoon.23andme.com/2010/05/10/genes-languages-and-artifacts-yield-insights-into-african-prehistory

    funnily enough we were talking about this earlier and this just popped up on my timeline!

  304. ‘oar’ Duke, oar.

  305. Lolz, Just pulling your leg, Bob. I’ve got little interest in cricket left over. The occasional match now and then. Whose going to beat the Aussies this time around?

  306. zimpaul

    fuck off if you have nothing good to say about africa. you are not impressing any one…

  307. Looks like it’s upto us Ateeb.

  308. My second wife was an anthropologist. Fucking cow said she found me very interesting. Always measuring my bits and the angles between them. Very disconcerting…used to put me off my stride.

  309. Queen of Suburbia

    I came across my first anthropologist a few weeks ago. Very clever man, two PHD’s the other in art history.

    Rather full of himself i thought and his shoes were remarkably squeaky. Found myself thinking that he’d be very easy to track and kill.

  310. Watching the Fulham game again. Why do they zoom into Fabianski every time he’s been involved. more trial by media.

  311. A subject for charlatans, in my opinion. Full of half-baked theories. Very little rigour. At least measuring people’s bits could be scientific. Perhaps Mrs Frank had read some of those books by Karl Popper.

  312. Bradys right foot

    Enjoyed the season guys and girls, ultimately left disappointed as I believe injuries were the real story of our season not the media narrative created to reinforce a widely held bias against Arsenal and Wenger that our squad lacks depth, nonsense. We do have a good squad, 3rd is proof of that considering a plague of injuries.

    Anyway this is the time of year I put the keyboard down and log off. I can do without the silly season and endless transfer lies. August and the first home game can’t come quick enough to all the left footers out there have a good summer and to the doomers, Just fuck off.

  313. What an odd little message by TruGunn. I generally answer odd little messages by saying come to Africa please before making comment.

    About 50,000 years ago, nothing to be in awe of really, homo-sapiens began to populate the globe migrating out of Africa, reaching the Americas finally at the end of the last ice age 13,000 years ago and its southern tip perhaps 9,000 years ago.

    An appreciation of great span of time in our long pre-history, and the ever-migrating transience of human existence as it adapted from environment to environment over centuries are concepts tightly woven into African cultures and myths.

    Along comes the industrial revolution followed a century a two later by information age and the spectre of controlling and even god forbid ‘measuring’ time, which everyone knows is elastic, and the physicists will prove this, to units and bits and bytes. No, Africans are generally not impressed by this dumbed down idea of time. A thousand years, now that’s what I call “time” on its true canvass of millenia upon millenia, transince and change. A robotic minute only makes sense if you allow yourself to be completely spontaneous, which is not as easy as it sounds, as we are such the result of social engineering these days.

    Time much longer than rope, so said the slaves, meaning “time” is bigger than the rope that binds.

    That’s all I meant.

  314. On which note CBob is correct about test cricket. 20-20, yikes. It’s not exactly cricket, although it is I suppose welcome in a way. I don’t rate it.

    I really like Ray Price, or “Razor” as Taibu (behind the wicket) calls him. In his best year, he was the second best 50-over spin bowler in the world, at least as far as wickets to runs are concerned. He’s a nice man too, and returned home to assist the team which we appreciate.

  315. Bye, Bradys Right Foot. Enjoy the Summer…er..assuming you are in the Northern Hemisphere.

  316. Have a great summer Bradys Right Foot.

    Totally echo your comments.

    The doomers who turned up for the Shareholders Q&A who openly criticised Wenger and called for fans to stand up and boo can go and fuck themselves.

    Online Gooner’s Kevin Witcher or whatever has name is can go and fuck himself.

  317. That is supreme self-control Brady’s Right Foot.

    Behaviour becoming of your name.

  318. Well then. We can look forward to a summer of self-fucking.

  319. All we need now is a team of anthropologists to study it.

  320. Is the next shareholders meeting next Monday evening, 17th May. Ivan Gazidis is holding court is he not?

  321. Ivan Gazidis said Arsenal suffered twice as many injuries as Chelsea in 09/10. Fewest injuries usually wins the league according to my own limited research with data from 3 seasons.

  322. arsenehollis

    I don’t get why so many people on here detest the Summer transfer circus.

    The rumours are often stupid, the way people get hooked on second rate cloggers from West Ham to, and the 19 in 74 out stuff is garbage.

    But, this is all part of getting excitted for next season. It means that we can stop wondering about last year, which is a good thing now.

    Personally, I love the nonsense of getting linked with someone we played two years ago, who didn’t stand out and spent the whole fo last year on loan. Everything says he is shite, but who knows, maybe he is the next Vieira?

    This is all part of dreaming about next season and how it will all go right and we will again have the trophies to prove what we all already know: this is by far the greatest team the world has ever seen.

  323. arsenehollis

    Ol – assuming you were a challenger anyway. Burnley weren’t winning dick this year injuries or not.

    It may though be better to be lucky than be the best though.

  324. I hate transfer nonsense. Especially that newspapers would publish what they know to be nonsense.

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