Diaby Delights Whilst Vela Disappoints, Transfer Gossip & Win A Home Shirt

No wins for any of the Arsenal contingent in yesterday’s opening World Cup games, no defeats either. Carlos Vela had departed the field when Marques salvaged a draw for the Mexicans who seemed intent on avoiding victory. They started brightly and dominated the South Africans, spurning chances which suggests that progress through this group is going to be a struggle for them with a cynical Uruguay and unfathomable French side to face.

Vela will not be overly pleased with his performance. The offside decision which rightly denied him the tournaments opening goal was entirely avoidable. The Mexican had a perfect view of the defenders and goalkeeper, could see who was where and how to stay onside but failed to display the positional awareness which would have allowed him to break the deadlock. Nerves or the sense of occasion must have clouded his judgement.

He was not the only culprit, former West Ham striker Franco spurned more opportunities, some of them criminally. Credit to South Africa for weathering the storm and Tshabalala found the perfect finish to a slick counter-attack. The hosts might, and perhaps should, have won the match at the end, the woodwork denying them the opportunity to top the group.

Vela though was infuriating in his inability to assert himself on the South African defence, despite a bright start. His link up play as the Mexicans set about getting an early goal hinted at what is to come later in his career. He was lively in the penalty area and was at times only an interception away from giving his country a deserved first half lead.

In the evening match, France blundered their way to a goalless draw against Uruguay. Apparently, there hasn’t been a goal in a fixture between the two nations for over twenty years and it wasn’t hard to see why with a French attack that was extraordinarily blunt after an initial burst of life. Sidney Govou was once perennially linked with Arsenal; on that performance, no-one should question Arsene’s decision not to sign him.

Not that he was the only culprit. Ribery did nothing to suggest that he would have altered the outcome of the Champions League final had he been available whilst Anelka’s most telling contribution was to intercept Diaby’s pass to Govou and deny his colleague a clear run on goal.

Gorcuff started well, had a couple of interesting attempts on goal from set pieces but then became like the annoying kid at school, his mantra seemed to be, ‘I nearly scored with one so every time there’s a freekick, I’m going to shoot‘, which would drive any club manager beyond distraction and into the welcoming bosom of despair. Despite that, you have to say that he possesses an accuracy that will give Robin van Persie some ideas for next season.

So to Bacary Sagna and Abou Diaby. The full back had a good evening, solid defensively and supportive of the attack. In short, nothing less than we have come to expect from him on a weekly basis. I think it is three yellow cards and you miss the next game, so Gael Clichy is one third of the way to getting a runout in at least one match with Patrice Evra’s booking. It’s either that or injury which is going to give him the left back berth because the French captain did little wrong otherwise.

Diaby played how you want him to do so every week for Arsenal. He does sometimes but lacks the consistency of performance although like everyone last season’s midfield merry-go-round helps little. Running from deep he was able to pull the Uruguayan midfield all over the place and his link-up play was excellent. Defensively he has learned from his mistakes at club level and to be honest, if he can produce this sort of display on a regular basis, the bout of Diaby-bashing may well come to an end. A shame Dunga did not pick Denilson and perhaps we could have knocked it all on the head in one summer.

The World Cup though really kicks off today with England taking on the USA! USA! USA! Media memories of 1950 are rehashed, the subsequent victories ignored, the 1976 win over NASLs finest erased from the record books. Fair play and all that for it was the only competitive match between the two nations in this sport.

It is not hard to see why USA! USA! USA! fancy their chances against the seemingly disjointed England squad but having qualified with relative ease for this tournament, Capello is not going to let anyone stand in his way as England head towards a quarter final exit. Potential opponents at that stage are Argentina and they have a tricky encounter with Nigeria this afternoon although history is against the Africans, two defeats in 1994 and 2002 whilst in the past, do not give comfort.

Quite what the world will make of Emile Heskey is anyone’s guess but he is likely to start alongside Rooney with Lampard and Gerrard seeking to make their usual hash of things in midfield. Still, if we think we’ve got it bad at least our hopes don’t rest on Clint Dempsey or the manager’s son.

Arsene will take a break from Eurosport’s awful Soccer City programme to watch Joe Cole with as much interest as he paid to Steven Pienaar. No wonder Blatter was keen to twit… wait, no, that is what he is. Sorry tweet that he met the player soon to be signed by Wenger according to reports. If only those pesky Catalans would nick our best player…

He could be joined by a nearly England international in the shape of Phil Jagielka as Arsene seeks to solve his defensive riddles with Campbell seemingly on his way to The Jungle. Perhaps a cheeky £20m bid for Vidic would be more acceptable to Old Red Nose than seeing his prize defender nip over to the Other Side?


Arsenal Football Club has kindly donated a new home shirt (to be released on July 29th) to the winner of this question:

Which Arsenal managers have played in the World Cup Finals?

Send your entries, along with your name and address, here or to aclfcomps[AT]btinternet[DOT]com, changing the bits in square brackets, with ‘New Home Shirt‘ in the subject line, to have a chance of winning. Closing date is midnight, Sunday 20th June 2010.

Good Luck to all who enter.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 12, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010. Bookmark the permalink. 187 Comments.

  1. where’s BB ?

  2. wow 2nd…..

  3. Decent post, but you’re way off re. Vela’s offside. He was only offside as the keeper came charging off his line like a lunatic and ran past him – there’s no way Vela could have anticipated that…

  4. Any pics of the new shirt?

  5. Gio d santos looks the far better player,as Lennon is over Walcott,in fact we should have signed bale before tottenham got him.I think we are starting to sign 2nd rate young players these days as well as 3rd rate 1st team players like sally,flapenski,sol,does wenger no the world cup has started because I don’t see are signings and I am pissed right off.I hate it that man city,spuds,cheski,villa will sign world cup stars and wenger will just sit on his hands and do fuck all(you no spuds are going to spend big again were do they get the money:-(

  6. Strange 1st day of the world cup lets hope today is better.

  7. What sort of an idiot calls himself ‘Spud Gun’ on an Arsenal blog and expects you to agree with him.

  8. Spud gun – Yeah, It’s all those world class players at Man City, Villa and the Spud’s that saw them finish above us.

  9. Good report, YW.

    It was nice to see Sagna get a good cross in. It was with his left foot after a slight cut back. He should work on it.

    Also watched Adeshagbag commenting at half-time. What the hell did he say? I couldn’t understand him. Still, I never could.

  10. I thought Evra was poor going forwards, just chipping the ball long “down the channels” to no-one in particular, or hoping the over-rated Ribery would be there. Gael is a better option for me. And not just ‘cos I’m biased. I thought Abou was great! And was playing within himself, (dumbing down in a way!) to fit with the rest of the team. I am particularly looking forward to Abou becoming one of the players of the tournament. If France get any further.

  11. A little harsh on Carlos Vela Yogi, but to be fair to him he is 21 and this is his first WC. I thought he was okay, though not brilliant. One pass in particular to Franco was excellent and it’s a shame that goal was offside because it would have really helped his confidence.

    The difference between Dos Santos and Vela is that the former has been playing regularly on loan. Injuries hampered Carlos last season. Lets see what he can do with a proper pre-season and an injury-free run in the team.

  12. Limestonegunner

    Thought Diaby still shows some tactical and positional weaknesses. Often in the final third seemed not to know where to go and bunched up in the center with Gourcuff (who I thought was quite bad–France was better when he came off IMO). Could also be the coaching, though. He was great going forward though; encouraging! France could have used Nasri and Benzema and Domenech should have broughy on Malouda earlier.

  13. Chris

    He was unmarked at the far post and saw the keeper charge past him. One step backwards and he was in as soon as the flick on happened.


  14. boring first day but gud goals need jagielka and a few others but most importantly keep our players

  15. Ypgi,

    I agree with Chris. In real-time, I doubt there was any scope for such a reaction, particularly when your attention is fixed on the ball.

    Otherwise a great post and Diaby rocked. I’m surprised (?) by the lack of acknowledgement that his performance received from the commentators and pundits!! Nevertheless, if he can bring that form to play next season I think that Viera’s successor might have finally arrived.

    Fingers crossed

  16. A bit harsh on Vela regarding the offside. On set pieces it natural, when a defender is on the post, to believe that you are onside. Secondly, the ball moves in a blink of an eye.

  17. Diaby was good in the first half….not sure why Govou was not substituted…

  18. In fact Diaby is player of the tournament so far.

  19. If thier were 2 players I have seen in this World Cup I would like to sign they would be Toulolan and Diaby. Ha ha.

    He was good in the first half, I think he is better played in a more advanced role. The same pace as Cesc is perfect for him in my opinion.


  20. Diaby was the only bright light in an other wise shambolic French performance. But the Diaby bashers will be grudging in their acknowledgement because he is making them look like a bunch of mugs.

    Vela had his moments, particularly in the 1st half, but his cause wasn’t helped by the fact that most of Mexico’s attacking came down the right side and Dos Santos while nominally a right-sided attacked tended to cut infield with his dribbles. The fact that one of the subs was an over-the-hill and overweight Blanco should rankle him.

  21. Flint McCullough

    Thanks YW but you sound a bit “Jim Beglin” about Vela.

    What you are saying is bloody site easier to say than to do. He would have had to come a long way back then get forward again in an instant.

    Although Mexico are good at keeping the ball there was no midfielder creating anything for the forwards. Giovani looked good on the ball but couldn’t make a pass to save his life.

    Diaby best player on display over both matches. Toulalan? didn’t have the greatest of games but he looks like he could do the sort of job we need on certain occasions.

    France were crying out for a Nasri. Domineche? must be stark raving…

  22. Long ball Greece are at it again, but at least the early goal will force them to come out to play.

  23. Flint

    Could’ve been worse, you might have called me Lawrenson….


  24. What the hell, i thought vela played very very well, and his goal was because of genius from the south african goalie who came out even with someone on the line. Velas ball to franco was amazing

  25. South Korea look so much more dangerous

  26. If Vela had just left it to go in, he wouldnt of been interfering with play, he was shit the whole game and has been for a long time. Dont know whats happened to him

  27. Sorry for any Greek readers but your national team is absolute pants. Devoid of ideas, lacking in quality to play the long ball game with any accuracy or even on the percentages.

  28. Zap dont be silly Vela was dogshit

  29. Very harsh on Vela. You’re right, he struggled to impose himself, but only in the second half. In the first half he was quite lively. A nice flick and a superb pass to Guille Franco, who should have scored, come immediately to mind. And there is no way he could have reacted to the keeper sprinting out of his goal, by taking a step back. And even if he had somehow reacted that quickly and taken a step back, he wouldn’t have been able to reach the ball when flicked on.

  30. @Mingus:

    I thought Diaby was the best French player out there but Evra IMO gives more choice going forward than Clichy, his offensive play is a bit more varied.

    Vela for my money has the tendency to disappear but in this case if your midfield is not creating then bar dropping deep and helping them build there is nothing you can do. This is what Blanco did and I thought he was more effective then Vela so over the hill or not he raised the Mexican threat level.

  31. The difference is that Blanco has more experience, which is why, even as old as he is they keep him around for such situations. Ten or fifteen minutes here and there to bring some guile when they are struggling to break through.

    One thing I have noticed with Carlos since being at Arsenal is that he is using his right foot more. He has clearly been working on that in training.

    Well that’s the Greeks done for and I can’t say I’m surprised or disappointed. They have nothing to offer this competition.

  32. Cracking goal even if it did come from a defensive error. You would hope that it would make the Greeks embrace the passing game but there’s been no change since they won the Euros six years ago.


  33. I didn’t see any variety from Evra but perhaps he was only following orders…. It’s Clichy for me.

  34. south Korea play very good football and have good player,lot of stamina so they play 100% most of the game.They just miss size to be a very good side.

  35. Passenal – I can see the value of experience and link up play…but bloody over-the-hill Blanco. (I speak as someone from CONCACAF who would like to see Mexico do well.)
    Back to Vela – he needs to vary his game, be able to drop deep and still be effective. Mexico plays him as a left foward but he is expected to come inside and finish off plays. If he continues making the effort he will be a good, if not great forward. He is only 21 for heaven’s sake.

  36. Looks like Messi has decided to take on Nigeria on his own

  37. good start by argentina.but Gutierrez right back!!!!!!!

  38. Argentina look they are going to score every time they go forward. So do Nigeria – sod the defence!

  39. Vela won’t make it. Another waste of money in the name of so called foreign greats.

  40. Be England what she will, with all her faults, she is my country still.

  41. Fuck Off maturks.

  42. Not even death can save Cesc from Barcelona.

    Loppia has said from South Efrika.

  43. The Nigerian keeper is keeping them in the game.

  44. “Despite that, you have to say that he possesses an accuracy that will give Robin van Persie some ideas for next season.”

    Wish or …watch.

  45. watch?

  46. This Nigerian goal keeper has been excellent

  47. What a miss!

  48. Why is the refereeing standard at the world cup so high and why is it so low in the EPL? Can’t we just take the refs from the World Cup and let them do their thing in the EPL? 😦

  49. Is this GK really this good? If so, I would love him at Arsenal.

    Nigeria are giving Argentina a warm time now, they just lack composure in thge final third.

    Hope they can get the draw

  50. EF, it may bee too early to say that, are there any of the reglular PL refs in the world cup?

  51. @Paul N
    Well, we were supposedly interested in him last year but the transfer fee was not to our liking..

  52. After watching this world cup’s Argentinian team….I am sure the media will be wildly happy that there is Diego Maradonna. I remain unconvinced that they will go beyond the round of 16, at best the round of eight. Despite the name brand offensive players, Nigeria was able to carve them up repeatedly in the second half. If Kanu is still in the squad, where is J-J Okocha when you need him?

  53. for all the fantastic stuff,1-0 is not that great.Against much better team ,Argentina will pay all the mistake.

    Now any match left 😉

  54. Come On England

  55. And for tomoroww, 123vviva l’algerie

  56. Argentina were not convincing at all. I dont see them making any noise at all in the world cup.

    Thanks for the Info EF. He would be a great signing

  57. Moderation? Huh? Eh. Whyyy

  58. 123vive l’algerie

  59. with no disrespect to americans on here, i sincerely hope the yanks do absolutely shit and mess up, so algeria can take 2nd

  60. I bet Bill would not be happy with either defence in the Argentina v Nigeria game.

    I agree with LA, fuck off Howard.

  61. USA! USA! USA!

    YW very much enjoyed how you referred to my boys in red white and blue.

    1776 revisited boys. all i know is that here people are making a really big deal out of today. which makes me really happy.

    USA! USA! USA!

  62. The Nigerian goalkeeper is quite handy.

  63. And this is what is mentioned in his wikipedia page, no idea about the veracity.

    “Currently Enyeama is under contract with Hapoel Tel Aviv FC for another year, however Hapoel put Enyeama on the transfer list with a price tag of 2 million Euros.”

  64. Keyser

    When it comes to Wiki, make sure you have access to a salt mine…


    No idea what went on there – should be OK now though.


  65. NJ

    Will we get Tyldesley doing a Norwegian?

    We are the best in the world! We are the best in the world! We have beaten USA! USA! USA! 2-1 in football!! It is completely unbelievable! We have beaten USA! USA! USA!!!!

    USA! USA! USA!, birthplace of giants. David Soul, Batman, Homer Simpson, Heather Locklear, Jack Lord, The Kardashians, The Osmonds -we have beaten them all. We have beaten them all. Barack Obama can you hear me?

    Barack Obama, I have a message for you in the middle of the BP crap. I have a message for you: We have knocked USA! USA! USA! out of the football World Cup. Barack Obama, as they say in your language in the boxing bars around Madison Square Garden in New York: Your boys took a hell of a beating! Your boys took a hell of a beating!



    I hope both teams make it through the group.


    Next year we could have a monster if he can somehow avoid strains, sprains pulls tears etc etc and all the other various muscle injuries that he specializes in. If he can be healthy and somehow figure out the secret of consistancy he and Song with Cesc would be the best midfield in the league.

  67. oh my god how great was diaby last night oyu guys. the one bright spot for france imo. made a couple of great passes and some really nice runs.

  68. haha YW good stuff there. i always like to hear you sum up all of america in a few short words.

    oh and USA! USA! USA!

  69. YW:

    Have your fun while you can.

    England birth place of Geoge Alan O’Dowd. Need I say more?

  70. Sorry forgot the r in George

  71. I hope you arent over confident, usa will be given a beating, Come on england. There’s a bunch of right c*nts, but thats not important who they are, whats important is what country they stand for.

    Come onn

  72. Fuck me Bill, I thought we established a couple of weeks back that whatever depths we may be able to stoop to culturally, USA! USA! USA! can plummet several fathoms lower.

    At least that’s how I understood it, NJ?

  73. If we do lose at least we have an excuse. We have always sucked at football. England does not have any excuses.

  74. YW:


  75. Bill

    Here’s a better excuse:

    Football?? We were playing football? Damn, I thought it was soccer we were supposed to be playing. Dangnabbit.


  76. YW:

    We are not quite even but your getting closer.

  77. Hey all,, i cant seem to fond the direct tv channel that the game s on.. Any one on here have a clue. Im starting to freak out!

  78. Trying to decide if I can bear to watch any game that has Ashley C*l* playing in it. Oh god and John Terry, oh fuck and fat Frank. And a number of Spuds too. Christ I’ve never looked forward to an England world cup game less.

  79. Stiff upper lip, steww!

  80. no walcott damn it!!!!

    I feel sooo bad for the young man

  81. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

  82. 4 now,diaby and nigeria goalkeeper is d tournament best

  83. I get sooo confused when Arsenal supporters dont see how great of a player Diaby is. No one should be surprised at how he is playing.

    France, No creativity apart from Diaby and no Nasri?!?! these managers are something else!

  84. Chin up Bill, a lot of time left.

  85. After the goal only USA has been playing.

    Btw. Walcott would have scored that one! Lennon had no reason to pass sideways when there are 3 US players in the way.

  86. Theo would’ve scored that one

  87. USA had made a couple of really nice back passes to the Keeper.

  88. A true successor for Calamity James!

  89. Can anyone tell me why Joe Hart was left out?

  90. Robert Greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen.

  91. what a joke!

  92. So people want us to sign this Green fella?

  93. he never got behind the ball! basics, basics

  94. My prediction yesterday was wrong about who would give away the own goals for England. Still waiting for one from Cashley Cole.

    I hope the boss was not thinking about buying Robert Green.

  95. Its not Green’s fault. Its Jabulani…

  96. green suck,not much better than almunia just a little faster

  97. come on england, lets go and win this damn game. Come On.

    Come On ENGLAND!!!!

  98. i feel so sorry for rob green. o well.

    Come ONNNNNN

  99. Thought we were OK in that first half. USA are no mugs. SWP made a diff. Theo would have scored that earlier one!

  100. These long balls to Heskey are quite exciting stuff…total football

  101. Funny isn’t it how the Nigeria keeper is a world beater after one good game. Almunia performed equal if not greater heroics against Manure in the CL SF 1st leg last year and against Barca this time round in the first leg at the Ems and yet people only remember the odd mistake. Fucking anti Arsenal hypocrites.

  102. Good that Green has Clemence with him. He recovered from 1976 and if you can do that, you can do anything.

  103. Steww

    Erm, most of the critics are Arsenal fans!

    Still got to look on the bright side. I won the Football Cliche Bingo, thanks to Our Lords Andy Townsend and Clive Tyldesley.


  104. Steww people are anti arsenal the way we are anti everyone else, thats football mate, maybe you shoule netball and stop whining.

    Come on England !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  105. The Nigerian keeper is not a world beater, he is just as inconsistent as Almunia if not more, plays one good game and then the next game he acts like he is high. Back home we call him “Enyeama Basket” as in everything goes through him…….lol, but he had an excellent game today, dont want him in arsenal tho.

  106. come on yanks

  107. Heskey just can’t score, hm?

  108. Still don’t know why this squad play 4-4-2

    With the players at Capello’s disposal, a 4-1-4-1 or 4-3-3 is surely best suited to maximise the potential of Gerrard and Lampard in central midfield, with the width of Lennon and SWP.

  109. I have not been able to watch the game closely. What happened to Milner and Leadley King? Were they injured?

  110. milner off to protect him, picked up early yellow card.

    king… as you could guess, off injured.

  111. Yaaaaay. Terry gets his first booking. Hooray!

  112. blimey, USA look very tasty on set-pieces.

    i can see them nicking another from a corner or free-kick.

  113. evielfiek, out of interest what country do you support?

  114. Can I be the first to say England’s high-tempo, energy-sapping approach is not tournament-clever!

  115. That Lennon, no footballing-brain.

  116. mingus but its exciting and shows weve got balls

  117. True but that approach will never get us beyond the quarters!

  118. England pumps a lot of long balls in the vicinity of Heskey bypassing the midfield. Losing possession and immediately coming under pressure from the US.
    “…its exciting and shows we’ve got balls” -Webster

  119. England needs Crouchy.

  120. @Webster
    I support South Korea, Japan, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and a couple of more. I would support England, if Theo had been in the squad. But without Theo (and as I am not from England) there is no reason for me to support them.

  121. Lots of room on the right wing for England. For the sake of the USA I am glad Theo is not out there today.

  122. England is starting to lose concentration. Let’s see if USA can take advantage of that.

  123. It’s gone all “championship” Webster! Not exactly PL stuff.

  124. Will we never learn? We’re always neglecting technique for grit. Back in the 90s Matt le Tissier never got enough time – these days England’s just crying out for the silken touch of Kevin Davies.

  125. Who was the last England ‘keeper not to drop the proverbial on international duty?

  126. 1-1 well done USA.american grit at his best

  127. And how has Heskey played so many times for England? Lack of competition for that position? He can’t even get into the Villa team.

  128. Kind of the result I expected.

    Webster, it may be exciting to you, but the risk is that they will burn themselves out. When you have to play so many games in quick succession, it pays to be able to pace yourself. Particularly with the changes in altitude. Look at how Argentina were struggling towards the end of their game. A better team would have punished them.

  129. England’s Plan B – Pump long balls in the general direction of Crouch.

  130. We was unlucky, could of been worse and better then other teams so far.

    evielfriek, what country do you support really? Obviously there not good enough to match it with the worlds best in worlds biggest tournament

  131. zap who says he was algerian,wanted england to win,bizzare.come on algeria

  132. @Webster
    I told you which countries I support at this world cup.

  133. i think evilfiek is german.

    And i also think its fucking ridiculous what peoples reactions are to rob green. on face book there are about 20 groups already saying ”do u kno how much abuse hes gonna get” and ”petition to get rob green assassinated” ”rob green is a c*ck”

    I mean what the fuck. One mistake, it wont help to abuse him might as well accept what heppened, at this stage in the tournament as well.

    He also made a good save

  134. chamakh my friend, i wante england to win because its the only chance for US to go through. Now we will have to get a result against usa and england

  135. oops i mean for ALGERIA to go through..

    ..i didnt sleep at all last night….

  136. England got lucky. Altidore almost beat Green on the near post.

    I would not mind it at all if Wenger decided to buy Tim Howard.

  137. i meant for algeria to go through

  138. why is that fucking moderated??!!!!

  139. But evilfriek what country are you from?, where do your loyalties lie?

    Just so our banter is on even ground

  140. You generally don’t get to choose who you support. It’s just imprinted on your soul. So come rain or shine, it’s Arsenal and England (oh – and Worcestershire, of course, on the cricket field).

    But, cheer up. There were a few moments when we looked almost as good as the USA. Perhaps we could find a creative winger with some real pace and a footballing brain who can score the occasional hat-trick when it matters.

  141. @Zap
    Close, but no. I am Bosnian but I grew up in Germany. ANd right now I am living in Canada. But I don’t know what my nationality is supposed to tell of the teams I support at this world cup.

  142. have an early night zap,tomorrow is a big day for us algerians,i`m confident we will go through,a win tomorrow,a draw against engerland and a draw against usa.i reckon algeria and usa to qualifiy to the second round.allez les verts

  143. If only the USA had a little more self belief they could have walked that.

  144. Gaisbourough England Got lucky, What the fuck????

    1 2 3 vive l’algeri3

  145. This is actually quite bad for algeria chamakh. Because england and usa are on one point, so even if we win against slovenie, england and usa can be on four points by the second match.

    Hmm, but then it would be decided by the final match anyway, because i am presuming england beat us.

    So well have to beat usa hopefully well win purely because we will want it more, just like v egypt

  146. i think we have a problem, yw

  147. Was anyone lese watching on itv hd and the picture broke up just as gerrard scored and went to adverts???? they had to switch back to the normal itv

  148. How nice to see a decent pundit on TV. PV4 a legend as a player and the makings of a top class pundit.

  149. Passenal at 9.28 to Webster…
    I thought the first half was quite exciting, (playing as we did with “showing we had balls”!
    Exciting that is, but stupid!

  150. 1 loose cannon

    Did Aaron lennon play at all. I did not see him. I wanted England to win but Capello to failed with his selection for dropping Theo.He took Ledley king who is not fit to play 10 minutes never mind a whole tournament. Milner , what was that all about? lennon ? where was he? he was supposed to be better than Walcott, I bet you will not hear a word about how badly he played. Then Heskey, who gives shit about him putting himself about. one on one, the goal at his mercy , what does he do? straight at the keeper and to top it all off Mr Green, it was Ben Foster all over again. Capello so far has failed with his selection unless he proves otherwise. He is no better than Mclaren. What he has failed to notice is that Walcott normally delivers on the big stage. I will not forgive him in the way he treated Walcott. In the last 20 minutes he would have come on for Lennon and destroy that tired American defence.

  151. Yes, Walcott would have done what he did to barcelona. And barcelona are 10 times better than the usa national team.

    What a ridiculous choice to leave him out.

  152. Wright Phillipes was f*cking sh*t as well

  153. In a few years time, when the Wilshere gen. come through, we will be able to play with a bit more patience, guile, skill as well as ruthlessness.(That’s if Stewart Pearce the then England manager allows it!)

  154. LC @ 10:09 pm – Aye, Aye, sir.

    I wrote on this blog that I expect Capello to be exposed as a fraud during this world cup. £5 million p.a. for the same b.s. as McLaren. What a waste!

  155. Mingus, god forbid Pearce every being England manger. I would rather have Webster in charge, he seems clued up.

  156. I agree about all the Theo comments. This blatant Cappello error of judgement can only help him next season. Except the pressure will be on him again.

  157. we need to support England the way we support Arsena because without England there is no arsenal. evryone spuuts about supporting Arsenal but england IS arsenal so come on people, support arsenal, suppoert ENGLAND !!!

    You all secretly love England

  158. 1 loose cannon

    I heard one of the pundits saying England can get the 6 points. Its a problem when you have that kind of mentality, no they only have 1 point. Algeria and slovenia are not going to lay down for England. They will give it a go and could cause England all sort of problems. Anyway on the evidence of what I saw, they will not go far in this tournament.That is the sad reality. If Green plays in the next game Algeria will make sure they will test him with few long range shots.

  159. J@mes fuck off

  160. I can state categorically that I do not love England, secretly or otherwise. I’m one eighth dutch and clinging onto that fraction for the next month.

  161. Being English I support the England team, although I am not keen on the style of play when Heskey or Crouch play.

  162. 1 loose cannon

    Webster com off it mate. that was not Arsenal that was Spuds in desguise. I want England to win but that was shit. Walcott and Adam Johnson would’ve been better options than taking a Crooked Ledley King, Upson, Milner and Dawson. Green will get the stick for his blunder but he is not the only problem in this England team.

  163. No but I cant stand this racial hatred of England, one of the most liberal countrys on our planet. Lets not foucus on the bad points of england, lets focus on the good points, like we do for our team. England is an amazing country which deserves our support, dont condem a whole country on account of the media which steals money off of them

  164. @Webster
    While I wouldn’t describe England as one of the most liberal countries in the world (after all, you have some weird surveilance policies) I like England a lot. It’s a country I would love to live in some day. That doesn’t stop me from not liking the English football team, which is mostly down to the personal. If England had at least one player on the field that is likeable, things would be different. But I just find it hard to support Lampard, Terry, Crouch and company.

  165. Almunia for England?

  166. Almunia is actually a good goalkeeper. Robert Green is certainly no better, so why waste money on him?

  167. USA USA USA

  168. USA USA USA, needed a goalkeeper error to get a draw. As Arsenal fans we have seen that if your keeper makes mistakes even inferior teams can draw a game. 🙂

  169. Usa usa.
    Viva john terry.
    He’s the scum of life
    He will fuck your wife
    viva john terry

  170. ttm, it needs work.

  171. eh?
    not at all.

    works perfect.

    viva john terry!
    viva john terry!
    coulda won the cup,
    but he fucked it up,
    viva john terry.

    viva john terry.
    Viva john terry.
    He’s the scum of life
    He will fuck your wife
    viva john terry

    USA needed luck to draw.
    But england relied on the width of the post not to loose. Very lucky indeed…..

  172. ttm, like I said it needed work

  173. I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS VELA BASHING ON ACLF…..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WHAT HAS THIS SITE COME TOO?????????????

    ********Shakes her head in disgust********

  174. LMAO@GreEN…that’s what happens when your reduced to shopping at the likes of West Ham and Pompey..!!

  175. One relegated and one almost relegated. And the muppets worry about our keepers.

  176. Still laughing….and they have the cheek to blame poor Heskey…!!

  177. Maria @1:43, all the !!!, ??? or *** and any amount of capitals do not make a better argument.

  178. The revisionism on walcott and capello has already started in the media and among the general public. Wait till the quarter final for things to turn full circle!

  179. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Haha nice one YW. At least the dont have to rely on a keeper thats barely above Sunday league level.

  180. On reflection last night’s game was not a disaster, opening matches are often cagey affairs,but nevertheless a few questions have to be raised, for as a team England looked bereft of ideas or a definite game plan.
    Did we look like a team, chomping at the bit ? I think too much football has caught up with us and Capello has to be answerable for a number of things.
    Was it a risk to include King.
    Why did Milner play, when he had been unwell all week.
    Rooney was not fit

    SWP and
    Lennon showed next to nothing,so why were they chosen ahead of Theo .
    Green, obviously didn’t intend to make a howler, but it’s blatantly clear,we don’t have an outstanding first choice keeper.

    Last but not least, is that we can’t assemble 23 English players good enough for a tournament such as this, a poor reflection of the talent available.

  181. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Ffs, the States looked like Spain. Triangles popping up all over the place. England lacked creativity. Hoofing it up to Heskey and crossing fingers. I don’t give a fuck what anyone says the US deserved that point. Altidore made Carragher look like the stiff he is and should have put us up 2-1, too.

  182. I would like to know what did Lennon do today differently than What Theo does on his worst days?

    At least Walcott had the experience of scoring a hat-trick for the first team against Croatia and scored many for under 21.

    If Capello wanted to protect Milner, why did he play him at all? Certainly he doesn’t want him to get his second yellow in the knock out stages. (not sure how many yellows before a player get one game suspension in WC tournament?)

    England surly will struggle against real big teams with fast forwards. A player like Messi can have a picnic on England’s slow & old center backs.

    It was an ok game today between England & the USA, I guess we can’t really judge England this much, after all it was their first game in the tournament.

  183. USA played very well, I was impressed. They are an interesting team especially in midfield, much improved from the conservative defensive shell of previous world cups. Their big defender with the sideburns and nigerian name (Enyimbu?) is excellent. I ticked him off as an Arsenal suitable. England were outplayed, out-thought and look generally drab and uninteresting.

    SA did very well and deserved a draw. Vela was mostly anonymous and is still in development phase. No wonder he plays so little for Arsenal, but one to watch no doubt.

    I told you, Diaby is becoming the most important player in the French team, pivot of attack and excellent in defence, he has ideas. He would walk into any major club side on the strength of these performances.

    Argentina will surprise a few. They have a bright team. I like Tevez. Nigeria played well enough, but very typical Nigerian “win a few lose a few”, the odd moment in between.

    I am finding the world cup predictably boring. Sorry.

    Let’s hope Ghana and Holland inject some interest, as USA has just done.

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