Spain Through, RvP, Koscielny Signs And Other Gossip

Spain deservedly qualified for the World Cup Final on Sunday, a meeting against the Dutch which will be intriguing encounter and be the first time a European nation has won the trophy outside of the continent. For Arsenal, Cesc will no doubt have  a good view from the bench barring injury to others. This World Cup has not been good for the captain in terms of playing time.

Germany were unable to break through the Spanish defence and were well beaten. For the first time this tournament, Spain hit form consistently throughout the ninety minutes, the margin of victory should have been greater with opportunities not taken, Pedro failed to cap a good all-round display with a second goal for the Spanish.

Ahead of Sunday, Robin van Persie has spoken of his own desires and downplayed the long-standing rift between himself and Wesley Sneijder, instead emphasising the relatively unified nature of this Dutch squad. The opportunity to outshine the 1974 and 1978 squads is a key driver for van Persie to succeed, to have their name in lights. It is a tough result to call with neither of the finalists at their best although the Dutch seem to be in a higher gear than their opponents. Pragmatic in their victories, the confidence will be high with six victories behind them.

Onto Arsenal. Laurent Koscielny has finally completed his long-drawn out move from Lorient. Surprisingly he has not been a fan since childhood but has pledged to do his best for the club. Arsene highlighted the reasons for his signature:

We identified him as a very strong centre half, who has made big progress very quickly. He has shown he is mentally strong, he’s a fighter and a very strong competitor. Koscielny is a great addition to our squad.

There are doubts cast over the signing, principally because few of us have seen anything of him other than grainy YouTube clips as well as a career that is short and has been played out of the Champions League eye. That should not be a reason to dismiss him or his abilities. These questions will be answered in due course.

What is apparent is the requirement for another centre back. With Senderos, Silvestre and Gallas released, whilst Campbell possibly joining them, numbers are short and experience at the highest level evaporating, a wiser head might be needed to add to the mix of youthful exuberance in the centre.

Like Vermaelen, he is going to be fondly remembered by a colleague. van Persie and the Belgian had an altercation in the Amsterdam tournament whilst Koscielny was apparently sent off for a challenge on Chamakh in Ligue 1 last season.

Elsewhere, Gael Clichy is to be lured to Turin, the promise of the Europa League Third Qualifying Round surely too much for anyone to resist. A new name, for this close season anyway, has arrived in the form of Shaun Wright-Phillips who wants out of Manchester City, an Asda carrier bag with £6m is apparently enough to make him move. Quite why Arsenal would be interested is beyond me with midfield well-stocked and a number of players who can fill the same role rather better than SWP would. But then who can fathom the reason for half of the transfer gossip that goes around?

Back on the subject of William Gallas, who vaguely turned up earlier in the post, he has had his say admitting that none of the French players including himself were good enough in the World Cup but if they were bad, Domenech was worse. Far worse, although the much-maligned coach did get one thing right:

I realised when I entered the changing room prior to the friendly with Costa Rica that the captain’s armband was placed beside Evra’s shirt. Domenech told me: ‘In any case, you would not be a good captain’

Having seen his stint as Arsenal captain disintegrate into a complete shambles, it is hard to argue with Domenech’s logic, a train of thought that might take a while to recover from.

Goonblog is reporting that Mark Schwarzer has passed a medical at Arsenal, his second after a knee problem was identified in the first. The signing would fit in with the theory that Wenger is waiting for one of the two Polish youngsters to come good. The assumption is that it is Szczesny but it may not be.

Elsewhere, there is a Kenyan interview with Wenger doing the rounds that has doubts cast about its veracity. Some of the comments are typcial Wengerisms but the issue seems to have arisen over the observations made about Almunia and his nerves, the point being that it is almost unheard of for the manager to identify one individual for criticism publicly. But then again, a few years ago, we were surprised when he commented on players at other clubs. The truth will no doubt come out.

WIN £50 IN ITUNES VOUCHERS

Answer the following question correctly and win £50 in iTunes vouchers from VoucherCodes.co.uk:

Which song should Arsenal take the field to in the coming season

The best answer in the opinion of the judge (i.e. me) will be the winner. Send your suggestions to aclfcomps[at]btinternet[dot]com with “Teenage Kicks” in the subject line. Include your name and contact details. Competition closes at midnight, Sunday 11th July 2010.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 8, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 196 Comments.

  1. Nice post, YW. And for the first time, first (perhaps)

  2. Haha, that ‘interview’ with Wenger is so fake it’s hilarious.

  3. silver gunner

    That interview with wenger must be bogus. He would never openly talk about a current player like that.

  4. Not sure on Schwarzer still, thought he was very consistent before the World Cup started. After making various flaps I can’t really see that as a pro in signing him. He has the experience in the Premiership which is a good thing though, I just think Almunia will be starting as number 1. There is nobody really good enough out there and available it seems.

    The only 1 I can think of is Reina.

    Wenger needs to give Liverpool a call and see if Reina has had enough yet! Last time we attempted to do business with them they messed us around over Alonso so I wonder would they do business with us?

  5. silver gunner

    the swp thing is so far from true that is a joke we have walcott???

  6. silver gunner

    ChrisGoona good call on Reina but that wont come cheap……. What about Joe hart though I think he is a good keeper and has king of gone under the radar because of no playing time at the world cup.

  7. Amything goes wenger knows da best.,..

  8. *

  9. Silver Gunner, what about Robert Green

  10. Hart is still only a prospect, how would he handle Champions League pressure, as well as title challenges? We saw what happened when throwing Fabianski into the deep end. He does have games under his belt in the Premiership, but he won’t come cheap, and I doubt City would consider selling him.

    Plus we have the young Polish chap coming through who is meant to be the bollocks, we just need a solid performer for now.

  11. THE CBs:

    Vermaelen
    Djourou
    Koscielny

    Do we seriously only have 3 CB’s!?!!

  12. yes Arsene knows. For kocielny substitute sagna…vermaalen….the list goes on. If the previous signings are anything to go by we should retain complete faith in Wenger to get it right. That means there will only be one more signining.????A goalkeeper.

    A scrappy cat and mouse game yesterday and the Germans finally stiffled by tippy tappy possession football though their final undoing was a set piece goal. This world cup has been a revelation. Teams sacrificing style over substance to cross the finish line. No one could say either Holland and Spain lit up the tournament. Gritty performances all round. I hope the Dutch win. As much as I hate that slap head Robben I think the impetus it would give RVP spearheading Arsenals attack would be phenomenal.

  13. Gooner4Life

    Also, seeing Xavi cry would be very pleasant indeed.

    Still gutted that a headed goal from a corner decided it last night. Germany were very dissapointing though, I expected more from them on the break. They did seem to have changed their game plan, and played more cautiously. Its a shame that teams don’t just go for it. Then again the likes of Brazil who tried to got knocked out!

    Spain’s cautious ball possession does actually do my head in at times also, I have actually found them very boring to watch in this tournament. Despite all my hatred for the Spanish now, I would gladly admit otherwise if they did play attractive football, I tipped them for the last World Cup before they won the Euros. They were the better team last night and deserved to go thorugh. I still hope they lose to a Robin Van Persie net breaker!

  14. Fab4 should see the amount of time he is getting in the spanish team as a sign of things to come if he goes to Barcelona.. In other news I am 16th 😦

  15. CG

    Gallas Silvestre and Campbell will all be gone so who else do you think we have?Has Wenger be hiding a CB in a bunker under the Emirates???

  16. You never know, he could have someone lined up from the reserves and youth teams. Even with 1 more signing – 4 CB’s is not ideal. We had 5 or 6 last season.

    So 1 more signing, and possibly a promotion from within is probably in order. Pre-season should give us a clear idea of who Wenger is looking at to promote.

    Anyone know who are the most likely players to come through?

    Nordveit I heard is good.

  17. No we have Nordveit, Bartley and Song that can play CB too. Last season only Gallas (35 starts) and Vermaelen (45) played a serious amount of matches with Campbell and Silvestre playing only (29) between them and Silvestre played some of those at left back. Bartley, Senderos and Song also started about 4 between them. So lets say that Kos and Verm are our first choice and play as many as Gallas and Verm last season and that Djourou covers Campbell and Silvestre’s contribution. This leaves Nordveit and Bartley to start about 4 matches between them. I would love to see us sign another CH, but with 56 professionals already in the squad and 42 not eligible for U18 League, with there being no reserve football next season i just cannot see us signing many more unless we let at least 20 leave on loan and sell a few more.

  18. Anyone see this re: how little Sneidjer passes to RvP?

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/soccer/world-cup-2010/writers/ben_reiter/07/07/van.persie/index.html

    Less than half the passes Villa has gotten from Xavi, about three per game.

  19. 1 loose cannon

    BB- You are well beaten. Please can you tell me if Kumbutu runs only on Linux. What it is like?

    I have checked the first team on Arsenal.com they have Walcott in the striker’s section I thought he was in Midfield section can anyone confirm if he has been moved recently. Also Gallas Campbell and Silvestre still there. I thought they are free agents and not Arsenal players anymore.

  20. The dutch players are more selfish at times than the Spanish. Van Persie was the only one trying to create the best gaol scoring opportunity against Uraguay. He set up Kuyt for a shot, and a couple others while they did not return the favour in very good goal scoring positions.

    I remember right at the death, well before Uraguay scored Robben was set free down the right, approaching the goal at a narrow angle Van Persie was free coming in behind the defence and he knew he was there. The pass didn’t arrive, and the Dutch had a difficult end to the game. It was a certain goal if he passed it.

    I think its more a case of ego within the team, it can be a good thing and a bad thing if it affects losing goal scoring chances like that one. On the other hand, we all know when Van Persie or Schneider decides to go for it, they are likely to test the keeper…

    Van Persie has been a major part in their success in the World Cup, linking up with wide players and central midfielders, holding up play, laying off through balls.. his game play has been spot on. It reminds me when he started up front at 1st for Arsenal beginning of the season, he was assisting everyone and playing well, but not scoring.

    I hope he gets one in the final.

  21. LP, what gets me is that most people are still saying RvP’s had a poor world cup because he isn’t scoring.

    I think he’s been very good considering the weird areas in which he’s been getting the ball, the lack of movement from the players around him and the godawful service from Sneijder and Robben.

    RvP’s had to play like an extra playmaker, and, if his teammates actually knew a thing about off-the-ball running, he’d have a hatful of assists already.

    Robben has no idea how to play in a team, and Sneijder hates his RvP’s guts for stealing a free-kick from him in 2008 against Russia.

    It’s just a sad fact that we won’t see RvP at his best in this side – he’s cast as a supporting act. Although it’s big waste of his talent it somehow seems to be working for Holland in this competition. And, for RvP, I suppose a World Cup winner’s medal might make up for the lack of recognition.

  22. Yeah, I agree OoU, RvP has played about as well as you could expect of a striker who doesn;t get the ball much. I think part of it also has to do with defenses in this WC saying they won’t let the striker beat them no matter what, but a large part is also Robben and Sneidjer who don’t want to make the extra pass. If RvP was on that Spain team, he’d have 6-8 goals.

  23. Another aspect of RVP’s game often overlooked is the way he harasses defenders and often nicks the ball from them. Something else we missed when he was out which in turn meant more pressure on our defence… Look at the Fulham game at the end of last season for a great example of RVP and his defence zapping tackles.

  24. i’m rooting for RVP in the final, even over Cesc, but i wonder if his dutch teammates will let him down with their selfishness. spain look the favourites to me, they really are playing like bastards right now, but i really really hope that holland wins it. 1-0 with a bit of bergkamp magic from RVP would be great. RVP deserves it.

  25. RvP is a vital component in the team. Otherwise the manager would have dropped him a few games back. Everytime he is on the ball he does something with it and uses it well, its not his fault he is completely isolated, and as OneOfUs said, there is no movement or ‘team play’ from certain other players.

    There are some very selfish players in the team, some of which are very talented. With a bit more team work, the Dutch would have notched up a much higher goal tally, and played more attractive football along the way.

  26. I hope the dutch, having got to the final, decide to just let loose and play like they did during the Euros. They have it in them to really rip teams up. I don’t like the Spanish and I hope they get fucked. I hope Van Bommel destroys Xavi and Iniesta and Busquets, the bastards.

  27. No question, LP. If they win, maybe people will go back and look at what he’s been doing for Holland, especially in the knockout stages.

    And it’s hard to complain when it seems to be coming off for the team. This side is never going to be entertaining though. Not with two holding midfielders, Kuyt and no teamwork.

    Actually, both of the finalists have looked out of sorts all tournament, and still made it – I guess that means they’re far superior to the rest.

  28. Or not, I don’t even pretend to know.

  29. So Barcelona’s Technical Director of Acquisitions and Talento Developmento and Chief Financia Cordonero has said that they have £75m to play with, all in IOU receipts. He said hes willing to pass the scrunched up papers onto Wenger as soon as he lets Cesc go to

    Well that deal looks like a too good to refuse offer. What the hell am I supposed to do with all these receipts senor?

    No se senor, no se.

  30. does any arsenal fan actually want spain to win? i wonder?

    maybe it’s the way the spain squad have spent the whole tourament lobbying for cesc to return to barca, they just annoy me.

    RvP has been quietly classy for Arsenal ever since he joined, and now he’s being quietly classy for Holland too, moulding most of their good attacking play without any fanfare or hype. Nothing would make me happier than to see him win the world cup.

  31. Scusy Senor, but some of those IOU receipts are owed to us!

  32. Fuc* Spain

  33. Come on guys, just like Ronaldo, Messi, Kaka and especially Rooney, Van Persie has been dog shite.

    The stars have been Schweinstiger, Ozil, Muellar, Villa and Forlan.

    ……..oh and Rob Green

  34. Yeah. Fu*k Spain. And Fuc* Catalunya too while you’re at it. And as for those Basques…Don’t get me started on the Basques. What about the Walloons? Where do they fit in?

    I’m bored of this WC to be honest. It hasn’t done it for me. The only “enjoyable” match was England Algeria which was the most fascinating, disfunctional 90 minutes I have had the pleasure of sitting through in a long long time.

    Can’t wait for the Barnet pre-season opener.

  35. I found the link below an interesting read.

    Has anyone else noticed a lack of passes to RvP?

    Hopefully the new players will be professional enough to let bygone be bygones.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/soccer/world-cup-2010/writers/ben_reiter/07/07/van.persie/

  36. van persie hasn’t scored loads of goals or anything near that, but he’s holding together holland’s attacks with some really neat hold up play, good runs, through-balls and lay-offs. he hasn’t got the pace or power to be getting past good defenders in what has been a very defensive world cup, so he’s holding the ball up and providing balls for his teammates to shoot or cross or assist with.

    he has racked up a good number of assists actually. if other played for him more he would score more, like he does at arsenal.

  37. Van Persie will have the top assists in the Premiership next season. Top goal scorer possibly too!

    (subject to terms – he stays fit for 80% of the campaign)

  38. I’m feeling optimistic about Koscielny, our new CB. Once he gets over his very evident, pure and unadulterated pleasure of his first major step-up, and gets over the shock of where he’s got to over the last four years, and once he manages to grin less at his good fortune, (not to mention his hard-work, skill and commitment), then I think we will have a the makings of a really solid defence.

    Looking forward to Djourou showing him who’s boss. (After Vermaelen of course. He’s already proved that).

  39. Woah ChrisGoona, you risked italics.

  40. Germany made Spain look good, their passing shot to pieces, they looked dog-tired and seemed de-motivated. The overall stratetgy of allowing Spain to do all their passing around midfield, defend in depth and counter-attack failed. To beat Spain, you have to attack them, like Chile tried and almost pulled off.

    The Dutch are intriguing because they didn’t look good against Uruguay, but raised their game fantastically against Brazil. Which makes me think they are ‘that type’ of team, a big match team.

    RvP, there is no debate really; he’s absolute class, clever, effective, mature and hard-working and has a good, but not outstanding, world cup. I think he may have been saving all his goals under his pillow just for for Spain on Sunday.

  41. 1 loose cannon

    Sometimes it baffles me when I hear pundits and Ex footballers saying RVP did not have a good world cup. I don’t know what they see in the game. RVP has annoyed the daylight out all defences he played agianst ,very tricky and difficult to track, his movement is exceptional pulled defences all over the place and holds on to the ball well and make some fantastic passes in the final third. He is not a Owen or a Defoe they disapear in the game then pop up with a goal. He is not a frontman in the traditional sense he gives you so many options cutting in from the left, right through the middle he is everywhere around the box, At Arsenal last season he played a target man and surprised everyone how well he did. Holland are clear underdogs in the final but if they keep the ball better and play to RVP’s strength they will have a good chance.
    Spain on the other hand are not an attacking team as people make out they are very defensive.Their form of defence is keeping the ball and fustrate the opposition we saw last night they passed the ball well but in the final third they hardly had anyone in the box only in the second have they tried to penetrate for about 15 minutes then retreated back to their passing game in their own half. If it wasn’t for that header from Puyol I did see them scoring. My only worry for the dutch is that their defence is not good they let in some silly goals. I hope they win it. I will be hugely disappointed to see the cataln Clan lifting the world cup.

  42. Although we are yet to see what Kol-sorry-no-Kos-something-something is made of, be it steel or flapjacks, I don’t doubt Wenger and the scouts have months ago decided this was our guy.

  43. Hats off to Espana. Beautiful football. My favourites Brazil could only play that well against Netherlands for one half. So Espana shouldn’t think that beating the Dutch will be a walkover. The Dutch game may not be pleasing to the eye but I agree with Yogi’s term – pragmatic. Though it makes him sound a bit like Mourinho. But sublime football from Espana.

    Wenger says he will come holiday in Kenya sometime. Jose Mourinho is here at the moment enjoying the Kenyan sun. So is President lula of Brazil. They all agree Kenya is a beautiful country. Wenger says Gallas is definitely off. Not so Cesc. Insists that Cesc is an arsenal player. Also raving about Ozil and Dos Santos. Doubt that the spuds would sell us Dos Santos – even though they are wasting him. They should give the boy a chance to realize his true potential at the emirates. The next Ronaldinho if he was at the right club. Didn’t know that Almunia is also called Rivero – Wenger used that name.
    Don’t like to whine about Cesc but will comment all the same. The fact that he is warming the bench maybe doing nothing to destroy his confidence. RVP was on the bench – albeit through injury a long time – and yet he believes he is as good as Rooney and Messi. Maybe my including Rooney is a mistake but the comment came before the world cup. I also remember Nicholas Bendtner saying that in a couple of years or so he intends to be the best player in the world. So Cesc probably thinks – or should I say “knows” – that he is better than both Iniesta and Xavi! To be a winner he must have such a mentality. Tell Cesc that Xavi will bench him and he’d probably hate you. In his mind he must believe that he is the best box to box midfielder in the world and he just hasn’t had his break yet.
    So my choice for the world cup? Firstly there’s to be a new winner which is good news though I’d hoped by some miracle it would be Nigeria!My favourites, Nigeria and Brazil are both out so I lost my passion. Netherlands and Espana probably both deserve it. I’ll be neutral but end up supporting the more enterprising team on the day!

  44. Mingus

    He didn’t fall foul of the Prevention of Italics Act though did he, eh? Eh?

    YW

  45. Come on, Van Persie’s been average at best, he hasnt played anywhere near the standard which he can play, he’s been dog shite. I had £50 on that dog to be top scorer at 16/1 odds, he’s let me down, he’s let Holland down, but most importantly he’s let himself down.

    Zimpaul, Spain will spank Holland. Holland have flattered to deceive this World Cup and were very lucky against Brazil and Uraguay

  46. Spain have reached the World Cup final after dropping Fernando Torres and having Cesc Fabregas on the bench as an unused sub, scary. IF Holland do play well, it’ll only kick Spain into action and they will do a Barcelona on them.

    Do you know what doing a Barcelona on a team is?

  47. Yessss!! Get in! Holland have won it! Paul the Octopus has picked Oranje! Hup Hup Hup!

  48. Am I the only person who really doesn’t want Spain and their endless amount of greasy, grubby, little cheating midfielders to win the World Cup?

    More to the point, am I the only person who has been impressed with them during the finals? Yes, they pass and move the ball admirably, but they’ve hardly convinced at any point.

    Much like Barcelona, if Holland adopt the same approach Inter Milan did in the Champions League then they should win.

    Regarding Koscielny, I’m hoping the supporters who are expecting Thomas Vermaelen-like miracles from him allow the boy a little time to settle. It’s a massive step-up in quality for him and is bound to be daunting. For that reason I hope we sign Mertersacker – he was immense last night and seemingly everywhere.

  49. I see there has been no bold terrorism yet. Perhaps MI6 is concentrating their resources there.

    Wenger – We’re still on market for a defender.

  50. That should say “hasn’t been impressed with them during the finals”

    Schoolboy error…

  51. Jay-Jay, The Dutch are just as dirty, Robben is a disgrace, he still has Chav blood running through him

  52. The problem for Spain is they don’t appear to have too many options, they’ve settled on a style of possesssion football they are just good at, that invites the counter-attack as the best or only method of playing them and it’s a mistake.

    Opposition seem to think, OK we can’t outpass them so let’s better not try that trick. If I were the Dutch coach I would be saying to my guys, first things first, put a fullstop to all that Ramos and CapdeVila stuff down the flanks, force them through the middle and take them them on.

    That means a 5-man midfield committed to defending the flanks, which is in effect 4-3-3.

    Then attack them, fast and direct and accurate at every opportunity and FFS pass and move into space, you won’t out-dribble or out-pace them and the short passing game is playing into their hands, so play the diagonal game, movement off the ball, lots of dummy runs.

    RvP v Puyol should be good fun.

  53. Spain will school them, better in every department.

  54. Just seen that Goonblogger has had confirmation from Arsenal that the interview with Wenger in the Kenyan newspaper is real.

    So, based on the following comment from Arsene,

    Manuel Almunia Rivero is a talented goalkeeper. In training, he is superb, the only problem is that he gets nervous on big matches, thereby making silly mistakes. After the World Cup, we will be making an announcement on goalkeeping.

    Is this the most brutal ending of an Arsenal career or is AW giving Almunia a kick up the arse?

    YW

  55. mingus, on the whole I would agree with you. I like a centreback to curb their mirth. However, you need not look too far back into our history to find a fine example of an uncomplicated, tough-tackling centrehalf – with near perfect comic timing. Steve Bould.

    Steve was a wonderfully cheeky chappy, always ready with the one-liners and often to be seen grinning ear-to-ear in training; like the proverbial post-coital Cheshire cat.

    Who can forget Bouldie’s hilarious bin-bagged egg attack in the Highbury halls during the 1991 League Title celebrations? Comedic genius.

    In Thomas Vermaelen we already have a girder bending defending machine with the cold, dead eyes of a Spartan warrior. He could do with a wise-cracking, happy-go-lucky sidekick to lighten him up when times are tough, don’t you think?

    A David Niven character to Thomas’ Anthony Quinn (Guns of Navarone), a Sharkey to his George, a Withnail to his I, a Sancho Panza to his Don Quixote, a Goose to his Maverick, a Gravedigger to his Hamlet… hmm.. wouldn’t Thomas Vermaelen make an excellent Hamlet… Yes. Yes he would.

    We’re going to win the league!! Haahaa!

  56. haha

    Yeah you pretty much screwed the site up yesterday Mingus!

  57. I take your point LA, but I don’t think Kosielny’s grin is in that league. It is more a “i can’t quite believe what has happened to me! I’m playing for one of the greatest European clubs!” The sooner he feels that that is only right and proper and to be expected of him, (with his amount of talent etc…) the better.

  58. I’ve shamelessly switched allegiences now that Spain are in the final. I’ll be at the San Fermín festival on Sunday and a Spanish World Cup win would make for some night. I will quietly be willing RVP on – but for selfish, fiesta related reasons – I’ll be cheering for Spain.

    If I haven’t already been gored to death by then.

  59. James, we have no octopii in zimbabwe, but my late cousin’s mother’s younger uncle’s son-in-law’s real father had this goat born with only one black horn, a strangely stumpy-deformed spiral but oddly symmetical horn and we all know what that means. Now this goat wanders about aimlessly, without it’s real owner, until and unless occassionally called upon to foretell football scores, election results, planetary influences and the like, which he is always happy to oblige us, since I think he is a bit bored and likes the company. Well, upon asking for the prediction of Sunday’s result we fed the goat well as is his expectation and proceeded to issue unto said goat his usual swill of beer that sends him into the frenzy of the netherworld. Now, we quite explicitly requested answers to “will Spain win”? Very clear. No “will it be this or that team” (which has caused problems of interpretation in the past, since the goat’s English is rural and rather poor). And what happened? He choked. Yup, it was very clear to us, Spain (or “spine” if you prefer the Spanish accent) will choke. To test our result, we offered said goat an orange which he not only gulped down but positively beamed at us with delight.

    I tried and failed to obtain the winning margin and whether RvP would score the winner because the goat was, by his time, a little drunk and unruly. In fact not unlike some of us, yours truly excluded.

  60. Paul the Octopus says its the Oranje. Let me say this, £250 on the Oranje. Before the bookies take wind and lower their price because some fucken octopus picked his lunch out of a Orange box!

  61. Now, as it’s my birthday today, you are not allowed to:
    a) poke fun at my goat story or intimate that it is a figment of imagination
    b) disagree with me on anything at all, or any detail of anything, or any minutiae of any detail
    c) say anything bad about Arsenal, it’s current or future goalkeepers, central backs, defensive midfield.

  62. 1 loose cannon

    Joke of the day. Arsenal after SW.philips.

  63. Zimpaul, I wish I had that goat

  64. Joke of the century: Take SWP to the World Cup over Theo!

  65. James,

    I won’t dare to think what you would want to do with a goat!

  66. Yeah, I agreed Spain deserved to go through. For all their tikki takka, and pretty passing, spain has a surprising level of ‘grit’ and ‘fighting spirit’ so talked about by pundits when describing the Chelsea’s and Inters of this world.

    Thinking about it, you realise spain/barca rarely loose a lead. There wasn’t a time when I felt Germany was going to score, unless how I felt a lot last season when arsenal have a 1 or even 2 goal lead. They lost their lead to us in the CL match at the emirates though, which kind of explains the kind of respect Walcott received from Messi the other day.

    If we can add that ability to our game this season, it will certainly increase our chances. To do that we have to really improve our pressing and possession play, which wasn’t good enough at all for much of last season. We loose possession too easily (for a team that uses possession play), putting pressure on our defense.

  67. Chris, Goats are very affectionate

  68. Arsenal are after Wright-Phillips?

    Why, Lord?Why?

  69. @ZimPaul 12:45

    The real father bit at the end made my day.

  70. We need to sign this german keeper.

  71. *unless = unlike

  72. Wenger interview is in a paper called The East African Standard. Log on to http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/sports

  73. i dont know why i do it….just went onto le grove and they are even worse than i remember!

    I dont understand how you can go through life being so bitter and angry all the time…how can they watch football if it creates such negativity? makes me feel depressed and outraged just reading that tripe.

    poor koscielny, thrown to the scrap pile before he’s even kicked a ball…apparently someone on there hasnt seen much of him but what he has seen is cygan-like pace and poor marking….apparently we should have forked out 20 mill on cahill, why do we keep buying frogs? need some english grit.

    i really do despair

  74. LimparAssist

    I’ve been listening to Rapha Honigstein at lunch, one of the few genuine and my favourite footy p(l)undit. He said that althought Mertesacker played well, the lack of a (am paraphrasing) CB who could ‘play the ball out’ like Gallas or Vermy was a critical problem for Ze Germans. I thought Per Mertesacker had a good game, but then, I do know nothing.

    More then anything, Rapha’s words, and Germany’s failure, for me, highlight the brilliance of some of AFC’s ‘play’ from CB.

    Now, if the squad can just figure out how to ‘lower the handbrake’ a little, against teams who aren’t quite parking the bus, but doing a ‘Germany’…

    Not sure if the following is accurate, but it flet like the season before, the pattern was inverted.
    For next season, more then anything, less injuries please!
    (That includes bruised bones and broken legs too).

  75. Le shite is the place to be if u want to hear crap on a daily basis. Its the anti-supporter site, a site that dedicates its existence to slagging off its own club and team. I don’t get why they bother.

    They said the same about Vermaelen last year, so that means our new signing will make all them fu*kers shut up and hate our French manager and foreign players even more. Racist basta*ds.

  76. Did anyone read the hatchet job by the bloodied hack Richard ‘Polonius’ Williams? (He’d best keep clear or TV5, and carpets.).
    He had turned his match report of the Holland Uruaguay game into a personal attatck on AW.

    You couldn’t make it up…well, you could.
    Richard Williams did.

    Not sure if they had read the article in question, but OOU provided a graceful rebuttle of Williams’ article, reminding us why Gio was let go, in yesterday’s post.

  77. Finsbury

    I see your point, the Spanish pressed the Germans very high up, like Barca done to us. Well Spain and Barca are the same team really anyway – but thats another matter.

    The Germans couldn’t counter that tactic, mainly because their defenders cannot ‘play’ like you said. We had the opposite problem against Barca, we created chances and played the ball out a bit too much. If only we had the organisation of the Germans, and a relatively settled 11 players playing we would have really caused Barca a fair few more problems.

    Thats another game gone by though, next season we will have a completely changed defence it looks like. Djourou back, this new guy, a year on and better settled Vermanator, and Gallas who as we all know, is a bit of a disruptive influence by all accounts in the dressing room. Another defender is in order and we are on our way.

  78. “Another defender is in order and we are on our way.”

    Hup Hup!

    Maybe one of the outbound CB’s will stay?

    Sigh: I thought AFC played Ok against Barca. Those 9 fit players palyed Ok in the first leg! Even after offering their guests a helpful two goal head start. And in the second, the reserves were doing fine until Messi’s marker was given a lame yellow card.
    Anyway, I’m booking my Barnet tickets sometime soon I hope…

  79. I have a feeling that Arsene has a feeling that he might see Gallas or Campbell or both in an Arsenal shirt for another season, which begins to make the specific purchase of Kol .. Kos … quite compelling. Add Nordveidt, whom seems likely to ‘begin’ is real Arsenal career and we may have the dream team of options at the back. Well, it’s just a feeling.

  80. For a very short period I lived in Barnet, right above a chinese restaurant. My two friends, both Zimbabwean mechanics, fixed a couple cars for the Chinese below as a favour one day – and hey presto – we had chinese food delivered free upstairs anytime we were too drunk or lazy to make or buy food. A few months later, several repairs down the line, our chinese friends politely asked whether it might be possible to return some of their plates, as they were beginning to run a bit short. Embarrassingly, we counted 60 plates in our kitchen, and returned them all with shy grins and respectful gestures.

  81. Somehow Spain can play the possession short passing movement game with a high back line yet not get caught on the break. Spain has conceded 1 goal in 6 games in this WC. Barca with the exception of the 1st game against Inter does the same thing. Barca have conceded the fewest goals in La Liga and much of Europe for several years running yet still score tons of goals and are considered the ultimate attacking team. I do not understand how they can do that and we can not.

  82. I watched nearly every match of this world cup, and overall, I’m not overly impressed. Only Chile and Ghana, and maybe Japan, or was it Korea, a bit of Germany, made me really sit up and take notice, with something like drama, excitement, pathos. Who took the world cup by storm? No one really. It sort of limped towards the finals, vuvuzela blaring. Perhaps the finals itself will make amends and produce the thriller the that has been most noiceable by its absence.

  83. Bill, watch Puyol’s positioning specifically for the answer, and the positional interplay between him, Peeky and Alonso. Spain don’t play for the offside trap, they play a deep CB position in a U shape.

  84. IndianGooner

    Everyone, the article in the Kenyan newspaper is not correct..

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsene-wenger-interview-a-clarification

    Arsenal Football Club would like to clarify that quotes attributed to Arsène Wenger today in a Kenyan newspaper are not correct. Arsène Wenger did not grant a one-on-one interview to the newspaper and have kindly asked all media not to attribute any quotes from this source to him.

  85. Hope the Dutch line up with an attitude more akin to Chile’s or Ghana’s then Germany’s on Sunday. Germany weren’t bad, but they definately had the ‘handbrake on’.

    If only the Ivory Coast had a manager! That’s my only gripe about the WC.
    Eboue in CM?
    Understandable, occasionly at AFC, when more then half the squad are in the infirmary, but at the WC?

    He only got to make two runs against Bastos, who was eventually exposed by Robben.

    We were all denied the Second Coming of Garrincha by Svenn! Unforgivable.
    Maybe he had his reasons, maybe not. (Gervinhio?).

  86. ZimPaul:

    “Bill, watch Puyol’s positioning specifically for the answer, and the positional interplay between him, Peeky and Alonso. Spain don’t play for the offside trap, they play a deep CB position in a U shape.”

    Spain was clearly the better team yesterday. They maintained possession and created chances. Why can’t we what they do? Or if we do why doesn’t it work?

  87. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    91st.

  88. Thanks IndianGooner.

    So:

    That’s two blatent, and hysterical hatchet jobs on AW being carried by sites such as the Guardian and Sky Sports within the last twenty four hours.

    Nothing new there then.

  89. Bill: Spain (aka Barca) on a menacingly grim and bitterly cold January evening oop north, sleet and mud patches for company, with McGrinder in midfield, “Dusty” Hardman and Jim Brawner at CB? Oh, somehow I think they would come away with a 0-0 result, and only 3 players down and out this time.

  90. Bill,

    Here we go again. The answer is that Spain & Barcelona play in different competitions.

    Obvious.

  91. You could also argue that at this moment in time, Barcelona have better, more experienced players than we do…

    They are also $450M in debt as a result….

  92. I am not sure they have better more experienced defenders as at last season.

  93. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    ZimPaul is on form today.

    Le Moan reckons we need a Jim Brawner type to partner TV05. I’m not convinced. Anyone with half a brain knows those guys track record with “scouting” players is abysmal. Remember the Cana obsesssion based on a couple youtube video’s? He went to to perennial powerhouse Sunderland. I won’t even go into Felipe “Worst Player in Italy” Melo.

  94. Based on the WC, I can see why we were interested in Inler a while back, i thought he was excellent.

    If we were going to sign anyone in CM, I would be more than happy with him.

  95. I hope octopaul does the premier league next year, I’m a complete convert.

    And happy birthday zimpaul, I enjoyed your tales today but you really should aim to get the goat and the octopus together sometime and make ACLF rich and rightously powerfull… wonder what kind of lovechild they would conceive?

  96. RvP has given more passes to VdV, Robben & Sneijder than he’s received from them. Isn’t he supposed to be the focus of the attack. It seems he’s the number 10 not the number 9.

  97. the lovechild would probably look something like james…

  98. Ole:

    Its a new season so it will start again.

    Barca in club football and Spain in International football seem to be the best models for how we play. They both similar style of football to AFC and still defend superbly. If you really believe that Barca would get cut apart in our league then the style of play that they and we use is clearly not adequate and should be abandoned. I do not believe that any more then you do.

    The question remains why AFC has not defended adequately when other teams that play a similar style do not concede bags of goals the way we do.

    Arsene made some rather definitive statements regarding our defensive problems being the reason our trophy case remains empty and he claimed fixing those problems will be his main priority. Time will tell.

  99. Come on Bill, don’t spend all your time focussing on perceived negatives about us and making detrimental comparisons with other teams. Cheer up. Look at all that is great about AFC and enjoy your life.

  100. Jabber

    Nothing could be that hideous.

    YW

  101. La Liga is totally different from the PL though isnt it? The physical demands of the PL is a different story altogether. Those boys dont get touched at all and when they did play us they were on the ground constantly.

    Its also a two team league, wins come much easier.

    Arsenal were pressing wonderfully at the beginning of the season, but you need to have fit players to do that constantly. Squad rotation is the key to keep players fit and rested.

    Blessings!

  102. Koscielny sure doesn’t look like any Polish guys I know.

  103. Except for that hideous chain ofcause.

  104. Does it ever come to one’s mind that the issue may not be about individual players at all? You can have the best defenders in the world, best defensive midfielders too, but if they don’t fight for each other, or if they don’t have the chemistry or the unity of a common goal, you will get beaten sometimes. Buying expensive players is easy, achieving the good chemistry and the strong unity in a squad of 25 players or more is very hard.

    You need a little bit of luck to get that group of players who only care about one thing and can unite on one goal. The good thing is, we still have the man who accomplished that with the Invincibles and I have no doubt he can do it again.
    ===

    I’m supporting Spain in the final (so hopefully they lose).

  105. I am really warming to all this smiling….

  106. HAPPPPY BIRRRRRRRTTTTTTTTTTHDAY ZP!!!

  107. F*ck Off Barca.

  108. Ok Maria, you’re banned from getting close to the touch line. You obviously will be a distraction to the guy. 🙂

  109. LimparAssist

    Yeah I thought Mertesacker had a good game too, Finsbury. Friedrich was a bit on the shakey side, and it should’ve perhaps been up to him and not the lily-livered Khedira to go and attack that cross… or attack Puyol before he could get his soggy locks on the end of it. (a friend of mine bet on Puyol as first goalscorer in each of Spain’s matches so far… and it finally paid off for him!)

    I think they’ve missed Heiko Westermann in that respect – playing the ball out crisply from the back I mean. In Vermaelen we have, for me, one of the very best in the world at that.

    I liked the look of Toni Kroos when he came on, but it was a real shame that their nice, expansive shape was disrupted by the absence of their right winger. Trochowski looked very much like Müller Lite… (sorry), and didn’t offer enough width, didn’t push forward enough to allow their right-back the space to play his natural game. Alahm bells were ringing for me as soon as I saw the teamsheet.

    And Manuel Neuer is fast becoming one of the best goalkeepers in the world, I think.

  110. Maria, I’m not. But smiling’s better than Smalling, I suppose.

  111. shotta-gunna

    Well, well. Thanks Indian Gooner. I was always suspicious of that Kenyan newspaper report. It is incomprehensible that Wenger would publicly slate one of his players in a newspaper and a foreign newspapet at that. Manuel Almunia Rivero, indeed. That was the give away A typical black-bag operation. Only MI5 and CIA could have done a better job. Plant a story in a foreign newspaper and then have the Arsenal-hating press and the Almunia-haters running with it.
    Shame on those who took the bait; hook, line and sinker.

  112. Bill,

    I think we concede more goals than Barca/Spain because we don’t keep possession as well as they do. I really don’t think their ‘defending’ is that much better than ours. Puyol and Pique are also susceptible to high balls through the middle. The difference is that their opponents don’t see much of the ball at all and therefore get very few chances to attack them in that way, or any one way for that matter. Its a very effective system , but it requires extremely technical players to pull off successfully.

    For this reason, I’m beginning to think that maybe tikki takka football doesn’t suit AFC so well. I’d like to see us adopt a more direct style, the type played by our own invincibles, germany in this WC, and to some extent chelski last season.

    The discipline required to play such a style is easier to master than the technical skills required for tikki takka type football.

  113. I think we play a Tikki Takko football…We need to think outside the bun.

  114. “I think we play a Tikki Takko football…We need to think outside the bun.”

    Stop trying to be clever, young woman!

  115. LimparAssist

    Is it conspiracism to think that the RFEF, with their innate links to FC Barcelona, might pick and consistantly bench Cesc Fabregas in a bid to anchor his rising star… scuttle his reputation as one the best midfielders in the world and cap his price – if not for now, then to curtail it from a rise in the near future?

    Imagine if a shady corporation of fat-headed wankers denied the world Cruyff in ’74, Pele or Just Fontaine in ’58, Maradona in ’82…

    I’m just saying…

  116. It looks like england’s world cup has been saved from all the commotion sky sports are making about howard webb refereeing the final

  117. @ limpar assist

    Agree with all of that and……I lol’ed at muller light.

    Please Jesus, if your there, just allow me this one thing….a Van Persie hattrick on Sunday. I’ll even settle for a brace of penalties as long as Pique and Poo-hole are sent of and Biscuits suffers a hernia.

    Is that too much to ask realy?

  118. shotta-gunna

    Henristic @6:05 pm – We don’t have the personnel to play the Barcelona way. Plus the League in England with its emphasis on power and pace does not favor this style of play. Apart from Cesc, who as an Attacking Central Midfielder is clearly 3rd choice in the Spain set up (behind Xavi and Iniesta)we do not have midfielders of the technical ability of Barca to play a possession game. IMO there is only one other midfielder at AFC who has the required technical ability, that is Denilson. But he is more defensive in nature relative to Cesc. The Nasris, Rosickys and Diabys of this world are good passers but they are more inclined to play in wide areas where they can attack.
    I am slowly coming to the view that we may not be well suited for the 4-3-3 especially on the defensive side. But I am willing to read other views before coming to a conclusion.

  119. i agree with you shotta about the formation.

    I personally feel that against the bigger teams, a 4-4-2 is far more necessary with chamakh and van persie upfront, but against weaker teams, like at home against some of the teams against whom wins are routine, 4-3-3 should be used. The only problem is that so much changing around in formations used probably wont be great

  120. hopefully evra gets suspended so cliche can play in the qualifiers for france

  121. and i wonder who our next defender will be

  122. LimparAssist

    We already play very direct attacking football. It’s just we can keep the ball too, and we pass the ball to the man who has a clear shot on goal. That does noy constitute tippy tacky – or whatever the fuck it is you’re talking about, Henristic. Whoever said we play like Barcelona? Fuck off. We play like Arsenal.

  123. I think Limpars’s hoping for five goals for RVP on Sunday.
    Unfortunately, I don’t think he’s received five passes from his striking partners in the whole tournament.
    It’s like watching five year olds play after they’ve had a row. Except RVP is the grown up.

    I don’t the AFC formation is meant to be identical to FC Bark-a-lot.

    e.g. sagna is not a similar player to Alves, but Eboue is. Eboue was dropped from RB for Sagna.
    Eboue did have some storming games from RB last season. Maybe he could start some more against teams that play TBOF (tm SG).
    But against the ‘big’ teams, I don’t think he will.

  124. Kitchen Sink

    I disagree shotta rosicky is concidered by cesc to be one of the most technically gifted players in europe and runs the central role when playing for his country, whilst Nasri isn’t far off considering that xavi used to bench for deco and co up untill he was 26..

    I do however feel iniesta and xavi wouldn’t be able to keep the ball as they do in the prem league as most refs would ignore fouls on them as they do with denilson..

  125. i like that limpar, we play like arsenal.

    Finsbury i would say its like van persie is the dad playing in a park with his kids, letting them unselfishly have fun and score and take chances, whilst not being cared for himself, since he is the only responsible one. Someone said earlier sneijder gave him under 5 passes against uruguay. Thats ridiculous

    oh yeah and..

    ”Manuel Almunia Rivero is a talented goalkeeper. In training, he is superb, the only problem is that he gets nervous on big matches, thereby making silly mistakes. After the World Cup, we will be making an announcement on goalkeeping. ”

    hahahahhahahahaa i laughed so much when i read this

  126. The fellow who claims to have got the Wenger interview works for Coca Cola East Africa in the PR section. But he is also a part time football pundit. He did meet Wenger and they did speak. More probably they spoke off the record and the fellow decided to treat it as a scoop. The isn’t a journalist. Quite clearly he has embarrased Wenger. Unfortunately the fellow does have the video evidence on meeting Wenger!

  127. Come one Henristic,

    Tikka Takka? FFS who’s trying to be clever? 🙂

  128. Come on Henristic

    Tikki Takka football? Who’s trying to be clever? 🙂

  129. There’s many kinds of technical ability. Rosicky is gifted, but he can’t keep the ball even as well as Denilson does. I agree with SG about Denislon, but Rosicky is a different kind of player as is Nasri.

    Barca weren’t keeping the ball so much when Deco was playing

  130. LimparAssist

    Naaah. The quote is pure bullshit and it got him his 15 minutes. You know how you can tell it’s bullshit? Because it just isn’t true. Almunia is a big game player. Look at Almunia’s mistakes, most have come in fairly innocuous league games… Birmingham, Citeh… as opposed to MotM performances against Barcelona in the CL this year… aginst United, same competition last year. Bollocks mixed up with more bollocks… shame on the grauniad for carrying it.

  131. G4E,

    Writing tikki-takka 3 times in one post isn’t clever. Pointing it out is 🙂

  132. Zap, why in the world would you want clichy to play for france?

    As if we don’t have enough players suffering injuries on international duty

  133. Kenyan, a lot of people meet Wenger for various reasons, but that is a long way from an exclusive one on one interview. Unless he’s got Arsene on tape giving those answers as printed, I’ll believe the denial on the dot com. I thought it was fake yesterday and this is just the confirmation I expected.

  134. LimparAssist

    Yes Finsbury, a five-fer for RVP would make me a very happy boy.

  135. Ok Henristic, but I just have to ask, why Tikki Takka and not Titti-kakka football?

  136. Kitchen Sink

    Henristic the reason I mentioned deco was xavi took a really long time to develop into the player he is today.. as did iniesta who was played at DM second striker/ winger unitil he settled in his now central role which he’s really good at although he doesn’t score nearly enough goals..

    Nasri who is technically gifted is following a similer path taking up many roles left right and centrally but its unwise to right him off for either position as he still has plenty still to show..

  137. Henristic:

    I agree that we do not always keep the ball as well and that is probably in part due to the difference in the style of play and way the games are officiated between the 2 leagues and also partly due to Barca’s technical skill and experience.

    The boss has said that he will make improved defending his priority this year. I hope that means dropping the 433 at least in some situations as Shotta mentioned. Most important, more team effort and commitment to the basics of positioning, organization and recognizing when to drop back and spending some of our training time working on defending. That has to come from the coaching staff. Hopefully that is what the boss meant when he said he would improve our defending next year.

  138. I think the football we played in 2004 and even 2008 was much much better and more beautiful than Barca’s Tikki Takka will ever be…

  139. @ Gunner4Ever 7.08

    I agree. It was.

    But some people on here are quite clearly blinded by Gaurdiolas man-fat.

  140. G4E

    definitely, watching Barca matches in the build up to our CL clash i was underwhelmed by their play. our football is fast, sharp, unrelenting. Barca’s is languid, slow developing

  141. LimparAssist

    …Spend some of our training time defending… wowzer. It’s radical, Bill, but it just might work. Who should we speak to about that? Why haven’t we thought about this before? So simple…

  142. LimparAssist

    NJGooner knows.

  143. word up LA

  144. defense discussion can be an interesting one though no LA?

    Although Barca’s tikki tack whatever blah blah play is not anywhere close to as attractive as ours, their players commitment to winning the ball back is quite admirable. I think all Arsenal players will now know, 100% was is needed of them in the 4-3-3. That is not an easy formation change we underwent last year, but I think it will benefit us.

    although I will admit that I am intrigued by the 4-2-3-1

  145. NJG

    That’s exactly how I feel when I watch Barca or currently called Spain National. It’s one thing to admire the ability to hold the ball, but sometimes it’s too boring.

    On our day, we move the ball at the speed of light and we play with the PL frantic pace. That’s entertainment and excitement.

  146. This could be fun -Howard Webb’s been announced as the ref for the final. They’re not happy about it in Spain. “Estamos jodidos” is the reaction.

  147. Whoops, a bit late on that one.

  148. silver gunner

    I think we will contunue to use the 4-3-3 or the 4-2-3-1 but RVP and Chamakh will play in the same team well i hope.

    Also sol could be going to sunderland now.

  149. oh and i have to say i very much agree with the opinions being shared about RvP…

    His link up play has me foaming at the mouth for next season.. FOAMING.. its getting worse! RABIES…setting in…preseason games…might stem the diseases progression….. pray for me

  150. OOU,

    thankfully, SAF is not managing either of the sides, so Mr. Webb wont need to feel intimidated to swing calls one way or the other.. PHEW!

    the normal Utd bias will return as scheduled around the middle of august.

  151. Good OOU, I hope they get Jodidoed pretty good 🙂

  152. Passenal you could be right. But reminds me of Jesse Jacksons guff in 1988. When he was standing for President. He was speaking to a journalist who was a “brother.” Jesse went on to call Jews hymies. Unfortunately for him the fellow treated it as a scoop. The fellow who claims to have interviewed Wenger has a reputation to keep. If he lied then he’s in trouble for his prime job at Coca Cola is as good as gone.

  153. Suggestion is that he is having a medical.

  154. Who is YW?

  155. Zap, why in the world would you want clichy to play for france?

    As if we don’t have enough players suffering injuries on international duty

    Perhaps because i am not selfish like you, and i want the best for someone I like as a human not as a robot who has to do whatever is best for arsenal

  156. Schwarzer i assume G4E

    I often type your name as G$E, simply holding the caps lock down.. potential name change? hah

  157. Thanks NJ

    I don’t mind a name change if I get a one $ every time

  158. ohhh Zap,

    of course you want whats best for arsenal. but that is often whats in the best interest of the player in terms of development, personal ambition, spirit, etc..

    im glad diaby got a run out, especially as he looked the only half decent french player.

    i will say that i am not nearly as upset about the nasri omission given how unproductive mentally, developmentally the tournament wouldve been for him

  159. G$E,

    you got it! I wont correct my typos any longer!

  160. silver gunner

    think YW is talking about sol………….

  161. silver gunner

    looks like sunderland have prob offered him a two year deal…..

  162. LimparAssist

    Arsenal are excellent at winning the ball back. It’s one of the main facets of our game. Put us in a slower paced league against teams like Getafe and Osasuna and Bilbao and Almeira and we’d eat them all up. Remember how we completely dominated Villareal last year? How we completed dominated Porto this year? It’d be like that every week.

    Why did Barcelona look good in midfield in the Champs League against us? No Denilson in the first leg, no Song and no Fabregas in the 2nd. And no RVP hustling from the front in either.

    We’d beat them in La Liga, just like we’d beat them over here with a full side. Arsenal would piss all over La Liga given the chance.

  163. Looking for your daily dosage of Jodido Howard?

  164. shotta-gunna

    LA @ 7:56 pm – Strong sentiments. Next season will be very interesting, domestically and in Europe.

  165. Mills thanks for the xenephobia!

  166. LA,

    they are excellent. but I believe that barca were more methodical in doing so, more systemic to their type of play.

    and your 100% spot fucking on about us playing in la liga. we would dominate. it would probably be a joke.

    and not to be an ass, im pretty sure deni did play 1st leg. maybe not 2nd leg? only reason im so sure is i just watched a compilation of denilson highlights from 1st leg against barca at the emirates

  167. Denilson came on late in the first half of the first game and that was when we started winning and holding onto the ball in midfield. Someone posted a You Tube clip a couple of days ago, which really shows his contribution.

  168. Limpar:

    “…Spend some of our training time defending… wowzer. It’s radical, Bill, but it just might work.”

    Based on what Lee Dixon has written and “the brain” has said on this blogs it would be a radical change. It just might help especially this year since we will start next season with at least 3 new CB and hopefully a new GK.

  169. Did any one notice “Caught Offside”

    This guy is relentless in his outrageous headlines of Arsenal spending large sums of money, I can’t even dream we have, and he never stops. I think he’s been going like that for 2 or 3 years now.

    I mean it’s even beyond Le Goofer G*off’s dream of becoming the most ridiculous man on planet Earth.

  170. @ 7:56 – Love that Comment LA!

    If Arsenal dont keep the ball well how is it we dominate possession in most of our matches?

    We face Barca and they had most of the possession so we dont keep the ball well?

    Lets no forget that that game wouldnt be quite different “if” Diaby wouldve passed the ball to Walcott, even though we had so many injuries and the idiot ref was giving out yellows every time a Barca player took a dive.

  171. The only team that kept possession better was Barca as far as I know.

  172. my dream is to face them with a full team this coming season…in the final

  173. Silver

    Yes, I was.

    YW

  174. i didnt mean it like that, njg, by the way are you from new jersey, as your initials suggest? Anyway i was talking about how i dont like it when people look at arsenal players greedily, like henristic, when he said we dont need another playing internationals why would you hope that, because i like gael cliche as a person and i like him and think he deserves to play for france

  175. LA

    Don’t forget me were missing in all areas against Barca, Gallas, Thomas, Arshavin, Cesc, Song and RVP ofcause.

  176. Kenyan gunner @6.44pm.

    You just made that up, son

  177. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Frank!!! Long time no read! Post more!

  178. looooooooooool

  179. Frank there was a picture of Arsene with the fellow, Ampher Apidi, in the hard copy of the standard newspaper. Unless the fellow is a real idiot he would have used a digital camera, that’s why I said video! The paper is silent on the interview this morning though yesterday they’d said it was a two part series. I still believe they spoke as the wording of the statement on Arsenal.com denies a “one-on-one interview.” Does not deny their meeting. Having worked in a law firm I have had the advantage of legalistic speak. I believe the thing causing the embarrassment is the Almunia comment.But the whole episode definitely does leaves fellows like me with us with egg on my face!

  180. kenyan Gooner.A word of advice Dont believe anything you read in the paper. It is not beyond unscrupulous media tykes to contrive a story to suit an agenda and in this case it seems like pure fabrication and the journalist expressing his own displeasure with Manuel and dreaming about Casillas coming to the Emirates. It is also typically uncharacteristic of Wenger to publicy criticise one player rather than the teams performance.

  181. Gooner4Life the fellow is one of the more credible football pundits in Kenya. Remember he actually isn’t a journalist. Coca Cola is big on youth football down here and the guy has a big role in the program. In fact he took some “Coca Cola kids” to South Africa for a competition running concurrently with the world cup.

  182. Arsenalkabisa

    Kenyan,

    Me thinks they just had an amiable chat, that was not recorded, and Apidi wrote that trying to recal from memory.

    Probably Arsene too knew it wasn’t an official interview, hence spoke a lot of what was in his mind.

    Arsenal denying it + and the pic on Today’s standard, seem to point it wasn’t a one on one exclusive interview, but there was a chat between the two.

    But the silence on part two of the interview… Probably Arsenal has threatened legal action against them as there was a “non-disclosure agreement” or Apidi used craftiness to get the interview.

  183. KG, I don’t think this episode has done anything to enhance Apidi’s credentials. If anything it will have done him more harm than good.

  184. Arsenalkabisa you hit the nail on the head. Same thing happened to the present Minister of Lands in 1997. Wenger must be quite savvy with the British paparazzi but Apindi probably introduced himself from the angle of Coca Cola’s youth football.

    dupsffokcuf I think he just baked his own bacon!

  185. I think spain is better equipped than the netherlands to win the World Cup but you never know. Sunday we will

  186. I am so convinced of their bags and head deep into the ‘real’ Spain where the country’s glorious diversity truly incredible peninsula before us. Despite the severe crisis that Spain has rural tourism has grown rapidly in the past and a clear trend of active holidays for the whole family.

  1. Pingback: Top Posts — WordPress.com

%d bloggers like this: