Arsene Expects. So Do We.

Arsene’s first major press conference brought forth a slew of opinions ahead of The Emirates Cup this weekend, unsurprisingly forthright on squads and Cesc’s future. The friendlies mean that the season edges ever closer and Wenger admitted that he already had a strong idea of what the starting line-up will be at Anfield in a fortnight’s time. This weekend and perhaps more importantly the trip to Poland, will give us an indication of what that will be.

Personally, the only thing that excites me about pre-season friendlies and a thumping win should be greeted with the same scepticism as a defeat. Neither indicates anything more than a performance on the day. The key things to emerge out this weekend will be fitness and understandings. Some players have things to prove to themselves, the manager and us, the goalkeepers for example will want clean sheets and solid performances to enhance their case for inclusion as the first choice. Centre back pairings will want understandings to develop to bring confidence into the Premier League fixtures.

Once more though the focus turned to the squad and its potential for the coming season. Wenger had earlier in the week shown his belief and re-iterated that yesterday. He spoke of the cyclical nature of developing the squad and was at pains to remind everyone that this is the beginning of the squad, previous seasons being the evolution. There are those who would tell him quite the opposite, that this is the last chance saloon for many of the squad if silverware is not delivered.

And to some extent that is true although not in the wholesale numbers that those who desire immediate change want. With financial advantages, some clubs could quite contentedly stockpile players. The number of those who are deemed surplus to requirements is well-documented in the press, albeit erroneously in some cases. To force clubs to develop ‘home grown’ players is not as disadvantageous as Wenger would like to suggest, for Arsenal anyway. That is a process which the club has been engaged in for a number of years. Indeed, Arsenal are the template for others to follow.

It is a process which is alien to English football at the highest level since the inception of the Premier League and perhaps since the late 1970s / early 1980s. Looking back over the list of Champions, perhaps George Graham’s title winning side of 1989 was the last to have followed that route, mixing one or two major signings with a group of players who have been brought through the ranks or purchased young from lower divisions. A sign of the economic progression in football we are told yet the reason for the continued decline of the national team.

The new squad system is not likely to improve that in Wenger’s opinion. I would disagree; twenty-five players is an ideal number for the Premier League. It does give opportunity for younger players outside of that core figure and Wenger is in a prime position to exploit that. He will not want to tread the path of doing this en masse but has the flexibility he needs for occasional dips into the Reserve squad.

The key losers will be clubs lower down the leagues. Arsenal will be more reluctant to allow players who have been identified as having first team potential to leave for loan spells so readily. Some, like Randall for example, appear to have failed to capitalise on earlier progress and departures on loan will be a prelude to a sale. Others, such as Wilshere, are more likely to be kept at Arsenal and developed internally.

Ideally, there would be at least one more addition to the squad. Four centre backs is a risk, especially since Djourou is susceptible to niggling injuries at the moment following his year long enforced absence. Tweaks and strains are prime threats in players at this stage of their return as we have seen with Eduardo and Rosicky. One more, experienced, headcount would be the solution. This would allow Koscielny the time to adjust to the English game and younger players to become accustomed to the change in demands for the game at the highest level.

On Cesc’s situation, Mathieu Flamini gave his two-pennethworth, impressively contradicting himself in the same sentence:

I would tell him to do what he feels, because it’s a very personal choice and I cannot advise anything.

Which is exactly what he did.

Contrary to The Guardian‘s assertion, the situations are entirely dissimilar, Flamini electing to rundown his contract and exercise his right to talk with other clubs. Cesc does not have that luxury and the distinct impression is that a formal transfer request would be rejected out of hand. Quite rightly so, not just for the player’s importance to the squad at this moment in time but also as a signal that being rewarded handsomely twelve months ago with a contract extension and bonuses brings obligations which should be honoured.

As expected the Catalan media is outraged, reduced to weak-willed moralising over the ‘stealing’ of Cesc as a teenager which gives them right to steal him back for a reduced fee. Wenger has forgiven the youthful exuberance of Pique following the Barcelona shirt incident, something that is easy to do when a multitude of squad members have made complete fools of themselves by speaking so openly about how Cesc will be joining them this summer. As expected, the current regime has blamed the former regime who have sought to deflect attention away from themselves by suggesting that Wenger should bear the brunt of Catalan ire rather than throwing ‘shit‘ at each other.

Arsenal strongly and continually asserted rejections of the overtures has been a welcome reversal of stance from English clubs. Aside from Chelsea, all have lost prime assets to the Spanish duo and to see them fumbling around like teenagers on a first date – knowing the objective but lost in the dark along the way – has been refreshing indeed.

Equally, ensuring that players know contracts must be honoured may suggest that the tide is turning more towards equilibrium in the balance of power between player and owners. That is only good for football. The true test however comes next summer. Whether the same outcome occurs is to be seen. In the meantime there is a season of football to enjoy.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 31, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 237 Comments.

  1. Those who do not learn from history are bound to be consumed by it. and this applies to both arsenal and Fab4. If we don’t learn from history of are last 4 campaign and try and fix what we did wrong. This season would not be any different. You can not keep doing the same thing every time and expect a different result. Our we have a great first 11 but a very weak squad. We are thin in the back and up front if we don’t do something about that then expect nothing to change this season.

    For Fab4, No one had left arsenal and attained the height there had at the club. Barcelona’s hunt for Henri was much more intense than this but in the end he left to become a squad member. If Fab4 leaves arsenal he would regret it down the road like those before him.

  2. well I decided to do the right thing read the post before commenting which made me a proud second 😀

  3. Best post yet BB!

  4. Actually, this tapping up is much more intense than Henry’s….I dont think they ever went this crazy before…

  5. Interesting to see how Mf’s game has developed. assuming he gets off the bench!
    One thing though, about pre season friendlies. They are obviously glorified training sessions in many ways but it’s not true that positives must be ignored just like negatives. You see, great players can of course make mistakes and have a dog on certain days, but only great players can produce brilliance. A bad player or team can never be brilliant, not by accident nor playing uncharacteristically out of their skin – they just are not capable of being brilliant.
    Following my , ahem, impeccable logic therefore, we can be heartened and cheered by any moments of brilliance we see this weekend and happily ignore any cock ups. See?

  6. Lot of sense spoken here- but would Arsenal have stood so firm in the face of a bid between 50 and 60 million for Cesc? . Only time will tell if it was the right thing to do- and I don’t rule out a last minute transfer either. Is it likely that Arsenal will plan for that contingency? Don’t be silly.
    Wenger pin pointed defensive problems at the end of last season as a factor in falling short- and what has he done so far to address this? Allow 4 centre backs to go- 2 of which were experienced, capable centre backs and replace them with one completely untried onel and a crock. Great- that should work.
    Once more Arsenal doesn’t deliver in the transfer market. Fans are paying big money to watch this team and we are entitled to a better effort to make the team competitive than this. Lets be honest as things stand – we have the weakest defence out of the top 10 teams in the EPL.
    Is Wenger the right man to continue to lead Arsenal? It should be a no brainer- because the man has so many great attributes- but it isn’t because he has sone serious blind spots that he shows no sign of addressing.

  7. What i expect is for Wenger to walk the walk after talking the talk about sorting the defensive shortcomings and players he says we need. He certainly seems to have moved (at least publicly) from being Cesc’s second papa to being his manager again with those comments in the press conference. So heres to action wenger and not talky wenger! Yah footballl starts today – ish 🙂

  8. goonergerry
    If you had a better read of Wenger’s interviews you will see that he his trying hard to sign players but the problem is that clubs are reticient to allow their players leave.

    So people saying Wenger is shit as he his stubborn and won’t buy are mistaken he is trying hard but like us with cesc the other don’t want to accept our offers.

  9. It’s pretty clear a signing is on the cards…

  10. i certainly hope so guys i really do

    Big season for Vermaelen what with him being the ‘senior’ defender in our ranks now (to date anyway?)

    I expect big things from the new streamlined Nasri also after his second season wobble aided by a busted leg.

    AA23 also needs to step up in more games – lookin at Wilshere buzzing about this pre season has made me wonder why AA23 aint more busy

  11. Let’s just enjoy the players we’ve got shall we and completely forget about any possible signings. Once they come they are Arsenal players until then it’s the most tedious thing in the world to talk about because we are talking about players of other teams. See?

  12. Human nature Steww – until the season starts there’s not much else to discuss I guess…

  13. goonergerry

    For £70m, I’ll drive Cesc to the airport and carry his luggage straight to the private jet to take him to Catalonia.

    But then again, I also want my council tax reduced….and it ain’t gonna happen.

  14. I know supercod – I do understand, it’s like another competition in a way, but honestly it is so boring. And always it suggests people not happy with the squad, gives an open door to moaners, doomers and whingers. I find our youth and reserves a more interesting topic than Juventus’ Right Half for instance.

  15. I enjoyed Vermaelen’s press conference (sky Sports News have it on their current cycle). He’s very articulate and very level headed. I hope he is appointed as vice-captain.

  16. Good blog, YW.

    I especially liked AW’s mention (according to the Mirror) of the club paying the player’s wages. A slight dig at Barceloaner?

  17. Darius – quite agree, he comes across as future Captain material to me. Shame for him our captain is so young, what chance does the Verm ever have of succeeding Cesc?

  18. Oh Yogi that was absolutely brilliant.

  19. Take your point Steww, personally I find it all quite an interesting way to pass the time until it all kicks off.

    At the end of the day none of us carry the slightest influence with the club so it’s all fairly pointless speculation, same chat I have down the pub without spunking 40quid….!

  20. I agree wholeheartedly with you steww. I was hoping we might have some time off from the cyclical ‘discussion’ that has gone on all week. It is boring in the extreme.

    YW, I actually agree with Wenger re the 25 player rule. What happens to the youngsters who reach 21 but are late developers so not quite ready? With a first team as young as ours the spaces are limited so you could end up having to sell them prematurely. The other PL teams do need to start developing more young players, but perhaps the rule should allow more flexibility to keep players under 25 if they have been developed at the club? Otherwise this has the potential for a lot of decent football players to find themselves unemployed.

  21. Am I right in thinking this rule is not a Uefa/Fifa thing..?

  22. YW,

    The bad part of the rule is the 25 man squad limit.

    Your blog was the first Arsenal blog, perhaps the first football blog to look at the implications of the rule. In the comment thread of that article, I remember someone pointing out what AW said.

    Why did they have to have an artificial limit of 25? Why not 26 or 24 or even 18?

  23. jeremy goldsmith

    No more excuses if the gunners fail to challenge for the epl.After a dozen or so matches,fans will be able to know the status of arsenal’s challenge.
    Btw if the gunners challenge for the epl fizzle out,don’t give the crab about the gunners going for the FA and cl.Then it will be a rerun of the 2009-10 season.
    Then it will be time for Arsene to go. Frankly I don’t share his optimism especially since a custodian hasn’t been brought in. He better know how to play the red faced cunt and Chelsea. All out attack will be suicidal especially it has been shown these past few seasons against these two teams.

  24. must check out vermaelen so Darius, i saw that he was part of the press conference but all ive seen has been wengers comments – i was wondering did Verms get a word in edgeways

    Cesc is captain
    Van P is vice
    i reckon
    but Verm has to lead the back line imo. In the game against one of the austrian teams he was yellin with his arms out to hold a line on a freekick to keep the attackers away from the keeper so he has room to collect an over hot kick

    more of the same instructions from Verm please

  25. Did anyone hear a siren? Surely if one escapes we ought to get some sort of a warning.

  26. I propose that Arsenal fans World wide post letters once a week for the next four weeks to UEFA & FIFA complaining about Barcelona FC’s ‘tapping up’ of Cesc Fabregas. Also post a letter just once to Arsenal FC requesting that they formally complain to UEFA & FIFA. I have drawn up 3 template letters that I will email to willing participants. All you need to do is type in your own Name & Address before printing off & posting. Momentum will be boosted by you forwarding the email to every one of your Arsenal FC fan family & friends, encouraging them to participate.
    The aim of repetitive letters is to create an Admin headache for UEFA & FIFA with thousands of letters received from all over the world & display the strength of feeling from Arsenal FC fans. The purpose of the single letter to Arsenal FC is again to display the strength of feeling from us fans.
    My email address for this campaign from where I will email you the letter templates is ……..

  27. @Gooneraside I to thought the mention of paying players was a dig at Barca, but none of the journo’s picked up on it, or more accurately they chose to ignore it.

  28. I have alot to say(and ask) today so bear with me.

    Although slightly out of topic,i would like the almunia bashers one question: if Al went to a team like bentford,dont you think he would look as outstanding as our young lad chesny? In my opinion,a guy who was quite impressive against barca and manure,makes some brilliant one on one saves each season,and is a good penalty stopper would be ‘magical’ in second division football.

    For those who are very sceptical about kos,i think they just have to appreciate that he is not silvester. to me ,he seems to take the place which would have gone smalling had he signed for us. Statistically,he appears to be better than smalling.


    I am zambian and was quite impressed by your knoledge of our national team. do you think zambia would have fared miserablly as most of my countryfolks suggest? Oh & great to have you back! Lookin forward to stone cold friday.

    Does someone know the time difference btn britain & zambia? I need to watch my beloved team at the pub.

  29. Basically there is no mandatory quota of homegrown to fill, only a restriction on over 21 players

    The rule simply forces clubs to cut players who isn’t quite ready at 21.

    Think about those players who wasn’t nearly good enough at 21, but really came into their own at 23-24 like Drogba, Klose, Arshavin etc

    Will clubs be willing to keep a player over 21 who isn’t quite ready for the premiership just to keep him in the reserves? They going to have to give up on players simply because of an arbitrary cutoff point set by the league. Why not 22 or 23 there’s no real reason.

    As the rule stands clubs can get in players at 18 from overseas yet they can’t get an English lad because he lives more than 90 minutes from the club.
    Which is exactly what we and Man-U are doing, to fulfil the new requirements

  30. LOL Steww.

    They’re short staffed at the asylum this weekend.


    Sky has split the press conference to make 2 different stories and Vermaelen spoke quite elequently and you can see how much he’s a leader on and off the pitch.

    I tend to think that strikers make less effective captains, and defenders and deep-lying midfielders are a better option for the simple reason that their position on the pitch makes them read the game better and hence be able to direct the troops better. Saying that, there are strikers who have made really good captains.

  31. idiot

  32. Flint McCullough

    Absolutely agree with Passenal, YW.

    Time will tell but I feel that this squad rule will prove to be ill thought out, unworkable & an advantage to no one.

    For a couple of seasons it will suit us down to the ground but after that we will be forced to move players on that in the normal course of events we would want to keep.

    It could also cause unrest within all squads with fringe or developing players uncertain of their futures.

    Deciding contract lengths will be a nightmare with developing clubs like AFC finding the benefit of their work going to others on the cheap.

    Lots of problems for very little or no gain.

  33. sorry

  34. Trugunn.

    I’ve always believed that the Zambian team that perished in that plane crash were one of the most talented or promising teams of the region at the time. They were doing really well in the continental circuit and in my view they would have made the grade for the world cup in time.

    The bigger mistake was that there was no plan B or there was no progression strategy that would have kept the squad going. Granted, no club or country can ever plan in earnest for losing its entire squad, but the fact that there was no alternative or no continuity has hampered Zambian football to this day. Perhaps that’s why it sometimes seems that your countrymen are not that optimistic anymore.

    I tell my Zambian friends who

  35. ** …I tell my Zambian friends who are not that enthusiastic about their football that short of grabbing a cold beer and pontificating, there’s not much they can do about the lost generation. **

  36. kalucha bwalya

  37. What about him Karim?

  38. Found on the Guardian about the home grown rule.

    “If clubs cannot fill their quota of eight homegrown players, then their senior squads will be short. The champions Chelsea, for example, only have five homegrown players (John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Ross Turnbull and Michael Mancienne). As things stand, the manager, Carlo Ancelotti, will have to name a senior squad of 22 and opportunities will increase for his under-21s. That the players most likely to step up are Gaël Kakuta, Fabio Borini, Jeffrey Bruma and Patrick van Aanholt – in other words, overseas youngsters – is a moot point, and one reflected at other clubs. English players, though, must embrace the competition.”

    “One of the principal arguments against the legislation is that it could leave players over the age of 21 out in the cold. If they are not named in the 25, they cannot play until squad changes are permitted in the next transfer window. The Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini, has 32 senior players at his disposal – following the sale of Javier Garrido to Lazio today and he is under pressure to sell seven of them before the end of August.”

  39. “Once more Arsenal doesn’t deliver in the transfer market.” – goonergerry @9:46 am

    Now, more than ever I am convinced this guy (and his sidekick) are complete idiots? After all the back and forth on this blog, after everything that has happened in the past 4-5 years with the club’s move to the Emirates, and, most of all, after Arsene’s press conference yesterday where he confirmed his policy and actions with respect to developing the club internally and the role of transfers, this remark is the sign of a complete lunatic.
    Yes, I know I bit at this provocation but it has to be said.

  40. he was a great player who survived the plane crash,he played for psv eindhoven.

  41. Bored again, when is the game going to start and can we watch on Arsenal online or have the bastards at Sky who I refuse to sponsor been given the rights?

    Also I heard that ginger freak Durham in talkshite was calling Cesc a slave and Arsene a slave driver!! Is it true? First Makalele then the lesser ronaldo, now Cesc….what is footballs fasanation with football.

  42. Bored again, when is the game going to start and can we watch on Arsenal online or have the bastards at Sky who I refuse to sponsor been given the rights?

    Also I heard that ginger freak Durham in talkshite was calling Cesc a slave and Arsene a slave driver!! Is it true? First Makalele then the lesser ronaldo, now Cesc….what is footballs fasanation with slavery.

  43. Danish Gooner

    Wenger is a bullshitter,when he is in the retirement home it will still be the beginning of the squad.

  44. Maria.

    Ginger Durham is a wind up merchant. Only does sensational to push up the ratings of his show.

  45. There goes the siren again…

  46. why do people argue…..we all agree we need a defender and a keeper dont we?????

  47. Um sorry no I absolutely never once thought we need a keeper. MA back in his best form plenty good enough thanks.

  48. What do you expect Yogi??? a title?? 4th ?? i dont expect us to win the title unless Wenger signs a better keeper and a proven good cb.

  49. Of course there is one person’s opinion I will bow to if he thinks we need another keeper.

  50. DukeGoonem

    They think it’s as easy as picking them off the shelf at Waitrose on Holloway Road.

  51. DukeGoonem.

    What are you going to do if Wenger signs a better keeper and a good proven CB, and we don’t win the title?

  52. What sort of question is that.

  53. do you think we can win the title without getting another cb and a decent keeper then?

  54. It’s a straight forward question.

    You say: “i dont expect us to win the title unless Wenger signs a better keeper and a proven good cb”

    You make it sound like winning the title is a shoe-in if Wenger signs a knew keper and CB.

    I only ask so as to understand your point of view – and hopefully have a debate about different expectations.

  55. I want Wenger to sign a new CB because we need the numbers. It’s not the world’s best kept secret that this is the case.

    I don’t think a new GK is as essential as it’s made out to be. Our bigger problem as a team is defensive tactical discipline. Banging on about a new keeper is a red herring. If we get one, well and good, if we don’t cest la vie.

    Either way, I don’t think we can guarantee that we will win the title if we buy them; in the same way that we can’t guarantee we won’t win the title if we don’t.

  56. my point is that if we dont sign another cb and a decent keeper then we will inevitibely fall short again when injuries and in the case of either tweedle dee or tweedel dum gaffs kick in, but if we sign another cb and keeper then i can see us winning it but obviously i use the word can not will.

  57. Spot on Darius. And that little exchange speaks volumes. I answer him, he ignores me. You ask a reasonable question and he replies with
    “What sort of question is that.”

  58. Oh and then insults two of our players by calling them names. In a public forum on an Arsenal supporters blog.

  59. Maria:

    “Also I heard that ginger freak Durham in talkshite was calling Cesc a slave and Arsene a slave driver!! Is it true? First Makalele then the lesser ronaldo, now Cesc….what is footballs fasanation with slavery.”

    I would love to be a slave that gets paid 100k a week and gets his every need catered to up until game time. Idiots like Durham make it sound like these players are held at gunpoint at the negotiating table.

  60. Steww, what you have witnessed there is a breakdown in doomer logic.

    Doomer logic goes like this.

    Buy a CB and a Keeper + “?” = Champions.

  61. What are you on about steww.

  62. I think Gainsboroug69 that you have nailed it.

  63. gainsborgh

    why do fools like you have to put people into brackets. why cant you just have a debate, but no you have to label everyone who doesnt suck the teams dicks as doomers dont ya. 69, very mature number there. i bet you have never even partaken in one.

  64. so i was right in answering to darius coz he obviously understands the art of debate and difference of opinion whilst you two clowns just try to play the snobby put them into the doomer box card.

  65. yep it will be the only thing he will be nailing!

  66. SPL runners up v Ligue 1 runners up just showed up the difference in class in these two leagues

  67. Duke,

    I think it’s not opinions that get criticised it’s behaviour and attitude.

    You asked if we don’t all agree additions are needed. I want to know why so many are shi-ting bricks since the manager actively expresses an intention to make those additions.

    That’s the discussion stopper, really. Should we talk about the Arsenal or just have a whinefest. A you-moan, I-moan dance?

  68. Aww Duke. Don’t get mad. I’m bracketing you with the doomers because you have no belief. That’s a basic characteristic of the negative, pessimistic Arsenal supporters who think they know more than the manager.

    What is a 69 and how do I partake in one?

  69. Oh, and supporting the team through thick and thin is now sucking the team’s dick? That’s good to know.

  70. Poor ole Duke is having a rant again.
    Duke asserts: “dont expect us to win the title unless Wenger signs a better keeper and a proven good cb.”
    Thus the corollary to Duke’s statement is: by signing a better keeper and a proven CB we are guaranteed to win the title.
    Well Oil City signed a better keeper, (Shay Given) and many proven CBs (Lescott, Toure et al) and they won fuck all. Finished 5th actually.
    Try explaining this to good old duke and you “suck the teams dick” and accused of being immature.

  71. now if you would have called me a pessimist i would have been happy with that, well i think i would have but i probably would have been upset with that aswell!!. but i dont think its doomey to say we need a cb and a keeper, whats wrong with that its the truth isnt it, well definitely a cb, maybe we could get away without signing a keeper but i doubt it as like i said the keepers we have tend to like a gaff just when we dont need it.

  72. here come the fukin cavalry

  73. Ole.

    I suspect it goes further than that. My sense is that even when Wenger signs the said players, the issue will then become that the said players are not good enough for Arsenal because no one has heard about them before, or they haven’t got a respectable price tag.

    So far as I can tell, the criteria to determine their quality ranks between media hype, youtube videos and an over inflated transfer fee.

    It was only yesterday that we were discussing with my wife and a friend, how is it that James Milner is valued at £30m, yet Cesc, a world cup winner and Arsenal captain is valued by his so called DNA holders as worth £29m.

    But I digress, the issue here is that if one issue is resolved, there will always be another issue to bitch about.

    More fundamentally, there is a total luck of understanding that decisions made in previous years to pursue our transfer policy for the reasons it was done have to be seen through, regardless of how painful those decisions are.

    The problem with English football is that they don’t know how to build things any more, they want to buy it. Dare you point out to them that this is the primary reason why Team Ingerland is well, pathetic (for lack of a better description).

    There is no coherent vision about how the game is to be played, and there is no backbone or no one has the balls to see it through.

    These issues are all interlinked, and instead of dealing with them, the easier thing to do is throw stones at Arsenal for daring to do things differently.

    Thank God ATVO is now on…

  74. you cant post a simple comment on here that in anyway is non positive coz a bunch of people on ere will get the forest gump.

    shotta you up to your old tricks in twisting what people mean again.

  75. Li’l Jack and Frimpers in the centre of midfield again. Looking forward to this.

  76. Stew has been on fire this past week.

    Darius great to see you back, I loved me some Stne cold fridays.

  77. Arsenal.

  78. Aw thanks Maria. Sometimes you can’t just sit back and let shotta and chris fight the evil alone.

  79. Any streams boys….

  80. The YES sopcast link works well

  81. I love the act they are booing flamoney….

  82. I dn`t have sopcast downloaded on this laptop.

  83. Fuck me – how good does Kos look?

  84. Furious Styles

    Koscielny looks pretty fast i gotta say. Willing (and seemingly able) to intercept well, too

  85. @ Darius& Karim

    I’ve just seen your posts coz am helping out a neighbour moving house and i use a phone which doesnt show new posts.

    I was only a teen by 1993 but i remember the day of the Gabon disaster. the nation was in total anguish but the rebuilt team did us proud by reachin the AFCON final in 94.Man,those were the good times!!

    There is a legend in my country that the great zimbabwean & liverpool keeper Bruce Grobelaar once said before a match against zambia that he was so confident of not conciding that he would give away a model of the latest mercedes @ the time. Well he ended up conciding a solitary king KALU goal! I hope zimpaul can say if he ever heard of the audacious offer from Grobelaar.


  86. Me likng the new boys…

  87. Arshavin-Chamakh


  88. Gibbs showed such strength and determination at the start of the move that made the goal.

  89. Gibbs is going to really push clichy this year. He looks in great shape.

  90. Delia-----Block 112

    So far , so good . Some really nice touches from the new boys and a great move from Nasri , pity TR7 couldn’t finish it off. Even Flappy looks sharp!
    Looking forward to tomorrow’s trip to the Emirates and some real football. Oh good Theos on for the second half.

  91. Duke:

    “you cant post a simple comment on here that in anyway is non positive coz a bunch of people on ere will get the forest gump.”

    There you go. Now you’re learning.

    This is a sanctuary of sorts from the rest of the uber-negative Arsenal blogosphere. Everytime one of you negative idiots gives your opinion it takes away from the enjoyment for the rest of us. Now, you can choose to stay and get hammered every time or you can fuck off to a place where your pessimism is indulged.

  92. That was close

  93. Frimpong looking the part

  94. Some of the decisions against Frimpong have been harsh. I’m sure he’d have much more licence in the prem.

  95. Frimpong’s leapfrogged Eastmond as Song’s understudy IMO. Is it just me or Carlos Vela gone fat

  96. Vela close….

  97. Vela FAT…………..

    HOW DARE YOU!! <

    Steww were is that bloody siren of yours.

  98. More updates, please. You’re my only source right now….

  99. (….sent from phone, of course)

  100. 1-1 farce of a free kick against sagna

  101. SomeRandomGunner

    How did we concede ?

  102. English refs are either blind, plain stupid, or just fucking morons.

    I think it’s the three all together.

    Good game though from most of the players.

  103. We look really good. Shoulda been 4-1

  104. free kick

  105. Koscielny was impressive. Good pace and looks like he reads the game well. Frimpong would make a good understudy for Alex Song. Definitely want him in the first team. I think Wilshere’s best position is coming in from the right. He looks good centrally, but I think he’d be a lot more menacing cutting in from out wide.

  106. Zama, Vela looks like he’s bulked up a bit. He looks stronger and less afraid to go into challenges.

  107. SomeRandomGunner

    oh ok. I am very impressed with Koscielny and Chamakh all we need is a CB. But there is still a gap in midfielders defending, i cannot complain that based on this game totally makeshift midfield.

  108. for large periods of the game they couldn’t live with us. Nasri is continuing to look like a world beater….Exellent move for the goal Gibbs, Arshavin and a clever finish by the impressive Chamakh. The flick on from him to set up Arshavin was superb. A brilliant move and attempted shot from Vela that deserved a goal deserves a mention, as does the continued progress of all the youngsters.

    Bad goal to concede though. I’m sure it will be worked on and we’ll win the Corporate Cup.

  109. Gunner4ever

    Erm….dont think refs being stupid is exclusive to English people…. Did you not see this years World Cup?

  110. Same old Arsenal.Plenty of possesion but we cannot defend set pieces.C’mon Arsene we need a CB and most of all a Keeper

  111. Apart from poor tony and his brain injury I agree with all of the above. Really entertaining some great football played some superb individual performances, some players just starting back after the world cup. All in all good fun.

  112. Oh and Maria – how about Carlos ghosting through 3 Milan defenders.

  113. I called Duke a doomer once, a long time ago and pz said that he wasn’t really, he just liked a good moan now and again.

    I still think that’s true. Mind you it’s been a while since he showed his more positive side.

    Cricket’s been good though Duke!

  114. I’m just wondering whether some misguided folks out here expect that by signing a new CB and keeper we will never concede a goal? TsK!

  115. @CB.

    I’m a bit worried about KP. I think he’s living on his reputation, but the truth is that his batting has been woful recently. Do you think the selectors have the balls to drop him for the ashes. Ravi for example is on better form than KP.

    Even Hampshire didn’t want anything to do with him…but I suspect that it’s because he’s only played 20 games for them in 5 years and recently told them to fuck off, really.

  116. Mark Randall????please explain.a player who took no part in the premiership last season.What was the point in he coming on today

  117. Göteborg Gunner

    I knew he was a team player but Chamakh is much more of a playmaker than I thought he would be.

  118. He was instinctively looking to bring people into the game wasn’t he Goteborg? Until he was through on goal and then it was calmness personified.

  119. The part of Chamakh’s game that I’d like to see is when he plays ugly. Call it prep for teams like Stoke and Blackburn.

  120. Me like Steww…me like…

  121. That set piece we conceded from was the result of a very well taken free-kick by Clarence Seedorf. I’m pretty sure the tea with the best cntre backs in the world would’ve conceded from it.

  122. Oh and Nasri is a beast!

  123. We conceded from it and we have two pretty decent centre backs! In fact didn’t we have 3 on the pitch at the time?
    You make a good point Gainsy, people seem to think teams we play aren’t allowed to have a go, aren’t entitled to be any good. It was a great free kick, well placed at pace and well finished.
    I bet Bill fucking loved it.

  124. Gainsbourgh @ 6.16 yeah he does look a lot tougher than last year. In fact I thought he was bit slimmer during the World Cup. Looked good though when he came on. Shame about conceding from a set piece.

  125. I’m not sure that KP can be bothered these days, Darius Has he got the character for a long career. I hope so but can you see him as a true batting great? No.

    Bopara looks hungry and I’ve always liked that in any player in any sport. Look at Chamakh.

    However, I can’t se the selectors taking that kind of decision. It would be very brave and with the Ashes at stake….well.

  126. DS, didnt you know that we were not expected to be scored upon ever again? while we are supposed average atleast 4 goals per game, afterall we bought a striker!

  127. BOB!! You’re still around, thats a relief:p

    I don’t see where Duke went wrong. He’s spot on about his comments regarding the need for a CB. A new goal keeper, wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

    You enjoying cricket then? Our boys are well, not accustomed to playing on such wickets. I mean good wickets, and they’re young too. Watch out for Amir though, he might turn out to be one of the best bowlers from Pakistan.

  128. Paul N.

    The way some folks go on, you get the impression that we will never concede a goal if we buy a new CB and keeper. Give Seedorf and Pato credit for executing a damn good move that could have given any defenders worth their salt grief.

    It was an enjoyable game and long overdu….LOL! the summer is a bastard.

    Koscielny looked the part, it’s like he’s been part of the furniture at the Ems. Gibbs is most definitely the next England left back.

    Here’s what is being said about Emmanuel Frimpas (I’m ashamed to say it’s from the Daily Wail – LOL, forgive me people).

    “The 18-year-old, an England youth international, showed little respect for the illustrious names lining up against him, nibbling at the ankles of both Clarence
    Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso and Mathieu Flamini throughout.”


    I get the impression KP is more interested in the glamour rather than the graft. It’s almost like he’s saying “hey, look at me, one of the highest paid cricketers in the world”. He probably spends more energy on off the field promotion work than good old fashoned hard training to keep his game up. Surely, his batting averages over the last period have been pathetic.

    But I agree, it’s hard to see him being dropped. It could be as controversial as Capello dropping an out of form Rooney.

  129. Darius,

    It’s not about weather we would concede goals with a new CB or not. It’s about depth in that position, that we need so badly. Vermalean, Djourou and K, won’t be enough. You know how injuries pile up, given the number of games we play. One long term injury to any of those and we’re fucked badly. We need depth, even Arsene realizes that. He said 5 Cbs are ideal based on last season, but 4 is a must.

  130. Deano,

    I like to clear one point, I didn’t say English people, I said English refs.

    Yes, I’ve seen the world cup…but English refs seem to be the worst…that’s all.

  131. Well Ateeb, your boys just can’t bat can they? They have showed more application under Butt than they did under Boom Boom. Lots of talent though, no question and yes, the bowlers look very good.

    As for a CB, I agree with you. Definitely needed. I could live without another ‘keeper in the absence of a truly excellent alternative.

  132. No one said that we dont need another CB though.
    However one should not say that we WILL NOT win the PL if we dont by another CB.

  133. That’s true, they seriously can’t bat. And they don’t really give the youngsters much chances. Seems they’re willing to do so now. But I expect them to drop a couple of the players, only to emerge 2 years later. No long term plan, sadly. And I just cant bare the Akmal brothers. Kamran, is the worst keeper I’ve seen for years. I really don’t have any clue why he’s been given so many chances, when he hasn’t shown any composure or improvement. You can’t really drop 5-6 catches in a test match.

    Yeah, agree with you on the goal keeping department, don’t think Almunia is as bad as they seem to claim.

  134. Ateeb.

    Agree that we need another CB. That has not been in question. I think the issue is that some people are jumping the gun and assuming one is not going to be signed, yet Arsene has made it crystal clear that he’s looking for at least 1 CB.

    The fact that clubs know that Arsenal is looking makes it that much more difficult for us to get value for money, and hence the process naturally takes longer. It was impossible to sign anyone during the world cup and we just need to let folks at Highbury House do their job instead of constantly bitchign that we need another CB. Even the tea lady at Stoke knows that.

  135. WE WILL NOT win the EPL if we don’t buy another Cb. Every player in a position gets injured, and we don’t have depth in that department. Not going to happen, with three CBs. Not a chance. And frankly, I don’t know how good Djourou is and how he would play against the likes of the top 6 teams, who seem to have good strikers this time around.

  136. Darius,

    Haha. You really can’t expect the doomers to stop bitching about the need for a CB all the time, can you? What else will they talk about then? Most of the areas are well covered, the players seem up for it, its a couple of positions, that need addressing. And until Arsene does that, the doomers are employed in their bitching activities.

  137. No way we need a new keeper. We had 4 last time I checked. In fact, that might be a bit too many. As far as the quality goes, every single keeper has howlers, we just notice our teams more. It is also a lot harder to just stand in goal most of the time and deal with 3 good shots in a game, rather than a barrage of them throughout.
    IMO, Almunia is off this season. Bit sad really, I liked him. But Fabianski will get a much needed extended run of games. Maybe Mannone or Szczesny will go out on loan, give Taylor a chance to be 3rd keeper if necessary? But I doubt it.
    Defensively also, I think we are okay in that we have 4 centre-backs. However, we have needed 5 in the past, and hopefully we can get someone like Mertesacker or Adelweireld (Seriously doubt Ajax will sell another centre-half though).
    Don’t worry guys, we’re gonna win the league this season.

    By the way, really smart declaration from England there, even though I was rooting for Pakistan.

  138. LOL….I guess once we have signed a new CB, the bitching moves on to the fact that he’s not a recognized name or what they so eloquently suggest as a recognized defender.

    The questions will be about how we can’t then win the title without a recognized CB who is a neanderthal built like a brick shit house.

    And btw, Koscielny was very impressive today. But clearly, the fact that he’s been catapulted from the French 2nd division to Arsenal in 2 years means that he will never be Arsenal quality (according to the doomers).

  139. On Koscielny….even when the commentators on Sky made an effort to compliment his contribution to the game, they had to poison it with that dreaded….”but how will he perform against the strenth of Drogba or Hesky”.

    The damn skippies can’t even give credit where it’s due.

  140. I thought Koscielny was excellent today. Very good partner for Vermalaen. Impressive.

  141. Ateeb, You or no on else KNOWS who will win though you may have an opinion. Anyway, I intend to enjoy some lovely football from Arsenal not worry about who is gonna win the PL.

  142. Whether we get another CB before this window closes or in January doesn’t really concern me. I also wouldn’t question Wenger if he feels that Nordtveit is ready to jump into the deep end. Who knows? Maybe all this talk of a CB is just a smokescreen to buy a player in another position.

  143. Darius, I was especially impressed by how well Koscielny kept up with Pato’s pace. He’s not bad at tackling either.

  144. Steww, I thought it was kind of funny how after all the moaning about a CB we concede with three of them on the pitch.

  145. We played well today, against a good side as well. If we had taken our chances we would have won easily.

    The two news boys looked very impressive, and I thought Frimgpong had a really good game. Wee Jack was hit and miss, and Gibbs did well.

    Encouraging performance. Not too worried about the goal conceded really, it was a superb delivery.

  146. Goonerandy.

    Does Koscielny meet your standards? You were quite vocal over the last 2 days about the fact that he’s not a “recognized” CB.

  147. And he isn’t.

    Yes, he was very good today. Good in the tackle, and good on the ball. Pretty pacey as well. Very encouraging.

  148. Not recognized Darius, I said established.

  149. My bad.

    But at least we can agree that the Arsenal scouting system is better than any of us at finding quality, no?

  150. Of course, I never questioned that. I never questioned them either…just said what I think.

    All is good. 🙂

  151. I actually enjoyed the game. It’s been a long time since we had some good Wengerball.

    And according to the BBC, Wenger believes that Barcelona have a case to answer about the way they have been tapping up Cesc.

  152. Only thing that spoiled today was the Sky commentary. If I can bear to wait I think I’ll watch matches on ATVO. They’re usually up by the next morning. I’ve tried to get rid of Murdoch TV before but have been shouted down. Howls of protest from wife and 2 daughters.

  153. Just got back from the emirates. Lot’s of positives. Koscienly, Frimpong, Chamakh and Gibbs were all excellent. These are 4 players who either didn’t feature or who were not at the club last season.

    Celtic fans were crazy. Cheering the team even when they were 2-0 down.

  154. 1 loose cannon

    Koscielny was good and solid. Chamakh looked like an absolute bargain, took his chance , linked up really well with others in the build up and keeped things simple and tidy he also showed some class with his ability. What can I say about Nasri? he is the real deal, he looks stronger hungier than ever. We should’ve destroyed Milan 6 nil with the chances we had, this is the only thing that furstrate us we need to take our chances when they come.

  155. 1 loose cannon

    Muppet- I forgot to mention Gibbs pure class. today everyone saw the end of Cashley in an England shirt.

  156. “Celtic fans were crazy. Cheering the team even when they were 2-0 down.”

    Just their normal inebriated selves Muppet.

  157. No matter what the so called ‘doomers’ think you can bet that a lot of premier league managers know how good our squad is.

  158. damn right dups, only the doomers dont know that.

    people dont realize that there was a bunch of youth and new players on the field when we scored and outplayed Milan.


  159. Absolutely dupsffokcuf. I think there had been some drinking going on. They quickly left en route to the pubs after their game.

  160. Our crowd sounded good on TV muppet – what were they actually like? lots of oohs and aahs from what I could here and thank god genuine applause for Fabianski.

  161. Yeah Steww, fairly upbeat. Flamini was booed though. Don’t think there was any real negativity. Chamakh was a given an ovation when he went off – a lot of people well impressed by him. To me – koscienly sticks out in the memory. He didn’t look at of place at all.

  162. I was blown away by Kosc. His timing, speed, skill and composure reminded me of what we saw with TV last year. Anyone who may come in, Nordveit and JD have their work cut out getting a game if you ask me.,

  163. steww, it seems the majority of the AAA (anti Arsene Arsenal) fans do not attend most game. They just seem to use their large orifices on the net.

  164. When I looked at Koscielny he looked a bit of a hard bastard. Not bulky, just like nutty boy.

  165. We can’t be too over optimistic. On the other hand, Chamakh and Koscienly, on these performances, and knowing what we know about their energy levels, reputations, and the fact they have both been scouted by Grimandi, or at least Koscienly has, means that the optimism is not unfounded.

    What we need now is for nucleus of key players to have an injury free season. That has always been our major problem in recent seasons.

  166. I noticed Grimandi was standing in the tunnel during the 2nd half of the game.

  167. “What we need now is for nucleus of key players to have an injury free season. That has always been our major problem in recent seasons.”

    Amen to that Muppet

  168. In Frimpong I think we have another gem. This is a guy who basically an animal in the centre of midfield. For an 18 year old he made pretty lightwork of an Milan player. No mean feat. And Wenger has confirmed already tonight that he is staying and not going out on load. I think that is significant. He could be in for some appearances in the 1st team this season.

  169. + out on loan

  170. light work of any Milan player.

  171. did you read my mind there Muppet?

  172. Snap. Yes, Frimpong looks good. We have Song, Eastmond, Denilson and now Frimpong all vying for DCM spot. Plenty of options.

  173. This tune is what Barnet FC walk out to, can we not find something like this?

  174. The boys played well 2days especially the new boys( Kos6 & Chamakh) and the young lads(Frimpong, Gibbs & lil jack)..

    The stadium was rocking today unlike the AAA predictions. And sometimes I feel whether most of the AAA are Gooners as they wish the team to perform bad. It feels as though they support some other teams(not only the ones nearby) and fear the way Arsenal are getting stronger and stronger in all aspects while they boat are about to hit an iceberg..

  175. So I suppose we can expect to see JET tomorrow.

  176. You are correct about the AAA IndianGooner. They are poor fans at best or just tossers trying to force their idiotic opinions on other people. Fortunately there are blogs like this and UA where real fans can communicate.

  177. I hope so Big Al. What prospects we have in our squad. It makes me shiver to think of the potential that may be unleashed on the league in the next few years.

  178. Muppet,

    “Koscienly, Frimpong, Chamakh and Gibbs were all excellent”.

    As oppose to Davil Silva, Tevez, Yaya toure, and Adebayor? Get our of Arsene’s ass.

  179. Nordtveit as well.

    Yep, Dups. I’m also amazed to hear that Frimpong’s definitely staying with us this season. Pleased of course, but it’s a meteoric rise.

  180. @dups, i used to visit lots of blogs but these days limit myself to few blogs. This blog along with UA and ‘holic are my favorites.

    But its strange that some fall for these things. I mean, when a person sacrifices his own personal career(in terms of trophies) glory for the future of the organisation, he deserves a lot of respect and support. Arsene in the last 5-8 years did the same thing. He has done more for Arsenal than anyone could ask for. He SACRIFICED his personal success for getting Arsenal to such a level that we can be at the top without the need of a sugar daddy. I wouldnt stop saying this because I know if he had taken the decisions the other way, we would have won more trophies but our club’s conditions wouldnt have been so good.

    He truly deserves more than he gets..

  181. Muppet,

    “This is a guy who basically an animal in the centre of midfield.”

    Spare us with your opinions. There was only one animal on the pitch, and that was our animal few seasons back. But we didn’t put a collar on him and now he’s gone. I cried watching Flamini in a Milan shirt. WHY ARSENE!!!

  182. Well said IG, Arsene deserves a lot more credit.

    Ateeb, thank fuck he is gone the dirty scummy toss-pot. Only Diarra is as low in my book and he had an excuse.

  183. 1 loose cannon

    Ateeb- move on, he was booed throughout the game and I felt sorry for him. Song is very good in that position and he is only 22.

  184. Dups,

    You mean the dolphin head was his excuse?


    Song isn’t an animal. Even if he is, he’s like a lazy cat, on weed. Don’t you see him move? Offcourse you don’t because he doesn’t. His eyes show no hunger. There was only one animal, and he wasn’t a fucking pet like song and denilson. He was a real animal with claws and a big appetite, like a bear after a long hibernation. Yes, Flamini. Wish he comes back, wish Arsene realizes his animals are just stuff toys, while he let the real one go.

  185. ilc, I didnt feel sorry for the way Flamoney was booed today. The way he left hurt everyone a lot. During his last year, he kept on insisting that he is going to sign a new deal but when the season ended, he just left. His actions were as bad as Ade’s..

  186. 1lc, why did you feel sorry for him? He was offered a new contract. He intimated he would resign and then never did. Even his friends in the team thought he was going to sign. He was a mercenary and good riddance.

  187. Ateeb you are stirring the pot. Keep it for the doomers.

  188. Ateeb, Arsene didnt let the ‘animal’ go, it was the other way around. Infact, Arsene was confident that He would stay. I remember reading his comments during that time in which he said He is as shocked as all Arsenal fans.

  189. Flamini was the same in this game as he was in his last season for us. Looking for a move.

  190. Milan were putting Flamini in the shop window just like we were with Randall.

  191. “Then followed midfielder Alexander Hleb’s move to Barcelona, striker Adebayor’s threat to join him if he didn’t get a substantial wage rise, Flamini’s transfer to Milan after refusing a new contract and Tomas Rosicky’s injury problems.

    Wenger added: “And we lost Hleb, Flamini and Rosicky. There was a midfield for me to rebuild. Should I have anticipated Flamini’s departure? I couldn’t because I really didn’t think he was going to leave.”

    Not the best source but still:

  192. Official quotes from

    “I dont deny the quality of Flamini but he wanted to go. I didn’t want him to go” Wenger said ahead of the visit of Manchester United on Saturday.

    “He said he wanted to stay. If you say ‘no I want to go somewhere’ that is OK. But you cannot say ‘I want to stay but I go’.

  193. The animal left, because he didn’t want to play around stuff toys in the same team. With bandages, for that matter.

    Save it, Indian Gooner. Hleb and Flamini were monsters. Only Arsene can loose such great players in the same season. No other European club would have let that happen. He’s so full of himself.

  194. Ateeb behave.

  195. IG, ignore Ateeb he is on a wind up.

  196. Just back from the game. It was great fun, very enjoyable to watch although a shame we didn’t win. But it’s just a practice match and I thought there were a lot of positives to take out of it.

    Good game from Fabianski – safe handling from crosses and swept up when needed. Not much he could do about the goal; it was just one of those things that happen in a game sometimes.

    Koscielny was MOTM in my opinion; excellent defending all round and he was not at fault for the Pato header.

    I was impressed by Frimpong and he did not dive in unneccessarily risking free kicks. Very disciplined, impressive performance.

    Chamakh was also impressive. Good first touch, hold up and link up play. Not a bad start at all.

    JW did not have his best game, but he did not look out of place in that company either.

    And finally, I must say the in stadium support is noticeably out of step with the doom and gloom merchants online. Fabianski was treated with respect and Flamini was told in no uncertain terms what most Arsenal fans think of his mercenary behaviour.

  197. Passenal. The wise one. How you been?

  198. Summed it up very well Passenal, especially the mercenary bit.

  199. And exactly my thoughts on the stadium support over some of the online shite support.

  200. Something for you Ateeb as I know you like a bit of rock.

  201. 1 loose cannon

    Not sure if Fabianski wasn’t at fault for the goal this is from Wenger said: “From the outside it looked as if no-one took charge of the organisation and that’s a little bit down to goalkeeper. But overall he had a good game.”
    Wenger has got a point.I would have expected him to come out for that one and clear everything in his way including Pato and as we know keepers will always get the decision their way he shouldn’t worry about it, he needs to be more agressive in the box.

  202. 1lc, that seems to be the one fault of all our keepers. Do you think it may be down the the GK coach? We never seemed to have that problem when Bob Wilson was coach.

  203. 1 loose cannon

    You could say its down coaching.But sometimes its the players character too, Jens used to bully the opposition in the box and make them feel inferior those things the coach does not tell the player to do they just have to take their own initiative. Cheszney is very aggressive in the box, I have watched few Brentford highlight he is certain our future number 1.

  204. Very true. A keeper needs to have a certain amount of aggression in his make-up anyway. Unfortunately I do not see that in Fabianski. If he can get more aggressive in his command of the defence he may be a good keeper.

  205. I suppose in hindsight Fabianski could have gone for the ball, but sometimes you make a decision and it’s not always the right one. Had he gone for the ball and missed, he would have been slated for that too. He probably expected Vermaelen to deal with it, but on this occasion, he didn’t. These things happen sometimes. Fabianski has not had a run in the team so he is still learning

  206. I must have been watching a different game to other people because I thought JW was not good today, but I’ve just seen a newsnow article suggesting he is good enough to replace Cesc now? Have I wandered into a parallel universe?

  207. Passenal I do not blame Fabianski for the goal, nor the defence it was just a sublime cross and a well worked goal. These things happen in football.

    Maybe we should have been more clinical in front of goal. Randall’s chance should have been a goal but with little game time it is to be expected.

  208. 1 loose cannon

    Here is Jens doing his job. Its fun to watch

  209. No Passenal Jack looked like he had learnt a bit to much from Bolton. He was not at his best against AC Milan.

  210. HAHA mad Jens was great

  211. 1 loose cannon

    passenal – I agree Wilshere was Ok but the new Fabregas, I think he tries hard when he plays for Arsenal and that does not help his game, I don’t blame him who would want to go back to Bolton. I think once he knows Wenger will keep him he will relax and play better.

  212. 1 loose cannon

    coops “But NOT the new Fabregas”

  213. 1LC, it’s probably that desperation to find the next ‘gazza’ that leads to the over-hyping of young English talent. JW is promising, but he has a long way to go before he could step into the shoes of CF4. We would do him no favours to pretend otherwise.

  214. There is no one of any age in the premier league who can step into CF4’s boots. The nearest we or any team has is Nasri. So 2 for the price of 1 isn’t bad.

  215. Passenal I understand your point on the new ‘Gazza’ But at 18 I think Jack is far more mature (as you probably do to).

  216. dupsffokcuf, I was channelling your average sports ‘journo’. I know that mentally JW and gazza are on different levels completely!

    It’s amazing the average footie fans bias towards attacking players. I just had a look at the poll for the man of the match and Chamakh is running away with it. I thought he played well and took his goal well, but sitting behind the goal I had a good vantage point on the defence and myself and my non-Arsenal supporting mate thought Koscielny was MOTM by a long way.

  217. Passenal My choice was between Koscielny & Gibbs, but as Gibbs went off at half time I agree with you choice.

  218. Omg with both bob and ateeb back if feels so right here on aclf!!

  219. On those Celtic fans they are gross had one peeing on my front yard…dirty drunken so and so..

    I gave him and his scumy club a earful on Eduardos behalf too.

  220. lets f*cking kill celtic tomorow. haha..


  221. lets zap them

  222. Hey TruGunn. Grobelaar was a bit of a delinquent egoist. Although proudly loyal to Zimbabwe, and much loved for this, and a lot of fun too, he embarrassed himself after his playing career. The contrast with a softly spoken gentleman like Kalusha could not be more pronounced.

    But what a great athlete! I knew him in his teen years (we are almost the same age), and once played against him, at u-17 level. He was so far ahead physically and technically it was ridiculous.

    Had he not taken up football he would have had a career in baseball and emigrated to the states.

    I don’t know the incident you refer to but sounds like Grobelaar nonsense.

    The english cricketer KP is a not dissimilar character, but perhaps without the sense of fun of Grobelaar. I contrast KP to Collingwood, who is greatly undervalued in his overall place in the english game, because he apparently doesn’t have ‘flair’. Nonsense. Just look at the stats and the games he has won, or saved, singlehanded.

    Nice to see Ateeb back to his old tricks.

    And wow! Arsenal. I’m now truly excited. Just as some folks might but say ‘but we can’t judge until it’s a real match’ the same can be said from the players viewpoint. This was a training game! Instructions – do not get injured, play it easy!

    This team really excites me, mostly Arsenal’s second string side running rings round ACM.

  223. I was hugely impressed by Kos, Frimpong, Gibbs, Chamakh, and Nasri yesterday. Typical Arshavin, I had to laugh, does three things in the game, and one is a lovely assist for goal.

    What I like is that Kos looks tough and stubborn, as well as easy on the ball, aware, never mind the physique, it’s not about that.

  224. Gibbs and Kos stood out for me. The only reason Frimpers didn’t stand out was because I think we’ve just got used to his unbelievably mature performance in the centre.
    I don’t know how Arsene instils such confidence in his young players, genius.

  225. @dups, I left before I read ateeb’s reply.

    On the game, Frimpong was the outstanding player for me considering the fact that He is just 18 and along with lil Jack dominated the AC midfield of Gatuso, Seedorf & Flamoney. He was very effective in his role that Nasri didnt had to come deep to defend/tackle.

    Kos looked like a mirror-image of TV to me. I mean the way he intercepted or when he made a pass, his style felt like a right-footed TV. He also has a good jump just like TV and its quite interesting that the last 3 signings we have made have a good jump in them: TV, Chamakh and Kos. Something for the set pieces??

  226. What a sleepy bunch of ACLFers we have this morning. Rewatching yesterdays match I guess?

  227. Can’t wait for todays game.

    More of the same please.

  228. Can anyone who’s been to the Emirates yesterday or going today upload the pictures of the new clock end? I have been searching for them but haven’t found one yet..

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