Stone Cold Friday: Fascinating Tales From The Arsenal Kitchen

Yogi might be away but Friday wouldn’t be Friday without a Stone Cold slice of Darius

While Mrs. YW’s embargo holds with YW’s laptop firmly in the strong-room, it’s been a week filled with fascinating and inspirational posts.  The daily nourishment from the line-up of ACLF’s very own caretaker custodians has been nothing but stellar.

I’m sure like Zim Paul, Steww, Muppet, Consolsbob and Limpar – I find myself in the challenging position of having to maintain or surpass the quality of the daily musings.  I suspect that this is the sort of peer pressure that breeds a spirit of competition within the ranks of our beloved team and inspires better performances all over the pitch.  That can only be a good thing, especially if YW has to fight hard to regain his place on his return.

This week I thought I’d steer clear from the battle of wills between the doomers and the fully paid card carrying members of the ‘I have total belief in Arsenal’ society. To be honest, I’m a bit jaded by the Triple A vs AKB stand-off as it risks interfering with my ability to enjoy the football in front of us.

I thought it would be helpful to talk about something different rather than provide fodder for the usual suspects to throw stones at each other.

So why the Arsenal Kitchen?

A few weeks ago I was on a long drive back home from work and the radio provided some unexpected but quality entertainment for a change.  Robert Fagg, Arsenal’s head chef had been invited to the radio show by Ray Parlour and they chatted freely about what happens behind the scenes at the club.

I thoroughly enjoyed Robert’s interview, and the articulate and enjoyable way in which he described fascinating tales at London Colney in the 12 years that he’s been the head chef.  I thought I’d summarize and share some of my reflections and thoughts from the interview about stuff that we might not know about how our club operates behind the scenes.

1.    The hierarchy of Power

In any huge company , there exists what I call the ‘shadow’ organization.  Forget the board of directors, the CEO or the manager – the shadow organization runs the show in the corridors, the gossip lounges, the water coolers et al.  Very little happens without their nod and even the official powers that be, use such individuals to gauge the temperature of the troops or to implement their agendas.

After that interview, I concluded that At Arsenal, the most powerful individuals in that shadow organization are Rob Fagg the head chef and Vic Acres the kit man.  Piss off any of these characters and you’re destined for a very long week at London Colney.

It was interesting how much Ray Parlour still valued the chef even after 5 years away from the game.

2.    Arsenal’s match day and travel arrangements

There I was thinking that match days were straight forward affairs.  I concluded that Arsenal (like most clubs I suspect) are anal about pre-match routines and they are not messed with by anyone.

Arsenal has a specially adapted coach that is used as a mobile kitchen and eatery, and to carry the players kits.  When they go for away games around the country, the coach will leave in advance and the players will normally fly to and from the nearest airport.

On the actual match day, they would have their meals prepared from the coach and this is where they’ll be served from.  The catering team will prepare breakfast as well as any pre and post match meals.  They will then watch the first half of the match and at half time, would retreat back to the coach and prepare a meal for the players.  Once the players have finished their dressing room shenanigans, they will file in for their after match meals.

When it’s not feasible to use the mobile kitchen to prepare meals, Arsenal supplies the hotel with its own food, especially fish.  I suppose after lasagnagate with the Tiny Tots, the powers that be don’t take any chances.  Since they use regular hotels in certain cities, they have a relationship with the catering staff at those hotels so this makes it easier.

It’s not uncommon however for Arsenal to carry their own water or even their linen for trips abroad where the adventure is an unknown quantity.  Rob cited a trip to Ukraine once that they had to use their own linen because what the hotel provided was unacceptable.

3.    Arsenal’s staple diet

It’s no secret that Wenger and his quacks and nutritionists are anal about food selection and food quality.  At Arsenal, it is a very big deal.

Fish, chicken, pasta and vegetables form the core of Arsenal’s menu, though there are seasonal variations.  Once in a while, the chef will throw in some curry and a few burgers for the young lads, or even indulge those who are homesick with some familiar comfort food.

The method of cooking revolves around steaming, grilling and boiling.  Not surprisingly, the dining tables seem to have a permanent fixture of selected sauces, especially enjoyed by our foreign contingent of players – most of whom can’t fathom why food has to be as unadventurous as they come.  Our Hispanic and African players have been known to empty whole bottles of chilli sauce in one sitting.

The most popular dish at Arsenal for years has been the clubs own banoffee pie.  Apparently the pie is so legendary Arsenal has donated the recipe to charity.  It’s even said that when we played Barcelona in April, Thierry Henry’s first action on returning to the Emirates was to hunt down Rob and confront him for his portion of banoffee pie.

4.    Arsenal’s strangest eater

This title was taken by Freddie Ljungberg.  Freddie could never sit and eat with the rest of the players and was the slowest eater at Arsenal.

He was so weird that he preferred to eat in the kitchen.  The staff would lay a cloth for him over the bin and he would happily sit on the bin and slowly masticate his pasta and vegetables as he surveyed the surroundings and chatted with the girls in the kitchen.

At the moment, Robin van Persie seems to be the slowest eater who takes his time like it was a job that needed doing with passion and commitment.  Naturally, Rob commented on the eating habits of Ray Parlour and Soul Campbell who – well, could eat for England.

5.    The regimental fitness routine

There is a method to the madness of how players’ fitness and dietary habits are monitored at Arsenal.  Sports science baffles most of us at the best of times but Arsenal just takes it to a whole new level.

The professor is ruthless about the fitness regime that the players are subject to in a bid to ensure maximum conditioning of their bodies.  There are charts all round the place reminding players of what to watch and when.  Even in the toilets, there are charts on how they should check on the colour of their urine as an indicator of hydration.

Players are advised to drink water that is at room temperature, and the nutritional and dietary elements of player development is strongly linked with their training regime.  Naturally, most of the players are disciplined athletes and will continue this anal regime away from the training ground as they want to prolong their playing careers.

For those who perhaps don’t have girlfriends or wives who can keep them in check, the kitchen finds that it gets requests for take away services which they happily prepare for the young lads to take home and pop into the microwave.  I suppose that it’s better than having them go down the kebab shop a few nights a week.

6.    The most rewarding part of the job of support staff

Well, apart from perks like attending games and seeing the club triumph, Rob suggested that the most remarkable and rewarding aspect of their job is seeing young players rise through the ranks from the reserves and make it to the first team.  Their joy has been to watch players like Kieran Gibbs, Nicklas Bendtner, Gaél Clichy, JET, Jack Wilshere, Craig Eastmond, Henri Lansbury et al – go through the system and graduate to the first team.

It’s a rite of passage that is revered and held in the highest regard.  You can see the hunger in the young players as they strive to be treated and respected like the first team players; as they long to sit on the high table with the first team players during dinner; as they strive to reach the heights that their idols and heroes in the first team have reached.

The support staff get to know the players pretty well and they also get to see the pain and anguish the players go through when things don’t work out.  Rob tells how the players refuse to eat after matches that we lose (and sometimes draw) because of the sheer impact of the loss to the team.

He defies anyone to suggest that the players don’t care, are not affected or do not appreciate the impact on fans when they lose games.  In fact, travelling back home after losing a match is one of the most challenging parts of the trip as the impact of the loss is palpable and nerve wrecking.  The players we have at Arsenal are talented beyond belief, they have an excellent team spirit and togetherness, and their time will come.

The thing that impressed me the most about Rob’s fascinating tales about the Arsenal was the belief and conviction that oozed out from him as he proudly spoke about the spirit, desire and determination at Arsenal to achieve big things and to ensure that we achieve it in the right way and in style.

About steww

bass guitar, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

Posted on August 20, 2010, in Arsenal. Bookmark the permalink. 216 Comments.

  1. “YW has to fight hard to regain his place on his return.”
    Oh boy are you in trouble!
    Excellent piece Darius, made me hungry for more. Eh geddit? Eh Eh?

  2. LOL Steww…YW might not recognize the situation room when he gets back and might well have to pick a ticket and join the queue.

    I really enjoyed the interview – there’s much more he talked about e.g. their personal relationship with players, who they remember most and why etc. Made me hungry too especially for that banofee pie.

    Rob did admit that the players hate his cheese cake though and in anger at the negative feedback, he popped into a supermarket and bought the cheapest cheescake around and served it to the troops.

    Everyone, especially Steve Bold was complimentary about the ‘new’ cheesecake, only for Rob to confess that it’s a cheap supermarket version.

  3. Steww…YW might not recognize the situation room when he gets back and might well have to pick a ticket and join the queue.

    I really enjoyed the interview – there’s much more he talked about e.g. their personal relationship with players, who they remember most and why etc. Made me hungry too especially for that banofee pie.

    Rob did admit that the players hate his cheese cake though and in anger at the negative feedback, he popped into a supermarket and bought the cheapest cheescake around and served it to the troops.

    Everyone, especially Steve Bold was complimentary about the ‘new’ cheesecake, only for Rob to confess that it’s a cheap supermarket version.

  4. Steww…YW might not recognize the situation room when he gets back and might well have to pick a ticket and join the queue.

    I really enjoyed the interview – there’s much more he talked about e.g. their personal relationship with players, who they remember most and why etc. Made me hungry too especially for that banofee pie.

    Rob did admit that the players hate his cheese cake though and in anger at the negative feedback, he popped into a supermarket and bought the cheapest cheescake around and served it to the troops.

    Everyone, especially Steve Bold was complimentary about the ‘new’ cheesecake, only for Rob to confess that it’s a cheap supermarket version.LOL Steww…YW might not recognize the situation room when he gets back and might well have to pick a ticket and join the queue.

    I really enjoyed the interview – there’s much more he talked about e.g. their personal relationship with players, who they remember most and why etc. Made me hungry too especially for that banofee pie.

    Rob did admit that the players hate his cheese cake though and in anger at the negative feedback, he popped into a supermarket and bought the cheapest cheescake around and served it to the troops.

    Everyone, especially Steve Bold was complimentary about the ‘new’ cheesecake, only for Rob to confess that it’s a cheap supermarket version.

  5. Really interesting insights. We need more of this sort of stuff, Darius. More insiders please.

    I agre about the never ending argument between the AKB’s and the rest. It’s tired. That’s why I, personnally, had to try and find some alternative way of dealing with negativity when it rears it’s head.

  6. you are full of quick wit today steww. Greetings Darius refreshing to get an insight into the behind the scenes goings on in the Emirates Kitchen. Game 2 of the EPL looms and the season already has a familiar tone to it, key injuries, vacant positions and personnel wanted, Cescgate, odds stacked against us, unfancied underdogs. And Arsenal will conquer all.Love it!

  7. I just can’t shake the picture of Freddie sat on a bin chatting up the kitchen staff!

  8. y do u still have eduardo’s picture on ur site header??????

  9. Gunner167

    Probably for the same reason we still have pictures of Henry, Brady, Adams, Bergkamp and other players all over the shop.

  10. hehhehe.

    Reads on the burner posted by Steww.

    He has that effect on people. Let me go read now…

  11. errrrr G167

    my desk top has vieira, Edu, Overmars & Petit.

    ermmm coz he was a true servant of Arsenal…?

  12. Fantastic article, thanks!

  13. That’s a really interesting behind the scenes coverage of Arsenal. The staff is part of team Arsenal. Excellent.

  14. Darius, that was fascinating reading! What an original post. YW must be so proud of how you guys have done this week.

    “I just can’t shake the picture of Freddie sat on a bin chatting up the kitchen staff!”
    Me neither, Steww!

  15. Steww…I seem to be in constant moderation. Have you guys conspired against me?

  16. Dublin Gunner!!!

    Great post mate!! Cheers

  17. Arsenalkabisa
    It’s all Darius work, I just put it up for him.

  18. Do you really have JET from gladiators on your books?

  19. Intersting stuff Darius.


  20. Top Notch article that, i loved it !

  21. Am I still being moderated?

  22. @Steww amen..

    @Darius, Ey Great post.

  23. Nice post. Really refreshing to stay clear of the supporter civil war. I am too growing tired of it, as much as some may believe I enjoy throwing insults back at the eternal pessimists.

    I am picturing Eboue gulping chilli sauce straight down as if it was a shot!

  24. Darius,

    Great take and insight.

    Just to send my best to Frimpong and pray his recovery is quick and sure.

    What’s the latest on Song’s return?


  25. Brilliant Darius – thanks for sharing that with us it was really interesting.

  26. Another lovely article. I especially liked the last section. It’s so easy to forget that, despite the obscene amounts of money they are paid, the players are human beings with the same hurts and worries as the rest of us. Someone like JET might already look like a man, but really he’s just a kid – and having to cope with not just his own expectations but those of hundreds of thousands of fans. Actually makes me respect the Bendtner’s and Eboue’s all the more, who have gone through some pretty tough treatment but kept their chins up through it all.

  27. Nice post!

    It’s really important for sportsmen to have a balanced diet as go the say: you are what you eat!

    It’s important our academy players learn that early on as bad eating habits are hard to lose.

  28. Dgob

    Alex, cesc, Johan and Robin should all feature at least on the bench while Denilson is the biggest doubt but could still make it.

  29. i completely agree with albo! I am currently dreading a new headline on ssn about another one of our midfielders getting injured

  30. It’s important our academy players learn that early on as bad eating habits are hard to lose.

    Tell me about it, I fancy a kebab right now!

    Have to say it is deeply frustrating as a supporter to hear about Frimpong’s injury, right as the season has got underway. He seemed to be on the verge of a 1st team shot / debut.

    I can imagine how he might feel now. Keep your chin up, you will get another chance I am sure.

  31. Am I Still in moderation?

  32. By the way, I have an update on the barca-arsenal situation. Xavi and co. have taken revenge on cesc not joining them by giving him overdoses of paella!! He looks a bit overweight in his new official picture seriously..

  33. Zap

    We must go on no matter what, like when Rambo got injured. Was one of the most painful sights an Arsenal fan can ever witness.. one of our talented and promising young players who is playing brilliantly, being on the floor in such agony. That for me is certainly my worst ever Arsenal moment, I class that worse than any defeat, even our champions league final defat.

    I could barely watch, and just like the Eduardo incident, it just puts football into perspective.

    I still wonder to this day what the FA have done to clamp down on such challenges…?

  34. Testing if this might get me out of the moderation cage.

  35. I feel it’s a shame Jay has left for hull, I really liked the guy but it’s true he would have struggled to get some game time for us especially with JET being a more versatile player than him.

    I wish him all the best but would have prefered him joining another club after all this shit that came from orange face.

  36. Our reaction to the Rambo incident was a perfect indication of how strong mentally this team is.

    Eboue, Bendtner, Denilson, Almunia, Song.. they are all warriors in my eyes. Ready and willing to give everything for the club.

  37. Great insight on the Arsenal Kitchens.

    I can imagine how the players would feel when we lose. We as fans feel miserable when we lose. Hope the players efforts and the Arsene’s beliefs are rewarded soon.

  38. LOL…I’m out of moderation….

    Steww…YW might not recognize the situation room when he gets back and might well have to pick a ticket and join the queue.

    I really enjoyed the interview – there’s much more he talked about e.g. their personal relationship with players, who they remember most and why etc. Made
    me hungry too especially for that banofee pie.

    Rob did admit that the players hate his cheese cake though and in anger at the negative feedback, he popped into a supermarket and bought the cheapest cheescake
    around and served it to the troops.

    Everyone, especially Steve Bold was complimentary about the ‘new’ cheesecake, only for Rob to confess that it’s a cheap supermarket version.

    @ChrisGooner – the word kebab has been banned by ‘er indoors in the Stone houshold.

  39. I give up. There’s a conspiracy to keep me moderated today….

  40. ‘especially with JET being a more versatile player’


    Do you mean JET’s better on the rings and faster up the travelator?

  41. Good read Darius

    I did chuckle at the sight of Henry running around the Emirates hunting down some banoffee pie!

    However Gallas to the spores? Almunia still in goal on saturday post Schwarzergate, Frimpongs injury and the subsequent impact on the squad?

    Ideas and thoughts?

  42. Another great post Darius.

    Like The Arsenal, the last weeks guest writers display the hidden depths the ACLF blog has.

    Also nice to have reference to the Romford Pele, who would have thought from his days at The Arsenal he would be become such an adept media personality.

  43. King Salami….that name of Romford Pele came about in the most amusing way.

    Marc Overmars was doing a TV interview for a European game and he was asked something about the strategy Arsenal has of dealing with the tough opposition….and Overmars nonchalantly pointed out that that we shouldn’t fear – we have our own Romford Pele…

  44. On the Gallas to Tottenham issue – my sense is that they need each other….no beef with him going there. Look at how out of their depth they were against the Young Boys.

    And someone up in here suggested that we should get a good old fashoned English defender like Dawson. The one who claims that they want to get through this stage so that they can play against real men like Messi.

    It’s a shame – actually tell a lie – it’s crazy that Tottenham don’t even have a reliable system where youth come through to fill in the gaps. They are constantly buying buying and buying players. Their success is an illusion, it’s not sustainable.

  45. “I did chuckle at the sight of Henry running around the Emirates hunting down some banoffee pie!”

    That was another gem!

  46. Darius I found your post in the pending bin and approved it. Anyhoo you are coming through loud and clear now mate.
    I’m off out for most of the day so you’re on your own folks. Have fun, and always remember what Blue Oyster cult said, ‘this season don’t fear the doomer’

  47. Darius-San, I have a message from Yogi.

    ‘Very good work Darius-San, you write very well in the old style, Yogi is proud of you. Now stop nattering with your freinds…..that fence is not going to paint itself, Banzai’

  48. @ Darius

    I just would have thought the Tiny Totts would go for somebody with a better injury record. No quibbling with his quality, and of course it’s a free transfer, but still. Good luck to him. He’s not an Arsenal man and in fairness never pretended to be.
    Now that they have both gone, I can compare him to Silvestre in that regard – I always respected MS for trying to fit in and endear himself to the fans as an Arsenal player (although his attempts were probably doomed from the start!) and from what the other players said about him, it seems he was very well liked and respected. And his public statements were always well-judged, positive and above all respectful.

  49. Darius, quite so.

    I read an interview a while ago with Parlour, after Overmars referred to him as Romford Pele, Ray aprocahed him and asked if he even knew where Romford was, he didn’t so Ray took him to his local social club for a bit of session.

    I assume Roberts Fagg’s dietry constraints went for a burton that evening.

  50. Superb post Darius thank you !

    We knew there was a lot of stuff like this going on behind the scenes, so getting some of its detail is fantastic.

    Arsene knows.

  51. No Banoffee pie for Gallas! Ever!

    Greaat post Darius, I like hearing about the behind the scenes goings on.

    I doubt if it was Lasagnegate that led to the travelling kitchen and supply of food to the hotel kitchen.

    I’m sure that’s just Arsène being Arsène.

  52. Ray Parlour. A legend and an all-round lovely man.

  53. FunGunner,

    His ex-wife was lovely as well, she was a real sweetheart.

  54. @Fun, Arsenal called Gallas’s bluff and he ended up talking himself out of any decent contract from at least 3 clubs.

    It’s a shotgun wedding with Tottenham – a marriage of convenience if you will.

    ‘Appy ‘Arry doesn’t know how to build things and they’ve hit panick stations – that’s why they’re buying anything that moves.

    It’s ludicrous for people to suggest that we’re thin in numbers and desperate – and then they point to Tottenham as a bastion for reliable squads. This is a team that only has 2 fit centre backs in Bassong and Dawson – the rest are walking wounded (King and Woodgate). Gallas is more likely to be injured at some point in the season than not.

    But if it floats ‘Arry’s boat….he can have him.

  55. Darius,

    The funny thing is that we dont want him, I cant stand the man. But I’m not going to say anything untill I see what happens cos it could be a master stroke. All my instincts say it will be an absolute disaster though, and you know this partner.

  56. Absolutely. Gallas has bluffed and Arsenal did not blink he thought we will come back to him with more money but we didn’t.He thought they will be queueing up for his signature. Clearly Wenger thinks he is past his best. from what I gather he is accepting a lesser offer with the Spuds than that of Arsenal’s . desperate. At the same time I do not have any hard feeling towards him, he never was Mr Arsenal he is just a person who plays foootball for a living.

  57. Arsenal ex pros go media and Manure go into management, wonder what’s behind that?

  58. haha thats pretty funny!

  59. Gallas @ spores is bad for us, buoyed by his desire and the desire of the opposition when they do play us you can pretty much guarantee a back post headed goal from billy.

  60. Why is that awaiting moderation!!

  61. Zap, cos it was silly.

  62. Another great post – this week has been a real joy.

  63. I fancy some banoffee pie now, its actually recently become my favourite dessert!

  64. I often wonder if their diet is slightly contributory to the number of injuries we get.

    For such a young team we seem to have a very high carb based diet – a few more proteins wouldn’t go amiss.

  65. shut up james

  66. Mr Furious Styles

    Are you a professional dietician or physician for professional athletes or something mrswoo? How are you in any shape or form qualified to have a legitimate opinion on the diets of elite footballers? Anyways, your concern is so basic that i would be astounded if this was not actually already handled specifically. People need proteins to grow, no shit

  67. @mrswoo

    Fish and chicken are very high in protein, and they need the carbs because they probably burn up to three or four times the amount of calories of mainly sedentary folk. The part that intrigues me is that (the way it is described) it is ultra-low fat as well. I wouldn’t expect them to have saturated fat/animal fats, but I presume they eat nut and seed oils as well?

  68. And low-fat dairy, I would hope, for those growing bones.

    Does anyone remember Cesc talking rapturously about donuts? It was a few years ago, but so funny at the time. I bet he stays off them nowadays.

  69. Darius – You did it again!

    BTW: Zap and James just crack me up. Those two are made for each other; a Spud and a Gooner.

  70. @ mrswoo

    On the subject of food and injuries, I don’t know if you follow athletics much, but Kelly Holmes said after her double gold Olympic success that her life was transformed by cashew nuts – she found that a daily portion of those seemed to prevent all the niggly injuries she used to get and enabled her to keep training and ultimately win those medals.

  71. Mr Furious Styles

    Im sure they do quite a lot of supplements. Multivitamins, fish/nut/seed oils, etc. Anything to stay clear of common sicknesses and reduce recovery time

  72. amazing piece dude

  73. shotta-gunner, where are u from btw?

  74. I wonder what Arsenal’s line is on chillies, ginger and garlic amongst a dozen spices that form the basis of the ZimP family diet? If I don’t get my daily dose of chilly and garlic at minimum I become weak and listless, unable even to post on ACLF and call a spud a spud.

  75. Guneerluc,

    Many thanks. That allays my remaining fears. This gives us a chance to take a step up the performance ladder and that can only be a good thing. I’d rather steady (unbeaten) progress with us peaking in Dec 2010 to May 2011.

    As follow Gallas to the Spuds: who cares? I don not believe he is a natural central defender unless backed up by someone with a little more beef. Too much like Dawson to bring anything really new to them. However, should he resist their calls I’ll forever be grateful for his time with AFC.


  76. Talking about the Spuds, they are really harboring delusions of grandeur. One of their bloggers, in justifying the their signing of a 33 year-old injury prone former Arsenal defender had this to say:
    Finish above Arsenal, and our job will be done. Finish above Arsenal twice and so forth, you do the math. One cycle ends, another begins. There is no guarantee finishing above Liverpool would result in the same thing.
    After that near disaster last Tuesday vs Young Boys, especially the master class by the lumbering Mr Dawson and the the always out of position Bassong, desperate times call for desperate measures by Twitchy Rednapp.

  77. Oh damn, I should really read the whole post BEFORE yabbing away.

    What’s the news anyway? Skilly? Song back? Djourou? Cesc? Denilson?

    Gallas should be consigned to the ‘last thing on our minds right now, sorry we’re a bit busy’ bin. Gallas is gawn. Out with the old and in with the new.

  78. I wonder what Arsene’s favourite munch-time meal is? I am guessing … leg of lamb, slow cooked, rosemary and garlic.

  79. Flint McCullough

    Different & interesting read Darius.

    Can you tell us what the programme was or the radio station?

  80. I don’t know if any of them would like a good chew of Beef Jerky. The very best is smoked Sockeye Salmon. Put them on that stuff and they will have real shit in their blood!

  81. i dont think having shit in their blood is the best thing is it two owls

  82. I bloody love banoffee pie!

  83. Well done Darius.. moving everyone away from discussing football to food cravings!!

  84. “You up for a completely overblown and irrational hatred of Gallas, including racism and homophobia, over the next few years?”

    Friend of mine just emailed me that. Made me chuckle.

    I think a 57,000 strong overblown and irrational standing ovation, perhaps each time Willy touches the ball, might wind the spuds up. Show them just how much energy they’ve wasted getting all red in the face and nazi-like about a football player. Silly sausages.

  85. haha Limpar

    I can’t really imagine Arsenal fans wasting energy on booing Gallas during a match. Ironic cheers would be comical though.

    He was never a truly loved person at our club and always seems to always be in the media for the wrong reasons. But being a solid CB, there was always respect for the guy amongst the fans. He scored a hatful of important goals for us, and always gave his best when on the pitch. Nobody can fault him there.

  86. I thought he was excellent for us, CG. Always fought hard. And kept popping up with improbable goals at opportune times. I’ill happily applaud him if I’m lucky enough to be at one of the (2 or 3) derbies he might feature in – and not just to wind up the pikeys either.

  87. Limpar, heh.

    Hey Darius, did this interview mention if we have any vegetarian players, and if/how that would work?

    Always wondered as a veggie myself.

  88. Limpar

    I agree, personally I am a bit gutted he decided to take the route he has. Everything he went through, the criticism, the on pitch tears at Birmingham, losing the captaincy.. then to come back and play brilliantly last term.

    Just reminds me a bit like what Flamini done in his last season of fame. Although, Gallas performed season after season for us, and he didn’t say he will sign 500 times.

    I personally hoped he would stay, as it was his best option, and I think he proved to everyone here that he was a very good CB for us. Financially he wanted something more improved it seems, which looks to have back fired on him now.

    Good luck to him in whatever he does, was a good player for us, that nobody can deny.

  89. Darius

    fantastic stuff I was lovin it! I almost typed “I was eating it up” without realizing the terrible pun I was about to make ha.. I think steww had that covered on the first post..

    but seriously, this is a fantastic little bit here darius. too bad sun, news of the world, et al dont run stories like this.

    loved the part about henry and the “pies” whatever the fuck those are

  90. NJ

    Banoffee is a mixture of milk, toffee and banana all in one.. its bloody yummy!

    Try it, and you won’t blame old Henry for going mad over it!

  91. Finsbury… ‘electro remixes of Wheatus’?!. A man in need of a triple musical bypass if ever there was one.

    This one’s for Willy G…

  92. Delia-----Block 112

    Whats all this about Hleb joining WG at WHL?
    Anyone got the recipe for the pie?
    Perhaps the match day programme should print it.
    See you all at the Emirates tomorrow.

  93. Not fucking Hleb as well for fucks sake, his haircut drives me fricken insane.

    Banoffee Cheescake is the Bomb

  94. Gallas is the ultimate mercenary. People just don’t care about him that much. He might probably get a few boos in his first few games against us, but nothing like Bentley.

    Its just crazy to think that a former arsenal captain is now a spud. What was Wenger thinking giving him the armband. I don’t think he will be very proud of that decision

  95. Nice article Darius. Enjoyed this week. Thanks guys.

    I grew up around farms in rural South Dakota and banofee pie sounds like something we used to clean up with a large shovel in the pig and cattle feeding lots. appetizing.

  96. Has anyone ever tried Mangoffee Pie?

  97. I’m not liking how this whole Schwarzer thing is playing out. Leaves a bad taste in the mouth. If the reports of our 2m offer is true, it seems a fair price, but it’s obvious they don’t want to sell. Will 2m be enough for them to get another keeper? Can’t imagine how Almunia will be feeling..

  98. Thats nice to know Bill

  99. Well Soul Campbell (nice one Darius) was captain when he left the spuds high and dry to come and triumph over allcomers with us.

    Luis Figo was captain of Barcelona when he decided to face the wrath of the cata clan and go to Madrid. And speaking of Luis’ethessses’s… so was Luis Enrique when he moved the other way.

    I’m sure there are other examples.

    You need big balls to captain clubs like the ones mentioned above, and you need even bigger balls to fuck off and play for their age old enemies. There’s an obvious correlation there to me…

    Not saying that I respect their decisions in any way whatsoever, just saying… big balls needed.

  100. Henristic,

    I admire the way Arsenal is run as a club, to finance a new stadium and remain in the top four is remarkable. But for gods sake, not meeting Fulhams asking price of 4m for Schwarzer is just plain stingey. You guys are fricken minted. Its not only an insult to Schwarzer but an insult to Fulham, Almunia and Fabianski as well. 4m is a fair price for a proven Prem Keeper, even at his age.

  101. Come on Arsenal!!!

    If, one day, I could just cook for the team it would be a dream come true. I would serve tomato soup, peppered fish with pasta and mushrooms, gourmet spicy chicken burger, boerwors (farmers sausage) with sweet potato and mustard, sugar beans with muriwo and sadza, roast butternut with onions and garlic, and round it all off with fresh fruit, very strong coffee and for Mr. Wenger and Mr. Rice, a whisky.

    Bill is that what they call the ‘badlands’.

  102. if i had arsenal over i would cook them pasta

  103. I would serve Lasagne

  104. No, its actually Almunia offering the 2m. Well Fabianski said he’d chip in with half a ton.

  105. are you sure they could take all that zimpaul dont forget thats how cesc has become overweight since the world cup

  106. @ ZimPaul


  107. If I had Tottenham over I would order in, perhaps a slice of yesterday’s pizza on special. If Chelsea popped in I would leave for a restaurant and stay until the the coast was clear. If ManU came, pigs trotters – which is a delicacy, but one they would hate.

  108. i bet u would james i would serve you a donut cause ur a donut

  109. this is his ”official website” (cesc)

  110. ”If Chelsea popped in I would leave for a restaurant and stay until the the coast was clear.”


  111. If was cooking for Arsenal, trust me they would all be overweight, even Clichy …. and happy.

  112. Not sad to see Gallas with the spuds. I know how much some of you guys all liked him as a defender. I could never get past the melt down at Birmingham. Starting with that game our defense went AWOL. Probably not really his fault but we lost the best chance we have had in several years. I lost what ever faith I had after the 2nd Manc game last year when he was standing on the penalty spot 90 yards from our goal while Rooney scored their 2nd goal. Hope he tries the same thing against us.

  113. I would take us all down to the beach and BBQ a series of excellent treats. Whole legs of lamb in an earth oven, loads of seafood cooked straight in the embers… (ZimPaul, can you provide some spice?)

    I’d call in a favour at the scrapyard and have them cut us off the backend of a large American car and I’d sink it into a dune, pop the boot, and fill it with ice and beer and rum.

    There’d be a samba band and we’d all play beach footy with the team. I’d invite some spuds along too because they would get absolutely served in a game of beach footy (imagine Tom Huddlestone attempting a bicycle kick) and we’d all dance and eat and play keepy uppies long into the next day.

    Besides, spuds are great on a barbie. Just wrap em in tinfoil.

  114. Cheer up, Bill! It’s Friday!

    You can hook us up with some of those little cocktail stick cheese-pineapple combos.

  115. I think that’s the most innocuous comment ever to be placed in moderation.

  116. 2mil is a fair price for a not so good 37 year old James. It does seem somehow that we are now victims of our financial success. Everyone expects us to spend like man city caused we’re minted. Not gonna happen, because unlike city, “AFC worked hard for their money”

  117. Pleasure Limps I have a full spice cupboard.

    I see we are doing fixtures in alphabetical order this season, that’s new. First up off to ‘A’nfield. Next all the ‘Bs’, Blackpool, Burn and Bolton.

    Then the ‘C’s … Cunderland and Chelsea.

  118. @Flint McCullough 12:11 pm

    The interview was for an hour on a weekday night-time programme called Kick Off on Talk Sport with Ray Parlour and Mark Saggers.

    What was mazing was that fans from all teams were calling to express their sheer delight about the nature of the interview, and the fascinating stories that warmed the hearts of fans regardless of what team they supported. Even Spud fans had something good to say.

  119. What’s the latest on Skilly the Magnificent.

  120. Bill, you are a true representation of a fan who just simply ignores anything good a player brings.

    Any idiot should be able to recognise the contribution Gallas has given our club.

    oohh well…

    Anyway, who else is excited and nervous for tomorrow!!

    My heart says we will thump them, but Blackpool being new and all, it may be harder than us fans think.

  121. Henristic,

    Come on, im sure even the hardest of wengerites would agree that 4m is a fair price for Schwarzer, to be honest i thought they’d of asked for a bit more, it would hardly make you man city, it’d be good business for a good keeper

  122. Yeah CG, a bit worried about tomorrow. We’re still missing key players and Blackpool are riding high on confidence right now. I haven’t seen them play but they sound like a side that likes to attack. In theory that should benefit us, but it hasn’t always turned out that way. I just hope they have a shit defense. It would be nice to start stocking up on our goal difference

  123. i have to say limpar, your posts are just a class above!! tom huddlestone attempting a bicycle kick, i dont even think he can jump!

  124. It is nothing short of outrageous that we allowed a defender of the quality of William Gallas to leave this club.

  125. It sounds like Cesc and RvP will remain benched, Denilson likely out; and the rest of the crew available except Kos, Nasri, Bendtner and of course Ramsey.

    Mine would be …

    Sagna, Djou, Verm, Clichy
    Eboue Wilshere Rosicky
    with a bit of a free role for Diaby

  126. What do Juventus, PSG, Roma, Celtic and Hamburg all have in common? They all decided that William Gallas wasn’t worth the money he was looking for. Gallas was released (key word – released) by Arsenal this summer in the belief that he’d walk into a huge Bosman deal but his wages proved the stumbling block time again. So which club, with a rich history of signing diminishing players for too much money would take the bait? You guessed it.

  127. Henristic, and, for anyone else who is concerned about blackpool

    you guys have no idea how absolutely awful wigan were that day. They were just unbelievably bad, they hardly made any passes and had like 1 or 2 chances on goal, it was shocking. Blackpool dont carry much threat, i would say the greatest threat they have is marelon harewood who can barely run these days but has a shot on him still and plenty of experience. Well trounce them though

  128. Hey Joe, I think Gallas obviously elected to leave to extend his career with lesser teams.

  129. James

    Point is, Wenger is not as naive as many supporters and non-supporters like yourself are towards Almunia’s ability.

    We are not desperate for a replacement who hasn’t played at the highest level, and is not any better than Almunia. Going by Arsene’s bid on Schwarzer, and our efforts to sign him, it is quite laughable to believe Wenger thinks he is better.

    On top of that he is 38 yrs old? 4m for a keeper that would provide probably 2 years of service… I’d rather give a couple of the promising young keepers a shot, or bring someone else in.

    2m is fair, I think its a take it or leave it offer that was made in May. How much of an improvement we make on that offer doesn’t seem to have a real affect on Fulhams situation anyway.

  130. Carefull Zap, the football Gods heard all of that.

  131. Pray tell Joe….what do you mean by let him leave?

    Arsenal offered Gallas an unacceptable contract and he wanted to be a mercenary. What has that got to do with Arsenal.

    I also get the sense that you have decided never to accept that Koscielny for example, could actually be a better player and fit into the team better. The fact that he’s relatively unknown is immaterial.

    90K a week on a 2 year contract for a 33 year old is unacceptable. Contrast this to Dennis Bergkamp who was on 25 to 30K a week when a Sky sports interviewer asked him if he was happy to go on year after year not knowing whether he will have a new contract….Dennis replied with a smile saying “earning that amount at my age is a privilige”.

  132. The problem for Blackpool will be getting hold of the ball once Arsenal has it, which is tiring. I hope for a controlled performance from our guys, and confidence to go for goals.

  133. Sorry for not reading all the comments, saw only one with the same concern: Could it be possible that our super-tech diets are one reason for our shocking injury list.

    I’m not a health expert, but I know that things can go wrong when you go to extremes and/or if you step out of “natural” and historically successful meals.

    There are reports saying that restricting the body of getting “natural fats” – yes, now even the “bad ones”! – has effects that have not been evident before. So trying to get rid of “bad” can make other bad things step in.

    PS: I am not a fanatic at anything, either. But do not believe in bad luck either – our injuries seem abnormal.

  134. I’d be tempted to start with Theo at home against Blackpool. If he catches them cold he could run riot early on.

    I’d also like to see Arshavin play himself into some form.

    But most of all I’m just dying to see RVP. Even just another cameo.

  135. Everything depends ultimately on what Rob Fagg feeds the lads and whether cheesecake is on the menu. If he feeds them properly I’ll wager 4-0.

  136. Spurs the used goods/scrap club…

    Bentley – big ego Arsenal reject
    Woodgate – injured reject
    Crouch – Pool reject
    Defoe – Redknapp lover
    Keane – Pool rejected him after 2 months
    King – World Cup injury reject after 1 game – plays once every month!

  137. and now Gallas… Injury prone 33 yr old to be their highest paid player most likely!!!

    Not to mention all the REJECTED bids.. no wonder Spurs fans absolutely hate us. They do suffer quite a lot don’t they 😦

  138. But Tom Huddlestone did his ankle ligaments last March and he’s fucking huge…

    I don’t think the ‘we’re not fat enough to stop us getting hurt when we’re kicked’ argument really holds much, er… weight.

  139. Limpar..

    I agree with your Theo comment, Wenger likes to start more attacking on the home games. Theo can really rip them to pieces before they even see the ball. Lets give them a warm welcome to Premier League football!!

  140. ChrisGoona,

    Well based on your logic that Almunia is capable, Wenger is correct to offer 2m and not get his man, and from a Tottenham point of view I hope you keep Almunia in goal

  141. LA,

    Leave the THUD alone, he’s big boned………

  142. @ Finnish Hit

    Fagg’s list of what they eat was not exhaustive, so for all we know there are plentiful amounts of good fats included in the diet. If there are not, any restrictions will be a result of experts’ advice.

  143. @ Joe

    Have you got an answer for me yet?

  144. Anyways, I’m outta here, I really would like to say thankyou Darius, CBob, Muppet, Steww and Limpar for a great ACLF week and YW for doing this and for the chance to write.

    If he’s sneaked off to get online, I would like to say YW I think a few of the other regulars here could contribute outstanding posts and views.

    Good luck to the team tomorrow, happy hunting!!


  145. @ finnish Hit

    And almost all the serious injuries we had last season, and so far this season, have all been traumatic. Extra fat doesn’t help prevent bad tackles.

  146. Remember everything depends ultimately on what Rob feeds the lads. If he feeds them properly I’ll wager 4-0.

  147. Darius:

    I was not a Gallas fan and I think DB10 was the greatest player that I have ever seen in an Arsenal shirt. However, using his contract and attitude as the measuring stick is not realistic. Football is a business both for players and teams. Our over 30 policy is evidence of our teams business ahead of sentiment ethos. To call him or any player a mercenary just because they want to get the best deal possible for themselves is not really fair. Unfortunately, the days when players loved their teams and teams loved and took care of their players has probably been lost.

  148. @ FunGunner

    I know, I know… and I’m only guessing anyway…

    But the players DO recover slowly… and they get all the niggly things when coming back…

    The reports also seem to indicate that not only the good fats (vegetative?) are necessary but even the bad, animal-based are…

    And our team IS a little too nice! Maybe they need the odd steak or even bacon to get their animal instincts back 🙂

  149. Theo to start, if RVP doesn’t, with Eboue somewhere, is a possibility. TR7 to start too.

    They’ll be kicking, Eboue likes to kick back…I don’t think I was the only spectator to see Nasri and AA get more then a few blatant kicks without fouls last week, AA especially. Nothing new there then. It’s a good thing Arsenal have such a good squad.

    Senor Coconut?
    The Kraftwork covers are very tasty, and funny. But this Sade tribute has some relevance to Arsenal. I think the original song was written whilst she was living within singing distance of Highbury.

  150. @ Finnish Hit

    “The reports also seem to indicate that not only the good fats (vegetative?) are necessary but even the bad, animal-based are…

    I feel sure that whatever the reports say, if you’ve read them, so have the Arsenal nutritional team.

  151. “Animal Instincts?”

    That must be the reason why Ramsey was ‘too quick’ for Dr. Fergus’ Frankenstein’s hatchet man. He was fed too much bacon. Not Ryan’s fault, but the fault of Ramsey’s cook.

    It all makes sense now.

  152. Bill, while I fully recognize the contribution Gallas has made to Arsenal in the last 4 years; I also understand his need for a final pay day.

    However, the guy had to be realistic about what he was worth considering the different parameters – age, injury history, et al.

    In all honesty, I don’t think you can suggest that Arsenal, Juve, Celtic, Hamburg, Roma and Fenarbahce are all totally off the mark by refusing to accept the unreasonable terms he was demanding.

    Nobody is begrudging him a final payday. All the clubs he has approached as well as Arsenal cannot be wrong in telling him thanks but no thanks. Gallas just needed to be realistic.

    Bsides, his desperation does really make you ask how well he managed his money while he played at the top level for over 10 years with clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal where let’s face it, he was always one of the highest paid players. Gallas shouldn’t be resorting to desperate tactics to get the best deals at the end of his career to make ends meet in the future if you will – with the illustrious career he has already had, his ends should be meeting like a monsense..

    Which begs the question – do agents actually provide suitable advice on life choices, careers, investments, education et al – for players who are about to finish their playing careers? A lot of players probably don’t have a chance for a fullsome education and beyond football, their life choices would be limited. Are some of these agents even competent enough to support palyers in the right way?

  153. my team for tomorrow:

    Big Al
    Sagna Djourou Vermalen Clichy
    Diaby Rosicky
    Theo (Eboue) Chamack AA (Vela)

    Wenger said that cesc and RVP were available but did not want to rush them back so I could see them come from the bench!

    As for Vela, he did say Arsha wasn’t at his best last week so if it is still the case I really think Vela could get a start.

    I agree with Limpar I can see Walcott starting to pin their defence down with his furious run behind the fullback (and Vela doing the same on the other side) but president Eboue could also do a good job at this.

  154. One thing we can rely on Walcott and Vela to do is make well-timed intelligent runs.

  155. …i’m looking for that banoffee pie recipe. used to live in London for 8 years (off caledonian Rd) and love to make banoffee pie at here in Sweden…..i would love to do the Arsenal one…but i cant finf it…can anyone help?


  156. With Nasri out and Cesc dubious, anyone fancy Theo on the left and Arsh free behind the striker?

  157. Just had an email about the WG saga …

    “Gallas going to Spurs is the ex girlfriend you never really liked going out with that bloke you always thought was a cock!”

  158. Darius

    So you mean to tell me the Spuds have given him 90k a week for two years?

    The reality is we could have brokered some sort of deal if we thought Gallas was important enough. But we obviously didn’t think he was worth it. And it simply comes down to that. You can’t operate a multi-cultured club and think everyone will play for the love of the club. Many will play for the highest bidder.

    And at no time have I pre-judged Koscielny so you’d be 100% wrong to have “sensed” otherwise Darius. Obviously I hope the lad comes good, but I think considering that Gallas had such a good season last year, continuing with the proven partnership alongside Vermy would have augered better for a consistent defensive line up rather than taking risks with making new changes to the defence. If Squillaci and Swartzer come in – that will be 3 changes we’ll have made to the defence this year alone.

    The reality is that there is a myriad of arguments either of us could propose for and against and we’ve flogged them to death. But the situation boils down to the fact that most of you think Wenger is doing right by the club citing the vision, style of play, financial solidity etc. And while I agree with all this – I have very serious reservations about our defensive play and the total lack of progress over the past 5 years doesn’t make me “believe” that things are going to be any better this year despite all the sound bites and spin following our spectacular capitulation last season.

    And as for your comparison with Bergkamp – I’ll give you another comparison Darius. Pat Rice earns 30k a week Darius and he doesn’t even wear a damn jersey. I bet at his age, he even feels more “privileged”!


    You refer to Spuds as a “lesser team”. I seem to remember this lesser team spanking us in the league run in last season. But I guess that doesn’t matter does it? Memories are short and we’ve all learned and moved on eh!

  159. I like Gunnerluc’s formation with Vela starting instead of the Arsh (who’ll come on at about 65, bag a brace and fire up our goal difference)

  160. If RVP starts I think Arshavin has to make way rather than Chamakh.

    RVP Theo
    Diaby Rosicky
    Clichy Verm Djo Sag

  161. Spanked? They are a lesser team Joe. They always finish below us and usually way below us. Nothing wrong with our memory.

  162. …and the veil drops. Spurs are no lesser a team than Arsenal.

    Cheer up, Joe! It’s Friday!

  163. Joe – take away a fluke goal from a one-hit-wonder and you’re left with a second-half RVP masterclass and a virtuoso performance from a keeper who has previously been subject to more criticism than big Al. Not really a spanking!

    Beer calls – tomorrow awaits. Come on you Reds!

  164. Ah darius an excellent change of tactics. I applaud you.

  165. The team must commit to moving on older players if we are going to have a policy of developing youth like we have. They go hand-in-hand. Gallas may not like the situation and I really believe that he wanted to stay at Arsenal but the team have to make room for new players – younger players and they have to do so in a fashion that benefits the team.

    Could Gallas have stayed a year? Surely, but would it have been good for the team? As cover yes, but as a starter? Maybe not.

    Even more importantly…I think we may have all begun to realize that a changing back four is hurting us. We want to have a cohesive back four, the same unit always, that have played together (eventually – for years). That’s the core on which League winning teams have often been built. We want/need that again. It’s the familiarity that we’ve been lacking. One year contract as cover? Sure. But at some point we have to accept that the older players (Kolo first and Gallas finally) have to move on so that a new unit can gel.

  166. Steww….guitars? goats?

    As for the arguements about our defense; I’m just baffled as to why we get suffocated with the mantra about our defence being sub-standard last season and previous seasons, yet when the manager makes changes to resolve the issues, the bitching still goes on.

    Maybe Gallas contributed to the problem in a way we don’t appreciate and that’s why Arsenal decided not to blink – what’s wrong with that.

    We’re 1 game into the season and there’s still bitching. It’s clear that nothing will sort out the right to bitch. Even if Wenger brought in a fully platinum plated defence or even resigned because he was deemed incompetent – we would still get the bitching.

  167. @ Zim

    The description of that meal was entirely unfair and physically painful…I’m now eating my keyboard dreaming of boerwors and peppered fish…yummm.

  168. THIS POST HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FOOTBALL OR ARSENAL, and I apologise in advance for that.

    A small group of us made this music video for a parody of Tinie Tempah’s pass out. The original is a load of pants but our version is quite funny and we’re just trying to get it heard. I’m hoping that people will enjoy the lyrics. I realise how unashamedly brazen and rude the post is but if it makes some of you laugh it might be worth it. My apologises again.

  169. @ Joe

    What is your answer? I’ll start to think you don’t have one.

  170. I’ve just had a strange conversation with my wife and she’s baffled why I’m asking her out of the blue to make banoffee pie.

    I think she might shake me down for some shopping or something before she indulges in making this delicacy.

    I also e-mailed her Zim Paul’s mouth watering dish that he offered to cook for the Arsenal – and asked her if one day we could do something like that. Her response was as cold as they come….LOL! “What the fuck do you want”

  171. That response might even be stone cold…

  172. Your mistake, Darius, if I may say, was not to offer to make it for her.

  173. LOL Fun Gunner.

    If you only know how I’m trying to dig myself out of that hole. My only excuse is that the meal deserves to be done properly and she’s a platinum cook and I struggle in front of the stove. I suppose we all have different strenths.

    I get the feelign though that I’m going to be seriously shaken down and blackmailed.

  174. The banoffee recipe was linked through to a website called womenandhome (or something similar)… when it was first given away to charity. But the recipe has since been taken down. It’s mysteries hidden beneath the shifting sands of interwebby forever.

    All I know is that it has a couple of cans of condensed milk in it. Which is, as far as I can tell, the only successful useage of condensed milk – ever.

    I’d have a crack at it, if only I could find the recipe.

    Another dish for the Arsenal beach BBQ is going to be Beercan Chicken. Which sounds a bit like Bacon Chicken said in a West Indian accent… but that would be misleading as there is no bacon in this. You drink half a can of beer (one of those stubby silver Heinekens is good), and insert it into the nether regions of your chicken. You knead the chicken with a rub of your choice… jerk, cajun… something with some zing. You then stand the chicken up, legs either side of the beercan, and cook for about 45 minutes in a very hot, covered BBQ. The chicken doesn’t take on any ‘beer flavour’, but it does cook incredibly moistly, and the meat falls off the carcass, juicy and a little sweet.

  175. You guys are doing a great job during YW absence.

    Today’s post sheds light on people who work silently like Vic Ackers and others who are behind the scene and don’t get the credit they deserve. I would like to know more about them.

    I though Yogi’s W having to fight for his place was hilarious, it’s not that easy even to write for Arsenal and I mean objectively of course. But, i think he – and probably Mrs YW too – would be very happy if he gets a couple of days off a week.

  176. You’re a perverted bastard Limpar. Don’t try and hide it behind some faux ‘recipe’ that involves shoving a can up some chicken’s ares.

    We get the odd weirdo like you hanging around our hens sometimes. Now I know why.

  177. Thanks for that link Verminator. It might make my life a bit easier….LOL!

    Beercan chicken? LOL Limpar. I have a bbq this coming bank holiday – maybe an opportunity to shock my guests? hehehe.

    Just hope I’m not accused of a lude act with a chicken and a beer bottle.

  178. LOL couldn’t agree more, CB

  179. …and if i didnt say it before, wonderful post as always Darius i have missed your sightfull posts all summer….

  180. quotes from Le Boss –
    ”William has an exaggerated bad reputation. I believe that he is a genuine winner,” said the Arsenal manager.

    “He wants things not to be done at 90% and is completely focused and motivated to win.

    “He can be sometimes, a little bit brutal or impulsive in his reaction – but when you are a manager, he is not someone who talks behind your back.

    “William is somebody who is straight and is completely focused on the game. You respect that.”

    “The Spurs move is a surprise, but I can completely understand that.

    “At the moment he looks for a club, he is free, he has chosen the best possible option for him.

    “We are thankful for what he has done for us and we wish him good luck in his new club.”

    “It was more down to timing why William left,” Wenger reflected.

    “We had not found an agreement towards the end of the season and then I turned somewhere else.

    “I focused completely on signing Koscielny and it took me a long, long time to do that.

    “You have to turn somewhere else and now we trust Koscielny, [Johan] Djourou, [Thomas] Vermaelen and [Alex] Song.”

    “There is just a little bit of a risk that he is a bit more exposed in the derby, but we have seen that before.
    We have done something – we bough Koscielny and we are still looking for one more body.

    “Don’t forget, last year we did not have Djourou available for the whole of last season.

    “He will be available now so if we find one more player, we will be okay and will have the same numbers as last year.”

  181. ….and verminator, mant thanks for the link

  182. I would never have guessed it of Darius.

    Where’s my shotgun? I ‘ll have to be extra careful of my flock now all their sickness is out there for all to catch.

  183. CBob…if it’s any consolation, the chicken will have been diced and spiced before it hits the grill. There’s no room for adventure with beer or whatever.

    Keep that damn shotgun away….

    Speking of shotguns, did you hear the recent story of a wedding photographer who died after being shot accidentally during the photo shoot. He had insisted the bride and groom pose with the guns and nobody thought to check if they were loaded. Poor bastard.

  184. whats up with serk da turks video. Is that you in it?

  185. I think I needed to re evaluate this bloody, Gallas thing. One cannot live and breath in Gallas essence without choking to a considerable degree. As it turns out the captain is nothing more than a scoundrel of the highest order!

    Gallas…..He is an ordinary common garden variety bloody thug. He does play good football but he is a common thug. I was, at one point, in the camp of believing that he should have been signed to permit continuity in a defence that was quite spotty last season. But, I had no knowledge of the salary that he was requesting…90K…each and every bloody week. Not on your life would I give that man more than we gave Dennis who was spotless in his character and deployment.

    I honestly believe that in the case of Gallas, Arsene is correct. He can perhaps sign a couple of defenders for what he was paying Gallas.

    This man, Gallas, also had problems with Chelsea with a matter related to his ego if my memory serves me correctly. His number was given to another player since he was not coming into training as was requested.

    In any event, Gallas is not the type of person that a Manager, of the stature of Wenger, would wish to expose to his youth player system due to the fact that Gallas is wanting so very much in character.

    I think that in the case of Gallas, Wenger was somewhat blinded by his need to have a good defender following the departure of Campbell. (I thought that I would never forgive that guy for walking out on the football team at half time). That shows all of you how fickle a football fan such as I can be.

    The football that Gallas plays is impeccable. But, as all of you are aware this quality will take you only so far in life. First in life, the youth in the Arsenal Academy, require to emulate a Human Being that honours the basic tenants in personal conduct! I am sure, however, that is not the reason Gallas is not with the team. Although we would like to think there is a higher guiding principal, it was simply a matter of money.

  186. Great post Darius. I come from a community considered the fish eating champions of Kenya and interestingly enough we produce the majority of footballers. So up with fish! But surprising despite all the fish I was a pathetic footballer.

  187. Nice try at a smokescreen there Darius.

    Modern weddings give me the heebie geebies. All that waiting around so the the video can be made and photos taken of every posible combination of relatives and friends. Bloody awful waste of a day.

  188. Off topic, but how do I attach an avatar for my posts?
    I have a picture selected.

  189. Zap, I only had a cameo part to play in the video (and that was only because there wasn’t anybody else to do it really). My actual job was as part of the production team. It’s basically a small group of friends come together as part of an amateur production. Like I said we’re just trying to get it heard. I can only hope that people enjoy it.

  190. Hey Limpar…you can get the same effect with cut up chicken – or any meat really- by putting an aluminum oven pan, the cheap kind, in the bottom of the grill and placing some mesquite wood or other with a can of beer. Gives a great smoky flavor.

  191. I note that I will be able to watch Thierry Henry play Saturday morning. Fortunately for me New York play Toronto FC at 10 AM following the Arsenal game which is at 630 my time. A football blog from Toronto describes Henry as “gliding like a gazelle past Chicago players”. He is the second highest paid player in the MLS and second to David who has yet to play for Los Angelos this year. Fat chance!

  192. I cannot deny a certain satisfaction as you – ‘thwop!’ – pull out… the beercan from the chicken.

    I think if you then went on to festoon your naked body in the beer-cooked giblets and dance the macarena – then this may be bordering on the perverse. But just eating the delicious results… surely there’s nothing wrong with… hold on, that’s just what Hannibal Lector said wasn’t it? Ah well… if being a pervert tastes that good, then so be it.

    I liked the video Serk. Very good production quality for an amateur video. And that song deserves to be slaughtered. I’m on a facebook forum with some young filmmakers, runners etc. I’ll stick it up there for you.

    I’m off out… ’til the big K.O.


  193. Thanks, Steww.

  194. Just sick.

  195. Cheers Limpar, it was a lot of work to be honest, but I’m quite proud of the end product. Totally agree about the song deserving to be slaughtered.

    We’d appreciate any kind of exposure that we can get for the video, so thanks for that.

  196. Darius:

    Sorry I could not get back on earlier regarding your post at 4:16PM. Myself I am glad that we made the change to let WG go. I think that we needed to make some changes in the back. We have been conceding to many goals and even though its not fair I focused on him as the poster child for attack first, second, third and forget defending. From what I have seen in game 1 the KOS looks to me like an upgrade. The boss said he would fix our defending so he deserves the benifit of the doubt. Game 1 looked OK to me. Time will tell if we can stay organized for 38 games.

    Gallas obviously has an inflated opinion of his worth on the open market. Agents, players and teams are all out to get the best deal they can. Playing careers are short and most have nothing to fall back on after they are done. I certainly do not blame them for chasing the highest dollar that they can get. As Cbob says often, money has ruined the romance of the game.

  197. Cool Post Darius. I like the general Arsenal supporters attitude towards Gallas; we don’t give a sh*t about him n the spuds, we just love to humiliate ’em!!!!

  198. really great post darius. I’m gutted I didn’t hear the show.

    Some great discussion going on, just been going back over some posts.

    Facking Prison Break!!!

  199. Sorry but I am at the end of my tether and just have to let off steam. It really is a joke the way Arsenal do there business in the transfer market. why do we always do this?

    We always try and get players on the cheap, Savilla said that Arsenal’s offer for Squillaci was insufficient. And now Arsenal have angered Fulham with a second £2million bid for Mark Schwarzer – the SAME as one rejected in May. Now talks have stalled after furious Fulham threw out the cheeky bid.

    AW have said there is considerable money to spend, So why are we hunting around in pound shops hunting for bargains?… if they are the players we want then just pay the going rate. Squilaci and Schwarzer are hardly world class players and for the pair of them it would cost us no more then £10m, again shows a small club mentality.

    £10m to get the players we need and Arsenal are refusing to do so and are willing to wait till the last min just to save a few pennies. But its a dangerous game Arsenal are playing. They did this with Alonso a few years ago and missed out.

    We made £34m in transfer fees last season and still money in the bank from this years dealings plus Christ knows how much saved in losing 8 wages off the books.

    What I don’t get is this… With the sales of Traore, Simpson, Fran and saving on wages from Gallas, Silvestre, Campbell & Senderos. With only 2 players coming in and 1 of them was a FREE how can we still be penny pinching?

    Be prudent with the money, but £10m in getting 2 needed players ain’t going to send us into Leeds and Pompey is it?… Its just Arsenal being tight f**king wads.

    Nobody can balance the books like Arsene, and that my friends is the ONLY reason why he has just got a new deal at Arsenal.

  200. yeah more fool him … that traitor Gallas has apparently joined spuds on less wages and in the not got the 2 yr deal he craved anyway.

  201. I wonder if Spurs will have a new song ready at the derby. Something to counter our “We won the title at WHL”.

    I think something along the lines of “We beat them at the Emirates … once” would suit the Sp*ds just fine.

  202. Arsene answers to a question about Scholes in an interview talking about how good he has been and also mentions his dark side once. The story is rightly published by the title ‘Scholes doesn’t get the credit he deserves’ on the official site. The Sun, the f*cking tw*nts that they are have a headline saying ‘Scholes is a dirty player’ and “Arsene Wenger has launched an astonishing attack on Paul Scholes, branding him ‘dirty'”. Now one of their geniuses will mention this to RedNose in a press conference and there we go…

  203. Soccer is a fun sport. I am trying to learn it at the moment.

  204. Thant was soooo funny LMAO :-0

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