Tangerine Dream

Arsenal 6 – 0 Blackpool

Walcott ’12, ’40, ’58
Arshavin ’32 (pen)
Diaby ’49
Chamakh ’83

On the day that saw the famous Arsenal clock reinstated at the ground, and the North Bank and Clock End christened anew, a rampaging Arsenal delivered a vintage performance to adorn the historic occasion.

Theo Walcott came roaring out of the blocks; two dangerous attacks from the right-wing inside 10 minutes gave Blackpool immediate cause for concern. If that was a warning sign, then it was one impossible to heed. In the 12th minute Arsenal shot up through the gears on the left hand side of the pitch as Andrey Arshavin orchestrated a wonderful double 1-2, first feeding and collecting quickly from Marouane Chamakh, then giving and going with Tomáš Rosický – who picked the lock with a killer pass from the outside of his boot. Arshavin, gliding into a bank with the vault door swinging open, splayed the final Blackpool defender – the ill-fated Stephen Crainey – with a sumptuous through-ball that spat across the grass and curved into the trajectory of the on-rushing, unstoppable, jet-propelled Theo Walcott. The England forward’s first-time side-foot finish was executed with a refinement wholly befitting a wonderfully clean and ruthless attack.

With Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby sitting deep, tidily breaking up play and sharing opportunities to make the occasional marauding forward-run; with Chamakh working hard pressing the ball high-up the pitch, and with Rosický, the master craftsman, again providing a wonderful pivote for the team to flow around – there were always going to be goals. Arsenal were bristling. But if last week’s 2nd half virtuosity at Anfield saw Tomáš Rosický hurling back the dull-witted barbs of his philistine detractors; then today was Theo Walcott’s turn to put the bastards to shame.

For the keener eyed Arsenal fan (read – one blessed with the gift of sight), Walcott’s good progress over the past 8 months has been happily noted. The 21 year olds’ close control and finishing have obviously benefited from a prolonged, injury-free run of games and training sessions. It was his confidence and thirst to express himself that fuelled his incendiary performance today though. Playing without inhibition Walcott was relentless. On another day he might have left the field with five assists to his name, instead he notched up 3 goals from 4 shots – an incongruous haul indeed for ‘Mr. No End-Product’ himself. Bizarre in fact. An anomaly, surely.

Understandably, the pass between centreback Evatt (later Keinan) and rightback Crainey proved a popular one for the Arsenal midfield. Rather than his blistering pace though – which has long had us pogoing up and down from our seats at The Arsenal – it was Walcott’s excellent work in tight situations; his fleetness of thought and deftness of touch that impressed today.

In the 31st minute Blackpool’s task became all but insurmountable. They were doubly punished by Mike Jones as last-man Ian Evatt brought down Marouane Chamakh – sent through on goal by Rosický – as he entered the penalty area. While the challenge certainly started outside the box, the foul came to a head just inside of it. Arshavin, with a neat new military crop, hit the penalty with the inside of his right foot, and with barely a back-lift to speak of the ball bulleted into the bottom corner of the net at an unexpected and unreachable velocity. 

Arsenal made their man advantage tell with immediate effect. With time for the midfield to take an extra touch, Blackpool were soon chasing shadows. 8 minutes from the sending off of Evatt and Walcott was celebrating his 2nd of the day. Slid in with an incise pass inside from Wilshere, Walcott’s rapid touch and swivel bought him all the space he needed to dispatch his shot low and hard, through his marker and beyond the despairing Gilks’ dive. As the half-time whistle blows, the crowd, in no uncertainty as to who’s just set their Saturday afternoon alight, fill the air with Theo’s name.

When Captain Cesc Fabregas and modern-day ‘Mr Arsenal’ Robin Van Persie are spotted warming up on the sidelines a huge roar goes up around the ground. The sun wriggles itself out from behind a cloud, a rampant Arsenal take to the field, lining-up to attack the new North Bank and suddenly everything seems to be coming together. The crowd are buoyant as 4 minutes after the restart, recently married Bacary Sagna catches the hapless Crainey cold once again, bursting past him with all the time in the world to look up and pick out the arriving Diaby with a firm, low cross. Diaby coolly punches an instant side-foot shot into the increasingly well-worn bottom corner of Gilks’ net; a finish born of perfect timing.

Ten minutes later and Walcott sealed his hat trick. It’s the pick of the bunch as his run is spotted by Diaby, he drives inside and beats two players, shifting the ball onto his left foot and pearling a beautiful shot into… you guessed it – the bottom left hand corner of the net.

Arsenal Land is in party mode. Theo’s off dancing with Eboué – even the Blackpool fans who are in excellent voice throughout – are applauding the fine football on display. Some are in orange fezzes, and all are thoroughly enjoying the ride. A fine set of fans.

Like a peal of thunder rising, the North Bank start to sing their captains’ name. When Van Persie and he are introduced the reception is hair-raising. The man we’re all indebted to for days like these is rightly honoured too. “One Arsene Wenger!” rings out across North London, and it is a beautiful sight indeed as RVP and Cesc drop seamlessly into the middle of the Arsenal passing patterns, forming a natural triangle with Rosický in the centre of the pitch.   

Carlos Vela pleases the crowd further with a back heel over his marker’s head and a ball-juggling run across the box which sadly breaks down. We are being well and truly entertained now, the football is exquisite.  

On 82 minutes Chamakh finally bagged his first goal in the red and white of Arsenal with a powerful downward header from a Van Persie corner. The goal is rich reward for a tireless afternoon spent switching and interchanging with his wide men and pressing from the front line. On another day he could have had a hat trick for himself from the positions he took up.

Perhaps even more pleasing about Arsenal’s sixth though, is the assist from Van Persie; a magnificent corner – whipped in like a heat-seeker with lots of curve, right onto the waiting head of the alert Chamakh. A heart-warming, ferocious reminder of who the best dead-ball specialist in the world is playing for.

“WE’RE THE NORTH BANK!”
“WE’RE THE CLOCK END!”
“WE’RE THE NORTH BANK!”
“WE’RE THE CLOCK END!”

 3 goals in front of each. Fantastic football, great days.

’til the next time.

Posted on August 22, 2010, in Arsenal. Bookmark the permalink. 217 Comments.

  1. first 😀 .. Now to read the post

  2. Second, but I’ve already read the post.

    Chamakh’s header was all the more to be admired as he leapt high from a standing position to head the ball into the net.

  3. TR7 ran the show.

  4. If we can do this often against the “lesser” teams without cesc,v.p,nasri,denilson, {i dont mean the score line but i wont mind. lol} its going to be a wonderful season. Lots of people can say blackpool didnt prove real threat but the truth is they shldnt be a threat in the 1st place if the players do their home wrk rite which we did. Another taste of truth. WE ARE THE ARSENAL

  5. Devil's Advocate

    Still on cloud 9. This performance from the team that didn’t even show a hint of slowing down when 3-0 up – Hull and Wigan have been exorcised from this Gooner’s memory. This is a team that learnt from last season’s mistakes. More than the goals, more than the fact that we won, the heart that these players showed – what a day. Beautiful football, the boss confirming we will strengthen our defence – my cup runneth over! And please, Theo stole the show, but let’s not forget Rosicky and the way he conducted the orchestra this time. To think there were people who wanted to sell him! He’s shown everybody, hasn’t he? And props to Ian Holloway for everything he said – no blaming the referees, nothing. Though the red was harsh. Penalty was fair, red was harsh, but it’s the letter of the law.
    Sagna’s reading of the game was great, and Arshavin looks like he’s getting that edge back. It’s so amazing when the team just *clicks*! You just know it wouldn’t have made a difference whom they were playing.

  6. Devil's Advocate

    AND…Credit to Blackpool for playing football instead of parking the bus, down to ten men and three goals down. I really hope they stay in the PL, such a refreshing change from the cloggers who infest the League now.

  7. Your post is reministant of the dialogue within the film V for Vendetta. Are you sporting a Guy Fawkes mask as you write?

  8. Great post – agree on Theo but that pillock Hansen clearly still wants to stifle one of England’s best young players on MOTD last night.

    I’ve never heard him speak such complete nonsense; the lad’s just scored a hat-trick but Hansen failed to find a good word to say about him.

    He just gave the usual “no football brain” and said it was just “too easy” for him v Blackpool. Admittedly, there are bigger tests to come but scoring a hat-trick combined with a great performance surely deserves some credit regardless of opposition.

    He then went on to say the problem for Theo is “when he has time to think!” Actually…surely…it’s the opposite? Yesterday he had loads of time, running into space, and made the right decision to shoot or cross (some good crossing too!) more often than not.

    IMO, Theo tends to struggle when he DOESN’T have time; closed down quickly by the oppo he seems to panic and make the wrong decision. If he can sort that out and combine it with the pace and decision-making v Blackpool he should finally fulfill the potential we all hoped he would…not forgetting he’s still only 21 anyway! 😀

  9. “Tomáš Rosický hurling back the dull-witted barbs of his philistine detractors; then today was Theo Walcott’s turn to put the bastards to shame” Classic!!!! Lovely Report Limpar

  10. Credit to the team last night (as it was here in India). Even more than the goals, I was impressed by by the consistently high pace and continual pressing of the opposition even when the game was won. It was present at the beginning of last season and absent by the end, but if we can maintain that attitude we’ll be challenging in all competitions to the very end.

  11. Theo is one of those lads who will eventually flourish. He needs time to develop and hone his football instincts. Fortunately, he is around a group of players who can show hm the way. Then he will stuff a few hat tricks down the gullet of the immutable Hansen. Theo has one of those qualities that can only be obtained through birth which relates to having a jet exhaust. His mind has to catch up to his feet and that is no mean feat.

  12. Something that struck me as odd from Hansens comments was this ‘football brain’ business. He says you either have it or not because you cant learn it!

    Im sorry but thats just wrong. If that was the case then no one could improve beyond what their natural talents allow.

    So therefore a young player either knows when to make a run or not .. he cannot learn to time it

    A young player either knows when to time his pass to allow a teammate to beat offside trap .. he cannot learn

    A young player must know when to step up or when to go with the runner .. he cannot learn it

    Is this the football brain he talks about? Can a player learn to make the right decisions or must he be born with this ability. If not then it makes coaching a fruitless job!!

    Theos natural talents are nutured and coaching and games teach the ‘football brain’ when best to use these. Decision making is something you can improve on – else no player would ever get beyond inexperienced and inconsistant

  13. Great match yesterday but want Song playing in midfield not as an emergency CH throughout the season – although I thought he was our best defender in the match. Also Almunia had very little to do yesterday – he will be a lot busier next week. Just hope Wenger buys a ch and gk before the deadline!!!

  14. Very good point, Deisegooner. Yet another way in which Hansen is talking nonsense.

    **
    @ Gunner90
    Wenger has said all along he will buy another CB. He said yesterday he is confident of at least one signing. Just be glad that if we have a CB injury crisis, we have a very good stand-in in Alex Song.

  15. Tangerine Dream!! Showing your age mate …

  16. Good riposte to Hansen, Diese. Who really expects any real insight or in telligence from that old fool these days?

    Lovely piece Limpar. It’s just so full of obvious joy and excitement at being an Arsenal fan at this time and with this team.

    Anyone want to get off the ride? No? Thought not.

  17. 10 years ago, Hansen knew what he was talking about. But he has become lazy and his ideas seem to have ossified. Insight has been replaced by partisanship.

  18. And that was a lovely summary of the game, Limpar.

  19. I used to let people like Hansen get to me. Now I’ve accepted that they are just bitter, ex-pros with no real skills to be in the media.

    They will always be biased, they will always try to keep the status quo, they have no insight to offer, they can’t analyse the game, they can’t even get simple facts right.(does diaby and Arshavin remotely resemble each other).

    I watch, or listen to those people purely for the entertainment. Most of the time I watch the game without commentary and form my own conclusions.

    What most impressed me about Theo yesterday was not the hat-trick, it was the intelligence of his runs off the ball

  20. Limpar, fine fine post sir.

    Create HAVOC he did eh? 😉

  21. Whats up with Hansen anyway? Why does he hate Theo so much? Cos this bordes to hate and almost harassment. It is almost like his dissaponted when he does good. It is almost so Hansen WANTS theo to fail so he can look out and tell everyone “told you so, he is crap”.

    Whats wrong with him? Is he retarded? It surly looks like it from outside England.

  22. wengerball – Hansen’s confusion over Diaby and Arshavin made me laugh too. I can’t imagine two more different Arsenal players: an athletic 10 foot-tall black guy v a stumpy 4 foot white Russian…easily confused which one received the ball, eh Alan!?!

    It was a weird summary to the game because Hansen played those clips but none of them actually made any sense. He talked about Blackpool not closing down one-touch football quickly enough…isn’t the point of only taking one touch that it gives the oppo no time to close you down? Just a thought…

  23. good observation WB, he was superb off the ball. Also, u could see how much he was pressing & tracking back, with Arshavin providing the obvious contrast..

  24. I didn’t enjoy all the speculation – especially the speculation about Fabregas – over the summer, so it’s good just to get back to watching the best team in the world win by a cricket score.

    I used to defend Hansen. I liked his straightforward style and his incisive analysis of defensive blunders, but when one reaches a certain age (I reached it long ago), one’s brain becomes hard and dry like an old elastic band, and it can no longer assimilate or produce anything new. It just recycles the same thoughts – as Hansen himself would say – time after time after time. It seems Hansen himself has reached that stage of life. I imagine “No footballing brain” is one of a mere handful of sentences perptetually bouncing around an otherwise empty head, and yet appearing to its owner as a novelty every time it enters the small area reserved for consciousness.

  25. Alberto Aquilani is (loaned) off to Juventus, do we still need more examples of failed multi million deals?

  26. I say we all hold a vote as to whether Yogi should walk right back into his first team place at ACLF.

    With the talented pool of writers up in here, I’m loving the positivity, entertainment and quality of writing.

    As of yesterday, I started imagining Morrissey singing and wailing every time Hansen spoke. MOTD might as well be Channel Liverpool in the same way that Talk Shite is Chelsea FM.

    I think what makes me bitter is that my licence fee money is used to pay the bastard. That shouldn’t be right, and we should be guaranteed value for money by the BBC.

  27. Who the hell comes up with shit like this:

    “AC Milan set to swoop for Barcelona’s Ibrahimovic and prompt last-ditch Nou Camp move for Arsenal’s Fabregas”

    I know newspaper columns have to be filled – but WTF!

  28. Flint McCullough

    This was like an old fashioned Evening News or Standard report from 40/50 years ago, harping back to the days when the newspapers actually told us about the game itself, rather than what the managers said afterwards.

    Great stuff & congratulations Limpar. Do you have some journalistic experience?

    This is the reason we go. You must enjoy these games & hope we do it often enough to be in the melting point at the end.

    We all know this was only Blackpool, there are sterner tests to come & we have to find out how we shall face them.

    Points from MOTD

    Stoke n Spuds persistent clear fouls on Gomez, not given 1 leading to a goal & another a clearance from what looked like behind the line. All ‘keepers are going to have problems when they are basically taken out, which does not bode well for Blackburn next week. It really is time for the pundits & more importantly the refs to stop blatant fouls on the ‘keeper.

    Lawrenson, the Englishman who played many times, for an Eire team full of players from all points of the globe, being quite so amazed that England might consider Artetta!!

  29. Flint.

    It was interesting that Redknapp was very vocal about his keeper being fouled and impeded. In a way, I don’t see Wenger ever coming out that publicly about a specific case like that – but I see teams like Blackburn and Stoke using that same tactic of impeding the keeper at set pieces.

    Walter from Untold Arsenal recently wrote a very interesting piece about this very issue of impeding keepers and the fact that it is a foul explicitly spelt out in the FIFA rule book.

    Unfortunately, players, managers and referees in England actually think it’s part of the English game.

  30. Flint McCullough

    Is Yogi in Barcelona right now Darius?

    Is this a transfer that they can just about afford & it has slipped below the Marca net?

    What will he call a Barca blog?

    A Bunch of C##ts perhaps?

  31. @Flint.

    I know it’s the spuds but something has to be done about that tactic. Again MOTD dismissed it as Gomez having one of those days(imagine if it was Fabiański).

    Every freekick,every corner saw Stoke crowding the goalie and literally pushing him out of the way, absolutely filthy tactic.

    When are the FA and the refs realise that this is just not on.

  32. Stunning game, day everything.

    Rosicky was amazing and theo is going to be a legend by the end of the season. Eveything seems to be coming together now.

    Watching MOTD last and Alan Hansen I think I may have had a stroke from pure rage. The bloke is a facking travesty. A complete joke of a pundit.

  33. Flint – ‘ a mouthfull of sh*t’

  34. Delia-----Block 112

    The “beautiful game” 6 the Gloomers 0. What a great afternoon, the team was up for it and the crowd was really up for it. The Blackpool fans played a massive part in a real Wengerball display, they were generous in their applause and the whole atmosphere in the stadium was conducive to the euphoria of the day for a true Gooner, this Gooner.
    Yes, we don’t know what might have happened had Blackpool put away their free header when the score was 1-0 ,or if the rather harsh sending off had not occurred. We would probably have won 3-0 not 6-0 but the quality of our football was superb , everyone playing their part. Pity Vela didn’t finish off his juggling act with a goal, it would probably have been a contender for goal of the season.
    Sadly, there were still those Doomers on my train home! What on earth do they want, the team can only play what’s put on the pitch by the opposition. Yes, Blackburn will pose different problems and Blackpool aren’t the Mancs but yesterday was an occasion to savour, so let’s celebrate.
    COYRs

  35. Would have loved to see Johan play in defence over song. But it all worked very well in midfield and it would be unfair for diaby or wilshere to miss out. Nice to see Arshavin working hard yesterday.

    It was so important for Cham to score after missing that sitter. He’ll go into the Blackburn game with a bit of confidence. And as he’s the kind of player who should make a difference against the likes of Samba then it was no small thing.

  36. Excellent report Limpar. As someone who was there it took me right back to my seat it was so evocative. I’m sure for those who weren’t there it was the next best thing.

    I agree that Yogi might struggle to get back in the team at this rate. He might never go on holiday again!

  37. Arsene Wenger is not a man.

  38. Flint McCullough

    I think it goes back to the days of playing in the old fashioned boots & the shoulder charge was king. You used to see near criminal attacks on ‘keepers in those days. Two famous ones in consecutive Cup Finals- McParland of Villa putting Wood out of goal for a “shoulder charge” on his jaw, then a year later Lofthouse literally bundled Gregg into the net with the ball with a goal given.

    Eventually that sort of play was banned for Don Revie to then come up with the tactic of Jack Charlton standing on the ‘keepers toes. It was a foul then & ever since but it is pure pot luck whether the ref gives it or not.

    This attitude has cost England at least 2 disallowed goals in crucial games, because most foreign refs will not tolerate it.

  39. Flint McCullough on August 22, 2010
    at 10:53 am

    Un pie izquierdo cultivado!

    La Catalunya!!!

  40. Really enjoyed your match report , Limpar.

    It perfectly summed up a very enjoyable day.

  41. Theo and Rosicky are both the MOM for me. I just want both these lads to be fit for the entire season.. That will have a telling effect in our title run this season

  42. The through pass Rosicky played to Arshavin in the build up to Chamakh shinning it over was DREAMY. Incisive, outside of his right food, just magical. Loving having little Mozart back at the peak of his powers.

  43. Great Blog. Damien seems to be a bit of an asshole and Hansen is a large asshole

  44. Thoughts:

    1) Rosicky was a genius. My biggest worry would be how to make the most of Rosicky, Cesc and Nasri in the same team? All of them perform best in the midfield conductor role, but you can only have one conductor. Yes, we will have injuries, but for most of the time, two of them will be playing out of position or on the bench.

    2) Wilshere reminded me of a cross between Scholes and Flamini. He looked good in the deeper role and is developing well.

    3) Diaby continues to divide opinion. I thought he played well yesterday. Watching from directly behind the Arsenal goal in first half, he seemed to be everywhere, and I thought he played well as the defensive midfielder. He also gave a strong physical presence in an otherwise small midfield.

    4) With Cesc coming back, it will be interesting to see who is dropped, as no one really deserves to be dropped.

    5) Chamakh’s work rate impressed me. He hustled for everything and I think this played a big part in Walcott getting his goals, because he occupied the Blackpool defenders.

    6) Arshavin still seems off his game and he was in my view the only player who didn’t really chase down the ball and work hard. With RvP coming back and Walcott and Chamakh playing well, his place in the starting line up would see the most vulnerable. Vela must also be knocking on the door.

    7) Song was first class at CB. OK, he was playing Harewood rather than Drogba, but he could not be faulted.

    8) The rest of the back line played as well as needed against poor opposition. Sagna offered more going forward than Clichy, although that have been due to Arshavin tracking back less than Walcott.

  45. “the dull-witted barbs of his philistine detractors”

    Love it, great report.

  46. Limpar – Now that is the reporting of someone who enjoys good football. Wengerball.

    If I could borrow a perfect turn of phrase. It was not only Rosicky but also Walcott “hurling back the dull-witted barbs of his philistine detractors.” It is criminal that the English set-up headed by a coach with such a long Resume (don’t forget the tax-dodging allegations) could have left him off the plane to Sth Africa.

    Speaking of detractors. What about the whining, quivering, complainers who attacked Wenger for lacking back-up central defenders. Song played an excellent game in this position showing excellent reading of the game; quick to make a ball winning tackles on central attackers and alert at dropping back and giving cover when Blackpool tried to isolate our full backs on the flanks.

    Yes, it was only Blackpool but there were a lot of positives that we can take through the season.

  47. Clerkenwell Gooner

    This is a team that learnt from last season’s mistakes. More than the goals, more than the fact that we won, the heart that these players showed – what a day.

    Yes, indeed, Devil’s Advocate, it was great, the whole team was brilliant, especially Theo. He took it by the scruff of the neck from the first minute, and got his reward, could have easily had three before half time, let alone after.

    The reception for Cesc was fabulous, too, and I wonder if the whole transfer saga in the summer has bucked some of the squad’s ideas up, that is, they know they’ve got to win something this year to keep him on the team with them.

    It’s like they are playing for him now, as well as the rest of the team and themselves.

    For example, Robin was absolutely determined to score, although extremely rusty (and with his right thigh strapped?). He didn’t manage it, but did get an amazing assist, dropping the ball smack onto Chamakhattack’s head, a very important goal. First, the kerfuffle at Liverpool, and now this, a goal on his home debut, just like Nasri, excellent.

    I think this guy spells trouble for a lot of PL defences as he doesn’t ever give up (and he’s already really popular, loads of “Chamakh 29” shirts in the ground).

    All in all, an interesting afternoon, with an unusual combination of players on the pitch.

    Sagna and Clichy were great at pressing up, and Diaby is hilarious, played like a baby giraffe on valium in the first half, then came out after the break scored a marvellous goal! I don’t like his unpredictable defensive play, but I can live with attacking sorties like that!

  48. Reading the blogs…I can see it coming…It is already here.
    Wilshere vs Denilson.
    Remember when it was Eboue being slated because he was getting game time at Walcott’s “expense”.
    Later it was Denilson and Diaby being demonized for getting game at Ramsey’s expense.

    When will these fools ever learn? It is the competition for places at a big-club like Arsenal that lets young talented players grow and develop. Otherwise, with that healthy pay check already in the bank, they think they have arrived and stop working and improving their game. Bentley anyone?

  49. Thanks very much for all these kind comments. I really enjoyed writing it up. Sorry if it’s a bit long – but I can’t help it when we hit someone for 6! Have a good Sunday.

  50. Theo Theo Theo….!!!!!!!!!!. A hatrick and the poor boy still doenst have a brain?

    Hansen is a blind bitter twisted old fool living on Liverpoosl well past glory days. If Theo doesnt have a football brain then that group of over rated tw@ts who took to the pitch for England in South Africa were absolutely clueless.If wayne rooney or gerrrard had scored a hatrick against blackpool Im sure they would be being lauded as gods .

    Yesterday Theo truly came of age and his transformation as proved by his Henriesque composure in his hunger and finishing is a great step in the right direction. i thought his thinking was actually so quick it was like telepathy and his combinations with arshavin and chamakh will be frightening as the season progresses.

    I was thoroughly impressed with Chamakh. He is absolute class. He was an effective foil, industrious, held the ball up well and brought players into the game. obivously the fine tuning process is ongoing but the signs are good and the goals will only build his confidence.

    F@ck all the doomers.One arsenal. Good to have fab and rvp back

  51. Limpar,

    Your post was compared to Alan Moore writing above, not bad!

    Rosicky was a joy to watch. This is pure speculation, but I feel that he’ll need to be rested for every third game. We’ll see how things go, but it’s handy that there are players like Fabregas to come in!

  52. Great game.Well done Theo and a word of praise for young Jack so much more effective than Denilson.Keep Jack in the side and we are going to see a truly great player in two years time.TR 7 was excellent and Arshavin is just class

    On the downside what is it with our fans?. outsang by fans whose team was 5 nil down.What more do they want

  53. Consolbob & Shottagunna

    “plundit’s’

    Credit goes to LRV over at Untold Arsenal.

  54. I think Cesc himself will enjoy the challenge of forcing Rosicky out of that central position. He has a hunger to prove himself constantly. And showing him the love is absolutely the right thing for us fans to do.

  55. Nick you asked who would be dropped when RVP and Cesc are fit.This would be my team for Blackburn if everyone is fit

    Schwarzer

    Sagna TV Kos/New CB Clichy

    Walcott Song Cesc TR 7 Arshavin

    RVP

  56. Ronnie, you don’t even know who the new CB is, and you’re saying he might start instead of Kos?

  57. what makes u think were gonna have a new keeper and cb ronnie?

  58. @ DeiseGooner, totally agree re: Hansen. Decision making *can* be learned. From experience and through coaching.

    And then we remember Theo is just 21 and will get better.

  59. what a goal from joey barton. As the guardian puts it, if only he wasn’t..joey barton..

  60. @Ronnie. If you are so desperate to have Schwarzer in your team, why don’t you go support Fulham?? + a new CB who you don’t even know in the team ahead of Kos? Get a grip mate!!

  61. “Eduardo: he came, he saw, he captured”

    He scores again!

    http://shakhtar.com/en/news/14086

  62. Final game in Platinum One Challenge (Arsenal Reserves) at 3pm today. If we win or draw we will win the trophy.

  63. @ Finsbury

    Stop it – I’m getting all misty-eyed about what might have been and so nearly was… At least it seems the move is working for Dudu.

  64. The Toon are ripping Villa, 3-0 to date.
    Martin Atkinson is his usual inconsistent self. Chalked off a perfect Villa goal. Villa also missed a penalty. Paying the price.

  65. FunGunner,

    Sorry!
    Hopefully the sight of him scoring has helped?
    I’m not sure if Shakhtar are playing in Europe this season, but they seem to have a good squad.

    Thanks for the goal Kitchen Sink.

  66. Good to hear about Dudu. Hope he gets back to his best. He as one of my favorites..

  67. You beat me too it Finsbury and Kitchen Sink. It’s great to see things working out for Dudu. He would have loved to play in that game yesterday, but never mind, at least he seems to be doing okay with his new team.

  68. FG it looks like Arsenal won the Platinum One challenge by beating Shamrock rovers 3 – 1

  69. P.S. Lansbury, JET and Randall scored.

  70. Oh, wow! Was it yesterday, then? congratulations to them.

  71. Yes Finsbury…

    LRV of the Plonkers + Pundits legend aka Plundits.

    @Flint, just listening to the Villa game commentary and reflecting on your thoughts about body charging goal keepers jaws and bundling them into the net.

    There’s so much emphasis on the physicality and brute force that’s being called the quintessentially English centre forward play. It’s the kind of play that gets praise instead of technique, skill and intelligence. People seem to appreciate more of hairy arsed CFs built like brick shit houses backing onto defenders.

    It’s funny that when commentators describe a player, the first thing they mention is that ‘he’s big and strong’ or ‘he’s a physical unit’ or ‘he’s massive. Very few even mention whether he can actually play football.

    There’s so much emphasis on physicality – and here we are asking how is it that the English national team is so pathetic. The establishment seems to be more interested in ‘pluck and spirit’ as an alternative to ability.

  72. Damn it. Everything I wrote just disappeared so this it in short.

    Limpar – LOVED IT!! Great work felt like I was at the stadium.

    Watched the game again, excellent match.

    However I think Clichy really is in trouble with Arshavin in front of him or the 4-3-3. He is a excellent defender but was unsure of
    what to do in one-on-one situations, is scared to boom forward as we all know he can. More often than not he choose to sit back even though he had the space in front of him. Yet, he was pressing and incepting players at will so I don’t think his off form.

    And he didn’t crack a smile all match even when we were 6-0 up so unlike Gael.

    Good to see Theo speaking up, camera caught him telling Chamack excatly were he wanted him.

    The warm hug for Eboue was cute too.

    Arsene in the post-match interview said that when Chamack and RVP play togather we may go 4-4-2.

    Song and Tommy V formed a good partnership, Song was excellent in the back even going forward in the end trying to bag himself a goal.

    I really like Chamack reminded me of Adebaywhore before he started dreaming about Beyonce.

    I really am EXCITEDDDDDDDDDDDDD.

    Also does anyone know why we sometimes leave a massive vacuum in the middle during matches??

  73. I did cringe yesterday when Keown also said that Diaby lacked a footballing brain, but was a good athlete though.

    I would if they think John Terry, Shrek, Lennon, Charlton Cole, Lampard, J.Cole, Barry or Steve the mouse have footballing brains and if so where the hell was it during the WC.

  74. Darius,

    Can you please help me understand the thinking of letting Gallas and Sol go, just so we can spend 5 million odd for what I see a good but not much better CB in Squillaci.

  75. Another trophy, then.

  76. Ever since Cassandra, folk have been spooked into accepting that prophets of doom should be believed. The flaws in this are:
    (a) that Cassandra could actually foresee the future;
    (b) that she was a myth.

    Anyway, the followers of Cassandra seem blissfully quiet today.

  77. If I can choose just one word from Limpar’s report which sums up yesterday’s football . . . . . . . . sumptuous.

  78. Oh – and moment of the match was Theo running across the field to share the goal celebration with his rival for the right midfield berth Eboué.

  79. merlot, that is how strong the team spirit is within the squad. They are in competition, but they are not bitter rivals. Eboue spoke about how he tries to help the young players in an interview before the game, and the thank you from Theo is obviously evidence of that.

  80. “Can you please help me understand the thinking of letting Gallas and Sol go, just so we can spend 5 million odd for what I see a good but not much better CB in Squillaci.”

    I’m not Darius but this is what I posted in response to your question on yesterday’s post

    ‘Maria, Gallas is 33 and has missed at least 1/3rd of each season with us through injury. Sol is 35. Buying a 30 year old who is fitter is good business as he is at his peak for a defender.’

    You also have to remember that both were offered deals – Gallas thought he could do better financially elsewhere so he was replaced with Koscielny. Sol went to Newcastle for more first team games and to be nearer to his wife’s family who live in the North East. If he is replaced by a player 5 years younger who has won championships and played in Europe who are we to argue?

  81. Agree with Passenal@3:23PM. The team spirit is strong inspite of competition for places. They want to succeed as a group. For the manager and for each other.

  82. No Mark again for Fulham.

  83. Thanks Pass. Sorry!! I seem to have missed that.

  84. Mark fails a medical??

  85. Where did you see that, Maria?

  86. Maria.

    In addition to what Passenal has said about Gallas and Campbell, it is paramount that we build for the future.

    The experience Sol and Gallas would have brought is important, but both of them for the differing reasons, felt that the offer on the table was not good enough. We can’t hold a gun to their heads.

    Wenger himself said that at some point, he had to look elsewhere hence Koscielny’s signing. I suspect that Gallas hasn’t even got what he wanted at Tottenham. Remember at least 5 big clubs around Europe told him to fuck right off with his wage demands, and the Spuds are really a last gasp saving resort for him. Coming back to ask Wenger to resign him on the terms Arsenal originally offered is like eating up your own vomit….you never go back to doing some things in life.

    If both Sol and Gallas were truly important (as opposed to significant to have but we have alternatives if they refuse), then Arsenal would have retained their services. They have done so with Fabregas, but I don’t see them begging a 33 or 35 year old to stay at Arsenal. You have to also remember that Arsenal has an offer to them that is competitive for the stage they are in their careers…you cannot say Arsenal are stingy and don’t want to retain them.

    Sol is lucky to even be playing in the EPL at his age, and Gallas may be willing and ready to play, but his body isn’t.

    Personally, I think a CB team of Vermaelen, Koscielny, Djourou and whoever comes in as backup + the young ones coming along makes Arsenal the most equipped team in this area in the top flight.

    Vidic and Ferdenand as a CB pairing is finished – Ferdinand is as crocked as they come and will never get back to his best. TV and Koscielny are a better pairing than what Manure have.

    Terry and Alex are about to collect their senior citizenz bus passes. Their pace is gone and it’s hard to see how they will cope with attacking forces from formidible teams around Europe.

    Liverpools CB pairing are also behind the queue to collect their freedom passes.

    Vermaelen, Djourou, Koscielny, Nordveit, Miquele, Bartley et al – have over 8 solid years that they can play together and become the best defensive force in the world.

    Keep the faith – Wenger isn’t crazy to let Gallas and Sol go. It’s the right thing to do.

    My sense is that people are nervous because the media has conditioned them that unless a replacement with a big name or a huge price tag comes in – then Arsenal can’t cope.

    Koscielny for example has already told everyone to shut the fuck up and watch him play football, simply by his stellar performance against Liverpool. Don’t be surprised if Koscielny develops a reputation with Vermaelen as the best CB pairing in Europe.

    Vermaelen just the other day was being called a midget by folks like Tony Adams. We all know what happened last season.

  87. I heard it on Talkshite. (Hangs head in shame)

  88. Talkspite. Oh, Maria… Three hail marys, please.

  89. Lol, don’t you worry about my faith DS. In Arsene I have all the trust in the world. I was just wondering really, both the reasons you and Pass have provided make perfect sense to me.

    Now on to Clichy. Am I the only one that sees a problem there?

  90. bradys right foot

    I posted on August 14 at 10:01 pm on a cultured left foot that I thought Schwarzer would fail his medical. If this is true i’m absolutely gutted for the guy and for us.

  91. I personally don’t think we have a problem with our defenders. More our defensive play throughout the side. Both Theo and AA must learn how to tackle successfully. Just as Rosicky and Cesc have.

    Jack is still young but if he plays the deep laying position he has to be able to how to tackle and when IMO that is.

  92. OMG…..HELPPPPPPP I SOUND LIKE BILL!!!

  93. LOL Maria…it’s OK – I sometimes listen to Talk Shite in the car when I’m desperate for sports news (hangs head in shame too).

  94. Why did you think that BLF??

  95. Great write up LA, I must say the Blackpool fans were as good as ours were bad. Ashburton Grove is still depressingly lacking in atmosphere.

  96. So Gallas confirmed as a Spud, I hope the make him captain 🙂

  97. Matty boy,

    I thought it soundedvery lively yesterday.

    I have a feeling though that the Emirates has more of I am here to be entertained. Less shouting harded Gooners.
    More chats on how rubbish we are, how Arsene is crazy, blind etc for playing……., while eating an apple or two.

  98. Well there goes his international career.

  99. Matty, I think it’s hard to keep the atmosphere going because the ground is so large, the singers are not all congregated together as you see with the away fans. It’s also testament to our football because when there is so much going on on the pitch you want to watch it, not be distracted by singing. For the Blackpool fans there was nothing to cheer from their team, so of course they sang to cheer themselves up.

    Maria, I don’t know how true the ‘failed medical’ reports are, but it would not be that much of a surprise for a 37 year old who recently missed a game because of ‘back problems’. Back problems seem to be an issue for goal keepers. Buffon has lost his edge due to back problems. Wigan’s Chris Kirkland has suffered from back problems for a while now and picking the ball out of the back of the net 10 times in the last 2 games can’t have helped much either.

  100. I was at the game yesterday. on my way south from N11 i had the misfortune of being stood on the tube next to a couple of ‘fans’ who were dicussing the merits of one Joan Moaniho; the crux of their argument being he knows how to win a league, evidently forgetting the hundreds of millions he has spent along with the huge ego and crap brand of football. Had i not been with a small child (attending his first match) I would have happily trapped both their heads in the closing doors of the tube!

    When I arrived I mentioned to my mate before hand how the atmosphere outside the ground was ‘one of muted expectation’.

    However as soon as I got to my usual seat i must say the atmosphere was better than normal; especially when they showed a selection of goals scored at the fabled Clockend and north bank. I am man enough to say a shiver went down my spine and a tear was bought to my eye!!

  101. Paulie Walnuts

    Excellent all round performance yesterday. Perfect in many ways.

    `89 clearly still rankles with Hansen. Even Lineker looked embarrassed for him.

    I wish more managers were like Holloway – what a breath of fresh air.

    If the Schwarzer medical rumour is true it`s a pity but not only because Arsene wanted him. The media bull will go into overdrive on the keeper front again.

    On Gallas, his best years are behind him & he doesn`t seem the type to provide cover for Dawson , King & Co without sulking the place out. I`ve not seen much of Squillaci but he could well be the sound , experienced centre back we need to take over from WG in the squad.

  102. According to ‘arry, the spuds are paying him less than he was offerred by Arsenal.

    Of course we know how good ‘arry is at sums. Ask the Inland Revebue.

  103. bradys right foot

    Maria I was told a week or so ago that Schwarzer has a long standing problem and this would be a concern if he went for a medical. The guy didn’t go into any more detai but i think the club probably were aware of a possible issue, its all unconfirmed at the minuite but it doesn’t look good..

  104. bradys right foot

    Maria I was told a week or so ago that Schwarzer has a long standing problem and this would be a concern if he went for a medical. The guy didn’t go into any more detai but i think the club probably were aware of a possible issue, its all unconfirmed at the minuite but it doesn’t look good.

  105. 1 loose cannon

    CB-I think its true, he is getting payed less, he has bluffed over his contract at Arsenal thinking clubs will be queueing for him but the reality is no one rate him that highly, Spurs is the best he can get, he has no other choice. he other possible thing is that he never got over the captaincy.

  106. That’s why Arsene likes to do things on the quiet – BRF. If this is true it’s hard on Schwarzer but would have been less damaging if the potential transfer had not been so public.

  107. Fulham equalise. Vidic with the turning circle of a supertanker.

  108. He has only got a one year deal as well. He could have got 2 years at Arsenal if he had been willing to take a pay cut.

  109. Passenal…Gazidis and Wenger have said that we sign less players than we ever make bids for and they haven’t released the numbers or the names that didn’t work out for whatever reason.

    Transfers are not that straight forward and I suppose not saying much about it makes sense until it happens.

    I doubt if Arsenal will opt to sign Shay Given though – as it looks like Wenger’s plan has always been to fill in the gap at GK until Tech 9 is ready. I don’t think Wenger wants to buy a keeper who will be at Arsenal for more than 2 years as that position may belong to Tech 9.

  110. Any chane Fab could go on loan with Dito as the second keeper. Tech 9 ready for CC outings.

  111. Do you actually have to commit murder to have a penalty given against you if you are manu?

    Absolutely disgraceful refereeing.

  112. I wonde where Joe is……

  113. ManU vs Fulham: Once again, one of England’s finest, Peter Walton, is having a shocker of a game. I fear the refs this season more tan I fear opposing teams. I truly do.

  114. Consolsbob – assault with a deadly weapon will do.

    Maria…LOL! why are you courting trouble by looking for Joe? He’ll say it was only Blackpool – wait until we beat Chelsea and Manure before he stops bitching.

  115. Shotta – Walton was in charge of the Shawcross Redemption….what more can you expect?

  116. Oh dear, I really am bored today. Just went over to Le goan….first paragraph is a gem. But i picked out a couple of others.

    “The naysayers of UK football often criticise lower league teams for not playing in the spirit of the game. Today was a fine demonstration of why the tactic of playing ‘football’ against better teams is a flawed policy.

    Blackpool were embarrassing. Without meaning to be derogatory, they looked like a group of Sunday league players and they played in a similar fashion. A bump back to reality after a dream start against Wigan.

    Theo looked like a man possessed. He clearly wanted to prove to me that he had fire in his belly and boy did he deliver. His decision making in the final third was a touch dodgy but his finishing was excellent as was his power and desire. I was hugely impressed by his hunger.

    He’s Adebayor with a touch and raw hard work. He missed some sitters but he tested the keeper and never let his head drop. His headed goal from a piss poor Robin corner was more than deserved and I honestly believe we have signed a gem.

    Cesc came on to rapturous applause but looked very mute about it. Maybe that’s him… he didn’t look pleased to be there.”

  117. Bob – It seems Vidic must strangle a player while pulling his shirt for a penalty to be taken.

    BTW: Did you see Hangeland up front on the left in possession? Is that the type of player the whingers want AW to sign for our club?

  118. …to be given.

  119. Maria…I know you were asking about our LB Mr. Clichy earlier.

    Did you see how Damien Duff skinned Evra for the Fulham goal? If Duff can do that, Theo is laughing…

  120. Almunia: Looks like a man on death row. Dealt with everything adequately today, made one howler with a drop kick which was met with crowd derision. 6

    Rosicky: Couldn’t remember him playing really. He brings people into the game, but he needs to offer a bit more product for me. 6.5

    Arshavin: I think he is very lazy but I still love him. Wish he’d pull his socks up and track back occasionally. 5

    Chamakh: Great work rate, dodgy finishing at time… but will be a good signing for us. 7

    Walcott: All over the place, looked like a £60k a week player today. Excellent hatrick! 9

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

    I can’t stop laughing worse than Hansen yesterday, these guys are clowns of a altogather different quality to the ones that come on ACLF.

  121. Maria, why do that to yourself? The comment about Rosicky tells you all you need to know about how little they understand the game.

  122. The only criterion they judge players by is goals. Hence why they hate Almunia so much. 🙂

  123. I think you are a bit rough on Rosicky. I think he had several assists and key passes that lead to goals. The sublime pass to Arshavin, who then set up Theo, for example. Rosicky himself got the ball to Theo countless times while he was in dangerous areas. He didn’t get a goal for himself, but I am convinced that without Rosicky we would not have won that convincingly.

    Anyway, when I see the team there is only one thing that springs instantly to my mind: the greatest team the world has ever seen!

  124. Darius,

    The question wasn’t about ability with Clichy….I mean he is Clichy best left-back in the PL.( Still can’t believe that pop eyed fool is ahead of him for France, doubt he will be for much longer.)

    What I was wondering about about is the change to his game. With Rosicky back to his 08 best I was watching some old games from that season and there was a stark difference between him then and now.

  125. ooh, I see it’s 1-1 at Craven Cottage. I hope I haven’t jinxed it by noticing.

  126. Poor ManU have to play without Roins and suddenly they struggle to get a result against Fulham? Oh, those poor boys!

  127. Evil,

    Those AREN’T my ratings. I copied and pasted from Le groan for your amusment.

    TR7 was MOTM along with Theo for me.

    Little Mozart had the team playing some beautiful music yesterday.

  128. I knew that would happen.

  129. Hangeland own goal.

  130. FG,

    YOU DIDDD!!!!!!!!!!!

    2-1 NOW!!

  131. Oh, I see, Maria. That explains everything. Sorry for accusing you. 😦

    But honestly, how blind are they at Le Groan…?

  132. Even more disgraceful.

  133. FG! What are you doing noticing? I see manure’s top goal scorer from last season aka ‘own goal’ is back to help them out of a tight corner.

  134. Own Goal to the rescue for ManU. Sustained pressure if you look deeper. But all of last year’s weaknesses still exist especially their midfield which is ageing and lack of creativity. Good enough to beat middling teams but I am not sure about the title.

    Penalty save by Stockdale as I type.

  135. Great equaliser.

  136. Bob: 2-2 all. Who says justice is blind?

  137. Evil,

    LOL. It’s kool.

  138. How many minutes left guys?

  139. 2-2! Hangeland is clearly one of our secret agents.

  140. Well shotta, either justice is blind or Walton is.

    The only alternatives to that is that he is crooked, frightened of SAF or just completely incompetent.

  141. FG @ 5:52pm – Ha. Ha. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!

  142. I agree with captain Bob @ 5:54pm.

    Be very afraid of the refs this season. They are Man Utd’s secret weapon.

  143. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY

    Stupid U2 fan missed a pen. LOL

  144. Passenal,

    What did they say about Rosicky on MOTD ?

  145. What do you mean THIS season, sg? The refs have been like that for years!

  146. I stand corrected FG.

    How long can Man Utd continue papering over the cracks with Giggs and Scholes? Even the solidity they used to enjoy at the back is gradually crumbling.

  147. Muppet,

    Nothing. Just the Theo bashing and a little comment about Blackpool’s defending that was all we got from the fossils.

  148. Muppet.

    MOTD said fuck all…they wouldn’t know what to say about Little Mozart if they tried. Didn’t even mention his name. They spent all the time slating Theo for not having a footballing brain.

    Does anyone notice that having had the toughest opening fixture – away from home at that – we’re still firmly at the sharp end of the table?

    One commentator said after Manure scored the first goal that they alongside CtheChavs will be the only team with 100% record left in the prem. Presumptuous prick.

  149. Ian Holloway on aRSNEAL.

  150. Thanks Maria.

    I heard Hansen’s comments about Walcott. I mean, really, how much analysis can you give about a guy who has only played about 60 matches in his career, and his spent most of it injured ? Whether we agree with Hansen, that Walcott’s decision making is poor if he has time to think about it… .how about letting the guy play a couple of full seasons, and then make a judgment ?

  151. Darius,

    It’s a tired show, with a tired format, that’s badly in need of a revamp with some credible pundits of international experience. The way MOTD pundits last year, led by the odious Shearer, condoned the Shawcross challenge, was just preposterous.

  152. Sorry, Darius, yes, I get the point about Rosicky. Plays a top class match and doesn’t get a mention, but you can bet that if it was Scholes, Lampard or Rooney it would have been analysed and lauded.

  153. I liked this chant.

    He’s five foot four, He’s five foot fourrrrr,

    We’ve got Arshavin

    F*** ADEBAYOR!!!!

  154. Muppet,

    I agree and they are the same ‘plundits’ that banged on about Holland’s approach to the final a few months later was a joke, for all to see.

  155. Muppet.

    Licence fee payers are seriously short changed by having those clowns sitting there every week and being paid using public money. At least the plundits at Sky and Talk shite are paid using commercial revenue.

  156. Limestonegunner

    Like everyone I was really pleased for Chamakh to score in the home opener after doing so much throughout the game. I have a feeling he will turn out to be a favourite because of his excellent attitude, intensity as a worker, relentless and intelligent movement pulling defenses around, his skillful passing and playing in of teammates in dangerous positions in and around the box, and above all his courage and physical bravery. He may not finish as efficiently as some all the chances his positioning and movement will produce right away, but I can see him giving defenses in the league something new to fear when they play Arsenal.

    What I liked best about our performance was the ruthlessness and concentration. Too often we have failed to kill off teams.

    Of course that was made easier by the fact that Blackpool bravely continued to play football, even when they went down. Everyone else will talk about how naive this is but frankly it just shows how cynical the league has become. I was glad that Wenger really praised Blackpool and I wish them well, hoping their attacking play may catch some other teams off-guard.

    I am surprised that many in the above comments assume that Koscielny would start ahead of a possible new CB signing. If the new CB is either Squillaci or Ciani (and Squillaci is obviously being pursued when you see the sky sports interview Wenger gave after the match), both of these are established CB’s with Champions League clubs. Squillaci in particular has played well for three CL clubs and is mature and at 30 not remotely over the hill for a central defender of quality.

    Koscielny has played quite well overall (some ups and downs in preseason but a strong performance against Liverpool) and showed a fighting spirit and toughness that I love and was so endearing to us about Vermaelen as well. But he hasn’t necessarily even established himself as being ahead of Djourou who has been out injured. I think the CB partner for Vermaelen is open for competition. We should have depth there which is great and quite heartening, but it would have been good to have all contenders playing and training earlier to insure a good understanding in the partnership. I think it will take a bit of time to work this out as players return from injury and come into the team. Luckily, we have a run of games against teams without the most accomplished attacking threat, though there will be plenty to worry about from the set piece and long ball specialists that have often troubled us.

  157. Maria…if Holland were Stoke or Blackburn playing Arsenal in that final, all the English pundits will have lauded them for a performance filled with grit and steel.

    They would have been praised for getting into Arsenal’s faces and doing what they had to do. Arsenal would have been accused of being soft and spineless and a team of johnny foreigners who don’t understand the brand of English football that makes it the best brand in the world.

  158. Why isn’t Keown on more? He has been benched for some reason.

  159. I’d love to see Stewart Robson on MOTD. At least he’d get proper use out of the graphics software they almost certainly spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on. The “tactical analysis” on that show is a joke. Although Lee Dixon on MOTD2 is quite good.

  160. All in all, a lovely football weekend. ManU look like a hard-working top 7 side, just the way I like it. Chelsea look assured and chuffed, puffed out chests and all, we’ll see when they play top half, not botton 4 sides, and do not atsrt with their strongest 11. Arsenal look commanding with 4 or 5 top regulars not even starting. I like it this way.

  161. Maria
    Shame. MK knows whereof he speaks.

  162. we’re working our way into the season….

  163. And that is what pisses me off. It’s like everything is in rational to results. If Spain had lost they would be completely rubbished for the way of playing.

  164. Darius/Maria,

    The biggest laugh was Hansen’s premiership prediction, where Arsenal wouldn’t finish in the top 4, and Liverpool would finish 3rd. Ok, I am prepared to accept this type of prediction based on some rationale, but not on the basis of the arrival of Roy Hodgson and Joe Cole. My words may come back to haunt me, but I just cannot fathom the thinking of Hansen here.

  165. *relation

  166. Stewart Robson on MOTD will be a breath of fresh air.

    But will the Philistines in charge even understand that he’s more tactically aware than the punks they employ?

    Robson is regarded highly by many broadcasters who seek him to commentate on different football tournaments around Europe. There’s one particular game that my wife commented that she wishes the commentator was employed by Sky simply because he spoke a lot of sense and seemed to know what he was talking about.

    When I listened in – it was Stewart Robson.

  167. He did a Phil Thompson I see. Well we will see.

  168. Ah, I see your problem, Muppet.

    Trying to fathom the ‘thinking’ of Hansen. He doesn’t think, he pontificates.

  169. Roy Hodgson is a good manager, and Joe Cole is a good player… but is this going to catapult them into 3rd place ? I mean… did over £100 million pounds of new talent arrive a Liverpool in the summer, which would explain why they will jump 3 or 4 places in the league ?

  170. Maria – I politely object to you giving all that publicity to le-gloom. Those guys are the scum of the earth, consciously appealing to the lowest denominator in the Arsenal support. I have consciously ignored them, faithful to Darius and Captain Bob urgings that we tune out the enemies of Arsenal and enjoy the season.

  171. Yep, Stew now is a regular on TS. So if those fools can see his class the BBC shouldn’t be to far behind.

    I hate the way Lawro is afraid to take Hansen on. When Gary tried to defend Theo he jumps in with some nonesense about Blackpool.

  172. But you don’t understand, Muppet. Liverpool will be back in the top four because…er….um…because they are Liverpool! Do you see the logic now?

  173. Muppet.

    This is a guy who last season swore that Liverpool will win the title and Arsenal will finish out of the top 4…

    If someone at BBC actually did a performance assessment on MOTD staff of the sort many of us face at work, I suspect most of these guys wwold be put through a capability test before being handed a P45 for incompetence.

    The
    only reason plausible for his predictions is that he hates Arsenal.

  174. Darius,

    The thing that really annoys me about Hansen is that he is happy to point out any what he appears to see as deficiencies about arsenal – the usual phrases “soft centre”, “don’t like it up them” etc etc… but Liverpool don’t have any deficiencies or weaknesses, which is a bit strange considering their league table position last year.

  175. Here is my selection of loyal comments from man u fans at their blog:

    ”Fuck you Johnny Evans. I hope that hairdryer turns your scrotum into a depleted uranium rod.”

    ”Nani needs a fucking rocket up his ass for missing that pen….cost us a win i reckon”

    ”Nani you gormless twat ….a 2 step run up….. Jesus, what a prune”

    hahah bloody hilarious comments from united fans

  176. I warned you about all this!!!

    Laugh to scorn.

  177. It is actually amazing how the table sorts itself out so quickly at the top, already the top 3 in their places.

    And how about newcastle’s 6-0 slapping of villa!! Cant wait for MOTD2

  178. Howay the lads!

  179. Finsbury @ 2.25pm

    I was just reading in a magazine that in Ukraine Dynamo Kiev and Shaktar Donetsk have taken all 26 places in the Champions League since 1994-95. As ‘OptaJoe’ would say on twitter… Duopoly.

  180. Can’t wait for CWD4CESC’s Blackpool videos. I reckon he might do Rosicky and Theo this week.

  181. What was that Limpar? Have you lost all ability to communicate in English since this morning?

    Hard luck sir.

  182. Шахтар Донецьк

  183. Наилучшим образом, that’ s совсем хороший но может вы получить любую помощь?

  184. Que he hecho yo para merecer esto?

  185. Hold on… was yours Russian poetry?

  186. I try and make all my posts poetry Limpar. You have so much to learn.

  187. A realy wonderful summary Limpar. A lot of fun!

    We’re so good it’s scary. Theres a freshness, a newness. Theres always been pizaz but my god. Add 1 defender and we have it all. I couldn’t be happier.

    Add that to the fact that Nasri, Ramsey and Denilson are yet to return. Van Persie and Fabregas yet to return to full fitness….scary.

  188. If anyone saw Brede Hangeland against United today …. He is worth a decent splash.i know we are spoilt pretty much all over the pitch but he would be a blinding signing. He was phenomenal against united. But hey lets enjoy what we’ve got and hold on tight for the ride

  189. Breaking news (via Twitter) – Sevilla saying Squillaci is having a medical with us tomorrow and agreement reached.

  190. Young Guns say the fee is in the order of £8 Million, €10 million euros.

  191. Centre back signing next a keeper

  192. Young Guns update:

    “Marca say Squillaci fee is €6.5 million euros (£5.3 million pounds). Superb business for an experienced French international.”

    Thought that £8 millon was a bit steep !

  193. Paulie Walnuts

    Hansen is a dinosaur & even more blinkered than Pinocchio over at Sky.

    We need Stewart Robson to join Keown & Dixon on the sofa for proper impartial punditry.

    So Squillaci is on his way then. Can`t we buy someone whose name is easy to spell / pronounce – or what about an English lad like Jagi-thingy

  194. is squillaci even any good all i know is he’s 30 and his name. DId he play for france this WC?

  195. Further to earlier comments about the atmosphere at yesterdays game, I might be at a disadvantage in that respect as I sit near the away fans. Should have mentioned that really 🙂

    The unveiling of the clock was indeed a lump in the throat moment as the clips of old were shown on the big screen.

    As for Hansen, we all know what a prat he is. Predicting Liverpool to win last year and finish above us this year! I think he has a problem with his decision making. And the irony of it all is, is that Theo is a massive Liverpool fan, I wonder if Pratty is aware, it changes everything for him I’m sure!

    All the Theo and Diaby haters seemed to be quietly eating their humble pie today safely in the knowledge that they could be pundits on MOTD soon.

  196. Vermaelan was immense yesterday. Fast becoming one of the best Centre Backs in the league for me.

  197. Matty Boy, I’m not sure I’d describe Theo as a ‘massive’ ‘pool fan. His dad certainly was, but I think Theo liked Michael Owen and Thierry Henry, so he was always available for turning to the light side!

  198. MOTD failed to say anything positive about the game, and even when they talked about Walcott “An English player” who scored a hat-trick, they highlighted what was wrong with him, not what was good. How on hell they think that a player should always be %100 accurate? Who is? No player is perfect, no human is perfect.

    What a poor excuse for the three idiot involved in this show, it would be much better if they just show the highlights and shut the hell up.

  199. Zap

    yes he is good.Experienced at CL and International level.He will partner TV with Kos as cover

  200. Ronnie…

    That’s not the correct answer – LOL! You should be saying that “he’s tall and strong”. That’s the only thing these bloody punks know.

  201. Sevilla have confirmed they have accepted an offer from Arsenal for defender Sebastien Squillaci.

    http://www.myfootballnews.co.uk/news_jump.html?team_id=1&story=94399

  202. Limpar:

    Another great post. Great game yesterday. Theo was great. I do not see any reason why he can not score 15 – 20 goals per year from a wide position. Vela and Walcott on our wings could devastating for years to come. Arshavin had his head up yesterday and made some good passes. We were solid at the back with only 1 dodgy moment when they could have scored the equalizing header at the back post. Great to see us keep our concentration for 90 minutes and keep a clean sheet.

    I will be very sorry if the rumours about Schwarzers medical are true. If we need a new GK then we should get one. The boss would not be looking for a new keeper if he was really comfortable with the options we have. I hope there are other options that we are actively exploring. This team has soooooo much potential and we need to go everything within reason to give this teams its best chance to win.

  203. SQUILACI was part of the Monaco team that reached the C.L final in 2004 he also won 2 titles with Lyon so he has plenty of experience and I guess he was signed precisely for the C.L .as we know Defenders don’t get a mention on youtube hardly any clips of him defending. Never mind Squillaci just listen to this funny comentator

  204. the commentator had an orgasm i gesss 😛

  205. That’s what I find annoying about You Tube 1lc, they only seem to show defenders scoring when what you want to see is how they defend!

  206. “Everyone thinks they have the most beautiful wife at home,” Arsène Wenger remarked when Sir Alex Ferguson attempted to argue that, although Arsenal had won the championship in 2002, Manchester United had played the better football. Nobody ever called Chelsea beautiful. Even when José Mourinho shifted the balance of power in London to Stamford Bridge, his teams were still portrayed as the great clunking fist.

    Arsenal might have missed out on the trophies, but they were still English football’s undisputed stylists, using it as a comfort blanket just as those bands whose record sales will never match those of an X Factor winner pore over their glittering reviews in the NME. No longer.

    It is not just the sheer quantity of Chelsea’s goals – 29 in their past five league matches – that is remarkable, but their quality. The first against Wigan featured a beautiful, surprisingly delicate touch from Didier Drogba, pulled back by Ashley Cole for Frank Lampard, who brought it instinctively under control. His shot was saved, but Florent Malouda rolled the rebound into the net. It was Chelsea’s first attack of any note and the game was 33 minutes old.

    “It is difficult to know why people think that Arsenal play the better football,” Malouda said. “Even when we finished top, people still said Arsenal played better than us. But you are seeing an evolution since the manager [Carlo Ancelotti] came in. We are scoring more goals and keeping more clean sheets and that is what it is all about if you want to win the league.

    “You have to be efficient but, when you see a team like Chelsea scoring so many goals, I hope people recognise our quality. But we are not playing for glory; we are playing to win. You can say we have a killer instinct because we know that, if we have any kind of opportunity, we have to kill the game.

    During France’s catastrophic World Cup, Malouda was the footballer most usually pushed in front of the cameras to explain the latest reverse – a role Lampard is usually given with England. Here, in the corridors of the DW Stadium, Malouda explained how Ancelotti encouraged his players to continually keep moving. How Drogba dropped deeper to release Salomon Kalou and Nicolas Anelka, who each scored twice as Wigan, having more than held their own in the first half, disintegrated.

    Kalou, he said, “could feel where the ball was going to be”. It is, as Ancelotti pointed out, probably no coincidence that so many of his players returned early from the World Cup and spent the rest of the summer nursing their hurt.

    “If you have character, then after a problem you must be motivated, but I think the English players are taking more motivation from the World Cup,” he said. “John Terry, Lampard and Cole are showing very good physical condition.” The first of that trio, however, may have been fortunate not to have been dismissed after becoming embroiled in a spat with Charles N’Zogbia while on a yellow card.

    It is not essential to have come home early from South Africa to shine – Bastian Schweinsteiger, the surging force behind Germany’s campaign, scored Bayern Munich’s winner against Wolfsburg on Friday night. However, it probably helps. As does the fact that Chelsea are a team that not only go for the jugular, but look to tear the carcass apart.

    Last season they scored four goals or more against 12 of their opponents and have begun this campaign with a pair of 6-0 romps. Roman Abramovich’s gripes about the lack of entertainment he got for his roubles seem very distant, although Ancelotti would know they contributed to the downfall of first Mourinho and then Luiz Felipe Scolari.

    “We play for 90 minutes because people who come to the stadium pay to watch 90 minutes,” is how Ancelotti responded when asked why Chelsea do not ease off when the game is palpably won – something Arsenal were wont to do.

    Wigan have negotiated heavy defeats before under Roberto Martínez and they were the better side for extended periods of the first half. However, their humbling by the supposed sacrificial offering that is Blackpool and the fact that on Saturday they travel to Spurs, where they lost 9-1 in November, have meant the first chimes of a crisis have begun to crackle through the DW Stadium. Titus Bramble suddenly seems a great, lost leader and should he and Sunderland win here on 11 September that crisis may be unmanageable.

  207. Lifted from Arshavin’s site.

    21.08.2010

    August 21, 2010. London. Matchday 2. Arsenal 6-0 Blackpool

    There were 60,032 people at the Emirates today. A newcomer of the League came to represent the club at one of the best football stadiums of the world. After the draw in Liverpool, the fans of the North London team demanded from their squad not only victory, they wanted to see some impressive football, with plenty of goals, goals in the guests’ gate. A colorful, festive atmosphere reigned at the Emirates. The famous song “London calling” turned the stands on even before the beginning of the game. The Emirates demanded a spectacle. Soon, the start of the new season at the Emirates was announced. The fans started to unroll their huge banners to the sound of the fireworks: the one behind the gate said: «We are the clock end». On the opposite side was written: «We are The North Band». The energy of the stands immediately passed on to the team. And the guys didn’t let us down. 6-0. It all began with Andrey Arshavin. It was he who organized the first goal. Soon he managed to hit the opponent’s gate himself, scoring a goal from a penalty. After the score became 2-0, the game was done.

    arshavin.eu: Andrey, congratulations on a good start at the Emirates!
    AA: Yeah, it’s always nice to win, but to win with such a score is even better. But, objectively speaking, I think that the game didn’t turn out that easy for us. Prior to that penalty, after which Blackpool was left in the minority, the rival confidently defended itself, they tried to counter-attack and might have even scored. Of course, after the second goal and sending off, they had nothing left to oppose us with. I think that later on, we used our opportunities and could have won even by a larger margin. Well, today we are glad that we started well at home.

    arshavin.eu: After the game, the fans didn’t want to let you go. Was it difficult to leave the stadium?
    AA: Our fans are in a good mood today and so is the team.

    arshavin.eu: Back to the game. The first combination, followed by Theo’s goal, was one of the best in the match. Tell us about it.
    AA: At first, we put some passes together with Chamakh, then with Rosicky. After Theo joined us, my task was to give him an easy-to-use pass, after which he didn’t have to think, but strike the ball in the corner. And that was exactly what he did.

    arshavin.eu: Penalty. It was unexpected to see you in the striker’s role.
    AA: Before the match Arsene wrote a list of our penalty kick takers. My name was the first one. Frankly, I do not remember the last time I performed a penalty. I guess it was 5 or 6 years ago. I’m glad that I managed to score a goal, my first official goal this season.

    arshavin.eu: Are you going to kick the next penalties too? For luck is important in football.
    AA: I do not know. Everything will depend on Arsene’s decision and the players on the pitch.

    arshavin.eu: Is it hard to come back on the pitch after the break, leading 3-0 ?:)))
    AA: I wish we always came out to play after the half-time break having three goals in our pocket ;))) By the way; we start the second half in the majority for the second time.

    arshavin.eu: 6-0. Is it your way of saying “Hi” to Chelsea?
    AA: No, it’s just a victory. It’s just three points. In order to fight for the championship, we should beat such teams. By the way, Chelsea also scored 6 against Wigan.

    arshavin.eu: Your next rival is stronger.
    AA: We have a very important game against Blackburn. We should win in order to leave without any worries for a break caused by the participation of the players in the national teams. This will give confidence to the team. In addition, we haven’t forgotten about the defeat against Blackburn at the end of the last season.

    arshavin.eu: Are you immediately going to Moscow after that game?
    AA: Yes, I’m going to London after the game and then in the evening I’m flying to Russia.

    arshavin.eu: Do you know that the English Championship is now broadcasted in Russia by one of the free channels. What does it mean to you?
    AA: On the one hand, we should not think about such things, one must always go out and play football. On the other hand, of course, I’m glad that many people in Russia support me. Of course, it gives certain positive energy and motivation.

  208. steckelenburg is the goalkeeper we need.

  209. Apparently Squillaci is coming in for a medical as it is confirmed on the sevilla official site. The figure quoted is 6.5 Million Pounds.

    http://www.sevillafc.es/_www/actualidad.php?op=not&id=18304

  210. Although the mirror quotes 4 Million pounds. Bet no one has a clue about the actual amount.

  211. Keysersoze

    The figure of 6.5 Million Pounds (=8 Million Euros) comes from the valuation of Sevilla – they stated that they’re willing to let him go for 8 Million Euros.

    However, I don’t think Arsene and Ivan would’ve paid the whole quote. Somthing in the region of 6.5 Million Euros (Not Pounds), hence 5 Million Pounds, sounds more probable.

    But who cares – we’ve got our man 😀 (depending on the medical, of course).

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