Arsene Wenger is the best for Arsenal.

I think this is the last of the articles contributed by the stand in team, and I would like to thank YW for extending the opportunity for all of us to pen a post or two, for it has been an interesting experience. Certainly, I think it gives an insight into the commitment of YW, who has been churning out a daily blog for at least the last 4 years or so.

This is the 3rd of my posts, and I wanted to set the record straight on something which can cause a lot of argument. Expectation. It is, I think, the basis of a lot of division amongst Arsenal fans, and blogs.  There is a lot of miscommunication about  expectation. There are those, amongst the more doomerish crowd, who believe that every pro Wenger fan thinks that we will win the title, we will win the champions league, and so they take great delight in pouring opprobrium on who they call the AKBs, when we fail to win a trophy, as has been the case in recent seasons.

As an AKB, let’s set the record straight. I do not expect to win a trophy, in the sense that, I pay for my season ticket and if they do not deliver I will forfeit it as it is not good enough etc. When the AKBs speak confidently about the team, like Frank last year, it is just about positive expectation in the form of a prediction. It is hyping up the team and saying we are better than Barcelona or whoever. Come on, we know we are one of the best teams in the world !

However, the doomer crowd, it seems, expects that we should win the champions league or the premiership as in a demand. Anything less is a failure. There are slightly more moderate doomers, perhaps less expectant, who want, “a trophy” – even if it is the Carling Cup.

But the AKBs do not “expect”, in the sense that it is a demand, the premiership or “Champions League”. I have long debated doomers on this subject, and I do not believe that I have ever received a credible reply from any of them, as to why we should “expect” to overhaul Barcelona, Manchester United or Chelsea, on our resources. There are some proffered  answers, like, we have money and the board are not spending, or, Wenger is at fault because he has not spent. These answers try to suggest that we have the resources. But when one points out the sheer magnitude of the resources available at Man City or Chelsea, the doomer position is then that we should be buying players that are available for less money. Players are then suggested who were available once, for such and such a sum, and Wenger did not act. This is held up as an example of Wenger’s stubborness and lack of acumen in the transfer market. For me, arguing that we should be more efficient in the transfer market is highly ironic; it is an involuntary admission that Wenger’s philosophy is right, and incredibly, ignores Wenger’s record in the market anyway, which is pretty much unparalleled.

People do not like being cornered in arguments. So they wriggle. You cannot, it seems, argue that it is about resources. If you do, they argue that it is about philosophy – “Wenger doesn’t teach defence”. On the other hand,  if it is not about resources, why then complain about the lack of funds from the board ? The doomers want to set the bar incredibly high, the premise is that we should at least win a trophy, if not the major 2 trophies. It doesn’t seem to matter who is in the firing line. There is no loyalty to the board, Wenger or the players – it’s the club that counts.

Whilst the loftiest of the doomer expectations are not quite being met, I will still believe that Wenger is the best for Arsenal. Not just because of the free flowing beautiful football, the stability of the club, the fantastic stadium, but because, ironically, he is the one who should be able to deliver what the doomers are demanding.  He is managing to overachieve on a relatively small transfer budget. Yes, it is true that we do have a high wage bill, but it is also true that there is still a pool of players who are beyond our reach. For this reason it is wrong, and has always been wrong to suggest that we have underachieved. We have always overachieved. If one was to look up our net spend, one would not expect to see us so high in the domestic tables and made so much progress in the champions league. This is why Wenger should be lauded and not castigated in some quarters.

On the news front,  the word today is that Sebastien Squillaci is due for a medical at arsenal. Let’s wish him luck with that and hope he will be a good acquisition for arsenal. There were also some rumours that Schwarzer failed a medical (this was on Talk Sport – so do we discount it ?!).

Posted on August 23, 2010, in Arsenal. Bookmark the permalink. 318 Comments.

  1. LOL @ Jaymin. Great post Muppet.

  2. Johnny Massacre

    Anyone who says “muppet” is a knob.

  3. I missed the game as I was away all weekend, but from what I saw in the highlights we looked blistering.

    Theo looked like he had a great game, and a good goal as well from Diaby.

    Looks like Squillaci is on his way….I wonder where he will feature in the pecking order to partner TV5?

  4. First –

  5. What a way to start my posting carrier on Un Pied Gauche Bien-Éduqué. I have been reading the post around here for a while and i have decided to contribute to the debate. The articles on this blog are very balanced and portray exactly what should be the attitude me a supporter. He MUST support when he can, support when he cannot and only support. Whenever he feels like questioning something, he is free to do so while bearing in mind that he doesn’t know more than the people directing the affairs of the club. Anyway, great post Muppet. YW should ensure that this isn’t the last of Limpar, Darius, Bob, Steww and you. You did a great job go his absence.

  6. damnnnnnnn – i thought i was in for once!!!!!!

  7. spot on again mate

  8. There’s word around that monsieur Squilaci will be with us for the next three years. Soyez le bienvenu. Vous êtes chez vous! The squad is sorted and the dressing room is sain. We’re ready to go.

  9. I am more excited for the team this year. How so?? The squad and sub bench can make a difference. The match against Liverpool – we were shell shocked when ‘pool took the lead. Wenger changed things around and got a result
    I think in the squad of 25, Denilson will be the only player who is not an international. As compared to previous years, there will be competition just to sit on the bench!! Wow. To the ctitics of labelling us as a bunch of kids..they should look at the squad in its entirety and thenumber of games each of them had played at the top level.

  10. Interesting if we get Squillaci, we would have 4 defenders who can be realistically think that they have a deserved claim on the starting spot. Good times.

  11. Who told u the trueth. That people they didn.t know. Thank man

  12. Hi Muppet – good stuff!
    Congratulations to the whole team over the last few days – inspirational blogging.

    The subject of the defence is a funny issue. I looked up the numbers of goals conceded under George Graham per season and realised that the defence under Arsene has actually been better and more consistent within the numbers of goals let in per championship.

    During his time in charge the GC defence averaged approx 36 goals against while AW’s defensive unit have averaged 35

    all the best

  13. That is the essence of support for me Muppet. Hope, aspire, dream and celebrate it when it happens but don’t expect to win, don’t expect that all other sides will do worse than we will.

    Football is a sport. All results are possible. Fate is capricious. Enjoy your football. Appreciate that you support one of the best teams in the world. Best in so many senses.

    It is in the ridiculous expectation of winning all the time that the misery of doomerdom lies. Hubris. The defeat of reason.

  14. arsenal reserves beat shamrock rovers 3-1
    apparently shwarzer failed a medical on friday something to do with his knee ( unconfirmed)
    squillaci set to sign today hes no nonsense keown like centre back good in air , quite intelligent but slow. but our defence look like they have worked more on the offside trap and the front attacking 3 look to close play down from the front a la barcelona. i think squillaci will be behind koscelny in the pecking order as koscelny has done very well in all his games and was our first defensive purchase.

  15. i believe he is a good addition to the side,but with wat we have seen about LK6 at liverpool n in the preseason matches,Squillaci will be third on pecking other,but it is good for arsenal because it will give us the depth needed at the heart of the defence…………………….debby

  16. Consolsbob – you weren’t kidding.

  17. Arsene knows best, because he knows best.

    Nothing institutional about it really.

  18. Did we lose to Wigan, Blackburn and draw at Birmingham at the back end of last season coz of lack of resources?
    I dont expect us to win the epl or champions league anytime soon or as long as Wenger remains in charge. The myth thet we play free flowing football should end……we last played free flowing football with the invincibles. All we do now is pass the ball sideways and around the penalty box.MOst of the teams actually let us have the
    ball, and always score on the break when the passes which matter fail. MANU and Chelsea are way ahead of us in terms of passing, movement and effective football at the moment.

    No one has ever asked Wenger to compete with City or chelsea in the transfer…..but why does he go into the season with a thin squad. Why did we start the season with Almunia in goals when we can buy a decent keeper for 5million pounds. Are City and Chelsea also competing to sign Schwarzer and Squilaci. Dont we have money to sign two 5 million pound players????

  19. Jena – you have a point regarding our sideways football, but virtually all of the goals on Sat were the result of direct fast free flowing football. We need to keep that style of playing going.

    Arshavin and Theo are certainly not suited to “sideways football” and are more direct. And we looked much better for it.

  20. When is YW back?

  21. Mongolian Gooner

    First. Well, from Mongolia anyway.

    One day (I hope way later than sooner) we will face the most difficult task. Replacing Arsene Wenger. But who ever comes in, is lucky. Because he will have his foundation prepared. All thanks to a great visionary project initiated, executed and delivered by Arsene Wenger.

    AKB indeed.

  22. The last week has demonstrated your strength in depth Yogi – great contributions. Like Rosicky stepping up in Cesc’s absence, you should be proud of your squad members. We are, of course, looking forward to your return, but it’s good to see ACLF can still turn on the quality when you’re sidelined.

  23. Malaysiangunner

    Muppet et all

    Good job filling in for YW in his absence.

    Muppet your ideal fan or supporter is far and few between and I question that it is an ideal. AW knows a lot more than us but can hardly be considered infallible. He and the squad will always be judged both in winning trophies and the way they compete on the field. Welcome to reality. Well meaning fans will always try armchair managing. They will see weaknesses and I find many knowlegeble and more importantly well meaning. This is not a religion where questioning AW becomes blasphemous. No blind faith for the Arsenal supporters.

    I am glad we are signing Squilaci an international class defender. Now we need an experience GK.

    Last Saturdays game was phenomenal and I am very happy to see Theo living up to the weigh of expectations that has been piled on him. Not going to teh WC was the best thing that could happen to him. Now we see hunger and bite.

    No Fear. We Are The Arsenal

  24. Good wekend for us, keep the atitude right, keep players reatively fit, didnt think much of man u yesterday. its ours for the taking, couple of solid signings. Players still not %100 as well. Biggest laugh of the week for me, i sat back and laughed at all the sudden “friends of Theo society” He is the next TH14, always said it cause its true

  25. To be honest, I never liked the term AKB. I bet Arsene hates it. Something slightly derogatory behind the inference. He is a technically gifted manager, massively ambitious, humble, and loyal to a fault, but at the end of the day his success is down to hard work, like any field of endeavour.

    I don’t give a damn about any old trophy because what Wenger and Co. are building at Arsenal is much more ambitious than that. It’s a legacy.

    Anyway, looking forward to Skilly the Magnificent.

  26. On yesterday’s showing ManU will inevitably struggle unlessroonet plays every match. the much hyped Valencia, Nani and Hernandez are only just above average.

    Chelsea are indeed excellent, but only if they can put out 11 of their first 13 players every match, and especially the top 6.

    Arsenal has so much more depth. It’s in the planning.

  27. Zim – The team needs to win things to be remembered though. And I think we will.

  28. another good writing muppet 🙂

    i always dream arsenal win every major trophies available. each season. each year.

    still ‘expecting’ shottagunna, olegunner and passenal to write in tho.

  29. We are well stocked in the forward and midfield area’s I think.

    I don’t think Manure will struggle, in fact the opposite they will again challenge. That said, if Scholes misses a significant amount of games they could be founf wanting in midfield.

    I fancy us to finish above them though.

  30. Flint McCullough

    Well said Muppett.

    The crucial point is that there is never a reply to a reasoned response to an AAA’s outburst.

    Diamindave has pointed out that AW’s defensive record stands up pretty well against GG’s overall yet we will still get the “we need a defensive coach” stuff, even though none of them knows what goes on in the training ground.

    Jena is apparently here saying that we don’t score goals & we always (note always) concede on counter attacks. Yep we do concede too many from the hoof over the top & that does need attention but a developing team, since we have been at the Emirates, has scored 289 PL goals against 300 from 00/01-03/4, when the previous team was at its peak. A difference of 2.75 goals per season. Not too shabby in my opinion & my guess is that gap is going to be closed big time in the next few seasons.

    Perhaps there will be a riposte with some actual facts but I very much doubt it.

  31. Flint – It is not GG’s defensive record we need to be bettering though, it is Chelsea’s and Manure’s.

  32. Not a fickle Arsenal fan

    A great read to lift my spirits for this forthcoming season, I’ll support Arsenal win or lose.

    If AKB works, and it ain’t broke, why change it?-Why don’t the moaners understand this simple premise.

    These doomers NEVER come up with an alternative manager for starters! So who would or should have continued the Arsenal legacy into the 20th Century?

  33. Muppet,great work.

    Jena/Malasyian gunner you two are missing the point.We are not saying Wenger doesnt have his shortcomings, coz no one is perfect,we are appreciating that he has done marvelous things for our club. As someone in a previous post commented “winning trophies is not the be all and end all of football”there can only be 1 winner in 20 teams.

  34. The coming weeks are going to be crucial for Theo. With Nasri injured (assuming that is where he would have played once Cesc returned) he has a great opportunity to cement a place in the side.

    He can’t afford to many slip up’s because with RvP back to fitness there is real quality competition for starting berth’s in the front 3. Arshavin/RvP/Chamakh/Walcott is a good a rota as anybody in the lge. And also nice is the fact that they all strikers with goal threat instead of midfielders in advanced position.

  35. Jena, you are so clueless if you think that sideway pass means crap football. The best teams in the world pass the ball until a gap opens in the defence and then you get the killer pass. If you like only forward pass go and see Blackburn and their kick and rush tactics! You live in another century if you think this tactic is the best around.

    As for the thin squad argument, I’ll point to you the 25 man squad rule. We actually maximised our squad as with the arrival of Squillaci we will fill all of our 25 man position with plenty of youth.
    Chelsea for example does not have the quota of home grown player (only Lampard, Terry, Sturridge, Cole and Turnbull are considered home grown) so will have to name a 22 man squad instead. So before making stupid comment to wind up people get your fact rights! Arsene has one of the best, complete squad within the new rules to compete for the trophy!

    Come on you Gunners!

  36. Well. Jena – to take it point by point:

    The heartbreaking implosion in the final games of last season after being within touching distance of winning the EPL was largely injury induced.

    Wenger’s record in the EPL and the CL is outstanding. It’s unlikely that in four years time we will find another manager who can do as well and keep the club solvent.

    The last time we played free-flowing football was two days ago (and you don’t need to watch Saturday’s game long to see some brilliant exposition of forward passing).

    Most teams do not always score on the break against us. Most teams lose to us.

    Chelsea and (especially) Man U have also had an outstanding record in recent seasons. It will be interesting to observe whether they are now able to foresee (as AW did five years ago) that you can’t go on forever with an ageing team – and if they do, what they do about it.

    AW is going into this season with a squad of great depth, spangled with talented internationals. Watching the jigsaw being completed is an education in itself. His problem will be who to leave out rather than who to select.

    We sign players of the very highest quality. Most recently – Nasri, Ramsey, Arshavin, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Chamakh. If other clubs don’t compete for them it’s because their needs are different or their scouting is inadequate.

    Apart from that I agree with you.

  37. Great post Muppet, ACLF is a oas on the internet, with YW and his co posters…i love you all.

    Zimpaul, you are right…i could write the same thing…but dont really have the energy.


  38. why do some of the comments come with nice little picture, and some of us gets this weird icon??

  39. Morning all – I’ve been away for the last few weeks and wasn’t in the thick of it when all the guest posters erm.. posted.

    Just wanted to say how excellent they were and there was an interesting array of styles on display.

    fully caught up now!

    Thanks to all 🙂

  40. Just rewatching the highlights Maria posted(thanks Maria).

    The third goal from Theo is beautiful,the way he turns shows he’s got a football brain,how his detractors cant see that is beyond me.

  41. Love those videos; hate, hate, hate the music. It sounds like a casio demo of Smoke on the Water.

    How about the reverse pass for Chamakh?

    I’d like to see Rosicky’s highlights as well.

  42. I think it will do Theo wonders to get a hattrick at the Emirates – particularly scoring when moving to the central role. Just what he needs me thinks. His movement off the ball and passing was some of the best i’ve seen from him too. Very nice.

    Chamakh is absolutely class. I dont think i’ve seen another striker that’s so unselfish – apart from maybe DB10 (my favourite player of all time). His hold up play is excellent and he has remarkably quick feet – for a big man lol. I can’t wait to see what he plays like when he’s fully settled into the team… Mouthwatering prospect.

    And a final word for Jack – his loan spell at Bolton seems to have given him the match experience he’s been craving, and now he looks like he has the maturity beyond his years that only players like Cesc and maybe Rooney have shown in recent years. AW has done brilliantly not to have over-hyped the young lad and hopefully this will continue – even with Capello waiting in the wings…

  43. Great post. It sums up a lot.

    I would add that you can not predict the title, but you can challenge for it, and challenge we do, every year.

    Having not got it last year, we can only analyse the squad and try and do something about any weakness. This is 80% complete. Rumours today are of the Ajax keeper and a defensive player. So that is still ongoing, the doomers would say Wenger has already failed in that.

    It is virtually pointless arguing with this kind of agenda, we love Wenger and Arsenal. They love Arsenal and trophies. We believe trophies follow planning, care and management, they believe that trophies are bought.

    In an era when rumours abound that players may be offered half a million a week to play for shitty, who knows, but I for one would never trade in our lot. I love it and I am proud and I just would not change the fundementals.

    Doomers do your worst, you can’t touch us, we are basically happy with the way the club is financed and run.

  44. Hey, OOU.

    Wasn’t Theo brilliant? Thanks for the post. Been waiting for that! I’m sure one of those guys will do a Rosicky one. There’s a Rosicky comp ‘specialist’ called Carpenter11 or something?

    The one thing those guys are missing – hope they’re not listening – is some good music! I have to turn the sound off every time. They are definitely missing a trick… check out this youtube channel by these guys called The29Nov films…

    You like some good electronic music, if I remember rightly. These guys put the best in minimal house, tech, ambient and electronica to great old archive footage from tv, film, documentary and animation. Some of it’s original film I think. The results are great fun! Visual/audio treats… sometimes trippy, sometimes beautiful… almost always cool!

    Check out Pariah – Detroit Falls, M-Node – Dreaming (amazing bit of video work using an old Paul Newman movie), LB Dub Corp – Take It Down (brooding tech song synched with a dramatic old sci-fi scene – looks like Mars. Or hell!)

    I’ve only just found it, there’s loads of good work there. Anyway… just imagining a Rosicky video, properly synched with some excellent music… has got me thinking. Have a look when you get some time maybe.

  45. Jena, i have a vague recollection of a team that passed sideways winning the World Cup,this is know to those who understand what the are watching as,retaining the ball.Would you like more help understanding the game? Towards the endf of the year we lost Cesc,RVP Big nic etc.This has nothing to do with funding. A 8 million pound player on 60k a week for 5 years is a huge investment just in case we get injuries,how many players do you have? We have no logical reason to finich ahead of Manure,Chavski,Man City for obvious reasons and the European Cup even less so.We have a fantastic stadium, world envied youth set up a superb team and the best manager in the world.Can we PLEASE forget “the invincibles”! It was great but a fluke,11 players at their pee and 8 of them could claim to be in the top 3 in the world in their position.It just happens.It hadnt happened before and will not happen again so lets not keep it as a benchmark.

  46. goonerandy – You make a good point about competing with ManUtd and Chelsea. In the footballing sense we are very competitive But in the past five years we have fallen short although we seem set to overhaul them in 07-08 and 09-10 until we were derailed by injuries. But we would have been bankrupted if we tried competing them financially. Their net spend over the past seven years, while we built a new stadium, has been stratospheric.
    There are many who keep groaning like a drain about our defending. Earlier in the summer JBH and Ole, I think, gave multi-year stats to show that 09-10 was an aberration. But why let a few facts get in the way of the usual dooming.

  47. Interesting post. We have to trust in Arsene. We have a fabulous stadium, and a team that plays great football, and challenges for titles every year. Without Arsene we would be a mid-table team like Villa & Everton.
    Every some often, we get a bit frustrated with the keeper/defending issues. There is nothing wrong with a bit of constructive criticism but the bottom line is that over the last 12+ years, we’ve never had it so good. Keep the faith.

  48. Nice post.

    One aspect of our game that I have been impressed about during the last two games is our defence concetrating on defending and marauding deep into the opponents half. The fact that they did that even when playing Balckpool fills me with confidence that they have learnt their lessons.

    People go on ad nauseam about the “invicibles'” invicibility – well tell me how many times they failed to beat Man U, Chelski, Bolton, Balckburn. Remember Leeds beating us 2003/04, During the days of Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, et al we have been beaten Westham (double) when they ended up relegated. So every team will have days when they will beaten by even the weakest team – Burnley Vs Man U last year…

  49. defending and not marauding….

  50. goonerandy – agree with you 100%.

    Comparisons with other defences using goals scored against in the premiership show that we have the fifth best defensive record, so good but definitely not great (and definitely not appalling!!)

    When people go on about are famous back five They actually only started getting really consistent under Wenger.
    I am not trying to be anti GG just pisses me off when they eulogise something that is patently not true

  51. The famous back 5 also had a very compact team in front of them, whereas our defence is exposed more often. Where GG’s back 5 excelled though was their communication. They really were a unit.

  52. Nice post Muppet. The future is bright, the future is arsenal!!!!


  53. Another corker. Well done, Muppet!

    Very good to make the distinction between expressing faith in the team and demanding trophies or else.
    As you say, Arsene is not perfect – no manager is – but he is perfect for Arsenal. Who else could have kept us in the Champions League during the financially lean years? Who else could have found so many top-class footballers on so little money? No one, that’s who!

    Flint, gunnerluc, Merlot and others – great comments. (Flint, I think I will be old and grey before I get a reasoned response.)
    SD, good point – you don’t have to be happy with every single thing, you just look at the big picture.

    @ UgGunner at 11:59 am
    I’m so glad you made those remarks about our defending. I thought that too and wondered if I was just imagining it.

  54. why does CWD4CESC always put stupid songs in his videos might aswell make them mute..

  55. Do you guys remember there being a flare from the arsenal end last season at stamford bridge..

    Are flares illegall in english football? And what harm can it cause to people around one does anyone know.. Because i see in italian and dutch football flares everywhere..

  56. Zap – They are illigal inside English grounds as are all pyrotechnics. They can cause a nasty burn, but the main area of concern stems from the Bradford disaster I would imagine.

  57. Hey, OOU.

    Wasn’t Theo brilliant? Thanks for the post. Been waiting for that! I’m sure one of those guys will do a Rosicky one. There’s a Rosicky comp ‘specialist’ called Carpenter11 or something?

    The one thing those guys are missing – hope they’re not listening – is some good music! I have to turn the sound off every time. They are definitely missing a trick… check out this youtube channel by these guys called The29Nov films…

    You like some good electronic music, if I remember rightly? These guys put the best in minimal house, tech, ambient and electronica to great old archive footage from tv, film, documentary and animation. Some of it’s original film I think. The results are great fun! Visual/audio treats… sometimes trippy, sometimes beautiful… almost always cool!

    Check out Pariah – Detroit Falls, M-Node – Dreaming (amazing bit of video work using an old Paul Newman movie), LB Dub Corp – Take It Down (brooding tech song synched with a dramatic old sci-fi scene – looks like Mars. Or hell!)

    I’ve only just found it, there’s loads of good work there. Anyway… just imagining a Rosicky video, properly synched with some excellent music… has got me thinking. Have a look when you get some time maybe.

  58. Zap

    where in the world have you been?

    cos its been a while since you last posted.but its good to see you back?

  59. Hey, OOU.

    I’ve tried posting this twice already so sorry if I’m repeating myself.

    Thanks for the videos. Wasn’t Theo brilliant?!

    The one thing those youtube guys are missing – hope they’re not listening – is some good music! (As Zap says). I have to turn the sound off every time. They are definitely missing a trick… check out this youtube channel by these guys called The29Nov films…

    You like some good electronic music, if I remember rightly? These guys put the best in minimal house, tech, ambient and electronica to great old archive footage from tv, film, documentary and animation. Some of it’s original film I think. The results are great fun! Visual/audio treats… sometimes trippy, sometimes beautiful… almost always cool! I can’t stop watching them.

    Check out Pariah – Detroit Falls, M-Node – Dreaming (amazing bit of video work using an old Paul Newman movie), LB Dub Corp – Take It Down (brooding tech song synched with a dramatic old sci-fi scene – looks like Mars. Or hell!)

    I’ve only just found it, there’s loads of good work there. Anyway… just imagining a Rosicky video, properly synched with some excellent music… has got me thinking. Have a look when you get some time maybe.

  60. Great post Muppet.

    OOU, thanks for the videos was good to see all that sideways passing.

  61. Despite all our this optimism I still think that we will not win the league.cos I read someone stating that we do have depth.but having a set of good players does’nt always prevail.cos if you think am wrong then you should take a good look on real madrid.but know their have morinho in charge.and that could change absolutely everyting.

  62. What a lot of boring anti doomer tosh Mupped. I have come on here on many ocasions and seen a number of really reasonable so labeled doomers give very good reasons for thier oinions only to be shot down buy you AkBs. Some of you have no valid argument at all yet you stick your tounges up each others arses and refuse to accept other points of view.
    I will be very hapy to have Yogis FOOTBALL posts back after all this anti doomer tosh we have been subjected to this last week.

  63. Yes, Muppet – your quality post has inspired some quality comments.

    HIM, on being a supporter: “He MUST support when he can, support when he cannot and only support.” – Nice!

    Also SA Gooner at 11.22am. Good fuck ’em all we’re Arsenal attitude. “Doomers do your worst, you can’t touch us”

  64. I meant all of this optimism.

  65. Certainly, I think it gives an insight into the commitment of YW, who has been churning out a daily blog for at least the last 4 years or so.

    Absolutely. Much appreciated by all.

  66. Arshavin talked about the “easy-to-use” pass he needed to make for Theo’s first goal. It’s a nice turn of phrase that applies to Arsenal’s whole passing game I think.

    For me Rosicky is the very best exponent of this skill in World Football today. The way his passes draw up in front their recipient like a well thrown heavy marble on a carpet. It’s beautiful to watch, and makes the following pass or finish in the move as perfunctory as can be for the next in line in the pattern.

    Obviously Fabs, RVP and Arshavin are all excellent exponents as well… and the whole squad and academy down is made up of players cherry-picked, in part, for their technical ability to weight a good pass.

    For me though, Rosicky is the bee’s nuts.

  67. In that video, the way he jinxes between two potential challengers, at 4.19, by dropping his shoulders one way and then the next in a split second, tricking them out of making a challenge and surging away through the gap he’s made. Wow.

    And his turn and pass into Vela at 5.09 is also pure class.

  68. gooner2, whats up!!!

    As always ur comments are hilarious their sooo funny seriously you should be doing tomorows post man!!

  69. i agree limpar the music you suggested would suit the videos way more. But why is it the people who know what to do never have the time eh…

  70. gooner2, where are u from??

  71. From the Guardian chalkboards, Vermaelen has attempted 69 passes against Liverpool and Blackpool, and each and every one of them has been a successful pass.

  72. Cheers Keysersoze – pretty outstanding really!

  73. posting not working…?

  74. hmmm ok it is!

    Cheers for that Keysersoze – an outstanding statistic! He’s gonna be awesome this year…

  75. Traore’s move to benfica is off due to his wage demands.

  76. Good article, however I think this black/white view of “doomers” and “AKB’s” is a bit over the top.

    Far as I can see there is a sliding scale of opinions as there is in any area in life, with some supporters more or less pessimistic, or more or less short term focused as against focusing on the long term plans of the club.

    Lately its been like the bleeding heart left wingers versus the crazed neo-cons. And the outcome of such an argument always seems to be each side becomes more radical. It’s ridiculous.

    Myself I wouldn’t call myself a doomer or an AKB. I think we have a great chance to win something this season, we would have won it last season without all the injuries. However i can, while obviously accepting that Arsene is the world’s greatest, see that there are areas which could improve.

    The fact that I don’t agree with everything Arsene and the club does, doesn’t make me a doomer, on the other hand the fact that I don’t think the clubs is going down the toilet, doesn’t make me an AKB.

    While I like this blog a lot, it would be even better if this “who’s the best fan” stuff was less of a focus.

    Of course all the above goes out the window if anyone wants to spell Wenger with a k, or insults the players etc. Those people should be shot and then torn to pieces by wild dogs.

  77. Adam – Good post. I agree 100%.

  78. You miss the point Adam. I don’t think anybody on here claims to be the ‘best fan’. It’s an argument about how best to support and appreciate your team. How you live your life.

    Personally, it’s about enjoying the football and not suffering the misery that many seem to wallow in. It’s the same in other areas of my life.

  79. Where’s Frank these days? I miss him…

  80. I wouldn’t call myself a doomer or an AKB either.

    Although… Arsene does know best.

  81. Consolbob – There is an element of “you are not a proper” fan on here though sometimes mate. Sometimes aimed at people who have made relevant points.

  82. The thing about ‘AKB’ is he knows better than any fan what Arsenal need. So yes Arsene does no best.

  83. Doomers know Arsene best don’t they?

  84. Arsene knows.

    Actually, just being pedantic, AKB originally stood for the “Arsene Knows” Brigade.

  85. FunGunner Knows.

  86. And goonerandy does have a point – it does sometimes (albeit rarely) drop to that level… I don’t get involved in it.

  87. Well i’m joining the ‘Allerdyce Knows Brigade’. A true visionary of modern football.

  88. Ya.. Even I thought AKB stands for “Arsene Knows” Brigade..

  89. He knows he is fat. That is all.

  90. does he know though? I would have done something about it a long time ago if i knew…

  91. Muppet:

    Well written. However, I wish that we could get away from the doomer vs. AKB that has become such a big part of the blog. I realize some of the stuff that comes from the “doomers” is pure crap but most fans just want our team to have some success and win a few trophies. The stuff that comes from the likes of Jon Jon or Myles Palmer and some of the idiots at Le Grove is pure rubbish and deserves to be ignored. Part of their MO is to get a rise out of those they consider the AKB crowd. The more we get involved with with the AKB vs. doomers the worse it gets. OH WELL..

    Great game on Sat. Absolutely stoked about Squillaci. Still hope that the Schwarzer medical failure rumours are not true.

    btw. even though we have fewer CB then last year I doubt that any of us doomers will be screaming for more CB. Its looks like we have really quality cover now and none are out of contract at the end of the year.

  92. You still doing arsenal column Bill? Some great in-depth analysis going on there.

  93. I havent seen Skillachee for years, since he was at Lyon. Used to be awesome… How old is he now?

  94. If the transfer goers through (as it seems it will) we have a good choice of 4 good defenders. In a crisis Song can always drop in there as well. That is better than last year I think.

  95. Geo – He is 30 I think. He used to be CM gold as well!

  96. Bill, read on another blog that a medical cannot take place until both parties have reached agreement which obviously hasn’t happened yet. So the rumours about Schwarzer’s failed medical would appear to be rubbish.

  97. Adam’s completely right about his sliding rule of opinions. Muppet though, for the purpose of his argument, was using the obvious dichotomy between two seperate fan ‘types’, to make his point. And yes the two poles do exist, and there are plenty encamped at either end, so why not comment on it?

    The argument he makes about different fan expectations is a compelling one, and one that relates to almost all football clubs, not just Arsenal.

    Some Aston Villa think they ‘should’ be in the Champions League for example, because they won the European Cup once in 1982. They are the ones who held a rally with big banners that read ‘Martin OUT’ during their most successful league spell in many years – and who now, I should think, probably regret doing so.

    Lots of clubs have thick-as-shit fans, and it’s nothing but a good thing to give them a good dressing down once in a while – lest they take over and ruin all the fun for the rest of us.

    The labels are neither here nor there, they just make identifying with an argument quicker. The idealogical differences of opinion are very much there, even if it is full of grey areas.

  98. So how good is Squillaci. If I remember he was a decent player for Lyon. I’m looking forward to him signing. We look like a really strong squad now.

    I for one would much rather Almunia stay and be number one. I think signing Schwarzer will only be better for the team on a psychological level. And fans obviously can’t comment on how much that’s needed.

    It seems that Wenger must believe Almunia is all that though. His usual MO is to give players chances to right things.

    Still I’m expecting a trophy, and at the same time I wouldn’t cry if we didn’t. I just have absolute faith and support for the team.

  99. Good stuff Limpar 🙂

    Cheers goonerandy – never saw him at CM, but that makes sense for an Arsenal CB to have the skills on the ball when needed. Evidenced in TV’s passing stats!

  100. “I for one would much rather Almunia stay and be number one. I think signing Schwarzer will only be better for the team on a psychological level. And fans obviously can’t comment on how much that’s needed.”

    Els – i completely agree with that. Been saying it for a while… Week in week out, we’d realise he’s not real improvement.

  101. Not sure how good he is these days els – i only saw him when he was at Lyon – and liked the cut of his jib then…

  102. Too true Geo. It can only be for reasons to do with the teams confidence in his ability.

    Anyway who knows eh. AKB 🙂

  103. Geo – Heh, sorry mate lost in translation there. I meant Chapm manager (which virtually seals he quality 😉 )

    Els – I think Arsene has lost faith in Almunia. He is obvisouly looking for a new one, and has been quite ruthless in the past when he has lost faith with players. He is obviously not going to say that out loud, but on the other hand it is common knowledge we are trying to get in a new No1.

  104. haha! I see, CM Gold.. I thought you meant ‘hold’ as in holding role! If he was good on there then yes, must be amazing lol!

  105. I really hate blackburn, just watched our 2-1 loss there last season, the way they crowded fabianski out for the goals and knocked him over, their cynical tackling, fat sam’s big smirk at the end and their annoying forklift truck-driving fans just makes me want to destroy them this weekend. Come On Arsenal, huge game, because ewood park is exactly the kind of place where our weaknesses are exposed. We can prove everyone wrong on saturday. Kamaannnnnn

  106. I just had this tweeted to me. It is an excerpt from Myles Palmer in Henry’s first season:

    “But the squad is far too small. With Bould and Hughes gone, Arsenal need another centreback and another midfielder as well as two strikers.

    And remember, Thierry Henry is not a striker. He is not a goalscorer.

    He scored only 20 goals in 103 games for Monaco. And he did nothing at Juventus.

    Henry is a right-footed left winger who is quick and skilful. He can also play wide on the right.

    Even Arsene Wenger cannot make Henry into a striker.

    So lets get that straight in our minds before we read any more ignorant tosh in the papers. Got it? Thierry Henry is a winger. “

  107. Andy al right mate did you go to your festival?

    I guess he has lost faith, yet he keeps naming him as captain. I still think he would like Al to stay and fight for his place. Maybe it says more about Wengers faith in Fabi, Manone and Chesney.

    Geo are you comfortable with TV, LK, JD and SS? It seems very very strong to me.

    Also on a side note a French international central defender going for £6.5m. Imagine if he’d been born our side of the channel. You can double that value. That’s taking into consideration the length of his remaining contract as well.

    It’s never been more obvious as to why managers buy overseas players. The only thing to do is to create future english stars, they cost to much to buy.

  108. Geo, nice to see you back here again!!

    Btw who are you supporting tonight?

    Im going for liverpool for some reason i dont know why, I dont want city to get off to a good start since see them as a larger threat then the pool..

  109. Els – I did. QOTSA and Lanegan were immense. When lanegan finished the crowd just continue applauding even when the roadies were about to start striping the stage.

    Also good were Black Rebel Motorclycle Club, and loads of other but can’t remember too much due to the Belgium beer.

    Good point about the price as well; Cahill is rated at £20M in some quaters. Stupid money. Scquillaci will be a good buy.

  110. i agree with els, and muppet..that tells you everything you need to know about miles palmer….fool

  111. I would like to see a nice brawl tonight. On the touchline with Woy and Manchini going at it.

  112. Thanks for all the kind comments.

    For those a bit miffed about the AKB vs Doomer terminology, I admit it is polarizing the camps somewhat. The post is more about expectations and the extreme views held by Glory Hunters, of which there are a few. The post is not intended to place anybody in either camp, as LA has pointed out, but is just a vehicle to highlight the point that if one expects to win the premiership and/or champions league, then in my view, they should be reasonably questioned.

  113. AW may not have lost faith in Almunia. Another possibility is that he wants to create the same sort of situation as we will have amongst our four dedicated CBs (not counting Nordtveit and Song) – no one of them is pre-eminent and the competition to start will keep them on their toes. It may be that AW wants competition to push Almunia, not someone to replace Almunia.

  114. joleon lescott-24 mil
    vermaelen-10 mil


  115. Zap, I hate the way Blackburn players crowd the keeper. Hopefully, this time we’ll see more protection for the keep from our other players.. I would like Chamakh to be one of those as He doesn’t fear getting into a physical battle.

  116. @ Muppet and LA

    Agree – it’s as valid a distinction as any. Nobody fits the stereotype exactly.

  117. Haha muppet where can I read that article?

    Zap I would love us to stoop to blackburns level and play a big team to kick lumps out of them. Is it me or all of a sudden do Arsenal have the means to play a hard as f*** team. Especially once NB and Frimp are in contention.

  118. I agree with FunGunner ar 3-10pm. Arsene wanting to sign a new GK doesn’t necessarily mean he lost faith in the current lot. He may feel Mannone and Chesney arent ready yet and there isn’t enough competition from Fabianski yet.

    So he may sign Schwarzer just to give lil bit more competition to Al. Competition with Jens did bring the best out of Al few seasons back..

  119. I think this should be our line-up

    Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen Clichy
    Song Fabregas Diaby
    Walcott Chamakh Arshavin

    Bring on Van Persie, Rosicky at some point in the second half.

  120. Blackburn on Sat could be a dificult game for us, but we need to stand up to them. If we let them bully us on set pieces all the average crappy side in the lge will also do it. Defend aggressively and effectively, and then give them a footballing lesson.

    If we were to drops points to that type of incident (the crowding of the keeper) if could let the doubts start to creep into some of the players minds. An important game no question.

  121. If we sign a new keeper Almunia will be on his way I think. Wenger rates Fabianski highly, and at 25 years old he can’t go back to being 3rd choice. If we sign a keeper it will be as a No1 I reckon with Almunia being sold.

    Personally I would prefer to keep him as the No2, but I think Wenger will give that role to Fabianski.

  122. Thank you for the video. That youngster-Theo- is really some kind of good. I notice that there is some maturing that has taken place over last year. It is obvious that a lot of work has been done and as Arsene comments, “Theo has done all the work by himself.”

    Theo also appeared in this video a bit demanding-waving his arm at the team- like get in there when I make a pass into the box! He does have a touch of TH14! The problem with Theo is that he is greased lightening and when he takes off, the entire team is left at the starting gate. Undoubtedly, he will learn to moderate this speed with observations of players coming into the play. What a delight Theo is to watch during a match. The joy of this young lad is that no team has a version of him at the moment. He will score hat tricks by the bushel during his career.

  123. Andy sounds awesome.

    Fun Gunner I agree with that but if that’s his plan surely it means he’s lost some degree of confidence in Al?

  124. Ha muppet I remember reading that article on ANR.

    No-one needs any proof that Myles Palmer is a tool, but if it was needed, there it is.

  125. Thanks Muppet that was a smashing read. Wenger does not know best, if he did he’d have Palmer head of our scouting network. His ability perfectly judge players is godly.

  126. Arshavin is doing an interview with Talk Shite radio – jeez, who is Arshavin’s handler?

    The full interview will be aired tonight on Kick off with Danny Kelly, but xenophobic Durham will play clips of it.

    Get ready to be lost in translation.

    As regards the game against Blackburn, I think it’s safe to say that they’ll impede our keeper at every possible set piece. It’s their M.O and the ref will do fuck all about it.

    The way to deal with Blackburn is to bang a cricket score past them. I would suggest that our energy should be spent on scoring a truck load of goals as this is where our ultimate strenth lies, as opposed to focusing on trying to fight thugs in our penalty area. Attack against teams like Blackburn who in honesty, our defence can handle in open play is the best form of defence.

    The team I’d like to see against the Walruses is:

    Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Clichy
    Song, Diaby, Cesc
    Van Persie, Chamak, Arshavin

    Rosicky, Theo and Vela should be thrown in for good measure.

  127. Its not Blackburns fault they have SA for manager. he uses all he has at his disposal in view of his experience and skill and his teams abilty so its a no brainer to understand why his teams are limited in their approach. Talking of expectations, imagine going through a season being a rovers fan, compare that to us and thats probably the reason we have such high expectations.

  128. DS, i like your team with the exception of MC, TW on the right RVP down the middle.

  129. Arsene really has a decision to make on Sat regarding his front 3. Walcott deserves his place, Arshavin had a good game, Chamakh also did well and we will need his physicallity, but RvP is out main striker.

  130. -out

  131. Oh god… I’ve just remembered that I dreamt Arsenal vs. Blackburn last night. I guess if I can admit to that anywhere, then it’s here.

    The pitch was like a drained bog, barely a patch of grass. Just stud marks between long ploughed troughs. There were areas that were frozen and there was a fine snow in the air that refused to settle. Allardyce was shouting but all I could hear was the loud barking of an angry dog whenever he opened his mouth. We were kicked, elbowed, poked in the ribs and kneed in the balls from start to finish… but Robin Van Persie was unstoppable and scored two brilliant goals to give us a 2 nil victory.

    I wonder who’s refereeing that one?

  132. A comment during the match on Saturday, by the Dean of British game announcers, Martin Tyler, was that the FA, during the off season, had visited the ruling of sending off a player following bringing down a player in the box. The FA had agreed to let the ruling stand for this year with a view to reviewing the ruling again next year.

    In a sense the current ruling undermines the game, notwithdtanding those that believe that the team reduced by one player are not much effected during the game.

    I am one who believes that there should be sending offs but no reduction in numbers on the field. The player sent off should simply be replaced by another. In this way the ‘tax paying customer’ is not cheated to viewing a full on competitive match.

    I am certain there are those who would not like to see the ruling changed. What do you chaps think of this ruling?

  133. van persie will play in the middle, and i reckon theo will start. Lets see

  134. GoonerAndy 3:40 pm.

    Arsene made that decision long time ago. If you take notice over the next few games, you’ll notice that Theo will normally come on as an impact sub in away games. Wenger prefers to start President Eboue to provide some solidity and tire out one or two defenders.

    Theo is bound to start most home games against the lower 12 teams – and come on as impact sub for the bigger games. If RVP, Nasri and Arshavin are fit, then I suspect Theo won’t get a starting place.

    Chamakh will start most games because he brings something different. RVP will probably start wide – but the key thing is this, we don’t have a fixed front 3. They are very fluid and they move around a lot and this is a deliberate tactic. All our forwards will stretch the defence with their positioning and open spaces, and it’s sometimes hard to even know who to mark.

  135. I am happy with the rule when the ref’s get it right. It is only correct that a team should be punished for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity. It does seem a bit daft whe somebody gets a red card for a simple tangle of legs though. Refs should be allowed to use their own judgement I think, as sometimes they are beinded by the laws (and the assesor in the stand).

  136. i dont agree with that 2 owls if someone gets sent off it should have implications for him and his team, changing this rule would just encourage players at stoke etc to go in even harder in tackles and play even dirtier, so its a terrible idea

  137. Limpar I’d swap dreams I had a particularly grizzly one where a helicopter chopped my head off. Still there was no Allerdyce in it so not all bad.

    Yeah what the hell is our front 3 first choice line up. You can’t leave out TW, RvP, MC or AA can you. But for me RvP should always be front and centre.

  138. Darius – I agree that Theo will be the one that makes way. If he he performing as he did on Sat it will give Arsene a headache though. Theo’s problems is his consistancy, if he gets that sorted he will be hard to leave out. If.

  139. Two Owls.

    I think that if a penalty is given, the player should get a yellow card and that’s enough punishment. If the crime is that you stop a goal scoring opportunity, then a penalty redresses that and as long as it’s not a dangerous career threatening tackle, then a yellow card will suffice for a slap on the wrists.

    One of the things that can address borderline decisions is to look at the sin bin option like rugby union does. In such a case (the particular incidents can be defined e.g. impeding a goal scoring opportunity or professional fouls), then the culprit can be sent off for 10 mins and then allowed back on the pitch. I think that will be fair enough punishment for some scenarios that warrant punishment but don’t warrant a sending off outright.

    However, dangerous tackles should be straight red cards.

  140. One thing we could trial from Rugby is the physio being allowed onto the field “as and when”. The 4th offical could keep control of that. That would do away with the game being stopped every 2mins because somebody has had their ear flicked.

  141. MC will never start as front man if RVP is fit. Owl. Good point, i think that if a player has denied another a goal opportunity outside the box he should go, if inside the box then the player gets his opportunity so its like punishing the team twice. If you replace the individual then there has been no punishment to the team at all only the player. Players should be responsable to the team and not just for themselves

  142. a fungus-coated right hand

    Premier Eboue must be appeased, and soon!

  143. No, no, no, I hate that idea, Two Owls! All it would do is make the policy of rotational fouling even more worthwhile. I agree with Zap. Football is a team sport, so it is entirely right that the misdemeanours of one member have implications for the rest of the team, including incurring the ire of their fans for putting them at a numerical disadvantage and/or ruining the spectacle.
    Darius, I also tend to agree that a yellow card should suffice in most cases.

  144. On the whole, Arsenal groaners are a disgrace to the club. Rather than feel proud of their club’s achievements, which are emphatic and proven over the past 5 years, they spend energy on its faults, which are minimal and mostly invented.

    Now tell me, what kind of fan does that?

    As for the so-called ‘realists’, in some very few cases fair enough, constructive and interesting criticism, but mostly rubbish that any genuine football loving person can tear apart in a second.

    If you don’t enjoy the adventure in the journey, you can’t appreciate the destination. Arsenal is the best football adventure in the world.


  145. “Now tell me, what kind of fan does that?”

    My friend Zim Paul – I thought you had been with us all this time….LOL! They’re not fans, they’re customers.

  146. Very well put again Muppet. What’s unfortunate is that we have to go over these things again and again. The doomer position is incoherent.

    They want us to prioritise the Milk Cup, but complain we don’t ‘spend big’. They say all our players are useless. But that would mean Wenger is a genius for getting them to play so well and keep competing at the top. They say we should spend the money as we have it, but forget why we’re in a sound financial state.

  147. Excellent ZimPaul

  148. A very sensible post Darius.

  149. Muppet a good write up, but enough is enough and it is time for us all to realise that Wenger has to leave and leave now.

    For there is a pretender to the throne, this genius, for that is what he is, is ready and willing to take over with immediate effect, this talented young Turk, thrust into action has displayed over the last two weeks his ability to piece together a team of players from the four corners of the world and mould them into a single fighting unit. There are simply not enough superlatives for this dynamic manager and he should be sought out and crowned as new king of Arsenal.

    This manager is currently plying his trade at the mighty Dinamo Salami and his team sit proudly atop the ACLF fantasy football league, looking down at the lesser lights who will fail to take his crown.

    The King is dead long live the King.

  150. Afternoon all, so what did I miss?

  151. I think chamakh will score vs blackburn, he is exactly the type of player we have needed against teams like blackburn, where we can have aerial threat. Last season bentdner was that man, but unfortunately hes injured but when he comes back, having bentdner and chamakh together in attack will scare any defence, especially when we have set pieces, which is probably unprecedented

  152. Yogi – is the cat still alive? Sorry about the mess on the carpet.

    There’s a book open as to whether you should waltz right back into the writing first team at ACLF.

  153. it was vital marouane scored vs blackpool, it wouldnt have been gd for his confidence if he didnt, although i know that he can bounce back very well from seeing him play for morocco so many times..

  154. I tell you YW this place has gone to rack and ruin.

  155. god this doomer vs akb shit is fukin boring.

  156. Zap. I think Wenger left him on on Saturday so that he scores. He literally dared him to score so that Chamakattack gets off the mark.

  157. Wotcher YW. What did you miss? Meh, same old, same old. 🙂

    How was your break?

    “The doomer position is incoherent.”
    Fervently agree. That for me is the single most annoying characteristic.

  158. Darius

    It must have been next door’s cat ‘cos I f’in hate the damn things.


  159. having bentdner and chamakh together in attack will scare any defence, especially when we have set pieces

    Not to mention RvP doing his sneaky thing!

  160. It must have been next door’s cat ‘cos I f’in hate the damn things.

    it was probably J*mes.

  161. LOL YW. Expect a knock on your door…

    Hope you had a good break.

  162. FunGunner

    If it had been, I would have gladly stamped on it’s head!


  163. Hilarious, Zap. thanks.

  164. cats dont even like humans, its a known fact, they just use humans for food and a nice scratch.

  165. Limpar,

    Thanks for the info on Shaktar.

    Interesting quote from Laura Williamson at The Daily Wail,

    Walcott “often plays up front during training”.

    Theo Walcott does not play like an Orthodox Right Winger?


  166. I expect that you know Yogi but Limpar made a right mess of the site. I’m not one to tell tales but it was definitely him.

  167. Shaggy Consolsbob with his “It wasn’t me” cop out…LOL!

  168. Oh I just fucking knew it!

  169. Interesting debate regarding levels of support and how best to enjoy being a supporter, I have said before, being more optimistic and positive is infinitely more fun.

    My mantra is rather simple: Thou shalt not question Stephen Fry or Arsene Wenger.

  170. Cbob

    I knew it. I just knew it. And he’d have got away with it if it wasn’t for you pesky kids…


  171. When Bendtner is fit again, should we start Chamkh ahead of him? I am not so sure…

  172. keysersoze the hard and sad truth it, by the time bentdner returns rvp will probably be injured..

  173. By the way i really dont understand why rvp needed to be brought on against blackpool, i think we should be more careful with him, maybe only play him for matches where we need him not home games against, with no disrespect to blackpool, weaker teams.

  174. trying a spot of reverse jinx?

  175. yes i am, keysersoze, haha, but yesterday i realised it could easily backfire when man u had another corner i kept going ”ok this is going in goal, 2-1 right here” and it did go in..

  176. I think what RVP is lacking is match fitness, and a good way to get it back is to play 15-20 minutes because there are no more friendlies. We can’t really rest players fearing injury. Injuries are part of the game and we need to deal with it.

  177. the reverse jinx theory got confused with the own goal it seems.

  178. keysersoze.

    I don’t see it that way. I think when all our players are fit, we’re in a much better position to challenge.

    There’s going to be enough games to go around, and there are going to be injuries and suspensions, not to mention fatigue.

    The way I see it is that different players will be used for different tasks and different scenarios. Walcott will be used to take advantage of his strengths, so will Bendy. They can be impact substitutes too.

    It’s not an either or case for me – it’s both-and.

    A good example will be to blitz bully tactic teams with Bendy and Chamakh flanking RVP, or bring one of them on when a more definite arial threat is needed.

  179. Yes Darius. But specifically with RVP, I think he should play as much as possible. He is the main man.

  180. Welcome back Yogi! I hope you enjoyed your break and had a nice holiday. The substitutes came off the bench and gave a good account of themselves. If you ever need another break, you can rest assured that the squad has the necessary depth to cope!

  181. Typical AKB thinking Passenal. What this squad needs is a Camus or a Greene. Enough of these cheap English signings.

  182. I ‘heard’ Arsahvin is on Talkshite.

  183. After seven.

  184. A few things:

    1) Mark Hughes is a certifiable tosser. Arsenal are conducting their attempt to sign Schwarzer properly, but he can’t resist sinking to spoiled brat tactics.

    Here’s his quote:

    “We’re all aware of Arsenal’s interest. It’s not a surprise because he’s an outstanding goalkeeper and they obviously feel they have an issue with their own goalkeeper.”

    2) Arshavin is sounding confident that we will win the title, saying the younger players have grown up are all the players are happy because Cesc has stayed

    3) I have no problem with this at all, but it’s interesting to note that if Squillaci joins, 7 out of the 8 defenders (Sagna, Eboue, Clichy, Djourou, Vermaelen, Koscielny and Squillaci) are French speakers. Gibbs is likely to be the sole exception.

    This follows a pattern that Wenger has followed over the years, whereby the defense have usually had a majority speaking the same language (either English or French). He is a lot less concerned about this in midfield and attack.

    Koscielny is doubly useful in the sense that long term he also speaks Polish which might help with a couple of our keepers (although they nearly all speak English too).

    4) I remember reading an article that stated most French fans were wanting to see Squillaci starting in the World Cup ahead of Abidal. Knowing Domenech, it probably means we’re getting an experienced international defender who should be starting for France. Basically Gallas without the personality issues.

  185. Yogi,

    Nice to have you back. Can you please clear something up, did you appoint Bob captain before you left…his went all Gallas on us…he was mean on occassion aswell. Not telling tales…but you know…

    Also all the guys did you proud excellent posts while you were away. Shame it’s stopping really…lolool

  186. Barca rejected again. Bloody BrokeBackBarca trying to ionly offer 12 million. And people keep us cheap.

  187. Hey Limpar great find on that Youtube channel. I’m going to a Minus night at Cable this weekend and watching those videos has got me all excited about it now!

    I was just wondering if you could send me a linnk to that facebook group for young film makers that you mentioned the other day, Id really like to take a look.


    All of the Arsenal players are supposed to talk in English when they’re on the pitch or training. I seem to remember that Arsene makes a big deal about it. Apparently he doesn’t speak to the players in anything other than English even though he is bilingual. So as interesting as it is I don’t actually think that it’s that relevant.

  188. Didn’t that spell in the stiffs teach you anything Maria?

    That’s the trouble with young players today. No discipline. There is no way that Frank Mclintock would have tolerated such behaviour.

  189. Oh yeah, good to have you back YW. It has to be said that those that were deputising for you were of world class quality. I think it’s a brilliant indicator of the strength and richness of your blog.

  190. YW has strength in depth…Although not sure how well he’s doing in the ACLF fantasy league 🙂

  191. I fucking hate Gallas

  192. Lagooner, on your point 3 many of us are not concerned but I was surprised at the strength of anti-French feeling that I saw around the internet when Squillaci was first linked with Arsenal. Piles Malmer has a lot to answer for!

    Some people were suggesting we should shell out £15 – 20m on Jagielka or Cahill because of their nationality! I don’t believe Squillaci is here to be first choice, so why would Arsene waste that kind of money for a bench-warmer? They are also not taking into account the 3 young CB’s – Bartley, Nordveit and Miquel, who are only 2/3 years away from the first team. An experienced 30 year old international with CL experience for £5 – 8m has to be better value for money in those circumstances regardless of nationality.

  193. P.S. Vermaelen is actually a Flemish speaker, who also speaks Dutch. He probably speaks French too as it’s one of the major languages in Belgium, but he’s not a predominantly French speaker.

  194. Great write up Muppet!

    Great match from the boyz and what I loved most is that it with such ease. We will see much better displays, they just scratched the surface.

    What is annoying though is that many people seem to be surprised by Rosicky’s play?! As if he is some new revelation of something. The guy is one of the best in the world, but for the injuries.



  195. Cahill is Australian. As such he probably speaks worse English than our French players. Certainly not as fluent as Arsene.

  196. Mind you, that’s as true of Rooney, Terry and Gerrard.

  197. Passenal

    After 13 years under Arsene I thought that most of the fan base had moved beyond this sort of thinking but was as shocked as you at the reaction online.

    Everything you’ve said is rational and logical and that’s exactly the problem. This sort of thinking isn’t based on rationality or what’s logical.

  198. @ Two Owls, Zap, Darius Stone

    On the subject of red card/yellow card plus penalty, this is what Walter Broeckx, a serving referee who writes on Untold Arsenal, has to say:

    …(should) the rule….be changed if a penalty is given. I think it should not be changed as the chance is always there that the penalty is being missed or saved by the keeper. And that would have as a result that you have been denied a clear goal scoring opportunity and the other team would after that still have all their players on the pitch. So the team that has done something very wrong would not been punished in that situation.”

    I can see his point, but to balance it, you could argue that a penalty IS a clear goal-scoring opportunity, and that the opportunity that was denied by the foul could itself also have been spurned or the attempt saved, and the team would have been punished but in a less draconian way, by a yellow card – which is a serious shackle on a defender.

  199. consolsbob

    I think she meant Gary Cahill at Bolton.

  200. Strong anti-French feeling is widespread in England and in other countries, for all sorts of reasons, but while Arsenal were regularly winning trophies and our French musketeers were the stars of the PL, many found they could tolerate the Frenchness of Arsene and some of our players. When we start winning trophies again, they will miraculously find it less objectionable once more.

  201. Anybody know if Squillachi can also play at fullback ?

  202. Not really sure what these nationalists want, but in the Blackpool game we had two English players in the starting lineup and one on the bench. Not to mention the ones still coming through and the ones we peppered the other teams/leagues with?

    Howard and Pyles Malmer are one of the same, they just need to F*ck Off. Trying to have a logical argument with them is a complete waste.

  203. Ah, I see Serk.

    That Cahill. A clearly established England International with a lot of Premier League experience.

    No wonder some people do not want a 30 year old French International who has played in a Champion’s League Final.

  204. You know it makes sense, consolsbob.

  205. I’m just an old fool Fun that looks to experience and proven ability over callow youth.

    After all, the rest of the CD’s are too inexperienced, n’est ce pas?

  206. consolsbob

    To be honest I think that you’re comment on his ability to speak English probably still stands.

    Like I said consolsbob, once you rid your self of all logic and rationality, their “thinking” begins to make sense.

  207. thanx for the vids OOU loved the Mozart was genius in his Arkestra..

  208. FunGunner @ 7:46.

    SPOT ON.

    All this media negativity we feel will stop as soon as we start winning some trophies again.


    Not that it matters to any of us but we were short on difference making English players in our squad in the past few years. As soon as some of our English players start to become significant regular contributors for the national team the static will stop. However, that will take time.Hopefully Theo and Gibbs will really impress at Euro 2012.

  209. Koscielny can’t speak Polish, he said his family have lost the language.

  210. 1-0 to man city. Barry.

  211. @Passenal 7:29 pm.

    Piles the Farmer is a racist and xenophobic punk…period.

    The bottom line is that it’s impossible to continue touting and prostituting the Premier league as the best in the world without the rest of the world demanding a piece of it back. The English Premier league wouldn’t be the English Premier league without these so called bloody foreigners.

    The bloody Foreigners all over the world are the ones who buy the merchandise and spend their meager resources on subscription TV even though some of them struggle to make ends meet.

    The bloody foreigners are the ones who provide the business case for B Sky B who sell TV rights to broadcasters all over the world.

    The bloody foreigners are the ones who make it possible for these English players to earn the ridiculous wages that they do.

    There’s a straight line from each and every single pitch in the EPL to the pockets of poor bloody foreigners all over the world.

    Nobody around the world wants to watch Bolton vs Stoke City. They want to watch Arsenal, Manure, Liverpool et al – and in particular they want to watch their fellow bloody foreigners.

  212. Who do we want to win this one? Draw?

  213. Hi Bill,

    “Not that it matters to any of us but we were short on difference making English players in our squad in the past few years.”

    Can you explain this for me? Do you mean that only English players are capable of “difference making”, or what do you mean by that?

    This is a genuine question.

  214. Thanks Serk, I did mean the Cahill who plays for Bolton

  215. Spot on Darius! They want the foreigners money, but don’t want to be bothered with seeing them up close and personal!

    Definitely a draw FG – we want to create as much distance between us and the chasing pack as possible. As much as I hate stoke, I really wanted them to draw with the spuds.

  216. nice to see Ade on the judi dench again!

  217. I would go for a draw too.

  218. Agreed Passenal, but this Liverpool side doesn’t look like they are capable of scoring. I’m hoping that they can pull it together long enough to get a draw, but we shall see.

  219. EIther Liverpool is crap or City is starting to look really really good….

  220. G4E

    Hey, early days yet in the FFL. Couple of transfers made, team looking good with the coming fixtures. Country mile…


  221. OK then – come on you scousers!

  222. Duke

    Oooh, maybe when Dame Judi was younger but now Bond would just storm in and shoot ’em up.


  223. 1996-2005 Arsene did know best.Signing PV4,TH14.Pires,Campbell etc.Trophies galore

    2005-now Signings have been good but not great.Who has he signed since 2005 who is a true great.We are good for a 3rd or 4th place finish no bother but top 2 No

  224. Arsene knows.

  225. Lol YW, I’m not doing that great myself 🙂 I had to put my preferences aside and make a couple of transfers from teams I don’t like.

  226. Gary, very few of those players were great when Arsene 1st signed then. Just ask Pyles the Farmer.

  227. Only one goal in it – Liverpool might hold out and sneak a goal, if Stevie Me decides to start playing.

  228. “Stevie G” with a terrible defensive error on the ManC goal….failed to cover the guy who was closest to goal….horrendous error….

  229. Liverpool looked really poor in the 1st half.

  230. Terrible game. All those City signings, Stevie Me, Torres, all for naught.


  231. Lol, see Bob even YW won’t back his ‘captain’.

  232. sad

    I think it’s a combination of neither..

  233. @ Maria

    that’s good news for cbob though – whenever a chairman gives the manager his backing, the guy’s out on his ear within a week!

  234. Just knuckle down, give it 100% and you could have a future, Maria.

    It’s up to you. Remember what happened to David Bentley.

  235. Listen to Fun, Maria. She has the experience.

  236. Listening to the Sunday roast it was good to see that Keown mentioning on a number of occasions the perfection that is Arsenal FC and the deep financial problems facing the Mancs and each and every time the presenter just swept it again. However its funny how the supporters themselves are now acknowledging their problem while the pundits go on ann on about the money in the PL.

  237. Looool fg/bob,

    Well our chairman is Ole Gunner, so he can yet doom him. However as we have seen from the great man himself you always back your captain.

  238. I must say Joe Hart is an excellent goalkeeper.

  239. Arshavin is on Talkshite. Now.

  240. Far better than Reina on tonight showing.

  241. Really? Arshavin is on everything nowerdays. Question of sport, bloody James Corden…..but Talk Shite?! Sureley he can be being taxed that badly…

  242. u mean pool conceded 2 goals with reina in goal? world cup winner, no less!

  243. The second goal Reina should have done better on.

  244. And I see that Pepe Reina’s stock as the so called world class shot stopper that everyone has been creaming hemselves about continues to increase….not. He is definitely a contender for top two gaffes of the season. Why do Liverpool up their games against us and lay out the red carpet for City. Puzzzling.

  245. This is so typical – we had to meet ‘pool on opening day when they were really up for it and we did not have our best 11 available. We could have beaten them and I’m annoyed now that we only drew and they are capitulating to the blue mancs!

  246. dear, oh dear.

  247. Reina is obviously getting payback for the barca shirt stunt.

  248. Furious Styles

    pool is kinda getting destroyed here. city have been very good, owning the middle of the park especially. would imagine a more even contest if mascherano and cole were on the pitch, though.

  249. Dear oh dear, Liverpool are going backwards as a football club both on and off the pitch.

  250. I wouldn’t worry Gooner4Life

    It just means we have to destroy City at Eastlands.


  251. City are the real deal.if we had Joe Hart we would win the title.Lets go to Citeh and offer them £10m for Given.We are a quality keeper away from being contenders and i dont mean Schwarzer

  252. Reina getting payback, and Hansen too Pasenal. The Walcott household will not be happy 🙂

  253. gary, u better not mean Given either. he cant make the city team and then we should go and pay 10m for him? Really? And who is going to be paying his city wages?

    leave Almunia alone!

  254. We will win the title with Almunia or Schwarzer in goal.

    I think City look good but we have more quality.

    We have it all this year. All we need is luck with injuries.

    The depth of our squad is sickening. Plus we’ll all wake up tomorow with an experienced centreback added.

  255. Passenal, don’t forget we were playing at anfield; there isn’t one team around who can go there & have an easy game. A point was a good result for us.

  256. Come on, Pool. At least keep City’s goal difference down, fgs!

  257. City wont trouble us this season. Simply because they have too many selfish mercenaries and we have an established group of players who know each others game inside out. Kos and Chamakh play like they have been with us for years (even to the point of Kos getting rather harshly sent off). We also have the best Manager in world football.

  258. Oh poor old Roy, what a mess you have got into…

  259. Half the citeh fans left before the final whistle.

  260. They will match us in that respect then dupsffokcuf!

  261. I remember about 2 years ago citeh had something like 11,000 for a CC game.


    £££££££CHAVS££££££££ 6 pts
    £ARSENAL£ 4 pts
    ££££££MANCS££££££ 4 pts
    ££££££££££MAN CITY££££££££££££ 4 pts

  263. To all those who say leave Almunia alone why does our great manager want Mark Schwarzer then?.Wake up nitwits

    Given is one of the top 3 keepers in the prem.£10m is the same we paid for Kos.Given would be a bargin

  264. Gary if you think Given is in the top 3 keepers you are either deluded, Irish or just plain stupid.

  265. lol @ Muppet. I think that should be the future of the PL table, it should read: points, goal difference, money spent and debt!

  266. Top 3 keepers are:

    Hart Given and Cech, Who is better than them Fabianski,Gomes,Green,Robinson? Muppet

  267. Does anyone know what arshavin said?

  268. top three keepers are cech, van der sar, hart. Fuck off gary

  269. Any thoughts on tonight’s Game Mr Hansen?

  270. And Gary, why dont you go back to 1998 when the term ‘nitwits’ was last used as an offensive word.

  271. Nobody wants to invest in them since the return doesnt look very promising not with the last few seasons. Kind of annoying i would prefer it to happen to chelsea or tottenham i dont have anything against liverpool theyre allright..but its not looking good 4 them at all..

  272. So – 2 games to sort out the top four: 36 more to rearrange them in alphabetical order.

  273. thats a great comment merlot!!

  274. That Gerrard does not have a footballing brain.

  275. Question for the panel.

    What is a footalling brain?

  276. O _____________________
    ;;;;;;;; ………l l O
    lll l l
    l; l l
    / \ l l
    / \ l l

  277. oops that was supposed to be an image of one of the liverpool players, but i guess in the end its even more realistic, complete shambles!

  278. I forgot how much I missed Cesc during these past few months.

  279. Top keepers? Van der Sar, Friedel, Jaskelainen, Howard, Cech in that order. Hart looks promising but I wouldn’t consider him a top keeper just yet.

  280. thanks maria!!

  281. Sébastien Squillaci has already demonstrated a ruthless and single-minded approach in forcing through his £5m move from Sevilla to Arsenal and now the France defender is intent on winning the battle to establish himself in Arsène Wenger’s team.

    The 30-year caused uproar last Wednesday when he refused to play for Sevilla in the first-leg of their Champions League play-off against Braga in Portugal, as he did not want to become cup-tied in Europe and so jeopardise his hopes of making the proposed transfer.

    Sevilla lost 1-0, leaving them with work to do in the return fixture tomorrow night , and Squillaci was criticised for his behaviour, although the coach, Antonio Alvarez, said that he was quick to put the controversy behind him. “I didn’t like the fact that Squillaci didn’t want to play but the circumstances turned out that way,” he said. “I turned over a new page and forgot about the issue.”

    The Sevilla defender Julien Escudé said that Squillaci had been named in the line-up only to be withdrawn in what, at the time, were mysterious circumstances. “When the coach gave his team talk, Sebastien was starting,” Escudé said. “Then, I do not know what happened, with the coach or the sporting director, but there was a change in the line-up. Later, we knew Sébastien refused to play. I was surprised.”

    Arsenal, who were unhappy at the way Barcelona targeted and unsettled their captain, Cesc Fábregas, for much of the summer only for him to stay in north London, have maintained they have done nothing wrong over Squillaci and the player himself was unrepentant.

    “If a French player receives an offer from Arsène Wenger, it’s practically impossible to turn down,” he said. “It was a sensational offer for me and I was happy Sevilla let me go. It was a difficult situation but I knew I had to take this chance. I knew if I played against Braga then I would not have been able to play for Arsenal in the Champions League.”

    Squillaci, formerly of Monaco and Lyon, suggested it was a dream to follow in the footsteps of some of his countrymen and join Arsenal, who are sometimes referred to in France as their first division’s 21st club. He enters competition with Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou for a starting place in the centre of defence. Alex Song, the midfielder, can also play in the position.

    “Arsenal were always the team I watched out for,” said Squillaci, who began his medical assessment at the club today. “For any spectator like me, you had to watch a squad with [Thierry] Henry, [Robert] Pirès, [Patrick] Vieira and [William] Gallas. Now, I’m happy to have my name in the history books. For me, this is a great new challenge and I’ve gone there purely to be part of that.

    “I don’t think my age is a problem. My experience in football is great and players of my age tend to be at the peak of their playing career.”

    Arsenal have started the season with a 1-1 draw at Liverpool and a 6-0 home win over Blackpool and two players to have emerged with credit are the midfielders Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky. Wilshere, who is known for his creative and attacking prowess, played in front of the back four against Blackpool, alongside Abou Diaby, and Wenger suggested that the 18-year-old’s development would be best served in such a role.

    “He is strong one against one, he has good commitment and it is important in the development of a player for him to start there,” Wenger said. “After, you can always push a player higher up but let’s start with the difficult work. Once you do that, you can always take the easier job. And I always have many offensive players.”

    One of them is the Czech Rosicky who, after so much injury turmoil, has finally enjoyed a full pre-season and is eager to show his true colours this season. “I am very happy for Rosicky,” Wenger said. “It was not really Rosicky last year. I like to handle him on the pitch and in the dressing room because he is an outstanding character. He is a team player and has great quality.”

  282. Your welcome Zappy.

  283. haha nice nickname

  284. Hey Serk

    Glad you liked that youtube channel. I’ve only just put your vid up on that page… good reminder! It’s called Puzzleface Films… If you whack that into search on Facebook you should be able to have a look. Let me know if that doesn’t work and I’ll send you a link.

  285. Maria, how old is that interview?

  286. May 2010 is what it said MJ.

  287. When arshavin goes: ”i should say”?? His face is priceless, and then when he says jack wilshere its even more priceless!!

  288. it was wonderful, thanks!
    Though I hope he comes good this season, but I really think he’s set the standards sky high & will find it really tough to live upto them

  289. this man is hilarious, i wonder why it doesn’t show on the field!

  290. AA i mean

  291. haha i know

  292. We already had it all last year. Only injuries on the last mile prevented us from finishing top or within a few points of the top spot. Nobody can tell me that the season would have ended the same if Cesc had not broken the bone in his leg.

    I honestly believe that even a fit Ramsey would have been enough to take us over the edge…

  293. Zap on August 24, 2010
    at 12:14 am

    lol @ longest in the shower.

    Id presume one of the African boys, but I can personally comfirm that is a myth. ;););)



  294. LimparAssist .. I hope this video is synced good enough with music 😛 u can stop imagining now 😉

  295. wright doesnt give a shit about arsenal,he is standing up for theo because he is english.

  296. I really liked this team, because it’s so consistent in using young players and give them a chance to do better. let’s share the information with

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