Capello Gets It Right With Wilshere & Does Wenger A Favour

The media heralded the inclusion of uncapped players in Fabio Capello’s last England squad as the start of a new era. Jack Wilshere‘s bit part in the win over Hungary and his subsequent performances for Arsenal have not been enough to convince the Italian that the midfielder is the solution – or at least part of it – to the enduring problem of the dearth of English talent.

Whislt Keiran Gibbs is presumed to have retained his place in the full squad, in allowing Stuart Pearce to call Wilshere into the Under-21s, where he will be accompanied by Henri Lansbury, Capello has done Arsene a huge favour. Two Premier League games have seen the performances of the youngster scrutinised and generally, well received in the back pages. To have included him in the full squad for next month’s double header of Euro2012 qualifiers would have allowed that momentum to have continued. As it is Wilshere will be stepping out of the limelight at the national level, easing the attention away from him as he descends to the Arsenal bench with the return of the captain and other first team players to full fitness.

It is not inconceivable that Wilshere could remain in the starting line-up for Arsenal but highly unlikely. Fabregas will return at Blackburn in all likelihood and with Song reverting to his defensive midfield role following the completion of Koscielny’s suspension, Wilshere is the obvious candidate to make way, probably with Rosicky in view of the expected physical nature of the fixture.

Wilshere needs to be allowed to develop at his own pace, deflecting the weight of expectation will be Wenger’s key task. English football is desperate for a new hero to emerge from the ashes of the burnt hopes of South Africa. There are precious few in the professional game playing in the Premier League who have not already been given, and blown, their chance. Arsenal’s midfield is probably the best technically for any player to learn the accuracy of passing and swiftness of movement needed for the national team to be successful.

Wilshere has a big season ahead of him and has already seen two of his peers succumb to injury for varying lengths of time. He will know that his time will come again for the first team with the Champions League group phase to commence, it will be soon as Arsene rotates the squad to keep players fit and adapt to the demands of the fixture list.

Sebastien Squillaci has still not been announced as an Arsenal player, despite Sevilla confirming the fee was agreed and the player telling the world that this is his destiny calling. Presumably the delay is due to the required paperwork not being received from the Spanish FA at the Premier League but no doubt it will arrive soon. Perhaps today is Wenger’s deadline for including the French international in the squad for the rough and tumble at Ewood Park?

Meanwhile the sale of Javier Mascherano seems to be filling the hole in the Liverpool bank balance for a week or two, making it unlikely that Pepe Reina will be moving to Arsenal this summer. Not that I expected him to anyway with Mark Schwarzer still the media darling on that score. Interestingly, the Australian is splitting the support: those who want a world-class goalkeeper – which Schwarzer is not –  or no-one, and those who want anyone but Fabianski and Almunia.

It is a curious state of affairs since the usual clamour is for Wenger to sign world-class players so why would people accept second best in a player who is well outside of the manager’s usual age range. The rationale behind signing the Fulham ‘keeper is sound in that he would allow Szczesny to progress to the first team and not in dispute but all summer the clamour has been for players who have shone at the World Cup so why now is there an acceptance for a player who is no better than that which we already have at the club? Change for change’s sake is not generally an answer to any problems.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on August 25, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 238 Comments.

  1. good post.

  2. 1111111111st bitches.

    Noice piece. Wilshere makes me wet.

  3. Wilshere should never have been in the full England team. Crapello is a mug of the highest order. At least wait till Wilshere has proven himself. Will be great though as will Theo.

  4. Pez, well done Quick-draw

  5. sorry Pez.

  6. should have known…

  7. Especially in favour of Szczesny being primed for first team football with an older, more experienced stopper playing in front of or beside him. Whether that should be Schwartzer or Almunia I know not.

    As for internationals, we all know that Capello will be paid whatever happens – what we don’t know is what injuries will happen to our players.

    I would have said “First” except the comment took time to write and you don’t award gold medals anyway.

    And good article as always, YW.

  8. duke, why do yo have such a b´nice picture and we get those pics?

  9. Its always good posts on ACLF, its an oas in the Arsenal blogspehe!

  10. jonas, I actually think thats a nice picture of you, your hair looks cool that way.

  11. Cheers james, proper fashion statement…looks like someone directly out of Soho…

  12. There is a graduation path for all Arsenal youngsters. Loan to lower league side, Carling Cup, First Team Squad duty, and then a breakthrough. At each of these stages there is a filtering. Szczesny has gone through the first tier. If he was the chosen one to become Arsenal number one in a few years, I would have expected him to be number 2 right now. Since that is not the case I don’t think getting Schwarzer (if he comes ie.) has anything to do with keeping Szczesny ready. As things stand, the number two currently is Fabianski. If Schwarzer comes in I expect to see Almunia moved out as he has made it clear that he does not want to be number two at this stage of his career. Otherwise I think status quo remains with Almunia Nnumber 1 and Szczesny number 2. And I would trust Wenger’s judgment more than anyone else’s in these matters.

  13. Otherwise I think status quo remains with Almunia Nnumber 1 and Fabianski number 2.

  14. Schwarzer may not be world class but he is better than Aluminium any day. Aluminium is the weak link in defence and that’s why we lost to Barca the three times we played them. If another goalie other than him & Fabianski were between the sticks we’ll probably be winning some gongs by now. Personally Shay is a better goalie by miles to any of them. Be that as it may, Aluminium is a 3rd class goalkeeper.

  15. No worries Dukem..hehe

    James, I play my enemies like a game of chess and you know this dog.

  16. how do you know yogi doesnt send little gold medals with aclf first comment of the day winner written on it in red and white, Gooneraside.

    jonas, go to sign up and upload any pic you want.

  17. Lots of people are beginning to ride the Stekelenberg train right about now, but wouldnt he be cup tied for the first group stage of the champions league?.. I say we get behind Manuel for now, although from Le Boss’ words over the last few weeks it would seem a keeper is definitely on the radar.

    Personally I would like to see King Eboue in between the sticks.

  18. Aluminium is the weak link in defence and that’s why we lost to Barca the three times we played them.

    First time we lost because Jens Lehmann was red carded and we had to play with 10 men for the entire match. Second time we actually didn’t lose, in case you had cared to watch the game. We were kept in the game by Almunia and only drew because our makeshift defence was out of position. The third time we lost because we were not able to field anything close to our first team, and Messi was in scintillating form.

  19. HeGunner

    So Schwarzer’s immune from making mistakes is he? Hmmmm. Have you actually seen him play?


  20. I Like Almunia, but I dislike Fabianski. Schw.. is a mediocre keeper and nothing we should buy. He makes big mistakes just like Alm and Fab. He doesn’t get the same limelight on him in Fulham, so he gets away with it. I hope for Given, but I think we will have the same keepers after the fall of the transfercurtian.

  21. If your gunner slag Al off at least use games where he did actually cost us like spuds,brum,..there are more but my memory is poor…i have a memory like an elephant, no i have a memory like a fish,no elephant or is it fish i cant remember!

  22. @ Hegunner;

    Lost 3 times to Barcelona? At least get the simple facts right first. Rest of your post is not much better.
    Only point of replacing Almunia with Schwarzer is a different face, hopefully getting the Gutters and Gloomers off the GK’s back. At least for some time until it turns out that Schwarzer is not better than what we have already. And so it starts again.

  23. Duke, I wouldnt blame him for the goal against spurs cos no one on the planet thought that shot was coming did they?

  24. no james not even rosey himself knew about it, it was a complete fluke wasnt it. he meant to just chip it into the danger zone didnt he. what about gallarse then james he is a mug isnt he?

  25. Good talk.

  26. Great post.

    Wilshere still needs time to develop, but it’s a little too late now to do so away from the spotlight.

    I had to read this sentence —

    The rationale behind signing the Fulham ‘keeper is sound in that he would allow Szczesny to progress to the first team and not in dispute but all summer the clamour has been for players who have shone at the World Cup…

    — a few times to get it.

    I never liked the idea of Schwarzer for Almunia, it’s hard for me to see improvement there.

  27. As long as Capello is not planning another ‘play him for both National teams and destroy him for his club’ game. Jack is going to have to deal with the characterisation that he has been ‘dropped’ but it will be good for him to learn the fickleness of fame early on.

    YW I had the same conversation with someone next to me at the game on Saturday. Of course we remember the errors of our own keepers and blow them out of all proportion. There is not one goal keeper who has not made mistakes but if they don’t play for us we don’t really care so don’t take note of it. If Schwarzer comes his first mistake will be followed by the complaints about his age and demands for the next best thing.

    Lloris is one of the current flavours of the month, but I watched him closely at the Emirates cup and he made an horrendous error and only good fortune saved him from embarrassment. It’s hard for goal keepers because their mistakes can lead to goals. This is compounded by unrealistic expectations of perfection, which is never going to happen.

  28. Duke, If you guys had just paid Gallas what he wanted we could of avoided this horrible situation. I cant stand him personally but you have to trust the manager and Redknapps definitely earned the benefit of the doubt. I still cant picture him playing in our kit it just doesnt seem right

  29. Almunia is very poor, and Flappy is even worse. the prospect of going to Blackburn and seeing cross after cross come in scares the hell out of me, neither are capable of dealing with them. that’s the reason we need change, and that’s the reason Schwazer has been ear marked, he has a very strong command of his box, ask any Fulham fan.

    also, remeber how amazing Foster looked at Watford, then when called back to the Mancs he made loads of mistakes, is Chesney going to be similar, i’ve not seen him enough to know really.

    and Finally, and this goes against all i’ve said, the clown gets beaten at the near post by a rifle of a shot at liverpool and the world says he’s shite. Reina fumbles an own goal, yet again, and he still get’s labelled as world class. the press have a lot to asnwer for.

  30. Embryo, how did you come up with the name Embryo? I bet Jurassic Park is your favourite film

  31. Unfortunately I don’t think it matters how good or bad people think Almunia is, or how good or bad he he actually is for that matter. The whole situation has been rather mishandled in my opinion, which means the only is a new keeper, whether they are better than what we currently have or not. I just don’t see how Almunia can carry on as number 1 now with his confidence sapped and the fans waiting (some even willing) for the next mistake to happen. It just wouldn’t be a healthy situation for the club all round.

  32. **Without Typos**

    Unfortunately I don’t think it matters how good or bad people think Almunia is, or how good or bad he actually is for that matter. The whole situation has been rather mishandled in my opinion, which means the only solution is a new keeper, whether he is better than what we currently have or not. I just don’t see how Almunia can carry on as number 1 now with his confidence sapped and the fans waiting (some even willing) for the next mistake to happen. It just wouldn’t be a healthy situation for the club all round.

  33. Almunia is not great but not bad i think Schwarzer is better though.My big problem is Fabianski.He really is an awful keeper.Either Almunia or probably Schwarzer should be number 1 but Chesney should be in front of Fabianski as number 2 keeper.I would have kitten if Almunia picked up an injury before saturday and we had to play Fabianski

  34. James, it’s the name of my company, well sort of. was a great idea 10 years ago, just stuck with it now.

    going to be so funny watching Gallas play for the Spuds, shame he left in some ways though he was good when his head was straight

  35. Passenal,

    when it comes to keepers we all know they will make mistakes its just you want a keeper who keeps them to a minimum,i mean the best keepers who keep their mistakes down like Seaman/cheque tend to when they do make big massive mistakes. its the flapping and the uncertainty that Al provides now more then the mistakes which is why he has to go get fired.

  36. All keepers make mistakes, swarts does also. I just think that there is so much pressure on almunia, his every move scrutinised mainly because he plays for Arsenal, if he played for spurs for example, then nobody would have anything to say ….cause its spurs, maybe harry will buy him?
    Are you going to the game tonight, James

  37. James

    It doesn’t seem right anyone playing in that kit. It’s a eyesore of cataclysmic proportions. A real mess. A tragedy. A slight against God.

    I say this respectfuly, you must understand.

  38. Almunia just have to show his “character” to silence his critics. Gallas, for all his flaws, showed character of the highest order in an even more adverse circumstance of being stripped off the captaincy.

  39. Boomer

    It’s interesting isn’t it? People outside of the football buisness seem to be the, one causing the problems. Would Almunia feel as nervy coming of his line or Walcott in “picking out the right ball” if the scrutiny wasn’t as relentless and grossly distorted as it is?

    I don’t see that same amount of criticism directed at the lesser Aaron Lennon or the recently gaffe prone Reina. If it were I’m willing to bet that their performances would be affected.

  40. The keepers debate is as usual. Almunia is now a top 10 EPL keeper whose dip in form last season threatened to become a crisis of confidence. Fabianski will in a season or two make the first choice, and become a favourite. He needs to equip himself better on positioning and crosses. There’s a reason behind his self-confidence.

    Schwarzer, if at all, is an insurance policy plus.

    I see Wilshere playing a marginal but exciting role this season, depending on other injuries, a bit like Song and Denilson 3 seasons back. He is mature for his age in technique, and physique I would guess. He is dependable for both passing and tracking back, quite physical too. I imagine Wenger will give him half a dozen or so starts this season, sometimes paired with Cesc, playing slightly back so Cesc can push forward. This could work and grow quickly.

  41. The only rationale for Schwarzer for me is a that an Almunia/Schwarzer unit is considered stronger than an Almunia/Fabianski one. Fabianski isn’t providing enough competitive pressure for Almunia. For it to work it requires Almunia to stay in place because a Schwarzer/Fabianski pairing would arguably give us less than we have now. Schwarzer could and by the end of the season probably would find himself playing back up to Almunia.

  42. Boomer, Deano, as much as I hate the sp*ds, to be fair Gomes got slaughtered when he made mistakes at the start of his spell there.
    In general as well we know there is a media hate-in for Arsenal players but others do get criticised as well…
    There’s no point looking for victimisation when we get enough without looking for more.

  43. In other words, if ye gods, we do not challenge for honours on all fronts this season, it won’t be because of any keeper. In fact, I would bet that Almunia will save us not less than 6 matches for his shot stopping ability and penalty saves.

  44. You make a fair point Rinseout,

    The Walcott criticism does defy belief though.

    I would like to see Almunia in goal for us this season. He will win us many more games than he will lose us.

    I realy only thought there were a handful of times last season where he was questionable compared to the countless times he was excellent.

  45. I am bored with this schwarzer rumour, this guy might look good playing for fulham but as soon as he would wear the Arsenal shirt (something I hope will never happen) he would crumble under the pressure, make a mistake and the same anti Al & Fab would get on his case and we will be in an even worth situation than now as Schwarzer does not have any experience of CL.

    For all saying this is not true just remember the four goal we shipped past him in the last game and also his horrible performance against the Germans in the WC.

    Wenger will not go in panic buy (thank god) and if a new GK comes in it will be because he is better than what we have or improve Almunia by giving him serious competition and rebuild Fab’s confidence by loaning him away from all this witch hunt against him.

    A good defence is what we needed most and it seems it has been achieved, we will give away less soft goals, Almunia will have less pressure helping him regaining his best form and the whole team confidence will be improved! Good times ahead, I can guaranty you!

  46. Deano, Al can pull it out, but his whole problem is mental.
    He needs to be loved and I’m not sure if we can have someone that insecure in goal for us, regardless of skill. We’ve all seen him save pens and make amazing double or triple saves but he’s obviously a sensitive little flower. Hence my agreement with those who say he is a good number 2 where he won’t have to face that pressure week in, week out.
    Thing is though, he won’t take that step down with us. He should take his missus, miniature yorkie and go and retire in Mallorca or somwhere.
    It’s a shame, but I think his personal problems with family deaths etc have really affected his mental state in addition to the normal sledging our players get.

  47. damm right, Deano. It annoys me that our players are always the focus, like walcott if/when they have a lesser day. Jens used to make a few clangers but for some reason the media turned him into someone interesting, i feel for almunia and i personaly dont get paying anyn amount for a 37 year old who isnt all that anyway. No player imo gets better at that time of life, experience counts for nothing then, people can quote one or two like deno zoff but these are exceptions, i think swartzy has had his day, i mean where was he ten years ago, i didnt know about him, and for good reason . Rinseout, the spurs dig was for that loveble scamp, James.

  48. Good post.

    On the topic of our fledgling players … have you seen the comments of that poor excuse for a human being – Mourino – in today’s press writing off our chances?

    For someone all to ready to get out his cheque book what does he know about youth policy the pr*ck.

  49. Rinseout,

    Remember though Gomes is an amazing shot stopper but is still well dodgy on crosses, and probably always will be.

    Deano, Leave Lennon alone, he’s only little.

  50. Boomer fair enough man, the lilywhite scum deserve all the shit we can throw at em. They should piss off back to Middlesex.

  51. I have no idea if Rinseout’s take on Almunia is correct. I do agree with those who see his confidence as being the issue. I also agree that he is a good keeper, not great, but good. For me, it’s whether we are better off with him in goal or somebody else whose confidence is not an issue.

    In this situation, at this time, in this season, head should rule heart. If a replacement is out there who is available and at least as good as Al, then I would be happy to see him in an Arsenal shirt.

    It may be that Al would have a good run of games and the pressure go away. That’s the calculation that Arsene must be making. What must be avoided is Al becoming the focus of our season. If the story of our season becomes one of ‘dodgy keeper costs Arsenal dear’ then that would be a cause for enormous regret.

    Sorry Al but it’s not a risk that I would take. Swartzer may well be no better a keeper, he will make mistakes but he is not already ‘damaged’. Witness the standing that he is held in despite the clear errors that we have seen him make against us and Germany. No shitstorm around him.

  52. The difference between Arsenal players and most other teams, is that in the media, if one of ours has an off day (or even scores a hattrick ffs) they will get slagged off. If a man u or chelsea player has an off day it is either not mentioned, or excuses are made for them. Obviously sky have a pro man u agenda (murdoch was a shareholder and tried to buy them a while back) and well chelsea have got lampard, terry, cole, england’s ‘heroes’. liverpool have got half of their ex players commentating or presenting football shows and they all hate or will have hated Arsenal.

    That’s why we have to show our love to the lads even more and bollocks to all the cunts & playa haters

  53. Rinseout, but everyone has favourites in football, thats what makes it what is is. Its your own ex-players who slag off Arsenal you should be directing your anger at.

  54. I am baffled by all those self-proclaimed experts that claim Wenger has lost all confidence in Big Al. Pre-season onwards, despite the best attempts of the media, Wenger has refused to say anything negative or disrespectful towards his keeper. CHECK.

    In fact during the World Cup, there was a rather outlandish attempt to to make-up a story, by a Kenyan journalist no less, where AW was supposed to have said Almunia was “nervous” in big matches. The club and Wenger, personally, had to shoot that one down. CHECK.

    Finally Almunia has been captain for both Premier league games so far, in the absence of Cesc. That sure makes sense for a player who has lost the confidence of his manger. CHECK.

    AW has gone a long way to fix the defence playing in front of Big Al. But I am sure it makes more sense to parrot the same old lazy, hackneyed line, Arsenal needs a keeper. Prophecies of doom are best-sellers, no matter the generation.

  55. i get sick sick sick when people still talk about Almunia. they never highlight his great saves, but are always quick to talk about his errors. which goal keeper in the whole world isn’t prone to errors, and bad judgements. bet if Reina was our keeper, we would have called for his head after that howler! Barcelona are the best team in the world, but as long as they keep bringing in results, nobody is quick to point out that Valdes is as poor a keeper as Fabianski! yes. he is that poor. i know it cos i watch their matches also. it’s difficult to expose this cos their defence and midfield don’t let you get enough shots at their goal! so, pleeeeease stop hating on Almunia, cos we destroy his self confidence, and make him even more vulnerable to errors. no one in the world can be at his best when he always feels he hasn’t got the backing of someone.
    we’ve got blackburn this weekend. so let’s all rally behind Almunia to give him the desired support, cos for the moment, he’s the best we’ve got. do not mention that name “sczsny”!

    Now to little Jack. we don’t need kids in the mid field. let’s face it. he’s got talents, but i think we have to put an end to all the hype…. NOW! THE FANS AND MEDIA ARE KILLING HIS STEADY DEVELOPMENT, AND IF HE IS NOT PREPARED TO WAIT HIS TURN, HE SHOULD LEAVE THE CLUB! we need men if we are to WIN titles, not just CONTESTING for titles. we’ve been contesting for years without results. best mid field trio for now is fabregas, rocisky/nasri, and song. others can come in when they are injured, when we are 3-4 goals up, or when we meet lesser competitive teams.


  56. Wenger wants Schwarzer as a stop gap for 2 years until Chesney is ready.That shows he has no faith at all in Fabianski.If we sign Schwarzer Almunia will go he wont stay to play second fiddle.Chesney should be playing in all the domestic cup games and the dead group games in the CL

  57. Spooky

    Jack Wilshire is in the team on merit

  58. Dear, James are you attempting to insight anger to our ex players, after all most of them play for you right now, dont they precious

  59. Dick, i agree with your point on ches, play him in the cup games, it will give him confidence and experience, i have yet to see him play a full 90 but i hear hes the dogs so why not. What are his weaknesses ???

  60. I wouldn’t be surprised if Al is our No.1 shotta. but I do think that Arsene would replace him if he could get the right man at the right price.

    On this one we will disagree!

  61. boomer, no im just saying that every club thinks the pundits give them a hard time, except Man Utd and chelsea. But to be fair, Man Utd and Chelsea have been the best teams for a long time now, sickening I know but a fact

  62. CONSOLS… I think the key issue remains what we are looking for in the right man and also what is the right price.

    part of being a professional is recovering from errors and playing under pressure.

    i also believe MS is not better than Almunia, if it is a matter of goals conceded then both Given and MS have conceded more oals that Al in the past seasons!

  63. Fair point, James. However some clubs deserve a hard time more than my team does. We need to be adored, its good for my self esteem.

  64. Anyone tell me what are chesneys weaknesses, is it just lack of experience.

  65. I’d love to see us sign a goalkeeper who can claim a cross every time with Blackburn-style monstro-men blocking him.

    Sadly, I don’t think one exists – apart from that super fat guy who played for England in the late 19th Century – William Foulke.

    He’d have a lot of presence, but would probably lack the reactions and agility needed for every other aspect of a GK’s game.

  66. That picture makes it look like he’s got a gargantuan erection.

  67. OOU You have just reminded me of the jaw droppingly distatefull tactics employed by Blackburn at Ewood against Fabianski last season.

    I hope we smash them for double figures when we vist.

  68. *distasteful

  69. I think I may have the answer Big Al. It migth also explain the, ahem, problem experienced by Mr Foulke.

  70. boomer,

    I heard Scezney has a weakness for the ladies……………….but dont we all.

  71. I’d love to know what any other keeper in the world would have done differently, Deano. All the best ones are slim and lithe. Only the Kevin Pressmans and Neville Southalls types would be able to bust through a wall of players to catch the ball.

    Anyway, it’s going to be a different story this time around, mainly because they won’t have the ball in our half for long enough on saturday.

  72. Zim Paul,,In other words, if ye gods, we do not challenge for honours on all fronts this season, it won’t be because of any keeper. In fact, I would bet that Almunia will save us not less than 6 matches for his shot stopping ability and penalty saves
    What a load of tosh Zim Paul, a good keeper can be all the differance in winning the league or coming 3rd again. Im not in any way saying we can not win with our current keepers, we may well. But if Arsen has tried to bring Shwartzer on board he must believe he is going to improve the team. I would have though all you AKB’s would be behind this. You are just hipocrits, criticizing other for not trusting in the manager. What are you doing now huh !

  73. Don’t feed the troll…

  74. Oneofus,

    Have I told you of my proposal to counteract those tactics if they try it again?

    Basically, I propse that Fabianski should wear open-crotched shorts, and maybe dose him up with Viagra to give him a ‘Gargantuan’ sized erection. I gaurentee no one will go near him………except maybe Clichy.

  75. Billy the Fish, eh, CB? I thought it was only people from Portsmouth who went for that kind of thing.

  76. Big Al are you sure that is not a picture of Paul Jewell? It’s sure looks like him in stature.

  77. Not you, William Foulkes. OK, I’ve lowered the tone more than enough.

  78. You know how to get to a man, Big Al.

    Interestingly, in my hunt for material on Billy, I came across a 2008 article in the Mail suggesting replacements for Gomes! Swartzer wasn’t mentioned amongst the many candidates. Billy was though.

  79. Dukedooman, speak for yourself, Duke i have a weakness for James

  80. Oh to be a striker

  81. Arsenal v Blackburners
    Sagna Kos Verm Clichy
    Eboue Cesc Diaby

    n’est pas?

  82. Naaa, it’s gotta be Walcott on form.

  83. Looks right ZP.

  84. tout a fait.

  85. Almunia
    sagna kos tv clichy
    fab4 song tricky
    theo arsh

  86. Naaa, Eboue, he’ll get all the free-kicks for RvP to put away.

  87. i see your logic.Z
    According to someone, Koz is the 869th best player in the world. Squils is 289th and tv is 113th. who decides this stuff

  88. LOOL

    I would go for –





    Diaby, Vela and Theo to come on in the second half for three more goals.

  89. Almunia in my opinon hasn’t made one mistake that has lead to a goal this season. In fact the only mistake that readily comes to mind thus far was a weakly punched cross that didn’t clear the penalty box against Liverpool.

    Mind you, this still hasn’t stopped the supposed pundits and schmucks (bother interchangable; Merson fits boths) from lambasting Almunia for not saving a powerful well-placed shot from N’Gog, or claiming a rather unclaimable cross against Blackpool.

    Almunia’s weakness is in claiming crosses and corner, and I think this al stems from the fact that he’s a nice guy. He strikes me as the kind of guy who really doesn’t want to hurt anybody. Constrast that with Mad Jens.

    I reckon his apparent weakness could quite easily be solve by him getting angry and aggressive. He needs a bit of Jens in him – the bar steward who’d crumple attackers in getting his hands to a cross.

    Fall to the Dark Side Almunia and the world will soon be yours

  90. Almunia
    sagna kos tv clichy
    fab4 song tricky
    theo arsh

    this is sats team, fact

  91. I know where you are coming from with Diaby and Eboue, but I would be loathe to have Rosicky and Theo both on the bench.

  92. President Bob – I don’t disagree with your assertion that Arsene would replace Big Al… “if he could get the right man at the right price.” It is simply that I disagree with the notion that this is a top priority of Wenger. The defending is what we need to get right. Our team defending was shambles at points last year especially after a raft of injuries. Vermalean and Song need to have a better understanding and offer better cover to each other. Diaby has to develop a better defensive game as he is required to be more like a holding midfielder in certain games, something like that “peeping tom”, Busquets.
    As Spooky Gun posted earlier, Barca won everything with Valdes as their keeper, because they limited point blank and uncontested shots at their keeper. Valdes is not the greatest, that is why he is No. 3 for Spain, behing Reina, the fumbler. Big Al is as good as Valdes and I am unconvinced that either Schwarzer or Given is any better.

  93. One more week and the bloody transfer window will be closed. The sooner the better as far as I’m concerned.

  94. We really should beat blackburn this saturday..something struck me when i was watching the majority of our team play at the biggest stage of football there is, against the best in the world from their countries, and of course rvp and cesc among the finalists, how the hell, with these world class internationals, do we fail to beat teams like stoke, birmingham and blackburn..them resorting to dirty tactics? Probably…but I think now we have the required strength to not get knocked around. Okay, people like arshavin, theo and cesc are very vulnerable to places like these, but we have rosicky, diaby, chamakh, van persie, these guys dont get pushed around..and of course song.

  95. prediction;
    Blackbyrn Rovers 0 5 Arsenal
    wallcott 12 49
    Van Persie 36
    fabregas 61
    vela (sub) 84

  96. Schwarzer has performed well at Fulham over the last 2 seasons, while our 1st&2nd choices have had below par displays.

    I support AW in his pursuit for Schwarzer, but not his inability to make the deal come through.

    We had 3 months to get a new 1st choice goalie, to now play with 1 knowing he is to be replaced is far from ideal. When arrived, will schwarzer be able to play right away? I don’t think so, he will need minimum 1 week to settle.
    He will have no support from Almunia, and Almunia will feel rightfully unwanted, still we will need to rely on him performing…..

    Top clubs don’t put themselves in this sort of trouble, as they don’t afford to risk points being lost. we claim we are a top club, yet we compromise it all in crazy ways like this situation.

    Really poor management to not have this sorted ahead of the season.

  97. GBG gunner the offer for Schwazer went in months ago. Blame Fulham if you want but Wenger cannot force them to sell.


    Toto Squillaci unveiling delayed as Gianluigi Buffon flies in from Turin to join the photoshoot.

    Gianluca Pagliuca to come out of retirement and replace Buffon at Juve.

    Dave Seaman employed as goalkeeping coach at Arsenal. Fitted with a mechanical larynx so as to be heard at normal human frequencies.

    Fabianski bundled away quietly in a recycling bin.

    Wenger targets Sunderland midfield wanker Lee Cattermole as his next move.


  99. The fact that Fulham was without a manager for a substantial period, and that the new manager was not exactly Wenger’s best mate also complicated matters.

  100. Limpar, you missed the one about Wenger signing Delap as player cum throw in coach.

  101. Delap has been signed to help Denilson with his back problems – we are gonna do a spine transplant and use the left over body parts as medical aids for our physio staff

  102. If ever there was such a horror as a cum throwing competition, then you’re right Keysersoze, Delap would surely win it.

  103. Alex, from yesterday’s post, are you…. Carpenter11?

    I’m always on your channel. Your Rosicky vids are legendary! Don’t listen to me knocking your music… you do a great job. Keep up the good work!

    Seeing as you ask though… have a listen to these Maybe I’m wrong and they don’t go at all but I reckon some interesting dance music might fit well, seeing as Arsenal’s football borders on dance 🙂

    Pariah – Detroit Falls (was thinking Cesc)
    James Blake – CMYK
    Fourtet – Sing
    Bonobo – Kiara
    Ricardo Villalobos – Enfants (maybe one of the youngsters breaking through)
    Joy Orbison – Hyph Mngo
    Mount Kimbie – Sketch on Glass
    Untold – Stop What You’re Doing (James Blake Remix)

    Or maybe Miles Davies – Jeru, or some Explosions in the Sky.

    That’s what I’m listening to at the moment that I think would be cool. I’m sure plenty of people on this site will have their own suggestions. (One thing from playing out at parties I’ve learnt though… Never Accept Requests! It’s like negotiating with terrorists.) Having said that… please accept one of mine!

    Whatever music you use I’ll keep watching. Recently rewatched that one of Rosicky tackling everyone. Brilliant.

  104. By the way, Silvestre seems to be lining up for a move to Werder Bremen. Guy sure gets to play for good clubs.

  105. he certainly seems to lad on his feet Keysersoze doesnt he – unlike Gallas, the slag!!

  106. land on his feet even*

  107. Thank you for my promotion shotta. Maria will be livid.

  108. Nice post Yogi:

    I agree that Capello is doing Jack W. and us a favor. He needs time. He is only 18. Hopefully he and the other boys will get a long CC run and may be a few early FA cup games.

    IMO the whole GK situation has not been well handled. GK is one position that should not have controversy. I realize all the difficulties with transfers but I really find it difficult to believe that we could not have gotten something done sooner especially after Schwarzer submitted a transfer request. If we are going to have a new GK he should have been here for the start of the season. If not we should have declared Almunia Number 1 and gotten on with business. Waiting this long hoping to save a couple million so we can pat ourselves on the back and say “we will not overpay” is really penny wise pound foolish in this case. Leaving Almunia and our GK situation in limbo this long has certainly increased the media and the fan focus and done him and the club no favors.

  109. Watch out for the coup d’etat led by Subcomandante Eboue. Pipe an’ all.

    There’s trouble ahead.

    There’s also a concise demolition of Mourinhioballs over at desigunner’s blog,

    “Classic Mourinho, Still Envious of Arsene”

    Great title, says it all really.

  110. ive just been blocked bt CWD4CESC wtf!! All i did was say the music in his vids are shit and have no relevance to the football, and are unneccesary..ehh

  111. ‘ive just been blocked bt CWD4CESC wtf!!’

    Any chance of having that in English?

  112. Serves you right Zap, that boy does good work. Let him be.

  113. The music on his videos is definitely not for me, but I guess you’ll never get a consensus when it comes to music.

    But there’s a Romario video out there soundtracked by Gilberto Gil – it’s like they’re made for each other.

  114. Two buts in quick succession – I’m turning into Gooner2!

  115. Bob – I carried out the coup d’etat yesterday evening (local time) when Yogi and his praetorian guard were in bed (GMT). Shades of Aristide.

    Bill – As to the Schwarzer deal or non-deal, you know quite well you are talking CRAP. £2 million offer a keeper tells you that this was never a priority for Wenger. Fixing the defence and signing Kos was his priority. He admitted that publicly. But given your obsession with M.A. and your perception of his deficiencies, this was never going to be good enough for you. So you keep moaning like a drain. Ultimately your goal is not to understand the logic of AW but, come the end of the season, self-fulfillment of your worst fears. Come on, admit it.

  116. S-G, Bob,

    We are not a tacky Spanish club we have a chairman no, El presidente no, not on my

  117. Delia-----Block 112

    The Ref. will be the most important man on the pitch on Saturday!
    I go for a more defensive line up :-
    Sagna Kos TV5 Clichy
    Song Cesc Diaby(his height preferred to TR7)
    Eboue Chamakh RVP
    Bench:- Fab Theo TR7 AA Vela Gibbs JD
    It’s going to be too late to include our new boy.
    I’m all for a better keeper but MS is not the answer, the Dutchman would have been a better bet.

  118. Shotta:

    If it was not really a priority and was not important we should have quietly dropped it a long time ago. If the plan was to replace him it should have been a high priority. I am sure Wenger and Gazidis could have been multitasking. Leaving it in limbo with the $2M take it or leave it offer makes no sense. We all believe that Almunia at his best is good enough to be our keeper and at his worst he is clearly not. IMO the focus should have been to replace him or do whatever we could to give him the best chance to return to his best. So far we have done neither. I doubt that anyone including you really thinks that leaving this in limbo has been the best thing for Almunia. If we were talking about 10 or 15M difference in price may be it would make more sense. Huge difference between waiting out someone for a better price over a left winger compared with #1 GK.

    At this point I would still rather see Al replaced but I suspect he will be our GK. I will certainly cheer for him just like everyone else in the team. If we do not replace him I hope he comes back towards his best. I just think that our handling of the situation has not been ideal and hope that now with our financial house in better shape we will get away from this type of situation.

  119. I think a new keeper will be a major psycological boost to the fans. finally the fans can feel safe again. Finally the fans can stop hating their own keeper.

    The players? Well i dont know how much they care. Alot of the old defence has already left and we will get two new cds in. Maybe their communication with Almunia will be better.

    Getting Scwartz is really good for the moaners though. The irony would be if almunia went to another pl club and proved to be more than decent. While our schwartz was properly poo. How stupid would you feel then?

  120. Against Blackburn I’d go for;

    Aluminium man

    Sagna Djourou Vermaelen Gibbs

    Song Diaby Fabregas

    Walcott Chamakh RVP

    Bench: Fab, Eboue, Clichy, Walcott, Rosicky, Kos, Vela

    Team maximised for height

  121. Does Walcott have a twin brother ?

  122. The season has started and MA is our no.1. Turns out buying a multimillion pound goalkeeper wasn’t like walking into a fucking supermarket.

  123. Gallas has been round more london clubs than a cheap prostitute…

  124. Ah Muppet. My subconscious probably thinks Arshavin is Walcott’s twin

  125. I can just see the training session at Blackburn right now. They are practising kicking. And it is not a ball they are kicking.

  126. MS is an insurance policy, rather than a strategy.

    What’s wrong with Wenger saying, look plan A, plan B, plan C etc … but any more than 2m is not good business or football sense?

  127. Speaking of Wilshere, apparently, according to Arshavin, he has the longest penis in the squad.

  128. Damien, thats actually a misquote, what he said was that Wiltshire IS the biggest penis in the squad.

  129. Maria this whole nouvelle regime presidential conundrum risks getting out of hand since the coup d’etat in the aftermath of the ‘italics uprising’. Surely, if CBob is the next president, as Shotta now refers to him, he should be addressed by the proper ceremonial title President Eboue, steeped in the history and culture of our people and heroic events amidst YW’s now infamous ‘cat incident’ (the less said on this the better, I’m sure we all agree). Then we have captains, chairmen, Frank ‘shopping’ on the other side of the Adriatic, Pz seems to be in the Zimmerframe business, and Ponyboy … oh never mind. Is this how we run a coup d’etat?


  130. James – do you serve any purpose on this planet ?

  131. Where the hell is Frank ?

  132. The confusion is no doubt responsible for Big Al now assuming Gooner 2’s persona, which has got to be resolved as a matter of some urgency.

  133. Muppet, here are my answers to your many questions.

    1. My purpose on this planet is to Serve the public trust, protect the innocent and uphold the law.

    2. Frank is gone, you wont be seeing him again.

  134. Yes, “the Life of James”.

  135. Sad said
    “I think a new keeper will be a major psycological boost to the fans. finally the fans can feel safe again. Finally the fans can stop hating their own keeper.”

    Interesting, I am thinking that if the fans get behind Almunia we could possibly give him a psycological boost.

    We can only support the players that we have in the team. Even if you think Almunia is not that good, if no comes in he will be the number one. Tearing him down will be a detriment to the whole not just Almunia.

    I hope he can get his confidence back, we were about to win the PL with him in goal a few seasons back.

  136. Watch out shotta, your goons missed maria!

    Better be quick or it’s the piano wires in the basement time.

  137. I know ZP, even our elected chairman has two Walcotts playing for us.

    What is a girl to do!!

  138. What a garrotten’ thing to suggest, consolsbob.

  139. How about a motion to garotten James ?

    Chairman ?

  140. Where oh where is Skilly Bob Thornton?

  141. Guys, I had to goggle that. That garrote business is not on.

    I will have to call in the troops.

  142. Except in the case of James were it’s perfectly fine.

  143. 2 x gooner2. No thanks. It’s hard enough trying to decipher the originals’ posts.

  144. She is so young,,,and so scary!

    Do what you like with James. It’s still quiet here for the moment.

  145. Spuds biggest game for 50 years and James spends his day on an Arsenal blog. Weird!

  146. Yes, but imagine having to drool over Aaron Lennon all day, which I imagine that is all there is to do on a spud site.

  147. ZP – The President is keeping quiet.

    Maria – Is this blog is a banana republic or a People’s Republic? You have to make a choice.
    President Bob has a nice ring to it, you must admit.

  148. Frank is too good for this site now isnt he. he doesnt hang around with aclf riff raff anymore.

  149. Actually, the President *spoke* while I was typing.

    President Bob, I beseech thee to leave the garotting to the putschists.

  150. Ultimately, it matters not one jot what the fans think; it’s the players that count. If they have confidence in the goalkeeper, this is what counts. Wenger will have picked up on this and it will form a large basis of his opinion about the current squad members in this position.

    Paul N is right; we might be able to improve Almunia’s confidence with support but I don’t think he is going to get enough to make that happen

  151. How many schists could a putschist put if putschist could shot-put?

  152. I’m confused. I thought you were the putschists shotta. If so then fine but if it’s maria then that raises the hairs on my neck.

  153. True Yogi, I dont see Almunia getting the support from the fans.

    I think Almunia may have made a mistake in saying how he feels publicly and the fact that Wenger has said that he is having a hard time doesnt sound good at all.

    I wonder if he spoke to Eboue about how he turned it around, or I wonder if the players encourage him and have the faith in him as they did with Eboue?

    I agree with Shotta that our defence was shambles at times last year. Its unfair that the only person that is really targeted is Almunia.

  154. Paul N and YW – Re player’s confidence. Do you remember the look on player’s faces last year when Fabianski allowed the ball to fall out of his hands vs Wigan? Go look at the tape. There was such consternation. I felt that is when they lost any hope of making a run for the title.

    I agree – The players and Wenger don’t give a jot what the fans think about a player. If they did, Eboue would never be the cult figure he is today. Neither would Song, Bendtner or Denilson be in the 1st team for that matter. If Big Al loses his job, it is because Wenger and the players have lost faith. Making a derisory £2 million bid for Schwarzer and summarily ruling out Given tells me all I need to know about AW’s current thinking about his GKs..

  155. Maria, his music videos are terrible hahhhh

    Hmm i was looking forward to tottenham getting drawn in a group of death since they’ll be in pot 4, but come to think about it, it could be equally amusing to watch them get dumped out in the qualifiers. I wonder if harry will be able to handle the young boys tonight, I bet he would love to..

    C’Monnn you young boys

  156. I just checked to see if there ARE any tottenham blogs out there, and yes there are some, and they have usually less then 3 comments for the posts. And if there are, it is discussing how the post above has any relevance to arsenal and wether they can overtake us. And most of the posts themselves are directly linked to arsenal. They are just obsessed with us, completely outshadowed, like city are in manchester.

  157. I think Gagdet @ 1:04 hit the nail on the head.

    Almunia’s problem is dead ball situations. He doesn’t come for crosses or free kicks. He’s tentative in the box and doesn’t have that “Mad Jens” aspect that was mentioned. Almunia is a shot-stopper…and a good if the truth is told but teams last season mad a real tactic of obstructing and fouling our keepers – both Al and Flappy suffered under this tactic – and the refs allowed it quite often. Blackburn specifically did this to us often. Remember Fat Sam saying that he had our number? Schwartzer is better in the air and is meaner coming for dead balls and if we want to win the league, this is what we need. i think that’s why we aren’t in for Shay Given. He’s another great shot-stopper, but he’s in the same mold as Almunia. Teams have realized that they can attack us here. I don’t have any stats but I think we gave away goals to the low and mid-table teams in this fashion. It’s a real weakness that other teams have identified.

  158. Axis, is it a weakness or do teams do it to our keepers and get away with it. I cannot say I’ve seen it done to many other keepers.

    Many teams will put a man in front of the opposition keeper but none seem to just barge the keeper out of the way (and get away with it) like they do to us.

  159. more-than-the-average-gunner

    i think the rumours of a new center back signing r true … i dnt see any defensive midfielder coming in cos we have too many players that can do a good job there in the case of where song is out ie Diaby, eastmond , Denilson .. this Mark schwazer saga is taking a little too long and we all know how wenger hates drawn out sagas in the media.. i still feel he will d media to his advantage and pull a rabbit out sign a keeper no body have their claws on

  160. Yogi:

    I agree that the players confidence will the main thing. I would have thought the boss would have been able to gauge that a long time ago. If he feels that Al will give us the best chance then he should come out and say that. His apparant lack of conviction does not lend a lot of confidence to the fans and I doubt that it helps the players.

    I will be very happy when the transfer window is closed. Very happy with The KOS and Chamakh. Would have liked to see Squallici much earlier but expect he will also be good. The handling of the GK situation has been suboptimal. We will all cheer for Almunia if he is our number 1 and hope he regains his better form. So far the defensive organization seems better. Hopefully that will continue and he will have a good season.

  161. a fungus-coated right hand

    “Change for change’s sake is generally not an answer to any problems.” Hmmm why didn’t anybody think of this before now?

  162. the draw is on tonight, i am on late night cover (which came as a surprise) so who do we get

  163. a fungus-coated right hand

    Young Boys time to get stuck in, and I mean seriously stuck in!

  164. a fungus-coated right hand

    Subcomandante Eboue will sort you all out!

  165. I think Almunia’s problem is communication and if he did communicate, then it’s the defense level of confidence in him that he will do what he communicated.

    For example, if he communicated a couple of times that he’s coming out for the ball and then flaps at it, how can the defense trust him the next time he says he’s coming out for the ball?

    Just exactly like Mad Jens in his last days when he started making his defense nervous by picking up imaginary fights and letting himself wound up so easily by opponents in the box.

    This coming game will probably be the final test for Almunia, Blackburn & The Fat Sam will most likely resort to their blueprint of box bombarding with long & high balls from everywhere, so we will have to see how the back 5 (Defense + Almunia) react to that and how successful they are in this kind of game.

  166. Hey Dups,

    It’s both I imagine. I know that Flappy was fouled several times and blatantly – resulting in goals. With Almunia I’ve noticed that on at least a couple occasions, he’s gotten preoccupied with the player sent in to barge him, flails about expecting a foul to be given and then when it doesn’t, ends up standing there as the ball gets bundled in. Almunia should be cracking skulls on his way to the ball. Strikers should be afraid to be between him and the ball – think about Jens, he was all elbows, knees, and fists on his way to the ball. This is a problem for Al.

    In the end I suppose it doesn’t really matter. We can’t depend on refs to help us. I’d have thought we’d learned that lesson by now. If teams are using direct attacks on our keepers because they don’t come for the ball, then we need to deal with that. I think Arsene has dealt with the goals from open play by getting Verm, Kos, and Skills…now we need to deal with the rest with a taller arial keeper.

  167. On the debate of our keepers getting bullied and fouled by opposition….

    I think part of the solution is for us to score more goals and be clinical in attack. By doing this, we will relieve the pressure from the defence and the keeper.

    Blackburn at 3 nil down is a different Blackburn as compared to Blackburn at 0-0. They’ll be more pre-occupied with stopping us from hammering them with a cricket score as opposed to fouling our keepers. Evidence of this is the numerous 4 nil victories we’ve had over them home and away. The Blackburn team looked literally spent the more goals we scored.

    If we don’t score the goals, then Blackburn gets bolder. This to me is a better strategy than trying to fight the thuggery from Blackburn with our own thuggery. The refs have already shown that they’ll only see it as Arsenal being soft if we don’t go for the physical in the box, because they’ve already been conditioned to that mentality.

    We already know that teams like Blackburn and Stoke will resort to this tactic. As long as we don’t let them get anywhere near our box as we did with Stoke at home last December, and as long as we take our chances because we will most definitely create them – then I don’t see the problem.

  168. I agree DS we need to kill teams but that is not going be the reality in every match. What do we do when we are 0-0 with the likes of Bolton? it will happen.

    Not that we should resort to thuggery but we have to resort to something.

    The perception seems to be that teams think they can bully Arsenal on corners, close free kicks, etc.

    The team, not only the goalkeeper must put a stop to it somehow, we must get more physical on these plays, I dont see any other alternative. The refs are not going to do jack, are they!? clowns!

  169. Yes. I concur Paul. Darius has the ideal scenario but life….

  170. ..and anyway, shouldn’t Darius be writing his own blogs?

  171. the draw is tomorow at 4.30

  172. G4E – Quite frankly, I have every confidence with Big Al at Blackburn. He’s been there, done that. IMO, it is experience that counts and I doubt there is anything that B/burn can throw at Al that he hasn’t seen before. They are going to throw Samba, Nzonzi, Dunn and Petersen in the box, to obstruct the keeper, on every free kick and corner they get. (Have I missed any of the thugs?) At their current experience level, Better Al than Fabianski .
    I don’t predict game results but if we continue with that steely determination, that I have detected, it will be a hard fought but comfortable victory on Saturday.

  173. Paul N.

    We need to play smart.

    Frankie, our rugby coach in high school taught us one thing – never tackle a beast bigger than you head on. Slow him down and take his ankles down by your side and as he passes you. It worked every time. Try taking them head on and the bastard’s knees dislocate your shoulder.

    My point is that we are a devastating and ruthless attacking force when we put our minds to it. The way to deal with teams like Blackburn is to occupy them with our strenghts. They’ll be too busy trying to stop the cricket score as opposed to kettling our keeper. That’s the contribution and support the team can give…focus on what we’re good at and do it damn well – and that includes fighting for the ball even harder when we’re out of possession.

    The big lumping style of hoofball that they play requires intelligence to counter – and we have this in abundance. We don’t have to become thugs. For example, reading and anticipating 2nd balls from their knock downs will kill a very huge percentage of their opportunities. More importantly, that intelligent approach to the game keeps us on the front foot as we can change defence to attack with devastating speed and effect.

    Tackling and fighting with the thugs doesn’t guarantee possession. It just guarantees we’ll look as savage as they are.

    Let’s focus on our strengths.

  174. Don’t mess with Darius, President Bob. Remember there are putschists about.

  175. Just because I can have a main meal at home El Presidente Bob, doesn’t mean I can’t pop in here for a snack no?

    Let’s face it, if we do our job properly then they’ll be chasing shadows instead of kettling our keeper. The alternativ in your real world scenario is to punch their frigging lights out.

  176. you are on the money again re. change for change’s sake.

    unless we were getting world-class, i don’t see the point of going for another goalie.

  177. DS, No doubt we should play to our strengths but no matter how smooth we play we will not beat teams by 3 goal every match, Its just not going to happen.

    Defense also must be played. Its a part of the whole no matter how you cut it.

    Suppose on the first possession of the game the opposing team attacks and gets a corner, what will our offensive play do for us them?

  178. DS – don’t you think that’s relying too much on our attack; there might be days where our offense does not click. We need to defend as a team, without giving away possesion in our own half.
    That said, I totally understand your point about the refs.

  179. there you go, Paul

  180. I agree with your tactics for blackeye rovers Darius. If we try to play them at their own game we know that the referees will be harder on our players than theirs. We only have to look at them wrong to get a booking whereas they can decapitate our players without so much as a warning.

  181. MJ.

    I don’t discount that we need to defend well, all I’m saying is that we can also play attacking football better than we can punch 6 ft something neanderthals away from our keeper.

  182. Lets not go to the extreme, I dont think we are saying that Arsenal should become a bunch of thugs (though no one messed with Mad Jens).

    What we are saying is that when these situations arise the team must not be bullied. Dont you agree with that DS?

    No amount of pretty play can stop a team from bullying your keeper. On the contrary if a Stoke is down by 2, the odds are they will start to play even worse in order to get a goal back.

  183. Shotta, I agree and hope Almunia does well.

  184. Paul N…I argue that by playing our game and playing it damn well – we still achieve what you say. We stop them from bullying us. The bullying is designed to stop us playing our game, no?

    Of course we will have to be physical and we will have to fight. But we can also fight by outplaying the other team, especially when they choose to use brute force. We’ve done it before and we can do it again.

  185. What a joke, just saw this on espn.

    “Nothing is settled yet. We will know the situation on September 1,” Raiola told Swedish newspaper Expressen. “There are only three clubs that are capable of signing Ibra: AC Milan, MANCHESTER CITY and Real Madrid. These clubs are the only ones who can afford to sign him, to PAY him and ATTRACT him.”

    City are now an “attractive” club?

    Money talks!

  186. DS, I dont quite remember Arsenal goalies being treated the way they are now?

    Also, we were more physical before. Teams knew that and wouldnt try that crap.

  187. As always Paul, as always. Whores have their price.

  188. Paul N…the last 2 seasons 09-10 and 08-09 the scores were 1-2, 6-2 4-0 and 4-0.

    Yes, they tried to step on us and bully us – El cunt Diouf even tried to decapitate Almunia just before half time and got away with a smile from the referee.

    We scored 14 goals against them in 3 games by playing our style of football. It’s worked before and it can work again.

  189. I think Chamakh will bully alot. I also think Kos will and this new squid guy. I think they will take no shit from Blackburn players and they will push back. This new squid guy is even 30! he looks like a sturdy strong, fighter that can bully anyone off the ball. Besides being 30 he knows all the dirty tricks in the book to. the ones that does not give away freekicks but that makes the oponent miss and become disoriented. you know”gentleman dirty”.

    I also think i will love seeing them “bully the bullies”. Or atlest push them a bit around…..

  190. I was talking about before this current squad.

    All in all, I never again want to see our goalies pushed into their own net on corners or free kicks even if we are up by 10. That crap must not happen.

  191. “All in all, I never again want to see our goalies pushed into their own net on corners or free kicks even if we are up by 10. That crap must not happen.”

    I’ll take that if our keeper is falling on the head of a Blackburn player in the net.

  192. limpar at 2.04 hahahahahahaaaaaaa.

  193. Darius my man. Whats with the skillaaaatchi delay do you think? Also what does anybody think of taylor being listed at Newcastle, is he anybodies cup of tea? I have seen him play a few times and he has good potential.

  194. ELS – I think itts just paperwork really. Nothing drastic to suggest that Skilly won’t join Arsenal. I gather he’s got the No. 18 shirt already.

    I don’t think Taylore is any better than the 4 CBs we have so I honestly do not see any value in even thinking of him as a prospect.

    Can’t believe Spuds have just crouched a goal….not funny.

  195. Come on Young Boys!

  196. Thats good Darius I really really like the look of Squillachi, I actually remember passing comment in a positive way on him. It was a good few years back, but to be honest I have to admit I don’t go out of my way to be positive about non Arsenal players. Haha.

    Taylor would only be a possability for me if he would accept life as a reserve or backup player for a few years. But as you say there’s no reason reason the 4 plus Nord we have can’t keep the club safe for at least 3 years now is there.

    God damn spuds.

  197. So i’m a few days late with this observation, but I know people were talking about it.

    If we couldn’t beat liverpool, and spuds couldn’t beat man c but man c beat pool. That means according to some Liverpool and Man C are better than us and pool, but wouldn’t that mean Young boys would win the EPL probably.

  198. “I think part of the solution is for us to score more goals and be clinical in attack. By doing this, we will relieve the pressure from the defence and the keeper.” Darius at … erm earlier.

    Very very true and also makes more of a spectacle for us football loving cats. I’m risking the wrath of bill saying that though aren’t I.

    Could this be 3 in a row…

  199. Yes it was.

    Oo that’s 4 now. This is getting embarrassing. I’m off. Is anybody out there.

    Come on you Young Boys.

  200. ELS – you forget – our current CB 4 + Nordveit + Song is a solid back 5 for at least the next 8 years. That’s before even Bartley and Miquele get a peak.

    I thin
    One way I wlways see our defenders is that they’re all ball playing defenders who are capable of starting attacks and playing the ball out while joining in the play. They’re not just hoofball row z specialists – you know the kind of neanderthal 6 ft 7 wardrobes that folk say we need to solve our defensive problems.

  201. Does anyone know which Arsenal players actually use Twitter? There’s a host of fake Chamakhs and the club confirmed that the Aaron Ramsey account was fake around the time of his injury.

  202. Limestonegunner

    I don’t think responding to thuggery or physical attempts at bullying play equals thuggery. The two strategies people mention aren’t mutually exclusive. We can try to be more efficient and clinical in scoring and keeping possession to take pressure off the defense. At the same time, good team defense, communication and organisation at the back, and some physical play to rough tactics on set-pieces, corners and crosses wouldn’t be unwelcome.

    A lot of people point to our teams in the late 90’s and early 2000’s–those guys were technical players with great skill and attacking prowess, but also could take care of themselves in the scrum.

    Why not develop both sides to our game? Even if it doesn’t come naturally to our squad, this sort of defensive strategy could be inculcated specifically for those restarts of play in and around our box.

    COYB!!! (Come on Young Boys!!!)

  203. no way back now for YB

  204. anyone watching, i read defoe handled it?

  205. i think walcott has..because hes english i doubt many foreigners are into that kind of thing, vinceives

  206. so, tottenham are on their way thanks to some cheating.

    Ooh how i hope they get real madrid and inter in the groups.

  207. I can’t watch.

    Limestone, while I would hate for us to be a team that always used thug tactics. I don’t mind the team being a bit more solid as in, standing up to the odd knock and giving the blackburns something to think about themselves, but only if it was secondary to our stunning one touch Rosicky style play.

  208. the way accrington play is more attractive then tottenham ffs, i would much rather watch that match, or kyiv vs ajax..been a long time for ajax, and probably would be nice for vermaelen to know his old club is back in the big time..

  209. “I don’t think responding to thuggery or physical attempts at bullying play equals thuggery. The two strategies people mention aren’t mutually exclusive. We can try to be more efficient and clinical in scoring and keeping possession to take pressure off the defense. At the same time, good team defense, communication and organisation at the back, and some physical play to rough tactics on set-pieces, corners and crosses wouldn’t be unwelcome.”


    Well said, This is the point I was trying to get across.

  210. I think it was pretty close between his upper arm and shoulder by Defoe, but i’m surprised it wasn’t a free kick.

  211. Bolton reserves 0 Arsenal reserves 5. JET x 2, Aneke x 2 and Barazite x 1

  212. Woow good performance from arsenal tonight!! Hopefully we will match that score on saturday..

  213. S-G bob,

    I demand there be a vote by all the members of the team before your self-proclaimed coup is enshrined into ACLF law.
    Otherwise it`s to the jungle we go.

  214. Also could you ever imagine a scenario where a player would be in pain to the point where they ask to be subbed and Wenger would simply give them a thumbs up and leave them on?! Strokeface really angers me.

  215. Young Boys, looking good in the 2nd half so far.

  216. Maria – Are you sure you want to go to the jungle with Ragamuffin Shotta?

    PaulN/G4E – Cue some ragamuffin music, not the soft lovers-rock ting.

  217. Its a done deal, damn it!

  218. Be careful shotta!

    heeaaaarrrr chune!

  219. paul n, im afraid theres no hope of YB getting back into this. Plleeeease let tottenham get drawn with barca or real madrid.. cant wait.

  220. Its over for sure Zap. They had a lot of chances to demoralize the Spurs in the firstt leg and they let them off the hook.

    Well played to the….no I cant bring myself to even type it.


  221. when do the draws come out?

  222. Zap it is not a problem who they draw from the 1st pot, it is who they get from the other pots.

  223. If the Young Boys had taken their chances in the first game they would have been out of sight before now. Never mind. We’ll see how the spuds do against real opposition in the group stage.

  224. Passenal,

    Surely the ideal situation is for the Tiny Tots to get to the Round of 16, lose and then collapse in the League, miss out on qualification for next season’s tournament and be living on memories for the next 50 years…


  225. 1 loose cannon

    that DVD set with a memorial plate will be out on the shelves tomorrow to celebrate the Spuds one off achievement. The DVD’s title will possibly be “Kings of europe” or some crap like that.

  226. True YW, but I guess losing to a no name team in the qualifiers would have been hilarious too!

  227. Paulie Walnuts

    It was always likely that the Spuds would come from behind to do Young Boys , phnar phnar.

    Let`s see how they cope in the group stages & how it effects their league form.

  228. What worries me is now they’ve gone from having everything to lose to having nothing to lose, fuckers

  229. LimparAssist.. Yes I am the Rosicky videos “specialist” 😛 hahahaha … followed a link of one of my videos to one of the blogs here and I liked it 😉 anyways, I will try to fit one of your songs to one of my videos, but no promises 😉 as u said, it is actually like negotiating with terrorists lol 😀 r u a DJ or something? ur taste in music is similar to an amateur DJ I know 😛

    u didn’t like the songs I used in the blackpool video here? I thought they fitted perfectly with the video :S but I actually not a big fan of both songs. they’re just ok enough to be in the video 😛 and if you don’t like it its ok. I get so many comments hating the music I use in almost every video. at the same time, so many people request the name of the same songs other people hate 😛 I can never please everybody 😉

  230. LimparAssist

    Yes I am the Rosicky videos “specialist” hahaha 😛
    thanks for the list, I will try to use them in one of my videos but no promises 😉 as u said, accepting a request is like negotiating with terrorists hahaha 😀 anyways you didn’t like the songs I used in this video?

    I thought the songs fit perfectly with the video although I’m not a big fan of both songs. they are just good enough to be used 😉 r u a DJ or something? ur taste in music is similar to an amateur DJ I know 😛

  231. LimparAssist.. yes I am the Rosicky videos “specialist” 😛 I will try to fit one of ur songs to one of my videos, but u didn’t like the music I used in this video? I thought they fit perfectly with the clips although I’m not a big fan of both songs.

  232. LOL sorry I didn’t mean to spam, but I thought my post wasn’t posted … twice :S sorry

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