Blackburn Preview: Allardyce On The Back Foot, Let’s Keep Him There

The week ended with a flurry of activity, Sebastien Squillaci’s signing confirmed and the draw for the Champions League deciding that Arsenal had not travelled far enough in previous campaigns, send Wenger and the squad to the Ukraine in November. That draw could have been harder, no-one in the group is an obvious barrier to qualification and Arsenal’s history of failure in Ukraine, Portugal and Serbia should not be considered relevant either.

Crucially, the fixtures have worked well in conjunction with the Premier League. The trip to Donetsk precedes the away match at Newcastle, arguably the ‘easiest’ fixture of the six following Champions League group encounters. Belgrade is less than three hours flying time which should not be a factor before Stamford Bridge whilst Braga is immediately before Aston Villa. Nowhere near as bad as it could have been especially as the both visits to Manchester are preceded by home matches. The travel ought not to be a debilitating factor to the domestic title challenge.

Squillaci’s signing may be the last of the summer for Wenger although his prime goalkeeping target, Mark Schwarzer, has apparently told Fulham that he is going to leave next summer for nothing if they do not sell him now. Which is a big gamble on his part, the assumption being that a ‘big’ club will want a 38 year old goalkeeper in June 2011. The Australian says he emailed a transfer request to his employers, they deny all knowledge of it. Someone ought really to be forwarding Roy Hodgson’s emails to another employee to deal with; it’s just good business practice.

So to this lunchtime and a swift revisit to the scene of disaster last season. Arsene’s favoured line-up would no doubt be including morphine in goal, a back four of the codeine quadruplets, midfield will be the ibuprofen twins, partnered by paracetomol and his younger brother on the flanks, headed up by the aspirins.

The defeat at Blackburn was a bitter blow yet the team fielded today will be nowhere near as weakened. Indeed, it will be strengthened if as expected Cesc and van Persie both start. Despite his hat-trick last week, I would still expect Theo to drop to the bench, along with Andrey Arshavin and Tomas Rosicky. Although the Czech provided impetus at Anfield on the opening day and was at the centre of everything good last week against Blackpool, for the first hour at least I would expect Wenger to look to contain the ‘physical’ approach of the hosts. Ironically for such an attacking player, some statistics I saw earlier this week suggested 21% fewer goals were conceded with the Russian in the side (sorry, I can’t remember where that was from), a staggering reduction that cannot be down to him alone, as much as I would like to give him credit for it.

The defence knows what to expect. Allardyce bemoaned the lack of credit he is given as a coach and for the tactical nous his teams show. It is hardly surprising that he has one tactic and it is hard to believe that anyone would give him credit for that. Perhaps the FA are not as stupid as we all seem to think when they denied Allardyce the England job. It was bad enough in South Africa with an intelligent manager.

Koscielny returns to partner Vermaelen and it is key that he uses the judgement and bluff he mentioned in this month’s Arsenal magazine to good effect. I doubt he will have ever encountered anything as rudimentary as Blackburn’s attack.

Almunia needs to be confident in his area. There are lapses in judgement on his part but he needs to use his experience and not venture off his line, leaving the first phase defending to those in front of him, preparing to deal with the impact of that. Too often he has tried to claim the ball to end up ‘under’ it, rather than in control. If he gets that part of it right, his shotstopping is better than average.

The line-up I would expect Arsene to field is:

Almunia; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Clichy; Eboue, Fabregas, Song, Diaby; van Persie, Chamakh

Which leaves Wenger with a formidable bench to call upon to exploit Rovers in the second half. Wenger recently noted that van Persie and Chamakh would be used in a more conventional 4-4-2 formation and that is the more robust approach he has demanded.

Wenger has played one more card, to the chagrin of Allardyce. Chris Foy was castigated last weekend for poor officiating at Stoke, criticism to which the referee will not have been immune. You can guarantee that today he will be looking for exactly the offences he missed last week, forcing Rovers manager to become defensive about how they play.

According to some suggestions this week, this is Arsenal’s first test this season, Anfield is presumably now a routine away fixture. It is one of the increasingly rare physical tests in the Premier League with only Stoke and Bolton regularly employing the same tactics on a weekly basis. Too much is made of the supposed weaknesses from last season, ignoring a back five of Fabianski, Eboue, Campbell, Silvestre and Traore, nowhere near the first choice. For an indication of what happens when a full strength team goes to Ewood Park, look to the seven wins and two draws out of Wenger’s eleven Premier League visits there.

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

Posted on August 28, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 401 Comments.

  1. That team looks right to me Yogi.

    3-0 to the good guys and a clatter of Pakistan wickets to set up a good weekend.

  2. Flint McCullough

    “You can guarantee that today he will be looking for exactly the offences he missed last week”

    I wish I shared your confidence in that YW.

  3. Flint

    If he screws up this weekend, demotion to the lower divisions beckons or a fortnight off. Pretty clear motivation if you ask me.

    YW

  4. Nice one Yogi, wouldn’t risk RvP today against these thugs, not sure if he’s ready to start yet and you know our luck with injuries…

  5. bob – here here on the clatter of pakistan wickets, what a great performance by trott and broad 🙂

  6. come on the mighty arsenal

  7. Sorry there is no way wenger will leave out arshavin. He is perfect for a game where there are likely to be few chances.

  8. Please let VanPersie stay injury free. PLEASE!!

  9. That was magnificent wasn’t it rico?

    More of the same this morning.

    You just can’t beat Test Cricket.

  10. sure was bob, i couldn’t believe it, at one stage i thought we were going to all out for 90… then here we are hoping to get 400 plus today, just love it….

    might have to miss 90 minutes of cricket though at lunchtime today 😉

  11. I hope we humiliate them by many goals to nil.

    I liked yesterday’s comment written by Two Owls about psychology of Al. I was never a big fan of his, (I would prefer Mad Jens anyday over him) but that post made me see GKs from a different angle.

  12. A surfeit of riches..

  13. Flint McCullough

    The problem is that taking out the ‘keeper by whatever means is not often penalised in England.

    It costs us in Europe & at international level, where it is seen for what it is- a foul. England have had crucial goals ruled out, notably Argentina WC 1998 & Portugal ECN 2004, for just that.

    There is again a reason for the Boltons & Blackburns poor European record, whilst being competitive sides in this country.

    I think you are being a bit disingenuous about Allardyce. His skill is in motivation & using the strengths at his disposal. His teams will work to deny teams like ours the space to play, whilst using physical power in set plays. Often this stretches into foul play but not always.

    In a way it was a pity he did not have long enough at Newcastle to see what he could do with more talented players. We will probably never know now so he will be able to hide himself as an overachieving under-dog manager.

  14. Yogi, out of interest are there financial implications if referees do get dropped down to the lower divisions for a couple of weeks..?

  15. Flint,
    You’ve just made me wonder whether Vanilla would be interested in Allardyce. As manager, I mean, not as a player.

  16. Looking forward to the game this afternoon. A combination of Sky footage with ATVO commentary will do just fine – I’m so done with listening to mainstream commentators and their anal propensity for bias against Arsenal.

    I think it will be a difficult but comfortable game – last season’s outing was a freak occurrance and we had a fairly depleted team on that occasion.

    I think it’s the sort of game Chamakh will excel in.

  17. If they impede our keeper and the referee turns a blind eye to it, we do same whilst ensuring that we score from our attempt. They attempt to break a leg, we break a leg or two. That will be a real statement of intent.

  18. “Alex Ferguson and Sam Allardyce slam Arsene Wenger”

    There’s something about such headlines that plants a smile on my face….

  19. Should be an interesting game at Ewood today, ikt cheers me to see Arsene raising the spectre of a physical game with his own team.

    Of course, the comments relating to Stoke and Tottenham (since when did an Arsenal manager worry about Spurs?) might be to influence Chris Foy.

    The group it won’t influence are the home team who will stick to the tried and tested methods. Allardyce definitley uses a bit of science in his approach. I don’t deny under Hughes there was a degree of physical intimidation, that isn’t the case any more. So if a team lacks an aerial presence in the centre of defence, has a keeper uncomfortable in taking crosses, then expect that to be exploited.

    The new centre-back Arsenal have signed is good news but I’m amazed it wasn’t done a season or two ago.

    All the same I enjoy watching Arsenal but I do love a win over the Gunners.

    Whatever happens good luck for the rest of the season and particularly in Europe.

  20. For today I would go for

    Almunia
    Sagna Kosc Verma Clichy
    Song Diaby
    Cesc
    Eboue Chamack Arsha

    With Walcott RVP and Rosicky coming on once Allardyce’s big neanderthals are tired.

  21. BEWARE OF MANSHITTY

    WHO DO WE THINK WOULD BE OUR FIRST CHOICE CENTERBACKS.

    I’LL GO FOR

    SAGNA SQUILACI VERMY GIBBS

  22. That depends. Does anyone know if Sqillaci is good at organising the defence? When Sol came into the team, I was impressed by the way he organised his team mates and stopped us from conceding sloppy goals. Through his influence, we really tightened up at the back at the end of last season. I’m concerned about who will be able to take over his role this year.

  23. Squillaci sounds a bit Italian, Pz. Does he have roots there, do you know?

  24. Flint McCullough

    Roverite

    Thanks for a considered opinion rather than the usual childish insults normally received from opposition fans.

    Like AW, I have no problem with the physical approach provided it is within the rules. In his later years at Bolton his teams beat us a couple of times by simply being better than us on the day. His teams are able to mix it with good play as well as the well know physical aspect.

    It is interesting to know that he may have a bit of an Indian sign over us on his own patch, he must also have one of the poorest records at Highbury or the Emirates, of any significant manager.

    That probably tells you how far his methods or Pulis’ etc can take you. A good home record is essential.

    Mark Hughes is a different animal altogether- a cheat as a player & manager. I hope that he doesn’t destroy Fulham by introducing his normal off the ball tactics to what is a good footballing team.

  25. I remember his monaco campaign to the final of the CL and he was the organiser (well with Givet partnering him he had to)
    In Lyon I’m not sure I think he was partnered with Cris so not sure who was the organiser.
    In Sevilla he was their main CB so I think he will probably share the organising with verma and help the younger less experienced Kosc and Djourou

  26. Flint McCullough

    Incidentally, Roverite, what is your opinion of David Dunne?

    I think if he had not so many injury problems over his career he could have been one of the top English midfielders. He has certainly caused Arsenal a lot of problems over the years.

  27. I guess he does, Consolsbob, but I can’t find any mention of it.

  28. Roverite,

    Surprised but impressed by your generosity of spirit. Just a shame that big Sam fails to share your class.

    COYG

  29. there was a lot of italian immigration to france in the beginning of the 20th century so he might have italian origin but from his granfather or great granfather but he is born in Toulon which is next to Marseille. It is a bit like Kosc whose grandfather moved from Poland

  30. Van Persie has scored some wonderful goals against Blackburn in the past. One of the best preceded a vicious forearm assault by Andy Todd as RVP wheeled away to celebrate. I hate Blackburn and I despise Allardyce. 3-0 to The Arsenal. Almunia to save a penalty.

  31. Gunnerluc,

    If you switch Theo for Eboue, I think your preferred team would be the way to go. Of course, we don’t know about fitness levels, any knocks picked up during training this week, any personal distractions affecting any players etc. Still, all things being equal (which they never are), I’d truly hope for:

    Szczesn

    Sagna Kosc Verma Gibbs

    Song Diaby
    Cesc

    Walcott Chamack Arshavin

    I’d like to see Rosicky replace Cesc on 70 mins and Robin replace Walcott at the same point.

    I think Gibbs is already better than Gael and Walcott’s speed and current confidence could put us on the front foot from the start.

    COYG

  32. Dgbob
    I haven’t put walcott from the start because Blackburn will park the bus so I thought his speed might be better used on tired player.
    I’ve put fighters at the start tocope well with their physical approach.

  33. more-than-the-average-gunner

    the ref is key here .. now that his mistakes r being highlighted from the spurs vs stoke game he will be eagled eyed today and will be pressured to make the rite call .. we gonna win by 3-1!!

  34. Gunnerluc,

    I see your logic. And, talking about steel, has anyone seen the Squillaci interview on ATVO yet?

    I’m beginning to dream about our coming seasonS

    COYG

  35. Chris Foy

    I will take a red card + penalty awarded against a fouling, stinking Blackburn bruiser this afternoon. Thank you.

  36. Talking about ATVO, does anyone had problems registering to it? I’ve tried three times already and it broke down each time after entering my visa details. I’m registering from abroad but I didn’t see anywhere that you had to be a UK resident so I can’t see the problem.

    Suggestion anyone?

  37. Gunnerluc,

    Sadly I’ve never had those problems so cannot really help there. However, you can view details of the noted Squillaci interview at: http://www.thegunninghawk.com/2010/08/28/sebastien-squillacis-first-interview-as-an-arsenal-player-playing-for-titles-and-cups/.

  38. LOL,

    I caught Red Nose making the following comments and for a second I actually thought he’d had a moment of afflatus in referring to Arsene (years not withstanding):

    “You should focus on the strengths and abilities he shows and also the contribution he has made to English football over 18 years. It is phenomenal.”

    Sadly, it turned out to be an attack on Arsene and in support of the Ginga Scholes.

  39. First off, COYG!!!!!!

    now that thats settled…

    Darius

    I’m with you regarding the commentary. Sometimes i find myself filled with rage at some of the things spouted by the “objective” dribble that passes as commentating. But i will say this, you lot over in England have it way better off in terms of commentators general abilities. Sure they might get caught up in their allegiances and say very silly things about arsenal, but they know a thing or two about football. Sometimes in the states we get absolute morons who maybe had illustrious careers in the MLS (BLEHHHHHHHHHHH!!!) and its just painful to listen to. During the WC I was just as excited to get back to seeing Wengerball as i was to get back to non American commentators

  40. for me, slummy sam represents everything that is backward and classless in the english game. whilst twats like these are involved in our football the national game is always gonna suffer. can i already hear grit and determination crap from motd ?

  41. Quite suprised to see Chamackh on the bench, thought we could of used his strength in the air defensively today.

    Welcome back to RVP and Cesc though!

    I would of liked to of seen Gibbs given a start too, he seems a little stronger in the air than Clichy.

  42. hope chamackh is on at some point…….

  43. Arsenal.

  44. Dammit, Sack Wenger Now!!!!

    Chamakh’s on my fantasy football team!

    Sky sports, how I hate thee

  45. Great take by big AL

  46. carling cup. arsenal just got tottenham for the 3rd round

  47. Diaby should of scored for fucks sake

  48. That backheel by Walcott? No footballing brain whatsoever!!!

  49. arsenal to tottenham in the carling cup!!

  50. What the fuck has song got on his head?

  51. Dealing well with long towels!

  52. Diouf is a disgrace

  53. good save by big AL bangs his head on the post.

  54. oh and blackburn thats what a through ball looks like

  55. spurs v arsenal in the carling cup hahaha will be nice to kick them out of a cup early!

  56. WTF pundit talking about goal keeping problems. I have seen none so far!

  57. song has looked great today. that one little side step was delightful

  58. Theeeeeeeeeeeeeo!

  59. Skywatchingmug

    Theo, what a goal

  60. THEO!!! No footballing brain, eh? F*ck you, Hansen!

  61. THEO THEO THEO

    and thats what we’ve been missing thank you RvP!!!!

  62. Mongolian Gooner

    Hey guys keep posting about the match. I have no coverage.

  63. THEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  64. Walcott really is a footballing retard

  65. Capello, yes, I know, Walcott is the best English striker at this moment in time, but please, keep your fingers away from him!

  66. Emperor Gooner

    take that you dirty fat cunt !!!!! get the fck in!!!!

  67. Walcott looking great. Once again showing he has no football brain by nutmegging that poor Blackburn defender.

    On the other hand I have already heard the commentators describe Samba as intelligent. THEO, look to Samba as a role model!

  68. OH NOOOOOOOOO

  69. That won’t happen to Kos next season. Diouf will get flattened

  70. Now they have hope. That’s all we need.

  71. Wow, great play acting by Pedersen. If he does not win an Oscar for that something is wrong with the world.

  72. 1 loose cannon

    Oh Kolscieney boy don’t do tha t again please. that was a very soft goal

  73. RVP injured?? Now the season has well truly started.

  74. Shizz RVP’s looking hurt. He’s grabbing his toe, so let’s hope it’s not the metatarsal. Chamack on

  75. Looks like the Dutch curse yet again!

  76. What seems to be the probkem now? I am only listening and ArsenalOnline is abit late.

  77. Not sure if it’s the movement of the other players or Cesc passing, but we are not really clicking.

  78. Is it me or has the Cap been misplacing more passes than usual today?

  79. I know Evil, maybe we should have kept Rosicky in and let Cesc start with home game so he could find some form and fitness before a hard away game.

  80. cesc has def looked a little off

  81. but nothing you couldnt write off as a bit of rustiness

  82. With Arshavin and Clichy on the left, teams will just ping that ball overthem both. And more often than not Clichy since Arshavin is usually AWOL.

  83. Theo’s putting in another great shift. Cesc to Diaby almost worked

  84. @NJGooner
    True, but I can guarantee you that some of the d**m squad will say that it’s because he is already with the Loaners in his mind.

  85. Did RvP walk off, or go off on the stretcher?

  86. I don’t know what to make of this however let’s hope it stops raining, the sun comes over a Arsenal victory.

  87. The Russian assasin is labouring again.

  88. @FG
    He walked off and I think he could have played on but after getting two kicks on the same ankle Wenger did not want to risk anything.

  89. FG RvP walked off

    Evil — thats exactly why i posted the addition there ha..

  90. He walked off. He mostly walks off the pitch, but that doesn’t change anything with regards to the extent of the injury. Won’t be surprised if we see him on Christmas now.

  91. Very sloppy first half. Cesc has given the ball away far too often. Odd enough we’ve dealt well with their aerial bombardment, as fat Sam likes to say.

    The goal we conceded was the result of some careless defending further up the pitch. When Christopher Samba is distributing from the halfway line it means that our pressing has gone awry.

    I hope Van Persie’s injury isn’t too serious.

  92. We should have had two penalties.

  93. Diaby has been the best man on the pitch thus far.

  94. Seriously we all laugh at Huddlestone huffing and puffing for the Spuds…Arshavin may hate training but he must know he has to do it…I am surpised Arsene lets him get away with it…

    Rocky on for AA half-time please.

    FG,

    I am not sure I was just glad we had Chamck on the bench.

  95. I think we’re too eager and that’s making us lack a little composure. Let’s all relax and make better passes and the win will be ours. Kos look like he’s handling this first experience well enough, but hopefully the first goal will teach him that he needs to put people down occassionally.

  96. Well that was a pretty disappointing goal to give away.

    Played some great stuff so far, and that was a great goal, Walcott is looking really sharp.

    Almunia has coped very well with the expected ‘tactics’ from Blackburn, but that was a very sloppy goal to give away, not great defending from Kos, and Clichy was sleeping.

    But some positive signs, we had coped reasonably well up until that point, and have had some encouragement playing through them.

    Blackburn will definately get more tired as the game goes on, so we need to keep up this passing tempo.

  97. Yeah, Kos was on the same level as Diouf1, he could have just slid the ball away and it would have been a corner or a propel-in. But it will be a valuable experience for him and he won’t concede a mistake like that again.

  98. haha the commentators on ESPN in USA are trash talking blackburns style of play!!! “its very basic, its a percentages game” what a nice change of pace!!

  99. Gb69,

    I agree the mistakes started froom further up the pitch. Diaby showed no urgency to win the ball back. RVP stopped chasing the player, confusing Song. And then Clichy really didn’t bother to check out if there was any player making any runs. And frankly, that’s something Clichy has been consistent about. Not knowing what to do in such situations.

  100. Oh and Almunia has been solid. Claiming crosses and corner, and his little session with El puss diouf – Good show Manny.

    Just saw Blackburn’s goal and Clichy could have done a little less ball watching too

  101. To be fair, they are a limited side, and play to their strengths.

    Nothing they have done has been outside of the rules so far.

    We had coped reasonably well up until the goal.

  102. Yeah, it was a rather fair game. I expected Blackburn to play much dirtier. Hope that that won’t change in the second half.

  103. Without going overboard, Clichy hasn’t looked up to his usual high standards so far this season, might be time to give Gibbs a game or 2.

  104. Theo has been our best player on the pitch so far. Have to give Almunia credit for the first 1/2. We have dealt with the pressure in the box. Still not sure we really gain anything when TV makes those runs into the box. Hope we dont get burned on the counter.

  105. Rosicky for Arshavin I hope. But one wonders if the Rovers will kick him out of the game?

  106. @Bill
    We gained half a dozen goals that way last season…

  107. Dissapointed with AA, all the other players who didnt go to the world cup are sharp. He looks slow and as I dont see the skill. He should be able to beat any Balckburn defender 1 on 1.

    Come on Arshavin!

  108. Skywatchingmug

    Good call Ateeb, but what a great finish by Theo and a lovely ball played in by Van Persie.

  109. Better to keep Arshavin till the 60th minute. He is trying to beat his marker, once he does, we might get a good scoring chance. And I doubt he will be taken off. I would expect Rosicky might come on for Diaby. Depending on the scoreline ofcourse.

  110. Furious Styles

    man that blackburn goal was a joke. vermaelen and clichy was pretty damn oblivious to the fact that there were some blackburn players around.

  111. Or maybe Gibbs to double up with Clichy. The Rovers thugs could easily injure Rosicky!

  112. No no tried to track runners on that goal, it was poor team defence thats for sure.

  113. Thanks, everyone.

    Come on boys in the second half. COME ON ARSENAL!!!

  114. It’s weird: The Sagna/Walcott combo feels much more easier and comfortable than the Clichy/Arshavin one. To be fair Arshavin does look to cut in more than Walcott being a right footed player on the left, and so I can’t help but wonder how Clichy would play with Vela

  115. theo def broke the net with his goal

  116. I’m pissed off about not getting a home draw in the CC.

  117. Hahaha. Theo’s goal put a hole in the net. What a strike. He’s been remarkable so far. Much calmer than he used to be.

    Let’s see if Chamakh can feed him like Rvp did.

  118. Evil:

    How many did we lose?

  119. Did Walcott’s goal destroy the net? I don’t watch Sky with the commentry on

  120. Me too FG.

  121. Skywatchingmug

    Arsenal to go on a win this.

  122. Due do Vermaelen making mistakes while in the opposition box, Bill? I am not sure if we lost any that could be traced back to a mistake by him when being up front.

  123. Injury update:

    It’s not the same ankle that he injured last season.

  124. Yogi,

    Does wordpress do an auto-refresh option?

  125. Andrei the Giant!!!!

  126. That’s why he’s on the pitch. Frustrating player, but really good with shooting.

  127. Goal to blow wow!

  128. And fantastic commitment from Sagna.

  129. Great job by Sagna. Will Walcott the assist now?

  130. The assasin makes us eat our words!

  131. Sagna’s crossing has been pretty damn good this season. A great improvement

  132. How the fuck did Cesc pick out Chamakh like that? He’s got super human powers. Remakable.

  133. verminator doesnt make mistakes like that often

  134. TV come on bro!

  135. agreed ateeb

    we’ve got cesc fabregas

  136. Yes, Gadget. And Sagna had 5 assists last season, as well.

  137. FG,

    I wager Sagna will come close to doubling that figure this season as well as getting a few goals too

  138. Diaby is having a brilliant game!

  139. Much better from us so far 2nd half. We really need to hold strong at the back the rest of this 1/2. Almunia has done a good job so far. We have not let them put us under pressure the way they did in the first 1/2

  140. I get the impression Almunia is doing well – is that fair?

  141. Almunia has been great FunGun!

  142. 1 loose cannon

    that towel business is embarassing

  143. Our defense is vastly imrpoved!

  144. It looks as if some transfer speculation was enough to get Almunia back to his 2008/2009 form, eh?

  145. that toweling crap shouldnt be allowed, foolishness

  146. But it’s the only way to employ the youth and keep em off the street, Paul N!

  147. Cesc can do almost everything but put in a good corner.

    He put in a great shift, and now we replace him with… Tommy Rosicky. Oh to be a gooner!

  148. oh, so thats what its about E?

  149. Become an unemployed chav or be the towel boy for Blackburn Rovers. That’s the choice.

  150. How does Song look with the blonde hair?? I heard something about him looking like Serena and Venus’s mum. loool

  151. That is quite an accurate comparison, Maria.

  152. 3 players efficently closing down and hounding the ball carrier. That is a beautiful thing to see

  153. That’s probably deeply insulting to both Oracene Williams AND Alex Song.

  154. My advice to Song would be to stick with black hair

  155. Defending much improved this 1/2. Diaby made a great play to cover for Kos. AA tracked back. I hope this is the start of something.

  156. Shut up, Blackburn fans. Go grab a towel and clean your dirty faces.

  157. Walcott is a star!

  158. Theo’s confidence is Jupiter sized

  159. It’s funny how in North England if you get kicked you are cheating. I guess that’s some regional difference in the language or something? Are there more occasions where one word means different things across English regions?

  160. Good read by Almunia on that thru ball. Only 1 game but sure has done well so far.

  161. chamakh mixing it up with samba i like it

  162. Chamakh is doing a wonderful job on Samba. Almunia is protected on those long throws

  163. Come on Jackie W!

  164. I right to be worried it sounds like Blackburn are coming at us.

  165. The team had to get more physical in defense, the boys are doing great!

  166. How many mins to go?

  167. We are not under that much pressure Maria.

  168. 4 min, plus injury time

  169. 1 loose cannon

    3rd will do nicely

  170. JW just flattened Samba!!!

  171. Wilshire is the dude. Went in for a challenge and came up tops

  172. How much time let now??

  173. 1 loose cannon

    Toweldhino is a fabulous player

  174. In tine JW will learn to trust his right foot!

  175. By the way, that’s now 50 goals we have put past Robinson.

  176. Fantastic win.

  177. Great victory!

  178. Full-time yet???

  179. Great hard fought win!!!

    I havent seen this kind of defending from Arsenal in a while.

  180. Btw. EVERY other team would have taken 20 minutes for a throw-in like that. Not us!

  181. @Maria
    All over! And we won!

  182. Great stuff men, great stuff. Diaby is man of the match (although at times he could be a little quicker on the pass), and Walcott keeps on showing Hansen et al the finger.

  183. Theo for double figures this season?

  184. Great performance, especially in the second half.

    Apart from 1 mistake, we coped pretty well with what they had.

    Diaby was excellent, and Theo was sensational, and credit to Almunia, we was great today.

    Great, great win, and brilliant to see us cope with the late barrage well!

  185. Great result lads, potential tough test negotiated. Fingers crossed for RVP na hope Hansen was watching that….

  186. Two missed sitters by Wilshere thus. Great game, great win.

  187. Early kick-off and 3 points in the bag leaves me the rest of the day to relax.

    Got to watch football not rugby.

    Fat Sam pissed.

    Samba thumped by lilttle Jack W.

    Good times.

  188. Tough match. Great win!
    Wilshere should have buried that 90 th minute chance though.

  189. I had hoped that Arsenal players would ask for the towel during throw ins towards the end.

    Well, you can’t have everything.

  190. so nerve raking there. i was pretty frustrated with wilshere for not putting it out of reach

  191. but he did leave samba on the ground so alls well that ends well

  192. 1 loose cannon

    Sagna man of the match for me he has been brilliant he covered for others made some fantastic interceptions. A good all round performance without hitting top form. For Kolscieny it has been an eye opener and it will only make him a better player.

  193. Ofcause Theo could hit 20 odd in this form.

  194. Our defending was robust and positive, rounded off by a big performance by my No. 1, Big Al.

    Stick two fingers up there’s Big Al.

  195. By the war, we got Spurs away in the Carling Cup it seems.

  196. @keysersoze
    Yeah it would have been pretty fun. But we are the Arsenal and we don’t do things like that. No matter how often Blackburn fans chant that one disgraceful song about us cheating, it will never be true.

  197. The most impressive thing was that the boys are showing that they have matured. They were holding on to the ball after taking the lead. Especially in the final minutes, no one tried taking risks, rather keeping possession. And moved back quick, whenever they lost it.

    Jack Wilshere, strangely brought a certain calm in the play that Rosicky couldn’t manage since he was trying to thread the balls for another goal. Good game.

  198. Emperor Gooner

    Great hard earned win !!! brilliant defending by Kos and everyone in the 2nd half!!!

  199. Samba thumped by lilttle Jack W.

    ha ha, brilliant!

    Kos got over his mistake, though, didn’t he? That’s the main thing. He didn’t let it affect him for the rest of the game.

  200. Al just kissed Theo on the top of his head in the Sky interview. Lovely.

    Both played well today. They all did.

  201. Not to sound harsh but Almunia did what was expected of him. Also with the team playing well it was constant Blackburn physical pressure, which helps.

  202. Enjoying the cricket Ateeb?

  203. Hey – It’s better that Wilshere get’s those misses out the way when we win!

    Chamakh looked really good when he came on too – held the ball up really well, worked hard, and good vision.

    Diaby still MOM for me though, if he can consistently produce that all season, that would be just peachy.

  204. The game pretty much shows that if the team defends better, the keeper would also look good and commanding. Bet the Alumina haters were waiting for a mistake from him. Get off the guys back!!! Great win

  205. Only those with limited football inteligence can say with conviction that Theo Walcott has not got a football brain!!!

    keep sticking it up em Theo!!

    Shame about Van P – hope its not serious – he was looking super class 2day.

  206. 1 loose cannon

    FunGunner – That was a test for him today but like you said reacted positively to his error and that is a sign of a good player

  207. Maria, Almunia did do was he is expected but in the light of what has been happening his performance is encouraging.

  208. *there* *wasn’t*

  209. Abishkar Shrestha

    Congrats everyone, what a good start to the weekend here in the states. Team looked good and up for it. Good early signs for the season ahead.

    Sagna would be my man of the match. Koscielny also did well after the goal. Cesc looked a little off but he is only just getting started. Walcott too continued from where he left off last Saturday. Shame about RVP, hope it ain’t too serious.

  210. Maria, for those who have faith in Almunia, he did as expected. For doomers, he’s excelled and Merson can shut his big fat gob!

  211. Allarydce maybe a cunt but we should have loaned him Henri Lansbury anyway. He’d toughen him up as Bolton did Wilshere!

  212. Where is Johan?? Not on the bench again. Cover everywhere else was top notch. Would have liked to see Denilson though.

  213. Point taken guys.

    Can anyone explain what Daiby did so well in the game? From the commentary I wouldn’t think him a MOM choice.

  214. Bob,

    Frankly, yes. Great batting by Broad and Trott. Wonderful.

  215. Stick another two fingers up theres, Theo.

    How can many be so blind!

  216. Normal service has been resumed.

  217. He didn’t have all that much to do in the 2nd half, but I was really impressed with Almunia today. Dealt with everything he needed to and could’t really be blamed for the goal. I also thought our back 4 (with the exception of a poor goal to concede) did really well against a tough test.

    Diaby still has a habit of dwelling on the ball a little too long (and no doubt his detractors will focus on that this afternoon) but I thought he was a vital physical presence in the middle of the park today.

    I actually thought we looked better once Chamakh came on, because brings so much to our defence. Not just in our box on set pieces, but also up front. He also holds the ball up fantastically, even against a pretty imposing Blackburn backline. Finding it hilarious that Sky is now going on about his holding Samba in the box, with a Blackburn player moaning about it! While there was clearly some holding on, the irony about Blackburn complaining about penalty area infringements is most amusing!

  218. Almunia looked a lot better today. He didn’t allow himself to get intimidated by the thugs. That encounter he had with Diouf showed that he has some fire in his belly.

    Sagna was man of the match for me. He was a rock defensively and gave us a constant outlet out wide. His crossing and offensive play has improved markably from last season.

    Koscielny had a much better second half. His tackling was a lot better and he made the defense a lot more solid overall.

    Diaby’s play was solid all around but there was a spell about mid second half where he gave the ball away and put us under pressure.

    Song (Serena’s mum) was solid as ever. He covered well for the defense and won almost every ball in the midfield.

    Theo was awesome today. That shot he took from outside the area was a sign of a much more confident player. The way he turned Givet is fast becoming his trademark move. I also like how he is showing up in the middle.

    Good game by Chamakh. Mixed it up with the big boys and ran his socks off.

    All in all, the team had spells where they kept the ball very well. I wish we would’ve done more of that but Blackburn did impose their hoofball. That we coped well with their aerial game and we came away with the three points is good enough for me. We also beat Fat Sam at home for the first time in a while.

  219. Diaby was solid defensively, drove forward at every opportunity, and his passing was very good today Maria.

    Great all round performance.

  220. So happy we won that game.maroune is the man!he neutralized samba once he came on.

  221. great performance by the lads. I honestly believe another couple of months on loan for Wilshire would be good for both parties. Also not sure about Diaby – needs to up his performance – might be better to pick eboue instead.

  222. Sagna with one assist already this season, and today a great run to set up Arshavin, via an assist off Theo’s arsenal. Or is it Fabregas’ assist?

    Eight wins, & two draws in twelve PL trips to see the Walrusmen in their native habitat.

  223. Honestloy Song should change his hair colour back

  224. Arshavins goal went thru 4 players

  225. I think Blackburn (along with most teams to be fair) raise their game when Arsenal come to town. If they can play like that against against the other challengers it could prove to be an invaluable three points won. That said they do usually roll over for Utd but you never know – Jonny Evans looked decidedely ordinary against Zamora, hopefully Samba will put him into councelling..!

  226. I couldn’t care less if Song dyes his hair a different colour for every game, shaves it off, grow’s it, platt’s it or has an Afro.

    As long as he keeps playing well, and we keep winning, I couldn’t give a monkey’s.

  227. Don’t like to shout at a child, but there is some numpty kid on ATVO at the moment.

  228. * Markedly. I’m making up words like Sarah Palin does.

  229. Skywatchingmug

    Fat Frank just missed a penalty.

  230. Yes, I saw the change when Chamack came on and was put on king kong duty rather than Diaby, who is less the tamer of the beast more the unleasher himself.

  231. Chamakh did an excellent job all round when he came on, great team player.

    Getting him on a free could well be the best business of the season.

  232. FG,

    Blame it on the parents.

    I think his just been listening to the media and older gooners of the Le-groan ilk.

  233. Bengal, Diaby did well today and has done thus far this season. He’s playing where everyone’s wanted him to play at (DM) and I think he has done well to curb his attacking instinct while maintaining defensive dicipline. Personally, I think people like you tend to dwell on the negative and overlook his good aspects.

    As far as Wilshere is concerned, I think a loan spell would spoil his development. I believe he’s better off learning Wenger ball than going out on loan.

  234. Supercod @ 3:12 pm – Blackburn at home was a very strong proposition last season. I think they were unbeaten to all the Big 4 at Ewood Park last year. On the back of today’s performance I can see them continuing that trend. Big Sam’s anti-football doesn’t work well on the road but at home they are a difficult as this is where they guarantee survival in the Prem.

  235. is Frimpong ready for 1st team duty?our squad definitley looks/feels stronger this season.
    Goalkeeping – i think the real goalkeeping problem is our no.2 not almunia. if almunia is injured then i’d be worried.if arsene brings schwarzer and loses almunia that would still leave us with a dodgy no.2

  236. Frimpong has a cruciate ligament injury and will miss the whole season.

  237. A bit raw for the PL, but I think he would have been in the Carling Cup squad.

  238. I think Chelsea will draw against Stoke. Pulis is playing with five at the back.

  239. Blimey, Gainsborough69. Free flowing attacking football, then!

  240. Re Diaby: G69 – Agreed 100% (and with Albo earlier). My only complaint is sometimes he needs to release the ball earlier. This is a judgment that is developed with experience. But Diaby is another, who a few of us on this blog have championed over the prior two season contrary to the hyenas who only emphasize the negatives.

    Stick two fingers up there’s Abou!

  241. Very generous Ateeb. Very ‘cricket’.

  242. According to a bitter former Wimbledon manager (Read: The master of the long ball and percentage play), Cesc Fabregas’s body language is pathetic and when he was substituted, you could see his mind is at Barcelona….LOL! This was the same guy who ruled before the game that Blackburn will beat Arsenal because the bloody foreigners don’t like it up ’em.

    Talk about inventing a non-story. But we need to be prepared for any game that Cesc doesn’t score 15 out of 10, the media and pundits will say it’s because his mind is with the Broke Back losers.

    As for the game, there was a mean streak that Arsenal showed today that made the hairs at the back of my neck stand. When Blackburn start crying foul against Arsenal and throwing themselves all over the box for a penalty – it’s happy days.

  243. Now after a win we have calls for Arsene to leave to be replaced by Rice, Peppy, Moanriho, Lowe and other jokers.

    How these ‘fans’ embarrass us.

  244. LWCs are so predictable. Bale on the left crossing and Crouch hanging on the far post.
    Big teams will suss them out. Time will tell!

  245. What chance does our Carling cup team have against the spuds? I expect Fab, Nordteit, Djourou, Squillaci, Gibbs, Denilson, Wilshere, Thomas and can’t say who else. I think our youngguns have a date with the devil!

  246. Just wondering what Hansen will say about Walcott this week. I mean we know already that Hansen is a fool, but how foolish can a man get, really?

    We will have to wait and see.

  247. Fun, they’re taking parking the bus to another level.

    Shotta, I don’t think Diaby dwelling on the ball is a problem. It’s part of his play to keep the ball a bit longer and create space for himself by beating two men at a time. When it comes off it’s glorious and when it doesn’t it looks sloppy. It’s a fine line. Today I thought he was good all game until about mid second half when he went a bit on walk about and passed the ball to opponents and didn’t impose himself physically. But this was just a bit of a spell and the reason why I didn’t think he was man of the match. Other than that, however, I think he was everywhere and he distributed the ball to good effect as well.

  248. I don’t think having a footballing brain matters a jot. Drogba doesn’t have a brain at all, but he still manages to make himself half useful.

  249. Chelski score.

  250. Our Carling cup team is likely to be

    Fabianski
    Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Gibbs
    Eastmond, Wilshere, JET
    Vela, Walcott, Arshavin (he needs the workout)

  251. Kevin Davies anyone?

  252. Shawcross is such a cunt.

  253. Damn right he does DS.

    I like the look of that buy would put Denilson in there to retain possession.

  254. Lol, the last three avators is how the game went.

  255. Darius I’d rule out Eboue, Walcott and definetly Arshavin. I’d forgetten Vela, he will play. Maybe Eastmond as well. I would have put Lansbury but I hear he’s on his way to Swansea until January at least.

  256. If the whole squad is fit why not KG?

  257. Spurs are having a bit of a European hangover. Let’s see if they can cope with playing two games a week.

  258. Well fought victory. Walcott, Diaby, Sagna were immense. Kos has neurons of steel. Didn’t let the conceded goal affect him. All in all I’m very happy.

    Now for RVP to return for the next match! 😀

  259. Maria are you Spanish?

  260. Maria…now that you say it, I remember Denilson’s comments about his induction at ARsenal and the fact that he was taught immediately why it’s important to hate the Spuds.

    I’d replace JET with Denilson – we need Eastmond to put in a shift so that Denilson and Li’l Jack Willy can run the show.

    The game against the Spuds is built for Walcott and Vela – and Arshavin should look at it as a punishment.

    Skilly the magnificent can be our hatchet man for the day.

  261. If a player has a natural tendency to fat, football training seems to do very little for them. Have you ever noticed that when fat people go jogging, they move even more slowly than they do when they walk. Football training is like that. The players shuffle round the training field at a snail’s pace. I used to think it was some kind of joke for the cameras, but I’m beginning to think that is the full extent of their aerobic work.

  262. @Kenyan Gunner…

    I would argue that such a defensive yuit is necessary to give the rest a good platform to express themselves. They also need games so that cobwebs don’t grow.

    Walcott is in his element – he needs the games to keep his confidence. Vela has an itch that needs scratching and I want the Spuds to suffer. Arshavin needs the work out, period.

  263. LWCs are already showing the wear and tear of two games per week. I wrote earlier this week that they would face a culture shock when the group stages of the CL commences. My prediction was not a moment too soon.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Wigan nick a goal and beat them. Fingers and toes crossed.

  264. Maria Wenger doesn’t value the Carling cup much. He uses it to blood young players so don’t expect our first eleven. Squillaci has the Silvestre role though, i.e. the older player who needs match time. Walcott and Arshavin will have more than enough match time and so will Eboue. But Nasri may play if he will have recovered by then!

  265. That will be interesting G4E.

    Does he stick or twist?

    He’s bust either way as a pundit.

  266. Darius, Arshavin will start every league and champions league game. I think his problem has more to with the mind than fitness. I think he better sort his issues out or he may be leaving at the end of may!

  267. I’m afraid the Silvestre role has been retired.

  268. Skywatchingmug

    I’m loving our new home shirt.

    Turn it inside out & on the back of the badge
    you have the club motto on it.

    Nice touch that.

  269. Sorry guys but Arshavin won’t play the CC. It makes no sense whatsoever. Here are those who on the 1st team squad who need games:
    Vela-Jet-Eboue.
    Wilshere-Eastmond-Denilson
    Gibbs-Squillaci-Djourou-Nordveit
    Fabianski

  270. @Consolsbob – you can’t win anything with kids, Eh!

    We should start a petition as licence fee payers challenging Match of the day to give us value for money by changing its pundits. I mean, it’s possible to vote for your councillors – even stand for local elections youself, as an opportunity to influence how your council tax is used. Why should we let the BBC flush our licence fee down the toilet.

  271. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL@Pz

    I still feel dirty when Arsene says his name.

    @GB

    Nope. Thank god, otherwise that Barca DNA may of creeped in. Yikes.

  272. When do we play the CC game?

    Pz,

    Where the hell is Barazite??

  273. “I still feel dirty when Arsene says his name.”

    LOL Maria – it’s the sort of thing you say when someone plays grab arse with you at a night club. Was it that bad?

  274. Worried about van Persie, hope hes not injured for too long. A little concerned about Fabregas. Im confident hell scrape the sand out of his vagina not before too long.

    Solid win.

  275. Ah, Maria, don’t talk about Nacer. The last I heard, he was having a trial at Rangers.

  276. I think you need to learn some basic anatomy, Damien.

  277. Bazarite played with the Reserves this week when they gave Bolton a 5-0 pasting.

  278. DS,

    Well he does have that eerie old man at the club look to him. Especially when he smiles. Yuck.

    FYI just so you know King Kong aint got s*** on me in those situations.

  279. CBob,

    I think he’s going to continue to point out Theo’s mistakes and die a fool.

  280. Bored now. Should I pop out for a spot of shopping? Mmmmm

  281. Does anyone know were that bald guy is who used to come on the fans forum? I miss him.

  282. LOL Maria…it’s all over now… PZ summed it up.

  283. It’s true, shotta. He scored their second goal, and from the report it sounds like he had a good game.

  284. from opta:

    “92% – Tomas Rosicky has completed 107 of his 116 passes in the Premier League this season. Velvet.”

  285. Wigan is playing a very dangerous game, camped in their half. Methinks the LWCs will soon score.
    Wigan canot string 3 passes together without losing the ball. They had better improve fast or it will be a very long season.

  286. Is John Terry tiring or am I just biast?

  287. Stoke close to equalizing. Rocket of a shot from Whelan.

  288. Second game I’ve seen Lampard subbed. His glory days must be over!

  289. Chelski cheating again. Anelka does the Rooney dive. Kick it past keeper into row Z and run into the keeper

  290. what a chance for wigan

  291. Drogba ties Walcott as top scorer, albeit thru a penalty. Hope he doesn’t score again.

  292. Sorensen totally fucked his team. What a horrible way to come out.

  293. one nil to wigan,rodallegaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  294. Wigan nicked that goal I thought was there for them.

  295. wigan score 🙂

  296. Wigan 1- 0 Spuds. Niceness.

  297. LWCs are having the hubris knocked out of them.

  298. LWCs?

  299. Ian Holloway’s Blackpool putting ‘the squeeze’ on Mark Ooze.

    The Groaners are once again shown up by their appraisal of Holloway, as being nothing more then a haven of blind cloggers.

    Wigan score!

  300. Wigan started to hold the ball better after Jordi Gomez came on. The Sperz lost their dominance and Wigan finally scored after 2 gilt-edged chances went a begging.

  301. Lily White C*nts

  302. If Wigan can score against the spuds then theres every reason to believe our cc squad will beat them. The Chelsea game I’m watching is quite boring!

  303. LWCs have been handed a life line. 5 extra minutes.

  304. “No sign of a late push from Spurs this is really pretty awful….”

    Says the ticker. Is it true? Spuds content with losing at SHL?

  305. Kaboul – Point blank miss.

  306. Come on Wigan, well done Blackpool…!!

  307. Wigan – Win!
    Wigan – Win!
    Wigan – Win!

  308. Wigan win,
    Blackpool pegged back for the draw.

  309. I think Blackpool will surprise a few pundits this season, their defense could be a little more solid though.

    In all the hoopla about Chelsea’s start, I think they may have played the three teams to be relegated this time.

  310. 74 all out – following on….

  311. I think Tottenham will find playing midweek Champions league games and weekend premier league games a different kettle of fish than the Europa League Premier League combination.

  312. . . . . remembering that spuds played at home midweek.

  313. It is time to put the goalkeeping speculations to rest, apparently. Wenger has said no more signings.

    Also van persie is only out for a couple of weeks, one of which is an international break.

  314. Looking at the rest of the day’s results, so far they have gone as well as we could expect. Chelsea were never going to lose at home to Stoke, but they haven’t run up a cricket score. All we need now is for the Whammers to draw with Manure.

  315. With the exception of the GK, I agree with that mooted Carling Cup lineup, shottagunna. Plus a bench including Aneke, Afobe, Miquel and possibly Bendtner or Nasri who might just be coming back to fitness.

  316. 1 loose cannon

    Compared to Chelsea’s games so far we have played tricky fixtures in liverpool and Blackburn and we came away with points while Chelsea have not been tested so far. So we should be pleased.

  317. Any news on RVP?

  318. Does anyone have a second team in the PL? Blackpool are really growing on me. Especially with the likes of Wolves and Stoke around.

  319. fat frank requires hernia surgery according to espn.

  320. Ah, now that was a good afternoon.

  321. Sky commentators are over the top with Rooney’s penalty. Poor penalty conceded by Spector.

  322. Fucking excellent OneOfUs.

  323. 1 loose cannon

    I could not believe what I was hearing on Talkshite radio regaring Kolscieny he was simply written off as a footballer within 45 minutes was called a flop. Its unbeleivable. Second half he composed himself and showed he can deal with rugby players. first half he must have been surprised of the physicality of blackburn but it took him 15 minutes break to learn and recorved well.

    Manure have been given a soft penalty as usual and more to come over the course of the season of course

  324. Does anyone have a second team in the PL? Blackpool are really growing on me.

    Me too, Maria. It takes real guts to play proper football as a newly promoted side and I wish them all the luck in the world.

  325. bradys right foot

    Being enjoying a few sherbetts all afternoon basking in the satisfaction of putting one over Jabba the manager and as for Hansen can’t wait to see the spineless twat wax lyrical about Theo on motd. This hasd to be our year RVPs only out for two weeks lol.

  326. Robbie Savage destroyed by a caller on 606 who kindly explains to him why Gerrard would not make the Spanish first team, on the subject of Arteta playing for England*: decent player, never coached to play a short passing game.

    Savages reply: “What about Gerrards Final!”

    Caller: “Um, do you know who Didi Hamann is?”…

    V.funny.

    * This cricket game could easily have been lost for England if it wasn’t for the SAfrican ‘gr*t’ of Trott.

  327. What a great win that was today. Take that walrus. Though I was biting off my nails for the last 20 minutes we were very solid defending as a team in the second half. Well done.

    But wtf has Song done to his hair? Has he lost a bet to Sagna?

    Speaking of mind-boggling: Pulis may sue Arsene because of the rugby comments he made describing Stoke’s style of play. Hahahahaha

  328. Where did you hear that BRF?

  329. Was listening to that too Finsbury.

    However Robbie is in the Ian Wright, Merson camp of unintelligent ex-footballers that are there for a ‘lauf’.

    Also Savage isn’t the only who thinks it wasn’t Stevie Me show.

  330. 1 loose cannon

    notlager- Song must have run out of hair dye or someone pranked him. he looked grey.
    West ham are relegation material. they are simply shocking. 2 up the Mancs

  331. West Ham are poor, lack of quality all around.

  332. Ryan Giggs is a diver. That penalty was a dive. Stupid Clattery Clattenberg.

    Hansen was on sports report on BBC and short of apologizing to Walcott, he showed a few signs of trying to wriggle his way out of eating some humble pie. I think he had expected Walcott to underwhelm at Blackburn.

    Talk Shite and Sky are strange bed fellas. They both employ anally retentive anti-Arsenal xenophobes.

    Despite the ‘Arsenal don’t like it up ’em’ campaign – everyone in the team today showed that we will mix and match our game and we can also bully.

  333. Savage can be funny, but as Darius wrote earlier, you have to wonder if that ability alone is worth the licence fee cut for a football plundit who gets ‘coached’ by callers/members of the public?

    He could always move to Ski/Talkshite.

  334. Thank You Fabio Capello for the kick up the arse you gave Theo in the summer.It proves to every player you cant take anything for granted.Now Arsenal are benifitting

  335. DS yes Giggs is a diver but so is Eboue lets be honest about these things

  336. ManUtd doing a number on West Ham. 3-0 so far.

  337. Come on Wet Spam.

  338. Guy. Yes, President Eboue has dove before …no one says he hasn’t.

    The point is that the English media apply selective amnesia when it comes to their poster boys diving as opposed to the lynching they give the bloody foreigners. The issue is not that Arsenal players wouldn’t dive – the issue is that the media won’t point out that Giggs was pathetic in cheating to win a penalty.

  339. Who are these little doom-monger who spent the best part of the past year spewing shite about Theo and then giving Capello credit. Frankly it is Capello who’s been shown up as a tool and is now being made the scapegoat by the English press for that non-performance by the 3-Lions in the last world cup.

  340. We are The Arsenal. Fuck ’em all.

  341. SEVEN paiiirs of TRAINERS!! SEVEN PAIIIRS OF TRAINERS!!!!

  342. LOL Ponyboy…

    After that exchange, I’m writing to the BBC trust to demand and investigation about how BBC is using our licence money for sub-standard and useless punditry. Savage is not only incompetent – he’s an abusive disgrace who should not be benefiting from public money.

  343. (5 Live is worth a listen for once)

  344. Haaa did you guys seem them stitching up the goal net at the beginning of the 2nd half? Walcotts goal apparently tore it a bit!

  345. I’ll sign that petition Darius.

  346. Arsenal!

    We have hair issues. Song has gone grey with worry. Arshavin has gone all military on us. Sagna still has seashells. And Almunia, you just never know what his original hair looked like. I don’t even want to start with Chamakh.

    Theo, now, that’s what I call a reasonable haircut. Or Song’s cool Afro before the ‘before and after’.

    I expect this to be addressed by the guvnor.

  347. Has Skilly’s hair been tested? Does Schwarzer even have hair?

  348. Carlos’s curls are hot won’t you agree ZP?

  349. Um, ‘hot’ is not a word I’m used to using on describe football players scraggy tops Maria. It’s actually Jen’s joke every time we watch the match and some new hair outrage. Very Arsenal.

  350. Zimpaul Kenya’s playing Guinea Bissau over the weekend who have you guys drawn?

  351. I’ve been trying to get a hold of a Tottenham friend who was waxing lyrical during the week about their arrival in Europe.

    17 times I’ve called – and the damn punk hasn’t answered the phone…

  352. Blackburn are awful. I don’t remember them being this anti-football. Wenger can’t stand Allerdyce.

  353. Well guys, I got to the game today and felt that it was a hard fought win for the Gunners. Ironic that Rovers goal came from some swift passing wasn’t it.

    Not too physical a game with only one yellow, could’ve added Song but fair play to Foy, he tried to keep the game flowing.

    As I said before, until you have a dominant centre-half and a more consistent keeper teams will try to exploit that. Maybe with the new signing and Schwarzer that will be cured. Then you really will have a potential Premiership winning side.

    We have played pretty well the last three games so it was a good result and an improvement on last season.

    As for Fabregas? Class player but he definitely didn’t seem the dominant character he has been in previous games, maybe it is just a one-off as he still managed a couple of real quality passes. Is his mind in another place? Get past Tuesday and he should be ok, Barca have more mouth than money.

    Meanwhile enjoy the day.

  354. To be honest I haven’t got a clue KGun. Too busy looking after my 5 month old son this side, with short breaks for Arsenal matches, he was decked out in his Arsenal gear for today – I think it’s Arsenal’s new lucky charm.

  355. Zimpaul, sorry remembered you have interest in national teams. Don’t blame you – you are from zimbabwe:-)

  356. Oh dear, Pakistan remind me of that rabbit on my road the other night.

  357. Thanks for your perspective Roverite but you do need to have some real understanding of our team to make a comment like that not just follow the pundits’ line. Personally I do not feel able to comment in any depth on your team.

    Not a bad side on todays’ showing but I couldn’t comment on your weaknesses with any authority.

    Your manager’s a complete twat though and your fans could de with some songs not copied from low life clubs.

  358. Missed “no” before “interest” silly me ;-( Hope the kid is giving you sleepless nights.

  359. We have a national team! Sort of …
    … well, we used to.

  360. Darius stone,

    What is a Tottenham friend?

  361. Will Cesc’s mind be at another place for the whole of season?

    How does that work? He takes Song for Keita, and Arshavin for Messi? Does he imagine playing with players wearing the Barca shirt, or does he start speaking Spanish on the team?

    The only way to judge this is if he is showing any special Barcehole characteristics. And I haven’t seen him take a dive even once. So no, his mind is at the right place.

  362. Zimpaul, all the fellows I knew who went to Zimbabwe before the madness loved the place. Some even considered settling there. Like the Tanzanians who loved coming to Kenya in the past. Now they say no use going to Nairobi to see the same heaps of rubbish they have in Dar. But I intend to visit the Victoria falls someday. Some lady says it’s the most amazing site in the world. Goodnite all gooners it’s 21:30 hrs in Nairobi.

  363. Flint McCullough

    Cesc was ok’ just a bit ring rusty that’s all, as was Song.

    Stand outs Diaby & Sagna with Theo & Chamack not far behind. Really impressed with the intelligence & work rate of Chamack.

    Manuel had a very good game. I really am in 2 minds if Swarzer offers more.

    The goal we conceded was our trademark. CB exposed to a quick raid with space behind him with the FB nowhere to be seen. If that had been Chelsea Terry would have taken a yellow. Overall Kos was fine & looks a real prospect.

    Credit to both sides for a generally well fought out fair contest that overall we deserved to win. Blackburn are capable of doing us favours later in the season.

  364. Actually missed an hour its 22:40

  365. Tell us the right time Kenya gunner, stop screwing around.

  366. Great result – I had to go out just after Arshavin scored and was on tenterhooks for the rest of the afternoon until I found out the result. I think the result from the last game was in the players minds, which is why we were a bit tentative in the first half. That result will hopefully be good for the players’ confidence going forward.

  367. Wish I could work out how Football First on Sky works, do I not get to choose our game until 10:15? Currently watching the BBC3 Reading highlights and failing to understand how a band as ordinary as The Libertines are so highly rated.

  368. Maria:

    “Does anyone have a second team in the PL?”

    I wouldn’t say that I have a second team per se but I like watching Wigan.

  369. Blackpool is fine, Wigan is okay, Fulham used to be nice to watch at times but not sure what is going to happen to the team now that the Ooze has taken over, though.

  370. My ‘second team’ are Portsmouth, wherever they may be.. comin’ soon – 2 minutes of Arsenal/Blackburn with some well-informed punditry and no mention of that fuc#ing awful phrase “a football brain.” Yes! And a full half an hour to watch Giggs dive and Rooney actually score a goal.. great stuff!

  371. 69,

    Wow don`t we gooners think alike. Portsmouth even with Arry were my second team especially since it ususally looked like Arsenals b-side. However, I am beginning to feel protective over the likes of Wigan, Blackpool even West spam even though their fans get on my tits.

    ZP,

    Oh, stop playing you know you do.

    Anyone thing the new guy looks he could be Pires sightly uglier older bro…

  372. Excellent result oop norf. My MotM was Diaby, had a very dood game.

    What happened to the Pakistan batters, were they left at home?

    Apologies if you’ve already seen this but I found it a good read.

    http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/opinion/columnists/brian-reade/Brian-Reade-column-Cesc-Fabregas-and-Javier-Mascherano-tapping-up-is-making-Barcelona-the-world-s-most-hated-club-plus-Jose-Mourinho-is-still-haunted-by-Liverpool-article566421.html

  373. I have no 2nd team but I like the approach of managers like Wigan’s & Bolton’s.

    Wham were OK under Zola to.

  374. Oh and Ian Holloway at Blackpool. Funny guy too.

  375. today I have become an Alan shearer fan he absolutely destroyed Hanson over Walcott. Hanson simply could not look at Shearer. He criticised Hanson for his attack on Walcott. Hanson did not know what hit him. It is worth watching again if anyone can get that clip of MOTD.

  376. dups,

    Apparently the Pakistani batters were earning some extra cash. That is such a relief. I knew they weren’t so bad.

  377. I read that it was the bowlers with no balls Ateeb.

  378. Rephrase:

    The bowlers earning extra by bowling no balls.

  379. Absolutely agree, 1LC ~ MOTD was fantastic! He ate his humble pie with a grimace and a cliche – “He answered his critic(s) on the pitch”.
    Alan Shearer (and GL) were not letting up. Good stuff!

  380. Oh wow, the great Alan Hansen was humiliated live on telly today by Shearer of all people.

    The only way he could of added to that was making him re show is footage from last week and ask him how that proved anything let alone his idiotic point.

    Also loved how when given of reply, he had **** all to say, showing himself to be just the washed up old Liverfool centre-back he really is.

  381. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

    How my family and I laughed.

  382. STUTTER STUTTER STUTTER

  383. Here is a song from Theo to Hansen.

  384. Match up on ArsenalOnline.

  385. So it looks like it’s Tottenham who can’t travel north and got beaten at Wigan. As expected, Arsenal showed their experience by holding off a physical Blackburn team for a 2-1 win at the Emirates.

    What? Arsenal were the away team and Tottenham were home?

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

  386. That’s 3 games games in, we haven’t conceded to a set-piece, but we have conceded once to counter-attack and once to a mistake outside the box.

    Kos looked viciously determined after the embarrassment of being ‘turned like a kipper’ by ‘spitter’Diouf (how the Sky commentator described it). I assure you, it will last all season, and won’t happen again.

    This Almunia looks very able, where is he from?

  387. Great stuff today by The Arsenal! Excellent posts by all and sundry too. I think Kos just learned what the PL can be about. I do not think he will make that mistake again. It’s his second match of the season in a new league against a bunch of thugs…fair play to the lad. He pulled his socks up and picked up his game in the second half.

    Diaby was excellent and Song seems to have worked on his close control. He was switching the ball from foot to foot effortlessly and juking people left and right. I was also impressed by Arshavin as he kept plugging away and didn’t pack it in…and was justly rewarded. Good for him.

    What impressed me the most, however, was subbing Cesc and RVP and not seeing any sort of drop in the level of play. This team can and will be a monster!

  388. Yes Almunia did very well yesterday, was decisive with his punches and catches from set pieces.

  389. Looking at the highlights of Wolves vs Newcastle, Wolves did not get a nailed on penalty. Referee was pretty close and had a good view, unbelievable how they can’t spot obvious incidents like those.

  390. Also few meaty challenges from Wolves, Karl Henry in particular. I think Wolves will break a leg this season.

  391. So happy with Alan Shearer giving to Hansen up his.

  392. Hi honey I’m home. What have I missed?

  393. 1LC here is a link to the MOTD roast of Hansen http://arsenalist.com/

  394. I thought roasting meant something different these days. Still an amusing clip, though.

  395. almunia has done well against blackburn. solid with the crosses. perhaps the speculation has really given him a good wakeup call. was that arsene’s psychological tactics all along?

    and poor alan hansen, going down with his beloved liverpool. he just epitomises liverpool, doesnt he?

    people living in the glories of the past.

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