Homegrown Gibberish Whilst Arsenal Strive For Consistency

An outbreak of sanity for the next few months, transfer targets remain more fanciful than they were in the summer as football turns its attention to the proper stuff. You know, the game itself. Amid tepid disinterest, the Premier League clubs announced their squads yesterday. Well, thanks for that I couldn’t work out the information from the clubs websites, conveniently structured into ‘First Team’, ‘Reserves’ and ‘Youth’ sections. The farcical nature of it all is highlighted by the 71 players registered by Arsenal.

The arbitrary twenty-five man ruling by the Premier League serves little purpose. The wording is couched so loosely in their rules that there is no lower limit – theoretically, a club could submit a squad with no names and rely on their Under-21s – and no imposition of homegrown quotas. There is a maximum of 17 foreign players over the age of 21 who do not satisfy the rules designed to encourage the nuturing of local talent. Except the Arsenal squad proves that you do not have to be a native to be considered a product of the domestic youth system.

Simply listing English players on a piece of paper does no more than guarantee them a place on the bench or stands. The only manner of improving their technique and experience is by coaching them properly from a young age. There is no other substitute and it is the only way for them to progress to the top clubs and play. Still, Fifa and Uefa have coerced the footballing world into believing that this is a solution and I suspect that it will sit quite happily as one of the legacies left by Platini and Blatter. It is typical of them; hot on words, cold on actions or achievements.

Back to Arsenal. There has been mixed news for Arsene in this international week. Nicklas Bendtner has apparently suffered a relapse or new injury, depending on your interpretation of the report whilst Tomas Rosicky has reportedly been suffering from a virus. I doubt it is the sort of virus that my mum used to claim she suffered from at weekends.

Whilst they suffer, Samir Nasri has returned to training. His return is some compensation for the loss of Robin van Persie and sets the Frenchman on a collision course with Rosicky for the midfield place as Arshavin will presumably move into supporting striker role in the Dutchman’s absence. Assuming that all of them return unscathed from international duty, a by no means certain outcome.

Arsene’s choice is not simple. Rosicky has been outstanding whilst Nasri had a terrific first half at Anfield, subdued in the second by injury. It bodes well for the coming campaign but consistency from Nasri in particular, is needed. Both players can fill wide and central positions giving more variety to the Arsenal attack than other teams possess but the pair look to worked harder on their defensive game. Perhaps Walcott was not the only player told by Wenger to be more aggressive in their approach.

Theo Walcott may covet that role as well. Top scorer this season, it has been a marked improvement which the England international believes can be simply explained:

I had a very good pre-season, no injuries, I had a nice break over the summer and everything is going well so far. I stay behind to improve on things like the final ball, the end product, stuff like that. I practice crossing and finishing and penalties.

As the official website put it, the early season form is the result of ‘hard graft’. The self-confessed work in the gym is evident for all to see as are the improvements in his technique. The ludicrous claims of Alan Hansen have been roundly derided in all quarters but consistency needs to come to the fore so that Hansen’s smug grin is permanently wiped from his face.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on September 2, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 221 Comments.

  1. First?

  2. Just like Arsenal this. I am was 1st!

  3. I would argue that Rossicky on current form should replace Fabregas for a few games and move Nasri to the right.

    I think Fabregas needs more of a rest.

  4. Theo should continue his run in the side for continuity sake -assuming he doesn’t get injured in the inter lull. It would be great for his confidence and development to have a good stretch.

    On current form, he is awesome. Lets keep him on that track…

  5. Looks like people got worn out by the previous post Arse baggings.

    I was also bogged by the lists of players in the premier league website Yogi..Atleast i learnt middle names of our players if nothing else.

    So happy for Theo,May he continue to shine and score more goals for us in our march towards the finish line in this marathon and obviously for us to come up tops.

  6. ArseBagins – Of all players Cesc should not need a rest. He missed the latter half of last season and only played a very small part of the WC. He should be freesh as a daisy once match fit.

    I do agree about TR7 though, he is looking very good and it is not inconcievable that if Cesc doesperform he does have competition for his place.

  7. *does not*

  8. By the way gooners what is it with Myles Palmer these days? Why does he hate AW as much as he does? Can someone hazard a guess?

  9. Great news about Samir – i think this is going to be the season where we see what he’s really made of. If the likes of Theo, Diaby, Rosicky etc can all step up to their potential this year then we’re gonna be unstoppable.

    I’m loving the competition for all our places now. It can only serve to improve the squad and diminish some of the complacency of seasons past.

  10. I think the problem isn’t his had to much match time rather the problem is next to nothing non-existent pre-season.

    Personally I am loving the competition for places. Long may it continue.

  11. Ug – I have noticed that. He acts like a jilted lover.

  12. What do you mean ‘these days’ Ug? He’s been a Wenger hater for ages now. Ignore the twat he’s a massive wind up merchant.

  13. cesc made a big difference when he was on against Blackburn, we need him

  14. Maria – I agree. He just needs match fitness.

  15. AB

    Dont talk tosh Cesc needs more game time not a rest.He is our one truly great payer(RVP will be when he plays more than 20 games a season)

    TR7 good sub but he wont start as long as Cesc and Diaby are fit

  16. lol@ goonerandy

    Glad you understood that. Reading back I can’t say I could.

  17. It was bleeding obvious from the blackburn game that cesc needs to play football, not rest. His touch and awareness was way off

  18. Also I am very happy that Traore was not sold. I really like him, our own little kick boxer. His also one of the one genuine wide players on our books.

  19. i still think we need cesc to be 100% for us to have any real chance this season. the guty is without doubt our best player and one of the best in the world in his position.

  20. peter – RvP is also a truly great player – he’s played more than 20 games per season for years… He’s one of the best strikers in the world!

  21. Maria

    If I recall correctly, Traore prefers a knuckleduster to kick boxing.


  22. Does anyone know if any of the bigger teams have been adversly affected by this new ruling?

  23. Geo

    From what I have seen, very few players have lost out as such. I think those with long-term injuries such as Woodgate at Tottenham are not impacted as their clubs have sufficient space to include them in their squads in January.


  24. GEO is 20 games out of a possible 50 a good percentage? Unfortunately although hes great RVP is injury prone

  25. You gotta feel for Rosicky. The guy has played amazingly when on the pitch, working hard, great technique, picking out incisive passes, good in pre-season too….

    I agree with Peter though, if Diaby and Cesc are fit, Rosicky won’t quite get in the team just yet.

    Its good to have options though, Cesc and Diaby (touch wood) if anything happens, small injury etc.. Rosicky can step in no problem.

    Just shows how good a player Diaby is when on song. Another one like Theo… unstoppable when playing well.

  26. So RvP’s goals, technique, leading Holland to the WC Final, consistent performances and high goalscoring in Champs League/Premiership do not warrant him as one of the best around?

    I really don’t get it, is this another case of another fan willing and ready play down our own…

  27. He actually plays around 30 games per season – which for someone who’s so injury prone, is not bad at all… When he plays he is a truly great player and is, in my eyes, an Arsenal Great already. He reminds me of a mixture between Bergkamp (best player in the world ever) and Henry. And surely we’ll get a season where he plays 40+ games soon. He loves Arsenal and i can see him retiring here with a damn hefty goal and assist tally…

  28. Chris – I agree about Diaby, he can be a really good player. Very dominant at times. He just needs consiatancy, and if he stays injury free I am sure he will get there.

  29. don’t worry about cesc needing rest, he hardly played a half of football at the world cup. he was there as a mascot, not a player.

    if anyone needed a longer rest it was RvP. He played every game of the world cup up front on his own with shit support from his selfish wanker teammates. Wenger brought him back way too early. He should be in the caribbean on a beach making love to his wife right now, instead he’s broken down again and sitting on a treatment table. Well done Wenger.

  30. UgGoner,

    It’s because the media get’s into bed with Arsene at every opportunity and the following morning, rather than turning away in disgust and demanding their immediate exit, Arsene gives them a peck on the cheek and bids them a good day.

    The media are a confused and masochistic lot

  31. Thanks YW – havent really looked round the other squad lists… Woodgate – he must be gutted.. I blame his life choices 😉

  32. If we can keep RvP for the majority of the season, it could be key. He is one of the best strikers in the Premiership without doubt.

  33. gunner17

    RvP and Cesc were given the extra time needed to refresh, any other manager would play their World Cup finalists on Match Day 1 – like they did.

    Wenger if anything looks out for the players a bit too much, I don’t see him as a manager that throws a player in who is on the verge of collapsing.

    Look at Kuyt, he played Champs League qualifiers a couple weeks after the WC!!

  34. And Kuyt played every game for Holland as wll (I think).

  35. I see RvP as a luxury this season.. we never get a full season out of the guy really. So with Chamakh now another option for CF, along with Nikki B.. we should have no problem to fill the void if he does go missing for a chunk of games.

    Ideally you would like Cesc and RvP available for each and every game, but that ain’t gonna happen.

    Otherwise they would end up like Rooney anyway, worn out, getting shown up at the WC!

  36. Isn’t there a sense in which the rule _hinders_ development of young English players?

    Arsenal have been developing plenty of young Englishmen in recent years, but surely now the balance will be shifted in favour of top clubs recruiting young foreigners in preference to Englishmen? Because, there’s now an added incentive to bring foreigners over when they’re young, so that once they hit 21 they become home-grown. English players will tend to be home-grown anyway.

  37. Sounds like Bendtner out until November. Well, OK for time being. RvP +/- 3 more weeks is it? Ditto. Be nice to have RvP back for Chelsea.

  38. Chris,

    I think Wenger has been mindful about this as a result of Thierry’s last season with us. He too had a challenging league campaign, went to an equally challenging world cup, and then came back and suffered injuries for much of the season.

  39. I think Chamakh will be/is a choice choice despite the current injuries. With everybody fit it will be interesting were Arsene will play everybody. Personally I think it will be Arshavin/Chamakh/RvP up front.

  40. Delia-----Block 112

    Thank goodness sanity has returned to this site. Every thing crossed that our internationals return from the interlull in one piece. Does Morocco have a friendly ? With Bendtner and RVP sidelined it is a little worrying. Does anyone have an update on RVP’s ankle injury? It sounds to me that it is a bit more than just a simple twist and more of a damaged ligament problem . After his previous ankle problems surely he has them heavily taped these days.

  41. Rupe

    It’s a typically half-arsed football compromise.

    I’m not sure that it hinders English players but there are no clear benefits. The ruling does not go as far as being protectionist and as such the ‘benefits’ of such a policy are not felt. If there were a stipulation about English players in the squad or on the pitch, then it is beneficial in the sense that they would gain experience. As I mentioned in the post, the only real change that would benefit English players is in coaching but that has to happen from a young age.

    Commercial interests mean that the EPL is highly unlikely to bring in a stricter definition of homegrown players and with the EU vehemently opposed to such definitions, any changes are going to be cosmetic rather than effective.


  42. If Denilson is fully fit there’s going to be some competition even on the bench with Nasri and Tomas. Hard to dislodge Cesc, Diaby and Song trio at the moment. Wilshere is there. Up front Eboue/Walcott, Chamakh/JET (I assume) and Vela/Arshavin. Not bad. Two players for every place even with current injuries. Let’s hope the internationals don’t change that.

  43. I think Chamakh’s too big an asset for defending set pieces for him to be a bench player. Having said that, the footage of him with his arms wrapped round Samba received quite a bit of exposure so refs will probably be watching him more closely in that respect now.

  44. If by some miracle we have everybody fit at some point, there are going to be some fairly big names not even making our bench.

  45. when I look at the team sheets I wonder why arshavin continues to dominate the left flank when we have a much broader range of options once we consider to let him sit out some games. There are some quite damning results if you pull up the chalkboards for all of his 3 games. much lower pass completion than anyone else in the side, much fewer passes and much less areas covered. walcott is ‘generally’ considered to give away too many loose balls but arshavin makes him look like a saint.

    I think there is a multiplying effect when we have rosicky cesc and nasri playing together. they understand each other movements and can ping balls around each otehr like no ones business. add diaby to the mix and song behind to clean up and there is a singualrity in play and speed of mind which is second to none.

    Last season nasri had a game ahead of rosicky on the left flank and looked great when he has the goal in front of him and can play off the shoulder of the opposition defense. I feel he sometime needs that sniff of goal to set him alight.

    I really like this:



    how is vela ever going to get a game if we dont lose AA more often? we are begining to stagnate the guy

  46. Lets say our first 11 is:




    Sub: Fabianski, Kos, Denilson, Rosicky, Nasri, Walcott, Bendtner

    That leaves; Gibbs/Djourou/Vela/Wilshere/Eboue/ not even in the squad.

  47. To be fair Goonerandy I think that’d be the happiest headache Wenger could ever have!

  48. Vince – It would. Can’t see us being that lucky though. We have a strong squad no doubt about it.

  49. Goonerandy,

    I cant help but notice that you’ve overlooked the Dickov in your squad selection, please explain.

  50. UgGunner on September 2, 2010
    at 11:07 am

    Ive been thinking that for a while.

    My theory is that Wenger must of dissed him somehow. Perhaps he wanted to write another Mr. Professor book and Wenger didnt want anything to do with it.

    The indignation Myles has for Wenger is very intense, screams resentment, borderline hatred.

    Very odd indeed, especially when Myles made some coin off writing a book about Wenger.

    Either way, I still enjoy his blogs, now that his writing them again, not lazily posting up fan letters.

  51. I think AA tries a higher amount of high-risk balls than anyone else, which is probably why he’s in the side. Next to Cesc I’d say he’s our most unpredictable player in terms of passing.

    Speaking with not much knowledge of this stuff -while I value high pass-completion rates for our midfield three, I don’t think they matter quite as much for player a further up the pitch.

  52. James – I cannot explain this, and I do apologise.

  53. chrisgoona

    we all know how good rvp is when fit.but at the world he did’nt really perfrom at his best.so I would say that sneider was heavily responsible for taking the dutch into the final.and rvp did’nt do anything.cos his injuries made him not perform at his best.and I lets all pray that he can be fit all seaon long.but I heavily doubt that he will.

  54. Is Myles posting any genuine fan letters? is it beyond the realms of Possibility that he types these letters himself and replies to them to give a feeling of widespread discontent among gooners. And to keep things relatively balanced, he throws in a letter or two from the so called “AKB’s”.

  55. gooner2
    How often did team mates pass to RVP in the world cup? Look up the stats and you’ll be amazed.

  56. YW I’m still thinking it’ll hinder.

    Look at it this way, if a club had to choose between two very similar 17-yr olds, once of which was English and one of which was Foreign, in the past they might have gone for the Englishman because a) he’s local and b) higher future transfer value.

    But b) is surely undermined by this rule. Now, they’re more likely to choose the foreigner because once they’re classed as home-grown they a) help the club fulfil the quota and b) have enhanced sell-on value (within this country, at least).

    Anyway, one way or another or both, half-arsed for sure.

  57. Rupe, we scout young talents from all over the world and develop them with us. Not all clubs do that. In most clubs the academy is made up almost entirely of English players, and I doubt that is going to change as bringing in youth from abroad is a risky investment which does not gel with the short term outlooks of many clubs. So your scenario may be very rare for most clubs.

  58. What Steww said Gooner2, If your own team don’t give you the ball there’s not a lot you can do to influence a game.

  59. With RvP and Bendtner out, and Chamakh just starting up, Arshavin, Walcott and Vela especially need to start contributing some goals asap.

    Arshavin has a decent record, and Walcott seems to have started well, but he needs to work hard to keep it up. And Vela needs to get serious. He has been a passenger for too long and needs to step up.

  60. steww

    they did pass the ball to rvp.but he was very clumsy and he did nothing to Impress me and the rest of dutch and arsenal supporters.but yeah they did pass the ball to him.but he missed alot of chances which most us would hope for him to score.

  61. Rupe

    I suspect they would have gone for the foreign player in your scenario as he would have been cheaper in the first instance. It might – might – make local signings cheaper in the long run but will not do so in the short term as clubs such as Manchester City realise they are pushing limits for non-homegrown players already.


  62. Agreed Keysersoze. But the premium there will be on homegrown talent makes it less of a financial risk than previously, and even if what I’m only talking about just shifts the balance a little, it undermines (if not reverses) the intended effect of the rule. Perhaps I stated it a little strongly in my first comment.

  63. thanks for the great response gooner2

    So the dutch were playing with 10 men for the whole WC anc RvP done nothing at all.. is that what you are saying

  64. RVP is not a supprting striker. He is our main striker. Arshavin will stay where he is, chamack will go alone up front, and i pray o god that nasri (if fit) gets the nod over diabi and partners cesc in cm. good option to have tw or tr or sn playing wide right

  65. Delia, Morrocco – or Maroc as they prefer to call it – has a full scale international as the Africa cup kicks off. So fingers crossed on Chamakh returning without an injury. Maroc have been playing pathetic future of late and our Chamakh will be under pressure to help restore lost pride.

  66. chris

    what I meant was that rvp did’nt play well at the world cup.and I have’nt mention anything about them playing with 10 men.but his poor performance look like they were playing with 10 men.

  67. Nice to see that “Gibberish” has nothing to do with Kieron Gibbs.

  68. I thought RVP had a pretty decent world cup.

  69. RvP did have a decent WC. If the likes of Robben and Sneider had passed to him when they would have at Arsenal, he would have been up there for the golden boot me thinks… It was so frustrating watching them pass to everyone else when he was being completely selfless, imagine how frustrating it must have been for him! To say that he performed poorly (particularly after coming back from injury) is very harsh indeed.

  70. I don’t think he had that good a competition. That said, he was struggling with an injury and as other have already mentioned there seemed a reluctance by some of the Dutch players to pass to him. A number of times he was in good positions, but was ignored. Seems childlike, but the Dutch have history in that department.

  71. I’d like to see JET brought into the first team fold to play up front as back up to Chamakh.

    He had a great preseason, is looking confident, and plus we need another big man up front to cover for RvP and B52.

  72. gooner2 must have been watching something else.

    RvP had a very good WC, as did the Dutch.

  73. geo and goonerrandy

    we all know that robben and sneider are both hogs.and if rvp was healthy then I think he would have done the same thing.but robben and sneider are the two players who can be blamed for not passing the ball to him.

  74. Kuyt was the only person passing to him throughout the tourny – maybe the others dont realise how potent he can be without watching him every week… Seemed crazy at the time though as he was in some awesome positions and his link up play setting up the others deserved some selflesness in return.

  75. The problem was Robben and Sneijder are very selfish players. Robben kept the ball at his feet for too long wasted the positions RVP got into. Sneijder looked for shots more often than necessary.

  76. Returning from injury wouldnt have stopped him going for the kind of ridiculous long shots that those 2 greedy buggers were attempting. And he can do it better then Robben any day… I’ve got big respect for the way he conducted himself at the WC as others would have been screaming at their team mates if they were failing to pass to him when he was obviously in the most dangerous positions – Henry wouldnt have stood for it!

  77. It is a shame for the Dutch, not for RvP.

    They had the attacking ability to win the cup if they played as a team. Defensively they weren’t too bad either, although it was astonishing that V Bommel never got 3 red cards throughout the tournament.

    Robben had a chance in the final too which he completely fucked up, he will remember that for a long long time.

  78. yeah he had a good wc.but he did’nt have a great one.but maybe next time he will do better.and I hope he can doing better with us.

  79. when I look at the team sheets I wonder why arshavin continues to dominate the left flank when we have a much broader range of options once we consider to let him sit out some games

    do any in your broad range have one goal in three games..?

  80. I personally am in favour of having Vela on the left-wing. Arshavin in the middle behind Chamack untill Cesc is ready, you know since he apparently away with the fairies in Barcelona.

  81. The goal Arshavin scored against Blackburn, he missed several last season almost similar to that. an improvement?

  82. I am not too keen with AA playing in the Cesc position. Although advanced he (Cesc) is still one of a midfield 3 and had defensive duties as such. Not sure I would trust AA in that role. Rosicky and Nasri are the obvious replacements for Cesc if one is needed.

    Vela is unlucky really, if AA is not available it would be the aformentioned Rosicky/Nasri that would step into his position. If he does get a chance, he really needs to take it.

  83. Maria, Vela is far too ugly to play on the left wing. the left wing posistion should be played by the poster boy of the club……..which in Arsenals case is Arshavin, he’s a real looker im sure you’ll agree.

  84. Maria,

    I really don’t see Arshavin in the advanced playmaker role. His passing is not good enough. I’d play him with Chamakh or RVP in a 4-4-2 but in a 4-3-3 I’d play Nasri, Rosicky, Ramsey & Wilshere ahead of him in that position.

  85. hmmmm….well can someone tell me which position did Arshavin play with Zenit and Russia before he came over to The Arsenal?

  86. Vela Could come in a 4 4 2 with Chamakah. More so for home games.. but that would mean sacrificing Walcot..?

  87. Also I would love us to sometimes revert back to a 4-4-2 would give Vela his chance up front along with Theo maybe.

  88. Great minds Al.

  89. @maria

    I thought he was in the same position? if i remember well from the Euro thingy? may be wrong though.

  90. Maria, But Zenit and Russia had better looking players to fullfill the left sided position. They are a very good looking race. Over in Russia Arshavin is just another bloke, but at Arsenal he is Brad Pit in a football shirt.

  91. @ Al

    No, I don’t think so because I remember him being asked about his ‘new’ position when he arrived and he said it was new for him but he would play anywhere the boss thought would help the team.

  92. Yep, Carlos looks worse than that puffed up sausage Lennon over at s*** hart lane. Well done James your finally learning.

  93. Maria – he used to play in behind the striker – not as a midfielder. Was deadly from there for Zenit, albeit in a far lower standard league…

  94. a bit of a free role across the front really…

  95. I think he played off the main striker in a 442 at Zenit.

  96. Maria, didn’t you notice that gunner17 called Vela a ‘passenger’ at 12:41?

  97. Arshavin also tends to drift in and out of the game which is not ideal for a playmaker.

  98. Maria,

    He often played as the 2nd striker, or on the left of a front 3. I didn’t watch him in Russia but when he caught Europe’s attention at the 2008 Euros and in Zenit’s march to winning the UEFA Cup, he played those two positions

  99. Maria, yes Lennon may look like a puffed up sausage, but he has tram lines in his hair, which gives him street credibility with the younger generation. Arshavin on the other hand uses the same hairdresser as Alex Hleb

  100. Arshavin certainly isn’t a Cesc or Xavi. He’s a striker. More like Messi or Walcott. A player whose game depends on dribbling, shooting and pace.

    His passing is sparse, and so far hasn’t proven to have the high level of accuracy needed to play midfield for Arsenal.

  101. Oh. never followed him much. I remember some article I read last week about Wenger and his fetish for cultured mid fielders who he converts to any position in the team. kolo, Eboue, Vela,…

    I think it scares the right back just knowing that any error that you make in the next one and a half hours will be rudely punished.

    I remember some lightning counter goal last season that Eboue scored. After a corner Arshavin beat the right back to the ball and after that it was lighting counter… Cant remember the team but I felt pity for them.

  102. Another thing working against Arshavin in advanced midfield role is that he simply doesn’t have the stamina or cover the miles that midfield players routinely do.

  103. AA is the very definition of mucurial.

  104. Woo-hoo! Nasri is back! Perfect timing. Does anyone have a link to the Bendtner and RvP news?

  105. Mercurial.

    Mucurial makes it sound like he’s snotty.

  106. I agree with Ole

    I don’t see Arshavin being able to be neither a playmaker or central midfielder for Arsenal.

    He is a very talented player don’t get me wrong, one that Wenger can’t leave out of the team simply because of his ability to score at any time.

  107. Fungunner, have you ever noticed that Nasri has the head of a chipmonk?

  108. Lets not get onto G Bale’s head shall we?

    Glass houses and all that.

  109. goonerandy, yes Bale may look like the FA Cup, but he has a cheeky smile which is very endearing to female fans.

    Seriously though, what has Song done to his head? Blue Rinse anyone?

  110. And I agree with CG.
    AW likes AA for his unpredictability. That can be as much of a weapon as anything, because it’s harder for the other team’s manager to plan for.

  111. Cheeky, or, Chimpy?

  112. well arshavins 1 goal in 3 games is hard to argue with but selfish play is hardly an arsenal trait and you could argue that flattering stat is slanted towards that reason.

    OoU suggests its because arshavin makes more experimental passes and is harder to predict that he doesn’t complete as many as even the forward players of chamakh and walcott. Im not sure about that but if you check this chalk board you can see that arshavin does not seem to try anything that walcott does not yet has a very poor completion into the box particularly:


    both playing 60 mins – Arshavin made 20 passes with 9 of them being unsuccessful
    Walcott made 21 with 6 unsuccessful

    click on the heat map however to show how little distance AA covers compared to theo (ok pretty predictable but he hardly moves from his area and seems to pass out from the same place again and again)

    similar results on the other games if you care to check

    basically without the passing or the running I am not seeing this magical contribution much…
    although I do understand the man has swagger and that can go a long way

  113. Seriously, though, if anyone does have a link for th info about Bendtner or Robin….

  114. He seems to have the knack of making a difference when we need it. It may be luck, or it may be that he is a “match winner”. But his goals always seem to count and be decisive in the result.

  115. Sorry to bring this up again, but there isn’t all that much material. Get to four minutes for some nuanced passing.

    Position is sort of inside forward, but he pops up everywhere and all the play seems to go through him.

    So what I want to say is that he has the vision to pull off passes that few players in our squad – or any squad – can manage, but the execution isn’t always there. I suppose the formation might make it difficult for him to play in our midfield, because tracking back is definitely not a feature of his game.

    Maybe I’ll be able to articulate this better another time.

  116. heatmap toggle is not there for some reason, so try this:

  117. He’s maddening, but he has to be a starter. We’ve seen very little of AA this season, but he’s already managed 2 goals and an assist in 3 games.

  118. He is worth “carrying” in some games. Not many players are, but he is one of the few.

  119. “the vision to pull off passes that few players in our squad – or any squad – can manage, but the execution isn’t always there.”

    well im not gonna lie – im a glass half empty kinda guy

    it just frustrates me that he knows this and allows himself to stroll around a bit in the belief that he will pull some rabbit out sometime or other – maybe, maybe not. its just not how the rest of the team play. he is not that special to be treated as the favorite son.

    I dont mean to just straight out bash him as clearly hes a match winning guy but I just feel he should be benched more often, probably against lesser teams.

  120. I think Arsh compliments our team fantastically. I’d been crying out for someone a bit more selfish and direct for a while now and he fits that bill for sure. I can definitely excuse his sometimes ‘lazy’ style because i know he’s capable of popping up with something magical.

    He’s also more than capable of the short passing style that we play and has the vision to be thinking about what he’s going to do with the ball way before it comes to him – and at a team like Arsenal, that’s an invaluable trait.

  121. 2 goals and an assist in 3 games says all you need to know imo. Dont care if he’s run 20km or 5 if he’s gonna be productive with it.

  122. Word – I know what you mean, and maybe he will be. But through the history of the game there have been plenty of these types of players; Romario/Le Tissier/Ronaldinho/Stoickov, etc.

    They frustrate, but they can make the difference when the team is struggling. AA is one of these players. Look at his performance in the game against Liverpool when he got 4 goals; his actual contribution to the game aside from the goals was terrible. But still….

  123. spot on goonerandy

  124. Thanks, Rinseout.

  125. Oh, I see. Bendtner’s injury is NOT as bad as has been reported recently. A month isn’t too bad, especially since a week of it is international break anyway.

  126. arshavin.eu: Congratulations on the strong-willed victory, Andrey!
    AA: Thank you. As for the game there is a Russian football saying “Beat run and surround the gate” That is precisely the Blackburn scheme. But, strange as it may seem, this scheme seems to be dangerous and brings them certain results. At the beginning of the first half we beat off at least ten or even more of their throw-ins, corner-kicks and shots in the penalty area. After the goalless pause, we carried out a quick attack and managed to score a goal. After the quick Blackburn counterattack, we went on a half-time break with the score 1-1.
    In the second half, Arsenal controlled the ball; we managed to seize the advantage. And this way of playing led to the goal. In the last ten minutes of the game they made their adjustments. Even their defenders went ahead, playing as forwards. But they continued to play in their style: “Beat, run and surround the gate”. We won and it’s great. I’m going home in good spirits and with the desire to win.

    arshavin.eu: In your interview to the Arsenal web-site you said that you wanted to become a magician for your club. Today’s winning goal is the beginning of your miracles.
    AA No. It’s a deserved victory. After all, our defenders and central midfielders did everything to stand up to our rival when it was necessary.

    Interesting bit from Arshavin’s website.

  127. Heh, he is quite mental though.

  128. Cute pic of Cesc before his glory years.


  129. AA No. It’s a deserved victory. After all, our defenders and central midfielders did everything to stand up to our rival when it was necessary.

    I thought this bet was telling.

  130. http://www.thespoiler.co.uk/index.php/2010/09/02/jack-wilshere-accused-of-taking-upskirt-photos-in-club?

    Meh, he is 18. I wished they have had phone camera’s when I was 18 as well. 😉

  131. I think we need to keep Arshavin in the starting 11. However, I do think he will be given a little less slack by Wenger for indifferent play this year. We have so many other options that he wil have to work harder to keep his spot then he did last year. So far his return has certainly been good enough to keep him in the side but he needs to keep scoring. If he stops scoring and his play is indifferent then Vela and others will start getting more games in his spot.

  132. OneOfUs on September 2, 2010
    at 2:49 pm

    I saw that game live. He did have a sort of free role but he started that game on the left of a front 3.

  133. Maria – And he is right.

  134. Bill on September 2, 2010
    at 3:29 pm

    Maybe he should be a sub….start and go off after 60 mins. Or come on for the last 30 mins. That kind of thing.

  135. We will see I suppose, I definately don’t agree with the bit at the end which says we have a weaker squad. The only player to leave who could be considered 1st choice was Gallas and he didn’t seem very popular anyway.

    We have 3 new signings, and sometimes fresh faces are needed to shake things up a bit. We are stronger than last year as a whole.

  136. Maria

    Curious value of £6m placed on Reina considering the “widely accepted” offer was of four times that amount. Not too sure where he gets the line:

    Even the most loyal and die-hard supporters are completely fed-up with his failure and bungled attempt to buy a new goalkeeper during the transfer window.

    The most loyal and die-hard supporters generally thought Schwarzer wasn’t good enough. Or a big enough improvement, I should say. Some quite snide little digs around AWs commentary work.


  137. “I had several options to chose from — Liverpool, Tottenham, Benfica. That is why my final decision came so late because I had to think all the options over. Birmingham looked like a club who wanted me more than the others — that’s why I preferred them.

    It was also important that I know the English Premier League very well. But Birmingham is a perfect option for me now when most of all I need to play.

    I realise it is not quite the same as Arsenal, playing in the Champions League, but first of all I need to get back to my old form.

    To be honest, I got a lot of things wrong in the last 18 months so Birmingham is a new chance for me.”
    Hleb on his move.

  138. I don’t think Chelsea are any stronger, but will still be very difficult to beat.

    Man Utd will be there or ther abouts. Their signings are a bit of an unknown quantity, so it is hard to judge. The need to keep Scholes fit though.

    Man City have bought well, but will they gel? Not for a sustained period (yet).

    Liverpool’s squad is simply not good enough despite a handful of good players.

    The Spuds are the spuds.

    We will do well this year. Chelsea will be the team to finish above, and the games against them will be huge this year.

  139. Hleb will be a good signing for Birmingham. Ironically now that he has left, our formation would suit him much more than the 442 he played in with us.

  140. YW,

    Complete BS but this worried me more!! Imagine Arsene reading Le groan??

    “Arsene Wenger claimed in one of our little press gatherings last season that he often reads what fans say about him and Arsenal on websites, forums and blogs.”

  141. John Cross brought into (geddit!) the FC BBB propaganda line on what he described as ‘nasty business’, which the rest of the world found to be not so ‘nasty’, but farcical, and a little pathetic. Which proves how much he does not know.

    Interesting to note that the ‘transfer window’ closed, more or less, where it began.
    With the closure of the Eto-Villa-Ibrahimovic triangle. Who’d have guessed, that one of the biggest ego’s in football would not have been happy to be a substitute.
    Maybe you don’t have to be a plundit, but have to be some kind of mason, have a funny walk, a silly handshake, in order to be able to figure this stuff out, that kind of thing…maybe not.

  142. Yogi’s Warrior on September 2, 2010
    at 3:40 pm

    What about his claim that Lehman was hero when Arsenal won the FA Cup, and the next season Almunia became #1 then Arsenal stopped winning. That’s very dishonest.

    I never could understand why so many gooners fawn over John Cross. He’s just another rag boy. It’s all about making up stories and sensationalising every issue for him just like the rest of them.

  143. Van dar Vaart is nothing special. I would take a fit Ramsey over him anyday. Quite sure he was less than 8 mill.

  144. He’s no fan of the club.

    More of a leech.

  145. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/sep/02/wayne-rooney-world-cup-2010-outstanding

    Amazing. Even a neutral could see Rooney was shocking at the WC. The ball just bounced off him anytime he went near it. I do wonder what some people are watching sometimes.

  146. He is it’s just that he comes across as Father Christmases younger brother most of the time.

  147. I was one of those moaning about AW being at the World Cup while pre-season had started, but John Cross sank to new lows by claiming AW spent his summer commentating rather than doing Arsenal transfer business. Absolute nonsense of course, since Arsene was all that time finishing transfer business; Koscielny and Cesc in particular. This is public knowledge, something even John Cross reported on.

    It’s a cheap shot. Quite distasteful.

  148. @ CG
    Earlier I meant I agreed with the first bit, about where AA plays. I’ve got reservations about him as an automatic starter, but hey, I’m not the manager.

  149. I personally would love to listen to Arsene Wenger commentating on a game.

    Darnnit. If only I hadn’t sleep through by all attempts to teach me French.

  150. John Cross began his attack upon the club this summer when he chose to regard the transparent statements from the State of Catatonia with any validity.

    That was a strange choice for a self-declared Arsenal fan.

  151. Andy @ 3:41:

    To downplay United is a mistake. They always find a way to win. Say what you want about Fergie but his teams know how to play better then their team sheet would suggest. 3 team race with Chelsea as the betting favorite for now. We can give them a run depending on how well we defend. Agree that City is a wild card but hope their squad does not gel and with a little luck may be they implode.

  152. Bill – I do agree about United. For the past few years you can look at their squad on paper and think “nah, pretty weak”, but they still manage to perform. I think Ferguson has a knack of moulding mentally strong players.

    Scholes will be the key to their season, he really makes them tick and if he were mssing for a sustained period they don’t have many players who fit the bill to cover for him. He has been excellent so far this season.

  153. Bill,

    I do give a lot of credit to Feggerson for competing with that Man Utd squad last season. But their squad is hollow. They have a midfield with no stand out players, and when you take out his geriartrics they have a glut of unproven players. There’s a hollowness to Man Utd.

    The handwriting is on the wall. First of their 3 titles was with a squad worse than this current Arsenal squad. The 2nd season they benefited from Arsenal’s issues in March-April 2008 or they well might not have won the league. Since then, their points total has decreased every season. Even with Rooney having an exceptional season last season, that simply was not enough.

    The extent they depend on Messrs Scholes, Giggs, Neville & Van der Sar says a great deal.

    Most of all, they have large holes in their squad. Not very high quality centre back backups, no proper right back, no back up left back, no creative midfield, no other player in their squad apart from Rooney that seems able to get to 20+ goals, a midfield that does not score goals.

    What they still have is knowing how to beat, and having the reverence of, lowlier Premier League teams.

    They’re decidedly declining for me. 3rd will be their ceiling & that’s my prediction.

  154. He’s carved a niche for himself. I’m sure he’s proud to be the first tabloid hack to have penetrated Arseblog’s little ring. It’s probably the only way writers like him are going to be able to have careers soon.

    Meanwhile –

    His name is Ryo and he joined us from Japan
    Something, something

  155. Fortunately , like Manuel from Faulty Towers, “I Know nothing”, about many things.

    But I think that John Cross along with some others have been building up a head of steam of the ‘keeper issue’.
    I’ll ignore the fact that MS let in four goals last time that I saw him, and looked a little flappy at the WC, and I’ll imagine Basil Fawlty in one of his most angry and ludicrous moods.

    I am prepared for a whole load of cr*p to be expunged into the ether.

  156. Ole @ 3:33:

    I still think he should be in the starting 11, but if he continually runs of a gas and his play is not up to par then perhaps we try some other ideas. He clearly is talented and creative and can really help the team when in form. How to get the best out of him is a challenge.


    The other thing I would add to my comment at 4:02PM is that we need to have a little less bad luck with injuries. If we can stay reasonably healthy and defend we have a real shot at it this year. Chelsea is tough but not as deep as previous years. They also showed a propensity to take their foot off the gas when they got ahead last year. That can work for a while but in my experience watching football and other sports most teams that try to do that eventually get burned. As teams age it gets harder to push back down on the gas pedal.

  157. P.S Love the comments after his piece of shit.

  158. Two memes to be pushed in the next few weeks:

    A) The AW is a scrooge b*ll*cks.
    (Moneh $iteh spent 40% of the ca$h that was spent in the goddamned Transfer Window…Untold Arsenal or The Swiss Rambler as references for those with a head for log books)

    B) Manuel is a Spanish Waiter.

  159. Ole @ 4:09:

    Everything you say is correct. Uniteds squad is definitely on the decline. If Rooney does not have another stellar year or if their defending does not remain best in the league they will fight for 3rd. However, they really know how to win and they do not seem to take anything for granted which accounts for a lot.

    We clearly have a stronger squad then they do, but the same was true last year. Hopefully we will put it together this year and play to our potential and finish above them. Chelsea will be our toughest competition.

  160. ManU are dependent on Evra, vd Sar and Rooney. Either of those 3 cracks all bricks start to come loose. They will compete at the top, but will lose draw they need to win, eventually it will tell.

    It is, at present a 3-way race, followed by a 3-way race Spurs, ManC and Liverpool, followed by a 3-way race Everton, Villa and Fulham and Sunderland with a look in.

    All very symmetrical this season, which means Arsenal will come out tops. I predict with 6 games to go we will be 2 points adrift, and this time go on to win the damn business, and get it over with.

  161. Bill,

    Man Utd are the luckiest team in the world. You can talk of how they make their luck and all that, but I can’t forget a decade and half of fluked late goals, own goals, etc. They really are a very lucky side.

    Again, sure, maybe they make their luck by never giving up. But you can’d deny the existence of the luck.

  162. Utd are someone elses problem, fergy is a t…. scoles is a monkey who is currently being bigged up by tossers at sky. f…. .com. Our squad has much more talent. i dont care who you are you cant beat the laws of nature and fergys midfield is full of oap who will pick up injuries or have to have blood transfusions at half time instead of oranges

  163. “Again, sure, maybe they make their luck by never giving up. But you can’d deny the existence of the luck.”

    And very dubious ref decisions.

  164. On the actual football:

    Looking forward to JET playing in the PL ahead of schedule now.

    (The following is all speculation:)
    I’ve read that Chamack has been fasting during the month of Ramadan, which is nearly over. But I don’t believe such reports.
    But, a friend who’s been on Chamack Watch at every home game since pre-season thinks so.
    So, whether it’s improved fitness or just settling in, we expect to see an even more impressive work rate’ etc from the new signing after the Interlull.

    Chamack looks like a really exciting signing.

  165. I never believed in luck at all!!! Haha of course not, that leaves to much to fortune (which I most certainly do believe in).

    People just say bad or good luck to explain their own faults when they feel hard done by. In reality this is usually caused by either laziness or lack of planning.

    Getting lots of injuries at a team like Arsenal is nothing to do with luck – it has more to do with the refs failing to protect the players against the likes of Martin Taylor and Ryan Shawcross.

    They were both FORTUNATE to not end up with more of a penalty for their actions, this is true.

    I guess people forget the difference. Fortune is random and affects us all in the same way – it can be quantified and predicted to a certain degree.

    Somebody who is thought of as lucky seems to get constant fortune and never get any bad fortune and THIS is what I don’t believe in.

    Like a lucky person can flip a coin 20 times and so could I.

    They are not any more likely to flip 20 heads are they?

  166. And to the guy who said that ManU are the luckiest team on Earth – well I think you may have a slight chip on your shoulder about one of our premier rivals my friend 🙂

    I can assure you they have just as much bad ‘luck’ as other teams. Mostly though because of the whole Sky controlling football thing – United are always capable to turn a refs decision, even SAF can after the match has ended!!

    But this is not luck this is called cheating

  167. Common Sensei on September 2, 2010
    at 4:47 pm

    Fortune is much too random to affect us all equally. Really good fortune is usually a chain of contingencies. Almost by definition, and by probability it can not be equal, however random it might be.

  168. I was watching them play Fulham the other day and I told my lady friend, who has little interest in football, that I was sure Man Utd would get a penalty or an own goal. Within minutes they got an own goal AND a penalty. She was very impressed, but I assured her I’d seen it happen too many times it wasn’t much of a prediction

  169. Squad depth? Lets look at Chelsea
    1 Cech, Petr
    2 Ivanovic, Branislav
    3 Cole, Ashley
    4 Essien, Michael
    5 Ramires
    6 Lampard, Frank
    7 Benayoun, Yossi
    8 Drogba, Didier
    9 Mikel, John Obi
    10 Malouda, Florent
    11 Bosingwa, Jose
    12 Zhirkov, Yuri
    13 Ferreira, Paulo
    14 Kalou, Salomon
    15 Turnbull, Ross
    16 Terry, John
    17 Alex
    18 Anelka, Nicolas
    19 Hilário, Henrique
    Plus under 21 Kakuta, Sturridge and Bruma
    Forwards (4) Drogba, Anelka, Kalou and Malouda
    Midfield (5) Lampard, Essien, Ramires, Benayoun, Mikel
    Defenders (7) Terry, Alex, Ivanovic, Cole, Bosingwa, Ferreira, Zhirkov
    GK (3) Cech, Hilarious, Turnbull

    Doesn’t look too deep to me. Only 4 Homegrown – the aging Terry and Lampard, wantaway Cole, and Turnbull.
    Can their first 11 play 50+ games each? If not they are in serious trouble and who is coming through Kakuta, Bruma and Sturridge. No wonder they have to feign injury every Intl break.

    Arsenal have 2 full teams of Internationals give or take the odd position and 6 full internationals amongst their under 21’s (Walcott, Vela, Ramsey, Gibbs, Wilshere and Szczesny) then there’s also Eastmond, Nordveit, JET, Frimpong, Lansbury and Traore already with useful first team experience.

    Yet the plundits tell us how strong Chelsea are.

  170. jbh – Don’t kid yourself mate. Chelsea are strong. If they get long term injuries to certain players they will struggle and their back up is probably not as in depth as ours. But they are strong, and will take some beating.

    They won the double last year, and only Carvahlo has left who might have been 1st choice.

  171. Ole:

    There is clearly luck. However, I think some teams know how to make your own luck, and the fact that teams that have won in the past get the benifit of the doubt from refs, from opposing players, the media etc. etc.. I do not believe in conspiracy theories, it seems to be human nature.

    Here in the US the “superstar” players and teams that always seem to get more calls from referees and umpires. It is most evident in our basketball where Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade seem to always get the calls to go their way. It was especially true with Micheal Jordan. Mariano Rivera gets the benifit of the doubt with ball and strike calls from the umpires, the heavy weight boxing champ always wins the close decisions etc etc etc etc.

  172. Steww:

    “How often did team mates pass to RVP in the world cup? Look up the stats and you’ll be amazed.”

    gooner2’s comment was the running line of commentary, regarding Van Persie, throughout the world cup. What people didn’t see was how his runs opened up space for the likes of Robben and Snijder. Whenever Van der Vaart was on the pitch, however, Van Persie was given service and he made the most of it. It’s a shame that a player who worked as hard as he did gets no credit. That idiots like G2 regurgitate what the pundits say, speaks of how little people actually understand what happens on the pitch.

  173. A second person associated with MAnIOU has picked up a ban relating to doping tests.
    (Old Skool chemical doping).

    Where the **** is Mazer Mahmood when you really need him.

  174. thanks GB for rightly brigning that up! RVP contributed in almost every scoring chance holland created..

  175. Bill:

    “To downplay United is a mistake. They always find a way to win.”

    Yes, they always find a way to dive close to or in the penalty area to eek out wins or draws. This has been happening for years. It was especially egregious when Ronaldo was there. I think you mistake their tendency to cheat as tenacity.

  176. There’s a fine line between ‘gamesmanship’ and cheating.
    And Carlos Quiroz has crossed it, according to some reports. Or, he was just given a ban for fun.

  177. Finsbury,

    doping rumours involving ManIOU …..

    I’m still wondering why Van der Sar, Scholes, Giggs and Berbatov are still capable of performing at the highest level in the PL but chose to retire from International football at an age where they could have contributed so much more for their respective countries. Scholes was 30 and Giggs was 34 when they quit. Berbatov is 29 ffs.

  178. notlager,

    I think that we should just focus on the Football.

    Let’s just leave Murdoch & Mazer to unearth any such shennanigans.
    After all, they have an impeccable track record.
    They never set people up, or pick politiziced targets. Nope. Never.
    (I almost felt sorry for Svenn after he got hit by the fake sheikh).

  179. What a farce!
    I can’t even spell shenanigans properly.

  180. G69:

    Believe what you want. Interesting that all of the mid and lower table clubs think that the big 4 get all the breaks and all the penalty calls. How you view those type of things depends on who you support.

  181. http://www.lequipe.fr/Football/

    bacary the new french capitain

  182. What is some opposing fans sing when an Arsenal player is lying crumpled on the floor…

    “Same old Arsenal…always limping!”

  183. Finsbury,

    imagine how ManIOU would struggle with an unbiased media free of any interests. But hey, they’re already heading downwards on and off the pitch having sold their soul to the devil. Neither Sky, the Sun nor referees will be able to bail them out.


    Sagna is on Blanc’s shortlist to get the captaincy, but it hasn’t been decided yet, has it?

  184. notlager

    This Portugeezer’s (sorry) story will be interesting to follow. Vaguely. From a distance.

  185. @ Bill

    Believe what you want.

    Yes, big clubs often get the benefit of 50-50 decisions, especially at home. However, Man U are a special case. For example, The Guardian counted up the minutes of extra time allotted at Old Trafford and compared it to the number of minutes at other grounds. When Manure were winning, the lowest average number of minutes was allotted, and when they were losing, they had the highest average number of minutes allotted. There really is such a thing as Fergie Time.

  186. @ notlager at 5:59pm

    That’s food for thought…

  187. FunGunner:

    I am not going to try to argue that they do not get any special treatment. See my post to Ole at 5:15. I do not believe there is an ongoing organized conspiracy, but I fully believe that United get some breaks that the rest of the league does not.

    I see the same thing with the top franchises in all the sports I follow here in the USA. People tend to gravitate towards the teams with the most trophies in their case. The fact that their manager is a ruddy Scotsman (?sp) probably does not hurt either. Call it xenophobia or xenophilia whatever you want. An unfortunate part of human nature and probably will be with us forever I would guess.

  188. FunGunner:

    Just to clarify. While I do believe that United get some special treatment, I think that all of the bigger clubs tend to get some special treatment. United probably a little more then the others. The point I was trying to make in my post to G69 was that I do not think that this is the reason they won the league 3 of the last 4 years. We as Arsenal fans over rate the breaks that United get just like the fans of every club in the world tend to think with regards to their closest rival.

  189. All fair enough Bill but I still don’t think Chelski or Liverpool are as lucky, nor do I know there’s any reason to think you’re right that we overrate the breaks they get. When Liverpool were dominant in the 1980s I never considered them especially lucky or favoured.

    I’ve seen way too many lucky goals from Man poo over the years.

  190. It wasn’t like we didn’t notice that own goal was Man poo’s 2nd highest scorer last season or anything like that

  191. Ole:

    Fair enough. I did not follow football in the days of Liverpool dominance and I will take your word for it.

    My youngest son is a damn Manc fan. We have a lot of good spirited fun with it. Lets beat the bastards this year and win a title so we do not have to put up with Myles Palmer or Suga3 anymore. I also owe my son a few “I told you so’s”.

  192. Bill n Ole, why dont you two just meet up for a pint and sort out your differences once and for all in a pub!

  193. Duke:

    I would love to come to London sometime and do that. A lot more then 1 pint would probably be required.

  194. “A lot more then 1 pint would probably be required.”

    Now that is one of the best things you’ve every posted Bill.

  195. Dupps:

    Can’t go to London and stop with 1 pint. My son and I are going to make the pilgramage some day. He has to come with me to the Emirates and I have to go with him to Old Trafford.

  196. Maybe it’s about the poor people’s club Vs the rich or aristocrat’s club?

    This is often the case in many countries, where a club is viewed as the King’s favorite club and it is always hated, usually when the ruler is over thrown or the country switch to a republic.

    I’m not sure if I’m explaining this right, but the question to my British friends, is Arsenal viewed as the Aristocrats club or used to be?

  197. And that was the comment that made every one runaway…

  198. REPOST:

    May I suggest that you put up a poll after every matches to gauge whether a solid goalkeeper could probably save Arsenal 1 point or 2? Say, the first game against Liverpool, I don’t think any goalkeeper could have save the goal so there was no point to gain or lose. Same about last game against Blackburn. That’s Clichy & Kolceshy’s fault hence nothing to do with Alumnia and the result won’t change so no poll needed.

    By running this kind poll we could have a better idea of how many points could have gained by splash the money on proved goalkeeper.

  199. Speaking of homegrown nonsense, who do you guys think was the best Arsenal player to represent England?

  200. Tony Adams, no doubt, followed by Seaman.

  201. I always thought Chelsea, followed by Manu and Liverpool, were the ‘Aristocrats’ clubs, Arsenal usually the odd one out, and at the other of the class divide the likes of West Ham?

    When I started supporting, Arsenal had a strong London Irish flavour, Stapleton (an old favourite of mine), Brady, Rice and O’Leary amongst others; perhaps one includes Pat Jennings too.

    As for West Ham, I hadn’t realised how many of the current england crop orginated from West Ham youth, at least 7 or 8, extraordinary, and well done to them. I wonder of it continues?

  202. ‘end’

  203. My favourite Arsenal players ever are
    1. Liam Brady
    2. Rocky
    3. Thierry
    4. Bergkamp
    5. Adams
    6. Pires
    7. Song

  204. 8. Fabregas
    9. Rosicky
    10. van Persie
    11. Jennings

  205. I wish I had listened to ZP and Dups, my train journey seemed an extra half and hour longer than usual.

  206. Manu Utd do get the rub of the green on many occaisions, maybe more than other teams as well. But that is not the reasons for their success over the years; has it contributed? yes, a little bit. But they have consistanty been a good team since the start of the PL, and that cannot but simply put down to luck.

  207. 12. Kanu
    13. Wright

    ManU have had assistance over the years, helped immensely by their sense of entitlement, applauded roundly by the media.

    15. Eboue

  208. All the Irish builders on the various sites I dug and carried what seemed like vast quantities of rubble in the 70s seemed to support Arsenal.

    16. Davis
    17. Winterburn
    18. Denilson
    19. Diaby
    20. Anders
    21. Seaman
    22. Freddie

  209. 23. Dickov

  210. They also supported the IRA. Not sure if one can say these things, but its history and at the time, true. They were friendly to me as a political exile and I was very appreciative because scary National Front was active on building sites, and they protected me. I was all of 18 years old.

  211. Now, now James. I thought you would appreciate Jennings at # 11.

  212. I think I should swap Song and Kanu really.

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