Theo & RvP Knacked As Samir Recovers. Thank God It’s Over.

The only thing I can think of as a benefit from yesterday’s enforced absence due to technical difficulties is that I didn’t have to tell Ryan Shawcross that he is a thick piece of excrement if he doesn’t understand that snapping Aaron Ramsey’s leg in two means that there is nothing ‘weird’ about the manager’s intense disliking of everybody’s most likeable chap (© journalists, players and managers). But then when the manager at your club is as intensely dislikable as Tony Pulis, nothing surprises me.

International fortnight is over a day earlier than usual with the nervous wait about reported injuries starting. Well, the ones he doesn’t know about having witnessed Theo being carried off on a stretcher in Basel. Reports suggest that the stretcher has dramatised events and that he has severe bruising on his ankle, missing the Bolton game and nothing more. That’s according to Capello after the match, anyway.

It was a shame for Walcott following a decent display against Bulgaria and a bright start last night, his injury occurring in the build-up to Rooney’s opener in a 3 – 1 win. It was the kind of match which has proved to be a banana skin in the past and the Swiss looked more stubborn at the World Cup. That is not to detract from England’s performance, a good away win in qualifying which sets them up nicely for the home match against Montenegro next month.

His absence will allow the God-like genius of Emmanuel Eboue to shine in the first team or quite possibly give Jack Wilshere another chance to perform his magic, this time in a more attacking role. The youngster made up for recent disappointments on and off the pitch by putting in an outstanding cameo for England Under-21s against Lithuania yesterday, providing a spark for his country in their win.

The other injury news for Wenger was mixed. Samir Nasri returns to full training following his injury but Robin van Persie is out until mid-October according to reports. The latter is not particularly surprising since it was noted shortly after the Blackburn match that he would be out for around a month, the Dutch FA proving to be reasonably accurate in their media briefing.

Given that there is another international break following the visit to Stamford Bridge on October 3rd, the middle of next month seems suddenly less ominous. I suspect that Wenger will be hoping for the Dutchman to be ready for the ‘top of the table’ clash and it might be tempting to put one over the KNVB by playing him in that match and knackering him for his country, a pleasant change to the usual routine of the other way around.

A spate of injuries in the Euro2012 qualifiers has not healed the rift between the authorities and clubs. Karl-Heinz Rumminegge has used his position as ‘spokesman in chief inside Uefa’s House’ on this matter to fire an opening salvo across the armada of FA’s bows. The clubs are not happy with some of the friendlies which are being scheduled in the absence of competitive matches, Spain thrashed in Argentina last night following a long trip to Mexico last month.

These are the sort of fixtures which should be played in the summer as a tour rather than when the season has barely begun. Indeed were that to be the case, some of the mystique of the World Cup might return as fixtures become scarcer, a pleasant change to nations whoring themselves around Europe, playing at such glamorous venues as Loftus Road.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on September 8, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 225 Comments.

  1. Mongolian Gooner

    Whats wrong with our forwards???? So annoying. I hate International matches. damn…

  2. Mongolian Gooner

    Is it too early?

    I hope Eboue will try his best to convince Wenger to put him ahead of Walcott. When he is back from injury.

    Hey did anyone watched reserve game. Squillaci started, and we conceded 3 goals. Why? How was his performance?

    By the way, how is Squillaci pronounced? Ski-ya-chi??

  3. Mongolian Gooner

    *did anyone watch

  4. Like Blatter said the FIFA dates are set but there’s no obligation to have a game on the dates.

    Why Spain decided on those friendlies is beyond me.

    It used to be funny saying Walcott is not well liked in the England setup, but the general reaction to him when he got injured showed at the least a bit of indifference towards the guy.

    P.S How good was Reina last night?

    P.S.S What’s with the partial feed?

  5. @mongolian I haven’t seen the game, but from what I gather 2 of the goals was down to errors by Djourou(including a penalty) and the other was a “wonder-strike” –who made up that term– by Dunne.

    Squillacci apparently put in a good display.

  6. I love RVP but you have to start thinking that Wenger needs to look at shipping him out. The possibility of getting a decent run of games from him is now over. I don’t understand how he can play every game for Holland but can’t even rack up 3 consecutive games for Arsenal? It’s so frustrating and we have to now look, at 27, he’s no longer, if he ever was, our main striker. We need someone who can come in and stay fit for 80 to a 100% of the season. Sorry Robin. But we cannot rely on you anymore.

  7. Just for interest I saw a recent interview with Jens Lehman yesterday. He’s very well spoken (in english) and likeable. He has very high regard for Manuel and is sure he deserved the promotion to # 1. He laughed when asked about the ‘5 year drought’ and said something along the lines of “if you don’t know the passion and determination of the manager and the club, there is no doubt Arsenal will win big time, this year it looks like”.

  8. Good old Jens. Crazy bloke.

  9. Haha flappy was at goalie last night 4 da reserves no doubt he had flapped and conceded 3 haha I guess we should l promote Vito 4 no 1 spot:) what do u think guys ????

  10. Trennon –

    RVP has had a bad run of injuries (a few of which were purely impact injuries so hardly his doing) but still he averages about 30 games a season which is not exactly terrible.

    I’d say the decision over one of our best player’s future should be left up to Wenger and his medical team eh? I know it’s a slim chance, but maybe they have a better idea about his condition than you.

  11. I am not a Fabianski fan, but am told he did nothing wrong last night.

    Vito?, I think not. Tech 9 as backup to Almunia perhaps, but I don’t think Arsene will do that anyway.

  12. i’m so glad the internationals are over. good grief! i’ve been living on a prayer (a thought that would please my priest) these past few days. with some luck we might just have 11 fit players to file out against bolton.

  13. emiratesstroller

    Once again Arsenal are piling up injuries from the
    usual candidates.

    Messrs Van Persie,Walcott,Djourou and Diaby have
    all been injured. The only one of the regulars who
    has not been injured is Rosicky.

    This is Arsenal’s problem we seem to accumulate
    more injuries than any other club.It has then a
    negative impact on our performance particularly
    when 3 of our 5 forwards are now injured.

  14. The % on goals to game and assists to game, as well as the effect RvP has on matches makes him a vital player ( I don’t think many on here need me saying this). Clearly he is our best striker, and probably the best in the world when on form.. only an idiot would try recommend to sell the guy….

  15. When was Diaby injured? I watched the France game and I think Diaby played the entire game? Was he injured post match? Since the game was late and at I was switching between games I might have missed when he got injured.

  16. hope eboue covince us and not only the manager and how was the resever game goes did our new boy impress

  17. I know its worrying to have a few extra injuries, well hopefully ONLY Theo! We still have many alternatives come Saturday…

    Rosicky / Wilshire / Vela? / JET / Eboue .. could all step in for Theo.

    Then central midfield we have another option as it looks like Denilson is back. Nasri will begin training again soon, I doubt it will take him long to get back to fitness.

    Song has had a game or 2 under his belt now, and should start improving on what i thought was a patchy game from him at Blackburn, he gave the ball away quite a lot.

    Vela? Anyone know when hes back!?? Always the missing man Vela, frustrating because he has so much talent, and we barely get to see him!

  18. Mongolian Gooner

    Yeah about Vela, when I saw him at the WC this summer I thought he might be quite handy player to have at our ranks IF he is available. And that is a big if.

    Sometimes I wonder do all of us have our Arsenal goggles all the time and overrate our players? Because when I meet people watching same game. They don’t seem to appreciate what we have. Partly it might be because they are rival fans. But at least there’s gotta be some recognition. When I see players like Rafael da Silva, Gareth Bale, I concede they have some quality.

  19. Mongolian Gooner

    My apologies, Maria. For the comment about The Mexican. :d

  20. we should sell RVP, Walcott and Diaby. Their injury records are getting ridiculous……we are paying these guys huge wages and they cant last just one full season without an injury.
    Do many of yu guys get this bad feeling that RVP is not gonna get up from a tackle when yu watch our matches. Its really depressing and the fact that we put so much hope in him make it even worse.aonce a crock always a crock. Lets cash in on all our crocks while we can.

  21. I would like to see Rosicky start in Theo’s place on Saturday. With Sagna bombing on beyond him. Eboue offers us the width, yes, and the god-like genius to beat the full-back… but Rosicky (along with Theo) is the form player of the season so far – and he is guaranteed to create chances.

  22. jena

    I think Diaby put in another man of the match performance for France last night, and has been one of our best players so far this season..

    While RvP is our best striker, and Walcott is our most threatening attacking runner… yet you say sell them..


    Always the commenters with wierd names that chat breeze!

  23. Mongolian Gooner

    Walcott is at the age where his body is not physically stable. He is very young man if you recall.

    I think you got wrong names there, mate. You should have picked the usual suspects. These names you typed are no longer scapegoats. For me anyway.

  24. Limpar…

    I would like Rosicky to start also, I just feel he has been more effective because he is playing centrally, not out wide. Yes he can do a job out on the right / left, I just don’t know whether he has that pace anymore to prove an attacking outlet, like Theo / Eboue / Arshavin..

  25. Mongolian Gooner – jena obviously hasn’t been following Arsenal too well of late, Diaby and Walcott have been awesome. Shame about his injury, I only turn on to watch England because of Theo.

    Johnson played well coming on, but England got shafted in their own half when Theos running and ability to stretch the defence went missing.

  26. Mongolian Gooner

    And even of you pick the usual suspects we’d still got a fine debate on whether they should be counted as ‘suspects’.

  27. ‘Dagenham & Redbridge snap up Didier Drogba and Michael Essien in secret deadline day deal – nonplussed Russian Roman Abramovich says “We must cash in on our crocks while we can”

  28. John Hawleys white mice


    Thats just bullshit

    In 6 seasons at the club RVP has not STARTED a 100 league games.He has only started more than 17 games once in a season.
    RVP is a great player when fit but we have to except we cannot rely on him to win us the title.
    And with Bender out till November its going to be really tough on Chamakh.God forbid he gets injured

  29. Mongolian Gooner, I would concede that Bale and Rafael have some quality too – although as full-backs they are fatally flawed of course, because they can’t defend.

  30. John Hawleys white mice

    Team for Bolton


    Sagna TV Squillaci Clichy

    Wilshire Song Cesc Diaby Arshavin


    Squillaci to combat the physical presence of Davies

  31. Chris, you’re right – he’s never a winger, but he can create from out wide. Rosicky finds a way! And his creative presence in midfield areas free-up Cesc to push on and support Chamakh.

  32. Mongolian Gooner

    Obviously Mongolia is not performing so well at international level, so I support every nation fielding Arsenal players.

    France, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Russia (our noisy neighbours), Croatia, Germany (when they had Lehman in goals), Mexico and so on.

    My biggest regret is I followed Arsenal too late. I should have seen Bergkamp when he was at his prime. That goal vs. Newcastle. Pure class. That Henry’s goal, when he got ball at the corner of the box, he raised it a bit so he can shoot to the top corner of Manure’s goal. Magical.

    And funniest is that Pires penalty kick. Against Man Shitty. What a player Pires was?

    Yeah we had many great players. And we still have many yet-to-become-great ones too. We are looking to a history in the making. (It sounded too familiar. Many people have said these words before me. And I assume many will after me)

  33. John Hawley’s White Mice

    van Persie has made over 134 appearances and scored 48 goals. There’s a strange website called where you can find all sorts of interesting things like that.


  34. Mongolian Gooner

    @Limpar Assist: I’d like to say a word (taking off my Arsenal goggles), Arsenal fullbacks are the best in PL at what they do if not in the world.

    And I like they way Rosicky tracks back if he loses possession. His tackles are so well timed. In fact I sense quality every time he touches the ball.

  35. zim paul

    It was jens who cost us the championsleague.cos if he would had stay in goal then maybe we would had won the championsleague.and that red card simply meant that wenger had to sacrifice pires just to get a keeper between the sticks.

  36. Limpar

    Yeah I understand you, all about the balance for the game really. I think Eboue will be a sure starter for Bolton if fit and ready for me, his physical play and running is often preferred by Wenger away at the likes of Bolton.

    My team:

    – – – – – – – – Almunia – – – – – – – –
    Sagna – – Kosc – – Verm – – Clichy
    – – Cesc – – – Song – – – Diaby – –
    Eboue – – – Chamakh – – – Arshavin

    Tried to fit Rosicky in, but Diaby on on fire and I prefer Eboue out wide.

    There is likely going to be tired legs for Saturday, or a niggle or 2 which may mean Denilson / Rosicky getting the nod.

    I think Wenger may opt to sticking with Kosc for now at CB.

  37. Worried… Not
    Lets assume Walcott is out until the Chelsea match (which is more than likely)

    The only match we’ll miss him for is Sunderland away. In fact I prefer to play bigger stronger players in that match anyway.
    We can manage against WBA and Bolton at home without him, and I don’t care about the Carling Cup as Wenger has no intention of making an effort to win it anyway.

    Nasri is back which is ace. I see alot of Gooner Bloggers claiming Nasri isn’t world class. I disagree. I think he has that potential.

    I think we should get shot of RVP. He’s a waste of time. I particular dislike him as he played every game for Holland without any problem at all. His heart isn’t in Arsenal and he’s less reliable than Darren Anderton.

  38. Chris – I also think that is the team we will see on Sat. If Cesc is still short Rosicky will play.

  39. The whole “world class” argument is just a waste of time anyway — there isnt a common agreement of what being “world class” actually entails anyway. Personally I would say a player is world class if I would put him in my “World XI”. And I wouldnt put Nasri there by a long shot, but why should anyone care? He’s a good player.

  40. RvP is a talent worth persevering with. Depsite his injury problems, he is too good a player to be sold.

  41. Furious – A good point. The phrase is criminally overused.

    Nasri is an excellent player could could well develop (he is still only very young) into one of Europe’s finest players in his position.

  42. Reina’s early season form smacks of Almunia last season. Our fans responded by saying he’s worst keeper in the division

  43. Nobody said he is the worst in the division. And to be fair Reina has proved in the past that he is a top class keeper. He has had a wobbly start to the season though, lets hope that it continues.

  44. I have been thinking about the Amlunia sitiation a bit. It strikes me that his most consistant spells have come when he has had serious competition for his place.

    When he dislodged, Jens and the season following. And currently after a poor season he must know his place is up for grabs. I worry that knowing he has Fabianski behind him and not being a real option he may start to clip again. I hope not. Almunia must see the potential of Schesezny in training; I wonder is he were the No2 MA would continue his current fine form knowing that there was genuine competition for his place?

  45. Actually you don’t see much of Squillaci in that video, but two goals of our reserves game against Blackburn are on display.

  46. goonerandy on September 8, 2010
    at 10:47 am

    You have to be kidding me. Many many many Arsenal fans said so. He’s been labelled a crap keeper. That kind of stuff.

  47. Ole – I know he has, and my thoughts on the matter are well known. But he is not the worst keeper in the lge by a long shot.

  48. RvP must stay! He’s no Woodgate, Ashton or Hargreaves… And he’s one of the best and most unpredictable strikers in the world. To get rid of someone who can be that devastating (even if it is only for half a season) would be a massive mistake. We wouldn’t get rid of Cesc if he had similar injury problems – and i think RvP’s as good as Cesc at what he does.

    Gutted for Theo, i know it’s only minor but it’s gotten in the way of his electric form so far. Hopefully he’ll come back raring to go…

  49. I’d go with Rosicky for replacing Theo for sure. Like Limpar says, he’s the most in form player at the mo behind Theo, and the more he plays, the more confidence he will get, which will hopefully turn into goals for little mozart. He’s got the ability to start banging them in, just needs to get a couple to pave the way for a pires-esque season.. Even if he doesn’t get the goals, his quality, vision and technique is up there with the best, so assists will come thick and fast.

    Can’t wait to watch our beautiful team again…!

  50. I agree with randy goone.

  51. How anyone can even say enough is enough regarding Robins injuries.

    Last season it was a wreckless challenge from Materazzi, this time its a challenge where he left his foot in.

    If he was in fact ‘injury prone’ – with muscle injuries etc.. then I could understand, but he is a vital player, one we would dream of bringing to the club if he was not at ours.

    He plays on average 30 games a year, which ain’t that bad too.

  52. In My youth which was a fair number of years ago I was an amateur boxer and could have gone on to fight as professional. Your asking what is the corrrelation here between Boxing and Football? both are contacts Sports right? Ok.

    So, If RVP were a boxer he’d be known as a boxer who has talent but is known to be “chinny”. In simple lay mans terms it would mean that he has talent etc but can’t take a punch. Nigel Benn became the epitomy of this after many a War in the Ring

    In football terms RVP has a physiology where he is susceptible to knocks and gets injured it would (appear)quite easily. Everybody’s threshold of pain and the ability to ride out that pain is different. Some players are able to run a knock off and continue others at the slightest mere knock are down and want to go off.

    How else can we explain his fragility?

  53. Ras

    That is the most stupidest thing so far today.

    He is just plain unlucky with injuries. You reckon the injury last season where Materazzi ripped his ankle apart was nothing, and a higher pain threshold player would have been fine.


  54. I agree with Chris. He’s been very unlucky with the type of injuries he’s had – particularly in the last couple of seasons. People who want to get rid of him obviously have issues. Also, who would pay the amount of money that his ability warrants? No-one. Wenger won’t sell someone like Robin who is truly dedicated to the club, has an amazing talent and is Arsenal through and through.

  55. Is anyone else suprised at these allegations regarding Wayne Rooney, i just dont believe it’s true…………………I mean that prostitute is a bit young int she.

  56. Ras claat – you want to get rid of RvP then? His skills far outweigh his ‘fragility’.

  57. If RVP was a horse he’s be put down. So thank f*ck he aint.

  58. lol DD 🙂

  59. Just nicked some clips from another forum.

    Reina’s slip-up:

  60. Eduardo’s howler.

  61. He’d be pretty shit at football though eh DD?

  62. Gooners feast your eyes on this video of Wellington Silva I recommend you wathh the whole clip. if you are in a rush just watch at 3:52
    fabulous player just needs tweaking with his finishing a little and a smaller shirt.

  63. Akinfeev’s lapse of concentration.

  64. Yes, Geo… cool avatar… the one thing missing from Rosicky’s game at the moment is his shooting from range. Watching his progress after 18 months out has been so interesting. First it was all about tackling, testing himself in the challenge and making sure he could hold his own defensively… then came the touch and the short passes, and now we’re seeing him use the whole set of clubs again. His passing is one of the finest spectacles currently available to modern football fans. People talk about “World Class” – look no further!

    At the end of last season and the beginning of this his shooting has been wayward a number of times, from positions where he would usually be deadly. To me the misses all look to missed in the same way, and that’s in hitting the ball too hard. He must be desperate to stick one in the top corner in front of the fans – he probably does it every day in training – and I think he’s putting too much into the shot, trying too hard. That’s just the way it looks to me anyway. Either way, it’s the final piece of the jigsaw for Rosicky and I don’t think we’ll be waiting long to see it happen.

  65. Oh Pepe, or should we call you slippy, you will never make it to Barcelona with DNA like that!

    Nice one notlager.

  66. Duke

    You have to admit there is some plausibility about the allegations. I mean, they charged him an Ugly Tax…


  67. Diaby injured? Good, now our midfield will function better…

  68. I think if Xavi were a boxer he’d have his block clean taken off his shoulders… and Iniesta would be knocked on his arse by a swinging punch bag. Biscuits would barely make it through the gym doors without an entourage. And by the same token Audley Harrison would make a shit footballer. Your comparison doesn’t bare much scrutiny, Ras. To say that boxing is a ‘contact sport’, is somewhat of an understatement.

  69. Cheers Limpar – thought i’d get with the times…

    He’s got an awesome shot on him and i totally agree with your reasons for him not banging them in. And you’re on the money about his progression. It was great to see him getting stuck in again to begin with, then it was great to see his beautiful flicks and touches, then the pinpoint passing (i’d be tempted to say better than Cesc), and now we
    just need to see him control those shots a little more.

    His pass to Chamakh when he got the penalty the other week was an example of how inch perfect Tomas’ passing can be. More match time please!

    We’ve got a lovely array in midfield now and will be able to rotate all year. Don’t even have Ramsey back yet either…!

  70. WillyG – hmm yeah Diaby’s a real hinderance isn’t he? Get a grip mate. Did you see the France match last night? Have you been watching Arsenal this year?

  71. Yes He was unlucky with the injury last year..I was not referring to that at all.

    I clearly did not say he should be sold, nor did I hint or infer he should be put down or sent to the Knackers Yard

    I was merly stating what I think…….

    Players go for a trial to a Club. The player may have had medial ligament injuries or whatever. The prospective club will be well informed of the players past medical history and wil in turn make there deicsion on that basis.

    Can you not acknowledge that players are different in terms of their skill,playing stlyes etc.So it would go for injuries and the abiltiy – capacity to recover – the capacity to take knocks..It was that I was merely referring to Chris..

  72. Seriously though RVP is great even if we only get half a season out of him. better then a full season of a pavlovachenko.

  73. The Rosicky shields the ball with his body is excellent. Then his quick turns away from the opposition and into space. Superb player.

    Diaby injured? I hope not.

  74. Ras

    U said RvP is always getting injured and is a chinny in boxing terms.

    So yes, you are very much oblivious to the fact that the last 2 injuries (2 he has had in 2 years), have been from challenges, 1 maybe avoidable the latest one, where he left his foot in. The other unavoidable from Materazzi. Both, no player can phsically not get injured from.

    Your LOGIC is way off here mate.

  75. Thanks for the goalkeeping videos on all the keepers that are supposedly better than Almunia!

  76. Looks like karma hasn’t quite finished with Reina!

  77. it was chiellini that “did” rvp last season, not materazzi. and the tackle was perfectly fine – even wenger himself admitted as much.

  78. Chris – A few clips and mistakes do not tell the whole story and you know it. Selective observations. I think if you totted up all MA’s mistakes the compelation of clips might be a fair bit longer.

    Can’t be arsed to get into all that again though.

  79. goonerandy,

    So far Reina this season Reina has been poor (as you and many say, a keeper is judged on his errors) if we purchased him and he made them 2 blunders.. what would you say?

    They guy is a joker and lacks class, I admit he is a good keeper, but so too is Almunia.

    Don’t always believe the grass is on greener on the other side, how many times must I say it before fans like you learn?

    Its time all fans moved on from this tempromental state of mind supporting attitude. Its either your an Arsenal supporter or not…

  80. Ignore the 1st Reina in my last post !

  81. FamousRedAndWhite

    Any news on Ramsey’s injury? Has he started training with the first team?


  82. Chris –

    “Don’t always believe the grass is on greener on the other side, how many times must I say it before fans like you learn?”

    You may be suprised to hear that your word means no more than anybody else on here. You are not some sort of authority on football, so stop deluding yourself that you are.

    Incidentally I am not a Reina fan. He is a good keeper but plays behind a soldi Liverpool side.

  83. And I am an Arsenal supporter (not that i need to jusitfy it to you). It is just that I am not blinkered like you.

  84. I hate this misnomer that football is a contact sport. It not and never has been defined as a contact sport. Boxing, Rugby, American football, those things are contact sports. Why? Because making contact with an opponent is in various way an intentional, integral, and fundamental aim of the game.

    Football, like basketball, is a non-contact sport. The aim of a tackle is to dispossess the ball from an opponent, not hack the man down. the only reason contact is seemly permitted is to give consideration to momentum, and that consideration is nullified if the action is deemed reckless or dangerous.

  85. Gadget – Are you being serious? Of course football is a contact sport. For example; why else would a shoulder barge be allowed within the laws of the game? How can you challenge for a head without contact?

    Of course it is.

  86. head = header

  87. Gooner Andy,

    In football are you permitted to floor someone with a shoulder barge?

    When going for a header are you attempting to head the ball or the man?

  88. You are permitted to shoulder barge yes. Most refs would probably give a free kick if you knocked somebody clean over, some would not.

    On a header you are attaempting to head the ball of course, but there will always be bodily contact. And that is OK…….because it is a contact sport.

    Something like snooker is a non-contact sport. 22 men running around a field, all trying to control one object is likely to have contact no? And the rules permit how much contact is allowed.

    Football is a contact sport.

  89. Well the definition of contact sport is up in the air. By Gadget’s very reasonable definition you can say the sport is not a contact sport. On the other hand, contact is not prohibited. But the fact that contact is not prohibited is not enough to establish that it’s a contact sport. By that measure, table tennis is contact sport since contact with your opponent is not against the rules.

    Gadget’s point is valid. In football, contact is allowed, but only in view of playing the ball.

    To say that the rules specify how much contact is allowed is incorrect.

  90. I’m not sure that the rules of snooker prohibit contact between the contestants.

  91. andy

    When you say blinkered and deluded, the mass of fans and people involved in football who have chosen to jump on the anti-Almunia bandwagon comes closer to them terms. How you can point them words at me when I have my own views is just showing yourself up.

    Like I said, its time fans moved on from such childish tempromental behaviour and get back to supporting our club. Doesn’t mean we can’t have an opinion, I respect other peoples opinions to an extent, that extent ends when you get people publicly slagging our team off – which is 90% of the time unjustified.

  92. So would you so it is a contact sport Ole?

    yes or no.

  93. Chris –

    “How you can point them words at me when I have my own views is just showing yourself up”

    You are assuming that everybody who does not rate Almunia has jumped on “the bandwagon”. And in that you are very very wrong. I don’t rate him (as good enough for Arsenal) by my own judgement, and and would guess that many others are the same. Some may have “jumped on the bandwagon” sure, but many others will have formed their own opinion.

  94. And unfortunately the only person showing himself up is you, with your regular childlike outbursts of abuse when you cannot argue your points.

  95. Let me put it for you in a simpler way:

    In basketball, contact happens, but it is still defined as a non-contact sport because the aim of the game has nothing to do with making contact with another player. The exact same as football.

    Aims of the game:
    Boxing: Knock your opponent out or pummel him sufficiently
    Rugby: Defensive aim, put your ball carrying opponent on the ground or relieve him of possession
    American Football: Defensive aim, put your opponent on the ground or relieve him of possession
    Sumo: push your opponent out the ring

    In case you can’t see the difference:
    Football: Defensive aim, relieve your opponent of possession.

    Taking your opponent out or even making contact with him isn’t the aim of the game at all. As i said previouly, contact is permitted due to momentum (which actually extends to shoulder to shoulder contact – not a barge).

    As for shoulder barges, if most refs would not permit the flooring of another player, what makes you think it’s legal.

    More to the point “you feel any contact in the box, you go down” – a point stress by Shearer and his ilk on MOTD, why would this even be said if it’s a contact sport?

    The fact is you play the ball and not the man, and so football by definition is non-contact sport.

  96. Gadget – Yes, of course you are right. You have convinced me. Football is a non-contact game. Now I see it.

    I know officals, and professionals the world over think that it is a contact sport, but hey, what would they know eh?

    Jees, it is hard work around here sometimes.

  97. I don’t know goonerandy. I’m not even sure it matters. So long as football games don’t end in broken bones in the name of contact

  98. Wow I can’t wait to see the results from this epic battle of words deciding once and for all the definition of what constitutes a “contact sport”. Image the ramifications!

  99. andy

    Like or dislike him, thousands of spoilt Arsenal fans jumped on the bandwagon and made a lot of noise about how rubbish Almunia is just for the sake of it, and just because they hear in the media that he isn’t a “World Class keeper” bollox. All of these fans cannot back up these statements,

    You are very deluded, but I ain’t personally attacking you, some of your views I respect, some I don’t.

    If I criticse you for your views, take it on the chin and quit moaning like a little bitch.

  100. With reference to what Goonerandy @1.23pm to You Chris what makes you the Bee all and fountain of All knowledge on Arsenal or on Football for that matter.

    Do not tell me about Logic..

  101. Contact sport or not, the rules are pretty much interpreted how the referees want to, and also manipulated by the media every week.

    We have pundits slating Eduardo 1 week for diving when the keeper came directly across his path and there was ‘contact’. Then Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard and others perform the dive amazingly throughout the season and more often than not avoid ‘contact’.

    Whatever the rules are, every game we have arguments on the pitch regarding the referees decisions. This is what makes football what it is, but the last decade has seen referees under intense pressure to give the crowds and media what they want.

    – Past decisions affecting games
    – media hysterics affecting the referees state of mind
    – Manager & player public criticisms also coming into play

    It is very hard to watch a game of Premiership football now without wanting to smack the referee. They need help, and it is amazing how we havn’t used technology to move the game forward, and punish those who get away with murder over the season.

  102. Ras

    I have a strong opinion, one I can backup, and I don’t see it as the ‘be all and end all’.

    If somebody disagrees with me, and proves their point, so be it, I hold my hands up. Why throw things out there if you can’t hold any kind of logic to your statements?

    You are still yet to prove your previous comments, and Andy has more often than not done the same.

  103. Gooney Andy,

    If you don’t wish to debate the point further, you could always just say so, without sarcasm, or simply not respond at all.

    As it stands, you’ve hurt my feelings and I’m going off to my cupboard to cry

  104. Furious,

    It’s serious stuff. I mean do you want long distance athletics classed as a contact sport because of all the jostling that happens within the packs that form?

    I like my contact sports to be as are vicious and determined in their application as I do with my women! Not none of this namby pamby delicate stuff!

  105. Ras,

    You can’t compare Boxing as a sport to Football. That is illogical.

    Football is NOT a full contact sport.
    Silat, that is a full contact sport/martial art (Boxing..Boxer Rebellions..etc). Or Kali (boxing with sticks?).
    This is a ‘full contact’ sport:

    Football: No.

  106. That youtube link wasn’t the best rez. There are better ones linked in to it. Looks like there is some full contact to me. Footy: no way.

  107. Ta, YW
    I’m not going to make any comment about injuries for fear of jinxing us AGAIN. Except to say that steww, I completely agree with what you said last night about internationals.


    This is a breakdown of what Archie Squillaci got up to last night. There is also a bit of free video of him in action on the site. He seems quite pointy and shouty, which will please many.

    I would say football is definitely NOT a contact sport – that is one of the things that differentiates it from eg rugby. But you don’t have to define it as EITHER a contact sport OR a non-contact sport. It is a sport in which some forms of incidental contact are allowed.

    Ras, I agree that Robin has inherent physiological weakneses – he said as much and since two seasons ago he has taken steps to ensure he doesn’t get random niggles and strains. He has been pretty successful at it but very sadly his last two seasons have been derailed by accidental injuries which no amount of warming up or technical adaptation would have prevented.

  108. Chris,

    I agree with you at 1:55 However, I think it also goes slightly beyond that. There’s a lack of consistency.

    It is utterly disheartening to hear commentators say “some referee would give that”, or “that would be allowed in the EPL”. That phase should never pop up. Players should not get away with certains act purely because Ref A rather than Ref B is controlling the game.

    Even with technology introduced in the manner it should, the various footballling institutions should be working with one another to ensure a consistent level and standard across the board.

    And if they are already doing that, then they ought to be ashamed

  109. Cheers for that FG – liking the look of him. He was great at Lyon all those years ago and has a lot of experience, including winning titles. I’m looking forward to seeing him and LK fighting it out to be TV’s partner. Loving the competition our squad has now! If only we’d kept Eduardo… I miss him.

  110. We all miss Eduardo, geogoon. 😦

  111. I love how people feel like just because you support the team wholeheartedly you are blinkered, or delusional. I’ll say it again it a sport. whether im delusional or not is irrelevant. I believe that arsenal will win the premiership. if they dont, guess what? nothing happens. Its more fun suppoting the team than criticising them.

  112. I see what you mean, Gadget, about the contact in football and basketball being sort of by-products of a challenge, and completely removed from the ‘aim’ of the game.

    I think though, the reason football is a contact sport and basketball is not – is that the contact in football – the little mistimed kicks and collisions that happen all the time as you try and win the ball from eachother – you know about that contact when it happens, and sometimes the day after too. In basketball you might, at worst, end up sliding around on your bottom.

    Also, tussling for possession and using your body to protect the ball/force another player off the ball – that’s a big part of the game. Alex Song doesn’t exactly flit around like a butterfly. The lines are fine and open to interpretation by each referee – and that’s a wonderful thing, it’s what allows us to play football.

    Some will transgress the rules with ‘too much contact’, manhandling in the box (Chamakh the other day!), or a knowing little ankle tap… all the way up to full on scything hacks. And at the other end some will try to find an advantage by using minimal contact to buy a foul. It’s a referee’s job to be in the right position to make those judgement calls.

    But contact is a pretty fundamental part of football, I would say.

  113. Gadget:

    Even though you could argue that the rules say differently, anyone who watches a football game and then says it is not a contact sport can not be watching a PL game. Perhaps my sons church league. Agree with Ole @ 1:40.

    Watching some of the challenges in slow motion you wonder how anyone can come thru a football match without damaging their ankles. Its amazing that the players walk away from some of those challenges.

    IMO the game would be much improved if the rules were really enforced. Wouldn’t it be nice if the talented players with great technique could dominate the game. The more contact you allow the more it evens the playing field between the players with good technical skills and those without. I do not want namby pamby professional football but I think the pendulum has swung to far towards the toughness aspect of the game.

    Sagna KOS TV Clichy
    Cesc Song Diaby
    TR7 Chamakh Arshavin.

    Would like Squillaci get a chance but suspect the KOS will start. TR7 has been very good so far, need him in the starting 11.

  114. I can’t wait for Nasri to come back either. He’s looked great so far, the way he’s been taking the game by the scruff of the neck, being everywhere giving those around him options, then holding the ball until the right moment, knocking around varied passes, then bursts of pace taking on players etc etc. Stepping up and dictating the play basically – great to see.

    I think this year many of our players are going to follow suit. With youngsters like Jack and Ramsey nipping at the heels, the ‘older’ players are going to be kept on their toes for the duration… just the kind to inspiration our players seemed to lack over the last couple of years… exciting stuff!

  115. Full Contact for me full impact implies, pushing, punching, and kicking, that kind of thing.

    But I wouldn’t hesitate to describe Football as a contact sport.

  116. Bill: It’s been going towards the technique and away from the toughness aspect for decades! It’s getting easier all the time to win fouls. The pendulum definitely hasn’t swung in the way of toughness, not sure what football you’ve been watching throughout your life…

    But i do agree that rash challenges and heavy contact does need to be enforced a bit more heavily than it currently is – but contact is inevitable in football so it wont ever be a completely ‘namby pamby’ sport. Technical ability is becoming the main attribute needed every day. Look back to the old school football and you’ll agree i’m sure.

  117. Going back to the non/contact thing,

    One of the accusations I’ve heard thrown against Arsene is that he wants to turn it into a non-contact sport. I find it annoying because:
    1) it is a non-contact sport, and
    2) all he really wants is a better application of the rules.

    Still the post-apocalyptic version of me can’t wait to see a contact verison of football. We’ll call it… Bodyball

  118. Even in a Rugby there seem to be guidelines on ‘contact’.

    I don’t know anything about the sport, but for example in a line out, you cannot make contact.
    So I wouldn’t even compare even Rugby to a full on martial art where people beat each other with sticks, or something like that.

  119. Chris:

    I agree completely the referees need help. Why anyone would resist video assistance is difficult to understand.

    Myself I doubt that the referees have really gotten worse. No logical reason to think that would happen. I suspect that slow motion multi angle video has shown us how many times calls are missed. For example, no one would have ever questioned the Eduardo “diving” incident 10 years ago because to the naked eye it looked like a clear cut penalty.

  120. Fair enough, Finsbury. Is there a FIFA definition, by any chance?

    @ goonerwife at 2:45 pm
    Me, too!

  121. ah thought the avatar had to be used with the gravatar username… i can revert back to Geo again now 🙂

  122. Much better, Geo. ‘geogoon’ didn’t suit you at all.

  123. Geo:

    Can not argue with you since I have not followed football for long. No media coverage at all of football in the US before the most recent decade. Growing up we had no idea what tthe world cup was much less European club football. I guess I am swayed by all the people who talk about the rough tough “committed” PL.

  124. I know – much better 🙂 needed more than 3 letters for the gravatar thingy bob though…

  125. I would prefer to start with Vela on the left with arshavin switching to the right flank.
    Vela won’t get a better opportunity to start, in a home game, with Theo out.

  126. Out of interest does anyone know when was the last international break in which none of our players got injured…?

  127. “Against many, I fought to my end. With a final breath, I cursed you all”

    I will relinquish this argument, against so many, but mark my words, my mind is unchanged, I shall have your souls

  128. It was back in the ealry 1800s, Supercod.

  129. Bill:

    Football used to be quite savage to be honest. No diving, no fake face clutching – it was much more of a macho thing and people would rather jump straight up after being taken down to show that it didnt hurt etc. That’s why you get so many people complaining about people diving all the time these days. And the tackles that used to be allowed – tackles from behind were allowed until relatively recent times, 2 footed were allowed – it just took years of bad injuries for these rules to be tightened… So you get loads of people saying that even the EPL is ‘namby pamby’ now. Compared to other top tier leagues though, the EPL is probably the roughest.

  130. ‘Ealry’ is an eel farm in Ealing.

  131. Found one definition of contact sport:
    “a sport such as rugby or American football in which players are allowed to touch each other when, for example, they are trying to get the ball”

    Here’s another definition
    “a sport that necessarily involves body contact between opposing players”

    So it’s arguable. I think of a contact sport as a sport in which the contact is part of the point of the game. But it’s not an either/or thing – full contact to non-contact is a continuum. The important point is that whatever the parameters for acceptable contact are, referees and players should observe them.

  132. FunGunner,

    According to the Gospel of Wiki, Association Football classifies as a Contact sport.

    The term Collision Sport (or Full Contact) is used for the following examples:
    American Footy, Rugby, and Lacrosse (I never thought that Lacrosse players hit each other with those sticks!) and Rodeo.

  133. Great fist-shaking, Gadget.

  134. It didn’t look like a clear penalty to me Bill. It looked like a dive.

  135. Bill – I wasn’t having a dig by the way, just surprised me that you thought football was swinging the other way… I assume football’s a bit less of a ‘contact sport’ in the US then Bill?

  136. Yes, thanks, Finsbury. I guess in my mind “contact” was what they refer to as “collision” sport.

  137. And as somebody who had two sisters and a couple of friends who went to boarding school, let me tell you lacrosse is a VERY rough game.

  138. LA, does feel like it tbh. Not even sure how many international breaks there are this season but it almost feels like we’re guaranteed at least one injury per break, admittedly we do have a lot of international players. I wonder to what extent Wenger is tempted to ‘play the game’ a la Terry and Giggs….??

  139. Supercod – what do you mean about ‘playing the game’ eg Terry and Giggs? am i being slow?

  140. I have a feeling RVP will be back in early October.

  141. Hope you’re right Ole. At the same time though i’m looking forward to seeing Chamakh leading the front line for the next few matches – will be good to see him playing regularly in that berth…

  142. Does anyone have reliable information about Bendtner’s progress?

  143. Geo, injured immediately prior to internationals then suddenly fit to turn out for their clubs the following Saturday…

  144. If goonerandy was a goalkeeper, I would describe him as a flapper. Every point of view, he flaps at even when in no position to make the proverbial “catch”. Take, for example, Gadget’s exposition on whether football is a contact sport or not. Serve up a doomer point of view and he is hopelessly off his line. Slapped around verbally, for his his inconsistency he stays on his line, only to flap around when something is served up either from the right or the left.

    Once upon a time I would curse him royally for his flapping, but these days I leave him to flap aimlessly in the wind.

  145. @ Supercod

    The guy who writes 7am Kickoff suggested that they do it and get away with it because they are senior players and already fixtures in their national teams. (Essien, Terry etc). Most of our internationals are establishing themselves in their national squad. Think he has a point?

  146. I really wish we would play that game, Supercod. I fucking hate international football right now.

  147. I think that probably is the case with the younger ones, FG, and it’s obviously something that they have a hunger to do… but each time Rosicky and Arshavin and RVP jet off to do battle in some pointless friendly I just wish we’d lock them up in London Colney.

  148. Ah I see Supercod – I think Wenger would love to do that but his integrity is a major stumbling block… And FG I think he definitely has a point.

  149. Bendtner’s Progress, by the way, FG, sounds like a Danish coming-of-age story. A bildungsroman.

  150. FG

    I’m destined for villainy… unfortunately I shall be thwarted a bunch of meddling kids and a dog who always reminded me of an uncle.


    However, I’m still taking applications for goons and henchmen.

    I’m not inviting GoonerAndy, because he’s obviously the Starscream to my Megatron, so there!

  151. Ole @ 3;17:

    After seeing about 3 replays it looked like a dive. When I first saw it from the side at full speed during the game it looked like a penalty to me. May be I am wrong but I suspect that 10 years ago the firestorm it created would not have happened because you did not have the video proof of minimal contact involved in that play.


    No offense taken. I have certainly heard much worse then that.

    A lot of the bloggers here talk about the great attacking teams of years past and I guess I assumed that football in the past was more attack friendly and less contact oriented. Guess my assumption was wrong. Footballers in the US (MLS) are not as physically aggressive as the ones in the PL.

  152. Also, the clubs that own those players seem to have a lot more scope for that kind of underhanded tactic, and getting away with it. Shame Arsenal stands against all things underhanded these days eh?!

  153. Mongolian gooner:

    “Sometimes I wonder do all of us have our Arsenal goggles all the time and overrate our players? Because when I meet people watching same game. They don’t seem to appreciate what we have. Partly it might be because they are rival fans. But at least there’s gotta be some recognition. When I see players like Rafael da Silva, Gareth Bale, I concede they have some quality.”

    I saw Javier Hernandez make his league debut and the commentators were fawning all over him. The strange thing is that Vela was a starter at the world cup and he wasn’t. And if Rafael Da Silva is so good why then can’t he get in the team ahead of O’Shea?

  154. Gadget on @ 2:19 pm – Fair point, sorry.

    ChrisGoona on @ 1:44 pm – How on earth can you declare that everybody “jumped on the bandwagon”. Why can’t you accept that these people have made their own judgments, and just perhaps it is you that could be wrong (only could mind, it is all opinion).

    I don’t mind it you critisise my views, and I almost certainly ain’t whining like a bitch over anything you say. I have seen plenty of people on here back up their views with reasoned argument only for you resort to name calling. I wonder why that could be?

  155. @ LA
    ha ha – witty

    @ Gadget
    ha ha ha ha

    I don’t get the Starscream reference, though – is it Transformers?

    So…..anyone know anything about NB52?

  156. Bill – Football in the 70’s was brutal. Check out some olf footage of players like Bremner, Hunter and the like. By today’s standards the games would finish 5 a side.

  157. Chris – I forgot to mention; I do like Almunia, I just think we should have abetter keeper.

  158. LimparAssist @ 2:46 pm – Well suumed up.

  159. Don’t get me wrong Bill, there has been some amazing attacking teams in the past, teams lucky enough to have a rare collection of players who use skill rather than strength and intimidation. But the whole feel of football has gone towards technique. But English football still has ‘idols/legends’ such as Roy Keane who have managed to keep the clogging mentality alive for longer than many other leagues.

    Teams like Arsenal/Barca however are showing the world that you can actually tackle people without breaking their legs. Arsenal players have been accused of shying out of tackles etc but players like Song and Denilson are so adept at intercepting and nipping the ball away from players’ feet, which i find so much more satisfying than a Shawcross-esque nailing. But unfortunately, those are the knid of tackles that would have the England fans jumping for joy…

  160. GB – it was only after 45 mins it came to my notice that he was actually playing..
    more than anyone else, it was red-nose who repeatedly sang praises for the guy, stating how they have got a deal out him by signing him before the world cup. He’s such a mug, I mean how many of us think Arsene would have even thought of signing him..Overrated c*nt!

  161. Also, regarding Rafael da Silva, he’s already showing signs of Gary Neville’s dirty physical play..i bet he has Manc DNA
    & I just one thing to say about Bale; our very own Traore can do what he does, & he proved it with Pompey!

  162. @ Geo

    I saw some of Brazil v Argentina in the Copa America final a few years ago (on telly). Pouring with rain, game played at a high tempo, but tackling so clinical and expert that that the tacklee barely realised he didn’t have the ball any more!

  163. LA, I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hate international football and having a few beers in The Torch is usually an interesting experience prior to the game – must admit though I tend to give the Stoke boys a wide berth, especially when trying to carry three pints in plastic glasses through a busy pub…!!!

  164. Haha! Now that’s what i’m talking about FG. Love that. Makes people like Terry seem like a bumbling oaf… oh yeah, he is. I think LK is that type of player too. His tackling accuracy is awesome. Clean but effective defending can be as beautiful as any attacking move in my opinion.

  165. Chile’s ‘pressing’ in this years WC?

    A little OTT at times.
    But no maimed opponents.

  166. Geo and Andy:

    I stand corrected. Thanks. I hope we continue to move towards technical football at the expense of the brute strength. The PL seems to love the gritty side of football more then most leagues. Unfortunate for the fans and players I think. If the existing laws of the game were consistantly enforced it would be a better game.

  167. Completely agree about the beauty in a perfectly timed tackle.

    Anyone else think Squillaci looks like he could be Jack Wilshere’s big brother?

    And Ignasi Miquel looks like a young, much better-looking, much more Spanish Tony Adams?

    Can’t wait for the Reserves highlights. Apparently Chuks scored a magic goal.

    mj makes a good point about Vela. We could well see him involved on Saturday. Competition for those wide attacking spots is ridiculously hot.

  168. Bill here are some of the finer tackles.

  169. Who do you think should be this better keeper, Andy?

    Why do you dislike Almunia?

  170. Perhaps I should have put a PG warning on that.

  171. “I saw Javier Hernandez make his league debut and the commentators were fawning all over him. The strange thing is that Vela was a starter at the world cup and he wasn’t. And if Rafael Da Silva is so good why then can’t he get in the team ahead of O’Shea?”

    You tell him G69.

  172. That “shoulder barge” from Schumacher was pretty tasty…

  173. I remember that one LA. He got away with it to.

  174. Bloody hell – Aneke’s goal last night was sweet.

  175. Will Vela be back from Mexico in time to play? Agree that the competition for the front 2 wide slots is great. When Nasri and Theo back even tougher. In a couple of years, Vela and Walcott on the right and left sides could make a truly legendary team. Bobby Pires always my favorite Arsenal player, but Walcott and Vela could eclipse Bobby P and Freddie.

  176. So on Theo any news?

  177. Eek, Djourou had a hand in all three Blackburn goals. I think he’s probably going to be fourth choice until he can get his groove back. Must be tough.

  178. Sorry again, the Aneke assist for Afobe’s second has to be seen to be believed. Ridiculous.

  179. I was just going to say, are you watching The Aneke|Afobe Show, Oofus… Chuks is outrageous, and together with Afobe who always seems to make the right run… they’re dynamite!

  180. I know – it’s scary. I don’t even want to get my hopes up too much!

  181. I think there is definitely a silver lining to having these injuries happen earlier in the season. Hopefully this will fill our injury quota for the year and we will have a full squad during the business end of the season for once.

  182. They are BIG guys as well as hugely talented. Against Blackburn they did not get pushed about.

  183. nicely done, viceologist

  184. “Sorry again, the Aneke assist for Afobe’s second has to be seen to be believed.”

    Just seen it but still hard to believe.

  185. It’s hard not to get excited when they do things like that, OOU…

  186. Does anyone have a clip of that goal that you keep talking about…would love to see it.

  187. Yeah, Dups – I caught the 2nd half of that England U21 match yesterday on Setanta. Near the end of the match Jack Wilshere tried to chip the keeper, and the commentator said something like, “Dainty and delicate there – you’d never guess he’s an Arsenal player”, or something like that.

    Just wait until they see guys like JET, Afobe and Aneke…”dainty” is not an adjective that comes to mind. Well, that’s if the dipshits in charge of England’s younger teams bother to select Aneke or JET ever again.


  189. I’d guess that’s a pretty misleading stat, Gooner Dave. He came as a youngster – so he didn’t make many starts in his first two seasons despite being 100% fit.


  191. What a stupid little troll.

    It’s 94 league starts + 40 appearences as substitute.

    Or does his game against Blackpool not count now?

    (60 odd minutes so far this season for RVP, 2 assists!)

  192. appearances

  193. care tp mention his contribution in cup competitions, Dave?

  194. Even though, as OOU says, in 2004 and 2005 he was used rarely used… his record of 79 goals/assists in 130 odd appearances is pretty devastating. That’s a goal or a goal layed on for a teammate every 1.7 matches! Brilliant, efficient player.

    Pipe down, GOONER DAVE.

  195. ‘Used!’ *shakes head* ‘Rarely used!’

  196. Afobe, Aneke and JET… telepathically communicating goliaths, graceful as ballerinas. (Sighs contentedly.) And Miquel wasnt half bad, either. Seems like Wenger has learned to clone Arsenal left backs.

  197. Was that reserves game on ATVO? …I cancelled my subscription as soon as pre-season was over. Damn!

  198. Viceologist, no games live on ATVO just the highlights.

  199. I was speaking with some Oranje fans during the World Cup final… they said they didn’t like Van Persie, and would prefer to see Van Nistlerooy lead the line. I asked why on earth would they prefer that, and they answered that it was because “Ruud is a proper cheesehead”. I took this to mean that they felt RVP had drifted too far from the tree for their liking, and had become more London than Dutch. I liked that, and happily conceded that no, they were quite right.. RVP is in no way a proper ‘cheesehead’, in fact he’s not a ‘cheesehead’ at all. I almost told them they could stick their cheeseheads up their cheesearses – but I exercised some uncommon restraint.

    They also said he was too ‘flash’, and how they just wanted ‘someone to put the ball in the back of the net’. I told them they were philistines and that the glory of dutch football past and present was wasted on them, and that they wouldn’t know a great player if he came up and Cruyff turned them into knots. We all laughed but I think they knew I was serious.

  200. It’s just the highlights. Basically, the ball’s played in to Aneke on just inside the box on the right hand side. He has two defenders on him, but flicks the ball over his head with his first touch, leaving both Blackburn players static, and volleys the ball into the far corner with his second. Keeper doesn’t move – he’s like wtf.

    I’d say, Bergkamp vs Newcastle meets Kanu vs Spuds.

  201. lefthand side!

  202. The assist for Afobe is basically your classic Michael Laudrup flick, perfectly executed.

    So no great expectations then.

  203. cheese

  204. *fromage test*

  205. I was speaking with some Oranje fans during the World Cup final… they said they didn’t like Van Persie, and would prefer to see Van Nistlerooy lead the line. I asked why on earth would they prefer that, and they answered that it was because “Ruud is a proper ch*esehead”. I took this to mean that they felt RVP had drifted too far from the tree for their liking, and had become more London than Dutch. I liked that, and happily conceded that no, they were quite right.. RVP is in no way a proper ‘che*sehead’, in fact he’s not a ‘che*sehead’ at all. I almost told them they could stick their ch*eseheads up their che*searses – but I exercised some uncommon restraint.

    They also said he was too ‘flash’, and how they just wanted ‘someone to put the ball in the back of the net’. I told them they were philistines and that the glory of dutch football past and present was wasted on them, and that they wouldn’t know a great player if he came up and Cruyff turned them into knots. We all laughed but I think they knew I was serious.

  206. Ch*ese is still a taboo subject around here it seems. Finsbury, if you’re out there – tread carefully.

  207. Ole Gunner @1.19pm – lol, you referred to snooker players earlier as contestants. Are you insinuating that snooker is not a sport? In which case does that make snooker a non contact game-show? 🙂

  208. I did not know about the existence of RVP bashers…what a disgrace that this is even being discussed..

  209. That goal sounds amazing…would love to see it…

  210. Thanks for the detailed description!

  211. Glad to see the reserves getting talked about. I would double my subscription to ATVO to watch their games live . These were not all reserves for BBurn either.
    I know some will focus on the defensive mistakes but fuck me the goals we scored. Fuck me. What joy.
    Where do we play our reserve matches btw?

  212. Ah of course it’s at Barnet – duh. I wonder where the away games are played and how I find out … hmmm

  213. Its only at Barnet for a few more games, then they will revert back to behind closed doors at the training ground I think.

    I heard it somewhere, they may have announced it at the Blackpool game!

  214. From October reserve home games are at the training ground.

  215. The only problem about all of these injuries suffered by the team is that the season has not really started! This team is completely star crossed! My gosh this is a fragile team. The mere mention of a football season throws the lot of them into spasm.

    I think we should place the entire team on a diet of raw meat and raw vegetables. Try to put some hair on their chests.

  216. I think its way better to have rvp in patches like we did in 2008/09 then a really big lay off first time round. That way there is a big chance of him competing in at least a few big games

  217. Houllier named new boss at Villa. An ally for Arsene perhaps? Has to be better than Martin O’Neil anyway.

  218. I saw Rafael da Silva play in the US this summer and he was shit. Turned inside out three times in one half by Roger Espinoza- Honduras international who plays for the local MLS team. It was embarrassing how bad he was, and Smalling wasn’t much better.

  219. Mongolian Gooner

    I acknowledged that Rafael and Bale have ‘some’ quality, not better than what we have. I mean they are better player than what they had.

    I asked yesterday how to pronounce Squillaci’s name. Can anybody give suggestion? I heard it is pronounced Ski-ya-chi. Is it correct?

  220. Mongolian gunner…i pronounce it Squilachi..not sure if that’s the correct way to pronounce it.

    OOUs, the we you describe the goal made me feel like i saw it.

    supercod 3.29, it happened alot last season and am reading a pattern here.both terry/lamps played their last club game ,only to miss internationals but apparently they are now fit for their next game.Suckers!!

    We suffer more injuries during these breaks more than other teams.Its not fair.I hate internationals!!!

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