Fabianski Takes Tentative Steps On The Road To Redemption

Attention returns to domestic football, the Premier League clash with Chelsea on Sunday looming on the horizon. Didier Drogba is being hailed by his teammates as their lucky charm, the record books show he enjoys playing Arsenal, seemingly able to score at will irrespective of the defence which faces him. A little different this time for the Ivorian as he will not have rubbed shoulders with Squillaci or Koscielny, a stern test of how well the pair have settled into English football awaits.

Disconcertingly for Chelsea, Lukasz Fabianski had a good game on Tuesday in Belgrade, seemingly replicating his training ground form into a match scenario, Arsene feeling vindicated (or relieved, depending upon your view of the Pole) that his goalkeeper for the night proved his critics wrong on this occasion. A single match does not make a career – although it can quite easily destroy one – and the moodswings of the media have been startling in the aftermath of the Champions League.

Suddenly, Fabianski is a hero, not far short of a world-beater in their eyes, twenty four hours after being told that he was as much use as a chocolate teapot. Little wonder that he told the official site he takes no notice of his critics. You would have thought that the media would be a little more wary of upsetting a man who learned English by reading The Godfather. A few ideas in dealing with his enemies will no doubt have sprung into his mind in recent months.

Manuel Almunia is apparently not going to be fit a few games, the Conspiracy Theorists – or 5Live listeners as we know them better – wonder if history is repeating itself with the Spaniard being usurped from the starting line-up in much the same way he found himself as Arsenal’s Number One. Jens Lehmann made two errors for soft goals in his last season and despite not doing much wrong otherwise, he was out. Almunia had little reputation before taking over, the parallels between then and now are uncanny.

Fabianski is getting support from his teammates. The manner of abuse from the ‘terraces’ that the Pole receives highlights the unity in the squad, a mentality of standing and falling together, something Wenger has been looking to foster (or fester if you bemoan the lack of beer swilling, chainsmoking good ole ‘English characters’ in the dressing room). Jack Wilshere indicated that the squad are not unaware of the feelings towards those who are the last line of the defence:

It’s been hard for our ‘keepers at the moment and that was a great reponse from him. He made a good save at the end as well. Fair play to him.

Of course, Fabianski is not going to be able to dismiss the errors which have previously occurred, nor is he going to forget them either. Every interview with the player suggests that he is aware of his weaknesses  and strives to correct them. Over time, he may do so and prove to be a good goalkeeper for the club. Szczesny certainly thinks Fabianski is the best at Arsenal at the moment, although an element of modesty may have precluded him from saying that he thought he was top dog.

Like Almunia, Fabianski does not have the luxury of time. He is only going to be remembered for his latest mistake, such has been the level of performance in the first XI. Consistency of performance will put those into the mists of time. He has faced his demons in Europe and conquered them successfully. This Sunday offers him the opportunity to conquer Premier League and FA Cup demons. He has to succeed.

’til Tomorrow.


Posted on September 30, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 131 Comments.

  1. fingers crossed for fabianski on sunday – he’s now our best hope for that match. I have never rated his temperament but good luck to him!

    Potentially more worrying is how Kos and Sqillaci deal with Drogba.

    Wilshere should start in CM – let’s try and pass our way round them, they will always be stronger.

  2. Good luck to fab on Sunday. He need to keep Almunia on his toes.

  3. Did Fabianski really have a good game on tuesday.He saved a penalty yes but Almunia saves them for fun.He mave a couple of other saves which he should have.Have we really become a club who judges its keepers on the least mistakes they make and not the matches they win?A month ago everyone was praising Almunia from the roof-tops after the Blackburn game and praising Wenger for not buying Schwarzer.Now Almunia is being thrown out like yesterday’s chip paper and Fabianski is a hero.After one game FFS.What happens if Fabianski fucks up on sunday will Mannone or Szczesny come into the team?

  4. No one is saying Fabianski is the answer, only that he did well on Tuesday. Credit where its due.

  5. I just sense Wenger will change his tactics for this game. I hope we use Chamakh more often by supplying few crosses to him.
    I would keep it tight and make sure Song does not go forward too much he will be key in midfield The Chavs have some huge plyers Drogba and Essien. I think he can match them physically. Man city had about 8 defensive minded players and they completely shut the door for them. we need to do the same, close all spaces and hit them on the counter. The other option is to supply crosses to Chamakh . H e is awesome in the air if we supply him with 10 crosses 1 will go in.

  6. ken – clearly Almunia and Fabianski are at the last chance saloon. How much confidence would Almunia have taken into the next game after his shocker against west brom? Almunia has consistently been inconsistent. He’s had his chances and on net balance come up short – we all know that so it’s no surprise people are fed up after the West Brom debacle. We’ve had years of bad goalkeeping, this isnt something the fans have just turned on after one game.

    Fabianski now has a chance and we need to back him and hope, despite his many screw ups, that he comes good. But unless he proves himself with a string of games without gifting the oppo a goal then clearly AW should buy someone experienced in january – and he should prob do that anyway.

  7. Ken,

    I’m just going to step back and let the manager handle it. All our agitations wont help anything anyway.

  8. Good luck to Wookash on Sunday – what an opportunity to claim the No. 1 shirt for the long term. As cliche’s go – it’s all in his hands.

    I have this sneaky feeling Koscielny and Squallaci will have a no nonsense approach to dealing with Drogba. For some reason, I’m not losing sleep over this one.

    The key for us will be to take our few chances. The way Arshavin, Li’l Jack and Nasri have been playing, we will create those chances. This is a game made for a new Arsenal hero. Will it be Fabianski? Chamakh? Koscielny?

    The games against Newcastle, Man City and Marseille have shown that the Chelsea defense is shaky.

  9. Interesting stat in the Telegragh today,Fabianski concedes a goal on average every 58 minutes of the games he plays Almunia concedes a goal every 94 minutes!!!

    Agree with you Romford neither keeper is good enough as was proved by the games v Spurs and WBA.

  10. Is Djourou fit, i’d stick him on Drogba, but we have new defenders to face him either way so maybe just maybe there is a chance and a glimmer of a hope and a prayer that Drogba wont pull their pants down like he did with all our other defenders.

  11. YW – You are a cock-eyed optimist. Fabianski can come good? He is a goalie for heavens sake. Don’t you know he will soon have a fumble. Plus he has chocolate wrists. All that funny talk by Wilshere, hes a midfielder. Don’t you read that he inspires no confidence in his defenders. Plus he is Polish and can’t communicate with those French defenders.
    Anyways I blame Wenger. He is a cheap c*nt. Should have sold both clowns, Fabianski and Almunia that is. Promote Wookash and use most of the 56 million profit and buy a world class goalie. Simples!

  12. That fukin russian meerkat gets everywhere!!

  13. Ole

    Wenger has proved with his trying to sign Schwarzer he didnt have no faith in Almunia or Fabianski.And i believe he will go back and get him in january even though he has been shit this season.Wenger is looking for a stop gap keeper to keep the position warm for Szczesny in two years time.That is if Szczesny doesnt sign a pre-contract with another club in january

  14. Agree we still need a keeper in January. Yes Fabianski is a great shot stopper we knew that already but fuck about Partyzan didnt really put no high balls in to the area like every bloody week in the prem. once the old pearl harbour attacks start we will soon see Fabs weak points again. i really hope though that he come s good but i cant see it and i’d happily like to eat me words.

  15. Wenger has proved with his trying to sign Schwarzer he didnt have no faith in Almunia or Fabianski.

    Very weird claim. I’m sick of the Arsenal keeper talk. Too much dodgy talk accepted uncritically. I hear a lot of people say this, at the very same time they’re criticising Wenger for showing faith in his keepers.

    This is another example where the club’s silence works against it. For all we know, Arsenal only wanted Shwartzer as a squad player, and not to replace Almunia. In any case, Man Utd have been trying to recruit a keeper for 2 seasons. Does that establish a lack of faith in his keepers?

    Look, it’s quite clear that Arsene has shown remarkable faith in Almunia and Fabianski. And in any case, the whole lack of faith thing is being overdone.

    A big part of the problem with Arsenal’s keeping is hysteria. Things are not half as bad as portrayed most of the time.

  16. Ole- Is that stand up comedy? what a laugh. poor Shawcross, Wenger hurt his feeling and his career by making few comments.I thought they were tough men but it turn out they are sensitive little things. The FA have nothing better to do than listen to some attention seekers idiots. They are making fools of themselves by dragging this on and on. Its a comment and it did not break anybody’s leg.

  17. hes shit and does not deserve the the millionth chance hes getting..
    if im as shit as he is at my job.. i;d get the sack a long time ago.. he seems like a nice guy and all.. but hes a shit goalkeeper

  18. We need a bad boy keeper like crazy lehman, who wasn’t afraid of taking charge of his area, regradless who was in it..

  19. Some people are so stupid, like that Grove- gooner. This is what they want Wenger to say. ” I know he is a rubbish keeper and I don’t care if he makes few saves because I will get a new keeper and I will sack them” It does not make any sense for Wenger or the fans to come out and put their players down publicly. Only fools would do that. Fabi had a fantastic game and we should give him the support. He did what was asked of him and that all he can do. No one is saying he is the best in the world but he has to start somewhere.

  20. calling him stupid becoz other people hv differing views then you.. lol go back to sleep 10yr old..

  21. Goodbye Joni. Say night-night.

  22. 1LC

    Nope the really stupid part of that comment – and I know it’s hard to pinpoint just one piece but this is truly outstandingly stupid – was:

    LF is Polish and can’t communicate with those French defenders.

    What nationality is Szczesny?

    YW

  23. Joni,

    Shit at his job? He must be in the top 50 in the world at his job. What do you do? Reckon there are more than 50 people in the world that could do it better than you do? I’m going to go out on a limb and say that yes there probably are – purely based on your spelling, and reasoning… which frankly makes you come across as unemployable.

    I’ll happily eat my words if I’m wrong though…

  24. Joni Goonah- Grove Gooner don’t keep changing your name. Honestley what do you Expect Wenger to say to the press? come on you tell me.

  25. Ive got money on 4-1 Chelsea, I suggest you all do the same. They will rip us a new one on Sunday Fab will flap Kos and Squillaci will be exposed and made to look stupid.

  26. School kids and estate agents sat behind a desk telling top-level professional sportsmen that they’re sh*t at their jobs and should be fired…

    …well it makes perfect sense actually.

  27. I’ve got 3-0 to The Arsenal. Same odds. Should be much shorter than it is actually.

  28. Joni is leebo now Ha ha ha.

  29. YW
    Is that part really stupider than telling us he thinks Wenger should sell Fabianski and promote Wookash? I’m not sure that it is.

  30. Very creative Joni. Is that all you do, waste your dole money on the bookies.

  31. Just when you thought the childish Keeper bashing has ended…

    I agree with Ole, its mainly Hysteria. The source of it stems from the great Old British Media, whos purpose in life is to blow everything out of proportion and feed the public and half-brained idiots a ‘real’ story.

    I live in Cyprus now, and I still find it difficult to avoid the shite that appears online and opinions amongst friends. The views of the pundits and crap that is fed to us has seriously blocked any logical thinking of a proportion of all football supporters all over the globe.

    One thing I can be glad about though, is not having to support a team like United, Liverpool or Chelsea… the supporters of these teams have lost sight on the true reason behind playing and being a supporter of football and any club.

    So, despite what any of you wanker’s come on and say about any Arsenal keeper, player, coach, manager etc.. I will continue to enjoy supporting my team. Who gives a shit about spending 60m on a Big name keeper so you can boast to your mates … yes thats directed at you grove-gooner.. (hes probably from Le-Shite – dont get more pathetic than that!)

  32. Ole G
    I think that headline should read, “Stoke chief still wants Wenger’s attention.”

  33. Leebo, can you tell me the lottery numbers please?
    PS, is Leebo an acronym of lobotomy?

  34. Redemption is quite a long road though aint it Yigi? Ignoring the unnecessary hype from the media its no lie that Fabianski has made quite a few mistakes when given the chance to stake his claim. To me, listening to Le Boss and how he says Fabz is in training, it seems a mental/confidence thing. Like you say one game doesnt make a career but it can be a turning point to hopefully show that it was just a low point in his career!! But my worry is that 1 mistake will sent the cards tumbling again in Fabianskis head and he reverts!!

  35. Pulis needs to get a life. Him and Fat Sam are the most hated cu*ish managers in the league, ready and willing to send their players out to commit the crime, but unwilling to take the stands and receive the abuse after.

    It is injustice, and how these teams and managers are allowed to get away with instructing ‘assault’ is all down to the FA who don’t want to kill the game!!

  36. YW,

    Wenger should make Stoke an offer they can’t refuse: You promise not to break our players’ legs or tackle our players off the pitch. I promise to not mention your players by name. Deal?

  37. Is watching highlights media then? coz if you watch a game and see a keeper make shit load of mistakes you come to the conclusion that he isnt very good. aint got shit to do with the media. logical thinking would have one thinking Fabianski isnt a very good keeper going on what one has seen.

  38. Ole 12.40 that sounds like a fair deal.

  39. Duke

    If you look soley at Fabianski’s performances for Arsenal over the last few years, you will notice that the lad has a lot of quality. Yes he has made mistakes, and they have been costly, but you cannot come and say the guy has no ability. He just needs to iron out the mistakes and he will be a fantastic keeper.

    So whether you think you are plainly maintaining your own view on his ability, you are actually writing the guy off, when instead you should have some faith.

    Take a look at Song, Denilson, Bendtner, Diaby, Eboue… all pretty decent players don’t you think now?

  40. Agreed, Firstlady. I’m sure Wenger would take that deal if offered. I think most clubs would take it.

    In the mean time Stoke should apologise for this: http://yfrog.com/nfqvkkj

  41. What a big opportunity for Fabianski to stake a claim. I really want him to do well; he was one of my favorites before he started dropping those clangers!

  42. Keeper issues can always have a bearing on the outcome on Sunday. I think Fanianski will cover himself with glory, MOTM. More likely it will be down to an almighty midfield tussle for possession and control, and how well either team contains and defends, in our case perhaps just outside the box (our little blind spot). An Essien or Lampard thunder strike can decide such a match, or a Drogba freekick (he’s very good). A lot of chelsea goals come through attacks down their left, Malouda, and Cole has had a hand in quite a few, so Sagna is a key, and whomever plays ahead of him on our right midfield. One of the threats Chelsea poses is that the defence spends energy on Drogba, and so someone else scores. Drogba’s good at that game too.

    For us, the attacking threat is always there, left, right, centre, penalty, cross and many different players: Chelsea will be very wary of this and I guess play ‘close down the midfield’. Lots of little fouls to prevent fluidity. Terry’s “who me?” tricks. Fast counter. Anelka.

    A lot depends on which side scores first of course. If it’s us, it opens Chelsea up as they seek the equaliser, and we might score a second. If it’s them they close it down, and rely on set-pieces and counter-attack.

    I’m just interested to see who Wenger prefers at central back, and in the midfield. My guess is that Wilshere is certain to start. Song too. The decision then is who is the creative pivot. If Cesc is fit, fine, and if not? Rosicky, with Nasri on the right to toy with Cole, and also stop him. Diaby is unlikely, unless Wenger decides he plays aheaed of Wilshere and will have the game of his season. Then there is Wenger, who loves to throw a doosra down in the selection, the unpredictable, and gain tactical advantage.

    Clichy must start, for speed, although he’s in for a tough match. He’ll be targeted as potential weak link.

    Fabianski
    Sagna Skilly Kos Clichy
    Wilshere Song
    Cesc/Mozart
    Nasri Arsh
    Cham

  43. Fucking hell Ole, wish I hadn’t clicked on that. My prediction for Sunday is that we won’t keep a clean sheet but will head home victorious regardless. I reckon Chamakh is going to have a massive part to play, and given all the focus placed on his heading abilities I can see him grabbing a goal with his feet.

  44. I have a theory.

    The target for Fabianski (and even Almunia) is to play well between now and Dec 31st – if you follow the media and Triple A hype – he doesn’t need to do much to improve, only thing he has to do is avoid mistakes that lead to goals.

    If this is the case, my take is that Arsenal will not be buying another keeper and will build on the confidence Wookash or Almunia have accumulated between now and the next transfer window. And if they indeed do wel, no other keeper will be coming to Arsenal for the foreseeable future if you consider that Tech 9 is also waiting in the wings.I personally think

    Wookash has all the hallmarks of an excellent keeper, and I think it has been unfair for him to be expected to come out of the cold without any game time and register world class performances day in, day out. It’s not easy for a player coming back from injury or a player who hasn’t played for a while to hit form immediately, so I think the expectation that a keeper will do it at the drop of a hat is unreasonable.

    It really is premature to judge Wookash on the basis of his stop start appearances so far, and it would be better to judge him over a period of games that gives him the opportunity to build confidence and consistency.

    This talk of “he’s only one mistake away from being shown the door” is monumental bullshit. Why would you will someone to lose? More importantly, why would Arsenal spend nearly a decade nurturing talent only to throw that talent away at the behest of people with unreasonable (yes, very unreasonable) expectations of what Wookash must do in the time he’s had so far?

    I personally hope that Wookash grabs this chance to make the position his, or at the least, keep Almunia bum rushed enough to know that there’s only one way to keep that No. 1 shirt and it’s to play out of your skin.

    I don’t subscribe to the notion that Wookash is not capable of improving. That’s a defeatist mentality and aren’t we glad the staff at London Colney don’t make decisions based on emotion.

  45. Gooners all over the world should let Coates know how we feel and boycott BET365.
    It probably won’t make a difference to him, but I don’t see why we shouldn’t be putting money in his pocket.

  46. I cant remember who that ref was last night but I know one thing, he is the greatest Ref to have ever lived.

  47. Agree with Darius at 1:19pm.

  48. I agree with Ateeb.

    Why should we care about what the Plunditry get up to.

    But, for some reason, I found myself making e a number of, er, sporting bets, some with Arsenal fans over the Summer, mostly made during England games. That TW14 would have, in total, more assists and goals then certain other players at the end of the season. Nothing to do with Bragging Rights. I was just curious what people thought. He hasn’t played for ages, but, it’s all looking good!

    Love the scuffed shot from Walcott, ‘straight at the ‘keeper’ (from an acute angle) as many hacks would say, but, er, straight enough to beat a European and World Cup (I think he was in the squad) winning ‘keeper. Go figure.
    Love the fan pointing at the camera with pride, after Theo’s goal.
    He knows.

  49. Mmmmm, I’ve had my fill of keeper talk, so allow me to burp and forgive the scent, but:

    I am gooner, and I support Fabianski and Almunia.

    With that dealt with, let’s analyse how Chelsea may play. Will Chelsea maintain their 4-3-3 or will they revert to 4-4-2?

    If they go 4-3-3, then as long as our players resist the hollywood, maintaining possession shouldn’t be a problem. However, I imagine their WF’s may seek to give Clichy/Sagna doubts as to go forward or not. This may end up giving Song license to roam forward more in at atempt to support our attack. Should this happen, we’ll need everyone to sprint back to defend and press, as I imagine Chelsea’s game plan may be to collect and ping one over the top.

    Lats year when the played us, Chelsea loved more content to hit us on the counter, but they looked dangerous with every attack. However, when Bendy came on at last year at the bridge, our style of play changed and we started looked more potent. Fortunately we have Chamakh, so if we can’t play through them, let put some balls over them and give MC’s head a chance!.

    Man City beat them with the boring two banks of four, with very little attacking desire. That’s not our style, but if we remain focused at the back I think we can stop them and win the game.

  50. Gadget you boring git!!

  51. I dont think we will keep a clean sheet. but we can score. We were practically toothless the last few times we played them, for various reasons but this time i reckon we score. 1-1 draw for me, and id be well happy with that.

  52. Thanks for the vid Finsbury. Look how much Cesc runs to score the winner even after he plays on injured!!! Legend

  53. Finsbury,

    Watching such a video makes me think, with a fully fit squad, we’d massacre anyone. I really hope we can have such a period this season, because if we do we are gonna win a lot

  54. Will D.Diddy will be less of a worry, then Anelka?

    The Incredible Sulk is playing well, after his latest sulk.

  55. Despite our injuries, I seriously fancy us causing an upset. Chelsea have had an easy run, not really playing any team that has gone out to attack. I think Chamakh will cause them a huge headache, and Squilli and Kosc will be solid. They are 2 very smart and determined CB’s with a lot of bite about them.

    Arshavin’s scoring again, Nasri is on fire, Denilson is looking good, and Wilshire will really surprise them. I don’t think by any means they can outplay us, and we shouldn’t be scared of their power. We should play to our strengths, keep the ball, pass it quick, and take our chances.

    The Carling Cup Final a few years ago, we destroyed them in play, but didn’t make our chances count and we paid for it. This time I think we can put them to bed, and send the Stamford Bridge ‘faithful’ home early.

  56. Gadget,

    Another fit forward out of the three missing (including Walcott) would be nice. Arshavin seems to be enjoying himself, a silly number of goals and assists.
    In the meantime, we’ll just have to:

    Chamack!
    Chamack!
    Chamack Chamack Chamack!

  57. Yogi – when did schezny(?) express that fabianski was a better keeper?

    I know that Fab was at one point polish No. 1 ahead of Buruc and Dudek presume szcheny(?) was in the under 21’s or something.
    I personally rate Fabianski buyt he has made a lot of mistakes that have cost us really – im backing him to come good but can understand the flak he gets even if though its not porportionate.

  58. Duke,

    you’ve not been speaking to my ex-gf have you? she used to call me that a lot… until I dumped her!

    (or was it her who dumped me?)

    bah!

    Deise,

    I think we can keep a clean sheet, but it’ll mean no silly mistakes. I think every goal we’ve conceded has been stoppable, and have resulted from momentary lapses in concentration, perhaps due to complacency.
    Liverpool – they had a man down and we attempted to be too cute.
    Blackburn – I guess everybody was figuring Samba would have hoofed it rather than play a pretty good ball to Diouf’s feet, Koscielny underestimating his speed & strength, Clichy ball watching.
    WBA – ugh
    Spurs – offside goal
    Partizan – a weak penalty

    This is our hardest test so far this season, hopefully not the hardest we’ll face neither, so hopefully the men will realise concentration and hardwork will be the keys to victory.

    Let’s minimise those crosses, protect our keeper, and be strong

  59. All Fabianski needs is a pair of open-crotched shorts. Trust me, it will work. He will have all day long to catch any crosses.

  60. It’s significant just how much more squad depth we have than Chelsea.

    Look at probable starting lineups:

    Arsenal:
    Almunia, Sagna, Squillaci, Kos, Gibbs, Song, Diaby, Cesc, Nasri, Chamakh, Arshavin

    Bench: Fabianski, Clichy, Djourou, Denilson, Wilshere, Rosicky, Vela

    Chelsea:
    Cech, Ivanovic, Alex, terry, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Essien, Malouda, Drogba, Anelka

    Bench: Hilario, Bruma, Ferreira, Kakuta, Sturridge, Zhirkov, McEachran.

    Look at the benches. Eboue doesn’t even get on our bench. Despite the fact that we currently have double the number of injuries that they have.

  61. I wonder how Diaby might fair playing upfront; not in Chamakh’s position but on the wing. His trickery and pace could probably work quite nicely. Not sure if I’d put him up against Cashley though. I remember what he used to do to Ronaldo

  62. Ole,

    Our depth happens to be London’s best kept secret. They always did say the best place to hide something is in plain sight. Well, we’ve put it right in front of the media’s nose and they still can’t see! Let the blind lead the blind I say. I also say, never wisen a fool lest you lose a most advantageous opportunity

  63. Diaby never really was much good on the wing when he played there was he?

  64. You could be right Deise. My only memory easy to recall is him scoring a peach against Villa from that position, and I just wonder if his attributes could lend themselves to causing Chelsea more problems in such an attacking role

  65. Gadget am not too worried about the crosses this time round after how well Kos and Skilly handled blackburn/sunderland despite us losing points in the latter game. I think if we dont lose the ball necessarily and drogba is contained from having one of their counter moments we will be fine.Looking forward to a win but a draw will do.

    my line-up would be
    Fabianski
    Sagna Squilachi Kolscieny Clichy
    Song
    Wilshire Rosicky
    Nasri Arshavin
    Chamack

    on the bench, Denilson,Vela, Eboue, Gibs, Diaby, Almunia
    i started with Fabianki because am assuming Almunia may still be out with injury. Not sure if Fabregas may have recovered but i’d like him to come from the bench.

  66. I don’t think sticking Diaby on the wing is such a good idea, some of his best moments have been striding forward through the middle playing behind the striker or CM.

    I think hes best suited to the less disciplined CM role, like the Cesc role in our 433. How many times in the past have we seen him pick up the ball in the middle and create a deadly attack by jumping over 4 players!

    A midfield of … Diaby – Song – Cesc … is unstoppable when they are on their game. Unfortunately Song has had a slow start, and Diaby’s excellent start was hampered by another injury.

    I fancy Denilson getting the nod at CM, maybe Cesc as a super sub, with Song and Wilshire starting once again.

    My team:

    – – – – – – – – – Fab! – – – – – – – – –
    Bac – Squilly – Kosc – Clichy
    – – Denny – Song – Jack – –
    Super Sam – – – – Arshy Arsh
    – – – – – Chamakkkkh – – – – – –

    Denilson, Song, and Jack, provides a little bit of strength, bite, and possession for us to be able to cruise this game… 🙂

  67. Jack Wilshere may be our joker in the pack.

    Clearly, they know of him, but none of them have played him. By the time they figure the lad out, hopefully a few back heels and nutmegs would have given them something to think about.

    First lady, we suffer counter attacks when we go missing. With better discipline, we should be able to handle Drogba. There is a narrative being peddled that the Ivorian is Samson-esque when it comes to Arsenal; but the bottom line is that we’ve made it easy for him time and time again.

    I remember as far back as the community shield in 2004 when Drogba was giving Senderos nightmares and his perceived strengths evolved from that.

    In 2008 when we beat Chelski comprehensively at Stamford Bridge (it was October n all – good omen?), despite Djourou gifting them an own goal, we were solid at the back. We outplayed Chelsea that day and RVP was clinical and got the brace.

  68. ‘There is a narrative being peddled that the Ivorian is Samson-esque when it comes to Arsenal; but the bottom line is that we’ve made it easy for him time and time again’

    Shave the bastard.

  69. Just watched that clip of walcott against the team that shall not be name during champions league,I miss him and the rest of the guys(van persie, Bendtner, Ramsey) any timeline of when they maybe back?

  70. I would love us to have a clean sheet against the Russians. That would signal a real improvement. However, I wouldn’t know how to bet on this one – could be anything from 4-0 to them lot to 4-0 to us…

    Regarding our keepers, I feel they have mental weaknesses, but I’d be thrilled if one of them proved me wrong. However, I felt that against WBA, everyone picked on Almunia, although nearly all the team was to blame for the goals.

    Come on you gunners!

  71. Firstlady,

    Bendtner, Walcott, & RVP should be back by after the international break. Hopefully, Vermaelen too. Ramsey scheduled for early November.

  72. Thanks Ole.

    Now thats a bench that would frighten just about anyone.

    I was very impressed by how well mancity contained Drogba, I am sure this sunday we will do the same and break the” curse of the drog”.

    Chris I wasnt brave enough to put both Wilshire and Denilson with song in the same line-up But I so wanted to have denilson in there.I put Wilshire because as noted by Darius he may be our wild card in this game, Song is there for his physicality,am sure if Denilson was to be on the bench he’d come in at some point to calm things down and control our midfield.

    If Fabregas is fit to start I can see Wenger starting with denilson and Song as his partners and Rosicky/Wilshire to come in at some point.

  73. I think most of the goals we’ve given away this season so far have come from lapses in concentration, and you’d have to think that against the chavs, our boys will really be up for it, and hopefully more focused.

  74. wilshere bossed chelsea around when he was playin against them for bolton…hopefully he can do that again and maybe inflict some damage by assisting chamakh, nasri, arshavin or rosicky.

  75. What is the latest on Fabregas? If he’ll be fit enough to come off the bench that is a huge boost.

  76. Anyone else think Fabianski is looking a bit… er… beefier than he did last season? I think he’s been at the extra helpings of borscht and bigos at dinner times, in a bid to become a big, fat, intimidating Neville Southall type figure. Bouncing all-comers out the way with his big, full, Polish huntsman’s belly.

    I’m all for it.

    One Man Couldn’t Lift!
    Couldn’t Lift Fab-yansky!
    One man and a forklift truck,
    Couldn’t lift fab-yanksy…

    Two Men Couldn’t Lift!
    etc.

    Drogba’s gonna get owned. Arsh, Nas, Ros, Jack… goals everywhere…
    Wronged Siberian orphans cheering us on! Can’t wait.

  77. England hates us cause we are Arsenal
    The rest of the world loves us cause we are Arsenal
    Arsenal loves the world cause we’re Arsenal

    Arsenal

  78. “Man United stars line up to tip Hernandez for Old Trafford stardom”

    With this sort of sycophancy, someone ought to tell the punks that Hernandez better pick a ticket and join the queue behind our Carlos Vela. Johnny come lately gets more air time because he’s at Manure – stupid fools.

    Maria should be really pissed off with this nonsense.

  79. Shhh!

    London also has Mexico’s best kept secret.

  80. Darius,

    You forgot to mention that when we did beat Chealski in 2008, it was at a time when chelski were in turmoil with its management if the real truth be told. It certainly didn’t mark a changing of the guard, more an exception to the rule.

    Furthermore, your assertion about Fabianski not getting continuous chances is just unbelievable. He’s 25 and he’s had chance after chance after chance. The world and his mother knows we needed a keeper except some of the die hards on this site, who just refuse to believe that Arsene has got it monumentally wrong.

    Its like you stand in the sahara desert and say – “tomorrow its going to rain”. One day, you just might be right. But the reality is that we have serious problems with our defence and we concede in almost every single game we play irrespective of who the opposition is.

    Ole –

    You say we have greater squad depth. This is just preposterous. Our Goalkeepers are substandard. Our back four concede in every game. We have little or no substance in defensive midfield. In short, our core defensive unit is far too weak. Yet here you are pointing to the fact that we have some talented young players on the bench who’ve won nothing. There is little point talking about the specks of dust in the corner when there’s an elephant sh1tting on the carpet!

    On Sunday – I fear we will be beaten quite comfortably again this year.

    So roll up and get the usual excuses ready.

  81. joe, man up.

  82. Oh Joe, don’t be so bitter. It’s onlt a fact. One you don’t like, but one that’s plain to see.

  83. Joe, you really are a miserable git.

    As for Carlos, I thought he looked a bit, er, chubbier, on Tuesday.

    (Maria’s not around, is she?)

  84. Joe.

    I personally wouldn’t go looking for rain in the Sahara desert. Stop being dramatic about the issue. None of our goal keepers are as bad as you make it. If they were, we wouldn’t have finished in the top 4 in the last 5 years.

    Can you actually name me a series of at least 10 consecutive games that Fabianski has had. In my view it takes at least that to develop consistency and cement your confidence. Stop throwing assertions about Wookash having had a run of games. Since he was signed in May 2007, he has had stop start appearances, most of which he came from the bench cold.

    And win or lose on Sunday, I’ll continue to support Arsenal to the hilt, not look for excuses as to why we didn’t win .

  85. Are you joe the plumber?

    I dont know, everytime you post I think about toilets, plumbing and filth etc, if you get my drift?

  86. Mr. Bob,

    hows the family, the grandchildren?

  87. Cb
    You cross to the wrong side of the Tamar, we lose to WBA.
    You cross back, we beat Partizan.
    Lessons to be learned here, I think.
    Please make sure you stay on the east bank on Sunday.

  88. “I dont know, everytime you post I think about toilets, plumbing and filth etc, if you get my drift?”

    A very good description Paul N.

  89. I’m worried about the constant claims that Drogba has been pulling our defenders’ pants down. At first, I dismissed it as a scurrilous rumour; but, you know, there’s no smoke without fire. Surely there must be a rule against pulling down the opposition’s pants. It could easily give an unfair advantage. How can a defender concentrate on jumping to head the ball at a corner, for example, if he is worried that Didier Drogba is going to whip off his smalls as soon as he leaves the ground? Drogba has a good record against Arsenal, and it could be a result of his predilection for uncovering the modesty of our young players. Let’s hope Arsenal doesn’t get exposed this weekend.

  90. Deposits of Saharan sands can be found as far as the south of England.
    Can’t remember which wind is responsible, the Scirocco maybe.
    The Sahara rains upon England.

  91. FC Utrecht have a player called ‘Ricky van Wolfswinkel’. Now that is a mouthful. 🙂

  92. If we give Drogba a Wolfswinkel, maybe he will leave our players’ pants alone.

  93. Dups

    That being the case, I’m sure some young lady of ill-repute will be selling the story to the papers.

    YW

  94. I agree with Zim. The Chelsea players who most concern me are Malouda and Cole down the left flank. If we manage to contain these two we’ll have more possession and Drogba will receive less service.

    My line up is:

    ——————-Fabianski
    Sagna—-Squillaci—Koscielny—-Clichy
    ———————-Song
    ———–Denilson——Wilshere/Diaby
    Eboue———————————–Nasri
    ——————-Chamakh

  95. HAHAHA Yogi. Seems to be quite a few such females about of late.

  96. Best news of the day

    “Nicklas Bendtner (groin) should be available after the international break,”

    Now thats a relief..

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-waits-on-fabregas-and-almunia

  97. hahahahaha good one YW

  98. All doing very well Paul my friend. Everything cool with you and yours?

    Don’t worry Merlot, I have no plans to cross the Tamar again on a match day.

    Mind you, I do still think that you all might have managed for just one match without me.

  99. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrsnal

  100. I think Drogba should pull Terry’s pants down Pz.

  101. That is actually why Joe Cole left Chelsea.

    His arse is so big that Drogba couldn’t pull his shorts down and as it was a specific provision in Drogba’s contract that he could pull down everyone’s shorts when he wanted, Joe had to go.

  102. We are great Mr. Bob, thanks!

    The young lady is growing fast!

  103. Don’t they just Paul, don’t they just.

  104. Delia-----Block 112

    I fear our mid-field will be our weakest link on Sunday. I just cannot get last Saturday’s humiliation out of my mind, notwithstanding Tuesday’s efforts. The injury news is not hopeful on the Cesc front and without his leadership I think we could be bullied into submission by Essien, Drogba et al. Song’s antics of late are not doing the team any favors and we are asking an awful lot of young Jack to take a leading role in such a high profile encounter . The back five will need all the support we can give them.Do we have the mid-field personnel fit and ready to go capable of doing the job? I wonder!
    COYRs

  105. Delia, we have played much bigger and stronger teams this season and done well, remember that? I believe we won all of those matches. So please get last Saturday out of your mind.

    The team didnt play as well, it happens. I have no doubt that we will be more ready for Chelsea.

    Spilt milk!

  106. Reina flapping in most of the game against Utrecht.

  107. With Terry lifting shirts in his own box and Drogba pulling down pants in the opposition box, Stamford Bridge is becoming quite a disreputable neighbourhood.

  108. I’d love to be a fly on the wall (or the goalpost) at the Chelsea training ground when a new signing has his first training session. Imagine his surprise when he goes for the ball at a set piece and suddenly finds his pants round his ankles. Imagine his even greater surprise when he twists around and sees a grinning Didier Drogba staring up his hoop.

  109. Always a pleasure seeing Alex Manninger, sadly he’s just been beaten by Adam Johnson. The latter showed such good movement compared to Adebayor who was right alongside him.

  110. Arsenal will be steam-rolled by Chelsea. And you folks will be reminded of what a quality side is, not that you’ll remember it for more than a minute or two.

    We are in the top 50 sides in europe but we are not an elite squad like chelsea, not anymore. Managing to late into the cl is one thing, but whenever this side faces a high quality and determined club as in the late stages of the cl, the result is never in doubt.

  111. Fuck off you daft twat.

  112. “I see, it really hurts knowing there are people out there much more intelligent than yourself?” You are certainly not one of them though.

  113. Chamakh will make the difference on Sunday. Last two encounters we’ve had Arsh and a half-fit Eduardo leading the line. Chamakh is the best hold-the-ball-up, back-in-to-the-defender frontman we’ve had in this fixture since RVP put the blooze to the sword. The 4-3-3/4-2-1-2-1 comes alive/demands an expert pivot. Chamakh’s just that. Not only a target for the resurgent Rosicky to pick out, but also a board to bounce the on-rushing Nasri, Wilshere, Arshavin and now… Alex Song (noone expects the Cameroonian Inquisition!) in through the channels. Watch him drag ’em out wide and watch the midfield surge through on goal. If we take our chances we win this game.

  114. The heart cries for Theo! The heart cries for Fabergé! Yet still the midfield berths are hottly contested.

    It’s such a difficult selection. Song and Denilson and Nasri with Rosicky on the right? Song and Wilshere and Nasri with Rosicky on the right? Song and Denilson and Wilshere with Nasri on the right? Those are the three that spring to mind… but Diaby could make it, Fabs could be unveiled… plucked from a magic hat.

    The defence with a point to prove… we know what this team can do when they’re fired-up. Big fat Fabianski… Super Seb Squillaci… Kosa Nostra… Gale Force… Sag Aloo… C’mon! ARSENAL!

  115. Yeah that’s a good point Limpar. Chamakh seems to lead the line in a different way to Robin, who tends to drop deeper but remain central in order to bring others into the game. Chamakh pulls players all over the place with his runs out to the flanks, his interchanges with Arshavin particularly effective.

  116. Underdog billing will suit us just fine thank you very much. We’re the better team. Chelsea: show ponies and cuckolds and sexual deviants and crooks and oil thieves and criminals and wankers the lot of ’em. Good vs. Evil. Neutral’s are with us, football fans across the world are with us. The stars are aligning… Arsenal.

  117. Shorts-yanking, smalls-revealing, modesty-exposing wankers.

  118. I think he’ll be key, Vince. Very interesting to see them face us with a proper 4-3-3 with a proper central frontman as a pivot. The drift out wide and open the gaps for your midfielders tactic seems to be a constant whether it’s Vela, or Afobe, or JET or whoever playing central – throughout the club… but at the top level, it needs the physicality of someone like Chamakh or RVP… if only for the height and reach to keep hold of the bouncing, higher 2nd ball.

  119. Bedtime. Friday!

  120. If Robinson thinks he did nothing worthy of being sent off then something is seriously wrong in football.

  121. “Wenger is so stubborn that he refuses to buy quality centre backs like Dunne and Hangleland.Chelsea will win 3 – 0.”

    WTF!!!!

  122. Dups, these ingrits want to break our players legs every chance they get and to make it worse dont want us speaking about it!!
    maybe its about time we broke players legs too and see how they’ll take it.

  123. thegreatusername

    ..

  124. You’re on fire Limpar Assist!

    “The defence with a point to prove… we know what this team can do when they’re fired-up. Big fat Fabianski… Super Seb Squillaci… Kosa Nostra… Gale Force… Sag Aloo… C’mon! ARSENAL!”
    and
    “Alex Song (no one expects the Cameroonian Inquisition!)”

  125. If the media won’t ricule players for going into bad challengs and give idiots who want to defend bad challenges airtime, then should it happen, they’ll need to accept responsiblity for the demise of the premier league.

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