Clichy Gets Ugly Whilst Wenger Gets Physical

Arsene filled everyone with cheer and goodwill yesterday at his press conference, confirming that the squad which travels to Stamford Bridge will be severely depleted. Injury to the right side and centre of defence would mean that the treatment room has a strong an XI as that which Wenger can field. Still, it is always good for the team to top a table in the early part of the season.

Focus on the fixture is squarely on the presence of Didier Drogba and the fear that he apparently imbues in the Arsenal defence. It is a theme which Rob Beasley picks up on but inadvertantly provides a mini-boost to Gael Clichy in the process:

BEASLEY: Do you know how many goals Didier Drogba has scored against Arsenal since he joined Chelsea?

CLICHY: I wouldn’t know for sure – maybe 14 or 15 – but I know he has been amazing against us. He is the best striker in the Premier League, the complete centre-forward and he doesn’t just score he also makes goals.

BEASLEY: It’s not that bad actually, Drogba’s scored 12 against you guys

In other words, Gael, you are doing better than you thought. Even if it is still an indication of how badly the centre backs fare against him. Wenger noted though that suggestions of individual weaknesses might be overstated with Kolo Toure’s contribution to a ‘Drogba clean sheet’ being held as the example.

The issue is a collective failure to deal with Chelsea. Serial mistakes occur in this fixture, recent seasons doing nothing to challenge the theory that Arsenal just cannot cope with them. Yet this is but one match and to be honest, an away game at a title rival is not going to make or break a season this early on. It is more about not letting the gap expand to the top of the table.

You expect Arsenal to want to win, to play to win; that has to be the expectation of every match. On this occasion a draw will be a good result, not only on the day but also for the season. It is important not to get hung up with the obsession of a win, especially with seven months of the season remaining.

The real truth in Clichy’s interview indicated that the squad might be aware that some of them are in the last chance saloon as far as winning the title at Arsenal is concerned,

We are the new generation and up to this point we haven’t won anything. Is that good enough?

I don’t think so and that’s why I’d be ready to win silverware ugly rather than play amazing football and win nothing.

Whether his manager would agree with that or not is another matter. Indeed, it is questionable whether a team can ‘play amazing football’ throughout the course of the season. There will be occasions when results are ground out from a below-par performance. The majority of the time, each title-winning side proves that they are a good footballing side, that mask tends to drop when the business end of the season approaches and the need for results takes over.

Every week it seems Arsenal has a test, an examination of their title credentials. Until it is won, that will always be the case; it will always be, as Beasley says, ‘The same old Arsenal‘, flattering to deceive. The players must be sick of this. Yet I suspect that even winning at Chelsea will not be enough. The criticism of the performance against West Brom will resurface. The victory, no matter how well Arsenal plays, will be due to a Chelsea slip, mistake or poor performance. The adage about being as good as your last performance, could be changed in Arsenal’s case to ‘as bad as your last defeat‘.

The inference from all of this is that Arsenal succumb to strength, their opponents being physically stronger. There is an element of truth in that, perhaps in the past an Arsenal player or two has been unable to cope with Drogba in that respect. Yet in pointing out the weakness of the argument, Wenger utterly confused followers of certain clubs,

Football is not only down to physique. It’s down to intelligence, technique, mobility.

Some of those near to the Midlands will be utterly baffled by these words, preferring to be professional victims when their utter recklessness halts careers or seasons. But they have the Spirit of John Bull and that is all that matters.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 2, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 137 Comments.

  1. First. Now to read the post 🙂

  2. And so our luck with Injury continues with the news that Fab4 would play no part in Tomorrows game 😦 he joins the RvP and Theo. we would be playing the game without our most inform players.

  3. I hate this- its more than 24 hrs to the game and I am all panicky, oscillating between euphoria and utter despair

  4. Runebreaker.

    Imagine what the Chelsea players must be feeling knowing that they haven’t won 2 of their last 3 games and Arsenal is going to make it 3 out of 4 games that they haven’t won. Surely, they ask? Are the wheels coming off?

  5. “IF” we turn up on the day (tomorrow), we can take all three points. I’ve heard the players and Arsene referring to the need to “focus”. I believe that, along with the necessary energy to ensure we pass and move, our concentration levels tomorrow will really be the decisive issue. That includes not only the back four but Song to hold his position; the wingers to track back and our forwards to defend from the front. Finally, we need real “efficiency” (another Arsene buzz word) in front of goal.

    All of these things are clearly within the compass of our team (depleted as it is) and should ensure us a memorable victory. I don’t expect it to be pretty but it must be effective.

    COYG

  6. darius I find myself muttering to myself as if I am loosing my sanity, already playing out scenarios and what ifs in my mind! What would I not give to win with a last gasp goal in injury time following a howler from their goalkeeper who misjudges a back pass from Terry and this after Fabiansky has already saved a penalty a piece from Drogba and Anelka!

  7. On this day,….Saturday 29th August 1970, Chelsea played Arsenal at the Bridge.

    As per the programme.

    ‘ Visitors View’

    ‘When Arsenal lifted the Fairs Cup back in April……they had won no prize since the 1953 First Division title. Seventeen long years. For something like half their supporters, this was the first trophy they had ever seen brought to Highbury.

    Tradition and a glorious past are all very well but in top level football today more than ever before the present and the future are what really count.

    Even more important for the ‘new era’ of Arsenal is the steady flow of new talent that has emerged over the past twelve months. Before last season began Charlie George, Eddie Kelly. John Roberts, Sammy Nelson and Ray Kennedy were names that had little or no meaning outside Highbury.

    By the end of the season they had all been given their chance-and taken it. Serious injuries in pre season to Peter Simpson and Jon Sammels were followed in the opening League match at Everton by Charlie George cracking two bones in his ankle.

    Says manager, Bertie Mee, “Not so long ago injuries at the start of a season to players of this calibre might have sent us hurrying into the transfer market. But we have no such apprehension now because of the great potential of so many young men at the club

    The Arsenal side that day was: Wilson, Rice, McNab, Kelly, McLintock, Roberts, Armstrong, Storey, Radford, Kennedy, Graham.

    The Chelsea team included Ron Harris, John Hollins, Alan Hudson and Peter Osgood.

    One strange story, with picture, tells us that Chelsea fan Mel Goldberg got married in Guadalajara and he was given away by Bertie Mee. Dave Sexton, Charlie Cooke, Billy Wright, Danny Blanchflower and Kenny Lynch were also there.

    In the Chelsea ????? Quiz we are asked: ‘Who were the last three players transferred to Chelsea from Arsenal?’ Any takers?

    And elsewhere-

    ‘WARNING TO BOYS.’

    ‘Thank you boys for observing our warning on Wednesday to keep off the pitch.

    We repeat what we said: if any boys trespass on the field at any time, before, during or after the match-the half price admission will be withdrawn and in future ALL juveniles will have to pay full price.’

    And here are yesterdays’ football results: Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1

    Of course, we did go on to win the Double that season.

    Oh, and we only had 5 Englishmen in the team. Our most capped English player there? Step forward Peter Storey, our ‘ard man. Out best Englishmen could hardly get near the England team

  8. Never enjoy these weekends, win lose or draw. I detest playing manu or chelski as I just hate looking at any of their players, manager or supporters. Can’t stand the fixtures, the build up or the aftermath.
    I realised this week how far out of step I am with other ‘fans’ of our great club when I read here how Alex Song should watch Essien closely as he was the role model. This from one of our own fans, drooling over a fucking Chelsea player and telling one of our boys to look up to him. Jesus tap dancing Christ. What kind of fans do we have? How do you know Essien is any fucking good? Have you been watching the scum play? If so how can you bear to watch them long enough to form an opinion. I could weep.

  9. Calm down steww.

    It’s only a game!

  10. What? Step outside and say that bob.
    I know you are right but I am so depressed at the moment that I make the mistake of pinning my happiness solely on Arsenal. It’s a way of escaping my real life, abdicating personal responsibility and after last weekend making myself suffer.

  11. steww – It could be worse, you could support the Spud’s.

  12. “I’D BE READY TO WIN SILVERWARE UGLY THAN PLAY AMAZING FOOTBALL AND WIN NOTHING”

    Well said Gael.Remember the last trophy we won was won very very ugly.

    Even if i put on my rose-tinted Arsenal glasses i cant see us winning tomorrow

  13. Yes that’s true Marc. But then I wouldn’t be alive to discuss it.

  14. Steww….

    I have a feeling about this game. I feel it in my water. The balance is tipping.

    The issue has never been that Chelsea as a team having better players than we do. The issue has always been a mental one and this team has grown balls.

    Chamakh, Nasri and Arshavin are as potent a front 3 as you’ll find anywhere in the league. The difference is that Chelsea so far have played mostly nobody, and when they faced Man City, they were toothless.

    They’re believing their hype – with their assistant manager saying that they’ll beat us by using their strength and physicality. Clearly, he actually thinks that Arsenals team isn’t physical and will crumble with a huff from the likes of Drogba. Wilkins has been reading from the school of punditry about the narrative being spun that Arsenal don’t like it up ’em. He clearly didn’t watch our games against Bolton and Blackburn, 2 teams that are clearly more physical than Chelsea.

  15. Ah yes steww, football as the great redeemer.

    That way lies only madness. Up one week, down the next.

    Try taking up cider making and keeping chickens.

    Anyway, on that, just off to pick some more apples for another cider pressing day on Monday.

    Toodle Pip!

  16. I agree that focusing will be the key tomorrow. Maybe it is selective memory but the last few games were lost because of a lack of concentration resulting in a counter attacking goal. If the team stay focused the full 94 min or so we will have a real possibility of coming back with the three points in the bag.

    Here is my line up prediction:
    ————Fabianski
    Sagna– Kosc—Toto—Clichy
    ——-Song—Wilshere (Denilson)
    ————Nasri (Rosicky)
    Rosicky(Nasri) -Chamakh-Arshavin

  17. Excellent stuff Yogi

    Rob Beaseley is a Chelsea fan I think so he would have enjoyed trying to put doubts in Gael`s mind.

    Steww – been there mate & it`s not worth it. We support the greatest club in the world & are the football equivalent of a lottery winners so sit back & enjoy the ride, hard as it may seem at times.

    I`m expecting some big game performances tomorrow with our lads to front up & do the businness.

    Obviously it won`t match the intelligence, technique, mobility on display at Stoke / Blackburn today but that`s another story. Wonder if they`ve ordered extra towels.

  18. The last few match we had control of the game but got punished on the first lapse of concentration. Like Darius I think the only thing that tipped the balance toward Chelsea was mental strenght but this year I have a good feeling, the playesr look like they have understood that concentration have let them down before and have worked on it.
    Koscielny had some concentration lapse already this season but I think he realised that these lapse will be punished straight away here so I expect a strong, intelligent performance from him and Toto.
    Come on you Gunners!

  19. How many of Drogba’s 12 goals against us were offside. At least 5.

  20. CBob @ 10:15 am -Thanks for that history lesson. As it was on Saturday 29th August 1970; win, lose or draw, Arsenal is on while the sun has already set on the Chelsea “empire”. Now I wish I had apples to pick and cider to press.

    As Bobby McFerrin once song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

  21. Correction: Arsenal is on the rise…

  22. Well, I enjoyed reading my old programmes again shotta.

    Now come on, who is going to answere the quiz question?

    (Another couple of trugs of apples in the shed for monday)

  23. Henry has been sent off I see.

  24. Was he protesting about that one? He’s absolutely shameless.

  25. It’s amazing how one can draw parallels from a match programme from 1970 to today’s squad and tomorrows game. Sadly juveniles can no longer expect to pay half price admission, perhaps there have been too many boys on the pitch over the years 🙂

    Consolsbob, having mentioned Peter Storey earlier reminded me that he is doing a book signing in Walthamstow, next week-end I think, if anyone is interested.

  26. The commentators say it was a ‘moment of madness’ ; again the implication being a one off, out of character etc.

  27. I can’t believe there’s people defending Carl Henry’s honour. A one off??? My entire arse.

  28. Someone important needs to step in. I don’t know, Trevor Brooking or someone who isn’t going to get labelled a whinger. AW’s been spot on with everything he’s said, but the message gets lost in the pathetic soap opera we have going on here. Even Phil Robinson gets a platform now – and he has the gall to be indignant about the criticism he got. Anyways:

  29. Adebayor doesn’t do him self any favours does he: http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6421495,00.html

    Never envisaged anything like that coming, although with the English media forever on the prowl, a guy like him is always going to be on a hiding to nothing.

  30. Cbob

    The answer is the three ‘Tommy’s’:

    Tommy Docherty
    Tommy Baldwin
    Tommy Young

    So this summer we should watch Tommy Rosicky and Tommy Vermaelen very closely indeed.

    YW

  31. Cbob

    Just joshing. It was Alan Young.

    YW

  32. with cesc not playin, Arsenal need Rosicky, Nasri and Arshavin all starting imo. Specially Nasri and Rosicky who have been playing well together this season and the end of last season when fabregas wasn’t playing. Wilshire shouldn’t start as he will be facing mikel, essien and ramires in the center, who are all to physical to handle. Chelsea are also missing some players so Arsenal have a good chance to win. 😉

  33. I’m confidant that Jack can handle any amount of physicality that the Chelsea midfield have to offer. He is not scared of a few millionaires trying to rough him up a little and has more than enough strength, guile and craft to match them and make them look silly.

  34. My confidence was shaken by the loss to WBA. Hoping we can get our spank back. Fingers crossed 1:0 to the Arsenal.

  35. Close but no cigar Yogi.

    Not Tommy Docherty. Two out of three ain’t bad.

    I always liked Peter Storey, Matty. An old time footballer who had to turn to forging coins to make a living after retirement despite winning so many honours in the game.

    I will always remember his brace against Stoke in the FA semi that season to save the game.

  36. KenGun, you do realize that we were quite impressive mid week, no?

  37. Since when has Arsenal been a team that is afraid to play Chelsea?

  38. Pz, that may just have been your best post. Ever. Take heed, people, take heed.

  39. Good question Pz!

  40. You applaud the brevity YW?

  41. so carl henry is not this type of player after another horble tackle and this time a send off

  42. Right. That’s my mission, to maintain that wiki page, every time it gets altered back…

  43. horrible*

  44. Oh joy I’m not on my own it keeps changing!

  45. Seems the hacks and pundits keep telling us how weal Arsenal are despite already coming thru games vs Blackburn and Bolton. Let em trot the same tired old crap out while Arsenal get better and better and more solid defensively. (WBA apart!)

    The away performance vs the chavs last season was good enough to get a result yet we lost due to a couple of lapses, in my opinion.

    Its a shame Gibbs is injured again as I really think he will be a top drawer LB. Nothing against gael, just that I really like the look of Gibbs.

    Nasri is in top form and I expect him, Arshavin and Wilshere to cause the chavs serious prolems; 2 nil to the Arsenal.

  46. new recruit for us
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/women/9053547.stm
    for the lady’s side of course 😀 welcome back Katie Chapman

  47. I’m hoping that Henri lansbury follows Jack’s lead and stakes a claim for a regular start in the 1st team. He should be on the bench tomorrow.

  48. McCarthy’s variation: “He’s not that way inclined in terms of kicking players”.

  49. Thanks Alex. (&YW!)

    I missed Rosicky’s jig after Chamack had scored (@6:30).
    I get the impression, that they do care, this team.
    Maybe the Master, and Czech captain, will rest his weary limbs tomorrow for one of his able deputies? Maybe both Nasri and Wilshere will start?

    “A better squad then Roman’s Chav$ki” said Charlie Nicholas.

  50. McCarthy has adopted the Blacburn/Stoke tactic this season to try and ensure premier league survival I think. Although Karl Henry was lunging and going thru the back of players last season, as Rosicky can confirm.

    That seems to be the tried and trusted way; smaller teams simply kick lumps out of opposition to counter more skillful opponents.

    No one criticises it too much as they dont want to be labelled a soft twat. Its a mans game afterall.

    Mat Le Tissier said on SSN today that Wenger wanted to outlaw tackling FFS!

  51. Villa take the lead vs the spudz

  52. Swap Eto for Heskey, and they’ll really be in trouble.

  53. Houlier would never swap Heskey for anyone!

  54. – – – – – – – – – Fabianski – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – Squillaci – – Koscielny – – – – –
    Sagna – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Clichy
    – – – – – – – Song – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Denilson – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – Wilshere – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – Nasri – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Arshavin – – – –
    – – – – – Chamakh – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Subs: Szczesny, Rosicky, Diaby, Djourou, Eboue, Vela, JET

  55. “Chelsea will out-muscle Arsenal says Blues No 2 Ray Wilkins”

    They don’t even want to play football any more.

  56. Limpar thats the team I reckon.

  57. DS,

    If they rely purely on trying to knock us off the ball, which quotes like that seem to imply, then they’ll get beat. I think Chelsea are going to be found out in a big way tomorrow.

  58. Paulie Walnuts

    Matt Le Tissue hates us Sid – he was creaming himself when West Brom did us last week.

    Seven games in & we`ve already seen how many broken legs & reds for Henry, Gardner & Catermole twice. Still, it`s a man`s game after all

  59. Yeah Paluie that seems obvious. However that should not mean that pundits and hacks can keep on peddling bollocks and distorting what WEnger (or any other manager) says.

    What is the problem with a manager wanting to try and eradicate career threatening over the top challenges?

  60. Come on Yogi!

    Stumped?

  61. Paulie Walnuts

    Their problem is that it comes from Arsene, Sid.
    Until someone like `Arry or Red nose joins in they`re happy to just add it the the `Whinging Wenger` list.

  62. Even mark Hughes didnt want to openly slate the player who broke Zamora’s leg for fear of being tarred with the whinger brush.

    Yet Stoke manager and chairman have been whining like 5 year olds about a perceived slight on their lovely, not that sort at all cuddly club. Yet they have been given a free hand to carry on their petty pointless tirades.

  63. Sid.

    Don’t be surprised that some of these punks don’t even read what Wenger said, they assume the narrative.

    A couple of weeks ago, one of the pundits went on a tirade about how Wenger should stop whinging and unleashed some vitreal about how Arsenal is just soft. He was challenged about whether he actually understood what Wenger meant and if indeed he disagreed with the fact that dangerous career ending tackles should be outlawed.

    The fucker didn’t even apologize after it was clear he didn’t even read the artles. He just jumped onto the Wenger is whinging band wagon.

    It was toe curling to listen to the climb down…and I don’t know what is more sad – the fact that this pundit was actually challenged live on air by Jack Wilshere’s newly found agent, the very anti-Arsenal Ginger Durham. At least he actually read the article.

  64. It wasnt that dodgy git Micky Quinn was it? He was saying that its Arsenals fault they get more injuries as the players bones arent big and strong enough. He seriously said that.

  65. Van der Vaart has put the wind in Tottenham’s sails.

  66. LOL Sid…I don’t think I’d go out of my way to listen to Mickey Quinn. He’s just a cunt.

    This was Bobby Goold, surprisingly a former Arsenal player. He also blatently proclaimed that Blackburn were going to out muscle Arsenal at Ewood park.

    Ex-players like Quinn and Cundy aren’t even able to hide their contempt and disdain for anything to do with Arsenal. I’m surprised Talk Shite producers don’t see their venom as an issue.

  67. So somebody was Karl-Henryed today.
    Goes to prove that a leopard can never change its spots.
    Next up is that lovely fella Paul Robinson

  68. Shotta my friend.

    Unless these cretins break the leg of a big name England star, fuck all will be done.

  69. Darius

    Gould is a sad fecker. he was commentating (well, he was at a game and had a microphone attached to his head and what he had to say was being broadcast on radio) and some player crossed the ball in a Championship game and he said something like; “Thats how you cross a ball Theo Walcott.” Pffft.

    Cundy doesnt even bother me compared to others TBH, shows how hideously bad other pundits are I guess?

  70. Sid, now you mention it, I’ve come across so many times where commentators who are doing games that have nothing to do with Arsenal use an incident to take a dig at Arsenal.

    Today for example in the Wigan game, Gomez and someone else had the chance to score but took one pass too many. The first thing to come out of the commentators mouth was that Wigan were just doing the same thing as Arsenal and getting nowhere.

    In the Sunderland Manure game still going on right now – the commentator had to mention that Sunderland are playing well – and should have beaten Arsenal in their last game….WTF!

  71. Its the laziness and the smug and casual way they slate Arsenal, without ever taking into consideration players development or that what they are saying is patently rubbish or based on something that might have been true a while back.

    Arsenal get accused of trying to score the perfect goal as if we have trouble actually scoring goals! Bizarre really.

  72. Guys – In the words of the wise old CBob:
    ” F*ck them all, we are the Arsenal.”

  73. Manure were really lacklustre against Sunderland – and Zendon and Bent should have scored to take the 3 points.

    It’s hard to explain, but Manure are really really struggling. Has the decline started?

    And is that Liverpool in the relegation zone?

    Sid, I actually resent my licence fee money being used to pay lazy and unprofessional pundits like Hansen – and the newly crowned king of punditry Robbie Savage.

  74. Well done, The Mackems. Knew they’d have some points off our rivals.

  75. Jesus christ do you guys ever stop whinging? You sound like little girls. Its crap like that which makes people take swipes at us. Everyone just shut up moaning and lets go and win the league

  76. When we “only” managed to get a draw at Sunderland it was a poor result for us. However today a point is a great result for United. Nice

    Darius

    Yeah Savage the dumb bitter fool and Hansen the erm dumb and bitter old git are just plain awful. Even Lee Dixon tries so hard to be seen to be unbiased when commenting on Arsenal he overdoes it.

    I like Keown as a pundit though.

  77. Once Rooney is out with injury MU’s £34,000,000 duo of Nani and Anderson and their £30,000,000 rated striker Berbatov show that they don’t have what it takes to beat Sunderland. I can only imagine what gems Arsene Wenger would pick up with that kind of money.

    I think United’s players lack mental strngth, also.

  78. Sid, they were also at full strength. We held them at their pitch down to ten men.

  79. shotta

    Yes you are right, but it does piss me off, the amount of bullshit that gets peddled as expert analysis when its nothing of the sort! Jyst simply lazy poorly researched cliches, generally agenda driven.

    The fact that we still get this “oh Arsenal get bullied” garbage when its patently not true. The Stoke game last season and the teams reaction to ramseys horrific injury showed more than enough character and bottle and any half decdent commentator would ackowledge that. Instead we get the same old same old trotted out time and again.

    The there’s this mental fragility myth when I have lost count at the number of times we have come back to draw or win games when all looked lost.

    Ho hum, I wont let it get to me though!

  80. Gainsbourg69

    Ha! Yep they do lack mental toughness dont they!

  81. If we do well tomorrow (win or draw) we set ourselves up for a promising autumn with most of our stars back in the team. I usually hate the interlull but I welcome it this time with open arms. RVP, Theo and Cesc would give us the boost to be top of the table by winter time.

  82. Manure were actually so poor, I suppose you could look at a draw as a good result for them.

    You do struggle though to see where inspiration will come from the players they have.

    That’s amazing is the way they’re unravelling because they’re can’t afford to buy players any more, and it’s not going to get any better. Well, they have Bebe, but the wonderkid hasn’t done himself any favours so far, has he?

  83. Wonder what the disconnected from reality and mentally challenged McCarthy will say about Karl Henry beyond reckless challenge today?

    This Karl Henry definitely have orders to take out certain players in the opposition team. He’s been doing it on a regular basis since the start of the season.

    The FA should take action against those players and I don’t mean bans, a ban doesn’t hurt those kind of players. The only thing that will change their mind and this “intentional” reckless way of playing is MONEY, and I mean really good substantial fines to the player not the club he plays for, but of course the FA doesn’t have the Balls to face the PFA and the Media.

    Maybe they will when a player gets his neck broken or decapitated and die on the field!

    Idiots

  84. Darius

    It says it all that ManU need Scholes or they create sod all really.

  85. Lose tomorrow, and I think wenger must start looking at the carling cup as a serious option..

    My team:
    Fabianski; Sagna; Koscielny; Squillaci; Clichy; Song; Rosicky; Wilshere; Nasri; Arshavin; Chamakh

    I’m not really nervous, because if we lose we can go for the carling cup

  86. Zap

    Win, lose or draw the title is still a viable trophy!

  87. i like to think so. I just hope we dont get thumped tomorrow..

  88. When utd were dominant they used to get thumped 6-3 and 5-0 and still went on to win the league!

    I aint saying that will happen tomorrow though! Just that I think people go way OTT over results and its extremes of reaction, either positive or negative.

    The chavs were being lorded a few weeks back and reporters were telling us how they felt they could emulate the Invincables after they’d play 3 games! Funny they havent mentioned that since the Man City games!

  89. did any one see how abject united were today? well at least we will come 2nd at worst!

  90. Zap, man up and stop talking like Arsenal are some poor little thing.

  91. There is a lot of the season yet to come to start getting doubling down on the Carling Cup people. This may just be the year that the early injuries put us in a position to have all the right players back at the right time to make the late title push during the business end.

    Chelsea will definitely drop more points throughout the year, and we have all seen how underwhelming the Mancs have been. Keep the faith, the best is yet to come!

  92. Paul N

    I think the media have a lot to answer for. They constantly trot out bollocks about the chavs being superhuman and Arsenal being pre-pubescent waifs!

    The team isnt full of kids any more. Some of them are young (Jack, Nasri, Song) yet they have experience too. United got beat home and away by the chavs last season, but you can bet your arse the hacks wont go on about how united are inferior weaklings when they play them.

  93. How many other teams could be dessimated with injuries to many of their best players and still have guys like Chamakh, Arshavin, Nasri, Rosicky in the side to carry them? We are in a great position, all things considered…

  94. Its funny, but I almost forget that we are missing the spine of our team and more, yet we are well placed in the league.

    The chavs without Cech, Terry, Essien, Drogba, Malouda, Anelka would be crippled. Yet we are expected to still be competitive while without so many 1st teamers. Its a credit to the players and the strength of the squad we are only 4 points (1 point 6pm tomorrow) off the top.

  95. Zap is just scared, it human. Everyone gets scared now and then…

  96. Exactly Sid…

    It seems that no one ever puts that into perspective. Any other squad would be fighting for their lives without their number one striker, midfielder, winger, and defender. Yet these things are never mentioned outside of the circle of Arsenal supporters.

  97. That being said, I stand by my prediction that our best players will be back to full fitness and clicking on all cylinders for the home stretch this season and we will walk away with the title…possibly even the Prem and Champs League double.

  98. Vice

    I know, but then if the media mentioned it, then they’d have to give us some credit wouldnt they!

    We are supposed to feel sorry for the spuds and Arry because they were missing 2 players the other night! Wjile utd are havin a hard time due to Rooney’s absence. Aww poor things, my heart bleeds for em.

  99. It is funny that the media tend to make excuses for their little pets, but ignore the reality of what Arsenal is able to accomplish when faced with much more adversity.

  100. But, all of this makes me love the team, and what they stand for even more. I prefer the role of “Us against the World” it suits my personality better. It makes the fight much more meaningful.

  101. Yeah and they call us fragile defensively so easily without even considering, or mentioning the fact that not only do we have 2 new CBs, but also the back 4 and keeper has changed almost every game due to injuries and so on.

    Of course a defense would struggle occesionally under those circumstances. I also find it a bit sad that some Gooners have already slated Koscielny and Squillaci for a few mistakes. As if they should be at their best straight away!

    I so want Fabianski to prove his critics wrong. he has all the attributes of a top class keeper, he just needs thet confidence boost a few decent performances would give him.

    I remember reading a few articles about him a year or so ago. He was being talked about as a world class keeper in the making by those in the know (ie not your usual pundit or hack!)

  102. Vice

    I dont like it when the media are kissing our asses, it is so false and they are only doing it, bigging us up, so they can stick the knife in when things aint going so well.

  103. Mnh!so manure drew,goalless i take it?
    am also very anxious about tomorrow.i’ll take a draw but a win would make delirous with joy.COYGS.

  104. Limestonegunner

    Sid et. al.,
    I agree that the media seem to have their narrative set about Arsenal that guides their coverage, and it is quite flawed. But the best way to answer, silence, and change the critics into celebrators of Arsenal football will be to defeat Chelsea, win the mini-league of top teams, and go on to take the title this year. They give ManU slack because they came second last year and won the title three years running with many of the same squad members. Until we have that sort of success they will slight us. They celebrate Chelsea because they won last year despite losing Essien and Terry for substantial parts of the season. They don’t have much imagination–they just love the winners.

    If we win the league, they will be hailing us and talking about the young Arsenal side that has matured and vindicated Arsene’s faith and philosophy and pick us to be favorites for next year. It is pretty predictable, don’t you think?

    We might very well see it happen this year. We are deeper and better than last year, thanks especially to Chamakh and Wilshere’s additions. The defense has potential and will improve as the new CB’s become more used to the PL and one another. If RvP can play with some form during the second half of the season and Fabregas can lead us injury free for much of the rest of the season, we will be second or better. (The rest of the team has to step up so that Fabregas doesn’t have to be rushed back in-I am a bit worried that we seem quite dependent on him and he might develop a chronic hamstring condition without proper rest. )

  105. the better Arsenal is the louder the critics become. I think if we win the league there will be no other articles about other teams or other managers. They will all be about how horribbley bad Arsenal is and what a cow Wenger is.

    No wonder people hate arsenal and wenger, they get all the publicity!

  106. Limestone

    Yeah its true, we need to win something to stop the crap spouted by the media.
    And the longer we take to win a trophy the more ludicrous the shit the hacks come out with.

    Even when we beat the chavs tomorrow, when we play Stoke next the old line about not being up for a physical battle etc will come out. You wait and see!

  107. Limestonegunner

    Sid,
    That game against Stoke is really shaping up to be quite the spectacle. It already has proven to be a tough battle in the past, and with the Shawcross assault on Ramsay and Pulis still whining about criticisms Wenger made about their illegal play–wow, it could be combustible. Anyway, that is getting ahead of ourselves.

    If we beat Chelsea, I think the media will start to talk about us as a tougher team than in the past until the Stoke result! There is just no standard or ethics to that lot!

  108. I just think it suits the media and pundits to call us weak, small, etc. Yet we beat Stoke home and away, having to play on after seeing yet another horrific injury. And STILL they say we get bullied. We beat the chavs at their place 2 seasons ago so even that doesnt sway their opinions it seems.

    I think maybe Wenger is seen as going against the grain, the British footballing ethos; having big lumps in your side, getting in the faces, being over aggresive and so on, thats another reason why we constantly have to put up with this shit. Because Wenger doesnt follow their lead, they dont like it!

    Or am I thinking about this a bit too deeply now?

  109. I dont believe this claim that Chelsea have the tallest and heaviest squad in the Premier League while Arsenal are shortest & lightest. It doesn’t sound right. We weren’t shortest and lightest last season, we were average and comparable to Man Utd. Since then we’ve become taller as a squad.

  110. It is ironic that despopite the fact that Chelsea won the double last year and are top of the league, they boast that their first priority is to be physical and only secondly, to play football. Very sad.

  111. I think this physical thing that keeps on getting banded about has something to do with the fact that English players, by and large are STILL way behind their foreign counterparts in terms of technique.

    Its a nice safety cushion for them and the media to fall back on and in Arsenal they can give them a good kicking as they have technical players who are deemed small and weak (although as we have seen, this is bollocks!)

    Its the result of an inferiority complex I think.

  112. I agree OG @ 9.38 pm, but it suits the narrative about Arsenal so they will continue to perpetuate that stereotype.

  113. Tony Attwood looked at the claim last season that Arsenal are short compared to other teams and found it was untrue: http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/1110

  114. jjgsol @ 9:46:

    Chelsea scored more goals then any other team in 48 years last season. This year they lead the league in goals scored again. Not sure how that can be bad football. I thought scoring was the goal of attacking football. We all love Wengerball, but it certainly is not the only way to play good football.

    I agree with Clichy and Yogi. Grinding out results is not always pretty but it is necessary. We spend so much time talking about the media and as Limestone says @ 8:27 we can stop all of the negativity with a trophy or 2. Lets get a win or draw on Sunday no matter how we do it.

  115. Bill,
    As a reader of this blog and its comments. I think I now understand why folks here don’t really like you. And why some will even think you are a Chav.

  116. @Slim

    Is that true mate? Thats the 1st thing I’ve seen Bill post. Thanks for the heads up.

  117. Slimshay has hit the nail on the head – hence why Bill is either ignored or abused. He brings it on himself!

  118. Karl Henry is scum, pure and simple. What a coward. Just seen his assault on Gomez and I think i read somewhere that either McCarthy or Henry said Gomez was being theatrical??!!??

  119. Tony Attwood’s looking a lot like Doctor Who. Bill’s not a chav, he’s just a gooner whose glass will never be more than half empty.

  120. No, Vince. Bill is a gooner who just happens to love Chelsea more than any other team.

  121. Why didn’t any of you come and see my band in Bristol tonight? I am very disappointed.

  122. I didn’t know about it steww, but it’s a long way for me to come from North London!

  123. Well, OK Passenal, I accept that. But the rest of you, tsch

  124. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I’ve been calling Bill a Chav for quite some time now. He’s quite the odd fellow. One thing is for sure, he’s definitely not a supporter of the Arsenal, and his contempt for Wenger is painfully obvious. You can always count on Bill to find a way to criticize Arsenal. And he’ll glorify Chelsea til the cows come home. What a sad character.

  125. Today will hopefully be Act 1 of our own little “She Stoops to Conquer”: the she being the glorious AFC and the conquered not only the Chavski’s but also the xenophobic-Murdoch driven media (and its weak compliers – Merson etc).

    I predict a 2-3 scoreline and beverage induced headache tomorrow morning!

    COYG

  126. Bill i bet u were pleased by chealsea’s assistant coach saying they were going to use physicality to intimidate us.

  127. a hard rain’s gonna fall.
    street fighting man.
    wonderfull human beings.
    over here the match is on live at 23.oo. so i’m sorting some old music for a day by the pool.
    i think for tonight the stones have it.
    2morrow cosmic gate and dylan can fuck off – moaning old git.
    c’monnnnnnnnnnnn you gunners.

  128. I feel good about today…

    The axis is shifting, I can feel it in my bones.

    I like Marouane Chamakh – the boy is intelligent.

    On being asked about Drogba:

    “We obviously have to prevent him from causing us any problems and ensure that he gets as few attempts on goal as possible.

    Drogba has proven himself with Chelsea and for young Africans in France
    and in Africa he is the player who inspires young people to compete.” 

    So he would be the ideal inspiration for Chamakh, then, being a young African who was born and grew up in France but represents Morocco, the country of his parents?

    “No,” answered the Arsenal striker directly, the eulogy coming to an abrupt end.

  129. darius – you talk a lot of sense. nice one.

  130. No chance of winning this game with so many French and African players in the starting line-up.

  131. Drogba, Anelka, Mikel, Malouda, Essien etc….

  132. I would not play Kos today.I remember a young CB with everything going for him with a great Arsenal career ahead of him then he met Drogba and his career was killed stone dead.i am thinking about the future not today

  133. Kos will read Drogba like the cheap airport paperback that he is.

  134. HT:

    Down but not out

    COYG

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