Birmingham City Preview: Three Points Please

Premier League football returns with the visit of Birmingham City to The Emirates this afternoon. The visitors, with a young David Seaman in goal, contrived to play their part in the worst football match I have ever seen in my life when they visited Highbury in November 1985. The goalless draw, if my jaundiced memory serves correctly, had one shot on target the whole match. It was a truly abject performance by both sides.

It is tempting to be almost dismissive of today’s visitors, assume the match to be a home banker – they have not won a League match at Arsenal since 1957 – but that would suggest that the lessons of West Brom have not been learned. Actually whether we, the supporters, learn the lessons does not matter; the players are the ones who need to take heed of their mistakes. The right noises have been made in that respect but then they always are. If nothing else, Wenger has pulled together a squad of polite young men who (generally) know how to behave in public. Or at least, aren’t (for the most part) stupid enough to get caught by the paps.

Having speculated about what toll the international break would take on the squad, we found that players did not need to be away from the club to suffer, Laurent Koscielny the latest with back-knack.  Wenger’s choices are pretty much made for him as far as the defence goes. Vermaelen’s continued absence, combined with that of Koscielny, means that Johan Djourou is going to partner Sebastien Squillaci. Before the announcement of Koscielny’s injury, I had pencilled Kieran Gibbs in as a starter for this afternoon but that would possibly be too many changes. Having said that, there are times when the defence can play like a group of strangers so perhaps three changes out of five would not be that disruptive.

Much has been made in the last couple of days over Danny Murphy’s comments about dangerous tackles with the usual suspects trying to hide their own culpability by pointing to the actions of others. The lame defences of Pulis and Allardyce are similar to a the self-seeking drink driver who believes that he should not be chastised for his actions because others do similar or worse. Absolutely pathetic.

With the history of Eduardo’s suffering at the hands of Martin Taylor, focus will naturally turn to this afternoon’s encounter. Neither player is with either club any longer so it is a media-contrived scenario to some extent. That said, Brimingham will not come to play an expansive passing game; it is simply not their style even with a fully fit squad. The midfield will be combative and have numbers to try to suppress the Arsenal passing game. It is the sort of match where the vision of Robert Pires would be useful, Wenger noting that the Frenchman will not be re-signed in the manner of Sol Campbell, squad and financial limitations the key reason.

Instead, we will be treated to the further adventures of Jack Wilshere. The youngster observed that this is a match which Arsenal must heed the lessons of the last, painful, home defeat:

Teams come to Arsenal and hope to catch us on the counter-attack. It worked that day [against West Brom] and we have to learn from that. We have to show we can deal with that and get a result on Saturday. It [the West Brom defeat] was just one of those days where we started slowly and we got punished.

Start slowly today and history may repeat itself. Midfield is where Arsene has his biggest dilemma. Does he go with Diaby, allowing the Frenchman to roam freely further forward in support of Marouane Chamakh or with Denilson, pushing Wilshere further forward? Personally, I would go with the latter, Nasri and Arshavin on the flanks give an attacking quartet that is more than capable of breaching the massed ranks of the visitors defence.

There is an argument that Denilson and Song is putting too much emphasis on the defensive side of the game yet the pair are capable of pushing forward at the appropriate moments but their biggest strength is ball retention, passing short and keeping possession, making Birmingham do more running than they might normally expect to do.

Wenger will have options on the bench in the form of Rosicky, Walcott and Bendtner, allowing the latter stages of the game to become more focussed on attack if necessary. He will also have one eye on upcoming fixtures against Shaktar and Manchester City. Had this been the clash before an international break, perhaps Walcott or Bendtner would have started but it seems unlikely today.

The afternoon is important for Lukasz Fabianski. He has done little wrong in his performances in Manuel Almunia’s absence and needs another good match to put pressure on the Spaniard as the automatic choice. Whilst Almunia’s nightmare against West Brom can be explained in part by his injury, having Wenger caught between keeping  Fabianski or reverting to the Spaniard is not detrimental; if the players think that there is competition, it keeps them on their toes and produces a little extra in their performance or so the theory goes.

My guess at this afternoon’s line-up is:

Fabianski; Eboue, Djourou, Squillaci, Clichy; Denilson, Wilshere, Song; Arshavin, Chamakh, Nasri

Wenger’s 800th match in charge at Arsenal needs only one outcome: a home win. The scoreline does not matter overly as long as the home side manage more than that of the visitors. Having dropped eight points in their last three games, taking three keeps them in touch with those above, especially as they all have emminently winnable games as Chelsea and Manchester City travel to Aston Villa and Blackpool respectively whilst West Brom will no doubt prove how much of a fluke result their win at The Emirates really was by being thumped at Old Trafford.

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

Posted on October 16, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 162 Comments.

  1. First? .. might have to read the post later though

  2. Thank Jebus the interlull is over.

    ZZzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZzzzzzz etc.

    I hope Theo gets a cameo today and is properly fit and able – that boy needs a run in the team even if only as attacking sub.

    In fact with so many options available to us I’d restrict him to that role for the forseeable future. Noone likes to have fresh pace running at them in the dying embers of the 90 and he could use some lengthy easing back in and further conditioning.

  3. The usual international break has seemed longer than usual. Thank God we are back to the usual business. Too many first team players out for my liking – i.e. sagna, Vermaelen, cesc and RVP. In the case of RVP it’s hard not to begin thinking of him as a squad player now. The sad fact is that I rate TV, CF and RVP as our Untouchables. Our three best players out! Nice to see Walcott back though. He and Denilson are my favourite players and Walcott looked like developing into an Untouchable before his injury. Hope he continues where he left off. I’d put the game at 4 – 0 th the Arsenal. COYG!

  4. So it’s back to the grind of Premier League football…..

    Thank goodness for that! It’s not difficult supporting the best team in the land, apart from when those interfering old farts throw in a pointless international break. It feels like ages since I saw the mighty Arsenal in action, let’s get back to the good stuff with a win please. Just a win.

  5. Delia-----Block 112

    Just off to get my train. I’m sure I will have something to report this evening. Expecting a really good performance.

  6. Hurrah… real football is back !!

    Thanks YW.

    With Bendtner, Walcott back and Fabregas and Ramsey on the horizon – lot to look foward to.

    What about VP ??

  7. Those turgid Saturday afternoonsof the mid eighties should provide a sobering thought for those who feel it is our right to win every week.

    I see McLeish has tried to influence the ref beforehand. Actually Alex, we`d also like a strong referee.

    Gibbs to start to allow Clichy a little break. That would mean 4 of the back 5 played in Belgrade. Song & Denilson for me & I`d give Theo a run from the off as he provides early tempo.

    Come on !

  8. I reckon Villa v Chelsea without Lamps and Drog will be tighter than you think. And I think West Brom will put up a decent fight too against a United team struggling to create chances. Both could go either way for me.

    I agree with Paule, Gibbo and Denilson deserve starts. Theo on the right allows Nasri to play through the middle but form midfielders like Rosicky and Wilshere mean he’ll probably start from the bench.

  9. Yeeehaw!! We’re back!!

    COYG! Make the match this evening worth the looong wait. Some quality football, classy moves and goals from Denilson, and Chamack to top it off would be nice. Is that too much to ask?



  11. Such a clear pen, I wonder how the Brummie players even DARE to complain?

  12. That looked like a dive. Not liking that about Chamakh.
    He’s gonna get a bad reputation soon and it may well hurt us in the long run. For now though, the diving seems to be paying off…

  13. quiet on here today

  14. Henristic, that was a pen, soft or not.

  15. A dive? I think you need to switch your glasses, Henristic. That Brummie player CLEARLY tripped Chamakh. You did see the contact the foot of the Brummie guy made with Chamakh’s, right?

  16. What is wrong with the commentators? They’re blatantly branding Chamakh as a cheat…Seriously?

  17. Johan Djourou needs to learn to get touch tight.

  18. anyone got a good stream…the quality is shite on mine.

  19. Chamakh gets elbowed on the head and the commentators say he’s faking an injury?

  20. Why is it whenever I get a working stream Trevor Fucking Francis is commentating?Always anti arsenal and today pro Brum too. He actually had a go at Chamack after the brummie thug elbowed him just before half time.
    Scum, supported by scum and egged on by scum.
    I fucking despise him and the shit he used to play for.

  21. Af first I thought it was a trip, but from another angle it looked like the Brum player withdrew from contact just in time. Besides Chamack was already on his way down, perhaps in anticipation of the tackle.

    He’s been diving and exaggerating his falls all game so maybe I didn’t give him much benefit of doubt there

  22. And he was bloody triped!

  23. And no it wasn’t a dive – the bloke lunged from a mile away and just caught Chamack no where near the ball. As clear a pen as you will ever see.

  24. Who the fuck do you support henshitstick?

  25. Oh my goodness, is anyone watching FSC? The commentary is beyond painful. They just cannot hide their hate for Arsenal.

  26. deano, this is working well for me, not english though.

  27. Kenyan Gunner…he gets elbowed and gets compared to lesser ronaldo!

  28. i thought it was a pen….soft but a pen.
    No more than they deserved they are a disgrace. Trevor Francis needs a slap.

    Make no bones about it….if we win this match this will now stick with Chamakh. Such is the nature of idiocy in the media.

  29. cheers Paul N

  30. The commentary during this match is decidedly anti Arsenal!!!!!!!!!

  31. lol Steww

  32. Not too surprised by the commentating. I remember some years back when Arsenal won a Carling cup match with Hoyte, Gibbs, Randall, Wilshere, Ramsey & Simpson. The commentators were very happy. We’ll have to wait a few more years before the English commentators love us.

  33. Thankfully my stream isn’t in english…

  34. Henristic the exaggeration you’re reffering to came as a result of Carr raking his studs all over Chamakh’s chin. Didier Drogba, in the same situation, would’ve rolled around the ground like he’d got shot. And that was a penalty. Just saw the replay and the Birmingham defender made contact with Chamakh’s leg.

  35. It was a dive. Chamakh’s been doing that quite a bit now. The guy lunged in but Chamakh clearly dived. Don’t know how people can say he was tripped.

  36. Francis can go do one, as far as I’m concerned.
    We had a good goal chalked off and Francis says jack shit.
    Ex Brummie, Tervor Fancis commentating.
    Never going to be impartial.

  37. the more I watch the replay the more and more certain I am that it is was a stonewall penalty kick. He does not attept to withdraw the foot moves forward.

    Chamakh made the most of it for sure….but if you don’t do that you get fuck all and brum get away with it.

  38. To me the defender actually turned his foot up initially. He was trying to obstruct Chamakh.

  39. try this one guys:

    It’s got spanish commentators! When Squilly’s goal was disallowed, they were like “Non, non, non” upon seeing the replay.

  40. Gains,
    Drogba is now the role model for strikers?
    I might be wrong and maybe he was tripped. But he’s been diving a lot, not just in this game and that tbh makes me uncomfortable. I felt the same way when Eboue used to do it(thankfully he stopped). There really is no need to do it so often, and so blatantly. It WILL hurt us in the long run if he keeps it up, knowing how refs look for excuses to stick it to us.

  41. Hope Theo comes on soon. Goal!

  42. Well that was a damn good goal by him!

  43. Shut your mouth Francis… It’s a goal.

  44. There you go.

  45. Let’s stuff em now.

  46. @Mean Lean
    Switched to a FSC stream … regretting it. The commentators are talking about how the defenders are now “afraid” to tackle Chamakh because of what happened. If I was subscribing to FSC, I would be asking for my money back now.

  47. Rooney and Gerrard dive and no one says crap, we get a soft penalty and these blasted idiots dont stop.

    I hate the attitude of the english media/footall pundits etc.

  48. Paul N

    The media is just an entity of pure evil for the most part. Run by people who have the hideous desire to tell people what to think. They are liberal dicatators.

  49. Man u 2 West Brom 2!

  50. Man USA have been pegged back to 2-2.

  51. WTF was that?

  52. This is some lovely football we’re playing…

  53. I love Diaby.If he only improved his decision making he would be one of the top midfielders in the world

  54. Boys, put this game to bed, don’t get complacent.


  56. Our best player is Jack. The rest need to take a good hard look at his game.

  57. does any other team in the world have a sub the quality of Tomas Rosicky?

  58. Our attacking play clearly isn’t the most efficient/effective is it?

  59. Sky have you been watching Diaby?

  60. the usual at old Trafford .the ref give more mn extra to Manure to try to win

  61. jack sent off

  62. Jack! hahaha

  63. Cant complain about that, stupid tackle!

  64. Yes I have. Diaby has been wasteful and indecisive.

  65. the media are going to have a field day tomorow

  66. Right decision, it would only be nice if players that commit that kind of challenges against us would see the same punishment.

  67. stupid little boy 😦

  68. Terrible lunge boy, bad, bad, bad.

  69. That was coming. Jack has a tendency to over react on the rare occasions he loses the ball. He was just stretching to win it back. Hope the Birmingham player is too badly hurt.

  70. blimey.relieved

  71. yes manure lose point

  72. Some of you are a disgrace. How can you call yourself fans? get behind the team or fuck off. You are worse than scum.

  73. Phew!

  74. Calm down steww, what’s with the negativity?

  75. Diaby, Song and Wilshere were excellent.

    Wilshere did was he always threatened to do and get sent off. Hopefully he will learn from that.

  76. Its as if Arsenal supporters expect Arsenal to play great every match and if they dont “they need to take a look at themselves”.

    We played decent overall and the defense for the most part was solid. Fabianski did well also.

  77. Zigic elbowed Jack in the face. That was retribution. Jack needs to slow the fuck down a bit.

  78. Diaby was superb IMO. Somebody just needs to tell him that he is allowed to shoot.

  79. nothing condones wilsheres tackle but to be fair zigabitch did shoulder him in the face early in the half. That and there is something slightly amusing about 5 foot nothing jack destroying the tallest player in premier league history…

  80. Wilshere will the rest he deserves. Bad tackle though. All the same COME ON YOU GUNNERS!

  81. All in all a deserved win. Wilshere put in a motm performance (- the bad tackle at the end), it seemed to be impossible for players to separate Diaby from the ball and Fabianski is starting to come of age.

    On the main talking points, the first half pen was as clear as it gets. Player trips Chamakh, Chamakh goes down — penalty. There is nothing “tumblish” about it. Some refs would not have given it, but that would have been an incorrect decision.

    Wilshere deserved the red card, it was a dangerous tackle and I hope he learns his reasons. It’s not the first time he went into a challenge a bit too hard.

    Satisfied, but I hope that the challenges we have seen today are not going to become some kind of standard for our players. Both Eboue and Wilshere need a good talking to.

  82. Not a bad game, but we lack cutting edge without Cesc, VP and Theo.

    Good game from Fabianski, JD, and Squill. Wilshere was excellent but for that terrible tackle. Song was ok, as was Diaby, Nasri, and Chamack.
    Was Arshavin on the pitch today?

  83. Pleased to say that Fabianski looked very assured.

  84. glad!

  85. West Brom drew against MU at Old Trashford playing their free flowing style. Yet another nail in the coffin of John Cross’s stupid argument about lesser teams having the temerity to play proper football against better teams.

  86. Fabianskiiiiiiiiiiiiii! He’s on his way to silencing his naysayers one syllable at a time isn’t he?

    Jack’s red was definately deserved. It was unthinking and reckless, but he’s young and he’ll get that under control. I think the King was a little lucky to just get a yellow with his scissor, but apart from that he was awesome.

    A good game from everybody today.

  87. Diaby played well, didn’t give the ball away as he has tended to do in the past. But he was rather indecisive in some key moments, not shooting when he had a chance etc. Acually that goes for all of our forwards today. You could see how Rosicky took a few shots in the space of a few minutes he was on the pitch….

  88. Arshavin was horrible. Wenger should sit him down for the Shaktar game and play him against City. He looks like he’s worn out.

  89. Diaby seems to hold the ball a little longer than needed and ends up missing out on the best option at times but he is so very dangerous. He can only improve though, he is a great talent.

  90. Diaby didn’t really get any open looks to shoot. His penetrative runs found him way ahead of any one and he had to slow down. I bet if Theo was on the pitch he’d probably be able to catch up with him and provide the option for goal.

  91. We seemed to slow down in the second half…not sure if this was a deliberate ploy…there was little reason to as Birmingham hardly showed any intent to attack. We should have killed off the game. The players were good at keeping possession…but nobody making dangerous runs in the box.
    Absolutely annoyed at the commentators on ESPN who took every opportunity to have a go at Arsenal…yeah we were poor at tackles today…but no need to make any judgements

  92. Funny thing is I think Diaby is actually very god finisher, and wasn’t shot shy a couple of seasons ago. But recently he seems to avoid taking shots ?

  93. I can’t count the number of times our attack broke down because of a stray/careless pass from Arshavin.

  94. Gains,
    I think westbroms result had more to do with manu being shit recently than the style of fooball they play. All kinds of teams have been taking points of manu this season.

  95. *points off

    Heheh! Hattrick!

  96. Yes Arshavin was poor…looked worn out…should not have started.
    Diaby was great but i would expect Chamakh to be more readily available during a counter attack.

  97. Diaby got himself to the edge of their area number of times. He really is great at driving out of midfield. He needs to start shooting though.

  98. Wilshere’s going to need counselling after that foul. He shouldn’t blame himself, though. Pint-sized fellows like him are always vicious. We should just thank God that he doesn’t have ginger hair.

  99. Arshavin the only player to have played all our matches thus far. Add the matches played for Russia on top of that. He probably does need a rest.

  100. Can sometone post a video of the Chamakh tackle. I may have red tinted glasses on but after the replays on FSC I was convinced that the Brum player made contact and Chamakh had the right to go down. (We all know Rooney and Gerrard don’t need an invitation to tumble in such situations but, additionally, they are even applauded by the plundits for “smart” play.)

  101. Can someone post a video of the Chamakh tackle. I usually try hard to remove my red tinted glasses in such situations and after the replays on FSC I was convinced that the Brum player made contact and Chamakh had the right to go down. (We all know Rooney and Gerrard don’t need an invitation to tumble in such situations but, additionally, they are even applauded by the plundits for “smart” play.)

  102. With Song & Kos both being sent off for not much, JW should’ve realised that he needs to put a little bit more disguise on his fouls. Like Eboue! Just kidding.
    Dumb from JW. But as written above, he might need the rest anyway.
    No Denilson or Rosicky starting today. I guess they might start mid-week.
    What a squad!

    Aston Villa spurn two chances early on.

  103. Chelsea by far second best….which probably means they will win 0-3..

  104. steww

    you are a bit, what, out of sorts today?

    Got an issue my friend?

    Fuck the media shitstorm.

    Frankly, I don’t give a damn.

  105. villa 63% possesion

  106. A win.

  107. btw. lil’ Jack will be available for Shaktor, right? So he will still get to play once a week or so until his suspension is over.

  108. Yup

    TR7 or any others (CF4?) could be kept back for the $iteh game if necessary.

  109. Watching villa vs chelsea. Kakuta is Wilshere’s age but guess who’s development is far above the other’s?

  110. This is Arsenal!
    Satisfactory game and result, hey? The scoreline slightly flattered Brum.
    Not bad. Diaby’s back that’s fo sure MOTM without doubt, he set up shop and ran the show (wow 2 cliches). The midfield was OK, except for a 20 min spell in the first half. Fab was pretty good with the punches. Djourou looked composed, and just fine really. Arshavin looked knackered. Chamakh didn’t dive, not really, there was a contact, a trip, and he went down a little flamboyantly maybe, that’s all.

  111. Diaby is extremely direct. His menacing pacey runs frighten the life out of defenders. He just needs the confidence to pick out the right pass or let one of those venomously accurate shots go after hes done the hard part.

  112. Not looking for an argument, but Diaby man of the match?
    Diaby had an OK game against weak opposition.

  113. Limestonegunner

    Shotta, has put up video of the goals, incl. the penalty with the previous foul on Chamakh in the box.

  114. Limestonegunner

    None of the streams I found were great so I followed the game on ATVO’s audio commentary and written updates. Through that filter, it just sounds like we had lots of chances, that the game was a scrum at points, and that the penalty was pretty decisive in the first half when Brum could have been up 2-0 very easily.

    Most important was the three points, even if the performance was uneven. Congrats to Fabianski for another quite solid performance.

    I am worried that Chamakh is going to get a reputation. I think I expressed this worry during the Sunderland game, that he was winning lots of penalties but that some looked soft. I wouldn’t call him a diver but someone who looks for the contact and goes down a bit more easily than is helpful for a foreign forward in English football. It’s overlooked when Rooney and Gerrard do this (or much worse), but we know how Eduardo was treated, and you have to think that the media storm over it had as much to do as his injury in seeing his performance for Arsenal deteriorate after his comeback.

    I think Chamakh is a terrific, hardworking and courageous player, the latter qualities much appreciated in England. Those positive attributes can be easily undermined by the unfair perception and reputation that he is a diver. That’s somehow unforgivable, unlike lunging dangerously and breaking legs…

    Arsenal will suffer for it through the double standards by which we are often judged. Refs may call the game differently. I wish someone had spoken to him about making a show of trying to stay on your feet once in a while rather than exaggerating the foul to insure the ref sees it. Unfortunately, being canny a certain way in one league doesn’t necessarily play to your advantage in another. Being savvy means adapting your game to the league and football culture you are playing in, and this is one part of his game he might have to work on to adapt fully to the PL. Unfortunately, acquiring a rep can stick, so I hope he avoids controversy for a while and his other attributes are appreciated again.

  115. Stop worrying Limestone.

    It doesn’t matter what our players do. We will always be castigated. Don’t even try and ‘play the game’.

    A waste of time.

    Just be grateful that we have had a few decisions go our way. It won’t last.


    Stan Collymore has just said that the SPUDS have the best squad in the premier leage!

  117. Limestonegunner

    Forget about the fact that our squad is much better–does he think it is better than Chelsea or Man City’s? They added Van der Vaart to a squad that finished fourth, only three points ahead of ManCity which added more players and are ahead of Tottenham in the table even if they lose tomorrow. What is he talking about!?

    There is really some sort of suspicious love-in going on in the English media about Tottenham, since last year. Must be something to do with all the England squad players they have?

  118. Limestone
    I agree! If you had the misfortune of watching the England game midweek the commentator (don’t know who) took time to advertise totenham vs inter which he billed as “a sexy game of football”. I have never ever heared that adjective used by a commentator and it is beyond comprehension that that bridge should be crossed for the fucking spuds.

  119. Limestonegunner

    OK, consolsbob, you might be right there. Whatever you say. Don’t worry, be happy… got it!

    Still… I’d rather he not get treated like Eduardo because I rather like him and want him to succeed, and it is a new league Chamakh is adapting to, so he does have things to learn. If there were some senior forwards to tell him what works better in the PL, that sort of professional advice from experienced fellow professionals never goes amiss. So much else about his game suits us very well. He clearly causes lots of trouble to defenders, which is why he is earning so many penalties. Once he gets some away goals in the league, he’ll be in good shape and be more clinical with his finishing. His goal today was very composed in the box. Brilliant stuff. I’d like to see him finish like that next Sunday away to ManCity.

  120. Three points in the bag. That’s what mattered. Just seen Arsene’s post match interview…..and he looked happy and relaxed. Always a good thing. Coming on the back of two defeats….a win was all that mattered today. And we did. 2-1 flattered (flattened) Birmingham to be honest.

    As for Wilshere’s sending off… was a badly mistimed challenge. He’s had a fabulous match and was obviously tired. That’s not an excuse. Just a simple fact for anyone who was watching the game. He deserved a red card and he got one. No complaints. End of.
    The thing is this will now be splashed across the back pages and be the talking point of shitty cynical radio phone-ins. How can Arsenal complain about bad tackles when their players do exactly the same blah blah blah blah…ad infinitum. Completely, and deliberately, missing the point of course.
    There’s a difference between one stray mistimed challenge and managers/clubs whose whole ethos is to play a physically intimidating game and to go in hard (oo-er missus)…….players who have previous. Wilshere is not of the latter persuasion. He’s very young and still learning. What talent already though……

    Stan Collymore can go f*ck himself. Mind you if he could..he probably would.

  121. Limestonegunner

    Yeah, Deano, that is pretty grotesque. What is going on–there clearly is something operating here. Are commentators tired of the dominance of the big four, glad that there are new teams challenging for the CL places and a new, London team in the champions league? Obviously, Man City earns no admiration with their gross overspending. So that leaves Tottenham the flavor of the year?

    How do we explain this palpable media love-fest for the Spuds?

    More importantly, would someone please make it stop!?! It is too ridiculous. My only consolation here is that obviously the Tiny Totts will let this all go to their heads and imagine themselves far above their station, leading to rampant overconfidence and inevitable crashing down humiliatingly to earth and being buried slightly below the surface, where Spuds are supposed to grow best.

  122. Those announcers were the worst I’ve ever heard call a match. Truly disgusting.

  123. Pz @5.30pm

    Yes, for if he had ginger hair, he would be Gordon Strachan. And that is a fate that no amount of evil should be able to bestow upon a man.

    Just got back and there were three deserved points added to the tally today. With Chelsea and United failing to win, this has the makings of a good weekend all round.


  124. Giggs the pensioner is down again

  125. not the best performance, but Ill take 3 points, city dropping points tomorrow will complete a great weekend.

  126. As we suspected, as soon as Chelsea get into the second tier of their players, they drop a level, and although they still look good, they cannot break down well organised defences. It was an even game against Villa, on the whole, and Reo Coker should have won it at the death.

  127. Where’s Darius and where’s Ateeb?

  128. California Gooner

    Harry Flowers, are you taking the piss? Arsene looked annoyed, impatient, and generally ornery. He was particularly frustrated by the questions re: Wilshire’s Red Card. Not sure why.

  129. Limestonegunner

    California Gooner,
    Perhaps Harry Flowers was not talking about the press conference but the post-match interview with the BBC, where he did look very relaxed and composed. But I agree with you, having just watched the press conference on ATVO, that he did seem quite annoyed and uncharacteristically short with the journalist(s) asking about Wilshere’s red and Eboue’s challenge.

  130. Limestonegunner

    Let’s hope a long season with games in the three remaining competitions take its toll on Chelsea’s relatively thin squad. Perhaps age might start to be a little bit of a factor that way too.

    We’ve got deeper options–a shame we have needed to use the whole squad so much already, but perhaps this will provide dividends at the end of the season with so many squad members getting games and staying sharp, fit, and competing for places when (if) we get everyone healthy.

    This could be a real factor in the latter stages of the season!

  131. I said post-match interview (on Sky actually) my dear Californian friend. Where Arsene looked relaxed and in no way “ornery”. I was not attempting in any way to extract said urine. Calm down there’s a good chap. Don’t shoot me.

  132. did anyone see EVS’s blooper?? i still can’t stop laughing 😀 😀

  133. That was a wonderful performance. A typical arsenal performance, where we create shit loads of chances, but the score reflects much less. In the first half, we carved them open time and time again. Great performance from everyone. Diaby can be tremendous if he learns to pass the ball at the right time. Let’s see if he fulfills his potential, or we’ll always be left begging for more from him. Just like we always wanted Hleb to score more goals. Speaking of which, I felt sad for him. Just a little, though. We’ve got fucking Jack Wilshere, he’s proving to be a really big asset when it comes to passing the ball in the final third. Great skill and vision. Diaby needs to pick up on that, he will be a classy player if he could pass better.

    The commentators were assholes. I couldn’t stop laughing. First goal they claimed was a dive, since Chamakh went to the ground WITHOUT any contact. And on the second goal, they blamed the first goal. How? Because since the defenders learned Chamakh dives a lot, they didn’t try to put in a challenge. So technically, we shouldn’t have scored either of the goals. Whatever makes them sleep better. Assholes.

    That was a good strong thumping tackle from Wilshere. But there wasn’t any malice involved. He is a good lad, not that type of player. His mom takes him home after matches. Blah Blah.

    Atleast he had the balls to admit it was a bad tackle, and deserved a red. What other players do that?

    Bench of Rosicky, Bendtner, Vela, Denilson, Theo………Add Cesc and Robin to it, and one sees squad depth. In an ideal world of course, won’t see all of them available at the same time. We can only wish.

  134. so Arshavin is the new Anders Limpar. GG sold limpar coz he went missing too much and never put his shift in, apparently Arshavin was smoking and drinking and basicaly got ratarsed with the other russian players the day before their defeat to slovakia in the wc qualifier.

  135. Ateeb:
    “That was a good strong thumping tackle from Wilshere. But there wasn’t any malice involved. He is a good lad, not that type of player. His mom takes him home after matches. Blah Blah.”

    She also takes him out for pizza after games.

    Seriously, fuck Birmingham. They owe us Eduardo’s shattered leg and his subsequent decline. Fuck McLeish too.

  136. It would be nice if there were a few more Arsenal supporters on here rather than apologists who listen to too much biased commentary and plunditry. I was at the game, behind the goal when Chamakh was tripped no doubt about it. Brum are scum and unfortunately due to that giant streak of piss got more than they deserved from the game. Cracking atmosphere at the ground – at least the crowd at Emirates were real supporters, who could see exactly what was going down. The establishment hates us and will do whatever they can to discredit us. We really don’t need alleged supporters to assist them. You’re either with us or you are against us and I’ve just added two more names to the ignore list after tonight’s posts.

  137. I heard few people who accused Chamakh of a dive. but having watched the replay it was a spot on pen. his right foot was clipped the camera angle that was shown on MOTD was from the right hand side and it was a clear pen. And I can’t believe the idiot scot Dann accusing Chamakh of a dive. It was a small clip of the foot and that is enough to put a big man like Chamakh off balance. The ref got it right even Hanson agrees.

  138. On the penalty: in the end it is the stupidity of the Brummie player. He is on his way up, Chamakh is past him and then he dives in and tries to clip Chamakh. What’s that all about? When the Brummie player makes contact the ball has already been passed to Arshavin. The little trip is absolutely unnecessary and Chamakh makes the most of it. In the end, if anybody wants to place blame — look at the player who is so stupid to try and trip an opposition player.

  139. strange all talk about a new world-class class GK are all gone for now.Fabianski has done his job very well and congrats to him

  140. Delia-----Block 112

    Well it wasn’t the Greatest Show On Earth by any means and it got very tetchy . Nasri was lucky to only get a yellow card for retaliation, I remember DB10 being sent off for a similar offence.
    We had tons of possession and plenty of chances but failed to convert on a half a dozen occasions. The midfield had a very good afternoon, Nasri was his usual hardworking self but our little Russian was not at the races. Too many back heels and party flicks failed to come off and he should have been substituted at half time. Rosicky’s presence gave an increased impetuous to our play ,so I hope he gets a start on the left on Tuesday, Arshavin needs a rest. Chamakh is certainly making the headlines. He made the most of what ever contact was made for the penalty. I couldn’t be certain from my position whether there was a dive or not but his quick feet gave him the goal which was well worked with young Jack . A great pity about the red card as Jack had had a really good game. Let’s hope he learns from this episode and tempers his natural enthusiasm , he really is a star in the making.
    The defence once again gave cause for concern , we could so easily have been two down before the penalty. Fabianski did well , his catching was secure and he made several effective punches. Djourou was out jumped by Zigic who cleverly placed his header beyond the keeper’s reach, no blame attached to Faby.
    Lets hope Cesc is fit for Tuesday and Man City. His wonderful passing and goal scoring ability is sorely missed. We have lacked that cutting edge in front of goal of late and he is the one player who can open up the most stubborn defence. I did think we looked weary in the second half , the trips around Europe and Africa taking their toll.

  141. Had to work, so watched the match late. Great game from Diaby. Fuck the cunts who don’t think so. Match commentary was pathetic. As I blew a vein from my temple on my non-arsenal loving son, and my carotid artery exploded onto my cat, I had just enough energy to curse every douchy Birmy lovin shit head before I passed out. Solid gritty victory, I’ll take it. Be happy.

  142. California Gooner

    Passenal, interesting your comments on the crowd. After the goal by Zigic, I heard a lot of groans over my feed… and felt mildly annoyed that the fans would transmit such negative energy around the grounds. We want our team to be fighters, to never give up, but the opposition scores and the fans are already thinking “here we go again.” Just the observations of someone who most definitely was not at the grounds.

  143. California Gooner

    Regarding Diaby, Wenger (who looked rather peeved at his conference) said, that he still isn’t the same Diaby as before the ankle break, that he still plays with pain. If that is true, wouldn’t it be time to say he really never will fully recover?

  144. The commentators today were absolutely disgraceful, void of neutrality, and full of hostility towards Arsenal.

    I can’t understand how they can respect themselves knowing that they are lying and denying the obvious that was seen by millions of people? For example, The elbow in the face that Chamakh got sandwiched between two B’ham players, a blind dog can see it…but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, say those cunts with absolute certainty? The is an insult to the intelligence of the people watching and hearing this kind of poor commentary.

    I would like to know their names, Trevor “cunt” something and the other one who was agreeing with him like he was his bitch.

    Absolute shameless, disgraceful, and bias commentary, might as well call themselves “Arsenal Hating TV Network”. I thought these fucking commentators and TV networks should be neutral?

  145. Trevor Francis, ex-England, ex-Birmingham (I think)

  146. Diaby played well, though he could have taken more shots instead of passing the buck.

  147. It’s a pity that Wilshere gave Alex McLeish the opportunity to make that comparison with Martin Taylor on Eduardo.

  148. Lol@ helb throughout the match especially when Lil jack was bossing him in midfield!! Also chamack did NOT dive, and the second goal was pure class, love the his relentless workrate too.( arshavin please take note). Fabby was excellent today and well it’s like the real fab as finally made it to the main event, bless him.

  149. Luke,

    I wanted to strangle him when he made that comparison!!! Why are all Scottish managers such cu!!nts??

    The crowd sounded alive for once today and were actucally supporting the team!! Especially Fabby which I was pleased about.


    1. Trevor Francis
    2. Tony Pulis
    3. Sam Allardyce
    4. Myles Palmer
    5. Stan Collymore

  151. Muppet

    Trevor will flit in and out, whereas Myles is a permanent Top 5. In fact, his wanker status spans years and decades.

  152. It was a good day’s work rounded off by dropped points by ManUre and Chelski. I’m in such a good mood this morning that I’ll not let Alex McLeish or Trevor Francis spoil it.

  153. Does anyone know which games will Wilshere miss? Will it include Carling Cup tie on 27 Oct? (I know UCL ties are excluded.) So Wilshere will return either against Newcastle (Emirates) or Wolves (Molineux).

  154. Luke – TF is a perma5 for me. Utter utter utter wanker. Pyles I don’t know as I never read his site.

  155. Arsenal owned this game and it was a creditable victory following post internationals where the team often puts in a flat performance. We could have run away with this and wilshere and diaby were imperious apart from the poor tackle. What players they are turning up to be. Ive given up on expecting any pundit nuetrality.Id rather focus my energy on supporting the team rather than the w©nkstains of this woIrld. The euphoria of winning against a smash and grab. Birmingham…apparently like Chelsea tney were content to let us have the ball because we are all tippy tappy and no end product…will only be superceded by stuffing Money City into oblivion next weekend and putting them in their place

  156. How was the 2nd Spuds goal given yesterday?! Gallas was in an offside position and right in front of the goalkeeper. Ridiculous.

  157. California Gooner, he was referring to the recent ankle injury caused by Robinson of Bolton, which was not even called as a foul!

  158. Delia, I was directly in line with the incident as I sit behind that goal – it was a clear trip on Chamakh and therefore 100% a penalty. The only reason there is any talk of a dive is because it is an Arsenal player and the anti-Arsenal commentators have set the agenda once again, aided and abetted by Arsenal bloggers repeating it all over the internet.

    Re the Nasri incident, I thought people say we are too nice and need to get a bit nasty, yet the minute we do there is all this wringing of hands? It’s about time the likes of the brum scum learn that we will not lie down and take it. Perhaps if the referee had any backbone he would have booked Forster for time wasting and for running half the length of the pitch to get involved in things that did not concern him. He would also have booked Zigic for the assault on Jack earlier in the game and he definitely would have booked the brum scum player who targeted Chamakh after the penalty incident and elbowed him in the head for revenge.

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