Arsenal Win Despite Wilshere’s Folly

Arsenal 2 – 1 Birmingham City

0 – 1 Zigic (33)
1 – 1 Nasri (41 pen)
2 – 1 Chamakh (47)

Jack Wilshere sent off (90)

A fixture in which the attention of the media is always drawn with an eye cast into the past ended with a red card for a dangerous tackle in the dying minutes. In the current climate and with Arsene having been one of a number of vocal critics of bad challenges, it was somewhat inevitable that an Arsenal player would the culprit although Jack Wilshere might not have been the only one to have received his marching orders on a crisp Autumnal afternoon.

There was no denial from anyone connected with the club that the colour of the card was merited; it was a stupid challenge on many levels. Fortunately Zigic avoided serious injury so the parallels with Martin Taylor miss the point. Wilshere is rightly condemned for the recklessness, studs showing and leaping into the challenge, scissoring his opponent, Zigic’s standing leg ending between Wilshere’s thighs.

Taking a step back from the actual challenge itself, ire rises as much for the needlessness of the tackle, the match was into injury time and with all due respect to Birmingham, more likely than not, possession would have been won back relatively cheaply. Wilshere’s frustration with his own heavy first touch indicates that his energies need to be channelled, especially as he was up until that point, a head and shoulders winner of Man of the Match.

The incident has overshadowed a victory which saw Arsenal retrieve a quarter of the points deficit which had arisen from the three previous Premier League fixtures, capitalising on slovenly defending by Manchester United and a spirited Aston Villa performance against Chelsea. Pivotal in rebuilding some of the confidence in the Arsenal squad which must have seeped away in that recent run; demanded ahead of a tough fixture list in the next seven days in both domestic and european competitions.

It was a scrappy victory. Not necessarily in the performance, more in that Arsenal failed to kill off Birmingham City, converting chances became an issue as passes were chosen instead of shooting, indicative of confidence levels not being at their peak.

Amid drizzling rain, Arsenal dominated the early stages probing the visitors defence with Wilshere a driving force of ingenuity. The youngster and Chamakh exchanged passes outside the box, the Moroccan freed to cut inside and shoot, Carr blocking when a disguised shot to the near post would have seen the deadlock broken before the five minute mark had been passed. Abou Diaby meanwhile seemed intent on waging a one-man war on the Birmingham goal yet none had the required accuracy.

That came as the first quarter of the match trundled by. Nasri’s free kick was met by the head of Sebastien Squillaci, the net bulging as a result. The Assistant Referee’s flag curtailed celebrations. If that had been from relatively unexpected quarters, Gael Clichy was a foot away from a totally unexpected goal. The foot being the left one upon which he was anchored to the turf, his right utterly unreliable in the shot, skewing wide of Foster’s post.

The visitors posed litle threat. Emmanuel Eboue created their best opening in this phase of the match, forcing Lukasz Fabianski into action with a wayward header from a Larsson. A similar scenario resulted in the deadlock being broken. Zigic held a significant height advantage over Djourou, a definitive one over Clichy; neither was close enough to put the striker under pressure as he rose to guide his header across Fabianski into the bottom corner. Bowyer came close to doubling that advantage but he and Fahey combined only to send the ball into the crowd from close range. A fatal wound, the second would have been.

Audible groans filled the stadium as Arsenal found themselves chasing a deficit once more. It took less than ten minutes to recover. Chamakh flew through the air with an ease that had the Air France pilots overhead casting envious glances, the Moroccan emphasising the foolhardy nature of Dann’s outstretched leg which made contact with the striker. The Birmingham defender sought to distract from the stupidity of his challenge by claiming a dive yet contact was made so no dive occurred. Chastisement of Chamakh misses that crucial point.

Nasri despatched the penalty with a calmness which belied his reticence to do so at the Stadium of Light a month before. Within minutes of the restart, Chamakh was once more a thorn in the visitors defence’s side, pirouetting through Carr’s air challenge, before landing and controlling the ball around Foster, slotting home despite pressure. A wonderful finish, fitting reward for his previously frustrated efforts.

Birmingham wilted, visibly as Arsenal rose into the ascendency. Diaby, Arshavin and Wilshere all went within varying degrees of increasing the margin of victory. Eboue can consider himself fortunate to have not received a red card for a scissor challenge whilst Roger Johnson inexplicably avoided a similar fate to Wilshere following a stray elbow into Chamakh’s head. With an eye on upcoming fixtures, Nicklas Bendtner entered the fray and almost put the result beyond doubt, narrowly failing to meet Rosicky’s cross. The Czech and Nasri tested Foster before the final whistle, the Birmingham goalkeeper just about passing muster.

With the ten men holding on for a few more moments, Fabianski sought to add more evidence to repairing his reputation with a brave sortee deep into his area to quell the final danger from the visitors. He had a relatively quiet afternoon, not at fault for the goal conceded but his handling is significantly better, a sign of his improving confidence. There is a long way to go before he convinces everyone that he is a possibly long term solution and one mistake could well undo the good of recent weeks. For now though, he deserves the praise for his performance.

Chamakh has made a very good start to his Arsenal career, continuing to become more acquainted with the English game every week. He led the line superbly, recognised in his ovation when leaving the pitch. Likewise, the cameo from Bendtner offers something more for upcoming fixtures whilst the return to the bench of Walcott and Gibbs merely signals the strength in depth that Wenger has at his disposal once everyone is fit.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 17, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 107 Comments.

  1. Diaby had a good game, Arsh was poor roll on Tuesday

  2. Thanks Yogi, you put up a new post just as I was posting this on the last one, so I’m repeating it here!

    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.

  3. Pass I couldnt see those incidents well from my seat. Did you notice how Match of the day ommited them. Fosters time wasting was a joke he started it early in the first half

  4. Passenal,

    “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”.

    Absolutely agree with you. With regards to Arsenal people on the blog sphere, Lemoan has been calling for a tougher approach by our players. But contradicting themselves with a ridiculous review of the match, they have declared Chamakh a cheat very conveniently. No difference between them and the cunt commentators yesterday.

  5. Forget motd, I was watching football first last night, & it left me with a ridiculous amount of rage. Trevor Francis & rob Parker can go fuck each other. I’m going to write an email complaint to sky about them because it was beyond a joke

  6. Passenal.

    I agree with you about those who develop selective amnesia about Arsenal’s ability to have a nasty streak ala Nasri, Chamakh and other players who refuse to take shit from the pitch. More of that I say – and fuck everyone who assumes Arsenal is a soft touch.

    Chamakh reacted really well to the attempted bullying and his ‘management’ of Johnson and Dan was first class in my view. I remember when he joined Arsenal, he casually said that Wengerball was his type of game, but if he needed to play ugly for Arsenal to win, then it’s also absolutely his type of game.

    ON the reaction to the Wilshere red-card and our nasty streak – the more the better. This “Arsenal is a soft team” nonsense has to stop. Li’l Jack Willy deserved his red card no doubt and he should not be excused from the reckless challenge debate just because he’s an Arsenal player.

    Yesterday needed a scrappy and hard fought win, and we got one.

    On Fabianski – I really hope he consolidates his position and builds on his confidence. You can see his confidence is improving with every game.

  7. Trevor Francis is a brummie and Rob Parker is his bitch

  8. If Diaby could become a clinical finisher – like Lampard – he would be a twenty goal a season midfielder.

  9. Chamakh continues to quietly impress, and shows signs of turning into an old-fashioned number nine in the mould of Alan Smith. I am little concerned by his tendency to crumple in the box, but you can’t argue with his quick footwork and marvellous close control on his goal, which even Thierry would have been proud of.

  10. I just watched”Goals on Sunday”and it just gets worse.Coleman prattling on about Arsene wanting to make it like Basketball,and Kamara making a joke of the elbow to Chamakhs head.It really is beyond a joke now.

  11. Nice review Yogi,

    JW will learn from the red card & despite his form maybe a little break will do him good. With that in mind he should start again on Tuesday.

    Whilst it was never as close a game as the scoreline suggests it was still nice to get across the winning line & hopefully confidence is returning.

    If points were given for whinging Brum would have gained a few yesterday with McLeish even whinging about abuse from the fans as if Arsene gets none when we visit St Andrews (or anywhere for that matter).

    With the Chavs & Mancs dropping points a nice Saturday

  12. To be honest my heart was thumping till the last whistle yesterday.Thought the brum were going to spoil my evening again.How poor was Asharvin and why is he still getting a starting place? The only consolation with Jack’s dismissal yesterday is that Cesc will hopefully be back for the City game.

  13. Flint McCullough

    “The foot being the left one upon which he was anchored to the turf, his right utterly unreliable ”
    Great stuff, YW.
    We can but hope that just once Clichy may come up with “Nutty Boy” screamer with his “wrong un” but it doesn’t seem very likely. Better game from him though.

    With all the recent hoo hah it was inevitable that one of ours would be guilty as charged. Jack’s was an awful reaction to his hurt pride following a poor touch. Hands, however have been put up & flak will have to be taken. So be it.

    Passenal & Darius
    Maybe we do need to be a bit more aggressive but subtleness should be part of the equation, too because Nasri could well have got a red for that.

  14. How embarrassing. After being lauded a hypocrite for waging a war on tough tackling once all his dirty players, like Vieira (more red cards than anyone in the history of Premiership football), Keown, Lauren etc. have left, Arsene Wenger was left with egg on his face on Saturday afternoon.
    Arsenal youngster, Jack Wilshere, was guilty of a nasty tackle when playing against Birmingham today. So, you would expect that after spending weeks ranting about the dangers of bad tackles, Wenger would criticise his own player, right? After singling out individual players in on other teams, he would surely expect his own players to set the example, right? After claiming our very own Paul Scholes had a “dark side”, then he would be happy to admit the same about his own player, right? Course not.
    “He mistimed his tackle and got a red card, which he deserved. He did not spend his whole game trying to kick people, he was one of the best players on the pitch today. It was more of frustration and did not want to hurt the player, but we do not complain about the red card.”
    When one of his players makes a horrible challenge, something he admits is worthy of a straight red, he’s got an excuse or a reason. First he claims it was a mistimed challenge, then he concedes it was a bad challenge which came out of frustration. Is that ok? Is it alright to go in late on someone because you’re frustrated?
    You can’t have it both ways Wenger.

  15. Fuck off Tom you are an embarrassment to the human race.

  16. Tom,

    you fucking idiot. Did Arsene say the red card was not justified? Did he say Arsenal should write to the FA and ask for the 3 match ban to be overturned? All he said was for reckless tackles to be punished if they were not spotted by the ref during the match, like the Robinson tackle against Diaby.

    Fuck off troll.

  17. Tom @ 12:52 pm – WTF? Your point is?
    Arsene has always said lets have fair tackling. It is the the premeditated malicious, reckless tackling by certain teams and individuals aimed primarily at our team, as demonstrated by the number of broken bones suffered in the past four years, which we decry. If our players commit unfair tackles then they too must be red carded but that is a huge leap to suggest that Arsenal plays dirty football. Of course this is the type of logic adopted by the plundits who are now suggesting that the reds given to Kos, Song and now Wilshere are anywhere in the league of the full blooded assaults committed on a weekly basis by the Karl Henry and Nigel de Jongh or past mayhem inflicted by Shawcross and Tiny Taylor.

  18. Maybe I should have been more pointed like steww and notlager.

  19. There have been so many controversial goals given for the tiny totts this season I wonder why the media hasn’t mention these errors more. Three or four hand balls, unjustified penalties, offside goals, violent play by Huddlestone for example…. Instead they concentrate on non issues involving Arsenal players.

  20. The snide, uggly, commentary of that game has set a new standard for biased commentary in English broadcasting. I have not seen anything like this in my entire life.

  21. Honestly, this game highlights once again why we fall short when the stakes are higher. The last thing i expected from this match was the sight of players seemingly happy to waste chance after chance,after working hard to create them.The team’s attack is overflowing with prodigous talent,but do they have the courage to seize their chance,because relying on skill alone would win us nothing.

  22. of what I have read here till now, I am glad the pub guys had music on instead of commentary!

  23. mj gunner – it was absolutely the worst commentary ever. Seriously, never heard worse. They were actually laughing at Chamack when he was assaulted with an elbow to the head – said he must have a low pain threshold. They described his goal as an easy tap in and generally used every anti Arsenal cliché in the book and made no attempt to hide their hatred of every aspect of our great club. Dire.

  24. Oh yes…these commentators were on ESPN-STAR as well. I was shocked at the “low-pain threshold” comment….commentating at it’s lowest

  25. Arsenal bashing is as old as the hills Steww although I agree it`s almost impossible not to get wound up by it.

    Over the years we`ve been lucky, boring, dirty & now soft however as we all know it`s better to be talked about than not be talked about.

  26. Ah you guys just wait until we start winning things ! Then they will hate even more. Arsenal-graet youth pollicy, great balance sheet, great commitment to the community around them, polite players, players that rarley stick out for negative stuff, nothing typically british and tacky abot it(almost chav free player group)., no pizza and sausage diet like in Manchester United. Arsenal is the closest you get to a true cosmopolitan club in England, with that extra touch of european eleganse. What is there not to hate?

    I mean you just got to hate it! Spitting on English traditions like that! Thinking they are too darn good for the traditional bullish English brute player?? And god forbid the english talents that start to emerge all play a passing game, almost continental?? ruining our proud footy tradition that won us a WC before my grandad was born! English grit cannot loose to this can they? no lets pray that United or Liverpool get back. with proud british backbone.
    Sausage and pie every day man! fucking quiche and wine and diets(for pros??) pff thats for sissys

  27. Great comment Gubis. I still chuckle at the memory of some of the bitter rants made by many hacks aftet the title victory in ’02, let alone ’04.

    Just like to add, that as I cycle over the potholes of North London, that there appears to be a distinct lack of gr*t in Britain today. Unless you’re in the Barbican complex, where they have these nifty, easy to access, pressed steel gr*t containers.
    Why didn’t the Barbican Wallah’s give all of their ca$h to some random Icelandic bank or to some kind of LBO specialist? Then they could have lots of potholes too!

    Everton 2 Liverpool 0

  28. Great comment Gubis.

    Just like to add, that as I cycle over the potholes of North London, that there appears to be a distinct lack of gr*t in Britain today. Unless you’re in the Barbican complex, where they have these nifty, easy to access, pressed steel gr*t containers.
    Why didn’t the Barbican Wallah’s give all of their ca$h to some random Icelandic bank or to some kind of LBO specialist? Then they could have lots of potholes as well!

    Everton 2 Liverpool 0

  29. LOL @gubis

  30. This notion of Chamakh going down easy is quite interesting really. Not because the English have been doing this for over a decade, to no controversy might I add – if you feel contact you go down is the mantra, non? In any case, the way the game is refereed, the onus is upon the striker to win a penalty, often by exaggerating the fact he’s been hit.

    If my understanding of the rules is correct a penalty can be given without the attacking player needing to fall from a challenge. However, you rarely see a penalty given without the attacking player falling to the ground to emphasise a bad challenge.

    If Chamahk had stay upon his feet but stumbled a little, would the penalty has been given? Only in an alternate universe could we find out, but I’d wager probably not.

    My contention is that referees should give penalties for poor challenges in the box whether the striker falls or stays on his feet. If they won’t then should we really chastisement those who go down easy under a challenge?

  31. Limestonegunner

    Glad you raised the point about a whole host of dodgy goals going in Totts favor this season. Deano and I were just last night talking here about the Tottenham love-fest taking place in the media since last year and, especially, since they finished fourth and have had CL games this season. It isn’t just the media bias, though, they seem to be getting an uncommonly large number of very favorable calls that make it look like they have had an impressive start to the season, when they really haven’t played all that well. The media haven’t called attention to this, as you say.

    They’ll be found out soon enough, I look forward to our next derby when we can decisively puncture that bubble.

  32. trev0r ucking francis a p00r mans jasper carr0t

  33. 31 comments? What’s happening to this blog??!

  34. I was shocked at the brazen anti-arsenal punditry for yestreday’s game. They were not even trying to be tactful about it. Every comment out of their mouths was a negative comment regarding one of our players…fuckin ridiculous.

  35. Blackpool are giving Oil City a run for their money. Nil all so far.

  36. Limestonegunner

    I agree with your logic and the principle behind it. However, I think there is a contextual dimension to take into account as well: there is a double standard at work that penalizes foreign players and Arsenal players and could affect referees. I think Eduardo’s career at Arsenal was ruined by this after his arduous recovery from injury and Arsenal suffered an obvious embargo for three months last season without nailed on penalties being given.

    Chamakh is also new to the league, so early performances will inform the first impressions that can stick. He is adapting to the game here and some tactics are better suited to particular leagues. I noticed several games earlier, not just this last game, that he was giving the possible impression of going down easily or a bit dramatically (not diving–he was either anticipating contact or reacting to contact to make sure the ref sees that he has in fact been fouled), which can be quite clever and was earning him penalties and free kicks caused principally by his pace, hard work, and invention. He clearly gives defenders problems and they have to foul him. But it might be more clever in the long term, particularly early on in his time in the league, to refrain from accentuating the contact by waving his arms on the way down and the like to call attention to the foul or by occasionally even giving the impression that he is trying to stay on his feet and continue the play. He is a rugged, courageous, hard-working player, in fact, and that shows through clearly in all other aspects of his play. He is adapting to the PL very well, but it is a different environment.

    I think cagey veteran forwards could give him a bit of advice on this–imagine Henry or Bergkamp– by taking him as a new teammate aside and giving insight about how and when to help the referee. I see Chamakh calling attention to a foul quite a lot, not just in penalty situations. It conveys an impression that could get him and us into trouble later on if there is a counter-reaction brought on by anti-Arsenal sentiment and media bias–that’s a sad reality few of us would deny. So it may seem like a clever play, and a perfectly reasonable and fair one for sure, but it might not be as smart in the end.

    I don’t think he has done anything wrong at all; not once has he simulated or conned the referee. But he could play even smarter. And I am a real enthusiast and have sung his praises since seeing him at the Emirates cup, but this is one small thing he could adjust in his game that comes from being new to the league.

    Maybe others would disagree and say it has worked to our advantage so far. Goodness knows the refs are awful and maybe they just wouldn’t call any of these fouls properly if he tried to stay on his feet or fell down without any elaboration. It’s a judgment call–I just think there is an argument to be made for reining in that extra bit of exaggeration and being more selective. He won a free kick in that game that was shown on the MOTD highlight where he accentuates the trip during the fall, for example. It might not be worth it there. If someone senior at the club also believes this, then I hope they can give him a word about how to play smarter.

  37. Blackpool scored on by a sucker punch. Dominant but failure to make City pay. Cue the usual cliches.
    Blackpool is a credit to the League though; they play bright attacking football compared to the dirge served up by Oil City.

  38. Ref such a cunt. Takes away two completely valid goals from Blackpool, gifts City an offside goal.

  39. Linesman gifting City the points….

  40. Go on the Seasiders…!!!

  41. Bollocks – Tevez….

  42. Blackpool’s Adam is an awesome player. If I were English I’d urge Capello to call him up. I think he’s better than Garreth Barry also. Long live Blackpool and teams who are not afraid to play open, attacking football.

  43. Chamack named diver of the week by Stan the wack!!

  44. Btw my second team did me pride today really should have at least drawn though.

  45. Respect to Blackpool – a true footballing side

    Limestone, I understand what you`re saying about Chamakh & `playing` the refs in the EPL but let`s face it , every game is a lottery. They could have half a dozen top prem refs on the pitch these days & they`d still get it wrong.

  46. Really good, hot atmosphere at the ground yesterday. So much to dislike about Birmingham – makes dominating them all afternoon taste so sweet. Ferguson is a hateful little man. Foster made for a rather clownish panto villain with all that hammy time-wasting – which he kept up manfully despite his team being 2-1 down. What a knob.

    I’m not quite sure how Zigic ever loses a header to be honest, but Squilly and Djourou beat him time and again like a sickly, knock-kneed giraffe. He should switch to basketball. Or window cleaning.

    If the ref hadn’t had his back turned he would have had to send off Roger Johnson for his blatant, forecasted forearm smash to Chamakh’s head. He tracked him from the middle of the pitch, picked him out, pushed through traffic and cracked him round the head without a thought for the ball. He should have gone.

    Chamakh though – is absolute class. They said he liked the physical side to football. No kidding! I love his attitude; always looking for the ball – always giving us that longer option two passes ahead. Give it to me and i’ll hold it or give it back, when I know full well I’m going to get clattered doing it. Birmingham couldn’t handle him. Lovely finish too.

  47. Steww:
    “it was absolutely the worst commentary ever. Seriously, never heard worse. They were actually laughing at Chamack when he was assaulted with an elbow to the head – said he must have a low pain threshold. They described his goal as an easy tap in and generally used every anti Arsenal cliché in the book and made no attempt to hide their hatred of every aspect of our great club. Dire”

    I was listening to the same feed. Trevor Francis thought that Chamakh’s goal was a result of Carr not going into the challenge because he was afraid of a dive dive. The truly amazing thing is that Chamakh stayed on his feet and continued with the play. If he were indeed a diver he would’ve started falling in anticipation of Carr’s challenge. Their comments are a result of getting caught off side and having to eat your words. But since they’re such assholes they must maintain the narrative just to save face. That’s what bugs me about the whole thing.

  48. One nice moment was Lee Bowyer lying face down on his belly right in the middle of the pitch – possibly having been felled by lumberJack the tree feller – for a good fifteen seconds, without a sole on the pitch noticing. He was scratching around looking for a freekick with that awful sneering, ratty face of his contorted like a melted candle – and noone clocked him at all. Not even the Brum fans, who remained static, and awed. Brilliant. What a cock.

  49. Jack seems to hate tall people for some reason. He has had it in for Samba and now Zigic. Both of them about a foot and a half taller than he is.

  50. Wilshire, Song and Diaby were MOTM for me. Chamakh is clever and we need that.
    AW was asked about Wilshire and was upset that after 92 mins of a superb performance the hack could only see that incident. Thankfully a supporting hack shut down the idiot by commenting that Young Jack ran half way up the field to make that tackle, showing a desire to win and displaying team play. The idiot asked about Eboue’s challenge and AW shut him down again.
    Despite the negative bias in the media there is no denying that we have squad capable of surprising this season which must feel like the itch in the middle of ones back you can’t reach.

  51. The atmosphere at the North Bank end for the penalty was intense. Fever pitch. Deafening. Hostile. Everyone’s blood was well and truly up. Foster didn’t stand a chance. He may have pissed himself a little bit – not sure.

    Afterwards we all sang, “Even Fergie thinks your shit”. Which he liked. Well, I say liked…

    Games like that, a 90 minute war against some really nasty, enemy number 1 adversity – are the type of games that can bring the fans together, and galvanise the players too I’m sure.

  52. Someone shouted “Tickle him!” at Jack, as he chased after Zigic. It was a bit of a comedy match-up.

    Maybe Jack heard.

    Anyway, we all know what happened with David and Goliath. To be honest, it was a little unlucky in that Jack’s boot clipped the top of the ball and sort of bounced and threw into a high trajectory toward Ziggy Starstruck. He was fine though. It certainly wasn’t a ‘horror tackle’ as the Times have gleefully labelled it on the front page of their sports section. How drearily predictable.

    I also have to disagree with you slightly YW, in that the game was not won. Birmingham, who’s whole gameplan had been to keep themselves within one goal until extra time before bringing out the mortar rounds – carried a threat right to the death. Jack’s tireless closing down was exactly what we needed in those final moments with points hanging in the balance – it’s just a shame he was over zealous going into that one – because now he’s suspended.

    Just as predictably, the Burm fans, sat silenced for large parts of the second half while their team chased shadows, took the opportunity to sing Martin Taylor’s name out. You will be pleased to hear though, that they were instantly drowned out by a whole-hearted, full-throated, four stands of the ground rumble of…. “Eduaaaaaarrrdoo, Eduaaarrdo! Eduaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrdooo!! Eduaaaardo! Eduuaaaaaaaarrdooo!” Stirring stuff. Good old Eddie. Fuck off Brum.

  53. Sorry, I’m a bit typey today. I’ll give it a rest.


    PS. Told you Chelsea and United would struggle.

  54. This season is shaping up to be a real titanic struggle between the top teams. Chelsea loose a couple key players in Drogba and Lampard and headlines scream it’s an “injury crisis”. But Chelsea’s paper thin squad reared its ugly head in that match- a real toothless tiger without those two. The giant aging house of cards that is United looks ready to crumble mightily this year. City are just a big smelly blob of ugly football that look content to draw their way through the season and nick a few lucky wins. Not a champion’s mentality. The spuds are, well, the spuds. They will be exposed in short order. And then there’s lovely, lovely Arsenal. I feel we’re poised for a run over the next couple of months to claw our way clear at the top!

  55. Couldn’t agree more with the disgraceful commentary of Trevor Francis. It was like standing next to him in the away supporters end. For one, I still can’t figure out if Chamakh took a dive or was tripped, but from the angles we were given, it looked like a trip.

    I don’t like that Chamakh is getting this attention because referees watch the Sky Sports News like many of the rest of us and can only be influenced by the anti-Arsenal and anti-Chamakh nonsense.

    The problem now is that even the fouling players are cheating now by claiming they didn’t touch the opposing player. Shouldn’t that be a yellow card too, for trying to con the referee?

    This game was critical for the confidence, and that’s desperately needed right now. Man City next week and at best they looked average today. Fortunately, Adebayor’s performance today will almost certainly mean he’s on the bench or less for our game. Next week’s game looks like a nailed-on 0-0 or 1-1 draw.

  56. With so many big players returning, you have to back Arsenal for the win, Lagooner.

    What stopped Saturday from being a rout was quickness in the final ball, and taking the split second decision to shoot – both of these are always dulled by an International break where partnerships are broken and our natural passing wavelength gets scrambled a bit and we’re not as confident to play a quick pass and know that the next red shirt will be there to receive it. A full weeks training and another game together will soon sharpen that up again. I think we’ll come flying out the blocks at Eastlands.

  57. Limpar @6.43pm

    Ooooh, get you Mr Smarty-Pants!


  58. I have no upset at the team that Arsenal played yesterday. Mostly, they gave a good account of themselves. It was a good, relatively clean game. Except for the, oops, Wilshere tackle. Even so, the tackle was not particularly vicious as some who were broadcasting in the media would have you believe.

    The broadcasting that we all encountered, which was broadcast here in North America, was abysmal. The company carrying the broadcast in Canada was Setanta. You have all heard the exceptional bias in the broadcast which has set new standards for the industry. This kind of bias cannot be acceptable in a national broadcast which ultimately was international, reaching out to several countries around the world with many Arsenal followers. There is no doubt in my mind that the two broadcasters of the game should be reprimanded and sacked!

    I apologize for going on about this. However, I find that I am quite incensed over this matter.

  59. Limestonegunner

    Birmingham tried to play a bit in the beginning, but were completely unhinged by our cutting edge and Chamakh’s penalty. They never got over it and spent the remainder of the half complaining to the ref, yakking to Chamakh, and seeking retribution like thugs. Why can’t that evil Robinson elbow–very cowardly coming from behind like that–to Chamakh’s face be reviewed and punished retrospectively? It should be and he should have been red-carded for sure.

    I am sure they spent the whole half time obsessing about the penalty too. It is clear they have no mental strength. When Chamakh scored that was like a guillotine chop and it really finished them. They only seemed to pose any danger at all for a few minutes in added time, especially when we went down to 10 men. I just wish we could have scored more to really rub it in. I really can’t explain why we didn’t score more; it seemed like we were constantly around their box and even taking some good shots that seemed to go straight to the keeper when on target.

    I think Wilshere made just two plays that weren’t either very good or sparklingly brilliant–a pass to the left side where he expected Clichy to be but wasn’t and his poor first touch that he chased on the late lunge that caught Zigic. Otherwise, he is just so superb, it is hard to believe. We are likely to miss him for the next three games in the football league–especially away to ManCity, since they play three strong defensive midfielders, and we will want his creativity. Luckily, Fabregas is coming back! Frankly, I think Wilshere should shoot more–he gets himself more open at the edge or just inside the box than almost anyone else but usually finds someone closer with a clever pass. Well, unless they are barreling through toward goal, I think Wilshere might do more with his chance–I am sure he doesn’t want to be selfish and looks to create for others first, but I like his quick thinking and quick feet and believe he can get good shots off.

    LA and Verminator, we are looking in pretty decent shape having played a good chunk without our best players. Your confidence is infectious! I hope you are right about the international break causing the tentativeness in the final third.

  60. Limestonegunner

    Interesting that we play Shakhtar and welcome Eduardo back right after playing Birmingham. That’s one reason I would have liked to see 4-1, a more deserving result for the quality of our play and dominance in that game as a tribute to him.

    Could hear the chants of Eduardo quite clearly through the telecast near the end, but I didn’t know it was Arsenal fans drowning out disgusting chants for Martin Taylor–what is wrong with these people!?!? You like to believe that people are not gratuitously cruel, but clearly vicarious sadism flourishes among some football supporters. Shameful and spiritually impoverished.

  61. Look at the state of Liverpool, ridiculous. What’s more ridiculous is that people moan about us ‘only competing for the top 4’ when in a non-Arsene bizarro world that’s exactly where the stadium move could have left us. We are so lucky in so many ways.
    On our Moroccan penalty collector, while it wasn’t a dive it was a minimal amount of contact. Whilst I understand the people who think he’s going to get a reputation amongst officials for going down too easily, the fact remains that when viewed in real time yesterday’s foul looks utterly stonewall and provided he’s that convincing every time there’s not a referee in the world who’ll simply wave play on and not give the pen.

  62. well if Alan anti Arsenal Hansen said it was a pen then what is the fuss about.

  63. Limestonegunner

    Speaking of Liverpool, our draw to them is seriously looking like points dropped rather than a good point away at Anfield! Wish we could have played them later–they were bolstered by some false hopes of redemption there at the start of the season. Can they really be that bad? Won’t they probably end up a mid table team?

  64. Limestonegunner,

    they had Mascherano back than when we played against them. And don’t forget it was the first game of the season.

  65. Got home from work last night, somehow succesfully managed to not hear the score, then turned on Sky match choice. The wife went to bed, as she new the score and was tired, and I opened up a bottle of wine. All set up for a decent hours viewing I thought.

    About half hour later the wife comes downstairs asking “what’s the problem, I thought it went well?” To which I had to reply “These c@nts aint stop slagging us off the entire first half and now the second, C@NTS!!!”

    Now I know better than to expect too much credit from SKY or even MOTD but fuck me, last nights commentry was outrageous. Was like listening to a bitter & envious Spurs fan watching us. They didn’t even attempt to be proffesional and impartial, just had a go at every opportunity the bastards.

    Oh and there’s “nothing wrong” with elbowing Chamack in the face according to Trevor Francis, the Brummie fuck!

  66. Limestonegunner

    Good point, Notlager–Mascherano was an important player for them. One more reason why the transfer window should close before the season starts.

  67. Does anyone have 2 tickets for Shakhtar Donetsk.

    I have my 10 year old nephew here from Australia and am keen to further his Arsenal education.

    Please email me at

  68. “The atmosphere at the North Bank end for the penalty was intense. Fever pitch. Deafening. Hostile. Everyone’s blood was well and truly up. Foster didn’t stand a chance. He may have pissed himself a little bit – not sure.

    Afterwards we all sang, “Even Fergie thinks your shit”. Which he liked. Well, I say liked…

    Games like that, a 90 minute war against some really nasty, enemy number 1 adversity – are the type of games that can bring the fans together, and galvanise the players too I’m sure.”


    I was in the North Bank too Limpar Assist and I agree – beating a team like that with media generated controversy is the best! It was like the Hull FA cup win with Gallas’ ‘offside’ goal followed by spitgate! Let’s hope the players are as fired up as the crowd was. It’s time for fans and players to close ranks and realise that it’s them against us. Lilly-livered apologists questioning Chamakh’s penalty can just fuck off. They are not wanted and they are certainly not needed.

  69. I like this dark sided Passenal. dont see enough of it in my opinion.

  70. @Steww – October 17, 2010 at 1:57 pm
    yeah steww, read your comments along with other’s, & I am not surprised, just get used to it man..i give a f*ck all to what they think

  71. Passenal, can you specify who “they” are? Can you point to a specific comment that has today questioned the penalty or suggested that Chamakh dived/cheated? I haven’t noticed it so far.

    But, I agree with you and would go one better by saying those several posts from LA about the game and atmosphere were all super. I was disappointed he became self-conscious about being “typey”, as I would have enjoyed more in that vein.

  72. “No matter what we do, it is wrong,” Wenger said. “If we get kicked the whole game and do not reply, people say we are too soft.”

    Arsene gets it!

  73. Blackpool V Man city portrayed all that is wrong with football. Blackpool’s squad cost 3 millions compared to throw money for fun Mancity. The injustice of that game was heart breaking. Blackpool had a perfectly good goal ruled offside on the other hand Mancity scored an offside goal and was given and a foul on a blackpool player led to their second goal. I hope Blackpool stay up, they are playing clean attacking football , and Ian Holloway has been very entertaining.

  74. I think Chamakh’s penalty record (5 in 10 games) is too stacked to be due to chance. I think he goes down easily, is a master at buying contact. All 5 have been penalties, in the sense that there was contact. The one against the Brum Hackers he was so clearly going down before there was contact, and he went down dramatically too.

    I think he’s going to get a reputation and it will cost us.

  75. Chamakh plays intelligently, he gets defenders in positions where they can’t get to the ball without catching a little of him. The theatricality is a bit annoying, but as Gadget says, if you get kicked and don’t go down you just won’t get the penalty. I hope he doesn’t earn a reputation because ever single one of the penalties he’s got have indeed been penalties in my opinion.

  76. Ole gunner – all chamakh’s penalties were penalties and not dives according to the laws of the game if you are touched regardless whether it is faint or hard it’s a pen it’s the same with ball to hand or hand to ball both can be penalties in the end it’s up to the ref’s judgment. the only thing I agree with is that his falls are a bit dramatic but that is only to make the ref aware that he has been fouled because sometimes if you don’t let the ref know you won’t get anything and some other refs might see it as an exaggeration to gain advantage so it will depend on the ref and I’m sure we will not be given few clear cut ones over the season.

  77. Limestonegunner

    Ole, exactly what I have been arguing.

  78. I read somewhere (can’t really remember where) that McLeish was about to be becked by a Gooner close to HT. McLeish was complaining about the stewards just havin a laugh at the incident. Did that really happen?

  79. With UCL resuming tomorrow, perhaps we should look forward to that game, and let those who feel aggrieved by our victory over Birmingham to wallow in a cesspool of their own misery. I don’t give a damn whether Chamakh dived or was fouled, a cheat or a genius. 😀

  80. A dive is when you go down when there has been no contact. If you are tripped in the box, you go down. It’s up to the referee to decide whether it’s a penalty or not. If your name is Rooney or Gerrard it is lauded as clever play to ‘win’ a penalty. If your name is Chamakh and you play for Arsenal it’s a different story. He wins a lot of penalties because he has quick feet and the defenders are unfamiliar with his movements. Had he not fallen, he would not have got a penalty and he was certainly not in a position to score a goal so where was the virtue in staying on his feet? Had we lost that game or drawn I doubt Arsenal fans would be on here lauding him for his honesty in not going down when he was tripped in the box.

  81. Chamakh did not dive. I was at the game and right behind the incident. He was definately clipped 100%. Some earlier posts mentioned the anti Arsenal press and certain Blogs claiming Arsenal were cheating at usual. These comments really piss me off especially that piece of shit blog LeGroove who spent all day yesterday stating what an embarrasment Arsenal FC were!!!

  82. I thought Diaby was almost back to his best on Saturday, but wasn’t surprised to hear AW say that the injury against Bolton is still affecting him a bit. His passing was accurate without being particularly incisive, and he skinned their CMs so many times. What was frustrating was that he really had them stretched on a few occasions, but then seemed to shirk responsibility on the edge of the area. I know we prize possession and team play at Arsenal, but Diaby has so much power – he should push on and try and make space for a shot once he’s in those positions.

    Either way, the difference between Diaby now and two seasons ago is absolutely huge. It would be great if more people could recognise the massive improvement he made last season.

    Andrei Arshavin on the other hand…

  83. 0 – 1 Zigic (33)
    1 – 1 Nasri (41 pen)
    2 – 1 Chamakh (47)

    this is interesting

  84. Whinger is one word for him. In my opinion, he’s in urgent need of a brain transplant. Since Wilshere is knee high to a grasshopper and probably weighs under five stone, it is unlikely that he could cause a lot of damage. In any case, the majority of tackles of that kind don’t cause serious injury. A player like Wilshere, who might only make one or two such tackles in his career, would be very unlucky to break someone’s leg. The danger comes when players make that sort of challenge as a matter of course, no doubt with the encouragement of managers like Alex McLeish. I have to laugh at his suggestion that Birmingham City have suffered from the consequences of Martin “The Butcher” Taylor’s violent, pre-meditated assault on Eduardo. Quite the opposite. Taylor was treated as the victim, and the footballing establishment used their fiction of a dive as a pretext for taking revenge on Eduardo and hounding him from the country.

  85. David Murphy got punched in the face? Who the fuck is David Murphy?! Ha!

    Johnson on Chamakh was ten times worse than Nasri’s little knee effort. What a pack of wankers.

    It’s ironic Wilshere was sent-off in a period of the game when Birmingham had sent on a player, Gary O’Connor, with the sole purpose of kicking Arsenal players. Fortunately the lumbering, tatooed idiot was so fat and slow he couldn’t get anywhere near us – but still, his instructions and his intentions were unmistakable and clear.

    I agree with Passenal (Dark Passenal). RVP’s comments last season that if a player is fouled, and stopped from doing what he’s trying to do with the ball, then unless he draws attention to it and gets the freekick – then the player that has fouled has essentially won. In the box, a little contact is enough to be a foul (rightly or wrongly). The romantic hero battling to stay on his feet whilst taking hits and kicks as he crawls on to cross the goal line, isn’t really viable in today’s game. I don’t like the ‘any contact at all’ view on penalties, but seeing as it’s there, don’t criticize us when it works in our favour – it’s the same for everybody else.

  86. I don’t know why the one against Belgrade is even being questioned, he was tap-tackled, like a branch through the spokes of a wheel, right as he was about to finish. Clear penalty.

  87. How can we blame pundits for letting off Rooney,etc when they dive and then we do the same thing when its our player that does it. It sounds a bit hypocritical to me. Some of you guys are really no different to the pundits you love/hate to listen to.

    Don’t you realise all these excuses you give for Chamack’s tendency to go down too easily can apply to those other players as well? Heck, I’ve had manu fans explaining C.Ronaldo’s diving in much the same way we’re doing here. Simulation is ok only when Arsenal players do it? C’mon guys!

  88. I suppose we’ve all admired Jack’s prodigious talent since first seeing him play. And now his development to a player who can run an EPL match seems to have happened remarkably quickly.

    There was some small controversy at the beginning of the season about the extent of the contribution of his loan spell at Bolton to his progress. Saturday seems to have resolved that.

    We were able to see in one game 92 minutes of what he has learned at Arsenal followed by 10 seconds of what he learned at Bolton.

  89. Can anyone match Ashley Young’s dive v Montenegro?

  90. I think Eboue’s challenge is the one to cause Wenger and Danny Murphy the most embarrasment, them scissor challenges are well naughty and proves that players from any team can make silly decisions without the manager ordering them to do so.

  91. It’s all fine lines, Henrisitc, but if you reckon Chamakh going down was simulation then you clearly can’t discern between fine ones and bloody great fat ones.

  92. With the greatest respect to Eboue, I don’t think anyone has ever doubted his ability to make silly decisions.

  93. No Limpar, I reckon Chamack has a tendency to go down too easily, not neccesarily for the penalty, which i now agree is justified as the Brum player did try to trip him.

    My main worry is, like Ole said, this may well turn out to hurt us in the future

  94. Personally I think the raised awareness of reckless challenges lately should be enough to make players think twice now. They know whatever they do will be headline news.

  95. Flint McCullough

    That is what I have been thinking.

    Diaby is an enigma. He can beat a man in no space at all yet won’t go on when it opens up for him. He needs a bit more selfishness & ambition to score the goals that most of us know he is capable of.

    Great player or serious underachiever, I guess we will find out in the next couple of seasons, when he should be reaching his peak. We have seen the glimpses but will they ever be the norm?

  96. So you don’t think it was a dive, I don’t think it was a dive, Chamakh doesn’t think it was a dive, the referee didn’t think it was a dive. Scott Dann thinks it was a dive, but have you seen Scott Dann? He probably doesn’t realise when he’s got his hand on a hot hob, let alone when he’s clipped an ankle.

  97. Two penalties not given Away at Stamford Bridge against Chamack. One obvious, the other not so obvious. Not many complaints I noticed.
    One penalty (you know the kind, Owen against Argentina etc…) given at Home that might not be given Away, a week later.

    I agree with Passenal.

  98. That would be two weeks later (Since the Chelsea game).

  99. lol Limpar, avoiding the issue as always.

  100. Good point, Finsbury. That one was a penalty too.

    The ‘any contact’ interpretation is a modern refereeing thing. It was upheld on Saturday. If they carry on upholding it like that, which is what they’ve been told to do, then when we are fouled in the box we will get penalties. I don’t see how that hurts us.

    The Eduardo embargo was set in motion by ‘Diver’ headlines in The Sun, and a false accusation from the SFA – I have seen no such headlines.

  101. Ignoring the hoohaa surrounding Chamakh- the boy does get himself in some excellent positions and has settled with aplomb! Yes he may get a reputation and at times we may pay the penalty-but if he can back up his game with goals from open play then thats all that counts. He sure has an eye for goal!

  102. Time for us to be fair to the media, I think.
    An Arsenal player was tripped in the opposing penalty area.
    How could that possibly be a penalty?

  103. There are only a few media sources out there that are reliable, and Trevor ‘repeat after me: “He shot straight at him,”‘ Francis, is not one of them:

    The FC BBB board are taking the previous FC BBB board to court! Who knows and who cares why? (I-I-I-Ibrahwhat for Eto?)
    Maybe, they really were worried about squad fitness and wanted CF4 to supplement their squad. And that could explain the silly offer in the summer? Not sure if I care, but they could easily get Rooney if they’re that desperate!

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