Does European Glory Beckon?

Club in crisis is normally a phrase bandied around with the words “Arsenal” and “No trophies for five years”. More legal action over the farce that is Liverpool has emerged this morning, NESV are apparently going to sue Hicks / Gillett using the Trade Descriptions Act. They thought they had bought themselves a football club, not a shambolic mess.

Anyway, to Arsenal and the resumption of the Champions League this week sees Eduardo return to The Emirates, sporting the colours of his new employers Shaktar Donetsk. Of the three other teams in the group, the Ukranians are the strongest. There was an interesting piece on Football Focus this weekend which highlighted the similarities between the two clubs, albeit Shaktar benefitted from the investment made by Rinat Akhmetov in the late 1990s.

Both sides are in a strong enough position to progress to the next round and whilst these games are not dead rubbers, two defeats would not be enough to sink either campaign. It would just make things a little harder in the next round. Arsenal are being touted as having a better chance of winning the European Champions League than domestic honours. That was before the weekend’s results which showed the folly of making sure that the red carpet wove its way through London’s streets to Stamford Bridge. The Premier League has yet to see a quarter of its programme completed, ensuring incredulity when stating that anyone is already out of the title race. A run of thirty unbeaten games would see the trophy flung to any corner of the country.

European glory is a different matter. Once the group stage is negotiated, so much relies on the luck of the draw. Even then, a tough route to the final is pretty much guaranteed. Internazionale disposed of Chelsea, Barcelona, CSKA Moscow and Bayern to win. The year before, Barcelona beat Chelsea, Lyon and Bayern before dumping on Cristiano Ronaldo from a great height. There is rarely an easy ride.

Winning the trophy has been tantalisingly close for Arsenal. Despite losing to Barcelona with one hand on the cup, The Invincibles had the best missed opportunity. Had Chelsea been beaten, surely they would have safely negotiated a path to immortality in Arsenal eyes with Monaco and Porto poor by comparison to recent semi-finalists.

Can this vintage go one better than their predecessors? There are positive signs for the squad. Firstly, the number of players returning from injury is far greater than previous seasons. Normally at this stage of the season, we wonder where Wenger will get a squad from. That does not guarantee the cycle which starts again in March will not recur this season.

However, the squad has more depth than previous seasons and of the traditional English opponents, the only team which you would genuinely suggest has a good chance of beating Arsenal is Chelsea. United are without doubt weaker, riven by internal dispute and unable to win at the moment. Spurs. Well, perhaps Arsene could field the Carling Cup team for the away leg…

Against the continental sides, there are strong opponents, the Spanish sides whilst the re-emergence of Bayern last season points to improvements elsewhere. It is in these ties that the ‘winning mentality’ demanded by Cesc, emphasised as already existing by Arsene will need to come to the fore. Sloppy mistakes have been costly in the past against Barcelona; an inability to hold onto the lead in the Camp Nou to the interval crucial in the eventual outcome. Had the defence held firm, the opportunity to sneak another on the break would surely have presented itself?

Ball retention appears to be better than this season than before; efficiency in front of goal has likewise improved although it felt at times on Saturday as though there were bad habits returning. Defensively, there is more of an attacking threat with the absence of Vermaelen not noticeably diminshing the goal returns. Chamakh’s aerial ability offers more options than before whilst a fully fit Nicklas Bendtner can also provide the variety that successful teams require. No more can complacency creep into an opponents game once the ball goes wide for a decent cross is as likely in the air as along the ground. Obviously that requires delivering but the options are there.

There is much to be hopeful about this coming season and the air of negativity is baffling. Understandable as the disappointments of losing to Chelsea and West Brom were, the win over Birmingham has not erased them. Indeed the criticism of Chamakh is frankly appalling. So what is he emphasised the contact? There was contact made; Dann is being more dishonest and deceitful than anything that Chamakh is alledged to have done by continually denying contact which was proven by the television replays. This is a time to get behind the team not cower behind the headlines.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 18, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 173 Comments.

  1. Skys coverage of the match and Chamakh in particular was appalling. But then putting a former Brums player in the commentary team was a stupid decision anyway. Francis has done himself no favours in the eyes of many Arsenal fans who did have some respect for him.

  2. Passenal | October 18, 2010 at 8:41 am |

    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

    A dive is also when you’re already going down before there is contact. That was what all of us here accused Rooney of doing at Old Trafford last season.

  3. good positive post, but we cannot afford to lose to man- shitty.

  4. Ole

    The issue I had with Rooney’s “dive” was that he did not have control of the ball when contact was made. That is a crucial difference between the two incidents.

    YW

  5. Chamakh is be hounded by the press this morning as a diver its a disgrace the player was touched so penalty was right . As for Jack he is be slammed for being the dirtiest player in the prem he is being accused of being as bad as Taylor in his tackle it was no where near as bad ,Why don’t they just get of his back he has apologised and agreed he deserved the red card .SO LEAVE THE LAD A LONE HE DOES NOT DESERVE THIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. 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.

    I think Johnson got on the end of a Fabianski punch on the ball, which Murphy’s face threatened to prevent. That’d never been given as a foul. The keeper has a right to go for the ball.

    The claim by McLeish that Nasri should have been sent off is senseless. What a moron. If Nasri was to be sent off, then Ridgewell should have been sent off, because he kicked Nasri, in much the same way, and Martin Atkinson as usual missed it.

    Eboue’s tackle was a yellow card. No more

  7. Oh yeah, I remember that. That was brilliant. He absolutely flattened him. Fabianski just kept coming and coming for those high lumps forward and he punched long and well when he needed to, and caught well when he didn’t. Top performance.

  8. Yogi’s Warrior | October 18, 2010 at 11:20 am |

    Chamakh didn’t have control either. Arshavin had control of the ball at the time he was tripped.

    Chamakh in a way is a punishment to clumsy Premier League defenders who prize tackling over effectiveness. They’re all always so eager to put a foot in even when they can’t win the ball.

  9. Great post !!

  10. Ole

    Picky – Rooney’s was going out of play, Chamakh had at least been in possession, and almost completed the pass. The ball was still active and a foul drawn. It was a foul for contact was made and until someone can point me to the rules of the game where contact without winning the ball is not a foul, I find the condemnation shallow and media-driven.

    YW

  11. ”Chamakh didn’t have control either. Arshavin had control of the ball at the time he was tripped. ”

    That’s because Chamakh moved the ball in Arshavin’s direction, and was then brought down. Rooney just belted the ball forward, Chamakh would have remained in control of the ball, or allowed Arshavin to have control if he hadn’t gone down.

  12. Who’s this poster pretending to be Ole?
    ;-))

  13. Chamakh was fouled in the box end off. I posted this before but hardly an eyebrow was raised when Ashley Young went down in what so far is the dive of the season!

  14. I judge Chamakh’s penalty decision as him going down anticipating contact, which to be fair at the way the Brum defender attempted a swipe at the ball… he had every right to go down. It may have been a bit theatrical the way he fell but evidence shows it was a clear penalty. The player certainly kicked Chamakh, and didnt manage to get the ball. What more is there to argue… let the opposition continue to bitch and feel hard done by when they thought they had a chance of a share of the points, when clearly they were outplayed for so many of the 90 mins.

    We have seen this attitude post game after many a game where the opponents have been outclassed, but fall upon 1 decision to try take some sort of pride. Its plain excuses, you lost, take it with dignity.

  15. I thought it was a half dive half foul.

  16. I would like to see Ashley Young’s dive… fucking remarkable how the foreigners at Arsenal are put under the ‘diving’ spotlight when the English players manage a 99.9% success rate for a good well earned penalty fall to the floor, to be applauded for it after the game. Racist hypocrites

  17. There isn’t a debate folks. A bolt on penalty. Why the fuck would we give room to the debate the Anti Arsenal press and blog world want to have?

  18. For me, the three points are what matter. I know Chamakh was fouled, but however much you mention it to people who have made up their mind about him they will not see it. If I was Mcleish, I would blame the defender because there was no reason why he was tackling some one when there was no chance of getting the ball. In other words, the defender invited the penalty. If Chamakh was already going down, then don’t tackle him, he will get a yellow for diving, period. I wish Gibbs gets a run in the team, because I think there are some situations where he’s a lot better that Clichy.

  19. Clear penalty, I agree steww. Can you imagine if they had a similar decision up the other end and never got the penalty!!!

    We would be sitting here listening to comments by several of the Brum players complaining how it was a clear penalty. Thats how fucking ironic these muppets are! Then you have the assault on Chamakh for a header, neeedless, and every intent to injure the player.

    The commentators I were listening to made nothing of it, while Eboue apparantely tried to kill the Brum left back. Was a scissor challenge that won the ball, at first it looked like great challenge had his other leg not taken the player. Then theres Wilshire, Arsenal’s 1st late challenge of the game, who was deservedly sent off. How many times have we seen our players being subject to them types of challenges without punishment ?? The biasness is absolutely shocking by the media. I seriously cannot take no more listening to the commentators while watching.

  20. Yes, the way Chamakh fell unfortunately resembles the way Rooney fell last year. However I think Yogi is 100% correct when he points out that the ball was still active and in our posession. Because if Chamakh had not been tripped, he would have still been able to participate in the course of our play (maybe a lay off or just drawing defenders away?) while Rooney could not have done anything at all the way he played the ball out of play.

  21. You would be hard pushed to find a Premier League player who has never dived, some are just better at it than others. How many players claim a throw in or corner knowing the ball came off them last? Football like most sports and businesses is corrupt in one way or another, and as for the media taking the moral high ground as usual through a haze of cocaine intoxication and bullshit is most laughable but very typical. Are we surprised? There was a ten minute period in the first half of Saturday’s game where chaos reigned supreme. The ref had no control over what was happening and the crowd were baying every decision and enjoying every pass. The talk should be about us taking advantage of dropped points by our rivals, not all this media conducted rubbish.

    Fuck them, we are the Arsenal.

    Onto tomorrow where I am hoping to hear a rousing and emotional rendition of ‘Eduuuardooo, Eduuuardooo’. I will be cheering on the the boys and Eduardo with all my heart.

  22. If someone can post the Ashley Young v Montenegro that would be brilliant- I can stop laughing every time I see it! It was such a ridiculous dive- and his denial afterwards was even more hilarious!

  23. Even MOTD said it was clear penalty (albiet a bit theatrical) I think that says it all. You can see the contact end of story. Scott Dann is a piss poor player and it is becoming more and more apparent that the EPL in general is jealous of Arsenal FC. The talent we have and facilities can’t be matched by anyone in the Prem and we’ve done it for little or no money (on the player side) and have paid off most of the facility’s debt. Something is quite ROTTEN in England. It stinks like ignorance and Xenophobia. English media is like watching a bunch of spoilt children play in a sandbox. It’s pathetic really. People are so easily swayed by idiocy it boggles the mind.

  24. I thought Eboue was lucky. Cahill was sent off against us for the exact same challenge. A yellow is probably right, but we have seen players sent of for that type of challenge.

    I thought there was slight contact with the penalty. Not enough to trip him, but he made the most of it. Dive or not, he needs to be careful that he does not get a reputation for being a diver.

  25. Steww,
    It’s me. I think Chamakh goes down easily. He had a reputation in France of being a diver.

    YW,
    Not every contact is a foul. I liked RVP’s definition of a foul quoted on the previous comment thread. It implied that a foul is when contact is made and a player is prevented from doing what he was trying to do with the ball.

  26. The funny thing is, if a player if booted and does not go down the referee never awards a pen even though it is still a foul. The player is encouraged to go to ground because of this.

  27. Ole.. do you think the ref would have rewarded the penalty had Chamakh not gone down? It would still have been a foul, but without the playing going down, he doesn’t earn the penalty. I think 80% of the time the ref won’t give it if the player doesn’t go down.

    I remember Hleb being pulled in the Champions League, very clearly a last man sending off. He stopped waved to the referee, and the referee didn’t give it. I have seen this countless times where the ref won’t give it because the player hasn’t gone down.

  28. You beat me to it Andy!

    I don’t happen to think Eboue’s challenge was that bad, he clearly went for the ball and got it. It’s just the follow through and scissor effect around the players legs after which resulted it being in a foul and yellow card for me. It wasn’t from behind either, he came from the side.

  29. Did Chamakh dive or not ??
    Who gives a fuck ?? We won didn’t we.. Rather we dived and win than be all noble and got beat.. How many times did Ronaldo and Rooney dive when United won ? Did the media care ?? Did they fuck.. Only the winners write history and we have known it the hard way
    So stop bitching and stop berating our own player (unless, of course, he has shagged his team mates bird)
    Only hope his hide is as thick as a buffalo’s and all this media and blog criticism doesn’t affect him a’la Eduardo..

  30. Chris – I aslo remember an incident when Andy Reid ( I think) got absolutley clobbered, but tried to stay on his feet. He got a shot away but was totally off balance and it went nowhere near the goal. It was a nailed on pen…..but he stayed up. Where is the incentive to be honest?

    I can’t imagine Wenger was happy with Eboue though. He recently described that exact type of challenge and called for it to be banned. Karl Henry’s recent challenge on Zamora was not as bad as Eboue’s but he got slated because of the end product. Let me point out I am not sticking up for him there as he has no place in football, but just using the incident as an example.

  31. Goonerandy at 12.40pm – That is correct. I also think most players would agree that they are assisting the referee in making the correct decision by exaggerating the foul. Or in Wayne Rooney’s case he would probably say: ‘eaaah, obviously ummmm, fucking ugggg like’, in a scouse accent.

  32. I don’t think Chamakh merely exaggerated the foul. I think he exaggerated before the foul.

  33. The best “dive” I have seen was Le Bob against Pompey. As he went past the player he actually kicked the Pompey player and went down. Genius even when cheating.

  34. Also before I go, I want to say well done and thank-you to the Gooner’s who unveiled the massive Aaron Ramsey banner before the game. Massive respect and well done to those guys.

  35. Ole Gunner,
    Really can’t unbderstand why, if you are who you say you are, you’re obsessing about the patently obvious Chamakh non-dive. Jesus, even Waldorf and Stadtler on MOTD called it a pen.
    Why don’t you focus on why Carr didn’t get at least a yellow for his deliberate raking of shin and stamp on the foot of Chamakh earlier in the game? Or the aerial smashing of Chamakh by Johnson. Bizarre how some people get their kicks from berating their own when there is so much more perpetrated every week by the opposition.

  36. He isn’t “obsessing”. He is simply commenting on one of the main points in the game.

    No biggie really.

  37. @ Ole G

    Is there anything in the rules that says the attacker has to be in control of the ball? I recall someone posting the rules and pointing out that a foul on an opposition player in the box, whether or not he has the ball, is punished with a penalty kick.

    Diving is when you fall over without having been fouled. Chamakh was caught by Scott Dann. That is a foul.

    A referee gives a penalty because there was a foul on an opposition player in the 18-yard box, not because the player fell over. Forwards go over when they think they have been fouled, to try to make sure the referee notices. Should Arsenal players be the only players not to do this? Whether Chamakh “exaggerated”, whether he was going down before or after the foul is neither here nor there. He was caught.
    It is the referee’s decision whether or not a foul has occurred. How much contact makes a foul is also the referee’s decision. It’s not an exact science, which is why an incident can yield a penalty kick in one game and a similar incident will be ignored in another.

    All this bitching by the media – last time it was about Nasri – is just that, bitching. And we should just tell them where to stick it instead of giving it credence.
    Or, as YW says: “This is a time to get behind the team not cower behind the headlines.”

    ****
    @ goonerandy
    I think perhaps the reason Eboue got away with a yellow card for his tackle was because it was from the side – less dangerous than from the front.

  38. GoonerAndy,
    No, actually he is being led by the nose by the media rather than exhibiting any trace of independent thought. Even more galling.

  39. On Chamakh penalty, I would say that I agree it was a bit theatrical but as many pointed out if he did not fell, the referee would not have given it even though it was a clear foul. I mean the guy was on the ground already, a few meters from the ball and he just trip the other player because he felt ashamed he felt on the floor in the first place! How people can argue it’s not a foul!

    On the other hand I agree, eventhough I don’t think he is a diver just going to the ground if a foul that prevents him from keeping control of the ball is commited, he needs to be careful because referees read the newspapers and if enough of these anti arsenal morons shout for a cheat, a few referees might have this assumption. Look at Eduardo, after his alleged dive against Celtic he was not awarded a few clear penalties!

    As for Wilshere they will calm down, their wish for a talented English player will overtake their hate for Arsenal.

    I believe that until we win a trophy, we won’t be able to avoid this anti arsenal campaign! Let’s wait until we win some well deserved silverware and then the perception will change. Of course the hardcore Arsenal haters will continue to spit their nonsense but the general media will not relay those morrons as much as now. Especially with the usual favourites failing miserably! Liverpool will fight relegation the whole season, Man U will be on a tight rope if the spat between Rooney and Ferguson is true (which seems to be the case) and finally Chelsea will soon start to feel the weight of injuries on its shoulders!

    Finally I really hope Rooney goes to Spain, first because Man U will be shadows of themselves which is always pleasant and secondly because Rooney will fail miserably abroad and he will be seen as what he is, an ugly cheating chav!

  40. Great post again, YW.
    I salute Chamakh for his bravery, tireless work and his coolness under fire.
    I salute Fabiansky for a composed performance.
    I could go through the whole team, but I will just say I thought it was a really good, battling display. We also looked very solid defensively right through the team – admittedly they got their goal, but overall there was no sense of panic or disorganisation.

  41. FunGunner,

    I remember that at the time Gallas made contact with Gerrard last season at Anfield, YW pointed out the rules say possession of the ball is irrelevant. But I subsequently had it confirmed to me that, that portion of the rule relates to fouls occuring completely off the ball.

    A referee gives a penalty because there was a foul on an opposition player in the 18-yard box, not because the player fell over.

    Very convincing point. But! For me, a player who starts going down, then knowing the defender will make a rash challenge, leaves his foot trailing, and who is then fouled, might technically be a penalty, but it’s very much not the goal of the penalty rule. Chamakh bought the penalty. It’s gamesmanship, and what made it distasteful is that he goes down dramatically. There have been a couple of times when he went down the same way without being touched at all. One very good example being away to Liverpool.

    For me, contact has to be significant, it has to deny the atacker something, and it has to be as a result of the defender tilting the balance in a duel in his own favour and not the striker doing so. By that I mean, player 1 has ball, so he has the better of play. Player 2 tackles and clips him. He’s tipped the advantage in his own favour. If the player 1 deliberately stands in the path of player 2, and player 2 runs into him and player 1 goes down, it’s player 1 trying to take advantage.

    Another example is when the defender jumps to clear the ball, and the striker gets under him, then goes down as the defender inevitably touches him. It’s not a penalty.

  42. Summmary: it’s technically a penalty, but it’s gamesmanship from Chamakh

  43. “Karl Henry’s recent challenge on Zamora was not as bad as Eboue’s but he got slated because of the end product. ”
    Surely this cant be true as the ramifications of both challenges indicate.

    I also think Chamakh milked the incident for all it was worth but am not complaining. We did score and get back on the horse from that penalty.Maybe he will get a rep for being a diver, Ronaldo always went down for much less and so have others like Gerrard and Rooney.

    I know it has been said numerous times but I’ll say it again,commentary during the game sucked.Isnt the first rule of commentary being a neutral??

  44. Chamakh’s drawing of the pen was AWESOME. There are instincts involved there. The challenge was idiotic…a lurching lunge that never had a chance of getting near the ball. Even Hansen agreed that you can’t complain when you make a challenge like that in the box. Cham felt the contact on his foot and fell…and that’s at worst. At best, it’s a genuine trip; it doesn’t take much.

    And no, it is nothing like Rooney’s dive, were his trailing foot carved a furrow in the turf as he dove INTO Almunia. Had Almunia magically disappeared at that moment prior to contact, Rooney was still going for a tumble.

  45. I agree with clockendrider

    Carr’s challenge was arguably the worst of the game, yet everyone seems to forget it? There was definite intent to cause damage there, while Eboue won the ball, and Wilshire was simply late.

  46. There is “diving”, and there is “drawing a foul”. Two very differnt things. I agree with Ole in this case. I don’t care mind, it helped secure us the points that we needed.

    Clockend – Why do you assume he is being led by the media? Shock horror…..but perhaps it is just what he happens to think. Anyway, if MOTD say it was definately a penalty then surely he is going against the media? If so, does that not mean that it is you who is being led by the media?

    Shame on you 😉

  47. If it had been one of our players on the end of the Eboue tackle I would wager a bet the reaction around here would be slightly different.

  48. Ole

    There is no harm in making the ref’s job easier. Cesc, Hleb, Xavi, Ronaldo, Messi, fat Ronaldo… etc have all gone down when need be – when a leg is swiped, when a foot obstructs, a shirt pulled… On many occasions the best players in the world can actually continue to play, but the knowing of someones trying to bring you down or foul you, you have a right to stop if you choose to. It happens on countless occasions outside the box, unfortunately inside the box it leads to a goal, and thats where the contraversy comes in.

    I don’t think Chamakh is a diver, he goes down a bit theatrically, but thats all. You cannot class him as a diver for such an incident which warranted a penalty, choosing to go down instead of running into Arshavin unbalancd.

  49. I think on the part of Chamakh we should focus on Dann. He had no chance in the world to get the ball. The ball was passed to Arshavin. He still lunged in trying to get to Chamakh. So I do not think there can be any discussion. It does not matter what Chamakh does because Dann is not trying to go for the ball. He is going for Chamakh. It is absolutely valid for Chamakh to make the most of it. It would have been differently if Dann was trying to get to the ball and he accidentally made contact with Chamakh. But, and that should be the main point, he is NOT. He is trying to impede Chamakh in his movement, Chamakh notices and goes down because of it, Dann is stupid, end of story.

  50. Carr’s tackle on Chamakh was nasty. Thank God for shin pads. How he wasn’t booked for it, someone has to explain. Since he was later booked, after his 3rd bookable offence he should have walked.

    Bowyer should have been sent off too.

    Also, there were a couple of counter attacks in which Arsenal broke, and there were professional fouls made on Wilshere in one case, Rosicky another time and Diaby twice, Atkinson didn’t give the mandatory yellow cards.

  51. Evil – Your last sentance is the crux of it really. It was a stupid challenge in the box regardless.

  52. andy … Many Arsenal fans have seen countless scissor tackles on our players go unpunished. Even those where they have failed to take the ball, or the ball first. I don’t think we have ever paid special attention to them unless they go straight through the back of our players. A bit like Joe Cole on Koscielny. Luckily for Eboue he was from the side, and went for the ball. A red would have been very harsh.

  53. ChrisGoona | October 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm |

    I don’t think it was that he chose to go down after the foul. I think he went down, and was then fouled. That’s why I don’t think he just simply highlighted a foul with his dramatic fall.

  54. The gall of Scott Dann in claiming he didn’t touch Chamakh. It should be highlighted that he’s a lying git

  55. @Ole
    That is interesting, yes. Because he starts going down before there is contact. I just guess that he was anticipating that somebody would lunge into him (possibly already got a couple of kicks in the box during the game?). Obviously, if Dann would have had enough of a brain to NOT try to impede a player who has passed the ball on, Chamakh would have been made to look really stupid with his tumble.

  56. Chris – I agree a red would have been harsh, and you are right in that Eboue came from the side and not from behind. It was foolish because it is the type of challenge which can draw a red though. Especially with dangerous tackles being the buzzword at the moment.

  57. Ole

    It is always the case. What infuriates me more is when Song makes a couple blocked challenges with no intent to harm the player, just silly fouls. The ref always books him after 2 or 3, leaving him on a knifes edge away from a sending off. This happens with Denilson a lot too. Song’s unfair dismissal the result of his latest sending off.

    Players like Fletcher, Gerrard, Scholes, Bowyer.. etc etc all seem to be allowed their fair share of petty fouls in any given Premiership game. While, with teams versus Arsenal, they are afforded the professional/petty fouls too because that is their only real input on the game.

    80% of games that we play, I would say the referee warrants cards and freekicks unfairly. Our quality normally overcomes the biasness, its just a complete piss take to watch players like Carr stick their studs into our players, then we get a yellow for a harmless or honest foul tackle.

  58. Ole.. I think Chamakh knew he would get the ball 1st, and played for the penalty. he knew he was going to receive contact from the player, and could see it happenning as he fell. Lets call it same time! haha.. either way it was a penalty so we shouldn’t fuss. We would expect that given against us too, no matter how the player goes down.

  59. I sawa a stat recently to back this up actually. It was somthing like the opposition commits an average of 7 fouls to our 3 in getting a yellow card. Obvisouly that does not take into account severity, but still?

  60. I’ve been on Chamakh’s case for a couple of weeks now. There are many many people out there who WRONGLY think Arsenal players dive/simulate/play act/make the most, all the time. That has not been true for a long time. Apart from Eboue, that is.

    I look at 5 penos in 10 games, and know that the referee would have felt justified in each case. But it’s adding to that notion that people have that Arsenal players dive.

    I would rather we didn’t have that reputation as it costs us much more than it earns us.

    Just look at how many stonewall penalties we didn’t get last season due to the Eduardo embargo. At least 12 penalties.

  61. I don’t think we should be too worried about a player getting a reputation as a diver when he’s not diving.

    I think Ashley Young is on the verge of getting a reputation as a diver, because he’s been caught out on tv two or three times now, throwing himself down without any contact. Even still though, if the next time he legitimately gets fouled, and the referee sees it, I expect him to get a freekick. Ultimately all we’re all asking for is the referee to do his job properly, and so far we’ve got some penalties when they have done that, and we’ve missed out on some when they haven’t. Pretty normal football fare.

    The boy who cried wolf thing doesn’t come into it because he hasn’t cried wolf, they’ve all been penalties. If he does cry wolf then let’s worry about his reputation then.

  62. Limpar,

    I agree. All we want is for the refs to do their jobs properly. Let me ask you a question though. Do you think referees allow fouls against us, that they wouldn’t allow from our players?

  63. Limpar – The media is what we need to worry about in that respect. look at Eduardo….I can only remember him diving once whilst at Arsenal (the Celtic game), yet because of the media witch hunt he suffered he became to have a diving reputation. Totally unfounded, but it happened anyway.

    If the media latch on to some of Chamakh’s more theatrical falls (regardless of it he has been fouled or not) he could well end up in the same boat as poor Eddy.

  64. iirc the thing against Celtic was no dive?

  65. Given the state of refereeing in the PL anyone trying to stay on their feet after contact in the box should have their head examined. I can’t think of a CF anywhere in any league who wouldn’t be aware of the benefits of highlighting a foul to the linesman or referee in the same circumstances. That anyone from Birmingham or the media would slate Chamakh is firstly a case of selective amnesia, secondly a demonstration of how little they understand the game, and lastly an example of how they love to wind up the populace against Arsenal.
    Ole, your apparent slating of Chamakh for “gamesmanship” is laughable. I find you guilty of a common sin of the footballing media; that of overanalyzing the slow motion reply. Reading “intent” into slow motion photography is a dark art that serves no one. Anyone can make slow motion replays show exactly what they want them to…and I would argue most who do argue about what the replay shows are merely guilty of seeing what they want to see.
    It was a good win, I was happy to see Nasri’s nasty side come out again, I thought Fabianski played well and Eboue too. Is Wilshire suspended for the UCL match because of his red card in the PL?

  66. Evil – It was similar the same as Chamakh’s IMO. There was very little (if any contact). He was “clever”, he “conned the ref”. Lots of views on that one, and impossible to be definitive really. Either way, it did not do his reputation any good. At the very worse he went down easily.

  67. Gris – Jack is OK for tomorrow. He will miss M City, the CC game, W Ham.

  68. Andy, the Eduardo embargo was different because there was a targetted redtop campaign against him which was set in motion by and lent weight by false accusations made by the SFA. If that happens again then it becomes a worry, I agree. But we’re far from seeing that happen – for starters, we don’t play any f*cking scots in the near future. And thankfully, though arguably without fair reason, Scott Dann’s opinion carries less water with the newspapers than the SFA.

  69. Goonerandy

    Yes I was biting my nails at the time of the Eboue and Wilshire challenges, great timing from both of them after all our talk of fair play! Every team will commit a late / bad challenge every now and then, even us. It was always going to be thrown back in our faces as soon as their is a hint of a bad challenge from us.

    In Wilshire’s case, he has had it coming. The Liverpool game he produced a familiar challenge and got away with it. He likes to get stuck in, and sometimes goes for the ball when he shouldn’t, a bit like the penalty he gave away when pulling a player down rather stupidly.

    Great talent, one of our best players this season so far too, but Wenger will have a word I am sure. Just shows though that at Arsenal we are not willing to accept such

  70. Limpar – Agreed. I just hope he does not starting getting a reputation, thats all. The media won’t pass up any opportunity to get on our backs.

  71. Ole, I think they do, yes. But I think it’s less to do with the perceived reputation you talk of, and more to do with the sheer volume of clips, knocks and niggles we get – due to our game. In a sort of levelling the field in favour of the defender who gets endlessly turned and caught out for pace and keeps giving away innocuous little fouls – then the ref might start to wave some of those on – we see that happen a lot. But if they start letting that thought process interfere with a penalty decision in a deadlocked game, then they’re not refereeing the game correctly.

  72. We won, the Chavs lost 2 points. Thats the only thing that really matters. Nice to get back on track. Need at least a draw at Eastlands next weekend to keep it going.

    Who cares if Chamakh dived or not. We probably would not have had 3 points without it. He made the same play that every CF in history would have made. The only difference is that now with slow motion replays we can see what really happens.

    Better defending yesterday. Will be interesting to see what happens with our GK situation now that Almunia getting healthy. Hopefully we can go on a strong run with Cesc and Theo and TV getting back on the pitch soon. Not counting on RVP for the rest of this year. Sad that such an incredible talent has had so much trouble with injuries.

  73. It stands to reason that we get a lot of penalties because we have the ball in the oppositon box, at our feet, a lot more than any other team in the league. I think referees understand that. If one day a ref turns around and decides not to give us a penalty because he thinks, “hm… there was contact, but this lot always get given penalties… nah, I’m not giving it”, then that will be wrong and f*cking annoying but it won’t be Chamakh’s fault.

  74. Is this the same Birmingham that benefitted from a dodgy last minute penalty against us in 2008; the day Edu got injured? Wonder why we pay attention to all the crap being peddled. They are simply trying to distract from their poor form… Besides they hardly saw the ball in a game we well and truly dominated. Suffice to say the scoreline flattered them.

  75. Do you think John Dubya Henry caught a look at Liverpool on FOX and shouted, “HEY! Those guys got red saacks on! Waats the deeal?! Don’t we own the red saacks? That’s aaahh fuckin red saacks they’s a’wearrin’! I won’t hayve it, we’re buyin’ ’em!”

  76. Ok enough with the dive or no dive debate or the nastiness of challenges made by Wilshere and Eboue as it seems that people will stick to their guns so no need to repeat our argument in different wording for x amount of time.

    Let’s talk about Tuesday match against Shaktar and Eduardo’s return! I hope he will get the recognition of the Emirates but I don’t want him to score! Even if we win by 6 goals as I want a clean sheet by Fabianski to keep building his confidence. He looked much more confident last game and let’s hope he keeps getting better with every game.

    Considering Wilshere will be suspended for the domestic game he will surely be a starter especially with Wenger’s comment about cesc being fit but not starting the game.

    Therefore my prediction would be:
    ——-Fabianski
    Eboue—Djourou–Squillaci—Gibbs
    ——–Song—Denilson
    ————-Wilshere
    Nasri—-Chamakh—Vela

    With Cesc, Bendtner to have a run out in the second half. I’m still unsure about gibbs as on one hand I want him to get a start but on the other hand he would probably get one against Newcastle. As for Vela, I also think he deserved a start, he did nothing wrong each time he went on, we have more option on the bench regarding attacking options (Bendtner, Walcott, Rosicky and Arshavin), CL is probably the best games to give him some starting time and Arshavin needs to be on his toes as being a sure starter is no insentive to work hard and not drift in and out of games.
    Finally I’ve picked Denilson over Diaby as his passing and retaining possession game might be better suited against Shaktar while Diaby’s strenght and directness might be better for next weekend’s game against Man city.

  77. Man One has joined Hull City on loan. Hope he gets games there. Go get them, Tiger!

  78. I think Bendtner will start this one. Chamakh has played every game, and he will be needed for the weekend. Maybe even Theo as well for AA.

  79. I hate cheaters – unless they’re cheating for me

  80. I miss Denilson, we havent been ticking the same way since his absence. he is definitely due a game.

  81. I would have put Bendtner as starter too for the same reasons but I think Wenger said he was not at full fitness and might need a few games to be 100% but as well the better way to get that match fitness is to play so you might be right.
    As for Walcott replacing AA, I’ve thought of putting Walcott in my prediction but with his toe problem made me doubt but if he is on the pitch I think it would be on the right in place of Nasri. Carlos and Denilson must start they both deserve it!

  82. Hello everyone!!

    Praise the football gods for we are Arsenal and we got the 3 points we deserved on Saturday!

    I really feel that Song got back to the full levels of awesomeness we saw out of him last season on Saturday. I think AW has had a talking with him!

  83. For tomorrow I’d go with;

    Fabianski,

    Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Gibbs

    Diaby, Denilson, Wilshere

    Walcott, Chamakh, Rosicky

    Bench: Szczesny, Clichy, Song, Fabregas, Nasri, Vela, Bendtner

    Arshavin looks like he needs a breather.

  84. Do you remember when Song got booked for running hand-in-hand with another player?
    When Vermy got sent off for the feintest of touches agiants West Ham?

    Referees, eh?

    I remember when Ferdinand body checked Freddie right off the ball and got nothing.

  85. I must say, my emotions really started to boil over after that Brum scum bag clearly attacked Chamakh in the air.

    I saw something that the FA might take action against that. But surely it mustve been a typo…

  86. Bendy’s cameo intrigued me. I think Bendy is awesome within the box (his running is more direct) while Marou excels without. These two playing together interests me greatly.

  87. Gadget

    Remember at the beginning of last season, Bendtner would play on the right of our front 3 alongside RvP? That was very interesting..

    Agreed that a similar partnership with Chammy would be similarly interesting.

  88. Hope Mannone gets plenty of minutes and glad to see we are a bit more confident at the back this season. Apart from West Brom, and losing depsite playing well at Chelsea, we have been fairly solid. This is without our main CB too, so the signs are good. Squillaci, Kosc, and Djourou putting in good performances in all competitions.

    The one that pleases me most is the goalkeepers. I know Almunia had a game to forget at West Brom, but it just proves that the negativity around our keepers that has hounded us all summer and nearly all this season so far also, has not been at all a true reflection on their abilities.

    Our defence as a team was poor last season, too many occasions our lack of positional sense in a new system exposing us. What we have learnt so far this term is that Fabianski and Almunia may not be world beaters, or classed as in the same bracket as Cech, Buffon, or recent ball dropper Van Der Sar.. but they have shown what is needed to play for a top club.

    ‘World Class’ players are not made over night, it is a reputation that must be earned, some times one that stays with players even if their performance levels drop!? As crazy as it is, is Reina a world class keeper nowadays? Is Buffon? Is Van Der Sar…?? They are regarded World Class but can only do as good as the protection of the defence in front of them.

    I hope many Arsenal fans have learnt, but i will hold my breathe for now…

  89. “Karl Henry’s recent challenge on Zamora was not as bad as Eboue’s but he got slated because of the end product. ”
    Surely this cant be true as the ramifications of both challenges indicate.’
    Yeah, it’s not true.
    I should have known better. And before the game, put down some ca$h on Emmanuel Toe Crusher Eboue fouling Ridgewell (no Gardner), and not breaking his legs in the process.

    Theo a doubt for tomorrow. And Diaby may be rested for the upcoming game against the multiple D**Mers of $iteh?
    Denilson and Wilshere to start, alongside two of Nasri, TR7 and Fabregas?

  90. I’d go with gunnerluc’s line-up myself, only with Walcott and Bendtner in for Nas and Cham. Walcott seems to pick Bendtner out for fun. Remember that hattrick of sitters he missed against Burnley(?) – that was all Theo’s work. Maybe Diaby or Rosicky in for Vela to begin with – they are a very handy team Shakthar. I think we’re in for a great game.

  91. I must admit Chris,

    watching Van Der Sar drop that ball brought me immense joy. and not just because of its importance in Utd dropping points.

    It just made me want to tell all of those people who bandied about with phrases like world class, proven international, etc etc to please, shut the f*ck up!

  92. LA

    i too would consider resting Chamakh. I was thinking about how immensely crucial he’s been right at the start of his career. He’s got a lot to be proud of. and i’m pretty sure your right about it being the Burnley game, that was one of those Walcott creating chances for fun days.. Sighhhhh

  93. Theo’s a doubt now? What cruel news, Finsbury.

  94. “Karl Henry’s recent challenge on Zamora was not as bad as Eboue’s but he got slated because of the end product. ” – that is bollocks.

  95. I think:

    Fabianski

    Eboue
    Squillachi
    Djourou
    Gibbs

    Denilson
    Song
    Wilshere

    Theo
    Bendtner
    Rosicky

  96. Hopefully Song gets rested and Denilson runs the midfield with Wilshere and most likely Diaby. Want Rosicky to start too. I do not think Wenger will not start Rosicky two continuous matches that too in different competitions. So Vela will miss out i guess.

    —————————–Fabianski—————————-
    —-Eboue——Squillaci———-Djourou———-Gibbs—
    ————————-Denilson———————————
    —————-Wilshere——————————————
    ——————————–Diaby——————————
    —-Nasri———————————————Rosicky—-
    —————————Chamakh/Bendtnre——————

  97. Although Henry is indeed a dirty shite, there was an element of bad luck in the Zamora break. Wilshere’s tackle was more dangerous.

    Eboue’s was the same type of challenge. Zamora was unlucky I thought.

  98. I liked NB52’s assists for TW14!

    Very similar, a few of them:
    Ball passed out from ‘keeper, played straight up by CB to NB52 who’s dropped to the c.circle in front of the back nine, turns, passes, goal!

  99. Hey, NJ. If you have a look down the More Arsenal Sites list up here on the right, click on Gingers for Limpar (no relation) and they’ve got a very interesting look at Song’s fine performance on Saturday. Still pushing forward, but making more of his passes is the upshot – but it’s a good little read.

  100. NJ – VdS does not make many gaffs though does he? That is why he is classed as top class.

  101. thanks LA

  102. If Chamakh were a diver he would’ve dove instead of dancing around the whole Brummie defense to score. Why isn’t anyone talking about that?

  103. I actaully don’t have too much of a porblem with Song’s forward forays. It’s all part of his education. Soon his close control will improve, then his shooting, and when that happens there will be no doubt.

    Best DM in the world.

    Just another gunner in the armoury that is Arsenal

  104. G69, So true! If he was a diver that was an even better occasion to dive instead he scored a beautiful goal and not a simple tap in as I heard!

  105. That pirouette was quality wasn’t it, G69? Like a basketball player pivotting round some D-FENCE. Very graceful player we’ve got on our hands there.

  106. Chamakh has been an inspires signing. Very influential on our season so far. I reckon by the end of this season though Nasri will have emerged as a major player in the lge.

  107. @Gadget
    Probably we should let Vermalen become a striker while he is playing as CB then he will become the best CB.

    I know that is too much , but any more learning for Song has to be gradual and not affecting Arsenal. We can let Wilshere learn in the same bandwidth.

  108. What I get from that G4L article is that Song is doing what he was doing from the start of the season, ie breaking up play higher up the field, but now he’s got hang of it, and got the balance right.

    ***
    Turned on to AW’s presser but Eboue is being interviewed at the mo – the journos are trying to catch him out on tackling, asking if he’s sorry about his tackle. He said the referee had spokento him and that he would be more careful in future. He also said he apologised to Ridgewell, all of which I expect disappointed them a bit. They clearly still haven’t got the point AW is making about tackling. It’s so important for us fans not to be complicit in hijacking and and perverting the debate.

  109. @ G69 at 3:48pm

    Precisely. And when he was caught by Dann he was moving towards both the ball and the goal.

  110. G69,

    There are things so beautiful – from the simple majesty of a buttercup under the chin to making sexy time with Seven of Nine – many a mortal mind can do nought but forget them. To do otherwise would result in their crumbling into a foetal ball while they weep out their souls.

    Pity the hacks, but do not lay with one

  111. SRG,

    Vermy had that training at Ajax already.

  112. Time for some squad rotation. Gibbs, Denilson, Vela, Bendy, Rosicky all to start IMO.
    Theo & Cesc might get some minutes too.

  113. andy,

    certainly he doesnt. but it also goes to show that the quality of a keeper cannot be judged on the merit of a single performance.

  114. Exactly, FG. I liked Song’s little aerial backheel over the top, opening the TBO4 for Jack to chest through and assist Cham’s pirouette winner. Not something you’d get from an orthodox Obi-Mik-Biscuits style D**Mer. Embrace the versatility!

    (That was like ACLF code!)

  115. MJ I would be a little surprised to see that many changes.

    I feel that by securing all 3 pts, we can start to rotate a little bit more the rest of the group stage. but thats just me.

  116. Maybe you are right NJ, we need to grab 3 points as this is a home fixture. Arsene even mentioned something like ‘Bendtner is not ready yet’ so we might see Chamakh starting yet again Or maybe Vela from the centre..
    Rest all mentioned earlier are good enough to secure the points. Or else we have the stars on the bench 😀

  117. I would be devastated if KOS is not fit by the weekend. DJ is a good back up CB, but Tevez, in this form might prove too much for him..

  118. Limpar,

    I caught the Theo story on the Ski.
    Probably, it is just their usual quality of ‘news’.
    I hope he plays on the weekend, and a warm up would help.
    Will $iteh’s selections will continue to be inspired? Wayne Bridge vs. a vaguely fit Theo? Yes please.

    A win tomorrow against strong opponents guarantees qualification. And rests in the next few CL games going by the pattern of rotation in the last two seasons.
    So I’m thinking we’ll see Chamack start and then come off for Bendy at around 2-0!

    Song’s back-heel flick to JW followed by two one-two’s, was quite nice.

  119. Diaby was immense…if only he would finish his runs rather than pulling up looking for the “goal-scorers”…a touch of over-humility there. He does all the hard work and then backs off at the edge of the box because he not the one who’s “supposed” to be shooting. Either way he was so incisive…directness that we really needed.

  120. NJGooner:

    Tied 1 – 1. Cliff Lee v. Andy Pettitte. It does not get any better. Yanks are tough, Robbie Cano is awesome. Still see Rangers in 6. Our starting pitching has been excellent so far.

    Rangers need the win tonight. Both teams have dodgy 4th starters and our bullpen is still suspect so even without Burnett pitching well you have the advantage Tues.

  121. Various interviews with Eduardo. Highlights from an interview with J.Wilson:

    “It’s a club with a phenomenal stadium,” Eduardo says. “They have great support, fantastic players and always aim for top honours. I wish to express my deepest gratitude to Arsène Wenger, with whom I got on extremely well. He was good to me right to the end of my days at the club. I’ll always have good memories of Arsenal.”
    “AW told us to enjoy football, to figure out attacking combinations. I think that’s the future of football…”

  122. Bill

    Hello sir. good games so far.

    Anxious to see how tonight plays out. will be the series decider if you ask me. I’m hoping the bright lights of the big city will overwhelm you guys. Been impressed by you guys so far. Were you at both games? I remember you said you were sitting in good seats behind the plate, so I definitely “looked for you”, even though I havent a clue what you look like haha!

    Enjoy the game tonight!

    GO YANKS

  123. Surprising to see how United struggle this much. They could still get it together but I think the window has closed on the group of players they have. EVDS is 40. Evans clearly not Rio Ferdinand. I guess they miss Neville also. I was expecting them to struggle to score but so far even without Rooney that has not been a problem. Inadequate defending is certainly the fastest and best way to derail title hopes.

  124. Finsbury –
    Thats the dignity a gunner will always have!
    Here’s wishing Eddy a great career ahead. Hope he regains his best form (after tuesday that is)

  125. NJ:

    Went to both games. Still hoarse from screaming. I came 1 row away from a foul ball on Sat. so you might actually have seen me without knowing.

    Agree that tonight will be huge, expecially for the Rangers. Yanks have the advantage Tues and I can not see us coming back from 3 – 1 down. If we win tonight and CJ Wilson throws another good game on Wed then we will win in 6. Good luck. I had no idea how much fun playoff baseball can be.

  126. Bill,

    its really the best kind! welcome to the club..

  127. If we win against Shaktar then we can rest our starters for most of the rest of the group stage games. That would be huge since all of our difficult games the first half of the year seem to fall on the weekend after CL games. Hope Eduardo plays great but our fantastic defense keeps him from scoring.
    I would start the same line up as this weekend except I would like to see Vela instead of Arshavin. Bendtner as an impact sub if needed. Sorry to hear Theo might not be ready. He would also be a great impact sub for this game and hopefully start at the Eastlands next weekend.

  128. “Theo has a toe problem,” said Wenger. “But his ankle is all right and he is in the squad. It would be difficult for me to tell you who will start because I do not know yet.”

  129. Something, I don’t understand about our “trophy drought” is that every year we seem to be labelled the world losers with N years without trophy when my memory tells me Liverpool last won something (the FA cup) in 2006 a year after we won the same cup as our last official trophy. Why don’t they talk about their “drought” no mentioning the 20 something years without a league trophy either.

  130. Here’s what I feel about that offence –

    I think he’s gone into the challenge with a complete disregard for the opponent’s safety. It was clearly a revenge assault. We’re very lucky that there was no lasting damage and I’m not sure the club has done enough to apologize for what was just the kind of thuggery that needs to be completely wiped out of the game. The manager has been a bit hypocritical of course – focussing entirely on challenges against his side and overlooking the gravity of the ones committed by his own players. Roger Johnson was a lucky boy.

    Seriously though, that elbow was pure filth. Did anyone see the way MC’s head rocked back?

  131. Quite nice! I’ll say…

    – axis, I think everyone would like Diaby to try his luck with a few more shots. Remember when he smashed one passed Reina at hs near post a couple of years back? The boy can shoot! I’m putting his hesitancy down to it being his first game back. I think a week’s training and hopefully some action tomorrow should get him firing again.

    Speaking of training, haven’t seen such a healthy squad for ages. Brilliant to see Cesc and Bendtner and Denilson and Diaby all in there, a long with those who’ve done such a great job covering them; Rosicky, Wilshere, Chamakh. We’re beginning to be spoilt for choice, which is as it should be.

    Chamakh looks well and truly integrated to me. When you come through a battle like that, and with the lumps to prove it, you can walk a little taller. Great to have another ‘fighter’ amongst us, as AW put it.

  132. Well, what’s the verdict? Does Chamakh have to stay behind after school or not?

  133. Wilshere’s tackle was not half as bad as people want to make it out. You can see he is clearly trying to move the ball to his left while going into the challenge. He had his leg completely outstretched in the whole movement he would break Zigic’s leg. I think the red was even harsh!!!

  134. I think Scott Dann could do with a bit of extra tuition on the basics of defending in his area. I think I once heard a pundit stress the importance of staying on your feet when you make tackles there.

  135. OOU

    that elbow was embarassing.. but dont worry he’s not that kind of player..

  136. So what are you saying, Big Al? Should Scott Dann stay behind after school instead?

  137. Definitely, PZ. And I reckon Alan Hansen would say the same. Surely that’s enough for you.

  138. I like this quote from the boss: “I think the Dutch coach has a good sense of humour,” he said. “There is no chance [of Van Persie playing against Turkey].

  139. Look people, we finally seem to have rid the sight of thae absolute arsehole doomers that pose as supporters. Now we seem to have an obsession with the percieved behaviour of our players. Do we have to analyse our team to death?

    Come on. Enjoy the win. Applaud the skill. Laugh at the mancs and ‘pool.

    Great days.

  140. JW19 against Chel$ki, thanks to you know who :

    http://www.youtube.com/cwdjwilshere19

  141. Chamakh ‘Welcome To Arsenal’:

  142. I like this new look Arsenal.

  143. Nasri – 8 starts 6 goals
    Chamakh – 10 starts 6 goals
    Theo – 3 starts 4 goals
    Andrei – 11 starts 5 goals
    Cesc – 4 starts 3 goals
    Vela 2 starts 4 goals
    these stats look good.

  144. Well said, Conolsbob. No need to nitpick our squad to death. Let’s enjoy them.

    And I’m taking particular pleasure in laughing at mancs. Let’s all join in a hearty round of virtual laughter in front of our computers at their expense. It will make you feel better, I guarantee it.

  145. I would cry out laughing if their ‘World’s Best Player’ leaves.. LOL

  146. Vela on top!

  147. I still look grumpy, though. 😦

    Anyway: if Rooney leaves and bombs in Spain, that would be truly great.

  148. you over in England would no better than I.. Rooney hasnt actually come out and said anything right? I read something today that made it sound like he had committed to leaving in January.. just the normal press bollocks im sure, but I had to inquire..

    watching the mancs suffer is a sport I take great pleasure in participating in!

  149. Great ‘Welcome to Arsenal’ video of Chamakh.

    The only penalty debate is the one he didn’t get. This is a classy player without a doubt, and much better than we could have hoped at this stage of his Arsenal career.

    I may be in the small minority of fans who is currently satisfied with every area of the pitch for our main choices:

    Almunia, Fabianski (Satisfied)
    Sagna, Eboue (Extemely Satisfied)
    Clichy, Gibbs (Extremely Satisfied)
    Vermaelen, Djourou, Squillaci, Koscielny (Very Satisfied)
    Fabregas, Song, Denilson, Wilshere, Diaby, Ramsey (Extremely Satisfied)
    Nasri, Walcott, Arshavin, Rosicky, Vela (Very Satisfied)
    Van Persie, Chamakh, Bendtner (Extremely Satisfied)

    One final note-Fabianski’s confidence in recent games will allow Arsene to do what he’s wanted to do all along, and that’s ushering Almunia gently out and bringing in Sczcesny in as a frequently used #2 for Carling and F.A Cup games next season. Fabianski survived the Chelsea test and Man City will be the next one, but if he puts together a few more quality games, then he’ll really start to command. If this happens, our goalkeeping problems will be over.

  150. David Gill certainly said something on the lines of ‘this isn’t the right time to comment’ proving that there is something going on indeed

  151. consolsbob: October 18, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Post of the day CB.

  152. Hold on, I thought Passenal was the only one with the authority to give the Post of the Day award.

  153. I have noticed there is a lot of understanding between Chamakh and Wilshere. On a number of occasions this season I have seen them doing their one twos perfectly down the middle and it can only get better over the season. I did not expect them to form, a parternership but it looks like they are building one.

  154. Poliziano, it’s okay I would have chosen that one as POTD as well so I’ll let dupsffokcuf off just this once. But just so we’re clear, I choose post of the day, okay? It’s the new look ‘dark Passenal’ so I’m taking no shit from anyone!

  155. Oh dear, I was a bit lucky there PZ.

  156. 1lc:
    “I have noticed there is a lot of understanding between Chamakh and Wilshere. On a number of occasions this season I have seen them doing their one twos perfectly down the middle and it can only get better over the season. I did not expect them to form, a parternership but it looks like they are building one.”

    Intelligent players don’t need too much time to gel with one another. My favorite Wilshere, Chamakh combination has got to be the goal against Braga. Jack’s little trap-pass is one of the best moves I’ve seen thus far this season.

  157. shit music+shit football, it can only be netbusters on sky sports

  158. Hopefully, the squad, the club, and Arsene will follow the steps of the new “Dark Passenal”.

    I also have a dream for some of our moronic fans to follow the same idea and take “no shit” for the club for a change instead of attacking it on a regular basis. Try it, it feels good to defend something else other than your fat egos.

  159. Great post old man, you know who you are 🙂 short but sweet.

  160. Old man is getting efficient with words, just like Pz. Precise and to the point.

  161. In the UK for a couple of days and actually going to Birmingham on Tuesday and Wednesday – any messages that you care for me to pass on to sad Brummies? It’s raining in Bradford and the curried goat is not sitting well on my stomach.

  162. “any messages that you care for me to pass on to sad Brummies?”

    Changing the ‘a’ in pass to an ‘i’ should suffice.

  163. @dups
    Actually the way the curry is bubbling, I could manage something much worse.

  164. With Bendtner back, does it mean we wont be seeing Vela play any more??

  165. Poor old Blackburn. Imagine having David Dunn for a ‘talisman’. He’s so far and away their key player it’s like Arsenal having Cesc and RVP fit for a combined total of 6 games a season. Very sad. But then, Allardyce is a complete toerag, so…

  166. Terrific post specially about the chances we have in europe. Once the group stages are done does the real battle begin and i completely agree to the fact that except for Chelsea and bayern(we never have had a good time against them) we can beat any other team at home and if our defense holds good, we should be able to get past most teams over the 2 legs. Even in terms of the league, its just been 8 games and we already are wondering if we can still win the title? come on for heaven sake we still have around 30 games more to decide. Usually october november is when our injuries start mounting whereas this season we have most of our players coming back which gives us renewed hope. I am certain we can win either the champions league or the premier league this season, obviously luck does play its part in doing so.

  167. So excited about tonight!

    – – – – – – – – – Fabianski – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – Squillaci – Djourou – – – – – – –
    Eboue – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Gibbs
    – – – – – – – – – Song – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Denilson – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – Nasri – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Walcott – – – – – – – – – – Arshavin – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – Chamakh – – – – – – – – – –

    That’s my first eleven… but it’ll probably change throughout the day. If Walcott’s got a sore toe then Nasri starting from the right and Wilshere in the middle. Diaby in for Arshavin and Rosicky in just about anywhere are also very tempting. What a squad!

  168. @LA

    And the possibility of someone called Fabregas to come on as a sub.

  169. – – – – – – – – – Fabianski – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – Squillaci – Djourou – – – – – – –
    Eboue – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Gibbs
    – – – – – – – – – Song – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Denilson – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – Nasri – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Walcott – – – – – – – – – – ———Vela – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – Chamakh – – – – – – – – – –

    Speedy wingers + Chamakh… Cesc coming on, in the second half!.. Theres no stopping this Arsenal

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