Thoughts Turn To City And The Weekend

The players are understandably bouyant following the victory over Shaktar but already the senior members of the squad are sounding a note of caution, that this return to form must be continued into Sunday’s trip to Eastlands. Tomas Rosicky got the ball rolling,

We need a win in Manchester. We cannot always say we are unlucky because it doesn’t work like that. It’s time to prove we can win those games.

At Chelsea it was the same old story. We presented ourselves well on the pitch and we were very disappointed with the result because you go into the game with the feeling you can win it. But these are all just words and we have to finally show it on the pitch.

We have a great opportunity to do that on Sunday. The win over Shakhtar was a good boost for us before City, so let’s go for it there.

History has been rewritten recently as far as the squad is concerned. Encounters with Manchester United and Chelsea have seen only two wins in the last two seasons with the record expanding to four wins out of the last twenty meetings. Whilst there have been a number of draws, the record is still not good.

City are the new kids on the block as far as being a top four side are concerned yet they have won their last three on the trot with Chelsea and lost both Mancunian derbies narrowly last season. And Arsenal’s record since the 0 – 3 reverse post-Gallasgate is abysmal as well; one win, four goals scored and thirteen conceded in the last five meetings.

No matter how close the games with United and Chelsea might have been, the record books do not make pretty reading. As Rosicky and others have noted, the defeat at Chelsea was another bitter one to swallow simply because chances were not taken, sucker punches were swift and brutal.

Cesc believes that the advantage Arsenal has over City is the hurried approach taken to glory by the new owners of the club, glory sought to be bought in a year,

Of course you cannot buy that in one year. You need a few years to get everyone together to know each other well. It’s not easy. You don’t do in one season or two I would say.

They have a lot of money, they are taking advantage of it and that’s it. Obviously it’s not our style, but we respect everyone’s decision. Everyone decides how they want to win.

Comparisons to Chelsea are obvious and somewhat wide of the mark for the Londoners were more advanced as a squad than City prior to their spree, Ranieri had already laid good foundations for Mourinho to build upon. That is not to say that City cannot achieve their aims quickly; the Premier League ‘giants’ are weaker than in the past, United is some disarray at the moment whilst Chelsea are reliant upon an ageing squad. City though are not without significant weaknesses, their defence exposed by Blackpool last weekend as was their reliance upon Carlos Tevez.

Arsenal cannot assume this team spirit gives them an advantage. City are at home and they will be difficult to beat because of that. Arsenal do not have the ‘Indian sign’ over them to give a psychological edge but that will come into it. The hosts will be favourites and pressure upon them to produce, to show that their victory over Chelsea was not a ‘one-off’ but a significant stride forwards.

And this may yet play into the hands of Wenger who will have a relatively strong squad to choose from if his injury estimates are correct from last week. That is a big ‘if’ since some of his forecasts in that respect are as much use as a chocolate teapot and the loss of Wilshere should not be underestimated, his dribbling and speed of thought would have been hugely advantageous in a crowded defence and midfield.

Even so, it is a fixture to look forward to and one that is emminently winnable for Arsenal. The performance against Shaktar needs to be replicated, making the opposition chase the ball and shadows. And good for the soul of football as well, proof that love isn’t the only thing money can’t buy you.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 21, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 168 Comments.

  1. Not claiming it.

  2. Nice one, totally agree with you YW.

  3. i think we need to be winning these games if we are going to winning bluddy anything this year.not sayin it should be easy but at least a point needed

  4. What’s the bets Adebarndoor is played? I hope we beat them by at least three goals! Retribution.

  5. With the exception of our finishing, if we replicate the performance of the Chelsea game, we will beat City. We could leave with a 1-0 victory or a 3-0 one or beyond, but I think if we can score first , geting City to come out of their armadillo-style gameplan, we could show them up to be the dime bars they are. In saying that though, they do have some decent attacking options and could truly shock a cynic as myself with some quality adventurous play.

  6. Last season I was sure we would turn over City, and for that reason (maybe Bellamy included) I will not get too expectant of a victory. It’s going to be tough, as much as I think we are the better prepared team, better playing style, better manager, better players etc.. they are a team that has a lot of quality. I still expect them to challenge this season, like I mentioned before a ball was kicked. But, without jumping the gun if we play to a relatively high standard we should beat them.

    The quickness of thought, speed of passing, awareness, and most importantly our efficiency needs to be as it was on Tuesday. Not last Saturday against Birmingham, where I believe we played very much handicapped on the back of 2 league defeats.

  7. Class = …proof that love isn’t the only thing money can’t buy you.

    Talking tactics, they play almost like Chelsea. They defend almost at their penalty areas line, have three spoilers in the middle, and and three attackers. Their passing is actually clean and crisp. they harry and defend, they put in the grit.

    I think it will be won in the middle. this is a game made for Rosicky, where artistry always shines out.

    Come on you gunnsss

    Eboue Djorou Squill Clichy
    ……….Song Rosicky
    Nasri Cesc Arshavin

    I cant even choose my mid. Who to leave out? Diaby, Denilson, Theo.. ..ahhh the depth of our squad.. okay they will play the Carling cup…

  8. Arsenalkabisa

    We can sit here all day today and tomorrow discussing who starts in midfield!! IMO Diaby will start, I am not sure on Song, and Denilson even.

    Denilson has looked good this season, but has only really been used to rest others. So going back to your lineup, I would take our Rosicky and put in Diaby. Simply because of Diaby’s physical presence, and Rosicky having played 90mins on Tuesday is a consideration Wenger will take.

  9. I think we’ll beat Money City. They’re defensive and don’t offer so much going forward.

  10. This is my team for man city… thats the troof

    Eboue Djorou Squill Clichy
    Nasri Cesc Rosicky

  11. In all the furore over Rooney and our excellent win against Shakthar what has gone unnoticed is the superlative performance of JET against West Ham on Tuesday.. 1 Assist and a hattrick.. He is goin to be our messi.. only black, big and meaner.. Even the West Ham official website was commending him..

  12. “And good for the soul of football as well, proof that love isn’t the only thing money can’t buy you.”

    Amen. Arsenal.

  13. Interesting interview with Eduardo on ATVO.. Edu will be swapping shirts with Cesc and Denilson after the 2 games with us..

  14. How much did Tottenham lose by last night, or was I dreaming of Inter? I fell asleep at 4-0. Doubt if too many scum are checking Arsenal websites this morning.

  15. Oh that makes me puke, I just checked, it was a nightmare not a dream. Did Inter go home. Oh, they were home.

  16. SA Gooner, the spuds ended up losing by 1 goal! It finished 4-3

  17. The Sp*ds were comprehensively beaten. Inter spent the entire second half wandering around laughing, drinking espressos and watching the first half highlights on their iPhones. It could have been 10 – 0 if they fancied it but the game was soundly won inside fifteen minutes.

  18. The huffing and puffing by The Sp*ds in losing to Inter spells doom for them this weekend. 😀

  19. This a really hard game.None of this stupid talk about us beating them 3 or 4 nil.Man City are now one of our big rival.They are a better team now than they were for the last two seasons when they beat us 3-0 and 4-2.
    They are strong at the back and midfield.And Tevez is a top striker
    We need to be at our very best to beat them, performances like Sunderland WBA and even Birmingham will not be good enough
    I would take a draw now

  20. So it’s looking like Rooney will never play for Man poo again. He’s forcing a move in October whereas the transfer window doesn’t open for another 2.5 months.

    That strongly suggests to me that things have melted down within the club. I think Rooney even has problems with his team mates, as well as with Ferguson.

    I don’t believe Ferguson’s act of “I don’t know why he wants to leave, all I ever did was help him”. I don’t believe Rooney’s own pretence that he’s leaving on account of sporting ambition.

  21. I agree Ole. This is a very interesting story.

    The death of football or another step on the road back to sanity?

    Interesting parallels with the fallout from the budget review process.

  22. Fergie fools the media again. when has he ever been honest with the media, only when it suits him. he has hung Wayne out to dry big time.they must have had a fall out. Fergie knew this would turn the fans against him. clever bastad got in their first. but then again Wayne deserves nothing less really for being a spoilt brat. would not like to stand next to that cunt in the trenches. i think he should go to chelsea, they love them sort of characters down there and he will have a “loyal” buddy in le sulk.

  23. That Bale is some player eh?

  24. Our plan was to lull Inter into a false sense of security, then strike quickly and fast. It almost worked. Redknapp is a tactical genius, not many managers would plan to go four nil down within fifteen minutes, and have a player sent off. Most managers would think the idea was ridiculous, but it almost worked. Redknapps sure got some big kahunas.

  25. Sporting ambition rings true with me. Rooney strikes me as a player who literally ‘just wants to play football’. He knows nothing else. He’s not exactly going to go on to have a sparkling media career. He wants to play with the best of his generation and instead he’s playing with Darren Fletcher. He’s said, ‘Are we going to go in for player x, y and z next summer’. And United have said ‘No. We’re fooked. They’d bankrupt us’. And he’s said ‘Right-o, I’ll be player x on someone else’s radar. I haven’t a loyal bone in my body and I’m so rich I don’t need to grow one now. See ya’.

  26. Henristic, he’s not a patch on Aaron Ramsey. Ask any neutral Welsh football fan and they’ll say the same thing.

  27. The worst thing will come out of the United demise is another version of united with a “Considerably richer than yow” attitude that is Mancity. Sure they will buy some trophies and fill that empty cabinet. they jsut remind me of Chelsea. Few years ago the Chavs were a joke then the money came in and now they think they are the best thing. It is fine for now but wait, their turn will come. Does anyone think that Abramovich or the city rich will keeep pumping 200 million every year? not achance .
    Chelsea have already started playing kids in their team and the begining of a new era for them has begun, that era called ( Abramovich wants his money back ) and that means no trophies for few years. Gone the days when you win things with kids. we’ve been building for the last five years while we’ve been mocked and pushed by the media to buy and drown in debts but Wenger ignored all the idiots including some Arsenal fans. This team has matuerd and not far away from landing the big one.

  28. I think Rooney marital problems are strongly linked to all of this. He’s not in the best mental state and his agents have probably taken advantage of that vulnerability (not that he was the sharpest tool to start with).

    Look what women issues did to Tiger Woods. It takes away your concentration which for an athlete is extremely important

  29. LA, Come on, be fair. Ramseys going to be a great player but Bale is something else at the moment. Has any opposing player even scored a Hat-Trick at the San Siro in the champs league before? I dont think they have.

    One thing I know for sure, we’ll get at least 40 Million for Bale in the summer.

  30. James- You have the best one trick Pony in the world that is Bale. He’s been sussed out in the league that is why he hasn’t scored his same type goal for a while in the league. Inter know about him now so he will be nullified next time. Typical Arry coming out with the usual “He is not for sale” comment its almost like saying who wants to make us an offer on the back of his hat trick.

  31. Bale’s a decent left winger with a smasher of a left peg. Ramsey’s a fantasista.

    Bale’s definitely going to United though. Wouldn’t be surprised if they snapped up him and VdV both.

  32. I know, in a way Man Utd would be mad not to, to make myself feel better I hope the money goes towards the new stadium.

    If Man Utd dont, it will prove without a doubt they are in financial crisis

  33. was very interesting watching fergie give the same premeditated answers to both mutv and then the worlds media. He did very well to play the innocent card for the later carefully raising the point that man u have done everything for the lad – not angry just disappointed (classic!) – door always open etc etc. Almost believable apart from the small inconsistency that such an opening is completely against his character and would only be betrayed were it in his favour. The mutv one he was more laid back in and that let glimpses of his fury creeping through the purple veiny cracks.

    In theory the pressure is now released from fergie & manpoo and turned on rooney, there are harsh morale questions that rooney now forcibly must use his head to answer – no mean feat! Fergie I think assumed that the media pressure on rooney would force him to analyse the situation properly outside of the influence of his agent. Its of little doubt to me that by far the best thing rooney could do is stay with man u, internal questioning should reach the same conclusion. But I think he underestimated the will of the press as they simply love a juicy bit of transfer gossip. Their destructive nature is profound, any loose threads sticking out and they will poke and pick away at it until the whole thing falls apart. I really think this could be the downfall for fergie and the club will suffer massively if rooney decides to buy out the remains of his contract next summer for 5 m. fergie is now only fighting a greater evil than even himself – greed. Serves them both right for sleeping with the devil.

  34. LimparAssist | October 21, 2010 at 12:15 pm |

    Why is he forcing the move in October then? Why the media sniping at Ferguson (anklegate)? Why did his camp leak to the media that he wants out? Why potentially ruin his and the club’s season?

    I think something broke down slowly….

    My theory is that Rooney has been in revolt against Fergie and has maybe been criticising his team mates. I think Rooney expected to be offered a bumper contract 1 year ago. I think Fergie has not managed Rooney well. And God knows Rooney is unmanageable. I think Manchester United have completely bungled this.

  35. Not sure quite how a team that plays the way we did v. Shaktar gets beat by Chelsea 2-0 and fairly comprehensively by WBA, but it’s football, and there is room this weekend to rectify, and actually overturn, those anomolies.

    I’m not concerned about the last 4-5 years record against the big four; we know we were building, we had key players out and all the rest. But those days are gone now. We are not building a core, we have an experienced senior squad, and superb all round team ethic, style and skill. That makes ManC a very, very important match; not quite yet make or break, but not far. Time to shine.

    The return of Cesc, return to some form of Diaby, Song’s recent showing, a rest for Arshavin, arrival back of Walcott, a decent outing for Eboue are all big factors. Bendtner in reserve. Denilson looks excellent. Nasri and Rosicky both looking superb. The defence has depth and Fabianski gaining confidence with every outing. Should be a very good game because ManC also look confident.

    Is it true that Vermaelen is out for 2010?

    ManU cannot sustain a season-long challenge on all fronts as last year without Rooney and the writing is on the wall. Nani keeps them going for now, and the odd Berbatov-moment, glimmers really.

  36. anyone know when the spud will releae a dvd winning 3-0 the second half

  37. Bale has upped his game and is having a great season, fair play to him. Would he add something to the Arsenal were he playing for us- definately. I actually think he would have reached a higher level much quicker with Arsenal than he has with Spurs. Will he achieve his potential with Spurs? To a certain extent yes but he will need to step up to a bigger stage and player with better players. In the past United would have bullied their way to his signature- now if City fancy him they can simply pay what is needed to get him, I wont be suprised if Chelsea made a move. Most likely in two years time Bale wont be a spurs player.

  38. What is all this talk on here about monkey boy Bale. He is a spud so let’s not pollute this blog please.

  39. ole – I think this all comes down the money and particularly rooneys agent who is more of a father figure than fergie – something fergie has admitted recently. percentages of new contracts are surely not as good as percentages on 50m. rooneys wife seems to be fairly money orientated also. If rooney is showing lack of respect to fergie its probably because predominately he rules by the whip.

  40. Its cruel in a way that Rooney could depart Man Utd in such a fashion. Looking at how Fergie dealt with Beckham, Nistelrooy, Stam, Keane…. I can only predict that the falling out has a lot to do with Fergie.

    Like some of you have noted, he has swung the blame onto Rooney and has the media on his side it may seem.

  41. Rooney’s agent is bound to be sitting on a firm secret offer, obviously from a top club with ‘ambition’ and spending power etc, and this is about the money honey, while the other factors are ‘aggravating’. Of course, Rooney would want ‘assurances’, but behind that, he has 5-6 years at the top and somebody, maybe even Colleen is saying, don’t be a fool.

  42. “I hope the money goes towards the new stadium.”
    Do all $puddite$ suffer from delusions? Something to do with the midges?

    Zanetti has had problems with this running business for years.
    Four of Arsenal’s goals in the 1-5 in all those years ago came down the ‘inside left’. Maybe Bale had been studying old videos of TH14?

    Achilles injuries seem to be very tricksy.
    Kevin Pieterson took many months to recover from an achilles op./injury recently, you could say he’s still recovering, although there are other issues. A slightly more serious injury, but then, he’s a batsman and doesn’t have to run around as much as a footballer.
    Happy to see Djourou find some form. There were some on here who were full of scorn for the poor guy. It won’t be the first time that their prophecies of D**M have caused embarrassment.

  43. I hope we learn our lessons from playing chelsea over the last few years as I am sure mancini will try similar tactics against us. We must keep our defensive midfield link to the back line strong.

  44. This is how you play in the San Siro:

  45. Bale is just good. But not that good. He had a Berbatov-moment tis all. Yes, he’s bound to heading to ManU. Nani on the right, Bale on the left, not bad.

  46. Should have been 0-4 that night.

  47. Decent player alright, but would not get into our side anyway.

  48. word,

    Would that mean that unless he forced a move in October Rooney won’t get a big money move? Can’t he get a big money move in May?

    Perhaps Red Nose, having been told in the Summer, that Rooney wants to leave, has tried to freeze Rooney out.

    The only thing that would rationally make him force a move now, and create a saga now, is if things have gotten to a head. Either that or olympian stupidity.

  49. Anyway, back to monkey boy………..

  50. I think Rooney is nailed on for Chelsea.

  51. Why break cover now? 2 months before a transfer window seems as good a time as any to me.

    Yes, they’ve probably fallen out over a great many things; whores, lack of goals, drinking and smoking on his summer hols, being a petulant little sod… And if Fergie openly dropped him or gave him a dressing down over any of that then you can see little Lord Wayne stomping up and down and deciding to leave. Maybe that’s what’s happened. But for me a big factor for someone who thinks they are one of the top two or three players in the world must be; why oh why am I playing in the same team as Darren Fletcher.

  52. There’s a book out called Rooney’s Gold.
    I imagine it would be very boring and predictable to read. Some problems with finding publishers, libel lawyers, and the rest no doubt.

    I’d like to see a book out there called Ibrah’s Gold!
    Now that would be funny. And probably involve a lot more Gold.

  53. Im worried for the safety of our players….I hope that De Jong fellow doesn’t start…his tackles are borderline criminal.

  54. The mancs had a banner up in the stands yesterday night. It read; “Who’s the whore now, Wayne?” Money is the easiest conclusion for their fans to come to, and deal with from a moral highground without having to look at the painful, painful truth… Darren Fletcher.

  55. O’Shea.
    And Evans.
    And ….

  56. Does anyone know if there was any meaning behind Alexandre Dimitri Song-Billong’s goal celebration?

  57. Haven’t been around for a while…

    I’m so pleased that Fabianski is proving me wrong. I feel a little embarassed for my earlier comments about him but in this case, i’m more than happy with that! Great to see him gaining the confidence and game time needed to make this claim for number 1.

    And little Jack – what a sensational season! It’s crazy that we (well i have been anyway) are talking about missing him in the big games and that he’s been one of our best players this year. I’ve always been a massive fan, but didn’t expect him to have anywhere near this level of impact at the age of 18.

    Liking the look of Djourou’s form too, we’ve got a nice set of defenders to choose from now, something we’ve not had for a while… Something that the likes of Cheslki and Manure dont have.

    Now’s the time to get our run of form back on track, it started on Tuesday, let’s continue it on Sunday….

  58. Finsbury,

    wasn’t it just a heart symbol like the one Koscielny made when he scored? A heart symbol shown to the fans.

  59. LA

    I get the slightest impression that you do not like Darren Fletcher.

  60. Correction: I should give Evans a bye, as he’s only 22.

    A year older then the likes of Theo, a bit older then Denilson etc…

  61. And I agree with Limpar – it must be because of Fletcher. The most overrated ‘underrated’ player ever.

  62. Limestonegunner

    Finsbury, thanks for the video. That was a fantastic game and a better Milan side than the one that went down by the same score to RM this week. I love the Fabregas goal and his exultant celebration! Best thing about the video though is it shows how much we absolutely dominated that game.

    How do you rate us today versus that team/squad? I think it is close, but our current team is certainly the best it has been since that season, in my opinion.

  63. Darren Fletcher = Barry Ferguson with a Red nosed godfather

  64. Limestonegunner

    Apparently, Fergie was especially upset by Rooney’s implication that the other squad members aren’t that good, which goes to the point that there might be trouble not just between Rooney and Fergie but also rancor in the team. After his one really stellar season, Rooney’s idea of himself has obviously been inflated–helped on by the slavish media worship of him as “England’s best player.” That same arrogant sense of impunity led him to betray his wife in audacious fashion.

    I think it is a combination of ego and money: ManU can’t pay him the insane salary he thinks he deserves or afford to bring in the players to insure the team can win. Fergie didn’t prepare for the consequences of the Glazer takeover, so the young players he has aren’t that convincing.

  65. I think that’s spot on Limestonegunner.

  66. Thanks OleG, it is obvious…doh!

    Limsestone Gunner:
    Interesting comparison, not sure! I can’t remember if that Milan game came before losing Tomáš Rosický or after.
    The real blows to the size and durability (coping with injuries/absences) of the squad were the long term absences of Rosický & Eduardo, and going by reactions this week, many fans think the same. So glad to see Rosický back. Maybe he won’t be up for the three game a week marathon, but with our squad, Nasri not having his leg broken, with Wilshere being taught how to tackle by Tomas, it doesn’t matter. To have him train with the teenagers, that alone is worth his wages. As a wiser football head then me once said:

    “This is the best Arsenal squad I’ve ever seen”

  67. Ole,

    I noticed an error in your formula:

    Darren Fletcher = Pepperoni Pizza



  68. Geo

    I think many Arsenal fans like yourself are embarassed, and rightly so. Fabianski was dropped into the games that counted without any preparation or games under his belt. For any keeper that would have been tricky. It’s why any team that fields their 2nd choice keeper are edgy, the defence is just not the same when you change personnel, and especially the keeper.

    I feared for the guys career at Arsenal, not because of my dis-belief in his ability. But the abuse the fans have been giving him. Not all was unjustified, as it seems at least 60% of fans need to blame somebody when things don’t go well. Why not the guy whos picking the ball out the net right? Anyway I am sick of hoping fans learn from such bahaviour against our own players because it won’t happen.

    I just hope that Fabianski keeps it up and continues to show the talent that got him such a good name a few years ago in the Carling Cup, and even in Poland.

    Someone had the nerve to write off Djourou the other day too.. where has he gone! 🙂

  69. Last night, I dreamt Cesc & Denilson celebrating at Wembley, with Champions League winners medals round their necks…

  70. Doesn’t sound good about TV5… Anyone found anything concrete about it?

  71. Rosický does need/deserve a goal.
    (Can’t believe he blasted that penalty)

  72. Fletcher… what about Carrick! The guy rarely brings anything to the table. Most United fans I know don’t understand what he gives the team

  73. Chris, true dat! I would never hurl abuse at an Arsenal player, but my confidence in Fabster was not high at all when it was obvious he was going to have to step in. But he’s been assured, confident and solid – both on crosses and shot stopping – consistently too… Great to see 🙂

    I must say that I thought Chamakh was awesome on Tues. The chance where we chipped it up to him, he nodded it down for nasri to blast it was pure textbook ‘target man’ play. Nice to have that option. He’s such a great team player too, always running and looking for a teammate – goals seem to be a bonus for him, linking play at the fore.

  74. ChrisGooner- dont know who wrote of Djourou- he really has the ingredients to be a top center back. What he needs to do is apply himself consistently and use his physical presence more. But he needs a run of games to do this. Unfortunately as soon as TVCinq and Kos return, Djourou will drop to the bench. Players will inevitably make mistakes, unfortunately playing for Arsenal they will not have the chance to do so and learn from their mistakes. His injury came at a time when he was just about to make that transition and establish himself. So far he has done well- but as I said yesterday for a big lad he does not seem to dominate in the air say like Kos

  75. How do you lads and lasses rate Djourou-Squillaci as a centre back partnership?

  76. Finsbury

    In the video, what I love is that Cesc jumps into Wenger’s arms with all the other players joining in the big hug. You don’t see often manager taking part in those kind of celebration, just show that cesc comment about wenger being like a second father is true and it seems to be the feeling for many players at the Arsenal. The squad is like a big family can only brings success when the team enjoy being together! Another reason why as why shipping Ade and toure and gallas out of the club as they were apparently the disruptive player in the dressing room.

  77. Well, details aside I still maintain at the root of it all the issue with Rooney is money, in the sense of a living example how the game has been further corrupted, in recent history, by ‘money takes all’ culture.

    Manu’s predicament is about money. SAF has built success around a system of buying players (plus, to be fair, some fine management attributes, but without the dosh those are reduced). If it’s about rooney thinks he’s too good for Fletcher and Co., it’s equally about money, and lack of investment capital for new players and their wages and a rotten system. If it’s about Rooney’s gone mad and bad with ego, it’s also about money, where he should play and what he should be paid as the best footballer since, um, the other good footballers.

    I agree with the ManU fans. Loyalty, like players, like clubs and stadiums, and brands and franchises, can be bought and sold in this system.

    Wenger seems to have fought very hard to create a sensible alternative, focus on loyalty and other old-fashioned values, and still this corrupt system laps at his heals with a guy like Adebayor.

  78. The Royal Arsenal

  79. Geo… Chamakh has been our saviour, the signing of the season for the Premiership for sure. While Vermaelen was last seasons! Koscielny or Squillaci both proving close runners up to Chamakh I would say, we will have to wait till the end of the season to see what an affect they have had on our trophy aspirations. The signs are very good right now though.

    Just shows what a superb manager and scouting network we have. If Fergie had the ability to pluck out players of that quality, Man Utd wouldn’t be in such trouble on the pitch and maybe financially too. The one thing where we can improve on .. is bringing though some quality defenders in our own ranks. Djourou seems to be the only one who has really made the step up, but he was purchased from elsewhere.

    I know we have a few younger guys a few years away, then theres Clichy, Gibbs down the left. The purchase of Squillaci, Kosc, and Silvestre, Campbell last season shows there is still a void for developing CB’s. That would be my one criticism in terms of bringing through talent, but thats me being picky though, and its not really a problem as such!

  80. Don’t worry CG, we have Nordveit joining the first team next season, & the monsterous Miquel & Bartley, after that..oh & how can I forget Mr Thomas Cruise!!

  81. Runerbeaker

    He has room for improvement that is for sure. I am also certain that we ain’t seen the best of Djourou yet. In the past I have witnessed him dominating aerially and on the floor for 90mins not letting a thing get through him. A few more games and hopefully he will take his game to the next level, starting at City on Sunday.

    His main attributes for me is his calmness and strength. The Djourou Squillaci pairing didn’t seem to at all break a sweat in the last 2 games, and I can’t remember a point where they were caught out, or stretched. Lets hope it continues, the added calmness at the back really works with our style of play with playing the ball out.

  82. On Tommy Wenger added: “I could not say when he will play again.”

  83. I think Djourou is a class act. Could be a great. He’ll learn a lot from Squillaci, and Squillaci could learn a bit from him.

    I shouted my approval at a Squillaci challenge last Saturday. “Get in there, Squilly!” or something to that effect, and a few heads turned round. “Squilly?” they asked. “Yeah…. Squilly.” Obviously don’t read ACLF.

  84. Man City will be a big challenge. A win would be huge. When you look at the schedule this is one of the games that you would accept dropped points so winning here would sort of make up for WBA and Sunderland. It would also be a huge confidence boost for this club and might go a long way towards giving this talented squad that last true bit self belief that it needs to “get over the hump”. The players all know just as well as Yogi our record against City and other top 4 teams over the last several years. Hopefully this group of players will stop with the “we were the better team but still lost”. Thats fine for a young inexperienced team but we no longer are that young or inexperienced. Dropping points at Stamford Bridge is expected and not a real issue. The inconsistency that causes us to drop 5 points against Sunderland and WBA is the real issue that needs to be addressed.

    Chelsea is very talented and they have really tightened up at the back so far this year which will make them vert tough to beat. However, they have a serious lack of depth and they did show signs of complacency last year. Hopefully, both of those factors will see them drop more points going forward. I think United are toast. Their defending has been miserable. I suspect both personnel issues and players not playing with the same intensity as in previous years. The Rooney thing is icing on the cake for their downfall this year. Spurs are a nice 4 th – 5th place team. Man City are a wild card, but I hope they are still a year or more away from truly coming together as a team. Hard to mold a group of individuals no matter how talented and overpaid into a great unit in a short time. A win this weekend will go a long way towards putting that doubt in their mind and putting the self belief in ours. COYG

  85. Is it me or have the PL missed Nasri from our squad?,,12306,00.html

  86. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he is confident he can keep hold of Cesc Fabregas “for a few more years”.

    The World Cup winner wanted to join Barcelona in the summer and was close to returning to his hometown club.

    But he was denied a move to the Nou Camp by the Gunners, who have a contract with the Spaniard until 2014.

    Barca are expected to make a new bid for the 23-year-old midfielder at the end of the season but Wenger believes Fabregas will remain at the Emirates.

    “He is from Barcelona and has an attraction to where he grew up,” Wenger told shareholders at Arsenal’s AGM on Thursday.

    “At the end of the day, I believe he wants to win with this club. For how long I don’t know but hopefully for many, many years. I’m not pessimistic. I’m confident we will keep him for a few more years.

    “He deeply loves this club, believe me. If he did not love the club, he would have gone.”

  87. Drogba is still top class but is now 31 Anelka is 32.Drogba still has one more big move in him.Abramovich has the dough to pay Rooney.So Drogba to Italy and Rooney to Chelsea makes sense.Rooney could go for as little as £20m

  88. Limpar,

    Why compare Bale and Ramsey? Its not like they even play in similar positions? Completely different skills ets

  89. im quite happily eating my words on fabianski too. To the extent that I really cant see the point of putting alumunia back in goal ahead of him. All it would ever take is a string of good performances from a graduate so we absolutely must take fateful opportunities like these to keep the momentum and confidence high.

  90. It will be interesting to see how the Manure fans react to Rooney for however long he is at Manure for. I don’t think he will be left to rot in the reserves; when fit he will play.

  91. I have been a huge critic of Fabianski. He is playing well at the moment and looks confident. He needs a nice run of “normal” games. I am not bothered about him making flaying saves all over the place, once he has a good run of error free games behind him I will be more than happy.

  92. They are both Welsh footballers, both of the same generation, both playing in North London. The comparison makes itself, Henristic. And it’s a very favourable one for our boy. Technique, touch, vision, skill – Ramsey is the better player across the board for me. Although for the ‘skillset’ of knock, run and whack with your left foot – Bale is currently in the lead.

  93. Nobody believes that rubbish about about man utd not matching Rooney’s ambition. Before last season, they had won the league three years in a row. Even last season they came very close. What does Rooney expect? True, they don’t have particularly good players. That’s why Rooney plays for them. They choose to spend their money on greasing the palms of referees. As Cesc says, “Everyone decides how they want to win.” Maybe when Rooney made his most recent wage demands, Ferguson thought, “Fucking hell, I could get a world class player for that money instead of this jumped up shit.” Put yourself in Ferguson’s position (an unpleasant prospect, I know): no doubt he’s been pondering the significance of Rooney’s 1 goal in 7 games for club and 1 goal in 10 for country; no doubt he’s observed Rooney’s woeful fitness. Add in the employment of prostitutes, so offensive to a family-man like Ferguson, and then imagine his reaction when snot-nosed Wayne trots into his office with his exorbitant wage demands.

  94. They are very different players. Not comparable really.

  95. @Bill – did you just put Sp*rs & ‘nice’ in the same sentence!!??

  96. I wonder how different the reactions would be it Rooney was in the form of last year?

  97. LA,

    Bale is definitely better looking then Ramsey.

    I also heard a rumour that Ramsey is cruel to animals and hates children.

  98. You’re right Poliziano, but maybe Rooney has realized how piss poor his team was last season (& this one) when he was out injured. I mean how embarassing it must be, to have Own Goals as your team’s second highest goal scorer. More thaan money, its the ‘trophies at any cost’ mentality which made his mind up.

  99. @James – then I guess, they can’t play in the same team. bad news for the Welsh..

  100. They are comparable. I only mention it because a Welsh friend of mine who has watched them both for a lot longer than we have said to me yesterday, “He’s not a patch on Ramsey”. I guess when you watch them play internationally together the comparison comes more easily.

  101. Hmmm, I don’t see it. Bale is a full back or winger, and Ramsey is a central midfielder. It is like comparing Denilson and Clichy.

  102. It’s more like an England fan comparing Jack Wilshere and Aaron Lennon. Easily done. Similar conclusion.

  103. It doesn’t matter where you play, you still have to be skilled. Sure, a defender has to (generally speaking) hold back a bit more, and our Aaron plays a bit more forward. But both have to be able to pass, both have to be able to tackle, and read the game. There are many comparisons to be drawn, regardless of their position on the pitch.

  104. Rooney’s finally figured out what arsenalistas have known and seen coming! United are going downhill and fast. They have a poor youth system, dont have the money to paoch the best talent around anymore, mired in massive debt and are bound to do a Liverpool at some point- and he perhaps only has 2-3 years of top flight football left in him (drinker, smoker,hooking etc will ensure he will be a washout at 27-28) and decide this is the only chance I have to make some serious money ala adebayor! So he has decided to jump ship- one that even though not sinking is certainly in rough waters! Mercenary, yes, greedy certainly but that’s football today! If he went to Chelesea he will certainly be in good company with cashley cant!

  105. Ramsey was spotted at a McFly concert.

    I believe thats game, set and match

  106. Delusional troll, 4-3 was game.
    The return leg will be set.
    And the humiliation on Saturday, and if you scrape through to the second round, will be match.

    This is also the last opportunity for Rooneh and his background Krew to milk out a stupid contract before UFA & FUFA bring in some new regulations. Not sure if Platini is trustworthy, but his actions can aslo be seen as a catalyst.

    Gunnerluc @2:40
    I can’t include King Kolo in that list! A long recovery from malaria, and Gallas getting the armband, pissed him off I guess.
    Hopefully, Kolo has a nightmare in the upcoming game.
    Hopefully, $iteh will continue to play Yaya as their ‘False Ten’,a bench Silva, and start with Ade.

  107. You might thank that it would be impossible to compare McFly with say, The Clash, or the Sex Pistols, the Stooges, or any other proper punk band – but in fact, McFly’s shameless subversion of the original punk ethic, spitting in the face of punk elders everywhere and rearing punk up on it’s head and into a bland, saccharine, money-making exercise – was actually pretty punk, and kind of post-modernist when you think about it. In that respect they were a bit like Fugazi.

  108. Mancini is ridiculous- his set against Blackpool was simply cowardly! Setting out your stall not to get beat by Blackpool and relying on dodgy referring to get you the points is not what I would expect if I was the Sheikh! The biggest hurdle to Man City winning this year is Mancini and if he went out to play defensively against such minnows I expect he will probably field 5 defensive midfielders against us! If we kill their wing play and lady luck deserts them we got the points!

  109. @Runerbeaker – is your name anything to do with Wayne Rooney?

  110. Injury news:

    Sagna likely to be fit for Man City, Almunia nearly fit again, Kos 20% chance of being available. Verminator 2-3 weeks away.

  111. ”Manuel Almunia (elbow) is still definitely out. ”
    Who do you guys think shall start at RB?

  112. Mj-gunner not really but I like the idea of smashing Rooney’s ugly mug to smitherens

  113. I dont trust Arsene when it comes to assessing players injuries- everytime he comes out and says so and so has a small small problem inevitably it ends with the player being out for yonks! The 20% on Kos could turn out to be a week or 4 weeks. As for TVCinq- the final treatment to kill it (love the turn of phrase) sounds very ominous!!! I hope they all defy Wenger’s predictions and come back on time! We really need to have a fit defence this season-seeing as defensive frailties have been the main reason why we havent won the league in the last 5 years!

  114. Usually, I’d worry about the need for some PACE to break down a massed wall of Zombies and D**Mers. TW14 still needs a little time for some fine tuning, these speedsters need to get the gear ratios right.
    But, watching Nasri and the rest, it’s not really a worry.

  115. I honestly don’t think it matters how many players they put in midfield, they’ll still end up chasing shadows. If we take our chances we’ll win by a couple of goals, and if you look at the ridiculously effective goals to shots economy from the last game, there’s no reason to think we won’t.

  116. what price for Nani to declare his childhood dream has always been to play for Madrid or Barca next year???

  117. @ mj_gunner

    AW said Almunia isn’t quite fit because he still has a little pain when he exerts force through his arm. But he’s nearly there, it would seem.

    I think Eboue again at RB to start – Sagna to be eased in for last 20 mins or so? Perhaps TW later in game as well? Not quite match fit, and I don’t think he’ll get space to run into. I doubt if we will see Kos either, even on the bench, but he must be close to even have a 20% chance.

  118. FG + Finsbury, I agree, Theo probably needs a little more fine-tuning. Mancini’s options at leftback, though worth a combined value of around £100 million would still all get absolutely roasted by Theo. Kolarov, Lescott and Zabaleta. But anyway… with Nasri in such good form, the choice is quite easy.

    There are only two selection conundrums I can see: Denilson or Diaby, and Arshavin or Rosicky. I really can’t choose between them in either case. A rested Arsha in a big game could be too explosive to leave out, but Rosicky is in sublime form and offers more for the team going back and arguably just as much going forward – and the other call is an even harder one to make! I think Rosicky and Diaby if it was me… but it’s not, so phew. The tussle for selection could be won or lost in training tomorrow and the next day.

  119. get off my back!!

  120. Standing on the shoulders of giants.

  121. haha MJ…You’re in my way

  122. I’m watching the Napoli – Liverpool game… never have I seen the ball run out of play so often, it’s like neither side has any close-control.

    I feel bad for Roy Hodgson. I really like him as a manager, but there is a feeling of inevitability about his departure… and there’s not much he can do with the players he’s got.

  123. Loving the Rooney banter. Part of me is a bit bummed by it all.

    I would rather United lose, with Rooney playing (and sucking), then them lose without him. I dont know, I just love watching the guy most of England has such a raging hard on for, crash and burn. But i like to see that crashing and burning on the pitch. This is just embarassing.

    Wouldnt be surprised to see some epic SAF story emerge from all this ala hairdryer-gate, footballboot-gate, etc..

  124. What like Konchesky! oh wait. didnt he buy him. truth is the players are obviously not playing for Roy, they obviously dont respect him enough.

  125. find something more exciting than pool playing

  126. Yeah I switched to the Porto game instead. It’s seriously mind-numbing watching ‘pool, and Napoli aren’t creating much either.

  127. I don’t hate the sp*ds.
    Just sp*d trolls!

  128. DukeGoonem, I don’t think it’s necessarily that the players won’t play for Roy, as much as they just are just pants. To be honest though, Hodgson may not be suited for a club like ‘pool with the rabid fans and completely unrealistic expectations. He was fantastic at Fulham because he over-achieved with relatively unknown talent. At Liverpool he’s got egos like Torres and Gerrard to deal with, and all that.

  129. none of the match tonight excite me.Is the porto match any good.I want try dormund/psg match

  130. New Sp*d DVD:

    Probably designed at H/T last night, but the use of Zanetti makes it still work, as he retired for the second half to let the sp*ds score as many goals as they could, which still wasn’t enough

  131. The Besiktas – Porto game is a good bit better than the snorefest going on in Naples, but that’s not saying a whole lot.

    It’s hard being an Arsenal fan sometimes… I’m used to such a high standard of football that it’s hard to enjoy watching these other clubs.

  132. I think the hooker situation was egged on by the Glazers. Rooney was told to either stay or have his image ruined. He chose the latter and he has been piping up to the media about not having an ankle injury in order to get some simpathy. Of course he can’t tell the truth or they’ll uncover something even more hideous. At the end of the day, they’re getting rid of him because they have to pay off some debt.


    fine review, but posting this here for people (like me) who are still scratching their heads at Song’s role this season. This will answer some questions.

  134. dordmunt /PSG good match the german play good football

  135. From BBC live text:

    “1909: David Ngog, meanwhile, has come out from half time with the wrong shirt on and is told to change it by the officials. That’s basically the only event of note so far this half.”


  136. taeryn this event is all you need to known about looserpool season so far ….a joke

  137. NJGooner:

    Rangers did not look so good last night. The game was played during the day and I forgot left my lucky hat at home so its probably my fault. I have tickets for the last 2 games but I would love to see them clinch on Friday, however, I suspect it will go 7. I think we know that Cliff Lee is waiting and mentally let down against the Rays and lost 2 in a row. Dangerous game though since Pettitte is just about as likely to throw a shutout. Nervous stomach time.

  138. I missed the first goal in this Porto game, but have just seen Hulk score two fantastic goals… Was he injured when we thumped Porto last season? I don’t remember him playing (maybe such was our dominance in the home leg).

  139. That ginger b*tch on TS is such scrooge.

    How dare he begrudge Eduardo his welcome???

    Especially since it was our red and white he was wearing when he nearly lost his livelihood, and his honour destroyed as well as his name by the tarty British media. That double assault caused him to leave us and I think it`s one of the saddest football stories this decade.

    Check out his interview on ArsenalOnline

  140. Crowd trouble with Man Arabs.

  141. Ade’s starting for Citeh in the UEFA Cup, not sure whether this makes him more or less likely to play against us to be honest.

  142. dormund /psg was a craker end to end match
    finish 1-1

  143. looks like city are resting quite a few key players against the polish champions. only silva, de jong and johnson start from the regulars up front. was rather hoping they would go all out and this game was away but then we wouldn’t want any excuses when we spank their baby blue bottoms on the weekend.

  144. That ginger b*tch on TS is such scrooge.
    How dare he begrudge Eduardo his welcome???

    Because the classless have to mock class or so as not to face up to their own classlessness. Or something.

    What I want to know is why are Money City and Lech Poznan wearing identical kits?

  145. I thought that FG, it’s just a mass of blue and white.

  146. John cross on talksport

  147. Vince at 8:03 pm |
    To add to it Silva is also starting..

  148. Vince
    ha ha – I’ve just realised your avatar is AA. I thought it was you all this time!

  149. Haha, me as a really depressed Russian boy scout? It just sums up Arshavin and his surreal website Q&As for me, bit eccentric and really funny. Hope he starts to find some consistency again soon.
    Two goals for Ade so far but I don’t think he’d have scored either against a premier league defence. The header was incredibly accurate but I think Chamakh’s better in the air just because he’s braver.

  150. Taeryn@7:41
    Was at that game. I could be wrong, but it seemed like the much maligned Arsenal D-Fence allowed The Hulk approximately two touches of the football in the whole match.

  151. hulk was suspended in the portuguese league for 6 month but could play in europe.But i doubt he was match fit against us

  152. mj_gunner | October 21, 2010 at 7:13 pm |

    Song has played multiple roles this season. Arsenal line up with a midfield 3. Last season we had Fabregas or Nasri playing furthest forward of the three. Diaby, Denilson or Ramsey filled the role I’ll call the ‘balancing role’. This player was expected to contribute to defence and also get forward to create. Song had the holding role.

    This season, the balancing midfielder seems to have been asked to take on more defensive than creative roles such that he’s essentially the second holding midfielder. As such the formation looks slightly like a 4-2-3-1.

    Now Song has played all three roles. By that I mean there has been at least 1 game in which he wasn’t holding.

    In addition, the three players rotate. Atimes, in games you will find the playmaker (Cesc or Nasri) persistently being the deepest of the three. You’d have noticed this against Shakhtar for example.

    Another dimension is that because there are 2 defensive midfielders you will notice that when Song goes forward, Wilshere (or Diaby or whoever has that ‘balancing’ role) holds.

    So when you’re watching Arsenal this season, keep all this in mind.

  153. Ole, one if the things I’ve been particularly impressed with Wilshere by is his willingness to drop back when the other central midfielder push on. He’s learnt this discipline by the age of 18 when Gerrard and Lampard have never managed it in the ten years or so they’ve played together for England. Wilshere’s emergence makes Song look a better player…

  154. Ole I have noticed a lot of people complaining about Song not ‘holding’ and JW being ‘wasted’ playing so deep. They are really missing the point of what Arsene is trying to create with his midfield. I thought the Shaktar game illustrated it the best as Song, Cesc, Wilshere popped up in all areas and covered for each other really well. The Song, Denilson, Cesc triumvirate also works very effectively as well.

  155. I thought Jack next to Denilson in the game against Spurs was absolutely incredible as a combination. Just shows the depth we have, especially when you take into account Ramsey and to a lesser extent Frimpong and Eastmond.

  156. Passenal,

    Rotation will be very useful when we play teams like Man City who like to man mark. We’re likely to see De Jong asked to man mark Cesc. When Cesc drops deep, he has time and space, if the man-marker doesn’t follow him. If the man-marker follows it leaves Wilshere or someone like that in space between the lines. As we know even our defensive midfielders are more creative than most teams’ creative midfielders

  157. Happy Birthday Mr Wenger!!

    Time for the boys to gift him a win against Arab City 🙂

  158. There are people who would feel better if we had Song sit and never cross the halfway line. To them, any notion of rotation would just seem overdone

  159. classic holloway rant at the bosman and rooney saga:

  160. المال العربية المال العربية city..

  161. أهم شيء الأعصاب هدي استهي بالله و استغفر الله ان شاء ا لله بتهدي

  162. wtf be quiet thaat was soooo random

  163. what’s your problem anyway

  164. thougt it was terrible waht happened to the liverpool fans in napoli, but surely it was just an omen, a warning that what they were about to see was not gonna be very good and it wasnt!

  165. Ole Gunner & Chris Gooner

    I like your take on our team, fair play to you both, you gotta have faith!

    Good lads!

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