Arsenal Leave Tyne In A Fog In Carling Cup Romp

Newcastle United 0 – 4 Arsenal

0 – 1 Krull (45 o.g.)
0 – 2 Walcott (49)
0 – 3 Bendtner (82)
0 – 4 Walcott (88)

I am struggling to remember when Arsenal were last installed as favourites to win this competition but apparently playing two Premier League rivals away from home – one of them a Champions League competitor – and scoring four goals on each occasion means that you only rank the same as a win at home over a relegation contender from each of the top two divisions. And joint favourites Arsenal find themselves this morning, alongside Manchester United in what is now an emminently winnable competition.

Wenger named a strong side whilst Newcastle replicated their squad for the trip to Stamford Bridge in the last round. As a crisp autumnal day gave way to the chill of evening, Arsenal’s attack took to the task immediately from kick-off. Rosicky won possession and fed Vela on the left. The Mexican sprinted into the area, the opportunity to shoot early spurned, dragged his shot and Krull turned the ball to safety. It was a brief respite; from the resultant corner, Nicklas Bendtner saw two goal bound efforts blocked, the second of which brought quarter-hearted penalty appeals before his final effort went straight at Krull. Barely a minute played and four efforts on goal already.

Arsenal peppered the Newcastle goal with efforts, Eboue, Bendtner and Gibbs all went close to varying degrees. All told Arsenal were averaging a chance a minute before the clock had shown ten had passed. Newcastle gradually got into the game as an attacking force; Vuckic has rasped a shot into the side netting before 1970s funk star, Nile Ranger, raced clear of the Arsenal defence, judging the trajectory of a long ball better than Djourou or Koscielny. Szczesny came out of his area, fortunate that he missed the onrushing forward but forced Ranger wide enough for Koscielny to block his shot with Djourou covering on the goal-line.

Polish goalkeepers charging out their area is nothing new at Arsenal and Szczesny found his redemption, even if it went unrecognised by the officials. From the corner, Smith hammered his shot from thirty yards, the Pole’s fingertips pushing the ball onto the bar and over which apparently now constitutes a goalkick rather than a corner.

As the half came to its’ conclusion, possession was dominated by Arsenal. One enforced change had been rung, Kieran Gibbs the latest to fall foul of foul play, replaced by Bacary Sagna, Eboue shifting to the left. The breakthrough came with the interval beckoning. A corner from the left was helped clear but the Rosicky returning it finding Nicklas Bendtner’s head. Koscielny and Eastmond obscured Krull’s view and the ball dribbled past him; Taylor’s clearance found the back of the Dutchman’s head and the breakthrough was achieved. Much has been made of the number of red cards and penalties in Arsenal’s fixtures; goalkeeping errors which have been beneficial now stand at three for the season and counting.

With a lead established, Newcastle left themselves open to the counter-attack in the second half. Two of the goals occurred from this avenue, both despatched with some aplomb by Theo Walcott in the central channel. It might be his long-term aim to become a centre-forward and with six goals in six games, perhaps the clinical edge that has been sometimes missing from his play is materialising.

The first, five minutes into the second half, was contentious. Nicklas Bendtner chased down Krull as he cleared and was clearly in an offside position as the ball was returned with interest by Laurent Koscielny. That, though, was not the cause of Tyneside consternation, more his baulking of the defender as he arced his run to provide support to the onrushing Walcott. A blatant bodycheck, calculated to deny Williamson the opportunity of a tackle. The referee is being castigated for his decision but he was consistent on the night, Taylor having been equally blatant in his pull on the Dane in the first half, denying him the chance to be in a goalscoring position.

No matter, 2-0 to Arsenal with less than fifty minutes gone: a comfortable position to be in. The introduction of Andy Carroll gave the host’s attack more vibrancy but Djourou had woken from his first half slumber and once more put in a sterling effort in the second half.

Szczesny was not allowed to rest on his laurels, evoking memories of Bob Wilson with his willingness to put his head where boots were flying, concentrating until the end, the final action of the match a forty-yard punch from the youngster. A sure sign his confidence had grown during the match. He got away with some errors last night. His excellent one-handed save from Taylor’s free-kick found fortune when the rebound fell to Eboue in front of goal, the Ivorian’s tiger feet somehow putting the ball over the bar. His rush of blood was covered by Koscielny’s positional recovery. It is not hard to see that he is a potential number one nor would there be any surprise if a win in Donetsk sees the Pole play two Champions League fixtures as well as the remainder of this Carling Cup run. The FA Cup? Possibly but that rather depends on whom Wenger has as his first choice for the Premier League.

The final brace of Arsenal goals came following the surprise introduction of Cesc. The Spaniard capitalised on Guthrie’s slovenliness to feed Bendtner on the left. The Dane ambled into the box before cutting in and unleashing a fearsone drive which curled majestically into the top corner. The coup de grace came in the dying embers of the match as Walcott latched onto another through ball to complete an emphatic scoreline.

It was a match with many positives. Szczesny and Eastmond did their respective causes no harm, it is too soon to say either is a definite for the first team now but their inclusion would not be a cause for concern. It was good to see Koscielny back, seemingly unaffected by the short lay-off. Elsewhere, the returns of Walcott and Bendtner seem to have been unaffected by niggles and strains which is promising for the upcoming schedule.

A great result, the draw on saturday leaves possible opponents as Manchester United, Aston Villa, West Ham, Ipswich, WBA, Birmingham and Wigan. Should we be overly worried about any of them or are they looking at Arsenal and thinking, “Now there’s a team we want to avoid?“.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 28, 2010, in Arsenal, Carling Cup, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 157 Comments.

  1. Wonderful game- brilliant scoreline!

  2. Really enojyed the match last night. Was a great attacking game all round, and great to see NB52 and Theo get some goals. Bendtner’s finish was absolutely outstanding, and Theo’s weren’t bad either! Lovely stuff.

  3. Just saw the highlights but it looked like a good game! Really happy Bendtner and Walcott look like they are in fine form which will give us plenty of option upfront.
    Walcott really looks like he worked on his efficiency in front of goal and Bendtner also seems to be in trumendous form, good presence across the frontline and two nice goals he scored in Man city and Newcastle.

  4. A good result, I thought, and a decent performance. If there was a lot of luck about the first goal and a whiff of controversy about the second, we were still the better side throughout. Great to see Nic and Theo looking sharp post-injuries, and Kos was excellent too. Now all we need is a decent 1/4-final draw on Saturday!

  5. We’re getting the kind of ‘luck’ that chelsea and Manure have been getting for the last few years it seems… maybe the Football Gods are smiling on us this year..? for once!

  6. The first goal is exactly the kind of goal I would like to see us score more often- pressure the defence, take a chance and more often than nought as Lampard has discovered you end up with a goal!
    On Bendy I actually thought he was fouled as the barcode realised he wasn’t going to catch Theo and hence run into Bendy who was turning to join the attack.
    Kos as I have always maintained- excellent excellent signing probably going to be one of the best signings AW has ever made! Kid has everthing he needs to be a top defender.
    Djourou was physically imposing but still needs to work on his positioning a lot more- one clearance at the end of the game was imperious though!
    Feel for Gibbs- rotten luck
    Eboue- what a legend excellent perfomance at left back and could have even scored. Is a lot more solid defensively than Clicy !
    Chesney- well here he is, everyone can now see why AW is in no rush to sign a big name goalie. This kid will soon be first choice!
    Suprised not to see Lansbury starting.
    Vela- he is running out of chances but he needs a run of games at least. He clearly has talent but then again so did Aliadiere!
    JET should have come on sooner- hopefully we get a homer this for the quarters and he can have more of an outing.
    Overall excellent stuff, the Hammers must be quaking in their boots. With competition hotting up everyone will give %110 well Arshavin will probably be his usual self but I can see another hammering over the weekend coming up!

  7. Wonderful performance by the team, felt sorry for Gibbs, but i got to say, what shoes is Walcot wearing, men that boy is fast.

  8. Great write-up, YW.

    JET’s backheel at the end was class. And they say Peter Crouch has ‘good touch for a big guy’. Baaah!

    Koscielny takes the baton for the modern ball-playing centreback and goes legging off with it out the stadium and starts doing laps in the carpark. Touch, composure, vision and passing is more Zidane than any defender you’d care to mention. Not even kidding!

    He also seemed to win every single challenge he went in for. Anyone got the stats? Incredible player. Love the way he faces a player up, moving in on them super quick, closing their angles off, suffocating them in a split second and picking/guiding their move. Especially funny when he’s on the way back from attacking a corner, catches someone up, effortlessly robs them and glides off into the distance. The Phantom Highwayman.

    Barton and Smith need shooting. Nasty, rotten fucking relics.

    Highlight of the game? Johan Djourou’s flying, stretching interception of a certain defence splitting pass. A goalkeeper would have been proud of getting to that with his hands. Amazing athleticism and amazing reactions.

  9. JET has a great touch for a great guy.

  10. I thought Eastmond gave away a couple of cheap balls last night – a bit of work to be done there yet, but was impressed by everything else.

  11. I cant bring myself to give “le groan” a click these days,but I do wonder what they make of our recent form

  12. Good win.

    We got a bit of luck with the 1st two goals. An own goal, and Bendtner got away with his clever body check for the 2nd. Nobody seems to have noticed but Theo was also offside as he was just the wrong side of the defender when the ball was played. Both his finishes were excllent though.

    Bendtner did OK, but also scored a cracking goal. Kos was MotM for me easily. Schezny had a good game and backed up his recent outbursts.

  13. I’m not sure you could give a free kick against Bendtner, it would involve assuming he intentionally blocked off Williamson. Either way that decision would have been given, the other side would have had something to complain about.

    But the goal was offside because, first of all, Theo was offside. Second of all, by Bendtner coming into contact with Williamson he became active in that phase of the attack.

  14. We are a team to avoid. I hope we get ManU now that we have a semblance of an injury free squad. T’would be good to get rid of manU now that we have the squad to make them wet their pants..

  15. With such a strong team I expected us to win. Which is good news because in my estimate only Koscielny, Rosicky and Walcott of that starting eleven are players I’d consider definite first team when all players are fit. Our squad is finally knocking on the door of greatness. We are approaching the level where we will have to sell players not because they aren’t good enough but because we’ll have a surplus of great players. My kudos go to Szcszney for not only talking the talk but also walking the walk. I don’t mind a big mouthed braggart who performs – reminds me of Mohammed Ali!

  16. “Is a lot more solid defensively than Clichy !” I disagree with this statement, Eboue was solid playing there true and you couldnt tell if he doesnt play at leftback but let’s judge him when he plays there with Arshavin at the leftwing.

    Goerge you’d be surprised what they are upto now.Apparently Djourou, Vela and Sagna are crap and we should offload our keeprs becuase we have a new number one in Sczcesny.

    I thought the game was great as the goerdies didnt sit back but played football other than their two hooligans. I think we could have won it in the first 10 minutes or even lost it as NU had chances to put us on the back foot.MOTM for me has to be Koscielny(if he hadnt been that good i doubt we would be singing the same praise for the GK), too bad i couldnt vote for him as there seemed to be some technical problems when i tried in the morning only to come back and find Theo as MOTM.

    I love Bendtner,and he is proving me right on the many times i had to defend him to some of my arsenal friends who thought he was good for nothing. One game at a time, bring on Westham.

  17. wow

  18. Not sure about the cornrows but… Kitchen Sink was right; Denilson and Rosicky really are like two sides of the same coin. Masters of patience. Bet they both rinsed that psychology questionnaire! Grace under pressure is an understatement.

    The longer the usual suspects put our excellent winning displays down to luck – the better. Luck doesn’t come into it when you win that much ball. The goals come for a reason.

    Speaking of bets, I’m finally coming good. Won on Nasri to score and Arsenal to win at City – and won again on Theo to score two or more last night. Get in! Lost a bit on 6 nil though.

  19. Good to see a balanced assessment of Djourou’s performance – a game of two halves to some extent – and great to see Szczesny going from strength to strength, especially the “Schmeichel” towards the end…

  20. So, both CB’s got assists last night?

    Totaal Wengerball!

  21. All the more for us Yogi. Let’s see, five Arsenal supporters and 40 gallons of cider thats…quite a lot each!

    It’s alright Maria, I don’t live on a farm and our track isn’t muddy. To be on the safe side, just pick up a pair of those nice welly boots with flowers on that I’m sure that they must sell in London.

  22. Holywood Gooner

    Great win. Kos was excellent, although I think Squillaci and Verm will be the first choice pair when everyone is fit. We are still slightly light defensively overall, but with no Silvestre, our options are of a higher quality. I’ve always liked the look of Johan, let’s hope he continues to improve with this run of games.

  23. Arsenalkabisa

    When I saw which team where left in the competition, straight away I want us to be paired against Man U, would be nice to kick them out of the competition and I would prefer to have them before the final.

    Although I still don’t rate the CC, I am happy that we are really going for it because firstly it would stop the the so called football expert getting out the “but they are trophyless for 5 years” everytime we get a good result. Secondly it could actually be the trigger for all the players to say we are no kids we are experienced profesionnal who can win trophies and therefore help for the domestic and european title push.
    In addition, the competition is over quiet early in the season so it is not as if it would clogg up our scheddule too much!

    Anyway bring on West ham and hoping Blackburn uses their dirty tactics against Chelski and maybe earn a point .


  24. Does anyone have images of Denilsons new hairstyle. Didn’t watch the game, surprised as he had an Afro at ManCity

  25. Alas, Consolsbob, the wellies they sell in London have high heels and fur trim, aren’t waterproof, and are ruined by contact with mud.

  26. @gunnerluc

    agree 110%

    Plus the angle that we have a somewhat fit fully fit squad… plus the notion of four cups this season. *swoon*

  27. Consolsbob,
    Make that six. I’m a Somerset lad, so cider is in my blood.

  28. Firstlady- I take your point about Arshavin not giving enough cover. It is no secret that our left hand side is a lot more exposed. Clicy loves to bomb forward at every opportunity and requires either one of the midfielders to drop back a little bit to cover (or slot back when the centre back gets pulled to fill in the void). Arshavin is therefore a liability defensively- I think we may need to alter the system a little bit perhaps to a more fluid 4-5-1 with Arshavin assuming a free role behind Chamak and taking the onus of tracking back from his shoulders. Or alternatively just bench Arshavin when RVP is fit and bring him on as impact sub!

  29. Szczesny.Kos and Walcott superb.Bender scored a great goal but his overall performance was rusty. Eastmond looked out of his depth and Vela well the less said.Last night could have been the last chance saloon for him

  30. Vela played nicely, lots of good work dropping deep into midfield. Very tidy I thought. Fabregas got the limelight cos he came on when the game was stretched and Newcastle were at breaking point. Other way round Vela would have been the one mopping up. Big future at Arsenal, no doubt at that.

  31. I don’t think Vela will make it with us if I am been honest. He is a good player, no doubt about that…..but. With the strength of the squad he is not going to get that many chances, when he does get a game he needs to give the manager a selection headache and he is not doing that. The boss said that JET is banging on the door with both hands. Carlos is politely ringing the doorbell.

  32. Meanwhile, goonerandy, you are creeping round the back of the ACLF mansion and making obscene gestures through the back windows.

  33. I don’t know how things are in the rest of the world, but where I come from people who politely ring the doorbell are more popular than people who start banging on the doors.

  34. Got me.

    And perhaps leaving a small “present” on the doorstep.

  35. Salesmen ring doorbells. And get ignored.

  36. I also think Vela’s days are numbered- though I wish he would prove me wrong. What he didn’t do was stand out- and thats the problem, he has had a fair bit of time to make the grade and for one reason or another not really taken it. As goonerandy said ringing the doorbell politely when there is a stampede behind you hardly hepls. Its not enough to be pretty on the ball and have a tidy game! He really needs to show he can take the game a la Nasri and exert major influence.

  37. He’s being groomed for the wide left role. He doesn’t have an awful lot of direct competition there. We have a big squad because we challenge on four fronts. He’ll get plenty of chances because he offers something different. I think he’ll make a telling contribution in all competitions.

  38. Consols – Poliziano forgot to tell you them wellies come with spoilers. Dan shame as they’re just cosmetic – can’t deal with the mud.

  39. It is shame because I like him, and he is a very good finisher. Wellington arrives in a couple of months and will be competing for the same type of position. There are plenty of players vying for the front 3 spots in the team, and Carlos is not doing enough to secure one unfortunately.

    RvP (heh)/Chamakh/Nasri/ will always start if fit.

    That leaves Bendtner/Theo/AA/Rosicky as the back ups & rotation.

    Which means JET/Vela/Wellington as reserves. To break out of the “reserve” section is going to take something special. Wenger has said that JET is nearly there.

  40. Yeah but Vela already is there. He’s playing in the Premier League and scoring. That looks just about right for a war on four fronts to me.

  41. Arsenal’s biggest weakness right now has to be the hairstyles. We’ve got maybe the most unfashionable group of players in the league, but it makes them that much more lovable.

    Fabianski would have even more confidence with a sharper cut.
    Koscielny, Szczesny and Chamakh have the gelled, almost rockabilly style rising at the centre cut
    Sagna can be forgiven occasional mishaps because he’s so damn cool.
    Rosicky and Arshavin often commit Euroflop hair crimes
    Nasri does have the classic butch lesbian cut.
    Song’s blonde do is the standout though. Terrifying. Worst haircut since Almunia’s blonde version.

    There is hope. Nic B and Cesc have come around since their early mullet days, so even the worst offenders have a chance (except for Song, who seems too heavily influenced by cousin Rigobert. His cuts will just keep getting more bizarre)

  42. I thought the young Pole did not do himself any harm in this match. He is outstanding for one so young. As well, I think that is the first time that I have seen JET. What little time he had was used very well indeed. I can see what everyone has been talking about.

    We all know what Vela is capable of but at the moment he appears as though he is not fit. He needs a run of games to reduce some of that weight he has acquired.

  43. The young Pole did make 2 mistakes that would have been blown up if his name were Almunia or Fabianski.

    But he had a great performance.

    Hope the club sort out his contract situation

  44. Limpar – Don’t get me wrong, I like and rate the guy. I just don’t think he is going to break into the first team anytime soon on a regular basis. Unless we get a load of injuries he won’t even make the bench most of the time. He is going to want regular football before too long.

  45. The flashy ones always get the credit, meanwhile the subtle workhorses like Denilson and Vela never do. Vela was all over the pitch yesterday working hard, closing Newcastle down and occupying space. Sure his crossing wasn’t on point but just like Bendy and Walcott, the finishing/crossing is something that can be worked upon. The things that are difficult to teach, Vela has.

    He will come real good mark my words.

  46. First choice XI is a long way off I agree – but we play so many variations for different competitions and different kinds of opponents that our first choice XI gets played maybe 70% of the time. I think he’ll definitely contribute. You need squad players like that. He’s already scored one of my favourite goals of the season, and he set up one of my favourites from last season so he’s doing alright by me!

  47. I thought Vela had an indifferent game. He didn’t seem focused. He didn’t press well. He didn’t track back very well. The chances he did have he didn’t respond sharply to. When he came into central positions he was influential, but those occasions weren’t frequent enough.

  48. I assume that they also come with spray on ‘mud streaks’ similar to that which you can get for 4 wheel drives.

    We really don’t mind silly shoes. It just gives us some old fashioned entertainment. Us loves them city folk.

    I doubt that you will be able to come Avaris, what with having a large piece of vibrating metal stuck up your arse.

  49. I liked the way that Theo’s shots were almost ‘straight at the ‘keeper’, as Trevor Francis would say. Well the second one. Very hard to save, that’s what I thought.

    Which makes Fabianski’s second save against Silva ‘Save of the Week’ for me in the shoot out for Arsenal’s No.1.
    Although, there were some good ‘uns last night.
    Any other contenders/favourites?

  50. Delia-----Block 112

    Another entertaining encounter with Kos and Theo taking my eye. Sorry Maria , Vela is very cute a la Reyes but he is totally ineffectual and Eastmond really was out of his depth. JD got caught out on the wrong side of the defender a number of times but that late interception was top quality.
    My heart really was in my mouth when Barton took out Cesc , I bet AW was having kittens as Cesc lay on the pitch . With Theo back there was some real pace in the side, something that had been missing of late. All in all another fine effort giving us all much to be proud of and an expectation of great things to come.

  51. No one doubts Vela’s talent- his goals speak for themselves- working hard, closing down etc is now expected with the way we play (except for Arshavin) so it will hardly be the attributes that gurantee him regular first team football. He really needs to influence games more and take his chances when he gets them. A fit and confident Vela would have finished yesterday’s chance with aplomb. For all his wayward deliveries he is actually a better crosser of the ball in the team. So clearly for some reason his game has gone backwards- either he is unfit or still not fully recovered after the world cup. Given a run of regular games however I am sure he can recapture his form but he will need to step up to another level not only to keep JET back but also challenge Rosicky/Arshavin.

  52. @LimparAssist

    Agree. But there are no specialists in Arsenal. Almost everyone (save for the goalkeepers) can play several roles.

    We have a big squad, but I know when the injuries will pile he will get to play. Maybe he should learn from Eboue and start getting Versatile…


    Wow just wow!

    I am of course talking about our new no. 1 (if the club has any sense left in it), Mr. wochiech szexprtly. Boy, he was the highlight of yesterdays tie and truly a glimpse of the hopefully coruscating future.

    I have to say I had been pitching for him to be the no. 1 from the beginning of the season on the simple premise that fabianski is a second rate keeper no matter what anyone says, and I could see he was good from his time at brentford but boy I didnt think he was THIS good.

    He was better than I thought he was. First of all he has all the assets and attributes to be a great keeper. 1. Height (check) 2. Presence (check) 3. Reading of the game(check) 4.reflexes (check). We are not just talking about a potentially good goalkeeper, we are talking of potential greatness here along the lines of shilton, schmeicel et al.

    The guy can touch the crossbar.. without jumping! He could touch the bar with his shoulders if he leaped hard!

    And NO, despite the hyperbole I am not reading too much into one game. There are good players and there are special ones. Yes, scxprtly needs work and he will make mistakes but he needs to be blooded from now. we have had too many clowns in goal since seaman and its time ot cease the stop gap indulgence of poor to average at best gks like the other three we have.

    Its high time that we have a gk worth our clubs lofty aspirations and produce a no. 1 which will put a lid on all discussions concerning the arsenal no. 1 position for the next decade as the great gks mentioned above has done for their clubs. I believe sxzerpxly is that man.

    I am not over reacting on a single performance, because judging good and bad players are touch and go, the REALLY special ones are instantly recognizable. I felt that the first time I saw cesc, and it was deja vu with szezxprthy. It is not something that can be technically explained, but the really specially players leave an indelible impression on your mind with their presence on the football pitch an do we need that at the gk position now. Its just what the doctor ordered.

    It was electrifying to see the save he made from alan smith. He looked like a giant squid gliding through the water…. big but elegant. Height alone does not a keeper make, but you could see the importance of height and reach in that save. Fabianski would never have saved that because his reach is simply shorter. Simple physics.

    91st minute, carroll is through on goal…. sxzerply comes out and what do I see?…. THE STARFISH! …. he looked like a leaner version of schmeicel with that trademark goalkeeping move. And the last action of the game sxzperhy punches the ball from a corner to the halfway line. AMEN.

    Perhaps its because we have had too many clowns between our sticks for too long, but I have not been this excited about an arsenal player for a long time. All our lads did good but the brightest star last night made me see a sneaking light at the end of the tunnel for all gooners.


    Cheers all!

  54. Consolsbob,

    That might become a problem. It arrived today. Have yet to present it to the better half… but you may be right. She may well tell me where to put it.

    Despite that, I’d make sure I’m there for your lovely cider on Boxing day – sounds lovely.

  55. I think Vela’s going to be fine. He’s got a real touch of class and composure that, as Gadget says, can’t always be taught. His chipped finishes are beautiful to watch, and his initial pace is electric. Give him more game time (which i’m sure he’ll get over the course of the season) and he’ll start to look like a proper first team player.

    Limpar – about the luck thing, I think it’s played a huge part in the last few seasons – against us, but for Man U and the Chavs. They’ve had so many lucky breaks with deflected goals, own goals, controversial referee decisions etc etc. We’ve been hit by so many injuries, poor decisions etc whereas Chavs particularly have gotten off light for years.

    Don’t get me wrong, i dont think we’ve been winning purely because of luck, but we’ve had a lot more ‘rub of the green’ this year – and i think that’s something we’ve been missing for a while – it could almost be enough to be the difference between winning the league or not… What do you think?

  56. Well, I’ll get consolslel to knock up a couple of thick cushions just in case.

    Naga, don’t be more of a nitwit than you can help. I very much hope that he will become a top keeper but we cannot know that he actually will. We, and you, know little about him. Physique isn’t everything or Frank Bruno would have been a boxer.

  57. Fuck me… not reading that. Fucking tome. Someone precis…

    Sorry Geo, good point… I’ll get back to you. I am having a hectic day. On holiday next week so lots to tie up. All I can say is that Chavs and the Mancs are all a bunch of lucky punks.

  58. It’s nice to see the doomers enthusiastic about something Arsenal for a change. Nice to see an Arsenal player they like.

    The worrying thing (there always is something worrying about these folks) is that they’ll now demand that all the goalkeepers be sold and the manager play this kid. Anything less than that will trigger incessant moaning and negativity.

    That’s the doomer paradox. The doomer paradox is also the doomer guarantee. Even their positivity leads inevitably to negativity.

  59. “Fabianski would never have saved that because his reach is simply shorter. Simple physics.”

    Er…erm…what if he’d jumped higher?

    Still, a great save from Chezza, there were better in the game last night I felt. Big Al made a better save then that last season from the not so slow Babel.
    All in the footwork.

  60. consol,

    I never said he would. I said potential greatness, and of course about the no. 1, he doesnt need to be too good to be better than the other three. He is the best we have and its time to groom him.

    Physique isnt everything, but it is something. If rodders was 5′ 9′ he would have been a lesser defender despite all his ability. I said he needs to be worked on and will make mistakes but he has all the attributes of the great keepers of the past. I never said it was the only thing to determine a great gk.

    criticize if you will, but read the post properly and do it.


  61. Well can I imagine Maison Bob on Boxing Day, as a select few of the Arsenal faithful roll up the drive in their Chelsea tractors, wearing their Chelsea wellies and reeking of Armani eau de cow shit.

  62. Haha no worries Limpar, in a bit…

    Ole – i was well up for seeing Chesney have a go instead of Fabianski earlier in the season, because i didn’t have as much faith as a lot of you in the older Pole. But Fabianski has been great this year, and i’m chuffed that he’s proved me wrong. Almunia must be getting worried now though, as Chesney has shown that he’s got something about him. A 20 yr old GK showing signs of maturity beyond his age is something i’m quite excited about. But until the other 2 either completely capitulate or leave, he’ll have to be patient.

    Who else has 3 quality goalies nipping at eachother’s heels? No one!! Never mind the abundance of options all over the rest of the pitch…

    Up the Arse!!

  63. Well, naga, I realise that football clubs nowadays are very conscious of their image, but I think the players should be allowed to take care of their own grooming.

  64. The only thing that Vela is missing is a run of games.

  65. we’ve had a lot more ‘rub of the green’ this year – and i think that’s something we’ve been missing for a while – it could almost be enough to be the difference between winning the league or not…

    Geo, I’ll agree since LA is busy :). The fact is, when there are three or four teams that have good enough squads to win the league, luck is bound to play a part in the eventual destination of the trophy. To dismiss its influence, as others have previously, is foolish. Of course, the club that wins the league deserves it – but there are usually one or two other sides who are as good.
    But I also think “luck” with decisions can be a sign of growing respect for an improving squad – our stock has risen in the eyes of the officials, and so we get the benefit of more doubtful decisions.

  66. Paul – That is my point I suppose. I can’t see him ever getting a run of games. He is not justifying Arsene giving him a run.

  67. naga,

    I really like the look of Szczesny but you’ve leapt to conclusions far too quickly there.

    Fabianski just completed his longest uninterrupted run in the side – five matches. In these five matches, he has looked like a fine keeper. Only a fool would suggest he’s never made mistakes but dismissing him based on his occasional appearances is far too kneejerk.

    Similarly, Szczesny has just made his debut for us. He played very well, a couple of errors (charging out at Ranger suggests his reading of the game isn’t quite up at the level you’ve declared) but it is far too soon to call him anything other than a great prospect. The idea that Fabianski, a fine and agile shotstopper of around 6 foot 3 definitely wouldn’t have saved the shot from Smith suggests to me that you’re a little overexcited.

    Also, and this is a personal gripe of mine, if Szczesny is such a potential hero then learn to spell his name. It always seems a little disrespectful to hilariously rename players with names that look difficult.

  68. Geo,

    I think Szczesny looks good. That much we can all agree on. Does that mean he’s ready to be Number 1 at Arsenal? Much too early to say.

  69. Any word on Gibb’s injury??

  70. We have certainly hit a patch of good form. 4 goals and a clean sheet. 2nd clean sheet away from home in a row. Long may this last. Consistency will be the key for the long term.

    I have always loved the CC teams with the youth in the past. Must admit that I like this new approach even better both because we are winning despite a difficult draws and even more important it shows how much depth we have in the first team. I think we are the clear favorites to win the cup. Would be nice to win something more tangible then a moral victory.

    Worried about Vela but still think he will be an excellent player for us in the long term. He is still very young. I do not see how he will get a run of games anytime soon. I hope he stays patient because with the depth of this squad he will need it.

  71. Szczensy does look a good keeper, but he has only played one game so we need to keep things in perspective. Hopefully Arsene will be able to convince him to sign a new contract.

  72. FG – “But I also think “luck” with decisions can be a sign of growing respect for an improving squad – our stock has risen in the eyes of the officials, and so we get the benefit of more doubtful decisions.”

    I hadn’t thought of that, but now you say it, that’s a very good shout and i think that does have a big part to play. It’s the old ‘never get a penalty awarded at Old Trafford’ (for example).

  73. I agree, Ole. Szczesny already looks good. He has a low maintenance hair-cut, and he’s always clean shaven. No need for any extra grooming. As for Fabianski. Well, he sometimes appears to have forgotten to shave; but although I am a sworn enemy of facial hair, I don’t really mind. It shows he is concentrating on more important things.

  74. I agree Ole, don’t think he’s ready yet. Nice bit of competition though to keep all 3 on their toes… love it!

  75. I believe Vela will get his chance

  76. I know everyone thinks Naga is jumping the gun on Szczesny, but I got that same feeling of something special from him last night. I know he made a few mistakes reading the game, but those things can be ironed out. The presence and athletic ability he has cannot be taught.

    It will be a huge mistake if we do not hold on to him because he looks to be a top, top prospect and could be great with the proper grooming. It is great to see Both our young Polish keepers looking fantastic recently…it is quite refreshing.

  77. Which of the faithful do you think might drive Chelsea tractors then pz?

  78. Yogi:

    Agree with you point about Wenger and his intentions with regard to our GK situation over the summer. However, at this point who cares? I do not think anyone can say we are completely out of the woods yet with our current keepers but Fabianski has certainly taken his opportunity and ran with it. If he continues to play the way he has then the whole Schwarzer thing will be an interesting memory.

    Way way to early to annoint Chezzer as the next coming of Cech or VDS. Obviously lots of promise but unrealized potential is certainly well known in football and in all sports. I do hope he will continue in the CC and perhaps the early rounds of the FA cup and the CL after we have safely qualified. Not sure what will happen with Big Al.

  79. PaulN – Bang on!
    But that was the case last season as well!

  80. ‘I believe Vela will get his chance’
    We all know he will, if he’s patient; but then he comes out with statements like the one during the World Cup..

  81. I think Vela is the new Denilson.

    When will these people learn?

  82. Yogi’s Warrior for one, Consolsbob.

  83. You would think an Arsenal supporter would speak of the second coming of David Seaman or Jens Lehmann, if indeed he had to use such a coarse expression. How wrong you would be!

  84. Them damn Chelsea tractors better be any other colour but blue – and with the kind of shit Consols brews in his backyard, they better turn up with relief drivers. I doubt if Consols cider will leave anyone in a fit state to drive back up the motorway.

    On the debate about Tech 9 and his performance in goal yesterday, I think it says a lot when Tech 9 himself intimated that he thought Fabianski was the best goal keeper at Arsenal.

    His turn will come and his ultimate target should be to become the No. 2 keeper. Opportunities will come with injry and when he gets his run of first team games, that will be his chance to pull down the shutters, nail them down and declare that No. 1 jersey his for the best part of a decade.

    Until then – the boy needs to be patient.

  85. Lol Pz…hate the facial hair also. Well, much has already been said about our budding GK, so I’ll simply say I was impressed. Most impressive is that we seem to be firing on all cylinders. Not yet at our fluid best, but there were moments when we were seamless in our flow and movement. The new players are really gelling. Everyone looks comfortable no matter which of the myriad line-ups Wenger chooses to use. Each of the players looks like they have taken on the challenge to improve the particular failings of their game, and most importantly…I have seen a calmness and an authority in the team these last games that wasn’t there before. Maybe the loss to WBA and Chels galvanized them. They look…well…settled. Am I imagining this? Seriously, has anyone else noticed this? I sensed a different resolve in the Man City game, and last night. I’m hoping that this isn’t just the normal confidence boost you get from a big win…I really want them to have the stone-wall confidence that finishes games before they even begin.

    Am I nuts? ( Don’t answer that.)

  86. viceologist:
    “I know everyone thinks Naga is jumping the gun on Szczesny, but I got that same feeling of something special from him last night. I know he made a few mistakes reading the game, but those things can be ironed out. The presence and athletic ability he has cannot be taught.”

    That’s the same thing a lot of us said about Fabianski but it only took a few gaffs for most people to turn on him. When Szczesny has a bad patch of form, which is inevitable, I hope those who are blowing smoke up his arse now can remain patient and realize that he’s a young player who needs experience to get better.

    Regarding Vela, people should really give him a chance. Opinions about him can shift from him being our Messi one week to him being Aliadiere the next. He’s a good player but he must be given playing time. Just like Bendtner, Song, Denilson and Theo, Arsene is sticking with him because he knows what he’s capable of. If he wasn’t Wenger would’ve never bought him.

  87. I had to answer sorry Axis – you’re completely bonkers mate. Get a grip! Only joking.. I totally agree.

    We’ve looked like a title winning team with our recent performances. We’re looking patient yet clinical and agressive yet composed. All the players fighting for each place must have a huge effect on individual effort/workrate, which results in us becoming a team with real fight and determination, something that has lacked at crucial times in the last few years…

  88. Pz

    It might surprise you to know that we are not so crass as to drive a ‘Chelsea tractor’. It’s the real thing around the country lanes…great fun in the morning causing traffic queues to the landed gentry ‘n’ all.


  89. Axis, I think a young team such as ours will have ups and downs until it clicks one day for them. For me, where it clicked was Chelsea. They went to Stamford bridge and dominated. I think it was then where they all realized that they could beat anyone. The City game was just a confirmation of that belief and it will continue to be a work in progress. If the team remains healthy there will be lots of competition for spots and we’ll see players work their arses off in every game. Perhaps all those years of throwing our youngsters into the deep end will start paying off. Look at Bendtner and Theo. Two goals in as many games after coming back from injury. They feel like they don’t have a guaranteed place and are chomping at the bit.

  90. LOL – Geo thanks. I’ve really liked the way we’ve been so composed. I really think they look READY…it’s kind of wild to watch actually. Everyone of them is growing right in front of our eyes. Eboue becoming more serious; Theo becoming more determined and efficient, growing into his pace – more careful – like he’s aware that his pace can get him injured as well; Bendy’s cockiness tempered by maturity and a REAL trust in his ability; Song and Deni trusting those behind them – moving into the attacking move; and more than anyone else NASRI – wow is he growing by leaps and bounds. Forgetting the fact that we lost…something happened to him at the WBA game. He realized that he can take the role of game-changer if he chooses – and that it is HIS place to do it.

  91. I still believe Theo Walcott will be a huge success as a Central Striker, playing on the last defender down the middle with Fabregas through balls will be unstoppable.

    Any one notice how Vela is bulking-up? Probably Maria did 🙂 not his best of games last night, but not so bad either.

    My favorite is Eastmond though, I think this guy will be another success story for Arsenal.

    News on states RVP & Ramsey may be in full training next week. Get ready “real” Arsenal fans, you’re about to get rewarded for your patience.

  92. I agree Gains…I’m not the type to over-hype ( i rhymed). I know they’ll go up and down, but I see them growing in ways they hadn’t up to this point. I don’t know if it was almost losing Cesc, or if it was – as you say – dominating at Chelsea…i just see something different in them. Maybe it’s just that they seem to really trust each other and themselves.

  93. We are creating good momentum- winning away at City and Newcastle shows we now have the oomphffff factor to go with our obviously superior play! The hammers are next and they are in for a good hiding!

  94. I felt a bit sorry for Vela last night. He seemed low on confidence & match fitness & seeing his mate tearing it up at Man Poo must really annoy him.

    Szczesny certainly looks the part but had Newcastle popped it the rebound from his free kick parry no doubt he`d have been slaughtered. Fine margins or luck ? We could use a lucky keeper.

    Kos is class & could easily play at either full back position if required.

    Great finishes from `no football brain` Theo too

  95. G4E:
    I still believe Theo Walcott will be a huge success as a Central Striker, playing on the last defender down the middle with Fabregas through balls will be unstoppable.

    I saw him in the pre-season cutting in through the middle and I think it’s something he’s been instructed to do. Personally, I prefer this new role of his than just playing him as an out and out central striker. The reason for this is because you can dink a pass over the LB and his speed just pulls every player in that direction, thus opening more opportunities for the rest of the offense.

    Any one notice how Vela is bulking-up? Probably Maria did not his best of games last night, but not so bad either.

    Saw this during the world cup. I think Vela can be a left sided Theo Walcott. He has speed and knows how to finish. I think that’s what Wenger has in mind for him. People saying he should be sold are ridiculously stupid considering that he hasn’t had a consistent run in the side and they haven’t seen him at his best.

    My favorite is Eastmond though, I think this guy will be another success story for Arsenal.

    I think so too. I really liked the way he moved the ball around and his defensive tenacity. He’s another player the dumb fucks are willing to off load despite this being his first game in the senior squad this season. I prefer Frimpong to him but I think he’ll do well as cover for Alex Song. All he’s got to do is iron out a few things and he’ll be a good player as well.

  96. Carlos Vela will be a great player for Arsenal, of that I am sure. Anyone passing judgement so early should be made to watch him in training every day and speak to Arsene about how good he is. The ‘he won’t make it at Arsenal’ merry-go-round continues to, well, go round. Next week it’s Djorou’s turn after he has an above average game against the hammers that we win 3-0.

  97. Vela has barely got any playing time. Too early to judge him.

  98. home for a while b4 nipping over to oz. caught the tail end of this : Arsenal have just conducted a schoolboy tournament and training sessions for youngsters in thailand. it was well advertised on tv and has gone down very well – free shirts and balls etc. i think somebody at AFC is looking at the bigger picture and well done to him. prem footy is massive in asia and i reckon Arsenal are up to equal second in the walking shirt count. lot of opportunities in asia for Arsenal. great to see somebody has got it covered.

  99. I’m with Cesc when it comes to form. A couple of indifferent games doesn’t make the players individually or the team as a whole crap, and a couple of good performances doesn’t make them world beaters either.
    Fabianski is as good as ever he was whether being praised or slagged off, and so is the team.
    Having said all that it is extra good to be an Arsenal fan right now.

  100. great win by the guys yesterday .long may the winning run continue .i too think that the younger pole is a #1 goalkeeper but he may have to wait a few years. watching the game yesterday i was willing the newcastle players 2 take a shot at goal because i new he would have save everything so confident i am about this guy.cant wait for the next game .COYG

  101. Mongolian Gooner

    Excellent match yesterday. Squad performing tremendously, so far. And I hope we continue to perform like this until I get old and die. Keep it up boys.

  102. Is this how many trophies we will win this year?

  103. I was interested to see how in the first half we seemed to be concentrating on attacking from the left, whilst almost totally ignoring Theo on the right.

    It was not until the 2nd half, when the situation was reversed, and we then saw how devastating he can be. I reckon it was a deliberate tactic to fool the Newcastle defence into concentrating on the left, to give Theo more room and time.

  104. After reading some of the scathing and vitriolic comments on Le Grove, about in particular Eastmond, it’s quite refreshing to read the more considered and sensible remarks on here. Maybe this is the site for ‘grown-ups’…?

  105. Mattyboy:

    “Carlos Vela will be a great player for Arsenal, of that I am sure. Anyone passing judgement so early should be made to watch him in training every day and speak to Arsene about how good he is. The ‘he won’t make it at Arsenal’ merry-go-round continues to, well, go round. Next week it’s Djorou’s turn after he has an above average game against the hammers that we win 3-0.”

    What I don’t get about the supporters who like to pick on our players is that every time they get proven wrong they just shrug it off as if it never happened. Instead of learning their lesson, about doubting our players, they say that they’ve had to eat their words but jump on the next target as soon as everyone around them agree that the player they spent months slating is now doomer approved. And if you criticize them then you’re in some cloud of possitivity while they’re being pragmatic and believe that a good negative bollocking motivates our players to do better. It boggles the mind, really.

  106. Limestonegunner | October 28, 2010 at 5:11 am |

    Maria, if your objection was based on the violation of someone’s privacy (ignoring the hundreds of football and celebrity websites that mention the subject in French), I can understand having a problem with that. Outing people is controversial and quite debatable. However, there is still an implication in your posts (not to mention Champion’s) that homophobic views should for some reason be respected. Bigotry shouldn’t be respected. On the contrary, I do think it is progressive to judge people on the basis of the content of their character rather than on who they happen to love. I am surprised to have to state this in the 21st century among mostly residents of modern liberal democracies that have established rights for gay people.
    Limestonegunner in response( I didn’t get a chance earlier), i’d say your ideological idea of progressiveness and modernism appears to be incredibly closed minded and bigoted. True liberalism would accept differences of opinion and therefore allow people to disagree with your point of view. In essence there is nothing particularly modern and progressive about trying to impose your particular view on someone else.

    I believe in basic human rights and therefore I believe that we all have the freedom of choice and people can choose to do what they want with there bodies and lives. In the same vein, people have the right to form their own opinions, adhere to their own belief systems disagree with other peoples choices. The thing with using words like homophobia it can have connotations of violence and prejudice. This is not necessarily the case with people that disagree with homosexuality many are not advocates of violence or ill informed about what homosexuality actually is.

    Regarding your statement about who people choose to love, sounds good but in truth, judgements are made and prison sentences are handed out all the time because of whom people choose to love. For example some people choose to love animals, some deceased bodies, some blood related family members etc. How is this different from your reasoning about 21st century modernism. By your reasoning, people have no right to consider these things wrong.

    What I find surprising is that you have an unfounded and baseless belief your chosen point of view is morally superior to others. As I said before very, very bigoted.

  107. Does anyone know how Conor Henderson is coming along? Have we got another promising ‘home-made’ kid in the pipeline??

  108. That cracked me up.

  109. Champion,
    tolerance is at the heart of liberalism. And being kind to your fellow humans (and other living things – normal people love animals) is usually a good thing to be, isn’t it? Frankly, I find your arguments to be pure sophistry. Besides, the fight against racism and discrimination of all kinds is very much in accordance with the Arsenal Way.

    Besides, what’s wrong with loving animals? 😉

  110. On the issues of Chamakh and his sexual preferences, Alan Davies certainly didn’t “out” him. All he did was mention that when some Bordeaux fans had been asked if they’d had any good chants for him whilst he was their player, they’d mentioned he was homosexual. At some stage or another there’s going to be a high profile prem player who openly admits to being gay, and would anyone be surprised if it was a player at a club as liberal and progressive as ours? I’d be proud if our Judas Priest had a Rob Halford.

    Another thing to keep in mind regarding Sczesny is that he delivered his performance cold last night, he cames in without a run of games behind him and just looked like he belonged there. Whilst Fabi’s been excellent in the last few games, it’s taken him that iffy goal at Spurs and a few matches to get him where he is now.

  111. I remember when Wenger was strung out for not dropping RVP for Arshavin

  112. FinnGunn that is my point tolerance of others is a two street and have not presented any false arguments at all. Never have I been racist or discriminated against anyone.

    In recent times there have been high profile sports stars that have come out as gay and I don’t doubt that in the future this will be the case in football.

  113. I don’t approve of the animal abuse from Rita in the link below,
    the dude can drum!

  114. Argh, wrong link:

  115. I’d love to see someone drive a tractor around the centre of London. When I consider the almost unlimited anger of London drivers at the smallest delay, I can only assume the whole city would descend into anarchy.

  116. …always on the same stroll. Ugh.

  117. ‘few weeks’ out for Gibbsy :-/

  118. On the other hand, Vince, Szczesny came in on a wave of goodwill and without having had to endure months of bitching and being burdened with derogatory nicknames.
    He looked fantastic. But it really is early days, isn’t it?


    1. Vela
    2. Djourou
    3. Eastmond
    4. Arshavin
    5. Denilson

  120. muppet don’t mess about – speak ur mind.

  121. I know what you’re saying FG, but before the Porto game I don’t think Fabi had the burden of other people’s doubt weighing on him. There’d been mistakes before (notably vs Chelsea I guess) but people weren’t on his back to the same extent until then. It’s natural confidence with Chesney, the same sort that meant SuperNic52 could fuck up a series of tap ins again Burnley and then grab a hat trick in the 2nd leg of the aforementioned Porto fixture a few days later.

  122. Vince
    Chesney does have natural confidence, and a very strong personality, but we don’t know what would have happened if his two big mistakes had been punished with goals. That’s what happened to Fab.

  123. “All he did was mention that when some Bordeaux fans had been asked if they’d had any good chants for him whilst he was their player, they’d mentioned he was homosexual.”

    What in hell is this mean? what’s the connection between chants and homosexual? And does it imply that chants should reflect his sexual orientation?

    This is absurd and no more than a sleazy attempt to circle the rumor in the UK, so English fans start attacking him and ruin yet another good player for Arsenal.

    There is difference between having an opinion and mentioning something like this when there is no need to mention it. Was Alan Davies on a sexual discovery channel? Or was he discussing football?

  124. happened with him or the fans, I mean

  125. Muppet

    You forgot Wenger, he’s always on the list.

  126. g4e exactly so. seen it so many times now it’s fucking dreary.

    champion some valid points, but would ask, if i can remember my films,
    ‘ how much b4 it’s wrong’

  127. @ G4E
    Alan Davies asked his French friend if there were any good chants for MC. The friend replied that they had no chants, but also mentioned there were strong rumours in France about his sexuality. I don’t think Davies should have broadcast this – it was done in passing, as an interesting detail, but it was irresponsible of him, because if true it’s up to the player to decide whether he wants to be open about it, and if they are just rumours, he or his family could suffer because of the rampant homophobia in some sections of football support and in some parts of the world.

  128. G4E 🙂

    Is it me, or do we have the most exciting squad in europe ?

  129. G4E: Sorry, my post on what Davies said was a little ambiguous. There wasn’t a link between the chants and Chamakh’s alleged sexuality, it just came up in the same conversation.
    “This is absurd and no more than a sleazy attempt to circle the rumor in the UK, so English fans start attacking him and ruin yet another good player for Arsenal.”
    That’s fully mental though, Davies is a gooner of many years and certainly not one of the many sections of the media who wants to see us fail.

  130. And the most progressive squad in Europe, if Alan Davies and co. are to be believed. We certainly have the most progressive supporters – apart from Champion. He doesn’t seem to be very progressive at all. As it happens, I have heard some fairly strong rumours about Alan Davies and his love for deceased people. If true, he might well be the most progressive podcaster in England.

  131. This might be why we’ve not heard from James in a while.

  132. FunGunner,
    Thank you for explaining. I’m sorry I didn’t really follow the story from the start, it just so easy to determine that there was no reason to mention this. They were not discussing players sexual orientation, so why or what is the purpose of doing this other than intentionally creating a problem for the player? It’s disgusting and distasteful to say the least, and even though it was not Alan who mentioned it, I agree with you, he should have cut it out of the show unless it was live.

    We do mate, we really do, and the amazing thing is that it can only get better.

  133. I thought Szczesny looked his age. Yes, he is big, and yes he has good reflexes, but it was easy to tell that he hasn’t played many matches at the level of yesterday’s game and that he is definitely very young. Potentia? Absolutely! Someone I would be happy playing first choice keeper every week? Not on your life. He definitely needs more seasoning at a higher level than he has played.
    Walcott looked good last night, I thought. His willingness to go directly at defenders and the timing of his runs looked sharp. Rosicky, however, really impressed me. He was everywhere! He must have run at least 10km in the match.
    Overall a good game for those who needed match fitness. Walcott and Bendtner are certainly getting back to form, Koscielny as well. Eboue’s performance on the left was also a positive as insurance.

  134. potentia = potential

  135. @ G4E

    Alan Davies did mention it – he was repeating what his friend had told him. He himself wasn’t bothered, which could be why he didn’t stop to consider the potential implications of spreading such rumours about a football player. Anyway, whatever the truth of the matter, his private life is not really any of our business.

  136. Chesney: “One good game does not make me a great goalkeeper”.

    A young man with his feet on the ground.

  137. I totally agree FunGunner, it’s not any ones business.

  138. Bradys right foot

    I think its beginning to dawn on the casual football observer and whisper it very quietly even the doomers the sheer awsomeness of our squad. Our best 11 is a very tricky call given our options and how different players interact on the pitch. Up front we have Chamakh Arshavin Waltcott Van Parsie Bentner all capable of 20+ goals this season and as back up Vela and Jet not to mention Nasri whos played most of this season on the right of a three. Nasri and Fabregas could easily bag 15+ goals each, who knows what height young jack could reach this season. Song and the mecurial Diaby have huge futures at the club, as a pair they more than stood up to the physical challenge of Essien and co in the Chelsea game, Song is now adding goals and carrying the ball. Denilson is one of the most tactically aware players in the team and although a favourite whipping boy of the doomers does very good work on and off the ball. Ramsey fingers crossed he picks up were he left off after his assault.

    Kosser so far is the buy of the season imho, Verminator was the buy of last season, will they make a great partnership ? I’m not sure to be honest both attack everything in the air and on the ground, ideally you need a McGrath type someone whos going to mop up the second ball and compliment the strengths of the other centre half. Squallachi looks a very adequate addittion to the squad and JD is getting game time looking equal parts ropey and immense against Newcastle. Flappy has stopped flapping and may have claimed the number 1 jersey with his last two performances. All in all every gooner should have a spring in their step.

    My take is we dont have a best 11, but the flexibility to have a best 11 for different situations, and matchwinners in Fabregas, Arshavin, Nasri, van Persie and Theo all players who can turn a match on their own. Im pretty happy with the full backs each have their own strengths and hopefully young Gibbs can recover quickly. Got to say im impressed with Sagna this year as its obvious hes worked on his crossing. My fully fit 11

    Sagna Kozzer Verminator Clichy

    Nasri Song Fabregas

    Van Persie Chamakh Arshavin

    Thats leaving alot of talent on the bench and in the stands, its easier when we have a few injured lol.

  139. @Trevor Hill, there comes a point when you have use your own moral compass and value system to determine what is offensive and what is acceptable. Whilst having high regard to it, I don’t think this thought process should be soley determined by the law or other people.

    Chamakh – might as a devout muslim find the rumours deeply offensive even though others might feel, in the 21st centuary, he should feel proud. If the gay rumours Alan Davies has been promoting are unfounded Chamakh should be able to address the issue without reprisal of being called homophobic, prejudiced, bigotted, etc.

    Whilst Alan Davies thinks that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality, he is impinging on Chamakh – whom would struggle to refute these allegations without furore. Under the banner of ‘progression’ some individuals no longer have the right to express their personal views.

    FunGunner basically expressed my point and a slightly better I might add.

  140. agree.

  141. Champion,
    Manly love has been common enough among devout muslims. I doubt that Chamakh will feel the need to address Davies’s comments, assuming he even hears about them. I also doubt that the forces of intolerance are about to swoop on the relatives of the victims of rumours on an Arsenal podcast. I’m sure Davies knew very well that the rumours he has spread could be embarrassing to Chamakh, but he thought the pretence of innocence would emphasise his progressiveness.

  142. the relatives may well escape the forces of intloerance…………wait, i can hear pencils being sharpened ?

  143. i’m a long time away from it. ( thankfully ) is progressive the new politically correct buzz word or something.

  144. champion i think you picked up my film quote by the toes !

  145. On the Davies issue, I just read back the comments and am glad FG and Pass understood my point. As usual they use express views that are based in reality unlike this Lime bloke. Who really must have something hard up his back. How he transformed my comment into a dedate is beyond. All I wanted to point out is that Davies is just a assey grit whos pub gossip needs to be put into its proper context.

  146. blimey. well thats that then, suns up. i’m off to the beach.

  147. Also his podcast is now beyong the pale. Listening to him after a lost is like reading Le Moan, reduces you laughter. After blind rage ofcause!

  148. I fully understand the point you are making Champion and you have every right to make it too. It is possible to hold an opposing viewpoint without oppressing others who disagree with it.

    On a completely different subject, I just do not understand so called Arsenal supporters who feel the need to identify a scapegoat and lay into him. Now that Fabianski is starting to live down ‘that’ nickname and Denilson is being given the benefit of the doubt, the anti-Vela bandwagon is gathering pace as it rolls down the hill. I just don’t get it. Thankfully all these armchair experts have no influence over Arsene’s decision making in regard to the squad. If they refuse to learn every time some player they deem ‘not good enough to wear the shirt’ proves them wrong, they can just continue to look like fools with their definite conclusions based on limited knowledge.

  149. Muppet

    How do you focus on fuckups of the week when you score 7 away & let in none.

    I reckon you’d complain while you were having one…..a wank that is 😆

  150. Not to get pedantic Maria, but the whole point of the podcast is that it’s meant to feel like a few mates sitting round in a pub after the game. They make a hundred throwaway comments every week about our players, it’s never malicious. If people really think that is going to cause the player problems we should just not mention it again.

    Regarding Vela, there’s never going to be a time where the dickhead doomers aren’t singling out one player for abuse. He obviously needs a run of games but unless Arshavin gets injured it’s hard to see where they’re going to come from.

  151. That was my point regardunig Vela. I am not doubting his ability, but I can’t see him getting a sustained run of games. That is why I don’t think he will make it with us.

    When he gets the odd game he needs to give Wenger a selection headache for the next game. He has done well when given the chance, but not enough to make Wenger consider leaving him in the side at the expense of other players. He is a good player, but I can see him seeking 1st team football elsewhere (somewhere like Spain I suppose). If our squad was not so strong in the forward area’s things may be different.

  152. Vela will get at most 2 Champions League group games when qualification is assured.

  153. Thehampshiregooner

    Szczesny is the man.

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