Stone Cold Friday: Arsenal Must Focus On The C-Word

We judge people by many standards. Personally, I never trust a man, who when left alone with a tea cosey… Doesn’t try it on. Darius has a wardrobe full…

Wipe that dirty and perverted smirk off your face – I’m talking about ‘consistency’ here. With a quarter of the season gone, the report card has some pleasant and positive reading, with Arsenal deservedly perched in the top percentile of the various league tables.

The term report is also tempered with a ruthless reminder of the cost of not being clinical with our chances; or turning up for games and assuming certain teams will roll over, let us tickle them on the belly, pat them on the head and send them back up the motorway with a thrashing.

The points lost so far especially due to moments of mental lapses, should not cloud the individual and collective successes that the team has registered so far. It’s now time to build on this and show consistency in the achievement of positive results.

When I reflect on the season this far, the most pleasing aspect for me has been the maturity and patience the team has shown in knuckling down and getting on with a professional job. My sense is that part of this is because the players have collectively got more experienced in playing within the 4-3-3 system, and some of the kinks from last season seem to be fading away.

Personnel changes have also played a major part – in particular with Koscielny, Squillaci, Chamakh and Wilshere blending in like they’ve always been part of the furniture. The net result being that as a whole, the squad seems to be better equipped for this campaign.

Even with our customary roll call of injuries, there are fewer frayed nerves as we seem to have the personnel to cope with the absences. The individual improvement of certain players like Fabianski, Walcott, Wilshere, Nasri and Song – Arsenal’s new goal machine – has seriously reduced the quality gap between the first and second string players, massively improving the squad strength and depth.

Despite all these ingredients – it’s important that particularly at this stage, the team shows consistency by building on the positive results we have achieved so far. There used to be a time when certain games were bankers for 3 points. West Brom and Sunderland have shown that come match day – history doesn’t mean anything.

I think it’s also fair to say that individuals in the team still also blow hot and cold. Take Clichy for example who within 4 days, turned from hero with his assist for Song, to villain, for his ‘assist’ for Eduardo. This is not to say that Clichy has suddenly become a bad player – far from that. I think he’s one of the best left backs in the game.

But consistency demands that such Jekyll and Hyde performances are cut out. Perhaps it’s worth it that Gibbs is breathing down his throat in the same way that Szczesny is breathing down Fabianski’s throat; that Bendtner and Chamakh are breathing down Van Persie’s throat; that Rosicky is sweating Arshavin or Eboue is sweating Sagna.

If it makes individuals more ‘uncomfortable’ and hence more consistent – then all hail to a strong squad with hungry ‘breathers’. But it’s not enough that individuals are consistent. Our team performances have to also be consistent.

The fact that we’ll play at least 60 games this season, coupled with inevitable suspensions and injuries means that squad rotation is a given. It’s the consistency of the squad – despite any personnel changes – that has to see us through some tight spots, for there will be many more to come.

Watching Newcastle United giving Sunderland a good hiding last weekend made me wonder how it is we can beat the Toon and not Sunderland. I suppose it’s the same reason we can beat Man City who easily beat Chelsea a team we failed to beat, but City were beaten by West Brom who smuggled 3 points out of the Emirates – and then I start getting a headache.

The thing is that all teams will drop points, sometimes in the most unexpected places. The EPL has become a tougher proposition since we were last at the helm and there are stronger teams right across the board. The only way we will continue enjoying the position we occupy and move on to claiming the title is by building on the current successes and showing consistency.

Chelsea is not going to bend over and let us shaft them to the title. We’re going to have to violently wrestle it away from them. United will be hell bent on reminding us that they’re no mugs and didn’t walk into this title race from the cotton fields.

This Arsenal team has enough in the locker to achieve its ultimate potential and bring the first trophy home. But we’re not going to do that by not showing consistency. We need to get positive results in the next game, and the next and the one after that.

Consistency begets results; results beget confidence and as Peter Hill-Wood would say “woe betide any team that steps into the path of a confident, consistent Arsenal”.

’til Tomorrow

Posted on November 5, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 182 Comments.

  1. “Chelsea is not going to bend over and let us shaft them to the title”
    Delicately put, if I may say so, and First? Surely not, no BigBrova?

  2. Mongolian Gooner

    We’ve been consistently inconsistent in the past, and we are inconsistently inconsistent, now we need to become consistently consistent.

  3. The C word is Clichy.

  4. Damn early post. 6:30 a.m. here in Nairobi. MD and Jim where are you guys posting from? Mongolian’s early post makes sense if he’s in Ulan bator!
    Our loss to Shaktar Doneskh seems to have taken us back to re-education camp. Clichy is living a nightmare at the moment and not for the first time. We’ve got to rate him against the likes of Cashley Cole and Evelyn – sorry I meant Evra! They are playing at a higher level than he is but Clichy is younger than they are. Experience does count for something after all. Hope he doesn’t try too hard against Newcastle. But Darius is right, it’s just a matter of consistency. Often success is about getting the basics right.

  5. On RVP I think it would be irresponsible of him if he didn’t turn down the call up to the Dutch team. He better regain his form and earn his pay cheque first!

  6. Very early post ths one,Eldoret Kenya

  7. @Kenyan. Some folks live in cities that never sleep.

  8. Habari Darius. Nairobi iko poa! Nice post as usual.

  9. Safi sana my friend Kenyan. I suppose a Friday means a long lunch at Kosewes. I still can’t get over the 3 hour lunches you guys have. It’s almost like going back to work after lunch is an inconvenience.

  10. Good post. Apart from the idea that Sagna is sweating over the challenge from Eboue!

  11. It makes me sick hearing that Holland are calling up Van Persie. No tranining, no match time, was we even consulted regarding his fitness? Something is seriously wrong in football if we weren’t.

    Anyway, Nice post as always Darius. I thought the C-word was something else! haha

    Consistency is that annoying word, and is an annoying part of football which can never be guaranteed. It takes a lot of hard work, training, and a team which is very familar with each other. The ultimate form of consistency produced in a single season was produced by our invincibles. Prior to that season we brought in 1 transfer, Jens Lehmann.

    This season, I think we have taken a bit of time to getting into 3rd gear. The draw away to Sunderland, dropped points at home to West Brom, loss at Chelsea and loss in Shakhtar. In between we have produced some marvellous games of football, scoring great goals, and we are very much the time everyone keeps an eye on all over the world.

    The injuries have hampered us a little, but the signs our fresh legs are getting back to reinforce our quest to challenge on all fronts. Wenger wants to win every game, doing so with a big squad (which we have), and rotation. We have the platform to go on now, lets forget the stutters in consistency and cheer on the Arsenal t0 greatness this season. I don’t care what the media will say when we win a trophy, but I know it will be a joyous occasion/s. All the hard work, all the media slagging on our club, all the money spent by Spurs, City, United, Chelsea, Liverpool… and look whos at the top of the table

  12. I agree Kenyan re Van Persie. If a player declares himself unfit, does that mean the national team can’t call him up?

  13. Darius, how come i never get the 3 hr lunch break? need to sort that one out with my boss pronto espescially today being a Friday.

    Kenyan gunner wewe ni mnoma. 6.30 ushamka na ukalog in.Arsenal addict kabisa.

    I was dissappointed about our loss but it wasnt too bad considering how well the other team played.I think they deserved the win as they were the better team on the day. What made me furious was the call-up of Van Persie by the dutch manager, who else besides me thinks he’ll go play for them and get crocked and wont be back for us until February? I know that’s being overly pessimistic but with VP’s injury record it wouldnt surprise me!! It is riduculou how the dutch manager can call him up considering he is not even back for us.

  14. Queen of Suburbia

    Perhaps rvp is aware that he needs to be playing in order to build up his match fitness.

  15. Queen of Suburbia

    If you’re Robin, you probably figure that at that point in your rehab it’d be better to be training and possibly even playing with the world cup finalists rather than hanging around colney with denilson and the reserves.

    Either that or youre worried that wesley will talk about you behind your back if you don’t go. We are talking about the Dutch team remember.

  16. @Firstlady…

    Do what most civil servants do – leave your handbag and coat in the office and give the impression that you’re somewhere in the building while enjoying your 3 hour lunch. I’m told this sort of escapism has been made into an art form by some.

    Speaking of addiction and fanaticism – I’m still bemused I was actually forced to sit on a different side of a bar because I was wearing my Arsenal shirt. and the seat I liked was in a Man United section. The waiter refused to serve me until I moved – can you believe it.

    And there’s folks down the Holloway Road thinking they’re crazy about Arsenal…

  17. Good write up as usual Darius…

    My concern for the season is the same as yours, when the team is playing badly, everyone seems to be having an off day, and the reciprocal situation as well. The midweek game saw a number of heavy final balls from a collection of players, no one player innocent. I hope that as the season progresses, we have a number of individuals who pull the team up by their bootstraps and raise our level to get some crucial points, a la clichy and song last weekend…

    I am being positive though, the improvements are there to be seen, hopefully the improvement in results follows…

  18. Queen of Suburbia

    I just think midweek we were missing three world class players in arsha Robin and cesc plus our first Four options for dm.

    Give any team in the world those problems and they would struggle.

  19. JB, I don’t think people are really taking into account the impact of the long journey to the Ukraine on the players. It was the same for Shaktar when they travelled to London – they were not able to show what a good team they are. But at home they were a different proposition.

  20. Malaysiangunner

    Hi Darius

    Good one except on Clichy. The first and foremost job of the left back is to defend. And play safe when the ball is so close to our penalty area. That is the most basic of the job description and the best left backs around do not presume that and donot consistently repeat the same mistake.
    If you make your mistake once ,well OK , these things happens. Second time well again maybe you had an off day. But three times to four times, there is very little rooms for redemption at this level. If Gibbs cannot stay fit we need to find another replace ment this January. I hate to say it but this season another mistake like this is one mistake too many.
    Good thing there is hope in the CL league but thuis result will make the remainder games almost must wins and pressure us on playesr being able to rest and hence affecting our EPL cahnces too.
    If we had a choice Clichy should spend long periods benched to really learn his lessons.

  21. Passenal,

    I agree, this was always going to be a hard trip. You just need to look at Shaktar’s home record to realise this. I dont even fault Wenger for resting some of the key players, realistically the result in this match is irrelevent to our season, provided we win against Braga. It is more the west brom result in combination with this one that has some pointers towards overall problems. I am not having a whine, trust me, I am one of the most positive supporters going around. I just worry about ineffectiveness in the final third at times, and the failure for individuals to pull a rabbit out of a hat. This is something Arshavin has been great at up til this season. Despite Clichy’s mistake, I think our defense has been excellent this season. Djourou and Squillachi were immense on Wednesday night, especially given the lack of support from the midfield. They were exposed so regularly, yet dealt with everything exceptionally well.

  22. Why are we still talking about Wednesday night?! SUNDAY IS ROUND TWO OF THE GREATEST BATTLE EVER! In the red corner we have Sam ‘the silent assassin’ Nasri, and in the infinitely less fetching black and white corner we have Joey ‘total cunt’ Barton. That sly trip Samir did on Barton a couple of seasons back was so funny, it was like he was saying “so this is the so-called ‘physical’ premier league then? Think I’ll be alright”.
    Also Chesney on Twitter is amazing, what a guy.

  23. Age should be no excuse for Clichy. He is one of the most experienced members of the team and must have cut out errors by now. He should be able to cross the ball well and provide assists every other week, but he still cant do this.
    We are still far from being consistent. The team lack authority and confidence. Yes its now harder to win in the EPL , but I can confidently say that Chelsea will never lose to WBA at the bridge. Not becauase they are unbeatable, but becuase they apply themlseves to each and every game with a winning mentality.They are motivated for each and every game.Their manager is up on the touchline every game barking instructions. Our teams lack all this.

  24. Vince, you follow Chesney Hawkes on twitter as well?

  25. Good luck finding a full-back who can provide assists “every other week”, Jena. Very strange expectations for a player in that position.

    Clichy’s unlucky, when he makes a mistake it’s almost always punished by a goal. At any rate, I think his all round play more than makes up for the odd slip.

  26. Queen if he hasn’t been fit enough to play for us, why should he be fit enough to play for the dutch team? Nothing wrong with being left behind at london Colney with the likes of Denilson.

  27. Also, there’s not enough appreciation for just how tough that Donetsk match was – atmosphere, location and a decent, highly motivated team all made it very difficult.

    It might be a sign of our progress that fans are this upset about the result.

  28. Oneofus, jus before he made that howler i thought he was man ofthe match. As Passenal noted yesterday if the rest of the team was upto standard his mistake wouldnt have counted, unfortunately they waren’t and it did.

    Darius I have watched Arsenal play in some of the strangest places, last time I watched us in a pub (Arsenal vs Birmgham) the pub was so quite you could have mistaken it for a morgue, now imagine that with me going berserk when we equalized and hurling insults at the ref.

  29. Didnt Chelsea lose to Wigan last season Jena? If I am not mistaken Wigan were bottom of the table at the time.

  30. LOL Firstlady – can just picture the baffled ‘morgue’ attendants wondering how it is a seemingly normal lady loses the plot like that without much warning.

  31. “It might be a sign of our progress that fans are this upset about the result.”

    OOU – Good shout. It was a really tough fixture regardless of the encounter at the Emirates. Our lads seemed to expect the match to go the same way as the first one (after Theo’s goal), but they weren’t going to let that happen. And as you say, the atmosphere in that stadium sounded pretty intimidating… I wish we could have that same intimidation at the Emirates, the ‘extra man’ and all that…

  32. And it is scandalous selecting RvP for Holland. How can they get away with that? After being out for nearly 3 months because of an injury sustained on international duty… If he can declare himself unavailable, he surely should. There should be rules against this kind of thing – if there aren’t already??

  33. James! Have you seen the news? Gareth Bale has been arrested for what is thought to be the single largest banana heist the world has ever seen!

  34. Geo

    I agree, I mentioned that yesterday too. An Arsenal team 3,4, or 5 years ago would not have been expected to go there and put up a fight. FACT.

    Even our invincibles struggled away in Europe, places like Greece, Russia, Ukraine, and many other Eastern European countries. The journey or conditions obviously play a huge part. Every manager says the same, and all the players say the same.

    Moving on we have Newcastle on Sunday. Lets hope we get players as fresh as can be for the match. Hopefully Wenger’s decision to leave Fabregas, Denilson, Song, and Arshavin at home while Chamakh on the bench proves that his squad selection was right. What will all the numptys say on Monday morning when 3 points are in the bag?

  35. Having now watched the full Shakhtar game I think Clichy had a good game despite the error.

  36. Deano, that is why we are selling him to the San Diego Zoo for 90 million

  37. I think we’ll find QoS was just trying to wind Chris up. For myself, I can’t imagine why RvP would be eager to play with the team that disgraced itself in the summer. He certainly couldn’t learn anything with them that he couldn’t learn with our reserves – except perhaps the latest, most brutal methods of cheating. If, however, RvP has declared himself eligible for national duty against Wenger’s wishes, we could be looking at his last season with Arsenal.

  38. Darius, yea the stares proved it , I wrote note to self not to go there ever again during our game.

  39. Queen of Suburbia

    I agree ole.

  40. Queen Of Sub, This is a serious question, do you secretly find Gareth bale attractive now, even though he looks like a chimpanzie named Cornelius?

  41. I agree too Ole. Maybe he lulled himself into a false sense of security after a great first 40 minutes… I must say though, Eboue had one of the worst games i’ve seen from him for a while. He’s been awesome for the last year, particularly when playing in his natural position. Years ago, the more doomy inclined ‘fans’ would have been shouting for wenger to sell, but he’s come on leaps and bounds since boo-gate, hence my surprise at his poor performance.

    Newcastle’s going to be some game, they’re going to be full of confidence after last weekend, and i’ve got a feeling they’re going to attack us, which suits me! I’d like to see Theo, Nasri and Chamakh leading the line for that one, with Song, Cesc and Jack in midfield. Pretty scary attacking threat there…

  42. QoS,

    what was the point of the gratuituous Denilson dig?

  43. Geo,

    Eboue was crappity crap. Dear God, I’m sure even his wife would have told him that.

  44. Ole Gunner, obviously you have never hung around the colney with Denilson. He is an absolute nightmare. He just goes on and on he never shuts up. I dont want to hear about his three dogs and six cats and neither does Robin for heavens sake.

  45. Queen of Suburbia

    It wasn’t a dig at Denilson Ole. The point was that most of the rest of the team are away on international duty with Denilson left behind. So RVP might consider that his rehab be better continued around the Holland squad. As far as i am aware Robin is back training now?

    As you well know, i’ve long believed that Denilson should be in the Brazil squad.

  46. I think national teams have the right to check players out themselves, regardless of what there club physio says. So Van Persie would have to make the trip just to be told that he’s unfit, another ridiculous rule in football.

  47. Queen of Sub, imagine poor denilson hanging around there on his own. Do you reckon Wenger lets him play as a striker all day?

  48. Ole,

    Re Clichy; it was such an unforgivable and unprofessional error though.

  49. Goal machine Song indeed. Interestingly enough a lot of folks were demanding that he stop galloping forward in games. If he’d listened we’d have come away with a point against West Ham.

  50. Henristic,

    It was a very common error. He got caught on the ball.

    I know you’ll say we’ve seen him make similar errors in the past. Oh sure, I’ve seen all players make that error.

  51. Jesus – what’s come over Jamie Redknap?

    http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/46326/He_can_pass_he_gets_goalshes_a_top_top_player_already.aspx

    Praising wenger and jack? what’s the world coming to?

  52. We know Clichy’s style. He’s an awesome attacking full back, prone to the odd error defensively. I’d rather have him in the side attacking and confusing our opponents’ full backs than having a solid left back who can’t be dangerous going forward. Any day.

  53. Rooney’s going to America for ‘rehab’ on his ‘ankle injury’… He must be having a nice time, and doesn’t the lad deserve it..? Plenty of spending money at least.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/man_utd/9162480.stm

  54. I saw you’ve put more blame on the DMs not covering on time. It may be true that they were slow to react, but just imagine yourself in that scenario. The most obvious thing in the world to do is just to put the ball out of play. That’s probably what everyone on that pitch thought Clichy would do. Put the ball out and give everyone time to regroup. Instead he just allowed the ball to be taken away from him so easily. That certainly caught everyone by surprise and is a plausible explanation why the DMs didn’t cover quick enough.

    Or maybe it’s the complacency AW was talking about. Clichy didn’t think Shakhtar were good enough to pose a danger. Would he have done the same thing if we were playing Chelsea and Drogba was the one marking him?

  55. Jamie Redknapp is like the rest of the media leeches.. jumps onto what is popular, and sucks the life out of it.

  56. Darius

    Clichy is not even the best LB at the club Gibbs

  57. Geo,

    While I’ll normally agree with you, I’m beginning to think having a dependable left back (a left footed Sagna) would probably pay us better. It’s not as if Clichy contributes that much to our attack?

  58. Geo thank God it’s his knee. Tiger Woods problem was a bit higher but below the waist!

  59. Ole,

    Its not a common error for defenders. Not for professional experienced defenders anyways, otherwise they wouldn’t play at the highest level.

  60. Henristic

    You may have a point for once.. regarding your comment if we were playing Chelsea, and he was marking Drogba.

    You have to understand though that our players are told to play it out from the back. That is where we catch teams out, look at Walcott’s counter attack goal. If it was booted out we wouldn’t have scored.

    Sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t. Accept it and move on, luckily more often than not we see Arsenal winning from such tactics. We ain’t a row Z team.

  61. Henristic – a left footed Sagna would be amazing but would cost us shed loads as there are only a couple like thatin thw world. And they play for Madrid, Inter, Bayern etc. I think Clichy contributes massivley to many of our attacks, just by sprinting down the line he drags defenders out of position and confuses them – all the while they’re having to track 2/3 other runners, closer to their goal. Only Cashley and Evra can offer that blistering pace from full back in the EPL.

  62. Is it just me or is anyone surprised at how little we’ve made of Chamack’s famed heading ability? I remember AW saying it was one of his best attributes but can’t recall many attempts where he’s actually being at the end of a cross?

  63. lol kenyan gunner! I’m sure Rooney would have similar problems if the 50+ yr old ‘talent’ is as good as they say it is in the US of A… 😉

  64. Chris G.
    lol. You seriously can’t compare both situations men. For Theo’s goal we had pretty much all the outfield players in our half. How are those two instances even similar?

  65. Gibbs is very promising, but it’s ridiculous to claim that he’s a better player than Clichy at the moment. He needs to stay fit for a while before anything else.

  66. Henristic,

    Its not a common error for defenders. Not for professional experienced defenders anyways, otherwise they wouldn’t play at the highest level.

    Watch any game at the highest level soon as you get a chance. I guarantee you you’ll find a similar error in which a defender was caught on the ball.

    Put the ball out and give everyone time to regroup. Instead he just allowed the ball to be taken away from him so easily. That certainly caught everyone by surprise and is a plausible explanation why the DMs didn’t cover quick enough.

    I agree he should have slammed the ball into the Shakhtar player to win a throw-in. Instead he dithered & did nothing really.

    But what if he’d actually been beaten by a super-skillful winger? Should we concede everytime our full back gets beaten?

  67. HI all

    Repeated mistakes can not be forgivable. It is not bad luck that cost us goals, it is repeated similar mistakes in big games,season turning games ,Birmingham, Chelsea, and now Shaktar. Lost of concentration in very vulnerable positions when doing the simple would suffice. In defence no matter how good you were for 89 mins and that one minute instead of doing the simple and he does the complicated in bad positions. If I play park footbal my team mates would slaughter me.
    No matter how you excuse that.

  68. Stat for the day:

    Theo Walcott, all games ’10-’11:
    Seven goals, two assists.

    Aaron Lennon:
    Zero goals, one assist. (That is the same as the ‘C-word’, less then Sagna)

    Monkey Magic:
    Seven goals, six assists. (Possibly more assists since Tuesday, was too busy laughing at Benitez to pay attention. But I think I’ll minus two of those goals considering how useless Julio Cesar was in the first game.)

    So, in half the time (out with injury) this season, TW14 has, approximately, as many goals and almost as many assists as the combined efforts of both the mouldy Totts’ orthodox whingers.

  69. Henristic | November 5, 2010 at 11:09 am |

    OptaJoe on Twitter published a list of players who’ve scored 15 or more headed goals in the last 3 (or was it 4) seasons. There were just 5 or 6 players.

    The notion of the aerially dominant big man upfront is overdone, and is bordering on being a myth.

  70. Geo,
    I’m not advocating for Clichy to be sold or anything like that. But I do think you were exaggerating to make a point about Clichy’s attacking qualities, as a way to balance his odd defensive lapses. I don’t think his bombing forward worry opposition defenders that much tbh. But even if it did, it takes nothing away from his main responsibilities i.e to defend. Remember the issue here is not his tendency to get caught out of position (although that is also a concern), but rather the seeming unnecessary errors when we’re vulnerable.

  71. As Bush once said ‘Fool me once and im a fool, Fool me twice and…….fool me again…….fool me fool me………i love fools…….fools gold…….’

  72. Which was everybody’s favourite out of the “expansive one-twos” this week?

    A) Song-Clichy-Song?

    or

    B) Walcott-Wilshere-Walcott?

  73. Queen of Suburbia

    Clichy just made the wrong decision. It happens to most players from time to time, potentially the consequences are greater for a defender due to their proximity to goal, which is why by default they usually opt for “safety first”.

    Other that that, i thought he played well though. He’s just scapegoat of the month at the moment. It’ll be someone else’s turn soon enough.

  74. If you think Clichy or whoever i never ever again going to get caught on the ball, you’re in la-la land

    It’s like the keeper issue. If you think Fabianski, Almunia, Szczesny, Mannone, Cech, whoever else will not commit any more errors this season, you’re in fantasy land.

  75. There really is an absurd pro-Gibbs bias based on his nationality. He’s good and is only going to improve, but he’s not better than Clichy.

  76. Vince, I doubt it has anything to do with his nationality, Walcot gets the most stick at Arsenal

  77. Ole@11.16

    “Watch any game at the highest level soon as you get a chance. I guarantee you you’ll find a similar error in which a defender was caught on the ball.”

    Can’t help taking a dig can you?. Well all I’ll just say is that I disagree. There aren’t many instances in top level football, where a rated defender IN POSSESSION gives the ball away cheaply. When such instances happen, they are highlighted and recognized as serious errors, precisely because its uncommon.

    “But what if he’d actually been beaten by a super-skillful winger? Should we concede everytime our full back gets beaten?”

    If said super skilled winger (e.g. Ronaldo) was IN POSSESSION of the ball and was attempting to take on our full back, then I’m sure the DMs would make more of an effort to cover, otherwise they’d be just as liable if a goal ensued. That clearly wasn’t the case on Wednesday.
    Clichy had possession in an area where conceding it could make us vulnerable. All he had to do was get rid of the ball.

  78. That’s fair enough Henristic, and i’m not advocating his errors. Just giving some balance to what you were saying. You said he doesn’t contribute that much to our attack, i disagree. His crossing isn’t amazing, but his one twos, direct running and short passing is as good as any other attacking left back, and would certainly give any right sided defenders some problems when they were hoping to concentrate on one winger, rather than 2 attacking players… He could tighten up defensively i agree, and the more times these errors happen, the more likely he is to do something different about it next time. I’ll always be behind the Cliche, have always been a big fan.

  79. Fools gold?

    Is that what will be used to celebrate the 5oth aniversary of the Sp*ds’ last title this year?

    Or is that what ‘Arry writes upon his tax returns?

  80. hahahaha Finsbury!

  81. Clichys error was terrible im sure he’ll be the first to admit that, you shouild count yourselves lucky it happened in a game which wont do any real damage

  82. Finsbury, weve been in transition…………….

  83. “OptaJoe on Twitter published a list of players who’ve scored 15 or more headed goals in the last 3 (or was it 4) seasons. There were just 5 or 6 players.”

    “The notion of the aerially dominant big man upfront is overdone, and is bordering on being a myth.”

    I agree. How else can one explain Tim Cahill’s propensity to score headed goals? He’s not big, or dominant, or an upfront man. 🙂

    But how does it imply we shouldn’t try to take more advantage of an attribute the manager himself has pointed to? I could be wrong, but I don’t recall many instances where Chamackh was at the end of a cross. That was all I was saying.

  84. There aren’t many instances in top level football, where a rated defender IN POSSESSION gives the ball away cheaply. When such instances happen, they are highlighted and recognized as serious errors, precisely because its uncommon.

    That’s just incorrect. It happens multiple times in every game.

    If said super skilled winger (e.g. Ronaldo) was IN POSSESSION of the ball and was attempting to take on our full back, then I’m sure the DMs would make more of an effort to cover

    I would say they should cover in all cases. All modern defensive systems are based on the acknowledgement that a player could lose a duel, leading to dangerous situations. The reason you have players to over is so that they mitigate.

    A player could slip (wouldn’t be his fault), or make a mistake, be beaten, suffer an injury (with ref allowing play to go on)….

    It’s also simply about position. If you’re caught upfield when the ball has been played 60 yards to start an attack close to your 18, you better be sprinting back into position because in that situation, the correct position to be in is around your own box.

  85. You’re right Ole, they should always be expecting the worst – that’s a defender’s job. Just as it’s a striker’s job to expect a defender to slip up and gamble on that.

  86. J*mes,

    Fans of West Ham & Portsmouth have been saying something slightly different since ‘Appy ‘Arry finshed with them. Good luck with that.

  87. some of the usual facile, … sorry … invigorating and inspirational, arguments.

    Show me a team or player that never slips up, ever, and I’ll show a young man, with so many reasons why-y-y, there but for fortune goes you or I, you or I … oops sorry, got carried away. But seriously, the standards by which we judge our team sometimes get carried up, up and away-ay-ay, in our beautiful, our beautiful … ballooooon. Oh no, it seems I can only express myself in song today.

    We made the mistake of making Shaktar look ordinary in London, we was awesome at home, and so people thought they are not a very good team; a team that has not lost at home in 15 months!

    As for Clichy, he’s human. No player has every attribute, and form, all the time. He is, on paper, amongst the most experienced top 3 players at Arsenal, the sole survivor from the Invincibles, and the first of the youth brigade to get to the top, 2 years before Cesc. He’s good, and yet fallible. People may forget, when he makes errors, what he brings to our game (speed, agility and usually excellent one-on-one play). In fact, it would be hard to deny that Arshavin’s effectiveness is based in some degree on Clichy’s running, passing, speed and cover (not AA’s best attribute).

    The same principles apply with Eboue, and although both did not perform at their expected level, a loss is always a team loss, not an individual error.

    Now, on a serious note, the implosion of Man Citeh …

  88. I could be wrong, but I don’t recall many instances where Chamackh was at the end of a cross.

    Strange since he’s already scored at least 3 headers for us this season.

  89. Zimpaul, yes, please, the implosion of Man City must happen.

  90. Ole Gunner | November 5, 2010 at 11:31 am |

    “If you think Clichy or whoever i never ever again going to get caught on the ball, you’re in la-la land

    It’s like the keeper issue. If you think Fabianski, Almunia, Szczesny, Mannone, Cech, whoever else will not commit any more errors this season, you’re in fantasy land.”

    Not sure what your point is here? There are all kinds of errors and some are just not acceptable for some kinds of players. Fabianski’s error last season where practically scooped a ball into his own net is not acceptable. It happened one, but noone expects him to repeat it. I’m pretty sure he’d be dropped if he repeated that sort of error 3 or 4 times. Othersie he’s be no different to Green or Paul Robinson 🙂

    It’s different when say he doesn’t punch a corner/cross well enough because he is under pressure. It maybe considered an error by some, but few will insist its a particularly unacceptable mistake because it happens quite regularly, even to the best keepers.

    Clichy’s error is unacceptable and it is a major worry if he consistently makes that kind of error. He needs to cut it out of his game because its totally AVOIBABLE. Its not like he was “beaten by a super-skillful winger”

    Phew!. That’s hopefully the last I’ll say about the Clichy mistake. 🙂

  91. Ole, are you including the liverpool goal in that?

  92. Henristic, is Avoibable even worse then avoidable?

    Damn you have an amazing vocab.

  93. Chamakh not scoring headers! Thats news to me

  94. James what are you babling on about?

  95. Geo, I dont know. To be honest ive been trying to avoid the internet. Once you get started its hard to stop.

  96. Henristic,
    Bolton, Partizan & Blackpool. Not to count the Liverpool game where he got on the end of the cross, and that led directly to the goal.

  97. Henristic, keep going. It is a great representation of how shortsighted you are in focusing solely on blaming Clichy for our defeat. If you had any sense, you might want to consider the defensive line, our positioning, defensive cover in midfield, and generally our sloppiness on the night.

    To sit here and still be hearing about Clichy’s one error, is a testament to your capacity to understand the game.

  98. Having watched a couple of Twilight films now, on a flight somewhere, it is hard not to reach the conclusion that a certain clan of the toothy guys have made Manchester home, and some other toothy guys have followed, looking for humans to drink up, and another clan of big biting dogs are in the vicinity, and lordie lord, it’s mayhem in those parts. I mean, can you seriously tell me that Adebayor has not become a little more odd, that Tevez does not flash a grin to die from, that Do Jong is “just a normal guy”, or that that monster of a left back got that way eating fish and chips.

  99. Tell me about it, Friday’s a real slow day in the office so slacking off on t’interweb is often unavoibable. Who have you sp*ds got at the weekend?

  100. incapacity* I meant to say … sorry to get ur hopes up there 😉

  101. um … right back.

  102. Avoibabble is a great word. YW, add to the dictionary please.

  103. Instead of trying to get rid of Clichy, perhaps we ought to try to oust Sagna. Throughout this season, Clichy has made on average more successful passes (51.1 compared with 49.4), less unsuccessful passes (7.4 compared with 8.75), more clearances (3.7 compared with 3.4), and far more tackles (4.6 compared with 2.4).

  104. You play footie at all? What you’re saying is generally true and I’m not arguing that players shouldn’t try to cover. But it’s unrealistic to expect them to do it every single time in every single situation. Especially in a situation where a fullback is less than 2 feet from the touchline and everyone (including yourself it seems) would have expected him to simply put the ball out of play.

    Football is a team game. But the team is made up of individuals (brilliant insight or what?). Those individuals can sometimes let the whole team down by shirking on their responsibilities. Which is what happened in this case. It’s not a Clichy bashing exercise, but the idea that one player can’t be blamed for something he’s clearly at fault for is ludicrous.

    Clichy himself would admit he made a grievous error. He’s certainly not going to be thinking, “oh well its a team game, someone should have been marking Eduardo in case I don’t put the ball out. ”

    This really is my last word on this 😦
    I can see its getting tedious for everyone else. Sorry guys.

  105. Is it true that Mancini “missed” a year or two on his CV, unexplainababble, and that he “coached” an “unknown” possibly “Romanian” team; I shan’t mention the province. Feel the fear, get my drift?

  106. We read about the profiling that goes on at Arsenal last week, but do people think the Arsenal players get advice when it comes to using the internet?

    A few years ago that question would have sounded absurd, but so many of the players seem to have twitter accounts now, and they’re bound to encounter their fair share of w*nkers, as well as exaggerated praise from fans, not to mention what I can only describe as legions of groupies….

    I hope they can take it all with a pinch of salt.

  107. Would it be avoibabble or, or the more subtle, avoidababble (in the latter case the listener might just think it’s the stutter of a king).

  108. Bolton vs Tottenham
    Man Utd vs Wolverhampton
    Arsenal vs Newcastle
    West Brom vs Man City
    Liverpool vs Chelsea

    A chance for us this weekend to capitalise on any possible slip-ups…?

  109. Ole Gunner | November 5, 2010 at 12:00 pm |

    Henristic,
    Bolton, Partizan & Blackpool. Not to count the Liverpool game where he got on the end of the cross, and that led directly to the goal.

    I did say I could be wrong didn’t I 🙂

    Here’s to hoping he’s able to do it more often!

  110. ChrisGoona | November 5, 2010 at 12:02 pm |

    “Henristic, keep going. It is a great representation of how shortsighted you are in focusing solely on blaming Clichy for our defeat. If you had any sense, you might want to consider the defensive line, our positioning, defensive cover in midfield, and generally our sloppiness on the night.

    To sit here and still be hearing about Clichy’s one error, is a testament to your capacity to understand the game.”

    Go one Chris G. Resort to type 🙂

  111. Geo,

    Bolton away, would love an early gtoal in a three nil win.

    More then likely be a draw though, i dont even want to contemplate losing…

  112. No one uses internet these days. It’s so ‘last year’. I personally use a sonic mind control thought communicator gijimminy-thing (SMCTC-GT). I am “typing” this while actually playing a football match, no one passes to me and I got bored and winged it to ACLF, via a passing cloud. I’m at left back and I confirm it’s an odd position, you have to think right-to-left. No wondr Clichy sometimes turns the wrong way.

  113. Henristic

    You know its all true my friend. Anyway, you got your Clichy bashing out the way it seems so lets move on..

  114. Good idea Poliz,

    Lets get rid of both of them, clone Denilson and play Deni-1 and Deni-2 in their place. I’m sure the passing stats will improve dramatically. We should make sure we clone the pre-corn rows Denilson though. Can’t imagine what the sight of so many braids will do to hair-ist fans!

  115. Henristic | November 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
    I did play football. But even if I hadn’t I’d still bemoan a situation where, despite having 2 holding midfielders, a punt upfront leaves us with 3 players defending against 4. Moreso because the midfielders don’t even bother to track a defender who’s alone unmarked in the box.

  116. Will be a tough game James.

  117. The problem in Ukraine, we played way too uptempo, like we wanted 5 goals in 7 minutes, a bit like headless chickens, didn’t think, didn’t control, and just control and control, they way we are supposed to. Ask anybody.

  118. Does anyone know if Cesc, Song will be fit for the Newcatle game? Was either of their injuries serious?

  119. Chris,

    Its a massive game really because if we lose then the performance on tuesday wont of meant anything. I’m going to be watching it from behind a pillow put it that way

  120. We need to make an example of Clichy. Stick him in goals and make him captain. That’ll teach him to make stupid mistakes.

  121. I think that RvP should refuse to join the Dutch team for this pointless friendly. Pointless Dutch friendlies have robbed (!) us of RvP for nearly 2 of the last 3 seasons. If he doesn’t then I would question his commitment to Arsenal. We have spent millions on RvP for him to spend time on the treeatment table. It would be even better if he retired from international football completely but it is unrealistic to expect this. How many matches has RvP started since his reported 80k a week contract was signed. He is an fantastic player but he cannot stay fit. As good as he is he is of no use to us injured.

  122. Clichy was live-blogging with one of those things on Wednesday night, ZP:

    Here’s the post:

    “21:26: Whoops! ¯\(°_o)/¯ what happened there! LOLZ! Shout out to my bruv on Nanterre.”

  123. It is improbable we will lose in Newcastle. It’s not in the tradition. Ukraine, yes of course. If we won there, in November of all months, it would – let’s face it – be a little odd.

  124. I don’t see why there is even a debate about Clichy; he is not good enough to play for Arsenal. His crossing is hopeless, his shooting even worse and makes catastrophic mistakes at the back. He has been with us for years and was a better player in his earlier days. I think he has lost pace as well. Unless Gael finds an Arsenal player within 1 yard of him when he breaks forward so that he can pass to him the attack breaks down. Time to go.

  125. I dont think Clichy has any problems that a few Lashings couldnt sort out.

  126. James | November 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm |

    “Chris,

    Its a massive game really because if we lose then the performance on Tuesday wont of meant anything. I’m going to be watching it from behind a pillow put it that way”

    Why a pillow James? Seeing as you’re the self harming type (why else would you be a regular on an arsenal blog?), be careful not to choke yourself to deathas the tension of the game catches up. You really would be missed on here. I’d recommend palms on face, peeping through fingers (a la Busquets in Barca v Inter).

  127. Full-backs live and die by their shooting ability, don’t they AIC?

    What you get with Clichy is lots of interceptions, pace, stamina and work rate. Those qualities are enough to forgive the odd slip and lack of assists.

    Though I do have to say that the final ball for Song last week might indicate that he’s working on his delivery.

  128. Oh, and Wednesday aside, there aren’t many better defenders in one-on-one situations.

  129. AIC..

    You do like making a fool or yourself. You come on making outrageous comments, slating players left right and centre. Then we won’t see you for another month on here because your too embarassed by your lack of support.

    How many time must I tell fans like you. LEARN HOW TO SUPPORT.

    Clichy is a pretty excellent LB, if he was at Real Madrid you would be screaming to Wenger to sign him. Thats how much of a mug fans like you sound. Clueless.

  130. OOU,

    No but they die when they make basic errors time and again. I see what Clichy brings to the team but crucially very few of his forays forward amount to anything. The cross for Song was his first Prem assist in over 2 years. Defensively he makes mistakes in most games and they often cost us. We need also fullbacks who are dangerous going forward as they are often the spare men and we build a lot from fullback and Clichy’s passing is not good enough. Clichy is a liability in both boxes but good inbetween.

  131. Clichy is quality. I wouldn’t want Cole or Evra in his place. (Leaving our past with Cole aside).

    They are both too old, and they don’t play at teams whos motive is to score as many goals as possible, hence the less mistakes and getting caught out. Cole maybe getting a bit of recognition for his performances over the last year or so, but that is not down to Chelsea, Arsenal made him what he is. He is past his best.

  132. Henristic, you may have a point. I’ll eat my fingers instead.

  133. chris,

    I don’t agree. I just don’t rate him that’s it. If players are not good enough they should be replaced. Look at Almunia who cost us plenty; he has now gone (hopefully) and Woocash has done a great job in his place. You are going back to the old “can’t express an opinion” rubbish that we have argued about in the past. I think Clichy is not good enough and should be replaced by Gibbs if he can ever stay fit. Clichy and Sagna need to learn how to deliver an accurate cross and Clichy also needs to eradicate stupid errors from his game but shows no signs of doing so.

    Clueless, I don’t think so judging by the number of things that I have posted on this blog that were true when I posted them or were later proven to be correct.

    You should know that I don’t need support to blog. I do it when I want.

  134. Past aside, I would take Cashley all day long over Clichy. Of course we made him…

    I don’t think Clichy’s mistakes are due to him playing for an attacking team either. They seems to be laspses of concentration and poor decision making.

  135. Warm Diwali wishes to all ACLFers from India! 😀

  136. I agree that his best work is done up the left, and this shouldn’t be downplayed.

    I think he suits our style. In the current formation our full-backs need to be less aggressive going forward, and needn’t be massive attacking threats. We don’t want Alves style buccaneering types one the left or right, because we’d have to play two holding midfielders to cover their forays.

    In my view, what’s best for us are players with lots of energy, who can get up and down, read the game well, and have the technical ability to support their teammates. Clichy makes mistakes, but clearly ticks enough boxes to warrant selection.

  137. Superb post Darius. We all agree about the quality and depth of the squad. The only thing that holds us back at this point lies between the players ears. Losing away at Shahktar is not a totally unexpected result. However, hate to see the mental mistakes and the feeling that we somehow “switched off” again. A win in the next CL game and a run of wins in the PL will make that result irrelevant. A win away at Newcastle will not be easy especially after a tough CL game on Wed.

  138. James | November 5, 2010 at 12:50 pm |

    “Henristic, you may have a point. I’ll eat my fingers instead.”

    Atta boy James

  139. It’s fascinating to compare Clichy and Cole. The great mystery is what Cole actually does all match. The two are very similar in passing accuracy, with Clichy just taking the lead at the fourth decimal place, although Clichy makes more passes in total. By every other measure, Clichy is far superior. 4.6 tackles per game compared with 2.8, 3.3 interceptions compared with 1.2, and 3.7 clearances compared with 0.6. Replacing Cole with Clichy has got to go down as one of Wenger’s greatest triumphs.

  140. Im affraid our defence is our weak point. and you need a great defence to win the league/cl.

  141. you been on the old vino Poliziano. Cole i hate to say is a much better defender then Clichy. or should i not say that coz i am an Arsenal fan and i should be biased.

  142. Anyone who thinks Clichy is better than Evra or Cole is beyond delusional.

  143. Like AIC I don’t understand why there’s even a debate about Clichy. Unlike AIC, I realise he’s a fantastic full back. Clichy has unique strengths as a full back. They’re glaring to see. So much so I won’t even bother to enumerate them.

  144. Everyone’s fit for the weekend apparently – apart from the long-termers.

    “Question of days” for Vermaelen!

  145. Thanks OOU

  146. Cashley Cole has been and will always be since leaving Arsenal a sh**y **** who’s abilities are blow out the water by Clichy!

    P.S ZP your on top form today!!

    P.S.S

    ……………..AIC IS A PARASITE…………….……

  147. Fantastic News OOU!

  148. Unfortunately this is not the first time we have had to discuss a mental mistake from Clichy. Mistakes like the one he made and the soft goals they allow has been one of the biggest problems for AFC for several years. Not just from Clichy but the whole squad. We seem to be debating his errors more then most of the other players in the last couple years. We have enough quality up front that we can create chances and score plenty of goals and I would be very happy to give up a few of the marauding runs forward for a little more stability and less mistakes in the back.

  149. AW was pretty funny in that press conference – recommended viewing. It’s also amusing to see how exasperated he is with journalists and other coaches.

    Diaby situation sounds scary though. That dirty f*cker’s completely got away with it. The worst thing is that AW’s not even allowed to complain about it anymore.

  150. “Dirty f*cker” = Paul Robinson.

    I remember him going in hard on Cesc last season as well – miles off the ball.

  151. We seem to be debating his errors more then most of the other players in the last couple years.

    That’s your choice though. How many mistakes like those has Clichy made?

  152. OOU, it was Essien who stamped on & fucked his injured ankle ankle

  153. Ole @ 2:11:

    No way to quantify. I know this is one of many times we have had to discuss an error by Clichy.

    In truth it probably is a little unfair since a lot of teams have their main attacking threat down the right flank and with AA as his cover Clichy is probably in dangerous situations a lot more often, and the risk of conceding if he does not make the right play is probably higher then anyone else in the squad. He is still one of the best LB in the PL but mistakes like the one Wed should not happen and the consequence of something like that is really damaging.

  154. Yeah, MJ. Either way, I suppose we can safely say he’s on the sidelines because he’s been kicked by tossers.

  155. “He was never himself and we have today worries for him. We don’t know how long he will be out.”
    Sucks really..

  156. The original interviews and quotes on Diaby’s injury after the Bolton game were scary. I’m all for improved consistency, but it must be harder to acheive when teammates are hobbling about all over the place.
    I don’t know if it’s a turned ankle or the previous Kick that has taken out Diaby. But, I think it’s reasonable given the statistics from recent seasons to state that if players do not have their legs broken, that Arsenal will/should have a fun season ahead.
    It’s been good so far.

  157. I hate Cole but he is a better left back.

  158. AIC…

    You are certainly clueless. Clichy is one of our best passers, has always a very high %, and is always one of our consistently better performers. These ratings are not made up by ‘dis-illusioned Arsenal fans’, they are facts and stats reported after every match day by the public and many journalists.

    The number of games Clichy dominates the left side of the pitch is scary, and he does so with Arshavin in front of him. There is simply no debate here, Clichy is the best LB in the world of his age. Name somebody better… I’ll give you til Monday.

    Good day

  159. There were so many mistakes made by the entire Arsenal team during the game against Shacktar that I found the game difficult to view. Actually, I thought Clichy was more consistent than many others on the field for Arsenal. The team appeared as though they should never have got out of bed!

  160. Chris

    Cashley. Didn’t need till Monday.

  161. Two out of the last three seasons Clichy has been in better ‘form’, according to most Chav$ki fans I’ve encountered.
    Maybe they’re just dumb?

    “Ashley Cole was backing off, having to risk the long-range shot. Tévez did not need a second invitation, pushing the ball past Cole and shooting low across Petr Cech and in off the far post.” – Match report of $iteh vs. Chav$ki, can’t be bothered to find a link.

    Maybe they saw $iteh’s goal against themselves and hoped that Ca$hley wouldn’t go back into his old ways?
    Ask the upcoming stars Muller & Ozil what they think, and they won’t say that Ca$hley looked that good during the WC.

  162. I bet you wish you were a Chel$ki fan AIC. They have all the ingredients that would make you the happiest man on the planet right?

    *Loads of money to pay extra 10 million on a player just because they want him on the bench.
    * Titles won recently (bought or not, who cares)
    * Cashley (Your favorite left back)

    Why are you wasting your time here man?

  163. Malaysiangunner

    Hi all

    I despised Cashley for his mercenary attitude but in terms of football, some one remind me whee we have ever seen him repeatedly make the SAME school boy error near our penalty area.

    Enough said. Clichy must not make the same mistake again.

  164. Not $iteh but England vs Germany. Here you go:

    What was Cole doing for the second & third goals & fourth goals?
    Not a lot.
    The second is the worse. At least Clichy gets close to his opponent and then makes a mistake. Cole was just lazy, in a WC game. World’s best LB?

  165. >worst.

  166. Yet another hyped up English player…I wonder why England is not winning any f8cking international trophy when they have the “Best player in the world” in every position?

    Cashley – Best LB in the world
    Terri – Best CB in the world
    Lamblard – Best Midfielder in the world
    Looney – Best Striker in the world

    And the list goes on and on…Enough with the hypocrisy and be honest with yourselves.

    I bet the National team can’t even win the Tin cup if they tried.

  167. Hello everyone

    supporting a football team can be such a tedious endeavor eh? good post darius, I very much enjoyed it. I love how you break up your thoughts into concise little paragraphs.

    COYG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  168. I’ve always known that Clichy is better than Cole, but it was only today, when I took the time to examine the hard, indisputable facts, that I realised how wide is the gulf in quality between them. In terms of passing the ball around, Cole performs very well, although not quite as well as Clichy. This is to be expected. Since he is the only player in the Chelsea team who can pass and control a football properly, it is no surprise that his teammates often choose to give him the ball. When it comes to defending, though, one has to wonder what Cole contributes. He hardly ever makes a tackle or an interception, and he never clears the ball. He is practically a passenger. There is only one measure by which Cole is superior to Clichy. Much has been made of Clichy’s small number of assists. He in fact has only one assist to his credit this season. Cole on the other hand has achieved a massive two assists. That’s what AIC would set against all those extra tackles, interceptions, and clearances – that assist for Chelsea’s fourth goal in a 6-0 drubbing of West Brom. Yes, that’s right – a five yard pass against an utterly dispirited West Brom defence is worth more than the dozens of occasions on which Clichy has snuffed out a potential threat. Well, each to his own; but I choose Clichy.

  169. Take that Alexi Ice-creemov

  170. I remember being VERY surprised that Diaby got up from that “tackle” by Robinson.

    I also remember not being surprised at all that a good old english hardman was not even booked for his, by definition, aggressive and dangerous challenge.

  171. alright so let’s take bets… what are the odds that RvP will get crocked when he’s with the Dutch team?

    I think there should be a different spread, for length of injury etc..

    Let the betting begin!!!

  172. How anyone can choose Clichy over Cole is beyond me. Hate him all you want, but there is no denying he’s the best left-back in the world. Stop deluding yourselves, there’s no shame in admitting it.

  173. That must be the truth. When you apply the same logic as:

    ‘Aaron Lennon is a better player then the younger, and, er, better TW14.’

    Does anyone still take that Sp*d meme seriously? Do any of the Gooners silly enough to repeat such guff, pardon moi, at the end of last season, still believe that?

  174. What I mean is my bet with some silly sp*d is looking good!
    In spite of missing half the season so far, TW14’s way ahead in the goals/assists chart.
    I should have made a that bet that included both of the Sp*d Whingers.

  175. JB | November 5, 2010 at 8:40 am |

    I didn’t mean to sound like I was criticising your comment, I was actually in agreement and was chipping in with the jet-lag issue, which I thought was more of a factor than people realise.

    Sometimes this place gets very boring, when the usual suspects chip in with their negativity and scapegoating of individual players, but have nothing to say when we are winning. It’s tedious in the extreme, but I commend those of you with the stamina to try to counter their arguments.

    OOU, you are right about that press conference – it was hilarious! I too am very worried about Diaby. The fact that he has seen 2 surgeons makes me wonder whether the recent assault has (so to speak)’ re-opened old wounds’ from the original assault by Dan Smith in 2006? It is a travesty that we’ve never seen the best of this player on a consistent basis because of the reckless behaviour of talentless thugs like Smith and Robinson. I hope I live to see the day that Karma bites back.

  176. http://www.talksport.co.uk/radio/drivetime/blog/2010-11-05/bale-v-walcott-who-would-you-pick

    Vote for Theo that monkey can’t beat our boy, especially since he scored the same amount of goals in half the time!!

  177. hey guys dont let gareth bale win this poll over theo. he is beating Theo at the moment. vote for Theo guys
    http://www.talksport.co.uk/radio/drivetime/polls

  178. Limestonegunner

    That poll is quite ridiculous and even irresponsible. Why don’t they include any information or stats like, first team appearances in the PL, goals and assists this season etc… If you look at those and not the current hype around him and Tottenham at the moment, it is clear that Walcott is a better and more developed player right now.

  179. While some like to overstate our result at Shaktar, they tend to overlook that any team can have an adverse result awayfrom home. Barca drew 1-1 with F.C. Copenhagen in a game where the home side looked poised to take all three points from a Barcelona that fielded its first team.

    Most of the teams in the CL are there because they’re good. One can’t expect to walk over every team every single time. Especially with a second string squad like ours. Instead of making such a huge deal out of that loss let’s call it what it is. A bad game where our becnh got a run out and important lessons were learned.

    I hope Diaby gets better soon. We need him there to terrorize opposing midfields.

  180. Diva alert!!

  181. Tiote versus Song is going to be a lovely match up on Sunday. That’s the match up I’m looking forward to the most.

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