Rosicky Is Going To Fight But Shay Is No Longer A Given

An unexpected sojourn to Amsterdam precluded a post yesterday so apologies for that. International week is in full flow and as per usual there is an injury scare with Jack Wilshere pulling out of the England squad before a ball has been kicked in anger. The midfielder is concerned about the knack putting him out of this weekend’s derby against Spurs; I would have thought he would be more concerned about Arsene’s comments post-Everton that Wilshere looked tired, seemingly more of a threat to his place in the side than anything else.

His replacement in the side is chomping at the bit. Tomas Rosicky has been chatting to his native Czech media,, not happy about being in and out of the side but having been around the block enough times to know he has to up his game to become an automatic first choice,

I would like to play more. I could imagine playing more even though I have been involved in a lot of fixtures. At the moment I am in the starting XI, then I come on as a substitute and then again in the starting line-up. I want to play in the big games because in those games I have only come on as a sub.

Unfortunately TR7’s have a bad reputation, a clapped out pile of junk from Triumph. Rosicky suffered similar faults not so long ago but seems to be a lovingly restored classic these days. His recent performances have been good and whilst the penalty at Sunderland is best forgotten, there is a glimpse of what has been missed.

Rosicky believes that his goalscoring record hampers him though,

I must be realistic because the players I replace score goals. I have not scored in four months, so I can’t be that surprised. At the moment I am half-satisfied. My performances are okay and I am healthy, but the goals worry me. I have a bad record.

I wonder though if he is over-egging this aspect. Perhaps more of an issue is whether Arsene truly trusts the Czech international’s fitness levels yet. Combined with the emergence of Wilshere and the natural talents of Nasri, Walcott and Arshavin, Rosicky is in a bunfight for the attacking midfield places and he knows it. Reassuringly from some perspectives is his refusal to jump on the bandwagon which is rolling football generally, demanding to play or be transferred.

Rosicky in this, as well as other aspects, is a role model for young professionals. At the other end of the spectrum is the constantly-linked-with-a-move-to-Arsenal, Shay Given, telling the world that he is not coping with being second fiddle to Joe Hart and he will be moving in the January transfer window. Speculation is that he will be bound for Old Trafford or The Emirates. Is it that clear cut or has the London-bound ship already sailed, in much the same way that it apparently has for Schwarzer? Lukasz Fabianski has made a concerted effort to seal the position of Number One whilst Manuel Almunia is by no means finished at the club – unless of course the form of the Poles dictate otherwise.

Elsewhere Bayern Munich are hopeful of snagging an unhappy Bendtner – presumably on the cheap – whilst Robert Pires is going to thank Arsene for getting him fit for the Premier League by joining Aston Villa in time to make his home debut against Arsenal in a couple of weeks.

Quiet times generally signal no news and as long as there is no more injury news, then that is good. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on November 17, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 166 Comments.

  1. hhhmmm.

  2. Soooo glad your back YW!!

  3. Rosicky has been his normal self, holds the ball, great passing, an absolute bute of a player. I think Wenger is using him well considering his injury record, rather him every other two three games.

  4. Bloody goalkeeping crisis. Who’d have one eh?

    “Vito Mannone played the full 90 minutes on his Hull City debut in a 2-0 win over Preston on Friday night. City came into the game in the bottom three but 12 saves from Mannone, including two stunning stops, helped them survive a barrage from Preston and win 2-0”

  5. This is the great fear I had: too many quality players, not enough games to play them.

    There’s only one thing for it. We’ll have to create another club. We’ll call it Lanesra, sister of the Arse

  6. LA,

    I would love to such a GK crisis with 4 outstanding ones in the first-team squad with couple like Shea coming through the academy..

    Even Lansbury did well as a GK for the U-21 yesterday.. He may have let in the penalty but made couple of saves afterwards and didn’t let another one in..

  7. Rosicky is a good professional and he will get plenty of opportunity to play. In addition, he was injured for 18 month so it is normal Wenger is cautious when playing him but I’m sure his a vital part of the club with great technique, vision and experience.

    Did you see the opta line up on the guardian? The foreigners selection is interesting with Sagna and Clichy as the best full backs with Cesc in the middle. Also Blackburn back four rating shows what a shit team they are.

  8. @Gadget
    very funny..

  9. gunnerluc,

    The overseas player is each position has better score than their English counterpart..

    England Premier League XI (4-4-2): Ben Foster (77 points); Luke Young (54), John Terry (72), Rio Ferdinand (59), Ashley Cole (68); Marc Albrighton (72), Steven Gerrard (75), Kevin Nolan (66), James Milner (64); Andy Carroll (74), Danny Welbeck (64).

    Overseas Premier League XI (4-4-2): Petr Cech (81); Bacary Sagna (76), Nemanja Vidic (77), Alex (74), Gaël Clichy (70); Nani (81), Cesc Fábregas (81), Michael Essien (79), Florent Malouda (79); Rafael Van der Vaart (82), Carlos Tevez (79).

  10. Hey, IG. Yeah, can’t see Shay Given getting a look-in now. He’d have more competition here than he would at City; and his best attribute – his shot-stopping – isn’t going to mark him out in training whatsoever. Cool gravatar btw!

  11. YW

    Almunia is finished as ist choice keeper.if he wasnt he would walk back into the team.What about the great form of Fabianski i hear your ask,think back to 98 Manninger kept 6 clean sheets in a row including one at OT but Seaman walked straight back into the team.Wenger has lost all faith in Almunia
    I would sign Given in january.Fabianski is doing well but Given has the quality and experience to win us the title

  12. LA,

    I never rated Shay Given more than Big Al. He may be a good shot-stopper but he has never played behind a high defensive line like ours. And I’m sure he would struggle with it.

    I’d this gravatar after the ManC game.. He has become my favorite current player at the club. Love his attitude and the way he has grown in confidence in the last few months..

  13. This Ken person keeps acting llike all these other players are better than what we have. No bloody Shay Given!! fcuk!

    I have it to hear with all these buy buy buy fools. they are coming back there is no room. So deal and get over it!

  14. thats made me feel better.

  15. I like it when he roars up at the heavens after a great save, or at the final whistle of a victory.

  16. Lukasz Fabianski that is, not ken.

  17. Fabulouski’s reflex saves are just amazing..

  18. Poor Ken. Could you imagine having so little mental ability that even when all of your beliefs and ideas are proved groundless time and again, you just keep on repeating them?
    He’s like one of those poor creatures left behind by evolution.

  19. Im from Ireland, and while willing to openly admit most of our players are not of the required standard, there is no doubt in my mind that Shay Given would improve our squad in a huge way.
    Ive seen him play so many times, and he really is a top top keeper.
    A good shot stopper, yes, but much much more. He has kept Ireland in games countless times, and his aerial ability is a lot better than most seem to think.
    But most importantly, he has excellent concentration until the final whistle. And thats something we dont have consistently at the moment. Im pleased how Fabianski is playing, I think he may become consistent. But Given has the expertise and experience to lead the defence and the team to a cup or a title. At 34, its hardly a long term solution, but we have 2 excellent young keepers, and Given would provide invaluable example to them.
    I dont think we will sign him, but I would love to.

  20. Indian,here i was thinking i was the first poster, I agree with you re: Fabianski he has been really impressive and unless his form dips (but i see no reason whyit should ) we have ourselves a keeper. As for Rosicky I love it whn he starts but not in two consecutive games as am usually afraid he’ll end up getting crocked.

    France/England seeing as we have equal numbers of players it will be hard to decide who to cheer for but am gonna go with France.

  21. Ken

    You are a serious contender for being the weakest Arsenal supporter on the planet. You ever heard of the saying.. if you ain’t got nothing good to say, then say nothing ?

    Almunia isn’t a bad keeper, he was performing very well early this season. He just had a torrid game against West Brom, but to be fair to him, everyone did. If theres anything Arsenal supporters should have learnt by now, is to not single out the keepers for special criticism.

    The media loves slating our players, but are they really as bad as they try make us believe? Fabianski has and always was been a very talented keeper. A keeper doesn’t play for his country, and win league titles with no ability. Wenger wouldn’t have persisted with him either if he thought he was another Richard Wright or Stuart Taylor.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Almunia featuring for once again for the Arsenal, and to be honest I would be glad to see him play. Like with Fabianski, it will be nervy as our keepers have taken a battering confidence wise. I think if he performs like he did at the beginning of the season then why not. 2 ready and able quality keepers is something most other teams don’t have. We have 3 at this point in time.

    Wheres this goalkeeping crisis everyone is talking about?!

  22. Rosicky is an honest fellow, Arsenal to the core. And it’s true his lack of a few goals is letting him down. Before injury, he scored some important goals, a sporadic midfield goal-scorer, I remember a few curlers from down the left, hit with the right foot to the far post. Even so, I consider him one of the most important players in the team. I would guess he knows it.

    So, the next problem is going to be how to keep 20+ players happy. Might Eboue be next? What of Gibbs? Vela? Bendtner will, I think, relent. He has a role in the second part of the season.

  23. I’m amazed that anyone thinks ManCiteh would sell Given to us or to any of the main PL teams. He’ll go to a little team or he’ll go overseas. Citeh would rather give him free to an italian team than earn money from us for him. They will not sell him to us – full stop!

  24. I do sometimes wonder whether Wenger has it in mind that around the period teams are starting to tire, suffering various injury crises, it’s cold and winter football is in full swing; in come breezy, fully fit and raring to go Bendtner, Denilson, RvP, Walcott, Diaby (different games, different teams) and bit of a rest for Wilshere, Chamakh, Song for a few games. Maybe even Arshavin, in preparation for later stages of the season.

    The thing is, with Arsene, once you’re in the team , you’re usually in for a run. Let the others play catch up. Two players I can’t imagine being left in the cold for later CL games are Denilson and Walcott. But who knows.

  25. Fabianski, 25, wins games with 2nd placed Arsenal while keeping Manuel Almunia, 33, out of the team.

    Shay Given, 34, can’t get into 4th placed Man City ahead of Joe Hart, 23.

  26. I was thinking Denilson must start on Saturday before Wilshere came home. Surely now it’s nailed on.

  27. Chris, you accuse someone of being a weak fan, then say you’d like to see Almunia back in the side?

    You want a keeper who has failed to deliver consistently back in the team? You want a player who doesn’t command the assurance of his defence back in the team? You want a keeper with one of the worst save ratio’s in the Prem playing again?

    What is the matter with you?

    That’s a very anti-Arsenal stance in my opinion. It’s like you want us to do badly. What ever happened to supporters wanting the best for the club?

    Shocking stance.

  28. ZimPaul,

    You can add Rosicky to the list of players needed in the latter stages of CL. He, like Denilson, is excellent at keeping possession.

    I’m hoping for my favorite midfield3 against the spurs: Song-Denilson-Cesc. Whenever these 3 play in the midfield, the team has a different kind of energy or atleast I feel so..

  29. It is good to see everyone getting behind Denilson, he has a calmness about the way he plays that resonates through the rest of the team. He is the most underrated player in our squad.

    I love that guy and love his attitude.

  30. Overmars talking about a coaching role at the club – “When we are driving around here it feels unbelievably good. I feel home at one club, this club, the Arsenal. If they asked me to do something I would love to come.” – Legend!

  31. A taste of things to come.. Vote Nas for fifa goal of the year..

  32. i dont think we need anyone else at the moment, lots of gossip going on as usual re transfers, which is mad. As good as Jack will be i personaly dont think hes ready to be put out there evry week, it affects the balance i think, therfor denny son until diabi is back, i will never know why sammy amd fabby dont play together in cm, i think its worth a shout

  33. Voted. But to be fair there has been thousands of better goals than those on the list. I can tell at least 5 of them just from last week.

  34. Mongolian Gooner

    Voted. I didn’t even look at other names.

  35. Yes I think that’ll be it too, IG. My favourite trio also.

    I wonder if Overmars had a chance to talk with Theo? Very similar players. Theo’s quicker though.

    Overmars had a happy knack (genius) of being selfish at the right time, and brilliantly unselfish at many others. Overmars was the finished product when he arrived though, a good two or three years older than Theo is now. Theo’s well on his way to becoming an absolute hero down that right wing IMO (not glued against the touchline – more inside-right, like MO was inside-left). He already has a host of natural ‘Overmarsesque’ talents (FOOTBALL BRAIN, HANSEN – YOU D*CKHEAD!); they both turn on a sixpence for example. How many times have you seen Theo stop in his tracks with a little touch inside and a defender (or two) go whizzing past and out of shot? Overmars used to do that all the time. And this is not to mention the obvious – low finishes and insane, low centre of gravity speed.

  36. Overmars had much better ball control that Theo.

  37. For once I’m hoping he gets on for England tonight, because I can’t see him getting crocked against Les Bleus. *genuflects*

  38. I particularly liked these two touches:

    The mind boggles at how you get your touch weighted as precisely as that when you’re running on to the ball at such high speed. And the 2nd touch speaks for itself… cool goal!

  39. What time is the England/France game?I have a feeling Nasri may score.

  40. The Neymar goal was fantastic as was the one by the Swedish kid. Hell’s bells. That Japanese kid’s goal was superb. No, I haven’t seen a goal better than that in the last week.

  41. I hadn’t realised we had conceded the 3rd least goals in the league! Judging by how many times MOTD & Sky rubbish our defenders, I thought we were taking them in in torrents.

  42. And one of those two teams to have conceded fewer goals than us, Ole, have done so by playing three defensive midfielders, four centrebacks, and creating f*ck all up front.

  43. Arsene is simply being cautious with Rosicky coz of his injury record. Rosicky is the key this season and is going to be needed when the time comes. We should be worried for RVP coz it is obvious he cannot last a season. Too bad he has gone to play for Holland so soon. Just hope he will come back safe.

  44. Apart from WBA and Chelsea games, we have been very stingy defensively. The last few weeks we have had more difficulty scoring, as in West Ham and Newcastle. Thankfully, our attack has been more effective in taking our chances the last couple games. Hopefully, we are well honed for the derby and we will see Chamakh, Rosicky, RvP and Fabregas scoring this Saturday. Chamakh needs to get a nice derby goal to initiate him fully into the club and our history; Rosicky has been concerned about not scoring and could really use a goal; RvP needs to come back firing on his return from injury and when better than against Tottenham at home?, and Fabregas got his first for a while, but it would be wonderful for him to celebrate with Arsenal supporters in the derby to say I am back. I still like to watch his one man show and passionate celebration last year in this fixture.

    4-0 would suit me fine.

  45. Fabianski has been fabulous up to this point. If he continues in this form until January there is no way Shay Given would be first choice. Could be a fantastic cup and back up keeper but I doubt he would accept. United would be a better fit for Given since EVDS is starting to look 40 years old. Doubt City would sell him to us or United. Wish we could find a loaner situation for Tech 9 to play regularly in a top division 1st team in the PL or may be La Liga. Almunia would be adequate back up to Fabianski if he is willing.

    Doubt we will bring in any new players in the window. We probably have the deepest squad in the world right now. I would love to see us get someone who could be a real difference maker such as Arshavin was the first 6 months he was here. Someone who would bring a real shot of swagger and confidence to the squad. We have lots of money and no other real needs so it certainly would not hurt us to “overspend” a little for a top quality player. However, doubt there will be anyone like that available. Unless we start having injuries no real need for more squad players at this point.

  46. The best are the ones by Nasri, the Swedish guy and Kumi Yokoyama.

    The Yokoyama goal is wonderful with commentary:

  47. voted for sammy. Dont care about all the others especially the obligatory lionel messi one. whatever.

  48. Doubt we will bring in any new players in the window. We probably have the deepest squad in the world right now.

    Some of us have been saying this for a couple of years. You’ll remember long discussions of the subject in the Summer where it was pointed out that;

    1. Arsenal already have more options in each position than most clubs have.
    2. Those options increase every year because of our productive youth system.
    3. The team being young becomes better each season.
    4. The reason our squad sometimes looks bare is because we have had a very very very extreme injury situation.

  49. LimparAssist | November 17, 2010 at 2:38 pm |

    Exactly! And we’ve hardly had a settled back 4 the whole season.

    We probably still need to get tighter though

  50. Ole @ 2:34:

    Our defending has been excellent especially since the Chelsea game.. After the Chelsea game we were 7th or 8th place in the table in goals conceded. Early in the year I thought we were playing better defense but still were giving up 1 – 2 goals soft goals per game. We seem to have gotten better at concentrating and maintaining our shape for 96 minutes. Top class GK also makes a huge difference. It will take time for us to prove that we can be consistent but the pundits will come around if we can maintain this form.

  51. Forgot to say, Arjen Robben’s was so run of the mill. I feel like Frank Grimes from the Simpsons when it comes to Robben. He’s my least favourite big name footballer – the antithesis of an Arsenal player.

    What do people see in him? It’s all very good having skill and pace, but he can’t link up with anybody. Seriously, his teammates suffer when he’s in the side, whether its Bayern or the Netherlands. He might produce the odd individual moment each match, but it’s usually negated later on by his terrible team ethic and lack of vision. Attitude’s rotten as well.

  52. Ole @ 2:52:

    We had lots of injuries the last 2 years but we were clearly not as deep as we are now, especially in the back. Last year we had plenty of numbers but realistically agent Silvestre was the 3rd choice CB for much of the year. Perhaps adequate in numbers but certainly not in quality. Without Chamakh we would be probably be a lot more then 3 points behind.

  53. It’s one of those things though, Ole, playing an aggressive offside trap is absolutely fundamental to totaal wengerbal – and every so often that’s going to see us in trouble, with the trap broken and us on the back foot at best, running like blue arsed flies toward our own goal at worst. It’s volatile, and that’s why I’ve been so impressed with SS, JD and LK this season – their job in our team is beyond difficult; and they’re doing a great job of making it look as though it isn’t.

  54. OOU,

    Robben is the ultimate one-trick-pony. Drive up, threaten to go wide, cut into his left foot buy space for a shot by threatening to beat the defender, fire in a shot. Then do it again and again.

    I actually believe if I were a coach Robben would never score against my teams.

  55. From Gabriele Marcotti on Twitter:

    Chelsea play best XI 79.7 pct of time in PL. ARS 61.5, UTD 67.2. Bolton 89.7 (highest)

  56. Agree OOU

    At the WC it was actually painful to watch how he would forget his team mates (especially RVP and Kuyt) and try each time to beat the whole team on his own.

  57. *Facepalm* JLS are gooners. Shhhh! Nobody tell anyone!

  58. Yeah seriously, GL and OG. Stay on you feet and just show him down the line! What’s he going to do with that right foot of his?

  59. We had lots of injuries the last 2 years but we were clearly not as deep as we are now, especially in the back. Last year we had plenty of numbers but realistically agent Silvestre was the 3rd choice CB for much of the year. Perhaps adequate in numbers but certainly not in quality

  60. Ole,

    That Japanese one is a women’s game. They all have the same haircut haha

  61. Sounds about right. Is that this season?

  62. Limestone @ 2:45

    I too love watching Fabregas’ goal from the Sp*rs fixture last year. The official arsenal wallpaper for that game is absolutely priceless, the look on fabregas’ face should answer any questions we have about whether or not he loves arsenal:

  63. Franky the ‘one comment wonder’, must be James or some sort of spud retard… you ain’t worth the bother mate.

    I feel for Rosicky, I keep sticking him in my team predictions, but Wenger won’t unleash him. You can’t blame the manager who had to wait 2 years for one of his star players to gain any kind of match fitness after his injury troubles. I think very soon we will be benefiting from the patience of the manager, and inpatience of the player.. he will be scoring goals very soon. He has already racked up quite a few important assists, or pre-assists.

    At the moment, its hard to guess who will start any game. In terms of midfielders or strikers. We had Theo, Bendtner, Van Persie, Rosicky, Denilson all featuring on the bench in recent games… its amazing!

  64. I know very few of you care but my MLS team FC Dallas is playing against the Arsenal partner Colorado Rapids for the MLS title this Sunday. Dallas took apart David Beckham, Landon Donovan and the LA Galaxy 3 – 0 to reach the title game. FC Dallas was the only remaining original MLS franchise that never made it to a title game. Go Dallas.

  65. I am warming to Denilson this season and hoping for his inclusion in several games because he is proving very valuable as a central midfielder who holds possession and intercepts well. He isn’t a great tackler and has had his share of defensive lapses or occasions when he has been easily outpaced, but he provides a very calm and fluid style. I think he is good for us in Europe and against teams that will play football and press us but aren’t terribly physically imposing. Against the top sides, it is hard to say what our best midfield set up would be. I also think there is an issue of whom to play with Cesc when we consider lining up in a more forward attacking array at home, with Chamakh and RvP etc…

    There are so many interesting and good combinations for Wenger to consider with this team. It will be fascinating to see how he manages this deep squad to have a best 11 fit and ready for our biggest games in the CL at the end of the season. (Re: Marcotti on Twitter–what is our best 11 even if all are fit?) I think the depth will serve us especially well in the league. We have had much more than our share of injuries in the past, certainly, but I also think that the competition for places, cumulative experience, and a point to prove for some who have underperformed and been left out of their national sides has finally brought some of these players up to a stronger level and given us real developed quality in our depth that wasn’t there with some players. That’s the case with Denilson in midfield, Walcott, Nasri in attack, and Song and Bendtner’s experience last year has made them both better players. Plus Wilshere has been a revelation–a new player joining the first team and making an impact from the outset. His case is very different from Denilson, Song, Walcott, Bendtner, Diaby–he’s more like Cesc this way.

    Denilson for example looks fitter, had a full preseason, has gotten stronger, seems more serious and determined in his play, and is very eager to prove himself worthy of a call up for Brazil.

    So our depth this season is quite different from past seasons and not down to just fewer injuries. It is very much a function of improvement in players, new quality players in defense and a good backup striker, and promotion from the youth team (Wilshere).

  66. The only place that may need strengthening is defence if TVcinq the Verminator is ruled out long term- we simply cannot afford to go the whole second part of the season with three CBs and rely on Song to fill in the gap. AW has gone record to say that he will definately look at shoring the defence if TVcinq is out.
    In midfield we have an embarassment of riches- Song, Denilson, Wilshere, Fabregas, Diaby, Eastmond, Frimpong when he returns with other natural central midfielders Nasri, Rosicky pushed to the flanks, factor in Arshavin, Theo, Vela, and you start to wonder about those who say we do not have a deep squad. Chamakh, Arshavin, RVP, Bendenter give us a plan, A,B,C,D,E. Then you have JET, Aneke, (who is simply going to be a star), Lansbury, already a year or two at most from making regular appearances and you wonder again! Chelsea all over sudden do not look that clever, Man U, City,Spuds will have to splash the cash and even then will come no where near the potential we have! And I havent even mentioned the plethora of young players we have out on loan!
    Once we get the habit of winning the prospects are truly staggering- if we can get things right we may seriously go on to dominate the EPL!

  67. Bill, I can’t take MLS seriously, but for your sake, I will cheer your Dallas team on. I especially dislike Arsenal’s association with Kroenke’s Colorado team. We deserve to be affiliated with a major metropolitan team and larger market as the great Arsenal FC, not in a mid size Western city (Denver)–why aren’t we partners with NY, Chicago, or LA? There are commercial opportunities going begging because were are partnered with Kroenke’s Denver franchises.

    Interestingly, the Yankees in house TV channel, The YES Network, is carrying Arsenal 360–what looks like a replay of a weekly game plus some version of ATVO’s Friday night programs. That is progress, even though I despise the Yankees, as YES is broadcast all over and heavily watched in the biggest media market in NY. But this is obviously because Kroenke has no involvement in a baseball team of his own, thankfully.

  68. Arsenal’s third choice CB last season was:

    He got injured.
    After Xmas/New Year, third choice was one Sol Campbell.
    JD highlight for me so far this season? Well, some in the link above, but his headed clearance/assist for Walcott is in pole position. Nice’ touch’ shown by Walcott for that goal. Bendtner’s ‘tackle’ deserves a special mention too.

  69. Ole,
    What the Arsenal XI in that best eleven comparison? RvP and Vermaelen have been out for more than half of the games so far..

  70. We had lots of injuries the last 2 years but we were clearly not as deep as we are now, especially in the back. Last year we had plenty of numbers but realistically agent Silvestre was the 3rd choice CB for much of the year. Perhaps adequate in numbers but certainly not in quality

    Let’s tally it up. This Summer, 4 players left, 3 came in. If the squad wasn’t deep enough then it should be less deep now on that calculation.

    But the squad was deep enough last season. The improvement in quality where we have had that has come from players like Jack Wilshere.

    We didn’t have Chamakh last season and we were still in the title race with 5 games to go.

    I can’t believe you’re still arguing this issue. The reason agent Silvestre was in the team at all is because Djourou was injured. Later when he was playing, it was because Djourou, Vermaelen & Gallas were all injured at the same time.

    The one argument you could make about improved quality is in losing Silvestre which itself is like a new signing. But we had 4/5 (if you count Senderos) other centre backs on our books last season and quality-wise we’re even. The only thing I’d concede is that the current 4 are younger which will serve the club for longer. For me Vermaelen, Djourou, Gallas, Senderos/Campbell, Silvestre isn’t much different in quality from Vermaelen, Djourou, Kos & Squillaci. Previously we had more numbers.

    Many people you agree with and expressed agreement with were telling us we’d lost 3 and brought in 2 so we were definitely worse off and very light.

  71. NJ, that is priceless! Thanks. That was last year before all this tawdry Barca media swirl this summer, so I would LOVE him to score and have another recent opportunity to celebrate with us over hated rivals.

    Sorry, above, for slating the Yankees–but I respect their accomplishments and am glad Arsenal is associated in the US with the top baseball club. It is odd, though, I remember early YES network broadcasts of ManU matches when I lived in NY early last decade as there was some partnership with them. Do you know what is going on and have you seen Arsenal 360–how does it compare to ATVO’s call-in with Tom Watt and the Robson/Roebuck show?

    Btw–are we going to let ATVO know we don’t want Robson on our in house media channel if he is going to slate Arsenal players like the rest of the media when co-commenting for ESPN? I’ve sent in my objections, please do so, everyone who also objects.

  72. Limestone:

    Can’t really take MLS seriously but its still fun. My son and I go to several of the games, unfortunately he is a ManU fan so its nice to be able to agree about something football related and cheer for Dallas.

    Spot on as always with your comment @ 3:27.

    Thanks for the heads up on the YES network.

  73. I absolutely agree with Limpar regarding Walcott and his touch. We give him a hard time but we all need to realize that Theo has a truly unique level of speed, and that because of this massively powerful tool in his locker his learning curve is going to be very different than that of a normal player. Theo’s touch isn’t the problem; his speed is the issue. Theo is clearly the fastest without the ball, but there isn’t anyone out there who can even begin to talk about how hard it must be for him to maintain the delicate touch we expect of Arsenal players at that speed. Christ, Bendy can’t do it standing still. Remember that we are asking him to have the touch of Messi and the cross of Beckham all at sub 10sec 100-meter speed!!! No one has any idea how hard it is for Theo to bring that level control into his game. Hansen always prattles on about Theo’s footballing brain but compared to Theo most players are making their decisions in virtual slow-motion. If Hansen ever moved as fast as Theo he’d be in the stands before he could make up his mind to stop. Just give him time. Theo is going to become a truly unique player.

  74. Bill, I agree with you that it is unlikely we’ll see any new players if all goes well, given our depth and quality. Maybe a central defender depending on Vermaelen as Runebreaker suggests, but perhaps not even then if Song is still considered a possible backup there now that he has become a striker, as Wenger joked after West Ham!

    Like you, I would enjoy very much a special impact player, something Wenger has talked about on occasion, including last Spring/summer. But it is hard to see where in our attack we would fit someone in and who such a player might be. January isn’t the best time to sign and some of the best players are CL cup tied and would need time to fit in. but if RvP is fit for the second half, he provides that invention and aggression in attack that will spark us in our biggest games.

  75. Axis, I understand your point here–a very good one. However, what I’d like to see Theo develop is a strong game in close areas as well. That was what was so exciting and special about his earlier play this season before his injury. He was switching around with Chamakh around the penalty box and played a very nice sequence with his back to goal, receiving the ball deftly and immediately spinning and firing for an outstanding central striker style goal. We haven’t seen that sort of play since his return, but I hope to see more of that over the course of the season. That requires the touch and technique apart from full speed streaking down the wing and cutting in.

  76. Indian Gooner: He says this would be our best XI: Fab, Sag, TV, KOS, Cli, Son, Wil, Cesc, Nas, RVP, Ars.

    What’s our best XI is open to debate.

    What’s not in debate is that we’ve been forced by injuries & suspensions to shuffle around quite a bit.

  77. Colorado has snow and mountains and skiing. I like all three of those so Colorado’s not so bad.

  78. Gadget, good place for a holiday, not so good for Arsenal partnership.

  79. Limpar @ 2:38:

    One of the biggest reasons we are defending better is that we are modifying our tactics when needed. Our ball possession figures at Wolves, Everton and Sunderland were 48%, 50% and 46%. I am not going to do the research but I doubt you would have seen figures like that in the past. Sometimes being a little more conservative and hitting on the counter is a good strategy.

  80. So our depth this season is quite different from past seasons and not down to just fewer injuries. It is very much a function of improvement in players, new quality players in defense and a good backup striker, and promotion from the youth team (Wilshere).

    As I said, we get better every season being a young team. So what you’re saying is the same. We also must not underestimate what it means to have Wilshere come up this season. We shouldn’t underestimate what it means to have players reaching physical maturity (in terms of filling out).

    But that’s all part of the squad’s strength. That didn’t all appear this year.

  81. Axis and Limpar I think what you mentioned there is the main issue many have with Theo.. Some like to use the excuse that because he’s running so fast it makes it more difficult to control the ball which is relative and not necesarilly true, there have been quite a few players with rediculous pace in the past but the key to best utilising your speed is technique and pace control .. Theo’s main issue when running with the ball is based in technique and predictability.. It’s as though he has two settings jogging or switching on the burners. The other players in the past who have possessed similar extreme pace have always beaten the opposition at a mid gear speed which allows them to control the ball effortlessy whilst still reducing defenders to nothing. The player who was best at beating players at that mid gear level was Henry because he wasnt running flat out most of the time with the ball but his mid pace was still enough to make things very difficult for the defenders at the same time allowing him to make sharp turns and have full control of the ball, others were your Ronaldo (original) Weah Overmars Eto ect.. they knew the secret of possessing speed but not fully utilising it in order to keep the defenders on their toes untill it was to late, a kind of patience at high speed .. Obviously these players were never questioned in terms of techinique at any stage of their professional careers so it maybe unfair to compare them with Theo..

    Regardless of this though Theo will score many goals for arsenal and England as he is a good finisher with his feet and his pace would be an asset to anyside in the world..

  82. I just read an interview with Bobby P and a torrent of joy was unleashed and I drowned merrily in a sea of memories. I think I shall have to name my first son Pires Freddie Dennis Thierry Arsene Patrick Gadget

  83. Bill,

    In those games those games, I think all three of those teams came out to play and attack us. Wolves and Sunderland did extremely well in denying us time on the ball to do our thing. Teams never used to do this because the perception was that we couldn’t be beaten this way as ther’d be too much space for us to exploit.

    I think it’s interesting that there is a shift in opposition tactics, the boldness of the ‘lower’ teams is making this league exciting, and actually making some non-Arsenal games enjoyable, but sticking to Arsenal I can’t help but wonder if some managers have realised that parking the bus may actually be a bigger suicide than actaully playing us. This season we’ve carved open some tight defences with our sumptuous play.

    We’ve somehow, with rectum assistance, got this illusion of being suspect at the back, which in many ways encourages opposition.
    (Imagination runaway alert) Could this be the greatest media manipulating ever? Has Wenger gone and embrace the art of war to unheard extremes by feigning defensive weakness when there is little to none, and having the media fall for it hook line and stinker? Are the doomers unwitting pawns of the master?

    That was me just being a little fantastical… but who knows if not Wenger?

    Anyway, a part of me is glad teams are playing positive football against us, but a small part of me is peed at the audacity of it all. Teams are meant to do an Audley against us, not come out swinging!

  84. Gadget

    And the mother shall make you think again…


  85. Yes, Ole, but saying two or three seasons ago that we were a very deep team wasn’t really true then in the way it is now. Now injuries, even as extreme as you suggest was the case in the past, might not affect us as greatly this season as it evidently has before. I think it is a matter of emphasis, but I think we agree in the main, here.

    Jack Wilshere’s case is very interesting, which is why I distinguished it from the others and associated it with Cesc’s. So you are right, we shouldn’t underestimate the impact of promotion like his from our youth. But we do underestimate it, actually, if we think it is the same or similar to how our other young players have developed and the policy of playing them early on. He’s on a different developmental arc. If he continues as he has this season, he demonstrates that only a few young players of very exceptional talent (before they have matured physically and gained experience, and in some cases matured emotionally) can come into a club like Arsenal and make an impact quickly. Ramsey might be another example–the injury clouds the issue and we’ll see how he does. Fingers crossed for him.

  86. I feel you on that Gadget, I watched that Bergkamp special and fell back into love with Dennis all over again! Iceman really did have it all! With Overmars now wanting to come back Pires back in the country. We could build up a cute little back room staff group. Can’t wait till Henry gets bored in NY!

  87. Kitchen Sink,

    I thought we saw a hint of Theo using that mid-level you describe in the goal against Shaktar Donestk. The side on camera replay (the last one) in the link from Limpar above shows what I’m trying to describe, I hope. It seemed like he only needed to put on the ‘burners to beat that defender over the h/way line. After that he just clicked into cruise control. That’s what impressed me the most about that goal.

  88. Three tough away games, Bill. The away side will always have more possession than the same side would at the Emirates as their fans expect them to have a go. That doesn’t really matter though – yes, possession is nine tenths of football as all Arsenal fans are aware – but totaal wengerball is more than that…

    Whenever we are in possession… it’s obvious, we’re going forward. Or we’re probing for another angle of attack. Out of possession is key though: we move in the same direction; pushing players forward and squashing the space the team in possession has to work in. We defend aggressively by pushing our backline high up the pitch, saying to the opposition, ‘go ahead, make a run and chip it over or knock it through – but if you get it wrong… you’re either offside, or worse, we intercept and you’re out of position and on the back-foot.’

    Importantly, we scored the first goal in all of these fixtures – and there wasn’t much sitting back and waiting to counter-attack about any of the goals. Wolves were confronted by half our team running at them as one. They weren’t out of position – they were just shredded. At Everton – ask yourself how many other Premiership fullbacks would have found themselves in Sagna’s position to take his opening goal?

    Look at the distribution of our backline, it tells a story. Djourou and Koscielny make the majority of their passes from around about the centre circle(!), and our fullbacks make the majority of their passes up on the halfway line and beyond – all the way to the touchline.

    The Djourou/Koscielny role is the most exciting for me. A sort of front-foot libero – sweeping when need be, and pushing up as a central midfielder whenever he can.

    Embrace Totaal Wengerball, Bill. It’ll win us the league!

  89. I don’t disagree but remember that Theo is still very young compared to the players that you’re talking about. Henry was already a full fledged winger before he came to us and learned the tricks you’re talking about. Give him time and I think you’re going to see that Theo’s game will develop all the tools you describe. I think he’s getting there myself.

  90. Why didn’t Koscielny get a call up for France, since Mexes might be out with a sore calf? Instead it looks like Sakho for PSG-20 yr. old.

  91. Bill,
    Screw that, Texas sucks. I live in Denver and will be supporting the Rapids. I agree that the MLS is a bit of a joke. Went to the Colorado/San Jose game last weekend and who popped up on the San Jose team but Geovanni of the wonder goal against Arsenal when he played for Hull City. Well, he looked ordinary at the MLS level and that says a lot about how poor Geovanni has become and also how poor the level of football is in the MLS. However, when you see the salaries paid you should not wonder why the level of talent is ordinary.

    Limestonegunner…get stuffed (in the nicest way possible). You said
    “I especially dislike Arsenal’s association with Kroenke’s Colorado team. We deserve to be affiliated with a major metropolitan team and larger market as the great Arsenal FC, not in a mid size Western city (Denver)–why aren’t we partners with NY, Chicago, or LA? There are commercial opportunities going begging because were are partnered with Kroenke’s Denver franchises.
    I am so sorry that the shareholder who helped save the club from an Uzbeki criminal couldn’t have assets in a city that fits your fancy. You should be thankful instead of moaning about lack of commercial opportunity. Personally I am thrilled to see Arsenal range in the gift shop, a giant cannon in the Arsenal corner of the stadium that is fired off when the Rapids score, and the continued knowledge sharing that goes on with coaching clinics, etc…. Hopefully one day the senior team will come out to Denver for some altitude training and then I’ll really be happy.

  92. Sorry for that fat post up there ^.

    I agree with, Gris Gris. Go Rapids. It’s a no-brainer. Do they play good football?

    Take your point about Theo, KS, but I agree with axis – that gliding gear can surely be learnt. And yeah, Finsbury, he seems to ‘drop out of top gear’ when he’s beaten the last defender, just enough to measure that touch and get it spot on.

  93. Finsbury – not at all at Shaktar was a prime example of putting on the burners one touch then a nice finish before the keeper could prepare himself which is awesome when no ones infront of you but when someone is theres a large chance you’ll run straight into them because of the lack of control..

    Axis – technique you have to develop at an early age Henry was already a World cup winner when he came to the coach who first exposed him.. he will ofcourse develop and become a better player perhaps one day evem learn to header but the technique of which I was spoke about is learned at a much earlier stage in his career..

  94. Matt Burrows for the Puskas Award – every day of the week! Is he even a professional?! If he won it’d be like winning the lottery, or marrying into the Royal family… shows there’s hope for everyone.

  95. I agree with Gris Gris.

  96. Gris Gris, I am sure it is very cosy and wonderful for Gooners in the Denver area (however many there are of you) to enjoy this close relationship between the Rapids and Arsenal FC. That’s great for you, wonderful, I am happy you benefit from it. From an Arsenal FC perspective however, there are much better opportunities for our club in North America. I’m sorry, that’s not “moaning”, that’s my first concern as an Arsenal supporter,when it comes to off the pitch aspects of the club’s business. It is no slight on Denver as a city or Colorado as a state.

    As far as Kroenke, he hasn’t saved us in any respect. You will see how much money he will be taking potentially out of Arsenal through his half ownership of Arsenal media, if you watch this carefully. I don’t know anything about Usmanov (and I don’t think you want to vouch for the ethics of Walmart either), but I don’t want ANY billionaire taking over our club with an eye to our potential profits. We have gotten where we are without any billionaire’s investment but through the club’s own sacrifices and resources. We don’t need anyone else and I support plural ownership. Our whole model, which distinguishes us and makes so many of us proud as supporters, depends on supporting our club independently and on its own resources. It requires that we get the most out of our revenue sources and that those are not jeopardized by the greed of any of our shareholders, who have traditionally not taken a dividend. Support the Arsenal fan share scheme, if you can, I would say.

    Unfortunately, we are being limited by our connections to Kroenke but hopefully the YES deal is a sign of greater things to come. So far there is no evidence that Kroenke has dramatically benefited our club-why any Arsenal supporter should be defending our relationship to him. Classic lesser of two evilism, in my book.

  97. I agree with Gris Gris too…

  98. Gadget,

    great to see you quoting Art of War in such appropriate terms!! I do see AW as more of a Sun Tzu kind of guy than say a Machiavelli/The Prince kinda guy. That I would say is more Fergie’s alley.

  99. Limpar:

    IMO what is different is that we are playing smarter football this year. I do not see our central defenders make runs into the attacking 1/3 and I do not see the disorganization that characterized some of our play last year. AFC and Arsenal will always be an attacking team and play the best football in the league. The difference from last year is that now we are winning some of the tough low scoring games that we would have lost of drawn in the past. The discipline to be able to do that has to come from the top and so far much better then before. Now we have to prove it can continue.

  100. Colorado reminds me on The Shining…

  101. Limestone,

    Dont worry about the Yankee bashing, it comes with the territory!

    But to answer your question, no, I’m not sure of the material that will be available on YES. I know that they will mostly be playing replays of matches the following day but otehr than that I know very little. I was extremely excited to see this partnership though. If there was only some way to fit the Green Bay Packers into the equation my sporting life would exist all on a single channel!!!!!

  102. Limpar, 4ever, and Indian,
    You are contributing as much to the discussion on the issue as Kroenke is to our club.

    What exactly do you agree with? That we really should be affiliated with the Colorado Rapids in the MLS and exclusively with Kroenke’s sports interests in Denver as opposed to other affiliations and markets (that do or would compete with Kroenke’s interests in the US)? If you don’t know too much about the sports history and marketing scene in North America, I would suggest that you might not have a very informed opinion, but since you don’t give any reasons for your position, it is very hard to judge both what you are agreeing to and why.

    That’s what I was discussing. (Kroenke v. Usmanov is really a red herring…)

  103. Funny to see the MLS coming up on here. As an American, I find it extremely boring, but this can easily be explained by my freakish adherence to the Arsenal fixture list and the fact that the EPL is the best league in the world, helps explain my skewed perspective. The technical quality is absolutely abhorrent, and often times i am embarassed for those in the stands cheering their squads on. Sure, its football, but CMON MAN! It would be like if you lived your whole life never knowing of the Premier League or the Championship, and thinking that League One was all there was on offer. For me, unless I was given free tickets, I would not attend an MLS match.

  104. KS,
    I’ve seen what you are describing from Theo many times. Some friends, being as lazy as I am, have described Theo as a faster version of Freddie, as opposed to the even more taxing Henry metaphors.
    But, as a result of these ruby googles I wear, & watching that clip again, I got the impression that he had shifted down and would’ve had time to make various decisions before he took that early shot. Such as pass or try to beat a defender, if they’d been there? At the least, he seems to be attempting to vary his speed/gear ratios. It’s got to be good!

    I don’t like to compare young players to the likes of Eto and friends. But in pre-season, there was another Arsenal player playing at RW who had a very different style to Theo when in a crowded penalty box,(no names I’m afraid, can’t be Arsenalled with accusations from trolls of unobjective realisim again, you’ll have to guess!). I do not disagree with the importance of youth coaching. But I have seen similar skills from Theo on occasion too. He can do it!

    Jay Boothroyd’s interview on the bleeb is quite nice. And very gracious towards Don Howe and Liam Brady. He describes himeslf as ‘not a target man’, and he attributes his skills to the Arsenal youth coaches (acknowledging his current manager as well).
    Random rant:
    There are some good young English players around but like some of the Arsenal players, they’ve hardly played for England youth teams. ‘Bruiser’ and ‘Psycho’ don’t pick ’em. Is it true that Wilshere will be asked to play in a tournament next summer, whilst playing for England during the season itself? B*ll*cks.
    I only mention this because the thought is almost as insane as Chelsea asking DD to play on whilst dealing with a (mild?) case of malaria. Just after a World Cup, in which he played with injury. The Didiersaurous could be extinct by the end of the season.

  105. NJ, I am afraid that Kroenke owns the St. Louis Rams, so don’t expect a tie in with your Packers!

    Let us know what they do broadcast on the YES network when you watch–it is supposed to be more than a match replay but two programs, Arsenal 360 and Arsenal World.

  106. Theo starts! Boom.

  107. Gadget @ 4:42:

    The rest of the league also now beginning to recognize that we are not as vulnerable to soft goals and counter attack goals. In the past they could sit deep knowing that at some point they would probably somehow scrounge a goal or 2. The boss said after the last 2 seasons that our defending was crap and cost us a chance at the league. This summer he really upped the rhetoric regarding improving our defending. So far I think we have been able to be able to play more disciplined and conservative when needed and we are conceding fewer goals. I doubt its a coincidence.

  108. Limestone,

    I might be mistaken, but I thoguht I read something about how he had sold his assets in the Rams. Just some fantasizing on my part anyway. But yes, I will def report back as soon as stuff comes up!!

    The Packers are interesting segue, as far as ownership goes. The Packers are owned completely by the fans (myself included!) in which fans are allowed to own a few shares in the team. Most of these shareholders are season ticket holders, but it is not mutually exclusive, seeing as the season ticket waiting list tops 35 years the last time i checked. There is a board of directors (my grandfather is a senior member) that operates and controls the major functions of the club, but each year there is a “shareholder’s meeting” which takes place in the stadium, and more importantly and the reason for such an ownership scheme is that the team cannot be relocated because of the shareholders controlling stakes. So no super rich oil demigods, no corrupt american businessmen (Im thinking Glazers not Kroenke) and no Russian oligarchs.

    Do you guys think such schemes are a possibility for an english team? The Packers are the only team in the NFL where this is the case, and part of that has to do with the die-hard nature of the fans –something many in the USA are confused by or dont understand — but which matches quite nicely with the levels of support received by most clubs. Seems to me that the Man Utd supporters trust would welcome this kind of ownership based on their statements and activities.

  109. Very interesting points Limestone re Kroenke. You have a point, he is the elephant in the room and we do see him as the lesser of two evils. Who nows what his interest really is?

    As for fan ownership. It has happenned here in England with, if I remember, Notts Co. and they ended up selling to some rather dodgy people. Fans don’s ALWAYS know best!

    I aso agree about investing in Arsenal fanshare if you can.

  110. Finsbury – I’m not sure of who you’re talking about..

    I also find the freddie comparisons far more accurate as his off the ball movement is really good but heading and technique weren’t as high as our other attackers..

    When it comes to the development of players at around the age of 10 -12 many british players are thrown onto the full pitch and many technical players are cut out because their not fast enough or big enough.. In other countries players of that age are put on to the futsal pitch which hones their technical ability.. Theo started later than others and obviously would have shone because of his speed, as you could kick the ball over the top to find him, but starting later with his unique advantage may have allowed him to neglect the more defter skills of a dribbler.. Although the faster and bigger standard has now been changed one can see how it has cost England in the past and also how a technically gifted player like Cesc may not have made it out of the training grounds here at an early age because he was not big enough or fast enough..

  111. Cbob

    The great thing about the Packers’ fan ownership is they literally weigh in on ZERO decisions. They dont have input on the playbook, draft picks, anything! It literally just prevents the team from relocating or coming under the influence of an outsider who is there to profit.

  112. NJ, I don’t know if it is possible in English football, but that is why I admire the Packers. The Arsenal fanshare is an attempt at least to promote shareholding among genuine Arsenal supporters to increase our voice at that level. But, as consolsbob points out, even still there are limitations to the effectiveness of such schemes.

    As far as the Rams, I read recently that he put in a bid to actually purchase the whole team and add to his half share. It is true, though, that I haven’t kept up on the latest details to know whether he has taken over the whole thing. All I know is that he hasn’t yet divested from the Rams.

  113. I think, NJ, the ManU supporters are more organized right now than us, but they are battling a really bad situation in their ownership. We have been immunized from this scenario so far, but I think it is important that we not be complacent either about what is or may happen to our club. Kroenke is probably smart enough to realize that he doesn’t want to take full ownership and all the public responsibility entailed but rather to shield his interests in ownership of the separate Arsenal media venture, where really huge potential profits would come from in the future. But just because he is more clever doesn’t mean that resources won’t drain out from the club where those revenues belong.

  114. Limestone

    Man U supporters are definitely clear and away ahead us in terms of organization. but as they say, necesstiy is the mother of invention. Their situation is completely messed up and although I’m happy to watch a Manc squirm as they watch their club go to shit, the fact that its at the hands of an American family annoys me, solely bc it makes us look bad in your eyes! We get enough of that I think!

  115. Why would Americans ever look bad ?

    I wonder…

  116. KS – I was thinking of Jay Thomas.

    Yes, the Freddie comparisons might proove to be the more accurate ones. He wasn’t a bad player!
    The full sized pitches issue has been a nightmare for English football. I can see how that goal against Shaktar doesn’t look so different to goals Theo was scoring for Southampton at sixteen.
    I honestly have a very tiny football brain. I do think that in other sports players can develop in different kind of ways at later stages. I’m not sure if cricketers can be compared to footballers, not always, but players can improve their techniques in that sport. Not radical developments, but enough to make a subtle difference, as a result of playing and learning alongside the ‘best’. Speaking of which, Nasri will probably start against the Sp*ds. : )

  117. Actually a half decent panel of pundits on ITV this evening.

    Now if they would only sack that idiot Chiles.

  118. Clichy not starting. Good news.

  119. Stan Kroenke owns 100% of the St. Louis rams now, as per NFL ownership rules, he had to hand operations of the Denver Nuggets to his son.

  120. Both teams wearing the same bloody kit again. Why do they do this?

  121. First impressions? Nasri is different class and England are too slow of thought and lack the technique to pick out Theo every time he makes a run.

  122. Limestonegunner: I agree absolutely with most of your sentiments re how Arsenal has gotten to where they are in all aspects of the club. I absolutely disagree that Kroenke/Usmanov is a red herring, however. Kroenke may not be a knight in shining armor (and he has nothing to do with Wal-Mart, that is his wife’s family) but the fact remains that he became a major shareholder when it looked like Red and White would be snaffling up a majority share in the club and possibly enough to initiate a mandatory takeover. However much anyone thinks David Dein has done for the club, and I personally think he has done a lot, his injection of Usmanov (how’s that for an awful image) into the shareholder situation was absolutely awful for the club. Yes, Kroenke is the lesser of the two evils but that doesn’t make his ownership irrelevant or a red herring in a discussion of the commerciality of The Arsenal.

  123. has Titi retired for international football?

  124. LA, I think it was you who asked if the Rapids play decent football. They are ok for the MLS but weren’t too near the top of the table in the league. They have some decent players, some local lads, and the fastest player in the league (Omar Cummings), also a decent left back in Kosuke Kimura.

  125. rosicky substituted at HT good. Russia v Belgium game is over as well looks like AA played full 90 min

  126. France dominating… Nasri having a decent game…

  127. I think I must have been french in a previous life… I really couldn’t care less about england tonight. Embarrassingly single minded and bereft of any intelligence and composure.

  128. anyone got links for the england game? please

  129. nasri conducting things in the middle very well

  130. Allez les bleus

  131. Gris Gris, fair enough, but there were other options besides Kroenke and it won’t do us much good if he limits our conquest of North America to support his own sports teams or siphons off lots of cash via Arsenal media. Unfortunately Dein is really responsible for bringing both of these unsavoury billionaires into the club.

    But let us agree on the importance of maintaining and developing a strong supporter culture that invests in the team via the fan share and works to resist any singe owner hijacking or subverting our current and sustainable model of business.

    Viva Arsenal!

  132. rvp on now seems like van der vaart is playing the full 90 good thing for arsenal i think

  133. links please?

  134. eboue off now = more good news

  135. Delia----Block112

    The French are playing Wengerball, allez Samir ,fantastic.

  136. chamakhhhhh!!!

  137. cesc on the bench great news

  138. walcott off niceee

  139. Thanks for the updates, colney. Just keeping fingers crossed for RVP..

  140. chamakh just got subbed as well

  141. swiss v ukraine game over now djourou logged 90min

  142. Sagna with the assist!

  143. memo to blanc take nasri off and give someone else a chance he’s got the tiny totts to destroy on saturday

  144. dutch game over no incident to report everything looks fine with rvp but fingers crossed

  145. How long did Robin play for colneyblog?

  146. @passenal
    rvp 45min, van der vaart 80min

  147. Wish Blanc would take Nasri and Sagna off….

  148. Great news. Arsene must have managed to negotiate something with the Dutch.

  149. Limestone, agreed!

    Out of curiosity, why Limestone? You from somewhere with a bit of fossils underfoot? The reason I ask is because I’m a geologist so am naturally curious about strange things like rocks.

  150. arsenal players so far..

  151. it seems nasri and sagna are gonna put in a full shift

  152. bendtner and wilshere both pulled out of their respective squads and it seems wilshere will be fit for the weekend at least judging by his twitter

  153. sagna off now. 87min

  154. funny seeing Lloris flapping on crosses

  155. And then you wonder why Wenger picks French players?

  156. Who wonders? France is the market he knows best.

    Two have broken through, but there are more still to come. In fact there’s a generation – maybe even an endless supply – of classy, Arsenal-schooled English youngsters coming through for both club and country, but they’ll be no use to anyone until the England tactics change.

    Carroll did OK, and he’s a decent player, but I wondering if his breakthrough is the worst thing that could happen to England, because he justifies the long ball. And we all know that kid of game never got us anywhere.

    At any rate the commentary annoys me far more than anything else. Townsend has no appreciation for the way a team works; you can’t expect any player to perform if he can’t get the ball. You can’t expect full-backs to push forward if the midfielders can’t string two passes together, with the centre backs repeatedly hoofing the ball 50 yards up the pitch to a lone striker.

    Spain were cained 4-0. Just the second 45 for Fabregas thankfully.

  157. Had to share this. Apologies if you have already seen it. You must watch it and try not to laugh.

  158. Gris Gris, I currently live in “The Limestone City” of Kingston, ON. Lots of nice limestone buildings and houses from local sources built in the 19th century here in this small city, capital of Canada between 1841-44, on the shore of Lake Ontario where the St. Lawrence River begins.

    Geology–any specialty? Mining, petroleum, or research/teaching? Frankly, I don’t really know what geologists actually do other than that it deals with the world under the surface–but it sounds interesting.

  159. Dups I hadn’t seen that, thanks made me chuckle.
    One thing; why did they edit out the word Beelzebub????

  160. Agree completely with your post at 11.13 Big Al.

    There is no way that Theo will shine for England as long as there is no one to pass to him effectively. The midfield might as well not have been there last night, they were just static positions for the French to pass around. Long ball football or Third Division football 20 years ago. Like watching Arsenal play Blackburn. Carroll is, as you say, OK. However he is England’s latest saviour so expect much more hype.

    I will say it was much harder not to be interested in England last night though. Shorn of Terry, Lampard and Rooney they were far less detestable.

  161. Bob – a mate sent a text last night asking how it looked and I sent exactly that – Arsenal V Blackburn.

  162. Well steww, we were probably being kind to England with that comparison.

    I’ve been giving Capello the benefit of the doubt until now, well the team is crap, but his substitutions told us a lot about him. Either he has given up or he just doesn’t know what to do.

  163. Fukin England is a joke. always was like watching a pub team, now we have pub type players. Crapello just cant get out of this job quick enough, he doesnt give a rats ass and must be pissed at the shite he now has to work with. I didnt fall into the trap of wasting two hours of my life yesterday so i watched a couple of re runs of the antiques show.

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