Aston Villa Preview: A Time For Heroes Not Villains

The trip to Villa Park provides an opportunity to consign an awful November to the history books, signing off with a win that would temporarily take Arsenal to the top of the Premier League. The grounds for optimism have diminished in the last two performances – one and a half to be more accurate.

The side which performed so poorly in Braga contained seven changes from that which imploded against Tottenham. The changes made were likely to be reversed but Wenger’s hand has been forced by the absence of his captain, out for a couple of weeks at least.

Wenger was adamant that he has no intention of relieving Fabregas of the captaincy yet I fail to see why this was even an issue. Whilst some have seriously countenanced such action being taken, believing that the Spaniard is still in sulking over his failed move to Barcelona, those critics overlook one important character trait; Fabregas is a winner and his demeanour suggests to me that he is unhappy with his own form, frustrated by injury – perhaps returning to action too soon?

With Chelsea visiting Newcastle and United hosting Blackburn, Arsenal has the toughest fixture. Psychologically it would be a massive boost for the players to win and win well today. It would also increase the pressure on two opponents who are spluttering in form. Chelsea could go onto the pitch at St James’ Park in third place, barely four weeks after the procession to the crown was heralded in the media. Such a turnaround in fortunes would be negative for them.

Pre-match, Robert Pires facing Arsenal is hogging the headlines although he is likely to be a substitute for the hosts. Personally, I wish him well at his new club aside from any fixture involving Arsenal when I hope that he and his teammates suffer from a collective failure to find any form and lose heavily. Perhaps that is overly optimistic but surely optimism is the heart and soul of being a football supporter?

With Fabregas out, Denilson is likely to form the central midfield partnership. Playmaking will probably fall on the shoulders of Samir Nasri although many would insert Jack Wilshere, I would omit him on recent form where tiredness seems to have been issue. With that in mind, it would be an attacking triumverate of Arshavin, Chamakh and Walcott supported by the previous trio.

The line-up I would select is:

Fabianski; Sagna, Djourou, Squillaci, Clichy; Denilson, Nasri, Song; Walcott, Chamakh, Arshavin

The suspicion is that Koscielny will return to the centre though. I was surprised by his return last weekend in place of Djourou as the Swiss had done nothing wrong in the previous two games. It was a clear indicator that, at the moment, the French duo are his first choice. When Vermaelen returns, it will be interesting to see which of that pair is considered first choice with the older of the two likely to win that battle.

On the subject of long term injuries, it was good to see Aaron Ramsey return for the reserves. He has since joined Nottingham Forest on loan until 3rd January 2011, conveniently avoiding being cup-tied domestically although the East Midlands club’s diminished status means that he will be free for the Europa League campaign…

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow when Limpar will be filling in with the report.

Posted on November 27, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 275 Comments.

  1. I think your line up is about right. Jack must be feeling the pace at his age.

  2. I thought I was reading Stone Cold’s report. Sorry too much Thanksgiving turkey.

  3. I do not want to see that useless git Denilson play in midfield – he is one of the reasons we have lost the last 2 matches! He cannot defend,has no pace,no positional sense and can only pass sideways or badly. I hope Wilshere plays with Song and Nasri in midfield. Nasri should play in the centre with Fabregas missing – he plays brilliantly in that position for France and is wasted on the wing. Also Song should stay back and be our holding player not charge around up field where he invariably loses possession like he did against Spurs last week which led to one of their goals. A win away would boost confidence, a draw would not be that good – a loss would be a disaster with AV missing so many players!

  4. Why europa league?

  5. @Gunner90
    No positional sense, no defending, really? How come that a player who does not know where to be on the field and how to play defensively is usually the most applauded for his contributions in the department of interceptions as well as ball winning? Furthermore, if Denilson passes only sideways, and his awful sideway passes are actually the passes that open up space for Cesc so he can set up other players (like against Tottenham. Denilson’s passes found Cesc for both our goals, who had enough space to create something.) … what is there to complain about?

  6. Arshavin is due a goal; The small man must stand up to the criticism that he is too small for the premier league – The AA of Euro 08 and Arsenal 2008/2009 was not a fluke. Besides, he says that his soccer talent is just that, something that comes natural, and a birthright; We need you performing Andrey

  7. Nasir Jones-Nasri


  8. At the moment, I think JD deserves to start ahead of Kos. The later has made some errors of late, and we dont want this at the moment. I would keep him on the bench and start him in the match against Wigan

  9. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You sound like a cunt, Gunner90. Just saying

  10. Fab is faking it! Yes,I said it!!Watch him make a comeback as soon my man,nasri gets that boat rocking again..take away the passes and the guy is crap n.e way! He is a contrast of his old self..go gunners! Arsenal 2,villa 0.

  11. I predict:

    sagna squid kos clichy
    song wishire
    rosicky chamach arshavin

    wenger tends to have a pecking order – kos is number 2. Also, wocott played the whole match midweek – rosicky will share the ball handling with arshavin. Also, neither theo or arshavin defend – away from home rosicky is safer, and theo always a danger at the end.

    Lastly – I think wilshire over denilson mostly cause wilshire did not play mid week. And, again, more ball handling. Though that’s the one move that would bit surprise me.

    Oh, also, we will win, and one of Chelsea and manure will draw. Maybe both.

  12. Time for heroes to stand up and be counted. Please check out my Arsenal Blog
    I’m new!

  13. optimistic Nando!
    Wenger playing wilshere and nasri in the middle seems a little overattacking for an away team… as much as we fans hate denilson for his more than often terrible decision making… he does take the odd long range shot that none of the starting 11 dare to, 4 that reason alone, we shud play him… if only more of the starting 11 did that at least half of the shots would turn into goals. Its way better than losing the ball to the opposition so very often like they seem to do recently. Denilson and song with nasri a more forward role for me

  14. What are the odds of bobby diving for a penalty on the final minute of extra time and converting it for a 1-0 to villa? Pretty much witten in the stars i think.

  15. Added time and written….sorry iphone…

  16. My predicted starting 11: Fabianski, Sagna, Squilachi, Johan Djourou, Clichy(if fullyfit), Song, Denilson, Nasri, Theo Walcott, V. Persie, Ashavin.
    After leading 2-0 in the first half (to be scored by Walcott and V. Persie, Chamack, Rosicky, Verla and/or Koscielny could come on in the second half for tired legs. Up Gunners!

  17. I said 1-1 in Braga.How wrong was i? The players have to look at themselves and see if they really want it.Too many players in Braga went along for a jolly.Lets hope the back four can concentrate for 90 mins.Last season Clichy got mullered up there.Villa at home are a good team at home and we are not in top form so i see a draw.

  18. Wilshere to start for me & win the left footed bantam weight contest with Bannan.

    RVP & Chamakh together up front please with D’jourou in to handle Carew

  19. Yet another report talking about the awful performance in Braga. Weird. It was a consummate away performance in Europe. We utterly controlled the game passed them off the pitch. You can’t legislate for a freak break away goal.
    People need to get real and put the blame on the referees who allow opponents to kick us out of games and give credit to other teams for taking their chances and not blame Arsenal for these things. We didn’t play badly the officials had nightmares and the opposition got lucky.
    If that seems biased, well fucking shoot me – I’m an Arsenal fan.

  20. “as much as we fans hate denilson ”
    Fuck off ashgun you fucking scummy little shit. No one who possesses a scintilla of understanding of football or indeed is a ‘fan’ will agree with that ridiculous statement.
    You are on the wrong blog and following the wrong sport and are lucky not to be within reach of me right now.

  21. Steww: Speaking of freaky goals…. bobby dive for a penalty through a breakaway late on perhaps ? We’ve been leaking feakish goals since god knows. Somehow u just know it that bobby’s going to get one over arsene for that substitution…

  22. Come on The Arsenal!

  23. Willy G’s put one over us last week…..we’re due one from bobby

  24. Anyone see this week’s press conference? AW said things like (not word for word), ” I’m no better than Mourinho in this regard” and “I don’t want to get into anything personal about Mourinho” when a hack tried to goad him into slating Maureen.

    All he did was talk about the Madrid incident because the press wanted his opinion on it. And he gave an honest answer, just like a few managers and players have done.

    I know a lot of people on here love Mourinho, but he should so show some f*cking respect – he can’t hold a candle to our manager.

  25. MikeSA came here last week and posted something about Arsenal players taking bribes hence the freakish results of late. We had another one at Braga. As much as i hate to believe him, if another freaky result happens today, then just maybe maybe our players are not clean afterall.

  26. One Of Us,

    I totally agree – Mourinho has no integrity whatsoever & whilst Arsene may not be whiter than white they are chalk & cheese.

    The press love to draw something from AW , then edit it hysterically to add to the image they portray. Sometimes I`d prefer he said nothing but they guy just loves the games so much he`d talk all day.

  27. Arsene’s too nice and honest. He needs to be a bit dirty like rednose. Thats why hacks take advantage of him BigAL.

  28. On a brighter note, only one more month before Wellington SIlva joins us.

  29. Looks like we all know now that mourinho is really desperate to join us. By saying things like he did to Arsene, looks like a huge “come and get me” from old maureen

  30. Rvp to start – interesting to see how that will work with chamakh. Rvp down the right? Bit sub optimal. Dont see how you can drop chamakh though

  31. According to the press lately Spurs is the new Arsenal…..TWitchy redknAPp is the new Wenger.

  32. Crouch is the new chamakh

  33. Agree, PW.

    I’m not sure the press do take advantage of him, Max. AW probably knew the consequences of talking about the red cards, and that Maureen wouldn’t be able to resist having a go. Maybe he thought an international feud would help shift the focus away from the team a little. It doesn’t make Maureen any less of a cretin though.

    Since Tuesday I’ve been anticipating something like this today:


    RvP has spent much of his career on the right side of a front three, so there’s no reason to believe he won’t benefit the team there, unless he’s lost some zip.

  34. Mourene is an football prostitute, enough said about him. No morals, and no integrity.

    Let’s put the villains to the sword lads

  35. Let the Noisy neighbors enjoy the short time of bliss, they will soon come crushing down to the abyss that is White Shit Lane

  36. As much as we love Mourinho, we love Essien more. I personally work myself up into a froth of excitement whenever I hear his name.

  37. Mourinho is a psychologist not a football manager

  38. strange for a club in crisis ,spurs is better than us,we are out of the tittle race, we are in danger to go out of the chapions league,blablabla, if we win we are top of the league.Not bad position to be as as im concern

  39. prediction: Arsenal to fall behind but to come back to win second half. Don’t know why, but there I said it.

  40. Hope the nightmare ends today. Fingers crossed. As for Denilson, who along with Walcott are my favourite gunners, I’m beginning to think that maybe we should sell him to Barcelona. Really no need to waste his career with a fan base that doesn’t appreciate him. Interestingly something like 90% of Kenyan gooners love him!

  41. I always think where a person stands with regards to Denilson is a good measure of their intelligence and ability to analyse the game of football. The moment they slag him off I know that they don’t really understand the game tactically or strategically.

    Denilson played great against Braga – chasing, harrying, intercepting etc. And although he was caught flat footed for the first goal, there are 2 things to note. Firstly, the team as a whole had failed to take into account Eboue’s absence when attacking for a free kick so Denilson had far less support at the back than he should have. And crucially, the real failure happened far further up the pitch than Denilson. The team switched off right after that free kick by failing to chase down a ball that they all believed was heading out for a throw in. If you watch it again, nobody moves from their positions in the attacking 3rd as the ball heads to the by-line, so the Braga player (who DID chase what seemed a lost cause) has far too much space to look up and pick a pass over the defence’s heads.

    Denilson’s failure was to be caught a little on his heels when the pass is made, but in fairness, Arsenal play such a high line that if a pacy attacker gambles and sets off on that kind of a run, no amount of ‘pace’ or ‘fitness’ from a central midfielder is going to help if a ball is played over the top like that.

    Apparently, less intelligent people would watch that and say ‘Denilson’s shit, has no positional sense and has no pace’.

  42. Here’s to a “freaky goals” free match….

  43. Albo.I could not agree more

  44. Well said Albo.

    When will Tomas Rosicky start doing this again?

  45. The Media manipulate Arsene? Come on he’s no fool when making statements..He knows his words are great copy for journalists.What he does hopes thou is that he will be reported correctly,but has been on these shores long enough to know pigs might fly

    I am and will continue to be a supporter of Wenger however I find his procrastinations of late rather dour n he’s starting to look rather jaded.

    I pose the question that why is it that so many ex players of Arsenal all seem to be singing from a similiar hymn sheet.Surley many of these ex players will KNOW far more than you and I will ever know about the goings on at the Emirates than any of us posters here.

    We give our 5 minutes worth on what we think. What we truly say does not matter one iota in the footballing World.

    A leader – A General – A Manager has to make decisions and is judged by those decisions.The Manager has a team around him whom you would think give him advice – counsel. The Manager then decides whether he accepts that I Currently see a Man who is unwilling to heed – listen,who is in a way a bit like an enfant terrible -spoilt brat whose raison d’etre is hat its my or the highway.

    There are a number of the current squad who should really thank there lucky stars they have a benefactor comme Arsene as they have continued to flatter to decieve..
    I’ve been a supporter and season ticket holder for over 25 years and it does not take a genius to note that a number of the Arsenal players NB n CV to name 2 are of not of the Arsenal standard.

    Arsene foolishly stated (in my opinion) that this squad was the BEST he ever had. With those 2 included I do not see how he could be serious..cest la vie…A Win is a MUST….Anything other than that today n the requins(sharks) are going to be looking to where the sea gulls gather..

  46. Pires starts against us.

  47. According to the press, we will be managerless by the end of the year and relegation candidates….spurs will move to a 80000 seater stadium and become champions this year with twitchy as manager of the year. Spurs are the new arsenal.

  48. Lay off the crack, James.

  49. YW,

    Like the comentary and agree with the selection of team: except that I’d switch Gibbs for Clichy.

    Any kind of win today would be great. However, if we play we and draw I’d be happy with the performance. Results will come if we can just get back on out game. Hopeful prediction: Villa 1 Arsenal 3


  50. I’m about to pack up for the afternoon and head for a screen. Excuse the spelling…

  51. Let us hope that the lads grind their collective teeth today and take a large chunk out of Aston Villa. The potential of these boys is enormous! We need patience with this lot and I can wait for them. In the end they will make us all very proud to be an Arsenal supporter. On another note I see that Jose is at it again.

    I think that Monsieur Wenger has hit a nerve when he made comments about Madrid. Jose is one of these personalities that believes he is next in line to rule the Heavens. Any critical comments made of the man sends him into a narcissitic rage and he is over the top with his comments.

  52. Thereis a saying that goes” Dance at Home before You Dance Abroad”……By opening his mouth Wenger gave license 2 Mourinho to go on the offensive…..

  53. Ras | November 27, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    Your post fully justified your statement that:
    “We give our 5 minutes worth on what we think. What we truly say does not matter one iota in the footballing World.”

  54. steww 8.57am.

    the point is braga are a shit mid table team in a poor league. doesnt mean a dickie what appened on thee night, we should never of lost 2-0 no matter how much of a c*nt the ref was.

  55. link anyone

  56. good to see Arshavin growing his hair long, hopefuly he will let it grow over his eyes, he plays better with his hair over his eyes.

  57. we should be winning this what with all the possesion we have had!!

  58. arshaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaavin

  59. Yesss. Good call on the Arsh front!

  60. nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo nasri

  61. you keep that fukin barnet long Andrei.

  62. Need to settle n see out 1st half no repeats of last week….No worries Shotta I know to hold my corner…

  63. my god should be 3-0

  64. Naaaaasssriiiii

  65. super samy nassssssri

  66. 2-0 to the Arsenal. Stuffing every word down the ESPN commentators throat. Too early to say hello, but good so far.

  67. Anybody getting that feeling of deja vous….


  69. good first half….now wenger make sure they keep it up

  70. 2:0 though could be 5:0. Playing sweet football. COYG!

  71. I’ve fallen in love with Arshavin all over again. I love him, he’s had a great first half.

    If we can keep this up we will prove to people we are far from a one man team.

  72. it s not deja vue, wer are gone win it easy this time….hopefully…..maybe….surelly

  73. This match feels a bit like last week. It is our chance to show we can pass the test now. Funny thing is, away from home I think we will have a much more resilient attitude…I see us leaving this match with a clean sheet.

    Now the key is to keep our heads while stayinmg dangerous on the attack. Arshavin really looks up for it tofday as well. Up the Gunners!

  74. we are on top of the league,suck it hack

  75. Ras I don’t have that feeling. We gonna win!

  76. Would love to see Rosicky get a goal…he has been very wasteful…he needs that spark to get that goal scoring confidence back.

  77. That combination of Nasri, Rosicky, Wilshere, Arshavin is terrific….4 little magicians…

  78. Arshavin has been brilliant this half. Working hard, giving a sharpness to our attacks, and his dukes have been delicious.

    Clichy has also been great. He’s been intercepting and maurauding. Go on my man!

    As a team we’ve been brilliant, but… well as the Jewish say, “never forget”.

    Friedel’s save against Chamakh needs a special mention

  79. The builkdup to that Chamakh attempt was fuckin brilliant…

  80. *buildup

  81. My money is on Chamakh to get the 3rd and close this one out.

  82. Anyone else on the west coast of the US watching?…up at 4:30 am for this one…wide awake and loving the football so far!

  83. Special mention as-well to Pat Rice’s transitional lenses, he looks cool as fuck.

    No but seriously we’ve played beautifully so far. Viceologist, Id add Song to that list, his interceptions have been wonderful but the weight and direction of some of his passing can only be described as brilliant play-making.

    Where does Wenger find them?

  84. @Viceologist
    05:48am and I am right here with you. Let’s do it Arsenal!

  85. Song really is the glue that keeps it all together…he seems like he is everywhere, only he is not a very fast runner…I don’t know how he does it?

  86. 2nd half…enjoy!…back to the game

  87. Another 45 mins to stay focused.

  88. Off side

  89. Collective disorganisation. Look how every one of our players moves BACK when Clarke gets the ball. At least one player should have closed him down immediately — we wouldn’t have conceded then.
    Otherwise Carew was blocking Fab so obviously. He had to look around him. Goal shouldn’t have stood as Carew was interfering with the play.

  90. clichy go away from villa scorer ,he could have got in the way of the ball but left his player .BS

  91. Lovely, lovely goal.

  92. Viceoligist you called it!

  93. Told ypou Chamakh would get the third!

  94. viceologist proven right!

  95. As usual the officials try to screw us but we go on and score.
    F*ck you Clattenburg and Co.

  96. yessssssssssss .
    who are ya

  97. Nice soft underbelly, eh? Here we go again … NOT! Arsenal strikes back.

  98. Nice to be proven right for once in my life….

  99. Carew was fucking blocking Fab21.. The goal should have been disallowed..

    But Chamakh restores the 2-goal lead from a gr8 through ball from the Czech Mozart..

  100. Why are we so eager to skewer our own players? (Evil, you should know better.)
    Clichy decided to back-off, to track the man coming from the wings. It was the wrong choice in hindsight. But then to rail about disorganization is bull-shit.
    Carew was offsides, ten (10) times over.

  101. Rosicky to score a screamer for 4-1?

  102. Would love that Deano…

  103. Any goal from the Mozart would do.. He needs atleast a goal or two for his performances this season..

  104. @shottagunna
    My words might have come across wrongly. It just seemed like everyone of our defenders was in the same mind at that moment — to back off and prepare for a cross or similar. So it took a moment until our centre backs realised that everyone backed off and went to close down Clarke.
    Our defence has been playing very organised so far, it was just one of those unreal moments where there was just a split second for everyone to decide (and no way to communicate so quickly) what to do.

  105. Too young to remember Ted Drake bagging all 7 in a big win at Villa Park but do remember Tony Woodcock getting 5 in a 2 – 6 win (also at Villa Park). The commentators seem to concentrate on our bad results … what a SURPRISE

  106. We need to bury them with another goal. In football 25 minutes is a very long time.

  107. I missed the first 20 minutes, why didn’t Kos have a shirt number? Anyone know?

  108. Nasri at 64.50 secs of the game had the oppurtunity to hit a speculative shot..wat is it that stops him n many of the arsenal players on the edge of the box..? lack of confidence? not willing ot take responsibilty? a speculative shot? What? Someone tell me.Its not crime?

  109. We have got to keep the focus..

  110. Been very classy so far, but should really be closing this out. Cockiness on the ball when attacking means nothing when a ball over the top can put you on the back foot again. Let’s get five because we are dominant enough to give them a good pasting on thier own park.

  111. Nasri, in particular, is being overly casual in his final pass. This is the maturity that we must demand. Being super talented can also be an achilles heel.

  112. This is really bad for my heart

  113. I think when we get ahead we look for teh really special team goals and try not to waste posession…we need to have the ruthless strek to take on the strike and put it beyond all doubt….Oh boy!…not again!

  114. Don’t take speculative shots because that’s not the Wenger way and yet again we don’t pick them up properly from a set piece. Suddenly its 2 – 3.

  115. 2-goals. Just as we feared.

  116. Why can’t we close the fuckin door?!

  117. 15 attempts with 6 on target, Villa only had 2 on target.

  118. Im not even gunner bother about our defence. lets just say its the norm now for it to go fukin walk about.

  119. Fifteen minutes to go, take off Rosicky for Walcott and put Nasri in the middle. Some pace up front late in the game should put the Villa defence under real pressure. Maybe Walcott can go to the byeline for a change and give Chamahk a few headers to go for.

  120. Great ball out of defence from Rosicky followed by crap touch to put us back in trouble from Arshavin.

  121. So if they are throwing everybody forward whay aren’t we catching them on the break?

  122. Clark should be off!

  123. Let’s put Walcott on as an out, any ball over the top with that amount of space has got to be a goal.

  124. Gibbs and Denilson?????

  125. not even a card for the boot to the head…laughable

  126. Walcott would torch them on the counter right now…Gibbs and Denilson?…hmmmm….I understand Denilson on, not sure about Gibbs right now.

  127. Can’t see why considering Arshavin’s run just then!

  128. Dibbs on the Wing….I like it, doubling up to stop the incpoming crosses

  129. Gibbs

  130. Gibbs to provide support to Clichy on the left flank..

  131. Why are the pundits grilling the goaslkeeping for us when he has nothing to do with the goals we have been conceding

  132. Walcott and RVP to play on Tuesday? With Ramsey and Lansbury out on loan they and Bendtner are the only first team players who could do with a run out.

  133. Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  134. Wilshere….to close it out!

  135. Done and dusted. Bully for those who say Arsene can’t make substitutions.

  136. Little Jack = Top of the League.

    Come on you Gunners!

  137. Finally!!!!!!!!!!!! Can breathe…

    Lil Jack with the 4th goal.. great pressure from the boys during the move..

  138. Pundits are fucking idiots.

  139. See, we have an aerial presence. It might be just 170cm high, but it is there!

  140. We are top of the league! Say we are top of the league!

  141. tip top

  142. There we go…topping the table after all of the bullshit we have dealt with up to now…upwards and onwards…come on Newcastle…Chelsea are ripe for the taking at St. James’.

  143. MOTM – Chamakh… Lead the line till the end.. Full of running.. Took the goal well and showed good presence of mind to cross for the 4th goal..

    Top of the league to put pressure on the other clubs and to put a bad week behind..

  144. Alan Green said we top the table temporarily.

    I’d like to know how Newcastle and Blackburn fans feel about that….

  145. off to sleep now

  146. I am afraid Blackburn might decide to just not turn up at all for the match. against ManU. Newcastle however might do us a favour tomorrow.

  147. Top of the league and loving it. Post mortem for another day methinks!

  148. Top of the League. Last week Thursday I said f*ck off to the nervous nellies. How sweet it is to be a supporter! COYG!

  149. Rosicky was excellent. Clichy was excellent. Arshavin was wonderful. Chamakh was inspired. Our entire midfield is just incredible.

    Oh and it’s worth bearing in ming we have picked up 3 points where Man U and Chelsea only managed 1. Chelsea unable to score. This is a big achievement, Villa are not an easy team to beat on their own patch.

  150. Chamakh really did play admirably…same with Arshavin, that is the Arshavin we should be seeing on a regular basis…Nasri solid as usual…Really the whole team played well minus that shady Clark goal…which should have been disallowed anyway.

  151. Did anyone else hear the totally unbiased Andy Gray urge Clarke to get a hat-trick?

  152. that is the first time Villa have lost at home in 2010.

  153. We really need to figure out the defensive weaknesses and we will dominate for years to come…With Vermaelen in the side I think we will see a big difference.

  154. I’m envious of those pitch invaders. Lucky bastards!

    Made that one more difficult than it need be, but apart from the goals, the defending weren’t bad at all. Limited them to something like 4 shots all game, and I’m certain if Fabby was in pink we wouldn’t have conceded at all.

    Chamakh is such a class act.

  155. ATVO’s going downhill. This email-in bullshit has got to stop.

  156. Arshavin MOTM, a tough call between him and Chamahk, but I think he deserved it. Possibly his best game fo us this season. His running even just before his substitution was awesome. One crap touch in the second half which might have put us in trouble, but a minor point in a very good game for him.

  157. Fab still almost saved that shot while being completely blocked by Carew…I think the pink would have put him over the edge to make the save…

  158. viceologist | November 27, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
    “We really need to figure out the defensive weaknesses….”
    Agreed. But we are quick to forget that Squilly and Kos are new to this league. They are not used to the directness of English football especially the aerial bombardment. They are are excellent on the ground with their tackle and passing, far superior to most defenders in this league. But they are excellent footballers and will only get better. Don’t listen to the AAs and the AAAs in particular. Keep the faith.

  159. viceologist at 2:48pm,

    Agree with you 110%.

  160. Dwight Yorke has put the commentry team to shame.

  161. To be clear…I don’t think Squilly and Kos are bad at all…I actually really like what they both bring to the team. I just think the Verminator will give us that extra presence back there that will help us see out games a bit easier…Love Koscielny’s tackling and touch. Once he does figure out the aerial game he will be 1st choice with Verm…

  162. The Villa goal was miles offside. It came at a point where we were passing it around them and it put us under unnecessary pressure. I think the game would’ve been over had it not been for the referee’s altruism.

  163. I also think Djourou is close to being a really top class defender…a few more games under his belt and having an injury free stretch will see him be an aerially dominant defender as well.

  164. He’s spoken positive about Villa Arsenal and United. No negative language, just positive stuff while pointing out the issue thast all the teams have.

    He and Seedorf would be the carlsberg of commentry team

  165. I agree Shotta, players are expected to be up to speed as Premiership players from the first kick. Koscielny came from a team who have only been in Ligue 1 for a few seasons and have hardly shot the lights out so far. The set up in class must be huge and he has handled it reasonably well considering he was probably going to be development project for Wenger rather than first choice week in week out, unfortunately the injury to TV changed all that.

  166. Chamakh & Arshavin were top drawer today. Arsh actually looked interested & his running at people from `the hole` is something we should see more of. Maybe he`s stuck on the wing because he`s small – like what happens(ed) at school.

    Try & forget the paper thin defending – we`re top of the league !

    In your pipe & smoke it Claridge, Collymore, Green, Keys & the other nob rots.

    Oh, & Ormer , yes, I reckon if we could have seen Gray on commentary he`d have been air kicking & heading the ball for Villa.

  167. Anyone getting ready to watch Man City get owned by Stoke on an icy pitch..I can’t stand those Stoke fucks, but we could use the help from them right now.

  168. but still think we need to buy another centre back in the January window as the mystery injury to TV could keep him out for a long time.

  169. i think blackburn can get something at OT

  170. My Mugabe media lock down has just ended. Wow was so tensed before the 4th goal. We totally dominated this game, 17 shots and 60%possession to Villa’s 6shots and 40% possession. Still expect the hacks in the media especially MOTD to say the scores flattered us and highlight only our weaknesses!!! Sad lots!!

  171. Man U 1 up

  172. Oh christ…here comes the fuckin towel…what a sad, sad tactic to have to resort to Delap for those throws.

  173. “…carlsberg of commentary team.”, Gadget?

    Surely some mistake.

  174. I really loved the midfield today. Really mobile. Rosicky provides great defensive cover.

  175. deano,

    Me too.. More so when AA23 was playing ‘in the hole’ with TR7 and Nasri playing on the wings..

  176. It’s been a strange season, but I never thought the day would come when we’d see an Allardyce team surrender against ManU.

  177. Blackburn are getting torn apart at Old Trafford. They’re down 3-0 down and look likely to concede two or three more.

  178. absolutely gifted the first and third goals. Manu have done f all to deserve this lead

  179. I hate Blackburn more than I ever thought possible.

  180. Fat Sam has just bent himself over and offered it on a large plate.

  181. Everton having another stutter, thought they might be over their early season jitters.

  182. “Bent himself over” is a very polite expression of it Deano.

  183. Fat Sam loves Fergie. Happy to take from Alex on a regular basis if it helps them win the league.

  184. just saw ths in the bbc commentary…

    Blues goal: It’s just like watching Arsenal… Birmingham break with real pace and Alex Hleb leads the charge, getting into the Fulham box and playing a well-timed pass into the path of Sebastian Larsson, who drills low into the far corner.

    Its actually mage in arsenal with the ex-arsenals at work LOL

  185. Totally happy for the tam… always knew they had t in them… the home form thing will soon click into place am sure. our excellent away form continues

  186. Wonder what the odds are on Cattermole getting sent off? Must be a good bet.

  187. tam = team.

    thought should have ended the italics… Sorry guys

  188. YW where are u??????

    rescue from italics please LOL

  189. I need to drop Jagielka from my fantasy team, Everton can’t keep a clean sheet. Should I hang on to him in case of a transfer in January, will Wenger buy him?

  190. What I didn’t like about our performance today is that we started show-boating at 3-1 with 20 minutes or more to go where the game was not in the bag yet. This is where we need to concentrate more on putting the ball in the back of the net to be sure the game is beyond the opponents. Obviously two goal deficit is not secure enough in the PL, or not secure enough with the attacking football and open game we play.

    Overall was a good game to watch and a good performance.

  191. @ Oofus


  192. when and where is our next away game?

  193. Totally glad to see west ham getting off the bottom of the league table… and none other than wolves occupying it… only thing to make it better is for Blackburn and stoke to join them there

  194. Gunner 4 Ever- it’s no more than that land mammal deserves.

    Found this on a shite blog-

    Karim-Next away game is…..Old Trafford.

  195. Brilliant game.We cant defend to save our lives as usual,The CB’s had another rocky game.Well done to Wenger though for leaving out Sideways Denilson and playing young Jack.Should have done that last week!!!!Jack is young he can play three games a week.Denilson is as slow as a cart horse
    Arshavin was brilliant with Nasri and Chamakh excellent
    I am starting to get worried about Man Utd though they are not playing well yet are still unbeaten and are top of the league.

  196. bleh is united back to winning tracks again? it seems like Rooney is everyting for them . with him on form they win, with him out of form they loose.
    I hoped he was not gonna come back until after xmas me.

  197. can we wear our yellow kit at the Emirates!!!!

  198. @Jason
    Are you joking? Denilson is as fast/slow as our other central midfielders. He is certainly as fast as Song, Diaby, Cesc, Wilsh or Rosicky. Nasri might be faster, though.

  199. fat sam will be enjoying a bottle of red with fergie after their encounter.

  200. I dunno Evil, Diaby’s pretty rapid.

    Denilson has got a fast brain thats for sure. He’s a great little player.

  201. Man U 5 up

  202. I thought Wenger’s lineup was just right. I might have preferred Djourou and there is a case for playing Walcott or at least bringing him on at 60′ at 2-1 or 75′ at 3-2. This is not Denilson’s sort of game, so I was glad Wilshere got the start.

    We got all three points unlike Bolton, ManU, and Chelsea at Villa Park, so we can justly be proud of this victory. The team passed a big test playing great attacking football without Cesc. Alas, these set piece situations into the box are really threatening us. I don’t know why we are so vulnerable but it does make it easier for teams that have no business giving us a scare are always potentially in the game. That and our own propensity for extinguishing our own attacks when we are at 2-0 or 3-1–we could and should crushed Villa with 5 or 6 goals.

    But, we keep the game interesting! Great job and good defensive substitutions to control the last 10 minutes. We stifled them but still had the creativity to grab a great goal for Wilshere–fantastic!

    Tough call for MOTM-Arshavin or Chamakh. Arshavin clearly enjoyed playing more centrally in the space where Fabregas often is for the final third. I think we have potentially some real solutions with this lineup plus a fit RvP for ManU away. Hopefully a good game against Fulham with RvP playing will set us up for the game at Old Trafford and Cesc won’t be rushed back but we still get a win away or at least a draw.

    Onwards and upwards, Gunners!

  203. If Chamakh continiues like this he will be a 20 goals a season striker.

  204. Cackburn are an absolute disgrace.

    Sam Alairdyce is serving the purple nosed one with suitable indignity.

    I wonder what the reward is for his profound loyalty?

  205. Home game on Tuesday night is a great opportunity for a run out for Walcott, RVP and Bendtner. Hopefully another run out for our other Polish goalkeeper as well. Could be a very experienced midfield for the game against Wigan as we have most of our up and coming players out on loan now.We could crush Wigan on Tuesday night and be back to winning ways at home in time for the visit of a fairly poor Fulham side.
    Wigan are getting their butts kicked by West Ham, 2 – 0.

  206. oh well,,, YW is likely at villa park,.. so the italics stays a while i guess

  207. Fat Sam loves to bend over for old rednose… “ooh give it grandpa…give it ooh”…..

  208. Fat Sam deserves two bottles of the finest wine
    ……………Up his ass of course.

  209. Today proved how much better a team we are when Denilson DOESNT play.The midfielders who played today can all play a killer forward ball unlike sideways

    As i was saying about United………………………………..

  210. F*ck Off Howard

  211. blackburn should be wearing fukin gimp getups.

  212. Man U 7 up

  213. Christ Almighty Man U are on for double figures…

  214. @ Jason Are u for real? or just looking for a response?

    I don’t get it? i thot Dennilson came on and actually almost scored?

  215. TS
    Denilson is not worth his place in the team ahead of Jack and Rosicky thats what i am saying

  216. happy for west ham
    happy for sunderland
    and don’t fret my friends, Blackburn will pay for today when they get relegated on goals difference!

  217. I wouldn’t bother Team Spirit. The point was made earlier. People who think Denilson is a bad player simply don’t understand football.

  218. Denilson is clearly a player who generates mixed emotions and very passionate ones at that. I would liked to have seen Nasri in the middle with Wilshere and Song today with Rosicky on the right, but the set up worked today because Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin and Wilshere like to switch positions on the field making it a nightmare for teams to defend against them. I don’t believe Denilson has that ability and I feel that the midfield 5 we used today are likely to give us loads more scoring opportunities (and goals) than the likes of Densilson and Diaby.

  219. Wenger picked the right midfield. This wasn’t the sort of game for Denilson, I think. Song played a more cautious game and while occasionally contributing to the attack he stayed in a defensive position allowing Rosicky, Arshavin, Nasri and occasionally Wilshere to move forward. That worked very well. I think Denilson would be good v. Partisan and in the CC v. Wigan- he will be able to handle defensive duties and keep possession. Villa are more physical so Song was the right choice. Denilson for Wilshere would have undermined our creativity, which we needed since Fabregas was out.

  220. @Jason, begone troll! go troll somwhere else…..we all know you aint for real and you just do this to try to be cool. well hope you hve beter things to do on a saturday evning than to troll about denilson…

  221. Just amazed that some of those who comment on here verbally abuse or insult those who don’t agree with their opinion of players, “simply don’t understand football” that’s harsh.

  222. one of the highest scoring days….

    seems abt 33 goals have been scored so far in the the league today!

  223. @ Jason, his overall contributions to the team says otherwise… He cant defend that assertion am sure

    so u have to trust those that know better on these matters

  224. 1-1 at the brittania

  225. @Wavey
    I guess it must be related to the fact that most people here usually write long and eloquent texts explaining the qualities of our players, just for someone to come around and call the same player an “useless git”. If you can not explain why you think that a player is up to the standard, besides from repeating things that have been said (and rebuked) dozens of times, I do nit think that it is harsh to doubts someone’s understanding of football and the system employed by our beloved club.

  226. I agree that just continually stating a player is crap is not a constructive argument, but i can also see why Denilson is regarded as less influential or creative than many of our other midfielders.

  227. Stoke eek out a draw.

  228. Yeh Wavey, you may see that, but that does not turn you into some mindless, unintelligend idiot that has to spew out all kinds of shit all the time does it? So if you manage to write well articulated small messages on a blog , why cant the rest of them?
    Its not that hard is it???

  229. Man U now got a better goal difference than us.

  230. And i cannot belive Blackburn just lied down and died! that is shocking! is it possible to play any worse than they did today?? Did they bet on a United win or something?

  231. Some people just can’t see what Denilson brings to the team. They have it in their heads that he’s crap and they don’t see anything beyond that.

  232. This answers my thots then…

    From InfostradaLive on Twitter: “There have been 36 goals scored in the PL today, equal-fourth most ever on a single day in the division and the most since a 20 team league.”

  233. Poodle, totally agree. This is after all a forum, a place for discussion by supporters of the same team (hopefully). We all have differing views of the team we support, but we are all surely pushing in the same direction.

    On another subject, I think I will give up playing Fantasy League next season, not just because I’m crap (I am because I stick wih players like Drogba and Jagielka), but also because it changes your outlook on the results of other teams. I was a bit hacked off that Man U conceded a goal late on because I have Vidic in my team so would have picked up 3 points for a clean sheet. What’s wrong with me? I want to see Man U get their arses kicked, I shouldn’t care about a clean sheet for 3 points for Vidic.
    Does Fantasy football distract us from what we all really want, the teams around us to lose and keep losing? The only Fantasy team we should have is a team full of Arsenal players.

  234. @Wavey
    I agree. I guess it can get even worse if you are an avid gambler. I believe it can be quite hard to bring loyalty to your club in line with the wish to make money by predicting results of other teams accurately.

  235. We started the game like we were out there to prove a point,they were lucky to be only 2-0 at the break.Nervy end to the game but we kept cool and scored the 4th crucial arshavin was the player we bought,chamakh was great and was happy to see him take more shots than his usual laying it off for others even when he is better placed to score.1st goal for them was definitely carew interfering with play.i see sam is still in fergi’s pocket,rovers didnt try to score even when they had lots of space,for a team that hoofs it they sure did try to walk the ball to the net.still that’s not going to ruin my evening and our win.

  236. A great game today. Arshavin was just awesome and I hope this is signs of things to come! Song was a class act stealing the ball from everyone. Nasri looked dangerous and showed great feet. A pity he didn’t score off that brilliant run in the first half! Everyone else played well!

    I posted about 2 problems that I thought this team was facing a few days back. They were basically the physical development of our players(considering how buff Nani and Ronaldo became after a few years at Man Utd.) and the way our crossing and attacking crosses should become better.

    So I just wanted to post about another 2. The first is how we tend to look shaky sometimes against speedy wing attacks, like how we were when Villa made those subs and started running at us with pace and against Bale last week. We simply have to correct this problem because Man Utd will be using this tactic the whole game against us. And looking at their performance it looks like they are gathering steam(although Berbatov’s performance was clearly a one-off).

    Another weird thing I felt about our team is that although we are a team that emphasizes style and skill we lack a tricky dribbler who can really run at the defense. Nasri, Walcott and Rosicky try, with varying degrees of success but the only guy who can really do it well is Arshavin. And what a difference he made today when he was performing like his old self. I thought that he was awesome and was a real source of danger. He dribbled through nearly the entire Villa team and nearly scored!!!

  237. Antony,its not like blackburn fought back and seein that we are playing them away am confident we will get a gud result.on to our next home games am holding my breathe.

  238. Arsenal fans were called out for moaning for no good reason on talksport.

  239. Considering the grief Wenger and the team have got all week, the best moment of the match for me was when he took off Nasri, Arshavin and Rosicky – to bring on Gibbs, Denilson and Djourou.

    A defensive midfield wall of Gibbs, Denilson, Song and Djourou in front of a defence of Clichy, Squallaci, Koscielny and Sagna was a pretty clear message that we were leaving with the 3 points come what may.

    There’s nothing we could do about the first goal – you can’t legislate for an opposing player impeding your goal keeper and the match officials don’t call it for the foul it is. Even without Cesc, the team did a very professional job.

    I also recall Wenger screaming at Nasri for cheaply giving the ball away in front of the Villa box with an unnecessary flick while he could have kept possession if there wasn’t any opening. The lessons are being learnt.

    More importantly, we should not continue with the arrogance of thinking Villa weren’t deserving of a goal. They are a good team that have traditionally played well against us in recent years. We have no divine right to win any game and we had to work hard and earn the right to play our game, before doing the right thing and nailing the door shut with the substitutions.

    And btw – it was a thoroughly enjoyable game with some exquisite Arsenal play.

  240. Apart from their first goal being s bad decision I thought the ref was quite fair for a change.

  241. goonerwife, but we do have a lot of moaners, don’t we?

  242. FA Cup draw tomorrow. Man U away I expect.

  243. But the real question: what does this game tell us about the mental strength of the team?

  244. FinnGun. yes we do. Cant stand it.

  245. California Gooner

    Antony, that would be good point regarding tricky wingers if there was an ounce of truth in it. If you will remember, the Totts pulled Aaron Lennon off at half-time and moved Bale over behind the striker at half-time. Either of them was getting ANY joy attacking our full-backs in the first half. Other than that, points taken.

  246. Villa had two shots on target all game and scored with both of them that is a big worry as is us conceding 7 goals in a week.We have got to tighten up at the back.We are conceding more than a goal a game in the league just like last season

    Motm by a mile :Arshavin the guy is a match winner.Nasri and Chamakh ran their hearts out

  247. well it will be interesting to see if Arsh will keep this up. He gets alot more responsibilty when Cesc is out, maybe he thrives on it. Cos he was very good today little Arsh.

  248. I really laughed at this… What would have happened to the team if you had lost today?
    AA: What would have happened? We would have been sitting on the bus to London looking at each other like frightened bunnies:)

  249. @ California Gooner

    Lennon was shite that game but I agree with Bale. Hope we can keep Nani and Valencia at bay. COYG!

  250. Is Valencia not injured?

  251. out for the season

  252. Normal cop out from MoTD. No mention by the panel about Carew being offside for their 1st goal.

  253. Chamakh was outstanding today. did all the dirty work upfront on his own, held the ball well, created chances and scored. did all the things you would exepct from a big centre forward. Bendtner has a big job on his hands to dislodge Chamakh. Arshavin is getting closer to his best. and Nasri was brilliant he made Fabregas’s absence unoticeable. Crisis? What crisis?

  254. Watching MOTD, it seems every team has a different version of out Nasri song. Were we first?

    And that 2nd Bolton goal was just beautiful. Their fans must feel like their pies have been spiked or something.

  255. Bolton have been playing some good football. It is a shame their fans are not turning up at home games.

  256. I just love Blackpool, they play attacking football without any fear. considering their squad cost 2.5 millions is just amazing. I hope they stay up instead of Stoke or or any team managed by fat Sam.

  257. Not only did Fat Sam bend over and let fergie dog him…..he let fergie creampied all inside….

  258. Arsenal’s defending is simply awful, no fighting spirit in the team..

    Nothing much Cesc Fabregas can do, hopefully when he comes back, he will give the team a lift.

    Soccer WAGs

  259. What lift?didnt we win the game?

  260. Honestly, how does conceding a goal automatically equal shite defending? This is the same Villa that put 2 past the gloriously konstructed impenetrable steel line of the Red Devils of Manchester United.

    The fact is yeah the goal were again preventable, but thee other unassailable fact is that when it comes to a measure of defensive strength, looking solely at the goals conceded column is incorrect; we should be paying more attention to the shots allowed, shots on target, and possession stats. Those stats say Villa had 6 shot, 4 on target from 40.4% possession. That’s a pretty good performance in my op.

    As for the goals, the first one should have been called for offside. Fab O would have saved that if one of the two were true: Carew not being in his way or he was wearing pink. Apart from that, the outfield players could have perhaps done a little better. Clichy did the right thing in peeling off Clarke to cover Ashley Young (despite what the former striker, now professional idiot Alan Smith might say). Among the many alternate things which could have happened alternatively is that one of the CB told Clichy to stay on Clarke while he went to cover Young, or we could have just put out a stronger clearance first time round.

    As for the second, it was a well executed corner. Difficult to defend against as the ball’s pinged back into a danger area, and Clarke finished it well.

    The team defended well overall, and in the second half Aston Villa stepped up their attack. If they had won or drawn, it would have been because they fought back, not because we gifted them goals. As it is, our team didn’t lose their attack edge.

    Also, I read a comment about us showboating at 3-1. If this is in relations to us passing the ball around for a long stretch of the game, I thoroughly disagree. That’s our strength: passing the ball around. In my op, that’s akin to Henry running down to the corner flag. Passing the ball around is how we control the game, and to be honest, when we’re winning, I’d like to see more of it. Patient controlled and measured keep ball, no better defence that that

  261. I thought we defended both goals poorly. Goal 2, it all started with Wilshere switching off and allowing an easy cross which Kos cleared for the corner. Then when the corner came in Kos didn’t time his jump well, was beaten in the air and we conceded.

    Goal 1 was due to a bad clearance by Squillaci. Squillaci and Sagna struggled to clear the ball properly all game and kept putting the ball in dangerous areas from their clearances

  262. Gadget
    Its you who is the idiot.The first goal Clichy’s job was to close down the man on the ball not think he may pass the ball to Young.The second goal as is usual for us defending a set piece the marking was appalling.Two bad goals conceded down to our errors

  263. moan, moan, moan. Guess what? we won

  264. always good to give them brummie bastads a good old chamakhing.

  265. fukin el Chelsea’s defence is worse then ours.

  266. newcastle 1 up on chelsea

  267. Looks like another routine victory for Chelsea.

  268. the first real Chelsea injury crisis and look at them.

  269. New post up… apologies for the delay… clerical f*ck up.

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