Arsenal Go Top With Sami-Day Win Over Fulham

Arsenal 2 – 1 Fulham

1 – 0 Nasri (14)
1 – 1 Kamara (30)
2 – 1 Nasri (75)

Arsenal capitalised on another Chelsea stumble to ascend to the summit of the Premier League. A hard-earned but deserved victory was not achieved with the consumate ease that the opening thirty minutes suggested but nonetheless, it ended a mini-run of home defeats. Two moments of individual brillance have ensured the spotlight shines on Samir Nasri but more importantly they delivered the points.

An away victory over yesterday’s opponents was the trigger to top the table in 2001/02, a season which ended with the title returning to the club. That win was more clinical than this; the inhibitions of playing at home were there for all to see, striking indecision whilst the midfield was subdued and disjointed for large parts of the final hour.

Nasri though was not the only star. Johan Djourou arrived as a first half substitute, Laurent Koscielny’s replacement following a clash of heads, and was outstanding in defence. The year missed through injury is begining to look more costly than suspected at the time as once more the young Swiss was a rock in the centre as Fulham’s attempts to take points from this fixture became more direct.

Arsenal took the game to their London rivals. Time and again from the kick-off the hosts carved through the visitors defence, foundering as the pressure of playing at home stifled the finishing instincts of Arsenal’s talented forward line.

Before Nasri’s first mesmeric intervention, Arshavin and the Frenchman had wasted good opportunities, inaccuracy in their finishes kept the scoreboard untroubled. Amends would be made before fifteen minutes had passed. The duo combined on the edge of the area. Exhibiting exceptional confidence and close control, Nasri waltzed through the Fulham defence before rifling an stoppable shot into the top corner. Deadlock broken, a palpable sense of relief.

That should have signalled the floodgates opening but these are not the confident times of Summer’s late flourish. Wilshere could have shot but instead let the chance fall to Chamakh, who spurned the opportunity. Arshavin drew an uncomfortable save from Schwarzer, enjoying a better afternoon than a horror-show in May. That proved to be the case as he denied Nasri, clasping the ball to the safety of his midriff as Arshavin slid to pounce on any fumble.

Those misses would prove costly as Fulham equalised, a self-inflicted Arsenal wound. Koscielny and Squillaci went for the same ball, neither dominant enough to claim initial responsibility. The younger of the duo came off worst as his partner headed him in the face; groggy and disoriented, Koscielny had left space that Kamara exploited, feeding greedily on Dempsey’s pass to beat Fabianski.

Criticism came post-match that Chris Foy should have stopped play yet the apparent seriousness of the incident was not initially evident. Had Koscielny crumpled to the turf, play would surely have stopped. However, Foy would have been criticised for that decision as there was no Fulham player involved, any advantage accruing would have ceased through no fault of their own. That the defender did not render that a consideration is evidence of his concussion.

Before the interval, both sides would rue chances missed to take the lead. Sagna found Chamakh with an excellent cross, the Moroccan turning the ball at Schwarzer whilst Fabianksi stopped Kamara. The Pole is growing in stature with each game, finding it hard to win over his many critics entirely, odd instances in matches seized upon, diminishing the capable showing for the remainder of the game. Perhaps Wenger ending speculation over a Winter signing would help but it could equally tempt fate. A winner’s medal will perhaps be the only way to silence Fabianski’s detractors.

The second period commenced and resorted to the pattern of the first; Arsenal dominated by could not breach the visitor’s defence. Rosicky shot wide, the chance created by a muted and inconsistent Alex Song. The Cameroonian would blaze over with an angled drive, the shooting boots of recent months deserting him. Arshavin again was foiled by Schwarzer before the introduction of Robin van Persie for Tomas Rosicky added bite to the attack.

The Czech has been touted as the ‘natural’ replacement for Cesc whilst he is injured. Yesterday was an infuriatingly anonymous afternoon which did his cause in this respect no good. Fortunately there is a welter of evidence to contrary that Rosicky is capable of the creative role.

van Persie’s first telling contribution was not as expected, clearing off the line to prevent Fulham taking a hugely undeserved lead. Arsenal missed Denilson’s ability to retain possession with short, sensible passing to feed attacks. Yet the winner came from exactly that.

The Dutchman had a shooting opportunity, instead sliding the ball into Nasri’s path. Gliding through the defence and rounding Schwarzer with ease, Arsenal’s Player of the Season so far completed the balletic movement with a pirouette to turn the ball home from a tight angle. It was an outstanding finish, a goal by a player completely at ease with the ball and on top form, signalled by his calmness when English counterparts would suffer from a rush of blood.

A late intervention by Fabianski would prevent Gera from denying Arsenal top spot.

Top of the League in December is not a guarantee that the same will follow in May. The next three weeks are a good opportunity to take a giant stride in that direction with the fixtures that have to take place. In the meantime, let’s enjoy looking down on others.

’til Tomorrow.

 

Posted on December 4, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 134 Comments.

  1. The ref should have stopped play as soon as there was a clash of heads. His first responsibility is to make sure the players are ok. Had he stopped play, nobody would have criticised him for doing so as he’d have been applying the rules.

    Also, even after he didn’t immediately stop play, he was supposed to make sure the players were ok. It was plain to see that Koscielny was not ok.

  2. I did not see the game (gf matters) but saw the goal and was OMG 😐 no wonder he is called the New Zidane

  3. Wonderful wonderful Sunday!!!

  4. Ole

    Disagree entirely, from a distance Kos seemed dazed but not dangerously so. Referee’s have to make a call on the spot and there are plenty of players who crumple when not even touched. Kos stayed on his feet and appeared to not seriously hurt. Delayed reactions are influencing thoughts on this.

    YW

  5. Yogi – My only criticism of many who say we squandered chances in the 1st half is the failure to give credit to Schwarzer for at least two excellent last ditch saves during that period. As was expected, given last summer’s “abortive” signing (thank god), he was due a blinder against us. TBH he kept Fulham in the game in the 1st half.

  6. YW,

    I think that’s an overly generous interpretation. Here are the facts that should influence the referee’s decision:

    1. Was there a clash of heads?
    2. Given a clash of heads, are the players alright?

    As far as I understand the rules (they specifically mention a collision between players of the same team as well as concussion), only one of those things has to be true for the referee to stop play.

    There was a clash of heads. It is not unknown for serious head injury to follow a clash of heads. The referee would have been well within his rights to stop play, just to ascertain that the two players were fine.

    But even when he didn’t stop play, he would have, had he cared, seen that Koscielny wasn’t alright. Yes, I know that now having seen the video. But the ref was 5 yards away.

    This was where he trapped himself. Once he didn’t immediately stop play, Fulham & maybe neutrals would have been aggrieved had he stopped a promising Fulham attack to see to Koscielny’s health.

    But look at it this way, serious head trauma can be very dangerous and seconds can make a difference. Here’s an extreme example. Imagine that play had gone on for 90 more seconds after which Kos collapsed and suffered permanent damage. Would the ref have done the right thing?

    I really really think that when there’s a clash of heads, the referee should immediately stop play.

  7. The usual suspects, a multitude of them can be found at Newsnow, like the old Soviet media are in lockstep agreement that we conceded the one goal due to our “usual” defensive weakness. Well blow me down; Kos and Squill must be League One defenders. They must be the 1st ever BPL defenders to collide for an aerial ball. After which the rampant Fulham midfield and the worldclass Kamara rip them apart to score. All this time Kos is dizzy on the ground after an offensive masterclass.

  8. I admit to only seeing the highlights yesterday. But I am convinced we are a more cohesive unit when denilson is in the team. Song seems less and less able to hold his defensive midfield position.

  9. I watched Sunday Supplement this morning, I know, I know.

    According to the cream of the English press, our central defenders are all suspect, especially Kos, because he was weak after a slight ‘knock’ led to conceding the first goal. “Carragher would not have behaved like that ” was the verdict.

    Oh, and we also need a new goalkeeper. Manu are the new shoo in for the title, unless the blue mancs are.

    Anybody hear Robbie Savage attempt to join a serious debate about Fifa on 606 last night. Bloody hilarious.

  10. “But even when he didn’t stop play, he would have, had he cared, seen that Koscielny wasn’t alright. Yes, I know that now having seen the video. But the ref was 5 yards away.”

    I agree Ole – the fact that Koscielny was badly hurt was obvious even watching it at the game in real time never mind when you are the referee standing 5 yards from the incident with a responsibility to the welfare of the players clearly outlined for you in the rules of the game.

  11. CBob – I never believed the western media was ever better than the old Soviet press. They were just more sophisticated. Your report of the “Sunday Supplement” ( I imagine it is a panel of journalists reviewing the weekend’s football) is further evidence.
    You worked in the media before so you have a better feel than I do.

  12. I wouldn’t call what I did actually working in the media shotta. I was a glorified dogsbody to the dogsbody’s dogsbody who worked for the newpaper proprietor.

    I did get to drink a lot of beer in Fleet St hostelries though.

    And yes, you are spot on about the programme’s content. Interestingly, they were rather good on the Fifa ferrago then came over ‘all the usual’ when Arsenal’s chances of staying top were discussed.

  13. Done rambling today. My old lady has tons of work for me. The holidays and all that.

  14. I remember when Denilson went down last season and Everton could have scored.

  15. Perhaps many did not notice but there was a partnership being mooted of RvP and Chamakh. It was being tested for the tight and league deciding schedule we will be having playing 5 very critical games that include Man U and Chelsea(One down 4 to go) . I noticed Wenger had most of his goal getters available in the pitch at one time, Chamakh, Walcott, Nasri, Arshavin and then add on RvP…Cesc is missing due to injury. Question is can the 6 be played in one match at one time? I doubt cause then you will have a super six in the Midfield and zero Defensive Midfield coverage. But with a Walcott – Arshavin substitution five of these guys can play in the same field. Then you have Song/Denilson sitting in front of the defense and there you have it and Arsenal that if allowed to develop an understanding with each other may start converting more of those chances we keep creating and wasting. I noticed Charmakh too has started taking more responsibility to shoot. At one time he was alone in the box with about three defenders and still got in a shot that went off target. A team like this give me Rosiscky, Eboue and Wilshere to help any of the three mid-fielders (Nasri, Asharvin and Cesc) in a rotation to keep players out of injury and change playing patterns if need be and Vela/Bendtner for the striking rotation.

    It a tough December…But one full of Opportunities to be seized. Let’s have our very best out there to help seize the opportunities.

  16. Still singing Djourou’s praises. The best performance from any of our centre backs thus far this season.

  17. nikko knows.

    Hard for the referee to make immediate sense of what happened, but they are instructed to look after players’ heads. Considering the evolution of leather bricks into plastic spheres, conserving brain cells has always been a priority.

  18. Whoever gets selected for the upcoming games, they are the best!

    I miss Diaby too.
    It’s going to be a fun month. Wigan two days after the game against ManIOU.

  19. I have to say, this theory of Carragher carrying on after being headbutted in midair is totally ludicrous. Does this mean the scouser is iron man ? We’ll be hearing next that Reina would have saved all 3 goals that were conceded against sp*ds and Terry could single handedly win the title for Arsenal.

    Let the dismissals continue. Koscienly is blamed for everything, including the goal that VP and Fabregas failed to defend against Sp*ds. The contribution by Djourou and Fabianski continues to be ignored. And.. oh. by the way, did anybody see the complete rush of blood as Joe Hart came steaming out of the area for Shitty, which nearly led to a Bolton goal ? Is that evidence of a suspect backline for them. I think not. He’s english after all.

  20. ON the Kos incident, I blame the linesman more than I do Chris Foy. It was only clear how much Kos was hurt once the ball was passed out wide because it was at this point when he bent over in pain. Unfortunately, Foy had his back to the player because he was watching the ball. I imagine the linemans must have had a better view and should then have informed the ref. If this happened, then Foy should be brought to task, but if it didn’t then c’est la vie.

    Fact is Kos should be applauded for attempting to play on when injured. Not really ‘clever’ to stay up in that instance, but I don’t recall Carragher taking such a blow to the head. I feel for the kid, cause since his introduction to the league, he’s been like a lightening rod for painful challenges.

    Nikko, I think it is possible for us to see all 6 at once. Cesc could take up the position next to Song, and be a deep lying player maker. He knows defensive responsibility and it could work. Don’t think we’ll see it except for on video game though.

  21. I love that it’s going to be us that ends this unbeaten league run Utd have miraculously put together, despite their being painfully average. The ref was never going to stop play yesterday for the somple fact that Koscielny stayed on his feet; I imagine he was torn between trying to help his team clear the danger and stopping to get some help for his injury. I also think the ref would have taken it more seriously had it been an Arsenal player and a Fulham player involved, not two of ours. Another great 2 point save from Fabi at the end though, that was a rotten bounce right in front of him.

  22. Ah, but Muppet, Carragher now has the Gerrard effect on the media.

  23. Yogi’s right about this. Kos was headbutted, but to the face. It was only after he dropped to the ground after the goal that you really knew it was concussive rather than something like a bruise or a fractured cheekbone. If the ref had stopped a clear goalscoring chance because of that, people would have been howling, and rightly so, given that the Fulham players weren’t even involved in the injury.

  24. Consolsbob – yeah, superheros with capes – not mere mortals.

  25. nolagunner,

    Even before he dropped to the ground it was clear he was in a bad state. But the referee didn’t have to wait, he should have stopped play once the collision occurred. Why do the rules say refs should do this? So that it can be assessed if the player has suffered a serious injury!

    Gadget,

    Unfortunately, Foy had his back to the player because he was watching the ball.

    In fact, what’s enraged me is just that. The ref should have been watching to make sure that Squillaci & Koscielny were alright. Not saying he shouldn’t watch the passage of play, he had a duty to ascertain that the players who collided were safe. That’s wbhy he should have stopped play.

  26. Nolagunner, it only became a clear goalscoring opportunity after Kos was injured and therefore out of position, which Kamara was able to exploit. Prior to that the ball was in play and could have gone anywhere.

  27. In the last 2 games. Nasri had a chance where he was through and went past the goalie, to the left of the goal. However, in both those occasions, he shot with his left foot and the ball went into the side netting.

    Yesterday, I am sure with those last 2 misses in mind, he decided not to shoot with his left, but, to swivel around and to hit it with his right, which went in.

    That shows an intellegent player, who thinks about what he is doing and learns from previous mistakes.

    Very much a player for the present and the future.

  28. Be REALISTIC.

    It must be obvious to all unbiased observers that Arsenal’s ten wins this season have all been down to pure chance – a fanciful flight of fickle fate that has unaccountably enabled them to score more goals than clearly superior opposition teams.

    In several games – including yesterday when they were outplayed by Fulham – their opponents have occasionally had chances to score, and even a few shots on goal – an unmistakable sign of the total inadequacy of Arsenal’s defence.

    The mere sight of the ball outside the opposition penalty area causes panic amongst Arsenal’s frail, feeble defenders, whose insecurity far outstrips the sixteen Premier League defences who have conceded more goals than them.

    The clear sighted amongst us who prophesied at the beginning of the season that Arsenal would be lucky to avoid relegation have no reason to change our script. It is inevitable. Normality will be restored. Destiny requires that the high-spenders be returned to their rightful place at the top of the league.

  29. Hi James.

  30. @Ole
    The scene with Denilson against Everton was a disgrace imo. Denilson just fell over, without any player being close to him — that’s an obvious sign that something is wrong and play needs to be stopped immediately. That the ref let the game go on and Everton almost scored — and the game was only stopped after they had missed their chance — shows that some rules, esp. concerning injury, should be enforced more.

  31. @merlot…pmsl

    @muppet….chill, winston….i think it’s sarcasm

  32. Well said Merlot!! I am under no illusions existing as one of the more clear sighted among us.

  33. I was at the opposite end of the stadium and it was clear that Koscielny was in trouble and dazed. The ref should have stopped play. Can you imagine Fergie’s response if Ferdinand and Vidic collided, one getting injured and then play continuing leading to a goal?

  34. I think the kos-Squi incident also shows that there was a lack of communication between the two. They both went for the ball whereas one should have been covering the other. Bang and goal. They still haven’t developed the necessary telepathy between defenders!

  35. The ACLF Xmas Poem

    We know the refrain
    “Soft Centre” again
    Holes in defence
    Arsenal needs to spend

    But Ole has no fear
    Shotta, Limpar, Limestone too
    For we will go clear
    YW nobody’s fool

    The doomer plague spreads
    To consolsbobs dread
    Passenal counter attacks
    Frank and PZ covering her back

    The media berates
    Darius reacts
    Now we all know the truth
    Arsenal haters afoot

    Early on comes Bigbrovar
    Paul N appears late
    With G4E from the states
    More stars from afar

    A hard winter ahead
    Arsh, Fab and Nasri
    Stand us in good stead
    But it won’t be easy

    22 games to go
    League, CL and FA cup too
    It’s all up for grabs
    So what can we do ?

    Support the team of course
    Renounce glory hunters and trolls
    It’s not a trophy race
    It’s about beautiful goals

    The pundits can suck
    We know who you are
    But now we don’t care
    Cos we’re on here.

  36. Marc I think Fergie is the kind of psycho who would have blown his top – or do they call it a blow dryer – if Vidic had run into Ferninand or vice versa!

  37. I am afraid that any illness, or in this case an injury, even when exhibited among professionals in a hospital must give clear signs that something is wrong before a crash cart and emergency call is made. Standing on your feet is not the standard method of appearing as though you are in distress. Let this be a warning to any of you should you require the services of a professional who is medically trained. In any event, we are talking about a matter of a few seconds following the collision of heads and the scoring of a goal. Kos gave no symptoms of being in immediate distress. Notice that the referee became more sympathetic after Kos collapsed to the ground. In my view, it was hard to find the referee at fault in this situation. However, he did act appropriately when the evidence was there for all to see.

  38. @jjbsol

    Nasri scored with his left foot against the Spuds! :p

  39. Should Terry knock into Alex or Rio into Nemanja and they stayed on their feet and the ref denied us a goal scoring opportunity I’d be mad. All the same Koscielny showed what he was made of as he stayed up so that he could try do his job. Only then did he collapse.

  40. Crisis? What crisis?

    Two great goals by Nasri, an energetic performance by Arshavin and Djourou looks better and better with every game. We may not have all the pieces in place yet, but we’re hardly the also-rans so many thought we were recently. All to play for!

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2010/12/04/nasri-a-class-above-as-arsenal-go-top/

  41. Excellent, merlot. Like an undead Steve Claridge reanimated with a shot of articulacy to the cerebellum (- if only wishing made it so). This pretty much sums up the punditry I’ve heard this morning. Arsenal have accidentally ‘turned up’ at the top of the league, without centrebacks or a goalkeeper. An anomoly, an irritant, a head-scratcher.

    Like a crasher off the street at a party we’ve heard the music, walked in through the frontdoor and set ourselves up in the kitchen mixing Whiskey sours and dancing with the prettiest girls. Some folk want us out on our ear but within seconds of confronting us they’re helplessly disarmed by our easy charm, quick wit and ready repertoire. Softened against their better judgement the Whole Sick Crew are laughing along with us within the hour as we open up bottles of their own bubbly and guzzle it down extravagantly. They’re thinking these guys can’t possibly cause any trouble as we all clink flutes and dance the Gay Gordons together. And then they wake up and we’ve completely gutted the place; light-fittings, copper piping, curtain rails – everything. Lock, stock, barrel, chamber, bolt and muzzle.

    My girlfriend’s Tottenham supporting father can’t stop going on about Nasri’s magic feet! Bizarre. Same fellow last season remarked to me; “Yes… but what does he do?”

    We. Are. Top The League!
    Say We Are Top the League!

  42. During the game yesterday, the man doing the broadcast made mention of Nasri having something wrong with his leg. I am sure that all of you would remember. The commentator reported that perhaps Nasri had a “dead leg.” I’ve heard this mentioned before. What on Earth is a dead leg? Will someone enlighten me.

  43. Yes,

    Nice to see such balanced statements and perspective on again on ACLF.

    We are top of the league – and its all down to our brilliance, the manager, the wonderful players, the dedicated fans – and Fu*k the begrudgers right – because they are not true fans like us intelligent people! Why, we even have poets on this site..!

    Yes – we are the Arsenal.

    Lets not mention the games lost, the Chelski implosion, the manure game in hand, the previous capitulations, the flagrant defensive inconsistency – no lets saviour the moment because We – Are – Top – of – The – League.

    Like a pace maker who puts his hands in the air and claps himself in the back before the first lap is even complete – but never mind those who ask the difficult questions – We – are – top – of – the – league.

    And whatever we do – lets not learn any lessons from previous league campaigns – because they don’t count anymore. Yes that was in the days when we had so many players injured, when referees screwed us over, when the xenophobic media and anti french racist pundits all took advantage and failed to kneel down and kiss our arses.

    Yes, We – Are – Top – Of – The – League.

    Just Curious, but does anyone here per chance think that we might win it by a country mile again this year?

  44. Oh dear! Must be a shit weekend for you, Joe! Chelsea really are soft as shite when you scratch the surface these days, aren’t they? Cry me a f*cking river.

  45. Miserable sod aren’t you Joe.

  46. Just got back from the game. Since the op my recurring nightmare is that it takes me so long to get up the stairs to the West Upper that I get knocked back down them again by a crowd of early leavers. Arriving early does the trick, I can’t get onto the wagon still so I rigged up a walk-on chariot. Wind in my hair, red and white scarf streaming behind, Lady Neena and Peter’s arses pounding away in front of me, and a great game in prospect.

    Marvellous.

    Two fantastic goals from Samir. RvP makes a hell of a difference up front. Pleased he is not sticking his foot in, I expect great things from him in the coming games. Johann Djourou’s performance was immense and was only spoiled by his failure to put his head through Kamara’s face….but he tried. Kamara basically cheated his way through the entire game. His goal was down to abject refereeing. Like Passenal I was above the action when Squiilacci and Koscielny clashed. The game should have been stopped immediately.For some reason the idiot froze and allowed the action to continue. It was an act of negligence and he knew it.

    We had Fulham in the palm of our hands until that point, but the episode had a real dampening effect on the team. A tense second half.. though when RvP came on it only took a little bit of magic which was duly delivered. His dummy shot and then deft little pass to Samir was sheer class. The little genius still had it all to do…..but well…this is Samir Nasri. Superstar.

    Didn’t need my walking stick to get through the police cordon. By the time I got there there was no-one in sight. Tumbleweed. Stray dogs eating the remains of burgers and hot dogs in the gutter….and the fading echoes of moaning fans.

    We are top of the league say we are top of the league…clickclickclick

  47. bradys right foot

    The perceived wisdom of the pantheon of pundits aligned against Arsenal somehow goes without question. Were awful at the back while Man U are solid, weve conceded 18 league goals and they’ve conceded 16 and Kozzer and Squalachi are only in their fourth month of premiership football yet will clearly not improve as time goes by, nonsense. Their motives in railing against facts figures and logic is that an Arsenal championship threatens the status quo, it will be a great day when we win the league.

  48. Antony

    Thanks for your comment. I was away for the spuds game and was too annoyed and upset to watch the highlights.

    The point I was making was that all 3 situations were almost identical, ie what he had done just before shooting and where he ended up when he shot. Yesterday, he changed feet and scored, whilst the 2 previous times he shot with the left and missed. I was complimenting him on the innovation and on his working out where he went wrong the last 2 weeks and not critisizing him for the previous misses.

  49. 48 lowsy bloody comments. tipedy top of the league and alot dont bother to write how fukin good we bloody are. useless bastads.

  50. We would have lost if not for Nasri’s moments of magic. We were awful and wasteful otherwise. I am sure very soon he would like to play with better players than we have. And I am sure a number of others are also thinking of leaving to play with world class players. It won’t be long before Nasri, Rvp, Bendtner, Cesc, Song, Theo, Chamakh, Arshavin, Cesc, Clichy, Sagna, Kos, Squiallaci, Wilshere, Denilson, Rosicky, Djourou and Vermalean decide to leave to play with better players in other teams, because they deserve to play with the best out there.

    Joe,

    Stop plagiarizing your posts from Le-Moan(and fuck off).

  51. And it seems we have broken the mental barrier of seizing the opportunity to go top. It would be amazing if we never slip up for the rest of the season and continue amassing points on the top. That would surely make it a country mile.

  52. Hey Joe,

    We’re top of the league !!

  53. Joe would steal the shit from your stomach, Ateeb.

  54. That post by Joe has made my weekend.

  55. Couldn’t agree more Poliziano. He sounded shattered. Like the boy in the Youtube video saying Leave Britney Spears alone

    Here’s Joe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHmvkRoEowc&feature=youtube_gdata

  56. Pz

    We should accommodate all opinions, allowing a sense of perspective.

    Who am I kidding? Fuck it, if you can’t enjoy being top of the league at whatever point of the season has passed, what joy do you take from football at all? Chelsea’s implosion?

    Did anyone care in 2008 when we imploded? Did anyone say that the Champions were there through Arsenal’s failure to win it? Like fuck they did. Why swallow the bile of the pundits when there is happiness to be had?

    Joe, the only reason is that you really are a miserable sod.

    YW

  57. Still watching those goals again from Nasti, oh la la!! I love that kid!

    Oh and **** right OFF Joe! Bloody handbag!!

    Personally, I think all our CBs are great having said that I have a soft spot ( not to be confused with under belly) for Johan, even when he was completely out for the season last year, he was always positive about the team and his recovery, coming to most home matches.

    I feel he deserves his chance, not only because his been so patient, but because his performances have warranted it! I mean how many headers does he get through a game??

    IloveJohan

  58. Loool, YW telling it like it is, luvin’ ittt!!!!!!!!¡¡¡¡!¡

  59. This song is perfect for Nasri!!!!!!

  60. Calm down Joe.

    Have a piece of cheese.

  61. Any news on Abou? I read that he’s supposed to be about ready but haven’t read how far along in his rehab he is.

  62. I love the Arabic commentators.

  63. c’mon people give Joe a break, atleast he had the gall to make one of his comments after an arsenal victory, which is more than what can be said for the rest of his buddies..

  64. Joe, At the end of the day, if you can’t believe in the team that you support, then what’s the point of supporting the team in the first place?

  65. Limestonegunner

    Gains69, They are fun, aren’t they? It is even better when you can understand them. They uncork some amazing feats of soaring rhetoric and poetic praise–over the top, full of enthusiasm.

  66. Watching Joe pretend to be an Arsenal supporter is like watching someone climb a tree arse first.

  67. DFG, Joe has either got a strange idea of what a supporter is supposed to be, or he doesn’t really support the team. He may kid himself otherwise, but the proof is in the pudding.

  68. Thanks for the videos Maria

    Na na na na na na na na Samir Nasri, Nasri, Samir Nasri!

    As much as I loved Vieira and Wright before him, Samir’s the only player whose name I seriously considered getting on the back of my shirt. I just had a feeling about him and the Joey Barton incident endeared him to me even more! I can’t do it now, it will just seem like I’m jumping on the bandwagon!

  69. All coming up Pass.

    Love me Sundays at home with the laptop, enjoying The ARSENAL!

  70. Limestonegunner

    Maria, I love that Nasri goal against ManU and especially for the celebration where Fabregas jumps on and gets a piggy back ride–ecstatic!

  71. I know Gallas is a twat but he and Alex Song went to Sagna’s wedding as the sole Arsenal representatives.

  72. I think you should jump on the bandwagon, Passenal

  73. Jesus H Christ.joe’s 2nd name must be misery!how about if we hadnt choked against the totts and gordies we would be top of the league…wait,we are top of the league.some people just enjoy being miserable.as for the rest of his pals may we continue to win games so that they stay the fu ck away for good!

  74. Yes, that Samir Nasri is a real player.

    What I love about him is his drive & determination to improve.

    He`s improved his stamina , strength & speed then harnessed his technical ability into team play with a fantastic work rate.

    Plus he appears ice cool & clinical in moments of possible doubt & indecision.

    Allied to his obvious love of the club I believe we have an Arsenal legend in the making.

  75. 69,

    Are you sure because I remember Clichy saying that Sagna was his bf at the Arsenal. Also remember Sagna talking glowingly about the support Gael and his girldfriend gave him when he was new to Arsenal. Would be a surpise if he didn’t get an invite, especially seen more than 700 people attended the wedding!!

    P.S I can’t see anything on that link you put up, no video.
    Lime,

    My favourite was Porto, talk about close control,quick feet, balance etc….

  76. “I think you should jump on the bandwagon, Passenal”

    I might just do that Frank!

  77. Limestonegunner

    Muppet, funny little ditty! Tbh, though, I don’t belong among your list of luminaries. Too often I raise my doubts or concerns to be a true ACLFer stalwart. Should work in ZimPaul and many others ahead of me!

    But I am enjoying this season and squad more than any since 2007-08. I am really convinced we have our best chance since then to take this league and enjoy a special season in each of the four competitions.

    Joe, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but how about enjoying and celebrating our ascent to the top?—let’s savor this. We face some tough tests this month against our title rivals, so we’ll see where we stand in relation to them soon enough. That’s not burying one’s head in the sand, it is appreciating the journey and the achievements along the way. Ultimately, we want to be in this position at the end of the season. Everyone understands that. No need to be so unhappy about others experiencing some deserved joy. It makes people want to ask, “Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?”

  78. http://arsenalist.com/

    Great website for highlighs of Arsenal games and goals.

  79. Some people cant be happy when on top of the league? does the fact that man u have a game in hand guarantee that it is won? of course not, hence the points have not been assigned to them!

    strange world

  80. Limestonegunner

    Maria, the Porto goal is certainly my favorite. FIFA may be corrupt but making it one of the top 10 goals was their best move in memory and speaks for that goal’s quality. I just love the celebration–the boys were so happy and there was a wild bacchanalian feeling to it!

    It reminds me how much I hope Fabregas comes back and has a fantastic second half of the season. I enjoy his goal celebrations so much–the Villa goals last year; the Tottenham solo effort; his clincher vs. AC Milan–he was gasping, nearly sobbing with tears after that one–chills. But what was so nice about the Nasri ManU goal was how excited Cesc and the whole team was for him.

    I expect something big is in store from Nasri next weekend. I can’t wait.

  81. Limestonegunner

    I meant, the ManU goal celebration was the wild one I like so much.

  82. Lime,

    When I watch that, I personally thinking about Abou Diaby, I really, really miss him and so does the team!!!

  83. I always forget it was Eboue who put in the cross for the RVP wonder volley. What a superb ball in.

  84. Thanks for the reminder about the quality of Diaby Maria. I can’t wait to see him back in the team.

  85. I’m afraid Joe is in urgent need of a visit to a psychiatrist. It’s true, man utd have a game in hand, and they will go ahead of us if they win it. One might say, Let’s enjoy our time at the top whilst it lasts. Instead, Joe is like a man who says he can’t enjoy the summer because winter is only a few months away.

  86. Yogi,

    It was us who imploded in 2007/2008 and I certainly remember it clearly.
    We were good enough then and should have won the league.

    Similarly, we’ve been good enough in the past to not only win more league titles but a European Cup also and we failed to get over the line.

    So far this season, despite the fact we have at times played some mesmerising football – we have still shown just how naive our defense and poor our attitude has been in enough games to harbor genuine concerns.

    Top of the league my bollox – any one of 5/6 teams could be top of the league with the general level of inconsistency so its a false positive. Top of the league only matters at one time in the season – and thats at the end.

    You may say I’m miserable, thats your opinion but over the past few years on this blog – I’ve been proved right more often than not. And so long as we continue to concede in almost every game we play – I don’t think this team will win a major trophy.

  87. Good win for us yesterday. Nasri seems to have made the leap to a true top level player “world class” player. Can’t wait to see RVP and Chamakh and Nasri in the same line up. Hope the Kos is not out for long. If he is we are going to be really short at CB. Djourou making a great case for automatic inclusion in the team sheet.

    I wish there was more time to celebrate top of the league.. 2 huge games this week. Absolutely have to win against Partizan and a draw at OT and we will have some real momentum.

  88. The whole point is you enjoy your team when they do win, if not there is no point in supporting a team.

    So due to the fact thatwe havent won the PL in the past few seasons (07-08 was much more than a simple implosion) that means one remains in a constant state of misery due to the fact that we may not win?

    What a sad and sick state of mind to be in.

  89. No actually Joe, 5 or 6 teams cannot be top of the table – they simply don’t have anywhere near enough points. Miserable and soulless young man. Football is about the ups and downs – supporting Arsenal is more of the former than the latter. If you cannot grasp that concept, try another team although not one team in living memory has won every game in a season so you’ll be a bit screwed on that point.

    Oh and by the way, we’ve never won the European Cup. Inter City Fairs Cup; yes. European Cup Winners Cup; yes. European Cup; no. And that has nothing to do with the current squad, simply that the competition ceased to exist 19 years ago and none of the current squad’s predecessors got anywhere near winning it.

  90. Joe really is the giddy limit.

    Well said, Paul N.

    Bill, Vermaelen is due back for the Chelsea game day after Boxing Day, and Koscielny is ‘up to three weeks’, which is the standard concussion reccuperation time. Johan and Big Squills til then.

    Funny; our centreback was full-on chinned like Foreman, reeling with a traumatic brain injury, and the papers imply it was some embarrassing mix-up between two namby-pamby frenchmen.

  91. LA,

    On Talkspite, they nominated him for pansy of the week, but then decided to give it to Eboue for wearing white tights mid-week. Says it all.

  92. So you get a concussion, you’re out for 3 weeks and this qualifies you for being a pansy? I’d like to smash a few of those talkspite plundits heads together and see how they like it, but then again, no sense, no feeling. Isn’t that what they say?

  93. Hopefully, Joe, Arsenal will not disappoint y0u this season. However, in the world of sports like so many other things in life, success is not a given. Try to focus on the pleasureable things that the team provides such as Samir Nasri, who, alone was worth the price of admission. What a talent! Do you feel that? Do not punish yourself unnecessarily by not being satisfied with the team. There are few moments in life that are actually near perfection and you may live a long time before you experience a Samir Nasri again.

  94. Maria – You are on a roll today. After nearly half a day up my ceiling among saw dust and dry wall, coming down to and seeing those videos made my day.
    Passenal – You have every right to jump on the Samir Nasri bandwagon.
    Lastly, straight to the chest of that miserable git Joe – We are top of the league!

  95. “I’d like to smash a few of those talkspite plundits heads together and see how they like it, but then again, no sense, no feeling. Isn’t that what they say?”

    I think it would at least be worth the experiment.

  96. Delia---Block 112

    Managed to get to the game in spite of the weather and was rewarded by Samir’s truly magical goals , more than worth the ticket price. On the positive side Clichy had just about his best game of the season, our little Russian seemed to be running on the euphoria of his successful performance in Zurich ,JD was great in the air when he came on and should have started the game and there were some encouraging touches from RVP.
    However, there was chaos at the back when we conceded their goal, Song was not at the races , Theo made no impression when he came on and I simply cannot understand why Nasri is played out wide and not in the centre of mid-field when Cesc is absent. The England/ France match was proof that he needs to be in that playmaker role for full effect.
    It was the usual edge of the seat stuff but we are on top of the league and must not be too critical. So onwards and upwards the next 8 days and then hopefully we might have something to really shout about.
    As always COYRs

  97. Just to finish I had to include you know who….

  98. And the man….

  99. Well Limpar, watching the incident again last night, I’d say that it was a defensive mix-up and that it is unsurprising Foy did not stop play as Kos tried to tackle the Fulham player in possession. Hey ho…

  100. Writers who wrote of 360 degrees pirouette (Nasri scoring our second goal), 360 deg changes, etc., don’t know their basic maths.

  101. Credit for the win also goes to the sublime assists of Arshavin and RvP (who could have shot using his favoured left peg). However, Nasri had a lot to do to convert those chances. Sheer magic by Nasri.

  102. Of concern is that Nasri seemed to be struggling towards the end of the match with all permitted substitutes used. Any injury update so far?

  103. Nasri’s case is another classic testimony of Arsenal/Wenger’s excellent scouting system in bringing in players with the potential to complement what we need.

  104. I wasn’t suprised either, YW. Foy had already started awarding 50/50 decisions Fulham’s way, to allow them to make the most of their sporadic (putting it kindly) possession in the first half. Levelling the playing field as referees at the Arsenal Stadium are prone to do. I wasn’t surprised at all when he let Kamara stick the ball in the net having strolled passed a centreback whose brain was still juddering in its own cerebrospinal fluid.

    I was suprised though, when the paper I read labelled the incident ’embarrassing’ before calling for a Tony Adams type – who would surely have played on regardless like The Original Toughman.

  105. …Or rather, shaken it off like Tom & Jerry and made the tackle. Kos was the victim of his own blind courage and should have in fact hit the deck when he first suffered the trauma – turns out he wasn’t exactly thinking straight though.

  106. The papers/pundits are definitely a strange lot and its really scrapping the bottom of the barrel when they have now gone as far as take advantage of an obvious head injury to look to call arsenal defense weak and frail!

    Nice to be top of the table… The week should turn out fine with victories against partizan and man u.

    I expected us to be top in December… although we are just barely there rasher than the at least 3 points clear i expected, we are fully on track to remain on top! its onwards and upwards from here!

  107. Fukin el i thought i was a miserable git but joe you take being miserable to a new level. no point asking if your looking forward to christmas then is there.

  108. Kos should have gone down the hard nut, then we would have had a clean sheet. I bet Wenger had a go at him about that and he will not be staying up next time for sure.

  109. I hope JET goes out on loan to Aston Villa or Everton. They are both struggling to score (though not against Chelsea), and they both play a decent possession game. I think he’d soon be a starter for either side.

  110. Aaron Ramsey’s match today has been postponed due to bad weather.

  111. You know fellow supporters we are going to have to win at least two cups this season before we get any respect from the british tabloid media talkshite continues to live up to it’s name, the scum newspaper and the daily mirror continue to show they are anti Arsenal.. Can someone reccommend a well balanced sprts suppliment and a good sports radio station. Other than winning trophies to shut these people up I would like to hurt them in different ways… any ideas..

    The Troof Speaks again

  112. Troof – I say a pair of plyers and a blow torch, get medievil on their asses…

    Seriously though, i know of no british media sources that love the Arse. Other than a few blogs like this one dotted about…

  113. SAAAAMIR NASRIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!

  114. Mark Hughes is painting himself as some kind of pioneering tactical genius – laying the tracks for other teams to give us trouble. The trick, he says, is to get in their faces and try and catch out their CBs with balls over the top. Amazing insight. I don’t think any other sides have tried that against us this season.

    Truth is we should have been 3-up by the time they got their lucky goal. After that we had the weight of our previous home struggles on our shoulders, while having to adjust at the back.

    I agree that none of the midfielders played particularly well. And I’m a fan of Rosicky, but is there a case for RvP taking that number 10 role? Or would that be just too gung-ho?

    As for Song bombing forward – I accept that he doesn’t quite have the awareness of AA and Cesc, but he can be pretty unpredictable, does have good technique and an eye for goal. Also important is his physique – we don’t really have anyone with his build in our attack, and it certainly causes problems for sides when he’s on form.

    Kenny Sansom’s talks so much nonsense, but he did mention something that I’ve often wondered – isn’t it interesting how defenders often favour attacking football when they become managers, while the opposite is often true of former attacking players.

  115. Arsene saying on Arsenal.com that the defence is good enough to win the league.
    Now there is not much that i do not agree with the great man but im afraid i do on that point.
    Perhaps with a fit again Verm together with a match fit Djourou who i thought had an outstanding second half we might just do it, but it would take both United and Chelsea to totally implode for that to happen.
    Ive never seen the defence so likely to concede than the current one.
    I hope im wrong, please let me be surprised.

  116. i have every faith in this side. i also believe the defense is good enough, though i wouldnt blame you for believing othewise seeing as how the media is literally turning arsenal fans on their own.
    YES WE CAN BOYS!!

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