Will The Defence Be A Solid Foundation?

A strong sense of deja vu this morning with the Laurent Koscielny joining Thomas Vermaelen on the sidelines until 2011. It gives Johan Djourou a deserved chance to make the centre back spot his own, having in my view been unfairly dropped when Koscielny returned from his recent suspension. It is of course, reminiscent of the tail end of last season and Arsene may yet have to dip into the transfer market in January if this state of affairs continues. It certainly is testing the limits of the squad system.

That outcome was not on Wenger’s mind post-Fulham. Whilst defending himself against criticism of the disjointed midfield performance – focussing on Alex Song’s forays into attack – he noted that he believed the defence was strong enough to contribute to winning the title,

I believe we have become stronger as a unit defensively because we feel that recently we have been punished a lot. Against Tottenham for example, you cannot say we conceded goals because they created the chances, it was goals we gave away. But, of course, we want to improve our defensive record. That is needed.

Last season, overall, our defensive record was not good enough to win the title. But last season Chelsea didn’t drop points. They do this year, so it will be down to consistency. Of course, defensive solidity is linked to consistency and that is what we want to achieve.

Two fewer goals have been conceded at this stage of the season compared with the corresponding point in last season, with one more than the same fixtures (swapping promoted and relegated teams) in 2009/10.

What this masks is the vast improvement away from home. At The Emirates, Arsenal have conceded three more goals than at this stage previously, meaning that on their travels, Arsenal are conceding less (five if you cannot be bothered with the maths). If home form can become more consistent, the away form has already provided the basis of a title challenge.

Injuries are going to push any improvement to the limit. With just two first team centre backs fit, Wenger cannot afford any more injuries. At full back, he has cover in Eboue and Gibbs, for first team action. Fortunately, this week’s encounter with Partizan is the last midweek fixture before the middle of next month with only Christmas and New Year having an intensity in the regularity of matches. Otherwise it’s one per week.

Consistency is one failing from last season to be addressed. Another is the encounters with fellow members of the top five, a point Bacary Sagna is acutely aware of,

If we want to be successful at the end of the season and if we want to be competitive we have to win these big games. We [lost] the first one at Chelsea and we don’t [want] to drop any more points because we dropped so many at home.

We just want to play our game and to win away. [The title race] will not be over at the end of December [but] it will show the way to go and will give even more power to the team. We are doing quite well at the moment and we have to keep looking forward because some big games are coming and we want to win them.

This season, perhaps more than before, these clashes are crucial. The inconsistency shown by all of the title contenders in other matches means that there is no guarantee of making up points in these fixtures. Already, three more points have been taken in the away games but this was countered by the home defeat to Spurs.

Of these teams, only Chelsea hold an ‘Indian Sign’, a total role reversal from the preceding decade and a half. Manchester United though, in the Premier League, tend to be thrown into this mix with some jaundiced views of results in the past four seasons, principally because of the Champions League defeat.

In 2006-07, six points were taken from them; 2007-08, one; 2008-09, four; 2009-10, zero. The record is not indicative of anything other than how easily these matches can sway with one team holding a temporary advantage. Perhaps we need to be more positive about these matches, going into them with belief rather than a seeming expectation of defeat.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 7, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 123 Comments.

  1. honestly dont get what wenger is trying to convey with that explanation…

  2. First chance to comment on Saturday’s game; good win despite a bit of a wobble letting Fulham back in. Nasri was superb.

  3. we’re in a very risky situation with Djourou.. We’ve seen how long it takes for players who have been out for a long time to get ready to play consistantly.. Which is why Arsene has been “dropping” Djourou who in the past month has found his groove..

    worst comes to worse Song may have to get in centre back for one or 2 games in december, then hopefully we’ll be okay with the recoveries for january.. Despite everybody calling for another defender to be bought we have enough cover and Arsene is correct in not looking for any additions this jan..

  4. Is it me or do we always lose players before the big games.

  5. You just know by the time we play Chelski Song will be cb.

  6. duke

    I’m not so sure – probably be Almunia…

    YW

  7. I don’t mind Song playing at CB if need be. He has always looked fine there when called upon. The main problem with that is filling his place in midfield. I suppose Denilson could play, but I think we need better against better teams.

  8. On 28 December 1986, Arsenal were top of the First Division and England beat Australia by an innings in Australia. Here’s to the next time!

  9. @ yw,

    Big Al, thats stretching it!

  10. Nice fact, merlot! Did anyone hear the Barmy Army singing a variation on the Arshavin song last night? Cb? Duke? Get in there, by the way.
    SWANN! SWANN WILL TEAR YOU APART! AGAIN!

    Bac Sag and Gael Force are looking incredibly strong at the moment. They are winning us so much possession it’s amazing. They will play a very important part at Old Trafford. And so will RVP.

  11. Once RvP is fully fit it will be interesting where Arsene deploys him.

  12. Am not confident that Webb is reffing our game agaisnt the mancs.I have a feeling he may end up giving them a penalty for a non-foul and we may end up finishing the game one man down
    Speaking of injuries will we ever meet the big for with our best first eleven in this century??

  13. what do you base this feeling on firstlady?

  14. F uck!!and they reschedule our game against the totts in feb..I hate early kickoffs!!

  15. I base it on the past performances of the no 1 manc fan.(Webb)

  16. at what time is the press conference? its live on atvo

  17. firstlady,

    i think the tottenham game clashes with the carling cup final so if we get there it would be moved. it could end up being a huge game if it’s put right at the end of the season. wouldn’t it be nice to win the title at the lane again?

  18. @first lady,dont think the ref has been chosen yet though if its that twat called webb,we can as well not turn up at ot and give them 3pnts..that said,i think we will approach the game on monday defensively and hit them on the counter.we wont see an all out attack like we’ve got used to..i would play song,denilson with wilshere high up the pitch supporting chamakh who will be flanked by samir and andrey(whom i bet either to score our 1st goal).our bench of rvp,tw14,tr7,nb52 should be good enough 4 3pnts..

  19. On our clashes with the other “big” teams, my reckoning is that we go into these matches with a gung ho attitude and commit ourselves too much, while they sit back and hit us on the counter. Its happened a lot of times over the past few years. As YW pointed out the CL semis home leg against ManU is a great example. I just think that the team wants prove that they have “arrived” by beating the bigger teams into submission (nothing wrong with that), but they don’t need to actually. If we play the way we played at Anfield this season, take our chances and maintain discipline we can take on anyone, anywhere and with any ref.

  20. When playing not only the top four, but also all the others in the Premiership, I am afraid we need our centre backs in trim shape. It is a complicated and demanding position and survival in this league requires a dedicated practioner. The concussion our man has undoubtedly experienced, may result in a long spell out of the team. It is a terrible injury with lingering consequences. Let us hope that his injury is not serious and more precautionary.

  21. Sorry, that his injury is not serious and his time out of the team is more precautionary.

  22. Koscielny needs time to adapt..it seems , to me, that he is under a lot of pressure and a bit too nervous..that is why he had a collision with squillaci..the eel knows better

  23. Some reports saying that Kos will be fit for tomorrow!. Can’t believe that, concussion is normally a mandatory 10 days at least.

  24. Limestonegunner

    For that clash, I suspect Squillaci, antarchile. Kos was in the best position and with back to goal to clear. I don’t know what Squillaci was doing or if Kos could have shouted that it was his, but Squillaci wasn’t in a good position for that header.

  25. Apparently Koscielny will play tomorrow and Djourou is out with a thigh injury., but should be ok for Old Trafford.

  26. Djourou has been imperious this season. Just superb. If he was playing for anyone else you’d hear nothing but gushing praise from all sides.
    However he has not been unfairly dropped he has been carefully managed due to a season long injury. We surely won’t buy another CB with 4 utterly top class ones here and a couple of very promising youngsters (not to mention Mr Utility A Song) already at the club.
    I sincerely hope we don’t buy anyone at all.

  27. andy,

    official confirmation from the club.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/koscielny-fit-but-djourou-won-t-be-risked

    Who would have thought that? Kos master is really a man of steel..

  28. steww at 1:57pm,

    Agree 110% with your last statement..

  29. What?and where did the reports he was out till January come from.I think it’s good news if he is available, lately i have been thinking a combination of Djourou and Kossy would be best. It wasnt his fault that Skill clashed with him anta.

    Kenyan I doubt we can play counter to the mancs, we didnt play it against Chelsea who were on a song when we played them.

  30. Hah, amazing stuff. Maybe the diognosis of concussion was on the cautious side. It is normally a 10 lay off if concussion is suffered by somebody.

    Good news.

  31. nice one indian..

  32. KOS – the man!!
    3-0 to The Arsenal tomorrow, & top of the group hopefully.

  33. November is over indeed 😀

  34. lets hope cesc is fit for monday

  35. Ssome idiots were saying Koscielny was a pansy after than clash. Seems they were wrong. Muppets all of them.

    ARSENAL!!! COYR

  36. Karim, I have no doubts that Cesc will play at OT.

  37. In picture 13 I think Wenger is talking about Eboue.

  38. If he is not fully fit I would rather he didn’t. No point in him playing and then missnig another few months. If he is not fit he should not play. We have a number of players who can be effective in his position; Nasri/Rosicky, even RvP if he were deployed slightly further forward.

    Nasri (especially on current form) would get my vote.

  39. Andy I agree but I can’t see Cesc missing that game.

  40. good day gooners.. hard to believe the news about koscielny!! COYG!!!

  41. Dups – You are right, he will be desperate to play. But it is not up to him.

  42. Tomorrow I think we will see
    ———–Fabianski————-
    Sagna Squill Kobra Clichy
    Song Deni
    Rosicky
    Nasri RvP Arsha

  43. Not hard NJGooner, I predicted it yesterday that Kos will be back.

  44. Nasri’s been doing extremely well coming in from the right. I wouldn’t change that, instead why not play RVP in a 4-4-1-1, just like the Wigan game?

  45. I easily think Nasri could slot into the Cesc role, but at the same time, if I was Wenger I’m not sure I would take him out of the position he’s been playing in. Although his second goal was scored while playing in a deeper role than previously in the match.. Ahhh too be AW with his selection headaches.. I’m sure his depth is the envy of nearly every manager in the league!

  46. I don’t believe the club plays players when they’re not fit. If Cesc plays it’d be because he’s fit.

    I hope we’ll have him -and RVP with a bit of wind in his sails.

  47. I have a feeling of RvP starting with Nasri\AA\Chamakh at OT with Cesc coming on from the bench for either Lil Jack or Deni..

    As for Partizan, the same line-up as against Fulham with Deni in for Lil Jack..

  48. Limestonegunner

    I don’t think Cesc should play. Even if he is physically fit, he won’t be match fit after missing two-three weeks. We need to have the in form players away at Old Trafford. He can play the week after and be ready then for Chelsea at home. He keeps being rushed back and aggravating his condition.

    As far as Koscielny, the Sunday Supplement buffoons were after him for not getting back into the play and saying utter rubbish-that Jamie Carragher would never behave that way! Unbelievable. I am sure we won’t be hearing any plaudits for how tough he is. But he has shown himself to be a very rugged and determined player with a fierce fighting spirit since the beginning of the season.

  49. Goonerandy, there has been much written about concussion as a sports injury over the last years in North America. This is an injury that has ended a lot of promising careers, particularly in Hockey and American Football. The practice of rushing players back into the lineup after a knock to the head has stopped. A second and third knock to the head has the apparent effect of being cumulative and, hence, very threatening to the players.

  50. Wenger has admitted before that he has taken risks with players fitness (playing when not completelty recovered). With our squad depth he does not need to take any risks.

    If we can’t win tomorrow without Cesc we really don’t deserve to progress.

  51. Sorry to hear Djourou is out with a muscle injury. He has been excellent. Often our best central defender.

    Big week. Absolute must win tomorrow. Will be interesting to see how we line up. Expect our best 11 on the pitch. We still would have time to recover from a bad result at Old Trafford but anything less then a win tomorrow could be disaster.

    Hope those who think we will stay more organized and maintain our discipline better then we have against ManU is the recent past are correct. Win or draw would be a real boost to our title challenge.

  52. Personally, Nasri is not a Cesc alternative for me. He’s a dribbler, not a passer. Rosicky or Wilshere should play that role in the absence of Cesc IMO

  53. Twoowls – I thought as much. Maybe Kos didn’t have concussion after all. I can’t believe they would let him play if he had suffered it.

  54. Ole,
    Haven’t seen too many footy concussions so wasnt sure what the standard practice was. Plus I woke up this morning to find reports about Kos out till January.. Your injury crystal ball is well polished!

  55. * I meant for the OT game

  56. Ole – I think Nasri is a perfect replacement in that resepct. He can dictate play, has vision, can carry the ball, has good passing abilities. Importantly he is also a goal threat whereas Rosicky isn’t (Wilshere maybe, not we do not know for sure).

  57. Two Owls

    Good point. Perhaps the FA can take some lessons from the NFL as they try to outlaw dangerous helmet to helmet hits. Literally an exact duplicate of the conversation being had in England about tough tackles.. “It’s a man’s game!” “We can prevent season and career ending injuries!”

  58. oh except the NFL are actually doing their jobs and taking some action. Fines for avoidable helmet to helmet hits by REVIEWING VIDEO EVIDENCE. “Oh well the ref missed it so its all roses and rainbows and ponys!”

  59. & I see that NYC & Indian agee with me. Also, I am a big Rosicky fan & would love to see him play the Cesc role.

  60. Ole — re nasri in cesc role

    I’m not sure where I stand on this one. Last season I thought Nasri would disappear in games he was playing in cesc role. Not picking the ball up around midfield and really dictating play like Cesc is so good at. This season we haven’t seen him in that role a ton.

    Either way I wouldnt move him from his position wide right. He’s unplayable there right now. Those cross field diagonal runs.. pure genius!

  61. Nasri isn’t suited for Cesc’s role.. He plays better either on the wings or when playing as one of the 2 midfielders from where he can dribble that is Diaby’s role..

  62. RvP fits the Cesc role perfectly. His vision is second to none.. I would love to watch this line –
    —S0ng——Cesc—–
    -Nasri—RvP—-AA–
    ——–Chamakh——

    I know its too attacking but Cesc have exp playing in that role and he could be our ‘Alonso’.

  63. I also think RvP could play there, but it would be a different role to the way Cesc plays. Cesc is a midfielder and often drops deep almost in front of the back 4 to discate play. RvP would almost play off the main striker.

    As it goes Rosicky will play there (more than likely) and will do a good job as he is a top class footballer. Not quite the goal threat as Cesc/Nasri/RvP though.

  64. Hard to imagine Cesc being ready to play tomorrow. I would have thought Chelsea would be the target date for return. ManU at the earliest. Agree with Limestone. We need him for the rest of the season, and so far it looks like a 3/4 fit Cesc is not better for the team then a fully fit TR7 or Nasri in that role. That said, if the medical staff and the boss believe that he really has recovered and is fit then he should play.

  65. andy, the lack of goals is what holding TR7. I’m sure when he gets the first goal, his gameplay will get lot better. For me, He tries too much in the last few games..

  66. Goonerandy,

    Take leaving Djourou out of tomorrow’s lineup….due to being cautious. Would playing him be a gamble? Or is leaving him out being cautious?

  67. NJGooner, the National Hockey League is even more assiduous in there policing of hitting that involves a players head. There are fines and the new rules incorporated this year involve not only fines but a lengthy period of extraction from the game. But, as you say NJ, Football is a man’s game!

  68. So I’ve been having a good think about the atmosphere inside the Emirates stadium these past few days, and specifically, wondering about what the Club could do from their position to improve things.

    Among a number of ideas that i decided were impractical or likely ineffective, I thought about our team itself. We start from the bottom up, developing players to play a certain way from a very young age, nurturing them into complete footballers with brains, skill, and a desire to succeed for Arsenal Football Club.

    So my thought was.. why not get the Junior Gunners more involved? Post the official words to songs somewhere on the club website.. Encourage the JGs to sing and focus on the importance of supporting your club through thick and thin. Stress that support from the stands and the atmosphere at the ground really can have an effect on the outcome. Maybe a nice PA announcement before the game and at half time encouraging supporters to sing the praises of their team.

    Thoughts?

  69. Nasri is perfect for Cesc’s role, and in fact he himself states that he prefer’s to play in the middle.

    I don’t agree with the statement made earlier that he is not a passer, his passing is excellent, probably second only to Cesc in the squad!

    Nasri also has a greater ability to go past people than Cesc.

    Controversial to some it may be, but based on this season’s form to date, Nasri is the better performer, so no major problem if Cesc is not fit.

    Of course, it would be nice to have both, fully fit and firing for the Man U game!

    Sacre bleu – Kos is made of steel!

  70. Matt,

    I hear ya, but where has Nasri been turning in these spectacular performances? Not in the Cesc role, and I’m not sure I could move him from that spot given his blistering form. If it aint broken…

  71. He has been moved inside on a few occasions, but I agree with you – If both fit, absolutely play them both!

    Although long term, if Cesc does one day leave us, It is nice to have a player of that calibre waiting in the wings….

  72. I must say I’m pleased as punch with the look of our team going into these two huge games. Cheers for the photos, dups. Best keeper in the squad in good form, some of the best wing-backs in world football in cracking form, three very solid centrebacks to choose from, and three magicians in Nasri, Arshavin and RVP to whip up a storm. Song, Wilshere, Denilson, Rosicky and Chamakh making it all tick; winning and keeping the ball. We are looking so much stronger now than last time we met United. Unlike last time we’ve got strikers now – lots of them! I really fancy us at Old Trafford.

  73. Ole – It is not a gamble leaving out Djourou. He is not integral to our play, so is easier replaced. Kos or even Song would be fine for tomorrow.

  74. I think the manager will go to OT with RVP up front, & Chamakhattack coming from the bench in the 2nd half.

  75. Well Goonerandy, my opinion is based on how effective each of them is when played there. Nasri, when played there tends to pass square, while Rosicky tries risky passes.

    The team has functioned better when Rosicky played there. Games against Villa, Blackpool, First half at Fulham all come to mind immediately.

    On the other hand I remember games like Liverpool away this season where we struggled to create with Nasri in that role.

  76. Come on, we all know that Nasri can play in the middle. I remember him being the one pulling all the strings in pre season.

  77. Will not debate who is better but Nasri is more of a threat cutting in from the wings while Rosicky isnt scoring at present. Due to that Rosicky is better placed to create than score.

  78. Hey, NJ. Talking of vocal support I actually think ‘The Nasri Song’ (believe it or not) has had a big impact on his performances. It’s all about confidence. That song started up around the 4-1 win at Tottenham and pretty much ever since then he’s been flying. At the Wigan game there were thousands of us singing it outside the ground before we even got in the turnstiles, and throughout the game – though he wasn’t even playing. When he came on (I’m pretty sure he didn’t need to come on in that game – rather we’d been singing his name all night and AW’s gone, ‘Well? Care to take a bow?’) he was brilliant; dancing around anything that moved – including his own players, and generally living up to the massive reception he’d got.

  79. Paul N, Is there any doubt he can play there? He’s been played there. Isn’t the discussion who’d be preferred where?

  80. I much prefer Nasri starting from the wide-right berth. Not because he can’t play central but because from wide-right he can pop up wherever he wants across the front line, or go beyond the striker…. and needn’t be worried about dropping deep to start play off a la Cesc or Rosicky. His natural instinct is to attack the penalty box, that’s where the magic dancing feet happen…. so you’ve got to start him on the frontline. Look at his goals this season… and the one against Porto. All from that wide-right birth. Meanwhile Rosicky was born to play in the middle.

  81. Limpar,

    Thank you for singing for Nasri! God does he deserve it! And what a great song too.. I cant stop singing it to myself.

    But I think your right about its affect on him.. I think we may underestimate how much it means to players to have their names ring out around the ground. I also think we underestimate how much we can give to the players by singing, especially when they are struggling. Instead of sticking our head’s in the sand and saying well I can’t do anything about this situation — we should realize how much our team gets out of our participation, clear our throats and…….

  82. Ole, your initial comment was that you felt that Nasri “was not” a good replacement for Cesc. That gives the impression that he wouldnt be good in that role.

    I believe he can play there and do a wonderful job but we must use all of our players to their strengths.

    I believe that is the strength of this team, the ability of the pieces to interchange and still be effective.

  83. Was I the only one that watched Nasri terrorize England, playing through the middle a couple of weeks ago?

  84. NJ,

    Eboue says its the best thing about being a footballer, having the fans call your name!!

  85. Paul N,

    I think he’s more a dribbler than a passer. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t pass or doesn’t have vision. When he gets the ball his first instinct is to carry it forward, and not necessarily to pass it forward.

    That’s why sometimes, he gets the ball, seeing no opportunity to make a run or go past people, he passes it safe.

    I think Rosicky and Cesc think of the pass they’ll make before they get the ball.

  86. By the way, I say all I say as a big Nasri admire. I think more than any player we have, it’s impossible to get the ball of him. His touch is extraordinary

  87. and my initial comment is that I don’t see him as a Cesc alternative but as his own player who brings something to the team others dont

  88. At the moment, it doesn’t matter where Nasri plays!

    I’d like to see more people screaming and shouting when Diaby goes on a dribble that humiliates half the opposing team, when one of the brilliant CB’s make an insane interception, and get less funny looks. One of those chaps from Olympiakos, with a giant kettle drum, would help.

    Nasri assist I think:

  89. Ole – “I think more than any player we have, it’s impossible to get the ball of him.”

    Couldnt agree more. Was saying this during the Fulham game, he just flat out does not lose the ball. NASRI….SAMIR NASRI!

  90. Maria,

    I can only dream of the feeling! Imagine Nasri waiting for the restart after his second goal, hearing his name sung with such admiration. Gives me goose bumps.

  91. Funnily enough, Nasri has a far better song than Cesc, even though his arguably our best player and captain!

  92. Either way – Nasri is probably the best player in the division right now.

    Keep your Van Der Vaart’s and Bale’s…..

  93. Hey guys note that Kenyan gunner and kenyan gooner are different animals!

  94. Matt, funny how the EA sport index doesn’t rate Nasri that highly. Chamakh is second to Berbatov. Arshavin and Song are our next highest player.

  95. I spent a whole load of time arguing that Stat’s don’t show the whole picture in Football, KG – so don’t get me started! 😉

  96. I thought Nasri was playing the Cesc role when he scored his second goal against Fulham. Did he not move there after TR7 was subbed and Theo came on.

  97. dups 100% right. I mentioned that earlier in the convo.. GOD thanks for reading! haha

  98. From Frimgpong on twitter:

    “Went For my 1st Run in 3 and a half months Knee Felt weird But I hope im Back In April:)”

  99. Who put that extra ‘g’ in there?

  100. I seriously would prefer leaving Nasri on the wings, because he has really been productive from there. Cesc has this natural ability to control games. He doesn’t need to be a great dribbler or the fastes guy on the field to do that, it just comes naturally.

  101. Dup,

    He picked the ball up very deep passed it on to Clichy and made his run then. His pace recrntly has improved no end!

  102. dups he moved into wilsheres position, when he scored his second goal..

  103. Nasri is rated quite highly by the EA Sports Index. He’s 22nd. It’s not particularly surprising that some of our other players are rated above him. After all, I presume the Index takes into account performances over the whole season rather than just the match on Saturday. I also assume that goals are not given extra points for outstanding artistic merit. That would make the Index even more subjective than it already is. Chamakh has 10 goals and 1 assist in the league. Nasri has 8 goals and 1 assist. Chamakh therefore has a clear advantage by this crudest of measures. Arshavin has only 3 goals in the league, but he has 8 assists. The value of an assist relative to a goal could be debated, but it seems (again by a very crude measure) that placing Arshavin above Nasri is not completely outlandish. Congratulations to Alex Song on being the second non-attacking player in the Index (Vidic being the first). No doubt his three goals and one assist helped him succeed by a measure that is blatently biased towards attacking players (Vidic also has three goals this season).

  104. Arsha 8 assists WOW

  105. Limestonegunner

    Nice idea –youth supporter academy and training! My son knew all the first team 11’s names (his favorite is Nasri, though is also very fond of Fabregas, RvP and Arshavin) before his second birthday. But you have to have the Gunnersaurus leading the songs. He loves Gunnersaurus; who doesn’t?

    But it might sound a bit like youth indoctrination camp. We don’t want to be the Colney Khmer Rouge.

  106. In relation to the discussion about Nasri playing anywhere, I was at the Chelsea game in the spring where we were trounced 4-1. Nasri played in the middle, and was particularly woeful, running a couple of metres behind Anelka, trying to catch him.

    I think he’s better in the Cesc position or on the flanks.

    Having said that, he does seem to have a lot more pace this season, and power. But as a defensive mid – no thanks.

  107. Limestonegunner

    Clearly some sort of cosmic luck for Spuds, the GK fluffs a clearance of a back pass for a Twente own goal. Disgusting.

  108. Nasri is probably more of a dribbler than Cesc, but I don’t think that makes him any less suited to the position that Cesc plays.. And if I’m not mistaken, when he scored that wonder goal against Porto he was playing centrally. He’s a different player and brings different qualities to that position, but I don’t think they’re in any way inferior to what Cesc does!

  109. Sorry dupsffokcuf 🙂

  110. wellington silva will fit in nicely, he’s celebrating valencia’s goal againt manure i love it

  111. I would line up like this tomorrow:

    ———————Van Persie
    Arshavin———Wilshere————Rosicky
    ————-Deni—————Song
    Gibbs———-Kos——–Squi——–Eboue
    ———————Fabianski

  112. Nice goal from Hernandez. ‘Straight at the ‘keeper’, and through his legs.

    Leyton Orient 0-1 Droylsden (non-league). A little romance in the Cup?

  113. strong lineup g69 and with a lot of creativity, i don’t know why but i feel partizan could be in for a hammering

  114. Colney, I like the way Arshavin and Van Persie communicate with one another. Jack to me is a type of player one wants to have in and around the penalty area combining with other skillful players. I wouldn’t mind watching Denilson and Jack take turns playing in the hole either. This line up is full of passing and great movement. Which is what we need against non-league opposition.

  115. Great win by the reserves away at West Brom – the famous score line of one nil to the Arsenal scored by the captain Ignasi Miquel – a header no less!

  116. Reserves beat WBA 0-1

  117. There must be an explanation for leaving our most in-form player out for the most important game, GB69??

  118. Nasri is just coming back from a slight knee injury. He can come in if we’re comfortable just to get some minutes.

  119. Or maybe you’re talking about Chamakh?

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