A Good Signpost But Not A Title Decider

Carlo Ancelotti may have been singing “I’m a Lumberjack” having created a log-jam at the top of the Premier League but Roman Abramovich joining in with the chorus is merely him sharpening his axe in the background. Chelsea’s failure to win at White Hart Lane has presented an opportunity for Arsenal to take a small step away from the pack. The small matter of having to win at Old Trafford for the first time since September 2006. Tonight’s result may not be important in isolation but over the course of the season, the points contribute to the total.

December 13th was a pivotal date in Wenger’s first double season, the home defeat to Blackburn the last time a loss was suffered in the League until the title had been won. Victory this evening could be a similar spur; it would be a strong signal to those who doubt Arsenal’s ability to stay in the title race. Yet a draw is a good point as well, a step up from last season. With the inconsistency of the top four evident – some might say it is improving standards elsewhere, I believe Chelsea and United are noticeably weaker this season – a strong stride away from the pack for six to eight games might be enough to create an irretrievable gap, especially with Chelsea being played in the spell before the end of January.

That is, however, to get ahead of ourselves.

As ever, United’s home record is formidable, seven wins and a draw out of eight. Arsenal go there though having the joint best record away from home in the Premier League. Both of these are the reasons why the two are vying for top spot; their respective away and home records are not the stuff of champions at present.

It wouldn’t however be Arsenal if there was not some injury rumpus before a big game. Cesc will be left to the last minute before a decision is made over his fitness although in these cases, I always think Arsene’s decision is already made and the starting XI picked. A pity if the Spaniard does not play as it would be a chance to ram the ludicrous comparison recently made between Anderson and Fabregas, the United player is apparently better based on a half-decent season. But what of Cesc since the age of sixteen, you say. Insignificant apparently. That and no domestic honours for Fabregas. Curious to ignore international honours but presumably it did not fit the scope of the argument. Or the fragile conclusion it came to. Still, we will leave it Samir Nasri to show Anderson what an in-form midfielder really is.

The fly in the ointment for Wenger is an apparent leg injury to Lukasz Fabianski which means Szczesny is being lined up for a Premier League start. Could it be that the younger of the two Poles will take this chance and usurp the elder with a sterling performance? Manuel Almunia presumably is nowhere near fitness otherwise he would be surely considered ahead of Szczesny, based on Wenger’s comments that his non-representing agent should be ignored when talking of a January move away from Arsenal.

Crucial to success is for Arsenal not to be inhibited in their play this evening. The victory in 2006 came as a result of a dominating performance, the midfield took control from the kick-off and three thoroughly deserved points were garnered with a late winner. A performance which is similarly assertive is required, much the same as that as produced at Villa Park, albeit with more defensive concern. Wenger has for the first time this season, a full strength forward line to choose from. van Persie looked sharp in his link-up play against Partizan and would be my choice to play in the ‘hole’ in a 4-4-1-1 this evening, with Marouane Chamakh the sole striker.

It would mean no place in the starting line-up for Andrey Arshavin, a state of affairs which would be of no surprise but perhaps unlikely. The quartet in midfield – presuming Cesc is not fit to start – would be Song, Denilson, Nasri and Wilshere in that event. I expect United to drop Rooney deeper tonight in a similar formation to Arsenal, looking to swamp the visitors in possession with runners supporting Berbatov. The Arsenal defence needs be wary of pushing forward too frequently, leaving the central pairing exposed as has happened in the past.

Tonight’s line-up I suspect will be:

Fabianski; Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy; Nasri, Song, Denilson, Wilshere; van Persie; Chamakh

Belief is key to victory this evening. The shackles of playing at The Emirates will not keep the midfield in chains nor will it hold them back as can be the case. United should not be underestimated, Ferguson warned of Arsenal’s maturity and aggression putting them on the verge of being considered in the same breath as their predecessors. A good chance to prove him right presents itself. Believe and it will be taken.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 13, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 449 Comments.

  1. First.
    I’m so excited about this game.

  2. First?
    I’m so excited about this game.

  3. I feel that we should we patient and disciplined in our play today. Whatever happens we shouldn’t let them break and counter. Then towards the end of the game we can blitz them with Theo!

    Personally I think we should focus on not losing today. This will let us keep our lead at the top and hopefully Utd will lose points at Stamford Bridge next week.

  4. We play with desire, this game is ours


  6. I hope Fabregas plays only if he is absolutely ready. This is no time tobe taking chances with his fitness.

    We need to keep things solid today and build a platform for our attacking players to come into the game. United had success in the last couple of years by scoring on the counter-attack, I’m sure Fergie will try and draw us on and then spring with our full-backs well up the pitch. A 0-0 draw would do, losing there again, especially with Chelsea coming up in a couple of weeks time, would dent the confidence severely.

  7. We can’t let that Pat Evra get away with slagging us off. we have to win this to shut that c&nt up. Also this is the biggest fixture of the season no doubt about it, i fukin hate these wanc c&nts with a passion. lets kill em.

  8. I would love to see Johan trot out tonight, however unlikely.

    Also I would prefer to see TR7 over jack.

    Come on. This is going to be some game. We can and will stuff them.

  9. We can do this. This is the game; the one where we either give the critics the right to say โ€œI told you soโ€ or we show them the size of our cojones.

    There are only men here.

    Kick arse

    [Fixed: courtesy of Limpar the pedantic assister]

  10. Last game i went to at Highbury was the bloody horror 4-2 show and i had the misfortune of being bloody harrased by coaches of wancs after the game as i was with the wife(1 and only time i took her) there wasnt alot i could do but just walk down the road being given greif. mind you it was funny seing a bunch of kids stoning it round the corner as it got out of traffick.

  11. 1 – 1 tonight I reckon. We will be the better side, but conceed a stupid early goal only to equalise in the last 20mins after pinning Manure in their own half.

  12. man u are due a stuffing from us! its been a while!
    4 – 0 to the arsenal!

  13. 2 – 0, they’ll get a schooling from Nas. I hope Theo does some damage to Evra at some point.

  14. Devil's Advocate

    Tonightโ€™s result may not be important in isolation but over the course of the season, the points contribute to the total.

    It’s not important in isolation? Why not?

  15. Agree with dukeG… and Gadget (there’s a Dutch word for being pedantic that roughly translates as ‘ant-fucking’, ‘fucking ants’, or ‘ant-fucker’… we don’t have it but it’s a good word).

    Don’t like that saying in cricket that a batsman is ‘due’ a big score, but we really, really owe this lot a mauling. Last season we completely dominated them at Old Trafford only to be undone by a referee and a cruel own goal. I expect a win. It’s our time. Park and Fletcher will work like dogs… but if we get up to speed nice and early I can see us scoring some nice goals. Can’t drop Arshavin for me… he’s ‘due’. Oh dear.

  16. Midfield dominance will have little to do with the results today. Whether we win or not will be down to how clinical we are and how well we defend.

    Which is kind of a good thing, becasue our midfield hasn’t been at its best in the last few games

    We can have 90% posession but the mancs will still create chances. Considering how we tend to concede goals from only a few chances to much poorer teams, we should hope that our defence holds strong and that manu display poor finishing.

    The results of this game isn’t particularly fundamental to our chances of silverware this season; the boys should have this in mind and play without pressure. We don’t do too well under pressure.

  17. Tight game 1-1 or 1-0 to them

  18. we are due a reversal of defeats in Manchester.
    it was 3 -0 versus the blue end. Now it is the turn of the red end!

  19. ARSENAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. I didn’t know why Wenger went for Smalling. It turns out he’s a gooner who worshiped Tony Adams. Aha! That explains it. Kind of.

  21. Henrisitc – Good post. Especially about the defence; there is no doubt Manure will create a few guit edge chances. Hopefully we will stand firm for a change. Today may really be a case out trying to out score them, which we a re more than capable of doing.

  22. I would go for a midfieldtastic line-up of….

    – – – – – – – – – – RVP – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – Arshavin – – – – – – – – – Nasri – – – – –
    – – – – – Wilshere – – – Rosicky – – – – – –
    Clichy – – – – – – Song – – – – – – – – Sagna
    – – – – Koscielny – – – SuperSquills – – –
    – – – – – – – Polish Superstar X – – – – – – –

    The more sensible part of me would play Denilson ahead of Rosicky, and the more mental side of me would play Walcott.

    Basically it’s too hard to call. All you can say is that we have a very strong squad right now. And I think United are going to take a high-profile battering tonight from the super Guns. The dynamite Yellow and Redcurrents….

  23. Tonight it is time to prove to the footballing pundits who take so much joy in slagging us off, that we are the mighty Arsenal! We are no longer kids and we are up for the fight, victory is ours and that twat Evra will be crying like the baby he is. I don’t agree that Denilson or RVP will start, I think it will be;
    Fabianski/Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy; Nasri, Song, Cesc, Arshavin, Wilshere; Chamakh

  24. This is a real barometre game. We will know more about our title chances after this. We can’t afford to give United cheap goals like we did in the corresponding fixture last year (an own goal and needless pen) and if we get on top we have to punish them. Last time we dominated the first half but didn’t score. The blatant foul by Feltcher on Arshavin was one of the clearest pens ever but not given by the horribly inept Mike Dean. I am not expecting any favours from the ref tonight either – its Howard “I wear an ManU T-shirt under my ref clothes” Webb.

  25. That 6/1 on arse.com for Nasri to score anytime is fantastic odds. Maximum bet is a tenner though.

  26. I like that Limpar. Yeah we get a stronger, larger squad every year with EVERY player capable of cutting it in the EPL, where as other top 4 clubs seem to be on the decline. Somebody said to me this weekend that even if we win it’s only because Man U and Chelsea are shite this season. What a f****ng mug I thought. Even if that is the case, why is that the case. To completely disregard the fact that Arsenal are improving never mind sustaining quality in this day and age is a testament as to what a fantastic legacy Wenger is creating. While others are tightening belts and struggling to pay loans we are carrying on regardless doing what we do best and blazing a great red trail for others to try and follow.

  27. I think Chamakh will start. RvP from the bench.

  28. Hope Djourou is fit enough to start in place of Koscielny. Also expect Arshavin to start. Young Jack as well. To beat the Manc’s we’ve got to respect them. But I’ll be going with Team Spirits 4:0. I’m ever the optimist. COYG!

  29. I think Wilshere should start. He has the passsion for games like this; there is no way he will let Manure push him around.

  30. Thats great optamism Kenyan.

  31. I do think Chamakh could cause Vidic a lot of problems…. maybe that’s the way to go. I just think RVP has been being groomed for this one. And the set-pieces… that could be the difference if the game’s tighter than we think. Moment of magic… up steps Van Persie…


  32. Limpar – I know what you mean about RvP. I wonder if Arsne may suprise us and play him behind Chamakh like in the Fulham game? In the past Manure have done pretty well against us by letting us have the ball on the flanks noing we don’t have an ariel threat. Playing Chamakh may force them to defend a bit wider giving us more spance in the middle.

  33. Ignore crap spelling. You know what I mean ๐Ÿ˜‰

  34. Limpar
    For the same reason as that. I’d like Johan to start, over Kosc I suppose.

    We have to many players with attributes to help with this victory. However I feel it would be far to unfair not to let Cham have a crack at them. He is the kind of player built to give Man U trouble. But over RvP I’m not sure.

    Just glad it’s not my decision.

  35. You posting from your phone Addy mate?

  36. erm I mean Andy.

  37. I would go for:

    One of the pole
    Sagna Kosc Djourou Clichy
    Song Denilson
    Walcott Nasri Arshavin
    Chamakh or RVP

  38. Its a quite interesting selection, Yogi. Jacky boy from the left??

    Last time we went there, we played a 4-3-3 with RVP up front, & we dominated. No changes for me. TR7 to play the Cesc role & DJ to start.
    Chamakh/Bendtner, Theo to come on & run riot in the 2nd half.

  39. I’m going a 3-1 (just like we did to the blue side but ManUre to score one from a set-piece for a foul on Honest Rooney by Webb) and

    ———-The Fittest of the Poles———-

  40. Yeah he’s DUE one of those, ain’t he, LA? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  41. Well that’s what YW suggested. It does sacrifice an extra specialist midfielder though… so I’m not sure about that one. I guess in such an intense 90 minutes of football there’s time for both to get a crack at the wancs. Maybe while the energy is highest in the first half we start RVP, open up like a jack-in-the-box, keep it on the deck and back our quick passing game to break them down. Then at half-time, depending on how we’ve fared, we’ve got Chamakh/Bendtner as a change of gameplan.

  42. CHAMAKH!!!!!!!!!!

  43. els – Nah, at work so I type mega fast without checking my spelling. ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. Well that’s what YW suggested. It does sacrifice an extra specialist midfielder though… so I’m not sure about that one. I guess in such an intense 90 minutes of football there’s time for both to get a crack at the wancs. Maybe while the energy is highest in the first half we start RVP, go off like a jack-in-the-box, keep it on the deck and back our quick passing game to break them down. Then at half-time, depending on how we’ve fared, we’ve got Chamakh/Bendtner as a change of gameplan.

  45. Nope, Chamakh MUST start. Agree with els, I am glad the decision is not mine..

  46. I just don’t see RVP starting tonight! He will be an impact sub along with Walcott, when and if needed. However, with that said, it does not matter who starts. The main thing is that the starting 11 give everything that they have and are prepared to bleed Arsenal blood tonight.

  47. It’s the only way to surf Andy. On the sneak. Ssssh someones coming.

  48. I don’t want to come across as negative, but I think the starting 11 must be chosen to be the best at standing up to the games they play. For me I’d go with Deni over Jack. And perhaps Johan over Kosc as he’s more of an aerial player. Not that those two emitted couldn’t cope just we want to be able to fight over 90 mins.

    For me

    Some pole

    Sagna – Skill – Djourou – Clichy

    – – – – – Song- – Deni

    RvP – – – Nasri – – – Arshavin

    – – – – – – – – Cham

  49. els,

    I too would have gone for DJ over Kos6 but the reason I didn’t put him in my line up is because ManUre doesn’t have lot of ariel presence up front. The only time we need the height is during set pieces and we have Song, RvP and Chamakh to help out.

    I also feel we need the pace of Kos6 to deal with Rooney\Park\Nani\Hernandez..

  50. Maybe your right on the pace side of things Indian. Johan is no slouch however. But I get the feeling that they will be lofting balls into the box to try and test our defence and keeper. Ferdinand and Vidic coming up for corners will be on the cards too. We will see though eh.

    Come on you gunners!

  51. Els – I agree, it is much more fun.

    I also agree that we should pick players who will stand up and be counted. And for that reason I would pick Wilshere over Denilson.

  52. Why does it have to be Djourou or Kos? Squillaci’s place is not beyond question.

  53. I agree Ole,
    Although he brings needed experience into the defensive line. For me the combination of Djourou and Koscielny could be the answer. Djourou with his strenght, aerial hability and technique could perfectly combined with Koscielny’s speed, reading of the game and technique.

  54. Ole – I agree, but I think he has been our most consitant defender so far this season. Plus his experience could prove invaluable in a game like this. I am not too worried which of Kos or Djourou play; both are good players.

  55. Hmmmm. I’m not sure I mean stand up and be counted as in 100% passion… I think we need players who understand responsibility and can be committed yet reserved. I do totally know what you mean though mate. I just think Deni will sit and do his unglamorous work. He cuts up so much play for me. But everyone has there opinion.

  56. Completely agree with Gunnerluc, I think Kos & Djourou provides balance and allows us to play on the front foot, play the ball well out of the defence and to be fearless.

  57. Yeah I’d go with Squillaci over Kos just for the been around and done it factor. I have to say considering this is a brand new defence I’m impressed at how they have gelled so well. I haven’t posted for a while in any major way so I just wanted that noted. This could cause a mass debate. You know how it is if you make any positive comments about our defence.

  58. els – yeah, all true. I just think that Manure will try and make it a battle in midfield and Wee Jack has that bit of bite in his game which will be needed.

  59. Ole,
    The reason I kept Squilly is due to the calmness he brings into the players.. I may be wrong but I feel that Squilly in the starting line-up, our players play with more confidence.

  60. All this talk tells me is we have an enormously talented squad. I would be happy with Lil Jack or Deni, Kosc or Squil trotting out. I see the pros for all options but on this one I’m going to cop out and proudly sit in the Arsene knows best corner ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. Els – I agree about the defence looking better. I think we have a great mix of players. I have maintained for a while that their are exposed more than most defences, which is why we conceed. When you take that into consideration it really highlights how well they are doing. Individual mistakes aside (which cannot be legislated for obviously) I feel the team are not quick enough to make themselves compact when we lose the ball.

  62. els at 1:37pm,
    True.. This is indeed an enormously talented squad.. It has been a pleasure to watch these young talents mature and I’m sure they will reach even bigger heights pretty soon..

    Arsene ‘indeed’ Knows… Save a space for me, els..

  63. IndianGooner,

    I actually think, that when Squillaci is paired with Koscielny the defence loses calmness and they get jittery.

  64. Which doesn’t mean one can discount the importance of experience in games like these.

  65. I agree Andy but I think perhaps this may even be a measured risk. We obviously play a high line and just last week Wenger was saying how he wants Song to push on in games. I think Wenger is trying his hardest to get a team that can attack from any position on the pitch and if it is to the detriment of defence he’d rather have the attack and flow we play. Without quaestion he’ll want to tighten defence but perhaps he’s of the thinking that in effect this teams central defence is all new. Hopefully they will bed-in and it will be plainly apparent who plays best at what and with who.

  66. Els – i agree 100% about the defence gelling. For any team to have a completely new defence going into a season, losing the ‘best’ of the bunch straight away, relying on someone coming back from severe injury lay-offs, a relative novice and another CB without EPL experience, AND STILL TOP OF THE TABLE is just outstanding. Imagine what they’d be saying about the Chavs or Mancs if they’d achieved the same…

    Come on boys! Tonight’s the night!

  67. Personally i’d like Djourou and Kos to be our CB partnership while TV5 is out… I like the balance they bring, with the more speedy and explosive Kos, and the more composed, solid Johan. Dont get me wrong, i think Skilly is great too, and his experience can be invaluable. Le Proff will decide the best option i’m sure.

  68. Amazingly I saw some good anylasis but a pundit recently on our defence. He highlighted how in one moment we were compact and nciely set up, seconds later the defence backed off whilst the midfielders stayed put. This created a huge gap in front of the back four which was expolited by the opposition. That simply comes down to communication and should be fixable.

  69. Yes Geo Yes!!

    I have to disagree Limpar I can’t say I’ve seen any signs of the team looking jittery with the Squil and Kos partnership.

    Anyway I’m moist thinking about the game tonight. Come On!!!!!


  71. I’ve got pre-game anxiety. I’d like to bash a skull in, but I’ve got naught around to bash without getting arrested.

    I must have Viking blood in me somewhere down the line.

  72. It is a tricksy one.

    I thought the $iteh away game was a good guide for team selection this season. But everyone could guess how $iteh would set themselves up.
    Some doubt about ManIOU?

    Can Arsenal find their own rhythm, keep their focus, playing in what ACLF has best described as :
    a) The Liquid Formation.
    b) ‘Attack Plan Alpha’: Heavy bomb run with fighter escort.
    Against Wigan, Kos & Djourou at CB, Wigan did not have a shot on target.

    Saw H.Webb during the quasi-derby of the Germany-Turkey game. He can be a half-decent ref. Let’s hope he’s still embarrassed by his performance during the WC, in front of billions. This is his ‘biggest’ game since.
    Probably not.

  73. You mean Ole i think Els re the jittery thing… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I cant wait to see Evra’s face when his subconcious fears become reality.

  74. Gadget – East London, ‘student’ protestors. Take your pick.

    Fuck sake. Wancs are invoking the The Suffering of the Trapped Chilean Miner on us like some fucking charity. What a bunch of tossers. A cunt with a poppy on is still a cunt.

  75. goonerandy,

    Which pundit, and analysis of which game?

  76. What are they doing Limpar?? Sounds cunty whatever it is…!

  77. Last thoughts on team selection:
    Hope Gary Neville gets a start!


  78. OOh aye wrong person. Thanks for pointing that out Geo.

  79. As for Man pooh I see them fielding a team of:
    Van der saar
    neville Ferdinand Vidic Evra
    Fletcher Carrick or Scholes
    Nani Berbatov Rooney

  80. Ole – I can’t remember who it was mate. I nearly fell of my seat when they actually did what they were paid for, as opposed to spewing out cliche’d soundbytes. He was right as well….that is exactly what happened. It may have been the Fulham game.

  81. I recnkon they will play Rafael at right back. It would keep AA occupied going backwards. AA would absolutely destroy Neville.

  82. Think scholes is out so you will have Anderson bossing the midfield…..

  83. We have scored 3 goals at Old Trafford in the last 7 games. There is always a chance things can be different but realistically the most likely outcome for us is scoring 1 goal. The final result will depend on how many we concede. Love to see a 1 – 0 or may be even 2- 0 for the Arsenal but I would be overjoyed with 0 – 0 or 1- 1.

  84. Its women against girls tonight lads, the only question is who are the women and who are the girls….

  85. Alas, I can’t do it Limpar. I work in a school – near Shoreditch coincidentally enough.

    I’m a little, okay, very sympathetic to the students – a graduate tax would have been much better; the student loan is almost the same thing except it’s a debt. Besides the right to protest is one of the few things about our democratic illusion I actually like, although the French show us how it’s done! Over-turned car and fires, now that’s a protest!

    Maybe I should find a hipster to pound: http://www.latfh.com/ the sight of these weaklings makes my blood boil, but they only come out at night.

  86. Bill,

    Did you see Chav$ki concede from one shot on target, against the desperate sp*ds?
    John Terry & his D-fence backed off whilst the midfielders stayed put. This created a huge gap….


  87. You know the Snoods that Nasri and Chamack wear? Are theyArsenal Snoods or are they from Marks & Spencer?

  88. I was about to post that song when you mentioned Shoreditch, Gadget! You poor thing.

    I feel sorry for the legitimate protestors but unfortunately they are a minority amongst a giant shower of ill-informed shit purely out for a tear-up and to get on tv. Mostly dressed like the types in that video and without the faintest fucking clue of what real state oppression feels like. Abuse of the right to protest will lead to losing it for the rest of us. They only have to start paying back when they’re on +21k! That’ll hardly make a scratch on their coke habit, skinny jeans and dubstep collection anyway. Bring out the rubber bullets I say.

  89. We know Naz won’t shake hands with that prick Evra. Question is, will anyone else?

    Would be fun to ignore the pitiful man and leave him in the cold.

  90. Same place Gomes buys his gloves I imagine.

  91. I have a strong feeling for a 1-2 win tonight.

    I think Rooney will score for them and an Arshavin brace for us.

  92. Queen of Sub, What are your views on snoods? I happen to quite like them.

  93. Let’s keep a bit of perspective.Old trafford is always a difficult place to go to.I pray we dont lose tonight.I worry about our goal keeping situation,I hear it’s Szesny.Also we need a big performance from our big players tonight.Nasri for one.

  94. I am not worried if our reserve super Pole is playing. He seems a confident lad and would thrive hopefully.

    It will be a difficult game tonight. Manure have won every home game bar one this season. It will be a good test of our team. A draw will be a good result, but a win could really give this team some belief. Over the pas tfe year we have not had many good results against the “top teams” so it would be a good monkey to get off our backs.

  95. I think as long as the snood continues to give Samir superpowers I am in favour of them.

  96. Strong words there Limpar!! Lol.

    Those balaklava wearing twats have ruined it for the rest of them, and all we hear about is the damage they’ve done and the injuries the police have suffered. I actually feel pretty damn sorry for the students. ยฃ50k debt for a few years’ education? And then, maybe 5 years later or whatever, when they’re earning enough, they’ll be paying that off for most of their lives. I think it’s outrageous to be honest. Not enough to start burning things and attacking police, but still…

    I’m leaving England by next September and i really can’t wait! Bring on the open road, sun, festivals and forgetting about all this money orientated bullshit!!

  97. Geo – Where are you going? I have no plan to settle in the UK either. In Germany at the moment, and it is great.

  98. Did anyone see the fight on Khan fight?

    Khan was unbelievable, to even get in the ring with that crazy Argentinian took balls. Best fight ive seen for a long long time.

  99. Totally Limpar. Between the Liverpool Street Suits and those Hipster frucks, I despise my commute.

    As for the protesto, most of those on the streets won’t even be effected by the changes since it kicks in in like 2 years time or something. It won’t even make a dent in the uni numbers, but the ones I feel sorry for are the one who’ll go to uni and get a degree in a field they can’t stand, whihc I imagine will be a large portion of the future undergrads.

    It sucks to be beholden to a debt for something you can’t stand. I imagine it’s akin to being trapped in a bad marriage.

    Bah, more importantly, I believe in my team

  100. Hearing first hand some of the treatment my friend received at the hands of the police, you do wonder how the main story isn’t police brutality.

    Some very worrying forces at play to my mind.

  101. I agree with QOS.

  102. I dont know about snoods but there not as bad as Bales bloody pink suspenders.

  103. Wait a good golly minute! Have we a bunch of roaming Arsenal fans or what?

    I’m retiring off somewhere (either legally or illegally) in no more than 3 years

  104. I agree with QoS too…

    Goonerandy – i’m going travelling around most of Europe (first). Me, my girlfriend and our housemate are getting a van, heading towards Amsterdam first where we’ll meet an old dutch friend of mine, then heading through Germany, then heading east into some of Eastern Europe, then Northern Italy, then along the south coast of France until we get to Barcelona (where we’ll meet all my mates who moved there in the last couple of years). Hopefully work there, if not, head south into Morocco and see what happens… No real timescales or anything, just see where the wind takes us once we’ve reached Barca… Really can’t wait!

    Where in Germany are you? I can’t wait to see Berlin…

  105. What are those strip things on his legs? Somthing to track his movement?

  106. Queen of Sub,

    Coppers are damned if they do and damned if they dont.

    Also, I have friends who went UNI and all they did was get p*ssed for four years, then went travelling to carry on drinking. Not sure why the tax payer should have to pay for that?

  107. goonerandy – they’re meant to help stop you pulling muscles or something, not sure the exact science…

  108. Geo – Between Dortmund and Hannover. Dusseldorf (which you will be near coming from Holland) is a great city to spend a few days though. We (me and the wife) have a camper van and spent some time in the Black Forrest earlier in the year. I would definately recomend that, it was amazing.

  109. Bale has Turbo boosters strapped to his legs. As for why there pink………

  110. Dusseldorf eh? Cool, I havent been to Germany for years. I went to some small town near Bad Bevenson (sp?). Is that anywhere near you? I remember being struck at how well the streets and parks were kept, and going to some punk raves! Was good fun… The Black Forest is a great shout, no doubt we’ll spend some time there. We’ll chat on here a plenty i’m sure, so if you think of anywhere to recommend or hear of any festivals/events happening next autumn/winter, let me know! ๐Ÿ™‚

  111. RVP needs to start tonight behind Chamakh tonight.I’ll still choose Andrei ahead of Tomasz.I think Arshavin thrives in games like these.
    Come to think of it,after Nasri,I believe Sagna is our next most consistent player.His crosses into the box are almost pinpoint nowadays.And his defensive duties are not suffering either.

  112. Geo – Will do mate. I will give you some better info closer to your trip.

  113. Hope we line up

    Fabianski (hope he can go)

    Sagna, Squilly, Johan, Gael

    Song Denilson TR7

    Nasri Chamakh Arshavin

    RVP vs Chamakh really tough but give Chamakh the edge for his ability to help on defensive set pieces and threat in the air. We need to get RVP back in the starting line up ASAP but not sure tonight is the right time. Tough decision for the boss.

    Theo comes on at 1/2 time if Arshavin is not on form. No reason to wait until minute 65.

    A win would be a huge psychological boost but certainly not a mathematical necessity.. There a lot of time left this season and if you look at the schedule before the season starts, OT is a place you would expect dropped points so a draw would be a really good result. I would love to see this team avoid its annual peaks and valleys. I hope they do not place so much emphasis on this one game that a bad result sends us into a mental funk. A draw here and regaining our home form especially against Chelsea and even more important a long run of good results against the teams that we clearly should beat will be the best way to win the title.

  114. Much appreciated, cheers man ๐Ÿ™‚

  115. James:
    They’re not there.

  116. It’s going to be much more one-sided than everyone thinks tonight.
    This Arsenal team is finally coming of age and they’ll show the world a first glimpse of what is to come.
    All the pre match talk about how Arsenal ‘cant defend’ will be rubbished.
    I will not be satisfied with anything less than 3 points.

  117. Good stuff flying dutchman, i agree 100%.

  118. That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking, flying dutchman.

  119. Did Frank just make one brief appearance? Was hoping he was back for the fight until May…

  120. If we win tonight, we go 4 points clear at the top of the title. It’s not much, but it’s the position Chelsea were in when they told us they were running away with the title.

  121. Your travel plans sound brilliant btw, Geo.

  122. Geo,

    Now we’re counting getting Frank back like getting RVP back or something like that. I like it!

  123. Cheer Limpar – it’s something i’ve been talking about for ages, but it’s always ‘next year’ etc… It’s on this time though for sure. Plans are all in place, all we need now is the money to keep us going long enough… We’ve got some street performance stuff we can do to earn a few extra pennies if needed. A bit of busking too if needed… Just writing about it fills me with excitement!

  124. Lol Ole! He is an integral cog in the ACLF machine after all…!

  125. I want Jack to start! Song and Denilson’s too negative for me for some reason. Jack may not have too much experience, but he’s certainly got bollocks. Maybe that’s what we need to stuff those wankers.

  126. To those who think its going to be one -sided and we will win easily get real.No game at OT is ever easy whatever team Utd put out.We dominated last season and lost.This is even game which could go either way but it will not be easy for either side

  127. Geo, those are absolutely fantastic plans you’ve got mate..

  128. I can’t see AW playing both Denilson and Wilshere. He’ll probably go with the latter.

    Plus Fabianski is possibly out – maybe probably – so Szczesny might be given his biggest chance yet.

    A hopeful team would include Cesc and Djourou, but if it doesn’t then:

    Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny, Clichy;
    Song, Wilshere;
    van Persie;
    Nasri, Chamakh, Arshavin.

    with Theo, Rosicky, Bendtner etc on the bench.

  129. Nice one MJ. Shame it’s not now! Oh well, something to look forward to i suppose… As well as tonight’s belter of a match of course!!

    UP THE ARSE!!!

  130. Just you wait and see, Andy.

  131. God these are the matches we live for ehh boys? I just cant even wait. Gotta do my normal video tape the game to watch “as live” when I get home from work.. that is if I survive my own anxiety throughout the day!! Today you are all my brothers (and sisters) in Arsenal and we are one.

    My only concern selection wise is that we play 3 through the middle. No RvP in the Cesc role please!! That may or may not prove to work, but I dont think a trip to OT is the best experiment time..


  132. Hope we win this.

  133. Man Utd 0-1 Arsenal (17/09/06)

    Ever thought that the petty plunditry speak gibberish?

  134. Blackburn have finally conceded defeat in their losing battle to keep Sam Allardyce. He’s left them, with murmurs getting louder that he’ll be unveiled as Mourinho’s replacement at Real Madrid

  135. I think Wenger sticks Clichy right next to Nani in order to neutralize him, which means a less adventurous Gael. If Nani switches sides, Sagna will do the same. I believe the key to this game will be making them play narrowly by pressing them high up the pitch. Pressing would also force them to bypass their midfield by hoofing it out of the back. If that’s the case then I prefer Djourou to Kos for his aerial ability. If we stay tight and compact at the back, our creative players will have the freedom to create chances.

  136. Nasri second goal against ManIOU, every pass.

  137. Ole if only that were true and we never had the fat slug in the league again.

  138. Talia, I’d like to see Van Persie come in during the second half when the game is a bit stretched. I think him and Chamakh that close to eachother when the game is cagey will result in us misplaying passes and giving away possession.

  139. Do we have confirmation of the line ups?

  140. BigFATSAM sacked by Blackburn! Hahahahaaaaaaa! Brilliant!

  141. G69 @ 5:02:

    good call about shadowing Nani. I read somewhere today that statistically nearly all of United goals come down the right. The possible gains we get from Gael bombing forward are not worth the risks in this game.

    If Chamakh does not start then we need Johan even more for his strength in the air.

  142. That’s interesting, Ole. I’d heard Abramovich was planning a swoop for Fat Sam. He’s greatly admired by the old guard at Chelsea (and indeed all the players at Chelsea are the old guard), many of whom have modelled their style of play on Allardycean ideals.

    I’m waiting for newspaper headlines of Thanks-a-lotti above plaintive-looking pictures of the current manager.

  143. Nasri to leave evra on his @rse and score the winner…COYG. Once again Lets show the pundits and media that they dont have a clue. I have a feeling that someone we least expect is going to rise to the occassion.

  144. Perhaps the Blackburn board have seen how well Bolton are doing playing proper football and see Sam as a dinosaur. We could have told them that ages ago.

  145. Anyone who needs a computer link to watch the game, it is on ESPN3. Excellent video and audio quality.

  146. Clichy owes Nani, after his second poor performance ever allowed Nani climb all over him last season. Full spectrum dominance is what I expect from Gael tonight.

  147. Delia---Block 112

    Another very difficult watch this evening. I would hope JD & Cesc make it into the line up but not counting on it. No matter who starts, they need to take a positive attitude on to the pitch and show controlled agression . Any weakness will be fully exploited by MU, so the back five must remain solid. A lot is expected from our little Russian and from in form Nasri . My glass remains half full, with a top up at hand ,if and when required!
    As always COYRs

  148. im sooo scared and excitied i have to hide behind the couch during the whole match i think! its like a horror movie! no its worse! if we get a penalty i will have to run and hide under the duvet i think.

    Its the most exciting match before xmas and i hope for a high intense and fightful match with us going out as the victorious.

    I really look forward to it(even though i probably will be hiding behind the couch for a larg part of the game, to terrified to watch)

  149. @bill ESPN3 you say? do you got any links or anything for us ESPNnoobs? Please cos i got no clue how to find it*blush*

  150. Poodle, an away team getting a penalty at OT, are you serious.

  151. Bill
    espn3 only works if you live in the states.

    Tony Pulis should be next on the chopping block, that would be a massive victory for football.

  152. Go to ESPN.go.com. Near to top just below the NFL scorelines is a transverse black bar that says MY ESPN on the left. On the right side of that bar is a place to click a link “Watch and Listen” (3rd link from the right). Click on “Watch and listen” and it will bring up ESPN3. You have to sign in and give E-mail address etc but its a great link for watching the games they do broadcast. Unfortunately I am not sure if it works in the UK but its great for us on this side.

  153. Fat (anti-football) Sam Allardyce has been sacked and the various plundits on Sky Sports, who share his vision of football, are shocked. They are so out of touch. New owners with ambitions for their football club cannot afford the weekly shower of long-ball shite with fans staying away in droves and be satisfied that there investment will go anywhere but down. The contrast with what Owen Coyle, DiMatteo and Ian Halloway have done with their teams, playing football and winning fans and supporters , is stark. Is Sam going to blame Arsene now.
    The shock and dismay on Sky is just frankly hypocritical. They had better wake-up and smell the coffee. The English establishment may hang on to the likes of Allardyce but not new owners who are putting up their money. Managers like the Walrus are like dinosaurs and are on their way out. Good riddance.

  154. Thanks for nothing Bill.

  155. More shit from the plundits on Sky; Sam did miracles on a shoe-string budget. B.S. Ian Halloway has the smallest budget in the League; Blackpool is 10th and Blackburn is 13th. Says everything doesn’t it.

  156. Everyone always shocked and dismayed on Sky though shotta. It’s how they keep the rolling hysteria that is their view of the premier league going.

    They haven’t got to believe the guff they pour out as long as it keeps supplying sound bites to feed the phone ins to supply the headlines to fuel the outrage to… You get the picture.

  157. Today I am actually proud to be an Indian.
    Thank You, The Venky’s…..

  158. Could someone please paste the starting line up here, once it’s out? I am at work, might just make it before kick-off.

  159. The Head of the LMA called Sam “Innovative” – hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  160. Mj, your comments is … ah … amusing!

  161. which one, KG?

  162. Bradys right foot

    CYG have a good feeling tonight were due a result against them are we not. I’m worried about the role Webb will play in tonights game as h’ell give Fletcher licence to foul. AA could be the key man for us as their weak at right back.

  163. Szczesny is starting.

  164. You have to give Fat Sam credit where it`s due.

    He`s taken his sacking on all three chins

  165. Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny, Clichy, Song, Wilshere, Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin, Chamakh.

    Subs: Fabianski, Djourou, Denilson, Fabregas, Walcott, van Persie, Bendtner.

  166. So anxious.please God let us win.

  167. @ bill
    hahaha it woks at mine, espn does. thanks alot for great link ๐Ÿ˜€

  168. Anyone know if the ganme is live on US television> The WWW says it’s on ESPN2 but not according to mt TV guide??

  169. I’ve done everything I can to jinx Man U. They’ve had more than enough luck against us over the years. Whether it works or not will be a matter of inches, so we shall see!

    I believe in my team and love ’em come what may!!!!!!!!

    Grrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, slay ’em all!

  170. HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!
    “You have to give Fat Sam credit where it`s due.
    He`s taken his sacking on all three chins”
    – Paulie Walnuts | December 13, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
    HA, HA, HA, HA, HA! (Post of the day.)

  171. anyone got any links

  172. So we’re starting at OT without what we could have called our spine at the beginning of the season: TV, Cesc and RVP…

  173. Hope we can exploit Vidic’s lack of pace by playing Nasri in behind him.

  174. Time to exorcise the demons of games past . COYG.

  175. MD, it’s on ESPN2. If not then go with Bill’s ESPN3 recommendation. I have watched several of our matches on there and the streaming is of the highest quality. I’m not sure if you need AT&T as your ISP in order to watch it, though. Good luck.

  176. Just five more minutes. COYG!!!!!!!!!!!

  177. Strange. If Fabianski is injured and cannot play, how can he be on the bench? If there is an injury or red card against Schzezny early on, where does that leave the team?

  178. http://playmyfootball.com/manchester-united-vs-arsenal-live-streaming

    I think this may be one if anyone needs a link. If you can’t get that ESPN3 jobbie working.

  179. @JBH
    Maybe Fabianski is fit to play, just not at 100% — similar to Cesc.

  180. Thanks G69, found it and in HD too

  181. Not sure about Wilshere in there, maybe too inexperienced for this match.

  182. get up you fukin poof.

  183. World class dive by Nani. A c*nt he is.

  184. Dare I complain, but same old cliches from commentators

  185. Get in there jack

  186. Nice tackle by Jack

  187. ARSENAL

  188. Rosicky is due a goal.

  189. Pretty even game so far.

  190. How do you push the ref and not get a card?

  191. ManU disappointed that Webb does not appear to be their number 12 (yet)

  192. damn it!!!

  193. On fvck lucky goal

  194. What a ridiculous goal. Park falling over backwards and deflected ball bounces off the back of his head in off the post.

  195. We are playing way too apprehensive at the moment.

  196. j sung park yo fukin cunt, knew that cunt was gunner pull out his best performance of the season. little fukin shit.

  197. Let’s get to half time and take it from there.

  198. I felt a bad vibe when Clichy kept backing off. I wish that is something we didnt do so much, it invites too much pressure on us, i think.

  199. park looks like a cunt all year then against us he looks world class, he must fukin hate the arsenal. fuck off fletcher you ugly cunt.

    lets have a fukin ruck , where is Paul Davis when you need him.

  200. I which that “was”…

  201. Arshavin, playing around with the damn ball!

  202. bollocks.

  203. Yes GoonerinLA and the commentator called it a clever header

  204. Is Arshavin injured or something?

  205. Fletcher has got a face you just want to fukin knock right out.

  206. You are at your best in these games Duke. That’s the stuff. I agree about Jack too.

    Arsene to sort them now. They haven’t done much, we’ve done less. Play football and we will win this.


  207. Clever header, Yeah right. Head it and hope more like the truth.

    RVP and/or Theo on at the start of the 2nd half.

  208. I agree with Consolsbob

  209. I have a nice German feed so i cant hear them wax lyrical about that little cunts lucky header.

  210. Its funny that the yellows start coming out with Arsenal, isnt it?

  211. Paul, did you notice that we got pointless ‘advantages’ in their half and they got free kicks in ours?

    Just how do you run 30 yards and push the referee, once, twice and not get booked? Arshavin booked?? Bollocks.

  212. I agree Mr Bob, if we play we will win.

  213. We will play.

  214. yes Mr. Bob, Webb gave us an advantage when it was Nasri vs 5 united players.

    Lets play then!

  215. Didnt Wenger stick that fukin Pat Evra article on the dressing room wall???

  216. Training acadamy! what a piss take, we cant let them win today.

  217. This is no classico but Webb is not helping dishing out cards only to arsenal when rooney and fletcher are showing clear dissent. We can only get better in the 2nd half God help Utd

  218. How is the pitch so bad? everyone’s slipping. it’s not helping us at all

  219. agree with Duke. Fletcher is a right fuck flap

  220. I sense little bit of nerves in the players, caught in 2 minds do we go all out attack or defend?this is the bit we need to master when to go all out and when to defend becuase our usual high line we play at home is very risky so we need to find a balance in the second half.we are trying to defend and use long balls to chamakh but its clearly its not us and it is not working at moment. Bring on Fabregas I say

  221. Why do they always look stronger then us.

  222. 1lc, we are playing nervous and I am surprised by it.

  223. OptaJoe on Twitter: “53 – There were a total of 53 misplaced passes in the final third of the pitch in the first half: 20 by Arsenal, 33 by Man Utd. Sloppy.”

  224. I feel we will score soon

  225. Had a dream that we would law 2-0 and Park would score. Therefore, I tried to avoi watching the match. Now, I don’t know what to do now we’re still losing!

  226. If we can improve our crossing we will score.

  227. ManU starting to play deep and wait for the counter attack.

  228. Sorry but Wilshere has to come off. he cant find the space in these battles yet.

  229. How many teams can throw on two world cup finalists? I felt a warm glow inside then. NOW LET’S WIN THIS!

  230. Arshavin has to be injured, his shots are flat.

  231. Yep this will put the shitters up em

  232. Maria. Bloody hell, girl!

  233. Didnt see the karate kick though, did they?

  234. I know! I hate myself right now!!

  235. How did Ferdinand escape a card there? Reminds me on De Jong.

  236. Thats a penatly?

  237. fuck me

  238. justice is served!

  239. What an awful decision.


  241. Poetic justice you twat Rooney. That was never a penalty

  242. Webb started brightly, but now he is all United.

  243. Right thats it, im off to surrey to beat up some man utd fans.

  244. Linesman just gifted ManU one of their usual penalties. What was Clichy to do with his hand on the ground? Expected.

  245. ok maybe not yet then.

  246. THEO please

  247. I’d like to state that the penalty miss will inspire us. But I don’t think it will, so I won’t.

  248. Walcott for Arshavin

  249. That was a true garbage penalty call and a true garbage penalty shot. They deserve each other.

  250. we will simply not going to get any decision . very harsh penalty but justice was done. A goal is still in us and we can do it.


  252. whats the betting there will only be 2 minutes added time

  253. Arshavin, Wilshere and Rosicky didnt get it done at all.

  254. Please can we score a goal……….please……………….

  255. c’mon lets give these cunts a double blow.

  256. Attack not really clicking ffs

  257. snatch n grab

  258. stop with these crosses.

  259. 4mins extra time

  260. Disappointed with application and attitude this evening. Not so much played with the handbrake on, as failed to put the key into the ignition. Probably not a good idea to write the post on this until the morning.

  261. I’m dissapointed that that little shit Pat Evra will get away with his snide remarks. would never have happened before. truly believed we;d win after he said that. its the perfect team talk. again the mental attitude of this team comes into question.

    still gunner stick a paul mckenna on us to win the title though.

  262. only coz of the odds on offer after this.

  263. 1-0. Close but no cigar.

  264. Shame we never really looked like winning this game…

  265. We played not to lose instead of playing to win.

    What annoys me is that I believe the goal was also self inflicted, clichy backing up gave Nani too much space.

    Really dissapointing loss!

  266. Never got going.

  267. Very poor, I cant really see a time when we will beat either Man utd or Chelsea! – Its the same old story or us Im afraid……..

    As YW says handbrake on, in first gear………:(

  268. As Cbob said ManU did not do very much but more than us….disappointing reallu

  269. Fuck! Silly home loses to haunt us?

  270. this sucks….. the team did not play well at all today. How come this happends everytime we can grab the first place in the league?

    Its like they are afraid to win those crucial matches…..

  271. only a matter of time till we hear from AIC and Suga3 then.

  272. I feel for the away support on a day like this.

  273. We just cant win the big ones anymore

  274. United did not look like a team with defensive issues. They have rounded back into form and if they play like that it will be tough for anyone to catch them. Time to pick ourselves up and start a run of wins. We need to win next week and then play a really good game and get a result vs Chelsea in 2 weeks.

  275. No worries fellow gunners, you win some you lose some, let’s pick ourselves up and get ready for stoke. we could be back on top this weekend if chelsea beat united and we beat stoke.

  276. We all know what really hurt about Evra’s comments – he was dead right !

  277. Well, we didn’t play so didn’t deserve to win. Manu had a game plan and it worked.

    They are not a special side and fergie knows it. They can win the league though, playing like this if we don’t actually play to our strengths.

    We never looked like winning so can’t complain about losing.

    Yogi, you have me worried. I can’t remember you commenting like that during a game. It was a very disappointing perfornance. How many attempts on goal? How many on target?

    Perhaps we do need another player.

  278. Will keep my thoughts to myself for now. Fucking pissed off and it’s 01:00 hrs here!

  279. mental its all mental, skill is there but fuck knows. I swear Suga3 or aic you better not fukin come on here spouting your shit.

  280. We were very poor today. fully deserved to loose. can’t understand why the mancs seemed more up for it than we were, considering were the ones that haven’t won stuff in a while. where was the hunger? desire? spirit?
    this team still has some way to go in winning high pressure games

  281. I wouldve loved to see Eboue on, Denilson also (starting), these two players dont really play nervous.

    The team was lacklustre and I am struggling to find out why. United didnt do anything special but we played with no pace, we were caught napping on the ball so many times and played silly stray passes when there was a simple pass to be made.

  282. Oh, come on some of you. Yes, we were less then we needed to be, we may not be good enough yet, but Fergie has more worries than Arsene does long term.

  283. As much as I dislike evra, you gotta say his comments kinda ring true, we not in the same league when it comes to playing them and Chelsea, tactically or in desire and belief.

  284. Fukin first time i know of a player slag us off like that before a game and get away with it, very disapointed.

  285. YW – We were little restrained unlike past efforts when we went gung-ho from the start. It is a matter of judgement but in the past we have been severely criticized for our naivety I because we went all out. TBH, I think the lesson over the last year, in particular, is the gung-ho policy makes us very vulnerable to the counter. Fair play to United; they defended in numbers and we couldn’t open them up which, itself, is very unusual by our standards. Fabregas and Van Persie are still rusty, the former’s passing was awful. But we had no alternative but to play them for the last 30 mins. Contrary opinions are just plain hypocrisy and the refuge of scoundrels trying to be on the right side after a game.
    Cheer up YW; as you said earlier this game is not a title decider. Not by any means. I am still optimistic.There are at least 20 games to go.

  286. No, we didn’t deserve to lose. We didn’t deserve to win.

  287. I said it in August, September, October and November, and I will say it again – this club will not win another major trophy with this manager.

  288. I question the mental and mantel of this team, still really without a real leader and they always seem lost in these big games.

    We play with the hand-break on, we lose. We play gong-ho attack, we lose. We don’t seem to find the middle ground. We made United look great and in reality they’re really not…they just have the mental strength.

    Any one who think this was a close game is really not looking realistically at the picture. We are lucky it was only 1-0.

    The result have no big effect on the title challenge or the possibility of winning it, but it certainly establish the fact that we can’t win against big teams and especially when something is at stake.

    We were far beyond disappointing.

  289. @KG – I see 3.30am..

  290. What is more disappointing is how weve lost to this lot and to such a flukey goal. The eulogising and cream fest that we will have to endure is galling. What does Theo need to do to get a game and why was nasri playing out wide were he cannot influence the game grrrr. Still we are second. Generally defended well against the roughing up tactics and didnt fall for the counter attack tactics. I think the defence and midfield really put in a shift . What a performance by the goalkeeper but united blunted our attack and we never offered our forwards a decent ball. Very unlucky. We should learn to dive in the box like those cheating c#unts always do. That f@ckin Webb is a tw@t. To the bunker…

  291. Bill, United sat back, nothing special about what they did at the back. It was us who played as if it wasnt important to win. The chances wouldve been there if we wouldve play with some fire.

    We started well and then fizzled out and again, I am confused as to why.

  292. Paul n , good point about nerves, eboue is nerveless for sure, is he fit? should have started for sure, a tough player in there, Wenger did get his team wrong today, knew from the off it looked weak.

  293. stength wise this is.

  294. exactly bob, the mancs arent even close to special. they just wanted it more. i honestly can’t fanthom why.

  295. I think its a hands up moment. Never looked like scorinng really. Defence were excellent but midfield really let us down. Poor effort. We can learn and obviously the title is still on but I must say it annoys me that we don’t have that edge. What I mean by that is the ability to dominate. We didn’t. Fluke goal? Definitely. Good reaction? Not really. The league is on and we play the best football but I don’t think the best football wins you the league…really, its down to points.

  296. It was a close game G4E.

  297. Damn. I woke up 4:50 to watch the game. Seeing my fellow countryman scoring the winning but fluke goal really pissed me off.

  298. Eboue to start where?

  299. Paul N – The choice of Wilshere over Denilson will always satisfy the understandably patriotic Englishmen as well as the usual bunch of chauvinists and football dunces. But a game like this cries out for Denilson’s ability to maintain possession and continuity which is a platform on which our more creative players can build on. Forcing Nasri to come deep for the football is a waste of his majestic talents.
    Wilshere may be more dynamic plus he will get the 50-50 calls from the English refs but Denilson is like a metronome who will repeatedly make precise, telling passes in the 5-15 meter range that the creative players can feed on.
    Not sure about Eboue though; Sagna is a safer defensive bet.

  300. Henristic:

    We were poor because United were superb tonight. They were rock solid in back. There is no reason for them to be more “up” for this game. If our players are just mentally weak and not ready for big games then Arsene needs to start selling because they have had plenty of time to learn and I doubt that they will get any better.

    What you saw tonight was excellent defending which will always shut down a good attack. We will always struggle in games like this until we learn to keep clean sheets.

  301. The Mid offered nothing going forward (apart from Nasri) but defended well. I think Arshavin may need some rest or either he is injured or has personal issues. He is not sharp mentally and thats so unlike him.

  302. If we can win the two next matches then i dont care if we lost to United. You dont have to beat United and Chelsea to win the league, its proven before that you can loose to top 4 and still win PL.

    However if you keep loosing to the stokes and WBAs of the wold you know you have problems winning the PL.

    HOpe they win rest of this years matches now…

    Chez did not do bad at all. must be awesome to do your PL debute at OT.

  303. Bill said United were superb…

    get real

  304. Thought we lost the game in the midfield. Jack, Song and TR7 were not dominant enough. I like AA23, but he has got to earn his pay and prove the world class tag he has got on him. I watched how Nani, always doubled up on Nasir and AA23 almost always left Gael isolated. Overall poor performance, but people have to realise we were away. Its the home losses that are more significant and hurtful. If only we had those points in the bag. You cant say Manure played particularly well, at least the score line won’t shatter our fragile confidence!!


  305. There was nothing about this ManU team for us to be wary of, they don’t look a stupendous side, though they did look more dangerous once Webb turned up to play for them. We seemed to press them well at times without ever looking that dangerous. Did they park the bus? We seem to need someone fresh and surprise the opposition.
    I agree with Duke G and CBob.
    Now waiting for the doomers to arrive.

  306. fucking park what is that guys problem? always scores.

    gotta agree with bill.. they were very well organized when out of possession, sat deep but pressured smartly and broke us down easily.. and thats why we never got going, really. that said, it was pretty even, but they just edged it out (as usual)

  307. Bill I must agree with you. Clearly the game tonight must be seen in two halves. After the goal united were negative, but why not?? Nothing wrong with that really as long as playing amazing football can counter it. It didn’t. I don’t see how we did anything wrong in terms of the goal. But the efforts on their goal. Shambolic really.

  308. I agree Shotta, this is a match tailor made for Denilson.

    The reason why I say Eboue is becuase I can just see him with his great runs, getting between the United defence and causing them troubles. The guy is fearless and I rate him highly for that.

  309. G4E – I don’t think ManU looked great by any means. They looked better particularly on the defensive side of the ball. The pundits will always exaggerate by glorifying and extolling the winner particularly if it is ManU (the odds are already stocked in ManU’s favor anyway). Even if we had won or drawn Steve MacMannaman, on my ESPN feed, had already convinced himself long before the end of the game that we were a weaker team. 1-0 was a fair reflection of the difference in the teams. Good enough to win but not decisively better. (The missed penalty was a gift to United by the linesman.) My point is our cup is half full and not half-empty.

  310. Guys!

    Why don’t you accept that we are just NOT GOOD ENOUGH?
    How many chances did we create?
    No one in this team can shoot. So many missed passes. Clichy was poor once again. Without 3-4 very good players we won’t win any trophy, aside from the CC if we are lucky. And just don’t start with the “we are 2nd in the league” mantra once again.
    We have lost 5 games already and we are on the road to lose another 5 at least.

    You can abuse me as long as you can, but the truth is we are just not nood enough.

  311. Positives from the game Woijciech looks the real deal. we are still second and i believe we will win the league. Just have to believe, stoke is up next

  312. Close game in what way MJ? The result 1-0 that’s the only thing that was close, other than that we did not even come close to their goal with anything meaningful….Yet we gifted them with the ball %90 of the time and we are suppose to be good at holding it, even it was with no end product.

    We play so nervously in these big games like we are playing the FOOTBALL GODs or something.

  313. wenger got it wrong today, nasri should have started centrally because of a bigger goal threat and rosicky on the left because of his better crossing ability. arshavin should have been up top in a 442 to give more problems to the centre backs. it really sucks that united sat back in the second half because they knew we weren’t creating anything. perfect gameplan.

    United are simply a better team. I know we look better on paper, but they just find ways to win. they are now in first with a game in hand, despite everybody writing them of year after year. they are really good at being lucky.

    and the most annoying thing is that c*nt evra got away with what he said to us.

  314. Utd. did what they had to do. We didn’t. End of.

    That doesn’t make them ‘superb’. It makes us disappointing.

  315. forgive my spelling and poor punctuation guys. i’m writing this from crap phone

  316. mackie what you gonna do about it? if you cannot do anything then shut up. You have no power to change shit, and everyone that has power does not care what you think.

    YOU Dont deserve to win shit. hope we loose the rest of our gams and fall out of top 4! thats what you deserve. And if we do i will be sad but i will take enormous joy in knowing you sit home crying!
    I dont have to abuse you , you abuse yourself enough, crying at home is so pathetic that nothing i can say will ever make you feel lower or have it worse than now. guess what, you deserve it. hope you rot in your own misery…

  317. We didn’t take hold of the midfield the way we should’ve. That’s my only complaint. Other than that, we had them pinned in for most of the second half and they resorted to parking the bus because . On the flip side, the only offensive option they had was Van der Sar hoofing it to Rooney which Koscielny mopped up nine out of ten times.

    All of you saying we didn’t show up need to watch the game again. They were scared shitless of us and played like Stoke on their own pitch. As far as Clichy is concerned, I thought he had a good game. The only look he gave Nani was a deflected cross which somehow ended up in our goal via Park. When MU weren’t hoofing it to Rooney, Nani was left wide open and Clichy closed him down well.

  318. Well, bloody awful, isn’t it? I do think that this game was closer than it seemed to be. Especially Chamakh had the chance to get us back level, if only he had put a bit more elevation on his shot.

    In reality though we did not play to our strengths. We decided to take a more defensive approach and that, in my opinion, did not really work out, as ManU are simply not an adventurous side. Sitting back against them will not work against them, though obviously playing more offensive did have it’s risks and United did come close to scoring a second one when we tried to go all out attack.

    In other notes: Szczesny did well in his first PL start for us. Showing the promise he holds though I feel that his performance is nothing that will usurp Fabianski. I felt that our back four played quite well, especially Sagna was solid, as always (save for that one misguided back pass in the first half). However our attack worried me a bit. Nasri did not really get the chance to impose himself on the game, Wilshere and Rosicky did send impulses occasionally, only to become anonymous again. Chamakh worked a lot while Arshavin had one of his off games. Song was solid, though, to be honest, I would have wished for him to be more offensive. He sat back until the last 20 minutes or so and I think that some more venturing forward by him could have helped us get the breakthrough.

  319. Get the points at stoke we are back in there. What I don’t like is the lack of a real chance in front of the united goal. Again, their goal was a freak deflection. Can’t blame out team at all. What I really can’t stand is the lack of chances at the other end! We are arsenal.

  320. that said i totally agre with Harsh.

  321. The performance at The Bridge was much better..at least we created something, we were unlucky to lose, we missed open chances, conceded unlucky goals.
    Nothing unlucky today, deserved to finish 2nd, even if marginally so. I am baffled as to how did we manage to create so little.

  322. So if you lose to United at their place they are better.

    They won a game where we didnt show up at all and its was still only 0-1.

  323. Where does this mentally weak b.s. come from? You don’t go to Old Trafford being mentally weak and play them to a hard fought 1-0? Go ask Blackburn and the now unemployed Fat Sam what it feels to be mentally weak at Old Trafford.
    Come now gooners. Don’t become little lemmings eating up all that bullshit from the media.

  324. have to disagree Bill. we just didn’t ask questions of their defence. they were superb only in the sense that they worked harder and smarter than we did

  325. So to sum up;
    Wenger buys the wrong players,
    Wenger employs the wrong tactics,
    Wenger picks the wrong team,
    Wenger uses players in the wrong positions,
    Wenger makes the wrong substitutions.
    Can anyone else see a common link here ?

  326. G69, we had the ball much of the second half but didnt do much apart from a few minutes. We started the game quite well though.

  327. More like Men against teenagers, tonight. Hopefully by the time of the return fixture we would have grown into men, when it comes to beating the living crap out of these diving, whigning, and cheating cunts.

    Good performance from Webb. A flying kick on Sagna’s stomache goes unpunished, and the most ridiculous penalty given. Rafael blatantly nudged Chamakh, and denied him a goal scoring opportunity. Ridiculous.

    Nevertheless we were awful. Very tame in attack. Our midfield got bossed around by the likes of Anderson, Fletcher and Carrick. Which is embarassing.

    Nasri went missing completely, back to his old sideways backward passing. The boy’s got confidence issues and nothing else. He wasn’t trying to take anyone on tonight. The only one time he did, we almost scored from the rebound. Dissapointing performance.

    And I would expect the captain of fucking Russia, to atleast TRY to dribble past a fucking 19 year old Rafael. But no, stupid passes, no movement, no clever flicks, nothing.

    All in the fucking head. Seriously. They need to start thrashing the lesser teams to get some confidence. This can’t go on.

  328. G4E – If we weren’t good enough, manure weren’t great. They just edged us, in a poor game of football.
    This game shows us the importance of a solid defence.

  329. Shotta and Paul:

    They were excellent defensively. We are an excellent attacking team and we never really got a sniff at goal. We have scored 3 goals in the last 8 games at OT and our scoring record against Chelsea is even worse. Do you really believe that we have a “bad game” every time we play them. At some point you have to ackownledge that may be the problem is the other team and how well organized they are and how well they defend. On paper United are not nearly as good as us but their defending more then makes up for any other deficiencies that they have.

  330. Bill, they parked the bus at home. Why the fuck give them so much credit for playing like bleeding cowards? Most of their break aways, bar a few where Nani was open in acres of space, were dealth with. This means that if they hadn’t scored that flukey goal, they would’ve not scored at all.

  331. A draw would’ve be a fair result. Flukey goal. Was Van Persie fit enough to make an impact ? Was Fabregas fit enough to make an impact ? Like YW I’d hoped the penalty miss would have inspired the team to a great comeback, but no. Didn’t really turn up today. Ho, hum.

  332. All the people saying we did not create much:

    Goal attempts
    ManU 11
    Arsenal 9

    Shots on target
    ManU 6
    Arsenal 5

  333. A very disapointing display tonight. Poor work rate from most & an obvious lack of appetite & belief.
    I thought Chamakh did well & was pleased Kos & Chesney came through unscathed but Arshavin is literally half a player in some games & Clichy`s game appears to have disintegrated.
    Like Duke says, to top it all nobody got near to that swaggering little ponce Evra.
    Utd weren`t very good – but tonight they didn`t have to be.

    Onwards & upwards however – bring on Stoke

  334. Paul N – “We didn’t show up”?
    That was a harder football game than we give credit. Plus it is patronizing and delusional to believe that ManU did not make it hard for us. We are fooling ourselves on both counts.
    We need to stop fooling ourselves. A big team like United is not going too roll over for the Gunners. We just need to figure out how to beat them.
    (I always like to remind those of my generation of how many years it took Jordan’s Chicago to beat Detroit between the mid 80s and 90s. And in the NBA they played four games a season plus the playoffs.)

  335. Fuck it, I still love you Arsenal, but let play with more focused aggression next time!

  336. Paulie Walnuts – You too?
    “…. an obvious lack of appetite & belief.”
    We are belittling ManU’s quality by making such a statement. They made it difficult for us. Why is that so hard for us to admit?

  337. i don’t think denilsin would have made much of a difference either. maybe he would have improved our posession stats but united sat back for large parts of the game anyways. denilson isn’t more creative than the other players on the pitch and isn’t more likely to score or assist

  338. @Evil – Firstly, nobody’s comparing, we created nothing according to our own standards.
    And even if you are to compare the kind of chances, Schzezny made 2-3 great saves to keep us in the game. EVDS, just one.

  339. The mental weakness argument needs to be put out to pasture. Put it this way, if you’re praising MU’s lack of balls at home as them having mental strength and you’re complaining about our boys’ mentality because they couldn’t break down a Wolverhampton on steroids, then your argument is myopic at best and cliche as fuck at worse.

  340. Does anyone here thinks, Schzezny should have done better with the Park header?

  341. Shotta, because of the poor application shown.

  342. FACT:
    Away in the big 4 mini-league, (ManC replacing Lvp):
    Chelsea: 1G, 0 points (L ManC)
    ManU: 1G, 1 point (D ManC)
    Man City, 0G, 0 points
    Arsenal, 3G, 3 points. (L Che, L ManU, W Man C)

    All that’s happened so far is that the home teams have defended serve (except ManC). We haven’t played at home yet.

  343. Evil-did we really ever look like scoring?? That’s like saying the germans had a good crack during the battle of the bulge!

  344. mj_gunner: No. Complete fluke

  345. @mj_gunner
    I can only remember the late save against Anderson as well as against Rooney, but those came in the last 20 minutes or so, when we went all out attack and gave Utd space to exploit on the break.
    But yes, you are true. By OUR standards, we usually create significantly more chances than the opposition. On this night we only created about equal.

    I think that Denilson might have helped us draw out a couple more ManU players. They had the midfield very well crowded and most of the time there was just not enough space to play through the middle, so we had to resort to going wide and trying to cross it in.

  346. I think it’s confirmed Man U have a very positive hex over them. I’m no magic expert but all the jinxing I put on those fruckers and the inches still went in their favour??

    I think we need a bigger wand

  347. @David s
    Chamakh had a ball cleared off the line by Vidic and he got a header right on target, though it was not placed well enough. Counter question: how many dangerous chances did ManU have before we went all out attack?

  348. @ 1coolSteve, the best post so far by a country mile.

  349. @Evil – you forgot the Nani chance, when he decided to be selfish & blasted over. That’s three very good chances. Plus the goal, which I agree, was a fluke.

  350. Henristic, Denilson would’ve kept us ticking and made our transition from defense to offense that much quicker. I love Rosicky but I think he was not the player we needed out there tonight. Personally, I would’ve gone with Denilson and Song in the middle with Jack playing just infront of them getting in between Carrick and the two centre backs. If there’s one place where MU had the edge was in the centre of midfield.

  351. @mj
    Of course, but that was not a save by Szczesny. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  352. did not create much . we had 2 very good chances but dealt with with Vidic and ferdinand. I can’t complain about the result. I thought the defference was Vidic and Ferdinand they are solid its hurt to say but it is just a fact. By the way how did ferdinand get away with that Kung fu kick he ripped Sagna’s shirt . As expected the decision were never going to come away at Oldtrash but that is not the reason we lost. Despite all the crap from the comentators we are still only 2 points behind. I expect chelsea to beat united and we will smack the Chavs this time and go top..Its is a matter of time before we turned them over. Fabregas and RVP need a run of games to capture their top form. it is really unfortunate, we never seem to play them with a full healthy first team.

  353. Bradys right foot

    Guuuuuuutttttttttttedddddddddddd. There was very little in the game I thought we were pretty solid but so were United. Very different from the last few games we played them. Webb let an awful pre meditated challenge from Ferdinand go unpunished very poor referring . The goal was a sickner, deflected shot hits Park head. I’m not deflated, we didn’t express ourselves and Utd played well but i didn’t see alot of difference between both sides. I also thought Kozzer played really well. The comeback starts against Stoke.

  354. evil
    draw them out where? it was quite obvious that their game plan was to sit back and counterattack. it’s not like it’s the first time they’re doing that against us. wenger made the right choice with wilshere. i thought the substitions were well planned as well. shame the players werent good enough on the night

  355. Another player or another referee, & that could have been a Red. The asshole pretends he was looking at the ball, what the fuck is he trying to do with this studs up??
    M**********g C*nt!!

  356. I agree with Evil.

    & MJ, Tech had to make those saves when we were chasing the game. To compare number of vital saves to VDS’ isn’t correct.

    Our prob is that when we go down, if we’re still down by 80mins, we never really look like scoring. We need to start shooting on sight more: work on our long range efforts and mix up our game with greater efficiency

  357. in saying that though, Walcott, that position, I was sure he was gonna hit the target

  358. @Henristic
    Exactly, they sat back all the time, forcing us to try to go wide. I believe that with Denilson, we could have done better to speed up the game and take proper control, forcing Utd to press us more in midfield, therefore creating space that Nasri, Arsh and company could have exploited. Also, with Denilson, I feel that Song could have gone forward more, creating different kinds of trouble for ManU.
    I do not think that Wilshere was a bad choice. He did play very passionately and that is appreciated. However, I also felt that at times he became completely anonymous and gave the ball away several times. Somebody mentioned Song-Denilson-Wilshere as a possiblity and I believe that this choice might have been better, sacrificing Rosicky’s experience for a more fluid set up.

  359. @Gadget
    Oh yeah, he was clear less than 10 yards from goal but got it all wrong unfortunately.

  360. Gadget – Long range shooting is what ManU wanted. They kept pushing us further from the goal inviting the futile long range effort. We just couldn’t open them up with clever passes. Cesc passing after he came on was horrible, not up to his 2009-10 standards.

  361. gains,
    agree about rosicky. he has rarely performed like the maestro i believed him to be

  362. Its always going to be extremely difficult to score against a team that is well coached and organized no matter how good your attack. Our problem is that United know without a doubt that they will somehow score a goal or 2 on the counter or by a freak header or some other way, but they know they will score against us. They can sit back and defend in numbers all day. Until they have to start breaking their shape to chase goals against us we are going to continue to play games like today until forever.

  363. Must say I agree that we did not seem to have the belief that we could win tonight. Teams always seem to score fluky goals against us though.

    Did anybody else notice our old friend Mike Riley sitting in the crowd next to the England manager.

  364. Anyway, it was a loss in a game in which we should have done better and we have ourselves to blame. However, this should not be a reason to glorify ManUtd cause they did not play more convincingly than we did. They just had that bit of extra luck.

    There is no time to lick our wounds though, we are 2nd in the league and a convincing performance against Stoke might see us go top again, depending on the result between ManU and Chelsea.

  365. Shotta, United not making it easy is one thing but it is true we didnt play with any hunger. Its the truth.

    Its as if you are saying if United play well that means we have to look lethargic. We were crap for the most part.

    Come on bredrin! lets be real about this performance!

    On the other hand, I am not throwing superlatives around like bill saying UNited were superb! please.

    When Arsenal play well all you can hear from bill is “our defence this and that and all whatever else. Chelsea and United play well and you would believe that he supports those teams.

    Superb mi backside!

  366. Bill what do you suggest then? Both teams staying in their own half and defending for 90 mins.

  367. Shotta there is a big defference between a Fabregas on top of his game and an unfit injured Fabregas. at times we looked as if we run out of ideas as Manure camped in their box. Anyway I did not enjoy the game and we certainly can play a lot better. I’m waiting for the return of the Verminator he adds that little extra in attack and he is really quick in tracking back

  368. Steve | December 13, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
    After 7-1 loss to United by Blackburn, to sum up:
    Allardyce buys the wrong players,
    Allardyce employs the wrong tactics,
    Allardyce picks the wrong team,
    Allardyce uses players in the wrong positions,
    Allardyce makes the wrong substitutions.
    Can anyone else see a common link here ?
    Brilliant Steve, brilliant!

  369. Shocking performance 2nd best in every department.Fergie had a plan Wenger didnt.Fergie dropped his top scorer and packed the midfield with Park and Anderson and they steamrolled Song (who was shite) and Wilshire.our passing was awful.For the last 20 mins we had Cesc RVP and Walcott on the pitch yet didnt trouble VDS once.To be honest we were lucky to get away with just a 1-0 defeat
    But will Wenger do something about it in january?,Of course not.5 deafeats this season and it isnt even xmas

  370. They always pack the midfield against us. And it works for them.
    We failed to stretch them and continued to play down the middle
    coughing up the ball for them to counter.

  371. Gary

    So what are you going to do about apart from having a good whine.

  372. Paul N, my brother:
    “….we didnt play with any hunger. ”
    and kept it at 1-0. So the defenders and midfielders weren’t busting a gut to keep it tight and not give ManU room to attack us. The full backs didn’t attack when given the opportunity. Song didn’t work his socks off going from box-to-box. They just went thru the motions, like Blackburn.
    I must have been watching a different game.
    Come on my brother. I need some more convincing.

  373. also, denilson’s lack of pace woulnt have been too useful in a counterattack situation. i just dont see how he could have influenced the game differently. l love him, but this was not his kinda match

  374. Gary | December 13, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
    “Shocking performance in every department”
    Describes your post exactly.
    But then you must be a little Tott on a wind-up.

  375. shotta, they sat back after their goal and depended on counters. the werent stupid enough to go gung-ho against us. it’t pretty much what fergie always does. sometimes they get lucky and some of the counters lead to goals.

  376. Evil, man u had more goal scoring opportunities than we did. Yes we should have done better but, as you say, they defended very well by clearing the very few chances we had. We played ok, they were organised, we didn’t do enough to break them down. End of.

  377. Shottagunna so you think that was good tonight?
    In which department were we better than Man Utd?
    This year we have played 6 league games v Man Utd.Chelsea and The Spuds out of a possible 18 points we have won NONE

  378. Shotta,
    Fraid so – posting post match can be a little like a manager being grilled on Sky I`m afraid. You get emotive.

    Arsene has to fix this conundrum soon. The big teams seem to be able to strangle our game too easily.

    Tomorrow is another day

  379. Bradys right foot

    Was there really such a gulf between the two teams, what game was I watching? I thought both defences played well and Utd would always look a little more solid with a blanket defense and flooded midfield. Kozzer and Squillach played well no? Utd got a lucky goal no? The match was a stale encounter were creatively we weren’t on it. The key player we missed tonight is Diaby he is incredibly effective against such a set up. This is the only way this current Utd team can beat us and fair play to them, well get them on our own patch.

  380. BRF – You are absolutely right. I revised my earlier opinion. It is Diaby we missed not Denilson. We need his drive, trickery, height and speed. He would have been able to take on some of those defenders massed on the 18-yd line running combinations with Nasri et al. Wouldn’t have been easy but he would have been a definite threat as he can finish plays.

  381. I was hoping that Song would give us those runs that Diaby usually provides …

  382. gary | December 13, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
    There you go again with your falsehoods and exaggerations:
    “This year we have played 6 league games v Man Utd.Chelsea and The Spuds out of a possible 18 points we have won NONE”
    Really it must be May already, not December. No wonder you have already run off our six games. Or are you mixing up our Carling Cup game vs Spurs, which we won incidentally.
    Gary: Go to some other blog or the mainstream media where such e chicken-little wailing is par for the course. Pimply faced teenager, I bet.

  383. Song is a defensive player Evil. His dribbles are not as tricky as Diaby’s, his passing is not as great and he cannot finish as well. But Song is a better tackler and defender. But am happy to see you concur that we missed Diaby. Last year, despite that calamitous back-header pass Almunia, he was awesomer making some powerful decisive drives into the Man U box. We missed him tonight.
    We are not a power team but Diaby gives us something in that department to complement our fine passers.

  384. Szczesny played well, he looks to have the nerves to be our number one.

  385. An air of inevitabilty about it all…..

    Another long trip to Manchester – another shitty drive home…..

  386. Szczesny played well. Looks to have the nerves to be a number one.

  387. Of course he is not, but I felt that Song has made some surging runs in the past few months that reminded me of the way Diaby did those last year. Maybe we could have used someone like JET? I feel that JET and Diaby are very similar in the aspect that they are both tall and physical players with dribbling and ball control abilities as well as pace that is quite atypical to their stature.

  388. Evil – Let us not fool ourselves. Jet isn’t there yet, by some distance. Diaby would have been in Wenger’s 1st XI. Anyways it is a case of “Iif wishes were horses.”

    Matt – Cheer up. We showed more maturity than past years – kept the game tight but couldn’t break them down. We have to take lows with the the highs. You are a star because you not only talk the talk but walk the walk.

  389. Bradys right foot

    As we go over the ashes of another defeat at OT, which is ********* depressing yet again, I think its a bit premature to write off the season just yet. We lost a close game we march on lets give Pulis amd Shawcross a lesson football.

  390. The most disappointing thing is Shotta – that deep down – I didn’t think we would win…. Not sure why….. Bit it has come to that….

    fuck it – need to get home and get some sleep….

  391. People will write us off which exactly how i want it, it seems this team likes to do the chasing instead of leading the pack, that is fine as well. sat we could go top again so all is not lost.

  392. In the office early and I’m still pissed off!

  393. It really is a shame to see our players playing as if they are afraid to make a mistake as opposed to playing to win. With so many talented players in the squad you would think that would not be an issue.

    It is a big mental hurdle that they have obviously not overcome yet. I really feel that once they give one of Chelsea and/or United a good thrashing they will go on to do great things. Until then it seems we just don’t quite have the belief that is required.

    Side note…we should not forget that our two most influential players are barely fit and came on with 20 minutes to go.

  394. And by the way, does Howard Webb think that flying karate kicks are a part of football?…I am left with no other choice than to believe that is the case beased on the World Cup final and tonight’s flying kick on Sagna.

  395. We better win the Carling cup since the other three appear hard to come by. Six years of building a new squad is becoming painful!

  396. Not to mention that six years in football is a lifetime!

  397. Howard Webb is ManUre’s 12th man

  398. suga 3,
    perfect example of what a lousy fan you are. dissing your team after a hard fought loss. more important to seem personally right than having our team win. you’d have dissed the troops returning from dunkerque. you accuse arsenal of being bottlers but have you ever considered the effect of your own side constantly bitching and moaning?

  399. Games v Man Utd,Chelsea and Spurs in 2010
    P:6 W:0 D:0 L:6 pts:0
    What a damning statistic YW

  400. We can defend the team all we want but there are times when the team has to step up and show hunger

  401. What a bunch of lame fans our club has eh?

    “I will only support my team when they’re winning” – the mantra of a doomer.

    C’est la vie, this isn’t about them really.

    My sleep-digested perception tainted thoughts on last night. I don’t think we played well. Defensively we were strong. Before the goal, no-one really had any chances, although Man U had the better attacking play I felt.

    Shockingly enough it was our attack which failed us. It was very blunt which is a trend that we’ve seen against Chelsea and it seems to have extended to Man U. Nobody seemed to know what to do with the ball. This is definately a mental thing, but it was exaberated by our lack of movement – I felt we were quite static upfront. I can’t help but think 4-4-2 may work better against Man U and Chelsea. I think Bendy and Chamakh, because they run in different ways could unlock these defences – Chamakh seems to run to create space, while Bendy often runs into space. I’m no tactician but I’d like to see that tried out just to see if my amateur brain might be on to something.

    With hindsight, Man U’s pressing game was brilliant, and it against such opposition that Denilson is made for. His quick passing and his willingness to receive the ball is exactly what we needed. It’s little coincidence we see triangles with greater occurrence (at least to me anyway) when Denny’s playing.

    In saying that though, I did think Jack would have performed better than he did, but he put a good clattering on Evra – good lad!

    Shotta, I stand by my long range comment. At the moment it’s a weakness of ours. Our long range efforts aren’t great despite the fact we have the players capable. We ought to turn this into a strength. Get those shots on target and challenge for the likely rebound. They lead to follow up chances which we can score from. When we can’t breach a defence with Plan A or B, use C.

  402. I agree with Shotta, Wenger got the team wrong.

  403. Agree Gadget we should go back to 4-4-2 against the big teams.

  404. I love the Arsenal! Woo-ha!

    Not sure about Wenger’s statement about the quality of the pitch. Yeah players were slipping, but the passing and movement wasn’t really there in the main. I think Arshavin and Chamakh need to be rested, and Walcott should have come on with Fabregas & Robin.

    Anyway, let’s have the Stoke! Our season begins now!

  405. I am for sure not a doomer and when you look at the table and how close the points are we are definitly not out of the title race. However, with that said, we just did not show up last night. There is no point in pointing out individual players as we are a team and the team was not prepared to fight for it last night. I do not understand why we have a mental block against the Mancs and Chelsea, Why? We are good enough to beat them but until we can do that, we will not be winning league titles. Now we are in the position that we have to rely on other teams to beat them if we want to win the title. We are so close but something is missing, is it just mentality or do we need stronger players?

  406. We made a decent fist of it, I thought. The workrate and application in the tackle was there, the organisation was there… pretty well snuffed out Rooney and reduced their only other attacking player, Nanny, to a shot or two, both off target. Lucky goal from them.

    The sharpness in the pass was missing and that’s very frustrating as it was plain for all to see that it wouldn’t have taken much of it to win that game; shift up just one gear and we’d have passed them out of position and carved the openings out. It’s frustrating that the players on the pitch lacked the imagination and the confidence to take that task on themselves.

    RVP and Cesc coming on with a half hour to go to limp around and chase the game shows you exactly what we were up against. United were missing one first choice player – a winger, who may or may not have been picked in such a negative formation; and we were missing five. It’s always going to be difficult to win the big games without the big players.

    RVP especially made a real difference when he came on; suddenly each player looked as though they could see a new pass, and had the confidence to make that pass first time and make it well. It’s astonishing the sudden, visible impact a player like that can have on a game. Unfortunately energy levels were on the wane at that point, and United already had their goal to sit behind.

    Not a lot wrong for me then… and with Cesc and RVP and Vermaelen and Diaby returning I have every confidence we’ll catch and overtake United over the next few months. Shame for our boys, it wasn’t quite ‘our time’ for a win at Old Trafford… not just yet. We are the better team though, and that will tell out.

  407. Oh and I don’t know what AW is implying about their pitch being rigged or what… but it sounds about right.

  408. They played better, showed more quality, and character. They deserved to win despite getting lucky with their goal.

    We continue, mean time, to concede flukey goals.

  409. Oh and Darren Fletcher is a complete fucking cunt. Reminds me of another complete fucking cunt who’s about get sacked by Ipswich… if they know what’s good for them.

  410. Fukin 10 defeats in 11 agaisnt the wancs n chavs. painful.

  411. It is not a mental fucking block…

  412. DFG, we have the players to beat these teams, so it’s definately mental. They need to develop a score at all cost mentality, a tactical fluidity to try something different when our normal way of working isn’t working. We aren’t particularly ruthless. I feel like we’re the cat who toys with the mouse as opposes to the one that brutally eviscerates it.

  413. we bottled it. Plain and simple.

    For me this is the most earth crushingly disappointing defeat in a long time. Yets it’s Old Trafford and no-one is meant to come away with 3 points but I felt that this team would at least show one meaningful attack. No-one played to their potential, and it wasn’t because of United defending, which was very assured it has to be said.

    Sagna summed the night up for me, solid and in control but yet kept acrobatically reverse-hoofing the ball up field when he had the time and quality to play it.Thats fear. These kids just don’t know how good they are and it’s heart breaking.

    Van Persie showed a bit of aggression when he came on but hardly touched the ball in fairness.

    Not a title decider but the sad part it it may have been if we’d avoided defeat.

  414. A 1-0 loss at Old Trafford is not the end of the world. The match was painful last night. There were brief spells where i thought we could do it, but other than that, the mancs did their jobs well, pressed continuously until the final kick, and frustrated our players. As you say Limpar, we had a weakened team, they didn’t. We can challenge for the title all the way, and come the end of the season, we’ll be up there. We just need a fit Cesc to come back into form, RvP to get his shooting boots on and TV5 to get over his injury probs and we’ll have a scarily talented team lining up every week… I’m absolutely gutted, but it’s only mid december.

  415. Needless to say, Limpar and I disagree!

  416. These games need our toughest or biggest players. Bendy,Denilson and rvp should have started,and also Walcott is on fire and should be starting now.

  417. That’s history you’re talking about, Duke. Different players, different teams.

    nolagunner put this particular result into perspective last night…

    Away in the big 4 mini-league, (ManC replacing Lvp):
    Chelsea: 1G, 0 points (L ManC)
    ManU: 1G, 1 point (D ManC)
    Man City, 0G, 0 points
    Arsenal, 3G, 3 points. (L Che, L ManU, W Man C)

    All thatโ€™s happened so far is that the home teams have defended serve (except ManC). We havenโ€™t played at home yet.”

    That’s current events, this season, the present. Keep up.

  418. Can’t use injuries as an excuse, as the team we had was strong enough to go at United – to go and fight for the draw at 1-0 down.

  419. And how that cunt Felcher didn’t get booked, i don’t know. He’s such an aggy fucking twat.

    Chezney was pretty solid though i thought. Poor kicking at times, but the rest of his game was great. Good handling, cross claiming, communication. Feel sorry for him, conceding his first goal playing in the first team. He almost got to it too..!

  420. You can’t tell me that 90 minutes of Fabregas, Van Perise, Diaby and Vermaelen wouldn’t have made a difference to that game. Of course it’s about your squad stepping up but stepping up at home to Fulham is one thing, stepping up in a huge game like that… it’s always going to be difficult.

  421. Limpar; I hear what you are saying but why does it always happen against the Mancs and Chelsea? In my opinion we have a mental block against these teams! We can make excuses about what players may be missing but that is the reason why we have a squad and a very good squad. The starting 11 last night were more than good enough to win but we simply did not play up to standard and some of our players just did not perform. As I said, this result is not the end of the world but it is results like this that we must turn around and that my friend is a mental issue! We are good enough of that I have no doubt.

  422. Szceszney looked very, very good. Kicking aside. How he even got close to that header having had to readjust to that fluke deflection I don’t know.

  423. Limpar,

    sorry dont understand your point at 9.50. we have played 3 and got 3 points everyone else hasnt played more then 1.

  424. it was blatantly a mental issue yesterday ,we looked nervous from the off.

  425. In 8 games we haven’t had one striker score against Chelsea or Man Utd. Depends on if you call Arshavin a striker.

    Where was Sammie Nasri last night? For me he shrunk. Rosicky was a passenger. Wilshere was more active but the game largely happened around him. The back 4 were fine, but Sagna just couldn’t calm down & pass. Clichy had a couple of brainfarts which clouded the fact that he dominated Nani.

    Chamakh is not a goalscorer in my opinion and is unlikely to shade tight games like yesterday’s. Arshavin hit a lot and missed invariably. He’s redefined poor standards.

    The team pressed well, and were well organised. What was lacking was genuine quality. An absence of people who’d stand up and play their own game with quality when it counts.

    How many of our players played below their individual levels yesterday? Virtually all. By that I mean in terms of technical quality.

    Arsene says it was due to the pitch. I can believe that……our passing was rushed, and generally off. Painful to watch.

    Despite the cutting ratings I don’t think we played too badly. In contrast to recent norm, we were better as a unit than as individuals.

    The point is, this team hasn’t many excuses left. If they’re good enough, at some point it has to show. After 5 losses by December (despite winning more games than any other team) we can actually go back top next weekend by beating Stoke at home.

    After that we just have to stand up against Chelsea.

    Even if these teams are better than us, they’re not miles ahead of us that we should never get results against them.

    If the boys don’t respond with character, and respond well, you have to wonder what that says about them as individuals.

  426. All we can do now is move forward and concentrate on Stoke this weekend. This will be a physical game and it will be a “must win” game. As I said earlier, points wise we are by no means out of the running.

  427. also if you add the spuds as a top 5 we have lost 3 and won 1.

    how can you dismiss 10 defeats in 11. we have a problem with them. we cant fukin beat them, they know how to play us, we need to get back to basics 4-4-2 with our biggest toughest players, play direct and stop all this fancy passing against them.

  428. if we did not play a tactical game last night it could’ve been a high scoring game for both teams but victory is not garanteed. it was clear in the first half Wenger told the players to concentrate on defending and not commit to many men up. It almost worked as we really limited them to few chances but on the other hand we could not create. At least we showed we can change our style of play and be defensive if we want to. A draw was possible last night if it wasn’t for a fantastic block from vidic on Chamakh. A long way to go before this title is won, I doubt wether anyone will run away with it.

  429. What fancy passing are you talking about Duke. I saw none of that yesterday. We didn’t play our passing game

  430. Of course we can’t ignore the fact that our best 2 players are still finding their way back from injury.

    O still ask though….Mr. Nasri where were you last night between the hours of 9 and 11 Post Meridien?

  431. Wonder what NB52’s thinking in light of his national manager’s comments..? Hope he stays and gives it a bash…

  432. Don’t know where he was Ole. Maybe the occasion got the better of him? He’s always looked dangerous against manure until last night… Too much pressure maybe?

  433. bah, enough with the bad indeed. Taking my cue from others let’s emphasise the positive! Schezney put in a good shift in goal, and is definately putting truth to the hype!

    Clichy had an excellent game. Despite him backing off a bit too much for the goal for my liking, it was the fact that he got a foot in which deflected the ball luckily to Park for the lucky goal.

    Defenisvely I thought we were much much better. Kos and Squil strangled Rooney superbly. As a unit we stifled United but as we chased the game we become a little bit more open offering them clearer chances than they had in the first half. Chasing games has always been detrimental to our goal tally, but we don’t usually play to chase. I think we defend the way we did in the first half, we’ll challenge for the league all the way

  434. DFG, The attack fell short, the passing fell short and the movement wasn’t quick enough or intelligent enough. All that can be grouped together; ‘our passing game’, our ‘flow’ – whatever you want to call it it’s how we win games. Why wasn’t it there? You say Arsenal has a mental block against big teams, I disagree. I think it’s tactics, and in turn, it’s about the personnel to be able to defeat those tactics. How to beat a good team like Utd or Chelsea when they’ve packed the midfield? I think our passing game, when it’s good, is good enough to win those games. Look at the chances we’ve created over the last couple of seasons in the games we’re talking about. Enough to have won those games, just not taken (no form strikers).

    I say you can’t underestimate the difference the three biggest leaders at the club would have made to that game. You need your big players to win the big games. On paper that team were good enough to win, you’re right, but it turns out they didn’t play together to the sum of their parts – and that shows you how much you miss the big players to pull those parts together and get the most out of them. With RVP on we always looked dangerous.

    Having said that… their goal was flukey and Chamakh should’ve buried his chance. It was a tight game. Not a lot in it at all. I reckon what we have in reserve trumps what they have in reserve and I think we should see it show over the course of a season.

    I don’t believe in this ‘mental block’. There’s a bunch of reasons why we didn’t play well. Nerves in some of the younger players? Of course, but there isn’t some imaginary, insurmountable Man United shaped hurdle in our minds. That’s just made-up media hogwash. I didn’t see us look scared – frustrated at our own faltering passing game, yeah – but not scared. I think shoving these games all together and saying ‘mental block’ because we’ve had a run of shoddy results go against us is to do a big disservice to the players. But perhaps the longer people think that – the quicker they’ll disprove them.

  435. Time to ship the old professor away. His time has gone, football has moved beyond him. I knew this team will loose when I saw the lineup. The way ManU would play us has always been clear. Stifle the mid and hit on the counter. Those risks were not addressed by that line up. If they were, Squil, and Arsh would not have made the team sheet.

    We do have talent, but application is a different thing. I do not suppose the gaffer can offer much to this bunch…

  436. Gadget
    What match were you watching.It could have been 4-0.The penalty miss plus two great saves by Szczesny.What did VDS have to do?

  437. It’s worrying that teams are targetting Clichy. But what’s more worrying is that Arshavin either isnt bothering, or isnt being asked to get back there and help Gael out. He does his standard token jog back towards our defensive 3rd but that’s it. If Rosicky was playing left, he would have offered much more protection. Sagna has been awesome recently and teams rarely get through down that side, partly due to the cover he gets from Nasri and even Theo, but partly because he’s just more solid in general. Arsh needs to pull his finger out defensively. Clichy backed off way too much for the goal, he’s looking like a man lacking in confidence, and a defender lacking confidence needs the players around him to help out. Nasri was quiet because he had the wingers coming back to double up on him every time. Nani didn’t have that all game.

  438. VDS won the game for them, Andy, with top saves from Nasri at full stretch, and from Chamakh from close range near post. Remember?

  439. LA
    difference between Arsenal and Man Utd last night was the managers.Fergie put a team out to beat Arsenal Wenger put out a team with the same game plan as if we were playing Wigan at home.
    Fergie dropped his top scorer and brought in runners like Park and Anderson who harried our midfield.We had a team of passers but no fighters.Wenger was shown up in the tactical war.But what made it worse was his lack of changes at half time.That has been a big fault for Wenger for years now,he is unable to change the tactics during a game

  440. Limpar: Good response thanks. However, I think that tactics relate to a mental issue, you either comprehend them or you don’t. Oh and I never ever mentioned anything about being scared. I do appreciate the fact that you claim it is down to missing big players but I don’t agree with that. Modern day football is a squad game and not down to individuals alone. I think that outside of RVP, Cesc and Vermi, Arsenal has pleanty of big players. Plus when you consider how much of the season they have missed already it is unfair to consider they are the saviors of our game. We have done well enough without them thanks to our squad depth. So I just do not buy the excuse that without a certain player you can not expect to win. History has proved we have a bad record against the Mancs and Chelsea and I can only repeat what I said earlier that until we can turn that around we make it very hard on ourselves to win championships. So I am sticking to my opinion (while respecting yours) that against these teams we have a mental block. Again, I don’t care what player/players are missing, we have a great squad and when these players are missing it is someone else’s turn to step up to the plate. I am not slating the team in any way, merely pointing out the problem as to why we cannot seem to beat the Mancs and/or Chelsea.

  441. Despite still feeling down about last night, new post is up. Well, not necessarily a laugh a minute but it has been written. And posted.


  442. Of course we can’t forget we played at the Glazerplex in front of 73,000 gloryhunters. They were at home, we were away. But I still want to know why our players couldn’t show the quality we know they have. Jonathan Wilson put it quite well:

    That said, there is a carelessness that is consistently undermining Arsenal: laxity in possession, laxity in picking up opponents, laxity of thought. Perhaps it is simply lack of confidence, but irrespective of physique or tactics, too many players are not performing tasks that are well within their ability; at Old Trafford there was almost a resignation about their performance. That was typified after 56 minutes as Marouane Chamakh seemed diffident in attempting to reach the rebound as Van der Sar saved from Nasri, allowing Nemanja Vidic back to clear. Perhaps he slipped, perhaps the surface was to blame, but the Moroccan didn’t exactly hurl himself at the loose ball. Is it appetite, desire, self-belief? It’s hard to know, but it fitted the general pattern of Arsenal not quite doing enough.

    Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jonathan_wilson/12/13/arsenal.united/index.html#ixzz185D9a8QU

  443. Fair enough, DFG. I just think big game ‘mental block’ is a massive oversimplification. And while it is about squad strength, when you take out the spine of a team, any team in history would struggle – especially in the big games. Look at Chelsea’s form right now as an example.

  444. Limpar; Fair enough to you as well. Good chatting with you. Now bring on Stoke this weekend and lets get three points in order to stay in contention for the title.

  445. Finn Gunn

    They weren’t from Suga 3 so have been spammed.


  446. Nasri was OK but still not at his best I feel. The rest of the mid was appaling with any forward attacks but defended quite good I thought.

    As for Arshavin, something up with him I think. It can’t be money worries that’s for sure…

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