Emphatic Return To Winning Ways For Arsenal

Birmingham City 0 – 3 Arsenal

0 – 1 van Persie (13)
0 – 2 Nasri (58)
0 – 3 Johnson (65 og)

Following a midweek stutter at Wigan, Arsenal responded with an emphatic victory at St. Andrews where Birmingham City had lost only one of their previous 29 home games. A win in Wednesday night’s encounter with Manchester City will lift the club into second place at the very least.

Three points were thoroughly deserved. Birmingham had opportunities and will no doubt feel aggrieved that they were not awarded a penalty for a blatant handball by Robin van Persie. In not awarding the spot kick, Peter Walton completed a miserable afternoon for officials around the Premier League where high profile decisions were incorrectly made.

Yet Arsenal could – and should – have scored more themselves. The missed opportunities evened themselves out over the course of the ninety minutes. Victory, and the manner of it, silenced some of the criticism which had followed the draw on Wednesday. Wenger returned to the starting XI that so comprehensively outplayed Chelsea and received due reward.

The opening spell saw Arsenal hand their hosts a warning of what was to come. Walcott found the sidenetting whilst van Persie had two tame efforts from set-pieces. The three efforts were gently advances, the precusor to more incisive attacks later in the game.

In a fixture with a recent history of poor tackling by both sides, it was little surprise that early in the match another incident arose. Johnson having overrun the ball, followed through onto the shin of Cesc Fabregas. A tackle more reminiscent of Jack Wilshere at The Emirates in the summer than Martin Taylor’s cyncial assault on Eduardo. Nonetheless for a man who had been so vocally critical of Wilshere, Johnson has been more reticent in his self-criticism.

Six minutes later, the incident was pushed to the backburner. Robin van Persie received a slight tug and duly went to ground. It was a brave decision by the Dutchman as serious injury could have arisen on a ploughed field of a pitch; a surface in keeping with the Birmingham’s style of play yesterday – unashamedly agricultural. van Persie duly opened his Premier League scoring for the season with a heavily deflected shot. It matters not about the ball not entering the net cleanly; Frank Lampard has built a goalscoring reputation on the back of deflections.

Before the first quarter of the game had passed, Birmingham would have drawn level were it not for the strong hands of Lukasz Fabianski. The Pole’s improved form this season has so far been a bright spot; he drew confidence from turning away Larsson’s free kick. van Persie would mis-control at a crucial moment as the first half edged into it’s final third, spurning a glorious opportunity to give Arsenal an increased advantage at the interval.

He almost had reason to rue the miss. Jerome flicked on a set-piece to Johnson, whose afternoon was gradually getting worse, this time blazing over the bar from the edge of the six yard area. If he thought it was bad then Heaven knows how miserable he was later in the match.

As half-time came onto the horizon, Gael Clichy presented Theo Walcott with an opportunity to double Arsenal’s lead. The England international connected poorly, his volley allowing Foster to make an easy save.

The second half saw Arsenal raise their game and dominate. Seven minutes in, Nasri cushioned Walcott’s cross into the path of Wilshere. The youngster blazed his effort over the bar. Nasri warmed the hand of Foster moments later, the former England goalkeeper turning the Arsenal midfielder’s shot away smartly. All the while, the feeling grew of when not if, a second was going to arrive.

It duly did just before the hour mark. Fabregas picked the ball up by the centre circle, exchanged passes with Nasri before the Frenchman edged forward into space as the home defence backed off too far. Such laxity is ill-afforded when an in-form player is on the ball, Nasri placed his shot into the bottom corner with Foster stranded.

Five minutes later, Fabregas and Nasri wove a tapestry of passes around the area, retaining possession before the pair advanced menacingly into the area. Nasri slid the ball to his captain who unleashed a ferocious drive from close range, the ball ricocheting before gently rolling into the net off the hapless (and hopeless) Johnson.

Arshavin, Walcott and Fabregas might have given the scoreline an even more one-sided look but Foster and wayward shooting prevented that from happening. Three necessary points were secured with a clean sheet thanks to Gael Clichy’s late goal-line intervention.

There were a number of good performances with Koscielny and Djourou looking a strong partnership in the centre of the defence. Both had moments where they lost their quarry in the area but overall they repelled Birmingham comfortably.

Bacary Sagna though deserves special praise. Having played in all three of the matches over the festive period, his defensive consistency is matched only by the calmness of his temperament. Having been stamped and battered, he refused to buckle to Bowyer’s vile thuggery. Hopefully the FA Disciplinary department will look at the incidents with an enthusiasm that matches that shown by Bowyer in committing the crimes. It is baffling to believe that Bowyer was once on Arsenal’s books.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 2, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 203 Comments.

  1. excellent game and a good post, doomers where art thou

  2. Agree, YW…

    Sagna deserves special praise for playing in an enerrgy-sapping position for 3 games in 6days…

  3. A really good win – we are only the second visiting team to leave St Andrew’s with 3 points since Sept 2009. We pressed hard, refused to be bullied, and played very well at times. And, looking at the way we stayed fresh to the end while Birmingham flagged, it showed the benefits of squad rotation.

    Not a perfect performance by any means, but a very fine one nonetheless.

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2011/01/01/fabregas-and-nasri-provide-the-spark-as-arsenal-give-birmingham-the-blues/

  4. Bradys right foot

    Great write up Yogi, have to say that Sagna has been outstanding for us this year. For me he’s the most consistent player in the team and without doubt one of the best right backs in the world, if he keeps up his form hell be our player of the year.

  5. Didn’t Koscielny play all three games as well?

  6. Was he really Yogi? Well I never.

    I thought that was one of our best performances of the season. We dominated a truly horrible Birmingham side.

    Bollocks to the whining managers and pundits. We are the Arsenal.

    Onwards and upwards.

  7. A great performance and result, which has the added benefit of putting the Wigan draw into perspective.

    This starting 11 was simply too good for B’ham and might be too strong for our other opponents. RvP is finding match fitness (and his touch) and the attacking potential of this side seems limitless – once we find our full coherence.

    The immediate challenge will now be to face Citeh without too many changes to this 11 and that means that energy levels and focus could prove critical. But that’s for tomorrow and right now we should all enjoy the warm glow of a job well done.

    And some were (again) ready to sack the manager and sell the players (which would obviously follow seeing as many of the team stay due to Arsene) following a draw with Wigan!!

    7 points out of a possible 9 over the period and still some moan!?

  8. Matoo,
    He did.. but Sagna played in a more energy sapping position..

  9. Dgob

    There should be no changes for Wednesday – 4 days between fixtures is enough for all to recover unless there is an injury involved and the two wins this week have shown AW who his current strongest starting XI is.

    YW

  10. Great post Yogi. And I love the term “unashamedly agricultural.”

  11. On Bowyer and Sagna,

    Although the former skin head played for Arsenal boys team, his mental health and involvement in racist incidents always pointed to his departure.
    Sadly, the thug was allowed to try and cripple Sagna who turned in another excellent performance under conditions that were very demanding. Apart from Nasri, I find it hard to single out a MotM. Sagna, Song, Djourou, Cesc, Fabianski all turned in excellent performances and all the others played well.

    It makes you proud

  12. Nice write up and an enjoyable read.

    My tupenny worth is in no particular order
    1. Van Persie’s handball didn’t look at all intentional to me. I know that I’m a biased Arsenal fan but it looked, for all the world, like he headed the ball onto his hand. It is true that penalties have been awarded for such infringements before but it would have been quite harsh.
    2. Djourou’s confidence and calmness are hugely beneficial attributes for the team but sometimes he should just get rid of the ball. He played a couple of risky passes in the first half that thankfully weren’t punished. Having said that there was a passage of play in the first half where he passed, moved, passed again and the danger was over. That was sweet. I think that Djourou is the real deal and I honestly cannot wait to see how a partnership with him and Vermaelen develops
    3. Nasri is as good a player as Wenger has ever signed for Arsenal football club IMHO. The Little Prince was just amazing for me. His delightful touch, deceptive speed, imagination, dribbling, passing and his often overlooked work rate must be a joy to behold for any Arsenal fan. His signing almost makes it worthwhile to have lost Hleb.
    4. Clichy is a much, much better player when he gets the help from the player in front of him.
    5. Sagna is awesome. He was very good when he first arrived and then had a dip in his second season but right now he is as good a RB as there is out there. The guy is just pure class.
    6. Can the anti Fabianski mob please give it a rest now… His save from Larsson’s free kick was an outstanding and crucial stop given the state of the game when he made it. And it isn’t the first time that the has made absolutely crucial stops in matches we’ve either won or drawn
    7. Finally let me just say that I think we won in large part because Wenger rested key players for the Wigan game. It will be interesting, to say the least to watch the development of this current team…

    Finally, is it me or do certain websites just seem happier when Arsenal lose? The blog posts on here are equally interesting whether we win or lose but Le Groan especially, and a few other too, absolutely can not seem to write a half decent post after an Arsenal victory. But it doesn’t end there… they actually also appear to get less “comments” when the team does well and their more voluble commenters suddenly fall silent. I wonder why? It just seems odd that a community of supporters of a football club should be less enthused by victories such as the one we just won especially given the history of this particular fixture and what happened there 24 months ago..
    Odd

  13. YW,

    I agree. This definitely looks like confirming our first choice starting eleven. I hope the four days do prove sufficient and that we can turn in an even better performance against Citeh and their fairly pourous defence. Given their temporary position that would be great.

  14. Joshua,

    There’s a rumour that the key twat from Le Groan is in fact a West Ham and Spuds sympathizing Essex boy. That would make some sense I suppose!

  15. YW and Dgob,

    I too want to see the same staring line-up against Man$iteh, but I’m not sure that is the case.. There is a worry of RvP and Djourou playing 2games in 5days or 3games in 12days considering their long layoffs last season..

  16. IndianGooner,

    I know and that does worry me a little as I think that both players enhance our quality. Fingers crossed that if Chamahk and Squillaci replace them they have excellent games!

    Fingers crossed

  17. Dgob….

    Thanks for that. I just find the site’s ethos totally bizarre and some of the xenophobia in the blogposts can be quite shocking sometimes. I just find it weird that they publish these OTT rants, quite often, within half an hour of a loss but largely have nothing to say after a win like yesterday’s or even the win against Chelsea.

    I just can’t get my head around the fact that a supposed Arsenal fan who actually cares about the club appears more motivated to write about our losses than our wins. Neither can I understand that they take more joy in slagging off our players than in giving them due praise. It makes no sense to me… especially when you consider what the general consensus was before the season kicked off…. We were meant to struggle this season according to these people because we hadn’t spent squillions on top talent, so you cannot even argue that these wins are routine or expected… FOR THEM ESPECIALLY. Weird.

  18. joshua,

    a win against the relegation fodder should be a normal thing, whereas a loss against Sp*ds, WBA, Newcastle or the manner of loss (i.e. without any fight) against Manure is something that makes (or at least should) a fan’s blood boil…

    LG is a Ying to ACLF’s Yang, it would be pretty boring otherwise, no?

    today, I am full of praise for the team for not folding in the face of thuggery presented by the Brum ‘footballers’ and keeping cool heads when it mattered, plus, a big shout for the away support!

    peace…

  19. Dgob/ Indian gooner,

    I think that Van P might possiblyget a rest if Wenger chooses to rest anyone but Djourou may well play again as Wenger, all things being equal, would prefer a settled defence for a game against a direct rival for the title. My suspicion is that Yogi is probably right and that we’d see the same 11 start against City.

  20. Could it be that the title will be decided by just four more matches?

    Man City at home. (Wed).
    Away to Sp*rs. (TBA).
    Liverpool* at home. (April 16).
    and … Man U at home. (April 30).

    All the others … 14 of them … will be a bit like yesterday … tough, easy, no fears.

    ManU have to play us, Chelsea (twice), Liverpool (twice), Man City and Sp*rs.

    Man City have to play us, ManU, Liverpool, Chelsea, Sp*rs …

    And so on.

    The thing is, Chelsea are obviously rubbish this season – as are ManU; Man City have just the one player in Tevez, and Sp*rs have two in van der Vaart and some Welsh bloke.

    Rooney’s obviously knackered and out for 2 weeks min., Berbatov’s a pony, Chelsea have no one without a bus pass, Liverpool are has-beens, and that’s about it.

    As for managers … Ferguson’s having more and more of those ‘senior’ moments, Ancelotti’s about to be caretaker’d by Allardyce, Hodgson may not last the month, Mancini will be retained (thank God), and floppy-face flash Harold is either off to the Scrubs in the back of a van or about to flee the bill for Bolivia in a second-hand U-boat.

    While we’re rotating our players and keeping them healthy … except for TV5 who may be back later this month; and Gibbs and Ramsey who will be … everyone else is playing their best players to death.

    OK, there’s the distraction of going to Wembley. And the distraction of Barcelona. But, taking absolutely nothing for granted, we have a real chance this season to win the title.

    Sure, we’ve been in this kind of position before, but we’ve never been better, stronger, or healthier. And sure, they’ll be some iffiness ahead, but everyone else will drop points (remember ManU play Chelsea twice).

    All we have to do is yell our guys on like we did last Monday.

    Is that too much to ask?

    *I include Liverpool for old times’ sake. With luck, they might make the top four, but they’re in such disarray … and playing so badly … and about to sack their manager … (poor dears).

  21. All those brain dead wankers who complained about the selection against Wigan should watch the Birmingham game again and go outside and fucking hang themselves. Fresh, fast and utterly dominant thanks to the rotation Arsene put in place.
    Suga no LeMoan is not ying or fucking yang you prick it’s an Arsenal hating piece of shit.

  22. Agree AW should stick with the same starting eleven…. especially as next week end FA cup is another opportunity for rotating/resting some players.

  23. LG. with all due respect, is the really the Fox News of Arsenal Blogs and like Fox News it has a particular agenda and it would lie and distort to push that agenda. As a result, again like Fox News, it attracts a particularly ill informed but enthusiastic crowd. (enthusiastic when Arsenal lose) The level of xenophobia in one the main writers’ rants after a loss is IMHO a disgrace to the club. That is nothing like ACLF in my humble opinion.

    I fully appreciate that not all sites on the web the focus on Arsenal can aim for the sort of contemplative, intelligent and thoughtful analysis as ACLF does but the opposite need not be the puerile and dumb nonsense one gets from Le grove far too often.

    IMHO Le Grove has an agenda to do down the current Arsenal manager. The way they allow their posters to spew the most defamatory rubbish about the manager on their site without any sanction can only be contrasted with the alacrity with which they are willing to silence voices offering a different point of view. Didn’t they ban a poster for daring to criticise the blog post of one of the contributors recently? I’m sorry but to call LG the Ying to ACLF’s Yang is an insult to ACLF. ACLF is a blog that is open minded enough and tolerant enough to allow for cogently argued diverse views. LG, on the other hand, is a haven for some of the most stupid and reactionary dimwits who think that Wenger is sabotaging Arsenal and our players are mostly rubbish… and dissenting voices, no matter how reasonable are either cowered by witless bullying encourage by Geoff in particular or outright bans. Le grove isn’t even within the spectrum as ACLF. That’s what I think… of course you can disagree.

    Now let’s talk Arsenal…

  24. steww,

    fuck me, how classy…

    ever read the LG comments section? as much as Geoff & Pedro are critical, they can also give credit where it’s due and all kinds of views allowed there whilst name calling is pretty much a no-no…

  25. as far as ‘silencing these offering different point of view’ is concerned, try reading the debates: if you form your opinion in articulated manner without initiating the discussion with calling everyone and his dog a c**t, you stay, simple as…

  26. Good performance. A deserved win, but for a long time in the first half it looked like this was going to be one of those evenings. We really need to put away those chances we create. We won, so I don’t want to be too critical, but this profligacy hurts us in some matches and we end up wondering what could have been.
    A word on the refereeing ….. shambolic!!!! Firstly the tackle on RvP was a red. Bowyer should have been sent off for the stamp, Djourou didn’t deserve hi s card, oh the list goes on. Alex Mcleish is a thug and he’s molded all his players in his image.
    I don’t know what the punditry is like for you guys in the UK or Africa or the US, but Sky’s sister network here in India is as Anti-Arsenal as you can get, not one word on the Johnson tackle during half time or post match, they didn’t find the incident worthy enough to be included in the highlights package, while they kept on banging about how our first was fortuitous & contentious and how we were lucky not to concede a penalty for RvP’s hand ball. Cunts!!!

  27. Suga3….

    Our record at Birmingham makes our most recent win anything but NORMAL. The fact that Birmingham beat a Chelsea team that most of the doomers love so much and got a draw against a ManU team that a lot of the Arsenal critics love to contrast us most unfavourably with makes the win anything but normal. That the decided to try to physically intimidate us and that we responded by totally outplaying them is not in any way normal. That we scored 3-0 unanswered goals is far from normal.

    Yesterday’s win was outstanding in so many ways that it raises the question as to why some fans and some Arsenal sites choose to pretend that it was just one of those things… 24 months ago a promising Arsenal player’s Premiership career was effectively ended at St Andrews… to win as we did there last night has a deep resonance for me as an Arsenal fan. That win wasn’t routine, or matter-of-fact or NORMAL, as you put it… it was OUTSTANDING.

  28. joshua,

    now look at my first post:

    ‘today, I am full of praise for the team for not folding in the face of thuggery presented by the Brum ‘footballers’ and keeping cool heads when it mattered’

    I guess the above constitutes quite a pat on the back, no? and I am, what you like to call a doomer – the thing is that I would love nothing more than being proven wrong…

    at the moment, we are in position to mount a serious challenge in the Prem, thanks to combination of us having improved and ManYoo and Chelski having regressed – now I just don’t like the way AW may want to gamble with TV’s fitness, as his new ‘pencilled’ return date is dangerously close to the moment the transfer window shuts and we are loaded…

  29. Suga3,

    You are supremely ill-informed. Many of us on this site never resort to letting our anger out and yet have been banned or at least censored when posting positive reflections on our team on Le Groan. Let’s leave it there and you are of course free to disagree and support a site with which you cannot understand the problems.

    I suppose it’s one way of gettig the bile off your chests. Another method, which those of us on ACLF tend to select, would be to level your anger at the media, referees and doomers who would undermine the team we love.

    Simple as….

  30. and we also have look ‘behind’ us to watch out for the emergence of the New Chavs On The Block as well as our inglorious neighbours…

  31. Suga3…

    I have followed some debates on the LG forum and you are wrong. Very wrong.
    A poster was banned there recently and it that poster that was called all the epithets under the sun… and it was that poster who got BANNED so what you say is incorrect.

    It was so obvious that he was banned for having different point of view that other forum members spoke up including the likes of “queen of suburbia”. There’s a poster there called Jaguar who calls fellow posters and the manager and players all the things you say and he is still posting… why? Because he hates the manager and the players!

    I’m sorry but you are incorrect. I don’t want to be too melodramatic here but at it’s worst Le Grove is like an electronic cesspit. At it’s best it’s probably a bit funny but mostly ill informed or misinformed and rather obtuse about the intricacies of the transfer market or managing a real football team.

    Like I said… LG and ACLF are not even within the same spectrum intellectually…

  32. Joshua @ 12:10pm,
    Top Comment..

  33. Last nights performance fully justified the Wigan rotation IMO & I agree that Sagna & Kos deserve special praise for playing 3 times in 5 days at that level Plus, don`t forget Wilshere played for an hour at Wigan too.

    Hopefully they`ll be fine for Wednesday. The rest of the lads should be raring to go.

    Johnson got fairly instant karma following his lunge at Cesc & Birmingham got precisely what they deserved from the game. They certainly didn`t employ those tactics against Man U.

    I`ve just seen Sky Sunday Supple-ment which always makes me laugh. Today was a big Man U / Totts love in with `Fergie` & `Arry` lauded to the skies & Arsenal dismissed as also rans. It`s quite scary how little Henry Winter & chums knows about football.

  34. Dgob,

    I can understand venting your anger at the ref when you lose points. Media are just media, they just sell papers, commercials, etc. and have to be controversial in order to do so – I say screw them…

    doomers – well, they are just fans, like yourself who don’t like losing to fucking WBA due to the team simply having jogged out thinking the game was in the bag or due to lazy performance against ManYoo: I would not mind having lost to them on their turf, but when I see players not running towards the passes and losing majority of the balls, it drives me up the wall, that’s all…

    I personally like to praise and criticise whenever either is due, simples…

    on the banning issue: I have been banned on the Untold Arsenal without insulting anybody, just for suggesting that the theory about ‘doomers’ posting from multiple accounts was a lot of bollocks 😉

  35. joshua,

    the poster who was banned was allowed to post for a couple of weeks and conducted his argument in a very patronising manner, for which I have pulled him up, but it was only in a polite way 😉

    to be honest, I don’t know what he got banned for in the end either, but hey…

  36. Suga3

    Ref trolls, sorry, ‘doomers’ posting from multiple accounts – it does happen, I’ve seen enough in the Spam bin…

    YW

  37. Suga3…
    No one is saying that Arsenal are perfect or that Wenger is a god without fault or blemish.. what a lot of real fans find ridiculous is the relentless moaning and whingeing of a particular group of fans, most whom tend to congregate on sites where their views cannot be challenged.

    You cannot bemoan everything at the club and then say… “oh, I’d love to be proved wrong” that is surely nonsense. Here’s an example… about 3 months ago site’s like Le Grove where saying that a player like Djourou wasn’t good enough to be 4th choice CB at Arsenal. That was arrant nonsense then and it is arrant nonsense now. That isn’t criticism, it isn’t even a knee jerk reaction. All it is is folks who enjoy wallowing in negativity spreading a bleak view for which they have no evidence. The criticism that some fans have for the likes of Diaby and Denilson is so unreasonable that you have to wonder what is going on… but what really gets me is the fact that the doomers would happily accept excuses for other teams that they’d never dream of extending to their own team. So Chelsea were supposedly missing key players at the start of their slump which explains the form… what about us? We played United at OT with 3 key players unfit or totally missing and you talk about “lack of fight”? We’ve played for a majority of this season with 2 CBs who are totally new to the EPL. In fact it is only in last 3 matches that we’ve had anything like our strongest team available, which means that we’ve played 16 matches missing key players. My question to you Suga3 is where do these FACTS figure in your criticism of the manager and the team?

  38. YW,

    I can assure you, so do the ‘believers’ 😉

    I think I might have not made myself clear enough – I suggested it was nonsense that the whole ‘doomer’ or as you like to say ‘troll’ setup was just a few isolated individuals, or even that they have a ‘bigger’ purpose, like clamouring for Usmanov…

    IMO, it’s only good that people have different opinions, as even a village idiot can notice something everyone else have missed…

  39. Paulie Walnuts.

    Sky pundits and hacks on the supplement would rather eat faecalmatter than give Arsenal our due credit. It’s self preservation – lest everyone sees the reality that they’ve been full of the stuff they shovel in.

  40. joshua,

    I really found myself screaming at the TV during the MU game, as we simply did not turn up, players missing or not – we have lost so many passes due to interceptions it was unbelievable…

    Szczesny was ironically the only player that did not deserve to be on the losing side, despite having conceded the winning goal – once again, this is my opinion, not a gospel 😉

    criticism or Diaby: this fella must be the most expensive player per game minutes played ever! yes, he has bags of talent, but he does not play enough games and properly turns up in about one in three, hence the frustration with him and considering him to be a waste of space…

    as for Denilson: once again, player with many qualities, however, just to use the consumer law language, being of ‘satisfactory quality’ does not necessarily equal being ‘fit for purpose’, does it?

    I do understand that he had a lot of poor games due to simply not being a defensive midfielder and AW trying to mould him into one, and that (just like Diaby) he gets better the further up the pitch he goes – once again, my opinion…

    fair?

  41. Suga3…

    You don’t ban someone for being patronising. The fact of the matter is that if the poster was being patronising and wrong then he’s an idiot and would look a fool anyway. If he is patronising and right then it the people being patronised who need to examine their views and given the splenetic nature of the normal Le Grove Blog post, mockery is the least it deserves IMHO. It really is that simple.
    Someone came on here the other day and tried to patronise Yogi for his prose style… and he was laughed out of court! You cannot patronise a reasonable position or argument because you end up looking a fool.

    The poster on Le Grove was banned because he/ she made cogent arguments that showed up errors in the Le Grove blog post. That’s why the poster was banned… that the poster mocked Geoff and Pedro probably annoyed those two but TBH mocking them is not too difficult because half the time they unwittingly mock themselves anyway.

  42. joshua,

    how do you know the ‘splenetic nature of the normal LG blog post’? reading much? :mrgreen:

    really, I am a regular over there and I like a good debate as well as a good banter – as I said, there is no such thing as black or white point of view, the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle…

  43. Great result.

  44. If Fabianski never done his houdini impression then people would have been saying Wenger was right to rotate. truth is he was right to rotate and it should have worked. we looked good against Wigan and would have won but for Fab, how people say Wenger was wrong to rotate is a joke. clearly just a gaff away from three wins. But Wenger put fab in there so it was his fault wasnt it.

  45. duke,

    IMO, the only fault on AW’s part was not making the customary 60th minute subs, that’s all…

    I have even suggested a similar first XI lineup prior to the game…

  46. Suga3,

    The passes went astray on the the ManU pitch because the pitch wasn’t great. I know that some of us think that Wenger talks rubbish all the time but that pitch at OT wasn’t the best… it meant that we couldn’t play our game as well as we should have done and our game is based on passing quickly enough to play around the pressure. That favoured United… in much the same way that the St Andrews pitch favoured Birmingham. The difference is that united are a better side than Birmingham.

    The second point to make in all this is that ManU did what they had to do very well. They were defensively very solid and played like an away side would on their own pitch. Also we were a tad unlucky to concede when we did, just before half time. If we’d gone in level the second half may well have been different. I honestly don’t buy the idea that we were all that poor against ManU. We could have played better but we were nowhere near as poor as some make out.

    Diaby is a fabulously gifted footballer. There are very, very few footballers with his size who have his kind of ability. Since the nameless oik at Sunderland shattered his ankle he has struggled for fitness but Wenger is absolutely right to persist with him. The guy was outstanding in a Franch team that included the likes of Gourcouff, etc. Diaby needs a run of games and some luck with his fitness. Frustration that he doesn’t dominate a game with his talent like ought to often enough is no reason to be blind to the player’s obvious quality. i’m willing to bet anything that when he comes good all these folks now on his back will forget everything they said much as they’ve done with Djourou.

    Denilson is a very good player. Against Wigan, for instance, he was outstanding… Wenger loves the guy for a reason. I would also like to say that a lot of this DM talk is a bit mistaken. Wenger has never wanted his nominated DM to just sit. Gilberto didn’t just sit, neither did Petit or Vieira. So to talk of wanting to convert Denilson into a DM is not totally accurate. Denilson is different player to someone like Song but he can take Song’s position in the team… but the team will have to adjust the way they play.

    One last thing and it may be controversial to say it is this… if either Diaby or Denilson were as gifted as they are but English a lot of the moaning against them wouldn’t even exist IMHO. It never ceases to amaze that the people who hate Diaby and Denilson are often the same people who’d recommend that we sign Jagielka, Cahill or Upson.

  47. Hey Darius, What has happened to Stone Cold Arsenal?

  48. Suga3…

    I wouldn’t criticise something except I look at it.. or in the case of LG, read what was on offer. I know of the splenetic nature of their posts because I’ve read such posts.

  49. joshua,

    I am Polish, and to be honest I don’t really give a shit whether the Arsenal players are English or not, apart from the benefit of playing local lads who just may be loyal enough to go on to become the ‘lifetime Arsenal’ legends 😉

    out of these three, I would consider Jagielka, as he looks a pretty useful player, as for the other two, thanks, but no thanks…

    as for Denilson and Diaby – fair enough, let’s agree to disagree on that…

  50. and the passes did not go astray because of the pitch at OT – Manure did not have these problems, so it was a tad embarrassing to hear the ‘pitch was the problem’ explanation…

  51. Suga, yep agree Wenger should have made a sub or two agaisnt Wigan, it was a very fast game and theo would have eat them up on the break. it was calling for it and yes we were all pissed when he didnt bring anyone on. but without Fabs gaff we would have won regardless.

  52. Used to hate ManU. Nowadays the only football related thing that I hate are some of the Arsenal fans. Wouldn’t be too surprised if Le Grove was funded by Usmanov. There’s something sick , sad and dirty about that lot.

  53. afternoon yogi
    afternoon everyone..bloomin heck things dont change do they? even after a severe pulling down the pants and giving a complimentary smacked bum to the bully boys of brum, us gooners still cant get along and rejoice in the moment without moaning about akbs. trolls, doomers and other mythical creatures…

    i was annoyed with wengers decision to rest the whole squad v wigan but the reality is we fielded a backup team and got a draw when other ‘top 4’ teams cant make 3 changes without loosing….
    now we have a fresh squad for citeh and they are all fit..and if we win v citeh wengers decision is justified …10 points from 12 over xmas and new year against good teams is champion form
    if they stay fit i see no reason why we cant win the league..especially if we take the cc in feb the momentum will take us over the line come may..

    its on..as they say..our squad is the best and after beating chelsea and city already the big game hoodoo is put to bed..the trophy hoodoo could also be put to bed come feb..

    the time is nigh..or whatever..

    just pray for fit key players for the next 5 months..

  54. Great result yesterday. I realize that Brum are relegation fodder but they have been extremely tough to break down on their home turf for every team in the PL. Scoring 3 was superb and IMO even more important was keeping a clean sheet. Scoring enough goals usually not a problem for us but the how well we stop the other teams from scoring will be the main determinant our final table position this year.

    Agree with those who think we should keep the same starting 11 against City. At some point we have to take the cotton wool off RVP and Djourou. They can rest after the next game. Nothing less then 3 points acceptable in this match.

  55. duke,

    quite frankly, I would prefer to see Szczesny ahead of Fabianski each and every time…

    sure thing, Fabianski cocked it up in embarrassing manner, but we would have won if the ref was not such a blind twat…

  56. chelsea one up with the ref’s help. misplaced pity, perchance?

  57. bill,
    i think the game after citeh is at home v the mighty leeds lol
    if theres a time to rest players its then..full team for citeh…give em a rest at wkend and back to business game after..

  58. suga
    im in the scscscsczzzsszzzzney camp..but when ever fab is making saves and keeping clean sheets its not fair to replace him..

  59. JJ,

    I think it would not only be unfair, but also counterproductive, as Fabianski’s confidence would be as good as gone if AW dropped him right now for no real reason…

    by the way: come on Villa 😆

  60. 1NilToTheArsenal

    Happy New Year Everyone,
    Wow, what a way to start 2011. Love to see the passion of fellow Gooners and Goonerettes everywhere. To paraphrase The Glimmer Twins:
    “I know it’s only Arsenal
    but I like it, like it, yes I do…”
    The Stones may be faded and grey now (like Chelsea perhaps?), but indications are that Arsenal are on the verge of an ascendency that may finally end our drought of silverware. I think the bitter disappointment of the Wigan game was well-earned because we gave away 2 points, but the longed-for consistency may finally be falling into place. We are healthy, we are strong and we are finally in form. A repeat performance against an armed and loaded Man City side will be definitive.
    This starting XI is clearly the one we need and should now be played as regularly as possible with appropriate rotation. Consistency and confidence are a “virtuous circle” and both feed upon each other to bring home silverware. Well done, Arsenal.

  61. suga
    agree with u on counter production and villa.. 😉

  62. Joshua, please don’t encourage him or he’ll never leave.

    Unfortunately I’ve only managed to view highlights so far, but given recent history and the ‘tactics’ employed by the blue scum, that was a fantastic result. I just hope there are no injuries from that game so that we can have our best XI available for Wednesday.

  63. Oh God, it’s even worse, he’s brought in reinforcement!

  64. passenal
    i hope you get to enjoy watching the whole match at some point
    it was a terrific performance..the scoreline flattered them in the end and although brum can moan they got unlucky with a pen and freekick johnson should have seen red inside the 1st 10..and bowyer did enough to warrant two reds on their own as well as countless yellows..they should have been down to 8..

    away at brum..three goals, clean sheet, no injuries..

    it was just like watching arsenal 😉

  65. How the fuck have Villa got 6 bookings?

  66. For what its worth, I was at Old Trafford and from where we were stood, the team played OK, not great, but not rubbish either. They didnt deserve to lose that game and perhaps Cesc has a point when he said about the team being scared to lose? He might have an idea, being captain and all. Now thats all that needs to be said on that game, as its over and done with.
    The games vs the chavs and brum scum should give the team more belief now and hopefully they can carry that level of performance on now.

  67. Paulie Walnuts

    Just heard that Chris Foy was in the Man U post match bath yesterday

  68. Joshua,

    The doomer is out of the bottle. You’ve done a terrible thing. Deal with his nonsense now. Takes a while to get rid of him. And now his fellow JOnJon is back too, who should have long been gone gone.

    Matt,
    I found myself on the Le moan comment section yesterday. Your post was hilarious. The Queen really is a good diplomat and all isn’t she? Hahaha.

  69. Fuck off Suga3

  70. Happy New Year to you too, Ateeb & Ole…

    😆

  71. Ateeb,

    I guess you could learn a thing or two from her…

    unlike Ole, who is just his usual twerpish self 👿

  72. PW – please that is not the kind of imagery anyone still recovering from 2010 needs in their life.

    nice to see chelsea’s bench challenging for the eastern european xmas scrable competition. may have to reach for the dictionary though as I have never heard of any of them myself, let alone spell them… and in the spirt of giving they even let some of them on the pitch to gift heskey a casual header. how admirable

    downing is a fine winger though, really should see more time in an england shirt.

  73. Twerpish ! Come on Suga you can do better than that!

  74. JonJon:

    Agree completely with your post at 2:07. I think most of us here are in agreement with playing our best 11 vs. Citeh.

    I liked the 1st paragraph of your post at 1:59:

    “bloomin heck things dont change do they? even after a severe pulling down the pants and giving a complimentary smacked bum to the bully boys of brum, us gooners still cant get along and rejoice in the moment without moaning about akbs. trolls, doomers and other mythical creatures”

    The internet is good and bad. I would never get to talk about Arsenal football any other way. I guess this fan vs fan stuff an inevitable result of enabling huge diverse groups of fans to discuss sports. Fights like these are as old as professional sports but they used to only happen in pubs. The fact that we can call each other names and have virtual rather then real fist fights without anyone knowing who we are makes it a lot easier for those who like that sort of thing.

  75. Jo,

    I surely can, but why bother?

  76. Suga
    I hear ya mate!

  77. bill
    its one of the reasons i stay off the net now for long periods
    footballs an emotional sport…all people show their emotions differently some get angrier than others..doesnt make u a better or worse fan..
    it got to the point where you couldnt critisise anything anymore or you were a doomer and if you stood up for the team you were an akb and in the end you wonder why u bother…
    like u say in the pub it goes into the car park and its back to being mates..on the net it snowballs and all these mythical creatures are invented and its relentless..cant even enjoy a win anymore without being told wengers rubbish or sod off doomer..
    makes me think what some peoples intentions actually are…

  78. Hahahahahahahahaha! Terry thinking he’d won it for the chavs makes it even funnier!

  79. Chelsea back to drawing ways.

  80. Back to the drawing bored!

  81. tic toc..

  82. Theo Walcott defending vs.Chel$ki:

    Just one player much abused by the above troll.
    Someone else (Mr.Tactical Renoog) has been kind enough to make a video of that improved defensive play in the 20/21 year old ( . It’s not just these ruby goggles! Is there a phantom D-Fensive coach at AFC? Should I listen to Amy Lawrence,whose record over the summer, regarding a certain story, was full of pure gr*t?

  83. I do think there are certain bloggers who make up for the fact that they never go to the games so they come accross super optimistic and super loving. utter bollocks. football was invented by men so we could let out our emotions without bloody talking, good and bad. oh and also to get away from the wife.

  84. I have had a fair few arguments with some so-called Gooners simply because I refused to slate Theo, call him limited, shit etc. This season he started like a train, got a bad injury (on International duty of course) and came back and started where he left off; being brilliant.

    But this is not some renaissance, or transformation for Theo has been excellent for us since he arrived. Injuries affected him badly but it was clear he was a top talent. Clear to all, ezcept those with agendas (pundits and media) or who had simplky decided he was shit and refused to back down from that view point, regardless of the evidence before them.

  85. duke

    The complete opposite applies too mate. There are loads of Gooners who dont go to games who are the very worst type of “fan” Ultra negative, abusive, etc.

    Watching games on TV is far worse for the health (mental and otherwise) than watching it in the flesh!

  86. It is worth commenting that Arsene Wenger has done a brilliant job of rotating his squad this year. As you are all aware, this process of rotation has been developing over the years perhaps beginning with the use of his youth players in the Carling Cup. That piece of strategy resulted in Arsene being roundly criticized in the media for not taking the Carling Cup seriously. As it was mentioned on the Saturday broadcast, Alan Hansen, is absolutely clear that no manager can win the league or anything else while using children in his lineup. And, it was also mentioned on the broadcast that some of these children are growing up into world cup winners!

    However you choose to view the matter, there is no doubt that Arsene is coming to grips with the problem of over playing his charges. It may well be that at that same time Arsene is coming to grips with the problem of injury within his squad. A bit like incorporating Periodisation into his coaching method. Less is better, and this applies when there is a group of players as gifted as is currently in the Arsenal team at the moment.

  87. lmao duke
    comment of the year all ready..

  88. Did anyone else see Walcott win a header against Zigic yesterday?

    This starting XI has it all pace, presence, technique, determination and filthily talented back up.

    Can you feel all it? I can. It’s happening.

    I can’t wait for Wednesday.

  89. Chel$ki must not have a defensive coach or they just lack concentration. If we’d let in three against this mediocre Villa side some of the doomers and defensive experts (Bill) on here would hang themselves. And like I said after the game against Wigan, Ancelotti would give his left nut to have a player of Squillacci’s experience. Particularly today when it seemed as if Bruma was caught napping on a few occasions and they had zero CB replacements on the bench.

  90. Thanks for this post! Judging from the TV videotape, I think that Bowyer’s two incidents (literal muggings, not tackles!) were actual, intentional, open assaults. Assault one: Barcary with his back turned away. Assault two: Barcary on the ground. Is there any precedence (as in the U.S. National Hockey League) for an arrest? Is there a statute of limitations so that charges could be filed later on, so that the predictable braying and snorting from the usual suspects would not be deployed to unfocus Arsenal’s drive for the title? Surely that’s why Arsene, at least for the moment, sidestepped the matter in his press comment. Even when they nearly end Cesc’s career and openly go after Sagna’s future, we have to zip our lips so that the media circus won’t de-rail our title bid. I do agree that it’s best to keep focused, for now. But is there a statute of limitations on such blatant, indeed criminal assaults and making even a test case in the courts? I’d love to know your thoughts (sometime). Behind all the machismo about not complaining and all that, this is criminal behavior. Must we wait until Cesc and cohorts become the next Eduardo/Ramsey to put the fear of the law into them?

  91. Both Denilson and Diaby are quality players. Denilson has been dealing with a bad back since last season. Otherwise he’s an automatic pick for Arsene.

    To deride Diaby for his lack of quality, eventhough he has never had a run of more than five games, is utterly ridiculous. When he gets over his injury problems and has a proper run the doomers will have to eat their words like they have with every single one of the players they’ve tried to shit on.

    Face it mugs, Arsene Wenger knows more about the transfer market than you, your friends and their friends put together.

  92. deano
    chelskis squad are just old and the squad is incredibly thin
    they know how to defend theyve been doing it years but age gets to us all im afraid

    i think its more to do with the fact their squad has an average age of 413..the brains still there but the legs wont do it..

    such a shame lol

  93. As it stands Birmingham and Wolves look like they’re going to be relegated. If Stoke joins them we’ll pretty much have a thug free league until we face Chelsea’s Essien and Bolton’s Robinson.

  94. gainsburgh

    denilsons a good squad player mate..thats it
    jacks done in 20 games what denilsons been trying to do for 200 games and thats cement a place in the side not just through injury but through what you give the team..

    denilsons not auto choice mate..wengers found his starting eleven and denilson and diaby are not part of it..squad players yes first teamers no..

    weve got all our players back fit mate denilson will have a part to play but not every week..

  95. The rotation is essential if we’re to reduce our injuries.

    Remember past seasons when everyone was scratching their heads asking: “why are all our best players out with these injuries”?

    Well, AW this season has rotated and is far more cautious with players returning. Hence: Djourou not in at Wigan, Cesc only given 30 mins at Old Trafford, Chamakh rested etc.

    It seems we can either stick our A-team out game after game and have Cesc hobbling or do what we’re doing – staying in the hunt with a decent chance of pulling off the title.

    Look at ManU and Chelsea … full of jaded players and benches to laugh at. Look at Man City and Sp*rs (both of which are going to spend significantly during the fenestration) in the forlorn hope of pulling off something improbable – (because buying aka ‘the Leeds model’ is their only option*).

    All these teams have one thing in common. Their teamsheets are one-dimensional. They will have to play their ‘best’ players in every important match and to hell with the consequences.

    We, on the other hand, can play:

    Fabianski or Szczesny. Gibbs or Clichy. Arshavin or Nasri or Rosicky. Theo or Nasri. Wilshere or Denilson or Diaby or Rosicky. Chamakh or van Persie …. and so on.

    Yes, we’re still waiting on Vermaelen, and we still only have one Song. But we’re in far better shape than any of our rivals.

    And it’s all down to not having the list of chronic injuries of previous seasons. In this context a draw at Wigan isn’t so bad, is it?

    *Let’s say the table ends Arsenal, Man U, Chelsea, and someone else. Two out of Man City, Sp*rs, and Liverpool aren’t going to make it. At least one out of Man City and Sp*rs aren’t going to make it. Both ‘Arry and Mancini are going to be handed funds in order to chase down the Champions’ League places – even if it’s just fourth.

  96. @Jon Jon …

    We have no ‘starting eleven’. As I said earlier:

    Fabianski or Szczesny.
    Gibbs or Clichy.
    Arshavin or Nasri or Rosicky.
    Theo or Nasri.
    Wilshere or Denilson or Diaby or Rosicky.
    Chamakh or van Persie

    Denilson can sub for Song.
    Nasri, (RVP even) can likewise for Cesc.
    Kos for Djourou.
    and so on.

  97. and all of as sudden CLICHY turns to a good left back(NASRI),really SAGNA is the man and MOTM has got to be our away fans!

  98. talia

    we do have a starting eleven..the whole squad is now fit and it enables us to rotate in certain games and keep them fit

    but we do most defo have a starting eleven..ask chelsea and brum..
    we havent had one for years due to injuries or whatever..but its here..and its going to continue to smash teams to bits provided they all stay fit..which is where the likes of nikki denilson and diabyand the other squad players come in….

    we are waiting for tv to return but essentially the spine of the team is jd song cesc nasri and rvp and thats how it stays until injuries say otherwise bring the other players in around them if we need to rotate but those guys have to play at least 90% of whats left this season if we are going to clear up.

    in my opinion of course

  99. G69 @ 4:14:

    I am reasonably confident that there are lots of bloggers on Chelsea sites complaining and figuratively hanging themselves about their defending. Rightfully so when they give up 3 at home to Villa and Sunderland. They are only 1 year older then last year but seem to have lost their mental edge and the will to compete. Hopefully they will regain some pride and energy for the 2 games against United. Lack of depth and older legs make it much harder to turn it back on once you have switched off. Good riddence

  100. Glad you liked it Ateeb, I couldn’t resist…. The pretentious bollocks was making me laugh.

    Great performance yesterday, how good is Djorou now he is fit and getting a run of games, immense.

    And Nasri must be the second best player of the season, after bestest player in the whole wide world, Bale of course.

  101. Lurking here and there. Returned after a break to see the mindless tag team of Suga and Jon-Jon return to trash ACLF. Apparently they are bored with the mindless morons over at LG. Popped down and saw the following:

    Passenal | January 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    “Joshua, please don’t encourage him or he’ll never leave.”
    – That was my 1st reaction.

    Passenal | January 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    “Oh God, it’s even worse, he’s brought in reinforcement!”
    -Ditto for me.

    Joshua: You are an excellent poster. Toughtful, reflective. Words of advice for 2011: Never engage Suga and his moronic acolytes. Nothing good can come of it. Simply tell them all to FUCK-OFF!

  102. And while I am at it. It is interesting how Bill is very comfortable with the views of Suga and Jon-Jon. I sometimes thing Steww is very hard on Bill. But over time I have grown to understand. What a twat!
    Sorry Steww for ever doubting your bullshit meter.

  103. come on now shotta..cant we all just bask in the ambiance together..
    im sure wenger will allow you one day off, at least, from doing your bit as patron of arsenal and shouting at all the mythical creatures on the net, to allow you a sherry or 2 and join in the celebrations..
    just cos u dont go to the games mate dont mean u have to go OTT all the time we know your passionate just enjoy the occasion fella with the rest of us…

    denilson was motm v wigan mate as well..surely thats give u a wee smile??
    surely??

  104. Jon-Jon: Do not patronize me you twat. Just fuck-off!

  105. think about it shotta
    your only two comments in the whole of todays post are slagging ppl off..
    nothing about yogis post, no hellos, no happiness in the victory, no football chat just straight in and BANG…insults..even to ppl who you havent spoke to in months..
    very puzzling indeed
    but im not getting involved i only wanna talk footy dont like what you use the blogs for to be honest so im going to follow your advice and not feed the troll..

  106. Just watched Wigan – N’Castle. Dire stuff. Long balls, thuggery and theatrics. Nolan, Alan Smith and Barton… It’s a privilege being a gooner.

  107. finngun
    well said

  108. Do you know what sickens me the most? We have won (very well) a couple of games and people like Suga and JJ come to bask in the warmth of the wins. They cannot support the team in the hard times though.

  109. Exactly right dups. Being the opportunists they are, they are quick to see the bandwagon leaving the station. But I will restrain myself and take it one game at a time.

  110. Why oh why does people even bother to reply to suga3s posts? Hes a forum troll, has always been and always will be. He thrives on pissing you off and whatever you write however you argue he argues back to whine you up. For Suga3 its not about footy, its not about winning, its not about loosing, its about whining people up and laughing in his room, having a great time as he managed once again to make you all huff and puff infront of your screens.
    Do you not see this?
    I dont know about the rest of you but i only listen to people i know have good knowledge of football. Its clear that Suga3s knowledge is just superficial. So i skip his posts. i can see his been very active today and i can see some of you have gone in his trap today too.
    Dont read his posts, skip them, ignore them, they are so full of stupidness anyway. And if you end up reading them, and you feel your blood boil, just dont reply. maybe he will go away then. remember, dont feed the troll.

  111. Jon Jon, when Arsene wants a more dynamic midfield he deploys Wilshere or Diaby. When he wants possession he plays Denilson. The reason why Wilshere has been getting so much playing time is because Denilson hasn’t fully recovered from his back inury and not because is that much greater than Deni.

    Bill, I have to keep pointing this out to you so that you don’t ever make the mistake of comparing us to other teams whenever we make defensive mistakes. With Vidic and Terry making huge mistakes this week-end that should pretty much keep you quiet on that subject, no?

  112. Shotta @ 5:49:

    Long before Jon Jon and Sug3 came on today, I have been on record saying that all of the doomer vs nondoomer garbage that gets posted just takes away from discussing football and adds absolutely nothing of any interest to the blog, just a lot of white noise. I would be interested if you could come up with any single positive thing that comes from it or how it might help the cause.

  113. dups

    i havent been around on any of the blogs until the past week or so..not really..ive had a long rest cos i had things to sort out and the net was doing my head in with all the akb-doomer crap going on..

    but new year new start and all….looks like nothings changed tho..

    but like i said whatever..not bothered what gets said or not said arsenal won and are looking good and thats the most important thing

    not what some eegit behind a keyboard half a million miles away thinks about me or whoever else he dont like that day cos the cat shat in his cornflakes

  114. same goes for JJ really… nobody cares what some geek a million miles away thinks about whoever he dont like that day cos the cat shat in his cornflakes….

  115. gains

    i sort of agree with what your saying but personally i think he plays denilson cos he wants to give jack a rest..

    i think denilsons role in the squad is very important..like what grimandi used to do..come on for the last 15 mins when we are winning and keep the ball..hes good at it..also good for games v wigan just didnt have the right personell around him to keep the clean sheet..

  116. duke @3.50

    And drink loads of ale without getting grief, just raised eyebrows, “He’s been to football…

    YW

  117. lmao
    that comment of dukes was priceless..

  118. since we are picking sides,am with SUGA3, JON JON and BILL,if that’s the way it’s going to be.
    Talia, your first post had me in fits!
    shotta, you do try very hard to be crass.
    Happy new year Gooners!

  119. It says a lot when the Scottish league is a lot more competitive than La Liga. It truly is just a 2 team league now, where it used to excellent, with quality teams throughout. Now its a shock if Real or barca dont win every week.

  120. There’s avery good reason why we keep duke around. I can’t quite remember what it is now but he reminds me every so often.

    Something to do with football and how it used to be. Going to a match on a rainy night after a few pints, shout your head off for a couple of hours with your mates and then have a couple more on the way home.

    Got it! That’s it.

  121. @ joshua
    I absolutely love reading your posts but I can only endorse what shotta, steww, poodle and others have said about jonjon and the other numpty.

    @ Bill
    So can you explain why Chelsea have decided to stop keeping clean sheets or even defending well?

    @ Paulie Walnuts
    Agree that the rotation has been justified – and add to that the simple fact that those 8 players got to play. We are fighting on four fronts and we are going to need ALL our players match-fit and confident, not just the stars.

  122. How fast things change in football.wasnt chelsea the team to be afew months ago?

  123. Chelsea are an unstoppable goal scoring, never conceding winning machine that will simple roll over all before them and stroll to the FA Cup, Premier league, Champions league and Miss Universe Pageant titles.

  124. Delia---Block 112

    Unfortunately, I only managed to catch-up with the highlights on MOTD. I think we were a trifle lucky to go in 1-0 at half time but the second half display was, from all accounts, of the highest order and justified AW’s decision to rest key players. Brum were run ragged and out on their feet at the final whistle.
    The FA are now going to look at the Bowyer assault on Sagna and we can only hope that a lengthy ban follows. I am so proud that none of the boys took any retaliatory action against a nasty case of thuggery dished out by the Brummies. The Ref was simply not up to the job, perhaps he left his Red Cards in the dressing room!
    I trust that neither Sagna nor Cesc have any problems which could keep them out of Wednesday night’s game. If we can put Ade and Co well and truely in their place, then the skys the limit, so onwards and upwards to bigger and better things in 2011. I have a really good feeling about this campaign and can’t wait for the next episode !
    As for the anti Wenger/Arsenal contributors on Le Grove , they must lead very sad lives. There is nothing worse than having a glass which is permanently half empty!
    As always COYRs

  125. @ Delia
    “I am so proud that none of the boys took any retaliatory action against a nasty case of thuggery dished out by the Brummies”

    Me, too. They retaliated in the best way – by outplaying that bunch of thugs.
    I didn’t think it was a deliberate handball fromRvP, if that’s what you mean by “lucky”, though – I thought it was jsut a really really rubbish attempt at a header!

  126. id of been ok with taking a red v brum

    games like those deserve players getting kicked in the air..

    i prefer the way we did it where we dont retaliate and just beat em by the scoreline but it makes me squirm whenever those challenges go in ..its games like those where we normally get 2 players injured long term..we got lucky nobody was hurt in that game..

    maybe a little kick back wouldnt be a bad thing..especially bowyer..id have given one of my defenders permission to kick that bastard in the air at 3-0

    but thats just me…not endorsing violence like i say i preferred the way we did it but again id of been ok if one of our lads took a red..it would have been for the team and i would have understood and defended that player…

  127. night all

  128. FunGun@ 6:54:

    “@ Bill
    So can you explain why Chelsea have decided to stop keeping clean sheets or even defending well?”

    I do not not know for sure any more then you do. IMO it is a combination of age and indifference and complete lack of depth. Last year they let their foot off the gas pedal when they got ahead and were able to push back down when needed. I suspect this year they thought they could do the same thing but increasing age, lack of depth and may be most important lack of energy has made it much more difficult to shift back into gear. I have seen a similar thing as championship level teams age together in other team sports. What do you think?

  129. Queen of suburbia

    For a bright guy Matt, you sure do miss a lot.

  130. I know the bbc have made cuts but dropping the analysis on motd is surely the last straw!

  131. A three game suspension is way too lenient for a deliberate stomp on the knee. There’s something fundamentally wrong in the English football establishments attitude to aggressive play.

  132. Bill @6:20…

    I have respectfully disagree with you. Labels are important. That they can be abused or used as a way of shutting down debate doesn’t make them worthless.
    As an example consider the positions of various blogs at the beginning of the season. A lot of blogs and their comment section were of the opinion that we had no chance at the title because of Chelsea’s unmatched strength, City’s spending and improved quality, United’s experience and Spurs improvement. We on the other hand were being managed by a tactically naive skinflint out to destroy our club. What I’ve outlined is not an unfair caricature but a correct précis of positions offered by blogs such as Le grove, Arsenal truth and others. The positions these blogs take up and the agendas they push have no relation to any kind of reality and so IMHO to label them doomers is not only absolutely accurate but very important too otherwise the risk is that you treat intelligent and considered criticism and idiotic moaning as one and the same thing!

    To question why Wenger made no changes against Wigan is fair and intelligent because everyone can understand why the changes might have been helpful . On the other hand, to talk about Wenger only being interested in finishing 4th because he gets a bonus or some other rubbish is witless buffoonery and should not be treated with same respect as the first question for a whole host of reasons.

    The doomer label is entirely correct and useful IMHO… The AKB thing on the other hand is garbage. There isn’t a single blogger I’ve read that thinks that Wenger is infallible. None. And almost everyone has some aspect of the team and club that they criticise, be it signings or tactics or whatever… there are bloggers who, rightly in my opinion, say that Wenger has been a huge boon to Arsenal football club, there are those who have a deep respect for the man’s basic decency, commitment, intelligence and dedication but almost everyone also accepts that he can be obstinate and incredibly stubborn. There is no AKB that I can see.. if you disagree show me one.

  133. Just watching the game again. Can some one please John Champion & Chris Waddle to the vets and have them put down. Champion for being a complete wanker & Waddle for attempting to speak English in past and present tense all at the same time.

    How do people who do not have English as a 1st language understand anything Waddle spouts?

  134. @JonJon (5:12 pm)

    You want TV5 (when back) Djourou (you forgot Sagna) Song Cesc Nasri and RVP to play “90% of whats left this season”?

    This is exactly what we’ve been doing in previous years and ending up with bubkis. Haven’t you noticed how comparatively healthy we’ve been?

    And a “starting eleven” is exactly that. Eleven! Not “essentially” anything. And categorically not a “spine”.

    Wenger gets criticized for the most insane things we know nothing about. But one thing he’s done this season is delivered a squad and a philosophy to reduce the weeks some of our players would ordinarily be out for.

    He’s toughened us up. When was the last time the press got at us for being too soft? As a result we’ve fewer knocks.

    He’s rotated. Further reducing those chance incidents and alleviating niggling strains.

    He’s protected. Djourou was out for a season. By rights he should be missing half of this one as his body readjusts. That hasn’t happened due to, for example, not putting him in against Wigan.

    He’s rested players like Chamakh when they’re knackered. Remember how brilliantly Chamakh performed for half his first Premier League season. Well now he fatigued. (Self confessed). He needs to recharge – which he’s doing.

    This is Wenger managing the squad. He’s learned how to avoid the pitfalls of the past. He’s worked out how to get us over finishing lines.

    We have a handful of critical matches against Man City, Man U, and Spuds away. After that it’s (hopefully) a Carling Cup, an FA run, and Barcelona in the CL. But all the while we must keep winning in the Premiership to keep us ahead. All the while remaining healthy otherwise it’s all going to fall apart again.

    Health has been our undoing in previous campaigns – pretty-much nothing else. And now Wenger’s worked out how to keep the squad in one piece you want us to take risks.

    Obviously we play your spine in the CC final. Hell, we need to kill that silverware monkey dead.

    Obviously, we need to play your spine in the two legs against Barca. Hell, the whole world will be watching. We can’t get chasm’d like we did last time. We’re better than that now.

    Obviously, we need to play your spine in the FA cup if we draw Chelsea, Man U, Man City, or Sp*rs or against anyone once we get to the quarters. I mean the Carling is one thing, but the FA Cup is proper silverware. And how would it look or do for morale if we sent out the B-team.

    And what if we do get by against Barca?

    You see that by not flogging your spine to death, we get choice players on the pitch getting confidence and match-time with team-mates. Stuff gets worked out. The back four – whatever it is – has actual experience – not fluffy ‘training ground’ practice. Players grow up instead of warming benches.

    And all the while vital players like Song, Nasri, and Cesc, Djourou and Robin aren’t hobbling like a Rooney when we need a result to win a title.

    But if you want these guys to play “90% of whats left this season” – you’re entitled to the opinion, but it’s a moot one as it’s simply not going to happen.

    Thankfully, whereas Wenger has worked things out, we, it seems, have learned nothing but how to make the same mistakes again.

  135. Delia, I’ve just watched the whole game on ATVO and Brum were lucky it was only 1 nil at half time. It could have and should have been at least 3 – 0 to the Arsenal if only RVP had his shooting boots on. The second half was a master class in football. Nasri and Fabregas are just on another planet from the average footballer and long may it last. Birmingham were even dirtier than I could have imagined. The Bowyer incidents were just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the dirty on and off the ball incidents that were overlooked by yet another incompetent referee.

    poodle | January 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm – that is my approach exactly, I would rather not encourage that type on here!

    consolsbob | January 2, 2011 at 6:48 pm | – I agree, he may be a miserable git most of the time, but unlike some others, he seems like a genuine Arsenal supporter, but just with a more negative outlook on things!

  136. QOS -I thought he and others were complimenting you. Speaking for myself, you are a voice of reason among a den of idiots at that other place. I don’t know how you manage it. I hope you don’t get into another scrap on this blog because I find you to be refreshingly honest in your posts. I can’t be bothered to read your thoughts at that place; the ill-thought, illogical, hate-filled nonsense is just not worth my time.

  137. Joshua another good post.

    People do not mind being in the AKB camp but all in that camp know also that Arsene does not know everything, just a damn lot more than those outside it.

  138. Jon Champion is a spud, which tells you all you need to know.

  139. Talia | January 2, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    Absolutely brilliant post. Spot on.
    I am afraid however that your observations and insights will be lost on the moron you were addressing and his fellow-travelers. I speak from experience.

    joshua | January 2, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    Bill wants no labels so he can spew his negative, defensive b-s with impunity. Dissembling about his love for Arsenal while being an apologist for both ManU and Chelsea, who both represent the past and not the future of English football.

  140. I watched the game again. Interestingly, despite the rantings and ravings of Jon Champion and Chris Waddle, the Brummies’ manager admits that von Persie’ going down was indeed a free kick. Seeing it in slow motion, in addition to contact with the hand, there is also contact with legs and heels. Nice to know that FA are contemplating action against this thug Lee Bowyer. This man has had so many brushes with law and convictions. He also happens to be the player with maximum number of cards (98) to his credit in the PL. If there is any justice, he should have a minimum ban of 3 games at least. Not that he will change his habits.

  141. Exactly, joshua and dups.

    @ Talia
    agree with shottagunna about the excellence of your post and also about it being a case of casting pearls before swine!

    @ Bill
    So why have Chelsea DECIDED to stop keeping clean sheets? I assume, since you think a team can keep clean sheets at will, that if they aren’t doing so, it must be a conscious decision.
    Also do you suppose Ancelotti has stopped coaching them to defend well? Or perhaps he has decided to ditch any kind of defensive plan? It’s baffling. All I know is that it can’t possibly be anything to do with losing form or confidence, because we know from your posts that whatever the coach devises, the team executes perfectly and the opposition accommodates. And any loss of form definitely can’t be down to injuries, which, as you have often told us, are no excuse.

  142. Pass

    “A more negative outlook” – maybe he’s stuck in the early 1980s? Heaven Knows We Were All Miserable Then.

    YW

  143. Talia @7:38.

    Thank you, thank you. Excellent stuff.
    The weird thing is that some folks even criticise the good, sensible and intelligent things that are being done whilst lambasting the manager. Apparently some people would have liked Arsenal to play the 11 that started against Chelsea for all the matches that we have up to and including man city… that the level of pressing being done by the players requires freshness of not just limb but also of mind seems to have escaped these critics.

    I enjoyed reading your post. Thank you.

  144. FunGunner | January 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    @ Bill – “All I know is that it can’t possibly be anything to do with losing form or confidence, because we know from your posts that whatever the coach devises, the team executes perfectly and the opposition accommodates. And any loss of form definitely can’t be down to injuries, which, as you have often told us, are no excuse.”

    Ha, Ha, Ha. Rolling on the floor in convulsions. To quote Tracy McCaulkin in Home Alone, “Take that you filthy bastard.”

  145. @shottagunna 8:02pm

    I read FunGunners comment and burst out laughing like a mad man… Awesome sauce as they say across the pond.

  146. joshua | January 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    Just to underscore how sad the morons are who wanted AW strung up in the Tower of London for having the temerity to rotate over the past week:
    Just look at how Wigan struggled today vs Newcastle. Or how shattered Birmingham were in the 2nd half after fielding basically the same team that played ManU to a draw on Wednesday.
    From them, nary a word of apology. But after yesterday’s heroics, the same hypocrites simply jump on the bandwago.

  147. FunGunner,

    Very sharp claws today. 🙂

  148. Maybe QoS, maybe….

    I must admit, I don’t have the time to be online all the time, but just have a browse now and then, you can usually find something that is interesting or amusing.

  149. Queen of suburbia

    Thankyou for the kind words shotta, my logic is pretty simple, you fish where the fish are.

    As for Matts comments, I don’t think he was being complimentary, he’s posted twice on different blogs both times mentioning me and being rather uncomplimentary. I just wanted to point out to him that he had rather missed the point.

  150. It was a great victory yesterday. I am really proud of the fact that our squad rose above the assaults on the pitch to claim the 3 points. There was a concerted effort by Jerome to batter Koscielny if you watched the game closely. He elbowed Kos in the face twice and made it look “incidental”, then he stamped on his ankle, but was also able to make it seem “incidental” when I am positive it was calculated.
    How do these players leave the match with any self respect after resorting to violence as their only option. It really is quite pathetic, but the FA let them get away with it year after year.

  151. “maybe he’s stuck in the early 1980s? Heaven Knows We Were All Miserable Then.”

    That’s exactly what he reminds me of! An 80’s gooner, when it was mostly doom and gloom for the Arsenal!

  152. viceologist | January 2, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    Spot on. I think it was also Jerome who left his studs in on Fabianski in the 2nd half for a ball that was always the keepers. The Brummies were their usual thuggish self, in the spitting image of their manager. That is why I agree with Joshua who pointed out to one of the “twats”, an act of futility IMO, how important a victory it was given our history with this team and their ability to wrestle their way to good results at home.

  153. @ Talia, very well said…

    @ FG, I really did laugh

  154. Joshua,

    Nice holding role. Well done.

    SUGA3,

    Fuck off. Coming on here and trying to justify your position as being reasonable is a bit like the mafia in the godfather saying they only commit crime because it’s the culture. If you actually took a step back and realised the complete absurdity of your position, you, an intelligent man, coming on here and trying to maintain an argument that your version of reality is more realistic than everybody else on here, so therefore we should all be converted ? You are talking to doctors, laywers, teachers, possibly journalists, career men and women, who are frankly not impressed by the argument that because you feel you attach yourself to quality, that it makes you a better judge of whether the team is any good. Any tool can come on here and point out that Ronaldo would make the team better, that there is possibly a strong goalkeeper out there, and that we were 2nd best against united. But this is all missing the point. We support the fucking team, we don’t start to support them only if they beat Chelsea, Barcelona or Man U. You can slag them off all you like, and the more you slag them off, the more you reveal that you are a glory hunter with no perspective about where we should be given our resources or history. I have yet to receive any credible answer from the likes of you, or any blogger on LG that will tell us why, on our resources, should we “expect” to beat either Chelsea, Manchester United or Barcelona at their grounds. These three teams combined have spent £1.8 billlion in the last 7 years, and to get anywhere near them is a fucking achievement all in itself. One that has completely escaped your attention. You come out with cheap shots, petty arguments and mouth off that everything is not good enough, yet you don’t realise the step up that Arsenal has made since the Terry Neil/GG era. The only solution to your problem is switch allegiances to either Barcelona, Chelsea or Man U. Ironically if you had switched allegiance to Real Madrid, you would have discovered that spending £££££££££ had fuck all effect as they failed to reach the quarter final of the champions league since 2005-2010.

  155. talia /
    when chelsea won all those titles lampard played 150 games on the trot before he got old and fat and shit
    terry, cech rarely missed a game and so did drogba and they won back to back titles

    the year we went invincible our spine played virtually the whole of the season henry didnt score 30 goals a season being rested every other game and sol didnt make pfa team of the year 3 times being rotated like jd has..they played most games that season dude

    the reason why our players where allways injured is cos their bodies were still developing with a team average age of 12 and they were always gettting kicked and theres pretty much naff all you can do when u get 5 leg breaks in 3 years 3 all in the same season

    the reason why we never used to win a big game is cos we never had a fit spine it was always square pegs round holes playing eboue in central midfield etc and the reason why i didnt mention sagna is cos hes a rb and the last time i checked rbs didnt play in the spine

    so with respect talia i will have to agree to disagree with you.. even if you have a good point which was well thought out, i think those players need to play every game they possibly can.. we can rest em every now and then but we in the second half of the season..the business end of the season…so who do we rest em for?? the cl 1/4… the games are too important at this stage of the season to keep tinkering with the squad and dont forget that tv jd cesc and rvp have spent the first half of the season out injured so their season starts now i see no reason why they cant play every game from here on in..

    never saw fergie rest rooney and ronaldo when they were clearing up..you dont score 30+ a season sat on the bench for half of it..

    really have to go now..thanks talia maybe continue some other time

  156. YW

    Are you trying to get Craig Eastmond into a fight with Collymore?

    Ooh you are awful.

  157. Yep, hopefully Craig would do us all a favour and absolutely twat the numpty.

  158. G69 @ 6:19:

    Clearly the Manc’s and Chavs are not defending as well as they have in the past and that has cost both teams a lot of points. Defending has also cost us lots of points this year and has cost us a lot more points then either of those teams in past years. Their struggles are no reason for us to not improve .

  159. Djourou is being rested due to a serious injury and over playing him now could cause an lengthy setback.

  160. Bill – the bit in your early post made me laugh.

    “Scoring 3 was superb and IMO even more important was keeping a clean sheet.”

    So keeping a clean sheet and getting 1 point is more important than scoring 2 and conceding 1 and getting 3 points.

    I cannot see your logic there.

  161. Wenger is not the type to set Nasri a target, but he did not baulk at the suggestion that he has found a man to rival Frank Lampard.
    _______
    WTF?

  162. Wojciech Szczesny on twitter
    “If someone doesn’t want to know what I think about football then go and follow Katie Price. I write to true Arsenal supporters : )”

  163. Joshua:

    You can be whatever type of fan you want and label fans however you see fit. If want to call them doomers and you don’t like to be called AKB then thats fine. I just do not see that anyone gains anything by these labels and how whipping the troops into emotional frenzy by throwing out these labels and promoting virtual fights helps anyone. Clearly some of the posters at Le Grove are idiots and are probably happier when their negative predictions come true. So what? Who cares what they think? When these on line fights start it just escalates and deteriorates into name calling and I do not understand how that helps the cause.

  164. allo whats been going on on here tonight then?

  165. I’m not nearly as grumpy as old shotta!

  166. @bill i agree we should just let the moaners tell the world what a cunt aw is, how pheado he is, how shit nasri is, how usless Diaby and Denilson is. How utterly shit cesc is, hes illoyal too. And last but nowt least HOW SHIIIIIT WENGER IS WENGER OUT WAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

    i agree bill we should just let people that spew this out in millions of articles every day just be left alone. cos calling them names does not help us at all. its much better to just let the doomers call AW pheado as much as they like and let them curse the “french twatt” and the french fucking spine we got all day long. That atlest is a honest fans opinion. Its a fans own choice wheter he wants to like the team he suppotrs or not. if he thrives on them loosing then him a bout that. He is entitled too.
    No happy optimistic camper should have the right to tell others what to feel.
    ITs their right to HATE wenger, its their rigt to HATE diaby. its their right to HATE Denilson. its their right to HATE kos and squill. infact its their right to HATE the entire cunt team right? :p

  167. sorry for foul language, just browsed through a couple of weeks of le moan artickes. It really broadened my english vocabulary vastly. Did not even knwo there existed so many foul english words!

  168. Poodle:

    LOL.

    What can do to stop it? I hope the rant made you feel better because it did not really do anything else? The more we try to fight the more garbage they will spew. Its human nature. I do not know Sug3 other then his online persona but I suspect he comes over here just to see what sort of reactions he can get and starting a fight is probably exactly what he hoped for. If you really want to get them back then ignore it and wait until we win a few trophies and then say I told you so.

  169. Poodle – you will find them all on that site. Many of them from the same ignoramus.

  170. Bill – that is the whole problem though. They do not support the team when times are hard, but will still revel in any glory. The next time anything went wrong they would be at it again. I agree about ignoring them though.

  171. Bill…

    I’m really not trying to be patronising but you honestly do not get the issue. Labels are essential IMHO because there’s a reality out there that is independent of you or I. Now there are a whole lot valid and reasonable ways that we can interpret that reality…. and then there are whole load of totally irrational ways of interpreting that reality even granted that a lot of what we say is subjective… If someone says that Wenger is out to sabotage Arsenal by constantly finishing 4th or 3rd but no higher because he gets a better bonus from the board… you simply cannot treat that comment as rational especially if the person making the comment has no evidence to back up such a claim. If someone is spewing xenophobic claptrap against players who play for the team I support my reaction is not say … “oh it doesn’t matter very much”… because to me it matters. The truth matters. Fairness matters. Context matters. If none of it matters and you don’t care either way, why do you post?
    Labels are an important part of any language.. they, like a lot of other useful things, can be abused and misused but that doesn’t make them redundant.

    The fact is that there is a real Arsenal out there and there is a real league too and so on… if one’s comments are so totally out of kilter with reality and the individual has no actual facts to back up what they’re saying then it is only right and proper that such comments (and the commenters too) are marked in some way as outliers otherwise you cannot even begin to have meaningful conversation. That is where labels come in, they help us define terms of reference for what is to be discussed and in most cases that is essential. Of course it can be abused and used to exclude but that doesn’t invalidate the labels but means that we have to be careful how we use them. And I think that in the main people on here are careful.

  172. Kitchen Sink,
    Loved the Denilson video. If he contributes any more in a match, you’ll just have to post a video of the whole thing. 103 successful passes in a single match, with an accuracy of over 90%. Incredible!

    Tic toc.

  173. I’m a bit behind on my football news, but did anyone see that Stoke recalled two loanees from Preston last week? Tony Pulis is meant to be best mates with Slur Alex (whose son was sacked by them a few days ago), which I’m sure is just coincidental.

    Fat Sam and O’Neill are out of the picture at the moment, and we’ve played both our matches against McLeish’s lot. So when it comes to Red Nose’s little sewing circle that leaves Steve Bruce’s Sunderland at home, and Stoke home and away.

    Call me paranoid but if we’re still in the title picture for the Stoke games then I think we’re going to need titanium shin pads.

  174. Poliziano @10:19

    Totally agree about the Denilson video. It won’t stop those who attack him though. Kitchen sink let me add my thanks too. It was a really eye opening video and I’m one who thought he played well!

  175. But would titanium shin-pads really help, Big Al? Would they not just move the force of an impact to a different part of the leg? And, in so far as titanium is harder than bone, would they not decrease the deceleration time of an impact, and hence increase its force? I foresee legs being broken just below the knee or just above the ankle, or perhaps the bones in the lower leg being wrenched free from the connective tissues in the ankle.

  176. Joshua:

    You obviously think about that a lot more then I do.

    Dups:
    “Bill – that is the whole problem though. They do not support the team when times are hard, but will still revel in any glory.”

    I know that seems frustrating but what can you do about it? I always thought that nothing irritates a bully more then ignoring them. Sug3 will probably go back to his hole in Le Grove and tell everybody how he wound up all the AKB’s, and the cycle goes on.

  177. Poliziano – ok then Adamantium grafted directly to the bone 🙂

  178. Big Al – Stoke, United & Sunderland were supposed to have recalled their loan players from Preston after they sacked Slur Alex’s son.

  179. OOU

    Apparently men in the lower socio-economic bracket are going to die because of Fat Sam being sacked by Blackburn. He was to front a health campaign but felt the news of his dismissal would have overshadowed his promotional activities.

    So, manager of Inter, Real, Barcelona or any other big club as well as being Mother Teresa. What a guy.

    YW

  180. Was it for male anorexia, YW?

    I really didn’t think it through, PZ. I suppose you could go two ways from there. One would be to support and reinforce the knee, ankle then pelvis and spine with yet more titanium.

    Or how about bespoke, disposable shin pads that wrap around the calf and have a kind of half-inch thick crumple zone outer layer. The material also has unique properties that help spread the force of an impact across the whole pad, in what top scientists believe is a miracle.

  181. One of us: “Fat Sam and O’Neill are out of the picture at the moment, and we’ve played both our matches against McLeish’s lot. So when it comes to Red Nose’s little sewing circle that leaves Steve Bruce’s Sunderland at home, and Stoke home and away.

    Call me paranoid but if we’re still in the title picture for the Stoke games then I think we’re going to need titanium shin pads.”

    I don’t think Bruce is part of that conspiracy. Bruce seems to genuinely respect Wenger. McLeish tried his damndest to rough us up so we’d lose players for the City game. If Scott Dan’s tackle on Fabregas would’ve been three or four inches higher Cesc would’ve had his leg snapped. Pulis is the one that worries me the most. We may not get any leg breaks in the two games against them, especially the one at home, but away to Stoke is going to be extremely physical.

  182. Dups – “Stoke, United & Sunderland were supposed to have recalled their loan players from Preston after they sacked Slur Alex’s son.”

    Bruce was probably told that if he didn’t pull his players from Preston he’d lose Welbeck.

  183. How long will it take and how many games do we need to win/draw before those lazy arsed hacks stop prattling on about how Arsenal don’t like the overly physical side of the game? As if any team or player relishes being stamped on or kicked!?

  184. Bradys right foot

    Just watched the birmingham match again. Seeing “Nasregas” in full swing is something quite beautiful, there interplay was amazing at times. I cannot wait until Wednesday night, i’ve got a feeling that this team is only getting started.

  185. duke Goonem | January 2, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    “I’m not nearly as grumpy as old shotta!”
    I take that as a badge of honor my friend.
    I am indeed old (older than most posters here I reckon) and at my age I don’t suffer fools gladly.
    A least you Duke are willing to put up your hand and apologize when you are wrong. Proper supporter in my opinion.

  186. now that is really funny – I remember you lot telling me that the likes of me only post when we lose, now some are bitching when we post when we just won a game…

    😆

  187. This transfer window looks very bad for us poor Gooners. Not only will we not see any new big name signings, but the team is likely to be decoimated as the European vultures circle above the Grove.

    Juventus are going to sign Arshavin and van persie, Milan will snap up bendtner, Barcelona have Denilson in the bag, Clichy’s off to Real madrid.

    What will become of us?

  188. Pfffffffft! Barca couldn’t get Cesc, what makes you think any of these clubs could sign players away from us?

  189. Because I read all this in a tabloid thats why its bound to happen!

  190. joshua | January 2, 2011 at 11:56 am |

    Totally

  191. SUGA3 | January 2, 2011 at 12:36 pm |

    Good.
    Please dont touch Untold Arsenal and ACLF.

  192. Zama @ 12.06
    Agree with you 100% on ESPN’s commentary..if any one wants to be a commentator on ESPN, sole eligibility is that you should hate arsenal and should say rubbish against arsenal all the time

  193. GB69..Don’t think stoke is going to get relegated but although every season I pray for that

  194. Random Comment

    Denilson is a model footballer, never in the press or any outburst. He passes the ball to quickly, sometimes I wish he could lift his head and slice the opposition! Both Xavi and Denilson are very similar, excellent passing and vision, not to mention an outside shot!
    Dexter I don’t believe you have to worry about anyone leaving in the January transfer window, only person who may leave sadly is denilson and this is dependent on the cash offered.
    Almunia should be gone as well.
    Mexes is at the end of his contract and Roma are desperately trying to extend, guess who is french!
    I have no idea of a goal keeper Wenger can sign on the CHEAP side if almunia goes(please let this happen).
    Castrol Rankings has Deportivo and sampdoria No1 keepers as the best. (neur, lloris = expensive) Shay Given anyone (very possible!)

  195. @ Random Comment, I dare say u are joking right?

    Shay Given? To displace who? He is not likely to sit on the bench u know! else he better sit on the more expensive Man City bench… Likely to have higher wage demands coming from there, apart from the bottom line… he is at his very best not better than anyone we have at the club right now and I include vito manonne! All our young keepers can only improve as only Almunia has reached his prime and Given is no better than him!

  196. did SAF REALLY TELL THOSE GUYS TO CALL BACK PLAYERS FROM PRESTON?

  197. Fresh from conventional wisdom Towers: It’s been decided that Alex Song is no longer to be seen as Wenger’s evil spawn, sent in to destroy the Arsenal ‘defines’ from within. He’s back in fashion, and his contributions are acknowledged by even the AAA and the brain dead monkey dope doom brigade. Hallelujah

  198. SUGA3 | January 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm |

    Do you mean local lads who go on to become AFC legends such as Henry, DB10, Cesc, Viera, Petit, Overmars, Gilberto?

    As far as your self-confessed frequenting of Le Groan is concerned, what’s the saying, ‘you can tell a lot about a man from the company he keeps’?

  199. Still buzzing from the win against the brum thugs…

    My (late) thoughts on the game…
    I predicted before the game that the team would give a good performance and boy did they deliver! Nasri is still doing the business and Cesc’s form is gradually coming back. He’s shooting isn’t back to its best yet, as he had a few attempts off target that he’d normally have got on target, but I predict we’ll be seeing him score some goals from outside the box soon enough.

    V.Persie too will soon get back to his imperious best so long as he gets an injury free run. I don’t get why so many people felt he dived for the free kick? He was clearly fouled I thought, although the actual contact seemed to be missed from the replays. There’s no way he could have spun and fell like that on his own or am I being too naive?

    Song has been dropping back a lot more compared to earlier in the season I only started noticing him driving forward towards the end of the game. He was almost playing like a third CB at times. I suppose the fact that we have a full strength attack now reduces the need for his forward runs. Wilshere also needs improve his attacking skills and playing forward more will help him do that.

  200. Thank God, Diaby is injured and Denilson has a limited role.

  201. Just another Nice Post i will keep up with this one Nice Post mate and Happy 2011

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