Arsenal Prove A Different Class To Vanquish Leeds

FA Cup 3rd Round Replay
Leeds United 1 – 3 Arsenal

0 – 1 Nasri (4)
0 – 2 Sagna (34)
1 – 2 Johnson (37)
1 – 3 van Persie (76)

Arsenal maintained their record of never having lost an FA Cup tie at Elland Road with a comfortable victory last night. It was a scoreline which flattered the hosts, Arshavin and Bendtner failed to apply finishing touches from close range which would have put the gap between the two sides into proper perspective.

Leeds worked hard but found themselves up against a more balanced Arsenal side than in the original tie, one that was in better form and one determined to answer its critics with a win. The returning Bacary Sagna gave more balance to the Arsenal right hand side, supporting Nicklas Bendtner and allowing the Dane to move inside more readily, knowing that he had support outside of him if required.

Equally Samir Nasri dominated proceedings. The Frenchman continued his imperious form, prompting Arsenal attacks whilst not shirking his defensive duties. That was the underlying theme of the Arsenal performance; teamwork. They attacked as a team, defended as a team.

The distribution, particularly in the first half, was as good as it has been all season with rarely a pass wasted. Djourou and Koscielny had the Leeds forwards subdued, closing gaps as quickly as they opened, passing their way out of trouble confidently and with a minimum of fuss. Whilst Nasri was voted Man of the Match, either of the centre backs could quite easily have been awarded that accolade.

Part of the reason for the comfortable nature of the win was the early goal. Arshavin fed the ball into the centre, an unintended Chamakh dummy and thirty seconds later, Nasri had calmly run through the Leeds defence to put the ball past Schmeichel. Whilst it might only be the Juniors in the Leeds goal and defence, there is still something satisfying about Arsenal making a mockery of Bruce and Schmeichel.

The lead should have been doubled five minutes later, Chamakh headed a Nasri free kick firmly towards the bottom corner, Schmeichel flicking the ball firmly up into the air before safely gathering a tame effort immediately after. With the halfway mark in the first half not even reached, Arshavin had missed the opportunity to double the lead, shooting over from the edge of the area following good work from Nasri and Chamakh.

The Russian did everything but score last night, failing to meet a Chamakh cross when a touch on the ball would have brought the end of his barren run. Had Snodgrass not made a timely interception in the second half, Arshavin was ready to pounce and his air shot showed what would have happened. Arshavin though, ran himself into the ground, chasing after passes and defending from the front. If he has borne the brunt of criticism recently, he should receive praise for last night.

Arshavin was not the only one missing from close range; Bendtner followed suit following good work from Sagna. The defender was peeved with that miss to the extent that he hammered home a shot with half an hour played, the Leeds defence giving him space to shoot and the Frenchman duly obliged.

Not that the two-goal advantage lasted for long; Arsenal were unconvincing in clearing the ball, Howson scrabbled the ball to Johnson who delivered the ‘shot of a lifetime‘ for the second game running apparently. 2 – 1 and Leeds were marginally back in the match.

They could have been out of it within sixty seconds of the restart, Alex Song bringing a good save from Schmeichel, the ensuing corner fizzling out. Nasri then brought the Dane into action from a free kick, Fabregas would later have the goalkeeper clasping at air as his effort swept over the wall and marginally wide.

On the hour mark, Leeds briefly threatened. Paynter missed in a similar fashion to Bendtner and Arshavin in the first half whilst his replacement, Somma, kneed wide when it was possibly easier to score. Arsenal’s subsitute’s carried more threat and highlighted the gulf between the two sides; van Persie and Fabregas replaced Chamakh and Arshavin. Ken Bates’ ill-advised jibes beforehand were rammed down his throat when the Dutchman rose majestically to meet Bendtner’s cross, placing the ball where Schmeichel had been and into the net.

It was a win that was made to look easy by the hard work that the side put in. For Arsene, the starting XI last night is a good bet for the forthcoming Carling Cup tie against Ipswich, more balanced with Nasri in midfield and Sagna supporting Bendtner.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 20, 2011, in Arsenal, FA Cup, Football, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 170 Comments.

  1. Bacary Sagna or Kos MOM for me – but they were all great.

  2. There was something I noticed last night which really pleased me; in the past I have often being critical of the huge gap left between our midfield and back 4. I felt that our lack of protection for them was often responisble for us losing cheap goals. Last night I didn’t notice it once. I wonder if this is something that the squad having been working on in training?

  3. Andy

    Nope, the gap did not emerge because two midfielders had the task of sitting there, winning the ball and distributing it quickly to others. Which is exactly what Song and Denilson did.

    YW

  4. could boltons signing of wheater mean wenger’s intent on getting cahil?

  5. Leed’s goal was blatantly Denilson’s fault. He should have used telekenisis to force the ball to spin on a dimensional axis known only to species 8472, pirouette, burts in to flames, before finally rematerialising intact nestled in Kasper’s goal, givin us with a 3-0 lead.
    That boy lacks serious passion and leadership. Wenger should give him to the spuds.

    We slayed the beast.

    I still disagree with you on the balance though YW (only marginally though). I thought the squad looked much better last night than we did at Ipswich, but I think it’s more down to the work the boys upfront put in more than anything else; it was superior to that which we last witnessed by some magnitude.

  6. YW – Yup, exactly. We looked far more compact last night than I have seen us in a long time, yet we still looked dangerous and as though we could step up a gear if needed.

    That sort of compactness would serve us well in games against better team (like Barca). In the past we have often given good team to much space in front of our defence. Long may it continue.

  7. The attitude and wor rate of the side was vastly different to that of the 1st Leeds game and the Ipswich game. It is simple, we have excellent players and if their attitude is right they will take some stopping. They are their own worst enemy sometimes.

  8. Beckham it like Bendtner! That’s what I should have uttered last night!

    Let’s get that quad

  9. How good was sagna last night? He should get a rest more often.

    Arsh still off his game and is it harsh to say that Chamakh holds it up pretty well but lacks a cutting egde?

  10. Mongolian Gooner

    I doubt boss will sign Cahill, which I i thinks is another overrated Englishman.

    But yesterday I was pleased with Kieran Gibbs.

  11. I’m no Clichy hater, but he would never have thought to play that long, incisive ball that Gibbs played in the build up to the first goal. Class.

  12. Mongolian Gooner

    And I felt for Russia-Win. He really worked for the team. Defended, ran at opposition players. At one point he was in our own half running for a ball.

    Really unfortunate not to get a goal. He needs some support from Gooners at the Emirates. If only they could raise his confidence by singing, chanting. He could bring his magical moments more often.

  13. I think the back line play much higher up without the slower squillaci in the team, this is what we were doing in pre-season and it has re-occured not surprisingly when djouru has returned – same against chelsea, birmingham, west ham and last night – at wigan we played squillaci and so the defence sat deeper leaving the bigger space between the lines. But the difference between today and ipswich is that chamahk holds the ball up much better than bendtner, although bendtner did play much better last night

  14. It was great to see us take a so called lesser team seriously and not display the bad attitude that has dogged many other such encounters.

    We looked comfortable throughout and played very well. Even when Leeds scored (great goal btw) I was not worries. Kos and Big Johan look great together (!) and we looked solid. West Ham and last night were much improved performances so lets hope we can carry this on.

  15. Personally I thought Leeds were lucky not to get a thrashing and a half, rather than the half-a-thrashing they did get. That and Bendtner is and was better than most seem to think. He does some intelligent work that goes unnoticed by those who may judge purely on the fancy-pansy stuff.

  16. I suppose (sigh!) that’s as joyous as it gets for Alexi’s Ice Creams. It’s a happy name though, ice cream, happy childhood memories, family, friends, cheerful times, a sunny day perhaps.

  17. Two good performances in a row – arguably last night was a more difficult assignment than West Ham both in terms of talent and motivation.

    I was really pleased that the back four put in a strong display, albeit Leeds were without Becchio, who had been a real handful in the first game. And it is always a pleasure to see Robin at or near the top of his game – a super cross by Nic, and a header Alan Smith (ours, not theirs!) would have been proud of.

    Even Arshavin was well up for it, although it was a shame he had left his shooting boots behind. He will emerge from his slump – at least he put the effort in last night.

    No complaints from me. It’s not worth dwelling on what few niggles there were. I’m enjoying my day today instead!

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2011/01/20/arsenal-too-good-for-leeds-in-thrilling-cup-replay/

  18. Mongolian Gooner

    I like Bendtner, too. After all he is just 23. It’s hard to compete with the likes of van Persie and The-In-Form-Co. just after coming from injury.

  19. I get the impression that a lot of fans are unhappy with Wenger rotating so much. I’m sure they’re the same people who’d be blaming the manager if we ended up having to field a depleted team against Barcelona because of wear and tear injuries again.

    Beyond the obvious need to rest our most in-form and injury-prone players, we have to rotate to keep guys like Bendtner, AA, Chamakh, Denilson, Eboue, Rosicky and Gibbs sharp because we never know when they’re going to have to step up in case of injuries.

    And I can’t understand how anyone expected to see Ramsey start last night; he hasn’t even made a sub appearance yet, and I doubt we’ll see him come off the bench until Ipswich at the earliest. His recovery has actually come at a bad time, in the same way that Eduardo’s did, because we can’t risk him not being ready – for the sake of the player and the team.

    We’re in all four competitions and it’s nearly February. You can’t ask for more than that from the team, but still it feels like a whole section of our support is ready to go into meltdown.

    Shit ain’t right!

  20. cracking game.

  21. Good result and a great performance. Good to see Kos getting some nice comments, the amount of ‘Kos out, hes not good enough’ I have seen is ridiculous. This lad is young and is adapting to the prem but I reckon he wil be a top defender, when he Djourou and TV are all fit we will be spoilt for riches at CB.

    I thought Denilson and Song worked really well in that sitting midfield pair. Personally Den gets a hard time but is a great player. He reminds me of Gilberto, another Brazillian who used to get slated for misplacing passes. Now look at the comments everyone who used to slate him now hold him up as an example of everything Denilson isn’t, who are these people?

  22. A great game by Denilson just proving again how fickle Arsenal fans are when Arshavin blazes pinpoint passes over the crossbar and can,t hold the ballup match after match,but Denilson,s the problem.Song and Denilson were dynamic and strong in the midfield so let,s here the aoplogies right here from fickle fans who have been criticising Denilson for weeks now if they have the pride to do it ?

  23. OoU – I agree. We are in a great position in the lge, and still active in all of the cups. We haved well in the last couple of games, and we have a good squad with quality in depth.

  24. Samuel – I thought Denilson had a decent game last night. I won’t apologise for my view on him though; some think he is a great midfielder, and some think he is average at best. If he plays well I will say so, if I don’t think he has played well I will also say so. I don’t have agenda’s where players are concnerned, I just say what I see.

  25. I agree with Samuel , Arshavin was shit. maybe he needs to stop doing the voice overs for them bloody compare the market adverts now and concentate on getting his form back.

  26. Arshavin frustrated me last night. Can’t agree that he had a good game. Good intent granted, but woeful on the ball.

  27. Arshavin is a bit like Cristiano in that sense. Do you remember when the lesser Ronaldo played against us? He was usually always in the pocket of our players, never having a chance against Sagna and all his flashy moves never made him look world class … and then he would produce something out of nothing, mostly a volley or a free kick, and score. Arshavin assisted the first goal yesterday. So even though his shooting boots were off and he was marginally too slow to react when he was alone in front of goal, he did produce and contribute to the team and to the performance.

  28. YW,what did Ken Bates say beforehand?

  29. “the amount of ‘Kos out, hes not good enough’ I have seen is ridiculous.” – that’s because the amount of thick-as-shit Arsenal fans on the internet is ridiculous, drew10. It’s as clear a correlation as it is with the Denilson-haters.

    Thought Denilson and Song were excellent last night. As dominant a midfield performance as we have seen in a long time – against a passionate team who played 100mph and gave up on very little.

  30. In his programme notes he said our manager should have gone to specsavers, and that Walcott had found out that he was not a swimmer (something along those lines anyway). And then his team got beat, so he can shut it.

  31. Mate at work is a Liverpool fan – he is appalled at the way our fans go at people like Arshavin. In his humble (but informed) opinion any team in the league would be glad of a player of his quality.
    I have to agree with him.
    People are blind, blinkered, bigoted and woeful in their support. They leap on the player of the month to vent their frustrations – doesn’t matter who – and just follow the Philistine herd in their feeble minded unoriginal assassination of that players abilities and efforts.
    If Arshavin played as badly as they support he’d struggle to get a game for Trowbridge Town.

  32. Delia---Block 112

    Great game to watch .What a bonus it was to have Sagna back and although Deni and B52 started a little shakely ,the longer the game went on the more confident they became ( bodes well for the future).Everyone played their part in a great team display. My only real concern was Gibbs , who seemed to get caught out of position a little too often for my liking. See you all at the Emirates on Saturday.
    As always COYRs

  33. Steww – “If Arshavin played as badly as they support he’d struggle to get a game for Trowbridge Town”

    On current form I think he would 😉

    I like AA, and he has not played well for a while now. We know what he is capable of though, and hopefully he will play himself back into form. When he is on his game he is a real match winner.

  34. . . . . . . . . .though the doomers at Trowbridge Town are furious with their manager for not buying him . . . . . . . . . .

  35. I like how Cesc calls Deni Deni.

    OOU mentioned this some months back but I do see Gibbs being used as a defensive midfielder on occasion – in years to come. He has a great knack of hunting down and nicking the ball very quickly. Must be a nightmare to play against… like Kos and Song and Denilson. Guess they must teach it or something?! …ARSENAL..

    I thought AA put his best shift in for a long time last night. I think not being automatic 1st choice is very good for him and some real form isn’t far off. He’ll score a very special goal before too long I reckon.

  36. It was a great performance last night even though with all the golden chances we missed it could have been 8-1. Arshavin seems to be nearly over his loss of form he tracked back a lot and had good intent going forward. I think we are due for an Arshavin show sooner rather than later! I agree that the back four was amazing every one was sharp and focused. i agree Gibbs could be an option at DM if we want to rest the first choices and give him some more playing time. I think Pearce played him there at least once for the U-19.

    About transfer targets I am shocked that the English press does not realise the problem in Cahill being valued at the same price as Sergio Ramos! I mean Ramos is a world cup winning beast he is so much better in all aspects than Cahill.

  37. Great attitude, committment and tempo last night. Exactly what the doctor ordered.

    For me, Sagna, Djourou and of course Nasri have been our players of the season – without doubt. Sagna is my favourite player these days. Every performance reiterates his absolute consistency and workrate.

    Interesting thought re Gibbs, Limpar (even if it was OOu’s ;-)). I thought he was excellent again last night. I really hope he can last the rest of the season at least without picking up another injury…

  38. that is what we call arsenal game.Prof children just did what they had to do as a team.We should stop playing the blame game on the excellent players instead appreciate them and motivate them.Good foot work from van Persie, Samri Nasri ,Sagna ,Djouru , song , deni ,Fab and all the players.Wenga is doing a great job and we should all as fans appreciate that anyway lets meet at the Emirates on Saturday.God luck to all the funs

  39. A proper performance and result, one which i expected the first time around.

    Szeczesny – sort your kicking out son, but you are on your way to being our Petr Cech pre skullcap.
    Sagna, wow – we have best right back in the league form again
    Djourou/Kozzer double act worked a treat again
    Gibbs – watch out clichy hes played a game and not got injured! 🙂
    Song is a beast, end of.
    Denilson did well, solid game.
    Nasri ran the show until Cesc showed up
    AA23 put in a shift – keep going the form will come
    B52 – no no no, stop playing him out on the right, he put in a shift but hes just not equipped for that position.
    Chamakh worked hard and was involved, unlucky not to score with the only good cross he got all night.
    RVP, he even pointed to where he was gonna head it but Kasper want saving it 🙂

    Interestingly we are 3-1 favs with the bookies to sign Gary Cahill!!!!

  40. Wonderful performance at Elland Road from the lads. When I lived in North Yorkshire, I did have the opportunity to see Arsenal drub Leeds when they were in the Premiership. Henry flew up and down the field as though he was propelled by jets. My wife asked me if I remember the young blond lad who appeared so strong for Leeds. It was Alan Smith she was enquiring about who eventually went to Man U. What has become of Alan Smith?

  41. I would add something about Gibbs and the idea of playing DM.
    Dont see it and i would advise against it. A few reasons….

    We need left back cover. He is it.
    The Eboue factor – by that i mean Eboue looks to have got lost a little bit by being played as a midfielder. Eboue is our backup right back. Stick to rightbackiness – Ditto Gibbs, stick to leftbackiness 🙂
    He needs to depose Cole as the England left back 🙂

  42. Last night was great and cannot hurt our ongoing confidence and ability to meet the challenges that face us on five fronts: the four tournaments and the anti-Arsenal world!

    Talking of confidence, I believe Arshavin, Deni and B52 all need confidence and game time. Arsene’s rotational policy will take care of the latter of these needs but the Gooners who care have a major part to play in achieving the former. I’d beg all gooners to curse into their pillows when needed and remain positive for the world to see.

    COYG

  43. steww, enough of the moaning what did you think of the game last night?

  44. Gibbs did look quite good yesterday. In fact he looked so strong, Gibbs would have appeared solid in virtually any position on the field. Wonderful talent that is developing into the finished article. Arsene does ask quite a bit of both his left and right backs in the sense of their participation in attacking plays.

  45. I agree with Deise about Gibbs. He looks a good player, so would probably be able to a job there. But he really is starting to look the part at left back, and although he is back up to Clichy he is nearly at the level where he will be pushing Clichy for his place. Heathly competition is a great thing to have in a squad, and Clichy’s place has been nailed on for years now. He will have to play even better to keep his place, and that can only be a good thing.

  46. Bac best ring back in the league?? Damn right and we((gooners) need to be talking him up worldwide.

    This guy has to be the unsung hero of this side.

    Absolute beassst of a defender, his offensive play has improved soooooo much since his been with us too.

    Great example of self-improvement, Theo and Nasri this season other good examples.

  47. He has become an absolute cunt, Two Owls. A special kind of cunt amongst a carnival of cunts… Barton, Nolan, Carroll and Smith. Team Cunt. He tried snapping a few of our players at St James’ Park earlier in the League Cup and then winked at the camera. Cunt.

  48. Gibbsy has learned the art of interception from Clichy – it’s his specialism

    Interesting to hear strachan describing song as best DM in the league, because he drives forward rather than just laying it off when’s won it back

  49. A lot of the criticism Denilson receives is because he always seems to be a bit shakier in the beginning than during the rest of the match. Some players are like that, although it gets better with age.

    It’s easier for the whiners and AAA to notice those things and not the more solid work these kind of players do. The more critical and panicky a fan is, the more FFFFF’s they tend scream out loud. At the screen, at us, at the players.

    I’ve totally stopped reading the “let’s sell rubbish him-and-him and buy Manchester City” guys on the blogs. They’re not worthy.

  50. I always say that we have three untouchables, Cesc, RVP and TV. But seems that SM – for Samir Nasri – is soon, if he isn’t already, going to be another. Djourou also has the making of an untouchable though honestly can’t say if he’ll be their by the season’s end. Great win though and they all gave their all. And great post Yogi!
    Yogi I’ve always imagine that you look a bit like Peter of “Family Guy.” Would I be wrong?

  51. I think Nasri will always start if fit.

  52. @Limpar – you can add their manager to that list…

  53. “Fabregas is a great friend. When I said the team had no leadership it was to point out that Arsenal have a very young squad and sometimes lack a more experienced person, as it had for many years with Gilberto Silva for example.

    “I am a shy guy, I do not like controversy and problems.

    “I was misquoted. I have talked with Fabregas and everything is resolved.

    “We are fighting for the English title and it will not take away our focus.”

  54. mj – thanks for that. It was obviously the case. It’s crazy that people keep falling for this poor form of journalism and headline-hit driven shite.

  55. gibbs indeed looked good.would not be a bad idea for the boss to play him and clichy,like he’s done with eboue at times playing at right wing.

  56. trugun, I once asked whether Gibbs could do a “Gareth Bale.” After all he was originally a winger. Advised – on this sight – that he’s still too light for that!

  57. Yeah, Geo. I guess its curtains to ‘Denilsongate’

  58. Any news on Diaby?

  59. Kenyan Gunner – too light to be a winger?? Not sure where that logic came from? He seems more bulky than many wingers I know of. Personally, I think he could play there no problem, but would like to see him develop at LB first.

    yup mj – I was surprised at some people’s comments about the whole thing. Often these ‘reports’ are dismissed by everyone on here, but this one seemed to get people’s backs up more than most… Maybe because it’s Denilson this time??

  60. That’s exactly how I interpreted Denilson’s comments. I saw the interview on a different window so I wouldn’t be influenced by the subtitles. Whomever used those subtitles as a source isn’t fluent in Portuguese, doesn’t know how Brazilians express themselves and was just looking for something controversial to publish. It was such a non-issue I was surprised to have heard a reporter ask Wenger about it in his post match interview.

  61. deaon – just read a story saying he’s hoping to resume full training in the next few days… End of the month before he’ll start I expect.

  62. And Gains – when Cesc, Nasri and Wenger were asked about it, they all had the same grin. The “fucking media shitstorm bollocks again” grin. They know it’s all bullshit, so should we as fans.

  63. I wouldn’t mind seeing a left wing made up of Clichy and Gibbs. He played there for the u-21’s and was great.

  64. Where has Rosicky been as well? Not even been on the bench for a few match now. Must be injured.

  65. Not sure goonerandy… at work (as my manager sits with my screen in view) I try to avoid the sites with big Arsenal logos etc flashing up, so can’t always check the .com news… anything on there about Rosicky?

  66. Limestonegunner

    Wow Sagna is good. Defense looks great with him in it and now he has added goal scoring pop and some fiery fervor. It is terribly unjust he isn’t going to be eligible for the first leg of the Barca tie. Totally unjustified, that yellow card.

    RvP is going to light up this league this last few months. I will not be surprised if he gets 12-15 goals in all competitions at all.

  67. Funny thing is that if it had been Jack that had made those comments in the spirit which the s*n published it most ‘fans’ would have come to his rescue and even agreed with him. Saying things like his no Adams is he?

    I think what created all the drama was that bias ‘fans’ just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to criticise Denilson.

  68. Nothing on there mate. How strange.

  69. Rosicky had flu last week or so i believe – cant remember where i heard/read that though

  70. Limestonegunner

    Frankly, there are different types of leadership. Cesc showed a good example of one form of it by immediately defusing the situation and posting his thoughts and photo on twitter.

    When some people talk about a leader on the pitch, they always imagine someone yelling at the other players when they make mistakes. Sometimes it takes leadership to step forward and put an arm around a player who has made a mistake and tell them to forget it, play your game and we’ll all make up for it. Maybe being stern has its place, but a leader might also exhort his teammates to focus and concentrate when they are down–that was in fact the incident that the Brazilian interviewer cited, when Sol pulled everyone together after Ramsey’s leg was broken and helped get the team over the initial shock and back into the game with even greater determination.

  71. Maria – As said yesterday, I actually agreed with him. Just a bit daft to say it to a reporter. Anyway, it will all be forgotten by the weekend. I have no doubt the hacks will get hold of some sort of new scandal to salivate over.

  72. Wenger said in the Ipswich(I think) post match conference that Rosicky is sick & might make it for the next game. I am sure he’ll be in the squad for Wigan.
    That reminds me, its redemption time, need to blast Wigan by 2-3 goals. Some confidence booster it would be..

  73. Ah, right you are. On .com Wenger has also said that Diaby will be ready after the Ipswich game.

  74. Much better yesterday. The recent run of good form on both sides of the pitch is encouraging. Would have loved a clean sheet yesterday but hard to fault anyone for that type of a “wonder goal”. Even though we were close to the top at times last year this season has a much better feel at this point.

    Really liked the hybrid team concept yesterday rather then the 1st team and 2nd team feel of the previous cup games. Nasri in the Cesc worked well. Nasri was inconsistent in that role in the past but hopefully his maturity and confidence will see him be an ideal Cesc deputy in the future.

    This year represents an excellent chance to break our trophy drought. I still believe that 1 big trophy could give this squad the confidence to become a dominant team in the PL for many years. Coming up a little short for any reason could be just as damaging. Time to pull out all the stops. Still worry about our thin back line and hope for transfer activity. Kos/JD/one of the Polish keepers has a real shot to be a long term solution for the defensive problems of the past. Fingers crossed that they can stay healthy for the rest of the season and TV5 can make a come back.

  75. Why is LeBoss playing NB52 on the right?
    Is it a way of adding further to his frustration?.
    He’s not done badly in that position though.Considering the pass he supplied leading to the penalty in the first leg and that wonder cross yesterday.

  76. Its amazing how the pendulum swings with us fans.High praises for Kos and JD today.It only takes one mistake for people to ask for their heads.
    I have faith in those two.I think JD will become an Arsenal legend.He’s not the quickest in the pack.But his sense of positioning and timing of tackles is exceptional for someone so young.I hope he stays injury free.He some how reminds me of a famous Nigerian centre back named Uche Okechukwu.But having said all that,we still need an extra CB.Chris Samba anyone??

  77. George

    That Arsene needed to go to Specsavers and Theo realised that diving was a separate sport from football. Senile old twat.

    YW

  78. cheers all.

    God we look the biz recently. I must point out that in all games (bar Man U away) that Rvp, Cesc,Theo, Song and Nasri have played in we have comprehensivley battered the opposition from pillar to post. It provides a unique offensive dynamic that is incredibly difficult to cope with.

    Chelsea, Brum, Man City, West Ham and Leeds yesterday (without Theo).

    If this run of fitness can be sustained , I really think a dominant force is afoot. Please footballing Gods allow this lot to play Barca, I think we may well shock a few people. Not least some of our ‘fans’.

  79. Wigan is never an easy match, and they can play a brand of football. Leeds however will have been a good practice session for that, I’ve seldom seen players run so much so fast to close us down. Plus this hybrid (love that word as a description for Arsenal strategy) thing as someone mentioned means Walcott, Wilshere, Cesc, RvP and Clichy approach the match with fresh legs, and Sagna is like a daisy. I worry a little about Song, but he seems indestructable. dito Nasri at the moment, who is so enjoying his football.

  80. In the meantime. COI (India).

  81. “Chris Samba anyone??”

    King KONG anyone???

  82. Maria @ 3:28.
    Yes king Kong.But a gem of a player!
    No law says Arsenal must sign only shrinking violets!

  83. Gunman, no that’s true, but we do need players, even at CB, who can knock the ball about in tight situations and have the composure to do so without messing up in dangerous positions. All our CBs have that, Samba does not.

  84. Good performance from the team, unlucky to ruin the clean sheet with a great strike from whatever northerner it was. Nasri was great in the Fabregas role, it’s his natural position, it’s just unlucky for him that we also have Cesc! Good to see Arshavin and Bendtner put in plenty of hard work on the flanks after poor games recently. It’s one way to get involved in the game and play yourself into a bit of form. Denilson was OK, steady. I thought Chamakh was a bit off, but it seems I may be in a minority of one here reading through the previous posts. His touch was a bit lacking I thought, the ball got away from him at times. You could see the difference when Van Persie came on, he looks up to speed at last, although we are talking about a much higher class of player obviously.

    I also thought the mixture of first and second eleven players worked well, I’ver never been a fan of changing the whole team. Hopefully we’ll see something similar for the Ipswich game, although I expect to see the first team on Saturday to give Wigan a damn good thrashing.

  85. Chamakh looked really good last night. I would like to see him get a chance to play upfront with Nasri, Cesc and Walcott in the mid. I believed he score goals galore. I dont believe that NB has clicked with him so far but that could be a matter of time.

  86. Oh no! Did our clean sheet get ruined?! Fuuuuck.

  87. Chamakh’s problem is going to be that RvP is Arsene’s preferred contral striker. Where Bendtnter will still get games on the right hand side, it seems as though Chamakh will have to settle as back up to RvP.

    RvP plays on the right for Holland, and cuts in to great affect. This could work for us with Chamakh staying central. I don’t think Arsene will do that though, and so far he has shown no signs of doing so. Have Chamakh and RvP ever been on the pitch at the same time?

  88. Off to the laundrette then Limpar…

  89. Yep, gew games where VP played in the Cesc role with Chamakh ahead of him. Worked pretty well as I recall.

  90. While i think Samba might be the most suitable candidate in the PL, he’d be wanting constant first team football, which is something I don’t think we’d bring to the table. He’d be better off trying his luck at spuds.

    We need someone who’s willing to fight for a place but at the same time realise playing opportunities may be limited, and that player is easier described than found.

    I think if we do bring someone in, he’ll either be an aging CB in the last of his twilight (perhaps even beyond), or a youngish but quite versatille sqaud player.

    As I typed that last bit though, my mind couldn’t help but think of Flamini, and my heart was awash with pity. To think how immense and vital he was that last season in comparison with how he languishes on a Milan bench now. It’s tragic, but at least we have the Conqueror Cameroonian eh?

  91. Ah, thats right he did. Very attacking, but a good option to have. Cesc could even play deeper next to Song if we really wanted to fit them all in the side if we were chasing a game.

  92. (RvP on the right) “I don’t think Arsene will do that though, and so far he has shown no signs of doing so.”

    But didn’t Arsene play him there before moving him central? Ah, but where would Theo go then?

    It’s a bit problematic for Wenger, but in a nice way. He couldn’t even give JET the chances he may very well have been worthy of.

  93. Geo@3.34.Here we go again with idealism.The same sin we often accuse Arsene of committing.As much as I believe in ‘the Arsenal way’ we need to appreciate a need for layers with varying qualities playing as one and thus making the team a stronger entity.
    A poser for you: Vidic and Terry are arguably the best CB’s in the prem at the moment.Are they ‘ball players’.The exception being Ferdinand (his likes come around probably once every decade).In Samba is a good CB who can play defensive midfield and also score crucial goals.

  94. GA, with the fixtures coming as they are, everyone’s going to get game time, and playing with the desire shown recently, with our depth, it’s why we should start to catch up over take and pull away from everyone else.

  95. No, don’t think so Finnish – he used to play him as one of the strikers in the old 442. He may well have drifted right, but he has been a striker for Arsenal pretty much the whole time… It was only when we moved to 433 that RvP had to adapt his game to the ‘pivot’ role – which is probably what you were thinking of. Might be wrong, but I’m fairly confident that’s what went down…

  96. Gunman,

    My personal thoughts are Vidic in an Arsenal shirt would get 20 cards a season and give away 10 more penalties, yeah I said it, there’s some dodgy ref bias. And Terry’s deficiencies are covered up or revealed by whomever he partners.

  97. GM,

    Sorry, we don’t do freaks of nature like Samba. We been the PL beauties like Vela, Fab, Freddie, Titi, Bobby, DB10 etccccc

  98. I want Titi to just retire, come home and coach the team! All this malarky about loan spells and such, pfft.

  99. Gunman, I know what you’re saying. But Terry and Vidic don’t play in a team that constantly relies on their CBs to start off attacking moves. Terry and Vidic more often than not just try to pass to their full backs, whereas at Arsenal, every player needs to have the ball control, passing and composure for our style to work… We get closed down very quickly compared to other teams, wheich means that our CBs (as much as any other player) need to be confident that they can play their way out from the back. I’m no expert though, so you may well be right, and a big old clogger could work – doubt Wenger would think so though!

  100. Geo, Of course RvP used to play on the right. He was signed as a right winger who Arsene developed into one of the greatest Centre-Forwards in the world. Same as he did with Henry and will do with Walcott in years to come.

  101. Limestone:
    “When some people talk about a leader on the pitch, they always imagine someone yelling at the other players when they make mistakes. Sometimes it takes leadership to step forward and put an arm around a player who has made a mistake and tell them to forget it, play your game and we’ll all make up for it. Maybe being stern has its place, but a leader might also exhort his teammates to focus and concentrate when they are down–that was in fact the incident that the Brazilian interviewer cited, when Sol pulled everyone together after Ramsey’s leg was broken and helped get the team over the initial shock and back into the game with even greater determination.”

    That’s pretty much what I took from the interview. Denilson basically said that there isn’t a leader in the classical sense at Arsenal since everyone came of age at the same time and everyone treats eachother as equals. And if you know Wenger’s philosophy you’d know how much he emphasizes the collective amongst his squad. This, apart from the fact that our players are good lads, is the reason why we don’t have players punching eachother or sleeping with eachother’s wives. Further, the interviewer was wrong about Sol Campbell pulling the team together after Ramsey cracked his leg. Cesc was there with the captain’s arm band and from what I remember he rallied the troops to get the win. All in all it was just a shit question from that Brazilian doomer which Denilson should’ve dismissed as the shit stirring attempt it was.

  102. I don’t know Maria, Big Phil (bless his heart) he looked like he had a touch of the Valuev in him!

    It’ll be good to see him again next season, even if it is in the wrong shirt

  103. Fair enough Markus, didn’t know Wenger had worked his magic on RvP too! Another great successful transition – there’s also Toure from Right Midfield to CB..! I stand corrected 🙂

  104. GB69,
    Cesc was indeed rallying the team but Sol’s energy and “shouting” was what made the team make that extra bit of effort which made for the win..

  105. Before I run off home, I just want to reiterate how much I love the fact we’re taking shots from everywhere, both in and out of the penalty box – even Chammy had an attempt. All that over elaboration must have been part of a genius training regime – just to make sure we could do it (excellent ball control skills people). The boss is taking the leash off the team now!

  106. “No, don’t think so Finnish – he used to play him as one of the strikers in the old 442. He may well have drifted right”

    Thanks Geo, I guess that was the case. Definitely he did drift to the right.

    But wait a minute… Who did we play on the right when the 4-3-3 started? I remember that it was surprising, because we then were able to kick a long high ball to that freeish (is that a word?) area, and the player could take it down and protect the ball until the others got in. It was very un-Wengerball-like.

    I can’t think of anyone else to do that than Robin. I even have a feeling that that was the reason he turned out on the right for the Dutch team, too.

  107. Arshavin….

    I hope some of our astute fans are not thinking that giving Arshavin the “Eboue treatment” will yield the “Eboue Response”.

    They’re both human beings, but they’re different personalities and their response to this kind of treatment may be completely different.

    I’m not necessarily blaming that small group of fans either, because every human being has a different level of patience. What I urge them to do is to be a bit more patient when an individual player has a dip in form or struggling to perform. I think Arsene sees enough from him at training to put him on the team sheet, I think it’s obvious Arshavin is trying but nothing is working for him at the moment.

    Even in his worst form, I bet defenders loath the sight of him running at them with the ball. It’s not working now, but it worked before and it will work for him in the future….Just let him be.

  108. Goonerandy at 3:51 pm
    Guess when did they last play together? Yes, Wigan at home..result? An easy 2-0 to us
    We almost played a 4-2-4!

  109. Gunman: “Its amazing how the pendulum swings with us fans.High praises for Kos and JD today.It only takes one mistake for people to ask for their heads.”

    You can exclude most of us here from your generalization. If you notice, whenever anyone trashes our players after a bad performance they are taken to task right away.

    Vidic and Terry are ball playing CB’s as well. Have you ever seen Terry dribble deep into the opposition half or Vidic playing a pass to one of his strikers? We don’t need lumps who can’t pass the ball more than five feet infront of them.

  110. at Geo | January 20, 2011 at 4:09 pm |

    As far as I remember RVP, started his career with us as a left winger, was conveerted to a striker with time.. similar to the Reyes mould..

  111. I think that the furore over the leadership debate should not be easily dismissed. We know that every successful team has a great leader. We know also that sheep follow leaders. In our case, our team is full of french sheep. This makes a great leader imperative. The leader should be white, anglo saxon, tall and capable of expressing english vernacular in the most idiomatic way. This will bring together the non anglo saxon elements of the team, particularly the franco, african franco elements.

    When Rooney and Berbatov attack, there needs to be incisive communication that at the moment is not delivered by the franco/african franco back 4. At the moment, when there is a threat, the reaction to that threat is a bit like my cats reaction to somebody they don’t know. The cats becomes friendly. You see, people of english origin, particularly saxon, we can discount norman influences in this conversation, regard everybody as their natural enemies, including in some case fellow saxons. This is exactly the attitude that a born leader (of saxon origin) would engender into the peace loving and open franco/ african franco arsenal defence.

    The other point is the cultural demographic. When the franco/african goes back to their housing estates in North London and Paris, there is a loss of identity. The anglo saxon on the other hand stays in the area, and identifies with the local indigenous population. Andy Carroll is a prime example of this type of bond. The result is an unbreakable and indefinable connection between the community, the supporters and the club. One that will bring many trophies.

  112. We started with Bendtner on the right against Everton the first day of the 4-3-3 two seasons ago.

    You are making my point for me Indian Gooner. It wasn’t just Sol Campbell who rallied the troops. He was up clapping and what not but it was Cesc who took the game to Stoke. Arsenal don’t have one leader, we have 11 of them.

  113. John Terry is the best CB in the league?? Are you FUCKING kidding me??

  114. Terry ain’t shit without Carvalho. I’m pretty sure Capello knows this.

  115. Thomas Vermaelen is the next Sol Campbell.

  116. you are killing me..Muppet LMAO!

  117. Muppet doesn’t mess around. Even when he delves into anthropology he comes out smelling like roses.

  118. Nice moment last nice when Arshavin had one of his frustrated (and frustrating) attempts on goal and Nasri ran across and gave him an encouraging pat on the back of the head.

    That’s leadership.

  119. Are you implying that the Geordie ‘community’ is a bunch of violent piss artists who can’t keep their hands off their girlfriends, their arses on barstools or keep away from drug parties, Muppet?

  120. Arsenal have had to roll out Wenger, Gibbs, Nasri, Wilshere & Cesc to reassure the public of Cesc’s leadership. That alone shows how boneheaded Denilson was.

    But I’ll get over it 🙂

    Onwards rolls the Arsenal juggernaut. The next month will be crucial. We have ‘tricky’ ties against Newcastle, Everton & Sunderland, sandwiched between possible FA Cup ties, the cracker against Barca, and a possible Milk Cup final. Then we have to go to Shite Hart Lane.

    The squad will have to come through fully. In very simple terms, the next 5-6 weeks will define our season. That’s something people say much too often and too flippantly about Arsenal. But now it’s true.

  121. I made a few comments early on in the season expressing my opinion that the Arsenal would get healthy at the right time this year and hit their peak when it is needed most. I feel as though we are on the cusp of that peak right now.

    A little luck from the injury gods and we will be unplayable from here on out…COYG!

  122. That’s fair Ole. It has been interesting how those who questioned Denilson’s sense are now dubbed Denilson haters by some.

    A lack of perspective on here sometimes. I have never criticised the man as a player but think he was boneheaded on this occasion.

    But I’ll get over it.

  123. At the beginning of the season I certainly wasn’t as positive and farsighted as viceologist. About our hitting our peak about now, I mean. I was expecting something like 2011-12. … And I wouldn’t have been too disappointed. I mean, we really so clearly are the good guys. David vs Goliath set in the Billionaire Period of Football (English version). Robin Hood and James Dean. Talent and youth against the Establishment. COYG

  124. I remember those comments Vice.

    The team is coming together quite nicely, just in time to dethrone Barca I say.

  125. Bonehead, is the word Ole. I could think of other applications, but, Denilson has always confused me. There are times that I have thought Denilson has played with solidness with the occasional goal. In fact, he appeared as one of the stronger players on the pitch. However, those types of performances have been interspersed with an attitude that can only be described as lack lustre without any zeal to get behind the ball when possession is lost. (He had a reasonable game against Leeds.)

    I do not class myself as a Denilson hater Consuls but perhaps more appropriately as a person who has at times thought of him as extraordinary and at other times as a complete loss on the pitch. Very mixed in my mind that is for sure. Ambivalent to say the least. If the word delicate applies to any Arsenal player, then I might be inclined to use that word to describe Denilson whose psychological make-up is easily tipped. We have seen this player actually collapse on the pitch on more than one occasion. Yet, we all know that Denilson is capable of more.

    This most recent incident, in which, Denilson has been involved off the pitch, has given me pause to think. If there is an iota of truth to the matter regarding the incident then Denilson is a very silly young man. That, unfortunately, applies to all of us in the full flower of our youth, talk before we think. He can make up for that mistake by putting his football mind in full gear!

  126. As for Denilson’s work rate. Is he not (or wasn’t he like one or two seasons ago?) the one player in our team who would usually cover the most ground? I think I remember seeing that statistic pop up in CL games quite a few times. Has anybody access to the numbers to reassure/disprove me?

  127. nice one Karim! Our reserve away fans are singing loud and clear!

  128. Two Owls, Denilson hasn’t reached the form he was in two years ago becaue he’s carrying a back injury. Against Leeds he pulled up because of his lower back, which means his back is still an issue for him after more than a year and a half. Regarding the whole hullabaloo about leadership, his comments were benign but were turned upside down. There’s really nothing more to say about that. You either believe the interview or learn portuguese and find out in which context things were said.

  129. Thanks for the link, Karim.

    Not sure ATVO’s ever this biased towards Arsenal!

  130. @merlot: “Nice moment last nice when Arshavin had one of his frustrated (and frustrating) attempts on goal and Nasri ran across and gave him an encouraging pat on the back of the head.”

    An excellent reminder! It was a special moment and something so lovely (if you can say things like that in football) about team evolution. One year ago, SN wouldn’t have felt big enough to do it. Now he has been fantastic, knows it, and wasn’t it just beautiful the way he, like you said, gave him the encouraging pat. But not patronising. To me, it was mesmerising.

    It was not a casual “oh well”, it wasn’t a “get up now pal”, it was not an “I’m the captain tonight, I’m doing it for the cameras”. It was not about friendship. It was about working together onwards. It was about two world class professionals who totally respect each other. It was about SN knowing, much better than us, what AA can do. Which is to be able to do the heroic stuff when his day comes.

    It was my Moment Of The Match. Maybe slightly unfair, because Sagna’s goal (and is he the player of the season so far?) made me have the “I’m not going to cry or have tears and definitely no wet eyes at all” reflexes thing. Bravo.

  131. I agree with GB69.. Denilson still seems to struggle with his back injury.. Just like the one Gilberto had..

  132. Mybe denilson was a bit naieve yes. Both him and the idiot that posted te interveew without editing it. Sometimes it seems like their age gets the better of em. at 22 maybe you sometimes think more about being the nice guy that gives interwies to make the fans happy than about the fct they can misuse your kindness.

    I think this has thought denilson not to speak to fansites again as most only want publicity and does not really care wheter it puts the player and the club in a bad light or not.

  133. Getting a bit carried away there Finnish. That sort of encouraging pat on the head goes on from School football upwards. Team mates do that sort of thing to each other all the time.

  134. I can’t believe how much time we spend defending our own players on here?

    Sometimes you have players in your squad that you don’t like and wish they would go away, for me it was Gallas, but you can’t harp on it all day and night because the decision for this player to leave or stay is not in your hands.

    So if you don’t like Denilson, Bendtner, Arshavin or whomever….just get over it.

  135. Poodle, y0ur sentiments are worth repeating to others. Cheers, and let Denilson be the centre of the remainder of the season.

  136. “That’s what happens when you train with Mozart…”

    I thought the same thing after Bendtner’s assist/cross.

  137. Gainsbourg69…A back that is not functioning at optimum is a very strong impediment when acting up. I can attest to that!

    Why don’t we send Denilson to the Witch Doctor who treated Robin with Horse Placentae. Actually, I am told there is a business in Canada for this sort of treatment. I do not know the science behind this thinking so I best clam up.

  138. WTF, Andy? Let Finnish have that touching moment in peace.

    My heartfelt moment of the match was watching Van Persie exchange shirts with Leeds youngster Sam Lloyd. He asked Robin for his shirt and was taken aback when Robin asked him for his. It was a nice touch that shows how cool our players are.

    Poodle, I don’t think Denilson should stop giving interviews to fan sites. What he should do is bone up on what the doomers are saying about Arsenal. Personally, I wouldn’t have asked him about a lack of leadership or brought up the whole you can’t win with kids nonsense. I would’ve asked him about his injury, his role in the team and other concrete matters.

  139. Two Owls, tell me about it. My friend tweaked his back playing field hockey a year ago and now he walks like an old man despite the fact that he’s in his early thirties. Back injuries are no joke. Denilson’s injury is probably why we’ve seen so much more of Jack this season than intended. And I guarantee you that Clichy’s back injury is why Eboue is being deployed at left back.

    The placenta didn’t work. Robin was so taped up in South Africa that he could’ve easily been mistaken for a mummy.

  140. @goonerandy: “Getting a bit carried away there Finnish. That sort of encouraging pat on the head goes on from School football upwards. Team mates do that sort of thing to each other all the time.”

    Thanks for the notion–and that was exactly what I meant! Can we see that in super-professional football anymore? Normally not. But on that occasion, yes.

  141. Broken leg for one of ours in the Chelsea match?

  142. Wankers 😦

  143. man, some great posts today.

    excellent result last night. Nasri truly talismanic..

    COYG

  144. Jeff Blockleys shorts

    The truth is if everyone is fit Wenger would never in a million years start Denilson or Bendtner v Barcelona

  145. fyi…

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-clarifies-vermaelen-injury-situation?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arsenal-news+%28News+Feed%29

    We seem to specialise in unusual and mysterious injuries, don’t we? Still this news is good. He should be playing again in six weeks.

  146. So TV should be playing in six weeks.

  147. I am struggling to find your point Jeff, all teams play their best players when they play the best teams. However, if we need to be reminded (again), Denilson was one of the most important players agaisnt Barca in the first leg. I dare say he is one of the players I believe is suited to play Barcelona. He will not be allowed to get pushed over from behind like in the PL and he has great anticipation which is what you need with the way Barcelona play.

    But I digress

  148. Jeff means if everybody is fit Denilson is behind both Diaby and Wilshere in the pecking order it seems. When one of those have been fit, they have played while he was on the bench. And rightly so, as they are both are better players in my humble opinion. Denilson is a good squad player to have without doubt though.

  149. Just listened to Football Weekly, and the Arsenal sympathiser on there said that there’s a tendency for Arsenal fans to go too far with both praise and criticism of certain players in the team. I really agree with this.

    Over the last five years one of the best things about using the internet as an Arsenal supporter is being able to watch the individual highlights that are occasionally posted on youtube. You get to see important work that gets lost in the flow of the match when you watch it live. I think many people would be surprised if they saw a video of say Denilson or Arshavin’s performance last night.

  150. https://aculturedleftfoot.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/arsenal-prove-a-different-class-to-vanquish-leeds/#comments

    ….>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Titi<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<…..

    Winning the PL at shite hart lane better than the champions league.

  151. OOU,

    I’ve been saying that for 7,8 years now. One of my grouses with the media has always been that. The criticism of Arsenal is excessive and ridiculous. The praise when we play well and win sometimes makes me feel like taking a shower.

    I was SHOCKED to see how many ‘reasonable’ people on twitter were saying Arshavin should be sold just for being slightly off form.

  152. Maria,

    Your points about Bac really made me happy. He’s criminally underrated. He’s quite simply our best defender by far. And he’s never below a ‘7’ in his performance. His attitude is spot on, and his quiet belief and confidence in his team mates is rare in modern footballers.

    WHY DO WE NOT HAVE A PROPER CHANT FOR HIM?

  153. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Bwhahahah. Hilarious stuff, Muppet. Reading that just turned a frown upside down.

  154. GA, I actually understand what is being said but it means nothing. Wenger will play who he feels is the best as do all managers.

    Its just a dig at Denilson.

  155. YW should really do a mid-term headmasters report, reminding us all what was said and perceived as ‘challenges’ and ‘bright spots’ back in August.

    In brief, however, we are in contention for all four cups, itself a very big achievement (hence we remain the only ones), we have a tangible chance to win the EPL this year (as Wenger said cleverly, “it’s ours to win”), we are in fine fettle on the field and playing some majestic football amidst the more laboured efforts, we seem to have overcome to some degree our early season defensive concerns, Kos has been a success anyway, Djourou has barely put a foot wrong, we appear to have three excellent keepers and the two Poles have surprised and delighted (Almunia the third), we have two of best left backs around and the best right back, Wilshere has emerged as a really exciting player, Song is being touted as the best defensive midfielder in the EPL (although he is not, yet anyway), RvP is fit and scoring, Cesc seems happier, Samir is being openly described as the player of the EPL, Walcott is growing up and with it becoming a ‘big’ player (10 goals so far this season, excellent), we have depth everywhere and in every position except CB, we have immense young players with considerable first team status (like, ahem, Denilson, Ramsey, Bendtner, Vela), we have Diaby, and we have some really thrilling matches and adventures coming up.

    A lot of this, but not all, can change in just 2 weeks and 3 or 4 poor results. C’est la vie. But for now, for today, one can reach a conclusion to say Arsenal-life is not so bad, hey? Chin up then everybody. Aluta continua.

  156. Folks who say or think Denilson, Bendtner and Diaby maybe are not quite up to it have forgotten the “Song story”, not so many seasons ago, and a few others too. There are reasons why Arsenal rates Denilson and Bendtner.

    In any event, I think both, especially Denilson play fantastic football.

  157. I wonder about the comparison between Denilson and some USA war veterans. It occured to me that the back injury that Denilson suffered was in the field of battle on behalf of his club. Similarly, many US veterans suffered psychological damage in the cause of their country while fighting in Vietnam.

    The link: when both returned from their injuries they found an unsympathic and largely unsupportive home-coming.

    The distinction: Denilson was fighting in a cause for which all gooners gave their support.

    It sickens me!

  158. The “Song story” is indeed a shining beacon. I still remember that game against Fulham when he looked completely out of his lge. I have always had 100% faith in Arsene, but remember thinking that this guy is simply not good enough to play for us (as much as I did like him).

    Look at him now, I worry when he is not playing and has developed into of of the most effective players in the PL. If Denilson and Bendtner make the same jump that he did, I will really enjoy eating my delisious humble pie. I really will. I have nothing against either, I just don’t rate them as highly as others. It would be amazing if they steped up like Song did.

  159. The club has gave no indication that Denilson is suffering from a back injury. he has in the past, but is fine (in that respect now). Stop making excuses for him. Not that you should need to as most think he is playing well anyway.

  160. Heh.

    Denilson – Vietnam Vet. (You were not there man!!!!)

    Amazing stuff.

  161. GA,

    To true: thank the gods!

  162. Muppet : Nice one, but feeling pedantic… the “English” are/ were infact Angles, with a mix of Jutes, Danes and Saex (Saxons were known thereby by their short swords, or Saex’s [ Nothing to do with Saxony]. Infact, the ‘real’ English are the Britons, such as the Iceni, Trinnovantii etc etc. Also, the so-called ‘Norman’ conquest was infact a conquest by the Vikr (vikings) who had invaded what is now Normandy, mixed with the Goths and Franks, led by Clovis and later Charlemagne. So who are the English ?

    And, please PLEASE let ManUre lose a fu#king game very soon. And may Pubis develop a serious disease, beyond his megalomania, and die in pain.
    Love and Peace!

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