Arsenal Plough On To Wembley

Carling Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg
Arsenal 3 – 0 Ipswich Town
Arsenal win 3 – 1 on aggregate

1 – 0 Bendtner (61)
2 – 0 Koscielny (63)
3 – 0 Fabregas (76)

Arsenal reached their first final since 2007 with a comprehensive victory over Ipswich Town. The win was marked by the patience shown by a stronger than expected Arsenal line-up, a signal from Arsene Wenger that he is determined that the club will lift the trophy at the end of next month.

An emphatic scoreline highlighted the difference in the quality of the two sides with Ipswich obdurate and fortunate in their defence of the one-goal lead established at Portman Road a fortnight ago. Progress for Arsenal was achieved in fifteen second half minutes, Ipswich crumbling under the home side’s constant pressure.

From the kick off, Arsenal were singular in their approach. Win possession, keep the ball and create the openings. Against a wall of blue shirts – the visitors frequently had nine outfield players behind the ball – it was an evening where patience was required, a not unfamiliar set of circumstances. Ipswich had a rare shot on goal directly from the start, Szczesny watching the ball clear his crossbar from Leadbitter’s speculative effort.

van Persie responded by shooting wide whilst Cesc was to be the recipient of Mark Halsey’s first, and unfortunately not last, bizarre decision, shoved in the back in the area; as clear a penalty as the one denied to Blackpool. Almost.

An early enforced substitution came when Szczesny clattered Sagna, the full back concussed and replaced by Eboue. Arsenal were creating more pressure on the visitors although clear chances were at a premium. The clearest came with a quarter of the game played. Bendtner stood a cross to the far post where van Persie craned to meet the ball, unable to guide it into the roof the net, connecting with the bar instead.

Arsenal continued to probe. Fulop could not hold onto Fabregas’ free kick with Bendtner unable to capitalise on the rebound. The Spaniard would then weave through the Ipswich defence, lifted his shot past the advancing Fulop and wide of the post. Head in hands, the Arsenal captain wondered what he would have to do to score. Half an hour later, he would get his answer.

The second half commenced with Arsenal measured and controlled once more in their approach. Ipswich were still defending in numbers and with a will that seemingly grew stronger despite the tiredness creeping into their limbs. The latter left gaps at the back as they became a little more adventurous.

Those gaps were ominously filled with Arsenal players. Wilshere had been scurrying and prompting all night, unleashed a forty yard pass into the path of Bendtner on the Arsenal left. The Dane controlled the ball, cut inside and curled his shot around defenders and goalkeeper. A marvellous finish, parity in the tie for Arsenal and a chance to kick on to seal the required aggregate win.

A further step in the right direction came two minutes later when Koscielny beat Fulop to the ball  from Arshavin’s corner, heading into an unguarded net. Ipswich responded as substitute Jason Scotland drilled a low effort that Szczesny saved comfortably.

Cesc sealed the win with a deserved goal. Breaking from the middle of the pitch, he found Arshavin. The Russian continued his run and returned a beautifully weighted pass into his captain’s path, Fabregas sliding the ball between the onrushing Fulop’s legs leaving defenders forlorn and foresaken in the back of the net, the ball tantilising them by nesting at their weary feet.

The mercurial Russian might not be in the best form in front of goal but last night his character shone through. Despite the lack of touch, he created two goals and never shirked from receiving a pass or trying to play in a colleague. A goal is all that he needs to return to his best on the pitch and on the basis of last night’s performance, will not be too long in coming.

Equally deserving of praise were Bendter and Denilson. They have put the horrors of Leeds at The Emirates behind them and both were outstanding. The Dane once again proving that he can play on the right even if he does not want to, it is simply a matter of application. Denilson meanwhile provided a lot of possession for Fabregas and Wilshere in midfield. Ipswich helped with surrendering the ball quickly through speculative passes but using the ball wisely in those situations is the platform to success.

Personally, I though Wilshere was Man of the Match. He ran the midfield, probing, dribbling and pressurising Ipswich constantly throughout the ninety minutes. An energetic performance which highlights the benefits he has felt of a brief rest through rotation.

Reaching the final was last night’s objective, concentration on the three other tournaments is a priority before the trip to Wembley. To be in four tournaments at this stage of the season is unusual for Arsenal but a situation that the squad seem determined to make the norm.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 26, 2011, in Arsenal, Carling Cup, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 275 Comments.

  1. Grand Oral Disseminator

    Last night, the BBC Sport website’s top story was 2011 Premiership winners Manchester United’s comeback from two goals down to beat recently promoted Blackpool 3-2. This morning Chief Football Write Phil McNulty has written a blog about potentially ‘the defining point in Man Utd’s season, and without reading it, I wonder if he means the decision to bring off Rooney? For a media outlet as keen as any other to regurgitate lines about Arsenal’s five (almost six) year barren trophy spell, Emirates Cup unfortunately not included, it was strange that they neglected to highlight the fact the wait could be nearly over. Especially as Arsenal staged a comeback of their own. Do I mean strange, or do I mean as expected?

    Arsenal were excellent last night. In the face of slight adversity, with a 1-0 deficit to overturn, an agricultural Championship team setting their stall out to defend and hoping they could sneak another lucky long-baller, and the potential of an away goal always threatening (even if the ‘away’ part of the goal would only count after 120 minutes), they did the job efficiently. We were all over Ipswich throughout the whole 90 minutes. I hate to hear commentators and pundits saying how the keeper hasn’t been tested, as though that’s a mark of possession and domination. Arsenal don’t shoot on sight. Shoot on sight merchants, and Fat Frank will back me up, test the goalkeeper. Shooting from all angles, as and when a sight of the goal and a yard of grass converge, ‘tests’ the goalkeeper. Occasionally. Arsenal are much more clinical than that. Yes, it was 0-0 at half time, but make no mistake, we were testing Ipswich, if not the keeper. The efficiency, and the clinical side of Arsenal, came into play after the break. When the opportunities that we carve out and thrive upon appeared, we capitalised. Bendtner’s goal was special, Koscielny’s deserved, and Fabregas’s punishing.

    However, according to better paid and more knowledgeable pundits than I, who have been there and done it, there are problems. Word for word, the key points are;

    Matt Holland – they need to do better defensively.

    Alan Hansen – He has bought two centrebacks, but unfortunately they haven’t been very good, that’s the problem.

    Alan Shearer – A player or two short of being a very, very good side, maybe a goalie and a centre half.

    Alan Shearer – The League Cup best chance of a trophy. Never have a better chance.

    Matt Holland – Shown this year that with his team selection throughout the tournament, he really fancies he’s got a chance of winning this. All the way through this tournament he’s picked a strong team…

    Alan Hansen – That’s because he hasn’t won anything for six years. He’s had to. It stops the rot.

    So, Arsenal need to do better. They have a problem. They aren’t quite a very, very good side yet. They need to buy a keeper and a centreback as obviously the ones we have bought aren’t expensive enough. The League Cup is Arsenal’s best chance of a trophy, possibly because we’re already in the final as opposed to merely the fourth round of the FA Cup, the first knockout stages of the Champions League, and we’re fifteen games away from the end of the league season.

    Oh, and lest I forget, the reason we’re in the final (as favourites) is because we’ve picked a strong team all the way through the tournament, effectively suggesting that if we always picked a strong team, all the way through any tournament, we have the divine right to get to the final. Obviously after three years of not winning anything, Wenger picked a weaker side and said ‘they can do it.’ Then, after four, he said ‘no, don’t worry this time they’ll pull through, trust me.’ This year, he’s said ‘f*ck it, I’m desperate for a trophy, I’m gonna pick a strong side, that should do the trick.’ Which slightly discredits every other team in the competition, but never mind. Maybe that’s Hansen’s subconscious way of saying ‘you can’t win anything with kids.’

    There were a few snippets of praise, but they were lost in the morass. I’m not the kind of supporter who thinks anyone who pulls on the red and white walks on water and can do no wrong, but they are doing very little wrong at the moment. All in all, an excellent night.

  2. Agree that Jack was man of the match, although I was less sure about the contribution of Denilson. I know we need someone to do the dull fetching and carrying in midfield, but Denilson does it with so much less panache (and more errors) than Alex Song does. He’s adequate and of great value as a squad player, but he is so much less than the player I thought he might become. Maybe the problem is less about him and more about my expectations of him.

    Anyhow, it was good to see the boys remain patient last night and not get too frustrated. The performance merited the eventual result, and they didn’t panic, even when it was still 0-0 with half an hour left. A sign of growing maturity?

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2011/01/25/bendtner-breaks-ipswichs-resistance-as-arsenal-reach-carling-cup-final/

  3. i keep reading on every arsenal fan page that denilson was apaling and horrible and crap yesterday. Am i blind or something? I did not think he played that bad at all. he did his job, it may not be glamorous but it is important and keeps us going. He maybe has had a little blip in form since last year. But i think he may not be allowed to be as attack minded as he used to? Maybe that spot is occupied by Wilshere`?

  4. Yogi, I agree with every word, including the Cesc penalty incident. Considering what Howard Webb is alleged to have told some player about going down and making the decision easier for refs, is this not what Cesc did last night? Sure he could have stayed on his feet, but his felt the illicit contact and went down.

    Refs eh, can’t listen to them but you’ve got to hear them.

    After much consideration I too think Wilshire was MotM. My affiliation with the Bendy appreciation society caused much thinking as to the MotM as I thought Big Daddy B was excellent all night and wanted to give it to him, but then Young Jack was mangificent.

  5. Fantastic post GOD. Eloquently put what I have been spouting out of my mouth all morning at work today. Well said, well highlighted.

  6. great game last nyt and a beautiful goal from super nik.am one person that didnt have much belief in the dane but that goal proved me wrong.clearly the mancs had the ref on their side,they could get purnished against teams that are better defensively.great post yogi!!

  7. GOD, why don’t you speak more often? Months without anything making me forget you exist, and then bam, you utter your majestic message and it all makes sense.

    Here my thought a la mathematics: Denilson > Mikel

    Suck it Denilson denigrators!

  8. When Spurs won the League Cup in 08, then got to the final in 09 the Gooners were calling it the Mickey Mouse Cup, now they’re celebrating as if they’re going to Wembley for the Champions League Final

  9. poodle, Denilson was dire, especially in the first half. The same can be said for Arshavin. No-one wants these guys to find some scintillating form more than me, but since Christmas they’ve been given several chances with the Wigan game and several cup games and haven’t looked remotely like making a dent on the first XI. Arshavin finally managed to provide a couple of good passes for goals, let’s hope one goes in off his backside or something against Huddersfield to get his confidence going even higher. Bendtner got a goal and I do feel a bit for him being shunted out to the wing, but he got his chance in the first leg through the middle and didn’t take it leaving himself open to some criticism.

    Someone mentioned on some blog or other that people get on the back of “the usual whipping boys”, well they’re that for a reason. Eboue has been there and has come out the other side with some decent performances, as has Fabianski, these players can only look to themselves if they want to get the boo boys off their backs by turning in consistent high quality performances.

  10. I thought denilson was excellent – he dominated the centre of midfield. He’s tidy, he works hard, he keeps the ball moving. He’s a very useful squad player.

    Loved Niklas’ goal – wish I’d been among the Bendtner haters in my usual spot

  11. Excellent report as usual Yogi. Main arguments afterwards were on the contributions of Arshavin and the under-appreciated Denilson (of course he’s not as good as Song who is, as Strachan rightly said, the best DM in the league) .

    A word for Big Johan and Kozzer who continued to gel, after an outstanding game on Saturday.

  12. Honestly I think we can no longer sit around while refs, FA, and other clubs help Man Utd. It’s become ridiculous.

    I remember thrice this season when they were going to drop points or lose, that refs saved them

  13. Are Block 4 restricted view seats?

  14. I look forward to hearing more from your goat ZP, the nganga.

    No association with ganga I suppose, just wondering.

  15. Super summary Yogi, and gread post GOD.

    Man U play with 13 men, their team, the referee and the media which is why it will break their heart even more when we stand above them come the end of the season. Regardless. Because we’ve got the touch….we’ve got the power…

  16. just wonder why teams try and hijack our potential signings.it seems purple nose is trying to sign alex chamberlain.

  17. eep *great

  18. Ole, remember that as the BBC commentary team put it the other day “that’s the right decision in a game as big as this” (I think it was Rafael’s first yellow the other day) which meant referees need to be lenient towards Man U players in any game they are involved in!

  19. What a win!!!! We are in the final and all that, but the hunger shown by the players last night was amazing, I’ve seen us play great football and flatter to deceive, but last night you could just feel it that we would do the job come what may (OK my faith was tested for about an hour) but we came through.
    A word about the lady who was shouting/cheering / singing throughout the match so loud , she could be heard here in India. She’s got some lungs that girl. Wish there could be more like her for our league games as well

  20. clockend@rider.com

    G.O.D. makes a good point. Hansen gets paid a fortune and the best he can come out with is unsupportable partial nonsense. The facts (and perhaps you ought to try to acquaint yourself with them , Alan) are that after 23 league games, Arsenal’s defence has conceded 1 goal more than United’s. Despite having lost our best centre half for most of the season. And with the two centre halves bought who according to the Oracle that is Hansen, can’t play. And this after we have played 6 out of the eight games against the top 5 clubs with United still having to play Chelsea home and away and Us away. Still, let’s not let the facts get in the way of Captain Scarlet continuing to hold his now 21 year old grudge against Arsenal. About time he and Shearer went the same way as Gray and the BBC looked to bring through some pundits with some semblance of critical faculties who don’t simply ape what the scum press say and/or bring with them the baggage of their own careers.
    Mark Bright and Garth Crooks, you needn’t apply.

  21. Great post, YW, and very well said Grand Oral Disseminator too.

    I’ve heard the “Oh you’ve finally decided to field a strong side in the league cup” bit from some spuds. Which is pretty funny considering the average age of the Arsenal players who obliterated them on their own turf was a good 3 years younger than the players they fielded. Just because our young players are so good they’ve broken into and are trusted in the first team – doesn’t mean you can belittle the achievement by saying ‘oh you’re fielding first-teamers now’. I couldn’t give a good fuck if young talent is left to rot on the benches at WHL while they spunk laundered cash on white elephants like… whassisname… that Brazilian mug… and Niko Krancjar… and buying Robbie Keane and Jermaine Defoe back-and-forth repeatedly. Idiots.

  22. Big Johan, everyone has their view, mine is crystal clear. I try to be objective, not just jump on the bandwagon of everyone being great just because we won the game. As I said, a consistent run of good performances from these players will stop the criticism.

  23. Andrew, come on, you must know when Totts reach League Cup finals it is a micky mouse affair, I mean even a cursory examination of Totts history tells us this much, but when Arsenal reach that final it is the final itself that becomes glamorous, exciting, footballistic and in this way noteworthy.

  24. Now now Big Johan, self praise is no praise at all.

  25. I think the boo boys should transmogrify into”you can do it” boys? The power of belief is a wonderful thing, I mean it bought Tinkerbell back to life, and the lack of it is apparently the weapon of Fairy genocide.

    It also helped the evil alien psychopath Goku defeat Majin Buu.

  26. deano, maybe not, but let’s be honest, my ball control earlier this season was cr*p……

  27. The pundits are just stupid, our squad of “known” players is so big now that when everyone’s fit, as is almost the case now, it looks like we’re playing first teamers in the cups when in fact we’re not most of the time. If a team of Szcezsny, Eboue, Squllaci, Koscielny, Gibbs, Denilson, Rosicky, Diaby, Arshavin, Chamakh and Bendtner take to the field on Sunday people would say that’s a “strong” side, arguably only one of them (Koscielny) would get into the current first XI.

  28. Also it strikes me as slightly odd that 5 of our last 8 games ( 4 of which were won 3-0) have been clean sheets yet we still apparently have defesive issues.

  29. No Consols, no association between n’ganga and ganga (which is not a local word, the common term being ‘mbanje’), although the two have been known to coincide.

  30. I’m loving the DBZ analogies Gadget, keep them coming.

  31. It is all to the good that ManU regularly field 13, and always 12 in their matches so that when they lose their mantle of “brave, skilled, determined young men who smile in adversity for the greater glory of all decent god-fearing and worthy people everywhere” they will look as silly as their mentor’s purple ‘hooter’ (as the americans call it).

  32. Yes, great summary – nailed it in one! It’s exactly the sort of game in the past where we’d have struggled to break down the wall/bus/tractor of blue and our patient persistence got its just rewards.

    My problem with Bendtner is he is inconsistent and too often not on the same wavelength as his teammates. There’s clearly talent there – what a beautiful goal last night – but he doesn’t do it enough and when he’s not doing it, he’s not working hard enough. Spurs went through a long phase of buying in half decent players who thought they’d made the big time and no longer had to work at it, just turn up and enjoy the glamour of it all; the group mentality led to Spurs becoming perennial underachievers, at least until ‘Arry turned up. Bendtner, for me, falls into that category – if he worked harder he would also get much more sympathy from the doubters.

    Arshavin just looks homesick to me, it’s very sad – a major talent gone flat but which should be going far. A case of “whatever he and Rooney are having – I won’t!” Given that form is temporary, the undoubted class of the guy will just as likely show itself again – but with an Arsenal shirt on? Would love it if it did.

    Denilson perplexes me – I think it’s too much sideways movement, not enough penetrative forward direction. Again, he doesn’t always look to be on the same wavelength as his teammates and I wonder how close he is to the rest of them, off the pitch. On the pitch at least he looks a bit of a square peg …

    Highlight of the evening for me was the celebration around Kos’s goal – his teammates clearly delighted for him during this challenging first season; I’m certain he will be with us for many years and Gooners will grow to love him. Give him a full year to get right up to speed and then judge.

    My goodness, the jolly old BBC really hate us don’t they chaps?! Any opportunity to turn an positive into a negative and they are diving in there with both feet – they really should get pulled up about it …

    Agree with the Manure remarks – utterly nauseating – I really don’t think they’d have got back into it from three down; as a certain Wenger, A, says, they are very very fortunate. I’m certain had that been a defender from a ‘smaller’ side they’d have ended up booked on top of the award of the penalty. Stunningly awful refereeing – in fact, suspiciously so in my opinion.

    Roll on Sunday!

  33. WELL DONE INDEED!

    Phew… that was tense. I think the attitude was spot on both from the manager and the team. If we had gone in with a half baked team as in previous years we would have lost. Congratulations to the team on a superb performance.

    The final lies between the barca ties, so if as expected we go out, a win at wembley would keep the spirits up for the rest of the season. The possibility of cesc lifting the trophy at wembley is tantalising.

    I am glad that arsene has shed his incredible arrogance in this regard. He may not value the trophy but look at what it meant to the fans last night. And it seems we wont be buying anyone this window so this is probably the only cup we will win this season but…

    A trophy is a trophy, there is nothing quite like it in football, both for fans and players.

    Wembley calling….

    Cheers all!

  34. Good post YW. I agree with most of what you said, but the penalty (Cesc) incident is debatable. If Koscienly had sent Priskin over with the same push, we would all agree that it was no way a pen. He touched him, but did not knock him over. Cesc dived, and he knows it.

    More strange was the ref’s decision to award a drop ball after he had gotten his fat arse in the way. litraly making the rules up as he went along..

    The Denilson debate is a good one. He really does divide opinion eh? I have seen posts saving he ranged from absolute garbage, to amazing and excellent. Me, I thought he had a decent game. Not garbage, but not great either. He did what he had to do, and for the most part did it efficiently.

  35. Andrew (x2) – “My problem with Bendtner is he is inconsistent and too often not on the same wavelength as his teammates. There’s clearly talent there – what a beautiful goal last night – but he doesn’t do it enough and when he’s not doing it, he’s not working hard enough.”

    I agree 100% with that.

  36. Denilson was excellent last night. Had to be very brave in some clunking Ipswich tackles and came out with the ball at his feet almost every time. He won and kept us invaluable possession – as always. Disciplined, measured.. but also very strong.

  37. I agree with that, LA. I thought Denilson was especially good at cleaning up after our centre backs on the long-balls. He reacted faster than the Ipswich players so many times. That job was absolutely vital to ensure that the other side was kept under constant pressure for the first hour. I mean their whole game-plan was built around winning the ball from the knockdowns, and they just couldn’t get a spell of possession. Denilson and JW deserve a lot of thanks for that.

  38. I thought Wilshere in particular was excellent. His passing ranges is very good, he is tenacious, and when on the ball is quite direct.

  39. Just seen the Blackpool penalty incident. Stonewaller. Absolutley unbelievable, or at least it would be if it wasn’t the accepted state of normality.

  40. In fairness to Halsey I think he got the decision for the drop ball spot on. If they had been outside our box and a ball had been deflected badly off the ref right into their path in front of goal and they scored I’d be livid. He should have got out of the way but because he didn’t and the deflection was so substantial he had to stop play. I might not have been so kind if we’d lost mind you!

  41. It was good fun last night. Apart from the utter terror of losing an important player through injury. It happened to Sagna and very nearly to Djourou.
    It felt like an international friendly to me. You want the Arsenal players involved to do well but all that mattered was they came through without injury for the proper tournaments ahead.

  42. Looking forward to the final too – i’ll be in Amsterdam that weekend – yeoh! They better be showing it somewhere!!

  43. Yup, Jack was brilliant last night. What a little terrier. I can see goals coming from him soon. There was a time, earlier in the season, where he’d give the ball to Cesc or Nasri almost out of deference; now he plays the pitch purely as he sees it, and picks each pass on it’s own merit. Fully integrated… and he gets given the ball a lot more often as a result.

  44. Zama regards your post at 11:18. That wonderful lady shouting her support throughout the game last night is a bit of a legend in Arsenal history. I remember Marie and her husband standing at the front of the old North Bank at Highbury for years. She with her flag and Dave, I believe, covered in Arsenal badges. They went to all the away games as well, It was great to hear her last night, brought back fond memories.

  45. The great ‘defenders’ Man poo have conceded just one goal fewer than us this season despite having Vidic the steel macerator, and Ferdinand the Peckham man of letters.

    But we have a ‘defensive crisis’. Everyone knows it. Except that we don’t.

    Question to Bill:

    Has Arsene finally listened to you, seen the light and introduced ‘defensing’ into our training sessions?

  46. My opinion on Deni is that he is an acquired taste. As a spectacle he doesn’t instantly arouse the average football fan. He’s no Vieira, in as much as he ain’t going to run the length of the pitch after a corner catch up to a brake and take the ball by himself. BUT… he sits calmly, reading the game nicking passes and breaking up play. Once he is on the ball he also is less likely to make surging runs than peers. But his passing play is effective and creative. A good player in my eyes and essential to the squad and this campaign.

  47. @Caxter, from the laws of the game:

    Ball in play
    The ball is in play at all other times, including when:
    • it rebounds off a goalpost, crossbar or corner flagpost and remains in the
    field of play
    • it rebounds off either the referee or an assistant referee when they are on
    the field of play

    Therefore Halsey was completely wrong to stop the game and have a drop-ball.

    Click to access LOTG201011.pdf

    It is annoying when it goes against you, but we see it all the time.

  48. Great atmosphere, great second half performance, great result. I personally thought Djorou was our man of the match, but it just goes to show how people see things differently. There were many in the crowd around me moaning about both Denilson and Bendtner, and when the latter scored, one guy even refused to celebrate. Some of our ‘support’ is bizarre to say the least! See you at Wembley guys.

  49. Fair enough – but under exceptional circumstances e.g. setting up a goal scoring opportunity when there was none it would seem pretty unfair if a team scored but the rules are the rules.

  50. While I suppose it’s all well and good sat watching the game in the privacy of your own living room; in the crush of the moment inside the stadium – we can all be very glad that Deni doesn’t instantly arouse the average football fan.

  51. Thanks Jaygooner for that insight. Wonder if the ticket pricing has anything to do with the kind of atmosphere that is generated. CC tickets being cheaper than the league ones.

  52. Yes! How could I forget about Djourou. He really was everywhere last night.

  53. Refuse to celebrate? heh, what a tool.

  54. LA to be honest it’s more the discerning football fan that appreciates Deni’s attributes and contributions don’t you think?

  55. @els, I do appreciate Denilson’s strengths and I’m not looking for him to slalom through defences and smash one in the top corner. For some reason his first touch is all over the place which really shows itself in the midfield, especially when the opposition are going to play a high pressure game designed to throw us out of our passing rythm. This is exactly what lower league sides are going to do against us. There was a comment from one of the crowd around me last night along the lines of the old cliche that his second touch is a tackle. I don’t care that he passes sideways a lot (which was annoying one of the fans around me last night) or that he’s not crashing into tackles, but for me he’s slowing down the play unnecessarily at the moment with sloppy touch and passing. I’m sure these things are curable, maybe it’s a form thing, maybe it’s a bit of concentration that’s missing, I don’t know, but until he sorts that out he’s going to attract the kind of comments he currently is.

  56. his legs and other male parts n’that. I can tell you my living room was tense last night. I think I may have impregnated the wife again, just watching Deni. If it’s a boy and my name being Neil… it would have to be D’Neil’sSon.

  57. Block 4 each to their own. I think there is a place for making sure your attack comes from the right place on the pitch and with the correct player on the ball. If it means waiting for 1 or 2 seconds, it’s a slowdown I’m willing to take. As for the fact he may be susceptible to the odd shoulder barge or 50/50 he comes out with the ball more than he should. It’s essential we get the ball to the ground at the feet of our creative midfielders and he does it very well and in his own brand.

  58. Absolutely, els. Discerning.

  59. Delia---Block 112

    They made us suffer but it wouldn’t be The Arsenal without a bit of pain in achieving our objectives. Well done everyone , three excellent goals , lots of great play, excitement by the bucket full and a great effort from the fans , who sang us home. Can’t wait for the next installment on Sunday, we do seem to be on a roll. So onwards and upwards to bigger and even better things. Agree little Jack just shaded MOTM and AA23 and B52 put in one of their better displays. Our little Russian may yet play a significant role in the successful outcome of our season,here’s hoping.
    As always COYRs

  60. It’s bizarre what has happened to Arsh – at times electric, at his worst still effective (goals, assists even if not on top form) and at least he did that last night

    But his overall form stinks – he looks totally shot of confidence. I suspect he’s decided he wants out

  61. Off topic, but it looks like Feyenoord have decided that Miyaichi’s good enough to play for their first team. That doesn’t mean as much as it once did, but it’s still something.

  62. What’s with some people’s obsession with Denilson!!Jeez the guy cant do anything right it seems. We won and still some complain about Denilson and more Denilson, if i hear one more word on Denilson did this wrong or didnt do this right I swear am gonna throw up. Leave the boy alone!!!!!

    G.O.D well said.

    Zimpaul can i come with you next time you pay nganga a visit?

  63. Well said Firstlady.

  64. thanks for that. When i see Denilson haters I just file them under dunce and move on. Thats just me though.

  65. I have a feeling if Sagna had got injured on a collision with Fabianski they’d be more being said of the incident!

  66. Els, we can agree to disagree. Incredible arrogance with the following comment though: “LA to be honest it’s more the discerning football fan that appreciates Deni’s attributes and contributions don’t you think?” The rest of us are watching the game and forming our own opinions you know.

  67. Well done boys. keep it up

  68. A great win. I’m bloody confident, you may say overly so, that the cup is in the bag. The relief that Szczesny could continue even though Sagna went out. I had dread of Shea in goal! Once the first goal came we were approaching the doors of Wembley. I’m sure that that the wait for a cup will end at the end of February, even if we play with our eyes closed. It’s something like the “Pilgrims Progress,” keep on the straight and narrow and you’ll get to heaven. We are knocking on the doors of football heaven.

  69. Block4,

    I think he’s right. At the very least it’s true that people who criticise Denilson for passing sideways are what the yanks call ass clowns.

  70. Block 4 sorry. I do think that smash and grab football has it’s place when do alongside flair. However it’s the ‘Transformers blockbuster’ of football.

    Your right everyone is entitled to their own opinion. So sorry for that. You can watch the game and form your own opinion. Even if you are wrong. Whoops! Oh shit done it again.

  71. Ole, he’s a continuity player above most else, I understand that. IMHO I just don’t think he’s doing himself justice at the moment that’s all.

  72. Me love some Bendtner’s chest!!

  73. Whenever Denilson gave away the ball or was “outmuscled”, he won it back again. Now this is something I think that the people that did not think that Denilson’s performance yesterday was any good should think about. He was always there to intercept the pass that followed. He did the job in midfield, and he did it efficiently. I wonder how many interceptions he had but from the top of my head I can remember 6 or so.

    As for the other players I fully agree that Jack was man of the match. He really dominated the Ipswich players and to be honest I did not think that he would have THAT passing range but the pass for Bendtner’s first obviously proved me wrong. Very well done, ‘lil Jack!
    Everybody else did good as well. I can not really remember any of our players NOT doing well yesterday, but maybe that is just me.

  74. Block4,

    He was outstanding yesterday. What gets my goat is people who don’t even see when he is outstanding. Justifies Els’s comment IMO

  75. Solid post YW.

    @Block4 – thanks for reminding many posters that there are laws of the game and very specific;

    re: Bendtner
    this kid has talent and has a history of making clutch goals for our club; his IQ with and without the ball is as good as Cesc, Rosicky, and vP. The only reason someone would say he’s inconsistent is that they are applying different standards for his play.

    Lets discuss the frequency of disappointing matches our captain has produced this season…..then talk about inconsistency. Or Mr. Arshavin’s play since early October.

    Last season Bendtner missed from end of Oct through March – he came back and produced much needed goals down the stretch for the club. How about his goal at Barca? He is always in the right place. He is a large body and his running form is not pleasing on the eye, yet he does execute.

    He has just returned to fitness (late fall) and not seen much playing time (starts) due to Chamakh’s good run of form. (vP will always be top choice by our manager). Look at vP’s first 4 or 5 starts…….everyone gave him slack. Its hard to regain form when you don’t get starts.

    On Bendtner’s goal; if it had been Arshavin, Cesc, or vP executing the pass from Wilshere & scoring – everyone would be calling it world class.

    On a side note, Jack had a great match and his energy and passing quality is exciting, I sometimes forget he just turned 19.

  76. els i agree with your assessment of Deni 100%…

  77. Thanks Clay and Ole.

    Perhaps i’m being over forceful with it. But when the lad plays like he did last night and STILL gets criticism you see red.

    Block 4, I understand you think he’s perhaps just in a lull rather than being a poor player, but even that’s not true. He’s doing his thing game in game out. But fair play for the encouragement. I genuinely didn’t mean to offend you mate. 😉

  78. He is not a bad player, but he is not as amazing as some seem to make out. He is a good squad player, but no more.

    I am more than happy with him in the squad; when everybody is fit (heh, I know) he is our 5th (or 6th, depending on Ramsey’s return) central midfielder.

  79. What would your central midfield pecking order be Andy?

  80. Else his is song wilshire and fabrigas

  81. Cheers els, like I said we can agree to disagree.

  82. Block 4
    Yeah mate your right.

  83. This quote from Arsene made last night’s victory sweeter..

    “Transfer-wise there is no news and I would be surprised if there is any,”

  84. Cesc
    Song
    Diaby
    Wilshere
    Denilson/Ramsey

    That is not taking into account that should Cesc not be playing, Either of Nasri/Rosicky would be my prefered replacement. I am sure plenty won’t agree with my order, but it is only my humble opinion.

  85. Cesc
    Song
    Nasri Due to the fact he can play wide)

    Then where do you place Wilshire, Ramsey, Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky. But I tell you that’s a great problem to have. For me tho Deni is better than good. If Denilson played for ManUre he’d tonk fletcher, carrick and whoever the fuck else the may have stat wise. Our very own doomers would be lusting after him just because he’s more glamourous as he’s in the neighbours bed.

  86. I still think that our pecking order depends on who we are playing and what tactics are to be expected.

  87. Agree with Evil…
    The pecking order will depend on the opposition, tactics, match fitness of the players and the outcome reqd from the game…

  88. I guess you can pick the team on form or potential. For me Ramsey and Wilshire would be top. Actually thinking about it so would Denilson and Song. Also I’m forgeting Diaby, when he’s at his best he looks like a world beater. Obviously as Nasri and Fabregas are the two best midfielders that would place them up with the rest undoubtedly.

    So to clarify. On potential stakes best central midfielders at the squad

    1. Song, Diaby, Cesc, Ramsey, Deni, Nasri, Wilshire.
    2. Rosicky

    But hang on TR7 is awesome. That doesn’t look fair. He just needs one goal. So maybe. In order.

    1. Song, Diaby, Cesc, Ramsey, Deni, Nasri, Wilshire, Rosicky

    Yeah that looks right.

  89. This was back in August, so hopefully it should be even better now:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/aug/06/manchester-united-chelsea-wembley-pitch

  90. Good point Evil.

  91. goonerandy,

    He’s actually outstanding on many sides of his game. Not saying he’s the best midfielder in the league. Just that he’s well above average

  92. Yeah, els and Evil. For instance, I wouldn’t want to see Saturday’s team playing away at Stoke. That’s the kind of game in which we need guys like Diaby and Bendtner.

    Stoke away – bloody hell, I’m not looking forward to that one.

  93. I bet Stoke would LOVE to kick one of our players properly again. Maybe Cesc? Maybe Theo? Maybe Robin? Just to make sure they are out for the season so that Pulis can get a pat on the back from SAF.

  94. Good show, it was indeed a great victory and Arsenal needed that silverware to continue their momentum.

    Congratulations on winning the Carling Cup.

  95. Just a question on Deni to all the guys who say he does not do fancy stuff, he passes sideways…..dont you guys think we have a lot of midfielders who do all the things you want Deni to do? His job in useless opinion is to clean up and get the ball to the best person to take it forward…

  96. That’s what I’m most worried about, Evil, especially if we’re still in the hunt by then.

    Then again it could turn out to be a very funny afternoon if Stoke try to prove their footballing credentials.

  97. Well done yesterday. Was getting nervous after 55 minutes but the guys did what was needed. Games like that in the past gave us trouble. We stayed organized and stuck to the task and got the result. Was not sure I would ever say this without the aid of strong hallucinogens but here goes. We kept ANOTHER clean sheet. Hope I do not jinx us.

    @ Ole:

    Question to Bill:

    “Has Arsene finally listened to you, seen the light and introduced ‘defensing’ into our training sessions?”

    I have it on good authority that we have introduced the word defensing into our vocabulary and there has been unconfirmed rumors of sightings of actual defensing on the training pitch and in the film rooms.

    I agree that we have been superb in the back recently and I am struggling to avoid going over board about how great we are. I do understand why the pundits are not quite ready to jump on our bandwagon just yet. 1 -2 months of good form does not immediate erase the years of not so good form overnight. I really believe that we have made significant strides from previous years in our defensive organization and mindset and no reason why this can not be our new baseline. I am gaga over Djourou and I think the contribution of solid goal keeping can not be overstated. All that said we have melted down defensively in the past after brief runs most notable in 07/08. If we are able to maintain this current form for the rest of the season then you can gloat all you want.

  98. Ole – Fair enough, that is your opinion. I agree with many of your opinions, but just not that one. Horses for courses and all that.

    I think he is a decent squad player, but no more.

  99. Denilsons last impression for me are thus:

    1. Falling over on the half way line against Everton, without anybody near him. He was pretty much the last man as we had possesion and the full backs and the rest of our players way way ahead of him.

    2. Him giving up chasing players back, and rarely tracking his man off the ball.

    3. The referee overtaking him as Manure broke on us.

    I do think he has a good shot on him though. I also don’t mind the “sideways passing” side to his game. Our game is based on keeping possesion.

  100. I think Denilson is a great squad player. He does his job with little fuss and he can be counted on to help maintain possession and he usually does not make mistakes. I agree with GoonerAndy. If Diaby and Ramsey are healthy then Denilson becomes the 5th player in a 2 person deep midfield and he will rarely make the subs bench. In the current squad Denilson is an extremely valuable player because of the injury issues for Ramsey and Diaby.

  101. Your very first impression is already incorrect, GA. When Denilson fell on the half way line, it was right after we had conceded the goal. It was a kick off, Cesc passed the ball to Denilson and he just fell over. Now instead of putting the ball into touch (as any decent team would do, since it looked like a grave injury. Which player simply falls over when he is standing unless he has some health issue?) Everton grabbed the ball and played on. Most of our players were confused and did not react immediately and the ref was really slow to blow the whistle so Denilson can receive treatment.
    Basically, you want to blame Denilson for being injured and Everton not playing fair?

  102. Evil – Hmmm, that perhaps Arsene is also wrong then as he said in an interview afterwards he would be speaking with Denilson about the incident. He said that he should have been more “professional”. It was unprofessional; I feel sorry for the guy if he was in pain (he was OK again minutes later), but he should have played the ball out, or at least fell on it and conceeded a free kcik. Why on earth should Everton have not played on?

  103. Top response Bill@2.43

    Really enjoying your new ‘style’ as Limestone analyzed the other day…

  104. QUE SERA! SERA!

  105. Ah bollocks.

  106. Where has Rosicky been for the past few weeks?

  107. Man flu.

  108. Ooooh, serious stuff. I hope he pulls through 🙂

  109. Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    Being the optimist that I am, I always knew we would score, despite Ipswich’s resolute defending… what I wasn’t to know was when and how many there would be.

    In the end, our collective quality shone through, in the form of three successive, well-taken goals.

    I must admit, by half-time, our inability to convert the numerous chances that presented themselves to us, had me incensed. I felt a goal was needed as a matter of urgency, to break the opposition’s discipline and growing belief. At the same, I felt we needed to be much more patient in our build-up, and yet incisive with our finishing. Such was my conflicting emotions.

    And then came Bendtner’s salutary foray on the left flank and a sublime strike followed… All is forgotten now. Ah, Carling Cup Final, ready or not, here we come!!!

  110. Well it claimed more lives in one year than the bubonic plague did in four. And it also claimed more lives than the First World War. In fact there were 112 flu fatalities in the UK alone this winter. So not to be taken lightly. Especially when it concerns Mozart – one of our best players.

    He’ll get his medal. He played his part in the overthrough of Tottnum and the sacking of Newcastle. It’s been a long, hard campaign (Gadget knows). Hopefully he’ll get to shine at Wembley.

    He should feature against Hudder on Saturday too. Enjoy!

  111. @goonerandy
    Arsene said afterwards that Denilson should have handled the ball to ensure play is stopped. Why are you trying to distort facts?
    And maybe it is just my interpretation of fair play, but I think teams should be expected to play the ball out if there is a clear injury, unless, of course, they are already in full force attacking.

  112. The ‘overthrough’… not to be confused with overthrow. An overthrough is a plumbing technique for unblocking u-bends in shite parts of North London. And sometimes Stratford too.

  113. The year I was talking about was of course… anyone? …anyone? …1918.

  114. And also, GA, he was not okay “minutes later”. He was subbed off immediately and Fran Merida came on for him. I am getting tired of discussing footie with someone like you if you can not stick to the truth.

  115. I wondered about that LA.

  116. Limpar – I Was not been sarcastic mate. Man Flu is indeed not pleasant.

    Evil – No, I was not trying to distort facts. Just what I remembered from an incident 12 months old. Arsene also said that he did not expect Everton to stop play, and he was right.

  117. Excellent performance…Djourou is showing himself so very well. Really like the controlled manner of his play. Jack is just remarkable in the speed with which he turns defense into attack…so many played well. Fuck pundits…let them keep down playing our chances. When we ‘sneak’ up on them, they will all be surprised.

  118. So, basically, you are remembering things wrong. Makes me doubt your opinion on Denilson if it is based on shaky memory alone.

  119. Evil – Yup, you are right he was subbed off. I wasn’t making things up to suit to point, I genuinely thought he played on. Either way, I lost a bit of respect for him that day. It was just unprofessional.

  120. Waiting for the return of Aaron ramsey

  121. I wonder if you remember that Denilson was the player in that game that allowed us to draw level with Everton and overall was one of the best on the pitch that night?

  122. Actually I may have to revise that. It can’t have only been Man flu that cost us all those lives. Some of it must have been Lady flu… a cruel and fickle strain.

  123. I should work for Sky.

  124. haha LA. Lady flu pah!

  125. He should be in action a week Tuesday, Mumbai. Cardiff vs Reading.

  126. Evil – It was 12 months ago mate. Forgive me for not remembering specific details. I watch the guy weekly and think he is a decent player, but no more than that. A number of incidents (I mentioned earlier) have irked me about him, which is why I may seem a bit “anti-him”. I am not of course, as I fully support all of our players, but I would freely admit he is not one of my favorite players.

  127. denilson’s interception allowed for the 3rd goal to happen. He stole the pass and one touched it straight to fabregas. stupid haters..

  128. Gooner Andy, you picked the wrong database to start a fight with. Great memory and facts Evil. Well done mate.

    Sorry Andy I gotta say mate it seems your looking for reasons to not like Deni. He plays for your team fellah.

  129. @goonerandy
    Well, my only point is that I feel that sometimes for supporters if they start disliking a player, they view that player with a negative bias, so even when he does well and plays well, his performance is seen as not good because of that.

  130. Els – I am not looking to start a fight. I am just giving my opinion on why I don’t rate Denilson as highly as some other do, thats all. Some agree with me, some don’t. Meh.

  131. Evil – That is a fair point, and I know what you mean. I have said a few times this season that I thought he has played well. I like to think I will call things as I see them. I actually think he has improved this season.

    Like I said earlier, I don’t dislike the guy, and I am happy with him as a squad player.

  132. OK andy poor choice of words on my part. But you get the jist. I think Evil just said the same as me but like betterrer n stuff.

  133. Els – All good mate 🙂

    Here is what Arsne actually said after the incident. I remember reading it and feeling he sounded a bit peeved with it, that is why it stuck with me.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/-i-told-denilson-to-handle-ball-next-time-

  134. @goonerandy
    Now that is a point where I disagree. I feel that Denilson has not been as good this season as the two seasons before. For one obviously because he has had limited starting opportunities, mostly because of Jack’s emergence, but also because I feel he is playing more defensively this season compared to the last two. He could contribute much more in terms of goals and assists, if he would play a bit more offensively, I feel, because he has a good shot and a good cross as well.

  135. That’s exactly it, bill. And it’s not just the almost constant flow of ball he wins us with those tap-tackles and interceptions… the number of times he opens the game up six passes ahead of a goal with a smart one-touch pass… it happens all the time. Maybe you have to be a bit of a football geek to fall in love with stuff like that but plenty of us do. His work doesn’t get on the highlight reel very often but, like I say, when you look at lots of our long passing moves, where we’re dragging the opposition out of position and waiting for the killer gap… oftentimes it’s Denilson who buys us the space we need with a little touch of class further up the road… and it frees the players ahead of him to go for the jugular.

  136. @goonerandy, you think it was unprofessional because He is alive and well today right? I bet players like Vivian Foe would have loved to be unprofessional and alive today. There are more important things in life than football. Always rated you as a contributor on this site even though i don’t often agree with some of your views but to berate a player as unprofessional for slumping without contact is wrong and unfair.
    PS am not trying to join issue with you, but perspective is always needed when making a point.

  137. Evil – I agree with you about his shooting. He is one of of players who will have a pop at goal, and I like that side of him. He has scored some crackers for us.

    His best option in the squad (IMO) is to concentrate more on the defensive side of his game, as competing with Song is his best chance of more games. If his competition is Cesc/Nasri/Diaby/Wilshere et al, he is going to get less game time as offecsively he is not as good as them. It will be interesting to see where Ramsey fits in when he returns.

  138. 1coolsteve – A comparison with a dead man?

    My gripe on the matter (against Everton) was echoed by the manager, so I am in good company. Am was not mad with him for “going down”, more so that he didn’t ensure that Everton broke away.

    Anyway I am off home. Possibly to my Denilson voodoo doll 😉

    Later peeps.

  139. Talking of football geeks… we all know Arsene cherry-picks players in his own image… well, apparently the similarities between Cesc and Arsene are uncanny. We’ve all heard how Arsene spends almost every waking hour, when he’s not at training and not at work – his free time – watching hours and hours of as much football as he can wrap his eyes around? Apparently Cesc is just the same. Sitting at home with his stunning girlfriend (fiance?) – and he can’t peel his eyes off the football! And we all benefit! Thank you, Mrs Cesc to be.

    Speaking of fiance… was Kos doing a ‘my girlfriend’s pregnant’ celebration?

    Also, Nasri is just the same. Apparently those three in particular would talk football every second of the day if you let them… and Sam, as I’ve got from the interviews I’ve seen, is super-intelligent.

    These are proper football geniuses.

  140. Goonerandy-
    ‘He did what he had to do, and for the most part did it efficiently.’
    What more do you want from a player??

  141. The thing is Denilson is not as good as Song so he cant do the tough box to box thingy like Song does.

    He is also no as good a Wilshere. So therefore hes second choice to those 2 starting spots.

    When he does play our dynamic in centre midfield changes because he cant do what Song or Wilshere does.

    The problem i have with Denilson is his fight and application at times. Too often its a half arsed attempt at taking the ball (i get his clever interceptions) when a proper tackle is needed. Or its a half arsed attempt at tracking back or getting into position to cover a gap.

    I reckon, just like Theo has done, Denilson needs to bring some aggression to his game.

  142. Of course I wasn’t there Limpar but if memory serves most deaths occurred in 1919 although the pandemic did start in 1918.

    I could be wrong.

  143. http://fansaward.givemefootball.com/
    Please do the honour, folks.

  144. LA, I can’t believe that. What with the emergence of Spit roasting added to gambling and FIFA / PRO EVO where would they find the time to ‘talk shop’.

  145. Goonerandy, what everyone is trying to say is that his back went out and he couldnt move. A back can do that to you sometimes, it takes your breath away.

  146. No, you’re quite right, consolsbob. 1918-19. It really had a grippe on us.

  147. It’s admirable people should defend those under attack especially if criticism is seen as unfair. For what it’s worth, and for the record, I don’t hate Denilson, Bendy or Arshavin. I think the worst that people are saying here is that Denilson is at best a squad player rather than a first choice selection. But let’s just remember which squad we are talking about here – it’s Arsenal! So a diamond in a bag of diamonds, maybe?

    My feelings about Denilson aren’t based on him being a bad player but on the fact that, for now, his development as a player, despite being educated by a world class coach (sorry, the decade’s BEST coach), has not progressed at the rate of fellow comparable players – notably Song and Wilshire, for example. And for some of us at least, this lack of progression stands out more than it should – and this impression is coming from watching him play alongside his peers. As the games thin out and the season progresses, barring injury, I suspect we will see less and less of him as he will simply drop down the pecking order. BUT, he’ll always be able to come in as required and do a decent enough holding job because he is so well versed in how we aim to play the game.

    There’s a great line from a very old Pink Floyd song which goes: “And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes …” – now I’m not saying Denilson is Arsenal’s answer to Syd Barrett, and he’s not exactly a fish out of water, BUT if he doesn’t keep up with the development of the Wilshires et al then he WILL be eclipsed by them.

    I have a big fat cigar on order in anticipation of little baby D’Neil’sSon – genius; does your missus appreciate your sense of humour? If there’s any justice in the world …

    Make sure you get him vaccinated against the lurgy – by this time next year it’ll be Person ‘Flu, mark my words.

  148. Goonerandy,

    I really don’t want to pile in but I do have to say that I find the post in which you say that Denilson went down in your estimation for collapsing in obvious pain more than a tad weird. I remember the Denilson incident and my thought at time was concern for him…. I won’t be exaggerating to say that I was more than a bit scared for the guy. Many players have actually collapsed and died on a football pitch and any fan ought to be aware of players having heart attacks and just dropping dead whilst playing football and other sports. I just find it odd that you would hold the fact that a guy collapsed on the pitch in obvious pain against him and feel that he was unprofessional not commit a handball… has it ever occurred to you that the lack of a deliberate handball might be a sign of just how scary whatever happened to him may have been to the guy? Surely there are better reasons to not like Denilson if you so choose… but to call him unprofessional for collapsing in pain? That just seems odd to me… may be it’s just me but it just doesn’t seem right.

  149. Very good Limpar, very good.

    A play on words for the erudite amongst us.

    Typical tippy tappy intellectualism.

  150. LA, Pass

    It really was a great night last night. Cesc got the atmosphere he demanded in the program notes! I have been to all the home CC games and demand I be given a fair chance to get to Wembely. Red member discrimination isn’t kool!!

  151. Looks like Afobe could be lined up against us on Sunday. That’s not good. He does have a fitness test first though.

  152. “Personally, I though Wilshere was Man of the Match. He ran the midfield, probing, dribbling and pressurising Ipswich constantly throughout the ninety minutes. An energetic performance which highlights the benefits he has felt of a brief rest through rotation.”

    I totally agree with that, Wilshere is becoming the English Cesc and I think he has a better defensive ability as well.

  153. I haven’t read all the posts today (work demands) but from the onset, in reaction to the Ipswich game the usual suspects continue their anti-Denilson nonsense that I began to wonder if I was the only insane person in a world of Arsenal fans. Before checking myself in a clinic, I felt compelled to do some research into Denilson’s statistics for this season. According to the usual suspects he is such a poor player it is inconceivable why he hasn’t been long sold by Wenger. My findings are Denilson has played only 482 minutes this season, excluding last night. As a defensive midfielder his key statistics are listed below with his ranking among all players listed in parentheses:
    Total Passes 496 (12)
    Successful Passes 460 (11)
    Tackles Won 17 (10)
    Tackles Lost 9 (6)
    Fouls Conceded 14 (10)
    Fouls Won 17 (6)
    After that research in the Daily Telegraph I decided to slink back to work as there was no hope in hell my health plan would pay the fees for me to see a shrink.

  154. I started paying more attention to Denilson after I started reading ACLF about a year back. I think I now understand his contribution. We started playing well after Denilson came on during the home leg of Arsenal vs Barca. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen too much of him this season. With Song in such great form, it will be tough for him to break through. I don’t think Diaby should be looked at as a defensive midfielder.

  155. Reminds me of one of my favourite songs…

  156. Oh for fuck sake. EMI too?! Selfish bastards.

  157. So you’re saying he makes in and around a pass a minute, shotta?! That’s outrageous if it’s true.

  158. It’s not Red Level discrimination Maria!

    I actually think that (once again) Arsenal FC do things right – Ticket allocation for final’s being one of them.

    I think it is totally fair that the fan’s who make the effort to go to the away games get priority.

    The Denilson debate is an interesting one, and I agree that depending on your outlook is may be possible to be blinkered in what you see.

    I am not his biggest fan, and would say I prefer our team when he does not start, as what I see when I watch is that we are more effective with other player’s in the side.

    I don’t think that makes me a ‘Doomer’ or a ‘hater’ – I will support him everytime he pulls on an Arsenal shirt.

    Everyone see’s the game differently, and should be able to articulate the point without being dismissed as a Doomer or Hater.

  159. I do wonder how everyone will feel if we find out in a couple years, that corruption did actually exist in the PL?? That red nose really did have a harem of rent-boys working for him as refs. That The Arsenal had been denied, because of ‘darker forces’ at work behind the scenes. It’s happened to Arsene before and we all know what has happened to Seria A because of corruption.

  160. Although to be honest, after reading that back, I am not sure how well I articulated, or made, my point!

    Hey ho!

  161. Yesterday’s win, I think, was very significant for all sorts of reasons not least the mental strength shown by the players when the early goal didn’t arrive. I know that a couple of months from now (may be even days) some folks will say that it was only Ipswich and we were overwhelming superior but let’s not forget that the pressure on our players to deliver was huge… the real opponents yesterday wasn’t so much Ipswich but the team’s own self.
    Ipswich’s tactic was obvious but also pretty much the correct one from their point of view… they basically set up in a way that would ensure that we’d beat ourselves if we weren’t mentally strong enough….That the tead would let the frustration and expectation weigh them down but the team did what it had to do and in the end did with aplomb. Yesterday marked a significant step in this team’s development…. Obvious I know but it does bear repeating nonetheless
    I don’t know about anyone else but I am really enjoying watching this team grow… I honestly wouldn’t swap being an Arsenal fan for being the fan of any other club right now, I know that fans say it but right now the club I most admire in the whole world after Arsenal is ARSENAL… watching the maturation of youngsters that have been mocked and maligned by cynical and joyless hacks and glory seekers and seeing them strive to fulfil Wenger’s vision for them is more than just mere sport… this is epic drama that we are witnessing and I, for one, feel privileged to be able to see it and be involved in it as a fan with a clear emotional commitment… that’s probably why I’ve never been able to understand the doomers… where’s the real joy in buying up every big name and paying them exorbitant wages and winning a title on the back of some sugar daddy who could up sticks and leave tomorrow. Or to be more precise why can they not embrace the beauty of what Arsenal have chosen to do…. How great would it be to be able to say we won and that we won fair and square doing it our way and KNOWING we did it the right way? If sport is not about glory then it is about nothing and glory lies not in just winning but ESPECIALLY in how one wins. Doomers be damned.
    Ever onwards and upwards
    COYG!

  162. Matt,

    The thing is most ST holders hvaing been coming to the CC games, loads of red members have and have been supporting them so I think we should have a opportunity of going to Wembley.

  163. The Zombies cover of that song is perhaps even lovelier. But it’s not on youtube.

  164. LimparAssist | January 26, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    “So you’re saying he makes in and around a pass a minute, shotta?! That’s outrageous if it’s true.”
    Another outrageous factoid LA: Based on minutes played, ND has barely played a total of 5 games this season, in comparison to the club already completing 23 games in the EPL alone, 6 matches in the ECL and several other Carling and FA cup fixtures.

  165. After approximately 5 games by ND, of 6 key D**M statistics he is already top-ten in four. Unbelievable.

  166. Realise that was a bit maudlin for the night after a glorious League Cup semi-final victory on our way to Wemberlee… let me, or rather Maceo, put that right…

  167. Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    Regarding Denilson…he had a reasonably effective game. In contrast to his piteous displays of late.

    It is my belief that one of the reasons we’ve come to expect much from him, is because of our romanticized notions about Brazilian soccer players (with their ball trickery, dribbling skills, dead-ball armory, offense-minded et.al.).

    Denilson is not the best player in the world; neither is he the worst. I can think of a handful, of much-celebrated British players who are comparable. Yet receive less vitriol. Admittedly, he could be even better, if only he would add, just that little bit more yardage and forward play, as well as a combative mentality to his armory.
    For the role carved out for him, he does what is expected, within the confines, silently prodding. He reminds me somewhat of Paul Davis and David Hillier from our 90’s team – another bunch of unheralded, former Arsenal midfield generals.

  168. Denilson hate (along with Bendtner hate, the now diminished Clichy hate, Diaby hate and the new Arshavin hate) is what the weak-minded members of our support, and the AAA draw on for releasing pressure. They can’t deal with the uncertainties of following a side on the verge of success which falls short every now and then. The pressure gets to them.

    They need players to hate ….nothing these players do ever changes their minds. Frankly it’s always been like that. There’ve always been players the supporters hate for no apparent reason. It’s a peculiarity of Arsenal supporters.

    I remember 2 seasons ago when Denilson won the ball BY A LONG DISTANCE more than ANY other player in the league. Yet all we heard was how he contributed nothing defensively.

    Morons.

    You can criticise players when they play badly. To be blind to what they do contribute is just insufferable.

  169. Matt:

    You made your point very well. Denilson is a fine player in the role he plays. I think praise for him and indignation for anyone who disagrees goes a little over board because he gets a lot more grief then he deserves from some segments of the fans. Labeling and fighting doomers is irresistible to some.

  170. The great military campaigners of history would not have gone to battle with such a weak link (Denilson). They would have selected their strongest line up. In the 2nd world war, when Hitler marched into France, he romped through the thick forest of the Ardennes, and ignored the advice of his top generals – Guderian, Rommel, and von Manstein, taking the allies (british and french) by surprise. The british were caught on the back foot and had to scarper back across the channel, a bit like our defence when Denilson is in front of the back 4. In reverse, this is exactly the tactic that Wenger needs to pursue, because right now, the opposition are not going to be surprised by Denilson. If they see him on the field, they know we are no threat (like the french resistance) and they will relax. If however, we deploy Jack and Cesc, we will romp through the Barcelona midfield and everybody else in the premiership. Come on Wenger, select your strongest team, always, and put Denilson out to pasture.

  171. From this chap on Twitter who works for Opta:

    33% of Denilson’s passes are forward compared to 29% for the average midfield player.

    Even the passing sideways meme is rubbish. If it were true it’d be no shame AT ALL. That’s what a defensive midfielder should do.

    I remember early on in the season when some prominent Arsenal voices decided to scapegoat Song, accusing him of hoeing forward. It was amazing how quickly that nonsense meme settled into conventional wisdom.

    The accusation was that he wasn’t holding position.

    I didn’t stop pointing out that all Denilson ever does is hold position and he gets criticised for it, while Song was getting shellacked for the opposite

  172. Fighting doomers is irresistible to me. You can be a doomer all you want, but don’t fill up the web with unjustified bile against players and expect everyone to like it.

  173. Maria,

    I think there is a pretty large percentage of ST holders who go to away games – and attend all of the CC games too – I for one do, and most of the people who sit around me.

    I think the current system is pretty fair.

    The real issue is the number of tickets made available – 32K from a 90K stadium is pretty poor.

    Surely there shouldn’t be a need for more than 10K corporate tickets – then 40K for each side – you may see some filter down to red members then.

    Ole,

    I don’t hate Denilson, and I am not blind to what he contributes – but in my view he contributes less to the team than probably every other midfield player we have – does that make me a moron?

    You can’t label someone a doomer, hater or moron just because they don’t share your love for a certain player.

  174. Ole Gunner | January 26, 2011 at 6:17 pm | at 6:24 pm | 6:26 pm |
    Spot on! Spot on! Spot on!
    Bill: Ole and I have have given you some stats and facts, not labels. Dispute them if you can and stop moaning about the “doomer” label. The only reason the label sticks is because it is factual.

  175. Ole, Shotta:

    Has anyone on the blog today filled it with bile? NOT.

    The whole doomer vs good guy thing gets way out of control IMO. I realize there are fans who express their opinions in a despicable way and they deserve to be ignored. Most of it is just people who like to discuss football and have different opinions. Has been that way since the beginning of time. If the goal is to get the fans to support the team then constantly playing up this fan vs. fan stuff is worse then useless and is actually counterproductive. IMO.

    That said its a public blog and if you enjoy that kind of thing then knock yourselves out.

  176. I am sorry, but I just can not stand things like that, Bill. Maybe you think that insulting our players is fine, but for me, it’s not, as easy as that. I still remember that one guy a couple of games ago coming on here and calling Arshavin a c*nt. That is just not tolerable. There is an obvious divide between people that support the team no matter what happens and people that complain about the team no matter what happens.

  177. If Denilson scores the winner at WHL I bet a lot of fans will turn 180 degrees.

    On a good note Keys has resigned from slysports. HOORAY

  178. Hey YW

    Is it legal to have two IMOs in one post?

  179. They always find a reason to be critical. I remember when the Song thing was going in early this season, they specifically chose to ignore his contributions and goals. They made claims about him being crap at passing when games he played showed exactly the opposite. They tried to push their agendas by using a particular game where he obviously had a terrible game as evidence. Its clear now that Song hasn’t particularly changed his play from what is what at the beginning of the season, but that Wilshere understands the role swap thing better. Is there any DM better than Song in the league?
    They always have a scape goat be it Denilson, Gael, Arshavin or Diaby(Even when not playing). Bitter lots
    Arsene knows best!!

  180. Evil:

    No one has insulted any players on the blog today. We have a difference of opinion about players but that will never go away. As for the guy you describe he/she is probably exactly what they called Arshavin. So what, fans have been calling players names in pubs for as long as there has been professional sports. Calling the people names and labeling them doomers just escalates the civil war and takes away from any interesting discussion that might develop. Not sure how that helps. If it makes you feel better to think that you fought back then it is worth something I guess.

  181. Bill the troll – Hi James.

  182. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Fucking Muppet. Hilarious stuff.

    Denilson had a good game. Some people just need something to moan about. If it’s not trophies it’s Denilson. If it’s not Denilson it’s the defense. Borrring. The bottom line is some people are so miserable they can’t enjoy the positives and just choose to find negatives and be party poopers. Bill has to muse about his beloved Manchester United and moan about an attack minded club defending. Guys like goonerandy and the rest of these unappreciative pricks have to moan about Denilson not being our absolute first choice d**m midfielder over former boo boy doomer favorite Alex Song when we just comprehensively won by 3 goals en route to Wembley. It’s mental.

  183. So Bill wants us to cower down, let people call our players c*nts and we do nothing? What else do you want us to do Bill, offer them a drink?

    What the hell is that means? We will thwart any one who calls our players c*nts…this is a blog that supports our players & Arsenal with at least %90 positive attitude.

    If people don’t like it when we thwart them, then they shouldn’t come here with that attitude, there is Le Crap blog for that. Here it’s all about what’s good in Arsenal, and if there is some bad we know we will work it out without having to call our players names or ask for them to be thrown out to the curb.

    Give me a break
    If We or Arsene listened to those fans, half of our current players would be playing for someone else.

  184. One more thing,

    I’m glad this blog reacts this way to negativity about our club, because even when I feel down or waver for one second, I immediately get my ass kicked and told to get up, dust myself and keep going.

    That’s what “Support” is Bill, it’s not about calling Denilson, Arshavin, or Song a c*nt, it’s about picking them up when they have a bad game or two, it’s about pushing them on and putting them down.

  185. *And not putting them down.

  186. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Oh yeah and big ups to Arsene Wenger for assembling such a powerful squad. What an embarrassment of riches. A true architect and visionary.

    There’s only wann Arsene Wenger!!

  187. Anyone seen a Touch of Evil?

    AW is Heston’s Vargas – a brilliant, iconoclastic and idealistic foreigner, while Slur Alex is Orson Welles’ Quinlan, washed up, boozy, corrupt and desperate to stay on his perch.

  188. G4E:

    OK. I stood and saluted the computer screen and barked a rapid “yes sir” after I read your post.

    It appears that I am not going to make any headway trying to discuss this point with this crowd.

  189. I just feel appalled that the same people that moaned about the club and our players week in week out for the past several years will somehow still be entitled to the same celebrations and everything when we win a couple of trophies this season. They did not support the team one bit but when we win a title they will still be there to claim the prize.

  190. It never ceases to amaze the difference between watching the game live at the emirates as opposed on TV. Two things stood yesterday watching from the clock end.
    Denilson’s positioning when the opposition had the ball and his breaking up of the game was exceptional. He superbly shielded the back four and on two occasions made such excellent interceptions even the block behind me who sounded like a doomer aplauded. He did the simple things well and made very few mistakes.
    Second thing which I found quite disconcerting was that Arshavin was left almost deliberately isolated. The position Bendtner took before receiving the raking pass from Jack had on numerous occasions been taken by Arshavin only for the midfield to either pass back or move it to the right. It almost appeared as if the other players really didnt trust the little Russian in the first half. Credit to him he fought hard and made the assist but I think it unfair to criticise him given the number of times he took great positions only to be completely ignored.
    Finally Cesc was poor very poor by his standards in the first half- he actually made more errors than Denilson, missed placed passes, wrong passes even the missed chance though it was wide by inches but not a word of criticism so far! Just goes to show how post match ratings are influenced by bias towards the player

  191. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Nice one, OOU. That’s going directly in the Netflix queue.

  192. Fabregas is a good squad player though, Runebreaker. You’ve got to give him that. End of.

  193. “That’s what “Support” is Bill, it’s not about calling Denilson, Arshavin, or Song a c*nt, it’s about picking them up when they have a bad game or two, it’s about pushing them on and putting them down. ”
    ——————–
    Are you serious? As if players come on these blogs for ‘pick me ups’. I’d think the backing of their fellow players, manager, family, friends, uhm.. groundskeeper, physios, office workers, just about anyone else is enough for them.
    And if they do, then that is a bit worse than anybody having an opinion about them that might be negative.
    Jesus, I like reading this blog and many of the posters, but the sanctimonious attitude and preachiness (wd?) of some is equally as sickening as the so called doomers.
    I’m guessing Silvestre should still be playing since he wore the shirt and if we just gave him a little bit more positive feelings (what is this, a new age love-in where our energy surrounds the players? I guess George Lucas was right… the Force and permeates the universe) he’d be one of the best defenders in the EPL…no.. the world. If only we had just been more positive, he’d still be doing great things for our club.
    Jeffers and Stepanovs were, in fact, the best players we ever had, they just didn’t get the proper support. Same with Ade.

  194. LimparAssist | January 26, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    L.A. – You are killing me with your rapier wit. Take it easy man. You will give the lemmings on the misery brigade a heart attack.
    LMAO.

  195. Birmingham and West Ham going into extra time tied 3 – 3 on aggregate. Go Hammers.

  196. “Finally Cesc was poor very poor by his standards in the first half- he actually made more errors than Denilson, missed placed passes, wrong passes even the missed chance though it was wide by inches but not a word of criticism so far! Just goes to show how post match ratings are influenced by bias towards the player”

    I thought I was the only one who noticed that. All the raving about Cesc after the game had me wondering if I missed something! The fact that he scored the winning goal as well as being generally popular allowed most to overlook that he seemed out of sorts in the first half, which affected our tempo since he is such a key player. Fortunately others stepped up and allowed him to play himself into the game in the second half. Meanwhile Denilson’s generally solid play and interception that led to the winning goal not surprisingly gets overlooked by the majority.

  197. Who would ever have foreseen Birm. v. W.Ham as an exciting match?

  198. Passenal – I think you are right in regards to Cesc being a bit off in the first half but I think that has more to do with Jack’s performance. He quite literally took the bit between his teeth in the first half(in particular) and totally usurped Cesc’s almost trademark role. With Denilson playing a holding position in midfield and Jack running rampant it allowed Cesc to operate about 10 yards further upfield than normal which has the effect of making him look less influential. Couple that with the fact that Bendtner and even more so RVP seem to enjoy dropping deep every now and then and you have the result that Cesc found himself as more of a centre forward at times.

  199. Cameron Jerome deserves a ban for that stamp on Tomkins

  200. I don’t think that was it irishgray. Cesc was actually misplacing passes and seemed so desperate to score he was not getting the basics right. Our game flows through him when he is on the pitch, so when he is off, so is the team. It was noticeable to me as I listened to the people behind me calling for Denilson, Bendtner and Arshavin to be substituted, whilst cesc was just not at the races. He seemed more concerned with his own game rather than the team performance. Whatever was said at half-time, he came back out more focussed and thus gave a better balanced performance in the second half.

  201. Bill, no one wants you to be a Yes Sir man. I certainly don’t. What I’m trying to say is that picking a blog is like picking a path. I picked this blog because YW positive and realistic views and the overwhelming majority of regulars here have the same characteristics. I can honestly and truly say, I hardly read any other blog and can’t remember when was the last time I commented on another blog.

    We come here because we know we will not call players names, and if one of us feeling down after a lost game or lost points, he/she will get picked up.

    We revel in the positivity, and others revel in the negativity….We just don’t tolerate it much here. It’s not ganging up on someone, it’s just our nature to defend our positive view and objectifying the negatives.

    We know our club is not perfect, but we think it’s pretty close.

  202. Passenal – That is precisely my point, in that in the second half he dropped back into a more traditional role of playmaker in midfield and so had a greater impact on the game. I also think that when he does play deeper he seems to read the game better and his passing and link-up play are much more accurate. I think you will notice that in the second half he had very few misplaced passes. in the first half he had several chances but was unable to take them, yet the goal he did score started in the center of midfield and allowed him to do what he does best. Break from midfield with the ball, make a quick pass and follow on for the return pass and score. Simples 🙂

  203. “even when I feel down or waver for one second, I immediately get my ass kicked and told to get up, dust myself and keep going. ” I love that about ACLF.

  204. Brum in the final….that be tricky but if my memory serves me correctly we just need to play Walcott as he seems to have a knack for destroying them single-handedly.

  205. irishgrey

    Cesc has done that on and off for spells for a while.
    For Spain most of the time. WC Final?

  206. So Birmingham it is then at Wembley! I reckon it will be a tough, physical game. We will have to find a way to negate Zigic who influenced the game a lot in the second half. Cameron Jerome should have been penalised for stamping on Tomkins. Really looking forward to the final at Wembley.

  207. Shame deano as I would have quite enjoyed a London derby at Wembley and I have some good friends who are irons fans. I hate brum though and hope we crush them for so many reasons!

  208. desigooner | January 26, 2011 at 10:34 pm |

    We’ll just have to set young Jack on him!

  209. This is a classy socialist- broadsheet blog in my mind. It’s the best place to come if your hurting after a match and you don’t want bile and moaning blame merchants. And the second best place to come after a big win…after the pub….although with advances in modern technology the two are no longer mutually exclusive! Happy days.

  210. A gr*tty performance from the Gunners yesterday.

    Brum in the final. Don’t wan’t TW to play, need to save him for BBB!

  211. Walcott won a header against Zigic on new years day. I saw it with my own eyes. The blokes 6″7 and jumps 5″4.

  212. Ok Busch,

    Maybe you don’t realize the big picture and just stuck in a tunnel? And yes, maybe players don’t read blogs, but you don’t know that for sure. They’re human, they have computers, they have smart phones, they have twitter accounts, and they have Face Book accounts.

    But let’s get back to what you can’t really understand, do you underestimate the effect of blogs, web sites, and the ease of spreading news and views through the internet? Can’t you see uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and earlier Iran organized on blogs, mobile phones and Twitter accounts?

    Do you know how many people here go to the Emirates? And if their view is negative here, isn’t it safe to say it will be negative in the stadium as well? If that one person finds another who shares the same negative view, then another and another, you don’t think that eventually can have a bigger effect?

    If you don’t get this, then maybe the answer is simpler than I thought. Maybe we can just say that we don’t give a flying monkey’s ass about your views on our players. How is that?

  213. West Ham v Brum looked like a Championship game – poor all round. I thought Brum won it in midfield, a luxury they won’t get against us. If they play like that against us and we show the requisite desire and focus we should be a happy bunch…..!!

  214. Gunner4Ever | January 26, 2011 at 10:42 pm |

    Excellent points! People completely underestimate the power of the internet to shape public opinion.

  215. I was hoping for West Ham simply because I could not bare the thought of watching Lee Bowyer in a final. Anyway we will have to deal with their thuggery once again and I don’t think they will make a pretty sight at Wembley. We are favouurite and rightly so,. For the sake of football we need to beat them well.

  216. 1LC – me too. One of my earliest Arsenal memories is Trevor Brooking’s header – would have nice to have put that to bed….!

  217. Passenal,
    Technology, social networks, Twitter, and things like that instantly brings people together from all over the world and now it’s in every house.

    I just don’t get it why people think it has no effect? If it has no effect what’s the point of saying it?
    If you don’t believe your word has a meaning or any effect Mr. Busch, why bother? and most importantly, why bother us with it?

  218. The point Evil makes at 8:24pm is utterly correct and completely infuriating to me. Those ‘fans’ shouldn’t get to celebrate anything as we’ll have won in spite of them and not because of them.

  219. SCod- you have good memory that was 1980 right?. I have to admit if it was West Ham it would have made it a better spectacle because I can’t see Birmingham doing anything other than employ the dark art, sit deep for 90 minutes and hope for penalties. But we will deal with that, no problem.

  220. It was – I lost 50p on that match (was 9 yrs old at the time!). I watched tonight’s match with West Ham ST holder, fuck me and people moan about the negativity on here…!

  221. If anyone thinks blogs have no effect then they are living in a dark hole. The latest revolution that happend in Tunisia was organised through blogs. On many occasions I read Articles written by professional journos quoting bloggers. You also get the lazy journalist who simply read few blogs, get few ideas then get his aritcle published in one of the leading tabloid newspapers. By the way Mr Yogi would beat many of those jounos out there.

  222. Vince and Evil, I’m sure a few of the more negative people on the blogosphere will try to take some credit if we win a big trophy this season – you know, like they’ve been challenging the team to do better or something.

    I’m thinking that half of these blogs only exist for people to vent – if we were to win something big I think a load of them would disappear…for a few months at least.

  223. Let us hope that happens then Big Al.

  224. Scod- you lost 50p ? that is about 5 Wham bars and few gobbstoppers . you must’ve been gutted.

  225. 1LC – I was mortified…that was two weeks’ pocket money….!

  226. 1lc,

    Spot on. Yogi’s Warrior is a better writer than most journos.

    Sorry about calling anyone person a moron earlier in the thread. I just get sick of people who always get on the back of certain players while expecting the same players to fight for the cause.

    Even if Denilson was completely shite like a Huddlestone or Jenas, he doesn’t deserve the abuse he gets. I don’t know why it bothers me so much. But it does.

  227. Rune, some people can see how Denilson shields the back four on television. Others choose to ignore it and talk shite.

    Someone said earlier that Denilson slows our play down. I urge that person to actually watch our games more closely so he or she can see what a trio consisting of Denilson, Fabregas and Wilshere can do when they decide other teams shouldn’t have possession. The triangles, close control and one, twos are breath taking. When they keep the ball like this it doesn’t matter if they are slow or play at 100 mph since they draw defenders away from the front three. That’s the whole purpose of playing possession football.

  228. Scod – And you probably had to work for it, wash your dad’s car or something. Everytime you see Trevor Brooking you think of that 50p 🙂

    Ole- I felt sorry for Arshavin on many occasions for the abuse he is getting from fans . How is that going to help his confidence?

  229. 1LC – Vauxhall Viva 1.6

  230. Sagna is the latest player to join the twitter family. In regards to his injuty he said his fine and that he doesn’t remember much about it. Should be fingers cross be ready for our next league game!

  231. Maria, that is a result, it looked pretty nasty at the time – he must have a head made of granite…!!

  232. Best defender in the league is made of stone. Tech9 really took him out, it was Arsene that stopped him from coming back on – because Bac REALLY was trying to come back on, even though he couldn’t even see straight!! Gotta love and respect that guy! Arsene was on fire the year he picked up Sgana and Eduardo!!

  233. Scod- That is a Classic. Did it have a black Bonnet?

  234. 1LC – Unfortunately not, did have black vinyl seats though which made weekend jaunts down to Clacton horrible episodes during the summer.

  235. I can imagine, they get hot in the summer and cold in the winter. the best part is the chrome plated front grille, specially when you give it a good polish. Still 4 wheels to the seaside. Happy days.

  236. Scod – I WANT A WHAM BAR!!!!!! 😦

  237. Good summary, YW. So heartening to see more and more players coming into form and so exciting to be in a final again after the heartache of recent years.

    @ goonerandy, I have to agree with Joshua about your apparently callous reaction to Denilson’s injury.

    @ runebreaker
    Agreed about Cesc – he was not quite on his game, especially first half. I was so impressed by Wilshere’s intelligent play. My MOTM was Djourou, though. Did he lose a header or a tackle? Phenomenal.

    And I hardly need to say I also agree with the positive, realistic sensible commenters about the influence of blogs and the value of support.

  238. @ Matt
    On Denilson, the issue is people who deny his effectiveness for no rational reason and without any explanation of why they reject his stats. Like the season when he had the highest number of interceptions, some people just refused to believe it. No-one refuses to believe that Samir Nasri has scored 14 goals. Or people complain, for example, that he always passes sideways, ignoring the figures on the direction of his passes compiled by other people who have actually analysed all his games. (And incidentally ignoring the sideways passing of other midfielders.)
    No-one is saying Denilson is the Second Coming, and he doesn’t have to be anyone’s favourite player. A lot of us just feel he is underrated, is all.

  239. Arsenal Vs Brimingham it is then.

    It will be a tough game as the Birmingham players will pretty much know that is their one shot at winning something (for a long time to come). If we play like we have in recent matches however, they will not be able to live with us.

  240. FG and others,

    I also feared the worst when I saw Denilson slump in that game. We (Nigerians) have had that happen to Sam Okwaraji in the late eighties who at the time was one of our most promising players.

    But after listening to Wenger’s statement afterwards, it became CLEAR it wasn’t a DANGEROUS situation. Why else would Arsene have criticized him and advise that he commit a handball the next time?

  241. Sorry, I should add that Sam Okwaraji died on the pitch that day. It was a world cup qualifier and it was such a shock that we eventually failed to qualifiy.

  242. I never actually did recall Wenger expressing annoyance or anything else with Denilson over that incident. Look I’ve even done some cursory research: http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11670_5851939,00.html

    It always felt to me as though Wenger felt Denilson was a bit naiive about the whole incident, but naiiveity to me implies innocence and perhaps misplaced trust. Would never dare say it’s a criticism, but rather a bit of cynical pragmaticism.

    Anyway, I sure it surprises none that I have indeed been pondering the earlier arguments. Perhaps if I can combat laziness and finish articulating it in my mind I will post it

  243. Holy poopsicles, Le Grove’s headline is laced with irony! Just saw it on newsnow, I’m tempted to go over there and comment!

  244. Wow, Touch of Evil looks like a cracker, OOU. And all the more enjoyable with AW vs. Fergie in mind. This looks like a fun game…

  245. Our little Russian may not be playing at his best but I read this on twitter.

    “In all competitions, Van der Vaart + Bale + Modric = 11 assists. Arshavin = 14 assists”

    So not to bad.

  246. On Busch’s post, I love the way people refuting it have jumped on one particular part. I can agree that stuff posted on the internet can have an effect on players, I doubt directly, but sure it can whip up anit-whoever feeling and than can be transmitted to the player in question.

    But would someone who can see no wrong in anything any of our players do on here answer the second part? Is Sylvestre the best defender ever just because he wore the red and white? Were Jeffers and Stepanovs brilliant for Arsenal and were those who didn’t like their play just too moronic to see it? The worth of a particular player is subjective, no one opinion is worth more than any other.

  247. Fun gunner/ole people who rub my goat the wrong way also include those that judge him on things he did almost a year ago!!!

  248. Oh no, is Den-gate still rumbling on?

  249. Can the Denilson critics address the FACTS that overwhelmingly suggest that his current demonization is irrational rather than raising side issues and distractions, such as Jeffers, Stepanovs and Sylvestre?

  250. Those that have arsenal TV what was behind Koscielny’s goal celebration?

  251. YW,

    A bit late but I agree with every word above.

    GOD,

    I also agree with your take on the commentary. However, just to add further confirmation, was it Mark Bright commentating on the actual match? Feck me, but that was poor. Every fecking anti-Arsenal cliche in the fecking book. All washed down with a penchant for avoiding paying any compliment.

    Waddle and Bright: followed by a string of expletives!

  252. OOU! Got one… how’s this… Get Carter (1971) Arsene is Michael Caine’s (bare with me) Jack Carter; a new breed of gangster (football manager), physically finely tuned, ultra-professional and fiercely sharp-witted. He’s an outsider; a Londoner in the dark, dank recesses of the Newcastle underworld… having to contend with a lot of out-of-shape, Northern old fossils (The Red Nose Cartel – Pulis, Allardyce (RIP), Bruce, MacCleish, and Old Red Nose himself)

  253. The issue about Stepanovs and co is a red herring but to answer any point that might happen to remain, I will never slag off , insult or swear at any player who is wearing the shirt.

    I may criticise, I may question a performance but in the Red and white, he will not be abused.

    Sylvestre wasn’t a great defender but he played with heart and seemed to enjoy playing for our club.

  254. Firstlady,

    Kos’s girlfriend is expecting their first child in March and the celebration was for her.

  255. shotta, answer the question. No player seems to be able to be criticised on this blog without whoever is making that criticism getting jumped all over. Your stats on Denilson are welcome, but ultimately the perception of any player is in relation to those around him, those players at the club who may play instead of him and those outside the club who fans may see as a potential replacement. So in isolation they are pretty meaningless, if you could show a comparison at least with the reast of the midfielders at the club then you may be able to definitively refute criticism of the lad.

    consolsbob, I wouldn’t ever abuse one of our players on this blog or in the stadium and I would never, ever boo a player or the team, however bad the performance I have witnessed might have been. As Busch said above though, it does seem that every Arsenal player seems to be above criticism just because they wear the shirt.

  256. Good old Kos.

  257. I’m so glad Keys has fucked off. Such a rank little man. Of course he never liked Arsenal… makes perfect sense.

  258. Actually Block4, I thought I did answer your question.

  259. Yes, Keyes is a sickening little toad.

  260. consolsbob, sorry, I was asking shotta for a direct answer, not yourself, you made yourself clear.

  261. With Keys and Gray now assigned to a footnote in history, let’s pray they get less partisan replacements: although, given the Sky arena and ownership, I doubt it.

    Fingers crossed

  262. Dgob

    Rumour is that G Neville is being lined up as Gray’s replacement. Sweet isn’t it?

  263. If I may, it’s the hypocrisy that rankles my peers.

    If a player has a bad game, many will say he had a bad game. In Denislon’s case the default for too many is just simply to say he had a bad game even if he didn’t. As Ole pointed out earlier, people lambasted Song for not staying back, but it appears to me that Denilson largely does the job of staying back and cleaning up, and yet he gets criticised for not offering anything to the attack.

    If the goal posts keep on moving, when will there be goals?

    Many on here will not suffer fools or hypocrites, for that one can hardly blame them.

    Plus as Consol pointed out, using Silvestre or Stephanov as a comparison is grostesquely off the mark. A far more apt comparison would be with Almunia or Senderos, and quite frankly the treatment of the latter is something I will have a hard time forgiving some for. Utterly despicable.

    Why am I so disgusted by such? The answer is simple, I irratonally form an attachment to those send out to play and illustrate the beauty of the physical laws & mechanics involved the movement of a specific spherical object.

    It’s more than just the badge, and it’s definately more than just a club.

  264. @ Gadget
    Hear, hear

    @ Block4
    “But would someone who can see no wrong in anything any of our players do on here answer the second part? Is Sylvestre the best defender ever just because he wore the red and white? Were Jeffers and Stepanovs brilliant for Arsenal and were those who didn’t like their play just too moronic to see it?”

    I agree with consolsbob that the point is that we support whoever s wearing the shirt. Those players that you list were not stars just because they wore Arsenal colours, but everyone plays better when they are confident and appreciated.
    We can see wrong in our players and we can see wrong in AW. But we mainly see the big picture and do not feel the need to emphasise or harp on about their bad points at the expense of the far more numerous good points. And we don’t only see good in the players whom we like the best.

    “The worth of a particular player is subjective, no one opinion is worth more than any other.”
    The first part of that sentence is true up to a point – but we trust the subjective opinion of the manager. Any manager of any team is in a better position than the fans to judge a player’s ability. But AW in particular has a nose for talent; he also backs up and tests his subjective opinion with statistical and scientific data AND the opinions of his coaching staff. Knowing that, I feel perfectly confident in accepting without question his assessment of a player.

    The second part of your sentence is not valid as a general principle. Everyone is free to form and express an opinion (which I suspect is what you meant to say) but the opinions of all fans are not worth the same. Some people have a lot more knowledge than others, some people are more perceptive. And when we come to comparing the worth of the manager’s opinion to that of a fan’s, that difference in value is multiplied by a thousand.

  265. shottagunna | January 27, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    “Can the Denilson critics address the FACTS that overwhelmingly suggest that his current demonization is irrational rather than raising side issues and distractions, such as Jeffers, Stepanovs and Sylvestre”

    Irrational demonization by whom? As far as I can tell the only people who demonize denilson in that way are found mainly on le-grove. Very few people here have done that. What Denilson’s ‘critics’ here on ACLF have said is that they don’t consider him amazing in the same way they do Song, Cesc, and Wilshere who are our current 1st choice CM/DMs. What is so wrong with saying that? I mean, doesn’t Arsene team selection this season show that he agrees with such a view?

    I apologize if your quoted statement above was addressed to the le-grove crowd but if that’s the case why not just post it there?

  266. Re: dupsffokcuf at 9:33am

    I’d rather have an out of form player with such figures than a hard worker with substantially less assists…He provides the end product, what could be more important?

  267. @FunGunner, I am not questioning that AW knows infintely more about football and spotting and developing talented players than I do. But for people posting on this blog (unless one of them is AW in disguise of course), the statement about one opinion not being worht more than any other holds true. You don’t know what most other posters here know about football and they don’t know what you know, so being able to make that determination is impossible. The people here are just posting their opinions and should be able to do so without others resorting to name calling and being belittled just because they aren’t one of the regulars.

    Sorry about the Rumsfeld-esque sentence in the middle of that.

  268. @shotta, @fungunner, @gadget
    I agree with you all. Thanks for having the patience to say all what you’ve said. All those that pick out the negatives everyweek on all the usual suspects piss me off big time. I love all our players. all of them and i refuse to scapegoat even one. Team sport people remember that.

  269. Gunner4Ever | January 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm |

    “even when I feel down or waver for one second, I immediately get my ass kicked and told to get up, dust myself and keep going. ”

    So you agree with those who want Arsene to adopt the ‘ass kicking’ attitude with players who are feeling a bit down then?

  270. Just to be clear, I agree with Ole earlier in that I think people (few of which I’ve noticed on this blog) who criticize Denilson for passing sideways or not contributing enough to our attack are clueless.

    It probably means they wouldn’t want any of Xavi or Busquest either whose games are pretty much similar.

  271. @ Henristic
    You have a point that the bile and hatred directed at Denilson is rarely found on this blog, but the issue is that some of the commenters here will not admit what his good points are – even when evidenced by the statistics. That points to an underlying prejudice. I hardly dare bring up the name of Adebayor, but even when he was having his one industrious and committed season with us, people who disliked him anyway dismissed his goal tally, on the bizarre grounds that anyone would have scored 30 goals (or whatever the number was). Had it been RvP who had delivered so prolifically, he would have received proper credit. He’s not quite as good as JW at the moment. He’s no as good as Song. He has aspects on his game he should work on. That still makes him a damn good player.

  272. @ Henristic
    I posted my response before I saw yours at 11:40am.

    *****
    @ Block4
    But for people posting on this blog (unless one of them is AW in disguise of course), the statement about one opinion not being worht more than any other holds true. You don’t know what most other posters here know about football and they don’t know what you know, so being able to make that determination is impossible.
    My first point in response is that many commenters (usually the serial critics) will cite their many years of watching football, for example, as a reason why their point of view should be taken more seriously. This shows that they implicitly accept that greater knowledge CAN make one fan’s opinion more valuable than another’s.
    I’m not claiming to know definitively who the most worthwhile posters are – I am simply stating the fact that commenters are not equally knowledgeable, intelligent, or perceptive. That’s just life. If we were all the same, we’d all be playing for Arsenal on a ticket basis. I would also suggest that if someone does not know the proper terms, or has no tactical understanding, it is reasonable to assume they have less football knowledge than another person, who does know these things. But knowledge is only part of the story – as I said, some people just have a gift for spotting talent or hidden abilities or tactical possibilities which others don’t – even if they have more “football knowledge”.

    The people here are just posting their opinions and should be able to do so without others resorting to name calling and being belittled just because they aren’t one of the regulars.
    You have a point about incivility, although it does not happen because a commenter is not a regular, and the rudeness does not all come from one side.

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