Stone Cold Friday: When Dark Forces Change The Tide

Right, it’s Friday, I’m late and he’s Darius…

Who would have thought that a young 25 year old lady would etch her place in football history and folklore? For when she left home for work last weekend, she had no idea she was about to bring down a juggernaut.

Imagine the irony when the dark forces of the footballing establishment accuse other mysterious dark forces of plotting their downfall. That’s what happens when you get fat, dumb and happy for you’ve been shovelling in a narcissistic cesspit of self gratified entitlement; it’s hard to see the wood from the trees.

It’s an environment that has cemented a misguided self-righteousness about the power certain individuals assumed within a Neolithic establishment; an old school footballing culture that has a re-entry problem into a civilized 21st century.

And yet there is a profound lesson from the firestorm that has just engulfed the two relics that are Richard Keys and Andy Gray.

The establishment should be afraid, and very afraid at that. History will teach us that revolutions are violent, and I suggest that we are in the midst of a generational revolution. Metaphorically, the exit strategy offered by Sky couldn’t have been more violent for the protagonists.

It’s a revolution that the Arsenal has been part and parcel of; yet the role which Arsenal has played for the best part of a decade has eluded many who fail to grasp the bigger picture. Unsurprisingly, it will take years for Arsenal in general and Arsène Wenger in particular to get the due recognition and respect for blazing a trail that will change the way football is played and managed around the world.

Immeasurable Virtues that are easily forgotten include the audacious ambition of the club; the courage of the manager and the key people within the club to develop a vision and stick to it sometimes in the face of adversity; and the belief in an ethos and style of entertaining football.

Yet in this arduous journey, Arsenal has had to fight the might of an establishment hell bent on self preservation. An establishment that has permeated the psyche of a section of Arsenal supporters and made them believe that there is absolutely no place for the revolution that the club is trying to inflict on the footballing landscape.

We are told that football is all about short-termism; all about the trophies; all about the glory; and to hell with anyone else who questions whether such an approach is viable, let alone affordable.

Players are judged by how expensive they are as opposed to their value on the pitch and to the collective of the team. Transfer fees are inflated in defiance of the laws of economics and common sense; and a style and brand of agricultural football is promoted as an alternative to entertainment.

Arsenal is fortunate in that we have had the leaders who have not shirked from the responsibility of doing what is right for the club; or not succumbing to the so called dark forces and giving up its vision. Building a team based on a steadfast youth development policy, moving home to one of the best stadiums in the world, setting the bench mark for how clubs should be managed financially for long term stability, and consistently challenging in the top echelons of the game; are all the more remarkable if you think about it.

“But we haven’t won diddly squat for 6 years”, the shouting rabble remonstrate with arms flung out in exasperation.

As the Grand Oral Disseminator so eloquently put it a couple of days ago – Arsenal are 90 minutes away from winning a trophy, yet the media and pundits who have created an art form by reminding Gooners about our trophy drought at available opportunity choose to remain silent. Actually, they spoke more about United mugging Blackpool off 3 points at the seaside.

The issue isn’t really that we haven’t won a trophy in 6 years – that’s a spent story. The issue is that the inevitability of Arsenal winning a trophy is plain to see and it makes for uncomfortable reading. It’s not going to happen by us turning up at Wembley and not performing; it’s going to be damn hard work, but this team will do it.

More importantly, it isn’t unfeasible that a first trophy will be the beginning of an era of dominance by this Arsenal team, and the icing on the cake of a club that is already very successful. The way Arsenal will have achieved this magnificent feat challenges the very core of how football is run and managed, and this is not something the establishment is prepared to contemplate.

But who would have contemplated a week ago that Sian Massey would shake the system to the core and put their noses out of joint, without breaking a sweat. All she did was go to work.

It’s also time for other dinosaurs to move on and make way for a new generation with new ideas, new expectations and more importantly free from the shackles of old school prejudices, clichés and tired arse analysis that have no place in modern football.

With the exit of Keys and Gray, their tails firmly in between their legs, there is an opportunity for a generational shift in football. Folks like Alan Hansen who hasn’t really recovered from his trauma against Arsenal 22 years ago should be given the long walk into footballing oblivion. The BBC remains criminally negligent for dereliction of duty to a licence fee paying public by subjecting viewers to the thoughts of a pundit who should be in a museum.

Arsenal has and will continue to play a key part in this – both on and off the pitch. It’s not an easy job, but someone has to do it. Let’s each make sure we do our part in carrying this magnificent team across that line.

’til Tomorrow

Posted on January 28, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 187 Comments.

  1. YW, you’re getting a bit slack and not meeting you’re duties. If this keeps up I’ll be saying Yogi out, Geoff/Pedro in (cause I’m dooming like that).

    Excuse me, I have a pressing need to repent

  2. 2nd!!

    Interesting and thought provoking as ever.


  3. Very well put Darius, as always, but what kind of museum are we talking about here? I mean I am on record as saying I personally hate going to a museum in general but imagine actually making the effort and finding Alan Hansen is the main exhibit!!! Maybe in the Monolithic section perhaps?

  4. As I repented, my mind was reminded of J. Michael Straczynski’s relatively short run as the author of Marvel’s Thor. The title suffered numerous delays, but by god the work was fantastic. The story was as a story should be focusing on character, their interactions, all the while balancing the action with the drama, and in my eyes, it was breaking new ground in comics.

    But alas the people complained about the delays despite the fantastic quality of work they had in their hands and collections, some even dared to suggest JMS should be stripped of the title. Unfortunately because of certain issues, JMS left the title, and the quality of the story and the storytelling vacated with him, and with that my Thor reading days drew to an end.

    Thank you Yogi. Thank you, you god damn maniac!

    And Darius, excellent writing. You conjured thought of Sian Massey being the footballing equivalent of Rosa Parks. Kudos

    Oh yeah: first!

  5. I thought it interesting that in under a season, Alan Hansen thinks a conclusion can be sufficiently drawn about Koscielny’s inability (despite the recent run of clean sheets). He (implicitly) suggested Sczezney might be incapable after his error against Ipswich, but Joe Hart’s recent string of error’s is only a “blip”. The marvels of English Punditry.

  6. LOL Irish – I suppose at that stage, we have to forgive and forget for it will be cheaper for the TV licence paying public to permanently rent out a space for him next to other pre-historic figures of years past, rather than to pay for his bone-head analysis every week.

  7. Hansen’s only comments on Koscienly is that he is unproven at this level, and has struggled in the lge thus far. Only one of the statements is true; sure he is unproven, but he has not struggled in any of the games I have seen him play, quite the opposite in fact. Hansen simply sticks to “player from abroad will struggle with our physical lge” mantra.

  8. That said, the worse “pundit” is Shearer. For all Hansen’s faults (there are many), every now and again he will do a decent piece of anaylsis. Shearer offers absolutely nothing that any fan from the terraces could not offer. “They won’t catch Walcott if he gets away” type nonsense. Yeah Alan, we all know that.

  9. Thanks Darius. Just bugging Hansen for a few minutes when he thinks he’s off air would be enough to bring that dinosaur down, anyone got the mission impossible skills to pull this off..?

    Your analogies are great, Gadget 🙂 love em!

  10. That’s true goonerandy, Shearer brings a sum total of… fuck all to the discussion. Like a more mature Jamie Redknapp.

  11. Geo – with what has happened to Keys and Gray, Hansen would be scared of farting in a 100 metre radius of a microphone.

  12. Speaking of lazy punditry and cliches:

    Goals win you games

  13. IMO Merse is the worst pundit on TV….

  14. There is some wisdom in what you say Darius (no, really).

    I caught a bit of the after match chat on MOTD on Tuesday and immediately, in the aftermath of the Gray/Keyes affair, it was all too obvious that Hansen and co were finished.

    If any BBC ‘Executive’ could not see that the week’s events had given them a clear requirement to shed them then they are even weaker and more out of touch than I thought.

    There was almost a blinding flash of light that illuminated the studio and exposed the nakedness of all assembled as soon as Hansen opened his smug, bullying mouth. Truly, we have much to thank Sian Massey for.

    Over to you Lord Reith.

  15. A great piece, well written and thought out.
    Coincidently, this morning Capello is quoted as saying the our Jack is the future of the England team and that Walcott could have made a real difference at the World Cup. And we all know that Gibbs will be the man to take over from Cashley in the national team.
    Such a situation comes from the long term strategies that you’re talking about – the benefits of which, both on and off the pitch, become more evident every day.
    More quotes from Taarabt at QPR also make the point – regretting that he didn’t come to Arsenal when he had the chance because, ‘at Tottenham the culture is different and I didn’t get a chance to develop as I would have done under Wenger’.
    Not every plan comes to fruition and when you’re trying to change things on a big scale there will be hiccups along the way.But you are so right to point up the seismic shifts that appear now to be happening in the broader world of football (for goodness sake, even Blackburn are trying to keep the ball on the ground!) and the fact that you can trace most if not all of them back to Arsenal and one one man in particular.

  16. “If that had been on target it would have given the goalkeeper a problem”.

  17. An interesting, well written, and thought-provoking article, as always, but I found the link between political correctness gone mad and an entire cultural revelation a trifle tenuous.

    Gray and Keys, were merely symptoms of that malaise, which is bias at the behest of Sky corporate commercial objectives. Hansen is the product of being a yard short of Mickey Thomas at Anfield a great many moons ago, and, happily for all us Gooners, never getting over it.

    If you want to deal with the symptom of SKY bias, tell Arsenal TV online to get into bed with Sky, a la Manure, but I would never recommend selling the Arsenal soul, and losing the siege mentality that makes us all so proud of being Arsenal fans.

    Changing the culture is sadly an objective that only unprecedented success will bring.

  18. True, true Darius… They’re all going to be on best behaviour for now I guess. Oh well. Maybe we could try and bribe him into making a faux pas by force feeding him battered mars bars and chanting Michael Thomas’ name continuously in the tune of the national anthem? If not, thumbscrews will suffice…

    The match vs Ipswich t’other day had some of the funniest punditry in a while for me. Matt Holland, Hansen and Shearer just took turns in reeling off cliche after cliche… Me and my housemates were in stitches! If you didn’t know anything about football, and weren’t used to hearing the same old shite every week, it must be so funny listening to these imbeciles giving their ‘expert analysis’..!

  19. Great stuff.

    Yeah it should be the end of a very poor footballing era. I just hope that the next isn’t the same but younger. With names such as Neville and Redknap being bandied about it makes your breath catch. I would prefer Ben Shephard to those fools. To be honest while I often disagree with Jamie Redknapp I have to admit that he does manage to give his wrong opinion without the clichés more often than not.

    Arsenal are indeed trail blazers and it’s down to Wengers stubborn single mindedness that he never gave up on his vision. Despite grief from every direction. With great backing and unwavering support from the majority of the board Wenger is about to once again prove that his teams ethic, style, tactics and vision are second to none. 6 years without anything to show? Look around you next time your sat in the Emirates. Look at the massive talented team that have at least 8 years of top class football ahead of them. Not many seem to see that the best teams are built not bought. Our team is a mansion, planned, crafted and built on strong foundation. Not some shite new estate with paper thin walls built on a rubbish tip. Shot up as quickly as possible to make a quick buck.

    As for Gray and Keyes specifically I’m not one for feminism or sexism. I don’t think that what he said regarding the lines woman deserved a sacking. I don’t doubt that Sky have been glad of this opportunity to easily rid themselves of the ‘boys’. The thing is gray and messers should have been fired 6 or 7 years ago. They are warped, and in the last god knows how long they have spouted the same shite over every game I’ve watched.

    Let’s see what the future holds. Certainly we will be!

  20. fog – he isn’t even English, he is Scottish, not that too many Scotsmen are in a hurry to claim him these days. What a glorious time it was 22 years ago!! May 26, Liverpool had just won the FA Cup and they thought they had done the double, how wrong they where!! Michael Thomas, step forward lad and with the last kick, in the last minute, on the last day, make history son and become a legend!!


    Fastest goal ever scored by a sub: 1.8 seconds, NB52 v. The Spuds Dec 22, 2007
    Sol Campbell & Ryan Giggs are the only 2 players to have played in every EPL season (19) so far.

  21. “it’s a game of 2 halves”

  22. To be fair to Shearer, he did tease the hell out of Hansen for critising Theo. That was funny as hell seeing that old fool squirm.

    The only commentator I like is Ray Hudson:

    Best pundits: Clarence Seedorf and Mad Jens

  23. More Ray! I can’t get enough!

  24. Keown is a good anaylsist, and suprisingly I saw Carragher do it the other day and he has nowhere near as bad as I thought he would be. Would not want to see him every week though.

  25. Gadget – Seedorf has always come across excellently for me, almost looked embarrassed with who he had to partner in the studio during the World Cup. And Jens is great, very honest and always gives well considered analysis. I miss him! I quite like Desailly too, even though he’s been tainted by the Chavs.

  26. Darius…

    Ass kicking post. Absolutely on the money IMHO.

    The idiocy of the 6 year myth is what rankles the most with me… can these idiots not see Spurs willing to leave North London just to get a stadium? … Our board took on a site that required extensive and expensive remedial works and involved the moving of an incinerator at the club’s expense just so that our fans could be in the same place… the board could have chosen a green field site on the M25 and saved 100s of million on the construction cost! Valencia are broke and their new stadium is but a mass of concrete. Anyone remember the wonderful CGIs for Pompey’s new gaff? Where are they now? But some of our most misguided fans accept the stadium as if it’s nothing and expect huge spending because….. well I know not why!

    Our 6 years haven’t been six ordinary years but even if they’d been ordinary and we’d built no stadium we’d still have been able to walk with our heads held high and with pride… an ECL final, an ECL semi and one genuine league challenge that was ended when a young team had to endure Eduardo’s horrific injury (and Gallas’ melt down but I won’t go into that now)… all of that would be worthy achievements for any number of our rivals excluding the very top 2 who’ve outspent us by a factor of 20 at least in the last 5 years.

    Where you are most correct is in the inversion of values that the two sexist troglodytes helped foster in the game (and you have a solid point about the Beeb’s self satisfied lot too). It’s quite amazing that almost everyone accepts that spending oodles of money takes “courage” but watching a youngster like Walcott or even Nasri mature and become a force on the pitch is some how effete and all bit lah di dah. It’s utterly gob smacking that refusing to overpay for overhyped talent is seen as cowardly but blowing 30m on a player who fails to deliver is just one of those things. What is remarkable is that we have become so inured to the utter ridiculousness of much what goes on in football that we hardly even notice that a player like Wayne Bridge is picking up 90K a week!

    For me the link between these sexist and other outmoded views on life and a certain view of what constitutes good football is what explains the antipathy towards Wenger and Arsenal. For me they go hand in glove… the more backwards a person’s views are the less time they have for the whole Arsenal thing… for me it’s a general rule. There may well be exceptions to this rule of mine but I honestly haven’t encountered any exceptions to it. The love for the hair dryer style of management, the prasie of wasteful spending, the constant refrain about diving foreigners and brave stalwart English men and Brits… all those things and a certain way of viewing the world go hand in hand… it can only be for the betterment of our club and this country footballing ethos if there are fewer troglodytes like Gray and Keys. Having said all that the attitudes those two hold are endemic amongst the “plunditocracy”. They won’t be easily vanquished.

    Thanks for the post Darius it was a most enjoyable read.

  27. Have to admit I like the analysis of Souness and Gullitt, who let’s be honest looked like he wanted to curl up and die when he was sitting with Andy Gray, Keys and Wetnappy.

  28. Great post Darius. Maybe the success of Arsene Wenger will finally be appreciated with Fabio Capello saying that he wants to build the Three Lions around the 19 year old Jack Wilshere!

  29. @Consols

    With the Beeb having to slash 30% of its budget, maybe the wish will become reality and the relics are permanently decommissioned for the sake of the viewing public.

    The Beeb don’t need Sky, they have an excuse already with the austerity measures being applied.

    @MikeB – fair observations there.

    I suppose the question is whether a catalyst such as the events of the past week force the reflection on the morass that has engulfed the sport. The media side of it is only one part of the equation, but a very important one nonetheless – and this is because of the sheer power and reach the media has as a mass broadcast media. This in my view makes them as dangerous as they are useful.

    More has to be done as well on the footballing side – or footballistically as wenger would say; on the administration side; and in the ways in which the youth are developed and integrated into the top tiers, as well as the coaching infastructure.

    The morass in the game as a whole needs to be addressed and all these areas are related.

  30. From last thread…

    You’re very right that “1st eleven” is an old paradigm. Not just for arsenal but for just about all modern football clubs. Few people still use the term to literally mean 11- players-who-feature-in-every-game-no-matter-what anymore. Can anyone even point to a top flight club who still operates like that? 1st eleven in these days usually refers to the core of players (as you mentioned) who are likely to play the biggest games if fit and in form. Like I said this is not just true for Arsenal but applies to manu, chavs, city, real madrid etc.

    Its not like we even rotate players more than other clubs. I remember Rafa Benitez receiving much stick in the press for doing it with Liverpool a few seasons ago. I also recall hearing a stat about how much rotation Fergie has been doing this season. All clubs rotate players. That’s the point in having a squad. Some do it more than others, depending on factors like quality gradient (difference in the level of talent or quality of the various players), need to blood in new/young players, injuries, tactical necessity, etc.

    We’ve got an awesome squad and our non-core players (to adapt your phrase) are at least as good as the core players in many other teams. I’d say this is more or less the same for most of the top teams, except maybe chelsea. The difference with our situation is that due to Wenger’s genius, we’ve been able to achieve this for a fraction of the cost the others spent.

  31. one of the best bits of analysis by Souness was on RTE during the world cup was ‘ they raped them in that first half” (sic)

  32. Joshua – another great post, and I totally agree with this:

    “The love for the hair dryer style of management, the prasie of wasteful spending, the constant refrain about diving foreigners and brave stalwart English men and Brits… all those things and a certain way of viewing the world go hand in hand… ”

    Discussing arsenal with certain ‘types’ of people, shows your statement to be shockingly true I think, from my experience anyway. But living in Devon, I’m used to hearing some fairly old school ways of thinking…!

  33. I have to say Dessaily and even Seedorf for me are the brightest commentators. With the Dinosaur’s still around the new generation will come through in their mold.

  34. Joshua – I think you are being a bit harsh on Wayne Bridge, I mean he was our MOTM against W.Ham!! 🙂

    Supercod – If you are out there I still want a Wham Bar!! Know anywhere in NYC that sells them!?

    FunGunner – Happy Birthday!!

  35. Just imagin the day AW withdraws from Emirates and becomes a media pundit. Now that will be the best pundit ever! he already does commentate lots for the french tv during the big championships. AWh those days i wish i spoke french…..

  36. Observing the follicle make up on the posterior aspect of Richard keys’ hands I expect he would be in some sort of pre historic exhibit as quite clearly he hasnt completed the evolution cycle.

  37. FunGunner – sorry meant Firstlady!! but Happy B’day to you too!! Yay?

    FirstLady – Happy Birthday!! And your gift? I promise not to mention ” ” all day as he has been debated and argued over enough for a year!!

  38. Derek – That is one of the more creepier postings and yes, you have way too much time on your hands or Richard Keys hands or something.

  39. He will end up in the national history museum. A hairly creature with no lips.

  40. Supercod – Ya Mad Bastard!! That just made my day 🙂 I still to this day wonder how I have all of my teeth as I must have eaten hundreds of’em!! Ahh the 80’s….back when even I was cool…stop snickering people!!!

  41. How about the “Museum of National Misery” ? Has a certain ring to it.

  42. Finally, nice one my brother.

  43. joshua | January 28, 2011 at 11:28 am |

    The one thing I’d disagree with you about is that we’ve only had one genuine league challenge. Not true.

    When people say this side has been in the works for 5 years it’s inaccurate. The invincibles folded to Chelsea in 05. They almost fell out of the Top 4 in 06. The new side’s first season was 07 (Even though we still had Titi, Freddy, Lauren, Gilberto, Jens).

    In 08 we challenged. In 09 we fell aside due to Gallas-gate. In 10 we challenged. We look like we’re challenging now.

  44. Irish, personally I preferred the lesser known Gorgo bar…..!

  45. I remember having an Iron Bru bar. I never ever bought one again cause the damn thing set off a migraine in a few bites

  46. I wonder which 80s bar Denilson prefers….?

  47. Texan bars were the way to go. Mmmmmm.

  48. Does this mean we released him and its a permanent deal or just extended loan ? Contradictory if you ask me.
    Posted on: Fri 28 Jan 2011
    Latics have signed Cedric Evina after the 19-year-old was today released by Arsenal.

    The left-sided Evina has signed a contract to remain at Boundary Park until the end of the season.

    Evina, who captained the Gunners’ youth team, arrived on loan in early October.

    He has since made 13 appearances for Latics scoring once away to Rochdale.

    Manager Paul Dickov is delighted with the capture of Evina saying: “It’s great news that Cedric has signed for the remainder of the season.

    “He provides us with a range of options down the left and has done well for us since his arrival.”,,10337~2278738,00.html

  49. Super cod – Have just spent the last 20 minutes trying to describe Wham bars to my American girlfriend, she is absolutely disgusted!! She is a physical instructor and eats “properly” SNARF!! Does not know what she is missing!!!

  50. DeiseGooner – That does not feel right. He has been with us since he was 9 , that is 10 years we put into him and we get nothing back?

  51. I think they’re saying he’s signed a short term contract, DG – although it’s not clear.

  52. i checked the site, says hes only just signed pro terms in summer 2009, so i doubt he has been released, must just be extended loan til end of season as opposed 5 feb

    “Young defender Cedric Evina has further extended his loan stay with League One side Oldham Athletic until February 5, 2011.”

  53. Apparently Hill-Wood has just confirmed that Arsenal will be doing a summer tour of the USA in the summer and forgoing his usual Austrian trip, well I know what I am doing in the summer 🙂 Please God let it be New York, I think it might as Henry plays here. Would be awesome to go see Arsenal v NY Redbulls.

  54. I must be lost in a time warp but what a lot of old cobblers has been written of late. What for the love of have those two blokes done that many of us have done or said over and over again. Women cant drive men dont know the difference in colour. Men cant choose their own clothing, if women were not around to look after them. How many jokes are sent over the internet describing either the males or the females in derogatory terms. How many of you have laughed at it and sent it on to your mates. You only have to be a gunner supporter to hear how our manager needs to be got rid of because he wont spend does not know what he is doing. Why did he buy this player because he is rubbish, but then in a few months say he is a top footballer Theo RVP are just a few who come to mind who had people clammering for them to be got rid of. Hands up those who have never said the ref needs glasses (I’m trying hard not to use rude words), and the linesman is in the pay of that team or this team. What a load of shite this statement is ‘Who would have thought that a young 25 year old lady would etch her place in football history and folklore? For when she left home for work last weekend, she had no idea she was about to bring down a juggernaut.’ Give me a break, okay have your PC crowd in but brother you will pay in the long run, freedom of speech is going to suffer. And now lets turn on the English(note not the Irish Scottish Welsh). In any country in the world they praise their except in England. Here we love to rubbish our own, be it sports people or serving members of the Armed Forces. In Australia they have messages on cars which say if you don’ t love it here then Piss off back to where you love it. Italians support Italians, Yanks support , and the Aussies could give some of your writers a lesson in supporting their nation. Do i like dumb sh.ts Grey(Scottish) Keys or Hansen etc no; do I like anyone who reflects badly on my team Arsenal no bloody way. But the tripe bashed out on statements above leave me speechless. Do you lot always watch women play football/cricket and lately rugby etc? Me no bloody way, but I suggest some of you put your knickers on and go and watch them. Next you will be having mens and womens teams in the EPL; thank god my days are nearly over. I suppose you lot think Xmas is evil too.

  55. I gather Andy Murray is British until Sunday night when he plays the Aussie Open final. If he loses, he’ll be Scottish.

  56. I don’t see the problem with Keys and Gary either. I mean, what’s so wrong with being sexy?

  57. Irishgray – Hmm, that will be interesting. It is Wenger that has always insisted on the Austria trip citing as the perfect pre-season. I wonder if “pressure from above” has been exerted on a money making trip to the states, and if so how does Arsene feel about it?

  58. So Cappello admits his mistake not taking Theo to the world cup – fair enough Theo was in bad form but the kid was hyped so much then taken apart by the media because he didn’t immediately become Englands attacking savior, it made Cappellos decision not entirely his own i feel.

    But now hes lumping the future of Englands stuttering midfield on the young shoulders of Jackie Boy – way to ease the kid into the international game you Muppet.

  59. LOL Oldtimer.

    You crack me up…and also rest my case with your arguement.

  60. Great Post.
    On this part of South East Asia we follow the Gunners on ESPN and StarSports. And we are fed the same crap from the likes of “Steven McMahon” [The Liverpool Legend] and “Shevy Singh”[Not sure if he ever played in any league in the same class as EPL but apparently he IS a “pundit”]. And I am not even going to start on the presenter/instigator named “Andrew Leci”.
    And these days, they even have their own show called the “Monday night verdict” or something. It is such a joke. And you would think, ESPN would be better than this.

  61. Surely ‘Oldtimer’ is Muppet.

    Another classic.

    The alternative casts a shadow over we, more mature, posters. Geo has already cast us Deb’n folks as neanderthals earlier.

    This is shaping up to be a bad day for those of certain years residing in Devon.

    Say it ain’t so Muppet.

  62. Irish, does she understand the offside rule though…?!?!?!

  63. Xmas is ok. A nice pagan feast that the neo-jewish mob tried to take over.

  64. Absolutely fantastic post Darius..quality input by Joshua, Els and Geo too…almost as classy as the Club (minus PHW!) Looking forward to a new dawn..the future is looking a cheery shade of Arsenal Red to me 😉

  65. I am over the moon I don’t have to put up with Key’s smug face every time Arsenal are on Sky. I don’t care if he didn’t cover his mouth when he coughed; good riddence.

  66. Chowdhury- Spare a thought for us poor sods here in NYC as we are stuck with Warren Barton and Keith Costigan!! If your reply is Keith Costiwho? Don’t bother because the answer is nobody, absolutely nobody!! He is only there to make WB look good and the real bitch is he succeeds more than he fails. My kingdom! My kingdom! My kingdom for a half-decent commentator!!!

  67. Thanks goonerandy and Irish. Irish that’s the best present ever!

    I never listen to analysis, they rarely offer anything new. i have also developed a mechanism of tuning out the commentators during games but once in awhile when what they are saying gets in i usually end up outraged!!!

  68. Supercod – God no!! And I plan on keeping it that way 🙂

  69. Firstlady – Most welcome 🙂 Personally I have in the last 2 games had the sound off and music blasting, whilst myself and some friends yell abuse at the opposition, all in the comfort of home of course as we would not like to offend anyone.

  70. Ole @12:11pm

    I stand corrected. You are quite, quite right. We really have not been in the doldrums at all either going by historic standards much less when you look at things from a mildly reasonable perspective. Almost every season has had it’s highlights… the season we were almost out of the top 4 was also the season we topped the so-called mini league. I know it’s hard to credit but we got more points amongst the top contenders that year and we almost fell out of the ECL places! Then the refrain was that Arsenal couldn’t win against the cloggers….more recently it’s been that we can’t win against the top teams into which the media mysteriously inserted Man City but excluded Spurs and Liverpool because it made a nonsense of the entire argument, they always find a flaw with Arsenal… whether real or imagined.

  71. let it be Philly for the love of god

  72. haha consols! I had a feeling you’d say something about that, just as i pressed send! Don’t get me wrong, I love the Deb’m way, but many of my peers share many old school views, about Arsenal, and life in general..! I grew up in a particularly sparsely populated rural area, with only some very genetically strange farmers for neighbours, hence my being used to some old fashioned opinion. Not a dig, I’m sure it’s the same in many rural areas… gotta love the generalisations eh? 😉

  73. It all makes you so proud:

    Ooh to be ah.. to be ah…

  74. Tommygoon- God no!! Anywhere but Philly!!

  75. Hey guys Koscielny picked up a yellow card against Ipswich, that does not mean he will miss the final, does it?

  76. Nah, don’t think so.

  77. Nicely written article; I don’t have to agree with everything written to appreciate good prose. Hope Sian Massey gets herself a bloody good agent and makes a shit load for the maelstrom she has been through. The girl was on the front page of that shit rag the Sun because she ran a line in a football match!

    And Andy Murray isnt British, he is half Scotch and half Paraguyan and I will be wearing my Anyone But Andy t-shirt on Sunday.

  78. 2 games in 3 days
    vital league game against the toffees
    no disrespect to huddersfield but we should be using that game to rest the big guns

    The keeper didnt really do all that much in the last game so stick with Chezzer. Sagna had a rest so id start him. 🙂
    Squilly is back so who does he replace?
    Give Gibbs a start.
    Diaby starts with Denny maybe?
    Or maybe Song as he had his rest already?

    Le Boss usually plays the benchers, but we had some big guns on the bench last game. ooohhhh the decisions

    Ill go with this

    Sagna Squilly Kos Gibbs
    Diaby Song
    Theo Nasri AA23

    Kos because Djourou is the lynchpin these days and can play with either Kos or Squill against Everton – stronger pair for Everton.

    Song to then be subbed for Denilson. Nasri off for B52


  79. Oldtimer is not Muppet…although I feel old !

    What did he say ?

  80. Not looking good consols..!

  81. Apparently the FA have ruled Afobe can’t play, shame…

  82. Oh.. I see..12.41. – colourful rant.

  83. Typical bloody Muppet, never being funny when you want him to be.

    Ah well, that’s it I suppose. Time to shuffle on and take out a subscription to the Daily Mail. Free, free at last from the bonds of reason.

  84. Al Jazeera has apparently offered our favorite two fossilized commentators a very lucrative contract, is there no stopping these two idiots?

  85. lol consols! Glad to know that you’re seeing sense…

  86. I’m on a total Ray loving, cause he’s awesome:

  87. Le Grove claims that Arsene gets on bonus on transfers, or not spending money. Wenger, in today’s press conference says he’s against managers getting cuts on transfers. Assuming he’s telling the truth, Le Grope have been up to their typical slanderous cuntry

  88. Ole – that was about the Holloway/Adam thing right? What’re the actual goings on there? Sounded a bit dodgy to me, but only heard someone mention it, no more info than that…

  89. Heh, Ole you are too sceptical. I am sure Le grove know all the intimate details of Wenger’s contract.

  90. Geo – Holloway himself has admitted it. Kudos to him for getting that wrote into his contract, but madness by the club to sanction it.

  91. What’s the deal though andy? Sorry, literally know nothing about it…

  92. Haven’t got time to check it out either, not being lazy 😉 I’m meant to be catching up my week’s worth of slackness at work, only 2 hours left…!

  93. AW pretty much just said that there is no Song role in the Arsenal midfield; it sounds like he’s philosophically opposed to midfields in which players are given just one job.

  94. Geo – It seems that he gets a percentage of any sale of a player which he has been involved in training (which surely must be most of the 1st team squad).

  95. He’s very good Gadget. Shall we set up a petition to get him Grays’ job?

  96. Really?? That’s quite some deal he’s got there! I’m surprised more managers don’t do the same if it’s all above board… thanks for the info!

  97. Geo – You a right, it is a great deal (for him). Could easily lead to a conflict of interests though. I am suprised it is allowed.

  98. That’s what I thought when I heard someone mention it t’other night… It could easily mean that hasty decisions re selling players come into play. Well if it’s allowed, then fair play to him…

  99. If AW got a cut of the profit of a sold player, surely he would of sold Cesc for £35M in the summer…..

    Absolute nonsense….


    Great headline, but what else was he going to say? He is No1 because Fabianski is injured. It will be interesting what happens when he is fit again though. He had established himself, but as Arsene mentions Tech9 has done nothing wrong to be dropped for.

  101. Heh, yeah Wenger surely has nothing like that in place. We would have heard about that ages ago if it were…it would have been more ammo to jump on the anti-arsenal bandwagon with.

  102. Great post as always Darius. Wish i could sit and read through all the posts. Have a good one gooners!

  103. No avatar chris? Have a good one.

  104. Interesting GA. I assume chesny will remain between the sticks unless he pulls some seriously horrendous blunders. He seems very confident in himself and thereby less prone to have poor spells than fabianski for example.

  105. Well it’s official Evina has joined Oldham Athletic on a permanent deal. Wish him all the best, may it not come back and bite us in the ass!

  106. Chowdhary – which part of India are you in?

  107. “I never had a midfielder who does just one thing, because that is what I hate most in midfield.”

  108. goonerandy

    There are those who would say he can’t kick properly and that he is prone to flap early in a game.


  109. @ joshua
    fantastic post, and I agree with every word, with Ole Gunner’s rider about when this incarnation of the team started and that we have challenged credibly more than once in the last few years.

    @ Gadget,
    what would you have thought if they had said “Black people can’t understand the offside rule?”

    @ OOU at 12:43
    ha ha

    @ Deisegooner
    Sagna Squilly Kos Gibbs
    Diaby Song
    Theo Nasri AA23
    My main query is the inclusion of Song. Could he play again 24 hours later?

    @ mj_gunner
    I’m clapping, too!

  110. @ Deisegooner
    48 hours later, I meant.

  111. 60 mins in first gane keeping it together but not doing too much then off he comes for the everton game – easy for Song

  112. Can’t assume he won’t have to work hard, Deisegooner. I think it will be a very demanding game, physically.

    Anyway, still on for the quadruple!

  113. YW – True to a point; kick kicking is not the best. He posted on Twitter a few weeks ago about this saying he was doing extra practice in training.

    Any “flap” has has made so far has not costs us; tis a fine line being a keeper.

  114. Was it Napoleon (or Wellington?) who would ask about a potential general, is he lucky? Chesney is lucky as well as being top quality.

    Rosicky is “certainly” back in the squad, so he might play in the middle instead of Song. Rosicky/Denilson to split the job?

  115. may 10. 1933. berlin. germany.

  116. Napoleon

  117. pol pot. 1976 – 1979.

  118. polical correctness. 1970ish –

  119. p/c 1970ish –

  120. Thanks, London 🙂

  121. On total Szczesny still needs to work on kicking and distribution. I find this throwing is still lacking, though it seems like he is using a wrong technique? He throws like people usually do throw-ins at times. But imo this is his biggest flaw at the moment (as his goalkeeping game is quite good), he just can not initiate counter attacks as fast as Fabianski does. Fabianski throws the ball from his box past the half way line directly in the path of our wide players.

  122. Evil, great observations.
    Fabianski is held to be technically the best though I think Chesney has the best personality and will eventually be the best overall.

  123. Hear ,hear to Darius, Joshua and then Ole Gunner’s clarification.
    ACLF really has made me proud today (I don’t count Oldtimer. )
    One day I will have something meaningful to write about Sian Massey but it is a historical truth that it takes a seemingly innocuous event to trigger massive social changes. Something about the the overthrow of Gray and Keys in one fell swoop is portentious.
    Just hope lightning could strike at FSC and irradiate Barton, Costigan and the whole bunch of ignorant English and American pundits at that station (thanks Irish Gray).

  124. Reading back today, I must say that while YW’s great writing originally attracted me to this site. It’s the regular contributators that keep me scrolling back every night. I may not be pitching in, but I am always reading. Love you guyss!!!

  125. Paul N,

    I don’t know if I have said this before but your daughter is soooo cute!! I love chubby babies!

  126. 28 april. 1937 .al – awja.

  127. Why are we playing at 12.00 on Sunday? It is a fucking outrage.

  128. Why did the EPL fine Blackpool when all they did was field 11 players from their first team squad of 25. Another fucking outrage.

  129. fuck it. i’m gonna say it. i dont like star fruits but do like mangos ( sweet. caft and sour ) ‘night all.

  130. Frank – I have to get up at 7a.m. as I am in NYC on a Sunday!! WTF!! I know the easy solution would be to take it easy on Saturday night but my name is Irishgray not ” ooh I think I’ll stay in this Saturday and put my feet up and watch a movie and make a nice cuppa” Meh!!

    Maria – You should post more often, we miss ya 🙂

    Shottagunna – Just in case you think Americans and English commentators are the worst, Costigan is a muppet from my home town of Dublin who started off his FSC employment(this is not a joke) as a smart-mouthed barman on Fox Football Friday. Which is such a stereotype and as such is not true at all cos we all know that we Irish also work in construction!!! In fact I have a friend who can do anything, good price( even has his own van for God’s sake just mention my name, you”ll be sorted 🙂

  131. frank i dont understand what the FA are trying to do..
    they set a rule, you can have a 25 man team, but then they fine you for using it..and it wasnt like blackpool got rolled over..
    i agree its a bit of a comedy moment by the FA, not for the first time..
    i think they should use their resources more to good effect, like investigating why practically all the refs are on fergies payroll..
    rather than fining managers who use the rules they set..

    good post darius..commentators are indeed commentators becuase they are not good enough to be managers…they prove that every week..
    but we all knew this..
    i like some, but simply for the comedy effect, they make me laugh..and they make me laugh cos they know fuck all when it comes to footy,
    i class them as the ‘jesters’ of footy..they are paid to be idiots…and they do a good job i reckon…

  132. Kevin Muscat(remember the name?) former captain of Wolves, who ended Matty Holmes career with a horror tackle and was even taken to court over it as it was more assault than anything else, is at it again!! Check out the link:

    He has been banned for 8 weeks, can only hope the young lad makes a full recovery. Shawcross are you watching?

  133. i like shearer for example
    i only like shearer though because he says things like what he said a few months back
    i forget who he was talking about and who the team was but he said something along the lines of he liked this certain player and he played well that day and at 29 he has huge potential…
    pure genius…the ultimate jester…
    i also thought matt holland was hilarious the other night when he said if we get a new keeper and a top quality CB we will be a force
    even though we are second in the league, still in all four comps and our cbs and gk’s have conceeded one less goal in league than manutd…brilliant
    i hope they give that guy a job…

  134. gonnerandy…Your musings earlier on the blog with respect to a team trip to North America during the Summer will almost certainly begin in Colorodo for obvi0us reasons. From there, the better MLS teams with respect to attendance, would perhaps include Seattle and Vancouver which would be an extension of a Western trip, so to speak. Travel wise, this would make sense for the team. As well, a guaranteed sell out in every game!

    The matter of Arsene liking such an adventure is another matter. Firstly, he is an exponent of allowing his players to rest. He frequently speaks of the “micro-injuries” that require healing through rest. In my way of thinking, Arsene was caught in a process that was very likely to have happened as soon as the team hired an American into a managerial position. Especially, an American who owns an MLS franchise. This is not to mention his influence that his financial holdings in Arsenal Football Club suggest. Please understand that I am not being critical of this American gentleman’s involvement in the team. Instead, I am merely commenting on the likelyhood of a business venture to extend the Arsenal image into a very lucrative and likely the largest overseas market.

    The matter of extending the playing season for Arsenal Football players will almost certainly be managed by a very generous rotation of developing Youth stalwarts.

  135. Carlos Vela has just joined West Brom on loan, beats joining Bolton as I hate them. Best of luck to him.

  136. Szezsney.

    Eboue. Squillachi. Koschielny. Gibbs.

    Diaby. Rosicky. Denilson.

    Bendtner. Chamakh. Arshavin.

  137. velas now going into my fantasy football team..
    he’ll be cheap and he’ll get games and goals..
    i hope he hits a fair few…makes a name for himself…then in summer he will be like a new signing.. 😉

    Just read that as well, Irishgray. Excellent choice of teams. They are the best of three football-playing teams in the lower part of the PL (Wigan and Blackpool being the other two) but they are starved for goals. Hence Vela should get a lot of playing time. I just hope he just toughens up and earn the right to be a goal-scorer in this League. The talent is undoubtedly there.
    Last chance saloon anyone?

  139. is that your team for hudds, irish??
    id go along with that..
    id even go as far to say with everton only two days away we could give kozz a rest and give miguel his debut..
    im not one who thinks its a good idea to rotate your defence too much, but with only 48 hours to recover i think it wouldnt be a bad idea to see what miguels got..
    and the midfield and attack will defo have too much for hudds so we will outscore them in any case..hopefully.. 😉
    i think we should stick with the 4231 formation and give rosicky the left with diaby and denilson as the midfielders and put AA behind chamakh in the cesc role…
    in my opinion, with his admitted lack of confidence, the left side is not the best place for him…’throw him in at the deep end’ as it where..and let him see more of the action..playing on the left gives him time to think, which seems to be his problem..
    so i think we should give him the cesc role, let him see more of the action and make him use his instincts more…see if that helps him…
    a good game could see his confidence return and hudds provide a great opportunity…

  140. Shottagunna – Last chance saloon sums it up I think. West Brom play some good football and if Vela can find his form they should stay up, which is what we want for him. He could get a good 15 or so games under his belt which will really sharpen him up, we all know he has massive talent but now he really has to prove it.

  141. thats a good call shotta…
    could be a ploy to try and raise his transfer fee..
    could be a ploy to build his confidence in preperation for a few players departing in summer
    only time will tell but if he plays a blinder for the rest of the season and bags a load of goals can anyone see wenger really selling him??

  142. JonJon – Yea I think this team will do the business. We could even bring on Miguel in the second half and give Kos6 a rest. I hate to sound like a doomer but if AA does not turn it on in this game then I will be very concerned for him and for the team without him.

  143. Im with you there JonJon on both the formation and the positions. I didnt think Rosicky would make it. And Wenger has confirmed Bac wont be involved.
    But i kinda torn between resting the big guns and making too many changes at once – but then again its Huddersfield ……

    Eboue Squilly Kos Gibbs
    Song Diaby
    Theo AA23 Rosicky

    That should do it

  144. No, no, no!

    This is NOT the last chance saloon for Vela. Personally I think he will do fantastic with WBA. They play real football and have a Spanish speaking manager. But I think that it’s more than likely that someone leaves either in the CF or LW position which I think he can play.

    Players that may leave before Carlos returns are AA, Rosicky and Bendtner any of which will open things up for him. He should be a understudy to a position by now. So he should be working towards that, since his abit behind on his development.

    Carlos Vela is a top, top class stiker! Let’s not forget that. Best Mexican in the league!

    Will be posting some videos just to remind you al

  145. I think this will be the making of Vela – i reckon if he went against Wengers wishes to stay in the premier league and took the option to go to Spain, then he was being sold on. Now that he has the chance to show what we all believe he can do in this league – it will solidify his place in the Arsenal squad

  146. I have always liked Vela as well. However, he seems to have lost his way of late. I am sure that regular starts with another team that is willing to give him the playing time will undoubtedly result in a Mexican resurgence!

  147. Maria | January 28, 2011 at 9:21 pm |

    Completely agree Maria. How can anyone suggest that a 21 year old striker is in the last chance saloon? How many times have Walcott and Bendtner been written off? All he needs is a run of games because that boy has talent and I believe he is a natural finisher. He will be our David Villa – I am that confident in his ability.

  148. irish
    i had this convo with a pal yesterday and AA has put wenger in a difficult position..
    a player with his quality is vital to our season, yet a player with his mindset can lose you points, at the same time a player with that mindset needs games..
    wengers done the right thing by resting him in the PL and giving him the cups but after leeds and ipswich i think hudds is his last chance to turn it round..thats why i think the centre for this one..let him use his instincts..
    if he doesnt turn a corner i really dont see where his next chance to do it will be…unless we get passed hudds and get another nice little home tie v lower tier oppo..
    but you never know with AA he could go on like this right up until barca and then get a chance and destroy them…

  149. Szezsney.

    Eboue. Squillachi. Koschielny. Gibbs.

    Diaby. Rosicky. Denilson.

    Bendtner. Chamakh. Arshavin.
    I think that is very likely to be the team on Sunday, but Irishgray and others, Maria’s right about Carlos. AW made it clear recently that he feels Vela has worked hard and done all that Wenger expected and wanted and he (Arsene) feels bad that he can’t give him more games. I think he still has the utmost faith in our little Mexican. This move is “finishing school”, like JW going to Bolton last season, rather than a prelude to being shown the door.

  150. we all love vela i think…
    composed and clinical i defo dont want him sold….
    i agree with maria
    my opinion is he is next in line to take over from AA and rosicky and maybe nikki will end up talking himself out of the club so the opportuntity could be there
    we’ll just have to see what happens in summer and who stays and who goes…
    but for now hes getting game time and its what everyone wants i think..we need to see vela play…hes too talented not to be given a real chance
    a loans perfect..for now

  151. AA is on his way back, trust me. He is adapting his game to the loss of acceleration he has suffered. In a month’s time we will be swooning again.

  152. Limestonegunner

    The future is in India and China–these are economies on the rise with massive populations. I think there are so many potential fans there because of the appreciation for the way we play and the way we have developed our team. I’d sooner see a Delhi, Bombay, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur trip. Or a Far East swing. Let’s get in before it gets saturated–the PL is on their TV’s more than any other league, I think, and not only are there lots of Gooners but there could be huge numbers if we visit.

    Of course, I’d be grateful to be able to see Arsenal personally in North America. Perhaps they’ll come to Toronto (one of the best supporting MLS cities) if they make it to the East Coast or LA/San Francisco on the West.

  153. Maria – Brilliant!!! I too do not want to lose Vela, as I said I think he has massive potential, but am glad this spurred you to post some great bids!!! Thanks Maria, it’s not the same when you don’t post 🙂

  154. I am sorry what the hell is JonJon doing here? I thought he died in the last troll floods, that sweep AIC away!

    Pass, FG

    As usual agree with you guys 1000%

    However, on Arshavin it seems to a mental thing with him as well as physical. I would be a liar if I said I haven’t enjoyed watching Nasri and Clichy play togather. Nasri tracks back better, protecting Gael from those 2 on 1 stituations. Also CLichy excels at pushing forward on the left Nasri coming inside and overlapping helps him.

    I am not saying that AA wouldn’t come good in regards to goals and assists, I just hope he comes back better in terms of his defending. Our clean sheets recently prove that we can be a solid defensive unit without changing our style of play. Long may it continue~!!

  155. Awww love you too guys!!!

    Just don’t mess with my Carlos!

  156. Vela has no future at Arsenal.He is miles behind RVP and Chamakh and even Billy Bendtner.Hes 4th choice no more.He has been nowhere near starting a league game for us even though RVP and Billy missed the first 4 months of the season
    As for Szczesny you can ask no more from a player that when given a chance he grabs it with both hands and that is what the has done.When the only thing his critics can pick on is his goalkicking you know he is doing great.Our keeper for the next 10 years

  157. David Villa! You are a star, Passenal

  158. clichys recent return of form is not down to nasri tracking back… its so wide off the mark….
    nasri plays as a second striker along with cesc and theo..although it helps the team if he gets back…clichy is in fact covered defensively by jack primary and nasri secondary..
    we play a 4231..
    jack and song hold the midfeild together in the two allowing the rest to push forward and providing cover to the defence…
    they are the pivotal holders..
    many ppl fall for the trap that clichys poor form was blamed on AA”s and it was a total myth…a non entity..just cos he plays out wide doesnt mean hes the auto first choice wingman for clichy…
    its true AA isnt the best at tracking back but he wasnt the problem..
    the problem was the balance in the ‘two’ wasnt right…the problem is now solved since jack and song became a regular thing and clichy has benifitted…
    the whole team has benifitted..
    and before anyone slates me no im not blaming denilson…
    its just that jack and song have developed an understanding and they control their ‘zones’ most games now…
    the FB’S have benifitted
    sagna is back to his best now also this season…
    no coincidence…

  159. when vela played in spain i think he had something like a 3 in 4 shot on goal ration…
    75% if im correct…i read the stat at the time i cant recall where i read them vela was in spain at the time and i just remember i couldnt wait for him to come to us
    thats pretty good he makes the keeper work most times when he shoots..
    just needs to learn that in the PL…

  160. Fucking outrages come in threes. The last of the triplet is the January meat market.

  161. Limestone….Yes there are things that are happening in China and the rest of South East Asia. However, you must be aware that the largest number of players in the youth ranks is currently happening in the US. They outstrip everybody by a good margin even the UK. The problem as everyone knows is the development of professional football which is competing with an established NFL, NBA, and NHL. There are more youth players in California alone than there are in the whole of Canada. The game of soccer still needs time in North America for development at the professional level. But, the game is developing. I have been amazed at the performances of the U.S. at the world cup and those performances will improve. What enhances the development of Soccer/Football in the US is that the development of the game is not caught up with the British model which is, at the technical level, feeble at best and self aggrandizing at worst. The U.S. have people from across Europe involved in the development of their game and there are many players from south of the American border who are now considering the MLS game.

  162. The manager of the decade thinks he does Ronnie Radford, so I tend to trust his judgement more than yours.

  163. Joshua has a cultured left lobe. Absolutely beautiful post.

  164. What sort of prick organises an England game days before Arsenal play Barcelona?

  165. Im all for women linesmen. we all know how hard it is to hide things from women. they dont miss anything do they, they got eyes in the back of their heads. i really do think they will be better then men at that job.

  166. Jon Jon you must be a strong swimmer. Still here? Or let me guess you’ve been come to positive for your old cronies at Le Moan?

  167. Duke I swear……….

  168. maria
    i dont post on there..your assertions are wrong..i cant remember the last time i posted on there…could have been two years ago, not sure
    and sometimes ppl go through things in their life that make them different ppl..i went through a difficult period where i was frustrated and was angry alot..
    thats all..but im back now
    if you want to carry on with the snide remarks thats fine..but im not interested in that…i like it on here becuase theres some very clever ppl
    theres also alot of childish ones……. but a good blog needs balance

  169. duke u raise a good point
    the way the officals are in the PL at the minute, im all for woman officals…
    they cant be any worse than what we have..
    and something tells me they wont be swayed by certain managers…if you get my drift

  170. Thanks for the videos Maria…

    I had just plain forgotten how ridiculously gifted Vela is… those lob/ chipped goals of his are just so delectable, I could watch them all day. I think West Brom could be the making of Vela… Robbie Di Matteo’s team play football the right way and they do have some cracking players in Odemwingie and Tchoi. Also I get the impression that Bolton’s culture might have been too much of shock for him… imagine Kevin Davies welcoming him to training with a big wallop 🙂 Doing that kind of thing to our Little Jack is one thing, I’m not so sure that Vela would appreciate a Kevin Davis welcoming foul quite as much (BTW this is not to call Vela a wimp or anything… I just mean that culturally he may not be apt to view a team mate whacking him hard as a ‘welcoming’ gesture) . And a relegation scrap ought to concentrate his mind wonderfully.

    My guess is that people as gifted as Vela who are, kind of, used to things coming easy tend to find it just a tad more difficult to adjust to doing the hard grafting required in certain situations and that is often down to maturity… I hope he matures some more at West Brom as that is the only way he’d be able to do his, quite considerable, talent justice

  171. I heard it on the grapevine that Wenger will go in and ambush the torres deal with all guns blazing and steal him from under Chelsea’s noses. so dont panic everyone we will get that signing we all desire and crave and lust and want and need and hope for.

  172. WTF? I forgot how good Vela can be. Wow. I hope he stays with us and fights for his place.
    I have been telling people that say he should be sold that he could turn out to be the best ever at 24. thats a couple of years from now. Comon Carlos, hook it up!

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