Jack Delivers, Can Arsenal Commercially?

The internationals are over, injury reports awaited and for once a national team coach is going to be in Arsène’s good books. Jack Wilshere came through his first England start well, neat passing, rarely giving the ball away and tackling well.

His Cheerleader In Chief, James Lawton, continued his campaign for beatifying the youngster but there were those who were underwhelmed, Martin Samuel more impressed by Christian Eriksen than St Jack’s performance in the opening forty-five minutes.

Prior to the match, it was rumoured that Wenger had secured an agreement with Capello to rotate Wilshere and this proved to be the case, the Italian replacing the Arsenal midfielder at half-time. A pleasant change at this level, to see a coach who has his players best interests at heart. A shame the national associations do not waive this week’s matches and let clubs get on with their business.

It all overshadowed Theo Walcott who, prior to kick-off, had claimed it was now up to him to prove indispensable to Capello but in keeping with his international career thus far, it did not materialise. Walcott created the equaliser but was unable to sustain the performance levels for his seventy minutes on the pitch. The question is when Capello will show enough bravery to play Theo centrally; then we might see his abilities at this level.

Elsewhere, Johan Djourou is apparently going to be rested this weekend to allow his recovery to be completed in time for next week’s encounter with Barcelona. Once more this information has emerged from the Swiss team.

It is a peculiar circumstance for news to come solely from the international team as Djourou was one of five who would not be participating this week in the needless matches. So why the lack of information about the player’s progress, especially as it has been the main talking point of the past five days. Still, nothing unusual in Arsenal.com being slow in turning out news.

Money is the God that many worship in professional football. In the Premier League, it is an obsession like no other, a measurement of power and the standing of the Premier League around the world.

And wealthy it certainly is with the publication of the Deloitte Football Money League 2011. Whilst there are no trophies to be won for this title, the table illustrates that the top four are commercially able to exploit their ‘brands’ to a far greater extent than those below.

Arsenal are tied in to deals which suited their needs whilst the stadium was being built. The gap to those above increased as United, Real, Barcelona and Bayern were all able to increase their revenues by more than Arsenal. Indeed, the continental Europe sides improved their commercial revenues by more than Arsenal in all sources, Bayern no doubt helped by the run to the Champions League final.

With money from property deals due to diminish over the coming seasons, the expiry of headline sponsorship deals in 2015 represents a key time for the club. Will they be able to rename the stadium with a new sponsor, more importantly should they be doing so?

The Emirates as stadium names go, could have been a lot worse yet it is not something that gives any sense of identity with the club. Ashburton Grove does. Whilst the club gains commercial edge with selling the naming rights, is it a step too far with no strong need to do so? Precious little connection with the support exists, this could be a way for the club to re-engage in a small way?

’til Tomorrow

Posted on February 10, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 211 Comments.

  1. Mongolian Gooner

    Does JD need a rest? I am not sure.

  2. Mongolian Gooner

    Wow, I thought someone would post while I was reading. First. hehe

  3. i think he actually got injured a little so that sounds like he needs a rest

  4. Nice post YW. Ashburton Grove should be the name given to the stadium once the current sposorship expires. If we sell the rights every few year it will be very shoddy.

    The ground is now our home, and the fans and the team need to to feel as such. Constant name changes will feel very temporary.

    As it goes I though Jack did well last night, and he certainly did not look out of place. But then why would he? Every week he plays in a better side, and against better sides. International footaball is no longer a step up for any PL player.

  5. I lived in Highbury Hill for my first 23 years and never was really concious of Ashburton Grove which was a slum! Why not call the stadium New Highbury?

  6. Good to be a GOONAH!!

    The financials are a bit misleading. Arsenal had a turnover of £400m last year. The Deloitte numbers are exclusively ‘football’ related but that is quite a fluid concept. One could argue that benefiting from the development of a football ground is precisely football related, but there you go. The numbers also avoid debt discussion. Our debt is in the same bracket as Fulham’s where United’s is 7 or 8 times Arsenal’s.

  7. Capello has really got me thinking. Is Wilshere really Fabregas-isque, Makelele-isque or Xavi-isque. When he first broke into the Carling cup team playing on the right I thought he was going to develop into an attacking midfielder. Off to Bolton and Owen Coyle turns him into a central midfielder. The Daily Mail compared him to Xavi actually showing that he is ahead of the maestro in his development. Now Capello says he’ll be a defensive midfielder in the Makelele/Pirlo mold! Wilshere, Arsenal and England are in for interesting times.

  8. I thought that Theo suffed from the half time substitutions, that is the replacement of Jack and Rooney.

    In the first half both these players were prompting good and quick movement in Denmark’s half, Rooney in particular seemed to be looking for Theo’s runs.

    Once these two technically capable players were replaced by two representatives of English grit the team settled back into more familiar patterns and it was no surprise to see Milner start to get more of the ball.

    Theo became isolated as he often does in an England shirt.

  9. Good post YW. Keep us up to date mate.

    Just wanted to post this also it was highlighted obviously by dupsffokcuf

    dupsffokcuf | February 9, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    Great article. (I know it’s the mirror)


    Fantastic article. I loved it.

  10. Thanks dups I meant to say.

  11. Emirates Airline signed a 15 year deal… So it’ll be at least 2019 before the stadium is know by any other name. And that’s just asuming they don’t renegotiate the deal before then. That’s not to say the fans can’t refer to it however they like. Personally I only ever refer to it as the Grove.

  12. Just be swaggerific and call the stadium what it is: The Home of Football.

  13. I think stadium naming rights, as with friendly internationals, are a necessary and unavoidable evil. I’ve always hated the “Emirates”, just so left of field and irrelevant, certainly unexpected. I was stunned we didn’t pick up a Pepsi, a Nike (or equivalents), even a global car manufacturer. I suspect ANYONE chosen would have been irritating tbh.

    Thought Jack was fine last night but I’m interested to know who, out of Wilshire and Ramsey, fellow Gooners rated the best? Before his injury I personally thought Ramsey had a definite edge but looking at how Jack’s playing today, I wonder if that’s possible.

    Big relief over JD – like having a £30 million signing after all! I would imagine he’ll get 20 minutes at the weekend; what’s the benefit to Arsenal in making player announcements with Swiss-style openess when you don’t need to especially if you’re not sure. I think the idea of a club “getting down” with the fans is illusory; what other major commercial entity ever gets that close to its users, other than in a commercial fashion? And why would any business risk it’s staff coming within 5 miles of mentalist equivalents over at Le Gripe, for example?

    Roll on the weekend; suspect Manure’s season has just taken a turn for the worst …

  14. GTBAG

    The Rich List is a better indicator as it takes into account the balance sheets. However, this list is useful for comparing the revenues, which is exactly what is says it does. I believe that Uefa will ignore things like property development as well so ahead of the new regulations, it is a good starting point.


  15. Kenyan – I really don’t think Wilshere is like any of those players to be honest. Hacks always seem to attempt to pigeon hole a player. If anything the player who I think he resembles the most is our very own Nasri (before this season anyway). Carries the ball well, but a good burst of acceleration, good vision, good tenacity, great passing ability. And most importantly, seems able to dictate the pace of the game.

  16. The fact that Pravda has not released anything on Djourou comes as no surprise. They will be toasting the news that their revenue stream is the 5th highest in the world and planning their next purchases of super-yachts, villas on the french riveria, and choice of private school for their offspring – Eton or Winchester.

    Meanwhile us working class fans face the terrifying prospect of Denilson and Diaby V Barcelona and the rest of the love children on the bench – Coco, Squid Boy and Eboue the clown. Not since the charge of the light brigade will there be such a one sided contest. Our season is already over. Everybody knows that. We will be slaughtered in the nou camp, annihilated. But nothing will be done. Wenger will sign a french unknown from Burkina Faso who will be shipped to Uzbekistan on loan.

  17. Wilshere is Paul Scoles with the ability to tackle.

  18. good post YW – I hope that IG will carry on the good work and not sell the naming rights. It would be good to re-negotiate for the period of time that’s left, however. And if we win a trophy or two, perhaps that will give us more leverage to get more money out of Emirates.

    Good observations on the match last night, consolsbob – the second half was more “old school” England, I thought, though I confess I didn’t watch much longer after Walcott was substituted.

  19. Andrew – I think it is hard to judge. Ramsey was already playing in the 1st team and pushing to be a starter. Jack was on loan, but realistically would not have even made the match day squad despite his talent. Luck can have a huge part to play for a player breaking, and this season Jack got his.

    But for injuries he would not have started the season in the team, and if Diaby had remained fit he may have not got a look in at all. He is the perfect story for players in the reserves though. He was given an opportunity, and he has taken it with both hands. He is now 1st choice, and even if Diaby is fit it is 50/50 for who maes the 3rd midfielder with Song and Cesc.

    As it is, when Ramsey returns we really do have an exceptional pool on central midfielders to pick from.

  20. carry on the good work of connecting with the fans, I mean

  21. For one so young, the illustriousness of Bale’s cinematic work is quiet astonishing.

    I’ve read somewhere that Christian claims Gareth was his mentor, and who can blame him. From cameo roles in Trading Places to the masterpiece that was Gorrillas in the Mist, there can be no denying the talent of the shaving simian.

    I for one look forward to see him grace the big screen once more

  22. Love “The Home of Football”!!! Certainly no more sick-inducing than “The Theatre of Dreams”, “Stadium of Light” etc, and would have the added advantage of winding up absolutely everyone who ever played against us there! Appropriate for the style of football we play, a real statement about our noble ambitions Genius really.

    Just need to find a construction giant (that’s not already committed) to stump up the dosh eg: “The Arsenal McAlpine Stadium: The Home of Football”.

    Dream on I guess!

  23. I know this has kind of been an obsession over the last few days, but as Pleat (spits on ground) says, there’s no point in playing Wilshere deep if you’re going to have two wingers.

    I don’t know what Capello was thinking bringing Makelele’s name up – there’s no comparison to be made there. Pirlo is more along the right lines, and he’s always been offered far more protection in Milan’s lineup (as far as I’m aware), with two midfielders in front of him. Gattuso and Seedorf usually.

    Let’s just forget Defensive Midfielder altogether because it conjures the wrong image; think deep-lying architect – recovering the ball, beginning moves and then joining them if needed.

    Makelele only did the first part, except he did it better than almost anyone.

  24. Els – That is a good article.

  25. You just get better Muppet.

    Your post last evening was possibly your best ever.

    Bloody brilliant.

  26. I know I’m not good at football speak, but when David Pleat’s come closest to getting it you know there’s something wrong.

  27. OoU – Yeah, I agree with that. I actually think that role would suit Cesc in the longer term as well.

  28. dupsffokcuf | February 9, 2011 at 5:11 pm | recommended a look at:

    While Darren Lewis is fair and balanced about the history of violence suffered by Arsenal players and the maligning of Wenger for daring to protest, the true significance is the responses of the readers. With a few exceptions, the comments showed that the majority of fans have a neanderthal attitudes to football. In short most responded that those frenchified dandys want to make football a non-contact sport.

  29. Ouagadougou!!

  30. Els, Dups
    i agree it was a refreshing change to see an article especially in the mirror going against the accepted wisdom that footballer who do not know how to “ride a tackle” are a bunch od soft crying babies. I mean what does that mean learn how to ride the tackle (taken in the comments at the end of the article)?!
    The FIFA ruling on this is clear (I’ve posted the link a few days back) a tackle whether it comes from the back, side or front and the player gets to the ball, is deemed dangerous play if it is done without control and exessive force. Why can’t the FA and English referees just follow the rule instead of taking the risk of seriously injuring and putting a player’s career in jeopardy just for the protection of ill-named English grit. I mean the Germans are not known for being softies but they still acts within the rules and there are much less career threatening tackles in the bundesliga.

    Regarding the naming rights, It would be stupid to give the naming rights to the highest bidder every 10 years. I would prefer, if there is the need to get revenue from it, that the contract is renegociated with Emirates rather than the stadium being called Emirates then Tesco and so on.
    As for a name apart from Ashburton Grove or Highbury (I am not too keen on the New highbury) a tribute to Chapman or Graham could be a good idea.

    Regarding Djourou, I would prefer him to be rested against wolves as IMO his partnership with Koscielny could be vital in our quest to beat Barca.

  31. Nobody wants a non contact sport; but some of the challenges our players have suffered over the past few season have been plain reckless. The ones that jump to mind are the ones that have resuted in the horrific breaks (Diaby/Eduardo/Ramsey), but there have been plenty more where we have got lucky.

    One that stick in my mind is Terry’s on Cesc a few seasons ago; Cesc had fell and the ball was beneath him. The ref normally blows up in that situation, and I think he probbaly had. Terry came steaming in and jumped in 2 footed. Nothing was made of it whatsoever, but it was a chellenge with no other intention but to hurt our player. If he had wanted to win the ball he would have simply kicked it from under him.

  32. Good people,

    If a fool should step to you and question you thus:
    “would you prefer to lose to Wolves if it meant you would beat Barcelona?”

    Thou must compose oneself and strike at the swine with a pimp hand most vicious, and thus with a righteousness gleaming from the depth of your very soul say to him, “Bitch, we’re gonna beat them both just like I beat you.”

  33. Goonerandy – yes, agree with you. It IS hard to judge isn’t it?! As you say, when fully returned, Ramsey will complement a midfield chock-full of talent – I’m now genuinely struggling to think of another EPL side with similar depth in that area. Add in the returning Vermaelen to the outstanding JD just in front of the Division’s most promising young goalkeeper and that is some side; maybe just an Henry-grade striker short of our strongest side in, say, five years …

  34. Yep, I’m pretty sure that’s what Barcelona would have wanted Cesc to do had they signed him, GA.

  35. I actually think a possibility for our most effective midfield would be Song/Cesc sitting deep, with Nasri just ahead of them.

  36. What’s in a name? Emirates is ambivalent, fine, whatever, and really the stadium should just be called “The Arsenal Stadium” or better still, officially “The Arsenal HOF”. Ashburton Grove is about geography, then so is the name “Arsenal”. I’m surprised the board didn’t insist to be honest, it would have been easy to ‘brand’ a stadium “The Arsenal & Emirates”, so there is continuity with the first bit.

  37. Did anyone see the red card offence in the Brazil/France game? Magnificent! And well done to the ref! Howard Webb hope you took notes sinc you’ve let two of those slide

  38. gunnerluc, goonerandy, shotta as you say the comments below that were the absolute proof that Darren Lewis needed to make his point. Bunch of fucks.

    Regarding the Stadium name, I also was under the understanding that the name wouldn’t till 2010 or summit. That said I like the idea of a nod to an Arsenal Legend. What about the ‘Bastin Basin’ or ‘Bergkamp Bowl’, ‘House of Helder’…

    A few good ones there I think.

  39. ‘Le Stade D’Arsenal’ would be nice.

    Wind a few people who it is a joy to wind up up.

  40. Who posed the Wilshire v Rocky question?

    Good one that. I think I’d say Ramsey is more decisive and could possibly a scorer of more goals. But Wilshire has had more of an impact on first team football to date. In my opinion. I think out of the 2 of them Wilshire has more potential. But I can’t think of anybody better than Ramsey other then Wilshire either. Potentially those 2 are future footballing gods. I would love to see a long term partnership and understanding grow between them.

  41. Yeah that’s good Frank ‘Le Stade D’Arsenal’

    Real classy.

  42. One game at a time Gadget!

    Oh what the hell, Barcelona has such an imposing record this year it seems, better than last I suspect, that they are the overhwelming favourites for everyone except … well … us. But how far apart are the two teams? That’s an interesting ‘before and after’ debate, because the results (either way) will not automatically reflect that, nor is the relative position in respective leagues any accurate measure.

    Last time round, they did not meet with RvP, Wilshere, Kos, Schez while Cesc played with a serious injury, Arsh too if I recall. A big question is whether Nasri. If Arsenal goes in with players fit, Song and Nasri back, Djourou OK, Arsh and Theo fighting for a remaining spot, it should be tight.

  43. People who claim that football is a ‘contact’ sport are being disingenuous. It is not a contact sport in any true sense. Contact is incidental in football and always has been.

  44. Yes we played Barcelona in one game with AA as our centre forward.

  45. In fact contact is as muddy a concept as offside. The rules are ill thought out and badly applied which is a surpise when one considers the longevity of the game. Who the hell is in charge of this fiasco. Ah. I see. There you have it then.

  46. The business about contact sport versus and all that crap is such crap. There is a world of difference between malice and mistake, an ocean between intent to injure and intent to take the ball. Nobody ever said football should be without resolute tackling. It is a certain type of player and style of football that quite simply cheats, over and over. They do this because the refs are complicit, and oh, something about a tradition.

  47. Good point there Frank; the better the footballer, the less contact he needs to make.

  48. I want the old MUPPET back!

  49. Do we not think Jack will become a more attacking player (Bergkamp or Brady), rather than a deep lying midfielder? Wenger always plays players in various roles to increase their education about the game (Ajax work the same way), eg Anelka started wide right, Nasri played Jacks role last season for a while, Diaby wide left and the ongoing Bendtner experiment.

    Gunnerluc: To ride a tackle you must be heading away from the tackler (negating it as a solution for the tackles discussed), the idea is to keep the ball just out of reach or minimise the purchase the tackler can get by using your legs as a mobile (not rigid) flexible shield while stepping awy from the tackler – I Think its an instictive thing rather than something that can be coached (or as proved here explained!) Vieira and Brady cruising through the midfield are the 2 best examples I can think of

  50. Honoring Arsenal legends? Le Stade d’Arsène.

  51. What about simply ‘Arsène’s Gaff’

  52. how about Perry`s Grove?

  53. darn you long black cloud. That wins.

    Or ‘Vivas’s Villa’?

  54. I like “Home of Football”

  55. I don’t know why people want to compare Wilshere to other players, He said he doesn’t want to be compared to anyone. I think comparison hinders the players progress. Not long ago Nasri was called the New Zidane know they can see he is a different player so the tag has gone. Wilshere need to concentrate on his game and develope naturally. He is not a mekelele nor a|Brady he is Wilshere a complete midfielder loves to tackle hard go forward and go past players.He should have a free role to be himself. Wenger allows him that opportunity Capello doesn’t.

  56. Little Jack reminds me of a hybrid between Dejan Savicevic and Esteban Cambiasso.

    Shotta, the best response that I read following that article was the one where one guy said that real contact sports like MMA or boxing have rules against unfair tactics.

  57. “….14 of the 20 Premier League clubs made a loss according to their most recent accounts.”

    This is disturbing.

  58. Good to be a GOONAH!!

    no… the Deloitte list ONLY compares FOOTBALL revenues… not overall revenues.

  59. What the hell happened to arsenalkabisa? He hasn’t logged in for months!

  60. durodola emmanuel

    djoure coming back will be good 4 arsenal

  61. Who is the old MUPPET Firstlady ? (confused !)

  62. I agree with 1lc

  63. Oh you know full well, Moopay, you scallywag. Get on there you young whippersnapper.

  64. Why don’t we rename the stadium after the person who made it possible?? I would love if the stadium is renamed after Arsene Wenger when the current naming rights contracts gets expired. That will mostly coincide with Arsene retiring..

    I like FinnGun’s suggestion “Le Stade d’Arsène”..

  65. The one whose sarcasm didnt go too far what with too much of anything being poisonous.

    Kenyan maybe he got bored with ACFL.:)

  66. What I’ve missed seeing most this season is Thomas Vermaelen headering the ball. While Djourou’s leaps tend to be standardly salmon-esque the Verminator’s more like a Harrier Jump Jet, he just rises vertically then waits until the ball arrives before descending gracefully back to earth. Will a defensive pairing of those two ever lose a header?

  67. Indian and get all the doomsters commit suicide? Not gonna happen, i can imagine the vitriol at le grove if that were to happen

  68. What about simply ‘stade de france’?

    They would fucking love that.

  69. Being into mythologies the name Valhalla Stadium has an epic feel to it.

    “Wife”, Old Man Gadget boomed. “My beautiful Valkyrie warrior, the conquerer of my heart and the bearer of my seed.” His mighty palms came to rest upon the brows of both his son and daughter, tussling their hair as they did so. “The children and I are off to Valhalla. To watch men and gods do battle. There we shall sing the songs of legend and roar our voices hoarse. And thereafter we shall feast upon wild boars and wash it all down with goblets of mead.
    “It will be a good day!”

  70. You got tattoos, Gadget?

  71. Firstlady,
    I don’t mind the d**mers commiting suicide.. I hate Le Moan and other such websites.. Moreover, by the time this happens, the D&M group will come to understand (I hope so) what Arsene has done and will finally give him the recognition and respect He deserves..

  72. Only two at the mo Frank, but I’m getting wings put on my ankles/calves a la Hermes, and actually designing a winged valkryie or angel (not decided which yet) to go on my back

  73. That’s pretty much how I feel about going to The Arsenal Stadium now, Gadget.

    Incidentally I reckon it should just be called; ‘The Arsenal’, when it’s renamed. Although The House that Arsene Built and the similar are pretty good too.

    Can’t wait for it to have a proper name. Feel much more strongly about us having that than not spending money on Gary Cahill.

  74. On a different note, people who read the refree preview/review on Untold Arsenal, the two writers(Walter and DogFace) get mentioned in the BBC’s article “Referees in the spotlight” ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/9379989.stm ). Pretty good read with special mention to the cards and penalties given at Old Trafford..

    Hope the standard improves after this..

  75. And deservedly so! Congrats to them.

  76. Consolsbob – Your comment about Peter Green yesterday reminded me how good he was. One of my favs

  77. @CB, Great track from Peter Green (posted before but disappeared into the ether)

  78. I concur. Congrats to Walter and Dogface (hahahahahahahahahahahaha! I couldn’t help but laugh everytime I read his name in that article!)

    Kudos to the Beeb and John Sinnott

  79. Well well well.

    Maybe the BBC has got one or two decent folk in it….maybe.

  80. I’ll try again – My fav Peter Green track

  81. mark paul hooker

    i lived in islington for the 1st 35 years of my life and ashburton meant nothing to me. i never said i was going to highbury either.
    always said i was going over the arsenal,still do . and please no home of football
    class does,nt brag it has a voice of its own.
    leave silly names for the theatre of poor refereing or maybe they want to rename it home of the 75percent invincibles.
    djourou is close to surpassing them… 26 league games since he was on a losing side

  82. Frank,
    Maybe BBC wants to get back at Old Red Nose..

  83. CB my fav Peter Green track

  84. CB – I like White Sky by Peter Green

  85. consolsbob

    In fact, not for the first time, JW’s disciplined performance last night reminded me of a certain much-maligned Brazilian. Did you think so?

  86. ‘The Arsenal’ it is. No more chit chat. Anyone going down the Arsenal this weekend then? I’m afraid I can’t. Apart from the kiddiwinkle to entertain, the usual chores (cooking), and a thrilling band at the club on saturday (SukiAfrica, Japanese-African collaboration), it’s a 10-hour flight, followed by immigraton, customs and a 90-minute train and I’m just not sure.

  87. ‘Gadget the Viking’. Hell man, franchise it now. You could make that into some surreal comedy.

  88. I am going up the Arsenal on Saturday

  89. Up or down
    The Arsenal is
    the greatest show in town!

  90. Emirates has stadium naming rights until 2020. It says in the report you linked!

  91. Good taste dups.

  92. I’m glad you mentioned that Fun because it is exactly what I thought.

    With all the other comparisons going around, that looks a good shout.

  93. Was just reading up on yesterday’s post as I HAD TO WORK A DOUBLE AARRGHH!! and did not have access to the inter-webby-thingy. Had to laugh at the suggestion that just because some of you boys and girls are English/not-American therefore you do not understand or get the Blues!!! All this started because an Irish Blues guitarist died, I really hope the irony is appreciated. Gary Moore, one of the great Trifecta of Irish Blues (couldn’t resist :)) may you rest in peace, you will be missed!! But at least Rory will have someone to jam with 🙂

    Did not see the England game so can’t really comment on it, unlike someone, but I love the write up on BBC where they say it was a comfortable 2-1 win. As an Arsenal fan I have to admit I have no recollection of ever having witnessed a “comfortable” 2-1 win!!!

    Why does Maria not post as often as she used too? Is it because Carlos Vela, with whom she is completely besotted, has gone out on loan? I bet if I criticize him she will post ASAP 🙂 but I won’t cos he is awesome 🙂

    Gadget – “Bitch, we’re gonna beat them both just like I beat you!” BRAVO!!!

  94. Vela’s a great little footballer. I can’t wait to have him back next season. West Brom is the perfect loan move for him. Just hope whoever is in charge there for the rest of the season keeps giving him chances. Who is in charge there, do we know? He’s gone straight in my fantasy football team. Now I can have four Arsenal players! Whoop!

  95. Limpar – Fully agree on Vela being a great player. As far as WBA’s managerial situation, from what I hear Chris Hughton is going to be their next manager. Let’s hope they treat him better than Newcastle.

  96. Thanks for the Vid Limpar. Yes, he is a great little player, he just needs playing time.

  97. Dups – That can’t be the Spuds as there are fans in the stands!!!

  98. I found this a little funny from the BBC Article

    “Teams that visit Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge would normally come as underdogs and adopt a defensive strategy and would statistically commit more fouls,” said Forrest.

    Not sure about that at all, if anything that would work for Arsenal.

    United are simply treated differently that the rest

  99. I always just say “I’m going to The Arsenal” too. No need to change anything when we moved.

  100. dups great site thanks for this…


  101. that’s what I intend on doing myself matey. 🙂

  102. On the subject of stadium names, I can only say that as a NY Yankee fan here in NY you really do appreciate the fact that the stadium is and always will be called Yankee Stadium. I believe the vast majority if not all MLB stadiums are sponsored, it does not have the same emotional attachment to the team and it’s fans.

    In saying that, it did at the time, make very astute business to sell the naming rights for the stadium but if Emirates do not wish to continue then I for one would be quite happy to sacrifice( at least on a trial basis) the income brought by such an action and simply have the stadium be known to one and all as “Irishgray’s Fortress of Pain!!”……OK maybe not, maybe just The Arsenal 🙂

  103. Yeah, thanks for that dups. I’ve been using that this afternoon. None of the annoying advertising you get on spotify.

  104. sensible article

  105. I read that earlier Paul, she makes some very good points about ‘fair’ play.

  106. Yeh Dups, she did a great job. I dont see how one can argue with what she said.

    Its amazing how the rules are so skewed by the people who are supposed to know the most!

    So If Diaby’s leg wouldve snapped in half, it wouldve been a fair tackle because he got the ball.

    These people are sick, sick I tell you!

  107. dups, thanks for that music site, I am getting my praise on as I type.

    Its great!!!

  108. What happened to ACLF? I went away two days and you guys formed the All Arsenal Global Music Appreciation Society!

  109. Need our music fix Ole,

  110. Good on “dogface” and Walter. In the case of “dogface” his statistical analysis is unerring in showing up referee bias. For example, his forecast of Dowd’s performance at Newcastle was deadly accurate. We should never take their work for granted. Most Arsenal bloggers are scared to take on the the anti-Arsenal bias of many referees; scared to be called whingers and hoping they will get a pat on the back for not believing in conspiracy theories etc. Easier for them to criticize the players as being mentally weak and lacking grit etc.
    Proof positive that most of these bloggers are just a bunch of lily-livered supporters.

  111. The Deloittes Money League is a good read, I suspect Swiss Ramble will digest the stuff for the upcoming year. It´s proof of how much money that flows through the Premiership.

    Arsenal have a great matchdayincome but we have to do something more of our commercial potential. Let´s go for the a top 4 spot.

  112. good post
    re jack…i think arsenal will benefit massively on all fronts if the boy becomes part of the fixtures and fittings of the england team…theo too…
    re the sponsorships..we got a poor deal…very poor…but stadiums dont build themselves and are not donated…we needed every bit of cash we could grab..its a shame we didnt be a bit more patient like we were prepared to do with the team, and it seems we took the first deal offered..i believe edelman had a huge part to play in this and i beleive its one of the reasons he was ‘let go’…but to say we dont make as much as we should sponsership wise..we do ok for cash…i think we are 5th richest club in the world..second richest team in england..and once the tours of the usa start that could rocket us up even further..although ppl with good financial knowledge would argue maybe a tour of asia would be more profitable…
    re the stadium naming…a big no no to the home of football..thats our pet name..much like utds theatre of dreams..thof is the name that must come after the real name..
    personally, i like ashburton grove..many of us like calling it the grove already…Ashburton Grove..The home of football…

  113. http://www.lequipe.fr/Football/breves2011/20110210_174639_diaby-attire-par-l-espagne.html

    now it`s diaby`s turn,he wants to play in la liga for barca or madrid.

  114. Check these out

  115. i like diaby as a squad player…but hes another one of those players who we dont miss when hes injured.. jack and song have that role tied down now, diabys just a back up….
    if he stays then good cos hes a good back up but if he goes the team wont suffer..not the same way if we lost song for example
    and with the likes of rambo, frimpong, lansbury, coquelin coming though weve got plenty of numbers to replace him..wouldnt be a huge loss

  116. I would say your logic is flawed Jon. Diaby wouldn’t be missed not simply because Jack and Song are good players, but it would be because of the richness in the quality of the other players we have who can play that role.

    In fact, there are games where Diaby would be preferable to Jack, as there are games where I’d start Denilson.

    Personally, I hope Diaby runs just so he can launch my cunning plan! Lord Arsene, if you are indeed enacting my plan, give me a job!!! I’m the equivalent of Blackadder and Baldric’s bastard child: loyal, infinately cunning, only more hygienic

  117. Diaby would be a massive loss, guy is immense talent.

    I only hope (if he plays) that he does better against Barca than he did last year. Dude was like a deer in headlights.

  118. Irishgray,

    love the Yankees reference. As a Yankees fan myself, I take a certain pride in that too. You could also argue for Wrigley Field, even though its for Wrigley gum, just bc its been that way for so long. Candlestick Park was another great stadium name, 49ers still play there. But yea other than that I can’t think of a single MLB team with non-sponsored stadium.

    Do you ever meet up with the official Arsenal NYC supporters club?

  119. Also Gadget,

    Read that Valhalla comment earlier in the day.. marvelous. absolutely marvelous. “To watch men and gods” priceless hahahah.

    There was a map in the video game HALO called Valhalla. Definitely a certain epicness to it

  120. my logic isnt really that flawed though gadget
    abou’s only made 8 starts this season in the league
    denilson only 4
    jack has 19 and song 22..
    and were 2nd in the league,
    the jack/song axis is the best weve had for a long long time..
    i must admit i would be sad to see him go as he is a good player and of the two id rather see denilson go..abou’s more all rounder, whereas denilson one trick..

  121. love the blackadder reference..
    one of my many comic idols..

  122. thats one of diabys biggest weaknesses paul
    hes probably one of the most skillful with the ball at is feet in the squad, as well as physical..but the mental aspect of his game is not there and never has been..
    if he had something between his ears he would be better than vieira, but hes one of those players that if the balls not at his feet he doesnt really want to know
    im hoping the sending off sees a changed man..a more determined man…

    then we’ll see a world class player…

  123. I completely disagree regarding Diaby. I think his decision making and football IQ is actually quite high. I think his issue is an issue of confidence and needing to get a consistent run of games, not “lacking a footballing brain” as the pundits like to say.

    I think we could definitely go on and do fine without him, but he has the potential to be an unstoppable force in midfield.

  124. NJGooner – Have to agree re: Wrigley Field and Candlestick Park, but really they are the only exceptions. As for the Arsenal NYC supporters club, I have to say not officially but I have watched a game or two at The Blind Pig on 14st, which I believe is their base. Must look into that. I usually watch the games either at home if I can’t watch it live and have to record it or at my local with some friends. Are you involved personally? And if so would you recommend it?

  125. vince
    defo agree he can be unstoppable when he wants..
    i dont think its his decision making that lets him down i think its his awareness of whats around him.. he has a regular tendancy of holding on to the ball too long, and a tendancy to try and dribble around everyone..
    also needs to work on his workrate..hes not box to box and sometimes it appears like he lacks stamina, which he doesnt, he just seems to lack interest in defensive duties…

  126. I agree with Vice.

    Diaby was having a good game in the Camp Gnu till he lost Messi for BBB’s second. And then, poor form for a few games.
    A ‘confidence’ player if there ever was one. Doesn’t help that the cheatin’ Arsenal holes keep on trying to ‘break his legs’.
    He started the season with what some might describe as ‘consistancy’ till the Bolton Home game (yes, AFC consistently get the Away ‘advantage’ at Home…).

    Gadget’s decription of the choices for the 2nd D**Mish position is simple, and true. What a squad!

  127. Let’s just hope he can get a run of fitness and maybe he can turn into an influential player in the attempted quadruple…Diaby is one I am always pulling for!

  128. Add Frimpong to the mix, and you’re laughin’.

  129. Karim

    Diaby was asked a specific question, more or less, “Are you happy at Arsenal? Are you attracted the Spanish championship, for example?”. To which he gave an honest reply that playing for Madrid or Barcelona would be attractive for any top player. It is not a case of he wants to go, it’s a desire to play in the best leagues in the world.


  130. …Coquelin I thought was ahead of Frimpong, till we saw Wilshere’s sparring partner in pre-season.

  131. anyway i dont think its true..i think he may have said that barca and real are good teams and somewhere along the lines his words have been twisted..
    i think he’ll still be an arsenal player next year..
    i dont think denilson will be though, weve got too many good prospects coming through and they cant all go out on loan forever..someones got to make way…especially with rambo coming back…and i dont think it will be song jack or diaby..
    i maybe wrong, but i think next year we will see song, jack, diaby, rambo and frimpong vying for that midfeild axis..lansburys in with a shout too…
    AW has plenty of riches, the squad is becoming too big, especially in that position… summers going to be interesting….

  132. agreed YW..

  133. I agree that someone has to go this summer. It is just purely a matter of mathematics at this point…simply not enough places in the squad. If Wenger makes his decision on potential upside I do see Denilson being the one to be let go. But, if he looks to go with the more consistent squad player Diaby may be on his way to a less physical league where he can become the player he should be…

    It will all be interesting…we just need to enjoy this season right now…I am glad I am not the one that has to make those decisions.

  134. But Coquelin is playing regularly on loan, while Frimpong has had a year out injured, so the order may have been reversed Finsbury. Football is often about small bits of good fortune allowing you to be in the right place at the right time, like Wilshere and Szczesny benefitting from the injuries to Ramsey and Fabianski respectively.

  135. To be truthful, I havent noticed Diaby hogging the ball of late. He has done a great jobof knowing when to let the ball go.

    He is quite possible the Arsenal player with the greatest upside. His size, speed, strength, skill and athleticism make him a player that would be almost impossible to contain.

  136. so true..
    AW’s philosophy has worked so well that we are now in a situation where the 1st team is only 3-4 years older than the reserves… 😉
    its a fantastic position to be in…

  137. viceologist | February 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm |

    I have no idea why you would think that. Lets wait and see what happens rather than rushing our players out the door prematurely.

  138. i think AW sees le coq as a rb..
    if eboue leaves then coq could be an understudy to bac…

  139. Passenal…

    my thinking is really just based on the new squad size limitations and the fact that numerically it seems impossible to keep them together…I am no football manager however, so I could definitely be way off base.

  140. viceologist
    But remember we can have unlimited home-grown under-21s. So some of the younger players coming into the squad will not increase its official size. Mind you, it WILL increase competition massively.

  141. we cant keep them all…with the ages of all the players being so close we will be on the verge of having a 40+man squad, real, real soon…
    weve got 16 players already on loan…
    it would be great to think we can keep them all, but the wage structure we have simply will not allow it….as well as killing players careers..which AW will not allow any player to ‘rot’
    and i think everyone wants those young guns to be given a go…i dont think anyones rushing our players out of the door but logic suggests someones got to make way…
    and seeing as though the first team is about to win the pl i dont think it will be any of them AW lets go…

  142. Good points, JonJon, but there will be natural wastage – some loanees won’t make that final step. Others may opt to leave, like Merida did. One or two of our older players may decide to move on, as Eduardo did. It usually works out all by itself.

    And please don’t jinx us by saying we are about to win the PL. Very, very naughty.

  143. This time last season I remember hearing some echoes about ‘letting Walcott go’.

  144. of course fungunner
    not all will make it AW will have an idea i suppose but a select few will and they need the game time…probably in the domestics with a few of the big boys, integrate them slowly
    and i think a few of our older players maybe moved on, rosicky, maybe arshavin too…

  145. until this year i didnt think theo was going to make it but hes found his game this year..
    stays clear of the flanks, makes the freddie runs inside, leaves the flank to bac…
    i still dont like it when eboue and theo play together cos eboue runs inside to much, he doesnt stick to the flank like bac does and he takes theos room..theo finds himself out on the flank when eboue does that and hes not suited there…

  146. Well whoever goes it will be win- win for us. AW will not sell any player that is beneficial to the squad. And any player he sells will fetch good prices as they are all really good players. So we will earn money and make room for new up and coming kids from our own ranks.
    Whoever gets sold, i know AW has a new ace up his sleeve. I think Cesc stays for one or two more seasons before he is allowed to go, unless Real pays silly money.

  147. I dont want any of our squad to leave but my guess would be Denilson and Eboue,, perhaps Bentner,, But like I say Id rather we kept them all, imagine if we could enter a B team into the Prem League !

  148. people that has not managed to see Theos potential until this year?? gee whats the matter with yous? You actually thought he had “no footballers brain”? i must say i really doubt the judgment of people that did not think Theo would make the grades. even now hes the youngest regular England player and has been for the last 4 years(well maybe Jack will be now).

    Its good we got a manager that can see the difference in players and that Arsenal is not ran by fans. If it was wed sell players like Theo and buy players like Carroll for 35M.

  149. And Bendtner is just cracking me up, does he not realize the entire wolrd is laughing at his ” im the best striker in the world” quotes. And the ” i deserve a starting place at arsenal”. Hope he does not leave, what are we to laugh at if he does? Pluss last but not least hes not that bad a player at all, just a bit bigheaded. I like him.

  150. Passenal,

    Fabianski’s was unlucky.
    Arsenal started the season with three good ‘keepers, that can’t have been an accident.!
    I’m not sure a club that seems to be building up a squad, as at Arsenal, would have plans to let many ‘go’.

  151. poodle
    i actually thought he didnt fit the system..
    not in a 442 or a 433 cos he cant lead the line and he cant play the flanks
    but in the system AW has created he doesnt do either..bac works the flanks and rvp leads the line.
    theo now plays as a second striker and its working cos his games about finishing and speed…hes feeding off the passes where as before he was trying to make them..
    and cesc aint going anywhere…

  152. finsbury
    i understand your point..but AW has gone on record in january saying we had too many players..and then we have the little fact we have basically an entire team plus subs out on loan…
    there are always plans to let ppl go…its part of the natural revolving door at arsenal..

  153. jo
    i think eboues staying..
    rosicky and AA may leave and AW will bring vela back and sign hazard
    dont think anyone including the manager wants nikki to leave but he could talk his way out.if he does jet may get his role or AW could go after chamberlain again
    can see denilson being moved on and rambo given his place back, with frimpong and lansbury promoted and fighting it out
    i think almunias days are numbered, keepers are sorted, ches and fab are doing nicely and the don will come back as third choice..
    and if squilacci doesnt adapt i can see someone like sakho brought in with bartley promoted also…

  154. Stoke Twice.
    FA Cup.
    CC final.
    Title run in.
    FB BBB.

    Nope. Squad isn’t big enough yet. Need more D**Mers.
    Onetwothreefourfivesix possible D**Mers in the current team, including Frimpong, I think (I lost count).

    It’s not enough.

  155. whats a d**mer??

  156. i know what a doomer is, thats one of those mythical creatures but i dont understand how that applies to the team…

  157. Jon Jon,,

    I dont want any of those players to leave but I have a feeling Eboue and Bentner may want more regular first team football, . After all the patience Wenger has shown with Rosicky I think he will be with us for at least another season,, Just my thoughts,, I am usually way of the mark however.
    Id love us to Sign Hazzard,, he does look good but I fear by the time we can make a move for him he may be out of our price range.

  158. I always find the “football brain”/ “football intelligence” thing as discussed by a majority of people to be quite, quite dumb TBH. And the vagueness with which it is discussed is something I have to confess to finding troubling… intelligence is something that is quite difficult to measure at the best of times and the way it applies to football is far from clear…. is the most intelligent player the same as the best player? Or is it a different thing and if it is different what is it exactly?

    The way I see it is that every player has a set of skills and those sets of skills are never really the same from player to player… the only intelligent thing for any footballer to do, therefore, is to maximise their strengths and diminish their weaknesses, that’s the only thing that constitutes intelligence as far as I can see.. I fail to see how it can be intelligent of Walcott to try to do what Cesc does or for Cesc to try to be Walcott. Yet one is considered intelligent and the other not. Why?
    The most intelligent footballer is effectively the one that makes the most of his or her gifts not the one that can ping a ball across a pitch and land it on his team-mate’s instep…. so the most “intelligent footballer” may not even be in the premier league if we are thinking logically!

    The idea that Diaby isn’t intelligent or an intelligent footballer is one of those Arsenal fan” nonsenses” that is repeated so often that a certain type of fan accepts it as true… ask for an actual example of Diaby’s stupidity and you often get a load of waffle. The same thing used to be said about Song… and Eboue. One guy actually told me not so long ago, on a forum that shall remain nameless, that he’d be reluctant to play Song against Barca because… get this… “he is a slow thinker”. When I asked for the evidence of Song’s slowness in thinking I got nothing. It’s like the idea that Wenger can’t organise a defence or that he never bought a decent Keeper (Lehman actually displaced Oliver Kahn as Germany’s number one when he was with us but never mind) or that Wenger is tactically naive, Or that he makes bad substitutions… All these are ideas that some people take as gospel when the facts are often rather at odds with the mythology. In fact some people would start a statement with something like … “Wenger is really hopeless at organising a defence…” and they are startled when the idea is even questioned. So it is with Diaby’s supposed football stupidity.

    Personally I think that there’s something not-quite -right with this ‘football intelligence’ thingy. May be it’s because it reminds me so much of the American Football quarter back thingy. For a very long time certain types of players where basically denied the opportunity to play quarterback because they were considered not intelligent enough to lead the offence… I say this because quite often the kind of player singled out as lacking intelligence is often not dissimilar to the players singled out as unfit to be quarterbacks. The Quarteback myth is more or less dead now.. football intelligence myth lives on due to idiots like Hansen… which says it all really, in football Hansen picks it who’s intelligent and who’s not. My question is … how would Mr. Hansen know?

  159. ah i understand now..
    a DM??
    no we dont need one of them either..a dm is outdated..
    wont work in many teams nowadays, defo wont wont in this arsenal team..
    we dont use a dm,songs not even a dm
    what we do have is a central midfield axis..or a pivot if you like
    the way our system works with everyone bombing forward we need two central midfielders who can get forward and attack as well as get back and protect… just making the engine room tick nicely bascially..strong box to box cm’s
    we havent had a dm since gilberto really, and i thought he was overated tbh, we looked better with the edu/vieira partnership, both players were box to box…
    AW tends to like midfielders who can do both roles, and i agree, im not a fan of ‘you do this and il do that’ type of player…its the reason im not a fan of denilson, he seems to have one role and its not enough…
    the song/jack axis is fucking amazing..both players can fight, hustle, and play ball..it works..its working better than the flamini/cesc axis in 08 and its got the potential to be better than vieira/edu
    its an important role in our team..rambo can do it, so can diaby when he wants and frimpong was looking the biz in pres season…would like to give lans a chance too
    jack and song for the pl and cl..with diaby and rambo as the backup and frimpong and lans rotated in the domestics…more than enough…

  160. i think a deals been done for hazzard already jo
    wenger made some interesting comments a while back..not like him at all..
    eboues happy to just mess about on the touchline, he loves the club he gets his fair share of games i dont think he’ll be looking for a way out
    nikkis ego could find him a way out however..

  161. Spot on as usual Joshua. In terms of intelligence per se, Diaby is actually one of the most intelligent in the Arsenal team. He reads books and is interested in politics, he does not spend his free time playing on the play station. Whether that correlates with this mythical ‘football intelligence’ or not is another matter. But Arsene does not do stupid players. He likes his players to be intelligent, so if he selects a player as good enough for Arsenal, I suspect their ‘football intelligence’ outweighs that of the intellectual giants of the plunditocracy who are so quick to label others!

  162. NB Joshua, it’s noticeable to me that a certain ‘type’ of player is considered to lack intelligence or to be slow of thought and I’ll leave it at that. People who know, will know exactly what I’m talking about.

  163. Got to say that I really enjoyed Lady Arse’s post countering the simplistic stuff often trotted out about football being a contact sport. I just thoroughly enjoyed the way she put her argument together. It’s funny how far you can drift from the truth if the media is full of either ill-informed or plain dishonest people.
    But even more than that I truly couldn’t believe that the BBC of all the media institutions in this country where talking about Walter, Dogface and Untold Arsenal. When you take Darren Lewis’ article in yesterday’s mirror into account it would seem that some folks are beginning to notice what is going on… I must say that Walter and Dogface make a really good case for the influence and power of bias in that article. All in all it’s been a good day of surreptitiously surfing the web at work.

    Thanks every one and thanks Yogi.

    Good night.

  164. Passenal…

    I hear what you are saying. Peace and have a goodnight or day… where ever you are.

  165. by questioning a footballers mental abilities is no way connected to questioning his iq or staying he is dumb.
    its questioning the players abilities..
    a footballers attributes are normally broke down into three categories
    techincaal, physical, mental
    techinal attributes include shooting, dribbling passing
    physical include strength. power, speed
    mental include leadership, awareness, positioning, motivation, determination
    quaestioning a players mental attributes has no correlation whatsoever with how many gsces he has or how many books he reads…

    diaby lacks the mental side of the game..the awareness, the positoning (especially on the defensive side)
    by saying diaby lacks the mental side isnt saying hes think as pig shit

    footballs different to university,

  166. How does on lacking the mental part of the game look? I suppose the same as walcott.

    If a player is constantly injured his decision making will suffer, as it did when Cesc came back from injury. The game is so fast that its hard to do whats right. With playing regularly things slow down because you are getting the hang of it.

    JonJon, you spoke about self fulfilling prophecies re: Arsenal,in the face of facts, why do it to our players?

  167. dont understand paul??
    do what?? regarding self fulfilling phropecys??
    winning the league 😉

  168. JJ – I must disagree with you about Gilberto, When he was out with a bad back we lost all our balance in midfield. A player at the heart of Brazil’s midfield for a decade is not ‘overrated’.

  169. dups
    thats fine..ppl do disagree with me on that but he was nothing more than an invisible wall..he did one job..ive always said that the invincibles had weak links which is why we never won more than we did..ie the cl
    lauren kolo and gilberto..
    since gilberto wenger has moved away from that type of player…
    the edu/vieira axis was alot better for the fluidity of the side..they both could do both jobs..
    and i seem to remember a while where edu ousted gilberto in the team..it was a shame edu left really..reminded me of the petit/vieira ear
    ever notcied that..??
    wengers best combos for his axis
    all physical, all ball players, left foot/ right foot combo

  170. good player though
    ultimate pro..good to have in the squad..wont debate that..liked him alot..just prefered edu

  171. I think we were a bit daft in letting Edu’s contract run down but he had a major injury after he left which blighted his career.

  172. He must be a free agent now. Last I heard he was at Stratford Ironworks on trial.

  173. pmsl 😉
    yeah,wierd one that…he was doing well…was a shame to let him go earlier than expected..but i suppose with cash being tight with the stadium and all, his demands were too high..
    wengers been burned like that too many times..and now with all the bosmans and websters and such flying about its little wonder wenger gives his players new contracts every two years….
    eats the wage bill like the vultures that surround the players but if they make it they are worth it if they dont we make money out of it..

  174. think he broke his leg in his first season with valencia..

  175. Cannot remember what the injury was (knee I think) but he was out for a year. A bit like Diaby with his injury bad luck.

  176. If Diaby were to get a proper, uninterrupted, injury free run in the first team, people who say he is a confidence player or that he lacks a football brain will have to eat their words. He is almost unplayable when he’s in form. He shields the ball well, he knows how to pass the ball and he has a shot on him. He’s everything the doomers want yet they slate him eventhough he’s been through a never ending injury crisis ever since he got his leg broken four years ago. If he stays healthy from here until the end of the season he can decide the title for us. Fact.

  177. diabys defo had bad luck..id like him to be given a proper go before its even talked about he leaves the club
    shame he was injured during all the domestic cup fixtures recently
    we would have looked stronger with him in the side….

  178. I may be a bit sick but my favourite Diaby moment was when he flattened Terry with a perfect kick to his boat race.

  179. i didnt think it was that bad..i was calling terry all sorts telling him to get up
    then i saw the reply 😉
    and my anger turned to laugther

  180. I think Diaby did to Terry what most have us have wanted to do for years

  181. should have done it to barton as well

  182. How he never kicked Barton up in the air I’ll never know. I would have kicked the cnut all round the park. Good job I am not a pro footballer.

  183. How people can say he should not have reacted (after what went before) is beyond me.

  184. You guys mean this:


  185. said it before but il defend abou all day long for what he did..
    1..bartons a prick and he went in to do him and he deserved more
    2…bartons a prick and abou decked mr toughguy in front of all the cameras and he was terrified
    3…ppl slag us for saying we have no fight..we’ll there it was..right there..

  186. ah good times good stuff irish

  187. Gunna watch Fever Pitch ‘again’. Night all.

  188. anyone seen the scrap diaby had with half the french youth squad when he was gonna rip ben arfas head off

  189. night fella

  190. Yes JonJon, PL champions indeed!! lol

  191. I do believe even our old friend Alan Hansen is actually getting worse at the art of Plunditry. In his write up on BBC Football I. Regards to the Manchester derby he had this to say:

    “Wayne Rooney’s contribution will be crucial for Manchester United as will Carlos Tevez’s for City, while I would also throw Joe Hart into that equation.”

    Oh really? This is what we have been reduced to reading as expert opinion/analysis? What a load of bollocks!!! How this idiot has a job is beyond me, I mean fucking Howard could do a better job.

  192. hansens abiltiy to state the obvious is quite off the scale isnt it..??
    well wayne rooneys contribution for manu has been naff all all season
    giggs has contributed more
    so unless hansen means utd are gonna be shit ( again) i dont see his point
    although i hope tevez rips em to bits..
    a draw would be nice cos shitty are getting close but we do have a game in hand so two losses in a row before the cl would be nice to send utd into free fall at the business end of the season
    weve got nothing to lose v barca…theres no shame in losing to them and we may well pick up the cc in between..
    if utd go out v marsielle ? as well as lose top spot it would be the funniest thing since diaby kicking terrys boat race in..

  193. fergie didnt buy anyone in jan cos he used all his cash to buy a big parachute for old trafford..
    free fall utd

  194. JonJon – What is really annoying is what he does not say. He is the first to jump up and down at every opportunity to say how Arsenal need to sign a CB, he took great joy in saying I told you so when Djourou limped off yet now when Old Red Nose has only one fit CB in Vidic he says nothing!! Old Red Nose reached an agreement not to play him in their friendly for that very reason. We have 3 fit CB’s and yet we still have to listen to the idiot talk his shit. It must be embarrassing for any real reporter to have to share job titles with him, let alone page space!!!

  195. hes one of the reasons i dont watch motd
    im a footy first kinda guy..
    once we win the league it will all change on their part..
    bandwagons and all that

  196. JonJon – He is already trying to cover his ass and book a seat on the bandwagon. For the last two or three weeks he has been saying that we are “real title contenders” The guy is a fucking moron, end of. He was a mediocre player surrounded by better players who made him look better than he was. Any time one of the top 6 teams put in 3 or4 good performances he immediately tips them to win it, only to backtrack as soon as they lose.There is not one of these idiot “professional” plundits who can sit down at the beginning of the season and actually give real reasons as to why they believe such-and-such team will win the league or at least be contenders. Instead they all pretend to do it but once the league starts they jump from bandwagon to bandwagon, it’s the reason their commentary is made up of nothing but old cliches as these can be used to describe whatever team they are trumpeting at that moment. Anyways, rant over, well for now at least, here’s a joke: A few years ago when I was at school, two of my mates were Spurs supporters. They would go to White Hart Lane and wait until about ten minutes after kick off and then climb over the wall. One Saturday a policeman caught them and he made them go back in and watch the rest of the game!

  197. JJ@ 1.02am


  198. Every night inside the Revival Centre, patients offer up thanks to Arsenal Football Club, who have brought funds and hope to a blighted region. With 2,000 treated last year, many children now survive.

    Some don’t. The last request of a 15-year-old terminally ill girl was that she be buried in her beloved Arsenal top.

    Arsène Wenger admits to feeling “humbled” by the work of Arsenal’s dynamic community department in places as far afield as Chernobyl as well as in their Islington backyard. The manager assiduously supports such acts of benevolence as those involved with the Revival Centre readily testify.

    “When I discovered how sick these children were in Chernigov, I wrote to all the Premier League managers,” explained George Mills, a charismatic Londoner who has dedicated his life to helping the victims of Chernobyl. “Arsène was the only one who replied.”

    Wenger put Mills in touch with Alan Sefton, the energetic head of Arsenal in the Community. “Arsenal gave me van loads of kit, books and boots to take out,” continued Mills. “And then they began sending coaches out to train kids and local people.” Money and medical equipment followed.

    “It has been a miracle. We now have seven buildings and 127 staff in the Revival Centre. When we go there, everybody in the town shouts ‘Arsenal, Arsenal’. When everybody else seemed to have forgotten them, this famous English club came to them – and saved lives.”

    Mills joined Wenger and Sefton at the Emirates on Thursday to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Arsenal in the Community. Sitting in the Legends suite, Wenger listened intently to all the stories about how Arsenal were tackling every scourge from obesity, knife-crime and illiteracy to the enduring fallout from a nuclear disaster, as happened at Chernobyl in 1986.

    “When I hear all this, I know even more that the team has a responsibility not to let the community and the club down,” said Wenger, having found an empty corporate box for a quiet chat.

  199. Yogi hibernating again?

  200. mark paul hooker

    diaby is a fantastic player to have in the squad and i am peturbed to see a comment on another site about how he cost us the game saturday.
    what a lota shit. how about at villa 08/09 when we were getting overun diaby had a very good game,was holding our midfield together and linked up with eboue to score a fine goal that should have seen us home and hosed.
    but we were pulled back to 2-2 without diabys goal we would have been 6 points behind villa.
    or last season v liverpool at home where he capped a fine performance with a header from rosickys cross to keep our title hopes alive.
    we win lose and draw as a team and the sooner this stupid need for a scapegoat stops we will be stronger as a team.
    we win lose and draw as a team and i,m glad we have diaby as an option to put in it. the squad is god

  201. Arry Redknapp is curious how Arsenal play in the Champion’s League every year, so he decides on a visit to see how Arsene Wenger coaches his team. After one day he is not really impressed by the training practices, so he asks Wenger how he gets his players so sharp. ‘Well it is simple. I sometimes ask my players a difficult question, and that way they stay really sharp mentally’. Of course Arry wants an example, so Wenger asks Fabregas to come over to the sidelines. He asks: ‘Cesc, he is not your brother, but still he is your father’s son. Who is he?’ ‘That is not difficult’, Cesc answers immediately, ‘Of course that is me’. ‘You see? That’s the way you keep them sharp’, Wenger says to Arry. Redknapp, who wants to retain his team’s CL place, decides to bring this into Tottenham Hotspur’s practice the next day. He calls Gareth Bale over to the sidelines. ‘Gareth, I have a question for you’, he says, ‘He is not your brother, but still he is your father’s son, who is he?’ ‘My God, Boss’, is the Simian’s reply, ‘That is a tough one to answer, can I sleep on that one night, and why do you ask me these questions?’ Arry explains it has to do with some continental coaching trick and agrees with the one night postponement. So that night Bale decides to call David Beckham. He has played on the continent, maybe he knows something about these continental coaching methods. ‘Becks, maybe you know the answer to this question, he is not your brother, but still he is your father’s son. Who is he?’ ‘That is easy, that is me!’ says Becks. So the next day Bale walks full of confidence up to Redknapp. Arry asks: ‘Gareth, do you know the answer to my question now?’ ‘Yes it was actually very easy’, he says, ‘It is David Beckham!’ Redknapp answers: ‘No of course it’s not, you stupid bastard! It’s Cesc Fabregas!!’ True story.

  202. Irishgray @ 8:11am,

    It makes all the fuss about changing the name of the stadium in order to make some mythical link with the community seem a little trite. It also emphasises some of the real reasons that we should all be proud to be part of this AFC.

  203. Irishgray,
    That was one of the two jokes my grandmother used to murder. Well, expect for the names of course. 🙂

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