Arsenal Held By Spirit Of The FA Cup

FA Cup 5th Round
Leyton Orient 1 – 1 Arsenal

0 – 1 Rosicky (53)
1 – 1 Téhoué (89)

Leyton Orient showed the spirit of the FA Cup is alive and kicking, snatching a late equaliser at Brisbane Road to gain a finanically lucrative replay at The Emirates next week. For Arsenal, it is no doubt a game that they could do without as it robs the squad of any chance of a rest in this hectic spell of fixtures.

Uncomfortable questions are being asked after another below-par performance by the ‘second string’ in this competition. The previous rounds have seen them rescued at home and away by sufficient numbers of the normal starting XI to get the club this far.

Even so, the makeshift team had the better of the majority of the match and were within minutes of achieving their objective, a win at the first time of asking. The lead which could not be established in the first half arrived courtesy of Tomàš Rosický’s first goal in over a year, not piledriver from distance for which he is perhaps more noted, instead a deftly guided header inside the far post from the edge of the area.

That it took until the 53rd minute for the first goal to arrive sums up some of the wretched luck that the forwards are suffering from. Chamakh might have had a hat-trick if he had arrived to connect with the ball a second earlier following good work on the left by Keiran Gibbs. Or if he had been able to connect more completely with a shot. Or if his header in the opening minutes had been directed more powerfully than looping into the arms of the Orient goalkeeper. It was that sort of afternoon for Chamakh; everything was a second out of sync.

He was not the only one. Bendtner snatched at an early shot, driving wide rather than on target. Arshavin had an effort which was not held onto but no-one could capitalise on the mishap. It all summed the first half up; lots of effort, control and possession for Arsenal; no goals scored but then none conceded to counter that.

Rosický provided the breakthrough eight minutes into second half. Bendtner had a shot blocked, regathered possession and forged his way to a decent position by moving to the right of the area. The cross came back and the diminutive Czech international provided much needed guile in his finish.

At that point, the thought must have been towards a quarter-final date at Old Trafford, the chance to relive some beautiful FA Cup memories and erase the nightmare of the last visit at that stage of the competition.

Orient would not let Arsenal minds wander. The desire for an equaliser and the same prize drove them on, the hosts becoming more threatening than before Arsenal scored, the introduction of the lively Téhoué a catalyst for the Eastenders.

And yet Arsenal could have secured victory around that time. Arshavin strode purposefully down the Arsenal right and as lone striker took on shooting responsibility, glancing the outside of the post with the goalkeeper beaten.

The first warnings of a frenetic closing phase of the game came when Téhoué fed Revell whose shot inched wide of the post with Almunia scrambling. Orient then claimed a penalty, the referee had a good view that Squillaci had put his face in the way of Téhoué’s ferocious drive.

It seemed that Arsenal might hold on. That proved false hope as Téhoué shuffled between two defenders with sublime close control and drilled his shot under Almunia. The equaliser arrived and credit to the French player is being lost in criticism of Almunia and Miquel for not stopping a thunderous drive or being beaten in the first instance, forgetting that Sagna also missed his tackle if that is the case with the young Spaniard.

The reaction to the draw has been almost one of defeat. Blame is being cast around individually, forgetting that this is a collective sport. Moments of brillance and madness impact the outcome but teams win and lose together. Instead old prejudices are surfacing against individuals which bear little or no semblance to the truth of yesterday’s performance.

Quite simply Arsenal missed a creative spark. Rosický, before injury robbed him of prime playing years, might have been able to fulfil that role. Now he is marginalised too often to be a major influence in such fixtures, better suited to the wider midfield positions.

Crucially though this is a side that rarely plays together and it shows. A lot of the questions being asked can be answered by a team not playing together much, understandings not being forged with a lack of time spent on the pitch together.

The result and performance are not a condemnation of the lack of depth of the squad, most if not all could seemlessly integrate into the first Xi. The impact of that is not the player coming in but the one dropping out.

It is also becoming more apparent that the three-pronged attack does not work as effectively with Bendtner and Chamakh; the Dane dislikes playing on the right and the Moroccan is surrounded by same fug which obscured Andrey Arshavin’s footballing world until a few weeks ago.

With the replay three days after the Carling Cup Final, Arsène will look to rotate once more. It is a relatively quick chance of redemption for this XI and with home advantage, they ought to take that chance comprehensively.

In the meantime, the rather important matter of a Premier League fixture with Stoke City on Wednesday is to the fore. Even before that, there is a live blog at 8pm tonight with Real Social Dad joined by myself, Arseblog and Arsespeak. Click here to join the chatter.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 21, 2011, in Arsenal, FA Cup, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 151 Comments.

  1. Definitely right that a front line including a shorn-of-confidence Chamakh and a not-short-on-confidence Bendtner is much less effective. It just goes to show how important both Robin’s guile and Theo’s pace/width are.

    No surprise that we struggled yesterday. Liked Miquel’s performance. Didn’t like the trouble Tehoue gave us after coming on. Apparently he’s a cousin of Eboue!

    Oh well. The second XI will get another chance in the replay. Can’t see Arsene risking many of the first XI when we have important league games and the Carling Cup final either side of it.

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2011/02/17/wilshere-comes-of-age-as-late-strikes-seal-arsenal-comeback/

  2. I wonder if that side might be more threatening with Eboue on the right, Bendy on the left and AA playing behind Chamakh. But then, what do I know?

  3. To draw some positives from yesterday’s result, we emerged still challenging on all fronts with our FA cup destiny very much on our own hands and more evidence that AA23 is back in form.

  4. Agreed that it shows that this side doesn’t play together often. I think this could be mitigated by not shipping out the first XI wholesale for these cup matches, a smattering of the first team could have played here and then the a few “reserve” players could have come in against Stoke. That way I think we’d see more even performances and a more collective upsurge of belief throughout the whole squad rather than just the first team. I think that doing this is a little unfair on the players who come in for these matches, we’ve seen that they struggle to be immediately on their game several times this season, Wigan away in the league, Leeds, Huddersfield etc.

  5. Not good enough – Glad Rosicky got a goal though!

  6. Orient did a great job of closing us down – for 90 mins not just the 60 or so that Barca managed – and Song and Denilson deserve a lot of credit (which they arent getting) for retaining the ball and keeping their heads – likewise the knee-jerk criticism of Almunia is misplaced (Villa’s goal past Chezzer on Wednesday was class finishing while any old goalkeeper should apparently save 9 out of 10 from Tehoute…). And Miquel looks classy.

    another home game to look forward too (would like to see one of Lansbury, Ramsey or JET recalled though for a bit of variety)

  7. I’ve not read the comments you refer to YW. are people seriously bothered about yesterday? With all we have going for us? Come on folks grow up, we’re still in it and anyway have bigger fish to fry.

  8. Steww, some people need a good whine to start there week.

  9. YW, excellent overview of the game.

  10. As is often the case Yogi’s sentiments echo mine, cause mine are too awesome to echo someone else’s!

    Anyway, minor correction for you Yogi, it wasn’t Sagna who missed the tackle but Gibbs.

    With our so called ‘B-team’, I’m reminded of those charity phrases: give this team a game, and they will play. Given them a consistent run, and they will be magnificent. The ingredients are there; the cake is prepared, it just needs to go into the oven.

  11. Good post, YW. I hope Wenger puts out more or less the same team next time as it will show them that he trusts them to do the job. He made a point of saying in the press conference afterwards that he could not fault their attitude.

    @ Block4,
    I see what you are saying, but AW did in fact use some players from Weds, just not the ones who had played 90 minutes. Song, Bendtner and Arshavin all featured v Barca.

  12. I honestly don’t think that the result against Orient was a bad one… a win would have been better and on another day a win would have been ours but given the number of changes made and given the way ManCity played away at Notts county and United played AT HOME to non-league Crawley I thought we did more than OK all things considered.

    The fact remains that we need players to be rested and just as importantly we need those low on confidence and off form to play in order to pick up their games… everyone of the guys who played on Wednesday against Barca is probably carrying some kind of knock… not enough to stop them playing if needed but it is the cumulative effect of playing with little niggles that are never rested that any good manager would want to avoid. Djourou and Kosceilny were definitely due a rest and Almunia needs the games to keep him sharp enough just in case we need him. Arshavin is recovering his form and his fitness seems miles better so another game under his belt is all to the good. And the likes of Rosicky, Bendtner and Chamakh need games to build confidence and recover form. I really don’t think that the mix at Orient can be faulted… may be some substitutions at the usual 65/70min mark might have helped but it seems that Wenger, for whatever reason, doesn’t like making substitutions when he plays a team like yesterday’s. He did the same thing against Wigan as I recall and we conceded late there too. I’d be interested to understand his reasons as he must have a reason for wanting the same 11 to play for a full 90mins when he picks the so-called second string, something he rarely does ordinarily.

    Miquel looked very, very good albeit against a League one side… and even allowing for the error at the end which let in Tehoue you have to still say that the boy looks to have composure and skill in abundance… and I was quite pleased to see the way he defended one-on-one situations always on the half turn and the way wasn’t overawed at all by the occasion. His was a very pleasing performance.

    I may be alone but I think the extra game may well be a good thing… Diaby, in particular is going to need some games to get back to his level at the start of the season, having said that he was outstanding at Newcastle before he got sent off… so for the replay I’d rest Song and play Diaby as the only change, all things being equal. We are now getting to the real heart of our season. February/ early March was always going to be a crucial time. What a time to be an Arsenal fan, eh?

  13. I hate calling them the “B-team” as well. As far as I am concerned we have six stars and everyone else is more or less the same standard.

  14. @ Joshua
    I’d be interested to understand his reasons as he must have a reason for wanting the same 11 to play for a full 90mins when he picks the so-called second string, something he rarely does ordinarily.
    I think he was trying to show the starting 11 that he has confidence in them. Or perhaps the bench was in quite a bad way physically.

  15. Joshua, you layeth the smackdown well! Basic physics is indeed a lesson some ought to learn, as should they be put in goal. It’s all to easy to blame a keeper from slowed down comfort of a home or the displaced distance of the stands, but in real time, things are different.

    And I hate those goalkeeper untruths: should never be beat at your near post, etc. Bunch of rubbish

  16. This may seem absurd but a replay may be a very good thing! The second string doesn’t play enough, perhaps another outing and they will improve further. Remember Arsene made 10 changes which included only one player that started against Barcelona. I think total dominance and control for 88 minutes without a second goal is always going to be a problem. Of course, it could also be seen as a masterstroke from the Orient manager!

  17. @ George
    ha ha
    Yes, this may wel be the result the Os preferred!

    ****
    @ consolsbob
    How about taking AA out of the team altogether, and having him as a supersub?
    Almunia
    Eboue Squillaci Miquel Gibbs
    Denilson Diaby Rosicky/Ramsey
    Rosicky/Ramsey Chamakh Bendtner

    Subs: AA, Nasri, Walcott, Sagna, Djourou, Song, Chesney

  18. I thought the second string did ok bearing in mind they don’t often play together. Just the cutting edge that was missing. The same line-up should prosper at the Emirates with a bigger and better pitch. Miquel had an impressive debut. We must learn to break down teams who mass their penalty area and simply await our onslaught.

  19. @FunGunner, I just think more fo a mix of the starting lineup might have made a big difference. Maybe one of Wilshere or Fabregas instead of Denilson or Rosicky and one of Nasri or Walcott in place of Bendtner or Chamakh would have made all the difference for me. Maybe Vermaelen will be back for the replay? While Miquel looked assured on his debut if TV5 is fit then he’ll need games to get match sharp and will provide added leadership on the field. If we go a couple of goals up then Wilshere/Fabregas/Walcott/Nasri could be subbed off. I know players need a rest, but these wholesale changes don’t appear to do the job, this is the second replay of this cup run already and the Huddersfield game was tough also. I have no problem putting in a couple of the backup players against Stock to balance this out and give the first teamers a rest then.

  20. *Stoke, not Stock!

  21. @ Fungunner…

    I agree with you because that’s what I strongly suspect as well. It’s almost as if he wants them to know that he trusts them to get the job done and he is willing to lay the result on the line in order for the players to prove to themselves that they are good enough. For me it is quite amazing how much Wenger is prepared to “gamble” with a result in order to get it right on the psychological side…. it takes real courage to do what he does.

    @ Gadget…

    I’m honestly not trying smack down anyone but I have to agree that I get frustrated reading some of the stuff that people write while claiming to be speaking from some kind of experience. You don’t need to have played at Premiership level to know that the goal isn’t Almunia’s fault… neither do you need to have been a pro to understand that a well struck shot from the distance that Tehoue took his is liable to beat anyone no matter how good. Cech has conceded those type of goals.. so has Reina and Joe Hart. The funny thing is that Priskin’s goal for Ipswich against Tech 9 was less spectacular and a more savable goal in all honesty… Priskin was under pressure from Djourou as I recall and he placed the ball beyond an on-rushing Szczeny. Tehoue left two defenders for dead and fairly rifled a shot through Almunia. One is considered a blunder and the other is not… it couldn’t possibly be that one was conceded by a popular player and the other by Almunia, could it? I just find unfair scape-goating distasteful…. Who now remembers Almunia’s fantastic stop against Huddersfield?

  22. YW, you hit the proverbial nail on the head:
    “Quite simply Arsenal missed a creative spark. Rosický, before injury robbed him of prime playing years, might have been able to fulfil that role. Now he is marginalised too often to be a major influence in such fixtures, better suited to the wider midfield positions.”
    I made basically the same point midway the game yesterday but you have amplified it. My concern is how it sparked a little furor on this blog stoked the usual prejudices as Joshua and others described. On one hand it is a good thing, i.e. ACLFers hate a player being slated but on the other, but on the other, it does show we may be a little color blind (Arsenal red ) when it comes to our own players. But being factual is necessary because we are only fooling ourselves, not the other teams and their army of scouts and experts who now pride themselves on having the the formula to stop us from playing. Certainly if Arsenal has a midfield comprising Rosicky and Fabregas/Nasri, as an opposing manager I sure as hell am going to limit the touches that the latter have and dare Rosicky to be the creative spearhead.
    – I intend making this my last post on the subject.

  23. Whilst there is no real blame to be handed out to any individual, we are Arsenal and we really should be blowing teams like Orient aside with ease, no matter who we put out.

    A couple of seasons ago our kids would have wiped the floor with this lot. I am not sure why this team cant seem to play at the same tempo as the first XI.

    Although I think the pitch did play a factor in some of the poor finishing I do wonder if a 4-4-2 might suit this team better with AA and Chamakh/Bendy as a front 2.

  24. Was Miquel at fault for the goal or was it just a brilliant piece of skill by the Orient player? Credit where credit is due. If there is a fault with yesterdays play it was poor finishing not defending, a problem with both A and B sides on occasion.
    We need these players to play and I am in agreement that the extra game will be good for many of them as this by the end of the season may be our A team if Wenger does not continue to rotate.

  25. Joshua – You are a STAR. Frankly there is nothing wrong with a little “smack down” of j-j et al, who are representative of a dark side to our support. Go read le-shite, online gooner, highbury house and a long list of trashy blogs and you find this Neanderthal element who find it easy to make scapegoats of any foreign player who didn’t come to the club with a multi-million pound price tag and are very suspicious of any footballer who is very technical and apparently without English grit.

  26. I’d be a bit concerned about a lack of spark with that side at the moment Fun. AA provided the drive in the game yesterday, for me anyway. We also haven’t got Ramsey yet.

    In all honesty there’s not a lot to argue about with yesterday’s result. I’m pleased to have another Arsenal match to watch and I’m sure the opportunity to give a few players another run out is also welcome.

    As for the performance, it was very workmanlike but I back shotta’s views overall. I don’t think that’s being critical, just an observation. Whether it’s due to age and injury or just a lack of games, Rosicky is not the force at the moment than he has been. I hope that changes.

    I loved the idea a couple of years ago of him running the midfield and Eddy knocking them in for fun. That train has gone.

    The thing is that players not in the first choice team, there clearly is one, will never get a run of games to get into shape. they,ve got to seize the chance when they get it, as did our young Pole and , yesterday, Miquel.

  27. “ACLFers hate a player being slated but on the other, but on the other, it does show we may be a little color blind (Arsenal red ) when it comes to our own players”

    that may be true Shotta but there is also a possibilty that ACLFers dont mind players bieng slated if its by Yogi..

  28. Shotta/ Yogi

    I have to say that I don’t think we necessarily lacked a creative spark. We missed chances and any of those chances would have seen us win and made all this talk of creative sparks redundant. Fabregas played against Ipswich away, so did Walcott and Wilshere, not to mention Djourou and Kosceilny… and we looked far worse than we did yesterday. BTW Rosicky wasn’t even on the pitch or the bench. So were we missing a creative spark then too?

    IMHO this second string theory has grown wings and taken flight based on a perception that is not all that close to reality. The team yesterday was a very, very good team and it’s a team that, if played regularly, can seriously challenge for the Champions’ league places IMHO. Gibbs is a fine, fine footballer. Chamakh is in double figures for goals in his first season and has shown his quality for Bordeaux both in Ligue 1 and the champions’ league but we are now supposed to think of him as a so-called “second teamer”. Lest we all forget it was Chamakh who kept us challenging while both Bendtner and Van P were injured. Arshavin, Song and Sagna have been more less regular starters this season. Denilson despite the hate that some have for him is another very good footballer and Rosicky is damned good too… TBH I have no idea what it is he is meant to have done so wrong yesterday. For me the problem was that Chamakh and Bendtner weren’t in good enough form to scare the Orient defenders a bit more than they did also Diaby in the place of song might have give us a more fluid midfield and a fresher one too as Song played about 60minutes on Wednesday… allied to the fact that Orient were content to let us have to ball as they kept their shape and discipline and rode their luck.

    I fully understand that fans can be blinkered to the failing within their team but just as likely, I’d argue even more likely, is that they are a bit OTT in their criticism of perceived failings. Rosicky may not be the player he was before injury but he is no where near as bad as you say. That’s what I think.

  29. Grim
    Brilliant skill by a 1st division player who cant even get a start in the Orient team. Do me a favour.It was an awful goal.Bad defending bad keeping the ball went through Almunia.Anyone still think he should be picked in front of Szczeny?

  30. No injuries. Entire first 11 (except Song) rested. 90 minutes playing time for players who needed a run out. Chamakh is still alive apparently. Decent debut from young Miquel. We’ll make some dosh from the replay too. Lots of positives.

    I mean if we’re in this competition we may as well make some money from it at le Grove. Hardly a surprising result when you have an FA Cup fixture where a Premier League team is away to lower league opposition. Look at Man City’s cup run for example. Away games at Notts County or Leicester won’t pay their wages.

  31. Learnt a few things from the game.

    1) Miquel is quite a promising prospect; hardly put a foot wrong on his senior debut – needs more minor cup game time to gain further experience and improve awareness.

    2) Arshavin, Rosicky and Denilson have all regained their confidence. The brilliance of this trio were clear to see at the Orient. “Arshavin strode purposefully down the Arsenal right and as lone striker took on shooting responsibility, glancing the outside of the post with the goalkeeper beaten.”

    3) Bendtner showed hunger; therefore had a decent game in his least favored position.

    4) Chamakh needs to adopt turning with the ball and shooting (both in 1 sequence) to his game. Quality strikers with confidence & hunger do this for fun; particularly when they are the sole/central figure spearheading attacks. I suspect, that, when he’s fully used to the EPL, we’ll see this more often, next season.

    Overall, it was a good away game, despite the draw. We dominated possession; lacking was that little bit of extra spark (Diaby & Ramsey/Lansbury magic). The more often yesterday’s starting 11 play together as a unit, the greater their display will be. A cup win next weekend will also be a major boost for the replay.

    In Arsène we trust!

  32. Joshua, agreed whole heartedly..

  33. Enjoyed the game yesterday. Shame the reserves couldn’t finish Orient off, they had plenty of chances. Typical Cup game in the end, a competition pretty much designed for afternoons like that. Good on Orient, they all get a trip to Vegas apparently… and their fans get a massive night out at TNHOF and we get another Arsenal game to watch! Tickets should be cheap and available.

    Very pleased with Shava’s form at the moment… and Ignasi’s performance was riveting. Fearless, cultured, ball-playing centrehalves don’t grow on trees, you say? You’re looking in the wrong orchard, my friend. Try down Colney way.

    I thought Rosicky played well. Bit rusty to begin with but could have had a brace in the end, plus as many assists.

    The thing about their goal is… if we had their rightback – who seemed to be called WHINGE – playing in the centre of our defence… he would have poleaxed Téhoué and knocked all his teeth onto the turf and we would have won the tie… but instead we have Ignasi Miquel… and I shouldn’t have to explain why that is an infinitely, infinitely better thing.

  34. Agree with Joshua. We passed them off the pitch, and Rosicky was a big part of that… just needed to tuck away a couple of those chances and the performance then suddenly looks very different.

  35. I concur with Joshua’s comment’s from 10:05am.

    Diaby starting for Song (whom we’ll need for the Sunderland & mammoth Camp Nou games).
    Ramsey, Lansbury & Vermaelen on the bench to replace anyone floundering in the final 30 mins of the 2nd half.

  36. What Joshua said @ 11:21.

    In the meantime the team that time forgot have picked up their clubs and pointy sticks, and are beginning their trudge down to London. They’ll set up camp outside Stafford tonight, where Pulis will try to reassert his dominance over the group by challenging Huth and Wilkinson to a three-way head-kicking trial:

  37. Kelvin,

    the points already been made that no one moans that D Villa puts it through the keepers legs.

    Why can’t a 5th rate player produce something once in his life, it happens, hard as it is to take, usually in an FA cup tie.

    I just do not think that blame, in this case is attributable.

  38. A quick search on google showed:

    Ramsey’s 1 month loan ends in a couple of days time. Whilst Lansbury, I’m afraid to say, remains on-loan ’til the remainder of the season.

  39. I feel Bendtner’s hunger is getting the best of him and is adversely affecting his team play. He tries so hard to impress that he overplay’s or is too selfish in certain situations. Chamakh looked like a shadow of himself which really frustrates me, he put in so much hard work but things aren’t sitting for him at all. I really think the reason this ‘B-team’ isnt finishing games off is because of the following reasons:

    1) The obvious one off course, lack of playtime together.
    2) Everyone is on the fringes and are so eager to impress that they sometimes get into each other’s way
    3) They are lax to an extent because they are facing inferior opposition.
    4)The opposition play their hearts out because it’s a cup game.

    A combination of all these factors are the main reason this ‘B’ team have been finding it difficult to break teams down and bury them.

    With that in mind I think a replay is perfect for these players to give it another go and get some much needed game time. Song should be rested and Diaby coming in to give the B team some much needed shape.

  40. @ consolsbob
    I suggested that side for the replay – Ramsey will be back for then. He and Diaby would give us drive and spark. Both are goalscorers as well as goalmakers and both have a streak of unpredictability. And I do think Rosicky’s still got it. Watching the game, I’m not disappointed. I thought beforehand that Song+Denilson+Rosicky would struggle to create chances, but I was pleasantly surprised. Where Ramsey and Diaby come is, given that Bendtner’s and AA’s aim and Chamakh’s confidence seemed to be out, players like Diaby or Ramsey could have stepped in to tuck away those chances.

    Anyway, main thing is that the quadruple is still on. Stoke next. If anyone is crying out for a smackdown, it’s Tony Pulis and his side.

  41. @ Piresaholic and Borges Spinelli
    What do you think about this side for the replay:

    Almunia
    Eboue Squillaci Miquel Gibbs
    Denilson Diaby Rosicky/Ramsey
    Rosicky/Ramsey Chamakh Bendtner

    Subs: AA, Nasri, Walcott, Sagna, Djourou, Song, Chesney (TV isn’t even playing for the reserves yet, so not included in any capacity)

  42. http://backpagefootball.com/top-50-players-in-the-world/

    Unless I’m missing something the top three are going to be Sneijder, Xavi and Messi.

  43. Yes, we could/should have won that game, but personally I’m not slitting my wrists over it.

    As many have already commented, another game for these lads, considering that if anything they looked a bit rusty out there, is probably a good thing.

    I also saw somewhere that the replay has apparently dislodged a game where the first team would have been involved (spurs?), in which case it’s probably going to have the effect of resting our first team rather than the impact of another game.

    I thought there were several positives to be taken from the game.

    As already pointed out, the performance was better than several previous performances people have moaned about, we just didn’t put it to bed, but the players worked hard imo.

    I take the point about Nic trying too hard, but I’ll excuse him any day on that performance because he worked his butt off. I lost count of the number of times I saw him working back in defence and popping up all over the place to help out.

    Sure, it might not have been tactically ideal for some people, but I’ll go with that kind of endeavor any time thanks.

    Likewise I don’t think Maroune could be faulted for effort. It will all come good in time, we just need some patience.

    I was really pleased that Arshavin looks to be getting on track again (although I do think reports of his “bad spell” were a little ott at times imo).

    Likewise, young Tommy Gunner seemed to be continuing his somewhat off-color performances until his goal, after which he certainly perked up and showed us glimpses of his true form. I certainly hope this was the catalyst for a revival from him as well.

    I thought Miquel had a very pleasing performance. New centre half required? really? What would we do with one?

    Denilson, after a solitary dodgy pass right at the start, had a very solid game.

    That’s hardly a unique event from an Arsenal player, including all of the favorites who would get a complete free pass for far worse than anything Denilson (or Eboue and several others for that matter) does.

    It pisses me off out of site that we still have gormless morons criticising this kid no matter what he does.

    These arseholes (I’m sorry, that is a mild and restrained description) have no business using up everyone else’s oxygen, never mind actually having the gall to comment about football – rant over……..for now, until some brainless pillock tries that shit again, in which case I will make no apologies for my response to any little scrotal wart who weighs in with the same old tired shit again.

    It was good to see Sagna getting a run out as well.

    Song looked like he could have done with a rest, but maybe after the restrained performance v barca once he was walking the yellow card tightrope he needed a run out to get his juices and confidence flowing again?

    All the same, Diaby or Ramsey or similar would be good for the replay to give the lad some time to rest.

    No-one stood out as being particularly poor.

    It was a cup game and the opposition were up for it, on their home ground (which looked a bit of a cabbage patch to be honest), and they haven’t lost in their league for some time, so they’re not exactly completely shit (unlike playing a non-league side at home and barely making it for example).

  44. Orient put away a very good goal. It was a moment of skill that the lad wouldn’t be able to pull off if he tried it another 5 times. The ball slipped under Gibbs’ tackle and Miguel was very close to it. Drogba, Van Persie, Rooney or Messi even would have been proud of that goal.

    How many occasions have we ourselves robbed teams with a moment of brilliance? Remember Van Persie’s last minute strike versus Everton last season I believe.. we wasn’t on our game that day yet we managed to nick 3 points at Goodison.

    As cruel as the goal was in terms of its timing, the team controlled the game very well. I felt it was a very composed performance from our so called “2nd team”. Comparing it to the Huddersfield game where we fielded more of our current 1st teamers, it was a massive improvement in performance.

    Arshavin played very well, Rosicky had an improved performance and ran the midfield, Miguel was excellent, Squillaci had a solid game, Gibbs and Almunia too. All we lacked was the urgency to get the second. We saw it on a couple occasions, Arshavin’s deadly strike against the post just before their goal for example, it just wasn’t enough. On another day we would have finished the job but you have to consider that many of these players are rusty or low on confidence. The extra fixture is a bit of a pain in the ass, but at least our squad players and a couple youngsters will get another shot.

    Every player in our squad will play a part in our quest for trophies. I can see us succeeding and progressing in all 4 competitions, and I am all for the rotation. Every player should be encouraged, yet we have some idiot fans who feel we should be winning every game comfortably. There is a lot to be encourage by, even going by our performance yesterday. Its another huge shame that we still have fans bitching like little girls.

  45. Would Ramsey be available for the replay?
    Isn`t there some rule about being registered with the club for the orginal tie to be available to play in the replay? would this apply to a returning loanee?

  46. @FunGunner I think that line-up is more than able to get the job done for us. And the bench provides enough cover, should they need rescuing.

  47. Well in that case Fun, why not?

    I haven’t heard much about Ramsey’s performances on loan. How has he been?

  48. I was expecting some heated debate over Almunia today! but bollocks to it im not going to start it off, shall we live in peace!

  49. @ consolsbob
    Ramsey didn’t play last match, which Cardiff lost. He is doing well – provided the assist for Bellamy’s winning goal. in the Swansea/Cardiff derby.

  50. Still competing for 4 trophies.
    60 + matches !
    The physicality of our league play.
    Yesterday was an opportunity for those not in the 1st XI to get valuable minutes (outside the training ground).

    Chemistry is critical to our style of play. You have players like Chamakh, Bendtner, Rosicky, Gibbs, Squillaci, Almunia, and Denilson – WHO HAVE NOT SEEN MANY MINUTES in the last couple of months. It showed.

    As we progress into March, April, and May – we will be needing some of these players to step into the starting line up WITH CONFIDENCE. The playing time is crucial.

    Disappointing that we couldn’t hold on to our lead, but more importantly was seeing these players do positive things.

  51. The gnashing of teeth and wailing after this result is just proof that there are those out there who cannot wait to jump on the team’s and manager’s back. No other reason for it.

    They are quite pathetic and thats the last time i am bringing this result up!

    Thanks!

  52. FG;

    As someone has said. I think there is a rule about being registered for the 1st game, but then again, Ramsey would be as he is opart of our 1st team squad and not a new player! So;

    Almunia
    Eboue Squillaci Miquel Gibbs
    Denilson Diaby Ramsey
    Rosicky Chamakh Arshavin

  53. ChrisGoona

    When you say Drogba, Van Persie, Rooney or Messi even would have been proud of that goal , I’m sure you mean Drogba, Messi, Rooney or Van Persie even would have been proud of that goal .

  54. Not too worried about the result. We dominated the game, and with some sharper finsihing by Chamakh would have been out of sight .

    Reality is with the number of games we are playing and the tough opposition we need to rotate heavily. And I’d rather see a 2nd string play against League 2 Orient, than have a 1st/2nd mix and some 2nd string playing against Stoke / Wolves / Barca (remember Nasri was almost out the 1st leg as we risked him in the FA cup).

    Fact is that team should have had enough to beat Orient, and I expect a very similar team to do just that at home in a couple of weeks.

    We need to give players like these games so they stay at the club, can keep sharp and fill in whenever needed.

  55. I watched the game with a goalkeeper actually. He winced as it went in and said you shouldn’t really be beaten through your legs from anything over fifteen yards like that. But on watching the replay he changed his mind and said he’s hit it so hard underneath him that it would have taken a very strange reaction from the keeper to save it. He would have had to decide to go with his legs very early… and as you’d always back yourself with your hands from that distance it would have been an odd decision to make. Not many top keepers would have saved it because going with your feet is so rarely the right decision.

    Just one of those things… bit like getting trapped LBW I suppose. It often looks there for the hitting… but if you get a good enough ball you don’t really stand a chance.

  56. @Fungunner

    I think the same team can quite literally destroy Orient at home, it wasn’t the selection that was lacking just the urgency to have some shots on goal. You have to keep in mind Rosicky had some clear chances for a brace and Bendy’s wayward shooting. Arshavin’s post and Chamakh’s chance would’ve went in on another day. Orient never gave up and credit to them.

    Did you guys see this?

    It’s been a while since i’ve been excited by a prospect, theres just something about him.

  57. Limpar – surprised to hear from a goalie that he shoudn`t have saved it, appeared to me that he should have gone with his right foot, but I`ve always been rubbish in goal and grew up watching Pat Jennings who seemed to save 80% of shots with his feet.
    Just to add I think Almunia is fine as a no.2 (as he was as back up to Jens) and happy to accept a keepers opinion that he was not at fault for the goal, perhaps he would have saved it if he`d had more recent match practice to hone his instincts.
    cheers

  58. What is ‘trapped LBW’?

  59. Limpar- I agree it was hit with such power low and close to the body that it would take a very strange reaction to save it but there was a chance earlier on where Almunia’s positioning and reaction was really poor. He’s definitely lacking sharpness and i’m not surprised he was easily beaten.

  60. It was a bit like this…

    Actually, it was more like getting yorked than anything else. After all… if it was lbw he’d have saved it. Erm….. I’ll shut up now.

  61. Anyone who has ever played in goal at 11 or 5 a side will know that a shot hit that hard, from that distance is very likely to go in, no matter who is in goal.

    I have not always been Almunia’s biggest fan, but very harsh to blame him for that.

    Just one of those things, on another day the ball wouldn’t of bobbled through 2 challenges, and the guy might of skied it.

    Fair play to Orient – as a club they have shown us nothing but respect, so let them have their pay day at the Emirates.

    Plenty of positives to be taken from the game – Andrey is finding form with every passing game, and the playing time is valuable to Rosicky, Gibbs, Bendtner and Chamakh.

  62. Gibbs and Miquel are equally at fault for the goal. When the left side of your defense averages 19 years on this planet, these things happen. A hard low shot from there is going to go in almost every time, so blaming the keeper is just stupid. Moreover, there are myriad complaints about Almunia, but shotstopping is not among them.

  63. LA

    I could not be more confused by your cricket slang. Although when I first became confused I pondered to myself, I hope he’s talking about cricket. I must admit to being very anxious to learn what “yorking” means, but it sounds to me like I’ve got whats sure to be the hottest new insult in the USA.

    I can hear it now… “OMG did you see how I just yorked the shit out of Mike, he’s such a bitch, always getting yorked on”

  64. I must say I do not know the origins of the term, NJ. I’d be interested if Cbob or Finsbury or Zim (or ZimJnr) knows. It may or may not have to do with Yorkshiremen being seen as sly or deceitful.

    You’re a baseball fan, aren’t you, NJ? This might help you out.
    http://www.seattlecricket.com/history/cktlist.htm

  65. Ryo Miyaichi vs ADO Den Haag 宮市亮

    For those that want to see Ro in action.

  66. Joshua | February 21, 2011 at 11:21 am |

    Thank you.

    Shotta i really dont want to start a fight but why do you think you are justified to criticize one player and call others doomers when they critisize others? The reason am defending Rosicky is coz he wasnt too bad to begin with,so if he’d been poor atleast i could understand.

  67. Maria please dont call him Roo, it sounds very much like a bastard i know who plays for a team i hate. Ryo has got a ring to it,me likey.

  68. Ryo looks like a really good prospects maybe a bit too much trick a bit like cristiano when he started but he surely can be very effective. I did not like how they tried to take him out at the end, there was three clear fouls on him!
    I hope they don’t put a “contract” on him and injure him seriously.

    Re yesterday match.
    Even though it seems to be a stoppable shot, the strike was powerful, on the floor and aimed very close to the goalkeeper which is really hard to stop.
    I was happy to finally see Miquel play and I was not disappointed, he looks like a good prospect. I think it is encouraging Tomas broke his duck although I agree he has not regain the influence he had before his long injury but still glad to have him as back-up. Bendtner was maybe guilty of trying too much which cannot be a bad thing, he was all over the place defending, setting-up the attacks from midfield, trying to convert the chances but after tirelessly working for the team he might have been less focused in his decision-making. Chamakh has you said was just a second late in his decision which can be put down to not enough playing time and being still a bit off physically.

    I’m, like others previously stated, not to worried by the replay as altough it adds another game in an already hectic schedule, it will give the team players (don’t really think they are a B team just squad players rather than automatic starters) some needed game time. Like many other said also, what they lacked yesterday was competitive playing time.

  69. Might be the best thing for Ryo not to have got that visa right now. He is getting first team action; I know it is “just” the Eredivisie but he is very young and doesn’t need to be playing in such a physical league right now as he grows into his body. He could work on his set piece delivery but very dangerous crossing, a deadly shot from distance, incredibly pace, and very tricky moves. Some of that is flashy stuff that isn’t always needed and makes his opponents look dopey (I think that explains the really bad late foul–should have been a red, I thought–looked very deliberate shoulder to the upper body/face).

    This kid could be special and get into the Japanese national team soon with good performances in the Dutch league, meaning he could come to Arsenal sooner. Replacement for Arshavin on the left in a couple years?! Thanks for the videos.

  70. OneOfUs @ 12:15pm

    Since Cesc was not listed among #3-#50 I assume he’s in the top 2. Messi would be hors concours.

  71. Pep Guardiola, has dismissed suggestions he may try to sign the Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere. The 19-year-old impressed in Arsenal’s 2-1 victory in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, more than holding his own against the likes of Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta.

    But Guardiola, who is believed to be keen to sign Arsenal’s captain, Cesc Fábregas, said he would not be making a move for Wilshere, and also hinted his side would find it tough to prise Fábregas away. “He [Wilshere] is a great player – a great player for Arsenal,” the Barça coach said. “And in any case, [the Arsenal manager] Arsène Wenger doesn’t sell his best players.”

    Guardiola said he expects a stern test from Arsenal in the return leg at Camp Nou.

    Barça needed a late Lionel Messi goal to beat Athletic Bilbao on Sunday while Arsenal, fielding a much-changed side, drew 1-1 with League One Leyton Orient in the FA Cup. But Guardiola insisted he drew no comfort from the result.

    “Arsenal are a wonderful side,” he said. “You will not hear me discredit Arsenal – they are a great side with a great coach and they will be a very difficult opponent. It will be a great game against a great team.”

    There had been talk in Spain of a mini-crisis for Barcelona after the Catalans drew 1-1 with Sporting Gijon before their 2-1 defeat at the Emirates, but a hard-fought 2-1 win over Athletic saw normal order restored.

  72. Damn right Arsene doesn’t sell his best players. Hleb sale still tickling Pep is see!

  73. Víctor Valdés missed Sunday’s game with a knee problem, but the keeper should return to face Arsenal. “He has a small strain,” Guardiola said. “He will be back in a few days, but we have every confidence in [the second-choice, José Manuel] Pinto.”

  74. Joshua | February 21, 2011 at 11:21 am |

    Quite dissappointed with Shotta’s thoughts on Rosicky, and then to say that anyone defending him is somehow not looking at things honestly, I find hypocritical as thats no what he said when AA was off form and people were talking crap. Very suprising attitude.

    If Rosicky was playing often, then one could say that maybe he has lost it but KNOWING that he was injured recently and hasnt been playing much should cause us to say he needs games and time. Its the ONLY rational thing to say in my view, especially given the man was playing some good stuff when cesc was out at the beginning of the year, lest we have forgotten that?

    Again, if AA was allowed to get his confidence back, why is it so different with Rosicky.

    strange!

    I only got to watch the highlights but it seems the lack of finishing, dampened the creativity I saw.

  75. oh sorry

    Joshua | February 21, 2011 at 11:21 am |

    Well said!!!

  76. Yes Merlot! thanks for correcting me 🙂

    Sorry for the late response, work has kept me from commenting as much lately

  77. The Orient match just underscores how important regular match time is for all players. Even at this level and skill expecting the chosen XI to march onto the pitch and jell is asking a lot. Couple that with a playing style that relies on teamwork rather than individual effort and it will always be tricky. Perhaps a selfish, “me first,” bastard is needed for matches like this. Someone who doesn’t give a toss about teamwork, only scoring goals. Who knows? Still, a replay is hardly something to moan about. As someone said earlier it will provide valuable match time for those who aren’t getting much at the moment. I seriously doubt Wenger would risk many of the first XI in the replay. He is too good a manager not to kick some arse in the locker room. I expect the same team to thump Orient in the replay. They know they blew it, they know how important this is, they know it will require more the next time around. I expect them to deliver.

  78. agreed Gris Gris!

  79. A R S E N A L

  80. I hope someone scores a hat-rick on Wednesday. Stoke is a team that deserves to be taken apart by The Arsenal. I will be hoping for more headbutts in the nude from the dirty one!

  81. Carls Poohole is back for the second leg. He’ll stink the place up.

  82. Good post. The problem for me however was Song and Denilson.Song looked disintrested and tired non was willing to play the box to box role, that said we should have kept the clean sheet,its not every game we get to see our two defensive mid in the same game… i think Diaby or Ramsey would do well in the replay and Ebuoe for Sagna..i believe its a blessing in disguise to get them match ready.Arsharvin really impressed me though

  83. Like you I suspect that the dirty Northern bastards are the root of the term,’Yorker’ Limpar.

    The best I could find was this: “The term is thought to derive from the 18th and 19th century slang term “to pull yorkshire” on a person meaning to trick or deceive them.”

    Goes back donkey’s years.

    Well luc, sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards. Our Board just joined the list of stupid people who thought they could spend next years’ income yesterday. It should get better after it gets worse.

  84. i had my first arsenal related dream last night. i looked around then realized in a gym kicking a ball around with alex song! i love him but he looks like a deranged homeless man with his new hair style. probably scares most players when they see alex song gallop’ing over to make the tackle.

  85. I read somewhere that Ingasi Miquel is a Catalan. Has he had a DNA test yet?

  86. Well the orient and Crawley matches just shows that even the the “worst” teams can play even with the big guys if they got the day. It is a right shame Crawley did not get that equaliser towards the end at Old trafford and aslong as we win the return leg its great for Orient that they get to play one more game. They played well and get to go to Vegas!
    If we loose the second leg yes we have the right to be angry. But i doubt we will, in the end this will mean Orient save their seaosn financially, the Orient lads get to go to Vegas on first class and feel like stars and arsenal second string get to play one more match together. Maybe even Ramsey and Verm is back and get a good game against Orient, that can only be good.

  87. Another excellent post yogi. The result yesterday was unfortunate. Not sure how anyone can realistically blame Almunia. That would have been a very tough shot to stop. I think the idea being put forth that having another game to play is a good thing is rather silly but I guess there is something addictive about rose colored glasses.

    Given the talent level it is hard to understand the trouble the so called b team is having. I keep thinking they will break out of this funk as a unit against the opposition they have been facing. I suspect most will play in the replay so I hope they can do it then. I have no doubt we will win the replay. I really hope TV5 is ready to play by then. I thought Miquel looked good and I suspect he will be an excellent player for us in the future. As Limpar pointed at 11:28 his touch looked good and he looks refined and I am sure with some maturity he will learn that poleaxing someone (legally of course) is occasionally an appropriate response when it preserves a 1 goal lead. I also agree with Nolagunnerat 2:29 that starting a left side of defense with an average age of 19 is probably a bit more risky then we want to get in the replay.

  88. Ryo looks awesome. I think he would do well at one of the lower Prem sides as well, but it’s better for him to get his first proper experience abroad since I am afraid a player like him with his trickery and pace would be an easy target for those midfield enforcers.

  89. Good thing AIC, Joe and Naga haven’t made a stop yet, probably still reeling from the Barca thrashing as I bet they weren’t expecting that.

  90. agreed. It’s best that those negative nancy’s stay away from all the good people on this forum.

  91. LA,

    ok cheers. your right, I am a baseball fan, and that link is very interesting for me, because I literally need those words explained in such terms. I am happy to report that after years of simply shrugging my shoulders, I feel that I have a general understanding of how the sport is played. The ball can be batted in any direction, to score a run the batter must run the distance between two sets of wickets, and thats where the insanely high scores come from. Most of this rudimentary understanding comes from analyzing highlights on Sky, but I’m still confused as to what decides when play has ended. how many outs before the batting and fielding teams alternate, the end of the game, etc.

    Oh well, at least I know that a fixture refers to an upcoming match, a kit has nothing to do with an automobile, and that when someone is “on a hatrick” they’ve only scored two.

  92. “Puhl Yerk-sheer!”

    That does sound suitably Northern and awful.

    I bloody love a good yorker. Not often used in test cricket right now it seems? At least I haven’t seen a good one recently. Shoaib was maybe the last to bowl them regularly. Facing a Dale Steyn yorker must be terrifying but he doesn’t seem to use them much in test matches.

  93. Ok, so just want to make sure I’ve got this, I dream of living in England for awhile to follow the mighty Arsenal and I can’t be made to look like a dopey American.. a yorker is a specific type of thrown ball. Not a person, but can be used to refer to a person bc they might be acting sneakily.

  94. You’re getting there, NJ! Cricket’s my favourite sport next to football because you have intense individual tests as well as every member of the team being called upon to do their specialist skill. Also how you have the microcosm of each delivery where the whole game can change in an instant – and you get that dramatic set-up with every ball.

    I’ve heard baseball fans say the 360 degree batting in cricket is the bit that makes them a tiny bit jealous… because that really does open ‘hitting’ up into a real artform where pretty much anything is possible.

    …sorry, I could talk about cricket all day… especially after a 1-1 draw with Leyton Orient.

    I think I’d probably like baseball because pitching and hitting both look so fricking difficult… I just need to watch it with someone that loves it.

    I think we pinched the term ‘chin music’ from baseball didn’t we?

  95. I agree Limpar. Seems to be a lostart or, more likely, the team theoreticians with their laptops have decideed that it’s not a very good ‘percentage, ball.

    I despise those shots of the dressing room balcony these days. Three or four nerds watching a laptop. When cricket was cricket there would have been IT Botham and A Lamb having a cigar amongst a litter of empty beer bottles.

    Of course, men were men in those days.

    Oh, and I feark that NJGooner hasn’t quite ‘got it’ has he?

  96. Have you heard of Zaheer Khan, Limpar??

  97. Look NJG, you are like a blindfolded man in a dark room trying to build Tower Bridge out of matchsticks.

    Best leave it alone.

  98. LOL Bob, I just didn’t know how to tell him that..

  99. Ha! Harsh, Cb… I think NJ’s getting there… sort of… as far as can be expected… considering the blindfold.

    I’ve heard baseball fans say the 360 degree batting in cricket is the bit that makes them a tiny bit jealous… because that really does open ‘hitting’ up into a real artform where pretty much anything is possible. I think I’d probably like baseball because pitching and hitting both look so fricking difficult… I just need to watch it with someone that loves it.

    I think we pinched the term ‘chin music’ from baseball didn’t we?

    Cb, ‘I.T. Botham’ sounds like he’d be quite handy with a laptop. I agree with you… the same has happened to rugby. Really strange to see sport dehumanised like that. I don’t like it at all. (On yorkers though – they are so hard to score off – they would seem to me to be a good ‘percentage ball’ – when used sparringly – as an ‘other one’ in an over of quick stuff. But what do I know. I know they are also incrediby hard to get right so maybe that’s it). A lot of the skill has gone out of rugby… and that’s to do with sports science and every fucker being built like a brick shithouse… and no room in the team for quick hands and nimble feet which is the best bit about rugby. Thankfully you can never see that happening with cricket… and certainly not football (*genuflect*).

    …sorry, I could talk about cricket all day… especially after a 1-1 draw with Leyton Orient.

  100. I have mj… haven’t seen much of him though… but have heard he is rapid. Does he bowl a good yorker?!

  101. bob’s just trowing NJG a googly.

  102. throwing

  103. Bowls a fantastic yorker, although not his speciality. He’s known for mixing up out & in-swingers. Not too rapid either these days..

  104. Throwing duke! Throwing!

    I may have bowled a few googlies in my time as taught me by my dear old Dad but never have I thrown one.

    The problem to me is that Cricket and baseball are not much alike. Just because there is a bat and ball involved in both sports doesn’t make them comparable and that is what many Americans try to do.

    Cricket, and I know this doesn’t go down well on this site, is the most sophisticated, and nasty, game in the world. Mind you, with the format of this current World Cup, I might start doubting that by the end of next month!

    Apparently cricket was the most popular team sport in the USA for much of the 19th Century. I don’y know why Baseball became so popular. Easier to prepare the ground perhaps, so you could play it anywhere?

  105. The fast stuff was never my game Limpar, so I’m the wrong one to ask.

    I never minded facing it much, just couldn’t get the ball to do anything at pace.

  106. good post as usual yogi….balanced…a fair view
    the magic of the cup does spring these results…but the main issue for me is that we have struggled against the last four teams we have played..
    not one..but four..we seem to be a magnet for the cup magic this season..which is a good sign i suppose 😉
    now i think this could be a result of two things
    a…the squad players cant cut it when they all play together..tempo and cutting edge is lost…
    b..they dont take the opponent too seriously due to their ‘tiddler’ stature..concentration lapses and we get caught out too easily by teams who are ‘up for it’

    it could be argued its a good mixture of both but i think the majority percentage of the mixture is in the b category…
    the squad players could have beat any of those teams easily…even though some of them arent good enough for the PL team and we lose shape when they play, they are good enough for teams in lower tiers most definatley..
    its just lack of application and costly needless errors…if AW doesnt respect his oppo then i doubt the players will…so its gotta be b…

    we will do them at the grove but we really shouldnt need two games to beat the likes of ipswich, leeds and orient…hudds was a real struggle as well and we really shouldnt need the likes of cesc, nasri, rvp and jack to help take us through against these teams..
    thankfully we didnt pick up any injuries and the first team will not be affected and it gives us an extra game to get diaby and rambo back, as well as get some much needed confidence into chamakh….we didnt get beat either and it wasnt like it was a crap performance, we dominated them yesterday apart from a few individual errors we were pretty tidy… so the positives outweigh the negatives massively…
    thank god weve got manutd in the next round…. no more tiddlers left to frustrate the hell out of us… 😉

  107. For a while now I have thought cricket to be the ultimate team sport. As you say, Bob, infinitely subtle yet warlike when it wants to be. Football though, has the potential to elevate sport into art. And art trumps war… no matter how subtle.

  108. Prententious much? I’m going to have a shower…

  109. cricket! the only sport where you play 11 of the other team and 10 of your own.

  110. Spirit of the FA Cup my arse. Almunia’s howler was the difference. The Orient player shot it straight at him and he managed to elude the ball ..like an acrobatic dodge-ball player. AW needs to drop Almunia. Forever.

  111. @vaardo
    What is your opinion on Szczesny’s howler against Barcelona?

  112. Seems vaardo knows little about football. This line says it all.

    “The Orient player shot it straight at him and he managed to elude the ball ..like an acrobatic dodge-ball player.”

  113. why do ppl continue to compare the barca goal to orients??
    its not even a strong arguement..its tosh…ches was megged by a few yards manny was megged by more than 12..
    by comparing the goals your just belittling one player to defend another

  114. NJGooner – This should make the rules of cricket clearer. 🙂

    http://www.melcarson.com/rules-of-cricket-simplified.html

  115. @JJ
    No, I am merely pointing out the hypocrisy. If Szczesny had conceded that goal yesterday you wouldn’t find half a dozen posts the day after talking about his “howler”. Case in point, the offside goal against Everton was quite similar to the one we conceded yesterday. The shot was a bit weaker but a bit better aimed.

  116. there is no hyprocrisy tho evil cos ches didnt conceed that goal..manny did..
    defend manny by all means but dont make out ches is making the same mistakes in the process..cos he aint…

  117. But I pointed out an instant where he conceded a similar goal and where no one would have even pointed out that it might have been a shot that could have been saved.
    And of course there is hypocrisy. Szczesny, together with Jack, is one of the “golden boys”, so to speak. No matter what they do, they can do no wrong. While Jack has grown immensely over the course of the season in the beginning he had his fair share of mixed performances. But you wouldn’t have seen him criticised for that. However, when Diaby, Denilson or one of the other usual scapegoats performed like that, the same people that did not criticise Jack would be out in full force to heap the blame on those players.

  118. it wasnt even a similar goal mate
    and of course they are everyones golden boys..
    they are doing the biz…even AW thinks so just look at his team selections..
    denilson and almunia have been forced out of the team….and now ppl want the likes of jack and ches to be given the same gametime almunia and denilson got (which would allow them about 3-4 years worth of mistakes)…and while we are fighting for everything and not just for fourth it looks like they’ll get it…silver ware included…

  119. its not just them who are the golden boys..
    rvp, nasri, cesc, sagna, koz, jd, song…
    the whole entire first team are the golden boys..

  120. haha dups that should be the definition of shit defense/keeping. funny how W-Ham doesn’t have a goalkeeper crisis a la the arsenal. i crack myself up with the irony seriously. or not seriously.

  121. You got to laugh really… RVP was being slated less than two months ago for being injury prone by Arsenal bloggers up and down the web, some wanted him sold FFS. Song is being slated NOW for his supposedly uninterested performance against Orient (go figure). Kosceilny was whipping boy for a whole load of bloggers until very, very recently including the likes of the the lady at Highbury House where JonJon goes to get his views confirmed. Even Nasri was being described as a fat French waste of money only last season! And JD was around when the likes of Jonjon were baying for a new CB signing at the start of the season!

    That’s the problem with most of these folk… it’s not just that they are clueless about the particular issues (Almunia is most definitely not to blame for the goal we conceded against Orient) but they forget the very things they were saying less than a few weeks ago. Now Jonjon feels able to list all the players that he and his fellow travellers spent ages slagging off as Golden boys! If that isn’t hypocrisy I don’t know what is…

  122. That was identical to the goal scored by villa. i knew straight away that big Al, would be made a scape goat of. It is was tech9, it would be that the player had a moment of brilliance. I was glad for al’s sake that he was not the keeper versus Newcastle, else, many would have almost excused the ref just to have a go… in that game, squilachi who was not directly responsible for any goal conceded was taking the heat for the pass to diaby, that cause the tackle by barton, like barton ever needed an excuse to misbehave?

    irony was that big Al may have actually saved one or two of those pens.

    I really wish like Joshua and others have said, this selective scape goating would stop

  123. joshua i laugh at you all the time…
    ive tried to see things from your point of view but i honestly cant get my head that far up my own arse…..

    and id like to agree with you on almunia but that would make us both wrong…

    as for ‘the list’..lets just see what AW does in summer shall we son??? 😉

  124. team spirit?? eh??identical?? whatever
    im finished on this subject if some of you continue to make daft comments
    newcastle had something like 19 shots in that second half bombardment..ches let two in…cant count pens they just a lotto…he was amazing in that game..thats why he never got knocked
    it seems to me that some of you just want the likes of ches and jack to fail…
    i find it bizzare to be honest that certain players can get years of chances yet when a top player does come along you seem somewhat jealous….and are determined to pull him down in your own justifications of a no more than average performer…

  125. Carlos’s fox in a box goal. this is what he normally does if he is played upfront.
    http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/carlos-vela-wolves-8550008/

  126. Team Spirit…

    I totally agree about Newcastle. I wanted to say something similar but TBH arguing about these things is often not worth the time because the people you are arguing against are not making any valid points to begin with and often there’s logic or rational thought to what they are saying just some emotional guff. Squillaci got blamed for the us giving up that 4-0 lead despite the fact that none of the goals were directly attributable to him! That’s how the scape goating thing works… find an unpopular player and blame him, it doesn’t matter whether they are blameworthy or not. I bet you that if Eboue was playing last night that some of our bloggers would have found a way to blame him for this too!

    And you are correct about the two penalties Tech9 faced against Barton… I too suspect that Almunia may well have saved one or both because he is an outstanding penalty stopper… I still remember his save against Tottenham from Robbie Keane… it’s ironic that his troubles really exploded when he injured himself saving a penalty against West Brom! I bet he wishes he’d taken himself off after the 1st half in that match now.

    Don’t get me wrong Almunia has his weaknesses and even Wenger had gotten tired of his errors but the guy is entitled to some respect and some fairness… and frankly you have to ask how many better No2 keepers are playing in the league right now. I hate this piling in on players that some people just seem to enjoy. For me it is both cowardly and fairly brainless.

    Goodnight all.

  127. fabianskis a better no.2
    too bad hes injured
    and AW has shown manny no respect either..trying to sign a ‘stop gap’ in summer…dropping him to third choice and then saying hes in no mans land in jan..
    is AW clueless also???? mmmmmm… something to ponder while you sleep…

  128. @jon jon

    that was a dramatic response to my comment. No, calm down and go back and read my comment, then read urs. where did i say newcatle was same as yesterday? i said david villas goal was similar against tech9 as yesterday.

    just give a balance criticism is all we re saying. \exaclty what do i have to gain with tech9 not doing well? and Jack? where did that come from? all i spoke abput was it being made out that al was at fault for the goal and the tech9 was at fault for villa (thats barcelona’s villa not aston villa. LOL)

    just use the same yard stick for criticism… what made tech9 amazing in that game letting in 2 goals and al the worst keeper ever letting in one?

  129. I am with Joshua

  130. it is the way u guys go about criticising certain [layers that drawa the comparisms being made. make no mistake i am happy for tech9, he is taking his chances which is what i did advocate when he was delaying signing his contraact… he would have missed out to the chance that ahs currently been presented to him.

    just the same way AW has gradually brought jack and teck 9 into the team rather than rush them in response to clamour from the fans is how i want u to trust him on the others. yes he is man and can make mistakes and some players can let him down at times, but just the way arshavin is getting back to form, is how the others should be allowed to find their feet again coming back from injuries and all that.

    it is not an attempt to say tech9 is not due the chance he has gotten, just allow the others to be, they are not as bad as u guys make them out to be

  131. nah mate you said it was identical…when it wasnt
    and you brought up newcastle asserting the irony that manny might have saved the two pens..
    thats what you said you need to read your own comments…

    look we can do the scapegoat thing all day but the fact remains that your scapegoats are not getting the games they once did… they are out of the team so unless AW is scapegoating them too then i dont see what your asserting with all this ‘if jack did this’ and ‘but if chesny did that’

    it just looks like the green eyed monster to me…

  132. Limestone: “Might be the best thing for Ryo not to have got that visa right now. He is getting first team action; I know it is “just” the Eredivisie but he is very young and doesn’t need to be playing in such a physical league right now as he grows into his body.”

    Romario and Ronaldo played in the Eredivisie at one point in their career before becoming superstars at Barcelona. That league may be small but it punches way above its weight as far as competitiveness is concerned. Not to mention that it produces some of the best players on the planet.

  133. That was identical to the goal scored by villa… that’s my starting line… identical to villa’s goal not identical to the new castle match.

    how does this relate to your comment
    “team spirit?? eh??identical?? whatever
    im finished on this subject if some of you continue to make daft comments
    newcastle had something like 19 shots in that second half …”

    newcastle was brought up by me as a typical example of a game where the keeper was hardle at fault, but because it was tech 9, this was easy to see. if it had been Al in goal, u can bet he would have been declared the cause of the collapse in exactly the same way squillachi was taking the blame for coming on for an injured JD, even though he hardly caused any of the goal…. that was not to compare the two matches, rather the blame thing…. read it again

  134. Firstlady | February 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    – I am not biting but to set the record straight, in all my posts I avoided the D- word like a plague. However I despise the mindless scapegoating of Almunia and Denilson and I don’t hesitate to “smack down” the perpetrators.
    – I may have disappointed some (Paul N?) by revealing honestly how I felt about yesterday’s game but I make no apologies. Time will tell. If Rosicky proves wrong I will be the first to apologize.
    – Strange thing though is how many are longing for the return of Diaby and Ramsey. Seems something is lacking in that midfield when Cesc or Nasri are out.

  135. Gainsbourg, I know that. That is exactly why I put “just” in the quotation marks. Thanks for the memories particularly of Ronaldo as he has just retired, but you could have pointed out more relevantly that RvP played in the Dutch league at Ryo’s age.

  136. You can admit it, Shotta. You were a closet doomer, and coming out isn’t always easy, so I support you in your courageous decision to be yourself!

    But seriously, it is a reasonable point to raise though it isn’t sufficient to explain the problems we have had with lower league sides, particularly when we make wholesale changes. Many of the other reasons have been suggested. My own sense is that Song-Denilson isn’t a very dynamic pairing and that Chamakh and Bendtner seldom seem to combine well on the front line. Maybe the rust will be shaken off for the replay. In the meantime, we have to support Rosicky like all our players for the rest of the season, look forward to his better play on the right, and hope that they all do well, as they all have important roles to play in our four competition season.

  137. Limestonegunner | February 22, 2011 at 1:45 am |
    L/G – I read something elsewhere by Ole Gunner, a veteran of this blog but who doesn’t post as much these days (I wonder why), bluntly stating that Song was our worst player on the pitch. I too was critical of his awful passing during the game and in some respects I think my Rosicky point is way too focussed. My general point is our midfield was blunt and lacked creativity.

  138. Shotta, you don’t need to cite Ole as an authority to me, since I already agree that your point was a reasonable one to raise in discussion. In fact, I added to the issue about our midfield by my own observation that the Song-Denilson partnership hasn’t been as dynamic as other pairings, imo.

    It seems you missed it, so I’ll point out that the first part was a joke.

  139. Shotta is a closet doomer? Hmmm, now that you mention it, he has had some unsavoury words to say about Nasri too in the past, e.g. slating him for not shaking Gallas’s hand in our match against the Totts.
    How could you shotta, you’ve been fooling us all these years! 😉
    Maybe thats why you spew so much venom against doomers on this site. Some kinda self hate issues going on….? lol

    On a slightly more serious note, I think you’re missing First Lady’s point, which is that you can’t slate Rosicky in one breath and then accuse JJ of doing the same to Almunia in another.
    Now, I don’t think for a minute you were criticizing rosicky in a thoughtless, ‘doomish’ way. You kinda backed up your opinion of him with some ‘evidence’. But so did JJ. Why then are you on his back for doing something you’re also doing?

  140. Song was dreadful but the problem is expecting 11 players who’re not physically sharp (they don’t play a lot of games) to come in cold and be fantastic.

    But we can’t have it any other way. We have too many games, so it’s an advantage to rotate. As the ‘business end of the season’ approaches, it’s necessary to get the rest of the squad involved as they will invariably be called on to fill in for the XI that features frequently.

    It’s a bit of chicken and egg. They need to be playing frequently to be sharp and play at their best, but if they’re not at their best they can’t play frequently.

    There are some attitude problems involved as well of course. But there’s no reason any XI selected at Arsenal shouldn’t beat League 1 sides.

  141. I thought well done Orient, good goal too, passing their way at the death. Nice team I thought.

    Other than that the exciting thing for me was to watch Miquel (I haven’t seen him play before), and I really liked what I saw. This is a talent! I do wonder Eastmond isn’t getting some game time. Is he out on loan.

    The team wasn’t too impressive, Bendtner’s touch a little sloppy, Chamakh rusty and even usually so impressive Gibbs not up to his standard. Song was fine on the whole, and acted as pivot to a number of attacks.

    I’m pretty sure Wenger’s analysis would have been disappointment on the attacking side, not the defensive side, but Orient played their part in that.

    Just for the record 22 Feb and still in all 4 cups, a magnificent achievement.

    COZ (world cup).

  142. Joshua’s got more patience than me! I definately would have told Jon Jon to fuck off with far less respect and rather aggressively for his last comment! In fact the mere suggestion that we argue vehemently for Almunia and Denny to be some kind of perverse subtle player bashing is grossly stupid, incorrect and offensive.

  143. It occurs to me that the team which played against Orient, while not winning, they generally don’t lose games. They just need something to take them over the edge, be it a moment of individual brilliance or telepathic team dynamism.

  144. Despite the best efforts of TalkShit broadband, a post has been made today. Of sorts.

    https://aculturedleftfoot.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/barcelona-2nd-leg-ought-to-be-fun-more/

  145. yeah well done gadget, tell jon jon to fuck off coz je brings his opinion to the tabel which is different to yours. he isnt telling Wenger to fuck off unlike them cunts over at le groan.

    I had a read after the barca game and not one fukin comment praised Wenger for his tactics or subs but as soon as we drew with orient the old Wenger is a cunt he didnt make no subs shit came out, tell you what gadget why dont you go over there and tell some proper doomers to fuck off.

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