Disappointing Result But The Title Race Is Alive

Arsenal 0 – 0 Sunderland

Arsenal’s rise to the Premier League summit stumbled yesterday, a mixture of their own performance, another outstanding goalkeeping display by the visiting custodian and bumbling officials contributing to a disappointing result. Disappointing but not disastrous. Even if Manchester United win this afternoon, the true gap is still three points.

A slow start deprived Arsenal of an early goal, Sunderland had two early chances, Malbranque and Bardsley both missing the target. The latter’s miss seemed to provide the spark for the home side. Crisp passing found Clichy on the left, his cross narrowly evading Bentdner’s lunge, Nasri thumped his effort into Mignolet’s chest. It was not the first time during the proceedings that a shot would fly comfortably at the Belgian.

A pattern for the remaining seventy minutes was struck when Szczesny saved well from Sessegnon and Malbranque was culpable once more when Djourou closed down a potential chance. The match was going to be incessant Arsenal pressure, interspersed with sporadic Sunderland raids.

Wilshere threatened to break the deadlock before the first half’s best chance for Arsenal went begging. Djourou flicked on a corner, Bendtner acrobatically shot, the ball landing once more on Mignolet’s chest. If the Dane had been denied by a routine save then, Mignolet’s next intervention was more athletic.

Bendtner latched onto Jack Wilshere’s sublimely chipped pass and lashed a powerful, dipping half volley goalwards. The Sunderland ‘keeper arced his back and his fingertips deflected the ball over the bar for a corner.

The second half descended into a dogged affair from kick-off. With fifteen minutes of scrapping passed, Wenger changed things around with Denilson making way for Chamakh. It opened the game out and gave more attacking  options.

Denilson is an enigma. Having started as a defensive midfielder, his first team breakthrough was in a more attacking role. His performance yesterday was not his greatest yet he did little wrong. With Arsenal on the front foot for most of the game, the Brazilian needed to provide a barrier in the centre of the pitch to midfield raids by the visitors. That they utilised the flanks more was an indication of their route to the Arsenal goal.

Chamakh  almost made an immediate impact. Breaking free on the right, he crossed for Arshavin, the Russian’s shot was straight at Mignolet, the Belgian beating the shot away. A foot or two to the goalkeeper’s right and the power of the shot would surely have beaten the Sunderland goalkeeper.

Mignolet was proving a stubborn barrier and with eighteen minutes to go, he would once more deny Arsenal when Koscielny was scythed down on the edge of the area. Nasri curled the ensuing free-kick toward the top corner, Mignolet putting a firm palm on the ball, his defenders completing the clearance from the central third of the penalty area.

Mignolet would be beaten before the final whistle though, rescued on both occasions to keep a clean sheet. Firstly Chamakh’s powerful header rattled the inside of the post and secondly, when Arshavin appeared to beat the offside trap to score, he was denied by the flag of the Referee’s Assistant.

The decision was as controversial as the penalty denied when Bramble blatantly shoved Arshavin in the second half. Whilst the offside was a matter of interpretation, the denial of a penalty was baffling. Arshavin broke through, Bramble started pulling the Russian’s shirt outside of the area.

As the Arsenal striker shot, Bramble’s apparent stumble caused him to fall with outstretched arms into the Russian’s back, forcing Arshavin off balance. With Bramble having been committing a foul outside of the area, there is no rational belief that he stumbled inside, the defender dived deliberately at Arshavin hoping for the contact to appear accidental.

Szczesny preserved the point with a stretching save from Wellbeck before the ball hit the Pole’s chest following Henderson’s shot.

In his post-match interview the Arsenal manager credited Sunderland for their defending whilst offering that his own side lacked creativity. Fàbregas was sorely missed as was van Persie although it is hard to say definitively whether either would have made the telling difference.

For Arsène, attention turns to the Camp Nou. Wilshere is out of training for ‘one or two days‘ but it seems unlikely that he will not play in the Champions League, especially with Walcott and van Persie definitely out.

What is of more concern is sound of thousands of towels wafting through the air as cornermen around the globe concede the title race. It is completely bemusing for the negativity surrounding the result to be taken to that extreme. With a gap of three points, Arsenal will be level if they beat United at home in eight weeks time. By then, the roles might be reversed with the visitors needing points to close a gap. Who knows? Defeatism is simply not necessary or acceptable.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on March 6, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 259 Comments.

  1. first!!!

  2. As ALWAYS a good read..All is not over..FIRST….

  3. No you weren’t..Identical time…

  4. Spot on Yogi. One of the few sensible bloggers out there who once again eschews the opportunity to jump on every passing negative bandwagon.

  5. great review yogi
    all is indeed not lost..worst case scenario is that utd go 6 points clear with a game in hand, if we win our remaining games we match them for points if they win all theirs but ours…so GD maybe an important issue..
    but we need our wounded back on the front line
    denilson is truly an enigma..
    my question is…
    if he doesnt have the strength, speed and overall tenacity of a defence minded player, and he doesnt have the vision, the creativity or directness of an attack minded player..then what use is he?? besides being able to pass a ball a few feet….which anyone can do

  6. that first bit sounded confusing lol
    i meant if they win all they games but lose the one v us

  7. It’s understandable that some supporters are a tad sensitive after the last week. I don’t read other blogs much so I don’t know what they are saying.

    I am dissapointed. I can’t imagine there are any Arsenal fans who aren’t after a week where we lost a cup final, dropped two points and continue building an injury list!

    Thia season will go to the wire. We are just as likely to deliver more winning performances than manu as the reverse. We are a better side, they are more obdurate.

    Barca on tuesday? Anything could happen, ditto manu in the FA Cup on Saturday. It’s the Prem. that’s holding my attention.

    Always frustrating to drop points and we have dropped too many for comfort but with Cesc and RVP back for the run in? I’ll back us all the way.

  8. The biggest problem with Arsenal now is that we are facing a scenario which was oh so familiar to us last season-Injuries !!!! I understand Arsene’s reluctance to buy players but what about our existing young players out on loan? Certainly Henri Lansbury should have been retained ,he could have been a better alternative to Denilson . About Denilson, what can I say ? He is much a better interceptor of passes than a pure tackling defensive midfielder. Gilberto was the same, but he didn’t need to tackle as there was Viera to do that , Gilberto just went about his job in a quiet way .

  9. Paulie Walnuts

    Excellent summary Yogi,

    I`d agree with Hansen for a change in that we were too slow out of the blocks. It`s happened too often at home & allows the opposition to settle into a game plan & build confidence.

    The end of the season is a better time for player assessment IMO.

    For now we have to get behind every player who pulls on that great jersey.

  10. Sunderland are a pretty good side, we were without Fabregas, v Persie, Walcott and Song. no wonder we lacked some rhythm and attacking menace. it’s not a great result, but it’s not the end of the world. some bloggers are ridiculous

  11. shrek2be

    Let’s not forget that of the injuries, only Walcott’s is long-term. We have only got 1 PL, 1 CL and a max of 2 FAC matches before RVP returns. I think people are overreacting because of the reason Cbob said: it’s too soon on from Birmingham.

    Also, the media coverage of the Arsenal is entirely negative at the moment. Sky News repeatedly tell us that Arsenal have blown the title despite the gap being only three points. The Murdoch Empire in print is no better, tabloid mentality is taking hold.


  12. you will support Wenger even if we dont win anything this season. You are such a bunch of idiots!!!!

  13. its all the injuries which is the hardest pill to swallow in all this..
    weve come so far..weve done so well
    and now we are facing the possibilty of playing the players who cant get passed the likes of leeds, orient, hudds and ipswich without making a meal of it..
    the utd fans are pissing themselves…theyve been granted the miracle they wanted…
    if we dont get those lads back in time we could find ourselves out of everything weve fought for in the space of a fortnight…

  14. If Ramsey wasnt fit why was he on the bench if he was fit why didnt he come on at half time instead of the poor Denilson.AlsoChamakh should have come on at half time.Wenger leaves the subs too late

  15. Fuck off is the title race alive. No way will we beat the mancs to it. They are too good for our carefree players with no bite. If Wenger persists with Denilson and Diaby (which he will) in ANY game, we will either lose or draw it. Our only players that care are clichy, sagna, Wilshere, fabregas and RvP. What does that tell you, that our players don’t want to win, they just want their wages. You can go fuck yourself if you think we have ANY hope of winning the title.

  16. Utd will win by at least 8 points. FACT

  17. james
    its a beef i have about yesterday
    whats the point in sending rambo out on loan for the last few months to two different sides to get him match fit only to not use him??

    the media are going into overdrive with the ‘chokers’ thing…
    although some bloke on sunday supplement said we’ll still win the league so props to that man

    yeah cbob pl is the one..thats the priority now..

  18. a sense of de javu here.in feb 2008,in birmigham,we lost eduardo n drew 2-2 afta going two up.at that stage we were 5 points ahead in the league.we then drew our next 4 matches n lost the fifth to chelsea.our league hopes,fa cup and champions league went down.2010, febuary again.couldnt defeat birmigham again.lost our best striker again.drew our next league match again.
    I think by the time van persie is back, arsenal would be out of the fa cup, champions league and our league challenge all but over. Again. I hope im wrong.

  19. I agree all is not over for the title mind you where i was sitting yesterday lower tier north bank all around me was doom and gloom. Having said that do we truly believe that this side have the belief to finish above the mancs. Arsene goes on and on about mental strength well sorry i just do not see it in this side apart from the obvious few. As much as my heart says yes it’s our’s come may the head keep’s saying stop dreaming this team just have not got the winning mentality and will always lose out to the mancs or chavs. The answers well everybody has their ideas mine is a clear out of the dead wood that has been stinking out the colney creche for years now. A defence coach KEOWN is my shout, training methods far to many injury’s and medical staff seem to have a problem with anything more than a sprain. In the summer arsene has to take a look in the mirror and question himself cos their is nobody since dein left to question the great EGO. He has to draw a line under his experiment for the past 6 years and invest in the squad with the younger players that we know can cut it in the prem to complement top class players that would breath new life at the creche. I’m not saying go and spend fortunes cos that’s not us but we can compete in the 10-20 million bracket to finish of arsene’s project. If not it will be groundhog day whilst arsene is in control. Also the standard in the prem this year is really poor that’s why we are in with a shout of the title,with this squad it is top 4 at best.

  20. Nice one YW.

    A breath of sanity as usual. I don’t visit any other Arsenal blogs (apart from Tony’s Untold. God bless him)…but I can imagine the bullshit that’s been regurgitated. We are not out of it. Only someone who can’t count would come to that conclusion. Even if, god forbid, Liverpool fold today……it just means that we have to beat the Mancs at home.

    Predictably there’s worms crawling out of the woodwork. F*cking hell, people are depressing. When I read the comments of Suga, shti and arsenal4ever I understand what Bill Hicks meant he said “a virus with shoes”.

    Time to don a curly wig and false ‘tache and become an honorary scouser for a few hours..


  21. The reactionaries are out in full force, forgetting Sunderland are coming 8th, beat Chelsea and drew with Man Utd. They are a quality side.

  22. Consols Bob is right (again). We should feel disappointed after the last seven days. If not, then it doesn.t matter to you and then you are not a supporter. QED.
    Good post ,though, but re Denilson, there is an old saying that the person who never made a mistake never did anything. Appropriate in this case I think.

  23. Well I really don’t agree.

    Once again we are the nearly men. Our team was found short, the depth of the team was found to be short, the usual injuries have shown up again, its all just fancy football and words. This hasn’t only happened this years, it seems to have happen in the last 5 years. We are everyone’s second favourite team. Yaddy, Yaddy ya…………………………..

    The simple probablity is we will not win the EPL this year, this was Arsenals best chance to Win.
    -Man Utd – have been playing badly but winning
    -Chelsea – have gone off the boil and started to buy
    -Man City – are assembling the team and will spend more next year
    -Liver pool – are turning a corner, new owners, canoili, and Clarke will make them better
    -Tottenham – have turned around with some great players, but just short

    We lost the EPL because we drew 4-4 at Newcastle when we when we were 4-0 up! We didn’t beat Sunderland, forget offsides and referee decisions. We didn’t win when winning was the easy option, and we drew when we needed to win. We didn’t win the league cup against Birmingham.
    We have to change, we need to buy some hard tackling nonsense leaderships who scream at players when they want an extra touch, who scream at them when they lose the ball, who make the opposition feel every tackle. We need some high impact subs who come on and get goals.
    I don’t care that we are owned by a US/Russian Billionaires and are shares are traded at 12,000 per share, and we have a good business model and we only made a loss of 2.5 Milion in six months, I just want the team, supports the bloggers to stop the excuses and say we are not good enough. We have to change

    PS I am sure that we will play well against Barca and everyone will say things are wonderful, just read this article in March 2012 same old, same old.

  24. nah glen wengers philosphy has been successful weve brought through the best players in the league in cesc jack song jd ches clichy
    even the young lads coming thru now are looking lood lansbury etc
    the problem lies in keeping the ones who arent good enough for too long..
    in recent seasons we havent had much choice but to keep them cos of the financail restraints but now the shackles are off i expect to see changes in the summer..
    im just hoping we can win something before the summer…

  25. surrey
    noone loses the epl in march

  26. The tempo is key for us, particularly at home.

    The problem I saw yesterday was the time it took to get the ball to the likes of Wilshire, Nasri and Arshavin. Diaby, for all his skills, holds on to the ball for too long, allowing the opposition defence time to set themselves. I would have liked to see Diaby and Wilshire change positions yesterday, with Wilshire deeper and Diaby off the front in Fabregas’ usual slot.

    That would have allowed Diaby to use his dribbling skills in and around the box rather than 20 yards further back and allowed Wilshire to play the quick passes to the font 3.

  27. arsenal4ever,
    At the moment, berating Wenger or the team won’t do us any good. In fact it impact is entirely negative. To win anything this season, players have to invest as much as the fans. Besides, every one has been saying that Arsenal need to buy and buy and buy, but the Chelsea and Man City experiment has proved that you can have all the expensive players and still fail to win.
    Wenger is still the best option we have, unless ofcourse if you bring Moulinho (who is not going to come). Many people want a change just for the sake of it, it’s ridiculous!

  28. Yet another chance for Denilson and Diaby to show this supposed world class ability they have blown. They were both shocking, the lack of pace and more alarming lack of effort was a really apparent when put in a midfield with Jack W. Denilson and Diaby do not belong at this football club and have been sucking up resources in squad places and inflated wages for too long.
    When will Wenger ditch these two wasters?

  29. Galway Gooner,s point is so true. Spot the difference in chance made when Denilson came off and Nasri, wastes out wide for over an hour, moved into the middle.

  30. Passsengers?
    I suppose Cesc and RVP were passengers when they were playing like donkey’s before Xmas or thereabouts as they came out of their staggered post-WC, post injury, pre-season. It’s a good thing these passengers had helped keep Arsenal in the hunt for the PL.

    Agenda? Nope, not at all. The troll has no agenda. Same old same old.

    >tabloid mentality has taken hold.

  31. The cricket was fun.
    Broady has found a little form after having been a ‘passenger’ after his return from injury. Who’d have guessed it.
    It is a long tournament, so it was the right decision to play him earlier on.

  32. Good positive Blog – keep up the positive vibes, still a lot of “twists and turns” to come. SHTI and Surrey Gunner – please take your medications and if you cant be more objective as a supporter of the best club in the world then go and cheer for spu*s or man u.

  33. Jon jon you missed what i was saying the 6 players you listed are good enough even 2 0f them have won something whilst here when they were playing with men. We all know arsene had to go with project youth cos of the stadium but 6 years now and this team has grown up together and not learning from their mistakes which to me is not good enough. We had a great chance last sunday to get the monkey of their back and they chocked against BIRMINGHAM. Would the mancs or chavs lost that last week no way even though they are not playing to their standards this season they would of buried them. So every chesney we have who i feel will become the best keeper in the world. Arsene than let’s it down with the other 2. That’s why this summer is the breaking point where a major clear out of the dea dwood has to happen. That’s why i said we know the one’s to keep and than invest in proven quality to finish of what he started when he broke up our last great side.As for winning something this season i hope you are right but as i said the heart says one thing and the head the other

  34. HAHAHA! We draw a game after being robbed by poor decisions (which have blighted us all year and yet we’re still right behind UTD) and all of a sudden the usual short-termist fools are saying we’re out of the title race, that we’ve choked again. You utter morons are the same people who said Chelsea would have it sewn up by January, that Alex Song/Nasri/Vermaelen weren’t good enough and that we needsed to buy a keeper. Kill yourselves.

  35. I agree with Vince.

    Excuse the appalling grammer above. It’s Sunday, and I have to work…

  36. The biggest problem we have is not the quality of the players but the quality of some of the so called fans. If negativity could win us he title we would win hands down. Get over yourselves. We had a chance yesterday the ref blew it.

  37. Morning/afternoon all!

    Where do these early posters come from? you would actually believe we are out of the race. How can you gain a point on the leading team and be out, with a host of games to be played?

    I kind of find it funny when people say “never mind the offside calls” and all that. Its as if people expect us to score 5 goals per match. Many games are won by 1 goal in the PL so to have 2 wrong calls against you is huge. Arshavin did score and most probably wouldve score if not pushed over. This is why Wenger kept saying its important to win these games by 1-0 when referencing the decisions.

    I am really not too dissapointed and I dont believe I love Arsenal any less, maybe its my confidence that we will be winners when it is all over.

    Have a blessed day all!

  38. JJ @ 11:16,

    I nearly despair. Unless players get actual playing time they cannot perform to their optimum (same goes regarding positive encouragement rather than booing or other negative manifestations of foolishness). This is a simple fact. Your recurrent suggestion – ‘give key squad members less plaing time’?

    Injuries are an occupational hazard and more likely with the increasing games and demands of top EPL football teams. This is a simple fact. Your suggestion: ‘give key squad members less playing time’?

    Arsene has scoured the world for world class players and has a track record of some renown when it comes to identifying AND developing such players. Despite any debates regarding defenders, when it comes to midfielders and attackers there has been no one better. Another simple fact. Your suggestion: ‘he has got it wrong in supporting key members of our current squad’?

    I’ve not read further than you comments so far and so expect that others have already pointed these facts out to you and/or that you have shaken yourself in the interim. If so, apologies for recovering old ground. If not, come on…

  39. JJ,

    Apologies. your offending comment was @ 11:13am.

  40. JJ,

    Another apology. Your even more offensive comment was at 11:26am. I’ll stop there as I fear that this could be a testing exercise as I read through this thread!

  41. 1 loose cannon

    I heard an idiot pundit on the radio calling this team bottlers. They say this is the type of game you squeeze a 1 nil. In fact the result is at least one nil to us but the ref took instructions from the FA that they need to make up for their beloved united, Ok I’m exaggerating but it feels like it. scored a good goal had a clear penalty not given, hit the cross bar. What can we do about it?
    Come you scousers Walk on…. walk on….. and all that. I’m with you today.

  42. “Give the squad players LESS playing time”?!

  43. Passenal,

    By the swill of responses appearing today, I can truly appreciate your comment last night. It beggars belief and takes ever greater self restraint!!

  44. Surrey Gunner

    Arsenal supporters tend to be a little more intelligent than most supporters, we all want the team to be successful and be great, I am not anti Wenger or anti the team. We need to be objective and be tough so we are not in this position March 2012.

    We have lost the EPL, there is less than 15-10% chance of us winning. This is mainly because our team is bullied and intimidated by very physical sides, the tactics of Birmingham was predictable, referees protecting us doesn’t seem to happen, the tactics of Sunderland was predictable, Chelsea/Man Utd will pack the mid field and get us on set pieces or counter attacks. We currently do not have a plan to counter this, we only play sexy football, we don’t have a plan B or have the tough non bull players who can mix it with the best. We desperately need a few players to be bought, or our current side toughen up. Yes its ugly but effective.

    Great sides win when their playing badly, and get last minute winners we don’t seem to have to have squad players who can come on and win.

  45. YW,

    I’m sorry that distractions left it till now for me to say, excellent comment and match report. It is far from over and that single point could prove more important than some obviously allow for.


  46. Surrey Gunner,

    Where do you get the “15-10% chance of us winning” figure from? Does that factor in the Mancs upcoming fixtures (including at the Emirates)? Does it take into account potential injuries to players in the competing teams? Actually, what DOES it factor in?


  47. And u’ll neeeeeeevvvvveeeerrrr waaaaalllll alone, aloneeeeeeeeee………do us a favour lads!!!!!! And by the way fuck off suga3, u fat fuck!!!!!

  48. I post replies quite infrequently, but I read the blog and follow the debates / scraps on the comments section religiously. What really gets my goat is where the fuck do all these people go when we win a football match, they seem to come crawling out of wherever they are hiding as soon as we have some negative results. Fuck ’em I say.
    By the way Jack’s tweeted his fitness.

  49. I had a traumatic accident over one week ago and have been cut off from not only this blog but football and life in general. Slowly but surely I have been reconnecting. Inevitably at ACLF there is a core that wisely says 10 games to go and 3 points this squad remains in the hunt despite injuries and the bent refereeing we usually encounter at this stage of the the title race. Yesterday’s refereeing fiasco is no different from the pattern of biased refereeing that helped sink our title chances when we were 5 pts atop the table prior to the infamous Birmingham City game.
    I must chide YW for failing to highlight Wenger’s “seething” at the refereeing decisions during the post game press conference. He said it was not the first time until the interviewer conveniently cut him off. Go see the BBC report showing the clip of his interview.
    As usual the trolls and doomers encouraged by our slagger-in-chief, jon-jon, spend very little time commending the team for their patience, their persistence in breaking down a stubbornly defensive Sunderland, creating our chances and to inevitably have them wiped away by incompetent and biased refereeing, even if we we were not at our very best. But jon-jon and his ilk have another agenda which certainly has nothing with Arsene putting the best XI on the field. Playing the Wenger-way means we win 9 times out of 10 unless the deck is already stacked with the claque of corrupt, incompetent referees who are currently ruining the Premier League as sure as night follows day.

  50. Well Surrey Gunner that post wasnt intelligent to me.

    Where do these people come from with such nonsense.


  51. Shotta mi bredrin, I hope everything is well now or getting there.

  52. Dgob, the way how I see it, these people believe that Arsenal must win every single game, if not, we cannot possibly win for United are undefeated.

  53. i dont want to kid myself but i think and believe that our season is over. with this lot of players,we will not beat barca,let alone man united who seem to beat us all the time.it’s all over chaps,lets start building for next season.

  54. where do these people come from!? day in and day out no comments but aftre gaining a point them come out of the woodwork with their negative vibes.

    doerner, unless you can predict the future your comment means nothing.

    This is not the blog for your type of reality, we believe until its over.

  55. 1 loose cannon

    Wonderful skill by Suarez

  56. 1 loose cannon

    well done the scousers

  57. dgob…
    your comment made no sence to anything ive said at all…
    my suggestion???
    what fucking suggestion is this???

  58. manutd defence is shit..
    suarez just walked thru em

  59. shotta
    ive got one word for you mate
    now get of my case you double standard annoying little person…

  60. come on liverpool

  61. come ON

  62. 1 loose cannon

    get in there. 2 nil up the scousers

  63. very good skill by Suarez indeed!

    Pool making United look simple!

  64. KUYT you animal..GET in!!!

  65. 1 loose cannon

    They should be 4 nil up really . Manure fortunate to be 2 down

  66. I just felt a great disturbance in the force – as if a million doomers were suddenly silenced.

  67. jon jon – Shotta has proved himself a 100% Arsenal man time and again. His record and his support are unimpeachable. Rather than insult him you would do well to read his comments and learn from them.

  68. 1 loose cannon

    if this United team win the league it will be a crime . I’m lauging at the idea that Manure get better at the end of the season. I can’t see anything to suggest they will get any better. I said our away form will win us the title and I will stick by that. If i’m not wrong united won 3 games away all season.

  69. do one steww
    shotta spends all game slagging rosicky off and then dares to challenge me about my opinions on denilson and diaby playing together when its obvious to hellen keller its never worked in 4 years…
    why would i wanna learn double standards…

  70. 1 loose cannon

    Nani’s best theratrics I have ever seen. Really funny what a clown.

  71. OneOfUs at 2:12, classy!

  72. 1 loose cannon

    he is even crying for . Brilliant actor

  73. May the force be with you, always!

  74. come on guys, in times like this we all need to pull together and shed a tear and a prayer for nani…

  75. nani injured as well
    this is looking good

  76. I always thought people hated the Song-Denilson midfield. When did it become Diaby-Denilson? Anyway, people get so fixated on these hate figures – it’s just sick when we’re so close to the top.

  77. 1 loose cannon

    Manure are resorting to dirty tactics and The scousers need to be smarter otherwise one of their players will get sent off.

  78. To be honest I think I ripped the joke off from someone on here, KG!

  79. where are all the early commentors?

    Once United lost their confidence was going to take a dive.

  80. hopefully the mance will implode..
    liverpool will smash em 4-0 and hernandez and berba get injured as well as rafeal getting a red 😉

  81. Isnt it funny how negative people are when Arsenal draw, UNited are down by 2 and Barton says “we got a game on”.


  82. So. It’s not all over after all.

    Seriously, some people just need to grow up or at least start learning from history or at least using their own eyes to judge reality rather than relying on the ‘media’.

    Where and when have utd looked unbeatable this season? If the title is theirs, how come they haven’t got a clear lead on us?

  83. Kyle Bartley scores for Rangers. Captain Caveman is out for BBB, according to the radio.

  84. Double standards from Fucking Dowd again… No sending offs here inspite of the Brawls and harsh tackles..

    Took a long time to get back from yesterday’s heartbreak.. The ref’s performance was unbelievable and it is making hard to accept the incompetence of the ref being the reason.. The cricket world cup is helping though..

    Duke, CBob and other cricket lovers from England,
    Hope you loved the performance this morning.. I loved it… More so to get back at my colleagues here in SA who were laughing after the Eng-India game…

  85. Dowd is probably wracking his brain trying to find a way to give this game back to Man U.

  86. it never was over cbob…
    not in march anyway..

  87. jon-jon, slagger-in-chief, a leopard never changes its spots. Your current obsession with denigrating Denilson-Diaby at every turn has nothing to do with Arsene putting the best XI on the field. Posting at ACLF while playing to the doomer audience shows you have an obsessive-compulsive personality. You are a very sick man who needs a lot of professional help.

  88. Well, we knew that JJ…

    Yes, Indian, that match was very good. One of those exceptions that proves the rule about one day cricket.

    As Finsbury posited yesterday, another proper spinner and England could yet win this.

  89. I question the reason to watch footy in general anymore. Its no fun when the rules of the game are bended so the team that scores most goals does not win. IF it was a fair game with fair referees then i would gladly accept a loss. And that has happend often enough that, when Arsenal does not play good enough. However when the referees decide the outcome which has also happend alot this season the point is gone.

    Yes we have to fight everyone, its everyone against Arsenal and bla bla. But were is the fun in constantly getting screwed over by the ref? Where is the fun when you know you have “lost”( i know we did not loose but it feels like it due to the way it happend) not due to your own preformance but due to the ref?
    This just makes me so incredably sad. Arsenal is and always will be my favorit team, but for me the referees are kiling the game and killing my love of football in general. It does not matter that we got the most exciting and fun team in the world, we are still screwed over all the time. And i do find this really sad cos i love watching arsenal but everytime i watch i know the oponent will kick, dive, tackle and try all the dirty tricks in the book and get away with it. That is not football and its killing mine and millions of others interest. The rules are there to be used , and you got to work within the frame work of it, but when ” all teams are equal for the law but some teams are more equal than others” what can you do?

    I know i should fight it and suppoert, but im not a die hard football fan that live and breath footy 24/7. Footy is my hobby, its something i like to watch after a long week at work. I dont want to have to do all the politics, thats not why i watch footy, i do enough politics in my job, i watch footy as entertainment, like a good film.

    I question the fact i even have to fight this fight in the first place. Are everybody blind? Has sky brainwashed the entire PL Public? Are the majority of PL watchers incpable of understanding what is going on? Or do they know but just dont care? Whats happend to the british people? You have a decent school system you should be able to think critically and ask critical questions to the apropriate autorities when things look wrong and in footy that is the FA. That is after all waht you learn at school. i refuse to belive the average footy supporter is a Wayne Rooney clone, there must be some Chamakhs and RvPs out there too. Well articulated and resourceful, well i know there are non in the pundit world but still.

    Its just no fun to watch a game where the rules are rigged to benefit one of the parites more than the other. Arsenal is not the only club suffering i know but since i am an arsenalfan i can only speak for arsenal since its them i watch. I just question the value of watching PL at all when the favourism is so blatantley obvios as it is. Its clear that Arsenal is not suppose to win this year whatever the cos, hidden or less hidden.

    And people that moan about how arsenal should have scored before and wasted chances. One goal is enough to win a match, always have been always will be. If you score that vital goal then it does not matter how crap you are. One goal is enough. we scored that one goal yesterday. We won the game according to the rules. If the game was played according to the rules the FA themselves has made, we won. Yet they fail to give us the victory. The obvious victory that was clear to everybody. And nobody that has anything to say in british footy reacts? Nobody that has any influence cares? How can you fight that? And if you cannot fight it what is the point of watching it in the first place? Is it worth the fight in the first place?

  90. err sorry a million times for the long post guys….

  91. 1 loose cannon

    Is Rooney still on the bench?:)

  92. Agree, CBob… I feel like we’ll see more of today’s game than the 300+ run fest for the rest of the tournament.. The pitches have dried up and as it is the start of summer, the pitch will get drier giving bowler’s assistance.. England need another specialist spinner.. Just like India needs another medium pacer…

  93. shotta…
    i dont argue with you..you know why..
    never argue with a total idiot, cos they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience..
    you dont like me cos i dont like what denilson offers (who happens to be a love child of some sort to you)
    i dont like you cos your a constant whinger and and anti english…
    so from now on we’ll stay clear of eachother..ok

  94. Well, poodle, you seem pretty passionate to me but, again, you confuse anti football with being English. The last time I looked there aren’t too many Englishmen at the top of EUFA or FIFA.

    Favouritism, vested interests and plain incompetence are universal traits and not the preserve of the English.

  95. 1 loose cannon

    Liverpool are dropping deep a bit .not good

  96. I hear you poodle, its not easy.

  97. 1 loose cannon

    lucky escape for liverpool. They need to get out of their own half

  98. poodle | March 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    – It is even sadder that some of us who are hundreds of miles from the action can see how the refereeing is so rigged yet so-called supporters closer to the scene of action fail to speak out and do something about it. Wenger in the BBC tv interview did everything to keep his anger in check because he/we know it would only make matters worse with the FA and the refs especially, who are virtually unaccountable. But j-j, the trolls and the doomers spend almost all of the time slagging-off certain players.
    Bottomline: We did enough to win but it was stolen from us.

  99. Pool need to retain the ball but instead they are busting a gut to score every time they get it. wrong tactics, they need to wait for their chances.

  100. Pool 3-0….
    Kuyt hattrick…

  101. 1 loose cannon

    Kuyt Kuyt Kuyt


  103. this is lovely

  104. Well, makes it a good weekend, doesn’t it? Look at the amount of goals ManU has conceded. Shambolic! And people talk about OUR defence being bad. Don’t make me laugh.

  105. How wonderful is this?

  106. 3-0, baby. I like!

  107. United are bottlers!

  108. utd are big game chokers

  109. My son just asked why that guy’s jersey says “Smelling”? I was creative in my response.

  110. and Evil, we have been without our best defender for the whole season!

  111. lol @ nolagunner!

  112. hehehehehehe!

  113. Now to get Shrek sent off…


  115. 1 loose cannon

    The Mancs are well beaten. Never mind winning the title from what I can see they will be lucky to hang on to a C.league spot. Our players need to watch this game and see that this title is theirs if they want it. This is really an over hyped united side.

  116. 1LC

    Of course they are going to win the league. Arsenal aren’t good enough. Haven’t you been listening.



  117. good teams don’t lose twice in a row..

  118. 1lc, they are so inferior technically. I believe if not for the refs they most certainly wouldve been out of the top 4 a while ago.

  119. YW, a win yesterday was Arsenal’s only hope of winning the thing!

  120. Paul N,
    We would have been leading the league by some margin if not for the refs..

  121. Yeah of little faith doomers. Come on liverpool. Utd like lambs to the slaughter. This is the definition of being f@cked.

  122. People just keep forgetting that it’s the endless referee bias at Old Trafford that is keeping ManU afloat. They’ve now played 15 matches away from OT, and only taken 20 of a possible 45 points. Newcastle and Blackpool have better away records than ManU!

  123. george rodger

    how much of a twat should these to mugs feel right now?
    shti | March 6, 2011 at 11:31 am | Fuck off is the title race alive. No way will we beat the mancs to it. They are too good for our carefree players with no bite. If Wenger persists with Denilson and Diaby (which he will) in ANY game, we will either lose or draw it. Our only players that care are clichy, sagna, Wilshere, fabregas and RvP. What does that tell you, that our players don’t want to win, they just want their wages. You can go fuck yourself if you think we have ANY hope of winning the title.

    Retard | March 6, 2011 at 11:32 am | Utd will win by at least 8 points. FACT

  124. No fergie time??? Just 3 minutes…

    ManUre gets one back…

  125. Correction: Blackpool 17 away points, Barcodes 18, ManU 20. My bad. They’re very menacing.

  126. George, I wonder why they are no longer posting?

  127. 1 loose cannon

    I hear so much garbage about how Manure get better the second half of the season, they dropped 9 points from a possible 12. that is really not Champions form. Even the Chavs will think they have a chance after watching this game.
    Suarez is a very good player.

  128. ARSENAL – the most in form team in the league at the moment..

  129. They are disappointed that the two sides they love the most (since they only support Arsenal by habit and not because they love the team, the manager and everything else about the club) have fallen apart. First Chelsea and now ManUtd are self-destructing.

    Oh and btw. anyone else who tries to tell me that injuries do not make a difference at all can just plainly f*ck off. Look what two injuries can do to ManUtd in just a couple of games and compare that to the amount of injuries we had the past couple of years, especially the long-term injuries.

  130. Burton on FSC is such a novice. Again, United down by 2 at the half and its “game on”. If that was Arsenal he would say, they have a soft middle and suspect CD’s.

  131. 1 loose cannon

    The spuds up next. Come on the wolves

  132. You see, true to his nature he says Arsenal cannot win the PL, as if United havent lost 3 out of 4.

    What a blow wow clown!

  133. Of the two big home games going in, I’m more nervous about Liverpool than ManU. ManU has yet to beat a top 10 team away this season. Liverpool is really rounding into form.

  134. 1 loose cannon

    Paul N- Burton has just dismissed Arsenal as possible title winners. What an idiot.

  135. Asante sana Liverpool.

  136. Seems to me that the EPL is more important than CL. It would, therefore, be more sensible if Fab does not play on Tuesday in order to give him more time to recover and less chance of a relapse.

    Whilst the thought of the scum getting through to the next round might encourage me to want to take the risk, my head must rule over my heart.

    If we were to beat Barca it would be a pleasant surprise. If we lose and lose Fab for few games, it would be potentially disastrous.

    Maybe, at most, put him on the bench.

  137. OK,

    All the potential suicide victims from earlier today?

    Now we need to see the the Wolves can become vegetarians and devour some Spuds. This is both a funny and increasingly fulfilling Sunday.

  138. george rodger

    Who is Paul N Burton ?
    Anyway am I right in thinking that we only play one EPL game in March?I f so then by then we should have RVP.Theo and the Verminator back ,plus Cesc of course.
    It may just be the bit of breathing space we need to push on and win it.

  139. I hate coming here when we lose or draw because that’s when all the shitty posters show up. We are getting screwed way too much by refs it stinks.if there is any consolation if we dont win it it wont be because we arent good enough but because refs stole it from us.how many points have we lost to refs this season?
    Shotta get well soon.

  140. 1 loose cannon

    nolagunner- Liverpool are perfect for us to play against. I’m optimistic on that game . We do not have a problem against teams who are willing to attack its the parked bus that we seem to have a problem with. Providing we have our defensive duo JD/ Kos, RVP, Walcott, Nasri and FAbregas for the rest of the season then we have every chance. Last season we lost the title at the end because we had no RVP Fabregas, Song Gallas and Arshavin in the last fe w games, that is pretty much the whole team out. this year it looks slightly different.

  141. Arsenal have to go for everything. If Cesc is not ready I dont believe he will play but if he is, he must.

    1lc, even the other panelist are kinda looking at him as if he is biased. what a joker!

  142. Jj,

    Please reread my posts to you. My gripe with you is not universal but specific. I think you should be able to work out how they apply from the provided information!

    However, to sum it up: I think your tendency to blame a few key individuals repeatedly in very niave and is largely influenced by media perspective. My comments are aimed at encouraging a little more reflection on your part and those that share these particular traits with you.

  143. This result makes all of those comments about us not having a chance in hell of winning the league sound kind of stupid, doesn’t it?

  144. Thank you liverpool.

  145. dgob
    lol my comments are not swayed by the media at all..and my opinions are not swayed by anyone else either…
    i watch this team play regular i know who underperforms without the help of anyone..i live in england also so i know how the media work..it doesnt concern me..
    i adressed yogi yesterday about his team selection…its plain for anyone who watches arsenal regular that whenever we play denilson and diaby together we rarely win..its always a struggle..so i suggested we go with rambo instead..
    the combo of denilson and diaby doesnt have the required urgency to take games by the scruff of the neck and it never has,especially without cesc…
    and hey presto..70mins of mucking about before we even try and bash the door down..
    i dont wish to discuss this anymore…ive said everything ive had to say on the issue…

  146. Sp*ds are down 😛

  147. more good news:

    Wilshere on Twitter: “Just to let you know I am not injured and if selected will be fit to face Barca! Few kicks but nothing too bad.”


  148. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I love these doomers that crawl out after losses and draws. Looks you lot will have to ditch those screen names and come up with some fresh ones now that we know you know fuck all about football. Fucking pricks.

    Done in by the dirty Manc refs again. Should of been at least a classic 1 nil to the Arsenal against a respectable Sunderland squad. But nope we get robbed again.

    Man U really are shite. We’re easily the best team in the league and it’s not even close. If it werent for corrupt refs wed be top of the league comfortably. As Frank would say by a country

  149. Double standards from the ref is certainly on the up… I dont remember IFAB making a rule where in a ref can make up a rule as and when he wants depending on the teams..

  150. Frustrating as hell that we didn’t win yesterday. And I hate listening to crap like, ‘you should have won anyway, that’s the mark of a great team’ as if all games will be 2 or 3-0 wins. Yesterdays game was pretty much exactly like the West Ham home game earlier in the season, only this time the legitimate 1-0 goal was ruled out. We have to win, if this Utd team win the league it will be a travesty.

  151. dont we now have more clean sheets than the supposedly superior man yoo defence?

  152. Poodle 2.43 – excellent post. Corruption will eventually ruin support

    Referee (Arsenal) stolen points table (to date)
    2 pts (Dowd) Sunderland (away) goal in the 95th min of a 94 min game (AW fined for verbal abuse of ref)
    2 pts (Probert) Wigan (away) – non penalty for blatant hand ball in the 85 min
    2 pts (Dowd) Newcastle (away) – 2 ridiculous non penalties, and much, much more
    2 pts (Taylor) Sunderland (home) – 1 non-offside goal, 1 blatant penalty ignored.

    These are just the absolute blatant game changing points stolen. The bias, over robust play, non fouls, etc, etc also act as a severe handicap (but less easy to quantify).
    Still think the team will do it if they can manage fewer injuries to the key players over the run in.

  153. We even get done in Europe by the refs… remember the Vela penalty claim against Braga away? Happened just before they scored against us. We wouldn’t be playing Barcelona if that was given, I expect.

  154. I really hate the constant blame directed at the refs! Sure we have suffered at their hands, but so has every other team in the prem ! The only way this is going to go away os to bring in the use of replays and goal line technology. But ! that would make it impossible to influence the out come of a game or season. So I cant see it happening any time soon.

  155. Well well well

  156. Can’t wait for the ManU fans to start moaning about the Carragher tackle after giggling like kids when Gary Neville went around kicking anything that moved without any form of punishment.

  157. So does that mean the mancs are serial bottlers? Oh no that’s us right? Cos our defence is shit…. But the mancs have conceded more goals than us…? Meh, towing the media line aint easy is it? I’m confused, but the media must be right cos they’re so knowledgable about these things and I’m just a prole…

  158. Well as all the pundits and half the Arsenal ‘supporters’ tell us, the Mancs certainly do know how to close off a game and really when it comes to the run in they just grind out results, don’t they?

  159. Was Nani actually crying? I mean really really crying? I think he was you know. I really do. What a fucking puff.

  160. I really hope that ugly little cockroach Nani is crocked for the rest of the season. I dont usually like to see a player injured but he just fucking grates me in ways that only the lesser ronaldo used to! Another injury to Rooney would be great as well.. I almost forgot about him.
    It really is on our hands now isnt it,! Beating united at home will be key, and Liverpool is a worry for me. They are building momentum and I think they have had a new breath of life breathed onto them, their team spirit has improved tremendously too.
    Otherwise the universe seems to be returning to its normal state of affairs,, Prem title being battled out by the BIG 2 ,,, FA cup showdown between the BIG 2 ,, Liverpool , Chelsea, and City fighting for the scraps.. If we can edge Barca out at the newcamp this could be a historical season for us.

  161. Ha ha…”we saw you cry on the telly… Cry on the teeeh-ly…” bit harsh on fucking puffs there Frank…

  162. You can never be too harsh on fucking puffs, Kaotek. The spelling is of course important.

  163. lmao
    one of the comments of the year…

  164. he reminded me of a young C Ronaldo!

  165. Wolves – Tots 3-3. Gomes did a bit of All Star wrestling but no penalty. Another game decided by crap refereeing.

  166. That point doesn’t seem so bad after all!

  167. Yeah I caught that the first time… Cheesey puffs across the land are surely outraged at being unjustly compared to Nani… Meanwhile, the spuds drew against the mighty wolves, so now my brain hurts I have to await the media to tell me my opinion on this matter.

  168. Puyol out on Tuesday, as is the suspended Pique. Surely we can sneak a few goals against Barca’s second string defence. C’mon Arsernal. This is our year, despite the refs trying to snatch it from us.

  169. Jon Jon you don’t have opinions and have never once uttered an original thought that you didn’t read in the tabloids.
    Please don’t delude yourself otherwise.

  170. Can’t believe there are gooner demanding I have more sympathy for Nani and his croc tears! Twitter freaks!!

  171. Nani are you okay? Are you okay? Are you okay Nani? You been hit by, you been struck by, a smooth Dirk Kuyt.

  172. Maria- lol!

  173. In Nani’s defence there was this dude in Germany in the 70s or 80s who got chopped down, and he had this mean gash on his leg – really horrific – but the guy kept getting up to remonstrate with the ref and even the opposition bench before falling to the ground again. Not very pleasant at all, but it was so surreal – I mean he had every reason to stay down but he kept getting up and pointing to this gash. Today was uncannily similar, except the injury wasn’t quite as bad. and even that guy was back playing after a couple of weeks or so.

  174. Maria, lol!

  175. Ewald Lienen’s the name. And I warned you about the footage should you choose it hunt it down.

  176. Borges Spinelli

    Bella at 12:50 pm:

    “The biggest problem we have is not the quality of the players but the quality of some of the so called fans. If negativity could win us he title we would win hands down. Get over yourselves.”

    Well said.

    My beloved ACLF troopers, unfortunately, doomers are a useful reminder to us all of what TRUE SUPPORTERS aren’t. “Never ascribe to malice that which can be blamed on stupidity.” Think of the doomers as your retarded, younger siblings whom you’re forced to drag out, along with you to play with your cool friends. Imagine what it must be like to inhabit their restricted world. Not a pleasant thought, exactly. Therefore, the only logical option is to pity them cordially.

    @Shotta – Extending my best wishes your way. I’m glad you’re at least here today, to impart some of your estimable wisdom on we of sound minds. As MLK knowingly said: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

    @Poodle – Like yourself, I am not blind to the insalubrious bias of the British FA & media establishment. Nor, am I surprised by the muted voices of those ‘enlightened herds’ entrusted, to unequivocally fight our corner from the stands at every match, for that matter of fact… must be a cultural thing.

    On a parting note: Title-winning teams with serious ambitions don’t lose away THRICE in four weeks. Not to mention leaking 6 goals in 2 games. Period.

    Oh, to be a Gunner is a wonderful privilege.

  177. The destination of the EPL title is far from certain. Man Utd have now conceded 3 more goals than Arsenal, so our much maligned defence isn’t so bad. After all the blips we have encountered this season, there we are, 3 points off the top with a game in hand. In anyone’s book, we are in great shape, injuries and all. Man Utd are becoming a spent force away from home and they still have to visit us. On Saturday next, in the FAC, if we are lucky enough to have a strong, unbiased referee, they are ready for the taking. Particularly if we escape from Barcelona injury free and with the tie won.

  178. Did Nani’s cry sound like this?

  179. borges..
    Nor, am I surprised by the muted voices of those ‘enlightened herds’ entrusted, to unequivocally fight our corner from the stands at every match, for that matter of fact… must be a cultural thing.

    whats that supposed to mean exactley..??

    and what culture/place/region of the world are you from may i ask??

  180. After much consideration it is my firm conviction that the EPL will not go to the wire this season.

  181. Frank

    That’s not what I understood your conviction to be for. Ooops, sorry, firm conviction is a strong belief. Yikes…


  182. Passenal,
    From yesterday’s thread: I never said the best players don’t make mistakes. The fact though is that their mistakes are generally glossed over as aberrations, and thus very easily forgiven. Afterall they’re probably considered good players in the first place because they weren’t making that many mistakes…or as in Arshavin’s case, the player has some other attributes that make up for his deficiencies.
    However, if a good player consistently makes mistakes, or plays below his usual standard, in time he’ll come to be regarded as a not-so-good-anymore-player 🙂
    But players who haven’t been able to establish a good reputation, or who have a a less than stellar reputation to begin with are judged harsher. Their mistakes, or incidences of bad play, are taken as evidence of the their ‘normal standard’.
    I think it is a fairly rational reaction – i.e. to excuse one off mistakes of good players, and have less patience with the more frequent mistakes of the not so good ones.

  183. Cheers OOU – not for the faint-hearted

  184. For example, Jack Wilshere has earned his reputation as a midfield star. One of the best in the country already. he rarely gives the ball away and plays with energy and verve. Denilson on the other hand has been dropped in the midfield pecking order by Wenger. He doesn’t have Jack’s vision and range of passing and has been known to be more easily muscled off the ball. If it so happens that both he and Jack was muscled off the ball in a game, you can’t expect most fans to criticize them equally? Surely the natural thing to do is to say, ‘well Jack probably had an off day or something’, right?

    Disclaimer: I utterly and completely detest the horrible abuse directed at Denilsons (and the other usual suspects) by some fans. I’m talking here about sensible criticism, you know… the type Yogi and Shotta are allowed to offer from time to time 😉

  185. I think you may be confusing me with Ponyboy, YW. I was referring to the conviction of my firm. Nothing to do with me. I was out of the country at the time. Left someone else in charge. Anyway it is not as if Alan Sugar couldn’t afford it. Victimless crime really.

  186. Fucking hell, so Ewald Lienen is a Visitor then?

  187. Well, Denilson getting “muscled off the ball” resulted in two of the three yellow cards for Sunderland. 🙂

  188. Evil | March 6, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    – Denilson getting “muscled off the ball” illegally 5 times per game without any penalty by EPL refs is pretty standard fare.Three yellow cards in our favor is the exception rather than the rule.
    PS – I am struggling with typing. Can only use one hand for now so I will keep them short.

  189. henristic
    i agree…peoples reactions on certian players are rational
    certain players in the team wont get singled out for a mistake because those players for example will give you 4 good displays for every 1 thats poor..you know its a mistake and the chances are it wont happen again for a while
    on the other hand certain players will give you one good display for every 4 thats poor..so you come to the conclusion its not actually ‘mistakes’ they are making..its just the way they play…
    its not picking on players nor is it making scapeoats, its basically getting what it says on the tin…and after 4 years and 100+ apps people want to see a different tin have a go instead and get the same amount of time the others got
    we spent 4 years watching denilson and almunia for example, making ‘mistakes’ and all of a sudden we are seeing jack and ches in the team instead and those positions are doing much better…now if in the next 4 years they are no better then ppl will begin to ask questions again..but something tells me they will do just fine..instead of fighting for 4th we are now fighting for 1st so i think its totally rational…

  190. We want to see a different tin ? What… like Heinz as opposed to Sainsbury own brand ?

  191. League Table

    ££££ Mancs £££££ 60
    £ Arsenal £ 57
    £££££££ Northern Chavs £££££££££ 53
    £££££££ Chavs £££££££££ 48
    ££££ Spuds ££££ 48

  192. So no one at United spoke to the media.

    It seems United supporters believe the medi have turned on Fergie! joke of the day that.

  193. Paul N @ 1:47pm,

    Too true and it seems rather silly (if not crazy) to me.

  194. @ consol
    No i dont think i do confuse English and Anti- Football . PL is after all English, there is a fatcat somwhere in your country milking the supporters off, laughing his heads off cos we all fall right into his trap. The PL brand is global but it is controlled from England.

    PL is first and foremost entertainment aimed for the British and even more the English public. Why els would they again and again and again use the mantra “english grit”. And how els can you explain the ridiculouse treatment of the foreginers in the leauge(read Eduardo, Diaby, Ramsey(welsh)vs Shawcross even Charager today). “Dirty cheating foreginers, true proud, honest british grit.” This is not Blatter speaking, this is yours truly Sky sport.

    Those quotes mentioned above are for sure not meant to rub my back. If you want to milk me for money, me who are a part of the global customers if you like, then dont tell me about “british grit” ala Stoke. Why would i wanna see that?? If i want to see that i can watch my own mediocre home league.
    The Pl is first and foremost bread and circus for the(english) people. The fact that the rest of us love it to is just a financial bonus for the PL.

    My point is the change of PL must come from within. From the british/English audiende. Only when they want to watch more “continental style” footy (aka. not anti-football) will the people that earn money from the PL react.

    PL is a buisness. It is run by supply and demand. Sky does what the people want as they feed off the people. IF people wanted to see a fair and well played PL they would let the providers know that and the providers (Sky) would be forced to change. The moneybags would whisper words in the refs ears and they would referee acordingly. Skys main territory is Britain(correct me if im wrong) and they sell better than ever. So that is why i im inclined to think that if the majority of the english audience wanted it to change it would.

    That said i do think there is a large minority that want things to change, but aslong as the majority is either passive or happy or just dont care, then status quo will remain. And that makes me sad. Its not only Arsenal that are suffering. Its the entire English game.

    I may be wront though maybe everything will change ones SAF takes his hat and walks out the door. Lets hope im wrong Consol and lets hope you are right. It would be alot better for the game if you were.

  195. I find the constant and unreasonable critisism of Denilson has got out of hand.

    I enjoy watching him play, and am more than satisfied that, when he does play, he make a valuable contribution to the teams efforts. If you watch carefully, you will see that he is always there or thereabouts when a pass needs to be made. He acts as an important conduit and exit valve for the person who has the ball and is always making himsslef available for a pass and then speedily passes it on, keeping our momentum flowing the whole time.

    If AW knows best, as so many of us feel, then he also knows best about Denilson’s value to the team effort.

    He is rarely spectacular, as many other players might be, but he is always there.

  196. Frank,

    You’re priceless. I saw him crying but thought I was imagining it: a grown man!?

    Can’t wait till he comes to the Emirates (especially following the keep-i-up session he decided to have against us a few years back). Scribers get working on those chants!

    Btw, Mancs lose Spuds sizzle under the heat of a Wolves’ interrogation. Time for a little doomer perspective maybe!

  197. Well said Jigsol!

  198. Fergie didnt talk to the media coz he was looking for a crate of bottles his fukin team lost.

  199. I don’t think that complaining about the referees is a very useful past time and that is irrespective of their frequently doubious decisions. Referees do not defeat teams with decisions. Teams defeat themselves. This especially applies to Arsenal, who, if they were able to capitalize on a small fraction of their attempts on goal, would blow the top off the statistics in the league.

    Arsenal are an especially high quality team who do not take advantage of their possession of the ball. Contrary to some who think that this team lacks tough, aggressive, players, Arsenal are very much a tough aggressive team who control the possession of the ball in virtually every match they play with the possible exception of the Barcelona match this year. Arsenal are in need of their players to fully exploit their possession of the ball!

  200. Henristic, Whilst Jack Wilshere is a good player, I could mention the fact that he has had a long run in the team alongside our best players, and that he was no more outstanding than anyone else yesterday, but what is the point? You have your opinion, I have mine and neither of us is about to change the others’ point of view, so this conversation is over as far as I am concerned.

    It was nice to see someone wearing a Denilson shirt at the match yesterday – you don’t see it often, but it’s nice to know that some people are able to rise above the herd mentality and show some support for the less glamourous members of the squad.

  201. Paulie Walnuts


    I agree that the PL has to change from within but I believe changes are indeed happening , if not quite as quickly as we might like.

    There are only a few teams who now play the percentages. Even Wolves tried to play some decent stuff today on that bog of a pitch of theirs & you only have to take a look at Blackpool to see that the penny has dropped with some, if not all English / British coaches.

    Unfortunately, the Carling Cup Final result gives credence to spoilers but I`m optimistic things will improve over time.

    All of the teams likely to be promoted to the PL play good football too so next season should see a better product on the eye for those of us who prefer `proper football`.

  202. Borges Spinelli

    With respect, jonjon, I believe the comment I left was for the attention of Poodle.

    If you really must know, sir, sou Brasileiro e Canadense. And very cultured since we’re on the subject of culture. I’m willing to bet that you worship my nation’s footballing exploits, much like the rest of the world has done for DECADES (5 times World Cup Campeões, soon to be 6).

    You are more than free to observe up-close and personal, our passion for the beautiful game, when O Seleção plays on the 27th of March at The Emirates. Notice how we cheer-on our national team unreservedly. Don’t forget to bring a binoculars, a notepad e sua paixão along with you. Rsrs 🙂


  203. Passenal, this is not a dig at Denilson but there is no way Denny could produce the display Jack did v barca.

  204. I wondered when someone would bring that up, but Jack was an unknown quantity to BBB – they were so focused on Cesc, surrounding him every time he got near the ball, it gave Jack the freedom to play and he took the opportunity well. But you have a short memory and seem to forget the first leg at home last season, when Denilson came on and suddenly we started winning and holding onto the ball and came back into the game in the second half. Denilson is a good player, the problem is that he keeps being compared to Song, Cesc and now Jack. He is not any of those players, he is his own player and he offers something to this team in the right circumstances. All I’m asking is that he is given credit for what he does and that he is not slaughtered for not being what he isn’t.

  205. Frank ~ come over to my place in the Costa, eh ? Lots of topless men and headless women…

  206. wow, we do have short memories dont we?

  207. Ah you found it, YW. I suppose he was in shock – Nani’s behaviour was very similar I thought.

    I could be wrong, but I think a lot of people see a video like the one of Denilson above and fail to understand how it helps the team – and if that’s true then there’s no way he can win. Still, looking at a couple of the errors yesterday, he doesn’t appear to have much confidence at the moment (understandably), and I’d be a little nervous playing him in Barcelona.

  208. Oh, and I don’t get the clamour for Ramsey – the boy hasn’t played in the PL for a year. There’s no way he’s going to be making his comeback as a starter.

  209. OOU, he would be away from the negative influence of the crowd at Emirates, which might help, although he probably won’t be selected unless the first choice 3 are unavailable. He was not outstanding on Saturday, but then again neither was anyone else. I could not select a MOTM as no one stood out on the day. The whole team was a bit blah, IMHO.

  210. YW

    Totally agree. These words should echo throughout Goonerland…

    “Defeatism is simply not necessary or acceptable.”

  211. Yes, that’s possible, Passenal. I don’t think the Arsenal fans are going to be able to exert either a positive or negative influence up in the stratosphere on Tuesday.

  212. I’d love to play Denilson against Barca as his style of play is much the same as theirs only with added interception-y goodness. We gave the ball away a lot in the opening half an hour of the first leg, something we can’t afford to do at their place and something Deni is an expert at avoiding. On the other hand the trio of Song/Wilshere/Fabregas are pretty much the first three names on the team sheet provided they’re fit, but it’s nice to know we have the Brazillian on the bench ready to come and shore things up towards the end if things are still going our way.

  213. with respect spinelli
    when you insult my nations culture in my presence then it dont matter who your adressing your comments to does it..
    yes i agree your countrys football is sometimes mesmorising and beautiful and youve had some of the worlds greatest play for you
    as for the culture of your fans..well thats a different story fella..

  214. not as goody fucking two shoes as you like to make out are ya…

  215. Bradys right foot

    I think the Man Utd defeat will provide a brief moment of clarity for many of our confused and muddled brothers and sister in Arsenal. The fact that Utd have conceded more goals than Arsenal and our improved defensive performances from the start of the year actually seems to be getting through to some of our more fickle fans. Last weeks howler aside and the Dowd assists at Newcastle the defense have been very good in recent months. JD and Kozzer are very good together and have developed a good understanding, TV even if fit would not be an automatic starter for me.

    Utd were well beaten today and intriguingly the FA cup tie provides a real opportunity for Arsenal to add a bit more pressure. I honestly think that if we could turn them over at OT it would cut deeper than just a cup exit. Could it affect the destination of the league, who knows but it would definately give the players a boost. Arsene will of course have to balance the injuries fixtures and importance of the match but i’d love it Keegan style if we could give them a bloody nose at the theatre of illusions. To those who have abandoned hope I just say surrender yourself to the season and enjoy it good or bad, were still in three competitions that of course may change in the next week but you’ll actually enjoy your team alot more. Last Sunday hit me harder than the CL final crazy I know, but I know the reason I like every other Gooner has invested more time and heartache with this team than any under Wenger and it hurts, but their good and could be one of the greatest Arsenal teams ever, deep down we all know this. Can they get over the line well its a point closer than this day last week and if we can keep going until RVP Cesc and Theo get back WE ARE NAILED ON COYG.

  216. BRF,

    I agree

  217. “Yogi’s Warrior – I think people are overreacting because of the reason Cbob said: it’s too soon on from Birmingham.”
    I tend to think people overreact (just off this season) due to Leeds, Orient, Ipswich, Newcastle, Spuds, West Brom. Nothing is easy and nothing is given this season.. even if people want to keep saying matches are walkovers. Hopefully our players will finally stop playing like they think certain matches should be… fans can be forgiven for overconfidence.

  218. Observation: Barcelona’s attack on the right with overlapping Alves was quite strong in the 1st leg. Any views on how we may counter that threat?

  219. Busch, I don’t believe the players have been playing like certain matches are walkovers lately, I just think games are tougher than people realise. Even the lowliest teams raise their game and play out of their skins when they face us. Arsenal is a massive scalp for them. It’s the people on here expecting 4 – 0 etc who are disappointed when the game is harder than that. Very little credit is given to the opposition or acknowledgement that sometimes you lose, that is the nature of sport.

  220. I see Song may miss the Barca game. Not too much to be worried about if I’m honest.
    Would prefer to see Denilson in there, in his place, but Wenger might go for Diaby. I would bring Diaby in as a sub, I think he’ll make a bigger impact that way. I fear that he may not be able to cope with the swarm of Barcalites snapping on his heels, especially if he hogs ball as he sometimes tends to do. They tend to tire towards the end of games and won’t press as much, and that would be a time to unleash Diaby. His powerful runs could very well turn out to be devastating at that stage.
    Denilson on the other hand can play the one touch pass and move game as well as any of them. He’ll help us keep possession better, which may go a long way to relieving us from the intensity of their attacks.

  221. True Passenal, the games are tougher. But sometimes we shoot ouselves in the foot by not playing up to the standards we’re capable of. Take the recent Sunderland game for instance, you yourself admitted we were below par and no one stood out. That has nothing to do with how well Sunderland played.

    Games that we can win at a canter are few to non-existent these days. We need to play at our best or close to it, to take anything from the majority of games we’ll be faced with from now on.

  222. What a strange title race this year; nobody seem to want to win it. We had a chance at the weekend to really apply pressure to Manure, but did not take it. Manure then had an opportunity to punish us and put a healthy gap in place, but they did not take it. It is still in our hands.

    If Song does not play tomorrow I really don’t want to see Denilson play. My thoughts on him on here are well known, but my reasons for not wanting him to play are simple. One of his faults is that he is not that great at tracking runners off the ball; against Barca at the Camp Nou we cannot afford that to happen. I am not trying to get into the Denilson debate here, as it is pointless.

  223. We’ve had to deal with some bizarre decisions lately – on top of the penalty and non-offside, there was that ridiculous foul throw call just when we starting to put some pressure on them. That was really strange, a little bit like Halsey stopping play when the ball ricocheted off him against Ipswich – they’re just small decisions but they have an impact, and maybe tell us something about the refs’ sympathies.

  224. We have had some stupid decsions go against us, but we have also had plenty go for us. It is selective memory to forget about them, so it seems that ref’s are biased against us (when they are not).

  225. No GA, I’m talking about the really bizarre – rewriting the rule book kind of thing. We got lucky with an offside last week, but that was an honest mistake by the ref. How often do you see a referee give a foul throw these days (even when it’s a fair throw)? And what possessed Halsey to blow up when the ball bounced favourably for us off his back, or the Everton goal – when have we seen a decision as downright mental as that? Come on now. We’ve been on the receiving end of some pretty outlandish stuff lately.

  226. OOU – Oh, I agree with what you are saying. Some of the decisions you mention are beyond bizzare. I am just saying I don’t believe that there is some sort of conspiracy against us (I am not saying you implied that either mate). The Halsey one was the worst for me.

  227. Oh my god, give me strength.
    Busch: You named six teams who should be beaten by a team as talented as Arsenal, three of them aren’t in our league (literally) and one is a relegation candidate. If you want to win the title can you really afford to take one point out of six against Newcastle, blow a two goal lead against Spurs and lose at home to West Brom? For all the credit that’s heaped on the team for performances like against Barcelona and Chelsea, serious questions and criticisms have to be levelled at them when these kind of results are produced.

    Denilson is shocking, he’s played 150 games for us, so it’s not like he’s inexperienced and he’s been involved in two-thirds of the games this season, so this “not up to speed” stuff is just crap. He’s not strong enough or concentrated enough to be a defensive midfielder (not in this league anyway) and has the creativity of David Hillier on Valium.

    Diaby is hugely talented, but is another one who takes too long over his passes and has a streak of sloppiness about his play. I would cut him more slack than Denilson because of his catalogue of injuries, but these games are where he has a chance to make an impression, does he take those chances or forever be a squad player?

    Ramsey is twice the player of Diaby and Denilson combined, the quicker he can get back on the pitch for us the better.

    Lastly, I do realise that these players suffer from comparison to world class performers like Fabregas and Van Persie. But if they are consistently outshone by a kid like Wilshere in his first season in the team then they have to have a serious word with themselves and the manager needs to clear them out. If he’s going to persist with the youth “experiment” then fine, I can live with that, but if they haven’t made an impression enough to be thought of as first-teamers after five years at the club then it’s time to move them on and give some of the others like Lansbury and JET a proper go.

  228. Block4 – Heh, quite a rant. I agree with pretty much everything you said though. I rate Diaby, but take your points about him. He is so inconsistant; one week he looks a world beater, and the next awful. He is worth persisting with though, as we know what he can produce.

  229. Anyone for a Clichy/Gibbs combination on the left side tomorrow night – lots of pace and good defensive cover?

    By the way, we seem to be building Ramsey up into some sort of Messiah – which may lead to some disappointment when he finally does appear – which I am looking forward to, but dont think at the moment he has the flashes of genius that Diaby has, for all his inconsistency. Would play him ahead of Denilson certainly, but Diaby adds something extra into the mix while Ramsey I would see as more duplicative…

  230. Soooo united fall to their 3rd league defeat in 5 games, on each ocassion a win or draw would have meant another step to the title – BUT – the blew it – they choked – their ‘rock solid’ defence ships another 3 goals in a game that might have actually secured the title for them and they proceed to get spanked and lose. Their manager wont talk to the press because hes sulking in the gents loo at Anfield.

    I know all this happened – but you wouldnt think it by the press reaction…….

  231. No, GA, conspiracy is way too strong. I’d love to know what on earth Halsey and Dowd were thinking though.

    Yeah BJ, even last season Ramsey was only just starting to look convincing in the month or so before his injury. He’s going to need time even to get back to that level – you can’t just drop him straight into the starting lineup on a title run-in. I think we’ll probably see him against ManU though. And had we been two or three up he might come on the other day.

  232. goonerandy, I was reading the comments and I just got frustrated with the apologists for the poor individual and team performances. Then people saying, but look at Man Utd, they didn’t win either. So what? The real problem for us is that we didn’t take advantage, why would I care that Man Utd have a rubbish side? I care that our side can’t beat Sunderland at home, who, in case people haven’t noticed, have just as much of an injury situation as we have and who also don’t have as much talent in the whole XI as in Wilshere’s left bollock!!

  233. Block4 – whilst the performance was sub standard, the players did put in a shift, as did the Sunderland players. We didnt create as much as we can but we did create enough to win but it wasnt to be. Sure it was a missed chance but as it turned out we still made a gain on united. Oh and maybe you dont CARE that united lost, but you have to be pleased they did – thats what you want from your rivals isnt it – for them to blow it in games so you can be there to take advantage. They have done it to us often enough..

  234. It really is a glass half full/empty situation. Did we gain a point on Manure, or miss the opportunity to really put them under pressure.? As they were playing Liverpool and we were playing Sunderland it is glass half empty this time I am afraid.

  235. I’ve had no internet for the weekend and then some, I’m ill with the flu, didn’t get to watch the match, my place is getting fumigated, we draw and doomer come out like cockroaches, I’m at work, I didn’t win the lottery, people annoy me, and I’ve read posts that bug me from the usual people that bug me which could lead to that same old most annoying discussion that never gets resolved but there would be no point, despite them admiting such thy still throw down the gauntlet leading to that very discussion.

    People have gone to war for less

  236. All of the above said, the lge is still in our hands. The lge game against Manure is more and more starting to like like it will be a decider. A win at their place this weekend (although in the FA Cup) will give our squad the shot in the arm that it needs to believe it can go the distance.

  237. Wrong GA, just wrong. If we’d won and Man had won, we would have gained nothing. AS it stands, the way things played out we gained a point (even though three would have been nicer – but I’m not complaining). We still gained and thus the situation is still better than both teams winning.

    Embrace the reality and mold it with a bear hug

  238. Deise, I said I don’t care that they have a rubbish side, that’s the argument trotted out when discussing our players. Of course I want them to lose, that’s the only way we’re going to win the title. And I didn’t criticise the effort either, it’s the quality of certain players that I’m calling into question. If we win games we should, like Sunderland, Newcastle and West Brom at home and Spurs from two up at half time then what the rest of the title contenders do is immaterial, we’d be walking it by now, that’s what I mean by concentrating on us. If we do our job properly and come up short fine, you’ll hear no complaints from me, but when we drop points against average sides then there are legitimate questions to be asked. I have no idea why Wenbger indulges these guys.

  239. Gadget – There is no denying that Sunderland are a team we should be beating (especially as champions elect). Therefore it is a missed opportunity. If you think that is wrong, then that is up to you.

    Manure dropping points against a Liverpool side on the up is not totally unexpected, especially with both 1st choice CB’s missing.

  240. Sunderland are a good side. They’ve beaten Chelsea and Man City and taken points off Man United and us already this season. We should’ve won it with a penalty and a perfectly good goal wrongly chalked off. It’s very disappointing and we can all feel robbed but noone is going to win every game from now til the end and run away with it. The standard of the league is too tight and every team is going to have everything to play for right through the run-in. Buckle up…

  241. Fair enough Block4, i getcha. But on the flipside to that, if man u beat the sides they should (they are still better that most all other sides in the league) they would walk it. But yeah, i get what you are saying – there have indeed been terrible results and performances but that seems par for the course for all the top 4-5 this season

  242. Any Given Sunday wasn’t Stone’s best movie but that damn Paccino speak is stuck in my damn head.

    Talking of movies I watched Mesrine yesterday. That dude had mad swagger. And Vincent Cassel is the man!

  243. I am starting to find myself in agreement with the BBC’s tag for Tottenham Hotspur as ‘Europe’s Great Entertainers’. Heurelho Gomes truly is a joy to watch. In the fine slapstick tradition of Harpo Marx, Buster Keaton, Jacques Tati… Wonderful man.

  244. Delia---Block 112

    Big Johan 9.26
    I was advocating a Clichy/Gibbs left hand side to my fellow Gooners at half-time on Saturday. No one seemed to like the idea ! I hear both Cesc and Jack are on the plane to Barca, fingures crossed.
    As always COYRs

  245. Hey, Gadget, youtube Rob Brydon’s Al Pacino impression if you’ve not seen it already. Quite funny.
    Btw – agree with what you were saying a few weeks ago about the Arsenal Family. Wholeheartedly. Just didn’t have time to post my agreement. Of course we’re a family. Anyone thinks we’re not can fuck off out the family.

  246. Should, should, should. If everything went as should be the word wouldn’t exist. Will, will, will: BORING!! The illusion of free will keeps us going, that why things that should pass may or may not happen.

    Maybe tomorrow I’ll find my waaaaayyyy home, or maybe I’ll be spontaneous and board a flight to Bari! Oh whatever should I do?

  247. I had a dream last night about the Barca game.

    I’m not going to share the result or scorers because i don’t want to jinx it.

    But I liked it.

    A lot.

  248. @ Block4
    we have slipped up against some teams. But far more often, we have beaten those teams. In a competitive league, played with real human beings, we can’t expect to win every single match we ever play. You say you don’t care about ManUre’s results but the point is that they, and every top team, lose/draw some matches they shouldn’t on paper. That’ss normal.

    Denilson’s confidence is shot but there is a very good player there.
    Why else were Barcelona interested in him? You have to admit, he would fit right in. In AA ‘s first season he singled out Denilson as one of the to players at Arsenal.
    Most midfielders in the PL are outshone by the 19-year-old Jack Wilshere.

    @ goonerandy
    Added to the bizarre decisions we have had to put up with, many refs are enforicing the letter of the law against us, but not against our opponents. We consistently have the lowest number of fouls per yellow card.
    There doesn’t have to be a mass conspiracy for the refs to be unconsciously biased or consciously corrupt (and they don’t even have to be doing it for money).

    @ Two Owls
    We have to try to put the game beyond ref interference, but goals in football are not easy to come by. It is ridiculous that perfectly good goals are disallowed. It should not happen. It doesn’t just happen to us, I know. But the penalty decision was something else.

  249. @ deano

    You’ve already jinxed it as far as I’m concerned! Whenever I get those dreams, we end up losing. 🙂

  250. Gadget – Just answer this question with one word:

    Should we be beating sides like Sunderland?

    If the answer is yes, then that is all that I am saying. If no, then you don’t think we are very good.

    I am well aware that things are not as black and white as that, all I have mearly stated is that this weekend feels like a chance missed. Manure dropped points, and we did not beat a side we should be doing. I am not even critising the side (as I realise what henious crime that is), just saying we missed a good opportunity.

  251. Shouldn’t Manure be winning big games? Shouldn’t they have taken the opportunity offered by Arsenal drawing against Sunderland?

  252. @Deise, yes if Man U beat the side they should they’d be walking it. As I also said, if we do our job properly then I have no complaint with being second. We are not doing our job properly.

    @FunGunner, teams don’t win every game that they should on paper, granted. We have slipped up in too many of those games this season. I’m not unrealistic, we didn’t deserve to lose at Old Trafford, but a freak goal did for us, that’s life. We lost at Chelsea, no shame in that, they’re a good side. Drawing at Anfield, it’s a tough place to go. But both games against Sunderland (a missed penalty up there don’t forget), both against Newcastle (four up away and just didn’t turn up at home, plus a goalkeeping error), West Brom at home (poor peformance and more bad keeping), Spurs at home (We should NEVER lose from two up, see Newcastle away), Wigan away (two points dropped from some terrible defending on a set piece) and that’s just league games! We’ve made hard work of Ipswich, Leeds, Huddersfield and Orient in the cups (two replays we could have done without) and of course lost to Birmingham in the League Cup final. Lost a lead away at Shakhtar and lost away at Braga to give ourselves a much more difficult task in the European Cup, these aren’t mugs, but they aren’t the leading lights of European football either. So say we had taken maximum points from half those league games which we should have won on paper and we’d be strolling to the title. That’s what I mean about doing our job properly and ignoring how bad Man Utd or Chelsea are or have been this season.

  253. What kind of ‘supporter’ sees those games in the way you describe block4? And what kind of human being comes to a positive Arsenal fan site and spouts such bile? You just like stirring shit don’t you?

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