Which Way Arsène?

You know the score, I’m on my holidays and this is a guest post. One Of Us lets us have his thoughts…

Mid-way through a summer that will reshape Arsenal’s future, here are some personal observations on the direction that Arsenal has take in recent years.

After that sublime first leg against Barcelona back in February, Johan Cruyff, one of the self-declared guardians of stylish football, declared in his column for De Telegraaf, “This is how beautiful football can be”, as if he’d just seen the first match that ever met his notoriously high standards. High praise indeed and he was gushing about an English team. This does not happen often.

It was football at its most inspiring; a delicately poised duel between two sides that had struck a perfect balance of efficiency and aesthetics, played out in front of a noisy, passionate crowd.

Then it all went down the crapper for us. Ahem.

At any rate, Arsenal is now known worldwide for its stylish football, or at least an intention to play stylish football.

The last few seasons have seen us dominate the ball more than ever. Passing football is now part of our identity; it sets us apart from the rest of the Premier League – a near fanatical devotion to possession and close-range interplay.

Thanks to Wengerball we’re now often mentioned in the same sentence as Ajax and Barcelona, and not always to set up a joke. It’s a valuable reputation, and one that Arsenal’s suits are quick to milk:

The Arsenal name is known and recognised around the world. It is synonymous with an attractive style of play, a youthful team, innovation, tradition and winning.”

That was marketing Tom Fox (presumably with a straight face) after we hooked up with a dishwasher brand. At least we know what he means; we want to emulate sides that played with style and won.

Something that almost all the great entertaining teams have in common is the amount of time many of their players spent together, either in their formative years or as established pros.

Ajax’s Champions League-winning team of 1995 was a breathtaking example of a young side that had grown up together. There were seven products of De Toekomst, bolstered by a couple of recruits and the experience of Rijkaard and Danny Blind (crucially also Ajax academy graduates). Just imagine what they could have achieved if they’d been able to keep hold of their best talents for longer.

One club that certainly can afford to hold on to its young talent is Barcelona, where La Masia and the B team provide a healthy portion of their players.

So what links a strong academy with passing football?

In soccer, everything depends on the team aspect. You have to discover each other’s skills, and this automatically leads to a good mutual understanding, which is the basis for the result.”

That was Van Gaal as he introduced his thoughts on team-building in the Philosophies of Louis van Gaal and the Ajax Coaches.

Cast your mind back to that slightly unfortunate document left behind at a London hotel in 2008, a memo for the Arsenal players. In amongst the jargon about “maximizing synergies” the word “team” was repeated over and over like a mantra.

Relationships have to be strong for a passing game to be consistently effective. It follows that the better the players know each other, the quicker the combinations and sharper the instinct for positioning.

When it comes to achieving this it’s hard to overstate the power of having two, three or four first-class players emerge from an academy simultaneously. Anyone who’s seen one young Arsenal strike pairing play together will speak of the intimate understanding between them, surely the consequence of a decade playing together in the same team.

Of course, it’s very rare for any academy that more than two first team-ready players should emerge in a given year, so the next best thing to having team-mates who have played together for a long time, is players brought up on the same values. And this is something that we’re evidently trying to do, from Hale End to London Colney. Our academy graduates are to be the protectors of the Arsenal style.

Much of what we do through the ranks resembles the work done through the ranks at de Toekomst and la Masia, most notably the constant passing drills and positional play, with the focus on moulding players for first-team football, and with this, the belief that the success of any youth team should be secondary to the individual development. Further up the ladder, Steve Bould is quick to make this point regularly.

Being really honest, the results don’t matter. What does matter is that we produce players.”

Which seems to run contrary to our pals Stuart Pearce and Trevor Brooking, attempting to exploit Jack Wilshere this summer for token success at an U21 tournament?

So where do we diverge from Barcelona and Ajax?

At Arsenal we have to make certain compromises. Unlike La Masia and de Toekomst we don’t enjoy hegemony over an entire region. The Netherlands has a population of 17 million, Catalonia 7.5 million; we can only recruit within a 90-minute drive of London, as well as having to battle it out with clubs like West Ham, Spurs, Fulham, Palace and Charlton, all of which have strong academies.

So we have to supplement the academy intake with a steady flow of recruited 15 and 16 year-olds. Four last year – four or five this year. Incidentally, Djourou, Walcott, Szczesny, Cesc, Gibbs and Bartley all joined Arsenal at this stage.

Further down the line the players get loans arranged, and the ones that show the most promise fight it out for a place in our squad. At Ajax they’d be joining the first team at that age, while at Barcelona they’ll head straight from the Cadete or Juvenil teams to Barça B, which plays in the Segunda División.

Now, it’s quite clear that Arsenal has had to make financial compromises in recent years, and we have given opportunities to more young players as a consequence, but there is sense in bringing these young players through early.

There’s an agreement among many managers that young players are easier to coach; they’re more apt when it comes to positioning and tactics, while older players tend to be set in their ways.

So just as important as bringing through a golden generation, and adding experience to the team, is the need to for our established players to believe in our style, fall in love with the club and stay on into their late-20s and early-30s.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 23, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 372 Comments.

  1. I think that what you’re saying is to keep the faith and success will follow. If so, I completely agree with you. Up the arse.

  2. good post ,but till how long are we going to keep faith on players such as denilson , almunia…….ALMUNIA but worst keeper in our history has still not been shipped out ,our 1st teamers want out………
    some serious action must be taken by our manager this window ,there is still time but till now no actions have been taken…….

  3. Excellent post OOU. You’ve restored my faith in ACLF as one of the bastions of sense and perspective in a blog-world gone mad.

  4. Thank you, Big Al, you really are a star

  5. Yeah sorry Bernard, it does lack a definite a conclusion – mainly just saying that youth has its place in our style and there’s a uniformity at the club that should be appreciated. Huge topic to try to cram into 1,000 words!

  6. OOU – Nice post. And I think what you have described is exactly what Arsene had in mind. I think he was hoping the likes of Denilson and Bendtner would emerge from youth reserve set up and cemment their places in the side for years to come. It hasn’t quite worked in that sense (although they are decent squad players), and Wilshere’s emergence has been more reapid than expected.

    When Manure dominated for a prolonged period is was largely due to 5 or 6 players coming through the ranks at once and staking places for the first team. Unfortunatly this type of thing is a bit of a freak occurence, and has not quite worked for us as well.

    The club is well set up for sucess, partly due to the players that do emerge from our youth/reserve set up. But these players desperatly need augumenting with better players to achieve their potential.

  7. arse-hole oops i mean arse-nal

    arse-ne wenger is a tite-arse at arse-nal hahahaha

  8. arse-hole oops i mean arse-nal

    arse-ne should move to uranus and coach there hahahaha

  9. ARSEN WENGER is going to kill arsenal football club.Send him away

  10. At last someone posts a sensible article on a arsenal blog,nice….

  11. Arsene is a fraudster

    More excuses, get rid.

  12. You’re probably right about the need for a couple of players this summer, GA. It’s pretty normal I think.

    Of course AW had high hopes for Bendtner and Denilson (might still do), but I think that if you look at every big club (not Chelsea or City) there are plenty of young squad players in Bendtner’s position – the guys who hover on the fringes for a number of years. It could be that they leave before establishing themselves as nailed-on first team players, but they brought something to the squad and have played their part in important wins. And until the past few months he’s been ambitious, but importantly willing to bide his time.

    I said before that I think there were just a few too many players this season who were perhaps reaching the end of the road at Arsenal, whether that’s a coincidence or otherwise, I don’t know. The best part is there’s always fresh blood on the way.

  13. My prob with ARSEne is his inability to act fast! U would show interest in a player and at the end of the day ended up loosing that player. We have not secured any MAJOR signing this summer. The last we heard was Gervinho, the next we will hear could be that a serious minded manager has picked him up. ARSEne should think about the fans happiness too, not always about how much profit the club makes. We are now experiencing half filled Emirate Stadium just because the fan will be disappointed at the end of the game.

  14. OOU – Yeah, I would agree with that. Bendtner is a decent player (not one of my favorites I must admit) but beleives he should be a starter at the club. Unfortunetly for him, we currently only play with one striker and he is not even close to challenging RvP for that role. When he had a chance to play there, he hasn’t really given Arsene too much of a selction problem.

    I honestly believe that a few new fresh faces are needed (more than ever) in the squad, and if players like Clichy are the ones to make way (I do like him as well) then so be it. Clichy (for example) is a good player, but one we could probably improve on. I think too many of our players are in their comform zone, and this could be why we sometimes struggle to “step up to the mark”. No player at a club our size should be in a comfort zone.

  15. Yorkshiregooner

    A really interesting post. I think that Frimpong has been playing alongside Jack since age of 8. If he was to develop it could be a really good centre midfield partnership between players who know each others games. With an offensive central player in front ( Cesc, Nasri, Ramsey, etc) this could be a top combination for years to come.
    I think what these young players bring to the squad is they are Arsenal lads who want to wear the shirt. Combine this with some experience and for me it is the right mix.
    But have we got the patience to wait and see?

  16. Messi has been key to the current Barcelona success,without him the style of football and the academy at Barcelona would not have won the trophies that they have in recent times. Messi doesn’t come from the local region , and the Catalans have had to pay him big wages to keep him at the club. In fact the club is heavily in debt despite the great success they have enjoyed. You can’t separate the financial side from the playing style – without the finances the success would not have occurred.
    Wenger’s tried to emulate Pep’s playing style – imitation is the greatest form of flattery – so they claim – but in my view Wenger’s only made a second rate job of it. We were better playing 4-4-2 with Henry and co. Barca Lite is what we are now sarcastically called… and Cruyff got a bit carried away, along with others, after we beat Barcelona 2-1 at home in the first leg of our tie. That result flattered us do to our two late goals with Barcelona having had a vital goal earlier wrongly ruled out – and it must be said – poor finishing on their part – in a game in which we were in truth out classed for 75 minutes . On another night we could have been humiliated.
    Flamini and Adebayor,now Fabregas and Nasri,show that Wenger’s style of football is not enough on its own to keep players happy, success trophy wise and money also come into play . Messi has both at Barcelona… if this was not the case then he would be somewhere else… regardless of how Barcelona play football.

  17. Jeff,
    That’s a poor argument, although I realize the hypocrisy in saying so, given that we (arsenal fans) frequently use the same logic to rationalize our defeat to lesser sides in the premiership.

  18. OOU,
    As soon as I saw you were the writer of today’s blog, I knew I’d be in for a good read, and I wasn’t dissapointed. Thank you.

  19. Thanks for the kind comments, guys. Got to work now, but will check back to shoot the breeze later .

  20. Barcelona-beautful football, the very best in the world but they are winners as well.The thing missing from the article is winning trophies

  21. Barcelona are as good off the ball as they are in possesion of it. We are not, and that is the main difference between the sides. Their work rate when they lose the ball is unbelievable.

  22. Jabba's delights

    19 days until our first pre season game 12 away from training…………………………………..is it our biggest most important summer ever or did we not finish 4th last year 12 points off 1st place after 2 very mediocre seasons before. Our lack of activity in or out so far is quite literally…………..criminal

    Sorry Gainsbourg…………….is alex ferguson not a brilliant manager? Or have i once again been very very stupid. I stupidly thought that winning 2 cl and 11 prem was an awful stat and that they as a club should do the right thing and appoint arsene if they wanted to win something………………sorry mate i hate it when i get so deluded…………………..o did i forget that they have also scored more goals than us for 6 out of the last 7 seasons……………wow thats weird i thought we played the most attacking football this side of barcelona.

    1 every arsenal player is brilliant and cant be bettered
    2 there are no other good football clubs, they should all be following what arsenal do
    3 wenger is the greatest thing since god and to question him is impossible
    4 arsenal will win everything again this year and wont be a laughing stock to the millions of deluded football fans who now find it funny to well errrr laugh at us

    Newcastle 4 Arsenal 4

  23. Say hello to Sir Alex when you get done giving him his BJ.

  24. This is article is too cultured for me. I’m in the wrong blog.

  25. Jabba- u are the most dull person I have ever come across. I know u enjoy winding ppl up, and uve obviously got lots of time on your hands as you wage one sided arguments while the rest of us are at work. But for the love of god will you just do us a favour and fuck off?

  26. Nice one OOU.

    For me the issue of players wanting to be at the club is really important. No doubt the youngsters who have come through the academy will have a sharper sense of belonging to the club. The fact that our youth system is set-up the way it is means we have that ideal scenario where unique talents like Jack can come into the first team and look as tho they’ve been there fighting the front lines for years.

    With our playing style also attracting experienced players who want to come and play for us (Chamakh for example), and don’t have to be bought we are in a win-win situation in terms of bringing in new talent.

    The only key ingredient missing is the lure of silverware. Anyone can see we are at the tail-end of a major transitional period, and those of us who have been there for the duration sense that the rewards are not far away now.

  27. If I wasn’t biased towards OneOfUs I’d say this is a damn good post. well I’m biased and I still think its a damn great post!

  28. There are big differences between Arsenal 2010-11, and prior, and Barcelona, and some similarities. The main factual difference is in actual average age of the whole squad, and ages of key midfield (and universally rated) players: Cesc, Nasri, Song, Ramsey, Jack, Diaby (not forgetting non-midfield Theo, Chewie/Fab, Djourou etc). The second major difference is in type: Barcelona (despite their reputation) actually buys very big players to supplement players coming through, we do not, we predominantly develop the ‘big’ players, and buy with caution. The third difference is actual style, and environment. We play is a very physical league, where fouls are permitted that are not permitted in Spain. We play faster.

    Despite the number games under their belt, our youthful midfield and others is not yet at the same level, physically and psychologically, as Barcelona (which let us not forget went 5 years without major silverware during their ‘development’ phase). But because of the years our players have been together, the technique and skill demanded, the early experience (of which losing and disappointment is an important part) the effect and result will be cumulatively bigger. We will draw level with Barcelona in due course, as our players mature, and new players continuously come through the system, and then see who is really the best. This is a certainty. When is not the point, in either exact or speculative terms. Wenger thought last season. I think this coming season and the one after. It is a process that cannot be stopped. This is why people talk about ‘Arsenal’, with both venom (our enemies, and cowards within, including village idiots) and adulation (our supporters, and those who really love football and an adventure everywhere).

    Viva Arsenal!

  29. Henristic, yes it is the result that counts,and 2-1 to us , with the away game to come in the Nou Camp,was not the great result some were claiming that it was . We won a battle but lost the war.
    My point though was that we are not as good as Barcelona .
    Pep has better players than Arsene ,Fabregas would be on the bench in the Nou Camp. No one else in our squad would get into Pep’s starting eleven either.

  30. Interesting article. One salient point I would add is that the youth football coaching world (in England) is about to significantly change with the launch of the EPP (Elite Performance Plan). The 90 minute rule is going to be thrown out and the maximum time a club can spend coaching is said to be going to change from 2,000 hours per year to 10,000.

    As far as I know the Prem clubs have agreed this and it will be instigated for the start of the 12-13 season.

    Make no mistake these are BIG changes in the offing – it’s bad news for the smaller clubs once again though, I fear. The divide is only going to get worse.

  31. Markus – “The only key ingredient missing is the lure of silverware. Anyone can see we are at the tail-end of a major transitional period, and those of us who have been there for the duration sense that the rewards are not far away now”

    This is the worrying thing in my view. I don’t really see how we are at the tail end of a transitional period. Our issues which have been there for a while are still there, and overall last year we took a backwards step.

  32. ”There are big differences between Arsenal 2010-11, and prior, and Barcelona”

    The main difference is that they are cunts and we are not.

  33. Zim – It is not a “certainty” by any means. You state it as fact, when it is anything but.

  34. Jabba's delights


    I just find it hilarious that you call me a c^nt yesterday for daring to say that Ferguson is a briliant manager. The issue with people like you and George and a few others on this site is that you dont love arsenal you are infatuated by them, and you find it impossible to actually look them as they are which is a brilliant club who needs to do better.


    can you explain where im wrong in what i said before and if so how? I find the hardcore on here even more ridiculous than le grove.

    George if your listening have you read arseblog today and after that read any of the comments. You claim i was an idiot for my comments on clichy but if one were to read the 2 most populated arsenal blogs it appears my oppinons are very much in line with what the majority of gooners who pay just as much as you do to go watch our beloved club.

    12 days until pre-season…………….wow this is alot like previous summers!!!!

  35. Comparing our academy to La Masa I think we may yet have a few years to go before we reap the full benefits. Barca only began to “reap” post Ronaldinho in 2006. The calculation is that it took Barca about 15 years before they could begin talking of a team dominated by academy products.

  36. andy, we didn’t take a backward step. Don’t make the doomer mistake of judging our season on the last two months of it.

  37. Perfect post. This is the kind of writing that used to make me come here every day. Now if you could filter the comment section to only include Arsenal fans…

  38. Jabba's delights

    ”We will draw level with Barcelona in due course, as our players mature, and new players continuously come through the system, and then see who is really the best. This is a certainty. When is not the point, in either exact or speculative terms. Wenger thought last season. I think this coming season and the one after. It is a process that cannot be stopped. ”

    Problem is Zim our best players want to leave. All of our top players are demanding signings and unless we do something very very very different to the usual in 12 days time our squad will look remarkably similar to the one that finnished 12 points off top from last year…………………….did i mention that 3 teams in england who are better than us are doing huge things to get better?? Nothing is a certainty in life, one must always strive to get better nothing gets given to you on a plate, barca constantly evolve and were leagues above us over 2 legs this year 4-3 very much flattered us and they are signing one of the most exciting players in the world to add to their arsenal………….they may get our capatain and best player as well…………..its fine Nasri will take over…………….o wait he is pretty keen to leave as well…………..nightmare!

  39. Jabba’s Delights,

    Have a heart attack so we can all enjoy the blog in peace.

  40. Jeff Wright, RVP would bench both David Villa and Pedro. Sagna would give Alves a run for his money – remember Maicon benched him in the Selecao. Vermaelen could bench Puyol as well. Most Barca players agree that Theo Walcott is a player they fear. He’d also give Villa and Pedro a run. Seydou Keita played the most minutes last season for Barca. Fabregas can bench him. We have a very strong team mate.

  41. Jabba's delights


    Dont make a silly mistake and not judge our seaosn in its entirity.

    68 points that is worse than the spuds the year before. 43 goals thats worse than our defence than the year before, 72 goals worse than the year before.

    They are facts mate our good but not brilliant form before Feb, was followed by relegation form for the final 3rd of the season.

  42. Jabba's delights


    I was hoping yo were going to write another really really insightful blog again. Well done for listing all the players we have been linked with!!

    12 days until pre season……tick tock tick tock

  43. It is a certainty within rational argument, like China overtaking the USA in GDP is a certainty within rational argument (in 5 or 15 years, depending what you read). There are other factors at play, not least financial, that make it so. In any event Wenger is the more astute manager, with the bigger vision, and in certain respects the bigger accomplishments (yes, at Arsenal) already under his belt (look at the big picture, the history of Arsenal, not just the silverware). Passion and absolute conviction count for a lot in this fickle world of consumers.

    And if it is not a certainty, for no one can foretell the future, either way, it is a certainty that this is Arsenal’s ambition under Wenger, and the strategy employed to deliver this ambition is long term and in itself the most audacious I have seen. Who dares wins.

  44. Excellent OOU. As usual a thoughtful reasoned overview of our progress will not stop the lazy, hackneyed cliches aimed at Wenger and some players. Too many believe that that transforming the Arsenal into a an “attractive style of play, a youthful team, innovation, tradition and winning” will happen overnight . In football, just like any endeavor, sustained progress based on organic growth is fraught with setbacks, obstacles and sacrifices. With a team as young as ours it is totally unsurprising. Welcome to Wenger’s Arsenal.

  45. its well and fine to compare us with Barca in terms of style..but truth be told Barca spend lots of money to be were they are, we dont have their budget at all. Barca are the highest paying team in the world according to Global Sports Salaries Survey 2011. They can afford to spend lots of money on a player and then send him on loan.

  46. Kenyon Gunner you say ,we have a strong team withplayers who would walk into Barca’s first team ? Now come oin please, Vermaelen wouldn’t get any where near Barcelona’s squad ,let alone in their first eleven ! In fact he will struggle to keep his place in our team – if Wenger signs one of these new centre backs that he claims he’s going to do. I won’t hold my breath on that happening ,but you never know.
    RVP would get into the Barca squad, I don’t think he would get the nod over Villa for a starting place though – and with Robin’s appalling injury record I doubt that Barca would sign him anyway.
    As for your other claims regarding our players they are deluded … we don’t have a strong team … that’s why we finished 4th in the league playing relegation form football last season – and lost to Birmingham – who have been relegated – in the League Cup final.

  47. Jabba's delights


    I wish i saw what you saw i really do. Its always the future with us, but what about the here and now, and when is the future going to start?

    We have good team but 3 others are better. 2 of of our maybe 3-4 most influential players want to leave. Our youth got knocked out of the 4th round in the youth cup this year and finished in mid table in the league behind Palace, our reserves lost 10-1 to Villa…………..wait let me repeat that, our reserves lost 10-1 to VILLA! Pre season starts in 12 days and we have signed nobody nor sold anybody. We have to qualify for the cl this year which is could be a nightmare, we have the hardest start to the seaosn in a decade………………………..and in all probability if we dont sell someone we will probably make a loss once our figures come out…………………………we havent won anything in 6 years…………………………….. some of our fans boo our players on the end of season lap of ”honor”……………………fans are fighting in the stands as they are so upset………….no we arent barcelona mate and we have 0 chance of being them unless our board and manager who lets not forget throughout this whole affair have increased their pay start actually doing something 6m, do get worse results at the moment………….in fact we are much closer to becoming spurs than we are to overtaking the big boys at this moment in time……….this could change of course, lets hope so.

  48. Great post OOU. Thanks!

    This is exactly what is required. We are getting there, and as some have said above, it is a long process and something that Barca have been working on since the mid 2000’s. But there is no other way to get that same fluidity and intricate play that requires players on the same wavelength that Ajax and Barca have enjoyed so much. You can get close by buying top, expensive players who’s ability and adaptability would suffice, to some extent, but it’s far less likely to have that ‘Barca click’ that we see during every one of their games. With the invincibles, we had players like Henry, Pires & DB10 who clicked fantastically, but that is rare. I am very confident that our system will produce an amazing winning team, even if it does take a few years more. I’m not worried.

    Zimpaul – great post at 10.58.

    Jabba – the window doesn’t even open until July 1st…!! Tick tock tick tock…

  49. I agree with Steww.

    Ronaldinho eh Kenyan? Saw a brilliant recently taken clip of him training the other day. The old codger still has a little magic left in those boots. Can’t find it.
    If you are slightly bored of scrolling past the Troll(s)*, enjoy!

    *Out of mild curiosity I have concluded that only a Grit addled idiot (surprisingly absent! Or not.) could state in public that there is only one vantage in N.London from where it is possible to view both the old West Stand and that road in front where there is an old primary school named after the road whoose name I can’t spell where I used to play football.

  50. Jeff Wright. Even Barca lost league matches to some lousy La liga teams. That’s football. I rate TV higher than you do – a difference in opinion is allowed! RVP’s injury record has much to do with the physical – if not brutish – nature of some epl players. And what makes you think Barca wouldn’t want to buy him? They also have average players in their squad! And as for finishing fourth against manutd, Chelsea and mancity – with all due respect these are strong teams with debts that Barcelona and real Madrid can understand. Finishing fourth in the epl is like finishing in the top two in La Liga. What Barca have that we haven’t is the right mix which we’ll get right sooner than you think – and without their debts to boot!

  51. “Finishing fourth in the epl is like finishing in the top two in La Liga” very true KG.

    And re TV5 – How can Jeff say that he wouldn’t get in the Barca squad?! He was one of the players of the year in his first season in the Prem – which is an amazing accomplishment for anyone. If he wasn’t injured for the whole of last season, I think we would have seen him improve even more and be one of the best CBs in the league (if not the best) – for 2 years ruinning. He is still very young for a CB and will only improve during the course of his adaptation into the most demanding league in the world. I think he’ll go on to be an Arsenal great.

  52. Jabba's delights


    Stupid me im having a nightmare today. Started off by saying Ferguson is a brilliant manager and then in all my stupidity i forgot that teams can only sign players on the 1st of July and its impossible to get things 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999% done before hand.

    12 days until pre season……….tick tock tick tock

  53. great posts today and yesterday.

    Why is everyone calling Jabba names?OH yeh,I rememberd”if it acts like a cunt and writes like a cunt,then it probabaly is a cunt”

  54. Markus – Of course it was a step backwards. The only sigificant step forward we made was to reach a cup final, but we blew that in specacular fashion against a team that was relegated. As has been pointed out, we were worse off in every aspect from the previous season…..that is a step backwards.

    Some of the results we threw away were pure schoolboy stuff, and until we sort that out we are pissing in the wind and will continue to play nice prety football without any bite.

    You seem to think that any views which are not 100% parise are anit-Arsenal. You could not be more wrong. I support the club, and at the moment this current team are threatening to win things but collapsing when it matters. This club deserves more than that. Too many players coasting.

  55. Jabba's delights


    i rate TV but lets be honest here is he better than Puyol or Pique? Who else would get in their 11 from our team?

  56. Jabba's delights


    Good to have you back.

    1 quick question, in massive summer for one’s club, would it be more beneficial to have players signed befroe pre season or should we do our negotiating whilst on tour in asia when ALL of our key negotiators eating dim sum in china. 12 days until pre season 19 until we play the malasian eleven…….tick tock tick tock

  57. Kenyan, most of RVP’s injuries have been with Holland ,also he injured himself in the Carling Cup final and once was badly injured when celebrating scoring against United when Henry accidentally trod on his foot! He’s just accident prone .
    Some people are,and he’s one of them. You Obviously don’t like English football,which is a bit odd with you being an Arsenal supporter.After all we are an English club playing football in England.
    Vermaelen was a left back at Ajax, obviously the Barca scouts don’t share your views on him.
    If you think that this current squad that Arsene has is going to emulate Pep’s one in the future then I say again that you are deluded. Wenger is trying to find some way of offloading some players to try and put things right. Years of under-investment – and poor signings – like Diaby,Denilson,the French centre backs, dodgy goal keepers – and strikers who are not good enough – think Bendtner – can’t be put right in one transfer window. If Liverpool get it right under Dalglish this season,and Chelsea’s new manager hits the ground running,then we could struggle to get 4th, with United and City both looking good for a top 4 finish again.

  58. Jabba ,I have not ever read a single independent thought from you. You are uslesss as far as I can see.And so is Arseblog these days by the way.But at least he thinks for himself

  59. the time is now. sort it out by next kick-off weng or move on.

  60. Delia--Block 112

    In the Wimbledon bubble for the next week or so but catch up on the posts in the hope of positive news on the xfer front.
    Can we really expect our youth system to provide us with a constant stream of LJWs ? It is simply not realistic in my view , squad players maybe but great players only rarely come along .
    The disappointments of last season linger on , come on Arsene give us oldies some encouraging news . Once the tennis is over there is a void in my sporting life until pre-season kicks in. Incidently I got 4 tickets in the 2012 Olympic ballot .
    As always COYRs

  61. I think if would be prudent to wait for the window to open before we sign someone.Just a thought.

  62. Jabba.you win.You fuck me off so much that I am losing the will to live

  63. To take a step backward means you’ve regressed. I saw no signed of regression in comparison to season priors. Stagnation maybe (if you only concern yourself with “the only stat that counts”), but regression, no. In fact there were more improvements than anything else.

    I’m in pedantic mode today, so while I’m at it Ferguson may be an excellent manager but brilliant he is not. In truth, brilliance should pedantically be reserved for those who innovate and push boundaries. When scientists talk of their peers possession brillinat minds this is essentially to what they refer; those with the capabilities of providing better understanding. Ferguson has not pushed footballing boundaries for a long, long time, he’s merely kept up at an excellent rate

  64. wait, wait, wait. how long have we been waiting now ?

  65. old red nose set a record this season, if i remember correctly. is that not pushing boundaries ?

  66. The youth set up has only produced one top player in the last 5 seasons – Jack Wilshere. No decent defenders or forwards which this club desperately need. The youth squads at other clubs seem to be producing better players than our youth squad at the present time.

  67. In terms of a season Jabba, the question you pose to George is actually irrelevant. As we have seen quite often, those teams who come out the blocks cannot kept the pace up for too long. Rather teams who click later in the season stand a better chance of winning the trophy you so crave. As such, buying early or late will likely have little bearing other than appeasing those of faint heart

  68. Jabba, you keep going on about the fact that we haven’t signed anyone yet, but there have hardly been any signings announced yet, across the whole of europe. We all know that Wenger does things very discreetly when it comes to transfers, so I really don’t know why you’re getting so het up about it. I’m sure he has many fingers in many transfer pies right now, and is scoping it out to ensure we get the best for our money and the best signings for the team, within our budget restrictions. Calm down, it will all be ok. The obvious lack of patience you are showing is one of the main problems at our club at the moment. The pressure heaped on the players by the fans like you, who’s groans and boos are so prevalent at the Emirates, is one of the reasons players want to leave, and one of the reasons our play becomes disjointed. They are all young and need as much support as possible. It did wonders during the Barca game at home (to name one), and more of that is needed. Not spoilt fans moaning at every misplaced pass.

  69. Jabba – i’m not slating you because of your praise for fergie – he is and has been an amazing manager. hate him, yes, but i also admire what he has done.

    what i’m slating is the fact that you just repeat and repeat and repeat yourself over and over with sensasionalist bullshit. Goonerandy for example, has views that infuriate me, but at least you can see that he is using his head and comes up with somewhat considered arguments, hence why he is not called names left right and centre.

    ‘tick tock tick tock’ what the fuck is that supposed to mean? first of all, window doesnt open until July 1st (oh yes the other three are massively improving – last i checked they had been LINKED to loads of players, but bar that colossus phil jones, no one has been signed because, oh yes, the european transfer window isnt open yet. Also, even with that said, the transfer window doesn’t close in 12 days you penis. we’d all like to see players come in for pre-season, but its not always as simple as clicking ‘buy’. if we haven’t signed anyone come the start of the season, then I could understand your cause for concern.

    and stop going on and on about the newcastle game, and stop using ‘…………..’. I dont even know why i’m humouring you with a response. i’m not a militant ‘AKB’ with blinkers on, i just have a considered opinion, whereas you are just thick (or, more likely, you’re bored on your holidays and like winding ppl up). don’t try to make out as if you’re a reasonable person, because you’re not.

    tick tock tick tock – since when did the world revolve around your own personal deadlines. you could die in your sleep tonight and the arsenal world wouldn’t even blink (thats not to say that i wish that on you, as i obviously dont – just highlighting how unimportant you, and indeed all of us are individually to this football club, so stop making out that you are more important than you are).

  70. No Loud, setting a record is not particularly pushing a boundary in terms of brilliance. I could set a record for the most press ups ever using the same tried and test method every one uses. However, if I were to set the record using an innovative technique, not only would I have broken the record, I will have also aided in the understanding of efficency of bio-mechinal energy transference. (Ignore the fancy phrasing – I just wanted to sound clever). Do you see the difference?

    And yes I am aware of the implications and stand by them

  71. Arsenal…………blink. if true its a dangerous attitude.

  72. Jabba's delights


    So in calling Arseblog useless your calling a gooner who finds the time to not only write a blog everyday but also manages to probably get to more arsenal games than you do and yet he lives in Ireland……IDIOT

    My oppinions come from having attended home and away games religiously for the best part of 17 years, i even take the courtesy to travel to places such as Braga and Shaktar…….didnt fancy belgrade. I also am open minded enough to take the thoughts of numerous other football fans including 4-5 arsenal blogs and take them on board. You i doubt to any of the above, so call me what you will but never mistake my dedication to my football club. …..good.

    1st of July is irrelevant, a team can 99.999999999% sign a player before, and in our case it will be MUCH more beneficial to do so due to our PATHETIC end of season which has meant we have to qualify for the cl. This is meant to be a different summer, i read people like you blogs last summer saying belive in wenger and the board they will do whats needed, in fact im pretty sure i read that the summer before as well. We must be procactive and a failure to do so will result in disaster next seaosn, we arent good enough in fact we were 12 points not good enough and 4-3 against Barca flattered us, our rivals our doing everythign they can to catch that team and yet our manager who has won precisly zero for 6 years and yet made 30m in that time, let me repeat that 30m in that time has so far managed to improve us in absolutely no way whatsoever. We are 12 days from pre seaosn and 16 away from an asian tour…………….not great is it ”mate”

  73. blimey, u do press ups. anyway, i reckon he pushed the boundary by setting a new figure. shame it wasnt us.

  74. funny how most ppl like to forget how refs have helped manure over the years with other teams such as birms who go to ot and fold. football is not just about on the pitch, there is alot of politics that go on behind the scenes that dictate how games should pan out. eg: video tech and ref accountability.
    no manure fan will openly admit it but in there heart they know what there eyes have witnessed, but glory supporters live for bragging rights.

    how is it that many choose to forget we were beating barca fair and square through well thought out tactics until the powers that be realised how much money was at stake if barca did not progress? that rvp red is a symbol of the corruption in football.

    not suprising then that many tend to dismiss the real issues in favour of trivial topics such as who could get into the barca team.

  75. I thought Arseblog is right down the line with his views. Neither doomer, no AKB. There and here are the only Blogs I read.

  76. Jabba’s delights @ 12.46. Everything that you say may be true but you’re still a cunt. Too much of a cunt even to fuck off when told to.

  77. ak47 – Really mate, there is no conspiracy against us. Have we been on the end of some bad decisions? Yup without doubt. But so has every other club. Sometimes it goes for us, sometimes against. If you only remember the ones that go against us, your views are tainted.

  78. goonerandy
    can u remember the van bronkhurst sending off a while back – cant remember the game. can u remember who the ref was. i cant. but i have an idea.

  79. Jabba's delights


    Strange that if you go on the 3 most commented on and read arsenal blogs all of which are destroyed by cretins like George the feeling is generally very similar. For those of us who attended the AST meeting which i would say is attended in the most part by some pretty loyal fans who actually take the time and money to try and invest in their beloved club the feeling was even harsher. Calling one names is fine and enjoy this blog as in the most part in encourages debate but lets be honest here the ”useless” arseblog or the complete ”c^nts” on le grove who have an absolutely oustanding following cant be getting it all wrong are they……………george?

  80. OOU –
    much thanks for your wonderful commentary and insight……

    Doesn’t Arsenal fiscal year end June 30th? This maybe the reason we have not seen any activity for players leaving and being acquired.

    We have enough fire power with our current roster to succeed in any qualifier.

  81. Miami Arsenal

    True, Fregusion may not be brilliant in some of your eyes but he is successful

  82. It amazes me how people will look at any reason possible for results doing against us……except our own performance. The corrupt ref, the state of the pitch, the opposition tactics (God forbid they don’t just roll over agsint us), basciall anything that does not look inward.

    As was quoted earlier today; “winners overcome adversity, losers wallow in it” An excellent statement, and is so because it is so true. I am sure it was overlooked as it was Jabba who posted it and as he is currently public enemy No1 on here, any decent point he makes just gets jumped on anyway.

  83. randy i didnt say there were a conspiracy against us did i? i said football is corrupt and favours the biggest teams.
    you say there have been bad decisions for all clubs which i agree with obviously but to the extent of arsenal? i think not. sure we get some favourable decisions but there have actually been an article on this that shows that the decisions do not even out. so that myth can be put to bed.

  84. What I find interesting is that Jabba, Jeff, etc. are allowed to make their arguments on here in ‘relative comfort’ without the usual chorus of fuck-offs and abuse from the old timers. Except for the odd feeble remark, the likes of Shotta, Passenal, Consol, Olegunner, Poliziano, QOS, Zimpaul, Darius, Limpar Assist etc, seem to have retired from doomer bashing duties. Only Frank makes any sort of reasonable effort these days.

    I never thought I’d say this but I do miss those doomer vs AKB battles of the past seasons. These new breed of ‘AKBs’ (dexter, george, gainsbourg, etc) just aren’t doing it for me.

    Jabba and Jeff, you have no idea how lucky you are 🙂

  85. Jabba – I have never read Le Grove could could not comment, but Arseblo is a daily read and always well balanced. He and YW are the only 2 I read. I agree about the debate created, it is fun, and also good to hear other people’s points of view. With regards to the name calling….I just ignore it really, it really says more about the person doing the name calling as they are obvisouly a bit simple and cannot make their point properly.

  86. ak47 – Unless you watch every other teams games, how can you say that they did not get as many bad decisions as us? Stats can’t show this as a “bad decision” is often subjective anyway. You say the biggest teams get favoured……does that not include us then?

  87. goonerandy,
    You should read le-grove, if only for the comedy value. Funny thing is, I only got to know about those guys from this blog.
    Arseblog was the first blog I regularly read, but I could never understand the comments section there, so start followed ACLF too. I kept reading such bile about le-grove from here that I had to see what the fuss what about. Have to say most of the insults were justified, too many of those guys are really unpleasant characters. But screen out the bullshit and you get some good arguments and many funny posts.

  88. fair point, i do try and watch every manure or chelski game unless it coincides with ours. maybe i should have been more specific. big decisions, game changers. how can you have watched a majority of arsenal games and not have seen this? where as i have a manure friend and he watches a majority of manure matches and when i raise this argument his reply is with a cheeky grin; were the best, even at cheating.

    do you think any other team would get away with rios karate kick to the chest on sagna? or rooneys elbow? or barcas throat grabbing?

    we are a big team on the pitch, off it though is another matter.

  89. I couldnt agree more with Jabberwocky.

    Jabba’s Delight, your post at 10;43 or what ever time it was. What a pathetic load of doomer shite, the same copy and paste crap you alsways post on here. Why bother? Fuck off mate, you’re a turesome boring cunt.

  90. Henristic – Heh, sounds entertaining. I think I will just stick to here and Arsblog though. I think my head would explode by the sounds of Le Grove.

  91. Henristic,abuse doesn’t bother me, I see it as being a weakness in the person’s argument that is making it. Anyway,I think that many of the AKB protest too much -they surely can’t be so stupid as to believe that everything is going great at AFC and that Wenger actually is in control of events?

  92. Where we are is exquisitely simple. Top 4 club (arguably top 3 over 3 seasons) in England and top 12 club (argubaly top 10) in Europe for 14 consecutive years, with the youngest squad in the whole EPL and CL for the last 5 seasons. New stadium, with major capacity expansion. Arguably best debt/equity ratio and/or debt/income ratio (and controlled, sound debt servicing) of any top flight club in Europe. Why is this important? Ask Liverpool. Major (new) global fan base achieved in last 13 years. Consistently ‘twinned’ with Barcelona as playing best football in Europe. Argubaly, the most impressive young player development program in Europe.

    Not too bad, chaps, not too bad. In any language it’s called a place of INTEGRITY.

  93. Jabba's delights


    Le grove is worth a read, they are the other side of the spectrum to aclf, geoff isnt very good at all i would compare him to Muppet but on the other side but pedro was asked to write for the Times on how arsenal fans are feeling so that must say something……or does it not george?

    I like reading Yogi posts as he portrays the ”other side” to me in an inteligent way and in the most part everyday i will realise that maybe im not seeing a particular sitaution in the right light. I respect all arsenal blog writers as they take the time to write almost everyday about a club i love. The George of this world care little for anything outside of their own oppinion, some of there comments i find quite frankly amazing and if they were to attend all the games that they claim they do, they wouldnt think like that.

  94. ak47 – “do you think any other team would get away with rios karate kick to the chest on sagna? or rooneys elbow? or barcas throat grabbing?”

    But other teams do get away with it. Week in, week ou. Even our own wee Jack has put a few dodgy chellenges in which were potentially leg breakers. Bergkamp was no stranger to using his elbows. I remember Nasri stamping on a Hull player a few seasons ago. Rightly or wrongly, it is part of football and goes on in all games at all levels. We just remember the ones that happen against us more.

  95. Miami Arsenal

    Seriously, at what moment did we become so pious? Everyone is entitled their opinion, whether you like it or not… Jabba keep at it. I may not agree with it but I am not about to start name calling, all that demonstrates is a lack of intelligence.

  96. Are you on commision Henristic? You are always telling people to read that blog!

  97. Henristic, I think they got bored, going over the same arguments/debates all the time… I also miss the ongoing battles, although I came into the ACLF world just after the epic AKB vs Doomer war that I’ve heard so much about on here.

    I also only read Arseblog and ACLF regularly, Goonerholic now and then.. Other than that, I look around and often start reading an article, only to move away from it after reading a few lines of Wenger bashing. Some are entertaining, other are just infuriating.

  98. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What an odious cunt you are, Jabbas Delights. Fuck off you Manc cunt.

    I love how when all the proper doomer respected English teams with less possession beat us it’s a respectable ground out good old English victory. But when we do it to Barca we were apparently outclassed. Youd think the doomers would respect our gritty displays against Barca. Fuck we even scored on a set piece from a corner! Usually the doomers love set pieces.

  99. http://goonerholic.com/?p=3725#comment-52109

    Head of Marketing : You wanted to see me Ivan ?

    Ivan : Yes indeed , the fans … … , how are they reacting to the latest developments . We must keep a handle on supporters opinions .

    H of M : Understood Sir . Arseblog doesn’t want Barton or Defoe .

    Ivan : But they’re being shown round London Colney as we speak …

    H of M : He called Barton a sociopathic thug …

    Ivan : Fuck , and Defoe …?

    H of M : … a poxy-little midgety twat-faced thundercunted shithouse gimp-featured donkey-wanking puke-box of enema bits

    Ivan : Oh Dear Lord … thats our incomings buggered … still on the bright side , we’ve managed to flog Clichy

    H of M : Ah , Sir , I er meant to mention …. Yogi’s Warrior wants to keep him , says you’d be mad to sell him

    Ivan : Jesus , my head hurts , I hate this job , dare i ask what those cunts at Le Grove are saying ?

    H of M : Just being their normal twattish selves Sir

    Ivan : *groans* Where’s Arsene ?

    H of M : Out for the count Sir

    Ivan : What do you mean , out for the count ? We’ve got a full blown crisis going on here

    H of M : We can’t raise him Sir , since he had a bash at the Californian last week

    Ivan : My God , where did he get it ?

    H of M : Goonerholic , Sir .

    Ivan : Ah Goonerholic , they’re normally pretty supportive , what are they saying ?

    H of M : They’ve just developed a Peruvian Anti-Riot Suit Sir . Quite useful actually Sir , I’ve got one here

    Ivan : Right , strap me in , its time to meet the fans . Oh and ….

    H of M : Yes Sir ?

    Ivan : Bring me my pipe


    ARSENALNATION STREET Episode 3 (goonerholic.com/?p=3731#comment-52234)

    Ivan is back in his office with his Head of Marketing ( IPA ) . He has met with the fans , and is still dressed in his Peruvian Anti-Riot Suit ;-

    Ivan : Well that all went rather well don’t you think ?

    IPA : Yes Sir , I thought you handled the matter of the 6% increase very skillfully Sir .

    Ivan : Not that , you blithering idiot , the Suit , Man , the Suit . Stops all sorts , you know , eggs , Darts , knives …. Didn’t feel a thing … yes …. , today is going to be a good day . Now what’s on the Agenda ?

    IPA : Ah , slight problem Sir , I’ve double-booked you . Cock –up I’m afraid . There’s a Spanish Delegation waiting to talk terms on Fabregas and some Italians are here for Clichy .

    Ivan : Jesus wept , you incompetent Cunt , … …. , *ponders* Where’s Arsene ? He’ll have to deal with the Italians , I’ll deal with the Spanish .

    IPA : Good news and Bad news Sir . Mr Wenger is up and about again , but … well ….

    Ivan : Well what IPA ?, … spit it out Man …

    IPA : He appears to be going through the final stages of withdrawal from the Californian , Sir , one minute he’s singing “ Je ne regrete rien “ , the next he’s hollering that he’s an alsatian and barking like a dog . He’s in no fit state for top- level negotiations , I left him trying on his Peruvian Anti-Riot Suit Sir.

    Ivan : Bollocks

    IPA : Quite , Sir .

    Ivan : *head in hands* Well , there’s nothing else for it , get Peter Hill Wood on the phone , he’ll have to deal with the Italians .

    IPA : Is that wise Sir ?

    Ivan : No , IPA , it’s not wise , but we have no choice .

    IPA : Very Good Sir .

    IPA gets PHW on the phone , and hands the receiver to Ivan .

    Ivan : Peter , Ivan here .

    PHW : Ah Gazides , the very man , have you cleaned my shoes yet ? Its just I’ve made a couple of extremely unhelpful comments to the Press and I consider my working day is done . I’m off to lunch , where Braised Hearts and a bottle of Mouton Cadet ’71 awaits .

    Ivan : Your shoes have been cleaned , Peter , but I was wondering if you might handle the negotiations for Clichy .

    PHW : Who ?

    Ivan : French Defender , nothing to it , start at 10m , if they play hard-ball , you’ve got 5m leeway to negotiate on . I’d do it myself , but I’ll be tied up in the Fabregas negotiations .

    PHW : Italians you say ? Hmm , no problemo , show them in .

    Ivan : Thank you Peter , and Good Luck .

    PHW : Goodbye , Gazides .

    IG puts down the phone .

    IG : We might yet get out of this with our balls intact , IPA , now help me out of this Peruvian Suit .

    IPA : Yes Sir . It err …. Doesn’t appear to be loosening Sir … zip appears to be jammed … its no good Sir , you appear to be wedged in Sir .

    IG *squirming* Fuckingbollockscuntingshitfuck ! Oh Bollocks , just show them in .

    Some time later , …. Negotiations for Fabregas and Clichy have taken place , and PHW enters Ivan’s office .

    IG : Peeterr , How did it go ?

    PHW : Gazides , Extremely well . I didn’t fuck around with negotiations . I said to those wretched Ayeties , I’m late for lunch , 15m , take it or leave it .
    *touches his nose* I thought to myself , he’s French , he’s a defender , he’s unknown and Arsene likes him , worst comes to the worst we can send him out on loan to Bolton . After a bit of arm flapping they went for it , 15m big ones .

    IG : Peter , We were selling !!!! Did you actually get 15m for Clichy ?

    PHW : Oh … well , yes of course , the price is the price , 15m in our bin .

    IG : Today just keeps getting better and better , first we see off the Spaniards and now we get 15m for Clichy . World Domination here we come !!!!

    PHW : What happened with the Barcelona mob ?

    IG : Well , they showed up with all kinds of tempters , Olives , Sardines , Oranges , said that for a player with Barcelona DNA , they would even stretch to throwing in three pounds of Chorizo , but I stayed firm , sent them away with a flea in their ear , didn’t I , IPA ?

    IPA : You did indeed Sir .

    IG : It was the suit , IPA , I think they were intimidated .

    IPA : A masterstroke , Sir .

    PHW : Right , I suggest , we adjourn to my club and crack on til Dawn , what do you say ?

    IG : What a terrific idea .

    IPA : Ah … one final thing before you go , Sir , Gareth from Le Grove is here to see you . He’s in reception .

    IG : That cunt , what does he want ?

    IPA : Says he’s the voice of the fans , Sir .

    IG : *groans*

    PHW : Don’t worry Gazides , no-one’s keeping me from the club . I’ll deal with this , send him in . I know how to handle his sort .

    Gareth the C*nt is shown in –

    G the C : Err hello Everybody , my name is G-G-Gareth , But you may know me better as P-P-Pedro , fearless Keyboard warrior , and the one err true voice of Arsenal fans worldwide .

    PHW : Stand up straight you piece of filth , you rat-faced lump of excrement , you sniveling , repulsive combination of horse-shite and Kangeroo mucus , you are a worthless parvenu , a bullshitter , a phlegm dribbler , and a …. …

    Enter stage left , Arsene Wenger , wearing his Peruvian Anti-Riot Suit .

    AW : C’est magnifique . What does zis button do , I zink it iz for ze attack , non ?

    IPA : Don’t touch that button , Mr Weng-

    Arsene touches the button , and Gareth the C*nt is engulfed in a fireball , and runs screaming from the Office .

    AW : Ah , trop tarde , IPA , trop tarde .

    PHW : Excellent work , Arsene , have a new six year contract .

    IG : *head in hands* What the fuck am I going to say to the fucking Press ?

    PHW : Dear Boy , easy , merely state with authority that there is a wrong way of doing things , and that there is a right way , the Arsenal way .

    IPA : Shall I get your pipe Sir ?

    IG : I think that would be wise .


  100. Miami – Agreed 100%.

    Just as Nasir proves the point.

  101. Props to takeabowson @ goonerholics.

  102. Alex Ice Cream


    I agree with you about delusions but you really think that Villa is better than RvP? Surely not!

  103. Miami

    I am prepared to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, but the 1st post I read of JD’s was the tipping point. You dont see it, but others have. I am sick and tired of reading the same tired broken record bollocks. Its like fucking groundhog day. His arguments are half baked and reek of tabloid bullshit too.

    I dont agree with half the stuff you and others ome out with, but I can RESPECT your opinions.

    And, to be honest, I have been one of the few on here who has debated shit, even though it’s turned out to be the blog wquivalent of going to the dentist.

    But I apologise for my choice language today, I am a bit cranky due to a mammoth hangover.

  104. Miami Arsenal

    No need to apologise Dex, I sometimes have to take a few breaths before responding myself 🙂

  105. Miami Arsenal

    Nice post btw OOU

  106. Jabba's delights


    Sorry babe boring you whilst telling you a couple of home truths about our beloved club must make for an awful lunchtime. Did you enjoy going away to Braga last year?

    How many days until pre season again………….12 or 11?

    Got a good young developmental 3rd choice right back….just what we needed. Have we had basically a third of the transfer window or am i being a stupid c^nt again?

  107. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Nice post, ak47. Proper Arsenal. A lot of these cunts are just Mancs on a windup. I believe the proper term is sandbagging.

  108. Alex , I myself think RVP is a second striker type being played out of position ( nothing unusual in this for Arsene ) and that Villa would get the nod for the first striker role at Barca . He’s better at it than RVP,who often slows our forward play down . We need a Villa type of player UP FRONT and RVP playing in the second striker position.
    RVP is certainly the more skillful player of the two ,his goals though have not been winning us games do to the overall lack of balance in our side .

  109. you say potential leg breakers, the facts are how many legs have we broken in the last 6 yrs and how many have leg breaks have we suffered? im glad that we now put in these kind of challenges because the blatant assaults on our players have decreased. suggesting that bad challenges go unnoticed is a bit patronising dont you think. and a bit lame in trying to defend what has happened to us in regard to the rio kick and the elbow that was’nt unnoticed but made it into the public eye but still went unpunished.
    not to mention scholes’s record of being a bad tackler or should i say red noses pitbull swept under the carpet so he can continue as he pleased. not to mention shawcross who hasnt learnt anything after the ramsey incident.
    as for the barcas throat grabbing right in front of the ref ther is no justification for it so dont make excuses for it cos there are none. suppose youve got an explanation for rvps red card also?

  110. thanx nasir, your prolly right. i know we need improving but some of this nonsense needs to end.

  111. How many days till the transfer window actually opens? The tabloids and Sky are designed to get dim witted empty lived inadequates riled and apoplectic with non-stories of Player X rebuffing our advances, or player Y wanting to leave etc etc. If you take all hat shite in and swallow it then you will act like a spoilt brat whining and getting all flustered because we missed out on yet another signing, when we werent in for them in the 1st place.

    At this juncture, I would just like to re-iterate my earlier point;

    Fuck off JD, you are boring.

  112. I do have an explanation for it. It was a horrendous decsion, and awful refereeing. Do I believe he did it because it was Arsenal Vs Barcelona. Nope, it was just the fact that he was a turd of a ref.

  113. Miami Arsenal

    Jeff, RVP scored at a cracking rate when he was fit… the issue is that we always lose him for half the season.

  114. Geo | June 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    “Henristic, I think they got bored, going over the same arguments/debates all the time… I also miss the ongoing battles, although I came into the ACLF world just after the epic AKB vs Doomer war that I’ve heard so much about on here.”

    Bored? I suppose that’s possible. Would be a bit disappointed if that’s the case as doomer bashing is too important a task to abandon for those reasons. 😉 . It could also be that the team has disappointed them too. I can imagine its hard to vociferously defend a team that makes a habit of bad collapses.

    But the battles were indeed epic. There was some energy to it that’s missing now.

  115. Jeff

    Villa is a proper poacher and even though we could do with a classy finisher like him, the fact he kinda oes fuck all else for the team would mean for me anyway, that RvP is a far better option, as he can finish and create. Tht makes him the better player IMO. I’d love us to sign Eto’o, but thats just because he’s been a personal fave for years.

  116. Scholes was a bad tackler, and quite rightly got his fair share of yellow and red cards. I don’t really get what your point is there? Would you like the FA to castrate him?

    When Paddy and Petit ran our midfield we were hardly angels. Stop bleating. We have been very unlucky with leg breaks over the past few years, and I do believe that it is partly becuase teams believe that if they “rough us up” they will get a result has something to do with it.

    But suggesting that ref turn a bling eye to incidents that only happen agsint us is paranoia on a John Nash scale.

  117. And given RvP=s stunning scoring ratio, I cant blieve you would even call into question RvP being played as the focal point of our forward line? Seems a bit daft to me.

  118. Heh, I meant “blind”, not “bling”. I am farily sure that they don’t have dimond studded eyeballs.

  119. To say le grove is the other side of the spectrum to aclf isn’t particularly accurate. You could argue this is true in terms of those of us who comment, but in terms of authorial position it is a falsehood; one which is far too kind to Le Grove.

  120. jabba – there you go again! i fully respect your right to take a stance that goes against the grain, thats fine by me (see prev. comment about goonerandy et al) but why do you have to say the same things over and over again? you may believe they are home truths, maybe indeed they are, but it’s patently obvious that there is a disagreement over this fact, so why just keep posting them again and again and again? why not let the debate develop a bit, or choose another topic? your posts are always a repetition of what has been said around 20-30 times a day since the season ended. We all know what you think, and indeed you know what we think, cant we just move on and get at each others throats about something other than the same bloody argument over and over and over again. it’s soo dull.

    i did not tell you to fuck off because i disagree with what you are saying (although i do) I said it because you had pretty much repeated yourself three times in a row…. that ‘tick tock tick tock’ thing is as juvenile and redundant as ‘in arsene we rust’. its not intelligent, it contributes nothing and its repetition is just a waste of everyones time. by all means lets have it out about some other aspect of this glorious club but for the love of god please lets stop covering the same ground over and over again, because that is not debating, it is just banging your head against a brick wall

  121. Our problems concnering RvP’s fitness will be solved if Chamakh regains his form when called to play. I see no reason why this would not happen; 1st season are hard in this lge, and he is obvisouly a good player.

  122. Great post OOU. Don’t agree with everything you say but it is well written.

    The reality of the situation is that things have not worked out the way any of us thought it would. 4 yrs ago we all thought that cesc Theo diary denilson clichy sagna bendtner adebyor would mature together and dominate. Unfortunately has not worked out that way. Not sure why Now we are replacing several of these players with younger players Just my own opinion but I think the boss tried to manage these kids the same way he managed Tony Adams and co. And db10 et al. Younger players need more structure I think. The problem going forward is that these young players were all thrown together before they were really ready for the pressure cooker that they had to face and the recurring lack of success has created self doubt, nor necessarily in their own individual ability but their ability to succeed as a team. I can see not other logical explanation for the mental issues which have been present for several yrs but really were over the top last season. Not sure how summer vacation will fix the mental issues. Hopefully these players will figure it out thus season but the early dealings this summer not bringing alot of hope for change.

    Thanks again for a good post

  123. and there you are. how can you just assume he was a turd of a ref? thinking logically why would someone so incompetent be in charge of such a high profile game? they wouldnt.
    did you think refs arent influenced by big teams? do you not know how many gifts are given to certain refs and how some arent allowed to ref certain games given there track record? is it not odd that they arent more refs or that the ones who make such turd decisions arent held accountable but instead given more high profile games? who was the ref that gave 3 red cards in one match? whats become of him since? devision 1/2? doubt it. prolly reffed a final since.

  124. goonerandy

    Yeah, I agree mate. I really liked the look of Chamakh and he should do well next season. I still would like us to sign another triker, especially as Bendtner looks certain to leave (oops, there I go again believeing the tabloids!)

  125. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Oh and if we were outclassed by Barca what do you call what happened to your beloved Man U? Did they even get a sniff on net outside of Giggs offside gift?

  126. AK47 – Barca had a perfectly good goal ruled out for offside, plus a definate pen in the same tie. If the result had been different I am sure they would have pointed to those incidents as a biased against them. Swings and roundabouts.

  127. GA, I think ak47’s definitely got a point about the different treatment Arsenal get with refs, and media. We’ve been over the xenophobic reasons, and the bitterness about how Wenger goes about things, i.e trying to win in an ‘un-english’ way, countless times. Not saying there’s a conspiracy, but we don’t get the same favours that many big teams get, particularly Manure and Barca. Whether it’s conscious or not, we don’t get the same treatment imo.

  128. ak47 – i too agree that something smells fishy, however the whole thing is a losing argument until there is some evidence. not trying to dissuade you, but it is an argument which will be on the receiving end of much derision, as until there is proof it sounds like being a sore loser (not having a go, just stating why i try to avoid that line of argument and stick to things we know for certain – as otherwise all one’s opinions are discredited)

  129. GA and AK, if I may, you two are focusing upon a redundant question. Instead of arguing about something none can prove, how about discussing how to improve the quality of the referees, how ref’s could be facilitated in their roles, and how to overcome the barriers to your proposals? Much more fruitful and engaging than the “you’re crazy” argument of current

  130. Nasir – Not sure where that was directed, but Manure were well and truely outclassed. Very pleasing to watch it was too.

  131. GA

    Apologies for jumping in, ut are you referring to the barca offside goal against us in the 1st leg?

  132. Miami Arsenal

    If the season starts with few signing (which may or may not happen), I would love to see Ramsay and Lansbury feature more. I realise Ramsay is already a first teamer, but some rotation to include Lansbury would be a delight.

    I see Freeman signed a new contract, but where are we with Freeman and Sunu?

  133. no i think scholes should have been made an example of but wasnt for obvious reasons. unlucky with leg breaks?? UNLUCKY!!! i suppose frimpong and was it dj or diaby who was injured in training also? but wow, then you quote the rough us up line. so your aware on some level that officiating isnt right i guess.

  134. Miami Arsenal

    Sir Red Nose, even conceded they had their butts kicked

  135. Geo – We have to agree to disagree on that point then. I think some Arsenal fans are all to quick to forget the one’s that go in our favor in order to back up their own thoughts of bias against us.

    Gadget – That is very true. Video evidence is an obvious aid for them, but still won’t solve many of the problems that come with a bad ref. I really don’t know to be honest. Some advocate having ex-footballers as refs, but footballers would be more likely to be biased that some of the tools we have refereeing already.

  136. Jabba's delights


    That ”proper poacher” you speak of who does ”fuck all else” apart from score goals has rather annoyingly got more assists every year bar 1 in the last 6 than our beloved RVP. Counter argument to that is that RVP only plays half the games becuase he is injured for 15-20 games a season……but thats not fair is it!

    As im c^nt does that make that point mute or does it make your ”f^ck all else” comment seem silly. Did i mention he scores goals for fun as well, wait i just did.

    I’m one of those cuntish mugs who thinks we could do with another top echelon striker at our club, but then again our rivals only have Berbatov and Anelka to bring off the bench.

  137. Alex Ice Cream


    Villa doesn’t play upfront as a centre forward for barca. He could’t be the lone striker in a 4-3-3 either (not in the Prem anyway). He is more of an out and out striker and would be more suited to that role in a 4-4-2 than Robin. Robin has showed his adaptability by playing upfront on his own even though he is more a 9.5 than a 9 (false 9). Overall though I would still pick Robin as I think he is the better player.

  138. That CL final was quite pleasing. Seeing Ferguson get all his tactics completely wrong was quite amusing to say the least.

    However, I did think Barcelona got a level of protection unseen in the PL.

    The first English team Messi scored against – Man United
    The first English team to allow Messi to score on English soil – Man United

  139. Miami Arsenal

    The problem with some of the tackles is the mentality of the game in England. We cannot complain about horror tackles when we then say it is important to get at them. England has always been a passionate team in Football, but they fail to win anything because there direct style of play is outdated. I think Arsene’s stance on the approach to football will pay dividends for the nation in years to come and I truly hope that some managers learn from it.

    That said, they have Pearce a new contract and he is a lump it manager!

  140. Moot, jabber, not mute.

    A lovely malapropism though

  141. I think it is pretty worrying that Pele has advised that Meymar to avoid England as the game is too rough over here. I say worrying as I do feel that has been the case or a long time now; skillful, technical foreign players not considering our league due to the overtly physical nature of it. You’d think the media would get on hat and decry the brutality of our national game, ye they wallow in it. probably because we STILL cannot produce skillful players and have to resprt to this long ball, kick and rush rugby.

  142. Miami Arsenal

    Gadget, I am not sure it is protection they got so much as a European style of refereeing that we don’t see in the EPL. The European’s try ball to feel, pace and movement, they tend to have smaller ball players. England, has a physcial style, combative and unrelenting. A European refree is going to call many more free kiks, yellow cards etc then there English counter parts.

  143. Dexter – I can’t remember which legs the incidents were in mate. I was just illistrating that we got a couple of big calls in the tie as well. People are very quick to forget this.

    ak47 – Frimpong did his ACL, but that can simply happen with a bad turn. Diaby/Ramsey/Eduardo were all horrendous challenges, which were rightly red cards. The blame for those challenegs lies with the players that made them. Nobody else. You could argue that the FA could take further action, and I do believe that there is a good argument for that. Obvisouly that would apply to any club though, not just us. The ref on the day did what they had to and sent off the players concerned.

  144. those decisions werent as blatant and if they were against us id be unhappy but i would be able to understand.
    jab and gad- there is proof and solutions that are regularly debated on untold arsenal though i agree it does sound like being a sore loser. but i will always speak up if things arent right instead of going with the herd for an easy life. first port of call is awareness. as the saying goes- the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.

  145. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You wanna talk about simple and then you throw that out piece of trash at 2:00, Goonerandy? What a revelation. You really should think about becoming a mainstream football journalist. In all seriousness, you’d fit right in.

  146. Miami Arsenal

    You are right Dex, but it is the Nation not just Football that perpetuates the problem. The English a very proud people who still consider themselves a Nation apart from Europe. I am not arguing whether it is right or not just that the mentality is ingrained to the extent that it is almost impossible to change.

  147. indeed the fa should but wont. hence the corruption i hinted at earlier.

  148. AIC @ 2:24 Exactly – I was waiting for that, and you didn’t disappoint.

    Jonny made an important point about about changes in the pipeline in terms of scouting radius and the amount of time clubs can spend training youngsters, which are two of the big differences between England and abroad – (My excuse for the post being is a bit outdated is I sent it off in May)

  149. I think we could start teaching children the art of refereeing. Silly pundits often proposes some referee makes decision which are wrong because they’ve not play the game. This however, is an incorrcet assumption as the rules are the rules.

    If children are actually taught the rules, as oppose to making educational guesses based upon watching a game or listening to poor punditry. This part is conjecture, however, the impact should be that as the wider society becomes informed we should see the adjudicating instituion operating to a greater standard than current. Also with it being taught, more children may turn to refereeing as a viable path to take part in a sport they enjoy. The more participants, the great the competition, the better the quality.

    There are probably more benefit, but work is distracting me

  150. ak47 – Ah, so the bad desicions against us were disgusting, but the others side’s bad calls were understandable?

    Nasir – OK, what exactly is wrong with that particular post? As seen as that is pretty much what happened, I don’t really see your point? The ref made an awful desciosn and sent off one of our players; there really is no more to it than that.

  151. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Busacca’s record with Spanish teams speaks for itself, too. It’s ignorant to ignore such facts, IMO. Some people here seem to have a very limited and naive understanding with regards to the unsavory aspects of football and sports betting in general.

  152. Miami

    Oh, it wont change, not till the coaching develops and the academies produce technically gifted footballers on a regular basis, and not just occasionally. Watching the U21s was a depressing experince and shows that things wont be changing for the better any time soon.

  153. Miami Arsenal

    We also have to remember that as annoying has some decisions maybe, the alternative is what a TV camera? I would rather have the element of human error than sponsors taking the opportunity to cut to commericals to generate more money. Hell, if football ever got to the degree of the NFL where you get a 3 second play and a 4 minute commerical, I might just have to stop watching.

  154. Gadget – Yeah, decent points. Interesting to note that when I played at schoolboy level (a long time ago now), all the refs were adults. Is that still the case? Maybe getting people to ref from a younger age would be benificial?

  155. GA

    Well, if you are talking about the 1st leg, then thebarca “goal” was 100% offside mate!

  156. Miami Arsenal

    Dex, unfortunately I have concur with your assessment.

  157. I would agee with you Miami. There is a difference between interpretations of footballing law, and the simple fact that no institution is attempting to rectify such is quite damaging. Two teams are mean to approach a football game on largely equal terms in terms of external factors. If one team is handicapped because the referee interprets the law in a way which one side is not used to whatsoever, that is surely a handicap which one would think should not be tolerated by the powers that be. Unfortunately the powers that be hardly seem to take their responsiblity seriously

  158. Dexter – I remember them having a goal chalked off for offisde, when the replays clearly showed it wasn’t. The same as the nailed on pen that should have been given after Kos?, tripped one of their players in the area. Old arguments though, and pretty pointless as Gadget has pointed out.

  159. GA

    I know, well old, but I think that the goal was shown to be offside EVENTUALLY! And the main point was the 2nd leg ref has a bit of history with favouring Barca/spoanish teams apparantly. But its rehashing old news I know man.

  160. The stop and start nature of the NFL doesn’t readily lend itself to a comparison with football. The NBA or NHL models may be a better suit.

    Plus I’ve seen my share of refereeing cock-ups in the NFL this season alone, however, the NFL seemed to baulk against doing the right thing and apologising for these. Detriot lions anyone.

  161. randy i think you understand at last, well done. 🙂
    dont think i said they were disgusting did i?, although they prolly were.:-)
    so let me explain, barca are known divers and drama queens ability aside, so if a penalty or off side is not blatant any neutral would understand no? but throat grabbing and game changing red cards are not on the same level and to suggest they are is ridiculous.

    @ gadget- we defo need more refs but the wage inflation means that kids rarely will see a ref career as primary. imo it too far gone to rectify all i hope is that arsene can tweek this team to overcome such obstacles.

  162. Miami Arsenal

    Gadget, to true. I’m a Cowboys fan and I still cannot explain the rules interpreted for pass interference last year!

  163. Jabba's delights


    No it wasnt, Clichy was 2 yards behind the rest of our backline playing him on. Their disallowed goal in the same half was completely onside. In the second leg Djourou 100% tripped Messi in the box. We ere fortunate in these instances but incredibly unfortunate with the sending off, i guess things sort of balance themselves out more or less………..o wait no they dont, there is a world wide conspiracy against us……sorry for being a stupid manc c^nt again

  164. Miami Arsenal

    Jabba, I see you are still throwing the fishing line out… who is going to bite?

  165. AK, there are statistic compiled by Untold and they do a magnificent job, however, without putting that data to rigorous forensic analysis, I wouldn’t call it proof. At the mo the stats lend themselves to implications, circumstancial evidence at best.

    GA, yeah all refs are still adults

  166. im glad you brought up the usa in this cos from what ive heard about the nba the lakers are the equivalent to manure or barca in terms of getting ridiculous decisions in there favour. why? money most likely.

  167. Jabba's delights


    It ridiclous how far the pendulam has swung in favour of the offences in the NFL. Reasonably happy with it as im a Patriot and we love throwing it, but it must be maddening if your steeler, Raven or Jet

  168. Gadget – Interesting. It stands to reason that if people started refereeing an early age, there is a better chance of them being a better referee I would have thought. There must be a reason why it has not happened though I suppose.

  169. agreed its not concrete proof, but i reckon if we were on a jury with video evidence then most people would lean towards it instead of dismissing it as conspiracy no? anyway thank you all must dash.

  170. Jabba's delights


    I just find it crazy how selective the memories of some of the die hards on here are. From blaming the ref for conceding 4 goals against the toon to not remembering that in the same match we got an incredble decsion from the same linesman who some on here say plotted against us in giving the Koscielny on best pen. The Barca 2 leg affair shows exactly the inconsistency with match officials, some decsions hurt us others saved us, i cant for the life of me understand how some people dont get that

  171. Did things balance out at St James park, Jabber? What’s with the undeniable manc envy?

    AK, I agree, refereeing will never be a primary carreer, however, too many who enjoy football don’t seem to pursue any other options of taking part in the sport other than becoming a professional footballer. We need to encourage people to pursue these other options whether it’s coaching or refereeing. Just because you can’t kick a ball straight doesn’t means there is no aptititude for anything else.

    Miami, pass interference has been whittled away to nonsense. As have the rules concerning completing a catch, and what’s with QB protection? – Anyway, back to football!

  172. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Yawn. You’re just fair weathered, Jabbas Delights. I’d hate to be stuck in a trench with a cunt like yourself.

  173. In the cup final we should have been down to 10 men within the first 5mins or so.

  174. Miami Arsenal | June 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm
    Jeff, RVP scored at a cracking rate when he was fit… the issue is that we always lose him for half the season.


    Yes,he did score a lot of goals on the run in, but we didn’t win the games , we need a front striker who can hold onto the ball with RVP in the second striker role – in other words revert back to 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1… our build up play is too slow these days for the Premier League… we need a bit more direct play and less fannying about in front of goal… it was all a bit boring really in most games .
    Anyway ,Ivan says that ‘Arsan’ will be active in the transfer market this summer … so let’s see what transpires .. ‘Arsan’ has got his work cut out though trying to sell some of our surplus to requirement players… and to hold on to the ones who are required!

  175. I thiunk the refs have a fuckng hard job, not helped by clueless pundits (one minute they are berating them for not going by he book, the next they are screaming for he to use common sense!) The instant replays from 100 different angles are often shown as proof of percieved indiscretions or mistakes by he ref/linesman and they get hounded out ofthe game by coaches and disgruntled fans. I do tink some teams get more favourable decisions. In the 80s the scousers benefitted and the mancs do so today to a cretain extent. I dont think it proves that refs are bent, I just think some are bottlers, but given the abuse they get from all sindes, that aint a surprise.

    Phil Dowd was deemed the villain of the piece when we fucked up at St James park, yet he was a bit of a home when we played Blackburn at the Grove. So, go figure?

  176. Dexter – Yeah, I agree with that to a point. I still maintain the Newcastle result was down to us and nobody else, but again; old argument.

  177. Jabba's delights


    I would hate to be an adult who only started supporting Arsenal in 2006.

  178. Jabba's delights

    Utd have just confirmed Young, i thought that could only happen 1 July….George?

    Hopefully that might mean they can fuck off away from Nasri

  179. OneOfUs: Thank you for this very interesting post. I think you’re totally right to emphasize the importance of both the academy for locals and the reserve and youth teams for teens brought in from elsewhere – these elements are essential to well-run teams. I hope that Frimpong, Lansbury et al get a chance this year.

    I wish that instead of reserves and youth teams Arsenal could do it like the Spanish and have their extended squad of players play on an Arsenal B in league 1 or something. But they’d probably win promotion to the Championship and piss off all the middle-aged championship lifers…

    @ goonerandy | June 23, 2011 at 10:28 am – fact. well said.

    @ Yorkshiregooner | June 23, 2011 at 9:29 am “But have we got the patience to wait and see?”
    I do. it seems like a noisy crowd of people do not, but it’s impossible to tell how large they really are.

  180. @ jeff wright | June 23, 2011 at 9:35 am you’re entitled to your opinion, but I thought Cruyff pegged it nicely. You’re right about Barca, though – they had to go into major debt, in part due to stupid moves like Eto’o and a bag of loot for Ibra, or buying Chygrynskiy from Shaktar and then selling him back for a loss of $10 million. But without their spending they wouldn’t have 2 of their three crucial players (Alves and Messi). As such, I think Arsenal has the moral high ground, since it practices both the proper stylistic/tactical approach to the game *and* does so within its financial means in a sustainable and even profitable way.

    not so convinced about “Wenger’s style of football is not enough on its own to keep players happy, success trophy wise and money also come into play” though. I’ll point to the Mavs: Nowitzki never said, “hey, we’re in the playoffs every year but we haven’t won a championship. I’m changing teams.” Players who do… well, maybe Arsenal is better off without them.

    Jabba – what’s nice about people like Tonie (9:09 am), gabriel onyeabor (8:21am) and the other trolls is that they post once and then fuck off. You just keep talking shit every day. And you don’t even know anything about the NFL, apparently; I’m a Steelers fan and I’m not displeased with the offense-to-defense balance of the league, despite the disappointment of the Super Bowl.

    In fact, that’s a great example of how you suck so hard: the Steelers lost in the Super Bowl; I am a Steelers fan; I’m not complaining about the management and the players, or whining and demanding that some people be fired and others brought in. This is because I am a *fan* – I wish the team well and support them, I don’t get deluded and think I know more than the general manager or the coach.

  181. Alex Ice Cream

    United have bought Young and we have bought Jenkinson.

    The team that won the league and got to the CL final have already strenghened 2 positions while we have done virtually nothing as usual.

    Our problems have been glaringly obvious for years and yet still the player we need are not arriving.

    No wonder we are treading water – at best.

  182. GA

    I think you missed my point there mate. I said the ref was deemed to be totally against us and the opposite was the case in the home game with Blackburn. I wasat the $ all game at St James and havent ever seen any replays so cant say IF Dowd was a cunt to us or not!

  183. Jabba's delights


    I think there is alot to be said for the Spanish system. The fact that their youngesters get to play in the equivelant of our championship is utterly unbelivable for their development. Can you imagine how excting it would be watching our reserve team compete in that league or league 1 without the need to send players out on loan.


    I mean i would wet my pants watching that

  184. * 4 all

  185. Dexter – Ah, I get you. Yeah very true.

    The ref was undoutably bad in the Newcastle game. The 2nd pen he gave is still a mystery to me as to why he gave it. Diaby was sent of for rasing his arms, and when Nolan did the same later in the game he gave nothing.


    We lost a 4 goal led inside of 20mins. A team of our quality (even with ten men) should have been able to see out that game. As usual of defence just ended up in panic and chaos. Losing a 4 goal lead in that space of time is inexcusable at this level. The ref was bad, but we should have still won the game comfortably. The worst thing was, when they got their 1st, which should have been a simple consilation goal, you could just sense what was about to happen. It was awful to watch.

  186. @ goonerandy | June 23, 2011 at 11:04 AND 11:08 am – I think you’re being overly pessimistic. That might be a good personal strategy for you if it lessens your disappointment in the event Arsenal don’t win a treble, but (and I know some people are tired of hearing it; tough, since it’s the truth) Arsenal has tons of young players who will get better each year, as players tend to be on a upward trajectory of performance until at least 25. You’re right that nothing is certain, but I think someone knowledgeable but objective (as opposed to either disappointed Arsenal fans or typical viewers steeped in EPL media narratives) would certainly conclude that as the financial fair play rules loom, Arsenal has the most promising medium term outlook: tons of young players out of whom only a few need to be really good (the rest can be sold for profit), a recognizable and appealing style, high drama, a huge fanbase, a new stadium, potential for significantly increased commercial income (see the Swiss Ramble’s work on Arsenal) as endorsement contracts expire, and a solid core of world class players who are not yet 30.

    @kenyan gunner | June 23, 2011 at 11:24 am – RVP, Sagna and TV were the first people I thought of too, but Dani Alves is a force of nature – even Sagna’s rock-like consistency and commendable stamina can’t match the way Alves charges up and down the line. He plays winger and fullback at the same time. Tactically he’s as important as Messi to the Catalans.

    @ ZimPaul | June 23, 2011 at 10:58 am – Thoughtful and accurate, in my view. Good post.

    @ ZimPaul | June 23, 2011 at 11:31 am – great reply to a BS challenge.

    @ Clay | June 23, 2011 at 11:39 am – “Barca spend lots of money to be were they are, we dont have their budget at all… They can afford to spend lots of money on a player and then send him on loan.”
    The funny thing is, they actually can’t afford to, they have to borrow money to. That’s ZimPaul is right to say Arsenal will overtake them in the medium term.

    @ shotta | June 23, 2011 at 11:32 am – your mentality is commendable and appreciated.

  187. Alex

    Do me a favour. Please fuck off and come back August 31st at 5 to midnight. If we havent signed anyone by then, feel free to fill your boots and whine your head off.

  188. Jabba's delights


    I obvioulsy dont know you, but i think you would be hugely suprised about how much i do know about he NFl, but its a pointless exorcise isnt it poppet.

    The Steelers have won 2 super bowls this decade bettered only by the partriots a remarkable acheivment in the NFL. Losing in the final this year was no great shame, the team played great but was outlasted by another great side. The players show class bar Harrison at all times and genuinly represent the great working class town that is Pittsbourgh. They have the classiest owner in the NFL , whats not to be happy about.

    Like i said earlier i travel and pay a huge amount to watch my beloved side so am perfectly within my right to form whatever oppinion i want about them, as are you even though i would be hugely suprised if you went to the lengths that i do watch them wherever they may be playing. All i have asked for is for the club to do all it can to be as succesful as it can, no more no less. I and a huge amount of arsenal fans dont feel that this is being done, thats where my gripe comes from. Whether you like it or not we do start training in 12 days, and if you dont think it would be ideal for squad moreale to see some new faces come 1st day of training you are deluded.

  189. It stinks like Jabba the Butt in here.

  190. Josef – Yeah, fair points. And I certainly hope that this is the case. But if you remember as the start of this season Arsene and a number of the players all said that they have now come of age and age of the players was no longer an excuse.

    Some of the players have not quite developed into the players that we had hoped, so whilst this strategy has gave us a good base to work with, I don’t think it is 100% going to take us to success. We are a big club, but it is now at the stage where we need to be winning things to back this up. If not, we will be no different to the Liverpool side of the 90’s. And none of us want that.

  191. @ Jabba’s delights | June 23, 2011 at 11:49 am –
    “I wish i saw what you saw i really do. Its always the future with us, but what about the here and now, and when is the future going to start?”

    I don’t think you do wish you saw what Zimpaul sees, because you work too hard to find the negative in everything. You’d probably tell Jennifer Lopez her ass is too big.

    but as regards your post at 3:46 pm, I also would love to see that kinds of team play against Hartlepool or something, but you might be on to something. What if Arsenal registered a new team in the Spanish Tercera or Segunda and stocked it entirely with youth players on loan? Then we could really see who is ready to move up the the EPL. I imagine there’s got to be some kind of legal stricture that would prevent it, but we can dream…

  192. When it comes to upcoming transfers I am prepared to be patient. Both the manager and CEO have said we will be busy in the window, so I am more than happy to wait until it closes to make my judgment on our dealings. Obvisously the sooner the better as it allows the new players more time to bed in, but transfers can be complex things to complete. I just hope we don’t leave it too late and get our fingers burned.

  193. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What a dunce. That’s totally irrelevant, JD. You’re a fucking boring square who talks the same rubbish day in day out. You’re simply unable to think outside your immature little doomer box. See your tick tick shite for evidence. You come off like you’re trying to piss people off. Its the same sensationalist shite day after day.

    You still haven’t replied to my post about your beloved United. If we were outclassed against Barca what do you call what happened to your beloved Man U?

  194. jabba – as stated many times, the english transfer window is open, the european one is not. hence why they have signed young, because he is english and played for an english team. is that so hard to understand?

  195. @ finsbury | June 23, 2011 at 11:57 am – nice video, thanks for posting.

    @ goonerandy | June 23, 2011 at 4:02 pm “Some of the players have not quite developed into the players that we had hoped, so whilst this strategy has gave us a good base to work with, I don’t think it is 100% going to take us to success. ”

    You’re right. A couple judicious buys would not go amiss. But I trust them to come. Despite how so many people bitch about Wenger, he’s bought tons of great players. He’s made mistakes, like every other human, but with a track record like his I don’t see how the kind of fan who travels everywhere to see the team play could not trust his judgment.

  196. jabberwocky – Some French bloke has just signed for Newcastle I believe. Is it not that they can’t be officially registered until 01 Jul?

  197. @ Geo | June 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm – I don’t think TV would displace Puyol now, but I bet Barca would love to have him 12 months from now…

    @ goonerandy | June 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm forgot to say that appreciate your measured tones.

  198. Alex Ice Cream


    I will do but I will also be here in the meantime.

    Good news that Vela is staying – 11 goals in 5 years roughly, he’s the new Aliadiere.

  199. Josef – Its all good discussion mate 🙂

  200. goonerandy – that may be the case, but considering how secretive we are about everything even if something was tied up i wouldnt expect it to be announced until the registration formally goes through? that said, i’m not expecting any announcements on July 1st. We’ll have to wait a bit, it is frustrating especially considering the atmosphere and lack of football, but it is just the way things are done and we’ll have to wait. I am really hoping however that the wait wont extend to deadline day, as I find that tactic is less than helpful for preparations for the season. by the same token however, I do not think that everything needs to be tied up before the first pre-season friendly transfer wise or we are doomed, as jabba has hinted at. i’m just hoping whomever we buy is announced in the next month or so and that it isn’t all lastminute.com, because otherwise arsenal forums are going to be unbearable. we’ll just have to wait and see

  201. I can’t see where Vela fits into this formation. If we reverted to 2 strikers I think we could do well for us, but as long as we stay with one striker I can’t see him being effective for us.

  202. Jabberwocky – Agreed.

  203. Alex Ice Cream what did you accomplish by the age of 21?

  204. goonerandy – i dont know…if he manages to adapt his game somewhat i do think he could fit into our 4-3-3. he’s obviously more suited to 4-4-2 but he’s still young, and I reckon with a bit of a confidence boost and some consistency that he could succeed, as he has technical ability, speed and a good passing ability. walcott didnt really fit in either (although they are completely different players) but managed to adapt. i’ve got dreams of vela adapting and racing onto through balls and chipping keepers for fun, just needs to sort his head out, and i for one am really glad that he’s getting another chance, as i really think he could make it.

  205. Maybe. The games I saw him play from the left he was very predictable (cut inside, and try a cute ball behind the defence with the outside of his left foot). He does seem to have all the attributes though. I think he may well take over from Denilson as Arsene’s pet project. Excellent finisher though.

  206. Right, I am off out for dinner with the wife.


  207. A;ex

    You really are a sad prick. Yeah, let’s slate Vela, I mea, he is such a cunt isnt he? Over the hill too and given sooooo many hances to play. You cunt.

  208. Josef – great posts. Keep it up!

  209. Seeya Gooner Andy and yea, I’d like to ee how vela does this pre-season, he is a top finisher.

  210. yeah he was, but dont think he had time to learn to stop doing that. walcott still has developing to do, but before this season all he did was run into blind alleys/defenders and was entirely predictable, but the faith placed in him was rewarded and his game is more varied now. he’s got more improving to do, but he learnt to adapt. i’m hoping vela can do the same. only problem is that he needs game time and it will be hard if we keep nasri, arshavin and if we buy someone like gervinho. he really needs to grab his chance when it inevitably comes. if he does, the world is his oyster, if not, then he’ll probably have to shine for someone else. fingers crossed

  211. Jabba's delights


    I just think it qualifies you slighty, considering you stated yourself you knew nothing about arsenal as a adult until 2006, i find it hard how you can ridicule and shit on someone’s oppinions who has supported Arsenal throughout their entire life. Everyone is entitled to their oppinion but whilst you didnt know arsenal existed i was in love with them. Maybe you shouldnt speak with such authority or disdain to people who understood football before you had cared to know what the premier league was, let alone arsenal football club.

    Utd did get pumped by Barca but let us remember they got to the final and also won the league, maybe won could find a place in the heart to show a tiny little bit of respect for a club who arsenal espire to grow into one day. I hate Utd but i still respect them, i think their manager is wonderful i hate him but he is brilliant. Am i a lessor arsenal fan for saying such a thing?????? Not going to lie i was pretty annoyed when Utd reserve team tonked us in the FA cup, there manger knew how we would play and he drilled his reserves to beat it, and they did……hated every moment of it.


    I see that Madrid have signed Sahin from Dortmund, forgive my ignorence but is Dortmund in Spain? In fact i like this game is Marsielle in Italy i i’ve heard that Milan might have bought Twaio, or is that the stupid f^cking arsenal hating press just making up bullshit to make stupid manc cuntish arsenal fans such as myself panic.

  212. @ jeff wright | June 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm – Diaby is not a poor signing. He’s a French international who’s played some fantastic games for Arsenal and still has a big upside. He many never reach his potential, but if he doesn’t we’re not out that much and he’ll still be a salable asset, whereas if he does you’ll be eating your words.

    @ Jabba’s delights | June 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm
    1. I don’t have a problem with Harrison.
    2. Blitzburg do have the best owner in the league. and the best scouting system. and the best fans. Who never down their team, unlike some people I can mention.
    3. you’re right, I don’t go as far as you do to support arsenal, maybe i should be doing the JFK –> Heathrow every weekend because I have nothing else going on and unlimited funds?

    “All i have asked for is for the club to do all it can to be as succesful as it can, no more no less. I and a huge amount of arsenal fans dont feel that this is being done, thats where my gripe comes from.”

    I’m a liberal (here they’d call me a commie pinko) and I criticize Obama and the Democrats from the left. A lot of centrist Democrats on the blogs (like Dailykos) try to tamp down leftist criticism with the argument that more can get done with a united center/left coalition than with the leftists criticizing everything. I finally am understanding their perspective through dealing with you. The difference is that in politics the desired outcome is specific policies – if a mushy, watered-down centrist bill passes it might well have been better to do nothing. In football, we all just want Arsenal to win, and whether the manager followed your preferred course of action in the offseason is unimportant; but for Arsenal, fan unity and positivity is important, as it creates an atmosphere the players can feed off, and not just in the stadium. The players are exposed to the virulent complaining and insulting; they know what disgruntled supporters are saying. Do you think that helps Diaby or Eboue or Denilson to perform at their top capacity? And wouldn’t it be better for Arsenal if they all did perform at their top capacity?

  213. i doubt alex ice cream is above 21, nobody above 21 would ever call themselves alex ice cream.

  214. I dont tink Vela getting called up by mexico every 5 minutes helped him in the past. he lsways seemed to comeback either late of crocked, or both. He doeshave all he tools to do well.

  215. poodle If he is older than 21 then that would be fucking embarrassing.

  216. Josef

    I am a commie pinko too! 😀

  217. Jabba I actually read your last post, and all it did was remind me to not read your posts anymore.
    I wonder if Maria is reading up on this Vela discussion?

  218. Jeff @ 3:14, it’s tough fitting Cesc into a 4-4-1-1, that’s the problem. You don’t maximize his talents. Although I agree we should be practicing 4-4-1-1 for when he isn’t available and put VP behind Chamakh.

  219. Bravo Big Al,

    Top quality writing and well thought out, I agree with you 100%

    What Arsene is trying to do at Arsenal is much more than just trying to help a first team to win trophies, often having to punch above his weight. He is doing much more than that. He has developed our team into an attacking, exciting footballing side that is well known around the world.

    Players come to Arsenal because they know it is likely that they will improve as players and have the chance to express themselves on the pitch.

    I trust Arsene Wenger during this period because he has seen it, done it and won trophies. His rebuild of the squad/club is one of the biggest ever seen in this country and it is taking a little bit of time to complete the job. The hard part has been done. Building a new stadium, having to develop young players and maintain top four during that period has been often ignored by people. I doubt many other managers in world football would have been able to do that on the budget given to him by the board.

    While we are all frustrated about getting close and falling away, can we ignore the remarkable platform and foundations laid down by Wenger?

    The youngest Premier League team in two years beat Manchester United at the Emirates a few months ago. Surely that is a clear indication of the quality we have.

    Many people who want Arsene out are fed up and moaning about our manager but still say that we are two or three players away from being the best. Surely that means we are not that far away. Why sack a man who has built a young squad that is not far away from completing the job.

    Short term it has been frustrating to fall short and very frustrating to fall short after being in such a good position but long term Arsene has and is doing a fantastic job with our club. If we were currently in a position with a squad full of 32 year olds and were making the same errors with no money to spend then yes, Wenger has failed but this is the complete opposite.

    I hear project youth has been a failure. Well in my opinion project youth hasn’t even started. Wilshere is the first of a very bright future at AFC.

    Well done once again Big Al.

  220. Jabba's delights


    I would also suggest one of the reasons why the Steelers, Patriots and Colts have been so consistently succesful is that they are utterly ruthless in their player personel departments. Favourites are never given sentimental contracts, if you dont perform your out, if you dont have the right cap number your out. Look how our respective nfl teams cut players like Law, Porter, Dillon, Moss, Branch, Vrabel to name but a few. The Steelers and Patriots also have the single most ‘win’ first attitudes in the league. How would the Steeler nation feel with consecutive 7-9 seasons, would they be annoyed, its quite easy to cheer when your dominating.

    No Iimagine it would be hard for you to go to JFk every weekend and fly over to support arsenal. I do however go every weekend and sing until im blue in the face, i would never let me repeat that never boo or go on protest marches. I stayed to clap the players after the Villa game. I vent my frustrations on blogs, but would never tell another paying fan how to support their team, its entirly up to them i would love them to sing like i do, but each to there own.

    I would hope that our players can motivate themselves, its part and parcel of being an incredibly well paid professional.

  221. @ Delia–Block 112 | June 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    “Can we really expect our youth system to provide us with a constant stream of LJWs ? ”

    Yes, when combined with the scouting system to bring in mid-teens. That’s what good youth and scouting systems do. Teams like Ajax, Udinese, Lyon, Villarreal and so forth pay their bills with such dual systems, and Lyon used it to win 7 league championships in a row. Arsenal can use such a system to become champions without going hundreds of millions of dollars into debt or depending on a sugar daddy. It would be easier if the supporters weren’t so impatient (Jabba).

    @ jabberwocky | June 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm – This.

    @ Jabba’s delights | June 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    “the ”useless” arseblog or the complete ”c^nts” on le grove who have an absolutely oustanding following cant be getting it all wrong”

    Le grove sure is getting it all wrong. Arseblog’s writer is decent though I disagree with him, but I’ll pass on the commenters there.

    “all of which are destroyed by cretins like George”
    dude, you come on here and argue with everyone; you have the right to express your opinion, and it;s cool that you seek to challenge your own opinion by exposing yourself to other thoughts instead of living in an echo chamber, but how do you think everyone else here feels when you keep saying the same thing every day and it’s not convincing anyone? who’s destroying what, exactly? I don’t go and pester le grove because it would be pointless.

  222. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Unfortunately I won’t be able to participate in this enthralling conjecture any longer. I’m off to do some traveling. See you lot in a bit, fam.

  223. Jabba's delights


    You told me a 100 times your going to stop reading my posts, maybe once you should show some bottle and actually do it……..are you reading this?

  224. josef
    you make a very important point regarding fan unity.
    however i’m guessing that unless things are sorted before next kick-off, the fans will be united, more or less, in asking for drastic changes at Arsenal.

  225. goonerandy | June 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm – concur on both your points here. Ref bias towards more famous teams is endemic and so are poor decisions/mistakes, but neither is aimed against Arsenal in particular I’d say.

    and (deep breath) JD is right about overcoming adversity up to a point, but one can’t ignore context and circumstances either; there’s a limit to the capacity to overcome adversity.

    @ Henristic | June 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm I was a lurker here back when you could expect that “usual chorus of fuck-offs and abuse”, and I actually started posting because it seemed like the floor was being ceded to doomers. I can imagine it gets tiring.

  226. Good post, OOU.
    The core of the squad has fulfilled its potential as individuals, so the foundation is definitely there.
    I think 1-2 players a year for the first team (not necessarily stars) is thought to be a good return for an academy. They have more or less achieved that.

    @ ZP
    I agree with you in the sense that if you keep doing the right things, you will get there. The strategy is working because, although our season was disappointing, frustrating in the end, our team is getting better each year. The point about the age of the team is very important as well. There is one more step to take, which is finding consistentcy. I feel it’s lazy and inaccurate to say they lack mental strength – for one thing, if that was the case, they couldn’t turn it on and off.

    On refs..
    The Messi goal was offside. The ref did get that right. Explanation on Untold Arsenal from their referee. The ref in the second leg was a homer. Apart from taking at face value all their diving, he carded RvP (justifiably) for a spiteful push on a Barca player’s chest, BUT after having ignored three separate throat-grabbing incidents from them. He then gave RvP another yellow card for kicking the ball away. This was unjust because he cannot have been sure, that with his back to the referee and 95,000 people whistling, Robin had heard his whistle, and because at least three Barca players did the same before and after RvP and were not punished.

    I don’t blame our disappointment at the end of our season entirely on the refs. I am not aware that anyone has. I do blame the refs mainly for us losing or drawing these games: Barca away, Newcastle A, Sunderland H. Nor do I think there is a formal conspiracy. I do think that they are in general biassed against us and in favour of Man U. Even the ManUre-loving pundits have said they get away with murder, expecially in the box.

    @ Dexter
    Untold Arsenal are planning a PL-wide version of Ref Review next season, using several referees to carry out the reviews, and that should provide more rigour.
    Regarding Newcastle A, I think Dowd was responding to perceived criticism from an Arsenal player after some shocking officiating at previous games, and that is why he was so biassed.
    goonerandy and some others think that whatever the ref does, the team should be able to overcome it. I think common sense says that if the man who is in charge of interpreting and applying the rules really wants to screw you over, he can. Easily.

    @ AIC
    Ditto to what others have said.

    @ Josef
    Regarding the last paragraph of your post at June 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm, I agree entirely. But some people feel that it is their inalienable right to beat up on the team in public, and some of them even convince themselves that they are performing a noble duty in so doing.

  227. Very good post One Of Us.

  228. @ jeff wright | June 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    “they surely can’t be so stupid as to believe that everything is going great at AFC and that Wenger actually is in control of events?”

    Dude, are you fucking nuts? the vast majority of football teams across the globe would love to be in Arsenal’s shoes, and people around the world love their style of play. You can’t be so stupid as to believe the gloomy Eeyores predicting disaster, can you?

  229. @ Jabba’s delights | June 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm
    “I respect all arsenal blog writers as they take the time to write almost everyday about a club i love.”

    Dude, you said something nice. Are you feeling okay?

  230. Alex Ice Cream


    I could slate a number of our players. I only chose Vela as there was some “news” on him. I can pick out any number of overpaid, underperforming millionaires who are not fit to wear the shirt if you like.

  231. Okay Jabba. I usually read your first post or two to see what you have to say. Then I scroll down the rest of the page, skipping yours. Then when I get to the end I like to comment on certain things that stood out to me. One thing that stands out is the number of people who really disagree with your opinions. All in all I have read 3 (including your latest) of your posts today. It really does get fucking boring when you come here and say the same thing every day. Back in February or March when the season was rolling along, you were nowhere to be found and this blog/comments was quite enjoyable. Since your appearance, as many have noted,
    “how utterly fucking dull”

  232. Alex Ice Cream


    Not blaming it entirely on the refs?

    There is mainly 1 reason why we constantly fail. We are not good enough to win. It is very simple

    The exception was 2008 when even I would admit we were f8cked by the refs, utterly screwed. Barca away was another stitch up but on the whole many players have not been worthy of the faith shown in them by the manager. I am annoyed that they have been allowed to get away with it for so long.

  233. Nicely put Lean Mean.

  234. Jabba's delights


    i talk about signings squad development and the outlook for the new season which to me seem to be the most important things at Arsenal fc currently,. People get bashed on here for talking about transfer rumors, they get bashed on here for worrying about things, people got bashed on here for believing we would collapse at the end of the year (i thought we would win the league, very annoying). What dont people get bashed for? Every Arsenal player is apparently incredible and everything is rosey, well Josef things arent all beautiful and thats the whole point of discussion.

    Le Grove gets it all wrong and yet in can build up as many comments in 45mins as this blog does in a day. Are all these arsenal fans stupid and ignorent? When Pedro was asked to write for the Times (very good englsish newspaper) about Arsenal football club, did they do it because he is complete idiot who knows nothing or did they do it because he is a good writer who might have a good idea of how a large section of arsenal fans feel?

  235. ok. William. and slagging off jabba aint dull ?

  236. Alex

    IF Vela had been given an extended run in the side, IF he was a big mouth waster like Bentley, then sure, slate him. BUT he has hardly been given a shot, is 21 and has a chane to stake a claim in the Arsenal 1st team squad this season it seems. So, why fucking slate a young Arsenal player?

    Oh yea, because you can and because thats what sad doomers do all day every day!
    Change the record mate, its boring.

  237. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Oh and before i embark eat shit, AIC. I couldn’t care less about you or your views on Arsenal. I found this great club through proper English Gunners that go back to the beginning and I’ve never heard one of them talk about such a wonderful club in such a fashion. Youre views on Arsenal and football in general are simple at best. You’re just a soulless fucking curmudgeon with nothing better to do than bitch and moan. And with that I’m off. Catch you lot in a couple months.

  238. Alex, we do not constantly fail. We actually are constantly better than 85% of the league. As Frank likes to say, crawl back into that dark, wet hole where you came from.

  239. Now that you mention it mr. loud, it is pretty dull. I guess i should follow what others have said before me,
    “don’t feed the troll”

  240. @ Mean Lean
    Great comment. Spot on.

  241. @ finsbury | June 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    best post ever, thanks for relaying it to us.

    @ jeff wright | June 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm
    Villa doesn’t even play “the first striker role at Barca”, which you might know if you were informed. Messi plays a false 9 from the middle, Villa and Pedro make out-to-in runs from the wings.

    and to argue that RVp of all people slows down Arsenal’s play? are you fucking kidding? he’s the most incisive of the whole bunch!

    @ Gadget | June 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm – True.

    @ goonerandy | June 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm – True.

    @ Bill | June 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm – you have an interesting perspective. I’d reply that with increased age comes increased maturity, which helps to rid one of self-doubt. I think you;re giving up too early, and that Arsenal’s squad will still “mature together and dominate.” I became a fan around the last time they won something. I am not dismayed that they haven’t won anything in however long, and I do not think giving up on youth because they haven’t won is a smart move.

  242. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You thick fucking dunce, JD. Fuck the media they fucking hate us. Pedro is an opportunistic fucking fleabag of a human being. You ever thought they chose him because it fits perfectly with the anti Arseanl agenda? And you wonder why people think that’s an undercover Manc or Spud blog.

  243. Jabba, regarding signings I think you should probably prepare yourself for the fact that we will have max one more player in and probably only one or two out. Would you consider that a disaster?

  244. fair enough dude,
    but i’ve noticed here at aclf there is a bit of a pack mentality sometimes.

  245. loud – it really fucking is! its boring to have to do it every day, i think i speak for everyone when i say that i wish we weren’t driven to it, day in, day out

  246. ok. i’m new.
    but i think everyone is allowed an opinion.

  247. wont go into it again – just read earlier posts, its the reiteration of one idea over and over again which gives rise to derision, not the fact that the idea is controversial in this setting

  248. @ Miami Arsenal | June 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm & June 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm –
    Concur completely with both these posts.

    @ Gadget | June 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm good suggestion.

    @ Jabba’s delights | June 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm – perhaps you’re familiar with the idea of confirmation bias? it explains why you only remember the bad things about Arsenal, and others inclined to be positive think Arsenal can do no wrong and the refs are always screwing them.

    @ jeff wright | June 23, 2011 at 3:14 pm completely disagree about a change in formations. 3 in the midfield is a dominant strategy, tactically. now if by 4-4-1-1 you mean with the wide men advanced and the midfielders sitting back, that’s basically the 4231 we played all season (as opposed to the more 4123 style we played before, with only Song holding. you may be right about the personnel, though. RVP could probably play extremely well in the hole as the middle person in the line of 3 advanced midfielders, with Chamakh or Bendtner or Vela or even Theo in front of him. In fact, if Cesc left, I’d advocate for this idea. Cesc demonstrated that someone with intent can score goals form the hole, and RVP sure has intent.

    @ Alex Ice Cream | June 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm – I suggest a long walk off a short pier.

  249. yeh, have done.
    jabba, you do go on a bit. how about something new.

  250. Loud you got it all wrong. Did Yogi not send you the “Rules of the Comment Section” pdf? Similar to the 10 commandment Jesus type thing, except it’s all about AKB’s and D**mers

  251. what. like in cencorship sort of way.

  252. Josef, yes I think he means 4-4-1-1 with two advanced wide attacking midfielders.

    RB — CB — CB — LB
    —– CM — CM
    – RAM —— LAM

    It’s similar to the invincibles and also similar to how United played in the second half of the season when they got their shit together, and I think it should be our plan B for when Cesc is unavailable.

  253. Thanks Geo.

    @ jabberwocky | June 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm – nicely put.

    @ Alex Ice Cream | June 23, 2011 at 4:14 pm I hope Vela scores a hambone and then pees in your upturned hat; then you’ll have something to wash down the foolish words you’ll be eating.

    @ goonerandy | June 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm – Vela plays the wing for Mexico. He’s done so well.

    @william | June 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm – word.

    @ Mean Lean | June 23, 2011 at 4:47 pm – I thought I had read this whole thread, but who the eff is “big Al?

  254. @ Josef
    “and others inclined to be positive think Arsenal can do no wrong and the refs are always screwing them. ”
    If you are making a reference to me, neither part of that is true. What most of us realistic fans share is an ability to see the bigger picture – to appreciate, as you say, that Arsenal are better than most teams.

    How does AIC’s view that the refs screwed us in the 2007/08 season fit into your dichotomous analysis?

  255. Jabba's delights


    There you go again with the media being against us…….its hilarious and shows horrible insecurity.

    Think what you will about Pedro, but he is a season ticket holder of our beloved team, owns shares and writes a highly succesful daily blog about the arsenal. I would suggest he is great fan who has a differing oppinion to you. I highlight once again that you stumbled into arsenal in 2006, and maybe you should have a little more respect for someone who does all of those things for the club.


    I feel we need 3-4 players of starting quality as long as we keep everyone like Clichy, Nasri, Cesc.. Like i said all i want Arsenal to do it is do the maximum it can to win trophies. I feel we have treded water for 3 years in the summer. We have a great nucleus with some very promising young players but we have fallen short 3 season running to to very similar weakneses. We need to supplment this crop of players with more experience in some key areas. I feel if we do that, that we have every chance of wining every trothy we enter this year, which should be our aim every year.

  256. Big Al is the name OneOfUs had previously.

  257. @ Jabba’s delights | June 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm – The Steelers didn’t make the playoffs in ’03, ’06 and ’09. I’d say that’s like missing out on the CL. Arsenal have never done that. But Steelers fans stayed the course, whereas some Arsenal “fans” are peeing themselves and demanding wholesale changes.

    I’ve gotta say, though, that I am delighted to hear you say “i would never let me repeat that never boo or go on protest marches. I stayed to clap the players after the Villa game. I vent my frustrations on blogs.” That’s a respectable position, even if your gloomy repetition does get a bit tiring. I wish you weren’t so disenchanted.

  258. Nasir

    I have been reading this blog all day and can’t believe how you feel the whole world has a vendetta against Arsenal. You make it sounds liek every referee is out to screw us, the media just to ridicule us. Firstly decisions in games go for and against, as many have pointed out today we have had our fair share of luck this year. And when did you imagine that the media totally hate us? Do they not point out the obvious and nothing more. Most of the time I pick up a paper it says how well we played and delightful to watch, just we don’t have the true grit to step across that winning line.

    Everybody is not against us believe it or not!

  259. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    There’s not a pack mentality. There’s just a better chance you’ll get called out for talking bollocks. Look at Le Grove they don’t even let people post opposing views and opinions. Apparently it’s boring posting the same bollocks with the same daft people all day so they have to come preach their hate here.

  260. I would prefer the “us against the world mentality” over the “Manure are a respectable club with a great manager”

  261. You know, get the guys playing with a little chip on their shoulder. RVP plays with that kind of fuck you attitude

  262. @ loud | June 23, 2011 at 4:54 pm – if so, I’d say they’re not thinking clearly and also not being very good “fans”.

    @ FunGunner | June 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm – Great post. Thanks for your insight. I think you’re right about consistency vs. mental strength.

    I’ve checked out Untold Arsenal’s ref-related work and have been mulling it over.

    @ Alex Ice Cream | June 23, 2011 at 5:03 pm – from my observations of your comments, I hope you don’t own anything from Arsenal because even though commercial income is a big part of their strategy, it’s *you* who “aren’t fit to wear the shirt”. Buck up and quit complaining, or go do it in an echo chamber. You don’t even have any real points, just ad hominem bullshit.

  263. “Le Grove gets it all wrong and yet in can build up as many comments in 45mins as this blog does in a day. Are all these arsenal fans stupid and ignorent? When Pedro was asked to write for the Times (very good englsish newspaper) about Arsenal football club, did they do it because he is complete idiot who knows nothing or did they do it because he is a good writer who might have a good idea of how a large section of arsenal fans feel?”

    Pedro is ignorant and a Dorkus (IMHO) Of course the mainstream football media would love a Ranter who loves to bile shit on Arsenal.

    Le Grove is a “bad” comic view for a “small” section of idiotic fans.

  264. Alright Jabba, 4 players into the main team. Who sits on the bench then from our starting 11?

    I don’t know about you but I’d have a nightmare trying to cut anyone from our current best starting 11.

  265. Or maybe you meant of starting quality but to come in as squad players. In that case it’d get very difficult to keep everyone happy.

  266. Josef
    do you not think that ‘fan pressure’ can sometimes force a sluggish board and managers hand. In this case to buy the needed players.

  267. @ Jabba’s delights | June 23, 2011 at 5:08 pm – angry people are more motivated to post, simple as that.

    I think transfer rumors are just the european & english football press’s way of surviving the off-season, and I don’t credit anything until it’s confirmed. I know who I would love to see at Arsenal (Juan Vargas, Fellaini, Micah Richards. Giuseppi Rossi, Santi Cazorla…) but I don’t really expect it to happen and I won’t be upset if no one comes in because of the number of people we already have, including kids ready to step up.

    Supporter shouldn’t be believing Arsenal would collapse, I’d contend.

    And I’d say the most important thing about Arsenal right now is ownership and whether whoever winds up in charge will continue to back the philosophy of the past decade.

    @ william | June 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm – that is the proper perspective. People are just too entitled. how do you think this whining sounds to, say a Fulham fan? Like Paris Hilton complaining because her yacht has a dent.

    @ Markus | June 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm – that would not distress me.

    @ Markus | June 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm – if you check out http://www.zonalmarking.net/2011/05/01/arsenal-1-0-manchester-united-tactics/ you’ll see that our formation and theirs were pretty similar; in that game we played Ramsey in Cesc’s spot and he hung back a little in terms of base position, while the wingers were really advanced. I think usually Arsenal plays with Cesc a little further forward, and that formation looks a lot like what the media call Man U’s 4411. If we traded out Cesc for RVP in the hole and put Vela or Theo in RVP’s slot, it’d be basically the same thing.

  268. @ FunGunner | June 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    definitely not talking about you. You have a nuanced view.

  269. and as for “How does AIC’s view that the refs screwed us in the 2007/08 season fit into your dichotomous analysis?”

    well, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

  270. The Sun newspaper is Britains best selling newspaper. It is low brow, sensationalist, xenophobic, right wing sexist bollocks. I wouldnt use it to wipemy arse with.

    But it panders to the lowest common donominator time and again; money, sex, football! People lap it up as it both forms nd confirms their skewed view of theworld. Foreigners are dirty lazy scum, Brittainia rules the wavs and girls should have big tits!

    That may seem a random post, but i am sure I composed with a bloody reason behind it!

  271. i think girls should have big tits and shout at wenger if we aint winning. g’night.

  272. Fungunner, thanks for telling me about OOU/big Al

    @ william | June 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm – I do like RVP’s attitude, good call.

    @ Markus | June 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm – excellent question, and the followup at 6:02 was great too.

    @ loud | June 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm – I’m sure such pressure could affect some boards. I think that is not good for the team. The average fan’s sense of the metrics that correspond with success is not strong. they have way better data than us to analyze the players’ performance, both within Arsenal and at other clubs. I feel comfortable opining on player movement between teams in basketball because there are excellent data that fans can access, but in football it’s all proprietary and so we’re sort of in the dark. As such, having fans “force a sluggish board and managers hand. In this case to buy the needed players.” sounds like a disaster to me, because (1) who says the players are actually needed and (2) the fans’s preferences for who to buy might suck.

    @ Dexter | June 23, 2011 at 6:11 pm
    similarly, le grove has way more comments than ACLF or 7am kickoff (which I’d recommend to you all as well: http://www.7amkickoff.com/about-2/), but that doesn’t make them better. USA Today is the 2nd most popular newspaper in America, and it’s literally written for sixth-grade readers.

  273. @ loud | June 23, 2011 at 6:15 pm – damn it all, maybe you’re on to something. At least it would make for great TV.

  274. Loud; Hahahaha! G’night dude!

  275. Markus; I think we will see quite a few new faces this summer.

  276. josef
    look i was off with the dog. but…………
    i think ur way over talking this. i meant in terms of ‘ the fans aint very happy, a few vacant seats, sales are down a tad ect. sometimes a relevant question would be – who exactly is Arsenal.

  277. Josef

    I think its a truism that when things are not going too well, then it is pretty easy to whip up those with a rather simplisitc view, into a rabble and a mob mentality ensues. It happens during hard times, we saw it in the UK in te early 80s with riots in major cities, it happened in he US in the 60s and across the world, it also helped the Nazis into power, hence the “success” of other blogs and newpspapers like the Sun. Not to mention Fox News, which is just fucing disgusting beyond belief. Al Frnaken did a great book on the media in the US about the myth that there was a left wing bias.

  278. @ Josef
    The “stopped clock” saying applies if someone is continually saying something which occasionally turns out to be correct. So if you accept that they screwed us in that season, why dismiss out of hand the possibility that it happened at other times?

    Do you have an alternative explanation, other than bias, for the Eduardo penalty ban, for example?

  279. @ Loud, concision is not my specialty, you’ve found me out.

    but i don’t think to highly of folks who feel like whenever your team has a problem it’s solved by blowing tens of millions on the latest media rumor star.

    as for who is arsenal, that’s so meta I’ll have to think about it.

    @ Dex, you’re talking my language here, though you’ve gone Godwin a bit early perhaps. I concur that “when things are not going too well, then it is pretty easy to whip up those with a rather simplistic view, into a rabble and a mob mentality ensues.”

    But what gets me is that anyone thinks things are going poorly. Sure, they could be going better, but it’s like Fungunner said (@5:42): “What most of us realistic fans share is an ability to see the bigger picture – to appreciate, as you say, that Arsenal are better than most teams.” What kind of entitled person do you have to be to feel like making the CL every year is performing poorly? Arsenal could do better, and I hope they will, but I’m not about to cry over their performance because I maintain perspective.

  280. @ FunGunner | June 23, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    As for the stopped clock, I meant that AIC is almost always wrong, from my perspective, but he could be right occasionally.

    As for the refs, I don’t mean to dismiss the suggestion of bias out of hand. I think that there are several aspects that interact:

    1. general tendency to lean towards home teams
    2. general tendency to lean towards famous teams (this is why Rio Ferdinand only was whistled for 1 foul all year or something absurd like that).
    3. english pro-sports-violence culture means refs are more lenient about fouls, which works disproportionately against finesse teams like Arsenal
    4. in some cases (Newcastle 4-4; the RVP sending-off) Arsenal got screwed, for sure, but I don’t think it’s a continuing conspiracy.

    But I haven’t read through all of untold Arsenal’s work. Maybe I’ll be convinced.

  281. GoonerAndy: “The same as the nailed on pen that should have been given after Kos?, tripped one of their players in the area. Old arguments though, and pretty pointless as Gadget has pointed out.”

    You’re talking shit. That wasn’t a peno at all. Kos got there legally before Pedro dove and handled the ball. Do watch the game again if you want to talk about nailed on pens.

  282. Fukin el aint no club given into our haggling negotiations yet??

  283. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Bollocks again, JD. I am as secure as it gets. Pedro is a fat cunt. End of story. I don’t care how much he spends on Arsenal or how many shares he owns. As for how popular that shower of shite is…that’s irrelevant. That blog is the equivalent of the National Enquirer here in the states. It’s aim is to appease the dimwits amongst the masses and that it does. There are some of the daftest psychos on the Internet over on that site.

  284. Is JD, Suga3’s younger unemployed brother?

  285. AIC, Manure did not strengthen in two positions. Young is not Giggs and fucking Phil Jones is not Vidic. They bought cover. And shitty cover, at that, for loads of cash.

    Barcelona went through a horrible spell after the dream team. They’d win the occasional La Liga every now and a again but they were mostly shit. The mid to late nineties were a fucking nightmare for FC Barcelona.

  286. No, JD is Suga3’s younger, retarded brother. I mean to think that Pedro is writing for a newspaper in England for other reasons than the page hits he gets, is truloy incredible.

  287. Close to 300 comments!
    When I initially saw the number of comments, my first thought was that we had signed someone. Ha ha ha. It turns out to be some lame ass ‘AKB’ vs doomer battle.

  288. @Henristic
    In view of your much earlier lament today about the “old guard” telling people to “fuck off” – would you like me to tell you to ‘fuck off’ in their absence?
    No offence of course.
    BTW what has happened to Poliziano?

  289. Gainsbourg69 | June 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm
    AIC, Manure did not strengthen in two positions. Young is not Giggs and fucking Phil Jones is not Vidic. They bought cover. And shitty cover, at that, for loads of cash.

    Don’t have much time for AIC, but Young is a pretty decent player. I’m pretty sure he’ll score more goals and make more assists than Giggs has done for them recently. He would hardly need any time to ‘adjust’ either. Have to say I’m suprised the went for him, given that they already have Nani and Valencia who play similar roles. I would have thought they would go for a creative midflieder. meh. who cares.

    Also why would they need another Vidic? That we were interested in that Jones chap tells me he’s not a bad cover. and buying cover CAN be considered strengthening, especially since the old cover (Evans) turned out to be crap.

  290. MDGunner,

    By all means help yourself, especially if it makes you feel better.

  291. From that FT article posted by FG some days ago:


    “For instance, rather than looking at kilometres covered, clubs now prefer to look at distances run at top speed. “There is a correlation between the number of sprints and winning,” Daniele Tognaccini, AC Milan’s chief athletics coach, told me in 2008.

    That’s why Fleig cares about “a player’s high-intensity output”. Different data companies measured this quality differently, he said, “but ultimately it’s a player’s ability to reach a speed threshold of seven metres per second.” If you valued this quality, you would probably have never made the mistake Juventus did in 1999 of selling Thierry Henry to Arsenal. “For Henry to reach seven metres per second, it’s a relative coast,” said Fleig admiringly. The Frenchman got there almost whenever he ran.”

    What a phenomenon Henry was!

  292. You tell em Gainsbourg. These feeble minds fall for the “statement of intent signing.” Even Steven Gerrard falls into this category. “It’s a big statement by the club getting a big signing in early”
    – Steven Gerrard The big statement that liverpool is making is that they bow down to external pressures. If we signed a U-21 player for 20 millions our fanbase would be very unhappy.

  293. Henristic | June 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm
    What I find interesting is that Jabba, Jeff, etc. are allowed to make their arguments on here in ‘relative comfort’ without the usual chorus of fuck-offs and abuse from the old timers. Except for the odd feeble remark, the likes of Shotta, Passenal, Consol, Olegunner, Poliziano, QOS, Zimpaul, Darius, Limpar Assist etc, seem to have retired from doomer bashing duties. Only Frank makes any sort of reasonable effort these days.

    I never thought I’d say this but I do miss those doomer vs AKB battles of the past seasons. These new breed of ‘AKBs’ (dexter, george, gainsbourg, etc) just aren’t doing it for me.

    Jabba and Jeff, you have no idea how lucky you are

    I only thought it would make you feel better

  294. Henristic: “Don’t have much time for AIC, but Young is a pretty decent player. I’m pretty sure he’ll score more goals and make more assists than Giggs has done for them recently. He would hardly need any time to ‘adjust’ either. Have to say I’m suprised the went for him, given that they already have Nani and Valencia who play similar roles. I would have thought they would go for a creative midflieder. meh. who cares.

    Also why would they need another Vidic? That we were interested in that Jones chap tells me he’s not a bad cover. and buying cover CAN be considered strengthening, especially since the old cover (Evans) turned out to be crap.”

    Well, he said they had strengthened to, once again, bash the Arsenal, which clearly they haven’t.

    I don’t think Young is a good player for them because it will be like playing two Valencias on either side of the strikers. This means that the creative impetus would fall squarely on Rooney and they’ll have problems with possession further up the pitch. The only way I see them doing well is on the counter but that pretty much means fuck all since teams who park the bus will happily ceded three quarters of the pitch to them and sit back. As far as Giggs is concerned, I really don’t think Young will score as much or have anywhere near as many assists as him, since there’s no proof he was a goal scoring, chance creating player at Villa. What he has is speed and good control of the ball. Creatively he’s poor as well. So, if United rely on Rooney for all their creative spark further upfront this means Rooney is doing something other than what he’s supposed to do, score goals. All in all I think he was a quota buy just like Phil Jones.

    With regards to my comments about another Vidic, let me explain. AIC said they had strengthened but if you look at United’s CB’s you’ll notice they have a half fit Ferdinand, a very good player in Vidic and that’s about it. Smalling may very well become a great player and so could Phil Jones, but they’re nowhere near that level just yet. In fact, from what they showed in the U-21’s these guys look to be works in progress that may pan out four or five years from now. Phil Jones in particular is a hoofball merchant. That is just unacceptable for a team like theirs who relys on keeping possession to beat their opponents.

    Who says we were ever interested in Jones? And why should the fact that he may have been on our radar make him a good player? We’re linked with youth players all the time. It really means nothing. Besides, we’ve got homegrown players of equal or better quality in that position in Bartley and Miquel.

  295. William: “You tell em Gainsbourg. These feeble minds fall for the “statement of intent signing.” Even Steven Gerrard falls into this category. “It’s a big statement by the club getting a big signing in early”
    – Steven Gerrard The big statement that liverpool is making is that they bow down to external pressures. If we signed a U-21 player for 20 millions our fanbase would be very unhappy.”

    Henderson was pretty atrocious at the U-21’s. In the game they played against the Czechs, he was invisible. I think Sunderland should be very well pleased with themselves for selling one of their youngsters to Liverpool for so much money. It’s also telling that John Henry has blown the Torres money on two dodgy English players as well. Personally, I don’t know what he’s trying to do at Liverpool but if this is what he’s going to be doing there for the next couple of years, I don’t think they’ll be better off than when they were buying the likes of Diomede under Houllier. Funny how one of our resident cunts, I think it was Jabba the dunce, said that Liverpool will be overtaking us. Not with signings like that they won’t, that’s for sure. And if they are talking about intent how come the other big boys, Chelski and Man City, haven’t signed anyone yet? I mean, the herd mentality these guys suscribe to is terrifying. Buying for buying’s sake, and shit players at that? No thanks.

  296. I think Yogi should get a cloumn in a newspaper as when we have a negative result we steal all of Le cunt’s readership.

  297. Gains69 – Maybe it wasn’t Kos. That is why I put a question mark over it. Somebody mentioned earlier that it was Djourou on Messi and my point was simply that they had a nailed on pen turned down.

  298. Strange world. It’s believable that Pedro or Geoff could be writing for the Times. I mean we did have George Bush, presiding over an imperial empire a few years back.

  299. Best news all day? Carlos Vela is staying with us. Done and dusted with him departing rumours. Hoping we’ll hear the same about Nasri and Clichy.

    Vela, is a class act. Best finisher at our club. I hope he gets his chances with us soon.

  300. Ateeb – Don’t go overboard with Vela mate. He could not even get a regular game for W Brom.

  301. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Only because Roy Hodgson is a fucking dinosaur, goonerandy.

  302. Vela staying put…does that mean the Gervinho deal is dead???

  303. F*ck Off Howard

  304. Nasir – Obviously.

  305. The reason Le Grove receives so many hits is quite simply to understand. There are 5 or 6 posters posting 100 comments each every day. We had one on here in the early days of ACLF called himself the oracle and posted, just like suga3, (non stop) rubbish every day.

  306. Forgot to say ~~ great read Big Al. Shame about some of the following dross though.

  307. Andy: “Gains69 – Maybe it wasn’t Kos. That is why I put a question mark over it. Somebody mentioned earlier that it was Djourou on Messi and my point was simply that they had a nailed on pen turned down.”

    The only play which the Catalans complained about after the game was the challenge Kos made on Pedro. Koscielny got to the ball first and Pedro dove after he had handled the ball. Conclusion? No nailed on pen and you were talking shit in order to make a dubious point. Next time someone tells you about corruption amongst refs at least get your rebuttals right because it makes you look like a right moron.

  308. @ Henristic | June 23, 2011 at 8:48 pm – Young’s been playing very well for England in the middle – ZM’s “central winger”. I wouldn’t turn up my nose at him.

    Is there any evidence Arsenal were ever in for Jones, like a quote from someone at Arsenal, not some hit-hungry media rumor-mongering?

    also, re: your 8:58 pm post, my favorite part was “Tackles seemed a poor indicator too. There was the awkward issue of the great Italian defender Paolo Maldini. “He made one tackle every two games,” Forde noted ruefully. Maldini positioned himself so well that he didn’t need to tackle. That rather argued against judging defenders on their number of tackles, the way Ferguson had when he sold Stam. ”

    I’d seen some people defending Clichy with tackle, interception and clearance stats you can get from the guardian chalkboards. Now, I like Clichy and don’t think he should be sold, but I’m not convinced those stats tell the whole story, even though his are good.

    @ Gainsbourg69 | June 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm check out http://www.zonalmarking.net/2011/06/05/england-2-2-switzerland/ . Re Yong: “He was again crucial in what England did well, and should be regarded as one of the side’s key players.”

    @ Ateeb – concur re: Vela.

  309. Andy: “Ateeb – Don’t go overboard with Vela mate. He could not even get a regular game for W Brom.”

    Keep the story going, though. Why didn’t Vela get a game? Because Roy Hodgson was shit. So much so that he ended up getting sacked, again. And please do remind us about the points Vela secured for them in his cameo role, please. You’re talking shit again, Andy.

  310. Just out of interest, how many of you guys actually spend money on going to Arsenal games ? Not that I’m suggesting that if you don’t then you shouldn’t comment here, just that I’d find it helpful to know where you’re coming from. Anyone ?

  311. Gains – You seem to be having a bit of a tantrum, so I will ignore your selective memory. I know it helps you sleep better. I am not childish enough to make things up to back up a point I am making. You might, but I am not. There was a nailed on pen they did not get in the game.

  312. dfb ~~ I now live in Ireland but still try and get to 4 or 5 games a season. Costs a lot though with tickets, flights and hotels.

  313. Josef, you talk about Clichy’s stats not telling the whole story, but then you bring up Zonal Fucking Marking’s analysis of what Ashley Young has done for England against a powerhouse like the Swiss team as a confirmation that he is indeed a good player? Fuck me. Playing for England is one thing, I see Ashley Young every week in the EPL. He’s a star in a team that finished right above the relegation places, dude.

  314. dupsffokcuf ~~ I just have a train fare but that costs enough, I admire your determination ! Thanks.

  315. Gains – Talking shit? You may find that Hodgson arrived at W Brom when they were in dire straits. Not only did he keep them up, they actually had their highest finish in 30 years. I think you may be the one that is speaking shite mate.

    Still, shit manager though as he did not play Vela eh? You are making yourself sound like a tool, which I am sure you are not.

  316. Gains,
    I know what AIC was getting at. Leopards and spots come to mind.
    However, I disagree with your views on Young. United score loads of goals from crosses pumped into the box by wingers and there is no reason that to believe that they will suddenly stop scoring goals that way, packed defenses or not. Young will fit perfectly into to that style, and is something of a deadball specialist as well.
    You will also be surprised to know that along with Lampard, he is second only to Fabregas in terms of assists in the PL in the last few years. He has about 44 to his name, compared to Cesc’s 60.

    I’m not one to believe media reports easily, but the stories about our interest in Jones had a ring of truth to them. If the reports are indeed true, then of course the fact that he is on our radar means that he is a good player. And its kind of silly to think we would have bought him from Blackburn’s first team (not cheaply) to join our youth team.

  317. Sorry, Andy, it’s not me who got caught out talking shit. You can talk to me about football or you can write a post diagnosing my mental state at present. Either way, it shows you don’t really put any thought behind the things you say.

    Now, they had a nailed on pen eventhough you can’t even remember which one it was or what player committed it and you’re basing your argument on something someone else said about a non-existent play. Got it.

  318. ak47 with some some good stuff!

    Goonerandy, defending what cannot be defended.

  319. MDGunner,

    Well what are you waiting for then? Curse away! 😉

  320. Gains – Heh, you are clutching at straws mate.

    You state that Hodgson is shit and got sacked “again”, when in fact he kept a club on the slide in the division, and to a very good finish. You state he is shit because he did not play Vela. Maybe…….just maybe, he didn’t play him as he had better players available.

    I can’t remember the exact details of the players involved no. But I distictly being relieved when it wasn’t given, especially after seeing the replay. Just because I can’t remember the players involved does not mean it didn’t happen does it? I can’t remember what I had for tea that night either, but I know I ate something.

    You are the one speaking drivel mate. Glass houses and all that.

  321. So I’m guessing not too many then … 🙂 Anyway, off to watch Question Time … hopefully they’ll have some local pundits on. Toodle Pip.

  322. Anyway, off to bed.


  323. Andy, slow down or you’ll give yourself a coronary. Roberto Di Matteo was sacked prematurely by West Brom. Roy Hodgson did pretty mcuh fuck all to help them. That they finished the highest they have in thirty years says more about the teams around them than it does about West Brom under Hodgson. Cosequently, idiot, Carlos Velas saved them from defeat in at least three occasions. They would’ve finished lower if he hadn’t. And don’t call me mate, prick. I’m not your mate.

  324. I pay zero dollars to watch the Arsenal play. Except when the game is on cable, which costs money. Also i guess i pay for my innerwebs as well which is some 100 odd currency units per month. So if you think about it that way, I am paying around 2,400 a year.

  325. dfb – I live in Germany at the momentbut try and get back to games 4 or 5 times a year if I can. Expensive, but worth every penny.

  326. Barca’s goal was rightly called offside, but lets make an excuse for the ref and lets argue in favour of Barcelona.

    What the heck is going on aroung here? is it an Arsenal blog or what!

  327. Oh come on. What do you guys know about football? A year back AIC, was claiming Arshavin would do a better job than RVP, and that the two are unplayable. Oh, and what about all those ‘RVP’ isn’t a striker, he can’t lead the line crap. Bull shit.

    Vela, might have screwed around a bit if reports are believed to be true about choosing the side to go on loan, but nevertheless, he’s a class act. I hope, he delivers what he promises. Because he has the potential to be one of the best strikers in the world.

  328. I agree with you Gains. Vela made a couple late cameos and helped the Baggies to victory. I recall one against Stoke where Carlos was offside and the goal counted.

  329. Is THIS an Arsenal blog…

  330. Josef,
    Yah, I saw that stuff about Maldini too. Amazing eh? How can a CB play without tackling? Still find it hard to wrap my head around that concept. Like that fact that the article made Fergie come across as an ill tempered dinosaur.

    I agree that the interception stat by clichy is a bit overrated. Sagna doesn’t make that many interceptions, yet is widely considered a better defender. However I agree he shouldn’t be sold as he still is a top player. I won’t hold any grudges or worries if he does want to leave though.

  331. I meant the two can’t play together*. That’s what he said.

    AIC would never claim our players are unplayable. That would be saying something positive about the team.

  332. Gains – Calm down bud, you will do yourself a mischief. I can understand why you are getting angry though. Your are starting to look a little foolish. 5 wins and 5 draws from the last 12 games seems pretty good to me for W Brom. If Vela was so influential, why did he not play more?

  333. Calm down Paul N. Let the children play for now.

  334. Thanks for troubling to reply. I admire anyone who travels from afar, no matter how infrequently. Night all.

  335. Didn’t Roy Hodgson get sacked from West Brom? I thought he did. My bad. See how simple it is to retract a wrong statement?

    If you can’t remember the penalty, then don’t mention it, fucking tool. There was only one play for which the barca cunts were crying about after the game. It was the play that involved Kos and Pedro. It looked like a pen but the replay from the front angle showed Pedro diving before he handled the ball. That you were relieved that they didn’t give it doesn’t mean it was a nailed on pen.

  336. dfb. im a red member and i live down south now which is an all dayer for me to go to a game now but i might be able to get up there next season.

  337. Gainsbourg69 | June 23, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    “That they finished the highest they have in thirty years says more about the teams around them than it does about West Brom under Hodgson. ”

    I can almost swear you’ve criticized people for using this argument against us during the season when we were higher up in the league table

  338. If that makes you feel better fine. But please stop speaking further shite, as it makes my ears bleed a little bit. But you have bored me enough now.


  339. I’m with you on that one Ateeb. Robin is the best striker in the world!

  340. Henristic, United, as I recall, didn’t score too many from balls being pumped in from out wide. At least not when Chicharito was playing there. But Young isn’t really a crosser, he’s more of a cutter-inner so that wouldn’t matter much anyway.

  341. I’m happy Vela has been given one more chance to show his worth. As can be said for the whole team, his problem isn’t talent, but a lack of application, and not being able to seize his chances. But he is such a classy player, that I wouldn’t mind seeing him have one more shot. I hope he grabs it with both hands this time!

  342. William,

    If Vela delivers what he promised in his early Arsenal career, he can be as good as RVP, by 25-27.

  343. Andy, Vela didn’t play more for them for the same reasons some managers choose to keep good players on the bench. Who knows? But don’t sit here and try to say not to get excited about Vela because Roy Fucking Hodgson, the managing Dynamo that he isn’t, didn’t play him more. That’s really stupid and it shows that you are a knee-jerk reaction type of guy.

  344. It gets annoying to me Ateeb!

    Why would I want to read an Arsenal blog and then read support for other teams?

  345. Valencia, Nani and Young. Same player, different names. Just got cover, if either one of them gets injured. Oh, and you really can’t expect Young to be a replacement for Giggs. Neither can Anderson play like Scholes, or anyone else like Van Der Sar.

  346. Walk away with your tail between your lrgs, Andy. There’s no shame in that. Chin up, lad.

  347. Gainsbourg69 | June 23, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    “Henristic, United, as I recall, didn’t score too many from balls being pumped in from out wide. At least not when Chicharito was playing there.”

    Oh yes they did. Chicharito scores with his head almost as much as he scores with his foot. Same with Rooney the season before, when he was playing higher up.

    “But Young isn’t really a crosser, he’s more of a cutter-inner so that wouldn’t matter much anyway.”

    Well that depends on which side of the pitch he plays. He’s naturally right footed so would cross more on the right side, and cut inside more on the left. He was predominantly a crosser when O’neil was at Villa. But since he and their big strikers left, Young has been pretty much give a free-er role.

  348. Ateeb,
    I don’t know if Young is replacing Giggs, but I’m reasonably certain he’ll score and assist more than Giggs have done, given his record, and United’s style of play.

  349. No, Henristic. I haven’t used that argument. It is plain to see that West Brom benefited immensly from Blackpool’s and Birmingham’s implosion. Two teams that looked poised to stay up but became undone. Blackpool was just ahead of West Brom with a game in hand, I think, coming into the last month and a half of the season. They were above Blackburn and West Brom at the time. Wolves were also flirting with overtaking them at one time as well.

  350. Vela didnt play much because Hogson loves to play a certian type of football, defensive and boring. Look at how he had Liverpool playing, it was a total waste of the skillful players that they had, hence he had to move along. WBA didnt need a Vela type player, talent was not the problem but style.

  351. I’m off to bed too. laters…

    P.S. Gainsbourg: I’m still waiting for my thanks for correcting you on Young’s assists record 🙂

  352. Actually Paul N,

    I saw a stat that WB scored more when Hogson was there, than previously. Go figure!

  353. Nasir Jones-Nasri


    I’m from Long Beach, CA. Supporter since early 2006. Been to North London with my Arsenal born and bred other half twice both trips happened to be mid summer so Ive only done the touristy stuff thus far. Plan on catching two games sometime this year. I’m planning on catching a home and away. If all goes according to plan the away match will be abroad to some little dodgy locale I’ve never been to for the CL groups. What are your ties to Arsenal FC?

  354. Henristic,

    Same players. Giggs brought something different to their team. Young, to me at least is similar to Valencia and Nani.

  355. NJN,

    Great progress you made as an Arsenal supporter, in such a short time. Some old folks who’ve been supporting for 60 years(they claim), lag far behind you. Great going.

  356. Who were these players pumping the ball from out wide, Henristic. I mean, Nani isn’t really a pump the ball from out wide sort and Valencia missed most of the season. Am I missing something? I only saw Chicharito score a couple of goals with his head.

    And why would Ferguson buy Young if not to play him on the left, where he plays for England and Villa?

  357. Henristic where did you post Young’s assist record? Until you do I can’t thank you.

    I remember Young playing under O’Neill. It wasn’t too different to how Houllier played him this season. Him and Agbonglahor out wide using their speed to counter. Not much has changed.

    Still, though, I don’t think he’s an improvement on Giggs. If anything, United lose a creative element if they play Young instead of him.

  358. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Much appreciated, Ateeb. I enjoy reading your views on Arsenal and football in general. You go way back around these parts and have been a definite influence along with the all the other regulars that we dont need to name for the sake of repetition. You’re a class act, my friend.

  359. I’ve been following Arsenal since Bergkamp came to the team as I’ve always been a fan of Holland. Prior to that the only football we got here was Serie A in the spanish speaking channels and some English games on PBS. This was a football wilderness prior to and a bit after USA 94. The only English side I watched every now and again was Everton and that was only due to one Pat Nevin. A wonderful little player he was.

  360. Paul ~~ I agree about the strange Arsenal support appearing on this blog.It seems an anathema to some to be biased. Why they need to carry on with the same crap is beyond me

  361. Mirror ~~ “Arsenal have rejected Barcelona’s opening formal £31million bid for Cesc Fabregas.

    I should bloody well think so to. Idiots

  362. Thanks all for other friendly comments, even if you don’t agree etc. Had a ridiculously busy day in the end. Anyway, I was expecting a lot of cynicism and actually typed out a rationale last night. In the end there wasn’t that much hate, but I’ll post it anyway, otherwise it’s about 20 minutes wasted, to add to the couple of hours sleep I lost wondering how the blog would go down.


    “With the prospect of FFP most teams are going to have to start producing their own players. Officials at the big-spenders are saying as much – check Marco Branca’s comments yesterday (could be a red-herring for competitors in the transfer market – we’ll have to see how that pans out).

    What’s good for us is that we’ve been nurturing a culture from top to bottom for more than a decade, and have stolen a march on a lot of other teams by investing in youth, creating an Arsenal identity and developing a scouting network.

    Fuck speak of “Wenger’s youth project”, whatever that’s supposed to mean; we’ve got Fifa’s 6+5 gaining momentum, and FA homegrown quotas in effect already, which, combined with FFP, means that other clubs are going to be following our path more or less. See the stories about Chelsea and Man City chasing Steve Rowley; they’d just love to get their grubby paws on his little black book.

    Like it or not, the landscape is changing before our eyes. People want us to be more like Chelsea…why? It’s a bit like an alligator aspiring to be a dinosaur as the K/T Asteroid zoomed overhead.

    Mainly, what I tried to express is the value of uniformity throughout a club, and why there’s more to sticking with young players than just perceived stubbornness and parsimony.

    There are lots of qualifications to be made that were left out (and some aspects that aren’t up to date because this post was sent off in May), but perhaps the errors and things that haven’t been addressed could make for talking points – I don’t know.

    One final thing – I’d hope that people could start talking about the development side of the game in a more mature way. So while that means that we shouldn’t hype so-and-so as the best thing since sliced Laudrup, there’s a disenchantment with youth that is misguided, and the achievements of young players should be recognised and praised, within the context of their age group.

    They are Arsenal after all, and some of them are the future – you might be surprised which ones make it.”

  363. Oracle = Ethan_Gun

    Oh the fun I used to have with that scoundrel rascal 🙂

  364. Abandoned QT when they started on Circus related questions !

    Thanks to all who replied. It’s good to be able to put views in context, in a non-judgemental way !

    NJN – First season ticket in 1970 (how lucky was that ?) but attended games for 6-7 years previously. Big gap while at university and living away with young family, during which my family took over tickets (which is why I admire remote visitors who are obviously far more committed than I was). Begged and borrowed tickets from 2000-2005. Season ticket holder with son since then. But support in my family goes back many, many years and hopefully will continue to do so for many, many years to come. Don’t think that buys me any particular rights, but that’s my background for what it’s worth.

    Really off to bed now.

  365. G4E ~~ that’s the fella, couldn’t remember his 1st ID.

    Well done again Big Al.

    dfb ~~ Myself the misses, son & daughter, grandchildren are all gooners. Just got a babies kit for great grandson. He will be a junior gunner as grand-kids still in London.

  366. @ Ateeb
    If you’re a big fan of Vela, you damn well go overboard if you want to. I am betting that the party is at Maria’s house!


    I live outside of London now so I go up on average once a month for a home game and additionally for the odd live screening of away games – although I am thinking of packing in the live screening attendances because I think I have jinxed the team…

  367. You’re a star Big Al!!

  368. dupsffokcuf | June 24, 2011 at 12:23 am

    Ethan_Gun was the Mother Of All Trolls, man. I bet he still is, but thank god on Le Grove where all trolls should be incarcerated.

  369. Paul N and Dupsff

    I agree, the lack of support on here has been truly shite of late.

    WE have even had to put up with people telling all how good Ashley fucking Young is! Oh deary lordy mercy me, what is that all about? He is a decent premier league player, and is no beter than valencia or nani (who I think may well be sold) My Mancy mates are hardly over awed at this signing BTW, so aint that weird, the most excited people about United signing a plaer are Gooners on here. How fucking typical.

  370. I dont think the fact that vela didnt play much at WBA proves he wont make it at Arsenal. It just means he didnt fit in with the new manager’s plans.

  371. Dexter ~~ you should know that any non Arsenal player must be better than an Arsenal play. Stands to reason surely. With that it’s time for bed. Boing

  372. I think we should call the Cesc to barca story the Moses story from now on.

    Arsene plays the Pharaoh and Arsenal plays Egypt, Cesc plays the Hebrews and Rossell is Moses.

    Moses to Pharaoh: Let my people go.

    What say you fellow Egyptians!!!!!

    I am actually sick and tired of the whole thing, put up or shut up already.

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