Champions League: Udine-asy Or A Quick Exit

European football returns tonight, no doubt tomorrow’s papers will be covered in column inches about how we did or did not miss Cesc. And Nasri. And Wilshere. And van Persie. Big Al’s here with his preview of this tie…

Arsenal face an unusual test in this season’s Champions League qualifying round; as opposed to previous years we’ll be facing a team from a top European league. Also unprecedented is that many commentators expect us to lose this tie. Let’s see if it’s all wishful thinking on their part.

So who are Udinese?

Under any other circumstances Udinese would be an easy club to admire. They’ve achieved relative success in recent seasons at the expense of clubs with far more money and influence. They try to play with an attacking aggression and style that is often at odds with the rest of Serie A, where defensive tactics still prevail.

As the name tells you, they hail from the northeastern city of Udine, not far from the border with Slovenia and equidistant to the Adriatic and the Alps, which loom in the distance to the north and east. The home stadium is Stadio Friuli, which holds just over 40,000, standing and seating, with all but one stand open to the elements.

The club produced Dino Zoff in the 1960s, and back in the early 80s they brought Brazilian star Zico to Europe for a couple of seasons, but their modern era truly began with their acquisition by current owner Giampaolo Pozzo, who took the reins in 1986, Udinese languishing in Serie B on the back of a betting scandal. Almost straight away he set a template that the club continues to follow – smart scouting, mostly in South America, but also across Europe and Africa; the discovery of future stars, with lucrative sales sowing the next crop.

Here’s a quick run through some of the talents nurtured under Pozzo’s time in charge: Oliver Bierhoff, Nestor Sensini, Abel Balbo, Thomas Helveg, David Pizzaro, Stephen Appiah, Sulley Muntari, Asamoah Gyan and most recently, Christián Zapata, Gökhan Inler and Alexis Sánchez.

What about this current team?

What’s immediately striking is their 3-5-2 formation, which hasn’t been seen in England since Scatman John was in the charts. They play with three central defenders, and a midfield adept at both defending in numbers and swarming forward in attack. Key to their style are the pacey wing-backs – Colombian Pablo Armero on the left and Chilean Mauricio Isla on the right.

The key central midfielder is Kwadwo Asamoah; a tough left-footer, strong in the tackle but blessed with some vision and a decent passing range. Asamoah started 37 games for Udinese last season, more than any other player. Alongside him is Giampiero Pinzi, the side’s joint top assister and a regular starter in midfield for much of the last 10 years.

The main man up front, and perhaps Udinese’s best player in any position, is 33-year-old Antonio di Natale. He has been top scorer in the league for the last two seasons. At only 5ft 7in you’d call him “compact”, but he’s creative, strong, agile, retains much of his pace, especially over 10 yards, and packs a wallop with his right boot.

In line with the Pozzo tradition, this current team has been recruited from all over. Moroccan centre-half, Mehdi Benatia was an ever-present last season and arrived at the club in 2010 from Ligue 2 Clermont. Pablo Armero also joined last summer, from Palmeiras in Brazil.

There are also some newcomers – Ivorian midfielder Thierry Doubai from Young Boys in Switzerland, and defenders, Danilo and Neuton have just arrived from the Brazilian league. Another new face is u21 winger and playmaker, Diego Fabbrini, formerly of Empoli and regarded as a bright prospect, but with big shoes to fill.

Indeed, these signings are charged with the difficult task of picking up the mantle from Zapata, Inler and Sánchez, three of Udinese’s most important performers last season, and all sold on in recent weeks.

And the last time the club qualified for the Champions League, in 2005, they could only muster a pre-Calciopoli 13th place in Serie A the following season. Since fourth place was widely considered overachievement in the last campaign, Udinese might well slip down the table again for couple of years until the new players step up.

So, what to expect?

A tactically astute, technical team, with pace on the flanks and a deadly if ageing goal scorer. But it’s also a side that could well be weaker than last season in three different parts of the pitch. It’s not naive to suggest that if ever there were a time to play Udinese in the last 18 months, it is right now.

And what about us? 

Newcastle was a promising if unspectacular start. As a team we defended smartly, and individually our centre-backs coped with the various challenges posed by Ameobi, Ba and Obertan.

Our midfield was disciplined and kept possession, while affording the opposition little time on the ball. Rosicky was perhaps our best performer here, diligently getting into space and maintaining the tempo. Song sat deep to shield the backline, contributing only to the early build up of attacks. At home he’s likely to be more adventurous.

Gervinho in particular was impressive going forward, injecting pace and directness into our attack, befuddling defenders all the while. What was missing was the final pass, but this is down to unfamiliarity, and can be remedied easily enough.  

Tonight we’ll be without Robin van Persie and possibly Wilshere, but both will most likely be ready for the crucial away leg, together with any signings made between now and then. At any rate our team will be packed with players offering years of experience in continental and full international competition.

In the end, just as the gravity of our predicament has been overstated, the quality of the opposition has also been slightly exaggerated. The group stage will be in sight if we replicate the weekend’s performance, finding only a little more composure in their area.

But the players cannot do it without us. As fans, noisy, positive support is all we can offer. I know that it’s always a visceral experience, but if you feel frustrated at any moment tonight please stop and think about how your reaction will play to others.

The eyes of the world will be on us tonight; it’s time to show them who we really are.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on August 16, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 598 Comments.

  1. Wow first time for everything?

  2. Good post Yogi ! I don’t know how you can do it day in and day out but thank you !

  3. here hope we win this game so the pundits could shut up for a while!

  4. Coco Hashimoto

    Great preview bro. Like you said, we aren’t as bad as they say and Udinese aren’t as good as they say. If we get behind the lads and we finally have some luck (and non-dodgy refereeing) we’ll spank these fools. Gervinho is going to be on fire tonight!

    Also want to mention Nasri. He’s a twat but he has a point. He signed on for 5 years and he’s willing to give us 5 years. Public abuse cause he won’t sign a new contract is just Arsenal fans being an embarassment to ourselves again.

  5. great preview. agree about udinese: much to admire about their philosophy and exceptional scouting network, a very good side but we really should take at least a one or two goal lead to the friuli.

  6. Top blog. Feeling very positive and excited about this evening. My concern with Nasri is that we won’t be able to move him on for good money and we’ll be stuck with with a fantastically talented but totally disillusioned player for a year. All this talk of £25m from Citeh sounds like pure media speculation as I think we’d have bit their hand off. I doubt they’re offering anything like that and now, with the spotlight on the crowd abuse, they’re probably offering less. Our fans may be doing Citeh’s job for them here.

  7. Great post. Good sentiments from you too Coco. Let’s get behind the players on the pitch and show them that when that whistle goes they are the most important players to us and we believe in THEM and not the untold dozen players we’d like to sign. Go Gunners.

  8. Udinese sounds like us, given the description of how they are being run and how players are recruited (and poached too, unfortunately).

    Predictions anyone? I’m guessing 2-0, one from Arshavin and another from Walcott/Gervinho. 🙂

  9. Just Another Luke

    Great preview that offers good insights on the opposing team. The standard far surpasses that of many so called sports journalists.

    My congratulations, Big Al.

  10. Thanks Big Al. Why aren’t all match reports as good as this ?

  11. Up gooner!! We’ll win tonight by God’s grace

  12. YeaH you are right Big Al’s. WE dont want all of those excuses we dont want bla,bla,bla and more bla bla went we lose but the real question is how Wenger going to cope with this ?? (We all know how and why he is so stubborn)

  13. Those that feel disgruntled have made their point.

    Now it’s time to get behind the lads and truly be the support they need.

    If anyone feels the performance was poor or wants to make a point to the manager, then save it for after the final whistle, and be specific about it, especially as some seem to have missed the point that singing “spend some f-ing money” is actually a direct insult to ALL our players on the pitch, even their favorites.

    I can’t help but think that players are unlikely to feel any loyalty towards the fans or club if all they ever get is negative vibes, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cesc felt that way too.

    People seem to think that their favorites feel the same way about players they slag off, but I would venture to suggest that many of these guys are mates, and quite likely get just as upset about their mates getting slagged off as themselves.

    Our problem is that we have too many “fans” who appear to be unable to think past their own noses, and to evaluate the consequences of their actions and statements before acting.

    We had the mind-boggling irony yesterday of a poster ” speaking on behalf of ” the away fans who found he was actually merrily insulting a genuine away fan, namely Dexter.

    Having firmly placed his foot in his mouth, he then proceeded to tell Dexter he was actually a particular exception to the “respect the away fans” rule.

    I see there are various divisions being drawn up, JCLs, AKBs, Doomers, Arsene fans as opposed to Arsenal fans, etc etc, with accusations from both sides about the opposition having “only known the Wenger era”.

    None of this is helpful.

    Personally, I have been a fan from a very distant country since 1970, when I was 8 years old, and we only got TV in 1976, which certainly didn’t include many live games other than the FA Cup final.

    I am relating this for a reason: I absolutely detested the George Graham era. It pissed me off beyond comprehension when I watched Martin Keown playing in midfield, and saw the McGoldricks of the world disappearing up their own backside at the corner flag or anywhere else on the pitch for that matter.

    However, I never slagged the team, the players, the club or the manager off during that period.

    I knew things would eventually change, but I didnt know whether that change would be good or bad.

    Fortunately for me, even during Bruce Rioch’s tenure there was a silver lining, as Dennis Bergkamp arrived, IMO the greatest footballer ever to put on an Arsenal shirt (and yes, I did watch Liam Brady).

    I would ask all supporters, anti or pro our current manager, to place their personal grievances to one side, and get behind the team.

    Those that want Wenger out will get their wish one day, life goes on, but for now, everyone needs to do their best for the team and the club, and that means getting behind the lads to the full extent we can.

  14. Good post Big Al.

    I hope we can get an early goal. This should stop those naughty supporters from booing.

    All in all, we have enough to get a good win.


  15. A good professional performance is required tonight. A clean sheet is a must.

  16. Great post, Big Al. Well researched.

    @ Clinton Crous | August 16, 2011 at 6:51 am
    good comment.

    @ MikeSA | August 16, 2011 at 7:38 am
    good post.

  17. Considering Traore played for reserves yesterday, I think we in the market for a defender who can play LB & CB, may be DM. Here’s my team for today –


    Subs – JD, AA, Frimpong, Jenks, Fabianski

  18. Legrave on tour

    Very good write up.

    This game is massive now. Its actually kind of fitting that Arsene is banned as the players he has shown so much faith in are now having to operate without him on the touch line, like the first day that a child goes to school without their parents.

  19. Arsene is banned?

  20. Yep, he’s banned, which I only remembered after sending this to YW!

  21. MikeSA,
    I make it you were 24 when George Graham took over. Surely you were old enough to see that his team, pre Ian Wright, played SOME football. With players like Paul Davies, David Rocastle, Stevie Williams and Merse he had players who could play and the lomg ball game only dominated after 1991. Yes, we played the long ball before that but it was mixed with playing through the midfield. I remember writing to GG in 1993 to get him to go back to that style. He said as I had never managed a top team I should mind my own business. (only joking, he didn’t reply at all LOL)

  22. Should have added that by 1994 that team was bloody awful and I don’t think any of the midfielders could trap a bag of cement.

  23. Did he say something uot of turn during the Barca game? I really can’t remember.

  24. goonerandy..Yes he is..

  25. Just realized, we are severely short of attacking options (on the bench) tonight..

  26. Billboy – They were a functional team though. We won the European Cup Winners cup no less, beating some good teams along the way.

  27. I appreciate the time you’ve put in your research. Well done !
    Precise analysis of what we’re going to face tonight, very detailled.

    Proof enough that some blogs are really good, better than sports mags or such.

    A french fan.

  28. Holy shit how good was that Aguero last night? I felt sick but the guy is quality.

  29. Arsene said in his press conference (I know, I know), that he staill wants to keep Nasri. If he plays him or not will be a big indicator if this is actually a realistic possibility.

  30. YW, the penultimate para of your blog says it all. To ensure a convincing first leg win, Arsenal need a 12th man, i.e. ourselves.
    No groaning and moaning but bags of noisy support. Each of our lads deserves 100% backing for 90 mins, regardless of name or performance.
    Support whoever Arsene puts on the field.

  31. If Nasri plays he’s getting booed. Simple as that.

  32. goonerandy: He cant play him (Nasri) cause he is banned for this game.

  33. Good stuff Big Al

    I hear Bendtner may play tonight.

  34. Yes, Nasri, RVP & the Boss all banned. Naughty boys.

  35. The Graham era was utterly boring and Stokeish. Remeber Groves with his rocket throwin long balls? LOL

    But, those boys knew how to step up when required. The 2-0 win at Anfield the perfect example.

    I am hoping that he gives Arshavin a chance alongside Rambo tonight with Rosicky a doubt. Arshavin’s dink over the top to RVP against Newcastle tells me that Wenger should really consider this. Afterall this is his prefered position for Kiev and Russia.

    Up the red and white!!!

  36. Big Al’s call to arms lasted as long as Kevin M’s post.

  37. Just Another Luke

    Nasri is suspended for tonight’s game

  38. I still cant get over Aguero last night. I felt pangs of jelousy inmy stomach, but what a debut. He will catapult Man city to a different level. They are real contenders for the title now.

  39. Just Another Luke

    Kevin M

    You’ll get over Aguero the next time he plays a stinker in a team of bought in mercenaries.

  40. the italian league is living in past glories.if you have a problem going to sleep, watch a serie A match. easy tie for arsenal.

  41. @ ace

    This is the CL qualification and Udinese are clearly a good side. Clean sheet most important thing today.

  42. Big Al.

    Can I just say thank you for a refreshing post, and in my view, a top class match review that is worthy of a spot in a national news column.

    My sense is that this is exactly the sort of match the team needs to keep us on toes and keep us sharp for the challenges to come. The start of season cobwebs need to be sorted out and Udinese provide a robust opponent.

    I haven’t had time to comment on the Newcastle match but what was very encouraging despite the shenanigans leading to Gervinho’s sending off is that the team as a whole defended much better. My only regret as with Diaby last time was that Gervinho didn’t actually punch the living daylights out of Barton and send him to the local hospital with a few missing teeth. If we’re going to get a red card, let’s get our money’s worth.

    I particularly like the fact that Wenger changed tactics towards the end when he brought on Djourou and Frimpong to pull the shutters down. Having 3 defensively minded players marauding in front of the back four was a good indicator that the team knew when it was time to keep the bird in hand and play for the point.

    Under the circumstances, the clean sheet and the maturity shown to know when to call time and see out the game was very encouraging.

    I hope this extends today and we are able to build on this solid defensive mindedness to give Theo, Gervinho, Arshavin, Chamakh and others the platform to attack Udinese with confidence.

    And a quick mention for Jethro. The boy done well on Saturday and needs our support to grow into the left back role. He was solid and long may it continue. Alex Song was also a rock in the midfield.

    A final thought also on the 3-5-2 system that Udinese employ. It would be very interesting to see if Arsenal can experiment with this system. Crazy – I know, but worth a punt.

    What comes to mind is a line up of:

    Koscielny, Djourou, Vermaelen
    Sagna, Song, Wilshere, Rosicky, Jethro
    Arshavin, Van Persie

    Gervinho or Theo could also partner Van Persie up front. Jethro is already a natural wing-back and Song could stay behind with the back 3 for a bit of solidity when attacking in numbers.

  43. In a discussion with a fellow gooner earlier in the summer, we talked about the sort of lift signing a player like Aguero would give to the club and players. That was before he signed for the Sheikhs of course.

    I remember that conversation now and just wonder… Who in world football (that is available, like Aguero was) could give a similar lift to the team now?

    We could certainly have afforded Aguaro. It would mean cutting costs in some other areas by trimming the squad for example(which we are doing anyways). But we certainly can afford a one-off 30-40 million marquee signing if we wanted.

  44. Thanks for the preview Big Al

    Looking forward to our first home game of the season and feeling very positive even though short a few players.

    I’m guessing Bendy will be on the bench tonight which puts Chamakh in the starring role with Gervinho either just behind him, or on one of the wings.

    If the defensive line-up does as solid a job tonight as they did last night we should be able to shut out Udinese, putting us in a great position to go through.

    We need to start confidently tonight, which means the fans need to be behind the players from the moment they cross the white line. Let’s cheer them on to a win tonight

  45. @FG,
    n a goalless draw isnt a bad result.

  46. @ ace
    yes – in these circumstances better than 1-1 or worse, 2-2!

    The only snag with a goalless draw is that it would be good for our confidence to score some goals.

  47. Up the Arsenal – if you’re going, shout and sing loud and proud, get Udinese quaking in their boots and drown out the KevinMs of the world!

  48. Just Another Luke

    Another goaless draw in the space of 3 days could be seen as a crisis because of a toothless attack.

  49. A clean sheet today would indeed be nice. We have to do more in attack though. Gervinho should be instructed to cut in and shoot more. Arsha used to do that a lot but not recently?
    I would play basically the same team that featured on Saturday, except maybe change Szcesny for Fabianski.

  50. Fun – Agree with your posts.

    Darius – Agreed, apart from the 3 at the back bit.

  51. Henristic – Why would you change keepers? Szesney is obvisouly the No1 keeper, and we can’t afford to be messing about in a game of this importance.

  52. Very informative post, certainly sets it up nicely for what could be a very intetresting game this evening.
    To me, a clean sheet for Arsenal is an absolute must…

  53. A goalless draw would be a poor result, considering Udinese are likely to score at there home ground. I’d happily take a 2-1.

  54. why drop Szcesny after his most commanding display in an arsenal shirt yet?

  55. Just Another Luke

    In my opinion, the Champions League is too impt to rotate keepers. Do that for the domestic cup games, but not the Champions League. Let’s put our complete faith in Sz and bolster his confidence even more.

  56. Deom Saturday, AA will be replaced by Theo. AA needs to start the next 3 EPL games in absence of Gerv, so lets keep him fresh!

  57. Great post Big AL,

    Does anyone know if Miyaichi is being considered for tonight’s team: even on the bench?

  58. Deom=From

  59. @Darius

    RVP is suspended for tonights game.

  60. It’s already been said Big Al but that is just the sort of article one could expect to read in a quality rag on the day of a game.

    Anybody want to speculate what they will actually be saying this morning!!!

  61. With the effect of the away goal I think 0-0 might be better than winning 2-1. If the away team fails to score, they have to play defensively at home to prevent the away goal counting double against them. After saying that I think that we should win by three clear goals tonight.

    I hope I’m not sitting next to anyone booing tonight as I would probably be ejected for violence.

  62. think ryo is still in japan getting his visa sorted.

    song should be fined for stamping on barton. he knows we’ve got massive games coming up and to do something so stupid is a disgrace from our most experienced CM.

  63. Henristic, it’ll never happen, but Kaka is available apparently.

  64. @Consols – speculate???

    My taxi driver this morning said Arsenal was going into administration because we didn’t get all the money we wanted for Fabregas. And all he did was read one paper and listen to Talk Spite radio.

    What is there to speculate – LOL!

  65. Nice one OOU. Reading this excellent preview makes me angry and a little sad that journalists, who actually get paid, don’t put more effort into their articles.

    Darius, I actually thought we had switched to 3 at the back when Djourou came on on Saturday. But he seemed to be playing more in midfield. That and Wenger’s comments a few years back about developing Gibbs as a winger got me thinking tho. It’s not a formation I’d considered until Saturday.

  66. Jack is the most important man at Arsenal now. Jack is the king and should be made captain. He actually cares.

  67. I’d love to see us do it, personally. Give it a proper try, at least. My only concern would be clogging up the midfield, but I guess the extra width would help us.

    Great write-up Big Al. Really great piece. As others have mentioned, this article will always be far better than any you’d read in a paper anywhere else. Kudos.

  68. John Cross (spit)

    “Arsenal buy back option on Fabregas is fixed price for what they sold him for. At £40m, various add ons and clauses, good business.”

  69. kevin… giving the captaincy to jack would be ridiculous, he needs to be able to get on with his development without any more pressure. its bad enough now we’ll probably be looking to him to fill cesc’s void as the main man in midfield but to put even more pressure on him as the captain would just make things worse.

    RVP will be captain, verm/sagna as vice.

  70. Is tonights game a chance to move AA into a more central creative role, against a team likely to be less phyical than most PL teams?
    Would also like to see Theo given a run through the middle, his out and out pace against 3 centre backs with support from wide players and AA could cause them problems.

  71. Markus.

    Djourou is also a competent midfield practitioner and this is the position he originally started playing so I figured it was going to be a wall of Djourou, Frimpers and Song in front of the back 4 when the substitution was made.

    But funny enough – if you observe our formation during attacks, it morphs into a 3-1-6, depending on which wing the attack is on.

    As for Sports journalism, it died a painful death a long time ago. Unfortunately, they have the means to effect how millions of readers think and they shape opinion. It’s only a pity that most football journalists have the IQ of a fence post.

  72. Yes dups, the BBC are also reporting that. Also if we decide not to buy him, we get half the sell on fee.

  73. Arsenal fans need to learn from this :

    Cheering your team on works

  74. Wavey – didnt have time last night but thanks for putting up that article on clough and interesting the point you made regarding the forest faithfull not turning on clough.

    Good preview big AL

  75. Tom,

    The captain needs to be someone who is actually on the pitch.

    So Sagna for captain you say? Dont be silly, Give it to the only man we can trust.

  76. Just Another Luke

    JW hasn’t reached the stature of Cesc when he was appointed captain yet. Give the kid some time to mature.

  77. Cesc is dead in my eyes.

    The King is dead, Long live the King.

  78. Kevin M ~~ you really give the impression you are immature with your posts.

  79. geeGunner

    my pleasure, I was actually just reposting an article on The Times website written by Oliver Kay as I had tried to post the link to the story and it hadn’t worked.

    I thought it was such a good article that I should ensure it reached the audience on ACLF.

  80. Quality, Oofus.

    This is quality too. From Passenal last night… but worth a rewind in my book:

  81. “We need to remain united and not let the media manipulate our fans in a way they should not.”

  82. GA
    Szcesny will play against Liverpool and Manure, so playing Fab just means Szcesny is being rested rather than ‘dropped’.

    I’d play Fab in all cup games, and Szcesny in PL games. That should keep both of them on their toes.

  83. kevin… when has being fit constantly and being captain at arsenal had any relevance?

    henry as captain – mostly crocked
    cesc as captain – mostly crocked especially last year.

    since PV4 wenger just gives the captaincy to the best player most likely to leave next so with that and the fact RVP is already vice captain its nailed on to be him.

  84. Whats immature about wanting Jack to be captain?

    rvp and verm never play, and sagna doesnt have the charisma.

    What other choice is there?

  85. MikeSA,
    I’d be livid if we spent 30-40M on Kaka. The guy is past it. He’d be a steal at 8-12M though, a bit like the vdv transfer to spurs.

    I can’t really think of a player who could be worth 30-40M to us right now.

  86. you guys might find interesting –

    got this from another blog
    “Arsenal and Wenger are no different today than they were when Thierry Henry left. Still a small squad composed of players home grown, young, and/or bought overseas at a discount, looking in all instances to “coach them up” to use the American sports cliche. Good first eleven, but never enough strength in depth.

    You can see in this chart that the run in the champions league has been done for less than the amount spent by Stoke to get out of the Championship and solidify their status as the only team in football that tries to shorten their matches at home by wasting time with their endless toweling-the-ball antics.”

  87. Tom,

    When you put it like that I see what you mean.

    Nobody will buy RVP though because of his injuries, hopefully.

  88. fair play RVP always get injured, but vermaelen had one serious injury not constant little ones.

    to be honest who our captain is makes little difference we’ve got allot bigger problems than that.

  89. Interesting we folded in a buy-back clause to the Cesc deal, for the same price he went for. Not saying we’ll ever activate it – but interesting.

    I think Udine might put their 3-5-2 revolution on hold for tonight. If Walcott and Gervinho start they would be best advised to IMO.

    In AW’s press conference he put a big emphasis on not conceding tonight. Coupled with a convincing shut-out at the weekend that’s looking like a pretty encouraging area of our game.

    Can’t fucking wait. Come on The Arsenal!

    PS. Been trying to find a video of this goal Di Natalie scored a couple of years back. Think it won goal of the season. He controls this pass over the top with a Bergkamp style gossamer slipper drag down and pings it (on the half-volley I think) with the same foot. Anyone know what I’m on about??

  90. kevin… i dunno mate, he’s gonna be the next big player we struggle to hold on to, maybe theo as well. they both only have 2 years left on their contracts so if we don’t get things agreed quickly other people will start circling.

  91. A clean sheet tonight is very important. we looked calmer and more solid at the back against Newcastle but demba ba and ameobi are hardly the toughest test.

  92. Excellent Big Al. Proof positive, along with Muppet and of course YW, standards at ACLF are very high. No wonder the doomers (yes, that is what they are) can’t help running over here, amazed there is thoughtful, sensible support for Wenger and the boys.
    – Screw the media and the blogs. We are the bloody Arsenal!

  93. Henristic – There is no need to rest a goalkeeper. Just the opposite in fact, continuity with the back 5 is a key ingriedient so should be brojken as little as possible. He is the No1, so should play every week, and especially in important games. Fabianski will have to make do with the CC (and maybe FA Cup), and take any chance he gets in hte1st 11.

  94. This time last year Nasri was a fan favourite, now he revilled. There’s something really sad about this. The way in which we’re abusing our own goddamn players. Those who are still one of us. I know he’s yet to sign a contract, but by the same token he’s not handed in a transfer request (or has he?). Still with all the abuse he’s getting on Twitter among other things, are now not actively pushing Nasri out of our club? What will be achieved shoud this come to pass? I would wager more negatives than positives.

    I’m not passing judgement on whether Nasri is right to hold out for more money or not, but I think the abuse should stop. We don’t know what’s going on with the negotiations so the booing and abuse of Nasri is potentially counter-productive since Wenger would like to keep a hold of the player. Needless to say I don’t find comments such as: “if he plays he’ll get booed” helpful in the least

  95. I am glad that most of us agree to support the team unequivocally,in these trying times! fans from England must realise that we that are not fortunate to live near The Grove,would take the opportunity to cheer not boo the team. COME ON ARSENAL!!

  96. Gadget | August 16, 2011 at 11:18 am
    “I’m not passing judgement on whether Nasri is right to hold out for more money or not, but I think the abuse should stop. We don’t know what’s going on with the negotiations so the booing and abuse of Nasri is potentially counter-productive since Wenger would like to keep a hold of the player. Needless to say I don’t find comments such as: “if he plays he’ll get booed” helpful in the least.”

    Gadget – The fact that such mindless negativity and slagging is encouraged, if not led, by a bunch of whoring “Arsenal bloggers” is mind blowing. As the rapper made the point, one of the reasons why we are proud to be gooners is the club and its supporters pride themselves on being class, not mindless yobs.

  97. Whilst Udinese need to be respected, as a team that aspires to win the CL, we really should win over 2 legs, even with the suspensions etc.

    On Nasri – I couldn’t agree more with Gadget.

    I do feel disappointed in Nasri, considering we have helped him develop in to a top class player.

    His first 2 season’s with us were hit and miss, and the fans have always stuck with him and sung his name, and the club treated him very well when he broke his leg.

    It would be nice to see some loyalty come back, but I am not holding my breath.

    All that taken into consideration, it is still mind numbingly stupid for any supporter to boo him while there is still a chance of him staying, it is clearly not going to make him stay.

    Whether you like him or not, he is still a top player and the team would be better with him in it.

  98. Great post. Expect a win – I always do!

  99. Victoria Concordia Crescit…..

    Sing it with me “Good Ole’ Arsenal we’re proud to say that name………”

  100. shotta,

    Every football club has an element of yobs. You’re very naive if you dont see that element at arsenal.

  101. That video is bloody brilliant Limpar. Big ups to Passenal for finding it.

    I love that kid. Brought a lump to my throat.

  102. Is he Ginger peoples answer to Eminem?

  103. Hang on, is that Ray Parlours son?

  104. Anyway, Viking Gadget time!


    One of our greatest could not resist the lure of his homeland. He was weak, make no mistake of this, but he is but a child; and like all children, he was – still is – loved, and should he ever wish it, we will always welcome him home. For now though, he has joined the most hated enemy, and his leaving leaves us… different. Some would interpret this as being weaker for it, as though our son took all our mettle with him. Well to those, I say “come, come and test our mettle”, they will find our strength is far from lacking. They will find our strength and mettle is forever bound with who we are.

    And on this I ask you: who are we if we are not the Arsenal? We can be nothing but the Arsenal. Have we not lost those dearest to us and yet still fought with ever fibre of our very being? We’ve lost one who meant a lot to us, but does that mean we shy away from the challenge as a child flees from a dog? Men, we are the Arsenal, cannons on our badge, cannons in our heart, and tonight when we show one enemy what that means we show them all.

    Tonight, we show them what it means to Arsenal. Tonight, we show our erstwhile captain the strength he could not remember. Tonight, we show our most hated enemy, we’re coming for their gold. Tonight, we give them Arsenal

  105. Big-up Pat Rice?

    Big-up Pat Rice?

    Holy shit……… i’ve seen everything

  106. Yes Kevin M, why wouldn’t one give respect to Pat Rice? The man’s been with the club for donkeys.

  107. James! Back in your hole you little rioting toerag! You’ll have your own club to watch when all that flagrant Tottenhamism blows over. Scumbags!

  108. Good isn’t he, Cb? If only for the fact it prompted “big-ups” from Consolsbob (!) I am a big fan!

    Gadget, great to see you. Couldn’t agree more with you an Matt and Shotta about Nasri’s treatment. Premature at best, complete arseholery put another way. Sad state of affairs.

    Nice rallying cry as always. I reckon the ground will be rocking tonight. …Arsenal!

  109. I have a theory.

    Maybe Fabregas leaving is the catalyst needed for the team to have more balance and less dependence on a single superstar. It got to a point where Thierry Henry became a liability because he was no longer a team player, but seen as the “solution” to getting us out of a jam. His last season, as with Fabregas’s last season was hit and miss.

    As much as we had defensive issues, the blunt truth is that when our big name players needed to step up to the plate and carry the team – not everyone did. Sagna and Van Persie were exceptions, but Fabregas and Nasri didn’t walk the walk when it counted.

    Our bigger problem last season was not the defence – it was our inability to penetrate other defences and score cruicial goals. Yes, defence was an issue, but it wasn’t the deal breaker.

    If I’m not wrong, the first choice defence of Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny and Jethro has not conceded a single goal in at least 360 minutes of playing together since the beginning of pre-season. If that’s not defensive solidity, then I don’t know what is. No one argues that more work needs to be done, but it’s also folly to argue that our first choice defence has not been solid for all the time they’ve played together since returning for duty in July.

  110. I just hope we sign someone soon…the negativity surrounding the club is suffocating and entirely unwarranted. If we manage to sign someone good soon it could really be a pickmeup and stem this dissatisfaction before gets out of hand, and before press abd mindless boo boys create an insurmountable divide between the team and fanbase

  111. from the above article
    “Without that freakishly large chunk of income for one deal, United would be No3 in the list below, behind only the Abramovich-backed Chelsea and the Sheikh-fuelled Manchester City.”

    and people think we can compete with the 3 biggest spending teams in the world. But then they says we got 2 billionaires lets just load the club with debt or come up with dodgy schemes to support our spending on so called big names that the sun and mirror have defined as our targets.

  112. Henristic, the fee is apparently 12m euros or so, it’s the salary that would kill any chance I suspect.

  113. Darius – You could be right. I have been thinking that perhaps some good will come of this. As pretty as out football could be, it could be very predictable and if we were not on the top of our game we struggled to break teams down at times.

    Cesc is truely a great player, so it is almost pointless trynig to replace him like for like. this may bring about a change in system, which may make us a more effective unit. If this turns out to be the case then it can only be a good thing.

    The frustration will reamin that we didn’t change our system with Cesc still in the side, as there is no doubt that that also would have worked. Any team would miss losing a player of that quality, so we will have to make up for that loss in other ways.

  114. I bloody hope so Limpar. If one of these rich bastards from yesterday would be so kind, I’d appreciate it if they funded my Arsenal fix so I could lend my voice to the chorus of songs Grove and away

  115. Limpar,

    I know, to be honest mate I’m loving all this hoo-ha at arsenal hiding the fact we still havent signed anybody.

    Im sure we’ll succeed in a last minute bid for emile heskey.

  116. Big Al – informative, refreshing, and succinct write up………worthy of your title!

    Mike SA – nice points

    Darius @ 9:20…….excellent stuff

  117. Who would not leave their current employer to do the same job for double the money?
    Very few I suggest,
    Nasri if he stays for the final year of his contract he will have honored it.He will have done exactly what he promised to do ,namely play for us for 4 years.
    Its not like he is leaving for a couple of extra grand ,if indeed he does leave.
    He is absolutely entitled to respect.
    If he has done anything wrong it is to listen to offers whilst under contract to us.But who does not,or would not?

  118. Fairwell Emmanuel eboue, you infuriated at times but I will always remember you and smile. Best of luck in istanbul

  119. double the money and in reality better career prospects (likelihood of winning trophies). not nice to admit but its true.

  120. I still reckon ‘Arry wants Scott Parker. That’d help. Even if you get him I reckon you’ll struggle this season. Not just saying it either… really think you’ll have a stinker.


    Moutinho to Chelsea helps you out… but not poor old Luka who remains trapped in the cellar. Makes Levy look like less of a mug if you keep a hold of him.

  121. Goonerandy – I think a more direct approach to attack play is on the cards. Theo, Gervinho, Ryo and The Ox all have blistering pace and can force compact defences to turn around and chase shadows. The question then becomes how efficient we are with these options – and I believe they’ll get better.

    Wenger has on several occasions said that the most clinical finishers Arsenal has had in recent years were Vela and Eduardo. Unfortunately, Eduardo has left, but I believe he’s keeping Vela for the belief in him coming through. Vela hasn’t had a good run in the team, and if he gets this, he is likely to deliver sooner. But when on form, Vela is lethal and clinical. His issue this far has been lack of confidence, not lack of ability.

    But I think we have a change of tactics on the cards as an option – and that’s to scare the living daylights out of the opponent with pace and ruthless counter attacks.

  122. All in all, I would not begrudge Cesc’s move “home”. At least he has had the basic decency to acknowledge Arsenal and Wenger highly. No, we don’t like it, and he is our fine player, but take a leaf from Wenger, wish him well, and pour out the support to the current and new players.

    Newcastle was a typically cautious, nervous first game of the season affair; nothing really amiss, the half-dozen half chances might have been put away, in another game the same chances might have flattered us at 2-0; while the defence looked stock-solid, especially Gibbs (whose perfectly timed sliding tackle on Barton showed us a lot, although he got booked, unfairly). An OK result. We missed Jackie and Diaby too, we were a bit anaemic in midfield by the last quarter. Rosicky did OK, some excellent passes, but tired, as did Arsh. Ramsey worked hard. RvP looked a bit hesitant while 3Gs looked ever-sprightly. These are typical early season cobwebs. I’m intrigued by 3Gs. For one thing, he’s a funny looking fellow, skinny but tough, mobile (rather than fast) and instinctive. Yep, this is a Wenger signing. He’s a useful player, dangerous for defenders. Kudos, for Barton’s apology and Wenger’s good-humoured retort.

    It was interesting bringing on Frimpong and Djourou. Last season that might have been Bendtner and Chamakh, and let’s go for a late winner.

  123. Eboue watching the Reserves:

    Say what you like, he’s a proper Gunner.

  124. Good luck to Cesc, now its time to get on with the footy.

    A player will be coming in, possibly 2 – depending on if Wenger can find a defender worth getting. It seems almost certain a midfielder will be arriving now that Cesc has left, then we have the Nasri situation stuck in PENDING so soon enough the swarm of question marks will be gone.

    I have to say defensively we have been pretty good. I just don’t have confidence Traore can do a good job if Gibbs is absent for a chunk of the season. TOUCH PLENTY OF WOOD. If this Jenkinson can play LB effectively then it may not even be a problem. I would imagine that we are looking right now to buy a midfielder and a defender regardless of Nasri’s situation.

    Enough booing people, the season has started so lets get the good vibes going and support the team!

  125. Darius, I think our lads are more suited to this zonal marking we seem to be employing recently. It means they don’t get confused going for the same ball as easily. Something we’ve had trouble with.

    I almost shat myself on saturday because nobody seemed to be picking up any Newcastle men from the corner, then I realised it was just the zonal marking.

    Cue criticism from Alan Hansen.

    “Tha’s noh the way ah learned till defend. Ye had yer man, and ye stuck till him”

  126. Darius,

    vela looks to be going on loan again mate. think its probably a putting him in the shop window exercise

    Vela’s agent, Eduardo Hernandez, told Sky Sports : “Im going to London tonight to finalise things with Arsenal.

    “We have three teams in Spain that have made offers and we think that playing in Spain would be a good move for Carlos.

    “Arsenal are happy for him to go out on loan and we hope to find a solution by next week.”

  127. Gadget @ 11:48……good stuff

    captain tonight: if he passes a fitness test today, its Rosicky. If not,
    then likely Vermaelen.

    Posting today is constructive and civilized (so far) – thank goodness the season
    is underway.

  128. Darius – It does seem that way. Last year was the “slowest” team since Arsene arrived I think. All of Wenger’s winning sides have been strong and very quick. the past 2 season is a far away from that make up as possible.

    I can’t agree with you on Vela though; but this is due to the formation we play. If we played with 2 strikers I think he would have a very good chance of making it with us, as he is an excellent finisher. But, he won’t play as our lone striker, and with our seemingly increaing number of wide options can’t see him getting many chances there either.

  129. Any of us who think that City will not end up top dogs a kidding themselves.
    They will get it right because they can afford to make as many mistakes in the transfer market as it takes,

  130. Eboue – A true professional and an example to many out there. If he had only not dived so much!

  131. Chris – I agree about the left back slot, especailly with Gibbs seemingly fairly injury prone. Also Jenkinson has only ever played 8 senior competative games, so it would be a huge risk relying on him as well to be honest.

  132. “Cue criticism from Alan Hansen.

    “Tha’s noh the way ah learned till defend. Ye had yer man, and ye stuck till him”

    All very true and that, only our players don’t seem to be very good at doing that. I am not a fan of zonal marking, but I am glad we are trying to address the set piece issue. It may simply suit our players more than man for man.

  133. regarding the LB… traore could well be away for a month with senegal at the ACN.

  134. Incidentally, a good few years ago I played in a side that used zonal marking at set pieces. We were leaking quite a few, simply because the attacking players were “attacking the ball” better as our defenders were stationary, and the attacking team could get some momentum with runs into the box.

    To remidy this we had a few players who acted as “blockers” in front of “the zone”. They did not obstruct the attacking players per se, but positioned themselves so it was harder for attackers to get the running momentum before jumping for the ball. It made a massive difference as well, with our defenders noticably winning more balls in the zonal area.

  135. Interesting article from the official website about the players being promoted from the academy.

    Highlights: 15 of 48 graduates (players from the academy who have played for the first team) are still at Arsenal, 7 are at other premier league clubs and 15 are full internationals. 30-odd percent of graduates getting full international honours is a good strike rate.

  136. Darius – thinking along the same lines……
    Opponents will see no reason to change the successful strategy of parking the bus.

    With pace on the both wings and back up pace (factoring in injuries)……we will exploit the space behind the defense thru: Theo, Ox – Gervinho – Ryo – Campbell……..through the exceptional passing talents of Rosicky, Wilshere, Ramsey, Song, Gibbs, Traore, and RvP.

    I do hope Bendtner remains…….as his IQ without the ball is exceptional. The club needs a tall, strong/physical option.

    As you mentioned……maybe without Cesc (& Nasri) many of our players will become more integral in our attack options and the club will finally play on all cylinders.

  137. Limpar,

    I honestly dont know what to expect this season, but I wouldnt bet money on us finishing fourth, put it that way. Saying that though I reckon Liverpool will be mediocre this year even though theyve spent alot of money. Downing and carrol are average, henderson is potentially average, and Adams not steven Gerrard by any stretch of the imagination. Basically we’d need you and liverpool to have terrible seasons for us to finish fourth, so fingers crossed.

    If chelsea bid £50 million for modric, then i reckon levy would take it, but surely he wont mug himself off for an extra 3 Million?…..surely not?……….but dont quote me on that.

  138. How bout this :

    4-4-2 anyone?

  139. George – I agree. it was the same when Chelsea came into money. Plenty said “you can’t buy success” which they proved to be totally incorrect. M City will do the same I have no doubt.

  140. Great post! Love the last two paras!

  141. andy: “To remidy this we had a few players who acted as “blockers” in front of “the zone”.”

    I think this is how we’re setting up. Out to the 6-yard box you have our best headers in a zonal pattern then you have (mostly midfielders) further out to track/block runs from attacking players.

  142. mj… dont think song would work as part of a two man CM, he’s too slow, he works best with a busy player like jack in front of him and another as the main creator (previously fab, now likely to be ramsey)

  143. Especially as City have signed Aguero. He’ll score 20 and create 20 every season.

  144. Tom – I think he could just ‘sit’ there & ‘shield’ the defence. Any which ways, I am just trying my hand at Championship Manager 😀 Waiting for our opening home game..still a few more hours to go!

  145. The thing is – with all this sycophancy about big money spending in football, you do wonder what planet people are living in.

    Just listening to football shows on TV and radio, or listening to how big money spending is being glorified in the print media – you really do feel sorry for football in this country and also in Europe.

    Football cannot continue to live outside the laws of economics – and it’s only a matter of time before shit hits the fan. When the tide has gone, the world will see those who have been swimming naked.

  146. Apologize for back tracking about Cesc and Nasri……..

    In life……sh*t happens.

    Arsene made decisions, (for me) always in the best interests of Arsenal. There are times when the environment around a player or in the market place are out of the managers’ control.

    Arsenal are a unique club, managed uniquely in today’s climate.

    – high standard of player character
    – quality of play
    – our books are handled properly
    – we don’t wash our laundry in public

    There is no reason for resentment against, club, manager, or players. Players are given a chance to develop all aspects of their game and as individuals. If the chemistry is right, they become long-time servants. The club and manager are dealing with many side issues never privy to fans or media.

    Just as I was sad to see other great players move, it pains me to see (especially) Cesc make this decision.

    As Arsenal fans, we can learn a lot by modeling our actions and decisions from the standards-principles exhibited by our club.

  147. I’m not sure so Darius. Football may be moving (scary thought, it mave have already moved) into an era of weirder feudalism which could see it in a protective bubble of warped economics determined by fossil fuel wielding oligarchs

  148. Agree with you on Liverpool, James. Kenny seems to be building the most direct, old skool English team going. They had a “No. of passes in build-up to goal” stat higher only than Stoke last season. 2nd lowest. Adam, Carroll… I wouldn’t expect much passing football if I was a Red this season. If they were tight at the back… maybe. But they weren’t in preseason.

    I think City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Utd will pull away. Tottenham and Liverpool might be dragged into the big, even middle ground that makes up all but the scrappers at the bottom. Which’ll be the new boys + Blackburn and maybe Wigan IMO. (Hope not, I like Wigan)

    I think people are getting carried away with City. They beat Swansea. Silva is their only real creator behind Aguero. I don’t think that’ll be enough…. “on a cold, windy night in Stoke etc etc” Hope not anyway…

    Good luck rehabilitating the Tottenham out of Tottenham. Tough nut to crack.

  149. Apparently, there’s tickets still available for tonight, so I think I’m going to treat myself tonight and go by one

  150. It seems Gervinho and Alex Song got 3 match ban by the FA while that fucking nazi cunt Barton walk free because “it was dealt by the referee during the match”. A bullet in the back of his head is how I would deal with this fucking nazi cunt.

  151. Nasri wouldn’t be getting so much stick from the fans if he’d looked like he gave a f*ck during the training season. And he’s catching some of the residual fallout of the Cesc departure. He could win the fans back if he’d just go out and do a job without that air of insolence that seems to come rather naturally to him for whatever reason.

  152. liverpool have done all the signings on stats… downing, adam and johnson all created roughly twice the amount of goal chances as the average PL midfielder last season.

    there was an article somewhere about it cant remember what the theory is called now though.

  153. johnson should be henderson

  154. song should be fined for his selfish stupidity

  155. That doesn’t absolve the fans whatsoever. Seting up a slight strawman here, but look at the abuse both Denilson and Diaby got.

    In anycase, how about we chant for Nasir to just sign the contract, rather than calling him names? In fact that’s some chanting I can get behind, constructive chanting: chanting what you’d like to see a player do more of. Shoot, Chamahk, Shoot perhaps.

    Sure beats booing and name calling

  156. Totally agree with you GoonerAndy – Zonal really only works when you have 1 or 2 attack the ball.

    Maybe say to TV, don’t worry about marking – just attack the ball wherever it goes…

  157. Darius @ 12.09 – yes I had exactly the same thoughts. The biggest of our two cited problems (set piece fragility & attacking profligacy) the inability of our strikers and midfield to put the ball in the net from clear openings was by far the greater issue.

    We all know Arsenal created the most chances last season and we all suffered strong de ja vu when teams scored with the one free kick/corner they had in a game to win 1-0 or draw 1-1. Often in those games we had 15-25 attempts on goal and should have been 3 or 4 goals to the good (in which case conceding a late free-kick/corner goal would have been somewhat immaterial). To lose those or draw those games having dominated but having wasted chance after chance has contributed to the fertile ground of dissatisfaction we see now.

    To be clear, I could envisage it as a possibility that we could go into the season with the defence we currently have and still win things. But only if we add to our strike-force and midfield department. Our current remaining mid-fielders and attacking players need ot work on their finishing but, contrary to the voice of the masses, I would say new faces are more of a necessity up-front than at the back.

    So far we have added Campbell, The Ox and Ryo. I’d hope for a new creative midfielder and a ‘finisher’. I have no names to proffer – that the scouts job.

    However, holding onto Bendtner – as I have heard rumoured – is not a solution for me (especially if his wages are as high as is commonly claimed).

    We all know the club are at defining moment right now – there can be no mistake about that. A decent win tonight should buy some breathing space from the air of negativity that is pressing from all sides. From there we have to hope that Wenger can secure 2-3 good players to complete the squad.

    I don’t think anyone believes we can go into the season proper as we exist currently, or that the club intends to do so.

  158. From the Arsenal website:

    ‘Open market would have raised Cesc fee’

    Arsène Wenger believes the fee for Cesc Fabregas would have been higher if he had been sold on the “open market”.

    The former Arsenal captain left for Barcelona on Monday in a deal reportedly worth around £35million. Wenger says that the Club held out for as long as it could to get the best possible fee for the midfielder but admits that Fabregas’ refusal to consider other destinations kept the price down.

    “If he was on the market to any club we would have got more money but we did want to get a decent fee,” said Wenger. “That’s what I’m paid for.

    “You cannot say because you want to get the deal done as quickly as possible: ‘Just take him and give us what you want’. You have to fight for your rights.

    “If Cesc is for sale and you can make an auction between Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City, you will certainly get more money, but he just wanted to go to Barcelona.

    “We didn’t even try [to encourage other clubs to bid] because we did not want to sell the player. Our desire was to keep the player.”

    Fabregas was fulsome in his praise for Wenger when he faced the media in Barcelona on Monday. His former manager repaid the compliment when he spoke to reporters back in London.

    “Cesc has given us eight years and it was a pleasure to work with him on a daily basis,” said Wenger.

    “It was a pleasure to watch him – every day – to play football. And I’m sure it was a pleasure for you as well to watch him play. So that’s part of life. Maybe he will come back one day to the Club, you never know.”

    As AW says, “You have to fight for your rights”. We could have easily sold Fabregas at the start of the transfer window when Barcelona made their first offer, but we didn’t because the offer was derisory. There was never going to be an open market for Fabregas and Cesc had finally decided that this summer it was time to go back home. The CL qualifier gave Barcelona a finite deadline to come up with the cash and we probably ended up getting as much as we could out of them as they didn’t want him cup-tied. I doubt Fabregas would have refused to play for us, but I’m sure his heart wouldn’t have been in it. The Fabregas of two seasons ago (including a cameo performance against Villa for 23 minutes when he scroed two goals) would have bust a gut for Arsenal, whilst we may have had solid performances from him this season I doubt the same drive would have been there.

    Good luck Cesc I hope you do well, but I hope the arrogant bunch of wankers you play for now comes a cropper.

  159. One thing is for sure, if we have two problems, fixing either of them will improve us. I definately agree on our wastefulness in front of goal though. For a team which has so much possesion, we quite often don’t actually create that much, or when we do are wasteful. When this team clicks it is a joy to watch, and will destroy most teams. But maybe these steller performances mask the reality of the side perhaps?

    The defence plays it spart in this though, and maybe it is down purely to concentration. How many times have we had a team pinned in their own half for 30+ passes from us, only to lose the ball and 2 hoofs later be 1-0 down? Not so much last season to be fair, but it has been part of our make up for a while. Whilst we look to our defenders for this, it is also true that if our possesion was more productive it would not be such a pressing issue.

  160. It is definitely time to get behind the team, and do anything to try to persuade Samir to stay.
    Lots of people are saying they expect more signings before the transfer window closes. but I’m not so sure. When you look at the present 1st team squad only 1 player has been signed later than this in the transfer window – Squillaci. Together with AW’s comments that we have a big squad I’m hoping but not hopeful of some reinforcements, especially as how threadbare the subs bench will look tonight. Thinking of including Bendtner when his mind can hardly be with the club looks a bit of desperation.
    Sometimes we seem to overate our young players expecting 20 year olds to outplay experienced internationals. Once in a generation players like Jack can do it, but I don’t think the likes of Frimpong and Lansbury are ready.
    But if this is the squad we are going to have, it is even more important we get behind them, hope we can have a reasonable season this year and keep getting stronger as they develop.

  161. Please, let’s stop talking about our adopted prodigal son. The wound where my heart was has yet to heal fully.

    I tweeted this to my foolish 20 followers (hahahaha!) but Cesc is our Darth Vader.

  162. Hope we do the business tonight.
    But feel the 2nd leg will be crucial.
    I hope Bendtner gets to play

    …i remain POSITIVE

  163. Gadget

    has his light sabre changed colour now he has gone over to the dark side?

  164. JohnN

    but we did sign Arshavin very late in a January transfer window

  165. Aman

    not so crucial if we have a 4 – 0 lead after tonight

  166. So it’s official – RVP is club captain and Vermaelen is vice captain.

  167. Yup. Happy with that. They were the only 2 realistic candidantes, and RvP is the senior of the 2 so it makes sense.

  168. Wavey
    True, but that was a saga that had been dragging on for a long time. We don’t seem to have one of those this window, as despite Arsenal’s attempts they usually end up in the press, for example our 1st attempt to sign Baptista which was a summer long story.

  169. I’d like to congratulate RVP on being confirmed as captain. I hope that he reads ACLF!

  170. Kenyan. Have no doubt that like most people, our players are ego surfers. Of course they read blogs about the Arsenal including the finest blogs like ACLF

  171. Looking towards stone cold Friday mate!

  172. We are being turned into laughing stocks by the media only one team can win the champions league and at the moment that looks like barcalona in the premiership we would have had a strong case if fab nas
    Would have stayed kos verm looked fantastic togeather and yes bendtner is better than chamack confused yes I am as well leave it up to le boss to sort it out and don’t let the press win by turning us against our own team 100% support for arsenal football club is the minumum requirement

  173. Well he’s not in our kit any more Wavey! Seriously, Vader and Cesc parallel one another.

    They were both born to the dark side.
    They were both rescued from obscurity
    They were both tempted by the dark side while still under the services of the light
    They both betrayed the light side, Vader killed younglins, Cesc ripped out my god damn heart *sob* as well as the hearts of countless others

    Here’s hoping he shafts Barcelona in the end

  174. I think that might make Robin a sort of Obi-Wan…

  175. Which must make Jack Luke…

    Perhaps Henri is Han

  176. Darius,the laws of economics will not apply where the money gushed up from the ground an into their pockets.The Oily Sheikh and the Russian Mobster were never business men as Silent Stan is,So dont ever expect financial prudence from them .
    The rest of the football world might succumb to economic realities ,even United ,but the other two?No.
    City will be dominant.Chelsea did it with an owner who has a personal wealth of around £10 billion.City’s owner has £500 billion.
    We would like to think that you can’t buy success with a team of mercenaries,but you can and it has always been so in the modern game,
    Even our own Invincible’s were mercenaries The difference being the came here as cut price mercenaries rather than full blown Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. our only non mercenary,Cashley,in the end turned out as the biggest of them all.
    Unless we accept the City and Chelsea should finish above us we have expectations above our station.
    This does not mean we cant compete though,It just means that Arsene is a fucking genius for making it so.
    It will keep getting harder for him to do so though,

  177. Our Invincibles were lovable rogues, George. Do get it right!

  178. Plus Schwarznegger was never a mercenary. Unless you count Conan or Hauser as one

  179. GA,
    I do think GK’s can be rested, for rotation if not for anything else. Especially in our case where we have two young GKs still learning their trade. If we only play one of them, the other won’t get game time to develop, which is a risk of the No.1 gets injured later in the season.

  180. Gadget
    Sorry it was “Commando (1985),” I had in mind
    Silly me

  181. Now is not the time to rest the GK .

  182. Man City and Chelsea are on a different planet and obscenity in spending will only take you so far before it kills you. They can’t exist without other teams and they’ll eventually realise that just because you can actually print the money in your backyard, it doesn’t mean you can buy everything.

    In my opinion – Man United and Barcelona are living on borrowed time. United is more dependent on their brand lasting the test of time to keep the lights on – but Barcelona and Real Madrid are at the mercy of the Spanish economy which is already testing the boundaries of being a basket case like Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

    When shit hits the fan in Spain, the reality of clubs in Spain living on borrowed time will hit, and will hit hard.

    With Manure it’s different – 2 things will happen to change the situation. Firstly, the success on the pitch is not guaranteed and without success, the brand being used to fuel the debt is no longer viable. Secondly, when Ferguson retires, there is absolutely no way the next manager will have the leeway he’s been given. They’ll have to cut their cloth accordingly.

  183. City will win the league, it may not be this season, but they will eventually – it is inevitable…

  184. I’ve just seen Aquero’s goal against Swansea. Its a good goal, but not quite worth the hype. Its not spectacular by any means. He was given all the time in the world to place that shot. Its the sort of goal you’d expect the average top level player to score.

  185. Henrisitc – Fair points on the keepers (although Fabianski is no longer a youngster), but in games like tonight you must play your best team. That mean Szcezney to start.

  186. Darius,
    I read somewhere that despite the economic crisis of recent years, the combined fortune of the richest 1000 in Britain rose by 30%!

    There will always be money for clubs to play with. If their present model were to ever fail, RM, Barca, and United will get rich owners and continue with business as usual.

    The only way this won’t happen is if somehow rich people lose interest in football as a sport.

  187. Once in a generation there is born a footballer of such style, such skill, such sheer ability that the whole world stands in amazement at the abundance of his talent.

    Such a player can light up the pitch with his invention and leave spectators breathless with his artistry.

    For any club the departure of such a player is a loss for which there can be no true accounting.

    AW has himself said – no-one is irreplaceable. But some players leave such an imprint on a club that it cannot easily be erased. These are players who shape the whole mode of the club’s play.

    For supporters, their leaving is like a bereavement – marked only with the deepest sense of grief and loss.

  188. So thank you, Emmanuel Eboué, for all you have done for Arsenal.

    We wish you every success in your new venture.

  189. Football’s governing bodies could and should set things right,But they will not .Why?
    Because they are totally corrupt,and the money involved will always trump fairness and the interest of the game overall.

  190. Merlot – Heh. Korean speaking African’s don’t come around that often.

  191. In this age of globalization, I don’t see these big clubs failing to be honest, us included.

    RM hasn’t won anything significant in years but look at their commercial revenues, even after taking away their incredible TV deal. I’m pretty sure our own new deals will also be impressive, whether we win stuff or not, as long as we stay in the CL of course.

    There are enough football loving billionairres/corporations around to keep the super-clubs ticking.

    The only issue that I see will be that the gap between these super-clubs and the others will increase. We might then see the creation of the euro super league that Dein wanted.
    At some point in the future, after they tire of trying to outspend each other, the clubs might seek a wage cap type arrangement to keep things in check.

  192. It may be naive to smugly sit there thinking that all the ones spending like it is going out of fashion “will get what is coming to them”, just because we are not. In an idealistic world that would be the case, but this is not an idealisitc world. Madrid and Barca have been doing it for years (for example), and they don’t seem to be doing too badly.

    We may just to accept that the model that we persue may just not be able to remain competative with the likes of Many City. That said, there are plenty of good footabllers on the planet. These clubs can only buy so many of them; there is enough to go round.

  193. Big Al, class again!

    Looking for a resounding win tonight to get the boys confidence up.

    I am thinking/believing that our team will finish above Chelsea, United and City. I know thats not popular but as an Arsenal supporter, I cannot think any other way.

    To be honest for the money spent Chelsea are not impressive as far as winnings and most of their players are on the downisde of their careers.

    City were not impressive last night as to how people are carrying on. I admit the new guy changed the game but for all the money spent it was 0-0 for most of the match with a bunch of high priced signings on the pitch. Not overly impressed as yet but they could prove me wrong.

    I wouldnt mind a Tevez, Nasri swap.

    United, have a problem goalie that could really cost them this year but they have the refs to take up the slack, so they are always the biggest worry.

    Looking forward to the match this afternoon (in the US). I hope to see our speed dismantle Udinese from start to finish and again, more than anything else, I am looking forward to seeing Chamakh get back to confident self.


    Have a blessed day all!

  194. “We may just to accept that the model that we persue may just not be able to remain competative with the likes of Many City.”

    There is no “may” too it Andy.It is only a matter of time.

  195. I think City will blow Chelsea out of the water.
    When Roman gets over his ego and realises the Oily Arab is in a different financial league to even him,he will pull the plug.2nd best will be no good to him.

  196. Well played, Merlot! We’ve lost Darth Fabregas and Eboue the Frown Slayer in too short a period.

    I’m a quivering wreck, but one off to hopefully nab a ticket for tonight.

  197. George – It is not that black and white, like I said, they can only have so many players on their books at once. What we will have to get accept though is that if they want our players, or our targets, they will more than likely get them and we will have to look elsewhere.

  198. help me Robin Van Kenobi, you are my only hope…

  199. Thanks Eboue!

    Now that was a dedicated Arsenal player.

  200. Andy,Chelsea proved that it was indeed that black and white with a fiftieth of the money City have.

  201. George – Only to a point. Manure (I know they still a big spenders) have won the lge a number of times since Abromovich took over. And they did not spend anywhere near what Chelsea have done.

    I don’t disagree that Man City to push themselves to the summit with their cash. I think they will. I am just saying that there are still plenty of good players we can attract to try and compete with them.

  202. Andy they spent hugely to catch up to Chelsea after their back to back wins.
    And look at Rooney’s wages,Just to stop him from walking across the city.How often can they do that?

  203. From twitter

    “Cost of Moneybags City starting XI v Swansea an obscene £150m. Cost of Youthful Homegrown Utd starting XI v WBA a prudent £156m”

    Bit of a surprise.

  204. RvP has been named as the new captain.

    Also, Eboue is on his way to Turkey and I, for one, will greatly miss him. I suspect many in the dressing room will do likewise.

    If he should glance at this thread I’d like to say a massive thank you for your years of loyal (if recently ‘undermined’) service to AFC. I wish you all the best in your future.

  205. I agree with that GA.

    City dont “have” to win that PL, that must be said. The odds are in their favor but nothing is 100%.

  206. Wenger

    “I have seen all the games over the weekend, I don’t think why we should be suddenly afraid of anybody in England.”

  207. dups – It is. Add the benches up though, and I reckon that figure would change dramatically.

    Paul – Yeah, that is what I am trying to get at. As long as we spend wisely we may be able to remain competative. Our situation has not really changed to be honest; there is just another “Chelsea” to contend with. We do have less leway now though. If we assume the other 3 are likely to finish above us, we simply cannot lose the 4th spot.

  208. Paul,I dont mean this year.I still think we can win it,
    But in the end City will buy it.And if you want my opinion it about 99% a sure thing

    Dups ,that is strange

  209. Agree with your thoughts on Citeh Andy. I see the major problem however is that they will use their financial clout to turn the heads of players already playing for other clubs, a la Nasri. It’s almost as if they can weaken other clubs at will.

  210. Andy that is what I mean.
    If we do finish higher than 4th we will have defied the odds.
    I think we can ,but it is increasingly hard.
    And Arsene is our counter balance.Because he is better than the others.No matter what the Fergie lovers say

  211. Was looking through You tube and watched this again. An example of AFC at their best, attacking football at its best. Breaking quickly, slick passing and no pussy footing around the edge of the area. This is what we aspire to and this is what we can do if we don’t try to slow the game down.

    Looking for another glory night in the CL for the boys.

  212. I hear you george and I yes, they should win the thing even atleast once in the near future.

    George and GA, to be honest what I am looking forward to most of all is the golden generation in the reserve team. If we can bring some of these through slowly into the 1st team, I can honestly see us throwing a monkey wrench into the plans of the big money teams.

    These youngsters are tops!

  213. “It’s almost as if they can weaken other clubs at will.”

    They can and have.And will continue to do so
    Just look how United caved in to Rooney in order to keep him from City.
    They weakened them financially because now Rooney is United’s benchmark for wages .Except they cant actually afford figures like that

  214. Nasri : I’ve been very disappointed by the supporters last weekend. I am still an arsenal player but I will certainly leave very soon…/

    Nasri: . it’s nearly done.. But I will leave with bitterness and anger in my heart… I am proud for having played with the Gunners…/

    Nasri: … during the past 3 years. Thank you all for your messages and support.

  215. Limestonegunner

    That kid in the video is a damn genius. Hopefully, he is the future of Arsenal support.

  216. Where are you getting this from Dups?

  217. Dont go near the Ken Friar bridge tonight.The Cult of Eboue are meeting to throw themselves off.They are disgusted that we are selling our greatest ever player.

    The rest of us are having a massive party

    Eboue will be back next summer though in the Ivory Coast Olympic Diving team

  218. I’m long a ticket for tonight now. My son can’t make it, not well.

  219. LG

    It shows what “supporting your club” means to some.

  220. Comes from ArsenalFrance on twitter

  221. From Nasri’ facebook page

  222. Fuck off Brian we don’t need your support

  223. Only 2 weeks ago the manager said that we can’t lose Nasri and Cesc if we are a big club. Now that looks very much to be the case.

    I really really hope he pulls out all the stops in the transfer market. The crowd are already starting to turn on him, and I really don’t want to see this get any worse. Plus we will have just lost out 2 most creative players.

  224. Andy Nasri was not our second most creative player .By any measure .One assist does not a creative player make.

  225. I doubt it is real Dup’s

  226. Last two posts on his Twitter account:

    Official Congratulation to my mate @cesc4official i will miss you world class player and top men

    I heard what the fans were singing about me on saturday and it is really disrespectful because i’m still a arsenal player

  227. George – You know what I mean. For example, if Cesc was not playing we would look to nasri to keep hte team ticking and he was the most likley player to make something happen. Even if he didn’t play the final ball. He was/is one of our best players.

  228. George

    After his tweets yesterday it would not be surprising if it was real.

  229. Goonerandy.

    So now we’re a small club? And we should panic buy?

  230. Andy ,that is not what you said though.
    “Best” and “creative” are not the same

  231. Darius – Who said that? Not me.

  232. Darius ,you told me Cesc was not going.
    I dont know who I feel most let down by .Him or you? 🙂

  233. Limpar/passenal thanks for the clip. We cant have too many of such supporters. Those going to the game tonight be at your best behaviour since the team needs you, those of us halfway across the grove we shall show our solidarity by cheering the team on tonight any way we can.

    Van P and Verminator deserve to be captain and deputy respectively and kudos to them. Here is to a great night of football.

  234. On the issue of football finance…

    Manchester united are looking to float shares to raise £1 billion on the markets.

    I rest my case about re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  235. George – Very true. I am not pedantic when I type though. Twas just a phrase.

  236. I can see why people get ticked off with football players, seeing that that those dont have so much money make them rich. Its hard to see a very rich player, wanting to leave a club for more money.

    As far doubling wages, I guess what confuses me is that if you can buy anything and do anything you want, when is enough money enough. I guess never, so it boils down to greed.

    I dont know the details of the Nasri situation and I surely dont believe people should abuse him but if more money is what he is after, I dont respect that at all.

    Playing for Arsenal is no small deal. We are a bigger club though not richer than City.

  237. LOL George – Shame on me.

  238. @Goonarandy.

    “Only 2 weeks ago the manager said that we can’t lose Nasri and Cesc if we are a big club. Now that looks very much to be the case.”

    Ergo Arsenal is a small club…or a not so big club.

  239. Andy ,are you calling me pedantic?

    I hope not.For all you know I might be a wealthy skill head with a season ticket.Thus making me a very dangerous man 🙂

  240. Darius – It was not me that said that, it was the manager.

    My “Now that looks to be the case”, means it looks like we have lost both players. It was Arsene that made the “big club comment”. If you have an issue with that, maybe you should send him a letter.

  241. Darius,If United’s value is going up quicker than they are spending money they will be OK .A bit like the property boom.

  242. @I’m over him now then when that time comes we will see who are the true fans and who are just glory hunters.
    I expect many to fall aside if we are suddenly not competetive no more. We will then end up with fanatic fans ala stoke or Newcastle . Fans that cheer their club on even when their 4-0 down.

  243. George – No mate, I am not. I am saying that I am not that bothered when I type stuff down; I don’t go over each post to make sure I that something could not get lost in translation.

  244. Andy It seemed to be what you were implying.
    Perhaps you should be more pedantic in you posting 😉

  245. Andy for the record I am kidding

  246. LOL at James. He says this

    “I know, to be honest mate I’m loving all this hoo-ha at arsenal hiding the fact we still havent signed anybody.”


  247. I think most fans expected this to happen, indeed if Nasri wasn’t going to sign a new contract it made good sense to sell him on now. I’m not saying, Darius, that we should panic buy, on the contrary. But Arsene has known for months that these 2 players leaving was a strong possibility, I just hope that he identified their replacements and goes out and gets them!

  248. @Goonerandy.

    As was famously said yesterday, drop the shovel.

  249. George – Ha, you never can tell on the net eh?

  250. Bradys right foot

    GA great continuity player that Nasri is he is not one of our most creative. The future of Arsenal will be a more direct approach.

  251. Arsene will buy .But dont expect replacements.There are none

  252. Vela has gone to Real Sociedad on a season long loan deal.

  253. I know Wenger said he liked Hazard. I wonder if he is going to try for him now. That would calm some of the moaning.

  254. Cesc said the future is Rambo and Jack.I believe him.Both are very direct.As is Theo ,Gervinho and Andrie

    BRF I think you are right.And I hope so as well

  255. Small point but we’re not really losing Nasri if we decide to cash in. It’d be our call really.

    But I agree that at this point the majority of the baying crowd will only be satisfied by a big-name signing, the problem is who?

  256. Darius – Hah, are you asking me to drop he shovel so you can furiously start digging? I simply mentioned a quote from the manager. I don’t really see how that is an issue. If there is one, you would be better of taking it up with him, not me.

  257. LOL Andy – you really need to know when to stop and drop the shovel.

  258. Darius – Heh, didn’t think I would get a response. That is your little clever trick once you realise you are wrong.

    No way am I dropping in, you would be in like a shot, and none of us would ever see it again.

  259. I must say, the Vela situation has me flummoxed.

    IMO our problem last season was more down to an inability to score than defending, so why isn’t our “best finisher” according to Wenger getting a decent shot at making an impact?

    I can only assume that there is something going on that we have no sight of, but it still begs the question, why is he still at the club if we are never going to use him?

    We were apparently led to believe that this season he was going to get a chance, but despite being seriously thin up front, here we go again with another loan, I’m baffled.

    It was the same thing at WBA, he came on late, scored vital goals for them, and was left out of the team?!?!

    I have visions of the Manninger fuckup floating before my eyes, which was one of Wenger’s biggest mistakes, I hope we’re not watching another one.

  260. Anyway, off ot Berlin for a jolly for a few days.

    Laters peeps. 🙂

  261. The only conclusion I can come to MikeSA is attitude. It seems to me that Wenger believes in Vela’s ability but maybe he hasnt matured as much as he needs to.

    On skill, it is hard to see why Vela isnt the top top player in world football.

    I hope he works really hard and gets his chance at Arsenal. Brilliant player!

  262. MikeSA I must say i am confused on the Vela situation as well. Vela is a great finisher (see: chip the goalie) and it would make sense to keep Carlos hanging around as a squad player. Maybe he would break into the first XI, maybe not. All Carlos can do now is impress us on his loan spell and convince Wenger that he is ready for the big show.

  263. MikeSA I can only think a shinny new striker is imminent.

  264. * I’m happy for Captain Arsenal…Robin Van Persie.

    * Good luck Eboue and thanks for everything (good & bad).

    * I’m afraid Vela’s loan in Spain “again” is just a loan with an option to buy. That’s just how I feel. I love him and he’s skillful, but I think he may not make it at Arsenal and most importantly the Premier League.

  265. Vela on loan (with a look to make it permanent??)
    Does that mean a new striker?
    Or has Joel Campbell got a work permit?

  266. Robin is now officially the main man

  267. Bradys right foot

    Vela has wonderful ability but would be more suited to a game of beach football than the premier league. He plays with all the intensity of a Sunday afternnon nap. Over the next year my feeling is that anyone who the manager feels is not totally committed to the club will be allowed to leave.

    The current squad has come up a little short and loyalty is an issue. In three or four years we could have a first team team consisting of the OX, Jenks, Ramsey, Frimpong, Theo, Miyachi, Wilshere, Campbell, Kozzer, TV5, Szcezney, Song, Gibbs, and Vermalenn, it could be a great Arsenal team however its clear we are in a transition period again, thats why well sign some players before the window closes.

  268. I must say, I’m feeling hyped for tonight.

    I’m hoping for a clean sheet, that’s goal number one for me.

    Despite all the nervousness, I have a feeling we will put a few into the net tonight, and if that does happen, it will be a massive boost for the players, the manager, and especially the fans.

    I feel for our manager.

    losing Cesc must have hit him really hard, even if he’s not showing it.

    We all need a confidence boost, but I think our manager needs (and deserves) it the most at this point.

    Let’s hope we get at worst a nil nil, and at best 2 or more nil.

    Please guys, those at the ground especially, put our differences aside and let’s all push together for once.

  269. On my way to the game to do my bit for the boys. Catch you later.

  270. Good luck Passenal.

    Have asafe trip and gIve it the best for the boys and Wenger on behalf of all the ACLF’ers across the globe.

  271. OOU great post

    Hope for 1- 0 or maybe even 2 – 0 tonight.

    Darius @ 12:34

    I agree100%. I have been hoping for a change in our tactics for a couple of years. Ball possession not useful if you can not break down parked busses. Our best game of last season we had about 30% of the ball and made less then 1/2 as many passes as Barca.

    Man city looked like a different team yesterday hopefully just a brief flash. Agree with henristic regarding a big name signing. Swansea had more ball possession then mancity. Ball possession over-rated stat in the PL. Works for Barca but that’s not the PL.

  272. Worried about tonight. We need a result.

  273. 45 mins to go,

    I’m already missing the buzz but will be watching at a distance. All those who are going, be positive!


  274. its mad to think about how young Ramsey really is. he comes across as so mature.

  275. and is really funny to listen to Miquel talk, he is aquiering a rather English accent now mixed with some Spanish 🙂

  276. So Bendy is on the bench.

    Will he exorcise the demons of the Nou Camp?

  277. Good words from the Arsenal supporters trust. Get behind the team thats all that matters. Yes fans your club needs you. Make the Emirates a fortress tonight. Wenger has named the strongest squad available to him. Come on you Gunners.

  278. The BBC website are taking the fucking piss, in the arsenal line up for tonight they’ve got Lehman in goal, Eboue is in the starting lineup and Gervinho isn’t in the squad… not even a sub.

  279. @NB69 – it’s all these government spending cuts you see.

  280. woohoo this will be an exciting evning! I also hope Capellos wrath keeps Walcott out of the team until summer.

  281. I’m pooping my pants.

  282. I will get my shirt with Eboue’s name anyway. I’m ordering it next week.

  283. Arshavin on the bench?
    Nor sure about that,
    Arsene must be wanting to keep the ball

  284. Don’t know if I win for watching under the most bizarre circumstances but i’ll be watching the match whilst presenting a live radio show.
    Do I win £5?

  285. c’mon you gooners

  286. what radio show is that Steww?

  287. What a beauty!!!!!!!

  288. haha fuck yes !!! ramsey to walcott

  289. I said on Saturday Theo would score our first goal. 🙂

  290. Paul – don’t get excited I’m not famous a local radio station
    Oh 1 – 0. Nice.

  291. Lovely, untypical goal. 2 in the box ? Unheard of 🙂

  292. There you go doomers. No football brain..

  293. Nice seeing Theo in the box. Very fluid formation this season.

  294. I hear you Steww, still kool though!

  295. I won’t give you a link this week as you’ll all be watching the footy.

  296. let me know next time

  297. Nice, waving imaginary yellow cards should always get that reaction from the ref.

  298. scary freeekick from Udinese

  299. Just seen how udinese can quickly hustle n switch to attack we need patience n chesney almost got caught out. Gervinho is getting in good attacking positions just the final pass, we should really tighten in midfield.

  300. settle down boyz!

  301. Vermaelen is such a monster.

  302. Defensively udinese look very vulnerable

  303. well i think we look calmer in posession than usual. thts good, maybe we are maturing 🙂

    all we need now is AW to buy a “fallen star” ala Henry that “rots” on some bench just to be revived into a gret player at Arsenal 🙂

  304. and why are the supportes booing????

  305. Booing?

    Can’t say I heard any, but I’ve been popping in and out of my study cos I’ve got guests.

    Sounds like the majority of the crowd are behind the lads.

    Gervinho is even quicker than he looks.

  306. Sooner or later the final pass will get through as udinese are dropping deep but boy the certainly have pace on the wings

  307. how is the rules? can AW go talk to the boys in the lockeroom? Can he phone his assistant and give advice?

  308. Big warning

  309. jesus christ!!!

  310. Alex Song – what a recovery

    This is a good game – edge off the seat stuff.

  311. That was close on their counter!

    Bit of luck on our side?

  312. The Hungry Horse

    Thank god these boys are toilet

  313. We are gunna score from a Kos or TV5 pass. Watching them dribble up the field, picking a pass and continuing their run is beautiful.

  314. Are there any good streams of the game. The ones I’ve found are garbage.
    Looks like Udinese are defending fairly high, which should suit Walcott and Gervinho.

  315. Every time we loose the ball we get caught with too many players behind the ball n with the pace they have we are to struggle rosicky n Ramsey need to communicate better but di natale really has great movement.

  316. Would be interesting to see Bendtner in second half

  317. Walcott is up for this he looks sharp

  318. James I got a good stream if you have Veetle player. stream 3

  319. Excellent – cheers guys!

  320. Is it me or is the ref always blowing the whistle against us?

  321. I think we need a little break to get our heads clear again tbh. the players look a bit overheated now.. dont want them to loose their lead on something stupid.

  322. Not a bad first half.

  323. brilliant save!

  324. Paul, are you suggesting a bias ????

  325. If you are, i would have to agree. I just listened to a commentator actually slating Arsenal for scoring a goal and not being able to build on their lead!!!

  326. Yes Poodle, got a bit sloppy towards the end of the season and caused ourself unecessary problems.

  327. Great game. Open and fast – we look good. Another goal to settle the nerves please…

  328. I wonder how Wenger is getting coded messages to the dressing room.

  329. rambo hasnt touched the ball for 15 minutes..udinese are creeping back into this but we shut up shop..

    been impressed with koz and tv at the back..songs been solid, ches has made a big save.
    maybe we were shutting u shop until half time?? conserving energy for a 2nd half blitz on their goal??

    i dunno, but we were pretty solid at the back..
    id take a 1-0 at this point, but id really really like a 2-0 from here..
    the whole sagas been abit clostraphobic (??) it would be nice to have a breather 😉

    we are missing jack though..and robin..

  330. Poor Chamakh.
    He is looking scared.
    I would bring on Bendy and also Andrei for Thomas

    But what do I know

  331. Jon jon – strap yourself in because this is going to come as a shock. I agree with you.
    Arsene has addressed the defensive problems and we look a totally different prospect back there.
    Only based on two games mind..

  332. Wily old Woy is doing punditry now?

  333. Paul, we are always going to be up against it.

    That twat ref from the barca game is now the head of uefa refs, and the reason why Wenger is parked in the stands.

    Uefa, FIFA, the fa et al, all as crooked as they come.

    This actually goes even further back to when Wenger was instrumental in Bernard tapie from marseille going to prison and marseille being relegated for cheating.

    Platini and his mates have had the knives out for Wenger ever since, and now they’re even more powerful, the manager and team have their work cut out, just like manusa have 14 men on the pitch every game.

  334. our players need to be ah little more carefull with the ball,we are giving it away too easily.

  335. And we have just been told Jack still wearing a boot.That is a concern.

  336. Good game thus far. We look solid at the back and Song is a moving wall. Theo looks well up for it too. Where we can improve is if our two central midfielders come into the game a bit more and dictate the pace of our attacks. I think Chamakh is not necessary tonight. I hope Wenger pushes Theo up front and brings in Arshavin. This game is taylor made for him.

  337. Chill Bill, the commentators are annoying me big time!

  338. Lucky not to concede in the first half but back four n song are working hard, need more pressing from the front.

  339. My god how i’ve missed you arsenal, they can make 45 mins look like 10. that went soo fast

    Rosicky out of this world.

  340. well Chamakh looks strangley quiet. He needs a goal.Then again Bendtner should seiz his chance now and prove what in his own words a “worldbeater” he really is.

  341. I men on his day hes a very decent player indeed.

  342. It would be nice for once if we had commentators who just describing what was happening on the pitch rather than “Arsene must really be feeling the pressure…..”

    Hmmm… TV5 to LB!!! All of your wishes have come true!

  343. evening all. are the crowd getting upto any mischief? just got in and have no clue whats going on.

  344. Wow,udinese can surely counter,that was a hard last15min.lets score a 2nd to calm my nerves.

  345. Djourou?

  346. hmm Gibbsy out and Vermalen left back

  347. Chamakh is quiet because Udinese has put two in the middle just for him. This game is screaming for a front three of Gervinho, Theo and Arshavin.

  348. Hope it’s a minor injury!

  349. Well, my heart will be racing for another 45 minutes. C’mon arsenal.

  350. Come on Arsenal! Second half has started now!!

  351. Song has been incredible tonight.

  352. We need to settle down and take control of the midfield

  353. lol. Djourou hamstring problem.

  354. We are living dangerously need n boy djourou always seems to be on the edge of making a mistake they are swamping us with 5 in midfield well there goes djourou jerks in.

  355. Jenkinson on for Djourou (hamstring)!

  356. First Gibbs now Djourou with what looks like hammies

  357. Blood hell. Another injury. Get in their Carl.

  358. 2 injuries already!!!!

    Can only make 1 more sub! blow wow!

  359. Alan Smith “one area where I can criticise Arsenal” …

    All you’ve done is fucking criticise us!

  360. what will they do now. will they put on Bendtner, Arsharvin or Frimpong?

  361. the defence is under alot of pressure and they are staying firm but our midfield needs to impose itself cos this could go wrong

  362. only thing we miss now is RvP getting injured for 3 montsh and Chesney getting out with concision fo r 3 weeks :S

  363. We are getting a bit sloppy and disorientated. Our concentration levels have dropped. We need to get a grip.

  364. whats happend to the midfield??

  365. chamakh is not helping out at all. bring on nikky B or andrey!

  366. Chamakh really has been dire we are playing with ten men

  367. Chamakh must come off FFS

  368. Yes, I dont know what is up with Chamakh but he looks lost.

  369. midfield gone missing. tired?

  370. Song on the other hand massive absolutely magnificent

  371. Like NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  372. Yes Song is all over. It is a shame the ref is blowing for all our challenges.

  373. walcotts so frustrating..brilliant one minute and not anywhere near brilliant the next..we needed that chance to go in..

    rambo needs to get himself in the game more

    AA’s gotta come on…

  374. Better from rosicky tracking back time for frimpong to add some muscle in middle of the pack

  375. cool hand duke

    keep the fukin ball man.

  376. Right on cue

  377. well some more power in midfield with the frimp.

  378. big game for frimpong
    looks like we are adding the steel to sturdy the ship
    go on mr t get that midfeild back son..

  379. Rosicky has run himself to a standstill, couldn’t ask a player for more than he’s given tonight in terms of effort

  380. I agree with this sub, we need to boss the middle of the park and hold on for the win.

  381. Jenkinson looks more settled

  382. hah nice work frimpong.

  383. ups not a good start for frimpong though

  384. cool hand duke

    rosicky dont bother shooting anymore please.

  385. jenkinsons a more composed defender than eboue anyway..he dont panic he keeps a cool head..a quality so rare in one so young..

  386. cool hand duke

    This looks like a GeorgeGraham team.

  387. Frimpong has brought stability in midfield we look more solid

  388. considering what we actually have on the pitch right now i’m just glad we’re hanging in there. come on.

  389. wengers employed the one nil to the arsenal tactic..

    wheres chamakh gone??

  390. cool hand duke

    when did Ronald Koeman become a ref?

  391. well If Djorou is out i think AW will have no choice but to buy a CB. And i think he will.

  392. Yes this is much better.

  393. FFs chamakh everyone pressing n he just flipping saunters around

  394. Fucking Sky commentators.

    Fucking Alan Smith.

  395. and Jenkinson for 1 M? Thts a good buy, this is a kid that was so far away from CL last year its insane!

  396. colsol some of these guys still go on about Arsenal having a keeper problem. How can you take them serious.

    Good advice is to turn down the sound on your telly and listen to the Arsenal tv comments instead. Cos you will go insane listening to Sky.

  397. Arsenal TV? Are you serious?

    Whose commentating? Stuart fucking Robson?

  398. So true. All i’m hearing is, Arsenal still looking shaky at the back. The Arsenal defense has been pretty poor today. Blah Blah Blah. Wasn’t Alan Smith an Arsenal player at one point?

  399. that should read pat rice 😉

    come on lads a one nils fine until we get some players back..
    hold on..

  400. Jenkinson really has done well n I tell wilshire would have torn udinese apart

  401. @consol admiteldy they are a bit retarded but thats is retarded light compared to Sky.

  402. @runebreaker
    next match with Wilshere, Rvp and possibley Nasri or Arsh on the field will be a very different affair indeed.

  403. Unlucky top save

  404. nice dive

  405. Frimpong boy wot a player n some pace too

  406. I hope we dont this ref anymore.

  407. Victory!!!

  408. How can anyone say we are crap in defence now? we kept a cleen sheet with two injuries!

  409. One nil to the ARSENAL

  410. thank fuck

  411. Two Clean sheets!

  412. Well if we let Nicky go and keep Chamakh I just dont see it!!!!

    the two injuries stopped us making tactical changes.Well I fucking hope that was the reason

  413. I actually love this win. We kept the back tight and made some great last ditch tackles.

    What a way to grind out a result.

  414. sorry 2 say it guys but that was not good viewing .happy 4 the victory

  415. End of match another clean sheet and I could get used to this major positive, also frimpong, song n the back four excellent, jenkinson well done lad ver mature display n chesney breeds confidence. Upfront Walcott did well n gervinho bloody brilliant even when erratic he is exciting, midfield rosicky Ramsey does not work, Ramsey needs to play with wilshire who can create from deep n free Ramsey to push up n make runs in the box, chamakh the least said the better,

  416. @geroge ofc that was the reason. Without those two injuries we would have seen Arsh and Nicky in and prolly theo and Chamakck out

  417. defensively determined, but worried how we just couldnt keep hold of the ball!!.props to the lads tho!!

  418. frimp and Jenkinson seems solid though. I think frimp will grow alot this season. Such a shame he was out last year

  419. nil to the arsenal…two clean sheets under challenging circumstances especially second half..down to ten men at the weekend..and constant chopping and changing due to injuries this time..

  420. What a result. Try as the pundits may to rubbish the result this was the team grinding out a result and didnt they do well. Yes thats 2 clean sheets for the team that apparantley leaks goals. Vermaelen and Sagna world class in defence. Scezcny, Jenkinson n Frimpong great prospects for the future. Gervinho and walcott are going to be deadly. Aaron will get better and better. Great goal by Theo.COYG.

  421. George, there is nothing else we could do. Frimpong was the right change because we were losing the battle in the mid.

    Jenkinson may not have cost 10 mil+ but he is class.

    Big ups to Song, Ramsey, Frimpong and the whole defense. Djourou with a timely block when he came on.

  422. I think AW will buy some creativity in the midfield. We kinda need that after cesc left. Its just not fair to have Jack as only creative player. That would be to much preassure for a 19 year old.
    Yes hes mature and yes hes great but dude, hes 19! A 27year old Jadson would be perfect 😀

  423. gervinho last run for walcott, the guy is absolute quality, Terry and co shaking in their boots

  424. george r , totally agree cant understand what chamack brings to the table nick 52 much better especially when the team are strugling

  425. N dare I say this looks like a very different arsenal team very direct n relying more on pace n very dogged,

  426. Now that was what you call a solid performance. We did what we had to but it wasn’t pretty. Where is our ‘need more grit’ lad i’m sure he was proud of the boys tonight. But then again he is a doomer, won’t make an appearance after a win.

  427. Also watch gervinho’s ran when Walcott score brilliant the way he gets in front of the defender i can see a lot of Henry in gervinho

  428. did anyone see thier left back give up chasing frimpong lool

  429. cool hand duke

    Isnt this great to see us all gritty and that. just like the good ol days.

  430. Apparently a clean sheet is a wake up call for Arsenal.
    Who would have thought it?

    Why has David Oleary not managing.Oh yes I remember

    Woy had to remind them we have had two clean sheets

  431. cool hand duke

    typical doomy stuff from merse. pop your pills matey.

  432. Definitely a new system..very pacey and direct on the wings..creative centre..strong midfield the fluidity and interchangability, very exciting..chamakh was the major concern (besides injuries)..he looks woefully short of confidence and fitness..

  433. woop woop! Apart from that one counter attack where the dude on Udinese dribbled through 4 of our defenders, the defense was great. Winning lots of headers and clearing the ball when neccessary.

    Gervinho is making two or three of those slalom runs every game. Soon enough he will start banging the goals in.

  434. Very physical team udinese they would do well in the PL, we need addition though to our team,a creative attacking player, a defender is coming in for sure I would also love to a quality striker to partner rvp, frimpong means we don’t need another dm, I tell u what if chamakh carries on like this I would rather afobe gets a chance.

  435. @ geroge..

    That and flushing club finances down the toilet with the constant “ehh no money ehh” and the biggest reason..allowing danny mills to play

  436. Chamakh just needs to get his form and confidence back.that frimpong is really something.may i say i didnt like the few mins verm played at lb.jenks impressed me,we do have a wonderful talent in for the back 4 they did well despite all the pressure.all in all a very hard fought win and a cleansheet,not bad at all.

  437. was expecting the “spend some fucking money” brigade..pleasantly surprised 😀

  438. Fucking class at the back, Arsenal playing hoofball and grinding out a 1-0……. fucking love it.
    Very disappointed in Chamakh, but Rosicky, Ramsey, Theo, and then Frimpong.. GRIJenkinson worried me a couple of times but ffs, chucked in at the deep end and kept his head above water. On the telly sounded like the crowd were behind the boys 100%… that was good to hear.
    Not sure if 1-0 is sufficient to take to Italy butvwe’l have RVP back and hopefully the injuries aren’tv too serious. Yes you Gunners

  439. Wtf is wrong with Ipswich they are relegation fodder at this rate, hammered by sonton though jet scored again, he is getting goals though!

  440. nice…only 55% possesion.

  441. Stop moaning about chamack, he actually had a shot today, held the ball up very well and joined in the play, i don’t know where you people were looking but chamack was part of alot of our attacks.

  442. I really feel that Frimpong was fantastic when he came on. I would love to see this midfield while Jack is injured.

    Frimpong – Song


    This allows us to keep our new found defensive strength, but adds that creativity that is been missing and will allow us to win football matches.

    What do yo guys think?

  443. A win is a win and all that……
    Positives: Frimpong & Jenkinson, another clean sheet, class goalkeeping from Chesney, Gervinhio looks lively!
    Negatives: Chamakh, not sure the lad is upto it really! – hope im proved wrong!

  444. Hearing on twitter Chamakh was fasting so people need to cut him some slack. He was running on empty.

  445. Chamakh might be beyond help.

    I mean there is looking out of sorts and there is looking rather poo.
    I really hope he can ,but I have my doubts

  446. Not pretty, but job well done. Before this season, I was the sort that preferred a 4-3 win over 1-nil. But given prevailing circumstances, my entertainment needs can be kept on hold.
    The team needs to build confidence in their ability to hold a lead and this kind of game helps to do just that.
    1-nil to The Arsenal!

  447. Fasting ??????,do me a favour.
    If he is and he played I will show my arse in Harrord’s window

  448. Do away goals count double in the qualifiers?

  449. Chamakh is all we have if RVP is injured and thats a when not if. So lets hope to god all those writing him off are dead wrong, because we need this guy. I also hope the fans don’t get on his back like they did the depatured Eboue. He needs our support now more than ever.

  450. i don’t understand what match people were looking at, chamack was good today, he did what he does best, won headers, held up the ball, and even had a f***** shot.

    what happened to supporting a play through thick and thin?

  451. Jabba'sDelights

    Right delighted with a 1-0 and not conceding but honestly were some of you watching the game? They were well worth a draw out of it and thats just being honest. As a team our defensive organisation without the ball is completely all over the place. Granted we look better from set pieces but we looked like we did 2 years ago again without the ball. 4 times in the 1st half they had 2 on2 or 3 on 3 sitiuations at the back. We lacked leadership and direction and it cant all be blamed on us lacking Wilshere and RVP. It was incredibly easy for them to bypass our midfield as they completely failed to work as a team. There keeper had to make 1 save brilliant that it was. Kosciellny had as poor a game as he did a good one against the toon. The injuries are a massive worry going into these 2 massive games and the fact that they are both hamstrings asks questions.

    Atmos was alright but the tension was unbearable at times and the massive amounts of empty seats was telling 10000 at least from where i was sat. they are 11 days from their season and looked like they had more energy than us in large portions of the game. We have alot of work to do and we can start by signing their left wing who usually plays left back as he was the best player on the park by a distance.

    On to liverpool must win

  452. pedantic george

    It is possible to fast and play football, i do it but we have to manage sleep time, eating and the time to use the energy from the food we eat in the morning at around 4 am

  453. oh bloody el jabba, i was all ready to go to bed in a nice positive mood and you have spoilt it.

  454. decent result, second leg with our main guys back should be a less nervous viewing. with a bit of better finishing we should be through. good job..

    bring on the pool o chopped liver.

  455. Fabregas hamstring has now healed i see.

  456. Moe,I dont believe it is possible to play with a 7;45 kick off to the required level.Do you?

  457. Now I remember why I hate watching games on TV!!! The sky comm and his sidekick Alan Smudger Smith were willing a Udine goal FFS! It was like listening to an English language Italian channel! Pathetic, really poor.

    I know we didnt play too well, but considering the missing players (we still have!) and the injuries suffered during the game, it was a decent result.

    BUT, we badly need new faces, Gibbs couldnt even last 2 games in a row, how fucking sad for the lad. We need a left back to go with the other signings fo sho.

    And Vela and Botelho have both been loaned to Spanish clubs, which basically means they are deemed not good enough.

    I know signing very young players is a gamble, but siging very young players from 1000s of miles away must be a million to one shot when they have to be loaned abroad for years in order to get a work permit. I have never been a fan of this process and think its rather distasteful really. I hope we stop doing it and concentrate on players who can either be assimilated straight away, or come from EU countries to begin with.

  458. There is nothing wrong with this team that £100 million to be spent will not fix 🙂

  459. You STILL pretending you are a Gooner I see Jabba.

    You need to get another hobby man.

  460. Thank God for Woy hodgson

  461. I think if Traore’s playing with the reserves the night before we play a European game with no back up at left back then it’s a sure sign Wenger’s bringing someone in. We must 100% be getting a creative midfielder in too, Rosicky worked himself half to death tonight but he didn’t make much. Really surprised that Arshavin didn’t start, he’d have done something with all those huge gaps between their midfield and defence.

  462. we just need a couple of tony blair players. oh and a defnder who can play cb and lb as cover for our fragile djourou and gibbs.

  463. Limestonegunner

    Chamakh should take a dispensation from Ramadan on game days–it doesn’t make sense to run around at the end of a long day when you can’t hydrate. Having said this, he hasn’t looked good for 8 months, so blaming it on fasting is probably mis-emphasizing his persisting problems.

  464. Jabba
    Out of interest the fact that they are hamstring injuries begs what question?

  465. pedantic george

    Like i said, it is possible, difficult but possible, also considering the fact that he can break the fast at 9:30 i think, that means he can recover he’s energy and strength straight after the match.

    It is difficult especially as you said the kick off is at 7:45, but it can be done, and with all the nutritional experts at Arsenal, i think they could manage it easily enough. it’s nothing new as well, players all over the world do it, and some former Arsenal players do it, eg Toure, and currently Diaby.

  466. You are chatting absolute shite jabba, as usual. Apart from one time when that Armouro dude ran the length of the pitch because Song was a bit casual, Udine didnt expose us defensively. They had more possesion as the game went on and Di natala had 2 decent free kicks, but fuck me, you are acting like we shouldnt let the opposition have any chances.

    Exactly the kind of shite the commentators were chatting.

    So excuse me if I dont take what you say seriously.

    I wasnt impressed wiuth our performance by any means, but your synopsis was bollocks

    Just what i expect from you.

  467. vince agree there is something missing with Rosicky almost like he isnt agressive enough, can play some lovely passes about but should be running things more coz he has the skill, he should be better then that ugly git from down the road.

  468. He cant be fasting.Stop making excuses for him.
    You would not be allowed to play if you fasted.

  469. Jabba'sDelights

    cool hand duke

    I’m just saying it how i see it. There was utter relief in the ground as we had played poorly and they had caused us alot of problems.

    We find it incredibly hard to defend when the opposition have the ball and they had far far to much of it in the game. We gave it away to often and the result of that was them creating more chances than us.

    Song had a great game individually as did TV5 but the defence and midfield didnt work great collectively, particularly the midfield. Runners glide past our guys and into space where they can get at our back 4. We utilize space enough when going forward, we need to get better and quickly which we can do. Everybody involved with the club is crying our for a lift

  470. I don’t know, it doesn’t look good. Lets hope the second leg sees RvP and Jack change things!!

  471. Jabba on this blog everything is perfect, 2 weeks ago I said we should buy Enrique
    now both our lbs are injured Chamakh is shit, Rosicky just has lost his speed
    and creativity Kos makes glaring mistakes yet here its all perfect

  472. Dukey

    Id go along with that man

  473. i hate to dig out our players but chamack does not hold the ball up and when the team are strugling he doesnt run his antisepation of when our players are going to release the ball or when a play will break down is non excistant at the moment if he is fastingor is not fit we should have played bentner.I dont believe you fast for six months though !

  474. Dexter you still in a foul mood mate?

  475. solg

    Why do you feel the need to spout shit like that? You sound like one of those cunts from LG who pops in, says that kind of shite because thats what thick cunts think. Whereas you are on here more than me, so you know that isnt true.

    What isnt accepted on here, is not supporting the club, team and manager, or the vile abuse they love over there on that blog

  476. Sol we all know we have probs but we all like to always look on the briiiiiiight side of life….dum dum..dumdumdumdudmdudmdudm.

  477. pedantic george

    Tell that to the hundreds of players, middle eastern and also premier league players who do it.

    It’s not a good idea, but it don’t kill you , the human body is extremely efficient and resourceful. And i’m not making excuses for him, he has looked off colour but good god people on here make it sound as if he doesnt know what a ball is anymore.

    Get a grip, get behind the player.

  478. Dexter I have started to ignore the thick fuckers.
    As I am their superior in all aspect of life I deem it unbecoming to speak to them 🙂

  479. I thought Ramsey had a poor game, he wasted possesion and gave the ball away. But then he set up our goal and looked better the longer the game went on. Rosicky was very good I thought, until he tired. Chamakh did well early on, but again drifted out of the game.

    Gervinho put in a very enegergetic performance and with a bit of luck could’ve had a hand in a couple of goals. Theo was decent. Song, Vermealen, Koscielny and Szczesny were excellent.

    Gibbs injury-proneness is a massive worry

    It will be very interesting to see if nasri is involved Saturday and next weds. That will tell us everything I think.


    The foul mood will lift if and when we sign more players mate. The squad is wafer thin after one week

  480. Jabba'sDelights


    Yup you got me i dont support Arsenal and yet i found my stupid self at the ground cheering on the Arsenal. Are you another one of those who lives abroad is there any people living in london on this site as you could have got yourself a ticket very very easily

    Listen to yourself your now nailing Alan Smith for calling the game how he saw it. ”willing a goal” for them your a fucking idiot and quite obvioulsy know nothing about the love that lad has for our club…….his unrelenting love for us matches any player in my life time, only a jonny come lately speaks such horse shit!!!

    They got at our back 4 in 2 on 2 and 3 on3 about 4 times during the the 1st half. The chance you talk of was a 1 on 1. its poor defending in europe when 1 up in the home leg to leave yourself open in such situations do you no anything about european football.

    Poor performance we need to get better we were playing a team without 5 starters form its 4th place team last year and starts its season in 11 days. We were missing 2 players from what will be our starting 11

  481. Dukey

    Can you imagine if we hadnt of won tonight?

    Not sure how a bright side would have been possible dude! 😀

  482. I am not talking about Chamakh really.I dont believe top players do fast.
    You might before your sunday kick about .But not them.

  483. Agree dex,

    Wenger surely cannot rely on Gibbs being available, the poor lad will clearly be blighted by injury in his career. cant even contemplate seing areman traore in the team

  484. oh you know what i give up. I see it’s scape goat time.

    Nobody talks about Ramsay losing it, you all want him to succeed in midfield that not a word comes out about him.

  485. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Apparently Frimpong used to play for a team on the Broadwater Farm estate, a location somewhat lately in the news for all the wrong reasons. Young EF here can put it back in the news for the right reasons.

    Who’s to say he’s not going to step up for us exactly the way his mate Jack did last season? More power to his elbow.

  486. One plus side of Rosicky even when he’s not being creative: He’s still happy to have a dig from outside the area, and it gives others the confidence to do so too. Denilson’s the only other player we (tenuously) have who’s brave enough to do so.

  487. Jabba'sDelights


    I’m not sure mate but all i know is that both are injury prone and something needs to be done about it. We cant rely on them for a seaosn. We desperatly need a cb and left back, as tv5 was huge tonight next to a very off colour Kosciellny. 2 consistent performers at the back isnt going to get you anywhere


  489. Dex,

    It is unbeleivable, all fukin summer everyone moaning about oyr shit defence, we now put in to clean sheets and they now call us boring and being over run. fuckers and i do like a moan but fukin el tel.

  490. our…..two.

  491. Moe he has been playing poorly for a while now.How is saying that making him a scape goat?

    Dexter just had a pop at Ramsey so there is no ganging up

  492. jabba, actually going to games is a side issue (I know season ticket holders who couldnt tell a reserve players name or when were playing away) so when we need a result more than a performance and we win with a clean sheet except this as a good thing for christ sake.
    oh and come down off that window ledge

  493. ”his unrelenting love for us matches any player in my life time”

    You must be a year old then. If I didn’t know he was a former Arsenal player and heard his commentary I’d have thought he has absolutely zero love for the club. Criticising everyone at every opportunity it seemed.

    Nothing against Alan Smith, but God is he negative about us.

  494. Duke,you are right mate,you do like a moan up

  495. pedantic george

    fair enough.

    He has been looking off colour, so i wonder what has happened to the player that helped us the void that van persie left last season?


  496. To be fair to Jabba he consistently stands up for ex players

    Even when they are clearly cunts 🙂
    Just kidding Jab’s

  497. Moe .I dont know because I felt he was top class for his first 4 months

    There are a lot of rumors about him though.I really hope he gets back .I like him a lot.And he seems a proper good guy

  498. Jabba'sDelights

    Arse or Brain

    I completely agree my very 1st post the 1st line says exactly the same. There is a huge difference between what you say about getting a result over the performance tonight and some people on here saying how great we played, they are completely devoid of reason.

    We played poorly and if looking at at the performance and not the result against where the opposition should be at it was poor thats all i say. and we must get better and very quickly.

    With regards to attending games there are fans who know little about the reserves, there are also many old fans who are incredibly passive……….however they spend alot of their hard earned supporting our football club and deserve better than to be called non fans by people such as dexter

  499. Great to see the lads shut up shop under some serious pressure. Also I like the added caution protecting a lead. Last year we would have had 9 men attacking at the 90th minute.

    Dare I say at the back we are looking solid. Some very nice solid defensive performances. Jenk did well coming on. He could have done a few things a bit better, all in all a great debut. Frimpong looks everybit the acomplished first teamer also.

    Ramsey could well be a very important player for us too. We need to keep our heads and finish off chances. Once we have aour creative department back we will do very well.

    Come on Arsenal

  500. Bradys right foot

    cool hand duke | August 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    We simply can’t win mate even when we fucking win, incredible. I find the situation almost surreal, reality has been subverted. Gone are the days were a win was a positive result.

  501. If every Arsenal fan was like Dexter the manager and Jack would not have to ASK for support from them.

  502. Jabba'sDelights


    cheers George

    He is a commentator he is calling the game as he see’s it. Keown, Dixon, Adams, Parlour, O’leary, Seaman and Smith all who’s loyalty to us is unquestionable say similar things in commentary or as pundits. Maybe its about time to stop calling these guys idiots and actually start listening. Since getting back i’ve saturated 4-5 sporting sites that all say almost exactly the same thing about how we toiled tonight and the result was harsh on Udinese who played very well.

    Some of the chat on here during the 1st half which i’ve just read it actually quite unbelievable. Its like 2 different games were going on

  503. From twitter

    @WoolnoughBrian: Arsenal so poor. Big problems coming this season.#AFC

    What a massive cunt he is.

    Oh and that poor Chamakh was 2nd in the stats for ground covered tonight. He was not as bad as some may think.

  504. I seem to remember people saying we could not grind out a win, or win when playing badly.

    Seems we did and still some need to whine.

  505. Too right brady a win is a win nonetheless made the more sweeter by the hopes by the media that we would fail. 1 – 0 to the Arsenal. Jabba no delight for you then.

  506. Duke

    True mate, too many looking for the negatives, the team cant win sometimes.


    Alan Smith played for Arsenal, he doesnt any more, he isnt a Gooner, he is a journalist, he is sooooo dull its amazing he gets a gig on sky! And yes, you are right, he is just so fucking negative about Arsenal, like a few other ex=players who go down the route of trying to be so fair, they go the other extreme!

    Did some one try to suggest he loves Arsenal? Hahahahaha!

  507. If you want to listen to a true gooner and ex player listen to Bob Wilson, He NEVER slags the Arsenal.

  508. “His loyalty to Arsenal cannot be questioned”? That was funny, especially coming from a person whose loyalty is always being questioned!

  509. Dupsff

    We didnt win 5 nil, that was the only result that would’ve shut twats like Woolnough and Winter up. Then again, they would have found something to moan about. When we beat the scousers on Saturday, they will have an excuse for Kenny and his team.

  510. Dexter,They will make no allowances for us if we dont .

  511. Jabba'sDelights


    I agree but our home support has always been quite quiet and tense throughout my lifetime.
    With the current climate at the club something as got to be done by the manager. His quotes eminating from sky pre game which ive just listnd are only going to annoy fans more. The teams looks short of quality and depth and we are approaching 3 games in 12 days that are just mega in every way possible.

    Does anyone know where Joel campbell is?

  512. Right, we will sign Cahill tomorrow, Parker on Thursday and mata Friday. That would definitely shut some people up, including me! 😀


    We aint even permitted to let our goalie make a save as that is proof of our shite defence.

  513. Has he even got a work permit?

  514. media tears us to pieces.

    and now our own fans criticise like it’s a past time.

    I think, and correct me if i’m wrong, people have become spoilt by Arsenal’s positon in the league these years and our style of play, they can’t fathom why a near second team Arsenal would not only win against a very good udinese team but also keep a clean sheet.

    With injuries,


    manager sidelined,

    new signings getting to grips with our team

    Rebuilding a team after our best player in recent years leaves.

    Nasri future uncertain.

    Media hunting us

    Negative fans

    New season cobwebs still there.

    We should have sooooo smashed udinese, we should have murdered them and buried the body, hell we should a trophy right now. Good god you people make me sick.

    You get spoon fed so much by the media, that it’s a f******* wonder you have a brain anymore. When Manure grind out a win, it’s hail holy men. When Arsenal do it, we are lucklustre and completely missing Fabregas so much that our midfield might as well not play and just watch the f****** highlights on the internet at home.

    Go get a brain cell or two, then use for something other than reading main stream media who love to kick us down because of our philosophy of not spending money like The rich Arabs in manchester. Thats why the media and Fa hate us, because if we succeed more teams will adopt our style, and ultimately money keeps this league going.

    Look at the whole picture, or please just go “SUPPORT” another team, funnily enough though the word supporters wouldn’t apply to doom and gloomers, because the whole concept of the word is lost on them.

  515. Frimpong

    “Great Win tonight Fans Were Amazing Thanks For Ur support ”

    To true it was a great win. It was a hard game to win.

  516. We will not sign Parker or Mata .

  517. Dupsff

    I have no problem with ex-Arsenal players suggesting we sign players, or expressing some concerns. But most of the ex-players aint Gooners and go way over the top; Ian Wright is forever wringing his hands, they must be sore as fuck! He aint a Gooner, he uses his past association with our great club to line his pocket, as does merson, who is just comedy gold and no one takes him seriously.

  518. Just back from the game and having read the ‘in game’ comments, I was thinking how nice to see some positivity for a change, but it didn’t take long for the usual suspects to start up with their nonsense.

    Anyway, the view from the Northbank upper was of a hard fought victory against decent opposition. Thank goodness they didn’t have their shooting boots on because I admit we rode our luck a couple of times, but it makes a change to have some things go for us. We all know had any other English team ground out a win under these circumstances they would be praised to high heaven. We might as well stop expecting anything more from the plunditocracy because we are not going to be given credit. They sense blood and they are going for the jugular. But you know what? I was very heartened by the performance today. We started brightly, got an early goal and could have, (certainly should have) scored again while we we on top.

    I can see why Di Natale is a top goal scorer he has really good movement off the ball and I thought our defence did well to contain him. Szczesny was impressive tonight and made a couple of important saves (I’m starting to worry about my 20p now Dexter!). The whole defence despite the disruptions and the disappearance of the midfield at times in the second half did really well. How good to see the team maturing and learning how to do the old 1 nil to the Arsenal?

    Is Gibbs injury confirmed? I thought he might have been substituted as a precaution because he got booked in the second half? I hope it’s not an injury because he was very impressive tonight. I admit I had my doubts about him replacing Clichy, but so far so good. I was less impressed with Vermaelen there as he has a tendency to wander over to the CB position, which is understandable.

    Lastly I have to give props to the crowd – they were four-square behind the team, urging them on even before the goal and certainly when the going got tough in the second half. Please keep it up guys. But you can’t have everything, there were still a couple of moaners near me claiming that Song is not as good as he thinks he is when he gave the ball away once, and what they didn’t call Theo because he made the wrong choice a couple of times, is no one’s business! I wish they had stayed away with the rest of the moaners!

  519. Correction, Gibbs was booked in the first half of course!

  520. Hey Moe,
    You just won the award for “post of the day”

    Well said that man

  521. cahill parker and mata??

    that just got me all excited. 🙂

    thought the back 5 were excellent tonight..they scrambled, hustled, blocked, saved, tackled right until the end..we needed them to..the midfield were not at the races…

    good result with a good defensive performance but we still need to sign a cb..

  522. wow, we kept a clean sheet, and the media and our own fans don’t give us credit for it.

    i honestly thought we were solid defensively, lacking abit in creativity and lacking balance in midfield (because we are missing wilshere).

    but seriously, the journalists and our own doomers are getting boring.


  523. JJ have you got a new prescription?

    The other day you were lower than a snakes belly

  524. Moe

    I read on an Arsenal blog how we should’ve signed Ashley Young because he got that double deflected flukey goal the other day man! Thats the kind of shite we have out there dude. Good post mate.


    Are you still hanging onto that 20p? I think it’s pretty dam well confirmed who the numero uno is now you know!

    BTW Gibbs has a hamstring injury.


    Ha! Yeah me too, that would do it for me. Nasri has apparantly posted on facebook how he is leaving. I didnt know he had a FB page? Might be true, then again, its in the daily mail.

  525. From twitter

    “To that lone man who started the ‘spend some fucking money’ chant hope you feel like a proper cunt when no one joined in.”

    I wonder who that was?

  526. george,

    i agree with jonjon that we need to sign a centreback, not because vermaelen, koscielny and djourou are not good enough, but because we have problems with injuries every season, and our 4th centreback squillaci is not good enough.

    but other than that, the journalists and our own doomers are really boring me. i thought our defence did well today. and when you consider that we were forced to make 2 changes to our defence, they adapted well.

    yet such a shame that no one gives credit to them, instead choosing to blame the udinese players for not taking their chances.

  527. pedantic george

    maybe they should make something like that, Post of the day, that would encourage people to post something other than bull shit.

  528. Dexter

    People on twitter were saying that Nasri FB page is false.

  529. That’s a shame, I’ve just seen confirmation on the Arsenal website that Gibbs is injured. Traore was also injured in the reserves game yesterday. We are really down to the bare bones now. We just need to get through the next two games and hopefully reinforcements will be on their way. I’m sure there are targets who are waiting to see if we qualify for the CL group stages before they come on board.

  530. The newspapers are being led a merry dance lately. The story the other day about the Tevez, Nasri swap was started by Terry Christian (manc fan). Next day it was in the newspapers as, “a source said”.

  531. Dupsff

    Ah, wouldnt surprise me man. I think we can still hang onto him and I would not have a problem with that.

    As for that lone chanter? What a sad c*nt! How embarrassed must he have felt? Haha!

  532. Bradys right foot

    Passenal | August 16, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    We might as well stop expecting anything more from the plunditocracy because we are not going to be given credit. They sense blood and they are going for the jugular.

    Very good point Passenal. Imho wwe were more convincing tonight than Man U against the Baggies, however the narrative continues.

  533. Dexter, I accept he’s in the driving seat as possession is 9/10ths of the law, but we’ll see. His distribution still needs work though.

  534. Passenal I can foresee you saying similar things come May with one game to go!

  535. “People on twitter were saying that Nasri FB page is false”

    I’m glad to hear it. As much as his behaviour has pissed me off, if there’s a chance he’ll stay and make the effort I’ll get past my feelings as long as he’s wearing the Arsenal shirt.

    “To that lone man who started the ‘spend some fucking money’ chant hope you feel like a proper cunt when no one joined in.”

    Good. Looks like only Arsenal supporters bothered to turn up to the game tonight.

  536. Don’t forget the ladies game is live on ESPN Thursday evening. More Arsenal.

    Sat NUFC, last night Res v Manc Res. tonight 1st team v Udinese and more to come Thursday.

    Lovely jubbly

  537. do you reckon that was old henry14 from the other day tried starting that singing.

  538. the squad is getting thiner and thiner so far Fabregas, Eboue Denilson, vela, Nasri, Clichy, gone out or on their way out. add the suspentions of Gervinho , Song and wilshere injured to make matters worst we are facing Udinese away sandwiched between Liverpool and United away. It does not get any tougher than this. The priorty is to qualify for the C.league and I hope we will see a very strong side in the second leg. Then think about United. I’ll be happy with C.league qualification and 2 points against Scoussers and United

  539. I thought Ramsey came into his own when Rosicky was subbed for Manu Frimpong. Our midfield looked the best all night when Ramsey was let off the leash. That little move between Gervinho and Theo near the end was exquisite. If Arsene is reading this I’d like to tell him: PLAY THEO UPFRONT ON HIS OWN PLEASE!!!!!!

    Theo looks more mature this season and hungrier. Fuck Aguero.

    The team fought until the end. Fuck Manure.

    More importantly, Fuck Jibber.

  540. Gainsbourg69

    unfortuantely as much as we would all like to see Theo upfront, van persie is there and even when Wenger had the chance to put him upfront, like tonight, he didn’t, so something tells me, it won’t happen.

  541. dups,

    you are right. big big game on thursday against everton. win it, and we are almost champions again 🙂

    kim little is a joy to watch. and i just love julie fleeting’s touch. classy player with a poacher’s instinct.

  542. i think i just needed the football george..
    the one drug i need 😉

    it was interesting to notice that with theo and gervinho up top we were ‘hoofing’ it a a way we were hindering our own midfield..we were ‘cutting them out’ it was like piggy in the middle..

    it was scrappy, it wasnt fun to watch but we showed some grit, we had big hairy defensive bollox tonight and i think jenkinsons better than jones and smalling..he was ace lol…

    but we still gotta reinforce the squad..

  543. Oh, and Koscielny wasn’t off tonight, Jibber. He was quite good, in fact. He cleared everything that came his way, put in some important tackles and even got into scoring position on a run he made out of the back. Also, for a team that didn’t defend well collectively, Udinese got behind our defenders just once when Armero skipped by a tentative Sagna. Other than that they had to resort to shooting from distance.

  544. won’t be surprised if koscielny is named in the team of the season.

  545. Moe, I really hope Arsene gives him a chance in the middle. Would’ve loved to have seen Vela get a run down the middle too.

  546. I love this blog, thanks for all the effort put in. just got back from the match and would like to say the crowd was great and got behind our lads. (I feared the worse beforehand). Our defense was solid, even with the injuries.

    Lets get behind our team, I’m sure wenger will sign two more players.

  547. Korihikage, I don’t know how the fuck someone can say that Koscielny was bad tonight.

  548. Gains69

    Yep, some will just slate for the sake of it man. Koscielny and Vermealen were great tonight and we had to shuffle the defensive pack twice tonight as well.

  549. What people fail to notice is that our defenders are actually world class, every one of them.

    The problem is that we play a high line and a type of football that puts alot of pressure on the defence, more than a normal defender can handle. That’s why in my opinion our defender’s are way better than the Manure one’s, or chelsea or any other team.

    You might laugh at me for saying that, but seriously if ferdinand or terry came to Arsenal i gurantee that they wouldn’t be able to handle so much pressure at the back, plus playing a high line and a very fast type of play.

    That’s the other reason why Arsene hasn’t been able to find a suitable defender, people need to realise that the defender in question has to:

    Be able to slot in straight away

    Be fast

    Intelligent, and also know how to play the arsenal way, with a good technique. Be available

    All players that have come to Arsenal i imagine have been pre-examined countless times by scouts on how they would slot into The Arsenal way.

    So stop lambasting our defenders, if anything blame the system that Arsenal play rather than the actual player’s.

    Think about it, why do players find it soooo hard to get past one of our defenders 1 on 1?
    Because our defenders are excellent tacklers, excellent defenders that deserve credit.

  550. I call bullshit on Jibber being at the game. Passenal and jcwhite went to the game and their reports both have our defence playing well. I suspect that Jabba was allowed to sit down to watch the game after he gave his dad his pedicure.

  551. Fekin ell Moe you might have pinched the award off yourself at the eleventh hour

  552. nasri can go..
    if the rumours are true then we should take the deal..
    we need commitment right??
    and it will top up the cesc deal and make it look abit more bearable..
    under the circumstances i think a region of 50mil for both would be acceptable..its a good wad for two dipsticks..

    i thought frimpongs performance was funny..he came on, he thought i’ll kick you, and and kick you as well for good measure, then i’ll tear down your left wing..hes built like a tank and he plays like one but i like the energy

  553. pedantic george


    thank you, i just want people to change their prespective, and try to understand Arsene Wenger before judging so harshly. it’s like an old saying,people can’t judge what they don’t understand.

  554. Kos is good,very good indeed, The most improved player so far. Him and Vermalen look solid. Tonight Wenger was a little bit cautious. Big gaps appeared in the midfield as we did not squeese the space in the middle as we normally do. Kos and Verm did not join the attack as much possibly becuae of this counter attacking Udenise side. Wenger has imployed similar tactics in the closing stages against Newcastle he brought in Djourou to play in front of the 2 centre backs and tonight he did the same by bringing in Frinpong and see the game out. Last season we played a high line almost all season. Brought us good result but also we got caught on many occasions, Maybe this year is about finding the right balance between attack and defence. They will get better as the season progresses.

  555. Gains

    He wasnt there mate, he was posting on here 5 minutes after the result. Why would he go to an Arsenal game?


    Let’s hold back on Nasri for a bit longer dude. Might be bollocks that latest story. Till he’s gone he’s a Gooner man.

    Frimpong was fucking all over the place! He started like a bull in a china shop, gave away 2 free kicks, then went on maisi runs and was everywhere. Top lad!

  556. The LEGEND that is Bobby Pires & his family were at the game.

  557. I believe that but for the two enforced changes we would have won comfortably when the sub’s came on.

    Not very technical an analysis, but it is my best go

  558. Moe | August 17, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Theo was not officially playing down the middle, but late on in the second half when I was bemoaning Chamakh out on the left wing when he should be in the middle, I looked up to see Theo there. There is so much exchanging of positions and we have players who are comfortable on either wing or down the middle, why does it matter where they start? Even Gervinho took up position in the middle and on both wings at times. Theo actually scored from an ostensible right wing postion, so what difference does it really make in our system?

  559. 1lc

    Frimpong did not exactly sit in front of the defence though. He went marauding down the left & then down the right. He makes Essien look like a 7 stone weakling.

  560. If we win our next 3 games 1 nil, will people still be moaning?

    Bottom line is tonight we scored an early goal, which we didnt do last season often enough and then we hung on to actually win, didnt concede, so all in all thats positive, except where the hacks are concerned.

    Thats it from me, see you laters.

  561. I was in the Clock End upper tier, but my bloody throat went hoarse by the end of the first half. I think I’ve got a virus which isn’t good. I see MC29 is coming under a lot of criticism, but I thought he played quite well myself. Granted it wasn’t a game of glory for the striker, but we used him as a target man for goal kicks and throw ons, most of which he won, and he also seemed to be asking for the ball quite a bit, but the passes just weren’t coming.

    For me that highlights a problem, one I feel a little disappointed in Ramsay although I temper it with the simple fact it could be tactical. Before the injury, Ramsay was trying those hollywood passes like no-ones else, whether they succeeded or failed, but since he’s been back, I’ve hardly seen him try one. We need someone to try and feed in that killer ball, and I always assumed it would be Ramsey who would be the one to try it.

    Tonight I counted two real opportunities for Udinese to score and both came relatively early in the 2nd half. Other than that, I was largely confident we wouldn’t concede.

    Still we’re making a slow but solid start to the season. We gather the pace in the coming months and finish in a monsoon of goals and clean sheets everyone will be happy

  562. it seemed the club went back to the ‘grimandi’ era..

    dex i just think if nasri was going to sign he would have, its been on the table for like forver..

    im not confident..if he signs then great lets move him inside and off we go, but until that deal is signed hes not on my xmas list..

  563. Passenal

    Confidence, maybe the confidence he needs knowing he is the main striker. Those kind of trivial things have a massive impact on players sometimes.

    The notion that HE was picked for that match to lead the line, to score goals, to be the main man. That kind of thing can usually fire up a player, or make him beilve on himself more.

    Imagine if you told a little boy he could go out by himself to the shops today, to you and me that’s nothing but the boy sees it a responsibility, as a trust. And that usually ends up being a confidence boost in itself.

    It might be trivial, but we are humans, and that kind of thing usually has the most impact.

  564. He does not get my vote for a move inside either JJ

    Gadget Chamakh seems to shield the ball and then decide to sit down.
    But I take your word that he was better than he seemed on TV

  565. Moe- yeah so much confidence can be a dangerous thing the little boys were smashing shop windows the other day 🙂

  566. Even though it’s risky, I wouldn’t mind if AW told Nasri to prove he’s worth every bit of that pay rise. The only problem is I think the fans have made it almost untenable for Nasri to stay. As I (Gadget) said earlier, it’s a really sad situation and a horrible way for an Arsenal career to come to an end.

    Perhaps I’m siding with Nasri too much, afterall, I don’t read the media or follow any of this transfer malarky other than what’s confirm on the dot com. The only thing Nasri’s done to annoy me was the disinterest in the pre-season matches, so what has he done to get everyone else’s goat?

  567. Moe.what happens if he gets lost on the way to the shops?
    That wont do his confidence much good .He might not want to leave the house again,

  568. Gadget I posted this this morning

    I am over him now | August 16, 2011 at 12:26 pm
    Who would not leave their current employer to do the same job for double the money?
    Very few I suggest,
    Nasri if he stays for the final year of his contract he will have honored it.He will have done exactly what he promised to do ,namely play for us for 4 years.
    Its not like he is leaving for a couple of extra grand ,if indeed he does leave.
    He is absolutely entitled to respect.
    If he has done anything wrong it is to listen to offers whilst under contract to us.But who does not,or would not?

    So I am with you here

  569. 1loosecannon

    should have see that coming, lol

    pedantic george

    That’s Chamack you’re talking about. 😀

  570. George-I agree. I don’t undrrstand the fans who gave Nasri abuse in his absence then hope he will stay. How does that work? If he wishes to go then good luck to him. It his life and he decides for himself what is best for him. I think some fans they confuse players with fans, Football players do a job for the club they are not fans and that is it. How many times we see clubs dump a player to the scrappy because of injury, United dumped Hargreaves recently. Who cares. Footballers have a short career and if they wish to make the most of it then good luck to them. There is no need for abuse

  571. 1LC
    On top of that we demand loyalty and then turn on them when they misplace a few passes.
    Or dont kiss the badge via twitter every time someone questions them

  572. It wasn’t pretty, but the effort last night was unmistakable. They played for each other and everyone ran and tackled their socks off, and that’s about all you can ask of a team. With a few key players back, and a few key signings, this will be a really, really good team.

  573. I went to bed last night under the impression that the team had done the job it was sent to do.

    This morning I wake up and the news wires are radioactive. Did we just get relegated? Or did I miss something? Were we supposed to lose the game?

  574. Darius,


    the biggest joke is that apparently, the joke that is UEFA wants to punish Arsene Wenger for communicating with the team.

  575. I get the sense that unless Arsenal win the next 37 league games with a clean sheet to toe, we’re simply a basket case. Let’s fold our tents and go home. We’ll need the time to prepare for the lower leagues.

    The comments I’m bemused by is that we only had a clean sheet because Udinese were pathetic with their finishing. Had nothing to do with our defensive work, or Szczesny making some super saves (mind you, that’s what his job description asks him to do), or the last ditch tackling from our tanacious defenders, and the lung busting runs and blocking of shots that the boys did.

  576. Darius, I noticed that myself. It has gotten to the point where even a victory is not good enough. I wonder what they’ll say if we beat Udinese and get into the CL proper. Nothing but winning the quadruple will satiate these bastards.

  577. i am worried about jack wilshere. i hope that we will see him again soon, and it won’t be like vermaelen last season, because we really really need him back.

  578. @Gains. This is now a witch hunt and nothing else. It’s beyond belief at the sheer amount of toxic sentiment out there – and it gets to the stage where players and even Wenger will start to question whether it’s worth the stress.

    I’ll give you an example – Martin Samuel was yesterday daring Arsenal to defy the odds and beat Udinese, and when we do, the little piece of fuck chastises us for doing the very thing he was daring us to do.

    Everybody from the Star to the Hindustan Times has a negative headline about Arsenal, not withstanding the fact that we actually won the game and kept a clean sheet.

    Even last night, Wily old Woy had to remind the punditocracy that actually – Arsenal has had 2 clean sheets in as many games – and that’s not to be scoffed at.

    What does it tell you when a £1m Jenkinson slots into an LB position and plays like he’s always been at it, yet Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are hailed as the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.

    Emmanuel Frimpong showed yesterday that he is indeed capable of backing up or complementing Alex Song – and he is in the quintessential mould of a huge specimen built like a brick shit house – the kind of massive unit we’re always told we need for “steel”. If that wasn’t steel that Frimpong showed yesterday – let’s go get Scottie Parker and save him from playing in Watford.

  579. I fully agree with Moe @ 11:28pm yesterday:

    “media tears us to pieces.

    and now our own fans criticise like it’s a past time.

    I think, and correct me if i’m wrong, people have become spoilt by Arsenal’s positon in the league these years and our style of play, they can’t fathom why a near second team Arsenal would not only win against a very good udinese team but also keep a clean sheet.

    With injuries,


    manager sidelined,

    new signings getting to grips with our team

    Rebuilding a team after our best player in recent years leaves.

    Nasri future uncertain.

    Media hunting us

    Negative fans

    New season cobwebs still there.

    We should have sooooo smashed udinese, we should have murdered them and buried the body, hell we should a trophy right now. Good god you people make me sick.

    You get spoon fed so much by the media, that it’s a f******* wonder you have a brain anymore. When Manure grind out a win, it’s hail holy men. When Arsenal do it, we are lucklustre and completely missing Fabregas so much that our midfield might as well not play and just watch the f****** highlights on the internet at home.

    Go get a brain cell or two, then use for something other than reading main stream media who love to kick us down because of our philosophy of not spending money like The rich Arabs in manchester. Thats why the media and Fa hate us, because if we succeed more teams will adopt our style, and ultimately money keeps this league going”.

  580. Samir has now denied the comments by which some fans have decided to try, sentence and execute him. Why such people decide to excrete their inner natures onto a player who is still with us and might indeed remain so (contract negotiations being what they are) is simply beyond me. Onto, last night.


    I fear that your education was cut short and your ability to read has consequently suffered. Most commentators on this blog have noted the problems from our performance but they have also demonstrated the ability to identify the positive aspects from the game. It would appear that you will only be happy if such supporters follow fans such as yourself who only possess the ability to note problems.

    We kept our second clean sheet at a time when this has been prioritised by several of your media inspired, viral critics and fans. Theo scored through the centre. Gervinho looked very promising and had clear tones of TH14 in his approach. Frimpong looked the dog’s when he came on. Tomas played with an injury, having passed a late fitness test. TV5 and Bacs were solid. Jenkinson looked a little nervy but promising when he came on. The boys got another ninty minutes under their belt. We played without Samire, Robin, Cesc (now permanently), Jack, and Abou. Then lost Kieran and Djourou. And, yes of course, we won 1 – 0.

    Surely you could find reason to become a supporter and be a little less blinkered at the start of this season and following the above?

  581. Arsene Baggins

    @Darius -Good points. Fully agreed. I watched the game online with Sly (see what I did there?) last night and the commentators during the game seem disappointed that Arsenal won.

    The fans need to rally behind the team and ignore the media. I thought the fans were quite good last night.

  582. Arsene Baggins

    Am I the only one who is excited at the prospect of seeing Miyachi play on Saturday? From what I have seen so far, the boy looks like a special talent. Really excited!!!

    I hope lil Jack will be back for Saturday too. The season ahead is looking good.

  583. We have a NEW squad…a very determined group…. a more rugged essence
    I am very proud of what I’ve seen in the last 2 games
    A more pragmatic spirit…”WE MAY NOT WIN PRETTY BUT WE WILL NOT LOSE!”
    The perfect foundation to rebuild on

    2 weeks to transfer closure
    3 more to leave, feel 2 more will come
    Can’t wait to see what Ryo, Ox & JC bring to the picture
    Really missed Diaby, Jack, AA & Captain Robin last night
    Can’t see us losing the 2nd leg

    AW’s going nowhere!

    …i remain POSITIVE

  584. Just Another Luke

    While I remain optimistic on qualifying for UCL, qualification is poised on a knife’s edge with a 1-0 1st leg, The injuries are a concern, and I’m not sure how positive one can be to freshen up the team with Liverpool (home) – Udinese (away) – Man U (away) following in quick succession. Options in defence (to Gibbs, Djourou), midfield (to Wilshere, Rosicki) and attack seem very limited.

    Please help by posting more positive views. Thank you.

  585. It seems like we cant do anything right for some people, we win we are poor, we draw with ten men we are poor, we dont concede we are poor, God help us when we lose a game!!!I am proud of the shift the boys put out yesterday, anyone not happy about it can go fuck themselves!!!

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