Arsenal Win But Udin’t Make It Easy

We’re still immersed in boxes so Limpar Assist dropped this match report from last night over

UEFA Champions League Play-off First Leg
Tuesday 16th August, 2011

Arsenal F.C. 1 – 0 Udinese Calcio
Walcott 3’

Line up: Szczęsny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Song, Rosický, Ramsey, Gervinho, Walcott, Chamakh

Arsenal needed a win tonight like Tottenham High Road needs a water cannon. Thanks to a disciplined team performance and a smart early goal, they got it.

In a week that saw the club peppered with high profile departures (Manu, we hardly knew ye), unwarranted bans, ‘fan unrest’ and p*ssy tweets – the first home game of the season was not set-up like the sun kissed cake walk it sometimes can be. Metaphorical storm clouds circled above the Emirates – a shitstorm was brewing in other words – and Arsenal needed to work sharply to make their cover.

With an estimated £25 million in qualification money and TV rights at stake – and not to mention the attraction of Champions League football to potential signings over the next two weeks – this tie is huge.

Arsène was banned from the touchline; newly crowned Club Captain Robin van Persie was banned from the pitch, and fickle Marseille mistress Samir Nasri was banned from the entire fiefdom of Highbury & Islington. It was a real squad effort that was required to do the business tonight – and a real feeling around the ground of a whole club united against difficult odds.

Endeavour, sweat and good discipline won the day for Arsenal in the end but it was a smart run and near post finish from Theo Walcott inside 4 minutes that gave them the all-important edge to protect – and a head start on the score sheet to take to the Friuli Stadium next week.

The game deciding move in the 4th minute lit up the tie with incision and skill – and lit up the stands too with a mood-lifting, restorative glow. Sagna’s wide-awake, cheeky chip over the Udine back line was like cold gin on a muggy afternoon – thrown in your face at an increasingly irksome picnic. Ramsey licked his lips, looked up and hit a swerving little heat-seeker of a cross low to the front post. Theo Walcott and Gervinho queued impatiently to ping it past the goalkeeper and quench the whole stadium with the first European goal of the campaign.

Encouraging to see Ramsey making that positive run outside and doubly so to see two of our forwards equally well positioned to gobble up the chance. If Theo missed it, it was Gervinho’s. He didn’t. Well played, Arsenal; and One Nil to The Arsenal.

Not long after and it should’ve been two. Gervinho, again excellently positioned – this time at the back post – failed to connect with his falling volley attempt from a Walcott corner. This was a sharper chance mind as a well-won Laurent Koscielny flick-on skimmed toward both he and Thomas Vermaelan, but neither man could find the telling touch.

Arsenal had plenty of shots blocked in the remainder of the first half but the early pressure eventually dissipated and Arsenal were, somewhat uncharacteristically, less willing to go hell for leather on the overload looking for that second goal.

In that respect, coupled with our clean sheet last Saturday – and the fact that our defence didn’t concede a goal from a corner all preseason – this Arsenal are taking on some sort of worrying retro ‘90s chic. Italian opposition in Europe… fight for the lead and fight for the high ground once you have it – ring a bell? But rather than a George Graham side in its pomp, this was an Arsène Wenger side with a cold motor, stalling in the driveway while new parts warmed-up (and a few more were ordered in – maybe – if yer lucky).

“We’ll take 1 nils!” has long come the cry from a set of fans stung by more than their fair share of 4-4 draws in recent seasons. If anyone else has ever gotten a fair share of those.

I think there is a new emphasis on defensive discipline. We see it in the new rigid zonal set-up on corners, and tonight, when some fans (the same who would ‘take 1 nils’ I suppose) were baying for a second goal at the end of the game – there were less gambles taken, less runs committed – I think – than maybe there would’ve been this time last season.

Further up the pitch the three Arsenal forwards played ‘getting to know you’. In the opening fifteen minutes they were at their most difficult to play; spread wide and swapping flanks dangerously. As the game wore on they bunched up, sometimes all going toward the ball at once. Understandings and partnerships are still being built.

In the case of Gervinho who is a slightly, shall we say, idiosyncratic runner that might take some doing. A man to my left offered; “Ees not left-footed, ees not right-footed – so what is ee?!” Actually, ee’s two-footed, I think, but sometimes, I admit, it’s hard to tell. He certainly has an awkward dribbling style, as Big Al noted in preseason. On the plus side this looks like an absolute nightmare to play against. Think fighting Druken Master Wong Fei-hung, on the deck of a ship.

The clean sheet wasn’t for the want of trying on Udinese’s part of course. This is the biggest tie the club has played for years and the impassioned, operatically conducted “Little Zebras” had plenty to sing about. In fact, they even broke into Cab Calloway at one point – which sounds rather wonderful in a football ground. I could almost smell the Espresso and pink newspapers…

Anyway, so the Vermaelen Koscielny partnership was given another testing run out and they came through very well again. Gibbs was excellent before he went off injured and his replacement wasn’t too bad either before he went off injured too *GROAN*. Physio ‘musical chairs’ stopped on a wide-eyed, puff-chested Carl Jenkinson who stepped up and grabbed his home debut with both hands. His Arsenal family ties got him a great reception. He was tested half a dozen times by good opposition – and won his battles admirably.

Emmanuel Frimpong came on and looked good again. Arsene’s programme notes point to a big contribution from him this year – his name again uttered in the same breath as the injured Jack Wilshere’s.

(As an aside, watching Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain warm up with Frimpong at half-time you can see that AOC is quite a player. He was clearly trying to impress his new crowd but he was hammering the ball at poor old Frimmy, who I don’t think got the memo. The boy has breathtaking technique – predictably, I suppose.)

When the backline was breached you have to say that Szczęsny looked huge in goal. He is undoubtedly a game-winning keeper in the making.
Performance wise there’s a lot to build on from the back, and lots to work on in the middle and up top. The creative spark requires understanding and familiarity to give and receive super-quickly. More games like this and that will come.

Half-Time in the tie then but a big, big result for the club in many ways. The whole of Arsenal united under tumultuous, intensely nervy circumstances and a hard-fought win at the dawn of this new Eboue-less era, couldn’t have been more poignant for the players nor more welcome for the fans. Like Manu from heaven.

And you already know the one about teams winning when they’re not playing well, don’t you.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on August 17, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 375 Comments.

  1. seems like people will only shut up if we beat liverpool, udinese then man utd 5-0 5-0 5-0.

    good result yesterday. good defensive work, especially considering the fact that we had to make 2 changes to our defence during the game.

    i really can’t understand why people are still talking about our defence when it is currently our midfield and attack that need to sharpen up.

    and the biggest joke is that uefa wants to punish arsene wenger for communicating with the team.

    seriously, they have an unhealthy obsession with arsenal.

    wish someone could tell them that no one takes them seriously anymore.

  2. 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

  3. Lovely post by the way Limpar..well done

  4. Excellent Wong Fei Hung reference sir. So excited about the squad this season. Gervinho looks devastating, a defender’s worst nightmare.

  5. Udinese didn’t make it easy ! We almost conceded few goals, two of them were clear cut for them..

  6. The Hungry Horse

    Far too many occasions when it was four on four when they were attcking. Our Midfield must learn how to defend, they make our defence look alot worse then it actually is.

  7. Centre half partnership worked well.
    Sagna was a beast, again.
    Gibbs did ok but he has a worrying tendency to keep wandering when he goes forward. To such an extent that at one point in the first half he was 3 yards away from Sagna on Sagnas side of the pitch on the corner of their box. Thats too far in my opinion!
    We still push too many forward at times leaving gaps all over the place. Sure everyone gets caught out at times BUT we really let ourselves so exposed. This is when we have a 1 nil lead, when we should just be a little more cautious.

  8. It will do the likes of Frimpong and Jenkinson the world of good to be involved in a winning performance. That was a real dig-in and tough it out game. When we needed Chezzer he was superb too. From League 1 to the European Cup in a couple of months, Jenkinson looked shaky when he first came on, he was playing out of position too, but stuck to his task admirably.

    Van Persie coming back for the Liverpool game will allow a bit more pentration and fluency to come back into our attacking play with hopefully Wilshere and Diaby not far behind him.

    A pity Gibbs was injured after a good first half, I hope it’s not too bad as we’re definitely thin in the left back position especially as Traore was subbe doff in the reserve game on Monday night with an injury.

  9. Sedetganw Degafi

    We need at least three players. The commitment was there; the skill goes begging. We need to have a good striker, a central midfielder and a central defender. I was very disappointed by the second half display.

  10. The performance definitely wasn’t pretty but the ‘inevitable’ equalizer never came and we hung on to the win and the clean sheet. That’s already a massive improvement over last season where we were experts at turning wins into draws in the final minutes. We’re definitely lacking creativity through the middle and sharpness up front but we’re showing some GRIT.

    I don’t know why everyone is so miserable this morning because we did the job. A draw at Udinese sends us through. For every goal we score they’ll need 2. We’re in a fantastic position to qualify and Wenger WILL make signings before the window closes. There’s more reason to be optimistic than pessimistic at this stage.

  11. LA,

    Well said. I think you sum it up positively.

  12. Just Another Luke

    Re-post from previous

    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, Song – FA ban) and attack (Gervinho – FA ban) seem very limited indeed.

    Please help by posting more positive views. Thank you.

  13. “Udinese didn’t make it easy ! We almost conceded few goals, two of them were clear cut for them..”

    The point is Sir, we didn’t concede because the team – you know, defended. And God forbid that Szczesny made a save – I mean, how dare he.

  14. Just Another Luke


    “Understandings and partnerships are still being built.”

    This is definitely true. Agree completely.

  15. The Hungry Horse

    Darius – I think he was talking about how they walked through our defence as if it wasnt there. This happened about three times, and it wasnt barcelona we were playing, so I think thats something the team need to work on.

  16. Nice post YW,

    Loved this: “Ees not left-footed, ees not right-footed – so what is ee?!”. Ha ha

    I don’t know why people are acting surprised at the press we are getting. No one can deny that compared to the Newcastle game, Udinese created a number of good chances, which with better finishing could have been horrible for us. Its like we expect the media to write like supporters of the club?

    In any case, even if we had won 4-0, there would still be a big cloud hanging over the cloud that nothing short of signings/trophies can clear. We must just get on with our business of supporting the team and hoping for the best.
    I agree that the crowd was awesome, and articles I have read this morning support that view. It goes to show that gunners aren’t stupid. They know when the chips are down and when the boys need total support. And perhaps some people are feeling remorseful for the Newcastle fiasco. However, I hope the club doesn’t take that positive mood as symptomatic of how the rest of the season will be.

  17. Optimistic_Gunner

    It seems like it is easier to find a needle in a haystack than something positive about arsenal in the media right now so I’ll let them do all the fault finding from last night’s performance. I will rest in the fact that in a European tie we were able to nick a goal, hang on to a lead and keep a clean sheet… something very few people believe is possible for arsenal

    My only object of disgust last night was Chamakh! He just didn’t look interested and looked like he wasn’t good enough to be playing in the championship talk less of for arsenal. I hope Van Persie can stay fit for most of the season..wishful thinking maybe?

  18. @The Hungry Horse

    Are you suggesting that other teams should never have a chance against us, let alone score a goal?

    Doesn’t the recovery we made e.g. the Szczesny save and Song block count for the positive illustration we need to show the never say die attitude needed?

    Of course the team can always improve and the midfielders can contribute in the defensive work – but Jesus Christ, we defended each and every time the defence was breached. WTF do you want us to do beyond that? What more can we ask from our keeper expect to make the saves that he did?

    Believe it or not, the performance yesterday can only be a positive team building exercise because the team got yet another chance to play for each other and they pulled through.

  19. The Hungry Horse

    Optimistic, Yes, chmamack and rocisky were woefull.

  20. I may be remembering incorrectly but i believe Udinese’s ‘clear cut’ chances came from our mistakes by losing the ball and our midfield taking too long to get back into position. Le Boss had a birds eye view of that.

    Fix = Song just sit back in front of the centrehalves please. Do Not run ahead of the ball. Especially if one full back is running with it and the other is moving forward in support to stretch the play. Stay deep, stay central, but keep an eye to the vacant full back positions to cover.

  21. The Hungry Horse

    Darius, I dont blame the defence, I blame the midfield for alot of our problems. Too often they give the defence zero protection, which gets gets them in a muddle and results in mistakes through nerves. We pile forward, then a loose pass leaves us exposed. A decent team would of punished us badly for last nights performance. We got the win which is great, but nothing to shout about.

  22. I think it is too much to expect any neutral journalist/pundit to start singing our praises based on these two games, given our recent history of inconsistency.

    Here’s a prediction: If we are able to qualify for the CL and take clean sheets from the next 2 PL and 1 CL games, then you’ll see the media start to take notice. Especially if we are able to nick a goal or two along the way. The opinion will justifiably start to shift towards what a lot of us fans now believe (that our defence is looking v.good indeed).

  23. 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!!!

  24. The Hungry Horse | August 17, 2011 at 10:12 am

    What you described happened a couple of times in the latter part of the 1st half. Song bombed forward along with the other CMS and left huge gaps. It didn’t happen as much in the 2nd half though, which is a good thing.

  25. By the way – id take more of these 1 nil wins when we are lacklustre and missing our best players but show heart and desire (Chamakh apart – he went into hiding last night) than farkin 4-4 draws or for that matter 3-2 wins filled with lazy performances…

    1 Nil To The Arsenal…….

  26. Just a note on the crowd, everyone seemed to be pulling behind the team last night. Even a few who sit around me who were very vocal in their wanting the boss to “Spend some f*****g money” at the end of last season were in much more supportive mood.

  27. I was very impressed with the Jenks and with Frimpong. You could see the Jenks was nervous at first, but after he settled, he simply stuck to the basics including knowing when to clear his lines.

    Frimpong was strong, assured and dependable. I liked his bull-dozing runs at the opposition.

  28. firstlady,
    Hardly anyone has said we are poor, only that specific aspects of our game may not be good enough (e.g. midfield). You think its wrong to say that? Its not like there has been posts bashing/slandering the manager or any particular player…

  29. 1-0 to arsenal how glad am i to hear that

  30. I just saw this article about some sort of U19 champions league.

    It seems like the kind of thing we should be involved in to develop our players.

  31. I wonder would Di Natale consider a move to us for a couple years….

  32. Thank God for Limpar! Cheers man.

    Came into work this morning and I thought I was still in bed dreaming when I heard the talk of our performance. Admittedly I only got in in time for the second half, but I was under the impression that we’d won and kept a clean sheet, while our defence mostly limited Udinese to long range speculative efforts from outside the box.

    We created enough chances last night. Considering the front three combination hadn’t played a competitive minute together they didn’t do too badly at all.

    Ramsey showed he has the tools to play wide too. If we do employ 4-4-2 at times, I’d be more that happy to give him one of the wide positions. Lad can tackle, pass and get at goal. Tracking back was great too.

  33. Limestonegunner

    Well-written and entertaining match report, LA, with typical insight into Arsenal’s play. Could have described Udinese’s play more fully though, as they proved quite a threat, particularly on the counterattack and got some decent set piece opportunities too.

    Overall a good tough result. Good for the team, good for the young players who made debuts in a very crucial CL fixture and managed to contribute mostly positively. Hopefully we can build on this and have some first team players back sharp on their return, whether from suspension or injury for Liverpool. I think the manager and front office need to be very busy these next ttwo weeks adding some quality and experience and midfield creativity. The lads are doing their part right now

  34. sorry guys but it is quite clear that rocky is a passenger I would prefer to have seen a more mobile midfielder in there instead we can’t afford passengers. really impressed with jenkinson adept at left back kept things simple no need to take risks that we all know clichy would take, gibbs seems very fragile. we must sign a center back then we are good to go. we have so many attack minded players now a samba and cahill would put us ready for the whole season

  35. About Chamakh’s performance – it was mentioned yesterday and I think it is a factor, however much we try to discount it.

    Chamakh is fasting during the month of Ramadhan and this shouldn’t be dismissed.

    I was also chatting to some Gooner friends last night and the topic of creative midfield signings came up. Kaka’s name was floated as a stop gap option wwhile Rambo and Li’l Jack settle in nice and smooth. Kaka’s transfer fees won’t be high, but his wages will make Ken Fryer have a heart attack.

    But I don’t see Wenger bidding for a player like Kaka.

  36. Good point about the importance of the tie from both a financial and a transfer perspective. It’s unlikely we will sign anyone until after the second leg as a result – if you were a big-name transfer target, wouldn’t you wait until you knew if we’d qualified first? Also, if we fail to qualify, expect Wenger’s budget to be adjusted downwards accordingly – perhaps not by the full £25m, but certainly by a significant amount.

    Anyhow, it was very nervy at times but the job is half done. Only half done, mind you.

  37. A great match report.

    The boys done good. Arsene needs to keep building on that seige mentality as it seems the team is up against it right now but this is a good time for them to pull together.

  38. Limestonegunner

    Also glad the support was strong by all accounts; it certainly came through the TV. Positives all around and a chance to address our team/squad composition in the coming days.

  39. The Hungry Horse

    Chamackh was hungry? Do me a favour. He doesnt seem to be able to handle the expectation at arsenal. Theres a reason why arsene has been overlooking him this year.

  40. @Darius, if nothing else Ithink that the signing of Kaka would shut people up looking for superstar signings. You don’t get much higher in that category than him!

  41. agree about chamakh he needs an extend run in the team plus ede to come quickly. oh and I for one will miss eboue…

  42. @Block4 – I actually wouldn’t mind Kaka as a new signing – the trade off being that his wages are offset against the transfer fees that would be between £10 to “20 m (and that’s really high.

    A 2 or 3 year contract would do the trick.

  43. Limestonegunner

    Hungry Horse, he also can’t drink anything the whole day. But apparently he ran more than most of the team, so his problem is his form and confidence which have been poor for 8 months. He needs to turn it around; hopefully he can. RvP will need to rest and will have to be expected to miss some games through injury.

  44. Can one fast an play a professional football game at the same time? Besides, I saw stats on here yesterday that Chamakh covered the 2nd longest distance during the game, so his fitness is hardly an issue.

    I do wonder why he has become so goal shy. Could it be because he’s running around too much? Or is he running around too much because he lacks confidence in scoring.

    Perhaps we should play him as DM, lol.

  45. @Darius, it could make financial sense, especially if you consider the amount of Kaka merchandising that we could cash in on. As you said in your initial post on the subject though, I can’t see Wenger going for it.

  46. 0915: FOOTBALL: Daily Express football journalist Matt Law on Twitter: “Just to clarify, all journos last night checked with Arsenal and were told to treat the Samir Nasri Facebook quotes as genuine. He will go.”

    Not much of a surprise considering all the speculation. That whole in midfield just got bigger

  47. Catch a fucking grip. Kaka? He’s passed it. Why don’t we invest in a big drain and we can all have a party and stand around tossing our money down it.

    Any fan who would be pacified just by us buying Kaka is a moron.

  48. Ashburton Patriot

    Hey every one.
    Battling performance. Much better commitment from the defense yesterday. Midfield was weak. Gervinho was horrendous, looked all out of ideas but he still needs to bed in.
    Chamakh is not supposed to play at arsenal, i dont see how he will fir into the club, would have prefered bendy, but were tryin to sell him and making him cup ted wouldnt help.
    Theo is brilliant hes got bags of potential, and he could be a saviour this year. would have loved to see shava their. we need some creativity there. Ramsey’s good but he’s not a starter.

  49. @Markus, take it easy, it’s just a conversation. As was said, no-one expects it to happen.

  50. Limestonegunner

    I don’t think Kaka at this stage of his career is a great option. He has lost that extra acceleration that made his game effective, since his injuries and departure from Milan. I wouldn’t say no and perhaps Wenger could get his career back on track but a Mata type player would help us more, I think. Still, an interesting idea.

  51. It’s going to be a tough second leg. But RVP will be back and that makes a very big difference. Hopefully Wilshere as well. Gervinho and Song will both be fresh – as they’ll miss the Liverpool match. I’m ever optimistic so we’ll go through anyhow!

  52. But guys , overall performance last night was a bit above average. I would prefer to give most of the praise to szczesny, he made some ridiculously super saves that could have cost us the lead and maybe made it worse in to a loss
    The song-creating-gap thing was on for the most part but i think he made amends during the second half. Up front, sham ark, gevinho and walcot, the latter two we good, but sham ark was just invisible, i doubt if he touched the ball at all .

    This is not the kind of play we would expect to win us a silverware, but its a good start. if we can build up on the clean sheets, more goals and a more solid defense, then i tell u , the entire media will b singing the arsenal song( they did it 04, they can always do it again)

    Peace Out— Dee2702

  53. The Hungry Horse

    markus, totally agree about kaka. Even in his heyday Kaka was massively overated. If he was welsh and not brazilian no one would give a fuck about him.

  54. kaka overated in his hea day more like a one man team. Shame injuries have fooked him over.

  55. I thought we were very positive in our defensive effort everyone seemed to work well off the ball. The biggest hurdle for most of the players, especially in midfield, seemed to be possessing the ball. The often gave the ball away with some error prone passing. Overall i was happy we kept a clean sheet pheewwwww. I can’t wait for the Liverpool game. Even with the shortfall in the squad i’m positive we can do something. Plus it’ll be Koz And verm’s biggest test against Carroll and suarez.

  56. Excelent Limpar. Bloody good read.

    I bumped into Arsene after the match and said that was a pretty good performance all told. He agreed.

    He also said that Sczesny was the best keeper in Europe at this moment and Pat Rice had been a tower of strength all summer.

    He dismissed the notion that players were waiting for Champions League qualification before signing. As he said, “Why, because Samba ,Jagielka and Cahill are guaranteed Champions league football at their current clubs?”

    He did seem a little tired. Mind you, i was asleep at the time.

  57. Not one mention of the worst centre forward display since the days of Champman and Hawley.Chamakh was nothing short of a disgrace.I am no fan of Bendtner but i would have him before the lazy Moroccan any day of the week

  58. Lordy Lord.

    Sly Sports News actually have a panel constituted to pass judgement on how Arsene Wenger should spend his transfer war chest.

    Fantasy football at it’s best.

  59. Great read Limps.

    Jack , apparently is still wearing a protective boot.
    That is a bit of a worry.No?

  60. Brian,He is anything but lazy.
    Your post is however very lazy.Surly you could think of a description of him that is in some small way accurate.

  61. Brian
    Lazy Moroccan?

  62. My God – someone should take Perry Groves out back and give him a good hiding.

    Where does he actually get all this shit from – like what Nasri’s salary is or what Wenger must do. If he was that good he should have been a contender for manager.

    This is actually hilarious….

  63. I didn’t realise how unintelligent and thick these guys were. My God. These guys are actually stupid beyond belief. If this sort of ignorance is what is fuelling the negative sentiment – then God help us.

  64. We just need to keep going. the boys did well. our attack certainly needs to improve but we have to play ourselves into good form. Fuck the media and their bullshit. WE just need to keep going.

    i’ve found that people love to put others down, walk all over what others are trying to accomplish whether they succeed or not. its our job to say screw you!

    I’ve stopped waiting for the media to notice anything good. They much prefer to tear down that build up. But thats their problem, ours is trying to win. lets just keep going.

    good job guys!!

  65. It was a largely encouraging performance – I do think Frimps is going to be beast. Rough edges yes but he’s always been a bit exuberant and I’d hate for him to lose that quality entirely. He just needs to become a little more judicious.

    Jenks looks another masterful signing – as tired as people have become of Wenger troughing in the bargain bin his ability to dig out rough diamonds is quite staggering.

    As for the negatives – bad, bad news at the back – not only have the hamstrung duo given us a headache, Traore went off with a groin injury during the reserves fixture (as did Afobe!) against Man Utd. This could mean Verm at left back and, horror of horrors, Squillaci partnering Koz. This would be a disaster waiting to happen. I guess the alternative is to play jenks wide which would be a damning indication of where Squill stands in the scheme of things.

  66. Henristic we dont want them to sing us praises, all we ask is they leave us alone, havent they heard the saying “if you have nothing good to say, shut the fuck up”?

  67. Today, I was going to post as a lazy hack, but I see Brian beat me to it.

    Dam and blast!

  68. Henristic there was alot of team bashing in the previous post,I actually copy pasted it from there since it appeared after Yogi had put up the match report.

  69. “if you have nothing good to say, shut the fuck up”?

    A few of our regulars might do well to heed those words until the window closes, at very least.

  70. Nasri tweeted early this morning that the facebook thing wasn’t him, so why would media scum say the club has told them to treat it as legit? I have little idea, but whatever their reasons, there seems to be this grotesque pleasure from some to witness the villainisation of a good player.

    Boycott the media and your life wll be all the more serene for it

  71. Cesc is a great player. He was one of our best players but that’s part of football,” Sagna said.

    “Every season we start a season and some players leave at the end of it. That’s what happens and I just want to wish him good luck. I will miss him of course but Aaron Ramsey did very well and he will show he is a great player as well.”

  72. Darius, your 11:41 post invokes memoies of a line I haven’t thought of in years:

    “When ignorance wins, intelligence dies”

    I can’t remember where it’s from, but I’ve a strong suspicion it could be from a Fresh Prince & Jazzy Jeff song. Laugh all you want, but I will go to the grave maintaining ‘Code Red’ is one of the best albums a man could ever possess.

  73. We all thought the conspiracy had chosen Diaby in Denilson’s absence but I see it’s Chamack’s turn. Fucking morons if you think we don’t know what you’re up to. Great write up Limps.

  74. A good win, what a shame Theo’s late chance didn’t go in, that would of given us a little breathing space.

    We did start well, but from where I was sitting in did feel like Udinese were the better team for much of the match, which was worrying, but hopefully the return of RVP and Jack will help.

    We did look vulnerable at times though, although I do think it is a little too easy to blame our defence.

    Our defending from midfield was very poor last night, on numerous occasions Udinese very simply got straight at our back 4.

    I can’t quite put my finger on it – but we really do need to give them some protection, maybe it is as simple as Song not moving too far forward, I am not sure.

    I think TV and LK did very well under the circumstances, but we do need to give them more protection.

    I also agree that Chamakh did not look at all confident, but will defend his work rate, i thought he put a shift in, and held the ball up reasonably well when required – hopefully it is just a confidence thing and he will get back to the player of ther 1st half of last season.

    I also can’t understand the negativity about Rosicky – i though first half he looked back to his best.

  75. Good post, Matt. I agree with all the points

  76. Well said Matt, I also thought Rosicky played well 1st half (tired in 2nd) and Chamack worked hard for the team, did a lot of un-noticed running making room for others up front and coming from midfield and also closing down

  77. Nice one Limpar, enjoyed the read mate

    I was very nervous in the 2nd half I have to say, “footballistically” it was a pretty rubbish performance. In terms of true grit and defence, you gotta praise the team and players who had to play. It was a very inexperienced team, we have lost Cesc, Eboue, Clichy, possibly Nasri, while Van Persie, Wilshire and a few others were unavailable. Not to mention the injuries picked up during the game, we done a fantastic job and we were under a huge amount of pressure during the game and mentally with everything that has gone on so far this season. This team has character.

    We just need a couple smart buys to bring in some quality and most importantly, experience.

    Chamakh looks completely shot of confidence, he doesn’t look like he believes he can score its been so long. He made some nice contributions in attacking play, one where he flicked the ball through for Theo, but he does look right now like a different player than that of early last season. Our style of play doesn’t help the lad, combined with the fact the team is pretty unfamiliar right now. I hope he can turn it around.

    Gervinho looked good again, I think he will find that end product soon. He causes all sorts of problems with his dizzy dribbling. Theo was on fire, I couldn’t help but wonder what we could have done in both games now with Cesc providing the passes 😦 Anyway time to move on.

    Looking forward to seeing Chamberlain, he seems like a very quick and powerful player. We will be seeing a lot more counter attacking from this Arsenal team this season. As much as were pinned back by Udinese in the 2nd half, we were the unlucky ones not to bag another goal.

  78. Block4, yep that sounded a bit harsher than it should have. My little angry-looking avatar doesn’t help.

  79. The Hungry Horse

    Thats the problem with losing a player like cesc. We’ve lost one of the best players in the world, our Mr Arsenal. It will take time to fill the gap. Time and about £50 million pounds sterling.

  80. “I also agree that Chamakh did not look at all confident, but will defend his work rate, i thought he put a shift in, and held the ball up reasonably well when required – hopefully it is just a confidence thing and he will get back to the player of ther 1st half of last season.”

    I have to say I thought he had a poor game.But I was watching on TV and you dont know what running off the ball is being done.You would think the commentators could tell us though,is that not what their job is?

  81. Matt

    I agree, Rosicky was pretty good 1st half and he put in a shift and a half! He was visibly drained coming off.

    I don’t see how anyone can criticize Chamakh for his work rate, pretty unfair considering how often he drops to help the midfield. We need to get that organization back in the middle. Too many times we were all over the place. It was pleasant to watch but I am glad we showed we can defend when we need to.

    I guess we have to trust Wenger to sort out our midfield and attacking play, something nobody can knock him for. I am getting edgy now regarding getting the right players in. We could see a few forced panic buys at this rate.

  82. Matt, with Wilshere or Ramsey expected to bring more creativity going forward this year, I’d personally welcome another experienced combative central midfielder. With Diaby’s injury record it couldn’t hurt, but then it’s not as easy as me just saying take this 30 million and bring me… Bastian Schweinsteiger (for example).

    Although lets not forget that Diaby and Wilshere, our current number 2 and 3 CMs, were missing.

  83. We say ignore the press and then ask for Cahill, Parker and Mata.Just as they told us too.
    I am confused.
    Dexter I am looking at you 🙂

  84. Limestonegunner

    This would clearly be a good season for Diaby to get fit and make a big contribution box to box. He would be powerful charging forward, but we still lack midfield creativity–we’ll see if Jack and Aaron can take this up but they are very inexperienced and that role is all about vision and decision-making, which improves with experience.

  85. Jabba's Delights

    I think all the talk of Chamck is a tad harsh, he always works and laid the ball off well at times and created a couple of decent opportunities for others which were wasted. The fact is Arsenal dont play at all to his strengths and this shows. We have no dead ball specialist to put ball in for him, no great crossers of the ball without that he is hard working player shorn of his best opportunities to score.

    The defence did well under the circumstances last night i thought Vermalan and Sagna were excellent Kosciellny let down a good all round performance with 2-3 very poor errors which he must eradicate from his game. I thought the midfield were awful both in their game management and defending. Song individually had a good game…..maybe thats the issue for the previous point. Result meant light years more than the performance which is a good thing as it was poor.

    We move on to Liverpool,…….a game we really must win

  86. We have lost gibbs traore and djouru all who were always injury prone.We had
    a chance to get Enrique but didnt bother.Now who will play gainst Liverpool to have TV
    at left back is a waste and then if we have sqichi partnering Kos. Carroll, Adams,
    Suarez,and Downing will think they have been given a birthday present.

    All who think Rosicky think is the creative answer in midfield need to replay
    the match he is good for 30 minutes, Chamak is a passenger. Kos always makes one or 2 glaring mistakes so we need Scotty Parker, and 2 or 3 others or else we will finish 6th.

    WE CANT BLAME WENGER if Kroenke was like the Lpool owners who gave KD
    money up front to supplement Torres money we may have been in a better
    position and had Cesc Nasri replacements in place as well as a stronger squad

    SK bought A FC control as an investment but didnt WANT to put any
    money into a rights issue nos he may find his investment is worth a lot less
    when we are no longer in ECL and the top four,

    We cant compete with Citeh or Chelsea and if Manu go public they will have a 1.8
    billion value pay off all their debt and be able to compete at the top, so the league
    title is out of our reach unless someone buys SK out like the Quataris have done
    at PSG and Malaga, So fourth place is our best hope and this existing
    squad wont do it,

    Looking through all the blogs and seeing the empty seats I am
    not the only one who feels that way

  87. The Hungry Horse

    solgooner, sad but true.

  88. Very insightful post Limps…….

    Udinese – very effective in their 3 – 5 – 2 system. I was wondering how our midfield would cope.

    Our midfield and forward line chemistry needs some time.

    Jenkinson and Frimpong look to be very promising.

    Our line up options for Pool dwindling……but the squad confidence is boosted with this result.

  89. Malaysiangunner

    HI All

    Good summary of the game. We rode our luck and was lucky to have our keeper in form. It is pretty obvious that even without Bendtner , Cesc and Nasri leaving we are thin at the back. Now we are thin in all areas. Hate seeing our best palyers leave but I guess they lost the faith in AW and the Arsenal. I will bet my bottom dollar that both will not leave if we are winning consistently and even if they leave for reasons we would like to believe ie homesickness and money, we could replace both with similar quality. We would have the additional monies from the winnings and even better shirt sales and more new fans around the world. Now we are losing fans that we already have. You may say they are good time charlies but they add to our war chest to fund salaries and players.

    The Arsenal financial model that you all tout ,need us to keep our best players, for it to work. It is obvious that we are unable to do so. So we are not winning on the field and we will be losing off the field .

    So we should change game plan or change manager to change the game plan. It is not a time for blind faith. It has been six years and our team has not improve and we have won nothing. Now we need to rebuild again.

    So I have stated it before I will state it again ,Arsene out. We will survive.

    No Fear We Are The Arsenal!

  90. One really Positive aspect is that Arsenal held the lead from start to finish against the run of play. Hope this gives them the confidence that they can dig deep and fight!

  91. Limestonegunner

    The turnover is massive this year–denilson, clichy, eboue, cesc, vela already transfered or loaned out with bendtner, almunia, nasri. That’s 8 players. Jenks, Ryo, the Ox, and Gervinho have transfered in and Frimpong has been promoted while Traore returned from loan. This is six in, all new to the PL and only one with genuine experience at a high level (ligue 1) in a major league. Correspondingly, Gervinho is the only starter. I’d say that we need additions who are established, quality professionals to the first eleven and their immediate backups to address our relative lack of experience in the squad. The squad rules may be a constraint on some options–has anyone followed where we are at there?

  92. Wouldnt mind Marvin Martin as Cesc replacement, 19assist last season and he’s also a distance shooter. Wenger can say whatever he wants, yes we understand we want quality and not quantity, but its rediculous now! Get a CB a CDM and a replacement for fabregas!

  93. A remarkably positive post…kudos on taking the high ground!

  94. I think there is little point in ‘wishing’ for new signings, it seems we have what we have so brace for August. The spat at Newcastle may cost us dear with 2 players now suspended, though I cannot help but note that Barton gets no further action. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but I would put my house on the fact any Arsenal player being sent off for a similar shirt grabbing instance. Don’t get me wrong, were it to happen the FA would have their reason for it being different this time. It reminds me of the time Vieira was dismissed for his intention to make a tackle… the only ever sending off in the EPL for that reason.

    Alas, I missed the game last eve due to comcast having a North Miami outage of all cable for 8 hours… tossers!

    I don’t understand the English whining that is largely the cultural normal, whining because we concede goals and whining when we don’t. Take a practical view of the game, we WON, it may not have been pretty (by all accounts) but we WON!

  95. The Hungry Horse

    Miami, swap the word ‘whining’, for the word ‘discussing’, and it makes more sense. There wouldnt be any point of these blogs without a discussion would there?

  96. Limpar:

    Nice post thanks. Deeeeeefense wins games. Great to see another clean sheet. Really happy to see the club playing a little more conservatively and having some situational intelligence. After we scored yesterday keeping a clean sheet was the highest priority. Conceding would have been a disaster. Not sure if this new nous is something the coaching staff has worked on or if it just accidently happened. Hopefully the former. With the injury situation it be nice to see a couple of experienced defenders in the next 2 weeks. Historically we seem to have enjoyed playing chicken with our defensive depth so I am not holding my breath.

    Much as I would love a big name signing or 3 can’t believe we would even consider Kaka. The next couple of years are going to be transitional for us and we need to find a creative player or 2 who will still be close to their prime in the next 4 – 5 seasons. I know it won’t happen but I would love to see us bring in someone like Aguero or Suarez or Luiz who can help now but will be bedrock players for many years to come. I know its expensive and we would have to overpay but we could afford a signing or 2 like that to help keep us in the top 4 while we wait for this very talented group of young players to mature. I have very high hopes for players like OX and Ryo and Frimpong but to ask them to carry too heavy a burden before they are 20 is risking a repeat of what happened to our last generation of youth.

  97. Limestone… in reference to your squad question. I believe that there are 2 different classes of homegrown talent, those trained at your club between 15-21 and those trained in the Nation in which you play between 0-21. You are right to point out that I believe 4 of the 5 players leaving fit within the homegrown rule, whilst only 2 of the 4 coming in also do. The fact however is that Arsenal are not required to register players under the age of the 21 for EPL competition, though they must for European competition. The EPL squad size is 25 players. The team at most risk of falling foul of this wee gem of a rule is actually and unsurprisingly Manchester City, closely followed by Chelsea.

  98. The Hungry Horse, I perhaps could have worded it slightly better but the shot was at all the papers and bloggers that constantly whine and moan about the Arsenal. It seems if you read some of the articles written that the writers shift their positions daily. I am some what bemused why Arsenal have become the media driven most hated team in England, lets face it all the press is grinning right now and sharpening their knives regardless of results.

  99. Imagine Cesc took a pay cut to join Barca. We need more north London gunners in Arsenal!

  100. Why do you think Barton was not punished? I seriously do not want to believe that it is because he is English, and it an us against the Europeans/World philosophy that drives poor FA actions time and time again. I am not arguing that Gervinho and Song should not have received some action, but Barton escapes because the ref though a yellow card suffient for an assault on a player on the pitch?

  101. Malaysiangunner

    Kenyan gunner

    So you see this idea that competing is good enough for us to be succesful is bullshit. We need to win to keep our best players or attract good ones.

  102. Great summary Limpars!

    As far as the defending from the mids, the problem was errant passes leading to quick counters for the most part. Once the mids got back Udinese had almost no chances. They may not have been in position due to the bad passing but they sure did gallop back.

    Very encouraging (even if ugly) performance.

  103. Bill we cant afford 180k plus a week in wages.

  104. perhaps we should try and cut down N52 ego and keep him hes better and stronger
    than Cham and if notplayed on the wing cud be an asset

  105. Paul N

    Effort was certainly there even if there were mistakes. Most of the fans will get back on the teams side if they feel like they are giving 110% effort. Mistakes are much easier to forgive if the player who makes the mistake busts his rump to get back and cover for it.

    Solgooner: Somehow we have to be able to pay close to market rate in wages no matter how ridiculous those numbers become. All these brilliant young players we have are not going to play for Arsenal long term for 1/2 the wages they could get elsewhere no matter how much they love the club. I understand the appeal of a sustaining club and keeping the moral high ground but I hope we can somehow manage to keep our wages close to what the other “big clubs” in the world are offering. Long term its going to be difficult to do without some financial input from ownership..

  106. Agreed Bill.

    You can see much more committment to the defensive side of things. The great thing is that we are seeing this with more or less the same players from last season. I think this tells us that at times we just thought that our beautiful play would be enough, I believe Song said that in other words.

  107. A goal away to Udinese would leave them needing 3 goals to go through.

  108. Also, please lets not forget that we had to make two subs back to back.

    That mustve been very hard to deal with.

    I think you should have be able to sub one player for injuries alone and still have the other 3 to work with.

  109. So it’s Frimpong, Rosicky and Rambo on Saturday against Liverpool, and if Li’l Jack isn’t ready, the same trio for the Manure.

  110. @ Miami Arsenal – you can also add to that the two elbows in the neck aerial challenges committed by Taylor that the referee “passed” as acceptable and the commentators on TV said was “part of the game”. These were rank fouls that would have been given against any other club.

  111. The Hungry Horse

    ‘I think you should have be able to sub one player for injuries alone and still have the other 3 to work with’

    Because footballers and football managers can be trusted.

  112. Limestonegunner

    Paul-N, then we would be treated to even more Barca type feigning of injuries. Just raise it to 4 or keep it to 3. I don’t want to watch any more play acting than we already do. I prefer to see it in a theatre.

  113. Limestonegunner

    All of a sudden we could really use Denilson. Where is Lansbury? Is he out on loan? He could be useful on the bench.

  114. @ Darius – whoever plays in midfield at the next two weekends will be a worry – hardly our “first team”! However the by-product of this is that both Song and Gervinho will be rested for the away trip to Udinese – that could be vital.

  115. Limestonegunner

    The only other way to reduce the abuse (though not eliminate it) would be to register players in positions and only allow replacements for the “injury” substitution from bench players registered in the same position: defender, midfielder, striker, goalkeeper. Or something like that. But still there would be abuse and all sorts of extra complexity. No, stick with a general number of subs 3 or any other number. I don’t know why 3 has been settled on as the standard in all registered games, but there it is.

  116. Already said it on that annoying but addictive twitter thingy, but I really enjoyed this blog, LA.

    You know, Aneke wouldn’t be a terrible idea at the moment – at least as backup. Mixed it with ManU’s midfield gurners on Monday night. Got that final pass in him as well.

  117. @SDB – it would be really great to have Li’l Jack back – but there isn’t any active news on his return. It’s a long season though and not worth rushing him back.

    I do get the sense that Frimpong will deputize competently for Song – and perhaps the tactic may be to relieve pressure by using the pace on the wings from Theo and the Ox.

  118. Maybe we can just have 4 subs a game then.

    It is quite possible that you will have atleast one inujury in a match and to me that craps all over the managers options.

    I have always thought 3 subs was too little.

  119. Chamakh was there to do a job, and did it fairly well, nothing too fancy but many times, got the ball, held it up, and set it up. I thought he was OK. Rosicky is struggling over 90s mins, his first half was really excellent. Frimpong is fabulous, what a young player, excites in the same way as Jackie! The defensive pairing of Kos and TV looks very good, and hasn’t conceded a goal yet, although a little luck/keeping skill involved. I thought we edged it, should have gone 2-0, and well done to Udinese, they played a lovely free flowing expansive game. Arsenal basically look like one tough nut to score against, and Udinese found it difficult to get into shooting positions. We are not creating as much in our usual manner, but we are creating throughout the match, and defending quite well. Ramsey worked extremely hard, and looks better every match. with RvP and Wilshere to return, Diaby, plus somebody, this Arsenal looks pretty exciting to me.

  120. Miami

    Barton was punished during the game – awarded a yellow for going off on the gervinhos. The FA will do sweet F.A. in retrospect if a ref has seen the situation and made a call on it.

  121. The amusing thing @Furious – is that the ref didn’t see the Barton incident with Gervinho – he was facing away from that. So what did he actually give the yellow for?

  122. Thanks for the kind comments today. Lots of like-minded views here which is nice.

    Very interested to see how AFC moves in the transfer market these next two weeks, and two more big tests for the squad ‘as is’ in the next week alone.

    I don’t know if I want Arsenal in a prize fight every week – we’d like the odd cake walk – but you can’t argue, there’s never a dull moment right now! Makes a welcome change from all the bullshit of summer at any rate.

    Bit early but here’s my team for Liverpool Saturday:

    – – – – – – – – – – Szczęsny – – – – – – – – – –
    Sagna – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Traore
    – – – – – – Frimpong – Rosický – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – Ramsey – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Arshavin – – – – – –
    Walcott- – – – – – – RVP – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Could be Gibbs, Traore or Jenkinson at LB.

    Most exciting part? Could see AOC, Miyaichi… even Joel Campbell!

  123. This talk of a bias is nonsense. We all know that every team gets their fair share of elbows to the head Stop whinging about it =)

  124. I thought you’d enjoy the game last night, Bill.

  125. praying that chamakh doesnt become another emile hesky.a hard working forward but cant score

  126. @Limpar – Bill was ecstatic – 2nd clean sheet??? Better than sex for him – LOL

  127. Too often in the past,we have played well and lost.Few say we deserved to win. so,i will happily take the clean sheet and the win! Those who say Gervinho doesnt have a good final ball are clueless and stupid! is it Gervinho’s fault that walcott ddnt bury the chance after a wonderful mazy run near the end? Get a grip!

  128. Limestonegunner

    I don’t think Campbell could be eligible. Doesn’t he need a work visa? Could he even join by the weekend?

    Would certainly be interesting to see Ryo–perhaps for Walcott or Arshavin in the 70th minute.

  129. If we finish 4th this year we will have over achieved,massively.

    I hope we win the title all the same.

    Keep your expectations low and your hopes high,

  130. Darius – maybe he had a word with a linesman? Dunno. It’s not like they would admit to having made a mistake anyway.

  131. Great result last night. I am a little worried about the lack of options right now with all of the unfortunate events of recent days. I would also like to say that Chamakh is really catching an unfair amount of criticism right now. There were several time last night that he dropped a little deeper, held the ball up with some great touches, and released Walcott and Gervinho into space. These plays resulted in corners, and could have been turned into more if there was more support from midfield.

    Stay positive folks. I like being the underdog, and we are most definitely that going in to the game with Liverpool. The boys in midfield will have their hands full on Saturday. Should be fun!

  132. Limestonegunner

    Adebayor as a Spud. Looks very possible if ManCity coughs up for his wages–no chance that Greedy will take a large cut from his 170/wk. That would be interesting how the Spuds will take to him since some of his very best goals for Arsenal were in the derby.

  133. The FA not taking retrospective action on an incident that has already been officiated on in-game is a childish clinging on to the refs’ cult of personality. The last refuge of the shite referee. The world would be a lot better if we had fair, transparent retrospective action for all incidents, if a card was dealt out in the heat of the action or not. It’s a bollocks that it’s not already the case and I trust this silly roadblock will be done away with soon because it’s pathetic.

    Also agree with whoever said Joey Barton should be shot the other day. It’s a bollocks that that hasn’t already been done either. Let’s hire that guy from No Country for Old Men. SCHUUHNK. Done.

  134. Bill said

    “Solgooner: Somehow we have to be able to pay close to market rate in wages no matter how ridiculous those numbers become.”

    Stick do defense Bill.That is outrageous,Because City have distorted the market to such an extent that to attempt to offer parity is unthinkable foolishness.

  135. Thanks, OOU. I imagine Ozyakup, Aneke, and Lansbury are all being looked over very closely at the moment.

  136. I agree with you George. It is laughable that Man $hit has at least 3 players earning over 175k/week. Isn’t Yaya Toure making 250k a week or something? That is plain rediculous!

  137. George,

    Exactly right…City has destroyed the possibilty for parity in wages. But, businesses that can’t compete in wage rates will find other ways to attract talent. Giving young talent a chance to develop is one of those ways. Giving players a chance to play for a club with history and class. The culture at the club etc. The quality of footballing life can be supplemented with other things, but sometimes the wage demands are too much to overcome.

    This is one reason why fans owe a lot more respect to Arsene for what he has been able to do under these circumstances.

  138. How can the Ref. have dealt with it at the time?He was running away and not looking,What he dealt with was what he saw when he looked around.He could not possibly have dealt with the initial incident,
    Surly he can look at the VT and say “well if I had seen that it would have been red for Barton” therefore 3 match ban.
    If there is no justice then expect anarchy,That is how life is,

  139. Then we just have to hope that young talent repays us with loyalty. That is the more tricky aspect to what we do.

  140. “This is one reason why fans owe a lot more respect to Arsene for what he has been able to do under these circumstances.”

    Sadly many people are too quick to overlook this. High ticket prices cause people to overlook that fact.

    I still find it funny how there are clubs with hundreds of millions of debt. Does that raise any concern? No, as long as the tin cups are delivered (bought)

  141. Correct George. You cannot look at City’s abnormal wages and then say we should be up there. How many teams are able to do what they do.

    I was listening on the news that their little financial deal is being scrutanized big time.

  142. Happy for Frimpong to deputise, but would rather he was starting alongside Wilshere to help ease him in.

    No worries about Frimpong lacking PL experience tho. The dude has played for Arsenal youth set-up since the age of 9. The same schooling that allowed Wilshere to stroll into the first team without any PL experience.

    Also, for me we should have Aneke and Afobe in the first team. Or at least one of them.

  143. Paul-N, I doubt UEFA ar egoing to a damn thing about it though.

  144. Imagine beating ‘Pool and Manu with a midfield of Frompong, Ramsey and Rosicky and a bench with Lansbury, Aneke et al. That would be something wouldn’t it?

  145. *Frimpong

  146. Unfortunately, Arséne will suffer the fate that most visionaries suffer.

    His sheer impact and influence over the way football is managed and run for decades to come will only be understood when he is long gone. It’s disheartening that he has to suffer the humiliating witch hunt and ridicule from an establishment who from time to time, has shown they can’t even fathom what the bigger picture is. All they can conclude is that Arséne is a derranged, stubborn and tight fisted egomaniac. There is never a discussion in the context of what the financial reality of building a new stadium is and why Arsenal approach things in a different way. It’s laughable when it’s called an “experiment”. No other manager in the world would have pulled Arsenal through the last decade and given us entertaining top flight football. This while keeping Arsenal as the 3rd most successful football franchise in the world.

    I shudder when it’s Gary Neville who has to come out to bat for Wenger against this radioactive tide of negativity.

  147. Block4,

    totally agree with you. i laughed when i first read about the financial fairplay rules. never once believed it would actually take place. and still don’t see any reason to.

  148. I think Frimpong’s performance in the next 3 games will determine whether he’s included in the England national team setup.

    The irony of all this is that the future of the England team is very much an Arsenal affair – the Jenks, Jethro and Bartley in defence – Li’l Jack and Frimpong in midfield and Theo and the Ox up front. That’s before even Aneke and Afobe are brought into the picture.

  149. Darius, I think a lot of people in the football business genuinely do respect Wenger. It’s just the old issue of assholes shouting the loudest I think.

    Also, Jenks already plays for Finland (could switch I guess). Frimpong has said that if Ghana come looking he’ll play for them.

  150. The Hungry Horse

    The wages problem wasnt citys making, It was Chelseas. Their the ones that started all this crap.

  151. I’d recommend a midfield of Frimpong, lansbury, wilshere, Ramsey and Rosicky against ‘pool. Without the experience of Song we’ll to pack the midfield!

  152. the difference is that ryo frimpong etc are all better than denilson bentdner etc who quite frankly flattered to deceive and if David Bentley had shown a bit more patience he would not be on the shitheap he now finds himself on. I want to see rosicky moved on as he has also flattered to deceive. I would like to see arshavin in that position instead.

  153. Limestonegunner

    Darius, I agree that Wenger is given little credit for charting a new path. Unfortunately, his success is more subtle and sports are not subtle–after bringing so many trophies, it just looks like Arsenal have stalled. Yet, not only is he given few plaudits, UEFA and the FA are positively hostile to him. I don’t remember Mourinho being charged for passing notes when he was banned in the Barca match, for example. The FA just keeps slapping Arsenal with charges–what is this about failing to control our players? There wasn’t a huge brawl despite Barton’s best attempts to incite one.

    But how do you arrive at the notion that we are the third most successful football franchise (terrible word, can we say club?) in the world? Unless you mean financially in terms of our projected value according to Forbes. We don’t have the third largest turnover and we certainly don’t have the trophies for that status (we are still waiting for a European cup/CL title!). We are a great club–to me we are the greatest– but even in the UEFA coefficients we aren’t third but fifth.

  154. Limestonegunner

    I should point out that the only ones who should be really thrilled with Arsenal’s ranking of third in the Forbes list are Kroenke and Usmanov because it represents the value of ownership not turnover/revenue, like the Deloitte money league rankings (where we are 5th).

  155. A global salary cap (with adjustments made for cost of living) would sort out a few problems in football. It’d be more successful than the FFP can dream of being and foster parity across the teams and the leagues. Teams would be encourage to get the best of their home-grown talent, foster loyalty in their players, and the best teams would be those with shrewd managers and business acumen.

  156. I thought Chamakh should’ve been subbed in the second half because I thought speed versus height would’ve been a better way to beat Udinese. This being said, I thought Chamakh did his job well.

    As far as our defense, I thought they did very well considering how our midfielders had a hard time keeping the ball and finding the strikers. When Rosicky went off and Ramsey was given the freedom to create, the team looked much, much better.

    The moment in the game where I started to think we’d win, was when Armero broke through. Song made a seventy yard run and ended up making the clutch tackle after Szczesny’s save. This sent a signal that our boys wouldn’t be giving up easily.

    All in all, with a depleted squad, two injury substitutions, two key suspensions and the departure of our captain, we beat Udinese, a side that is way better than West Brom and Swansea, in a key European qualifier. If anyone’s having a moan about this result, then they should consider offing themselves and sparing the rest of humanity from their spinelessness.

  157. Limestonegunner

    Paul N, Swiss Ramble had an interesting, but depressing, report on Man City’s Etihad deal. He demonstrated that it isn’t easy to demonstrate that it is beyond the pale in term of Uefa’s guidelines for accounting. The other problem is that it seems that Uefa also doesn’t have, according to Untold Arsenal, a very serious enforcement arm to look into these finances. FFP will have a slightly moderating influence, it appears, but not be the magic bullet for self-sustaining clubs like Arsenal, according to these commentators.

  158. Limestonegunner

    Gains, everyone is lauding the team for a gutty and hardnosed performance. Udinese played well too, despite losing three of their best four or five players, Zapata a central defender, Sanchez a forward/striker, and Inler their defensive midfield anchor. You are right that they still are much better than Swansea or West Brom.

  159. Limestone – my reference is the Fortune magazine sports rich list. We’re 3rd after Manure and Real Madrid in football and 7th in ranking against all sports clubs.

    Clearly if trophies were the only measure, we’d be propping up that table – considering that even Barcelona can only make 26th on the list.

    As for the charge of failing to control our players, could it be that we received 5 yellow cards in the game? The charge comes with £25K fine.

  160. Just breaking on BBC

    If true and I know it’s a big IF, 25 million can’t be turned down esp. if the player is refusing to sign a new contract.

  161. Salary cap is the way to go Gadget. The biggest draw is how much the teams can pay the players. If you have to stay within a certian amount of money overall, it would kool a lot of this overspending and mercenary behaviour.

  162. Yep, lets take the money and get some great talent in.

  163. Paul N, I remember a certain London club in the 1970’s operated a “salary cap”. It didn’t stop however, their star player playing the chairman a game of pool each week for £5,000. Guess what, the player never lost!

  164. JD Gooner, there is no full proof way to deal with this I guess but I believe this would be the best thing. If someone gets caught, some serious punishment should be handed out.

  165. Salary caps are a horrible idea. The only solution for out of control spending in football is to make it a rule that teams can’t spend more than what their club makes. This would put Manure, Man City, Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid on an equal footing with everyone else. It would also bring an end to exhorbitant transfer fees and player wages throughout the sport. This is what the FFF were designed to do. Now it’s just a matter of them developing the balls necessary to enforce these rules.

  166. Limestone, some are lauding the club’s gritty performance, while others are clearly extending the summertime dooming into the new season. Udinese may have lost Inler, Sanchez and Zapata, but we lost Cesc,Clichy, had three key players missing through injury, unavailability or suspension and had two injury substitutions during the game.

  167. @JD Gooner – that BBC article is a load of hot air.

    It has no new information – a desperate attempt for an author to come up with a story to fill the columns. Seriously, the guy has said fuck all that we didn’t already know. If he had a video of Nasri walking into a Manchester hospital for a mediacal – then he’s got a story, otherwise he’s just blowing smoke up our arses.

    24 hrs? Why not 26 or 34 hours for the deal to complete? Load of tosh.

    Really lazy journalism.

  168. Note how many fewer posts there are when we win as opposed to days when there is bad news.

  169. PaulN. Mata? Parker just going to QPR, a CB a playmaker or just the
    usual spin “I would spend 40 million for the right player”

  170. Limestone luckily Chesny was in fine form. Udinese were gifted a couple
    of chances which luckily failed we need a far stronger performance
    especially by the midfield if we are not to see Europa League every Thursday

  171. The players we lost Cesc, Clichy, should have already been replaced
    as should Nasri whos going for sure.

  172. Sol ,you really are a miserable bugger

  173. Reality is hard to look at George

  174. Gainsbourg69 says:
    August 17, 2011 at 5:32 pm.

    I know it seems like they all like to be the ones to say see I told you so (pathetic really)

    I wonder what they take pride in about arsenal if winning a game doesn’t give them any sort of pleasure.

  175. Too true Gains. They are the definition of “boo boys”

    Where is Henry14 “i’m rich and am going to the game to boo Arsene off the pitch”

  176. Solgooner you’re a miserable fucker why not piss off and jump on the nearest bridge. Do us all a favour. Tosser.

  177. “We are really going to struggle to get into the top 4 this season.”

    And all the other years we were just gifted a spot? The team earned their place every year, and this year will be no different.

    George see how much work I got done?? =)

  178. Every time solgooner has posted on this site (a few seasons now) he has moaned about Arsenal. Some fucking supporter that is.

  179. Dups your exquisite language is underwelming having
    been on this site for more than 5 years its people with
    rose tinted views and foul language that have changed
    it for the worst.

    Stay Happy we dont need extra defenders just a litlle tweaking

  180. I would do fuck all if I worked for my pap’s

  181. Is telling the truth moaning? I was one of thre first
    that said Chesnyh should replace Almunia

  182. Do you dispute we need to atrengthen the squad? Or that Squishi
    is rubbish and we dont have ample cover at LB CB or for RVP

  183. You have never posted without moaning sol. Just start supporting the team you say you support.

  184. Thats BS many times I have said how well we played with
    the proviso that with one or 2 additions we could win the EPl

  185. We all know we need some additions but moaning everyday about it is going to change absolutely nothing. If players come in before Sep 1st all well and good but it will not stop me from supporting my team if they don’t.

  186. Always a proviso or a but in your post though sol even when we played well.

  187. Sol telling the truth isn’t moaning. We say you are a miserable cunt because of statements like this.

    “Limestone luckily Chesny was in fine form.”

    What you are hinting at is that we were lucky that Sczensey made a few saves. Shouldn’t we expect our keeper to make great saves like that on the regular? (which Wojeich does, by the way)

  188. What I don’t get about some people that have a serious problem with something that give them so much displeasure that all they can do is bitch to other people about it for so long. If I wasn’t happy about something, moaning about would just piss me of more. I rather do something – like cut it out of my life than bitch everyday for life

  189. Gains,
    FFP, even when properly enforced, only really helps the big clubs by addressing financial doping. It doesn’t do much for the Evertons and West-Broms of this world.

    A wage cap on the other hand will cut across the whole industry, from what I’ve gathered.

  190. geeGunner,
    I take it you’re nothing like the stereotypical English type then, who is said to moan about everything. That would mean cutting everything out of your life! 🙂

  191. I have a plan that works everytime.passing over serial offenders comments(solguner,james,ashburton,suga3,henry 14 etc) and it works evrytime.dups you shd try it,it will save you alot of irritation.

  192. Firstlady ,Then you miss any piss taking opportunities .What fun would it be then?.

  193. @Firstlady

    I should know better that is true. I usually do skip his posts. Just had enough today though. I will definitely do as you suggest in future.

  194. Henristic says:
    August 17, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Well ur right – I’m def not english

  195. Thanks for the pre and post match write ups OOU & Limpar. Much fun to read before and after the game. I know a couple of first time readers who went to yesterday’s game and they really enjoyed the posts. Udinese are team with a great reputation, I like them. Nothing to with the Biesla connection, and their infamous 3-5-2, played with the dreaded ‘High Line’. Nope!
    But for the gr*tty b*ll*cks that envelopes Seria A ,t they might have had some more baubles to show from recent seasons.

  196. You AKB’s always have an excuse. Time to go Wenger and hopefully your worshipers will leave the club and follow you to your next one leaving the real Arsenal supporters here.

  197. Nice one, LA. A good old fashioned one nil to the Arsenal. Interesting to see us sit back and soak up the pressure as the game wore on. I thought our defense was solid all game and it was easy for one to see how much we missed TV5 last season. I’m expecting big things from him this year. What a player. Credit to Udinese for making the boys sweat a bit. They’re a good side and played some nice stuff. Fingers crossed for Gibbsy and Djourou. I thought Gibbs looked fantastic. He’s looks to be better than Clichy in joining the attack and it looks like he’s going to play a huge part this season.

  198. Fuck off, ghost, you imbecile.

    These glory hunting Doomers crack me up.

  199. dupsffokcuf.

    That link reminds me of the doomers a couple of years ago who started an online petition to get Wenger fired. As I recall it, they only had 42 signatures.

    I wouldn’t even waste my energy on clicking on that link.

  200. Why is it that anyone who criticizes Wenger is labelled a glory hunter or is told to “go support someone else”?

    Open your eyes and grow up.


    Thank goodness guadiola only signs one year contracts.

  202. Bradys right foot

    Loomer | August 17, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    The anti support were disappointed last night the sick fuckers lol. A perversion of “support”, twisted in that they can’t enjoy our wins and revel in defeat as it is a chance to have a go at the manager.

    These fucking idiots actuallyu believe Wenger is the problem lmfao, we have invested £30 million of new money in the squad since 2004, Chelsea have invested £438 million over the same time and Man City have topped even that with over £450 million., and yet Wenger is the problem what a bunch of fucking idiots lmao. We overachieve every single year. Confronted with the financial realities they say spend some fucking money on who? Gary Cahill, £18 million for an Kozzers and Vermalens understudy.

  203. Bradys right foot

    boozy | August 17, 2011 at 7:19 pm


    You obviously have a short memory or are too young to remember some of the shite that we have had to endure over the years.

  204. Anyone who still harbours hope that Wenger can turn things around after 6 years of total negligence needs their head examining. The reality is it’s echoing of Wenger’s time with Monaco,arrived as a unknown splashes the cash on top players like Klinsman and Weah and has success for a few years then starts his ”project” and guess what….they finish ninth and he’s sacked,de ja vue don’t you think??

  205. Happy Birthday Thierry Henry…

  206. Because your criticism is childish and out of order, ghost. It’s absolutely senseless if you take a look at the bigger picture and put everything in perspective. If you’re not able to do so, football isn’t for you and some other hobbies should be in order.

  207. Any one of my fellow American gunners in North VA or DC area?

  208. I was at the game last night and we were comfortably the better team. What was impressive was how Udinese broke out of defence. What was even more impressive was how our defence dealt with them. Every corner was covered and the real threat from Udinese came from classy free kicks from just outside the penalty area.

    Walking up to the station it was clear everyone was in a good mood. It was a good win and all the negative crap seems to be coming from people with a negative agenda (ie cunts or spuds or is that the same thing?)

    On Wednesday Udinese have to score against us whilst defending as a first priority as if we score a goal they have to score three. 1-0 was a good result.

    I’ve just texted a scouser friend to ask if they will try for a win on saturday or will aim for a draw. Not surprisingly there’s no reply. We can be fairly confident that they’ll be trying for a draw but however many members of our squad are unavailable, we always try for three points.

    Up the arse and what a relief that the season has started. The Doomers can now complain about us only winning 1-0 rather than inventing bollocks to moan about.

  209. My favorite thing I saw today:

    InvincibleGooner: Wenger should get the fuck out. He’s worthless and is bringing our club down.

    The irony is tasty seeing as it was Wenger who gave all these retards a reason to put Invincible on their screen names.

    Ghost, where is Monaco today? The fact that Monaco is no longer a top club in France should give you fuck heads a bit of perspective.

  210. Why are people still talking about potential new signings? If you realy want to see a new signing it won’t happen until January 2012 at the earliest.

    You people that seem to think Arsenal have a divine right to win something or finish in the top 4 are just being stupid. Arsenal has been over achieving on a momentual scale since the move to the new stadium, if there is no CL this term or next so be it. Time to forget the rubbish and get behind the team!

  211. Bernard, as someone who was at the game, how did you see that period early in the second half when we were pinned in? On TV it looked as if Rosicky and Ramsey couldn’t hold on to the ball. Were Armero and Adu doing anything different movement wise compared to what they did in the first half? I saw Armero cut in a few times and go more centrally, did this have an impact on the midfield three?

  212. Bradys right foot

    Do any of these clowns actually believe that Arsenal in a post Wenger era would have the spending power to compete with Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool or Utd. Were is this magical extra cash going to come from. So the alternative is to sack Wenger loose all our quality players and have somebody else blow our transfer load on Gary Cahill, Chris Samba and Scott Parker genius. As the recent swiss rambler article shows until some of our big commercial deals are resigned in 2015 we will not be in a position to compete financially, that we still do on the pitch is testament to how good Wenger is. If you can’t make logical conclusions from simple facts blaming Arsene doesn’t make you any less stupid.

  213. Ghost that’s a superficial comparison.

    What Wenger has achieved in keeping the club competitive whilst masterminding the move to anew stadium is remarkable. I don’t know of any other manager that could have managed this.

    What has changed and could never have been planned for is that the move coincided with the arrival of a new kind of club – the sugar daddy club with the bottomless fund.

    Those who tear Wenger apart as a failure do so whilst standing on the shoulders of his success. We have been very, very close to winning things in these last 6 years and that is almost astonishing and deserves respect. However we have fallen short so that respect just gets kicked out of the window and he is branded as a total mad professor failure.

    Whatever victory this club has in the future it will only have by virtue of the platform that was built through Wenger’s vision, skill and tenacity.

    It is imaginable that his reign will end ignominiously but he will always remain a true Arsenal legend and, if his failure comes, it will have far more to do with the disgusting, ludicrous state that the football world has spiralled into.

    Man City might well win the league this year but how can anyone take satisfaction at such an egregious, unearned victory? Honestly it’s just so fucking pointless.

  214. I think we’re getting a new signing before the transfer window closes.

  215. Bradys right foot

    Jonny | August 17, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Take a bow son

  216. Well said, Bernard. I am hoping some of the media hyperbole about Arsenal’s ‘demise’ translates to hubris in the piggy eyes of old King Kenny and he comes and has a go. Ramsey will tear them apart if that happens. Wouldn’t be surprised if they play for a point though, like you say.

    Sense from David Pleat on the radio just now. Reckons people discount Arsenal at their own peril, spoke of his admiration of what Arsene has done and his misfortune to not have picked up at least a couple of trophies over the last 3-4 years. Reckons you can’t just judge and dismiss a set of players on that alone. Top man, Pleat. Reckons Rowley and the boys are working hard to replace the outgoing and we’ll always be a force.

  217. The media led sheep are a sad bunch, BRF. The whole anti Arsene thing is so mind numbingly stupid. It seems to be a ragtag bunch of immature youngsters though which is good.

  218. Wenger’s men currently lack depth and direction, says Phil McNulty

    That is a blog heading on the BBC. i was too disappointed to even read the content. That is from BBCs chief football correspondent no less! Are these people for real? what exactly is the change in direction from that we will always had which is to rise to the top in all competitions and eventually to remain there

  219. great write up and great win. the two go together naturally

  220. First we had, and still have, a quality defensive midfielder needed that has not been signed because of Wenger haggling to save the odd million pounds (Alonso) Then we had a goalkeeper needed that was not signed, and still hasn’t been signed because of Wenger AGAIN haggling to save the odd million pounds (Schwarzer).

    The latest is a defender who so far hasn’t been signed. All these problem positions have been obvious to every man and his dog for years. Yet Wenger spends 12M on a League 1 teenager and continually “overlooks” the areas that REALLY NEED attention. What is that, if not neglect and gross incompetence? Where else but Arsenal, would a manager be rewarded for neglect, with a contract extension ? And where else would certain so called “fans” still support him ?


  222. Excellent defensive display last night. Loved it. TV and LK looked fantastic and Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson just knuckled down and did the job. No goals conceded in two games. Very encouraging. Nice to be back in the stadium. Half full, but great support.

  223. Boozy. How could this possibly be the worst Arsenal team you have ever seen? They won the match dude.

  224. Very well said Jonny @7:55

    Well hello there Frank…miss u like daily, u grizzled RASER u!

    2 down 3 to go this month
    A “lets-see-what-you’re-made-of” August
    Character test for players & fans alike
    We’ve done quite well so far
    Stay strong gooners
    Positive support generates positive results

    …i remain POSITIVE

  225. Limestonegunner

    I think the two developments that set us back were 1) the property bubble bursting and 2) the sugar daddy club phenomenon. Without these two, the scene would be ManU and Arsenal fighting for the league with Liverpool, Spuds, Villa, Everton, Chelsea, dividing places 3-6 most seasons along with the occasional outlier. On the footballing front, losing several midfield players like Gilberto, Flamini, Hleb, Rosicky to injury, set us back as we started to rebuild that side. Song and Denilson had to play lots of games, Nasri joined and Lehmann left, and it was a difficult transition. Last year we had come back into the hunt but transition is again on the cards.

    Now the problem is going to become how to hang onto our best young players as they mature into accomplished stars when the league title and astronomical wages are the province of sugar daddy clubs and ManU. If we could have won the league in 2007-08 or last season, the whole football landscape would be altered and a major point would be proven: that good, attacking football played by a team built by developing talent and judicious signings of players payed well but not absurdly can have ultimate success.

    Treading water for fourth is something we cannot count on when Arsene Wenger leaves, which is coming closer–2 seasons at most unless he extends. If we could break out this season or next, it would be very helpful. It would also help us get the most out of those new commercial deals and enable us to compete better financially in player wages and the like.

    It could be a big year if we managed to accelerate the rebuilding of this side with two or three really good, experienced players coming in while also developing Ramsey, Frimpong, Ryo, the Ox, Gibbs into real contributors this season.

  226. Quality defensive midfielder? Song. Xabi Alonso is not a defensive midfielder you utter cunt. He’s a creative midfielder. We had Cesc at the time so we didn’t need him. By all means provide the proof that says that we lost out on Xabi because we haggled over a few million.

    Gaolkeeper? Szczesny, Fabianski and Mannone. Players that will be in the team for years. Schwartzer is near forty and would’ve only been just a stop gap. Plus saying that he would’ve improved us is just speculation. Once again, Wenger proves that sticking with his policies he’s bound to get things right more often than not.

    Quality defenders? Even with Squillaci we have a defense that is up there with the best in the league. Having Vermaelen back will prove Wenger right for sticking with the defenders we have. Jenkinson was an absolute steal for the price we paid for him. Had we waited one more year he would’ve been bought by one of our rivals or cost us ten times more.

    The board gave Wenger a contract extension because they know he’s one of the best managers in Europe and is willing to put his ego aside to make the club grow. face it. There’s no manager on the planet that can do what Wenger is doing. A chequebook manager would fare horribly at Arsenal.

  227. The sad thing is that, as we scour targets for potential replacements, the pool of available talent is now so controlled by a handful of clubs who are prepared to pay any price to get what they want.

    Think about Nasri’s fee – £25M for a player with one year left on his contract and only 6months of decent football at the top level – this is beyond what would have happened in the Abramovich era.

    Man Utd’s answer is to look to float – that’s desperation.

    Where once we would have had a long list of replacements bandied by the press the best they can do is Mata, Jadson & Hazard. I remain hopeful Wenger can work some magic but there can be no doubt that the stratification of teams in football has changed for the worse.

    How can the rest of the football world cope with this disparity and why does the media not care a jot that it has become so pointless, twisted and ugly? Instead do we get disparaged and vilified for trying to do things the right way – it is remarkable that the state of the game is not the only talking point in town and that Arsenal aren’t championed from every corner of the footballing globe.

    The sooner this football bubble bursts the better – I cannot believe it has yet to happen.

  228. Bradys right foot

    ghost | August 17, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    “Neglect” run that by me one more time Arsene Wenger has neglected Arsenal Football Club. Have you somehow managed to come from some alternative universe were Arsenal is not directly responsible for funding the Emirates which will secure the club financially long after were gone.

    Set up a youth system which means the club nutures talent and promotes internally. The fruits of which will be seen in the next generation of Arsenal players to make it to the first team, Gibbs Frimpong Wilshere Bartley Aneke Szezney will all go to be Arsenal greats who have come through the ranks.

    So neglectful is Arsene that he’s bought Myachi, Campbell and the Ox who will go down as some of the best business we have ever done and secure our success not for Wenger reign but the next manager. In two of those signings we had the stand out stars of the under 16 and under 20 world cups.

    He has kept us competitive for every one of his years in charge without incurring any debt. Neglect the man is not only the greatest custodian the club has ever had, he will ensure that whoever takes over will have the best platform for succes in our History.

    Arsenal will be around long after were gone and more importantly successfully thanks to the legacy left by Arsenal. As Jonny stated before we are standing on the shoulders of a collusus of the modern era. We have competed toe to toe with other clubs whose net investments in playing staff are over 15 times our own since 2004.

    Your myopic post concerning a goal keeper and a centre back are easily batted away. Szezney will be an Arsenal keeper for an awful long time and TV5 and Kozzer are both better than Cahill and Samba. If you want to have a critique of Arsene you could have a discussion concerning his tactics, if you want to discuss how he’s neglected the club fuck right off to the Le Grove and try to have a discussion between the racism and paedaphile jibes.

  229. Jonny
    Once you buy into the lie that MONEY is the root of all happiness you’re powerless. Collective amnesia reigns..AW’s the enemy

  230. sad jonny just sad.

    praying for the end of football, just to justify wenger’s philosophy – so sad.


  232. “Well-written and entertaining match report, LA, with typical insight into Arsenal’s play. Could have described Udinese’s play more fully though, as they proved quite a threat, particularly on the counterattack and got some decent set piece opportunities too”.

    This is an Arsenal blog Limestone – if you want ‘balance’ that’s what the media is for, but you won’t find it there so I’m glad for a report like this to counter balance the non stop negativity out there.

    Great write up Limpar Assist


    I agree, Rosicky was pretty good 1st half and he put in a shift and a half! He was visibly drained coming off”.

    Considering how little football he has played due to injury in recent seasons, that this was his third competitive game in a week, plus an injury scare prior to the game, I thought he was a trooper. He really helped out in the middle until he tired later on.

  233. I have to think that the Football bubble with have to burst at some point just like everything else.

    At some point the majority of fans will not be able to buy tickets.

    Even TV networks have channels within the channel to make more money. For example FSC has the regular channel then you have FSC Plus. How much money as an “average Joe” will I be able to pay to watch my team before I will have to give up?

    That bubble is bound to burst at so point.

  234. @boozy u guys think the players dat have come in so far are for free?

  235. @BRF
    well stated!

  236. ghost says:
    August 17, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    There’s your answer!

  237. I have yet to meet or talk to an intelligent person who does not believe that Arsene Wenger is a genius who should remain our manager until he chooses not to be.
    You need only look at the style and contents of posts from the anti Wenger brigade to know that they would fail an entrance exam for Dimwarts, school for dipshits ,
    They would have been the village idiot in days gone bye,
    And those of us who argue with them should seriously question our sanity.

  238. such a shame- there are no super quality players who can improve a team of chamack, squilaci, koscielny, gibbs, jerkinson, rosicky, gervinho, ramsey, diaby e.t.c no fabregas, no nasri.

    only if we could locate super quality players who could improve this squad – if only.

  239. I dont think ghost is any older than 15 maybe.

    He has no original comments and just spouting what he has heard in the media for the most part.

    Fact that he says we need a goalie proves that point.

    dont hurt him too bad, he may grow up with some type of a complex.

  240. who wants to bet against fabregas winning a trophy after less than a week of signing.

  241. Nice write up LA. Rosicky is going to thrive more and more now Cesc has departed and he gets his confidence back to where it was, pre injury. Keeping things ticking along, showing great vision and as always, looking both determined and committed. Coincinding with your change of avatar LA? Just saying 🙂

  242. i am more worried about the journalists’ unhealthy obsession with arsenal than arsenal.

    and i really hope the football bubble go bust real soon. how can it be that the world has an economic crisis and obscene transfer fees and wages are being waved around in football?

  243. Can’t even beat Brum in the CC final. No wonder our best players always want out. And can you AKBs please stop this myth about Wenger “raising expectations”? He didn’t. Arsenal FOOTBALL CLUB raises your expectations with our history. We already had ten league titles before AW showed up and we’ll win many more after he buggers off. Wenger has won three league titles in FIFTEEN years. That’s pretty dam shabby for a man on £7 mil a year! Graham was a better manager in terms of trophies won and ratio.

    Come on Arsene go replace Jose at Real or Pep at Barca. Let’s see how long you’ll have a job for after saying fourth is like a domestic trophy, and you’d sign up for second place for the next twenty years.

    In fact why don’t you all buy a season ticket now for 2020/21 to see the latest project youth recruit in our never ending bright future!!

  244. Nasri really is a fucking whore, I sincerely hope he doesn’t get a place in the first team of manchester city

  245. @ ghost were these so called best players not among those that lost to brum or they are above criticism? was our current best keeper not involved in the mixup for the winner?

  246. Limestonegunner

    Passenal, since we are playing them away next week, it seems useful to have insight into what their tactics and players are all about as well. It is hardly a matter of “balance” in some vacuum of objectivity that I was seeking.

    I am aware that this is an Arsenal blog–thank you for the condescension–but it doesn’t keep Yogi from giving an account of what threat the opponent posed for example. Is he trying to be an objective journalist in your opinion?

    Since I praise his writing and insight, I am sure Limpar can deal with a suggestion about how, in my simple opinion, that elegant writing and interesting insight might have further addressed a subject of interest to me and possibly other Arsenal supporters in the first leg of a two legged tie.

  247. *years ratio*

  248. I think this deserves a repost, just to remind some people what it’s all about

  249. Saying that (I had to get it off my chest) I’m really happy for Ramsey, this is his chance for an uninterrupted, long period of games (provided he is’t injured!) in which he can truly step up, and fill in that void left by Fabregas. I am certain he can do it, and I’m looking forward to how he will play this season, and of course this weekend against Liverpool!
    P.s who’s watching Barca Real tonight, it will be strange to see cesc in that shirt, if he plays..

  250. ok why does people call us AKB? i dont think arsene knows best. i just happen to be a positive person. I just happen to belive in Arsenal and its players. It has nothing to do with AW tbh. I would belive in the exact same players if Villa Boas was the manager or Benitez or Murinho.

    However there is a strong indication that Arsene Weneger knows alot better than 99% of the Arsenal fans. But so does Harry Redknapp and even Sam Allardyce. That is why they are managers and you are not.

    I dont happend to agree with alot of what Allardyce does, however i have to accept that he probably knows more about footy than me and has a more influential personality when it comes to dealing with footballers than me. If he had not i would have been West Ham manager now and not him.

    Same goes for AW. Just because i know that Arsene Wenger knows 100000 times more about football than say goonerandy(sorry andy, ur name just poped into my head), does not mean that i belive Arsene knows best.
    As stated above Allardyce does to. that is why goonerandy is not West Ham manager and earns 2M a year while Allardyce does.

    so fuck you all that thinks that just beacuse we aknowledger that Wenger knows more football than everyone at legrove we instanly mean he is god.
    even the worst first division manager knows more than legrove about footy. i bet they know more than most arsenalfans about footy. again that is why you are moaning at a blogg and they are earning money managing a real team. Same goes for the socalled experts in the papers. if they really knew their trade they would be out there working in footy instead of looking at footy.

    You must be really thick to see the world in black and white. Everyone with some intelligene knows its all in shades…..

  251. Lol, that vid is pretty good haha 😛

  252. who cares it’s wengers last season anyway and most of you will fuck off to wherever he goes

  253. I also read a article criticising the football clubs for prizing out the “real” fans. How the ticket prices were so high and how the average working man could not afford to go see matches no more.

    I find it intersting that the papers write about that while they at the same time encourage all clubs to spend, spend spend. Preaching how spending and splashing the cash is the only way for clubs to get decent players.

    Where do they think the clubs get the money from?

  254. wenger has been let down by his players and will have no time to rebuild bite the bullet arsene and get quality in or you are toast and i would be sad if it ends like that but it will..

  255. yes jonn keep on beliving. haleluja to you

  256. Boozy @ 9.01 – yes, that’s right I am praying for the end of football.

    If you are going to comment on what I wrote you could at least try reading what I wrote and placing it context.

    I say ‘could’ but you are clearly so mentally feeble that I fear this feat would be completely beyond you.

    Your arguments are two dimensional and so simplistic that it’s hard not to wonder if an amoeba has learnt the skill of typing.

  257. i hope we sign pep guardiola next season- top manager

  258. ghost says:
    August 17, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Wenger has won three league titles in FIFTEEN years. That’s pretty dam shabby for a man on £7 mil a year!

    Only 2 different teams have won the prem in that time and 3 different managers.

    Show a bit more respect

  259. Limestonegunner | August 17, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Did you not read OOU’s post the day before? He gave you the background on Udinese and their approach to the game, which is what we saw on the night. Limpar is not a professional journalist as far as I know so he was just giving us a well written Arsenal supporters view of the game not a journalist or pundits view. I’m sure as he watched the game he was thinking about the strenghs and positives of our players rather than the opposition. There are plenty of match reports where you can find a view about the performance of the opposition, but I thought it made a nice change on an Arsenal supporters blog to see a post, which focussed on our team without the agenda driven negativity of the media and other alleged Arsenal bloggers.

  260. I repeat.Look at the posts and imagine how clever these people are.
    If you overhead them in the pup you would spit you drink.
    I dont want to stereotype anyone but they never post on GIRO day ,do they?

  261. passenal

    do the dishes you don’t know shit..

  262. george not even the akb’s take you seriously you are a joke of this site mate a follower

  263. I hope we use the Cesc and Nasri money to tie Wenger down to a 10 year deal

  264. “John the GIRO” it is it seems,I seem to have hit a nerve

  265. jonny, what do you think of pep managing us next year.

  266. This is the manager who has never played Arshavin in his natural position the number 10 role and played 6ft 5in Bendtner as a winger!!! Hahaha

  267. Gains these same people forget they were clamouring for the former city keeper who is now at villa i think,nobody remembers him anymore.anyone notice how most of the players that we are told we shd buy whom we end up not buying jus disappear off the radder?

  268. that video is stupid passenal he is an arsenal fan that is what i got out of it..

  269. Firstlady,Joe Cole for instance

  270. funny as ever george only kids change there name every post you retard.

    do you have a job because you are on here constantly

    GIRO pot and kettle I think

  271. G69 I’m not sure. There was a period in the second half that the whole team seemed to creak like last season but we’d used two subs because of injury. Then they pulled themselves together and I thought we finished the stronger team. I was pleased with the welcome B52 got when warming up. If he can’t find another club, let’s make him welcome for the coming season.

  272. Here you are John a post for you

    Wenga iz de biz , init

  273. my cousin does talk like that though very annoying

  274. PaulN equating boozy to a 15 year old is an insult to 15yr olds.he is more like a stupid parrot that repeats the crap it’s fed.

  275. Jeez. You’re a rather unpleasant cunt, aren’t you John?

    Boozy – I’d be fine with Pep coming to manage but I’d rather focus on the here and now and enjoy the football.

    It’s very hard to see that you D&G merchants ever manage that. If and Wenger leaves I bet you’ll just find something new to moan about.

    What I really can’t tolerate is the total lack of respect – let’s assume you are right and Wenger is past his sell by – why does that make it acceptable to be abusive towards him?

  276. not true firstlady

    alonso real madrid player very good midfielder who most idiots on here argued was poorer then denilson

    chesney has done well lately but if given was to come in it would be a good thing.

    who wanted joe cole?

  277. And i see john and ghost have joined him. I think yogi has the patience of a saint coz if it was me these fellas would be rotting in moderation since the crap they spout is a waste of space which only adds lines to to scroll through.

  278. calm down jonny i’m a lovely timid person but when it comes to the arsenal?

  279. I remember the whole Joe Cole nonsense last summer. people were spitting fire cos liverpool got him. What, are we pretending that didnt happen?

  280. yogi is a saint for letting over views on this site firstlady otherwise what sort of wenger loving free for all would this be.

  281. Well Alonso is better than Denilson
    Well done spotting that Giro

  282. John ,it would be the opposite of Le Shite.

  283. just because a few got annoyed that cole went to the scouse doesn’t mean they spoke for everyone

  284. so two blogs that don’t make a pin prick of influence to our great football club george?

  285. Limestonegunner

    I did read OOU’s preview. The difference between a match preview and a match report is that the first suggests what might happen while the second describes what actually did. Often the two do not resemble one another in all respects. I am glad you enjoyed the write-up, so did I. But it seems that you necessarily associate learning what the other team did and their players did well (and poorly) simply fits into “the agenda driven negativity of the media and other alleged Arsenal bloggers.” I don’t. I think it is quite possible to have a fully supportive Arsenal perspective that does discuss the opponent’s performance. Particularly since we have to play them again next week.

  286. you wasn’t there george I got made look a fool with denilsons stats. when all along i knew he wasnt just better he was alot better..

    Apologies to some i’ve had a few too many tonight..

  287. Well John I have to say you are right there

  288. My name is John, and I am 15 years old.

    Hey John see what I did there???

  289. I’ve just seen BBB score again RM. They don’t need Cesc, the bastards.

  290. i agree with limestone.

  291. I don’t get what you did? how did you do that?

  292. John am calm but I don’t tolerate comments like

    “who cares it’s wengers last season anyway and most of you will fuck off to wherever he goes”

    without passing judgement.

    I supported Arsenal long before Wenger – we are all Arsenal fans first just some of us are Arsene fans too. You don’t have to like him but he deserves more respect and so do we.

  293. Real Madrid got Edward Woodward.

  294. Limestonegunner

    About what, John? Are you joking?

  295. Limestonegunner

    blogging while drunk, I see.

  296. I am very pleased with the way AW and the squad have handled the beginning of this season. Very much looking forward to a very successful campaign. Big scouse at the weekend too. I think we will beat them without conceding. We will you know.

  297. Frank are you back or just popping in?
    Have you had a nice break?

  298. Well seems like Walcott is a “doomer” (or he has been reprogrammed by the “Media Conspiracy”):

    “Walcott conceded that some of the players have privately questioned the direction the club are heading during an unsettling summer, with the departures exacerbated by a spate of injuries and suspensions, which worsened yesterday.”

    In the article Walcott also calls for experienced reinforcements.
    From The Times.

    I don’t think he is a “doomer” but if the players have concerns I don’t see what is wrong in the fans having them.

  299. That Messi boy can play a bit

  300. Well don’t you think that Theo can say that with impunity if he knows who is likely to come in ?

  301. And I have not seen the article but I will wager that he did not say “we question the direction ” that will be the journalist using his poetic licence.

  302. Theo is an intelligent lad and would never question Arsene in public.

  303. I think my avatar was too weighty a cross to bear for him last season, mattyboy. I thought I’d cut him down and set him free.

    Hi Limestone, meant to mention this when you posted this afternoon – I would liked to have talked about Udinese but I didn’t really have time. Secondly, with so much going on at our own club right now and so many important little subplots to make mention of from an AFC POV, I didn’t have any words left spare! Thirdly, I wasn’t paying them too much attention; more how Arsenal players worked off the ball when the little Zebras were in possession and how we organised our shape and how we defended. I thought I’d just mention their fans who were great fun.

    My general view of their performance was summed up by Markus I think, who pointed out that they were kept at arms length, by and large, and forced to try their luck from range. Clean cut chances was about 3-1 by my count, and we took one of ours. I thought OOU’s piece yesterday was an excellent ‘way in’ to Udinese and I’ll follow them with interest because, like Finsbury says, they’re some of the good guys. But right now… bigger fish to fry baby!

    Glad you liked it, Pass.

  304. and lew you heard Walcott say it?

  305. Sorry – And, like Passenal says, this is a bit of an Arsenal stronghold we’re in here, so you have to write with that readership in mind. Again, as P says, this would not have gone down well in a Press Room for example. I’m aware of that.

  306. Then the reporter is stupid and a statement will appear on saying Theo never said anything of the sort and we can chalk it up to the “Media Conspiracy” or Walcott did say them maybe to put some pressure on the boss to buy?

    And Messi is bloody brilliant.

  307. Limestone, we’ll just have to agree to disagree then. I was happy with the post ‘as is’. You wanted something more and think it should have been in the post, whilst I thought you could get this elsewhere if you really want it and it’s not LA’s responsibility to provide it.

  308. Paul-N

    I read it in The Times quoted the section up there for you to read are you suggesting the reporter made it up?

  309. Lew1234 where did you post it?
    I would like to see it ,if you can do it again please

  310. Hey George

    I am only quoting sections as there are copyright issues (I don’t want to be sued sounds paranoid I know but I have heard stories):

    Theo Walcott called on Arsène Wenger yesterday to bring experienced players to Arsenal as the manager faced up to more turmoil in what has become one of the most difficult periods of his career.

    Arsenal have lost several other experienced squad members during a turbulent summer — Gaël Clichy and Emmanuel Eboué have been sold and Denilson sent out on a season-long loan, while Nicklas Bendtner has been made available for transfer — leaving Walcott as one of the club’s senior players at the age of 22. Wenger has only signed one established player, Gervinho, and focused on recruiting promising teenagers such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson and Ryo Miyachi.

    Walcott was amused to discover that he was the oldest player on his table at Arsenal’s pre-match dinner for the game away to Newcastle United last week, but does not regard the squad’s lack of experience as a laughing matter.
    The England winger is confident that Arsenal will bring in reinforcements before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, although Wenger has been frustrated at what he perceives as a lack of value in the market.

    Walcott was reluctant to name names, particularly after angering Fabio Capello with criticisms of the England manager in his recently published biography, but is adamant that Arsenal need more experienced faces.
    “I was the oldest on my table at Newcastle at dinner,” he said. “I was 22 and I was the oldest. It was quite funny, but it is important to have a mixture of experienced and young players. The boss knows what he is doing. He has picked out great players, we didn’t know where they came from, before, so only time will tell what he is going to do.”

    Walcott conceded that some of the players have privately questioned the direction the club are heading during an unsettling summer, with the departures exacerbated by a spate of injuries and suspensions, which worsened yesterday.

    “We have a fairly big squad, but we don’t want the squad to get lower and lower,” Walcott said.

    The bits I left out just talked about transfer targets(no new names) and the suspensions.

    Overall fairly positive as you would expect from Theo (great lad) but a little questioning.

  311. Thanks lew1234
    I notice that the part about”questioning the direction” was not a Walcott quote.As I suspected would be the case.
    We would have to know what the question was that he “conceded” too,before we can draw any real conclusions.

  312. Our squad makes Victoria beckham look like Dawn French!

  313. Can anyone tell me who is watching the Barca-Real match are those monkey chants aimed at Marcelo from the Barcelona fans? If so that is a bloody disgrace.

  314. I mwas watching it Lew, but cannot face it man. I know they have previous tho.

  315. Could be lew, people have made up far more than that.

    We all know we could do with some additions but the most telling comment is that he believes Arsene knows what he is doing.

  316. Is anyone worried about the state of our squad yet?

  317. Paul N

    He is 22, he should think that the manager knows what he is doing.

    TBH, I am starting to wonder.

  318. I’m er popping back in, george

  319. Dexter

    Think when Fabergas comes on I will have to bail but its been a great match. Hope that they weren’t Monkey chants.


    Like I said if the reporter made them up I expect to release a statement from Theo saying its not true (and working for The Times the reporter to be reprimanded/fired I mean its The Times not the Star).

  320. I heard the name Kaka going around, I wouldnt mind him actually. Sometimes a change can give someone a second wind.

    A player I wouldnt mind either is Forlan, that guy can play!

    RM-Barca has gotten boring now.

    Monkey chants? thats a shame!

  321. Back in London and happy to be here

  322. Dex why worry what good will it do?

    Lew,I dont think as there is no direct quote we will here anything

  323. “Monkey chants? thats a shame!”

    But not a surprise in spain sadly

  324. George

    I know it wont achieve anything mate, just unloading a bit! Its been building up all week and with Nasri about to fuck off for the big fat paycheck and our squad with more holes in it than my string vest, things aint looking too clever at the moment.

  325. “KEEP THE FAITH” As they used to say at Northern Soul nights

  326. Dex, I am sure that people younger than Walcott believe that Wenger doesnt know what he is doing.

    I remain confident!

  327. Can these two play without a fight breaking out?

  328. Poor Cesc…

  329. George

    The players will get my full unequivecal support on Saturday, but it doesnt detract from my very concerns about the paucity of our squad mate. If Song, Diaby and Wilshere were available, I wouldnt be half as worried.

  330. PaulN, oh I am too, but I meant the players! 😀

  331. Dex I hear you ,but what can you do?

  332. congratulations Cesc, didn’t take too long, did it?

  333. first game, first trophy.

  334. Yes fantastic achievement .Well done Cesc.

    What a pair of twats

  335. Charity Shield counts for something now does it?

    Then again, signing for one of the only 2 clubs in the sunny scottish league is a pretty much guarantee of a trophy isnt it?

  336. Congratulating that cowardly cunt as well?

    What a fuck wit

  337. yeah, keep telling yourself that, what about the Champions League then?

  338. George

    We can discuss cant we?

  339. Keep telling myself what?

    That you’re a very sad little man? Who just posted on an ARSENAL blog with the sole intention of starting a pathetic petty minded little fight?

    Is tha what you meant?

  340. We can Dex but the result will be us crying in our beer

  341. How sad an existence must you have to feel the need to do such petty minded puerile shit?

  342. er, no mate, keep telling yourself that La Liga is some kind of shit Jocko league on steroids…

    fight? shooting fish in the barrel, more like…

  343. George

    Its cheaper than therapy man! 😀

  344. Glory hunting at its best.

  345. You really are a sad little boy.

  346. George remember your comment about doomers earlier?

    lets not respond to these guys.

  347. La Liga is a 2 team league now. The points gap is huge, in fact the scottish league is more competitive now.

    Inly a sad petty little boy, looking for a fight would disagree with that.

    Oh wait.

  348. Typical suga 3 – there’s no sign of him until there is a chance to get a dig in. cesc went to barca for guaranteed trophies, he got what he wanted, so what is there to congratulate him for? He’s no longer an Arsenal player so he can take his trophy and shove it where the sun don’t shine as far as I am concerned.

  349. Limestonegunner

    Thanks LA, as usual insightful.

  350. Xabi will willingly shove it for him Pass.

  351. its funny how so many of you made fun of me, a Barca fan, for coming to this Arsenal blog to track Vela and Cesc.. then i log on, and all of you are watching a BARCELONA game!! LMAO!!!

  352. Whats funny is you’re not a barca fan, you’re a glory hunter and you know it. Where you from again?

  353. Dexter..

    La Liga is NOT a 2 team league anymore. Malaga and Racing, now has more money than Arsenal has ever had.. They were purchased by foreigners just like it happened in your league.. Check out Malaga and tell me Arsenal has more stars than they do this season.

  354. Glory hunter?? stfu eunuc!! what the hell would you know about me..

  355. Also funny reading how some of you found the game boring…. i would ask if he enjoyed Arsenals game yday, but it is not necesary is it?? fucking boring to death!… Those where not monkey chants hahaha so much bullshit on this blog

  356. A wild Gloryhunter has appeared!

  357. Dex,See my posts at 9;19 & 9;45

  358. Malaga have spent a shit load of cash this season, which may well make the league more competitive.

    I know you are a glory hunter, prove otherwise or fuck off.

  359. George

    I am obviously one of those you mentioned, as I am too thick to understand your point!

  360. Well, that milk float aint going to drive itself, so laters

  361. Much as I hate to credit ‘Arry for anything I liked what he said, when asked, about Arsenal fans wanting rid of Wenger. He said they must be bloody mad, and went on.


    “1st man – we was rubbish last night George.
    “George – did you go to the game?
    “1st man – No I never saw the game I read it in the paper.

  362. This had me in stitches

  363. My name is John, and I am 15 years old.

    ohh man. GIF’s always crack me up.

  364. Johnny: “Passenal, go do the dishes, you don’t know shit”

    How much do you want to bet that this guy beats his woman?

  365. Just Another Luke

    Just an observation on Jack Wilshere:

    He seems to be a poor judge of his own physical condition. I remember he made light of his ankle injury and that he could be back for the England – Holland friendly even. It turns out that his injury is laying him up till the Swansea game.

  366. Dups 12.52, thank you for making me laugh like a mad woman in the office. 😀

  367. that’s the 1-0 against us at The Ems last season, ain’t it?

  368. Yogi’s not in today as well, it seems..

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