Arsenal Progress Is Business As Usual

Champions League 4th Qualifying Round, 2nd Leg
Udinese Calcio 1 – 2 Arsenal

1 – 0 di Natale (39)
1 – 1 van Persie (55)
1 – 2 Walcott (69)

Szczesny world class penalty save (57)

If this was a season defining match, the season is defined as business as usual.

Arsenal overcame the negative headlines beforehand and destroyed a million tabloid layouts by winning in northern Italy to qualify for the Champions League for the fourteenth consecutive season. Afterwards Arsène resisted the temptation to stick out his tongue and shout, “Ner-ne-ner-ne-ner” to his detractors, settling for his sardines and trawlers moment by bringing up a pilot analogy.

In all seriousness, this was a much needed victory, hard fought for a match that Arsenal were largely comfortable in. Udinese threatened as they had done in the first leg, Arsenal exploited their hosts defensive weaknesses in equal measure. If Arsenal had the woodwork and Wojciech Szczesny to thank for the scores being level until close to half-time, the Italians had Samir Handanovic to be grateful to as well, the Slovenian goalkeeper producing a brace of double saves from close range that would have led to a more emphatic scoreline at the final whistle.

Despite the win, Wenger and Robin van Persie spoke of their desire for new signings in their post-match interviews. The manager gave no promises about newcomers arriving before the weekend, other than it was his desire to strengthen his squad before the window closes. Given the zealousness with which his critics were hammering his players, it is naive to believe that there will be any less relentlessness before the weekend. Reason has gone out of the window as far as this squad is concerned, too many happy to criticise.

We know that they could do with a newcomer or two to strengthen but they could do with support as well, especially since this season has seen them fight harder for each other than anything in the two previous.

From the kick-off, both sides were determined that this match be finished within 90 minutes. Samir Nasri moaned that Arsenal fans lost the passion in the move to The Emirates; it was a two-way street with more passion being displayed by the midfield in one performance this evening than Nasri has managed in the whole of 2011 wearing an Arsenal shirt. Can’t wait for Manchester City to visit The Emirates this season although Nasri will probably show his customary lack of bottle and not show up.

Emmanuel Frimpong snapped into tackles, hassled and harried during the first half, with Alex Song providing a defensive partnership which stifled Udinese attacks in the first half. When more guile was needed to gain the equaliser, Tomas Rosicky was on hand to give a cameo performance that served as a reminder as to why Arsène prised him from Borussia Dortmund in the first place.

In the back four, Carl Jenkinson served notice of the potential with a solid performance at right back whilst Bacary Sagna sat comfortably on the wrong side of the pitch whilst in the middle Vermaelen and Djourou were kept busy by the once more lively di Natale. The Italians leading scorer found a formidable opponent in Szczesny. And when the young Pole was beaten, the battle became between di Natale and the woodwork, the score even at the end, one in-off, one bounced out.

It was a similar score with Szczesny, a looping header found the net in the first half as Udinese made their pressure pay. Pinzi’s pass begged for the finish it got as di Natale found the space to deliver a blow just before half-time. Szczesny would have his revenge in the second half. As Handanovic had done in the first, producing an outstanding double save immediately after the opening goal, Szczesny produced an outstanding penalty save when the referee displayed as much incompetence as Massimo Busacca. The softest of handballs, a well-struck spot kick and an outstretched palm to turn it over the bar. As the ball span onto the top of the net, you could sense the belief drain from the Italian team.

If Theo Walcott wants to play centrally, he would have learned a lot from the more experienced Udinese player. Too often Walcott found himself shooting from distance, his craft a homage to Thierry Henry with sidefooted shots Theo’s forte. Too often they were comfortable for Handanovic to save, parry and generally gather.

Even so, Walcott pounced fifteen minutes after his captain had volleyed home from the impressive Gervinho’s cross. Walcott’s finish was more definitive when Sagna sent him clear, Handanovic comprehensively beaten.

To the chagrin of many, the draw for the Champions League will feature Arsenal, pot one, a seeded team. Sunday is another day. Today is about yesterday. Lets enjoy looking back before looking forward.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on August 25, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 345 Comments.

  1. Right, business as usual. The media made it out to be much tougher than it was supposed to be. Even some of our own fans seemed to secretly wish for an Udinese win just to be able to say, I said so. Congratulations to the players for ignoring the brouhaha and concentrating on the job on the pitch. If they can continue doing the same we will be alright come May.

  2. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Can’t praise the boys enough. Sagna was magnificent at left back. Playing on the wrong side he is still so much better than Clichy!

    Noted Frimpong’s scoff at Wilshere’s tweet regarding ‘good luck Nasri’. Can’t help but think that getting rid of wantaways has strengthened the resolve of remaining players.

    Absolutely love RVP as captain. Great post match interview and oozing class. Arsenal legend for sure.

    Very happy Gooner for a change.

  3. So proud of the boys!!! I can’t say it anymore than that. This team has HEART! I can’t wait for Jack to get back. We need his drive.
    Great review Yogi. I have to say, Nasri’s comments were not a surprise. His relationship with the fans really deteriorated over the last 2 months and like the snide little cunt he has proven to be, he has attacked us. If there is one player I wish all the worst luck it is him. No doubt he wont mind sitting on the bench though, as long as he gets paid!

    Gervinho is TRICKY hey? Man of the match for me. So happy for Wenger. He has taken us to the group stages of the CL for 14 consecutive seasons. 14!! My God what an accomplishment. What a manager!!

    The boys will step up against United. We might not win. Hey we may even lose at Old Trafford, but I am loving the passion on the pitch! I just wish Arshavin would find his form. Oh, and well done to Jenk. Can’t believe what a breath of freshair this kid. He looked completely at ease and a much better option with Sagna at left back who had a massive game.

  4. congratulations to all. players , rice AW and the away support. great post YW. ENJOY THE WIN AND THE QUALIFICATION GOONERS. ALL SUPPORT TO GET BEHIND THE CREW. don’t let them down. even this site was a pleasure to visit as everyone were pulling for the guys. keep it up gooners. one game at a time. this team has learned to play for eachother as never before. hoping for a good draw today.
    today and always
    UP THE GUNS OF MY ARSENAL!!!!

  5. To be frank, I had my dark moments last week. Was almost resigned to being in Europa League this season. Interestingly, there was no pressure while watching the match. It was one of the matches that I genuinely enjoyed watching in a loong loong time. Keep it up arsenal!!
    One thing I will be grateful for Wenger whenever he leaves, is the treasure trove of memories of the bright, fantastic and aesthetically pleasing football his teams play. There is NO difference in the style of play with three new people in the team (Frimps, Jenkinson, Gervinho). If this is not ARSENAL DNA, I dont know what it is 🙂
    I still don’t have too much hopes for us this season, but am licking my lips for a couple of more years. Miquel and Bartley can come thru. Frimps and Jenks should cement their places. Jack and Rambo will be seasoned in a couple of more years, we will have a team that was brought up truly together. This means about 60% of the first team would have been involved in the club from youth levels. This is a great recipe for a long term success, if it is allied with quality signings like Gervinho, Verminator. Future will be very bright then. Until then, I will shut my mouth and keep my fingers crossed.

  6. Nice write up YW.

    All is all an excellent win. I have to say at half time I was really quite worried. Whilst we looked dangerous in possession, we also looked remarkably “easy to get at” (again) at the back. The Italians carved out a number of chances from little possession, and their goal was a bad one to concede. The gap between the back 4 and defence to large (a constant moan of mine), and all 3 midfielders taken out by one simple pass. Good finish at the end though.

    The 2nd half was much better though. Gervihno really looked a threat all night and we looked a much more compact team all round. Theo played OK, but his goal was excellent. That is the one position (which we got him into) where he really excels and looks the business. Rosicky also excellent when he came on. He won an amazing amount of tackles and look generally busy.

    A word for Szczesny though. He was already having a good game when faced with a very very softly awarded pen. I remember thinking before it was taken that this is the type of situation that a top top goalkeeper would make a save in, and he didn’t disappoint. That type of moment inspires confidence through the team in their keeper, and really can be pivotal in a keepers career.

    A perfect result in many ways. We go through, the manner of the victory will give the team some confidence, but still there were enough flaws on display in the 1st half that the manager knows changes still need to happen.

  7. Congratulations indeed to the players and to Wenger for getting his team motivated and his tactics right. It was vital that they stayed positive after the break, and that’s exactly what they did at a time when they could have retreated into their shells.

    Having conceded the opening goal, the second half was a time for heroes rather than the hysteria which has flooded the internet and papers in recent days. In Szczesny, Gervinho, van Persie et al we had plenty of them on the pitch who were willing to stand up and be counted.

    Gervinho was my man of the match, but I think Jenkinson deserves a special mention for a very solid performance and also the much-maligned Rosicky, who reminded us what he is still capable of (even if many of us had forgotten or already written him off).

    There’s still much work to do – the road back is long – but hopefully this result will get people off Wenger’s back for a while now. A couple of decent signings in the next week and things will be looking good again.

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2011/08/24/szczesny-gives-arsenal-25-million-reasons-to-be-happy/

  8. “Today is about yesterday. Lets enjoy looking back before looking forward.”
    Cheers YW!

  9. Not really into metaphors and analogies so the first couple of paragraphs were waisted on me, ” sardines and trawlers?”. I`ve obviously missed some thing.

    As I commented on another blog (or whatever they`re called) I`m eating humble pie and happy to do so and also suggest credit must go to Arsene Wenger , he needs a change of luck. Let`s hope the `good tooth fairy` sticks around for our trip north at the weekend.

  10. BTW, how incompetent was the referee! I still think it will be very difficult for us ths season

  11. Really enjoyed the game last night.

    If there was ever any doubt, Szczesny bitch slapped it out of the “Arsenal need a world class keeper” brigade. The team played for him and he played for the team.

    Was it only me or did little Mozart conduct an orchestra for us in the second half. His tackles were also sublime though the ref thought otherwise.

    there’s something about this team – it isn’t just the talent, there just seems to be a new found resolution not to mug themselves.

    Someone mentioned it last night – but Ian Wright was almost crying when he was doing his after game punditry. it was almost like he never wanted us to go through.

    As for Nasri – as every day goes by, it’s becoming clearer that Arsenal will be much better without him. It’s his right to be a mercenary, but he doesn’t have to drag Arsenal in the mud while doing it. Kolo Toure went gracefully unlike the snide remarks about trophy winning, passionate crowds and lack of ambition we heard from Adebayor and in some part Clichy.

  12. Thanks Yogi. Has it really been 14 consecutive CL appearances? Outrageous. I am so am excited about this team and the English core Wenger has cultivated through the transfer market and the youth academy. One or two signings and a relax in the relentless negativity from our supporters and we’ll be on our way…

  13. Oh man, was I ever scared! What a great stop by Szczesny, I was really afraid they’d have called encroachment though on Djourou; he really needs to be more careful as that would have been a catastrophe. Though man, huge win and way to rally together in the 2nd half. I wish I could have heard what AW said.

  14. And what did I tell you guys yesterday – Arsenal negotiators were seen with Kaka’s people. We’re vying to sign the Brazilian. And this one isn’t from the watchman.

  15. One interesting thing though, Arsene said last night that he felt the mental strength from the beginning of the season. He had always commented in the past couple of seasons that what we need to show is mental strength. Does that mean the earlier team, under Fab, didn’t have it? If so then it is a very costly error for Wenger to have the team built around him and made him the captain.

    We have had four club captains since Viarra left. Henry, Gallas, Fab and RvP. It would be very interesting if Wenger or Rice will write a book later and share the thought process in appointing Captains through these transition years. For me, 4/4 decisions he has made is NOT ideal. Even now Verminator could have been the best choice. I understand other considerations (to keep RvP here), but you can build a team around a player, even when the person is NOT a captain. Real is building it’s team around Ozil, ManU around Scholes, Barca around Xavi and so on. just a thought to ponder. RvP is most gifted footballer on the pitch for arsenal (including Arsh and Jack), I would like to keep his focus in what he does best, dazzling defenders and score goals.

  16. Cheers all!!!

    Happy ending to a difficult tie.

    Great performance by the lads yesterday. Evertone burst a gut for the other, after which our fluency returned. Rosicky, oh! I love you.

    Thanks guys, you made my day.
    By the way, great atmosphere on the blog yesterday (except for a few d******), lets keep the spirit guys.

  17. This is the new arsenal.a hardworking team with a bit of guile. Ramsey to me is still the old arsenal. Its worrying that he allows opponents get past him easily.

  18. Just Another Luke

    mj_gunner

    I thought the penalty was soft, and a few offside flags by the assistant referee against Walcott were really marginal. Yellow cards were dished out over-liberally.

    However, in my view, the referees’ ncompetence were evenly felt by both sides, meaning, I don’t detect any bias.

  19. Sceszney – world class.

    Rosicky – changed the game.

    Gervinho has Henry’s socks and his skill.

    Nasri – can fuck off the lesbian cunt.

  20. – Walcott elbowed on his jaw
    – Walcott booked for nothing later
    – Soft penalty, as you mentioned
    – Atleast 3 throwins/ corners not given to us, shoudl have been

  21. This team is playing differently. Much more like manu than barca. More ‘grit’, less tappy tappy.

    I’m not complaining though. Good football played with determination. RVP lacks a little service at the moment. That can change.

    Nice one Arsene.

  22. @Arsefan

    What’s also interesting is that many have been screaming for a change, but they don’t even recognize when the change is happening. What if what was needed is to break the dependancy on the big name players like Cesc and Nasri – and as magnificent as they were – we have to accept that when it counted most, they didnt help carry the team.

    You can’t complain that the team is not good enough to win trophies, yet you don’t acknowledge your own short-comings in that mix. Those who wanted Clichy let go saw it happen and still question why Wenger let go of a senior player.

    Even before the final arrivals at the club by the end of the window, what is crystal clear in this short time is that there’s a new determination with this team. There’s new blood, there’s injured players to come back and there’s suspended players. Out of our squad of 25 from last year, at least 25% have been shifted or have moved on. Some our choice, and some not, but all the same, there is change. It’s not in the form that some expected, but it’s change nonetheless.

    Let’s see how the next week pans out with the Manure game and any new faces and then we can focus on supporting this great club for another campaign.

  23. Just Another Luke

    Yes mj

    The elbow to Walcott should have been a penalty. What was the additional assistant referee on the goal line doing? Although the game was already won by then, it is ridiculous that the offence was missed.

  24. Read this comment on one of the tabloids article

    “I’ll tell you guys a little story. My step-dad used­ to referee conference football and used to know all the­ Prem League refs. Do you remember the ref Dermot­ Gallacher? You would have never seern him wear a short­ sleeved top. Why? Because he had a Man U crest tatooed­ on his left forearm ! And this guy used to ref Man U­ matches!
    Just like Webb, the FA obviously dont care if­ a ref is bias.”

  25. Isn’t Gallagher the ex-ref Sly Sports and Talk Spite always wheel out to prove that Howard Webb’s decisions favouring the Manure were good calls and that there’s no conspiracy?

    Or is it 3 cards Pole. Oh – forgot, 3 cards Pole is a Daily Heil hack now.

  26. Madrid reject Arsenal’s Kaka bid
    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has failed in his bid to sign Real Madrid midfielder Kaka on loan.

    The Gunners are desperately in need of reinforcement in midfield following the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri within two weeks.

    Currently faced with intense scrutiny over his miserly ways in the transfer market, Wenger has decided to make a statement of intent by launching a bid to acquire Kaka’s services.

    But according to The Daily Mail newspaper, Madrid have swiftly rejected the Gunners’ latest attempt to prise the Brazilian playmaker to the Emirates on loan.

    “It is believed that the Spanish giants will only consider a permanent move for the 29-year-old, who has struggled to regain his best form at the Santiago Bernabeu.

    Jose Mourinho is also looking to get Kaka’s £153,000-a-week salary off the clubs’ books but will be expecting nothing short of £17.5million for the former World Player of the year.”

  27. Arsene Baggins

    Well, I can’t help but feel vindicated in my earlier comments on this blog. I think a few additions to the squad would be useful but I’ve always thought that our achilles heal was not talent but mental. I also made an earlier comment that I thought that Fabregas and Nasri were part of the problem. I don’t mean that they are entirely to blame for our failure to pick up a trophy but they were part of the culture that had grown up around the Emirates.

    I suppose my words sound harsher than I am intending and the loss of such talent is significant but you can have all the talent in the world but I’ve always thought that Fabregas is a man that needed to be led and that Nasri lacks the emotional maturity to perform on constant basis. Both are world class players but I can’t help feel that a dark cloud has been lifted over the summer (in spite of the media hysterics).

    I know we have not been a cohesive unit over the last 4 games and show our best passing game -I feel really optimistic for the future when I look at the attitude of the team. There is nothing better than a test of character to see a team with their backs against the wall due to the hysteronics of the media and a section of the on demand fans.

    They showed real bottle yesterday and the heart to play as a team. I was so proud. I loved the more direct approach. The ingredients for success are still there and I think the events of the last few months has hardened the resolve of our more established players and the emergence of such outstanding characters as Frimpong (love his twitter feeds), Jenkinson and Miquel is heartening for that a fan to see.

    Win or lose. Bring on Utd.

  28. @ Darius 7:40am. Great comment mate, wholeheartedly agree!!

  29. Arsene Baggins

    Oh and I can’t wait to see Ryo Myaichi make his first team debut. With the right guidance, this kid is going to be some player. A serious, serious talent.

  30. I’m sorry, but 6 months of brilliant play out of a 3 year career does not make you world class. Nasri is not as good as he thinks he is.

  31. Arsene Baggins

    Kaka would be nice but this isn’t fantasy football.

  32. Arsene Baggins

    @ Paul. I agree. I think Nasri has made a huge career gamble by moving to Manchester City. Yes, the financial rewards are brilliant but Samir needs the right guidance to unlock his potential -this is not something that Roberto Mancini is known for. At the moment, Man City are collecting ‘stars’ but are offloading them at an alarming rate.

    However, he may raise his game with the additional pressure to perform on a consistant basis -knowing that a poor performance will cost him a place. If he doesn’t find the consistancy then this could end up being a black hole for his career.

    Top quality player. A keen student of the game but emotionally immature imo.

  33. Arsene Baggins

    If Samir was keen on a move, it would have been better for him to move to a club like Man United where at least he would have a manager who can improve his game.

  34. Wenger may be looking for a stop gap to buy time for Rambo and Li’l Jack. That might be a rationale behind the loan signings.

    And what the hell happened at Upton Park last night? Aldershot? What on earth happened to Sam Allardysio’s team.

  35. Interesting, I had thought Kaka would be the right kind of player at the right time, a season ot two. Every time I see Jenks I get impressed. It’s more than solid, more like ‘motivated’, or better ‘spirited’. I like that he’s unafraid to take on an offensive role, but within his limits. Ramsey had an excellent match too, his best of the season so far, and looks to me like he’s ‘returning’. But Rosicky stole the show when, movement, belief, possibility all in one.

    Well done to Udinese for attacking and playing their best to the last, Di Natale is an excellent striker. It has been an interesting tie. Arsenal has come out tops in every department and both legs. Better still RvP has broken his duck for the competitive season. Now watch.

  36. “As the ball span onto the top of the net, you could sense the belief drain from the Italian team.”

    Well said Yogi. I noticed this too.

  37. Rosicky’s best game in an Arsenal shirt.
    Just a word on the press; I read Henry Winter’s report in the Telegraph last night.
    Don’t these people have any shame? He seems to have made a Volte face.
    This chap has been unfairly critical of Arsene in the last couple of weeks.

  38. In many ways this Arsenal side reminds me of an old Arsenal tradition. Best keeper in the EPL. Iconic super-confident striker devoted to Arsenal. One world class midfielder who people name their children after (except we have a few). One tricky maverick winger. Add lots of spirit, a handful of FUs, devoted fans, red and white strip. Arsenal.

  39. Arsene Baggins

    The media don’t have an agenda. They are like a crowd of yobs, rampaging and looting london. They target scraps and in a whirlwind of hysteronics portray the end of the world. And then, if the next day if we are on top of the world then they have collective amnesia and cream themselves like a teenage boy that ‘brushed’ past a beautiful blonde. Its their way of making money of being heart. They don’t have any morality, bias agianst our team….they simply go where the wind takes them and then the crowded of journalists swarm that stody like a pack of wolves.

    Arsenal appear to be a an easy target because of the integrity of their manager but if we win against Man United then the song sheet will change.

    They are amoral c*nts.

  40. Very good half-time adjusments from Wenger as well I though. Rosicky making the centre tighter combined with the call for Jenkinson to stay back a bit more, looked a different side after that. So much more comfortable in possession and less vulnerable defensively.

  41. Arsene Baggins

    So many typos, can’t be bothered to correct them. Sorry!

  42. Darius:
    “What’s also interesting is that many have been screaming for a change, but they don’t even recognize when the change is happening.”

    Yes there is a certain sense of inertia with regards to people acknowledging our new style. I suppose its brought about by the sense that we are still a few signings away from being awesome. To be fair its not a new feeling. The circumstances was somewhat similar in previous seasons where gaps (perhaps less obvious than this season) were not filled and it cost us in the end.
    While in the past his refusal to close gaps in the squad with adequate signings can be explained away, this time around it will be sheer folly not to act.

  43. Should have said; “….his inability/refusal to close gaps….

  44. A great game, loved every second. I was even still upbeat after Udinese scored.
    But we do need reinforcements and not just to give Jack and Rambo time, we need em to compete in all the competitions. We can ill afford any more injuries.
    As far as Nasri goes I wish he’d make his mind up. First he’s leaving for trophies so he signs with a club that has won a single noteworthy trophy in 20 years. Then Patrick Viera talked him into it, then it was a lack of passion from the fans. Be honest you grubby little french mercenary, It’s about MONEY! He’s another Fla-money, and i hope that like him and Hleb he sinks into obscurity after leaving.
    And i agree that the team need support, its not them we are frustrated with, its club management ( not only Arsene but the board as well) and their failure to plan adequately for the players that everyone knew were leaving. If you did that in corporation and let your best staff go without sourcing replacements on par with those who left, you’d be fired.
    A man with hope again.

  45. I am so proud of the team. Thank you guys for the win, I was worried for a moment there when they scored and was sitting at the edge of my seat in a bundle of nerves. Rosicky for me changed the game, he really can orchestrate the game, not to mention his beautiful tackles,jus wow. Gervs, Sagna, Jenks, Van P,Song the whole team played their part
    Passenal I think it’s time you started saving on the 20 pounds for Dex, Chezzer did great and on his current form he may be our no. 1.

  46. bob mcnabs eyebrows

    Great display by the lads last night. Rosicky and song played blinders in the second half!

    Theo looked so dangerous the entire game, love to see him as a forward with Rvp in behind.

    Oh and Kamran can you desist with the UP THE GUNS OF MY ARSENAL please? It sounds rather homoerotic 🙂

  47. Great write up Yogi,

    I do think the Ms. Nasri has a point about the change of supporter attitude between stadiums though. This is partly down to the tragic logic of the market (win now, pay later), partly down to familiarity (with success under Arsene) breeding contempt, partly down to the changing circumstances of the EPL (which has new funds and greater challenges than before) and, equally, down to the larger stadium not being as easily unified in attitudes and responses (not to mention the easy with which you could comunicate your support directly to players on the pitch. Hopefully, as Arsene proves himself (yet again), the support, passion and noise levels will demonstrate what we gooners really can be and that will make her realise what she is now missing.

    As for last night: 3G’s is going to be massive I tells ya! Mozart composed a masterpiece and epitomised the new fighting spirit of this team. Frimpong looked frightening (literally and metaphorically). Sczezzer proved his potential is more than mere potential, even at this stage. (TV5, Song and Ramsey all looked not quite where they need to be but the season is young and my belief in them is huge).

    All in all, a great night’s work and perfect preparation for the Mancs fixture.

    COYG

  48. Song was much better once he moved slightly further back.

  49. Aussie Jack,

    The reference to “sardines” and “trawlers” relates to that ex-Manc Cantana who conducted a weird interview in which he likened his pursuit by the media to seagulls following a trawler (because it knows it is going to get fed). The interview perplexed many and seemed to epitomise his Gallic temperament and/or quasi-artistic pontifications.

    It is often used in reference to a perplexing statement.

  50. Goonerandy,

    I think that’s true, but I still believe he has a few more gears to go through. Fingers crossed.

  51. Great result, and very spirited performance. Its a great relief entering the season with a keeper worthy of being our number 1. What a player the young pole is. You can see the confidence he installs the defenders.

    Aside from the game, interested to see we have bid for M’Vila. An excellent player. It seems AW has highlighted a versatile DM/CB as his preferred signing (Jones / Jagielka) now we have missed these two, perhaps it is Song who will flirt between the two roles as the specialist M’Vila joins the club.

    Either way its adding a physical, agressive, defensive established international to the armoury, and it will be signing I would love to see materialise.

  52. Yogi,

    Just one more point of Nasri’s comparison of our fans with the Citeh boys: let’s see how “passionate” they are after a decade and a half of success followed by a less successful interlude. Expectations are difficult to manage and passion is often like a lady in waiting to those expectations. Once the wait is over, passion often changes.

    Oh the seagulls…

  53. Darius stop trying to put the boot in. We are all Arsenal fans. Everyone is delighted we won. Get over yourself alright?

  54. For what it’s worth. Guardian.
    “Arsène Wenger has made a bold statement of intent by offering £22m to Rennes for the holding midfielder Yann M’Vila.

    The Arsenal manager has consistently promised to make signings during what has been a testing summer only to struggle to find value in the market. But he appears to have concluded that he must pay over the odds for the right player and M’Vila, who has established himself as a regular for France, fits the bill.

    Wenger has already had a £15m bid rejected for the 21-year-old and his latest offer would shatter Arsenal’s transfer record for an incoming player. M’Vila is under contract until 2015”.

  55. @ Arsene Baggins 8:19. Very poetic and sums the english media up perfectly.

  56. I have a feeling that signing M’Villa is to free Song up for a CB role. If you look at what is available in the market, Cahill is the best of the lot but no matter which way you spin it I just cannot see Arsenal spending 17 million on him when we can have hime for free in a year. Jags is NEVER worth 15 million and he is NOT better than TV or Kos. Djourou is good enough as back up and the young spaniard showed his class as 4th or 5th choice. Song has always done well at CB and I just get a sneaky feeling that this is what Wenger has in store.

  57. There is nothing this team can’t do with Rosicky and Song sat in-front of a back four out of Sagna, Jenk, Gibbs, Kosc, Verm, Djou, Miq in front of the mighty Schezzer.

    Honestly Rosicky was some force last night.

  58. Agree with dukey, and ZimPaul.

    Schezzer’s save was reminiscent of this one from my man Dave in ’95 ‘gainst ‘Tillo Lombardo. Hero.

  59. A quote from Peter Hill Wood after the 1989 epic game at Anfield, when after the game he remained in his seat with everybody else on their feet going mental, David Dein looked down at him only for Peter to say “NEVER IN DOUBT’. just about sums up last night perfectly.

    So proud of the boys and especially for Arsene, what pressure has he been under the last week !
    Lets not get too above our station, we still have a lot of problems but should all hold our heads high and give a wry smile to all those people hoping for us to fail.

    COME ON YOU GUNNERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  60. @Henristic.

    Wouldn’t it be fair to say that Arséne has already made a start to chopping and changing things and that it’s not unreasonable to expect that if 25% or so of the squad has moved on, then there is likely to be options that we will put in place.

    Inertia is fine as a state of affairs, but it’s also a lost cause when people don’t notice change whether subtle or not. There could be any number of plausible reasons why Arsenal hasn’t yet brought in the new players that we know we need, not least the need to settle the transfers of Cesc and Nasri so that we know where to stand. Arsenal has never publicized it’s transfer dealings and short of continuing with the hissy fits, there’s absolutely no way the management is going to change this tactic this summer transfer window.

    I come back to my point about change. Very rarely does it take the form we expect, and yet when it happens, human nature is such that we are hesitant to recognize it because it doesn’t look like what we thought it would do. A good example is the change from using Eboue as a back up to Sagna and switching to the Jenks. Or offloading Clichy and using Jethro.

    How many people wanted Eboue and Clichy to be moved on? They were – but at the same time, they’re not prepared to give the alternative a chance to succeed, despite the hard evidence. I hear that the Jenks is of League 1 calibre – but this is a guy who has given a very good account of himself in Europe (both at left and right back) as well as against Liverpool – and all he’s doing is what has been asked of him – defend, work with the team and keep it simple. It has worked.

    I’m only using the above as an example – though there are many more.

    Gervinho is already earning his corn and breaking even on his investment fee. His contribution is being acknowledged through gritted teeth because conventional wisdom suggested that he’s just another flimsy Franco-fone Wenger type player.

    Reinforcements will come in – that I’m sure of. But we need to also accept that simply buying new players is not the answer in isolation. The team needs to continue doing what it’s doing now. They need to continue showing the spirit and determination they have shown so far. They need to continue with that direct approach to our play. And it will also get better with the reinforcements.

    New players are not the panacea to our problems. We need to have several things click and the most noticeable so far is the spirit and determination – a never say die attitude if you will – that the team is showing so far.

    Again, I come back to the point that few are considering that even though we’ve lost the best in Fabregas and Nasri, it might actually be a good thing. We asked for change, some forced, some of our own choice – but the one most powerful characteristic of change is that it rarely takes the form you expect.

  61. Just noticed that next season’s Champions League final is on my birthday. I want RvP lifting that trophy for Arsenal as my present. No pressure…

    YW

  62. Paul, fully agree. AW after a versatile CB/DM. By signing M’Vila, Song becomes this flexible option. Would be an outstanding addition to the squad.

    Can’t help myself fantasising about the Kaka ‘bid’. Would be OUTRAGEOUS.

    Imagine how much Ramsey/Wilshere would learn from him?

  63. Darius – I agree with much of what you have wrote there to be honest. Losing Cesc and nasri may (for example) take us slightly away from the “tippy tappy” style of football, which was nice to watch, but ultimately brought little. A bit more directness in our play is needed, and with the likes of Gervihno, hopefully a bit more part of our make up.

    What I would say is that I do think Cesc’s creativity needs replacing. He provided so many assists, any team would struggle not to replace it. I honestly would rather see us buy a left beck than a CB right now. IMO we are woefully short there, and as well as Sanga has done in that position, he is obviously no left back (and is a very good right back).

  64. Well said everyone. A victory for the fans who never wavered. Luke don’t you dare criticise a true fan like Darius. You make me puke; coming creeping in here trying to join in the party when your kind are exactly what the team had to overcome.
    This was our victory, you aren’t one of us, you can fuck off.

  65. Luke. I was thinking the exact same thing in my car this morning on the way to work. one season with him would do wonders for the 2 kids. Saying that though Rambo needs to seriously up his work rate! His tracking back last night was shocking. He could also learn a thing or 2 from Rosicky who’s defensive game is second to none!

  66. Just watched The Ox’s first interview. It’ll come as no surprise at all that he is bright, intelligent (two different things), humble, and with his head tightly affix his shoulders. Really nice lad. The pattern continues then. What a great recruitment policy we have going on here.

    Coupled with what I have seen of him in training, I am now seriously excited about The Ox. He’s got this really natural technique that you can’t help but sit up and watch.

    He’s already taken one giant leap in a fledgling career, coming out of the Reserves at Southampton to play 40 games for them in his first full season, score nine goals from the wing to help them win promotion to the Championship and get himself voted by his peers into the team of the year. That’s prodigious stuff. Really exciting addition. Had we not have beaten Utd to his signature he’d already have been inducted into the Fergie’s Unstoppable Fetuses wankfest.

    But instead he chose The Arsenal. Good lad.

  67. LOL, ok bob. ill make you a deal . if every one else feels the same as you, ill change my calling card. 😉

  68. An Arsenal fan I work with just said, and I quote. “oh well. another year of wenger. We were lucky but I still believe it would have been better to lose so the board can wake up.” OMG!!! Where the fuk do these guys come from?? What fan actually wants their own team to lose? Sometimes I just want to hit people!

  69. Steww – That is not right. I am sure Luke is a supporter just like yourself. Just becauae he has differnt views to you don’t mean shit about his support.

    Limpar – I am really looking forward to seeing him play as well. I wonder if we will play wide, or if Arsene see’s him playing centrally?

  70. Paul – Hit him.

  71. Thought Jenkinson put in a fantastic shift last night. League One to Champions League? Pfffft. Easy. He worked super hard all night both ends of the pitch, nice one touch passing… but the really encouraging thing was how he shepherded the ball so well under pressure. Couple of times he was jostling with an Udinese player (some of which, let’s face it, were unashamed, all-out cheats) right on the edge of our box and he kept his composure, wasn’t afraid to challenge for the ball but was well aware of the danger of the diving so-and-so’s intentions and came away with the ball without alarm. Amazing how often he comes away with the ball near the touchline where a lot of fullbacks would be lumping it into the stand first opportunity. Turning and leaving a winger sliding into the hoardings. Noticed it at Liverpool too. That might’ve been one of the things that set him apart for the scouts.

  72. Mightily impressed with last night’s performance. There are always going to be moments of frustration, but it was a very competent performance in tough conditions, against very good opponents.

    So many great performances last night… but Rosicky was a game-changer. He was unlucky with some decisions, but his tackling was absolutely top notch! Not to mention his movement and passing – could prove to be a very important player for us this year. Was proudly wearing my 06/08 shirt with his name on last night.

  73. Yeah, he says he grew up as a centre mid, but was put out on the wing when he made the first team because he was a bit slight. Now he’s developed into a little tank I’m not sure where he’ll play. Versatility is a big part of current selection policy so maybe a bit like Rosicky, all the way across midfield. (I’m talking eventually here – I’m pretty sure he’ll start out wide right)

  74. That’s what did it then, MP. Also I stopped wearing my ‘lucky’ Anfield ’89 shirt because it hadn’t been very kind to me recently so I think that probably helped too.

  75. Yeah, I thought Jenkinson did really well. Especially as the winger he was against was rapid. The only thing I could pick up on was he sometimes leaves too big a gap between him and his CB, and this got exposed a few times. That type of thing can eaily be ironed out on the training pitch though. Good engine as well, got up and down the line well.

  76. LA, good morning!
    Very good points about Jenkinson. I can never put what I think in to words very well, but you’ve just described exactly how I feel about the lad. He looks the real deal. How anyone can’t see that he’s an improvement over Eboue is beyond me. He’s a class act.

  77. Thought the away fans were fantastic last night. Loud and proud – and passionate too, Nasri you shit-stirring little cunt. Fuck off with yer oil money. You’ll never, ever be the player you could’ve been with us. See how you like being man-managed by Mancini. Whore.

  78. LA, I’ve yet to wear my new away shirt, so we’ll see what effect that has at the weekend…

    The strange thing is that I never consider myself a superstitious person, but when you start to see patterns, you can’t help but give in to some routines.

  79. Sorry… had to get that out the system.

  80. Steww – fuck off mate. Come join your party? ‘Fans’ like you make me sick. Where you spend more time attacking fellow Gooners than doing anything else. Get off your high-horse.

  81. I’m a little bit superstitious. Never leave a hat lying on a bed for example. That’s six years bad luck right there. Age old hex. Always look a person in the eye when you’re chinking glasses with them – lest ye be ready for… 7 years bad sex!! Seriously, that’s a German one. Highly important to remember that one…

  82. Paul, yup agree regarding Rosicky. Definately see him rotating with Wilshere more this year, as opposed to playing in the Cesc role.

    He vastly improved the tempo of our passing – mentioned it last night, but its the best performance I can remember from little Mozart in years. Which is very encouraging.

  83. “To the chagrin of many, the draw for the Champions League will feature Arsenal, pot one, a seeded team. Sunday is another day. Today is about yesterday. Lets enjoy looking back before looking forward.”

    Great post Yogi.

    Yes reinforcements would be helpful, but please appreciate what we’ve already got.

    Firstlady, it’s 20p and he’s welcome to it. If Szczesny can keep it up, I’m happy to have him as first choice goal keeper. He took advantage of his opportunity and looks to have made the position his to lose. I’m always happy to see an Arsenal player succeed.

  84. Limpar – It is. They stick to that in Belgium as well.

    I am not supersiticious at all. I used to be (would deck the living room out in all the Arsenal shirts I owned before every game), but not any more. Maybe I should start again, we were pretty sucessfula round that time. hmmmm.

  85. Welcome to the club, Gervinho, by the way! What a goal to set up and introduce yourself with in a situation like that. Brilliant.

  86. Mohamed Zubairu

    I did not know that we still have this many Arsenal fans who are positive and not calling for the head of Wenger. Let the “Wenger has lost it” brigade realize that at 61 going to 62, he is still far from senility by about a decade. There is therefore no way he could have lost it. There is no alternative for Wenger at the moment.
    Let me congratulate the lads for a job well done.

  87. LA, I’ve not heard of any of them – and I’m going to pretend I didn’t just read them.

  88. Wooohoooo! Great game, and a big boost for the lads.

    Did you see Rosicky? Some of those tackles he got penalised for were inch perfect. Unbelievable performance. In the league they’d have been legal. Shit even in the champions league they were, but that ref seemed to blow for anything when we were ahead. I remember he blew up for Van Persie leaning into a defender.

    What a breath of fresh air Gervinho is.

    As good as Sagna was he got caught out a few times last night. Same as Liverpool’s second at the weekend. It just seems to be a consequence of our system that the left-back attacks more and gets caught out occassionally.

    Some of the ITV coverage made me uneasy. Despite having to listen to that sell-out mother-fucker Ian Wright talk shit before the match then look like a naughty ashamed schoolboy after it, there was a general feeling that they didn’t want us to progress. It’s bad when the only dude who speaks positively of the team is Andy Townsend.

  89. firstlady,

    no offence, but why are you still doubting sczesny is our no1????

    rosicky was magnificent. great tackles. and song stepped up. can’t believe this is only jenkinson’s second ever game at the top level. and walcott tried a few henry shots. you can see the idea, the execution just needs to be better.

    yesterday, the boys reminded me why i am proud to be an arsenal fan. when the chips are down, we showed up.

    on a night when everyone was waiting for us to fail, i can only say: FUCK OFF.

    i am sorry for the journalists, they had to throw all their pre-game work out of the window.

  90. Where is Arsenal Tom? No doubt he is quiet because finding something positive to say about Arsenal is just too much for him.

  91. The false turmoil whipped up before the game on ITV was hilarious. Gareth Southgate even said “Yes, we do like to create pressure (on a manager).” Horsefaced prick.

    And if people don’t think Wenger Out sentiment on blogs helps fuel that pressure they are living in a dream. BBC articles have even started quoting “An Arsenal fan on Twitter said this..” Journalists read the blogs, they read Twitter – and as when the mics focus on 50 fat men chanting in the ground on a Saturday and make out like we’ve all taken a pitchfork to the game – they focus on the bit they can create drama and turmoil out of. Thus has sportswriting ever been, it’s just now there’s a whole pool of fan angst they can tap into. You’d be a fool not to go to twitter and the blogs as a sport journalist wouldn’t you? Especially if you’re a lazy one, hellbent on shit-stirring – and that’s pretty much the MO for a lot of them.

    Don’t help them create shit about us! It translates to the papers, translates back to the ordinary fan, translates to the players on the pitch and fucks up our game! I’ve seen it happen!

  92. Right got to do some work.

    Someone said on Twitter earlier: “Is there an Arsenal fan on the planet right now who doesn’t feel like a post-coital Ross Gellar? *swings round lampost*” I know I do.

    Have a good day ACLFers.

    *skips away whistling*

  93. Great feeling getting up this morning! Did anyone else notice RVP’s several references to buying players in his post match interview?

  94. Add some experience and quality to the bullish collection of youngsters we have and our blend will be perfect.

  95. Luke – Yup.

  96. Darius,
    Agree with much of what you say. Its defensive pessimism. Its the I’ve-been-hurt-so-many-times-don’t-wanna-be-hurt-again type of approach.

    Also agree, Wenger will stregthen. How could he not? But like I’ve been saying tthroughout the summer, the real significant change has to come from within, from coaching, tactics, attitude, etc. But that was before we sold two of our best players. Now we need both internal improvements and signings. One or the other will not do. thankfully it seems the internal issues are being worked on, all that’s left is the signings, which will come in a few days.

  97. @ YW
    Great post. I haven’t seen the game yet, just the penalty save and the live text. Really looking forward to viewing it now. What I will not see, sadly, since I will be watching via the website, are the lemon-sucking expressions of the punkdits in the ITV studio. Still, small price to pay for not having to listen to them.

    @ Arsene Baggins
    Agree with a lot of what you’ve said today about the team. The cohesion will come.

    @ Darius
    Agree with much of that as well – football is a team game. Btw, I’ve heard that Kaka loan story before and I assumed it was wishful thinking on the part of an imaginative fan. Are you telling me it was true? What a brilliant idea and such a shame they wouldn’t go for it. It could have worked – and those are just about the only circumstances in which paying one player a lot more than the stars of the team would not cause ructions and parity demands.

    @ goonerandy
    I don’t think it’s tippy-tappy itself which is the issue, because with the Fab/Ros/Hleb/Flamini midfield we played amazing football and came as close to the title as we have any time in the last five or six years. There were several different combinations of factors which have come into play. I do think that we have a foundation now which – with midfield cohesion – could take us that little bit further. We just have to hang in there until our midfield starts to click.

    @ steww | August 25, 2011 at 9:24 am and Dexter last night
    for similar comments
    Well said.

    ****

    I think we’ll all have to start calling him “Sir Chesney” now. Sir Chesney of Arsenal.

  98. It will be interesting to what Arsene actually does now in the market. Will he get a creative central player? Or will he buy another wide man who is creative? Perhaps something like:

    M’Villa Song
    Wilshere
    Gervihno New wide man
    RvP

    Leaving Theo and AA to provide established competition for the wide berths, and when injuries strike the likes of Ryo to get some squad time.

    In defence although I think a new CB would be benificial, I would be happy with what we have if we get a left back in to vie for the spot with Gibbs. Traore not being picked last night spoke volumes.

  99. Fun – That is very true. But that side had penetration as well, but that seemed to have disapeared last year.

    Enjoy watching the game, you will have your hands over your eyes at points in the first half. We really rode our luck at points. The 2nd half is a different game though which we controlled nicely.

  100. Oop. No embed. That’s a comp of funny Arsenal moments from last season. Well worth a watch.

  101. I was impressed with their defensive midfielder Baadu (Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu). Bit rough around the edges but a real little battler. Cheeky bid for him.

    Only thing missing last night was the Ox making his european debut in the last 10 minutes. Would have been nice. Traore should have scored too.

  102. Haha Limpar, getting your vibe here too. Have a gud un.

  103. I happen to agree with Steww, and I do enjoy a good controversy. The problem Luke is simple. You can’t have it both ways. The fence is uncomfortable. Get off the fence.

    Based on one good performance, when others have been reminding you the signals were already apparent in the resolve and selection of new players, and you come out with “Add some experience and quality to the bullish collection of youngsters we have and our blend will be perfect”. Wow. Most of your previous sentiments, and boy are there a lot of those, have been critical of our bullish youngsters, the work put in to get and develop them, the approach, and do not add up to the conclusion of – add a some experience and then a perfect blend.

    And isn’t this precisely what your blog adversaries have been saying in answer to some scornful posts from you? Again and again and again Wenger says, OK, we are not there, we are not ready, we still need some quality and experience, and again and again you generally don’t take heed, don’t listen, don’t trust, and argue vociferously that we are far off the mark. But we are not are we? We are one player, and probably two, away from that “perfect blend”. And we know from reports that we bid for Kaka (loan), we bid for M’Vila, and who knows who else?

    So I say, do come off the fence and join the party. I can’t promise no disappointments, but I can promise a heap of fun along the way.

    The alternative is derision.

  104. Zim – I don’t see how he “on the fence”. Just because his opinion is that this squad needs more experience does not mean that is not just as happy as your, or any other fan that we won last night (why wouldn’t he be). There is no logic in that whasoever. All the so called AKB (I hate using these terms) are no better supporters than any of the so called doomers.

    We all want exactly the same thing, sucess for the team and for the club. People just have different views on certain aspects of the club and squad. Big deal.

  105. Phew! Thank fuck those qualifiers are safely navigated. 14 seasons on the spin, top seed for the draw…nice.

    Everyone played their part yesterday and despite a few scares we saw out the game comfortably in the end. Nods to Szcz, Song and Gerv, 3 standout performers in a good team performance.

    Supplement with a few signings and we will look all the stronger for it.

    How does Nasri know the fans were better at Highbury? He never played there. Anyways SSN says the decibels were higher at The Grove than at The Etihad!!

    Do i see Platini showing sympathy for Wenger over the touchline ban shenanagins?

  106. I love this paragraph in the Guardian transfer rumours

    Despite having spent 15 years in England, Wenger still hasn’t learned or – one would hope – doesn’t care that the best way for football managers working in north London to get the press on side is to offer them garrulous cheeky-chappy soundbites while feeding them a steady drip-feed of information of questionable veracity. That way, you can spend money hand over fist (while simultaneously turning your nose up at signing Luis Suárez) only to see your team slump to extraordinary levels of goal-shy mediocrity without fear of media criticism of any kind.

    Who could he be talking about?
    Brilliant

  107. I have three 10% critisisms of last night’s performance by the way. Djourou is not fully fit, or not fully on form. His positioning for the goal was also sloppy. Slightly disappointing I thought. Frimpong is not quite ready, what a talent, but needs composure. And our strike department, able to slice through Edinese time after time, is not yet “on fire”. Wenger will be most concerned by the last.

  108. GAndy, I know a fence-sitter when I see one. They’re usually sitting on the fence. Unmistakeable. Luke’s “opinions” as you put it have had that lukewarm temperature about Arsenal’s prospects, until today. But I am certain he can explain his change of heart better than you. As I read him, we are now two quality players away from “the perfect blend”.

  109. Fantastic performance last night, especially in the second half. Our equaliser knocked some of the stuffing out of them but the daft penalty decision seemed to lift their spirits again, just for Chewie to crush them entirely with an immense save.

    Sagna found it tough in the first half as Udinese decided that they would put most of the pressure on the FB playing on the wrong side rather than the inexperienced one and they clearly had a classier attack down our left side than Liverpool had. In the second half Sagna seemed completely settled in the role and Udinese hardly got a sniff, what a fantastic effort from player who is demonstrating he is one of Wenger’s best ever purchases.

    Loving how the press are almost lining up to spend our money with qualification achieved and a week to go in the transfer window. One of the rumours was regarding Alboil, but hopefully that is just a rumour as he can’t seem to get in to the Real team and, in fact, sometimes has to watch an FB being played as CB in his place.

    The character of a footballer as a man is demonstrated to some degree by the comments he makes when he moves club and Nasri once again shows what a weak individual he is. Still smarting from the comments made by fans at the Newcastle game he makes some half-arsed swipe by saying the City fans have more passion. He’ll see how passionate we can be when he turns out at the Emirates in a City shirt, the snivelling little prick.

    I see Howard at the Sun didn’t have anything to moan at Arsenal about this morning so spent half his article whinging about the number of fans who followed the team away. I admit only 350 fans following the team is a little disappointing, but he goes on and on about it through the latter part of his article and then starts to make connections with sending a message and the prices of tickets. When is that fucking cunt going to give it a rest?

  110. But Zim, surely a “fence sitter” is somebody who does not give a solid opinion either way.

    i.e

    “I don’t think he is good enough, maybe he is am not sure, he could be”

    After a few good games you would no doubt get:

    “Yeah, I always thought he would make it”

  111. ZimPaul – do fence sitters really know they’re sitting on the fence?

  112. ZimPaul

    Have only seen Frimpong playa couple of times now and he seems more the player to throw in the strong tackles and then carry the ball forward himself. In the first half last night he seemed to be required to take more of a back seat role to Song in that respect, hanging back whilst Song went forward. I thought he looked a little more subdued because of it. The twats at the Sun (why do I read that paper?) described him as ineffective. What do they know?

    Forgot to give praise to Rosicky last night, I think the ref gave some of the freekicks against him last night because he couldn’t believe he could have come away with the ball unless he had fouled the player. He tackles from angles where he shouldn’t come away with the ball, but he does.

  113. Zim, regarding the clinical finishing. It’s early days, but you’re right the finishing could be better.

    Who was the famous striker who said, generally I aim for the keeper and if I’m a little off I score? In any case that looks to be Theo’s approach in the last few games. Last season the approach was to aim for the inside of the post. As a consequence we hit the post more than any other team.

    Maybe if he gets caught in two minds he’ll aim between the two targets and score more…

  114. Frimpong did OK last night, and won most of his tackles and perssured the Italian midfield well. I think he made way as Arsene wanted Song to drop back a bit, as he is more effective there. It made sense that he was the one that gave way for Rosicky.

  115. Yeah, ZP, Johan got sucked toward the ball for the goal when he should’ve stuck with Di Natale. Rush of blood to the head and he went toward the ball-carrier. Not ideal but I’m sure he’ll learn from it. Still the header was pretty amazing.

  116. Wavey – Frimpong was a little subdued, a mixture of him sitting deeper and also id imagine a word in the ear from Wenger about but being too rash in the tackle.

    Song was better when he dropped deeper in the second half. I reckon song is more suited to the shielding position in front of the back 4 and Frimpong the all action ‘hunter’ position, where he can get his tackles in and burst forward .

    But hey, im sure all that will come as he gets more game time and experience. Exciting prospect though.

  117. Wow now we are apparently bidding for Kaka,Arteta,few strikers here, few defenders there..How predictable..qualify for champions league, extra 25m, sign players for about 300mill..the journalists I think spin a wheel and pick a name, as random as that..

  118. @ zimpaul

    The udinese goal yesterday was pure class…everything from the movement, to the timing of the pass, the pass itself and the finish..would have caught out most defences..sometimes we just have to stand up and applaud a really well crafted goal, of course everything can be defended against, but still..

  119. The only disapointing thing for their goal was the gap between our back for and the 3 midfielders. Pinzi had way too much room, and it was far too easy for the CB to find him. From there on it was a very good goal. It was noticable in the 2nd half that we were much more compact.

  120. Deise

    yeah, that was my read on it as well.

  121. Great performance yesterday! The lads have a great spirit and confidence which will hopefully ooze down to all the doomers :D. No sign of any negativity from the players and that just brings a smile to my face.

    I guess that is AW’s mission. Not to just a make a title-winning team, but to make a title-winning team of hardcore Gooners!

    Djourou really should have defended better. I think there was another incident last season where I remember noting that Djourou was looking at the ball instead of defending the onrushing striker.

  122. Wavey/Deise It was Song’s first game in which he had a real license to get forward. He’s still getting used to it, but I think we’ll see a lot more of it – especially with Diaby and Wilshere out injured.

    I agree with Anirudh. There isn’t much you can do against a headed finish of that quality.

  123. Markus

    in the long run it might well be Frimpong who is more suited to that role. Maybe a bit early for him yet though….

  124. I think it may be Wenger bedding Frimpong in like hes done with Jack, playing the deeper role at first so more of the game is in front of them. I reckon we will see a lot more of Jack further forward this season.

  125. I was really impressed by the way we pressed them higher up the pitch last night. We didn’t do that at the Emirates. I feel whenever we play like that we give all quality teams real problems (eg. Chelsea last season). I know it takes an immense amount of effort on our part and some players were just not prepared to do it last season but let’s hope we see more of it in the season to come.

  126. Great victory. One of the best in recent times. We had to show some balls to get through and win at their place. Would any other English team go out in their 2nd leg qualifier with a 1-0 lead to protect and attack…?? No chance. No matter who plays, no matter who leaves, we will remain the Arsenal. Great attacking performance, should have got more goals and have a sneaky feeling Gervinho is very close to opening his account.

    I was Song’s biggest fan the season before last, but I criticized him last season as he didn’t look like he pushed on at all and he started this season committing the same silly fouls. Last night though he was fantastic, he was a beast in the middle and nothing got past him. Maybe its to do with personnel and positioning because the amount of times we get stretched, especially when Cesc was often very high up the pitch. Anyway, we still have work to do in making our midfield more compact, the 2nd half showed that a lot of work has gone into improving that area.

    Shez is fast becoming one of the top GK’s in the league, we have a determined team full of energy, great stamina and pace. We also have one of the best CF’s in world football and some deadly attacking players. With Wishire to return, Gibbs too, we have really good core of quality players that are determined and loyal (touch wood!).

    Anyway, no time to comment again. Keep up the excellent comments gooners, absolutely buzzing today !!

  127. Meh, Frimpong is simply backup to Song for this season. He only played last night as we are short of numbers.

  128. [Conspiracy mode on]

    Yogi, what do you reckon about EUFA’s decision to give Fenerbahce’s automatic Champions League place to Trabzonspor, who had already been knocked out in qualifying, instead of the next highest ranked coefficient (Arsenal)? I believe the decision was taken before the outcome of our match was decided?

    [Conspiracy mode deactivated. Tongue removed from cheek]

  129. Chrisgoona, I love the relationship Song has with the refs. He doesn’t even need to be warned any more. The ref runs over to tell him “That’s one. I’m keeping an eye on you!” and Song is always just like “Yeah, yeah, I know”. That ref last night actually smiled when he did it.

  130. Sorry for the barrage of posts, but just saw this. From the Guardian:

    “…with the Londoners [Chelsea] considering selling Florent Malouda to Juventus for a knockdown fee as they continue to reshape their squad.”

    Didn’t Malouda have the highest chance creation in the league last season? Definitely worth a cheeky bid.

  131. goonerandy – yeah Frimp is backup, but it wasnt last night we were short of numbers, its will be this weekend at man utd.

  132. goonerandy,

    didn’t Jack just start off as cover last season as we were short on numbers? Look how that turned out. Players like that have the ability to play their way in to the team. We may end up seeing more of Frimpong this season than we expected.

  133. Deise

    then I hope Lansbury will be able to step up in the same way Frimpong seems to be able to.

  134. A very small gripe about substitutions last night, I would have liked to have seen Ox have a run-out for a couple of minutes rather than put Arshavin on at the end. Nothing to lose and it would have given him a small taste of being on the pitch on a European night.

  135. Midfield 3 of Ramsey – Lansbury – Rosicky by the looks of it.
    Wheres Craig Eastmond? Has he been involved at all so far?
    Front 3 of Theo Chamakh RVP?

  136. Song of the Day…

  137. Or maybe this?
    —————-Szcz——————
    Jenks – Djourou – Verm – Sagna
    –Ramsey – Lansbury – Rosicky–
    Theo—————————–AA23
    —————–RVP——————–

  138. Was Gervinho suspended for one game or three??

  139. Thanks LA, that’s actually one of my all time favourite tunes, not sure why but it is!

  140. Anirudh,

    three unfortunately

  141. “I hope Lansbury will be able to step up in the same way Frimpong seems to be able to.”

    I’ve been a little disappointed with Henri, he has not really done much with the chances he has been given and I wonder if he has half an eye on a move away? He should really be grabbing these opportunities to change the manager’s mind if there’s any truth in the rumours.

  142. Passenal

    I know, I would love to see him take his chances better. If he does have half an eye on a move he shoud surely be taking the opportunity of being in the shop window to show his ability? He was a quality member of the Norwich team when he was on loan in the Championship, maybe we should send him out on loan to a Prem club to see if he can stay the pace at the highest level. I have often thought he would be one of the players who could step up, let’s see him do it.

  143. Zim,

    I can only be viewed a fence sitter by the two groups of radical extremists that exist in the on-line Arsenal fanbase. I have never derided our recruitment of youngsters, I never dismiss, discourage or indeed insult any of the young charges we recruit. I still think this summers off field activity has been very poor considering the magnitude of the last few months. I will still stand by my confusion of signing AOC for £12mill 7 weeks after we bid for Jones / Jagielka, and preaching financial prudence at the same time. I still think we need the experience that was terribly absent last year, personally, this exists in the recruitemnt of at least three first team players. LB, CB or DM and a Striker

    See, you believe that you are either a died hard wenger fan/apologist who can’t have a reasoned insight into the football club because, quite frankly, you dont know OR who are a troll from Le Grove.

    I like to see the best in both sides. Yes, I’m terribly excited about the youth we have, thier commitment, attitude and new found seige mentality, but I also believe our first team recruitment strategy for the last 4 windows has not been good enough considering the obvious problems we have suffered. If thats fence sitting then so be it. I’d rather formulate my own angle than be an extremist who shoots down, disregards and abuses (not you) a different opinion.

  144. I agree, Passenal. Something like four years ago Lansbury looked our best prospect, but he hasn’t quite pushed on. At this stage I don’t see what he could offer the squad ahead of other youngsters – Frimpong’s more energetic and powerful, while Wilshere, Ramsey, even Aneke, are all more accomplished passers.

    In terms of style, Ramsey’s the closest equivalent, and is just a far better all round player. This weekend I’d sooner see Coquelin get a chance.

    Aneke’s form is also going to warrant some kind of opportunity in attacking midfield at some point. Probably CC.

  145. Also, the severe polarisation of the fanbase is no good thing. I mean, the hard line stance taken by some on here, and those at Le Grove manifested in Arsenal fans fighting each other. Which is just outrageous.

  146. Lansbury could offer something I feel we’ve lacked a bit. Bigger wide players. Along with Ramsey I think these two fit the mould of the more traditional English wide men. Strong and able to defend just as well as attack.

    Not that we should use traditional wide men in every instance but it would be nice to have the option now and again.

  147. I’d love to see Henri get a fair crack. The last time he was handed a starting berth he was outstanding against the Spuds.

    If we are building a young side which has strength, attitude, passion and commitment, Henri deserves a shot. He may not be as techically sound as other players, but we have seen tecnhical ability allow does not prevail. He will be a useful squad player in domestic cups and home ‘bankers’ in the league.

    Squad management will be key to our success this year. Cant just play the same 11 week in week out assuming they are fit.

  148. *technical ability alone

  149. A beautiful day today. The result justified the faith that we all have in the team – winning when it mattered. 14 seasons is an amazing achievement.

    There were so many good performances last night – Tommy V was immense, again. Sagna playing out of position and looking determined and proud, again. Jenkinson making his CL debut, looking more assured with every game and Gervinio scaring the hell out of them on one side and Theo doing the same on the other. Love this from YW – ‘Szczesny world class penalty save (57)’. That save was celebrated more than any of the goals, it was both magnificent and timely.

    We would have given Man U a game regardless of last nights result, but an important and hard fought win is surely the perfect preparation.

  150. Jesus, ol’ Samir can’t resist sticking the boot in.

    http://www.espn.co.uk/football/sport/story/107697.html

  151. Highbury Tealeaf

    Seriously can’t believe some of the shit coming out of so called fans blogs such as le Grove. I am tired of all the Wenger slaggers defending their jibes with such original arguments as ‘you win nothing with kids’ or ‘big trophies need big game players’. Save me your home-school analysis, and no you are not ‘entitled to your own opinion’ went it is at the detriment of the club.

    The new season has STARTED, so let’s get behind the team and leave the shameless money grubbing talk to our less cultured counterparts up the M6…

    Well that’s just ‘my opinion’ anyway!

  152. Lansbury’s tenacity definitely flourishes when he’s paired with a superior passer of the ball, him and Denilson ran the show in that game against Spurs.

    I know it’s meaningless but whenever Cesc is asked about Arsenal and talks about ‘us’ and ‘we’ referring to his former team it does make me smile.

    It was always in the back of my mind that Nasri was going to cause us a bit of bother further down the track right from when we signed him, all that stuff about the French international team seemed to paint him as a bit of a troublemaker. Clichy’s been his usual classy self and not said anything especially negative about us but the pair of them are going to be spending a lot of time together on the City bench. I wonder if Mancini always intended to use Gael as cover at LB or whether his part in Nani’s winner in the Charity Shield did him a lot of harm.

  153. Luke

    So far Nasri has come up with:

    Wanting to win trophes

    Vieira talked me in to it

    Arsenal fans have a lack of passion

    Lack of ambition.

    “Why did I not sign a new contract with Arsenal? We started talking in October but by June I did not have any news and I didn’t see anything happening in the transfer market,” Nasri told L’Equipe. “There comes a time when you have to invest.”

    – so why did he stall for so long over contract talks?

    Nasri has hinted that life became too easy for him at Arsenal, three years after he joined the club from Marseille. He began last season in fine fashion, looking a leading candidate for the Player of the Year award, but faded in the final months as Arsenal’s season came off the rails.

    – so he decided he couldn’t be arsed to play for us in the second half of the season because his place in the team was never under threat?

    A man trying to deny to the world that the real reason he left Arsenal was for the money. City you reap what you sow, good luck with your new signing!

  154. “I like to see the best in both sides”. Luke, there is no “best” in the insults thrown at Arsenal. They are insults, mostly irrational and juvenile, and not unlike those a ManU diehard might say at any given time.

    Most of the nonsense spewed forth by the press and so-called football establishment about Arsenal, its football, its players and its tactics, is irrational. Now when somebody, like me perhaps, points out that facts don’t support those views and there is a rational basis for the decisions being taken with a strategy, we are labelled AKBs, and in your word “extremist”, both terms I truly despise, and which I take as an insult, because it is meant as an insult. Delusional is another one.

    A balanced perspective is not one where virtually every negative factor, real or not, is repeated ad infinitum in order to “prove” how weak Arsenal is under Wenger. Hell, even SAF had had enough.

    It is into this context that the critical minds, perhaps not unlike yourself, enter the fray. If you do not take pains to distinguish yourself from the insulting and irrational anti-Arsenal prejudice, you are liable to be treated as one of those, or at best a fence-sitter.

    Let me put it all another way, Arsenal may not light the EPL ablaze this year, but they will compete at the highest level. They always do. We are in danger of underestimating our players, our plan, our bigger strategy, and the quality of the management and its decisions. We always do. I don’t know why.

  155. Nice bit of press/fan management by Villas-Boas:

    Chelsea has lodged a sizable bid for Porto full-back Alvaro Pereira, but Villas-Boas claims he is less than optimistic regarding his chances of reaching an agreement.

    Gives the fans the impression that you are looking to bring in further recruits, hints at the players you are targetting, but then slams the high transfer fees expected when you don’t sign the player.

  156. You go to play for Man City because they pay the most money. Man City end up with a bunch of greedy, selfish cunts playing for them. Its as simple as that.

    We don’t want that at Arsenal, which is why we do things differently. This has become more than just about football and trophies; its about making a stand against the greed, immorality and injustice that the Premier League has created. We should all be so proud. Fuck all the rest.

  157. Zim

    It seems as though anger generated from media outlets is vented on here. The news is what it is. I know how some of you feel about Arsenal in the press, I feel the same when I switch on Fox News to see how they are tracking: Arab Spring, Tohoku, Double Dip recession. That boils my blood. The fact they feed the thoughts of millions with such nonsense.

    I guess this is similar to the defiance of some on here. Arsenal get bad press (we also get a lot of praise, especially from 2000-2004), and if anyone dare utter a similarity to the public opinion of the club, then they are thoughtless idiots who have been washed of individual thought, and now sprout the ‘bring arsenal down’ party line.

    Personally, I see all of that as a load of hypberbole, but I think I can see the connection. Fact is Zim, its not the insulting analogies that I peddle out, its not thoughtless mindnumbing abuse, its what I percieve to be pressing concerns, recruitment strategy, wage bill, commercial development etc etc I appreciate that I have been repitiitve here, I appreciate that it has got heated, but it seems the pressure for the press, pundits, media outlets is causing “delusional” fans (I meant no insult with extremist earlier btw)to take a more agressive stance of thier opinions.

    All I want is for Arsenal to compete to the best of our ability – we have been over it millions of times, its clear I feel we need to utilise our transfer kitty on a few players to do that, you and others feel that promotion within and our current crop will be sufficient.

    Lets hope whatever way the club goes over the last 7 days results in us finishing as high as possible.

  158. Nasri, like Cesc before him, has just shown exactly why Arsenal is better without him. Literally no one could have put it better than Nasri himself. I can understand Wenger’s emotional attachment to those two, and the “big club” comments made pre-season, after all he had the vision to create their up-scaled careers and had such high hopes for them, but now he can perhaps take a more balanced view of how they were slowing down our progress, our spirit, and for that matter our natural game. I am pleased for Nasri and Cesc. They have found their comfort level, as did Hleb, Adebayor, Flamini, Diarra, Reyes and others.

  159. Ah, my half time post here will testifty to, I was as close to dooming as I’ve ever come. I didn’t think we had a good first half whatsoever, and I’m sticking to my assessment.

    On the other hand, the second half was a different story, one which saw me declaring my love for Rosicky. It’s been a while since I’ve last seen an Arsenal sub come on and change the game so, and it was encouraging to see. The man had all the drive I yearned for & his tackles were nothing short of sublime – although the ref was convinced to the contrary by the theatrics of the Udinese players. We even started playing with an arrogance towards the end and it was lovely to see.

  160. @Gadget, agreed that was the most game-changing sub appearance from one of our boys since Cesc against Villa two years ago, or Diaby against West Ham in the FA Cup that same year. The midfield just completely transformed.

  161. It’s been a while since I’ve last seen an Arsenal sub come on and change the game so, and it was encouraging to see.

    ———

    Absolutley.

  162. Vince, Cesc at Villa was one of my fondest memories of him. Freezing cold, 1 down, huge 3 points on the cards, hipflasks moving between the boys to keep us warm, then 2 goals of sublime quality, a quick look at the bench and back off. Wonderful game of football.

  163. I suspect Nasri has left mainly under influence of Cesc’s decision, which all the players must have known almost as early as Wenger, but no one else did. Denilson all but retracted his earlier comments, and seemed sincere in his wish to return, better and stronger. Clichy was probably (my view) encouraged to be aware that his #1 LB days were numbered, and Eboue was shipped out when, on balance, Wenger felt he had slipped (no pun intended), and he had options having scouted Jenks and liked what he saw. Bendtner story tells itself. He simply wasn’t progressing from level 2 to level 3. Cesc left because he wilted. Full credit to Clichy, Eboue and Denilson for their good manners and excellent services. The other three are not convincing, but perhaps Wenger is trying to rehabilitate Bendtner.

  164. Well done Arsenal! I’m sensing a growth in mental confidence! Proud of you guys! Excellent post Yogi! I believe Robin is doing a great job in the dressing room, working with what he has and exploiting their strengths and making their weakness seem insignificant. The Arsenal team seemed as though they were family yesterday, LOVE THE PASSION, keep it up Arsenal!
    Btw, I hope people will begin to appreciate Wenger a bit more, as you can see, La Liga hasn’t even kicked off yet 🙂

  165. I agree with Zim.

    Can I just make a point about how quite it is after a good result/occurance, yet when something that can be taken as a negative happens this board is swarming with shit fly’s.

  166. Warning to Barca:

    Well done on tapping up a world class player. You got him back after you under valued/appreciated Cesc. Enjoy the play, but for god’s sakes don’t make him captain.

  167. Warning to ManC

    Don’t think that you are getting anymore of our players. Also it seems you buy in two’s. One decent player one cunt. You’ll soon know which is which out of Gael and Samir.

  168. My bad! Not a goal down. I got confused with the Everton game, which was resuced by none other than Tomas.

  169. Great result last night. Should be a real confidence builder. Hope we play well in Old Trafford to build on this result.

    Penalty save was awesome and a real game changer. Wojo has a chance to be one of the top GK in the world if he can maintain this form. I am on record as saying that Fabianski should be our number 1 GK this season. So far wojo making my prediction look very lame. I guess even the great ones miss the mark occasionally.

    I think the Kaka and MVilla rumours can be put in the over the top outbox. Will be an interesting last week of the window

  170. Vince Luke, that performance by Cesc was truely mercurial. He stole into that game like Ezio Auditore, had his way, and then left with the spoils of the victory. Magnificent. Utterly stunning priceless memory that game. It would be lie of me to not admit that cunts-for-peers is a legend. – I just have too many memories.

    And that Diaby performance was awesome. I think he came on with Song, and the two of them just bossed the West Ham midfield. I thin that was the game where Song mugged – and i absolutely mean mugged – Carlton Cole of the ball, and Diaby was making them all look foolish for fun. Great memories all round.

  171. Hey Bill. You posed a post/question to me a few days back I replied.

    Yes this is an exciting season for me in the respect that da yoof is getting a good run out. Doing us proud too. I’m sure you’ll agree. No reason that they can’t sustain, that said I would like a couple of additions to lead the way.

  172. Selfishly, I’m hoping that this is a season that Tomas can maintain his health. If we want Ramsey and Wilshere to learn from experience, they only have to watch their teammate, Tomas.
    There is so much to learn from his ‘arsenal’ of skills, movement w/o the ball, tackling, and reading of the play.

    RvP’s goal …… beautiful set up by Gervinho……but if you watched the build up……Rosicky made a well-timed run to the near post that served to distract the Udinese defense (away from the presence of RvP)…..and it looked as if Tomas actually stepped over Gervinho’s pass back.

    Jenkinson does everything Eboue did his first season – provide stability to the position. Sadly for Eboue…..he seemed to lose concentration as he became more utilized at other positions.

    I like the potential of Traore…..but again he seems disenchanted with the prospects of being a LB. We need someone to fill that spot that takes pride in the position……like Sagna and Jenkinson.

    I don’t see Song as a CB option. He is too valuable in front of the back 4.

    I trust our manager to bring in players “that better the team” – whomever they are.

    Arsene Baggins – agree with your earlier points.

  173. Yeah Arsesession I agree. Also in the case of Song, if anything Wenger seems to be encouraging him to be more advanced in position. A strange thing to be doing if he was destined for defence.

  174. Els – It is quiet on here today. Strange.

  175. Very. Sad really isn’t it. We should be buzzing.

    So you anymore relaxed about the youth making contributions. I mean, I know you want extra signatures of established players (as do I), but you must be a little more relaxed about Jenk, Frimp, Schez, Miquel than a fortnight ago??

  176. Els – In isolation I am. My worry would be if they had to play a prolonged serious of macthes together. Having one or 2 coming into a full strength side is not too bad. But their lack of experience would expose them eventually.

    Schez – I have never been worried with him, and wanted him as No1 since last season.
    Frimpong – Thought he should go on loan, but from what I have seen am glad that did not happen. Should be Song back up for the season.
    Jenkinson – Thought he was a downgrade on Eboue as reserve right back, but has good potential. Has been solid in all of his games so far though.
    Miquel – Looks decent, but would very very uncomfortable tif he had to play to many games (especially in a ide that does not sheild the back 4 very well).

    Is my honest opinion on the players you mentioned. For me a left back, and a replacement for Cesc’s creativity should be our priorites. A new CB and midfielder would just be a bonus.

  177. Els:

    Great result last night. Really happy to see the team step up when the pressure was on. The yoof are and exciting bunch, especially wojo and the pong. Sports fans are a very heterogenous group and I know how much you enjoy seeing the youth get their chance. So far the season is somewhat of a mixed bag but hopefully they will step up the way they did last night.

  178. Don’t you just love the way Song says to one and sometimes two players in the other team, no actually the ball is mine, it was yours but it’s mine now, no really, sorry, I know you want it, but I have some plans. My plan, you see, is to hold the ball, like this, while you huff and puff, and shift a little, like that, and then – and this is the tricky bit – get the ball into that little space, like that, yes, and then around you, past you, into that space there, like that, and then between your two friends there, I know sorry, I’m faster than I look, and then I need to give it to Ramsey, like that you see, because we have this attack thing we do now, like that. OK, bye, ta, later, gotta rush, stay well!

  179. I hate to mention his name Gadget, it was actually Nasri who came on with Diaby in the West Ham game. The main reason I remember that night was Eduardo’s perfect header from Vela’s perfect cross. Beautiful. Fucking love this club.

  180. Hahaha! That is exactly it, ZimPaul. Love it.

  181. I see Kozzer has another callup to the french national team

  182. Great response from the lads – the 2nd half pass and move was seriously impressive – with so many injuries , the departure of the 3 wantaways, and the media bullshit.

    They all stood up to be counted and represented the AFC with honour and pride.

    F:ck the doomers – siding with the media and our enemies in our hour of need. F:ck myloes palmer.

    Hopefully we go to old trafford and make some more people eat humble pie. Even if we dont get a result i will be happy if we put the same amount of effort, determiniation and show no fear in our play.

    COYG

  183. So.Who was saying Thomas was “deadwood”?
    So who was saying Arsene was poor tactically?
    So who was saying he never make sub’s before 70 mins.?
    So who was saying we had no heart or leaders?

    Ian Wright is a bitter prick
    Andy Townsend when asked which world class players we needed to replace Cesc and Samri he said,try not to laugh,Samba and Parker
    The ITV guys seemed really disapoimted that we won

    We should ease up on Luke,he has been OK since the season started.
    Jibber and Arsenal Tom have slept in today 😉

  184. Luke: “Steww – fuck off mate. Come join your party? ‘Fans’ like you make me sick. Where you spend more time attacking fellow Gooners than doing anything else. Get off your high-horse.”

    Hahahahahahaa!!!!!

    First off, fuck you. After all the shit you’ve said this summer all of a sudden you have nice things to say about this team? You know god damn good and well that had we lost last night you’d be here reminding all of us AKBs how delluded we are. Totally agree with Steww. You don’t get to celebrate with us. Fuck off to le moan or wherever it is you sad fuckers congregate.

    You can take your boyfriend GoonerAndy with you. He knows a thing or two about sitting on fences.

  185. @Andy, so that’s a yes then. I do agree that a creative midfielder wouldn’t go a miss though. I just can’t make up my mind about defensive players. With Gibbs, Traore, Vermealen all able to play at left back we are just perhaps a few months off a consistant performer. That to me would be an extravagance. I would like to see somebody who is a bit of a left sided eboue come in. Tall order.

    @Bill it’ll all come good. I’m hoping we see a lot more of two gritty performers infront of the back four. A bit like, Vieira and Petit, Vieira and Edu, Vieira and Gilberto. Then all the advanced players chopping and changing.

  186. Even i was nervous!! haha Congratulations Gunners!!!

  187. I’m glad to see Rosicky finally getting some praise. He put in some great shifts last season without much credit. I guess people chose to focus on a couple of games we lost or drew and pointed to the fact he hadn’t won us the game. He’s The Quiet Man; softly spoken courage under fire – like the protagonist in a Hemingway novel I always think – but even they need some praise to keep them going some times. Looking forward to seeing him play with a little swell of appreciation behind him for a change. Should get a big reception next home game.

    I must say the fans really are rallying well right now. Backs against the wall and all that. Took some body blows to whip it up but I think we finally might be on to something. I get the feeling some supporters are being shaken from the dreamy slumber a decade of exquisite football can induce.

  188. WHAT A SQUAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Shoved it right in of the face all the doubters!
    Made AW proud!
    Made all fans proud!
    Took control of their destiny with such a professional performance
    I LOVE THE ARSENAL.

    …i remain RASER!

  189. Zim, I can visualize the very play in which Song did that. It was a play where Badu and Isla were trying to get the ball off Song. Awesome the way you put it into words. You have a talent.

  190. Gains – Heh, I see you still don’t really understand what the phrase actually means. To be expected I suppose, I suppose it may be difficult to grasp for those with a low IQ.

  191. Andy els:

    It’s quiet because there is nothing to argue about today. Steww gave it a good try but overall most people in a better mood today. The number of comments will always be higher when the usual sniping and posturing and fan vs fan stuff starts. Sort of nice this way.

  192. Can’t hear you, Andy. I’m listening to the messiah, Arsene Wenger.

  193. Els – We have four players who can play left back, but:

    Gibbs – Not proven. A good prospect though. Unfortunatly seems to pick up a lot of injuries which means we must have a good back up.
    Traore – Not good enough.
    TV5 – I have no doubt he could do a job there, but we really do not want to be moving him out of central defence.
    Sagna – Would do a job, but moving him there means a makeshilf left back and being weaker in the right back slot.

    Which is why I would like us to get a left back. We don’t have one you could hang your hat on at the club. We should get a player who could compete with Gibbs for the slot. They would both get their fair share of games anyway.

  194. Bill – True.

    Gains – No decent response (probably confused). How predictable you are.

  195. Andy I would happily hang my hat on gibbs. And could stand for fill-ins whilst he is recovering. Look as RvP, Rosicky, Ramsey, Djourou. All injury plagued players to varying degrees, sticking by them is paying off 10 fold.

  196. http://www.talksport.co.uk/sports-news/football/premier-league/transfer-rumours/1021/87/sochaux-star-claims-arsenal-approach

    Alright, I have no idea how good he is, but it would be cool to have a lookalike partner Song in midfield.

  197. Gains of all the more pessimistic fans to choose from Luke and Andy are the better ones surely. At least they can argue a good point and note when something has worked out.

    Sorry Andy if that is taken as a back handed insult. Unintentional, couldn’t word it better.

  198. @GA
    To be honest I dont see us buying a LB: Wenger seems to fully believe in Gibbs and I fully believe that Gibbs has the potential to be as good as Clichy or A.Hole were. If he wouldn’t have that potential, I doubt Wenger would trust him so much. However his injury proneness is really a big worry in my opinion. If he gets another long term injury we might be forced to buy a LB in the winter.
    For me, priority buy must be another central midfielder because without Cesc we simply lost a lot of quality and Ramsey seems to have been set back in his development and I am not sure if he is going to be ready for the creative playmaker role just yet. I am convinced that we are going to buy a CB as well, but unless Gibbs does not get his leg broken in four places in the next few days I doubt we will see a LB arriving, also because the “best option” went to Liverpool and Baines would probably cost way too much.

  199. So it seems almost everyone is in agreement that we need a creative midfielder?

    What does that entail, what would you like from a player in that role?

    I would have chosen TR7 for that, but watching him sat a little father back last night was a decider for me. He is the petit (only superior), song is the vieira.

  200. Els – Heh, none taken mate. If Gibbs stays fit he may turn into the left back we need. Again, I did not really think he was up to that level (despite being a decent player), but his perfornces up to his injury were encouraging. Should he continue that type of form, he will prove me wrong. Hopefully that will be the case. He certainly seems more aggresive in his tackling and closing down than I remember, and as a full back that is essential. The quicker he gets back the better.

    Evil – Yeah, that sounds about right mate.

  201. Yeah, I’m predictable, Andy. As predictable as you standing up for every single cunt who bad mouths the team, then saying that we’re too harsh on them. Fuck you. I don’t have time for twats who spend months talking shit about the manager being criminally negligent only for them walk in here after we win looking like the cat who drank up all the milk.

    Don’t know what fence sitting is yet? Look it up.

  202. Els – Losing Cesc’s assists really must be replaced. Gervihno looks like he will chip in, and Wilshere will also. But I do think that somebody else will have to be brought in to do this. Will Arsene bring in a central player to do that? Or will he go for a more solid approach centrally, and maybe bring in another wide man who will fill that role? It will be an interesting week, that is for sure.

  203. els – Wesley Sneider

  204. I have just seen Luke’s comments from Tuesday

    Sorry Luke but you have it coming.
    And as for making me look stupid standing up for you 🙂

  205. JimmyD. Haha, another awesome t-shirt from Arshavin. Soviet-Chic.

  206. DG, might be wrong, but unless something drastic has happened over the past year or so, van Persie and Sneijder loathe each other.

  207. Markus – Arshavin looks genuinely scared

    Desie – not at circa £250k a week he is not

  208. els, I believe we already have the creativity, but it will mean using an existing central midfielder in an advanced role (Wilshere when he gets back), which is why my priority would be another all-round CM.

  209. Gains – I don’t need to, I know what it means. Where you do not seem to.

    I don’t stick up for everybody that bad mouths the team. Sometimes people on here get stick despite put a valid point forward, so in that case yes I will offer my support. You won’t find me supporting obvious trolls though, or for that matter people that start abusing players (different to saying they don’t rate them).

    If I say the manager is negligent (I am 100% behind Wenger by the way) by not strengthing certain areas (which I have not yet, although if we don’t but again this window I would) how on earth does that affect my write to celebrate a win? That is just strange thinking. I am every bit a fan as anybody else on here. In you mind there really are two types of fans on either side of some imaginary line; I really don’t have time for that as it is a bit childlike.

    I enjory debating the club with many people on here, from both sides of you line. I really don’t see myself involved in any of that stuff. I would agree with AIC as much as I would agree with Limpar if I thought they have a decent point. Makes no odds to me; a good point is a good point, and a load of shit is a load of shit. Come out of the playground my friend.

  210. Deise, great player but RvP don’t like him. So neither do I.

  211. Hmmm

    -write
    +right

    🙂

  212. I dont care if van Persie and Sneijder are mortal enemies, Sneijder would be great in our team. How realistic is another matter, i just put it out there as an option.

  213. Markus, good support mate. Really would love to see one of the current crop get the place behind RvP. That said we could do with someone else who can play cutting passes. Perhaps somebody who has been around the block too.

    It’s a difficult job to get someone who is of a decent experience who wont stunt the growth of our heavily invested in youth (Ramsey, Wilshire). Who is also worth the money due to their age may have no re-sell value. That’s obviously why we are possibly looking for loan moves. There really could have been a bit of truth in the Kaka deal.

  214. Forget trying to explain it away Zimpaul, everyone knows you are delusional with respect to arsenal.

  215. els, I see most of our assists coming from wide positions this year. Gervinho got one last night, should have been two but Theo’s shot was right at the keeper. Theo and Van Persie already have an awesome connection. If Wilshere and the other CMs can even contribute a few more each we’d be laughing. The difference I feel is that the team don’t feel as if everything has to go through one dominant creative player now. Sorry Cesc.

  216. Bang on up there with regards to the media keeping an eye on Arsenal tweeters and bloggers. Blogs have been one of the main reasons for the decline in newspaper sales so just you knew the fuckers would be circling trying to find new angles to piss on our club. Interesting that YW was a talking head on the Official Website the other day. YW is big time now isn’t he? As he should be too.

  217. Great write up, great game!

    For most of the first half we were very dangerous then towards the end we got stretched a bit and the game got a little bit out of hand.

    ZP, you have a way with words, as I read that comment about song, I could see him doing it! He is a deceptive player, many dont expect that level of skill from him. Brilliant player.

    I thought Djourou played well, for me he was the main player in defense that got the ball and got our attack going. His passing was off the charts.

    Have a blessed day all!

    Extended Highlights

    http://www.footytube.com/video/udinese-arsenal-aug24-88522?ref=tchan_ov_vidgrid

  218. Andy, try as you may, you can’t define the phrase fence sitter to suit yourself. But keep trying. Those of us who have read your posts for several years now, know exactly where you sit.

    “I am every bit a fan as anybody else on here. In you mind there really are two types of fans on either side of some imaginary line; I really don’t have time for that as it is a bit childlike.”

    So why pipe up when someone like me or Steww have a go at the fuckers who have been bad mouthing the club all summer? How come you never say anything to the doomers who constantly shit on our manager and our players?

    Hmmmmmmm.

  219. Afternoon true believers! (I’m in Stan Lee mode today as today is a day for heroes!).

    Heroes on the pitch, heroes penning the blog, and heroes in the comments section. Pats on the back for you all – at least for the great percentage of you – who, in spite of the torrent of bilge that has swirled around us like a typhoon of rancid piss, have maintained good spirits and belief.

    Most of all today I am delighted for our heroic manager who has held steady through this storm and maintained an air of dignity and calm. He looks as though the pressure has exacted an unbelievable toll on him and I have nothing but heart-swelling gratitude and unending respect for the man.

    No one gives us a chance on Sunday but we have to be allowed to dream – but just imagine for a moment if we eked a victory..?

    My God that would taste like manna itself.

    Excelsior! (For those that know their Marvel comics)

    😀

  220. Van Persie’s pass out wide to Sagna. The one that went through two Udinese players’ legs. That was a thing of beauty.

  221. Oh and BTW – what a marvellous game it was. Really properly enjoyable and to think people were harking for the George Graham days on here not long ago.

    For shame.

  222. Gains – All right, all right. I will explain it to you. Somebody who sits on the fence is somebody who will not commit to an opinion either way. It really is that simple. So for example whilst you may not agree with somebody who thinks Wenger should be sacked, they could not be descirbed as a fence sitter. Do you understand that? If you do, and still think that I fall into that category, fine. But I challenge you to find some posts where I do that, because I don’t. I am quite happy to state my opinion, and quite happy to be proved wrong as well.

    Anyways, I am off home now for a BBQ with the wife. I know it will take you quite a long time to come up with any posts, so I won’t bother checking back later. May be a long night if you go looking though. I can save you the trouble and tell you not to bother as there won’t be any though 😉

    I don’t say anything to those that just come on here on a wind up, as I believe in the saying “don’t feed the troll”.

    Laters.

  223. Gains – And you are right. RvP’s pass really was an amazing piece of vision.

  224. Here’s Nasri quote the papers didn’t report – as it didn’t fit the stoking the fire agenda. Don’t get me wrong though he’s still a cunt in my books. 😀

    “I am the player I am today because of Arsene Wenger and Arsenal and I will never criticise them. He came to find me at Marseille and made me the player I am. The only thing I have to say to the fans is to trust Arsene Wenger. He knows what he is doing. He has been a great manager for the club for 15 years, they have to trust him. He is a wonderful human being and deserves a lot of respect.”

  225. Sorry Henristic but ZP is not delusional, the man has vision and looks for the best in the team. Respect due for that!

    Thats what all supporters should do instead of talking crap about how we are in dire straits. Forget all of that “realist” talk.

    Isnt it funny but when we have had the “world class” players the fans have moaned like clowns and now they are gone the supporters start to get behind the team. What a waste of time, moaning for the last few years when it is possible that with this same support we have now, just maybe we couldve gotten it done. In other words the moaning and whining didnt accomplish anything.

    I have no time for much of what has been said on here for the last few weeks. I guess I am delusional also but what the heck, I am an Arsenal supporter!

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/wigan-reserves-arsenal-reserves-15320520/

  226. Fuck Nasri can we stop posting about the fat cunt already? Fuck Patrick Viera, too.

  227. Fuck off Henristic you snarky cunt.

  228. Andy: “Gains – All right, all right. I will explain it to you. Somebody who sits on the fence is somebody who will not commit to an opinion either way. It really is that simple.”

    Exactly. You don’t commit. That’s why I think you’re a fence sitter. I told you this two weeks ago, remember?

  229. Zimpaul: “Most of the nonsense spewed forth by the press and so-called football establishment about Arsenal, its football, its players and its tactics, is irrational. Now when somebody, like me perhaps, points out that facts don’t support those views and there is a rational basis for the decisions being taken with a strategy, we are labelled AKBs, and in your word “extremist”, both terms I truly despise, and which I take as an insult, because it is meant as an insult. Delusional is another one.”

    The doomers have pulled the argument so far to their side that anything other than pure hatred for Wenger is seen as delusion. I am proud to be an AKB.

  230. Gains – see, you create an opinion based on what you want to believe. For instance, I have always said I will support the team, but been critical of its flaws during the summer. Why are you shocked when I do exactly that. The fact that a load of Yankee Doodles enjoying some foreign soccerball are trying to create an elitist fanbase is beyond hilarious. We are all fans. We all celebrate when you win.

    George – comments from Tuesday?!?! Didint mean to offend you?

  231. *when we win.

  232. Jabba's Delights

    George

    Just very busy mate these days. Well done to the lads last night was impressed with there spirit an quality and i thought Arsene made an inspired early substitution with Rosicky, something i wish he did more at times.

    We must move on now. Huge game at the weekend and 7 days to bring in some much needed quality.

    Fancy our forward line to give their patched up defence some serious difficulties. God knows what we are going to do about our midfield.

    Ramsey, Rosicky Lansburry? If so what an opportunity for the lad. Utd and Spurs away to start his career for us.

    Ramsey slowly starting to get his edge back, a delight to see.

  233. Goonerandy.

    I thought I told you to drop the fucking shovel last week and stop digging.

    You’re a fully paid, card carrying member of the Arsenal fence sitting society. I called you out on it, Gains has done the same and you should stop insulting our intelligence by suggesting you have your own self-righteous definition of fence sitting.

  234. I have not been so entertained by an Arsenal team in quite some while. I was there for every second of the game yesterday. I do believe that the point that Darius made about Cesc and Samir not being there for the team when they were really needed makes sense to me. We are indeed observing a transition in the team that appears extremely exciting!

  235. Darius,

    Its funny. The people who refer to fence sitting are those who are obessed with agressively polarising the fanbase. Perhaps you should think about your motives? If your adamant blogs have an impact on the fans at the ground, perhaps you should be careful by creating two extremist groups. Arsenal fans fought each other at the end of last season in case you werent aware.

    So, next time you try alienate people with volleys of abuse, personal attacks, just have a think of its impact around the ground, alright champ?

  236. Jabba's Delights

    Gains

    As far as i can see the only person having an argument on here today from reading the posts is you with yourself. Not much to do in the bible belt today?

    Why dont you just relax and enjoy our victory. Performances of grit, tenacity and a quality brings the fanbase togther and gets people minds off the other issues which are very much still there. It should be celebrated. Not sure if you get that over there accross the pond but seeing all the gooners at work today and everyone having a proper reason to be happy is a good thing.

  237. Nice one for the link LA, didn’t even realise it was today. How exciting. Hope Figo is kind to us, always liked him.

  238. Luke – I’m not playing with you. Not today – run along now.

  239. Darius/Gains – Yup, you both have “called me out”, but despite repeated requests for an example, neither have you have come up with an examples. Why could that be? It does not take a genius to work that out. Gains comes across as a bit simple so I will forgive him, but I would have expected something a bit better from Darius.

    Heh, I know you will now say something like “stop digging” so you don’t have to give an example, but that would say more about you than me. I couldn’t dig anyway, as Darius still has the shovel from last week 😉

  240. PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE avoid Zenit / Shakthar

  241. LOL Goonerandy.

  242. Darius – Heh, predictable retort. Still avoiding eh? Not to worry, I will leave you get back to grazing in your sheep pen for now with the rest of the flock

  243. MARSEILLE

  244. Marseille

  245. Bless Bobby Charlton. He hasn’t got a clue whats going on and I don’t blame him really. Gave us a nice tie with Marseille though.

  246. Barca get AC Mila – interesting game – and Valencia get Chelsea

  247. Probably the best draw we could have got.

  248. He seems to have found himself on the deck of some strange space station in the future, mattyboy, surrounded by overfed, overtanned knobeads shouting out the alphabet.

  249. It’s nice to see Paul Breitner. Definitely one of my favourite players of the 80s with Bayern.

  250. Hope we get Leverkusen. Not too far from me. Or Dortmund although that would be a difficult game

  251. Wouldn’t it be great if Man City land in group H – with Barca and AC Milan.

  252. What an overcomplicated waste of time and money this is.

  253. Hahaha, a little better than being back at Old Trafford then LA, but only just!

  254. Group D looking tough.

  255. olympiakos

  256. Olympiakos

    Another favourable draw. Get in.

  257. Group G is HELL.

    Porto are out!

  258. Long trip?

  259. Out group is looking good so far.

  260. I hope BATE Borisov smash those ignorant, disrespectful scumbags.

  261. Arsenal v Marseille…… yes, thats the best chance I’ve got to see the gunners play in CL this year. Marseille just one hour from where I live…… start asking Marseille supporters I know about tickets NOW.
    I am happy……….

  262. Darius, apparently Man City … “were never in danger of being placed in Group H purely because you have to be on the ‘blue’ side of the draw rather than the ‘red’ of Manchester United to keep your Champions League match-day nights separate (Tuesday and Wednesday).”

    So says Sam Lyon on BBC Sport.

  263. BOLLOCKS.

    Dortmund – Marseille – Olympiakos.

  264. Dortmund! Homecoming for Rosicky.

  265. Well, not homecoming but you know what I mean…

    Mouthwatering matches lads. Can’t wait.

  266. Limestonegunner

    Vince, Clichy did say some negative things about Arsenal upon his ManCity unveiling. Didn’t think that was too classy.

    What has bothered me about Nasri’s talking, apart from his slagging of the club and supporters who did nothing last year but chant his name, is what he revealed about Vieira’s involvement in his tapping up. That is criminal. I was very upset to see him go to ManCity and more upset to see him stay there in a front office position at the club. To think that an Arsenal legend is now helping to steal a player from us is more than galling. I think there ought to me more done to make sure an Arsenal legend like him stays with our club after retirement. Dennis Bergkamp, likewise. He has been having some tense moments and negotiations with Ajax. Why aren’t we bringing him back to Arsenal? It would be good for the club and its future players to feel that there is continuity at all levels, that there is an Arsenal tradition and that our great players continue to be involved in our club’s greatness now and in the future.

  267. So trips to France, Greece and Germany. Good competitive group and should keep us on our toes.

  268. looking good in our group and then the germans show up 😉

  269. Limestonegunner

    There is no question we have the hardest group. One more challenge. We will top this group but it will be hard, hard work. There won’t be any easy games, except maybe, maybe Olympiakos at home. There should be incentive to bring in some players to reinforce the squad because injuries could really derail us–but if we have a fit squad or more experienced players I think we should still top this group.

  270. Limestonegunner, good call! How much of a boost would it be to have Bergkamp return in a coaching role. Give the lads some extra belief in themselves and the club.

  271. Limestonegunner

    On second thought, Man City’s group looks pretty rough too. But of course ManU get the easiest there is.

  272. Limestonegunner

    We have a group with a lot of experience in the CL. Marseille and Olympiakos are regulars. Dortmund has won it and has a good pedigree in Europe even if there has been a gap of 14 or so years in their fortunes. Each of these ties has a bit of glamour about it but the Dortmund tie will be very very exciting!

  273. Limestonegunner

    From the Guardian mbm of the CL draw:
    5.55pm: CONSPIRACY! There is a problem in the draw for the last 3 teams,” says Tristan Rudgard. “Ghenk is drawn third last and they list only Groups B and E that they can be drawn into (and therefore only pick balls for those groups). However, there is no reason why they could not be drawn into group F (Arsenal’s group) as there are no other Belgian teams in the draw. Penultimate team is Trabzonspor and they place them into Group B as they show no other open groups – however, there is also no reason why they could not have be drawn into Group F. Finally Dortmund are allocated to the only remaining group, F. The system broke down and did not show Group F as a valid option for the last 3 picks. Redraw?” Let’s not.

    I wasn’t watching but this is disturbing. We could have had Trabzon or Ghenk but for some reason our group, Group F, was excluded, insuring for no apparent reason that we would get Dortmund. Did we need another reason to believe UEFA have it in for us?!?!

  274. Don’t be surprised about Vieira’s involvement in getting Nasri leave. These guys were great but were not fans, its all about the money. Playing for us Vieira got increases almost every season because Madrid Real was offering high wages and to keep him, we needed to increase his wages.

    What about the Deins? The old man sold his shares and pocketed 75m and didn’t care the instability this brought to the club. The junior Dein? His profession is to lure Arsenal players and sell them. He sold Henry and has just sold Fabregas, pocketing millions. Its all about the money and business while the fans deal with the emotional aspects.

  275. Holy shit. That is well dodgy, LG. Wow.

  276. Probably the most sensible comment I’ve read from Maturks. You’ve really come around. The rollercoaster that is the Arsenal is not for the faint of heart.

  277. Strange that man city, who finnished third in the league and have never played in the Cl were in Pot 3 wheras German champions and former winners were in pot 4.

  278. It might have been a different story but for Szczesny’s second-half penalty save from Antonio Di Natale, which preserved Arsenal’s aggregate lead, and the goalkeeper revealed he had indulged in a bout of sledging while Di Natale prepared to take the spot-kick.

    “I gave him a little bit of stick and was probably not very nice to him but it worked so I am delighted,” Szczesny said. “I told him he wasn’t good enough, I was too good for him and he wasn’t going to score – but in a nice way.

    “I got in his head in the head in the end because he missed the penalty.”

    This dude has got legend written all over him.

  279. Jabby, just read about Van Persie calling for more signings. Guess what? He backs Wenger 100%. He wasn’t trying to put pressure on the manager. Who is stirring the shit, me or you?

    Luke, I’m a yankee doodle enjoying some soccer ball? I’ve been watching football and only football for twenty five years. I don’t follow any American sports. But don’t be mad because some of us stayed calm during the storm and you lost the plot.

    Andy, one example. Accusing us of being paranoid over referee bias while saying that Pedro’s handball, dive was a dead on penalty and proof that calls go our way as well.

    Dortmund is going to be a delicious fixture. Two footballing sides going at it will be the closest thing to a perfect game since we played Barcelona last season.

  280. Limestone
    the reason group F wasn’t included was because it was the only group at that stage that Dortmund could be drawn in because of German teams in other groups,

  281. CONSPIRACY! There is a problem in the draw for the last 3 teams,” says Tristan Rudgard. “Ghenk is drawn third last and they list only Groups B and E that they can be drawn into (and therefore only pick balls for those groups). However, there is no reason why they could not be drawn into group F (Arsenal’s group) as there are no other Belgian teams in the draw. Penultimate team is Trabzonspor and they place them into Group B as they show no other open groups – however, there is also no reason why they could not have be drawn into Group F. Finally Dortmund are allocated to the only remaining group, F. The system broke down and did not show Group F as a valid option for the last 3 picks. Redraw?”

    From the Guardian MBM. Cna anyone confirm this happened?

  282. Loomer, I laughed when I read that. How come we get nutters as goalkeepers so frequently? I mean, this kid is off his rocker. Imagine a twenty year old speaking to an Italian international with at least a decade at the top level like that. Legend is absolutely right.

  283. man utd get a pass into the nest round again.

  284. “I dont care if van Persie and Sneijder are mortal enemies, Sneijder would be great in our team”

    Didn’t you watch the world cup? Sneijder would not pass the ball to Robin. I do not want to see that at Arsenal. I would rather keep RVP than bring in that mercenary.

    “It would be good for the club and its future players to feel that there is continuity at all levels, that there is an Arsenal tradition and that our great players continue to be involved in our club’s greatness now and in the future”.

    Pat Rice and Steve Bould already fit that description. We also have other ex-players in a number of other roles around the club.

    I loved Vieira as an Arsenal player, but his involvement in the Nasri situation does not surprise me – he flirted with RM and manure while he was here and was kept with big pay rises. He encouraged cashley to push for his pay rise and we know where that ended, and then when he left Arsenal he talked about his regret that he never went to RM when he had the chance. It’s like being captain of the ‘invincibles’ was not enough for him. I’m sure the big pay check from man shitty is helping him adjust to his new role as chief tapper-upper. He better stay away from any of our other French players or he will be joining Wrighty on my list of heroes to zeros.

  285. UEFA coefficient, Deise. England has been the country with the most teams making it to at least the QF’s going on five or six years now.

  286. man utd could not afford sniders wages so we certainly can’t, and yes it if will upset rvp then he is not welcome round here. and kaka isnt gritty enough for us now!!

  287. IMO, Kaka has ‘Shevchenko’ written all over him…

    would love for him to come and prove me wrong tho, he seems like a decent fella…

  288. Kaka would be an excellent signing, he’s exactly what we need right now. He’s more Robben or Van Der Vaart than Shevchenko I’d say. He just needs the right environment to flourish, Real isn’t the place for him obviously.

  289. i think we landed a hard group. Even when hes not trying Fergie is lucky. that must be the simplest group in this years CL.

  290. LUke why do you think its the best draw we could have got? i think it looks like a way hard group.

  291. Our group is definitely not easy. Marseille and Borussia are quality teams. Borussia plays some pretty good stuff. I have watched them a decent amount and they will go for it agaisnt us. It won’t be easy but I still feel we will progress.

  292. @vice
    you think the quality of the teams we meet will make us stay sharper? It may work like that, its very easy to underestimate teams like Genk, then again how can you actually loose to teams like Genk?
    Only comfort must be, the group is equally hard for Marseille and Borussia.
    Haavard Nordtveit plays for Borrusia now does he not?

  293. I too was wondering why Trabzonspor could not go into our group, but there must be a reason. Perhaps due to teams from the same area not being allowed to play on the same nights? As someone pointed our earlier, Man U and City could not be in the same half of the draw for that reason.

  294. He plays for the other Borussia team poodle

    The group will not be a walkover, but Arsenal is a team that they will not be relishing. We have the quality to overcome them if our important players are fit and available.

  295. Adebayor all but confirmed officially as a Spud. Will make for an interesting derby.

  296. Ade certainly knows how to stay popular with the Arsenal fans…almost signed for s**rs..

  297. Limestonegunner

    John N, don’t know if that explains it because the point is that Trabzon and the Belgian team were drawn but it was indicated (perhaps mistakenly?) that they couldn’t go to group f. Need a bit more elucidation why Dortmund had to go to group F, but I didn’t watch and the sequence is clearly critical.

  298. Limestonegunner

    Mattyboy, there wasn’t another Turkish team, so that wasn’t a reason or another Belgian team. As far as timing–have Arsenal and Chelsea always been on different CL days? How about last year when three London teams were in–were we always on different days from Tottenham? I am not sure that in a city the size of London that group stage matches would be an issue, plus they can set up the group stage schedule to insure one or the other of us is away and the other at home. So I don’t see how this would have had to affect the nature of the draw. Looks a bit dodgy to me.

  299. Passenal,
    As much as I’d love to keep shitting on our ex-players, after last night I just want to forgive & forget the lot of them.

    As individuals we all have different outlooks & life-timing.
    Yardsticks by which we measure success, value & post-career legacies.
    To each his own.

    The truly great ones blaze fresh new paths.
    Aren’t too interested in copying existing systems/ successes.
    Aren’t interested in winning at any cost
    This is more than anything the reason why I support AW so much.
    His operating philosophy functions along the lines of common sense, innovation, positivity, respect, tradition, beauty, empowerment, growth & a healthy respect for history.
    It gets no better than this man for me in word football
    His ego finds its place appropriately within all these priceless values in such a way that all those that he’s touched cannot praise him enough.

    I doff my ha to our new squad of plucky Gunners
    To Arsene
    Because he knows.

    …i remain POSITIVE

  300. Well Cesc said we abou Arsenal… i guess 8 years at one club leaves you marked for life. Especially when those 8 years are the crucial yoth, yong adult years where you “discover yourself” and all that.

    And last year our CL group looked relativley easy i thought, that turned out a disaster, we underpreformed hugley. Im sure better quality opositions will make us more alert and make us work harder.
    btw, are we trying to buy any playes from any of those clubs? I take it we wont be allowed to snatch any of them now…..
    OM is Nasris old club. Would be lovley to crush them as a goodbye present for Nasri.

  301. Limestone
    with 3 groups left, two of them had german teams in. This meant that Dortmund could only go to that group, ie Arsenals group. Therefor the computer “reserves” the place in that group for Dortmund and doesn’t let any of the others go there, otherwise it might happen that Dortmund would be drawn and there would be no alowable group for them.

  302. Possible tickets for Marseille v Arsenal nearly arranged, depending on date. A friends son is a season ticket holder and can arrange extra tickets…. here we go, one hours drive from me, good match and can stay in Marseille for the night with friends
    VERY HAPPy

  303. Actually not a German team in Trabs group- but expect this is to do with “pairing” ie German tv wouldn’t want Bayern the biggest club in germany, and Dormund, the champions playing on same night, so Dortmund had to be in blue half of draw, in the same way Chelsea and ManU kept in opposite halves. Once Arsenal then in blue half City could only go in red half, therefor they got put in A when other options looked available.

  304. “Don’t be surprised about Vieira’s involvement in getting Nasri leave. These guys were great but were not fans, its all about the money. Playing for us Vieira got increases almost every season because Madrid Real was offering high wages and to keep him, we needed to increase his wages.”

    That comes across as remarkably ungrateful. The Vieira I watched gave everything week in, week out.

  305. Yogi
    Last seasons CL final at Wembley was on my birthday and I really thought we would be there…… c’est la vie, we weren’t……..
    The group stage is interesting, we’ll get through but it will be difficult. I’m just looking forward to the Marseille game at the velodrome………….. amongst the ultras, …… that will be a night, already discussed with a french friend who is a season ticket holder, no prob with a ticket, but capacity at Marseille is reduced due to work on the stadium

  306. you can give everything without being a fan though, withouth being emotionally attatched to your company or club. Its called being professional. Good example today can be Tevez. He gives everything and is Citys talisman, yet hes only there for the money.

  307. Why did Liverpool not bid for Cahill but went for Coats?

  308. Just seen AIC on I-95 in Maryland on his way back from the match. Riding Jibbers back up Vespa. Accounts for him being missing in action, though he promises to be back for sunday should things go bad at OT.

  309. “Why did Liverpool not bid for Cahill but went for Coats?”

    Because Cahill has found his level at Bolton and he is not worth £17m in a month of Sundays?

  310. Northbank

    That was you, this is me – surely Arsenal won’t want to disappoint me on MY birthday????

    YW

  311. I am afraid I have been unable to go through all of today’s posts, but feel I want to express my feeling of elation today, after so many months of misery. Whether last night’s win heralds a new dawn or just a false one, remains to be seen,, but, like so many of you, I just want to enjoy it, like a cool glass of orange juice after a fast.

    I could only watch the last 20 minutes or so, by which time, it was effectively over.

    However, what made my evening more than anything else was AW’s comment when interviewed, when he pointed out that when we end the game with 11 players, we win.

    Well said.

    The Times this morning had nearly 3 pages on th game and I had difficulty in finding anything positive said about us. It is as though the articles were written before the game started, assuming that we would lose.

    GIving Sagna and Frimpong 4 out of 10, when, according to my son who watched the match, they would, most probably, have deserved double that, said everthing. What is it about the media that they seem to dislike AW and Arsenal so much.

    Have a good evening.

  312. pfft Passenal, i know you know that, i wanted someone that loves Cahill to answear 🙂

  313. Don’t know if anyone posted this but it’s funny as f*ck. Watch Pat Rice when Wenger throws a water bottle.

  314. the 2006 final was on my wedding aniversary!! fukin ruined it.

  315. I find it rather disturbing that spuds can loan a player like Adethewhore with city paying most of his wages.

    Surely there is something bad about a club who buys loads of mature players then rents them out because they buy even more.

  316. Congratulations to Shamrock Rovers (and ex Arsenal player Stephen O’Donnell) on becoming the first Irish club to reach the group stages of the Europa League

  317. I agree dupsffokcuf, it’s just wrong, and because he’s on loan, he will not be able to play against his pay masters!

  318. It seems a deal for Hazard is very close.

  319. Well said Dups re: Shamrock Rovers, quite an achievement to get in there now lets hope they can invest the windfall playing in Europe should bring and build on it.

    Great result from the boys in Udinese but what is even better is the reaction from the Udinese fans, we could learn a thing or two from them. I think their official site summed it up perfectly:

    “After two brilliant performances Udinese’s dream to make it through the Group Stage of the Champions League ends, without managing to repeat what was made in 2005. However, our boys did their best to overturn a result that, at the end of the first half, had been drawn thanks to Antonio Di Natale’s masterstroke that made the Friuli explode.
    In the second half, Van Persie’s goal, plus a crescendo of the opponents, allowed Arsenal to take the lead and end the qualification subject with Walcott’s goal.
    Udinese made their fans proud anyway last night: the fans were close to their darlings in the hardest moments singing: “Udine! Udine!” witnessing how a winning project needs its supporters too to work.
    The claps at the end of the match, the choruses to the players and the greetings to the terraces were very exciting: only Udine can give this kind of emotions and scenarios, proving to be a city ready to host the most important continental matches.
    There is bitterness, as well as the acknowledgement of having become great. A whole city and all of your fans shouted it: we’re proud of you all, thanks a lot!”

    Wow even when translated to English the Italian language is pretty cool 🙂

  320. “It seems a deal for Hazard is very close”.

    Really? I find that hard to believe! Why would Lille sell their star player this late in the transfer window when they are in the CL?

  321. dupsffokcuf- is that insider info or John Cross atuff. Lille don’t want to sell apparently which means they want a huge pile of dosh. I can’t see it happening

  322. That’s what it should be Irishgray, the supporters are an important part of the success of the team. It would be great if the Arsenal supporters are finally starting to twig their part in our club. Had there been more support and less moaning and groaning, it might have been enough to lift the team and carry us over the finish line before now.

  323. Jabba'sDelights

    Gains

    just saw your comment to luke last night you said you followed “soccerball” for 15 years…….where has the extra 10 years come on for………jog on

  324. Limestonegunner

    JohnN, if TV slots is the reason, that is no justification as far as I’m concerned. I understand the other group had a German team. It seems a bit rigged if it isn’t made on clear and transparent rules that apply across the board and I have never heard that two teams from the same country shouldn’t be on the same day. England has two teams playing on both days and it is only because Germany hasn’t managed to get a third team into the group stages that this is an issue.

  325. Exactly Passenal. It’s fair enough for young players learning their way but not for players being subsidised to the tune on 100k a week

  326. Jabba'sDelights

    Really tough group. the greeks and french away games will be very tough and then both games against the germans will be an exhbition in the 2 best young teams in europe against one another. I sepnd allot of time with ze germans and as a result of that have to watch allot of their football, this is a great side with a wonderful coach. Goetze will take the cl by storm. if we make some signings and players develope as we hope no reason to beleve that we cant take it down.

    crucial that arsene doesnt make the same fowl up as last year. Going first matters massively

  327. Just saw that Wales have dropped to 117 in the new FIFA rankings. That is lower than Haiti and North Korea!! Apologies to my Welsh cousins but AHAHAHAHAHA!! That is funny 🙂

  328. Limestonegunner

    Can’t see the Hazard rumour; besides which do we need another pacy small winger? Walcott, Arshavin, Gervinho, Ryo, the Ox…. Does he ever play in central midfield? I’d rather have their striker Sow who has a high finishing rate.

  329. Dups- It says Arsenal made an offer of 30 millions euros but failed then upped the bids to 35 millions euros but Lille is relectant to sell. It won’t happen. What I mean is they want ridiculous money that is why it will not happen. They will flog him to City, Madrid or Milan in january for more. He is full of trickery but is he premiership material? Remember Robinho he was all tricks but could not deal with the physical aspect of the game in the premiership. it will be a huge risk for Wenger to pay such a huge fee.

  330. Jabba, I said twenty five years, you double chined turd. Started watching football when I was ten. I became a Holland fan because my dad took us to the Netherlands and bought me a Holland shirt in 1986. From there I followed Gullit’s career from Milan to Sampdoria until they started showing the EPL here and I became an Arsenal supporter.

  331. 1lc, I agree. I know Arsene said he would be interested if Hazard were available, but I believe that Lille don’t want to sell so it would take a small fortune to get him. I suspect that is why Arsene went for Gervinho, because he could get an effective player for a better price and who could probably handle the physicality of the PL better.

  332. Gains- how did it happen from Gullit to Arsenal?

  333. Cesc left on my birthday, so I think I trump everyone’s misery. Here’s hoping Yogi has a fantastic birthday from dawn till dawn.

  334. Jabba'sDelights

    Gains

    must be tough being a wonderer. Should stop following players and managers and maybe just settle down and support a team for the rest of your life like the rest of us, i know that not how it works with some across the pond but not all of them try and dictate how an english football fan should support their soccerball team

  335. Where is Jonny when one needs him? He’s always full of good gossip and almost inside info. Knows his way around the press that one…

  336. “But I think after we saved the penalty the game became more comfortable for us and I think we played very well” Fabregas

    Fabregas keeps refering to Arsenal as “we” and “us”. Is that a sign that he might come back if things don’t work out for him at Barcelona, for free of course. We’ll snatch him again.

  337. Limestonegunner

    Noticed that too in the Fabregas clip. Sounds like in English that is how he talks about Arsenal–he has answered so many questions about Arsenal matches as captain that it must come second nature.

    Let’s see if he uses “we” and “us” when he has to answer questions about Barcelona’s defeat to Arsenal in a knockout stage (the final in Munich?) of the Champions League this year.

  338. 1lc, Bergkamp. I always thought he was magnificent. Watched him when he was at Ajax and his skills were mesmerizing. After USA94 we started to get more and more English league coverage then in 95 we got a proper tv channel devoted exclusively to football. When he came to Arsenal I decided it was going to be my team. So I stuck with it and here we are.

    Jibber, my condition as a wanderer, not wonderer, wasn’t by choice. I live in the states and we didn’t get English football on tv until after USA 94. Instead of denigrating overseas supporters for not being pooped out in London, like you were, you should be proud that some of us have taste and gravitated toward Arsenal instead of Manure or Liverpool. Which is the choice most American glory hunters made.

  339. Marvin Martin from Sochaux would be my choice over Hazard. I hope Sagna and Koscielny convince him to come here.

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