Stepping Up To The Plate For Club & Country

As the conclusion to the Euro2012 qualifying campaign draws near, once more Fabio Capello’s future is under scrutiny. Not because his a failure in his role, more that his contract is near its end and inevitably the media want a John Bull, larger than life character in situ. Whether that person is the best person for the role is largely irrelevant.

Sven Goran Eriksson broke a taboo as far as the national team was concerned, rightly pointing out that Steve McLaren blew the media’s overwhelming desire for an Englishman to run England’s senior squad. Interestingly, Eriksson believes Wenger is the best man for the job,

Arsène Wenger can adapt to everything. He lives for football. You see how much it matters to him every game, but you also see when it’s a Euro or a World Cup, he is working on it, for French television, so he doesn’t miss anything. That’s his holiday.

Leaving aside the obvious question of whether Wenger would want the job, especially as having made it clear he never wanted to coach France in the past, I think Arsène would be too frustrated by the England set-up at this moment in time.

As a perfectionist, he would be overwhelmingly disappointed by the poor technical ability of the current generation of English footballers. That said, it would certainly wake up the nation’s coaching techinques, dragging them kicking and screaming into the 21st century. In that respect, he would be the weaver of our dreams.

It would be interesting to see what criticism the media would come up with. The hackneyed headlines of this morning’s Heil would be irrepeatable, the parsimony with which he is taunted would not be an issue. No matter how hard the media tried, there would be no tears to cry for the lack of English players.

The lack of quality is a different issue. On which point, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been the subject of praise from Fabio Capello. Ox – or Alexander as his father likes to call him – is apparently being pencilled in for the full team ahead of the European Championships. Whether that is a good thing or not remains to be seen but it is unlikely that Capello would make as daft a decision as Eriksson did with Walcott.

Chamberlain Senior makes an interesting point, one that highlights a problem at English clubs,

I sound like an old footballer now but no-one drops their shoulder and goes past people any more. In academies you’ll see players receiving the ball on the back foot having a touch and playing a pass.

They have ability and we suppress it because we don’t want them to lose the ball. We’re all guilty – I have been at times – of knocking that out of players because the focus is on winning.

I’ve always been keen to encourage that in Alexander and he’s always done it. It’s just that he’s doing it on a big stage now

Chamberlain Junior’s two recent performances at The Emirates were promising. It is not that I am unenthusiastic about the player, he has huge potential but it strikes me that Arsenal fans have become too quick to judge young players. In that respect, the emergence of Fabregas and Wilshere spoiled us; it ruined things for otherwise good players having time to develop as in the past. Now the critique is simple: Is he as good as Wilshere or Fabregas? No, get rid of him.

And that is utterly wrong.

One young man who is heading in the right direction is Wojciech Szczesny. A solid bond has definitely grown between the club and his heart. And confidence, the lad has it in bundles,

I feel that when I say something, everyone listens to me. More so on the field than in the dressing room, but that’s more important, I think. I want to be captain of the team. I feel I am able to take on that responsibility

Naturally the focus has been on his comments about playing for Barcelona, twisting in the breeze of a long hot summer’s transfer speculation. Arshavin still suffers from criticism about his remarks before he signed for Arsenal, this could linger for a while.

But why should the young Pole not have lofty ambitions? He wants to play for the best club side in the world, currently the Catalans. In five years, who knows? It might be Arsenal, it could be Lyon, we simply do not know.

That he wants to captain Arsenal, to me at least, is a very good sign. The desire to take responsibility seems to have drained from the players, those who are willing to stand up and be counted can inspire others. With inspiration and perspiration, this season’s travails can be put behind us and league form improved.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 5, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 111 Comments.

  1. Second?

  2. blaaaaahhh

  3. Remember season 2008/09 which like this season was a dog.We were out of the title race in October but Villa were challenging us for 4th place and the whole season was built around that.And when we finishd 4th it was treated like a triumph

    The same scenario is happening this season.We are so poor that if we finish 6th it will be treated like a title win instead of questions being asked about the manager.Because our ambitions have been lowered so much.Top prices in football to watch a team with mid table ambitions

    Remind me again why we built the E*******.Oh yeah to compete with Utd Chelsea Madrid and Barca

  4. YW

    I’ve lived with ice, snow & frost all ‘summer’ here, just bringing it with me for you to share.

  5. That got us thinking!

    Reasons for why the daily Heil might complain if Wenger took over at England.

    1) 4:5:1 …..! The Horror….The Horror……!

    2) Namby pamby football

    3) Not enough tracking back

    4) His name is Arsene

    5) He is of the Plantagenet ilk

    6) That means he is French

    7) That means he is not English

    8) What is the use of this number 10 position if he does not defend?

    9) It is just not how we do it here!

    Le Grovers would get their wish though, but then so would I:

    That the miserable lot of them (and happily me) have to continue watching Wenger’s ‘lies’ and ‘ineptitude’ for another 5 years.

  6. Where are you dups, Manchester?

  7. The media,the media, the media.

    Yawn.

  8. Morning YW.
    Can’t wait for all qualifiers to end, Euros & ACN.
    We have work to do.

    Alexander & Szszeszny are our future. I hope they remain with us for at least a decade. Win some things, break some records.
    McLaren’s not even as good as Owen Coyle in my books.

    “Free AA!”

  9. Just read last night’s posts.

    Electricity? Well, I think they may have it in places like Plymouth. Fancy dans that they are.

  10. Harvey

    One for you and the rest of your ilk

    (I have never done this before and I understand that it is hard if you don’t know so any help post post would be appreciated YW)

  11. Sorry, someone taped up my mouth. What I’d meant to say was this: I think the last time I cared about the England team was probably Euro 96, though it broke my heart to see us thrash Dennis’ home nation like that. They captured my eye with what seemed to be a half decent mix of flair and the oher stuff and I remember enjoying watching them play.

    Before then, no black person I knew supported the England team. I could hazard guesses as to why this was, but we all supported Cameroon or Brazil. But that was I think a watershed moment for everyone but me.

    Not sure why I was the exception, could have been my love of Ronaldo, one of the best players I ever got to see in his prime, then McDonald’s cheekily giving me South Korea in their sweep-stakes (“Ahn Jung Hwan!!!!”), followed by the rise of the arsewipes (too many Chavs, too many Mancs), but I’ve never really felt for Englnad since. And there something about Ashley Young that I’ve never truly liked. I think he reminds me of someone I personally knew and hate, I just can’t think who, but everytime I see him my blood boils, and I think I’d like to fight him.

    I don’t want England to fail but I don’t particularly want them to succeed just yet, but whatever, bag a hat-trick theo.

  12. SA Gooner

    Just continue to bury your head in the sand like Wenger.19pts from 18 games is reality.Wenger ignored the collapse at the end of last season and thats where we are now.Even Wenger has conceded the title.Is he a doomer?

  13. CB

    Not Manchester (thank God). I live near the 12 Pins (the original ones) in Ireland.

  14. Le Touring Yawn

    A tad rich I think, endless repetitive bellyaching your end. I’d rather nothing in moderation than the philosophy of nothing unless ‘moderated’ on your classless rag.

    The only difference I would make to the daily offering if it was my blogg would be to include the press, doomers, Le Grove and spuds fans in one swoop.

    It has been said before (by me), but:

    ‘if you surround yourself in bile all you see is tripe!’

  15. Harvey, oh Harvey
    hyperbolic are thee
    misuses triumph
    when there was but relief
    Your kin we have known
    and for the mistruths sown
    the thing you shall reap
    is the fuck off from us

  16. I know Harvey.

    I am so sorry we are not in the Champions League anymore.

    I am so sorry that the EPL season has ended

    I am so sorry we are out of the FA and Carling Cup

    I am so sorry we won’t get the chance to have stuffed Spud at the emirates

    Or stick a pitch fork up a red devils backside.

    I see what you are saying Harvey I see the light and it is pale.

    i wish I supported Birmingham City

    or some team that played 442 and had Samba in it.

    My season has ended before it has started, what a fool I have been.

    Oh no…..Actually that is you.,

  17. 19pts from 18 games?

    That is a bit miserable, we should do a lot better than that.

    Pull your socks up Arsenal

  18. I dunno dups, I was over for a week towards the end of August and it was quite pleasant.

  19. SA Gooner

    Have you not been repeating those same phrases for the last 7 yrs, and yes you can use them again this year and next (apart from the CL one).

  20. The Sids are out in force today! Yay

  21. Maximus

    You must be referring to the 7 year trophy drought (I have been posting for about a year)

    Lots of phrases have passed my fingers, especially this morning, so I have also to presume you are referring to the ones addressed to ‘My Whole Season is in Tatters Harvey’ and not the one I repeated which was about the tripe and onions that the Grovers have to put up with daily.

    If that is the case I have to say emphatically……..not. This would be because those are ‘My Whole Season is in Tatters Harvey’ sentiments and not mine.

    If however you were referring to the Bile and Tripe reference I have to say I object because, even though I have stated that it was repetition, I actually made it up last week and as such it is original.

    More than this though, you misrepresent me as my statement challenges people to look further than their personal loss at not being Number 1 any more, to realistically look at what options our team has and – instead of just whining, calling for people to go, asking for some blobbyesque thief gangster to throw us an unlimited credit line or investing our entire future in Samba and 442 – come up with some interesting thoughts on how to get us back up there.

  22. And some proper analysis

  23. Sorry to point people towards somewhere other than these esteemed pages but Arseblog’s post today is really rather beautiful – a tonic for the times.

    http://arseblog.com/2011/10/some-things-i-like-about-arsenal/

  24. ilike arseblog the first i ever read, truly the best without dought because he is arsenal first and foremost and not someone trying to prove they are real arsenal cause they think that their kind of support is better than others, you know who im talking about

  25. “i wish I supported Birmingham City… or some team that played 442 and had Samba in it.”

    LOL. Nice one SA Gooner. Me too dude. Me too.

  26. I hate the international break but am amused with the song titles sprinkled around today’s post.

    I have found 4.

    The weaver of our Time
    No tears to cry
    Twisting in the breeze
    Stand up and be counted

    Anymore Yogi.

  27. For the last 3-5 years the media has continually predicted the collapse of The Arsenal. Every season we have proved them wrong, from being tipped to lose out on a champions league spot to Spurs, to entering a relegation battle… it has been a constant feature us Arsenal fans have had to deal with.

    Everyone seemed to have forgotten what happened last season apart from our usual end of season collapse and plague of injuries. Arsenal were the only team who came anywhere close to mounting a credible title challenge. This was without Cesc for large parts of the season and Van Persie too.

    This is enough for me to keep my hopes for the season going. We are in 4 competitions, we have a new team, a few key injuries… so we have to try stay positive. Ignore the garbage, I don’t think any Arsenal fan actually believes we will finish anywhere near the bottom half of the table.

  28. Chris, no I believe we will steadily move up the table and finish 3rd, winning the Champions League along the way.

  29. Markus

    I have a sneaky suspicion that we could do pretty well in the Champions League this season. We will improve game by game now, it is just a shame we couldn’t get the point or points we should have at Shite hart lane. Something always seems to go against us when it matters but we need to start reacting in games like that. The last 20mins were poor in the fact that we didn’t create anything of note.

    Huge blow Sagna is out too. Fingers cross Vermaelen and Wilshire get back after the international break so we can kick on. We have the ability in our ranks to get out of this mess fairly sharpish if we find a little bit of form and confidence.

  30. Markus I`d settle for that,although my current thinking is to just look forward to each game as a 1 off.
    Anyone else amused to see all our potential saviours do so well on the weekend?
    Samba lets in 4 including getting caught under a cross allowing a free header and goal. Jagielka conceeding a penalty every bit as the 1 Eboue conceeded against Liverpoo last season.
    Cahill conceeding 5

  31. a penalty every bit as **careless as** the 1 Eboue

  32. To all Ugandan gooners. We are coming to Kampala this weekend for the big East African derby. Not to forget that Kenyans love Ugandan booty. May the best team win.

  33. Gunners

    The state of affairs is very bad. The manager and the players do not know what they are supposed to do. Players complain that we do not know how to defend and the managers blame them for poor defending. That shows that there something wrong.

    Yet, we support Arsenal. Things will change in the months ahead or next season. I am sure the owner would not have the same words when players refuse to join Arsenal and the sell out of the stadium becomes a dream. Some of the players like Vermaleen, Song, Walcott, and Wilshere will refuse to extend their contracts unless things change. That will change the stubborness of the manager. Something good will be coming out of the embarassing circumstance. Till then we have to on the side of our team.

  34. Kelsey

    Three more deliberately inserted, the last two of yours were unintentional!

    YW

  35. Respect Wenger never fear. If Vermaelen leaves we have Mertesacker, Koscielny and Djourou already. Bartley and Miguel are showing promise. And we could always buy Cahill with whatever money comes in. If Song leaves we could buy M’Villa with the quid we get and we also have Frimpong and Coquelin as cover. If Walcott leaves we already have AOC as cover. And Afobe is showing much promise. And if Wilshere leaves the cheque would be so big we could buy anybody!

  36. kicking and screaming into the 21st century
    stepping up to the plate
    inspiration (that’s a guess)

  37. Wenger will never coach a national side because he won’t be involved into the day to day running of the team. His words.

    Arsene is the ultimate perfectionist, first to training, first to eat exactly what the players eat, he puts himself through the same paces as the whole squad, but takes it on first – gets in the pool before them etc etc. The man is a machine. No way his sanity would survive if you took the day to day routine away from him.

    When AW finishes in management, the FA should do whatever it takes to make him Technical Director or work alongside Brooking in revamping the grass roots of the game.

    That is where the man has a comparative advantage over everyone on the planet.

  38. Re: 4-4-2

    I saw the discussion yesterday – but as we are unable to master our current shape (which has been the focal point at every age group / side at Arsenal since 2007) I would suggest a complete about turn to 4-4-2 wouldnt work.

    It should do, but Im not convinced that all our players have the tactical nous to change formation, especially considering the communication, leadership, organisational skills we currently drastically lack – and have done for three years.

    Oh, any move of formation withour TV / Wilshere available to offer some spine / leadership will be very risky in my opinion.

    Changing formation would require serious amounts of positional drills on the training ground – there isnt a reasonable argument to suggest our defensive unit spends enough time in such drills on the training ground, how will our whole team suddenly cope with a new shape?

  39. When the time is right AW will retire and go to PSG where I believe he has been offered a Life Presidency.

  40. Chris,

    Jack is out for 4 months, so barring a miracle won’t be back after the int Break….

  41. Nice posts Luke.
    You feeling any better?

  42. He is already a consultant there, Kelsey. He ruddy loves PSG.

  43. I don’t think you’ve seen my second post George!! But no, not feeling great fella – you?

    It doesn’t subside with me. Without causing world war three, I’m not suprised in the slighest by our start, and I won’t be suprised in the slighest if (as I think it will) continue.

    It’s like rocking into a party and leaving at 5am with the fattest ugliest chick in there.

    Then getting up the following weekend, and doing it all over again!!!

  44. I was surprised Wenger conceded the title so early in the season. Me thinks it really is too early to call. ‘We take it one day at a time’ is what I’d have preferred he said.
    Maybe he hopes it helps takes pressure of the players. Bloody well hope it works like nothing has so far.

    A cup run will be nice, but we haven’t faced any real test yet in those competitions. Maybe Marseilles will provide that test. It would be nice to beat an on form, top level opponent.

  45. Kelsey

    Long Hot Summer
    Solid Bond
    Wake Up The Nation

    A distinctly Weller-centric choice this morning. The other two were Weaver and No Tears To Cry.

    YW

  46. Henristic – see I am pleased he has done that. We need to be realistic in our targets, in full expectancy of the abuse I will recieve, 4th is the best possible outcome this season.

    I’d also say getting knocked out the CL early could be a blessing in disguise so we could focus primariliy on next years qualification.

    No CL football and subseqeunt revenue is utterly HUGE for our club – especially considering the leverage placed on CL & matchday revenue for our self sustainability. Doesnt even take into account the power we will lose when we finally come to revamp our commercial deals.

  47. longblackcloud

    have we ever really played 442 under AW? might have lined up similar but with Overmars, followed by Pires on the left, were either traditional left midfielders?
    Even with Freddie playing left often compensated by playing a more attacking right sided player, often a out of position striker eg Wiltord, I even recall Dennis playing wide right and Wenger suggesting he be our Beckham whipping in crosses (rightly abandoned after 1 match as a waste of a genius)

  48. Luke | October 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm
    “It’s like rocking into a party and leaving at 5am with the fattest ugliest chick in there.
    Then getting up the following weekend, and doing it all over again!!!”

    Not sure about your analogy for two reasons:
    a) depends on how many people saw you leave with said fat, ugly chick and how much your reputation suffers as a result

    b) also depends on how well the fugly chick does in the sack. Rumour has it that they tend to overcompensate for their lack of looks in other very interesting ways. Quoting Chris Rock, some of those girls are like, ”Yeah, l got a gut. But there’s some good p**** under this gut!”

  49. longblackcloud

    Luke what`s the point of qualifying for the Champs league if you want to go out early, not strive to win it? how often should we target qualifying before attempting to win it?

  50. Henristic, Marseilles are anything but “on form” at the moment. Aside from their win over Dortmund, their domestic form has been pretty horrendous.

    YW, great blog. It will always be frustrating when young players come through. Some will find their stride early on, some will take a bit more time. If they’re at Arsenal, Arsene sees potential in them and we should support them all the way.

  51. There’s talk that Guardiola is developing a 1-10 system which was actually the intention of the Dutch in the 1970s. Even Brazil’s 4-4-2 isn’t the same as it was originally. They now have different combinations of it. Even Wenger’s 4-3-3 can be transformed into a 4-5-1, 2-5-3 and a 2-7-1. I think talk of dropping one system and adapting another can be shallow. Please may those suggesting we drop one system for another give a comprehensive – and may I say scientific – argument. After all Wenger was fifa’s coach of the decade and when one takes him on he must be comprehensive. A successful argument would be ground breaking in football coaching terms!

  52. Luke – I would agree that 4th should be our aim at the moment. I am not sure dropping out of the CL would be a good thing though. The revenue alone for progression makes it important, and also the players morale must be considered. To have a good run in the comp would be a good thing I think. I really can’t see us winning it this season, but still.

  53. Kenyan – I would say that the formation (whatever is is at the time) becomes apparant when we lose the ball. In possesion we have alwys been fluid, but without the ball (or during transition) is when the pros/cons are exposed.

  54. Mark Maspcall,
    You’re right, and that’s kinda good news actually. Maybe stern tests isn’t what we need right now…

  55. Longblackcloud

    I just need to reiterate, I love the Champs League, I love that we have been blessed with it consistently during Wengers reign, I do however feel the club needs to harshly prioritise this seasons objectives.

    I dont care what people think of me as a supporter, but we will not beat a top European team over two legs. We need to accept we wont win it (why would we when we have 1 semi and 1 final in 15 years, with much stronger outfits that our current group, and a less competitive landscape)

    We can then focus all our efforts on finishing as high in the league as possible

  56. Kenyan,
    ,You’re not one of those who think you have to be better than someone to evaluate/criticise them are you?

  57. Henristic

    I can categorically say through personal experience that there certainly is a desire to make up for lost ground, if you will!!

    Supporting the fecking boys for me at present was like bagging the hottest chick around in front of all the boys, only for that form to slip, and now its me and susan boyle every weekend – but because i ruddy love it, i continue, unabated, hurting inside, but still pitching in every weekend, hoping the form will hit an upturn!

  58. longblackcloud

    Fine Luke, just think the beauty of a cup competition is that the best team doesn`t always win it – Porto & Inter Milan – (and yes I have noted the common factor) add in Man Utd 99 all those teams had huge slices of luck (admittedly not our forte! :>) ) and were no-where near the best side in these competition.
    Just think if the draw is kind and we get a change of luck at a key moment …

    its worth going for it for as long as we`re in it

  59. Good post today (and yesterday), Yogi.

    @chrisgoona at 12:01 pm

    I have the same feeling re the Champions League. If we can get out of the group stage (doesn’t seem an unreasonable goal, unlike many we have conceded lately) – then we resume in February next year. By that time, one would hope that we would have just about everybody back from injury, and the team would have found a pattern of play that suits the available personnel. With any luck, we would have picked up a “super quality” player or two in the January transfer window.

    @Luke 12:58 pm

    Yes, I agree. There is often the temptation to make wholesale changes when things are not going well, but I think it would be a mistake. What I would like to see is that we continue to do what we have been trying to do, just do it better! I think that will only come through hard, effective work on the training ground. The nay-sayers may disagree, but there have been some encouraging signs of progress over the past few weeks. In the aftermath of Sunday’s result, it is easy to forget that if we had won, we would be seventh in the league (not where we want to be, I acknowledge, but better than fifteenth!).

    To be clear, I’m not advocating ‘no change’; I am advocating hard work and fine-tuning. (What was the banner someone proposed at the end of last season, “What do we want? Minor Tweaks! When do we want it? Quite soon!”) With time, I have every faith that we will come good. It’s true, we’re on a bad run straddling the end of last season and the beginning of this season. However, it is also true that last year we beat Chelsea, Man United, Man City and Barcelona. I think we still have a lot of the qualities (and quality) that enabled us to win those matches – we just need to show them more consistently.

    First things first, let’s get our players back healthy from the international break. As Paul Weller (or Yogi) might put it, “it will be a start!”

    Keep the faith!

  60. Rumour has it (and I should know I started it) that Mr Wenger is concentrating all his efforts on winning the Champions League this season.

    Poor Harvey will miss that though.

  61. kenya…. @ October 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Good stuff mate.

    Is it not all about the imagination of the player – or lack of it in the Daily Heil’s brand of football. If you have players that want to create, that venture and score and they are midfielders are they strikers really? If you have strikers who lay the ball off, set up the run etc are they really midfielders.

    The whole argument for me is about style of play and not actually who sits where. 442 represents a set of values that sit well with an English audience. 1 10 requires a very different value structure to appreciate.

    Hence all the pissing in the wind about the subject!

    It fuels my belief that to go back to 442 means AW should go. Clearly there are better practitioners around of that ethic.

  62. Luke. Champions League?

    Prey to meet Barca in the final….its just one leg.

  63. Henristic, I’m looking for the ideas behind the argument. It dangerous to support unreasoned views. And I’m no genius. Just an average Joe!

  64. Kelsey,
    “My 4-4-2 has a Samba in it”

  65. Yogi:

    Nice post again. Going to be a long interlull.

    Yawn. Fortunately for me my baseball team the Texas Rangers just won their first playoff series and we are heading to the American League Championship series. Great stuff for me, hopefully another world series appearance this season and this time we will win.

    Before last season the Rangers were the least successful club in major league baseball history. They were the only team in their 55 years of existence as a club that had not won a post season playoff series. If baseball had relegation the Rangers would have been down in the lowest possible division many many years ago. At many of the games my wife and I attended there were more fans cheering for the other team at our home ball park. Tom Hicks who owned Liverpool was our owner and he was hated by Rangers fans just as much as he was hated by Liverpool fans. Supporting the Rangers was in short a very painful experience but all you could do as a fan was to continue to hold on and hope.

    The point of all that was things run in cycles. Even at its worst Arsenal will never fall to the depths that the Rangers played in for most of their 55 years in existence. I guess its all relative. No matter how frustrated you get when the club does so many things that seem to make no sense, you still love the team. Hopefully we will make it back to 4th place. If not then we will live to fight again another season.

  66. Fuck international football right up it’s hairy arse. Sorry, that’s all from me. Thanks Yogi.

    P.S. I love Jack Wilshere.

  67. A stressful day at work has left me wishing there were more doomer cunts on here today… Feel like hurling some abuse… May have to find a site where comments sections are full of said cunts, with no moderation. Any suggestions? Or is gooner2 or Jabba about? Grrr.

  68. Geo:

    You are welcome to hurl all the abuse you want my way if it will make you feel better. Its make me feel wanted and useful. (little smiley face)

  69. SA Gooner, some of Wengers most effective teams were essentially 4-4-2, not to mention every youth team we put out in the Carling Cup.

    The game itself has changed to 4-3-3, not just Arsenal.

  70. Haha! Thanks Bill, but i wont take you up on your offer, it seems a little less satisfying that way… 🙂 at least you made me chuckle, so you’re not a complete waste of space 😉

    Have a good one all, off home for a big old smoke me thinks…

    Peace.

  71. I dont believe we have ever played 4 4 2.Ever.
    Not even once

  72. Incredible post by arseblog today. Very impressive.

  73. Henristic,Really?
    You are easily pleased

  74. Gadget @ 9:39 am,

    Some intriguing stuff there and (“my blood boils, and I think I’d liketo fight him”) not a little humour.

    Glad to see you posting again

  75. Jonny @ 11:22 am,

    Thanks and I agree: beautiful!

  76. Yogi,

    Szczesny has Twittered denying ever making any positive comment about joining and clarified that he stated that he would love to captain us in the future. He makes it as clear as light that he “loves AFC.” It’s now posted on Arsenal.com.

    The poster taking the name of our manager in vain should realise that the worse case scenario that he paints is not likely as long as we maintain the class and history of which Arsene Wenger has now become a corner-stone!

    To love us is to know us and, obviously, many do!

    COYG

  77. That should have read:

    “about joining Barcelona”. Indeed, he made it clear how funny and unimportant he found such made up nonesense.

  78. No one should be surprised with the situation we find ourselves in

    Wenger did warn us didnt he?

    If we sell Cesc and Nasri he said we can no longer be called a big club.Sadly he was right

  79. An Arsenal player join Barcelona.Never

    And why do they want to join the best club in the world anyway?

    Valdes is the weak link at Barca just imagine if they had a top class keeper same goes for Utd

    Szczesny has been a shining light in all the darkness

    Dont rule out RVP going to Barca though.And dont anyone say he wouldnt get a game they said the same about Cesc

  80. Good on ya Jackie Boy! It is nice to see our youngsters seem to have more perspective and loyalty than many of the older heads that were at the club.

    Chezzer,Jack, Ramsey, the Ox, Walcott, Frimmy, Coquelin, Gibbs… That is a great core of young players that are loyal and Arsenal to the core. Good to see it…

  81. Markus

    ‘SA Gooner, some of Wengers most effective teams were essentially 4-4-2, not to mention every youth team we put out in the Carling Cup.’

    Yes we know, you have told us before.

    But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If all you ‘essentially’ see is 4-4-2 you are missing the point.

    The point of the post and the difference of the ethos argued about.

  82. Who cares what type of keeper Barca have?
    This is an Arsenal blog.
    Szczesny’s ours

  83. Bobby, will you be going to Barca?

  84. Alisher Usmanov is way rich! With his purse, instead of fighting for supremacy at Arsenal, why not buy another club and do a “city” instead?
    he could buy Everton, splash the cash on a brand new flashy stadium, buy a bus load of sparkling new stars, and he would have himself a nice little blue toy. he could easily use 900M for two years without even thinking about facing financial ruin. That should be enough to get Everton competetive and up to a level where they could fight for serious cups.

    Put them all on 250k a week contracts. All this would cost him less than 5% of his forune…

  85. @aman i think Chesney were pulling the jonous legg a bit with his “Barca interest”. However he should have known better than thinkign they would ever get the joke…
    They love creating drama, the british fooball tabliod is like the US soap opera “days of our lives”.
    They already are starting on the “RVP up for summer clearout sale”. and its only October! The snow has not even arrived! heck, the summer is barly over!

    And this saga will go all winter and all spring and become really hot over the summer. Too keep uptadte all you have to do is read the paper one day a month. And they will give us small drips every second week or so, to keep us warm and interested.
    Expect his contract to be discussed here atlest once every month until summer.
    A classic build up of a soap opera. One must wonder if theyve all been taking script writing classes in Hollywood…

  86. see? bobby is swallowing it raw. he is int he clutches of the papers. Sitting at the edge of his bed eveery nite thinking about how RvP “maybe ” leave us next summer.
    He will be thinking about this ALL season, EVERYDAY of the season. EVERYTIME we loose he will be biting his nails over this. And the papers wisley will feed him small small drops of “non info” like “rvp looked restless at the arsenal training today” and then they show a pic of him yawning next to Wilshere.
    or “rvp on the way to Barcelona” and then they show a pic of him chatting to Ibi Affelay at the Holland training ground, smiling and enjoying eachothers company. And all they really chatted about was how great it was that their women got along so well and how it made both men appreciate the international break more, knowing their better halfs had fun too.
    However the papers has now created such a great and intriguing story that Bobby here just cannot not read it every day in the hope of maybe getting a little more info, just a little tiny “rvp out of Arsenal” news.

    The online game World of Warcraft uses exactly the same psycoligical tool to “hook” their players. When you do certain missions its always a “tiny chance” for you to obtain some exciting small reward. But you dont always get it, howeer the chance is there.
    Same with the papers and RvP. Bobby here will always have a “tiny” chance of the inventive post RvP crisis the jornos have created, the internet papers will have alot more hits by franatic arsenal fans that just need that “little bit of info” that addictive info about RvPs future that maybe decided in 9 months time.

  87. Bring back the deadwood!!!

  88. psst poodle,

    I just heard Mourinho’s going to launch a 63million + Pedro Leon counterbid for RvP.
    He believes adding our captain to his already potent strike force should see off Barcelona in 2013.
    Imagine a Ronaldo-RvP-Ozil vs Mesi-Fabregas-Xavi !!!!

    keep it on the hush bro,
    (his cousin Juan overheard it in his sleep)

  89. Duke @8.58
    Lol.really ,that is funny.

    Free AA

  90. Pfft what does Giovanni van Bronkhorst know compared to the likes of Spectrum and Suga3?

  91. @Poodle at 8.22pm

    Don’t give him any ideas — we have enough competition as it is!

  92. Apparently, Wenger is rubbish. can’t manage and lost the plot, yet he is touted as the next England manager . funny that. they slate him every day and yet they want him to manage England. How does that work?

  93. I cannot wait until this team turns it around. I am so excited about getting our injured players back and our new players get acclimatized to the Arsenal and the PL.

    I love Wilsheres response to Arsene critics, dem is a blow wow joke!

  94. what a comment from the young man

    “No disrespect to Manchester City but Arsenal is the perfect home for me right now,” he said.

    “Some players have got their price but, to be honest, that’s not the way I look at the game.”

  95. Billy’s Boots

    @1lc – isn’t that a requirement to become England manager? No, sorry, my mistake, that’s what happens after someone takes the job (allegedly).

    Who will take over as manager of the Spuds when ol’ candle-face becomes England manager? Perhaps Gus Poyet?

  96. Billy’s Boots

    I understand that the Tiny Tots are organising a Facebook campaign to bring back Christian Gross. Apparently, he is doing well as manager of Young Boys (the professional team in Switzerland, not his local primary school). Get that man an Oyster card!

  97. guys we defo played either Dennis or rvp in a withdrawn role in a 442

  98. From NOVA (North Virginia) my new home, Hello to all my Gunner friends.

    So sad to see Arsenal lose to the scums but we will prevail, we need sometime to gain the confidence back after the departure of two big players. We have a few more players who are not even starting yet like Park, Ryo, etc.

    We will be fine, I think a cup this year is not out of reach. The league would be a long shot but who knows what can happen in 8 months.

    Back to unpacking….ugh

  99. G4E,

    Hope you’re settling in well and glad to see you posting. A sense of old school calm and loyalty should not be over-looked.

  100. Bobby,

    Try not to let your disappointment cloud your better judgement and begin to talk for you.

    One day at a time and remember the fact that nothing stays the same!

  101. Silver Gunner

    Are you sure that wasn’t 4-4-1-1 or even 4-5-1? Although the former would suggest more of a withdrawn Dennis.

    And it depends on what the wingers were doing at the time. Were they more attacking? I seem to remember Pires being the 2nd highest scorer sometimes and Wiltord playing on the wing, so would that be more 4.3.3.

    Although you are right actually, at the time they probably showed 4.4.2 on the television before the match.

    My glass is half full, especially where Bergkamp was involved, so I liked to think of him as advancing rather than withdrawn.

  102. Anyone for:

    S/J…….M/K……V………S/G

    ……..S/F……………R/C

    W/O………W/A/R……….A/M

    ………….. V/C/P

    The central triplet came out nice I thought. (Wilshere/Arteta/Rosicky)

    I have put alternates for each position in order of choice, some players can obviously play in other positions like Song covering for Vermaelen, but we still need cover on the left to get a free Arshavin.

  103. When we played a 442 (or 4411, which ever way to look at it) we had the players to do so. We had a fast strong team. Now we have a small technical team. Not saying going back to 442 would not work as I think some sort of change is needed, but using our old 442 as a measuring stick is not accurate.

  104. The pressure by the media i think is going to ruin all the hard work that Wenger has invested in the team. M not saying that the fans and the media are totally wrong. I mean…six years without a major trophy !! For a club of the stature of Arsenal…it might be too much to bear. But on the bright side…look what Arsenal has given to the world over the years…who can forget Henry !! He moved to Barca…now no one is talking about him..!
    Arsene for the post of National coach may be an option…but i don’t see it happening. Arsenal is what Wenger cares about… recognizing talent is his job…why would he wanna change all that after 15 years??? Very nice post…cheers..

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