van Persie Seals Win, Team Provides Platform

Arsenal 3 – 1 Stoke City

1 – 0 Gervinho (27)
1 – 1 Crouch (34)
2 – 1 van Persie (73)
3 – 1 van Persie (82)

Arsenal’s season is gradually getting back on track, victory over Stoke City yesterday afternoon moved the club to within striking distance of the top four. Two points behind free-spending Liverpool, Arsenal have become a one-man team which is a step up from the crisis club position previously occupied.

As Manchester United crumbled and Chelsea imploded, Arsenal won without overwhelming Stoke – they did not need to – but were never threatened. Peter Crouch’s goal was the only shot that the visitors managed on target all afternoon.

Having threatened to rest Robin van Persie for the match, a compromise was struck when the Dutchman was passed fit. Occupying a place on the bench for an hour or so, van Persie watched as Arsenal did nothing, waiting for their saviour to come and prevent the Pottery hordes from ransacking The Emirates. Or, if you believe the media, that is what happened.

It is curious that a one-man team were able to score without his presence and that his goals were not virtuoso efforts, requiring assistance. But never let a decent fact get in the way of a good panic.

Stoke took full advantage of Arsène’s equanimity over tackling and were probably grateful that Chris Foy was not officiating. Wilkinson and Whitehead would almost certainly have seen red were the Loftus Road Laws of the Game applied.

For much of the opening half an hour, Arsenal offered glimpses of attack. Gervinho was a ray of sunshine in this autumnal offering. He briefly threatened, the opportunity snuffed out by Begovic. Ramsey benefitted from the Ivorians unstinting hard work but drilled his shot wide of the upright.

Arteta and Chamakh had also wasted opportunities before Gervinho received due reward for his efforts – not just in this match but previously also. With just under thirty minutes played, Ramsey freed Gervinho in the area and his first home goal duly arrived.

The joy of a deserved lead was short-lived. Peter Crouch fooled the Arsenal defence by prodding home from close range. It was an infuriating goal to concede. The decision to award a free-kick was dubious in the first place but for Stoke to be able to head the ball three times unchallenged in the area is simply shoddy work.

It is not as if Shawcross and Upson would not have been identified as an aerial threat beforehand. It was not as if Shawcross stole in unseen – Song for one saw him, nobody (Gervinho, I think) followed his instruction to mark him. It was poor application in defensive areas, an unwelcome reminder that there are still issues to be dealt with.

The second half saw not shortage of endeavour. Ramsey and Arteta, for all of their artistry, were unable to prompt a chance for either Gervinho or Chamakh. The Moroccan is falling between stools. His workrate off the ball cannot be questioned but as lead striker, his offerings have to be putting the ball into the net. That is what he will be judged on and at this moment in time, he is being categorised as the Hawley or Chapman of this generation, not the Alan Smith. A run in the team would help; it is unlikely to happen voluntarily at the moment.

Walcott and Chamakh were withdrawn shortly after the hour mark, replaced by Arshavin and van Persie respectively. Walcott is somewhat unfortunate to be the subject of criticism and suffers by comparison to Gervinho’s directness of style. Both can be equally wayward but the latter has a honeymoon period and is seen (rightly) as performing well. Theo, well his detractors will always be negative even when there is good to be noted.

The introduction of van Persie in particular, changed the team dynamic. His more purposeful movement brought more opportunities, both which fell to him were despatched. Gervinho broke on both flanks for the goals. The first from the right, the second the left. Begovic had been linked with Arsenal earlier in the year; unusually for a visiting goalkeeper, he fluffed his lines, manhandling the ball over the line for van Persie’s first and unable to prevent the second.

Post-match Wenger was pleased with win, not so happy with the poor marking at the back for the equaliser. There is however an unrealistic level of expectation set on the teams shoulders. The poor start to the season means that a game of catch-up is taking place. Confidence was shattered and is slowly coming yet they are judged as if everyone is at the peak of their powers.

They are not and will not be for some time yet. Grinding out wins whilst that process takes place is perfectly acceptable despite what some will tell you.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 24, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 287 Comments.

  1. Good win. Still some major issues in defence which I thought we would of been shutting out. Per Merts really needs to be picking up the greatest threat when we are under attack though but, hopefully this will get better.

    Chamak is an awful player who wouldn’t get into a Bolton side with the line up out injured. Why did we buy the Korean if he’s not being played but, scoring shit loads of goals for his country?

    Anyway, onwards and upwards.

  2. Fair comment Yogi but, you don’t have to be on top of your game as a defender to do the basics which is pick up the tallest attacker in the box. That’s common sense as a CB and it’s a concern for fan who’s played in that position at any level seeing defending like.

  3. I give it to you Big Brov. You’re the quickest draw in town.
    Nice post as always.what RvP has is the vision to see opportunities others don’t see and the intricate movement to utilise or even create chances. Arsenal is no one man team, the 3 goals were team efforts. The only thing is we have a striker in Blistering form and should we be apologising for that? What do the press really want?!

  4. Gervinho’s goal???

  5. Goonerton,

    Unexpectedly negative after a major victory, IMO. I saw a good deal yesterday to be optimistic about. I find it strange that you seem to seek the negative and rush to create a new victim of hate from amongst our squad!

    Chamakhs confidence is obviously low at present. What is not low is the quality of his effort nor his first touch. Confidence can (and I believe will) return and he has the technique and overall ability to take full advantage when it does. This is not assumption, it’s based on his performances during the long absence of last season.

    Great result, lest we forget.

  6. i really like your tittle “Van persie seals win, team provides platform”. It was a good team performance, many people are acting like it was all RVP. People always want to complain about something, now its “Arsenal are a one man team “

  7. Caxter

    What about it?

    YW

  8. About the Manchester derby.I watched the game on Sky and sending off or not (as been alluded to by some pundits ) City were clearly bossing United who seemed to be shorn of ideas. The goal line not the win was the only thing influenced by Evans’ sending off.

  9. special meantion to :

    Gervinho
    RVP
    Ramsey
    Song
    Arteta
    Koscinely
    Mert

  10. Yogi,

    Well written and observed. I’m not surprised by the absence of the likes of Jabba. Yesterday’s results put paid to many of the lies that reside in the short-termist pessimism of some gooners.

    Onwards and upwards

    COYG

  11. Good balanced post Yogi. Seems like whatever we do we are criticised, but what is important at the moment is that we get the results to rebuild that shattered confidence. There were signs yesterday of the old Arsenal coming back with some crisp passing particularly when we were trying to run down the clock by retaining possession before the third strike. I think what Gervinho and Walcott are suffering from a little bit is a lack of service from the midfield. They are currently solid but unspectacular. But it feels like it is coming.

  12. its incredible how confident Alex Song plays these days, its unbelievable that people can criticize hm. The Man just oozes class, a worthy captain of the day

  13. Passenal,
    i dont think Walcott has been getting the kind of balls he wants these days. the midfield should look to involve Theo much more, look at the stats, Theo is a damn effective player.

    i think Theo should also play some part of the CC game against Bolton. Maybe start with him and AOC and introduce Ryo later on, we need to get Theo firing again

  14. yogi, what I think Caxter is referring to is you have missed gervinho’s goal in the scoresheet at the top of the article. Coincidentally, gamecast on soccernet did the same, and I had no idea who scored for a very long time (was finding it impossible to find a stream)

    good, solid performance from the lads. The goal was unfortunate, but I dont know if it was down to “manning up” or positioning, more down to not attacking the second and third balls. That is an attitude thing, hopefully one to be resolved.

    like the team formed a good platform for RVP, I hope this run of results forms a good platform for a revival

  15. arsenal must continue her winning spree and build her confidence, for it is not over till its over.

  16. Bonjour YW 3 points was the main objective hier. I would concur with you totally about defensive duties and that their are issues to be resolved…Both CBs played well and Kos looks to be coming into his own.

    I Wish TW would just keep quiet and let his football do the talking.

    RVP is in a rich vain of form. I shudder to think what would happen should we lose him to injury..

    Goonertons question of why we have not played Park? Why buy him in the first place?

  17. I think caxter meant that it wasn’t listed in the goals at the start of your otherwise great post.

  18. Nice post mate.I dont know wat to say but the team is back on track.

    Arteta is getin used wit the midfield of song en ramsey en talkin about song,i think he is our future captain.I love his drive the midfield.

    No matta wat the media say,Arsenal is there coz the team is united than any other team in the league.Believe it or not we will be in da top 4 in the next four or five games.GUNNERZ TILL DEATH!!

  19. Some problems persist do they?
    Fortunately Goonerton has the answers.Per marks the best header of the ball(apparently it does not matter where on the pitch he is positioned)and we play Park instead of the awful player Chamakh and shit loads of goals will follow.Oh to be a genius,must be nice.
    Thanks for that.

    Yogi.a particularly good read today.

  20. Ras, that is just another stick for Goonerton to beat the manager with. Park has played in the Carling Cup and will probably play again on Tuesday. Since none of us are present at the training ground, I would suggest that Arsene will know when is the right time to play him. Some of you talk like we are running out of games, but there are plenty still to come, so he will get his chance when the time is right. I know people are getting carried away with his international goals, but those are not against PL opposition. Playing him when he is not ready to play will not do his confidence much good as the same people who are clamouring for his appearance will start with the negative name calling as soon as he does not live up to the hype they are creating. It’s much the same thing with AOC.

  21. I think Chamakh should start again tomorrow night, he’s so shorn of confidence that it would be best for him to get back on the horse straight away, especially as he’s not going to play on Saturday. I’d like to see him and Park up front, we played two up in the last round, there’s no reason we can’t do it again.

    We scored three good goals and were generally good in possession. Shoddy marking for the goal against, something to work on. I thought Walcott was good early on, the playground push one side and go the other was hilarious, he needs an assist or goal to up his confidence also.

  22. “I think caxter meant that it wasn’t listed in the goals at the start of your otherwise great post.”

    els, it looks like Yogi has fallen into the media’s ‘one man team’ trap!

  23. Oh and dont forget
    Top 4 by xmas
    Free AA

  24. “I think Chamakh should start again tomorrow night”

    I agree and I think he probably will alongside Park. AOC is good at crossing and if he could put a couple into good positions to use Chamakh’s heading ability, that would be great for all concerned.

  25. Passenal,

    Yeah, I tried really hard to blame RvP for their goal – best I could come up with was him not being on the pitch to mark Shawcross…

    YW

  26. the only player missing for united yesterday was howard webb. i’m sure they would have won with him dictating the pace from the midfield.
    united played with ten men for the first time in a long time a feat arsenal is reputed for (thanks to mike dean and co.) and we all saw what happened.
    many will now begin to see that united are not the super team we were made to believe they are if officiating is fair to all.
    like stoke’s goal came from a free kick that shouldn’t have been given.

  27. SA Gooner (earlier this morning on yesterday’s blog)

    “As soon as vP scored, the inevitable ‘Is he the next one to leave?’ started. You almost wish him away so you don’t have to listen to their rancid bleating.”

    Share your pain, SA. My blood pressure also suffered.

    But it’s not inevitable. How about . . .

    “Another crisp Arsenal move with some fine skill from Gervinho this time brings its deserved reward. Van Persie plays his part with a clinical finish.”

    But that would require commentators who are more interested in the match than in promoting themselves and their rather squalid agenda.

  28. Some people are blaming the midfield/team for TW’s poor form.the team was excellent, and ramsey took his game up another level.gervinho showed why he’s the current player of the year for his country.

  29. Just Another Luke

    It would be putting Park’s confidence and place in the team at risk to recklessly play him just because he’s there. This is not the right time to tinker with a team that is trying to rebuild its confidence after the poor start that we had. When we have achieve consistency, we can then bring Park on slowly by giving him Premier League game time from a position of strength. There are many more games to play and there is no need to set anyone up for failure by a rushed introduction to the Premier League.

  30. I agree Block4, Chamakh to start again in the cup. With the Ox and Ryo alongside. Frimpong and Coquelin in midfield plus one more. Miquel in defence.

    Anyone know if Miquel is still training with the first team? Nothing against Squillaci but I’d feel better if Miquel was familiar with our other defenders and our set-up and had the fitness to play a full 90 minutes.

  31. From last night.What do you think peps?
    The media seem to want to paint us as a One man team,Absolute tosh.
    I think we should make RVP an offer he cant refuse .Say ,£150k for 5 years and the promise that as he slows down a little with age we will allow him the Dennis Bergkamp role and let him drop deeper perhaps almost into mid field as Dennis eventually did.

  32. I’ve long been a critic of Walcott’s unmeasured crosses but much is due to the failure of our striking force to get into a receiving position at Walcott speed.
    As for Chamakh, I’m sure he has a lot to offer. A return of confidence is the key and only the field of play will provide it. I hope Arsene will play him in tomorrow’s CC game…..as well as Ryo, Park, Miquel etc.

  33. At least people are not advocating that we play the first team defenders so as they get some practice.So some progress must have been made.

  34. Haha – yep, meant goal not listed at the top. Passenal was spot on – you must have your SuperVan Specs on.

  35. Ramsey is moving up from potentially very good, to very assured (for his age). I must say it was another impressive display from the lad, and what I like is that he gets better as a naturally attacking midfielder, always looking for the pass that releases.

    Song stayed well back on the whole for this match, interesting to see. He played them all like a very good double-bassist with quick fingers, struck the low notes with aplomb, walked that bass betwixt and between them, and wasn’t afraid of the high notes and some nimble solos when called upon. Even Delap couldn’t play his single note foghorn quite effectively in response. Whitehead tried everything to to bash his two crash-bang cymbals together but one cymbal kept missing the other. Stoke is a bit like a uniformed marching brass band from another era.

    I like it when Santos plays and drifts inside; it’s interesting and the opposition has no clear idea what to do about him hanging around where he’s not supposed to be. He enjoys his football, every minute.

    RvP is a catalyst, clearly. But to me Chamakh looks very much better and improving fast from early tests.

    Apart from goals, the thing one looks for is dominance. Stoke is not easy to break down, and we had them lunging about often enough.

  36. We were a one-man team on Sunday? And it wasn’t the man who got a goal and two assists? Odd.

    Layksite, yeah apparently Webb failed a late fitness test. United considered giving him a pain-killing injection to play but he refused it. Hansen on MOTD2 claimed that he saw that result coming as United’s defence has been poor for a while. Funny, it’s the first I’d heard of it from the media. One of the stats he and Lee Dixon mentioned was that in 5 home matches they had allowed 91 chances on their goal. I’m willing to bet Arsenal haven’t even allowed half that number.

  37. Question? Are Cole,Dog breath and Boswinga suspended for chavs game? I’m hoping Dog breath is…..

  38. les,Cole can play ,he will only miss the CC match mid week

  39. Anyhoo, catch-up, 5 points and 8 goals in 2 games on ManU after their blistering start is a step in a direction. What Arsene longs for is composure. We are getting somewhere in that department. After composure, not before, comes lethal sharpness in attack across the top that is Arsenal. In the meantime, we have RvP and 3Gs, a dizzy mix, esspecially with chief mischief maker Arshavin loitering. Theo was fine really, not a classic game, but a few good moves.

  40. Bosingwa and Drogba were straight reds so should be automatic 3 game ban, unless they appeal. But those were correct decisions.

  41. Cheers markus and pedantic george for that

  42. @ MARKUS, NOT ALL STRAIGHT REDS ARE 3 ,ATCH BANS… SOMETHING ABOUT PROFESSIONAL FOUL – 1 MATCH OR ELSE VILENT CONDUCT – 3 MATCHES

    YOGI, GREAT READ AS PER USUAL!

    OOOPS… sorry about the caps!

  43. VILENT = violent

  44. “I like it when Santos plays and drifts inside; it’s interesting and the opposition has no clear idea what to do about him hanging around where he’s not supposed to be. He enjoys his football, every minute.”

    Glad you noticed that, ZP. He kind of becomes another central midfielder, and I love his passing technique. It’s funny, I think we were doing something similar with Connor Henderson. A couple of times for the reserves last season he played at left back, but when we had the ball he stepped into midfield.

    Stoke didn’t cause as any trouble at all beyond one set-piece from a non-foul. It caught us by surprise but I bet they spend all their time practicing them, since more than 70% of their goals have come from dead ball situations this season.

  45. @Yogi – the best part of your article today is the title.

    RVP, while ecstatically breath taking when on this form cannot do everything by himself.

    The second goal for example was all Arshavin’s making – particularly the decision to ignore Gervinho’s first checked run and drawing in the enemy before releasing the Ivorian at just the right time.

    If Gervinho wasn’t as dogged as he was, the assists would never have materialized.

    All in all – a very professional job by the team.

    As for United, Fergie has lost the plot, he had a pathetic transfer window buying no one of note, he wasn’t able to bring ol’ Wes from Inter to sort his squad out. But more importantly, for them to survive, he has to spend £60 million in the January transfer window. Their defence are in shambles, they’re lacking confidnce and their players are average.

    ** Actually, I copy pasted the last paragraph from something that was written about Arsenal – Fuck it – I wrote it myself **

    Just shows how fickle fans, pundits and hacks are.

  46. A comfortable win against Stoke is always a good sign. Wins against Stoke are usually uncomfortable, predictably painful and inglorious, two drilled solid lines of defenders, and a giraffe up front, Delap’s monstrous throws, and set-pieces rehearsed to numbing efficiency.

  47. Ah, okay team spirit. They both still miss the game, but Bosingwa will only be 1 match ban. Drogba’s was violent conduct so 3 for him.

  48. Thought Utd fans might like to know that Arsenal have 1-6 of their last 7 games.

  49. Oh, and well done Djourou by the way. Efficient, assured and not easy to get past.

  50. The non-foul was funny (only coz we won) but these days you get fouled for standing still and winning the high ball, “Must’ve been a foul”, says ref, “You don’t ‘win’ the high ball against Stoke”.

  51. Dgob | October 24, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Give yourself break mate. I’m not here to cuddle up with you and chums and I’m not alone in my view regarding chamakh. Heard it all a 1000s times about his confidence already. It’s not a negative view as I did point out that we played alright and I think the team worked much better for each other. I just don’t any talent whatsoever in chamakh. You and your chums do see it but, I don’t. But as I have realised a long time ago that there are many arm chair supporters out there who love stats but, never been able to play the game so there no point even chatting to them I just ignore you.

    Good post and have a good day agreeing with your chums because you lot are the only voice of Arsenal and are always correct and anybody who disagrees with your views is negative or a mug who know’s nothing.

    When he get’s his confidence back he will be banging in 15+ per season.

  52. Passenal | October 24, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I don’t need a stick to beat the manger with. Where does it say that mate?
    Or are you just doing your bit for your chums again?

    Just asking why do we have a guy who’s in a rich vain of form for his country on the bench or not even on the bench and we have a guy running around up front with no threat whatsoever?

  53. “anybody who disagrees with your views is negative or a mug who know’s nothing.”

    Or in your case all 3 of the above

  54. Santos reminds me of Furio, the hired muscle from Italy in the Sopranos. Clearly very competent at his job, doesn’t say much, and goes about doing it with a ruthless efficiency folks rarely notice he’s there.

    Mertesacker is getting settled down really well and its great to see the understanding he and Koscielny are building. It was ironic though that Koscielny was the one police marking that cunt called Crouch who went down quicker than a 2 dollar hoe whenever the ball approached him.

  55. Chamakh just needs game time.

  56. Well Darius lets hope Santos does not fall for Mrs Wenger .We dont want him to leave for home now do we?

  57. LOL George. Annie rarely goes to the training ground.

    Besides, Wenger has Paulie on his payroll to sort out any meandering.

  58. Good win yesterday, but it would have been harder if Stoke had not played a Europa league game on Thursday. It’s nice that were are starting to build up a little run and winning at home. Let’s hope we can make the Emirates a bit of a fortress this season and then start to pick-up a few more away points.
    We certainly are not a one man team, but we do rely on Robin’s goals a lot at the moment, there’s no denying it. If he were to get injuried, we do not have enough attacking quality on the bench to anywhere near replace him.

  59. Good win yesterday. A good professional performence.

  60. I’ve also noticed the drifting/positioning of Santos. A bit like Flamini operated when he had a stint at the back I thought. Strangely seems to be succesful for us. The fact that it did can only be a testament for how much running Gerv does.

    Whichever way you look at it we are at a turning point and I’m finding it exciting. I still think this squad has masses of potential.

  61. So who are sil and paulie in the sopranos/arsenal comparison. I think Cesc was Christopher.

  62. Gervinho
    One goal, two assists and a pass completion of 84% with his only misplaced touches being four crosses across Stoke’s six-yard area.

  63. “… you lot are the only voice of Arsenal and are always correct and anybody who disagrees with your views is negative or a mug who know’s nothing.

    When he (Chamakh)get’s his confidence back he will be banging in 15+ per season”.

    Well said goonerton. I agree, especially the first para. Appreciate your confidence in ACLFers. Not everyone would agree with you, but I do.

  64. It’s OK relying on Rvp for a bit. That’s what he’s there for, to score.

  65. Walcott had a quiet game I feel, but he done his job. Someone touched upon this after the Marseille game; his defensive game has improved massively. I don’t remember Djourou being under any real pressure.

    Gervinho produced the goods and didn’t fail to provide a final ball or goal this time round. I said it after the Emirates Cup, he will be a very productive player for us.

    Good day all round u have to say. United get murdered, Chelsea are well prepared for our game next week, and Arsenal are back in town. 2 points behind Liverpool, a team who is perceived to be so much better than us.

    The most encouraging part of the performance was the confidence the team showed in the final 20 mins. Van Persie had an obvious effect and gave us a bit of momentum coming on at the time he did, but it was massive improvement as a team performance with the ball. Protecting a lead has never been a strong point of ours over the last few years, and we never looked like we were “protecting” as such, we just went for the kill.

  66. Let me guess goonerton, when you played, if you played you were a defender, right?

  67. I like the way Chewie doubles as a CB. Changing roles, fluid positions, very Arsenalesque. I expect he will in fact score at some point.

  68. Wonder will Jenkinson get his place back when fit?

  69. @ELS – I would suggest Vermaelen has the temperment of Sil. A natural underboss, cool, level headed, dependable and ruthless in defence of the family.

    I agree Cesc is like a very spoilt Christopher and me thinks Song will do a very good Paulie. How about Pat Rice for Bobby – quietly in the background but useful.

  70. I have to agree Jonny, Gervinho is not yet perfect. But he will be. His happy face is very nice to see (as yesterday); his unhappy face is not so nice, he wears his heart on his outside, a good sign. Did anyone notice that Theo said something a little bit interesting, he said “the morale in the team is the best I have ever seen at the club”, or similar, I expect he meant since the day he arrived. So Theo, tell us what tensions were simmering before now? Actually, don’t worry, we already know.

  71. @ Arsenal baggins.. LOL Good man u – city play of words there!
    1 – 6 of their last 7 = won six of their last seven games

  72. Where, in the name of all that is facile and redunkulous, are the trolls and village idiots and comedians? I protest. Who do we make fun of if everyone runs off and hides under the bridge, or in a drain, or sewer when we win, and simply won’t come out into the sunlight to play? I demand to speak to Chelsea DAVE, for example, or perhaps SPRECTUM (in wenger we must). Goonerton, you are a shining star of fortitude! I salute you! Your satire is terrible, your spelling worse, and your insults cause for much happy banter, a true-troll, a good mug, a lazy mind at work. Well done, old stick.

  73. Pedantic Goerge, I was away, and never asked how the hot pants at Blackburn went down? Clearly you lived. How was the match anyway?

  74. goonerandy – Since you are the number one practitioner of no-nonsense bashing of the championship pretensions of the current and more recent Arsenal squads and mouthpiece of all that is good at Man United, I have been waiting with baited breath for the following cliches or pearls of wisdom concerning the City’s defeat of your other favorite team:
    * No championship team should be losing 6:1 at home. Never.
    * No excuses for playing with only 10 men. Champions know how to reorganize themselves and keep the scoreline down.
    * No excuses that one of your best defenders is sitting on the bench. Any championship caliber team should have a deep enough bench to cover for losses and suspensions.
    * No excuses that Johnny Evans is young and inexperienced. No defender playing for a championship caliber should ever be caught on the wrong side of a good attacker. Maybe these young players aren’t as good as we make out.
    * No excuses that it takes time for new players like De Gea to grow into their role to replace legends like Van der Vaart. Calls into question Ferguson’s transfer policies. Maybe he should consider spending 20 million rather than bargain basement prices like 15 million.

    Feel free to add whatever you wish my good Andy and all the other United apologists who populate this blog. Remember that payback is a bitch.

  75. goonerton | October 24, 2011 at 11:15 am,

    My response was not intended as a dinner invitation. It was merely questioning your negativity following a great result.

    What that might question is left unasked!

  76. Nice post, YW.

    Good comments, Passenal.

    A few thoughts about the match:

    Koscielny is developing in a very encouraging way. With Per alongside him, he seems much more assured. I lost track of the number of times he out-jumped Crouch from a standing position. Although Per has the height, I think LK is probably better in the air.

    Although the awarding of the free-kick that led to the Stoke goal was dubious, the free-kick “play” was actually very good. The crowd was fooled as well as the players: a jeer went up when the initial free-kick was going well wide of the goal. The defence seemed to drop their guard at that point. Apart from that aberration, we looked mostly comfortable in defence. Djourou was a little wobbly at times, but I liked the way he and Santos brought the ball out of defence, Djourou showing he learned a few tricks from Eboue. Santos was figuratively – and, at times, literally – solid. Players just seemed to bounce off him.

    In the midfield, more signs of progress. Stoke’s midfield worked very hard (not unlike Sunderland’s last week), but we seemed more confident in dealing with that. Arteta, Ramsey and Song are interchanging seamlessly, all of them confident on the ball and tough in the tackle. I’m still waiting for Arteta to play the lovely through balls he did in the first few minutes of his debut, but he is consistently showing a lot of other good qualities now, so I’m happy to wait!

    Up front, Gerry was the star man (with his headband and ‘unusual’ hair, does he remind anyone else of the aliens from Mars Attacks? Of course, I mean that in a nice way!). Chamakh was quietly effective as a target man, holding the ball up and letting others play off him. I agree with the comments above; I would like to see him play tomorrow night, at least for one half. Nice to see Walcott continue to work hard protecting the full-back. I would have liked to have seen more balls played behind their defence for him to run on to, but his day will surely come soon. An effective cameo from Arshavin, it seems he is being true to his recent word about trying harder and showing more tricks. Not much to say about RVP, other than ‘top man’. I can’t help thinking that his excellent goals may have, at least in part, come from the defence being conditioned to Chamakh’s speed.

    Looking forward to seeing the understudies tomorrow night.

    Bring on Bolton and Chelsea!

  77. The ball from Ramsey to Gervinho for our 1st goal really was excellent. It does not seem to have gotten much attention.

  78. Payback is a bitch. Shotta, I love it! Very “Sopranos” getting into the theme of today’s what if banter. GoonerAndy, your move. May I suggest since your pawns are all chopped to pieces, get that rook out.

  79. I’m enjoying the way Sky’s presenters have changed the way they pronounce Chezzer’s name to ‘Suh-Chezz-Knee’.

    In my house we all now refer to him as ‘Sir Chesney’ or to give him his full title

    The One and Only Sir Chesney of Hawkes

  80. Shotta – Um, you seem to think that I actually like Manure. They are a side that I can’t stand. I often use them as an example as they are more often than not the side which has had the most recent success (i.e., they are the benchmark). You seem to be getting a bit confused. It seems you have got yourself all worked up over nothing. Sorry to disapoint you.

    I didn’t watch the Manure game (I was obviously watching our game) so can’t comment on how they played. Nor do I care.

  81. ManU does remind me, a little, of that 800 metre runner who thought the race was won round the first bend. The back straight is a bitch too. Funny how Arsenal tripped over its shoe laces out of the blocks, had to stop and tie them, and then get a bit of a move on.

  82. Payback? I don’t really get what you mean. Payback for what?

  83. Billy’s Boots – Good points. There is no shame in conceeding a set piece to Stoke I suppose. They are very good at what they do. The goal aside we defended very well against them. It was a marked change to seasons gone when there was mass panic every time we defended a set piece. I think Mertesacker’s organisational skills are beging to shine through now.

  84. Shotta – Heh, I have just read through your list of points that you made. You do realise the irony that you have used a good number of thos excuses for Arsenal results in the past?

  85. Jonny, I can only assume you are in fact referring to the one and only named Cosmonaut Chewie of Warsaw, as he no doubt prefers to be called.

  86. A weekend of highlights.

    ManU taken to the shed. Chelsea implode.

    The media hacks have fresh meat, moving the crosshairs off Arsene and Arsenal.

    Arsenal: another balanced team performance.

    for some not written up about above…..
    Szczesny – not sure what he was thinking on Kos’s back header to him…..CC deja vu

    Dj – had only one marking slip up, otherwise, very composed with the ball and his linking and his level of consistency is supported by his IQ in reading the game.

    Santo’s, his recent run of starts reveals more cards in his deck; very confident with the ball at his feet and no space. Dangerous moving forward; but for me he is actually displaying defensive smarts, that early on I did not see. Gibbs will learn a lot from his presence on the team.

    Arshavin – even if only on briefly; for me his play was his strongest exhibit of ‘all round play’ in many matches, as if he was focused to refute his detractors. He played simple…..not forcing his game on his defender; did a better job of utilizing his teammates and showing patience!

    Gervinho – at only 24, a great addition to the club. Unselfish and good work rate – likely to be a leader in team assists.

    Arteta – slowly building his game with his teammates. Actually, I believe Denilson will look like this player in 4 years.

    Ramsey – not much this kid can’t do on the pitch. As this is his first full season after his injury, I’m hoping our manager avoids restricts his matches…….to avoid the Wilshere situation.

    Song – deserving the captain’s armband…. almost everything a manager wants in a captain.

    Kos – if not now, he’ll be one of the top CB’s in the EPL. He’s a pit bull after the ball.

    Mertesacker – is giving our defense much needed stability. Doesn’t have pace but overcomes this with his reading of the game. I cringed when Stoke scored yesterday, but for me, we should have done better at marking the 1st ball played into the PA…..maybe this was Gervinho’s man.

    RvP – not much more can be said about this player. He will cost us a fortune to keep OR we will be able to pay off the stadium.

    Theo – some keep making the claim that he is not getting the ball enough (which is accurate) but there is a reason……

  87. Ah ha, out comes the knight!

  88. What a fantastic game, missed the last 15mins of first half due to a blackout so I didnt get to see the penalty that wasnt given or the freekick that never was but was given. 2nd half i thought we started off nervously in the first 5mins but we picked up steam from there and never looked like conceding. Having been watching the game in a pub that was showing both games I didnt pay 100 % attention to our game. some of it went to me enjoying manure getting spanked!

    The next big game is bolton (i hope it will be on telly, they didnt show the last one). Let’s win it before we start thinking of Chelsea. It is nice to hear they will be missing some of their key players.

  89. Did anybody watch the Chav/QPR game? It really was a good game; QPR got right in their face and they did not like it one bit. How Luiz remained on the picth I don’t know. He had completetly lost his head.

  90. Darius

    >@Yogi – the best part of your article today is the title.

    Thanks. Thanks a bloody lot. All that time spent on writing the post and it gets dismissed. For the title. 700+ bloody words for what?

    Bloody hell, it’s just as well I’ve become de-sensitised to criticism…

  91. Firstlady – I don’t think it is. Internet stream only.

  92. Darius | October 24, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I sincerely hope that Al-Fayed knew exactly what he was saying when he said Hughes has lost his “spark”. 🙂

  93. Darius – Not not shine a good light on Hughes either.

  94. Great post Yogi. Nice to get some wins and get back into the race for 4th. We are taking care of business at home. Now if we can start getting some results on the road we will give ourselves a real chance to get back to that 4th spot. Keeping our defensive solidarity will be the key. I know how much fun you have making the snide little remarks about the media. Its just me but I think the best way to deal with the media is to give them the amount of attention they really deserve which is none.

    CC offers the squad a great chance to win some silverware this season. Hopefully we can get a comfortable win. Agree with those who call for keeping Chamakh in the line up.

  95. Manchester derby was quite a game. Loved to see the red Manc’s go down hard but I really wish is had been anyone other then the Blue Manc’s who did it. They are both despicable but for different reasons.

  96. This is how we should deal with critics like Merson and Wright and there ilk .Funny as fuck I think

    An open letter from the Chairman, in response to media reports in Saturday’s newspapers incorporating comments from former Manager Mark Hughes:

    What a strange man Mark Hughes is. Sacked by Manchester City, he was becoming a forgotten man when I rescued him to become manager of Fulham Football Club.

    Even when results were bad, I did not put pressure on him. I gave him every support — financial, moral and personal.

    He fully negotiated a two-year extension to his contract. On the day he was due to sign, he walked out without the courtesy of a proper explanation.

    And now he insults the club, saying it lacks ambition, and the players who delivered an 8th. position finish last season and a place in the Europa League.

    He is not just disrespectful but entirely wrong. Fulham has just announced plans for a splendid new riverside stand that will substantially increase the capacity of Craven Cottage.

    In every aspect of its work, Fulham is a progressive club with a top manager in Martin Jol, the man we had really wanted when Hughes was appointed.

    We shall endeavour to prosper without him simply because, when the challenge came, it was not the Club but Mark Hughes who lacked the courage and ambition to take on the task of leadership. If people are looking for a flop, they only have to no further than the man who has lost his spark.

    Yours faithfully,

    Mohamed Al Fayed,
    Chairman,
    FFC

  97. LOL Yogi – Shame on me. How dare I dismiss the artistry and balance in today’s article.

    For Fayad to write an open letter, I think its best to say there was full pun intended to hit the Sparkless Sparky. He put that little punk in his place.

  98. Oh Darius beat me to it.Sorry about that

  99. @ bill… how u can think all we are to challenge for it 4th spot, is weird… yeah, all about perspective with the bad start and all, but in footy as man city and qpr showed at the weekend, anything CAN HAPPEN!

    Common man, where is your faith? Arsenal in for the Quadruple! … which would then also put us in for the world club championships… LOL

  100. “We shall endeavour to prosper without him simply because, when the challenge came, it was not the Club but Mark Hughes who lacked the courage and ambition to take on the task of leadership.”

    Is it only me or could this be said about Barca’s prodigal son and Samir Nasri? Replace Mark Hughes as needed.

  101. I only saw highlights of the chav game Andy. For a while I thought it was funny that they didn’t get a single decision in the entire game, then I started feeling a little uncomfortable. If I were a conspiracy nut…

    Still the sendings off were all deserved.

  102. honest post yogi..

    to be fair theo didnt have a good game and he hasnt had a good game in a while..my biggest issue with theo at the minute is that hes rarely making any runs into the box, either with the ball or without it and for a player with his speed and finishing ability its very dissapointing..we cant blame the midfield either cos the pass is only as good as the movement in front of it..theos not moving..ive heard a few ppl say hes concentrating on his defensive game more this year which would explain a few things but i see that as a total waste of attacking talent..plenty of time to come good though and i think he will..he found it last year…

    as for chamakh..theses are concerning times..i dont think hes good enough..he was poor yesterday he rarely linked up play and he missed two good chances…at least he was in the position to have those chances which shows hes running the right way again…i agree i would start him v bolton and i also stand by my claim we should start him in the remaining cl games but if the goals dont come by january he should be replaced..

    anyway..our midfields starting to gel, i cant wait for jack to come back and add depth to it but were still looking dodgy in certain defensive aspects (ball watching) and the sooner TV is back the better..

    we controlled this game without being that effective up front, then robin came on..it is a team game and we win as a team and lose as a team but lets be honest if he doesnt play we are screwed and theres a few passengers that hes having to carry…we may not be a one man team but we are very over reliant at the moment on that one man arent we??

    but gervinho rambo and arteta were different class yesterday..some excellent work..it just needed someone to come on and finish it off..

  103. Markus – I thought the ref was excellent as it goes. Got both sendings off right, and got the pen right. The match was on the verge of spilling over from about the 30th minute, and I thouhgt he handled it very well.

  104. I mostly like this part ”…. will endeavour to prosper without him simply because, when the challenge came, Mark Hughes lacked the courage and commitment to take on the task of leadership” . If you took out the name Mark hughes it could describe alot of former Arsenal players who deserted us.

  105. Thgere is no way that Fayed wrote that letter. He sounds like the airline owner of ‘FlyLo’.

  106. “Fly Low”? – LMAO – Consols – you’re not right.

  107. ooh ooh Darius I see you beat me to it.

    team spirit speaking of faith i have put up afew bets on arsenal and I must say they are starting to pay off.beating marseille on their turf was no.1, others yet to come but the best one is me being unrealistically optimistic that we will do better than fourth.

  108. Great post yogi.
    ARSENAL POEM: Here We Come All “Guns” Blazing read it here http://t.co/ygeZvhS3

  109. Saw the chav game from about the sixtieth onwards. QPR were awful with the the ball and played only to contain Chelski. Warnock looked well pleased with himself, but he knows deep down that, were it not for Anelka heading the ball into the keeper’s hands, QPR could’ve lost despite their two man advantage.

    Shotta, Andy is not going to fess up to anything. He doesn’t have the courage to take back all the awful things he said after the 8-2. That’s just how he rolls, I guess. Up one day and down the next like the perpetual fence sitter that he is.

    What I would love to see is Jabba the cunt come here and tell me that I was wrong about Ferdinand’s reliability, the impact of Van der Sar’s departure and how Ferguie’s summer signings have not really improved their team.

  110. Oh, Andy, did you watch the Barcelona game this week-end? According to you the referees never helped them out unless of course their Howard Webb is on the pitch to give them dodgy penalties and book players for even breathing next to Barca players.

    Did anyone watch Kanoute smack the shit out of Cesc, by the way? Our boy has become quite the little dramatist ever since moving to the Nou Camp.

  111. Excellent game yesterday, no need to bring the down the positive vibes by singling out players in a negative way. EVERYONE played a very important part. I must say I enjoyed Walcott’s few moves, as the team grows and gets more comfortable with eachother so will his offensive game come back. It is obvious that he is more focused on his defensive duties, this is why Wenger made the comment that now Walcott is playing more for the team and not himself.

    “Yes, I think he has made progress as a team player,” said the manager. “He works very hard, Theo, because he’s naturally a guy who thinks ahead. And he works harder for the team. He is making progress, I think, this season.

    “You feel there is a real desire from him to play with the others, and that was perhaps his weak point before. I think at the moment he’s working very hard on that.”

    This Stoke team is not bad at all, the play may be boring but there are effective. For us to handle them in such a fashion is very impressive. When they played United, they were the better team, should’ve won.

    Again, very impressive win and we will only get better.

    I think Shotta is spot on, regarding how we were slaughtered when we lost against United. City scored 3 goals on United within minutes.

  112. Is it me, or did Arshavin fight and defend quite well over the weekend?

  113. Gains – “Fess up”, what on earth are you on about?

    “Awful things after the 8-2”, it wasn’t our best moment was it?

    Thta is the problem with people like yourself Gains. You seem to forget that we are still way off the pace, and that this was their 1st bad result of the season. We look like we are on the right track now though, and hopefully Manure and some of the other sides up there will also have more wobbles as the season goes on.

    Your black/white views really do not do you any favours.

  114. Gains – Nah, I didn’t watch the Barca game. How did the ref “help them out”? Or did he just make some bad calls?

  115. peronally
    i dont get all this stuf about utd..
    dont get me wrong, deep down im laughing at them but gloating about a result that man city achieved and not us is just bandwagon jumping and licking citys arse..
    difference between the two games is that we spent six months being shit and had a shit summer regarding transfers and havent won a trophy in years, losing a final to brum along the way…
    utds situation is nothing in comparison…not even similar..
    payback wont come until we play them again and redeem ourselves for the humiliation we received…

    i think i read something the other day about wenger saying lets stay focused and humble..best thing hes said in ages..

    lets see where we all are at the end of the season

  116. By the pictures on the Arsenal site it could be a relatively experienced team tomorrow night – Arshavin, Rosicky, Squillaci, Benayoun and Vermaelen are all there. Doesn’t leave much room for new faces.

  117. To be honest, Andy isn’t the only one who will refuse to climb down and accept that Manure are not invincible. This is one of them scenarios you don’t have to say “I told you so”.

    The fact of the matter is that United were given a good hiding and humiliated even more than they did us. That result was coming. I agree with Bill – my only bitter taste in the mouth is that it was handed to them by Man City, an equally repugnant club.

  118. so it looks like wengers given up on trying to make theo the new henry and is now trying to make him the new ray parlour..just abit quicker..

    he’ll be playing at RB next..

  119. Who’ll play on the wing back positions for us tomorrow? I guess that’ll leave space for some youngsters. Maybe Coquelin? Wasn’t he supposed to be a RB before he turned into a very promising DM?

    Anyway, I expect us to lineup something like this:

    Fabianski
    Coquelin — Squill — Miquel — ???
    Frimpong
    Rosicky — Benayoun
    The Ox — PJY — Ryo

    Though I’d love to see a glimpse or two of Toral, the boy we bought from Barca.

  120. Big Al – can’t wait for Vermalen to get back.

    Wenger mentioned in a recent interview that Vermaelen, Koscielny, Mertesacker and Djourou are only 25/26 years old and have 8 to 10 years of top flight football in front of them.

    I pray that we’re able to keep them together for a long time.

  121. Also how did we manage to play with 13 players yesterday? I saw the Gervinho triplets in full force out there. One on the right, assisting RVP, the other on the left, assisting RVP and the third one straight through the middle, scoring.

  122. I think Wenger will keep Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny and Santos as the back 4. There’s enough recovery time before Saturday and the team will need defensive continuity and stability.

  123. JJ can you please tell me who the “passengers” are that the great man is carrying?

    Andy should not be rounded on simply because the proper cunts refuse to show their faces.But Andy I think you missed the point of Shotta’s post.He is actually saying that those are valid excuses why United capitulated.And they were equally valid for us .

    What about my RVP proposal you ignorant ACLFers?I don’t know why I bother some times!!!

  124. JJ, huh?

    Payback has nothing to do with this, we are talking about how people were merciless in their comments after the result.

    We can say why we were not at our best, what the heck is United excuse. You are correct in saying there is no comparison, yesterday was way worse.

  125. My guess would be something like:

    Fabianski; Yennaris, Squillaci, Vermaelen, Miquel; Coquelin or Frimpong, Rosicky, Benayoun; AOC, Park, Arshavin

    It’s tough on a couple of players, but then we do have a pretty big first team squad and need to keep everyone in shape.

  126. JonJon @ 2:51 – Exactly. But some on here what let a little thing like common sense get in their way.

    Darius – Climb down over what? I have never said that Manure were invincible. You are sort of making that up to suit a point (again). The only time I really mention Manure is when using them as an example for certain area’s where we have not been that good. I use them generally, as they tend, you know, to be successful. If gives me no joy “bigging them up” believe me.

  127. Yeah, DS, it’s looking like tomorrow’s going to be his comeback. If he’s ready for the weekend then I really want to see Koscielny at right-back. Vermaelen’s vice captain and can’t be left out of fit, while Mertesacker has invaluable experience. He’s slow as hell, but I haven’t once seen him caught for pace, which says loads about his sense of timing and positioning I think.

  128. Tommy V will struggle to get back in the team Darius.
    You mark my words young man(I have started speaking nasally like Brian Clough)

  129. I actually don’t think United have any excuse to get beat by 5 goals. They still had most of their best players available.

  130. George – Ah right yuo are, I didn’t read it that way. In that case I would agree with him. I didn’t really get as why he thought I would argue with him if that is what he meant.

  131. On reflection and after seeing who’s been training, I think against Bolton we’ll have a back 4 of Le Coq, Squilacci, Miquel and Vermaelen – with Frimpong in midfield.

  132. OOU – I agree with that. I also think that it will be a really good back 4. Whoever is playing wide right will also have much more freedom. Koscielny is good on the ball, but I don’t see him making too many overlapping runs and whipping crosses in. It should also give Santos plenty of licence to get forward more on the left.

  133. Vermaelen has apparently been doing light training for 2 weeks and full training since Friday. He’ll either play against Bolton or against Ipswich reserves to give him pitch time.

  134. Hopefully he will play against Bolton. If he comes through that OK maybe he would be considered for the Chelsea game?

  135. Mertesacker does seem like he is moving in slow motion at times but one stride for him is about 3 for most. He is impressive, I can only imagine how good he will be when he really gets used to the PL.

  136. pedantic george | October 24, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Always quick to insult. You think so funny and correct but, I think your a fucking idiot and I do my best to ignore your post. Fucking clown. Go play with your cat.

  137. GA, as it stands, I would prefer Per and Kos for Chelsea, even if TV comes through fine against Bolton. He will still need some time to get back into match fitness.

  138. Just read this on footytube

    “There are two things you can see from space: The Great Wall Of China and the gap in Man Utd’s defense.”

  139. george..
    chamakhs not exactley in tip top form his he?? if he scores those two chances, which were easier than robins, then theres no need for robin to come on is there and show him how its done..chamakhs a passenger..has been for almost a year…he needs to step up..

    paul..ppl were always going to be merciless after the OT defeat..theres nothing we can do or say that will take away the pain of getting dry humped 8-2 and the reasons for it happening and the months building u to it..it seems we are using yesterdays result as a reason to defend what happened to us..its not..
    unless its us smashing them 6-1, i couldnt really give a shit what happens to them..im more concerned about us getting back into top 4

    if theres one thing the last 8 months have taught us, its that we have no room, absolutely none, to talk about anyone else…

  140. For those interested in statistics:

    In the 5 home games this season, Man United have had 91 chances at goal against them.

    Me thinks that defence is dodgy.

  141. Yesterday’s game was the 100th game at the Emirates.

    Won 67, Drawn 22, Lost 11.

  142. sorry george
    yeah i read your comment a couple of times..
    i agree…
    id also assure him that reinforcements will arrive

    but yeah, 150k a week and the bergkamp role with age as well as new signings and the captaincy should do it..

    theres also the off chance that if robin stays for another 8-9 years he’ll smash henrys record..

  143. JJ, for me Shotta is on point. The problem with many of us, is that we complain too much to start with.

  144. Talking about “one man teams”, that Sevilla GK was the best player on the pitch against Barca.

  145. JJ Robin can hardly be carrying Chamakh,they are never on the pitch together.

    Goonerton,you are so hurtful,I am devastated by your attack.You truly are the Oscar Wilde of posters

  146. ZimPaul | October 24, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I come on when I time mate. To read articles other than the bullshit in the media. The only issue is dealing with cunts like yourself who think they funny because they have friends on social type sites. Take your shining star and place it firmly up your arse or post another funny one and get people to agree with you and feel good about yourself. prick.

  147. pedantic george | October 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Haven’t you got wank site visit or something? Why you even mentioning me for?

    Do me a favour and fuck off please.

  148. JJ thanks for responding I was starting to think I was in Coventry

  149. You, the guy even made a great save to save an own goal. BLOW WOW!

  150. Haven’t you got wank site visit or something? Why you even mentioning me for?

    Did you mean to say

    “Have you not got wank site that you need to visit or something? Why are you even mentioning me ?

    Hope that helps

  151. Thats a hell of a lot of chances to give up Darius, especially at home. Seems to me its UTDs central midfield thats the problem – i mean come on – Anderson, Carrick, Fletcher, Gibson, hardly world class and only one of them are a regular for their international side – and thats scotland. 6-1 was something out of the ordinary and wont happen again for another age. BUT i will certainly say they are there to be beaten, as the chances conceded stats seem to suggest.

    Anything similar statswise for the Arsenal Darius?

  152. I just saw the replay of Kanoute handling Cesc. Oh boy!

  153. And as for fickle fans who just hate without reason:

    Liverpool records:
    Hodgson: P31 W13 D9 L9
    Dalglish: P32 W15 D8 L9.

    And they fired Wily Ol’ Woy for being useless when Dalglish isn’t any better but has spent £100 million more.

  154. Deise – I don’t have any chances stats against Arsenal, though I doubt they would be that criminal. Take the last 2 games for example – Marseille and Stoke had a collective total of 1 shot on target – unsurprisingly it led to Stoke’s goal.

  155. I do like Roy. And I’m glad we didn’t purchase any of the players pool brought.

  156. That Liverpool one is very funny, DS.

    Someone who I think might improve our team:

  157. But he is better Darius,he has won one more game.
    And he is the “King”
    You cant ignore these things

  158. Dalglish is no genius of a manager. If he was, he would not have been absent from a managerial post for so long. His only sucesses have come when he was gifted the best team of their generation in the 80’s, and then at Blackburn when he spent an awful lot of cash and had the best striker in the country.

  159. As far as the Stoke goal, it was really well worked. I am not too down on the defense for that.
    Did any other ball into the box cause us trouble?

  160. Big Al, regarding Valderama vid. Did you see that espn documentary, “the two escobars”?

  161. For some reason, I can’t stop picturing Dalglish like an old school wise guy from Liverpool. The kind you’ll find in the smokey back rooms of a dodgy club that has Stevie G and Carragher as bouncers.

    My wife (bless her grasp of Northern accents) usually asks me to translate what he says. But then again, she struggles to understand Carragher and Gerrard. I just tell her its something in the water.

  162. the point is george is that you want to be able to say we can rest robin for a game or two and have a player who can come in and give him that break and not miss him..
    doesnt happen with chamakh does it..

    yeah paul..i agree.. all we have to do is look at the amount of arsenal blogs out there..as a fanbase we like a good whinge dont we..

  163. doubt Vermaelen would start tommorow, maybe at LB. Squillaci is due a game, he has been fit for almost a month now

  164. No, Paul. Just looked it up on imdb though – definitely looks worth a go.

  165. @Big Al – Great Valderrama video.

    I wonder what players did before the age of Youtube. Nobody would readily see their skill and make them viral.

  166. So what did John Terry actually call Anton Ferdinand? This allegedly nonsense is doing my head in. He either said it or he didn’t – like Kanoute being called a terrorist by the prodigal son.

  167. Its great Big Al!

    Showed how that Great Columbia team and the drug money of Pablo Escobar was so intertwined.

  168. That vid is really good. What vision and ability to put the ball just where it needed to be. Great player.

  169. I love Valderrama. He played in the local MLS team before it folded up and I went to watch him often. Couldn’t shoot for anything in the world, but passed and dribbled like the best of them.

    Andy, have you forgotten all the shit you spewed after the 8-2? I know people went off the boil that day, but some of us remained calm and didn’t condemn the club, the players or the entire Arsenal organization like you did.

    We are not off the pace anymore, Andrew, and for MU’s first bad result it was a hell of a result, wasn’t it? They’ve been dodgy ever since the start of the season and have gotten by because of the temporary boost they gained after demolishing us. This result, while a one off, is not indicative of a squad that has made all the right moves, which you found necessary to remind some of us, ad nauseum, that afternoon.

    Barcelona were provided with the opportunity to take all three points thanks to a dodgy peno. That Sevilla was able to hold on just shows how a poor Barcelona, much like Manure, keeps its head above water thanks to refereeing decisions going their way. Barcelona hasn’t lost with that referee for something like four years. Irruralde is the Spanish Howard Webb.

  170. Darius – Terry has form in this case in a game against the Spuds some years ago. I remember the normaly placid Ledley King going mental at Terry, and then Terry being sent off. Terry had not comitted a foul, and (for once) did not even argue with the ref. Walked straight off. Nothing was ever made of this, and that is something which baffled me. The media, the pundits, nobody questioned why he was sent off despite he seemingly doing nothing.

  171. Djuorou Squilllaci Koscinley Vermaelen
    AOC Rosicky Frimpon/Coquelin Benayoun
    Chamack Park.

    i think a about 8 of these 10 would start tommorow with the Fabmister between the sticks. A preety solid defense if you ask me

    Park and Chamack should cause enough problems for their defense, l

  172. Did Cesc really call Kanoute a Terrorist??? lmao

  173. Gain – “Andy, have you forgotten all the shit you spewed after the 8-2? I know people went off the boil that day, but some of us remained calm and didn’t condemn the club, the players or the entire Arsenal organization like you did.

    We are not off the pace anymore, Andrew, and for MU’s first bad result it was a hell of a result, wasn’t it? They’ve been dodgy ever since the start of the season and have gotten by because of the temporary boost they gained after demolishing us. This result, while a one off, is not indicative of a squad that has made all the right moves, which you found necessary to remind some of us, ad nauseum, that afternoon.”

    Remind me. If you insist on taking me to task on something, at least be a bit more specific.

    Don’t get carried away. It is hardly like they are in freefall is it? They are still 2nd in the lge, so can’t be that dodgy. That said, I hope you are right and they now have some sort of collapse.

  174. Paul, Stoke were so ineffective in the air that Delap got the hook early in the second half. If that’s not an indication that they knew they couldn’t beat us with their usual style, then I don’t know what is.

    We kept them to one shot all game. Meanwhile they scored against MU and almost took all three points. Which is quite strange given how they roll over for the Mancs and Pulis is Ferguson’s poodle.

  175. Whatever our former little cry baby said, it was something like what that guy said to Zidane or worse. The anger with which Kanoute responded spoke Volumes.

  176. Maybe they didn’t touch him Andy because he was the England captain and had a get out of jail free card. So far he hasn’t denied saying anything – he’s just pleading for people to understand the context. But I gather you don’t have to be a lip reader to figure out what was happening.

    I can’t find the video though.

  177. Sorry I can’t be specific, Andy. You were at it for about five hours after the 8-2. You were unconsolable and threw the hissy fit to end all hissy fits. I just wanted to remind you how much of an ass you made of yourself that day.

  178. Darius – I really can’t stand the guy. Out of any player in the game today, I loath him more than any other. I read somewhere that he called him a “blind” something or other. Hmmm, John, I don’t believe you, you piece of scum.

  179. G69, true! I was shocked when they took delap off.

  180. So basically Cesc goes to Barca and all the morals go as well?

  181. That’s true, DS. Actually, one thing that bothers me is that it’s only been in the last ten years or so that every match has been televised. So obviously there’s so much great stuff that will never be seen. Even less for guys like Puskas, Garrincha and Di Stefano. People could only read and imagine, I suppose, which might even have helped to elevate their reputations.

  182. Matarazzi called Zidane’s mum and sister 2 dollar hoes. And that was the sanitized part of the abuse revealed.

    But I’m just picturing the prodigal son calling Kanoute a terrorist and Kanoute going postal on his arse.

  183. Unfortunately, could not watch the game yesterday, however delighted with the result especially in the wake of the other results this weekend – united got stuffed, chelsea- seems like they had an absolute shocker, Liverpool drew at home..so all in all an awesome weekend..

    Gervinho MOTM?? seems like hes getting the plaudits..

  184. Gains – Hardly a hissy fit. More fruastration at the events of the day, and the recently closed transfer window. What is an internet forum for if not to vent my opinion with other fans. So agree, some disagree. Meh. Hardly making an ass of myself, and I would still stand by anything I said.

  185. Anyway, off home now.

    Laters. 🙂

  186. Paul, I don’t think Cesc said anything even close to what Materazzi told Zidane. I think Kanoute was frustrated and Cesc most likely he told him to stop whining or something like that.

  187. Terry was on fire yesterday. He kept calling the QPR goalkeeper fat as if it was the most hurtful thing he’d ever had to endure.

  188. Limestonegunner

    George, I understand your frustration. I post later in the day and often get no response to my late night ramblings. I agree with JJ, though, that the offer probably needs to be sweetened by some players in January–Gotze, Martin, M’Vila; one or two of the players we went in for this summer but who didn’t move. It is something RvP has mentioned many times in past years, including this summer, and he must be concerned that we lost such important players this summer. If he feels the club is using its resources fully to rebuild a team that can challenge, he’ll be inclined to stay because he believes in AW, Arsenal, and our approach to football on and off the pitch. I am sure he would love to be paid something close to the wage other top strikers in Europe at top clubs receive, but I don’t see him as only motivated by money. We’ll see. He’s been my favorite player since 2006 and I really hope he stays with Arsenal, remains fit, and continues to show such form and class.

  189. Cesc was my Favorite player but we all knew he was a bit stubborn. Hope he don’t get worse in Barca as we all know they are arrogant c**ts out there, Alves, Sergio, Xavi, Puyol do i need to mention more???

  190. @shotta | October 24, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    You waited two months for that? You’re a petty, petty person.

  191. @Big Al – I was inducted into football madness at a very young age because my neighbour played for the local B.A.T team and his nickname was Kempes. I had no clue who the hell Mario Kempes was and I just followed this guy around carrying his boots and kit and cleaning his boots.

    I was lucky to see some games from the 78 World cup and someone pointed and told me that was Mario Kempes. I was hooked on the next World cup in 82 and I can’t tell you how mesmerized I was with the quality – from Paulo Rossi the one man goal machine – to a very tempremental Diego Maradona who fly kicked the bastard designated to police mark him.

    I grew up with German football as the staple in the early 80s and supported them following players like Brietner, Manfred Kaltz, Klaus Fisher, Pierre Littbarski, Rumminnege et al.

    Those were some really great footballing greats who would have done with this sort of exposure and publicity.

    I see Puskas, Garrincha and Di Stefano on the same tier of footballers as Best, Zidane and Kryuff. They’re perhaps a 2nd level down that most players around the world can aspire to. However, above them, I think there’s 3 untouchables who in my view are pure genius – Pele, Maradona and Messi. These 3 are just off the grid and you can’t put them in the same class as others.

    Rumour has it that the yellow and red cards were introduced because of Pele. The only way others could stop him was to beat the living shit out of him.

  192. Limestonegunner

    Here is what I posted late on Saturday, October 24, 2011:

    “More than a club, it is a den of racists and Islamophobes. Cesc, you’ve degraded yourself; you never should have left Arsenal. The irony is that Barca has been involved in a serious propaganda effort in teami g up with UNICEF in an anti-racism initiative, yet their players routinely engage in racist baiting of any opposition that stands up to them. Truly disgusting club. I hope we get a chance to knock them out of the CL.”

    Of course I was referring to Bousquets’ racist baiting and David Villa’s Islamophobic baiting of Mesut Ozil. Having watched the clip, all I would add is that Cesc also has learned to fall to the floor and cover his face like Bousquets, Alves, and Pedro do routinely, hoping to get someone else a booking or red. Just trying to fit in, I guess. Makes you appreciate our great club and its culture all the more.

  193. Funny how you just write off all the crap you said by blaming it on frustration, Andy. How convenient.

  194. for those asking earlier I have just counted the passes and it was 35 before RVP squandered possession needlessly 🙂

  195. Limestonegunner

    ManU’s result is much, much worse than our loss to them. They were at home with their best players available (why Ferguson didn’t play Vidic is his responsibility) and suffered this in a derby. Let’s hope it affects some of their younger players especially hard and shakes their confidence. Too bad City did it to them rather than us. However, we still have a chance to turn them over at home.

  196. Limestonegunner

    PG, you should withdraw your offer–that’s a disgrace, RvP!

  197. Limestonegunner

    Darius, I remember we had a discussion about the best footballers last year (or was it the winter before that?!). It is getting harder to keep Messi out of that top 3 with the decline in importance of international football. Glad you have been persuaded by my case for Zidane and now include him with Cruyff. Still, I would be happier if Messi showed the same devastating form for Argentina more regularly even if they don’t win the WC in Brazil. It just suggests that without Barcelona he isn’t able to take over a game and show the pure class that some others have demonstrated wherever and whenever they played.

  198. Limestonegunner

    The other thing about Messi is that he gets lots of plaudits and admiration for appearing to be humble and not being a theatrical, petulant diver like Cristiano Ronaldo. However, over the last year or so, I’ve noticed Messi getting peeved, acting more arrogantly, and to my mind making the most of contact to draw cards and so on. He doesn’t do this terribly often but in bigger games where Barca are being pushed, I’ve noticed this ill-temper, arrogance, and looking for cheap advantage. I saw flashes of it in the games v. Arsenal, and I still think that last year we pushed them harder than anyone, even RM, forget about ManU (that game was a joke).

  199. I regularly watch Pele vids online, I have never seen anyting like it. I did get a chance to watch him on TV as a youth, for the Cosmos. I dont put Messi in that group as yet DS, he has to do better on the world stage to get those honours in my view.

  200. @Limestone.

    I think the Brazillian team will have to emigrate if they don’t win the 2014 World cup. It would have been the same for the All Blacks who would have to go into exile if they lost on Sunday.

    You’re right in that Barcelona gives Messi a platform that Pele didn’t have at Santos or Maradona at Napoli. I remember asking myself what the hell Maradona was doing playing for a non-team like Napoli – but he literally boot strapped them into the footballing landscape. Most of the time carrying the team single handedly.

    I think in the 80s, Maradona’s massacre of the England team was probably one of the best experiences of individual skill that leaves you shaking your head.

    Saying that, Pele had some amazing moments particularly in the 1970 world cup with players like Jarzinho. If you can get the videos of the 1970 world cup – you’re going to see some great individual and team football from the Brazilians. Breath taking and just pure art.

    I still think from an individual skill and magic point of view – Pele, Maradona and Messi are untouchable.

    Pele was recently asked who is the best amongst them (in gest of course – since its hard to compare generations) and he saie “those Argentinians can’t even decide who’s better amongst them. Once they do – call me when one of them has scored 1000 goals”.

    And when Maradona was told what Pele had said, he simply retorted “they should take him back to the museum”

    Priceless.

  201. Limestonegunner

    Goonerandy mentioned Ramsey’s nice chip pass over the backline to assist Gervinho’s well-taken goal. I commented on it last night as a very good sign–the sort of pass Cesc provided very often to break down the defense in the box from a central position. Great to see Ramsey gaining the confidence to try this twice. It opens up the defense so that they are more vulnerable to attacks on the corners. We scored over the top, from the left and right sides which is excellent balance.

  202. DS, How do you rate Ronaldhino?

    I know Henry was asked who was the most skillfull player at Barca and he said it was him.

  203. Gains – “Funny how you just write off all the crap you said by blaming it on frustration, Andy. How convenient”

    Would this be the crap that you can’t be specific about? How convenient.

  204. Limestonegunner

    Darius, I think they might have to get out of the country. As yet I don’t see the game changing talents they once had in midfield and up front, except for Neymar who hasn’t yet made his impact in a big European league.

    Nice story! Does Pele have his own religious sect? Maradona does. I don’t see Messi having that sort of charisma as a person. That is something different. He is incredibly talented and amazing but not a larger than life personality and footballing icon. It is probably more the era than anything but he doesn’t project the sort of leadership or temperament to be more than what he is: a footballing genius. But I find him a bit robotic despite that genius. Where is the audacity? The joy? The tragic flaws? The sense of history? He has some time for these moments, qualities or dimensions of greatness or charisma to emerge and he may grow as a person, so let’s see.

  205. I gotta say that Djourou looks full of confidence. I like what I am seeing from him.

  206. Limestonegunner

    Paul-N, Ronaldinho’s dominance in the game was too short-lived to be at that level, though he certainly had the talent and skills.

  207. Darius – “I grew up with German football as the staple in the early 80s and supported them following players like Brietner, Manfred Kaltz, Klaus Fisher, Pierre Littbarski, Rumminnege et al.”

    One of my favorite players ever is Lother Matthaus. The complete midfielder in his pomp.

  208. Limestonegunner | October 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    That would be really sad if Cesc, is acting like that. He’s been at our club for far too long around people from all over the world.

    If there is proof he’s being racist on any level that would be really sad.

  209. I think in the 80s, Maradona’s massacre of the England team was probably one of the best experiences of individual skill that leaves you shaking your head.

    yeah darius..that handball had everyone baffled.. 🙂

  210. Gains – He also went on like a total jackass after the Newcastle draw. Total drama queen. For days he kept spewing the tabloid trash: No team ever leads 4-4:0 and draw. Diaby is a jackass, defense is a shit, team is not championship caliber. Blah, Blah, Blah. Not a word of the ref’s role in the entire debacle. The failure to penalize Barton for his tackle on Diaby, the headlock on Scezny by Nolan, the dodgy penalties.

    Fence-sitting, yank-loving goonerandy has a lot to account for.

  211. Limestonegunner

    Goonerton, I hope he didn’t disgrace himself either. I like Cesc though I have come to really despise Barca. I would hope he had a stronger character, but if he had he might have led us to greater glory and chosen not to leave until he had accomplished something more significant in his Arsenal career. Instead, he is surrounded by bad characters that have become the very image to me of hypocrisy.

  212. Correction:
    Fence-sitting, Manc-loving goonerandy has a lot to account for.

  213. Though I have to say that I find it hard to believe that Cesc would go down to that level. I mean, he has been around at our club with people like RVP, Nasri, Kolo etc. all muslims (or in RVP’s case his wife is muslim and he has adopted parts of muslim culture) so it’s hard to believe that he would suddenly burst out with something like that.

  214. what about george best??

  215. Limestonegunner

    Is he really yank-loving? Egads, man! Alas Goonerandy, we hardly knew ye…

  216. Shotta – I think you have a bit of a thing for me. You seem a bit obsessed to be honest.

    It amuses me the way to just make things up to back up your (normally incorrect) points. They are so random. For example “Yank loving”. I don’t get where that comes from. A have a few buddies who are from the USA for sure, but I don’t really get the “Yank Loving” bit. I don’t think I have ever mentioned anything like that on here.

    You are a bit wierd.

    You got me though, I was a bit down after the Newcastle game. You are probably right, I should look anywhere for blame but at our own side eh? Even if we were most at blame, I should look elsewhere. 😉

  217. Limestone – Hah, me neither. Still at least I have found something out about myself today. Of course it could be Shotta just making stuff up again though.

  218. @Paul-N 5:08 pm

    My take on Ronaldinho is somewhat similar to Limestones…had the talent and skill, but didn’t have the discipline to continue being a full time professional as opposed to being a celebrity. The celebrity cut a lot from his career. His skill and talent alone while mesmerizing in a short time span was not enough to hail him as an absolute great.

  219. Limestonegunner

    Evil, I certainly hope not and would like to believe the best of Cesc. But I do think he has made a mistake, character-wise, leaving Arsenal for that den of hypocrisy at Barca. There is something to how those self-righteous and entitled Barca boys respond to being challenged that brings out some very nasty behaviour and theatrical cheating that disgraces the sport. Now he is surrounded by it; it is possible it will have an effect.

  220. @Limestone

    I don’t think Messi will ever have the “larger than life” personalities that both Pele and Maradona have. Messi is more pedestrian off the pitch but I suppose that might change with age. His genius is more on the pitch.

    Interesting to note how “dirty” he can get when he’s backed onto a wall. I remember on two of the games we’ve played Barca, his only mission (which he succeeded btw) was to get Song and Denilson yellow carded so that they could play while hamstrung. He can also be a feisty sone of a bitch and dodgy tackler when it suits him – but also very adept at “buying” freekicks by feigning injury when someone breathes down his neck.

  221. Limestonegunner

    Darius, yeah he also smashed a ball into the crowd at RM in a somewhat vicious-seeming way.

  222. god damn you GA for being distraught after throwing away a 4 goal lead in one game and getting humilaited 8-2 in another..

    you’d have to be mother teresa and gandhi combined to let those two slide without a swear word or three about how it happened…
    or shotta so it seems… 😉

  223. When debating Messi, never forget this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnesOQTbWeQ&feature=related

    This is as deliberate as it gets and he should’ve been yellow carded for his unfair conduct. Too bad the ref didn’t have the cajones to do the right thing.

    Anyway, he can be a proper c*nt and the times when Messi represented the innocent “child” that only wants to play his football are long gone. He is on the best way to become as much a c*nt as a person as almost all of the other Barca players.

  224. Ah well, LG beat me to it.

  225. @Goonerandy – for some reason, Lother Matthaus reminds me of Lampard or Flamini – don’t know why.

    In a lot of ways, I don’t think he was spectacular or a “hollywood” type player, but he was very effective for Bayern and very influential in keeping the game ticking. did the simple and necessary things very well. I think he’s still the most capped German international.

    I remember my view of the arrogance of goal keepers being shaped by the colourful Tony Schumaker – solid and dependable as a keeper, but an arrogant sone of a gun…LOL! I suppose you need that temprement and attitude to be a good keeper. Shumaker would do very well in the EPL – probably even bettter than Mad Jens.

  226. Honestly, no tv coverage of the match tomorrow??? we have to wait for the “watch it as if live” at 2200?? that fucking sucks!

  227. anyone, please tell me im wrong, i really want to watch that game with all our young players getting chance…

  228. I abhor your fence-sitting, Manc-loving hypocrisy g/a.
    Take your opinion of the refs, for example: they are all good guys doing a thankless job. Yet, it is pretty much the consensus that if it was Webb, not Clattenberg, officiating yesterday’s game there is little chance that Johnny Evans would have seen stright red for that rugby tackle on Balotelli. But you would prefer repeating the cheap media narrative that it is simply a “conspiracy theory” by over zealous Arsenal supporters.
    You indeed have a lot to answer for.

  229. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised that Cesc would turn out to be an arrogant cunt like thr Barca players. He’s swimming in that repugnant misguided self-righteousness that Barca players have thinking they have a divine sense of entitlement to winning.

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks, lets not call it a frigging chicken.

    Kanoute wouldn’t go postal without a viable reason.

  230. ok why is he laying on the floor clutching his head? is this Barton two or something??

    Ah Cescy i alwasy thought you very classy. when we played that dutch club last year and one of their kids headbutted you instead of retaiating and falling you just ducked away and took yourself away from the situation. the dutchy got red ofc…
    But when we needed you as most. When your “barca mates” started grabbing your real team mates throats you just stood and watched. incapable of even helping out your team mates.
    So i dunno, maybe you were always like this, but i was blind cos you were our player. its always harder to see the flawds with your own than with the oposition.

  231. Limestonegunner

    That’s alright, Evil, I really liked your comments on Messi via the video!

  232. Wasn’t Cesc actually accused once of spitting at Michael Ballack? Whatever happened to that allegation.

  233. Sven is jobless again after being fired from Leicester City. What’s with this guy and getting fired all the time.

  234. Limestonegunner

    As far as tomorrow’s CC game. I don’t know who we will have at right back but Djourou needs to be fresh for Stamford Bridge, so we might have to ask Coquelin to fill in or find someone from the reserves. I am not sure we should start Vermaelen. It just means he’ll get called up by Belgium and there is no need to break up Merts-Kos for Chelsea. So I guess that means Squillaci and Miquel (though CB’s don’t run too much, so we could go for Merts/Kos). Hopefully Santos can put in a shift at LB without getting too tired for the weekend. I’d give Chamakh another half and split duties with Park. I do think Theo could play as well because scoring/assisting would be good for him and he came off early v. Stoke.

    My lineup:
    Fabianski
    Coquelin-Merts-Kos or (Squillaci-Miquel)-Santos
    Frimpong, Benayoun-Rosicky
    the Ox-Chamakh/Park-Walcott

  235. cesc spat at phil brown as well.. or whoever it was from hull..
    he was a right little shit that boy…he was the one who threw the pizza at fergie as well..
    no angel…thats for sure..guess hes right at home now in more ways than one..

    anyone seen the terry incident yesterday with the lesser ferdinand..
    it looked to me like he said ‘blind cunt’ and not the racist thing everyones been saying..but then terry comes public and says he did say it but he was saying it in a denial way..as in ‘hahhahaha fuck off anton why would i call you a fucking black cunt you fucking knob head’..
    although looking at it..the ‘why would i call you a’ bit doesnt seem to exist..although im no expert lip reader..and cashleys head gets in the way to be fair..

    i hate terry..but i dont think ferdinand will issue a complaint..much ado about nothing im afraid..would have loved terry to have been given a 100 game ban..doesnt look the case..

  236. Shotta, I’m afraid we’ve got Andy all wrong. When he spews negative crap about the Arsenal it is because he’s a passionate guy who wears his heart on his sleeve.

    Darius, Sven can’t keep on living off the success he had with Lazio in the nineties.

  237. fab
    coq koz squil santos
    oxo frimpong rosicky
    park chamakh ryo

  238. Loved the last sentence of the post:

    “Grinding out wins whilst that process takes place is perfectly acceptable despite what some will tell you.”

    Anyone who would say that grinding out results is not acceptable is not worth even spending our time thinking about.

  239. and then for chelsea

    chez
    koz per tv santos
    rambo song arteta
    theo rvp gervinho

  240. Is Ryo fit at the moment..? He doesn’t appear to be playing for the reserves at the moment but isn’t listed on AFC or physioroom as crocked.

  241. ryos fit..
    been out a few week but hes training again..

  242. G69 @ 6:49:

    “Shotta, I’m afraid we’ve got Andy all wrong. When he spews negative crap about the Arsenal it is because he’s a passionate guy who wears his heart on his sleeve.”

    Good call. You’re much more sensitive and perceptive then I gave you credit for.

  243. Bradys right foot

    Left footers heres a question for Saturday does TV5 go back in against the Chavs, Im not sure he does.Kozzer has been immense recently match fit sharp and developing an understanding with Mert.

  244. Wow F*** you Barcalona. It is a shame that the general population is led to believe that Barca is the best. They remind me of small children on a football pitch.

    Quick question for the older folks. Was there a time where a game of football could be played without all this cheating and deceiving of the ref? Peter Crouch falls over with no attempt to win the header, leading to that goal. We’ve had many a pelanty given for such minimal contact. When did it become illegal to play defense by putting a hand on your marker and giving him a little push?

  245. You have to admit its a bit weird though for a modern footballer that has been raised in PL to be racist. I mean look at Cheslea and Arsenal. all the top 4 clubs, they are very very very multicultura. Why would Terry or even Cesc say racist stuff when they are mates with people like Drogba, Bosingwa, Song, walcott etc.
    They all know that team mate or not, if you are a racist nobody wants to hang around you anyway.

    I dunno how you would survive in a PL team if you were a racist tbh. Who would you speak to? hang out with? eat lunch with? the top 4 teams atleast are so multicultural that i doubt any racist would ever identify with them. There must be plenty of teams out there you can be a racist in, top teams even like Zenith that cant buy coloured players cos their fans hate em. I doubt any of the players mentioned would risk being alianated by their fellow team mates by shouting racist abuse.

    I do think that Suarez maybe stupid enough to do something like that though. Not because hes racist, purly because hes thick as horse shit!

  246. Chill the Skrill at 8:09 pm
    “When did it become illegal to play defense by putting a hand on your marker and giving him a little push?”

    I will take 1st dibs at this one: When Man Utd needs a result and Howard Webb is in charge.

  247. Bradys right foot

    Chill the Skrill | October 24, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Your looking to have a logical discussion, I get that but to answer your question at some stage you’ll have to try and quantify the descision making of referees like Dowd and Mason, good luck with that m8 :).

  248. Ahh thanks for trying friends. Here is to another Arsenal victory tomorrow! Cheers.

  249. Not much to add to what’s already been written about the game.

    The U-18’s were good! Nice (team) goal finished off by Zac Ansah.

    So, seeing as it’s all d**M and gloom as the plunditry find something else gr*t their teeth into I thought it’d be nice to revisit this compilation by Dr.Renoog:

  250. I can’t understand the posts today supporting Theo saying he played ok and that his defensive play is improving.
    His defensive work might be better but overall another very inept performance yesterday on top of a good few others this season.
    There was only one run behind the full back and one cross worth mentioning, the rest was dreadfully lacking and he fully deserved to be substituted
    Sorry i don’t want to get too much on his back but he is unlikely to improve as he lacks the natural ability to get better, we are seeing the best of him and the best move for the club is to get rid of him now while we can get serious money for him before his pace deserts him.
    Sorry to be so negative on what was a very heartening performance with Gervinho showing Theo how it should be done.

  251. Apparently Arsenal haven’t ground out results before these last few weeks. Because even though the defence has been poor for the last several seasons (things like 20+game unbeaten runs don’t count I’m afraid) Arsenal have never been able to bump and grind it. Which is how they’ve ended up playing in CL SF’s, etc. etc. etc.

    MJ, my good friend, on this rare instance I have to disagree. What exactly does such profound and slightly distorted insight conbtribute?

  252. How did the U-18’s defend?
    Pretty well.
    They also hung to grind out a 1-0 to the Arsenal scoreline against the Chel$ea kids. The Arsenal No.6 looked like a younger version of Koscielny.

  253. < hung on to

  254. Shortsighted comment. After Stoke scored the whole team got flat. We really didnt get going offensively until until RVP came on. Why you point out one player is beyond me.

    Sell him huh? I can just hear you saying the same about Song a few years back.

  255. I really loathe comments like that one. How old is the season? and this guy is saying we should sell Walcott? what kind of nonsense is that!?

  256. “Interesting to note how “dirty” he can get when he’s backed onto a wall. I remember on two of the games we’ve played Barca, his only mission (which he succeeded btw) was to get Song and Denilson yellow carded so that they could play while hamstrung. He can also be a feisty sone of a bitch and dodgy tackler when it suits him – but also very adept at “buying” freekicks by feigning injury when someone breathes down his neck.”

    Which is why I’ve never been able to stand him.

    “To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised that Cesc would turn out to be an arrogant cunt like thr Barca players. He’s swimming in that repugnant misguided self-righteousness that Barca players have thinking they have a divine sense of entitlement to winning.”

    Wouldn’t surprise me either

  257. What donut said that Paul??

    one man team a…. cunts. so what is Gervinho then scotch mist…best player on the park. scores one and sets up two on a plate but we are a one man team. tut tut.

  258. “Sell him huh? I can just hear you saying the same about Song a few years back.”

    Probably said the same about RVP too! He was 20 when he came to AFC and finally hit his stride at the age of 27. Patience is paying off. Buying a player of his quality at today’s prices would cost a lot more than our initial purchase costs plus his wages for the last few years.

  259. Agree that alot of fans probably said RVP wouldnt be good enough when he first came in. Cant believe all the Chamakh bashing. his first start in a while so obviously he had to score or face the wrath of the know it alls.

    for me he has already shown he is a good p[layer. for morrocco he is class and he was class for his previous team, he has it in his locker thats the main thing. no patience in these people i tell ya.

  260. @ duke and Passenal, some of these comments amaze me. Walcott is 22 years for crying out loud!

    Duke, your comments have been uplifting. Good stuff!

  261. Damn. I agree with Duke. Everything he wrote today. Damn.

  262. Its a worrying development Shotta.is it not?

  263. I know Shotta, surely the first sign of the Apocalypse? I will know it’s all over when you agree with GA!

  264. What is all this “dench” malarkey?

  265. George, I fear it is something for the young folks! It passes by an old fogey like me!

  266. Glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks goonerandy is a moany little drama queen. Good on shotta and Darius for pulling his card. Much respect.

  267. Cesc did deny on twitter, no matter what i would be disappointed if it ere true, Cesc is better than that having spent a lot of his formative years at arsenal!

  268. Interesting comments from Le Boss on Arsenal.com

    “Other teams are tempted to put the quickest defender on Theo Walcott but Gervinho is very quick as well. We multiply our options speed-wise with him.“

  269. TS, he has always been a bit of a hot head, so you do wonder how he would be away from the positive influence of Le Boss.

  270. Some thoughts on the game…

    Very impressed with the defending.
    Chesney didn’t have much to do today, I liked the dummy he pulled off on Walters, could have ended badly on an other day. Especially Koscielny, he has been oozing class in the last few games, if he can cut the mistakes out of his system, he will be one of the best defenders in the PL. Did anyone notice? He wins a lot of his headers and has got a huge leap on him. Mertersacker has been a calming influence for the back five, apart from the goal in which he should have looked after Crouch, he was overall good and led the backline well. Djourou was solid at the back and his running was good to see, he freed up the area to make the pass into the midfield. Santos was calm, a touch casual at times, but he is growing into his game to prove that he has the defensive traits to play at left back.

    The midfield was very dynamic and fluid today, signs of gelling are finally coming to the fore.
    Happy to see Alex Song captaining the team in the beginning, deserving really. He was always there to protect the defense and move up the pitch, when Arteta pushed back. It was nice understanding. Tried a few passes, which didn’t come off pretty well, but he can iron out those mistakes in training and when the do come off, we will have a beast in our hands if we don’t do already. Arteta was unspectacular today but stuck to his job, did really well to play the diagonal in the build up to the second goal and the cross which almost led to a goal at the end of the first half. Ramsey was fantastic today, that ball over the top for Gerv, had class written all over it, he did try that kind of ball twice, which was nice to see. I would like to see diagonal balls and balls over the top for our pacy wingers being used on the counters, but asking for it at this point of the rebuilding phase would be wrong, maybe wishes will come true soon enough.

    Theo started brightly fooling Wilson twice or thrice and winning free kicks. The way he went around their LB once and crossed inside was good, he should look to add that aspect more to his game. I feel at times, he needs to slow down his pace a little, wait for the fish to bite the bait and use his quick burst of pace, to get past his man and open up play on his wing. He lacked a bit of service and he needs to develop the habit of getting past players, whether he is central or on the wing. Chamakh was okay, could have anticipated better to score at the end of the first half from Mikel’s cross. I feel he lacks that anticipation and movement in the box, whether that is down to quality or confidence, I don’t really know but having seen him score goals for us at the start of last season, it may be down to confidence. Gervinho, by far our best player of the day, popped up on either side of the wing and gave their defenders much to think about, he is a menace and growing into the red and white shirt.

    Robin Van Persie- Two words- Class Act! Those who are talking about us as a one man team are absolutely deluded. Drogba, Rooney, Tevez, etc. have all been the sole scorers for their teams and when they do, there is noone who says one man team about them. Same goes for our goalscorer as well.

    Arshavin- the little wizard is making his way back. But it is just the beginning for him, I expect a lot from him this season.

    It was very solid team performance, we stuck to the task, even though it wasn’t the free flowing football of the old, it was effective. If I remember right, that’s what we have been asking for, our old style struggled against the likes of Stoke, but today we came through easily without them ever troubling except for the one set-piece, which never really was a foul.

    If we can start to put the run of wins together, we can really turn things around and Hell we can even win the league, which seems to be a very far cry! LOL

    Finally, Wenger deserves some plaudits and credit for this performance. Must improve on defending set pieces, which have markedly improved from the start of the season.

  271. George

    I believe it’s ‘deeench’ and means ‘everything is good’

    HTH

  272. Would just like to point something out. Am sitting here with my Man U friend watching Utd get slaughtered again by Man City, (he is complaining bitterly but as he needs a lift back to New Jersey I am making him watch it first!!) One thing we do agree on is that Old Trafford is deathly silent and it is still the first half with them only 1 goal down. And as we all happily know, it only gets worse in the second half. Compare this to when we were getting destroyed ourselves by Utd, when all you could hear were the Arsenal Away Boyz singing their hearts out non-stop!! Just thought I would mention it as I think a lot of people either did not know about it or just forgot.

    AHAHAHA he just admitted to not seeing the last 2 goals as he turned the match off as soon as they scored their 4th! I have to admit if the roles were reversed I would have walked rather than watch THAT game again but then again he is known for his laziness, whereas I am known for my stubborness. 🙂

  273. Latest news on Diaby “Unforunately due to Trick or Treat time, Guy Fawkes night and Christmas shopping, Abou will not be available until 2012”

  274. MDGunner – We will have none of your shenanigans!! False-pastie pusher that you are!

  275. He really is a bit mad eh?

  276. Just coming back to the debate of Theo Walcott:

    2010/11 Eden Hazard- 52games 12 goals 10 assists Theo Walcott- 38 games 13 goals 8 assists.

    Is Theo really that bad?

  277. http://wp.me/p1aPg-1Tp

    Morning boys and girls. Today’s post is a headline and nothing more.

  278. Theo is a strange one. His stats don’t tally with the player you see playing. For all the critisism he gets, as long as he keeps producing the figures he is worth his place.

    I think the issue is that when he is not scoring or getting assists, he sometimes offers nothing at all. Some players still leave an impact on game even if they are not directly involved in goals. Personally I find him very frustrating to watch as sometimes he seems incapable of getting the basics right, but as I mentioned, as long as he keeps scoring/getting assists all is good.

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