Chelsea Bark Loudly, Arsenal Bite Decisively

Chelsea 3 – 5 Arsenal

1 – 0 Lampard (14)
1 – 1 van Persie (36)
2 – 1 Terry (45)
2 – 2 Santos (48)
2 – 3 Walcott (55)
3 – 3 Mata (80)
3 – 4 van Persie (85)
3 – 5 van Persie (90)

As if being drawn to the surface by a corkscrew, the season is twisting out of the bottle to unleash its vintage. The encounters between the Great and the Good are producing an exhilarating mix of superb counter-attacking with equally poor defending. All it missed was a red card and Szczesny tried his damndest to fulfil that part of the deal, Koscielny’s form putting enough doubt in the referee’s mind. A close call, one that went Arsenal’s way for a change.

Yesterday provided no respite from this heady cocktail and so long as Arsenal emerge victorious, I don’t want it to stop.

It was an astonishing victory, quite astonishing for so many reasons. Not that it makes the win any more or less emotionally satisfying, just the fact that it was on so many levels, a delicious serving of revenge. It does not wipe the pain of Old Trafford but it helps. It does not erase the memory of Cardiff, Wembley or any number of Premier League defeats where Didier Drogba has bullied, swatted and utterly mastered an Arsenal defence. But it helps.

And until the return meeting in April, it is the result that will stay longest in the mind between the two sides.

Those of us of a certain ‘maturity’ well remember what dour and ugly affairs these matches were in the 70s and 80s. Stamford Bridge and its surrounds were inhospitable, the pitches no better with sand dunes where grass once laid. It is a far cry from the Premier League era. Indeed this match is a distant cousin to many encounters through the years with an openess rarely seen from Chelsea allowing Arsenal to express their intentions to put the recent past behind them.

The opening minutes gave clear indication of the spirit in which this match was being played. Chelsea had opportunities; Cole, Sturridge and Torres were denied by a combination of poor choices, bad finishing and outstanding defending, Per Mertesacker blocking the Spaniard’s attacking run with an outstanding header. At the other end, Gervinho missed the opportunity of the match so far by missing the target with the goal gaping; van Persie was no more accurate moments later.

The cup-tie spirit continued unabated and by the quarter hour mark, the threatened goal had materialised. That Chelsea scored provided a bitter but not entirely surprising moment. Santos was struggling to adapt to the ferocity of the attacking and Mata sprang another surprise on the Brazilian by crossing early, Lampard had found space and subsequently the net. 1 – 0 to the hosts and uncomfortable parallels were drawn with previous visits to the scene of the crime.

Early punches traded, the sides probed and ceded possession too readily to create a threat of note although Sturridge was guilty of another miss, not as glaring as before perhaps. It proved costly as van Persie turned home a fantastic equaliser. Aaron Ramsey found Gervinho and the Ivorian had timed his run to perfection, tearing the Chelsea defence asunder; van Persie followed and the Ivorian served notice that he intends to create more than 15 of  van Persie’s next Arsenal century.

Parity was almost short-lived with Sturridge’s effort rightly ruled out for offside. Relief did not last long as perma-victim John Terry gave Chelsea the lead with a scruffy but almost typically conceded goal on the stroke of half-time. There is a joke in there somewhere about the Arsenal defence being an accident blackspot…

The lead gave the hosts a glimmer of three points. It was the closest they were to come to that total; within ten minutes of the restart they were chasing the game. Andre Santos is having his weight questioned but having been given a bit of a torrid introduction, he settled and crashed home the equaliser as the Chelsea defence went AWOL. It got worse for The Blues when Theo Walcott showed some good old John Bull qualities, strength, bundling his way through the midfield and then the presence of mind to pick himself up when fouled, instead of emulating the slack-jaw mental aptitude of the hosts, he slotted past Cech to give Arsenal a lead for the first time.

Chelsea probed but fumbled like a teenager on a first date, for the next twenty five minutes. They knew where they wanted to be but lacked the guile to unlock the defence. When they did equalise, foul play was afoot with Lukaku interfering. It is harsh to pay much attention to this, Mata’s finish was simply outstanding.

That proved irrelevant. As Chelsea pushed forward, they left gaps which were ruthlessly exposed by Arsenal, Robin van Persie completing a hat-trick with two late counter-strikes. john Terry’s slip made it clear that this afternoon at least, the status of top dog would be returning north of the River. Who cares how the winning goals come in the build-up, the Dutchman’s finishes were indisputable.

van Persie is garnering the headlines and why not, a hat-trick at a close rival is nothing to be sniffed at. Yet I feel more compelled by the performance of others. Chief of which is Theo Walcott. I freely admit that Walcott infuriates, talented beyond the ability of many and today was one of the better in an Arsenal shirt, humiliating Ashley Cole with a maturity in his attacking display that belies his years.

Defensively, Laurent Koscielny is being inspired by the prospect of competition from Thomas Vermaelen for a place in the centre of defence. The Frenchman controlled Torres, subdued his threat and with Mertesacker just marshalled the Chelsea attack into less threatening positions. When they did pursue the route to the back of the net, formidable barriers were put in their way.

Paolo di Canio is far from being anyone’s cup of tea but he recently said of his Swindon players,

With some players, if he has a chihuahua character I can’t make a chihuahua into a rottweiler. He could be a proud chihuahua but he remains a chihuahua. So many of the players at the moment are chihuahuas away from home

Arsenal found yesterday that they don’t have any chihuahua’s.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 30, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 369 Comments.

  1. First and we won it. I had a good feeling about this game all week long. It happened.

  2. Never mind the result, this was a stirring performance. I dare anyone to say this side lacks character and fight now. Twice behind, pegged back with 10 to go, and yet only one side ever really looked like winning in the closing minutes.

    Brilliant as RvP was, you’re definitely right to highlight the contributions of others. In particular Koscielny was again exceptional, keeping Torres firmly in his pocket. And in the second half Song and Arteta bossed midfield, making Ramires, Mikel and Lampard look like cardboard cutouts. Ramsey is maturing into a highly effective link between midfield and attack. But basically this was a huge team effort in the second half. Not so much one man of the match as eleven.

    One-man team? Don’t make me laugh.

  3. Top team performance and Wenger.shits all over the media. Priceless.

    The team has finally realised their potential.

  4. The one man team tag which the media are spinning makes me laugh. They are better than anybody when it comes to Spin.

    Wish I could watch the bastards squirm on sunday supp but, cancelled the sky months ago.

  5. Sturridge, has got a big mouth (and lips) and he and his uncle really enjoyed when h scored v us. He kept referring to it on another show where the try to take the piss out of Arsenal on national tv.

    Well Kos had you in his back pocket all afternoon D Sturridge. You and your uncle suck on that,

  6. Arsenal has made my week….let’s keep on!!! Congratulations to all gooners

  7. Just Another Luke

    Our 5th goal was remarkable in the sense that we went for it instead of keeping possession and run down the minutes. It’s crazy, but this is what makes us so exciting. We either win by 2 goals or risk conceding possession and an equaliser. But our Robin was on fire and scored with a cracker. Absolutely sensational!

  8. how do you wenger haters feel now and the demonstraters feel now a fantastic performance where every one wants to give every thing support meens the good times and bad times

  9. That Koscielny is awesome, isn’t he?

  10. I felt that we should have scored more than five, the other day sumbody was talking abt team not fearing Ars, am sure wen they tink of playing arsenal now, they will pie in their pant.

  11. Koscielny,and the I was at time thinking

    “why the hell have we gone to France to purchase a 2nd tier Defender when we could of brought closer to home”

    That’s why I’m not managing Arsenal because I don’t know about such things but Wenger does and in Wenger, we should trust.

  12. Did JT slip? Hell no. He was either tripped by Martin Luther King Jnr’s ghost, or he feigned falling down to avoid collecting a pass from a black player or he laid prostrate to have a better view of how the VAN was going to go past the CECHpoint.

  13. Gary Neville, has totally shocked me with his punditry. I lost count of the times he has defended Arsenal and Wenger and not let his colleagues rip into us with their bias ways.

    He makes jamie twatknapp look crap and totally exposes his lack of football knowledge. He put jamie in his place more than one time regarding Arsenal and Wenger. Shocking but true.

  14. you sure did call IT DOVE, YOU SURE DID.
    morning YOGI and congratulations to all . specialy to the team and the gaffer. well done. after tommorw though ,we and the team need to put this game behind and start preparing for Cl and cc. one game at a time and keep your feet firmly on the ground. the gelling is starting to take form right before our eyes. enjoy the ride. i can’t wait for the next game. everyone is stepping up and wants to be counted. the potential is delicious to think of. i expect to see a dynamic ,fluid team in actions with all on board on the same wavelength. 🙂
    we will give them a run for their money. the confidence from this win will do wonders for the teams psyche. it has done wonders for me. tnx ARSENAL and tnx to everyone on the team.
    UP THE GUNS..!!!!!!

  15. all right goonerton
    takes a big man to admit. super . welcome to the light .
    wrong about gary though. he was a dirtbag player. always will be a dirtbag in my mind. will never forgive him for buchtering REYAS at that game in old turdfford. him and the rest of that thig gang.

  16. Isn’t this Van Persie’s first league hat trick for arsenal? I reckon he scored a cup hat trick once. Joachim leow was honoured with a good match, and Wenger’s words in the last general meeting coming good. Tip tap is back. 2 Lessons learnt yesterday:
    1. When your goalkeeper is running out the box for a 50/50 interception, closest player should run into the box at top speed. So he can be behind the action incase the gk fouls the opponent. Your presence nearer the goal line changes the card from red to yellow( last man argument!). Although trying to save the goal is an equally good reason. Kos thanks for the lesson.
    2. The injury free van persie is beyond imaginations. His first stretch since becoming the priority striker, and he is pure magic! This is what injury has deprived arsenal.
    Wenger, THANKS.

  17. That game will live long in the memory on several levels.Great character shown ,theory of one man team smashed, theory of Arsenal being in demise smashed, revelation of Kos and Ramsey (which we all knew) . Even our bench looked stronger than Chelsea’s.
    We do still need to work intensively on our defending.

  18. Yogi, how does this game rank amongst other ARSENAL/chelski matchs .you have enjoyed watching.?

  19. Goonerton @ 7.24.1000% correct.Whilst we all have views and opinions Arsene Wenger is one op the top,if not the top,manager in the world as spotting talent and encouraging it.Kos and TV first choice for me now.

  20. Theo,more of yersterday’s performance so i’d stop slatting you so stew’d stop mentioning my name in every conversation. And fungunner. And luke. . .

  21. Great game, great result but Chelsea is north of the river!

  22. ace – you reap what you sow my friend.

    For a laugh I turned on the radio after yesterday’s game and 5 live’s expert punditry had this to say
    ‘In a way this doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know about Arsenal’ Oh yes because you all predicted we’d turn Chelsea over at the Bridge.
    and from his co-conspirator
    ‘Arsenal still need a world class centre back’

    They literally didn’t have a clue what to say.

  23. So who makes our first eleven when everyones fit? Let Wenger decide, that’s his job. COYG!

  24. Did anyone hear that sneering twat Robson on the i-Player just before Theo’s wonder goal? The commentator asks rhetorically ‘what will we see from Theo in the second half’ and he starts to say ‘tripping over the ball by the looks of it’ and has barely finished his dripping sarcasm before our little hero has bewildered the Chelsea defence and smashed the ball past their ‘invicible’ goal keeper.

  25. Believing that arsenal are shit is a mindset with many, even with many self acclaimed fans. They stammer and gibber after performances like this and the 8 victories out of 9 matches reality. Many chose to vanish from the radar altogether. Its painful to be LOUDLY wrong, i tell you. Wenger vindicates his ‘professorship’.

  26. I agree with Pedantic George’s sentiment yesterday. for all the hard and sometimes painful work Yogi has diligently done day in and day out when times were hard – it’s days like yesterday that make it worthwhile for all of us to celebrate the quality of such a blog and such a community.

    Yogi – thank you for keeping us going during the harder times and today’s post is no exception. Great thoughts on the emotions from yesterday and for helping us savour the moment.

  27. Kenyan – I suspect, along with a lot of other people, that the centre back position is the one to cause the biggest headache. You don’t buy a player of Per’s international pedigree to sit him on the bench. But how do you not play a man as good as Vermaelen? But how could anyone consider dropping my favourite Arsenal player Mr silk and steel, legend in the making his royal Kossness?
    Impossible decision for me. The combo at the moment is working well. Our weakness defensively looks to me to stem from ever changing personnel at full back and the midfield not providing enough of a shield in front of the CHs . Per has a calmness and shows a reading of the game with many timely interceptions whilst Kos is just everywhere all at once. Also Arsene has often said he likes to keep a CB pairing settled. They need to play together regularly, so will he break it up?

  28. As there’s no shortage of analysis of yesterday’s game on the internet, I’ve decided to pay tribute to Arsenal’s unsung hero. If you get some time, please read about The Curious case of Laurent Koscielny, which is today’s post at Stone Cold Towers.

  29. AW did make some interesting substitutions yesterday. i think i like his intent. very astute.
    say, how about a letter writing campaign to ARSENAL management about thinking of maybe replacing this guy ROBSON. i wouldn’t mind seeing someone more arsenal than him. i mean the fans pay for this and they have some rights. we dislike the guy. simples.

  30. Steww – Jason Cundy is despairing about how his beloved Chelsea let Theo Walcott crawled through 4 Chelsea defenders and scored that goal.

    Stewart Robson can fuck right off. I’m still surprised his line manager doesn’t pick up on his bias and in his performance management sessions remind him that being on Arsenal’s payroll means that he needs to work in the interest of Arsenal like all other Arsenal FC and Arsenal Broadband employees.

  31. How will those riling arsenal blogs present this! Trust them to defend their outmoded sarcasm. It’s painful to be LOUDLY wrong. Isn’t Chelsea having the big buy mata and lukaku we couldn’t afford. Could that translate to affording them the victory against 2nd tier buys like jenkinson, and kos. Our cheap buy mert, and arteta. Isn’t a gaffer’s sagacity superior in practice to big money clueless signings like torres. Did they not have big money mohawk portuguese signing from liverpool?!

  32. And the 2mil pound RVP destroys them all!

  33. how was the couch Darius.?

  34. Goonerkam – remember, I invested in a top top quality couch as Wenger would say.

    And to ease my pain, I’m having a full English breakfast to atone for being kicked out of the marital bed for well – fully exercising my bragging rights.

  35. Alan Smith, too. I don’t what it is with these so called Arsenal legends.

    When we won our last game he himself said

    “The real test will come against chelsea next week”

    He wasn’t the only one but, he said it nevertheless. 3mins before the end of the 4mins injury time that went to 15 secs short of 5mins, Alan Smith then says:

    “We can’t really tell now because chelsea didn’t offer anything in terms of a tough test”.

    But, utd beat everton 0-1 and they have now steadied the ship? Fuck a duck and Bruce Buck.

  36. i for one am so glad Rasmey is back with a bang. he only gets better and better. If he continiues his sublime form its going to be hard for Jack to win back his place. He only got the place the first time because Rasmey had that horrible injury. And even though Ramsey pplays well now hes nowere near his full potential. That kid, or those kids, Ramsey, ox-chambo and wilshere together with Walcott will boss our midfield for a long time to come.
    How lucky are we? what other team got a bunch of such great talents in their squad?
    I just hope ramsey continiues his form, when hes on top of his game, there are seriousley not many other brits that can match him, maybe with the exception of our very own Jack Wilshere, they are in the same league those two..

  37. @goonerton so Chelsea did not play their best? is that what the old goat is suggesting? that cheslea laied down and let Arsenal win?? i bet chelsea supporters are happy with that…

  38. A genuine question here guy’s.and not a negative vibe.

    What did you think of Per’s defending because I think he doesn’t use his obvious qualities that he has and like yesterday I believe 3/4 goals that have been conceded during his shift could have been prevented if he put himself about a bit.

  39. We still need to sign cahill, samba and parker dont we 😛

  40. Steww, I agree with what you say. But trying to pre-empt Wenger as some fans are doing is silly. Like how many people thought that Rednose would prefer Hernandes to Babawawa. Or how some said that by signing Young then Nani would be sold? Coaches at that level don’t buy players randomly!

  41. A video of the game should be produced and circulated to all schools in the UK. As an example of the exciting, open football two sides can play
    when both are using a high-line defence formation.
    Regardless of the result, this was one of the most entertaining EPL matches this season. Sadly, there will not be many more, I fear, of this type.

  42. poodle,

    His exact term was “the acid test for Arsenal will come away to chelsea”. Then he claimed that they didn’t offer a tough test! piss take but, I don’t buy or listen to any media shit any more except for times like these just so I witness them squirm and come up with more excuses.

  43. go gunners go. Kozza….kozza…Kozza….kozza

  44. Have to wait for suga3 again then.

    I wonder if that Frank(not the er..legendary aclf frank) is now going to put his banner back under his bed.

  45. Honorable mentions to Ramsey, and Gervinho as well. Also, lets hold up our hands for santos’s transformation after half time. he made 11 tackles in the second half, more than any other player on the pitch, not to mention the goal

  46. Anirudh | October 30, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Who told you that and why do you think that?

    Cahill, is not a better defender than Kos. I would love to see Samba come in though as I thought Wenger, would of brought him instead of Per, because he’s an all out defender who scores goals and now that I have seen Per I know that Samba is much much quicker than him and I don’t think terry would of been pushing Samba out the way yesterday.

    But, as I said earlier we know jack shit about players compared to Wenger or we would be working alongside Wenger.

  47. Btw I do not think Vermaelen would just walk right in…its fantastic to have 3 absolutely world-class centre halves playing at the moment, and hopefully JD gets back to his world class ways, I am sure he will get there- a few games at RB as part of winning teams and his confidence will return..

    Then we will have 4 absolutely interchangeable CB pairings and the great thing is 2 who prefer being the right CB and two the left CB..amazing balance…and we will certainly need all 4..

    Squillaci judging from tuesday night is getting his confidence up as well and Miquel cannot ask for a better learning experience than training with these 5 week in week out..once again in Squillaci and Miquel we have a natural right/left combo..

    So that is 6 centre-halves in total, that I would not mind starting any game in the PL..

    I do not think there is another squad in the PL that can boast of the same..

    Who says wenger cant build a defence..daft nonsense

  48. does anyone know when anyone has scored 5 at stamford bridge. what a feat.

    Walcott is twice the player and twice the man Cole is so wasn’t it nice to see Theo rip him a new one.

  49. Goonerton..

    Sarcasm mate…I have never advocated signing any one of them through the summer and its proving to be the right decision to not sign any of them…

  50. Miquel, should be in front of Squillachi every day of the week. Everybody makes mistakes even the master and one has been made in the case of Squillachi.

  51. @duke

    First time since liverpool in 89 i think

  52. goonerton

    Just like Kos I think people made too quick and too harsh a judgment on Squillaci..He was nowhere near as bad as people made him out to be…

  53. I’m glad you didn’t suffer too much Darius. she sound very reasonable and part of her is DEFINATLY impressed with you and your team. I’m sure. she won’t let you know it though.
    to answer you q goonerton, on Terry goal , which was soft, at least two defenders were not at their best. per for letting Terry in so easily. and the absent defender at the post. possibly JD. too easy. glad though, they redeemed themselves at later staged of the game. as a team there were a few relapses mostly in the first half, but it did turnout very well by the end.
    RAMSEY is great. i wish Abue diaby had a little better luck coming back from his injury just like Aaron. he did us proud yesterday. they all did.
    only sadness is we didn’t have Bacary with us . he deserved to be on that pitch after all the great efforts he has given his team. hopefully he won’t suffer too much and heal well and come back soon. to take his rightfully place.

  54. @gonnerkam

    Bacary was having a go at the ref from his twitter…good to see 😀

  55. Is anyone anywhere talking about Arteta being kicked in the guts btw? Beginning to wonder if I dreamt it.

  56. Goonerkam. It’s perspective and reflection that actually, her beloved Chelsea were beat with panache.

  57. watching Sunday supplement and they are more interested in JT racism than CHAVS getting beat. And that is all the headlines on the back pages. Those of you who believe and spout what the media say check your brains out.

  58. the ladies had the answer to your question yesterday, duke. i think 1934 and 1979. they got it from BBC sports. i think. fungunner and teamspirit and passsnel are awsome with their research and data.
    congratulations to goonerwife on her new little goonerate. god bless.

  59. Just curious.

    Did Fernando Torres actually play yesterday? Or even Obi Mikel. They were anonymous.

  60. Fantastic match summary, YW – really witty and apposite observations. One of your best.

    Into my cocktail, I have thrown the cherry of ManUre’s 6-1 humiliation at home, and i am finding that erases any lingering bitterness about the 8-2. See, I can mention the score now!

  61. As much as I enjoyed our performance, I can’t help but wonder what the hell’s happened to Cech? Nothing he could do about Robin’s first but I couldn’t imagine Szczesney letting in any of the four goals we scored after that.

  62. Am I wrong or did Skysports actually fail to post a match report on our victory.

  63. And has anyone else noticed that ACLF is an anagram of ALFC?

  64. We were cheated to get pulled back to 3 3.Last seasons team would have buckled and lost.Arsene has clearly addressed that problem.There may or may not be other problems with the team put that was the killer.That not only did we not fold but rather rallied is a huge turnaround.
    Dont let the slip of footing allow anyone to write off Per’s contribution to this turnaround.

  65. @darius

    Yes..the shell-shocked, what the hell is going on around me, 50 mill worth of expression on his face was absolutely priceless 😀

    Almost as priceless as the terry slip….

  66. you didn’t dream it steww. he got rammed. do did RVP with that elbow to the back of the neck. mariner went swol for half of the second half . thank god he didn’t cost us the three points. not that he didn’t try.

  67. As for the John Terry so called racism row – his position as England and Chelsea captain is already untennable. Apparently, even Rio Ferdinand as stated that Terry’s altercation with his younger brother was racist.

    All this “did he or didn’t he” nonsense is just delaying the inevitable. It doesn’t matter how many black players you look in the eye or hug after a game – John Terry is becoming toxic.

    And what’s with a panel of journos indulging in intellectual masturbation to give us the impression they’re indulging with the ills of football. You might as well have a bunch of priviliged men having a debate about womens rights and the inequalities women face in employment and society and how to fix it, all without a single female in sight.


  69. @ george

    Agree with your point about per..he made so many vital interceptions yesterday..not his best game, but not a shocker either..

    Any stats on the interceptions?? Santos also seems to have that awesome ability to keep it simple and just win the ball while defending..

  70. Still bathing in the exhilaration of yesterday.

    Amongst many moments of sublime joy to treasure:

    Aaron’s sublime through ball to Gerv for the first goal. (Cesc who?);

    Theo, when bundled to the floor, not rolling around in Barcoid hysterics, but leaping up and scoring a blinder (and I still have the pleasure of Robson’s crass commentary to come);

    Terry sprawling helplessly after RvP before the fourth goal.

  71. No surprise that the reprenensible hacks on Sunday Shower of Silage are doing their best to justify Terry’s alleged racist outburst. I mean, who have thought a bunch of fat, middle aged white men would want to back the scum bag?

  72. This will sound daft, but apart from the chavs first 2 goals, Per M did really well I thought. In the 1st half it was our fullbacks that were causing me the most concern.

  73. And for the statistical nerds amongst you – we now have 16 points from 10 fixtures.

    In the same 10 fixtures last year (substituting a home win against any one of the relegation candidates last year for our win against Swansea this year) we also amassed 16 points.

    In the end we were 6 points clear in 4th place last year.

    So I guess we could validly claim to be back on track for at least 4th. Nice to push on and do even better!

  74. nothing wrong with cech and it chelski except their tactics. you cone out to play open field football against ARSENAL with your aging mercenaries and we will tear you to pieces. its the parked bus approach we haven’t fully come to grips with yet. with GERVINHO and Theo on the flanks we should have more success this year opening teams up.

  75. What did you expect from Sunday supplement wankers?

    They also had their post match report drawn up the day before the match and every week they spend their time shitting on Arsenal with their bias crap. I wish I still had ske just to watch that chelsea cut who’s on Sunday supplement always being disrespectful to Wenger and Arsenal. They classless.

  76. Dex,

    Did you read Steven Howard last week saying if Terry did say anything racist it was in the heat of the moment!!! imagine him defending cesc if he’d done that whilst at Arsenal.

  77. @ YW

    I second what Darius says at 8:37 am.
    I often have arguments with you but I respect your knowledge, the commitment and discipline demonstrated by producing a regular blog with a reasoned line of argument, the diligent research which you put in and the fact that your love of Arsenal always shines through. Which is why I come here regularly. So thank you very much from me as well – much appreciated.

  78. Steww, I mentioned it last night as a brilliant call by the commentator just as Robson snidely answered his rhetorical question. Theo’s answer was devastating. Anyone know who that commentator was? Not the usual guy; he was so excited bt rhe goal. I liked him.

  79. Terry’s face bouncing off the turf was the iceing on the cake. serves you right for sleeping with your best friends girl. he is finished as captain of the national team. capelo will not tolerate anymore bullcrap from this dope.

  80. DukeG

    Dont surprise me man, bunch of xenophobes, racists and abusers of kittens, probably.

  81. Agree with muppett yesterday. Ramsey and Wilshere will replace Cesc for us. and Gervinho is a far better player to have then Samir(6 months)Nasri.

  82. @ pedantic george | October 30, 2011 at 9:49 am
    Spot on.

  83. Can i just say i take yogi’s blog for granted!!!

  84. Wahoo! Lovely day indeed. Sorry to hear that it’s the couch for you darius but Brag away…I’m sure you slept well enough to go another night!

    How I do enjoy a good gloat over the chavs.

  85. The following transpired after RVP’s third and final goal at SB:

    PETR CECH(still on turf)- Capito, where’s the ball?

    JOHN TERRY(fuming) – For the fifth time, in the net, you crap!

    CECH( livid) – Me crap? What about you falling all over the place instead of…

    F. TORRES(intruding) – Please, what is a net?

    J TERRY(barks) – You should be interested in the opposite net, you 50-million-bag-of-garbage!

    JUAN MATA(shaking head, speaking to himself) Dear God, how on earth did I land myself here?

    J TERRY(reading Mata’s lips, explodes, pointing) See the exit door, you dunce! We used to bully these red shirts to submission. Now, you spoilt all that with your tiki-taka rubbish!

    See what van Persie caused?

  86. you think maybe the Tots. will oblige us with a loss today?

  87. Lovely post Yogi!

    I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a hangover so much! I recall MoTD through bleary eyes last night – was it Chelsea & Crisis and Arsenal & Superb?!?

    The morning papers (walsh in the Times) confirming my thoughts! Lovely stuff and a joy to enjoy the Sunday news once again.

    My favourite performances? Yes VP bagged the goals, yes Walcott ruined Cole, but for me the standouts were Song & Kolscieny.

    Song was outstanding. When he is disciplined we are a different side. Joined the attack at the correct times, provided an absolutely sublime assist, and bar losing Mata on the right for the first kept the Spainard at bay all game. I don’t count the second as there was a clear foul in the build up!

    Lovely stuff. Feet on the ground. Onto the next.

  88. Lagos, that was hilarious.
    ‘ please, what is net ‘ lol.

  89. Luke

    You could add Ramsey, Gervinho to that list mate. I thought Aaron was superb.

    Wonder if those calling for Owen Coyle as our manager still feel that way?

  90. Owen Coyle can’t even get himself or Bolton out of a paper bag right now, how the hell do some people even contemplate mentioning him in the same sentence as Arsenal manager.

  91. luke, for me GERVINHO was also instrumental. he was toying with JB for fun. he most have turned him insideout ten times. and he lied it on the plate for RVP. his energy is contagious. he loves being on that pitch.

  92. Usually 8 defenders in a squad would be enough. but for arsenal who regularly compete for 4 trophies and have an abysmal injury record 12 defenders shoupd be the minimum. 3 or even 4 players for each position. i say 4 but only if there is only 1 experienced player. at the moment we have sagna as our experienced right back we then have jenkinson yennaris and hoyte as cover or we play a centre back out if position. at left back we dont really have an experienced left back sure santos gibbs and out of position miquel may suffice but is it really good enough to compete on all 4 fronts all season. for me this why these 2 areas must be improved and i believe 1 more centre back at least. personally i think we should offload 3 defenders they are hoyte squillaci and djourou. i would replace them with van der weil vertonghen and cahill. for me vermaelen would be switched to his international position of left back. this would mean sagna van der weil and jenkinson competing for right back. vermaelen santos and gibbs fighting it out for left back with mertesacker vertonghen koscielny cahill miquel and bartley when he returns slugging it out for centre back.

  93. Darius

    Crazy mate. I have thought about who might be our next manager and I could draw up a list of 50 names. Owen Coyle wouldnt get close.

    Unreal that so-called Gooners would even consider him.

  94. coyle is a good coach but no wheres near the stature of AW. at least he is got Bolton playing some proper football , . maybe they will go down this year. their form is pathetic.

  95. Darius..

    the same way. parker and arsenal savior were mentioned in the same sentence..such ignorance must be blissful

  96. I thought Hoyte had left?

    And I aint even gonna start with the Djourou bitching again.

  97. it was a great day for the club yesterday..

    looking at the fixtures from now until january weve got a chance to really push on here..
    this chelsea game was the platform..if we can take that passion into every game were gonna collect quite a few points in the next few months..

    in the top 4 by jan..sign a couple of players..convince our captain to stay..and this club will be right back on track..

  98. Apparently, Robin Van Persie has scored more goals at Stamford Bridge in one match than Fernando Torres has scored in his entire Chelsea career.


  99. I thought Arsenal’s performance yesterday was appalling. We conceded three goals, dear gooners! Piss poor defending for the first goal, I mean what the hell was Santos doing? Why was Mertesacker day dreaming? Cheslea could have been out of sight within 20 minutes…..are you all blind? Don’t be fooled by our sitters missed by Gervinho and van Persie……those were just pure luck….it just masks the reality that we have a long way to go…..I for one didn’t feel encouraged by yesterday’s performance. Only a win by six goals with no reply from the chavs would have been evidence that we are returning to form. We will not recover until Wenger goes…..Wenger out …..I say… in Arsene we ‘rust’…..ooooppps I thought I was on Le Grove!

  100. Darius

    I posted my post on Stone Cold Towers but you’re here!!!!

  101. Georgakos

    I wasn’t told by the Internet Police that it was illegal to visit more than one site at a time.

  102. Sunday suppliment is a Man Utd wankfest anyway…doesnt their studio overlook OT. Plenty choking on humble pie today. What the team showed yesterday was grit , determination and team spirit in abudance. They never gave up Arsenal were pure class in the end after a shaky start and RVP is a legend 7 years in the making . He should get his wages trippled, have a £100million buyout clause and be bubble wrapped until the end of the season . As for the other £50million man El Nino he was in KosMerst pocket all game and turning out to be another Shevchenko. Apart from the goals the best moment for me was seeing the players celebrating at the end with the fans like the had one the league. They knew they had turned the corner. Crisis…what crisis… Chelsea are shit and they know it. They were ripped apart but the press will probably not see it this way. What excuses are the poor press and doomers going to come up with now. Arsene F@#$in knows!!!!!!!!

  103. I actually did have a peak on Le Grove just now. There are actually some comments like mine on there!!!! Some twat named Gambon must be taking this piss…..

  104. Georgakos

    Ha! Nice one, I think Darius is convinced you were being serious man! As for that dude on LG, he aint joking mate! He is that sad.

  105. taking the pill more like it. Le grove is hopeless. toxic. counterproductive.
    never mind them. just a loud minority.

  106. Why go on Le Grove.

    Its full of kids and yids. they come out with shit like wenger is a senile cunt, theo walnut, fat cunt santos, i mean these are the things yids come out with, why any proper gooner wants to read these childish ramblings is beyond me.

  107. Well, having got the monkey(my above post) off my back, I’d say Wenger, and some of us who believe in him, have been vindicated on calls to stay behind the team. It’s not yet uhuru but there’s something about this team. Yes, Fabregas must have given us the creative spark…and truly he’s the best in the world suited in his role for Arsenal.

    But with how Arteta, Song and Ramsey chased every ball, ran at everything and with everything in that middle, would we have actually beaten Chelsea if our ex-captain was taking the place of one of the three? Me doesn’t think we would have. Our game was always very precdictable with Cesc playing. Everything good happened through the Spaniard. Yesterday, good things happened all over the pitch for Arsenal.

    On Kos, yes taking the French off the middle now would be injustice. I told whoever cared to listen that we didn’t need Cahill, that both Kos and Verm were better defenders. Thank God Wenger got Per instead. And please, the German has been massive. Ask yourself – has Kos ever played this good before the German came? Is it possible the presence of Per has greatly improved Kos? Most likely. But Verm, when fit, is my best CB in the Prem. Not even Vidic impresses me better than the Belgian. What Arsene needs do is to rotate them expertly while Koscielny goes to the right back in big matches. You don’t buy a German defender with 80 int’l caps at just 27 and make third choice. With Djourou, Miquel, Squilachi as back-ups, we don’t need any other CB, in fact, we do not need any defender now. Take my tip what we have now can be the best defence in the Prem if carefully chosen according to level of opponents at a time.

  108. DukeyG

    We have a few on here who like going on that site don’t we!

    I dont need to go onto the site to read childish tripe, not when you and George are about anyways!!! 😀

  109. the problem with that site is there are two many pricks, obviously you do get your fair share of decent gooners on there and you do get some good written posts but just too much anti arsenal slagging off on there that makes it seem like your on a spurs blog for me.

  110. For me Ramsey’s at the death goal vs. Marseilles will be the spark that ignited our regained mojo.

    All throughout the Chelsea match, the players looked confident and positive, we had a swagger about our play……always knowing there was a more in their bag of tricks. Compared to ‘most’ performances given by recent Arsenal teams……(except the 07/08 group)…..this team now has the ‘eye of the tiger’ mentality.

    I see no problem with the return of Vermaelen…….or Jack. 28 more league fixtures & CC, FA Cup, and Champions league……..we need everyone!!!!!!

    Even Arshavin’s recent form has brought platitudes to the surface. His contribution is critical for the club to do the unthinkable (catching City).

    I am so happy for our manager. With the press/media on their heels, they will have to focus away on other prey.

  111. duke, a good percentage of Arsenal supporters are also ” y**s ” .. plz refrain from using that pejorative. i thank you in advance.

  112. @ Arsessession

    spot on.
    enough games for everyone to contribute. we can take all four competitions very seriously.

  113. @ Paul – N……..
    what a sensational performance by Theo. Maybe this ‘one’ performance will trigger a level of consistency that he is so deserving.

    to others:
    I don’t know why so many want to castigate PER. It is common understanding that a player’s 1st season takes an adjustment.

    2nd season brings continuity. Now is not the time to throw in his towel. He makes and executes too many intelligent plays – that for some ‘take for granted’. His experience is vital to the team winning. The 2nd half yesterday: Chelsea 1 – Arsenal 4.

    Personally, my first game in quite awhile to witness all 10 field players show up.

  114. DukeyG

    You’re right man, you might as well just go on a chav or spud blog. I really cannot see the point, or what possible enjoyment there is to be had when all you want to do is constantly slate and hate? Criticising a poor performance, lack of signings etc is fair enough, but to still harp on and on about shit when the team’s doing well is crackers. You have to call into question the person’s footballing alegiances and sanity!

  115. The cheek of some people,They go MIA through the hard times and then come slithering back and poke fun of staunch defenders of Arsene and the club.A hero like Dukey should be revered not ridiculed .

  116. Haha! George, we’ve been on the up for weeks now mate. Don’t be such a doomer! Get back to le grove!

  117. I am now convinced that the loss of the cowardly two has made us a better team.
    Sagna,Diaby,Jack and TV all will improve the team.I really feel optimistic.
    It really is a different kettle of fish. .

  118. The credit Man utd are getting for their gritty 1-0 away win….didnt we do that last week against an even better team.

  119. I echo that george.

  120. Everything is looking up .
    My friends are back on ACLF,the sun is out and we have a team to be proud of.
    Really ,happy fucking days.

  121. I saw a kind of symmetry in yesterday’s match that was difficult to ignore. I trace the beginning of Arsenal’s current trophy drought to a memorable match in August 2004 against Middlesbrough that ended 5-3 to the good. It was the first time any team had tried to play football with the Invincibles and gotten three goals for their efforts. It was also memorable because a then new Mourihno called the final score “a hockey scoreline”. I get the feeling that this 3-5 victory, against Mourihno’s old men, provides an end bracket to our current dry spell.

    The other bit of symmetry has to do with the Arsenal 3-0 win over Chelsea last December. It set us up for a thrilling 3 month ride where we were arguably the best side in the league, and it effectively killed Chelsea’s title hopes. That game featured an Arsenal player set (Wilshere/Fab/Nasri/Song/Theo/RVP) that was difficult to beat if those players were on the pitch, and a style that actually put Barça to the sword. Yesterday’s match, particularly the second half, featured sensible defending and lethal finishing, mainly from RVP, who at the moment scares the bejesus out of everybody.

  122. Duke, a good percentage of Arsenal supporters have got ”pr*cks” .. plz refrain from using that pejorative. i thank you in advance.

  123. Tai obasi,lagos @ 10:23,lol! Fantastic!

  124. Frank is back after his goal scoring exploits for chelsea…sorry frank could not resist that one 😀

    Long time no post…how come???

  125. Frank i hope your not going to start bringing us all down..

  126. Anyone else think we looked a lot fitter than the Chavs?

  127. Well we know you think RVP is fit but which others do you have your eye on FG?

  128. Great to see you Frank my old china plate. How are those whistles selling?

  129. @ pedantic george | October 30, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Ha ha!

    By the way, the JT comedy moment reminded me of a Carling Cup game v Spurs when their player tried to head a ball about 20 cm off the ground and gave it straight to us to score with. Remember that?

  130. Watching the re run of the match, could the commentators be anymore negative?? Thank heavens the players can’t hear the commentators while they are playing, could damage their moral.
    Why do the commentators feel they can pik on us

    Lovd the way kos started protectin santos afta the ist goal. Kos had a beast of a game

    I tink wenga has been telling ramsey to try more through passes, and its really payin off, he gave so many dangerous balls

    Walcott had an excellnt game, his goal was my best goal

    I have to say mert shuld be doin more for us offensively n defensively in set pices, we need to involve him more

    Santos didn’t have a good defensive game early but got better and scored a good goal also, the do likes to drift inside like another midfileda

    I’m really enjoyin arteta’s role, it suits our system well. Playing a defensive play maker like what alonso n pirlo used to do.

    All in all a wonderful game and things are begining to look bright

    Did you see Arteta kiss RVP after the 5th goal?, lovely momenent.

    All these stupid comentators could say is that RvP scored 3 and the others scored 2 between them, saying we are a man team. Ffs

  131. Ramcescy. A more evolved form of Cesc. Great vision and passing.One that can tackle, score, and doesn’t drop his head when we concede. And more importantly, has his heart at Arsenal!!

  132. We are a one man team. But that man is Arsene Wenger. The rest are just his work of art.

  133. Just watching the goals again and noticed something i missed first time around – For RVPs first goal, that touch and ball from Ramsey was something else. I thought the ball he played was top class but i missed how he took the ball with his back to goal, dragged it behind him and turned onto it then played it first time to Gerv – telepathic…

  134. FunGunner | October 30, 2011 at 10:10 am
    – ACLF is my first stop every morning (5 hrs behind you Brits) simply because of YW. Like you, I have had disagreements with him, mostly in private, but I have admired his unflinching love for the club, Wenger and anybody who wears the shirt. Most of all he never took the easy way out of resorting to xenophobia, racism and chauvinism when the going was tough. I joined this blog when it was open season on the African players (Song, Eboue and later Ade) when they were trying to establish themselves at the club against a tide of negativity led by certain bloggers who remain nameless.
    – YW, you are a legend!

  135. Brilliant team effort. Not a one man team anymore eh? Ramsey appears to have worked hard at his game and has developed a better understanding with his team mates. Great prospect for us along with Wilshire. Theo looking really dangerous.
    I was really disappointed when Mata scored that stunner but Chelsea paid the price by pushing forward. Serves them right for not giving Arsenal enough respect

  136. What a great result yesterday. And there ever was a game of 2 halfs, that was it. It the first half were were fairly poor I thought. We looked all over the place at the back (especially both full backs) and wastful in front of goal.

    But the 2nd half was something quite special I thought. We were much the better side, and were superior in all departments. The defence looked solid. Their only goal in the 2nd was a wonder strike, and the ref missed a blatent foul in the build up to it. Our midfield dictated the play, with Song and Ramsey in particular pulling the strings. RvP, Theo, and Gervihno all looked right on their games up front.

    Obviously RvP will get all the plaudits, but I also thought Ramsey was excellent as was Walcott. Theo’s goal really summed him up for me; a moment of bufoonary (tripping himself up) mixed with a moment of devestating play (the quick feet and brillient finish). If he can play like that on a more consistant basis he would be such a threat to any side.

  137. DukeG – You are on a roll. These past days and weeks I am simply nodding my head in agreement with you. Unbelievable. Long may it continue.

    BTW: Welcome back Dex from the depths of despair in August and September. You are back to your positively unyielding self.

  138. Ha! What a game, eh? and a great post to follow it (good job Yogi).

    Gotta give top kudos to Wenger. He has turned the situation around for sure, when things could have conceivably gone the other way. Top man.
    Loved his speech at the AGM as well. I could see in his eyes that he knew exactly the effect his words will have on the fans, compared to the mumblings of the previous speakers. He’s a bit of a manipulator that one, and I like it!

    There is no doubt the team has won back their confidence. But in the past, playing with (over)confidence have led to equally unpalatable results as playing without. So the next hard bit is to learn to play well as favourites. Do we get cocky again? or do we now realise the fight is never over, no matter who the opposition is? Something tells me its the former. I agree with AW that this team could well produce some very pleasant surprises this season.

  139. Poor old Santos. He was breating out of his arse after 10 mins. he does look a little unfit, but he is excellent in possesion and has already scored more goals than Clichy in his whole time here. I think he will get more than his fair share for a defender. He was given a real rough ride in the first half, but was in charge all of the 2nd half. I like him.

  140. Henristic, did you mean the “latter”?

  141. “Yes..the shell-shocked, what the hell is going on around me, 50 mill worth of expression on his face was absolutely priceless”

    And he was so frustrated late on in the match he just kicked Kos and was lucky to get away with it

    FG – Robson describes JT as ‘unathletic’. I think that could be applied to quite a few of the chelsea pensioners yesterday!

  142. *Something tells me its the former.

    I, of course, meant latter….

  143. Yogi deserves all the accolades. I agree with all that has been said! Great work Yogi!!

    Thank you much!!!

  144. Good spot Paul-N, yes I did.

  145. shotta

    Ha! Thanks man. The upturn in our form, performances and results should not be down played, or written off. The manager and players deserve credit for their efforts.

    Fingers crossed we get a few of our injured players back sooner and the ones fit stay that way.

  146. I agree Henristic. I don’t see our current team losing focus at all.

  147. Arsene really has a defensive headache at the back now (a good problem to have).

  148. I think we now have three excellent centre backs. Happy to Perm (no pun) any two from three as our first choice. I’ve seen the stick insect that is Peter Crouch play against us a few times and he’s always stood out because of his height. Last week against Stoke it was only when I looked at the big screen after 10 minutes that I remembered he was playing, such was the presence of PM!

    Doomers of the World untie

  149. I think in the past, a lack of rotation was an issue also. With our depth, I hope we can keep the team fresh, so tiredness will not be as much of an issue at the end of the season. That should also help keep down injuries.

  150. Final goal break set up by a quality header from PerMert, followed by an absolutely crucial header clearance from Jenkinson. Don’t forget that at that point we were all terrified that they were going to even the score.

  151. Yogi:

    Great post yesterday. Have to admit I would have been overjoyed with a draw yesterday, certainly did not expect the result we got. Fantastic game and hopefully a platform for a very strong run up the league table in the next couple of months. George’s prediction of top 4 by Christmas still a long shot but no longer seems so unreasonable. A little help with some dropped points from Spuds, scousers and barcodes and it could happen.

    The biggest thing for me is the total effort of the team. The sense of entitlement and occasional lapses into complacency that seemed to be a part of the squad mentality during the last couple of seasons has died a merciful death, may it stay dead and buried forever. The fact that the home fans have been much better this season despite the poor start is related to the teams effort on the pitch.

    RVP is truly the best striker in the PL right now. Still a big fan of a defensive lump but I think having TV5 back will be a great chance to rotate and will makes our defense stronger. If Santos can play like he did in the 2nd half and Song can continue to be steady we have the ingredients for a strong defense.

    Loved the fact that we played so well on the counter attack yesterday. Yesterday we had 48% of the possession yet we played by far our best game in the last 25. The best game we played before yesterday was the 2 -1 win against Barca and we had about 35% of ball possession. Counter attacking and early attacking rather then methodical build ups for me.

  152. For the first time since his first game for us, I was very impressed with Arteta. In some ways he was very Denilson-like with the unspectacular but effective one touch passing, good reading of the game, and well timed forward runs at key moments. More than once, I noticed he was in the box unmarked calling for a cut back that never came. He could easily have been on the score-sheet as well if any of those balls found him.

    However, he is clearly more suited to the physical side of the game than our former favourite Brazilian. Can’t recall ever seeing him bettered in a physical challenge. I suppose it comes with playing for David Moyes all those years.

  153. There’s something about this team.

    It’s the fact that there’s no assumption of super stardom and that all the players fight for each other. The midfield is finely balanced with Song acting as Mr. Dyson himself hoovering any attempt at our back four, Arteta mopping up and linking play without any drama or funfair, and Ramsey filling in the blanks with defence splitting attacks and determined attacking play.

    I think what’s different is that at 2-1 down or at 3-3, Cesc and Nasri may have dropped their heads and others would have followed because their supposed leaders lost it.

    I think as the season goes on – the experience of the older players and in particular Rosicky, Arshavin, Arteta, Sagna and Santos will be absolutely critical in maintaining the balance and experience to get the team through difficult spots.

    Add to that the guile and determination of the likes of Ramsey, Wilshere, Koscielny – the devestating pace and craft of Theo and Gervinho, and the finesse of RVP – I think ladies and gentlement, we have a damn good team on our hands. A team that is ready to fight for the shirt rather than their prima donna status. Perhaps this is the missing ingredient and with the planned additions like the touted Goetze or Martin or Mvila – I don’t see how you can’t be excited about the season.

  154. @ ateeb –
    Nice one about the ‘one man team’ being AW! Agree, no blog comes close to Yogi’s – but a thumbs up to Arsenalist for his videos..can watch Theo getting up and Terry falling over time and time again.

  155. Santos struggled against Sturridge. He will struggle against pace. But he is also a very good at tackles and has an eye for goal.

  156. Re our CBs, I think rotation should be the key here. We want to keep them all fit and un-fatigued, so I’d start by resting Per for a game or two (considering he is the newest addition and might need some time to recalibrate), and then after that we should consider giving Kos some rest too.

    JD looks to be a good enough for RB now, so he and Jenkinson can swap that role, depending on opposition. That way, he gets games and saves Wenger the headache of trying to fit him in central defence.

  157. It has been noticable the last few games sthat we are playing less “tippy tappy” football. Possesion will always be at the forefront of any team Arsene manages, but maybe our players are finally begining to realise that possesion alone counts for nothing. Yesterday in particular, we were quite direct on the final 3rd.

  158. Peace – Santos did struggle againt Sturriage and Boswinga for pace. But both are very fast to be fair, and both will outsrip most full backs for pace. The 2nd half was a different story though; I don’t remember either giving him any problems at all. Maybe he adjusted his positioning?

  159. @Goonerandy.

    Our attack was piss poor – LOL! We only had a pitiful 5 shots on target.

  160. Some stats for Arteta yesterday.

    94 – Pass completion rate
    78 – Passes attempted
    10 – Long balls attempted
    9 – Accurate long balls
    4 – Attempted tackles
    4 – Successful tackles
    1 – Accurate through balls
    1 – Key pass
    1 – Assist

    Certainly an anchor of this team now.

  161. Darius – Heh, I suppose you could look at it that way if you were a glass half full type of guy ;).

    Stats are strange eh? 5 on target, and 5 goals to show for it. Sound clinical as you like eh? The off taget stat almost gets thought of something akin to shinned efforts from 30 yards, when that is rarely the case. The RvP and Gervihno misses in the 1st half (for example) should have some sort of different stat attached to them. A “chance gone begging stat” if you like 🙂 That would give a better indication of a teams attacking penetration. The 5 on target stats does not really do us justice.

  162. Deise – Those are impressive stats. 94% pass completetion? Wow. Even full backs don’t achieve those kind of pass compleetion stat.

  163. I am still trying to work out why Djourou got hooked.Anyone got any insight?

  164. Correct GA, Santos had no problems in the 2nd half. I actually thought it was a bit of nerves in the 1st. Per likewise..

  165. Andy @ 2:32 and 2:35:

    “It has been noticable the last few games sthat we are playing less “tippy tappy” football.”

    Yeah. I much prefer counterattacking and directness. Much more enjoyable. Amazing how we suddenly become better finishers when we attack at pace before the opposing defense is set.

    Pace in a defender is great but it is much less important then good positional sense and concentration. You can be a good defender without great pace,even with Arsenal.

  166. Andy Arshavin had 100% last week I am led to believe.
    Have I ever said I think Arshavin should be moved in field and relieved of all defensive duties?
    I have? Oh ok ,I will shut up then

  167. He was blowing out of his hole during the 1st half. Seems to have gotten his 2nd wind in the second half.

  168. Both SSN and the beeb says we had 8 shots on target and 5 off target!

  169. Santos seems to have fine stamina to last the game for a player that seems to be lacking match fitness – he gets stronger in second half of games – how does that work?

  170. He has backwards stamina. Knackered after 10mins, like a marathon runner after 75mins.

  171. goonerkam | October 30, 2011 at 9:00 am
    how was the couch Darius.?

    Didn’t understand this question at first glance. Then I remembered that Darius’ missus was a Chelsea fan. Excellent question.

    Today is a very good day to be a Gooner. I think it’s safe to say that we deserve this after suffering at OT and WHL.

  172. @ pedantic george | October 30, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    “I am still trying to work out why Djourou got hooked.Anyone got any insight?”

    No insight, just a couple of guesses – renewed energy or speed? tactical, giving A Hole and wotsisname something new to think about? giving Jenks a bit of practice so he’s match fit for Tuesday? JD had a hot date?

    And what’s this about AA? Are you a big admirer of him, or something?

    @ Paul-N | October 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    “I think in the past, a lack of rotation was an issue also.”

    I agree – it has been disappointing over the last two seasons that we haven’t been able to get the most out of our squad (whether it’s the stars or the supporting artists) but *this* time I think it’s different – finally! We can already see that everyone can step up and do the business if needed (leaving out one or two of the kids, but they will be there in a month or two).

    @ Passenal
    Robson made me laugh at the end when he said, “Couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke.”

  173. Yeah, I think it was to give Jenks a run out to get match fitness as well as tactical. Hopefully not because Djourou picked up an injury.

  174. Be great if QPR could somehow nick a point at WHL. I expect Newcastle to draw or lose away at Stoke.

  175. Bill- you are only allowed to play counter attacking football when teams have a go and leave space behind. our reputation has gone against us over the years. teams would sit so deep and put 11 men behind the ball even United do that when they played us. Chelsea were their own downfall they played like us but we are far better than them when it comes to all out attack. Mourino used to park his bus then put Drogba upfront. Villas Boas we thumped his Porto team last year 5-1, he did not change anything from the way his Porto team played. Wenger knew what was coming
    . We have ditched the very high defensive line we played last year which is a good thing

  176. Apparently if you eat a lot of Bouillabaise it is possible to play the Marseillaise on an arsewhistle. Which is nice.

  177. @ 1lc
    Moving on to Marseille, do you think they will play the same way as before on Tuesday night, or go all out?

  178. ILC:

    Agree completely, we still need to figure out how to beat the parked bus. Although its much harder I really believe we still have to try to attack more at pace even against teams that park the bus. It has worked for the other top of the table PL sides. I hope we push the pace of our attack and may be try some more direct attacks against the teams that lay deep even if it means we might not hold possession as well. Don’t want to see us drift back to old habits just because its easier to ping the ball around 35 yards from goal.

    Thank goodness the ultra high line is gone. I am very happy to see TV5 back but I don’t want us to drift back into that habit again if he and Kos are paired in the back.

  179. Marseille will come to sit deep and counter attack so i say go at out in the first 10 mins like we did in the first 10 of the second half against chelski, try go get an early goal. That way their game plan will take a knock right away. We will need to keep it tight in midfield though and not get sloppy with passing as they can be very dangerous breaking behind our midfield

  180. “I am still trying to work out why Djourou got hooked.Anyone got any insight?”

    “No insight, just a couple of guesses – renewed energy or speed? tactical, giving A Hole and wotsisname something new to think about? giving Jenks a bit of practice so he’s match fit for Tuesday? JD had a hot date?”

    I think it was to give him a little run out before the Marseille game – it is good to see a player come back within the initial timescale!

    “@ Passenal
    Robson made me laugh at the end when he said, “Couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke.”

    The one area I agree with Robson is in his ‘love’ for JT!

  181. On way of beating the parked bus is to shoot on sight, as soon as you get near to the 18 yard line. If they know we will just play tippy tappy in front of them then they will just sit back. But if we continually work the keeper with shots it puts them on edge – even if the keeper saves we might get a rebound or even a deflection with that many people in the box.

  182. i think we can afford to rest rvp for marseilles..keep him fresh for the league
    if they are going to sit back we should give chamakh some game time and whip some crosses in to get around that parked bus and see if he can get his head on it..

  183. Diese:

    First thing you need to beat a parked bus is to defend well. We can usually get a goal or sometimes 2 which should always be enough if we defend properly against teams that sit deep and don’t try to attack us.

  184. The Stoke bus got smashed up like a post title winning double decker bus left for debris on the Seven Sisters Road.*

    *I think that happens because (some of) the buses are headed for Tottenham.

    Pace. You’ve got to love it. It’s not less tika-taka. It’s better tika-taka. They style we’ve seen evolve through in-form squads over the last decade. Arsenal have always played a faster game, involving close pasing triangles up and down the pitch with the ability to play in faster players. Last seasons turgid performances, for example at home in some of the FA cup games, were not examples of what might be described as Arsenal’s variant of ‘tika-taka’.

    I understand Walcott can sometimes be inconsistent, but he is 22, one of the top 11-15 players in England. His stats from last season were consistent. So were Arshavin’s for that matter.

    I enjoyed Theo’s performance against one of the ‘best LB’s in the world’.
    He’s a ‘big game player’ as they say. Plenty of evidence for that.

  185. Theo has always thrived in big games. Be it the cup final gainst Chelsea, CL against Liverpool or Barca or the game yesterday, he has been known to cause all sorts of trouble in these kind of games.

  186. “Robin’s form is fantastic,” enthused Walcott. “It makes our job much easier when he plays like that.

    “I have been playing alongside him for many years. It’s nice to see a fit Robin. He is enjoying playing his football, he is enjoying scoring, he is enjoying getting other people involved.

    “He is a great leader, a great captain. Anyone in that dressing room will tell you he is an absolute leader.

    “He is very passionate and on the pitch it showed. We never had a fit Robin throughout the whole season. Hopefully he can look after himself and we can have a run until the end of the year.”

  187. Correction: one of the tp 11-15 English players.

    And I clarify that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a ‘big game player’. Especially for a 22 year old who has the seasons ahead to develop.

  188. I was very impressed with Santos. He had a pretty awful first half, but was a rock as the game progressed. I stopped counting how many times he stopped Bosingwa and Mata cold by standing his ground and poking the ball away. We started many counters when Santos dispossed someone coming down his side. Awesome player and what a beautiful goal. I’m thinking Santos is good for seven or eight goals a season. That’s absolutely insane for a left back. One of Arsene’s most astute not to mention out of left field signings in what may prove to be one of the craziest transfer windows ever.

    Per’s mistakes were unfortunate, but I have no doubt that this is something he’ll weed out of his game the more he plays in this league. Apart from those mistakes, however, Per was pretty solid. His most memorable play, for me, was when Cashley beat Johan and Per stuck out one of his long legs to stop his cross. To those who want to see Vermaelen back in the side let me propose something. We’ve gone on a pretty nice run of victories recently, is now the right time to tinker with the defensive partnership or should Vermaelen be played in the CL and the cup games until he gets his form back?

    Arteta was very, very good yesterday. Him and Song made Obi Mikel, Lampard and Ramires non-factors. This is why we won the game. Chelsea’s two goals had to come from crosses into the box because they weren’t getting any change from our midfield.

    I also think Arteta is a good foil for van Persie. Thank god our two older heads are such cool cats.

  189. I see the part goes on here! Great I just had my Sunday lunch. The wife had three glasses of wine so I had to have five……..

  190. i think robins leadership is a key factor in all this..
    said this before but hes been our best choice for captain for a while

    i also think its great that ppl are recognising artetas qualities..ive long admired him and was delighted when we signed of the signings of the summer and i wish we had got him 2-3 years ago..

    he stood out at everton in a way he wont stand out for us as we have a better pool of players and hes quality amongst quality but he hasnt come to stand out so to speak..hes not replacing cesc hes replacing denilson and the gulf in class is massive and its showing on the pitch..

  191. oooppps part = party

  192. @ DeiseGooner
    Yes, in theory if we can get an early goal, their plan A will have to be torn up.

    I think the key to beating a parked bus is keeping the ball moving quickly and using variety in attack. Attack down the sides with crosses and cutbacks, or we can dink balls over the top, thread them through, we can run directly at them, shoot from outside the box if there’s space – but just unsettle them and keep our concentration sharp. Nothing wrong with just keeping the ball if there’s nothing particularly on, just as long as we keep moving it and move it quickly. What do you think?

    Amen to that – Theo has always been a big-game player – right from the time he played in the CC Final at 17 and scored the first goal.

  193. 193rd!!!! 🙂

  194. Spurs lead, bummer.

  195. Just saw that Bill 😦 Bale scored it. It’s funny looking at Bale, I mean he can comb as much hair as he wants over those ears but does he really think he is fooling anyone? Those ears are HUGE!!!

  196. @ JonJon | October 30, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    “i think robins leadership is a key factor in all this..
    said this before but hes been our best choice for captain for a while”

    Agree 100%.

  197. Durham: Arsenal’s celebrations show they have nothing to play for except winning a big game.
    lol- talk about sour grapes!

  198. In looking towards the Marseilles game i would like to see AA, park and Chamakh starting as we need them to be as sharp as they can be so we can rest RVP if and when we need to.

  199. Irish:

    I am not an expert on male beauty but I think Bale did get more then a few hits with the ugly stick.

  200. Gareth Bale peels bananas with his feet, bananas with his feet, bananas with his feet…….

    IMO Arsenal’s celebrations show they have the passion back. A team can be a mirror of their captain, molded by his character and leadership. Seems thats what we are getting with RVP…no?

  201. I thought the boys celebrating with the away fans the way they did will do wonders for our fanbase. Hopefully the home fans saw what happens when you support the team one hundred percent. It’s a you fight for us we’ll fight for you sort of deal.

  202. Durham is a vile tool. It’s clear that like the pundits and hacks – the whole of Talk Spite radio don’t know what to make of Arsenal shafting Chelsea. This was never in the script, especially when it was proclaimed that the loss of the Spanish prodigal son and the mercenary will sink us.

    “How is it that Wenger has turned this shit around” is what they’re baffled with.

    They even were in bed with the bookmakers selling odds for Wenger to be sacked at 6 to 1, the second most manager likely to be fired after Steve Keen.

    The AGM really shut the fuckers up on that and reminded them that the only way Wenger is leaving Arsenal is when he retires or leaves voluntarily at the end of a contract.

  203. Limestonegunner

    Gains, I am inclined to agree with you on Vermaelen’s return. Let’s ease him back in CC, give him the start v. Marseille (resting Merts) and allow the partnership of Mert and Kos to continue for a little while in the league. I do however think that we can rotate more and have Dj splitting games with Jenks. The key is winning at home v. Marseille. ( I don’t think RvP will rest for Marseille, though I would happily bring on Park or Chamakh, especially if we have a goal lead). After that we can afford to rotate in the CL, plus the CC. In the league, the most important thing is keeping up consistency in our results because even though the gap has narrowed there are now 5 teams battling it out for 3rd and 4th spots: us, Liverpool, Spuds, Chelsea and Newcastle. Unfortunately we don’t get a shot at those teams for a while as we have now played all of them once. To make up points by December we will have to grind out the wins in the league so I don’t want to tamper too much with the defensive partnerships that are working in the league.

    Arteta is like Xavi Alonso. RvP should really have found him in the box. I agree he could easily have had a goal to go with his assist. Song was heroic, a stalwart. The great thing is that with Ramsey playing more adventurously and decisively we have a pretty well-balanced midfield where everyone can defend, go forward and pick a good pass through the defense or over the top while still emphasizing their particular roles: Ramsey creating, Song shielding the defense, and Arteta linking and maintaining possession. If Diaby can come back and complement these strengths we will be ready for ManCity in December. Up until then, our toughest game looks to be Norwich, so hopefully the team stays united, fit, and determined to keep putting together results whether pretty or gritty.

  204. Adrian Durham is just the talkshite equivalent of a shock jock; he has to find contentious issues where none exists and take the opposite view so he can annoy, enrage and piss off listeners.

    What a sad existence, no wonder he is so warped.

  205. Limestonegunner

    Gains, the home fans have been great this season already and Wenger has remarked on how they have stuck with the team even when we were down.

    On a different point, the big thing about yesterday is that we have not had good league form away for a while. We exploded past that problem and hopefully we’ll see strong results away in the league. Meanwhile, we have been very strong away in the CL, which is new this season. For the last couple years we have been shaky away. A good performance at home and win against Marseille and I would say that the recovery is complete. We will have found form home and away in the league and home and away in the CL.

  206. Dexter.

    The guy has a mortgage to pay. I suppose he has to do something drastic to help Talk Spite sell advertising. The only way they sell ads is to convince advertisers that they have the listeners, and the only way they’ll get listeners is by polarising folks and going for sensationalism where none exists.

    It’s right out of chapter 4 section 6 of the manual. Pick a topic, take opposing and often adversery angles and get people calling.

    I don’t even know why they call it Talk radio – they spent the best part of every hour running advertisements and competitions. Talk radio my arse more like we’ll pontificate and you listen radio.

  207. Well said Darius. AW is not going to get the sack and never will. On the subject ot the AGM, everyone and their mother was asking why SK did not spell out his vision for the club in the foreseeable future and was roundly criticized for not doing so. Am I the only one who looks at this and manages to take from it the fact that this implies his total agreement with how AW and the board are running The Arsenal. It would also imply that he is very comfortable with whatever plans they have for the future as he is very heavily invested in the club and yet at the same time seems quite happy to sit back and let everyone get on with their respective jobs. In my opinion, where someone is willing to invest 100’s of millions of pounds and has experience in these matters, yet then after talking to the board, manager and any and all others of import decides to sit back and enjoy the ride speaks volumes.

    I think we have turned the corner on the pitch and even have important players now returning to the team. Our new players are really starting to gel and RVP is unplayable. IG and co. seem to be very happy with where they are in their plans and, if we are to keep the faith, that must be great news indeed.

    In Arsene We Trust!!

  208. Limestonegunner

    I agree with FG that the key is quick movement of the ball (and off the ball) in attack and that actually allows for variety in attack. Behind all of that is quick thinking–to see the options and be able to react to opportunities. This is where I think Ramsey’s game has started to really improve the last several matches. He isn’t holding the ball without an idea of what he wants to do–he is either making a quick pass forward to meet someone’s run or taking the ball into a space that allows him to move the attack forward or quickly laying it off and moving without the ball where he can next do some damage. Speed of thought is the key to that quick movement of the ball.

  209. Limestonegunner

    Irish, I don’t think now is the time to take the foot off the gas pedal. The Marseille game at home is crucial to securing not just qualification but top position in our group. RvP is in the form of his life and playing him for 65 minutes, during which hopefully he can get a goal or two, is necessary. Last year we rotated too many players too early and finished second and went out in the round of 16. After this period, if we win, we will be able to start resting him in the CL and CC games. And I agree that we should start doing that now that we have pulled ourselves into contention for the top 4 with yesterdays massive win.

  210. @ Irishgray | October 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm
    Agree with every word of that.

  211. This from Warren Barton 2 minutes ago:

    “Hernandez is probably the best finisher in the world right now”

    Where do I fill out the application to be a football pundit? I mean as an Irishman I am naturally full of shit, I would be perfect!!! 🙂

  212. Agree with that Limestonegunner – go for the win from the off against Marseille and try secure top spot asap not just qualification

  213. Limestonegunner – I disagree as Marseilles are very tight defensively and Chamakh I think would be a better option as we will get in more crosses than chances in the middle. Yet whomever plays I will be full of confidence. 🙂

  214. Jon Jon, Arteta is the type of player Denilson will be when he is 29 and has gained as much experience, but it’s funny how some people couldn’t see what he brought to the team.

  215. I thought Mertersacker was his solid self as per usual..

  216. a connection is definately developing with this team and the fans..

    to be fair the team have had good support this year..
    wengers had his doubters which is only natural given the 6months of relegation form and summer fiasco…and the baord will never really be trusted totally.. wenger even admitted at the AGM that he and the baord can accept the critisism and mistakes have been made etc etc..

    but as far as the team goes everyones been pretty much together on this one..home and away..

    i heard one of the reasons the ground was so full for the bolton CC game was that tickets were going for a that true and is that normal?

  217. Limestonegunner

    Irish, you might be right about not getting many chances through the middle since at Marseille we had lots of crosses and maybe could have used Chamakh in the middle to take advantage of that. I think it doesn’t necessarily follow however that the game will be played the same way because we are at home and plan to go for the win. If we are ahead after the break, I would have no problem bringing Chamakh or Park on and try to keep it tight through the middle but give our players on the wing the green light to cross in for Chamakh in particular. Jenks is pretty good at that and Santos has already proved quite effective as well with his crosses. The point though is that we need a win to top the group and just think of the confidence the team will have knowing we are going through as group winners. We’ll be able to rest players in the next two CL games and concentrate on the league. This is the last time RvP would probably need to play twice a week until late December.

  218. @gainsbourg69
    agree with your post at 401.
    about TV and how to integrate him back into the first eleven. cc and the FA CUPS till his match fitness is complete.

  219. Duke, given that it was their first experience of playing chelski at the bridge I think both Per and Santos were surprised by the intensity of the game and maybe there were a few nerves. But they both settled as the game wore on and whatever Arsene tweaked at half-time really worked a treat because it really was all Arsenal second half. Apart from the Mata wonder-goal they did not create so much danger after the break.

  220. Spurs up 2 – 0 and looking strong against QPR. Barring an injury crisis they are going to be in the hunt for 3rd or 4th place all season. Based on the last few games hopefully the Chavs will slide back towards us but they will be tough also. Liverpool have been inconsistent but they have a lot of new players and just getting Stevie G. back. They could gel at any time. In the past we have always excused bad games by saying the teams around us will drop points. While that is true I hope this squad plays every game like their lives depend on it. That doesn’t mean we don’t rotate and rest players but the players on the pitch need to work their tales off every game. This squad does have a different feel compared the last couple of years.

    Just as I say that QPR scores. 30 minutes for them to get the equalizer.

  221. “i heard one of the reasons the ground was so full for the bolton CC game was that tickets were going for a that true and is that normal?”

    That is the normal policy for the Carling Cup games – £10 lower tier, £20 upper and £5 for kids. The only time it isn’t is when we play those greedy guts from white hart lane. They insist we charge category A prices as the opposition get 40% of the gate in cup matches.

  222. @desigooner
    ” A team can be a mirror of their captain, molded by his character and leadership.”

    what you saying is that weve all officially been “rvpd”? 🙂

  223. Bill you’re too quick to judge. All teams go off the boil at some point in the season. Who is to say that the current front runners can stay there?

  224. So, Bill has gone from loving all things chav to all things spud. 😀

  225. and with a great midfield as we got now, with Rosicky and Benny waiting in the wings, we can afford to ease Diaby back into the game too. Maybe that way he wont get injured straight away again 🙂

  226. passenal

    i agree that arteta is the player that wenger wanted denilson to be..
    wenger put 100% faith in denilson otherwise we would have accepted the price tag for alonso and gone through with the deal..didnt work out though did it..

    but like alonso..artetas been quality since he was denilsons age..he hasnt just suddenly become class in his latter years. i just dont think denilson will be anywhere near artetas level at any age..i just dont think hes good enough and no experience will change that..he doesnt have the passing range nor does he have the mentality and thats why wenger admitted defeat and got micky..

    everyone pretty much knew what denilsons role was in the team..he just wasnt that good at it..and now weve got arteta its showing..even with jack last showed…

  227. Have the docs finally got to the bottom of Diaby’s continual injuries? He went under the knife didnt he?

    Yeah Poodle – we have been “rvpd” 🙂

  228. Bale scores again for the Spuds, 3-1 now. I hate to say it but very nice goal.

  229. i must admit that even thouh i do dislike spurs i hate barton more. I would love it if him and ade had a little row. barton is vile. hope he goes mad as tottenham wins and gets 10 match ban for headbutting ade or something….

  230. thanks for the heads up on the tickets..
    well if its normal i think its fair to say the home fans are pretty much up for this year..

    was that night a record attendance for a CC match??

  231. hay irish, how goes it?
    i DEFINATLY disagree with your post at 456. you certainly are not full of shit. you are ALRIGHT. how’s the early snow back east treating you. ?

  232. Limestonegunner

    When Denilson is the player Arteta is, I am sure supporters will welcome him as a starter and AW would start him. Even so, he is a very good player who I would have in the squad. Unfortunately for Denilson’s reputation, however, he played as a starter for a couple seasons at a very young age when we could have used a more experienced player like an Arteta or Xavi Alonso. Since JW emerged last year it is no mystery why Denilson got fewer games. JW, Song, Diaby, Rosicky and Fabregas were ahead of him because they either played better defense, were better going forward, or linked together better. The abuse Denilson received, however, was totally uncalled for and disturbing. He is only out on loan and might return to Arsenal. If he does, I think he will be a very useful squad player in Europe and against less physical league sides where his skill at linking and keeping possession will suit our game. I hope people value and support him properly. But I also think that the comparison that is being made by many between him and Arteta is quite irrelevant and also doesn’t account for the differences in their games. 7amkickoff had a very useful few paragraphs analyzing this from 3 or 4 weeks ago that I linked to a week or two ago, but unfortunately the easy but misleading equivalence keeps being made here. Arteta plays very good balls forward over the top and through the defense while playing much better defense and showing a very strong mental attitude, in addition to showing good linking play and possession.

  233. duke i thought Per was ok..
    Terrys goal was more artetas fault for not staying at the post.JT is a beast in the air hes the ball attacking champion of the world and hes made a career as a top defender out of that one talent alone..i dont blame per for losing that battle..
    he was undone for lumpys goal though he was caught in no mans land but apart from that he was solid..

  234. @jj eitherway i think the train has passed for Denilson now. With arteta in and lecoq and frimp getting on nicley, there is no room for Denilson anymore. he had his chance and did not manage to grab it properly. Wheter hes good enough or not, wheter it was bad luck or not..
    Faith is cruel like that.
    Sad as i did like him…

  235. JonJon – im with you there on Denilson v’s Arteta. What Denilson lacks that Arteta has isnt experience but ability and application.

  236. Pass:

    If we want to catch the Manc clubs then each and every game is critical because of where we are starting. If you assume the teams ahead of you are very strong and that they will not drop many points, then to catch them you can’t afford to take any games off. Everybody has different ideas but to me the underdog mindset seems to me the best way for us to approach this season. A change of mindset compared with the last couple years is a good thing IMO.

    Spurs just scored a very well worked goal. Now 3 -1.

  237. @bill
    ‘ play each game as if their life depended on it.’
    that realy sums it up for me. agree fully. one game at a time. take care of business at our end.

  238. Goonerkam @8.02am (been away overnight),

    I rarely enjoy watching Chelsea games, from the 70s and 80s they were always crap at Stamford Bridge. I didn’t see win there until 1993; too many horrible afternoons in the early days at least. Its always been a ground of extremes, we either can’t win there or can’t lose. I think that 1993 win will always be a favourite along with this and the last win, when Robin nicked a brace to turn the result around.

  239. Goonerkam – Thanks mate 🙂 All is well here and all the snow is gone from where I am, one of the benefits of living in Manhattan is that is almost never lasts. However upstate got slammed and that is where I have to go at 3 to pick up a friend as a tree fell onto his car crushing it. Luckily there was no one inside it at the time.

  240. Denny did have a very good freekick . who knows how he is doing down in south america?
    i know he keeps in touch with the fans by tweet.

  241. Congratulations to the Team and the Manager.

    10 down 28 more to go.


  242. Limestonegunner

    Bill, my belated condolences on your Rangers. Thrilling series for the neutral baseball fan but it must be difficult to have your team twice getting so close to its first championship. Good luck next season. Let’s hope you are celebrating a trophy with Arsenal as some compensation this year! CC, FA or.. dare we dream more?

  243. thanks YW, great post today. everyone is full of praise for your site. do you remember KANU and his unworldly exploits against chelski . did he have a hattrick too or was it only two.?

    hopefuly your friend is insured. poor guy. any good tots. jokes lately?

  244. hes not doing too good by all accounts goonerkam
    been sent off 3 times already and the fans havent really taken to him over there..

  245. Yogi,

    Spot on. One word:



  246. With all this talk about Van Persie signing, have we forgotten that Alex Song hasn’t signed a new contract and that he’ll have all the sugar daddied clubs knocking at his door come the transfer window next summer? He’s one player I would absolutely hate to lose.

  247. Limestone:

    Worst feeling in the world. Great series for a neutral to watch but this one feels so much worse then last year. Last year we didn’t give ourselves a chance. I hate to say it but we choked it away this year. Those kind of things are not easy to recover from and I hope the can do it.

    I will feel better with time and I think we have an excellent front office and we have money available so hopefully some tweaks and may be big name signing or trade to give the boys something to rebuild their mojo for next season. We still have a good relatively young team but the starting pitching and the bull pen just lost their collective nerve while the Card kept theirs. Its funny that all the local blogs are complaining bitterly about how the umpires screwed us with uneven strike zones and rigged the series. Great fans but a bunch of excuse making wankers

  248. When Jack and Diaby get back we will have some midfield. Diaby can rotate with Ramsey and Jack will rotate with Arteta.

  249. Bill – I know how you feel, as a Yankee fan Iwas amazed and disgusted that we left the bases loaded 4 times and could not score a tying run!! How ever, like you said for the neutral it was a great series. Game 6 I think will go down as one of those legendary comeback games. But you are right in saying you should have done the job but instead you choked at the last. Hard luck mate and best of luck in the future.

  250. Bill, I am not usually a Texas fan, but I was backing them because they were the under dogs. However, once I saw our ex-predator in chief throwing the first pitch I put my full support behind St. Louis and I suspect most neutrals did too. That whole stunt with Bush seemd like a political ploy from the off. I can’t believe the Ragers did that. If the republicans don’t even invite him to their conventions why would the Rangers give him such an honor?

  251. Irish, yesterday’s game reminded of me of that game six.

  252. Hey, this blog aint called A Cultured Rounders Bat you know! 😀

  253. tnx jonjon
    sorry to hear Denny is not doing well. i liked him too. hope he finds his happiness. good kid. did everything AW asked of him.

  254. Gains – LOL I can see the similarities. Bush was there because he is a Texan and I believe he used to own the Rangers. It was actually the only reason I was hoping St. Louis (sory Bill) would win as I detest Bush.

  255. I see Dexter had his teeth whitened. Is he really Richard Hammond from Top Gear?

  256. Goonerkam – “When asked by a jounalist what they would be doing this summer Harry Redknapp said he would be planning tactics so that Tottenham will win the league next season.
    Kenny Dalgish said he will spend the summer shagging Kylie Minougue, Pamela Anderson and Angelina Jollie!
    When the journalist told him to be serious Dalglish pointed to Redknapp and said,
    “Well he Fucking started it!”

  257. Goonerkam – Not a Spurs joke but still one of the better ones I have heard in a while.

    Tom visits Dave who’s laid up with a broken leg.
    Dave says’s “My feet are freezing mate, can you do me a favour and nip upstairs and get my slippers please?”
    “No problem” says Tom.
    Upstairs Dave’s stunning 19 year old twins daughters are sitting on their beds.
    “Hello girls, your dad sent me up here to shag you two”
    “F**k off you liar!” they both reply.
    “I’ll prove it” says Tom.
    He shouts downstairs “Both of them Dave?”
    “Of course! Whats the point of f**king one?”

  258. Rangers loss was heartbreaking. to come so close and … well maybe the ARSENAL can fulfill us this year.
    sorry Dex. just comforting a fellow gooner. how are you.?

  259. The RSPCA have acted very quickly after events at the Bridge… If you see a Ch5ls3a fan with a dog please ask them to call 0800 – 1-0 1-1 2-1 2-2 2-3 3-3 3-4 3-5 for free advice on how to hold on to a lead.

  260. I don’t know why the Rangers had Bush throw out the first pitch and don’t really care. I am not a Bush fan but I see that sort of stuff as irrelevant white noise. Bush is a local and used to own a part of the team and I think a friend of Nolan Ryan. I guess I would have been upset is the Cardinals had him throw out the pitch but since my team did it I didn’t care.

    Irish: Both teams left a lot of men on base. What killed me was the walks. We surrendered more walks then any team in the history of the world series. The relief meltdowns and Micheal Young looking horrible at first base costing us 2 runs and Cruz misplaying that line drive into the game tying triple in the 9th inning of the 6th game are just killers. Hamilton hit that amazing clutch homer in the 10th and then our most experienced left handed reliever had 2 weak hitting lefties and the pitchers spot coming up in the bottom of the 10th and couldn’t hold a 2 run lead. Hopefully the team can put it behind them and come back next year. Some talk about us highjacking CC Sabathia but I don’t expect that. The hotstove talk will make me feel better.

  261. Bradys right foot

    The fixtures from now until Christmas are, apart from the northern Chavs manageable. Yesterdays result is an important one beyond the hyperbole and headlines, its concrete a building block that this “Team” can be built on, a collective reference point. This team will give 100% and as long as that happens they’re going to get 100% from the fans, I think I’m going to enjoy this season after all.

  262. super jokes irish,lol you still go it.

  263. Bill – All very valid points but do not be too surprised if you do get CC as there are a lot of rumors flying around that he may be leaving. Hamilton’s hit should have been the winner but he is a decent hitter and will do you well in the future. WTF happened to Young? I thought he was better than that. Was there any sign ot that during the regular season or was it just one of those off days?

  264. Bush probably jinxed them.

  265. So how about Song, dudes? Is his comntract up next season or what?

  266. LOL he definitely did!!

  267. Later peeps 🙂 COYG!!!

  268. Limestonegunner

    Gains, I haven’t forgotten about Song and in fact a few days ago wrote how I thought if we could sign him and Walcott after already extending Vermaelen that we would be in great shape for January. A couple signings there to strengthen us and I think there would be no reason to worry about RvP because he would re-sign too.

    But I agree with you. I can easily see Chelsea, PSG, Man City, Mallorca dropping big change for Song. He is 24 and has massive CL experience. Now he has shown such strength, positioning sense, leadership, skill in the pass that you could see him being the final piece for some of these teams, especially PSG or Chelsea. I don’t see how we would replace him. Frimps and Coquelin are a bit too green yet and I already feel he is our only solid defensively oriented midfield anchor at the moment.

  269. Limestonegunner

    I think he has the same as Walcott and RvP.

  270. i hear stevie g. is injured again.
    we need to wrap up and sign both song and robin. i can’t handle losing any of them to the vulture clubs. no more rebuilding. just build on the good foundation that we have.

  271. Not probably, Kam. He jinxed them. After I saw him at that game, I developed a deep hatred for Texas and I suspect a lot of other people did too. I hope Bush does for Texas what that goat did for Chicago.

  272. Irish:

    Young is a sub average defensive player and first base is his worst position. Bad games during the season was easily covered by what he did with the bat, but it really cost us in that game. Its always a crapshoot with him defensively but most times his bat more then compensates for bad defensive plays but not in game 6. He would DH in an AL park. Same issue with all AL teams in NL parks. Bottom line was the team lost its nerve especially the pitching staff.

    Can’t believe the Yanks would let CC leave. Rumors are just that. Hope we meet you in the playoffs next year.

  273. Well thank god he isn’t a marquee player like Van Persie or Fabregas and doesn’t play for a high profile NT.

  274. i think they will all sign up if we do well until xmas. they know they can win with Arsenal.
    I think the biggest egoes probably left this summer. Also we will always have plaeyrs that “have to sign new contracts” every year. There will always be a player with “only two years left”. big pplayers.

    If we do well until xmas im sure they will all sign new contracts.
    But they look like they all want to win, they look like they all want to do their all for the club. How can they not grab a trophy this year? 🙂
    If we see off CIty in the CC and get ourselves to the semi final we canfinally bury the ghost of last year and win this cup. If we beat city in that quartefinal we can beat anyone.
    And if we can beat chelsea with 5-3 we can deffo beat city.

  275. Contracts are usually 4 year affairs,so from a squad of 25 you would expect 6 player every year to be approaching their last year.Worry ye not,otherwise you will lurch from one year to another with constant concerns.
    Anyone,and I mean anyone who leaves Arsenal,can just go and never look back.

  276. Poodle our result yesterday will have little to do with the City game because it will be a very different eleven.

  277. two goals for Bale? is that two of the usual 5 he puts every year?

  278. @pedantic, well maybe, just maybe AW will suprise us and put out a strong team? if we win against Marseille tuesday we can probably afford that as we are through in the CL.

    Would be fun though, to beat a team with CC Nasri and CC Clichy playing…

  279. @gains im sure that had the press not focused so much on Nasri and inflated his head so much he would probably have signed. Cos he was not a word class player in anybodys eyes until the mirror suddenly started writing he was.
    the longer Kos and Song is underestimated by the establishment thus better forus.
    Then again Nasri was always labled a golden boy, a little prince. kos and song was never looked upon as great by anyone except those who really know their football. So maybe they will be more mature and reflected when choosing their future than Nasri…

  280. i think we should go with a strong team for CC..

    were on a winning streak and if that is maintained until the cup game i think it would be risky feilding a weakend side and chancing the loss of momentum..

    i think we should go for it.

  281. all u slagging off le grove… go and read it… the moods changed guys getting behind the team every1 ripping the shit out of gambon for being an anti-arsenal cunt…

    dont see too much wrong with that to be honest.

  282. Arsene has been clear that he will play a stronger line up in the cups as the opposition gets stronger. He had a goo sprinkling of experienced players out against Bolton and he acknowledged that it was the experienced players who won that game for us.

  283. Ashburton Patriot | October 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm
    all u slagging off le grove… go and read it…

    Whyyou have read it for us .Do us another favour and fuck off back there with the other halfwit’s.And stay there this time will you.

  284. I have just watched the second half again.
    Pers was very good .But when you are not so nervous you see more and Rosicky was exceptional when he came on.I think he is a shoe in for Tuesday.

  285. exactley passenal..
    and after last years painful defeat i think wenger will be more determined to win this than ever..

    i think wenger will go with the closest he can get to his best team as he can..

  286. whats your team for tues george..

  287. I am in two minds about fielding a strong team for the CC. I suppose it depends on the sort of games we have around the time of the fixture. The priority should be clearly reflected in our selection, should we have a tricky schedule i.e. PL 1st, CL 2nd, and the domestic cups are a distant 3rd and 4th.

  288. do u really want me gone?
    i’ll miss u guys!

  289. Hope we “go for it” at home in the CC against City. Would love to see this group win some silverware as a reward for their hard work.

  290. Limestonegunner

    For Marseille:

    Fabianski, Coquelin, Merts, Walcott, Park, Benayoun

  291. Limestonegunner

    When is the CC?

  292. Oh JJ I have no idea I would have to know how their fitness levels are and what their pro zone figures were 🙂
    Yeah right george.

    But best guess

  293. Limestonegunner

    When will Gibbs be back? Diaby?

  294. Limestonegunner

    George, Tuesday is Marseille. Do you really want Fabianski starting in goal or is that your Carling Cup team? When is that happening btw?

  295. Forgot about Bennythegoon.He is in and Ramsey is out.

    Rvp,Ramsey,Gervinho,No1 pole,Djourou,Per,Chamakh.

  296. ches
    jenks koz tv santinho
    rosicky song arteta
    arshavin chamakh park

  297. No LG I think he should start .I felt Pole 1.was poor yesterday.

  298. Limestonegunner

    I suppose I could replace Dj with Jenks.

  299. the CC isnt until the end of november..
    weve got a whole month and 4 home games to kick arse and hopefully diaby and gibbsy will be back as well to bolster numbers..

  300. i go with jenks cos he can cross like a good un and with chamakh up front he wont be able to head it if its in row z..

  301. Limestonegunner

    That’s a big call, George. I think Fabby stopped some good shots v. Bolton but wasn’t that aggressive in the air. But you are right, Chezzer had a slightly off game, as I mentioned last night. And it wasn’t just the fouling of Cole for the yellow that could easily have been a red. Slow to react on Mata’s strike. Plus there were several crosses he came for that he didn’t catch or punch away. Still, it takes a lot to change your keeper. It could start a whole keeper controversy!

  302. Limestonegunner

    I am surprised you didn’t come out with this until latish on a Sunday night, George. This would have been a major point of discussion earlier on when there were more people on. There are some who aren’t convinced that Fabby should be #2 as he was replaced only due to injury. I did notice in one of the games recently that Chezzer’s kicking/distribution wasn’t as good as it typically had been this season but looked a bit shaky like last season.

    Now you are making me think that it might not be the worst thing to give Fabby a run out, but honestly I’d rather wait until/if we grab top spot. Then we can see him get a few games and evaluate the form of the two keepers.

  303. Chezzer is the current golden boy and is beyond criticism to some.But despite his great qualities he is very young and very rash at times.
    And if I was being cruel I would blame him for the loss of the CC and the subsequent debacle.
    But over all his super quality and confidence over shadow the weaknesses witch will lessen over time.

  304. @ YW

    I would like to agree with all and say well done for the effort you put in getting up a blog that is INTELLIGENT, INSIGHTFUL AND ACTUALLY VERY FACTUAL AND HUMOROUS TO BOOT… we take it for granted a lot, but once in a while like this especially after a result like yesterday, its good to tell you that you are much appreciated.

    Well written as per usual.

    Am happy Ramsey is finding his feet again… he is also one of those that injuries cost us his services for nearly a season.

  305. i tend to agree with you on ches george
    hes still our best keeper that confidence is just indestructible hes one mentally strong kid, as well as a top stopper..
    his distribution from kicks needs improvement still and i wish hed be a bit more sensible sometimes when rushing off his line, out of the box, and half way up the pitch to put someone he doesnt like on his arse……but other than that hes a top keeper and in a few years he’ll be one of the best..

    disagree on the CC final though..that was either leave it or you hoof dont dummy your own keeper when the balls a milimetre awaty from his gloves..

  306. @ George

    it usually it just seems he is beyond any criticism. Hope both of them can strike a balance and really help each other out! Its always good to have 2 or more good players fighting for a position!

  307. Well JJ he did as his keeper commanded and left it.Still water under the bridge and all that.

  308. My team for tuesdays CL- 11 changes


    Jenks—–Djorou—TV—–Gibbs (if fit)




    Scz, RVP, Chamakh, Ramsey, Kos, Santos, Theo on the bench…

    Should be good enough for Marseille at home..Lets use our big squad…If diaby is fit then diaby and coq instead of frimp and coq…….

  309. team spirit I think it was about 18 months we lost the real Rambo for

  310. Actually changed my mind..slightly more attacking for the home tie..and AA in the free role behind park 😀


    Jenks—–Djorou—TV—–Gibbs (if fit)




  311. Coq and frimp dont do it for me in the same team

  312. George..

    Changed it before u said it 😀

  313. Limestonegunner

    People are treating this Marseille game as if it is routine second game in a week, like a CC or FA cup game later in the season. We have played 10 league games, two CC games where we did rotate, and five CL games so far this season. We have had a number of players who didn’t play in a number of these games because of injuries, rotation, joining the club late in the deadline and so on. There is no reason that the squad should be dangerously fatigued. This is the biggest game on the horizon for a month and a half. If we win it, we will be very nearly assured of topping the group with 10pts and Marseille on 6 with two games remaining.

    There is absolutely no reason not to put our strongest team forward and to rotate players for a game of this magnitude this early in the season. Play the best and if we are up or some look gassed, substitute them. No one played two games last week as we rotated fully in the CC. So all we are asking is for the players who are on a massive high and soaring confidence after destroying Chelsea to play at home this Tuesday to break the back of the CL group.

    For the rest of the November, December and January period we can rotate lots of players through practically dead rubber CL, CC, and FA cup games.

  314. What is your team then LG.
    I think you have a good point though.

  315. Limestonegunner

    Anirudh, AW said that Chelsea and Marseille this week were like two big cup ties. It is a massive game and I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in hell that he is going to start Coq/Frimp/AOC/Park/Dj at CB. He probably won’t start any of them, much less all of them for such a massive, massive game. You put out a CC team–looks very close to the Bolton lineup. No chance.

  316. Limestonegunner

    George, mine is at 8:25 above, but I amended it by replacing Dj with Jenks. I can go with resting Gervinho and playing Ramsey or Rosicky there perhaps. Otherwise RvP starts, Song is a must and Arteta is amped up for the CL.

  317. Limestonegunner

    Rotation does not necessarily mean the team I put up there were 11 changes except for 3 (theo/gerv for AOC, RVP for park, Song for Coq) nobody would disagree that the players brought in really do not “weaken” the side…

    Rotation also serves the purpose of keeping players in the squad match sharp, and Rosicky, Arshavin, Yossi, TV, JD, etc need to be match even park, coq and its a good opportunity to give them a good, tough game which at home in the CL you would expect these players to win for you

  318. definitely our strongest possible team should be out there… winning should more or less guarantee qualification and make topping the group easier since Dortmund have done their best to be out of contention!

    but i think being able to call on AA and Rosicky, benayoun, Chamakh, Vermaleen, as sure starters is not a bad squad at all! I don’t think the drop of quality is all that! Am thinking Arteta is getting due a rest, but he would be pained to miss a CL game… maybe in the next Pl game? Glad am not the one ,making these decisions… LOL. Also when is Diaby due back?

    For all that City have spent we do have quite a quality squad when the chips are down!

  319. “No LG I think he should start .I felt Pole 1.was poor yesterday.”

    I didn’t think he was poor, but he was not at his best especially with his lack of movement on the Mata shot. I wasn’t going to be the first to say it since Dexter would have accused me of still crying over my 20p! He does have flaws but he has been lucky that his popularity has allowed him to get away with it or one of his team mates has bailed him out either defensively, or by scoring up the other end.

  320. Limestonegunner

    Song and gervinho missed 3 league games also in late August/early Sept due to suspension. So this shouldn’t be a tall order. We can start a systematic rotation policy right after we win (fingers crossed).

  321. not sure coq, frimp or AOC are getting anywhere near the starting line up except maybe on the bench!

  322. @ LG and George

    The team I posted second is the line-up is the one I suggest not the first…I agree that Frimp/coq wont be right for marseille..

    I feel that all these players need to be ready to be part of the first eleven at anytime, and playing a game of high importance with the pressure on will be good for maintaining match sharpness..much better than playing dead-rubbers and CC where the pressure isnt great

  323. @ team spirit

    Coq needs these kind of games too if he is the primary back-up for song..As i said not Frimp and coq..but Coq and Rosicky..playing alongside rosicky and arshavin, should be enough experience around him…

  324. Limestonegunner

    Anirudh, look at my team at 8:25. I do have some changes as well. But playing CC squad members is not an option, and that is what your team is full of. That is weakening because those are three of our very best players! Our two biggest goal threats and our indispensible midfield defensive anchor. benayoun and coquelin got games last midweek so they don’t have to have a game one week later to have benefited from a run out to keep them sharp and Dj at CB is weaker on current form in that position than TV/Merts/Kos. I don’t accept your explanation and don’t think you are taking the Marseille game as seriously as it deserves or the manager believes it is.

  325. Anirudh, some of the players you mention needing games will and can get them in league games against lower table sides as well as CC and FA cup games starting next weekend if we get a win. Our last two CL games won’t be completely dead rubbers because we will want a good performance against Borussia Dortmund at home and will want a result at Olympiakos if we only draw against BD.

  326. Arteta can play in Song’s spot with Ramsey, Rosicky/Benayoun.

  327. Szcz
    Carl ,TV-Kos-Santos

    Having listened to LG’s argument my revised team

  328. @ LG

    Yep..saw ur team..makes a lot of sense..has a much higher probability of occurring than mine..

    but in all my team predictions, I usually find that I go for a slightly different team to most, which is based on what I find logical at the time..which sometimes actually coincides with the actual selection, however I am not looking for 100% team reflects my thinking at the time and now I just get the feeling that we might see a whole raft of changes, and actually believe that playing big games rather than CC makes players sharper

  329. Arteta can play in Song’s spot with Ramsey, Rosicky/Benayoun.

    Another good shout.

  330. “disagree on the CC final though..that was either leave it or you hoof dont dummy your own keeper when the balls a milimetre awaty from his gloves..”

    Keeper either called or should have called for that ball – he was breathing down Kos’s neck and took his eye off the ball. It’s water under the bridge now, but as Kos was not as popular as the golden boy he took all the blame, which was unfair.

  331. I did mention that Chezz didn’t have his best game last night and Dexter did in fact defend him! Dropping him would be a pretty big move though because it wasn’t a bad performance and we did win the game.

  332. —————-Szczesny—————-





    Nochance of me dropping the one and only!!! Even though I think he was responsible for us losing the CC final (but I’ve moved on since then)
    Although this is a big game, I would rest RvP, play Chamakh and have Park, AOC, Ryo Miquel, Djourou and Coquelin on the bench, hopefully we will be winning well enough to bring off Theo, Song and Kos.

  333. Limey

    I defended Szczesny in terms of the foul on Cashley dude. I didnt see it as a red and neither does Dermot Gallagher the ex-ref, so there!

    Szczesny was a bag of nerves in the CC final. He could and should have been sent off after about 5 minutes of that game.

  334. OK Anirudh. AW knows best and will be able to tell on Monday who has recovered, needs a rest, or looks ready. But I certainly don’t think he is going to pick players because they need a game to be sharp. He thinks Marseille is a decisive game for our future in the competition. He said as much. If he has high confidence in Benayoun who had a good game or Park, likewise, I could possibly see them starting rather than being on the bench I picked. I could even see Coquelin possibly paired with Arteta but not all of those changes together. We’ll see soon enough!

  335. Still not tired of watching terry slipping to allow RVP to score the 4th 😀

  336. Dex, right on cue! But you also defended his overall performance (which is fine by me–he wasn’t bad just not up to his highest standards on a few occasions): “Szczesny was fine today, IMO.” I love Chezzer and am glad to hear Dermot Gallagher gave him a pass too–where did you see/hear this, btw?

  337. @LG

    Yep..for sure he does and he keeps proving it time and again…we can vie for “I told you so” rights on tuesday ..or both of us might end up with egg on our faces and agree to remain silent on the issue 😀

  338. Dex, I like your team. And I like the formation–I’ve been advocating a 4231 with Arsh playing centrally (but not as loudly or vociferously as the one and only George!) Only, you know AW will have RvP on the bench at least!

  339. I was drunk when posting yesterday Limey, so thanks for reminding me what I was posting man! Yeah, Szczesny was decent enough yesterday. Especially when comparing him to Cech!

    Gallagher said it on the radio mate.

  340. Remain silent?! I’ll put up my hand if I am wrong, but what would the blog be if we remained silent just because we don’t know what we are talking about!! lol! If football leaves you with egg on your face, make an omelete, I always say!

  341. I would like to find a spot for Benayoun and Rosicky too man! But I would settle for seeing Arshavin played in the hole behind the striker (Chamakh) with no defensive responsiblities, so no one slagging him off for not tracking back!

  342. Talkspite or BBC? I download the podcasts 5live/606 but never sample the talkspite offerings.

    You deserved to be celebrating, Dex. It was supreme. I am still, as our young players tweet, “buzzing” from yesterday’s smashing victory.

  343. I cant imagine there will be more than 4 changes to the team that played yesterday.

  344. @LG

    of course……If being wrong had stopped me then my first post with a team prediction would have been been my last..and my last prediction for the chelsea game was not too clever either..

  345. Exactly, Dex. I had 4 in my amended lineup (Jenks for Dj). But I will admit I lack imagination!

  346. Did anyone notice Ramseys first touch on the turn to set himself up for the reverse pass..the touch was almost as sublime as the pass..another one of arsenes gems surely..

  347. it was zidanesque in its execution…..

  348. Think it was talkshite man

  349. Have I ever mentioned that Andrei should be moved into the center and relieved of all defensive duties.
    Also I like the little fellow,in fact he is my favorite.I have? ok I will leave it.

  350. Is anyone surprised that Shearer and Hansen thought that Scz should have been sent off??

  351. George

    Nah, cant say I have ever seen you post anything even resembling that about Arshavin before mate.

  352. Anirudh- Terry did not slip, he was beaten for pace and made it look like a slip to save himself from embarassementhttp :// (watch the front camera angle ). when the pass was made Terry was ahead of RVP he had a quick look saw RVP flying passed him them he decided to go down . One thing was very clear yesterday, the Chelsea players looked slow and did not have the legs.
    Today the reaction was all about the defensive frailties of both teams but I they did not see it that way. our defence was poor at start of the season but it getting better game by game while Chelsea getting worst. As long as we are improving then I’m happy with the mistakes . When Vermalen , sagna and Gibbs return, we will be spoiled for choice.

  353. 1lc – we started too tentatively and made some basic errors in defence early on, but the second half we were much better. We are not being given credit for the second half – all that the pundits are going on about was how poor both teams were defensively, when the reality is that we tightened up, chelski stayed poor and got lucky on their 3rd goal thanks to a lenient referee. I also agree that JT is only fooling himself if he thinks we can’t see the difference between an attempt at a face-saving ‘dive’ and a genuine slip!

  354. AA is a true artist george. no argument there. i feel like MARSEILLE is there for the taking and the group with it. no question that it will be a huge boost to the confidence of the team if we can thump them with another convinceING victory. i say go all out and wrap it up. strongest team available for me. the EPL and the ecl are our toughest comps. this year. the cc is also shaping up to be a rough ride. let’s hope the FA cup will be kinder with the luck of the draw. i see it now as the best chance for silverware. let’s hope the team doesn’t take any of the opposition teams for granted. last year the minows in the EPL were our downfall and the year before we still had issues getting points off the top four teams. hope we implement the lessons learned from previous campaigns. goodnight all….

  355. Interesting comment from AW re Theo

    “Walcott has come under fire from some sections of the Arsenal support at times this season for his performances, but Wenger thinks the former Southampton winger is now back to his best.

    “He has been struggling for us because we make him work very hard and I believe that he has become a more complete player,” Wenger said. “He is not a liability any more defensively. He does his defensive job. At the start he got heavy legs when he went to win the ball back but now he is getting used to it. He does the job defensively and he is still dangerous going forward.”

    Maybe the Theo-haters should take note!

  356. Passenal- We also seem to conceed the best goals or usually these long range shots that don’t normally go in. Think of that goal from Larsson it was one of the best free kicks I have seen this season then you have that (hit it and see what happens goal) at the Spuds, the Mata one yesterday and few others. As long as we can see improvement every game then we will be solid the second half of the season. up to now it was pre-season for us

  357. @ 1lc and Passenal
    Terry should take lessons from Drogba, real flaws in the technique there. At least make sure there is an opposition player within a metre of you. Schoolboy error.
    Remember the time he cocked up his penalty in the CL final and immediately started dry-crying to get sympathy and distract us from his mistake? The man is a self-serving coward with no integrity whatsoever.

    Re Theo, are the comments on

  358. Does anyone hate Theo?
    I doubt it

  359. Thanks Passenal

  360. @ pedantic george | October 31, 2011 at 12:02 am

    “Does anyone hate Theo?
    I doubt it”

    Chav fans do!

  361. Gains 69 – what are these ugly rumours about Diably coming back?

  362. Just Another Luke

    JT is just Terry-ble!

  363. Just Another Luke

    Too many in the media are jumping on the RvP bandwagon to heap praises on him. Let’s hope RvP continues to do what he does best and ignore all these goons.

  364. Apart a thrilling win, in which we fairly dominated the second spell, and away to a good defence, it was the performance of Ramsey that set this game alight. Again Song played deeper, interesting that.

  365. I’m surprised by some of the criticisms of Szcz,

    The Mata goal was deflected off Song’s intercepting leg. I think this gave the ball its dip and led to Szcz being rooted.

    I agree it was not his best game but cannot fathom this site being the place that tales of a ‘keeper crisis’ (at this particular moment in our run) being given breath!

    Lest we forget

  366. No post today?

  367. Dgob,
    Its apparently ok to criticize the favourites or ‘star players’, as part of some kind of balancing act.

  368. Henristic,

    It would seem so!

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