Recovery & Recuperation Take Time

If the received wisdom is to be believed, Manchester City’s five point lead at the top of the table is unassailable. That is somewhat premature; they have won handsomely at Old Trafford and White Hart Lane, whilst beating everyone else save for Fulham where they contrived to drop a two-goal lead.

It is that, and some unimpressive performances in Europe, that might be the foundation of Arsène‘s comments in the wake of the win over West Bromwich Albion,

No team has no vulnerability in our League or any other League. They have quality. They can score goals, they can be efficient. They are the ones to catch.

They had some impressive away results, especially at Tottenham and Man United but we have to see. The potential is there but we will see on a longer period

It is impossible to deny that City have been playing well, passing and moving better and more consistently than any of their rivals. To declare that they will be undefeated through the season is premature; Yaya Toure may regret even hinting that The Invincibles undefeated campaign is something that they aspire to by the time the headline writers have finished with him.

Of course City can do that but so far this season they are the third team to be touted as Champions-elect. Liverpool got the ball rolling after their victory at The Emirates, usurped by United following the 8-2 drubbing. In turn City assumed that mantle with their form culminating in the red carpet being laid to the doors of Eastlands with the 1-6 derby win. There was a common thread in those games; the results were in varying degrees of doubt until a red card tipped the balance decisively in the victors favour.

That is not to say Arsenal are going to challenge for the title. It is most likely that silverware will come from a cup competition. As Wenger was at pains to say, there is too long to go in this campaign for any certainties to be rising. Football is as he put it, too turbulent.

The season is entering a crucial phase, the top seven or eight have a month or so of fixtures against each other. Newcastle in particular, have a tough run but so do City. In the various competitions, the Mancunians face Newcastle, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal (twice) and Bayern Munich before Christmas, as well as the return fixture against Liverpool to welcome in the New Year. Testing times for their squad to prove consistency, especially as the Carling Cup tie is 48 hours after their trip to Anfield.

They will not drop many points in the Premier League in this spell. In these matches, a draw against a close rival is a good result in preventing them from closing the gap. They will win some, fancying their chances in the home games. All Arsenal can do is sit and watch, win their games and believe that the gap can be closed significantly to the top four by the time they visit Eastlands in December.

The real test for Arsenal is handling defeat. Winning is easy for confidence but setbacks define the character of a squad. The current players have a patchy record at best, when it comes to recovery. Last season is not easily forgotten. Yet the current run was born from defeat in the North London Derby. Irrespective of the opposition – which for the most part has been ordinary – the players have shown they can recuperate quickly and hit the ground running.

When a fall happens again, the depth of the thud will depend on the manager as much as the squad. Wenger takes defeat hard, more personally than is given credit for. Sir Bobby Robson famously observed that some members of the Arsenal staff needed to learn how to handle defeat graciously in the aftermath of a Graham Poll inspired Newcastle win at Highbury. Wenger does so, suffering the tag of not caring enough in certain quarters.

It begs the question though: the manager is responsible for the playing staff recovery; who is responsible for his? Essentially himself, is the answer and that does not help to speed things along, frustration burning into the psyche when results are poor.

He has had enough practice this season to know how to quell the raging fires of doubt. Let’s hope the practice is not needed once more for some time yet.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on November 8, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 415 Comments.

  1. I have the filling that an Unbeaten season will never be repeated. As Wenger says, let us see where we are come January. Squeaky bum time is still many months away. Plus how do we know how the MCFC “Stars” will fare come the Winter?

  2. third?

  3. every team goe’s through a period of turbulence each season,shitey will not be an exception.we just need to keep our feet on the ground and close the gap when they do drop points.

  4. hey BB are you YW in disguise?why do you always come first?i barely comment on here but am a daily follower of YW’s awesome post’s

  5. Silva has captured much of the glory, and is a fine player, but Man City’s impressive start has for me been inspired by Dzeko, his counter attacking instincts, toughness, shot selection (as they say in cricket) and gritty eye for the goal has been stunning. Aside from that they have their hard working rather large (in muscle size) and fast English contingent plus Toure, who have those battling, bustling, bursting qualities that produce forceful goals in the EPL.

    It’s an interesting combination of resources.

    As long as Dzeko continues this form, they are formidable; but if he drops his game or takes a knock, I expect the team will drop points unexpectedly. It’s Man City’s lot in life to draw games, and their drawing run this season has not started.

  6. Seventeenth? Lets catch up now!

  7. As for us, we are in the advantageous psychological position to be looking upwards from 7th, improving, watching and knowing 4th is a stretch away, and then we see. It’s not a bad space to sit in.

  8. naija

    No he isn’t but the quickest way to know a post is up is via Twitter. Which is how Big Brova invariably gets gold medal.

    YW

  9. City have huge potential but a wobbly defence – Mancini must fret
    Perhaps the biggest boost their domestic ambitions could receive would be to finish third in their CL group – leaving them free effectively to concentrate on the PL and retaining the FA Cup
    And yes of course they would still actually have to send a team to Europa Cup matches but I reckon it would be stolen effort only

  10. We can not worry about $hiite-y now, like the Baggies’ player who said about their loss on the weekend ‘we must measure ourselves by our realistic goals and not by this loss’, we have to be aware of what our real goals are and that is currently playing the three or four teams above us to get us up to 3rd or 4th spot.

    Now I have got that out of my system:

    We have to win all our upcoming matches anyway to achieve that, which sets us up for a couple of absolute season defining corkers against $hiite-y. No current expectations, and it is not such a big deal if we lose, but If we did happen to win the Carling Cup round and lose the PL game that is a reasonable outcome and vice versa.

    Winning both would be sending out some hell of a signal. It would be good. The absolute end of our doldrums and the start of our kick on to a title, the turn around would be complete. What is more there is unfinished business with $hiite-y and their brash removal of Arsenal players (the prostitutey ones anyway). It is a pity it is not next Feb as the pretend Mancs will be worn down and will be more prone to forget that their compliance is all for money, but it is a great test of our team and a great opportunity.

    I for one would like to see $hiite-y taken down a rung or two (just ending their PL unbeaten run would do that) but showing them what a bunch of classless tossers they are: that would be a fitting part to a roller coaster season that so far is one of the most riveting I have ever seen.

  11. Van der Baarf and the other spudlings might think twice about spewing forth in the future also.

  12. “It is impossible to deny that City have been playing well, passing and moving better and more consistently than any of their rivals.”
    I can’t agree with that statement YW. City have been playing some of the most ugly football I’ve seen since Mourinho was at Chelsea. More than once I’ve commented on this blog that Mancini is the King of ugly football. The last time I commented on him was the regret that one who had been a glamour footballer produces such ugly football. Like Mourinho, Mancini produces winning teams with no spice. Probably why Mourinho will be his successor one day.

  13. Anicoll5, who’s that guy in your avatar? I’ve tried tineye and google images to no avail!

  14. Yogi,

    I think your points were well made and expressed. However, your comment that:

    “The real test for Arsenal is handling defeat. Winning is easy for confidence but setbacks define the character of a squad. ”

    Could just as well be made against Citeh and I’m certain that that loss will come – if not sooner then in December. I really do think that the Xmas congestion charge will prove expensive for the likes of Toure (the younger), Silva, Barotelli who are not overly seasoned in our winter football demands.

    I also wonder about the psyche of departed heroes such as Gael and Nasri. Then there’s the bridesmaid’s syndrome of the likes of Milner and Kompany.

    Potential turbulence indeed.

  15. If City win all these successive games ( Newcastle, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal (twice) and Bayern Munich) then hats off to them but I can’t see it happening. Then it will depend on wether we are still firing on all cylinders. the whole order at top can change in a matter of 3 weeks.

    I believe this team is different from the one we had last year. Clichy, Nasri, Fabregas as captain, Squillacci, Denilson and the best striker in the land Bendtner.
    This year Gervinho, Arteta, Santos (goals galore for a left back) Vermaelen, Mertsacker , and RVP as captian. In my opinion this year’s team is better, they might not have the silky skills of Fabregas and Nasri but I know which group I would take with me to war. My only concern and it is the only difference between us and City is the back up. We don’t have 2 teams to roll out all season.

  16. Kenyan

    You’ve contradicted yourself. Ugly football? City pass and move excellently. They play on the counter away from home and just wear opponents down at home; the same as every other big club. It depends on your view but of the two, I’d rather watch City than Mourinho’s Chelsea. Silva is outstanding and the only rival to RvP for Player of the Year at the moment.

    You might not like their manner of accumulating a squad but it is churlish to deny that they have been consistent and playing well.

  17. Last season, or was it the season before (getting old) I recall us closing a gap of 11 or 12 points in about a month at one stage, after pundits had written off our title chances. Again. Anything can happen and a month is a long time in this league. Look at where we were one month ago when everyone was shitting their pants. Every team has vulnerabilities and luck plays a part in exposing them.

    Anicoll5, I think one of the MOTD pundits singled out Kompany as City’s main man at the back. Without him their defense is a lot more vulnerable. I remember wanting us to sign him, back in the day when he played more as a midfielder.

  18. YW- I love to laugh at City’s football but I can’t. you can’t deny good football when you see it. Maybe that is down to Silva he makes them tick, he would fit perfectly in the Arsenal way of playing, sadly we can’t have him he is the equivalent of Fabregas you take him out of the City team then they would have to change the way they play.

  19. I think this is a really reflective post YW. We are quarter way through the season and the pack has more or less sort itself out. City is 5 lengths to the good but there is an awful lot of racing to come. As you astutely observed, the professional touts (horse racing fans should be familiar with this scum) in the media have already declared three separate winners for the race hoping to induce the fickle, especially Arsenal fans, to throw in their hands and declare the race over before December. But, to use an overworked cliche, this is a marathon not a sprint.

    In that regard, the potential of teams should not be judged merely on the cost to assemble them but on the quality and experience of their respective managers (trainers to use the horse-racing metaphor). It would be very foolish to count out Arsene Wenger (and Slr Alex for that matter). The difference between both is that Arsene does not rely on financial doping or favors from officialdom to take his teams over the line. My hope and expectation is that the past six years of disappointments over the home stretch would have taught the boss and this team of gooners the need to pace themselves, remain humble and calm while picking off the lead pack one game at a time. I have no doubt we will be there or thereabout by the end of the race.

    COYGs.

  20. Markus, City won on Saturday without Kompany. I know you’re probably going to make the excuse that it was only QPR, but they got it done, they went and got the winner after being pegged back to 2-2. If we’d have done that we’d be talking about character and never-say-die attitude.

    City have a very strong squad and I think there’s every chance they can go unbeaten in the league this season. They have looked strong against the other top clubs, emphatically dealing with United and Spurs on their own turf. If Savic does appear to be a weak link on an ongoing basis (I think this was his first full start?) then that’s easily solvable in the January transfer window with the resources at their disposal.

  21. city are playing the best football in the league..
    theyve set a new record for goals and points at this stage of the season..
    its too early to suggest the are the champions elect but it will take some doing to topple them

    anyhow..theres no point worrying about city..theres another 5 teams between us and them and as long as we finish somewhere in the top 4 as well as finishing above the spuds it will do for me, given the year weve had..

    i do agree the most likely success on our part is in the domestic cups..

  22. Hi Markus – Kompany has been their best defender by some distance over the past year – I seem to recall that when we were linked with him he was recovering from a long injury lay off – the other central defenders – Toure, Lescott , Savic – dont know much about Savic but the other two are middling to good – not much more

    Kenyan – the avatar is a gentleman called Ali Loosh who we rented mules from on and walked over the Djebel Sahro with in Southern Morocco – at 71 years old, and during Ramadan, he was tougher than a camel’s hoof !

  23. Good day,
    I came across an insightful read this morning from le grove. I know must of us dont like them, but ill recommend you all to read this.

    http://le-grove.co.uk/2011/11/08/exclusive-arsenal-medical-team-give-le-grove-fantastic-insight-into-their-operation/#comments

  24. What ever happend to those group of fans that got themselves publicity in the media asking for Wenger’s head??

  25. jeff, there was an interview with one of them in the last Gooner, they appear to be softening their attitude a bit now, coming over less militant. Not surprising really after a few wins.

  26. Its amazing what a few wins can do eh? everybody loves a winning team even the most deluded fans

  27. Yet another enjoyable read Yogi,

    There are so many factors we have to battle, so many potential banana slips that could come between us and a good season finale.

    Winning against small teams like WestBrom is in many as as vital a test as playing well in the big team clashes (e.g. against Chelsea). Our ability to deal with defeat when it comes is also something to be wary of as you’ve pointed out, but just as concerning is a ability to deal with small successes.
    Our ability to deal with adverse conditions such as untimely injuries, shocking ref decisions, etc, is also a potential pitfall.

    We’ve answered the critics on many of these issues,though not as consistently as one would like. But the really really big tests (one that we haven’t passed for 6 years) are the cup finals, and the final league games where we need to build on from a position of strength, and capitalize on the failures of our rivals. As it goes, we can only know how well we’ll do in these tests come the season’s end. Same goes for our rivals, especially ManCity and Spurs. The other two have done enough in recent years to justify assumptions of their superiority.

  28. That was a good post from le-grove jeff.
    That Pedro chap has no shame, so not expecting any apologies for the slagging they used direct at our medical team.

  29. i think the key to our bouncebackability is wengers choice as captain..
    wenger can drill it into them all he wants but if he doesnt have the players on the pitch with the right menality then its a frustrating job..

    in robin we have our best captain for years..and hes got backup with players like arteta, tv..even ches in goal..

  30. What if City have just been through their bad spell?
    Anyone think of that?
    They might buy big again at Xmas!
    They will win it ,I think.And by a very handsome margin.
    I expect us to be second.

  31. I live near Manchester.Mmmmm, I wonder??????????????
    Now if only they would sign Andrei Arshavin 🙂

  32. Block4, I didn’t make the point about Kompany, just relaying it. But the fact that they allowed QPR to score twice and also gave them a host of chances should tell you something.

  33. Anicoll – Toure looks a busted flush – he used to be one of my Arsenal favourites, but it is not hard to conclude we sold him at the right time.

    In contrast Lescott, is a much improved defender since his Everton days, he’s the highest ranked English central defender (according to EA rankings) and has started every single league game this season.

    Since the start of last season City have won 74% of games in which he started.

    I don’t know much about Savic – but he looked very rash and out of place in the one game I have seen him play so far.

  34. George I’m eyeing second, but realistically thinking third.

    Had we started with the cohesion in the side we see now then maybe we would be close enough to challenge MC but even then the embarrassing depth of their squad is unheralded in football and it is a squad game.

    We have a great squad but we all know we need, at the very least, another proven, top-level goal scorer.

  35. Good bit from Le Grove on the new medical centre and interesting discussion with Colin Lewin

    The only bit that was a bit puzzling was the assertion that fans have to accept that players from South America and Africa on Friday wont be available to play that weekend ?

    Why not ? Some African and South American play at the weekend following a midweek game, some don’t.

    What is it about AFC African players that means they are incapable of putting the boot to the leather three or four days after a mid week match ?

  36. PG @ 11.25am

    You have never heard of spontaneous combustion then? The pieces are all there.

    The tinderbox is an overpaid bunch of wannabes.

  37. YW – Nice post, and I agree 100% with it.

    It is a good point to highlight about how we will react to the next defeat. As you rightly said, we have been a bit flakey in past years in this respect. I am hoping that this current squad has more mettle to it.

    City are looking very strong, but will no doubt hit a bad patch of form. Ironically this where is where their millions spent will bear fruition I think though. When playing badly teams invariably look to their “matchwinners” to pull something from the bag. And they have a shed load of them.

  38. Jeff,

    I refuse to increase their numbers regardless!! However, from the strapline of the link you post, I believe the same and probably better coverage is given on these issues on today’s ‘Arsenal Insider’.

    I’d recommend ACLFers with an interest visit this site instead.

  39. YW, consistent? Yes! But ugly. I agree that David Silva is a classy player. No doubt his talents would be appreciated in an Arsenal and dare I say in a Barcelona. Watching their game over the weekend the joint was like 90% empty. Down here we love the “sliced” as opposed to “kicked” ball. Most Kenyans support Arsenal despite manutd and Chelsea having dominated the last half decade with consistency! And it’s because Arsenal play a beautiful form of football. Such consistent efficiency is why even the Bundesliga has failed to catch on. Flair is what builds a great sports man. Mohammed Ali over Mike Tyson anytime.

  40. Given our start to the season, I would be more than happy with a simple top 4 finish. This seems as though it is going to be a season of consolidation and dare I say it, transition. Finish in the top 4 then build towards a challenge next year. Obviously success in one of the cups is still a realistic target.

  41. “We have a great squad but we all know we need, at the very least, another proven, top-level goal scorer.”

    ???????

  42. Kenyan – What is ugly about them? They don’t play the long ball game, they score plenty of goals. That is the idea of football. Just because they don’t complete 30+ one touch passes before a goal does not make them ugly. They are a good footballing side (as you would expect after spending that amount of cash).

  43. Anicoll5, interesting. A real veteran of the Sahara.

  44. Dgob – just spotted your cut and paste job and comments at the close of last night. Jeez – what a waste of effort. What is wrong with you? As far as I know we ALL want Diaby to do well.

    Is critique/speculation regarding any Arsenal player to be deemed unnecessary – or do you just have a more specific problem with Luke, Andy and myself?

    Or is it just that only your opinion is the one that matters?

    Lumping us together and referring to us as amongst ‘the most irksome voices’ seems to place us amongst such esteemed company as the Shugas and other d&g scumbags. If that’s what you meant then you’re a simpleton, if it isn’t then perhaps you could be clearer with your disparaging remarks?

    Seriously though, lighten up! 🙂 😀

  45. Yes it does goonerandy. I’m a purist when it comes to sport. I remember Bjorn Borg crying about how power tennis had messed the sport. Technique matters to me. In Kenya we call mpira ya waswahili. Remember Henry’s back heeled goal? Or Bergkamp’s memorial flick round the defender before scoring. 30 passes and a goal to crown it all? That’s Wengerball!

  46. Kenyan – Interesting. When did you start supporting Arsenal?

  47. I am looking to arsenal picking up all points from now till december, january even if we are goin well or not i think wenger should carry in at least two players a forward and an attacking midfielder. The team is coming together nicely, but we have have an insurance policy. Still a lot of football to be played and we want to be on top when this finishes

  48. Dgob @ 11.45 ???????

    Yes, we look a little thin on the ground up front – is this really a shocking thing to say????????????

    Park looks promising but not yet ready, Chamakh is still not being trusted by the manager.

    Do you really think this is an area of the squad where we do not look a little threadbare in terms of top quality??????????????

  49. Kenyan – Read this. It is a decent piece.

    http://www.football365.com/faves/7296840/Johnny-Nich

  50. Markus, what does it tell me? That they’re not as good defensively when their best defender is missing. Well that’s obvious. The point is that they still got the job done, that’s why they are top of the league and as we stand are well ahead of everyone else.

    goonerandy, your point about “matchwinners” is true, when it comes to a game where they’re not firing on all cylinders then having the likes of Silva, Aguero, dare I say Nasri and even Tevez if they can kiss and make up is what could make all the difference. There’s no way we would have gone unbeaten in the invincibles season without some incredible individual performances to rescue games, mostly from Thierry Henry.

  51. How do you make words in posts bold or italic (off track completely I know)?

    Cheers.

  52. GA @ 11.42 agreed.

    Too many players who can produce ‘a moment’ out of nothing to have a significant crisis of confidence I feel. Still when they win the league its meaningless. If we got 2nd that would be ‘worth’ so much more in terms of achievement.

  53. I am surprised at the criticism of the mancs football, the play good football getting a bucket load of goals. They were very different last season as they played defensive, but this season the have tried to change that and are doing it well.

    Mancini came in and first focused on defence and they did pretty well in that aspect and he had decided to push for more adding attacking flair to the defence solidity and they are doing it well.

    Sometimes, its good to be truthful in analyzing rivals.

    However, im hoping ego’s or fatigue affects them(As i believe a tired Silva would make man city equal to liverpool in attacking flair),

  54. Jonhy – Yeah, I agree. It is akin to cheating at the start of a CM game. Good for for a while, but ultimately you don’t get the same satisfaction. That said, I bet the City fans don’t care less.

  55. Cheers bud.

  56. Good post, YW but I feel that this new team IS different and they have already shown us that they can handle defeat. A very unlucky 0-2 followed (in the League) by 2-8 at Old Toilet destroyed their confidence but they were able to fall back on their courage and their faith in each other and their boss’s judgement. They stayed united, picked themselves up and started on the long hard road back. That horrific result may prove in months or years to come to have been their bonding experience. A French reporter on Fans Forum said last Friday that Kos told him that after the 8-2, the players questioned themselves: “are we good enough?” What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

    I am also hoping that we beat City in the CC or in the League (though on current form I’d take an away draw in the League), just to throw a doubt into their minds, and that they start to feel the pressure of leading in the second half of the season.

    After seeing the old Arsenal return last weekend, I feel perky, very perky. So let’s just keep plugging away and see where we are at the end of the season. All I know is that two months ago, it was too early to write off our chances of a top-four finish and a month ago it was too early to say fourth was the highest we could finish.

    @ pedantic george | November 8, 2011 at 11:25 am

    What if City have just been through their bad spell?
    Anyone think of that?

    ha ha!

    ****
    Anyone who wants a good resume of the medical centre visit and doesn’t fancy Le Grove could try this from Arseblogger:

    arseblog.com/2011/11/the-new-arsenal-medical-centre/

  57. cheers bud

  58. 1LC

    “My only concern and it is the only difference between us and City is the back up. We don’t have 2 teams to roll out all season”

    —————-Scz—————-

    Sagna—–Mert——TV—–Santos

    ———–Song——Arteta————-

    Theo———–Ramsey———Gerv

    —————-RVP———————-

    —————–Fab————————

    Jenks——-JD———Kos——-Gibbs

    —————Diaby——Jack—————-

    Benayon———Rosicky————Arsh

    ———————-Park———————

    I would still be very very happy and confident of a result against anyone with the second team..and still we have Ryo, Chamakh, Coquelin, AOC, Squill, Miquel, Frimpong, Mannone in reserve

  59. Dgob – Don’t mind Jonny. He simply regurgitates the perceived wisdom of the ghastly Guardian and football365. Dresses up in in sweet, reasonable prose but the damage done is just as effective as AAA crowd. He shows little humbleness from past failure in making premature conclusions about key members of the squad. One year ago they ranted incessantly about RVP being a perma-crock eating up too much wages. Last year summer and beyond they shopped the entire world for a defensive midfielder so Song would ride the bench.
    Call them out on their bull-shit and they get very precious. Like I said to Gains on Saturday/Sunday, don’t be intimidated. Give them hell.

  60. Arsenal players and manager need to focus on their own house and not be concerned with the competition.

    Arsenal destiny is in their own hands.

    Our focus should be for the preparation of the next match in hand and building a stronger environment of self-belief and team unity.

    Arsenal only need to gain one spot in the league, every month……..optimistic but not unrealistic.

  61. We absolutley need to sign another striker in January. The issue is in what style. Do we sign a player that allows to revert to a 4-4-2? Do we look at a direct replacement for RVP? Do we identify a player that is versatile across the front 3?

    Either way a new striker to assist RVP has been desired and needed ever since we sold Adebayor. Lets not sit on our hands for another window.

  62. Goonerandy, I began to support Arsenal in 1988. Why do you ask?

  63. Shotta as has been stated very clearly on here many times, RVP’s last 3 years have been fine injury wise apart from the serious impact injuries he has suffered.

    Tell me, has RVP struggled to regain form/fitness following his last 6 month lay off? How about the one before that?

    Or has he been an ever present in team selection, and a leader in our performances?

    No-one has ever said what you accuse them of saying. Another fight you have constructed in your head my friend.

  64. I’m not concerned about city beating our record as I don’t think that will ever happen again but, they are not an ugly footballing side and can i no way be compared to when chelsea brought their titles with the shit brand of football.

    Watching them in some parts is a mirror image of how we played when we dominated the division.

    Ballotelli’s 2nd goal v utd had Arsenal 2003/4 Team manner all over it.

    It reminded me of when Pires, would have the ball on the wing almost at walking pace then Henry would come to join in and exchange a few passes then play it all the back then back up to the half way line and then when all seemed calm out of nothing 3 lightning passes then tap it which would catch Andy Grey and Richard totally off guard.

    City are playing some really good football the way it should be played but, I don’t want anybody to beat them I want it to be us who beats them and I think we can.

  65. Check your history Shotta – I never called RVP a perma-crock – in fact I have always been of the consistent message, that I felt he has never been an injury prone player, merely an extremely unfortunate one.

    “He shows little humbleness from past failure in making premature conclusions about key members of the squad.”

    Examples??

    If I am wrong – and I am pretty much certain I have been (but then I could be wrong about that!) then yeah I have no problem admitting it. Can you say you have shown retrospective humility? Or are you always right?

    Saying that myself and others, are as bad as the AAA is so unbecoming and of course it’s utterly untrue.

    In most examples of history it is the people at the fundamentalist extremes who tend to do the most damage – and I am starting to realise you really are operating at the far end of the spectrum.

  66. Luke

    I see gervinho being one such player who can play in the RVP role and versatile across the front 3..

    Secondly, some players when thrust into situations like Chamakh at the beginning of last season blossom. I feel if thrust into a similar situation, he will regain the same form he showed.

    Thirdly, Park has shown himself to be a decent finisher, especially for country..He is hardworking, and if played with the right midfield partner (Arshavin IMO) I feel has a lot to contribute..

    Fourthly and finally..There is Theo who is itching for a chance to play thro the middle

    So I dont necessarily believe its as threadbare as people are making it out to be..

  67. I have ALWAYS backed Song also – Shotta you have me confused with someone else or you are just spouting scatter-gun jibes in the hope you’ll hit a target.

    I was writing for Untold when Song was being pilloried by most and even then I reckoned he had something about him.

    This is abject nonsense on your part and I actually find it offensive – please, do not put words in other peoples mouths – especially mine.

  68. Shotta – “Like I said to Gains on Saturday/Sunday, don’t be intimidated. Give them hell.

    You have a strange outlook on differing opinions Shotta. Inimidated? Nobody is doing anything of the sort. It is just discussion mate.

    Kenyan – When you started supporting us, we were the very difinition of a functional team. I just thought it interesting that you covert technique and flowing football, but we have been the very anti of that until the Arsene years.

  69. No public funding for Tottenham Hotspurs’ planned redevelopment – e-petitions

    https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/14605

  70. I’m 100% with Kenyan. Man City are the ugliest football team in the English Premier League, and there’s no disguising it. Chelsea’s mantle has been taken, usurped, literally bought. The ugliness begins with the manner and fees in which the team has been assembled, the insane wages, onjectively it amounts to financial bullying. It may be the single most obscene use of financial muscle alone to fastrack a top level winning team in the history of this sport, including Real Madrid. It makes Man United look full of class, tradition, intelligence and integrity.

    Players have gone primarily for wages, not titles, much less football. So, the ugliness continues with the players, collectively. As individuals, who knows, maybe a fine bunch of lads, but as a group it stinks. What character it may have tenuously clung to is gone.

    I find it is reflected on the field. Yes, Silva and Aguerro are gems, Dzeko is amazing, Nasri and Tevez can do it beautifully, but more than all that, it strikes me as “effective” and “forceful”, power football overpowering smaller, lesser fallible teams. Big strong fast players tend to dominate there. It’s bullshit. A team driven by blueprint. God knows what what the dynamics within must be like as some of the world’s finest players compete for a starting berth.

    Heaven help us all if this lot should win any title, but they will, as Chelsea did. Then you will see ugly.

  71. Anirudh

    I dont think anyone can make a fair assessment either positive or negative on Park. Yes his goal scoring credentials for SK are remarkable, however is that a sound litmus test?

    Robbie Keane has scored well in the States and has a proven EPL track record alongside an outstanding International track record. Would he be a sound addition to the squad?

    Chamakh has buckled under pressure/expectation or the simple fact we do not play to his strengths, the signs are omninous for him, as AW has ruthlessly dropped him and/or injuries playing a part.

    In our 4-3-3 formation, I don’t think Walcott can lead the line, especially as so much of our play is dictated from RVP dropping deep, and collecting the ball – not Theos strengths.

    Our worst, neigh, our most toothless performances of the season have come when we dont have the genius of RVP dictating play.

    Jovetic would be very exciting – versatile across the front three and likes playing in similar areas to VP. Exciting times, but we are insufficient up top.

    I cant see how we can (after three years of trying and failing) enter another busy period hoping players improve.

  72. The City abuse is a bit churlish.

    In David Silva they have one of the most gifted midfielders in world football, I hate to say it, but he is glorious on the eye. Yaya Toure is the actual best box to box midfielder in the league, and with any of the front three they break with, they look brilliant going forward.

    Loads of goals, loads of chances, rip teams to pieces for fun – hate how its been achieved, but accept they are a very exciting team to watch.

    They have played better football than every other side this season.

  73. Goonerandy, when I began to support Arsenal, Liverpool was the most popular English team in Kenya. But they only had one black man. For racist reasons I supported Arsenal. Those were the days of apartheid in South Africa and such things were a big deal then. But as things stood then there really wasn’t much difference in the teams anyway. What really got Arsenal going here in Kenya was the coming of Kanu Nwankwo. But I was already there!

  74. Zimpaul, a man after my own heart. Sorry for losing the cricket though. They’ll always be a next time!

  75. Kenyan – Nice story mate. 🙂

    Jonny – You will have to get used to Shotta mate. Once he has decided he does not liem yuo he will use any opportunity to slate your posts regardless of any decent point you may make. He does this without making a valid or thourghworthy points of his own. A strange individual.

    If you observed it was raining he would call you a doomer and declare it was actually the hottest day of the year (this being in Nov).

  76. Luke..

    Our observations regarding Park are basically the same..its just that you want something done in case he does not make the grade. I feel he should be given the chance to make the grade before demoting him behind someone else..

    I disagree with the notion that Theo or Gerv cannot play thro the middle in a 4-3-3 in fact the extra pace will create more space for our midfield IMO as the defensive lines will be much deeper..again I feel it should be given a go before discarding the idea…

    As far as Chamakh was concerned, I felt the fact that such reliance was placed on his form at beginning of last season was why he was so good, in the same 4-3-3 if you remember, so more than a problem with the system, its a mental hurdle..I feel he needs to feel vital in order to play..human nature i guess..

  77. Arsenal have not always except for distinct and not very long periods been associated with “functional defensive football”. There are more distinctive associations, over longer periods, prior to Wenger. Some of these include a reputation as fiery cup fighters (even when the team was not amongst the best), charismatic and larger-than-life strikers, the likes of Stapleton, SuperMac and Wright, an almost continuous flow of respected creative players, none more than Brady of course, Rocky, and through to Bergkamp, and some of the finest goalkeepers of their day. Even at its most boring, boring days, no one would accuse Arsenal of not having players of character to whet the football appetite. I think Wenger, who will have been aware, has seen himself somewhat more in terms of certain Arsenal traditions than we might imagine.

  78. And I actually did fancy us signing keane before he joined sp*rs..heh what the hell do I know eh?? 😀

    Actually as much as a manager of Liverpool FC who has won chamipons league and Spanish league titles 😛

  79. Luke,

    I hope the brass are not thinking of sitting on their hands because of Van persie’s rich vain of form. For me we have just turned the corner with regards to getting the required players in to help the club.

    We either need to give The Park games or get somebody in the Jan window. I really like this guy’s movement an don’t want him to end up like Vela has. Vela, for me was a raw talent with a quality left peg and world class chipp shot and we never got to see the best of him.

  80. On the debate of another striker; if RvP broke his lef tomorrow, in all honesty do we have a player who could step into the breach and be relied upon to score goals? I am not so sure.

    I can see Gervihno playing down the middle perhaps, but not Theo (in this formation). Whatever our solution was, it would really be a bit of “fingers crossed” as opposed to confidently picking somebody to fill the gap. It is for this reason that many think we could do with another striker.

  81. City are certainly a lot more positive in their approach on the field this year. I was just thinking tho, and this is not a criticism, but not many of their players have any real honours to their name do they? Possible exception of the Toure brothers and Dzeko, who have won titles? They’ve spent big, but mostly on players with great potential.

  82. Man City leaves me stone cold. Cartoon football for people impressed by such things.

  83. Thanks Andy – somewhat taken aback by the the necessity to add personal slights and the revisionist nature of these untruths.

    Still I’ve been coming here a long time now and I object to this ‘burning truth’ criticise and be damned idealism – I freely admit to being opinionated but I love this club and bleed red just like the rest of ya.

    No one should be completely above criticism and I may not agree with other peoples views but as you say at the end of the day it’s all just banter. It should be fun.

    As I said before, it’s the extremists in any movement – regardless of the end they operate – who cause the most problems.

    😀

  84. Partly right Markus, particularly the English players they’ve bought and obviously the ones from Arsenal 😉

    As for the rest of the first team they all seem to have won something somewhere from the brief bit of Googling I’ve just doen so they have experience of getting over the line in some competition or other.

  85. Andy/Goonerton – Gervinho has always had a poor record in terms of finishing. We knew that when we signed him. I’m not saying he can’t improve but it’s not the role we bought him for and it’s not something that’s is naturally part of his game. It would be a risk

    Chamakh is a funny striker in that he isn’t a natural goalscorer either. I am sure Wenger saw much in him that he wanted to improve but it does look as though Wenger has lost patience with him.

    Park is the best bet but needs playing time.

    Afobe is not back till after Xmas I think – I’d love to see him come good. He’s the most ‘out and out’ of all of our striking options.

  86. Hi Kenyan , Any chance of you ever getting over here to see a game ?

    We had a Kenyan Gooner over here a couple of years ago staying with the next door neighbours – he said AFC are big in Kenya – I lent him my ticket for a home game against Sunderland

    Thank Gawd we won with a late goal !

  87. Amrindu

    Fair enough. It certainly wouldnt be my approach, however.

    I am just concerned on what the impact through the club would be if we fail to add the necessary resource for another season on the bounce, with resources available – it would seem from your posts that you accept Park / Chamakh are not ready to fill any significant role yet, but you believe that given the chance they will. Which is fine – I just cant logically balance the football clubs progression on the anticipation of development. It is a strategy we are all too familar with, and the end results have always been the same.

    I see no shame in suggesting we need more firepower – it is an effort to make us a better team, and better our squad in our efforts to finish in the top 4.

    RVP has been calling for quality additions for over 12 months now, what better way to show he is at the right club to win silverware by adding a player who garners the respect of his squad (which I doubt Park / Chamakh, no offence meant, have done).

  88. If we played with 2 strikers, the loss of RvP would not be as significant. Not because we would miss his goals any less, but more as he seems to be the only player we have who has proven that he is equipped to play the lone striker.

  89. theo will relace rvp, not this season maybe next (if rvp is sold). He will go onto great things imo, as a striker. he is the best replacement far better than anything we have at present. No need to buy an rvp relacement, in fact it wouldnt surprise me if AW sold rvp for a nice little earner 2012 and then put TW straight in

  90. anicoll5, If I’m lucky might come for the Olympics next year. I bought a lottery ticket!

  91. Leaving you guys for now. Exercising. I’m 92 kgs whereas I should be weighing 60 – 71 kgs. If you have any tips on how to lose weight lazily kindly advise. Will be most appreciated.

  92. boomer

    Are you on the wind up?

  93. Kenyan

    Eat less. Run more.

  94. Boomer – Nice one. A bit of humour is always welcome around here.

    Kenyan – Heh, luke is right. Burn more caleries than you take on board. It is that simple mate.

  95. Because City , and to a lesser extent , United and Chelsea can recompense top players enough for them to accept a seat on the bench does not mean we can.
    Park and Chamakh are good enough as cover for the Prince(see Jonny I remembered 🙂 ).People should at least try to understand the financial realities involved when you do not own a bottomless money pit.

    By the way Jonny ,you may not have been one who was asking for perma crock RVP to be sold ,but Shotta is right ,a lot were .Yet now the deny it.

  96. @ luke

    I assume you were replying to my post…How on earth did you end up with that spelling??? 😀

    anyway yeah you basically summed it up..they have not proven it yet..but how can they till they get the chance, vice versa, chicken and egg and all that..two differing views both equally debatable i guess..anyway if at all someone has the experience and knowledge to make the most informed decision its Arsene, and I trust him to deliver..

    On the second point, I am completely not in favor of players dictating who should be and should not be added to the squad..thats a complete over reach..no one is bigger than the club..we have a manager and a board to take those decisions and thats how it should be..suggestion is fine, saying sign X, Y or Z or I leave…that is plain wrong

  97. When did the ambition of the club become a determining factor in a decision making process for a “professional” ?
    All the players should do there best and pick up their wages.Their turn for managing teams may come after they have retire.
    If any player starts asking for guarantees on player purchases they should be told to mind their own fucking business.

  98. @ Jonny

    The specifics may change, but what you (goonerandy, Luke, one or two others) do have in common is a tendency to make a big call, for example writing off an obviously talented player, or saying we have no chance of finishing higher than fourth, or that the team is second-rate, and deride as deluded or unrealistic anyone who is more upbeat. If that big call turns out wrong, you then seamIessly flip your opinion without acknowledging that you have been proved wrong.

    It’s irritating – rather like (to take the example Henristic gives today) Le Grove being full of praise for the medical department without acknowledging how excessively and unfairly critical they have been about them in the past. It’s particularly annoying to anyone who thought the original call was unreasonable.

  99. Fun – “The specifics may change, but what you (goonerandy, Luke, one or two others) do have in common is a tendency to make a big call, for example writing off an obviously talented player, or saying we have no chance of finishing higher than fourth, or that the team is second-rate, and deride as deluded or unrealistic anyone who is more upbeat. If that big call turns out wrong, you then seamIessly flip your opinion without acknowledging that you have been proved wrong

    I have to disagree with your last sentence. I have no qualms in admitting if I am wrong. My worst shout was on Alex Song; I really could not see what Arsene saw in him in the first few years, and now he is one of the best midfielders in the lge. I was waaaay wrong. On others (like Denilson) I will stand by my comments, but I am always open to changing my opinion.

  100. George,
    Not guarantees but reassurances that mistakes will not be repeated. Clearly it is in the players interest to know that the club matches their own ‘ambitions’? I remember Wenger saying quite a few of the players had come up to him concerned about the clubs stability during the Cesc/Nasri saga. That is an exceedingly normal thing to do in my view, moreso for the captain of the team.

  101. Fun – It also works both ways. I have seen plenty on here proclaim that some of our players will go on to be some of the best in Europe, only for it not to quite work out that way. Yet anybody questioing such a grand claim is accused to slagging the said player off. Glass houses and stones and all that.

  102. @ henristic

    Like I said earlier, suggestion is different, but telling someone that sign a player(s) of this calibre and value, otherwise I leave is overreaching..its not his job, there is a worthy manager and executives at the club to sort this stuff out..

    I am sure Ivan never told nasri how he should drop his shoulder when going past people now did he..

  103. Henristic.
    I think what I am trying to say is that it is only because of the financial security brought about by obscene wages that allows “professionals” to consider more than wages (which would previously been their priority)
    You also assume that mistakes were made and that they were avoidable.I am unconvinced of that.

  104. If that were the case would Nasri have stayed if we had spent 50 mill on Torres…look where that would have gotten us..

  105. “I have seen plenty on here proclaim that some of our players will go on to be some of the best in Europe, only for it not to quite work out that way. Yet anybody questioing such a grand claim is accused to slagging the said player off. Glass houses and stones and all that.”

    Andy is right.
    Positivism is good ,but people who question things ,in a respectful way,should not be turned upon.
    We have a marked absence of proper pricks of late.That is no reason to look for new objects of abuse.

  106. YW – What is up with Fulham anyways? I watched their game against the Spuds and if it were not fot some extremely outstanding goal keeping, they could have scored 6-7 more goals!? They also manage to breach a pretty tight defense at City twice yet do not seem to be able to finish a team off. Are they simply missing 2-3 players in specific positions and will then be the real deal or have these performances been the exception and not the norm?

    I know it is only the start of the Interbullshit but I am already bored to death. Even read the Mail!! I watched the Arsenal beating Barca game again last night, well the last (and most important) 20 minutes. I totally forgot that we took Song off in that game. Talk about going for it!! Brilliant display and brilliant game, well worth revisiting. COYG!!!

  107. FG,
    On le-grove, me thinks it sometimes comes from a pathological need to always be in the right. Geoff frequently acts like he is in some kind of personal competition with Wenger, and gets all bitchy about the manager not listening to him! This is all to do with personality though, Geoff would be equally as irritating if he were pro-Wenger (as some on here are).

    However most fans I know, and that post on here, don’t have a problem having their views or opinions proved wrong. We are after all only supporters.
    For instance I don’t even think its a big deal for someone to opine that RvP should have been sold a few seasons ago. Why should it, unless said fan is too proud to now admit his is wrong?

  108. @ goonerandy

    And what about the team being second-rate? Or how much you read into the 8-2 defeat? Or many other claims too numerous to mention.

    It also works both ways. I have seen plenty on here proclaim that some of our players will go on to be some of the best in Europe, only for it not to quite work out that way. Yet anybody questioing such a grand claim is accused to slagging the said player off. Glass houses and stones and all that.

    If you are talking about youngsters coming good, you may have a point. But I was thinking more of players like Rosicky and RvP (and I hope Diaby), in the light of the previous discussion. I also maintain it is more reasonable to give a player time, if the manager still has faith in him. And at least I explicitly accept it when players haven’t made the grade and I don’t pretend that I never thought they would, or I never backed them.

  109. pedantic george | November 8, 2011 at 2:57 pm
    I think what I am trying to say is that it is only because of the financial security brought about by obscene wages that allows “professionals” to consider more than wages (which would previously been their priority)

    Uhn? Break this down for me further will ya. Not every one is as intelligent as you are, you know

    You also assume that mistakes were made and that they were avoidable.I am unconvinced of that.
    But what if not everyone of our players agree with you? Heck, not even Wenger is unconvinced mistakes were made.

  110. FG – this season I said the league title was beyond us and I stick to that. That’s all I said. For the record I have decent money down on us finishing third or higher.

    Also if I state that as fact it is still only my opinion – why should it vex you? It is NOT anti-Arsenal to be pragmatic and objective – maybe this is part of the problem, is that some become defensive because they view others realism as a lack of faith? For me I find it helpful to temper my fanboyishness so as to better manage disappointment – perhaps you prefer to dream of league titles even when it is unlikely? I’m just thinking aloud.

    Anyway, I have not once, not ever, called our team second rate.

    I criticise some of our players, because sometimes some players are frustrating, but really only occasionally and never out of malice – I don’t see why that’s a problem.

    The flip side is that some people defend every Arsenal player no matter the circumstance or attitude, just on the basis of them being an Arsenal player. Do you ever turn round and admit you were wrong about a player and that he wasn’t as good as you say? Are all of your unflinching defences never unreasonable also?

    I don’t appreciate the comparisons to Le grove’s behaviour it’s not as though I am making personal attacks and calling players disgusting insults.

    I’m sorry you find it irritating it’s certainly not my intention – I find it irritating that some fans take these things personally. It’s just an opinion – I am sure I am wrong some of the time. I also called quite a few things correctly but I don’t crow about that either – we move on.

    I find it more irritating that people like Dgob and Shotta think that any of this makes it acceptable to spray petty insults. Your comments make it sound as though you agree with them which is a pity as I have always agreed with you for the most part and have no axe to grind with anyone.

    The difficulty is that fans in the middle get squeezed from both sides – we are not all out Wengerites who see everything as always perfect and yet would be attacked for being AKB’s by the D&G idiots.

    IMHO the fanbase has gotten a little polarised and everyone needs to lighten up a little.

  111. Henristic,
    Are you saying that Arsene should ask what Robin feels were mistakes and “assure”him that they will not be made again?
    Perhaps Robin would like a say in who we should be taking on as sponsors.Or maybe a seat on the board would help him put pen to paper.

  112. @ goonerandy
    And the other point on young players is that when you overreact to a horrible defeat, or you write off a player, you should know better. If you were a bookie, you would back AW’s judgement on players.
    But you should know that nothing concret can be taken from losing 8-2 with our midfield missing, a team who had barely learnt each other’s names and playing with 10 men.

  113. Andy @ 2.49 – concisely put. This ‘you said this, but it didn’t turn out to be true’ finger-pointing is very one-directional.

  114. Fun – “And what about the team being second-rate? Or how much you read into the 8-2 defeat? Or many other claims too numerous to mention

    I can only speak for myself, but I have never called the team second rate. I will stand by many of my comments from the Manure game, it really was a bad result regardless of many of the events which conspired against us that day (injuries and stuff). Our defence had not been good enough for a long while, and that was almost a perfect example of many of the flaws which highlighted that.

    We seem to be heading in the right direction now, but even in our recent win against Chelsea we still conceeded 3 which has been a bit overlooked. Like I said, we are heading in the right direction though.

  115. FunGunner
    Anyone who was not knocked sideways by the 8 2 is a strange kettle of fish.
    There were lots of very positive fans who over reacted in the days following that debacle.
    It was almost overwhelming.

  116. Shotta is just a miserable git with no sunshine in his life,, I pay him no attention and just skip his posts all together. Its just not worth the time it takes to read his posts. You know what he is going to say with out even reading his drivel.
    Man City are anything but dull or boring to watch, you really are just hating for the sake of hating if you feel that way. I hate them, but just because you dont like some thing takes nothing away from their achievements, they have improved in every aspect and are becoming a monster in a very short time.
    Most rational people on here are happy to admit when they are wrong, there are a few extremists on both sides of the fence that are to stubbon to be swayed or be humble when proven wrong. Darius is s good example of just switching off when shown up.

  117. @ Shotta, i also think u have jonny mixed up with someone else… really…he is one of the more positive and quite eloquent writers, maybe u need to go back to the archives a bit. Besides the summer and start of season did get to most with varying degrees.

    GA has always struck me as being rather pessimistic, but more in the hope that things would work out better than he expects and not the AIC’s type of total loss of faith and hope in anything Arsenal. Him i usually do not mind being called out for being on the fence, but there has been vast improvement in everyone of late (coinciding with team form? LOL) I think we should all give each other a break

    it is this call for firepower that is the type of thing that brings this lack of support accusations at times I think.

    We have people that are strikers, why should the manager not play them instead of going out to buy new players cos of loss of form. There were a number of games that RVP did not score in. At least we cannot pretend that Charmakh has never showed signs of what he is capable of! he will regain his form. Park is Korean captain, sure he cannot be all that bad? Really. Lets give these players their chance to gain their form back this also requires support not just outright dropping from the team! o for one also think Gerv can play as a striker, but i guess he and chamakh are off cor the ANC? Its surely just for the month of January and not even for all if their respective teams do not go all the way. Theo is waiting longingly to get onto the striker role

    Apart from the likes of Eden or Gortze or any of those almost expected players, i doubt there will be any major additions to the squad in January except as AW would always say, he is a super super quality player that will add to the squad no end. We have likes of benayoon and Rosicky and Arshavin that would happily do with more game time they will get if Theo moves to the middle

    in the end though, happily for us, none of us are the ones to make these decisions! So its always nice and safe to speculate away!

  118. Fun – “And the other point on young players is that when you overreact to a horrible defeat, or you write off a player, you should know better. If you were a bookie, you would back AW’s judgement on players.
    But you should know that nothing concret can be taken from losing 8-2 with our midfield missing, a team who had barely learnt each other’s names and playing with 10 men.

    Know better? But it just my opinion. And I suppose it depends on what you mean by “write a player off”.

    And I don’t think that being pretty pissed off is overreracting to conceeding 8 goals. No top prfosessional side should conceed 8 goals in one game. Some of the defending really was schoolboy stuff. That is why I was so mad. I can’t believe you think it was an overreaction.

  119. Team Spirit – Surely being classed as “on the fence” means not giving an opinion one way or another? Which is somthing that I don’t really do; I am quite happy to give my opinion even if other disagree. Strange.

  120. Jonny,

    In fairness you did choose to repeat the arsenal don’t coach defence meme. I don’t know if you have relied upon anyone else other then the uncredible Amy Lawrence (Ade was let go due to the existance of an African clique in the dressing room? Really. Pfffffffff? Like I said: Uncredible) as a source, but it’s still a suggestion that exposes one’s broadside. Or is it one’s Arse????
    And finally some of those with whoom you have been conversing don’t hesitiate to make personal attacks. On people who aren’t even on the board. Those are some rotton apples my friend.
    And finally, before I ran away from Facebook, I saw you on there. We do in fact have a mutual friend. But there’s an embarasseing story there, involving me, or her as well. Er, I’ll save it for a special occasion…..must…w….work!
    Hope you don’t mind the tease.

  121. Gunnerjones.I nearly missed your attack on Shotta because as ever I was skipping past your post 🙂 (did you see what I did there? funny egh? )

  122. Team – I agree that I don’t think we will see much movement in Jan though. I would not pay too much to Arsene’s “super super quality” mantra though. The day after he last said that we signed Park (who may be a good player, but is hardly super super quality).

  123. George – He is right though.

  124. @ goonerandy

    yes the 8 -2 hurt, but it was not outright about bad defending. a number of those goals were scored towards the end of the game and usually comes from counters when the team is trying to play catch up.

    Besides I think we were also a man down. Just like the backburn game with 2 own goals and an offish goal without which we could simply have won 3 -1, u cannot analyse the match based solely on results and hurt rather circumstances. I doubt we will lose a match by such a margin in the next few years, maybe 10 or 20 or even more!

  125. Team – Oh I agree, it was pretty much a one off. I may have been equally as mad if it was “just” the four to be honest. The manner of defending for the 1st was awful. But the worst for me was the Nani goal which illistrated perfectly our defending at times. He was just stood on the edge of our area unmarked for ages and our whole team was all over the place. If it were not Arsenal playing I would have been in stitches watching it. Anyway, old ground now I suppose eh?

  126. @ goonerandy

    i think on the fence, is more a description like the one of park just now. he will be a great player for us, because AW trusts him enough to bring him in. It cant be that difficult to say… you on the other hand would rather call him an “alright player!” LOL

    a vast majority of the players AW rings him have shown flashes and glimpses of what he saw in them…. some end up moving on for varying reasons, but not because they necessarily failed as a player, even the likes of Senderos were a part of a record setting CL defense that got us to the finals of the Cl no less! i personally missed him and Eboue in the team

  127. Yogi: Great post as always. You must be a closet doomer because you have the audacity to actually admit that one of our rivals is a good football team and plays good football. I hate the way they have been built but certainly admire the way they are playing so far.

    Every team will go thru a bad patch during the year. My hope for city is that all the ego’s in their dressing room will somehow cause a gigantic implosion. We also have to consider that the Red Manc’s are going thru their annual rough patch at the moment and they are not really dropping that many points. Barring a total implosion from the blue manc’s and the red manc’s our only real hope for first is to take almost all of the remaining 81 points. If we can maintain that sort of consistency for the rest of the season then we deserve to win a title. Hope springs eternal.

    I think this current run has given us a realistic chance to move back into 4th spot by New Years. I think if we can maintain some consistency especially in the back we have an excellent chance of finishing the season in 3rd place. Add the CC or FA cup trophy and that would be a superb year and represent a great springboard to better things in the next few years.

  128. @ goonerandy
    Of course we were knocked sideways, as pedantic george put it. Like I said earlier, the players questioned whther they were even good enough to play for Arsenal.

    But we didn’t all react like you did. It was how much you read into it, as I said before, and the perverse refusal to factor in the exceptional features of that day.

    And that example of the “Arsene doesn’t know how to coach defence” was another case where you should know better.

    ****
    @ Jonny | November 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    First of all, when I gave those examples of big calls, I was talking about general areas, and also I wasn’t just talking about you.
    An example specific to you of a big call would be:
    Holding the opinion that AOC is ready to displace one of the more established midfielders, but is being held back because Arsene is freezing him out.

    Maybe flipping shouldn’t be annoying, but it is – goonerandy and Henristic both find it annoying.

    As for the rest of that comment, I appreciate that you are trying to understand where I am coming from, and I mean that sincerely, but a better start would have been to read what I actually write in the responses I have made to you.

    ***

    Anyway, I expect everyone is on the verge of dying of boredom with this subject, back to the football.
    Everybody pray/sacrifice/bribe/do anything (not fussed if it’s legal or not) to make sure our players come back in one piece and that RvP doesn’t play at all.

  129. Perhaps if you try a little harder George you can skip my whole post next time. It gets easier, as good as I have got at skipping Shottas its the reactions and the way his post change the whole mood on here from one of friendly banter to, well what ever it becomes that is hard to ignore. You really have to question his motives and his intelligence some times.

  130. Team – But that goes against all logic. Arsene has brought plenty of players in who did not go on to be great players, so that is not a valid point. Secondly, there is no evidence of him being some great goalscorer; he has never scored more than 12 lge goals in any season of his career, whilst playering for average clubs.

    I am now saying he will be a bad players for us, becasue like many I do have a great deal of faith in Arsene. But in this case there is no real evidence to back up the claim that he will be a great player. Hardly sitting on a fence is it?

  131. Ooops.

    -now
    +not

  132. Fun – “Of course we were knocked sideways, as pedantic george put it. Like I said earlier, the players questioned whther they were even good enough to play for Arsenal.

    But we didn’t all react like you did. It was how much you read into it, as I said before, and the perverse refusal to factor in the exceptional features of that day.

    And that example of the “Arsene doesn’t know how to coach defence” was another case where you should know better.”

    Seriously, I think you genuinely may be getting my posts mixed up. I have never said that Arsene does not know how to coach defence as I don’t think that this is the case. I would be interested to know which of my posts were an overreation as you may have gotten them mixed up as well. That is not a dig by the way.

  133. Andy,he is not right.
    I will not have a bad word said against Shotta.Not by a moaning bastard like Gunnerjones ,anyway.

  134. Gunnerjones – “and the way his post change the whole mood on here from one of friendly banter to, well what ever it becomes that is hard to ignore. You really have to question his motives and his intelligence some times.”

    That is a good point.

  135. I agree with Jonny @ 3:15.

  136. Gunnerjones,that was naught but banter btw 🙂 No offense meant.

  137. Bill,well you would ,would you not?

  138. @FG “Everybody pray/sacrifice/bribe/do anything (not fussed if it’s legal or not) to make sure our players come back in one piece and that [b]RvP doesn’t play at all[/b].”

    Why? That makes it sound like you think he’s either a) a bit injury prone, or b) irreplaceable.

  139. The bottom line here is that anything Man City accomplishes will truly be no accomplishment at all. They are like a spoiled child that goes on ebay to buy unlimited video game resources to “buy” their way to beating a very tough video game that requires a lot of time and effort to actually complete legitimately.

    Man City “bought” the cheat code for unlimited resources while almost everyone else(Chelsea and the Spanish clubs excluded) in this gaming world is forced to build up resources by actually earning them. I do not understand how City fans can take any real joy from the success they are having. It really is a joke.

  140. None taken George, You are wrong though as none moan more on here that shotta, well Stew comes close. And unfortunately you will have no say on what is said against shotta as that is just the reality of a blog. enough said on my side.
    As for the striker debate, I have not written off Park or Chamack yet, but I do feel we need a top top quality striker that can come in and do a job, not hopefully be able to improve to the point where he can be relied on to step up.

  141. City ATM should play good footy and they do. They should win with huge margins and they do. They should win all 4 competitions IMO and they may well do. Try should be far,far,far ahead of the rest. With the money they spend they must be the best.simple as. With 20m players on the bench and a bench that’s worth more than entire opponents teams they she walk over clubs like qpr and Swansea. Their Benchmark shod be to win all domestic trophies. City will prove that you can buy success in footy.all u need to do is buy up 18 great players, subsidise with. A couple of savics and bam PL is no longer a competitive league. And they will boss PL for decades to come as they will always buy the best. Always pay most. Money talks. Simple as.
    Arsenal is sling things the right way, city cuts corners and win.
    But atleast arsenal feels real.
    City has a plastic fantastic feel to it. Anyone can buy new titts

  142. finsbury – intriguing!

    As to “In fairness you did choose to repeat the arsenal don’t coach defence meme.”

    It’s possible just your shorthand but I certainly never said we don’t coach defence and I wasn’t aware I was dragging up past devils – though it is reasonable to imagine why it might have come up before… 😉

    My comment was saying that it has not been enough of a focus and that Wenger is noted by past players as focusing primarily on open play.

    The counter argument to G69’s childish ripostes – is that if he or anyone else thinks enough of a focus has been made on defending set pieces (and scoring from them) than we have been in waaaay worse trouble than I thought. If we gave this issue adequate priority and yet we were bottom in the league for defending where did/does the problem lie?? Why was it allowed to get so bad? Is it the personnel?

    Why is it ridiculous to suggest we revisit the front post flick on from the GG era? It was stunningly effective even when teams knew it was coming.

    Why is RVP still taking corners??

    I just think they are valid topics for dissection and I honestly don’t know of this article you refer to vis a vis Amy Lawrence.

    When are we going to discuss the FB intrigue!

  143. Very few are born with naturally gorgerous ones was my point:-)

  144. @ goonerandy … i would rather stick with “i am now saying…” and ignore the not, so i can quarrel. LOL

    Point is Park has not had enough time to fulfill his potential, With the chances we create he could score much more, just like Ade

    Reyes would have been so excellent a player to keep, he moved on through a mixture of homesickness and restlessness, much of it caused by that game that ended our unbeaten run, where he was literally assaulted with the legal backing of the ref who should rather have protected him. you may argue for that it showed lack of mental strength, Eduardo also had to move on mostly thorough no fault of his… i wonder who hleb thot he was going to replace in barca, but he was great for us… Also Flamini to AC Milan, except it is the bigger wages… Cant think of any AW player that didnt do the job he was called to do, and do it well too

  145. Team – Ha, as soon as I hit “comment” I noticed it. Of all the spelling mistakes to make…. 🙂

    I agree he has not had time to prove himself here; my point is that there is no realy indication or proof in his career stats that he is some sort of super striker. I certainly hope he is however. We are off tarck here though, as I am not slagging the guy (how can I? I have hardly seen him play). Not really sure how we eneded up discussing him.

  146. FG – “An example specific to you of a big call would be:
    Holding the opinion that AOC is ready to displace one of the more established midfielders, but is being held back because Arsene is freezing him out”.

    Again I did not say that! I said that I was disappointed he was not even being afforded bench-time whilst he was in form, as I felt he could change a game. I never said he was being frozen-out just that, to me, it seemed a funny decision as he was on a hot streak.

    Others jumped on and wanted to start him instead of Theo but that was not me.

    And I do read what you write – more stones in glass houses…

  147. Team – “Cant think of any AW player that didnt do the job he was called to do, and do it well too

    Really? There are tons. Most managers make more signings that don’t work out than do I would wager. I think that is farily normal.

    I liked Hleb as well. I know many really didn’t like the guy, but I was gutted when he left.

  148. I agree 100% with poodle.
    So much so that I am going to copy and paste the post and put it on other blogs ,claiming it as my own.

  149. Fun seems to have a nasty habit of attributing quotes to posters (which are not true) in order to back up her arguments. Shame, as I quite enjoy reading most of her posts.

  150. Andy ,if Park was a super striker we would not have been able to get him as a 2nd or 3rd choice

  151. George – All very true. And you have reminded me of my original point; Arsene said we will only sign super super quality, and the very next day signed Park. 🙂

  152. George @ 4:02:

    We all have different opinions. The blog is a lot more fun when we can actually discuss those opinions rather then get into arguments about who is and who is not a “good fan”. Things often deteriorate very quickly after that starts to happen.

    I agree with Jonny @ 4:10.

    I agree with Poodle @ 4:09. With regard to the last sentence the purchased variety look just as good and get just as much attention as the real ones, I know it won’t happen anytime soon but I wish we could get a pair.

  153. If some of us deem fit to make sweeping statements about the team then why cant some of us make sweeping statements about other posters?
    Arguing is more fun than debating in my opinion.But that is just my opinion.Rather than an argument.

  154. But surely debating is simply arguing with an adult head on George?

  155. I dont know, but if a player plays for Arsenal we should believe they are going to come good. If a player doesnt come good, how you can slag the person who was believeing they would? That position creates no negative feelings about the player and you dont have a host of blogs and comments blasting the poor guy. The player will most probably move on if they are not good enough.

    Why should someone admit they were wrong for believing in an Arsenal player?

    On the other hand, if you as a Arsenal supporter continually dis an Arsenal player and they come good, you have already posted your crap and helped in the player being viewed negatively. You only have to look at our own Walcott. Waddle said what he said and even Arsenal supporters cant stop talking nonsense about the young man. Sure he has his problems but what is the point of saying the same thing over and over again, maybe to the detriment of the player? Do we think they players dont read or hear anything that is being said.

    For those who think positively, we have much more going for us than those who find fault, ARSENE! not to mention the scouting system. If a player is at Arsenal, I am led to believe that Arsene believes they are good enough and/or will come good in the long run. Surely we dont think we know more than he does?

    I say as supporters we should err on the side of positivity, it causes no damage.

  156. Yes Bill but they don’t feel as good .:)

    And that’s what is important under the covers with the lights out

  157. @ Poodle and Pedantic George
    There is a lot of truth in poodle’s comment and I am now very depressed. Cheers. (wry smile) But we have to fight it. I’ll be down the Dog and Duck handing out the swords and shields and amusing helmets.

  158. Jonny,

    will get back to you on the whole De-fensive thing later when I have the time.

  159. Sorry Chaps & Chapettes,

    But the only person on this blog who has consistantly made personal attacks in rrecent times (on people not even here like Frank) has been GA.

    And as proven in the past, the only person who has reptively mis-quoted, on purpose, in order to further a spurious agenda has been Bill.

    Hmmm……

  160. B*ll*cks to the bl**dy D**Ming typos

  161. Fun – You have not really adressed my point at you earlier. Don’t do a Darius and just disapear when mistaken.

  162. @ goonerandy
    You accused me of inventing quotes before, remember how that turned out?

    No doubt Jonny now wishes he hadn’t said what he did, but he most certainly did say that and in very strong terms. Which is why I remember it so clearly.

  163. Finsbury – The remark about Frank was hardly an attack, it was just a tounge in cheek comment for a bit of a laugh. Check any post I have ever made on here; you will not find one in which I have told somebody to F*&k off or anything similar. I don’t think I have ever “attacked” anybody on here.

  164. As far as strikers, both Park and Chamakh are proven scorers. I am not sure how a player that comes and play once in a while is supposed to just come out blazing. It usually doesnt happen that way, why do we think it will with our strikers.

    ZP commented on Dzeko, he was nothing special last season at City but with time games under his belt, he scoring goals.

  165. @ goonerandy | November 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Fun – You have not really adressed my point at you earlier. Don’t do a Darius and just disapear when mistaken.

    I thought I had. Which point?

  166. Darius is never wrong.
    He is my official spokesman.He had better never be wrong.

  167. Lol Bill – ‘WE’ could get a pair? WE???

    To share amongst the ACLF crew? They’d get awfully dog-eared.

  168. Fun – No, I don’t. But again, you are avoiding responding to me. Are you a politicion by any chance?

    I have never said that Arsne can’t coach defending, so I really don’t know where you have pulled that one from.

  169. Fun – Sorry. My 3:58.

  170. FunGunner this is getting weird – I have, I think refuted all of the things you have attributed to me and you have yet to respond.

    To what exactly does this refer??

    “No doubt Jonny now wishes he hadn’t said what he did, but he most certainly did say that and in very strong terms. Which is why I remember it so clearly.”

  171. Paul – But Dzeko had scored 20+ goals in his previous two seasons in the German lge. Park (for example) has never scored more than 12 lge goals in a season. Don’t you see the difference?

  172. @ Paul-N | November 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    AW says Park is still adapting – should be ready by Christmas. And I think, barring actually scoring, Chamakh has done quite well the few times he has played. so perhaps he’s turned his corner as well.

  173. YW – Stuck at work for another hour or so yet. Nothing better to do 😉

  174. Footy is a bit slow Yogi.
    What can you do?

  175. George @ 4:31:

    LOL. I guess we will have to respectfully agree to disagree about the first sentence. With regards to the last, I would rather not have the lights out.

    Finsbury @ 4:33:

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn.

  176. We will always have 04 they can never take that away from us.

  177. On the pointing of fingers arguments….Goonaerandy, Jonny, Luke and Bill are actually OK fellas.

    Goonerandy is not a doomer, just a fence sitter and a good user of selective amnesia – but he can hold his own in a debate. Jonny is also very articulate and balanced with his views and is a good conversationalist.

    Bill – all we have to do is good defence and our resident Texan is actually an OK chap with a very dry sense of humour. Luke can be annoying at times, but he’s the sort of bloke you can sit with at the pub, share a pint and enjoy the evening talking about Arsenal.

    All these guys have one thing in common – they just want Arsenal to do well. I suspect all of us do.

    And then there’s that other lot. Mentioning them is 20 seconds in my life that I’ll never get back.

  178. this is getting silly
    i dont know a single person on here thats been right about everything theyve said…

    apart from me..

  179. Paul N:

    The only problem with unending positivity is if you never admit there is a problem then the problem never gets fixed. I know that our opinions as fans do not really influence the decision makers but pretending that it does is part of what makes blogging fun.

  180. Darius – “All these guys have one thing in common – they just want Arsenal to do well. I suspect all of us do.

    Bang on there my friend. I see you are still struggling to understand the old fence sitting saying, but we can’t have everything can we 😉

  181. @ goonerandy

    OK – yes. Sorry, that should not have been directed at you. I started replying to you but my wires got crossed.

  182. I was wrong ,Darius does get it wrong.Clearly 🙂

  183. Fun – No worries. Cheers for responding.

  184. Someone mentioned it earlier….but what is it with Arsenal and scoring from set pieces.

    RVP’s free kick goal against Sunderland was the first he’d scored from a free kick in more than 2 years (please correct me by all means), and before that, it was Nasri who scored our last free kick during his purple patch a year ago.

    We’re woeful at corners and to the best of my recollection, the last corner we scored from was when Laurent Koscielny netted the 2nd goal against Ipswich in last seasons Carling cup semi-final.

    I really despair and question what’s the point of us getting set pieces when we don’t score from them. It could really boost our winning streak.

  185. JonJon ROFL!!! You of ALL people!

    You went though one of the biggest Damascene conversions I have ever witnessed.

    You were a right-proper Wenger hater – you seem much more balanced now.

    😀

  186. GA, thanks for proving my point. If Dzeko is such class but he didn’t come in and score right away why do we think our strikers will?

  187. Finsbury said ,,,Sorry Chaps & Chapettes,

    But the only person on this blog who has consistantly made personal attacks in rrecent times (on people not even here like Frank) has been GA.

    And as proven in the past, the only person who has reptively mis-quoted, on purpose, in order to further a spurious agenda has been Bill.

    Hmmm……

    Hmmmmm I think you obviously dont read any of Shotta, Gainsbourg or Stews posts , or your own actually.

  188. @ Jonny
    You haven’t refuted my points. You’ve replied to points you think I have made, demonstrating to me that you have not properly understood most of my comments.

    Re your other comment, this is what I was referring to.

    that AOC is ready to displace one of the more established midfielders, but is being held back because Arsene is freezing him out”.

  189. Dariious @ 4.59 – I love you.

  190. @Goonerandy.

    Don’t use my name in vain. At least wait for me to come online to get you off the fence with my shovel.

  191. Paul – No mate, you are missing my point. Dzeko had a record of scoring lots of goals in the past. Therefore it is not beyond the realms of possiblity that once settled he would do the same again. Park has never been prolific to that extent…..there is no logic thought that he will be prolific in the future.

    Try this:

    Scoring loads……..moves…….settles…….carries on scoring loads.

    Scoring a few……..moves…….settles…….?????????.

    Fill in the missing bits.

  192. darius i was just about to say..
    great minds and all that..
    does anyone know how many weve conceded this season??
    i read a stat yesterday that says weve scored only 2 of our 23 goals this season from set peices..its the fewest in the league..

    i thought we’d be working on that this season..obviously not.i dont know why really…i love the way we play but sometimes i wish a few more of those free kicks and corners would go in the back of the net..

  193. Darius – Heh.

  194. @ Darius | November 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Yes, it’s one thing that came out of the analysis of how we conceded our goals – we don’t make as much of set pieces as we could. And yes, it is a puzzle – to which I have not even the beginning of an answer.

  195. Darius – Good points on the set pieces. With the likes on Jenkinson/Santos/Mertesacker/TV5/Koscienly (all of which are good in the air) in the side you would like to think we will be a bit more dangerous. That said, we consistantly fail to beat the first man on corners. I have no idea why this happens.

  196. FG – you call me out AGAIN for not reading your posts when you missed my post which not only completely dismisses your accusations as wrong. I am not dodging the issue but you are plain wrong about what I said.

    If you want me to go back and prove it I shall, but otherwise I’d appreciate if you’d apologise – I promise you really have put words in my mouth.

    To whit –


    Jonny | November 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm
    FG – “An example specific to you of a big call would be:
    Holding the opinion that AOC is ready to displace one of the more established midfielders, but is being held back because Arsene is freezing him out”.

    Again I did not say that! I said that I was disappointed he was not even being afforded bench-time whilst he was in form, as I felt he could change a game. I never said he was being frozen-out just that, to me, it seemed a funny decision as he was on a hot streak.

    Others jumped on and wanted to start him instead of Theo but that was not me.

    And I do read what you write – more stones in glass houses…

  197. lol johnny..

  198. It also makes some sense of why we were pretty rubbish at defending set pieces. How can the defence practice to any decent standard when there is nobody good at attacking them in training?

  199. There is never any need to make stuff up to support a point of view in order to discuss ‘Football’.

    GA

    I have only really ‘disagreed’ with with you in the past regarding goalkeeping errors. Can’t recall either of us veering of the verge into insults with that particular example. Sorry but I thought that post about Frank read poorly. My bad if it was a poor joke. I’m guilty of a few of those…

    I like threads about football. Which is why I’ll try and write my reply/thoughts for Jonny on the whole defensive coaching malarky later on.

  200. I have a feeling with Tommy V back in the side we will start seeing a few more corners and free kicks go in. He very nearly scored from a corner on the week end. He seems to attack the ball instead of waiting for it to come to him. He ran a fair distance to connect with that corner.

  201. Bill, some things are ok to discuss for me. We can say that x player needs to do y better. BUT It is not fun to me when we are dogging an Arsenal player. “X will not come good and they are injured too much and need to be sold etc”.

    I found it very stupid that I had to be defending Walcott, given his age and what he has already accomplished and that he is an Arsenal player!

    Fact is, as you say, we cannot fix it. So what are we doing and saying again?

  202. LOL Goonerandy. Talking about me instead of addressing FunGunner, huh?

    On this set piece issue – it really is disturbing and despairing. I really think Van Persie should be relieved off set piece taking duty because folks – let’s face it – for the number of free kicks he takes, the return is really really bad.

    Take a comparison with Seb Larson who actually scores most of his free kicks. I’d rather even Ramsey or Theo or Arteta be the primary. RVP can still take penalties.

    I think the rationale for corners is that a left footer takes the right sided corners and a right footer the left sided ones so that we only take in-swinging corners which are more potent – but really for Arsenal, we’re impotent in set pieces and need a dose of viagra.

  203. “demonstrating to me that you have not properly understood most of my comments”

    Jeez FG, condescending much?

  204. Finsbury – “I have only really ‘disagreed’ with with you in the past regarding goalkeeping errors. Can’t recall either of us veering of the verge into insults with that particular example. Sorry but I thought that post about Frank read poorly. My bad if it was a poor joke. I’m guilty of a few of those

    Ah, I will apologise if it came across as catty. It really was meant as just a little joke (can’t remember what it was even). Nice that we don’t have to disagree on goalkeeping errors any more eh? 🙂

  205. weve only scored one header as well

  206. Darius – I’d like to see The Jenk given a run for corners – there is no one better at whipping a cross in so he must be reasonably decent from a dead ball?

    Also I have a pet hate of strikers taking corners – you remove the goal scorer from the area of the pitch where he can score goals. I’d like him prowling the 18yd box for anything loose.

    I agree the return from RVP in free kick efforts is terrible – I recall someone saying that Zola (pre-Chelsea) had a season where is conversion rate touched 1 in 3 for a long while.

  207. Darius – Ha, always in my mind ;).

    Agree on the RvP bit though. He is living of reputation a with free kicks. I think it is the same problems as with the corners though. He has been our only left footer in the side fairly often. With the return of TV5 and addition of Santos (I am presuming he is a free kick wizard being Brazilian) maybe we will see some variation. From the left Arteta has a decent record. I always wince when Theo lines up to take one though; you know he is going to scuff it into the wall.

  208. GA,

    I don’t think we will ever agree on ‘keepers getting beat on their near post like that. Czech wasn’t too blame that much IMO for one or two of the finishes last week. I’m thinking of my boys Walcott’s goal in particular, Ramsey (re: walcott’s comments on the goal) was a bit of a distraction for the poor ‘keeper I thought.

    ps. Walcott can control the ball. Most of the time. When he’s not knackered. Grrrrrrrr.

  209. @Paul-N

    The irony about all this “Theo Walcott is inconsistent” debate, last season, Theo had better stats in goals and assists than Eden Hazard and with slightly fewer games. Theo’s goal scoring and assist are second to RVP in the team and people still moan and bitch about a player capable of crawling past 4 Chelsea defenders, slamming the ball past Petr Cech and making Stewart Robson look like a platinum idiot in commentary.

    Theo is one of our big game players. He scores important goals against big teams – Barca, Liverpool, Chelsea – and he scores crucial goals – first goal, equalizers and goals that give us the lead and momentum in games.

    Why are we even arguing what value Theo brings to the team.

  210. Yay I got a mention in the same breath as some real quality Arsenal fans like Fins, gains and Shotta. Thank you gunnerjones, you may – and note I only say may – be a prick but you have done me a true honour. As for Frank, none of us is fit to stand in his shadow where support is concerned.

  211. Jonny – Good call on Jenkinson. I would like to see him in the box though. He seems pretty good in the air.

  212. Finsbury – Yeah, Theo did hit it pretty well. It was a great finish.

    Steww – “As for Frank, none of us is fit to stand in his shadow where support is concerned.

    May I ask why?

  213. Jonny @5:17 pm.

    Jenk or Santos will never take the corners because of their role while the CBs are attacking set pieces. Next time watch the full backs depending on which side the set piece or corders are being taken from. The CBs will always go forward during set pieces and Alex Song will stay back with both full backs to cover counter attacks if our players at the edge of the box don’t pick the second balls.

    So unless Theo will play that full back defensive cover role during set piece taking, I’m afraid the Jenks won’t take any corners – or Santos for that matter.

  214. Glad I could brighten someone’s day up Stew.

  215. Jonny,

    I’ve found myself with more time than usual on my hands over the last few days and so I find it passable to waste some with you.

    “As far as I know we ALL want Diaby to do well.”

    Well that might well be the case. However, as others also tried to point out to you yesterday, your ‘well wishing’ seems to fall short of acknowledging that RvP, Rosicky and TV5 all demonstrate that Arsene’s keeps faith with players not to merely use them as squad players. It appears to me that you and the rest of the bunch have already consigned his career to one of comparitive failure.

    As for you comments about his ‘value for money’, I cannot begin to tell you what that left me thinking of you.

    I hope that explanation will suffice.

  216. Full backs tend to stay back due to them often being small and fast, therefore no use at a corner. Jenks and Santos are different though; they are both decent in the air. I wonder if we would utilise them and change away from the norm?

  217. Im also curious as to the Frank statement.

  218. If only G69 was here to give his elucidating thoughts about why the team struggles at set pieces then my afternoon would be complete.

    You know what’s great about Pedantic George – I disagree with him loads and vice-versa but it’s always done with a smile – you can tell he’s just a good natured lunatic (and that’s a good thing).

    I wish a few of the angrier posters could find the same sense of joie de vivre – and yes I know I do react a bit strong but jeez there is some provocation.

    😀

  219. Note to Goonerandy. I’m just leaving the office and on my way home just in case he thinks I’m disappearing…hehehehe

  220. Ha, off soon myself. I have to go to a meeting that as hard as I tried, I cannot get out of.

    You will be here tomorrow?????

    😉

  221. “As for you comments about his ‘value for money’, I cannot begin to tell you what that left me thinking of you.

    I hope that explanation will suffice.”

    Yes – I guess it does rather.

  222. GA, Park scores goals, that’s what we will worry about and not whether he scores as much as Dzeko. If he can score for his country (which he does a lot) and for his previous club, my belief is that he will score for us.

    Your point doesnt change anything I have said. Dzeko with all what you have attributed to him still took time, so to expect a player who gets one game here and there to just start scoring is not sensible.

    What many are saying is buy a striker without giving our players a decent chance. If Wenger thinks our strikers will come good, I will trust his judgment. If he brings in someone, I will do the same. Simple so!

    The greatest striker in our history was not prolific until he came to Arsenal and Dzeko is no comparison.

  223. Paul @ 5:11:

    Fair enough, too each their own. Any open blog like this will inevitably get some of the radical fringe elements from both sides and some of the ultranegative sometimes profane slurs regarding specific players. The good part of being able to talk about Arsenal football far outweighs the bad.

  224. Well said Darius at 4.59.

    We, most of us, sing from the same song sheet, most of the time.

    A little variance in pitch perhaps and some are more involved in the chorus but recognisably singing the same song.

  225. Paul – You are simply ignoring facts.

    Park (last 3 season) in the lge

    5 goal
    8 goal
    12 goals

    Dzeko (last 3 season) in the lge

    22 goals
    26 goals
    10 goals (only played half a season)

    It is no great suprise that Dzeko is scoring lots. I would expect Park to get a few, but not that many. I am basing my opinion on the facts Paul. Their career stats so far. I am not saying the bloke is a bad player, but for you to compare the 2 is a bit unfair on Park.

  226. Anyway, I am off.

    Laters.

  227. Sorry Jonny but your studious denial of your dooming of Diaby leaves me cold. Forming a triad with the notorious fence-sitter goonerandy and the over-wrought Luke to opine that Diaby is overpaid and should be sold off as soon as the club has an opportunity stinks of the type of knee-jerk player judgments that led to similar calls in the case of Van Persie, Song and Rosicky. Similarly, after the Man United debacle,you and your triad wrote off Arsene Wenger and the team’s ability to recover and make a run for top four much less to threaten for the title. Using the Guardian, football365 (who were happy to ride the diabolic Diaby bandwaggon) and the assorted plundits to bolster your arguments tells me more about your opportunism than your willingness to positively defend your team.

    Give them hell Fungunner, G69 and Dgob!

  228. GA, I am not making a comparison with the two player’s apart from saying players take time to get settled. If the “greater” player needs time, surely the lesser needs time also, no?

    What matters to me with park is not simply stats (they are decent and improving) but that Arsene thought Park would fit our system.

  229. @ Jonny
    I stand by what I said at 5:00pm.
    I am sorry if I sounded condescending. But I meant what I said.

    ***
    @ consolsbob
    Hello. Sorry about the unseemly brawling. You shouldn’t have to see that.

    You’ll be interested in that medical centre article (arseblog version). Confirms the reasoning for leaving RvP out of the starting line-up at Marseilles.

  230. In a weird way, that has been quite a fun read.. and for all the bitching – mea culpa! – there’s no-one on here who is truly nasty; anyway, I want to apologise to George for being a twat the other day (me, that is).. blame it on the moonshine.

  231. You’re all c*nts.

  232. @Ponyboy – you can still get moonshine?

    That shit can make you go blind. But then again, so will rocket fuel.

  233. @ Dexter | November 8, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Ha ha ha!

    Perhaps it’s all the stress of the last few months working itself out. I shall revert to making more use of the scroll button, the abandonment of which was probably a mistake.

  234. Dexter.

    I think you were on the wrong blog when you said that.

    http://www.cuntsrus.com does crash alot though and makes you reply on one of the active tabs.

  235. Nice one Dex, you pulsating pr#ck! The beer here Darius; it’s vile ~ but at 25 cents (4 for a euro) I’m stumbling into, well, things.

  236. Well, that’s awfully considerate of you Fun, but to be fair, one has had the odd cross word with, say, AIC, over the years!

    I’m just not into throwing (too) many stones these days.

    And what’s all this about Ponyboy drinking and being abusive? Used to such a nice little reprobate.

  237. on the park issue..
    there was a rumour that we stole park from lille just to sell shirts..
    the board apparently saw the effects of our support in asia and it wasnt wengers decision to sign him, just like it wasnt wengers decision to tour..which is why wenger wouldnt play him..he was cheap, he was available..so we grabbed him..

    personally..i think hes a stop gap..a number bolster..hes only here for 2 years before hes off to play shooty bang bang..hes just here to bring experience to a youthful looking front three outside of the first team..same with benayoun..until afobe, ryo, and oxo are ready to step up or until a super super quality player becomes available..i think both gervinho and chamakh are off to play in africa so it makes sense for this season..i just hope it dont backfire they same way silvestre did..or squillaci..

  238. Ha! Thanks FG, Darius and Ponyboy!

    I see Jonny is doing his usual and falling out with everyone again! 😀

    I’d love us to sign a top class striker in January BTW. Just think we need one.

    ManU and the chavs were talking about going unbeaten all season after good starts and they never managed it. Neither will City.

  239. @Consols. Alas, Pony boy thought he would compete with you and brew his own cider. He may have skipped a few steps or mixed up the ingredients hence his aggressiveness towards Pedantic George the other day after a glass of his beverage.

  240. JJ

    Is Afobe still injured?

  241. @Dex – top class strikers are usually not available in January, and unfortunately for us, they wouldn’t want to warm the bench waiting for RVP to get injured or go off form.

  242. @ consolsbob
    Oh yes, I forgot. You’ve been a doughty fighter yourself many a time.
    Well, make sure consolsel’s eyes are averted, then. Or the chickens – protect them, at least!

    Tell you what, though – those winged helmets murder your hair.

  243. Darius

    Parantly AC will listen to offers for Pato. As for the bench warming excuse, sorry mate, they simply doesnt wash. We cannot cling to that as a reason to not have competion in all areas. All other areas have competion apart from upfront.

  244. We signed Arshavin in January and Reyes for that matter.

  245. So this guy Conrad Murray. What are his chances of getting another job ever?

    Potential client: It says on your CV that you’ve had high profile clients. Why did you leave your last client?
    Murray: Actually, I managed to kill him

    I suppose its worse than a body guard who has to change clients because their last client died.

  246. Indeed, Fun, indeed.

    No2 all over is the answer.

  247. Shotta you utilise several unpleasant argument techniques simultaneously – you should work for Fox News with that kind of olympic level bullshit. You sound like Glen Beck drawing lines between ‘shadowy organisations’.

    Start with an accusation and pretend it is truth, say I said things I didn’t, lump me in with other people (hinting it is part of a wider conspiracy or problem), attribute some of the things they have said (or not said) to me, exaggerate things I did say so it includes other players that I said nothing about and then finish by encouraging other people to see me as evil and to further unnecessary disparagements.

    For the record – not that you’ll care – I did not write anything about the 8-1, I did not have anything to add and I don’t think I even visited this blog for a week maybe more.

    Diaby is overpaid. It’s my opinion, but I’m allowed it.

    My triad – FFS! Listen to yourself, I do not even know these people.

    I have my own opinions and I care not a jot for yours.

    From now on I’m going to call you Glen Beck, but unlike you, I shall refrain from encouraging others to do the same.

    Shotta in full cry –

  248. …and still they witter on…

  249. Dexter, who is competing with Messi at Barcelona? Rooney at United? Ronaldo at Madrid? Who are you going to bring in to “compete” with RVP?

    If RVP is injured, players will step up, the scoring will be spread out.

  250. maybe so dex..

    think ryos injured again as well 😦

  251. Hey Dex –

    Ha! What can I say? In fairness this is a very recent development. I have been coming to this blog for a good 4 or more years and can’t think of many an argument in that time.

    As I said the polarisation of the fanbase has led people to overreact to the slightest thing and whilst I may be passionate and argumentative, at least I am not abusive to other posters.

    Glen Beck is tempting me though.

    😀

  252. Also. I’m a bit baffled by this war the English establishment is unleashing on FIFA about wearing the Poppy.

    Although FIFA is one of the most corrupt organisations in the world, it is a federation of hundreds of national football associations in the world who have nothing to do with rememberrance day or the poppy campaign.

    Is there any special reason England should be given dispensation to wear a poppy? What happens when another country decide they want to honour their lost and forgotten slaves or any other worthwhile cause that they want to remember on any given day?

    There’s a lot of shouting and anger over FIFA’s decision, but it seems to be based on a hatred for FIFA as opposed to a rational argument as to why England should get special dispensation for a national cause when none of the hundreds of FIFA association members would never be given one.

  253. didnt adebayor come in jan too?

  254. Jonny

    You are such a doomer man. It was 8-2 at OT, not 8-1 FFS!

  255. PaulN If RVP is injured, players will step up, the scoring will be spread out.

    Ha! You hope dude, you and all of us hope! 😀

    United have Rooney (playing in midfield of laye and never prolofic apart from one freak season) Hernandez, Berbatov, not to mention owen. Do you really want me to explain this to you mate? Real have Higuain and Benzema, Barca Pedro and Villa. Messi is Messi, not really anyone in the known universe to compete with him.

    You are a true supporter and I love that, however, I just do not see why you always feel compelled to jump on this one man? We could do with a striker…. Oh and a midfielder too!

  256. Hi Darius,

    I see the FIFA stance in a rather different light. I am not entirely clear why England, or any one of the other 207 countries who make up FIFAs membership actually need the organisations permission to include a symbol or emblem on their shirt if they chose to ?

    What exactly has the matter to do with FIFA ?

    How would you feel if FIFA took the opposite view and ordered England to wear a poppy ?

    We may have what would no doubt be a lengthy debate as to whether a poppy is “political”, “religious” or “commercial” Darius – Do you regard the Period of Silence they have graciously granted us as political, religious or commercial ? Are Spain commanded by FIFA to be silent ?

    As you say a loathed organisation, with a knack for proving its enemies have good grounds for their contempt

  257. Adebayor came in January 2006, but was not a primary striker until the summer of 2007. That argument doesn’t even start to stack up.

  258. Didnt we bid for that Jovetic dude at Fiorentina this summer?

    Darius, your point was that we couldnt sign a striker in january mate, not when they became “primary” or whatever man.

  259. Dexter, those players are competing for the “other” spot. This is why you see them changing. Ronaldo, Rooney and Messi have no competition in their teams.

  260. “I, personnaly think wearing poppies glorifies imperialism, jingoism and other unsavoury shit.”

    And why do you think that Dexter ?

  261. It is not blind hope though Dexter. When RVP was injured last season, other players stepped up.

  262. Hard as it is to accept,citeh looks like d team that will win the league this season,see what they did to man u,does any one see us or chelsea standing in their way to the title? We can only hope they hit a rough patch,cos in their present form it will take something special from the chasing pack to derail citeh,we can continue to bitch about how the team was assembled but it wont make any difference and believe me citeh fans dont give a flying f..k how the team was assembled,they are happy they have a team thats challenging for the title. As a gooner,i hope they hit the type of rough patch chelsea hit last season.

  263. So, Pb, what was your recipe?

  264. Nice post YW and the other one, that is up as well.

    The team has proven once that it can dust itself from failure and get up and run again, that is what we have seen in the past month. We are returning back to our usual efficiency, but the squad has been added with reasonable bit of steel and a mentality to not switch off in games, that was previously lacking. Maybe, experience was all we needed as a supplement to the squad.

    The talks have started about catching up with City, which I feel is a bit far-fetched. We are still many points behind, it is better to be humble and silently confident about ourselves. Our first target would be to get into the top 4, then crack on from there. Good news is, unlike season’s past, I am just hoping we have a strong run at the end of the season with Jack and Sagna returning and hopefully with a few key additions to the squad in January.

    Rack up the points! Go Gunners!

  265. Fungunner – re your repeated assertions that I said

    “that AOC is ready to displace one of the more established midfielders, but is being held back because Arsene is freezing him out”

    As I said the tenet of my argument was that he was overlooked for a place on the bench –

    “Will the Ox get a run out tonight? It’s somewhat inexplicable he hasn’t been given sub opps of late – considering the rude form he has been in.”

    https://aculturedleftfoot.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/tommy-guns-for-long-arsenal-future-marseille-preview/

    There were further comments but all based on the first one that clearly states ‘sub opps’, nothing that supports your version of events.

    I’ll not hold my breath for retraction.

    To the rest of you I’ll sign off here I appreciate it is tedious when parties just get locked in argument, and that I have been in waaaay too many of them. Nonetheless it is rather too much when people spread half-truths and insults just because they disagree with you.

    Peace.

    😀

  266. Well Dex, politics here is usually a mistake.

    I wonder what my grand dad, who died pulling people out of burning buildings during the London Blitz would make of being an Imperialist tool? Or my dad who spent the war years at sea fighting the nazi’s.

    I understand where you are coming from and i am sure that the players don’t give a fuck. I do though. You might too, if you think about it.

  267. ermm..adebayor played 13 times that ‘half season’ seeing as though it was the year henry had a bad back and he contributed 8 goals..

    not bad for a back up..i wish we had a central striker right now who could contribute 8 goals in 13 games if needed..cos outside of robin..im clutching at straws..

  268. Dex @ 6.48 – fucking fence-sitter!

    😀

  269. Everyone has been calling for a Robin Van Persie replacement, well what is the use of buying Park if he is not the back up striker or even Chamakh.

    Chamakh, like Anirudh mentions seems to be a player who does well when thrown into the deep end. If anyone remembers the goal he scored at Ewood Park when we lost down there at the end, this view may be taken.

    Park, whatever one may say, is a true poacher and has got a fantastic finish on him. When Park plays, maybe, we can change the team dynamic a bit, by introducing Andrey Arshavin (there you go PG 😉 ) behind him in the central role and given less freedom to our midfielders, I have a feeling, we can score our goals and crack down teams if we use this tactic.

    However, noone here can say how Park fits into the false nine role, the same as RVP, without actually seeing him there for a run of games.

    We have been linked to many players recently, but I would personally love it if we got Goetze and M’ Vila, that will create so many competition and we can literally rip the teams a new one!

  270. If we create chances, Park has the quality to surely put them away JJ!

  271. Whilst I have no issue with politics on the blog generally speaking, you’ve crossed line with that post Dexter. It was utterly unacceptable.

  272. Cbob

    Both my grandads fought in the war, in Africa and a few other far flung places. The sacrifice those that served made will never be forgotten, well they shouldnt be. Likewise the millions slaughtered thanks to the incompetoience and arrogance of our generals in WW1.

    They gave up their lives, lost limbs etc. Please dont make the lazy assumption I dont give a shit about them.

    Wearing a fucking poppy helps them in what way? Raising money for those killed or injured in these recent corprate conflicts at the behest of haliburton, BP et al.

    Frankly, I found your reply unbelevably condescending. I suggest you refrain from discussing shit with me, stick to your cider recipes.

  273. Dex – you are pushing it. The language used was unacceptable. Drop it.

  274. Language Yogi?

  275. Well Dex, what an intemperate response.

    For my Dad, a poppy meant something. i remember a very silly argument i had with him about it once. I was saying much the same as you are now. I was young, opinionated and wrong.

    If it matterred to him, ho lved it, it matters to me.

    Still plenty of WW2 vets alive. Even if you think young men who die or duffer injury in modern conflicts don’t need support.

    Cheap shots about keeping chickens don’t bother me by the way.

  276. “Well Dex, politics here is usually a mistake.”

    I think that sums it up nicely CBob – I understand Dex’s anger but this is a thorny and many layered issue and a forum such as this is inappropriate – if not least as exchange through the written word allows tone and meaning to evaporate almost entirely. One can read the words of others and mistakenly add a very different tone top that which was intended.

    When nuance and tone are lost the signified is a casualty, and the signifier – a criminal, a victim and frequently both.

    Later perhaps we can discuss the holocaust through the medium of text message?

  277. Putting words in my mouth as well as being condescending. Nice one CBob.

    Like I really said those who have suffered thanks to our politically leaders mean eff all to me now?

    I am sure poppies meant something to my nan and grandad, they would probably say its thnks to them and their peers that I could have a different opinion to them.

    My petrot about you recipes was way off though, I apologise for that.

    I just am completely anti-war and think its completely unnecessary and done for all the wrong reasons. Those that get caught up in it, including the “collateral damage”; children, civilians etc have my deepest sincerest condolences.

    But thats an end to it.

  278. If a player can score 12 goals in a side that are relegated you have to figure he would get many more chances in a team like ours .Lets say twice as many .So why would his conversion rare suffer?And if it would not then he would score 24 or there about’s.
    Or is that to simplistic?

  279. Whoa, I leave for a minute and the whole place is up in flames!

    Good thing its piped down a bit. Its all back to proper banter now it seems. Shotta is a bit of a divisive character isn’t he. Pops in in like èsu,the trickster god of Yoruba folklore to sow discord amongst otherwise harmonious posters 🙂

  280. Very good Jonny.

    And to think, it was only meant as a side bar to our lovely hacks kicking up such a fuss about our overpaid, ignorant selfish twat national team having a ***** on their football shirts! 😀

  281. George

    That assumes that Park can not only adapt to the league, country et, but also raise his game sufficiently too. Not saying he cant, but just think its a valid point.

  282. If you’d have left it there Dex, you would have had me nodding in agreement.

    You didn’t. Scoring, or trying to score, political points on a football blog, is ridiculoues.

    Jonny is right.,

  283. Phew! What a read today. It feels like I’ve tuned into an episode of EastEnders!

  284. Dex ,why would he not score more in a team that creates more?
    Because he has not played at the top level does not mean he is not a top level player.

    Hey ,how col is that,Almost like something a clever person like Darius might say. 😉

  285. You just need to leave it Cbob and stop putting words in my mouth. Scoring political points? Pathetic mate.

    I shouldnt have mentioned imy personal opinion perhaps, but then again, I have discussed politics and other non-football related stuff before.

  286. George

    Like I said, IF he can step up then he would, as you say, be more than likely to score more for us. If he aint quite up to it, then all those chances created for him will end up going to waste.

    Not seen enough of him to have an idea yet Darius, I mean George! 😀

  287. The downside to getting another striker in January when we have $50M or more sitting in the bank is almost zero. The optimist would say that Chamakh and Park would be adequate if RVP was injured but we have seen no evidence of that this season or the last 1/2 of last season. You want to give Chamakh/Park every chance, however, if the goal is to win then its not fair to the rest of the squad to take unnecessary risks. We have certainly been burned in the past by hoping for the best and doing nothing in January. If we do get another striker and Chamakh and/or Park do “come good” then we have lots of depth and we can play with 2 strikers if needed. Thats a good thing. If we can get a good striker in January it seems like a complete no-brainer.

  288. anyway..its still november..theres plenty of time and games for someone to step up and prove to ppl they can do it..
    i think it will come more from park than chamakh to be honest which is a shame on chamakhs part cos he didnt look too bad when he first came but it looks like a honeymoon period and we got what we paid for in the end..
    are morrocco going to the acn?? maybe if he goes to that and has a stormer he’ll come back a totally different player..
    but if neither of them have stepped up come jan i think we should defo sign someone..

  289. Jesus & I thought my wife was bad enough in having to have the last word on any matter. Damn, there we go Politics and Religion within an hour or so…

  290. Not scoring points? Just proselytising then.

  291. The thing about the poppy is that is a symbol for those that have died in conflict. It has no symbolic meaning to the reason of the conflict. Plenty die in war who do not agree with the war they are fighting but deserve remembering all the same.

    I agree with Dexter in that many of the wars are completely unjust, bu that should not be confused with remembering those that die in the wars.

  292. That’s another argument you won’t win then Yogi!

  293. All this squabbling has made you lot miss my finest hour .Well it was so clever I am going to say it again.

    “Because he has not played at the top level does not mean he is not a top level player.”

    Now come on people ,a bit of credit foe the pedantic one!!!!!!!!

  294. If our 2nd choice striker was one that we know would step and start scoring up if needed, then Park may well have proved to be a very good signing. As that is not currently the case, the Park signing is a pure gamble. And in my view one that we did not need to take.

    That said, I want to see him get more playing time though. It is always exciting to see a new player. Hopefully Arsene will have hit upon another gem that nobody else noticed.

  295. Yeah JJ,
    No point in arguing the pros and cons for a striker now. Plenty of time for the current guys to show whether its needed or not.
    I’m however willing to bet that few who oppose it now will change their mind, even if Park and Chamackh still aren’t getting games or not scoring by then. Some people, it would seem, anticipate that Wenger probably won’t sign anyone (given his general reluctance in this area in the past) and program themselves to support that potential outcome. Its part of the (misguided) non-questioning support thingy.

  296. YW – Religion? Don’t get me started on that one 😉

    George – True, but there is also the thought that he has not played top level for a good reasons. And with todays scouting networks it is hard to believe that everybody has missed him given his age.

  297. I think Arsene has to introduce Park in games from now on and see how he performs. There are surely a lot of games to be played and room for everyone, so we can start shuffling a bit upfront in the coming months.

    The rotation policy was put on hold because of our start to the season, which pretty much dictated the way, our team lined up match after match.

    I can see Park performing well for us if given the chance. The quality is there and like PG puts it, chances to goals ratio will mean 24, simples!

  298. i’ll give you credit for that one george..

    its a truthful statement..same can be said across all the leagues..

    just look at jenks..

    theres unpolished gems everywhere..

  299. “Its part of the (misguided) non-questioning support thingy.”

    Oh spare us you tedious harbinger of doom

  300. GA

    True mate, isnt there a white one as well as the red one? What does that one signify?

    As for Park and george’s finest hour (come on George, surely you’ve made better comments than that? Actually, now I think about it!) He could do with some more game time, the longer it looks like we cant score unless RvP is in the team, the harder it will be for him.

    Shame about Chamakh though, he was great when he 1st arrived.

  301. Pedantic George, nice point there, you have your appreciation 😛

    And, yes, it’s too early to say that Park cannot score them, we haven’t yet seen him. And from early signs, he does seem like a player who has quality to put the ball in the net, which pretty much sums up our requirement of him.

    I would not oppose the possibility of adding to our attack but does anyone know how signing a striker and a midfielder would affect the 25 man squad rule?

  302. Feel better George?

  303. Dex – Yes mate, I think it is the symbol of peace.

  304. Sriram

    Dont know mate, someone did post the list and how many gaps we had in the different divions in the 25 man squad.

  305. Chamakh is a confidence player. Shame, he can’t perform the way he did for us at the start of last season.

    And there isn’t any assumption that Arsene won’t add players, hence we mustn’t call for additions to the squad. It is absolutely wrong to make such a statement.

    The possibility of the players already in the squad is the one which is analysed at the moment, in the event that Arsene does not sign any new players.

    Like they say, we can’t count the chickens before they hatch can we?

  306. Goonerandy

    Thanks man.

  307. Dex- but I think with the many players being under 21, we will be fairly secure in that department, giving way for squad additions.

    But, looking at the current squad, anyone can point out that Strikers are the requirement. “Proven” strikers 😛 which is also based on the assumption that a player who has proved elsewhere can prove that he is good enough with us.

    There are so many variables to it and expectation to see players stepping up is also one of them. Let’s hope our Ju Young Park steps up to the plate.

  308. Dexter don’t be flip with me young man.I am at least still talking to you

    Henristic.I was kidding.You should know me by now.I thought you would have picked that up from the language.

  309. I think post International break, the other members of the squad have to be given a run out too. Maybe try Andrey in the centre as the sole creator, we can protect the back 4 by employing a double defensive midfield.

  310. “But, looking at the current squad, anyone can point out that Strikers are the requirement. “Proven” strikers 😛 which is also based on the assumption that a player who has proved elsewhere can prove that he is good enough with us.”

    Its a fair assumption, and Arsene’s signings in this last window is consistent with it. Otherwise what’s the point in experienced players?

  311. I know George. I was kidding too, and I’m hurt YOU don’t know me by now 😦

  312. Good idea Sriram,I wish I had thought of that for Andrei.
    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  313. Henristic, going by that statement, Ju who scored 12 goals at Monaco shall be expected to score more here right?

  314. “George – True, but there is also the thought that he has not played top level for a good reasons. And with todays scouting networks it is hard to believe that everybody has missed him given his age.”

    Andy,perhaps that is what has just happened.He has been caught by our scouts.

  315. Haha, George, I just ran faster than you with that thought mate.

    Anyway, jokes apart, I really think that can work, maybe by working our 4-3-3 to resemble a 4-4-2 with Arshavin part of the midfield.

    The main reason, Arsene is hesistant to employ Andrei in that role is that Andrei loses the ball a lot because he tries risky passes, which don’t always come off. This might start a counter and leave us pedaling back to defend our goal. This threat can be removed by asking Andrei, to have in mind the chance of a break and by narrowing the wing.

  316. Sriram,
    I would hope so, but he’d have to get games to score. There isn’t enough Carling cup games to keep him busy.

  317. Just because a scout missed out on a talent, doesn’t mean there isn’t any talent or quality in the player.

  318. George

    I really cannot tell you how happy I am that you are STILL talking to me, really! 😀

    Siriam Almunia will create a space if one were needed man. And I would say Chamakh ticked the proven striker box. Then again, maybe it will be Theo who will be the one to step up? That would please PaulN anyway. 😀

  319. Henristic,

    Yes, but I am thinking that, he will appear more from now on in the league. In the games, we are comfortably up by 60 mins, he can make a cameo 30 minute run out.

    The team selection was dictated by our start till now as I mentioned earlier. From now, if we can keep the run going with some squad rotation, we should be good for the season.

    OMG, it’s 2:00 AM here! Hehe!

  320. JJ @ 7:51:

    Most reasonable post of the day regarding the whole striker debate. Virtual tip of the hat.

  321. Haha, Almunia, we can probably, release him. But, he has been performing so well for West Ham, I read somewhere, they are asking him to be their No.1, that is quite something right?

    Theo, given the central role, is a question which is very uncertain, his ability to lead the line is not known to any of us, maybe, Arsene sees this in training. Further, going in to this, Theo goes missing in games at times, this doesn’t take away anything from the pacey winger btw, I am pro- Theo, but at times, he can be frustrating. He has amazing stats to his name though and got a very good finish on him like we saw at the Bridge.

    But, I feel if Theo plays in the central role, he will be working on the shoulders of the defenders and looking to break away, he cannot be the false nine. This will place reliance on the midfield for initiating attacks. At the moment, RVP drops deep to receive balls and make space for the others, this would not be the case, if Theo plays up top.

  322. Will someone tell Sriram that pushing Andrei in the middle is my job and he is skating on very thin ice.
    I am the jealous sort

  323. Pedantic George, I am not pushing your Andrei to the middle. I am just putting forth an argument. You can have your Andrei 😛 Haha!

    Anyway, a classy player anyone would like to see excel at Arsenal mate!

  324. All players from other leagues have to adapt the same way. Some who many thought set the PLon fire, fizzled out.

    I would say that george has made a very reasonable point.

    Park is a proven scorer, we should bet on that.

    The most prolific striker that has come to the team in recent years was Eduardo. What other striker came to us as some big time scorer recently?

  325. Sriam

    Theo, if played centrally will be a striker and nothing more, IMO. As you say, playing on the shoulder of defenders and finishing off attacks, not necessarily creating them. I aint got a problem with that.

    Strikers regularly go missing in games, for large portions, only to explode into life when there’s an attack.

  326. Paul – “Park is a proven scorer, we should bet on that

    If you class no more than 12 lge goals in one season (ever) proven, then you are right.

  327. Paul N

    Considering how our attack dried up so alarmingly last season, with nasri, Cesc and RvP, looking for a prolofic striker to add to the squad might not be such a far fetched or pea brained idea man!

  328. I reckon Theo would be an effective striker if we played with 2 strikers. But whilst we just play one, I don’t think playing there would do him (or us) any favours at all.

  329. Dex- please spell my name properly man!

    True and agreed, even I wouldn’t mind that. Just saying that the team dynamic has to change to accommodate Theo as a striker. The attacks have to be created more by the midfielders.

    Maybe, we can try Theo up top after Jack returns. Jack behind Theo and Ramsey on the right wing.

  330. Dex- please spell my name properly man!

    Who the fuck is this Dex you refer to Siriiiiiaiamama? 😀

  331. OK Dexter- please don’t spoil my name 😛 Its Sriram!

  332. Goonerandy

    Again, I tend to agree with you mate. TBH I prefer Theo outwide anyway. He is more or less a striker there anyway. Just a wide right version.

  333. i think even if park was scouted by other ‘big clubs’ the chances of a move would have been minimal as i think they would have known about his future army career..

    parks signature was indeed a gamble..a gamble lille had to take as we knicked gervinho and then we had to knick him as well cos our bids for our main targets had been knocked back..

    we’ll see how it pans out..

  334. Yes, bringing Theo in a central position will change the way we play significantly.

  335. “I am completely not in favor of players dictating who should be and should not be added to the squad..thats a complete over reach..no one is bigger than the club..we have a manager and a board to take those decisions and thats how it should be..suggestion is fine, saying sign X, Y or Z or I leave…that is plain wrong”

    Agree. If you are not happy with your current employer, you move to another one, you don’t demand that they change the company to suit your requirements. In the meantime you STFT and get on with your job.

    FG, I admire your tenacity, but for me life is short and the scroll button is my friend!

  336. No wonder some old fighters have given up on this blog. A small minority has come on board to show how they are smarter than Arsene Wenger. They have a cavalier willingness o make broad sweeping statements putting down players and other posters (based on sheer fallacies and in broad opposition to the ethos of Arsenal FC,I may add). When they are called out for the speciousness and shallowness of their opinions they get very precious and sensitive. Other posters are hardliners and troublemakers is their favorite meme.

    No humbleness, no mea culpas that they were wrong about the capacity of RVP, Song or Koscielny to become world-class players or for the team to recover from a horrible start to the season. No admission that they were horribly wrong about Wenger and his capacity to rebuild and to once again challenge, sooner or later. It is not yet December and they are already campaigning for a world class striker as if Chamakh and Park are chopped liver. YW made a point in his post earlier; it is obvious that even the arch enemiies of Wenger, exemplified by le-grove, are all playing nice because they cant deny our winning streak but god help us if and when we have another wobble.

    Unity is based on shared principle, not naked opportunism. Give em hell Pedantic George. I like your style (and content).

  337. I hope Park plays in a Stoke game after he has been issued with a rifle.
    Lets see who is intimidated then.

  338. Sriram, RVP was 20 when he joined Arsenal and only started playing up front alone at the age of 27. I think Theo has a way to go before that happens, expecially when he is pretty effective from the wing and still has the possibility of becoming even more effective from there. I think he should focus on playing where is best for the team and the position that he thinks is best for him will come when and if the time is right.

  339. “I hope Park plays in a Stoke game after he has been issued with a rifle.
    Lets see who is intimidated then.”

    Fantastic comment! Best of the day!

  340. How about this for a fantasy.
    How many would Robin score with Dennis in the hole ?
    I am drooling at the thought of those two together(not in ant rude way mind,perish the thought)

  341. Shotta

    Your posts are funny man. Give em hell indeed.

  342. Blah-blah yawn.

    I wish you’d give up.

  343. Passenal,

    Exactly, the point I have been ringing on about. The time for him to be employed in the centre hasn’t arrived yet! He has a long way to go before that happens.

  344. I think we’d get more money for 22 stome worth of chopped liver though Shotta! (I am joking, mea culpa, mama mia)

  345. Shotta,

    You have a fiery attitude mate! 😀

    Jonny,

    I am not in support of him! I don’t know the basis of the fight in the first place. Hehe!

  346. George

    Park with a rifle vs Stoke? Thats what I call serious firepower man.

  347. Sriram

    Stop trying to cause fights man. Thats my job!

  348. Jonny,stop lurking,its creepy.

  349. Haha, I am taking up a few other people’s jobs alright! 😛

  350. Sorry – that was aimed at Glen Beck’s latest tedious yawn.

    Here’s a question is it us who have given up on Chamakh or Wenger? He’s been fit for a while but doesn’t even get a call off the bench.

    Im, just spitballing, but what if Chamakh never gets back into the first team? At what point is it acceptable between now and when he is sold is it okay to suggest the squad would be stronger with another striker?

  351. You know, one who’s considered good enough for a call up from the bench occasionally.

  352. Jonny

    Is Chamakh fit? I thought he was injured? I really rate him TBH and think that injury was a real shame as he could have got some much needed form back.

    I still thought we could do with extra firepower though and it isnt a recent thought either. I wont give up till we’ve signed Benzema! 😀

  353. He would have played instead of Park in the CL game wouldnt he if he was fit?

  354. If Chamakh is sold, we definitely need another striker.

    And Jonny, for your question, it is Chamakh who has lost belief in himself more than me, you or Wenger. But, I feel if the confidence is back, he can add some goals to our tally. After the break, I think we will see more of him and Park. Depending on whether they step up before the window, I think we will decide on adding a striker. If Chamakh is not up and running by January, I sadly see him go out of the club for about 10 million pounds.

  355. Chamakh has been being used as a sub. has he not?
    Dont know that Le Boss has given up on him Lurker.

  356. Dex – You wear your feelings on your sleeve man. Happy to see you picking fights (not with Consols, though) rather than being down on your team. Ha, Ha, Ha.

  357. Well GA, he also scores goals for his country, no? the guy can put the ball in the back of net, that is easy to see. What I like is the fact that he has improved his scoring every year (check your post). As George said in a better team that creates more we should expect more from him.

    If Wenger see’s the need to buy, I accept it but I am not going to overlook the players we have. One more blow wow time, players don’t find form by playing 1 match every month.

    Mi bredrin Dex, you can’t go wrong for me when you speak positively about young Theo! Ah my yute dat!

  358. Dex – right now he’s got a minor injury and for the last week or so – but he was available for some time before then and was not selected.He mad the bench a few times and just sat there looking glum.

  359. Shotta

    Not my finest hour man, the fight I mean. Bur rhanks for the support! You are pretty unrelenting dude in terms of where you stand in terms of the club thats for sure. Keep it up! 😀

  360. Chamakh is injured and is highly unlikely to be sold in January. Who would buy a player that is about to go off to a tournament in the middle of the season?

  361. Anyway ACLFers nice discussions, I am off!

    Good night and Go Gunners!

  362. Jonny

    I just think Chamakh would have been given opportu nities recently, but his injury prevented that. before then, I dont think he or anyone would have been picked. The Oxo kid was bang in form and didnt get a sniff (much to the disgust of some Theo haters)

    Paul N

    Yes I! Theo is top class IMO man. For all this talk of him being inconsistent, his stats kinda disporve that dhit for me mate.

  363. Dex – If you don’t stand for something, you will stand for anything.

    Too many wrote-off the self-sustaining model because of the summer madness with Cesc and Nasri and the ensuing bad start. Dooming our players before they show their true potential is not showing unity with the team. Dooming Diaby after a horrendous ankle break and subsequent blows by the likes of Robinson and Barton is thoroughly disloyal. I don’t care how precious and sensitive this makes certain posters feel. Too bad.

    Bombs away, bombs away!

  364. Jonny, if we bring in quality, we will be stronger, if they fit in the with the system that is. That cannot be denied.

    What we shouldn’t do just yet is conclude that our strikers cannot get the job done if needs be.

  365. Agreed Passenal it was entirely hypothetical – I was asking more at what point does it not become a grave sin to discuss the need or lack of need for a bolstering of the squad.

  366. Jonny ,we get it mate .You think you have been unfairly critisised .

    Stop feeling sorry for yourself.At least Ponyboy has not savaged you like a rabid guppy.

  367. Paul N – contrary to the spurious nonsense being sprayed around to the contrary, I couldn’t agree more.

    Shotta you are pathetic and laughable – “Dooming Diaby” – by which you mean saying that one thinks others are now ahead of him in the pecking order – which even YW said.

    Such and such, is thoroughly disloyal? Oooooo. Whatever next?!

    It might be disloyal if you weren’t just inventing 3/4 of it.

    Bombs away, bombs away? You sound like a smug child pooing in his own nappy.

  368. PG – I don’t feel sorry for myself – I’m really quite happy to fight my corner.

    In fact I’m pretty happy full stop thanks.

  369. You are such a bitch George! 😀

  370. chamakh wont be sold..
    these days wenger likes to give players at least 5 years to prove they arent good enough.. 😉

  371. Jonny.
    Lighten up .Some of us like you.
    A lot.

  372. Thanks George – I’d be just as feisty if someone was talking unnecessary trash at you.

  373. I don’t like all this in fighting.
    I don’t mind vicious attacks on some disrespectful dimwits who come here but among decent people its upsetting.
    I know that may seem strange internety type behaviour from me (creepy even) but where I live I don’t have a single friend with whom I can talk Gooner stuff with.So my “Arsenal” friends are more or less those with who I interact on the fine blog.
    I suppose if you have real friends who you can talk footy with, then internet chums are less important.
    And nobody likes it when their friends don’t get along.

  374. Awesome cat-fights tonight guys!! Thoroughly entertaining and very obvious that you all read my earlier post where I said I was bored to death and agreed on some political arguments, with a bit of he said/she said thrown in for good measure. Not to mention the “We need a proven striker debate!” – Ah priceless that one!! I thank you all 🙂

    Well except for Pedantic George, as I just got the feeling his heart was not in it. I mean as FG and Jonny, Cbob and Dexter were going at it, he kept interrupting with comments about football!!! PFFFFT!!!

  375. It’s okay George – when mommy and daddy fight it doesn’t mean they don’t still love each other.

  376. Thanks Irish that had me roaring with laughter.

    Glad we could be of some minor amusement.

  377. Good to hear the reserves going well (totally suxx about Ryo though).

    Ozyakup stole the show they say – still hoping for big things from that young man.

    Dirty Sanchez has made some strides up front.

  378. Shotta @ 9:48:

    Do you believe all that stuff you write or do you just enjoy pulling a few peoples chains and winding up doomers???

  379. Jonny – I am dead serious mate!! Just spent all day with The Girlfriend and her sisters, SHOPPING!!!!! Got home about an hour and a half ago and literally read every posting from today, and they had me roaring with laughter. I do not mean to make light of some of the issues but having “talked” with most (if not all) of the actors involved, just found it very funny. I have been called a “Pikey” and told to fuck off for no other reason then voicing an opinion different to someone else’s. I am sure I have returned the favor at some point, whether warranted or not but I believe I apologise any time I go overboard. I think the real problem is something called”emotion”, it just shows we care. Simples 🙂

  380. “Well Except for Pedantic George…he kept interrupting with comments about football!!! PFFFFT!!!”

    ha ha ha!

  381. Jonny – When I was 19, I was in Majorca where I met a Canadian girl. We went back to her hotel room and well, after a good time, let’s just say that I discovered what a “DirtySanchez” was. I was as intrigued as I was appalled!! Unfortunately I do live my life with the very simple belief that it is perfectly fine to do/try anything once. I honored my simple belief but will admit it is not one of my proudest moments.

    About two years after I moved to New York City I met a stewardess who was staying overnight in Manhattan and flying out again the next day. We hooked up. She then asked me if I knew what a “Cleveland Steamer” is? I said yes and left there and then. Some beliefs can and should be tempered with experience.

  382. Irish, of all the posters on here you are amongst the most genial and sane.

    I’m genuinely glad you found it amusing – whilst I may care enough to fight my corner [and I’m more than happy for a bit of a ruck], I’d prefer it didn’t bore people to death in the process.

    Shopping with a gang of women – I hope by now, you have either a stiff drink in your hand or a fat one – or both! Medals get given for less…

  383. I just looked it up.

    Sanchez Watt was known as Dirty Sanchez when he played for [Dirty] Leeds. Which amuses me greatly.

    Holy shit. I just looked that up Irish…

    Cleveland Steamer
    The cleveland steamer is a sexual act by nature (fetish) when one person craps on another person’s chest and (very important) then sits down and rocks back and forth like a steam roller.

  384. Genial and a filthy Irish fecker – I grew up (as a wee nipper) in Castleknock as it happens – whereabouts are you from?

  385. Jonny – I am now heading out for some beers and shots in the Lower East Side. But know that I do so ith a huge grin onmy face, especiallythat you looked THAT up!! I am from Glasnevin by the way but have family in Castleknock, two very nice areas indeed. Will chat again tomorrow mate, have a good one 🙂

  386. Precious and sensitive. Poor thing.

  387. Paul-N, I agree with your position–give Chamakh and Park a chance over the next month and a half. If they aren’t taking up the slack then it is worth exploring reinforcements. Generally, I think this window we should reinforce the team in whatever positions we can use players or whomever AW thinks could make a quality impact for this season or next season. This team has battled hard and could use the morale boost. If we are in top 4 we can cement that position and raise the stakes to try to challenge for the league. We have the money from player sales and are still in the process of rebuilding the squad. Some of our top targets weren’t available this summer and we had to do our business in a very compressed way because of the late transfers of players. This window we have a chance to pursue players we are still interested with the cash in hand.

    The other benefit is that it might help us keep key players who have less than two years on their contracts: Theo, Song, and RvP. The other side of the coin is that if some of these players are not going to extend, the best way to deal with that scenario is to have replacements in place before they leave. That way the new players adjust to the club and league and are ready.

  388. PG, well said at 10:25.

  389. Jonny @ 4:10 pm

    Hopefully no typos, and legible. Also, I haven’t read most of the comments above since then:

    “My comment was saying that it has not been enough of a focus and that Wenger is noted by past players as focusing primarily on open play.”

    Going by 7am’s post on the stats and their possible interpretations and considerations the Set Piece conceded figures last season were average, not poor. Room for improvement? Why not. I can write that.
    Arsenal worked on some stuff in pre-season. Looked OK in the qualifier. Jenkinson impressed against the under-rated Udinese. And now after the crash the other new players have had their pre-season with the squad as well!

    An extreme example maybe but before the recent Stoke game AW said in a press conference that there wasn’t enough time to focus training on set pieces. 3 days, so he meant more then usual. That doesn’t mean that Arsenal don’t focus more on ‘open play’. They might for all I know. Stoke don’t really work that much on ‘open play’, do they? I mean, even I could tell that watching them. I’ll risk my awesome reputation upon a guess that the Stoke manager had his team practising two banks of four and five, the old Pulisade with the up out of the stadium & under counter attack-hoof all the time before their game against Arsenal. Those who almost lost their necks that day trying to follow the arc of the football will know what I mean. Nearly forgot to mention the line outs. Didn’t help Stoke when it came to Gervais. Time after time during that game. Stoke got a goal. A few players like Gervais (his error in principal on that occasion) are still adapting, I’m happy to accept that. I would recommend that Gervais might have to practice his hurdling for the return game at Stoke.

    ‘Players can learn defensive doo dah much more easily later on then they can the other stuff’. Is my summary of some of the sayings of the Great Coaches.

    Arsenal have lots of young players. So, I see nothing wrong with a revelation that claims that Arsenal focus more in training upon ‘open play’. As YW wrote the other day, where this leaves Saint Andre will be an interesting discovery. I like the look of the bulldozing left back. I suspect his reservation in the last game against West Brom was a result of being a little low on gas. But then it’s also reasonable to imagine that a player of Santos’ experience can vary their game. Three different CB partnerships in three big (in context) games in one week, as far as I can follow three different defensive lines. Three games, one goal. They must have worked fairly hard at that in training.
    I’m happy to avoid speculating on how the defending might be effected by transfers, and the rest.

    “Why is it ridiculous to suggest we revisit the front post flick on from the GG era? It was stunningly effective even when teams knew it was coming.”

    No problem. Like TV5’s header against West Brom? Less of a flick but if you’ve made it this far I’m trying to keep to ‘shorthand’. Am happy to admit at times this season I’ve been hoping for a return of the constant short corner. Some corners have been not the best.

    Something I am more certain of: Walcott ‘off the ball’ play. Examples in every game like the outside in run against United in the build up to Ramsey’s goal in May. Everyone (I hope) noticed Theo’s improved defending last season and before, ever since he had time out with his shoulder injuries. People elsewhere made some nice videos and stuff as well so it wasn’t just me. Someone must have been coaching him.
    In conclusion I’m feel that I’m not guessing when I imagine that they practice a fair amount of ‘defending’ at Arsenal during the good times too.

    gossip details, next time.

  390. Jonny,

    “I find it more irritating that people like Dgob and Shotta think that any of this makes it acceptable to spray petty insults.”

    If you examine my posts, I make clear my objections without petty insults. And as far as petty insults go, I would not baulk at issuing such if it came dowm to defending the future career of a 25 year old gunner (Diaby in this case)!

    As for the points of my irritation, I left these to your own words which, as you noted, I simply cut and pasted in order to point them out to you.

    The saying that ‘even a broken clock is correct twice a day’ not withstanding, I obviously do not disagree with everything you say. However, your apparent negativity on Diaby’s value and future are indeed irksome to me and ‘some’ other gooners.

  391. Just finished going through the posts and I am sorry I was in meetings all day yesterday.

    The only thing I don’t actually like to see written, as it is so misses the point about Arsenal, is the argument that the youth policy is not the way forward and is somehow a waste of money.

    Arsenal sign young ones for a good salary, some work out fantastically and others are marginal. They come on a contract for a period of time and if it works out we beg for another contract at the end. If it doesn’t, we cannot then turn around and say the money that they are paid was wasted.

    If we did not reward youth well, we would not have got Cesc, Jack, The Ram, or Diaby etc. To say that the marginals like Bendtner is proof that the scheme does not work is patently undermined by the fact that we may never have had the former players if we did not pay them more than other teams at that stage.

    In other words I am glad to overpay the marginals in order that we can have the greats.

    Also, to pay Bendtner to sit on the bench is hell of a lot better than to pay an established striker to sit on the bench, which they would do with RvP playing.

    The other options lead to a path that we can not tread and probably don’t want to. We may be able to fork out once for a Goetze, (sorry George) but that for us would be a once in a decade only deal and when you look at value for money, would we be happy if we had bought Torres for 50mil and had had the return the Chavs have had? No, I suggest, it would kill us.

    Actually the other thing that got me going was Dexter’s politics bit. The issue was about wearing the poppy. Lets face it, you are not going to be able to deal with that in Britain at the moment without talking politics, so since it has been forced onto our plates by the poppyists, Dexter was well within in his rights to express his view on why he thinks that a past war is being used to drum up support for an ongoing use of British troops to forward economic interests.

    I for one appreciated his insight and candour, especially since I am a c@nt.

    Remember – Moderation is something to be aspired to.

  392. Can’t switch off the computer and leave this place for an evening without someone making it toxic.

    Dexter, what the hell did you do with a reasonable question about the role of football in politics?

  393. SA Gooner.

    The poppy debate is raging hot here in England. I for one have no problem with the poppy campaign. It means a lot to a lot of people and is a tradition every year that is embraced by the country.

    My point in raising the issue was to question why a federation of 200 plus national associations should be forced to promote an agenda that isn’t necessarily universal to all the federation members. A decent counter argument was made as to why FIFA should stop any of the members doing what they wanted – but I suppose FIFA could argue that that sort of symbolism isn’t in their charter and England have the option of not being a FIFA member if they wanted to do their thing.

    But what has intrigued me is that rather than making robust arguments that illustrate the need for a dispensation for England, the media are focusing a hate angle on FIFA based on recent history and FIFA’s corrupt DNA.

    If it were presented in a court of law, a judge would probably throw the case out as it has little or no basis in the charter that England signed up to by being members of a worldwide federation.

    And if England want their poppy, what’s to stop say Liberia or Sierra Leone insisting on a permanent emblem to commemorate centuries of slavery or the Kurdish insisting they want to remember those massacred by Saddams chemical WMDs.

    To be honest, there’s loads of ways around this e.g. the team all wearing something else with a poppy e.g. arm bands – and I don’t think even if they insisted on wearing it FIFA would push this to the limits by say banning England or fining them. It really isn’t a political argument they want on their plate.

    My question is with the media who are in my view not approaching this from a proper justifiable argument point of view, but from a “let’s stoke the anger of the public” point of view.

  394. Also – a quick question. This is not the first international that England has played during the poppy season. What has happened before? I know clubs have put the poppy on their shirts during this week in previous years.

  395. Never mind poppies, I’ve just learnt, via wiki, how some people like their sex!

    Mind you, SA, I have always bought a poppy and don’t do it to “to drum up support for an ongoing use of British troops to forward economic interests. ”

    I very much doubt that the British Legion see it that way either.

  396. Darius,

    I take you must have listened to TalkSport this morning. It was full of jingoism and nationalistic ferver. I full agree with your points made above.

    The media are making this out to be FIFA banning the Brits from remembering which of course it isnt.

  397. The Poppy thing is a strange one. I don’t see how it can be offensive to anyhbody given what it represents. The British Legion has no poitical agenga either; they provide great support for ex-forces members who have fallen on hard times for various reasons.

  398. Consols.

    If you think of where all the money raised goes – it is a very necessary campaign and its the legions biggest money earner for the year. For this reason alone and for the thousands of former soldiers who benefit, there is no argument that the poppy campaign works.

    But is this an arguement you get Talk Spite radio or the Daily Fail to make for you? They’re doing a really good job at making Sep Blatter the Anti-Christ while doing little to highlight the reasons why the poppy campaign exists in the first place.

    What did you mention about wikileaks and sex? Or was it wikipaedia?

  399. “Inter Milan poised to make January swoop for Arsenal striker Van Persie”

    And that’s from the Daily Heil. Do you think it’s possible that this equal opportunity employment thing is taken too far. I mean, how can you explain the fact that only retarded hacks are employed by the Daily Heil.

  400. Fungunner @ 2:37pm,

    I wholly support and agree with every word. I still find your contributions a breath of fresh air.

  401. Shotta,

    Glad for the agreement. I just wish some of us would consider what we’ve recently been going through before fanning relevant fires naround our own players.

  402. Irishgray,
    Eeeww!!!!

  403. http://wp.me/p1aPg-1VD

    Let today’s bitching session begin.

  404. Wikipaedia Darius.

    I had to check out what those terms aired by Irish last evening meant.

    Such ‘sophistication’ in love making haven’t reached deepest devon. Well, at least not at consols towers.

    As for the Mail and Talkspite question. No, of course not but then I am ignorant of what they say because I neither read newspapers or listen to that station. My point was, and it was only a point, not a philosophical position, that I don’t believe that this blog is the place to make political statements. They will inevitably upset someone.

    That’s not why we are here.

  405. Cbob,

    One of those cases where you probably wished you’d remembered ‘Ignorance is bliss’…

  406. Nicely expressed Darius@8.12am

    The poppy represents the killing fields of Flanders and Ypres and the Somme and as a symbol it poignantly and openly belongs to all that died in that war……..if they want. Whatever anyone else tells you.

    We now have a professional army and people do not die in the same casual manner that they did when it was ‘over the top for King and country’, But we all have the right to protest when we have this symbol incorrectly rammed up our proverbial with jingoist fervour.

    Especially when it is stapled onto the beautiful game.

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