Russian To Speak To The Press & Coq Ups

The full gamut of managerial emotions has been experienced in the opening three months of the season by Arsène Wenger. Those headaches are not improving with this international break. Previously, it has been a case of Fifa-sponsored illegal approaches to his charges; this time he is accused of being a heady mix of Stalin and Mother Teresa.

Whilst George Graham probably revelled in being called “Gadaafi” by the players, Wenger has previously been perceived as stubborn with a ruthless streak toward players who, in his opinion, have served their purpose. Andrey Arshavin, perhaps fearing that is to come to him, observed,

When difficulties occur, nobody in Arsenal even considers going to him on matters concerning football to try and change something, everyone knows what the answer will be.

In other words, somewhat dictatorial. Which is how the top managers are. At the end of the day, Wenger is paid to make those decisions and is accountable for them. It is up to him whom he chooses to listen to. Perhaps previous conversations form his judgement and some who think that they should be taken notice of, have not been as clever as they might like to think. Maybe they are just not good at making their point.

The Russian has said nothing else new this morning. Nothing substantially new, that is. Even the headlines which normally scream that an Arsenal player wants to leave unless he has professed an undying love for the club, coupled with a desire to sign for life and eschewing all material possessions.

He clarified his view on his world,

I am not thinking about changing clubs. If I am on the bench for a very long time, then such an issue might be relevant. I still want to play for 90 minutes, but now I am glued to the bench.

At the moment, he has more faith in [Theo] Walcott and Gervinho [in wide roles], and under his current scheme, I bet there will not be [a chance to play centrally]. Our midfielders are now playing deep.

No surprise Wenger is not enamoured with a player who is, by his own admission, performing a considerably lower level than we know he is capable of. His own words are that he has been decidedly average. Is he going to be Wenger’s Charlie Nicholas? A fan’s favourite who underperforms consistently or never reaches the level of expectation placed upon him?

Scoring four goals at Anfield early in your Arsenal career is always going to place great expectations on your shoulders. Arshavin’s body language on the pitch is often misinterpreted as disinterested, not helped by him looking utterly knackered all of the time.

At the moment, the Arsenal style is more direct than perhaps it has been as the team struggled to regain form early in the season. Wenger obviously feels Gervinho is more suited to the team, Arshavin loses out to Walcott purely on pace. At The Emirates tournament, he and the Ivorian worked well against Boca Juniors, alternating the flanks more effectively than Walcott does. Yet Wenger prefers the counter-attacking opportunities provided by Theo and at the moment, the results are hard to argue with.

Wenger noted recently that prozone stats told him the optimum time to substitute players is between 60 and 75 minutes. So it is of no surprise that he adheres to that. Arshavin might be right in feeling aggrieved about that if he is having a good game but the club’s recent history in scoring late goals suggests the policy might be right.

He may have disagreed with that but found little to fault with the way the clubs is run,

Ivan Gazidis came to the training base and said a lot of interesting things on this subject. He says clubs are divided into three categories. Some climb into the pocket of a master, some into debt, and some, like us and Bayern Munich, live on the funds we raise ourselves.

From a business perspective, it’s the right approach. It is just that it is difficult for such a team to be competitive, though Bayern prove otherwise. But in football there are more and more financial magnates, who are willing to shell out any amount for a player for short-term success.

The younger players offered differing perspectives of their future. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave us The Good, Franny Coquelin The Bad whilst Wellington’s stay in Spain is The Ugly.

It is understandable that the latter duo are frustrated. Wellington signed for Arsenal and it is not his fault that Work Permit regulations mean he must spend time in Spain or some other accommodating country to learn his trade. That Levante are doing well means he is going to be out of the side; what manager changes a winning team? Seemingly he is not helping himself though and that attitude may yet cost him. Even so, he cannot be doing that badly or Levante would not have wanted him back.

Another downside of the loan system is highlighted by Coquelin. He has played regular first team football and wants more. No harm in that although you wonder if his impetuosity in airing the view that he is open to a move – carefully he did not target permanent or loan – may count against him as The Great Dictator seeks to quell all opposition. Patience it seems is a virtue in short supply.

Coquelin is not going to benefit from Alex Song playing the ACN this Winter. Normally Cameroon are a shoe-in for that tournament but like some others, they made a hash of qualifying. Arsenal’s gain is the young Frenchman’s loss. Perhaps six months on loan would do him good but in all likelihood it would see him fall behind Frimpong in the pecking order. And how would he feel if the Ghanaian had an extended run in the side? Probably along the lines of, “It could have been me“.

Taking a leaf out of Chamberlain’s book might be the best plan. Show willingness to learn, humility and take your chances when they come. He is not the finished article as a man or player but in the both areas, he is showing considerable progress; a credit to his family with Southampton and Arsenal Football Clubs.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on November 10, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 247 Comments.

  1. Disappointing from Coq – ah the impatience of youth…

  2. Now lest see if we can have a top ten of comments with no mention of place or position.

    This isn’t ‘Le Twat’, after all.

  3. Hmmm, not putting to much money on that dear boy.

  4. Since the top positions are already taken, be sure the will be no further mention, except maybe to pull your legs eh Jonny? Thats the really the best way to prevent mention, simply take up the spaces that encourage the mention!

  5. “The Unhappy Coq” was always going to be a pun loaded headline.

    I actually think Le Coq is more cultured and more prepared for the first team than Frimpong. I suspect it has to do with his loan spell, but I don’t see Wenger letting both Frimpong and Le Coq go on loan. The likely one to go is Frimpong – very interesting that Norwich want him.

  6. Gervinho nominated for African Player of the Year. Front runner is probably Yaya Toure, but I’d say Gervinho might be in with a good shout after his last season in France.

  7. Personally think Le Coq is a better all round footballer than Frimpong, but wenger is much better placed to decide that.

  8. When Coquelin and Frimpong played alongside each other in the League Cup it was the Frenchman who looked much better. Not surprising really as he’s had a year playing in the top flight in France. I do hope Frimpong goes on loan after Christmas as it looks like he really needs it and Coquelin is given a few chances in the first team. He should be looking to play 10-15 first team games this season between the domestic cups and the odd premier league and champions league game filling in.

  9. Well it helps if no one crows from the start and hell we’re nearly there already. 🙂

    I think Le Coq is better positioned than Frimpers too – in all sense of the word.

    Frimpong is the true Arsenal deal though and I think would be gutted if he doesn’t find a future with the club. I hope a loan deal tempers his exuberance (but only a little) and hones his all round game.

  10. Having perused the original article;

    http://www.francefootball.fr/championnat-d-angleterre/#!/news/2011/11/09/150949_coquelin-pense-a-partir.html

    it seems Coquelin is putting himself in the shop window for a return to France. As he recognizes when the injured players came back his chances for first team action ere and are very limited.

    I find it difficult to criticize a footballer who wants to play football

  11. Bloack 4 – agreed that’d be a good target – just needs to wind his neck in a bit.

  12. One could only hope that the young man didn’t say these things. Song will need to be rested and we also have the CC and FA Cup. Be patient young man.

    It would be nice for Arshavin to play in his favorite position but he is better than what he is showing right now. Come on Arshavin!

  13. Nice post. Like Gazidis’ comment on three types of clubs. On Chamberlain’s comment I’m not sure he’d say the same thing in two years time which is why Coquelin can’t say the same. It’s tough in a big club for a young player. Sometimes another club ends up being the beneficiary. Like we did with Thierry Henry!

  14. Coquelin’s desire is right but I wish he didn’t say this openly. The season is long but surely he is not expecting to get into the side ahead of Song, just yet, while the team was clawing for points?

  15. If he said it that is.

  16. Frimpong to Norwich for the second half of the season is an interesting one. On the other hand if both Coquelin and Frimpong get their heads down in training and try to learn a little something from Alex Song then there’s no better place for them to be. Just be patient and target the CC and FA Cup matches!

  17. It is tough at a big club, but young players can break through if they’re good enough, just look at Jack Wilshere. The only way to do it is to play so well when your chances come along that you give the manager pause for thought when the senior player is available again. If you can get into a situation where the manager is happy to play you as a direct replacement or in rotation with that senior player then you’re most of the way there. IMO there is an opportunity for Coquelin or Frimpong to be that direct understudy to Song, none of the other senior players play like Song enough to be considered and automatic replacement when he’s not playing.

  18. Song’s been playing so well it’s hard to imagine there are many midfielders who would usurp him, from any club. One gets the sense he’s going to carry on getting tighter and cleaner too.

  19. Maybe true Jonny, but there are games when he can’t play or is rested.

    On a more general note, I think the ideal for the squad is to get to a point where no outfield player has to play more than 40 club games a season. Considering we should be looking to play about 60 or so between all the competitions there is plenty of scope for “backup” players to get enough games to make staying at the club an attractive proposition even if they’re not considered to be the first choice. I think we’re at this point with the centre backs at the club right now, in 60 games Vermaelen, Koscielny and Mertesacker could cover the 60 games by playing 40 each, but there will obviously be times when the likes of Djourou and Squillaci will get games due to injury and suspension. This obviously does pre-suppose that the “backup” players are of sufficient quality that they can play the games without the quality in the team dropping off too much.

  20. It’s starting to look like we’ve got a bit of depth in the defensive midfield area now – interesting times. I think I’d be in favour of giving Frimpong a loan spell for the second half of the season and allowing Coquelin to play Cup games (depending on opposition).

    Hopefully regular games for a top-flight side will curb some of Frimpong’s rash decisions. If he can make that improvement he could be a monster of a player.

  21. Frimpong and Le Coq are very differnt players, so it is difficult to compare them. I agree with others though that after a season of first team action Le Coq seems better suited to the current 1st team squad. You can see that Frimpomng has “it” though. A loan spell will do him the world of good. I quite like the idea of Song + one of Frimpong/Song both sitting deep in certain games. It would give us a great shield for back 4.

  22. i dont think what arshavin or coq has said is wrong or a problem in any way. Coq is my personel choice over frimpong at the moment but both arsh and coqs statements come together, arshavin is right when he says we play deeper in midfield, and i think you are so wrong when you say that its because of poor form at the begining of the season, it is simply that we dont have the quality in midfield at this time and also song goes out of position so the other two have to drop back. This will be remedied when JW and AD are back and we can then begin to show some steel and more quality in midfield, i also think that our defence will look better due to their return

  23. Nice post Yogi, very interesting points raised, but If you don’t mind I’d like to respond to a post from yesterday:

    Paul-N | November 9, 2011 at 10:16 pm
    Henristic, so if your son suggests something to you and you tell him that your way will work and he says no, my way is better or we need to do it like this or that, what is your son saying?
    I have no problem with suggesting but when people act like they know, that is not suggesting. People say we must buy a striker come January even though Wenger says that his players will come good. You are indeed saying you know more than he does.
    When people were saying “suggesting” to sell Song and RVP, that was just a suggestion?
    Now to be honest people could be right in saying we need this and that as nothing is sure but when do we defer to one who has been there and done that?
    Given how many lost faith at the start of the season, I am not sure who we are to think we know anything when we failed to see how good our team could be in the first place.

    If my son acts like that, and is rude about it, then sure, he’s clearly being impertinent. Which is why I gave the example of le-grove in my post. But the vast majority of critical posts on here aren’t at all like that.

    Lets develop the analogy further; say the man has three kids, one of whom is like you described above, an annoying whiny little know-it-all. The second literally worships his father, and takes ANY questioning of the old man personally, almost to the point of obsession. The third loves and respects his father, but also has and voices his own opinions, not all of which coincides with the father’s views or methods. You see where I’m going with this?

    My question to you is that, do you not see that there is a major difference in the attitude or character of the 1st and 3rd kid? The 2nd child certainly doesn’t see any difference. Its become a part of his nature to ‘defend’ his father from whatever percieved affront. Even when the 2nd says something like, “I wish dad would try so and so…”, the 3rd zooms in saying stuff like, “how dare you even think that? Dad is awesome, and is the best and knows everything, etc”

    I know this is not the best analogy, but if I was the father, I know which attitude I’d prefer amongst my sons. Which would you?

  24. boomer : “it is simply that we dont have the quality in midfield at this time”

    Not really. It’s because we give the wide men (forwards and full-backs) more license to get forward now and the midfielders have to cover more. Also we have better all-round midfielders and we’re generally more suited to having that three-man solid midfield base.

  25. Fair argument there Henristic.

  26. Jonny @ 10.34am

    Song’s position is so important i do not think it is a question of him being usurped or not…would you say vP was usurped if Chamakh or Park get a run?

    The Frimp and Le Coq are understudies and replacements if Song is required to be rested, is injured or we need to defend an important match.

    As Jenks shows this can be critical, but it will be hit and miss for two of them.

  27. Some more responses to Paul N..

    I have no problem with suggesting but when people act like they know, that is not suggesting. People say we must buy a striker come January even though Wenger says that his players will come good. You are indeed saying you know more than he does.

    First of all, Wenger hasn’t said we are not buying a striker in January, so people wishing for a striker aren’t neccesarily disagreeing with Wenger…, yet. I do agree its too early though, as history tells us, Wenger’s signings often come good.

    But even if there was a clearer case of disagreement, how does that mean the fan in question thinks he knows more? I still don’t get that connection. Do you think you know more than everyone you disagree with?

    When people were saying “suggesting” to sell Song and RVP, that was just a suggestion?Now to be honest people could be right in saying we need this and that as nothing is sure but when do we defer to one who has been there and done that?

    But we ALWAYS defer to Wenger(who has been there and done that). At least those of us who still want him to be our manager, including those who sing his name in stadiums. You can’t tell me that NONE of those people ever disagree with the man?

    Given how many lost faith at the start of the season, I am not sure who we are to think we know anything when we failed to see how good our team could be in the first place.

    Its human to think you know something (for most people anyways). Of course most rationale people don’t from that assume they know EVERYTHING, or that they know more than one of the best managers of the modern football era. They only just have their opinions, many of which will be wrong, and some of which will be right. But the fans, their opinions don’t matter a great deal for the most part, so they are allowed to be wrong, just like the second kid in my analogy..

  28. Henristic

    Is not the issue complicated by communication? It is about how an opinion is offered and that, whilst reflecting the three traits in your post, is as much to do with education, both formal and family, smudged with the perception of the reader of that comment. For example, someone who is suggesting we buy a new forward might word it as “Wenger needs to buy a new forward”, which is how they would speak normally. If you read that phrase, you might perceive it as the writer being a smart-alec when that was not the intention.

    Granted that is not always the case but it is the grey that separates the black and whiteness of the point.

  29. Henristic – it’s a valid and relevant point, well put.

    Thinking for yourself is entirely discouraged – especially if your thoughts question the approach of ‘the father’.

    And then there are some who seem to think ANY criticism, on any level, is not only entirely unreasonable but also unforgivable (an idiot never forgets) – one guesses in a dictatorship it is they who would form the military police, make lists of traitors and have them executed.

    😀

  30. We have a plethora of very good mid-field players – like Barca. This has been the case for a while with the attacking options, but it seems all over now.

    The trick will be keeping them all happy……….which means swapping them about a bit and playing in as many competitions as possible.

  31. Yogi,

    “Arshavin loses out to Walcott purely on pace.”

    I also think it’s the defensive side of our “sitting deeper” game that favours Theo at present.

    Also, Coquelin seemed very, very positive in his interview on Arsenal Player today. Or is it just me being optimistic this morning?

  32. Haha! Yes Jonny!

    Some interesting points YW. Is Wenger the dicatator who constantly gets referred to as a father? Wenger certainly balances the two – utterly ruthless with Gilberto, Pires, Henry, Vieria, Ljunberg, over protective of Denilson, Almunia, Bendtner.

    I’m not sure what I think of Gazidis coming to the training ground and informing our players of what types of football club there are, and to brazingly bracket everyone into three categories.

    For starters, we voice our self satisfication about our self sustaining model pretty much at every opportunity, so its fair to say the players are well aware of it, and our comparison to City etc

    But most importantly, I dont want our players thinking they are winning on some moral highround because of our board & owners strategy. They should be thinking of winning games, and trophies – nothing else.

    I dont want the lads bantering about our last half yearly results as they warm down, I want them talking about threats of next opponents play etc etc!!

  33. SA Gooner, I think you have part of it when you say “The trick will be keeping them all happy……….which means swapping them about a bit and playing in as many competitions as possible.”

    Yes, they all want to play and having some rotation and giving the players games is part of it. On top of that though is ambition, money and silverware, however unpalatable some might find these things when it comes to player loyalty. We seem to have been in a state of too much player turnover in the last few seasons, culminating in losing Nasri and Fabregas last season who Wenger is on record as saying he didn’t want to go. So I think winning something to show the players that club is still capable of that if they all pull together ( and which could easily lead to more trophies), paying top wages for key personnel (in the full realisation that we cannot match the likes of Man City or Chelsea across the board) and strengthening the squad with top quality players when possible will be key moving forward. These things will hopefully keep a more stable squad which I believe is, in turn, the key to creating a team that can consistently win trophies again.

  34. I agree with Henristic.
    On this occasion.In the fashion of “child 3”.

    Frimpong has a better chance of playing a part in the next remake of “The A Team” than our 1st team.

    In August 2003 Andy Gray said ,”Dennis Bergkamp is no more than a bit player” And we know how wrong that gem was .So ,come on Andrei ,Fucking shape up man ,You are making me look a cunt.

  35. True Yogi,

    The way and method of communication is a major factor in all of this. However, if after what seems like an impertinent comment, a poster is ‘prodded’ into explaining himself, its soon becomes quite obvious which type of character he is. I don’t mind if the prodding is done Frank orGeorge style, or in a more considered way.

    Like Darius elouently put it yesterday, most right thinking fans want the same thing in the end. Those who encourage and revel in divisions between the fans do not benefit the club in anyway.

  36. “…one guesses in a dictatorship it is they who would form the military police, make lists of traitors and have them executed.”

    No Jonny, that will be my job.

  37. Excellent Cbob – of all the people I’d trust to be even and fair handed it would be you – actually I’d have you down more as an Oscar Schindler type.

  38. There was a French reporter on The Fans Forum last week an d he said something very interesting,alone these lines.
    “The problems came because Arsene expected Nasri and Fabregas to show loyalty which they ultimately did not”
    That would explain a lot like the now infamous “big club” statement.
    Arsene has made a mistake I suggest it was being duped by those two cowards

  39. I have no interest in protecting the guilty Jonny. They are on their own.

  40. Weighing on Arshavin’s mind is the fact he is captain of Russia and at the end of the season he will lead his country into the Euros at home, and with huge expectation that they will win or come damn clode to winning the trophy. That he lets slip to aRussian journalist that he is fed up with sitting on the bench ain’t to hard to follow.
    As has been said though with Gervinho at the ACN and Theo not the most physically robust of players there will be plenty of chances for Andrei

  41. Sat 19th Norwich vs Arsenal … seems like years away 😦

  42. Really gutted about TV loosing his captain band to Kompany.

  43. Why did he lose it Jeff?

  44. Poland and Ukraine aint Russia Anicoll5. Not by a long shot.

    On the Arshavin question I don’t see his position much different to the Coquelin situation. When he gets his chances he needs to play consistently well enough that the boss can’t drop him. The added advantage he has over the youngsters is that we all know he has what it takes already and he will get more chances because he is already an integral part of the match day squad.

    And not making George look like a cunt should be motivation enough, surely.

  45. I am surprised a little in how ruthless Wenger has been with Arshavin. We all know he hasn’t been at his best but you would expect a bit more rotation. Results do prove the manager was right to stick with Theo and Gervinho.

    Gervinho for me is the best performer out of the 3 but you can’t knock Theo as he has been instrumental through his pace and work rate. Theo may have his off games where his touch or odd cross lets him down but he gives us another dimension up front and stretches the opposition. He has improved massively for me over the last year or so, it will show once again in his goals and assists.

    Going back to Arshavin, he is the most direct out of the 3 imo and that can make him look ineffective in some games. He is always trying to run at someone, take them one on one and create a goal scoring opportunity whenever he has the ball. Through a period in which we are looking to recover and build confidence, you cant afford to have someone taking so many risks so his game has suffered because of our cautious approach.

  46. “Going back to Arshavin, he is the most direct out of the 3 imo and that can make him look ineffective in some games. He is always trying to run at someone, take them one on one and create a goal scoring opportunity whenever he has the ball. Through a period in which we are looking to recover and build confidence, you cant afford to have someone taking so many risks so his game has suffered because of our cautious approach.”

    Yes that’s it !!!!!!!
    Its not his fault it the rest for putting us in a bad position.Thanks ,I feel better now.

  47. I think Arsharvin is sounding the alarm of things to come, he may really be getting ready to leave, i would be sad and happy at the same time, sad that he wont give us those exciting dribbles off the bench to make a chance for the team and happy because we can now go out and get another true winger to terrorise our opponents defense.
    Coq has to realise the team as just began to look like a team and Alex is our anchor that we rely on, alex will definitely be rested for some games, so he has to bide his time until matches are made available for him to play.
    If he actually goes out on loan i dont think he will have a better opportunity to make the team, when the boss is trying to form a strong first and second team, so he better keep quiet.
    Frim would do good with a loan and we would want to see it be done in the same league, so that we can better monitor his growth

  48. If anything Wenger was stubborn in persisting with Arshavin. I rememeber when all the wanker fans were criticising Andrei a year ago Wenger actually came out and said that his stats don’t lie, so STFU… or something. Now Wenger is stubborn for dropping him when those stats dip? Nothing to do with stubborness. He has one goal and two assists from 13 appearances in all competitions. That is a dip in form for him.

    But he’ll recover form no doubt, so don’t hit me George.

  49. “not by a long shot” Block 4
    That’s what the Ukranians are worried about !

    The Russians fancy a victory in the Euros

  50. Goerge may not hit you, but his devoted Meerkat may not take it all so lightly. Arshavin will be fine. He has some competition that’s all. Basically, he’s not going to outplay 3Gs and Theo defensively or Theo’s speed, therefore, he must reclaim his position by being undroppable for his fearsome offense, assists and ability to manipulate a game.

  51. Is it just me who don’t understand how can anyone be consistent without playing time?

    Ok, Arshavin played 90 minutes against Bolton in CC; they told he was consistent enough, scoring one and assisting one. So, right after that, in next 3 games he got two appearances by 10 minutes both. What consistence people are talking about?

    Lets put it simple: he doesn’t play and he won’t play because Wenger decided so, that’s all, and it has nothing to do with “consistence” and other such shit.

  52. The player that has impressed me the most this season is Carl Jenkinson.

    Despite the “he was playing in the 2nd division last season and non-league before that” band wagon – The Jenks has really done himself justice and proved that he is not only a capable understudy, but a dependable squad member. What more can you ask from the lad.

  53. anicoll5 @ 10:14
    “I find it difficult to criticize a footballer who wants to play football”

    agree……

  54. @Markus: Most of Arshavin appearances were 10 or 15 minutes at the end of games; there was once a game when Wenger put him in on 89th minute or so (it was some game in CL AFAIR). Does it count in those 13 appearances too?

    Wenger is lost in his math formulas and tables, that’s all.

  55. @Anicoll5, I don’t see Russia winning it. Spain are huge favourites, but Germany and Holland are easily better than Russia. Even England would give Russia a game.

    @alone_here, given that Arshavin isn’t getting too much game time it just means he has to make the most of what he does get.

  56. Darius – I’d echo that. His heart is beyond question and I cannot think when the last time we had someone who could cross the ball with such consistency.

    Song has stepped up beautifully, in how he has further grown his game, also.

  57. I’ve said before but my theory on Arshavin is that he is trying to do too much all on his own. In the little chances he does get he wants to impress, but I think he just needs to go back to basics and keep it simple. Pass and move when it makes sense to.

  58. This is torture.
    To defend Andrei do I have to attack Arsene.
    I feel a bit like a wolf caught in a rap.Do I bite of my own foot ,or what?
    It just looks like the little fellow does not fit in to the current playing pattern.

  59. alone_here @12.52 pm
    “Lets put it simple: he doesn’t play and he won’t play because Wenger decided so, that’s all, and it has nothing to do with “consistence” and other such shit”

    I think your on to something.

  60. This is torture.
    To defend Andrei do I have to attack Arsene?
    I feel a bit like a wolf caught in a trap.Do I bite off my own foot ,or what?
    It just looks like the little fellow does not fit in to the current playing pattern.

    That reads better ,sorry.

  61. @Block4: “given that Arshavin isn’t getting too much game time it just means he has to make the most of what he does get.” – ok, in the ideal world players enter the game at 80th minute and immediately start to score alone and assist to themselves, but I’m yet to see such players, even in the Arsenal.

  62. If Wenger decided Arshavin was finished at the club he would have zero appearances. Not 14! Drama queens.

  63. @Markus: “keep it simple. Pass and move when it makes sense to.” – the truth is, when he keeps it simple, he got sticks on himself right out, blamed for doing nothing. Arshavin is an easy target these days.

  64. Powerful, powerful stuff. Needs sound.

  65. He came on the other week and had 100% pass completion when we were defending a lead.
    He helps young players with positioning and………………………..
    Oh fuck it I cant be bothered

  66. Charlie Chaplin is the Anti-Hitler – it’s taken from The Great Dictator – written and directed by Chaplin.

    It was Chaplin’s first true talking picture as well as his most commercially successful film. More importantly, it was the first major feature film of its period to bitterly satirize Nazism and Adolf Hitler.

  67. @alone_here, he’s up against two players who are doing fairly well at the moment, what I meant was he’ll have to play better than them to take their spot. He played well in the League Cup against Bolton, a goal and an assist, but I wouldn’t say he took the game by the scruff of the neck and made it his. That’s the only way he’s going to force himself back into the first XI. Similarly, if Gervinho or Walcott get an injury he has to play well enough to make himself undroppable when they return to fitness.

  68. AA needs to do theb opposite of what bendtner did. i.e., When he does get a chance he needs to perform. When Bendtner was given a chance to shine he very rarely did so. That is the harsh reality of top level club football.

  69. PG

    You must be bothered. If you won’t stick up for him, who will?

  70. PG is Laurel to AA’s Hardy

  71. What, 73 posts and we haven’t talked about Diaby yet?

  72. Darius – I am afraid that has died. A horrible accident which involved a training cone, Frimpong, and an energy bar.

  73. Consols, Ateeb – you watching the Aussies? WTF is that – 21 for 8?

  74. Darius, the back of Diaby has been broken. As a topic, I mean. Good grief, with his injury record I’d be scared to say, “Break a leg”.

  75. We could always start on Gibbs?

  76. 22-9!

    Looks like the wicket is a seamers paradise. Bliss.

  77. I have just heard on the radio the Poppy fiasco described as “Poppygate”. How irritating. Why on earth to people decide to put a “gate” on the end of anything which gets debated in the public domain?

  78. Fins – more accurately looks like the wicket is a bag of shit – they have poor recent history of pretty shoddy pitches, South Africa.

    I’m all for a bowler’s wicket but this is too far.

  79. On a lighter note; Jerry Sadowitz is touring the UK at the moment. He is easily the most offensive comic on the planet, and does not tour very often. If he is playing anywhere near you, don’t pass up the chance to go and watch. It will be one of the funniest gigs you will ever see.

  80. Jonny,

    I can’t be sure as I’m reading a text report from cricinfo.
    You’re probably right but Clarke managed to get a hundred. I know what Boycott would say:

    ‘Back in t’day…uncovered wickets!’

  81. Jonny..

    Australia 21/9…wouldnt a 22 all out been great..damn the last wicket partnership..anway im still sticking my neck out an predicting a south african win led by smith and kallis..

    Oh and this just for you

    88th!!!! 😀

  82. Fins it was pretty playable for a day but still you could see it was going to get worse as the game went on. The ball has been spitting off a length – lots of trapped fingers and unplayable balls. No real contest.

    But for Clarke’s almost immaculate 150 we would be looking at team scores of 133, 96, 47 & 27-1!

  83. 88? I’m just glad we had ten entries without the children squabbling for position. 😀

    22 would have been hilarious – I just checked their lowest ever score was 36 in 1902.

    Dammit.

  84. Yogi – “the back of Diaby has been broken” have you no shame?!

  85. George my friend, this is especially for you so you can take your mind off the nasty thoughts.
    🙂

    http://www.whoateallthepies.tv/arsenal/18730/top-10-andrey-arshavin-facts-womens-football-is-a-joke-and-other-sexist-gems.html

  86. Finsbury, when are we talking about our mutual friend???

    Ya great big tease.

  87. A shame about the Australian record. Still, out for under 50.
    The infamous Philander with five-for.

  88. Hey I take the squabbling seriously 😀

    And yea 22 would have topped New Zealands previous record of 26, wouldnt they have just loved that..

    BTW 52/1 well on their way to my predicted smith, kallis led victory..cmon SA!!

  89. It would have been the lowest innings score in test history! BALLS!

  90. Well, what can I say? Father Kelly is PISSED at me!! But in all seriousness, it is sooooo easy to confuse the two……isn’t it?

  91. Yep certainly would have been..bollocks..

  92. Jonny,

    The interlull is long.
    Have to go, next time we are both on the board again I’ll try and spin a yarn that does not bore the pants off everyone else.

  93. Been dumping your issues in the confession box again, Irish?

  94. I sincerely hope he hasn’t been dumping in the confession box. Not even a Hail Mary or Our Father would save him from burning in the fires of Hell for that one.

  95. 🙂 Not a bit of it!!! Staggered straight home last night, no pitstops along the way. Well there was a stop for pizza around 2a.m. but other than that it was a perfectly civil and proper evening of drunken debauchery had by all 🙂

  96. I have a feeling that so long as I stay away from MDGunner’s Infamous Pastys I should have no need to be visiting any form of “booth”, confessional or otherwise!!

  97. Coquelin’s feelings are entirely understandable. He has gone from playing week in week out in a good side to riding the bench in a very good side after coming in as an emergency stand-in and acquitting himself very creditably. I don’t see anything untoward in what he says – either in English or in French. He is young, talented and wants to play. Good for him. The way to fulfilling his desire is to work so hard in training and develop so fast that he will force AW to pick him. There is no other way. I personally prefer him to Frimpong but the competition will help both of them. Now that the ship has been steadied, we will have plenty of games for all three of Song, Le Coq and Frimpers, and plenty of backup should one of them be injured.

    Arshavin, ditto. He is getting on and he wants to play, but the route back into a regular starting slot is the same as it for everyone else. AW said in the past that accepts that AA is quite candid. Exhibit A, ladies and gentlemen of the jury.

    I liked IG’s words to the team. I think they were intended to inspire, and I’m sure they did – that could have been why AA remembered and repeated them. Our independence is one of the most precious parts of our identity IMO, and the idea of struggling against the odds fires the imagination and hardens the resolve.

  98. Le Coq has the potential to do Na$ri. We better let him go than later. Frimpong is Arsenal through and through so let’s keep the one who is an Arsenal fan and let the Le Coq go where he wants to.

  99. Yeah his feelings are def understandable, and I’m sure it must be difficult.

    Nonetheless, using the press as your mouthpiece and pressuring for a move if your whims are not acceded to is not the best way to express it. Let your football talk and the rest will follow.

    Not adhering to that is one of the reasons Bendtner lost the fans patience and went on to become a disruptive thorn for both Wenger and the team.

    I’m definitely glad Le Coq is hungry but I hope he doesn’t try to force Wenger’s hand as I, like most, have really high hopes for him as an Arsenal player. 😀

  100. “Children’s 5-a-side football coaching session as part of a Partners Fun Day taking place at Highbury Fields in Islington this Saturday”. I have never heard of partners fund day before, but a public coaching session could be cool:

    http://www.kickitout.org/news.php/news_id/5268

  101. Finbury ,perhaps Arsene should attend it(“Children’s 5-a-side football coaching session as part of a Partners Fun Day taking place at Highbury Fields in Islington this Saturday”)
    As he seems to be lacking some basic understanding in coaching.
    Sorry Jonny just a bit of mischief making from me on a slow day

  102. Before we critisise Le Coq I seem to remember a certain young polish goalkeeper making some public utterances last year.And it does not seem to have done him any harm.

  103. Good on Le Coq looks as though The Arsenal media engine have asked him to clarify his remarks –

    “I will try to fight for a first team place. I have to keep focused, keep training hard and give 100 per cent every chance I can get. Then I have to grab it and show that I can play.

    “It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world so to be part of it is just crazy. It’s unbelievable.

    “Every day I wake up I am happy because I come from a small town and now I am at Arsenal. It’s great for me and sometimes I just don’t realise it. I just enjoy every day.”

    Much more like it!

  104. Too true George – it’s just a thin line is all – also we kind of lucked out with Scez – had we succeeded in signing a new goalkeeper and Fab not gotten injured, it is very possible he might have not have gotten his chance and really started to rattle the bars with a view to leaving.

    Lady luck, as ever, always plays a hand.

  105. Henristic, I would take the 3rd son however that doesnt mean that he couldn’t be well-intentioned and still pass his place. One does not have to be rude to do that.

    Henristic, you do make some good points. I have no issue with questioning the manager or saying that it would be good to bring some players in, I have done so myself. That is not and has never been an issue at all. No one could disagree with your analogy, how you put it, but I don’t think your analogy paints the true picture, for me atleast.

    I think yogi made a good point.

    Here is the thing, you are lumping all critical comments together and that is blurring what I am talking about. Again, I have no issue with suggestions overall.

    Our opinions though lofty at times are based on very little knowlegde or we simply ingnore the knowledge we do have. For example the ox and walcott. It is known that Walcott is trying to be more of a team olayer as far as defense. He said it, Wenger said it but that did not stop the negative things being said about the young man on this very blog. Walcott should watch out and Wenger should drop Walcott for Wenger. The funny thing is that his defensive play was all but ridiculed by some because he didnt do enough going forward. Wenger also said that OX wasnt ready. Now all of that understanding did nothing for Walcott with many. Now after the Chelsea match, YAY WALCOTT!

  106. Drop Walcott for ox, that is!

  107. Yes but Paul,do you remember who the posters were calling for that switch?
    Beacuse I do, and I would not trust them to decide if it was day or night.

  108. PG – Can I just reiterate that whilst I may have started that thread I only asked why Ox was not awarded a bench position – I never criticised Walcott (other than to say he was out of form).

    I’ll also add for good measure fans losing patience with a player and seeing things differently is not a capital offence – and that sure tease them and point out they were wrong but calling for them to be ostracised and attacked is unnecessary.

    As well as Walcott has come through his sticky patch we also have no idea whether Oxpot might have shocked Wenger and risen to the occasion. It happened with Chezzer, who Wenger held back favouring Fabster and chance thrust Chez to the core – he rose to the occasion. Who can honestly say that Oxpot might have done the same.

    You could also argue a similar thing is happening with Jenks now.

  109. @ Paul-N | November 10, 2011 at 5:33
    V good post.

    “That is not and has never been an issue at all. No one could disagree with your analogy, how you put it, but I don’t think your analogy paints the true picture, for me atleast.”

    That’s the nub of it. Henristic’s analogy is misconceived. There is no second son.

    “I think yogi made a good point.”
    Agree. It’s often about people wanting some scenario to come about so much that they start to think AW is deliberately baulking them, and get angry and frustrated.

  110. Henristic, this is the point about me saying people lost faith.

    Wenger has just created one of the greatest transformations I have even seen. We lost 3 of our best players in Clichy, Nasri and Cesc along with others. We go on and get trounced by United, lose to Birmingham but Wenger still trusted in his players, he was confident they would come good.

    With that, if the man says that a player will come good, what is the point of suggesting otherwise? what is your angle? hasnt the man done enough for us to believe that will happen?

    As far as a striker, I have never had an issue with anyone saying we should add a striker, my problem is when folks act like our current players cannot get it done when they havent even been given an opportunity.

    Players dont find form by playing once in a while, we all know that(ignore knowlegde again)but we still go ahead and overlook our own.

  111. Righto play nice I’ve got an evening on the tiles to tackle.

  112. All due respect to Ox (and you Jonny), but if we’d have started him along with Jenkinson when he first came in we’d have got our right flank raped.

  113. Who are the one’s who called for the Ox over Walcott PG?

    Btw, the similarity between Scz’s statement and Le coq’s statement was raised by me last night! 😦

  114. As we have a stoooooopid break I thought I would have a look at the next 5 fixtures that will involve ourselves and those above us at the moment.

    Man Citeh – Newcastle(H), Liverpool(A), Norwich(H), Chelsea(A), Stoke(H)
    Man Utd – Swansea(A), Newcastle(H), Aston Villa(A), Wolves(H), QPR(A)
    Newcastle – Man Citeh(A), Man Utd (A), Chelsea(H), Norwich(A), Swansea(H)
    Chelsea – Liverpool(H), Wolves(H), Newcastle(A), Man Citeh(H), Wigan(A)
    Spuds – Villa(H), WBA(A), Bolton(H), Stoke(A), Sunderland(H)
    Liverpool – Chelsea(A), Citeh(H), Fulham(A), QPR(H), Villa(A)
    The Arsenal – Norwich(A), Fulham(H), Wigan(A), Everton(H), Villa(A)

    On paper at least Chelsea, Citeh and Newcastle’s run of 5 games promises to be a bloodbath for at least one team in the mix, hopefully all three. Outside of Norwich(A) I think AW should be demanding a return of 12 points against the other 4 teams we play. Yes I think we can win at Norwich but I would not be surprised at a draw there, due to a combination of Norwich’s belief in themselves and the fact we will be coming back from a break. Not exactly a time when we are known for playing our best. Man Utd, as bad as they are playing, are past masters of grinding out results and outside of Newcastle and maybe Villa(who seem to draw every game they play) I don’t see them dropping points. Liverpool are hot and cold. I can see them actually beating Citeh but then losing to Fulham, so hard to call. the Spuds can just go and fuck themselves as no matter what they do in this little run we all know they wont finish higher than 6th!

  115. Paul,
    I’ve lumped critical comments together that are not abusive of the players or manager. I draw the line at abuse. As long as the manager is not being insulted, I dont mind anyone saying we need a change in tactics, or that we should prefer one player over another, or change someone from striker to defender, even if I don’t agree with them. One of the main reasons we come here is to debate these things, as futile as that is.

    Regarding your example, Walcott an Ox are both arsenal players. I don’t know why you’d have a problem with people’s opinion about which of them should play. A similar conversation took place between Dexter and Passenal in the summer about which GK will start, and I don’t see you making much fuss about that. There is an ongoing conversation about Arshavin and whether he deserves to get more games playing behind a striker. If you’ve missed it, I’m sure George will bring you up to speed 🙂

    In all these cases, percieved failings of certain players were highlighted by various people to further their preference for someone else. Are those the negative things you’re referring too? Stuff like “Walcott’s technique isn’t great, Ox is better”, or that “Szcesny’s kicking is poor, Fab is a better GK overall”?
    I could be wrong, but I don’t remember statements that were much worse than that (from regular posters, at least). Many of the fans saying these things are probably wrong about their assessments, but thank goodness they are not the manager, right? Good thing is, most of the people making these statements recognize this. Thats perhaps is even what gives them the ‘freedom’ to make those calls. Few are under any illusions about their role when supporting is needed, whoever the manager decides to go with.

    Also remember that fans are by nature fickle. Someone who doesn’t rate Theo today, may turn out to champion him tommorrow, and vice versa. See how quickly many of us turned on Cesc, Adebayor etc, even though you’d never hear Wenger say a bad word about them, and they clearly would have hurt him more.

  116. Sriram | November 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm
    Who are the one’s who called for the Ox over Walcott PG?

    Well it wasn’t Jonny Of that I am sure.

    Goonerton and Gonner2 spring to mind

  117. Give me strength.

    This debate will vanish up it’s own backside soon.

    Thanks for the light relief Irish.

  118. Another great post yogi:

    Le Coq will have to wait his turn just like players at any big club. Arsenal has tended to rush their young players partly related to financial issues and I still contend that the psychological trauma of being thrown into the fire so early and struggling, especially at the business end of the season is the biggest single reason the previous generation of young players lost the “mental strength” we all thought they had. I love what the boss is doing with Ox and Frimpong. Its not their time yet. If you want to play for a big team you have to wait. Its always been that way and always will. I have always complained that our management was not very good at “learning lessons”. However this year is much more encouraging. Our approach on both ends of the pitch especially on defense seems much more calm and organized then in the past and tempering our enthusiasm for throwing players like Ox into big games shows that may be we can learn a lesson after all. Long may that live.

  119. Apologies for that long post heh.

    Paul,
    I have faith in Wenger, but not in the same way I would have faith in God. I don’t believe him to be omniscient. I know that he is one of the best out there, but even if he was 1000 times better than he actually is, I would still (respectfully) question his tactics or decisions from time to time, whenever it happens that I have a different view to something he does.
    Its this is the way the rest of the world works. Everybody in authority is questioned, no matter how awesome the person has proved himself to be.

    FG,
    “That’s the nub of it. Henristic’s analogy is misconceived. There is no second son.”

    Hahahah. You’re kidding, right?

  120. Henristic, you and I are not the same so you cannot categorize the comments for me.

    I dont mind anyone saying we need to change tactic’s either.

    The Walcott and OX situation is very relevant to the discussion. I think.

    You dont remember how people were talking about Walcott prior to Chelsea? didnt even give the kid credit for getting us to the blasted CL! 2 goals out of 3 against Udinese!

    Fickleness is not good, who wants to be unstable?

    Cesc, Ade and Nasri punked out, people were and are very dissapointed.

  121. Dont mean to a drag Mr. Bob. Henristic asked a question, I thought it would be right to answer him. That’s all.

  122. Anyway Henristic, I dont want to kill the vibes on the blog so I am done with with this now.

    I appreciate how you dealt with the discussion.

    Thanks!

  123. C’bob – I think it already did several times but they keep reaching in and dragging it back out!!

  124. Cbob @ 6:32:

    “Give me strength.

    This debate will vanish up it’s own backside soon.”

    I disagree, I think this debate should go on forever, that way no one will ever again call my posts boring. (little smiley face) Not that I really cared what anyone thought about my posts anyway.

  125. Well IG and Mr. Bob, Henristic and I just started discussing this for the most part. Just want to put that straight.

  126. Bill – BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRING!!!!!!!

  127. Something to do with those strange sexual practices that you seem to know so much about Irish.

    That’s alright Paul. I wasn’t really aiming at anyone. Your arguments are always polite and thought out, as are Henristic’s actually. There is a serious point there.

    It just seems that this sort of ‘debate’ breaks out in the interlull and just keeps on going…and going…and going….

  128. Enough of the policy/philosophical stuff.

    On to specifics….I’ve actually argued several times against including too many youngsters in the team at once. I don’t think Wenger’s style suits them in that sense. We should only ‘carry’ one or two kids per time. So, I’d choose Walcott over Ox or Ryo anytime of the day. I’d prefer if the kids spend more time on loan at this stage of their careers, and was really hoping in the summer that Ryo at least will go back to Holland for one more year of regular top-flight football.

    I’m happy we don’t have to rely on Coquelin or Frimpong anymore. I feel Frimpong needs at least one full season out on loan, especially with Diaby and Wilshere coming back. Coq will get games, and I’m very confident he’ll shine. He really is an exciting prospect.

  129. Paul-N – Any whining/bitching/sniping on my part should be ignored wholeheartedly as it is simply a symptom of the interlull 🙂

  130. I hear you Mr. Bob. I am up for a new discussion.

  131. Bill | November 10, 2011 at 6:47 pm
    “I disagree, I think this debate should go on forever, that way no one will ever again call my posts boring. (little smiley face) Not that I really cared what anyone thought about my posts anyway.”

    Of course you care Bill, you’re just very good at hiding it. I’m onto you dude. 🙂

  132. Irish @ 6:47:

    Anything that a Yankee fan posts has no credibility so you are wasting your time.

  133. Henristic @ 11:05 pm,

    Your three sons are all mindless.

    I am not being condescending here but to adopt a position regardless of “issue” but only based on parties participating within the dispute seems to me to be the height of foolishness. That way does indeed lie, bu extention, political trauma.

    Granted, as with minimalism, the ability to maintain a holistic and yet non-partisan view when making statements or responding to issues does appear to be a dying art. Nevertheless, when the overall objective is the good of AFC and its representatives, strong arguments are to be expected: particularly where the treating of a related issue threatens to thwart that objective!

    And back to the generalisations!

  134. Henristic:

    (little smiley face)

    How do you guys posts those little smiley faces?

  135. Cbob,
    Because you’re one of the posters I have the most respect for on here (can’t pick a clear favourite between you, Yogi, and OOU), I’ll stop this boring drizzle before someone else jumps in to restart it.

    Apologies to everyone else for the distraction.

    Paul-N
    Thank you too for the discussion, mi bro. At least we now both understand each other better.

  136. @Henristic
    I can understand why you criticise, as I think everyone here has done it at some point, be it because Wenger refuses to make subs before the 60th minute, does not seem to be willing to change his tactics, is not experimenting by playing two strikers up front etc. etc. etc., especially when things are not going our way like at the tail end of last season.

    I just find it irritating when people criticise Wenger on things where it’s evident that he knows a lot about and the critics do not. Squad selection for example: Wenger sees those players day in, day out and knows them probably better than their own parents and there are still people who question the 11 he selects. In my opinion that is pure lunacy and I don’t really see how that criticism can be marked as justified, when those people don’t even know 1% of what Wenger knows.
    As you brought up the topic of god, I would liken this to someone who hasn’t studied the subject and literally knows nothing besides a couple things he has read, say, in the bible, walking up to a scientist who has worked on that subject for probably half of his life and suggesting him that the world is 6000 years old. It’s just ridiculous and has got no factual basis whatsoever, so why should that suggestion be taken seriously? In the same vein, why should it, when some fan demands that player X be bought or player Y be played more often be taken seriously, unless that fan has the necessary knowledge to actually make a credible call on such a topic?

    There is justified criticism, especially when there is a flurry of negative results — which clearly prove that things are not going well and that change might be necessary — but there is also unjustified criticism, especially when it comes from sources that do not have the facts to back their statements up and I don’t see what the issue would be with those people being called out on their criticisms.

  137. Henristic @ 11:05 pm,

    Sorry, the third option obviously shows signs of brain activity!

  138. Dgob | November 10, 2011 at 6:55 pm
    “Your three sons are all mindless.”

    How dare you insult my kids?? Apologise right now buddy, or else….

  139. Irish, looking at the fixtures you posted, I do have to say there doesn’t look to be much of a roadblock to Spuds’ path in that series. They could get 12 or more out of that list as well and same with United. If we are in fourth by the end of December, we will have done very well. What makes it difficult this year is the number of teams involved. In the past, like two seasons ago, when we trailed Villa by several points for 4th spot, there was only one team in the way. Right now there are three ahead of us and 5 competing for spots 3 and 4. Plus coming in 4th isn’t as great as it once was because of the rule changes to the pre-group stage qualifying round. In the past we’d be paired with some second place finisher from Belgium or Turkey. This year we had a hard fought battle against Udinese who are leading Serie A!

    Having said that, I think we have the quality and above all leadership and team spirit to overhaul Newcastle and Liverpool in the next 5 games–the test will be Spuds and Chelsea. So I think we will be in 5th or better heading into the match away to City, but I do think we can get 3rd since we play all these teams except for Liverpool at home in the second half.

  140. Evil,
    Careful on the religion bashing or Paul-N with put you straight! There are quite a few people who will show you facts backing up their belief in a 6000 year old earth.

    As to the other stuff, its been done to death now, and I promised Cbob I’d stop.

  141. @Henristic
    I guess that depends on how you define fact, I usually adhere to the definition of fact that something is verifiable through experience or observation.

  142. Though I agree that it was a bad example to pick, as it can create unnecessary conflict. A better example might’ve been someone who has never left the ground telling an astronaut who has been in orbit that he should consider that Earth might be a disc.

  143. Limestonegunner – I agree with what you say re the Spuds run in the next 5 but as i said I do not se them having the legs to stay up there for the entire season. Outside of Citeh, who I think we can beat, we do not play anyone above us so there will be no “6 pointers” as such but all of those above us have at least 1 game where they will be playing a team in the top 6. That literally means we are guaranteed to catch up by either, 2 points on both teams if it is a draw or 3 points on one of the 2 teams playing by virtue of the other winning. If we can win all 5 of ours it is not unlikely we could find ourselves as high up as 4th, possibly even 3rd.

    1 Man City 31
    2 Man Utd 26
    3 Newcastle 25
    4 Chelsea 22
    5 Spuds 22
    6 Liverpool 19
    7 Arsenal 19

  144. I forgot to mention that Limestonegunner is another one of my favourite posters on here. Always look forward to his posts. Frank too, weirdly enough, although for slightly different reasons.

    LG,
    If we are fourth by end of december, it will be a very merry christmas indeed. I agree its very achievable.
    I really don’t see the spuds as all that impressive. An injury to Modric and/or VdV and they are in trouble. Time will tell I guess. I’m notoriously bad with predicting how a season pans out.

  145. Irish@ 4.22

    I’m watching you, don’t think those remarks go unseen, and Pop C’Bob Larkin @ 6.32

  146. Henristic – “There are quite a few people who will show you facts backing up their belief in a 6000 year old earth

    How will they do that mate? It is not even a debate if the earth is 6000 years old. Whilst there is scientific fact it is many millions of years old. I seriously can’t believe that some people (not aimed at you) still believe that in this day and age.

  147. MDGunner – You can watch all you want mate, just keep those Patys away from me!!!

  148. Bill – It does suck having no football and no baseball. Although the longer this basketball fiasco goes on the happier I will be, really detest that game!

  149. Goonerandy,
    Taking things away from religion for a minute, ‘scientific facts’ are ALWAYS up for debate, mainly because they can never really be proven, in the way maths theorems can.

    All that is needed for a scientic fact to be questioned is a single piece of evidence to the contrary, and noone can ever completely rule out that such evidence won’t be found.

  150. “Patys”? Still hung over irish? Once you’ve had a few bevvies you could eat my pasties and not realize it.

  151. Irish:

    These international breaks are miserable. We should storm the Bastille and end them forever.

    Can’t wait until spring training. I have to admit that baseball is my first love, I promised my dad on his death bed that it would always be that way. No one knew anything about football when I was growing up in South Dakota.

  152. Henristic – Yeah, all true I suppose. But in this particular case…………

  153. And further to that there is no evidence at all that the earth on only 6000 years old. Mainly because it isn’t.

  154. Irish–that’s a good point that they will be taking points off of one another. But I expect Newcastle and Liverpool to drop most of those points to ManCity and United. The interesting case will be Chelsea. I hope for two draws in their games with those two. When do Spuds play their game in hand v. Everton, who are on dire form unfortunately?

    So in fact what I hope for is for us to overhaul Newcastle, Liverpool, and Chelsea and be in 4th when we play ManCity away and on a 5 game winning run. Then we stuff them with a convincing 3-0 victory like last year. They go into a tailspin and we blast all the big teams at home in the second half while maintaining a consistent clip of W-W-D away-W. How’s that for a scenario!

    I’d say let’s play the normal CC side at home against City–the Ox, Park/Chamakh, Coquelin and so on. My biggest concern now is Dortmund at home. We definitely want to win that game!

    I do agree with you that Norwich away is a tough game after the break. If we can win that, cheering at the Blind Pig, we will have the chance for a terrific run toward that show down with City. How sweet would it be to crush them right before an intense period of fixtures around the holidays! I especially hope they blow their CL game away to Napoli and that Bayern Munich doesn’t take it easy against them in the final game. If they go out of the CL it will be a morale blow to them.

  155. Bill
    Can’t wait until spring training. I have to admit that baseball is my first love, I promised my dad on his death bed that it would always be that way. No one knew anything about football when I was growing up in South Dakota.

    Thats such a sweet lie. Either that, or your dad was one strange guy 😉

  156. Henristic, that is a nice shout out–enjoying your posts as well and hoping to bring up my 3.5 year old to be number 2, btw!

  157. goonerandy | November 10, 2011 at 7:37 pm
    “And further to that there is no evidence at all that the earth on only 6000 years old. Mainly because it isn’t.”

    How do you know this for certain? Have you’ve reviewed all the releavnt publications?

  158. Henristic – What do you think? Of course I have. 😉

    I have red plenty of books and seen plenty of documentaries on evolution and such like. It is a subject that I take a keen interest in. The only people I have ever seen say the earth is 6000 people get their info from a Harry Potter type book and also believe in intelligent design. If I ever see any evidence which supports the 6000 year old theory, I will be more than willing to review my thoughts on the matter though.

  159. How do you know this for certain? Have you’ve reviewed all the releavnt publications?

    WHAT??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  160. PG – I think (I hope) he is just playing Devils Advocate mate. Nothing wrong with that.

  161. Irish, used to love watching basketball, especially college hoops. As I get older, somehow the pace of baseball and how much thinking about strategy and decisions is involved seems to suit me much more. Happily the seasons are compatible–when football is on, there just is no time for basketball!

  162. I have not read much literature on Leprechauns either, but I am fairly sure they don’t exist either.

  163. Henristic @ 7:37:

    Smart ass!!! (smiley face)

    Perhaps a bit exagerated but not that far from the truth. My dad was a very avid baseball fan and it was a great bonding thingy for us especially as he got older.

    I seriously would like someone to tell me how you get those little faces in your posts.

  164. GA,
    To some extent I’m playing the devils advocate, but I do believe its not right to dismiss opinions that counter conventional scienditic wisdom so easily.

    “I have not read much literature on Leprechauns either, but I am fairly sure they don’t exist either.”

    I prefer your use of the phrase ‘fairly sure’ in that quote. Its a more “scientific” way to put it. 🙂

  165. Bill,

    Type in a colon followed by an ‘open’ or ‘close’ bracket for the ‘smiley’ or ‘sad’ face respectively.

  166. or it is the other way round…

  167. GA,
    And the reason I made the quip about reading all the relevant publications, is because you said there was NO evidence supporting the 6000 yr earth. You couldn’t possibley know this from watching documentaries or pop sicence books that support your already held view.

  168. Bill – I hear you man. Cannot wait for spring training myself, I may even be in Florida for some of it so might get to see some of it. Basketball never did it for me, college or otherwise. I grew up playing Gaelic Football, Hurling and “Soccer”. All fast contact sports so I always dismissed basketball. I do appreciate the skills involved in the game but other than that I could not care less.

    LSG – Fully hear you with the getting older part. There is only one thing better than sitting in Yankee stadium, knocking back a few beers whilst munching on the world’s most expensive and mediocre hotdogs and that would be sitting at the Emirates doing the same!!

    Goonerandy – Just because you have never seen a Leprechaun does not mean they do not exist! I mean has anyone actually SEEN Santa? No right? But every year man he left me the exact gift I wanted!! How do you explain that huh? Can’t!!

  169. Henristic – I echo the hope that you are tonguing the cheek but really mate, it’s a bit much this 6000 year old stuff! I mean Consolsbob has been around for at least 8,000 years alone!!

    England just got 1 against Iceland. I think Sordell(?) from Watford scored.

  170. Spuds v. Everton has been moved to January 11th. As it is a Wednesday, with a bit of luck they will be tired and slip up a bit.

  171. George @ 5:14 pm

    Stop stiring. I know that you’re just jealous of the kids in London who get to play with real footBALLS. The sight of everybody playing Rugby up there must be depressing but you could practice some Tai Chi. A few gentle breathing excercises.
    Don’t panic.

  172. Irish,
    We all know Cbob isn’t from this planet. Cbob is in fact, Ford Prefect.

  173. Henristic – Too true mate, too true!! He does have that Universal wisdom thingy going on. And if it wasn’t for MDGunner making a balls of his Grandma’s recipe, his Pastys could, indeed should, have been described as “Manna from Heaven”. I think we might be onto something here………or not 🙂 <——–smiley face just for Bill!

  174. i think the signs are there that arshavins time is coming to an end..
    the arguement is definately there that he is one of the world class players in our squad, yet he has lost his place to players of a ‘lesser ability’ cos they bring more to the team, so its hard to argue with wengers decision..
    wenger still values him..or he wouldnt be getting any gametime at all and he would have been offlaoded by now…but i think with wenger looking at younger attacking options within the squad and around europe i dont think it will be long before he is offloaded..especially if one of the russian clubs come in for him with a decent price..and especially on current form..

    as for le coq i think its a good sign that he wants to play..he got a taste of it last year and he wants more..natural for a young footballer wanting to burst thru..its just hunger..which is a good thing..im sure wenger can channel that and turn him into a good player but for now maybe a loan move would be a good option until the places in the first team come available.

    i think frimpong and le coq both have a future at this club..they are the only players that look like backup to song, the only thing that would make me doubt that is if wenger is serious about the m’villa chappie..

  175. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/coquelin-i-ll-fight-for-my-first-team-place

    “I got back from Lorient where I was playing a lot so I think it’s crucial that I can settle in the dressing room now,” he told Arsenal Player.

    “I will try to fight for a first team place. I have to keep focused, keep training hard and give 100 per cent every chance I can get. Then I have to grab it and show that I can play.

    “It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world so to be part of it is just crazy. It’s unbelievable.

    “Every day I wake up I am happy because I come from a small town and now I am at Arsenal. It’s great for me and sometimes I just don’t realise it. I just enjoy every day.”

    A visit to the official website can be enlightening sometimes

  176. Passenal – Your timing is awful, I was just about to post the exact same interview. 😦

    On the subject of loaning out players. Is there any reason why we are not loaning all of our players out to Shamrock Rovers so that they can beat the Spuds and knock them out of Europe?

  177. Thanks Irish! I was looking for the right name for my new variety pasty, tripe and faggot (Manna from Heaven)

  178. England U21 2-0 up over Iceland.

  179. there it is!!! keep the faith yall (faith in a 6000 year old earth that is.)

    ……. someone carbon dates the earth’s crust, sees that the particles are millions of years old, and records it. How could you argue for a 6000 year old earth?

    “No no no, see the half life of carbon isn’t actually a real thing…..”

    I’ll leave it at that for today, have a good one everybody.

  180. Nuff reeeespek due Henristic!

    upon death we will surely know.

    GA – fairly sure huh?

  181. MDGunner – Now hang on a minute there, I said they could be called that if you had not made a dog’s bollocks out of C’bob’s Grandma’s recipe not that you should call them that!! “Tripe and Faggot” – sounds more like Stoke’s forward line than a “Variety Pasty”!! Stop with the gimmiks MDGunner and admit defeat!!

  182. Slip of the tongue guys/gals. I meant 100% and not fairly.

    Obviously.

    🙂

  183. Paul – On death you will know nothing. Because you will be dead. Simple.

  184. Chill, carbon dating is based on assumptions. All scientist’s dont buy it.

  185. Well GA, so you have been dead before?

    If you tried to sell me that every day of your life you would fail miseraby mi bredrin.

    You should try John Lennox,

  186. If energy can neither be created nor destroyed, then where does the energy that resides within the human body go upon death? Personally I see said energy as the “soul” and firmly believe that the “after-life” is merely the next level of existance. I am not one for organised religions take on the whole “God” thing but the romantic in me likes to believe there is a paradise.

  187. Chill,
    Of course the particles that make up the crust could be older than the earth, duh?

  188. irishgray | November 10, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I’m not sure I’d like your version of paradise Irish…, not with all that weird sex stuff you got going on 🙂

  189. goonerandy | November 10, 2011 at 9:03 pm
    “Slip of the tongue guys/gals. I meant 100% and not fairly.
    Obviously.”

    Then you’re obviously a man of faith!

  190. England 3-0 decent enough game. AOC playing well and went close a few times but have to say was a bit selfish in doing so.

  191. Oh my life.

    I really an not going to get into a debate about life after death and the earth being a few thousand years old. Mainly because it is pointless, but just as relevant as I don’t subscribe to fairy tales and those type of views are crazy. I do wonder about people sometimes, I really do.

    When you are dead, you are dead. End of. They have fossils which are millions of years old proving the earth is millions of years old. Maybe (as Bill hicks once said) God buried them to fuck with us?

    Night all.

  192. Henrisitic – I prefer to think of it as common sense.

  193. GA- We don’t see literature dating more than 6000 years because we haven’t found them yet and most of it has been destroyed! If you believe in the Ice age, the time of the Mammoths, then surely you have to believe that the Earth is more than 6000 years old!

  194. Henristic – I have already admitted it was not my proudest moment and that it was only the once, no need to keep going on about it, pffft!

  195. Jimmy Saville buried at a 45 degree angle in Scarborough so that “he can see the sea” says it all about the afterlife….

  196. Stunning free kick for England, 4-0

  197. Well GA, in our culture, there is something called karma, that is the life after death or rather rebirth. You can’t subscribe to it but you can dismiss it as well, it is something that can never be proven and even if you try to prove it to others, the only thing you are going to prove according to them is the size of your brain!

  198. P-P-P-P-P-Poppy Power!!!!!………I’ll get me coat!

  199. Andy,Do you think that people of faith have not considered the evidence against?
    Yet they still believe.
    There is a reason for that and it is entirely their own.And it should be left as such,

  200. WOW 5-0!!

  201. Henristic- Good one on Irish’s paradise mate! 😀 Weird sex stuff, but considering what he did at the booth last night, I think he will not end up in Paradise!

  202. Paul,

    Dont you mean John Lennon!!!

  203. Everybody attaches faith to something, like all of us on Arsenal. Even if your team sucked ass and you knew it, you wouldn’t be accepting it in front of another fan would you? You would be probably arguing for it! Maybe that is faith!

  204. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, only transformed from one form into another, matter for instance.

  205. Sriram – Of course I believe that the earth is older than 6000 years. It is millions of years old.

    My last word on the matter is that I believe things which have evidence for them Preferably evidence which can be proven (as much as possible) by scientific means. If I see no evidence for something, I don’t believe it until I do see some evidence for it.

    Laters. 🙂

  206. Pedantic George – The vast majority of people of faith dismiss out of hand any and all evidence that does not tie in with their beliefs. It is such ignorance that gives their faith strength. Sorry if that is offensive to anyone but I have met very, very few people of Faith who have taken any time what so ever to study the evidence that is there for all to see which disputes their beliefs.

  207. GA- You are like someone who is out of an Angels and Demons book. The Illuminati type perhaps!

  208. Irish- Fair point, it is not a matter of ignorance, it is more a matter of dismissal to something which disputes their belief!

  209. For those of you with an open mind, there is a TV series called “Ancient Aliens”. I highly recommend it as it is very enlightening and though I do not hold wth some of the views/beliefs expressed on the show, it is extremely well done and offers enough information to get you at the very least thinking about what you have been told for most of your life and how a lot of it makes no sense what so ever when looked at closely.

  210. Irish.
    Ok I stand corrected.
    I just thought I would give them benefit of the doubt.

  211. Sriram – “it is more a matter of dismissal to something which disputes their belief!” – That my friend is the very definition of “Ignorance” i.e. ignoring something that would dispell your own belief/point of view.

  212. Does anyone get reminded of Lassana Diarra when you think of Coquelin! Flamini kept Lass out of the side just like Song is keeping Coq out of our current side.

  213. Irish- ignorance is not even looking in to it, whereas dismissal is looking into the counter and dismissing it as it shakes their belief!

  214. fukin el when is the next bloody game.

  215. Duke.It desperate stuff of late.
    Almost would tolerate a discussion with Jabba

  216. this blog has been a sea of tranquility since we have been on our winning run…..and it is starting to take its toll on the residents.

  217. I think we need some Doom and Gloom. Give ma few minutes and I will try and come up with something 🙂

  218. Yeah get back to the football, I reckon Stephen Hawkings will be on soon.

  219. im a conspiracy theorist so i just think religions a way of controlling ppl..

    and boring the living shit out of ppl on football blogs. 😉

  220. that arteta..
    what a shit signing eh..
    panic buying by wenger that one was..

  221. Haha, panic buy Arteta, they racked up whatever criticism they could when the window closed didn’t they?

  222. could do with another couple of panic buys in january..
    possibly a striker??

  223. Does anyone get reminded of Lassana Diarra when you think of Coquelin! Flamini kept Lass out of the side just like Song is keeping Coq out of our current side.

    Just posting it again for the football discussion part of things eh!

  224. I had almost forgotten this was a football blog.

  225. JonJon – I fully agree mate, a total waste of space that guy! But lat’s ignore midfield for now as I think the defence is where we are really short. Especially at CB. Mertesacker is just not cutting it. Vermaelen is obviously injury prone. Koschielny never stpes up for the big games and don’t even get me started on Djourou!!! And as for GK’s? Get rid of all of them and SPEND SPEND SPEND!!!!!

  226. PG – Don’t tell me you believe in this “Football” thing too!!!!

  227. For PG

    Yogi snipped and cut AA23 hour-long interview with reputable sports writers!

    Да и Венгер тоже говорит “Играй, где хочешь”.

    Mr Wenger telling AA23 to play the game as he sees it.

    AA23 used the Russian words Перчее и желтее, to describe reporters who took phrases out of context.

    The interview was mainly about Russia and Russian football with the odd question regarding The Arsenal. In other words AA23 is far clever than the majority of his detractors.

  228. @Spy – a couple of my friends saw Stephen Hawking going into the movies in Cambridge recently. One of them reckoned he was going to see the TinTin movie because “he didn’t look the sort to go and watch Rowan Atkinson in “Johnny Foreigner whatever it’s called”

  229. Thanks Notoverthehill.
    The truth is I am one of Irish’s ignorant’s.In that no matter what anyone says about him I will always love the little fellow.

  230. Shame Hawking ended up with an American accent.

  231. im not sure i agree with that sriram

    le coqs a good kid whos come through the ranks and sees a future for himself at the club and he just wants to play..no ego’s..just wants to play.. where as dolphin nut was just a twat..
    he thought cos we signed him from chelsea he was gonna get first team action from the word go but wenger was like, slow down sunshine gilbertos still the man..and he wanted to leave before he’d even chosen his locker..

    no comparison..

  232. Yes, I agree with the attitude part of it JJ! But can’t deny that he is a talented player, I just hope Le Coq puts his head down and works towards his starting place at Arsenal, he is eventually bound to get it by making his football do the talking!

  233. heres something that confuzzles me..
    ive heard a few ppl say that rvp is our remaining world class star..
    but the way i see it is..
    we got the best striker in the league
    we got the best solid midfielder in the league (although he wears gloves)
    we got the best rb in the league (although hes injured)
    we got the best cb in the league (on current form)
    we got the best gk in the league (although hes erratic)

    now if weve got the best league in the world..doesnt this make these guys world class at the moment??

  234. we got the best cb in the league (on current form)

    Which one?

    I agree JJ ,good shout as well mate

  235. he’ll get his chance..
    songs an ox so injury doesnt come round that often but bookings and suspensions do so there will be an opening at some point for le coq or frimpong to give the manager a headache

    i like them both equally..different styles but both as effective..its like you say for now its about working hard and showing the manager their both up for it..

  236. Nah Duke, John Lennox is the man, a truly Brilliant man. Check him out.

    I have enjoyed reading C.S Lewis books also, another great thinker.

  237. Henristic @ 7:01 pm,

    LOL and, of course, apologies.

  238. Evil @ 6:59 pm,

    I obviously agree with much of your view here.

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