Herr We Go! No Thursday Kick-Offs For Arsenal…

Champions League, Group F
Arsenal 2 – 1 Borussia Dortmund

1 – 0 van Persie (49)
2 – 0 van Persie (86)
2 – 1 Kagawa (90)

English football’s crisis club became a beacon of light in a season where The Great and The Good are setting themselves up to meet pre-tournament favourites in the first knockout phase. Should any of the Mancunian clubs and Chelsea qualify for the next round, they will pray for a trip to Cyprus, Lisbon or St Petersburg. Any more than one of that three going through and they will be able to content themselves with trips to Milan, Munich, Madrid or Barcelona. That is the test that awaits them. That is if they are good enough to join Arsenal beyond the group phase. Chelsea and United have their destinies in their own hands and will probably make it through but City? I don’t think even the petrodollars can buy the Football Gods to save them.

A brace from Robin van Persie early and late in the second half rendered the upcoming trip to Greece as pointless from the Arsenal perspective. Yet much rides on the outcome with Olimpiacos and Marseille able to qualify. The Greeks must consider themselves to be slight favourites, Dortmund still fighting for the right to join any one or more of the Mancunian clubs and Chelsea.

As tempting as it is to laugh at their struggles, we should never forget the united front that all English football supporters have when it comes to the nation’s club sides and their European foes. We should encourage them in their endeavours to recreate the Premier League in midweek. We should but we won’t because seeing any of those three drop into the Europa League with Spurs will go a long way to making this season get better and better.

Dortmund came to retain their interest in this competition and were quickly on the attack. They would enjoy considerable possession throughout. It is unfair to say that Szczesny was not tested but equally untrue to say that he fought a rearguard action. His saves were made to look routine which says more about his positional sense than anything else. The first was an intervention, calmly collecting a through pass before Lewandowski. The same player would go close with a curling shot that ended up the right side of the post from an Arsenal perspective. Inbetween times, the lively Kagawa shot straight into Szczesny’s arms.

At the other end, Theo Walcott was proving Arsenal’s most promising outlet. Beaten to the ball Weidenfeller earlier, Walcott span off his defender to find space on the right following Ramsey’s perfectly weighted pass. The early cross arced into the Dortmund area, evaded the attentions of two defenders before the goalkeeper’s outstretched arm denied it’s path to the onrushing Robin van Persie.

Dortmund started the second half where they spent a considerable amount of time in the first; on the attack. Mertesacker dealt with a dangerous cross before Kagawa tested Szczesny once more. For all of their possession, the visitors had not scored and succumbed in that situation as Arsenal have done in the past.

Ramsey retained possession well on the edge of the Dortmund area, forced backwards into midfield he found Song. The Cameroonean surveyed his options and ran past two defenders in a graceful gallop before dancing through two more defenders into the area. His curling cross was given the finish by Robin van Persie that the run deserved. Mesmerising the visitors with his movement, Song had put Arsenal into the driving seat.

Ten minutes later, Gervinho almost sealed qualification when, having rounded Weidenfeller he was robbed of a shooting chance by a last ditch Hummel challenge. The crucial goal came when there was no time for the Germans to respond, Vermaelen’s Bould header was met by van Persie standing alone in the six yard box. He soon found the company of his team-mates as Arsenal erased the ghosts of previous seasons to top the group.

Kagawa capitalised on Song’s dalliance at the wrong end of the pitch to snatch a very late consolation goal, the only blemish on an exemplary night in the Arsenal midfield. His performance reflected the growing maturity of his displays this season, stepping seamlessly into the experience void as a senior squad member. He is also proof to any player that overcoming detractors is as much a matter of hard work over time as self-belief. Who would have thought after that desperate night at Craven Cottage that he would be seen as pivotal member of the squad by his abusers.

A good evening for him, van Persie and all of Arsenal. Time to relax over Europe, tuck it away in the memory box with snug blankets until February and instead concentrate on domestic matters.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on November 24, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 270 Comments.

  1. Indeed. That’s the difference between BB and the rest in this race – he’s in for the long haul. It’s a marathon not a sprint, you know…

  2. That was up early! Great night to be a gooner. Just means we can thoroughly enjoy the squirming of our ‘superiors’ struggling into the Europa League… (we can but hope :-))

  3. A lovely calm performance from the boys, who didn’t panic when Dortmund were on top early on and gradually took control. How far the team has come in two months” Top of the group with a game to spare, and the only English team through so far. Meanwhile City’s fate is not in their own hands. Who’d have thought it? The starters will now be rested for the trip to Olympiacos – and it is a rest they have thoroughly deserved. We march on.

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2011/11/23/song-calls-the-tune-as-arsenal-top-their-champions-league-group/

  4. Great game yesterday. We struggled to maintain our game and it seemed like they had discovered our magic source and had us in their pocket. In the end we took our chances and held our own through out the game. Very impressive game from arsenal. And with diaby coming back and Jack expected in January.? We have never looked this good coming into December in a long long time. It would seem that the lads read your Last post about showing the English team how to win 3 point in a champions league game, because the boys did just that.

  5. bigbrovar, so you do read YW posts???

  6. Bigbrovar,

    what time zone do you live in? It’s one thing to have a method, but you must stay up 24 hours a day.

    Regarding the match, good result against a very determined BvB. Great showing by the Dortmund fans. We were helped by the injuries to Bender and Goetze, no question. My favorite part of the match aside from Song’s great assist was watching Santos get the ball clear from tight spaces. Very clever fellow. Not the best at defending but still an upgrade from the unimaginative Clichy.

  7. well done song.showing why we fanatically insist you are the best dm in england.santos’ got style.just love seeing that lad under pressure.and for the second succesive match, benayoon comes on for gerv.is he now ahead of arshavin in the pecking order?

  8. santos, great buy!

  9. YW,

    What a result all round. I think you’ve summed a lot up with your reflections on Song: he was majestic at times. It just goes to show, not only that abusive night at Craven Cottage but also the once faimiliar mantra about his “failure to stay back”!!

    Also, Diaby got five full minutes and maybe that will go someway to appeasing those who worry about his value;~)

    Great night, only EPL team through, another brace for RvP, rest afforded for the final group game, more assured defence and a smiling manager.

    It’s all good

    COYG

  10. still walking on cloud nine. well done the crew and AW.

    UPWARDS AND FORWARDS…..

  11. What a team performance. The bastard media will be back tracking and squirming like the scum they are this morning. After all their talk it’s The Mighty Arsenal who qualifies “first” like a Bigbrovar.

    This morning feels good.

  12. YW

    Song did not Dally he passed it to his team mate.

    Unless of course you refuse to acknowledge that his team mate exists and would rather him hoof it out than do something so foolish.

    Which is fair enough, I just won’t mention his name.

  13. An excellent night, and we were tested in a number of ways. Dortmund looked very good early on. We had to be disciplined at the back, and proved to be just that. When our chances did come, we were fairly clinical.

    Song really was outstanding last night, and his assist was excellent. Props to RvP though, that was not an easy header to get any power on. Gret to see us score from a corner. Just as satisfying to see as the goals though was the reaction of TV5 and Szchezhny (to Song) when we let in a goal with hte last kick of the game. They were furious! In the past too many players would have just shrugged their shoulders, but it is a good example of the differing attitudes on players. They bolllocked Song despite him having a great game. Good to see.

    I thought Theo looked lively again, but poor old gervinho is drifting out of form. He never stops trying though. Good to see Diaby back as well.

    All in all, a great nights work.

  14. I don’t have sky any more out of choice and the channel I streamed had Graham Souness on the panel .

    At half time he said:

    “I can’t see players like Song, having what it takes to unlock Borussia”.

    5 minutes later Song makes him and the rest look like the shit talking haters they are with a truly world class piece of skill.

  15. Their goal was a let down really because we dilly dallied on the ball like we sometimes do but, we got punished for it and Vermaelen, was fuming about afterwards and I’m quite sure he made his feelings known to those involved.

    The media will try to belittle what happened last night because Dortmund are a top side and German Champions and they played like domestic champions too.

    Again Wenger has taken a team through transition without going into debt or buying media friendly players cahill, scot parker? (f-king parker over Diaby),

    Wenger is killing them right now and they hate his guts for making the them look like mugs who know jack shit about football and players as much as they think they do.

    If it’s not about how bad we are it’s about our players. If not that then it’s about how poor our manager is. Always some shit from them like they don’t have enough victims phones to hack

  16. What a fantastic game. I couldn’t believe how fast the first half ended. Dortmund gave us their all and could have gone up in the second minute of the game (when Ramsey got sloppy with the ball and lost it) and had more chances than us in that half (we had one I think). The way we just maintained our cool during all that pressure was superb.

    Song is definitely my MOM and I’m glad to see the pollers on arsenal.com agree. The whole team played exceptionally well. Arteta was everywhere (his best game for us in my opinion) so was Van persie, Gerv (despite not scoring what looked like an easy goal), Ramsey and Theo. Mert won every header he went for (I haven’t seen him use his head so much since he joined us) Verm and kozzer were their usual class acts.

    How impressive is it that Kozzer looks like a natural RB? Hope the sub was tactical and not coz of injury. Santos I’m falling more and more in love with. He makes taking off the ball from other players look so easy and he always has this calmness about him even when he is in danger of losing the ball and more often than not he just bypasses his opposition like they are not even there. Chezzer didn’t have much to do tonight but I love his assuredness all the same.

    Benayoun’s cameo was also something, he keeps getting better every time he makes an appearance and I hope we keep him. Diaby I didn’t see enough of but he had his moments, very excited he is back. Djourou could have done better with the ball before we conceded but it didn’t matter as we are through. Even though it was a late goal to concede I liked how the players got pissed that they conceded it, Song in particular.

    Chelsea can’t defend a lead these days, how sweet that all other English teams are faltering considering how everyone else ruled us out of even qualifying before we played Udenese. Bring on the knock-outs baby, hope we get an easy draw.

    Now onto Fulham who I hope we stuff and climb up the table coz am sure the teams above us are going to lose points this weekend. May our good form continue as I love not having suga3 , Jabba, AIC and their lot around more and more each day.

    Ateeb and the guys I’m envious. Make your voices loud as I will be looking out for you on my telly come Saturday.

  17. YW – Nice write up by the way. Shame on you for the headline though 🙂

  18. First Lady

    Kos started his career at RB apparently which is why he looks comfortable there. That and a bucketload of confidence through playing well.

    GA

    Hey, I warned earlier that it was a tabloid-tastic headline…

    YW

  19. SA Gooner

    He did indeed dally, trying to dribble his way out of trouble. Diaby had to back toward the touchline as there were two Dortmund players attacking the ball. When Song played it to him he was a matter of feet away and it was taken by the opposition.

    Had he taken the correct defensive route and put it out of harm’s way earlier, a goal would have been avoided. Therefore his daliance caused the goal.

    Jesus, I’m not Diaby’s biggest fan but it would be incorrect to put the fault on his shoulders. Although many will. And you, of course.

    YW

  20. I thought Santos had a great game as well. He is a strange player for a left back. He constantly seems on the knife edge of complete disaster, or complete brilliance.

  21. You can’t blame Diaby (I thought it was Djourou?) for their goal. Song prodded the ball straight at him for fairly close, there was not much he could have done about it. TV5 seems to be rollocking Song as well (rightly so).

  22. It turns out that Yogi’s blog posts automatticaly to twitter, so if you have twitter active, you’ll get a text/message as soon as the post goes up. I noticed this the other day and was able to beat Big Brovar by a matter of seconds.

  23. For a club in crisis this is a good humble pie to the media scum bags.Swallow the bitter pill all the media morons.Up the arsenal !!!!!!!

  24. “we should never forget the united front that all English football supporters have when it comes to the nation’s club sides and their European foes”.

    Trust me Yogi, I use to abide by the same rules wholeheartedly until recently. And up until a few years ago I didn’t even hate spuds but, due to the way the media is regarding Arsenal and how other fans feel towards us I now say f*** em all.

    The reason I didn’t hate spuds was because I never classed them as rivals and how could I when they have never won a EPL Title and just got into CL the other day? But, it was their fans and the media loving they received that made me think WTF is going on here?

    The media are praying to their phone tapping god that spuds finish above us now in order to give them some sort of cred but, in the mean time they will be building up the Van Persie, contract, Wenger contract etc.

    They wanted to build Wenger up but, he refused to get drawn in because his intelligence is on a higher level than theirs. Like racist who act purely out of jealously these lot do the same but, in a different way.

    Like AVB has found out. They put you up on a Pedestal…They can knock you off too.

  25. leftpinky | November 24, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Good advice but, it’s about 3months old now. Nevertheless, a refresh didn’t harm anybody.

    Not going into the office today so will spend most of time sending abusive but, factual emails to certain so called reporters starting with that tosser stephen howard, then working my way down.

  26. Djouru, why is this guy always sleeping and prone to error? jeesus he’s been here long enough now. I think he should only be used in dire straights situations and my comment will upset some people but, the facts are there. A walking multiple pile up in he fog is what I see when he steps on the pitch.

  27. It’s hard to believe the player that Song has become, and how absolutely critical he is to this team now. I remember the first time he played for the gunners and he really looked like a player that would never make it. But it just goes to show the genius of AW. He is now an incredibly cultured footballer, with the strength of ten men. Just love the the guy.

  28. goonzablazin | November 24, 2011 at 7:24 am

    I’m sure the BBB supporters were not making excuses when we lost Gallas and Arshavin early in the first half of our match against them a couple of seasons ago. The difference was that we were able to introduce Theo from the bench and still get a draw.

  29. It would be good if the development of Song would teach some people to support our young players while they are learning and to trust the judgement of Arsene Wenger. But it won’t. I’ve seen enough blog posts since yesterday still trying to justify their abusing of a 17 year old, while at the same time glorying in the player he has become. Just support them and let the manager decide who is or is not fit to wear the shirt.

  30. A great result last night, the experience that has been introduced into the team have made us a calmer, more determined outfit. Dortmund were very good on the ball, but we denied them many real chances with commiitted, focussed defending, just what you want against a very good technical team who move the ball quickly. Van Persie’s great run of form continues, last night it was just by being in the right place at the right time instead of any wonderful strikes, but these are a centre-forward’s bread and butter and we’ll score much more heavily if he (and others) can convert these simple chances.

    Brilliant stuff from Song for the first goal. I was at the infamous game at Craven Cottage and it’s great to see a player come on so well from such a low ebb. Supporters obviously want the best for their team and that performance was shambolic. Any player who plays like that will have to win the supporters round and although outright abuse is never justified, when you are playing at the top level and put in a performance like that you will cop some flak. It’s great to see him come out the other side and be such a pivotal figure in the team.

  31. skill and technique alone cannot win it, courage and toughness added in the mix will.
    that’s a lesson we’ve had to learn and it was exemplified by Alex Song yesterday.
    Dortmund are still learning that and they kinda remind me of our recent squads up until this season.
    ps, welcome back Abou!

  32. It was not song who dallied for the Dortmund goal. He passed it to Djoruou who made a silly throughball to the Germans. Why oh, why did Wenger put him on? The Koss was doing more than ably and he had to take him off. At 1-0!!

  33. Just another point, the League Cup side should play against Olympiacos. No ifs, buts or maybes about it. We are on a great run and shouldn’t do anything to put that in any kind of jeopardy, none of the first XI should even get on the plane.

  34. JD came in for Koscinely because Kos was tired, about 5 mins before the substitution i could clearly see Kos gasping for air but never gave up. Being a full back could be really tiring as he has been playing CB were less running is involved.

  35. You’re just looking for an excuse to have a go Rob. We won the match, so why make such a big deal of it?

  36. The Dortmund fans did thier team proud tho, truly incredible but i hated that their annoying fancy clapping, how dare them do fancy clapping in our stadium

  37. That Diaby wink to Walcott when he was coming on……..priceless

  38. Was it just me or i heard Van Persie calling Santos “Brazil”, i wonder if thats the nickname the players call him

  39. An excellent defensive display last night from the back five against a sharp looking Dortmund side. Mertsacker I thought had an excellent game. Somewhat strange therefore to read an entire article in this morning’s Times explaining what a poor player he is.

    As it was written by Gary Jacob, the same gentleman who helpfully alerted me to Gervinho’s absence with personal problems in yesterday’s edition, I assume the bloke is simply on some form of unpaid work experience placement. If not then he is being employed at a level far above his competence.

  40. Goodness gracious me. And you know I hardly ever swear. Kos is quite possibly the best right back I’ve seen since that other guy. The stats for this game are very interesting. We had the majority of possession (58% or so I thought I saw), and spent a lot of it passing around the back. They had more goal attempts, twice maybe, when they had the ball. They fluffed their lines. Instead of going for calm possession, as a route to the goals they needed, they went for helter-skelter attack and shot as quickly as they could. We went for calm possession and tried to be precise in attack, and not shoot needlessly. The result was that Arsenal increasingly dominated after an even first half of chances. The difference between the two sides was a mature Arsenal (read Wenger tactically in control) and an immature, but highly skilled, very technical BD (read a bit like Arsenal a season and two back). The managers exchanged hugs afterwards, and knowing smiles towards the end. This I personally never seen Wenger do. I really like their manager.

    Otherwise, predictably, messy midfield battles as Mario went off and Arsenal proceeded to unpick their fluidity, and imposed its own sense of what the match needed, stability.

    So, so happy to see a so, so happy Diaby running about, and looking quite fine. No sooner had he come on than the scond goal came, and his joy was plain to see, although he had no part in it.

  41. @jeff, i saw the same wink as djourou came in for kos, i guess it’s now a club rule.

  42. Vermalean leads by example, the pure energy and determination he plays with is really inspiring. I have to say at 5ft 11, he is really a treat from set pieces.

    One more thing, if people like Suga 3, AIC, and other doomers only come out to comment when we loose so they can moan, are they really arsenal fans??

  43. And was that Thierry deep in conversation with Federer? Welcome Thierry, nice to see you back home.

  44. Well, it’s a very fine record remaining unbeaten so far in europe this season, against some excellent sides from Italy, Germany and France, and proceeding to top the group stages. Very, very fine.

  45. Poland
    France Germany Belgium Brazil
    Cameroon Wales Spain
    England Holland Ivory Coast

  46. Come now Yogi – having a go at Spursday’s with that title? LOL – The programme schedulers on Channel 5 must have a headache figuring out how they’ll cover United, Chelsea and Man City as they’re shipped to far and dark corners of Europe for the Europa league.

    It was a great team performance yesterday and I think what was most powerful for me is the way the experience of the older players like Santos, Arteta, Benayoun, mertesacker, Van Persie, Vermaelen et al is slowly growing into the team. We’re no longer nervous and we’re also very patient and confident.

    As for Alex Song, what to say? It’s not the first time he’s resorted to “fuck it, I’ll just have to do this shit myself” and come up with something ridiculously sublime. He did it for Aaron Ramsey’s goal at Tottenham and he took matters in his own hands to net us the winner against Westham.

    I must say, with every passing week, this team is showing that some of our frailties in the past were due to the temperament and fighting spirit (or not) of some of our departed and it really is encouraging to see that the spirit and commitment being shown is combining well with other qualities to provide the ever so elusive balance that we’ve lacked.

    One other thing I wanted to mention about yesterday – if you watch the game, pay special attention to what Alex Song did when Santos went “walkabout” as one of our resident commentators likes to put it. It was almost clinical in the way Song slotted in to cover Santos. I think having Santos marauding that left flank is making us more potent – and the reality is, he wouldn’t be the Brazil national team left back if he didn’t know how to defend. He just wants to play football too.

    When it comes to defending, Santos is proving on a 1 to 1 that he’s not a mug, and with time, he will totally acclimatize and become one of the best left backs in town. With every game, he is not only adding to the attacking threat, he’s also becoming more solid.

  47. Apparently Song made a bet with Santos that hed either score or make an assist last night, Santos was having none of it, so Song brought out Songinho for 17 seconds to shut him up…. 🙂

  48. I believe that Sir Szczesny was stretching his vocal cords in Arteta’s direction after he ‘jogged back’ as Master Keown highlighted.
    I suspect that Micky won’t be receiving reams of abuse for that error.

  49. ‘With every game, he is not only adding to the attacking threat, he’s also becoming more solid.’

    Also, while he will never be a sprinter hes certainly quickening up his tracking back and hes got a good bit of stamina. Hes a big guy – we are so used to seeing skinny kids at left back, its nice to see a bit of a bruiser in there…..

  50. Just looking at the squad and the following team could be put out for the upcoming League Cup and European Cup games: Fabianski; Yennaris, Djourou, Squillaci, Miquel; Rosicky, Coquelin, Benayoun; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chamakh, Arshavin. Experience for the likes of Yennaris, Miquel, Coquelin and Ox backed up by the wealth of experience of the others, I reckon they could do themsleves justice. That would mean the first XI only have to play one game a week for the next month.

  51. Personally I’ve always been a fan of the mighty bigbrover. When he has something to write or even to critisize, he writes without hiding behind vague generalistaions to disguise a preference for a particular style of play, or writing about numbers with lots of Zzzzzzzzzzero’s.

  52. From day one I knew Santos, would be great for us even when he was blowing out his arse.
    On a 1-1 defending “Thou Shall Not Pass” simple as that.

    Like Jenkinson, he get’s better and better with every game.

    Just take a good look at our squad. Wenger has a proper heavy headache right now and it’s all his own doing! lol.

  53. Good post, YW. Laughed out loud at the bit about supporting other English sides.

    Some great comments as well today.

  54. “As tempting as it is to laugh at their struggles, we should never forget the united front that all English football supporters have when it comes to the nation’s club sides and their European foes.”

    Not me. If Arsenal don’t win the competition, I certainly don’t want another English team winning it.

  55. And I like that team, Block4.

  56. Can you believe on the talkshite website they got clive “never played a match” allen. Giving a speech on Van Persie. The same disrespectful bastard who tried to bully Wenger with gritted teeth into a handshake.

    He still bitter about being brought to Arsenal and being made to sit on the bench without ever playing then being sold to spuds. Go do one clive and stick to chatting about your spuds.

  57. @FunGunner, it could be augmented by the likes of Diaby, Gibbs, Miyachi and Park if the manager thinks they need game time and/or recover from injury. All based on not picking up any other niggles in the meantime of course.

  58. Wait till you hear the whinging from Marseille when we make about half a dozen changes for the trip to Greece.

    Diaby got a great reception. I’d like some rotation on Saturday and he’d be in with a shout. Hopefully Koscielny was just substituted due to fatigue. He could do with a rest too. Djourou can come in, or even Jenkinson.

    (**Rant about Song and due praise retracted**)

  59. Clearly we must of only qualified with a game to spare because our group was so much easier than Man U’s or Chelsea’s.

    Great performance last night, Songaldinho was definately MotM, but Andy Saint, Arteta and Kos were all superb, and Mertesacker and TV were solid too.

    Arteta is getting better by the game, quietly going about his business.

    A nice day to be feeling smug!

  60. Jenkinson or Djouru, is a no brainer for me and Jenks wins every time on all aspects. Jenks is improving with every touch, pass, run every game and this boy has been practising his crosses like a dedicated Shaolin Monk.

    For some unknown reason I don’t hold my breath or feel uneasy when I see Jenks with the ball as opposed to feeling like your about to have a accident on roller skates when I see Djouru on the ball.

    I don’t know why this feeling comes over me because I use to be quite confident in the kid.

  61. Benayoun gave a great cameo (minus the codpiece) appearence when he came on. very good on the ball.

  62. @ Block4
    Yes – would be great for Diaby and those others to play. And also from the perspective of fairness to Marseille, the more first-team squad players who take part, the better.

  63. A few thoughts in the afterglow of last night.

    First, remember the last day of the transfer window, when AW was “panic buying”. It’s evident from their performances since then that (subject to availabilty and price) he knew exactly who he wanted. And the reason he had the funds to do it when it was needed was that he had resisted demands to buy the various numpties wished on us in every transfer window for the past five years.

    Second, which is preferable – to win the Spursday night tin pot or to qualify for the last sixteen of the CL? And what light does this throw on our desperation to win a trophy?

    Third, though RvP scored the goals, we were the model of an 11-man team last night. I suspect we are a 25-man team, but if injuries stay kind to us, we may never need to find out.

    And finally, all of this will be just as true when we face (as we are bound to at some point) the set-backs that every team suffers during any season.

  64. merlot | November 24, 2011 at 11:19 am

    A positive spin for me is that we could also say that we may have suffered our set-backs already?!

  65. codpiece? what the hell is that?

    Explain please.

  66. Goonerton @ 10.50

    He who shall not be named has not yet learn’t the fine art of

    ……..playing football.

  67. @merlot,

    I don’t think your first point really stands up, I give you quotes from the recent (now infamous) L’Equipe interview:

    L’Equipe: Do you know who once said that the success of a season depends 90 percent on the summer’s recruitment?

    Wenger: Yes, I said that and I still think it. I know that my recruitment has been criticised, but personally I think I have succeeded beyond my own hopes. I’m happy with Gervinho, Mertesacker, Santos, Park, Benayoun and Arteta. I’ve never signed so many players (so quickly) before, although I didn’t really have a choice.

    L’Equipe: From the outside, it looks like a case of patching up…

    Wenger: I acknowledge that not everything was planned. Above all, what wasn’t planned was Wilshere’s long injury and Vermaelen having to undergo surgery. Losing 8-2 at Manchester United wasn’t planned either, nor was Gibbs’ injury. When that happens you are obliged to act quickly, to adapt. I bought five players in three days at the end of August, and am happy about it.

    Full transcript: http://news.arseblog.com/2011/11/wengers-interview-with-lequipe-full-transcript/

    Now, it does appear that most of the signings have worked out well so far which is great, but there was an element of having to go and do some unplanned business, for whatever reasons. So can we stop this rubbish of how it was some great master plan after all?

  68. ACLF is on fire today, like Robin Vantastic.

    I have to agree completely with YW and ga about that cock-up leading to the BVB goal. Despite his MOTM performance Song was at fault. He got sloppy as we had been knocking the ball about in a 2 minute stretch and he decided to be cute in a dangerous area when he had at least two earlier opportunities to hack the ball into Row Z. He eventually forced a pass into Djourou who had a man all over his face and the ball squirted back into play to a delighted BVB attacker. – Since then, all over the net we have the usual suspects blaming Djourou in much the same way as they pillory and crucify anyone who is not a favored child.

    Haw about a big shout out to King Kozzer. He is by far the most versatile ball-playing defender in the league who incidentally is our leader in successful aerial duels. LCB, RCB and now RFB. He played his heart out yesterday and I think he was winded by the wave of attackers down his flank, none of whom got any pleasure down his side of the field. Hail the King.

  69. @Jeff on 9.52am
    “Poland
    France Germany Belgium Brazil
    Cameroon Wales Spain
    England Holland Ivory Coast”

    Funny, I stuck with the general conception that Arsenal is still made up of predominantly French players. The clear outs over the last two seasons have turned us around into a truly international team. Also, when Jenkinson, Wilshire and Gibbs return from their injury, we will have an English spine as well.
    Wonderful!

  70. @merlot,

    I don’t think your first point really stands up, I give you quotes from the (now infamous) L’Equipe interview:

    L’Equipe: Do you know who once said that the success of a season depends 90 percent on the summer’s recruitment?

    Wenger: Yes, I said that and I still think it. I know that my recruitment has been criticised, but personally I think I have succeeded beyond my own hopes. I’m happy with Gervinho, Mertesacker, Santos, Park, Benayoun and Arteta. I’ve never signed so many players (so quickly) before, although I didn’t really have a choice.

    L’Equipe: From the outside, it looks like a case of patching up…

    Wenger: I acknowledge that not everything was planned. Above all, what wasn’t planned was Wilshere’s long injury and Vermaelen having to undergo surgery. Losing 8-2 at Manchester United wasn’t planned either, nor was Gibbs’ injury. When that happens you are obliged to act quickly, to adapt. I bought five players in three days at the end of August, and am happy about it.

    Full transcript: http://news.arseblog.com/2011/11/wengers-interview-with-lequipe-full-transcript/

    Now, it looks as if most of the signings have worked out well so far, but it the man himself has said that there was unplanned business done for whatever reasons. So can we stop this rubbish about it all being part of some master plan? The truth is that a three key players left (Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy) and a couple suffered long-term injuries and we had to get players in quickly.

  71. Alexandre Dimitri Song Billoooooooooooooooooooooooooooong

  72. I could not care less if our spine was from Mongolia as long as we keep performing. People get way too hung up on having Brits in the team.

  73. By the way the press is really doing their best to have AVB or Mancini fired. Too bad, there are are two targets and not a single bullseye like when they had AW in their sights. As a gooner we should simply say fook them all.

  74. “And the reason he had the funds to do it when it was needed was that he had resisted demands to buy the various numpties wished on us in every transfer window for the past five years”

    Just imagine how well we might have done ,since the window closed,if we had bought Cahill and Parker.We might have won 11 of 12 or something like that.

    Can someone tell me who our current “not good enough for the shirt “players are,as I am in the mood to moan?Goonerton ,I am sure you can help me out.

  75. anyone has the highlights? i just want to look at theo’s beautiful low cross that got palmed away by the keeper just before RVP could knock it in. hell of a ball that was.

  76. I enjoyed Hoddle’s biased witterings at half time – first erroneously claiming that Dortmund looked much more dangerous than Arsenal. The reality was that Dortmund had thrown the kitchen sink at us and not come close to scoring or troubling our keeper.

    I had already been discussing with my flatmates the similarity in approach to the way Barca defend – incredible high-energy closing down, denying space, time and options. It’s the pressing game on crystal meth, as evidenced by SA Gooner’s stat that they ran 62km in the first half against our 48km (off memory!).

    Having taken his shaky premise (that they were way more dangerous than poor Arsenal) he went on to predict that we would eventually be overrun in the second half. In doing so he showed his ignorance, his bias or perhaps both.

    How many times have we seen teams try this approach only to wilt and get picked off in the second half? The evidence of past encounters is pretty strong.

    Like Ali on the ropes in Zaire, Arsenal play their own game. If a team wants to come on to us hard and fast and punch themselves knackered, then they are good enough to absorb it and take advantage of the oppositions increasingly sapped energy as the fight progresses.

    If Glen spent less time hating the mentally handicapped and more time watching a decent football team, he would have noticed that Arsenal actually had a very decent first half and would most likely come into the game against a tiring Dortmund in the second. Maybe he did know this, but is so biased he just didn’t have had the courage to admit it.

  77. Jonny – “If Glen spent less time hating the mentally handicapped and more time watching a decent football team

    Heh.

    Hoddle really was spouting some shite last night eh? I really can’t stand the bloke.

  78. If you need any more evidence that the tabloid press is a total waste and are simply in the business of sensationalizing to earn more clicks from witless football fans, read these two pieces from the Murdoch-owned fooball365.com:

    On 11/09/11: http://www.football365.com/winners-losers/7176958/Champions-League-Winners-And-Losers

    On 11/24/11: http://www.football365.com/winners-losers/7330340/The-Champions-League-Winners-And-Losers

  79. Steve McLaren made me laugh as well. He still has the habit of talking in soundbytes like he is talking to the foreign press from his time in Germany/Holland. I do miss his comedy Dutch accent.

    When discussing Mertesacker, all he could offer was “that he had experience”. He must had said it 10 times at least. What must have Gullit thought flanked by those 2 bufoons?

  80. Andy – who knows what Gullit is thinking?!

    The man is startlingly insane – i’m of the opinion that when normal understandable sentences fall out of his mouth, it is actually purely by chance – like an number of infinite monkeys working on infinite typewriters are giving him his script.

    I imagine the inside of his head rotates like a carousel complete with tiny horses and flashing lights.

    I like it when it’s just him and Jamie Redknapp in the studio – there is some real animosity between them. Jamie gets SO wound up – you can watch Jamie’s knuckles turning white on his chair whilst Ruud goes off on another one.

  81. korihikage – Theo cant cross, you wont find any video evidence to say otherwise ….. Remote Man – you cant go far wrong with Theo for a goad moan!!

    😉

  82. Jonny – Ha, me also. Even better when Souness is with them. Gullitt and Souness; 2 remarakble players who won so much between them. Virtually everthing at club level……and Jamie Redknapp. Getting so worked up and speaking over both of them. Sometimes even putting has hand across Gullitt to shut him up. Yuo can see Gullitt and Souness wistfluu shaking their heads at the idiot.

    I am hoping that one day, perhaps after a whole Super Sunday of clashes of some of the bigger teams, he will speak over Souness. And Souness will lose it and rip his spleen out live on TV. Then Sky could get G Neville to give his thoughts on that.

  83. From 365 – made me chortle


    Just what is it about Arsenal and bafflingly unique bookings in Europe? It’s a tough choice whether Walcott’s caution for being pushed first by an opponent and then a linesman was as harsh as Aaron Ramsey passing the ball direct to the feet of an opponent to take a free-kick from exactly where the infringement had occurred. We’d ask Van Persie for his thoughts, but he’d probably want to ask if there’s been another time this year when a player has been cautioned for shooting at goal when allegedly offside.

  84. BOOM!

    Steady in the first half, crowd was rattled by thier fans (who were immense), and so where the players by such intensity. We kept strong defensively despite little errors across the park.

    Wenger obviously had a word at HT – Song, Arteta, Ramsey just began to run the show. Artetas finest 45 in the red and white for me.

    Obviouslty VP deserves the plaudits, but Song was immense in the second half (regardless of the assist), Artetas work rate a delight, Ramsey composed.

    TV5 once again showing what a CB he is. Faultless as he commanded his troops for a near perfect game.

  85. Jonny – yup, all were ridiculous bookings!

    Very much enjoyed Bennayouns contibution. Is the writing on the wall for the little Russian?

  86. Jonny,

    indeed. the ref din pull the game back to give 2 yellows to the dortmund players. and gave us two ridiculous yellow cards instead.

  87. WENGER OUT – YOU KNOW ITS THE ONLY SOLITION

    you lot on here are just laugh a minute… delooded… we’ve got a team built on a house of cards and we are one injury from disaster.

    We keep winning by one or two goals and it’s not good enough !

    The old arsenal would have put 5 past Dortmund. With the reserves !!

    Let’s have a real analysis of the team.. none of this airy fairy ACLF shit:

    Djourou is a fucking disaster zone… as soon as he came on I needed to change my trousers.

    Chamakh.. don’t get me started. Couldn’t score in a free love festival

    Diaby comes on.. and within minutes we concede.. What does that tell you ?

    Gervinho – see comment for Chamakh

    Santos is a midget

    Squillachi – ?”/$2$2?%/”5″$

    Let’s get some perspective here.

    We need a proper manager – Hiddink or Van Organiser

    Anyone who can coach defence

    And some proper players:

    – Cahill
    – Samba
    – Parker
    – Brutus ? from Greece ?

  88. Anicoll
    “As it was written by Gary Jacob, the same gentleman who helpfully alerted me to Gervinho’s absence with personal problems in yesterday’s edition, I assume the bloke is simply on some form of unpaid work experience placement. ”
    my advice would be dont read the tripe in the first place.

    I wonder how many humble pies have been eaten so far. Plenty of people should apologize to wenger.

    Goonerandy, about supporting the english teams I am with you on that one, if it is not Arsenal i dont want it to do well period!!

  89. Wow – did you feel that? It’s as though the IQ of the collective just fell suddenly by several hundred points. ‘As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced’.

    Seriously though – who is pretending to be Muppet?

    And where has our favourite pedant disappeared to? Off consoling meerkats?

  90. Oh yeah – supporting English teams in Europe??? Errrrmmmm. Nope. Don’t get it.

    Why do we have a duty? I can’t even bring myself to support the England national team..!

    I just checked my label – it only says ‘Support Arsenal’, and ‘Don’t boil wash’.

  91. Firstlady, I wouldnt tempt fate by dishing out humble pie in November!!!

    We will play a well organised Fulham on Sat, most likely without RVP starting, so lets get over another little hurdle, look no further than the next game, and see where we are come May.

  92. Luke, I can’t see Van Persie not starting on Saturday. He can sit out the next two midweek games, we need to keep going in the league.

  93. Jonny muppet is just being his usual sarcastic self. dont take it too seriously.

    Luke, for a team that wasnt supposed to qualify for the group stages i think we have come from far and some humble pie is definitely in order.

  94. firstlady – you think I was being serious?! LOL 😀

  95. Great game, great result…. immense hangover after a good night with the ‘gutted’ Marseille fans.
    Song MOTM
    Gervinho needs to start putting them away to improve his confidence.

    I wonder if AW may rotate the team for the Fulham game and put out a stronger side for Man Sheiky inthe CC?
    Perhaps something like
    Fabi, Djourou, Verm, Kos, Santos
    Benayoun, Frimpong, Rosicky
    Park, Chamakh, Arshavin

    Bench: Chez, Mert, Diaby, Song, Arteta, Walcott, RVP or Gervinho

    To beat Shitty in the CC would be a real boost and give confidence for the upcoming league match.
    At the moment AW is spoilt for choice to rotate and rest (apart from back four) so should he take the opportunity this weekend?

  96. Interesting fact:
    Arsenal haven’t lost a CL home game since 2003.

  97. i think rvp should play in the league games against fulham and wigan. we can take him off when we are comfortably ahead..

    give the others a chance against city in the CC and olympiakos. the big game against city imo is not this carling cup tie, but the upcoming league game. i won’t be too concerned about the result of the carling cup tie.

  98. @Northbank1969 | November 24, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Unless someone has a knock, no chance.

  99. Johnny- my bad 😀

    I think the best team should start on saturday, they can rest midweek during the curling cup.

  100. Oh well, it was just a thought 🙂

    Just don’t want to see shitty come to the Emirates and play our second choice CC team and give us a thrashing. Something like that could really upset the current confidence in the team.

  101. “remember the last day of the transfer window, when AW was “panic buying”. It’s evident from their performances since then that (subject to availabilty and price) he knew exactly who he wanted. And the reason he had the funds to do it when it was needed was that he had resisted demands to buy the various numpties wished on us in every transfer window for the past five years.”

    And yet today there is a headline on newsnow about the 10 players Arsenal need to sign to keep RVP. I would suggest that the 10 players he is currently playing with are doing a pretty good job supplying him with the ammo he needs to be the number 1 striker in the PL.

    @ Block4 | November 24, 2011 at 11:33 am

    You can choose to interpret it that way, or you can read it as the injuries to Vermaelen and Wilshire forced his hand and he bought or loaned a couple more players than he might have intended to. If you follow Arsenal at all, even loosely you would know that Arsene has lists of player targets, so he already knew who he would buy if necessary, who might be available and how they would fit in the team. For example, we know that he was looking for PL experience for the defence but the greed of Bolton led to him turning to the other defender on his list.

  102. I don’t think going out of the League Cup, and even that’s not a given looking at the possible team I posted earlier in the thread, would affect the first XI much. I would imagine it will be City’s second string too 😉

  103. @Passenal, oh god, oh god, here we go again round in circles. The man said he hadn’t planned to buy the players and he had to adapt. There’s no interpretation there. Just treat the facts as facts instead of trying to spin everything.

  104. @ Northbank1969 | November 24, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Maybe in the group stage. Man Utd beat us 3-1 in 2009.

  105. Block4, I’m just offering an alternative reading of the same information – you have your view, I have mine.

  106. Right you are Passenal.

  107. Im very very tempted to just have a little peek at what the “fans” at le grove are saying..but no I have decided to wait for the treble to do that 😀

  108. Northbank1969 at 1:16 pm
    I don’t agree with such drastic changes for Saturday.
    The back four might have one change with Djourou starting.
    Ditto for the midfield three, Diaby in for any of the usual three, Such versatility.
    Front three, maybe two changes; Arshavin for Gervinho and Chamakh for Van Persie.
    Over the past calendar year, in particula,r it is obvious that in the League Wenger does not tinker too much with his favored starting XI.

  109. Shotta,

    “it is obvious that in the League Wenger does not tinker too much with his favored starting XI.”

    Fair point. I suppose a lot will come down to niggles or energy levels but other than that I think he will play it safe in the EPL with his strongest eleven. The next CL match will see some less used players getting a run out and the CC will probably see a mixed batch with Arteta, Ramsey, Gervinho, Walcott and RvP getting a rest.

    But, it all depends

  110. Happy Thanksgiving- at least here in the states. The guys are playing well. RVP two straight daily doubles. This great. We are now getting the pieces in place to make a good run at the top. City will stumble. Here’s a fun note. Man City, Man U , and Chelsea are in danger of not making it out of the Group Stage. You gotta love it. The guys have their spots booked for the knockout stage.

  111. Great post Yogi. I like the way English club players support other English clubs. Like Steven Gerrard’s glee as Barca hammered the Mancs!

  112. Nice to see Muppet back.

    The old ACLF strikes back.

  113. Don’t think Diaby will start on Saturday. 5 minutes last night doesn’t mean you can give him 90 3 days later. He’ll be bedded in gradually.

    First team in the league, rest the likes of Song and RVP in the CC ( but don’t play the likes of Miquel if it can be helped), then put out whatever side you like from the people in the CL squad when we go to Athens.

  114. Very few changes on Saturday I’d have thought. 1 or 2 at most. Wenger may be reluctant to pair Djourou and Mertesaker on the right of defence. Especially against a tricky Damien Duff.

    Unlike a lot of others I’d love us to put out a complete B team in the Carling Cup. Allow some fringe players the chance at game time. This is what the competition is for.

    I’d go:

    —————Fabianski
    Yennaris – Djourou – Squillaci – Miquel
    ——- Frimpong – Coquelin
    Chamberlain —————- Arshavin
    ——— Park —– Chamakh

  115. i hope diaby will start in the carling cup. play a complete B team in that game.

  116. One of the most satisfying things about this season will be watching Samir Nasri being dragged all over the dark nether regions of the most remote European outposts just to sit on the bench on a cold Thursday night. I suppose that’s what you get when you want to play with champions.

  117. [audio src="http://media.arsenal.com/assets/_files/audio//nov_11/gun__1321911009_Fans_Forum_Podcast_211111.mp3" /]

    great stuff from the moderators. recommended listening.

  118. Darius, he’ll have his loot to keep him warm. Maybe he can use his time on the bench to plan how to spend it!

  119. Markus…

    Agree totally on the changes for the CC mate..but my line up would probably be

    ———–Fab—————-

    Yenn—JD——Squill–Miquel

    ———-Diaby—-Coq———–

    Benayoun—–Ros———Arsh

    —————Park———————

  120. Damn, Muppet is back…

    I enjoyed the game, lived later here of course and I grew the result whioch made the game much more enjoyable in one sense. I love the form RvP has been in but I would like to see some more goals from other players, especially Gerv whom it seems is running himself out of goal form.

    Great result.

  121. I would go with a fairly strong side in the CC. It is a competition that we could win after all. If we play too weakened aside, City will muller it.

    Fabianski

    Yenn
    Kos
    Djourou
    Santos

    Frimpong
    Le Coq
    Rosicky

    AOC
    Chamakh
    Benayoun

  122. “Can anyone spot the mistake?:

    heads will roll in the marketing department Dupsffokcuf!

  123. GA

    Forgetting a certain Andrei Arshavin maybe?? 😀

  124. Anirudh – No mate. I was not sure to fit him to be honest. I think Benayoun deserves a start, and the CC is the best place for AOC to get some much needed game time. I supose Benayoun could play central instead of Rosicky (especially if still carrying a knock) and AA come into the side.

  125. maybe behind park..especially if rosicky plays at the weekend which i expect him to if fit..I feel when park plays, he works so hard on the tracking back bit, Arshavin through the middle might not cost us any defensive stability, and provide the extra creativity required in the absence of RVP..

  126. For CC, it should either be Le Coq or Frimpong – not both. Would prefer Arshavin to play the creative role behind the striker. He could inter change with Benoyoun. I would also prefer to rest Santos but not sure who can fill his shoes.

  127. Possibly, but Wneger does not seem keen on playing a forward in that role, he tends to prefer a midfielder. Against “easier” opposition I reckon he might risk it, but I can’t see him doing it against City who will field a strong side.

  128. @Passenal – I thought Nasri left Arsenal to go and win trophies, not to spend his time on the bench on cold European nights buying properties in Monaco on his I-Phone. Damn punk of a mercenary.

  129. Just going through our reserve players listed under “Young Professionals” in the official site – did not find any left backs. Plenty of right backs. So I guess Santos has to play.

  130. Miquel can play left back peacefrog

  131. Cool. The CC is a good platform for the youngsters. It will be best to keep the regular starting 11 fresh for the PL games.

  132. Oh…I missed George Brislen-Hall

  133. GA..

    Im not saying play Park in that role..im saying that with Park playing as a striker, Arshavin should play in that role, because park naturally shares more of the defensive responsibility even when played as a striker and this would allow Arshavin to play there without the slight reduction in defensive stability due to compensation by park..

  134. Anirudh – Yeah, I know you meant AA 🙂

    I don’t think Arsene will play in him aginst this type of oppersition. He prefers to play a midfielder there.

  135. I wouldnt make any changes to the starting lineup for the Fulham game. If it aint broke…..
    Think about it. Play same 11 on Saturday. Make 11 changes for the man city game in the CC. That gives 7 days until the next league game for the ‘first 11’. Then play the ‘second string’ against Olympiacos because it doesnt matter. Then its again 7 days rest for the first 11.

  136. Desie – Agreed. Any knocks aside, more of the same please.

    Rotation has its place, but continuity is so important. Even more so for the back 5. Pick the best mixture, and play them together as often as possible.

  137. no comments for over an hour….what’s going on?

  138. well, seeing as i’m on my own here, here is a music thursdays contribution. I saw this last night at the forum…amazing visuals, enjoy!

  139. oh, and happy thanksgiving to all our american friends

  140. Agree with Deise & Andy – same starting XI for Fulham if possible please.

    Really enjoyed our performance last night. It`s clear now that minus Cesc & Nasri we`re we less flash but the team ethic has improved noticeably. I thought Song was immense & I just love watching Santos. What an entertainer he is.

    I thought Dortmund were decent. They tried to play football without being dirty – just not quite good enough on the night.

    On Glen Hoddle. He`s stuck in the 80`s – like his hairdoo.

  141. Jabber – one of best friends and fellow Arsenal fans sacked off last night’s game to go and see Amon Tobin – ha had better have been good! 😀

    Music Thursdays! I suggested it and then forgot.

    Back in a mo…

  142. Peace

    Iggy for LB like in the last round?

  143. My Thursday tune is by Blitzen Trapper – if you like yer Dylan, yer Cash, yer Cave and those kinda story-telling wonders then you’ll be hard pushed not to enjoy this. The lyrics are extraordinary and it all hangs together – its dark, wonderful, evocative stuff.

    They harken from Portland, Oregon and play folksy, bluesy Americana of the highest order.

    The song is taken from the album Furr (2008) which still holds true as their best album ranked 13 on Rolling Stone’s Best Albums of that year.

  144. Walnuts – you’re too kind to Hoddle McTwat.

  145. Jabber – Yup, Louie Austen track gets my vote – it’s rather unusual but not without charm.

  146. The best thing of the entire Cahill saga is that he wil now go for a cutprice i the jan window. Bolton will loose alot of money just because they were stubborn and stupid. No serious England player will stay at Bolton! Thank god there are smarter people tha me running arsenal and forcing through a Nasri sale. I did wanna keep him but loosing 22m next summer would be stupid. And we are not as stupid as Bolton.

  147. You may be right there Johny

    OK , Hoddle is a poncey , egotistical , soft as sh&te, wheelchair bashing spunt.

    That better ?

  148. Muppet,

    Great to see the scribe return. Welcome back gooner.

  149. Paulie Wall that’s the nuts.

  150. muppet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    welcome

  151. POETIC JUSTICE ON NASRI AND THE REST OF HIS MERCENARY TEAM. when they don’t advance to the knockout stage, watch the fireworks starting in that locker room and see Mancini lose control and his mercenaries one by one….

  152. HAPPY GOBBLEGOBBLE DAY..
    everyone

  153. This is a very interesting evolution of Arsenal post Cesc/Nasri. Many of has “AKBs” long suffered in defending the likes of Song. What we saw and what people are seeing now is that in general Arsenal players do not conform to popular definition of players in set position. Take Song for example he is our “defensive Mid” but he is not a DM in the way people understand a typical DM, neither is he a pure box to box player. What Wenger strives to have in all his players is that they should be adaptable and play anywhere when needed. Granted strikers are a special breed but an effective player Wenger style has to be creative, have flair, technical competence and a good engine. Song simply has evolved into what Arsene set him out to be. I would warrant when young players like Wilshire, Ryo,Ramsey, Coqueline, Frimpong mature they could play in any position in midfield and interchange without any noticeable difference in perfomance. Of course flair is to a degree individual- hence Wilshire, diabby perhaps will stand out more in this regard- but overall any of these players could play right across the pitch in midfield including supporting the main striker. With additions like 3Gs, Arteta,Benayoun,Arshavin,Rosicky you now add experience! There is now a healthy attitude with players coming out of the Cesc/Nasri shadows and realising they can seize their chances.

  154. the reasons wenger ‘panic bought’ on the last few days were cos we were short of numbers and he had to act,
    three first team players had ops and three others had been sold..and he wasnt prepared to go with youth again as the club was at a critical crossroads..

    the money for these ‘panic buys’ came from the three players that were sold…the money that hasnt been spent on the ‘numpties’ in the past five years is still in the bank..

    anyway..apart from the sloppy goal conceded we were impressive yesterday…it was a good game, dortmund came to play ball and although the injuries to two of their key players stiffled them a little we still needed to be on our toes..
    defensively strong and the game was won in the end by a set piece that was a throw back to the graham era..see how important set pieces can be?? 😉

    i also think that although it will be good if the other three dont make it thru, we need at least one of them to..
    if we are left carrying the flag for english teams it will be good from a media point of veiw as everyone will be wanting us to do well for the sake of english football and we’ll find the media attention will tilt a tad in our favour..the downsides of this is that i dont think we really need the pressure of that, we are performing in the face of adversity and i like the ‘creeping under the radar’ mentality this team has developed…
    and you just fucking know if we dont win the thing then the media will have another stick to beat us with and it will be all our fault that english teams didnt perform this year in europe, totally forgetting the fact the other three made idiots out of themselves in the group stages..and we’ll get crucified the most…
    so from this point of view i’ll allow utd to join us..the other two can fuck off and join stoke and brum in that other thing they play on a thursdays..

  155. TOTAL FOOTBALL. runebreaker. thats what is aimed at ARSENAL. that is what shall be achived.. not withstanding outside interference.. god willing..

  156. @jonjon
    just wanted to say one thing mate. FUCK THE MEDIA… why do you guys care so much what these dimwits think or write. we all know they have hidden agendas. they are busy right now swallowING their bitter pill. hope they choke on it.. let them eat their humble pie.
    we will continue doing what we do, ONE GAME AT A TIME..

  157. your right goonerkam
    fuck the media…

  158. Wow it’s slow on here.

    I’ve been busy arguing with my flatmate Jenni about whether badgers are evil.

    Slow here too.

    They’re not by the way. No such thing as an evil animal.

  159. i agree with JJ actually. It would be good to heap preassure on Chelsea or United. While we do our buisness in the shadows. There is no point being the favourit until we are in the CL final. All we need is a bit luck in the draws uptil the final.
    Let the meida worry about Arry and SAF. and we must not forget about circus Mancini and Circs AVB.
    So while the tottenham players brag about how good they are and build themselves up as title contenders, we can put in a good shift and just do what we do best, play footy(while tottenham do what they do best, prance around like peacocks).

    Only thing is knowing AW, ones we are back on track and he feels we are contenders again he will restart his ” outsmart the media” habbit and everyone knows that wont pass in silence.. they alwys get angry when they realize AW has said something they almost grasp the meaning of, but not entirely….

  160. Read a funny stat. Looks like Van Persie FC, the one man team formerly known as Arsenal, has had 12 different goal scorers this season — the only team doing better is City with 14 different mercenaries scoring for them.

  161. hay Jonny,, hate to say it but there are evil animals. i have come across some. not by breed but individuals born under the wrong moon.
    by the way , i have a theory on GERVINHO and why his goals are down. i think I’m right on.

  162. I have a theory too.

    He’s just not especially good in front of goal.

  163. Bradys right foot

    Regardless of how they came to the club, the summer additions have been on the whole pretty damn fantastic. Arteta has been quietly immense, efficient, professional and growing into the role. A midfield minus Fabregas is functioning in a different way but if the upward trajectory continues this midfield unit might win something.

    Mert again a model pro on and off the pitch, solid, calm and wont let a mistake affect him. He’s bedded in nicely. Santos unorthodox, carrying a bit of timber, risky but very skillful and a big threat going forward. Yossi I’ve always rated he’s a very gifted footballer and one who can turn a game in an instant. Park is still an unknown quantity but the OX looks like he has everything needed to be a very good team. Gerv seems to be getting alot of grief for some crazy reason 4 months into his Arsenal career, he is a bona fide match winner. He’s going to frustrate but if the fans get behind our unorthodox Ivorian he will be an Opta chart topper. My advice embrace the dome gooners unconditionally it’ll be worth it.

    Add these to TV5, Kozzer, Song, Sagna, Theo, Chezzer, LJW, RVP, Arsh and we are notin bad shape. Oh and if anyone thinks LJW should get back into the starting lineup when he comes back I beg to differ. The midfield at the moment is very balanced, diligent and effective why mess with it.

  164. he is Jonny, he is as good as clinical. he is just second guessing himself right now.
    you remember when he came in ,he hit the ground running. getting goals in his first games. he was out to prove himself to everyone, that he was for real.
    then on his fourth or fifth game he had his ass chewed out, rightfully i may add, by his captain RVP for forcing a few shots when there was an easier way to goal by a simple pass.
    ever since that game Jonny, he has been second guessing himself when his opportunities come knocking. he first looks for the pass, then thinks about a move or a shot. he went from an instinctive strikers to a thinking one. in his case it has meant that his assists have gone up but goal production down. thank god the rest of his game is intact and he still draws two defenders to himself and he tracks back on defence. all he needs is an attitude adjustment and to know not to be afraid to take his good chances. he needs to know that he won’t be second guessed and then he will start producing the goals as well as the assists. i think he is the best buy of last transfer window, and he will light up a fire under AA as well.
    i know i wouldn’t want to be the defender tasked with covering him. the dude has something to prove now. he will be out to prove that he is better than 3gs.

  165. hehehe,
    BRF right on. tend to agree with your points specialy regarding JACK.. all players coming back from injury or a layoff should earn their way back on to the first team….

  166. i think once our fitness regime kicks in santos will start to shed that extra weight and his stamina and speed will pick up..hes already one hell of a player going forward, once hes ‘fully fit’ and gains that extra 10 yards as well as being able to shuttle run up and down the whitewash he’ll look better defensively too..

    as for jack, i remember many of us saying the same thing about TV, but will anyone drop him now?? i think jacks a nailed on first teamer..hes that good and brings more than talent to the team, he also brings a heartbeat…but it will be interesting to see what wenger does cos i think he can play with song, rambo and arteta..we dont have to drop anyone…if he gets back before the acn starts id give him a go in gervinhos spot… ive always thought that jack would be more destructive in an attacking role, much like when he played in the youth team..but until arteta came weve had nobody who could partner song in the way jack does..but now we do..so maybe its time we see wenger unleash jack…hes a grafter too..so we keeping the team balanced with the workrate gervinho brings, whereas i can see that workrate dropping off if say wenger uses arshavin..

  167. @jonjon
    what about match fitness.
    he hasn’t played in two months.
    i don’t think its prudent to put him in right away and have him get fit while playing first team. i like your idea of playing him further up field or even on the wing. one on one i have seen him make fools out of quite a few defenders. and right again regarding Santos. he could lose a few kilos and we would be better of for it. its all that Brazilian barbecue man. delicious.

  168. OK, no Big Al this morning, he has been beaten by work commitments and I’m in the middle of an office move so the long and short is, no post today. Back in the morning with a Fulham preview.

  169. Am I first then?

  170. You’re relegated, goonerton…

  171. Very selfish YW, you’re not considering the feelings of Bigbrovar, he’ll be gutted 🙂

  172. mj_gunner

    You must be mistaken. No Gooner has ever been relegated. We use to be one of 3 teams that could boast this fact but, I don’t know what the stats are these days.

  173. Northbank1969 | November 25, 2011 at 8:25 am . I like your sense of humour.

  174. Just Another Luke

    Found some gems here for sharing: http://thisisfutbol.com/2011/11/blogs/when-you-give-success-to-stupid-people-arsene-wengers-top-12-quotes

    #9, 10 and 12 are my favourites from this selection.

    1. ‘I tried to watch the Tottenham match on television in my hotel yesterday, but I fell asleep.’

    2. After a disappointing draw with Middlesbrough in 1998 – ‘If you eat caviar every day it’s difficult to return to sausages.’

    3. ‘A football team is like a beautiful woman. When you do not tell her, she forgets she is beautiful.’

    4. Following Sol Campbell ’s departure to Portsmouth – ‘It is a big surprise to me because he cancelled his contract to go abroad. Have you sold Portsmouth to a foreign country?’

    5. After Sepp Blatter ’s accusation that big clubs were guilty of ‘child slavery’ – ‘If you have a child who is a good musician, what is your first reaction? It is to put them into a good music school, not in an average one. So why should that not happen in football?’

    6. After the success of the Great Britain team at the Olympics – ‘I didn’t know the English were good at swimming. I have been in this country for 12 years and I haven’t seen a swimming pool.’

    7. In response to Sir Alex Ferguson ’s claim that he possessed the best team in the league, despite Arsenal winning the title in 2002 – ‘Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home.’

    8. After being asked if he’d received the apology that Sir Alex had announced he had sent to Wenger – ‘No. Perhaps he sent it by horse.’

    9. On Emmanuel Adebayor ’s stamp on Robin van Persie – ‘I watched it when I got home and it looked very bad. You ask 100 people, 99 will say it’s very bad and the hundredth will be Mark Hughes.’

    10. ‘I don’t kick dressing room doors or the cat or even football journalists.’

    11. ‘We do not buy superstars. We make them.’

    12. After Jose Mourinho accused him of being a voyeur – ‘He’s out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent.’

  175. Always liked number 4 about Portsmouth!

  176. goonerkam @12.48 – you’d be wrong if you think I don’t rate him. I have always been happy to have him – he’s added lots to the squad that we did not have – I’d rather have him than Nasri.

    However I think this decision making theory is supposition on your part – this article
    http://www.sabotagetimes.com/football-sport/gervinho-can-be-arsenals-new-pires-says-french-scout/
    which I read prior to his move, suggests a different story and one which has borne out fairly accurately.

    He is one of those unpredictable players capable of delighting and frustrating – he will get us winners and he will miss sitters. Under Wenger’s tutelage one hope’s he can improve on the latter but, at present, it’s a glaring part of his game.

    I think he missed four goal scoring opportunities against Norwich and none of them were especially difficult. If Robin hadn’t been in position behind him his woeful back heel attempt would have received more attention than it has.

    Nonetheless it’s his ability to get in behind, his trickery and the chances he creates that makes him very valuable to the team. He’s played nine PL games so far, scored twice, made five assists and created a goalscoring chance every 39 minutes.

    I would feel deeply worried if Gerv was carrying the line but so long as he is feeding RVP and we have Theo as our other main goal threat Gerv’s profligacy is less of an issue. That does not mean it isn’t there though.

  177. Hmmm, goal-line technology possibly being introduced in 2012. Begs the question why we don’t just fully introduce instant replays, like in rugby. The time it would take to confer with a video ref would be about the same as the time it currently takes a ref to wave away protests from players.

    But then we’d have no corruption.

  178. I think Gervinho (or Arshavin if he gets the nod on the left) will have a good game tomorrow because everything will go through him rather than Theo (if Theo starts).

    The interesting thing about our recent matches was that Chelsea, Norwich and Dortmund all played a relatively open attacking game with a higher defensive line, so naturally we looked to Theo’s pace. I’m not sure how Jol has Fulham set up these days but I don’t think it’ll be as open tomorrow. We’ll have to be crafty to create chances. Definitely more of a Gervinho game. Tricking his way to the byline.

  179. I think Gervinho will soon adapt to our style of play and start to get the occasional goal, if he gets 10-12 goals this season pluus a few assists then that will do me.

    It’s just a feeling but I think perhaps he was more affected by his first premiership game against Newcastle, after the clash with the THUG aka Joey Barton, he must have thought, “what the fuck have I let myself in for”, and it has affected his confidence, this will improve as he gains more experience.

  180. Goal-line technology is a good start but it’s not going far enough. First of all we need to get rid of this system where if a referee has “seen” something and decided it’s not a bookable offence, it means that no retrospective punishment can be taken, irrespective of how wrong the ref was.
    And .. maybe in 20 or 30 years we can talk about a review system which will allow each team one or two shots at forcing the ref to review a decision. Wouldn’t take the “human element” out, but would prevent gross injustice from happening.

  181. I would think the officials would be supportive of instant replays. Takes all the pressure off them when the incident can be reviewed from other angles at different speeds.

    Fans would get what they want – unbiased final decisions.

    However, for some clubs (like ManU)……the days of being on the receiving end of gifted calls that turn their match fortunes around……it would be cold water in the face.


  182. “American Samoa, the worst international football team in the world,
    has won a game for the first time, ever.”

  183. If Gervinho finds a way to escape his shooting funk, he is more than capable of providing 15 – 20 goals / season……and still toss in the same # of assists.

    I believe he’s been a good influence on Theo. For the first time in ages, Arsenal have consistent attacking threats on each wing; which (for me) is creating defensive problems for our opponents (than in the past 5-6 seasons).

    Nice to see other clubs taking the heat from the fickle media.

  184. Regarding the wide midfielders who seem to be swapping the minor focus of criticism this season… we had Walcott, Arshavin and Gervinho all experiencing unimpressive runs of form.

    People need to realise that exhibit a) Gervinho is new and has made quite an impression already, he just needs to up his final pass and finishing.

    b) Walcott has and always will be a player that is suited to certain games, his lightning speed, dribbling and deadly finishing is better suited to games where he has more space… no shock then that the gung ho Dortmund were sick of the sight of him.

    c) Arshavin, the currently out of favour of the three has been off form for quite a while, but he always produces the goods. In a time where we can’t afford the slightest of errors Wenger has gone for consistency and energy. Arshavin just simply doesn’t have the same presence as Gervinho nor the energy Walcott puts into a defensive shift. IMO he gives everything when on the pitch, I can’t agree with anyone who thinks otherwise, he always looks knackered.

    With the likes of Diaby, AOC, Wilshire, Benayoun and Rosicky returning or in reserve, we have the firepower from midfield and in the wide areas to produce the goods.

  185. Gervinho, has just arrived in a new country playing a brand of football that is 10xs faster than he has ever experienced. He’s already feared by defenders in the EPL and runs his socks off for the cause unlike Arshavin, but, yet he’s being questioned and spoke of likle some kid who’s learning how to run? I just don’t know what game some of us watch.

    You don’t want to hear it but, Arshavin, has become a lazy cunt and Gervinho, skips pass defenders like they not even there. How many games has he played?

    Don’t worry about his goals they will come and I believe when they do start to hit the net it will be more regular than your beloved Arshavin.

  186. Interesting that when Theo has had a lot of space in the last few games and the opposition defence has tried to defend against him, Gervinho has been able to get clean through on goal. Damned if they do.

  187. If Gervinho, isn’t use to our “style of play” how comes Wenger starts him every week instead of Arshavin, who’s been here how long now? There’s something in that from Wenger.

  188. goonerton

    We have been relegated – 1912/13 season.

    YW

  189. Johnny, I think the fact that you read that report before he arrived means that you had already made your mind up about him. A new start in a new team, especially one which creates as many chances as we do, could soon see a difference in his game. I think Goonerkam’s theory has a lot going for it and as he settles into the team we will see that. Adebayor came here without much of a reputation for goal scoring, but by his second season here, he was banging in the goals. Gervinho may not be scoring, but his presence and his passing is creating opportunities for others. And he’s not bad at tracking back and helping out defensively, so his all round contribution is of great value to the team at the moment.

  190. goonerton, who are these comments directed at? Nobody on here is criticising Gervinho, quite the opposite. You seem a bit demented today. Moreso than usual I mean.

  191. Funny, when we signed Gervinho……he was dubbed 3g’s.

    Right now he’s playing at a 1 g level and as he adapts to the league and teammates, we will see the evolution of the other 2 g’s.

    He reminds me of a different style Ashley Young.

  192. Goonerton we dont call our players cunts. Not for as long as they wear the shirt so please tone it down.

    Gervihno may not be scoring goals at the moment but i believe he has had more of an impact in our team than nasri had in his three years. As long as he is getting himself in scoring positions I am sure it is just a matter of time before he starts scoring.

  193. Yogi’s Warrior | November 25, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    I thought that didn’t count for some reason or another?

  194. Off this morning’s subject (whatever that is)…..

    With the season that RvP is having, plus the performances of Mr. Song and Walcott this season……..

    what is this going to cost Arsenal in resigning these players?
    .

  195. @ Firstlady
    “Gervihno may not be scoring goals at the moment but i believe he has had more of an impact in our team than nasri had in his three years. As long as he is getting himself in scoring positions I am sure it is just a matter of time before he starts scoring.”

    Agree.

    Gervinho has made an early impact – the best is to come.

  196. cunt was just a manner of speaking.

    He’s lazy then if your more reading that. Fact is he runs his socks off which is something Arshavin, has forgotten.

    Not getting into some dumb arse argument about it so whatever you lot is correct as per usual.

  197. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/40729/wenger-the-statistics-prove-our-revival

    “team have come from behind to win three away matches already this season – something they did not achieve at all last term.

    Similarly the Gunners have yet to drop points this season from goals conceded in the final ten minutes of matches. Last season saw ten points conceded from those positions.”

    A step in the right direction, it is good that this season one is not holding their breathe everytime we go ahead because of fear we will mangle it up in the last 5mins of the game. Last season anytime we went behind one knew it was game over but so far this season there is always a feeling we will come back.

  198. What Gervinho has done a lot more often in the past month (that Nasri never did) is make himself a target in the box alongside RvP. Instead of the crosses flying in to a Robin surrounded by three defenders there is actually a bit of choice and movement

  199. Rumours the marketing department at AFC are working on a centenary anniversary shirt for 2012/2013 in recognition of our 100 years in the top flight.

    only joking – I hope !

  200. Amazing how the ‘Arshavin doesn’t work hard’ myth has become unquestionable truth.

    Anyway, something else I’ve noticed with our dynamic front three is that when VP links up with either Theo or Gervinho the opposition defence tends to move in that direction, leavin the other wide man completely free on the other side of the box. I’ve seen it a few times lately but we haven’t taken advantage as much as we should.

  201. I don’t think its productive to castrate any of our players, especially Arshavin.

    To win anything…….there will be matches where we need players off the bench to put in a shift. Arshavin still has game – at least imo.

    Maybe with Theo and Gervinho playing so well out wide……that Arsene might consider utilizing Arshavin in the middle?

    I think the team mentality (past few seasons) was never where it needed to be. Now we are seeing a ‘new culture’ evolve at the club. Work effort (without the ball) is paying off with consistent results.

    There is belief and this is contagious – even with non-starting players.

    Song – Arteta – Ramsey need ‘some’ rotational rest……or they are not likely to be available in the stretch run of March – May.

    If the team can produce this type of 180 degree turn around from the start of the season, they can make this a foundation for a season that no Arsenal fan will ever forget.

  202. Firstlady – we were most definately supposed to qualify from our group – unless you believe the likes of Marseille are our equal?

  203. Afternoon all.

    Interesting article here:

    http://netherlands.worldcupblog.org/world-cup-2010/dennis-bergkamp-talks-i-dont-need-this.html

    Apologies if it’s already been posted…

  204. The coaching team at Ajax could probably finish mid table in the Prem!

  205. two sides of alex song last week, at one end creative and at the other appauling, these are the things that still should be causing some anxiety and excitement at the same time. Diabi back which is brill. our midfield will be so much better for his return, true quality. jack back in the new year and along with a true cesc replacement and centre half i believe we can win the title, big shout i know and it all depends on how we manage the next month, we dont have any tough games in my view.

  206. Passenmal – you’re being unnecessarily defensive – I rate the player, I’m glad we have him.

    I didn’t make my mind up in advance – and this is my only criticism of him amongst, a lot of praise – that he has missed some absolute sitters. Does that fact out way all his good points – hell no but it is only noticeable and noteworthy because of the nature of the chances he has missed and the number of them. I think he is that kind of player maybe in time he will prove me wrong on that front.

    Goonerton – Arshavin is not a lazy ****, that’s simplistic and unpleasant. I do wonder if he’ll get a chance tomorrow.

    Thank Jebus poor George isn’t here – he’d have blown a fuse.

  207. Oh yes!! nearly 100% certain that I am getting to see the game tomorrow at the Emirates! First time for me (being ridiculously poor and living at the arse end of the country) so I’m really really excited! Highbury was awesome, but the Emirates looks in a league of it’s own..

    Can’t wait! Up the fucking Arse!!!

  208. Excellent stuff Geo! Will you be joining us for drinks? 😀

  209. http://twitpic.com/7jf8yf
    Ryo Miyachi joins the ladies in Japan…

  210. Geo – Very jealous of you mate 🙂 Spare a thought for me tomorrow as you are enjoying The Emirates, as I will be busy carrying bags of Lord knows what with The Girlfriend as she made me promise to take her shopping in return for a previous weekend spent with “The Boys”.

  211. Anyone have a decent website where I can watch the game live tomorrow PLEASE!!!!!!

  212. Ah, probably not Jonny, would love to… I’ve got a real hectic schedule, meeting my Sis who’s coming from Brighton, my dad who’s coming from Ireland, and my bro who we’re meeting in Islington. A very rare family reunion for us! I would feel bad leaving them to have drinks with some virtual chums! No offence of course! 😀

    I am definitely coming to a match in Jan though for my birthday so will try to meet you guys… Appreciate the offer though mate 🙂

  213. Exeter the arse end of the country? Practically the South Midlands to me.

  214. He’s afraid he might have to buy a round jonny.

  215. Gutted IG… Pesky girlfriends eh?! I will try to spare a thought for you, but to be honest i think i’ll be extremely excitable and wont have much room in my little head for things other than Arsenal!

    Have I mentioned that I’m quite excited yet?

  216. Jealous Geo. Good timing for your first visit tho!

    Some updated injury news from the boss. Jenkinson is 3 weeks away and Gibbs is 4.

  217. Lol consols! Sorry, forgot about you even-more-south-westerly folks… And thanks a lot ‘mate’, you gave the game away :-p

  218. Sorry, those two points were not related. Not implying that you wouldn’t want to see our young full-backs in action!

  219. Jonny – I’ve bought a flowery red and white hat. At least you won’t have to do an Irish Limestone when you get to the pub asking around – ‘Are you Darius?’

    Yogi thinks I’ll do it though.

  220. Haha Markus, I didn’t take that as being implied that way, don’t worry! Thanks, really looking forward to it, as you say very good timing… I’m hoping for a massive scoreline obviously, but any win will do me 🙂

  221. Marvellous Darius. I bet you’ll look resplendent. 😀

  222. Just seen a name on Twitter that I’d totally forgotten – Jean Pierre Papin. What a character. I think he would have done well in Wenger’s Arsenal, especially with the ability to head balls that fly a few millimetres off the ground.

  223. LOL Jonny – who said anything about wearing it. Unfortunately, I’ll be with a good friend who’s a Liverpool supporter and that hat is his punishment for the privilige of getting into the Emirates.

  224. ‘Resplendent’ a word that’s not used enough. Nice.


  225. He could hit a football too Darius.

  226. Andrei averages more yards per minute played than any other player currently starting regularly,bar Arteta.
    Goonerton,you are the lazy cunt for not doing ant research.

  227. George – What, pray tell, is “ant research”?

  228. pedantic george | November 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    The world loves a good stat man or stat meerkat. But, to the naked human eye are you telling me you seem him track back often when he loses the ball?

    Go on… talk your pedantic crap because you have never heard of any fan claiming Arshavin is lazy have you? It’s the first time isn’t it?

  229. Have a good weekend all.

  230. No.You are wrong, I have heard loads of ill informed ignorant know fuck all about the game “fans” say he is lazy.As it happens

  231. Both sides have a fair argument. Arshavin comes off as lazy because he is too damn good at football. He knows when it is necessary to track back, and when to conserve his energy. I think.

  232. with that, I am off. have a nice day you all and here is to an Arsenal victory. ch33rs.

  233. I demand more ant research!

    Ant research! Ant research! Ant research!

  234. B. 🙂 🙂 BS!!!!!!!!! I DEMAND MORE B 🙂 🙂 BS!!!!!!

  235. It’s not really an argument or any reason to go on the offence and start name calling. Fact of the matter is Arshavin, (in my opinion) is a lazy arse of late and I have every right to state my opinion.

    People died in many wars just so we could be in a position today to speak freely but, pedantic Joseph Stalin george, get’s on one when you have a different view to his. Or you nothing about football and Arsenal. Only a true cunt who practises it for living could come out crap like that.

  236. What the hell has that rant got to do with B :):) BS? Do try and stay on topic Goonerton 🙂

  237. Goonerton,how many of the lads in the trenches were fighting for your right to call Arshavin a lazy cunt? And did they know that was the reason?

  238. “People died in many wars just so we could be in a position today to speak freely”

    Henry Kissinger and Dick Cheney would suggest they sent kids to fight for oil.

  239. Irish – thank Jebus I can rely on you to stay on message!

    There are boobs at stake here man! BOOOOBS!

    Won’t somebody think of the BOOBS?!

  240. Stalin! How long have you been masquerading as Pedantic George? I want the the real George back pronto buddy. And if I find out you’ve harmed a hair on his head there’ll be trouble bucko.

  241. Jonny – the day I experienced Stalin George was when we lost in his home turf of Blackburn. George literally needed a safehouse because he had nowhere to hide his face. His Arsenal had just lost to a bottom of the legue propping the table Blackburn and it was unacceptable.

    It was lovely to see such passion unleashed in anger. People do care you know…

    next day, he became a pedant again. That’s our George.

  242. Arshavin, is world class on his day but, for many a game he has been lazy with a capital Z.

    Even Captain Horatio Nelson, would of been able to see that through his right eye.

  243. Darius – OUR George is exactly right. I know he winds people up with his intransigent obsession with Arshavin, but Pedantic George regularly makes me laugh, he’s funny, self-deprecating, passionate and he’s ours. Pedantic too.

    “It was lovely to see such passion unleashed in anger. People do care you know…”

    YES! Too effing right. That’s what it’s all about – we can disagree on the minutiae but we’re all here because we care about something rather too much.

    😀

  244. Goonerton – I think we have your stance on AA. 🙂

  245. So Nelson was called Horatio? I’ll be damned, I even did most of the design work on the descriptive tour of an exhibition of his at the Maritime museum in Greenwich – but I didn’t even know the fucker was called Horatio.

    When I think of that name I think of that dodgy geezer on CSI MMiamiwho sounds like a button has been pressed for him to read a script.

  246. Darius ,thing is David Caruso used to be a good actor,Fuck knows what went wrong

  247. Even that girl who acts as Calleigh (I think she was the White house Counsel or something in the West Wing) does a better acting job than Caruso.

    His problem is the guys who are his contemporaries in the New York and Vegas version are much better actors.

  248. Jonny,

    I was hoping that one of YW’s subs would step up for the post today. Alas no sign of anything more then a few scribbles from the up and coming reserve players. So I might as well try to fill the time with a(nother) tale of a lost snog. I hope it’s not too boring:

    A long time ago* I was at a friends party.
    The hour was late
    And I confess I was in a bit of a state.

    A beautiful stranger sat down upon the floor next to me
    (Her name was not Hannah!)
    She said nothing, just laid her head upon my shoulder.
    After some moments, maybe a few more, she kissed me…

    So, the next time I saw her a few weeks later I rustled up the courage to say hello.
    But I don’t think she recognised me. She replied:

    “Hi. I’m…”

    Everything considered, I think I made a good impression!


    *As in a long long time ago.

    Have fun at the game all you crazy gooners.

  249. As this is still Thursday’s post, here’s an appropriate song before I sign off:

    I’m guessing RVP has been ‘world class’ for these fans for a long time too.

  250. Fins – I need some clues. This is agony. Intitials? Anything.

  251. Oh alright then. First name begins with B. Black hair.
    I’m off. Have fun.

  252. Is she friends with Hannah? Second name like a former Liverpool striker?

  253. Sooooo are any of the ladies coming to the big ACLF meet up. I’ve finally been invited.

  254. Just Darius and her floral hat.

  255. I want to see Pass and FG two of my favourite people on ACLF. Legends of this blog. Their always team Arsene and Arsenal football club. Without question.

    I promise to bring sandwiches.

  256. If there is any mention fork lift truck operators, roofing contractors and residence hertfordshire – say nothing

  257. Maria! Yaaay! You’re back! That’s it – the season officially starts now.
    I can’t make tomorrow’s get-together, or the match, sadly, but have a great time.

  258. And great posts, Passenal.

  259. Irish – Black Friday shopping? Ha ha ha, here’s one for you

  260. MD

    Those hair styles bring back memories. 🙂 Ready, Steady, Go. Must be early 1960s

  261. Dups
    Most RSG shows had the bands miming. This was live, so different. Currently reading Keith Richards book “Life” which does indeed bring back some memories – Radio Luxembourg Top 20 Show on Sunday nights, Radio Caroline in the North Sea, jumpers for goal posts, Consolbob in shorts….

  262. http://wp.me/p1aPg-1Xn

    Today’s post. And BB has already been beaten to the first comment spot. Bring it on.

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