Arsenal Get The Point In The End

Arsenal 1 – 1 Fulham

0 – 1 Vermaelen o.g.(65)
1 – 1 Vermaelen (82)

Thomas Vermaelen provided a solution to the conundrum of who scores if Robin doesn’t, a shame one of his brace was in the wrong net. It was scant reward for Arsenal in many senses but Fulham came to stifle and succeeded in doing so for long periods of the game. Had Arshavin not been flagged offside – rightly – in the opening minutes, things might have been different.

As it was, the episode signalled the start of a siege on the Fulham half. Zamora and Dempsey provided sporadic relief but in the same way that the Marseille was ‘the morning after the night before‘ following Chelsea, this was the comedown following Dortmund. Arsenal were lethargic of thought. Their bodies may have been willing but the minds could not find the guile to create many clear chances. Walcott’s early effort was all his own work; sprinting down the right before testing Schwarzer with a rifled low shot.

As half-time approached, the visitors had their moment to take an undeserved lead but Szczesny was equal to the challenge whilst Hangeland headed the resulting corner over the bar. Philippe Senderos will have remembered such quiet afternoons from his time in the Arsenal squad; he would not have expected such on his return to the club. As it was, Arsenal nearly snatched an interval lead when the much-maligned Per Mertesacker headed wide.

The second half was more of the same. Arsenal pressed but struggled to create. Dempsey failed to meet Murphy’s cross with the goal at his mercy whilst van Persie outwitted Schwarzer but Baird cleared from the goalline. Arshavin and Santos briefly threatened before their chances evaporated.

The goal that was coming duly arrived with an Arsenal name on the scoresheet. Murphy persisted with his run into the Arsenal area, Riise knocked the ball down and the Belgian’s attempted clearance saw the ball trundle into the corner of the net. Someone, somewhere is working out how to blame Mertesacker for that one.

Wenger decided to liven things up with Gervinho and Diaby entering the fray at the expense of Mertesacker and Ramsey. Arshavin would last another ten minutes before the Paris-bound Chamakh became the final throw of the dice. The Ivorian livened up proceedings, occupying the minds of the Fulham defence as the pressure grew for an equaliser. Djourou’s header was well saved by Schwarzer whilst Diaby shot high, shot wide, sometimes both at the same time.

van Persie then blazed high and wide, proving himself to be as technically inept as he is lethal. The goal machine is human after all. Minutes later the scores were level as Vermaelen angled his run, meeting Walcott’s cross to nod home from close range. Desperation ensued but not from the visitors, the hosts desire for a winner manifested in a lacklustre penalty appeal. It was entirely in keeping with the match.

This was a rerun of many opening games at The Emirates. Visitors stealing a lead, Arsenal equalising late in the game. A point gained is how it felt post-match; it still is and as such many who questioned the mental capabilities of Arsenal had their answer. A deficit was retrieved not surrendered meekly. Yet it is two points dropped against a struggling team. There will be more of those for teams around us; this is not the end of world despite what you may be told.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on November 27, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 330 Comments.

  1. how many corners did we have??

  2. Too many in the pub apparently.

  3. In hindsight, I think Gervinho should have started – the game burst into life with his introduction.

    Contrary to many, I don’t think Arshavin was awful, and maybe its his demeanour, but he just did not look as though he fucking cared yesterday. No evidence of hunger, pride or passion. He seemed utterly disenchanted.

    Maybe that’s a disservice but, if so, his style of play certainly does himself no favours.

  4. i have to admit that i am a little disappointed by the result when you look at the fact that utd somehow didnt win, and city play pool later today. a wasted chance to really close the gap.

    but we have just come off a hard week: norwich, dortmund (dortmund are top of the bundesliga, so they are a much tougher team than you think) and a very well-organised fulham. legs were tired.

    i am pleasantly surprised to see diaby do ok. i am not the biggest admirer of his abilities. but i hope he plays on tuesday against shitty and prove me wrong.

  5. Definitely not the end of the world. Even title-winning sides have the odd blip like this at home – just as Man U did against WBA last season – and it shouldn’t detract from the fact we have turned things around well since the horror days of August/September.

    Overall we did look lethargic, as Wenger said after the game, and I think it underlined that we do need to strengthen the depth of the squad in January – which was what let us down last year. But we defended pretty well despite the OG, and it was good to see Gervinho back to form off the bench and yet another good performance from Theo.

    A big disappointment? Yes. But a total disaster? Of course not.

  6. even with the flat tempo we had loads of chances to win the game yesterday…

  7. Diaby had some marvellous moments in his cameo.

  8. the only thing arshavin does wrong is that he doesnt go round the back like gervinho does..

    theo likes to run inside and i love that cos of his pace and he scares the shit out of everyone and gervinho compliments it cos he likes to hog the line and pull defences apart..arshavin doesnt he likes to cut inside like theo does but without the pace and the defenders just gang up on him and shut him out.. play starts to get compressed and theres less space for everyone else

    as age creeps up on him hes becoming less effective as a wide player and should really start centrally so he already has the space to begin with and doesnt have to try and make it but wenger wont do it cos we have about 100 players who already play here..

    we dont have enough wingforwards..simple as that..if theres two players we need to sign in jan its a winger and a striker…

  9. With Ryo and Oxo ‘in the wings’ (genius, I know) I don’t see a winger happening.

    The argument about whether we need a striker should not be an argument at all. Our options are not exactly striking fear.

  10. I agree with Jonny. And I think there were some other positives to take home. Despite the defensive cock for the goal, in general we were pro active in our defending and won a number of important challenges in the midfield.

    Fulham had enough energy to squeeze the play and get behind the ball. It’s very difficult to play against teams that do this after a midweek CL game. The press are saying we have no excuses but Barca lost yesterday.

    I don’t think we were that lethargic. I think if our finishing had been more lethal we would have won the game. VP and Ramsey both missed good chances.

    Rotation is the key. When Wilshere comes back, hopefully Rosicky too, then if we have 6 midfielders available we will have a fresher team.

  11. sorry – defensive cock up.

  12. Wown what is wrong with the mail? Its November and they already building up to a “sell van Persie” summer? I think if he does not sign we keep him and let him go for free a 30. Where he will be able to get one last major contract with whoever he wants. Why is that so bad? Also it’s two year until!! For all we know Abu Dahbi can have had their own Arab spring by the. And the prince be overthrowed. Or rvp could break his foot and be out for ages as is common for him which means he will sign for sure..
    The whole discussion is pissing me right off!

  13. I agree wth pedantic george.

  14. This is much easier than thinking for yourself.
    I think I might be ready for a few posts on Le Grove.I am sure I gt it now

  15. Ahh.. pedantic george… that’s where you can have an opinion…

    The wonders of free speech.

  16. I bet they do it to cover up fergusons bad ref yelling. After all we all know nobody in their right mind will ever give a penalty at old trafford again. Not after everyone are siding with ferguson and “understands” hos anger. He is after all the emperor of English footy…

  17. with diaby back it definately bolsters the midfield..with jack to come too we gonna be fine there..
    defence is fine too…even with the fbs out, our cbs can cover cos they can play ball.. (apart from big per) hes just an out and out cb..

    but upfront is a problem..has been all well as the on going debate about robin…theres little room to rotate without breaking the direct style and the width..

    but all this aside, its games like this one where you need one of those corners to work..
    theres gonna be games where we look flat and tired and defences make it hard..but if you get 100 corners then one of them has to go in..

  18. Wow I’m on a rage mission today!! 🙂

  19. Ha ha Poodle. Yes, Red nose was a sight to see on MOTD last night. Hilarious.

    Hope the FA throw the book at him regarding his comments.

  20. Surely Park has had enough time to ‘bed in’ to have subs appearance? Is he injured or just presently deemed superfluous?

  21. Just watched the Sunday Suppository:

    – Spurs can win the league
    – Arsenal have “Weaknesses” – Mertesacker, over-reliance on VP
    – Arsenal were previously rated as top 5, but now maybe top 4.

    Some things never change.

  22. ‘Rage Mission’. Great name for a band.

  23. walcott was the only one who seemed assured. I think the champions league game took its toll. I love vermaellens fight but he is not the best defender. Maybe thats why he plays leftback for his national side. konscielny and per is more balanced. I have been worried about verms play since he has come back. He tries to challenge for every ball and gets exposed. loses a lot of headers or even if he wins them because there not commanding headers we become imbalanced. He is not tall enough for the aerial battles and he gets too tight leaving the chance to be turned or gives too many dangerous freekicks away. I think he was part of arsenals old problem. He is getting better but should he be playing week in week out? Arsene doing best for team or players? Its obvious it he should have swapped gervinho for arshavin but after arsenes comments midweek he avoided hurting him.please. Arshavin is abrahimavichs puppet . He looks like he was on p e s’s ,now he is not. Just my opinion. Back to vermaelen. Is it a surprise a manager(jol) identified him as the weaker point in the team today and not mertasacker. Mertesacker plays chess with his play while vermaelan is a reactive player. The difference between a winger mentality and a centre midfield mentality. Another reason why he doesnt press when players are about to shoot. Konscielny ran from rightback last week against norwich to try and block a shot that should have been the centrals defenders job. Good game though from a tired team

  24. Jesus Meditation, do you know about the line feed or carriage return character ?

  25. maybe arshavin can play as the centre-forward, and RVP plays on the left. then arshavin can slip the ball behind for walcott or rvp to run onto.

    the thing is that it is very difficult to imagine us starting with a formation that suits arshavin best. maybe when we are chasing the game. but if you are chasing the game, running out of time, would you switch to a 4-2-3-1 and let arshavin play in the middle when you can see that he hasnt quite been himself?

    if we have two theos that can run up and down the flanks, then yes, i think it is possible to have arshavin in the middle. gervinho isnt as solid defensively as theo..yet.

  26. muppet suits you. I prefer to talk. If your telling me a few letters irritates you, dont read it cause obviously your brain functions on just peanuts and beer. Next time ill goo goo and ga ga it for you. Im not actually looking for a diplomacy in literature from yourself either. MUPPET.

  27. Its supposed to be arrrrh!!

  28. ‘Jesus Meditation’. Great name for a band.

  29. stockbroker jonny? or politician? either way the war has been halted. No red roses here.

  30. Meditation – could you make yourself a little more clear? Maybe I am dumb but I honestly haven’t a fucking clue what you are on. About.

  31. So when is Yogi’s piss up in a brewery then?

  32. your defusing comment. Does that clear it up for you?

  33. Duke, I think he’s leaving the organisational details to Limestone and Irish. But the rough plan is to meet somewhere really crowded where everyone dresses and looks the same. I don’t think we need to discuss a date. That’d be too easy. 😀

  34. Chill Meditation, chill.
    Yesterday’s punditry on the feed we recived on Murdoch’s US outfit, Fox Soccer, was absolutely embarassing. Alan Curbishley was the comments man and his opinions are as bland and as conventional as was the football played by his old club Charlton. Somewhere around the time Fulham scored, in response to his co-commentator, he declared that this was a must win for Arsenal. Anything less and our champion’s league place is in peril. Last time I looked it is November and we are in 6th place. What a crisis! Numpty.

  35. Truth °̩s we can’t win every match…nd we probably wud hv lost dis last year….just hop we won’t hv 2 sacrifice d cc dis tue so our players can rest…

  36. Meditation.

    Politician I now understand but stockbroker?

    Regardless, you’re crediting my facetious wibble with rather too much intent.

  37. Alan Curbishley is a bitter man. I don’t know quite what went wrong in his job at West Ham, but he has never had a good word to say about Arsenal or Arsene Wenger.

  38. Am i invited to this rick astley impersonators booze up then? ill buy a round

  39. why doesnt yogi just get some Arsenal aclf shirts or bobble hats done up.

  40. Guys don t you see Ramsay is overated?this guy is poor,to me he’s an eyesore.

  41. Underrated. The eyesore is your writing.

  42. Bryan clough on arsenal. Good listen about the unbeaten team. Insight into one of the reasons why arsenal are not liked also.

  43. well there is some anger on ere this morning it seems, so the first dropped points in a while is having some effect.

  44. Muppet at 11:44 am
    I forgot his West Ham days; they must have been as boring and uninspiring. The wired-frame glasses may give Curbishley an image of studiousness but listening to his take on yesterday’s game and Arsenal in particular was an exercise in idiocy. Tool.

  45. I must admit that when I first saw this fixture I thought it was a home banker. A case of post champions league hangover played out over the 90. A flat performance until the last 20minutes. The boys did look very weary. Even the crowd seemed hungover. The team showed enough character though to dig deep to get the equaliser. After some early promise the little russian fizzled out…. Special mention to Theo whose football brain is getting bigger and bigger what a peach of a cross amd equaly RVP praising him in helping him to set up 8 of his goals.11 games undefeated. COYG.

  46. Foot like a traction engine./

  47. “Guys don t you see Ramsay is overated?this guy is poor,to me he’s an eyesore.”

    Now please tell me what sort of a reaction you expect to get from a post like that?
    Well just so you don’t get disappointing
    Fuck off you halfwit cunt.

  48. themichaelowen michael owen
    Just cannot believe the news regarding Gary Speed. We waved at each other a couple of days ago dropping our kids off at school. I’m numb.

    Dear me ,RIP young man

  49. Fukin el..Gary Speed has died. 42….

  50. I can’t let you give Spy the credit for calling you vain Jonny, that was me. 😉

    Although not a bad idea to have a picture of yourself when trying to find people!

    Good to meet you guys though, hope you had a good night after.

  51. A point gained but still feel rotten all the same.

  52. Shocking news about Gary Speed, I watched Football Focus with him on yesterday and was thinking what a nice chap he seemed.

    May he rest in peace.

  53. Gary Speed has hanged himself. Fucking tragic.

  54. Sorry Matt, my bad. Good to meet you too.

  55. Fulham will have worked on playing that way all week. Stating the obvious we needed an early goal but much credit must go the the lads who kept going when things got really tough after they scored.

    A draw is no disaster & the unbeaten run continues plus coming back from conceding will only add more confidence.

    It was obvious some of our boys need a bit of a break after the internationals & another heavy week so I`ll expect a rejuvenated side at Wigan next week.

    Onwards & upwards

  56. “halfwit cunt” good name for a band

  57. Just had an OMG moment with the Gary Speed news.

    Seemed a smashing fella.

    RIP Gary

  58. Good times yesterday meeting up with SOME of the ACLF crew, thanks for the great welcome boys. Especially Johnny who came to my rescue outside the ladies. Spy was lovely (if a little drunk) and so Muppet a man of my ACLF times. To those that organised this I will have to give you a -1. That place was packed, noisy and smelly! How we were suppose to find each other is a damn mystery.

    Glad I did though, the match wasn’t much of anything, screamed for two hours like I had no sense. Felt we lacked both creatively and intensity in midfield. I really do hate tea time KOs though.

    Smh at Darius, YW and Bob who we all thought we saw.

    Were you the eldery man with a full White beard need the bar?

    To the rest that coul

  59. rip gary speed…

  60. I don’t know why people committ suicide, just beats the hell out of me.

  61. Would how Aaron is taking this? Speed made him cap. hope he doesn’t take it to hard. Glad we have Abou to replace him if he does need some time off. Glad to see him back yesterday. Though he wasn’t 100% I felt he improved the midfield.

  62. Northbank1969
    Where the hell have you been?
    You cant just go missing and turn up as if nothing has happened.
    Have you got a sick note?

  63. Another welsh “suicide”.

  64. Runebreaker ,That is just it though.We cant understand.It seems beyond comprehension.It must be a bleak black place though.

  65. We looked tired yesterday. We didn’t play particularly badly, but had no rhythm or pace to out game. Djourou and Theo had good games I thought though. TV5 as well, despite his own goal (what was he thinking ?).

    Shame about Gary Speed, seemed a decent bloke. Must have been very troubled to resort to that.

  66. Bobby on Le Boss
    “He will stay with Arsenal, that is my opinion, because Arsenal need him and he needs Arsenal. C’est l’amour.”

    Bobby could come home .He was legend enough to keep the “we need legends at the club” brigade happy.

  67. Maria lovely to meet you too – happy to help, though please don’t proliferate the rumour that I hang outside the ladies toilets!

  68. RIP Gary Speed. Great loss for Wales and football in general.Still numbed by the news. He was on football focus lunch time yesterday.

  69. RIP Gary Speed

  70. Yes Jonny ,when we all know it is Gents toilets you hang around

  71. Bobby was snapped hanging out with RVP and AA at the ATP finals. ArsenalDNA

  72. Hahahaha actually it was the Gents I found Johnny standing outside

  73. “Bobby was snapped hanging out with RVP and AA at the ATP finals. ArsenalDNA”
    OMG if Dennis had peen there that would have been the photo of the century.

  74. George

    I’ve been on walkabout (well a bit of driveabout and walkabout) Just needed some space so took my dog and disapeared into the Luberon hills, sketching, drinking, walking, making the most of the last of the summer.

    I’ve been posting the last couple of days 🙂

    For the ACFL’s at the meet yesterday ( very funny dialogue by the way) perhaps the confusion came with the geography of the pub (the Bailly was it)
    On one post someone said it was in Holloway Road, on another post someone said it was near the Town Hall. Well, the last time I was in Islington (a long time ago I know) but the town hall was in Upper Street! Has it moved to Holloway Road??? 🙂

  75. Sad news about Gary Speed–hope Ramsey will be okay–it must be quite a shock.

    Otherwise I agree with Jonny, George, and Muppet!

    I think it should now be known as doing an ACLF. Impressive work, gang!

  76. Odd, but the “Secret Footballer” column was just about depression and mental illness in football as a huge taboo. Very strange and sad news about Gary Speed. I hope Aaron Ramsey is okay.

  77. RIP to the Togo footballers that died recently in the bus crash. Sad news surrounding football today. Puts the game yesterday in absolute perspective.

  78. Bloody hell. Just saw Shay Given in a flood of tears.

  79. yes, the point is important but we still had a great chance to keep pce with the leader board. Vermaelen hit the daily double but still this could have killed us. We need to beat sides we should to stay in the hunt for the title. Yes, I said title. City has yet to hit the rough stretch. Trust me this will happen as sure as the sun rises in the morning.

  80. Though I am sure he is upset Maria, he actually had a displaced contact lens – as opposed to being in a flood of tears.

    Thank so much for your help in supporting George’s vague implication that I love the cock.



  81. Disappointing result yesterday. That was one that you chalk up 3 points when you look at it on the calendar. Hopefully just a blip on the radar and we can resume moving back up the table next week.

    The cc game this week should be very interesting. If we can pull out a win in this one I think we stand a very good chance of lifting the cup.

    Nice to see all the conspiracy theories again disproven yesterday at old trafford. I know there are a lot of our local bloggers who want to cling desperately to the idea that everyone in English football is stacking the deck against us but that view really is very quite negative. Had it been true what chance would we have. I like to believe that if we play good football the way we have for the last month that everything will work out just fine. Its refreshing to be such an optimistic sort.

  82. That’s tragic news about Gary Speed. He is about the only non Arsenal player that I have always respected, even when we played for Leeds. What a sad waste of life.

  83. Sorry, when he played for Leeds!

  84. Yes Maria I was a little tiddley, I was waiting so long for everyone to show got a bit carried away, good afternoon had by all,
    See you on the next meet(where when how only Yogi knows)

  85. RIP Gary speed, a real tragedy!!

  86. RIP Gary speed…what a tragic waste of life. A player who was evergreen as a footballer like Ryan Giggs and looked to be looking forwad to the world cup campaign with Wales.

  87. Sorry to hear about Gary speed such a tragedy.

  88. Wonderful to have u back Maria. Hope you plan to stay. May be u can find ole and bring limpar back from his travels. 😊

  89. It may be due to me getting older but, I can’t see how this result reflects on the mental capabilities of Arsenal at all.

    Fuck me lads. We didn’t lose and we are well in touch with those above and for me we still have momentum. The most important thing for me is that the team looked balanced with players rested which hasn’t been the case for many a season now.

    Arshavin, looked hungry again although he faded a bit but, he hasn’t played for while. Diarby, is up and running and he still has the gift to dribble past players like their not really there. Theo, has finally got his confidence back and knows he can run past 2-3 players with a simple ball into the space behind them. Ramsey, ran his socks off and if not for a slight bobble we may of celebrating 3 points and a solid performance by Djouru too.

    When we make subs now they are a real threats who can change games as opposed to the bench last season.

    Some fans are pissed because when they look at the table spuds are above us and they picked up 3 points yesterday. I find it sad that any Gooner could use shit spuds as a bench mark for us when we have seen this season after season. A good first 11 they have but, in terms of squad they haven’t so it will fall apart for them but, we shouldn’t be watching that.

    Good result at the bridge, fantastic result v the Champions of Germany (Yes champions of Germany). Our players are only human so a draw was a damn good result.

    Fulham have some classy experienced players who gave a us a good lesson on how to break down a team who is very well organised and a threat up top. A lesson we need a monthly refresh on because they aren’t the only team who will come and do that.

    If not for the og, it would of been 1 nil to The Arsenal.

    R.I.P. Gary Speed. Always loved this player as I was growing up no matter what colours he was wearing. He was up there with the best of them as a box to box midfield enforcer and goal scorer.

    I was really looking forward to seeing him taking Wales places with the current group of talented youngsters they have as they started to play so well under him. A sad day indeed and a great loss.

  90. Nice to see TV5 determined to make up for his cock up. Good man, that is the right attitude.

  91. As a defender I prefer Kos to TV.

  92. The midfield looked a bit tired but credit to the fuiham defence, especially Brede and Senderos, they didnt give our attack much space. Theo and JD definately the best Arsenal players on show yesterday.

  93. In the Gooner:-
    (Pedro) Can you sum up what Le Grove is all about in one sentence?
    Daily thought-provoking Arsenal opinion,
    Coupled with an amazing community of informed Arsenal fans willing to talk football 24/7 in the comments

  94. Wonder what was troubling Speed so much that he committed suicide. RIP Gary Speed

  95. Spy, I wish the Gooner would ask me to sum up what Le Grove is all about in one sentence?
    Not that they could print the answer.

  96. My very thoughts George

  97. Jeff,

    You and me both mate. This game called life is sometimes strange. He looked like he had the world at his feet especially as a family man with an outstanding career and role model. Also he had Wales playing the best football I had seen from them.

  98. Thought provoking ?


    It’s though provoking all right.

    Sum up Le Grove in one sentence ?. How about one word ?!

  99. Well the team is shaping up well, I said yesterday I hope wenger keeps the CC squad distinctly separate from the first team. The likes of , Miguel, djourou, diaby, chamakh, park,arshavin, rosicky if fit, coquelin,frimpong, fabiansky,all need competitive match practise. I wonder who will play left back, probably Miguel I suppose. The only thing with the second squad is lack of pace on the flanks. Unless ryo is fit which I doubt.

  100. Runebreaker ,you forgot the Ox.He is a flanker

  101. Cuntchops.

  102. Very sad news about Gary Speed.

    @ jeff
    we’ll probably never know – that’s what tortures the family and friends.

    @ goonerton | November 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm
    good post.

    Re TV’s own goal, anyone else remember Miquel’s part in the first goal we conceded v Liverpool at the Emirates? In both cases, the problem was essentially a left-footed player clearing a ball with the favoured foot instead of his right.

    @ Runebreaker
    re CC team – AOC could play – he has pace. And Benayoon has decent acceleration and likes to play as a wide attacking midfielder.

  103. Jonny,

    That word fits.

    When’s the next ACLF “ships in the night” meet ?

  104. @Jeff and Goonerton

    I was wondering that as well. Apparently He was on the BBC yesterday and on good form. Talking about his family and kids, suggesting he’d like to return to the BBC for the Christmas games.
    Then he goes home and hangs himself. Truly bizarre, but as you say, life is strange.
    Anyway, RIP Gary Speed:

  105. Indeed I forgot the Ox and ben the goon, that gives a very different flavour to the team, and a very balanced team. Ben the goon and diaby provide the creative spark park can play on the left with arshavin supporting chamakh. Ox on the right and diaby in midfield may mean coquelin starts at right back.

  106. Muppet, I think it’s better if just guess the date. We don’t want to risk success, do we? 😉

  107. Jonny,

    And we guess the venue too !

  108. @ Runebreaker
    “coquelin starts at right back.”

    I think it’s more likely to be Kos. Le Coq is not at all comfortable there.

  109. Can’t work out if it’s better for the bindippers to knick this one, or if the tea towel heads should do us a favour so we maintain 6th place.

  110. I don’t know. I go all the way to Mammon, deal with the sin and tempation on view everywhere, and that was just the barmaids, and meet Yogi and Draius as arranged and no one else finds us.

    I was in the pub by 2.30, left at 5 and was back there 20 minutes after the match.

    Rather scary how we all, apparently, seem to look alike. I was wearing a blue coat and scarf as well!

  111. And the time

  112. Actually, even if we had all met up conversation would have been almost impossible.

  113. Just got home by the way. I heard that Frank was going to be there as well.

  114. I can’t believe we missed each other consols !! You came all the way from Devon as well.

  115. I have been watching our mighty club since Jesus was a carpenter but I can never, ever, recall quite such a run of own bloody goals – four so far, all equally daft – but my memory is not what it was !

    Anyone point me at a similar sequence of self inflicted calamity?

    If not I will put it down to lightening never striking twice, well four times, and look forward to the remainder of the season with no (o.g.)

  116. When I got there Muppet, it was fairly quiet. I/we were at the bar, on the corner right opposite the main entrance or standing at the table just inside the door. Never moved.

  117. No Consol, Johnnie can talk to three people at the same time.ha ha

  118. Several people tried to entice me into buying a copy of ‘The Gooner’, I made my excuses and left.

  119. jonny talks a lot? My, my.

  120. Bill at 2:03 pm
    – Why do you persist with trying to disprove anything but conventional wisdom? You must live a very comfortable life cocooned from all that ails the disenfranchised who, by-the-way, happen to be the majority in this world. So a generation of opposing teams rarely, if ever, getting a penalty call at Old Trafford was suddenly disproved because Newcastle got a questionable call in their favor.

    It is noteworthy how you use the epithet “conspiracy theory” to dismiss any and all observers who note the institutional advantages enjoyed by United, such as favorable refereeing decisions, allied with their financial power to hover up the best talent in the market, have made them the dominant team in England for a very long time. That epithet is a favorite technique of the rich and powerful in your country to marginalize those who question the systematic way in which that very small minority in your country maintain their hegemony at home and abroad. Just like the Occupy Wall Street folks are simply conspiracy theorists.

    I am not starting a fight but I felt your 2:30pm post was deliberately provocative. You knew what you were doing and why. Just saying.

  121. No way !! I stood inside the door for about 5 minutes. Looking back, there was a guy in a light blue track suit top – mid 50s. Maybe you ?

    But as you say, conversation was almost impossible. Very noisy.

  122. Shotta,

    Yeah – I agree with your earlier post. Getting sick of ex pro pundits slagging off their fellow pros. It’s nauseating.

  123. Cutting, Consols. Cutting.

  124. No. A dark blue coat with a brown collar. Big al’s fault for picking the pub!

  125. Hang on! Someone asked me if I was matt, looking for someone in a blue coat. He was with a bloke in a 70’s Arsenal home shirt.

    Does that ring any bells with anybody.

    The bloke who asked me had a short ponytail if I remember?

  126. Fun gunner I’d rather rest koscielny, le coq used to rb loads of times, might not be his fav position but he hold his own

  127. Hilarious. I was the bloke in the 70’s arsenal shirt – that was my flatmate Chris.

    Oh this is too ridiculous for words!

  128. Jonny .Was Brian Rix there with his trousers down?

  129. You were standing near the door. I saw you several times.

    I told your mate that we were looking for people as well, he never asked who!

  130. I’d have noticed that george.

  131. This just gets better and better

  132. Runebreaker, Arsene has said that Coquelin is not comfortable at right back and he will not be using him there, so if Kos does not play it will probably be Nico Yennaris again. He did really well there against Bolton.

  133. At that time we were looking for Matt, as he had messaged he was at the pub. We had no idea you were there yet and Yogi had said he was 20mins late.

    Sterling work gentlemen. Bravo.

    Irish and Limestone are going to have a field day with this. I can almost Irish’s cackle from across the pond.

  134. “People always think that when times are difficult it will be better if they go to another club. But when it’s tough, it doesn’t mean you have to quit. You have to fight for it.

    “You can always go somewhere else but it doesn’t mean that somewhere else is better.”

    Loved this from Thomas Vermaelen! Glad to know that some of the players agree that the cowards way is not the only way.

  135. Passenal,He is also Robins best mate

  136. @ Passenal | November 27, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Well said, Tommy! I always knew it wasn’t just his cheekbones that I liked about him. top bloke.

  137. I was standing with Darius and Yogi at the time.

  138. I love TV!

  139. Tell a lie, just Darius and his mate.

  140. Oh stop Consols – it’s too much!

    *wipes tears of laughter*

  141. I remember a bloke with a black coat and scarf, he walked with a limp, or was it a stammer…….

  142. “Passenal, He is also Robins best mate”

    That is what I was thinking too george!

  143. @ spy
    ha ha… I remember him, too. consolsbobal was his name…or was it consolsozerbob? We’ll probably never know.

  144. Just out of curiosity, what was maria wearing?

    There weren’t many women in the pub-apart from the jezabels behind the bar of course.,

  145. So it appears that the get together went as expected apart from a few minor discrepancies.

  146. Santos is Braziliant.

  147. At least we made it to the pub Ateeb.

    Well, what was she wearing?

  148. My birthday suit Bob. Surprised you didn’t notice me. Very surprised.

  149. Come to think of it, tWas them Jezabels got me drunk

  150. @consolsbob

    I don’t think she was wearing a retro 1971 Arsenal shirt, apparently, that was another girlie 🙂

  151. hahaha

    I think we all saw Bob. He was the elderly man, with the white full bread, kept upright with a brown walking stick near the bar. He did look very much out of his element.

    Could barely look a barmaid in the eye, without dribbling. Spy was missing his partner in crime.

  152. There was a lass in a black dress and pink scarf sat on a table.

    Out of my element? I’ve been frequenting pubs since before you were born.


    Ohhhhhhh Bob how i’ve missed you. Love it was the “out of his element” comment you pulled me up on. hehehe

  154. Pool and moneybags having an intense scrap.

  155. Nasri back to the bench,again

  156. I’ve missed you too Maria.

    Really sorry to have missed you yesterday-and jonny, Big Al, matt and Muppet of course!

  157. The little mercenary only lasted 65 unimpressive minutes. No mater how this game ends I am not convinced they can go unbeaten.

  158. @ shotta
    I agree – in fact I am convinced that we will beat them.

  159. Man City I mean.

  160. It is a cracking match though.

  161. a pool win, or else, i will take the draw then. there seemed so many draws this season!

  162. Ballotelli is a lose canon.

  163. does this red put Balotelli out of the Carling Cup match this week?

  164. Balotelli just showed that the Mercenaries mentality to last the way is suspect. Off for a 2nd yellow.

  165. Awwwwwww thanks Pass. You remembered, I mentioned him to Johnny and Muppet yesterday and they had the cheek to say who?? It hurt.

    I must say though yellow does my boy no favours.

  166. Balotelli is fucking ace.

  167. Yep hellboy Maro won’t be travelling to the best stadium in the country.

  168. Hellboy.
    ha ha. suits him.

  169. The Mercenaries have to thank Joe Hart for saving their bacon.

  170. Nasri is being rested for the carling cup shotta. This game could have gone either way. The amount of play acting from both teams though has been pathetic. Both teams drawing isa greatresult for us. Onwards and upwards. The leagues is all to play for.

  171. A draw. Best result for us.

  172. Notice that Clichy stays firmly back behind the half way line.

  173. Bloody hell. Mario isn’t just a PL footballing character, his a tragedy waiting to happen. Something is seriously wrong with that boy.

    Pass – have you seen the movie Mario looks like it’s black version. Hideous.

  174. Indeed, I did want City to lose though. I can’t stomach the invincibles comparisons.

  175. I can’t bring myself to watch the ATP Final i love both players to much. The legend and the young pretender.

  176. A draw at Anfield is a good result for us. It stops Shitty from striding away at the top and puts Liverpool just above us but only on goal difference.
    Balotelli is unable to play in CC game against us or is he baned from next EPL game??

  177. Mmmm so only the scum and chavs have won this weekend.

  178. Next domestic game 1969.

  179. Yes.

    Just to add seems that Mario hasn’t taken the Gary Speed news to reflect on the way he conducts himself on and off the pitch.

  180. Thank you Maria 🙂

    And may I suggest you stop going to dodgy selly pubs and arranging to meet strange men outside the mens toilets 😀

  181. Thank you Maria 🙂

    And may I suggest you stop going to dodgy smelly pubs and arranging to meet strange men outside the mens toilets 😀

  182. Especially not in your birthday suit, young lady.

    First set to Roger 6-3.

  183. “And may I suggest you stop going to dodgy smelly pubs and arranging to meet strange men outside the mens toilets ”
    Yes that’s Jonny’s job

  184. Enjoyable game for the fairly neutral at Anfield – I see he curse of the own goal is working well

    I would have preferred to see Suarez and Aguero both red carded for their incessant diving, shin clutching and squealing than the idiot Mario

    And don’t drag Speeds suicide into it please

  185. Apparently Mario has been smashing up the Liverpool dressing room.

    I may be strange but at least I actually found Maria.

    Based on the events of the afternoon I’m chalking that up as a triumphant success.

    Essentially, I’m a hero.

  186. dear god , horrible news regarding g.speed.
    i hope his family can cope. don’t these thought cross peoples minds when attempting the unthinkable.

  187. this draw is a good result for us.
    onwards & FORWARDS

  188. @ goonerkam | November 27, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    “dear god , horrible news regarding g.speed.
    i hope his family can cope. don’t these thought cross peoples minds when attempting the unthinkable.
    RIP GARRY..”

    It’s hard to grasp if you haven’t witnessed or experienced it, but I think sometimes when people are depressed enough to commit suicide, they have convinced themselves that their loved ones and indeed the world is better off without them. It’s a very sad and complicated situation and one of the worst forms of bereavement for the family.

  189. The ALCF Xmas Ball
    Hugely anticipated by all
    Held on Holloway Road at the Bailey Pub
    By those who blog so often about the club

    YW, Consols
    Darius and his scouser mate
    Stood in the pub, loud and hearty
    Missing the rest of the ACLF party

    Each knew they must be alert
    For an Arsenal scarf, hat and sweatshirt
    But alas there was a fatal flaw
    Everybody looked the same on the floor

    Jonny did 4 laps around the bar
    And lurked outside the toilet door
    And caught Maria passing by
    Then joined Matt, Muppet, chris and Spy

    They looked around the crowded mob
    But couldn’t see the fair consolsbob
    So sat in the corner
    Like little Jack Horner

    They failed to meet
    Like ships in the night
    Covered lots of terrain
    And pissed off home again

  190. Vermaelen insists he will not quit Arsenal like Fabregas and Nasri did. – “When things are tough, you don’t quit, you fight for your team.”

    Quotes on twitter.

    Now that’s a man to love.

  191. Hahaha

    Excellent once again Muppet

    Next time I think the ladies of ACLF should organise the meet up.

  192. That’s a great idea Maria !

  193. And we do!

    And great poem, Muppet.

    Tsonga going for the comeback. Incredible.

    Classy tribute from the club.

  194. Great work Muppet!

  195. And love him I do. Right from the start he said he’d put his body on the line for the club. Some are citing Kos as a preferable choice in defence but TV brings much more than just his game. His commitment is as inspirational as it is admirable.

    Marvellous work there Muppet! 🙂

  196. A good example of the Arsenal spirit from Andrei

    “ Thomas Vermaelen hit the back of both nets today. Did the guys discuss this in the locker room?
    AA: No. We were talking about other things. Everybody was upset by the loss of points today. We did not want this to happen. And we are not planning to lose any more points in the upcoming games. It’s especially annoying when it happens at home, in front of our fans.”

  197. Maria terrible idea! You’ll show us up by actually finding each other or some such nonsense.

  198. right you are fungunner. right you are. its just so sad for his kids and family. hard to fathom. how does one come out the other end. how.?
    a referee tried to do the same thing in germany just this past week ,albeit without any success. he just left the hospital yesterday. the game he was officiating wad delayed one hour while they tried to help him in his hotel room. its just so futile.

  199. Jonny, I think Kos brings a lot of committment with his game too. He looks like a player who loves to defend and he will bust a gut and throw himself infront of the ball if necessary. I think he is an exceptional reader of the game too. Not as gung ho as TV, but his interceptions and passing from the back are often key to starting our counter attacks.

  200. Poem is courtesy mainly of Mrs Muppet, who has enjoyed the shenanigans of last night.

  201. I totally agree Passenal – I just see TV as more of a natural leader.

  202. “Some are citing Kos as a preferable choice in defence but TV brings much more than just his game.”Yes and yes Jonny.
    Kos is a better defender and TV does bring more.

  203. Well give Mrs Muppet a pat on the back from all of us, Mr Muppet. Is there a Little Miss Muppet, by any chance?

    Bloody hell, even though I want Roger to win I am so impressed with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. One set all.

  204. ha ha, FunGunner, will do.

    I have 2 little Miss Muppets .! 3 and 5.

  205. @ Muppet
    Adorable ages. Enjoy them now…while you still can!

  206. Tsonga is amazing when his in full flow. Just has a lot of guys around him who are at the top of their game.

  207. I trust you’ve seen this?

    It’s the attention to detail which elevates into a pastiche of epic value.

  208. Gotta pull for Federer. Class act and cheered us on at the Dortmund game with Henry. Unfortunately, it seems he is often vulnerable to upset these days and has been fairly definitively eclipsed by two younger players. I still hope he can win one or two grand slams in his career. Tsonga seems like he just has his number somehow.

  209. I agree Jonny, which is why the Kos/TV partnership is my favourite CB pairing. TV could learn from Kos to be more comfortable with both feet and Kos has said that he would like to have TV’s powerful shot!

  210. @ Muppet
    And he is just not consistent enough. He can be unplayable, but he just makes too many errors overall. I also feel that five-setters work against him, he seems to have the build of someone with explosive power rather than stamina.

    Nice to see late returnees among the spectators getting jeered by the tennis crowd. we should try that at the Ems!

  211. Fungunner – lol

    Jonny – Pastiche is the word !

  212. Federer is a choker these days.

  213. Come on, Roger!

    OK, Tsonga, you’ve made a match of it and provided some drama which is all lovely but can you just stop right there, please. ta.

  214. Enjoyed the Liverpool-ManCity game and am happy with the result, though a defeat of Liverpool might have helped us more. We can’t think about catching ManCity right now but rather getting in the top 4. If we want to make up ground on them, we’ll just have to beat them in December. And I think we can do it. That would be very satisfying. In the meantime we are still 7th despite this wonderful run because of goal difference, so a Liverpool loss would have been helpful.

    Looking ahead, I think before December is out we can pull ourselves into 4th or 5th. But it means getting three points from the matches against teams lower down the table and winning at home routinely. The draw last night is understandable but disappointing; hopefully we can reel off a string of victories over the next several weeks. We also have to do this while rotating more players than we have done. Park in particular needs to get some time playing and Arshavin has to get into decent form. In midfield, it is great that Diaby is back. Luckily with the CC and a final CL group game that doesn’t affect our standing these players should get a chance to gain sharpness outside of our league matches in the next few weeks. We should be ready to rotate 4 players in the Christmas fixture congestion period.

  215. “Come on, Roger!

    OK, Tsonga, you’ve made a match of it and provided some drama which is all lovely but can you just stop right there, please. ta.”

    I agree FG, Tsonga’s young and his time will come. I’d love to see the elder statesman Federer get this title to put him out there as the best of all time.

  216. “Federer get this title to put him out there as the best of all time”
    He all ready has a good claim to that.

  217. 4-3 to Roger.

    And now Tsonga is looking all mournful like a Great Dane puppy who’s done a wee in the kitchen. Damn you for pulling at my heartstrings, ya big lug.

  218. But we want him to go out on a high, pedantic george.

  219. Yeah – I’m with you Fungunner, but this isn’t the end. If you look at the careers of Connors, Agassi, Sampras – all won majors in their 30s. Well, Sampras won the U.S Open at 32. Connors won the U.S Open at the age of 32 and 33 I think.

    I think he will still win a major next year.

  220. I have never ever seen a player with the technical excellence, grace and athleticism of Federer. even now, none of his rivals have all three attributes.

  221. Borg had all those attributes FunGunner.

  222. @ Muppet.
    I did not like Borg, therefore he doesn’t count. And he was not charming with a wonderful sense of style.

  223. FunGunner – what didn’t you like about Borg ? The iindividual.. or the style of play ?

  224. He’s done it!!!!!!!!!! Roger! Roger! Roger!

  225. Well done RF!

  226. Connors won Wimbledon @31 in 1982
    He also won 112 singles titles I think.Compared to 60 to 70 for the others
    Jimmy was my Arshavin

  227. I think Federer is more athletic and fit than Borg was, but I can’t remember his matches as sharply, so perhaps I am biased. I just think Federer is the classiest I’ve seen. I really hope we can win a few more. Sampras didn’t really have the rivals Federer now has. Djokovic and Nadal are extraordinarily good and in their peak years. Tough for Roger. But I much prefer Nadal as his successor on top than that robot Djokovic (despite his problem with his shorts!)

  228. @ Muppet
    Mostly the style of play. Also because, I loved the more exciting John MacEnroe. Even as a kid, though, I was hugely embarassed by his tantrums. I used to cringe and duck down behind the sofa when it all kicked off. Literally.

  229. @ LSG
    Yes – Roger is more athletic than Borg was. But in fairness, I think they’re all more athletic these days.

  230. Bob should have been easy to find, the one chewing a piece of straw in dungarees.

  231. FG, I think you’re either a Borg or Federer fan. I love Federer and a friend of mine who loved Borg, hates him!

    Well done Tsonga – lovely accent and good speech as well

  232. And he is a thoroughly good egg

  233. i agree limestone. i guess 1-1 result today is the second best result we could have hoped for. also agree on the rotation of players . I’m against having an a team and b team. competition should insure we always have the best eleven for most important games. which seems as though every game is most important. i want AW to take all competitions very seriously. and for now , ill put catching shitty out of my mind and concentrate on just doing our best and hopefully we can finish top three… come on roger…….

  234. Limestonegunner,

    No. That’s not true. No way. Borg had legendary fitness. He was once measured as having a heart rate of 38. Sure, Federer is classy, and his all around game probably eclipses Borg’s, especially since this is the modern era, but to say Borg was not athletic – that is how he was defined. He was the fittest athlete on the planet. Players used to change their shirts throughout the match and wonder why he hadn’t started sweating.

    The other thing about Borg to consider is that he has the highest success rate in grand slams tournaments entered – something like 40%, and his total wins ratio is the highest of all the players, including Laver, Federer and Nadal. He is aso the only player to win 3 back to back French and Wimbledon titles. a feat that is considered almost impossible, until Nadal and Federer did it in 2008 and 2009.

  235. @ Passenal | November 27, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    “FG, I think you’re either a Borg or Federer fan. I love Federer and a friend of mine who loved Borg, hates him!”

    Now that’s interesting, I’d never thought of that. Could be.

  236. No Limestonegunner, I cannot bear to even look at Nadal! That miserable cry baby face and the constant adjusting of the shorts! I much prefer Djokovic

  237. I’m a fan of both, but you need to study the history of tennis from 1973 to 1982, to appreciate Borg. I think he was the Federer of that era.

    To be honest, the case for Federer would have been unequivocal, had he not run into Nadal at the french open, and there were more perceived champions in this era.

  238. James Scott Connors was better than them all.
    109 titles listed by the ATP Players’ Guide
    As against
    Career titles 64 listed by the ATP)

    Federer Career titles 70

  239. @ Passenal | November 27, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    “No Limestonegunner, I cannot bear to even look at Nadal! That miserable cry baby face and the constant adjusting of the shorts! I much prefer Djokovic”

    Hear, hear. Djokovic is a laugh, he’s clever AND he buys knickers that fit. No contest there!

  240. And you would have to back Jimmy in a fisticuffs in the locker-room.

  241. i am quite disgusted that some acquaintances of mine who claim to be arsenal fans are talking as though the first 3 spots have already been sealed and wrapped up, and that we are fighting with newcastle, chelsea and liverpool for 4th spot.

    i feel that our team is giving everything they have got. and i feel that the title is still possible. 2nd place is very very possible. we have like 25 games left. 75 points up for grabs.


  242. @ pedantic george
    yes, you would – incredible competitor.

    Anyway, see you later. All hail King Roger!

  243. yeah George, but Connors was still playing at like, 80 years old.

    And while Borg was around, the win loss ratio was 13-7 in Borg’s favour.

  244. Connors was one hell of a player though. If I had an ounce of his talent I would die happy and go to heaven (or hell).

  245. Tsonga lived with Titi during the last U.S Open apparently they are good friends.

  246. Yes Muppet he was No1 and when he lost it he did not throw his toys out of the pram and retire.And he regained that position and was never beaten before he took the field.

  247. He is also friends with RF as well Maria. His loyalties must have been torn today!

  248. Also it was 15 /12 in Borg’s favour .Which is pretty close.
    I am surprised at you Muppet ,massaging the figures in such a way!! Shame on you

  249. I think that’s polarizing a bit George. Not many people realise that Borg played up to 1983. Although he did not play in the slams, in 1982 he did play in some of the minor tournaments. In his last tournament, in Toyko, Borg beat McEnroe in the semis, but lost to Connors in the final. Also – he won an unoffical event in Australia in 1982, beating McEnroe and Lendl.

    Borg had become a busted flush. He had been playing professional tennis since the age of 15. He was on the tour for 11 years, and at the age of 26 he wanted no more. To say he lost it, or retired because of McEnroe is a media creation. He walked out of the U.S open in 1981, sure, when he lost to McEnroe, but that was a rare display of emotion during his otherwise impeccable career.

  250. Where do you get your figures from George ? Ah Wikipedia, I see. Mine come from tennis forums. I am not sure whether some of those challenge events that Connors won should have been counted.

  251. He quit because he quit.But quit he did.

  252. Well I am not sure the ones on clay should count then. 🙂

  253. Are you being pedantic George ?

  254. A cultured left arm?

  255. Passenal and Fun, well at least we can agree none of them hold a candle to Federer.

    Muppet, thanks for the correction on Borg’s fitness. He was a great for sure, a gifted champion, but I prefer Federer ultimately and do think Borg quit early when the battle needed to be engaged in order to demonstrate his quality versus rivals like McEnroe. He never won the US open, which is odd, but perhaps had to do with temperament. I believe Federer is also a battler behind the smooth finish, which I appreciate. Great fashion sense as well.

  256. Oh come on who would you rather watch,
    McEnroe v Connors in their prime or
    Federer v Nadal
    I rest my case

  257. Really feel for Tsonga this is the second straight final that Roger has sent him packing. His time will come i hope eventually.

    I think i like Tsonga because he reminds me so much of our own French boys at Arsenal.

    Roger is just class.

    Was Titi in the RF box again?

  258. Muppet you seen this on twitter John Cross saying Mancini manager of the season so far,I said bollocks and now @BTLifesapitch is joining in.Give us a lift will you

  259. korihikage, we shouldn’t be conceding the title. Never. However, now is not the time to talk about it. Our main concern is to claw our way back into the top four, which is proving quite difficult despite our run of results because there are so many contenders hanging around. But if we are in 4th by the end of December or early Jan, I really think we should go for the title if it is within reach. We should expect the return of Wilshere and Sagna to be a boost and go for reinforcements in the January window. Right now it is premature and I would rather gain points on Liverpool, Chelsea, Newcastle to retake 4th, compete for 3rd and build momentum and confidence before making an assault on the title in the second half of the season. We will have accomplished a great deal to come from 16th or whatever it was to the top CL places before the end of the calendar year.

  260. Limestonergunner,

    That’s an interesting, if dimissive interpretation of Borg’s career. But not one I have heard before and it doesn’t do justice to it. I think if you look at his career more closely, he departed with not a lot of unfinished business. 11 grand slams by the age of 25, record number of Davis cup wins, highest grand slam outright win ratio, highest grand slam match win ratio. McEnroe went downhill after 1984. Sunk into the top 20. Sure, Mac was a genius, but his career stats are eclipsed by Borg’s.

    The U.S open ? Planes went overhead which affected his concentration. In 77 he was inured in the final. If you see his straight sets demolition of Connors in 1981 on Youtube, you will be left wondering why he didn’t win it. He beat all of them in the U.S Masters in the same era. It was a freak tournament that he was unlucky not to win. He did however, get to 4 finals.

  261. I’m blocked by John Cross George. I’m not on his fan club.

  262. Muppet.LMAO,Blocked by John Cross,That’s like being savaged by a guppy.

  263. You coming to the next ACLF meet George ?

  264. I have not been asked by the eye in the sky.But I would love to.

  265. Hmm… not sure what has happened there. I know YW emailed a lot of people. Some of them didn’t know anything because their email addresses were not current. At least, one that I know of.

  266. To be fair I do live in Blackburn so would not really expect an invite

  267. Consols came down from Devon, George. So I don’t think distance is a factor. What’s the train journey like from Blackburn ? 3hrs ?

  268. John Cross showing his true colours. I’m amazed at the gooners who waste their time with a fake like him.

  269. John Cross showing his true colours.
    In what way?

  270. Passenal

    About what???

    Oh and just to get my opinion in..Stefan Edberg was the greatest of all time 😀

  271. It’s funny, when John Cross was on the fans forum recently, I thought he was a bit subdued. I think he knew he had upset quite a few arsenal fans, and he was treading carefully.

    At least, that was my impression.

  272. Like all the hacks he is so superficial that he thinks the obscene mancs are to be admired rather that abhorred?

  273. Muppet, I’ve given up watching the fans forum but maybe he’s subdued because he hasn’t got any thing to talk about since only bad news is good news these days!

  274. Passenal,why have you stopped watching my show?

  275. Muppet ,did you hear me talking to him?

  276. Well yeah Passenal, the doomers have taken a bit of a back seat. I got fed up myself with all the negativity and I stopped watching it for a while. Not because I didn’t want to hear about Arsenal, but because it was full of tossers coming on and slagging off Wenger and the club. Now the balance has shifted, it’s a bit more bearable.

    Hopefully it’s onwards and upwards and the focus will shift to the future again. Young players like Ryo, Chamberlain, Coquelin, Frimpong, Miquel. The return of Wilshere and Sagna. Diaby back. Plenty of talking points, but these were not on the agenda a couple of months ago.

  277. I did George. I had a big grin on my face. He looked very uncomfortable while you launched into him. My biggest beef with him was when he called Le Grove – “A respected Arsenal fan’s blog”. That was when I was blocked on Twitter.

  278. Yes ,that is unforgivable.

  279. Just heard on Twitter, apparently Steve Bruce has been sacked.

  280. I never see their faces when I ring in because of the delay and feed back.

  281. here will be a spate of sackings now

  282. I love the Fans’ Forum for the same reason I like reading comments on the blog–to hear people talking about Arsenal. Some you agree with, others you disagree with and occasionally someone says something you genuinely haven’t considered already. Unfortunately, most of the journalists aren’t that interesting and it is much better when someone like Laurens or the France Football guy (blanking on his name) are on because they have more incisive analysis and aren’t hamstrung by how the mainstream English media frames issues.

    George is of course the big highlight each week. But there are some other regulars or semi-regulars that are fun to hear.

  283. I think you mean Phillipe Auclair Limestone.

  284. I was put off by the dooming and I don’t really like the fact that they have hacks on there. They might write about the club, but they actually know a lot less than those of us who follow the club closely. Since I can’t scroll past them as I can online, I just avoid them altogether.

    I’m surprised at Steve Bruce going. Who are they going to get to replace him? Also, I wonder what it means for Bendtner since they seemed to be bigging him up as some kind of saviour up there?

  285. George I was actually tempted to watch it at the height of your fame, but I’m not always around on a Friday when it was on live and I confess that I’ve never got around to downloading the podcast after the show!

  286. Sounds like they have run out of patience at Sunderland. There has been a lot of investment, but nothing to shout about. No UEFA cup place, no semi finals or finals of any cups (or not ?). Perhaps they have a manager lined up as a replacement.

  287. I don’t know how Tom Watt does not tell some of the clowns who phone in just why idiots they are.
    I am angling for a slot but they are not having it 😦

  288. A lot of shocks on the weekend; Big-Spenders PSG lost 3-0, Barcelona lost 1-0 to Getafe, and Bayern Munich were stunned as they lost 3-2!

  289. Listening to 606 yesterday there were lots of ManU fans criticizing the Newcastle penalty decision. One was quite honest and sharp, I thought, about feeling that his job along with the other supporters was to make life tough on the referees so that it affected their calls in favor of the home side. It reminded me of the discussion we had a few months ago about home field advantage and different views about what factors contributed most to it. The research showed that referees were most affected, more than the players. So, in a real sense, the ManU fan was perceptive in describing his role in helping his team win. Someone from another club called up objecting to that as against fair play and wanted to say that the main thing was just supporting your players and manager, “getting behind them.” ManU gets the benefit of calls more often. Perhaps their supporters understand how this works better than others, among other factors.

  290. I’m hearing the Bruce thing might be a myth…nothing concrete one way or t’other that’s for sure.

  291. They have moved the forum from Fridays now to Mondays.

  292. Jonny, Bayern are a self-sustaining club. I wouldn’t put them in the PSG, Barcelona category of fiscal malfeasance.

  293. Yes, Auclair. (And I hardly think saying Borg was one of the greats is dismissing him, but I can see you are a big Borg fan and know your stats so I defer to your characterization of his great career Muppet. But I still like Federer better, sorry!)

  294. Limestone,

    well i just feel that at the moment, everything is open, and we have clawed ourselves back into the fray. so i was hoping for more belief and optimism.

  295. And I still think Jimbo trumps all.And I ain’t deferring to anyone.

  296. Limestone – errrr I didn’t!

  297. As I said, the journalists are actually the low point in the forum show, and I liked it better when there were fans in the chairs as well. Like Iyare and so on. I think they could bring in a celebrity fan and a regular fan/blogger each week to discuss the calls and so on. That would be much more interesting than having a journalist on. I am not sure why they bring them in but I don’t understand many of the Arsenal media choices. Why is Robson still giving his tactical analyses and doing commentary? It is a mystery.

  298. Tom Watt, however, is really wonderful and he makes the show work. He’s really the best part about it, in my opinion.

  299. Jonny, I’d distinguish them further as clubs. What were you trying to observe about the weekend’s results by characterizing them together as “big spenders.” I don’t think of Bayern as excessive spenders, though they will go in and pay some large transfer fees on occasion and clearly do pay their top players well. From some perspectives, we are a big spender too. Not so much in transfers but certainly in wages.

  300. Limestone,

    lol. No problem. I’m not arguing one over the other. Just surprised the case for Borg was a little understated on here. I think it’s only since we’ve got the Internet that I’ve had the opportunity to watch some of Borg’s matches on YouTube and do some more research into his career. I had previously believed that he was a bit of a one dimensional baseliner, but what I saw was truly astonishing. There are actually a lot of parallels in his style of play to the way the majority of players play today. But what astonished me was his win loss record on all surfaces. Watching his game on Youtube..some of the matches in 1981 and 1982, I remain convinced that he could have won further slams had his heart been in it. He was lightning fast from the baseline, was mentally tough with unlimited reserves of stamina, had a deceptively good serve and also a very good volley when coming into the net. It was a tragedy that he didn’t play until he was 32/33, which would have meant he was still playing around 1988. Of course it was from around 1985 that we saw the era of the big hitters – Becker/Lendl, the beauty of Edberg, and also Wilander/Mecir.

  301. Limestone calm down, the ‘big spenders’ comment clearly and obviously refers to PSG not to all three clubs. The only point in listing all three is that they were all surprise results.

  302. Not that it matters, as it is grammatically correct, but I didn’t write it anyway – cut and paste from Twitter.

  303. Its official .Arshavin is this years Denilson

  304. Rod Laver, now there was a tennis player.

  305. pedantic george at 11:39 pm
    “Its official. Arshavin is this years Denilson.”

    Too true. It is remarkable how fans and bloggers who should know better are quick to join the pundits and condemn players as lazy and dis-interested simply because they are not blood and thunder types.

    Don’t feel bad George. Arteta is fast coming up on the outside. On this blog or elsewhere he was being condemned for too many sideways passes.

  306. Borg for me too. he was a artist on the court. like AA. now a days its all about power,power and more power. borg had amazing shot placement. and a beautiful cut shot that curved like crazy. and he was a gentleman. can’t believe they let Bruce go. i guess martinez is next and probably one more before the new year. why can it not be ferguson.

  307. Thanks, Jonny, I missed that. (I was calm, btw!)

  308. Gary Speed

    A true servant to football, RIP

  309. I’m amazed that it actually took until the next day (MD Gunner at 12:54am) for the first mention of the great Rod Laver. Or maybe I’m just biased because he had ‘A Cultured Left Arm’ lol

    I felt like we looked a bit off the pace to be honest. Ramsey looked tired, but he is still learning. Diaby and Gervinho gave the game a massive injection of pace, and make a strong case for us to rotate more. We have a better squad in depth now, and I hope we utilize Diaby, Rosicky, Arshavin, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Park more. I’m not the biggest fan of Chamakh, but admittedly this is because I liked Bendtner a lot and felt Chamakh’s arrival pushed him out of the team

  310. When I was 23 I reconnected with an old girlfriend from Dublin. We had dated on and off from when I was 17 until I left Dublin when I was 21. For those two years we had no contact. Then at a party in a friends apartment, a mutual acquaintance of ours mentioned she had recently moved to NYC. I asked him to pass on my number and a few days later she called. We met for lunch and a glass of wine, which then turned into dinner and a bottle of wine, which then led to a nightcap, which then led to breakfast at my favourite diner. We laughingly called it our first date in NYC. I will never forget asking her why she moved to NYC and her replying: “Does it matter, I’m here!” I laughed and let it go, thinking she was right as all that mattered was we where together. I was wrong. It did matter. I just did not know why. Three weeks later she took her own life. That was August 9th, 1999. It was a Monday. (It was a Tuesday this year) At the time I was one of the many illegal Irish immigrants living in NYC and as such I could not attend her funeral. I still do not know why she did what she did.

    On a trip home a few years ago, I finally got to see her graveside. I went with her older brother and we laughed and cried. Being Irish, we mostly laughed. But it was a painful mirth, one I would not wish on anyone. Watching Shay Given breaking down as he tried to play the very game that introduced the world to Gary Speed was truly moving and heartbreaking for me personally. Yet, just as at a young Ladie’s graveside, I bore a pained smile rather than a tear. For though I never met Gary, I have met Shay. I like Shay a lot. I think I would have liked Gary too. I know I did respect him. I know his family will never read this but my heart and thoughts and prayers go out to them.

    I remember a Christmas several years ago when, putting the lights on a friend’s tree, one of his roommates noticed some of the bulbs were not working. He fixed them all. Save one. When I raised a rather puzzled eyebrow, he shrugged and said: “For Shane”. A recently deceased, very close friend. A week or so later when I arrived at their apartment it was the first thing I noticed. It has been my own little tradition ever since. Some years there may be more then one, but there is always at least one. I like to think that when she sees me puposefully twisting a bulb loose so that it will not light up, she throws her head back and laughs the way she used to do. I loved her laugh. I loved making her laugh. This year I think I shall be twisting two bulbs loose. I wonder will Gary laugh also? I like to think they both will.

    Be at peace Gary.

  311. Irish – Tragic tale mate. Thanks for sharing.

  312. @ Irishgray….

    Quite touching and obviously heartfelt write up; Things like this always put all other things we moan about in perspective! I wish his family could see this and know that the world over there are people praying for them.

    How i wish that it was rather foul play, at least we can direct our anger and sorrow at the perpetrators! Otherwise, I always do wonder why people do this to themselves as well as to friends and family! What is that serious that they cannot cope with? it really is always a cause for wonder!

  313. Good man, Irish, good man.

  314. That brought fresh tears to my eyes Irish.

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