Mancini To Devalue Competition By Playing Kids…

Manchester City arrive at The Emirates for the Carling Cup quarter-finals. It is, if you believe the hype, already decided. The petrodollars have created the squad that will end all squads in the English game. Rarely does football live up to the hype.

If they progress, City will be the first team since Middlesbrough in January 2004 to win a League Cup tie at Arsenal. Indeed it has been nine years since Arsenal lost a League Cup tie in November. In view of the teams that Wenger has sometimes fielded, that is a testament to a strength in depth that is all too often dismissed as being non-existent. No, it is not in the same league as City’s – metaphorically speaking before some pedant points out that we are in their league – since we have neither the financial capacity for the fees or wages; neither do they but the Arsenal squad is nowhere near as bad as is often stated. The apparent benchmark for this seems to be what happens when the whole of your strongest first XI is out and meets the best club in the land, who by happy coincidence, happen to be fielding their strongest XI.

And tonight, there must be a winner. It is the eighth meeting between the two teams in this competition. The first a goalless draw at Maine Road was followed by six Arsenal victories, a run interrupted in December 2009 by City’s 3-0 win. Two survivors from that night would expect to play, whilst Alex Song is unlikely to make an appearance. Lukasz Fabianski and Tomas Rosicky have both been the subject of transfer speculation with the Pole wanting first team football and Wolfsburg want to bring the Czech back to the Bundesliga. Both have understandable reasons for wanting to go but then again, the fickle hand of fate could make them regret such a move in January. Arsenal’s injury record suggests either or both may yet get their chance this season.

Like Arsenal, City will make changes. Speculation is rife that Nasri, Clichy and Toure will return to The Emirates. Respect for them is being urged; perhaps abuse is inspirational to them but what of apathy? I don’t care about any of that trio aside from their actions in this or any other 90 minutes against Arsenal for whatever club they play for. Whether they reflect in time that they should not have left the club is irrelevant. They did, they have gone and a collective “Meh” when their names are read out is all that is deserved.

Mancini has been complaining that he may play ‘kids’ this evening as City only played on Sunday; I thought that was the point of the squad system? Gone are the manic days where players were expected to turn out 65 times a season or clubs were expected to play 7 games in 19 days including two cup finals within the space of 4 days. Come back when you really have something to complain about. As it is, with a squad that has cost somewhere close to £500m to buy, do not complain or whinge. If, at the end of this season, you can afford to offload 20 players without blinking an eye, does that not tell you that you have enough players to cope with this situation?

For Arsenal, I would be surprised if more than a couple of players who started against Fulham, do so tonight. Arshavin is promising to play himself back into form which is a problem that Marouane Chamakh might be able to relate to. Both are significantly better than their contributions this season and are in somewhat of a chicken and egg situation; they want to play themselves back into form but cannot get into the team because they are out of form. Matches such as tonight’s in that sense offer the opportunity of redemption; defeat might be for the longer term benefit were those two to recover their ‘mojo’.

Others, such as Benayoun, have the opportunity to show why they were signed. A squad player at Chelsea and Liverpool, he must have signed knowing a similar outcome was likely at Arsenal. That does not mean he is a bad player or waste of space; no club functions without strong back-up. At the other end of the scale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is learning his trade with opportunities such as this – and probably Olimipiacos – allowing him to do so at what might be a natural pace.

I would expect the line-up to be something like,

Fabianski; Djourou, Squillaci, Koscielny, Yennaris; Coquelin, Frimpong, Benayoun; Chamberlain, Chamakh, Park

The training photos on the official site indicate Gervinho will be in the squad but it seems to me that like Arshavin, he would come from the bench if needed. Bearing in mind that extra time is playable, some may get more than the regulation 65 minutes this evening.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on November 29, 2011, in Arsenal, Carling Cup, Football, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 489 Comments.

  1. I think Toure deserves a lot more than a “meh”

  2. Yogi you are up early today. I like your line-up, gives the seniours a much needed break while allowing the kids a day out to show what they are made of. Here is to a win, beating the mercenaries especially if they play their B team(practically an A team anywhere else) will be quite a lift for our team.

    If Nasri plays for them, those at the ground show him hell, nowadays I cant stand the thought of his stupid face. Toure I liked plus he left in good terms so no grudges with him.

    Does anyone know if the match will be shown on TV anywhere?

  3. Petrodollars? Grow up.

  4. arsenal cannot win with the above squad whatsoever in England.the team should be integrated with some of the regular players and others at the bench.remember we havent won a trophy for long.

  5. what does growing up mean.its a seriouse game remember not a friendly match

  6. Absolute piffle. The only idiocy on display here is your attempt at constructing a view point. It will be interesting watching you eat your words tomorrow although my bet is that you wont be seen for dust. Get back on your play station pizza face.

  7. Maria, very happy to have you back, see you are a good omen you made Frank appear yesterday, now lets hope limpar and kitchen sink do too.

    Johnny if my granny heard you say those swahili words you’d have your ears boxed and mouth washed with soap.

  8. Like Chelsea fans before them, City are such sensitive souls. And so easy to wind up. Morning all…

  9. I was impressed with Marouane’s performance on Saturday albeit very short. He worked well with Gervais so maybe we will see more of the same tonight. Very excited about the game, this is certainly my favourite Arsenal squad.

  10. I dont know why opposition fans feel entitled to an impartial view on an Arsenal blog. Sir cecil/sr/steven if you want a different viewpoint visit your own blogs, I am sure mancity have afew.

  11. Let’s just hope we belt them.
    As usual,we will always have the narks claiming we can’t win,but who cares……these are the same people stating we would be lucky to avoid relegation….
    Ignore them,maybe they’ll go elsewhere.

  12. Up your deluded Arse(nal).

  13. Good morning Yogi – and a fine day of football to look forward to.

    @First lady, Jonny has refused to tell me where he learnt such colourful language. Obscenities like that didn’t come to him on cue cards.

  14. Will be a difficult game tonight without doubt. If we play to our level I still think we will beat them though.

  15. Yogi,

    i guess City fans and Chelsea fans are easy to wind up because they have one thing in common: they know they are living a lie. all the ‘success’ their teams are enjoying have been bought with filthy money. and they know it. and they hate to be reminded of it.

  16. I would love to see Ignasi Miquel in action..really impressed with his composure

  17. Well, Chelsea fans think Man City are financially doping football.

  18. Darius – You look………..diferent. Your hair?

  19. and Darius,

    that’s the whole irony.

  20. If Ignasi Maquel is fit, I suspect he’ll play left back. He was solid there against Bolton and it’s hard to see him play CB if Djourou, Squillacci and Koscielny are going to get games.

    I see the media have moved from AVB to Stevie Bruce. Sunderland have only won 2 games at the Stadium of Light this calendar year and only 2 out of their 13 EPL ties this season.

    Will they send an ex-Fergie lackey for professional execution?

  21. My definition of th strong squad:
    when you can rest 3-4 of your first teamers in a home game against a mid-table opposition, and the result is still not in doubt.

    I remember the home game against Stoke last season. Wenger did not rotate, and we had two injuries. We paid with the CC defeat for that.

    The thing is that the strong squad is not about the numbers. It’s about the squad players being able to step up when needed. Some people said last season that an ideal squad player should be disciplined, reliable and physically strong. Most of our squad players are the opposite.

  22. YW,’The apparent benchmark for this seems
    to be what happens when the whole of your strongest first XI is out and meets
    the best club in the land, who by happy
    coincidence, happen to be fielding their
    strongest XI.’
    perfect!my quote of the season

  23. All I want for Christmas is Nasri playing the Europa league.

  24. I loved the way Vermaelen took a swipe at Fabregas and Nasri and pretty much called them bottlers.

  25. I am a die hard Arsensl fan from down under (Aussie not Pommy) and I get up at all hours to watch us play. Even tho I can record it and watch after work of next day, I just can’t sleep knowing they are playing and I am not there to support them. Very sleepy man some train rides to work. I like Yo think of myself as a great fan and would never talk bad of our manager/players (unless X players like you know who). I don’t think that team above can beat city’s team they put out but I will sure as hell be watching it or at least wearing my lucky charm ‘Arsenal sweat wristband’ and following live update of the game while on train to work, then yell out and wake ppl up when we score!
    Love Arsenal, by far the greatest team Thr world has ever seen!

  26. I wonder why many of the old faces don’t post here anymore, used to enjoy reading thier comments. ACLF is changing

  27. morning all, good post YW and i have to say the team you have picked is full of talented and youthful players which would probably give the manchester mercenaries a run for their money. in my opinion it would be more prudent to start with AA as it seems the team picked is a bit light on experience. Rosicky also should start if fit. here is hoping for a good game and a win … Toure and Clichy should get a good welcome from the home fans . Nasri can go to hell. mercenary puck that he is.

    UP THE GUNS…!!!!

    the only top six team in EPL that is doing it the upright fashion.
    the rest can go buy themselves tin cups and false-glory….

    long.live ARSENAL.

    LONG LIVE AW.

  28. Just Another Luke

    SV | November 29, 2011 at 9:02 am All I want for Christmas is Nasri playing the Europa league.

    Santa heard you. Ho ho ho… 😀

  29. Squillaci should not play. Though an 18 cap international, he has performed woefully for Arsenal. My line-up will be; Fabianski; Djourou, TV (has played fewer games and is a leader), Koscielny, Miguel; Diaby, Frimpong, Benayoun; Chamberlain, Arshavin, Park

  30. Right on Elkieno
    and spot on SV, the stoke game was the turning point last year, imo ..

  31. I BELIEVE ASHAVIN,, CHARMARK AND pARK SHOULD START

  32. I think Mancini is right about the way fixtures come in thick and thin with no Christmas break and how it affects the England national team being burned out for major competitions. The FA should look into this if they want the best for Their national team.

    But hey, im a fan, ill like to see arsenal players play as often as possible

  33. Im still struggling to understand the point of Park

  34. I think Gervinho might start tonight

    Gerv Chamack AOC, that not a bad attack

  35. Jeff

    Disagree – England don’t ever look burned out, simply clueless because the majority of the players in the squad lack a footballing intellect when they get on the pitch. Capello is perfect for them as a manager because he doesn’t say “go out and play, enjoy yourself“, it’s “Do this, do that, do not think about it.

  36. It might also be a wise idea to play 4-4-2 with attack coming mainly from the wings and Coq and Frimpong breaking all the play in the center and keeping the passing simple.

    Its funny that Wenger is going to have a selection headache for a CC game, lol, so many players need game time

  37. Greetings Elkiehino.
    Clichy deserves a polite round of applause
    Kolo a warm reception – great servant to the mighty AFC – member of the Invincibles – CL finalist

    Nasri ? Stoney silence – could have has it son but no – you took your own path

  38. YW,

    i get your point but you know it is true that players in the prem play alot of games with not much time for rest facing potential burn out are not 100% when representing their countries. Practically all the England team play in the prem and face this predicament.
    I think i can recall Wenger complaining about the fixtures also

  39. I know Frinpong wouldnt want to shake Nasri’s hand but he would probably be warned against such

  40. Oh for crying out loud, the Winter Vomiting Virus is in oysters again. It is getting to the point where oysters can no longer be considered to be an aphrodisiac. Not anymore. No. I am finished with them.

  41. Thanks for another post Yogi.Seems we’ve had some unfriendly strangers here today.Anyway,I think this will shape up to be a cracking game .We have the home advantage.There’s a possibiity this may go into extra time.But I have a feeling we’ll win this one.By the way Yogi,I see Arshavin starting and it seems AW was alluding to Benayoun being on the bench at his interview yesterday.

  42. Morning everybody. Looking forward to the game tonight!

    I would normally be taking a train up to London, but will be driving this evening. Anybody have any suggestions on where might be best to park, coming from the west? Somewhere a bit further out, with quick lines to the Emirates would be ideal.

  43. $hiite-y don’t deserve the respect of changing your whole game plan. So 1,10 it is then.

    I think we should put out a reasonable team though and the two central defenders mentioned have not shone in white and red.

    We should genuinely look at the players that are getting inconsistent runs AA, Chamakh, Benny and Ox, etc and put them with players that are coming, or have just come back from injury Verm, Diaby etc, throw in a few who are not quite making the team and need a game and see what we have left over.

    Mix it with a few essential parts that probably need a break, but could come on, Arteta and right now vP has to be in the squad and I think you will get a pretty good team.

    It is not the youngsters any more. There seems to be a mix in both the A and B squad.

    If Jenks is back I would put him wide at the back and bring Kozzer in. I think Verm(iccelli) has got to start, he needs the games.

    Jenks/……Kozzer……Verm……Santos

    ……………..Frimp/Coq……….

    Ox…….Ros/Benny………Diaby/Benny…….AA

    ……………Chamakh/Park

    Crazy Sant(ch)os makes it because we just love to watch him play.

  44. Ho, Ho, Ho. Nasri the ho!

    Lame joke but I couldn’t help it.

    Last season in the 1st league match vs the Spuds, Nasri refused to shake Gallas hand in the customary pre-game ritual. I commented then that it showed a lack of class. There was some dissent because at the time the little mercenary was the flavor of the month and Gallas is/was a polarizing figure. I take no pleasure in observing that, in the final analysis, Gallas was right in his observation that Nasri is a selfish, disrespectful brat. But let us not descend to his level tonight.

  45. Diaby is definitely starting today. I think Chamakh will also start.

  46. It would be better to drive all the way, Avaris15, rather than park on the outskirts.

  47. Squallaci shld not even be mentioned in our team again…his too poor. Arshavn and rosicky shld start alng wit park. Wic eva d prof choses…he knos best.

  48. Yogi having looked twice at the line-up I dont agree we should play both frimp and coq together, it should be one or the other. I would also like to see Arshavin and the spanish kid (cb) feature.

    Darius hope he didnt say any of that stuff out loud to someone who knows kiswahili.

  49. Good post Yogi
    …………..Fabianski
    Miquel…Squill Djouru…yennaris
    ………Diaby ……….Frimp
    Ox…………..Rosicky……….Arshavin
    ………………Chamack

    Subs: miyachi, gervinho, benayoun, park, kos, coq

  50. Thanks Frank, you think so? From finishing at 5, I’ll really be cutting it fine if I park at Richmond… any recommendations on where to park nearby? Have always got the train, but it’s not possible to do that tonight.

  51. As this is a game that needs more finesse than brawn, I’d opt for Le Coq before Frimpong. Especially if Diaby and Benayoun are playing – maybe even Rosicky and Arshavin, I don’t see both Le Coq and Frimpong being in the same team.

    @Firstlady – Jonny probably does better at hanging around ladies toilets in pubs than shouting out obscenities in a foreign language.

  52. Are you working in Richmond?

  53. Avaris – if you’re finishing and driving from home base after 5, I’d really recommend you take the train into Waterloo and shuttle across to Holloway Road – you’ll be grid locked in the traffic as you come into London. Might work if you find an outpost though. We’ve once parked at Hatton Cross tube station (Bedfont/Feltham area) and took the Piccadily line straight into North London.

  54. Avaris – if you park at Richmond hop on the London Overground service that takes you direct to Highbury and Islington – there are usually there trains an hour and it takes under 60 minutes

    If you are there around five it should be easy and trains back run late

  55. I would like to see Ryo play also like to see us play a 442.

    With Chamac number 9 and Arshavin as number 10 I’ll say it again he is not a left winger. Frimpong and diaby in the middle.

    I don’t mind who we play in defense so long as sqillaci gets no where near the team.

  56. Point being that you can easily drive from Richmond to the ground in time if you are setting off at 5.

  57. Darius, Frank, thanks. I’m based in Wiltshire, so it’ll be a good one and a half hour drive to the outskirts. The only reason I mention Richmond is that I’ve used it before, but Hatton Cross sounds like a similar idea – and by the looks of it, similar timing. We won’t have time for the train, so that rules out that idea. Doesn’t help that I need to swing by a few places to pick friends up. Maybe I should just leave them behind? 😉

  58. You are setting off from Wiltshire at 5?

  59. According to Prozone stats, Laurent Koscielny and Martin Skrtel are the 2 best performing central defensive players in the EPL.

    The stats craze is being fuelled by the movie Moneyball which has grossed over $70 million stateside since its release. Apparently, the coach who is behind the Moneyball story is inspired by our very own Arsene Wenger and he sees Arsene as one of the most influential sports coaches of all time.

  60. I always used to park at Cockfosters (large car park and fairly cheap) and then get the tube in.

  61. It’s unfair to mention Nasri in the same breath as Clichy and Toure, who on balance were great servants. If any stick is given out it’ll be to one in particular. Personally I’ll never dismiss Toure with a ‘Meh’.

    If we play a 4-4-2 we’ll need both Frimpong and Coquelin in midfield so I stick by my original team:

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

  62. this is payback time for the guys snapped from emirates,proving that arsenal is bigger than any player ,will help securing the unsettled.lets knock the petroboys out of the way and celebrate 125yrs in glory.

  63. Darius, desist with the toilet hanging jibes already! Unatombwa na farasi!

    I have a Kenyan friend, Felix, who gives me cue cards. 😀 he’s a taxi driver who drove me home, whilst I was utterly trashed, after a monstrous south London house party. We became friends – the drive is pretty long – as he is an Arsenal supporter and a total sweetheart.

    Felix gives me a lift at pref rates from time to time – and I get him to teach me filthy Swahili.

    I like to know how to swear, and say cheers, in foreign languages.

  64. If you are going to drive to Cockfosters you may as well drive to Arnos Grove Andy, loads of free parking in the area and nearer, and a whole lot easier to get away after the game.

  65. anicoll5, I’ve just had a look at that, and it looks as if it still takes a good half hour on foot? I think my best bet is Richmond, Hammersmith, Arsenal. But I’m going to be cutting it fine getting to Richmond for the 19:01

  66. And more importantly…

    Maria – I reffered to you as OK as in were OK being looked after by Spy, Jonny and Muppet.

    I did actually call you the lovely Maria in an early post…

    Just saying! 😉

  67. Avaris,

    Might take you half an hour on 1 foot from Highbury and Islington!

    About a 10 minute walk to the ground from there…. 🙂

  68. Just having a look at driving to Cockfosters or Arnos Grove, Andy and Matt. You might be on to something there. Tube is only quarter of an hour, and to get there by road is a smidgen over 2 hours.

  69. Matt – I don’t think that was related – I believe Maria just thought we were that much more handsome than you.

    It’s okay though matey – I’m sure you have other talents.

    You’re spot regarding Arnos Grove for example. 😉

  70. And I just realised I was looking at Upper Holloway, not Highbury and Islington 😉

  71. OR you could drive to Acton Town. M4 turn left at North Circ…400yards turn right to Acton Town. Piccadilly line. Arsenal. At that time you will be able to park in the roads around the station.

  72. Silver don’t think Ryo is fully fit.

    Ozzy took an early bed last night – he’s clearly hoping for some game time but I can’t imagine him starting.

    Markus – absolutely spot on regarding Toure – I’d happily cheer him loudly, ignore Clichy and boo Nasri. Just so Nasri can understand we don’t just dislike any player who leaves the club – it’s him and his disloyal, mercenary, lying bullshit we can’t stand.

    I think your team looks about right too.

  73. ———————Fabianski
    Yennaris – Djourou –Vermealen – Miquel
    —–—- Frimpong – Coquelin
    Chamberlain ————————- Ryo
    ————–Arshavin
    ————–Chamack

    here is my team

  74. Shame about Ryo if he isn’t still fit…..

  75. I guess Park could play there if Ryo is still injured.

  76. LOL Jonny – wipe your mouth out with soap and water.

    Felix sounds like my kind of driver. I had a regular cabbie like that who drove me everyday to work to and from Holloway Road across the Blackwall tunnel when they bothered to open it. Richard is Ghanaian and a very excitable Arsenal fan – for business taxi trips, I gave him favourable fares and preference to our company jobs – and for private trips it got to the stage where he refused to charge me any more.

    Make sure you bring Felix over to the next ACLF meet up.

  77. Not a bad option Avaris – although the M25 can be a bit volatile at that time, and the road down the hill into Cockfosters can sometimes be a bit shit.

    Jonny – There is no accounting for taste!

  78. Thanks everyone for all your help. Looks as if Arnos Grove (even though it’s the furthest station from me) is the best option. Should get me to the ground with about half an hour spare. Cheers all! See you there 🙂

  79. Hmm… how bad do you think it might be Matt? I like Richmond, because it’s an easy trip in, never get caught up and you can get parked and in the station straight away. Going to Arnos Grove would be a new adventure.

  80. ** I reserve the right to switch out Chamakh or Park for Benayoun depending on what kind of midfield set-up City have.

  81. ** And Koscielny for Squillaci depending on whether Dzeko is playing.

  82. Latest $hiite-y Team news:

    $…….$……..$……..$

    $…….$……..$…….$

    ………$……..$

    Bench: Nasri

    I think the formation is imaginative of ‘the Great Mancini’ Turd polisher extraordinaire.

  83. I haven’t done it in a while Avaris, as I get the the train now.

    I used to get on the M25 at the A41, which is Jct 20, and it would take about 45mins-1Hr from there to Arnos for evening games.

    I believe there is a 50MPH limit on the M25 from about Jct 21A to the A1 ish – but it is not far – Potters Bar is Jct 24 I think, where you get off for Cockfosters and Arnos Grove.

    Once you get past Cockfosters Car Park entrance the traffic is fine.

    There is another way to go – but a bit more complicated than driving straight down the hill to Cockfosters, and not sure I can easily describe it here!

  84. Lol. Just reading my own writing – “Ozzy took an early bed last night – he’s clearly hoping for some game time but I can’t imagine him starting.”

    I’d like to make it clear that neither Oğuzhan Özyakup nor Ozzy Osbourne are currently living with me.

    Oğuzhan announced he was taking an early bed for the ‘big game tomorrow’ on Twitter.

    Just in case anyone thought it read funny.

    @Darius – I’ll certainly try and persuade him!

  85. Avaris – I used to do the ‘Arnos Grove Adventure’ with my dad when I were a lad – it’s good for parking and quick to the ground – gets my dad’s seal of approval and we all know ‘dad’s know best’ for these things.

  86. Avari15 and all those that will be at the Emirates show that little fecker from moneycity the fans still have got plenty of passion.

    Darius in Johnny’s defense it was to save a damsel(maria) in distress. Yani mlikuwa pub moja na mkalengana, everytime i think of the botched (half) meet-up am left in chuckles.

    Miquel is the “spanish defender” I was raking my mind to remember.I would like him to play tonite.

  87. @Jonny
    you and your father are in my prayers mate. spend as much time as you possibly can with him.

  88. Johnny “Unatombwa na farasi!” OMG, i cant believe you said that out loud or rather you wrote it on a blog. When i was growing up words like those would make any parent go berserk which meant a good hiding and going to bed hungry for the culprit.

  89. Looks like I can cut through Richmond and head up through Ealing, Brent, up to Arnos Grove, avoiding the M25. I’ll go that way. So thanks to you all for your help.

    firstlady, we’ll be sure to make a noise! I’ll be taking two friends who have been life-long Arsenal fans and haven’t been to the Emirates, so it’ll be an experience!

  90. @Firstlady – considering Jonny, Muppet and the rest could literally see us from where they were and passed us every time they went to get drinks from the Jezebel’s at the bar, the fact that we didn’t meet each other is criminal. At least in Carni you can ask the DJ to hola someone out for you to meet them outside the gents or something. Comedy central.

    But we get to do it again in a couple of months or something.

  91. @Firstlady – send you to bed hungry? I know parent’s who’d send you out to be adopted if you talked that sort of language – especially with the T word…LOL

  92. I think that jonny and I made eye contact on one occasion while I was talking to his mate but he didn’t recognise me. He’s a skinny thing.

  93. Really looking forward to this one.

    Squillachi….I hope he’s nowhere near the club tonight. Ignasi Miquel, should get his chance again. He plays better than damp squid every time I have seen him.

    Stop going on about Nasri now ffs. Starting to sound like bitter spuds already. It’s happened and gone so deal with it or seek help if you having problems.

  94. Darius at some point i wondered why neither of you pulled the carni stunt or better yet just stand on a chair and shout, Johnny, matt,spy etc names. Johnny being the more outspoken (from what i have gathered from this saga) would surely have managed to shout, hey yogi, Darius,Consolsbob, we are here!

    Going to bed hungry was a small price to pay, the beatings not so much as one wouldnt be able to sit properly for a couple of days. Ever wondered why curse words sound worse in swahili than they are in English?

  95. Consolsbob
    “I think that jonny and I made eye contact on one occasion while I was talking to his mate but he didn’t recognise me. He’s a skinny thing.”

    This makes the whole thing more hilarious.

    Goonerton
    “Stop going on about Nasri now ffs. Starting to sound like bitter spuds already.”

    ofcourse we are bitter even though in hindsight it was the best decision for us seeing how well Gerv is doing.

    Avaris
    “we’ll be sure to make a noise! I’ll be taking two friends who have been life-long Arsenal fans and haven’t been to the Emirates, so it’ll be an experience!”

    I am envious, I am definitely planning on taking a trip to the emirates in the not so near future, it really is the home of football.

  96. @Firstlady – the T word in particular is so crude and vulgar, it should never be said in front of a lady. There’s much more flowery language yakutongoza.

  97. With all this talk of people meeting up, I figured it’d be nice to put faces to names. When is the next planned ACLF game?

    I rarely actually comment on here, but almost always read the comments. I feel like I actually know some of the regulars on here.

    Whenever I’ve needed help, you guys have always been there with the assist *har har*

    And of course, the blog is always a joy to read every day. Well done Yogi! 🙂

  98. Some interesting line up options for both managers.

    If Mancini lives up to his most recent comments…..that those that played on Sunday will be rested…….then Arsenal should advance.

    Tevez and Balotelli are not available. Aguero, Silva, Ya Ya, Milner, Nasri, Clichy started on Sunday, so there is Dzeko, de Jong, Adam Johnson, Kolo, for a run out tonight.

    For Arsenal – Diaby was mentioned to have a muscle issue after the last match. Rosicky picked up one in training b4 the Dortmund match……so those are 2 key midfields that would be ideal rotators for Ramsey and Arteta.

    I’d like to see a reasonable mixture of talent, so that the younger players have some experienced players to keep the level of play higher.

    ———-Fabianski————–
    Djourou – Kos – Ver – Miq
    ———–Coq—————
    —Ox—————–Benayoun

    Park——————–Arshavin
    ———–Chamakh————-

    We need to see sparkling play…..so that our manager starts rotating players ‘more
    regularly’.

  99. @Consols – not skinny – svelte!

    @Firstlady & Darius – I sense I am playing with fire here! I first used the c word in front of my parents at the age of 7 – it was not a good day in the Neale household.

    @goonerkam and others yesterday – thanks for the kind words – he’s a tough old guy and still mentally sharp as (such is the tragedy of MND). Still working hard as a doctor at 83. He’s coming over tonight to watch the game, should be good.

  100. Enough about the incompetent ships that passed in the night.

    I do hope my little Ruski plays

  101. Jonny – I thought you were a chef? And skinny?

    Does……..not……..compute.

    Never trust a skinny chef 😉

  102. PG – Well he needs to start performing, or I may just sell him.

  103. 7 years old Jonny – and I’m glad the day you uttered that word was made to be one of your most uncomfortable days.

  104. Andy ,perhaps he is a particularly bad chef!!! That would explain it.

  105. “Never trust a skinny chef”

    LMAO – clearly he doesn’t taste the stuff he cooks.

  106. Arsession i like your team, the right blend of experience and youngsters. I havent watched any curling cup game this season as it hasnt been on satellite TV. Since today is a big one I hope they show it, if they dont I’ll be relying on ACLF comments to keep me updated.

  107. hard work will be needed tonight. With that I believe we have the young tallent that may surprise a few people. However, Arshavin is promising to play himself back into form, oh come on. you appear to have some inteligence so please use it

  108. I’m 6’3 and near 13 stone. I’ve always been skinny but it’s not for lack of effort.

    Any fat chef just isn’t putting a good enough shift in says I.

    Yer pastry chefs – they need to be fat, for sure.

    Never met a skinny good one – but then as I type this I recall Michel Roux Jr is whippet thin and amongst the best pastry chefs in the world…

  109. No idea if I’ll watch the match – begins at 21:00 hrs here and I get up early. But all the way with the gunners. Off on my fat losing exercise now!

  110. He is the exception to the rule I think Jonny. Not saying they should be obesely overweight of course, but should have at least some meat on their bones.

    Mmmmm, meat. The Xmas markets have just started here in Germany. It is a meat and beer (and Gluwein) overload until they close just before Xmas.

  111. Johnny – make sure you bring as some of your speciality pastries next time. None of that funky stuff MD has from Essex – just good ol’ fashioned pastry bites.

  112. Another great post Yogi. Should be a great game tonight. I would love us to go with

    Fab

    Johan, Squil, Kos, Miquel

    Le cog, Benayoun, TR7
    Park Chamakh Arshavin.

    Doubt Diaby will start if he had a muscular complaint. If TR7 not available then I am not sure who will start in MF. Will be tough to control the midfield without his steady presence. A clean sheet will be difficult so I suspect we will need at least 2 goals and hopefully AA will get them tonight. We need him to get back to form ASAP. Park Chamakh AA, Yossi, TR7 all need games since any of them may be important going forward this season. Not sure what the boss has in mind for Park the rest of this season but right now it looks like he is our only back up striker during January so we need to know what he can or can’t do.

  113. Johnny, I’m 5’10.5 and weight 88 kgs. I’ve lost 4 kgs in the last two weeks. I’m hoping to cut down to 71 kgs. Your height to weight ratio is better than mine – at the moment! Okay I’m off.

  114. Toure, Clichy, Nasri. Pah! I’d sooner give a warm reception to Flamini; at least he went abroad. They could have gone anywhere, but instead they went to our direct rivals. In this climate, that’s not loving the club you were at. They all took the oil money, they are all the enemy. I wouldn’t boo, but neither would I applaud.

  115. If you do that, Avaris15 you will have driven right past Acton Town and the journey from there to Arnos Grove will be horrible.

    Avoid Richmond, drop off the M4 at Chiswick Roundabout do 400 yards up the North Circ and swing a right. Acton Town is 5 mins from the M4 and 35-40 mins from Arsenal tube.

  116. @ firstlady
    In America…..the match is being shown live on Fox Soccer Plus.

  117. kenyan how early will you be up? the game actually starts at 23.00 which is fairly late. I have an early meeting tomorrow but if the game will be showed on telly it is a small price to pay tomorrow.

  118. Arsession, thanks. I have jus confirmed it will be on supersport. was abit worried they wouldnt show it.

  119. Thanks Frank. Navigating my way around London isn’t something I’m familiar with, so thanks for the heads up. Looks like Acton might be the way forward then!

    Wherever you are, enjoy the game!

  120. Good luck, Avaris15. Let us know how you get on.I would sneak off a little early if I were you. Not going tonight, the youngsters are going in my place. I will be watching the game in……

  121. I’ll wave on my way past!

  122. Why are people who were bit part players paraded all over TV as ‘Arsenal experts’. Pray tell, if they are that much of experts, why don’t they have a job like managing a football club or running one for that matter.

    I’m talking to you Mr. Perry Groves.

  123. Darius, the fact that they don’t have a managing job probably says it all, and that you should take everything they say with a pinch of salt.

  124. “Managing a football club” Darius ? Surely the wise words of a bloke who managed Walsall for all of five games should be respected when he tells Arsene where he is going wrong :\

  125. Go to Acton ffs Avaris other wise set your Sky+ box !

  126. I think the defence will be pretty strong this evening. Szczney and Mertesacker would be my picks to have a breather. I’d expect Frimpong to start tonight given Wenger’s comments in the last day or two and Arshavin will probably get another go.

    Fabianski

    Djourou, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Miquel

    Frimpong Rosicky Benayoun

    Park, Chamakh, Arshavin

  127. For a bit part player, Groves scored quite a few goals and also did reasonably well in the medal stakes…

  128. I sat next to Perry Groves in the West Upper at Highbury once. Didn’t seem to know much about anything. Didn’t stop him rabbiting on endlessly though. He seemed to be some sort of salesperson at the time.

  129. I agree with anicoll5. Hit the road, avaris15

  130. Interesting that we are being linked with Podolski. Excellent player and could play anywhere across the front 3. If we make a move for him, the writing is on the wall for one of the forwards.

  131. Frank, anicoll5,
    I can’t get away til 5. Even if I could, I’m picking up 2 people who in the same boat. My foot is feeling heavy though, so I should be able to whip up the A303 and M3 in no time 😉
    I’ll report back tonight with how I got on.

  132. Notice the “images” on arsenal.com. Today No. 114 published. A photo of players with THREE trophies in our 71 double year. What’s the third trophy? Anyone?

  133. I met Perry Groves when I did the Stadium Tour, Very nice chap actually.

  134. A303 averaging 60 at the moment. Roadworks at junction with A34 Newbury road though. No roadworks coming up the M3. I daresay it will get snarled up with traffic trying to get onto the M25 but after that it is a breeze. Head up to Kew at the Richmond roundabout and then 400 yards on North Circ, turn right to Acton Town. This is very exciting.

  135. Yogi, whenever I come on to read the comments, its time consuming. Why not let people rate the comments they like with a thumbs up?

  136. I agree with Matt, Perry did seem like a nice chap.

  137. But then no-one will ever read my comments Carib!

    I took my copy of his book for him to sign and opened with the line ‘Yes, I was the one person who bought it Perry’.

    He took it quite well and was very accomodating with autograph’s and pictures.

  138. Frank – You sound like my sat nav 😉

  139. JamesM – It’s not about taking away his goals or the right for him to make a living.

    But for fuck’s sake, don’t go calling yourself an Arsenal expert or allow people to call you one. Perry Groves is not an Arsenal expert. It’s like calling Jason C*nty a Chelsea expert yet I recall him playing most of his career at Ipswich, but that’s besides the point.

    Some ex-players should never be let anywhere near a microphone. Notwithstanding that some have the personality of a puff adder, their knowledge of football tactics, tecniques, manegerial nous and football intelligence can be filed in the trash right between shit and syphilis.

    Some of these guys (not necessarily Groves – I mean ex-footballers masquerading as pundits) didn’t even finish grade school. And they give them a Mataland suit, put them in front of a camera and tell supporters we have “an expert”.

    Fuck that.

  140. Frank, usually, all that traffic is kept in that left hand lane. I always feel smug as I burn it past, heading in to town. A303 shouldn’t be a problem. It’s not the school hols, and most of the commuting traffic will be going the other way.

  141. Does your sat nav sound like Albert Steptoe, goonerandy?

  142. This is a bit like Vanishing Point. Might get in touch with the local radio stations to help avaris15 along. Go avarsi15 go.

  143. Frank – Heh.

  144. To be fair Darius, I don’t think Perry call’s himself an ‘Arsenal Expert’.

    He was pretty knowledgeable about the inner workings of the club, and offered an opinion when asked a question about the team etc. but was fairly clear on it being his own personal opinion and was pretty self deprecating and funny.

    You can’t blame him for going on Talk Shite or wherever to earn a few quid just to give an opinion.

  145. Frank, you joke, but it’d be handy to know what to tune in to as I leave the countryside.
    Of course, you can call in and have the other road users warned to get off the road. In fact, call the police and have them pick me up and escort me to the stadium.
    Just makes it all the more frustrating that I can’t concentrate on getting any work done, nor can I leave to start on my quest. AGGGHHHHH!!!

  146. Matt – I absolutely don’t have a problem with Groves giving an opinion about an Arsenal game.

    What I have issue with is when Sly Sports or Talk Spite radio or BBC radio 5 refer to him and deliberately and by implication class him as an Arsenal expert. He can tell them not to call him one – and just refer to him as Perry Groves.

    It’s like John Cross being called an Arsenal insider and he goes and gets his oxygen in the media with that tag.

    I’m sure Groves, even Cross and some of the hacks and pundits are decent folks when you meet them – but what I’m saying is that most of them are in the wrong job and they are woefully equipped to deliver in that job.

  147. JamesM @ 3:07:

    Like your lineup the best of the ones I have seen. Gives us a much stronger defense which will be critical today. Coquelin better then Frimpong at DM right now I think, and the boss has preferred Le Coq the last couple of times there has been a need for someone other then Song to play.

  148. Probably best to tune in to Drive Time on BBC London 94.9FM. But there are a billion stations inside the M25 and you can just set the Traffic Updates on. 57 minutes to go. Can’t you sneak out the backway or climb through the toilet window?

  149. Off home.

    Laters.

  150. I agree with you on that Darius, but I doubt many would rock the boat too much by making demands, as I am sure the odd interview here and there on Sky or TalkSport is quite a cushy little number.

    Besides, be careful what you wish for – With the media obssesion of having ex-player’s on not looking like it is going to abate anytime soon, Perry is probably not a bad option for us.

  151. I probably could Frank, but I’ve got to pick people up en route too, who won’t be able to. Just wish I had an extra half an hour to play with. It’s going to be tight, but we’ll be there, in full voice!
    Anyway, best get some work done. Speak to you all later, and enjoy the game.

  152. I have a suspicion we may see TV5 at LB tonight.

  153. OK, good luck

  154. Carib

    And that would cut the time consuming element how? I’d give different comments thumbs up from those, for example, Jonny likes. Some of those that he likes, I might stick two fingers up at….

    YW

  155. Looks like the usual suspects are getting a break tonight. This squad is good enough to bring us a win. very excited as it will be my first time to see some of the young guns.

  156. Hey, guys!

    It’s been a minute since I’ve posted on here. Hope one and all are well. I heard a great game is taking place later today, and thus I’ve come to offer my support as always.

    My favored starting lineup is as following:

    Fabianski; Djourou, Koscielny, Vermalaen, Miquel; Coquelin/Frimpong, Diaby/Rosicky, Benayoun; Gervinho, Chamakh, Park/Oxlade-Chamberlain

    Subs:
    Mannone, Yenarris, Squillaci, Rosicky/Diaby, van Persie, Arshavin, Oxlade-Chamberlain/Park

    Unfortunately, Ryo, is still injured and unlikely to feature until late December/early January-ish.

  157. from the squad the 11 imo would be

    ————–fab——————

    Yenn——JD——Sqill—–Miguel

    ———–Coq——–Frimp——–

    Yossi———-Park———–Arsh

    ————-Chamakh——————

  158. Chortle –

    “I’d give different comments thumbs up from those, for example, Jonny likes. Some of those that he likes, I might stick two fingers up at….”

    WHY IS IT ALWAYS ME?!

    😛

  159. “Why Always Me” – Jonny that’s the T-shirt you have to wear next time for us to pick you out.

  160. Ha ha…. Now that is an idea Darius….

    Right – I am out of here, enjoy the game all.

  161. GADGET, FRANK, MARIA, MUPPET… glad to see u guys grabdually coming back home… u have all been missed

  162. JD gooner? I’m pretty sure that’s the FA Youth Cup whch. i’m also pretty sure, we won in 1971.

  163. Righto wear the t-shirt, cook and bring some pasties, bring my cab driver buddy Felix.

    Is there ANYTHING else you’d like Darius??! 🙂

  164. Consols has that one pretty much wrapped up Jonny.

  165. Avaris15 will be hurtling past Stonehenge now, rictus grins on his mates faces as they cling on for dear life. Go Avaris15 go.

  166. How the hell does the family and estate of Michael Jackson expect Conrad Murray to pay them $101 million. Even the judge has literally laughed that figure in a diplomatic way.

  167. ** laughed that figure out of court **

  168. My guess:

    Lukasz Fabianski

    Laurent Koscielny
    Johan Djourou
    Ignasi Miquel
    Thomas Vermaelen

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
    Emmanuel Frimpong
    Francis Coquelin
    Gervinho

    Ju Young Park
    Marouane Chamakh

  169. Anirudh @ 4:32:

    Back 6 outfield players are 4 guys under age 20 with Squillers and JD at CB. I doubt even the boss has cajones that big.

  170. From Twitter

    Exciting! Experimental! RT @YoungGunsBlog: I’m hearing Arsenal lineup 4-4-2 v #MCFC tonight. Chamakh and Park up front. Yet to be confirmed.

  171. Team i want:

    Fabianski
    Djourou–Koscielny–Vermaelen–Miquel
    ————-Coquelin–Benayoun———–
    Chamberlain—-Arshavin—-Park
    —————-Chamakh———————

    I’d prefer to see Arsh behind the striker, freeing him up to concentrate more on the creative side of things (especially consider how little our creative options are in that 18 man squad). Plus we may have to do some serious defensive work down the wings, and compared to the other choices he’s a bit of a liability.

    Team i expect:
    Djourou–Squillaci–Koscielny–Miquel
    —–Coquelin—Frimpong—Benayoun
    Chamberlain—Chamakh—-Arshavin

    Either way, i think we can win. So lets hope arsenal make my day.

  172. 442 ??
    hah, and they say AW doesn’t listen to us fans.

  173. COME ON YOU GUNNERS!!!
    COME ON THE RED&WHITE!!!!

  174. ffs poor Abou, injured AGAIN! I reallt feel for the guy.

  175. Jonny @ 6:13:

    That’s exciting news. Hope its true.

  176. Arsenal XI: Fabianski, Djourou, Squillaci, Koscielny, Miquel, Frimpong, Coquelin, Benayoun, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Park, Chamakh.

  177. It’s official:: Fabianski, Djourou, Squillaci, Koscielny, Miquel, Frimpong, Coquelin, Benayoun, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Park, Chamakh

  178. Let’s hope Squillaci has put his ‘mares behind him

  179. Bloody hell, i can’t say that team fills me with much optimism. That back five oh my my my…..

  180. Looks like a 433 unless Ox and Benayoun are going to play as wingers. Wish AA would have gotten a chance.

  181. FFS This is the City line-up ————

    PANTILIMON

    ONUOHA

    SAVIC

    TOURE

    ZABALETA

    DE JONG

    HARGREAVES

    KOLAROV

    JOHNSON

    NASRI

    DZEKO

  182. Maria:

    The Kos is awesome. Hopefully he can hold things together. I was worried they might start Sq and JD at CB.

  183. Bill you read that defence and thought to talk about the midfield my you have changed, lol

  184. Anyone caught the Andy Murray interview on Arsenal Player? Hilarious! It seems he admires Arsenal and comes to the odd match. Apparently last year he came late to the CC match v. Spuds last year and AW was in the stands, serving a ban I think, and was in his row. So AW had to get up to let him through and looked a bit disapprovingly at his watch as the match had already started. Murray was embarrassed that he had to disturb him. Funny story and he seems like a nice guy.

    So it seems we are big in top level of tennis with Federer joining Henry for the Dortmund home match Wednesday and Andy Murray showing up for the home fixture against Fulham.

  185. So we are playing a 4-4-2.

    We better be playing deeper then we usually do, otherwise Squillaci’s goin to have a lot of trouble.

  186. Kos will probably play right-back.

  187. I want to like Andy I just don’t. I am a Roger/Tsonga girl.

  188. btw who the hell is this new City goalie???

  189. oh my god that defence….Gulp….

    I remain positive

    Gulp

  190. So excited about this game. Sometimes I am more excited about watching the Carling cup games then the EPL. Especially when you got the OX in the team. I don’t think there is much of a difference in both teams in terms of quality. But I expect a more fluid performance from us than them. We’ve got a lot more to prove, since they’ve already got their salaries for this week and must be content.

    And of course, Fuck Samir Nasri.

  191. Mancini must have been shit scared, since he opted to play only 3 attacking players.

  192. Maria,

    The new goalie was bought from the change Mancini had left in his pocket after this summer’s spending.

  193. I agree with Ateeb.

  194. Ateeb – where were you the other day ? I came all the way from the shires expecting you to be there from the subcontinent…

  195. I fell prey to the flu virus. Had a fever, was really looking forward to meeting you guys as well, but exhaustion got the better of me. Definitely next time.

  196. flu virus ? Sorry to hear that.

    Yes, I hope to be there at the next one. Hopefully organised by Maria and Fungunner/Passenal.

  197. I think Kos will play CB and JD will be RB. I hope so anyway. Wish TR7 was available, could use his experience in the MF. Frimp and Le coq have to play older then their years tonight.

  198. @Maria, The only hope for that defence is they get support/cover from the two DMs!

  199. Flu virus!

    Bloody man flu!

    Cold feet is what he had.

  200. Jonny,

    What a bad reading of the team line up. As I see it, City won’t be planning to attack most of the match, rather looking to contain our attacks. Maybe a few counters. Not sure.

  201. As for the team, what is the problem?

    I just don’t believe that Arsene would set out to put his team in an impossible situation. He had a very good idea asto what the mancs’ team would be and responded as best able.

    It’s an Arsenal team, shorn of the waverers and weaklings of last year. It will fight hard and I’d back it against the arrogant mercenaries in blue.

  202. Bob,

    Ha Ha. I took it as a virus, a cold is easier to deal with.

    And it wouldn’t have mattered if I had come, since well, it proved difficult finding the people. Given my bad luck, I would have ran into AIC, and spend the next couple of hours arguing with him.

  203. We are playing 4-4-2 tonight so I hear.

  204. Agreed. Kosh is a boss.

    Did i tell you guys about the day i thought Samira excatly how i felt about him?

    It happened late summer, during pre-season folks kept calling his name and begging him to stay. I kept my mouth shut, all the while disgusted by these shameless ‘fans’. Acting like he really was Dennis Bergkamp reincatenae. Well I bided my time, waiting till it all calmed down sinceTiti was in town.

    HT came the subs came out SN amongst them, so I started screamed like the rest of those fools Saaaaaaaammmmmmiraaaaaaaaaa Sammmmmmmirrrraaaaaaaaaa Samiiiiiiiiraaaaaaaaaaaa over here (he could hear and see me because i was sitting right behind the subs bench) anyhoo he looked up and smiled – that’s when I gave him the finger and told him to “f*ck off back to were he came from.” Not in a racist way mind you. If only i had snapped his expressed, goofy Samira must ahve thought i was a girl fan about to flash him the way his face twisted and redded was a sight to behold.

    I always said we should have brought Ben Afra instead of that goofy b*tch now I hate saying I told you so.

  205. *reincarnate

  206. Diaby really should be starting this game.

  207. Fascinating, Maria! *pats on the back*

  208. Brilliant story Maria. Bloody brilliant.Good on yer girl.

    Ateeb? Well we agree, as usual, about our confidence in the side – and in ACLF posters intelligence!

  209. dont like Frimp and Le Coq in the same team.
    Not one bit

  210. You’re a star Maria. I hope people are taking your lead at the moment and telling Nasri to fuck off.

  211. COYG. Arsene puts faith in the kids again…Go Arsenal Lite. Show the billionaires how its done. Nasri definitely left the Emirates for great (not) nights like this hoping to get the last laugh. Lets make it very uncomfortable.

  212. Pleasure.

    Oh and for good measure i added “We are The Arsenal, you goofy b*tch”!!!!!!!!!

  213. Opps that was me there.

  214. We probably have the strongest bench we have had in a while. TV, AA, Gervinho are all on the subs bench.

  215. What you saying George? Arsene is stupid? You want to go down that line. There are about 4 old timers around on this blog right now, who can turn you into a doomer and then kick your ass.

    Both of them in the same midfield won the FA youth cup in 2009! Enough said.

  216. haha well Ateeb, with your immune system down, you know a durrrty parasite like AIC would definitely corner you, lol

  217. Crowd very lively tonight

  218. Omg Max is back, but ginger is still wack.

  219. has Nasri become a second string starter now ? 😛

  220. Maria

    So it’s your fault that nasri left😉.

  221. and i do wanna see ozzy.. hes an exciting player indeed..

  222. Park needs to impress this game, he’s been woefull every time ive seen him

  223. did you not see park in the last CC game then i guess….

  224. yes i did, he was average at best

  225. Any working links?

  226. Whats up folks!

    a special big up to Maria!

  227. Yes Bill, I wasn’t able to offer him the same rates as he was getting up nurf. London nightlife is suffering from the recession. Pimping aint easy – especially if your rent boy looks like Samira the ladyboy from hell.

  228. OOooh, Park almost scored 😦

  229. Am I the only one who has even more sympathy for our players when they haven’t even had a proper chance in the team and the abuse is already trickling in on them thick and fast?

  230. Talking big there george.

    I don’t see the fear personally.

  231. well what do you expect Evil, there are always some idiots that feel they need to tell everyone how crap that guy that never plays is..

    sometimes you can see this team is very young though, they do some weird passes under preassure now and then 🙂

  232. I really enjoy seeing the Liza Minelli lookalike wear number 19. Perfect number for a bench warmer.

  233. Haha, Chamakh did the Theo trick there XD

  234. i dont think no 19 cares. hes cashing in big time… cashing in, warmin bench and maybe winning trophys withouth being held responsible if things go wrong… what more can a man want? share glory and be faultess if things dont work out.. great deal.

    and le coq continiues to impress…

  235. What a fucking awesome player that Ox is!

  236. Great attempt by the ox

  237. who is it that is so slow on the left side? is it miqel?

  238. and wow City really wanna win with Agueron on!

  239. Nice to see that some of our first teamers came to watch the game!

  240. Kolarov off Aguero on

  241. Proper c*nt, isn’t he? Throws away the black armband

  242. Basically, shitty’s team, despite having one player who’s worth more than our whole XI, just isn’t good enough so they need to throw some more cash on the pitch!

  243. Sounds like the game is pretty even so far. Our young boys in the mid field doing a job. Have hardly heard of benayoun, he needs to be good today

    Aguero coming on, something wrong with kolarov?

  244. Even, Bill? We should’ve been up by now and they haven’t had a proper chance.
    And there’s nothing wrong with Kolarov, Mancini just afraid that 100 million on the pitch ain’t enough to beat our kids.

  245. is korlakov injured? its weird to put aguero in that early tbh..

  246. but guys how luck are we?? how many other teams have players like le coq and Frimp coming through? they are really decent players already…and will only get better…

  247. Nope, poodle. Tactical reasons.

  248. Very good first half – I really enjoyed that. Koscielny is keeping that defence in check.

  249. its a real shame all our young stikers are injured. would have been interesting to see some….like afobe or watt…

  250. Nicely poised now.We’ve been solid in defence but slightly lacking in creativity in midfield.

  251. We have been pretty good. Don’t remember Fabianski having anything to do, while their keeper, Pants-mon has produced two good saves to deny us. The midfield combo of Le Coq and the Frimp has been dominating City.

  252. i bet ones ozzy comes on the creativity will rise properly. i thought Benny was suppose to be our creative spark today…

  253. Miquel is quite clearly not a LB, I would put TV on for him.

  254. True poodle, I think Afobe would have been given chances in the first team this season, He took bendtner’s place unitl Park was bought.

    And talking of injuries, Ryo Miyachi would have been a treat to watch today!

  255. @mj
    Agree. Miquel looked like the weakest link, he was good in 50/50s but City will exploit his lack of pace.

  256. i think this team could do with a bit of Gervinho or Arshavin – it’s just the sort of game I think they’ll run riot on.

  257. Not sure who to hope for in the Liverpool Chelsea game. We have already skinned Chelsea once and Liverpool will clearly be the more hungry side if we get to face them. However, cheering for Chelsea is far too creepy a thought so I guess it’s Liverpool.

  258. Well balanced game so far.

    Miquel got caught out by Johnson right at the start of the game, but since then he’s been solid. Just like the entire back line.

    Benayoun has been a bit ineffective so far, at times a bit slow to help cover miquel but he’s used the ball decently and is retaining possession well, without offering much attacking wise.

    Coquelin has been comfortable in the middle, put in that cross for Park, and has taken charge of that midfield. Frimpong has been very energetic in the middle, putting in tackles everywhere and has made a few interceptions. Our best defensive player so far.

    Chamberlain has been great on that right wing made some good decisions, had a shot saved tremendously, and has just been a general hassle to Savic.

    Chamakh started lively but dropped off a bit towards the end of the half. While Park hasn’t had much space to move upfront, but probably should have done better with his chance.

    Good game so far and we definitely look good enough to beat Man City tonight.

  259. It may be childish, but I’m rather enjoying the boos Na$ri is getting. The Ox and Pong impressing.. but would like to see AA or 3G’s come on ~ we’re not exactly scaring them.

  260. Miquel definitely has settled at LB. He is letting Johnson dribble and dribble and then POUNCE. Well done.

  261. “consolsbob | November 29, 2011 at 8:22 pm
    Talking big there george.

    I don’t see the fear personally.”

    Ok Bob I give in .What are you on about?

  262. The Ox is making them look like a Championship team.

  263. The boys are revving things up.We need to remain wary of Aguero…

  264. FRIMPONG! FRIMPONG! Jesus Christ! Frimpong!

  265. both Afobe and Henderson are big talents that we have not seen yet due to injury 😦

  266. and yeh me think Arsharvin for Park will make life very dangerous indeed for City…

  267. frimpongs been a monster so far.
    oxo looks ready for first team to me..

    my oh my we do have some exciting talents coming thru were all over these fuckers..

    need goals though and cant see our strikers scoring ….looking pretty toothless thus far so the goal looks like coming from someone else but it would help if one of them would turn up for at least a few seconds tonight..

  268. Top top defender Kozzer.

  269. There are only two words in the world that can describe Koscielny accurately: world. class.

  270. jj i think both frimp, le coq and ox are good enough to do a good job for the first team agains tthe “smalle” if you like PL teams… both frimp and Coq would have been first team regulars if they came throgh at the same time as Denilson et al…

  271. And people still ask why Wenger keeps picking Laurent Koscielny.

  272. Chelski down 0-2 at home to L’Pool

  273. City are playing with their first team linup in attack today. Minus Silva…

  274. Chelsea being whupped again.

  275. Koscielny must be the richest player in the world, considering how he has had Torres, Messi, Dzeko etc. all in the back of his pocket.

  276. poodle..yann mvilla is being touted as the next big thing in regards to solid midfielders and watching him play i can see why wenger wanted him and why other top clubs will go for him soon but in frimpong and le coq i dont think we are desperate for him..

    wenger wanted frimping especially to play first team before jack did but he got that injury didnt he

    i think the oxo is the direct winger we are looking for when gervinho or theo isnt playing but our stikers really are letting us down..

    daruis i dont know that many ppl anymore who wonder why wenger picks kozzer..all critics have been answered months ago and if theres any still out there they dont know what they are talking about..

  277. i wonder who is the next one in for us…

  278. vermaelen on at left back

  279. Wenger is plotting for extra time

  280. May be tv5 can get the goal we need. A laser from his left leg into the far corner would be brilliant.

  281. Oh for fuck’s sake.

  282. Yes FFS, no one picking up their players

  283. Unlucky should have fouled before the game, to concede on a counter after such a good display defensively is a kick in the teeth.

  284. We’ll get one more chance – we have to take it

  285. Game should read break

  286. Kos is just cool as ice. Aguero trying to wind him up and he just tells him a couple of nice things in his ear.

  287. caught on the counter…theyve had one fucking shot on target all night..
    brave attempt by the lads but serious questions over the strikers..shocking that a 17 year old winger was showing them how to shoot…

  288. that was a shame indeed, they played very well. A shame we are not sharp enough infront of the goal….

  289. 5 more minutes – enough for a piece of magic

  290. The Ox has been brilliant well done lad

  291. That Aguero is a proper c*nt, isn’t he?

  292. oh well aguero will play European League after xmas anyway so…

  293. and the boys have not given up. even when 1 down they fight like lions. there is non of that Nasri lay down and die shit we had last year…

  294. cant see us scoring now..our only scoring threat is off.. brilliant display deserved an ovation…

  295. One less distraction to deal with. The Treble is still on!

  296. kick the fuck out of him frimmers…twat…

  297. What a game – my chest is still pounding with adrenaline running through – Whoa!

  298. So fucking close, that Chamakh chance. Should have scored. How did he not get to the end of it? Regardless a great game, fought till the end. Bad mistake for the goal, especially Djorou not tracking Aguero. Stupid mistake.

    Good play from Arshavin and Gervinhio in the end. We were the better team, with the younger players. Don’t read too much into the result.

  299. Kudos to the boys.We were the better side but lost to a sucker-punch of a goal.At least we can focus our resources on other matters.

  300. Evil | November 29, 2011 at 9:48 pm
    That Aguero is a proper c*nt, isn’t he?
    *****
    Seems to be a trait that runs in Argentinian football players

  301. It’s a cruel game, isn’t it?

  302. We,ve more talent than they have money

  303. We’ve got

  304. Overall the game shows our strengths and weaknesses, we outstanding prospects in the Ox, frimpong, coquelin and Miguel. One of the best center backs in koscielny, a very good back player in djourou and fabiansky but weak support in attack, that’s our challenge this season. Chamakh and Park are not there yet and perhaps a trade in jan may happen. With our first full team we would be more than a match for city. Don’t forget it 38 million player to make the difference, in a carling fooking cup!

  305. Very proud of our boys. Fantastic display and it’s really maddening that we didn’t manage to turn one of our many chances in. They, on the other hand, had one chance and scored. It’s not fair, but that’s football. All in all, seeing how our CC team coped with them fills me with a lot of confidence. Can’t wait for us to play them in the league!

  306. we need reinforcements in jan..
    barring robin we are so fucking toothless..

    oxo above arsh in the pecking order..gunnersaurus above chamakh..weve got better strikers out on loan..maybe we could bring vela back seeing as though we are prepared to play 442..is alliadiare still playing in the reserves??

    what a performance by the rest of the team…a decent striker on the pitch and we win that game at a canter..pity we didnt have one..

  307. Glen Hoddle is a bit simple.

  308. how the fuck was that a fair result..???
    mark hughes is a huge cock..
    they had one shot…..one…
    we outplayed them totally and were only let down in one area…

  309. Bit unfair that Dzeko’s mum gets to pick man of the match.

  310. F it. Only one goal in it and it didn’t go our way. Young guns did us proud though.

  311. the only good player out on the pitch was Oxo according to redknapp

  312. Also feel we would have won if it went to extra-time. Bollocks.

  313. We really need other strikers to score now, we really do because at the moment we are very toothless.

    January One striker please.

    But otherwise we were the better team, and it was fantastic perfromance from frimmers and coquelin (what a player) and not to mention oxo.

    Ah well, onwards and upwads lads

  314. Some good performances. Kos, Ox, Ben. The striking force was our weakness. And of course a silly defensive mistake.
    Not that this feeling after a lost game is something unusual…

  315. how can they say Cty had a good game?? against the arsenal kids?? how can they be happy with playing on pair with our second strign that is combined worth less than one aguero??

  316. Shame about the result but what a performance. We will get shitty when it matters…of course the hype machine is in overdrive….Man city the best thing since last bread. A good counter attack goal from city in the end. A very solid defence all round and wow Coquelin, kos, frimpong immense. Didnt deserve to loose this game They need a cup competition to keep them busy. Let them carried away if they like. MOTM today was the Emirates crowd.If we had the Carling cup crowd every game we would breeze the title.

  317. lol @ ‘gunnersaurus above chamakh’. May be bring Henry.

  318. Our defense was very good despite an unorthodox lineup. That’s really encouraging since we seem to have figured out how to stay organized no matter who is on the pitch. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out where the goals are going to come from. RVP is now one of the top 3 strikers in the world but even he can’t carry the sort of load that he has right now. Even he can’t keep this scoring pace for a whole season.

    Ox looked good, we should send him on loan to a pl team for the second 1/2 of the season and we could have a real monster on our hands in the next year or 2. That worked great with wilshere Same with frimpong and Miquel. Le coq looks ready right now and should be able to spell song when he needs a rest.

  319. We didn’t score, it happens. For my money we were the team that looked likely to score. City with their big money squad looked second rate.

    Very proud of the team!

  320. they should have won 5-0 really…
    We will beat them in the PL though, im 100% sure about it…

  321. People, dont listen to sky pundits

    Havent you already figured out they have one brain between all of them, reminds me of those sisters in greek mythology who have to share one eye

  322. Probably a blessing in disguise that we are out. Look what happened last year when we had too many consecutive games during the winter.

  323. Dzeko man of the match.What a load of old shite.

    Frimpong ,Coq and Ox were miles better .

    Mark Hughes is an enormous prick.

  324. what was impressing was Miquel that despite being as slow as he is, did manage very well. Cos you could see he was slow, and you can see that would be a weakness for him, but he just camoflaged it really well and i thought he did well against some of the Pls best attacking players..

  325. Koscielny only lost ONE tackle during the entire game, the one up front which let them counter to score. Fucking beast he is.

  326. Koscienly is not human, simple as that. The guy is just not normal. Aguero got really peeved because there was no way past him.

  327. Calm down Jon Jon…its the carling cup…carling cup FFS! Theyve got the Carling cup and weve got the champions league. Bigger fish to fry. Well done the second string.

  328. After watching this match and listening to hoddle and Hughes it is cemented in my mind even more, that there is an anti Arsenal thing going on. City were not the better team even though they fielded a much more experienced and “expensive team” but these clowns are taking swipes at Arsenal.

    The team did us proud!

  329. Coquelin had a great game but he let the whole team down with his half-hearted attempt at tracking back for their goal. Had he have run back he could have maybe cut off the pass but he could certainly have held Aguero up. Instead he strolled and then jogged and still nearly got there. Disappointing stain on a fantastic performance – what a pity it was so decisive. He’ll be a great player though – I hope he learns something from tonight.

    For those who questioned why some of us wanted Oxo to make the bench and be played from there more often, hopefully you can at least see why we think that way. He was clearly the best player on the pitch, a bundle of energy, a constant threat and a strange choice for substitution.

    Personally, I’d have taken him over others as a ’15 minute sub’ for almost every game this season, there are some who have had numerous opportunities and offered so very little.

    We were the better team.

  330. Now i’m talking to the Arsenal mug. God help me. Show and bed is needed after a draw and a defeat…..feels so alien

  331. well im sure one of the reasons OxO is being handle with care is to avoid the hype that almost ruined Walcott…

  332. i bet he will play alot ones Gervinho goes away for african cup

  333. poodle

    oh yh i never thought about that. I thought Arshavin would get to play but i really can’t see that happening anymore.

  334. @muppet you know we would have had to take on either United or Liverpool for two games in jan feb in the semi final… well thats a lie actually cos we all know United will meet Cardiff in the semies, so we would have had Liverpool for two legs in Jan/feb..
    And it will be Liverpool/City vs United in the final…
    I think a United, City clash in the semis would be gret tbh.. it would exhaust both teams and they would lagg behind in the league..

  335. Arsene has never won the CC, yet we’ve made the Q-Finals 9 times in a row, this cup must have a spuds shirt shoved up its a**. 2 finals no Cup so very unlike Arsene or the Arsenal.

    F OFF CC AND RENTBOYS HIGH ON BLOOD OIL MONEY.

    We have a CL to win, I really feel that is our destiny this year.

  336. This was more about the performance than the result, the team was well organised. Appears some defensive is finally being done. Remember we have Bartley to come back. I wonder how Henry Lansbury wii force his way in the team. The Ox n le coq are definatly contenders for first team, frimpong too. Pity diaby couldn’t play the game was crying for a player like him. Interesting though that we r producing pace n power players, we need few lil jack clones.

  337. Poodle,

    Yeah. The young players will hopefully get more exposure in the FA Cup anyway.

  338. poodle – Ox will still be used sparingly because we will have Podolski in by then 😉

  339. Its safe to say OXO is ready to make an impact for Arsenal this season, already looking forward to Olympiacos because of him.

    Kos is a just a beast of a defender
    Special mention to JD, Le Coq and Frimpong.

  340. the best thing that could happen to OxO is that he gets overlooked for ec and gets primed for WC in 4 years time instead…
    He will get a summer of rest and be bursting proerly onto the scene next season. or he will get the summer of his life in the Olympic village with the greatest altheets on the planet..

  341. @desi, Podolski would be a great addition indeed.

  342. Controversial as it may sound, i really do not see chamack as gud enuf for us anymore. He was brilliant last year, but something is really off with, i think he is not a proper striker. He plays for long balls and headers and almost never scores a shot. Unfortuantely he wasn’t even in the box today most of the time.

    I really feel for him but something needs to happen and quick.

    Park also tried hard but the supply wasn’t good enuf. He’s an eduardo type player, he relies on the assists of others and unless he goes into the first team, that’s going to be extremely difficult.

  343. Hes in the bag poodle hes in the bag !! 😉
    I’ll have to watch the game on player tomorrow as i want to get a good idea of how the likes Ox, Frimp, Coq and Miquel did.

  344. Sorry? The contention is that we don’t utilise a player who we paid £10-£15M for, even for 15 minutes off the bench occasionally, because we want “to avoid the hype that almost ruined Walcott”.

    First I don’t buy that ‘hype’ had almost ruined Walcott – that’s supposition at best and not borne out by facts. Secondly what about players like Ramsey, Fabregas and others?

    Are we to now bow to the monster that is the press and not play our best young players for fear they will be destroyed by hype? I agree with careful management but the Ox has shown few signs of being awed by anything so far.

  345. let the ox loose…and lock up arshavin…

  346. I thought Dzecko was very good actually, although man of the match.

    That had to be koscielny – superb.

    I thought considering the 2 teams put out our Boys were excellent and did us proud, very unlucky not to gets result.

    Frimpong and Coquelin were excellent, and chamberlain played well.

  347. I thought San Miquel looked refreshing.

  348. I’m disappointed, we could have won that with better forward play. At least we were trying to win it! The blue shite are a poor team considering the cost to assemble it. 10 men behind the ball and 1 lucky breakaway goal from their only shot on target! I thought Frimpong, Kos and Chamberlain were the standout performers. Nasri was absolutely shocking – a shadow of the player he was for Arsenal. Still he has his money and an undeserved victory in which he contributed zilch to keep him warm at night.

    I’m also pleased for Squillaci who played well tonight.

  349. Jonny, you are correct in saying that the ox could be used for those 15 minute cameos but when could we have done it so far this season? We have had to dig ourselves out of a hole because of our start and with players like Gerv and Theo in the form they have been in, we couldnt afford to not play those 2. Hel get his game time but he has plenty of time on his side

  350. @ duke

    Ill do the grrr this time 😀

    Mighty proud of the team today..Frimp/Coq against de jong/hargreaves brilliant..AOC had a terrific game, I actually thought Chamaks all round game was quite decent, and City had to defend defend defend to keep us out..

  351. Mark Hughes you always were a prick and you still are a prick. Fuck off, nobody wants you.You have nothing to offer. A yesterday man.

    I thought Arsenal were excellent today and embarassed the little Mancs in front of millions. Just before they scored there looked to be only one winner and it was not them.

    I would like Marouane to come good, but I think we will buy big in January. Podolski would be nice and Per Mertesacker and RvP might just help to swing that.

    Very proud tonight, very proud indeed.

  352. Ox wasn’t ready, especially at defending. Wenger stated that a while ago and said that he would have to improve in those area’s. If he continues to improve he will play.

  353. Squillaci our 5th choice remember had a really accomplished game, Ive never ever understood the vociferous criticism he has been subject too, Kos brilliant as usual, JD did very well at RB and Miguel did exceptionally well against Johnson

  354. Deise – both of those players have, at times, given way for other players who offer less goal threat than the Ox.

    Gervinho has been ace but with 15 minutes to go I’d rather have him resting and give a fresh Ox the chance to run at the gate. He gets assists but he offers far less in terms of shooting. His efforts this evening were entirely in keeping with what we have seen thus far.

    I’m not saying it should happen for every game, it’s just frustrating to see others afforded the opp and the Ox getting repeatedly overlooked.

  355. oxos ready..
    dont care how old he is theres no point leaving a player like that out when he offers more to the first team than others have offered..

    i agree with jonny on his point..

    and the difference with theo is that he was purely about pace at that age..his game needed years of not just tweaking but whole development..thats why its taken so long, nothing to do with hype..

    oxos a different kettle of fish, he can play ball now..theres not much development needed it just needs tweaks and more gametime…he aint gonna get that being protected..theres nothing to protect..even the coaches at southampton have said hes much better than theo was at that age..

    you cant leave him out when he plays like that you just cant…

  356. Strikers have to play to stay sharp. I find it hard to get on our forwards when they hardly get a game. Aguero and Dzeko looked no better in my opinion. City were awful.

  357. Demo MoTM? He was mostly anonymous particularly in the second half. Typical Sky yo shove their noses in the trough full of money

  358. obviously i dont really mean lock up arshavin, i like andrei, he is a funny guy, the sort of guy who would be good to go out on the piss with drink a few bottles of vodka and smoke some waccy baccy with!!

  359. Paul – his defending was excellent today, won the ball back several times and was tireless.

    If nothing else on the basis of tonight he offers both more both in defence and going forwards than most.

  360. I love how Wenger is handling AOC. He knows what the young man needs.

  361. Jonny, those other players you refer to would be AA23, Rosicky and Benny, right? All talented attacking players and all captains of their national teams. All 3 expecting to be playing, whereas Ox is just at the beginning of his career. Sure hes a right talent but i have no issues with how hes been handled so far

  362. Why do people post some sort of cryptic shit then fuck off without explaining themselves.
    Nasri type behaviour if you ask me

  363. Podolski would be an awesome addition. All of us want chamakh to succeed but we can’t wait and hope forever. Thats not fair to the rest of the squad. We only have park for 2 years because of his army committment and it may take him that long to adjust. We need to get someone early in the window. This team seems to have finally figured out how to defend. Would be an absolute shame if we don’t take advantage of that this season because RVP gets burned out.

  364. Stupid iphone! I meant Dzeko of course!

  365. ive always liked podolski…
    agree he would be a great addition..

  366. Igor Stephanovs Gunshield

    Its all about the result stupid

    Chamakh has to be the worse striker to play for Arsenal since the dark ages of Hankin Hawlet and Chapman.He has scored 2 goals in the last 12 months and one was against Orient!!!! Park and Chamakh are the Jedward of football.If RVP gets injured the season is over

    Chamberlain will overtake Walcott in 12 months if given a chance,He was outstanding tonight

    We need to buy a quality striker in january

  367. People.

    We.Are.Not.Getting.Podolski

    Sorry but i can’t see that happening.

    False Hope kills, remember that

  368. Shut up Mo, or ill kill you, we are soo getting him! 😉

    Or at least a quality striker.

  369. Diese – not necessarily just those.

    Look at the weekend just gone Chamakh came on for the woefully ineffective Arshavin on 75mins. Neither player offered anything of note all game. On the basis of tonight’s contribution and previous performances I would have preferred to see the Ox – as i think he would contribute and offer more.

    You disagree I get that – it doesn’t mean my point is invalid though.

  370. moe has a point..

    i dont think podolskis looking to leave germany…hes a tip top player with international pedigree but hes only moved within germany..

    if hes looking to leave koln again he may want a fresh start abroad but hes already tried his luck at bayern maybe he looking at dortmund next..dunno, but its unlikely hes coming..

    and no oxo wont overtake theo, its arshavin that needs to be looking over his shoulder..

  371. Here is the point JJ.
    We have no clue what will happen in January.
    If I predict we wont sign every single player we are linked too,I will be making the right call 99% +of the time

  372. i am actually happy with chamakh tonight. the chance right at the end.. i think squillaci should have run in. i think squillaci had a better chance than chamakh.

    i think oxlade was very impressive tonight. didnt really lsoe the ball. was strong. i don’T think it is between him and theo. both can play together. they are after all different players.
    i feel that sometiems people are too quick to judge.

    i feel that koscielny was my man-of-the-match. he had everyone in his pocket. he read the game so well, tackled so well. its a shame that he didnt end up on the team with the clean sheet.

    to be honest, before the game, i thought we would get walloped. we were after all the only team that kept to our word and played our b-team.

    i think it hurt me more to realise we could have, should have beaten them.

  373. Arsene sounds very disappointed

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-we-lost-when-we-looked-like-winning-

    Why are people talking about Podolski? He’s not exactly setting the Bundesliga alight and it’s possible he’s not up to playing for a top club as he went to Bayern, failed and went back to Cologne.

  374. i like podolski as a player. but i feel that he doesnt have the technique to play for arsenal. maybe because of his wasted years at bayern. i just feel that when i look at him in 2004, and i look at him now, he is a very dangerous player. but he could have achieved much more. i really feel that now, he isnt suited for arsenal. simple as that.

  375. Passenal,

    i would be, if i were arsene wenger. we were really the better team tonight. with considerably fewer resources.

  376. I know korihikage – it’s almost worse when you are that close to winning to have it snatched away without enough time to react. Had they outplayed us, it might have been easier to take, but when it is so undeserved it’s gutting. Hopefully the players will learn a valuable lesson from this experience. Put your chances away and be more alert for the counter attack.

  377. of course, the brilliant media would tell us that man city were brilliant and absolutely deserving of the win.

    how the fuck did they give the motm to who the fuck was that, when koscielny basically had everyone in his pocket? i still cant get over that fuck.

  378. george your right of course we have no clue what wengers thinking but as long as it involves a striker who can strike i dont care..

  379. Very good performances from Frimpong and the Coq tonight – far better than I expected

    Still let’s talk crap about Podolski 🙂

  380. Bradys right foot

    Gutted thought we were the better team but got done on a counter attack a smash and grab by the northern chavs. Onto the positives of which there are many, all hail Kozzer absolutely immense a huge portion of humble pie has been gobbled up by some of the gooner faithful,but I still think i’m entitled to gloat having backed the kid from the get go. Where are all the “Gary Fckking Cahill” fanboys now or all the clowns having a go because we bought shit like Kozzer for £8 million but the Chavs buy quality like Luiz for £23 million. FrimpCoq bossed de Jong and Barry and the Ox looks a special talent. Just rewatching the game on Sky plus and tempted to cancel my subscription its bad enough to suffer the albeit banal anti arsenal sentiments of Clapptrap but to throw Hughes into the mix really is a liberty.

    Chamakh and Andrei (not on long enough for assessment) Arshavin, start performing boys or ship out this team can’t afford passengers no matter how hard they work Maroune.

  381. Anicoll5, that is about par for the course. There were some really good performances from some up and coming players tonight, but a couple of rusty strikers failed to score and we’re off playing fantasy manager.

  382. I onl;y mentioned Podolski, because others did. I have no idea whether he is any good or not. Is he actually a footballer? I think he night have been in Hill Street Blues but maybe not.

    I did not see anything to fear in the little Mancs though.Thougjt at one time that they were certs for the EPL, but I am not so sure now. Wide open it is.

  383. Frank,

    you are right. they are only good because the media say they are good. but when you watch a game, and read what the media write, you wonder: what the hell do the media know?

    and that’s when you realise city are actually crap.

  384. I agree Frank – I was worried about them running away with the league, but watching them tonight I wonder what all the fuss is about? I know David Silva wasn’t playing, but they needed 2 £30m+ strikers to get the job done and still played a 10 – 1 formation!

  385. Goes without sayng that I am chastened by Passenal’s and Anicoll5s comments. I really am no football expert.Entriely possible that no more forwards are required January or otherwise.

  386. Bradys right foot

    Podolski, I agree about his technique being a concern. We need back up for RVP we all know that. Park is still an unknown quantity and tbh it would be good if he stayed that way as it would mean RVP still fit and active. I have alot of sympathy for Chamakh and I like the guy he’s a worker he’s just playing pants and seemingly in the midst of a footballing funk. His formed dropped quicker than a Las Vegas call with a high roller or was that what the alleged super injunction was about, or the fact he was alleged filmed drinking ffs Maroune pull your shit together, nobody cares leave it between you and your maker and start playing the way you did at the start of your Arsenal career or get back to France.

  387. Quite liked JYP’s double take to control and shoot almost in the same movement. Keeper was lucky. Nice if Marouane had thrown himself totally at the cross at the end .

  388. Bradys right foot

    Oh and special mention goes to super sideways Nasri, who is starting to remind me of Neil Lennon in his prime.

  389. City are not “crap”
    Nor are they brilliant.
    But they are a very good set of players.To call them “crap” is ridiculous.

  390. well brady’s right foot:

    firstly, we have to realise that buying players is not like going to the supermarket and just putting something in your cart. which striker of proven quality would want to join, if he thinks hes just gonna be rvp’s backup? i am not quite sure, honestly.

    so sometimes i feel that the solution has to come from within. maybe walcott will get that chance he craves. i personally think chamakh can find his form soon.

    or maybe the wingers and midfielders have to pop up with the goals. that’s what i think.

  391. my bad, george.

    but i really hate them you know. find them disgusting to watch. sorry about that.

  392. If we could have played Rosicky and/or Diaby or LJW, I’m sure we could have offered more of a threat going forward. This ‘B’ team will get more chances in the FA cup and by then we should have some of our injured players back to give us a bit more balance. Against the unadventurous mancs we didn’t really need two DM’s, but we did not have the right players available to fill that attacking void in midfield.

  393. Just how did Sky manage to give Dzeko motm. Utterly perverse…or corrupt. Naaah Sky? Corrupt? Murdoch? NoW? Sky? Football? Cheats? Backhamders? Agendas?Liars? Don’t be silly….

  394. If we do let Park loose that would free Theo for a stint in the middle.
    So do we need another striker?
    One would not go amiss, but do we need one?

  395. “City are not “crap”

    But they are a poor footballing team considering how many billions have been spent on them. They play like a bottom 3 PL team. I find nothing admirable about them.

  396. Passenal,

    i will never forget how last season, they didnt park the proverbial bus at emirates stadium. they parked an aircraft carrier in front of their goal to play for that 0-0 draw.

  397. Bradys right foot

    korihikage we need a backup, someone to do a job and score if RVP gets any of his usual assortments of kne/ankle/thigh knack anytime soon because Chamakh at the moment isn’t up to it and Park is still adjusting to the Engliush game. Assuming your right and Tescos can’t offer us an off the shelf solution i’d go with someone with PL experience, i’d go personally for rodallega as off the shelf as they come and in blue and white stripes.

  398. “I find nothing admirable about them.”

    Neither do I.But they do not play like a bottom 3 PL team.That is equally ridiculous.

  399. Podolski has been better for Germany than his clubs, I think. I am not sure he is the best option, but I agree with Frank in hoping we do buy big in January. We are in a serious dogfight for CL places and could use reinforcements in attack.

    It is great that we had the better play against MoneyCity at home, but the result is a disappointment given that. Draw at Fulham and loss at home in CC. I hope this is the extent of our blip and we come out firing in our next couple of league games. We need to redress our poor goal difference numbers as these could be crucial in such a tight fight for position at the top of the league.

    This team has guts. I hope the club gives it a boost in January because we could still challenge. I am not convinced by ManCity, ManU, Chelsea, Newcastle or Spuds. Right now Liverpool looks strong like us. But so far we have been stuck in 7th. Hope December sees us climb and destroy Man City in our next encounter in the league.

  400. Korihikage – I can’t believe they were being compared to Barca! A top team should be confident to impose their game on the opposition.

  401. Oh for sure Frank the rusty striker glitch would be entirely solved by Poldolski – as in there is and more link between Podolski and Arsenal Football Club that a rusty pile I have up my are currently

    On a slightly more serious point however the passing and movement in that final third did not have the crisp quality of our first eleven

    Now I have no doubt Frank that you would say that is because every player, other than RvP is rubbish

    I wonder if playing Parl and Chamakh in front of the midfield that provide a reasonable number of tap ins for Robin migr be an idea

  402. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Wow, we didn’t look underdogs at all, that was £10 well spent.

    But why did AW take Miquel off when he did? Did he think it was going to go to extra time, so brought on the Verminator for a half-hour run out? I thought that was a mistake, and the turning point, since Iggy had been going up for corners – we got another crucial corner just after he went off, and that led to the sucker-punch goal. I reckon Iggy could have scored if he’d have stayed on.. Not sure he could have kiboshed the rapid City counterattack, but he’d been pretty fearless and effective the rest of the night.

    Interesting who looks hungry and who does not. Dzeko, Aguero, and the Ox looked the hungriest to me, and Dzeko was very pissed off when a fair City chance was missed in the second half. The guy is a beast.

    The Ox is all business, but lacked the killer touch this time. He gave them trouble, though.

    Chamakh, meanwhile, is pulling a Torres, I feel for the guy. How are things going to come right for him? I just don’t know.

    Frimpong I have a soft spot for, he just doesn’t know when to give up. That is a very lovable quality in a player, plus he is deeply skilled, of course. Him and the Coq didn’t look out of place against City’s bling-lite midfield at all.

    The Na$ri song specially adapted – compare with the reaction to Kolo Touré back at his old club. Some people just have questionable motives, I guess.

  403. bradys rf,

    if hes willing, why not? the more the merrier…

    i am just saying maybe its not as easy to get someone in who can improve the squad as we think. so we shouldnt like groan or something if we don’t get someone in who’s on our wishlist.

    i, for one, would want to have hazard and goetze join us. hazard, i must admit more because of the hype and the fact that if we don’t, someone else is gonna get get him. yet having said that. i have seen him at the stadium for france-belgium, and he is a really good player. but goetze is a player i really rate highly. i live in germany at the moment, and they don’t call him talent of the century for nothing..

  404. This must be tough for Arshavin. He really could have used the start. It seems as if he is behind not only Gervinho/Walcott but also Benayoun/the Ox on some level. I would have played him centrally. We are going to need him unless the Ox comes on super strong for the period when Gervinho is away.

  405. Frank, I though you didn’t care about MOTM’s. Though I agree with you that the choice really stinks.

  406. don’t get me wrong: i won’t mind if we buy in january.

    but i really believe in chamakh, park, arshavin.

    and rvp is like fabregas. you can’t replace him directly.

  407. pg – coming to the Emirates with 10 men behind the ball and mustering 1 shot on target all night against a team with 4 teenagers is playing like a bottom 3 PL team in my book. If they were confident, why didn’t they come out and play? They played not to lose and hope to snatch a goal. How many times have we seen that same game plan from relegation battlers. This is a team at the top of the league assembled at an obscene cost, so there is no excuse for these small team tactics. I’m only disgusted that we allowed them to get away with it. I can understand why Arsene is so pissed off about the result.

  408. Passenal:

    were they being compared to barcelona?

    but you must realise that i don’t really care much for barcelona. true they play pretty and all. but in my very biased opinion, they spend too much time rolling about on the ground.

    many people will applaud barcelona. so they don’t need mine.

  409. I think that was my point, Limestone. I don’t care about motm, especially when it is totally wrong. I don’t like player ratings either…BUT I do want to see a little more from the strikers who are not RvP. I would like Marouane Chamakh, who I like, to prove that he is as good good as RvP. Not all round because RvP is one of the top three players in the world. But in terms of finishing. As for purchasing players in January, I would be happy for Anelka to rejoin us for a season and a half. But then I know nothing.

  410. Passenal,They had 60% possession first half .hardly back to the wall stuff ,is it?
    It was their second string and there first string have been playing much more open this year.
    They are an obscene club and deserve no credit for anything .But to refuse to accept that they are a good team ,all be it a set of individuals,is just burying your head in the sand.

  411. I agree with Passenal

  412. I agree with Passenal that Diaby and Rosicky would have made a big difference. Service is required for Chamakh and Park and while Frimps and Le Coq did well, passing in the final third isn’t the strongest part of their game. Arshavin, Diaby or Rosicky would have helped make our threat greater.

    I do think le Coq, like Jonny noted above, was quite casual in tracking back on their counterattack for the goal. If he had decided quickly either to intercept or to run straight back to defend in the box he could have disrupted that play. Overall a strong game but one lapse cost us.

    What was Frimpong saying to Nasri there at the end? Also some sparks between our defenders, especially Kos, and Aguero. The next meeting should be a cracker!!

  413. Media hype in overdrive because they’ve been winning some games they should win with their resources. I hate barca too, but they have been winning for some time and are certainly established at the top. shitty have the money to do it, but they’ve hardly earned the comparison yet. Although it seems like there are quite a few who have bought into the hype.

  414. george, they didnt do much with the ball, i thought. so yes, it could have been much worse for us.

  415. What that they play like a bottom 3 team?

    Ok.

  416. None of us know all that much, Frank, so I just appreciate the points that seem to make sense to me from my limited understanding. And in that respect, I agree fully with you that we need some support up front. I don’t really care who but I do think Chamakh and Park have a couple more auditions (Olympiakos and one of the Xmas week games) to make their case. Even so, I can’t see a problem pulling the trigger on a big deal for a good striker.

  417. Passenal buying into the City hype is not more idiotic than thinking they are crap.

  418. Passenal,

    there’s a reason why i don’t read match reports from the media. i watch the games myself and read the report on aclf.

  419. Just Another Luke

    Following kids did well against Man City and are ready for call up for next week’s champion’s league tie against Olympiacos:

    Miquel, Frimpong, Coquelin, Oxo.

  420. George, George, George! Are you becoming a doomer? Don’t you understand that you are not allowed to be reasonable in your assessments of other teams if you are an ACLF stalwart?!

    In all honesty, though, I am not that impressed with City despite the talent they have assembled.

  421. pg, I’m not sure why you have taken it upon yourself to make a case for the blue mancs, but my opinion won’t change. Their possession was mostly defensive – the game was mostly played in their half of the pitch and they had very little threat in front of our goal.

    Kos was probably pissed off with Aguero’s cheating and diving – he is a disgrace. Fits right in with that disgrace of a club.

  422. “In all honesty, though, I am not that impressed with City despite the talent they have assembled.”

    Nor am I LG.Neither am I prepared to dismiss them.

  423. I hope that we get under City’s skin. We have had our problems with discipline but I could see getting Nasri sent off, Balotelli, De Jong, Aguero. I like the idea of ratcheting up the temperature of the encounter. We are older and wiser with mature experienced players. We aren’t under the same pressure as City with all their spending–if they are out of the CL by the time we meet in December, I think we could push them hard and make them sweat. They might implode. You could see it v. Napoli.

    I think we can derail them.

  424. Pass, maybe that was it re: Aguero. Frimps got into it with Nasri after the final whistle. Wonder what that was about. Unfortunately, Squillaci immediately embraced him. I would have like to see more of the cold shoulder there. He was quite treasonous.

  425. Grow up george, just because I don’t share your opinion, don’t start labelling me as idiotic – I have been polite in my discussion with you to date. But I was at the match tonight and watched the game and that is how I saw it. You’re free to have your opinion and I’m free to have mine.

  426. They have set a record for goals scored and points won this season so far.
    But if you want to think that somehow they have gotten lucky and are actually a poor side,carry on with your opinion.
    I am not calling it anyway other than how it is.

  427. Well……Arsenal certainly deserved more.

    Very proud of the play from everyone, and I mean everyone put in a good performance.

    Experience players make plays. Dzeko – Johnson – Aguero did what it took to create the chance.

    From the performance, Coq, Frim, Ox, Miquel should be given more 1st team minutes.

    Squillaci, Dj, Koz – a solid 90 minutes. Park had one great chance in the opening minutes – excellent cross from Coq. Other than that, our forwards saw little service and the inter play
    with the midfield reflected any creativity.

    For the first half, Benayoun was stranded out on the wing – POOR DECISION BY OUR MANAGER. He needed to be more involved in our midfield buildup. Who was going to deliver service to our forwards? AND nobody did……..

    2nd half Benayoun was more involved in the midfield but service to Chamakh, Ox, Park was minimal. Can’t see starting both Coq and Frim as both aren’t suited to break down defenses with their current game.

    Anyway, ManC (I hope) will get paired with ManU in the semi’s……and with each having to play a home and away……maybe it will impact both teams league efforts.

  428. man utd will get cardiff. just like how they will get apoel

  429. “Grow up george, just because I don’t share your opinion,”

    Witch is

    “City are not “crap”
    Nor are they brilliant.
    But they are a very good set of players.To call them “crap” is ridiculous.”

    And you think that is me “taken it upon yourself to make a case for the blue mancs”

    Do me a favour.

  430. we all have our own opinions regarding man city. but i guess that isn’t the main point, right?

    man city will never get my respect. but that’s not important. what’s important is arsenal. so lets focus on that.

  431. So if I say Nadal is crap at tennis that’s a valid opinion as long as I qualify it by saying he does not play beautifully like Federer .?
    An idiot is entitled to an opinion .But it is not worth a hell of a lot.

  432. you are right about that.

  433. Just Another Luke

    It is always better to to be nice as well even if one chooses to be pedantic. Good night.

  434. Disappointing and undeserved result by our Carling Cup team. But i saw a lot of promising performances from our young fringe players. I would hope that Wenger will use most of this team in Greece.

  435. I think Park and Chamakh didn’t impress. The Ox was our outstanding player in attack but Frimps and LeCoq both did well defensively, but we needed a more creative midfield presence to create some chances for Chamakh and Park who both seemed to need good through balls. Koscielny is a power in his own right. Superb defender after a good but uneven first year adapting to top flight PL football.

  436. Limestone 212 am,

    I agree with your assessment of performances last night. No one remembers the outcome of the CC and I would happily have exchanged a defeat with out C team here than have our first eleven knocked out of the CL.

    I bet Citeh would say the same!!!

    Onwards and upwards

    COYG

  437. Obviously “our” not ‘out’!

  438. morning…

    was at the game yesterday and all I can say is that there is no shame in losing a game like this by one goal…

    IMO, if it was not for the fact that neither Chamakh nor Park is a proper predator, we would have won the game…

    would also do something to up the aggression (not the leg breaking kind, just more running towards the ball, etc.) levels throughout the team, as there were some moments where we needed a bit more hustle instead of standing off their players giving them too much space…

  439. I also think we might be in for a mid-season striker purchase. It’s a month and a bit away, yes? So decision time is now. I wonder what Arsene is wondering, or plotting. This does not mean we will get rid of Chamakh, much less Park. Diaby could become our second main striker too, there’s a lovely, idle day-dream. I wonder if he has it in him to be a predator.

    ManC are basically crap by the way. Don’t let anyone suggest otherwise. I’m kind of embarrassed for their pale blue club in an odd way. It’s the guy at the party who arrives in his BMW, well dressed, charming, articulate, intelligent, obviously successful, whom nobody likes but nobody says so, and you feel embarrassed because he tries so hard to please and be respected. He came into money big time, has a lot of assets but is already in serious debt, someone’s toy, and before that shuffled along aimlessly, a fairly likeable bloke actually. Poor sod.

  440. Zim – “ManC are basically crap by the way. Don’t let anyone suggest otherwise

    Heh, of course they are. Teams who are top of one of the premier league’s in Europe normally are eh?

  441. Zim – Additionally, are you suggesting that a quite superb performance by our second string was not even good enough to get a result against a “basically crap” team. That is been a bit harsh in my book. We were excellent in most areas of the pitch.

  442. I refuse to be down about last night – too many positives to be gleaned from it.

    Can we stop with the whole man City are this or that? At present they are the club to beat – they’ve played almost every team they have faced off the park this season.

    I prefer to laud our boys incredible performance against a well organised if slightly less fluid City side. That we deserved so much more and for periods were clearly the better side speaks wonders of our manager’s ability and of the players we have coming through.

    Nonetheless – it is still my assertion that we need better options from the bench to replace RVP and I hope The OxMonster gets a few more run outs soon – he looks like he could be an absolute nightmare against some of the more porous defences in the country.

  443. Goonerandy – to be fair to Zim, any team that spends the GDP of at least 47 of the least developed countries in the world to get to the top of the English Premier league table are crap.

    The way the club spends money is obscene and grotesque and it’s shameful how people get all jizzed up about the power and might of Man City. Frankly speaking, it says more about the stupidity of the society we live in for what Man City are doing to be seen as the in thing, and the fashionable way to get trophies.

    I hear arguments that man City are the best team. If anyone spends over £1 billion to get to where they are, what do you expect.

    The irony of course is that even with £157 million worth of players on the pitch, Arsenal literally gave them a run for their money. So yes, City are crap. The argument that they’re full of world class players is a flawed one.

  444. So, I got there just in time. Took my seat just as the tribute to Gary Speed commenced. My word, we cut that fine. Well worth the rush to get there.

    Atmosphere was fantastic last night, even if most of it was directed towards Nasri. I’ve always been of the opinion that booing players is counter-productive, as they’ll be more fired up, but as Nasri always has done in big games (given his situation) he bottled it.

    Fed up of so-called supporters behind be slating Chamakh. My friend was a little embarrassed when I shouted back at him, telling him to support the team!

    Was a great game really, and as others have noted, when you consider how much their team costs, we looked the better side. Was gutted we lost on the counter like that, but we performed admirably.

  445. Darius – “I hear arguments that man City are the best team. If anyone spends over £1 billion to get to where they are, what do you expect.

    This is sort of my point mate. The way they have assembled their team is ridiculous, but that does not detract from the quality of the team. They are a crap club, with a good team. Unfortunately.

    We did give them a run for their money for sure (I thought we were the better side easily), but that does not make hem crap. We are also a very good side.

  446. yes, city are a crap club with a fantastic team. so can we please move on from this?

    i don’t know why we seem as though we take offence at the suggestion that city are a crap team. why does it matter so much? it is not as if someone just said arsenal is a crap team. so why the fuss?

  447. there was this guy at the pub last night, screaming ‘F*** you’ at our players whenever the move breaks down. especially when chamakh and squillaci both couldnt get on to the end of that cross at the end. he left straight after the game, so i didnt get the chance to tell him: you don’t scream that at your own team. you scream that at the ref, at the other team.

  448. Did anyone else realise last night that there was a period of about 20 minutes where Nasri didn’t even touch the ball? He was completely lost out there, so fair play to our defensive unit for keeping him quiet.

  449. korihikage – Nobody is taking offence, it is just a bit of a daft thing to say.

  450. In relation to the money spent City are a crap team. They are the most expensive team ever assembled in any sport in the world, and they’ll be playing in the Europa League.

  451. I thought our back 4 were superb last night. Especially Koscienly. Miquel also had a very good game at left back.

    The central midfield paring of Frimpong and Le Coq were superb and completetly dominated the midfield area. I have long thought we needed back for Song, but if I am being hnoest I am more than happy with either of those filling in if need be. Le Coq really does seem like a good footballer and I can see him pushing for a midfield slot sooner rather than later.

    AOC had a great game. Every time I have seen him play, he affects the game in a positive way. For me, he should be on the bench for the first team now. If that means somebody like AA drops out of the squad, so be it. We are waiting for AA to find form and start affecting games. AOC is doing that now so he deserves his spot.

    Chamakh and Park both put in hard working shifts, and some of Chamakh’s hold up play for very good. Neither were a goal threat though, and niether gave any indication that they could reaplce RvP for a sustained period should the need arise. This is a cause for conern I think. It is the only area of the squad where we do not really have adequate cover.

  452. And I do take offence at this City love-in going on here right now. Especially after last night. We weren’t played off the park, City were incredibly lucky to get one break that lead to their goal. To me it seems like some of the posters on here genuinely believe that we will be in for a hiding when we face them in the league.

  453. EvilFiek – But it does not really matter how much they have spent. On match day they is no handicap handed out for teams have spent less than them. All that matters is the quality of the side, and they are undoubtably a good side. It is sickening the way it has come about, but and the end of the day so what?

    To write them off as not being good enough “for the amount of money they have spent” is missing the point.

  454. EvilF – We must be reading differnt blogs mate. I don’t see any “love in” for city.

  455. I think Chamakh and Park are very good players. I’d argue that they’re probably not being played to their strengths. They both like to drop in and help build up an attack. Because they were both doing this last night, we looked “toothless”. Maybe we need one or the other to play one of the wider attacking roles, help build up attacks?

  456. Proud of the lads last night. Frimpong and Coquelin dominated City’s midfield three. We were solid, just a little naive to be caught on the break like that. Overall a good showing from us, although Chamakh looked like he was playing with a hangover!

    Surprised Park came off instead of him. Park might have been tiring because he never stopped running all game. Real worker.

  457. There was a more attacking game from Le Coq last night – and some exquisite skill to turn around the City midfield. On the other hand, Frimpong is just a bruiser and bully – I love that. A commentator described him as a humongous specimen and physical unit that Arsenal has lacked for a while.

    Le Coq is more finesse while Frimpong is more of a no-nonsense combative player who knows what to do with the ball.

    squalacci has done really well and has been very dependable in the 2 games he’s played this season and to be honest, as a 5th choice option for CB, he’s an excellent option if you consider we have Koscielny, Vermalen, Mertesacker, Djourou, Miquel and if push comes to shove, Song in contention for CB.

    Koscielny is nothing short of world class. Tell me a player who can handle Messi, Rooney, Drogba, Torres, Aguero, Dzeko – and some folks still have doubts that we have a world class defender in the Frenchman.

    As for The Ox – what to say about this young man. My most enjoyable part of his game was how he literally bitch slapped Pablo Zabaleta. I think we’re on to something here. Wenger should let Theo run fullbacks ragged all game and then unleash the Ox on them when one of the fullbacks has a yellow card.

    Chamakh’s hold up play was solid – I think people are just disappointed he didn’t score the chance that came to him – but he can’t be sharp unless he has pitch time and he won’t get pitch time with Van Persie in the form of his life.

  458. I thought Chamakh held the ball up well, and I thought Park ran his soack off. Could you see either of them leading our line for 10 games or so though? There is no evidence that either could despite their commitment.

  459. Incidentaly, a soack is not an item of Korean sports wear. I meant socks 😉

    Darius – I agree about Le Coq. He and Frimpong compliment each other perfectly for a midfield combination.

  460. Goonerandy – Chamakh has already shown he can lead the line for well over 25 games. I think unless you give them a run, its hard to get into the rhythm. They’re not going to get that much of a crack at the whip if RVP continues his form – so any small chance they get, they’re under more pressure.

    It may be worth noting also that when Chamakh led the line in the first part of last season, most of the goals came from midfield. We need to appreciate that perhaps his style of play brings out the best in the others. Last night for example, his hold up play and layoffs brought more of our players into attack.

    But I was really impressed with Le Coq’s forward runs last night.

  461. I was fretting over that combination. Were they both too inexperienced? Having two deeper lying midfielders hamper our attack? I’m pleased I was wrong. Coquelin’s awareness was spot on. A pass out from defence looked a bit dodgy, but his touch took the ball to one side and he made it safe. Frimpong looked very comfortable.

  462. And how was Fabianski’s cameo as an outfield player…

    For some reason, you’d think Szczesney was the more likely to do that sort of thing, but I loved the way he pleaded with Wenger to go up for the corner and then said “fuck it” I won’t make it back in time, I might as well become a defender.

  463. Agreed Darius. That little lay-off for Ox’s left-footed pile-driver was perfection.

  464. if rvp can’t play, we can’t replace him directly. we need to change the system a little.

    last night, we suffered a bit in that we didnt have a real passer in the middle of the pitch. we were reliant on ox and benayoun making breakthroughs down the flanks. i think everyone could have been unleashed more if there was someone creative in the middle.

  465. Darius – Yeah, I appreciate what you are saying. And I am not slagging the guy, he always gives 100% and that is good enough for me. It just makes us a bit blunt when he is at our sharp end. When you are playing only one striker it is imperative that striker is a goal threat, and unfortunatly he isnt. Two goal in 12 months I think. I know he has not played that much, but even then, in a side that creates as much as we do that is not a great return.

    Every time I saw Le Coq last night (on TV) I always thought he looks like TH14 from afar. I really was impressed by him last night. He could easily be playing first team football at the moment. There is going to come a time when he wants that though, so I hope Arsene starts to give him more chances. It would be a real shame to lose him as he looks to hav ethe makings of a special player IMO.

  466. Oh Darius, I was filled with dread as he peeled off to knock it out, but fair play to him, he absolutely threw himself at it!

  467. The MCity point is tedious Darius/Evil Fiek and Andy you both have points but are quibbling over the measurement. Darius it’s a little unfair to apply your ‘qualifying criteria’ to Andy’s point. By that criteria, you are right. But then, by that criteria, you always will be.

    Man City are always going to be loathed and pilloried for the way they have assembled their squad. Any achievement is, to an extent, going to be judged against the backdrop of ugly expenditure.

    This does not mean we should be blind to and prejudiced against good performances on the pitch though.

  468. Avaris – I suppose at that point in the game, it doesn’t matter whether we lose 1 or 2 nil. it was right that we threw the kitchen sink at them and that Fabianski helped heave the bastard as it was thrown into their penalty area.

    The desire the team showed was more valueable for the rest of the season than winning last night and in the cold light of day, people will see that. It’s a hunger we haven’t shown in a while and perhaps Samir Nasri could have learnt something from that instead of going missing yet again. Even with 20 seconds of added on time, it was obvious that we’re going to get at least one more bite at the goal, and we did.

  469. Coq, Frimpong bossed it and Ox was best player on the pitch. His close control is brilliant,and what a howitzer he has in his left boot.

    very, very promising.

  470. disappointed. very very disappointed and disgusted. ARSENAL deserved better from last nights efforts than the result indicated. it was our chance to make a statement at a stage where we came oh so close to a trophy. chance gone. we out played them for most of the game and then the sucker punch. what can one say about shitty. after all the spending and the negative brand of shit they had on display. they came not to lose. i would be very disappointed if i was a supporter of such a club. then again you can’t ask much more of an italian coach. CATANASIO galore. they should be ashamed of themselves for the brand of football they play.

    UP THE GUNS!!!!!!

  471. Jonny – no doubt they will give any team a good game, and to be honest, I’d rather focus on the spirit of our team and the fact that we’re in a better place than we were in August and September.

    I’m now convinced we have a very good chanced of halving the points deficit on City as 6 points are up for grabs. If we show the same hunger and desire – our collective efforts as a team and as supporters will take us places.

  472. It was noticable that (the goal aside) the team kept its shape very well last night. For the majority of the 90mins we were very close and compact and hard to break down.

  473. Romford – The Ox’s control of the ball and how he caresses and uses it at speed is amazing. I think its a very good thing for him to breathe down Theo’s neck. it’s going to spurr both of them on and they will compliment each other very well.

    I was thinking last night that some of the stuff that the Ox did with the ball in the final 3rd, Theo would struggle with, but it’s also unfair to not recognize that Theo is still one of our most lethal players.

    The Ox is also a very quick and intelligent thinker. Zabaleta shepherded him to what he thought was Ox’s weaker foot and he said “thank you very much and fuck you too”. Do you call that a cultured left foot?

  474. There’s no coincidence that when we went a goal down, and the team pushed for an equaliser, it was the noisiest atmosphere of the whole game. We really felt that we could get a goal, even in those dying seconds. I was right in line with that cross that nearly connected with Chamakh – it was blimmin’ close!

  475. I was impressed with his technique. A high ball looked difficult to strike, but he somehow managed to get his knee over it and keep it down.

    Also, when he gets to the byline, he has this knack for being able to get right under the ball and lift it high to the far post. He did it a couple of times last night, and it’s quite sublime.

  476. Korihikage, that is also what I was saying above. Coq/Frimps did well tackling, intercepting, dispossessing and breaking up play as well as linking to the wide players but neither was really going to put through balls in for the forwards to give them the sort of service they needed since neither Park nor Chamakh created a lot on their own. Chamakh did fairly well holding the ball up and laying off but Coq and Frimps took long distance shots that didn’t trouble the keeper. So, if we are to play with Park and/or Chamakh up front, either the wide players are going to have to be very good and coming inside and crossing into the box or we need more creative midfielders. Perhaps with Song and Arteta behind we would have the quality going forward as well as strength defensively to play Park and Chamakh up front. Otherwise, I would say you want Park or Chamakh playing the 9 and Arshavin or Ramsey playing right behind. I don’t think the combinations through the centre were our best: Chamakh and Park ahead and Frimps/Coq behind.

    Overall, I agree that we should be looking now for a top notch striker for the beginning of January. Gervinho and Chamakh go away and we need the new striker to bed in as quickly as possible. I don’t want to see us wait until the end of the transfer period while we have fixture congestion as the FA cup starts. Perhaps it is a blessing in disguise we are out of the CC. Last year the number of games was actually insane.

  477. pedantic george and Passenal having a go at each other…. over the blue Mancs!
    Come on you guys.

    As for the game….saw it on tape last night. City basic goal-scoring threat was to counter-attack whenever Arsenal overloaded on the offensive side especially after dead ball situations. They had two or more such opportunities before their goal. It was not as if we were not warned. That is my main disappointment.

    For such an expensively assembled team that was crappy. As Napoli proved, they are vulnerable when closed down quickly in midfield and their full backs are pinned back. Good defenders (like Koscielny) can suffocate Dzeko and/or Aguero when they are expected to plow a lone furrow upfront. Mancini is hardly likely to play both of them because he is endemically conservative.

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