Arsenal Fall To City Sucker Punch

Arsenal 0 – 1 Manchester City

0 – 1 Aguero (83)

Beforehand Arsène’s assertion that despite not being able to compete with Manchester City financially, his squad could on the pitch was met with some ridicule. For the best part of ninety minutes last night, his squad players set about proving him right. They were undone by money though; the swiftness of the winning counter-attack and technique displayed is what City paid their inflated transfer fees and salaries for. Even allowing an England international to be involved in the move did not scupper the attack.

Post-match, Arsène was unhappy with the manner of defeat,

I felt we were a bit naive because it was a corner for us and a goal for them. I knew that we were in trouble and I feel we didn’t take enough time to take the corner because Djourou was just going up front and he had to stay at the back on the corner. We didn’t leave him enough time to come back and that’s where we were caught.

He is protecting his players, particularly Coquelin who whether through fatigue or inexperience – or both – failed to track back as vigourously as he should. City have showed exceptional quality on counter-attacks this season, something the players were aware of. They were punished when their diligence was undone.

It was a night though where some of the older heads showed maturity in guiding the younger peers through and where youthful promise blossomed. As much as the attention is focussed on the midfield trio, Koscielny and Squillaci put in solid performances which led by example. For all the criticism of the older Frenchman, nights such as this are where his value in the squad lies.

City had the earliest chance when Johnson highlighted Miquel’s inexperience, cut inside and shot. Arsenal responded and gradually assumed control of the midfield. Chamakh and Coquelin combined to send over a cross for Park. Pantilimon made the save, just as it seemed the ball had beaten him.

From that bright opening, the game became more settled. Arsenal enjoyed possession; City enjoyed frustrating them. Both sides were able to make significant inroads on their right flanks.

For Arsenal, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain lived up to the building hype. Being able, to some extent, to develop out of the spotlight seems to be suiting him and his performance suggests that he might be more used as a substitute in the second half of the season. Certainly his rifled shot that drew a good save from City’s ‘keeper indicated a goalscoring potential that might be useful at the top level.

As it was the interval came and went without further goalmouth incident. That changed early in the second when Dzeko spurned two presentable chances whilst Oxlade-Chamberlain’s duel with Pantilimon was becoming personal as the Romanian punched away another of the youngster’s efforts.

As with Saturday, the introduction of Gervinho sparked renewed life into the Arsenal attack. Chamakh fired wide following his introduction whilst the Ivorian was denied by Toure. 

As the final whistle approached, City struck. The defence was caught out of shape and exploited ruthlessly as the visitors swept up the pitch for Aguero to score. There were mistakes in the speed of taking the corner as Wenger highlighted whilst I thought Coquelin might have done better in pursuit. It is not a finger-pointing exercise though; it was a collective failure rather than singular, perhaps caused by a desire to win inside 90 minutes.

After that, Chamakh had an opportunity which might have been better left to Squillaci. Defeat was harsh on Arsenal but there were enough encouraging signs to be taken rather being a debilitating affair. Frimpong and Coquelin were impressive, as was Benayoun, particularly when he moved centrally. The Ghanian it seems had strong words with Nasri as they left the pitch which suggests that resentments run high still. According to the club’s no punches were thrown although Nasri might have hurt his back when he gestured “Look at my wad!

There are concerns though. Chamakh worked hard all evening and his linkage / hold-up play is excellent but he is not scoring. It is a tough decision for the manager with goals required particularly if van Persie hits a barren spell or is unable to play as often. Can Wenger take the chance on Chamakh. By the same token, if Chamakh doesn’t play, how can he recover his scoring form?

This is part of a wider issue. Goals should not just come from the central striker, everyone needs to chip in with their quota. We have been in this situation before with shot-shy midfielders and attackers. It is part of the group responsibility of the squad system to rectify this. You suspect that their is no issue on the training ground, it is on the pitch that solutions need to be found. If that is by new signings in January, so be it but do not rely on that.

As it is, Wigan offers some immediate redemption to last night’s result. Time to take the lessons forward to there and Greece next week.

’til Tomorrow.

 

Posted on November 30, 2011, in Arsenal, Carling Cup, Football, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 320 Comments.

  1. Lovely write up Yogi

    Personally, the result from last night is irrelevant. We were outstanding and deserved nothing more than to win. We now know that Kolscieny is becoming one of the best CB’s in the league ( egg on face) and that Frimpong, Coquelin, Oxo , Bennayoun are v. decent squad players to call on.

    City aren’t invincible, the league/other sides will be buoyed by the ease in which they were bullied, dominated and controlled by a bunch of teenagers in the middle of park.

    Gutting to go out, of course, but with top 4 and the champs league aspirations, perhaps this defeat will be a blessing in disguise.

    If we got thumped it would have dented confidence and knocked momentum. Last night’s result did the exact opposite.

  2. Said this in yesterday’s post, but thought I’d just repost here:

    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?

  3. It was a spirited team perfromance. Koscienly was simply superb. He had Dzeko and Aguero all along. When he didn’t, Aguero scored. But that’s that. Very impressive performance from Frimpong and Coquelin. I personally think Benayoun could have done a little bit better. Also I thought Arshavin maybe could have been brought after the hour mark. I think his sub was rather a little too late. Loved the atmosphere and the fans being behind the team even though I was watching at home. Especially the part where the fans booed Na$ri and each time the Commentator said “Again.. again.. again and again..” .Well, it was a nice run but back to PL action I guess.

  4. ILikeHowArsenalPlay

    I liked how Van Persie jumped up and said “Come on!” in frustration when Chamakh missed his chance in the dying minutes of the game. It felt as if he and I were fans and I could relate to him more then than when he is a player. Seems like he really loves the club. That is very nice.

  5. I thought it was Oxtail who was slow tracking back (and then went down presumably with some muscular strain, or embarrassment) – whichever it was, both Coquelin and Oxtail were outstanding – and Frimpong excellent as well. A shame to lose it, but very promising performance.

  6. Morning all and thanks for the post Yogi.
    We were undone not by money but by a moment of naivety in an otherwise excellent all-round performance by the lads.We are a work in progress.
    Two things stood out from the game yesterday regarding our team:
    1.Koscielny is easily one of the best defenders in this league.This guy is an asset to Arsenal.I don’t feel edgy when he has the ball.He is a vast improvement on what we saw last season.Great buy.
    2.We have a striker (striking??) problem.Chamakh huffed and puffed and Park is still short on confidence.We realistically can’t expect Robin to be fit for every game this season.

  7. One of the issues we have is that we only play with one striker, which obviously means that the others rarely gets a game. If playing with two then there is a chance of handing out playing minutes to players in dire need of confidence. I thought yesterdays team set up could really be a set up we could build on and could work decently with the first team as well. I think all players that the fans right now is crying to be sold did very well….Scuillaci very solid and Chamack well after Park left(bar one pass on his heels)

    Jonas

  8. The only midfielder we have had in recent year he was a geniune goal threat was Cesc. Bother Gervinho and Theo look like the could get goals but are not getting too many. Our only midfielder who gets into the box on a regular basis is Ramsey.

    It is not an issue at the moment as RvP can’t stop scoring, but when he does (for whatever reason) that may leave us with a problem. I have heard people saying that “other will have to step up” as it is a given that will happen. It is not happening now, so it is reasonable to think it won’t happen then. That is why the addition of another striker in the Jan window must be a serisou consideration.

    Proud of the lads last night though.

  9. Loved it when frimpong just shoulder barged nasri off the ball in the second half.

    the crowd was brilliant last night too.

  10. reposting from the very bottom of yesterday’s:
    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.

  11. My previous post has gone missing Yogi.Needed to say this just to clarify that I’m not Big Bruv who does the ‘first’ thing and then goes missing……………..

  12. Darius – “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

    Good point. It is ironic that just as Theo seems to have cemented himself a place in the side, he is under serious pressure for his place (no coinsidence maybe). AOC seems a better “footballer” than Theo. Good for the club though, Theo need to keep performing and when he does have a dip in form we have a ready made replacement.

  13. Three things in particular I noticed:
    1. I am happy we got rid of Nasri. Wouldn’t you expect a player to show fight in a situation like that? His body language was abject, he clearly didn’t want to be on the pitch and he did f all the whole game. The most ridiculous part was when he thought he was going to be substituted after 30 minutes. Add to that his incredible c*ntishness for throwing away the black armband. Also major props to Frimpong for giving him some extra stick after the game. That’s the spirit I want to see from our players!
    2. Aguero is a proper little shit. Did anyone see his ridiculous dive in the dying minutes of the game? Koscielny picked him up and after that, Aguero couldn’t leave his hands off Kos. He pushed him several times and was desperate to provoke him. Too bad that Koscielny is too classy for that. Instead he just took him to the side and told him to stop it.
    3. Koscielny is already world class. Tell me what you want but in the past year he has played almost every single one of the world’s top strikers, bar VP (for obvious reasons!) and he always came away the winner. He is just incredible.

  14. Evil, good points and I observed some of the same. I think our combatting spirit and refusal to be intimidated may work to our advantage in a few weeks when we meet them in the league. We can perhaps get Aguero, Balotelli, Nasri and so on a bit frustrated. If we keep our cool they might lose theirs. I think this happened against Napoli.

  15. so Harry wants to sign Anelka in January. Do they allow notary publics to visit defendants at the cells at Southwark Crown court to sign transfer papers?

  16. Ilove, plus RvP was looking extremely fly in his shiny, zippered parka. The man is a fantastic leader for the squad in every sense, including fashion sense!! Much better than Cesc in both respects.

  17. We could do with Anelka, don’t you think, if his attitude was right.

  18. My thoughts:
    Saw the game 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.

  19. Apparently, Frimps’ tiff with Nasri continued in the tunnel. The guardian article about it gave no real detail about what they were saying, but an Arsenal club official confirmed that they were loudly arguing and that it was “handbags” but nobody touched one another. Nasri was apparently shouting in French; he has clearly lost it.

    As I said above, this makes for a juicy next encounter and I think we can get in their heads a bit.

  20. I agree with everything EvilFiek said about that mercenary prick Nasri. I used to sing his name to high heavens, especially during that purple spell he had in the first part of the 2010-11 season, but he proved once again to have no bottle when the going gets rough.

  21. Shotta, at home he might play Balotelli and Aguero together. It will be interesting to see whether they fear our first 11 enough to re-adopt the ultraconservative lineup/setup at home. This fixture will have troubled Mancini, I think. So he may retreat into his shell against us in December.

    The best thing, though, is that this performance and a couple others in the past weeks in the CL and league show that ManCity are not without their weaknesses. Stifle them in midfield and attack with speed and they are vulnerable.

  22. The only thing unfortunate is that when we play City in the league, we probably won’t be seeing the mercenary. He won’t start, Silva is ahead of him. Maybe we will be able to watch him sit on the bench and wipe his arse with 100 pound notes.

  23. You’d think Arsenal could afford another decent goal scorer after all the money they’ve had off City in recent years….That’s what was missing for you last night 😉

  24. Goonerandy – I think that both Theo and The Ox can compliment each other very well to give us a devastating presence even in the same game. Let Theo run the fullbacks ragged and bring in The Ox with his close control to finish off the job.

    The competition is definitely working and in an ideal situation, they’ll both get pitch time. I think The Ox, Le Coq and Frimpong should look forward to the FA cup run and some first team appearances. They’ll certainly play against the Greenblacks next Tuesday and it will be a tough game because the Greeks know they can reach the next round if they beat us.

    @Evil – great points there.

    I mentioned yesterday that there’s a lot of hype about Statistics in football at the moment with the release of Moneyball – a US film looking at sports management and the wider issues. The guy who’s story is behind that movie is the coach who looks up to Wenger as an inspiration and one of the best sports coaches in the world.

    Football stats are being widely discussed because of this movie, and Prozone already have Koscielny as the best defender in the EPL this season alongside Martin Skrtel of Liverpool. That’s based purely on performance and not price tags or salary.

  25. I wonder if the Frimps/Nasri thing kicked off because Nasri wanted to shake Frimps’ hand and he was having none of it at the end of the game. The tv cameras only caught them as Nasri was walking away. That would be ironic.

  26. I thought Nasri looked overweight last night – or am I taking this lesbian thing too far ?

    Very good performances all round – the difference between Ox and Theo is that the youngster protects the ball better and is less likely to surrender possession while haring up the wing – Theo on the other hand flicks the turbo switch and is gone – sometimes with the ball sometimes not!

  27. Agreed l-g but he is so fearful of being scored upon that the sort of tactics Napoli adopted is the blueprint for exposing their inherent cautiousness and fear of playing skilled players over the likes of Milner, Barry, Kolarov and Zabuletta (sp). A team needs balance but Mancini always errs towards defense.

  28. Evil, he might be on the bench, and after yesterday’s display Mancini would be wondering what his value to them v. Arsenal is. In fact, Mancini made some comments after the game on Nasri’s performance that suggests he hasn’t yet played himself into first team regularity because he is still adapting and even suggested that the boos might have affected him. That is strange for a manager to admit that his player is that mentally weak!

  29. In so far as CC objectives are concerned (apart from winning the damn thing one day), that is using the platform to nurture emerging players into the heat and hustle of top football, showing their quality, and developing the team, last night beautifully fulfilled its promise, although more games are needed – so the CC run is too short this year. Too bad. We have a fantastic squad and depth is starting to look good. We can match this billion dollar City, or any other team in the EPL. Funny thing to say, isn’t it, after the crisis times. Like Frank, I am very proud of the team and its performance. The naivete is something that can and will be overcome.

  30. Good balanced post.
    Thoroughly enjoy the game last night [bar result].
    Great atmosphere in stadium. Made a pleasant change.
    I’ll take more positives from that game than negatives.
    Gotta say that for all that money, City lacked flair to me.
    Efficient, solid at the back, more long~balls than i expected, dare i say a bit mechanical.

  31. Btw, nice write up as usual YW. I’d say that not only didn’t Chamakh score, he wasn’t especially threatening to do so. I do think Squillaci could have still been lunging forward for the crossed ball but he was a step or two

    On the whole we did well and it won’t have hurt confidence, especially if we bounce back with a big win in our next league match. Goal difference needs to get healthier.

  32. “I thought Nasri looked overweight last night – or am I taking this lesbian thing too far ?”

    No, it was his wallet weighing him down.

  33. Mancini’s kids were quite old!

  34. Funniest thing I saw, apart from Frimpong bullying k.d. lang, was the Sky Sports undynamic duo of Redknapp Minor and serial managerial failure Hughes managing to toe the Sky party line by giving the MOTM award to a player from the winning side, despite the fact that he did very little in the game despite being a £30m player. Apparently.
    Honestly, why does Sky have to perpetuate the lowest common denominator policy of its News International stablemates? Do they really think we’re all too stupid to understand that the winning team doesn’t necessarily have to have played better or have the best individual on the pitch? That in the world of grown-ups, there are shades of grey as well as black and white? I suppose Gary Neville, the only decent pundit employed by any TV channel as far as I can see (and who would have thought anyone would use those words in the same sentence a year ago?) can’t be at every game. Given up getting angry and now just turn the volume down……

  35. @ClockEndRider
    That’s why I outrightly refuse to pay Sky any money. I am not going to shell out 50 quid to be bullshitted all the time. On the other hand if there was a dedicated Arsenal channel that would show all our games live — and without the usual media bias or pundits bending over backwards to come across as “neutral”, I’d gladly pay the money for it.

  36. @ZimPaul – a quick question.

    What do your compatriots think about the Nandos ad starring Bob, Saddam and Gaddafi. Clearly they think no one should be eating alone.

  37. The goal we conceeded was interesting. The defenders back were Frimpong and Coquelin.
    I cant remember which player was at fault but we should have been looking to play offside as Johnson is speedy.

    However, why cant we take a better corner and score from them?

  38. I wonder what folks think of Liverpool’s defeat of Chelsea. They drew v. ManCity and haven’t lost to anyone in the top 4 since the start of last season except the humiliation to Spuds. I am beginning to think that they are also for real. They have had lots of new players come in as well and might have been uneven at the start but they are playing better now. They might still drop points against lower table sides but against the top 7 they are very tough. They might be bigger competition than Chelski if AVB starts to lose it further and they wobble v. Newcastle.

    The other problem is that Newcastle is getting better results so far out of these clashes with top teams and you can’t rule them out of getting a result or even defeating Chelsea at this point. Lots of luck and defensive solidity are keeping them around.

    It means there are lots of teams we have to make up ground on. We can’t count on Newcastle, Spuds, and Liverpool just fading away naturally. I think if we can gobble up the next six league points and go into the trip to ManCity on a high in terms of defensive solidity and goals scored, we can draw or win at Middle Eastlands. That would be a tremendous boost.

    This is going to be a very interesting season! We gave ourselves a huge handicap and the competition for CL places has never been so fierce. What an achievement it would be to finish 3rd or higher this season.

  39. For all of you comparing Theo and The Ox.It’s pointless.They re different individuals with different attributes bringing different qualities to the game.Judge each one of them as individualsGood as he was last night,I don’t see AOC displacing Walcott any time soon.Sure they play on the same wing and were both bought from Southampton.

  40. Kippax Lad

    I don’t suppose you’d be interested in Squillaci for about £25m…

  41. Darius at 11:18 am, good point! The Ox doesn’t necessarily have to replace Theo, who can play any of the front three positions really. The young lad admitted himself that aspects of his game need work, so for the mean time I think he won’t be a starter outside the FA Cup and our last group game in the CL. But having him on the bench would give us a boost. Imagine the opposition right-back having chased Theo for an hour then looking over to see the Ox warming up.

  42. anicoll5 – Theo on the other hand flicks the turbo switch and is gone – sometimes with the ball sometimes not! – so true!!
    EvilFiek – I agree with you about Nasri i for one is glad he left and proves the point about this “mental’ thingy that has always been associated with our team recently. We lost but i enjoyed the game and to be honest there’s not much to whine about except maybe for out other strikers to 1 or 2 goals

  43. In the last couple of games Theo has become more consistent though. I believe it was just a sort of adaption period for him, especially considering how he has more defensive duties now, has had 4 different players playing behind him at RB and is switching wings far more often now.

  44. Darius @ 11:31 am….found the ad funny, but heard a few kids seeking a bit of publicity are making noise about boycotting Nandos

  45. Darius, that ad is the kind of thing most here talk and laugh about in relative safety of homes and bars and the like (although the jokes are much funnier than that ad). Brutish response for Nando’s is on it’s way, I would give it a few days, from party thugs aka “chipangano”. Today they issued a sinister warning which all but said “we are coming”. It’s funny because the company that owns the franchise locally has prominent, extremely rich ZANU-PF shareholders who came out grovelling in the press today, trying to save their (generally fat) arses from a roasting. The local jokes are all about that.

  46. Interesting points about Liverpool, Newcastle and Spurs.

  47. Big Johan and Mark C – definitely Coquelin at fault for the goal (though others contributed also). He is almost walking from the half way line, then breaks into a jog and he still nearly makes it back to cover Aguero and prevent him from having a clean strike at goal.

    So frustrating as it cost us the game and Le Coq was otherwise magnificent.

    Interesting it is not often I have seen such a consensus on the best players – Koz, Ox, Coq and Frimp all seem to be la plate du jour.

  48. Chamberlain was outstanding and it just shows how stupid Wenger is for putting AA23 on the bench instead of him

    Nasri was shite but he was for two and a half years in an Arsenal shirt.But the AKB’s loved him because he was playing for us

    Chamakh Park and Gervinho all recent buys from France all not good enough.French football must be poor.Is Chamakh and Park really better than Bendtner?????

  49. If you have any passing interest in cricket, Africa or just good ‘human touch stories’ – this is a delightful article about the Massai Warriors who have just recently taken up cricket under the tutelage of a South African woman –

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2011/nov/30/the-spin-cricket-maasai-warriors

  50. I thought Djourou had a great game too.

  51. Christ – a draw and a loss and the maggots come out of the woodwork.

    Suga was back last night – nothing sweet about that.

    Lose the next one and well have that c*nt Spectrum over, stirring the soup with his cock.

  52. The bones can be picked out of the goal we conceeded, but in all honesty there was not much we could have done about it. They broke very very quickly, and whilst that twat Hughes was right about tactical fouls, I didn’t really see an opportunity to do so once Dzeko got away from Djourou and Benayoun.

    It was just one of those things unfortunetly and the type of goal you would expect a strikeforce worth £50M+ would produce at some point in a game.

  53. I thought it was a pretty steady performance from us. We didn’t play the best football but we gave City a run for their money. Mancini and the overpaid hype of city were saved the embarrassment today. I am sure the owners would have preferred the full 1st team top have stepped up to the plate in the champions league, rather than knocking a reserve Arsenal side out of the CC cup with a lucky break away goal.

    I am slightly gutted we won’t make it to another semi-final, but after how last years final affected our squad I am sort of glad the distraction is out the way!

  54. Jason – I would say Gervihno has settled in well. He always looks a threat. Do we want more from him? Sure we do, but he has made a good start to his career with us.

  55. Should have stayed at Highbury

    The fans booing Nasri last night were the same fans singing his name 12 months ago(KC song)Funny old game as someone once said

    Goonerandy

    If you mean running about like a headless chicken then yes Gervinho has started well.

  56. #shouldhavestayedatlegrove

  57. Back on TV it didn’t look that impressive but Park did exceptionally well to get a foot to it. However that was also a top class save, as the goalkeeper was moving in the wrong direction but somehow managed to still get a hand to it.

  58. ZimPaul – I have some Zim friends here who absolutely love it. They fear though, that once the Zanu PF machinery get their teeth into the local Nandos management, notwithstanding the fact that they probably didn’t have anything to do with the add except pay the usual fee into the franchize marketing pot, it’s going to get a bit uncomfortable for them.

    Not surprised that the fat cats with shares are already making their excuses before the Zanu PF “disciplinary” committee is unleashed on them.

  59. I had thought we played well and that Frimp,Coq,Ox and Kos were outstanding.But I am reliably told that City are crap and play like a bottom three team.So now I am disappointed that we did not manage to beat such a useless bunch.

  60. PG – Heh, exactly. You would have thought with us playing so well we would have mananged to beat such a crap team. I suppose they were just lucky.

  61. LOL @ ” (Saw this online)

    It would totally apply to any number of hacks and pundits I know.
    “Your every utterance is like the slithering hiss of a fat maggot in the putrid guts of a decomposing rat.”

  62. Good performance, most boxes ticked but Arsene must be worried about where the goals aren’t coming from.

    I didn’t see us scoring last night in all truth once the early flurry past.

    A concern.

  63. Hahaha, get over yourself George. Let it go. No one really thinks City are crap. They’re just saying it out of spite. Its just that you would expect them to play better given their resources.
    I was however impressed with Dzeko to bo honest. Chamakh would do well to learn from him. Nowwhere near RvP’s technique levels, but never shy to shoot. Chamakh almost never looks to take a shot except for the most obvious opportunities. Against good teams, some opportunities rarely arise, and a striker needs to be able to create a little for himself. Ditto for Park, but its still early days for him.

    Loving this team. Top four is definitely achievable.

  64. Is it deja vu or is Portsmouth at risk of disappearing from the face of the planet?

  65. Trying to proportion blame for the goal is wrong. In the cold light of day, it was brilliant.

    A sweeping move with speed, slide rule passes, back flicks and clinical in front of goal, sometimes one just has to doff ones cap.

    Overall, it was an exceptional performance from the lesser lights and further proof, if it was needed, that we have the required strength in depth. (apart from a striker that is)

  66. Darius – Hope Sol Campbell sold his house then. Their parent company has gone tits up and is looking for a buyer. Despite this, Portsmouth won’t suffer a 10 point penalty deduction unless they go into administration. Which is likely to happen in a couple of months apparently.

  67. good performance all round, on the goal late in the game players will sometimes struggle to track back quickly and some were also attracted to the ball rather than concerntrating on getting from box to box. the main fault was both ben and sqa going to ground on the edge of their area. the placement of players around the edge of the area to win the second ball from defended corners is something we are not getting right generally.The other point is we have lost the abillity to score a 30 sec goal like that. small details I know but i think that shows how good the performce. I hate to say this but aa came on and give the ball away three times in sucession I would love for him to find his form again but I dont think he will and he is becoming a barrier to fluid play and when we are trying to excert pressure on teams.

  68. I didn’t think it was a great match, though there were some bright moments. (I confess that my view may be coloured by the fact that I had a ‘supporter’ sitting behind me who behaved like Victor Meldrew with a toothache. Apparently, just about the entire Arsenal team are too slow, useless, etc.)

    For me, the plus points included the rampaging Ox, who seemed our biggest (and, at least until Gervinho came on, just about our only) threat; the back four, who all played pretty well, especially LK; and Frimpong who got stronger and better as the match wore on. Chamakh did well as a target man, but neither he nor Park looked like scoring (Park’s early chance aside).

    We could have done better with more creativity in midfield and attack. Benayoun was a willing worker, but if he was supposed to be the “creator” of the midfield three, it didn’t go according to plan.As he did on Saturday, Gervinho created a few sparks when he came on. I thought that most of the time, we looked like a team who were learning to play with each other.

    It did seem that we were afraid of their counter-attacking threat – rightfully, as it turned out. I recall Frimpong passing to Chamberlain just over the half-way line and, rather than push on into space and provide an option, Frimpong just stopped and left Chamberlain to it. We didn’t quite get the balance right between defence and attack.

    Overall, it was a useful exercise in player development, and I agree with those above who highlighted some chinks in the City armour that we may be able to exploit in December.

    Bring on Wigan!

  69. arse or brain, as much as some folk might like to hold him accountable, it was not Squillaci how went to ground along with Benayoun for their goal.

  70. @Yogi – that Portsmouth story isn’t even funny any more. They don’t know whether they’re coming or going. It must be the 17th owner or something in the last 5 years. The way they’re going, they’ll be in league 2 in as many years, and in the southern division of the Blue Square premiership soon after.

  71. markus ,sorry if i was mistaken i wasnt blaming anyone just highlighting that was the mistake for the goal and not as some people thought the tracking back ( although that was a part) I thought squillaci played well so please dont think im the le grave type who does nt like a player and attach every bad incident to them.by the way who was it verm?

  72. So, onto the macth at the weekend. We are in good form, and we really should expect a win against a very average Wigan side.

    Szchezny

    Djourou
    Koscienly
    TV5
    Santos

    Song
    Arteta
    Ramsey

    Theo
    RvP
    Gervinho

    Sub: Fabianski/Mertesacker/Le Coq/Benayoun/AOC/Chamakh/AA (Diby if fit)

  73. Im not an Arsenal fan but credit must be given I thought you were the better team but a sign of a good team is winning when you don’t play well and winning ugly as they say!

    Thought the midfield was bossed by Arsenal but let’s not carried away that’s not our normal midfield,no Silva,Yaya,Milner,Barry etc etc.

  74. Great post Yogi:

    Sad about the result. I really hoped we would hold up the cc trophy this year. Would have removed a lot of bad memories from last season. Getting City in the draw was a bit of bad luck. The FA cup is still within our reach so hopefully we will aim high in that competition. Great performance from our guys. We had a lot of energy and we played like we had something to prove. Not going to read too much into the performance by City. I don’t think they had as much emotional investment in the game after playing 2 days earlier.

    I have been in favor of going very slowly with Ox and so far that seems to be what the boss is doing. Kudos to him for that. Will be interesting to see if he gets more time on the first team in the coming weeks. If he does and he plays well then let him loose. If he does not play or he struggles, I think we should loan him out to a PL team where he will play regularly for the last 1/2 of the season. Great way to gain the needed experience away from the pressure cooker of a chase for the top 4. Same with Frimp, and Miquel. Coquelin should stay and spell Song more frequently.

    I have to admit that I was not completely sold on the Kos last season, thought he was not physical enough but he certainly has proven that wrong. I am really excited about how our team defense is shaping up. We have seen runs of good form in the past that ultimately were just teasers. However, I think this time we really have something. This will be the first January in memory that I won’t beg for another CB.

    Agree with Limestone regarding Liverpool, Spuds not going away either. Chelsea may go down in flames unless they can figure out how to defend better, JT no longer the monster and Cashley slowing down. Newcastle are not going to go belly up but in the end I suspect they will finish 6th or 7th.

  75. Thought the midfield was bossed by Arsenal but let’s not carried away that’s not our normal midfield,no Silva,Yaya,Milner,Barry etc etc.”

    And of course we played our first choice midfielders yesterday and that’s why we bossed your substitute midfield.

  76. Bill – I hear what you are saying, but I am not in favour of loaning out AOC to be honest. It seems that this is a player who could turn a game for us at the moment so we should keep him around the squad at the moment. We are one injury away from Theo or Gervihno to him being involved.

    One of Frimpong or Le Coq could go on loan though. Frimpong is probably in greater need of a loan.

  77. Darius – Exactly. Hargreaves and De Jong are experinced international players. Frimpong and Le Coq are kids with a handful of first team games to their name.

  78. andy@ 12.03 – “The bones can be picked out of the goal we conceeded, but in all honesty there was not much we could have done about it. They broke very very quickly, and whilst that twat Hughes was right about tactical fouls, I didn’t really see an opportunity to do so once Dzeko got away from Djourou and Benayoun”.

    For once I disagree Andy – the sad thing was that it was fast but still clearly preventable. Coquelin is not alone in shouldering the blame but is more culpable for exactly the reasons YW described. He did not immediately start running to get back and cover – he walks and then jogs only after looking over his shoulder twice and seeing Aguero hurtling past does he start to run but by then it is way too late.

    I could give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was worried about the space he’d leave but I don’t think that’s the case and it’s still poor decision making.

    Still I do not mean to harry the boy – this is part of the learning process – and otherwise he was just brilliant.

  79. Andy @ 2:10:

    Not much doubt about your line up for Wigan except I think Mert will play at CB and Kos at RB.

  80. Andy @ 2:31.

    I would agree with you except we should add 1 and hopefully 2 experienced players in Jan who can fill the front 3. I truly believe Ox is the best young talent we have seen since Cesc, but I still don’t think he will be a difference maker this season. A 1/2 season of playing every game can change that. Unfortunately, performances in CC games has not been a great indicator of what to expect in the league games in past seasons. I guess we give him a few more chances in the upcoming weeks and see what happens, but if he struggles then I don’t think we take any chances with his long term development by asking too much of a 17 year old.

  81. Jonny – I can’t see that vid at work so can’t pass comment. I don’t doubt what you are saying though. Maybe he was just knackered? As you quite rightly pointed out though, it will be lesson learnt for him.

    Bill – Yeah, it could be. It was an either/or when I typed that team out.

  82. jonny, as the ball was being carried coq coulnd back away as he was only player who would be able to face the ball up .if you stop the vid when the ball is about to be played frimpong is behind johson and dj is in line with aguero the ball the movement and reverse pass are very good as i previously said the mistake was two players going to ground comitting themselves and giving dzeko time to carry the ball and pick the pass

  83. Disagree – yes, that was the first mistake and decisive – but Coquelin would still have been far better getting deep and allowing space in the gap he left behind. The important thing was to stop Aguero getting through on goal and slow the play.

    In the end Coq did neither.

  84. I am with Jonny on this one. You don’t ever ever ever want a situation in football where you are evenly matched for numbers in defence. If Coq tracks Johnson it’s 3 vs. 2 and even if City have some space in midfield to exploit, they have to slow down a bit and there are several players rushing back.

  85. if you stop the vid as dzeko approches the halfway line dj and frimpong are well placed although there are players trying to get back had he continued to carry ball no one would have got close,like I say close one to call the set up from the corner really should be more in question

  86. Sometimes the best team loses. It hurt like hell considering how comfortable we looked containing them up until they countered.

    Frimpong was my man of the match, but all the kids were quite impressive and my avator man was his usual self (as evil said) world class, there is a perfect tackle he made in the box, only very few players can do that without botching it.Squilly was also very solid at the back.

  87. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/-i-wanted-to-show-something-to-the-fans-

    There are legends like Vermaelen, and then there are mercenaries like Na$ri.

  88. Bill @ 2:48 – Very true. If the Podolski rumours have any truth to them it would do just that. We could play as the main striker if needed, but also play in either of the wider positions.

  89. I went to the game last night and it was an impressive performance to a point…

    But IMHO Chamakh and to a lesser degree Park just arent upto Arsenal standard, this is where the game was lost (at the business end of he pitch) – City had Auguero / Dzeko and their speed of thought / movement was far superior….

    I think AW needs to address this situation…..

  90. I’m intrigued with this “Arsenal has been linked” drama. To be fair, it’s all over football during the transfer season.

    Has anyone ever paused to think – who actually links these players to other clubs. or rather, which hacks sit at the Dog and Hare sipping a pint in the corner and concocting a story about a player being “linked” to another club.

    I kid you not, I was listening to Talk Shite a few years back while on the way home (I know, I know – I hang my head in shame) when Ian Wright mentioned in his drive time show that wouldn’t it be interesting if Arsenal got a strong midfielder like Vieira to tie in the loose ends. It was a joke, a pie in the sky suggestion plucked from the ether and given oxygen by a joking Ian Wright who was thinking about how he would manage Arsenal.

    Before the end of the show, it was on the Daily Heil online and then on Sly Sports News citing the Daily Heil that Arsenal are looking to resign Vieira. The damn story got a life of its own within 24 hours and by the next press conference Wenger did – all newspapers, readio stations and TV channels were quoting each other as the source of the news that Vieira has been “linked” with a return to Arsenal.

    And when the press conference came, guess what the first question was: “Arsene, are you thinking of re-signing Patrick Vieira”. And no matter what Wenger said, the fact that he answered the question giave the hacks fodder to conclude that he is ideed thinking about it but doesn’t want to answer.

    And all this shit started by Ian Wright “linking” Vieira without any substance and in such an innocuous manner, it was almost laughable if it wasn’t Talk Spite.

    And of course, Harry Redknapp then expressed an interest in brining Vieira over to Tottenham.

    And now we have this story that we’ve been linked to Podolski. My question is – who the fuck linked us to Podolski

  91. “And now we have this story that we’ve been linked to Podolski. My question is – who the fuck linked us to Podolski”
    Be careful Darius ,It may have been an ACLF old timer.And they are not to be questioned .Least they destroy you with their football knowledge,wit and repartee.

  92. Darius – Heh, you are right of course. In this instance I think it came from one of Koln’s directors. He said something about being aware of Arsenal’s interest. Probably a load of bull as you say.

  93. PG – Heh, also very true.

  94. “My question is – who the fuck linked us to Podolski?”

    It was Professor Plum in the conservatory with a sledgehammer made entirely of bollocks.

  95. But George – all I want to know is the basis of the “link”. Were they at a meeting where Ivan Gazidis, Steve Rowley and Podolski’s agent discussed in principle that we may approach his club for a transfer? If that meeting took place and they weren’t in the room, was the room bugged? Did someone sleep with someone else to get some insider information about a top secret striker transfer wishlist that we have? Where is the info coming from and what are the facts behind that story.

    As opposed to say John Cross sitting down his local and coming up with a story to fit the Arsenal don’t have a backup for RVP narrative because his editor has reminded all the Mirror hacks that transfer season needs column inches filled.

    I’m just curous – who does the linking.

  96. Darius ,It was me and John last week, when I popped round to his gaff for a brew

  97. I am not a 100% sold on Podolski. I know what he can bring on the table, having watched him a lot with Bayern and the German national team, but unfortunately he seems to be a player who takes a lot of time to settle and needs the team to be built around him. At Bayern he just couldn’t establish himself, had to fight for his place and in the end failed. He probably wouldn’t be very high up the pecking order at our place, either. Might be a good addition, but I just don’t see Podolski as the player who would be banging in the goals when Robin is not playing. And to be honest, his numbers have been saying the same thing. Just compare his scoring record to Park’s.

  98. have not posted in some time

    Good, game last night very enjoyable watchin the youngsters put in that kind of perfromance against the most expensive second team ever.

    things i saw from the young guns/team last night

    1. Watchin chamakh play football is so painful, really does annoy me someone like this is a pro footballer lack of effort/falls over/ dreadful touch shot.. Did anyone see second half coughing/ fall ing over kept looking to the bench to come off. Never in my time of supporting Arsenal have seen a player not fit to wear the shirt. No wonder he was free OUT january.

    2. Park – jury was out on him last night,did not do himself any favours, personally not good enough for Arsenal/Premiership got to go .even though hes only had limited chances to my mind quality is not there

    3. Le big Coq- is ready reminded me of flamini in the middle tenacious/agrresive, only negative falled to track back quick enough for the goal.

    4. Koz -really did not rate the player, but after recent performance this guy is looking an awesome defender, Who Knew?

    5. Ox- The new beast – seen him play three times now the boy looks quality, reminds me of rooney in earlier years, he has to at least becoming on sub in prem games 60-70mins looks like got everything in his locker

    on another note – A striker in January is the main priority!

  99. 4. I don’t think it was that difficult to see that Kos would be top class.

  100. Jonny

    So that’s Adrian Durham then…

  101. 1. Ever thought that Chamakhs coughing might be related to the fact that he worked his socks off all night? He had little service from midfield and was required to drop deep all the time.

  102. Great comments from TV! the man said he is not a quitter! love it.

    All I can say is that I am proud of the team.

    As far as strikers, I am all for buying players but with that, that player will have to prove themselves also. Quite a few great players have flopped when they moved to a different teams, so that is not a given.

  103. Th e only one’s who did not know were the sort who write a player off after a few games, have got the patience of a letter box and the eye for a player of Ray Charles

    Thick some of ’em

  104. How could anyone not see that Kos was class?

    I was not on that Jury as far as Park. Again, for strikers to be sharp they MUST play. Such is the nature of a goalscorer.

  105. Klose would be incredible. He could do the job, but he has only recently moved to Lazio. In hindsight it would’ve been great if we would’ve gotten him on a free in the summer but unfortunately Klose is just that little bit too good for a place on the bench. (Probably our biggest dilemma: the very best strikers do not want to sit on the bench)

  106. great comments C.O.A. write off a couple of players and then say how wrong you were about another priceless lol

  107. evilFiek

    Chamakhs been coughing since August, anyone who watches football can see quailty is not there absolute dreadful player and thats what he does every game drop deep to lay the ball off then fall overor give it away, even old smugder on commentry last night he knows

    if you seen him play regularly for Bordeaux or Marsille, its like we got his twice brother whos a french farmer or something

  108. Watch us getting linked with Drogba who’s in the process of blowing up his bridges with Chelsea…LOL

  109. if we get someone in, we get someone in. but i think chamakh and park have a lot more to offer than many think. that’s why they are sitting at home, playing football manager, while arsene wenger is the manager.

  110. Arse on the Brain

    Koz has had some dogdy games for Arsenal/big errors, but u could see some potential in him, but with regards to Park & Chamakh i dont see nothing. Maybe being harsh on park as i said has had limited number of chances, by as for Chamakh simply has to go in Jan

  111. Given what Chamakh accomplished for us at the start of last season, I am trusting for him to get back in shape. If he did it them, he can do it now. Come on Chamakh!

  112. Option a)
    “Ever thought that Chamakhs coughing might be related to the fact that he worked his socks off all night? He had little service from midfield and was required to drop deep all the time.”
    Option b)
    “Watchin chamakh play football is so painful, really does annoy me someone like this is a pro footballer lack of effort/falls over/ dreadful touch shot.. Did anyone see second half coughing/ fall ing over kept looking to the bench to come off. Never in my time of supporting Arsenal have seen a player not fit to wear the shirt. No wonder he was free OUT january.”

    Its not easy for a player if the team is not set up to make the most of his strengths(Chamakh,Arshavin being prime examples)
    On the other hand it is easy to make annoying and useless posts that contain the words “not fit to wear the shirt”

  113. Yogi, I hope you don’t mind but thought I’d share an Arsenal song that myself and a good friend of mine made. Not to everyone’s taste but here goes…

  114. COA

    a question: can you really say you saw that potential when koscielny was making those mistakes, or you are saying that now in hindsight when you realise he is actually a good defender? just wondering you know.

  115. I agee with that korihikage!

    I wonder what Wenger is seeing?

  116. P G

    i stand buy it

    Chamakh not fit to wear the shirt, i know many fellow gunners the same way i am not in the minority here, how many more chances can u get and keep puttin performances in like that/ (last 10/15 games not just 1 game were talkin here)

    q: out of 10 what would u rate chamakhs performance last night?

  117. C.O.A. hang you seem to be reversing here on kos you said “I really didnt rate Him ” not i wasnt sure or bit error prone but shows potential. Dont get me wrong I not a huge chamakh fan but you cannot just write off his start for arsenal. As you pointed out youve been wrong before and chances are you’ll be wrong again

  118. I thought it would embed but apparently not.

    On the game last night, I thought Frimpong put in his best performance for us so far. He and Coquelin work really hard as a platform but they needed another creative player. I don’t really like the balance between having Park and Chamakh. I don’t think they compliment eachother.

    Still, the boys did themselves proud last night.

  119. btw Mean Lean – I heard the song earlier when you posted it on Twitter.

    Great Song. I think you should find a way of giving it to the stadium DJ/announcer to play it during match days. I think it’ll be awesome in the stadium.

  120. Korihikage

    Not in hindsight, koz used to have a good game occasionally u could see potential even though made some big errors, now he seems to have eradicated the errors, still well over due an O G though

  121. @George – when you went to visit John, did you two huddle around his laptop to read the latest Le Grove post? he does consider them an authoritative Arsenal fans blog you know.

    What did his wife make for tea?

  122. Edited it for you Mean. If anyone is going to post anything from youtube, don’t faff with the embed link they post, just copy the URL.

  123. “4. Koz -really did not rate the player, but after recent performance this guy is looking an awesome defender, Who Knew?

    “Koz has had some dogdy games for Arsenal/big errors, but u could see some potential in him,”

    This is why we should leave certain things alone, it is obvious we dont know nearly as much as we think.

  124. i think any player needs 3 things to ‘be good’ – quality, confidence and opportunity(in terms of playing time, in terms of the kind of balls he gets)

    with our system, with the form of some of our players, and various other reasons, some players like chamakh and arshavin arent able to fully express themselves.

    as an arsenal fan, i hope they will do so soon. it is more useful when you have a positive attitude than when you are just slagging off your own players. i think they deserve a little more support.

    in any case, the real football world is different in that players are human beings. not some robots. many fans have lost touch with reality a little in the way they perceive things. hell, if rvp doesnt score for more than one game in a row, people will start saying he is shit too.

  125. @ComeonArsenal
    So when Chamakh banged them in last season while RVP was injured, what did you think about thim?

  126. COA,

    i do wonder if you know anything about football.

  127. i feel like telling these to the people who start saying ‘this player should leave in jan. that player can go in jan’

    ‘why don’t you leave yourself?’

  128. Nice Song there Mean!

  129. Well it does give em someone to give a good BOOOOOOing to when they come back

    Whatever happened to Jilted John ?

  130. Evil F

    Have u watched Chamakh performances for arsenal last 10/15 apps, Are you a season ticket holder, are you an Arsenal Fan? R u on the wind up?

    Chamakh is a absolute dreadful stiker for arsenal and i will be amazed if wenger does not out him in January, if van the man gets injured (god forbid) who u gonna play chamakh? with him upfront we would not even qualify for the europa league muppet

  131. @Paul N – imagine the entire stadium singing that chorus as the players walk in or just at the beginning of the second half.

  132. though this was supposed to be a proper Arsenal blog, where posters have a clue about our current arsenal team/players, full of deluded muppets cant see the wood through the trees

    peace out, im off

  133. I was hugely impressed with Chamakh for his first 4 months.

    He was looking like a wonderful addition.
    He will again I think.But compared to RVP he will always look second rate.Just as anyone who replaces Cesc will look lesser.

  134. won’t really miss COA.

  135. arse or brain, just saw your reply from earlier. No mate didn’t think you were intentionally getting at Squillaci. No worries here.

    As for the Koscielny debate all you have to do is go back to Yogi’s post the day after the Liverpool match to see what ACLF’ers thought of the lad on his debut. First two comments from our very own Goonerandy and IndianGooner sums it up.

    https://aculturedleftfoot.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/laurent-sees-a-red-card-and-marouane-paints-it-chamakh/#comments

  136. Standard stuff.
    Come on .Make a piss poor post.Get pants taken down and arse spanked.Then say”full of deluded muppets ”

    Fucking priceless.

  137. what “wood” are you talking about?

    That would be Brilliant Darius!

  138. Darius ,where has your shield gone?

    No food only drink and drugs at Johns.

  139. George – I have no idea. I’ll get a headache trying to figure it out.

    So – at what point in the drug induced session do you two decide to “link” a player with Arsenal?

  140. Well I said “John my old china,Lets make up a story about an average player and his imminent arrival at Arsenal.That will wind up Darius”
    He said ” Shut up George ,and cut another line of Ket”
    After that I cant remember much

  141. We have had this discussion many times before. No reason to get rid of chamakh but you can’t make personnel decisions in the next transfer window assuming he will somehow come good especially since he will be gone to the ACN in January. You assume the worst and plan accordingly and if he does somehow re-find his best form then you have extra strikers which is a good thing. Man city are making it work with 3 premier goal scoring forwards. Man united has 4 if you count wellbeck. Assuming that chamakh will come good and doing nothing in the next window is asking for another melt down at the end of the season if RVP burns out or gets injured. You want to feel positive about chamakh but you have to do what’s best for the team and not the individual player.

    The other issue is RVP’s contract status. We want to have a good striker already adjusted starting the season if he ends up leaving next summer and that means bringing someone in during January. Clearly none of us want that to happen but planning for the worst is almost always the best thing for the club.

  142. Ah George – that might have been the week we were linked with Kevin Doyle from Wolves. The Ketamin explains it.

  143. Very good write up YW. Thank you!

    Ok, we lost but there were so many promising performances that overshadowed our elimination from this competition.

    Last few seasons our troubled areas were as follows but I have penciled in where we
    are today:

    goal keeper – Szcz & Fab
    defenders – Sag, Dj, Jenks, (Kos) Ver, Per, Koz, Squill, (Dj) Santos, Gibbs (Ver)
    DM – Song , Frim, Coq

    And now this segment of the team seems to bare fruit – now and long term.

  144. ILikeHowArsenalPlay

    ComeonArsenal

    Why is it that you are never around when arsenal are winning (Maybe i dont notice you then)? Why do you have to be so negative? The people here love the club for what it represents. They believe in players and want to see them do well.

    Some fans, unlike you, see the quality in a player. They back the player through tough spells and want to see them come good. How badly do others besides PG want to see Arshavin do really well for Arsenal? Even though he hasnt been at his best, I still rub my hands every time I see his name on the team sheet.

    It is because of your mercenary demands that mercenaries like Nasri exist. Enjoy Arsenal football man.

  145. Late to the party as usual so apologies if I go over old ground

    I thought the team were excellent last night. Maybe we lacked a cutting edge up front but City`s back four had a wealth of experience & I thought Chamakh & Park were willing if a little lightweight.

    Apart from the goal we looked sound defensively with Kos simply outstanding & the midfield were superb. Whilst Frimpong looked good & Ox looked very good I reckon Coq was the pick of the bunch. They are certainly all premiership quality right now, even if only used sporadically.

    The highlight of the night for me wasn`t Ox`s thumping left peg or Frimpong`s annihilation of Nasri – it was Jamie Redcra&p`s half time observation that players showing dissent when taken off would not `endure` them to their manager. Simply priceless.

  146. If the match had lasted another 90 minutes, I could not see Arsenal scoring. We needed more of a creativity link between midfield and those in advance.

    Maybe if Santos had played, he would have provided the missing ingredient in support that was obviously missing.

    As others mentioned last night, and I agree, we missed Rosicky and Diaby.

    I’m not sure our manager will be intently looking for any striker in January.

    RvP out and Chamakh is unable to find his game……

    then Theo his wish and move him in the middle.

    I could very excited to see a lively front line of:

    Gervinho -Theo – Ox

  147. i dont think we should judge C.O.A. to quickly maybe if he had a consistant run of posts his form might improve especially if darius or yogi give him better service

  148. Thanks for the embed fix Yogi,

    And thanks Darius and Paul N. I would love it to be played at the Emirates although not sure what Arsene would make of the ‘we lacked a little bit sharpness’ 😉

  149. Bill, fact is when Rooney doesnt play United look normal for all the strikers they have. City have the money to do what they have done, hard to compare us to them.

  150. Over the last few months I have been amazed at how sh*t The Gooner has become, but something made me buy a copy last night to read on the train on the way home.

    Towards the back of the latest issue is a 2 page interview with LeGrove.

    Said copy of the Gooner is now in the bin at the station and no copy will ever be purchased again.

    Good way to get readers to come back that was.

  151. I am not against buying a striker though.

  152. Just a short comment to emphasize how much I enjoyed the game yesterday.
    This is a game that won the hearts of pretty much all Arsenal fans! We do not need oil money from a state that starves its people.

    These Arsenal lads played a game that was extremely entertaining and I think the rest of the league has been put on notice that we are not rolling over.

  153. Bill

    “The other issue is RVP’s contract status. We want to have a good striker already adjusted starting the season if he ends up leaving next summer and that means bringing someone in during January. Clearly none of us want that to happen but planning for the worst is almost always the best thing for the club.”

    I agree that planning ahead is smart business. But our manager, when it comes to players, does just the opposite.

    He always felt he could hold onto Nasri and Cesc a little longer and thus the start to this season was catastrophic.

    I think Arshavin’s play, not RvP’s contract, will be the key for any Arsenal decision in January to acquire another true goal scorer.

  154. bruce sacked

  155. “arse or brain | November 30, 2011 at 5:35 pm
    i dont think we should judge C.O.A. to quickly maybe if he had a consistant run of posts his form might improve especially if darius or yogi give him better service”

    Brilliant.

  156. george, Cheers i write in your shadow

  157. Arsesession @ 5:57:

    Both factors need to be considered. Planning ahead by assuming the worst case scenario somehow sounds doomerish to some I guess, but it seems like such a no brainer especially now that we have a bank vault full of money.

  158. i fucking love frimpong..

  159. Bill, Your point is good .But the bank vault is irrelevant,or should be.Money or not there should be a plan.

  160. Does NB 52 come back now in January?

  161. nb52 would be a good asset however he needs to score on a more regular basis 90% of the home fans would be against him as soon as he ran onto the pitch.
    on a different note good to see the twicher spending twice as much on agents as we have only outspent by city having bankrupt bournmouth,west ham , southampton and portsmouth he now trying his best with the spuds money

  162. George:

    The bank vault is the single most important variable. There should always be a plan, but your squad management has to depend on the amount of resources available. If we had no money available then needing a striker in January would be irrelevant since there would be nothing we could do anyway. Lack of resources was the problem 6 years ago and our squad management was based on the that or at least we hope it was. Not the same scenario today.

  163. don’t think bendtner wants to come back

  164. arse or brain: “I hate to say this but aa came on and give the ball away three times in sucession”

    You a lying, he did not.

  165. Lean, that is one mean video and song. I agree with Darius–it should get a run out at the stadium. It sure beats the wonder of you…

  166. Bill, who would you want to come in. Would you be ok with an Eduardo trype signing or do you want a big name player in Jan?

  167. Bill @5:18, extremely clear point and well said. I’ve argued exactly the same: we need a goal scoring second striker to spell RvP and play in the front three and may need a replacement for RvP after this summer. It is always better to have the player already. That way we start next season with someone who is ready to go right from the get go. We have the money from player sales.

    I seriously hope we are scouring high and low for a quality striker and get the player in at the beginning of the window to get adjusted and bed into our team and possibly a new league.

    To me this is a top priority. The new striker would get FA cup games, league games before and possibly after our CL matches and could be on the bench for when we are chasing a game. The problem of having a top striker unwilling to sit on the bench is really a red herring. There will be lots of games. Having another credible goal threat like that is very important.

  168. 123 , watch it back again if im mistaken ill amit it but im no liar and like i said “i hate to say it” but im not wrong

  169. Eduardo type would be good or a big name signing. The main thing is quality, ability to play in a physical league like ours.

  170. fuck bendtner..leave him to rot at sunderland..prick..

    while we are on the topic of strikers (again) i find it wierd that judging on wengers squads of the past we have come to a point where we a looking down the barrel when it comes to central frontmen..
    i know we play a different formation now but when it comes to central strikers weve had bergkamp, anelka, wright, hartson, suker, henry, kanu, wiltord, rvp, adebayor, edu, theo

    never have i seen our striking options so weak, wengers always had 4-5 top strikers in the squad at one time until recent years, the best ones shone but the rest where good enough to come in and compensate all the same…admittedly in a 442 rvp and theo would tear it up, but outside of those two weve got fuck all..whereas for years weve been strong..especially in our trophy winning years…coincidence?? maybe not…

    its like backing henry and bergkamp up with alliadiere and cris wreh and expecting to keep momentum for a whole season

    im hoping by the fact that our scouts have been spotted up and down germany and managers have been claiming wengers ringing them over their hotshots that hes looking to rectify this little problem in january

    even if we take someone like anelka back for a year or whatever, like we did with suker, we are in need of more depth and they have to be direct and good in front of goal…preferably able to play all across the front three if needed seeing as though we play a 433 now 99.9% of the season…they would get more chance of games this way as well rather than just being rvp’s backup…

  171. Paul @ 7:06:

    See Limestone comment at 7:18.

    No secret I would love a “big name signing” just because its fun and it would be a great mental pick me up for the squad and the fans however, If Arsene can pull a rabbit out of his hat then I will tip my hat towards him again. Clearly Limestone stated the bottom line in that comment.

  172. “Pick me up?” – I thought we signed players because they were footballers who did what it said on the tin.

    If fans or players need a pick me up they can get a blow job or something. Can we buy players for the right reasons and not some superficial pick me up.

    Sorry Bill.

  173. arse or brain
    Andrei did not give the ball away three times in succession.He lost the ball when running at multiple opponents attempting to create a goal scoring opportunity.
    There is a difference you know.

  174. If we are going to buy a somewhat obscure player then we should give our current players more playing time in my opinion. I think they will score.

    I feel we are being too harsh on our players. A player hardly gets a game, due to being behind the best player in the PL, but when they get one game we expect them to set the world on fire. If they don’t, they are not good etc.

    I remember that most were excited when Park scored that brilliant goal and now we have no one.

    Up and down.

  175. i think the ppl who wouldnt like to see a big name signing would be in a minority to be honest..

    i dont know a single person who wasnt chuffed to bits when we signed bergkamp..didnt hear too many ‘what have we bought him for’ or ‘why have we spent money instead of developing a 15 year old’ quotes going round the day he put pen to paper..

    at 7.5 mil he was a british transfer record too at that time…until liverpool bought collymore for a million more the same summer.. and shearer went for 15 a year later….but at the time dennis was a biggy..,.

    didnt hear too many complaints and if we did something similar (i guess it would be in the 25-30 mil range these days) i dont think there would be that many complaints either…

  176. So to answer my question bill. If we are worried about who is going to come in for RVP we should buy a big name. Someone who leaves almost no room for doubt. If not I will trust what Wenger says when he says that players like Park will come good. As has been noted, Walcott can have a go also.

  177. “If fans or players need a pick me up they can get a blow job or something.”

    That might be possible in the thriving city of London.But that sort of pornographic behaviour is almost unheard of north of Watford.

  178. JJ, it is weird. Vela and Bendtner were supposed to develop. Eduardo and Adebayor left. And yet the only strikers coming to the club have been a short termer like Park and Chamakh who has not proven to be effective since he was benched. He hasn’t been effective coming off the bench late in games either; apart from the atrocious Blackburn loss, I don’t remember a really good assist or goal from him in those situations.

    You want to have a striker on the bench who can get you a goal or make one late in a game. This is quite apart from the rest for RvP and backup to him in case of injury or suspension. Right now we don’t have a player to do that at all reliably–someone dangerous on a free kick, corner or rebound, or who can create for themselves and finish clinically. Gervinho makes them nervous but hasn’t proven to be a reliable finisher. Perhaps we have to see Park and Chamakh with some better service from our better midfield players, but I’d say we are short on creative midfield talent at the moment as well.

    That’s why I actually do think AW is going to buy an attacker/striker. He and the club suggested at the end of the summer that they might not be finished. I just hope he gets the top of his list early on and prioritizes quality over value for money in that case. If it is really a super talent, I hope we can get one or two players of exceptional talent and good attitude. Players like RvP, Vermaelen, JW, Chezzer.

  179. George – necessity has always been the mother of invention. I’m sure folks north of Watford have figured out a ‘pick me up’ – maybe they’re just not keen talking about it. Either way, the Arsenal transfer policy should never be held responsible for pick me ups.

  180. And btw George – I’m switching between the Manure game and your friend David Caruso. Since you mentioned it a few days, I’ve taken more notice – he really is a crap actor now.

  181. Paul-N, I defer to Wenger, so he may have discovered someone who would be perfect that not everyone knows about. But I agree that it should be top, top quality not just a serviceable backup and solid hardworking type. Chamakh is that player at worst and at times was a very good player for us.

  182. ManU has a seriously weakened side with a weak bench. Fergie thinks this is in the bag or doesn’t care for the extra fixtures since they are trailing ManCity and aren’t yet qualified in the CL. Cutting his cloth….

  183. trimming his sails…

  184. Yes he is but he was good in “Mad Dog and Glory” and “Jennifer8”.Also his first big break in “First Blood”
    Not forgetting NYPD Blue

  185. All the rage during his NYPD blue days.

  186. chamakhs appeared over 50 times now in an arsenal shirt..baring in mind hes been here a year and a half its not like hes not playing is it??? and he hasnt scored that many in about 30 of them so i fail to see the correlation between him being pants and gametime..
    at the minute hes just pants..

    now he may find his shooting boots one day, but i dont fancy watching him another 30 times just to see if he does cos theres no point in the rest of the team playing there bollox off to salvage something from the season for him to be just as inneffective as he has been for the past year, especially when it basically can lose you games or lose you points when the game was dominated.. as witnessed last night..although collectively it is a team game, strikers are there to score goals and goals win you games…the majority of our goals are not coming from anyone but robin and hes a striker so there you go..its your strikers who are expected to do the biz…anyone else scoring from midfeild or whatver is a bonus…

    that dont mean i think we should sell chamakh cos he might all of a sudden start to produce but as far as this season is concerned id rather just buy someone else who knows where the goal is..knows how to get in the box, knows how to trouble defenders and knows how to shoot, you know? the basics of any good striker…

    and anyway, even if chamakhs shooting boots return in the next few weeks, hes fucking off to acn anyway, so we might as well write him off for most of this season, he might as well have gone to acn in august, so either way you look at it we need to bolster the frontline in january

  187. Eduardo played 17 PL games in his first season and scored 4 goals.

  188. Let’s play fantasy transfer window Limestone.

    How about Pato who seems to be wondering about AC Milan. Let’s ask George’s mate John Cross to “link” him with us…LOL. Or Huntelaar – who truth be told, I have no cleu where he is or what he’s doing, Or a fantasy Karim Benzima or perhaps lets get Klose from the Baverians.

    Maybe even follow the British punditry M.O and relieve Liverpool off Andy Carroll for a good old fashioned English centre forward. Darren Bent? Anelka? Kevin Doyle? LOL

    My guess – Arsenal will surprise everyone with an unknown. it’s our M.O like we’ve done with Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen et al – all who were pretty much nobodys – but hit the ground running…in fact sprinting.

  189. If the rumours this summer is true though its clear to me that Arsenal are willing to spend but not on some random star player just to keep the fans happy. If they spend 20M on a player they want it to be the RIGHT player. the player the management ffeel will do the best job compared to his price tag. Not the player the fans may think is the RIGHT player.
    If AW is gonna spend 20M he will want to be damn sure he does not buy a “torres”.
    That would be a disaster for the club.
    Grimmandi also said that they had already identified the playes they wanted to bring in but that they were not yet available.

    I think we will se a big name signing either in the January window or in the summer. But AW will not be rushed into splashing 20m. When he splahes them he will want to be sure hes using them on the right man.
    ITs a right shame we did not get Mata as he would fit us well imo. But such is life, i do hope however we get our men in the calendar year of 2012.

  190. Blistering blinkers!

    Why would the club send AOC on loan when there have been statements about

    a) Playing more at the turn of the year, more games, African Cup of Nations…the rest
    b) Working on his D-Fence in training. And other stuff! I hope.* A bit like what Theo has been doing in recent seasons. In case you missed it.
    * if not, any suggestions for an Offensive coach? I hear DB10 is bored of the boardroom shuffle at Ajax FC. Maybe.

    Biggest dissapointment of the season for me?
    Ryo not being available for last nights game.

    *sobs*

    *wails*

  191. Darius:

    The whole issue of “big name signings” and my comment about mental pick me up was a dumb comment because it just diverts attention from the real issue. My bad.

    You and I both know that it has nothing to do with the real issue. I hope we don’t avoid a player who could really help us just because he is already a known quantity and therefore might be priced a little higher then someone we have never heard of. The bottom line is that this position is a real need in our team right now and I hope we can get the best person available for this season and for the future no matter if he has a big name or not.

  192. @ Jonny

    Regarding Friday’s post:
    Good guess!

  193. Are you ever going to be happy JJ?
    I am glad I don’t have to think what you would like for Xmas.That would be a fucking nightmare of a task.

  194. I’m watching CSI Miami and maybe looking at Caruso with a prejudiced view. I don’t know, he’s trying to be cool, calm and collected – maybe like that Vincent guy acting as Robert Goran in Criminal Intent. But it ain’t working for Caruso – especially if you compare his leading role to the guys who play Grisham in CSI Vegas and Mac Taylor in CSI New York.

  195. @lime really if the club did bid big money for targets this summer “that was not yet available” it shows they are ready to act and really pay top dollar for the right players.But only for the right ones, the ones that fit best with arsenals philosophy, not for the second best ones. the player has to slot in easily, besides if we do go for players that wanna play in the EC. many will indeed wanna stay until summer and secure their EC spot before they move club…

  196. arse or brain: “watch it back again if im mistaken ill amit it”

    AA entered the game at 86’40”; how could he give the ball away 3 times?

    86’40”: AA entered (BTW it is a bad joke to send a player into the game on 87th minute)

    87’17”: he waited for a pass in a good position, but did not get it

    88’02”: he got the ball, gave it to Gervinho, ran forward but did not get the ball back
    from Gervinho (who passed it to our defenders instead)

    88’50”: he made a corner strike, Vermaelen won the ball but lost it after that

    89’40”: he got the ball and, yes, gave it away

    90’07”: got the ball, passed it forward to Gervinho, who wasn’t able to posess it, and their defender cleared the ball out (not the same as “gave the ball away”, he tried to start an attack and it is what he supposed to do)

    91’05”: he stroke the ball from the corner, their keeper catch it (is it counts as “AA gave the ball away?”)

    91’35”: got the ball, passed it to Gervinho into their area (who then crossed it to unlucky Chamakh)

    93’30”: his last strike to the goal, in the same time with the final whistle.

    So, where is your “he entered and gave the ball away three times in succession?” What game did you watch, and what player you are talking about?

  197. ivanputthepricesup

    We could do a lot worse than go and get Anelka if Chelsea are willing to part in January.
    The guy would walk from Stamford Bridge to the Emirates to come back to the club that made him his name,
    Arsene is a father figure to him and would do the business for us if given the chance.
    The only problem is his age and even if we did sign him it would only be short term but would fill a very big hole in our offensive options.
    Probably won’t happen but its a funny old game !

  198. god, if United does not win today, i bet my ass on City meeting Palace in the semis and getting to the final. I so so so so hope United draw City in the semis. Im sure the money guys hope that too. they would earn more on city vs united over two games than city meeting united in the final right?

    Hope they rigg the draw so those two meet in the semis. Great for entertainment, great for us as they will be excausted after hard matches as they both will have to field strong teams to win. its a win win situation really…
    the winner meets Liverpool in the final… and all three clubs have focus on that instead of the league(one can hope anyway).

  199. Bill – I think if Arsenal are convinced the player is a fit to what we need, Wenger will buy the player regardless of whether they’re a big name player, or whether they’re unknown but can hit the ground running. I don’t think the club will be scared or shy about spending. I think though, that they will carefully consider whether the player is right for Arsenal for the long term.

  200. January is a pretty difficult time to get a top notch player. Manymof the wow factor players are cup tied and in any case many clubs would not want to sell at such a critical period. I don’t see many quality options or first tier players. Maybe a second tier player perhaps, it is also not given that we may buy a striker. If anything a creative midfielder looks to be the option especially if wilshire suffers a setback. I won’t be complaining though if we get a goetzer or hazard or reus. The one striker who would absolutely be a mega star at arsenal is higuain, if maureen ever falls out with him i would be over the moon if we signed him.

  201. Limestone

    Red mancs team is as weak ascut could possibly be given the squad. I really hope they get beat but I doubt that anyone except the players who get to play in these games would care.

  202. Strike options of CL place contenders:
    ManCity: Balotelli, Aguero, Dzeko
    ManU: Rooney, Hernandez, Berbatov, Wellbeck
    Chelsea: Drogba, Torres, Sturridge, Anelka, Lukaku
    Spuds: Adebayor, Defoe, Pavluychenko
    Liverpool: Suarez, Kuyt, Carroll
    Newcastle: Best, Ba, Ameobe
    Arsenal: RvP, Chamakh, Park

  203. I don’t recognize most of the Manure team. Fergie must be really desperate.

  204. limestone
    if wenger is tinkering with the 442 like he did last night and like he did in the final throws of the fulham game i see no reason why someone like vela wouldnt get the games and score the goals

    hes a much better finisher than chamakh and park and i have zero clue why wenger is reluctant and keeps sending him off on jollies..

    its an old cliche but you can never have too many good strikers…and we dont seem to have that many..

    city have sort of tainted the cliche by spending 5000 mil on 100 strikers but we defo need more..like you say you want a striker on the pitch who can win you the game and if its looking bleak you want one on the bench who can change it..

    on the pitch weve got that man but on the bench we aint..and its a pity cos the rest of the squad looks strong

    and for the record i think gervinhos an excellent player but hes an assister, a direct winger, i said at the start of the season if he sets himself a target of 8 assists and 8 goals he beats what nasri contributed last year and hes well on his way..hes doing the biz already..theo makes chances, arteta, ramsey, benny, weve got a few creative players although i wouldnt be against signing gotze for example…but prioritys gotta be a finisher..

  205. Greeks at white hurt lane r in full flow with spuds imploding. Perhaps its just me but foreign languages seem more suited to supporting chanting during games than English!

  206. Limestone @8:37

    I respectfully disagree.

    Our forward players who should be in the goals and be considered as strikers of the same ilk as the other clubs you’ve listed:

    Van persie, Walcott, Gervinho, Arshavin, Oxlade-Chamberlin, Chamakh, Park, Ryo

    In addition, because of the system we play, we should also be getting goals from our midfielders particularly Ramsey, Rosicky, Arteta, Wilshere (when back), Diaby, Song.

    We could really be stressing ourselves about a replacement for Van Persie, when from a practical point of view, it’s easier to get the other players scoring goals. Once they start contributing the goals, this RVP one man show because less of an issue.

  207. No please no anelka, I am not a fan of bringing in ex players especially when the leave like anelka did. He chased the money and got it sod him. He is a cunt like nasri but I can’t stomach ex players like him. Only exception I would make is Henry, even then I am not so sure. If we buy we should players that move us forward not players who take us back down memory lane.

  208. yes george i want a new striker for xmas..

    paul eduardo got 22 in 67 and chamakhs got 12 in 54
    eduardo had an excuse whats chamakhs??

    the dudu v chamakh debates a no goer..the better finisher doesnt play for us…

    chamakhs not even conisistent ive never seen such an inconsistent striker in an arsenal shirt in wengers reign..well i have but there werent anywhere near the first team..they got sold off cos we had better players…

    christopher wreh had a better scoring record over 30 games…

  209. Based on Pre season, Gervihno can score goals.He is more than an assist man. I think he is a bit too anxious at the moment and overthinks what he wants to do.

  210. I think Jack will score twice as many when he comes back.
    And those two goals could make all the difference.Take the pressure right off RVP that will Darius.

  211. Darius @ 8:42.

    I don’t want to start an argument but I must admit that it does not always seem to me like that we do our business in the way you describe. I guess that’s just the doomer in me coming out. Anyway I honestly do hope you are right.

  212. I really beleive that Theo is getting close to the point where he can be moved to the center of the park and help solve some of our striking issues. We have the ability to have Gervinho, Arshavin, the Ox, Benayoon, and Ryo on the wings in his absence. A future lineup of:

    The Ox——-RVP———Gervinho
    —————Walcott——————-

    Or Walcott filling in for RVP directly in our traditional 4-3-3 to give him a rest could become a real possibility. Maybe not this season specifically, but next year this is definitely a solid option.

  213. darius its not about a backup or replacement to robin its about adding another striker to add competition..

    both chamakh and gervinho are going acn so form doesnt matter anyway we just dont have enough options with or without

    only robin and theo are finishers, gervinho and ox are direct wingers and fuck knows what chamakh and arshavin are supposed to be anymore..and the midfeidlers are all creative or solid none are like freddie used to be so to be expecting goals galore from anyone else but our frontmen in the system we play is expecting to much.we play with three up top for a reason…they are the goalscorers..not the midfielders….just look at the stats over the years only cesc has scored more than 10-15 from a midfield role..its not an option we need another striker who can do it..

    like i said earlier if he can play all three postions it will help…he doesnt have to be a direct replacement for robin….

  214. Darius – “We could really be stressing ourselves about a replacement for Van Persie, when from a practical point of view, it’s easier to get the other players scoring goals. Once they start contributing the goals, this RVP one man show because less of an issue

    But you are assuming that the players you mentioned will start scoring. None of our midfielders have decent proven scoring record so why would you assume that they will just start scoring once RvP goes out of form/gets injured. Is is fingers crossed thinking at best.

    He is the only player in the squad who we can comfortably rely on to get goals. Theo made a decent improvement last year. But who else has proven that they can score goals in this lge? That is our problem. Simply saying that others will step up when all the evidence suggests otherwise is hopeful at best.

  215. vice – Serisouly mate, Theo should never play as our lone striker. In a 442, yes he could play up front. But as the focal point of our attack in a 433? No chance, it just will not suit his game. The only thing he would offer is onto balls over the top, and he can do that from his current position.

  216. Paul:

    I think you and I should start a new ACLF cuss word “big name signing”. Perhaps we can get george and loomer to join us and we can get rid of all the old school standard cuss words that offend some people. When we are really hacked off at someone we can call them a BNS. 😊😊

  217. Bill What if the BNS turns out NGEWS(Not Good Enough to Wear the Shirt)

  218. George: LOL. Good one.

  219. funny there George!

  220. Ha. Red mancs down by a goal in 8th minute of extra time. Go palace!!!

  221. Well done spuds cant even get past 10 men for 50 mins, flippin idiots.

  222. Runebreaker

    Does that mean spuds are out? Almost wish they would stay in for a while.

    Red mancs crash out.

  223. Finsbury – regarding your point earlier. Chortle. Not a close friend and I’m not surprised at your story. She does not remember her weekend evenings at best of times – that girl can drink.

    Oh and PALACE!

  224. Manchester United and Sp*ds in crisis.

    Oh wait…. they are saving it for the premiership.

  225. Gary Neville looks as pissed off as a parisian toilet attendant.

  226. The tots lost, and the ManU lost. How sweet is that?

  227. Andy 9.11 – too true. I’m fed up of this supposition that Gerv will come good and be a reliable finisher. It’s wishful thinking. The amazing thing is that there are some who think that he is bedding in and deserves time, whilst at the same time Oxo does not deserve more of a run out.

    Oxo looks many more times more dangerous (he tests the keeper) and Gerv, in all of his career, has never, not once, had a decent ratio of goals to chances. In fact he was famous for exactly the opposite before we signed him.

    I’m guilty of the same to an extent, but people see what they want to see. Nonetheless, for me, the rose tinters are more dangerous because they base the future on what they want to see rather than judging by what is right in front of them.

  228. BTW – I’m not suggesting Oxo for Gerv – I just came in from the pub and I doubt I’m explaining myself well. But, I agree with Andy.

    G’night guys – be good.

  229. are you sure, JJ? i thought gervinho had a decent scoring record for lille. in fact, i thought i read somewhere that he got more goals than eden hazard.

  230. gervinho got 15 goals in ligue 1 last season. i think that’s a decent record. yes, it’s the ligue 1. but i think it’s a decent return for someone playing on the wing.

  231. I think if Gervihno brushes up on his finishing he would score a good amount in this side. He is prepared to run ahead of the ball and bhind the defence and gets himself into decent positions. In his last 2 seasons he has averaged about 1 in 3 which is respectable enough (in a far less competative lge granted).

  232. i am sick of the talk that our other players have no proven record of scoring, haven’t shown that they can score. so we can’t look to them for the goals.

    yes, the midfielders arent getting 10 goals per season. so isn’t that room for improvement? shouldnt that be what it’s about?

    arteta and ramsey have goals in them. wilshere will improve his scoring record like fabregas did. santos has already scored more than clichy did. vermaelen can score.

    walcott scored quite a few last season, so i have faith in him. i have mentioned gervinho’s record.

    if arshavin rediscovers his form, he will get goals as well.

    to be honest with you, i am surprised by rvp’s scoring streak. given the kind of intelligent playmaker forward he is, how he drops deep to link up play like bergkamp, i thought he would be more provider than goal-scorer. so this is a pleasant surprise.

    if chamakh has to lead the line, that is what i will be expecting. hold up ball, play the wingers in, play the midfielders in. i am not really looking to him for the goals, except when we swing the balls in.

    the goals will come if we keep creating movement up front. and that is rvp’s biggest asset because he is such an intelligent player who creates space for other players. i am not worried about who can get the goals in his place. more, who can create the space if he is not playing. we suffer when he isnt playing because of course chamakh isnt as brilliant as him at that.

  233. @Jonny. There’s this thing called the Internet that allows you to avoid making unsupported comments like those you just made re Gerv. 14 goals and 10 assists last year for French Champs Lille on 88 shots over 32 games, and the teams’s player of the season. Already 2 goals and 6 assists on 26 shots in 13 appearances this year (compared to, for instance, Nani, who has 3 goals and 3 assists from 13 games). Gerv has had some awful misses, but he’s still young (24), consistently gets himself in dangerous positions, always works hard, always tracks back to help defend, and is likely to only get better. Fantastic player and an absolute steal of a buy. I find the marmite reactions to him absolutely baffling.

  234. Andy, at the moment, as wenger has pointed out, gervinho is concerned and thinking too much. once he gets 2 or 3 in. the confidence will be back. so why dun we get behind him and cheer him on instead?

  235. GoonerinLA, to be fair, he was at the pub.

  236. “if chamakh has to lead the line, that is what i will be expecting. hold up ball, play the wingers in, play the midfielders in. i am not really looking to him for the goals, except when we swing the balls in”

    Excellent post. He should not be considered a 20+ goals per season player.
    I remember Dennis scoring 4 goals one year(i think I do?)Some of our fans would be calling for him to be released.

  237. As far as I can see everybody is behind him. Personally I think he is a good player and like him.

    Lots of if’s and maybe’s in your post mate. Which is sort of my point. We can hope players might start scoring, but there is no real evidence that many of them will.

  238. PG – Dennis wasn’t prolific towards the end, very true. But that was in a team where our wingers would get at least 15+ per season and we had the best striker on the planet. In this side our striker needs to be hitting the net quite often.

  239. Anyway, finished my work (sad I know).

    Off to bed.

    Laters.

  240. Jonny,

    i admire Oxlade’s talent. and he played really very well last night.

    but did you see the cup game against was it bolton? the one where arshavin and park scored. he lost the ball easily on quite a few occasions in that game. so wenger knows what he is talking about when he says oxlade still needs to improve on some aspects of his game. which is basically the fact that he needs to know at the top level, he has less time to make decisions.

    that game wasnt on tv, so i am not sure if many have caught that. i felt that if people have caught that, they would have slaughtered him for his performance.

    a young player needs to be given the right support and environment.

    in england, you are prone to raising someone high up on a pedestal one moment, only to smash him and destroy him to bits the next. just look at theo.

    i would be patient with oxlade. at this age, playing at this level for the first time, he might sometimes turn in less than stellar performances, and you guys will be slaughtering him after that.

    he will get his chances. and he will learn to cherish them, like he did yesterday.

    wenger knows what he is doing with the kid. and thats why he is the manager, while we are drinking in the pub.

  241. Darius, you can say we have a front three and that we have attacking midfielders but you can say something similar for many of the other teams or count the 10 in their 442 set up and so on. I am talking about the main striker up top in the 433 or the 1 in the 451.

    If you want to disagree with isolating the figure of the striker then you would have to analyze this for all the other teams and list their comparable players in attack relevant to their ways of setting up.

    You can’t just say you disagree with my list and add players to the Arsenal group and leave it at that. That isn’t making a coherent argument about how to think about the issue.

    Certainly, we could use more goals from midfield and we could hope for more from our right and left sides of the front three. But this doesn’t really answer the issue of backup for RvP where by any genuine comparison we are a bit light with Chamakh leaving for the ACN and Park having played in 1 league game, I think, and three CC matches with 1 very good performance.

  242. PG,

    unfortunately in the current world we live in, a striker who can’t get 20 goals is shite.

    so much for total football, for the football arsene wenger has been trying to get us to play. where players can interchange position, where anyone can pop up to score.

    seems like we are going back to the era where the striker’s job is just to score. no defending.

  243. korihikage ,how long have you been posting on here?
    Very good stuff.

  244. PG, i have been following this blog for maybe 2 years now. but i seldom post. just that in recent times, with the events that have transpired, i feel moved to do something…

  245. one thing i feel we need to work on is the shooting from range. it seemed as though pires and henry could score from anywhere. we miss that ability right now, i feel.

  246. korihikage,you should post regularly.Really cant remember better posts of late.

  247. There’s a thing called the internet? I wondered why my typewriter keeps punching me and calling me a cunt. Thwack. Oucheee.

  248. Jonny,was it a good night at the pub?

  249. so chamakhs lack of scoring is cos hes a playmaker?? lol

    hes no 20 goal a season man but hes no 20 assist a season man either..he aint contributing to the goals one bit.

    he aint leading the line at all..no goals no assists and thats where the problems lie…

    george be realistic denis had one off season in the whole time he was here,think it was the 01 or 02 season your thinking of… the rest of the time he was hitting double figures in goals or assists every single season..sometimes hitting double figures in both…

    jesus…defending chamakh is one thing but…..seriously..the bloke was good for 5 months..are we honestly saying his lack of goals is cos hes trying to play everyone else in and its there fault they aint scoring???

    rubbish…

  250. limestone,

    i am sure wenger is thinking about january, when chamakh and gervinho go off to the ACN.

    but as i can’t stress enough: you don’t replace RVP directly because there isnt quite another player like him. and if there is, that player is not available, let me assure you. so we can forget about it.

    arteta said fabregas was at arsenal for 8 years, and he’s just arrived. so obviously he can’t replace him directly.

    same thing for rvp. whoever comes in won’t be able to do what rvp does. but he can try. and he should. if we can find a player, i am sure we will buy.

    if not, then we have to look for a solution from within. i won’t be surprised if wenger pulls out a bunny (again). at the moment, i am thinking arshavin might play there. park might be good there. he played as the centre forward for south korea in the world cup, and i was quite impressed by his heading. of course the world cup is a diff story. but. who knows.

    maybe vermaelen will play as the striker.

  251. I like Chamakh and Gervinho both tremendously, but they are a bit of a red herring. Hopefully Chamakh will play himself into better form during the ACN as the starting striker for Morocco. For January and February we really are talking about Park as backup and missing our starter on the left. That is a period with lots of fixtures. FA cup, possible replays, the round of 16 in the CL. Chamakh will be away or traveling or recovering for large periods of this as will be Gervinho.

    What is wrong with saying that we could really use a striker who could also play in the front three? Honestly, it seems like people on here will say anything to avoid suggesting we should buy in the upcoming transfer window. If striker isn’t a priority, is there another area in which you would rather strengthen? Then by all means, do suggest it and we can discuss it.

    What if RvP doesn’t resign next summer? Isn’t it better to have his replacement already adjusted to the league and to Arsenal football?

    Do we want to give our best effort to secure 4th, 3rd or even challenge for the title this season? Should we not use our resources to the maximum to give ourselves the best chance? In the last several seasons we have had some late winter/spring shortfalls. Wouldn’t a fresh addition give the team a boost?

    I am pretty sure this January AW is going to try to bring in one or two players. And contrary to conventional opinion, he has quite often spend big on an attacking player in January. Arshavin, Walcott, Reyes and others. He tried to bring the Ox in last January. He brought in Arshavin in a very similar situation, when CL football was clearly at risk.

  252. i know we love stats. stats tell you alot of things. but they don’t tell you everything.

    i know nasri isnt our fave person at the moment. and i am personally very gutted that he left for the money. many people ahve pointed out here that he didnt have fantastic stats last season. he didnt have many assists.

    but let me tell you one thing he did very well. he held the ball up, and created space and opportunity for the other players. he created situations for the final ball to be played.

    i regret that he chose money. because he was doing a very important role for the team. something that doesnt always get reflected in the stats.

    a mate and i, when we used to watch football together before i moved over to germany, we would always get frustrated watching the replay of a goal. you know why? because they always only show you the assist. they don’t show you what happen before that. what my mate and i call the ‘penultimate ball’. the pass that created the opportunity for the final ball to be played.

    so what i want to say is that you don’t get the whole picture if you are just talking about goals and assists.

    i rate rvp very highly not because of his goals. but because of his intelligence and movement. i rate arteta highly, because he moves the ball around. and that creates opportunities for other players to make the next step. does arteta have many assists? i dun think so. so is he a shite player?

    think about that.

  253. JJ no one is saying hes a playmaker.
    And Assists don’t tell the whole story either.
    I said earlier It is difficult for a player to shine when the team is set up in a way that does not take advantage of his strengths.

  254. Korihikage, You still need a striker, so of course you replace the position even if you don’t expect to find a player with exactly the same qualities. RvP is a unique player, no question. But you still need someone to score goals from the tip of the attack. So it is best to have that player, either through promotion or transfer, before you sell.

  255. limestone,

    don’t get me wrong. i am all for buying if we can find a suitable player. big name or unknown.

    just wanted to point out that perhaps it won’t be as easy as we think, or that that signing won’t be the big name we are hoping for.

    last season i was hoping for dzeko in jan. but he went to city.

  256. korihikage,That was what Dennis did.Create the decisive opening .Not always , in fact not often ,the assist itself.

  257. We’ve seen Arshavin play there before and it wasn’t very successful. I can’t take your post seriously if you are going to be as flip as to suggest Vermaelen at striker just to avoid saying that a club with surplus funds derived from player sales that intends to challenge in a top league and in the CL should spend its surplus to strengthen a squad that is battling in 7th after a very rough start of the season that saw two of its best players leave and several of its best waiting on resigning contracts.

    Pretzel logic!!

  258. the story so far this season

    rvp 19 apps 17 goals 3 assists
    theo 19 apps 4 goals 5 assists
    gerv 16 apps 2 goals 7 assists
    arshavin 16 apps 2 goals 1 assist
    chamakh 10 apps 1 goal 0 assists
    oxo 5 apps 2 goals 1 assist
    ryo 2 apps 0 goals 0 assists..

  259. Oops, I take it back Korihikage!

  260. ‘But you still need someone to score goals from the tip of the attack.’

    not necessarily. as you should see by now, i believe everyone should be scoring. of course the guy playing at the top must score. but if he scores 5 and helps others to score 15, for me that is the same as him scoring 20 and others scoring 0. it is a team sport after all.

    ‘So it is best to have that player, either through promotion or transfer, before you sell.’

    sell who????

  261. To be fair LG .if we need one player ,It is a striker.

  262. Only 26,229 turned up at the shit-hole tonight. (to watch their team get beat)

  263. “sell who????”

    Dont anyone dare say Andrei Arshavin.

  264. How many were ate the Ems last night?

  265. RvP if he doesn’t want to resign this summer.

    Please show me a top class team that challenges for league titles regularly and makes it to the knockout stages of the CL regularly that plays regularly without expecting the 1 of the 451, the striker to score goals.

    I agree that others should score from the way we play and I do think Chamakh aids that effort with his link up play. But again, he isn’t going to be playing that much more than the odd game now while RvP is fit and firing and in much of January and February will be away. So we are talking about Park. I can’t make a case right now for relying on him as backup to RvP.

  266. Must have been 50k plus at the Ems.

  267. And I wouldn’t actually be in favor of selling RvP in the last year of his contract just as I was with Wenger against selling Nasri if he was convinced he would play with full commitment for us.

  268. LG,

    i want to tell you that i understand your concerns, and your concerns are valid.

    but i think maybe you should know why i seem hell-bent on disagreeing, on being difficult.

    i have been reading the media articles. i know i shouldnt. but i cant help myself. i wish their stance could be: if you have nothing good to say, then shut up.

    but they arent shutting up.

    the last people we should be believing would be the media and pundits. my concern is that your concerns have been heightened because of the articles on how we are a one-man team, that without rvp, we have no one else to score etc.

    to me, the media is biased. so the last thing i really want is arsenal fans lapping up everything they say, and panicking and worrying.

    hence i am here to try to offer some perspective.

  269. RVP is a gooner as well as a player. He’s been an Arsenal fan since he was a teenager. Can’t see him deserting like some others did.

  270. Old Toilet was sparse tonight.
    And we are told fans are talking with their feet.As it happens they are.

  271. george…strikers lead the line to score goals for themselves primarily…they play the wingers in to get the return pass in the box not to stand on the edge of the box scratching their arse thinking the works done and expecting an onrushing midfielder to smack it in for em…thats the point of holding it up so your mates get the space to create the final pass back to you..which is why robins so good…you are always looking for your strikers to score goals thats why there called strikers…if chamakh is so good at holding it up then why aint he getting the service back??unless theres no servicce to begin with…which means he aint doing jack..

    and no korihikage, stats dont tell you everything, mainly cos theres that many crap stats about nowadays that mean naff all…(see the aclf archives on denilson) but when it comes to goals and assists the stats tell you quite a bit…if the stats on goals didnt mean much and didnt tell a whole story then why is there a goals for and goals against column in the league..why do they have golden boot awards?? cos footballs about goals… and the goal stats and how they are created are very very helpful in determining whos shit hot in front of goal and who isnt…

  272. “to me, the media is biased. so the last thing i really want is arsenal fans lapping up everything they say, and panicking and worrying.”

    You are not a lapper are you LG? 🙂

  273. JJ Really?
    Well that opened my fucking eyes.

  274. JJ

    i din say they don’t mean much. i am just saying just because someone doesnt get 20 assists doesnt mean he is doing nothing.

    yes football is about scoring goals. as otto rehhagel said, there is only one truth in football. the ball must go into the goal.

    so it seems as if only the outcome matters. yes, at the end, we look only at the outcome. how many goals were scored?

    but during the game itself, the question you are trying to answer is not how many goals are scored, but how do you get the ball into the goal.

    sometimes you are lucky, and even you won’t know how it ended up in the back of the net.

    but most of the time, you have to find a way to get it into the net.

    and THAT isnt simply just about the assist and the goal. there’s more to it. but you can’t really quantify that. you can only quantify the goal and the assist. sometimes, it is also ambiguous what constitutes an assist.

    so my point is: look at the stats. but also watch the games and see for yourself what the players are doing, to fill in the gaps that the stats have left.

  275. well personally i don’t really use the term striker. i use the term forward more. because i think forward encompasses more the qualities i am looking for.

  276. JJ,

    hope you don’t take offence at this. but either you are at the forefront of a new revolution in football, or you really have no idea how football has evolved over the years.

  277. George, you can tell Korihikage that I am no lapper! I don’t live in England and don’t read the tabloids.

    Honestly, korihikage I think it is better not to make assumptions but to deal with actual arguments. That way we are actually talking to one another and not projections of our own preoccupations. If you want to complain about the media biased narrative that characterizes us as a one man team-please be my guest and I will probably agree with you!

  278. btw George,

    thanks for the compliment. not sure if i can keep this up though. i sometimes wonder if people’s ever played football themselves, talked about football tactics and ideas like how my mates and i used to.

    we used to sit in cafes and talked about how we wanted to play. and we talked about the games we have seen etc. it was great

  279. That’s a beautiful photo, dups. I am not saying RvP is like the others or that I would sell him; in fact I wouldn’t do it. But the club might, if he didn’t want to sign a new extension.

    My own thought is that he is waiting to see whether the team performs well, gets into the CL, and how/whether to use this as a way to insure there are reinforcements coming into the squad before he commits. I think van Basten is right.

  280. Dups, I would bet the farm that RvP was wearing a Bergkamp shirt in that photo.

  281. LG

    my argument is still the same. and sorry, i din mean to say you are a lapper. it just turns out that my point of view contrasts with yours, and i see it as offering some perspective on the issue.

    but my stand is still the same:

    if we can find someone, yes we should buy.

    we can try to solve the problem internally.

    we need goals from everyone, not just the guy playing as the centre forward

    creating the opening for the assist can be just as important as the goal and assist themselves.

  282. Chamack is a good player but is seriously suffering form lack of confidence, the way i feel he can get back to form is playing regularly for about 5 or 6 games and he would be better.

    However, we are Arsenal and after a bad start to the season, we are working our way up. So the question is do we have 6 games to risk to get Chamack to his best?? i doubt, so its a really tricky situation

  283. no offence taken mate..i know my football inside out
    but if your telling me that chamakh is contributing to what this team does, which i think you are, then its you who needs to evaluate what your saying..
    dont take no offence mate..

    i know all about false nines, trequartestas and advanced forwards..chamakh dont fit in any of those categorys..hes a channel runner whos good in the air…so hes more of an 80s striker than what he is a modern one which is why he was good in france but struggling in pl..

    if you think chamakh is showing the qualities in a striker of what you/we/wengerball is looking for then its you who doesnt understand the modern game… 🙂

  284. btw, seems like city has drawn liverpool in the carling cup.

    at least we will have a david-goliath final. no prizes for guessing who i am supporting in the final.

  285. I’m confused about this stat argument if its related to Chamack?? cause i don’t think its makes a difference in his case. He hasn’t been holding the ball up and linking play well this season, he hasn’t been getting into good scoring opportunities and of course what the stats tell us about goals and assist.

  286. The only difference I see is that I am saying we should, and I think we are, trying to find someone. Not actually a big difference. But you thought I was absorbing a media narrative you wanted to refute rather than actually responding directly to what I was saying. I did the same, when I assumed you were just trying not to say we could or should bring in a new player/striker. I took that back right away when I could see that was unfair. Let’s try to respond to what one another is actually saying. Fair enough?!

  287. Chamakh actually had a pretty good game in that respect against Olympiakos, I believe it was. But again, forget about Chamakh. The position that we should not really be looking hard for a striker has to justify Park as the backup for the immediate future when we have lots of fixtures. So far I haven’t seen anyone making a strong case there and, of course, the brief isn’t fully written as he should get a couple games in December in addition to his 1 league game and three CC games so far.

  288. rvp is the ultimate false nine, probably the best in the world barring messi..

    so why is he scoring all the goals not getting many assists and the midfielders your expecting to score feeding off him not reaching your standards?? unless thats not how it really works?? no matter how much you want it to…

    end of the day. no matter how much modern football has evolved, gk’s keep goal, defenders defend, creators create and strikers score..

    cant remember the last time a midfielder won the golden boot..its normally the striker..and the chances are it always will be..

    and we dont play with just one forward..we play with three…a complete forward and two wing forwards…and the three main ones are cutting it but our options after that are limited..which is why ppl want another..who can play anywhere across the front three cos that would fit the system, and not just one position like chamakh does ,cos that doesnt fit the system.. but according to you it does…??

  289. LG

    yup, it was jsut a difference in the technicality. and yes, i was worried about people absorbing the media narrative, not just you.

    i was responding directly to what you were saying with my own point of view, and at the same time, i voiced my concern. and i guess thats when things got confusing. probably shouldnt have voiced that out in the first place. but i guess when its deep within you, it somehow jsut gets out.

    but otherwise, yes respond to what is actually being said.

  290. Limestonegunner

    ManU play a weakened side of youngsters and veteran backups, including a 30million pound striker and fall to a lower table Championship team. Arsenal play a side of youngsters and veteran backups with a young 13million pound winger and give the league leading second team assembled with 150million pounds all they can handle.

    Utter humiliation for United. Embarrassing, honestly, for City.

  291. ‘so why is he scoring all the goals not getting many assists and the midfielders your expecting to score feeding off him not reaching your standards?? unless thats not how it really works?? no matter how much you want it to…’

    – because he is on form right now? the goals from the midfield and wingers will come especially when the team gels further.

    -chamakh might actually be capable of playing on the flank. that would require some tweaking of what we want to do on the field. but it might be possible. his main quality makes him more suited to the centre though. hmmm

    but get this straight. i have in no way tonight said chamakh is the best forward in the world or whatever. i saw him in the stadium when bordeaux beat bayern like 2 years ago in munich. he did score that night, if i remember correctly. but i know he isnt the out-and-out goalscorer that you are looking for.

    we got him in, i think mainly because people say we didnt have a plan b. we can’t just whack the ball into the box for someone to head it. that was before rvp suddenly could score with his head. chamakh is not too bad with his feet, you must admit. he is quite mobile, an intelligent guy.

    so i would say he brings a little bit of a different dimension to our game, but overall, he has also been able to play in our 4-3-3.

    i have already said what i expect him to do if he plays. and yes, maybe at the moment, he isnt firing on all cylinders. but i don’t think he has been that terrible.

  292. none taken, JJ.

  293. dude we’ll finish this tomoz im buggered
    you have points i agree on with the wingers and plan b but im too fucking knackered to discuss it all now..
    speak soon mate

  294. Seriously? XD ManU go out to Crystal Palace?

  295. Limestonegunner

    Still wondering if you have a response to this query, korihikage:
    Please show me a top class team that challenges for league titles regularly and makes it to the knockout stages of the CL regularly that plays regularly without expecting the 1 of the 451, the striker to score goals.

  296. @ korihikage
    I second what pedantic george said – great posts, we need more contributors with your game understanding.
    I liked what you said about the over-concentration of TV highlights on the goal and the assist – reminded me of how Hleb often didn’t get the credit for key passes and his work building up to goals.
    Also agree about Gerv and The Ox – 3Gs has done fantastically well, he has only been playing in the PL for three months. He does have that X factor – everybody expects somethng to happen when he gets on the ball and he routinely gets in behind defenders. The Ox is going to be an amazing player but he isn’t ready to play week in week out and we don’t need him to. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t trust the manager to handle his development and assess him against other players in the squad. When AOC deserves to get in the team or on the bench, he’ll be there.

    @ LSG
    Unlike you I don’t think AW is going to be looking for any players in January. He keeps saying what a big squad we have, which I think is his way of hinting as much.
    Park and Chamakh still have time. Also remember that RvP himself is benefitting from the absence of Cesc. We are playing to suit Robin, so maybe we can tweak to suit another player better.

    ***
    And I haven;t seen the Nandos commercials, but I read a description which makes them sound hilarious.

  297. Sad to hear my boy Coquelin was at fault for the goal but glad that he had a very good game overall.

  298. What a difference 24 hours makes,

    Mancs lose to Palace and follow us out of the CC, Spuds spanked on own ground in European sub-Cup.

    Roll on the weekend and Wigan.

  299. Quote of the day comes from Kolo Toure post match:

    “It’s magic – Mr Wenger brings in any player and makes them better. Credit to him because he’s a fantastic manager. It’s a different way of doing things than spending a lot of money.

    “He knows how to see young promising players and that’s a great quality for him. Frimpong was fantastic and Oxlade-Chamberlain was good as well. All of them were fantastic.”

    Gone but not forgotten

  300. Just Another Luke

    Martin Keown’s comment is also good:

    “He (Wenger) will decide when he leaves, that’s how powerful he is at the club. He decides not anyone else; he’ll know when the moment’s right. He creates an environment where it’s just great fun. It’s great to come in every day. You learn a great deal. When he first came in, we were working with mannequins, doing technical stuff that we’d never done before. It really improved me, he’s great to be around as well. I wasn’t sure if nice guys can win things – we’d all been a bit of an angry bunch before Wenger arrived but he demonstrated that you can still get along with everyone, you can still have a smile on your face and win and when you do that it’s more enjoyable and tastes better.

    “He and [former Arsenal boss] George Graham were like chalk and cheese, George was quite confrontational, to say the least. There’s nothing wrong with that but some of us respond to different styles of management and the approach that Wenger had, my record was much better under Wenger, I preferred that. I don’t think anyone enjoys getting a rollicking in any industry. I just needed to unravel my talent and Wenger helped me to do that.

  301. Just Another Luke

    I think the real test for Park or Chamakh is when they play with the first eleven in place of RvP, receiving the kind of service that RvP enjoys from the likes of Walcott, Gervinho, Song, Arteta, Ramsey, etc. It is not fair to judge them from the Carling Cup game on Tuesday.

  302. that comment by kolo is hilarious dgob.
    thanks. priceless.
    i would pay to see robertos face when he first hears of it.
    by the way, some of us are acting like horny teens on their first date that expect to go all the way the first time.
    PARK needs games, from what i have seen allready he is on the right track.
    same with chamack, we all know what he is capable of. he will regain his form with games. he is a good servent to the club. have some patience. give these guys some time. not every player is vermalen or sagna that can come in and fit right away.
    remember ,to bring another forward in would possibly mean we will lose one of the three being berated now. we want everything and we want it yesterday. these are human beings, not robots you can turn on or off by switch. GIVE THE SOME MORE TIME. and if we still need another forward go for
    de natalie or Tevez.
    frankly , i think we need a jack of all trades that can help us with the full back situation. cheers….

  303. Happy 125th Birthday to ARSENAL

  304. Limestonegunner

    FG, there isn’t any reason to think that his talk of having a big squad is to put off the usual media speculation. If you take a more analytical view you can see historically that he has actually bought big in January in the past and in the last time we were in a similar circumstance. You can also note hints that we were not finished buying with the group we brought in over the summer. I think it isn’t about time re: Chamakh since he will be away for the ACN, which actually might be good for him. Please make the case for Park not Chamakh. He might have one or two more chances this month–Olympiakos and one of the Christmas week fixtures. But if AW really isn’t planning to purchase, as you think, then wouldn’t it be a better idea to give Walcott a chance to play as a central striker? He already is adapted to our play and the league and has a good record finishing in this league. To me, if we see Theo v. Olympiakos in such a role, then I will be prepared to think that we aren’t planning to buy a striker in January. I still think we will be buying to strengthen the team, but it means we have other priorities or opportunities AW thinks are more valuable to the team.

  305. korihikage | December 1, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Excellent post amongst many!

  306. Limestonegunner

    Unfortunately, Kolo also thinks ManCity can equal the Invincibles record and go undefeated this season. I am hoping that his having said it already, so early in the season, will jinx them and that we will be the ones to stuff them for their first loss in humiliating fashion later this month.

    Interestingly, all of our players whom City have bought have ended up being backups in their squad at best. Kolo, Clichy, Adebayor, Nasri. Clichy seems to have had more starts but he isn’t really a clear first choice.

  307. limestone,
    how about leaving theo where he is and instead moving AA in that spot in the middle. i think it makes more sense.

  308. and what do you think of the italian de natalie??

  309. http://wp.me/p1aPg-1XH

    Todays efforts and not a di Natale in sight.

  310. Limestonegunner

    goonerkam, we’ve seen that before and it wasn’t especially successful. I don’t know why AA should play in another position not best suited to his skills or style of play. It is true he has good touch and can pass well but Theo says he wants to play centrally and has for some time. AW has listed him when he has tried to counter suggestions of buying a striker in the past but hasn’t played him there. In a game that won’t matter to our qualification, it seems a good time to try this and assess the potential for a half or 65 minutes.

    Di Natale, as we saw, is a really top striker with a great mentality. We had to respect him as he was always looking dangerous.

  311. Di Natale, wouldn’t come, but he is the only striker from those named that I would take. I thought he was excellent when we played Udinese. He is very experienced and his movement off the ball is impressive.

  312. Limestone, sorry i fell asleep.

    all teams do have a prolific scorer. we had henry, and now rvp. utd has rooney, chelsea had drogba. real madrid had raul.

    the more interesting question(and i believe this is your question) would be: if they bring on another centre forward, is that man a prolific goal scorer as well?

    if we look at our own team with henry.. i think it is fair to say that our backups to him paled in comparison. kanu, the young rvp, wiltord etc. yet they have all chipped in with their goals.

    were these players teh kind of players whom when you see them, you can say: this player is worth one goal in this game.

    i honestly don’t think so.

    notice i wrote: in this game.

    there’s a difference between that and me saying arteta and ramsey have got goals in them. for the latter, it is over the course of the season.

    but for just one game, i think it is really difficult to expect a player to simply score. because teams have improved and are well set-up nowadays.

    the only time i have ever said, when i saw a player warming up, ‘this player is worth 1 goal’, is at the women’s euros in 2009. when germany’s fatmire bajramaj came on. she scored 2. but that’s because germany at that time was a class apart, and bajramaj was in the form of her life.

    so to answer your question: every team has a prolific scorer, someone whom you can look to for goals. we have that player, as it turns out: rvp.

    but you are interested to know if the top teams all have other prolific scorers on their bench.

    i don’t think they all have you know. solskjaer is the only one that comes to mind. but their backups have always been able to chip in with some goals.

    and i think ours will. when they play.

    but for me, it is more important that we have goals coming in from everywhere. that for me is a bigger goal threat than having rvp and another 20-goal forward.

  313. Goonerkam @ 8:41 am,

    I agree. Oh to be a fly on that wall!!

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