Arsène Hopes To Avoid Greek Tragedy With Carling Cup Squad

As the other English clubs contemplate life in an altogether different European theatre, Arsenal’s ‘weakened’ squad arrives in Piraeus already comforted by qualification for the knockout phase and top spot in the group. Even the criticism of naming his irregulars has been weakened with barely a murmur passing the lips of the media. And rest his first XI the manager has, only Vermaelen and Santos can lay claim to being regular starters; the Carling Cup is on its European tour.

That Wenger is able to do so indicates how well this European campaign has gone. From the minute a clean sheet was kept in the first leg of the qualifier against Udinese, the results have left the Frenchman will little to grumble about. The travails of the Premier League have often been forgotten with performances that helped scrap the team back into form. Largely these have been under the radar because they have been as expected; it certainly was not the toughest group to have drawn but nor was it anywhere near as straightforward as Manchester United’s or even City’s for that matter. Both Mancunian clubs have toiled to the extent where at least one is expected to have their fixture list severely messed around with; Thursday night football for little reward. Arsène is right to leave the sniggering to us.

The match is not a dead rubber with all sorts of qualification outcomes hinging on the result. Olimpiacos will be ready for action and looking for further adventures in the Champions League. Arsène noted that the only place the club hasn’t won in his 200 European ties is Barcelona; Greece isn’t too far behind either with Panathinaikos the only reward from their Champions League visits to these shores. A couple of other draws as well but mainly defeats. There are parallels with that win as it was carved out by an essentially Carling Cup squad. Like the more glorified wins in the San Siro and Bernabeu, it was another first for Arsenal, the first English team to win in Europe’s premier competition in Athens. A repeat performance of that please.

There is an element, I am sure, for Arsène to enjoy tonight with schadenfreude. Marseilles’ difficult trip to Dortmund takes qualification out of their hands to a certain extent although win and they are through; mixed emotions once Le Boss puts aside his professional loyalties. A quiet sip of wine with a wry smile I am sure, if the French fail at the last hurdle; revenge is definitely a dish that is being removed from his freezer to thaw out.

Focus is turning to Emmanuel Frimpong. The Ghanian has been linked with a loan spell to enhance his first team opportunities, Wolves the suggest location. Wenger wants to ‘channel’ his aggression, his enthusiasm and everything about the player in the right direction. In contrast to others who go out on loan, you can see that any move now is not about putting him into the shop window but educational,

Good players always respond to the game situation and make the right decision taking all the emotional part out of it. It’s a question of experience. When you are young you think you have a strong shot and people say: ‘come on have a go.’ You are tempted to do it even though you have a pass to make. At 24 you think: ‘come on, I have that pass to make’.

That is looking ahead and Frimpong is certainly popular when he appears. Battling qualities are different to those currently in the Arsenal midfield; more typically English than the interceptions made with Alex Song  in situ. There is room for both in the team but Frimpong faces strong competition for a place with Coquelin seemingly further along the first team road than he. The youngster would do well to look at the positive impact loan spells have had on his rivals career as well as that of Jack Wilshere. Wolves is an interesting choice with the style of play and Mick McCarthy being opposite ends of the footballing spectrum to Arsenal and Wenger. Maybe the authoritarian route is the one that is felt to be of more benefit to Frimpong personally although the suspicion must be that they are the only ones to have public their admiration for the player.

Tonight’s team is very much a pick and mix. You can make a case for any of the eighteen who have travelled to start but here is my stab in the dark, in a 4-4-2 formation:

Fabianski; Djourou, Squillaci, Vermaelen, Santos; Frimpong, Coquelin, Rosicky, Benayoun; Arshavin, Chamakh

Whatever the case, this is the last time until the visit of Leeds, Leeds, Leeds in the FA Cup that en masse the team can be changed. Rotation for the next four weeks is going to be on an as-needed basis. Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 6, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 402 Comments.

  1. 2nd by a long way..

  2. Will Frimpong be involved in the African cup in the new year?

  3. We have been ‘linked’ to Salomon Kalou again..

  4. Does not seem like Frimpong will be playing in the ACN. Has he officially decided on Ghana? Man, would be great for Arsenal if he choose England. People would be talking about the spine of England being the Spine of Arsenal, sort of. But Jack, AOC, Frimpong could all easily make England.

  5. we arent going to get kalou and we sure as heck arent getting Podolski. AW will never pay $20M for a 26 year old striker who scores goals for midlevel german teams.

  6. Albeit a good player, I doubt Kalou can play a lone striker in our 4-3-3

  7. ——-Lukasz—–
    Yennaris–SS–JD–Santos
    —-Coq—Frimp—–
    ——-Rozza——
    Ox—Chamakhattack–Andre

    Park & Yossi to come on in the 2nd half.

  8. Really early post today, no need to wander around then

  9. Gotze
    Hazard
    Podolski
    Rues
    Kalou
    Jovetic
    Grioud
    Vargas
    Pato
    Sow
    Remy

    What names did i miss??

  10. I think one of the most important players to try and get firing/confident/hungry again is AA, who knows if he’ll take it and if he doesn’t then perhaps his time is coming to an end. He does have exceptional talent, that ability to unlock a defence, he probably has lost a yard of pace too much to play on the wings but if on form he can have a big impact in continuing momentum through the Xmas period.

    The other thing with AA is if Park & Chamahk continue to struggle with the movement and technical intricacies of the 433 then he is perfect to sit off one of them by creating space and fashioning chances – a plan B we may need on occasion as the fixtures get tight and we need to rest the XI. I’d add that Park and Chamahk seemingly don’t compliment eachother that well (earlydays I know) and offer little cutting edge/threat.

  11. YW, one of d reasons y I’m addicted to this site is ur good command of words. U r a legend in ur own right among arsenal fans.
    I hope d young lads will do us proud by doing d business in greece. I’ll expect chamakh to put in a good shift at least to reinstill confidence in d fans that he can still b good for us. The OX is bound to start and so do I expect arshavin. The choice for the 3rd midfielder is btw rosicky n benayoun bt I suspect it’s gonna b benny considering the fact dt rosicky is jst coming back from injury. Enjoy d match wherever u are watching it n good luck to the young guns out there.

  12. Adam maher a special player in the making plays for az alkmar 18 years and a wonderful talent, u missed him

  13. ivanputthepricesup

    Excellent opportunity tonight for the young lads to show what they can do. Result does’t really matter but obviously a win would do confidence a world of good.
    Chamakh needs to show something tonight as i feel Arsene might well be losing faith in him as he really is struggling to show anything. Holding the ball up is ok but he is a striker and needs to score and quick.
    Chelsea are letting Anelka go so i don’t believe they will get rid of Kalou even if Arsene does like him.
    As previously posted i feel Anelka would be ideal for us even if it is to the end of the season, he has the experience and can find the back of the net – won’t happen though !

    COME ON YOU GUNNERS !

  14. Fabmister
    Yenaris JD Squillaci Miguel(Vermalean and Santos to come in if we are chasing the game)
    Coquelin Frimpong
    Arshavin
    AOC Chamack Benny(Park to come in later on)

    I think that Wenger should give Arshavin a chance to play behind the strikers as he claims he best position to be and lets see how he performs. He wouldn’t be required to defend much with Coquelin and Frimpong sitting deep.

  15. “We look more mature, I must say,” he told Arsenal Player. “You can feel that in the difficult moments of the game where we don’t panic and don’t give stupid goals away. That’s very pleasing. ”

    Just to join in support of Gains and shotta from the previous post- the above quote from Wenger seems to suggest our improvement in defense, has alot to do with our collective responsibility as a team.

  16. @Waz – I agree. I remember, last season at Villa Park, AA played in the that position & exchanged positions wth Rosicky on the left. with Chamakh played that one up front & I clearly remember Andre running riot (I think he even scored one).
    Partizan Belgrade last season anyone ?

    What I am trying to say is that Arshavin plays well when Chamakh is in the side doing the hardwork & holding the ball up for him.

  17. Olimpiacos/panathinaikos….or olympiakos/panatinycos.anyone works for non-pedants like me.

  18. The second of your first and the first of your second ace.

    That works for right thinking pedants like me.

  19. hope vermaelen and santos won’t play in this game.

  20. @Jeff,
    You have missed about 897 other names linked with Arsenal since the Summer Window closed. Never, in past seasons , do I recall so many rumours and counter-rumours about signings, between the two Windows. I look forward to 1st February when the Winter Window has closed and at last we can know how we stand, player-wise, until May.

  21. I thought the piece OOU did on arshavin last week was brilliant.arshavin played his best football for us from the wings including 4 goals at anfield and another spectacular long ranger at old trafford.he had an unremarkable spell as the lone striker when all our strikers were out injured.since then it has being downhill for him.putting him in the ‘hole’ won’t make much difference.i remember sometime last year,the journos in russia were livid with arshavin,blaming him for russia’s lost in a euro qualifier because he was too lazy.to some of them, russia qualified inspite of him.i don’t understand why some think he shouldn’t put in any defensive shift. Wenger knows why arshavin isn’t playing in the arsenal hole ( damn!).one reason is,there are better players than him in that position.i’m sure wenger has a few more.

  22. hahahaha…. Consolsbob

  23. Well Ace, It has been claimed that playing behind the striker is he best position, i remember him playing behind bendtner against West Brom and made Bendtner look good, so why not give him a go there and hope he can bring the best out Chamack?

    If the worry of playing them is because he might not put a defensive shift then we can have 2 DM’s behind him in form of Frimpong and Le Coq

    And i never said he should not put in a defensive shift even Chamack and RVP defend from the front

  24. Arshavin is our player and we all badly want our little Russian to get back to his best, whats the harm in trying new ways for that in this match??
    Do you remember where he played in Euro 2008 when he dazzled??

  25. Jeff,i never accused you of advocating ‘arshavin in the hole minus defensive duties.’ if arshavin plays in the hole today and does well,that’d be wengers headache about how best to use him in the coming weeks.but,he is not our best option in bringing out the best in our forwards

  26. YW – you really put in a shift for today’s post. Playing down the wings or in the hole. (Ha, Ha, Ha – can’t help myself.) Truly, you covered a lot of ground, almost RVPesque.
    – While sniggering about the plight of the moneyed clubs (and the points dropped by Pool last night) I hope to loudly guffaw by late Wednesday.

  27. Great post Yogi. I think we will nick this one. It would be hard fought and our First XI gets a well deserved rest. Preferably, play Arshavin and Chamakh in to some form as well, they have to score. If they start scoring, it’s all the more better for us.

  28. ———————-Fabi
    Yannaris——JD——-Squili———-Miquel
    ————-Coq————–Pingpong
    Ox——————————————–Yossi
    ————Arshavin
    ————————Chamakh

    I reckon the youngsters will get a result tonight. It would also be good to qualify unbeaten inthe goup stage.

  29. What with both Chelsea and Anelka, announcing their impending parting of the ways. Wouldn’t it be good business to get him back, a perfect fit for the bench, impact sub, cheap, guaranteed goal scorer, suits our game.

    Arsene has always spoken of him in glowing terms and I think his previous personal failings have dissipated with his passing years.

    Ticks all the boxes for me.

  30. yeah Jeff, remembered that 2008 performance.guess that was why wenger paid so much to bring him over.i pine for that arshavin.sadly its being so long we saw that arshsvin

  31. People using text talk should be put in moderation.I don’t mind if someone has poor spelling and grammar,that is usually due to social factors beyond their control,but people should at least try to spell words and write correctly.(sorry about that rant).
    I fear we have seen the gradual decline of Andrei mainly due to team being built and rotating around Cesc.He is the most direct player we have (and i venture the most frustrating)but his instinctive and quick play does not compliment possession football.His style is to play in bursts and again that does not suit possession type play.
    Is it worth changing the shape of the team in the hope that he will once again shine? Probably not.
    He is now cover for Gervinho.Important due to the ACN ,then I think “free Andrei Arshavin” will take a whole new meaning.Sadly .Very sadly,very very sadly, very ………………….(sobs inconsolably)

  32. @pedantic george,
    I’m trying, so far unsuccessfully, to equate “People using text talk should be put in moderation” with the obscenity contained in your comment at 10.30am.

  33. lord have mercy!! PG has seen the light.he is out of the ‘hole’!!!!!

  34. We are a much more direct team now George, so you would think AA would benefit?

    I think AA gets a lot of unjust stick, specifically about his ball retention – personally, I think AW recognises that Ramsey etc will benefit more from playing at the tip of the midfield, as will Jack when he returns. So why try garner the best from a 30 yr old midfielder with no guarentee of improvement?

    Its a terribly sad state of affairs really, because he works his socks off, wants to play, wants to sort out his form, but is never given a decent chance. He is arguably the biggest name signing we have made this century, and by all accounts, whether his fault or a mixture, he has flopped.

  35. nicky.see ace’s comment at 10.43 and you will see that he see’s humour in the post rather than taking offence.
    That said ,fuck off!

  36. hi george fuck off

  37. Luke. where have you been?
    Do you think you might make any ACLF meet up for the Blackburn game?

  38. arse or brain ,I am offended and cut to the bone.

  39. Please don’t play Santos. Our only fit recognised first team full-back.

    How awesome would it be for our youth system if in 5 years time our starting 3 man midfield was Frimpong, Coquelin and Wilshere in the Song, Arteta, Ramsey current roles.

  40. Markus,there needs to be room for Ox in the “5 years time” team

  41. @leftpinky | December 6, 2011 at 7:25 am
    “…and we sure as heck arent getting Podolski. AW will never pay $20M for a 26 year old striker who scores goals for midlevel german teams.”

    A completely moronic statement. The bloke has over 40 goals for the German national side at just under a goal every two games. If we could get him or Anelka in January I’d be very pleased.

    @George, I’m completely with you on the text talk thing.

  42. Just uber busy George (the fools who employ me have decided I should take on a bigger team!) – was on after the City game…which I loved. Despite the score, was beaming with pride from the effort. Thought we were brilliant against Wigan too.

    Cant see any reason why I wont be around for the Blackburn game – you coming down I take it? Will have to meet for a pint for sure!

  43. @pedantic george,
    I see no humour in your obviously limited vocabulary.

  44. Nicky,I doubt you see humour in much.
    Please accept my humble apologies for my poor language skills.And my course attempts at humour.
    That said……………..well you know.

  45. George – if you are to attach pedantry to your nom de plume, I feel compelled to point out that our resident Ox would most likely play across the front three.

  46. George- Completely agree with you about the text talking. And I am with Jonny about the Ox playing across the front three rather than in midfield. It is all looking up for us for the next decade, I just hope there are no more Chelsea’s and City’s to ruin our plans, to test our adaptability again, that said, I think Wenger has got it covered this time round.

  47. Don’t think that TV or AS will start!

  48. A look into the future, The Arsenal team in five years time with respective ages:

    ——————- Chez (26)
    Jenks (23)— Miquel (24)– Hoyte (26)–Gibbs (27)

    Ramsey (26)—— Wilshere (24——— Coq (25)

    Ox (23)———————————————- Ryo (24)
    ———————–Walcott (27)

    plus: Mannone (28) Yennaris (23) Kos (30)
    Ozyacup (24) Frimpong (24) Joel Campbell (24)
    Afobe (23)

    Looks fucking good, the future is bright, the future is Arsenal…… and Dennis Bergcamp will be manager and Henry Assistant Manager and Vernaelen will be defensive coach.

  49. Btw, read on Le Grove that Arsene’s been talking about Neymar. Any chances? And forget the source!

  50. Kenyan Gunner, I need some help. Completely out of line, it is about the trade situation in Africa, I want someone to give me a brief overview of the situation-present and how it is set to develop. Would be very very helpful for an essay, that I have to prepare.

  51. Northbank 1969, and it doesn’t even include Vermaelen and the players that we will be buying. Amazing!

  52. i fink dat we shud sell AA in jan..

  53. “I have a big squad, but if you knock at my door and say ‘I have a fantastic player for you’, I will not turn it down.”

    I just love the way he speaks! In Arsene we trust!

  54. JJ- No not in January, we will wait till June. Gervinho goes on ACN duty, remember?

  55. I’d rest Vermaelen and Santos. Bring them on only if needed. Get Rosicky, Arshavin and Benayoun some minutes. Another chance for Djourou, Miguel, AOC, Park and Chamakh to impress too. They will be all up for it. I am looking forward to seeing how our fringe players react.

    Djourou had an excellent game against Man City, he has quietly built up his confidence and form. Nice to see after all the criticism he undeservedly received. He was one of our star men prior to the CC final. Memory is ever so short in football.

  56. sorry george couldnt resist that one.. 😉

    no oxo in the lineup YW?? he tore them to bits at the grove..

    i’d rest TV and santos for this one as well..the xmas fixtures are going to be heavy..we really dont need any of the players who have played a starring role so far..

  57. i was jesting, sriram…

  58. Amazing to think Wilshere will be just 24 in 5 years time.

    Can’t see Hoyte making any future Arsenal team – currently doing okaaaay at Lincoln…

    I think Bartley is still a decent prospect – notched up his third appearance of the season on the weekend, playing the full 90 for Rangers. Djourou still has much to offer too – especially if he can shake his injury problems. Has proven good cover at LB.

  59. Isn’t it a shame we don’t have a young striker coming through the ranks at the moment? We have so other youngsters in different positions, like Frimmers, Coquelin and Miquel. I really would like a young gun pushing Park and Cham.

  60. Oops JJ, didn’t catch that one! 😀 Anyway, I was waiting for George’s reaction as well. 😉

    None of the players from the starting XI will make an appearance. Oxo to demolish them once more? It is about time, he gets his first CL away goal.

  61. Maria- That is wrong, we have Joel Campbell and Benik Afobe in that department. Or am I confused with Chuks Aneke?

  62. @Block 4

    Bendtner has a similar record for Denmark, doesn’t mean his worked at Arsenal.

  63. we do maria but they are all out on bloody loan..

    im to too keen on wellington if im honest but i still rate vela and if only joel would have got a work permit…

  64. S – Afobe is injured, Campbell no permit. Aneke is on loan I think. I’m talking about players that make the squad and the CC team. Like Vela and Bendtner did. I am a big fan of Afobe and Aneke. I would give them another year or two.

  65. And Maria, couldn’t respond to you last night, I very much think, the title could be on the cards. We should just be able to keep our players fit and motivated. If the spirit is alive, we can give the Mancs a run for their money, definitely.

    I am sure that the media will not rate us, as capable of winning the title, till we reach the match in which we can actually do that.

    I fancy us going very far in the CL this season. On an other note, have you all seen the effect of the technology we introduced last season as measures to stopping injuries? The results are almost there for us to see with the minimal amount of fatigue injuries, isn’t it?

  66. so wenger says anelkas moving abroad..the rumours to china look like having legs then..

    either way if wenger knows something at least it showed he was interested enough to ask what was going on..i reckon he wanted him..but anelkas off for one last big payday

  67. Pedantic George
    Funny how changing your avatar acts upon your posts. You don’t sound half as pedantic as you used to be now.

  68. JJ- Me too, very excited about Joel Campbell and I would still like to see Vela do well with us. He has all the tricks in the cabinet. He can finish, I think Wenger expects something else out of him. I wish we knew.

    Maria- I agree with you, squad wise, we don’t have anyone coming up in the Striker’s department, maybe that is why we have stop gap arrangements for Van Persie backups in the form of Chamakh and 2 year military service bound Park.

  69. @Maria

    Park will be 31 in five years time, we have Afobe and WAlcott will only be 27…. same age as RVP now.

    Yes about Bartley as well, I hope he is still with us in five years.

  70. Sriram, hard to help you. Africa is a very big diverse place. South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, for example, a very different places. Even South Sudan which neighbours Kenya is as different as they come. Take our northern neighbour Ethiopia which has a history of more than a thousand years of Christianity and the Kenya interior which has a legacy of probably a century of Christianity. Or take Angola which – because of oil money – has a larger budget than the Republic of Ireland but suffers crazy levels of corruption. Then there’s the coming of the Chinese. But all in all the biggest impact of the last decade has been the mobile phone. And secondly the development of an African diaspora and its impact on the home continent. I’m not much help but it would take the whole day to just get started. Darius could also be of much help – I hope!

  71. JJ- Similar to what Drogba’s agent said about his final transfer. It is about money matters at the age they are in, 33 or 34. They don’t have to prove themselves in a team anymore. Riding into the sunset time, I guess!

    A friend of mine, pretty much, never runs on the football pitch, he was mocking that Drogba has started playing like him. No running at all.

  72. Sriram , and Zimpaul aswell!

  73. Anelka may have outgrown some of the more destructive behaviors in his repertoire, but the way he acted in South Africa, as a mature, experienced player, suggests that he’s still a prick. Given that our chemistry is responsible for our current form, bringing him in to our dressing room would be like taking a wrecking ball to a brand new house. Obviously Arsene knows the player really well and he would have the last word, but I am uneasy about this whole Anelka stuff. Podolski, on the other hand, is at his peak and would most likely be psyched about playing in a higher profile league for a club who can offer him CL football. Whereas Anelka would be playing out his career, Podolski would be re-inventing his. He’s also had a similar career trajectory, in terms of his position on the pitch, as Van Persie. He has played out wide for club and country which is a position he would’ve played at had Wenger bought him earlier in his career.

  74. capmbell looks a prospect….

    yea sriram alot of the players around that age look for the last hurrah..is it just me or do they seem to be getting younger though…i used to find they normally waited until mid 30’s before they all fucked off to usa or arabia or wherever..

    they going in their early 30’s now..

  75. @Maria, Podolski has 90-odd caps for Germany, not Denmark, has played plenty of times in that wide position in a front three and is a perfect age (26) to come in and do a job right now. He could play accross the front three. Bendtner was consistently played out of position and hated it, their circumstances are very different.

  76. Sriram –
    thanks for the correction yesterday – it was Song playing the 1-2 with vP.

    Five years from now…….I hope to be around to indulge in following Arsenal…..but the line up options don’t intrigue me as much as who would be the manager?

    I would relish for it to be DB10 but only if he could find success here. Being a world class player does not guarantee success in a manager’s role.

  77. Aneke does not play as a front man.

    Campbell looks a very decent prospect.

    Afobe – well maybe but he needs to take the next step – he’s an unknown quantity at the top level but his career has so far been about playing above his level so maybe he’ll surprise everyone. No doubt the injury this season will have made him hungry – just a pity he missed out on CC opportunities.

    Hope to see Park get some more chances – we do need to ease some of the burden on RVP. At present, and for some time now, Wenger obviously does not trust Chamakh to be that man.

  78. Regressing to the City match:

    It was interesting to see our fullback selections for that match – both Dj and Miquel usually formatted as CB’s – not the default profile we’ve seen in recent seasons.

    Strong performances – wish both more playing time (in any capacity).

  79. why i feel vela never quite worked out for arsenal:

    he has good technique and good finishing. but the other aspects of his game aren’t quite there. he is relatively fast but isn’t that fast that he can just use his pace. his technique is great, but isn’t enough to get him past defenders all the time. nor to compensate for his relative smaller frame to hold the ball. and his speed of thought is not fast enough to be one step ahead of the opposition. that is why it is difficult for his other qualities like finishing to be brought out.

    it is a bit like when you play cards. out of a hand of 13 cards, you have 2 aces, but the rest of your cards, the linking cards, arent fantastic, and it is difficult to win the game because of that.

    that, i feel is what has been lacking in his game. he is a good player, but maybe he can’t impose himself at the top level. or at least maybe he would be more suited for a less physical league.

  80. About Anelka, what would be the point of bringing him in when we just got rid of Nasri. The man is really hated in france ( I live here ). To me he is a kind of french John Terry counterpart. Not the kind of player i’d like to to see wear an Arsenal jersey.
    By the way, what was the perception of his departure in 1999 among the supporters. Was he despised for beeing a mercenary the way Nasri is today?

  81. Jonny .I bet you a silver shilling that Ox moves into the middle of the park.

  82. leborbe & G69
    exactly why Anelka will likely be heading to MLS.

  83. leborbe,he would have been had there be a huge on line “champ man” network, like we have today.

  84. Just a s a bit of “where are they now” from five years ago to give a little bit of perspective to Northbank1969’s team above, I submit the following from the squad list of the 2006-2007 season (http://www.mondaydata.com/arsenal/2006-2007.htm) of young-ish players:

    Mannone
    J Hoyte, Djourou, Senderos, Traore
    Eboue, Song, Fabregas, Walcott
    Aliadiere, Adebayor

    Plus: Denilson, Flamini, Diaby, Randall, Gibbs, O’Cearuill, Connolly

    Extrapolating that that could see 2 nailed-on first-teamers, a few squad players, one departed superstar (Wilshere in the Fabregas role) and a total git come out of the current crop.

  85. Arsesession. Some say he could be on his way to China. Suits me. One way ticket please.

  86. George: “I bet you a silver shilling that Ox moves into the middle of the park”.

    You mean tonight, or long-term? With his physique he could be a centre-forward in the Ronney mould no doubt.

  87. oxo could move centrally i suppose

    but with his speed, strength, ability to cut inside and pop off or go outside and deliver it…id rather him stay wide in a 433…

  88. Markus.I mean in the future.
    Arsene has already said he sees him a a central midfielder in the longer term.So I am not claiming any credit for my insight.

  89. No dice George – he’s clearly more than capable of playing down the middle plus he’s done it before (though not for us). Nonetheless at present he is cover for both Gerv and Walcott – those are the positions Wenger likes him for and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

    Do you think the Meerkat will start tonight?

  90. seems like wenger is doing an arshavin relating to signing Goetze, saying not not intersted to the media but, working behind the scenes to get him.

    Wouldn’t mind Lewandowski and Kagawa too but I can only dream…..

  91. Jonny ,I am not debating the subject with you.I am telling you. (because Arsene told me.Well when I say “me”,I don’t actually mean he called around to my house amd we talked about it over tea and biscuits)

    Hope that clears things up 🙂

  92. Darren Bent a Arsenal type of player?

    Are you kidding me?

    Good point on Fans Forum though that Cham doesn’t believe his better than RVP, listening to his most recent interview – it’s very clear he has zone belief.

    I think that RVP needs to do a confidence building on Cham, similar to the one which is successful to the Theo situation.

  93. OK this sounds crazy but with if Man U would accept £10m-£15m for Berbatov that would be a great signing as RVP back-up, again dreaming…

  94. Maria,They really do need to think harder about who to have as guests on the show.

    What about my good point about Chamakh ?About Theo’s improved crossing ,Gervinho ,Santos and Jenkinson all being better able to deliver balls more suited to him.

  95. Silver,that’s my idea ,get your own.
    But I would not want to spend more that 6 to 8 milllion on him at this stage

  96. http://www.metro.co.uk/sport/football/883996-neymar-interest-confirmed-by-arsenal-boss-arsene-wenger

    I know I am in cloud cokoo land but I think wenger acknowledges that we need another striker should rvp be out for a prolonged period of time.

  97. Pedantic i didn’t see you say this I would have kept this random one to myself, slow day at work so plenty of surfing time, maybe man u would let us take berba on loan for the rest of the season with a view to a permanent move?

  98. Neymar?????
    Dear me,Will we also sign Ronaldo and Messi to compliment him?
    That is never ever going to happen

  99. Silver.I thought so until their little Mexican injured himself at the weekend.Cant see them letting him go now ,either on loan or at a reasonable price.

  100. @Maria – I think Darren Bent would have scored a hatful at Arsenal: about year ago a startling stat was revealed – that over the 5 previous seasons the most premiership goals scored have been by Drogba, Rooney and Bent (all scoring roughly the same total). Given who he had been playing for, that he can score with both feet and his head, is good at link up-play and as a target man and he’s an Arsenal fan since a nipper he would certainly have been better than our recent/current RVP alternatives.

    That said, he cost too much when he left Sunderland and the boat has since sailed – Wenger will find someone better and cheaper in time no doubt.

    Make no mistake though, if we’d had him over the last few years, with the service he would have gotten – as opposed to that which he received at Sunderland and yet was still was one of the best goals scorers in the country – he would have scored a bucketload.

  101. @ leborbe
    actually, Anelka fits the mo for Harry / Spurs.

  102. i remember wenger saying a while back that if he could find a player worth 40mil he would spend it..money wasnt the issue..

    now hes saying if he had the money he would put it all on neymar..

    in that case neymars value is ridiculously higher than 40mil or its just a typical wenger smokescreen so he can go after his real target while everyone else is fighting it out for neymar..

  103. Goerge point taken about Chicharito still i think his contract is due to run out either this summer or the next so it might still be in the best interests to sell him.

    Oh I am allowed to dream about neymar because like Pele i agree that he is potentially better than messi, you have to dream.

    Shame that Ryo hasn’t been fit or picked for any Carling cup games, I for one was looking forward to seeing him play this year after such a good year on loan in Holland.

  104. gourcuffs like another mexes we get linked to him all the time..i

  105. ac milan have confirmed they have been given permission to speak to tevez..

    alexdandre pato aint getting the games as it is…if tevez joins where does that leave patos career??

    AW to the rescue 🙂

  106. But why is he not getting game JJ?

  107. Not to be a stickler Yoogi, but it’s spelt “Ghanaian” just for future reference. 😀

  108. “Free AA!”

    I believe in you Andrei Arshavin.
    Time to show the naysayers?

  109. wssup p.george?

  110. i dunno to be honest george…but its got nothing to do with form..
    maybe cos theyve got strikers like ibra, robinho, inzagghi and they signed cassano too this year…
    and i think hes been injured for a bit..
    but hes been banging in 15 goals a season for them the past few years..hes basically been a 1 in 2 forward for milan the whole time hes been there..and hes still a baby really…

    im a big admirer of patos hes shit hot..but it does look like hes falling down the order and i think its more to do with the new manager there than what it is anything else..he got cassano, hes after tevez and theres rumours he wants kaka back..

    if he dont like pato im sure wenger would..lots of managers would..

  111. Pato is young and he’s been having tons of injuries lately. He’s also a very one dimensional player (ie; shit) and wouldn’t be good for us.

  112. gains are you serious??

    you think patos shit??? one dimentional,?? in what way? that he scores goals… mate youve never seen him play have you?? tell the truth

  113. is it only me or does the ox look a bit like gilberto silva?

  114. only if he’s stood on a chair..

  115. Pato looks and runs like a duck. No thanks.

  116. Afobe will be in the first choice Arsenal squad in 2 years. Anyone who saw him in the pre – season can say that.
    Said the same about Frimpong last season & I stick to it..

    @GB69 – I agree with you about him being injury prone, but he is anything but one dimensional..

  117. @JJ Ignore Gains – he’s being an arse, it is true that Pato has had lots of injuries – but he’s an extremely good striker with an excellent record.

    I wouldn’t especially want him at Arsenal though – I don’t think he’s the right type of player for us. He’s been playing Serie A too long – I think the Premiership rough & tumble, the pace, the cold weather and the general settling in would be hard for him to adjust too. He’s also super pricey and heading towards 28 – there are better options, no doubt.

  118. 13Szczesny13 Wojciech Szczesny

    @cesc4official I will not accept any banter from you after seeing you cry like a little girl over my tweet about your haircut haha 😉

    You gotta love that mad Pole.

  119. @Jonny – Wake up, he’s 22!

  120. Cesc has cut them short now..

  121. Pato would fit our play…….he is extremely quick, skillful, and a goal scorer; has a good shot from outside……has and can play any position across the front.

    for me, he’s a younger version of Suarez.

  122. @Sriram – I think you missed my post yesterday, so which part of the country you’re in ?

  123. Did you guys know Cesc the b*tch is following OleGunner in twitter. I wonder how that came about.

  124. Whoops getting my wires crossed – my bad. 😀

  125. Does anyone know why the Emirates Cup has been cancelled? The highlight of every gooners summer? Not impressed.

  126. Because it was clashing with the Olympics, Maria.

  127. Time’s a fast approaching,

    3-2 win tonight predicted: and ‘yes’ I’m brave enough to predict on a dead rubber!

    On an unrelated issue. I wonder if Citeh buy our players just to weaken us rather than to play them. I think Kolo’s recent claims of discrimination and exclusion should be noted by all gunners who believe the glass (as with the petro-dollars) is always greener!! Next, let’s see if Nasri and Gael find the need to voice dissatisfaction wityh life at their new home!!?

    Back to the point, the Ox scores tonight.

    COYG

  128. I can’t believe nobody’s on here on a Champions League night

  129. Dgob, yes, but it backfired. We got Gervinho and Santos. We will always attract more talent.

    We’ve got more than money and strength.

  130. Interestiing 1.2,3 for the EA SPORTS Player of the Month

    1. RVP
    2. Song
    3. Koscielny

  131. Not much to take about. The kids will play, we don’t need a result. Just relax and enjoy.

  132. hmmmn… the number of careers to be rescued in this january window vy AW alone… hmmn, i really wonder

  133. Arsenal XI

    Fabianski
    Djourou
    Squillaci
    Vermaelen
    Santos
    Frimmers
    Coquelin
    The Ox
    Benayoun
    Arshavin
    Chamakh

  134. maybe they will appear nearer the game?

  135. @maria…
    is that a confirmed line up?

  136. Cham to score a hat-rick!!!

  137. Arsenal: Fabianski – Djourou – Squillaci – Vermaelen – Santos – Frimpong – Coquelin – Benayoun – The Ox – Arshavin – Chamakh

    Arsenal subs: Rosicky – Mannone – Miquel – Eastmond – Ozyakup – Yennaris – Park Ju Young
    11 minutes ago

  138. Very surprised that TV and Santos start

  139. Santos will be wasting away .

  140. ok, maria, thanks. nd yes, truly i also expect charmakh to score a hattrick… so… likely then!

  141. @PG, i think the team needed to be mixed, what with all the talk of respect and all. No need to give ourselves a bad name at this critical stage of rising like a phoenix out of the ashes of the bad season start and all.

    who know we may yet find ourselves in the position Marseille is at another time, we would certainly expect the team at the top to also put in their best. maybe santo wont play to be end, likely those two will be sub especially if we are leading

  142. Hello Arsenal fans!
    Hope our fringe players do the job and win the game, would like it if Chamack.Park score today….thought that Vermealen coming to Greece was unnecessary.

  143. Team Spirit,
    I just think Santos is a big risk as he is our one and only left back.

  144. Alan Davies, are you serious? Carroll over Cham and calling that pikey “massive talent” whose lost his way. Looking at the

    I really can’t believe some Arsenal fans at times.

  145. TV can play LB and we can bring JD back in from the cold. Always options G.

  146. Maria ,Are you sure he said “massive talent”?
    “Massive t**t” [erha[s is what he meant.

  147. You ave so much more confidence, and rightly so Maria, in ths squad than that of the last couple of years.

    I remember a few nervy nights on here!

    Will I see you at the Blackburn game in Feb.?

  148. Um has the Official lineup been confirmed yet?

  149. Pride to play for tonight…I have heard Anelkas name bandied about on the blogsphere as a possuble January transfer target. Really?.I dont think so..if you thought Ade was a primadonna Le sulk invented it. He would be a very rotten apple in the barrel. Still waiting for the real Arshavin to turn up though…and waiting…. Good luck young gunz.

  150. Cant understand Santos starting…TV I can, cos he is probably sick of resting..

    Anyway up the Arsenal!!!

  151. I could think of a much better word to go with “massive” to describe carroll

  152. mj gunner benik just put on twitter his scan went well he stars running tomorrow and should be back in 4/5 weeks

  153. You’re telling me Bob! Had to many heart in mouth moments over the years not to enjoy this with glee.

    On seeing me, well i’ve told you before for you i’m free anytime – except Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays. Always available on the Lord’s day however. haha

    Seriously, I think Feb is to far away, when is Ateeb going back?

    Btw why are people connecting my reappearance with that of LA disappearence?

  154. Really am hoping Valcenia knock Chavski out, Valencia are my kind of club and deserve to be in the knock-out stages, much more than the oily russian play thing.

  155. Oh the irony. Mata leaves Valencia to win trophies, he chooses Chelsea over Arsenal to win trophies and now his new club will be kicked out of the Champions league buy the very old club he left to win trophies with! Should have gone to Arsenal Mata, then again if we bought him we would probably not have bought Arteta and i do enjoy arteta.
    So all in all everybody wins except Mata, that is ofc if Chelsea takes a dive into the Euro cup tonight.

  156. Fat Lamps on the bench.

  157. hey whats wrong with my avatar?? since when did i become green and have a spectcle on my face?

  158. oh my sun is back, i do enjoy a nice sun 😀

  159. Jonny, fuck off. I’ve watched Pato since youth level and have watched him a lot for A.C. Milan. The only thing one can say about him is that he has speed and that’s the only reason he looks halfway decent amongst the pensioners that play with him at Milan. Other than that, his all around play and his finishing are shit. If you think Pato is fantastic, then I’m afraid you and JJ have big-name-itis.

  160. Chamakh has scored in eight of his last 11 Champions League starts.

    Now what Davies?

    Has the pikey ever started a CL match forget scoring in one! Bloody cheek.

  161. Maria,where are you getting this Alan Davies stuff?

  162. from the guardian life text, its defo worth wondering if indeed arsenal is being praised here! LOL

    7.41pm: Paul Merson on Sky is attempting to praise Arsenal. Or is he? “Olympiakos will have to be careful because Arsenal are at their most dangerous when there’s nothing riding on the game.”

  163. Ateeb is here for the duration of his degree I think Maria.

  164. The podcast, they’ve been very rude about our strikers.

  165. wow fiesty crowd. Lets hope the ref does not get to influenced..
    Aldeady hate the commentator… hes got a way annoying accent

  166. Tony Gale .fuck me.How bad can you get.

  167. Nice link Maria – thank you

  168. Chamakh has been excellent so far. He might not be a goal scorer but everything else about him is top class. His ability to hold up the ball, his work rate and boy does h have an eye for his team mates and the ability to play a decent pass.

  169. he will be a goalscore again ones he gets more regular games.. You can see hes not “sharp” yet, ones he is he will be great for us.
    Shame they scored though…

  170. And we were playing so well. Olympiakos fans and players pumped for this one. Created enough chances though.

  171. i wonder if we gonna see ozzy tonite, he is a very exciting player..

  172. i suspect the olymipacos fans to work almost even harder than their team. they must be the fittest fans in europe if they can continiue this noise for 90 mins

  173. wow Fab just has no luck does he

  174. Fabianski is done. That clash looked awful.

  175. Not sure why we are playing without a defence.

  176. I see the Greek austerity programme extends to cheapo stretchers

  177. I don’t think I have ever seen Vermaelen play so sloppily. Is he tired?

  178. I think our defence may have just deliberately taken Fabianski out! He was having a shocker!

    Anyone suggesting he is better than Chezzer should grow up – he just isn’t. In fact, it’s currently not even close. End of story.

  179. hate olumpicaos now…hate the commentator too… “coquelain is just playing his not injured” wtf is wrong with the commentators??

  180. I guess that means Coquelin is done for the season. Greeks seem determined to win by decimating us.

  181. Greek will tire themselves out soon enough. Let’s just make sure we keep it a 1-0 till HT.

    Poor Fab don’t think he was at fault for the goal. Johan pushed to far in field and then the ball reflected of two defenders. Even our own goalie can ger verminated. The guy is ruthless.

  182. Jonny, on what exactly are you basing that Fab was having a shocker?

  183. Jonny you are the onlyone i know that would ever be happy for someone to snap his knee…

  184. Poor Le Coq – he’s had a couple of brutal clashes in the last two games.

    Great run & cross from AOC.

  185. its the same thing that happend to Dortmund when they played us though. lost two players in the first half…

  186. Arshavin and Yossi up front in game like this should be doing better. Especially when we have young boys in midfield.

    Cham has had zero service, but must take his chances when they do come.

  187. You fuck with one of ours we fuck with one of yours.

  188. poodle its Tony Gale.he really hates us

  189. who came in for coq?

  190. Le Coq is somehow still alive and playing.

  191. Jonny is on his period. It’s better if he’s ignored. Other than that mis-kick at the beginning Fabianski did nothing wrong. He was put under pressure from the backline twice and one of those resulted in a goal. How one can take the time to nit-pick during a game is beyond me.

  192. lol this is back go crazy days..

  193. well im sure Jonny is delighted with Fabianskis backup :p

  194. Woah there! I’m not remotely happy about it. Far from it.

    As for his game I see the poor play in front of him in part down to him – he transmits insecurity to the whole back line. His poor distribution which invited pressure started a run of chaos in the defence. No doubt they all came away looking bad but I’ve seen it several times in the past from the same keeper.

  195. So Jonny, is the defence now going to try and take out Mannone on purpose?

  196. “We’ve only got one keeper, just one keeper….”

  197. Right on queu. Was that awful pass down the middle Mannone’s fault, Jonny?

  198. If they keep playing like this, I’ll be going back much earlier than June.

    What the fuck are they doing? Coquelin and Frimpong playing like kids, while Arshavin and Benayoun aren’t anywhere to be seen.

    They will tire given how much they have pressed, so we need to keep fighting.

  199. Oh dear a tough lesson for the young guns….

  200. Greek fans are giving me a headache. Could someone ask them to keep it down?

  201. Like when we played City, Jonny? Or when he had his run last season? And what exactly do you mean by poor distribution? The one time he kicked the ball straight ot a Greek player was when he was put under pressure by a wayward Vermaelen pass that meant he had to go into a 50/50 with a greek attacker.

  202. its a even thougher lesson for our old gooners. I agree Arsh and Benny should be better, are they even “defending from the front? “

  203. MD

    Just put it on muted because of that, all this orchestrated sighing BS is getting on my last t*t!

    Bring on HT.

    AW needs to change things up and kick some ass!

  204. Jonny has a sixth sense. He feels energy fields. It is Fabianski’s fault that the midfield can’t get itself sorted out because he gave them bad joo-joo. Take your stupid shit the fuck out of here, you cunt.

  205. I really was not meaning it seriously. Which I thought would be obvious. Lighten up.

  206. Woaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh

    It’s getting a little heated in here boys. Crack a window someone….PG? FG?

  207. See you guys at FT. Hope we are celebrating then.

  208. Game of two halves, anyone?

  209. Gains – surely you can do better than foul-mouthed, aggressive abuse?

    My mistake.

  210. where is benny and arsharvin though?

  211. Sorry Jonny you should know thats all he has by now.

  212. Nice to see Vermaelen still has his fighting spirit and wants to atone for his mistakes.

  213. Olympiacos are showing balls though, they really want this. They want it more.

  214. Look at that. One cunt defending another cunt. Jonny are you Jabba in disguise? Gunnerjones, eat shit.

  215. well if we loose today aic and suga for sure will be back to spew vile for a couple of days until we beat Everton…

  216. Gains you are just a miserable dick and should be called out on it.

  217. Jonny, I find it hard to belive that you were just joking when you felt the need to justify your statement by talking about “insecurities” spreading over to the defence.

  218. Not sure what up with our boys today, probably taken back by the pace and closing down of Olpiakos. Even the loose balls are not falling our way. Got a feeling we will pull it back second half.

  219. Our midfield is nowhere to be found. Benayoun has been invisible. I wouldn’t make any changes if I were Arsene. I’d let these same players fight it out to the end. These are the chances they must take and if they don’t make the most out of them it’s their fault.

  220. well chelsea is winning against Valencia so guess they are through…

  221. People need to chill out, this is a dead rubber game for us, and if mistakes are happening you want them to happen in such a game. It will be good experience for the young guns, hacks will be on our backs, we can forge a sense of collective ness under the inevitable siege and go for another unbeaten run. It’s obvious the Greeks are going for it, they have everything to gain and everything to loose. Wenger needs to tell the players to relax and play their game.

  222. Gunnerjones, it’s hillarious that you think it’s me that is being a miserable dick. That idiot Jonny could wait until at least the end of the game to have a go at our keeper. Who, incidentally, just came off with what looks like a pretty serious knock. And who the fuck are you to be policing people? If you don’t like my tone, then don’t bother looking at my posts.

  223. Gains – this is really unnecessary. Please can you just lose the aggressive personal insults.

    It’s unpleasant and, more importantly, it’s unfair on other posters.

    I get that you hate me – and I really don’t care – so save yourself the stress.

    It’ll only shorten your own miserable existence anyway.

  224. Interesting and disappointing.

    How many times these days does a second string team succeed? Not just for us but for any team?

  225. It’s funny how at the first sign of weakness the vultures attack. What’s even crazier is that they have the temerity to react as if they’re the ones being attacked.

  226. Pretending to take the moral high ground while throwing around with back hand insults is not really throwing a good light on you, Jonny.

  227. Evil – I could explain my comments better but this isn’t the time. please just accept my apologies – words and their tone are very easily misconstrued when typed – and move on.

    I was certainly not wishing any harm on Fab.

  228. Yeah fair point Gains. – but personally AA is in the last chance saloon, and simply doesn’t care. After all the fight and spirit in recent weeks, that’s just sad. No fuss, we’re through, but this isn’t like Oil citeh; it’s the “Oh whatever” attitude that annoys. Arshavin, score two screamers and redeem yourself, boy!

  229. Stop getting so heated people.
    Its a dead rubber
    Calling each other cunts just makes us look like Le Grove.
    Get a grip you twats

  230. Jonny, I’ll lose my aggressivity as soon as you stop talking shit about our players. And I don’t hate you. I just think that you’re cliched and boring. Since your opinion means very little to me I’d have to at least respect you to find anything worth hating.

  231. No problem, I hope you’ll be available to debate those issues tomorrow then, when we are all able to get a good night’s sleep.

  232. Merson is a Chav,least we forget

  233. O well,,,

  234. maybe we should move on now that the secondhalf is about to start? Lets hope it gets better than the first. I think its impossible it can become worse..

  235. tihiihi hoping TV5 and santos dont get infected by the squilaci and djorou and the sorry keepers playing….. we dont need that

  236. @Evil That was not a back-handed insult – If someone is shouting aggressive obscenities it is perfectly fair to suggest they are making their own existence miserable rather than mine.

    What does not throw a good light is where you choose to take sides, totally ignoring the personal insults which have been said from the other side whilst accusing me of ‘pretending’ to take moral high ground.

    Back to the game – computer off I think.

  237. I just find it so irritating that the same team, more or less, that fought so well against 200 million in oil pounds is getting played off the park by a third rate greek team.

  238. yes….now is not the time to point fingers…..

    balls are not falling for us – as we are playing against a very aggressive team (blackburn or wolves style of play – 10 karl henry’s) defensively…..and the official is allowing it……

    when we play the ball quickly, Olympiacos stops chasing……when we try and dribble then the ball is knocked free and they have numbers around the ball…..

    there is not enough creativity in this midfield line up……that needs correcting.

    plenty of time to get back into the match……..I will be watching to see how the team responds to Arsene’s input.

  239. Pony, I think Arsha has made the most of his time on the pitch. Like Ox he’s isolated out on the wing because our midfielders can’t get a foot on the ball and our distribution has been downright awful. I wish Benayoun were playing with as much urgency as the little Russian.

  240. im sure we only need one or two swaps to regain the balance if that is what we want.. but our players are falling like flies today… woots going on? :p

  241. Santos injured? …

  242. I predict Ozzy for either coq or frim and then we will see more fluidity…

  243. I guess the people that were so desperate to see Vermaelen playing as a LB will get their wish rather sooner than later … I guess our back 4 against Everton is going to be Djourou – Koscielny – Merte – Vermaelen.

  244. What did I say about playing Santos?

  245. The injury to santos is exactly what I was dreading, if he takes a knock and Gibbs is lacking matching fitness this puts pressure on an already settled defence.

  246. maybe they will soon be so angry at eachother than they will start communicatin? like shoutung at eachother? but atlest its more than not communicating at all…

  247. surly someone at the arsenal team are capable of shouting? :p

  248. muahaha that is the benny we all wanna see!

  249. cheeky goal there Benny!

  250. N ow who was asking what AA and Benny were doing?

  251. Atta boy Benni!

  252. Take a bow son…

  253. Great strike by Benny!

  254. That goal was down to Arshavin’s drive and hunger

  255. good grief, can the waiter come back between the sticks ;(

  256. This Olympiakos cheerleader is bloody annoying…

  257. they have woken up and are about to take responsibility. Nothing more than we expect from guys on their salarys and with their age and stardome though George. They were brought down to take leadership and guide the young guys. now they seem like doing that.. and that is great!

  258. has benny changed position or something? since he seems much more involved now..

  259. Is Santos injured or was he taken off because of fatigue?

  260. Rosicky on. Feel that we might turn it around now.

  261. @Gains
    Lookd like an injury, he was stretchered off.

  262. Is this the worst pitch we have ever played on?

  263. Evil, that’s messed up. I hope it’s nothing serious.

  264. mannone is out too??? thats insane!

  265. Johan has had an absolute mare tonight!

  266. Holly, fuck. Who are we going to play at keeper now?

  267. lol we lost all our reserve keepers in noen nite

  268. phew thank god hes back up

  269. Where’s Robin when you need him? He’s supposed to be a good keeper!

  270. I thought the words “Greek Tragedy” in the title were a bit excessive, but damn.

  271. miquel is shaping up nicley. he seems so calm and controlled imo…

  272. Hahahaha, Arsene is having a go at the third ref.

  273. chelsea through? lol that is so lucky!

  274. Arsahvin needs to get his head out of the clouds…that last hospital pass summed up his night..poor by his standards…

  275. Ouch. Not much fun all round tonight.

  276. Game over. Horrible night all around. Two injuries and perhaps even a third. The only possitive thing to come out of this game is that Miquel will be a decent replacement for Santos.

  277. Oh thats nice that the french have scored twice in the last minute so Olymipiakos are going out!

  278. Yeah, Arshavin has been shit for a while now. Not the assist maker that he was last season. Djorou at right back was just as much awful, most attacks down his side. Frimpong, I think got carried away by Arsene’s praise yesterday, was awful at keeping the ball. Chamakh still carries an awful first touch, can’t keep the balll. The only positive I think one can take is that Benayoun when expected to play can do well, in case of injuries.

    The Ox was great though. Not so much at tracking back, but great at attacking.

  279. well ,not a positive in sight

  280. am somehow happy for marseille as their qualification was really in their own hands if they won and glad they took it. our players really ought to have done better!

  281. what a shame for Olympiacos! we even fielded a weak side!

  282. Once Benayoun scored he went right back to being anonymous. I expect better from a guy who has played in some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

    I think the Ox just went ahead of Arshavin as far as team selection.

    I feel bad for the squid. It’s as if he can’t play well for us no matter what.

  283. The real Greek Tragedy would be winning 3-1 yet ending up in the Europa league anyway thanks to two Marseille goals in the last 5 minutes of normal time. #gottahurt

  284. Nothing positive to write and Chelsea are through too. Poodle, Chelsea pl ayed just like they used to against us and killed Valencia on the counter, guess who scored for Chelsea? Didier Dogbreath!

  285. I am actually glad that this shit Olympiacos side did not go through in the end. Fucking diving, fouling cunts!

  286. I dont mind loosing but aginst City we atlest lost in style…

  287. Maybe, just maybe, Olymiakos are a much better side then anyone expected? Still, a slightly depressing match…too many ‘young guns’ simply not good enough, and the older ones not caring quite enough; injuries; a fuc#ing awful crowd.. AA needs to go to a meeting, sharpish.. Mr.T getting a bad ‘rep’ even in Europe; Vito thinking about sports cars, DJ not thinking at all.. Yossi spared our blushes a little, but that last goal said it all – nobody was willing to fight in this game. Apologies for the doomer-ish vibrations, but ffs…that is not the Arsenal we love. Fuc#ing Greeks..as if they were ever any kind of athletes..

  288. Not really happy. Of course it’s “dead rubber” but I still expected to see us perform in this match. Compared to two years ago, when we lost 0:1 and played an even younger side this has been awful.

  289. Did I miss the Ox playing well?
    Only thing we know from tonight is that you just cant get up for a “dead”game.
    And I knew that already.
    A load of old bollocks about taking your chance and forcing your way into contention.

  290. Damn…did not understand Santos starting…even more so now..

    JD and TV had shockers, however I am sure everyone will conveniently point fingers at Fab, Squill, AA, etc

    Thank god that game did not matter…

  291. I am just going to pretend that tonight never happened, just hoping that Santo’s injury is not too serious 😦

  292. I don’t remember much from the Ox, either. To be honest the only player that can be happy with his performance is Miquel. And Rosicky did at least okay, creating a couple of good chances and having one himself.

  293. Valencia is missing a few important players through injury. That they were on the brink of qualification says more about Chelsea’s poor form in the group phase than anything else.

  294. @ Gains

    Not sure he went anonymous..he carved out a really good chance for Rosicky with a delightful little chip

  295. @Anirudh the entire team was horrible today… IT was as if they just got blown away by the intensity and desire of Olympiacos..

    Apoel will regret winning the group as they will guaranteed be drawn against either United or Chelsea..

  296. I can think of Miquel’s performance being the only positive

  297. poor performance but somehow to be expected in such a game with nothing to fight for…. big big negative for me being Santos injury…let’s hope it’s not too serious

  298. Poodle, Chelsea have topped their group..

  299. I thought the Ox played well considering the circumstances. He put in a few nice crosses early on and ran well at his defender. If he had better service from our midfield he would’ve probably made more of an impact.

  300. Poodle i think it’ll be ManU for Apoel as Chelsea top the group i believe

  301. At least we know we need another GK 🙂

  302. Very disappointing result. I know it was a dead rubber, but you would think these players would be playing for pride and to force their way into the first team. I’m sure they would have been thrown by the early injuries, but it does not bode well for the FA cup. Looks like Arsene may need to do some shopping in January after all to supplement the squad. At least Marseille won, so there’ll be no accusations that we threw this match. But we’ve paid a high price with the injuries.

  303. That chance came at the eightieth minute, Anirudh. Where was he from the time he scored until then?

  304. “If he had better service from our midfield he would’ve probably made more of an impact”

    So would Andrei and Chamakh for that matter.
    The whole team was poor.And some were diabolical.

  305. Apoel for manu. that so disgusting 😛 No wonder Phil Jones roares “we eat preassure for breakfast” so would i if i was to meet APOEL in the first tournament round of Champions league. They may get Real or Barca too though, cos everyone wants them to get further…

  306. I didn’t get to watch Santos’ injury. Was he kicked or did he do something awful like catch catch his studs on the turf and wreck his knee?

  307. @ Gains

    We really created precious few good chances, and our passing was shocking, so why single him out for criticism, I thought he was one of our most hard-working players today

  308. i dont think neither Djorou or Squillachi did them selves any favours neither. They pull up some weird stuff those two. Vermaalen had a dreadful game too imo… but he atlest has already convinced AW he belongs in the first 11. the other two has not. so the preassure is on them really…

  309. @poodle

    No disputes there..always knew it would be hard with a fully changed side away at Athens, which is difficult on most normal nights..

    But yes they deserved their win..their fight and desire was tremendous, .our passing was well and truly down the toilet..

  310. It’s probably best to just forget this horror show and move on. No good can come out of dissecting the guts of it.

  311. I agree, George. I thought Arshavin was the liveliest of our front players in the first half. That’s why I don’t get all the negative comments about him. I think the problem is that our midfield was out of sorts tonight.

  312. @gains

    No impact I think..that is the worrying aspect..

  313. SO IF MANY OF THE ENGLISH TEAMS ARE SECOND, THAT MEANS WE HAVE FEW OPTIONS TO PLAY. likely ac milan, porto or leverkussen. right?

  314. Dare I say bring back Almunia! I thought Benayoun had a reasonable game. AS for Arshavin, I really dont want to see him again – his attitude was dreadful – at least others tried, even if they didnt succeed

  315. the olympiacos desire and fighting spirit was like ours when we meet our arch enemis the dreaded barcelona!

  316. Arsenal to unveil statues of Thierry Henry, Tony Adams, and Herbert Chapman for 125th anniversary – http://t.co/pyHI6O9D Telegraph

  317. People, one poor game is but one poor game plus we are talking about the CL here. We all know that this is a different vibes that the PL. It not easy no matter where you go. Lets also not foget that this team gave us a hard time at the Emirates with our first team.

    We have seen almost all of these players, who played poorly tonight, put in a good shift this season. Lets not foget that due to this match?

    Some of these same players were more than a match for many of City’s world class players.

    Question: Can it work against team play if everyone is trying to impress? is it possible that players can get selfish?

  318. Big Johan, Almunia is still with us and I suspect he will not be moving on in January given Fabianski’s injury. He seemed to do well enough with West Ham during his loan spell, so if he’s willing to be back up, why not?

  319. Thank goodness we have BFG and Kos.
    TV,Squilly and JD should not get anywhere near the first team.They are a disgrace.Not fit to wear the shirt.
    In fact they should be publicly flogged and then hung drawn and quartered.
    I think I might pop over to Le Grove .I am on a roll.

    WENGER OUT and SHOT

  320. Agree with Pass 1000%. That result has no meaning so I will erase the memory.

    Plus glad those dirty Os won’t be going through either way. Noisy pricks.

  321. Anirudh: “We really created precious few good chances, and our passing was shocking, so why single him out for criticism, I thought he was one of our most hard-working players today”

    That’s the problem, all he did was run around. If he’d imposed himself on the midfield, like a player of his calibre is supposed to, and organized our attack a bit better my opinion would be quite different.

  322. FFS

     News from twitter: Santos ankle injury looks bad Hobbled through mixed zone in obvious pain And then tripped on a barrier with bad foot via @johncrossmirror

  323. I know,and you all know ,that I am a tad bias.But Andrei did try.
    Anyone who thinks they saw him not trying need to visit Specsavers.And stop watching a sport they clearly know fuck all about.

  324. Well i guess we will shop Cahill this january after all then…

  325. Anirudh, I remember him getting his ankle stamped on in the first half. Let’s hope it was just a twist or a light sprain and he’s back in a week or so. I would hate to lose such a solid player for our game against Shitty.

  326. When’s Gibbo supposed to be back?

  327. hes on sale for 8M now they say… or is that Arry price maybe?

  328. @ gains

    I dont know IMO almost everything good we did today went through him, so in that sense I felt he did all he could and even got a goal for his efforts…

    A team like ours with the pass and move style, depends a lot on players keeping the ball, passing in triangles and 1-2s so if the players around you are having collective shockers its rather more difficult

    On of those agree to disagree ones i guess

  329. @ evil

    By Christmas I think

  330. What you want Cahill as 4th choice?Or 5th?

  331. @gains

    guess i missed the ankle injury then..like you say hopefully its just a knock and its a matter of days and not weeks..

  332. Poor old Santos – questions will be asked as to why he was risked. Does seem rather unnecessary in hindsight. Dammit – he’d been playing so well for us lately too.

    In previous seasons this would be the start of a run of stupid injuries – surely we deserve better luck this season God?

  333. PG

    “But Andrei did try. Anyone who thinks they saw him not trying need to visit Specsavers”

    Well said..words out of my mouth and all that 😀

  334. @ jonny

    Yep..hopefully it will turn out to be a minor one..but it could have easily happened in a PL game..

    Miguel again thankfully was one of the bright spots…

  335. I had to go and predict a victory. You’d think I’d have learned by now:~)

    Unimportant loss in a pointless (pun intended) game. I’ve not been able to smile during a loss before and found tonight quite refreshing. Just praying Santos is fine by the morning!

    On to more serious issues now in the clear knowledge that some of our squad need to shape up mentally.

  336. Miquel sorry

  337. If this game meant so little I`d like to hear Arsene`s reasons for playing Santos, when we have so little cover in his position. Sods, or Arsenal law more like.

    The performance tonight lacked cohesion & application & if nothing else should have identified a number of individuals (yet gain) whose long term futures at the club cannot be taken for granted.

    On the plus side Arsene got a nice memento & most of the first XI were sat at home watching.

  338. Arsh may have tried George but he really was not very good. I know that very, very few out there were, but one just gets the feeling for Arsh that he needed to start showing much, much more – because his chances are becoming fewer and fewer.

    He’s not been the player we bought for some time and he’s not showed that he really cares enough to fight to get it back.

  339. george i dont want him really , it was halfly meant as a joke, but we do have a slight prob though with Gibbs and Santos out. One should think Vermaalen will be prefered out there which means there is little room for Kos or Per to pick up anything for the next 5 weeks or so… Miquel can step in i guess but hes not the finished article yet and even if i do really like Djorou, he seems an enigma to me. I never really know what to think of him, but same was with senderose, he was really good at times but really pap at times too…
    Aslong as we can hold until Gibbs and Jenks is back we will be ok imo…

    But if nothing els it would be nice to buy Cahill just to deny Spurs that pleasure. He may like Parker not be the player we need but gaaah! even though parker is not an arsenal mould player he is winning matches for Tottenham. I bet you that if they end up buying Cahill he will make them better too.. and that will annoy me.
    hed be 4h or 5th choice for me. is it extravagant to buy a 5th choice defender for 8m? i guess it is.

  340. Miquel did look good I thought.

  341. and its not normal to have more than two lb and two rb in the first team of any team. Thats just how it is. The fact Gibbs is injured is just unfortunate.
    City is not the norm btw if anyone wondered, its not normal to have two 500M squads lined up next to eachother in the same club…

  342. Poodle,

    Given that Gibbs has an unfortunate injury record I would have thought that playing Santos tonight was unnecessary. Easy in hindsight I know.

  343. Arshavin Chamakh and especially Djourou and the two CLOWNS in goal should hold theirs heads in shame.We have no back up to Szczesny and RVP.We must buy a back up striker and forward in january.The OX was the invisible man

    It could have been an Old trafford result tonight.We were that poor

  344. I get what you’re saying, Anirudh, but I felt as if our possession was non-existent for very large patches of the game. Also it’s not like Benayoun has never played as a playmaker before. The dude was magnificent when he was at West Ham and used to come in as a sub for Liverpool to good effect in that very same position. I’m not saying that the other players around him set the world alight tonight, but I felt that his lackluster performance put us under unnecessary pressure.

  345. Ian,But you are in your element though,eh?

  346. “Arsh may have tried George but he really was not very good. I know that very, very few out there were”

    Go on then Jonny.Just name me one that even approached good.And I don’t mean for 10 minutes at the end

  347. I think people expect too much from Arshavin. Yes, he can be magnificent when he’s on, but I wager that not too many players would’ve done any better given how crap our midfield was tonight. All this criticism of Arshavin reminds me of all the idiots who called Messi shit when he played for Argentina last summer.

    Ian, don’t start that goalkeeper nonsense. The goalkeepers didn’t commit the mistakes which led to the goals Olympiakos scored. The rest of your post is just more knee-jerk bullshit that you should keep to yourself.

  348. ivanputthepricesup

    Arshavin and Chamakh OH DEAR ! OH DEAR ! OH DEAR !

  349. I thought Ignasi Miquel was good tonight. That little turn and nutmeg he pulled off is not something one sees from CB’s too often. That boy was brought up playing right.

  350. Arshavin and Chamakh what? What little service they got consisted of nothing more than misplaced passes and long, hopeful clearances.

  351. Arsene Wenger on the injuries

    “Fabianski felt a deep cut on the knee and Santos suffered a bad ankle injury. He looks like he will be out for a while. We have Gibbs coming back in two to three weeks. Hopefully Santos will not be too long but, for Saturday against Everton, he looks to be short. We have as well Vermaelen who can play in his position.”

  352. AW Not very clear about Santos..cos he says out for a while, and then says hopefully not too long and talks about short for Everton..hopefully it will be for a week or so..

  353. So 4 CBs for the Everton game then.

  354. Gainsbourg69,yes what were they supposed to do with no service.
    If they had had Ronaldo and Messi they would have done nothing either,
    I wish some people could have an original thought.

  355. @PG

    They were expected to go past 7 defenders on their own, go around the keeper, then magically chip the ball over the defenders on the line, at least 3 times each as well..

    I dont get the criticism either..rubbish..

  356. Anirudh,Yes and help out in defence in the interim.

  357. The only two that were actually good on the ball when they actually had it were Ox and Miquel which says it all really, our senior players should be ashamed from such a display. How does this instill confidence and respect from the young guns/?? It was a dead rubber but still this shouldnt be the standard of our 2nd team, not by a country mile.

  358. Did Ryo play? No?

    *sobs*

    *wails*

  359. Where do all these moaning bastards come from?
    Where the fuck are they when we are winning?
    Well just fuck off will you

  360. Not a good game for us tonight. The one thing we have learned over the last 6 years is that young players are consistently inconsistent and good CC performances do not predict the future.

  361. *sniffs*

  362. @PG

    Where was Arshavin for the second goal..eh??? He should have been clearing off the line..rubbish I tell you… 😀

  363. Ian has arrived. Suga and AIC can’t be too far behind!

  364. Every cloud has a silver lining for some people,Shotta.
    They will have to make do with crumbs and dead rubbers this year.Hopefully.

  365. Four FB’s out? Two of each?
    Aristophanes eat yer heart out.

  366. Yeah. Iggy rocks!

  367. So we are down to Chezney and Mannone as keepers. While Almunia has been banished to the occasional loan spell. Yet those inconvenient “stats” show that Big Al is a better keeper than Mannone and no slouch compared to the first two. But the purveyors of sensationalism and anti-Almunia hysteria dismissed the “facts” when I highlighted them on Monday.

    What a pickle of our own creation!

  368. Almunia has never looked as bad as Don Vito did tonight.Even at his Morris Dancing Worst

  369. totally forgot about this no nothing game that had no bearing on anything and didnt mean nowt…..

  370. @pedantic george; you are a really irritating, Johnny-come-lately prick. You have only been on here for a few months and think you are the bees’ fucking knees. Am not sure if it’s you, or the tubby Russian who pisses me off the most, but you two together, – you and your fake and pseudo [Tautology alert!!] wet-dream, are an ugly stain. Arshavin was crap. He doesn’t give a flying shit about The Arsenal. I may not even remember writing this, but I’d be more than happy if you both fucked off. God bless!

  371. God bless my arse you hypocritical twat.
    If you cant handle drink ,don’t drink ,you sad excuse for a person.

  372. Oh shut up, you little shit. I can handle a lot more than drink. Hypocritical? In which way? Do you think, keyboard warrior that you feel you are, you have to use words you don’t fully understand, but might just impress some people? Sad? Not really; I just dislike you, for you are all that I dislike about the newcomers on here. Am weary of you and your pathetic attempts at humour. However, we support the same team, and it’s childish to get into this kind of nonsense.

  373. Yes, Arshavin was shit, no doubt about that. And has been for a while. But then again, you can’t really expect him to carry a team, he only plays good when situated with other good players. So perhaps, he would be useful in the first team, otherwise I suspect it’s pointless to play him in second string matches, when he doesn’t give a damn.

    And let’s not fool ourselves, with the whole ‘young guns’ got beaten. There were only three of them starting. The rest were experienced players who should have done much better, especially the back four. Chamakh got enough delivery, but his first touch was awful, he couldn’t dribble nor keep the ball, the crucial difference between him and RVP, or any good striker for that matter. Maybe a good run in the team might fix that, but I don’t know, judging from last few performances, I think Bendtner was a much better player(with perhaps a bad attitude). As for Djourou apart from a couple of good runs attacking, he let in so many crosses from his side it’s unbelievable. I hope we get Jenkinson back soon.

    As for there wasn’t much at stake in this game logic. I think a second string’s aim is to put in good performances so they can get into the first team, or at least challenge them. On today’s performances, well, only the Ox could lay some claim in replacing Theo when he’s injured. And we can all hope RVP stays fit, it looks pretty grim when it comes to other choices. I think Arsene should give more playing time to both Park and Chamakh.

  374. What a vindictive little prick Bill is. If you didn’t notice that was not your typical CC squad as we fielded some pretty experienced players. You should stick to your baseball, Bill. Your knowledge of football is novice at best.

  375. I am least worried about the match and the result, but definitely I would have loved to see some more effort and heart from our team. We played like it is okay to get beaten, that sort of attitude really does put me off totally. Consistency is pretty much lacking with this second string and the injuries seem to be coming, Oh my God! Please no! I just hope Santos gets up and running soon, because we are really short in that area of the pitch.

  376. I did not watch the whole match so I am not in the position to comment on the performances. In the patches I saw, there were so many errors in our backline, you cannot single out a player to criticize, no top side like Arsenal be it first side or second string should make such school boy errors. It is slightly hurting to see such performances and especially when you are watching the match at your friend’s place who is a scum supporter.

  377. Well, well, well!!! I see their was a bit of name calling following yesterdays loss. And most of it pretty personal too. I miss all the fun around here, not fair I tells ya! Not fair at all. But thankfully i also missed the game itself and after reading up on most of the comments, i do not think I will even bother watching the highlights. Lowlights? I see Lucas got injured, unlucky bastard isn’t he? And from what I hear Don Vito forgot he could use his hands as he had in fact reentered the penalty area when their player fired back in his attempted clearance. Hmmmm……maybe I will watch the ‘Lowlights’ after all. Especially as the game was totally meaningless, well except for AW deciding to restock the injured room now that Rosicky and Diaby are back. 🙂 Off to watch the lowlights then.

  378. Christ!! Lowlights does not begin to describe them. I am sitting here watching Zenit’s GK single-handedly (pardon the pun!) keeping his team in it. Porto are throwing everything at them and have been doing so since the start of the match basically but there is just no way past him. Makes watching Don Vito’s impression of slipping on a banana skin all that less appealing. Why did he not just catch the fucking ball? And before anyone says the obvious answer, that he thought he was still outside the box, just ask yourself do you really want a keeper who does not know when he is in or out of the box? Mad Jens Lehmann always knew. And that’s why he always had a little grin when he got away with it!!! I wonder if he will make another cameo appearance again this season? We should make it a tradition!! 🙂

  379. Irishgray,
    I actually laughed out loud when I saw the replay of Manonne’s silly attempt. Poor guy, he’s going to get some proper ribbing from the rest of the team for that.

    Considering we were playing away, in Greece, with our second string, I wasn’t expecting a great game from us as our record in these sort of games are generally poor.

  380. LoveTheWayYouPlay

    wtf happens to this blog when Arsenal lose?????

  381. “Arsène Hopes To Avoid Greek Tragedy With Carling Cup Squad”

    Oops, some of the players out there tonight really showed why they are ‘second string’. Did themselves no favours whatsoever. Ah well we live and learn. Well lets hope some of those young guys learn from that game. They really need to be up for a game of that intensity. The greeks really went for it, a few calm heads on our team and we would have easily got a draw from that game. The few guys who should have shown up (Squil, Arshavin, Benay, Chamakh, Fabs, Djourou) because they would want to be considered a starter really left it in the dressing room and not out on the pitch. Sure it was a nothing game in the context of the competition itself but it was a big chance for squad competition, but they kinda blew it, didnt they?

  382. Sad night for this blog. Some ridiculous name calling. Ego getting in the way of debate and common sense. Ateeb summed it up pretty well and ponyboy’s views on the performance was accurate, at least in my view.

    On the game itself, well, it was a very poor performance. Plenty of senior players who doid not impose themselves. They surely were playing for their futures at Arsenal or giving notice of their wish to leave. Shades of last season.

    I said last night though that not too many second string sides do the business for any team these days – look at manu the other night.

    First 11’s are too strong, too well organised.

    That said, I suspect arsene was dissapointed in some of his players.

  383. Glad to be laughing out loud at this point,just proves how much we’ve been indulged. Caviar has been served aplenty for much too long

  384. Consolbob as ever sums the whole thing up nicely, adroitly.
    For me the problem wasn’t the blend of youth and experience it was having the youth in the centre and the experience out wide. When you don’t have a lot of the ball the wide men can easily become peripheral. We needed Andre and Benny on the ball controlling things not waiting for the game to come to them.
    Anyhoo it was a Carling Cup team a long way from home against a very highly motivated side. No surprise in the result, even if we are disappointed.

  385. I think we will see Miguel at left back against the toffees. He did quite well last night.

    Kos Per Verm Mig

    4 centre halves across the back to sit in and leave Gerv and Theo off the leash as we wont see much of Kos and Mig going forward. But we shouldnt really need to with the way our midfield has clicked lately.

  386. Do you really want to read about last night? OK, here you go:

    http://wp.me/p1aPg-1Y4

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