Europe Goes Into Hibernation, It’s Full Steam Ahead At Home

The end of the world came last night yet we are still here. ITVs interest in the Champions League is at an end for another season as they are left with the scraps, hoping that Chelsea draw one of the European giants lest they be humiliated into admitting Arsenal exist for away matches. Actually who cares what anyone thinks?

Both Mancunian sides exiting the tournament is of no surprise. United have endured a dismal campaign by their standards, winning just one game. When that happens, qualification is difficult even from the most rudimentary of groups. Even so, their prospects were considerably better than that of their ‘noisy neighbours’ who were left hoping that the wretched form of Villarreal deserted them and defeat could be handed to Napoli. It was forlorn and as is the case if the role was reversed, I feel no sympathy. Indeed, utter apathy toward their exits.

How that will impact the Premier League campaign remains to be seen. City have the depth in their squad to deal with the Thursday night programme. United are less convincing. How they respond to this is questionable; will it fire them on, humiliation burning into their souls to lift them to aspire to silverware. We shall see.

For Arsenal, the impact whilst not irrelevant, is certainly secondary. Sitting in fifth place, winning is the objective and then advantage can be taken of any slips by rivals. Until such times as the teams meet or the points gap closes, neither of the teams is on their radar. Sporadically each of the top six have tough fixtures as 2011 turns to 2012. The crunch comes on 22nd January; City entertain Tottenham, United visit The Emirates. That signals the start of an intense fortnight for those with title and Champions League pretensions. At that point, I think we will have a fair idea of where Arsenal’s realistic Premier League ambitions are this season. Fourth? Third? Higher?

All of that presumes that current form will be maintained which is a tall order with full backs dropping like flies. Andre Santos’ injury will keep him out of the Everton match at the very least with strong rumours that his absence is in weeks, not days. More will come to light I am sure when Arsène has his pre-match press conference. Replacing him ought not mean that the defence is reshuffled. Vermaelen has the credentials for left back but he and Mertesacker have built a good partnership. That could be replaced of course with Koscielny moving central, Djourou replacing him in the right back slot. However, that is three changes when one is needed.

These are professionals and they should be able to cope with such requirements. Yet we have seen already this season what happens when you tinker with the Arsenal defence too much; it just does not look as convincing. Equally Miquel has turned in good performances for the first team on the whole, when needed. He did not harm his cause on Tuesday, although that is almost damning someone with faint praise given the match. My preference would be for the youngster to take this position. The midfield has offered good protection for the defence in the Premier League and that will help. With the trip to Eastlands looming large on the horizon, the decision taken this weekend must be the option to go for to allow understandings to be formed where needed. An away fixture at the leaders is not the place for experimenting.

Elsewhere, the statues are to be unveiled tomorrow of Herbert Chapman, Thierry Henry and Tony Adams. Little argument about the choice although, without wishing to be churlish or disrespectful, the choice of Chapman is not disappointing but not exciting either. The bronze bust of the great man was a feature of Highbury, as well known as the art deco stands. To me, the statue somewhat diminishes the original rememberance of his service. It is not as if the club’s history is short of options either, strong cases can be made for any number of names. But it is what it is and to be fair to the club, commissioning statues of former players is better than some clubs have managed, isn’t it Mr Al-Fayed.

Talking of the weekend’s festivities, Arsenal have often been accused of being poorly led in the PR department but it seems that they have learned the lessons of the past. Referee Howard Webb is utilising a sixpence for the coin toss. Fair play to the PR department with turning this into part of the 125th anniversary celebrations. Not many of us would have thought of covering Arsène’s legendary parsimony with that excuse. The manager can use the real coin productively and not suffer the undignified fumble for change at the coffee machine for the rest of the week.

Actually there is one crumb of comfort from the United defeat; at least we didn’t pay £20m for bizarre goalkeeping technique.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 8, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 271 Comments.

  1. As always 🙂

  2. I have to admit to being very concerned about the injury to Santos. So far we have weathered through Gibbs, Sagna and jakinson, I really hope Santos injury is not a sign of things to come cus we all know how lousy our luck can turn come December. At least for once mother luck smile on us. If not then we might have to be forced to the market even if to pick some loan defenders. We most be very careful and learn from past campaigns.

    Who would have known. The London club in crisis would be the ones Carrying england flag into the second stage of a champions league we were not even suppose to qualify for.. While the team that would like to fancy themselves has the baca of English football have themselves relegated to Europe equivalent of championship haha..

  3. I am one of those who were gloating upon hearing the news that the two Manchester clubs are joining the Spuds on Thursday. I did not watch their match because it is fairly early in my time zone (330am). I think we Gooners deserve to gloat, after all the media has been calling us as “the club in crisis”. And where the first one to qualify in the KO stage with a game to spare.

    I am laughing at Evra! Boy, I hate him! He feels “humiliated” to be playing in Europa League. Key word there, “HUMILIATED”.

    Anyway, I am hoping Andre “verry good win gays” Santos a speedy recovery. Wenger is promoting one of those reserve guys who play LB, but so far, Miquel is doing a great job in his 2 games at that position.

    As for the statues, CHAPMAN, ADAMS and HENRY are icons of Arsenal. So I guess, no ones complaining.

  4. From the BBC themselves – ‘ United arrived at St Jakob Park knowing a point would be enough to send them through but – with defeat meaning certain elimination – Ferguson cautioned against the complacency that saw Basel almost snatch victory at Old Trafford in September.’

    Actually Basel were winning 3-2 until the 92 minute. It was Utd who snatched a draw but the good old Beeb will never tell you that. And that was at Old trafford, so why are they surprised that Utd lost 2-1 at Basel? And as for Citeh……….wait I need a new paragraph.


    (Each vowel is worth at $15m, whereas a consonant is worth $35m. You do the math!!)

  5. I’m definitely stoked with the result from this morning’s (Aus. time) matches. There’s no reason not to be, to be fearful of the teams as they now have less of a workload is wrong, in my opinion.

    As the cliche goes, winning is a habit, and so is losing.

    Hopefully the rot can settle in to those teams (and not in the injury sense), I’d like to see how the owners/fans/players/manager’s cope with a sustained run of poor form and compare it to how Arsenal happened.

    Still, provided City a reigned in at some point, or they at least stumble, it should be3come a more interesting season…

  6. like they normally say, Man u have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory!

  7. now let’s see what City is made of. they might not take the europa league seriously but it will affect them a great deal. long flights to the farthest parts of europe, a big squad with few games to go around, how does he keep all of them happy? I guess City and United will play their league games on sunday after their exertions in europe on thursday nights, how sweet.

  8. I honestly think Dennis Bergkamp would have been a better choice than TH. The man was a true genius and he stayed till the end of his career, ( sorry but that is important, this is a statue we’re talking about) TH should have only been afforded that honour if he ended his career here.

  9. Arsenal in crisis!!! Wat a load of bullshit from d all knowing media. United n city in bigger crisis. Good to hv more fun on thursdays. Go arsenal n make England proud

  10. “Ahahahahhhahahhhahhhhhhhhhaaahaahahahhahhhahahhahahahahhahahahhhhahahhahaahaahahahhaahhhahahhaahhahahhahhahahahhahhahahhahahahhahahhaahhahhhaahhahhaahhahhahahhaahhaahhahahhahahahhahhahhhahaaa!!

    (Each vowel is worth at $15m, whereas a consonant is worth $35m. You do the math!!)”

    irishgray, imagine me sitting in my living room at one in the morning, I am watching the mancity game since it is the one showing on telly, they are winning and news comes through from the commentators that manu are down 1-0 but the Napoli game is still 0-0 at half time.

    I have my fingers crossed that Napoli can make something happen while praying manu dont pull their usual rabbit out of the hat. First forward 20mins later when I’m thinking Beyer might score but only to concede, here are mancity fans showing me their fat backsides and me abit pissed off that Nasri might be in the next group of the champions league.

    And then…and then Napoli score, not too long after I hear they are 2-0 up, so i start rejoicing and imagining the ooh sweet horror of Nasri and Clichy playing on Thursdays. All this time I am unaware of the manure result except what i heard at halftime (them being 1-0 down).Obviously I am not holding my breathe on this one as i know manure always finds a way back especially when I so badly want them not to.

    Then it is full time and I hear the other results of the night. the commentators leaves the best for last,that manure are also out having lost 2-1. so here I am,all around me quiet as a graveyard coz guys are fast asleep and i start shouting and going crazy. My neighbours werent amused in the least bit but sod it!!!

    Santa has really come early this year!!!

  11. I am happy that they both are out of course, but I am amazed by how ecsatic some people seem to be. In the big scheme of things I could not care less what happens to other clubs. It is Spud mentality a bit.

    If we had knocked them out however, that would be a different story.

  12. @ firstlady

    the 2 manc clubs deserve nothing more than being ;laughed at considering the grief they gave us for our start of the season. I didn’t fail to keep reminding them that several seasons ago, Portsmouth and more recently Blackpool were top for for long periods at the start of the season!

  13. I did chuckle when I got in from training and heard that both Manc clubs were on their way out, United fucked up royally with their general poor play in the competition this season although City had a tough group because of their recent non-participation in Europe. City have a great chance of winning the UEFA Cup this season guiven the depth of their squad, I don’t think United will take it very seriously at all.

    Miquel for left-back is all I have to say for Saturday, Koscielny is currently our best bet at right-back and Mertesacker and Vermaelen are doing well in the middle. The kid has done well every time I’ve seen him play there, especially well considering he’s really a centre half.

    I too would have preferred a statue of Bergkamp over Henry, but at least Henry still clearly has a love for the club. He seems to be at matches every chance he gets and his recent training stint shows the esteem in which he still holds the club.

    On the possible opposition in the Eiropean Cup knockout stage, ideally I would like to miss any of the Italian clubs, but I don’t see too much to be worried about there. Reward for doing our job properly in the group stage unlike last season.

  14. I am hoping we get Leverkusen. Only 90mins away from me.

  15. oh yeah both manchester teams out and the gunners rolling on hope sheikh iv got loads of money richard head gets the poohs and gives up on fantasy football(i hear there are some quality camels for sale in oman) i always thought thursdays were for cheap drinks and a warm up for real action on the weekends now hopefully whichever one loses the fa cup game and i really don,t care which one should sack the manager and self destruct hopefully publicly but to be honest the real good news is the team spirit we see building on a weekly basis from our glorious gunners i just got this nagging feeling(i believe theres a song there) that there is some good times ahead for us this season i really believe that the squad is bonding well the only drama is the curse of being a left or right back any chance that we can bring back the old pairing of winterburn and dixon they both look fit and I’m sure they would play for win bonuses only heh heh if we are going around willy nilly putting people around our stadium in bronze then i agree with stanroy that berrgkamp should be before henry only because loyalty is a dying thing in football these days and we should reward people who stay with us
    go the mighty gunners arsen is a legend who is irreplaceable and bronze doesnt cut it for him he should be at least gold diamond , plutonium or something similar
    goonerinthepilbara(f#k its hot) but the game times are excellent

  16. Always thinking of yourself GA 😉

  17. Very happy for the mancs!

  18. Block4 – Heh, it is all about me.

  19. Excellent piece this morning YW. Thank you.

    GA – I, like you, don’t care much what happens to both manc clubs but I still had to laugh. After all the abuse we got from the media (for a few years) about us ‘not qualifying’ for the CL is is good to see us go through and that lot out.

  20. Andy63Rice on twitter


  21. Fuck ITV and their blanking of The Arsenal. Setanta HD have shown all The Gunners games in Europe this year (again) including the games with Udinese and you dont get such negative commentating either (well most of the time)

    Sorry while i pause for a little chuckle at the Manc clubs. Aaahhhhh yeah

    I gotta agree with playing Miquel at left back this weekend. 1 change is always better than 3. Kos, Per & Verm have been solid of late. And Song & Arteta have been covering full back positions really well. Plus Miquel looks a proper defender, if a little light weight still, but that matters less at left back.

    @stonroy – Sure Bergkamp is a legend at this club BUT Henry is our top scorer of all time. A feat i reckon will not be broken for quite a long time. 3 or 4 generations may pass before we see that record broken. A worthy reward for Henry and also a not to the man who made him!

  22. “In the big scheme of things I could not care less what happens to other clubs. It is Spud mentality a bit.”

    Goonerandy you wouldnt understand, I could try and explain but I cant be arsed!

  23. My first thought was DB10 as he stayed right to the end as well.
    Oh and anyone who loves Arsenal hates the mancs GA – that isn’t Spud mentality (way to insult how many of us in one go?) I am as delighted by them losing as I am by us winning. And of course I’m delighted that the monstrosity that is Man City has failed. that is a victory for sport.

  24. Dups – Very true.

  25. Dupps
    that is really funny. My boss is a manu fan and he is in quite a mood!

  26. iainlaw Iain Law
    BREAKING NEWS: United and City both successfully avoid Barcelona in the next round.

  27. Forget Goetze and Hazard I want Shaqiri at Arsenal. The boy is only 19 and he tore Manure to shreds by dribbling past their midfield as if they were statues.

    Karma caught up with Vidic. You can’t be a dick for so long before something truly horrible happens to you. If he plays again before christmas it will be a huge surprise. All they have left now is Evans, Jones and Smalling. With De Gea in goal we’ll see how long they’ll be able to hold on to flimsy 1-0 leads from now on.

    City is one bust up away from imploding. That or Silva gets injured and they are well and truly fecked.

  28. Firstlady – “Goonerandy you wouldnt understand

    Oh really? And how do you come up with that?

  29. So it’a just us and the chavs to fly the EPL flag in the champions league ! Who would have thought that at the beginning of the season . The pundits have egg on their faces yet again. But that’s not to say we won’t see the same media circus about both Manchester clubs winning everything in sight next season.They never really learn. By the way, excellent post Yogi and many thanks.

  30. Spud mentality my arse. The Spuds look up to us, we don’t look up to either Manc side. We compete with them while not bankrupting our club.

  31. JackWilshere Jack Wilshere
    Everyone tune in to talksport be on in 15 mins!

  32. Steww – “I am as delighted by them losing as I am by us winning.

    Really? I find that very suprising. For me, when it comes to football there is nothing as good as us winning. Nothing else even comes close.

    I do hate them as it goes, and obviously want them to fail. But they simply are not important enough for me to get so excited about them getting knocked out. I am happy, but the way some people are going on smacks of “small club” sydrome. Could you imagine their supporters being over the moon with us getting knocked out? They would laugh, and then concnetrate on their own club. But in your own words, their failure is equally as important to you as our success so it is each to their own I suppose.

  33. Enough of the gloating guys. It’s getting uncomfortable and from previous experiences it comes back to haunt us.Let’s just savour the moment in a chilled and respectful way.

  34. Dude, Andy, what part of the media being on their nuts while completely trashing us have you missed?

  35. Gains – None, only that I pay it very little attention. I genuinely don’t care what the media think of us.

  36. I wonder how many Bayern Munich fans are distressed at the disgracefully poor performance of their B team in losing away to Man City.

  37. As we approach a critical period in EPL and CL matches, the return of our injured, particularly in the back division, is of vital importance.
    Otherwise, advantage must be taken of the January Tranfer Window. After our horrendous start to the season, our recovery has been positively phoenix-like and it would be a pity if, due to misplaced decisions, our present momentum was halted.
    On the subject of the statues,and as someone who was brought up as an Arsenal supporter in the latter years of Herbert Chapman, I would have liked to see his sole “memorial” remain as the original bust, with a statue of DB10 replacing it.

  38. So when did you decide that laughing at the Mancs was Spudish and a symptom of small club syndrome as it were? I mean, since you pay so little attention to the media and all?

  39. We have exactly the same amount of points at this moment in time as we did last season. Pretty amazing given our start.

  40. Gains – I don’t see how you are linking anything to do with media to my points. Don’t get me wrong, I had a chuckle last night. I was merely commenting that some people are going way over the top. It is beneath us as Arsenal fans to get so wrapped up in other teams goings on.

    Steww gave a great example of this declaring Manure failings were as important to him as our success. I find that amazing. Especially from somebody in the past who has lambasted plenty as “not proper arsenal fans”.

  41. basel brush off utd…..ha ha .

    could we not play TV at LB and put metal guru in the center maybe???

  42. c’mon Andy it isnt every season you get to see two manc teams who have spent shit loads get dumped out of europe on the same night.

  43. oh shit Rooney has had his three game ban recinded to two(for the euro’s), fuck. got to see that fat cunt line up now contributing fuck all expexcting everyone to pass to him.

  44. Just heard from a reliable source Arsenal are trying to buy Nasri from Man City. Apparently we are offering the promise of champions league football.

  45. Love The Way You Play

    Yes we need to be respectful and polite at this time…be the bigger club…the big…..hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    *(deliberate for a second)*



  46. Oh Andy – For a man who frequently use the Mancs to benchmark the Arsenal, especially in the spending department, your avowed disinterest in their fate is disingenuous at best.

    Gains – “Karma caught up with Vidic. You can’t be a dick for so long before something truly horrible happens to you.” You are absolutely right – none of the commentators on my feed would point out the very obvious – that Vidic was illegally impeding the Basel player with both hands while carefully shielding his action from the ref, a favorite tactic of his. The Basel player refused to go down and the minute his arms were forced away his momentum took him to the ground with his knees caught in a tangle. Got what he deserved.

  47. Firstlady- Exactly the same thing that happened, but the time was 3 AM over here! 😛

  48. “Gunman | December 8, 2011 at 9:42 am Enough of the gloating guys.” Who’s gloating Gunman? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.Ahahahahhhahahhhahhhhhhhhhaaahaahahahhahhhahahhahahahahhahahahhhhahahhahaahaahahahhaahhhahahhaahhahahhahhahahahhahhahahhahahahhahahhaahhahhhaahhahhaahhahhahahhaahhaahhahahhahahahhahhahhhahaaa!Ahahahahhhahahhhahhhhhhhhhaaahaahahahhahhhahahhahahahahhahahahhhhahahhahaahaahahahhaahhhahahhaahhahahhahhahahahhahhahahhahahahhahahhaahhahhhaahhahhaahhahhahahhaahhaahhahahhahahahhahhahhhahaaa!!

  49. Got to be honest, the gloating that is going on is OTT to my insignificant mind. It perked my evening up to see the results but that’s it. Unless being in the competition longer ends with silverware, does it actually count? I mean there is no Alan Hardaker Award For Surviving Longest In Europe Competition to the best of my knowledge.

    Personally I was more interested in the goings on with Ajax and Lyon, the shenanigans of turning around a goal difference deficit into an overwhelming positive with all of the disallowed goals and inferences of teams not trying as hard as the could.

  50. Sure Yogi! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

  51. Are you alluding to some sort of corrupt goings on there Yogi?
    I agree the manchester results were worth a chuckle but leave it there really. I was affected more by Arsenal losing a dead rubber game than seeing those two clubs go out.

  52. I must say the Lyon Vs Zagreb game turnaround beats the imagination Yogi.Our own Mark Clattenburg was in charge.Surely he is a man of impeccable character………………

  53. I just read some serious stuff today, i’m not a conspiracy theorist but read this.

    Lyon needed to win Zagreb with 6 goals and hoping Ajax lost to Madrid. Ajax lost 3-0 and Lyon won 7-1.

    However in the Ajax match, Ajax had two clear goals ruled for offside and these especially the second one(i saw it myself) were not even close to being offside.

    In the Lyon match, Batfemi Gomis scored a record 7 minutes hart trick and was almost unmarked for all the goals and if you look closely at one of the replays, the Zagreb keeper was smiling while he was getting the ball out of the net.

    Match fixing anyone??

  54. Kenyan isnt it sweet to walk the streets of Nairobi without seeing one smug manc around!

    We do understand in the bigger scheme of things them being out at this point in time is nothing more to us than a chance to just gloat in their faces.

  55. Just what i was thinking after i read this on twitter and saw the Ajax – Madrid highlights

    Should be definitely worth an investigation.

  56. I don’t begrudge anyone a gloat! Lawd knows we’ve had it shoved down our throats by manure fans especially. The media can make all the excuses they want but basically manure loosing to basle and city going out spending zillions is just embarrasing. Football is about revelling in your teams success as well as delighting in your opponents failure. Watching manure last night I was incredulous that we lost 8-2 even with our second string. Ashley young in particular is such a limited player that to have made look a superstar against us was a travesty.

  57. Maximum respect to Gains!

    During the summer, when many on this blog and elsewhere, were singing the praises of Sir Alex for doing his business early and spending heavily on exceptional talent, Gains was the only one brave enough to repel the likes of jabba by stating categorically that De Gea, Ashley Young and Phil Jones were no improvement on the 2010-11 lot who, in my opinion, were absolutely annihilated by Barca in the champs league finals. You called it Gains and stuck to your guns.

    Now about that Shahri boy, you said he was worth a punt by Arsene and he sure did a number on United. Thinking of working for the scouting department?

  58. Miquel for leftback this Saturday. After that we have 8 days for our next match against City but then from 18th December to Jan 2nd we have 5 games so that’s a bit tight.

    United deserve to go out because they played badly and weren’t able to pull off their last minute shenanigans but hehehe every football fan and their mother are laughing at Man City.

  59. “Football is about revelling in your teams success as well as delighting in your opponents failure. ”
    Runebreaker totally agree with you. on the 8-2 beating we were more like a 3rd string team, they just met us when we were at our lowest. Looking back at it now it feels like it was all a nightmare, if only it can be erased from football history books!

  60. A fine fine goal by former President Eboue last night:

    Carry on gloat people. I work with a few manc who loved to gloat about any Arsenal loss. Not to mention TV’s synchopahntic coverage of the manc and utter neglect of the arse. Gloat away and pray we end the season victorious

  61. My net was disconnected and I couldn’t keep up with the happenings of the CL’s matches. And boy did I miss a lot. Time to rub it on some of my Manure and Shitty buddies.

    **Irishgray | December 8, 2011 at 6:25 am


    (Each vowel is worth at $15m, whereas a consonant is worth $35m. You do the math!!)**

    Absolutely priceless!! Made my day. 🙂

  62. Shotta – I will use any club who are the champions as the benchmark of where Arsenal should be. No point citing Wigan or Sunderland is there? I am not intersting in Manure’s “fortunes”. I am only interested in Arsenal.

  63. Andy, till September, it was being said that Manure had closed the gap on Barcelona. Well I have only one thing to say which many of the above posts already mentioned :


  64. MJ – But why should we care about how close Manure and Barca are?

  65. Because all that came after that unfortunate day at OT.

  66. andy your such a boring old fart…take pleasure in other peoples misery will you.

  67. Nothing is as important as Arsenal winning but I care for a touch of schadenfreude also. But yeah mostly it’s about what my club does.

  68. As firstlady said – why bother explaining if something that obvious isn’t obvious enough. We can forgive YW his imperious nature – it’s his blog he has earned the right – but GA ? Pffft. Half baked fan, always has been,.

  69. LIfe is too short not to savior ANY moments that put a smile on your face and add a chuckle to your day.

    thanks for sharing the details of your evening. I had to tape both Manchester matches and watch (skim through) later in the evening.

    ManU’s mid-field is sh*t. Rooney has lost form……had some clear cut opportunities in front of the goal.

    I will celebrate (even more) when they fail to finish in the league’s top 4.

    Now for Arsenal to continue their league form.

  70. That was good from Jens. Would love him as a commentator for our games.

  71. Andy – strangely, for some, laughing at others failings is most important of all – I swear I have met some fans who are more obsessed with the ‘office banter’ and ‘scoring of points’ through gloating.

    I’ve frequently been bored of the ubiquitous “Stand up if you hate Tottenham” chant. Because, whilst I don’t like them, there are other teams/fans I dislike more, and well I’d rather focus my attention on the game in hand and be singing about my club than wasting time on theirs. Also if you don’t join in (and a great number don’t) and the person in front of you stands up then you can’t see a thing. It’s tedious when this happens 5 or 6 times a game.

    Don’t get me wrong its a good song to sing when we play Spurs but does it make any sense, at all, when we are playing Olympiakos? If anything, it shows us as a little weak to my mind.

  72. Kenyan Gunner- Thank you very much! 🙂

  73. Jonny- The only thing that makes me happy is because they have bashed us again and again with the no trophy shit and it is great to give it back. However, I would take more happiness from our win than their loss. That is pretty much obvious. This is our time to gloat and like Shotta puts it, “Give them hell”!!! Ha! The sweet taste of revenge!

  74. Steww – “but GA ? Pffft. Half baked fan, always has been”

    Ha, this from a man who hold Manure’s results as important as ours. Whatever floats yer boat fella. You have proved your true colours by admitting that even though YW said virtually the same as me, he is OK, where as I am in some way no true fan. You posts normally show you up to be a bit….., well, strange, but you have surpassed yourself today. I am in awe.

  75. Jonny – Decent points. And don’t get me wrong, I am pleased they got knocked out and it made my night. But the way some are crowing you would think that we had won the CL! It just seems a bit desperate, and I think Arsenal are above that.

  76. And to purely play devils advocate; they are still above us in the lge and have thrashed us once this season. A bit of perspective is needed or it is likely we will have egg on our faces. Well, those partying like its 1999 will anyway.

  77. It’s a pretty sad business, judging other fans of the same club as though they are less worthy than you – it’s divisive and does more harm than good. We should be celebrating the diversity of our fan bas rather than sniping at each other. #justsaying

  78. We are a cruel bunch, i couldn’t bare not to take the piss! Payback has come hard, the continuous boasting both Manchester teams take pride in has come right back to haunt them…

    Man United… supposedly untouchable, Fergie can’t handle defeat, always favoured by the refs and given an easy ride. Players without class: Evra, Rooney, Fletcher and the role model Giggs… glad my team is Arsenal even if that bunch win more than us.

    Man City… all the money in the world yet no amount handed to me would make me want to support them. I am glad i grew up in North London. Favourites for every competition the English press have made out, the new Barcelona, even wannabe supertars like Nasri believe that trophies are guaranteed.

    Oh the shame is unbelievably hilarious in both cases.

  79. It is Steww’s normal tactic when we can’t really get his point across, or he does not really have a decent one at all. Used to it now, it is midly amusing as it is so predictable.

  80. Miguel for Left Back. That guy has got a real bit about him. Great at tackling, very composed, and had the ability to stand in for a few games. I think less tinkering would be better, keep everyone else where they are and stick the lad next to Vermaelen.

  81. Jonny- Anyway, there’s still a lot to do for us to really celebrate, this is a reality check for them and not sniping, but getting them off their false-ful perch. We surely can do well this season, if we stay consistent.

  82. firstlady

    If only! What would be remarkable is if we go on to do accomplish something good this season. Imagine, Arsenal Premiership Champions of 2012.. after suffering defeat at the hands of united 8-2 early in the campaign, 4 defeats in 8 games? and losing 2 of their most instrumental players with all the press predicting relegation…!!

    Would be a must buy DVD… not Spurs’ comeback versus Arsenal exclusive special eddition bullcrap! haha

  83. Cris – Yeah, I agree about Miquel. He looks a decent enough player and the likes of Mertesacker and TV5 will help him through the games.

  84. Does anyone think we might see a little more positive coverage in light of the Mancs exit? Or will the media be crawled so far up AVB’s arse that they forget another English team are still in it?

  85. Viva Napoli and Basel both, fine displays. I am not gloating, such saying. I’m not laughing, just thinking. It’s not that the media has shoved both Manchester clubs down my throat with their boot heels for months, and years re:United, just making a comment you see on how well I thought the Swiss and Italian clubs handled matters their side.
    But damn, it’s funny!

    Innit funny that chelsea, of all teams, are throwing the “we are victims of media campaign against us, and we, dignified, courageous citizens of righteousland” card. Not gloating, now, just reading.

    Of all the injuries we might just sneak away with, Santos. Miquel looks very composed. I wonder if the lad will cope in the dep end? Tough.

  86. Chrisgoona- Quite a dream! 😛

  87. “dukegoonem | December 8, 2011 at 11:47 am
    andy your such a boring old fart…take pleasure in other peoples misery will you.”

    Duke ,I once said you were not funny.
    I lied.

  88. Both Ajax goals were onside.

  89. I have friends who support the Manchester clubs and ACTUALLY live in Manchester,proper Mancs .So imagine the fun I am having today?

  90. PG – Pfft, we know you don’t have any friends 😉

  91. Sriram @12.32 – quite so.

    I remember celebrating like a loon when Man Utd lost 5-0 to Newcastle followed, 6-3 to lowly Southampton. I thought maybe the wheels were finally coming off the scumwagon – but no, they won the league again that year by 7 points.

    If history has taught me anything, it’s write off old red nose at your peril.

    The most important target this season is hauling in the Spuds and getting 4th – not sure I can cope if they’re in the CL and WE’RE in the Europa!!

  92. Andy,you are not far wrong.When I say friends ,I mean people I know.

  93. I find Steww’s points invariably clear, articulate and characterful, as opposed to school-mistress-ish and tepid (no names mentioned). It is not a celebration that Manchesters both lost, it’s a bit of fun at the expense of two beacons of greatness of the English media and football punditry establishment, now fallen out of the biggest and best competition at the group stage, not to return this season. Goliath might get up? No ways, so feel free to laugh at the big, rich, overfed, arrogant bastards, laugh hard and long and merrily. Have a good day.

    We have our own battles to come, but they have lost their’s in the CL.

  94. spuds 16-1 for the league
    were 33-1..

    doesn’t seem right does it.

    Jhhonny, i know we are writing him off too many times this season……

  95. ZimPaul
    To quote Tolkien “Praise from the praise-worthy is beyond all rewards”

  96. Well, we’ve learned two things in the last few days: it’s Olympiacos with a “c” (why is that?) and London is better than Manchester 😉

  97. Post of the day.

    ZimPaul at 1:06 pm. Enjoy the moment as opposed to being “school-mistress-ish and tepid.”

  98. Is there no end to Manchester sycophancy in these otherwise hallowed pages? Can we not think beyond what the media has panel-beaten us to think? Speaking double-negatively, it is not that SAF is not a good manager, he surely is great and in a decade and a half the only one worth comparing to Wenger. It is that the media has taught us that the only important things are gongs, celebrity players, English spine and lots of money, and this has been represented by Messers Manchester, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tiny Totts and Manchester-blue (jonny come lately).

    Forget Invincibles, Arsenal has been shredded, denigrated, laughed at for its principle and most proud achievements: a courageous youth focus, a new stadium, manageable debt, sustainable financial methods, unmatched top-flight consistency, a lovely European style passing football and playing to win, rather than playing to “not lose”.

    Who says any Manchester club is better or matches these achievements? Put SAF’s successes into perspective please.

  99. The best thing about last night was that I discovered the Paul N is all knowing.
    I am going to secretly seek his advice on all matters and scamper to the local bookmakers betting on his every word.I expect to be wealthy by the next ACLF meet up,when everyone will benefit.

  100. People don’t half find things to fight over these days.

  101. Great post again yogi:

    Agree with the idea of putting Miquel on the left.

    Have to admit to feeling a bit silly for saying anything bad about about our game on tuesday night after last nights results.

    Andy I usually agree with you on most things but anyone who says they don’t care about what happened to the 2 Manc clubs is probably not being completely honest. Hard not to get a bit of a chuckle. I was very surprised about the red Mancs, I thought sure that Fergie would get them to play their best. I know how much the man is hated around here but his record speaks for itself. Hopefully this is a prelude a a slow move down the table. I do feel bad about vidic, always hate to see a player with a serious injury.

  102. Gadget at 11:25 am
    Jens is a true legend. Never one to mince words and to hide his opinions.
    Something tells me that those comments in the Guardian are going to haunt Mancini for the rest of his time at City.
    Boring indeed.

  103. Bill – I have said that I was pleased they went out, my initial point is that some people were going way overboard. Look at what Steww said earlier (Manure losing is as important as us winning) as a fine example. I am happy with last night all right, but it seems a bit “small time” to get excited as some have.

  104. “It’s a pretty sad business, judging other fans of the same club as though they are less worthy than you – it’s divisive and does more harm than good. ”

    Johnny wish someone I know here would take this advice, I’m tired of his snide remarks of him thinking since he is above some stuff he knows best or he is better.NKT!!

  105. Everyone now thinks you are talking about them firstlady!

  106. @ Jonny | December 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Yes, I feel the same way about the “… if you hate Tottenham” chant. Some people really seem to relish the “hatred” aspect of fan-dom, both against teams and players (eg Nasri). I can understand it, but it’s not my thing.

    One aspect of fan-dom that I always find amusing is the joy people (myself included) find in seeing the opposition make basic mistakes. Sometimes, it comes from relief (“Oh, no, they’re going to score – oh, he’s spooned it over the bar!”). More often, I think, it comes from amazement that skilled professionals can still kick a ball as badly as we mere mortals can. Watch the opposition pass the ball straight into touch, and listen to the cheer! Of course, it’s not so much fun when our team does it!

  107. Bob: What is wrong with robust, passionate debate? Mind you – not personal abuse. This is a blog, not a monastery for heavens sake.
    I ask respectfully.

  108. Shotta – I do agree.

    Firstlady – Heh, you don’t like snide remarks and then make that post. I for one don’t judge other supporters. Mainly becuase you cannot. Fandom is not really measureable in most cases.

  109. i must be honest, im not one to gloat really….and after the year weve had and the humiliation we suffered at OT ive been keeping my head down anyway in regards to what been going on around us..

    but last night i laughed my bollox off..made a few phone calls..told a few ppl their team was shit…

    i know wenger told us we should stay humble this season and i totally agree and until the seasons over im back into humble mode but manutds group was a pile of shit…much easier than our ‘average’ group …and they couldnt even qualify let alone win the thing..

    city are a different story, it was their first year in cl, 10 points normally gets you through, they are flying in the the warm tingley feeling was a little less, i just thought they were a tad unlucky, although i still managed a tiny grin…but utd?? i was practically rolling round on the floor…especially when listening to the radio at work, hearing all the histerical utd fans saying stuff like rooneys shit and fergies lost it and he never replaced roy keane..haha

    any…rolling round on the floor mode over..its a new day..back to being humble and concentrating on us..

  110. Fact is I’d rather be in a stew with Steww, or in a trench with Shotta (and others I could name, where the hell does Frank disappear anyway) than with chongololos (a type of many-legged eyeless worm) talking about how far above us Manchester teams are in the EPL and how worthy they are of emulating. I happen to think Arsenal are better.

  111. Tennessee Arsenal

    Merlot @ 9:48

    That’s exactly what I was thinking as I watched the match. The tactics were even similar with City pressing high up the pitch, not affording the build-up from the back that a first team Bayern is used to, and like our boys on Tuesday, it seemed to unsettle them. In a hostile environment against a team that needed to win. A second team Bayern didn’t look like a side that could go very far, but that’s what the first team is for, isn’t it?

  112. JonJon at 2:09 pm
    Good heavens. I agree with you 100% in that post.
    “…rolling round on the floor mode over..its a new day..back to being humble and concentrating on us.”

    Miquel for left back has my vote. King Kozzer at right back, the most versatile defender in the leage. IMO, Djourou will make a great central defender over time but he has too many Clichy-esque tendencies to be playing right back at a a time when we are fighting for our lives to overhaul some pretenders ahead of us.

  113. gains..
    i picked up on your a fan of shaqiri??
    im guessing he played well last night..

    i remember when the kiddy tournament was on in the summer and i watched a few of the games and he really stood joing your shaqiri fan club…in the summer hes an option that id be pleased if we took..

  114. shotta. although im a fan of miquel i think id try mr versitle at left back..

    JD had a bad game the other night but otherwise has done a good job at rb..

    put BFG back in the centre, tv alongside him..keep JD at right back and let koz fill in on the left..i think we’ll keep momentum with that back 4..

    i think koz jd bfg tv is also an option worth looking at so at the minute i think we can still leave miguel on stand by..

  115. @Firtslady – I wish I knew who you meant! 😉

    @Zimpaul – each to their own. There is no single right way of supporting a club. We’re all from very different backgrounds and harbour different beliefs (you above many should know this). The only unity I’d like to see is in supporting the club and saving energy to tackle the real doom-mongers.

    The attitude you have towards Man Utd is fine but that doesn’t mean that the perspective of others should be singled out for outright dismissal. IMO calling someone ‘a half-baked fan’ says more about the person saying it.

    In short we’re all individuals united by a common passion – listening to the petty infighting & attacks on each other would make Spurs fans laugh their stupid arses off.

    And please lets not have reference to trenches – this is football, not war FFS!!


  116. Andy @ 1:53:

    Sorry I mentioned it. If you really want to fight these battles it’s your time and energy.

  117. Perhaps we could have “TRENCH” T shirts printed up for the meet Jonny.We would be immediately know to each other.

  118. Bill – No need to be sorry mate. All is good 🙂

  119. Well well well. Who’d of thunk it eh? I was hoping this would happen, although when the Chavs managed to Drog their way into the knockout stages, i thought the Manky clubs would follow suit. How pleased was I to hear the news last night… I didn’t quite roll around with laughter as i had guests, but they were gooners and we shared our delight by clinking glasses with a christmassy drink they introduced to me – Amaretto & Baileys, very sweet, but damn nice! We were quite relaxed, a little smug and very proud of our team. There’s no harm in feeling happy when those teams lose. There’s no harm in hitting back at those who have derided us while singing the aforementioned clubs’ praises, no harm at all. Normally i feel lucky that i don’t have any manc supporting friends, but last night i wished i did!

    Shame about some of the comments in the last couple of days, the darker sides of some posters have come out and seemed a little out of character… But you can’t fault everyone’s passion for the club, which unfortunately tends to end up coming out via some very offensive insults, or more subtle, but equally insulting comments. We are all Arsenal supporters, most here are far from the doomer spectrum, let’s not slip to some of the lesser blogs’ comments sections standards. That would be a shame.

  120. I do like the way Miquel is progressing – thus far seems to be taking it calmly and quietly. I’ve never heard anything of him in the press at all. Seems like a decent honest, young chap keeping his head down and making the best of his talents.

    Nice to see Conor Hendersen on Twitter last night forgoing watching the football completely to focus his attention on David Attenborough’s Frozen planet. Hope he recovers from his latest injury he’s a really bright prospect but had his career ruined by injury so far.

    Like Frimpong before him, one for NEXT year I hope.

  121. Genuinely happy to see Eboue do well for Galatasaray. He certainly deserves it, especially after some of the racial abuse he got a couple of weeks ago.

  122. Hey Sriram, good to know a die hard gooner from my country (a rarity), I am in the capital by the way.

  123. Don’t know what you mean shotta, me old china!

    There has just been a lot of petty bickering about of late.

    I can’t think of much impassioned debate recently. Things are quiet.

  124. Delighted with the results, not because its the Mancs, but now Real, Barca and Bayern are the only sides that concern me over two legs.

    Get some luck with the draw and we could be in the semis. Considering the paucity of this achievement, and the redevelopment of the squad, it will be an ousttanding achievement.

    The Mancs will be back, thats for sure, lets focus on Everton now, and who we will play at LB.

    Santos starting was very bemusing, but what can you do.

  125. “But you can’t fault everyone’s passion for the club” I was with you all the way until that bit. That’s the thing that gets me cross when someone comes on a blog dedicated to one team and tries to be all Ladi-da Even Handed and Fair. There are general purpose football blogs where it’s all polite and “I say your chaps did awfully well” where these weak kneed types can go.
    I come to specific club blog to mix with people blinkered and partisan, dedicated and single minded – when it comes to football that is. In all other respects I’m a week kneed liver livered long haired pinko liberal faggot.

  126. Steww,will you be at the meet up?

  127. The Shaq-Attack had a good WC as well.

    Yes. Maximum respect to Serge for calling out the particulars in the beginning of a transitional peroid for the evil cheatin’ Mancs. Forensic.
    At a time when most were either traumatised by the upheavals in N5 or blinded by the reflections off some fake bling.

  128. Shotta: “Oh Andy – For a man who frequently use the Mancs to benchmark the Arsenal, especially in the spending department, your avowed disinterest in their fate is disingenuous at best.”

    Don’t forget about his meltdown after the 8-2. If I recall Andy was one of the ones who went way, way overboard after that result. But now that both Mancs are out let’s stay composed, shall we?


    Shotta: “Maximum respect to Gains!

    During the summer, when many on this blog and elsewhere, were singing the praises of Sir Alex for doing his business early and spending heavily on exceptional talent, Gains was the only one brave enough to repel the likes of jabba by stating categorically that De Gea, Ashley Young and Phil Jones were no improvement on the 2010-11 lot who, in my opinion, were absolutely annihilated by Barca in the champs league finals. You called it Gains and stuck to your guns.

    Now about that Shahri boy, you said he was worth a punt by Arsene and he sure did a number on United. Thinking of working for the scouting department?”

    Thanks, man, but acknowledging that the Mancs hadn’t re-enforced themselves is rather easy when you consider just how big a hole Van der Sar’s retirement left in that squad. In my opinion Van der Sar kept that team in trophies and was way more important to them than both Rooney and Lesser Ronaldo.

    Then you have the additions of Young and Jones who cost a shit load for nothing much really. Young is on the fringes of the England NT and came from a pretty crap team, but, despite the fact that he cost entirely too much, it was easy to see that he wasn’t quality. Jones, although a promising player, cost way too much as well and was a player who left me unimpressed with his performance for the England yoots last summer.

    Shaqiri is some player isn’t he? Apart from his very impressive u-20 Euros he scored a rocket against England for the Swiss senior team recently. When I heard that Arsene was tying up loose ends in Basel at the close of the transfer window, I had a feeling we’d see him in the red and white this season. If we do get him eventually, he’ll be one of those quality players who comes out of nowhere, but makes people pissed off because he’s not Hazard or Goetze or any of the big name youth popular in Europe. A typical Arsene Wenger signing, if you will.

    Scouting? Nah, all I do is watch the youth tournaments just like Arsene does. Since he does most of his scouting at those tournaments it is exciting trying to predict who he’ll pick up and then when they do come you know why they are here.

  129. Gains, Jones is an outstanding player.

    Well worth his money. You can see 100% why our manager was desperate to bring him to the club.

  130. Overboard after an 8-2 deafeat? Heh, quite.

  131. A bit of robust debate over nothing, really. Sounds like football to me.

  132. Anyway, off home.

    Laters. 🙂

  133. Luke ,and he has been compared to Duncan Edwards.
    Mind you it was likely his Mum doing the comparing.

  134. Yes George, and Kolscieny has been compared to Baresi/Beckenbauer!!!

    It was Sir Bobby Charlton who made the comparison to Edwards, so its not some junkie down the pub is it?

    Regardless, its A grade hyperbole.

    The kid is supremely talented and seems to have an outstanding attitude to boot. He will have a very very successful career.

  135. “There are general purpose football blogs where it’s all polite and “I say your chaps did awfully well” where these weak kneed types can go.”

    Oh, fantastic my dear boy, it would be absolutely spiffing if you could find it in your heart to direct one such as myself who is so weak of knee and mind to such an eloquent and long haired pinko liberal faggot-friendly blog. I would be in my element there indeedy. Yes siree.

    Sorry, I’m obviously not one these ultra hardcore battle hardened internet warrior veterans from the trenches of the epic virtual Arsenal supporter vs Arsenal supporter war fought from, um… behind ones keyboard. Oh i long to be held in such high regard, with my left breast decorated with an abundance of virtual combat awards.

    Some people take themselves a bit too seriously. Maybe I’m one of them. By all means call me a cunt for it.

  136. JJ: “i know wenger told us we should stay humble this season and i totally agree and until the seasons over im back into humble mode but manutds group was a pile of shit…much easier than our ‘average’ group …and they couldnt even qualify let alone win the thing..”

    I was sat at a sports bar/restaurant last evening with two friends of mine who support Real Madrid and have City as a favorite other club. Funny how money grubbers stick together, no? Anyway, as we were discussing City’s group they were swearing up and down that theirs was a harder group than ours. Then I pointed to them that we knocked Udinese out in the first round and how they’re above Napoli in the league at the moment. Still they persisted saying that Marseille was somehow worse than Napoli, eventhough the French club has been the best out of ligue 1 in the CL so far. Then when they were on about Bayern I told them how Dortmund swept through the Bundesliga last year and currently lies second nipping Bayern’s heels. Then Villarreal and how, like Olympiakos, they were the stinkers in the group. After the dust settled, I came to the conclusion that the reason City’s group seemed tougher is because of the big names and not because of current form.

  137. Bob – You are quite a diplomat. If I may surmise, you are still awaiting some passionate debate so you could join in. Well I never.

  138. heh.


    How dare you describe Jones as ‘promising’ and not ‘outstanding’.
    Why, he makes the 18M Mikel look like a pile of D**M dung. Not to forget 18M of pure Anderson.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  139. I think Bob just prefers not to waste energy on petty arguments he considers beneath him. 🙂

    Ya can’t buy wisdom….

  140. LMAO, Geo!

  141. jones and young are top players..jones especially is one of the best young players in the country..

    its the gk where fergie had trouble..but i think alot of us new this at the start of the year..

    your team can be as good as there is…but if yove got a dodgy keeper it has a domino affect over the rest of the squad, doubts creep in, results arent as consistent as they should be..

    he had the same problem when schmeical retired…he went thru shit loads of keepers before he found one he trusted…

  142. I lied.

    Jones isn’t the best D**mer, is he? Not exactly ‘top top’ quality. About the same as those peers listed above. About the same price too!

    Oh, am sure he can play D-Fence. But if the great Slurgus feels he isn’t ready for it he couldn’ve sent him, I dunno, on loan to Rangers or somefink.

  143. shotta and jonny know me too well!

    Mind you I had a prtty petty ‘debate’ with George yesterday.

  144. gains i have to agree..

    on paper and going by reputation of years gone by…you could argue that citys group was tougher…

    but id say marsielles are a better team than napoli and dortmund are the best team in germany at present..greek teams may not be the best but english teams going to greece has never been easy points so when you put it in perspective our group tips the scales in terms of toughness..just..

    as for comparison,..that was an east group and they fluffed there lines..

  145. Okay, Luke. So if Phil Jones is such an awesome player why did Manchester United not make it beyond the group stage?

    Sorry, you teed that one up for me.

  146. JonJon, Young is very inconsistent. I said it when they paid so much for him and nothing since has changed my mind.

  147. Poor old Goonerandy. So utterly miserable he’d rather moan then join in on some Manc bashing. Lol

  148. One of Real Madrid’s goals was offside too. So that was three howlers from the Line-O affecting the goal difference in that group. Probably a random coincidence due to poor officals.

    YW, why you naughty conspiracist! I’ll have you know that French clubs are beyond reproach in the European Cup/CL.

    No one made excuses for poor old Skilly after Braga Away last season, where the referee was a Home banker. We don’t always blame the referees. Just, when, you know, they happen to send off Arsenal strikers for kicking footballs. That kind of thing.

  149. What’s funny about United’s group is that they were beat out by Benfica. Yes, that same Benfica some of our most level headed fans went ape shit over when we lost to them in…….wait for it……… pre-season. Remember those days, fellas?

  150. What has happened to my beloved Arsenal?

    Why don’t they play Four four fucking two anymore?

    Even though Jonathan Wilson wrote that 442 is extinct.
    Even though manic $iteh blew a wad of wonga on a team that plays with a slightly familiar formation or set up thingy.
    Even though they appear to do so when the notional No.10 whether it be Cesc F word or young Aaron playing. Maybe it’s more of a fout two four? I don’t know! Fuck. Have you ever looked at the heat maps? Me too. What is going on?

    It’s all gone Pete Tong.

  151. < Even though they appear to do so sometimes when…

  152. Finsbury, if Ajax’s goals were allowed and Madrid still won 3-2 then Ajax may have gone through. Actually it’s a tough one because they’d be level on goal difference with Lyon and no goals were scored in both of their head-to-head matches. How does that work itself out?

  153. Loomer: “Poor old Goonerandy. So utterly miserable he’d rather moan then join in on some Manc bashing. Lol”

    As if Manc bashing isn’t in order today all across the Arsenalsphere, right?

    I don’t get the people who come to an Arsenal blog and try to tell people that bashing the Mancs is Spud-like and immature, when following a game where grown men are paid to kick a ball around is the height of immaturity.

  154. That Geo is someone not to be trifled with.I can tell you.
    Bob ,you can push a pastie in my face(custard pie style)at the February Gala.And we can drink and make merry ,putting aside any previous misunderstandings.

  155. Man Utd shortcomings are well documented – it’s hardly as though it’s anything to do with the signing of Jones – who has largely been one of the positives for them.

    Evra looks suddenly past his best, the stingy central defensive paring of Vidic and Ferd is rarely seen and, most important of all, they are missing a ‘creative’ in the middle. Whether they should have signed Schweinstieger is moot – Ferg should have admitted the squad had no one to fulfil that role.

    They have some proper rejigging to do, that’s for sure.

  156. Markus, Young isn’t even a starter for England. He also came from a mid-table team where he didn’t really shine while around other mediocre players. Young just appears to be better because of that head of steam Man U built up at the beginning. Now that the halo effect has worn off he looks like the same Ashley Young who played for Villa. Good, but nothing to get crazy over.

  157. I think Arsenal is doing quite well. Hope Santos hasn’t done something silly, he’s become one of my favourites, but then every time I see Miquel I think something similar. EPL-wise must take aim for Manchester United. 7 points adrift, just over a third of a season gone, and everything to play for. Chelsea will find a way to resurrect their up and down form and are a real threat, Spurs should theoretically slow down a bit, shouldn’t they (?) they’ve had their fun now. I’m only going on history. It’s in our hands if we remain steady and stubborn. Important of Manchesters out of CL is the blow to confidence, Rooney fluffing his lines and Vidic off to the doc. It’s getting interesting.

  158. Oh god people, what’s wrong with laughing at Manu?
    Not caring about how other teams do is just weird. United is the benchmark for success in recent time. Them going out gives us a bigger chance to win. Simple as. If only real and barca had done the same.
    It’s just weird to criticise someone laughing at uniteds misery. Laughing at a kid loosing his leg due to a land mine is cruel, laughing at united is not. They brought that on themselves being arrogant as they are.
    Getting offended because a fellow arsenal fans feels good about united going out is just pretentious. getting on ur high horse pretending to have some higher moral
    values than the rest of us which I know you dont.

  159. That’sa date George.

    Mind you, on the petty argumnents issue, the singular of ‘pasties’ is ‘pasty’.

    Just saying.

    Note: this does not apply to MD’s ‘Essex pastys’

  160. But that said, us winning and unites getting second spot is ofc sweeter that us getting second spot and united getting relegated.
    Schadenfreude is only useful and fun up to a certain level.

  161. Markus | December 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    No idea! If the GD is the same, and so are the results, then it could be based upon who has more Goals For? Something like that I would imagine.

  162. I wonder if Vidic and suarez( suspended in jan) will affect their respective clubs more than santos out.

  163. Jonny, Evra is most certainly not past it. If he didn’t go off half cocked in South Africa he’d be the starting LB for France, period. Although I despise him with every fiber of my being, he is a quality left back and one of the best in the world to boot.

    The stingy central partnership of Vidic and Ferdinand is on its last legs because Ferdinand has a major back injury that he needs pain killers for in order to play. Everyone knew this before the season started and the signing of Jones wasn’t going to paper over that crack. As I predicted, an injury to Vidic was going to make the Mancs shit themselves. Ask Jabba, those were my exact words. When Vidic did his calf at the beginning of the season they were still playing well and the effects of that injury weren’t felt. They were felt in the early group phase games where he was still injured/suspended and didn’t play.

    As far as a creative in the midfield, they have Anderson. A player who came as a bundled package with Nani for a combined £34m a few seasons ago. The only problem with Anderson is that he has been injured for most of his time at MU and hasn’t been available. But they have the cash to pay for an injury prone player and we don’t. That’s why I think he was way overpriced.

  164. Fins, I asked a mate of mine and he reckons it goes to goals scored also. In that case Ajax would have missed out because Lyon score 1 more goal than them. Although 7 of their goals came from a probably dodgy match.

  165. Schadenfreude is a German word derived from:

    Schaden: harm
    Freude: joy
    Joy at someone being harmed.

    I’m so joyful that the ManU are so harmless now.

    If anyone doubts the theory of anti-Arsenal media bias, just listen to the talk sport. After a pathetic ManU display at Basel they have … another Arsenal bashing festival.

  166. Poodle: ” getting on ur high horse pretending to have some higher moral
    values than the rest of us which I know you dont.”

    I hate people who behave this way. If they’re so above it all, why don’t they shut the fuck up and actually stay above the fray for real?

  167. Poodle @ 4.19 – was the last part directed at my earlier post?

    If so, my response is: Pretentious? Moi?

  168. If the head to head is equal it goes to goal Difference Markus, if that is the same, I assume it would go to goals scored?

  169. markus
    young is inconsistent but hes not utds problem

    its much what jonny has highlighted..

    their team is aging, the stalwart back 4 is declining, scholes and neville have left so the changing rooms not the same and they didnt get the creative man they wanted in the summer..
    fergie went with cleverly but it will take time for him to establish himself..if he ever they might go after one in jan??

    and they dont know there number one..

    all that said they made some good signings and got off to a good start because of it.. their still a good side and have some top strikers and attacking players and they will be dangerous this season..fergies still tinkering with what hes trying to do but hes struggling which is highlighted by the fact hes going for the 1-0’s in november…hes normally doing that in the business end and whether a trophy will come of it is not as certain but we have a good test in trying to catch them in the league..

  170. Markus,

    If Ajax’s departure from & the reality of life in the CL speed up Vertonghen’s potential re-union with Vermaelan, I won’t complain…but that’s because I’ve been brainwashed by a friend from the lowlands. I’ve never seen Vertonghen play!

  171. Vertonghenhe can play LB as well?

  172. Poodle, Vidic most likely has bad ligament damage and will be out for several months. His is an injury that occurs a lot with boxers who twist their bodies about and put all their weight on their knees when in the process of getting knocked out. It’s a horrendous injury. As far as how this will affect Manure, well they’re an injury to Ferdinand away from playing Evans and Jones or Jones and Smalling at the back. Not too good if you ask me. We’re way better prepared than they are if we lost one of our starting CBs. Who says Manure did better transfer business than Arsenal last summer now?

    Suarez being out means that Liverpool will drop down the table and settle into a nice, warm spot in mid table like they did last season. That £35m they paid for Carroll will be exposed for the horrible piece of business everyone thought it was.

  173. Vetonghen is an awesome player. If we got him I’d convert Jethro into a left sided attacking midfielder. He plays there for England already.

    JJ, Manure’s was an aging squad before the summer. What I am pointing out is what Fergie has done to rejuvenate the squad. It’s not like he doesn’t have the Ronaldo money laying around does he? Oh wait, he spent almost £50m on three players this summer and the wheels are starting to come off, nevermind.

  174. Vertonghen he can play LB as well?

    According to my pasty (vegan) scout Vertonghen is the best player ever. So, yes?
    I don’t know!

  175. Forgot to add:

    Young may not be the problem, but the transfer policy which brought him to United most certainly is. How can a manager pay so much for such a mediocre player and expect to win anything?

  176. im pretty sure youngs assists record over the years was second only to cesc..

    he did play in a mediocre team but he was definately a big fish in a small pond..that mediocre team is now a shit one without him..and bents had the least number of touches this season for a striker..which is why he aint scoring..coincidence…not really..

    young stands out in a little team and is a good squad player in a big one..

    at the minute fergie dont really know what direction hes taking so utds game is neither here nor there..its take the one nils until he sorts it out..

    it looked like he was going for full scale attacking football at the start of the season and it was working cos they were outscoring everyone and then city fucked them over so fergies thrown that out of the window and hasnt decided what hes going to do yet..

  177. Nasri might be available for United in January!

  178. gains yeah his squad was aging for a while but hes got that many OAP’s its unlikely he can replace them all in one window..

    i dont think young was overpriced though.. when you consider that alot of players who have zero PL experience are coming in for 20mil + and and half a season wonders like nasri are going for 25 i think utd got a good deal in the end for a proven PL english player with a decent record in the league..16mil for that type of player is decent business nowadays..

    and chelsea have the same problem to an extent with aging players..AVB struggling to get his style going cos its full of OAP’s…

  179. I wager 3G’s has a higher combined total of goals and assists than Young come May .
    JJ can you come in February?

  180. Young cost £18-19m, JJ. That’s not the going rate for a squad player. That’s what one pays for a player one expects will improve a team.

    As far as United’s attacking play, well you can forget about that now that Chicharito is out and lazy Berbs reclaims his place in the line-up. Look at how they played against Ferguson’s little pet last week-end. Villa gave them every opportunity to beat them handedly and they didn’t take them. I suspect there will be a lot more of this from now on when teams learn that the way to stop them is by putting pressure on Rooney and Nani.

    Bent is a striker that creates nothing for himself and for no one else around him. He needs someone to find him or else he’s very ineffective. This is why I always thought that he wouldn’t do a good job for us. Our formation demands a striker that can create for himself and for his team mates. His is one of those cases where stats don’t tell the whole story.

  181. It is not gloating, but we have taken a lot of shit this season from the Chav and ManUrites. We have bitten our lips, we have kept quiet. I don’t know any $hiite-ys!

    It is more just about having their stupid fucking smiles wiped off their less than honest faces.

    ……and that is worth a thousand Ha ha ha’s

  182. @Gains I know several Man Utd fans all of whom are joined in the contention that Evra has been not just bad, but “truly fucking woeful” this season. Maybe it’s a blip but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Fergie lose patience with him.

    Your viewpoint on the problems with their central defences is pretty spot on – but you’ll forgive me if I stop short of asking others to confirm your admittedly brilliant clairvoyance in the matter! Losing Vidic was always going to be a problem, a pity it was by injury, but god knows the serial cheat deserves some bad fortune of his own.

    As for Andersen you really think he was, is or was ever meant to be a creative??! A bizarre call. He’s not the player Ferguson hoped he would become but he was never signed to fill the creative berth. As for Andersen’s only problem being injury – I’d say his bigger one is that he’s just not very good.

    I’d be wary of what happens next, Fergie loves a good scrap and they must have some money to spend – as highlighted in today’s 5iver – since they sold Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009, United’s net spend is lower than that of, among others, Hull, Burnley, Blackpool & Bolton.

  183. Gains@5.04pm

    ‘Young cost £18-19m, JJ. That’s not the going rate for a squad player. That’s what one pays for a player one expects will improve a team.’

    That is the going rate for a seat warmer at Shiite-y.

  184. yeah fergies got a few problems at the minute
    and young cost nearer to 15 than he did 20 but il meet you inbetween and we’ll call in 17..depends what you call over priced for a player if you want a good squad then whats 17 mil between friends…

    id have taken bent a few years ago but not anymore..
    your right he relies on others but he can finish but hes playing as a lone striker in an all out defensive 451 and hes just chasing shadows…

    george i think your bets a good one mate gervinho will have better stats i think but you gotta take into account that young had valencia and nani to compete with and gervinho has no comeptetion…hes also gone for 6 weeks so that could set him back but i reckon if you took that to the bookies theyd give you a good price..worth a punt..

    im tempted to turn up to one of these do’s just to see who im arguing with everyday 🙂 i think we’ll all get along just fine in the flesh but febs a no go..i got alot of commitments outside of football so ive abandoned attending games all together…i reside oop norf as well so its bit out of my loop, but next time were in blackburn i’l get a ticket and pop over and we’ll have a jar or two..

  185. JJ: “gains yeah his squad was aging for a while but hes got that many OAP’s its unlikely he can replace them all in one window..

    i dont think young was overpriced though.. when you consider that alot of players who have zero PL experience are coming in for 20mil + and and half a season wonders like nasri are going for 25 i think utd got a good deal in the end for a proven PL english player with a decent record in the league..16mil for that type of player is decent business nowadays..

    and chelsea have the same problem to an extent with aging players..AVB struggling to get his style going cos its full of OAP’s…”

    Aren’t we always told that you can’t win anything with kids, though? Well here you have it. A squad full of OAPs and young/ish players who cost a forune just how every pundit likes it. Fergie has been holding on to that golden generation for ages and no one told him to do so. Like every other manager not bank rolled he will have to play the transfer market just and thus far he hasn’t done such a stellar job at it. It’s not like Fergie has been sitting on his hands for the last couple of years. He’s bought and bought big. Carrick, Berbatov, Nani, Anderson and now Young cost a shit load of money didn’t they? But, hey, we’re plugging away at building our academy and producing some of the finest football players in England, yet we’re the one doing things wrong, aren’t we?

    Not our problem, JJ. We’re not the ones buying players like Young or half season wonders like Nasri for upwards of £20m. We get players like Gervinho for under ten million and Koscielny for seven million or there abouts. Hell, Vermaelen is twenty times the player Phil Jones will ever be and we bought him for almost nothing.

    I don’t want to hear that United can’t replace older players in one window. Giggs is like a million years old and Ferdinand is crocked. Perhaps Fergie should’ve bought replacements three seasons ago when they were winning everything. But what did he buy instead? Valencia, Berbatov and Carrick.

  186. @ **Irishgray | December 8, 2011 at 6:25 am
    ha ha!
    I was literally ROFL when I heard and I’ve been chuckling to myself once an hour or so ever since. I mean, one club going out would have been fun, but both…!

    We’ve had so much shit shoved our way about how strong they are and how fantastically well they bought in the summer – I think I am entitled to gloat, at least I’m not going onto a Citeh or Manure blog to do it. Whatever happens in the future, this will always be the season when both Mancs failed to get into the knockout stage.

    @ dups
    love the gags, keep them coming.

    @ shotta
    It wasn’t just Gains, but yeah!

    @ jeff
    Food for thought there.

    @ poodle
    Agree with that!

  187. “Bent is a striker that creates nothing for himself and for no one else around him. He needs someone to find him or else he’s very ineffective. This is why I always thought that he wouldn’t do a good job for us. ”

    Really? We provide chances aplenty for any half-decent striker – I think the players on our team have maaaaaaaybe just enough ability to ‘find him’.

    What we miss, other than in RVP, is a decent clinical finisher. To suggest that Bent would be bad for us, whilst he somehow buried enough chances playing for Sunderland to put him in exactly the same scoring bracket as Drogba & Rooney, is nonsense.

    I’m not saying he is the perfect choice for us but if you give our current team or any of the past ones a man who can ‘stick the ball in the net’ then they will prosper. We’ve been the most profligate team in the country, year in, year out, for aaaaages – and yet we have the most shots of any team. Lets not make this sound more complicated than it is.

    Given the choice I’d take him over Chamakh, Bendtner and Park in a heratbeat (if he didn’t cost 25M!).

  188. How did my pasties get drawn into today’s arguments?

    And since when did gloating at rival teams misfortune become politically incorrect?

  189. Jonny, my clarevoyance stems from the fact that they bought a player who was not too impressive against his contemporaries last summer for an inflated price when they were an injury to Vidic away from defensive collapse. The loss of Van der Sar and Ferdinand’s problems were looming large during the transfer window yet people were creaming themselves over United’s transfer dealings. That’s all I’m saying.

    Your Manc friends sound just like some know it all Arsenal supporters and I wouldn’t trust their appraissal of Evra. I watch Evra almost every week-end and I, with my own eyes, can see that he’s still one of the best LBs in the league. He was never the strongest defender, but getting forward there are few better than him. The only problem is that Manure is being pinned back more and more these days and Evra’s forays forward put him in stickier situations than before.

    Anderson is a creative midfielder. He always has been. He played the creative role in Brazil, Portugal and now at MU. That he’s a so-so creative midfielder is another story. Personally, for £17m I think he was way too over priced, but………

    Their net spend may be below teams such as Hull, but they haven’t been buying too well recently. If Ferguson follows his keep up with Chelski and Man City at all costs policy I’m afraid he’ll continue to buy expensive yet mediocre players like he has done for several seasons now. Once Park, Giggs and Ferdinand retire I don’t think Fergie has it in him to go into the transfer market and unearth gems like Arsene does every season. That’s a problem Manure will have to contend with when Fergie retires and even more so when they have to play a few rounds of managerial merry go round until they find a manager that the fans support. My point in all this is that you can’t go out and buy a new team every few years while ignoring your academy. Arsene knows this and it is why we do things the way we do. Don’t forget, Arsene has ten years on Fergie and football is cyclical.

  190. I read a stat that claimed Bent had the least number of touches of any PL player one weekend. Where was it…

  191. “george i think your bets a good one mate gervinho will have better stats i think but you gotta take into account that young had valencia and nani to compete with and gervinho has no comeptetion…”

    Dont get me at it. I know what you have done!

  192. Anyone who follows baseball in the US. The LA Angels just pulled a Man City and signed CJ wilson and Albert Pujols. I am going into a deep and dark depression. It was really nice to not feel like a small market team for a couple of years.

  193. Clerkenwell Gooner

    How will the Red Mancs approach the Europa League, I wonder? Regardless of the humiliation, they need it financially, so won’t be able to treat it how they did Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup. And they don’t have a secure route through the FA Cup either – the little matter of the 3rd Round draw against the neighbours.

    So the competition cash could really dry up for them this year, with knock-on effects in terms of the squad, which is now set to suffer further without Vidic through the winter, and Ferdinand already somewhat past his sell-by date. And a 38-year-old in midfield. And a dodgy ‘keeper. (Woj sticking up for De Gea on Twatter, though.)

    Meanwhile, we have Gibbs, Jenkinson, Diaby, Santos, Ryo out for a few weeks more, then with any luck Jack and Bac lacing up their boots in time for the Round of 16.

    Till then, Miquel in place of Santos. For one, he’s already played against City. Saw him play LB in the Carling Cup match, he did well, didn’t seem phased by it at all. Solid against Shrewsbury, too. Thrown into the fire against Liverpool, but survived, including that ridiculous own goal.

    This is his chance, and he seems like a smart lad, made captain of the reserves, even though the youngest. We need to keep our league run going, and it doesn’t unduly worry me that it might be with him.

  194. Jonny, Berbatov lost his place to a Mexico youth player despite being a goal machine at Tottenham. Man United has looked better with him out than they do with him in. Berbatov is miles better than Bent and they play similar roles. Perhaps the fact that he is worthless without decent service and needs to have a team designed around him is why Capello, Wenger and any other top four manager has passed on Bent throught his career, don’t you think?

    I’m afraid your logic on Bent boils down to: Goals good, Bent Good AAAARRGGGHHH!!! But, by all means, make your argument and see if you can persuade me otherwise.

  195. Not everyone was creaming themselves and it didn’t take a clairvoyant to see that the squad had problems! Whatever 🙂

    I don’t agree about Andersen as a creative midfielder – I don’t think I’ve ever heard that said before.

    As for the last para – yes no argument from me there – Wenger’s vision has always been longer term and Fergie has (to an extent) always needed big money to keep on top. Nonetheless his record in the transfer market is not to be sneered at and the old bastard should never be underestimated.

  196. It’s way to soon to write off the red mancs. They almost always play much better in the last 1/2 of the season. Their fast start this season was very atypical and the doldrums they ate in right now usually happens in the first 10 games. L

    That said losing vidic is a huge blow and I expected them to pick up their game enough to not crash out of the CL so they are certainly at lower point right now then at anytime in the last 5 – 6 years.

  197. “I’m afraid your logic on Bent boils down to: Goals good, Bent Good AAAARRGGGHHH!!! But, by all means, make your argument and see if you can persuade me otherwise.”

    Your argument is our team needs someone who can do more than score goals in the premiership. I’d say that’s exactly what we need.

    I doubt he’d like to be understudy to RVP though and the boat sailed on that deal long ago and you’ll never agree with me anyway. 😛

  198. ……………..Ha ha ha ha hahahaha ha ha ha haaaaaa hahaha………..

  199. Gains:

    You have been telling us that the red mancs and the chavs have aging declining squads and we had better players and were going to overtake them for as long as I have been following this blog. I hope you are actually right this time. Despite all the potential we have had for the
    Last 6 years we have never finished above either team at the end of the season.

  200. They lost Chicharito too, Bill. Both for long spells in the start of the new year, which everyone knows is where seasons are won and lost.

    Jonny, when Anderson plays everything goes through him. I am not calling him a creative midfielder because he plays pretty, I’m saying it because that’s where he plays for the Mancs.

    Berbatov and Bent are very similar players. One bangs them in for shitty teams who play just for him and another one can’t get into a team that is hugely successful because they don’t play just to feed him chances. Berbatov is better than Bent. Are you making the connection yet?

    Chamakh is also better than Bent, but sees himself in a similar situation as Berbatov. He plays for a team that doesn’t just carve out chances for him. He has to link up and create just like RVP or our 4-3-3 doesn’t work as well as it should. That’s why your comment about prefering Bent to Chamakh is a bit bizzare to me.

    If you’ve noticed, England’s biggest problem over the years is that they produce too many Carlton Coles, Darren Bents and Emile Heskeys. These players are good for a hoofball side that can put it on the ground every now and again. When they have to play in a formation that asks more of them than just to receive service and knock it down they’re at sixes and sevens. They just can’t cope with quick passing and movement. That’s why Bent can’t get anywhere near the England squad, has never played for a top four side and will, most likely, end his career never stepping onto a pitch for a CL tie.

  201. Everything goes through Andersen when he plays?? Even allowing for lazy use of the word everything that’s piffle. Even then you are wriggling for a different meaning of ‘creative’ than is the accepted one. Just admit it, you are wrong about Andersen. It’s okay, I won’t tell anyone.

  202. Gains,he is reeling you in.

  203. MD your pasties are never far away from being the topic of conversation on this forum.

    They have a life of their own.

  204. @ Jonny
    “They have a life of their own”
    Does this mean that I don’t have to use a sell by date anymore? (That’s not mould/mold, that’s vegetables)

    How long is Santos out for (missed that)?

  205. From what little I’ve heard, I’m not sure you should be selling them at all! 🙂

    Santos – they’re not sure at the mo, probably minimum 2-3 weeks.

  206. Well, Bill, the proof is in the pudding. Chavski’s cycle of Ranieri, Mourinho, Drogba, Essien and co is coming to a close and they’ll soon need to make another huge outlay of cash in order to rebuild the squad. The problem with that is how much things have changed in the seven or eight years of Roman’s reign. When Chelski were the only sugar daddy club in the league they were able to buy up the best of the best without too much competition. Now they have to compete against City, and ever more sophisticated scouting networks to even get their hands on the very best and the up and coming very best. Sturridge, Turnbull and McEachran are their best academy products. This doesn’t bode well for a guy who is not as rich as everyone thought he was when he rode into town with his petro-euros.

    For manure it’s different, but not entirely so. With the loss of the golden generation they lose leadership and team discipline. Ferdinand, their elder statesman, when left to his opwn devices in the England team hasn’t exactly been a pillar of leadership and respect, has he? Unlike Chelsea they’ve got some good youths that can help them in any transition, but at the same time they have to go into massive depth to give this current squad an overhaul. And given how profligate Fergie has been with his team’s cash and how poor some of his signings have been I don’t think the future is to bright for them. Further, Fergie could retire any day. That should be a freightening prospect for any team who is in debt up to their tits and need to be winning in order to keep their glory hunting fans around.

  207. Fuck, Jonny, I’m tired of explaining how Anderson plays for United. See for yourself and stop relying on uninformed fans who know fuck all about their own team’s formation. Anderson is United’s play maker when Carrick isn’t on the pitch. In fact, Fergie didn’t play Carrick at the beginning of the season because Anderson was doing just fine.

  208. depth = debt.

  209. Gains:

    Both teams are still ahead of us in the table so saying that they are now rubbish makes very little sense.

    I would trade a lot of future potential for the trophy case that either of those teams have right now. We have nothing to gloat about until we can actually show something for all the intelligent transfers and great work our scouts and academy has done. In retrospect both Chelsea and united had more long term potential the we did in 2004 but would you give up that year in order to build for the future? It’s hard to criticize the way they have managed their squads when it has been so successful. Right now we seem to be caught in a cycle of forever building for the future. Hopefully your prediction for their downfall and our ascendency will finally come true.

  210. I have seen for myself and I completely disagree. Even if they use him in the role you hastily redetermined as ‘creative’, it does not mean that that was or is his role in the team.

    There is very little room for manoeuvre between your version of events and anyone else’s.

    But then I imagine you knew I was going to say that. 😉

  211. Bill, they’re on top now, but there are still a lot of games to be played this season. That you would trade some of our potential for what’s in their trophy case shows just how narrow minded you really are. Football is cyclical. Some teams rise and some fall. Look at Leeds United and Liverpool as an example of that. Furthermore football is not going to end in ten years. It will be around long after we’re dead. During this time we may also rise and become a powerhouse and we’ll have Wenger’s dedication for doing things right as the factor that led us to greatness. Oh, and Chelsea has way less trophies than we do. The fact that they have money now doesn’t make them a big club. And for all the gretaness of Man United they still trail Liverpool as far as trophies won. Would you trade our potential to be in Liverpool’s shoes? I don’t think so.

    For those of you who think that rejoicing about the Mancs’ ouster from the CL shows a small club’s mentality, you should check out the comments in any article written about them today so you can see how they, totally unprovoked, have goaded Liverpool fans by saying things like: Well at least we’re in the Europa cup while Liverpool is nowhere in Europe.

  212. I can’t deny having had a right giggle last night…sorry but if it had been us there would have been a cacophony of “poor old Arsenal” and “Arsenal in Crisis” and whatever else. Evra would have taken a shot at us in the press and it would have gone on for weeks. A day of smirking at their expense cannot be sooo bad can it?

  213. Whatever, Jonny. We simply have different definitions for what is and isn’t a creative midfielder. All I know is that Anderson is the player tasked with taking the ball from defense, organizing the attack and playing as a pivot when their strikers have to play around the opposition penalty area. If that’s not a creative/play making midfielder, then I don’t know what is.

  214. Geo at 3:28 pm

    “Sorry, I’m obviously not one these ultra hardcore battle hardened internet warrior veterans from the trenches of the epic virtual Arsenal supporter vs Arsenal supporter war fought from, um… behind ones keyboard. Oh i long to be held in such high regard, with my left breast decorated with an abundance of virtual combat awards.”

    It is way past the time you made that post but I really wanted to respond. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, whether you were putting down Steww or not but I think you missed his point.

    This is a partisan pro-Arsenal blog, (I hope YW agrees.) Most of the long term posters gravitated to this blog and made it their home beause of the fickle, lily-levered support to the club given by some other blogs who are quite happy to echo the anti-Wenger propoganda of the media at the drop of a hat. Thus I for one do not feel I am swimming against the tide when I use this blog to give my support to one of the greatest managers in the game today. Neither do feel like an alien, when, unlike the lust for high priced foreign superstars displayed by some, I use “hyperbole” to describe Koscielny as being Breckenbauer-like in his passing and Baresi-like in his tackling (and incidentally being proven right with every game.)

    In the past we were a minority considered as deluded AKBs subject to frequent bombardments by trolls and doomers who considered it legitimate to use xenophobia, racism and other abuse to attack those who support the club and the manager. I consider it an honor that the veterans of those blog wars are willing to use metaphors as being together “in the trenches.” Many of us who study media and communication know that we are in the era of information warfare waged full-time in our various countries by our biggest corporations and governments so such a metaphor is not out of place.

    That is why it bothers me somewhat that there is this new generation of ACLFers think it is cool to disparage posters like Steww and ZimPaul for their overt show of such partisanship and the comradely bonds which are now resulting in a second attempt to bond physically in a “drink-up” before the Blackburn game. Like Frank, who simply y stopped posting, I hope it is not the next step down the slippery slope of ACLF just becoming another blog of of fickle, lily-livered supporters.

  215. What i dont get though is why they did not buy any form of creative midfielder this summer. It was Sneijder or nobody. Surly it does not cost that much to buy anyone that is more creative than what they currently have. Cabye was a free transfare this summer, now he may not be the next big thing in footy but surly he can offer more than park or Jones when it comes to creativity. Im so glad Nasri did not go there, im sure tehy would have been alot more dangerous with him pulling the strings. I dont know who els in Europe is of Nasri standard(as i doubt they can afford anything better like Cesc or Sneijder), but it would be great for us if they were vastly overpriced in the January window. top 3 here we come!

    Anyway, each to their own. And i have been really impressed by miquel. I find him a tad slow for the LB position but his pace does not matter that much when he playes with the experienced CBs we got atm. And the kid got fighting spirit and guts to be as scrawny and skinny as he is. And he already speaks Londond english. Hes going to be a star that one.

    @bill atm we got a very mature first 11 though. Not many kids at all. I dont think that is building for the future. The purchases we did this summer was all well established mature players in their prime. I dont think that is building for the future at all. its building for the present.
    Also in the lineups this year AW has been much less adventorous than usual. A couple of years back he would have played the OX and frim and Coq alot more.

    And you are right though, if English teams continiue to bend over for City nobody will catch them. they win every game 5-0 atm it seems.

  216. is Mr Anderson a playmaker?? really?? The mancs are just a bunch of gritty players now. will do well in the prem like all the boring ground out 1-0’s.

    expect them to get even more boring and defensive as fergie will put not losing and shut outs as his priority. in europe the likes of Young , Jones and Cleverly will contribute nowt…very suprised actually with their signings after their bashing by barca i thought they would get some clever players like what we got.

  217. pages like this are why you are an arsenal fan.
    who can we draw, who will we meet, aawh the excitment!!!!

    I would be sooo soo soo gutted if we did not get to read stuff like this around xmas every year!

  218. Tangental musings on Lumpology – Sorry, but I don’t want to read about Anderson. Unless it’s about his hair.

    So, where were all the Lumpies when Santos was getting heckled after his first few games for

    a) Being overweight
    b) Playing really well against the likes of, say, Stoke?

    Now, apparently, he’s a big loss. Pardon the poor pun.
    What, just what in gr*ts name is going on? I ask you?

    For myself, one of the highlights of the season so far has been the mutterings of approval for Santos around the stadium. From those first few games the approval has been gathering momentum as one would expect. ‘Organic’ appreciation. Tis logical. Still I’d of thought that those who appreciate lard would have been drooling at Santos from the off:

    A vague selection of quotes (that I didn’t need to make up!) that I have heard whilst sitting here and there.

    ‘Ohhhhhhhhhh he’s very Brazilian’

    ‘Look at that. Pure Brazilian skill. Brilliant’

    ‘Amazing interception/tackle. He really can defend!’

    ‘Whoops. That attack didn’t quite work. Now he’d better run back sharpish’

    ‘Ohhhhhhhhhh he’s very Brazilian’

  219. thankyou shotta…

  220. Whilst an Arsenal win still tops the best feeling of the week award , a Utd defeat ALWAYS puts a spring in my step. A combination of the two has me heading straight to the boozer.

    Anyone know much about Martin Angha ? He`s obviously one to watch if he`s being touted as a potential first teamer at just 17.

  221. Shotta,I agree .More power to Steww and Zim Paul and all their ilk .Those were the people who kept it together in the recent grim times.
    If not for some like minded posters(including your good self)the lights would have gone out altogether.
    I seriously hope Frank will be back .He and Limpar Assists always could lift my spirits.
    That said .Geo is a decent sort as well .
    We will have bigger fish to fry soon enough.One defeat where a victory was expected and the real villains of the piece will be back in full force.

  222. Gains:

    Rejoicing in the manc’s ouster from the CL is what fans do. I rejoice whenever the Dallas cowboys or the new York Yankees loose or the mancs loose. If that’s small club mentality then I will happily plead guilty.

    Football is cyclical which is why you need to take advantage of any chance you get to be on top. That does not mean you totally sacrifice your future and destroy the club but you don’t throw away opportunities like we had in 2002 or 2003 or the mancs or chavs had in the last 6 years. Potential is fun to talk about but it means nothing if it is not realized. How many of us would have even considered the possibility that we would not have finished higher then 3rd and still be trophy free 5 years ago?

  223. pedantic george at 8:56 pm

    George, my meerkat pedant, am I damned by faint praise?

    My mother said always accept praises gracefully but never to look a gift horse in the mouth etc. I am confused. What to do?

  224. What’s six years without a trophy during a time where Sugar Daddy influence has reined supreme and clubs are to their gills in debt? You are too short sighted to be talking about potential not being realized, Bill. So much so that you are not seeing what’s unfolding right infront of your face. Just wait, Bill. This isn’t the first time money men have tried to ruin our game. When it’s not financially feasible or fun for billionaires to plop down a mountain of money to buy a team, we’ll see who comes out laughing in the end. Until then hold on tight and enjoy the run. Or don’t, it makes no difference to me either way.

  225. Shotta – what is worrying is that you write off other long term posters and seem intent upon determining who the blog belongs to, it seems a little elitist and partisan.

    I appreciate the efforts, of those battling the ‘doomers’, though ultimately I’m sure we all unite in our hatred of them. I think of ACLF as a thinking footballer’s blog, open-minded and welcoming in nature. I hope it remains as such and that more new readers, like Sriram, continue to be welcomed into the fold.

    This blog’s comment pages would be lifeless but for the diversity it attracts and there is little point in it becoming a nostalgic sounding board for the veterans.

    I’ve been coming here for 4 years now on and off – I am pretty sure you have little time for my opinion on anything but that merely proves that longevity is in itself not of special virtue.

  226. Shotta ” damned by faint praise?”

    I don’t know how I could have placed you in better company, or hold you in greater esteem.If you feel slighted,I am genuinely sorry.It was absolutely not my intention .Indeed I hopped for the opposite effect.

  227. told u guys yesterday, not different today… u guys seem to desperately need someone to quarrel with, seeing all doomers have had to go into hiding due to our return to winning ways!

    The laughing at mancs could not have been helped especially if u had manc pals that have been giving it large for a long while, it is not often that the 2 manc, 1st and 2nd on the PL no less and deemed to have run away with it, are out of the CL. happily hey are not out of europe and hecen will still have some tasking games ahead rather than fully concentrated on the PL.

    its what can actually be understood… simply explain to those concerned that these few days to gloat will surely come to an end as Saturday approaches. all parties relax… the gloating will not go too far, we have a full season unfolding in front of us

  228. Shotta at 8.34 – The perfect post.

  229. Gains:

    OK. I guess I do not have your patience.

  230. Shotta and steww:

    Somehow promoting and encouraging fan civil war helps the club? That’s an interesting point of view.

  231. Nor the ability to see a train wreck unfolding, apparently. All you know is big names, big money and shiny trophies at the end of the season. Everything else that normal, non-financially doped football clubs have to do to achieve success is invisible to you, Bill.

  232. No one is promoting fan civil war, Bill. Some of us are just telling the “I told you soers” that lashing out at our club because of their own low self-esteem and insecurities is unacceptable everywhere else but this tiny, little corner of the internet.

  233. MD @ 5.38

    Not too sure but dare we go down the route of Essex pasties? As gloating, it isn’t politically correct but it has bitten us more than once before hence my reticence to get overexcited about the abject failure of the leading clubs in the Premier League to progress in Europe’s top tournament. If we win then we have bragging rights. If we don’t. Well it will feel somewhat hollow if one them lifts the Europa League.

  234. Jonny, you’re still trying to wriggle yourself free from that awful comment you made while Fabianski lay injured on the pitch, aren’t you?

  235. Let me tell what the purpose of the blog is. It was created to be a place where (a) my views could be heard, (b) I could support my club in a manner I saw fit – and still see fit to do so – (c) fellow-minded individuals could do the same and (d) those who did not share those views, so long as their argument had more substance than The Sun Says were welcome to argue their corner and then be persuaded as to the error of their ways. Or come back and try to win their argument through wearing everyone down. No-one has yet succeeded in doing that.

    It definitely wasn’t set up to allow anyone to declare themselves a better supporter than anyone else. It wasn’t set up for a superiority complex to be exercised nor is the welcome mat out for xenophobes, bigots, know-it-alls (there’s only room for one of that sort & I write the blog) or illiterate buffoons.

    Times change, new people join and take time to settle in. For the most part it is self-policing but there has a tendency for outbreaks of bickering to take on extraordinarily personal levels to come to the surface from time to time. Get over it boys and girls, get over it. Rather than picking fights with someone here, draw a picture of them, put it on a dartboard and throw some arrows at it.

  236. Shotta, tawk di tings mi bredrin!

    I may not agree with how the fort (ACLF)was defended at times but I agree with Shotta 100%. This site has been a haven for people who want to get behind the team, but it wouldnt have been that way if not for people defended the wall with vigilance, and those who always believed. It doesnt matter that we havent won, it matter that we keep the faith and stand behind our manager/team, even after 8-2 defeats. We are talking aout Wenger here for crying out loud!

    Its not my blog but I am rather proud of the status of ACLF and glad to be a part of it!

  237. Not sure I care to be called an illerate buffoon.
    Illiterate perhaps ,but illerate cuts me to the bone

  238. See what happens when I type a comment on my phone. Anything more than 2 sentences and it’s buggered. I need a day off. Time to set Big Al’s post for tomorrow into the schedule.

  239. Me too Paul.

    By the way don’t let me down

    pedantic george | December 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm
    The best thing about last night was that I discovered the Paul N is all knowing.
    I am going to secretly seek his advice on all matters and scamper to the local bookmakers betting on his every word.I expect to be wealthy by the next ACLF meet up,when everyone will benefit.

  240. Laughing at the misfortune of two of the most arrogant clubs in England is not gloating. It’s just good old fashioned taking the piss and kicking them while they’re down. This is something football supporters have done ever since two sets of eleven men decided to line up on a pitch and score on one another.

  241. Me and GA are kool, but his comment about gloating was a real load. That’s sports every day of the week. Give me a break dude!

  242. Gains @ 10.33 – nothing of the sort – I’m not even remotely embarrassed by it.
    I see you’re still determined to look for a fight though. I admire your persistence and your balls. 😉

  243. I personally am STILL laughing.


  244. And now the fat lady has laughed.

    Well boys, it’s been a day of high drama on ACLF, even Yogi has had to put on some armour. Kept me entertained all the way home. Bravo.

    Btw i still love it when i see Paul N and SG posting in Patwa. Ohhhhhhhhweeeeeee

  245. I’m not picking a fight at all, my man. But if you have a guilty consince what can I do?

  246. According to Castrol EDGE Rankings, over the past year, Emmanuel Adebayor is the 5th best player in the world, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.

  247. Lol according to FIFA England are a top team

  248. This site wasn’t meant for know -it -alls….yeah right. its full of em.

  249. Duke .Will you be at the February Gala meet up ?

  250. Ha! My consince [sic] is clear but, please, don’t call me ‘my man’ – it rather makes me feel the need for a new tailor. 😉

    I grow weary.


  251. Duke is will probably be cooking in the kitchen for his wife – George. His kept on quite a tight leash you know.

  252. pedantic george at 9:42 pm
    I was just asking, my pedant, and you answered. All is well with both of us, I conclude.
    Can’t say the same for others. You win some, you lose some.

  253. @ Yogi’s Warrior | December 8, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    But YW, it can’t bite us on the arse. That is the beauty of it. They are out of the Champions League for 2011/2012. Even if one of them wins the Europa League Cup, it’s the Europa League, not the Champions League trophy. We have already outdone them in the CL, and don’t need to wait until the end of our campaign, or theirs.

    I am soooooooo looking forward to Thursday nights.

  254. Maria,

    thats funny and not to far from the truth. but is for a little 2 year old princess that takes up alot of me time.

    shame though as it would be a laugh trying to find every one.

    what must have the regulars thought in that pub upon hearing one guy say , hi im muppett and the next , hi im spy!! ????

  255. The main point about us still being in the CL (if we do not win it) is the extra money we can earn.

    Seems YW thinks we all need a group hug. awww that’s nice. innit

  256. Duke,

    It was kinda funny. Especially Muppet – who looks far from one – looked very dappy indeed.

    Have you brought a mini apron for the little one, so she can follow in daddy’s footsteps?

  257. I agree with FG.

  258. Thanks mi bredda Paul. I see you turn ah obeah man 🙂
    Like YW said…we need to move on. Either Mancs winning the Europa and us not winning a pot-to-piss-in by end of season or, heavens forbid, not make the top-four, will make yesterday a Pyrrhic victory indeed.

  259. Just doozed off imagining G69 and Jonny mud wrestling at the next ACLF meet.

  260. Bit of a vivid imagination there Maria. Would be a bit nightmarish.

  261. di one George mi yute!

    The beauty of the CL situation is the irony of it all. Afterall, we were the team in crisis.

    I really don’t see a better team in the PL, deeper teams yes, but better? I am not so sure.

    I believe our defenders have the skill to deal with any striker in the PL. They are fast, smart and agile. Then Song in front of the back 4, the best DM is the world. We have a team for real!

  262. And may I just say, to all our friends in Manchester, good night and AHAHHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHA!!!!!

    B 🙂 🙂 BS!!!!

    i would pay to see Nasri and Evras face right now .
    everyone is banging on for purchase of a backup for RVP.
    i would like us to get an extra left and right back.
    this could effect the way we play. our fullbacks have always been of the attacking type and neither miguel nor kosher are that type. i vote for johan in the RB position right now. faith is on our side. both shitty and manure out of the way. liverpool ,chelski, manure dropping points in the PL .
    shitty and the tots will also drop points. let’s hope the crew has learned their lesson from last few seasons and won’t let these opportunities go begging again. it is your due ARSENAL. GET OUT THERE AND TAKE IT…..

    UP THE GUNS!!!!!

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