Fulham Preview: Messing Around By The River

A quickfire return to Premier League action with another London derby, Fulham will be hoping for a repeat dose of their obduracy at The Emirates barely a month ago. Thomas Vermaelen will not be able to score at either end this afternoon, his calf injury may require action in the transfer window that whilst not unexpected, was probably not planned a week ago. Arsène has yet to refute any suggestions that Tony Adams is the quality signing Robin van Persie is clamouring for.

And let’s be honest, Adams even now, probably has more to offer Arsenal than Wayne Bridge. Thankfully – and I use that word in the loosest possible meaning – Taye Taiwo is also being linked with the club. Still, at least when there is dire need for a defender, it’s good to see we’re being linked with a striker. Nick Powell might just get a runout for the first team with all of the misfiring that is going on with senior forwards. One who is on the move, albeit temporarily is Emmanuel Frimpong who has joined Wolves on loan for the rest of the campaign.

So to today’s game,  a teatime kick-off courtesy of the billions invested in the game by corrupt corporations. With the frequency of matches, it is inconceivable that Wenger will not rotate his squad in significant numbers except for the defence, of course. There his options are so limited that a long spell of matches is on the cards for all of them. This evening, his decision is left back with the choice apparently between Ignasi Miquel and Francis Coquelin. Based on the managers comments post-QPR, the young Spaniard as the specialist defender seems to be the way the manager is inclining although it must surely have crossed his mind how he successfully converted a French defensive midfielder into emergency left back cover in the past.

In midfield, the probable rotatee (Some people are claiming it’s not a word, it is now!) is Mikel Arteta. Ramsey was rested, albeit after a fashion, against Wolves and it would no surprise to see Tomas Rosicky start ahead of the Spaniard. Alex Song meanwhile, remains a pivotal part of the side’s defensive duties and seems unlikely to be rested.

Against this, the question of starting strikers remains. Arshavin played well against QPR, hinting that his form might be returning but it would be surprising if he started today. Wenger might be hopeful of Chamakh and Gervinho being able to play against Leeds, indeed be needing them for that fixture but with Robin van Persie the only striker scoring at the moment, can he afford to rest him today?

The Dutchman’s fitness is always the key but few of his serious absences have been muscular, most due to impact injuries. They cannot be planned for and whilst I concede he may struggle for fitness without a rest soon, the opportunity to close the gap to the top of the table – let alone third – to six points surely means that he must start?

I don’t think so. The short-term – and football is notoriously short-term – must not overtake the wider picture and for that reason, I would put Chamakh in the middle, with Gervinho and Walcott tasked at providing decent service for the Moroccan. Walcott might covet the central role but his miss on Saturday offered the reason for Wenger being unable to do so at this moment; consistency. As Big Al pointed out in his match report, Walcott was psyched out of the chance by the proximity of Traore, not the best defender in the world but one who had the pace to catch the Arsenal player. He needs to be able to forget such things and produce a consistency of finish in those situations. We know he can, a lot of his goals come from beating the defence for pace and I am sure that this aspect of his game will continue to improve. After all, it was not so long ago that he was utterly dismissed for having those dreams such was the paucity of his finishing.

Theo Walcott is also the recipient of this season’s annoyance over contract negotiations, unsubstantiated reports in yesterday’s Daily Star Sunday claim that the club and player are “at WAR” over his desire for a salary of £85k per week. Interestingly, nobody from either side of the deal has been quoted, directly or as an ‘insider’. It has led to an all-too-familiar, and depressing, reaction amongst those unwilling to apply the necessary cynicism to such media intrusions into the season. Peter Whimsey might like to have a quiet word with his pet paper and point out to them how hard access can become if such drivel continues. For Walcott, well, who can blame him when it looks like the taxman is seeking to capitalise on the ‘Appy ‘Arry enquiry with more booty from the sport.

Today’s line-up that I expect to see is:

Szczesny; Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Miquel; Ramsey, Song, Rosicky; Walcott, Chamakh, Gervinho

Oh and one thing you won’t apparently see today is Thierry Henry on the Arsenal bench. His loan deal will apparently be completed today. Which explains why the left hand photo was hastily replaced by one of Isaac Hayes in the late hours of last night on Arsenal.com:

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

Posted on January 2, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 619 Comments.

  1. need a good win today

  2. jesus wheres big brov

  3. mattgoonerknight

    2nd? Where’s Big Brother?

  4. Fingers crossed for tonight, although with the defensive injuries and lack of striking options I think we might have to settle for a draw and RVP staying fit.

  5. @mattgoonerknight @arse or brain I actually opened the page first before gf distracted me :p #facepalm

  6. does anyone think meade is ready to step up to left back, he certainly gives more going forward than any of our cb s playing there

  7. I expect a good win today.

  8. YW – Issac Hayes? Titi does look a little chunky in the picture on the right.

  9. BB – Focus, Focus, Focus. It’s the stuff that champions are made of…

  10. Ill rather Coquelin starts at LB, I was impressed by his cameo at the weekend.

  11. BB’s over the hill. We ned a new world class starter. Now.

  12. Taye Taiwo? Isn’t he supposed to go to ACN?

  13. mattgoonerknight


    #faceain’tlistening : )

    James M, I hear what your saying but I think we kind of used our draw against Wolves (I know, if only it worked like that) – while a draw wouldn’t be a disaster, we’ve got to both be favourites and confident about going to the cottage and winning as the game is very winnable.

    ….With Coquelin and Ignasi, will we actually get a left back?

  14. mattgoonerknight


    Nigeria didn’t qualify, along with Egypt and Cameroon!!!

  15. Arse or brain,

    I doubt Arsene would use Jernade. His lack of first team exposure and his strengths (being more of a midfielder than natural left back) seem to stand against him.

    Big match this evening and a tough challenge to ascend further and close the gap on the Spuds prematurely.


  16. Arshavin played well against QPR? Really? I was there all I saw was a podgy little fella (I swear he carries his wallet out there as he is so obsessed with money ) giving the ball away, refusing to track back and wasting chance after chance…it was tough call who was worse him or Theo…but then we did win with effectively only nine men.

  17. dgob,
    while I agree arsene probably wont use him,there are certain games now when we could play just three at the back ,the qpr game highlighted the need for explosive full backs or an extra midfielder, at times weve four defenders marking one forward. I think this is why le coq made such a difference when he came on. while i think he is ready for some of the big games when were trying to unlock a defence his speed and trickery would be usefull

  18. Miquel at left back for me. He looks quality and is a more natural defender than le coq.

  19. RVP deserves a rest. But he says he wants another shot at Shearer’s record. 30 minutes in the second half would be fine for him.

  20. Talking of standin defenders. Does anyone know whether Gavin Hoyte has made a full recovery? Not forgetting the recovered Craig Eastmond who plays defence decently enough!

  21. goonerjon
    please dont upset george so early in the morning or the year, I think georges argument is in games when wre struggling to unlock teams arshavin can provide the key or keys and so if the rest of his game is frustrating at the moment the gamble is, he can provide , actually much like theo at the moment. The difficulty is do you accept he will lose the ball more than any other player on the team for the moments of genius he can produce ?

  22. i was surprised that arshavin got the motm against qpr, not that he played badly. but he didnt quite stand out as well, aside from that pass. in fact, i think everyone that day played in patches, when i voted, i voted for ramsey because of the desire he showed. that was the one thing that stood out for me.

    but i agree that when we are going to have all the ball against a team with 11men behind the ball, arshavin can provide the answer. as we seen against wolves. we would need rosicky to hold on to the ball,and arshavin to take the risks.

  23. How about kos at left back with miquel getting a chance in his proper role at cb. have.to say though defensively we wont have anyone on the.bench so yennaris boateng or angha could come into the reckoning. personally i would go 352 today
    Jd per kos
    coq song
    AOC rambo gerv
    theo arsh

    just think the pace of the ox theo gerv and arsh against senderos hangelaand hughes etc would destroy them rvp on the bench with chamakh and park miquel rosicky arteta and fabianski

  24. this evening will be a game where i think fulham will be very very tight defensively. though i really don’t understand how utd put 5 behind them.

  25. This title race just got exciting..9 pts from the leaders and plenty more twists and turns in store. What a performance by the team on New Years Eve. Robin has rocketed the team back into the top 4. He should have a 24 hour armed guard and be wrapped in bubble wrap.Fulham away is a tough game even more so only after 2 days. Rotation will therefore be expected. RVP and Ox from the bench.

  26. a win today and we are level with spurs…

    hope chelsea get frimponged

  27. On this day, the 19th April 1967, Arsenal played Fulham at the Cottage.

    In a programme costing 6d we didn’t get very much information, more a glorified Team Sheet really. Mind you, at that price, one could buy a whole season’s worth of programmes for about 50P in today’s money.

    We do learn that the Fulham Chairman was that cheeky chappie, Tommy Trinder, which I’d forgotten.

    The ‘Voice of Fulham’ tells us that they have an incentive to do well other than it being a derby, that is, they needed the points to be safe from relegation. This was a time of transition for the club as, they point out, it was for Arsenal

    ”Bertie Mee took over as manager last summer, was joined by former Fulham coach, Dave Sexton and has put Arsenal on the road to success. Players like George Eastham and Joe Baker have gone, others like full back McNab, George Graham have been signed. Young players like Jon Sammels and John Radford have progressed.

    “But like Fulham, Arsenal have not yet accomplished the change. The ’new look’ has been adopted but not yet worn with a consistent flourish……..one senses that here we have teams with obvious potential that, as yet, has been realised only spasmodically.”

    The teams that day were :-

    Arsenal: Furnell, McNab, Simpson, McLintock, Ure, Neill ,Court, Armstrong, Sammels, Graham, Radford’

    Fulham: Macedo, Cohen, Callaghan, Robson, Dempsey, Conway, Haynes, Brown, Pearson, Clarke, Earle.

    The ‘Voice’ had some footballing vision. The Arsenal side went on the win the fairs Cup and the Double over the next few years. Fulham were relegated in 1969.

    For a post match pint of Young’s special we are told elsewhere that the nearest houses providing them are The Castle and the Duke’s Head. I always preferred a pint of Ordinary myself and took them over the bridge in Putney.

    Another advert offers A ‘Complete Rizla Outfit’ for only 9d ‘for men who like to suit themselves’. Ah.

    An historical footnote is a report by George Cohen, the World Cup winning fullback, on the defeat at Wembley of England by Scotland on the preceding Saturday. He was shocked.

    “I couldn’t even bring myself to watch the game on television on Sunday afternoon. I just went out and did the garden, front and back.”

    A rather different response, one feels, to that of some modern footballers after a defeat.

    We also learn that Johnny Haynes recently celebrated his 500th game for Fulham. He made his debut in 1952 and when asked what was the biggest change in his time replied, “ Players’ wages. Players are much more dedicated and more determined to win”.

    Here is yesterday’s football result: Fulham 0 Arsenal 0

  28. the big question is: how will fulham play? set out to defend, or will they try to be more positive? if they try to be more positive, then theo and gervinho will relish having a go at their slow defence. if they are going to defend all the way, then we would need to be patient until the opportunity to take risks open up.

  29. mattgoonerknight

    arse or brain

    I realise your playing devils advocate on behalf of PG but with our current team and the shape AW adopts, I don’t feel we have the luxury of carrying luxury players, which I feel AA often is.

    4-3-3 only really works if it changes to 4-5-1 once possession of the ball has been relinquished – this aspect of defence is something that both Theo and Gervinho have clearly worked on. To often in the past, the ball has been lost an opponent’s half only for the front 3 (perhaps even 4 or 5) players just to leisurely trot back expecting / hoping for the back four to to take care of business.

    I think most would agree that this seasons line up in not as talented as the previous 1 or 2 incarnations, but the collective penny does seem to have finally dropped that we need to defend as a unit; stay tight at back with every man taking responsibility for the upkeep of the clean sheet – this is just something that AA struggles implement. If we were an all round stronger team, there would be perhaps room for the mercurial talents of Arshavin – but at present, I believe he his best suited when facing much weaker opposition and / or to come on to make an impact late on if we are chasing a game – once staying tight has not had the desired effect.

  30. @consols.

    great post as usual..thoroughly enjoy reading these posts of yours

    One question..Dempsey..any relation to the modern fulham incarnation???

  31. @gonnerjon

    I assume you were on a toilet break..when the podgy little fellow produced a world class pass, taking the defenders out of the game and allowing RVP to score our winner and his record breaking goal..

  32. I reckon wenger should to rest both rvp and arteta. Risky but with the schedule tight as its been,that’s sensible to avoid running them out into injury. How we going to win without them you may ask…we pay AW mega bucks to figure how we can get those points tonight! No excuses! Go Gunners Go….to the title….! heee haw!

  33. anirudh

    Dempsey – no relation at all

  34. we need the points today ( we need the points every game 🙂 ) but weve gotta really take advantage when we can of clawing teams back and creating a bit of daylight..

    3 points today and we heap a whole load of pressure on chelsea and spurs and we can put our feet up for 2 week

    for this reason i think its crucial we play robin today..although to be honest id like to see him rested..but rested for who?? so hes gotta play..

    as for theo, if he starts scoring some goals he’ll get a contract..i like the kid i really do but he wants to move central yet he hasnt scored at home in over a year…i dont really care what he wants to get paid i think hes an important part of our team still 75k 85k who gives a shit its not like we’ll go bust paying him it but if we aint meeting his demands its cos hes not hitting the back of the net so over to you theo…

  35. Tough choices for Arsene today. It may well depend on which players are near or in the so called `red zone`.

    Martin Angha was supposedly the next cab off the rank for left back before the Olympiacos game so he may well get onto the bench today.

  36. WHO WAS OUR NO 12 BEFORE? Lauren? and who after him? cant remember the number being much in use

  37. Arsenal are in for Adam Maher of AZ Alkmaar

    Courtesy: @itz_renato and @ad8mmaher twitter!

    Does anyone know about the player? Heard he is fast and has a good pass on him.

  38. OK,I am here now with my Arshavin drum and am about tp start banging in.But beforeI do I must point out that goonerjon is just an ignorant thick twat who knows fuck all about the game or any players .There was no need for the dig about him being only interested in money ,you peice of shit.
    When AA came on last month(I forget the game) and we were one up ,his job was to help the team keep the ball.He did that with a 100% pass completing rate.To suggest he is not able to play possession football is stupid.
    People keep papping on about the lack of goals and then moan when a genuine goal threat tries to create some.
    People might like to reflect on the fact that wee have created far fewer chances since he lost a regular starting place.
    I know very well that people think he should run backward when he tends to take up positions for his next forward run ,but when some fuckwits come along calling him fat ,lazy and greedy it make we want to kick their idiotic heads in.

    Just saying 🙂

  39. This could be a tricky trip, but praying for a win today, though! 😀

    I am expecting a cameo by the Ox today. Le Coq might get a start today at LB, and probably Miquel will be introduced later (replacing JD). Then, Le Coq will play RB and Miquel at LB. The kids need some games in time for the FA Cup match vs. Leeds.

  40. Previous owner of the number 12 was Carlos Vela, I recall.

    Forgot that we had a match today. The fixture congestion is unbelievable. If English game had a winter break like others do, the players would be more productive. But having no game for a fortnight is not good for health i guess.

    Anyway, looking for a comfortable win on the way. Hope the team does it in easy way, not the Arsenal way.

  41. Happy 2012 to all.

    I’d pick Miquel at LB…….seems more composed defensively v. Coquelin.

    Other than the Wigan & Chelsea matches……Arsenal are limping along in attack.

    Gervinho/Theo are mis-firing and not getting in behind the opponent’s defense enough to set up others.

    Song has had a few matches that most fans would rate as below his standard.

    Ramsey, even being rested, is not making enough impact in the attack. (one superb through ball to Theo in the QPR match……..and little else to talk about* –
    *(except for those impressed with his work rate)

    Last season we saw the effect of contract negotiations on the play of the turned head of Nasri – he disappeared in the 2nd half of the season. I’m hoping that Theo and Song will make their mark in this match and not re-open this ugly can of worms.

    Rest RvP and Arteta……but prefer to see Andrei over Theo.

    3 points
    no injuries
    clean sheet

  42. @MG, thanks… thot he was 11 but then, maybe he was 12 before he became 11 just like RVP was 11 before he became 10

  43. you keep banging that drum george

  44. George

    100% correct about goonerjon.

  45. the calls for a winter break are justified..
    but not over the holidays..
    it would be ideal if we could have a break sometime in jan, the last two or three weeks of the month maybe but not over xmas or new year..

  46. YW

    Thanks 😀

  47. what about extend the season and spread the games out more.
    The summers are awful with no Arsenal.
    Oh yes and cancel all International games.

  48. @PG… cancel international games? i was taking everything else serious until that. LOL

  49. so arsharvin makes one assist in a match and suddenly people forgot he was nondescript in that match. motm?i guess it was to encourage him to up his game.

  50. international games are the problem, especially the friendlies…but that will never change…

    it would be ideal to start the season a week earlier, everyother league in the country starts the week before anyway..cancel the community charity sheild bollox and start the season at the same time as everyone else..extent the season by a week and we could have a two week break in winter..

    thinking about it..is the PL the last top league to kick off?? im sure around europe theyve are in to the first or second week of the season before we start ours..

  51. @ ace… the one assist led to the one goal that won the match 1 -0 so yes it is important enough me thinks. he surely could not have been that bad… sometimes he seems to be trying too hard. relax. it is a fact proven time and again that form is temp and class is perm. he is getting there

  52. ace arshavins always been in and out of games..

    his contribution as never been based on 90mins its always been measured on the 5 minutes of brilliance he produces…

    remember the game v liverpool….he didnt touch the ball hardly he was none existant for most of the match but the 4 times he touched the ball it went in the net..

    no..one assist does not mean hes suddenly back to his best but when we are looking for him to get back to what he does best its a good start and lets hope it continues..

  53. @ Ace……
    I’m not troubled with Arshavin being recognized for his assist.

    other than RvP, scoring the goal, who (for you) stood out ?

  54. martin jol is not going to rest any of his key players.and because they are playing against arsenal,they’d show little sign of fatigue.imo,rotating too much is going to cost us.afterall,even our first team regulars had a torrid time against dembele.

  55. its not like we are talking about someone shit who when they produce a pass like that we think its a massive suprise and its a one off..

    arshavins quality is not one off..hes just not been producing…but we need him to…thats all..

  56. Arsenal has a tendancy of not taking advantage against rivals 😦 i hope that ended like last year did 🙂 cmon ARSENAL!!!!! make it count…….. mancite clubs are going to lose some points this week me feels…….. and it would be nice to see how spuds respond with us all over them 😀 up GUNNERS

  57. Ace you have as much understanding of players as a sheep does of quantum physics.
    In short you are a thick prick.
    Happy new year btw.

  58. JJ @ 1:57 pm
    “his contribution as never been based on 90mins its always been measured on the 5 minutes of brilliance he produces…”

    Was this always his MO b4 joining Arsenal ? or that Arsenal fans have lowered their expectations?

  59. sorry i might sound old or a tradiotonalist but isnt the number 12 usually the number of yoru second goalkeeper ? certainly not for a striker……or am i too old for modern football ?

  60. Arsesession can you name one player in the history of the game who produces that magic for 90 minutes?
    I thought not.
    Track back ,work hard ,close down,blah blah fucking blah.
    You are another cunt btw.Happy new year.

  61. My new years resolution is to get back to being less tolerant of cuntery.
    Gains69 was right ,I have gone soft and mushy.

  62. The Cottagers are a very dangerous club. Clint Dempsey gave Fulham a tie against the Blues. Since both City and Man U lost this blown open the doors for our guys to make some hay while the sun shines. The opportunity is upon to make a move. Muito cuidado! Watch out. We need to win this baby. Happy New Year. Please tell me where I can purchase on the internet books about the history of Arsenal?

  63. Pg,i thought you’d finally removed your head from arshavin’s robust rear hole.guess you took something strong the day you admitted arshavin was past it.happy new year too.

  64. thegeeman have you tried Arsenal.com?

  65. arsesession
    i always saw arhsavin as a silent assassin..

  66. I said his time here might be coming to an end .I never said he was past it .
    As if.

  67. PG…..
    Can’t see where I emphasized any player needing to produce magic for 90 minutes.

    For the best interest of Arsenal, I would relish in Arshavin regaining his mojo.

    Judging others is not my bag. Just saying!

  68. semantics.euphemisms……..

  69. Arse session
    no Arsenal fans ain’t lowering their expectations, they have an understanding of football, unlike you it seems.

    Arshavin has never been a 90 minute player. He can be quiet for long spells then do something great.
    But why am I wasting my time, you are a doomed, a very underhand one at that.

  70. JJ
    was excited for this player to join the club…..and the performance at Pool his first season was memorable.

    He certainly has the rare ability to finish and create for others. When he played in Euro 2008….I remember him for his dynamic play – not one of a silent assassin. Maybe our system of play has really tied his feet.

  71. Elfin iPad typo correct!
    If we have worries with Arshavin tracking back, then we should just play him behind the striker. This management lark’s a bag of piss innit?

  72. @dexter, a doomed? LOL take it easy.

    he just needs to understand… hardly any player can run around for 90 mins… that’s why its a team sport… each brings a little something and cover up for each other!

  73. Team spirit
    I’m just following Georges lead today!
    Doomed! Were all doomed!

  74. the most important thing is to have depth while defending. you need to have layers. one presses, the other drops to cover him, so that if he gets beaten, you have another guy ready to press.

    i actually feel that arshavin has the quality to play on the wing, to do a bit of what gervinho has been doing. but maybe instead of going forward, he will go inside more. with regards to his lack of tracking back.. i feel that this has been a line first started by someone, and now you hear it all the time. the commentators for the qpr game mentioned it at some point in time, about how it is not part of arshavin’s game. i am not here to debate its validity, but i feel that sometimes people are just pouncing on something that has been said and repeating it over and over again, whether or not it really is the case. same thing as how people keep saying vermaelen’s return is the reason why we are better defensively. it is a reason, but not the sole reason.

    you wish sometimes that people can think a little more for themselves before passing judgement.

    anyway, even if arshavin doesnt drop back as much as some people want to, i think he can still play in our 4-3-3, because i disagree that a 4-3-3 has to be a 4-5-1 in defence. it can be a 4-4-1-1. one of the midfielders has to shift wide. but what is important in the modern game is the pressing from the front. and that is what arshavin has to do.

    but as i said, the most important thing is to create layers. so everyone has to keep the discipline, close the space, close the angle for the pass.

    i also feel that because we tend to have most of the ball and the only threat we face tend to be from counter-attacks, as long as we have at least 4 outfield players while the attackers are recovering, we should be fine. but these players have to be strong 1v1.

    i think it is a circumstance we have to live with. we have to defend efficiently.

  75. The hilarious irony of the spuds obsession with finishing top 4 is that they need to get knocked out of Europe so they can concentrate on the effin league!

  76. Frimpong brings me to watch Wolves.

  77. korihikage .Another good post.
    People should learn from you.And stop regurgitating shit ,like Ace does.

  78. I do sometimes think that both Arshavin and Theo have been the two players who have most missed the contributions of Nasri and Cesc. I think Arshavin’s contributions are under-appreciated by observers but one only has to look at the number of assists to see the true picture of his importance to the side – and why I think he’s unlikely to move on any time soon. And one decent assist can win a game …

    Theo’s going nowhere – he’s too classy to do a Cashley and he only needs a goal or two to get his confidence back on track, the supporters back on side. It will be interesting to see to what extent Tel helps nursemaid both Theo and the Russian back into the fold.

    Conversely, I’ve thought all season that Song’s stature has just grown and grown since the summer departures; he’s immense (although certainly showing signs of fatigue and all out grumpiness in recent games) and certain to get better and better. More fool him should he end up doing a Flamini …

    Without doubt there are too many games over Xmas/New Year and it’s not just proven by the nature of so many of the results but in the quality of the games, also. My main anxiety for us today is the injuries we may pick up if we don’t get an early goal and end up chasing the game for too long (as per v Wolves and QPR). Not sure to what extent AW dares to rotate – again, an early goal or two would do wonders and like most others, I’d love to see the Ox get on for 30 minutes.

    How he may benefit from some tuition in the coming weeks from TH one can only imagine.

    My main irritation today lies in the almost certain knowledge that McCarthy’s mob will bend over for the Chavs ….


  79. Kirin
    The same applies to Theo. Some old fat expire slaughters him and it’s open season. No one bothers to take into account his improvements. Just watched Alan McNally spoutin the same shit that might have applied 3 years ago during his injury plagued spell. It was left to the ex spud Paul Walsh to speak sense. Theo has lost a bit of form, but that’s to be expected, happens to every player.

  80. its no secret arshavin does lose possesion alot and also doesnt trek back……. those are facts…. he is good but we need him to show up way much more….. no need for all the hate vibes from all you, if he was really good as you would want us to believe George then there wont be anyone quizin him now would there??? no one is doubting RVP, or TV5 is there….. enough with the abuse already

  81. “I do sometimes think that both Arshavin and Theo have been the two players who have most missed the contributions of Nasri and Cesc. ”

    I have been banging that drum for weeks.( Arshavin specifically)

  82. hey PG,i see you are looking for company in the hole.tbh,AA reminds me of freddie ljurnberg in his last season with arsenal.

  83. george,

    not quite sure if i was expressing myself clearly there. but glad that at least u saw some sense in what i was spouting. 🙂

    but i guess the question is: what does tracking back mean? does it mean going all the way back to your box? is it necessary? if it is, then anyone, not just arshavin certainly ought to be doing that.

    but contributing to the defensive part of the game is not determined by how far you track back. of course people remember when henry goes all the way back and played as though he was a leftback. rooney did it before as well. but usually, i think i would be more interested in whether everyone is in a position where they are closing off an angle for a pass or forcing the opponent with the ball to go somewhere else. and that doesn’t necessarily occur in your defensive third. be somewhere useful is the maxim.

  84. Ex pro FFs

    Yogi, you keep naming that lineup and it just isn’t goin to happen mate!
    Djourou Koscielny Per Coquelin
    Song Rosicky
    Theo Arshavin Gervinho

  85. Vermealen fucked up at Villa and gifted Fulham a Goal, while RvP was guilty of missing a bagful of chances the other day. Both shit players for real.

  86. PG
    “I have been banging that drum for weeks.( Arshavin specifically)”

    absence of both has impacted the entire team’s offensive attack…..

  87. lol thats more like it dexter….. Arsenal is all shit ;)… hehe

  88. No offence but suggesting we might miss one of the best creative midfielders in the world is hardly groundbreaking! As for Nazry less so.

  89. Dexter .What I meant was Those to were on his wavelength and so he appeared more effective.
    I was not suggesting he was missing them as he would (well Cesc) would he not .As we and all the team do.

  90. I can’t recall our goal difference being in single figures this late into the season and given Citeh are on 37 and Manure are at 32 this speaks volumes about how our overall game has been altered by the loss of Cesc and Nasri. So, with the key exception of the genius of RvP, it’s no surprise to see Arsh and Theo apparently struggling. Neither have turned into bad players overnight but as Big Bruvar has found out to his cost, it only takes one slip up to cause eye brows to be raised, questions to be asked.

    So Wolves are being given the run around by the Chavs then …


    Amusingly Lampard’s just been booked; time yet for Frimpong to make his mark.

    COYGs on loan!!!

  91. Consistency is the mark of a good (and great) player.

    With Cesc and Nasri (b4 last season) there was consistency in their play. Consistency didn’t have to manifest itself in scoring goals…..but in assists and their overall play that influenced their teammates and teams’ performances.

    Our attack this season has been hampered by inconsistent play……..
    – addition of new players to our league
    – new understanding among teammates
    – and the youthfulness of some

  92. Limestonegunner

    Arshavin should play today over Theo I think if he isn’t too tired. We are having some difficulty scoring and he could help create chances even if Fulham sit back. Theo can come on in the later stages, especially if Fulham have to come out and play. He’ll be fresh and able to use his pace.

    Arshavin is a genius player. He loses possession because he plays in a forward position where he tries to break down defences in the box. He makes risky passes but we need that aspect of his game.

    I am encouraged by his delightful ball for RvP. Even before that his sub appearances had improved somewhat. We are going to need him, Benayoun and the Ox to step up while Gervinho is away.

    I also think the Ox might feature and would be happy to see him come on.

  93. Limestonegunner

    Like everyone, I am desperate for a win to consolidate our position in 4th and put pressure of Spuds. It would be awful to slip back to 5th after the Herculean labours involved to come back from 17th early on.

    However, my big worry for this game is how tired some players will be having battled against QPR just two days ago. Most of those players were involved v. Wolves and this is just too many games. Last time we played Fulham it was just after the big Dortmund mid-week win (I think) and the boys were clearly knackered and not at their best. I wish we had had a smoother start and squad players had had chances to play with the first team in some meaningful games. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the space to experiment with one or two changes.

    I know we have a break before the FA cup v. Leeds when we can rotate. So perhaps we just have to gamble with our best players. RvP and Arteta are especially at risk, I would think, given the games they have played. My solution would be to play RvP for a half–and let him know this– and throw on Chamakh/Park/Walcott in the middle and the Ox/Benayoun if we need to chase. Hopefully we will be up. Rosicky can play for Arteta, I suppose. Touch decisions.

  94. wolves playing with heart

  95. Limestonegunner

    tough, not “touch” obviously!

  96. Limestonegunner

    Interesting comments, arsenalandrew about Cesc/Nasri effects.

  97. Ha! Nasty was consistent for half a season and you want elevate him up to Cesc’s level? Stop digging that hole Asesh!
    Arshavin has been below his best, everyone would agree (well maybe one exception) but he has played well of late and should give credit where it’s due.

  98. Limestonegunner

    Just turning onto Wolves game. How has Crimps been playing?

  99. Haha! Nasri not nasty, bloody auto correct, altho it’s quite apt.

  100. limestone,

    thought frims looked a bit lost in their midfield. quite surprised he would be thrown straight into the fray.

  101. Frimpong watch:

    Doing fine so far. Screening the back line with a similar mission briefing to the McLeish operation.
    I can’t for the life of me understand the harsh assesment he got from all the championship winning managers out there. Clearly he was asked to do a job in that Villa game. Not much he could have done about the Villa goal from a goal kick. Job done, Arsenal were chasing a goal, he came off. Yes, not his best game in an Arsenal shirt. But he’s gone to Wolves not because his confidence was low or his passing was poor, but because it is a fantastic oppportunity for him to get that first ‘run of games’ under his belt. Something Francis was doing last year whilst Frimpong was in the gym unfortunately. Frimpong’s passing is not as scrupmtous as Coquelin’s yet, but it is not bad.
    We might have preferred him to play for Swansea, but if Mick’s a fan he’ll get the minutes and the support he needs.

  102. Limestonegunner

    Darn iphone: how’s Frimps been playing?

  103. Lundy
    Frimpongs playing ok, which is more than can be said about the referee.

    Btw, Bartons been red carded, I really feel for him.

  104. Lundy? Limey!

  105. Nasri was indeed consistent Dexter.He was consistently average for all but 4 months.

    But his thinking was on a higher level than his playing.
    Where Andrei’s play is not ,at present, on a par with his thinking.
    If you can make any sense of that, well done!!!!

  106. I hope Joey Barton is innocent.It will make his sending off all the better

  107. Fins bury
    Totally agree re Emmanuel. I am not even concerned if he never manages to be a brilliant passer of the ball. He has plenty of other great attributes that will see him right. He needed a loan after his injury hampered his development.
    I read a few blogs before the season started who were already writing him off. Unreal.

  108. PG,

    you mean nasri’s thinking was not on par with his playing, while arshavin’s playing was not on par with his thinking.

    i see what you mean. the idea was there, the execution not.

  109. Oh and Nasri was allergic to assists when he was at Arsenal.
    George, that makes no sense. Hardly a major surprise as you tend to watch games through the smoke of your crack pipe.

  110. Dont tell everyone Dex.FFS

  111. Limestonegunner

    Thanks, gents, for the Frimpong watch updates. Seems there are several contrasting views. Fins, I didn’t sense a lot of criticism. Everyone loves Frimps, his battling attitude/love of Arsenal and physical qualities especially, and recognizes he needs a run of games. His passing was exposed in several games as a weakness, though it is better than many players in the PL but just not precise enough for our possession game or to generate forward attacks at the moment. I don’t think he would get much time at Swansea since they already do keep the ball so well so I would have liked West Brom, Norwich, Everton, Blackburn, Fulham, QPR, Sunderland or Wigan because they play better football and will help him more perhaps with his passing and possession game. But just playing will improve him and I am quite encouraged that he got a game right out of the box. McCarthy probably feels he needs to rotate but hopefully will continue to play him.

  112. dexter, nasri didnt have many official assists. but he created the space and opportunity(in terms of time) for the pass to be made. that was the outstanding part of his contribution in that period where he did well for us.

    he disappointed me massively when he chose the money. i don’t wish him any luck, cos he deserves nothing.

    but he was for a short period of time, very very good for us. even if it doesnt show in terms of assists and goals.

    but hes gone now. end of story.

  113. George, every fucker knows man.

  114. Limestonegunner

    Hearing RvP’s ringing endorsement of Henry’s loan is music to my ears. I was concerned about how our captain might feel, but wonderfully he is playing so confidently and leading so superbly that he is seeing just the positives and creating such a welcoming solidarity in his team. What a mature and inspiring leader!

    He’s been my favourite player for years but he grows daily in esteem and admiration–not just for his super skills but for his qualities and character.

  115. Korihikage
    People made up a new category when Hleb played for us; the pre-assist pass! Maybe we should have the ‘creates space for someone else to do the hard bit’ category!

  116. PG at 3:51. You’re “sick.”

  117. Paulie Walnuts

    We already get a mid season / winter break in England.

    It`s called the FA Cup 3rd Round

  118. Limestonegunner

    Another player who has suffered Nasri’s absence is Chamakh. He combined well with him on the pitch and was his closest friend. I get a sense that Chamakh feels a bit isolated from his Arsenal Player interview a few weeks ago. He was asked who he is close to and all he could come up with was saying that his best mate left the club–he didn’t name anyone else he was close to. Let’s hope he finds form and confidence playing for Morocco and can get a fresh start on his return.

  119. Just glanced at Hansen’s predictions – yeah I don’t know why I bothered either he has Liverpool to finish fourth (quel surprise) and then goes on to name his player of the year…not even a fucking mention of RVP. More biased bullshit from a man whose salary we fund.

    Player of the year
    If David Silva continues to perform as he has done in the first half of the season, then he is the obvious candidate.
    A lot of talented foreign players struggle to succeed in the Premier League, but Silva has really embraced the challenge of playing in England.
    The biggest test is the psychological challenge of being mentally ready to deal with all the different hurdles, but Silva has taken it on and he doesn’t sulk or hide when things aren’t going his way — which isn’t very often.
    Some players, and Thierry Henry was the master of it, cleverly find a way to make it impossible for them to receive the ball when they aren’t on top of their game, but Silva is always available and always there to take the ball.

  120. LMG
    I am hoping that Frimpong learnt some stuff from Uncle Liam. A couple of those fast mid range passes he likes to hit today. Tasty. I think he was asked to play a standard D**Mish role in a few games, against Villa for example. To not be too ambitious with his movements or passing. I have no doubt that his game will appear to be much more mature after ten straight games, like most young players. Reading back through the comments, I felt many of the assesments during the Villa game were a little harsh.

  121. Limestonegunner

    Dex, Tayo of the Tuesday club calls it the pre-assist assist! Hleb’s specialty. I suppose Nasri was good at that? Anyway, enough on him–what a disappointment. Hope he enjoys the Europa league, FA cup and coming off the bench.

    It really is tough: hate City for buying their way to the top like Chelsea, despise ManU/Fergie and must constitutionally despise Spuds. I could live with Liverpool and wished a few years ago under Rafa they had managed to displace ManU for the title. George was right, if it weren’t for our rivalry, the Spuds would be acceptable if it isn’t us. No doubt that is what most neutrals are rooting for. Isn’t that sickening?

  122. ‘Some players, and Thierry Henry was the master of it, cleverly find a way to make it impossible for them to receive the ball when they aren’t on top of their game, but Silva is always available and always there to take the ball.’

    some pundits just have a massive lack of class. and this line shows it. what has silva achieved, what has henry achieved?

  123. Bastard chavs winning.

  124. Looks like Villa and Rovers have returned to form. Both are losing at home!

  125. Limestonegunner

    Fins, you’re probably right. People no doubt overreacted with harsh criticism. But the love is there for the player. The loan is the best thing for him and I hope you are right about his passing improving. I hope he doesn’t get stuck sitting back at Wolves because he has the quality to play more flexibly in their set up. But as the new boy having to pair Karl Henry (yuck!) with the style they play, I have some minor concerns. Overall, the chance to play will hopefully be great for him.

  126. Limestonegunner

    Sad that Norwich trails QPR. I want to see them go down and have admired Lambert’s team.

  127. i think hansen can’t still forget how henry shrugged past carragher for that goal.

  128. Norwich are drawing one all vs Rangers LG

  129. I’ve long felt yer Hansen is, for some reason, anti-Arsenal. I don’t buy into many of the perceived ‘they’re all against us’ complaints, and he isn’t the worst, but he’s in there.

  130. Jonny,

    as a rule, i dont read what hansen writes. just by chance i saw your post, and got so infuriated that i searched out that article to see what exactly he was writing.

    i think he is a city lackey, because one, they are stopping united, since there is never a chance his beloved liverpool are going to. and they are probably paying his salary in some way or another.

  131. Hats off to the BBC though, Jonny (4.09) – they’ve obviously seen something in Hansen and I’ve no doubt one of these decades he’ll come good, get up to speed and repay the £squillions they’ve invested in him.

    In the meantime he’s perfected his impression of a bitter little man who never forgave Arsenal for shafting his beloved Scousers at Anfield in THE game of the century.

    In my mind at least, he was yellow carded years ago for his “You’ll win nothing with kids” howler and finally red carded for his “Walcott doesn’t have a footballing brain” shame, having been skating misguidedly on thin ice a while back.


  132. Limestonegunner

    I presume Frimps is off to give them another attacking player.

  133. If we are entitled to think we can win the league,Hansen is entitled to think Liverpool will finish top four.
    Difference is we are not pretending to be neutral.And don’t get paid shit loads for our one eyed views.

  134. We are told by Sky that Frimps was poor.

  135. Lime
    He was replaced by a striker so I guess that was McCarthys thinking.

  136. I grew sick of his inability to even try to be objective on MOTD a long time ago. It’s your fucking job – it’s not professional and we have to tolerate it.

    Weirdly Alan Smith, I find, goes to far in the opposite direction – he tries so hard to show he is impartial he frequently gives favour to the opposition.

    It’s a hard line – especially if you are passionate – but Hansen is forgiven for not even bothering to try.

  137. To be fair to Frimps he has barely had time to train with his new team mates. He is hardly going to set the place alight on his first outing. What do these people expect?

  138. Limestonegunner

    Thanks, Dex, didn’t refresh the page so am glad Norwich got the equalizer just before the half.

    Wolves aren’t showing much on attack, alas.

    Doesn’t sound like Frimps was poor; he’s never played with them. Has he even had a chance to practice with Wolves?! Come on Wolves, get something from this! All Chelsea.

  139. Jonny
    Alan Smith is even more annoying for me. He is so fucking negative towards Arsenal and his dreary monotonous voice really doesn’t help his cause either!

  140. Norwich winning now Limes

  141. Limestonegunner

    Wolves can hardly get the ball. Could actually use Frimps. Can’t chase if you never get the ball.

  142. Limestonegunner

    Nice!!! Thanks Dex!

    Plus Wolves just equalize!!!

  143. well well, wolves equalised.

  144. Wolves equalise!!

  145. Limesone @4.17
    Understand and agree with those concerns. Even though he’s off for a forward today Frimpong will stay play more at Wolves over the next few months and I’m guessing that was the main consideration in the move.

    Wolves equalise!

  146. Hahahaha well done wolves if u can hold on brilliant

  147. Limestonegunner

    Fletcher makes the poke out to Ward, so a good sub after all. Hang on now Wolves!

  148. the goal chelsea makes me wonder if you know, in a setpiece situation, when you haven’t cleared the ball too far away, and it’s gone back to the opposition, maybe it’s better that you don’t just focus on pushing up to catch the opponents offside sometimes. cos when you are busy moving, if they can stay onside, you are in deep shit, as chelsea found out when that ball came back.

  149. Any bets on AVB getting sacked soon?

  150. Even if wolves end up loosing conceding goals like this really puts Chelsea pressure, the anxiety sweeps through the team, uncertainty develops, players loose confidence, with games coming thick and first the chavs could really find themselves alarmingly loosing ground! And at a very crucial stage in the title race!

  151. Just as I was typing they concede

  152. AVB thinks he’s unsackable Kg, so he at least should give you very good odds indeed.

    Hang on Wolves ….

  153. Limestonegunner


  154. Bastards!

  155. lampard just saved AVB’s arse.

  156. Ther u go kissing fat franks trou de balle begins in earnest

  157. Fucking Frank Lampard.

  158. I wouldn’t discount wolves getting a second though!

  159. No home teams winning. Are they all losing?

  160. Well done Norwich too, I didn’t really mind qpr but after warnocks interview on rvp he can sod off back to the championship

  161. Dex 4.40 – yup, you said it mate. It’s like listening to a metronome.

  162. Chavs got that goal thanks to having a forward thinking fullback. How we miss that shizzle.

  163. How close was that

  164. Well we have to turn up big time at fulham which will be a tough tough game!

  165. Limestonegunner

    I’ve wondered the same. We often don’t clear it very far and the ball stays around the box. Unless it is obviously going to one of our players who can play it out safely, I think it might be better to mark your man until we can organize moving up the offside line. Wolves capitalized on that against us as well, didn’t they?

  166. Team for FCC
    Djourou Per Koscielny Coquelin
    Song Arteta
    Theo Ramsey Gervinho

  167. Not sure but according to twitter this is the team:

    Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Coquelin, Song, Arteta, Ramsey, Walcott, Gervinho, Van Persie.

  168. Limestonegunner

    Rune, yes, a Chelsea draw would have given us a bit of breathing room. Now we have nothing for it but to win. A draw would be terrible to slip back.

    Still wondering about the team selection. Fatigue has got to be a real issue. As I said above, last time we played Fulham, I think we were just coming off a hard fought mid-week victory v. Dortmund and dropped points. We didn’t play that well after Man City on short rest v. Villa and v. QPR after dropping points (but playing very well) v. Wolves we seemed a bit sluggish, “lacking a little bit sharpness” if you will. So, I wonder if we shouldn’t be resting some players to make sure we aren’t jaded. Fulham must be pretty tired too, though. They have drawn v. Chelsea and Norwich away–both tough games. Play RvP and hope he scores and we get another from someone in the first half so we can rest him.

  169. Limestonegunner

    Looks like we are essentially playing the same team. Amazing to see LeCoq in at LB; I could see RB but hopefully he’ll do ok. He ought to be better going forward than Miquel.

  170. Limestonegunner

    Dex, didn’t you call it?

  171. Limestonegunner

    Fins, what’s the bench?

  172. Limestonegunner

    Found it on the .com:
    Substitutes: Almunia, Squillaci, Miquel, Rosicky, Benayoun, Arshavin, Chamakh

  173. Yeps that the team just been announced, fulham have duff Zamora and dembele, we need to watch em close! Going to be interesting! Somehow would have loved benny to start this game!

  174. Amazing how little trust there is in our back-ups. That’s as strong a line-up as we could have started.

    Poor Ox demoted from a place on the bench.

  175. Lime Le coq on the strength of his last showing deserves to start, crucially he has pace and is more or less two footed!

  176. Limestonegunner

    No Park, no Ox. I’d have one or the other instead of Squillaci as Miquel can play either LB or CB. Rosicky/Benayoun can both play wing and central mid, so what about the Ox? He’s a good crosser (if Chamakh comes on) and can go forward more directly than either Ros or Benny. If we are chasing the game, his defensive shortcomings might not be as important.

  177. Jonny we can’t risk anything but play the strongest line up, the stakes are too high, if we played the likes of the Ox n things go awry it could have a lasting impact on his development! Let the big boys step n if they fuck up they at least can be held to account!

  178. Limestonegunner

    Rune, I have no problem with him there. But he is pretty strongly right-footed, I think. I think the pace and his ability to go forward are key here.

  179. The strongest lineup possible.

    All jokes are over, Wenger is going for it.


  180. Limestonegunner

    Rune, we played a strong lineup after big midweek games and saw a shortfall in energy a few times this last month. I would go with this lineup but be prepared to change things up earlier than usual because of fatigue. They just played two days ago!

  181. Limes
    No mate, I had Arshavin and Rosicky starting in place of Arteta and Ramsey man

  182. Ox will have plenty of time to shine let some first teasers earn their wages for a change, squilly on the bench means if anything happens he come in central and kos switches to left back! If kos gets crocked then it’s a direct swap!

  183. Teasers teamers

  184. Limestone, no idea! The full teams should be up soon. The tweet stream says no AOC and also reports Zamora and ex-gunners Senderos and Sidewell to start for Fulham.

  185. I wasn’t expecting Ox to start. Just surprised, considering the short recovery time, we have chosen to play so many of the ‘first team’.

    I do get why it is so, but it does also illustrate a lack of faith in the supporting cast.

  186. Obviously this is a calculated risk. The manager and staff would have checked out the fitness levels before deciding who to play.

  187. Wolves didn’t do us the favor.

  188. Lime in fairness we should easily be fitter than fulham, this game will really depend on how much we keep possession, if we get on top of them and a couple of early goals it could allow changes to be made early, but knowing Le prof no changes will come till after 65 mins

  189. £15m for a reserve player wtf!!

  190. Limestonegunner

    Hopefully we’ll see us get off to a strong start and finish some chances. Looking to see Theo and Gervs, maybe Ramsey or Arteta, to get on the board and be clinical. We are missing our third highest scorer in the league with Vermaelen out. He is on 3, with Arteta, and Gerv ahead of him with 4–both with many more games than the Verminator. Need a Wigan like contribution from all sides today.

  191. Chelsea looked weak. If it takes them so much effort to get past Wolves, then they’ll surely drop points soon against their next lower table opponent. They do, however, beat the big teams so that’s a plus.

  192. Gains wolves did give a really good go, chavs were poor n got out of jail, they really look jaded, problem is watch the Russian go crazy in jan to get them going again!

  193. When you have games so close together it just means you sack the training for a day or two. Just warm ups massages etc.
    It really shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
    As for the home game after Dortmund. That was more down to the players levels dropping due to anti climax of that dramatic game.

  194. Limestonegunner

    Dex, sorry, missed that, but I like your suggestions. We’ll see what happens! Come on you Gunners!!!!

  195. We are long due a goal from Ramsey! Would love midfielders score today!

  196. Limestonegunner

    Rune, yeah he probably will. Hopefully he buys as poorly as he did last January.

  197. So,

    Stockdale, Kelly, Hangeland, Senderos, John Arne Riise, Dembele, Murphy, Sidwell, Ruiz, Zamora, Dempsey. Subs: Etheridge, Baird, Orlando Sa, Gecov, Duff, Hughes, Frei.

    Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Coquelin, Song, Arteta, Walcott, Ramsey, Gervinho, van Persie. Subs: Almunia, Rosicky, Squillaci, Arshavin, Chamakh, Benayoun, Miquel.

    Referee: Lee Probert

  198. Limestonegunner

    Gains, Chelsea weren’t great but they dominated the game just couldn’t create the quality of chances or finish the ones they created until Lampard beat his man on that cross. Hennessey also wasn’t as good today as he was against us, I think. Hopefully they will drop more to lower table sides but keep up that record against City and Spuds. Lost to ManU but were in that game away.

  199. The first 11 are sometimes overplayed. Last season, that was one of the reasons of our late collapse.

    However, on this occasion, I think Wenger is spot on. The stakes are too high.

  200. Hope I ain’t mincing things but I am so glad Dowd isn’t the ref tonight.

  201. Mincing! Hahaha! Supposed to be jinx!

  202. Mincing is Georges department, obviously.

  203. Gervinho and RVP start….no chamberlain on bench. COYG.

  204. Bright stuff.

  205. link anyone?

  206. Hello fellow ACLFers. New Years resolution I’m not going to argue with anyone during matches. So play up you Gunners let’s hope we get a good game.

  207. i hope we dont have a backlash on this lineup as some may be severley fatigued….

  208. ha steww good luck with that 🙂

  209. Koscielny “not been a huge success at Arsenal”.

    Blind as fuck.

  210. Unlucky Kozzer – that’s the right idea though. They’re defending deep so the CB’s breaking out is a plan.

  211. Gerv with a chance from a corner.

  212. Jonny I have my favourite Russian commentator I can only understand the players names so it’s great.

  213. Not an easy chance for Geronimo.

  214. Good save. Not often Arteta gets caught like that.

  215. they also said ” Waclott will always be inconsistent as he has been the lat 4 years. ofc he will have his monents though”

  216. For fuck sakes. Arsene is awful when it comes to rotating players. Give the other strikers a fucking chance, before you burn out RVP!

  217. Jinny
    I heard that too. Clueless twit.
    Stupid ref not giving an advantage.

  218. Do you speak/understand Russian Steww, or do you just like his enthusiasm/intonation..?

    Sometimes I think not knowing what’s been said is a blessing.

  219. AA would have had 2 by now

  220. Not another pen turned down? Was it?

  221. Jinny?! Thanks Dux.

  222. is le coqs second position not RB? LB i thought he could not play at all:P

  223. Yet another penalty not given.

  224. Penalty for me. Someone mentioned a moratorium on pens to Arsenal?

  225. Jonny I hate the sky commentators so much I deliberately choose foreign streams. also the picture on the Russian stream is excellent.

  226. fulham looking dangerous

    Gervinho needs to do better

  227. arsenal only got one pen this year and that was the one in the recent game against? err cant remember was it the game before wolves?

  228. It’s the elfin auto correct on this iPhone Jonny!

  229. Szcezny just gave Mertesacker an earful for ducking away from the ball and allowing hangelaand a free header. I love that kid!COYG.

  230. Would have been softer than Andrex, if it had been given, Steww.

  231. gervinho’s final ball is seriously lacking

    coem on man!!

  232. As long as we keep it tight they will tire, then we can win this fucker.

  233. Give Fulham their due they are having a go. But we’ve had chances here. Need to weather the storm.

  234. Steww I have to admire your conviction.

    Having seen a new angle – a cast iron pen. Think it was difficult to call from the ref’s position – but FFS anyway.

  235. I love that poker face of Kosser’s. You couldn’t wind him up could you?

  236. Frim put in a respectable 60 minutes for Wolves.

    Fulham not parking the bus……lively play from both squads.

    great goal by Kos

  237. Yes! Have that you cunt

  238. yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

  239. “Not been a huge success at Arsenal”.

    Eat my fist.

  240. very nice assist from Ramsey!

  241. OH YES ! I love you Kosser

  242. Kos showed them how it’s done.

  243. I’ll tell you what that young man is going to be a legend.

  244. OMG!!!!

  245. koscienlyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  246. Koscielny scores a corker …best defender in the league by a country mile

  247. great attacking pressure…..should have put in the 2nd goal….

  248. how did we not score there!!!!!

  249. How the fuck didn’t we score then?

  250. My goodness. How did that stay out???

  251. I doubt anyone can blame our poor finishing there. Everyone in the squad had a shot on target within about 3 seconds.

  252. Great challenge by Coquelin

  253. Fair play Mr W – they look pretty sharp.

  254. I elfin jinxed it, this ref is giving us nothing.

  255. I can see why people rate Le Coq. He looks very very calm.

  256. what was i saying about coqueliin, execellent player

  257. considering hes playing out of position as well

  258. Johan someone somehow clears with his sphincter.

  259. ‘elfin’! Dex you were right about those damn elves!

  260. Moe – it’s that combination of skill and temperament. I haven’t seen him often but I like what i’ve seen.

  261. Its good to see us pushing hard for the 2nd goal.

  262. Stew, Coquelin is a great prospect.
    Yet more rubbish from these commentators.

  263. I know some people hate the back heel but that one was perfect.

  264. Its incredible to think that Ramsey is only 20 and hes already our midfield general. And we still waiting for Wilshere to come back..

  265. mid-field defending needs to pick it up a notch…… too easy for Ruis.

  266. dexter – mine just said арсенале которых лучшая команда в мире и ебать меня Walcot быстро

  267. please,please,please newyears resolution for Arsenal. be more clinical…

  268. nice play from Coq……making a mark for starting slot.

  269. Please not another Henessy today.

  270. They are so hoping for a fulham goal.
    Great attacking play by Coquelin. It’s so blatantly clear that these twits do absolutely no research, making shit comments all game.

  271. More excellent work from Le Coq.

  272. Coquelin good so far…Theo’s passing been poor though

  273. Song looks back to the usual standard.

  274. Wonderful skill from Coquelin. Song, Ramsey, Arteta = dream midfield – they complement each other so well.

  275. Brilliant from Song. Just brilliant.

  276. Kos is our best attacking player…..

  277. ah hope RVP scores two today.. then hes got new record!!

  278. Damn chocolate.

  279. I can’t believe those Russians said that about Theo! Stew

  280. fulham still looking dangerous

    this game is far from over

  281. Kos dragged defenders away so well there. shame the choccy leg failed us for once.

  282. dex – I’ve read worse about him on here!

  283. Red Army!

  284. koscienly can now add bobby zamora to the list of strikers he has in his pocket

  285. I’ll tell you what, even when they’re not in the best goalscoring form our players never stop having a pop. I admire that. Ramsay, Theo and Gerv all due a change of fortune.

  286. Come on Arsenal!

  287. we need to take some air out of Fulham’s attack…..

  288. Theo showed his value right there. Who else would have intercepted that?

  289. Zamora fouled Koz there

  290. Great battle developing between Johan sphincter boy and the Viking.

  291. Great from Aaron there.
    Knew that wasn’t offside.

  292. Great work by Gerv but RVP went all Adebayor on us.

  293. Ramsey having an excellent match.

  294. Don’t even think it.

  295. it beggars belief that koscienly isnt a big player, hes actually very slight but he makes players ten times bigger look like they are nothing

  296. Great half from the Gunners. Gervinho should have scored and had a penalty while I can only remember one save from Szczesny.

  297. Yes Aron as good as I’ve seen. Both tackling and creating. How he and Gerv made that chance from nothing I’ll never know. They just strolled into a goalscoring position.

  298. Le Coq doing a flamini at left back… Ramsey everywhere today…we need to put another one in the net though

  299. Again i am certain we are the only team in the world that are capable of beating Barcelona when both teams play to their best.

  300. The only thing missing is decent commentary and punditry. But that’s asking for too much.

  301. It looks like a game for Benyaoun or Rosicky, in place of Theo. Theo’s been awful so far. Let’s hope he finds his feet in the next half.

  302. i would put arshavin in now

  303. Limestonegunner

    Unbelievable intensity in this game! Fighting like lions. Fulham have been quite good too, really up for it. Ruiz and Zamora both pretty dangerous. Props to Coquelin. Not natural to position himself there but he has provided some width–excellent move past defenders and cross to RvP. We had the chances to put it away. Can we/they keep up such levels of energy. Amazing play from the Gunners.

  304. Fulham 0-1 Arsenal
    Marc Higginson’s HT snapshot: “It seems only David Stockdale stands between Arsenal and a convincing victory. Fulham need to start putting some tackles in, they are being passed off the pitch by the classy Gunners.”

  305. I love the fact Coquelin is not afraid to lump the ball out of defence when under pressure. That was something Clichy was loathe to do. Great half from Francis.

  306. we need to win by more than 1 goal today because the past few days we havent been scoring alot, so we need to get back to scoring freely

  307. is walcott regressing?anyway good first half by our boys.but dembele owns the midfield.

  308. Ateeb
    No, Theo hasn’t been awful, far from it. He is a great out ball and keeps the FFC defenders on their toes.
    Some subs will be required soon, I am going for Rosicky on for Arteta and Arshavin for Gervinho.

  309. I genuinely don’t understand how the pundit/commentary collective have failed to notice Kos blossom into one of the finest CBs in the world. Even when he was settling (first half of last season), and the doubters were crowing, it was clear he was fucking class.

    It’s like they have a mass psychogenic illness, preventing them from seeing the obvious. No doubt it will be redacted in time, as suits the needs, but right now, it’s insultingly stupid.

  310. ref isn’t having the best match…but he seems to be calling it pretty evenly to both sides.

    commentators are the elfing (thanks to dexter 🙂 ) worst. Usually I can tune the guys out and only focus on the crowd noise. Either than, or just pump your favorite music…

    Fulham have had their fare share of chances, i think this match will end 2-1. To the arsenal of course!

  311. Not as much as your limp brain ace. How ironic is your name btw? Love it.

  312. Arteta is missing from the first half, looks like he’s really tired. Game for Rosicky in the second and control retention of the ball is required.

  313. How many of you guys have the ever moaning Stewart Robson doing ur broadcast? Robson reminds me of too many Arsenal fans. Forever moaning about Arsenal’s high line and Theo in that order. Hardly a positive thing to say about the Gunners, gushing over the opponents; you would thing Arsenal are struggling. The man is a tit.

  314. Effin right on William!

  315. No overlap from Djurou means theo constantly two or three players every time he gets the ball, by contrast Le coq foraging up the left means we look very dangerous on that side of the pitch.
    Big game from Le coq has been target by long balls but coped well, excellent on the ball and showed exquisite skill to beat the fulham defender.
    Dembele thought can see why he is rated so high, he wouldn’t look out of place in a red n white shirt!

  316. I think dexter has it spot on. Theo hasn’t finished well but he is a vital cog.
    Anyway, there was a break out from our half involving several players and a bewildering series of lightening fast one touch passing which had me purring. it was the most beautiful I’ve seen in a long while and made the first half for me.

  317. Dexter,don’t be mean to Ace,that’s my job

  318. ace-your brain does seem limp. What showed regression? A couple of poor crosses? Never seen a player put in poor crosses before…

    Cutting inside and having a shot on goal???

    Granted, it was not his best half, and he seems to have lost a bit of confidence. Doesn’t mean he is regressing though, you dingus.

  319. Ramsay covered more yards than anyone else on the pitch, Arteta second.

  320. Here’s hoping Fulhams levels drop off now.
    Wengers doing a streak across the pitch!

  321. George I feel an AA cameo coming up at some point. 15 minute hat trick that kind of thing…

  322. Limestonegunner

    AW showing pace as away fans sing 1 AW song!! Coyg!!

  323. …and Arsene third!

  324. Steww… I know exactly which move you are talking about. It came right after our goal.

    Seems like the players are only willing to play the fancy one touch stuff after we score a goal…Then it fades away after about 2 minutes.

  325. The way Theo covered the RB position a perfect example. Team player, hard worker. the rest is there it’ll come again.

  326. chill – it also requires the opposition to be attacking -you can;t stream forward out of defence when they have eleven men in their half

  327. Limestonegunner

    Shotta, I’ve got Robson on the Telly up here in Canada. I’ve been complaining about him for three years. He’s even worse on the broadcasts than on Arsenal Player. Nearly ruins the game experience with his grating voice and snide criticisms.

    Fulham starting well–let’s press forward and get that second!

  328. Limestonegunner

    Good head in Coquelin. Impressed with him in almost every game starting with ManU this season. He’s going to make it with us, I think.

  329. Again need to weather this storm and break out and score. Repeat of first half please.

  330. I agree with Limestone

  331. come on, one more goal to settle nerves

  332. i think we need a swap to inject some energy…

  333. Ace you remind me of something……and its something you can get cream for.

  334. Robin is a nightmare for defenders isn’t he?

  335. Keep it tight boys

  336. I agree with duke

  337. Song needs to come off.Theo too

  338. Limestonegunner

    Penalty embargo clearly back on the Arsenal. What has to happen to our players in the box for a penalty to be called??!!! Decapitation?!?!?

  339. i feel he needs to do something AW though because we look abit on the heels…

  340. Fuck me that was another pen and Theo just got fouled!

  341. Just hoping Fulham are giving all they have and we have more in the tank. But the sub I’d like is TR7. Keeps the ball.

  342. comon AW, work your magic now!

  343. Push on Theo surely?

  344. Change needs to come, Arteta for me

  345. JD holding his groin … oh no

  346. our mid-field and defenders are back on their heels……we’ve stopped putting pressure on their defense…..

  347. Limestonegunner

    We’ve lost the initiative and control over proceedings, which is why we are committing fouls. Set piece vulnerability showing. Stay strong lads!! Bring on Rosicky.

  348. Jesus. Even my new calm was punctured there.

  349. Theo off. Not sure I agree. Artetas been very quiet.

  350. Limestonegunner

    Ha, I called it!

  351. my god, ok my old nerves are comng back

  352. Very un-Arsenal agricultural clearances. TR7 – we all called it.

  353. Fuck me we are hanging on

  354. Lets just hope it was the right call

  355. we’re living dangerously

  356. we need to settle the game here seriously

    too much pressure

  357. Fouled our defender and not given.
    Great cross by Djourou there.

  358. for fucks sake, we are really living dangerous here

  359. At last a little relief.

  360. were knackered..

  361. Ref almost gifts them a free kick.

  362. id throw a couple more subs on..

  363. Lino gave the handball JD should be off by the letter of the law.

  364. but we should not be more knackered than fulham so no excuse at all… they are knackered too..

  365. It’s more tiring chasing the ball than having it. that’s why we grind teams down so well…usually.

  366. Limestonegunner

    Arteta could take more initiative; he’s been quiet. Bring in Arshavin or Benayoun and slot Rosicky back for Arteta, I think. But Ramsey might need a rest soon–he’s been everywhere.

  367. Oh it’s taken the teat a while but he just had to mention the trophy drought!

  368. Nearly the most surreal assist from Gerv

  369. fucking hell gervinho needs a few lessons on finishing seriously

  370. Gervinho off for Benayoun. Still no Arshavin.

  371. omg this is murder pressure

  372. Jesus. Szezzer earns his corn

  373. weve havent been able rotate the midfeild and defence properly due to injury and we havent been able to rotate the strikers for other reasons…
    every game for the passed 2-3 months has been hard fought

    15 mins left lads just dig in and defend like demons

  374. Bad for your heath this stuff…

  375. Limestonegunner

    Frei looks a player. COYG!!! Let’s hold the ball and put them under pressure.

  376. If this games 1- 0 it’s going to be a wonder, The save from chesney should be a wake up call! They have so much possession in and around our box it’s only a matter of time before a 50 50 ball falls to the!

  377. Fuck off you whiney cottagers!

  378. This has been a long half. Mind you for all their huff and puff only one save from the great Pole

  379. yeh what happend to all our captains?? cant they take responsibility no more?

  380. and it just got harder

  381. we need to get the ball and keep it

    stop attacking just keep it for gods sake

  382. then again when we continue to play people out of position this can happen…. extremly pooly second half by arsenal standards…

  383. JD gone.ref starting to play his part for real now.

  384. Soft soft yellow. Djourou played really well.

  385. Limestonegunner

    Unbelievable. No penalty for manhandling RvP but one arm and Djourou is off?

  386. for fucks sake

    djorou red

  387. There u go per cant sort his feet out n we r on the back foot, it’s back against the wall now!

  388. I agree with the first part of poodle’s post

  389. LOL thank god thank god our away supporters are better than me 🙂

  390. The decision to take off both our Lacey players might come back to haunt us,

    Koscielny getting props from Le Tiss.

  391. Limestonegunner

    Squillaci. We need to hold the ball.

  392. No one an suggest we have no backbone after this battle. Real blood and guts defending.

  393. lol can we even afford to sell squilly now as we got no defenders left?

  394. Big test for the New Year……..

  395. fuck me i cant watch this seriously


  396. Not bloody Lacey! I mean pacy

  397. Just dissapeared in the 2nd half, where is my Arsenal?

  398. what would i give for a RVP goal right now !

  399. agree with Kenya!

  400. wengers parking the bus..
    energy levels have gone we just need to hang on

  401. Battling

  402. Shit

  403. Deserved it

  404. the boys are fighting but they are fighting like flock of scared pigs though

  405. that was coming to be honest…

  406. thats been coming… bollox

  407. lets just try not to loose now

  408. Limestonegunner

    It was coming. Let’s push and get the winner.

  409. Six minutes to go. lets see. Lets see how much we want it.

  410. Szczesny should’ve stayed put. Bollocks

  411. its incredible, we getting so hard preassured by fulham! we have just played so so so poor in the second half. where is the leadership??

  412. The lads will have earnt their rest after this.

  413. TR7 Benny and RVP these are experienced guys they are the ones should have steadied the ship.

  414. Still level on 4th with Chelsea..

  415. the worst thing is that its no individuals fault, its a collective meltdown! its all 15s fault!

  416. its going to be hard to score another..
    we dont have any wingers we dont have the energy levels to play tippy tap thru the centre weve got no outlet its going to need a moment of magic from someone..

  417. Fuck this Should’ve shot earlier Tomas!

  418. Frankly we don’t have any excuses for today’s result. This entire 2nd half we never seem able to score. Too much defending was going to give Fulham a chance as I feared. We look tired offensively.

  419. Poodle
    Shut up, your moaning is annoying.

  420. maybe annoying but you know im right.. today i am..

  421. One last push. Come on boys

  422. the lads are fucked and now down to ten men theres no amount of experience that can resemble a gallen of red bull…

  423. Needed that 2nd goal 1st half.

  424. agree with steww though…

  425. Limestonegunner

    That sucks.


  427. here we go…. have Fulham played their last game 3 weeks ago ?? they look so much fresher

  428. Fuck sake,

  429. We really deserved that, maybe it will sharpen us and teach us to play better.
    Fulham played really really well, outplayed us…. nothing more to say really..

  430. Shot in he foot again..

  431. Liverpool the only big six club not to lose this new year period. Fucking shit!

  432. I genuinely didn’t see that coming. Fulham have deserved it, they’ve had the game of their lives. But. Well, shit.
    I’m off can’t bear to read the negative doomers who will now rush to ACLF.

  433. Very poor 2nd half

  434. Complete and utter meltdown

  435. Oh well.. we just need to do better next time, shame we are no 5 again though…

  436. Squillaci is a fucking jinx!

  437. Fuck….

    Of course Djorou gets sent off..the ref sees that, but never sees pens…fucking hell…

  438. You can’t always win against 12.

  439. but honestly, wtf happend?. how can we play two so different halfs??

  440. Fucking dive from Zamora for the 2nd yellow

  441. And spurs haven’t lost as well. This is bad. Expect the doomers to come on now.

  442. & not to forget the clear cut fouls on Gerv & RVP in the opposition box..

  443. this game had draw written all over it. fulhams win was the right result though.

  444. arsenal does that alot……… we dont understand what taking advantage really mean lol

  445. The refereeing was criminal. Every foul was given to Fulham, and none to us. He even almost gave that handball decision against us. 3 penalties not called, Gervinho and van persie cut off 2 times.

    Shameful refereeing.

  446. we will really have to play our best at all times to get that 4th spot. atm there is nothing dividing us from Livepool and Cheslea, all three are equally poor if you like.

  447. Arsesession | January 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm
    our mid-field and defenders are back on their heels……we’ve stopped putting pressure on their defense…..

  448. Like getting hit in the balls. Real painful!

  449. We understandably looked really tired….but far more tired than them

  450. Ok at least the mad run of games with a lot of injuries is over

    JD banned..but for an FA cup tie..so thats fine..

    Coq was really good at LB all considered

    Hopefully Gibbs, Sagna, TV, are back soon and Jack in February..

  451. it was shamefull refereeing but we had enough chances to win if we really wanted, even with the shamefull refereing.
    Besides this team is so good(when they play as normal) that a crap referee and Fulham should be childsplay…

  452. Disappointing.

    I felt in the first we played really well and were good for a bigger lead. Somehow we fail to score more than once, and with that it’s always tricky.

    The second half was a slaughter. May be we gave up physically, and the ref did not help. The subs took away any attacking threat, and we were for the taking.

  453. Can’t wait for Sagna, Jenkinson, Santos and Gibbs. Bloody injury curse.

  454. We have done well up to now with no full backs.But it has eventually caught up to us.
    Fulham have played just as often as us.No excuses there

  455. @ Tokala that is worrying though, we should not be should we? if we have had the same amount of rest etc?

  456. @ Poodle

    Mate…a bit of clarity here..we have been on an awesome run after our torrid first 7 games..

  457. Fuck it. Aaaaaaaaargh! We were never at the races in the second half. Two games in 3 days takes its toll. Couldnt understand taking Theo n Gervinho off. Even if the werent scoring they had fulham on the back foot. Their substitution coincided with Ful Ham uping their tempo. Thought we would be good value for the draw but not to be. Otherwise we are one point from where we want to be. On wards and upwards.

  458. heres a clue…
    out of all the games weve had in the last few week how many have chamakh and park started??

    wenger said robin was in the red zone in november and he hasnt been dropped once cos weve got piss poor attacking options and none of them can score but robin…

    so weve played him until hes fucked and cant run in the second half of that game and that goes for the rest of them as well but at least we can put that down to injuries….

    weve got plenty of options upfront so why the fuck have we gone with virtually the same ones for the passed 6months????

  459. Bad mistake from Szczesny. He claims that and we go on to win.

    We were flat throughout. The midfield couldn’t deal with Dembele or Ruiz and we never controlled the game.

    I thought that taking off both Theo and Gervinho was a big mistake. Without any speed on either side we were always going to be easier to contain.

    Fulham away is always a tough game, but damn we needed those three points.

    On to the next one.

  460. Ace, you really are a cunt

  461. we were tired the second half, but us not getting any soft fouls, and fulham getting all and more, makes is more difficult. How many fouls against us in the middle of the field that were not called?

  462. For me, 7 points from these 3 games would have been amazing, we have 4 so now we need to make up..it will happen

    Come on Arsenal!!!

  463. i knew dembele was going to mess us up,but i didnt expect it to be so comprehensive.wenger,buy dembele.he is miles ahead of ramsey or wilshere.

  464. I am still wondering who will start in the FA cup..we aren’t left with any back ups

  465. We’ve also found it a lot harder to score for 3-4 games now

  466. The ref seemed to have a made up mind regarding Arsenal. I am not sure what Arsenal had to do to get a call. Strange.

    Fulham played really well in the 2nd though, credit to them.

    Anyway, NEXT!


  467. We ran out of players, energy and creativity in that order.

    We move on. We strengthen.

  468. no more energy in the second half that’s why we lost. Our mid should be able to read the game better and hold the ball like we use to and see the game out to the end. But can’t blame anyone really because fatigue was all over everyone. LeCoq is a huge revelation, I’ll say now he’s destined to be Arsenal first choice in the not too distance future.

  469. One those games where we have to think about the chanceas missed in the first half. Ref gave RVP no protection, but Ruiz and Dembele totally owned the midfield.I think Wenger missed a trick by bringing off our only midfield threat in Gervinho…can’t believe this is the same team that got creamed by Manure…how many times are we supposed to hope that our competition slip up…

  470. Only Arsenal fans can make a run of

    Played: 13

    Won: 9

    Drawn: 2

    Lost : 2

    Points 29

    PPG: 2.2

    Sound like the end of the world..I do not know how we manage it

  471. The absence of any pace on the bench was not ideal. Could Ox have given the opponents more to think about? We’ll never know.

    In the Christmas run, out of 5: 2 won, 2 lost, 1 draw. I’m sure Wenger was hoping for more.

  472. Well said Anirudh, Very well said.

  473. @ Anirudh we have but really we NEED that 4th spot. it does not matter how good we play or how great “runs” we are on, we need that 4th spot. we need to do better than Chelsea and Liverpool and atm we are not doing better than Chelsea atleast and if Liverpool wins tomorrow we are not better than them neither.
    That is a problem imo.
    Good run or not, aslong as our run is better than Chelsea and Liverpool then its a good run. if its worse we are no 6 and that to me is a disaster..

  474. @ ace

    Hangeland and Senderos troubled us at set-pieces..I suppose buy them too right???

    Especially that boy Senderos sheer magic eh…

  475. Paul, to the ref we we where always guilty of anything and proven innocent only once. That shoulder hit he wanted to call a handball.
    He definitely seemed to be leaning… away form us

  476. I agree with JonJon. Arsene sucks at rotating players. His insistence to play the same fucking team every week takes it’s toll on the players, while putting others off form. Chamakh was a decent striker, now he can’t even shoot. Arshavin had strong contributions last year but now he can’t dribble past a player. Awful management. If you don’t trust your second string, replace it. What’s the point if you can’t even give your main players a break.

  477. agree with cbob…

    and we do move on and strengthen..starting this month…

  478. @ poodle

    agree with u regarding 4, but we must remember we had to claw our way back from 17th i.e. our current form is much better than Chelsea or Liverpool..

    So no need for alarms or despondence just yet…

  479. It’s the time of the season where everyone can lose points. A wide open battle field. It’s the EPL. Don’t expect the meek and disinterested.

  480. fair play to fulham some players may have been fatigued but either way fulham sadly deserved to win, and fair play to senderos looked a class above mertsacker today dealt with everything with ease and was a constant threat in our box! on bright notes coquelin, ramsey, kos and benayoun really seems to work hard whenever i have seen him.

  481. @ SV

    I guess he would have been happy with 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss i.e 10 points, we have 7, we have to make up 3 points, it is not as dire as some people here are trying to make it sound..

  482. weve got a shit load of fb’s out…its january…get one…
    weve got a load of forwards who we dont trust..its january…get one…

  483. And also we must remember we have been without all our starting full backs for a long time…you expect that to take its toll, especially in a busy festive fixture list, before the opening of the transfer window..

  484. Fair play to Fulham. Injuries have been our great undoing (again!!!) but the failing of our front three to convert chances is a very familiar frailty and is also a huge factor. No doubt G69 will once again malign me for pointing what is obvious to 99% of Arsenal fans. I could care less. We need another striker and we have done for some time now. I’m not suggesting it’s easy to find the right player, or that it has not been looked at, but to pretend otherwise is outlandishly myopic.

    Gervinho is a wonderful player in so many ways but his confidence at the delivery point is negligible at best. It’s not that he misses chances it’s the type of chances and final balls that he has fluffed that make it so noticeable.

    Interesting X-mas break! Arsene has plenty to mull over (as usual).

  485. games like this are needed to show up the limitations of our squad.today was payback for the rubbish the likes of walcott have being serving us in the last three games.i knew something was definately wrong with him when traore neutered him against qpr.i think he is back to the walcott we knew very well.the one without football brains.

  486. I think Arsene should actually make an issue out of the apparent Penalty embargo..oh wait the FA and the media will just say sore loser and ban him…

  487. It was a game of two halves, what was going so well for us, was turned upside down in the second half and credit to Fulham for playing around us and putting the ball in to the box.

    We should have put 2 or 3 past them in the first half, apart from 2 penalty decisions, that did not go our way, correction, that never seems to go our way in any match. It sucks that the referee had such a big part to play in this game.

    Djourou was walking a very thin line and Bobby Zamora made full use of it with a blatant dive just after seeing Djourou put his hand across. How many times have you seen Vidic and Terry do that and get away with it?

  488. Walcott has been poor for the last three games, I do agree that he is a very good player when he turns up and he is a developing talent, but can we afford to carry passengers in this team?

  489. defenders out= 5

    we will obviously struggle, injuries have fucked us over before and people dont realise thats its not the same team when a certain amount of defenders are out.

    Our attacking has suffered because no recognised full backs

    defence suffers because again defenders are out.

    And i agree as well that our attack has been woeful these days, we have been sneaking 1-0 for a while now.

    The only thing we can ask of players is to take THEIR fucking chances, we spurn more chances than any other team. Maybe Henry can do something about that.

  490. @Anirudh
    i agree wth you thought its so easy to sit here and criticise. What i mean to say is that i do worry, i do not know how this can be turned around and thankfully that is not my job either. I hope AW manages it and i trust he will but if we continiue to play like today i wonder how we will manage it.

    Chelsea played poor too but they have Lampard to rescue them, he always pops up and scores. We miss Cescs and Nasris goals, simple as, they did score alot last year.
    We can manage without their playstyle and without their influence but we do sorly need their goals.. If we had a midfielder and a winger that scored as much as them now we would not loose to a team like Fulham.

  491. same with chamakh tbh.. hope he gest back to his best as we do miss his goalscoring abilities…

  492. I agree about the squad rotation. Its not good and has not been for years.

    Arsene must trust his players, if not we will fade the same way at the end of the season.

    and its not all about RVP,. Song and Arteta could do with a break.

  493. @Ateed, great point. “if you don’t trust your second string, replace it…” It’s all going back to the debate of where Arsenal wants to go, what’s the ambition of the club ? Footballers are human beings not machine. So sorry to watch Arteta couldn’t lift himself up to the pace and energy of this game, because he’s totally spent before coming into this. I said it before, Arteta was the key to our lost. We’re being forced into a high pace game which we never got hold of it. With his experience he should be able to read the game and hold the mid field tight and control it. But no, I’m not blaming Arteta or anyone for that matter. We fought well !

  494. Gervinho should have won the penalty 9 times out of 10, the level of incompetence from Lee Probert was there for all to see, it sucks when these kind of decisions don’t go the correct way time and again!

  495. Or next PL game is on the 15th of Jan

    I guess we can expect TV at the very least to be back, maybe Gibbs too

  496. Fatigue really showed more, because we had to cover our make shift full backs in the last three games.

  497. ace

    You are the definition of an idiot. Your views are so repeptitive and i can tell you obviously have no brain of your own, you read what the media has to say and say the same rubbish.

    Seriously no one on here even cares about what you have to say, why do you even bother to comment?

    We all think you’re a complete and utter fool who spouts nonesense because of his inability to form his OWN opinion.

    in other words, FUCK OFF

  498. I agree that Gerv and Theo underperforming is the real issue here. And there is nobody to replace them without an even further weakening.

    Our latest wins have been 1:0, 1:2, 1:0. Plenty of room for improvements.

  499. The 2nd half, we were not playing. If he was going to take Walcott and 3gs off, then the Ox would have, at least, given us some attacking options. Once they were gone, there were none and they were given carte blanche to attach us.

    WE have seen this so many times over recent years, that at the end of games we simply panic and lert in goal after goal and I could see the same thing happening here.

    I am not a doomer, but it was a poor performance and the team should accept it for what ti was.

    The 2 halves were oppositrs of rasch other. The first half we pummelled them and they got a way with murder and the 2nd half it was the other way around.

    Lessons will have to be learned and mistakes not repeated.

  500. Sorry, “the 2 halves were opposites of each other…”

  501. Whats with the Walcott bashing?

    He will never be a passenger in this team.

    I think it is small of people to focus on him.

  502. We need to add to the attacking talent in the squad. A player who can play across the front three is desperately required, no matter, anyone pointing out to the depth the squad has. But with the 25 man squad rule, we have to put an end to some foreign players Arsenal careers before we can do that.

  503. It’s hard to argue with Ateeb on his point.

    This is a squad in transition.

    It doesn’t bother me when we drop points, it’s to be expected.

    It would trouble me if we don’t continue to build.

  504. oi Ace, enjoying our cl campaign this year cunt…thanks to theo isnt it.

  505. And the prize for the first use of the ‘c’ word in 2012 goes to……duke!

  506. Paul N, no one is bashing Walcott, but he is on a poor run of form and I feel our current deficiency in attack is down to that. When Walcott fails to put pressure on the opposition full back and pin him back, the full back, in this case, Riise, gets the license to double up on our makeshift full back Djourou, thereby stretching out defense and opening up spaces for the other team to play.

    What I am saying is when a player is in poor form, where is our squad depth to allow another player to show what he can do? Maybe AOC, but AOC is inexperienced and is another one who will be thrown in to the deep end!

    In any case, I think Arsene has got a solution for everything, but these two weeks are going to be painful, because we can’t go into the break on a high!

  507. Concisely put Consols.

    I guess my big worry is that we are in a fire fight for fourth and Wenger has previously assrted that he feels we already have enough cover for the front. Gervinho was one of the names mentioned who could play as striker. That’s a terrifying thought.

  508. wish i could find the words like consolsbob..

  509. I agree Jonny.

    If we are not playing Chamakh and/or Park and AOC isn’t ready then we are short.

    The defence, well, shit happens. Doesn’t trouble me too much alth’ full backs are an obvious miss.

    That situation and a lack of creativity put together means that we will struggle to be consistent.

  510. ickenhamgooner

    One think I do not understand, is the lack of rotation we see from what AW calls a large squad, particularly during the hectic xmas/new year period. Generally, unless forced to change by injury or ban, we see the same 11 players, and the same 2/3 players used as subs.

    We are therefore forced to rely on the same 11 even if they are off the pace, and when we do bring players in they are not really match sharp.

    I think better rotation – say a couple of players from match to match would keep a larger number of players available for selection.

    I just suspect we will see wholesale changes for the FA Cup, and the the majority of them will disappear again from league matches.

  511. Consols,

    It is not a lack of creativity, it is more a lack of finishing in our team.

    I do agree with everything you say.

  512. gooneramos, RVP has failed to put away some easy Chances, Song was poor for the last two games but Walcott is the one who is being pointed out and you talking about “passenger”..

    The problem I have is that once thing’s don’t go according to perceived plan it’s the same players who are called out and that is just not kool.

  513. @ Paul-N

    Totally agree..its always the same people to blame..

    Im just waiting for a nut to come out and say todays defeat was Arshavins fault…

  514. @paul n maybe RvP will start to produce again now that his mind is not on a record. I think it played on his mind that, as he has not scored so much after people started talking about shearers record.
    Now that is over im sure he will score again.
    But him scoring alot does mask our real problems with scoring in general ofc…

  515. Ateeb and JJ
    hit the nail on the head with their assessment the manager’s lack of rotation. (obdurate)

    combined with Jonny’s assessment of our attackers failure to convert opportunities…….left the door open for Fulham to get back in the game.

    Fulham took advantage of everything Arsenal gave them.

    Anyway, on to the next fixture.

  516. I do agree that RVP and Song haven’t had the best of games and RVP was poor most of the second half and lacked supply. If you ask me, RVP should have scored a hattrick in the first half against QPR, the fact that he created most of those chances for himself, doesn’t change the fact that he missed them by close quarters. We could have put daylight between us and Fulham, if we had converted the chances that we created. Our profligacy in front of goal came back to bite us.

    I am sorry, maybe I am a frustrated guy who is waging war with the keyboard and the commentator on my channel was constantly after Theo. I was wishing that Theo make him eat humble pie, but it was not to be.

    The reason Theo is being pointed out is because, he was presented with the ball a number of times to put the ball in the box, but the final ball was very poor. The one where Kos played a wonderful ball in to him allowing him to run to the byline and if he had looked up and whipped the ball in, we could have had a chance, but the ball was straight to a Fulham shirt with no Arsenal shirt near.

    Theo has certainly improved on his final ball this year as is shown in the statistics, but somehow, in the last 3 games he has played, he has looked short of confidence. Maybe Zabaleta affected him so much and I think Theo is putting too much pressure on himself!

  517. If it weren’t for Kos…….it would have been a clean sheet for Fulham.

    Paul – you’re right, it’s unfair to single out Theo…….shared blame to pass around.

    Moving on……..

  518. A very important thing to note is that Fulham did not score until Djourou was sent off.

    We were already under pressure but that was the most important decision of the game.

  519. Arteta looked knackered…Rosicky should have started

  520. if the 433 requires wing backs, which it does…then it wouldnt be unfair to suggest why have we stuck with the same formation??

    weve got wingers in theo, gervinho and ox so instead of throwing players in to put square pegs in the system then why dont we go with a more less wingback reliable 442 and use actual wingers..

    theres naff all you can do about a load of injuries but trying to play the same way with players who arent suited just leads to inconsistent displays

    sure it can can you by 1-2 games but for over a month??

  521. I blame Arshavin .If he had been on the field of play ,we would have won.
    But really Djourou?It was on the cards .
    Say what we want about Ref’s and tiredness.We should have been able to keep the ball .I thought all our midfield was sub par today.

  522. Anirudh-

    I have never blamed Theo before for the result not going our way on this blog, but he seems to be out of form and knackered at the moment. We should have a player who can deputize at this time and let him take his place back and find form again.

    Our precarious position in this year’s league is the reason why we can’t have a player under-performing in a match at this time.

    But we are not in so much shit as many may imagine, but we are struggling to put the ball in the back of the net apparently.

  523. They were knackered george.

    No full backs to assist them, in fact they had to assist the full backs more than would be expected.

  524. Our mid looked dead tired George. Arteta and Song need a break.

    I would say that the ref was huge though. He called the game one sided in the 2nd half. It was very strange, unless Arsenal are a bunch of divers.

  525. RVP had some fouls committed against him today which the ref ignored…

  526. The same point is being made over and over.

    Too much work for too few players.

    That’s OK when the squad is thin overall. It is now thin in defence but that’s because of injuries.

    Thin in attack? Well, I think so. The absence of players on the pitch who are paid to score goals suggests so.

  527. well i think we have done rather well to get to where we are from where we were with no full backs. we need some extra quality though. podolski would be good if he isnt going to play the ox as he can play anywhere upfront.

  528. RVP did suffer from the referee but we have always suffered so.

    When we are good enough, it doesn’t matter. We were not sharp today.

  529. Well, we couldn’t play our expansive style of football. Fatigue really showed today, more because we had to work very hard in the last two or three games covering for the pseudo full backs.

    The big decision of the match went Fulham’s way and Lee Probert thought that Arsenal also had to lose in the New Year season and was the most biased I have seen for a while.

    And why doesn’t anyone talk about the penalties that don’t go our way on the pundit talk? Gervinho was surely fouled and it was stonewall penalty.

  530. im not going to dragged into blaming the ref
    we should have had a pen in the first half but without the benefit of the replay you couldnt tell it looked like he just fell over..

    jd was a red card waiting to happen though…

    there was alot of calls that went against us but we didnt turn up in the second half and thats the biggest reason we lost…fulham totally smashed us

    dembeles some fucking player…he’d fit right in at arsenal.. just big and strong and full of tricks he just turned the screw on tired players..

  531. Paulie Walnuts

    Every cloud has silver lining.

    If Arsene thought we could scratch our way through to May with the current squad & injury situation maybe this result & performance will have changed his mind.

    I`d rather not criticise individual`s who were mostly running on empty in that second half. Instead I`ll single out Le Coq who was excellent (& fresh) & Kos who was quite magnificent.

  532. Mr Bob, should we just accept that?

    I don’t think we have to be good enough on the day to win. We were awful in the 2nd half and didn’t “deserve” to win but the refs decisions were still one sided, that helped Fulhan stay in the groove.

  533. Credit to Ruiz & Dembele – our players were just not able to get the ball off them…then Frei came in and made things more difficult…

  534. You are right Bob,Those are the reasons why.But they were poor.

  535. Dembele and Ruiz were excellent, I agree. Based totally on 2nd half performance, we were dominated. It was painful. I don’t think, that has ever happened this season, leaving out the first four matches.

  536. Coquelin was the bright one today, but the kid is unlucky, every time he has started this season, he has performed admirably, but the team has lost their match. Happened at the Spuds. #Fortunesmustchange

  537. I`d rather not criticise individual`s who were mostly running on empty in that second half. Instead I`ll single out Le Coq who was excellent (& fresh) & Kos who was quite magnificent.

    Well saig Paulie

  538. Anyway, I’m off lads, hopefully, let us see ourselves strengthen in the next two weeks and get back to winning ways. 18 games to go and if we go about them one at a time, with conviction, we are in for a ride.

    Till it is there, we always believe and in football, belief is everything.

    Good night and Paul-N, I hope as much as you do, that Theo proves my criticism wrong in the next match by ripping Swansea.

  539. It is very rare to see Wenger so angry, so much so that he critisized the ref and complained that we don’t get penalties.

    The last time he did that, the next game or so was the newcastle game last year.

    I would hope that he tears srtips off the players as well, because that is what they deserved.

  540. Warnock’s words already having an effect on Van persie, he got fouled numerously and the ref just stood there like a zombie, that 2nd yellow for djourou was so soft and i dont know what the opposition needs to do for us to get a penalty nowadays.Almost all decisions went fulham’s way today. All that being said, Fulham were good in the 2nd half, teams must really feel like this all the time when we are playing them. It was hard enough in the 2nd half when it was 11 against 11 but when Djouruo got carded i was afraid the best we could get was a draw. We didnt seem uch of the game after that and it was game over.

    We are the arsenal so let’s dust ourselves and move on, we have leeds to beat this weekend!

  541. Gooneramos. I am not sure why Walcott has to prove you wrong. He has proven himself already. The team failed. We move on without singling out anyone.

  542. I share your annoyance Paul.

    The referee was poor, noticeably so. No one complained much on the pitch though.

    We just need to be stronger. There’s no recourse against officials. The blue mancs lost to an offside goal yesterday.

    We just need to score more than the opposition.

  543. Mr. Bob, RVP looked in disbelief to be honest. There was no point in complaining because the ref’s mind was made up, that Arsenal were a bunch of divers. It was obvious.

    We do need to get stronger. Injuries have once again hit us really hard.

    More than anything else, I am hoping for more rotation, Arteta and Song really need a break.I am not worried about new signings except in the case of too many injured players.

  544. Eboue's Boutique

    Why are some of you suggesting Rosicky should’ve started. He was really useless today.

    gave away the ball 3-4 times in that short period of time when we’re fucking 1-0 up and he should be the experienced guy, good at holding the ball. Is he fuck.

    I’m as disapointed with Rosicky now as I was after the 4-4 game at Newcastle last season.

    Sure, we should’ve had a pen or two and djourous 2nd yellow was cheap. But we have to look at ourselves and both Theo and Rosicky has shown themselves to be mentally weak. Put Nadals brain/mentality in them and we’d be 8 points up, srsly.

    Fair play to Koscielny, Coquelin and a couple of others but we need sharper wingers if we want to be top4 at the end of the season.

  545. Paul N
    We will be stronger when the full backs return,and Diaby plus Jack can take turns.
    But,who will spell Robin

  546. Eboue's Boutique

    an in-form Diaby could be a matchwinner for us but we srsly need better play from our wingers. lacks quality. thats the biggest concern atm

    Hope the Ox gets atleast 60 minutes on Monday

  547. We have Park and Chamakh George (and Henry for a couple of months). They have to play. Give Arshavin more minutes..

    When RVP was out injured the team was still able to stay at the top last season. Chamakh did it last season, no reason why he can’t do it again. Arsene must trust them and if not, I agree buy someone else and let them go somewhere were they can get a game.

    RVP, Song and Arteta should have started on the bench, it is obvious that they are playing too much.

  548. I’ve been the game tonight and just got back in! – I can’t bring myself to watch a rerun, the boys looked absolutely knackered in the second half!

    Haven’t seen any replays but that surely was a stone wall penalty not given wasn’t it?

  549. CB

    “We move on. We strengthen.”

    I can see us moving on but I don’t see us adding any strength. Wenger has stated we have a large squad so unless he sells players (unlikely) we cannot add to the squad.

  550. We were awful.Both Gervinho and Walcott had stinkers not for the first time in recent games.Gervinho has no end product headless chicke comes to mind and Walcotts final ball is a disgrace.Not one of his crosses beat the first man

    We were totally outplayed by Fulhams football in the 2nd half and no one can complain they didnt deserve it.The midfield were overun

    When a team brings on a player as poor as Squillaci and plays him at RB what do we really expect

    1pt out of 6 v Fulham this season!!!!!

  551. We played fairly well in the first half and poorly in the 2nd. Credit to Fulham though, they were very good I thought. A mistake from Szezney and being wasteful in the final 3rd cost us today. I thought there were some good defensive performances today despite the result. Disappointing going forward though, Theo and Ramsey in particular. Gervinho was making things happen, but looks poor in front of goal.

    Should have had a pen as well.

  552. Our team is good enough for me. This team was given up for dead and we have clawed our way up the table. Lets get healthy and have a real go the rest of the way.

  553. paul
    theres no point mentioning chamak or park

  554. Eboue's Boutique

    Yes, Ian. It should’ve been a penalty but we still should’ve played better and scored a 2nd.

    Too bad we didnt have a real cunt like Walker to grab the ball with both hands in our own box and keep it 1-0…

  555. Paul N

    We have brought in Henry because Chamakh and Park are shit.Chamakh has one league goal in a year and Lord Lucan has had more sightings than Park.

  556. JJ, if they are at the club I will mention them. This is one of Wenger’s weaknesses, over reliance on a few players.

  557. Mark, Wenger said that Gervs and Chamakh go to the ACN so Henry was signed on loan. I will listen to him over you and no they are not what you have called them. That is nonsense.

  558. I’m the first one to criticize, but have a feeling that without the sending off we would have finished this game with 3 points.

  559. What’s the point blaming the players or the ref? They both did their jobs to best of their ability. There was no great injustice here, just some poor finishing and unsurprising fatigue.

    It is hard to believe we stuck with largely the same group of players for 3 fixtures of such proximity and it has been difficult to show faith in Chamakh, Park, and others whilst the manager has – thus far – shown little himself.

    Perhaps (hopefully) the FA Cup will provide an opportunity for them to prove their worth.

    Season of transition. Season of transition. Season of transition.

  560. wenger wont play them paul..
    the over reliance is cos he dont trust them…the actual weakness is inability to make use of transfer windows, the over reliance is a side effect of not having enough quality in depth in the squad

  561. Well at least a loss exposes who the true fans are.
    I mean why would people only turn up after an unexpected loss and never be here in the good times?
    I will answer that myself,if I may be indulged.


  562. I believe its as simple as this

    We have no fit fullbacks.It has fucked our balance and tired our covering midfielders out

  563. The best he could do huh?

    kiss mi granny!

  564. Wenger looked livid with the ref…good on him…

  565. @ Jonny

    3 games in a row we have played now without the penalty rules being enforced in our attacking half costing us at least 3 if not 5 points..for me at least that is injustice…

  566. JJ, whatever the case maybe, they have to play. We can talk about what we think we need and what we think should be done but that doesn’t change our situation. When Chamakh had to be trusted he was doing a fine job. He has not become a poor player all of a sudden.

    The abuse he has taken from many is unfair to say the least.

    If they are not replaced, they must play.

  567. Anirudh, I don’t disagree – we have been as unfortunate as usual – the point is we must change what we can change, not waste time moaning about that which we cannot.

  568. for the calender year rvp scored what? 35 goals was it? which is nothing short of remarkable seeing as the last person to do something like that was henry, and shearer before him..

    at the same time our second highest scorer for the calender year is theo..with 6..which is nothing short of….well…. shit…

    weve only had our fullbacks missing for a month, although it is a problem, i think we are over looking the fact that other than robin we have no goal threat and thats been a problem since the start of the year..the fullbacks have only been a problem since november..

  569. we can moan Jonny, because we cannot change anything anyway.

    Unfortunate as usual, is relative isn’t it? One thing i know is that these “even up” nonsense isn’t happening.

    I think Wenger has all right to feel hard done by. What will it take to get a pen?

  570. Tennessee Arsenal

    Had to record the match, just finished. Thanks in advance for putting up with my late commentary.

    Coquelin made a huge error early in the game… that came to nothing; then went on to have, what would have been to me, if we would have won, MOTM.

    Our makeshift defense is playing beyond expectations, far beyond. We really seemed to run out of attacking steam in the second half. Arsenal are a team with a history that makes us believe we can defend by moving forward and holding the ball. Every time this formula breaks down, and today was the first time in months I saw it breaking down, other than at Olympiakos, I get nervous, and usually disappointed.

    If our attacking rotation can come close to matching our defending rotation/desperation subs, we’ll be fine. We didn’t lose today because we couldn’t defend, we lost today because all we did was defend for the last 45 minutes.

    Belated happy new year to all my ACLF pals. Thanks, as always, for helping me stay in touch with folks who share my passion for Arsenal Football Club, and for listening to my drivel from the far-flung provinces.

  571. fulham matched arsenal all they way in that match so credit where credits due….but the referee….Is he suffering from delirium because he definitely wasnt all there today. Countless times fouls where committed (from both sides) and he just let the game carry on. Dont get me wrong, I am all for the continuity of the game, but there comes a time where a push with both hands in the back should warrant a whistle blow. Refs are human, I agree mistakes can be made,..but consistent mistakes constituents incompetence. (yes I am an arsenal fan but even as neutrals, you cant just ignore the referees poor performance)

  572. Paul N

    Why has Park not played 1 second of premiership football then?

    I will say it again Chamkh ONE league goal in a year

  573. It is hard to believe we played largely the same group of players for 3 fixtures of such proximity.

  574. Whoops resent by mistake.

  575. Oh FFS,
    we lost.
    Non one died ,and we will all be Arsenal fans tomorrow
    More is the pity with cunts like Mark about

  576. On a more positive note, Coquelin was largely fabulous playing on the wrong side of the pitch in a position he does not favour. Doesn’t make up for having no fit fullbacks but great to have such versatility in the squad.

  577. le coq did great (although he was nowhere for zamoras goal) but im relishing the prospect of seeing this kid play regular in his recognised position..
    great speed, great feet, good range of passing and steely determination..

  578. I won’t bash you, Jonny. In fact I’m starting to warm to your idea about putting some cones out and making Gervinho practice shooting with his left unis leg falls off. He missed two good chances with his chocolate leg which could’ve sealed the three points for us. With regards to not finishing off our chances, well the rythm is just not there at the moment. We seem to have walked into a spell of form where we come oh so close only to be done in by poor finishing. I am confident, however, that we’ll get past this and start scoring again. Hopefully, we’ll get our FBs in sooner rather than later and be high enough in the table by the time they come back.

  579. Crumbs. Now I’ve seen everything.

  580. Just got home from a lousy shitty day at work and the first thing I see is the result. FUCK!!!!
    Read the match report on the BBC site, as usual brilliant in the first half but cannot sem to finish off the opposition. Sounds so dam familiar. We should have scored 10 against Wolves and by the sounds of things at least 4 in the first half against Fulham. I could not be bothered joining a debate as to who we should buy or play as the real problem seems to simply be finishing. Happy New Year my arse!! Simple fact is if we do not sort out our disastrous finishing, what chance will we have against the likes of AC Milan, not to mention Barca or Real Madrid if we do make it that far? I am not happy I tells ya, not happy at all!!

  581. BOOBS Irish. BOOBS.

  582. I do not miss this feeling of being cheated. It has been a while. The first half of the season was not that bad… But now that we are back in contention….. Business as usual. CROOKED

  583. bloody toffs!!

    and your header for tommorow yogi…missing around by the river.

  584. Limestonegunner

    The bad thing is this really reminded me of last season and other previous seasons.

    I’ve been calling for rotation to start methodically after the CL qualification for the knockouts started in preparation precisely for this period of fixtures and to give a better sense for where the squad is ahead of the transfer window. If Park, Chamakh, Arshavin, the Ox, Benayoun, and Rosicky hardly ever play and/or aren’t proving effective when they come on for Theo and Gervinho, then we do need to strengthen. RvP hasn’t been as sharp or clinical the last several games. Our dip in form coincides with the period after wrapping up first position in the CL group.

    Can we imagine having second half shortfalls if the first 11 is burnt out/jaded and the squad is not trusted or turns out not to be able to pick up the slack?

    I say rotate and strengthen.

    Sure the first 11 will get a rest for the FA cup and we’ll have the divided squad situation we had last year.

    I don’t think that is the best practice going forward but we have already dropped points and lost opportunities to blend the selections at the optimal time: late November and through December.

  585. Limestonegunner

    Watched the AW press conference. He was really angry. I can understand why. He didn’t even mention the RvP penalty shout. I thought that one was even more obvious than the very obvious Gervinho penalty. To have those denied but Djourou to be sent off for nothing is pretty inconsistent and very aggravating.

    Still, I really don’t understand why we were on the back foot almost the entire second half. Fulham really came at us and Dembele and Ruiz were very good. When they brought on Frei, he made a real difference. I liked all of our substitutions basically but I would have preferred Arshavin over Benayoun but not for Gervinho but for Song or Arteta.

    Coquelin is a fighter and one to keep. He will battle at every step and has some skills. I was surprised how good he was out of position. Sure he could have closed down Zamora perhaps, but I didn’t think Chezzer was having as good a game as he usually has either.

  586. Limestonegunner

    Sorry Podolski lovers. Even the agent is ruling it out.

    The more interesting aspect of the article is that Honigstein (who I think is a serious journalist) notes that Koln and Podolski have been contacted by Arsenal.

    This means we are actually and actively looking to bring in a striker/attacker.

    Unfortunately, it could be hard to get someone decent and affordable this window.

    If Podolski is worried about getting playing time, he should watch some of our recent games. Gervinho is off to the ANC and if he were to be able to finish some of the chances we’ve missed recently, he could be sure to play fairly regularly. I’ve never been convinced by him though. I hope Arshavin shows his class more frequently in coming games.

  587. I didn’t know Squillaci was a Fulham player. That assist was fantastic.

  588. I cant believe some of the comments on here.We dominated for 45mins.So fucking what.If you dont come out for the 2nd half what happened in the 1st half doesnt matter.What did Wenger say to them at half time?sit back and dont attack.We were overun by Fulham.Who could have scored 4 or 5 in the 2nd half.

    Gervinho and Walcott need a kick up the arse their form is poor.Why no Chamberlain on the bench instead of Rosicky.Chamberlain could take the pressure off the back 4 by taking the ball up field Rosicky does nothing.

    As for Djourou has he got a brain?

    Squallaci at right back that had to be Wengers new year joke

    At least superhero Henry is coming to rescue us

  589. Yesteday was no surprise we have seen it before with Wenger team in recent years.Totally dominate then collapse at the end of a game.West Ham Wigan Spurs and of course Newcastle.Where is the so called Mental Strength Wenger keeps banging on about?We are not good enough defensively to sit back and hold on

    I know Walcott and Gervinho were poor but what did their replacements do?

    4 pts out of 9 over christmas not go enough considering the opposition

  590. As crap as we were in the 2nd half, I thought Fulham played really well. Dembele, Frei and Ruiz all look very good players.

    Can’t really complain about the sending off as soft as it was. Both offences could be considered yellow cards I suppose. We should have had a pen, but in real time I thought he had just fell over so it is understandable the ref missed the trip.

  591. Regarding the penalty, yes it was a stonewall penalty in my book. But Ruiz was fouled after taking a shot in the second half, which could easily of been a penalty the other way but no one picked up on it.

  592. My point is that there were many reasons why we lost yesterday. The referee was only one of them.

  593. The game should dhave been over by half time. It is not the first time we have been punished for being wasteful in the final 3rd.

    I am glad Henry is signing. Depite his age (only 34, not that over the hill) he will still be our most likely player to score after RvP.

  594. goonerandy, Unfortunately I think that says alot more about our team then it does about Henry.

  595. consolidating 4th was the priority. we were shocking in the second half. somehow saw that coming. new years’ eve was too good to be true.

    so we were sent crashing back down to earth. the fa cup tie will be a good opportunity to let the players take their mind off this game. no point brooding over it.

    for once, i am hoping for city to thrash liverpool so that we stay 5th. don’t see west brom getting anything, unfortunately.

  596. last six games …2 victories..2 draws..2 losses…and 5 stonewallpenalties denied. yes we were poor 2nd half, yes we were wasteful in first half, and yes wenger made a crime putting both rosicky and squilashi, BUT ivan gazidis has to pull a finger out and start making some noise to the f.a. arsenal is not respected by them little englanders tw@t refs. our right to equal competition gets mocked by proberts deans and dowds. f*ck the english refs. bring in the foreigners. also the next time we are denied a penalty i expect all 11 of our players to grab the ref by the neck and beat him in front of the whole stadium, the nation and the world. i wont complain to my team about discipline neither call them immature.

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