Arsène’s Trophy Hunt & Leeds Preview

Leeds United arrive at The Emirates for the FA Cup Third Round tie, the spoils for the victors being a home tie against Aston Villa at the end of this month. Seeing the draw for the fourth round before this match is nothing new but surely I am not the only one who remembers the rush from huddling round a transistor to listen to Sports Report on Radio 2, live from Soho Square on the Monday lunchtime after each of the rounds was completed?

This evening sees the return of one Thierry Henry, surely starting from the bench given the oft-stated lack of match fitness. That has not got in the way of the rumours that Arsenal will look to sign him permanently if this loan works well. These stories accompanied Beckham when he was in Milan and came to nought; as such, they should be treated the same for Henry and Arsenal – I just cannot see it happening. From the media reports, you could be forgiven for believing that he is taking on Leeds United single-handedly but there will be others donning the red and white shirt this evening.

For the short-term health of some careers and the long-term good of the club, it is vital that they relish this opportunity to appear in the first team. Who knows, for some it might be the stepping stone into the manager’s thinking for a starting place more often. That is taking a big leap; let’s make sure that they exist first and that we have not been subjected to some sort of halucinogenic drug experiment.

Up front it would be no surprise to see Chamakh accompanied by Park and Oxlade-Chamberlain. There is a case for Arshavin’s inclusion but that would most likely come at the expense of Park and to be honest, if the Korean cannot get into a makeshift FA Cup side, Arsenal would be better served by selling him now. I do not think that is going to be the case and with Gervinho now on international duty, Arshavin is most likely to get a run in the Premier League starting line-up.

Defensively Wenger has few options but a back four of Coquelin, Squillaci, Koscielny and Miquel in front of Almunia would be of no surprise. Yennaris on the right is another option and at some point the youngsters have to come into the full back positions. To do so though puts pressure on the midfield. Frimpong’s loan to Wolves means that Song and Coquelin are the only dedicated defensive midfielders with the youngster’s inexperience in that position probably ruling out the main holding role at this moment in time.

He will no doubt have experience alongside him with Rosicky and Benayoun completing the trio. It is a strong line-up but one that needs to operate at the highest of its abilities to prevail comfortably. Whilst a replay is historically most likely, we could do without it and getting the necessary win tonight is the priority.

Unless of course you are taking on the wider perspective. Arsène has once more offered the opinion that whilst a cup is a nice to have, the must have accessory is a top four finish. Constantly we are told that qualifying for Europe’s premier tournament is not a financial necessity, Arsenal’s business model dictates that a continued absence from the Champions League will be detrimental.

With more clubs becoming challengers for the top four spots, the past decade or so of continued participation is going to be harder to continue. It is for this reason that Wenger is focussing on the Premier League campaign,

The basis of our life at the top level is dictated by the championship. If we can add on top of that the FA Cup it is fantastic. 

Everybody is entitled to view it differently but you can’t compare winning the Carling Cup to every year qualifying for the Champions League

There will undoubtedly be those who hang the manager for the words but they are the truth of the Premier League era. And with the growing power of clubs through the ECA, the game is going to become more focussed on European competition. For many years, the threat of a European Super League has been raised when the clubs do not get their own way. With the weakness of Fifa, that spectre is taking on a more solid form.

Anyway, that is a thought for another day. The last thing today is to welcome a sister blog to A Cultured Left Foot. Arsenal On This Day is going to trawl through newspaper archives and bring to life the club’s (in)glorious past.

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

Posted on January 9, 2012, in Arsenal, FA Cup, Football, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 423 Comments.

  1. Has Chamakh traveled for the ACN or is he available for today?

  2. is coquelin to be playing full back and defensive mid?
    should be a good night out, and I look forward to seeing some of the youngsters again

  3. Congrats on your sister blog, a very welcome addition!

    Regarding our team selection, as you must know this Leeds team is one of the weakest in years so shouldn’t Wenger be more adventurous; play Yennaris, Park, Ox, etc.

  4. Time, time, time. Park will come good. This is my relentless mantra and it may or may not eventually make me look like an idiot, but it’s based on three main observations:

    1. His past form has clearly shown that he’s classy, skillful and intelligent, these things don’t just disappear. He’s already contributed a lovely goal for us and given a couple of honest performances.

    2. There are plenty of reasons for not selecting him up until now, the big one being adaptation. What we’ve seen of him showed that he’s not yet quite up to pace with the relentless English game. This will come.

    3. It’s hard to lose money betting against the impatience and inflated expectations of football supporters. We are always looking for salvation now from some new hero in red and white, and whenever a player falls short of demi-god status they are open to abuse.

    I’ll be looking for him to get a game tonight as well, but I’m not going to consign him to the scrap heap if he doesn’t.

  5. It seems Chamakh is available, he goes to the ACN after this game. I would go with:

    Szczesny
    Koscielny-Mertesacker-Squillaci-Miquel
    Rosicky-Coquelin-Benayoun
    Chamberlain-Chamakh-Park

    Subs:Almunia, Song, Ramsey, Arteta, Arshavin, Henry, Walcott.

    Henry will obviously get some playing time, but there’s enough on the bench to make a big difference if things aren’t going for us.

  6. speak for yourself, but celebrating any kind of cup win is always going to be better than celebrating coming fourth, what is wrong with you.

  7. @boomer
    Just ask yourself, what would you prefer: coming fifth and winning the CC or coming fourth and not winning it?
    I certainly would prefer fourth. Not having a season of CL football would be disastrous, that’s something the CC just can’t make up for.

  8. Tonight is all about the return of the greatest player ever to wear an Arsenal shirt.Hail to the King

  9. YW,
    You say winning the Carling Cup cannot compare with qualifying for the Champion’s League year after year. How true that is. I would add the FA Cup AND the EPL title to that. I only wish some of the fainthearted of our supporters would realise that, plus the fact that 99% of our rivals in UK football would swap places with us in an instant.
    The financial rewards alone, for qualifying are such that they guarantee the availibility of funds for future spending together with the attraction of CL appearances by potential transfer targets.

  10. The thing is its not the cc but the far cup and why should we not be fighting for both if we truly haven’t gone backwards when we must fight to win them all.

  11. @Silver gunner,
    Of course we should fight for all 4 cups but the point we are making concerns priority, that’s all.

  12. Coquelin and Rosicky midfield sounds good to me. Benayoun left and the Ox right with two up front.

    Diaby off the bench. Maybe even Henry?

  13. Also I think Fabianski might be fit. But I wouldn’t mind seeing Manuel either.

  14. ignatuz – “There are plenty of reasons for not selecting him up until now, the big one being adaptation

    That long? He may be Korean, but he has not moved to us from the Korean lge. He has come streight from the same lge as Koscienly and Gervinho who went straight into the 1st 11. And he is older and more experinced that both of those players. Adaption really does not ring true.

  15. Nicky – “You say winning the Carling Cup cannot compare with qualifying for the Champion’s League year after year. How true that is. I would add the FA Cup AND the EPL title to that.

    You do realise that if we win the EPL we qualify for the CL? 😉

  16. @goonerandy,
    Sorry! I got quite carried away when trying to emphasise the importance of playing CL footer every season. You are,of course, quite right (as usual!).

  17. Carling Cup over Champions League. LOL. Aim high boomer.

  18. Congrats on the sister blog Yogi. Or should that be thank you and congrats to ourselves? Anyways, would like to see big Al getting a start, along with Park and Thierry. Should be an interesting game. Leeds are not playing too badly and we have been playing very well but not exactly putting the finishing touch to our game.

    With respect to a top 4 finish or a cup victory, I believe we are a big enough club to demand a top 4 finish every year and at the very least a cup final every other year. I have however come to the conclusion that chasing all 4 trophies is naive and pointless. It simply leads to a team burning itself out just as it reaches the business end if a season, a time of year when a lack of confidence leads to a complete collapse. Just look what happened last year with the loss of the CC final, then geting knocked out of the CL, quickly followed by getting knocked out of the FA Cup. It was all too much, too soon for a team that at times where literally unplayable by anyone, and I do mean anyone. I say let City play the CC and if they lose at some point hopefully it will knock their confidence and they will go on to lose the following league game as well. I am sure if someone where to gather the stats it would show that most teams who get knocked out in the quarter finals or later in a cup game usually lose (or at least draw) the following league game. Disappointment is a bitch no matter who you are.

  19. Funnily enough the threat of us not qualifying this season and of Spurs finishing above us might have sharpened people’s flabby priorities in this respect. Which would you rather – the FA Cup or to finish above the Spuds and thus qualify for the CL? It would be even more delicious if we qualified at their expense. 😉
    In fact I’d be happy with that scenario even if they went on to win the FA Cup.
    Think about which they would prefer. Exactly.
    None of which means our squad should not be capable of challenging for the FA Cup anyway. There may not be a trophy for 4th but it feels like one this year.

  20. Irish – to chase everything with a largely fit squad is difficult but not totally impractical.

    To do so with the litany of injuries we like to carry is madness gone mad.

  21. I usually agree with wenger when he rotates his team for the fa cup, since the league is more important. However it also depends on the circumstances.. I don’t think that january is a very hectic month for arsenal and we have 6 days until swansea so I hope wenger doesn’t make wholesale changes. Obviously I agree with vanpersie given the day off and I think arteta should be given a break too since hees been playing a lot and not to mention that hees almost 30. As far as the other players concerned like song,ramsey,walcott I don’t see why they should be rested today. I hope wenger goes with a team that can win coz the last thing we need is a replay. It would be nice if the ox and park get a chance today, but only if wenger believes its a team good enough to win

  22. Jonny – I firmly believe that finishing above the Spuds is a priority but our main priority is qualifying for CL. As horrible as the thought is, finishing behind them but still qualifying would suit me fine as there would be the consolation of seeing the Chavs and Liverpool not qualifying to make up for it, well somewhat make up for it.

    On another note I watched the Utd v Citeh game last night and while I agree that on paper Utd look like almost the worst team they have had in years, every time they attacked it was in waves of between 4 and 6 players. Citeh had no idea what or how to deal with that. At times it was so daunting I almost felt sorry for Citeh, almost but not quite. I was laughing when a slightly paunchy Scholes came on, only to give the ball away within minutes for Citeh’s second as it set up a pretty exciting last half hour or so. For the neutral anyways.

  23. Agreed – CL qualification is the biggest priority – it’s actually what I meant but I didn’t quite explain it as well I would have liked. My brain is running very slowly this morning.

    The Utd-City game was amongst the best I have seen this season.

    Anyone claiming it wasn’t a sending of whilst technically you are right (it’s not even a foul) there was simply no reason whatsoever to go in two-footed and give the referee the headache of a decision. He deserved to be sent off for rank stupidity.

    And anyone claiming ref bias conveniently overlooked the clear penalty which denied the scum of a win by a more comfortable margin – not that I cared I was cheering for City to get to 3-3.

    Great game.

  24. irishgray,

    i didnt watch the 2nd half, because i thought it was over.

    an interesting observation:
    at half-time, on facebook for example, all the utd fans were talking of revenge, 7-0 etc.

    at full-time, nothing.

    i think that shows that even they knew it wasnt the emphatic win they were hoping for.

    i don’t know how well united played in the second half. but after going 1 goal and 1 man up, it was their kind of game. sit back, soak up, and counter against a 10-man team.

    that it didnt end up 5-0 but 3-2 shows that either city were really good, or utd were really bad.

    you said utd attacked in waves, and city seemed helpless. i won’t be surprised, because i can imagine city going on the attack with 10 men, leaving the back terribly exposed. and like i say, this is the kind of game united thrives on.

    what they do very well is that they can make it 3v3 on their counter very quickly. and most teams can’t cope with that because their attackers are all good 1v1.

    in fact, it is almost as if they have taken a leaf out of the attacking trio that was pires, henry and bergkamp. the speed at which they break.

    i have of course no sympathy whatsoever for shitty. just an observation of the first half and the reactions, and a hypothesis of what happened in the 2nd half.

  25. to summarise: i think the result showed that utd are really not as good as they were. in their prime, they would have buried the game 5-0. but they ended up hanging on.

    tells you a lot about their real quality. against 10 men.

  26. Jonny – The rules are quite simple, if you go in two footed with your studs up towards the player it is a red card. That is what he did. Yes he got the ball and not the man but that is not the point. He is a pro and as such should know the rules. Yes in another game with a different ref he might have gotten away with it but why take the chance? It was a stupid tackle and he deserved the red for stupidity if for nothing else. Ramsey had his leg shattered by an idiot of a player who went in trying to win the ball with no regards to the consequences of his tackle. Kompany got lucky in that he did not injure his opponent. Who gives a shit if he got the ball or not? The reason this tackle has been slowly phased out of the game is because the sheer speed of today’s game makes it an extremely dangerous tackle for the player being tackled. Today’s boots offer little or no protection, defenders are much stronger then in years past(save me reading about the exceptions, I am generalizing) and much quicker as I said. This combo can be lethal. Watch games from the eighties and you will see how much slower it was back then, let alone the sixties and seventies.

  27. Korihikage – When I was watching the game I was texting a buddy of mine who was also watching it. We were both pretty much amazed at the fact that there literally seemed to be no midfielders for either team. It was he who first mentioned it, at about the 20 minute mark and from then on we just sat back and watched one of the most open games I have seen in quite a while. The last time Utd played like that was when Fergie finally thought he could go head-to-head with us(3 years ago?) and he lost a thriller 2-1. There was genuinely no one in midfield for vast stretches of the game. Even Scholes when he came on was drifting every which way, if you get a chance to watch it do so. Even just the highlights on Footytube.com are worth while as it really is amazing the amount of empty space left in the middle of the pitch.

  28. irish,

    since when have united played with midfielders??? they arent midfielders (aside from scholes)… just defenders who can spray a long ball to the flank, where rooney is waiting to take it down.

    :p

  29. I thought Utd looked poor until after the 2nd goal when suddenly their midfield decided they did want the ball after all. Never seen Giggs give the ball away so offen but was because he had no-one to give it to until after 2nd goal. For the 1st time in a long time they started as if shorn of confidence and even after scoring with their 1st foray over halfway still looked there for the taking by City. Also thought Nasri was a currious mix of anonomous and shite.
    Didn`t think it was red, as was under the impression that rules were a yellow for any 2 footed tackle and a red for using “excessive force” but that might only be against Arsenal. Several sliding tackles from behind took the ball but looked 2 footed to me (ie player left the ground to make them) but not carded. Don`t think should be yellows for it but surely that is what the rules state and a precedent had been set by Foy?
    Excellent game all in all for an almost neutral

  30. boomer | January 9, 2012 at 10:25 am

    speak for yourself, but celebrating any kind of cup win is always going to be better than celebrating coming fourth, what is wrong with you.

    lol how clueless, morons like the above are the reason wenger gets unnecessary pressure. intro in the champions league gives you anything between 15-30 million and the little englanders want f.a cups and cc cup which gives you some pennies. they dont understand that the club needs MONEY in order to survive…not trophies…trophies will come when ownership management and playing stuff are all thinking alike. ambition stems from ownership. the ownership’s priority is to repay stadium, so as the manager has correctly been saying the previous 6 years…patience. when the stadium is paid off and the wilsheres walcotts reach 26 years of age + , and wenger can spend a few on world class beaters to intergrate, only then can you demand trophies from arsenal.

  31. oh and before i forget…fuck manchester united ,chelsea, liverpool, city and them spastics with their dvds .

  32. More of a VHS man, eh?

  33. Sal Kalou flying back to london to sign for Arsenal?

  34. Mancini said all the right things at half-time, as City returned to deliver an inspired
    performance.

    For the 2nd half, it looked that ManU left their game in the locker room.

  35. @Deise, I hope not. We need a reliable backup, does anyone think Kalou can lead the line without Drogba to play off?

  36. No tribal gooner on this blog – by that I mean gooners from Britain – seem to have anything nice to say about leeds supporters. Can one of you please expound on their nastyness.

  37. Just been looking through a few stats (bored at work). Suprised to see AA has only ever hit double figures in a lge season twice in his whole career. And both times it was only 10 that he got. This is not a dig at him (George, before you saw my head off with a rusty blade), but more of an observation that his goal return was not really under par. His goal for us return is fairly par the course of the rest of his career.

    You would like to think a player with his obvious talent would get more goals, but he has never been a huge goalscorer so it is remiss of us (me included) to expect it now.

  38. GA,
    What about his assists stat?

  39. Kenyan, it stems back to Leeds Revie-era when frankly, they were utter arseholes on and off the pitch.

  40. Henristic – A different story. His assists have always been pretty impressive figues wise.

  41. haha kenyan gooner ..what nastyness? they are the same tw@ts who went to turkey a few years ago acting like machomen burning pubs and stuff and when the turks stabbed two of them they came back to england to cry and complain…lol….yes so nasty the rest of europe are shitting themselves…. just like them red twats from manchester who went with their flares and hooligans down to roma and were later crying in the cameras with blood in their faces..hahaha and as for the english arsenal fans…lol the f.a is fucking arsenal yet they only know how to complain to wenger..nothing else..the fact their team/our team is a victim of english xenophobia and racial discrimination on the pitch doesnt seem to bother them as much as whether wenger spent 16,7m or 17,6m on players during transfer window…. our fans are too soft. if italian f.a was fucking milan like that the milanesi would be burning the streets. if it happened to bayern the germans would be marching outside bundesliga offices. here? …….. lol….cry – moan – boo…in that order. we have the best manager in world football and they cry like children cause daddy didnt get them playstation 3 after busting his ass to build the family house. ungreatful.

  42. cant wait to see henry again tonight,hopefully the lads will be 2-3 goals up with 20min left,,then bring him on for a late brace.

  43. I gave some thought to Kalou last season, but in all honestly if he can’t get in a geriatric Chelsea team, he’d be a squad player at best for us too.

  44. We are the only top side which runs this scenario like an either or.

  45. Can’t understand the fascination with Kalou.

    Signing more Chelsea reserves on loan can’t be our only option?

  46. Somehow I take it as a bit of a positive that Chamakh chose to delay his departure to Africa in order to feature tonight. Shows commitment from the big lad. That is if it was his choice.

  47. I had really hoped that we could get at least one of the CC or FA cup this season along with 4th place. Ending the trophy drought would be great confidence builder for next season. The tepid performances by the B team in the early rounds of the FA cup against lower league opponents were one of the preludes to the end of last season and I don’t want that repeated. However realistically 4th place is the highest priority. I would love to see Henry play tonight. I would also like to see Arshavin play the whole game. His playing time has been limited and he certainly does not need a rest. Its 6 days to the next game so he will have plenty of time to recover. If players really need a “run of games” to be sharp and if AA is really going to play a significant role for us while Gervinho is gone then he should play tonight.

  48. The Manc derby last night again shows just how badly the football world needs video technology. I watched the 2nd half of the game and there was a penalty that could easily have been called for both sides. There was no reasonable way that the ref could have seen the handball since Jones had his back to the ref and the ball hitting his arm would have been shielded, yet with multi angle slow motion replays we at home know exactly what happened. There was no realistic way for Foy to have seen the handball in real time unless he has X-ray vision a fact which the whole ref bias contingent ignores. The other penalty when Valencia was tripped in the box was not given even though it looked a clear penalty. The red Manc fans will all focus on this call and conveniently forget about the handball saying it was “ball to hand” and therefore not a penalty. This sort of thing is the norm in the PL rather then the exception. We rarely watch a game anymore where the ref does not have a significant effect on the result one way or another. Fouls in the box in theory should be called the same as fouls in the middle of the pitch but that would mean multiple penalties each game and most games would be decided by penalty kicks so that leaves it to the ref to decide which fouls or handballs in the box he should call penalties. The whole thing is a recipe for utter inconsistency. A total mess. 10 years ago before multi angle slow motion replays we were blissfully ignorant of all of this. Its time for video technology. I works very well in American footballl and tennis.

  49. Can’t see Park playing tonight. Realistically in the long term is a 3rd choice back up striker behind RVP. If he was in the plans then why bring in TH. We need to play AA and TH rather then a cameo by Park since those players are the ones who we expect to have an impact in the next couple of months and they both need game time to get sharp.

  50. @ ignatzuk | January 9, 2012 at 10:18 am
    Great post, especially point 3.

    ***
    @ Luke

    I don’t think it’s an either/or thing. It’s a question of priorities, which is not the same as either/or. All PL teams (top, middle or bottom) rank their various targets in order or importance and select teams accordingly. If we had 50 players, who were all clones of each other and all of whom stayed fit all season, then we could treat each competition in exactly the same way, but we don’t, so we can’t.

    ***
    The Kalou rumour piqued my interest because I vaguely recall that, a while ago, Wenger was quite interested in signing him. Probably just paper talk, though.

  51. Fun – “@ ignatzuk | January 9, 2012 at 10:18 am
    Great post, especially point 3.

    Unfortunatly in this case the inflated over expectation came from the Manager himself. He stated were were only interested in “super super quality” and days later signed Park. Park may well turn out to be a decent squad player, but he is hardly what the manager indicated we would be interested in.

  52. @ Block4
    Your team looks like a good guess, but I wonder if Kos will feature? He has played more games than anyone except Robin, plus Young Guns tweeted (I am told) that Yennaris – who played creditably at RB against Bolton in the CC – has been training with the first team squad.

  53. “He has played more games than anyone except Robin”

    I am quoting myself because I realised what a remarkable fact that is!

  54. The Kalou rumors have been around for years. Can’t see him as an improvement over the squad players we already have.

  55. Bill, according to Sky, PSG are in the hunt for him and with their new found wealth . . . . . ?

  56. Jonny @ 2:27:

    Having any player in the PL ranked above RVP in a list like that is crazy. He is easily the best individual player in the league right now.

  57. And I think Almunia, not Chesney, will start. Al will need to stay sharp since Mannone is on loan and Fabianski is injured.

  58. JD @ 2:33:

    They can have him. If its true, I guess they are starting their own collection of high priced talent with a whimper instead of a bang.

    Not sure why we would send Mannone on loan again. I can’t believe he is really in anyones long term plans. Why not just sell him and let him make a career for himself? Agree with Fun Almunia will probably start.

  59. Irishgray @ 11:21

    Sorry, Irish. Only just caught up. Can’t work out whether desperately wanting both teams to lose actully counts as neutral.

  60. @FunGunner, I’m only going on Wenger’s statement that he will be fielding a strong side. For that reason I doubt that anyone from outside the regular first team squad like Yennaris will feature. We are only playing one game per week for the rest of this month (assuming we don’t need a replay after tonight!), so even if Koscielny has played plenty up to now I reckon he can handle it. On the goalkeepers, it depends on how much the boss really wants to win, can he risk Almunia doing an Almunia?

  61. This would be the ideal game to give Theo his shot at playing in the middle., AOC also needs to play with the first team if he is going to feature

  62. Block4 – “On the goalkeepers, it depends on how much the boss really wants to win, can he risk Almunia doing an Almunia?

    To be fair, Fabianski has not been much better. He made a good start to last season though.

  63. Bill – “This would be the ideal game to give Theo his shot at playing in the middle

    But why?

    He has gave no reason for anybody to think that he would actually be any good there, plus Leeds will be no pushovers. They are going well in he Championship and I think it will be a hard game as it goes. We are down to the bare bones at the back, so experimenting elswhere is really asking for trouble.

  64. Agree with ignatzuk. Looking forward to watching the reinforcements take their chance!

    KAMAAAN!

  65. GA, I have no problem with Fabianski playing, at least he appears to be in the manager’s plans going forward. Almunia seems to be marking time until his contract expires, I don’t really see the point in playing him if Szczesny is available.

  66. Block4 – Yeah, very true. As it goes I would rather see Fabianski.

  67. I had it in my head that Fabianski is injured, if he’s available he could do with a game. It must have been a bad cut on his knee!

  68. In Fabianski is fit he must be ahead of Almunia in the pecking order.

  69. longblackcloud

    is Fabianski injured or on his way out? the cut knee seems to have taken a long time to heel and he did ask for move, possibly a stratigic injury ala many others who no longer feature in the long-term?
    Wants to play to force his way into Poland squad which I think we can all sympathise with but would like him to stay as looked good at the start of last season, maybe never 1st choice but good back-up if a long term injury strikes

  70. Apologies for bringing this up on a matchday, but could not resist..

  71. did not get embedded?

  72. mattgoonerknight

    O.K,

    The rumour mill is now in overdrive – we’re signing Abidal and Kalou!

    Abidal isn’t going to happen: He’s after a long term contract and we’re after a loan option at the back.

    Kalou could, but his alleged wage demands are ridiculous (90k) and is he really any better than our current wide forward options? Unless I’ve missed something, I don’t see him as the additional central striking option that most of us are calling for.

  73. BTW what wages is the second-choice winger Arshavin on? Isn’t that waste of money too! If Kalou agrees to similar wages, then probably Wenger should encash on Arshavin.

  74. MJ,

    Thanks for the link and I hope more people see it.

    “The dirty…”

  75. Andy,How dare you suggest that Theo has shown nothing to suggest he can play in the middle?
    You are a disgrace.Hang your head in shame you scaly-wag.
    Someone as physically imposing as him ,combined with his close control and prolific goal scoring.Not to mention his always correct decision making ,makes him the perfect candidate.
    I see a big future for the lad as a Central Striker.

  76. JamesT ,The fact that you called AA a winger tells us two things.
    1)you don’t read this blog
    2)you are an idiot.

  77. On the controversy regarding the CC or CL, I think media hysteria has played its part. How clear and logical does the actual manager’s words ring:

    “It is very important for us to win against Leeds on Monday night, but the basis of our life at the top level is dictated by the championship.

    “If we can add on top of that the FA Cup, it is fantastic.

    “However, our life, at the level where we are, with the wages we have, and the aspirations we have, is to play in the Champions League. After that you want, of course, to win all the other trophies.

    “The FA Cup is something that is for enjoyment. It is a bonus that we want.

    “But for us, Champions League is something which is needed and compulsory.”

    Tonight is what it is and victory obviously remains our ambition

    COYG

  78. A friend recently described Arshavin as “a lesser Lungberg without the ability to time his runs”.Maybe the kernel of truth in his comment rests in the fact that AA does not look to get on the end of the final ball as much as some attacking midfielders.

    I wonder if his desire to supply that final ball or else to score from the edge of the box might reside in his self-proclaimed lack of emphasis on dribbling and close controlled tricks in his game and in training. Nevertheless, surely (as we have debated) the comment’s a little unfair.

  79. Drob.If Dennis was feeding him when he made runs I think his numbers would be huge.

  80. Rosicky and Per out”sick”

    Will AA move central?

  81. Walcott again?

    next!

  82. Where’d you get that from, George?

  83. Goerge,

    Who knows? It would be interesting to see if his approach would change with a Dennis supplying. However, I’ll not present that argument to my mate as he’s bound to question this with regard to the supply of Cesc.

    Fingers crossed, all the boys find the form thatI suspect many of them produce freequently in training and that Arsene knows they can .

  84. Drog.Alas.your mate might have a point

  85. 2-2 draw with Thierry getting a late equaliser and the Emirates erupts

  86. Walcott, Park, Benayoun and Henry on bench with youngsters Yennaris, Miyaichi and exciting ‘keeper Martínez.

  87. Arsenal: Szczesny, Coquelin, Koscielny, Squillaci, Miquel, Song, Arteta (c), Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin, Chamakh.

  88. Chamakh/AA/AOC starting as the front 3.

  89. That is a strong side with good options from the bench. We should spank them.

  90. Gosh – that is a strong side. I hope Arteta is OK.

  91. mattgoonerknight

    Starting Midfield: Song, Ramsey and Arteta

    Park still only the bench.

    In Arsene we trust but this is unexpected to say the least!!!

  92. Is it just me or does it feel like an ice age since we last saw a match?

  93. George at 6:07 pm

    Good man!

  94. Be interesting to see how Squill gets on. All those people who claimed ‘he is not nearly as bad as most think’ were strangely quiet when we were given an unwelcome refresher course in his defensive skills last time.

    I certainly don’t think he is terrible but he’s also ‘not very good’, and prone to costly errors.

    Hope he has a good game…

  95. Szczesny, Koscielny, Miquel, Squillaci, Coquelin, Arteta, Song, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chamakh, Arshavin.

    BBC have listed them like this – wonder if that means that CBs will be Squill and Miquel, and Kos and Le Coq will be the full backs?

    @ steww
    It’s not just you – it feels more like two weeks than one since we played.

  96. I concur, Steww

  97. Stay positive Jonny. I don’t think there is a professional footballer anywhere in the world as bad as some of the hysterical loonies on here have claimed Squilly is.

  98. I am really confident of a win with the midfield we are starting.

    ARSENAL!

  99. A strong line-up. I like the midfield. Also some good options on the bench.

    I start feeling confident.

  100. mattgoonerknight

    Jonny

    I’m with you; I’m not slating our players as I find that a pointless and counter productive exercise but toto is a no-no.

    I’ve not been watching the SPL but the reports on Bartley seem to indicate he’s been getting on O.K. I know its only the SPL but I wonder if we would recall him if we suffered a number of injuries in the centre of defence like last season – I don’t see Squill starting a number of prem games as an option…

  101. The Guy has played 20 times for France.He is not a bad player.He cant be.Simples.

  102. They’re showing one of the interviews with TH now on Arsenal Player, and a good point that came up is that because of this loan spell, we and he can achieve closure. When he left before, we didn’t know his last game was his last game. This time, when he goes back to the Red Bulls, we can all say goodbye properly.

  103. I read a good article about Martinez here:

    http://arsenalyouth.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/martinez-takes-next-step-in-his-bid-for-arsenal-breakthrough/

    Seems he is very highly thought of.

  104. Jonny

    The “error” last time was a header when he came on last 10 mins at RB which is not his position and he has not played in a while..the “error” was when he was jumping 2 against 1 for that ball..the “error” was the header which travelled a long while to a striker Zamora who should have been picked up and marked tight but instead was absolutely free to lash it home..I think you are being a tad unkind mate

  105. Jonny is an unkind kind

  106. COME ON ARSENAL!!

  107. omg its that really annoying guy on arsenal player. whats his name? his voice is way way annoying..

  108. AA you fucking tosser

  109. and whats wrong with arsharvin?? george? tell me tell me! 🙂

  110. Ooh, Arsh!

  111. anyone have a good stream for this?

  112. Arsha could have taken another step or two there …

  113. @ poodle
    Nigel Winterburn. Nasal voice, but good commentator and proper gooner, I think.

  114. well i guess i confuse him with another guy. thats really annoying allways..

  115. cheers poodle

  116. its almost a full strenght team this bar the front three… we really ought to win this…

  117. I have never had an issue with Squillaci, even after mistakes. He is just one of those players whose mistake’s are amplified.

  118. Well, poodle, I think you are giving too much credit to Coq, Miquel and Squill if you consider them to be first team.

  119. Gah!

  120. with all our full backs out coq and miq do play an awfully lot of first team football though, first teamers or not. SO atlest le coq i dont think i go over boar at all. hes usually always on the bench or out in action. Its only Chamakh and Ars that has not really played to much this year.Has Arsh actually played more games than miquel this year at all?

  121. Do Song and Arteta look fresh?

  122. chamakh is playing well

  123. Ramsey has got to score one of these days. got to. He takes so many shots on goal.

  124. ones ramsey scores there will be a tsunami of goals from that boy. He is always in the right place at the right time … or very often anyway..

  125. @ poodle
    yes!

  126. AA’s on fire, keep it up

  127. Come on, boys, up the tempo.

  128. Arshavin getting into the groove.

  129. AA looks like he doesn’t want to be at the club.He is not interested .?????

    So John Cross says

  130. Clattenburg is having a “Dowd”. Never was that a foul by Oxo.

  131. Love the sarcastic Oles whenever Leeds string more than two passes together!

  132. Not another injury please

  133. we need to score though..

  134. 8 defenders injured …?

  135. @ Evil
    It’s unbelievable, isn’t it?

  136. Please tell me Coquelin is off the field and not trying to play on?

  137. but what is our midfield and our front three doing? they keep tippy tapping.. and they know aswell as me that if we loose today we will have Suga3 and the rest of the moan crew crawling all over us.

    And nobody would want that for us im sure… comon boys! save us from the moansquad!!!
    arsenal you got to score!!

  138. So Yennaris gets his chance after all.

  139. we look very uninventive i have to say, think we need to take more risks with the passes

  140. Ramsey does like a pirouette

  141. someone fukin score….

  142. Leeds can only harry and chase for so long sooner or later something will give. What am worried about is pointless injuries.

  143. have we had any clear shots on goal yet?

  144. poodle yes we have but not on target

  145. @rune if we had scored a couple now we could have swapped our key players and avoided injuries…

  146. Ramsey is holding on to the ball too long!

  147. heh maybe henry comes on and scores a couple and shows our young players how to do it? 🙂

  148. ramsey really not doing himself any favours

  149. Ramsey should come and AA move central ,We need some creativity.

  150. Poodle I remember the days we used to tear teams apart in the first twenty minutes, it just seems we are risk averse a tad little too much!

  151. will we take frimp back now that coq is out? as we got no cover for Song now right?

  152. you know its not only chamakhs fault he plays “Poorley”. we dont eaxactly play to his strenghs do we? look at liverpool last game all gerrard did was pump balls onto carrols head and suddely he looked dangerous… if gerrard can make carrol look dangerous surley arteta could make chamakh look leethal!

  153. I like that we are shooting from distance more.

    We need more bodies in the box though to create more chances.

  154. Runebreaker

    thats what i was thinking, teams were dead and buried in the first twenty minutes, we just didnt score sometimes but now we’re not even destroying teams, we get like 3, 4 chances a match.

    Before we could afford to waste soo many chances because we were getting like 10 chances a match or more but now we can’t because we’ve lost something

    We’ve lost alot of creativity, i just dont know from where

  155. PG

    the same john cross who believes AA is not fit to wear the shirt??? that one???

    then thats it then..its settled..

  156. The best Arsenal teams have struggled to break down teams and the creativity wasn’t always on.

  157. Arsene needs to give them a good pep talk….seemed to lose some belief by the end of the half

  158. seeing henrys best goals i must say RvP is not that much worse.. hes scoring some beautis now. if he signs a new contract he will deffo go onto become a legend..

  159. I hope Henry’s presence is not distracting or inhibiting the players. I did wonder when Walcott missed that sitter when clean through, whether he was conscious of Henry watching in the stands. Fanciful?

  160. Paul-N

    but the problem is that those teams had to really dig deep for the match

    Leeds look comfortable

  161. All a bit of a grind so far. Flashes of brilliance, especially from Ramsay.
    Massive cloud for me in yet another promising young player going off injured.Le Coq has really looked the part, I hope he recovers quickly.

  162. @ Fun

    Yes just a bit 😀

  163. @ steww
    Yeah, terrible timing for Le Coq. And for us with Frimpong just having gone on loan.

  164. @ anirudh
    🙂

  165. bleh what we deffo do not need though is a replay of this game.. either loose or win.

  166. @ anirudh
    How do you make your smiley face more smiley than mine?
    Is it like this :()

  167. Whoops. No.

    Come on arsenal – up the tempo!

  168. Nice fast start – OX looks great when it works for him. Rough diamond.

  169. Moe that’s just it, in the last few years we’ve lost some of our most creative players, Hleb,Cesc, Nasri, Wilshire to injury, rosicky injured, remember we are also not playing with attacking fullbacks which is a staple for arsenal. The attacking thrust should come from arshavin, Rambo and the Ox, but for a number of reasons it’s not happening consistently. What we need is that super creative talent, in the middle. I tell you what if we had Hleb we would be top three outfit.

  170. I fancy the Ox to get one

  171. i must say though even though i do adore henry i hope we can win games without his help and that hes just the spice that makes it more exciting…

  172. Is it whack Arshavin day in Leeds?

  173. Come on, Song let’s have one of your masterful storming runs!

  174. Good start from AA as well.

  175. did arteta not score alot of goals for everton last year?

  176. I cannot agree Moe.

    We have unrealistic expectations, so unless we destroy teams out the gate, we get jumpy

  177. but we should score against a team like leeds , so should United that time they got beaten by leeds. its no excuse really..

  178. poodle

    haha i guess thats true, its just that i have come to expect arsenal to play such beautyiful football and i want more

    kinda like a heroin addict 😀

  179. All huff and no puff

  180. arsharvin is really strong to be such a shortass 🙂

  181. we look abit better, one touch footbal and faster passing, keep it up

  182. Nasri is watching this apparently.

  183. What’s the French Lesbian doing in our stadium?

  184. Stalking his ex-club?

  185. who fukin let that little shit in.

  186. nasri loves us we all know that ! 🙂

  187. I hope the Ox does not come off, but if it’s arshavin then I think that’s it for his career at arsenal. This season will be his last!

  188. thiery henry coming on

  189. why is ramsey trying to go through 7 leeds players ?

  190. Ramsey is weird with his dribbling

  191. Everytime I listen to a game on NBC we struggle bloody ell!

  192. you just KNOW the king will score!

  193. all bark and no bite.

  194. @ Runebreaker

    Then stop listening on NBC!

  195. As everyone gets side tracked with Henry expect a sneaky goal from Squillaci!

  196. but you know henry is the meanest dog of them all..lol

  197. Come on boys – keep the pressure up.

  198. arteta-why is he so strong for such a small player?

  199. arteta is a giant though compared to arsharvin…

  200. Sorry I meant bbc stupid iPad insisted on NBC!

  201. come on henry had 2 touches of the ball

  202. Phew.

  203. Wot is annoying is that with Leeds hardly threatening neither song nor arteta are making late runs into the box, we need benayoun. Leeds are not coming out of their own half n this game will be decided with guile rather than pace!

  204. why are there so many celebrities at the emirates stadium

  205. @moe that i guess shows what a hard job chamakh has had, even Henry cant get the ball from our midfield…

  206. Fuckin ell

  207. Beautiful from Alex Song.

  208. Henrrrrrrryyyyyy

  209. It’s just a fairy tail.

  210. thats sick!

  211. Henry!!!!!!!!!

  212. Was the assist from Song?

  213. Wot a player from song! N a natural goal scorer in action!

  214. And he just scores. Perfect.

  215. THATS HOW YOU FUCKING FINISH

  216. Let’s not lose our concentration now….

  217. hahaha, been moaning about the henry hype all week and then he goes and does that…
    C L A S S I C

  218. Thiery Henry…one chance…one touch…..goal…fuckin .legend, COYG !!!!!!!

  219. so now we have two goal scorers in the squad!!!

  220. ah god!lets not let them score now!!

  221. Yes that’s why I said FG – it was a beautiful pass. henry positional sense allied with a visionary assist.

  222. In ten minutes Henry shows what we’ve been missing all game. Phew squilly almost cost us there! Forsell is still in existence!!!!!

  223. yep, beautiful pass & finish!

  224. Henry to start with rvp against Swansea?????

  225. Unlucky AA. More great work from Alex.

  226. I think I just had an orgasm..

  227. Finally steve the gambler claridge acknowledges song as a player wot a twat!

  228. well thank fuck for that…we are no longer a one man team…….were now a two man team….for two months.

  229. @Runebreaker – Certainly want them starting together vs Manure..

  230. Thanks, steww. What a player that Song is – but that’s the magic you get when two class players play together.

  231. Arteta has done well in the Denilson role tonight. Quietly prodding and controlling, intercepting and moving things on.

  232. duke – you’re being unfair to Henry – i know Song is top top class but it was a neat finish.

  233. Arteta just never ever gives the ball away. I bet his passing percentage with us must be 95%+

  234. Miquel and Yennaris sound like they are doing more than all right. Is that a fair assessment?

  235. Steww is the man!

  236. omg ramsey really is not friends with the goal is he?

  237. Fucking motson creaming himself every time Leeds try to get forward! He so wants Leeds to score!!!!! Wot a fleabag, I thought he living in the Jurassic error!

  238. it just goes to show that our midfield has the ability to play those passes as long as the strikers make the right movement

  239. Henry should start every game for the next 2 months. Welcome back TH.

  240. Yennaris looks good.

  241. Fungunner yennaris has been excellent wot an assured performance from the lad! Miguel has been very very impressive, a couple minutes ago he was in the Leeds box and almost found his way to goal!

  242. They’ve fucking kicked and butted Andre all night and he gets booked.

  243. Sczhezny made a really good save there..

  244. Long live the king!

  245. Limestonegunner

    There’s only one Thierry Henry!!!

  246. Never mind all this plucky Leeds bollocks they’ve come here and not even tried. Happy to only lose 1 – 0. Fuck ’em.

  247. Yes. So sweet.

  248. thats insane! one goal and its Henry 🙂

  249. Well bring on villa! With city out, one united or Liverpool to follow! This cup looks very very likely.

  250. Fantastic. well done, boys.

    I’ve been dying to post this – Scholes comes on and gives away the ball to let Man City back in. Henry comes on and scores. Nuff said.

    This takes all of the pressure off Henry, as well.

    The man has perfect timing.

  251. Thanks, Runebreaker, very good to hear. Because we’re goign to need them both!

  252. Limestonegunner

    Return of the King!

  253. Who created this plot?

  254. UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE. That was straight out of a Hollywood script.

    In five minutes, the King does what Chamack hasn’t been able to do in a year.

  255. Duke give it to AA

  256. @ Fun

    use a D instead of the closed bracket )

    😀

  257. Limestonegunner

    Excellent, FG. Had a laugh at that Scholes debut–pathetic. Arsenal is pure class. TH12 adds to his record. Unbelievable!!!!!!!!

  258. Welcome home my boy

  259. It just had to be…The return of the king..

  260. Any chance we can celebrate the great man’s return without denigrating our current players? Please?

  261. My god the commentators were shocking tonight..moronic does them a massive favour

  262. @ Anirudh
    Thanks 😀

  263. Steww

    Well said..dont think it will be followed though unfortunately

  264. There’s so much potential in this squad – even in most of the established players. We are so tantalisingly close to seeing the talent flower.

  265. Hahahahahahah! Boom!!

    Welcome back TH! what a class act. Without doubt, he should start when fit.

    Oxo looked class, surely a better option than arshavin, rosicky, park.

    Fact we had to play our starting midfield for 90 minutes despite them all looking knackered over christmas is alarming

  266. TH14

  267. ….and 12 too

  268. With 12 minutes remaining, Henry scores his 12th goal against Leeds in 12 appearances wearing number 12 on his Arsenal shirt in 2012.

    Long Live The King!!!

  269. Even TH wasted a few touches before burying away the chance, that’s what our youngsters got to learn.

  270. steww at 9:41 pm

    “Any chance we can celebrate the great man’s return without denigrating our current players? Please?”

    Brilliant!

  271. Sorry guys. Chamakh looked really great tonight. He is an awesome player.

    Is that better?

  272. Nice one, Mongolian!

  273. Some people will always try to find something to carp about.

    ***
    I am limp with relief. The tension in these cup games is unbearable. I am exhausted.

  274. Agreed, steww!

    Anyway, we all know the story by now. Dominated from start to finish, should’ve scored more, blahblahblah. I am starting to loathe this theme and I sure hope we can grind out a couple of high scoring victories over the next few weeks. Great comeback by Henry, who did the one thing he had to do, and he did it perfectly. After his goal, he more or less just wanderer across the field waiting for the game to end so he can collect his applause and he sure as hell deserved it. Was that a tear in his eye? Anyway, number 227 and what a goal. Let us hope he can extend that record far beyond that though. Robin needs a challenge, after all!

  275. I don’t think Chamakh was bad at all..

  276. Paulie Walnuts

    TH14 & Arsenal, eh. Everyone KNEW what was going to happen tonight.

    Not bothered what else he does – legend

  277. Arshavin did everything except score today..great work rate, touches, and movement..

  278. Anirudh, Paul-N, thanks.

  279. Arshavin was our most dangerous player tonight. If continues like this, the goals will come.

  280. Well Samir Nasri, that is what you could have become. Hope you enjoyed watching from the stands.

  281. @ Mongoliangooner

    If all those 12s are correct, that’s an amazing series of coincidences!

  282. CHAMACK WAS ACTUALLY GOOD

    SO WAS ARSHAVIN

  283. Right, I’m off to bed to curl up with a thriller. Stay positive folks – still challenging on three fronts and a little Henry cameo to enjoy over the next few weeks.
    Luverly.

  284. Well, well, well.

    Who is this new player they call TH12?

    How spoilt we are as Arsennal fans.

    We don’t know how lucky we are.

  285. I must say when Thierry scored i had a moment..it brought tears to my eyes and brought back memories of the good old days when we won trophies for fun,..What a moment. if he never scores again it was all worth it for that moment. Theres only one Thierry Henry!!!!!Vavavooom

  286. Always FunGun! You are trying to celebrate and then people have to put players against eachother and be disrespectful to their own team.

    Blasted know it alls!

  287. I thought Chamakh did well tonight. Ran his socks off and combined well with those around him.

    The middle three also did well spreading the ball around and maintaining possession. Rambo went a bit quiet in the second half, but was key for us. Arteta and Song were solid.

    The OX and Arsha while not at their sharpest were industrious. They ran at the defence all night. With a bit more luck they could’ve easily scored a few tonight.

    Feel bad for Le Coq. He has a chance to have an extended run in the side and injures himself. I hope he comes back quick as he’s probably our best emergency FB. Ignasi Miquel struggled a bit against that Spud wanker, but he combined well with his winger and was pretty solid throughout. Koscielny and Squid were hardly bothered. They both had a pretty good game. Squillaci gave us a few nervous moments, though.

    Was Szczesny even playing? I think Leeds got like three shots tonight.

    Good goal from Titi. I hope the hype blows over as this could distract the team.

  288. Fuck yeah, doesn’t the sky look beautiful tonight.

    Walking along whistling thierry henry… thierry henry… thierry henry… thierry henry… thierry henry… thierry henry… thierry henry… thierry henry!

    Just perfect.

  289. Chamakh wasn’t that bad. He really tried hard. Let’s hope that he returns from ANC full of confidence and of course with his shooting boots on.

  290. @ Gooner4life – Good for you! Football can be powerful like that. I hope you savoured your moment! As Arsenal fans we have so, so much to enjoy.

    Past, present and future.

    ARSENAL!

  291. Praise for Chamakh is a bit desperate IMO. His workrate was great and he held the ball well at times, but he is utterly clueless in the box. Henrys subtleties over the coming weeks will only highlight that more

    Still need a striker and a wingforward/attacking midfielder

  292. I hope Nasri saw what it meant to leave a club on good terms..He is fast going down the Hleb route

  293. we now have a supersub, basically.

    From “An emotional Thierry Henry after scoring the winner against Leeds on his Arsenal comeback, four-and-a-half years after he left the club: “I don’t know. It’s kind of weird. I only came back from holiday from Mexico 15 days ago and I didn’t think I was going to play for Arsenal again, let alone score a winner. The feeling when I scored was amazing, I rejoined the club as a fan. Scoring a goal as a fan is amazing and now I know how it feels.”

    “It’s a joke I got man of the match, but I will take it. The goal was one opportunity and you don’t know if you have a second opportunity so you have to make it count. I will always remember tonight. I don’t know why, but something happens with me and this club, sometimes in a bad way but most of the time in history, in a good way.”

  294. From BBC site, I should have said.

  295. @luke hes not cluless in the box if we would choose to play to his strenghts, a couple of good balls on his head and he would score for sure…

  296. FunGunner | January 9, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    I copied and pasted from somewhere else. 🙂
    Was too excited to check it. Could be correct.

  297. Henry distract the team Gains??

    A lot of our squad players should watch him every minute of every day and appreciate what a serious sportsman behaves like.

    Delighted he is back. Delighted with having some leadership and direct connection to our Succesfull past, and certainly believe he will play a much much bigger part than he is being touted for.

    Cannot for the life of me see Park get the nod if Henry is fit.

  298. Evil, I think the team’s not scoring more because we lack proper FBs. That’s why we’ve been so narrow for this last run of games. Look at Arsha and the Ox tonight. They were all alone upfront and had to cut in by themselves. By the time they got in a dangerous position they were marked by two or three players.

  299. Poodle, any dominant aerial striker would have at LEAST attacked the Oxo ball.

    He runs a straight line consistently into the box, never gets goalside and never takes a punt. Clueless in the box

  300. Think Arshavin and Chamack both had their best games of the season. Henry return and goal was just to fairytale, I coul have cried.
    Howere Mikel Arteta was fackin brillant. MoTM for me by a counrty mile

  301. I wouldn’t really call Chamakh “clueless” in the box. He managed to set up several great shooting opportunities for other players while in the box. That proves he has a certain vision which is far from being “clueless”. It’s just that he would rather try to pass the ball sideways thrice than have a shot on goal. Lethal with his head but unfortunately we just can’t really make good use of that.

  302. Gains, we have not scored enough goals for nearly 4 seasons

  303. Now we know I am bias but Luke just said Ox is SURLY a better option than Arshavin.
    Well I must have missed something.Or ,Luke chats real shit.

  304. I didn’t say Titi would distract the team, Luke. I said the hype that sorrounds him would. Hopefully, now that his debut is done with the team can go back to concentrating on their job.

    Chamakh was shit, Luke? I thought he did well seeing as we had no width and he had almost no service. He worked hard and held up the ball well. What more can you ask of him? He isn’t RVP.

  305. Chamakh had some brilliant passes tonight. Sometimes he iwas expecting a one two and the ball never gets back to him. Good work by the young man. If he continues to play hard, he will score again.

    Squillaci was pretty good at the back also.

  306. I thought Chamakh and Ramsey were our best players tonight. Former did everything we know he can and never stopped running, but didn’t get the right dupport. Ramsey was stylish, but could get his head up a bit sooner (says me). AOC took a long time to get going but was looking at his most dangerous just before he went off. Arshavin was good as well – just that his teammates didn’t always see what he was trying to do.

    Oh, and when Miquel adds a little bulk he’s going to be such a refined CB.

    Hmmm, what else? I’m sure I’m forgetting something…

  307. look at his stats before he came to us luke. that does not show a player taht is cluless in the box. his team was in the semi finals of the CL. and alot of the reason they got there was due to Chamakhs great play as a striker. He carried us for the entire first half of the season last year after just have trasnfared from french league. that is not a sign of a clueless stirker.

    say what you want, but Chamakhs track record shows hes a rather good player. whether he fits in our system is a totally different question.
    Im sure that ones we sell him on he will blossom again.

  308. What are you on about, Luke? Go sleep it off.

  309. CONGRATULATION S ARSENAL. &. AW. &. TH..
    HOLLYWOOD SCRIPT IS RIGHT.
    GREAT POST. MJ GOONER. ON THE BARFA TEAM EARLIER.
    AND. GREAT POST. MONGOLIAN ON THE. NUMBER. 12.

    MY FAVORITE NUMBER.
    I HOPE TO GET THE. TOTT DELERS FOR THE FINAL. OR THE RED MANCS. PUT THE F••KERS. IN THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE..

    GOODNIGHT ALL……

  310. Luke

    EPL – goals scored

    This season so far 36

    2010/11 72

    2009/10 83

    2008/09 68

    2007/08 74

    If that is paucity of goals..then you are a hard man to please

  311. Chamakh did not play well his job is to score goals.He cant do that

    One chance and God wins the game

    He may have lost his pace but he hasnt lost his movement.Was there anyone who doubted he would score once he controlled the ball?

    A wonderful moment of Arsenal history

    All Hail King Henry

  312. If all the moaning fans.pundits and commentators would get of Andrei’s back he might not feel the pressure and lash at the ball.
    Like OOU says ,the others miss his intention.

  313. I like Luke,but he knows fuck all about football.

  314. George

    I can understand fans..but commentators, and pundits they have played the game..I still cannot understand how they can talk so much shyte..

  315. it is a worry though coz it had duck eggs all over it till the legend came on….starting to worry about the rest chipping in with goals but i remain convinced aa can now create or score after a run in the team.

  316. Just in from the pub – watched the game in the presence of suited City-boy-cunty-banker-bastards, in the shadow of the Wharf cheering on a Leeds team with whom they have no connection (judging by their Hampshire accents). Pinstripe-shirts, white-collars and cuffs. They left before the whistle whilst I was volubly laughing, stirring and cheering with friends. I also danced a bit.
    What a feeling when that went in! Slow-motion rewind to a beautiful yesteryear. Hackles on end. Goose-bumps proud. Beers in. Fairytales come true.
    As Gatting once said to Botham – “Beefy, who writes your scripts?”.
    Savour the moment Arsenal brethren. This is champagne for the soul.
    A moment enshrined with historical relevance, where the richness of the past is the tapestry of it’s significance.
    I deeply envy those who were there, but I’ll have to accept watching the scum of the earth trudge into the night, shoulders slumped and game still playing.
    My singing in their ears.

  317. So according to gary, if a striker doesnt score in a particular game, they didn’t play well. So if a striker scores 1 in every 2 games, he was crap for 50% of his career.

    GOT IT!

  318. and oxo is a dangerous player who looks like he can create something out of nothing. that Yenaris (sounds like some sort of citroen) looks pretty quick and solid aswell but i hope he doesnt suffer from our left back fukin curse aswell

  319. Yennaris and Miquel had good performances. Miquel has game. Miquel has great foot skills as Santos……not afraid to make runs into the attacking third without the ball and reads the game well.

    I felt bad for Coquelin. Would love to see him in a run of matches.

    Chamakh played the type of game that our manager needed from him. Works hard, wins the 50/50 balls, holds possession, attracts defenders, and finds an open teammate. Same type of performance tonight as he did when he joined the club.

    Not much else to say about Henry. Most were excited and yet curious to see him play with the club again, what a gift to everyone at Arsenal.

  320. nigel winterburn is a sweet guy no? so passionate and so excited and so inlove with the club! 🙂

  321. @ poodle
    yeah, like I said, Winterburn is a proper gooner!

  322. Can’t wait for people to come back from the game and give us a flavour of the experience. Massive hint.

  323. One touch and Henry scores.The stuff of legend.How could anyone doubt the master,Now Wenger has to try and keep him till the end of the season.The atomosphere changed in the stadium when he came on.A wonderful moment from a truly womderful player

    He has to be back up to RVP

    Chamakh and Park can disappear back to the French league

  324. Paul N

    Chamakh has scored 1 league goal in a year.That is shocking for a back up striker for a team that has ambitions to win the title and the champions league.Henry showed what a natural finisher can do.No one is saying Henry should start but as a substitute he has to be better than Chamakh will ever be.Tonight we were playing a championship side yet Squillaci had more goal attempts than Chamakh

  325. maybe they gave him a statue a but to early. henry is not finished yet thats for sure.

  326. I’ve jsut seen the goal on the highlights – what a finish!

  327. @ Poodle… Living legend and all that

  328. Henry is Henry, Johnny. Do you think I don’t know that? He is one the best players in the history of the game. However there is more to it than Chamakh just doen’t score. I cannot be bothered with anymore than that.

  329. can we sign this henry then or what???

  330. Jonny knows a lot about cricket.

  331. So obviously everyone who was at the game is getting pissed up in celebration. I really want a match report. *drums fingers on desk*

  332. that was a serious question, can we actually sign henry in this transfer window??

  333. @duke
    I guess we could sign him in theory but if we did Red Bulls fans would send a lynch mob to get Henry. And they’d probably burn down the Emirates as well. And kidnap AW’s cat.

  334. anyone know how rooney got in the fifa team of the year instead of rvp….or henry!

    oh well fun maybe we can ease there pain by giving them chamakh and AA!!!

  335. You jest, dukeg, but Chamakh would do well in MLS, I reckon. They’d appreciate his workrate, for one thing.

  336. Billy’s Boots

    Back from the match; I feel like I’ve been to see a Hollywood film. Shouldn’t there have been puppies and an estranged couple reunited as well?

    There was a good atmosphere in and around the ground even before the match. Bumped into one of my neighbours on the walk to the stadium – he mentioned that a lot of people asked him over the last day or two if he had any spare tickets for the match. Yes, that’s the appeal of Leeds United.

  337. Just back from the game, and what a privilege it was to be there to see the return of the King. That is what years of experience at the top, top level and tons of goals does for you. TH has the confidence and just knew where to be, neither did he let any nerves or pressure get to him. He must be pinching himself in disbelief, but Thierry, it really happened, just like you would have imagined in your wildest dreams!

    I thought the team played a little nervy, which is not surprising as the pressure to not lose or not have to have a replay seemed to be inhibiting them. Leeds defended in numbers, but you knew they could not keep that up all game and fortunately, we had a world class striker to come off the bench and make the difference. The youngsters all did well and I agree with others, Chamakh worked his socks off and laid on a couple of good opportunities, which unfortunately were not converted. Arshavin also continued where he left off in his last game and is definitely showing signs of a return to form. A confident Arshavin would have buried at least a couple of those chances.

    Why was the referee allowed to wear an outfit that was so close in colour to the Leeds team? It was very confusing from where I was sitting. Mind you, we should be used to playing against 12 men by now!

  338. One of the things I noticed about TH was his leadership on the pitch after the goal. He was pointing to players to be picked up when we were defending and telling the players to calm down at the back when Leeds decided to venture forward. And seeing him take the ball into the corner late in the game, was like rolling back the years!

  339. At last! Thank you, Passenal and Billy Boots.

    This is going to work out really well. I imagine TH will make another half dozen or so appearances, score another one or two goals, but they will be important ones.

  340. FunGunner | January 9, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Even though it’s a weeknight, I think tonight calls for at least a glass of red wine to celebrate!

  341. Nice one pas & Billys boots…would have loved to be there the atmosphere really must have been fukin buzzing. another notch on the stadiums soul building. great stuff..

  342. Passanel.Dont you see AA pointing and directing throughout the game?
    Or am I just so besotted that I imagine it?

  343. Billy’s Boots

    Apart from the fairy tale ending, we suffered from many of our familiar failings, moving the ball too slowly, inaccurate shooting, not killing off teams while we’re on top, etc.

    But on to better things… At half-time, we joked that it was all set up for Henry to come on and get the winner. He really made it look very easy. He seems taller than I remembered. To misquote Sunset Boulevard, maybe it’s football that’s got smaller.

    It may have been my imagination, but it seemed like the crowd upped its game in the second half, as though we/they wanted to impress Henry and show him that we are worthy of his greatness. I felt a little bad for the other Arsenal players because it really was all about Henry. When he and Walcott were getting ready to come on, the ball went into touch, but they weren’t quite ready to come on. The whole match stopped as the crowd cheered, waiting for the grand entrance. After a few seconds, the players realised the subs weren’t ready, so played resumed. Of course, when he did come on (how great to be able to bring on Henry and Walcott as a double substitution), they crowd rose as one. Really, it was quite extraordinary.

  344. FG, I was expecting a lot more moaning about the fact that we needed him to come off the bench to score, but that is why Arsene signed him up. He knew that TH could still contribute, and what a contribution!

    Billy’s Boots, I thought the crowd really came alive in the second half when Arsenal really upped the tempo. First half was a little too slow and deliberate and gave Leeds time to get themselves into position defensively. What we miss in midfield is quick thinking and passing to make the most of counter attack opportunities. Arteta and Ramsey tend to hold onto the ball too long and their through balls are too far and few between. Arshavin looked the most likely to create or score before TH came on.

  345. Henry scores the winning goal.

    How sweet that sounds again.

  346. this from twitter really made me laugh!

    WengerBoy1 Wenger Boy
    Journalists around the world also get to thank Henry for giving them the night off. They can just photocopy the script and print that.

  347. King Henry! Classic example of form being temporary but class is permanent! Henry, The Arsenal Legend!!!!

  348. “Of course, when he did come on (how great to be able to bring on Henry and Walcott as a double substitution), they crowd rose as one. Really, it was quite extraordinary.”

    It was really something Billy. I thought the crowd were going to explode with excitement – this was the most excited I’ve seen an Emirates crowd!

  349. Fungunner

    When Henry scored he celebrated just like the fan he is. He went mad screaming and shouting and hugging Wenger.

  350. “Passanel.Dont you see AA pointing and directing throughout the game?
    Or am I just so besotted that I imagine it?”

    I have seen it pg, especially when he is playing with a young team around him, like in the CC games.

  351. dups, passenal, billy’s boots – great stuff, keep it coming. I’ve got chills!

  352. Billy’s Boots

    Passenal, yes, I agree. I wish Ramsey were a little less greedy around the box (at least until his finishing improves). Song has really been the man with the killer passes this season. It’s funny, I think Arteta played more great through-balls in his first ten minutes as an Arsenal player than he has in all the time since then. Even so, he’s been a great addition.

    George, you’re not hallucinating, AA was ‘guiding’ the younger players effectively, much as he did in the CC v Bolton. Let’s hope he and TH12 are on the same page, otherwise it may get confusing!

  353. Billy’s Boots

    Passenal, you beat me to it!

  354. AA was very poor in his finishing. Not one person with eyeballs and a brain would try to deny that.

    Nonetheless, he never hid and was a real thorn in the Leeds side.

    he gave fuel to both his detractors and his supporters this evening – as ever the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

    Little from column A, little from column B.

  355. Billy’s Boots

    I couldn’t help but wonder what must be going through Chamakh’s mind as he prepares to leave for the ACN. Must be unsettling enough to know that the ‘temp’ who’s been brought in as cover is an all-time legend, but even more so to discover that, far from being past it, they have the ability to win a match in the space of a few minutes.

  356. Jonny knows a lot about cricket 🙂

  357. @ Billy’s Boots
    Poor Chamakh. First Robin, then Henry!

  358. AA’s shots are getting closer, sooner or later he will hit zee target!

  359. @ dukegoonem | January 9, 2012 at 11:48 pm
    absolutely. This is his chance, while Gerv is away.

  360. I wonder how many Henry 12 shirts have been sold!

  361. So happy. Tired with the emotion of it all but too excited to go to bed. that’s football for you, eh?

  362. Billy’s Boots

    FunGunner – 🙂 Yes, good for us, tough for him. I hope he does well at the ACN. I thought he looked better tonight than he has done recently, more confident (sometimes overly so with his flicky back-heels). He held the ball up very well and played some nice passes to bring others into play. It’s a shame he was just wide with his header in the first half (from a corner, I think). It seemed to take a while before the team realised who was in the middle, and then they started to cross the ball more. I hope he hangs in there because I think we will need him before the season is out.

  363. Gooners are all buzzing tonight. Apart from the usual moaning twats.

  364. @ dups
    About 10% of the amount they will sell after tonight, is my guess.

  365. Billy he set up Arteta really well and he should have scored.

  366. @ Billy’s Boots
    Yes – he’s one of a group of our players who just desperately need a goal – AA, Chamakh, Ramsey and Rosicky.

  367. Funniest chant of the evening, from the Leeds fans, to the tune of ‘Thierry Henry, Thierry Henry’: “You’re so shit, you need Henry.”

  368. Keep going AA, you have bottle and I’m sure a brace or even hat- trick is on the cards some time soon

  369. Thanks George, I know a lot about NFL and a fair bit about various other sports too.

    Whisper it quietly, but I also know a little about soccer.

  370. I agree with Jonny about AA, some good, some not-so-good. I saw enough positive signs to make me very optimistic that he will thrive while 3Gs and MC Hammer (‘you can’t score this’) are away. I can imagine Henry being one of the few who will quickly see what AA has in mind.

  371. Billy,there is only TR7 and RVP at the moment.I think he misses Cesc more than anyone else

  372. Jonny,did you see my Barry Richards post?

  373. @Robbie Savage

    Must majority of Leeds fans were a disgrace throwing coins and hot dogs , shouting obcenities to a lady presenter ! Disgrace !

    Pity he cannot spell correctly but we all know the Leeds fans are scum.

  374. Nein George. Que?

  375. I said I used to be as infatuated with Barry as I now am with AA.

  376. On a not-so-romantic note, between the shirt sales and getting us to the fourth round (and another money-spinning home tie), TH12 has probably already more than paid for his loan.

    I would like to think that tonight’s display will remind AW how useful it is to have a(nother) first-class goal-scorer and perhaps convince him to buy one. The loan deal is a great idea, but it would be even better if we add someone permanently who can decide a game like that.

  377. dupsoffkcuf, I was disgusted with the Leeds fans, singing one of those songs about AW coming out of Arsenal tube. They were clearly looking to start trouble, but no one gave them the satisfaction. I was so glad we beat them.

  378. Is it irony that Robbie Savage calls someone scum?
    I never quite know when its irony or just a bit fucking rich.

  379. George at 12:13 am

    Yes, you’re right. At least there is Jack Wilshire to come back!

  380. “I would like to think that tonight’s display will remind AW how useful it is to have a(nother) first-class goal-scorer and perhaps convince him to buy one. The loan deal is a great idea, but it would be even better if we add someone permanently who can decide a game like that.”

    I doubt if he needs convincing, BB, but it’s not just up to him. Who is going to sell us such a player in January? Can we afford him? Will a top class player want to come unless he is sure of a starting place? It takes more than just wanting it to make a transfer happen.

  381. FG , exactly.And they are not ten a penny.

  382. He was before my time George.

    And, ‘no’ that’s wasn’t irony. That was hypocrisy.

  383. Andrey Arshavin on Twitter

    “It was like in a fairy tale. Thierry came back, played and scored. And we won.”

  384. Never heard too much of him – will have to take your word for it.

    Well good night all. Sleep with a smile.

  385. @ BB
    Not having a go, btw, just think it’s important to be realise how these things work.

    Going back to Henry, this is could well be the high point of his stay, but as you say he’s probably already more than justified his signing.
    Bonne nuit, mes braves. Le roi vit encore. Vive le roi!

  386. Tennessee Arsenal

    Just watched the recorded match…

    Henry was the reason I became an Arsenal fan. I know this reveals me as a newcomer–I’m from Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, for crying out loud, so cut me some slack. And I know this doesn’t solve all our problems…

    But that was so nice to see.

  387. I have the game recorded but have yet to watch it as I just walked in the door after a long, long day. Though I am tempted to watch it now I think I will save it for tomorrow night 🙂 I would just like to say, as an Irishman, all is forgiven Thierry and forgotten. Fucking LEGEND!!! We shall all be sleeping well tonight I imagine. COYG!!!

  388. Thierry the bandaid Henry

    I cannot understand why the headlines should be about Henry. This is like having a broken leg and talking about a scratch on a hand. Another con-job by Clousseau Wenger. Arshavin, Chamakh and others would not even get into the Leeds United side. They are clowns. Where is Diaby? Another clown. AW needs to get rid of alot of so called players who make me feel like I am watching third division football. Although to be fair to the third division players they have more pride and show more effort than this lot.

    What a great idea from Clousseau to take of OC and put on the one trick pony Walcott!!!

    Vela, Lansbury, Campbell, Miyachi, should all be in. And the clowns and imposters like Diaby, Arshavin, Benayoun, Rosciky, Park, Chamakh and Walcott all to piss off once and for all.

    There are so many players around the world whose big toe is better than this lot. Players from the Championship, Germany, Holland, Spain, Italy, South America who would be 1,000 times better than the clowns. How can AW be a good coach when he turns a blind eye to this?

    Of course I admit that the First Eleven is quite formidable. Great. But when have we ever seen the first eleven consistently?

    Love Pantilimon. (SZX too young)
    Sagna Per, TV, (Koz) Santos
    Vela Coquelin Song Jack
    OC
    RVP

    And some good buys over January and yes we have a team.

    Fix your broken bone you buffoon of a coach and do not sell us bandaid solutions. Does Clousseau really take Arsenal fans for mugs? I think he takes the board for mugs otherwise why wuold they pay him more money than the players actually playing. Why would I stay if AW hesitated in giving me wages when he is on 6 million a year? The great con continues. By the way the great buys, eg, TH12, Pires, Bergkamp, Viera etc were all flukes. If they were not flukey or lucky signings then how do you explain Chamakh, Sivestre, Stepanovs, Squillaci, Gibbs, Fabianski,Diaby, Arshavin, Reyes, Diarra, Bendtner, Hleb, Cygan and on and on.

    Admit you are a lucky fool and go and buy some players.

    Anyone can coach this side; just play moving triangles on the ground and swarm in attack and defence.

    Also, if AW is to be congratulated for being frugal and prudent then he shoud be a director or CFO of the club not the manager. There is a big difference on how to run a club and how to be a winning club!!!

  389. Ya ya, I agree with Thierry @ 4:22

    Good that Henry scored but the first-choice midfield played. And it was Leeds after all.

    Swansea should be the real litmus team.

    Waiting for YW comments on the match.

  390. *red litmus test

  391. YW has been against the resigning of Henry since it was first rumoured.Lots of egg on his face last night

    What Henry brings to the club is a football brain.He has lost his pace but the first touch and the finish were the touches of a master.You either have it or you dont

    And the lift he gives the club.His post match interview about knowning now what its like to score a goal as a fan sums up the man.

    Get him on the coaching staff next season.The king is back

  392. Fuck off, Howard!

  393. @Thierry the bandaid Henry

    clowns i say !!! cloooooowns! we are all clowns!! waaaah! everbody is a clown! ficking asshole clowns! it is so horrible to be an arsenal fan with all these clowns. and me who has clownofobia and everything. aaah clowns.

    clowns,clowns,clowns,clowns,clowns,clowns,clowns,clowns

    Help me Thierry the bandaid Henry help me, get rid of all the clowns for me lol lol lol
    clown :p

    ps can poodles be clowns? I know they cannto be muppets thats for sure!

  394. Well, what an evening.

    Truely majestic from Henry. Chamakh actually had a decent game, but would not have scored if he had played for 10 hours. The difference could not be more marked.

    AA had his best game for a long whilse and looked dangerous all night. AOC also looked very good; he should definaetly be an option from the bench, and if that is at the expence of Rosicky or Benayoun so be it. He offers a goalscoring threat they don’t.

    Our midfield was very good last night. Song with a great assist, Arteta had a an impressive game, and Ramsey pulled the strings. Ramsey always has a couple of moment in every game where he tries to do to much or gives possesion away really sloppily, but his game is coming on and he is increasingly influential.

    The back 4 all had decent games, although Leeds did fashion a couple of very good chances from very little posession. All in all we played well but did not create too many clear cut chances. Having more than one player who can produce the goods when we really need it was highlighted in a ruthless fashion last night. We saw the team without RvP, and whilst good did not really look like scoring. Until Henry came on anyway.

  395. Are we goal shy?

    It takes an amazing night that few thought they would ever see again to underscore what our current problem seems to be.

    TH 12 had 25 mins to bring us back to where a football team should be……scoring goals. What were the chances of a 34 year old doing that in the time available? Not a hell of a lot I suspect, he is now on 1 goal per 25 mins played (excluding all the rest).

    I argue that Chamakh does not get the time to score, but how can Henry come and just do it? We must be creating the chances otherwise it is just too spooky, so what did we do with those chances and why can’t we take them?

    Blast them over the bar is what we did and I suggest that we need some head shrinks is the conclusion.

  396. We have the posession, of that there is no doubt. But as much as the final pass get classed as “creating the chance”, it is the movement off the ball which is often the pivitol moment. Henry is excellent in this respect and getting into the space and making runs in between the gaps. As is RvP to be fair. That is why they score so many goals.

  397. Get him on the coaching staff next season.The king is back

    I agree with this. He is the type of person we want around the club. You can see how much it means to him, and that would undoubtably rub off on other players.

  398. Bloody hell, it was a cup game. Leeds came to get a replay – until we scored they barely got out of their half. Supposedly stronger Arsenal teams have laboured for results against far weaker sides than Leeds in this competition.

  399. Don’t bother Big Al, people are just messing around..

  400. Life is so interesting sometimes, hey? The most elegant striker ever to play in England, in my time anyway, and the most lethal. Robin is a close second. For those making village idiot comments, especially about Chamakh, try to think what might Henry himself think and say. He might say, you know Marouane, when I had a serious dip in form during period X or Y (you better believe even the best in the world also had his nightmares), I would continue working hard, believing and listening to Wenger who gave me the chance to succeed. You can too, good luck.

    And good luck to our 5 lads at the ACN, 3Gs and one Chamakh!!!

  401. Superb spot by Song to see Henry’s run as well.

  402. They say Arsenal ticket prices are high, but then you get to watch Mikel Arteta play. Amazing footballer.

  403. Song had a couple of warm up passes, trying to set up TH12.
    What an option to have on he bench against teams that play the old 9-1/10-0 formation.

    I always thought something was up with that decision by young Pep to not play Henry in that second leg against the massed ranks of Maureen’s Inter (Chivu in ‘midifield’? Help!). I don’t really care what the reasons were but I like to think he fell out with the Barcaholes following his partisan comments after the first leg of of that years tie against Barcelona.

  404. mattgoonerknight

    Really obvious questions I’m sure, but why is Gervinho referred to as 3Gs?

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